Washington County "Little Washington" Pennsylvania
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 Churches in McDONALD, PA
and Surrounding areas

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       The newspaper articles presented here give glimpses into the lives of men, women, and families during lifetimes spent in the areas in and near McDonald, PA.  We hope you find useful items that add to your family tree.

Old Church with Steeple


May 13, 1893

McDonald Outlook

St. Alphonsus Church

Its Dedication To-Morrow—Something of the History of the Church and Its Building.

Feb. 2, 1892, the Rt. Rev. R. PHELAN, Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburg, after hearing the necessity for a church explained to him by the committee sent for that purpose, approved of the claim and granted the power to erect at once a church. Architect J. N. CAMPBELL, of Crafton, after some delay, submitted designs for the edifice which were approved of. The difficulties of undertaking a $13,000 church, without a cent to begin with, are known only to the committee themselves. How we have succeeded is for the public to say.

The site selected is the best in the town, overlooking the whole borough and the valley for miles. The cornerstone was laid July 31st, 1892—a day long to be remembered—about 5,000 people being in attendance. The dimensions ar 86-46, two story—height of ceiling 32 feet. The design is Gothic. The vestments, from a leading New York firm, are fine works of art—white, red, black, purple and green. The cope is moiré antique embroidered in gold. No expense was spared to have everything the finest. The same firm furnished the Ostensorium, Cibarium, Chalice, Censor, Candlesticks, crucifixes and all other alter trimmings.

The statuary imported from Munich, Europe. One over the main alter is the Sacred Heart of Jesus, another is St. Alphonsus; and on the side alters, St. Joseph, The Blessed Virgin and the Infant Jesus. The Stations of the cross were also imported. They are of stone in high relief ad decorated in gold. The background is landscape. The cost of the Stations, duty free, was $218—would have cost, if bought here, $416. The originals of these models were exposed in Paris salons, and are acknowledged by connoisseurs the most beautiful works of art of the kind ever executed, and they are masterpieces.

One of the chief attractions of the church are the windows. They are admired by everybody day after day. The praise of visitors is without stint. Even those who see them every day can never grow tired of them. The superior art displayed in execution, the chaste colors, and the originality of the designs of all the windows make them new every time one looks at them. The windows were donated by the following persons: the BUCHHEIT family; A. J. MCDONALD children, Mr. and Mrs. M. O’GRADY, the Misses MALONEY, J. P. GILMORE and wife, Building Committee, Sunday School children, Mr. and Mrs. WRIGHT, A. O. H. of McDonald, Jas. LAUGHLIN, Minnie REND NEWTON, Mr. and Mrs. J. F. O’ROURKE, Mr. and Mrs. John CARROLL, Mr. and Mrs. P. H. MCCABE, HOEY family, James MORGAN, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. RODGERS, Mr. and Mrs. M. HAYES, Miss Julia HAYES, Charles HAYES, Jacob DANIEL family, Michael MONAHAN family. Total cost of glass was $945. The Rose window in front cost $300.

The main alter was built at St. Joseph’s Home, Columbus, O. It is Gothic in style and in keeping with the other designs of the church, and skilled workmanship in every detail. The side alters are not so costly but they conform to the surrounds and were designed and made by W. WRIGHT, of … were manufactured by the … Furniture Company, of … and are of ash, circular in … and with kneeling attachment, they cost $700.

Following is the musical program of Sunday, which will be rendered by the Cathedral Choir of Pittsburg, consisting of—sopranos, Miss Grace MILLER, Mrs. Wm. MELLON, Miss Maggie SHATTUCK; altos, Miss Agnes MCCORMICH, Miss A. CARTER; tenors, Fred. ROBERTSHAW, Chas. MCNALLY, M. MCCORMICK; bassos, Thos, HEYL, T. J. FITZPATRICK, Chas. CORCORAN; organist Miss Alice CARTER. Morning service, 10 o’clock; Mozart’s Mass No. 12; Offertory, Ave Verum, Kreutzer. Evening service; Vespers, MILLARD; Ave Maria, OWENS; O Saintaris, VERDI; Tantum Ergo, LAMBILLOTT.



Dec. 30, 1893
McDonald PA Outlook

A Church Fight at Canonsburg

For some time past there has been a split developing in the Central Presbyterian Church in Canonsburg. The trouble grew out of a desire on the part of the younger element of the congregation to build a new house of worship. The congregation had been worshiping in Providence Hall in the old Jefferson College building. The young people though the hall was not stylish enough and wanted a new church. Several congregational meetings were held at which much ill-feeling was developed, and the result was that several of the wealthiest and most prominent members quit the congregation. The young people however, were determined to have the new church, and went to work to build it. They have raised $6,800 and expect to have the building up by next summer. It is reported that a number of the other faction will follow those who have already left the congregation, and a new congregation may be organized.



