Home > 000218. Philip Axtel, 000436. Luther Axtell > History of Washington County, Pennsylvania

History of Washington County, Pennsylvania

Source: Boyd Crumrine, editor, History of Washington County, Pennsylvania, with Biographical Sketches of Many of its Pioneers and Prominent Men (Philadelphia: L.H. Everts and Company, 1882).

[page 350]

[The Sixteenth Cavalry]

Company K1

1 Date of muster Septt. 19, 1862, except as noted.

[page 351]

[…] M.W. WOOD, 1st sergt., pro. from sergt. Jan. 1, 1865; disch. by G.O. July 24, 1865.


[…] William A. AXTELL, must. in Sept. 13, 1864; disch. by G.O. June 17, 1865.

[page 353]

[…] Samuel WOODS, must. in Feb. 23, 1865; disch. by G.O. Aug. 4, 1865.

[page 414]


[…] the second camp-meeting was a grand success.  The Spirit was graciously poured out, and one-hundred and twenty-five professed faith in Christ.  It should be remarked that many of the Presbyterians were deeply interested for the success of this meeting.  Rev. Dr. DODD himself became so enlisted in it that he employed Dr. LINDLEY to conduct a sacramental meeting for him at Braddock’, now the Presbyterian Church, near Grayville, in Greene County, while he went with his family and camped at Millikin’s.  His faith was rewarded, for MORGAN says, “Several of his children, as well as we remember, were hopefully converted during the meeting.”

The time now came for the return of the older missionaries to their homes in the South.  The two younger men, MORGAN and BRYAN, who were still single, had intended to labor here for a few months only, and then cross the mountains, spend some time in New England, and then return to the South.  But after much hesitation they at length yielded to the entreaties of the people, and concluded to make their homes in Pennsylvania.  But before MORGAN could settle here he had to return to his father’s, in Alabama, to arrange some business.  And it did seem for a time that BRYAN would be left alone in this State during the coming winter.  What must have been his joy when he heard of the coming of his friend and fellow-presbyter, Rev. Milton BIRD, then in the full vigor of youthful manhood.  As an evangelist, a pastor, an editor of church papers, and a teacher of probationers for the ministry, no one did more in establishing and confirming the churches in Pennsylvania than Mr. BIRD.  He was long pastor of the Pleasant Hill congregation, on Lower Ten-Mile, in this county.  In regard to his coming to this State, his esteemed widow, still living near Princeton, Ky., has sent me the following extract from his journal: “The Green River Synod was induced to pass an order fo rthe organization of Pennsylvania Presbytery.  Pursuant to the appointment of Synod I proceeded to Pennsylvania, going from Elkton, Ky., to Paris, Ky., where I took the stage for Maysville; thence I took passage on the steamer `William Parsons’ for Wheeling; and thence by stage to Washington, Pa., where I arrived on the morning of November 7th, 1831.”

Mr. MORGAN returned to his father’s, in Alabama, early in November, 1831.  I have recently received from his daughter, Mrs. BROWN, of Nashville, Tenn., a letter written by him to his father a few days before he started on this journey, and dated “Washington, Pa., Oct. 28, 1831.”  In this letter he says, in regard to the meetings in Pennsylvania, “We have had one of the most powerful and glorious revivals of religion I have ever seen.  About six hundred have professed religion since the last of July, and many more are now inquiring what they must do to be saved.”  This private letter shows beyond all doubt that the missionaries had not labored in vain in the Lord.  Among the converts at their meetings in the summer and autumn of 1831 might be mentioned a number who became ministers of the gospel, as Rev. E.K. SQUIER, D.D., Rev. W.E. POST, Rev. Messrs. John and Isaac Newton CARY, Rev. Messrs. Philip and Luther AXTELL, Rev. Stephen WINGET, and also many distinguished citizens of this county, as Elias DAY, long a ruling elder of the Concord Church […]

[…] The new Presbytery thus formed was practically without boundaries.  The churches formed in Ohio were for several years included in it.  The number both of churches and ministers rapidly increased.  At an early period Lee Roy WOODS, S.M. SPARKS, Isaac SHOCK, A.T. REESE, Felix G. BLACK, and other Cumberland Presbyterian ministers came from the South […]


[…] It is a common saying that most of the people at Concord [in Morris township] answer to the name of DAY, and the majority at Windy Gap to the name of SPROWLS […]

