This busy manufacturing center is situated in the valley of the Big Beaver Creek, about three and a half miles from its mouth. The town occupies mainly a plateau some fifty or sixty feet above the creek, and has thus excellent natural drainage. The hills on either side, especially to the west, rise boldly to a height of perhaps two hundred feet, with immense perpendicular cliffs, making very wild and picturesque scenery. The high ground here was formerly covered with those blocks of granite known to geologists as "erratics," which are supposed to have been transported hither from the Canadian highlands by icebergs and deposited as the bergs melted
Very early the immense water power afforded by the Falls of the Beaver at this point, and the consequent possibilities of successful manufacturing being carried on here, impressed themselves upon all visitors. Among those who perceived these advantages at an early period was General Daniel Brodhead, who, while commandant at Fort Pitt (1779-1781), became well acquainted with this locality, and on the very day that the celebrated Land Act of April 3, 1792, was passed by the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, offering for sale the vacant lands within the Commonwealth, he, being then Surveyor General of the State, took out two warrants of four hundred acres each for lands lying on Walnut Bottom Run, opposite the great, or Middle Falls 1) of the Beaver, on which the town of Old Brighton (now part of Beaver Falls) was afterwards located. In August, 1801, Brodhead sold these two tracts of land to David Hoopes of Chester County, Pa., for three thousand dollars. Previous to 1800, Dr. Samuel Adams, spoken of in our chapter on the medical history of the county, had settled at the Upper Falls of the Beaver on a tract of four hundred acres, and had built a dam, erected a sawmill, and made other improvements. His land extended from what is now Seventeenth Street, Beaver Falls, north to what is known as Twenty eighth Street, College Hill borough; and west including what is now called Mount Washington. The place was later named for him, "Adamsville."
1) In early times there were three general divisions of the Falls of the Beaver. named respectively the "Upper Falls," the "Middle Falls," and the "Lower Falls." They were situated about as follows: the Upper Falls, were near the present Fetterman Bridge; the Middle Falls, near the present Tenth Street Bridge, and the Lower Falls near the Fallston Bridge. Day's Historical Collections says (page 108): "The Beaver river, within five miles of its mouth, fans 69 feet. 'The Palls' originally consisted of a succession of rapids for about two thirds of that distance. By individual and state enterprise the stream has been made to assume a succession of pools and dams. Five miles from the mouth is a dam of 15 feet: a mile below, another of 20 feet - a mile below that two others, giving together a fall of 19 feet; and near the mouth another, with a fall of 15 feet at low water." The date of this publication is 1843. The darns are today about the same, except that at the point where it is said there were two which is at Fallston, there is now but one, and the second one named in the excerpt ("so ft.") has been built higher. This was done by the Beaver Falls Water Power Co., which supplies by mans of it extensive manufacturing establishments.
In 1801, David Hoopes, who, as stated above, had purchased from General Brodhead two four hundred acre tracts at the Middle Falls, took possession of the same, and, with others, began to build mills. Hoopes, Townsend & Co. erected a sawmill, which was shortly afterwards burned, but soon rebuilt, and later a flouring mill, the second of its kind in the valley, was added. They soon began also the erection of a forge near the mills, but before it was finished the entire property was sold to Isaac Wilson. The latter took hold of the plants in 1805, and completed the forge the following year, and commenced soon to build a charcoal furnace. September 13, 1808, Mr. Wilson sold a half interest in the whole property to Messrs. Barker & Gregg for $16,000, and the firm was then known as Isaac Wilson & Co.
In 1806 a town plot was made by this firm and lots were sold, and a brisk business began to be built up. In 1808, Wilson, Barker & Gregg were operating their iron blast furnace, and manufactured for several years stoves, pig iron, hollow ware, etc., using the kidney ore found on the ground. In April, 1812, Barker & Gregg purchased from Wilson for $15,000 the other half interest in the property. The plants later became the property of Oliver Ormsby of Allegheny County, who actively operated them under the able management of John Dickey and James Glenn until 1818. The financial depression then became so great that the furnaces could not be worked profitably, and the whole property was allowed to go down. When David Hoopes came on from Chester County to take possession of this property at the time referred to above, he had found several settlers seated on the lands and claiming them under the provision of the law of 1792, relating to securing title by "settlement and improvement." General Brodhead had instituted suit in the United States Court of Equity against these persons and had secured judgment in his favor, but Hoopes had trouble with them also and had to buy from some of them fifty acres at one time and fifty at another. Had it not been for this trouble about the title, the Harmony Society, which later did so much for the development of the business interests of Beaver Falls, would have located here instead of going to Posey County, Indiana. Shortly before their removal thither they had tried to purchase these two tracts, with the improvements thereon, for $32,000, but were discouraged from the purchase by the difficulties in the way of securing a clear title to a large part of the property.
We have said that in 1806 a town was plotted on this property by Isaac Wilson & Co. The survey for this was made by two brothers, named Constable, from Brighton, England. As a favor they were allowed to name the new town, and they chose the name of their home town for it, calling it Brighton. This name was retained for some years, but when a town was laid out on the east side of the Beaver, which was first called East Brighton and afterwards New Brighton, the town on the west side came to be generally known as "Old Brighton," and continued to be so designated until the time when the Harmony Society became the owners of the property on the west side. The latter place was thereafter called Beaver Falls, though that name is said to have been sometimes applied to it in the earliest days of its existence.
After the suspension of activity in the industries at this point of which we have spoken, the property remained idle until 1829, when it was bought from Mr. Ormsby by James Patterson of Philadelphia. Mr. Patterson acquired by this purchase 1300 acres, and the same year brought his family and some machinery to the place and began to improve the property, building a flouring mill with a capacity of 200 barrels a day, and a cotton factory which employed thirty five hands and yielded 3000 pounds of yarn per week. Mr. Patterson did much by his various enterprises to revive the trade of the whole region.
In 1829 Archibald Robertson built a steam paper mill in Brighton, which was operated successfully until 1849, when Mr. Robertson becoming convinced that water power was more economical, built another paper mill at the head of the falls. Mr. Robertson manufactured an excellent quality of printing and wall paper, employed a considerable number of hands, and did much for the general business interests of the valley. This second mill was in 1876 under the control of Frazier, Metzgar & Co.
Harris's Pittsburgh Business Directory for 1841 gives the following showing of the business occupations of the people of Brighton:
Laborers - David Ames, Jeremiah Maid, Emory Maloy. Millwright - James B. Angel. Paper makers - John Baker, James C. Fulton, James Roberts, H. Woods. Jessie Zeigler. Innkeepers - Luke Bland, Widow Sutliff. Blacksmith - David Boiles, William J. King. Farmers - John Boiles, Robert McGaughey.
Engineers - William Carter. Daniel Loomis. Carpenters - Robert Calhoun, Joseph Reeves. Calico printer - William Clayton. Clerks - J. K. Dean, C. H. Gould. William Harrison. Coal diggers - Charles Day, Nathan Dillon.
Machinists - James M. Greig and James Wilson. Canal boat captain - George Hemphill. Tanner - John R. Hoopes. Foreman flouring mill - H. Huggins. Sign painter - Samuel Kennedy. Cabinet makers - Horatio Large, Henry Sims, Sr., Henry Sims, Jr. Forgemen - John Martin, James Richards.
Tailors - Ephraim Martin, William Wallace. Brick maker - Robert Moffit. Teamsters - Joseph Mahaffee, John Murrell. Cooper - Peter W. Maltby.
Foreman cotton factory - Andrew Nelson. Storekeeper and flour merchant - James Patterson. Shoemaker - William B. Platte. Wheat agent - Ira Ransom. Paper mill owner - Alexander [Archibald] Robertson. Soap manufacturer - Isaac Warren. Saddler - David Whitla.
During the ownership of the lands here by James Patterson a town had been plotted by him, July 4, 1849, the plan of which was acknowledged before William Richardson, J. P., on the 4th of August following. The names of the streets starting with the creek were - Water, Front, and Second; those running at an angle of forty five degrees with the former were - Tank, Main, and Cedar; those at a right angle with the latter - Factory, Mill, Race, Mulberry, Linden, and Oak.
In 1859 the Harmony Society, which held several mortgages on this property, purchased it at sheriff's sale for the sum of $34,500, the deed being dated September 14th of that year. In 1866 the Society made a new survey of the town, and greatly enlarged its limits, extending it along the Beaver Creek nearly three miles, and began actively to carry on and to aid various manufacturing and other enterprises. The growth of the town in population and business became as a consequence very rapid, and in 1868 it was felt by the citizens that they should have the advantages of a borough incorporation.
