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raised a company of volunteers, principally at his own expense, furnishing to those who were unable to do so, out of his own funds, all the necessaries for the intended expedition.
Early in the engagement Capt. Orr received a shot which broke his left arm. Of the whole detachment not one escaped; the wounded who were unable to travel, were all tomahawked on the ground; the remaining few, (among whom was Capt. Orr,) were brutally dragged through the wilderness to Lower Sandusky, regardless of their wounds and sufferings, where he was kept for several months; and the Indians finding that they could not effect a cure, took him to Detroit, where he remained in the hospital until the ensuing spring, when he was transferred to Montreal, and was exchanged early in the spring of 1783, when the few that remained of Col. Laughrey's regiment returned to their homes. On the 13th July, 1782, (during the imprisonment of the deceased,) Hannahstown was attacked and burnt down by the Indians, and Capt. Orr's house and all his property destroyed. On his return to Westmoreland co., in the summer of 1783, Capt. Orr raised another company for the defence of the frontier, to serve two months ; marched them to the mouth of Bull cr., N. W. of the Allegheny river, built a block-house there, and served out the necessary tour.
In the fall of the same year, 1783, he was elected sheriff of Westmoreland co.
In 1805, when Armstrong co. was organized for judicial purposes, Capt. Orr was appointed one of the associate judges of the co., which situation he continued to fill with honor to himself, and satisfaction to the community, until his death.
Freeport, a flourishing village on the right bank of the Allegheny river and Pa. canal, at the lower corner of the county, was laid out by David Todd about the year 1800. A few settlers had already occupied the ground previous to that time. The mouth of Buffalo creek, and the island, created a fine eddy opposite the village ; and it was probably antici
Distant view of Freeport, from a point below Buffalo creek. pated that it would become a popular rendezvous for boatmen and lumbermen during the season of floods. This circumstance raised great expectations in the minds of the proprietors. The lots were eagerly purchased, but before long became of little or no value : many were aban. doned or sold for taxes; and the village made but slow progress, until the construction of the canal. This work crosses the Allegheny about a mile above, passes through the centre of the village, and then crosses Buffalo creek on an aqueduct a short distance below. The erection of two aqueducts and a lock, and the facilities offered by the canal, gave an impetus to enterprise ; and the resources of the surrounding country began to be developed. Many salt wells were bored at the base of the
river hills south of the village, which are now in active operation. There is a steam saw-mill, a steam grist-mill, and the usual branches of manufacture for the supply of the contiguous agricultural population. The population of Freeport in 1840, was 727.
WARREN is a small village in Kiskiminetas township on the river of that name, about 20 miles south of Kittanning. It contains some 20 or 30 dwellings. The Pennsylvania canal passes the village.
LEECHBURG is a flourishing village on the canal at dam No. 1 on the Kiskiminetas, about 13 miles south of Kittanning. It was started at the time of the construction of the canal, under the auspices of Mr. Leech, a distinguished forwarding merchant. The business of building canal boats has been extensively carried on here. It contains some 30 or 40 dwellings.
LAWRENCEBURG is a small village in the northwest corner of the county, in Perry township, about 20 miles from Kittanning, containing about 20 houses, stores, &c.
Several of the exploits of Capt. Samuel Brady, the captain of the spies, occurred within the limits of Armstrong county. The extract given below is from the sketches of Brady's adventures published in the Blairsville Record in 1832. These sketches were written by Mr. M'Cabe, of Indiana, and the facts were principally derived from the brother of Capt. Brady, who still lives in Indiana county.
Capt. Samuel Brady was born in Shippensburg, in Cumberland co., in 1758, but soon after removed with his father to the West Branch of Susquehanna, a few miles above Northumberland. Cradled amid the alarms and excitements of a frontier exposed to savage warfare, Brady's military propensities were very early developed. He eagerly sought a post in the revolutionary army; was at the siege of Boston ; a lieutenant at the massacre of the Paoli; and in 1779 was ordered to Fort Pitt with the regiment under Gen. Broadhead. A short time previous to this, both his father and brother had fallen by the hands of Indians; and from that moment Brady took a solemn oath of vengeance against all Indians. And his future life was devoted to the fulfilment of his vow. While Gen. Broadhead held command at Fort Pitt, (1780–81,) Brady was often selected to command small scouting parties sent into the Indian country north and west of the fort, to watch th movements of the savages; a charge which Brady always fulfilled with his characteristic courage and sagacity. Brady's success as a partisan had acquired
for him its usual results—approbation with some, and envy with others. Some of his brother officers censured the commandant for affording him such frequent opportunities for honorable distinction. At length open complaint was made, ac. companied by a request, in the nature of a demand, that others should be permitted to share with Brady the perils and honors of the service, abroad from the fort. The general apprised Brady of what had passed, who readily acquiesced in the propriety of the proposed arrangements; and an opportunity was not long wanting for testing its efficiency.
