Jackson Township
Cambria County, Pennsylvania

Chapter 19

Annals of Jackson Township

Mrs. Betty Burkhart
Nanty Glo Journal

August 20, 1942

Communities And Their First Settlers (Continued)


In 1850 two sons of William Mackall of Staffordshire, England left the family fireside and came to this country.  They were Stephen and John and after they settled in this region they reared large families, many of whom have made their homes here.  The elder William owned a paper mill in England and to him is given the credit of being the first to put the gilt edge on stationery.  Two brothers of the American pioneer were ministers, as was Stephen.  He was a licensed minister, although he held no pastorate, but preached at all of the Methodist churches in this locality at one time or another.  He was employed as a miner by the Bethlehem Steel company and also had a farm in this community.   Stephen was known as a Bible authority and it was said could quote chapter after chapter from memory.  Stephen and his wife had 10 children.  James and Walter Mackall of Vinco are sons of this early resident.

John Mackall came to this community shortly before Stephen did and the farm whereupon he settled, later owned by his son, William, is now property of the Johnstown Water Company.  John and his wife were the parents of a large family also.  One son, Stephen, died of yellow fever in the Civil War.  Another son, Charles, was killed in action during that struggle.  His son, John went west but was swallowed up in oblivion; Sophia married John Wissinger; Ed settled in Rosedale; William married Jennie Rager, daughter of John Rager, another early settler; Mary married J.J. Strayer; Emma became the wife of Ben Teeter, and Harriet was married three times, the first time to John Horner, an early settler of Wesley Chapel section, who died with typhoid fever, the second time to Mike Hess who died of the same disease, and her third husband was John Wissinger, her deceased sister's widower.  John Wissinger was the father of Eli Wissinger of this community and Mrs. Harry Griffith of Vinco.  The late Mrs. Tim Gillin of Vinco was also a daughter of this well-known early resident.

Gray And Wellview

At one time all this acreage was owned by William Roberts and Richard David.  The two communities are really one and extend from Swigel's Corners to beyond the Gray school and includes thirty-five or more families.  In the fall of 1941 the school, called the Gray, (In early years it was known as the Davis school), was closed and the children of the community have since attended school elsewhere.

The Ed Smith farm was once part of the Roberts tract.  Later it was owned by Timothy Davis, then by Gray, and it is now the property of Ed Smith who resides there.  Part of the Roberts tract was owned by Al Long who about twenty or more years ago sold it into lots and in recent years the growth of the community has been fast.  The community was a first called Long-Wellview but was recently changed to "Wellview."

Richard Davis, one of the first settlers, came to this country from Wales in 1830 and settled here.  His sons, Thomas and Timothy, built a sawmill near where Shoemaker's Tavern now is and they also had one at one time near the place where Mrs. Margaret Rose now has her home, and which has been mentioned in a previous chapter.  Timothy's son, Burley, was killed when he was a young man, while logging for his father near the mill which was located where Shoemakers now live.

Thomas Davis, son of Richard, was a soldier in the Civil War and served with the 19th U.S. Infantry for three years and eight months.  He was married to Susan Burkhart, a daughter of Joseph Burkhart, and many of our well known county residents are descendants of theirs.  Izora, intermarried with Lester Larimer of Ebensburg.  Fred, father of Mrs. Harry Englehart, wife of the Ebensburg attorney, and Stanton and Schuyler Davis of Ebensburg are their offspring.

Timothy Davis married Lydia Burkhart, another daughter of Joseph, and their descendants make up a good part of the township population.  A daughter, Josephine, married Daniel Kerr and they were the parents of nine children.  Seven of them have been life-long residents of this township.  The late Mrs. John Gray and Mrs. Flora Custer, the latter of Johnstown, were daughters (typo error missing sentence).  Many of the descendants of Richard Davis, the sturdy pioneer, have been prominent in local, county, and state affairs.

Emanuel Smith was an early settler in this community.  He came here shortly after the Civil War after he was honorably discharged from the army.  His daughter, Sophia Jane, was four years old at the time and his daughter, Harriet, was somewhat younger.  Jane, when she was grown, married Adam Shuman, son of a pioneer of the Wagner community.  Emmanuel married the second time and settled on what is now the Miller farm, to the rear of what is now the Isaac Miller home.  Edward Smith who resides in this community, and Elizabeth (Smith) shoemaker of Nanty-Glo were Emanuel's children.

Another old resident of this community was William Russell.  He and his wife Polly, and one son, Joseph, had a small home near where the Carney homestead now is.  Al Carney, who settled here 58 years ago on the farm where his, son Emerson, now lives with his family, was the father of six children, and was one of the best known and most prominent men of the community.  He was a member of the Pike Brethren church, at Mundy's Corner, which he helped build, and to which he always gave liberally.  He also was a heavy contributor to Ashland College, the college of the Brethren church.

John Gettings owned part of the Richard Davis tract which is now the property of Mr. Miller.  Jerry Rager, a son of Philip, who was one of the first settlers of the township lived with the Millers in his later years and had a small garden on the old Gettings place which he tended in the summer.  On the afternoon of July 28,1932 he left the Miller home to go to his garden and when he did not return friends searched for him and found his lifeless body, with the head partly submerged in about four inches of water in the old spring.  He was believed to have suffered a stroke as he went to the spring for a drink of water.  He was 82 years of age and was a life-long resident of the township.


When the Southern Cambria Railway ran through the township, John Ogden of Johnstown owned a large dairy farm near the Lutheran Church, and one of the stops was called Ogden, in his honor.

The first settlers in this community were George Slonaker and Simon Dunmyer.   Later Rev. William Byers owned considerable property here and John Miller, father of Isaac was a large landowner.  The Ogden farm was first the property of Slonaker in 1840.  Mr. Slonaker also had an inn here.  Simon Dunmyer came here in 1857 and built the house and barn that is still in use on the farm.  Israel Goughnour owned it for while, then Rev. Byers, finally John Miller.  The latter gave an acre of his ground to the Lutheran church to be used as a cemetery.  That is the plot of ground that is now being sold into lots, most of the other ground having long ago been filled.

In recent years several homes have been built near the church and a little
community composed of the Newcomer, Hoffman and Taylor families has sprung into existence.

To Be Continued Next Week

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