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Mon Valley History

Carroll Township, Washington Co.

From: The History of Washington County, Earle L. Forrest, 1926


Submitted by Dave Copenhaver



 
    Carroll Township, situated in the Horseshoe, also known as the Great Bend of the Monongahela River, includes the Horseshoe Bottom in which Donora is now located. There has been much coal development in this township, and along the river are many mills, principally owned by the American Steel and Wire Company and located in Donora, which is built on the site of West Columbia.
    The territory now in Carroll was formerly parts of Fallowfield and Nottingham. A new township was formed in 1834 and named Knox, but when the court made the decree it was changed to Carroll. The reason for this is not now apparent.
    Just who the first settlers of this section were we can not say, but it is known that prior to 1790 the following men lived there:  Daniel and Joseph Depue, Samuel Cole, Thomas Nichol, Jacob Stillwagon, Cornelius and Peter Weyandt, Robert Galloway, Harmonus Cole, Andrew Platter, Thomas Shaver, John Ammon, James Coulter, Jacob Rape Jr., William VanHorn, Thomas Legg, Joseph Hall, George Grant, Samuel Baxter, Nicholas Depue, Samuel Quimby, Martin Wirt, David Grant, Isaac Teeple, Richard and Stacy Storer, Robert and Alexander George, Conrad Ammon, Peter Castner, Daniel and James Rice, John Shouse, Jacob Ammon, Samuel VanVoorhis, Gen. John Hamilton, David VanVoorhis, Vincent Colvin, Isaac Cole, Jonathan and Daniel Hamilton,
Abraham Frye Sr., Abraham Frye Jr., Frederick Cooper, Samuel Frye, Abraham Brokaw, and many others.
    Thomas Nichol kept a ferry at the point where Donora now stands. Before 1800 and during the early years of the past century there were a number of grist and saw mills on Pigeon and Mingo creeks. Benjamin Parkinson, of Williamsport, now Monongahela city, came into possession of the mills at the mouth of Mingo Creek as early as 1800, and operated them for a number of years. One of these was the old River mill, at the mouth of Mingo Creek, which was one of the best known in the Western country. He carried on quite a manufacturing business at both Mingo and Elkton, where he had two distilleries, three grist mills, a woolen factory, a comb factory, a sickle factory and a gun factory.
    The VanVoorhis mill, on Pigeon Creek, was also famous in its day, as was Cowan's mill.  Joseph Beckett ran a distillery opposite the old brick house at Baird Station. Where Yohe's slaughter house now stands, on Pigeon Creek, was Black's mill. A dam crossed the creek just above this point.
One of the first glass factories west of the Alleghany Mountains was established in this township by Maj. H. A. Warne, a soldier in the War of 1812, in connection with his boat building business.  Another glass factory was erected at Dry Run by Samuel Black in 1824, who also built the first
mill at that point. This was a tramp mill, the power for' which was supplied by oxen.
    The churches in Carroll Township are the United Brethren Church, a mile and a half from Monongahela city, on the Washington-Monongahela Pike, and the Ginger Hill Lutheran Church. In early days the Horseshoe Bottom Presbyterian and the Horseshoe Bottom Baptist churches were located in Carroll Township, but these congregations have removed to Monongahela city.
    The first school in Carroll Township was in a log building near Witherow's blacksmith shop, three and one-half miles southeast of Monongahela city.  The date this school was started is uncertain.  In 1796 another school was opened in a log building at Parkinson's Ferry, nowMonongahela city.  There are now twenty-six teachers in the township's ten schools, as follows:  Victory Hill, Star Sampson, Alexander, Taylor's Run, Wylie, Stone, Haywood, Valley Inn, and Mingo.
    Coal mining in Carroll Township goes back to a very early date. In 1814 there was a small mine at West Columbia. As this township has a big river frontage, there were formerly a number of tipples for loading coal on barges as well as the railroad. There were such mines as Black Diamond, Catsburg, Ivil, Schoenberger, Dunkirk, and Hazelkirk. Recently Black Diamond and Schoenberger have been dismantled, the coal all having been removed.  The following coal companies still own coal in this township: Pittsburgh Coal Company, 1,326 acres coal; Mingo Coal Com-pany, 1,132 acres coal; H. C. Frick Coal and Coke Company, 577 acres coal; Youghiogheny & Ohio Coal
Company, 185 acres coal; Union Coal and Coke Company, Dunkirk mine, 114 acres coal; Hazelkirk mine, 13 acres coal; National Mining Company, 114 acres coal; Smith Coal Company, 1.3 acres coal.
    The following statistics from the commissioners' office show the present condition of the township: Number of taxables, 1,410; acres of cleared land, 8,398; acres of timber land, 75; value of real estate, $1,996,965; value of real estate exempt from taxation, $60,000; value of real estate taxable,
$1,936,965; number of horses and mules over four years of age, 284; value of the same, $21,310; number of neat cattle over four years of age, 471; value of same, $18,020; value of salaries, posts of profit, professions, trades, etc., $140,940; aggregate value of all property taxable for county purposes, $2,117,235; aggregate amount of county tax assessed, $15,879.99; amount of
money at interest, mortgages, judgments, bonds, etc., $204,566; aggregate amount of county tax assessed on money at interest, $818.27; amount of tax levied or appropriated for roads and bridges, $17,379.52; amount of tax levied for schools, not including state appropriation, $38,670.63; amount of tax levied or appropriated for all other purposes, $16,698.26; total amount of tax levied or appropriated for all purposes, $72,748.41; amount of tax levied on personal property, $2,057.16; tax levied on occupations, $9,229.57; tax levied on real estate of railroads, $29.93; tax levied on
real estate of corporations, not including railroads, $42,042.10.
    At Frye Station, on the Marianna branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad, is the Dunkirk mine, of the Union Coal and Coke Company. This mine was opened by the Dunkirk Gas Coal Company about twenty-three years ago. Later it was owned by Pittsburgh and Westmoreland Coal Company, but was recently purchased by the present owner.  Near by is Roth's brewery, operated for a number of years before national prohibition.
    Hazelkirk is another mining town, located on the Marianna branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad.  There was formerly a post office here called Ivanhoe, but it has been abolished. VanVoorhis is another mining town in this township, with a post office of the same name.
    Riverview is a town of some size, which was laid out by J. S. Markell in 1901. It adjoins New Eagle, and will probably some day be a part of Monongahela city.
    The old Black Diamond mines adjoin Monongahela city, part of the village there being located in that place.  For many years this was an important coal mine, but it was recently dismantled. The post office here is called Hazzard.
    Eldora was laid out in 1901 by James A. Pahe with an amusement park which is popular among the people of Monongahela city. Since the town was first laid out additions have 'been made, the largest by John M. Wanner.
    The small village of Baidland is located on the Washington-Monongahela Pike, two miles from Monongahela. In early times a tavern known as Valley Inn was kept on the pike at this point, and the place was so known until about thirty-five years ago, when the name was changed to Baidland when the post office was established. William Lamont, who kept a store there, was the
first postmaster. The office was abolished by rural free delivery.

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