Crawford County, Pennsylvania

History & Biography

    SOUTH SHENANGO was formed together with North and West Shenango in 1811.  It lies upon the south border, near the south-west corner of the county, and contains 17,102 square acres.  West Shenango was taken off April 14, 1863.  The surface is drained by small streams flowing south-west into Shenango Creek, which separates this from West Shenango township.  The Erie & Pittsburgh R. R. passes through the western part, adjacent to Shenango Creek.

    The population in 1870 was 1,042, all of whom were white, 965, native and 77, foreign.
    During the year ending June 3, 1872, it contained eight schools and employed fourteen teachers.  The number of scholars was 249; the average number attending school, 214; and the amount expended for school purposes $2,154.04.

    MCLEANS CORNERS is situated in the south-west part, on the E. & P. R. R.

    SOUTH SHENANGO is situated in the north-west part, on the E. & P. R. R.

    MARSHALL CORNERS (p. o.) is situated near the center of the township.

    JAMESTOWN, (p. v.) situated on the line of Mercer county, is partially in this township.

    There is but one saw mill in the township.  It is located in the north-east part, on the road leading from Jamestown to Linesville, was built in May, 1872, and is owned by Wm. H. and Robert A. Blair.

    In 1795, and, as far as our information extends, previous to the settlement of the township, the camp of William Power, who was engaged in making surveys of tracts now embraced in South Shenango, was robbed by a band of Indians, on the 5th of June, and James Thompson, who had charge of the camp at the time, was taken prisoner, but subsequently effected his escape.  The locality where this event occurred was known to the settlers as the “ White Thorn Corner.”

    The first settlement of which we have information was made the following year, (1796) or about that time, by Hugh Fletcher, a native of Ireland.  Robert McComahey and James Davis, also from Ireland, and M. Marshall, from Westmoreland county, came in 1797.  McComahey came with knapsack and camp kettle upon his back and settled on the farm now owned by his son of the same name.  Soon after his arrival he went to Westmoreland county and returned with cattle, sheep and horses, but his shirts and dishes were stolen by the Indians during his absence.  He bought 200 acres, paying therefor one dollar per acre.  He died in his eightieth year.  Davis located on the farm now owned by his son William.  He died in his fifty-first year.  Marshall settled on the farm now owned by Wm. McLean.  His son Joseph, who is living on the State road, was the first white child born in South Shenango.  Michael Marshall came from Perry county, in 1798, and settled the farm owned by Wallace Marshall, which he worked till his death.  Robert Bennett settled on the place owned by his son Samuel, in 1798 or ’9, and died here in 1842.  He was a soldier in the war of 1812.  James Dickey came from Washington county, in 1799, and purchased of John Grimes, for a gun, powder horn and *97 blanket, 100 acres, where his son, N. Dickey, now resides.  He died at the age of eighty.  John Gallagher, a native of Ireland, emigrated to this country in 1799.  He landed at Baltimore, and after a short stay there he came to this township, on foot from Pittsburgh, and took up land on tract 810, now owned by his children, Sarah and John Gallagher, in 1800.  He married his wife in Fayette county and brought her here in 1806.  He died in 1832, aged 67 years.  Solomon Dowlhott, John Nevins and John Mullian became settlers in 1801.  Dowlhott was from Westmoreland county.  He located on the farm owned by his son William, and died in his 69th year.  Nevins was a native of the Emerald Isle.  Mullian came from Washington county, accompanied by his son of the same name, and settled the farm owned by the latter.

    The Shenango United Presbyterian Church was organized with about ten members, in 1801, by Rev. Daniel McLean, the first pastor.  The Society first worshiped in a tent.  In 1805, or about that year, a log house was erected, and in 1818 the present edifice, which is situated one mile north of the State road, and will seat 500 persons, was built at a cost of about $400.  At present the Society is without a pastor.  The Church property is valued at $1,000.—[Information furnished by Mr. Wm. McLean.

    North Bank M. E. Church, situated in the north-west corner, was organized with nine members, in 1824, by Charles Thorn, Charles Elliott and Charles Campbell, the former of whom was the first pastor.  The church edifice, which will seat 350 persons, was erected in 1851, at a cost of $700, or twice the present value of Church property.  The Society numbers 38.  The pastor is Rev. I. D. Darling.

    Ehenezer Church, (Ass. Reformed) situated north of the center of the township, was organized with thirty-five members, in 1868, by Rev. James Borrows, the first and present pastor, who is our informant, and the house of worship, which will seat 300 persons, was erected the same year, at a cost of $2,200.  The Church consists of fifty members, and its property is valued at $2,500.

1 Hamilton Child, comp., Gazetteer and Business Directory of Crawford County, Pa., for 1874 (Syracuse, N.Y.: By the comp., 1874), pp. 118-19.