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Elderton Borough

Elderton Borough Hall, P.O. Box 202, Elderton PA 15736; phone: 724-354-4982.

Beginnings [1]

Elderton was incorporated as a borough in 1859 and the first officers were: William Lytle, burgess ; Robert Martin, William S. Cummins, Robert T. Robinson, Bryson Henderson, Joseph Henderson, councilmen; John Ralston, street commissioner; Henry Smith, R. M. Gibson, assessors; D. W. Hawk, auditor; Elias Kepple, constable; William Alexander, Noah Keifer, overseers of the poor; John H. Morrison, Joseph Klingenberger, Anderson Henderson, William Haslett, G. W. Burkett, Charles Rosborough, school directors.

The Ebensburg and Butler pike was built through the town in 1865, the authorities supplying the part under their jurisdiction. This was the first good road through this part of the county. Paving of the sidewalks of the borough was begun in 1872 and at present the inhabitants are well provided with those evidences of municipal enterprise. Robert M. Gibson opened a store here in 1832, continuing until his death in 1884, when his son Addison H. inherited the business and has carried it on ever since. John Heckman opened a store here in 1888. His successors are Heckman Brothers.

J. R. Dunmire was postmaster here for several years. His successor in 1913 is Mrs. Lizzie Miller, who is also the leading milliner.

The resident physicians are Drs. Jesse W. Campbell, Charles E. Keeler and William S. McCreight.

This borough is located on a tract formerly called "Wheatfield," originally owned by Sarah Elder, to whom a patent was issued in 1786. Robert J. Elder in 1822 laid out a town on the site, calling it "New Middletown," and it is so designated in some of the early court records and assessment lists. The first house erected in it was a small log one, which was kept as a tavern by William Elgin, whose sign was about 18 by 8 inches, nailed to a stick stuck in a stump with this inscription on it : "Oats and whiskey for sale." Mr. Elder then lived in a house afterward occupied by John R. Adams, on a farm now owned by Matthew Pettigrew.

The first assessment list of the town was in 1824 and bore the following names: Thomas Armstrong, William D. Barclay, William Coulter, Daniel Elgin, Samuel George, John George, Dr. Leonce Hoover, John Kees, blacksmith, William McLaughlin, Moses Miller, Samuel Sturgeon and Robert Woodward.

Among the earliest citizens of this town were Thomas Armstrong, tailor, afterward justice of the peace; Zack Kerr, chair maker; Hamlet Totten, shoemaker; Joseph Klingenberger, saddler; William Lytle and William D. Barclay, merchants ; Daniel Elgin and William Coulter, innkeepers, the latter of whom was justice of the peace for nineteen years; John and William Elgin, Robert Richey, George Shryock, A. W. Clark, George Smith, James Clark, later of Indiana, Pa., who established the tannery afterward owned by Charles Rosborough. John Ralston traded a horse with the late Robert Woodward for the lot on which he lived in 1880. He and William Lytle entered into partnership in the mercantile business in 1831, which they carried on in the room afterward occupied by Dr. J. M. St. Clair.

Among the later settlers were Andrew Kimmel and Drs. Meeker, Kelly and Allison. The last named was an army surgeon in the Civil war, and with his son later moved to Kittanning. It was at Elderton that the famous Dr. David Alter, of Freeport, first experimented with the telegraph.

  1. Armstrong County Pennsylvania: Her People Past and Present, Volume I, J. H. Beers & Co., Chicago, 1914
**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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