INCORPORATION Accordingly at the September sessions of the court in that year application was made for incorporation as the "Borough of Beaver Falls," under the provisions of the Act of April 3, 1851, and, November 9, 1868, the decree of the court was made granting the application.'
In 1822 the United States Government sent engineers to examine the water power afforded by the several falls of the Big Beaver, with a view to establishing here a national armory. The report of the engineers favored this site, but it was not adopted owing to opposition from other sections. After the destruction of the arsenal at Harper's Ferry, efforts were made in the two sessions of Congress, 1861-2 and 1862-3, to have the Government purchase the Brighton property for the same purpose, but these were also unsuccessful.
Under the wise and generous policy of the Harmony Society Beaver Falls grew to be one of the most active manufacturing centers of western Pennsylvania, and we shall now give a brief account of the most important concerns of the town either in successful operation in the past or still running.
MANUFACTURING ENTERPRISES The Beaver Falls Cutlery Company was organized in 1867 by Dr. C. G. Hussey, General Thomas M. Howe, and James W. Brown of Pittsburg, the last named gentleman being now (1904) member of Congress from Allegheny County and president of the Colonial Steel Company of Monaca. A charter was obtained, October 13, 1867, and the plant was started on a small scale in Rochester, Pa., but it was shortly afterwards removed to Beaver Falls, where operations were begun in 1868 on the extensive premises in the lower end of the town, familiarly known as the "cutlery property." In 187o the concern was changed to a joint stock company, the ownership passing largely into the hands of the Harmony Society. The capital stock of the company was $400,000, and during the height of its prosperity its plant turned out over 1200 dozen of finished cutlery products. Labor troubles arising, the company tried the experiment of employing Chinese as workmen, having at one time four hundred of them in its shops. In 1886 the business having ceased to be profitable, the works were closed.
Metric Metal Works. - This concern, whose principal production was gas meters, occupied the cutlery buildings from 1888 until about 1892, when it was removed to Erie, Pa.
Eclipse Bicycle Company. - After the premises of the cutlery works were vacated by the last mentioned concern, they were occupied by a company from Indianapolis, Ind., which was organized in 1892 with a capital of $200,000 for the manufacture of the Eclipse Bicycle. In 1896 this plant was moved to Elmira, N. Y.
McCool Tube Company. - This was the next firm to occupy the buildings of the cutlery property. It was organized in 1896 for the purpose of manufacturing iron and steel and other material into tubes. In 1901 it was absorbed by the Shelby Steel Tube Company.
The Shelby Steel Tube Company was in 1901 made one of the constituent companies of the United States Steel Corporation. Soon after its passing to the control of that corporation the buildings were all destroyed by fire, with the exception of the one used by the New York-Pittsburg Company. (See below.)
Beaver Falls Car Works. - This enterprise was started in 1878 under the management of Hon. Henry Hice, president; John Reeves, secretary; Jacob Henrici, treasurer; and John Corbus, superintendent. The company manufactured all grades of cars, and did general repair and foundry work. January 15, 1886, the plant was destroyed by fire, with a total loss, except a little machinery. One week later the company secured room in the old cutlery works property, and began anew in a general machinists' business, which they continued for about a year after the Eclipse Bicycle Company came into the premises; they then moved to a building almost opposite, in which they had operated a foundry since the fire. Mr. John Corbus bought the machine shop and foundry at the time the former was moved, and ran the business until 1897, when it was given up.
Beaver Falls Iron Company. - Originally J. S. Craft Iron Works, which was succeeded by McKee, Anderson & Co. The latter firm was succeeded by the Beaver Falls Iron Company, organized in October, 1885, under the management of N. E. Whittaker, president, and E. C. Ewing, secretary. The works of this company were quite extensive, and gave employment to about one hundred and fifty men. The product was exclusively sheet iron. November 19, 1888, the plant was burned down and was not rebuilt.
Co-operative Foundry Association. - This was organized January 1, 1872, with the following officers: A. J. Sennett, president; I. Armor, secretary, and H. Dufford, treasurer. The capital stock was 25,000, and the product was stoves, hollow ware, and ranges. The concern did a good business, and was later known as the Paisley Foundry. It is not now in existence.
J. H. Knott & Company. - This firm owned a flouring mill, which was built in 1882 on the site of the old Patterson mill, which burned the year before. The members of this firm were John H. Knott, Joseph Wilson, F. K. Brierly, and M. Shaner, who was the miller in charge. The company did a general milling business for the local market. They sold out in 1896, and the building has since been used for other purposes.
The Old Brighton Paper Mill Company was started about 1835. The present Pittsburg, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway freight depot at the west end of Fifth Street is on its site. Robertson, Lee & McElroy were the original owners of this plant and operated it by steam. About the year 1840 it changed hands and was called the Pittsburgh Wall Paper Company, and under the new management was built the old paper mill at the Adamsville dam, where water power was used. In 1876 Frazier, Metzgar & Company operated this mill in the same building in which the Beaver Falls Paper Company was afterwards located.
The Beaver Falls Paper Company was organized in 1883. The mill was merely a branch of the New Castle establishment, and was owned by Dillworth Brothers of Pittsburg. It is no longer in operation.
Wagner's Brewery was established in 1880 by Henry Wagner, and had a yearly capacity of about five thousand barrels of beer. The plant stood on what is now known as Bridge Street, about one hundred yards from the overgrade bridge, and is not now in operation.
Spring Water Brewery was established by James Anderton in 1869, and is now the Anderton Brewing Company, which was incorporated in 1891 with a capital of $50,000, and with the following officers: James Anderton, president; Jonathan Anderton, vice president; and W. H. Anderton, secretary and treasurer. The brewery stands at Twenty fourth Street and the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway.
Whitla Glass Company, Limited, was organized in June, 1887, to make a general line of glassware. The officers were J. C. Whitla, president; J. P. Stone, secretary and treasurer; directors: Simon Harrold, John M. Hughes, F. G. Tallman, Stephen P. Stone, and J. R. Harrah. The plant was located in a large building on the east side of Seventh Avenue, near the present overgrade bridge, was equipped with the best modern machinery, and employed about 150 men. April 25, 1890, this concern was incorporated as The Valley Glass Company, with J. C. Whitla, president; J. P. Stone, secretary and treasurer; and Wm. Breitenstein, W. A. McCool, Simon Harrold, J. C. Whitla, J. P. Stone, John A. Ferguson, and Ernst Woelfel, as trustee of the Harmony Society, directors. The works were burned April 9, 1892, and were not rebuilt.
The Beaver Falls Gas Company was organized in 1871, with Hon. Henry Hice, president; J. H. Conway, vice president; F. S. Reader, secretary; George S. Barker, treasurer; and John Reeves, J. M. Fessenden, W. W. Keyser, James Edgar, and M. Naylor, directors. The capital stock was $75,000. The company manufactured illuminating gas, and supplied the towns of New Brighton and Beaver Falls, but finding it difficult to meet the competition of the companies supplying natural gas, they ceased to operate in 1902.
Keystone Chemical Works. - In February, 1887, Mr. C. C. Beggs began to manufacture silicate of soda for making soap, stiffening prints, etc., using for his works quarters in the rear of the Mayer pottery building. Mr. Abraham Green was the manager, seven men were employed, and a large daily output was shipped to all parts of the country. The works are no longer in operation.
The Pittsburg Hinge and Chain Factory, operated by Reiter & Armor, was founded in 1870, and was succeeded by the Pittsburg Chain Company, and they by the Baker Chain and Wagon Iron Company. While operated by the latter, this plant was burned down, October 25, 1885, and was not rebuilt.
Beaver Falls Glass Company, Limited. - This company was organized January 1, 1887, under the following officers: George E. Smith, chairman; C. T. Mustin, secretary and treasurer; J. H. Ohnsman, superintendent. In addition to the officers named, James M. May, H. W. Reeves, F. F. Brierly, and George W. Coates constituted a board of managers. The firm employed about two hundred men, and manufactured all varieties of pressed glassware, which they shipped to every part of the country. This concern went out of business some years ago, but their premises are now occupied by the Imperial Glass Company, mentioned below.
Algeo & Sons' Coffin Works were removed from Rochester, N. Y., to Pittsburg, and fifteen years later (about 1879) located in Beaver Falls, where they were operated successfully for a number of years.
