Crawford County, Pennsylvania

History & Biography
 "1874 GAZETTEER." 

<page 21>
    CRAWFORD COUNTY was formed from Allegheny, March 12, 1800, and provisionally embraced for judicial purposes, the present counties of Crawford, Erie, Mercer, Venango and Warren, with Meadville as the county seat.  Erie was constituted a separate judicial district April 2, 1803; Venango, April 1, 1805; and Warren, March 16, 1819.  This county contains thirty-four townships and covers an area of 594,076 square acres.  It is situated on the west border of the State, being bounded on the north by Erie county, on the East by Warren and Venango counties, on the south by Venango and Mercer counties, and on the west by the State of Ohio.  Its length is forty-one miles and its breadth, twenty-four.  Its surface is undulating, and but little, if any, that is not tillable.  The soil is generally of a good quality, better adapted to grazing than to grain raising.  That in the western part is generally superior to that in the east.  The soil in most of the valleys is very productive, and that of French Creek was sufficiently manifest at an early day, to attract the attention of Gen. Washington, who alluded to its fertility and extent in the notes kept of a visit made by him to Fort LeBoeuf, (now Waterford, Erie Co.,) in 1753.  The cereals and other crops are cultivated to considerable extent, though dairying and stock raising are the chief sources of wealth and profit to the agriculturist.  There are not less than thirty-three cheese factories in the county at the present time, (1873) and the number is being rapidly increased.  It is well watered and was formerly well timbered, though much of the latter has been cut and sent to market.  Large quantities of timber still remain to supply the numerous saw mills in the county.
    The census for 1870 shows that this county stood first in the State in the number of farms, none of which exceeded 500 acres; <page 22> that it had the greatest number of farms containing between twenty and fifty and fifty and one hundred acres; and that, with two exceptions, it had the largest number containing between ten and twenty acres, while it had only six containing less than three acres, and 273 containing between three and ten acres.  It also stood first in the number of pounds of cheese made and hops raised; second in the number of acres of wood land, being exceeded only by Somerset; third in the value of home manufactures, and in the number of pounds of maple sugar made; fourth in the value of forest products, the number of working oxen, the number of bushels of spring wheat raised, the gallons of milk sold and of maple molasses made; seventh in the number of horses, and the number of tons of hay raised; eighth in the number of acres of improved land, in the value of animals slaughtered or sold for slaughter, in the number of milch cows and in the number of pounds of wool produced and butter made; ninth in the value of all live stock, and the number of sheep fed; tenth in the value of farm productions, including betterments and additions to stock, and in the number of bushels of buckwheat raised; twelfth in the cash value of farming implements and machinery, and in the number of bushels of oats raised; thirteenth in the number of bushels of potatoes raised; sixteenth in the cash value of farms; and seventeenth in the value of orchard products, and in the number of pounds of bees wax and honey gathered.  It exceeded Nevada, the District of Columbia and each of the Territories in the number of acres of improved land; Nevada, Rhode Island, District of Columbia and each of the Territories, except Arizona (?) and Washington, in woodland; Florida, Nevada, District of Columbia, and all the Territories in the cash value of farms; all the latter except Rhode Island in the cash value of farming implements and machinery; all the latter, including Rhode Island, with the addition of Alabama, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Carolina and Texas in the value of orchard products; Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, District of Columbia and all the Territories, except Montana, in the value of home manufactures; Nevada, Rhode Island, District of Columbia, and all the Territories in the value of all live stock; all the latter, except Montana, in the number of milch cows; Delaware, Florida, Nebraska, Nevada, Rhode Island, District of Columbia and all the Territories, except Colorado and New Mexico, in the number of sheep; Nevada, Rhode Island, District of Columbia, and all the Territories, except Washington, in the number of swine; California, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hamp- <page 23> shire, Rhode Inland, Vermont, District of Columbia, and all the Territories, except Washington, in the number of bushels of spring wheat raised; Connecticut, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, and Washington Territory, in addition to the latter, in the number of bushels of winter wheat raised; Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, District of Columbia and all the Territories, except New Mexico, in the number of bushels of Indian corn raised; Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, District of Columbia, and all the Territories in the number of bushels of oats raised; in addition to the latter, California, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, and Virginia in the number of bushels of buckwheat raised; all the latter, except Alabama, California, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Virginia in the pounds of wool shorn; Florida, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, District of Columbia and all the Territories in the pounds of butter made; in addition to the latter, Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia in the number of pounds of cheese made; in addition to the latter, (excepting Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey and Rhode Island,) Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri in the number of gallons of milk sold; all the latter, (in addition to Rhode Island,) with the exception of Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, in the number of tons of hay raised; all the states and territories, except California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Wisconsin, in the number of pounds of hops raised.

