The Family of Rosa Anna Abbott and John Joseph LaValle

Moon Township History

This township history is transcribed from History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Volume II, A. Warner & Co., Publishers, Chicago, Ill., 1899, Chapter I, pp. 5-10.

(only Moon transcribed )

At the first session of the court after the formation Allegheny county the records state that "the court proceeded to divide the county of Allegheny, including the part received from Westmoreland, in the following manner into townships." of which the first mentioned is thus described:

"Moon-beginning at Flaherty's run, thence by the Ohio river to the mouth of Chartiers creek; thence up said creek to the mouth of Miller's run; thence by the line of the county to the place of beginning." This extensive area was enlarged in the following year by the annexation of considerable territory from Washington county. It then extended from Chartiers creek westward to the county line, including the eight townships of North and South Fayette, Collier, Robinsion, Stowe, Findlay, Moon and Crescent. Fayette was erected in 1790, and Moon was thus reduced to that portion of its former territory west of Montour's run. Among the residents here between 1790 and 1811 were the following:

1790. John Stevenson, William McCandless, George Elliott, Samuel Stevenson, John Burns, Alexander McCandless, Elijah Charles, Joseph Scott, Alexander Gray, Adam Deemer, William Guy, Robert McMinn, John Deemer, Alexander Drummond, James Warden, Andrew Stevenson, James Elliott, James Stewart.

1795. Samuel Wilson, John Read, William Bryson, Robert Woods, Charles Morgan, William Glendy, Robert Greenlee, James Todd, John Todd, William Thompson, John Neilson, Alexander Gibbs.

1798 ("lower end of Moon") William Marshall, Matthias Hoadly, John Laughlin, John Ross, Edmundton Marshall, Samuel Rea, James Hall, Amos Wilkinson, Robert Longland, Nathan Neald, Henry Wilson, James Thompson, Jesse Smith, Samuel Thompson, Andrew Poe, James Glass, Philip Ducomb, Benjamin Thompson.

1811. Adrian Aten, William Scott Benjamin Hall, John Markis, Robert Miller, William Fulk, William McDonough, Abraham Dailey, Josiah Guy, John Grimes, Hugh McClaren, William Simpson, Robert McMinn, Adam Deemer, Adam Grimes, John Ferguson, Richard Aten, Zadok Dickson, James Ralston, Nathaniel Gordon, Thomas Mitchell, William Grey, Benjamin Miller, Garret Aten, George Bristow, John Meaner, Jacob Smith, Adam Guthrie,William Stephenson, James Kerr, Philip Record, John Hanlon, James Bayard, Robin Guthrie, Samuel Hall, Thomas Spratt, John Miller, David McKinney, Samuel Suten.

It is not to be supposed that this list comprises the entire population at the different periods given, but it is as complete as the available records at this time permit.


This township has been reduced to its present limits by the formation of Findlay in 1822 and Crescent in 1855. It extends from the line of Beaver county to Montour run, and borders upon the Ohio river a distance of several miles. The surface is broken and hilly, but well adapted to farming, which is the principal pursuit. Trout run and other branches of Chartiers creek drain the southeastern part of the township, Flougherty run, Wilson run and Narrow run, the western; Thorn's run and other smaller streams, the middle and eastern portion. Geologically the entire township is included in the fourth coal measure, or Pittsburgh vein.

Many interesting circumstances occurred in the early settlement of this section. The first-settlers arrived before the Indian troubles had subsided, and many of the early land-titles were originally based upon "tomahawk claims." Of the original settlers, many of the families are represented among the present population. They were principally of Scotch nationality.

Jeremiah Meek and sons Jeremiah, Bazaleel and Joshua; Abraham Christy and sons Daniel, John and James; William Simpson and son Robert; Robert Simpson and son Robert; John Hanlon and sons John, Benjamin, Hughey, James and Joseph; J. D. McCormick and son James; Samuel Neely and son, William; William P. Free and sons Jacob, Robert, George, William and Sandford; Jacob Free; Isaac Free and sons James, Joel and Spencer; John Stevenson and sons Samuel, John and Philip; James McCabe, Esq., and sons James H., William P., John, Milton and Alfred; James Stoddard and son Robert; John Creighton and sons William, James and John; Samuel Ramsey and sons Samuel and James; Jonas Moore and sons James and Samuel; John Vanderveer and sons John, Martin, Hiram, James and Peter; John Harger and sons Martin, Milton and John were residents of the present township of Moon prior to 1820, and some them were very early settlers.

