Transcribed from The History of Steubenville and Jefferson County Ohio. Joseph B. Doyle. Richmond-Arnold Publishing Company, Chicago, Ill. 1910
Reproduced in 1992 by Closson Press, Apollo, PA under sponsorship of the Jefferson County Historical Society Museum and Genealogical Library, Steubenville, OH
Chapter XXII: The River Townships
Steubenville, Island Creek, Knox, Saline, Cross Creek, Wells and Warren-Towns of Toronto, Mingo, Brilliant, Irondale, Hammondsville, Empire, Rayland, etc.Pioneer Schoosl and ChurchesEarly Trials and Later Developments
As most of the history of Steubenville Township and Mingo Junction has already been included in the general history of the county and in that of the city of Steubenville, it will only be necessary to include here and in the history of other townships such facts as are not related in the foregoing. The original township was erected on May 30, 1803, and included what are now Island Creek, Cross Creek and Salem townships, the two former being cut off on June 4, 1806, and the last named on June 3, 1807. According to the township minutes an election was held at the court house in Steubenville, Zaccheus Briggs presiding, when the following officers were elected by ballot: John Black, clerk; Zaccheus Biggs, James Dunlevy and James Shane, trustees; Richard Johnson and Jonathan Nottingham, overseers of the poor; Thomas Hitchcock, William Engle and Richard Lee, fence viewers; Matthew Adams and Samuel Hunter, appraisers of houses; Andrew McCullough, lister of taxable property; Thomas Gray, George Friend, Daniel Dunlevy and Thomas Wintringer, supervisors of highways; Anthony Blackburn and Andrew McCullough, constables. This was attested June 21. The next minute is as follows: "At a meeting of the subscribers, trustees of the township of Steubenville on the 11th of October, 1803, ordered that the aforesaid township be divided in the following manner: Beginning at the Ohio River at the mouth of Wills Creek; thence up said creek to the head gate of Josiah Johnstons saw-mill; thence north to the township line; thence with said line to the river allotted to George Friend." Also from the Ohio River up said Wills Creek till opposite Benjamin Doyles; thence south to Cross Creek, a straight course; thence down said creek to the mouth, with the town of Steubenville, to be in the district with Thomas Gray. (This is practically the present township except the part below Cross Creek.) Also from the mouth of Cross Creek up said creek on the south side of the township line west; thence south to the township line; thence east to the Ohio River, deeded to Daniel Dunlevy. As also from Wills Creek, a south course to Benjamin Doyles; thence south to Cross Creek; thence up said creek to the extreme of the township in a west corner to the place of beginning, to be in the district allotted to Thomas Wintringer." The officers for the succeeding year were: Trustees, Brice Viers, John England, Thomas Patton; overseers of the poor, Jonathan Nottingham and Samuel Thompson; constables, Anthony Beck and Andrew McCullough; supervisors of highways, Daniel Treadway, Jacob Arnold, Geo. Friend, Joseph Porter: fence viewers, Richard Cox and Philip Smith; house appraiser, Joseph Day; treasurer, Samuel Hunter. The only reference to changes in the township boundaries is a minute on June 30, 1806, to the effect that in consequence of a division of Steubenville Township, David Powell, late trustee, has fallen into the township of Cross Creek, Philip Cable is appointed trustee in his place. On the old minute book is found an entry of $4.43 for conducting a pauper funeral. Under the "squirrel act" of December 24, 1807, requiring certain taxable residents to produce so many squirrel scalps annually with the view of exterminating those animals, Hans Wilson is credited with thirty scalps; Philip Cable, sixty; and Godfrey Richards, twenty-two; in all, 112 scalps. The idea of protecting squirrels had not yet crystalized [sic]. On April 1, 1811, it was certified that Mordecai Bartley had received 132 votes; John Adams, twenty-eight, and John McGraw, twenty-seven for justice of the peace. "July 10, 1813, Jacob Fickes produced his receipt form the treasurer for payment of $2 for refusal to serve as trustee." The office evidently sought the man in those days. The present township has somewhat the shape of a rude letter B, having six full sections and eight fractional, fronting on Wills Creek and the Ohio River, the northern boundary being formed for a short distance by the creek, with straight lines on the west and south separating it from Cross Creek and Wells Townships. The area is about 7,100 acres, of which 1,676 are within the corporate limits of Steubenville. The principal streams are Cross Creek, Georges Run and Wells Run. The Wabash system crosses it at Mingo, with C. & P. and w. & L. E. along the river front, and Panhandle to and up Cross Creek. Among the early settlers after Bezaleel Wells were the Johnsons, Bickerstaffs, Abrahams, Permars,, Powell, Lockard, Hodbert, Myers, England, Potters, Rickeys, Adams and Hills. Mrs. Johnson, nee Mary Bickerstaff,, was a mine of reminiscences. Her home was on eighty acres of land purchased from Bezaleel Wells a mile and a half west of old Steubenville. She remembered hearing Lorenzo Dow preach on the street in Steubenville in 1799 or 1800. It is known positively that Dow was in the Short Creek Valley in 1798 and preached to the pioneers. He was known to