The Indians made an inroad into the Sewickly settlement, committing the most barbarous murders, of men, women, and children; stealing such property as was portable, und destroying all else. The alarm was brought to Pittsburg, and a party of soldiers, under the command of the emulous officers, despatched for the protection of the settlements, and chastisement of the foe. From this expedition Brady was of course excluded; but the restraint was irksome to his feelings.
The day after the detachment had marched, Brady solicited permission from his commander to take a small party for the purpose of "catching the Indians ;" but was refused. By dint of importunity, however, he at length wrung from him a reluctant consent, and the command of five men; to this he added his pet Indian, and made hasty preparation.
Instead of moving towards Sewickly, as the first detachment had done, he crossed the Alle gheny at Pittsburg, and proceeded up the river. Conjecturing that the Indians had descended that stream in canoes, till near the settlement, he was careful to examine the mouths of all creeks coming into it, particularly from the southeast. At the mouth of Big Mahoning, about six miles above Kittanning, the canoes were seen drawn up to its western bank. He instantly retreated down the river, and waited for night. As soon as it was dark, he made a raft, and crossed to the Kittanning side. He then proceeded up to the creck, and found that the Indians had, in the mean time, crossed the creek, as their canoes were now drawn to its upper or northeastern bank.
The country on both sides of Mahoning, at its mouth, is rough and mountainous; and the stream, which was then high, very rapid. Several ineffectual attempts were made to wade it, which they at length succeeded in doing, three or four miles above the canoes. Next a fire was made, their clothing dried, and arms inspected ; and the party moved towards the Indian camp, which was pitched on the second bank of the river. Brady placed his men at some distance, on the lower or first bank.
The Indians had brought from Sewickly a stallion, which they had fettered and turned to pasture on the lower bank. An Indian, probably the owner, under the law of arms, came frequently down to him, and occasioned the party no little trouble. The horse, too, seemed willing to keep their company, and it required considerable circumspection to avoid all intercourse with either. Brady became so provoked that he had a strong inclination to tomahawk the Indian, but his calmer judgment repudiated the act, as likely to put to hazard a more decisive and important achievement.
At length the Indians seemed quiet, and the captain determined to pay them a closer visit. He had got quite near their fires; his pet Indian had caught him by the hair and gave it a pluck, intimating the advice to retire, which he would not venture to whisper ; but finding Brady regard. less of it, had crawled off-when the captain, who was scanning their numbers, and the position of their guns, observed one throw off his blanket and rise to his feet. It was altogether impracticable for Brady to move without being seen. He instantly decided to remain where he was, and risk what might happen. He drew his head slowly beneath the brow of the bank, putting his forehead to the earth for concealment. His next sensation was that of warm water poured into the hollow of his neck, as from the spout of a teapot, which, trickling down his back over the chilled skin, produced a feeling that even his iron nerves could scarce master. He felt quietly for his tomahawk, and had it been about him he probably would have used it; but he had divested himself even of that when preparing to approach the fires, lest by striking against the stones or gravel, it might give alarm. He was compelled, therefore, “nolens volens," to submit to this very unpleasant operation, until it should please his warriorship to refrain; which he soon did, and returning to his place wrapped himself up in his blanket, and composed himself for sleep as if nothing had happened.
