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PETERS TOWNSHIP
610 East McMurray Road
McMurray, PA 15317
Phone: 724-941-4180

HISTORY OF PETERS TOWNSHIP

"Was the tenth of the original thirteen townships formed by the trustees July 15, 1781, appointed for that purpose by the act forming Washington County.

"In September, 1784, a petition to the Court of Quarter- Sessions was presented, asking for a division of the township, which was indorsed [sic] by the court, and, afterward confirmed by the Supreme Executive Council on the 21st, day of' November; 1786. This division formed Dickinson township, taken. out of its northern. part, which township was struck off to Allegheny County. Its original boundaries were the Monongahela River on the north and east, Nottingham on the south, Robinson and Cecil on the west. It is now bounded by Allegheny County on the north, Union township and Allegheny County on the east, North Strabane and. Nottingham on the south, and Cecil and North Strabane on the west. Its greatest length is six miles; breadth three and a half miles. The population of this township in 1860 was 934.

"The towns are BOWER HILL and Thompsonville. These are small but thriving villages, with post offices at each.

"Peters township contains two stores, has five schools, employing three male and two female, teachers who each received $30 per month, with 300 scholars, of' whom 166 are males and 134 females, tuition costing per month 68 cents. Amount levied for school purposes $1555.50, and receiving from the State appropriation $90.09.

"Lusus Naturae"

"On September 29, 1798, upon Esquire Mitchell's, farm in Peters township, a child was born with two natural heads, one affixed to each shoulder, the body perfect, but no parts of generation. The child was dead born, and appeared to have been dead some days previous to its birth.

"The UNITED PRESBYTERIANS have a church in this township called Peters Creek. It was organized in 1808, and the. following pastors have respectively filled the pulpit, viz: Rev. R. Bruce, D. D., from December 14, 1808, to December 16, 1816. Rev. Alex. Wil- son, from October 8, 1817, to May 4, 1839. Rev. James Brown, D. D., from September 10, 1840, to December 5, 1843. Rev. J. C: Herron, from October 15, 1845, to January 4, 1853. Rev; J. B. Whitten, from October 6, 1854, to January 17, 1856. Rev. A. Y. Houston, from March 19, 1857, to June 16, 1868. Rev. John Patterson from July 13, 1868, until the present time [this book published 1871]. This church has a membership of 134.

"CENTRE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH"

"Is located in Peters township, on land donated by David Bell. The Presbytery of Ohio, at a meeting held at Bethany church, Allegheny County, April 16, 1828, granted the request of a number of persons living within the bonds of the congregations of Bethel, Bethany, Chartiers and Mingo creeks, and allowed them to erect a meeting house, in order that they might enjoy the occasional administration of the ordinances among them. A brick meeting-house, forty by fifty feet, was immediately erected, costing twelve hundred dollars.

"On the 29th of August, 1829, the congregation was regularly organized by Dr. Matthew Brown. At a meeting of Presbytery, held at Canonsburg, January 5, 1830, Centre congregation obtained permission to call a pastor. On May 4, 1830, Rev. John H. Kennedy, Professor of Mathematics in Jefferson College, was elected the pastor, and entered upon his pastoral duties, but was not installed until June, 1831. On account of ill health he resigned in 1840.

"Rev. Alexander B. Brown became stated supply in 1841 and officiated until 1845, when he resigned, and Rev. W. H. 0rr, Professor in Jefferson College, was chosen in the same year. He officiated about seven years, and near the close of his pastorate, in 1851, a new brick building was erected, located a few rods south of the old structure, on a more elevated piece of ground. It cost two thousand dollars.

"The Rev. J. W. Hamilton became pastor in 1852 and served about two years and six months.

"Rev. Alexander B. Brown, D. D., having resigned the Presidency of Jefferson College and removed to the country, in 1856, preached occasionally at Centre church, and at length, in 1858, became pastor. His health failing, Dr. Brown resigned the pastorate December 16, 1862.

"Rev. Francis J. Collier, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Philadelphia, was called in October, 1863, began to labor in November, and was ordained and installed April 27, 1864. He is pastor at the present time [again, this book published 1871].

"In connection with the church there is a Sabbath school, having eight teachers and about ninety scholars, which holds its sessions every year during the summer months. The church is in a prosperous condition. The number of members is one hundred and sixty; the number of families about seventy; the number of elders, seven. The church is neatly painted, papered, and carpeted. It is heated by furnaces. The yard surrounding the building is securely inclosed [sic] and tastefully ornamented."

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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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