The Bethel congregation seven miles south of Washington, near Van Buren, was organized by Rev. John MORGAN, May 30, 1832.  It was composed in  part of Presbyterians from the Upper Ten-Mile congregation.  Five of its members, namely, Ephraim COOPER, Sylvanus COOPER, Thomas AXTELL, John WOLFE, and Samuel DAY, having been elders in the Presbyterian Church, were re-elected to that office at Bethel, and Samuel WEIR, Isaac CONDIT, and Archibald McCRACKEN were added to their number.  This is at the present writing the largest and most flourishing Cumberland Presbyterian congregation in the county.  Early in the year 1833 the Pleasant Hill congregation, on Lower Ten-Mile near Clarkton, was organized and Joseph EVANS, Abner CLARK, and Abel MILLIKIN were made elders […]

[…] At the present writing, Rev. J. Reed MORRIS is pastor at Windy Gap, Rev. Azel FREEMAN, D.D., at Concord, Rev. P.H. CRIDER at Bethel, Rev. Luther AXTELL at Pleasant Hill, Rev. I.N. CARY at Greenfield and Millsboro’, and James S. KEENER, a licentiate, is ministering to the Fairview congregation.

Finally, the writer hereby acknowledges his great obligation to Rev. Philip AXTELL, of East Pittsburgh, who has long had charge of the minutes of Pennsylvania Presbytery and Synod, and whose statistics of the churches, published in the “semi-centennial,” […]

[page 655]


Andrew McCRACKEN, a brother of David, remained in Ireland until 1792, when he emigrated to America and came directly to this county, and lived with his brother two years before he made a purchase of land.  On the 12th of April, 1794, he bought sixty-three acres of land of Jacob HOUSONG, and on the 10th of May, 1806, forty-one acres of William McCLENAHAN.  This land was part of a tract warranted to Luke BROWN on the 28th of August, 1792, and in the survey was named “Desart.”  BROWN sold to HOUSONG on the 16th of October the same year.  On this land Mr. McCRACKEN passed the remainder of his days.  He died in 1837 while on a visit to his daughter, Mrs. John FINACLE, then living in Athens County, Ohio.  He left two sons, — John and Archibald.  John emigrated to Ohio, and later to Iowa, where he died.  Archibald married Lusany, the daughter of Luther AXTELL, Sr., and settled on the homestead where he was born and still resides at eighty-three years of age.  M.L.A. McCRACKEN, an attorney in Washington, is a son.  The daughters of Andrew McCRACKEN all married and emigrated to Ohio.

Maj. Daniel AXTELL was an original purchaser of land of the proprietors of East and West Jersey, to which they obtained title in 1682.  About the year 1740 he purchased a tract of two thousand acres, now in the township of Bedminster, Somerset Co., N.J.  Within the succeeding ten years his death occurred, and the land came into possession of his son William, by whom part of it was sold in 1750 and part in 1760.  Of his family three sons came to this county about 1780, and settled in Ten-Mile Creek.  But like most of the settlers of that day they did not secure titles till several years later.  At what time the warrant was secured and survey made of a tract of four hundred and four acres called “Green Mount” is not known; the patent was secured July 7, 1797.  On the 6th of October, 1799, one hundred acres was sold to James TUCKER, and on the 10th of February, 1801, one hundred and thirty-seven acres to Jonas CONDUIT.  Mr. CONDUIT lived there many years, and was appointed justice of the peace in 1813.  These sales of land were made from the “Green Mount” tract.

A tract called “Winter Green,” adjoining Caleb and Levi LINDLEY, Samuel CLUTTER, and others, had been warranted, surveyed, and patented to Ebenezer GOBLE, and part of it was purchased by Daniel AXTELL, April 7, 1794, and on the 12th February, 1798, Mr. AXTELL sold one hundred and ten acres to Daniel JOHNSTON.  On the 28th of September, 1795, Daniel AXTELL was appointed attorney for the sale of a tract of land called “Pleasant Grove,” belonging to Samuel TUTTLE, of Morris County, N.J., and on the 21st of March, 1796, he sold two hundred and eighteen acres of it to Col. Daniel McFARLAND.  In the tax-list of 1784 the name of Thomas AXTELL appears, but little is known of him or his descendants.

Caleb GOBLE had made application to the land-office for a tract of land lying on a small branch of Ten-Mile Creek, adjoining Samuel CRAIG, John HUGHE, and William BRYSON, which had been warranted and surveyed to him, and on the 5th of October, 1790, GOBLE conveyed to Luther AXTELL all his right, title, and interest in the tract, and on the 9th of July, 1797, he received a patent for it.  On the 27th of April, 1804, he conveyed fifty acres of it to Abigail DICKINSON, and the same day one hundred and eight acres to Thomas WEIR.  On the remainder of this tract Luther AXTELL resided till his death.  He left four sons — Daniel, the eldest, died at the age of twenty-four years; Silas settled in Greene County; Philip and Luther became ministers of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  The former is now in charge of the church of that denomination in East Pittsburgh, Allegheny Co., and the latter in charge of Pleasant Hill Church, East Bethlehem township, Washington County.  Lusany, a daughter of Luther AXTELL, Sr., became the wife of Archibald McCRACKEN, who settled near the AXTELLs on the old McCRACKEN homestead.

