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CHARTIERS TOWNSHIP
2 Buccaneer Drive
Houston, PA 15342
Phone: 724-745-3415 or 724-745-6984

CHARTIERS TOWNSHIP

Was formed out of Cecil on March 23, 1790. Its original boundaries were Robinson on the north, Strabane on the east and south, and Cecil on the west. Its present boundaries are Mount Pleasant and Cecil on the north, Cecil north and south, Strabane on the east, South Strabane and Canton on the south and Mount Pleasant and Canton on the west. It is centrally distant north of the borough of Washington six miles; its greatest length, seven miles; breadth, five miles. October 6, 1831, the line of this township was changed and part given to Mount Pleasant township, and at the August term of Court, 1863, the boundary lines between Chartiers and Canton townships were altered and confirmed by the court.

Chartiers Creek flows on the southern boundary. Population in 1860 was 1795, of which 211 are colored.

Within the township limits are two stores, eight schools, employing one male and seven female teachers, their monthly pay being $29.37 each. The schools contain 337 scholars, of which 163 are males, and 174 are females, the tuition for each costing 84 cents per month; amount levied for school purposes, $1620; and the fund received from the State $141.57.

TOWNS

Its towns are Canonsburg and McConnellsville, the former being a borough; its history will be given in connection with and after the township history.

McConnellsville is a small village near the centre of the township with thirty dwelling-houses and a population of about one hundred and forty.

INCIDENT

In connection with the early history of this township we mention the following incident from the Pittsburg Gazette of May 15, 1790, speaking of the navigation of Chartiers' Creek:

"About five or six days since a number of men to the amount of thirteen left Canonsburg, on Chartiers' Creek, and, with the advantage of a rising flood, conducted two boats from thence in about twelve hours into the Ohio River. One was large and heavy, built for the purpose of carrying flour to New Orleans, forty-seven feet in length and twelve in breadth; a small part of the cargo to the amount of forty barrels on board. The other, a barge 25 feet in length, built for the genteel reception of passengers. The amazing facility with which these boats passed down the creek to the mouth, their safe crossing of two mill-dams, one of which was about twelve feet high, with the rudeness of the creek in its natural state, especially at the falls, sufficiently show what immense advantage might arise to thousands of people in the county of Washington were the legislature to attend to the improvement of its navigation. From Canonsburg and nearer Washington the charge of carriage to Pittsburg, on account of hills and deep roads, is not less than three shillings and ninepence per barrel for flour; yet were attention paid to the cultivation of this excellent stream of water, one boat of the afore-mentioned size would, in all probability, carry two hundred barrels to the Ohio without detriment thereto or a farthing of expense."

We learn from old residents of Canonsburg that Co1. Canon headed this flotilla, while about the same time a load of flour was also sent from Bradford's mill, afterwards owned by Dr. Robert R. Reed, and now owned by Mr. Wilson. There can be no doubt of the truthfulness of these facts, because, in addition to the evidence, we have legislative action on the subject, wherein, on April 8, 1793, Chartiers' Creek from its mouth to David Bradford's mill was declared to be a public highway for boats and rafts, and all natural and artificial obstructions were required to be removed.

CHURCHES

On December 26, 1797, John Canon conveyed to Nicholas Little, Samuel Agnew, Thomas Menary, David Reed, John Hays, John White, and Jeremiah Simpson, Trustees of the Associate Congregation of Chartiers township, four acres, two rods, and fifteen perches of land for $45. This church is situated about one mile southwest of Canonsburg, and is generally known as Rev. Dr. Ramsay's Church, from his long, faithful, and efficient services. His successors were Rev. John B. Clarke and Rev. David Huston French. The old church has been torn down, and the congregation has in process of erection in the borough a beautiful brick edifice.

CHARTIERS CROSS ROAD CHURCH.