Hartman Steel Company, Limited. - This company was organized in January, 1883, and in March of the same year the buildings, which had been begun in October preceding, were occupied, and the wire department put in operation. The property of the company consisted of twenty acres, situated on the "Marginal Railroad," which was operated by them. Nine hundred men were employed, and an immense daily output of all kinds of wire was made. Branch offices were maintained in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, St. Louis, and Chicago. The officers of the company were: H. W. Hartman, chairman; G. H. Wightman, secretary; R. A. Franks, treasurer; and F. G. Tallman, general superintendent.
This company has been succeeded by the following: Carnegie, Phipps & Company in 1892; Carnegie Steel Company, Ltd., in the spring of 1895; Consolidated Steel & Wire Company in the fall of 1895; American Steel & Wire Company of Illinois in 1898; and the American Steel & Wire Company of New Jersey in 1899, absorbed in 1901 by the United States Steel Corporation. Since 1899 the works have been shut down.
Emerson, Smith & Company, Limited. - This concern was organized under the firm name of Emerson, Ford & Company, in 1871. In February, 1877, a change in the membership of the firm gave the new name of Emerson, Smith & Company. This name was retained until July 16, 1884, when a dissolution of partnership occurring, a reorganization under the Pennsylvania limited partnership laws was effected, with the present title and with a capital of $250,000 of stock paid in. The officers were then: James E. Emerson, chairman; Julius F. Kurtz, Sr., vice chairman and treasurer; and Edward L. Hutchinson, secretary. The present officers are: J. F. Kurtz, Sr., chairman and treasurer; and E. L. Hutchinson, vice chairman and secretary. The company has agencies in San Francisco, New Orleans, and Atlanta; and its products, which are saws of all kinds and sizes, and saw tools and apparatus connected with mill saws, are in demand in all portions of the world.
Nicholson File Works. - The works of the Great Western File Company, Limited, were built in 1869 by David Blake and James M. Fessenden. Four years later the capacity was doubled. In 1875 the firm was changed to a limited company, with James M. Fessenden, chairman; E. L. Blake, secretary; and F. F. Foshay, treasurer.
On the 19th of April, 1880, the entire works were destroyed by fire, with an almost total loss, but in eighteen weeks they were rebuilt on a much larger scale and were again in active operation. In 1883 Hon. Henry Hice became chairman, and George W. Morrison, secretary and treasurer.
In 1899 the Great Western File Works was absorbed by the present company, under the style of the Nicholson File Works. The firm is composed of Eastern capitalists. At present (1904) the plant is not in operation.
Penn Bridge Company. - This concern was organized by T. B. White & Sons in 1868, and the plant was located in New Brighton. Ten years later the works were removed to their present site in Beaver Falls. The firm was reorganized and incorporated in 1887 as the Penn Bridge Company, and was then composed of the following members: S. P. White, T. S. White, J. F. Miner, J. F. Mitchell, and F. Degner. Its capital is $50,000, and the present officers are Hon. Samuel P. White, president; T. S. White, vice president; and J. F. Mitchell, secretary and treasurer.
The products of this company consist of wrought iron, steel, and combination bridges, iron sub structures, buildings, roof trusses, plate, box, and lattice girders, and general architectural ironwork. In 1902 they made, and they are still making, large additions to their plant.
Crucible Steel Company of America. - This company is the successor of the Beaver Falls Steel Works, which were estabfished in 1875 by Abel, Pedder & Company, and, three years later, bought by the Harmony Society, and operated by them in the manufacture of tool and file steel, iron center cast steel, soft steel, finished rolling coulters, patent cutlery steel, and cast and special plow steel, etc. About eighty hands were employed, and the products were shipped throughout the United States, into Canada, and occasionally into Mexico. The superintendent was Mr. James M. May, who had been connected with the enterprise since its origin. In August, 1881, the works of the Beaver Falls Steel Company were burned, but they were soon rebuilt, and, April 6, 1893, they were purchased from the Harmony Society by J. M. May, J. F. Merriman, G. W. Coates, and John T. Reeves, who operated them under the same name until July, 1900, when the company was absorbed by the Crucible Steel Company of America.
American Axe & Tool Company, formerly Hubbard & Company. - These works were established in 1870 by Joseph Graff & Company, and were operated by them until 1879, being known as "The Empire Axe & Hoe Works." March 16, 1875, the works were burned down, but were promptly rebuilt, being ready for operation again May 16, 1875. Later they were again burned.
In 1879 the firm name was changed to Hubbard, Bakewell & Company, these parties securing the works as a branch to their extensive plant in Allegheny County. Later the firm was known as Hubbard & Company, and consisted of the following members: Charles W. Hubbard, S. A. Rankin, D. M. Long, Charles Lockhart, W. W. Frew, and S. D. Hubbard, the last named gentleman managing the works.
In 1893 this company was absorbed by the American Axe & Tool Company. The present superintendent is F. T. Powell. The axes made here are sold in the whole of the United States, in Canada, and in South America.
Ames Shovel & Tool Company, formerly H. M. Myers & Company, Limited. - In 1869 the "Economy Works" were established by Myers & Armor, and in 1875 the firm of H. M. Myers & Company, Limited, was formed, with H. M. Myers, chairman; Joseph M. Morrison, secretary, and John Reeves, treasurer. Its products were shovels, spades, and scoops of all kinds, and it gave employment to a large number of men. Its market was the whole Union. In 1902 this company was absorbed by the Ames Shovel & Tool Company. Mr. C. H. Myers is the general manager.
Imperial Glass Company. - This company, which occupies the premises of the Beaver Falls Glass Company, Limited, was incorporated in 1900 with a capital of $50,000 for the manufacture of glassware.
Co-operative Flint Glass Company, Limited, succeeding the Beaver Falls Co-operative Glass Company. - The latter concern was organized February 7, 1879, under the management of John Stoehr, chairman, and George K. Brown, secretary and treasurer. At a later date the firm was composed of the following officers: William Scheffier, Sr., chairman; C. C. Vogely, secretary and treasurer; Philip Scharf, foreman. The company manufactured general glass tableware, etc., and found a market in all parts of the United States and in portions of South America. This company was succeeded by the Co-operative Flint Glass Company, Limited, organized in 1889, with J. H. Ruhlandt, chairman, and Charles W. Klein, secretary and treasurer.
Howard Stove Company. - The works of this company were formerly controlled by A. F. Wolf, who started a stove foundry in 1868, and after suffering two losses by fire, sold in 1883. The present officers are Jacob Ecki, manager; and James D. Perrott, secretary and treasurer; with Howard D. Perrott and Frank C. Perrott, traveling representatives. The products of this company are all kinds of stoves and ranges, and a good market is found for them everywhere.
Knott, Harker & Company organized in 1884, and operated for a few months in New Brighton, where they bought the property of the American Grate & Fender Company. They then removed to Beaver Falls. The officers of the company are: Joseph Wilson, president; J. W. Knott, secretary and treasurer; and W. G. Harker, superintendent. F. F. and F. K. Briefly are also members of the firm.
The company has a capital of $50,000. They are founders and machinists, and manufacture and deal in mantels, grates, and all kinds of fireplace goods, and are doing a large business.
Keystone Driller Company. - In 1880 Mr. R. M. Downie invented and patented a steam drill, and in 1882 a company was formed to put it on the market, with Mr. Downie, superintendent, and Rev. H. H. George, D.D., chairman of the board of directors. The company operated successfully in Fallston for several years, and then removed to Beaver Falls. The company's title was at first the Keystone Portable Steam Driller Company, Limited, but in 1891 it was incorporated under its present name, with a capital of $300,000. The present officers are Rev. D. M. McAllister, D.D., president; R. M. Downie, secretary and manager, and R. G. Forbes, treasurer. In the fall of 1902 the plant was almost entirely destroyed by fire, but has since been rebuilt.
Beaver Falls Planing Mill Company. - This company was organized in 1878 by Simon Harrold, who had conducted a general planing mill business until 1877, when the concern passed into the hands of S. N. Douthitt and Simon Harrold, who styled themselves the Beaver Falls Planing Mill Company. In April, 1886, George C. Wareham and Frank Pearson were admitted into partnership; and in September, 1887, the c0mpany became a limited concern, with the following officers: G. C. Wareham, chairman; Frank Pearson, secretary; and S. N. Douthitt, treasurer.