deliver eloquent discourses to an audience composed of one person. They lived in a log cabin, but the old lady declared there was "a heap of comfort in it compared with your damask curtained houses of to-day." Dow arrived at Steubenville on foot, for he would not ride. A report had gained circulation that a great divine was coming, whom some were not slow to claim a second Christ, which led to 200 or 300 persons gathering under a large tree that stood at the end of the public square. Beneath this tree was a bench upon which butchers cut up their meat, and there was also an upping block. When Dow arrived he look [sic] very seedy and travel worn, and staggered somewhat, which led to Mrs. Bickerstaff inquiring if he were drunk. Her husband replied, "Theell see directly." Mr. Dow mounted the "upping block" and began his sermon with these words:
The audience was so delighted that a collection was taken up and the receipts handed to the preacher, who sought out the most humbly attired person in the crowd, and handed the money to hi, bidding him God speed in its use. The Bickerstaffs invited the preacher to their house, but he declined, saying, "I have not the time, my Lords work must be done and I must go." The farm was paid for in produce. It was in this township on the Adams farm about a mile west of Mingo that the last Indian fight took place on jefferson county soil, as related elsewhere. George Adams, father of Henry Adams at the age of seventeen joined General Waynes army, his home then being in Fayette county, Pennsylvania. He aided in building fort Recovery, and settled in Steubenville Township in 1796. Philip Smith, who was with the Crawford Sandusky Expedition, settled near Steubenville in 1799, where he lived until 1812, the removing to Wayne county.
Although Mingo Bottom was a historic point from the first advent of the white men into this valley, was the scene of the first recorded event in the county, had enough settlers before 1790 to at least discuss resistance to the forces sent to eject them, was the rendezvous of the Gnaddenuten, Crawford and other early expeditions, became a railroad junction in 1853 and was the land place for supplies during the building of the S. & I. R. R., was a camp during the Civil War; in short was leading figure in all the countys history, yet down to the fall of 1869 there was not even the semblance of a village there. The surrounding country was divided into cultivated farms, with substantial homes, but at the place itself were but one small frame house and a little railway station. There was not even a postoffice, and the neighboring residents came to Steubenville to vote. The very name was appropriated by a postoffice in another section of the state, and when it was afterwards desired to utilize the old name which had indicated the spot for a century and a half, it was necessary to add to it the word "Junction." There was a locust grove on the river bank fronting the vanishing island, and another on the hilltop, both of which were favorite picnic grounds. The state road down the river here sought the base of the hill (now Commercial Street), passing the well known watering trough at Potter spring, and the noise of passing trains only momentarily disturbed the rural quiet of this peaceful valley. The Potter, Piehler, Means, Wells or Jump farms occupied the territory, with Henry Farmers place on the south and Adams on the west. What was known as the Potter and Means farms was purchased to the extent of 600 acres in 1800 by Rev. Lyman Potter and his son-in-law, Jasper Murdock, the former being a missionary of the Presbyterian Church in Ohio and Pennsylvania. At his death the property was divided, Mr. Murdocks heirs taking what was afterwards the William Means farm, and Mr. Potter son Daniel taking the part long known by his name. As related elsewhere, Mr. Potter, in the summer of 1869, sold the locust grove and a tract on the hill to a party of capitalists for the erection of iron works, and another piece to Mathew Hodkinson. The erection of these concerns soon made a radical change. Mr. Potter died in September , 1869, and his son Daniel and R. Sherrard, Jr., were appointed executors. A small town began to grow up around the works in the bottom, and in 18671 the executors laid out an addition of forty-five lots. The next year Elisha P. Potter made an addition of twenty-five lots, and the executors forty-seven more, making a total of 117. To these additions were made by the Hodkinsons and others until not only the bottom was pretty well occupied, but the town had crossed the railroad, and was creeping up the hillside. The depression following the panic of 1873 checked progress for a while, but in 1879 matters brightened up and with the enlargement of the iron works, discovery of oil and other industrial advantages, the town has made steady progress. In 1880 the population was 700 or 800, and in 1890, the first it figured as a separate civil division in the census reports, the population was 1,856, and in 1900 it was 2,954. The present population is about 3,500. Geographically the town is divided into four sections, known as North Hill, Church Hill, Reservoir Hill and east Side. The first section lies north of McLister Avenue, Reservoir Hill is between McLister Avenue and Ravine Street and west of Commercial Street, south of Ravine and west of the Pan Handle Railroad is Church Hill, and East Side lies between the C. & P. R. R. tracks and the river.