Col. Daniel McFARLAND […] on the 21st of March, 1796, purchased two hundred and eighteen acres of Daniel AXTELL, attorney for Samuel TUTTLE, of Morris County, N.J., which was surveyed to TUTTLE as “Pleasant Grove.”

[page 659]


James TUCKER came from New Jersey to Amwell township about 1780.  Beside his interests in this vicinity, he owned a one-eighth interest in the Old Spring Hill Iron Furnace, located in Spring Hill township, in Fayette County, where he spent a great portion of his time.  In the year 1802 he sold this interest to Jesse EVANS.  James TUCKER married Elizabeth BANE, and they had five children, — Isaac, Joseph, Thomas, James, and Nancy, the youngest, who married Henry BEBOUT and removed to Greene County, where she died.  James TUCKER, Jr., was a miller by trade and never married; Joseph TUCKER emigrated to Ohio; and Isaac, who married Sarah MASON, lived and died on a portion of the old homestead.  Thomas TUCKER had the remainder of the father’s farm, and his son Absalom now owns and occupies the whole of the original tract.  Old Mrs. TUCKER survived her husband several years.

[page 663]


In September, 1870, Rev. J.C. HENCH commenced preaching to this people [Lower Ten-Mile congreagation].  He afterwards received and accepted a call to become the pastor of this church.  He was installed on June 17, 1871.  In the installation services, Rev. J.S. MARQUES presided and charged the pastor, and Rev. Henry WOODS preached the sermon and gave the charge to the people […]

In the sessional records of Lower Ten-Mile the following names appear of men who served as ruling elders, viz.: Demas LINDLEY, Jacob COOK, Joseph COE, and Daniel AXTELL, who were chosen at the organization of the church in 1781; William McFARLAND and Stephen COOK, ordained in 1784; Stephen SAUNDERS, Joseph LINDLEY, John CARMICHAEL, John SMILEY, and Abel McFARLAND, ordained in 1795 or 1796; Israel DILLE, Jonas CONDIT, Ziba CASTERLINE, and John HEADLEY, ordained in 1805.  At the time of the separation the session of Lower Ten-Mile consisted of three members, viz.: William McFARLAND, Esq., John SMILEY, and Jonas CONDIT […] Mr. Samuel ANDREW was added to the session in 1824; and Messrs. Ephraim COOPER and Nathan AXTELL on Nov. 5, 1826 […]

[page 664]

[…] About the time of Mr. ANDREW’s removal, Mr. COOPER united with the Cumberland Presbyterians.  This reduced the session again to two members, viz., Messrs. Jonas CONDIT and Nathan AXTELL.  In the autumn of 1837 the congregation agreed to go into an election of six, and as a result Messrs. William PATTERSON, James McFARLAND, Luther AXTELL, John BUCKINGHAM, James BRADEN, and Thomas McFARLAND were chosen.  They were all ordained and installed on Nov. 6, 1837, except Mr. Thomas McFARLAND, who retained the call until the next summer.  His ordination occurred on July 22, 1838.

Mr. Jona CONDIT died on July 17, 1850, in the eighty-second year of his age and forty-fifth year of his service as ruling elder.  None was more faithful or highly esteemed.  His second wife was a daughter of Rev. Thaddeus DODD […] Mr. Nathan AXTELL died on May 23, 1852, in the seventy-ninth year of his age and twenty-sixth year of his service as ruling elder […] In 1858 this composition is changed by the congregation selecting three additional members, viz., Messrs. Thomas J. PATTERSON, Robert BOYD, and Daniel CONDIT, who were solemnly set apart on Sabbath, Sept. 12, 1858 […]

[…] Mr. Luther AXTELL died on Feb. 8, 1868, in the eighty-fifth year of his age, and thirty-first year of his service as a ruling elder.  Mr. AXTELL was born in the State of New Jersey, and came with his father, when six years old, to Washington County […]