In 1893 the company was incorporated as the Beaver Falls Planing Mill Company, with a capital of $50,000, and the officers as follows: Frank Pearson, president; and Charles F. Ross, secretary and treasurer. About five or six years ago this company absorbed the firm of Wilson & Briefly, which was itself a reorganization of the old firm of Waddle, Wilson & Company. The firm last named, Waddle, Wilson & Company, deserve mention as having built in 1866 the first lime kiln opened near Beaver Falls. The first switch laid in the city was one from the railroad track to this kiln. This same firm also made the first purchase of real estate sold under the new corporation of Beaver Falls.
J. S. Mitchell & Sons. - This firm is composed of James S. Mitchell, Fred S. Mitchell, and David J. Mitchell, who, in 1898, came to Beaver Falls and bought the property formerly used by the Steam Planing Mill Company. The latter company had been organized June 25, 1887, as the successor of L. E. Pierce. Mitchell & Sons deal in rough and planed lumber and in general planing mill products.
The Beaver Falls Chemical Company was organized in 1884 to manufacture general chemical products. The company is composed of Cleveland men. Mr. W. C. Bailey is superintendent.
Mayer Pottery Company, Limited. - This company was organized in 1881, with Joseph Mayer, chairman, and Ernest Mayer, secretary and treasurer. The plant is large and complete in all its details, and manufactures as its specialty under glaze printed dinner, tea, and toilet ware. The factory was entirely destroyed by fire in 1896, and the new one is a modem plant in every respect. This firm does a large business throughout the United States. It manufactures yearly $150,000 worth of ware, and employs 175 hands.
On the site of the Mayer pottery a cooper shop was operated by James Patterson until 1859. At the same place Chapman & Company later made stoneware, crocks and jugs, and still later Elijah Webster had here a stone china pottery. With him was afterwards associated Benjamin Nowling. The plant was then run for a short time by the Harmony Society, who sold it to the Mayer Pottery Company.
The Beaver Falls Art Tile Company, Limited, was organized February 1, 1887, with the following officers: John Reeves, chairman; F. W. Walker, Jr., secretary and treasurer, and L. Roden, superintendent. The products are a superior quality of artistic decorative tile, including stove, fireplace, and mantel tiles. The present officers are J. M. May, chairman, and F. W. Walker, Jr., secretary, treasurer, and general manager. Capital, $47,500.
The premises used by this company were originally occupied in the fall of 1868 by Isaac A. Harvey, who made "Liverpool Ware." Later, Elijah Webster manufactured door knobs, and still later Joseph Graff manufactured yellow ware in the same place. While the latter was in business, the plant was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt by the Beaver Falls Art Tile Company.
A. S. & R. W. Hall Carriage Works. - This firm began operations in Beaver Falls April 1, 1874. It is the only one in this line in the town, and turns out a fine make of buggies, phaetons, barouches, buck and spring wagons, and general carriage goods.
The Valley Ice Company was incorporated in 1897, with a capital of $30,000. The officers are Frank Pearson, president; T. M. Adams, secretary and treasurer, and J. K. Fleming, manager. This firm manufactures pure ice and deals in ice, coal, and coke.
The Union Drawn Steel Company was incorporated in 1889, with a capital of $200,000. Its works and general offices are located at Beaver Falls, Pa. It manufactures high grade cold die rolled steel shafting, pump rods, piston rods, and special shapes of cold finished steel on a large scale, employing steadily between four and five hundred men, and has the heaviest payroll in the town. Its product is marketed in all parts of the world, and the company has warehouses in New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Chicago, where a large stock of bright, finished steel in rounds, flats, squares, and hexagons is carried at all times. It is also represented exclusively in all the principal American cities, which gives it exceptional distributing facilities. The manufacturing is done under patents covering machinery and appliances, by a process superior to anything known for producing work mathematically accurate as to size, of absolute straightness, and of a perfectly polished surface.
The company is fortunate in being located so as to have the service of two railroads - the Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt systems - and these roads haul annually for it nearly one hundred thousand tons of steel and iron. The officers are F. N. Beegle of Beaver Falls, president, and Frederick Davidson of Pittsburg, treasurer and secretary.
Finished Specialty and Machine Company. - This company is controlled by the Union Drawn Steel Company. It was organized in the fall of 1902, purchased the old nail mill property, and employs about fifty men.
The Standard Gauge Steel Company was incorporated in 1892. Its capital is $600,000, and its officers are as follows: A. Rasner, president; J. Wylie Forbes, vice president; J. A. B. Patterson, secretary; F. Dinger, treasurer, and S. Moltrup, superintendent. The firm manufactures finished machine keys, machine racks, square, flat, round, and special shapes in finished steel; also compressed steel elevator guides.
The Hartman Manufacturing Company, which formerly occupied these premises, removed to Ellwood City, Pa.
The Douglas-Whisler Brick Company was incorporated in 1898. Capital, $75,000, increased to $100,000. The officers of this company were as follows: W. C. Simpson, president; Abelard Whisler, secretary; and J. A. Douglas, superintendent (Douglas deceased, December 8, 1900); they are now W. C. Simpson, president and treasurer; J. R. Douglas, vice president; and Abelard Whisler, secretary. This company moved their offices to the Masonic building in Beaver Falls in the spring of 1902, at which time they began the erection of a plant for the making of brick at Eastvale. The offices are now at Eastvale, and the plant is in active operation.
The New York-Pittsburg Company. - This company was organized in 1902 for the manufacture of typewriters and an attachment for sewing machines for blind stitching. It is located in the remaining building of the property familiarly known as the cutlery works.
The Standard Connecting Rod Company was incorporated in 1902. Capital, $30,000. They are manufacturers of connecting rods, strap joints, finished crank shafts, and special rods. The officers are: A. Rasner, president; W. Moltrup, vice president; Arthur Ball, secretary, and S. Moltrup, treasurer.
Commercial Sash and Door Company, J. M. Hastings, president; Frank Pearson, secretary and treasurer. This company, which has its general offices in Pittsburg, built here in the summer of 1902 a large mill which stands over the race near the Tenth Street bridge.
McLean Bros. & Company operated a steam laundry under the name of the Mutual Laundry. The company was incorporated in 1902. Capital, $15,000. Officers: J. L. Kirkpatrick, president; D. H. A. McLean, vice president, and J. P. McLean, secretary and treasurer. This plant was shut down November 1903, and in February, 1904, was leased by the assignee, Mr. B. F. Dunkle of Bedford, Pa., who will operate it.
The Beaver Falls Supply Company was incorporated in 1902, with a capital of $15,000; officers: A. M. Jolly, president, W. S. Morrison, secretary and treasurer; and S. L. Adams, manager. The company produces natural gas pressure regulators.
The Mound Brick Company was incorporated 1902, with a capital of $15,000, and its officers were H. E. McLain, president; H. W. Reeves, secretary and treasurer. They are manufacturers of red brick.
The Beaver Valley Boiler Works manufactures boilers, stills, tanks, plate and sheet iron work. Charles Miller is manager.
Beaver Falls Manufacturing & Fuel Company. - This concern is owned and operated by the Messrs. Hileman, who handle coal and manufacture coal drilling machines.
The Keystone Store Service Company was organized for the purpose of manufacturing computing scales. About the first of 1902 the concern was absorbed by the National Computing Scale Company.
The Keystone Wire Matting Company, on Seventh Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues, are manufacturers of wire netting. T. C. McPherson is superintendent.
Max Solomon, dealer in scrap iron, has large yards near the west end of Tenth Street bridge. He employs thirty or forty men.
Ham, Ow & Company's foundry and machine shop was operated only a little while and was destroyed by fire.
J. Bell & Sons were manufacturers of kegs and barrels. The concern is not now in existence.
R. A. Bole, formerly in the flour and feed business, has been succeeded by John G. Allen.
Paper Box Factory. - This was a factory operated for some years by A. P. Bryson, upon whose death it was discontinued.
Walker & Hillman's Brush Works was on Fifth Street, where it crosses Walnut Bottom Run. It has not been in operation for some time. The brush works was succeeded by the plow factory of the Brown Manufacturing Company, now of Zanesville, Ohio. Later, a son of Mr. Walker of this firm established a brush factory in which Mr. Walter Foss was afterwards interested. It also has not been in operation for some time.
The Beaver Valley Brush Works. - This plant was at first operated by Stauffer & Pfeffer on the present site of the First National Bank. Later, George E. Smith and J. E. Kirchartz went into it. It was moved from the place above named to the old Masonic block, and from there to Fallston. Another brush works was operated by a man named Potter on the present site of Pfaff Brothers' store.