Nov. 17, 1894

McDonald PA Outlook

P. J. WALKER, James MAWHINNEY, W. J. WALLACE are the elders of the new U. P. Church recently organized at Gladden's school house on Miller's Run by Rev. Mr. DUNCAN, of Oakdale. A free site has been offered by Thomas GLADDEN and preparations for building have commenced.


Feb. 10, 1905

McDonald PA Record

After Twenty-five Years

French Congregation Owns Its Own Building After a Quarter Century’s Existence.

With appropriate ceremonies and heartfelt rejoicing on the part of pastor and people French Mission of McDonald will dedicate its comfortable and handsome little church building on North McDonald street next Sunday.

The history of the mission dates back over a period of twenty-five years—nearly the entire length of Dr. IRON’s pastorate, to whose fostering care the mission owes so much.

It was in October 1879, that Jules CHARLIER, Sr., and Ferdinand MARLIER, both deceased, and Gregory TOURNAY and P. J. CHARLIER, who still reside in McDonald, together with two or three other heads of families that have long since moved elsewhere first began to hold divine worship in their own tongue. They attended the services of the First U. P. church, the only church in the village of McDonald, on Sabbath mornings and in the afternoons gathered at the various homes and held such services, as they had been accustomed to in Belgium and France as members of the Evangelical Missionary Church. The meetings were usually led by Mr. Jules CHARLIER, Sr. Rev. W. D. IRONS, although not familiar with the language, frequently attended and encouraged the work. As yet no formal organization was had but in 1887 when Julian MASQUELIER, Sr., Martin SUPLIT, J. B. NIMAL, Leopold DELCORD, Joseph MASQUELIER, Sr., and Pierre DELIANT (deceased) and their families came to this country an organization was effected. Divine services and Sabbath school sessions were held in the old U. P. church and also in the old public school house. The late Joseph MASQUELIER, Sr., uncle of the MASQUELIER brothers who are now so active in the work of the mission, assisted Mr. CHARLIER in the preaching and teaching. In May 1897, Mr. CLAVIR together with his stepsons, Emil, Omer and Leopold (deceased) MANANDISE and his son-in-law Pierre MORTELETTE moved here from Brazil, Ind., and Mr. CLAVIR being a zealous and gifted man, became the spiritual leader of the faithful little flock and quite a little progress was made in his time. He was a keen student of Holy Writ and an eloquent and forcible speaker. He still lives, his home being in Charleroi. 

Dr. IRONS encouraged the work in many ways and the mission grew so that during the winter of 1896-97 the need of a pastor was urgently felt and Rev. E. S. LHEUREUX was called as assistant pastor of the First United Presbyterian church for the purpose of taking charge of the Mission. Much good was accomplished during this the first pastorate. Quite an addition to the membership followed and the people were led to a higher conception of their privileges in the divine life. Rev. Mr. LHEUREUX resigned in April of 1903 to go as a missionary to the Island of Puerto Rico. In June of the same year Rev. H. GARROU accepted a call to fill the vacancy. His work here has been markedly successful. A membership of about ninety with an average attendance of 125 at each services peaks well of the interest aroused. Two Elders, Elie MASQUELIER and Victor MARLIER assist Rev. GARROU.


From May 27, 1920 McDonald PA Outlook
Julian MASQUELIER died at his home in Valley Street Sunday evening May 23 at 7 o'clock.  He was aged 57 years.  Mr. MASQUELIER was on of McDonald's business men, having conducted a store on Valley Street for
the past 25 years.  He came to McDonald from Belgium with his parents, in April, 1887 and on June 7, 1887 was married to Miss Maria DEHOUX, Dr. W. D. IRONS performing the ceremony.  Mr. MASQUELIER was active in church work uniting with the First U. P. church shortly after coming to this country, and when the French Mission was started Mr. MASQUELIER was one of the
workers init, being an elder and a teacher in the Sunday School.  For years he led the choir being succeeded by his son, Harry.  He was a quiet unassuming man and had done much in the interest of his people.  Mr. MASQUELIER is survived by his wife and the following children, Mrs. GRILL who is located in Canada; Mrs. P. J. CHARLIER of McDonald; Mrs. A. SAPPIE of Pittsburgh; Isabelle Rebecca at home; Harry A., Octave, Julien and Merle, all of McDonald.  Four brothers and one sister also survive as follows, Zacharie, John Baptiste, Jules, and Mrs. F. DESCUTNER of Steubenville.