Educational facilities were provided by the erection of Franklin schoolhouse on the hillside in 1873, which, with some enlargements, served the town until the Logan building, an eight-room brick, was erected on the east Side. This was supplemented by the erection of Lincoln school, a two-story brick structure on North Hill a few years later. The town continuing to grow the Franklin building was sold to the Odd Fellows and moved to an adjoining lot, while on its site was erected a fine structure of brick and stone, with the title of Central School building. This was completed in 1906 at a cost of $60,000. No town of its size is now better equipped for educational purposes, either in primary or advanced grades. The first superintendent was Wilson Hawkins, and the present one Frank Linton. The present enrollment is 580, with 211 in St. Agnes school.
Mingo was made a postoffice about 1870, with Robert Turner as postmaster. His successors have been John Graham, David Long, Dr. W. J. OConnell, W. T. Griffith and C. W. Dean.
A frame Presbyterian church, known as Potter Chapel, was erected in 1872, which, with improvements, is still standing. The pastors have been Rev. T. V. Milligan, S. Forbes, W. H. Houston, J. A. Platts, Alexander, D. Sharp, J. W. Wilson and W. H. Orr.
An M. E. mission was started about the same time and a small building erected in 1883, for which was substituted a larger and much finer building in 1897 at a cost of $7,000. It was supplied by J. S. Rutledge in 1886-7, W. H. Lackey, 1888; J. F. Huddleston, 1889-92; J. E. Garrett, 1983-5; A N. Adkinson, 1896; J. W. Satterthwaite, 1897-8; t. J. McRae, 1899-1900; A. W. Gruber, 1901-4; W. E. Fetch, 1905-8; J. B. Manley, 1909. Georges Run M. E. Church, a couple of miles below, is supplied from Brilliant. A new church has recently been erected there.
The Methodist Protestants also erected a neat church shortly after, Rev. W. A. Adkinson being among the early ministers.
St. Agnes Church and school were completed in 1898. There is also a Greek Catholic Church and a mission was carried on from St. Pauls, Steubenville, in the summer of 1893. The Free Methodists have meetings at irregular intervals.
The fraternal organizations include Junction Lodge, No. 414, K. of P., organized February 17, 1890; Logan Lodge, No. 848, I. O. O. F., organized on October 23, 1900; Improved Order of Red Men, Mingo Tribe, No. 21, organized September 25, 1899; George Washington patriotic Slavonic Society, Haymakers Association, L. C. B. A., and some minor societies. A flourishing branch of the W. C. T. U. has always been maintained.
The Mingo water and light companies were organized in 1899, being separate corporations, controlled by the same persons. A complete water plant has been constructed and maintained, with a pumping station at the river, reservoir and mains. The town is also well lighted, the streets paved and the buildings up to date. The local directors of the two companies named are Joseph May, president; Hon. John A. Mansfield, S. Stark, Clifton Hanna and B. F. Dawson; H. L. May, secretary.
The First National Bank of Mingo was organized in 1901, and its last statement shows resources amounting to $158,177.75. W. D. Armstrong is the cashier.
There are two hose companies in the village, under the charge of Hugo Pekruhn, fire marshal. The village officers are as follows: Mayor, F. L. McCoy, solicitor, Carl Armstrong; treasurer, John Bryson, civil engineer, S. E. Floyd; marshal, Scott Roe; street commissioner, Patrick Barrett; weighmaster, Thomas Godfrey; members of council, B. W. Skipper, M. M. McCaffrey, Stephen Clark, George Gracey, W. Hanna, F. Pfeister.
