Saegertown History 1885



Saegertown is pleasantly located on a plain in French Creek Valley in the western part of Woodcock Township. It is one of the handsomest villages in Crawford County. Its streets are wide and well kept, and its residences neat and attractive. It is nearly sixty years since the plat was laid out, and the period of greatest growth has been during the last twenty years. The population in 1860 was 352; in 1870, 441; and in 1880,678. Two bridges span French Creek within its limits, and the N.Y., P. & O. Railroad passes through it. Daniel Saeger was its founder. In 1824 he purchased the farm upon which it is located from Maj. Roger Alden, removed to it from Lehigh County, and almost immediately laid out the town. Maj. Alden had as early as 1801 erected a mill here on the site of the present grist-mill. Henry Minium, the miller, dwelt close by in a double log-cabin, and John McGill owned and occupied land in the north part of the borough. The saw and grist-mill passed into the possession of Mr. Saeger in 1824, and for years was operated by him or members of his family. It then passed into other hands, and is now owned by J. Kern & Co. Among the earliest settlers at the village, after 1824, were: George Woodring, Peter Beghie and Henry Renner, all farmers. Mr. Freeman opened a little store about 1826, and about 1829 Daniel Saeger built a store room and filled it with general merchandise. The Saegers have ever since conducted the store. Peter Shaffer kept the first tavern. The post office was established in 1833, the mail being received at first once a week from Meadville, on a route which extended from the county seat to Girard. The post office name is Sagertown.

The village was incorporated by act of Assembly in 1838. The early records are not known to exist. Since 1865 Burgesses have been elected as follows: A. Saeger, 1865; Josiah Kern, 1866; J. Saeger, 1867; Mark Dixon, 1868; Oliver Saeger, March, 1869; George P. Horne, October, 1869, and October, 1870; Oliver Saeger, March, 1872 and 1873; Josiah Kern, 1874; Amos Saeger, 1875; George P. Horne, 1876; H.E. Smith, 1877 and 1878; John Westinghouse, 1879; W.P. Johnson, 1880; W.W. Deichman, 1881 and 1882; George P. Horne, 1883, resigned and M. Minium appointed to vacancy; W. Mook, 1884.

The village now contains three general stores, one hardware, one stove and tin, one millinery, one furniture and one drug store, four blacksmith, one tailor, one jeweler, one wagon, one barber one gunsmith and two shoe shops, a meat market and an undertaking establishment. A grist-mill, two saw-mills, a stave factory and a planing mill, a job printing office, a large ice-house, two physicians, two hotels, two liveries, a schoolhouse, three churches and four societies. Saegertown Band was organized in September, 1876, has seventeen members, owns a hall and is widely known for its excellence. The first grave-yard was just north of the Methodist Church, but about 1860 a cemetery association was formed and land purchased on the opposite side of French Creek in Hayfield Township. The cemetery there now covers about twelve acres, and the grounds are beautifully and tastefully laid out.

The first school was held in a deserted cabin near the mill. Jonathan G. David and Jane McCaul taught here as early as 1827. About 1830 a one-story frame schoolhouse was erected on the banks of French Creek in the rear of the German Reformed Church. A small brick was a little later built in the southern part of the village and afterward a two-story "brick academy" was built on the south side of North Street, west of and near Commercial Street. It was superseded in 1870 by the present two-story frame building on the east side of Commercial Street. It contains four rooms, three of which are now occupied.

The first Lutherans in the vicinity of Saegertown were members of the Venango congregation, organized in 1816. For the convenience of the members in Woodcock Township, services were held sometimes in Peiffer’s Schoolhouse, two miles below Saegertown. About 1828 a separate congregation was formed and in 1829 a frame church was erected in Saegertown, on the site of the present German Reformed Church. Its cost was defrayed by the settlers in this region and the Lutherans, German Reformed and Methodist Societies all worshipped in it. Among the earliest Lutheran members were: George Peiffer, Samuel Peiffer, Jacob Flaugh and Daniel Saeger. Rev. Shultz and his son Augustus Shultz were the first pastors, the former preaching in German and the latter conducting services in English; Rev. Elihu Rathbun followed, and served many years. His successors have been: J.P. Nunemacher, Rev. Keil, Rev. Bierdemann, D.M. Kamerer, A.H. Bartholomew and H. Peters. The last has officiated since 1880. The membership is now about 125. Services were held in the old church, in which the congregation had an interest until 1868, when the present spacious edifice was reared on the southwest corner of Erie and Commercial Streets, at a cost of $7,000.

