Stear Family

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Stear Family - T.HE INDIANA PROGRESS, MAY 27, 1936 5Oc...
T.HE INDIANA PROGRESS, MAY 27, 1936 5Oc Smicksburg and the Mahonings By C. W. W. Elkin, M. D. P1TTIIUKGII, 1'ENNA. a on PA. EDITOR'S NOTE--Dr. Elkin, now o physician in Pittsburgh, Penna., was born in Smicksburg, Indiana county, a son of the late Francis and Mary Ann Elkin. He received his early education in the public schools of Smicksburg, and later was graduated from Allegheny College, Meadville, Penna., and from the Medical department of Johns Hopkins University at Baltimore, Md. Although he has not lived in Indiana county for sev- . eral years, he has continued to hold a close interest in its history and development through his frequent visits to his native county. His articles on Smicksburg and the Mahonings will depict his views on that part of Indiana county as seen by a historian and will narrate his personal experiences among his early friends, the natives of that community. The eighth installment of Dr. Elkin's historical sketches follows: In my last (7th) installment wrote of the varioue forms of diversions that the people enjoyed in the 90's. In a future article further forms of enjoyment will be described In this article I wish to mention briefly the families of Smicksburg and vicinity that were prominent down to recent times. My information is obtained, in part, from old biographical sketches, in part from local legend, and in part from recollection of the persons described. Among the earliest settlers of the Mahonings must be mentioned the Stear (sometimes spelled Steer) family. Apparently the Stears were ol German or so-called Pennsylvania Dutch extraction and migrated from Blair and Huntingdon counties in the early part of the 19th century and settled in the Mahonings where two sons of Nicholas Stear (John and George) became prominent; George came to the Stear settlement near Smicksburg in 1820, where, (1827) with his son Frederick, he built the first house in the village; bought the old Kirkpatrick grist mill in 1829 and replaced in by a new one. His sons, Frederick and Jacob, helped Rev. Sohmick to, lay out the town in 1827. Another son George was the second blacksmith in Smicksburg; he, and a half-brother, John, were among the early elders and deacons of the Lutheran Church, in which many older members of the families were active. Some of the John Stear (eldest son of Nicholas) family were connected by marriage to many other prominent West Mahoning families, such as the Kerr, Crissman, Lewis, Stiteler and Rouen families. Related to the George Stear family by marriage were the Flecks, Robinsons, Hyskells, Weav- he enjoyed specialized farming; and I can remember, as a young boy, how I, with several other boys from Smicksburg, made, the trip on bicycle each day to his farm to pull weeds or pick etones from the fields--for 60 cents a }ay. He was wont to ute unusual types of containers and conveyances in his farm work; small stones from the field were first placed in tall slender boxes and then loaded on a dumping 'cart for conveyance to the creek or some field gully. I An interesting coincidence in Mr. MoCormick's life was the fact that he painted the Presbyterian church he came west when a boy to the site built at Smicksburg in 1854, and of Smicksburg. We are told that he when that building wae no longer lelped carry the line or rope for needed as a church he purchased it, Rev. Schmick In laying out the town. transferred it to his farm where he Certainly at the age of 12 he could rebuilt it as a work shop. (He also not have taken his job very seriously purchased the old covered bridge at nor appreciated the fact that so Smicksburg and re-erected it across qualities. Born in Chester county n 1815, of Pennsylvania Dutch stock W tremendous- rJLrii B fles « * * By ELMO SCOTT WATSON A COSTLY WEEK-END, many of his descendants and relatives were to live and die in the village. At any rate he grew Into man- the re-channeled Mahoning on his f a r m ) . As a final mark of respect to his parents, who lie in the Presby- bood here, " acquired considerable j terian church lot at Smicksburg near Land, became prominent as a farmer, his own grave, he erected a large and built (about 1870) a large grist j monument where the church he mill; in his later years he retired helped build once stood. This monu- from active work to