Brady returned to and posted his men, and in the deepest silence all awaited the break of day. When it appeared, the Indians arose and stood around their fires; exulting, doubtless, in the scalps they had taken, the plunder they had acquired, and the injury they had inflicted on their enemies. Precarious joy-short-lived triumph! The avenger of blood was beside them! At a signal given, seven rifles cracked, and five Indians were dead ere they fell. Brady's well-known war-cry was heard, his party was among them, and their guns (mostly empty) were all secured. The remaining Indians instantly fled and disappeared. One was pursued by the trace of his blood, which he seems to have succeeded in stanching. The pet Indian then imitated the cry of a young wolf, which was answered by the wounded man, and the pursuit again renewed. A second time the wolf.cry was given and answered, and the pursuit continued into a windfall. Here he must have espied his pursuers, for he answered no more. Brady found his remains there three weeks afterwards, being led to the place by ravens that were preying on the carcass. The horse was unfettered, the plunder gathered, and the party commenced their return to Pittsburg, most of them descending in the Indian canoes. Three days after their return, the first de. tachment came in. They reported that they had followed the Indians closely, but that the lat. ter had got into their canoes and made their escape.
Brady's affair at Brady's Bend is given under the head of Clarion co.
The honor of having invented the "Independent Treasury" is generally awarded to Martin Van Buren, Amos Kendall, or some other statesman of Washington city; and yet, according to the annexed extract from the Pittsburg Daily American, of Sept. 16, 1842, the plan would seem to have been carried into successful operation in Armstrong co. long before it was ever thought of at Washington :
The Widow S********.-If not among the most extraordinary, this lady was, or we may say is, among the most original within the range of our acquaintance, excepting perhaps the more
lofty and renowned Madame Mitchell of Mackinaw, of whom we have spoken on several occasions. The widow S , at the time of our first acquaintance with that lady, owned and resided on one of the best farms on creek, in co., Pa. In person she was large and masculine, and being of German descent, spoke English but badly. Her farm was in the finest order; no one had better crops, or more generally had sure ones. The labor was performed prin. cipally by her sons, herself, and her daughters, with occasional assistance which she hired. But this conducting of farms is common with many other Pennsylvania widows. Some little time after our first acquaintance commenced with Mrs. S she married in 1825) a man named DBut notwithstanding this event, she neither took his name, nor did they reside together. Downed and lived upon a farm some few miles distant; each occupied their separate premises and farmed their own land-sold their own produce in their own name, and enjoyed their separate profits. To be sure D-would sometimes act as his wife's agent, and in making a market for his own produce would bargain at the same time for that of his wife; but always, in this case, in the name of the widows It was the habit of D
to visit his wife every Saturday evening, and remain at her house until Monday morning. This separation during the week was from no disagreement, but formally arranged for in their marriage settlement, which provided for this; with an addition deemed necessary by the frugal and thrifty bride, which was that D should pay annually so many hundred weight of flour for his own board and the keeping of his horse for the one day and two nights of every week which brought him to the comfortable mansion (a large brick house with double bank barn to match) of the loving widow S The parties continued in this conjugal state for several years, when D died. Her family had now grown up-her sons and daughters had become husbands and wives ; but all resided upon and worked the same farm. She was still the widow, not D, but sand by this name still announced herself, and made all her contracts and kept all her accounts. About a year after the death of D she repaired to her factor and confidential merchant in the county town of to take his counsel. An audience being granted, she stated to him that she had some intention to marry again, and advised with him on the subject, as an ordinary matter of business. “I should suppose that one so happily situated as you are, with every thing rich and comfortable about you, and your sons and daughters grown up, would not think of such a thing at your time of life. I would advise you by no means to entangle yourself again in any marriage alliance." "You tink not, Mr. H ." "Why, it is very sincerely the advice I would give you, if that is what you want,” said Mr. H “Well, dat may be all very well and very goot; but see here-a man I want, and a man I will have.” “O, that is a very different thing altogether, and in that case I would advise you by all means to marry,” said Mr. H
The ice being now broken, she stated to him that she had made up her mind to marry JK -, a substantial widower and farmer in the neighborhood-German like herself, and nearly of the same rotundity of form and feature. The same bargain was made, and the same arrangement as with D and which exists, we believe, to this day. She still resides on her own place, enjoying undisturbed its control and its profits ; and though the wife of Kretains her name of widow
SK - makes his appearance, with his well-known light Fagon, every Saturday evening, and takes his departure every Monday morning, and knows no more of what is doing at the farm of the widow S during the week, than on that of any other in the neighborhood. No two in the settlement have better horses, houses, or farms, or have them in better order, than K and the widow S and no two enjoy more of the good things of this world; to which they both add that perfect contentment of mind arising from having all that they wish and paying all that they e, even to the annual stipend of flour, which is regularly put in the mill to the credit of widow S by her affectionate and punctual spouse.