The Beaver Valley Trunk Works was established in 1893, and operated for a while. Their premises were in 1897 occupied by the Roberts Manufacturing Company, which ran about one year.
MISCELLANEOUS Beaver Valley Water Company. - This company owns the water works of all the towns in the valley except Beaver and Monaca. It has its offices in the Masonic building, Beaver Falls (see Chapter VII.).
Patterson Heights Street Railway Company. - Incorporated 1895; capital, $6000. Officers: John Reeves, president; James F. Merriman, secretary; John T. Reeves, treasurer.
The road operated by this company connects Patterson Heights with Beaver Falls, its terminus in the latter place being near the Penn Bridge Works.
Beaver Valley Street Railway Company and Beaver Falls Bridge Company are mentioned in Chapter VII.
Wholesale houses: Armour & Company; Cudahy Parking Company; McHattie Bros. (wholesale fruits, produce, butter, eggs, cheese, and grocers' specialties); Beaver Valley Produce Company; The D. L. Clark Company (manufacturing and wholesale confectioners, cigars, tobaccos, and grocers' sundries); Joseph B. Lytle (wholesale confectioner, dealer in tobacco cigars, cakes, crackers, and novelties).
BANKS, ETC. Economy Savings Institution. - This strong financial institution has been of great importance to the business interests of the county. It was established in March, 1868, with Hon. Henry Hice, president; H. T. Reeves, vice president; John Reeves, cashier; T. R. Hennon, assistant cashier; George W. Morrison, teller. The board of directors consisted of the officers and the Harmony Society, acting through its trustee, Jacob Henrici. The capital stock was at first $20,000, successively increased to $450,000, but the whole wealth of the Harmony Society was practically back of this institution. Its first place of business was at what is now Seventh Avenue and Fourth Street, in the building at present occupied by McHattie Brothers, but, February 1, 1870, it was removed to the new building, corner Seventh Avenue and Twelfth Street. This institution wound up its banking business May 1, 1893, and was succeeded by John T. Reeves & Company.
We mention here, as of interest, that the first telephone message sent in Beaver County passed between the central office in the cutlery works and the Economy Savings Institution.
Exchange Bank was founded in 1880, in the building afterwards occupied by the First National Bank. Its officers were: John Reeves, president; C. P. Wallace, cashier. In 1882 Mr. Wallace purchased the interest of Mr. Reeves, and removed the bank to its quarters on Seventh Avenue. In 1901 Mr. Wallace died, and the bank has ceased to exist.
The First National Bank was organized in July, 1885, with the following officers: Hon. Henry Hice, president; Joseph Wilson, vice president; P. Robertson, cashier; J M May, John Reeves, Simon Harrold, H. W. Reeves, H. C. Patterson, J. C. Whitla, J. L. McCartney, and the president and vice president, directors. The capital stock was at first $50,000, which has been augmented to $150,000. J. T. Reeves afterwards succeeded P. Robertson as cashier, and has been in turn succeeded by H. W. Reeves. The present officers are: John Reeves, president; J. M. May, vice president; H. W. Reeves, cashier; and W. F. Bell, assistant cashier. The present board of directors is John Reeves, J. M. May, W. A. McCool, H. C. Patterson, John T. Reeves, H. W. Reeves, George McHattie, Jos. Wilson, and J. W. Knott.
John T. Reeves & Co. - This firm, composed of John Reeves, John T. Reeves, James F. Merriman. H. W. Reeves, and J. M. May, was established April 17, 1893, succeeding the Economy Savings Institution. Its capital is $50,000.
The Farmers' National Bank was organized April 17, 1893, with a capital of $100,000, and officered as follows: Frank F. Brierly, president; Theodore P. Simpson, M.D., vice president, and George W. Morrison, cashier; directors: F. F. Brierly, J. R. Martin, Esq., Abram Bentley, T. P. Simpson, E. L. Hutchinson, J. M. Buchanan, Esq., M. L. Knight, J. C. Whitla, John S. Duss.
The present officers are: Frank F. Brierly, president; Theo. P. Simpson, M.D., vice president; George W. Morrison, cashier; Walter G. Bert, assistant cashier. Directors: F. F. Brierly, T. P. Simpson, M.D., J. R. Martin, Esq., Abram Bentley, A.M. Jolly, J. S. Louthan, M.D., L. W. Reed, Esq., George W. Morrison, E. L. Hutchinson.
The Federal Title & Trust Company of Beaver Falls was incorporated March 24, 1903, and has a capital stock of $150,000, fully paid. It began business. October 26, 1903, in temporary quarters, and about September I, 1904, removed into its new building at the corner of Eleventh Street and Seventh Avenue. Its officers are: Charles W. Klein, president; W. J. Davidson and H. C. Purviance, vice presidents; Walter W. Potts, secretary and treasurer.
BUILDING AND LOAN ASSOCIATIONS Of these useful institutions Beaver Falls has the following: People's Building and Loan Association, incorporated in 1888; Columbia Building and Loan Association, incorporated in 1894; Dime Savings and Loan Association, incorporated in 1896; Beaver Falls Building and Loan Association, organized in 1878; Carbon Building and Loan Association, incorporated in 1901; Union Alliance Building and Loan Association (composed of colored people). Two other similar institutions were in existence for a short time, viz., the Workingmen's Building and Loan Association and the Homestead Loan and Trust Company.
CHURCHES First Presbyterian Church. - Previous to the existence of a Presbyterian congregation in this place, irregular services by people of that faith had been held in the old school building; and May 1, 1866, a. union Sunday school had been started there with thirty scholars.
Sometime in 1867 application was made to Presbytery for an organization, and, November 22d in that year, a committee was appointed by Presbytery to organize a church in Beaver Falls, if the way should be clear. This committee organized a church with twenty three members, three of whom, William Frazier, A. C. Thorne, and W. W. Parkinson, were made ruling elders. Until the spring of 1868 the church had supplies, and at that time Rev. Albert Dilworth was settled as the first regular pastor. In the summer of 1869 a house of worship was commenced, which was dedicated April 14, 1870. Mr. Dilworth severed his relations to the congregation March 14, 1871, and it was supplied by Rev. R. R. McNulty until January, 1872. In that month and year the present pastor, Rev. J. D. Moorhead, began his work.
Following are the ruling elders in this congregation: M. L. Knight, J. A. B. Patterson, John Douds, H. E. Scott, Jas. F. Merriman, Geo. C. Wareham, S. C. Gormley, John A. Campbell and J. J. Kennedy.
The deacons are J. M. May, M.D., George W. Morrison, John Douds, J. A. B. Patterson, and the Sunday school superintendent is B. C. Barnard.
This church has a large brick house of worship, which a few years ago was greatly enlarged and beautified. Its present membership is 502.
Methodist Episcopal Church. - In the spring of 1867 the Rev. J. J. Mcllyar, then pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church in New Brighton. began to hold services in the schoolhouse in Beaver Falls, which were continued through the summer and fall. During the following winter a protracted effort was made, which resulted in quite a number of accessions to the New Brighton church. In the early spring of 1868 an effort was made to build a Methodist Episcopal church in Beaver Falls. A subscription paper was circulated and the effort met with hearty favor. Having secured the donation of two lots, and a loan of $2000 from the Harmony Society, the brethren proceeded to the immediate erection of a church. The basement story was completed the same year and formally dedicated by Rev. J. J. McIlyan The Rev. B. F. Sawhill took charge of the congregation, which then numbered about twenty members, and remained in charge till the spring conference of 1869. Since then the following pastors have served the church: 1869, John McCarty; 1870, J. R. Roller; 1871-4, W. B. Grace; 1874-6, Theodore Finley; 1876, S. T. Mitchell; 1877-9, D. A. McCready; 1879, Edward Williams; 1880, John Conner; 1881, J. E. Wright; 1882-5, M. M. Sweeny; 1885-9, A. H. Miller; 1889-94, M. J. Sleppy; 1894-7, G. W. Terbush; 1897-8, R. T. Miller; 1898-03, R. C. Wolf; 1904, R. B. Mansell, D. D.
During the pastorate of M. M. Sweeny the church was rebuilt at an expense of about $7000. It was again rebuilt and enlarged to its present proportions during the pastorate of M. J. Sleppy, at an expense of about $12,000.
This church was incorporated as the "First Methodist Episcopal Church of Beaver Falls," September 19, 1874, its incorporators being Henry T. Reeves, Henry M. Myers, William H. H. Jones, F. K. Brierly, Daniel C. McCann, F. F. Brierly, Thomas Leslie, John Snair, and Joseph Sponsler.