See also the business section for MASQUELIER Brothers


Jan. 10, 1903

McDonald Outlook

Old Church Dissolved

Affairs of the Miller’s Run Congregation Being Cleared Up

The Miller’s Run Presbyterian church, near Venice, will soon be of the past, the committee appointed to dissolve the organization having signed letters to the few remaining members. The church was organized 125 years ago and its congregation was on of the most flourishing in the community, but it had gone back gradually of late and the remaining members refused to meet the bills. The presbytery decided to dissolve the church. The Rev. Dr. William SMITH preached to the congregation for 5* years. Many of the Miller’s Run congregation have united with the McDonald church.



June 25, 1909

McDonald Record

On Tuesday occurred the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Center U. P. Church at Midway. As has always been the case with these people they celebrated it well. The morning exercises consisted of business by the Chartiers Presbytery, which met in regular session at this time to take part in the celebration. Almost a thousand persons were present. Rev. J. D. GIBSON, pastor of the church, had charge of the anniversary services. D. A. MCCALMONT read the history of the church; Rev. Alex. MCLAUGHLIN, D. D., gave it presbyterial history; C. R. BRICELAND gave a prophecy of the church, and greetings from other churches were heard. A letter from Mrs. D. S. KENNEDY, widow of a former pastor, was read. Rev. W. J. GRAHAM, the pastor of the church until 1898, was present and gave a pleasant greeting. He spoke of the removal of the church to its present location. Mrs. J. B. WADDELL, the widow of a former pastor, was present. Greetings were also read from Presbytery and sister churches. At the evening session, Rev. J. M. delivered addresses FARRAR, D. D. LL. D., of Brooklyn, N. Y., a former member of the congregation, and Rev. J. T. MCCRORY of Pittsburg. Excellent music was furnished by the congregation lead by the choir of the church.

Rev. J. C. CAMPBELL organized center church in 1859. The first building was near the present U. P. cemetery. There have been five pastors, Revs. CAMPBELL, KENNEDY, WADDELL, GRAHAM and the present incumbent, Rev. J. D. GIBSON.

The church was beautifully decorated in black and gold with a profusion of flowers. Both dinner and supper was served at thee church of which all partook and yet there remained more than twelve baskets full. Mrs. BAMFORD, mother of Elder D. G. BAMFORD, is the only of the first members now connected with the church.


March 16, 1934

McDonald Record-Outlook

The History of the Valley Presbyterian Church

By Martha YOLTON

The old Valley Presbyterian church was built in 1839 at the cost of $1836.20. The first sermon was preached by the Rev. Mr. MCEWING, July 5, 1840. The first elders were James STEWART, Sr., John BYERS, Sr., John MILLER and Jacob GUY. There was a total of 43 members the first year. The first Sabbath school library was established in August 1846. James MOORE was the first librarian. Miss Alice G. HAYS and Miss Aggie STEWART were the first organists. In 1911 a piano was used, played by Miss Freda BOWERS.

In the spring of 1911 the new church was built. This structure was a two-story building of brick. On the first floor is the Sabbath school room, class room, and kitchen. In the second floor is the vestibule, ladies’ parlor, session room, Christian Endeavor room, and auditorium with a seating capacity of 300. Total cost was $12,000.


June 18, 1959

McDonald Record-Outlook


Family night, this Wednesday evening, will begin the observance of the 100th anniversary of the Center U. P. Church, Midway. The celebration will be culminated with two services next Sunday.

The Rev. Charles VAN DYNE, pastor, will give the invocation at the family night program. The Rev. A. A. LOVE, D.D., of McDonald will be the guest speaker.

Others participating will be Harry LINDSAY, who will sing a solo, and Miss Katherine BEBOUT, who will show slides of members and former members of the congregation. Both the senior and junior choirs will sing.

Following the service, the congregation will retire to the basement for refreshment and fellowship.

The Rev. Walter RALSTON of Quincy, Mass., a son of the congregation will deliver the sermon at this Sunday morning service. Glenn AIKEN will sing a solo.

The Rev. Harold of ELLER of San Felix, Venezuela, another son of the congregation, will speak at the evening service which begins at -:30 o’clock. Kenvin (sic) MOREAU will sing a solo at this service.


The Center United Presbyterian church of Midway was organized May 2, 1859. The first meetings were held in a log barn on the John CAMPBELL farm, presently owned by George U. LOFFERT. After various meetings of those in the vicinity belonging to the United Presbyterian church, it was agreed to apply to the Presbytery of Chartiers for the organization of a congregation to be called Center.