Montour run, the eastern boundary of the township, derives its name from Henry Montour, an Indian three-quarter blood. His mother, Catherine Montour, was the daughter of a French governor of Canada, probably Count Frontenac, by a Huron woman. At the age of ten years Madam Montour was adopted by the Iroquois Indians, and became domiciled with them. At the age of eighteen years she married a chief of that people, by whom she had several children, two of whom, Andrew and Henry, were interpreters, the latter serving Sir William Johnson in this capacity. Henry figured prominently Indian affairs about Pittsburgh. Montour county in this state is name from their mother.

The Montour Railroad company, William McCreery, president; L. M. Jenkins, treasurer, and F. L. Shallenberger, superintendent, was incorporated in 1878. The road is eleven and one-half miles long. The terminal points are Montour Junction, on the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie railroad, in this township, and Montour City (Imperial), in North Fayette. The road was built for coal transportation from the mines of the Imperial Coal company, a corporation identical in management and control, but also affords passenger facilities, and has proven an important factor in the development of the Montour valley. The coke-ovens on the line of this road, on the farm formerly owned by William Ewing, about a mile from the Ohio river, constitute the only industrial feature of any importance in the township. The ovens are one hundred and twenty in number.

The postoffices are Moon, established in October, 1841; Beers, established in July, 1861; Stoops, established in December, 1879; Montours, established in February, 1832, discontinued in May, 1837, re-established in May, 1843, and finally discontinued in May, 1852; Tipps, established in February, 1884, and discontinued in November, 1885.

Henselville appears upon maps of the county, but the propriety of calling it a village is questionable. Sharon, on the Beaver road (opened by Col. Daniel Brodhead), and Stoop's ferry, opposite Sewickley, are also designated as villages, but the indications of their existence are not numerous. The township is exclusively agricultural, and not thickly settled. In 1880 the population was over 1,148; in 1870, 1,230; in 1880, 1,389.

Sharon Presbyterian Church was organized in 1817 by Rev. Andrew McDonald, who continued as pastor three years. Rev. Samuel C. Jennings, D.D., was ordained and installed as pastor in 1829, and continued in that capacity for half a century, during which he was instrumental in organizing three other churches within the bounds of his charge. Rev. John M. Mercer is the present pastor. A church-edifice was built in 1828.

Mount Gilead United Presbyterian Church was organized in 1842. Rev. Robert Armstrong was pastor 1847-53; J. C. Bryson, 1855-66; D. K. McKnight, 1872-74; G. H. Getty, 1884-85; J. A. Lawrence, 1886-. This church is in the southern part of the township.

Coraopolis Borough.-This borough was incorporated June 7, 1886. It was previously known as a village under the name of Middletown, while the postoffice name was Vancefort. It was established in August, 1861, and changed to Coraopolis in March, 1886.

The site of the borough was originally secured in warranty title by Henry Montour, April 3, 1769. It is a matter of uncertainty whether he ever lived upon the tract, and highly probable that his residence was not long, at all events. Robert Vance, who is thought to have been the first permanent settler in Moon township, settled in the vicinity of Montour's warrant about the beginning of the Revolution, and for the protection himself and his neighbors, of whom several arrived within a few years, a stockade and blockhouse were built on his land. The Indians on the opposite side of the Ohio were very aggressive, and made frequent predatory incursions into the territory to the south. The danger from these attacks is shown in the fact that murder and outrage were of frequent occurrence, notwithstanding the protection afforded by the fort.

Since acquiring railroad facilities, the town has improved rapidly. The location combines healthfulness, accessibility and congenial natural surroundings the requisite conditions to secure valuable and permanent accessions to the population. The next few years will probably bring forth great changes in its appearance, and in that of this entire section of country. The churches of the borough are Presbyterian, United Presbyterian and Methodist, all of recent origin. The Review, an able exponent of local interests, appears at regular but infrequent intervals.