It may be added, as a remarkable fact, that this happy couple have no worldly property which they regard as being owned between them in common. We believe the widow S has had no children by either of her two last husbands. It is a singular instance of conjugal life, and without its parallel within the range of our knowledge. The facts are well known to many residing in the county of - - by whom the originals of this story will be readily recognised. *
The article above is copied precisely as it appeared in the paper, but in reply to our inquiries the editor has obligingly given us in full all the names left in blank above (for an obvious reason,) and has stated a number of other particulars concerning the family and characters of the parties concerned. Among other things he says: "All the particulars may be relied on as true to the letter, not having drawn upon fancy for a single fact there stated. The parties living all reside, and have done for many years, on Crooked creek, in Armstrong county; are wealthy and highly respected among their acquaintances. I certainly regarded Mrs. S as no common woman, and her presence indicates this. She is large and her bearing lofty, bold, and confident, (though no way immodest ;) but rather as one unconscious of error, and competent to the management of her own affairs, and unconscious of any impropriety in their details. No one ever imputed ought against her honor, or fairness in dealing. She has little or no disguise, and what she wants she asks for.” In a more recent letter he informs us that her last husband died this spring, (1843.) It remains to be seen whether she will marry again-and why not?
BEAVER COUNTY comprehends the region on both sides of the Ohio adjoining the mouth of Beaver. Length 34 miles, breadth 19—containing 646 square miles. The population in 1800 was 5,776, in 1820, 15,340, in 1830, 24,206, and in 1840, 29,368. The co. was separated from Allegheny and Washington by the act of 12th March, 1800. In 1803 it was fully organized for judicial purposes. The Ohio river enters the southwest corner of the co., and flows northwest of the centre, where it receives the Big Beaver, and immediately turns to its great southwestern course towards the Mississippi. Slippery Rock, a branch of Beaver, Racoon cr., and Little Beaver, small tributaries to the Ohio, are also in this
The southern and southeastern parts of the co. are hilly and broken, being much indented by the great streams; the soil upon the hills is of middling quality, but the region is interspersed with fine bottom lands, and level, or rolling lands, admirably adapted for grain and pasture. The mulberry and the vine have been successfully cultivated. The northern part has a gently undulating surface, with a soil well adapted for every variety of agriculture. The bituminous coal, limestone, and iron of the "great Pittsburg coal basin," are nearly everywhere accessible. A mineral spring, near Frankford, in the S. W. corner of the co., has been considerably frequented by invalids. It contains carbonic acid gas, carbonate of iron, carbonate of magnesia, muriate of soda, and sulphureted hydrogen gas.
Nothing in the co. challenges the attention of a stranger so much as its extraordinary capacity for manufacturing and commercial industry. To the south and east the Ohio opens a communication with all parts of the United States. To the north and northwest, the Sandy and Beaver canal, completed, effects a junction with the great Ohio canal ; while the Erie extension canal, now nearly pierced through to the lake, opens a communication to all the markets of that vast region. An almost incalculable amount of water power is afforded by the streams, but more particularly at the lower end of the Beaver river, and at the several dams erected for supplying the canals. The Falls of the Beaver alone, within six miles of its mouth, even in dry seasons, are said to afford power sufficient to drive 168 pairs of five feet burr millstones. A small proportion only of this power is yet put into operation. Added to these facilities for manufacturing, are the rich mines of coal, itself a driving power, and of iron, contiguous to all the important streams.
The first white men who ever made a settlement in what is now Beaver co., were probably the Moravian brethren, Zeisberger and others, in the year 1770. They had been laboring some time previously among the Monseys and Senecas, at Goshgoshunk and Lawenakanuck, on the Allegheny, above French cr., (see Venango and Bradford counties, but various discouragements had induced them to leave there, and accept an invitation tendered them from Pakanke and Glikkikan, Delaware chiefs living at Kaskaskunk, in what is now Butler co. The following account of their settlement is abridged from Loskiel's. history of the Moravian