continue hie ment is distinctive not only for its hobby of making chairs. "Toby" , height but for its inscription to the was a man of large, bony physique, I effect that "The first to tread an an- not tall but strongly built. That he known path or a new truth to pro- was strong is attested by his state-. claim is by this world's dull realm ment that he had never been defeat| 0 f thought, adjudged eccentric or in- ed m a first figlit or a wrestling sane"--having reference to the wai- match. However, a few friends vol-1 e r wheel, which is also shown in one bas-relief on the monument, and _ his which, by many of Mr. McCormick's early years. Through hard work he contemporaries, was considered a unteered the information that Brink had turned the trick in acquired a large amount of property t folly, an impractical plaything But, in farm lands above Smicksburg i n spite of hie many discouragements along the Mahoning and on the east i and litigations over his invention, he side of the village where he built J lived to see his turbine water wheel what was the largest barn in the vi- · in universal use. cinity. Until his death he owned the ' property at the approach to the bridge. After retirement from farming and milling he occupied his time ---- --^men VdVomen "that M^^ff^S^SSSl^ 1 1 "* o^ as prominent.participants In any community, especially in one like Smicksburg in the 90's, it for weeks in water, split and shaped it into strips for his needs. Even today, after 35 years, one might find an old chair in the community, eseated by hie handiwork. Always ndustrious in his active years, later e found diversion by his daily visit o my father's store across the street, [ere, for hours, he would sit think- ng or reminiscing, of the 1840's or era and Stitelers. Their main sites ; of settlement were in Porter Township, Jefferson County, in the Trade City region, along the Little Mahon- had a membership in 1847 of 105 students and 10 teachers). Cornelius Another personage, talented, i L, owe was no t only the pioneer of musical, colorful, capable to a marked mtheranism in this region, but he degree was John B. McCormick. In was a merc hant, and a justice of the him was embodied the combined ef- j peace (18.54-1880). Related by mar- ect of worthy ancestry and the be- j r i a ge with the Condron, Irvin, Robin- nign influence of the right environ- I son gtiteler, Crissman, Beck and ment for developing the characteris- j otner prominent families, his work ics of a great man. Like many oth-- i n tlle community was carried on by er early settlers of Smicksburg he, I his e q ua ily capable son, J. Kurtz too, came from the Sinking Valley ij jOWe( w ho served as a pillar of the egion; but unlike most of them he I Lutheran church from 1876 to his i n g above and below Smicksburg, I near Georgeville, and near North all local affairs. Such Lowe and his son J. Kurtz Lowe. The former has been called by the Rev. M. S. Kemp (History oE the Smicksburg Charge, published by the Indiana Progress in 1900) ttte "Church Father" of the Smickeburg ot to (the former E. N. 1841; in 1842 he Lutheran church, although not that faith before his migration near Smicksburg Richey farm) in helped to organize Salem church an.4 ater Always honest, kind and tern- £ Qn | Mt church Councili tne erate, it was only in hie late years : flrg( . deaccm ( 1 8 4 2 -44) and served almost continuously as elder frrm 1844 to the time of his death in 1880. In 1843 he helped organize the tlnion iSabbath school, a nondenominational school in which were interested such well-known characters as J. A. McCormick (father of hat he sought the comfort of a hurch. In 1903 he was baptized nd confirmed in the little Episcopal Church of Bishop Cortlandt White- L OBD GEORGE GERMAIN, British secretary of state for the American colonies during th« War of the Revolution, was ready to leave London for a pleasant week-end at Stone- land in Sussex. The duties of his office had tired him and lie looked forward the quiet of the English countryside. On his way from his chambers he stopped at his office to sign some official papers. One of them ordered Sir William Howe in New York city to proceed north up the Hudson and Join forces with Burgoyne who would start south from Canada. Between them they would smash the rebel army. But the letter to Howe hadn't been "fair copied" and wasn't ready for the signature of the secretary of