    The streams, though numerous, are none of them very large.  French Creek is the principal one.  It flows in a southerly direction through the central part of the county and unites with the Allegheny at Franklin.  It was formerly known as Venango (or In-nan-ga-eh.)  It is a beautiful, transparent and rapid stream, being for many miles from its mouth less than a hundred feet wide, and at some seasons is navigable to Waterford for boats carrying twenty tons, though for a few weeks during the summer it cannot usually be navigated by any craft larger than a canoe.  One of the first appropriations for the north-western part of the State, in 1791, was £400 for the improvement of this creek.  Oil Creek flows through the eastern part of the county, <page 24> in a southerly direction, making a wide detour to the west, and empties into the Allegheny at Oil City.  Its name is derived from the oil springs which exist along its banks, the product of which was gathered at the surface in small quantities and sold at an early day under the name of Seneca Oil, which was supposed to possess valuable curative properties.  Oil Creek is thus described in 1789, under the head of “Mineral Water,” by Jedediah Morse, of Charlestown, Mass., in The American Universal Geography:

    “Oil Creek, in Allegheny county, one hundred miles above Pittsburgh, issues from a remarkable spring, which boils like the waters of Hell Gate, near New York.  On the top of the water floats an oil similar to that called Barbadoes tar.  Several gallons may be gathered in a day.  It is found very serviceable in rheumatism, in restoring weakness in the stomach, and in curing bruises and sore breasts.  When drank, the water of the spring operates as a gentle cathartic.  It is gathered by the country people and Indians, boiled and brought to market in bottles, and is deemed a most valuable family medicine.”

    Shenango and Conneaut Creeks flow through the western part, the former in a southerly direction, near the west border, to the Allegheny at Beaver, and the latter in a north-westerly direction, to Lake Erie, at Conneaitt, in Ohio.  The other principal streams are Conneautte and Cussewago creeks and Conneaut Outlet, which are tributary to French Creek on the west, and Muddy, Woodcock and Sugar Creeks, which are affluents of the same stream on the east.  The Indian name for Cussewago Creek “signifies ‘big snake,’ probably from the sinuosity of its course, though tradition says it was named so from a black snake seen on its banks.”  The waters of these streams are supplemented by those of Conneaut Lake, in the townships of Sadsbury and Summit, Oil Creek Lake, in Bloomfield, and Sugar Lake, in Wayne, besides several smaller bodies of water.  The Indian name of Conneaut Lake “signifies ‘snowplace,’ and may get its origin from the snow which remains on the bosom of the lake after having thawed away in the spring from the adjacent lands.”  This lake, like the others named, is a beautiful sheet of water, three to four miles in length and about a mile in width, and is “the largest entirely inland lake in the province.”  It was formerly used as a reservoir for the Beaver & Erie Canal, its waters having been raised about eleven feet above their original height, by an embankment constructed across the outlet.
    Geologically the county presents but little diversity, or but little of special interest to the geologist.  It is underlaid by the slates and shales common to the Chemung and Portage groups, and is apparently destitute of calcareous rock, except in very thin veins.  Iron ore has been found in various parts of <page 25> the county, and coal exists in the southern part, though it is doubtful whether in sufficient quantity to give it an economic value.  Considerable quantities of petroleum have been obtained in the valley of Oil Creek, principally in the vicinity of Titusville.  This county lies upon the verge of the oil-producing region of the State, a fact from which it derives immense pecuniary advantage, as the products of its more fertile soil find ready and convenient market in the sterile lands where the oil is most abundant.
    About four miles west of Conneaut Lake, at the summit of the old Beaver & Erie Canal, and extending about a mile and a half along its line, is a formation of quicksand, averaging some two feet in thickness.  The sand lies fourteen to sixteen feet below the surface of the ground, which is here a black ash and hemlock swamp, formerly very wet, but now dry, being drained by the canal.  Much difficulty was experienced in constructing the canal in this locality, owing to the yielding nature of the sand.  Piles eighteen to twenty-four feet long were driven along each side, forming perfect walls, with cross timbers for a floor, the whole so compactly and firmly united as to resist the lateral pressure of the sand.  At the upper end of Conneaut Lake is a formation of shell marl, which covers an area of about thirty-three acres, and appears to be seven feet thick at the upper end and two and one-half feet thick at the lower end.  This marl is worked into brick form and burned, when it makes a pretty good quality of lime, though not very white.  The shells, which are of the genus planorbis, are minute and abundant.  In the Pymatuning swamp is a somewhat extensive deposit of soft calcareous tufa and shell marl, similar to that in the Conneaut swamp.  This marl possesses a value as a fertilizer which is little appreciated at the present time, and will serve to enrich the surrounding lands when a just estimate is placed upon it.  Alfred Huidekoper, in his Incidents in the Early History of Crawford County, published in 1847, thus refers to the Pymatuning swamp: —

