History of Youngsville, Warren Co., PA
The first white settlers in the area were mostly lumbermen, attracted by the forests and the easy access to water transportation that allowed them to move their lumber to markets downriver. In order to turn the trees into usable lumber, a number of sawmills were built in the area. These early sawmills were built next to streams and rivers and used waterwheels to provide the power to run the mill machinery.
Youngsville swiftly became the largest settlement in Brokenstraw Township. It was named after a Scotsman, Matthew Young, who arrived in the area in 1796, and laid out many of its streets. Young’s Settlement, Youngstown, and Young’s Town are some of the names that the community went by until 1816 when it began being called Youngsville.
Young built a sawmill on the site. Stores, taverns, schools, and churches later followed as the community grew. For much of the nineteenth century, many of Youngsville’s businesses and industries depended on lumber. Saw, planing, and stave mills used lumber from the forests. Hotels and taverns, such as the American House and the Fairmont House fed and housed lumbermen on their way downriver.
Youngsville History Compiled by Mr. Richard Young
1809 – First preaching in Youngsville by Rev. William McConnelly
1812 – 12 men from Youngsville join the Army
1813 – The Methodists Church started with 11 members
1813 – Methodist Esp Church building built
1816 – First store opened Henry Kinnear
1819 – First Post Office opened with Henry Kinnear Postmaster
1825 – Mathew Young died
1826 – Dr. James A. Alexander started a practice in Youngsville
1849 – Youngsville Incorporated as a town
1849 – The Youngsville Citizen Paper
1849 – Youngsville Express Newspaper started
1850 – First Council meeting was held February 15, 1850 with Archibold Alexander, Burgess and with council members William Siggins and John Hull. Such officers elected were: H. P. Kinnear, Clert; Philip Mead, Treasurer; John Siggins, Collector; Daniel Chipman and William Freese, Street Commissioners. Through the years the surnames of Kinnear, Siggins, Hull, Davis, MEad, Blodgett, Alexander, Belnap, Shortt, Day, Kay, Wade, Smith and others appear many times in the chronicle of Borough history.
1850 – 2 regular school houses were built in Youngsville
1851 – Hog and Swine Ordinance passed, to keep swine from running at large, $1.00 per animal fine
1851 – Sidewalk Ordinance passed to regulate sidewalk size to 5 ft. wide and made of wood planks
1851 – Fairmont Hotel First built
1852 – David Hazard was Burgess, Alex Siggins, Sam Trask, W. G. Shortt and W. A. Davis were members of council. F.D. Kinnear was appointed clerk. This year saw little activity in the council for unknown reasons but they did resolve to pay the PLathmaster, which at that time numbered two, the sum of one dollar er day. Their duties were to look after the roads and other Borough property and would be similar in duties as thos today of the Borough Superintendent.
1853 – Wm. A. Davis, Burgess; John Hull, James Davis, A. C. Blodgett and Daniel Chipman, council members. These early city fathers of that year decided that a regular rate of pay should be established for road work. To answer their needs an ordinance was passed giving the authority to the Street Commissioners to allow pay for labor on the Public Roads or Highway at the following rates: For a man or team, ten cents per hour and a wagon to be employed thereon – three cents per hour.
The taxes along through these early years did not vary a great deal. The millage being set in March of each year and taxes required to be paid between the first of April and the first of August of each year. This tax rate usually required a 2 mill tax on the assessed valuation for Borough purposes and the Road Tax varied year to year between 8 mills and ten mills.
It was among the many duties of the council during the early years of the Borough to look after any family or person in need. Along this line of duty the records show of several families being cared for my moving said needy families to places where they had relatives, friends or other means of maintenance. One such incident required moving a family to New York State. All such expenses were paid for by the Borough.
1855 – Having taken care of the swine problem sometime during the first two years of conducting Borough affairs it was discovered that something had to be done about cattle roaming the Borough. In 1855 to take care of this situation an Ordinance was passed making it unlawful for any cows, calves, oxen or other horned cattle to roam at large on any of the streets, lanes or alleys of said Borough after 8 o’clock at night. Such catrtle found roaming after 8 o’clock at night were driven to the pound where they could be claimed by the owner after said owner paid to the Pound Keeper the sum of twenty-five cents per head, this money was the Keeper’s Compensation. Uponfailure of such owner to claim said cattle befor 12 o’clock of the following day, the Keeper would give notice describing the cattle and stating that if they were not claimed within ten days they would be offered for public sale.