state. "So!" exclaimed my Lord Germain. "My poor horses must wait and I lose time because of this!" Then a clerk named D'Oyly said that he would make the "fair copy" and send It. So the "poor horses" of Lord Germain weren't kept standing in the street and he was able to hasten to country estate for a pleasant week-end. But those minutes that he did not to wait were costly ones for England. D'Oyly forgot to write the letter to Howe and when his Lordship returned to his office from his week-end in Sussex, he also forgot to ask about the matter. Howe stayed in New York instead of marching north along the Hudson. The result was that the unlucky Burgoyne blundered south to the inglorious end of his expedition at Saratoga. And Saratoga was the turning point of the Revolution. ©. Western Newspaper Union. .ead, and altho quite deaf he attend- d services regularly until his death n February 1904, at the age of 88. 'here thus passed away a "founder",^ Jacob Hyskell) George f l b f l°^ n '.^° r ^ .^ Ure k a e P was iStear (mentioned above), David Hys- tie WAS kgll Josepll Robinson, H. Criesman of Clay), John Travis (fath- Stiteler, Joseph nent and useful citizen. He was uried in the Presbyterian cemetery, rhere his grave, while better marked han that of his father, Peter, in the , fc Jodson orchard, is y all too many (father of Adam), Dr. Wills passea umiuLi«u | U m Condron, William people unmindful of w l t n h _-, '_., n t h A r s fTh1s school what urg. Old Toby" meant to Smicke- Ritchey and others. (This school was of Scotch-Uriah rather than of ln i$98. It was largely Point. Several members participated In thv Civil War (John, Gilbert, Henl y , Joh.i L., James, Francis). With the name has been associated much that recalls many pleasures to form- b e a u t i f u l wooded lulls overlooking the town and the creek on the north; the old mill, the dam and bridge west of t o w n , the old pond near the bridge; the stone quarry, and the evergreen woods along the creek. Another prominent family in the early settlement of Smicksburg and vicinity was that ol! the Stitelers, de scendants of Peter Stiteler another of the so-called Pennsylvania Dutch who came to Smicksburg about 182' where he lived in the first house in the village. He was buried in th orchard of the John Dodeon farn south-west of town where his grave has long been neglected. From hi marriage with Elizabeth Fleck have descended three sons, David, John ("Toby") and Joseph and large fam ilies prominent in lumbering, farm ing and industrial pursuits, and re lated by marriage to the Lowe, Lew is, Stear and Robinson families, detailed sketch of "Toby" Stitele will be given later. Equally prominent in the settle ment and development of Smicks jurg has been the Robinson family Joseph Robinson (1805-1855), a son of James Robinson, is listed as a wheelwright in the village in 1829. By his marriage to Elizabeth Gaha- an in 1831 have descended several families related by marriage to the Lowes, Streamers, Stitelers, Criss- mans, Condrons--all prominent in the business and professional world of 1830-1900. Mention should be made also of the descendants of Jacob Condron (1788-1865) and Elizabeth Lockhart, such as Mary and Sarah Lowe, Jane "Weston, George, David and Marion, and many subsequent large and p r o m i n e n t families, and o£ the various branches o£ the Lewis families represented by Capt. Evans, David, Gilbert, Henry, George, J o h n , John B., etc-., many of whom served in the Civil War. Space will only permit mere mention o£ other equally p r o m i n e n t families as the Goods, Berlis, Crawfords, Glcnnn, Westons, Cassidys, Lukeharta, Hyskells, Dodsons, Travises, Colemans, Ritchoys. Barretts, Blacks, Rowlands, Shafers, Hoovers, E l k i n s , Gahagans, Bowsers, Davises, Roddings, Bells. Works, Kerrs, Neals, Calhouns, Streamers, Williamsons Among those there stand out certain characters, the depicting ot whose lives gives us a picture as presented by story and legend as well as memory. To those who knew h i m , John F, Stiteler was a u n i q u e character Known generally as "Toby" ( w h y , I do not know; he did not smoke) he German or Pennsylvania Dutch ex- j through his efforts that the present traction. His grandmother was a ' c hurch was built in 1889-90; he was Buchanan (said to be^ related to the ac ti v e in every phase of its. life. But ~ "" - · . - - ^ ' + - - k e wag a i so active in many other