Cambria County, Pennsylvania
Annals of Jackson Township
Mrs. Betty Burkhart
Communities And Their First Settlers
In Jackson township we have a number of communities named in several instances for the first settler of that particular part of the country, or named by a landowner or later resident. Here we have the communities known as Brown, Burkhart's Crossing, Clinefelter, Dishong Hill, Gray, Jack Rager, Ford's Corners, Millwood, Mundy Corner's, Ogden, Pergrim Hill, Teeter, Wagner, Wellview, and Vinco. Some of these communities are less in population than they were fifty years ago but most of them are growing with the years. Particularly at Mundy's Corners, Vinco and Wellview has there been rapid growth. Many people from the surrounding towns have moved to these places and have built modern homes.
The Brown community is a very old one, although its growth has not been so rapid. As in many of these communities, few records are available of the earlier times. However the place was named for John Brown who has many descendants yet living here and also in Nanty-Glo. Two sons of this first Brown were Daniel and Jerry. Jerry lived in the community until his death and he was the father of seven children and Daniel died in Johnstown in 1929 at the age of 82. George Brown, well known man of Nanty-Glo, (intermarried with Elva Shuman, granddaughter of John Shuman, one of the first settlers in the Jack Rager community), is a grandson of this pioneer, and a son of Daniel. Residing near the site of the old homestead are Daniel Brown and Mrs. Ada Grove, children of Jerry Brown. The old Brown Cemetery, mentioned in an earlier chapter, is a landmark of this early settlement.
One of the earliest settlers of this community was Ephraim Burkhart. He was the great-grandchild of an Irish patriot who, with his brother, hitched up an ox team, according to an early history of the Burkhart's, emigrated to Bavaria, Germany and changed their names from Bourkets to Burkhardts, (now Burkhart). The Ephraim Burkhart who settled in Jackson township received the grant of land from the government when it was yet wilderness. He had been "bound out" to Lous Dunmyer who owned a grist mill on Big Paint creek, when he was 13 years old, and later he worked for Judge Hildebrand who had a grist mill where Conemaugh is now and, according to the story, "he must have been a sticker for he stuck on that job seven years, and he must have been successful for he ran away with the judge's daughter." He was assessor in 1840.
Ephriam and Katy, his wife,
built their home in the wilderness and it was located not far from where
the Brown cemetery now is. Later the George Byers family lived there.
To the couple were born 10 children. Two of the daughters taught in
the local schools, both of whom have been mentioned in a previous
chapter. Ephriam was one of the first to be buried in the Brown
cemetery. Mrs. Hannah Gillin recalls that on the day of the funeral
school was dismissed in the little Brown school so that funeral services
might be held.
The first Gillin to settle here
was William whose father, John, moved near to what is now Nanty-Glo. In
1830 John owned 150 acres in the township. The ancestors of this first
Gillin came from Ireland. William settled on the farm that is still in
the Gillin family. Miss Verna Gillin now lives there with her two
nephews. This is the old Timothy Hunt farm.
To Be Continued Next Week