[…] Mr. McFARLAND was soon followed to his reward by his associate in office, Mr. James BRADEN, who died May 1, 1871, in the eighty-fifth year of his age, and thirty-fourth year of his office.  On Dec. 30, 1872, Messrs. A.P. VANDYKE, Samuel BRADEN, and J.N. HORN were chosen.  Mr. BRADEN removed to Jefferson, Pa., in the spring of 1877, where he is now serving as a ruling elder […]

The first house of worship was erected in the summer of 1785, on the premises of Mr. COOK.  It was built of hewn logs.  It was repaired considerably in 1809.  In 1825 the congregation of Lower Ten-Mile built of brick a house of worship on the farm of Mr. Jonas CONDIT, about five miles northwest from Amity.  It was long known as the “brick meeting-house” […]

[page 665]

The trustees serving in this congregation in 1817, when Upper and Lower Ten-Mile became each independent of the other, were Messrs. John CARTER, Thomas RINGLAND, and William PATTERSON.  Since then sixty-one persons in all have served the church in this responsible position.

Mr. James RINGLAND served in this office thirteen years; […] Mr. James BRADEN, six years […] Those serving a less number of years [less than five] are: […] Luther AXTELL […] Adam WEIR […] Daniel CONDIT, Jacob BRADEN […] Samuel CONDIT […] Samuel BRADEN […]

Clarktown, or Ten-Mile Village.[…] The village has at present fourteen dwellings, two stores, two blacksmith-shops, cabinet-maker, grist- and saw-mill, — owned by Huffman & Swart, — harness-maker, drug-store and post-office, and two physicians, — Dr. J.W. MOORE and Dr. L.W. BRADEN […]

[…] Two miles below the village on the creek is the grist- and saw-mill and store owned by Martin & Sons.  The post-office is kept at this place.  The postmasters of Ten-Mile have been […] Philip AXTELL […]

The following-named physicians have practiced at Ten-Mile, viz.: […] L.W. BRADEN.

[page 668]


The responsible office of elder has been held by […] P.M. WOODS […]

From this church at least seven preachers have gone forth into the evangelical field, viz.: […] P.M. WOODS

[…] Thirteen members of this congregation have been called at different times to the superintendency.  Their names are […] P.M. WOODS […]

[page 669]

[North Ten-Mile Baptist Church.]  […] The society about 1840 built the present brick meeting-house, and on the 1st of July, 1842, Philip AXTELL, John BANE, Lewis KETCHUM, acting deacons, purchased one acre and one hundred and thirty-one perches of land, in consideration of twelve and a half cents, of Jacob BANE.

[page 670]

Schools in Amwell Township.[…] The following is a list of the school directors from 1835 to the present time:

[…] 1839.–Isaac TUCKER, F. SCHRONTZ.

[page 801]


Van Buren.— The land on which this hamlet is located was the early home of the GOBLEs.  The old homestead and tavern stand (the latter kept many years by Daniel L. GOBLE) is now the property of Adam WEIR, whose father, Adam WEIR, purchased the property now Van Buren April 18, 1818, and opened a store, and became the postmaster at the office soon after established at that place.  He was postmaster many years, and was succeeded by Stephen PIPE, who was succeeded by Adam WEIR, Jr., the present incumbent.  A store was kept a short time previous to the purchase of Adam WEIR, Sr., near the GOBLE tavern by Sample SWEENY […]

Presbyterian Church.— From the history of Lower Ten-Mile Presbyterian Church the following account of this branch of that church is taken.  This society erected a brick edifice not far from Van Buren, on the road from that place to Lone Pine.  “In 1825 the congregation of Lower Ten-Mile built of brick a house of worship on the farm of Mr. Jonas CONDIT, about five miles northwest from Amity” […] In the little graveyard on the lot where the church once stood rest several of the early settlers, among whom are Jonas CONDIT, died July 17, 1850, aged eighty-one years; Luther AXTELL, died Feb. 7, 1868, aged eighty-five years; and James McFARLAND, aged eighty-two years.

Bethel Cumberland Presbyterian Church.– […]

The congregation met on the 6th of September according to adjournment, and the committee made the following report:

“That they, the committee of Upper Ten-Mile Congregation and the committee of the minority, met on the 5th of this inst., and all the committee of the minority were instructed to do was to allow the the majority the privilege of occupying the present meeting-house1 one-half the time until the first of April next, provided, however, that the majority make no movement towards building a new house of worship.  On motion, Resolved unaminously, that we will not accede to the above proposition.  On motion, Resolved, That we build a meeting-house on lands of Joseph WEIR, of brick, sixty feet long and fifty-one feet wide, without galleries.  Resolved, That Samuel WEIR, Thomas AXTELL, Jeduthan SANDERS, and Joseph WEIR be a committee to circulate subscription to raise funds to build said house.  Resolved, That Sylvanus COOPER, John WOLF, and Thomas AXTELL be the building-committee, and Samuel WEIR, Ephraim COOPER, Stephen DILLE, and Jeremiah POST be a committee of council.  Resolved, That Thomas AXTELL be our delegate to Presbytery, to be held in Uniontown, Fayette Co., on the 20th of this inst.