pursuits; his association with the town foundry, planing mill and furniture works with A. R. Glenn, has been noted above. Still, at different times he conducted a farm machine President) and her father was the rlev. David Bard, whose family was instrumental in the founding of Bardstown, Kentucky, near which Abraham Lincoln was born, and near where "My Old Kentucky Home" now stands. It was from his grand- | age ncy a star mail route, a farm on mother Buchanan and his early , Little Mahoning (later owned by my teacher, Mrs. McCumber, who con-' f at her,--and yet with all these activities he found time to help his neighbor, his church and all move- Mrs. McCumber, who conducted a subscription school in Smicksburg, that he was given his incentive to take up p a i n t i n g . ments for good government in the Through the influence of this tal-' community. ented Yankee preacher's wife he n o t , Much as the writer might be in- only acquired an elemental education c i ined t 0 t ell of other prominent but learned to appreciate colors, pro- characters of Smicksburg and the portions and beauty in nature. This community of 35-40 years ago, space early training in paintfng later took wln not .permit. Suffice it to men- on practical application in the beautiful graining and painting of his home-made cabinet work, but also in several first-rate paintings that depicted local scenes or his conception of works of nature. Allied to his work in painting was his cabinet and f u r n i t u r e productions, and possibly there are still in existence in the Mahonings some of hie old chairs or high-boys. Whether Kfr. McCormick's musical ability was a result of heredity or lion such prominent colorful or popular personages as: Dr. David Crawford and his large family of boys; Capt. Davis Lukehart, the friend ot every young musician; the tall Elliott Shaffer on hia daily trips i "down town"; the fiery David Lewis I ("Tunnerish" to the boys); the church-going Calendar Coleman in his buck-board; the music-loving T. JW. Hyskell and his Methodist Choir; the loyal, religious, Elizabeth Robin- eon on her way to prayer-meeting; largely that of study and self-traiu-, the independent Thomas Rowland, in ing is not evident. That he was popular as a musician, especially in his his bare feet, driving his cows home from pasture; the hard-working Taxation's High Toll By RAYMOND PITCAIRN National Chairman Sentinels of the Republic^-That government i* best which govern* least. This was one ot the axioms of our sturdy Americans of earlier generations. It's being forgotten today. Americans are getting a lot more government their fathers got. And they're paying a lot more for it, too. How much more? A recently published long-range study of governmental costs offers some interesting answers. It shows, for example: That in 1850 approximately one cent out of every dollar earned in the United States was spent on the of government--federal, state and local. That by 1900 the proportion had risen to six cents out of every such dollar. That by 1929 government was taking twelve cents out of the dollar. And finally: That by 1934 the toll had mounted to nineteen cents out of each income dollar. Nor is that the entire story. Actually, government is spending more than it collects--and has been doing so for years. In 1934, the figures reveal, it spent approximately 35 cents out of every dollar earned by its citizens. difference, of course, helped swell public debt. What is the effect of this rising on the productive enterprise of our country? Let's consider it. Money spent by government is, in general, unproductive. Seldom does it create new opportunities for lasting employment. But money spent in private enterprise--in building homes, in expanding stores, in operating farms factories--creates new wealth, new opportunities, new jobs. To divert great sums from productive enterprises and individual pay envelopes into the hands of government spenders is, therefore, to limit every citizen's opportunity not only to work and earn, but to enjoy the full fruits of his toil. It is a barrier to re-employment. America enjoyed its greatest expansion when government was economical, and taxation small. It cannot recapture that swift progress so long as it handicapped by a millstone of official extravagance and waste. Economy in government is, therefore, far more a popular demand. It is an essential both the progress of our nation