Crawford County, Pennsylvania

1876 ATLAS 1

         Initial settlement was made by James Humes in 1791, upon land one mile west of Woodcock Borough.  Three men settled in 1794: Henry Rust and John H. Bossard, of Westmoreland County, and James Long, of Lancaster County.  Long died in 1830, in his ninety-third year.  The McGill brothers, Patrick and Arthur, moved in during 1795.  The latter took up eight hundred acres, but later, gave the south half to his brother.  Samuel Blair, of Ireland, and George Long came from Susquehanna County to this township in 1797.  At about the same time, William Wykoff, accompanied by his son John, came in from New Jersey, and located on Gravel Run, and John Greenlee, from Susquehanna, located on the farm upon which his son William is a resident.  Nathaniel Clark, from Armstrong County, removed to this township about 1801.  George Peiffer, a soldier of the Revolution, in 1802 came to the County, and to the township in 1809; and Thomas Rice, of Allegheny, settled on the farm now owned by S. T. Rice, in 1810.  Wild beasts gave the settlers much trouble.  Wolves were destructive to sheep, and were known to attack the cows.  The mother called in her children before dark, and the settler returning from his work or from a raising saw the wolves skulking around him, and night was made hideous by their dismal howls.  Bears were known to tear down the pens and carry off the pigs, and reports of panthers heard or seen made night-travel no pleasant undertaking.  The first saw-mill erected in the township was built at the mouth of Gravel Run by Archibald Humes.  Soon after, he added the grist-mill now owned by Mr. Apple.  James Dickson, a settler on Woodcock Creek at an early period, is reported to have put up the first grist-mill in the northern part of the County.  The stones were common rock from Laurel Hill, in the vicinity of Pittsburgh.  The present oldest man in the County is William Wise, who is now ninety-eight years of age, and a citizen of the township since 1830.  First religious meetings were held in the log house of a man named Shearer, by a missionary from Kentucky, by name Robert C. Hooker.  The township contains three boroughs, Saegertown, Woodcock, and Blooming Valley.  The settlement of Saegertown began about 1796.  A saw- and grist-mill was erected about 1800, on the site of the present mills, and called after their builder—Major Alden—Alden's Mills.  The mill property was purchased in 1824 by Daniel Saeger, who erected new mills, repaired the dam, and laid out the town bearing his name.  Saeger was from Lehigh County, and of German origin, and soon had induced many of his Germanic brothers to locate with him. Among these settlers were the Brookhouses, Adam and his sons, Adam and Jacob; Peter Shaffer, and Adam Newhauser.  The first store in Saegertown was opened by the Saegers, and has been kept in their name above forty years.  The pioneer tavern was opened by Peter Shaffer, where now stands the brick store of the Saegers.  The earliest school was held in a log cabin located above the mill.  Its teacher was Jonathan G. David.  A  frame school-house was erected in 1834, near the Reformed Church, and was partitioned through the centre, with the design of having two schools at the same time—one for English and the other for German instruction.  The post-office was established in 1833.  The mail was carried once a week from Meadville to Gerard.  The arrival of David Yarrick upon his little black horse was announced by a blast from his horn, and a sensation produced beyond that of the passage of the white postal train, taking and leaving tons of mail in the swift progress of the thousand miles which intervene between New York and Chicago.  Saegertown was organized as a borough in 1851.  It is pleasantly located upon a plain in the midst of excellent farming lands.  The Reformed, Lutheran, and Methodist denominations have churches in the town.  A fine school building, gun-shop, stores, mills, and various shops are established, and the population is about five hundred, and increasing as its advantages become known.  Woodcock Borough was organized as such in 1845.  James Moore kept the first store; Henry Zimmerman brought on the first stock of goods, and Jacob Keptler was the first hotel-keeper and postmaster in the place.  Gravel Run Church, organized in 1809 by the Presbyterians, was the first church, and the Rev. John Mathews their first minister.  The Methodists organized a society in 1810.  Their first pastor was the Rev. Joshua Monroe, and their first church was erected of logs in 1817.  Besides the usual stores and shops, the town has a jewelry and drug store, and an extensive cheese-factory.  Blooming Valley is on the State road in the southeast of the township, and was organized as a borough May 17, 1867.  It has a hotel, stores and shops, a bowl-factory, marble shop, and planing-mill, and had in 1870, a population of over two hundred.  The population of the township is over two thousand, and mostly "to the manor born."  Manufactures are represented by cheese-factories, grist-mills, saw-mills, and wooden-bowl factories.  In many respects, the township may be regarded as one of the finest in the County.

1. Combination Atlas Map of Crawford County, Pennsylvania, Compiled, Drawn and Published From Personal Examinations and Surveys (Philadephia: Everts, Ensign & Everts, 1876), 24—.