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MORRIS TOWNSHIP
P. O. Box 34
Prosperity, PA 15329
Phone: 724-222-0352

MORRIS TOWNSHIP

Was formed by an order of the Court of Quarter Sessions, March 13, 1788. Its original boundaries were Amwell on the north, Bethlehem on the east, Franklin on the south, and Donegal on the west. It is at present bounded by East Finley, Franklin, and Amwell on the north, Amwell on the east, Greene County on the south, and East Finley on the west. Centrally distant from the borough of Washington 9 miles southwest. Greatest length 6 1/2 miles; breadth 4 miles. It is drained by the north fork of Tenmile Creek and its branches. The population in 1860 was 1148, of which one is colored. It has three stores, seven schools, employing four males and three female teachers, the former receiving $35.25, and the latter $31 per month, with 288 scholars, 176 males and 112 females; the cost of tuition is 94 cents per month; amount of taxes raised for school purposes $1664.67 ; from the State appropriation $95.94.

Its towns are Sparta, Prosperity, and Lindley's Mills.

Sparta and Lindley's Mills are small villages, but Prosperity has twenty-two dwelling-houses, two stores, grist-mill, and several departments of the mechanical arts, and is ten miles from Washington.

Two miles west of Prosperity is a Methodist Episcopal church, called Mount Zion, near Robert S. Andrew's farm.

UPPER TENMILE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

Is located in Morris township. It was organized August 15, 1781, at the house of Jacob Cook, with 25 members, Rev. Thaddeus Dodd being elected and ordained its first pastor. It is worthy of remark that he was the second minister who settled west of the Monongahela. River, the Rev. John McMillen having preceded him. Through his instrumentality and the Upper Tenmile church, the FIRST classical school west of the Alleghenies was established as early as 1782, of which he was its first principal. Rev. T. Dodd occupied the pulpit of both Upper and Lower Tenmile congregations; the Upper was at Lindley's settlement, and the Lower at Cook's settlement. The site of the Upper Tenmile church was given by Demas Lindley, upon which they built a meeting-house of hewn logs, while in 1785 was erected the same kind of a church for the people of Lower Tenmile. The Rev. Thaddeus Dodd taught a classical school in the log court-house in Washington about 1788 or 1789. Rev. Thaddeus Dodd died in 1793, and was succeeded by Rev. Thomas Moore, who labored until 1803. On the 14th of December, 1803, Rev. Cephas Dodd (son of Rev. Thaddeus Dodd), was ordained as the minister of both Upper and Lower Tenmile churches, like his predecessors, but in 1817 they separated, each having a minister, session, &c., Rev. Cephas Dodd remaining with the Lower Tenmile church.

In 1817, or immediately after the separation, Rev. Thomas Hoge served this congregation as a stated supply for three years, and during his labors the frame meeting-house was erected. From 1819 to 1821 the pulpit was filled by Rev. Andrew Wylie, D. D., President of Washington College, as a stated supply. In 1821 and 22, Rev. Boyd Mercer was the pastor. Rev. L. Robbins preached for one year. After this the church was vacant for several years, only filled by supplies from Presbytery. However, in December 1827, the Rev. Cornelius Laughran was elected and installed and served for eighteen months. The church was again without a pastor until 1830, when Rev. Jacob Lindley became the stated supply. From 1832 to 1838 this congregation had the occasional labors of Rev. David Elliott, Rev. John Stockton, and Rev. John McCluskey. In 1838 the Rev. James M. Smith was ordained and served until 1841. From 1841 to 1846 the church was supplied by appointments of Presbytery, viz: Rev. Alfred Paull, Rev. J. Miller, and Rev. John R. Dundas, but in the spring of 1846 Rev. Nicholas Murray (a Professor in Washington College) accepted a call as the stated supply; he labored until 1853, when he "fell asleep in Jesus." His successor was Rev. Cyrus Braddock for one year. After him was the Rev. E. C. Wines, D. D., who took charge of the church in 1855, and resigned in 1859.

The successor to the pastorate of the church after Rev. Dr. Wines had resigned was the Rev. N. B. Lyon, who faithfully and zealously discharged his ministerial duties, and in the very manhood of his ministry was called away to his eternal rest, to receive the crown for his labors of love on earth. His remains are buried in the beautiful Cemetery at Washington, Washington County. Rev. N. B. Lyon, deceased, was succeeded by Rev. Henry Wood, the present pastor, Professor of Ancient Languages in Washington and Jefferson College, and is doing noble and efficient service in the cause of his Divine Master.

There is a Sabbath school connected with the church, which was organized in 1825, having fifteen teachers, one hundred and twenty scholars, and near four hundred volumes in their library.

In the year 1854 the congregation erected their third place of worship. The present one occupies the same site where its two predecessors stood.

In connection with the Upper Tenmile Church we will add the history of the

LOWER TENMILE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.

It is true this church is located in Amity, Amwell township, and its history properly belonged to that township, but as we could not well separate their history, we delayed it until it could be more appropriately and understandingly given, for it must be remembered that both "Upper and Lower Tenmile Congregations" were but one ecclesiastical organization, with the same pastor and session, from their organization in 1781 until 1817, when they became two distinct bodies.

The ministers who officiated from 1781 to the division of the church were Rev. Thaddeus Dodd, Rev. Thomas Moore, Rev. Cephas Dodd (who at the separation remained with the Lower Tenmile Church), Rev. James W. McKennan, Rev. W. P. Harvison, and Rev. J. W. Hamilton, its present esteemed pastor. Several years while the church was without a pastor, it had the services as stated supplies of such ministers as the Rev. James Black, D. D., and Rev. W. J. Brugh.

The original church was of hewn logs, and the present neat and chaste edifice is in close proximity to the former, while in the rear is the rural cemetery of Amity, in which repose the honored remains of many loved ones, loved in life and honored in death. There is a Sabbath school connected with the church, which was organized in 1826, having eleven teachers, eighty scholars, and three hundred and twenty volumes in the library.

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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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