Crawford County, Pennsylvania

History & Biography

    UNION was formed from Vernon, Fairfield and Greenwood in October, 1867.  It is an interior township, lying a little south-west of the center, and contains 8,322 square acres.  It is bounded on the east by French Creek, and on the south and west by Conneaut Outlet, which is a marshy waste one-half to three-fourths of a mile wide, with but little fall from the north-west corner of this township to its intersection with French Creek.  Partial arrangements have been made to dredge it and thus reclaim large tracts of exceedingly fertile land over-flowed by it.  The surface of the township is rolling, especially in the southern part, the central portion being the most ele- <p. 107> vated. The people are chiefly engaged in agriculture, grain being the staple production.

    The Atlantic & Great Western R.R. crosses the northern part of the township, and the old Beaver Canal runs in proximity to Conneaut Outlet.

    The population in 1870 was 622, all of whom were white, 508, native and 114, foreign.

    During the year ending June 3, 1872, the township contained seven schools and employed nine teachers.  The number of scholars was 292; the average number attending school, 185; and the amount expended for school purposes, $2,146.11

    DUTCH HILL (p. o.) is situated a little north of the center of the township.

    Settlement was commenced near the beginning of the present century.  One of the first settlers was James Smith, who came from the valley of the Tuscarora, in Juniata county, in 1805.  Leonard Smock, a native of New Jersey, moved in from Westmoreland county near this time, and settled one-half mile north of Conneaut Outlet.  His son, Cornelius, who was born in Union, in November, 1806, says that Indians were numerous and wild beasts abundant, especially in the Conneaut marsh.  The nearest mill was at Peterson's, in Greenwood, and although the distance was not great the roads were so bad that they would defer a journey thither until the meal box was thoroughly scraped out.  It was the custom of the miller at times to keep bread in the mill for his customers to lunch upon.  John Thatcher came in from Greenwood, his native township, in 1810.  Daniel Holton removed from Rhode Island to Meadville in 1796, and to Union in 1815.  His son, Baanah, says he (Daniel) drove the first team into Meadville.  Peter Kebert, from Germany, settled here in 1830.  Francis Stein, from Bavaria, came in 1832.  He came by canal from Albany to Buffalo, by lake to Erie, and thence on foot to his destination—his present place of residence.  Daniel Hammon, from Germany, settled here in 1833, and a Mr. Huber, from New Jersey, in 1834.  The first school, a framed building, was built in 1838, on the Aqueduct road; and the first church was erected in 1837, on the State road.  It was a log structure and was converted to a framed building in 1854, by Wm. Stitt.

    Mount Pleasant Church (M.E.) was organized with twelve members, in 1826, by John Leech and H. Kinsley, who officiated as first pastors.  The Society worshiped at first in school houses.  Their house of worship was erected in 1858, at a cost of $1,000.  It will seat 300 persons.  There are forty-five members, who are under the pastoral care of Rev. F. Fair.  The Church property is valued at $1,200.

1 Hamilton Child, comp., Gazetteer and Business Directory of Crawford County, Pa., for 1874 (Syracuse, N.Y.: By the comp., 1874), pp. 106-7.