At a meeting of Presbytery at Hickory in April, 1859, an organization was granted and the Rev. James C. Campbell was appointed to preach on the first Sabbath of May, at which time the church came into being. On the following Monday, Jacob GEORGE, Thomas STEVENSON, John CAMPBELL, Dr., and John D. REED were elected ruling elders. They were installed by the Rev. James C. HERRON on the 18th of September, following. On September 27, 1859, session met and was constituted by the Rev. J. G. RANKIN, moderator, when 54 members were received by certificate and five on examination. These 59 comprised the charter members.

The congregation enjoyed the labors of ministers appointed by Presbytery, services being held in private residences of members of the congregation and in school housed in the vicinity until the third Sabbath of February, 1869, when a new church was occupied for the first time. The church, a frame structure costing $2,500 was located in what is now the Center cemetery, and stood a short distance from the entrance to the cemetery.

The Rev. D. S. KENNEDY became the first pastor on September 4, 1862.

The present place of worship was erected in 1891 and was dedicated January 19, 1892, during the pastorate of Rev. W. J. GRAHAM.

The semi-centennial of the church was celebrated on June 22, 1909. Chartiers Presbytery met in regular session at this time to take part in the celebration. The Rev. J. D. GIBSON, pastor of the church, was in charge of arrangements. David A. McCALMONT read a history of the church and the Rev.

Alexander McLAUGHLIN, D. D., gave its presbyterial history. C. R. BRICELAND gave a prophecy and read greetings from other churches. At the evening session, addresses were delivered by the Rev. J. M. FARRAR, D.D., LLD, of Brooklyn, N. Y., a former member of the congregation, and the Rev. J.T. McCRORY of Pittsburgh. Both dinner and supper were served at the church. Mrs. Sarah G. BAMFORD was the only charter member present.

Three sons of the congregation have entered the ministry; W. S. BAMFORD (deceased), Harold ELLER, and Walter RALSTON. Miss Veda GRAHAM, a daughter of the congregation, is serving in the mission field, at the Avalon Girls’ School, Pathankot, India. Another daughter of the congregation, Elizabeth DICKSON EWEN, served on the teaching staff at Stanton Academy, Stanton, Ky. 

Present membership of the church is 373

Ministers who have served the congregation are the Rev. D. S. KENNEDY, 

September, 1862 to October, 1872; the Rev. J. B. WADDELL, May, 1873 to February, 1886; the Rev. W. J. GRAHAM, May 1888, to February, 1898, the Rev. J. D. GIBSON, November, 1898 to April, 1910; the Rev. J. G. REANEY, January, 1911, to November, 1914; the Rev. E. D. MILLER, May, 1915 to March, 1918; the Rev. R. W. NARIN, D. D., August, 1918 to March, 1926, the Rev. E. L. RALSTON, November 1926, to may, 1936, the Rev. Alfred HUBBARD, November, 1936, to January, 1945; the Rev. Eldin L. BENNETT, July, 1946, to June, 1948; the Rev. W. D. MERCER, D.D., December 1949, to December, 1952; the Rev. John MELLINGER, May, 1953, to April, 1954; the Rev. Lawrence SVANE, February, 1955, to June, 1958; the Rev. Charles VAN DYNE, April, 1959.


Jan. 19, 1961

McDonald Record-Outlook


The congregation of the First U. P. Church, McDonald, on January 11, voted to change the name of the church to Calvary U. P. Church. The new name will be used after February 1.

This action was taken at the annual congregational meeting at which the following officers were elected;

Session: Graves BIRNIE, Lee CAMERON, Oscar NELSON, and Ronald PREVOST

Board of Trustees: Edward RETTINGER, John ROTHS, and George WILSON

Congregational Chairman: Mrs. Groff MILLER

Financial Secretary: Miss Ruby SMITH

Congregational Treasurer: William M. SMITH

Auditor: Miss Marie PATTERSON

Nominating Committee: Mrs. G. A. MCWREATH, Sr., Miss Margaret MCKEE, and Cecil CLARK

Ordination and installation of ruling elders will be held January 29 when the other officers will be installed.



* See Town-Talk section for a more information on the history of McDonald Pa.* 


     These newspaper items were researched and typed by Victoria Hospodar Valentine for the over the course of 5 years.  Vicki had submitted hundreds of articles to the PAWASHIN-L@rootsweb.com mailing list and other Lists.

     Her work is presented here in the McDonald, PA section of this website.  Please use the links to navigate or use on site search engines to locate articles.  


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     These newspaper items were researched and typed by Victoria Hospodar Valentine for the over the course of 5 years.  Vicki had submitted hundreds of articles to the PAWASHIN-L@rootsweb.com mailing list and other Lists.

     Her work is presented here in the McDonald, PA section of this website.  Please use the links to navigate or use on-site search engines to locate articles.  


Use the search feature to search the entire collection.


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