    “*  *  *  From ten to twelve miles in width, it has every appearance of having once been a lake whose bed had been gradually filled up with accumulated vegetable matter.  Covered with the cranberry vine, with occasional clumps of alders, and islands of larch and other timber, the subsoil is so loose that a pole can be thrust into it from ten to twenty feet.  Ditches that have been cut through it for the purpose of draining, exhibit fallen timber below ground, and the dead stumps of trees still standing in place, show, by the divergence of their roots, that the surface of the soil is now from two to three feet higher than it was when the trees were standing and growing.”

    The principal works of internal improvement are the Erie and Pittsburgh, the Atlantic & Great Western, the Oil Creek & <page 26> Allegheny Valley, the Union & Titusville and the Pennsylvania Petroleum railroads. 

    The Erie & Pittsburgh R. R. extends through the western part of the county, from north to south, passing through the townships of Spring, Conneaut, Pine, North Shenango and South Shenango, with its northern terminus at Erie and southern, at Pittsburgh.  It was constructed in 1867 and ’8; is owned and controlled by the Pennsylvania Central R. R. Co.; and does an extensive business in the transportation of oar and coal.

    The Atlantic & Great Western R. R. extends in a tortuous course through the central and western portions of the county, passing through the townships of Rockdale, Cambridge, Woodcock, Mead, Union, Greenwood, Sadsbury and East Fallowfield, wnth its eastern terminus at Salamanca, N. Y., and with its connections reaches all the principal western points.  It was built in 1861–2.  At Meadville the company have a commodious depot, with offices and hotel attached, and extensive brick shops for manufacturing and repairing engines.  It is doing a good general freight business, and under the present management is becoming quite popular with the traveling public.  The Franklin Branch of this road, which was constructed in 1862–63, and extends from Meadville to Oil City, is owned and controlled by the same Company, and does an extensive business in the transportation of petroleum.

    The Oil Creek & Allegheny Valley R. R. extends through the eastern part of the county, along the valley of Oil Creek, passing through the townships of Sparta, Rome, Steuben, Troy and Oil Creek, in a southerly direction.  The principal station within this county is Titusville.  The principal business of the road consists in the transportation of oil and passengers.

    The Union & Titusville R. R. extends in a south-easterly direction through the eastern part of the county, passing through the townships of Bloomfield, Athens, Rome, Steuben, Troy and Oil Creek.  Its principal business is the transportation of oil and passengers.