The German Reformed Congregation has a handsome frame meeting-house on the northwest corner of Main and North Streets; it is 40x60 feet in size, and was erected in 1872, at a cost of $4,000. Previously services had been held, since 1829, in the old church on the same site. This congregation originally owned a part of this building, and afterward by purchase obtained sole control. The membership is now about seventy. Dr. Joseph A. Apple, the present pastor, has had charge since 1872, succeeding Rev. D.B. Ernst, who preached here about a score of years. The early history of the society is obscure, as the records are lost and no early members remain. The society held early meetings in Peiffer’s Schoolhouse Conrad Baughman, Philip and Henry Renner and Solomon Graff were among the earliest members. Rev. Zeiser and Daniel Rauhouser were early pastors.

The Methodist Episcopal class was organized in 1839 or shortly before. Its earliest members included: John McGill and wife, Andrew Ryan and wife, Harvey Sackett and wife, Jacob Brookhouser and wife, Joseph Housel, John Flaugh and wife and Isaac Blystone. Many of these members had formerly belonged to Seavy class, which met on the opposite side of French Creek. For several years Saegertown society met in the Lutheran Church. In 1841 a church was built on the northwest corner of Commercial and North Streets, and occupied until 1875, when the present edifice, 40x60 was erected on the same lot at a cost of about $6,000. The society numbers about 125 members. Saegertown Circuit was formed in 1839, and its pastors have been: J.J. Steadman and J.M. Plant, 1839; A. Fouts and W.W. Maltby, 1840; C.P. Rockwell and C. Kingsley, 1841; A. Keller and J. Mortimer, 1842; I.C.T. McClelland and T.B. Tait, 1843; J. Crum, 1844; P. H. Jack, 1845; J. Graham, 1846; J. Graham and M. Hill, 1847; M. Hill and M.P. Stever, 1848; W. Mouks and T. Benn, 1849; H. Luce and S.K. Paden, 1850-51; J. Flower and J.S. Graves, 1852; J. Flower, 1853; I. Lane and W.R. Johnson, 1854; W.R. Johnson, 1855; J. Abbott and W.C. Henderson, 1856; A.H. Bowers, 1857; G.W. Maltby and J.B. Orwig, 1858-59; E.B. Lane, 1860; P.W. Sherwood, 1861-62; N. Norton and L.D. Williams, 1863; G.M. Eberman, 1864-65; J.K. Hallock, 1866-67; N. Norton, 1868-69-70; J. Flower, 1871; G.H. Brown, 1872-73; J.F. Perry, 1874-75; D.W. Wampler, 1876-77; I.D. Darling, 1878-79-80; D.S. Steadman, 1881-82; James Clyde, 1883. The circuit now comprises besides Saegertown Church, Blooming Valley and Hamlin’s, of Hayfield Township.

Saegertown Lodge, No. 700, Good Templars, was organized in 1870 and disbanded in 1874. It was reorganized November 12, 1877, with seventy members and the following first officers: B.G. David, C.T.; Mrs. A.M. McGill, V.T.; Prof. J.M. Morrison, Sec.; Mrs. H. Sackett, Fin. Sec.; John Seavy, Treas.; Rev. P.W. Wampler, Chaplain; Don E. Schanck, Marshal; Ellen Hunter, I.G.; J.R. Shoppart, O.G.; Ambro Whipple, P.C.T.;. A. Mook, Lodge Deputy. Fifty members still remain and meet every Friday evening.

French Creek Lodge, No. 2371, K. of H., was instituted February 15, 1881, with thirty-two members and the following officers: J.T. Sackett, Dictator; John Flaugh, V.D.; A.B. Floyd, Ass’t D.; W.F. Moyer, Reporter; W.E. Yost, Fin. Rep.; E.L. Russell, Treas.; A.M. McGill, Guide; J.R. Mosier, Chaplain; C.W. Yost, Guardian; Jacob Fleisher, Sentinel; C.W. Robinson, P.D. Meetings are held every Tuesday evening, and the membership is forty-one.

Saegertown Lodge, No. 362, E.A.U., was organized September 12, 1881, with five members: C. Yost, James Seavy, Nellie C. Seavy, A. Mook and P. Moon. The lodge now numbers twenty-five members, and meets the second and fourth Mondays of each month.

A lodge of the State Police is also active at Saegertown.

History of Crawford County 1885

Family Old Photos | | | | Pennsylvania History & Genealogy Blog |

Crawford County Genealogy is part of the USGenWeb and PAGenWeb projects.  All documents, photos, materials and graphics are copyrighted either by the submitter or by this site.  You may not use them elsewhere, whether in print or electronically, without written permission. Space provided by RootsWeb and  Copyright © 2000-2009 Teri A. Brown. All rights reserved. Contact me