The hamlet of Deandale lies about a mile below the town and below this Harmony schoolhouse, at the mouth of Georges Run, a good two-room structure, recently enlarged and improved. Hills schoolhouse stood back on the hill, between Steubenville and Mingo.
A family named Powell, from Brownsville, Pa., settled two miles west of Steubenville about 1812 and preached the doctrine of Swedenborg, gathering a small congregation in the city, which lasted, some thirty-five years, when David Powell, the preacher, moved away and the society went down.
At the northern end of the township, now occupied as the residence of R. Castner, formerly stood the Speaker Tavern, a convenient halting place for man and beast. The well of pure cold water located just across the road has long since been filled up, and the picturesque stone bridge across Wills Creek was removed and rebuilt farther up the stream to allow additional room to the iron works located there. The proximity of the water works and other inducements have resulted in the growth of a neat little hamlet in that locality.
Some parties who recently purchased the Means farm, west of Mingo, have laid out a section of it, known as Copperhead Flat, for a cemetery, so that the village will no longer be dependent on private graveyards of Steubenville cemetery for interments. The construction of a beautiful concrete fountain in the center of the plat has been completed and several small fountains have been erected in various parts of the grounds. The water for the fountains is piped from the historical spring located on the Means farm, near what is known as the Horse Shoe Bend on the old street car line.
One of the early township schools was taught in the winter by a man called Madcap, and one McCulley, from Baltimore, taught in the summer. Parrs was one of the old schools.
Although justly claiming to be the leading town in Jefferson County outside of Steubenville, it is within a comparatively recent period that Toronto has been more than a very small village. The celebrated "Auver" Mike Myers, whose interesting history has been related, in return for his services as a government scout, was awarded fractional section 25, in township No. 4, on the west bank of the Ohio river, being the southeast corner of the present Knox Township. He sold 100 acres of this land to his brother, George Myers, who afterward sold to John Depuy, and in the year 1818 the latter laid out a small town, which he called Newburg. The lots were 60x120 feet, the streets were fifty feet wide, and space was provided for a public square. Although there was no manufacturing in those days, yet the location of the town above the highest flood line and the beauty of the situation attracted settlers to the little hamlet, and later the place became a well known steamboat landing, as well as an inlet to the back country. The first hotel was kept by Michael Myers, Jr., son of the famous scout, the first store by Joseph Kline, and the first blacksmith shop by James Toland. The place was not without a reputation, sometimes not most favorable, for being an isolated place, lawless characters took advantage of the fact to make it a resort. There was little change in the village until the advent of the Cleveland & Pittsburgh Railroad, in the fall of 1856. The pioneer pottery of Carlyle & McFadden had been started in 1853, and the coal and fire clay beds of that section had begun to attract some attention. Nevertheless progress was still slow and in 1880 there were only 500 inhabitants in the village proper, which, however, had spread beyond its original boundaries. As the railroad company already had a station named Newbug on its line, near Cleveland, this one was given the name of Sloanes, after William Sloane, who was liberal in granting a right of way. After 1880 the town began to grow rapidly, the census showing a population of 2,536, 1890, and 3,526 in 1900, of which 1,285 had spread over into Island Creek Township, the line at present running about through the center of the town. The present population is about 5,000.
In 1881 it was decided to incorporate the town, and by a vote of the citizens it was named Toronto, a title suggested by Thomas M. Daniels, a pioneer manufacturer who died in 1884, Toronto, Canada, being the home of his business associate, W. F. Dunspaugh. The first municipal officers were: Mayor, J. H. Roberts; clerk, Edward T. Finlay, treasurer, T. M. Daniels; marshal, J. S. Culp; councilmen, S. M. Robinson, Theodore O. Grover, George Horne, Dr. J. W. Collins, Jefferson Saltsman and J. O. Freeman. The mayors since then have been S. B. Taylor, J. H. Paisley, A. J. Stewart, H. H. Smith, E. E. Francy, Charles Miller, Howard Smith, W. B. Francy and Stanton Casey.
Until 1887 the council met in a building belonging to George Pracht, but in that year a municipal building was erected, costing $5,000, which was enlarged in 1892. In 1899 the corporation limits were extended both north and south, the former taking in what had been known as the village of Fosterville and outlying territory, in all covering about 112 acres. At the south what was called Markle, with twenty-five acres, was included. This new territory is rapidly filling up.
