Street Names Ė Part II
By Al Owens
The completion of the National Road in the early nineteenth century meant
Uniontown, Pennsylvania was a nice place for notables to stopover or pass
through on their way east or west. In some cases, there are streets named after
those notables. While some of them have not been memorialized with streets named
There is a Lincoln Street, a Grant Street, a Roosevelt Drive (although despite a
visit to Uniontown by Teddy Roosevelt in the early 1990ís, Iím not sure that
street was named for him), a Washington Street, and a McKinley Street in and
around Uniontown. All of those streets were most likely named in honor of U.S.
But Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison,
James K. Polk, John Tyler, John Quincy Adams were all presidents who were known
to have been visitors to Uniontown, but none of them (as far as I know) have
streets named in their honor. Much of this information Iíve found in James
Haddenís 1913 book A History of Uniontown: The County Seat of Uniontown,
Pennsylvania. Iíve drawn some conclusions that donít appear in that book. Iím
basing some of this on plain old common sense.
I found many prominent names from centuries past that have a familiar ring to
them today: R.D. Warman Ė Member of the bar. James G. Johnston, Rice G. Hopwood,
E.P. and S.G. Hopwood, Peter Hook, Henry Farwell, Charles Hagan a confectioner
in 1905. In 1900, some guy named Isaac N. Hagan bought a three story brick
building just off what would later become Beeson Boulevard. Iíd be willing to
bet you an ice cream sundae that thatís what became Hagan Ice Cream.
In April of 1903, Solomon Cohen, opened a ďfine business propertyĒ in downtown
On the East End of town there are people whose last names match those of some of
the people who reside there today. In the 1800ís George Jenkins lived just east
of Grant Street; Eli Curry, and there was a man named Wayne Belt, who lived
where the old East End school had been. Reverend Thomas Ford built two churches
within a block of each other. And Ephraim Palmer was a well known ďcoloredĒ
Back when I was growing up, there was a popular shoe store known as Campbell &
Hathaway on Main Street in downtown Uniontown. I had no idea of the origin of
that name, until I flipped through Haddenís book. The shoe store was built in
1883, and was run by A.D. Conwell and J.A. Stricker Ė the owner of the building.
In 1901, Conwell retired and it became, Strickler, Hathaway and Company. Some
time later John M. Campbell was added and the name was changed to The
Campbell-Hathaway Company until it closed a number of years ago - despite the
fact that Campbell had left the business in 1910.
According to Hadden, when John Hopwood laid out the land that is now known as
Hopwood in 1791, he called it Woodstock. Moses Hopwood laid out his area and
called it Monroe. It too would become part of Hopwood.
F.W. Oliphant was a prominent ironmaster in Fairchance. Thus the name Oliphant
During the early days of Uniontown, the name Brownfield was nearly as prominent
as the name Beeson. I found: John, Ewing, William, Thomas, Nathaniel, Elizabeth,
Bazil (Basil), Rebecca, Isaac, Jane, W. Watson, Jane, Permelia, E.P., Empson
Brownfields throughout the Hadden book. Reverend William Brownfield seems to
have been mentioned the most. He owned what Iím thinking may have been the
beginnings of Little Brownfield off Morgantown Street in the early 1800ís. Some
of that was bought by R. Porter Craig. Iím thinking that may have been the seed
of Craig Meadows.
At one time the current Central Administration building for the Uniontown Area
School District was known as Ella Peach School. Ella Peach was one of the two
teachers when Uniontown opened its first high school back in 1885. She later
became the school districtís first female administrator.
Itís always interesting looking back at these things. I wonder just what the
Beeson brothers would think if they saw Uniontown today. Iím not the first
person to ponder those thoughts. Back in 1912, they held an ďOld Home ComingĒ,
celebration that lasted for five days. For that even they wrote a poem that
merely questioned the thoughts Henry and Jacob Beeson would have had if theyíd
walked through Uniontown in those days.
The founders long have passed away
And many more besides,
Yet some of their descendents still
On the shores of time abide.
And now at this Home Coming Week,
Both Hen and Jake revive,
And stroll the streets of Uniontown,
And great is their surprise.
They wonder at the changes that
Have come to this old town;
They now the strangest sights behold,
And hear the queerest sounds.