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CECIL TOWNSHIP
3655 Millers Run Road
Cecil, PA 15321
Phone: 724-745-2227

HISTORY OF CECIL TOWNSHIP

"This was the third of the original townships formed July 15, 1781. Its boundaries were Robinson township on the north; Peters, Dickinson, and Strabane on the east; Amwell on the south; and Smith and Hopewell on the west.

"By the act of Assembly of September 24, 1788 a part of this township with the whole of Dickinson, was ceded to Allegheny County, at which time the county was formed and confirmed by the Supreme Executive Council, September 30, 1788. An application was made to the Court of Quarter Sessions of this county, praying for a division of the township, beginning at Chartiers Creek at the junction of the mouth of Brush Run, and continuing up the same as high as to Matthew Johnston's, to include his farm in the upper division, thence leaving James Reed's farm in the lower division, directly, to include GENERAL WASHINGTON'S and Henry Guy's land in the upper division, and immediately to intersect the outside line of the township.

"December 9, 1789, the Supreme Executive Council confirmed the same, and the township thus formed was called Chartiers.

"Cecil township is now bounded by Robinson township and Allegheny County on the north, Peters township and Allegheny County on the east, Chartiers and North Strabane on the south, and Mount Pleasant and Chartiers on the west. Its greatest length is 7 1/2 miles, breadth, 4 1/2 miles. Miller's branch of Chartiers' Creek passes southeast through the middle of the township, upon which are several mills. Its population in 1860 was 959, of which but one is colored. It contains three stores. The township line between this and Mount Pleasant township was adjusted and confirmed by the court.

"The only town in this township is Venice, 12 miles from Washington, named, by its founder, after the famous maritime city of 1taly. We cannot say with the poet,

"From out the wave her structure rise

As from the stroke of the enchanter's wand,"

there being but 26 dwelling houses, a Presbyterian church south of Venice, with a parsonage attached. There is another Presbyterian church east of the place.

"This township has seven schools with two male and five female teachers, receiving a monthly salary of $35.00, having 210 scholars, of which 112 are males and 98 females, tuition costing each scholar per month $1.35. Amount of taxes levied, $1991.11, and receiving from the State appropriation, $98.67.

"GEN. WASHINGTON'S LAND"

"From our county records we learn the history of this land. A patent was issued July 5, 1775, by John, Earl of Dunmore, Lieutenant and Governor-General of the colony of Virginia, to George Washington, for two thousand eight hundred and thirteen acres of land, in Augusta County, in the State of Virginia, on the waters of Miller's Run, one of the branches of Shirtee Creek, which is a branch of the Ohio River. Gen. Washington held this land until June 1, 1796, when he conveyed the same to Matthew Richie, Esq., of this county, in consideration of the sum of twelve thousand dollars. Witnesses to the deed were James Ross, Esq., and Charles Lee, the deed being acknowledged in Philadelphia by the grantor, before James Biddle, President of the Court of Common Pleas of the first district. The payments on the land were $3180 cash, and the balance, $8820, in three equal annual payments with interest.

"Matthew Richie, Esq., in his advertisement to sell the land after he had purchased it, says, there are thirteen farms cleared and cultivated on the land, which is of excellent quality, rich, level, well timbered, and well watered.

"Gen. Washington came to visit his lands (which were, when patented, in Augusta County, Virginia), and brought ejectments for their recovery. During his stay, the mother of James Reed (silversmith formerly of this place) cooked a dinner on or near the lands for the General, and on his return stayed one night with Col. John Cannon, the proprietor of Canonsburg.

"Before the sale to Matthew Richie, Esq., the record of the court shows that suit was instituted for the recovery of this land."

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Source: HISTORY of WASHINGTON COUNTY, From Its First Settlements to the Present Time, second edition, revised and corrected by Alfred Creigh, LL.D., Harrisburg, Pa., B. Singerly, Printer, 1871. Reprinted 1987 Closson Press, Publishers.

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