Previous to 1863 the nearest postoffice was Jeddo, a mile down the river, but in that year "Sloanes Station" secured an office of its own, the first one in charge of George Magee, being in a box car near the Main Street crossing of the railroad. A C. Peters succeeded in 1865, who resigned in 1884, when George C. Pugh was appointed. A. J. Stewart succeeded in November, 1885, and Fred Knagi in July, 1889. The office was made a presidential one in October, 1890, and Mr. Knagi reappointed for a term of four years. Dr. B. Dennie succeeded him in 1894, M. B. Edwards, Jr., in 1898, and Robert B. Stewart, the present incumbent, in 1906. The office is now located in Odd Fellows Block on Third Street.
Although the potteries had pumps of their own, the town generally was dependent on the primitive methods of wells and cisterns for its water supply until 1891. At a special election, held on July 6, 1889, the council was authorized to bond the town for $50,000 for the purpose of constructing water works, which was done, and in April, 1890, appropriated land belonging to David Walker on the hill west of town for a reservoir. A pumping station was built at the foot of Clark Street and six miles of pipe laid by 1891, when the works were started. Since then the pipage has been doubled. The cost of the works was about $75,000, necessitating a second issue of $25,000 bonds. The plant has a capacity of 3,000,000 gallons per day, and the pressure is 140 pounds to the square inch, thus insuring ample fire protection. M. B. Edwards, Jr., was superintendent until 1898, when he was succeeded by William Dawson, who served about two years and was succeeded by William Bushfield, the present incumbent. Of course an efficient fire department succeeded the "bucket brigade" on the completion of the water works, and the volunteer hose company won the world championship in the races at Salem, Ohio, in 1899. Three companies are quartered in the town building with the mayor and other municipal officers. William Paisley is chief and the members are as follows: No. 1, John Biddle, captain; Charles Hienkle, lieutenant; Fred Myers, C. Stull, Frank Arnold, James Farris, Frank Paisley. No. 2, Charles Murray, captain; Edward McKinley, lieutenant; John Allison, J. O. Goodwin, J.C. L. Hales, James Duke, Jesse Weekly. No. 3, W. Duke, captain; Charles Carnahan, lieutenant; John Wellington, Delmer Walker, George Leytzkus, Uirt [sic] Nally, Percy Welk.
Following close on the opening of the water works was the Toronto Electric Light Company, which proceeded to erect an up-to-date plant, furnishing some 2,000 incandescent lights for public and private use, with about twenty miles of pole lines. This plant was purchased by the Steubenville and East Liverpool Traction Company in 1907, and is now operated by that corporation. The streets are not only well lighted but well paved with fire brick, a sewer system has been installed and the town is rated as one of the best in the Ohio Valley.
There were early township schools in what is now known as Toronto, as there were elsewhere through the county, but they were ungraded, and the educational history really begins with the incorporation of the village. The predecessor of the Central High School building, however, aspired to the dignity of a graded school, and when that eight-room structure was completed in 1893 the entire system was brought to a high degree of efficiency. With the extension of the boundaries, Fosterville building on the north and Markle on the south, each with a two-story brick, were brought into the system. In 1900 a twelve-room building, well equipped, was completed at the corner of Findlay Street and Loretta Avenue, and the high school removed thither. Its cost was about $25,000. The first superintendent of schools was Abraham Grove, succeeded by S. A. Harbourt, S. K. Mardis and Prof. Williams. There are now about 800 pupils enrolled in Toronto schools, in charge of the superintendent and twenty teachers, and there is no lack of educational facilities. In addition, there are enrolled 175 pupils in St. Francis parochial schools.