The Methodist Protestant Church of Beaver Falls was organized May 23, 1869, when most of the buildings in the town were below the Seventh Avenue hill, by members of the New Brighton church who had moved from the opposite side of the river.
The following persons were the organizers: Henry T. Reeves and wife; Charles Taylor and wife; George Zahler and wife; Abijah McClain, wife, and daughter Agnes; Mrs. Catharine McClain, Mrs. Sarah Howe; Mrs. Sarah Scott; John Kensley and wife.
The meeting place was the old brick schoolhouse, Seventh Avenue, near Eighth Street. Sunday school was organized July 11, 1869. Rev. John Hodgkinson was the first preacher in charge.
In July, 1869, a lot was donated by Mr. Henry T. Reeves, on which the present church building was erected. The building was commenced in May, 1870, and dedicated in July of the same year. The dedicatory services were in charge of the venerable Wm. Collier, D.D., who was at that time president of the Annual Conference. The church was served by Rev. S. F. Crowther for a time, and he was followed by Rev. John Hodgkinson, 186970. Rev. W. J. Shehan was the first regularly appointed pastor of the new church, serving it from September, 1870, to September, 1871; and at this time the membership numbered forty one and the Sunday school, 120.
Since this time the following pastors have served the church: Rev. J. F. Dyer, 1871-73; Rev. G. G. Westfall, 1873-75; Rev. G. B. Dotson, 1875-76; Rev. E. A. Brindley, 1876-77; Rev. M. B. Taylor, 1877-79; Rev. J. C. Berrien, 1879-80; Rev. John Gregory, 1880-82; Rev. J. C. Berrien (second appointment), 1882-91; Rev. W. R. Cowl, 1891-95; Rev. J. B. Nixon, 1895-99. Rev. C. F. Swift, the present pastor, was appointed by conference to this charge, September, 1899. During the pastorate of Dr. Westfall in 1874-75, the present parsonage was erected.
The church has been steadily increasing for thirty years, each 0f the pastors named having been instrumental in bringing valuable accessions to the society. During Mr. Berrien's long pastorate the church membership was more than doubled, and the property was enlarged by the addition of the commodious Sunday school rooms. During Mr. Cowl's pastorate the interior was frescoed and the audience room reseated. This congregation is now building at Thirteenth Street and Sixth Avenue a fine new stone church.
The First United Presbyterian Church of Beaver Falls. - This church was organized by a committee of the Presbytery July 26, 1869, with a membership of fifty one. It depended at first upon supplies, and the pastorates from the first have been as follows: Rev. J. I. Frazer, January 1, 1871, to April 10, 1883; Rev. E. N. McElree, February 1, 1885, to 1892; and Rev. R. W. Kidd, from 1892 until the present.
In 1869 a brick church was built at a cost of $6000, and in 1894 this was replaced by a much larger and very handsome building, also of brick, costing about $17,000. The church is in a flourishing condition. The present membership is about four hundred.
The Reformed Presbyterian Congregation of Beaver Falls. - This congregation was organized by committee of the Pittsburg Presbytery of that denomination, November 24, 1874, with twenty four members. J. D. McAnlis, Robert Paisley, and John Cook were its first ruling elders; and James Cook, J. B. Maxwell, and John Kirker its deacons. Its first pastor was Rev. R. J. George, who was installed June 15, 1875, and remained until 1892. He was followed by W. M. Glasgow, 1893-1899, and the present pastor, Rev. J. S. Thompson, began his work January, 1, 1901, the church having had supplies in the interim. The eldership was increased at intervals by the addition of the following: William R. Sterrett, R. J. Bole, William Pearce, R. A. Bole, and the diaconate by the addition of J. J. Kennedy, William Cook, John Copeland, D. P. White, R. M. Downie, S. W. McAnlis, C. J. Love, and William T. Anderson.
The church had at the date of its organization secured a fine lot in the central part of the town and on its principal street, Seventh Avenue, on which it shortly afterwards erected a substantial brick house of worship.
First Christian Church. - As early as the middle of 1884 a few persons in Beaver Falls who held the Christian belief began to assemble themselves together in private houses for worship, and in the early part of 1886 efforts were made to secure a regular organization. At this time occasional services were held in a small room on Seventh Avenue, and the people obtained the occasional ministry of Elder William F. Cowden of Allegheny City, and Dr. I. A. Thayer of New Castle.
In October, 1886, Elder C. G. Brelos, of Sharon, was called to this field by the missionary board of the first district of western Pennsylvania. In 1887 the church obtained a charter, and the following trustees were chosen: C. A. Barker of New Brighton, W. P. Barnum, and Geo. W. Casner. The present pastor is John R. McKee, and the membership is about 250.
First German Evangelical "St. Paul's Congregation." - This church was organized in 1871 with about twenty members. It has had two buildings; the first, a small structure, was sold, and the present one erected at a cost of about $3000. The pastors from the beginning have been as follows: Otto von Zech, the founder, 1871-75; G. T. Maller (supply), 1875-76; G. E. Sylla, 1876-77; John Muller, 1878-83; Otto von Zech, 1883-84; Wilh. Steinmann, 1884-85; M. F. Lauffer, 1886-87; C. J. Bohnen, in connection with New Castle, 1887-89; H. Wellhausen, 1889-90; Ewald Hann, 1890; E. F. Steinhagen, 1891- 92; Paul Kummer, 1893-96; T. P. Hansen (died during the year), 1896; and the present pastor, Johannes Scheer. This church has at present seventy ive supporting, and one hundred and fifty communicant, members
St. Mary's Protestant Episcopal Church, Beaver Falls, is the seventh Episcopal church in Beaver County, and was organized October 31, 1870. While the youngest Episcopal organization in Beaver County, St. Mary's is the largest, having a confirmed membership, in 1904, of 281. This church has been served by the following rectors: Rev. Henry Genever; Rev. Charles N. Spalding, D.D.; Rev. Thomas W. Martin; Rev. Samuel Edson; Rev. Hugh Q. Miller; Rev. H. J. Beagen; and the present incumbent, the Rev. Amos Bannister, who took charge of the parish August 30, 1893.
St. Mary's Catholic (German) Church. - The few German families who located themselves at Beaver Falls in early days were obliged to content themselves with the English services at St. Joseph's Church, New Brighton, or to travel to Rochester. They finally determined to build a church for themselves. By an independent movement they purchased a site, and erected a frame church, 60 x 36 feet, which they furnished very neatly, and which was dedicated by Bishop Domenec, July 4, 1872. Owing to the shutting down of the cutlery works, in which most of the members of this church found employment, they had at first a hard struggle, and did not obtain a pastor for two years. But the earnest efforts of the leaders, such as s John Paff, John Ebner, Joseph Daibler, John Anders, John Rebeske, and others like minded, tided the congregation over the hard times, and the church became prosperous. A brick parsonage was erected, and the membership was enlarged and encouraged. The congregation was at first under the care of the Carmelite fathers, one of whom, Father F. Otto, O. C. C., came to the field occasionally as a missionary. The first regular pastor was Father Herman Joseph Frieling, who was, after long service, followed by the present pastor, Father J. M. Wertz.
In 1896 the present noble church building was erected at a cost, with the interior furnishings, which are very fine, of about $35,000; and, in 1901, an annex was made to the parsonage costing $3797. The present membership is principally composed of German and English families, which number 172; and in addition there are about 100 Polish, 15 Slav, 15 Hungarian, and 30 Italian families i all, 332 families, estimated to give to the parish the care of over 1600 souls.
United German Evangelical Protestant Church. - In 1871 a few persons met for the purpose of holding a Sunday school in the old public school building on the lower end of Seventh Avenue, Beaver Falls, and finally associated themselves together as members of a congregation. For some time they held services in the buildings of other congregations, and finally bought at Seventh Avenue and Ninth Street a dwelling house, which they remodeled into a church. The panic of 1873 followed closely, and the congregation were compelled to sell this property, the proceeds of the sale being generously devoted to help other struggling churches, and for a time the church disbanded.
July 15, 1888, the following persons came together in order to reorganize the United German Evangelical Protestant Congregation: George Schmidt, Fred. Mix, Fritz Belke, M. Steinbrecher, Mrs. K. Selig, George M. Selig, Christ. Sauer, George Heineman, William Damasky. John O. Schmidt, John E. Miller, Christ. Wm. Reich, George H. Gerber, K. Muny, Christ. Holk, Henry Bimber, Fred. Schmidt, George Burham, Robt. Jahrman, William Damn, John Jung, John M. Eppler, Fred. Dressler, J. H. Schindehutte, and Ernst Dunkel.