At a meeting of the congregation on the 14th of January, 1833, it was “Resolved, That we apply to the Presbytery for the labors of the Rev. John MORGAN as our stated pastor for one year half of his time.”  At a meeting of the congregation on the 6th of April the same year, it was “Resolved, That we change the name of this congregation from Upper Ten-Mile to that of Bethel.”  The church was built as stated, not on the land designated, but on a lot containing one acre and one hundred and three perches, which was purchased by Samuel WEIR and Isaac CONDIT, trustees of Bethel Congregation, of Daniel L. GOBLE on the 28th of July, 1833.  The Rev. John MORGAN became their pastor for a time.  Ephraim COOPER, Sylvanus COOPER, Thomas AXTELL, John WOLF, and Samuel DAY having […]

1 The brick church near Van Buren.

[page 844]


Hugh HANNA, a native of Ireland, moved into Morris township about the year 1790, and purchased the farm on which Henry M. CONKLIN at present resides.  Upon this place he passed the remainder of his days, and at his death left a family of eight children.  They were John V., James, Hugh, Thomas, Nancy, Elizabeth, Martha, and Rebecca HANNA.  John V. HANNA married Lydia McCOLLUM, and settled upon a farm near that of his father, where he lived for many years.  He afterwards purchased and resided upon another farm, remaining on it until his death.  Of his children, the son Thomas lives upon the farm where his father died, the daughter Matilda became the wife of John BRADEN and lives in Rankinville, and Margaret, who became the wife of Matthias MINTON, resides in the village of Prosperity […]

Bethuel, Luther, and Daniel DAY were three brothers who came from their native State, New Jersey, to Morris township, accompanied by five or six sisters.  Luther DAY’s wife was Mary VANKIRK, and their children were seven, four sons and three daughters.  The daughter Priscilla married Benjamin McVAY, Lavina married Demas LINDLEY, and Maria married Ira DILLE.  The son, William DAY, married Sarah PATTERSON, and still lives in this township.  Daniel married Lavina CLUTTER, and also resides in Morris township.  Arvidi married Elizabeth BALDWIN, and lives in the village of Prosperity.  Artemas married and removed to Ohio.

[page 845]

James CONNIT, whose home was in Bound Brook, N.J., came to Morris township in 1802.  His wife was Jane POWELL, a native of the State of New York.  Their family numbered thirteen children.  Of these Sarah, John, Milton, Joseph, Jane, and Lydia CONNIT all died single.  Melissa is still living unmarried.  James CONNIT married Rebecca CARY.  He is still living on the Demas LINDLEY tract of land, near Prosperity, and is eighty-six years of age.  He has but one child, Isaac N. CONNIT.  Eliza CONNIT married Daniel FERRELL, and lived and died in East Finley township.  Priscilla became Mrs. Norman POWERS, and is now a resident of Greene County.  Isaac CONNIT, Sr., married Abby FRENCH, and removed to Ohio.  Spencer CONNIT died in Greene County […]

Village of Prosperity.— The village plat was laid out in 1848 by Robert WALLACE, who built the first house, which is still standing, owned by John M. DAY, and occupied as a store.  The first postmaster was T.D. MINTON.  Arvidi DAY is the present postmaster, and has occupied the position twenty-six years […]

Upper Ten-Mile Presbyterian Church.— … Services were held at different places, but no distinct effort was made towards a permanent organization until August, 1781, when twenty-three persons gathered at the house of Jacob COOK and organized a church, of which the following named were the constituent members, viz.: […]

Daniel AXTELL and Ruth, his wife […] and Jacob COOK, Joseph COE, and Daniel AXTELL were chosen elders […] “Wednesday, April 30, 1783.  The session met at Mr. LINDLEY’s fort.  Present: Thaddeus DODD, V.D.M., Demas LINDLEY, Joseph COE, Jacob COOKE, Daniel AXTELL, elders.  At this session twenty-two persons

The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was first administered on the third Sabbath of May, 1783, by the Rev. Thaddeus DODD, their pastor, assisted by the Rev. John McMILLAN.  The meeting was held in Daniel AXTELL’s barn.

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