Rev. J. M. Bray seems to have delivered the first Methodist Episcopal sermon at Newburg in 1837, under some shade trees on the river bank. A class was organized, under the leadership of John Bray, Sr., in 1841 or 1842, and then matters remained dormant for more than thirty years. On February 14, 1874, Rev. J. Q. A. Miller, then in charge of Thomson Chapel, Steubenville, visited the place and held services in a schoolhouse standing on the Francy property. A class of twelve was formed, including J. W. Myers, A. C. Peters, J. B. Peters, Joseph P. Bowles, Samuel Johnson, H. H. L. Carroll, J. W. Dawson, J. C. Kelly, Thomas Greer and wife, Henry Myers and James Robinson. A revival brought in 199 members, making the whole number 213. Rev. J. R. Roller was appointed pastor in March and the next year a brick church, 42x62 feet, was built on Main Street, with a capacity of 450, on a lot previously secured by Mr. Miller. The cost was $5,000. The charge was associated with Somerset circuit, and in 1876 Mr. Miller became pastor. In 1880 it was associated with Mingo, A. J. Culp pastor, and in 1883 under the pastorate of Rev. M. C. Grimes, the debt was extinguished at the sacrifice of some ground. J. S. Hull supplied the charge until 1889, followed by J. S. Rutledge, and in 1890 it became a station. His successors were: M. J. Slutz, 1890; J. J. Billingsly, 1891-2; W. D. Starkey, 1893-4; J. S. Secrest, 1895-7; S. W. McClure, 1898-9; E. T. Mohn, 1900-1; W. H. Dye, 1902-5; Alfred Walls, 1906; J. W. Moore, 1907-8; J. R. McRay, 1909. In 1899 the building was enlarged and greatly improved architecturally. A chapel was built in the north end in 1894, which is served by the Empire pastor.
The Methodist Protestants claim to be the first permanent religious organization in the town. It was inaugurated by Rev. J. A. Hamilton on January 10, 1851, the class being composed of Thomas Mahan (leader) and wife, F. H. McFerell, Michael Bowles, Mary A. Crawford, Martha M. Crawford, Elizabeth Crawford, W. B. Sloane, Mary and Thomas McFerren, Henry Myers and wife, Sarah A. Myers, David Sloane and wife Mary, Martha and Rebecca A. Myers, James Lyons and wife, Rosanna and David Estelle and wife. Mr. Hamilton preached about three months, when Rev. E. A. Brindley took charge and remained until 1860. In 1853 a frame building 30x40 feet was erected on River Avenue, and this was afterwards enlarged and rebuilt one-half larger. In 1857 Newburg mission was attached to Wellsville and East Liverpool, under title of Newburg circuit, which lasted until 1868, when the appointment was made a station, under the name of Sloanes The first trustees were Lorenzo Jewett, James Lyons, F. A. McFerren and George Carlyle. The only charter member now lliving is Mr. McFerren. Rev. William Hastings was pastor from 1860 to 1872, inclusive, succeeded by F. A. Brown four years, J. B. McCormick and A. B. Cochran one year each, Charles Caddy in 1878, A. L. Sarchet, William Hastings (second time), J. A. Thrapp, C. E. Sheppard, F. P. Hummell, W. E. Harrison. A fine brick structure, with a capacity of 800, was erected 1888, since which time the congregation has greatly increased. One of the keepsakes of the church is an old leather chair in which Hon. E. M. Stanton once sat and heard Mr. Hastings preach here.
On the evening of July 4, 1869, Rev. W. R. Vincent, pastor of Island Creek Presbyterian Church, held an open air meeting on George Morrows place. Other services followed, and on December 13 steps were taken towards building a church, which was carried out, and a frame chapel was begun the next year and dedicated on October 30, Rev. J. P. Caldwell preaching the sermon. An organization was formed November 28, 1873, under the name of the Memorial Presbyterian Church, with Andrew Robertson, John Francy, Thomas Hunt, Charles L. Young and David Aten as ruling elders. Mr. Vincent was succeeded by Rev. J. N. Swan, who remained a little over a year, followed by Rev. S. Fisher, from August, 1876, to August, 1879. He was followed by Rev. M. A. Parkinson and Rev. Mr. Norris and Rev. W. F. Weir, who served from January 1, 1892, to August, 1899, during which time, in 1894, a new church and parsonage were erected on Third Street, being the largest and most expensive in the place, and equipped with a first class pipe organ. The cost was $25,000. Rev. McIlvaine succeeded Mr. Weir, followed by Rev. McColloch and Rev. E. A. Hodill, the present pastor.
