Crooked Creek Presbyterian Church,
Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. 1769-1952.
Fort HAND CHAPTER, D.A.R. Vandergrift, Pennsylvania.
Names Transcribed by Mrs. W.O. Armitage, Vice Regeant
(Miss) Calla L. Stahlmann, Chairman of Genealogical Records, August, 1953.
Typed by Mrs. S.G. Henderson, Organizing Regent, January, 1954.
State Chairman Genealogical Records, (Miss) Calla L. Stahlmann. 1953-1956.
Typescript, no copyright statement
[Transcribed by Dave Swerdfeger]
HISTORY CROOKED CREEK PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH,
Presbytery of Kittanning, Armstrong County, Pennaytvania,
By Rev. J.P. Calhoun - 1888.
There is now no official record of the organization of this church, and it is likely no such record was ever made. It can, however, be confidently stated that Rev. David Barclay was appointed to supply a day at discretion and that Crooked Creek church was orgazized in the year of 1825 with the following 15 persons as original members: Alexander Walker, Robert Walker, Mary Walker, John Walker, Nancy Walker, George Gourley, Nancy Gourley, James Kilgore, Sarah Kilgore, Sarah Kilgore, Andrew Steret, george Elliot, Annie Elliot, James Hall, Sarah Hall, and Jane Hall.
A Rev. W. Lee was the first minister who preached within the bounds of this ohurch, as far as known. His preaching must have been before the organization of the church, as that was effected by Rev. Nathaniel R. Snowden in the winter of 1825, with the above named members. Mr. Snowden served the Church as stated supply until the year 1827, when he ceased to act in this capacity. Then, with but an occasional sermon there was a vacancy for 3 years, when in 1830 Rev. James Campbell was called for the fourth time at a salary of $100.00 a year. The installation services were held in Kittainsing, the other part of his charge, August 11, 1830. Ne other church had been organized between Kittannirg and Apollo or Elder's Ridge. The need was great and the opportunity of Crooked Creek was at hand, How disappointing then that this settlement was of only a few months' duration, as Mr. Campbell resigned the charge without having observed a communion season during his brief pastorate. An interval of 10 years now occurred before another pastor was secured. But Rev. Joseph Painter of Kittanning, by an occasional service, succeeded in holding the ground and keepirg the organization intact and, during the year 1839, the church was supplied by Rev. John Kerr, then a teacher in the Academy at Kittanning.
In the next year, 1840, Rev. Mr. Graves was called for the fourth time, and installed at a salary of $100.00. During his pastorate of 7 years, the church grew and prospered and his labors among the people were highly blessed. In 1847 Mr. Graves resigned, and 5 years elapsed with an occasional service.
In 1852 Mr. Graves, a second time took charge of this church, but resigned after a service of one year, leaving the congregation in a more healthy and vigorous condition then it bad ever enjoyed.
Rev. Wm. Colledge was now called and installed, and served the church acceptably until 1860, when be resigned. His salary was $200.00 a year for half time. He resigned because of impaired healh.
Rev, George K. Scott was the next pastor, who was installed May 8, 1867, served the church this tine for 3 years, resigning the charge in 1870. Mr. Scott is said to have been a vigorous and very instructive preacher.
Mr. Graves again supplied the Charge until April, 1875; Rev. P. Baker was called and installed May 28th. He also had charge of Appleby Manor and Boiling Spring. He served for a period of 8 years, resigning January 29, 1883. Mr. Baker's ministry in this field was a successful one, and he vas greatly beloved by his people. During his pastorate nearly eighty persons were admitted to the membership, and the record of these 8 years will always be a bright page in the history of this church.
In the fall of 1884, Crooked Creek Church passed under the care of the writer of these notes as stated supply, and he has since served the the church in this capacity.
The first elders of this church were Alexander Walker, who died February 1, 1826; Robert Walker, who died April 5, 1872; James Kilgore, and George Gourley. In 1847 Hamilton Kelly and Matthew Jack were added to the session. W.W. Beatty was added in 1851, and dismissed in 1863. In 1853 Absalom Beatty and James Kerr were inducted into office; in 1871 James C. Burford and John Brown were.added to the session, the former of whom served until 1874, and the latter until 1881. S.J. Walker and George A. Kelly were installed Nov. 13, 1880. The last addition was made June 25 (?), when John Walker, Peter Dunmire, and Philip Miller were Inducted into office.
About the time of the organization of the church, an attempt was made to build a dhurch. This effort resulted in a building of logs, without windows, doors, or floors. A few sermons were preached within the enclosure, the people finding such seats as might be on the ground in the form of stumps, stones, or pieces of logs. In 1834, Rev. Joseph Painter visited this congregation and writes of it in his journal as follows;
"The people had ceased to attend church among themselves and though they had commenced some years before to erect a church, they had not finished it. They had, cut and hewed and put up logs for a church and had it under roof. The places for the doors were cut out, but the house never had a floor, or doors or windows, and the wide places between the logs had never been closed. when I first saw it, I noticed some sheep reposing on the ground within the log enclosure. In fact, the building appeared to be the resort of all kinds of cattle that grazed about through the woods. They had free ingress into it, and egress out of it."
Rev. P. Baker in his history of the church says;
"In 1840 this pile of logs was taken down and used in ccnstructing the first church building this congregation had ever really possessed."
It was of hewn logs, and in it the congregation worshipped for 31 years. The cost may be put at $200.00. The present house of worship was erected in 1870 (?), at a cost of &1,300.00. It is a frame structure, with a seating capacity of about 250 or 300, comfortable in every ways and well adapted to the taste and demands of more modern times.
The congregation has, therefore, had three church bui1dings; The first, in 1825 never having been completed, but used for a time for worship; the second, erected in 1840, and used for 31 years; and the third and present building, erected in 1870.
(This church today is in good condition, with an active, civic-minded congregation. The cemetery, which is just across the road, is taken care of very well. For the past ten years, Rev. E.C. Good, D.D., pastor of the Leechburg First Presbyterian Church has acted as supply for the church, holding services every Sabbath afternoon.)
Crooked Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Armstrong County, Penn.
Beatty (Large stone)
This memorial erected by Hamilton K. Beatty, John K. Beatty, William W. Beatty, Jr.
rest in cemetery at Appalbey Manor.