    The Pennsylvania Petroleum R. R. is now under construction.  The line extends in a south-easterly direction through the eastern portion of the county, passing through the townships of Venango, Cambridge, Rockdale, Richmond, Athens, Steuben, Troy and Oil Creek.

    The old Beaver & Erie Canal, which was recently abandoned, extends through the western part of the county, from south to north, passing through the townships of West Fallowfield, Sadsbury, Summit, Summerhill and Spring.  The feeder <page 27> extends down French Creek from Bemustown, above Meadville, to a point nearly opposite the mouth of Conneaut Outlet, where it crosses the former stream, and following the course of the Outlet, which it crosses at the foot of Conneaut Lake, and unites with the canal on the line of Sadsbury and Summit.

    The County Seat is at Meadville, where it was originally located on the erection of the county.  Its location there was made contingent upon the security for payment to the trustees of the county, within four months of the passage of the act, by the inhabitants and proprietors of that place and its vicinity, of $4,000, either in specie or land, at a reasonable valuation, for the use of a seminary of learning within the county, and in case of default the trustees were authorized to fix the seat of justice at any place within four miles of Meadville.  By an act of March 5, 1804, the Commissioners were directed to erect a court house and county offices upon the public square of that town.  March 13, 1800, David Mead was commissioned Associate Judge of the county, and the following day John Kelao received a similar commission, and Thomas Ruston Kennedy was appointed Prothonotary.  The first court, of which there is any record, was held July 6th of that year, by Judges Mead and Kelso, Dec. 20, 1800.  David Mead having resigned the position, Wm. Bell was commissioned Associate Judge, and officiated in that capacity at the third session of the court, which was held at Meadville, April 6, 1801 and presided over by Alex. Addison.
    The erection of the present court house was commenced Sept. 10th, 1867, and it was completed in October, 1869.  It is located on the east side of the public square in Meadville, and is constructed in the renaissance style, of pressed brick, with stone trimmings.  It has an iron roof and is fire-proof throughout.  Its cost, including fencing, flagging and furniture, was $249,000.  It contains all the county offices, and is very convenient in its internal arrangement.  The Commissioners’, Treasurer’s, Recorder’s, Clerk of the Courts’ and Arbitration rooms occupy the first floor; and the court room, Prothonotary’s, Sheriff’s and Jury rooms, the second floor; The Janitor’s rooms are in the attic.  The jail is a stone structure, located immediately in rear of the court house, and is fitted up with iron cells.  The sheriff’s house is in front of the jail.  It has been built many years and does not meet the requirements of a modern home.
    The Poor House and farm, consisting of 215 acres of good land, are located five miles north of Meadville and one mile east of Saegertown.  The cost of the house and outbuildings was was $40,000.  The estimated value of the property, including personal property, is $55,000.  The main building, which <page 28> is 45 by 68 feet and three stories high, was erected in 1868, and the old part, or wing, which is 42 by 90 feet and two and a half stories high, in 1854.  A kitchen, 22 by 36 feet, is attached.  The whole is warmed by three heaters in the basement.  An abundance of water is suplied by a spring, flowing through a pipe.  The building is rather low for good drainage.  The first floor of the main building is occupied by the family of the Superintendent, (E. O. David,) the director’s office, a sewing room, store room, kitchen for the family and three bed rooms.  The second story is twelve feet high and contains seven good sized rooms, with a hall in the center.  The third story contains nine comfortable rooms.  All the females are kept in the new building, except a few of advanced age, who occupy two rooms on the first floor of the wing.  There is a bath room, supplied with hot and cold water, in the basement of this building.  The second story of the wing contains eleven rooms, which are used as dormitories.  All the men are kept in this apartment.  A kitchen of good size adjoins the dining rooms.  A small framed house standing a short distance from the main building is used as a laundry, and also contains a bath room.  In the second story is a carpenter shop, in which a pauper, who is a carpenter by trade, makes himself very useful.  The house will accommodate 150 inmates.  These unfortunate recipients of public charity sleep on straw beds, but have sufficient bed clothes, and the apartments are kept clean and comfortable.  They receive an abundant supply of wholesome food.  A physician visits the house once a week and oftener if required.  Besides the superintendent and matron only one man and two girls are employed, all the rest of the labor on the farm and in the house being performed by the inmates.  Intemperance is regarded by the superintendent as the chief cause of pauperism in the county.  Fully one-third of the inmates are foreigners.  There is no special provision for the accommodation of the insane, but all who are required to be kept confined are sent to Dixmont Insane Asylum.
    Crawford, Venango, Mercer and Clarion counties compose the Twentieth Congressional District.  Crawford county forms the Thirtieth Judicial District, the Twenty-ninth Senatorial District and elects two Senators, and has two Representatives.
    There are eight papers published in the county, viz:  The Conneautville Courier, weekly, The Crawford Journal, weekly, The Crawford Democrat, weekly, The Cambridge Index, weekly, the Titusville Herald, daily and weekly, the Titusville Courier, daily and weekly, the Meadville Republican, daily and weekly, and The Sunday Press.  The first paper published in the county, and the first west of the Alleghanies, was the Crawford Weekly <page 29> Messenger, which was started at Meadville by Thomas Atkinson and W. Brendle, in 1805, the first number being issued on the second of January of that year.  It was Republican in politics and its columns were avowedly open to all.  The only restriction imposed required that discussions should be conducted with liberality, candor and decency.  “This commendable rule,” says Huidekoper, in his Incidents in the Early History of Crawford County, published in 1847, “seems to have been observed for the first few numbers of the new paper, but shortly after, when the contest began to increase in warmth between the friends of Mr. Snyder and Governor McKean, we find the political essays in the Messenger marked with the same bitter personalities which mar and disfigure similar contests at the present day,” and the stricture is not less applicable after the lapse of over half a century.  Justice prompts the admission that such, however, was not the character of the editorials.

