Crawford County, Pennsylvania


History & Biography
1868 HISTORY OF THE ERIE PRESBYTERY

PART III.
Historical Notices of Churches.

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MEADVILLE.

    THIS church is in Crawford County, and was probably organized in 1800.  Elisha Macurdy and Joseph Stockton (4) had preached here the year before.  The first elders were John Cotton, Robert Stockton, and a third, whose name has passed away.  Mr. Stockton, then in his twenty-first year, was called to be the first pastor.  He was ordained by the Presbytery of Ohio, on the 24th of June, 1801, and installed as pastor of the congregations of Meadville and Little Sugar Creek1 (now Cochranton).  One half his time was given to each.  He was released from these charges June 27, 1810.
    The second pastor was Rev. Robert Johnston (15).  He was installed, October 15, 1811, as pastor of Meadville, Little Sugar Creek, and Conneaut (now Evanaburg).  This relation was dissolved April 2, 1817.  The third pastor was Rev. John Van Liew (30).  He was ordained and installed August 22, 1821.  He gave the whole of his time to Meadville, and was released from his charge, June 21, 1824.  The fourth pastor was Rev. Wells Bushnell (35).  He was ordained and installed June 22, 1826.  The pastoral relation was dissolved June 26, 1833.  The fifth pastor was Nathaniel West (47), installed May 11, 1836; released from his pastoral charge, June 26, 1838.  The present pastor is John Van Liew Reynolds, D. D. (56); ordained and installed November 13, 1839.  Of those who have sus- <p. 414> tained the pastoral relation to this church, besides the present incumbent, one only survives Dr. Van LIew.
    From the installation of Dr. Reynolds in 1839, the session remained unbroken for twenty-five years, without increase or diminution.  At the division of the church in 1838, the Meadville church was divided, forming a second church, of the other branch.  Of this church, Rev. Richard Craighead has long been the pastor.
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PYMATUNING, BEULA, AND TRUMBULL.

    THESE congregatons constituted the original charge of Rev. Benjamin Boyd, and all seem to have become extinct.  They were situated near the boundary line of Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Mr. Boyd was installed over them November 12, 1806, and was dismissed in 1809.  These churches seem to have declined soon after.  The names of Beula and Trunbull do not appear on the roll after the year 1810; and Pymatuning is not mentioned after 1813.  The membership was probably drawn to churches springing up in more favorable locations in the neighborhood.
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GRAVEL RUN.

    THIS church is in Crawford County, and was probably organized in 1809 or 1810.  The first pastor was <p. 444> Rev. John Matthews (22), installed in connection with Waterford, October 17, 1810.  He was released from the charge of Gravel Run, November 8, 1814.  The next pastor was Rev. Peter Hassinger (39).  He was ordained and installed, October 1, 1828; released from his charge in 1832.
    Rev. Alexander Cunningham (65) was ordained and installed as pastor, October 5, 1843; released from his charge in 1851.  The present pastor is Rev. James W. Dickey (64), installed April 19, 1854.
    At the division in 1838, this church was divided, a portion adhering to each branch.  The New School branch is called also Gravel Run; Rev. G. W. Hampson is the pastor.
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OIL CREEK, now TITUSVILLE.

    THIS church was gathered and organized by Rev. Amos Chase (25) about the year 1815.  Mr. Chase supplied it until the 24th day of May, 1826, when he was installed as its first pastor for one half of his time.  The pastoral relation was dissolved in 1830.  The next pastor was Rev. G. W. Hampson (43), who was ordained and installed as pastor by the Presbytery of Erie, June 27, 1832.  He continued his relation for some ten years, when the relation was dissolved.  Owing to peculiar circumstances, the church gradually became disorganized, and its individuality lost.  A few years ago it was reorganized under the name of the First Presbyterian Church of Titusville, Rev. William Howell Taylor, pastor.  It is situated in Crawford County, Pa., and in connection with the other branch.
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CENTERVILLE.

    THIS church is situated about ten miles from Titusville.  It was gathered by Mr. Chase in 1815.  He was its first, and perhaps only pastor.  He was installed in 1827, and released from his charge in 1830.
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HARMONSBURG.

    THIS church is in Crawford County, Pa., and was organized in 1829.  It was dependent on supplies for many years.  In the year 1832, Rev. Peter Hassinger (39) supplied it.  On the 4th day of October, 1843, Rev. J. W. Dickey (64) was ordained and installed as its pastor; released in 1847.  After this Rev. L. P. Bates (72) supplied for a time.  On the 14th of September, 1852, Rev. James Coulter was installed as pastor; released, 1857 or 1858.  Rev. George Scott was installed June 27, 1860; released, June 10, 1862.  The present pastor is Rev. N. S. Lowrie (103), who was ordained and installed October 22, 1862.

CONNEAUTVILLE.

    THIS church is in Crawford County, Pa.  It was organized, October 31, 1835, by Rev. P. Hassinger.  One elder, John Craven, was elected.  It was supplied by Rev. R. Lewis, Rev. D. Waggoner, and others.  The first pastor was Rev. J. W. Dickey (64), ordained and installed, October 4, 1842, in connection with Harmonsburg and Evansburg.  He was released in 1847.  Rev. L. P. Bates (72) supplied for a time in 1847.  Rev. James Coulter supplied the church for a time in 1853.  Rev. George W. Zahniser (84) was ordained and installed as pastor September 7, 1853; releaed, April 13, 1859.  The present pastor, Rev. N. S. Lowrie (103) was ordained and installed, October 22, 1862.  This church was for eleven years divided into two branches, but became united in 1865.
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EVANSBURG.

    THIS church was formerly known as Conneaut, or the Outlet of Conneaut.  In 1811 to 1817, it constituted a part of the charge of Rev. Robert Johnston, in connection with Meadville and Little Sugar Creek.  It was probably dependent on supplies from that time to April 14, 1841, when Rev. Edward S. Blake (59) was ordained and installed as pastor, in connection with Gravel Run.  His pastorate continued for one year.  On the rth of October, 1842, Rev. J. W. Dickey was installed as pastor; released in 1847.  In September, 1852, Rev. James Coulter was installed as pastor; released in 1857 or 1858.  Rev. George Scott (98) was ordained and installed as pastor, June 27, 1860; released, June 10, 1862.
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VENANGO.

    THIS church is in Crawford County, Pa., and was organized, by act of Presbytery, October 24, 1866.  It was a colony from the Gravel Run Church.  It takes its name from the borough where the church is located.

COCHRANTON.

    THIS church was received from the care of the Pittsburgh Reformed Presbytery, September 26, 1867.  It was originally a colony from the United Presbyterian Church of the same place.  This latter church was anciently under the care of the Presbytery of Erie, under the name of "Little Sugar Creek."  It was a portion of <p. 456> Mr. Johnson's (14) charge, from 1811 to 1817, and passed to the connection of the Associate Reformed Church about the year 1819 or 1820.  Mr. Patton is the present pastor of this church.

1 This church connected itself with the Associate Revormed Church about 1820.