Rev. J. M. Jamison preached the first sermon for the United Presbyterians and a society was formed by Rev. J. Kennedy in 1869, with twelve charter members, as follows: George McGee and wife Mary, A. H. Gaston and wife Jane, W. Harper, wife and daughters, John Burns and wife Mary, Mrs. Gibbon and daughters. Messrs. Gaston and McGee were ruling elders. Rev. J. H. Leeper was the first pastor, who served a short time, and the congregation depended on supplies until January 1877, when Rev. Braden became pastor and served eighteen months. Rev. Joseph Buchanan, of Steubenville, then filled the pulpit until 1886, practically without compensation. Rev. W. H. McMurray became pastor in 1888, and served ten years, during which period the congregation largely increased. He was succeeded by E. F. Gillis, who resigned in 1899. He was followed by N. H. Headger to 1901, R. W. Caldwell to 1904, supplies to 1907, and W. J. Engle to the present. The church, a neat frame building, 36x46, was erected in 1870.
The Roman Catholics had a mission, served from Steubenville, in 1882, but a resident pastor was appointed in 1884, in connection with Mingo, Brilliant and Hammondsville. A new church, named St. Francis, was begun in 1886 by Rev. A. M. Leyden, and completed the following year, costing $10,000. It is an imposing brick edifice of florid Gothic. The parochial house was built in 1892, and Rev. Father McNally established a school of two rooms in 1899, under charge of four Loretta sisters, to which two rooms were added in 1908 at a cost of $6,000. There are now five teachers, one in music, and 175 pupils.
The Church of Christ was organized on June 15, 1890, by Elder E. A. Bosworth, of Steubenville, with thirty-five charter members. Atens Hall, on Fourth Street, was used for worship, the pulpit being generally supplied by students from Bethany College. In 1892 a handsome church was built on River Avenue, with a seating capacity of 500. The building is of white fire brick with red trimmings, and furnished with handsome red oak pews. It was dedicated December 18, 1892, and the pastors since then have been A. Baker, L. F. Hoskin, M. A. Banker, S. L. Todd, W. R. Seytone, William Stiff, F. D. Draper, J. W. Darly, J. W. B. Smith, J. L. McDonald, J. Hunt Beard, B. H. Johnston.
A Greek Catholic church and parsonage were built in the upper end of the town in 1902. Its material is fire brick and the cost was about $5,000. Revs. Emil Leregally Biscaha and Alexander Dudinsky each represents a pastorate of two years. Basil A. Volasin is the present pastor, with a membership of 100.
In 1893, Rev. H. L. Grabau, rector of St. Pauls Church, Steubenville, started a mission in Toronto under the name of St. Judes. Services were held in a hall and at a subsequent visitation of the bishop fourteen were confirmed. Rev. C. P. Cogswell had charge for a while, and after his departure lay reading was maintained for some months, when the mission was discontinued. A small legacy has since been left for the benefit of the mission should it be revived, of which there has been some talk.
The fraternal organizations are well represented in Toronto, including the Junior American Mechanics, organized August 26, 1888, 175 members; Ancient Order of Hibernians, March 10, 1904, 125 members; Eagles, December 19, 1906, 85 members; Red Men, March 17, 1908, 75 members. The Lodge No. 583, F. & A. M., was organized in 1900, and has 135 members. James McFarland was the first W. M. The I. O. O. F. also have a good organization, and at one time had a large building, with hall, which has since passed into private hands. G. W. Shuster Post, No. 239, represents the G. A. R. and there is a lodge of Jr. U. A. M. At one time there was a Protected Home Circle, No. 129.
The first bank organized in Toronto was the Toronto Banking Company, I 1889, Jefferson Saltsman, president; John Logan, vice president, and J. M. McClave, cashier; capital $25,000. They went out of business in 1893. Their home was in the I. O. O. F. building. The Citizens Bank purchased this property in September, 1896, and continued in business until February, 1902, when it was purchased by the Bank of Toronto. The Bank of Toronto was started in 1894 by L. H. Hilsinger and others and was changed into the National Bank of Toronto in August, 1907, with L. H. Hilsinger, president; Guy Johnston, vice president, and J. C. Hilsinger, cashier, with a capital of $50,000. Its last published statement, September 1, 1908, showed resources of $321,321.02, and aggregate deposits of $218,735.59. The First National Bank of Toronto was organized in the spring of 1907, with capital of $50,000, with W. B. Stratton, president; W. B. Goucher, vice president, and T. J. Collins, cashier. Its last statement showed resources of $215,885.80, and aggregate deposits of $110,106.28. Both banks do a large business, and have the full confidence of the community. During the nineties there was a Home Building and Loan Company, with a permissible capital of $300,000, but its business was wound up and absorbed by a company in another city.
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