    THE CONNEAUTVILLE COURIER was commenced Nov. 14, 1847, by A. J. Mead and George W. Brown, and has been issued weekly continuously since that date.  The following November Mr. Mead sold his interest to his partner, who continued in charge till May, 1854, when he sold to A. J. Mason and D. Sinclair Brown.  Such was the success which attended the labors of these gentlemen that the subscriptions reached nearly 2000 in number, and obliged them to introduce steam power.  Theirs was the first steam power press in the State west of the Alleghanies.  In May, 1856, Mason purchased Sinclair’s interest, and in August, 1862, sold the establishment to R. C. & J. H. Frey, to accept the command of a volunteer company during the war of the Rebellion.  He was fatally wounded at Fredericksburgh, Va.  In February, 1864, the Frey Brothers sold to J. E. & W. A. Rupert, by whom the paper was consolidated with the Crawford County Record, under the title of the Record and Courier.  The Record was started in 1858, by John W. Patton, as an advertising sheet for gratuitous distribution, but meeting with great favor it developed into a regular weekly paper and soon became a formidable rival of the Courier, both being Republican in politics.  At the breaking out of the Rebellion Mr. Patton joined the army as a lieutenant, and was subsequently promoted to the rank of major.  At his death from wounds received at Chancellorsville, Va., in May, 1863, Fred. H. Broggins bought the establishment, which he had previously leased from Maj. Patton, and in December, 1863, it was purchased by J. E. & W. A. Rupert, the present proprietors, who in December, 1870, changed the title to The Conneautville Courier, on account of the age of that paper.  It is strictly a local newspaper, and is the home organ of a region composed <page 30> of the western part of Crawford county, the south-western part of Erie and the north-western part of Mercer, in Pa., and the eastern part of Ashtabula county, Ohio, embracing a population of fully 70,000, who are principally engaged in dairy farming.  It is Republican in politics and is ably conducted.
    The first paper published in Conneautville was the Union, which was started in October, 1846, by Platt & Son, and discontinued the following May.

