By reference to the history of Smith township we learn that this township was a part thereof, but on the 11th day of March, 1786, after application had been made to and certificate granted by the court, the Supreme Executive Council confirmed the action of the court. When formed into a township its boundaries were the Ohio River on the north and east, Smith township on the south, and Virginia on the west. It will be remembered that after a part of Beaver County was taken off Washington, a part of Hanover township was thereby struck off. Yet each county retained the original name of Hanover for one of its townships.
It is bounded by Beaver County on the north, Robinson and Smith on the east, Jefferson and Smith on the south and West Virginia on the west.
The turnpike road from Pittsburg to Steubenville on the Ohio River runs westerly through the township, and upon it is Florence, called originally Briceland's Cross Roads. The Pittsburg and Steubenville Railroad runs through its southern part. This township contains several valuable grist and saw-mills, also ten stores, fourteen schools, employing six male and eight female teachers, with 494 scholars (274 males and 220 females); the male teachers receive $37.50 per month, and the females $26.25; the tuition costing per month for each scholar $1.16. Amount levied for school purposes $2552.92; from State appropriation $182. 91.
Its population in 1860 was 2090, of which 38 were colored. Its greatest length is 11, breadth 7 miles.
In this township resided the celebrated, Adam Poe, who lived in a cabin about two miles west of Florence, situate on a little knoll on the farm of the late John Fulton, deceased.
Its towns are Florence, Paris, Murdoclcsville.
On the 14th day of August, 1814, a town was laid out by James Briceland and Moses Proudfit, who named it Florence. It was originally named Briceland's Cross Roads, from the fact of the Pittsburg and Steubenville pike crossing the Washington and Georgetown road at this point, where James Briceland kept an hotel. It is twenty-six miles from Pittsburg, twenty-four from Washington, and twelve from Steubenville.
The Cross-roads Presbyterian Church is located at Florence. It was organized originally at a place called King's Creek, in 1786, but the location was changed to its present site in 1798. The church has had as its pastors Rev. Elisha McCurdy, who was installed in June, 1800; Rev. Daniel Deruelle, in 1836; Rev. Wm. Burton, in 1838; Rev. James W. McKennan, in November, 1839; Rev. Joel Stoneroad, in 1842; Rev. J. S. Wylie, in 1850; Rev. Oliphant M. Todd, November 9, 1852; Rev. J. P. Caldwell, in 1860; Rev. Andrew W. Boyd, in 1864; and Rev. David M. Miller, in May, 1867, its present efficient and highly esteemed pastor, who informs me that the number of families connected therewith numbers eighty-nine, with a Sabbath school of one hundred and twenty children. This was one of the churches that shared in the great revival which took place at the beginning of the present century, which was accompanied by what was known as the "falling exercises."
The United Presbyterians have a church on King's Creek, near Florence. The present pastor is Rev. James L. Purdy, with a membership of eighty.
Paris is in the western part of the township, and contains about thirty-five dwellings, a Presbyterian church under the care of the Rev. Fulton Magill, and a United Presbyterian church, which has had the ministerial labors of Rev. Mr. Galloway, Rev. Mr. Backus, Rev. J. Y. Calhoon, and Rev. James C. Campbell, with a membership of one hundred and twenty. It has also one extensive threshing machine manufactory, cabinet-makers, blacksmiths, shoemakers, &c.
Murdocksville is in the northeast part of the township.
August 26, 1811, in Pittsburg, two officers had a dispute, and they resolved to settle their difficulties by fighting a duel. Arrangements were made that the affair should be settled in Virginia. One of the parties travelled as far as Briceland's Cross-roads (Florence) the first day, and in the morning rose by daylight and practised with his pistol. One of the shots struck the headstone of Capt. Bavington, and can be seen at this day. After breakfast he left for the designated spot. The same day his antagonist left Pittsburg, but when he came near to the place called the old North Star, formerly kept by Joseph Crawford as a tavern, he was thrown from the sulky and had his leg broken. The wounded officer was taken back on a litter to Pittsburg, by soldiers sent for that purpose. Thus ended this duel.
July 3, 1793. We give the substance of a lease between George McCormick and Solomon Hule and Sarah his wife; the former conveying to the latter on lease, one hundred acres of land, on the waters of King (or Indian) Creek, in Hanover township. The rent required was one bushel of Indian corn yearly, and the taxes to be paid on four hundred acres, and at the expiration of three lives the land to revert to George McCormick and his heirs.
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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.