This is situated on the Hickory road, and south of McConnellsville. The following ministers have successively filled the pulpit as regular pastors: Rev. Dr. Finley, Rev. Mr. Graham, Rev. David Ferguson, Rev. A. McCahan, Rev. Thomas L. Spears, Rev. Joseph Andrews, Rev. J. C. Herron, from June 19, 1860, to April I, 1867. This church has a membership of 140; it belongs to the United Presbyterian denomination, and is built of brick.

SPEARS' SPRING CHURCH

Is on the bank of Chartiers' Creek, one-half mile northwest of Canonsburg, and belongs to the United Presbyterians, and is a plain, substantial brick edifice. It has a rural and beautiful cemetery.

Its ordained ministers have been Rev. Alexander McCahan, Rev. Thomas Callohan, Rev. William Wallace, Rev. David Paull, Rev. Wm. H. Andrew, Rev. John W. Bane, and Rev. James G. Carson. This church has a membership of 214.

Chartiers U. P. Church has been removed during this year, 1869, from its original site to near the borough limits. It was organized about 1780. Rev. Matthew Henderson was ordained in 1781, and officiated until October 2, 1795, when Rev. - Smith was elected pastor; his successor was Rev. James Ramsey, D. D., who served from September 4, 1805, to June 12, 1849; Rev. John B. Clark, D. D., from May 12, 1853, to June 9, 1860; Rev. D. H. French, from May 2, 1861, to June 20, 1866; Rev. Mr. McClain was ordained pastor October 14, 1869. It has a membership of 175.

CANONSBURG*

Canonsburg was laid out by Col. John Canon, of Cha:rtiers township, on the 15th of April, 1788. It is situated on Chartiers' Creek, 17 miles from Pittsburg, 7 miles from Washington, and 40 miles from Wheeling. The country around it is elevated, beautiful, and fertile. A daily line of stages pass through it, and on the route of the Chartiers Valley Railroad. By reference to the recorder's office I fine[sic] a plot of the town recorded in volume P., page 441, on January 24, 1800. This plot has twenty-eight lots, with the names of the purchasers, viz: Dr. Thompson, Daniel McCoy, James Morrison, David Garret, Andrew Munroe, John Todd, Robert Bowland, Craig Ritchie, Col. Matthew Ritchie, William Marshall, and Abraham De Haven. This plot contains the conditions of purchase, viz: To those who have as well as those who may become purchasers Col. Canon conveys to them, their heirs and assigns, their respective lots of ground in which their names are inserted. The inhabitants of the town to have the privilege of cutting and using underwood, and taking coal for their own use forever, gratis. The purchaser to pay the said Canon three pounds purchase money, and one dollar annually forever afterwards; and to build a stone, frame, or hewed log house, at least twenty feet in front, with a stone or brick chimney, within two years from the date of their purchase. A convenient road to be allowed to the coal near John Laughlin's; the road to be only as laid off on the plot, and the bank as described on the same.

This plot also designated the following roads: to Mr. McMillan's meeting-house, to Washington, to Mr. Smith's meeting-house on Buffalo, to Mr. Henderson's meeting-house, to the coal bank, to Gamble's mill, to Wells's mill, and to Devore's ferry.

'l'his town became a borough on the 22d of February, 1802, and is the oldest borough in the county. In 1860 it had a resident population of 650, but the number of students attending Jefferson College increased it about one-third. It has one hundred and ninety-five dwelling-houses, fifteen retail stores, two confectioneries, one saving fund society, one furniture manufactory, one woollen manufactory, one broker. It has four schools, employing one male and three female teachers, the former receiving $52.03, and the latter $31.28, per month; having 314 scholars, 171 males and 143 females; cost of tuition per month, 60 cts.; amount levied for school purposes, $1271.70; from State appropriation, $112.76. One female Seminary and Jefferson College. In 1829 the Associate body or Seceders established a Theological Seminary at this place, and erected the requisite buildings; but a few years since it was removed to Xenia, Ohio.

*See: Canonsburg Borough

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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., Harrisburgh, Pa., B. Singerly, Printer, 1871. Reprinted 1987 Closson Press, Publishers.

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