    THE CRAWFORD JOURNAL, published at Meadville, is the successor of the Crawford Weekly Messenger, before alluded to, which in 1834, passed into the hands of Joseph C. G. Kennedy, (late Superintendent of U. S. Census Bureau,) who conducted it for a year and a half, when Jos. C. Hays purchased the material, and July 27, 1836, changed the name to Crawford Statesman, which was Whig in politics.  In 1841, Mr. Hays sold to a company, and the paper was successively edited by Samuel Magill, A. P. Whitaker, H. B. Brooks, James Onslow and James Burchfield, Democratic in politics.  In 1848, the material was purchased by Mr. Hays, who, on the 13th of January of that year, commenced the publication of The Crawford Journal, as a Whig paper.  The Meadville Gazette, another Whig paper, started by L. L. Lord, in 1845, was purchased by Mr. Hays and consolidated with the Journal in 1850.  Mr. Hays conducted the Journal as a Whig, American and Republican organ, until November, 1864, when it was purchased by John D. Nicholas.  In December, 1865, the office was entirely destroyed by fire.  In the spring of 1866, the Journal was re-issued by Edward Bliss and John D. Nicholas.  Since April, 1867, it has been successively under the editoral control of Thomas McKean, McKean & Frey, Johnson & McKean, McKean & Andrews, Robert Andrews & Co., Hollister & Metcalf, Chalfant & Tyler, C. W. Tyler and Thickstun & Hollister.  In April, 1873, it was purchased by Hempstead & Co., the present proprietors.

    THE CRAWFORD DEMOCRAT was started at Meadville, in 1833, by James E. McFarland, who sold it, in 1859, to Wm. Wilson, by whom it was sold, in 1861, to Thomas W. Grayson, the present editor and proprietor.  The paper has always been Democratic.

    THE CRAWFORD INDEX is the outgrowth of The Index, a monthly advertising pamphlet, which was started at Cambridgeboro, in 1869, by A. W. Howe, who issued a few numbers at remote periods, until declining health and financial embarrassments compelled him to relinquish the project.  At his death in February, 1872, D. P. Robbins, M. D., purchased the press and material, and in April, 1872, <page 31> issued the first number of the Weekly Index, which, by untiring zeal, he established upon a paying basis.  At the beginning of the second volume he admitted B. T. Anderson as a partner, enlarged the paper to its present size and changed its name to the Cambridge Index, under which title it is now published.  In June, 1873, Mr. Anderson withdrew from the firm, leaving Mr. Robbins the sole proprietor, and by whom it is still published.
    Evidences of settlement at a time long anterior to the advent of the present race exist in various parts of the county, but too little is known in regard to them to assign them to a definite era.  Among the nomadic Indians who occupied the country when the present settlements were commenced a tradition was extant that these traces of civilized occupancy were the works of a larger and more powerful race of people than they, and their character precludes the idea that they were wrought by the uncultured red men.  In Gordon’s Gazetteer of Pennsylvania, is “the following notice of a curious mound in the county,” “taken from the N. Y. Jour. of Commerce, 1830.”

    “On an extensive plain near Oil Creek, there is a vast mound of stones containing many hundred thousand cart loads.  This pyramid has stood through so many ages that it is now covered with soil, and from its top rises a noble pine tree, the roots of which running down the sides, fasten themselves in the earth below.  The stones are many of them so large that two men can scarce move them, and are unlike any in the neighborhood; nor are there quarries near, from which so large a quantity could be taken.  The stones were, perhaps, collected from the surface, and the mound one of the many that have been raised by the ancient race which preceded the Indians, whom the Europeans have known.  These monuments are numerous further north and east, and in the south and west are far greater, more artificial and imposing.”

