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DONEGAL TOWNSHIP
727 Old National Pike
P. O. Box J
Claysville, PA 15323
Phone: 724-663-5778

HISTORY OF DONEGAL TOWNSHIP

"Was organized July 15, 1781, by the trustees of the county, and ranks fifth in alphabetical Order out of the thirteen.

"It was originally bounded by Smith township on the north, Morris township on the east, Mason and Dixon's line on the south, and the State line on the west.

"On the 6th of May, 1788, an application was made to the court for a division of the township, has granted it and ordered a copy to be forwarded to the Supreme Executive Committee, and on the 7th of August following it was confirmed by the Council, by the name of Finley township.

"Its present boundaries are Independence township on the north, East and West Findley [sic] on the south, Buffalo and East Findley on the east, and West Virginia on the west. It is centrally distant from Washington, twelve miles, its greatest length is eight miles, breadth, six and a half miles. The township is drained by the Dutch Fork of Buffalo Creek, Bush Run, and Castleman's Run. The National road runs southwest through it, upon which lie Claysville on the east and West Alexander on the west.

"In 1860 its population was 1690, of which thirteen are colored. It contains nine stores, nine schools, employing seven male and two female teachers, the former receiving $39.48, and the latter, $36.00 per month, having 376 scholars, of which 205 are males, and 171 females. Cost of tuition per month, $1.25; amount levied for school purposes, $1776. 69; levied for building purposes, $1332.52, and receiving from the State appropriation, $146.25.

"West Alexander is on the western boundary of this township, fifteen miles southwest of Washington, containing ninety-two dwellings, an academy, a Presbyterian church and parsonage, and a Methodist Episcopal church.

"This town was laid out by Charles De Hass, on May 12, 1817; the sale of lots took place the 10th of June following. Three miles east of this place is a Roman Catholic church. It was first built of logs, on land given by Mr. Dougherty, at which time the Rev. Mr. Horner officiated. The log chapel has been removed and a brick edifice erected.

"The Hempfield Railroad passes through this township from its eastern to its western boundary, through the borough of Claysville and West Alexander.

"On September 7, 1795, Thomas Stokely, of Washington, and Jesse Evans, of Fayette County, conveyed three acres and forty-eight perches, in consideration of seven shillings and sixpence, to James Armstrong, William Gaston, William Bower, Samuel Byers, and John White, trustees of the Presbyterian church belonging to the Ohio Presbytery and now supplied by Rev. John Brice. It appears from a deed executed May 30, 1796, that the same trustees purchased the same property from William Smith, William Slater, and James Stevenson, trustees of the Associate Congregation of Three Ridges (near West Alexander). This land was originally conveyed by Robert Humphreys and wife to the trustees of the Associated church, and is described as being in the townships of Finley and Donegal, although Humphreys claimed his title under the Virginia law. The question of title, however, was referred to John Hoge, Isaac Leet, and James Edgar, who awarded it to the Presbyterian church, called the Three Ridges. Its pastors have been Rev. John Brice, Rev. Mr. Stephenson, Rev. John McCluskey, and Rev. W. H. Lester."

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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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