George Schmidt was made president, and M. Steinbrecher, secretary pro tem. July 22d a committee was appointed to provide quarters for preaching services and Sunday school, and soon after a lot was bought for $r000 at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Vine Street. Here in 1890 a neat frame church was built, which cost in all about $4500.
The list of pastors is as follows: Pastor Firgau, 1888-89; Frederick Furst, 1889-90 Pastor Bauer, several months in 1891; H. Fuchs, August, 1891-93; Pastor Neuman, several months in 1893; Johann Schoenwandt, July, 1893-1900; Michael Orend, 1901-02; the present pastor being Rev. Paul Reikow. The membership of the church is at present forty.
Hebrew Congregation. - This congregation was originally organized in New Brighton, about forty years ago, by Raphael Steinfeld of that place. It has been identified with Beaver Falls for about twenty five years, but the membership has been drawn from other places, as New Brighton, Rochester, Beaver, and even New Castle. The synagogue is what was formerly known as Masonic Hall. The congregation has never had a regular rabbi, but has depended upon teachers and readers. Raphael Steinfeld was, however, a regularly ordained rabbi, made so in Europe, and those who have served the people are called rabbis. Of these we have only learned the name of Rabbi Wilkofsky, and the present minister, Rabbi Greene. There are now about twenty five members of the congregation.
There is a Jewish cemetery in New Brighton called the Tree of Life, the ground for which was donated to the cemetery association by Raphael Steinfeld. This cemetery is used by the Hebrews of Beaver and Lawrence counties.
Christ's Evangelical Lutheran Church, of Beaver Falls, was organized on Trinity Sunday, June 20, 1886. This congregation was organized to supply the needs of the English speaking Lutherans of Beaver Falls.
The Rev. J. W. Myers was elected the first pastor, and it was under his care and guidance that the congregation was organized. There were twenty five charter members. A charter was secured in 1887. The first communion was celebrated, July 18, 1886. The first services were held in the W. C. T. U. rooms on Seventh Avenue. Afterwards services were held in the German Methodist (Evangelical Association) Church, corner Fourth Avenue and Thirteenth Street, until the completion of the present church building, corner Fourth Avenue and Eleventh Street. This building, a frame 3o x 46 feet, and with a seating capacity of two hundred, was first occupied and dedicated on Trinity Sunday, '887. The basement is used as a Sunday school room, and for mid week services. The present membership of the church is 145, and of the Sunday school, 190. The congregation also owns a frame parsonage of eight rooms on Fourth Avenue, just in the rear of the church building. The value of the church property, including the parsonage, is $8000. The pastors of the congregation have been as follows: J. W. Myers, 1886; J. Howe Delo, 1888; J. Sarver, 1891; J. C. N. Park, 1894; C. Theodore Benze, 1897; John A. Zundel, 1898, the latter still in charge.
Immanuel's Church of the Evangelical Association. - Rev. L. Scheuermann, who started this church, began to preach in Beaver Falls on Sunday afternoons in June, 1876, in a hall above a saloon. Some accessions to the congregation were secured and the movement was prospering when, through the opposition of certain persons, the hall was closed to them. The English Methodists then opened the basement of their church for their use, prayer meeting was held, and, with the aid of brethren from Rochester, the work was continued. The formal organization may be dated from 1877, with William Marx, class leader and Sunday school superintendent; and C. Von Moos, exhorter. A. Kunigunde Herwig, Elis. Marx, Anna Hennig, Christ. Startz, Clara A. Dreher, and brother and sister Meckelburg were some of its first members. The following ministers have served in this charge: Rev. L. Scheuermann, 1876-77; Rev. Theo. Suhr, 1878-80; Rev. Geo. Goetz, 1880-02; Rev. J. Vogel, 1882-83; Rev. L. Pfeiffer, 1883-84; Rev. J. G. Ziegler, 1884-85; Rev. C. Wohlgemuth, 1885-87; Rev. J. H. Huebner, 1887-88; Rev. A. H. Wendt, 1888-89; Rev. C. W. Neuendorf, 1889-91; Rev. E. W. Yaecker, 1891-93; Rev J Finkbeiner, 1894-96; Rev. J. Hoffmann, 1897-99; Rev. Chas. Holliger, 1899-1900; Rev. Geo. W. Miller, 1900-01; Rev. J. Hoffman, 1901-03. Rev. J. Wahl is now pastor of this charge. A small frame church building was erected by Rev. Th Suhr in 1878, at a cost of $1500The present membership is fifty eight.
The First Baptist Church of Beaver Falls was constituted February 21, 1883, in the old brick schoolhouse at the corner of Eighth Street and Seventh Avenue, Rev. M. B. Sloan of Beaver acting as moderator, and George W. Yoho as clerk.
The following persons were constituent members: S. H. Myers, L. M. Guy, William Mellon, George W. Yoho, Richard Barton, Henry J. Lonkert, Richard Hemphill, John A. Mellon, W. J. Pierce, William Coulter, W. D. Fisher, S. K. Humes, and William T. Canes; Alice P. Humes, Pamelia Coulter, Anna Mellon, Nannie Crabb, Lizzie Myers, Elizabeth Pierce, Mary A. Guy, Mary J. Mellon, Mary E. Jackson, Elizabeth Barton, Emily Christy, Mary E. Lonkert, Maria M. Bennett, Mrs. raiser, Tillie Kaiser, Ella L Carnes, E. J. Dean, Isabella Lancaster and Susan Thompson.
The membership on July 1, 1903, was 140, at which time the pastor and officers were as follows: Rev. W. H. H. McKinney, pastor; Rev. M. B. Sloan, clerk; Miss Edith Pierce, treasurer; George W. Mitchell, James N. Dunlap, George Lowry, trustees; G. W. Mitchell, H. O. Craighead, and S. K. Humes, deacons; H. O. Craighead, superintendent of Bible School; superintendent of the Twenty fourth Mission Bible School, Miss Edna Pierce.
The church owns a valuable lot the corner of Sixth Avenue and Seventh Street, on which there is situated a brick church edifice with a seating capacity of 250.
United Brethren in Christ Mission was opened June 2, 1901, in Fox's Hall, corner of Third Avenue and Eighth Street. Previous to this, Mrs. Mary J. Campbell and members of her family had made arrangements with Rev. J. J. Funk of Industry to preach. At this meeting, June 2d, there were twelve persons present. Following this, services were held every Sabbath afternoon at three o'clock. June 23d, a finance committee was appointed, consisting of D. A. Messner, president; F. Y. Addis, secretary; and Thomas Campbell, treasurer. The meetings in Fox's Hall were continued until September 8, 1901, when the hall at 1821 Seventh Avenue was opened. Rev. Mr Funk preached twice in this place before the annual conference which met in Coalport, Pa., made Beaver Falls a mission station, and appointed Rev. J. R. King pastor. Mr. King, with his wife, had been superintending the mission work in Africa.
The church was formally organized, January 12, 1902, with Mr. King, pastor In the fall of 1902 Mr. King returned to Africa to resume his work, and Rev. C. W. Hutsler was appointed pastor of the church. The present membership is about thirty.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS The first annual report of the public schools of Beaver Falls was made in 1867. The old two room schoolhouse on Seventh Avenue was the only building owned by the district until 1872, when the Eleventh Street or Central building was erected, containing ten school rooms and a public hall. In 1875 this hall was divided, making two more school rooms, which the increased attendance demanded. In 1880 the Seventeenth Street building, with eight rooms, was erected, and, two years later, the Fifth Street building. By 1884 the increase was such as to require a class room for the relief of the grammar department, and one was provided in the Eleventh Street school, and a year later assistant teachers were employed in the first primary rooms of Eleventh and Seventeenth Street schools. In 1887 two more rooms were provided; and, in 1888, the Eighth Avenue building, with eight school rooms, was erected. The Fifth Avenue building, with eight rooms, was erected in 1898, and all the schools have now full day sessions. The High School, which was the first established in Beaver County, is in the Eleventh Street or Central school building. Its first commencement exercises were held May 20, 1879. The estimated value of the school property of Beaver Falls is $135,000.