    We extract from Huidekoper’s Incidents in the Early History of Crawford County the following relative to the Indian occupancy of the country embraced in this county :

    “There were originally two circular forts about a mile below the present village of Meadville.  The one in the valley, on the farm of Mr. Taylor Randolph, and the other a quarter of a mile below, on the bluff point of a high knoll, where a small stream puts into the canal.  The plough and annual tillage of the soil, have now destroyed them.  There was also a mound to be seen a short distance above the fort, which stood in the plain.  It is now nothing but a smooth eminence, some two or three feet high, and extending from north to south some fifteen or twenty feet, and about twice as much from east to west.  It is described, however, by Mr. Isaac Randolph, one of the oldest settlers, on whose farm it stands, as having been composed originally of two mounds connected by a narrow neck between them.  The material of one of the mounds he represents as having been of gravel, and the other of alluvial earth.  The ground around the mound is alluvial, without stone, and it is evident the material was carried some distance to construct the mound, as there was no ditch or excavation near it, from which it could have been taken.  The mound stands some thirty rods from the stream, where gravel is abundant.
<page 32>
    “The fields in the neighborhood abound with small pieces of Indian crockery, resembling common earthenware, except that it is not glazed nor so well burned.
    “In ploughing in the neighborhood of the above mound some years ago an Indian grave was discovered, covered with a large stone, under which, among the bones, were found some interesting relics.  Among the rest, some sharp instruments of agate or other hard stone, shaped in the form of the segment of a circle, from three to five inches long, and having one edge, and the points very sharp; they were probably used either for surgical instruments, or for tattooing, &c.  Indian arrow-heads of flint, and axes of greenstone, are frequently found in the flats along the creek, and occasionally the remains of pipes for smoking carved out of stone.  A small idol, carved in the form of an owl, of soapstone, was found a few years since, and is now in the cabinet of Mr. Frederick Huidekoper, in Meadville.  A small turtle, either a petrifaction, or a relic of Indian sculpture, has lately been discovered in excavating for a furnace on the Big Sugar Creek; it is now in the possession of Mr. J. Russell, at Russellville, in Venango County.  The fossil is a siliceous stone, and was unfortunately and wantonly broken by the laborers who exhumed it; the pieces, however, have been obtained and preserved by Mr. Russell.  The head and front part of the body are entire; the head a little distorted, but very distinct.  From a hasty inspection I had of it in passing Mr. Russell’s, a few days since, I should be inclined to believe it a specimen of Indian sculpture, and an idol of the Delaware, or some other tribe of Indians, who regarded the turtle as sacred.
    “The most perfect of the Indian fortifications in the county is a circular fort, still in a tolerable state of preservation, which stands on a point of land projecting into the Pymatuning Swamp in North Shenango township.  The area of the fort includes some two acres of ground, now covered with large timber.  The breastwork is about three feet high, and the fosse from two to three feet deep; there are from four to five places of egress from the fort, where there are intervals in the ditch.  The breastwork has probably originally been fortified with a stockade, and the portals occupied with gates.  On the land side, or the side opposite to the swamp, is another breastwork, some twenty or thirty yards from the fort, and now less distinct.
    “In the interior of the fort there are a great number of places where there is a slight depression in the surface, as though a hole had been dug some two feet in diameter.  In excavating in these places the ground has a burnt look, and among the earth are small pieces of charcoal, indicating that these holes have been receptacles for fire, and were probably made use of in cooking.  On the top of the breastwork trees are now growing, one of which, a white oak, measured more than ten feet in circumference.  In the neighborhood of the fort are Indian graves and remains, that have not yet been explored.”