1855 – Rail Road Street layed out and adopted The street to run south from the ‘Siggins’s House’ to York Hill Road.
1857 – saw the passage of an ordinance that sidewalks required to be constructed in the future must be of plank and those desiring could use brick or stone
1860 – At the meeting held June 12, 1860, the printing bill of E. Cowan for two years printing in the sum of ten dollars was approved and ordered paid. They also agreed to pay Peter S. Wade $1 lper year for use of his home as a polling place. Thevfoting hours were from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
1861 – Henry Rouse died. The council of 1861: Daniel Chipman, Burgess; John Hull, C. B. Davis, Charles Kinnear and G. J. Whitney, council members. This year was not too acive, sidewalks were ordered to be built and repaired. They also credited the Road Tax of Wm. Freese $5 for a saw that had be borrowed from Mr. Freese by Street Commissioner, Wm. A. Davis and had been broken.
1862 – T.S. Trask was paid $2.00/week for boarding a citizen of town that was ill and had no means of support
1863 – Pres. Lincoln called for 1st draft of men for the Civil War, 5 Youngsville men answered the call and were paid $300
1864 – Pres. Lincoln called for 2nd draft, Youngsville’s quota was 7 men and were paid $300
1866 – New Bridge built across the Brokenstraw
1867 – Internments in the old Burying Ground on West Main St. was prohibited as the new IOOF Cemetery was open on Highland Ave.
1871 – The Union school building built
1871 – The Roman Catholic Church built in Irvine
1871 – Jail was built – starting of Police force
1873 – One case of smallpox in the borough was reported
1873 – 2 sets of 5 ladders to a 50 ft were purchased by the borough for fire protection
1874 – Warren County News started
1874 – There were 17 retail stores in Youngsville
1874 – Grange Organized
1875 – Brick Plant opens on York Hill
1875 – Warren County Press started, ended 1879
1875 – Youngsville Savings Bank started
1877 – Our Youngsville Newspaper started and ended
1877 – The Brokenstraw Valley Press starts
1881 – Ordinance was passed charging companies hauling nitro-glycerine $50/year to pass through the town
1882 – Agrelious Drug Store built (Jones)
1882 – Methodist Church built a new building on East Main St.
1883 – The bridge across the Brokenstraw was temporarily closed because of damage from high water
1883 – Swedish Lutheran Congregation started
1884 – The citizens paid homage to Mathew Young as his remains were taken from the old burying ground to the new IOOF Cemetery, a proper ceremony was held.
1884 – Fire protection consisted of 12 ladders, 60 buckets were places at various locations about town
1886 – Episcopal built precamp – 1922 sold to Free Methodist Church
1887 – The first road scraper was purchased for $150
1887 – A snow remover from sidewalks was started
1887 – First graduation at Youngsville school, Miss Rose Filer
1889 – Forest Gas Co layed pipes and connection of Natural Gas for residents
1890 – Youngsville population about 1000
1890 – S. U. Kinnear was paid $2.00 for fixing the town water pump
1891 – A new biridge across the Brokenstraw, an iron bridge costing $3195 (old bridge was washed out in a flood) Two new gas lights for the ends of the bridge. These lighst only lit at night.
1892 – July flood did considerable damage to new bridge. A bid for $2000 was received to repair bridge and put in good concition
1893 – Free Methodist congregation formed
1895 – The Youngsville Citizen starts
1895 – The Free Methodists Camp meeting was held in Youngsville
1896 – Ordinances passed closing all saloons, billard & pool rooms and other places of vice to be closed at 10 pm and closed on Sundays.
1896 – Cattle were prohibited from grazing along the streets. Swimming and bathing in in the creek within borough limits prohibited between 6 am and 8 pm. All horses could travel at 5 mph.
1896 – Ordinance passed to prohibit throwing snowballs, loitering or loafing on streets, shooting firearms in the borough, selling goods house-to-house and licensing concerts
1896 – Youngsville Manufacturing burned
1898 – New Furniture building started
1898 – A bicycle pathway was started, the bicycle couldn’t exceed 6 mph.
1898 – New stone crusher was purchased for the purpose of reconstructing streets with crushed stones