The following is a list of the superintendents of the schools since their gradation: Miss Margaret Foulk, 1872-73; Rebecca Forbes, 1873-75; V. B. Baker, 1875-77; M. L. Knight, 187789; J. M. Reed, 1889-96; J. Y. McKinney, 1896-97; C. J. Boak, 1897-1902; Edward Maguire, 1902-04.
The public schools of Beaver Falls rank very high in the estimation of educators, and are the just pride of its citizens.
Geneva College belongs to the borough of College Hill, in connection with which its history is given, but it is popularly spoken of as belonging to Beaver Falls, and in reality is a part of the educational equipment of that place.
Two excellent commercial colleges are here also, viz., Butcher's Business College and Rand's Business College.
The Young Men's Christian Association was first represented in Beaver Falls by an organization which was effected about 1878, but which did not long continue. On the 29th of June, 1886, a new organization was effected, the incorporators, who were also the first board of managers, consisting of S. D. Hubbard, Robert J. Jamison, J. A. Millan, F. F. Brierly, J. F. Kurtz, Prof. E. P. Thompson, Dr. H. C. Watson, H. W. Reeves, Ernest Mayer, W. H. Chandley, and A. P. Bryson; with the following officers: F. F. Brierly, president; Ernest Mayer, vice president; Prof. E. P. Thompson, recording secretary; Lyman R. Swett, secretary; and A. P. Bryson, treasurer. For the first three months its meetings were held in the city council chamber, when commodious quarters were secured in the Surls Block, corner of Seventh Avenue and Thirteenth Street. This organization did a good work, but finally went the way of its predecessor.
The present Young Men's Christian Association of Beaver Falls, Pa., had its inception as a section of the State organization in October, 1902. Two rooms over 1224 Seventh Avenue were rented and fitted up as a reading and game room. In July, 1902, a Board of Directors was formed and organized by electing Joseph W. Knott, president; J. C. Brittain, recording secretary; and W. T. Reeder, treasurer. At a meeting of the directors, held August 18, 1902, Nathaniel I. Gordon of Jamestown, N. Y., was called to the office of general secretary, and assumed the duties of that office, September 1, 1902. At the same time, additional rooms were engaged over 1222 and 1224 Seventh Avenue.
A charter was granted the Association on April 1, 1903. In the charter the following were named as trustees: J. F. Merriman, H. W. Reeves, John A. Campbell, F. F. Brierly, R. M. Downie, M. L. Knight; and directors: J. W. Knott, J. C. Brittain, J. F. Merriman, Frank B Bruce, J. L. Kerr, Thos. Stenhouse, W. J. Dunlap, I. N. Mason, J. H. Ohnsman, W. T. Reeder, C. M. Emmons, Chas. N. Ramsey, Geo. W. Johnson, Robert Pearce, and Frank W. Richter. The directors organized by electing J. W. Knott, president; Thos. Stenhouse, 1st vice president; J. L. Kerr, 2d vice president; J. C. Brittain, recording secretary; and W. T. Reeder, treasurer. The Association has now 112 members.
The Ladies Auxiliary is composed of thirty members, with Mrs. H. W. Reeves, president; and Mrs. Chas. M. Emmons, secretary and treasurer.
SOCIETIES Harmony Chapter, No. 206, R. A. M., organized and chartered in 1870; meets in Masonic Building; Beaver Valley Lodge, No. 478, F. and A. M., organized and chartered in 1870, meets in Masonic Building; Rising Star Encampment, No. 264, I. O. O. F., organized December 10, 1883, meets in Lyceum Hall. Beaver Falls Lodge, No. 758, I. O. O. F., organized March 13, 1871, meets in Hanauer's Hall; Valley Echo Lodge, No. 622, I. O. O. F., chartered January 25, 1868, meets in Mechanics Hall; Beaver Valley Post, No. 164, G. A. R., Department of Pennsylvania, chartered April 8, 1880, meets in Dawson's Hall; Encampment No. 4, Union Veteran Legion, chartered December 2, 1885, meets in Hanauer's Hall; Beaver Valley Camp, No. 71, Pa. Div. S. V., U. S. A., chartered August 5, 1885, now defunct.
Beaver Falls Lodge, No. 10, I. O. O. F., meets in Martsolf Block; Beaver Falls Circle, No. 23, P. H. C., Ewing's Hall; Beaver Falls Turn Verein, organized August 2, 1871, has its own building; Myrtle Council, No. 121, N. U., chartered January 5, 1885; Schiller Grove, No. 8, U. A. O. D., chartered August 22, 1880, Lyceum Hall; the Fraternal Mystic Circle, chartered July 21, 1886, Hanauer's Hall; Beaver Falls Council, No. 311, R. A., organized April 18, 1879, Ewing's Hall; Mechanics Lodge, No. 28, A. O. U. W., organized September 19, 1872, Lyceum Hall.
Beaver Falls Council, No. 48, Jr. O. U. A. M., chartered August 11, 1884, Ewing's Hall; Concord Lodge, No. 75, A. O. U. W., organized May 28, 1874, consolidated with Mechanics Lodge, No. 28, in January of 1901; Lone Rock Lodge, No. 222, K. of P., chartered December 7, 1869, Hanauer's Hall; Malvina Lodge, No. 18, D. of R., organized October 2, 1869, Hanauer's Hall; the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association, St. Mary's Branch, No. 31, St. Mary's Hall; Beaver Falls Castle, No. 299, K. of G. E., Martsolf Hall; Knights of Malta, organized in 1891, Ewing's Hall; Lawton Camp, No. 7397, Modern Woodmen of the World, Fox Hall.
Walnut Camp, No. 2, Woodmen of the World, Fox Hall; Beaver Falls Tent, No. 53, Knights of the Maccabees, Fox Hall; Beaver Valley Lodge, No. 1288, Knights and Ladies of Honor, Fox Hall; Home Guards of America, Ewing's Hall; Beaver Falls Lodge, No. 348, B. P. O. E., Hanauer's Hall; Sons of St. George, Dawson's Hall; First German Sick Benefit Society, Hanauer's Hall; Beaver Falls Circle, No. 1, U. A. O. D., Hanauer's Hall; Social Grove, No. 9, U. A. O. D., Hanauer's Hall; Valley Falls Council, No. 6, Loyal Additional Benefit Association, Martsolf Block; Mound Valley Lodge, No. 733, I. O. G. T., Martsolf Block; Falls City Council, No. 385, O. U. A. M., Ewing's Hall; William McKinley Commandery, No. 311, Ancient and Ill., K. of M., Ewing's Hall; Honor Council No. 101, American Legion of Honor. HOTELS
Beaver Falls has several good hotels. These are: the Seventh Avenue Hotel, E. Fred Hughes and Robert L. Lowe, proprietors; Grand Hotel, William Boyle; Central, John M. Magaw; Hotel Anderson, Frank Macdonald; Windsor, Frank Teufel; and the Book House, John J. Patterson.
There are two theaters, the Sixth Avenue and the Lyceum.
Beaver Falls maintains a very efficient fire department. There are three companies - fifty volunteers and three paid men. The apparatus consists of one Silbsy fire-engine, one combination hose-wagon, one ladder-truck, and four hose-reels, and there are five head of horses to haul these. The three stations of the department are located as follows: No. 1, at Seventh Avenue and Eleventh Street; No. 2, at Twenty fourth Street and Eighth Avenue; and No. 3 at Eighteenth Street and Twelfth Avenue.
Newspaper Press. - Mention of the excellent local newspapers will be found in the chapter of this work devoted to the general history of the press in the county.
POSTOFFICE AND POPULATION The post office at what is now Beaver Falls was first known as Brighton. It was established in 1818 and discontinued, April 22, 1857. During this period the postmasters, with the dates of their service, were as follows: John Dickey, April 11, 1818; David Hoopes, May 17, 1821; James Patterson, December 26, 1832; Archibald Robertson, February 8, 1843; Matthew H. Robertson, December 19, 1850; James B. McCallan, June 19, 1856. Since the re-establishment of the office in 1867 under the name of Beaver Falls, the following have served: Edward A. Noble, July 3, 1867; Milo A. Townsend, February 11, 1869; James L. B. Dawson, December 10, 1872; Samuel S. McFerran, January 14, 1881; Win. H. Grim, February 28, 1889; Harry F. Hawkins, February 6, 1893-.
By the United States Census for 1900 the population of Beaver Falls was 10,054.
History of Beaver County Pennsylvania..., Rev. Joseph H. Bausman, A.M., Knickerbocker Press, NY,1904
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