and prosperity of its people. early and middle life, is attested by ' James Stiteler with his powerful the fact that he conducted numerous horses (including "Cloud"), low singing schools in the Mahoning wagons and great loads of hay; the ers"; of the dapper Dr. Weir who always had some mystifying instru- country. As a child, I remember attending one of the schools in which vocal training must have been very trying to him as he strove to explain the methods of reading music to many persons with only mediocre ment or electrical apparatus to surprise the boys; of the hard-working brothers-in-law Condron and Rousb. as their anvils resounded early and late. Nor should modesty prevent jovial Samuel Stear as he climbed the hill with his lantern after his regular night visit to the store; the staid Augustus Dodson and his nervous partner Robert Robinson as ,, , .--- - they conducted the solemn funeral me from mentioning my own mother ability. The musical instrument us- ! procession down the road while the as she gave to the poor and ually used in demonstrations or ac-' church bell tolled once for each year These and many others ompaniment was the violin or the of the deceased; of the patient Maria cabinet organ. As text books he Crawford as she satisfied the "little recalled by former residents of .Smicksburg as characters long asso- · J t - v t ^ ' i v i - v'a-o"'"* **.«J v^-fc i- w v "«j " -- ^ y i c * . » T i . v * i A **"J t s r * * v » a * * « ' * « J ' ** *··«. *,u w - - - - - - ^ · . · t ,. i ' e flii_ j. used one or two of his own composi- boy" sent by the "big boy" to buy a I ciated with the life of tions, copies of which are still f o u n d in many families of the Mahonings. And what attendant at the sessions of the teachers' institute in the 90's will ever forget his playing of his violin as he sang "Annie Laurie" or cent's worth of assorted candy; ot the industrious Louis Silvis with his leather apron as he tussled with a recalcitrant horse that objected to being shod; of the dapper, rosy- cheeked Daniel Fetters aa he worked ity. the "The Ivy Green" with enthusiasm, a t his barber chair or equally well his eyes twinkling, his body swaying at his cobbler's bench; o£ the schol- to the rhythm of the music. But these were not all of his accomplishments. He was an inventor of national renown. It was the financial gain from his turbine water wheel that made it possible to spend his last years carrying out his hobbies. On the Little Mahoning creek, about f o u r miles east ot Smicksburg, he had purchased a large farm on which was a stone house built by Joshua Lewis about 130 years ago. arly, priestly Rev. Streamer; of the powerful Tom Drummond as he piloted his raft around the bends or over the "rough waters"; of the venerable Ephraim Stear, on whose property the town cows seemed to always trespass and cause trouble; of the likable Clay Crissman, whose barn was a rendezvous for all the young boys at play; of the quiet Campbell Cassidy as he handed out the mail to the waiting crowd; of the Life insurance companies in U n i t e d S t a m p s h""" 1 n" 5 ' 1 ~ o "'-*"Te ^ v 110,000,000 each working day; to policy holders and beneficiaries tne i 9 z y crisn, ana m la da life insurance payments totaled over $ 2 , 6 0 0 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 . The house was enlarged and remod- talkative, pipe-smoking Alex McCon- eled in late years but was always ne il as he prepared his plug or home- reminiscent of a European castle made tobacco; of the devout James with its thick walls and its parapeted Weston as he spread his painted tin tower. Here he had collected his roofing on the lawn to dry; of the I paintings which he enjoyed showing rustic Hartman brothers as they de- The Progress and Pittsburgh Accidents of all kinds last year killed 99,000 persons and injured 365,000 others permanently and 9,100,000 temporarily. If you use a drip bag in coffee never allow it to dry; keep submerged in clean, cold water not in use. There are more pyramids in Mexico than in Egypt. combined in one person many varied to his friends. On his rich meadows lighted the younger boys as "jump- Gazette to R. D. readers,

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  1. The Indiana Progress,
  2. 27 May 1936, Wed,
  3. Page 8

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  • Stear Family

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