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Category:  General History
Published:  January, 2007

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 after them.
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. Presidents.
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 Uniontown.

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 barber.

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 Furnace.

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.