    At “Green Mount,” upon the farm of Mr. Rufus Smith, ahout two miles south of Meadville, have recently been exhumed human skeletons, which, from their position and other circumstances connected with their burial, have induced in some the belief that they are Indian remains.  While the evidence thus far adduced does not fully establish this as the fact, the position is not rendered less tenable by the counter theory, which seeks to show, upon the authority of Mr. Alexander Shaw, of Shaws Landing, and other early settlers, that the <page 33> remains are those of early white settlers, and the locality a burial ground which was laid out upon the farm when it was the property of James Randolph.  There is little doubt that the spot was used as a place of burial by the early white settlers; and the irrefragable evidence which exists that this was once the home of the red man, renders it highly probable that this mound, so characteristic of the Indian sepulture, and yet, possibly, only a natural conformation of the ground, was used by them for interring their dead.  It is not impossible, therefore, nor improbable, that the remains of both white and red men repose there.  The remains which have been disinterred are placed in the Natural History Department of the Meadville Theological School, and may prove to be interesting aboriginal relics.
    In Cussewago township and other localities numerous Indian relics have, from time to time, been disclosed by the agency of the plow and otherwise.  Huidekoper relates that in 1834, while engaged in surveying the extreme western part of the county, near Sorrel Hill, he discovered trees which had been blazed one hundred and twelve years before that time.  On blocking these trees the mark of the ax or edged instrument was very distinct.  Very recently Mr. Eli Brown, while engaged in felling a large oak tree, upon his farm in Summit township, discovered near its center a cut which was apparently made with an ax or other sharp instrument of similar design.  The number of rings marking each year’s growth, from the cut outward, as counted by Mr. Brown, indicates that the incision was made more than three centuries ago, as early as 1573, but by whom can only be conjectured.
    This section of country seems to have been considered by the Indians as neutral ground, and was probably only the temporary home of nomadic tribes.  It is not definitely known that any permanent Indian village existed within the limits of the county, though suppositions that such is the fact have been and are still entertained.  Their nearest village on the east, of which we have any authentic record, was Cornplanter’s, at Tinneshantago, on the Allegheny River, and the nearest settlements of the western Indians were at Cuyahoga and Sandusky.  Among the Indians who were living at the mouth of Conneaut Creek was a chief, named Canadaughta, to whom, and his three sons, (Flying Cloud, Big Sun and Standing Stone,) the early white settlers were indebted for many acts of kindness and friendly protection.

    Settlement by the whites was commenced in 1787, by David and John Mead, who, in the summer of that year, impelled by the acrimonious disputes engendered by conflicting claims between <page 34> Connecticut and Pennsylvania, left their homes in Northumberland county to explore the valley of French Creek.  “They found the soil rich and productive, and many of the finest portions of the valley covered with herbage and grass, the forest trees having apparently been long previously removed, giving the cleared portions, at this time, much the appearance of a natural prairie.”  Their favorable report of the country induced Joseph Mead, Thomas Martin, John Watson, James F. Randolph, Thomas Grant, Cornelius VanHorne and Christopher Snyder to accompany them the following spring with a view to making it their permanent home.  They located upon French Creek, in the vicinity of Meadville, some upon the east bank, but principally upon the west side, at the mouth of Cussewago Creek.  Owing to the frequent outrages perpetrated by the hostile Indians upon the settlements of this frontier, by which these pioneers and the few who subsequently united their fortunes with them were several times driven from their improvements and compelled to seek protection at Franklin, the nearest fortified place, the settlements were much retarded during the first eight years, nearly every one of which was marked by the brutal ferocity and vindictiveness of the Indians; and not until the consummation of the treaty of Gen. Wayne with the western Indians, which was made Aug. 3, 1795, and ratified Dec. 22, of the same year, and which brought tranquility and security to them, did a rapid, healthy and enduring improvement take place.  Early in 1794 the settlers organized themselves into a military company, of which Cornelius VanHorne was chosen captain, and a block house was built, in the upper story of which a cannon was mounted.  The blockhouse was a rough log building, with the upper story projecting beyond the lower one, and was provided with a centry box on the top.  It was situated east of Water street, in the city of Meadville, and remained standing till the summer of 1828, when, in the progress of improvement, it was removed.  The settlers worked their farms as best they could, keeping together in small companies, fearing the isolation which was sure to provoke attack from a covert enemy, and ever on the alert to anticipate and avert the danger with which they were constantly threatened.
    Wishing to avoid repetition we refer the reader to the respective towns, where further details pertaining to the early settlements will be found.

1 Hamilton Child, comp., Gazetteer and Business Directory of Crawford County, Pa., for 1874 (Syracuse, N.Y.: By the comp., 1874), pp. 118-19.