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|built and populated by the Sedwicks and Fletchers, among others. In fact, the area around Bear Creek in Parker Township that came to be known as Bruin had been the home of Elizabeth
Fletcher Sedwick's family since about 1800.7 Sometime earlier, Elizabeth's father, BENJAMIN FLETCHER (c.1770-May 8, 1838)8 had purchased 500 acres of land on Bear
Creek9 --having come from one of the eastern states, probably Massachusetts10 or Connecticut.11 Once in Butler County he married another pioneer, ELIZABETH HEMPHILL
(c.1777-June 29, 1853).12 The Fletchers were instrumental to the life and growth of Martinsburg. Beginning about 1816, Benjamin's nephews, JOSIAH and ASA FLETCHER taught school in Benjamin
and Elizabeth's former home.13 In 1819, Benjamin erected the first gristmill on Bear Creek. This act earned him the rank of almost a public benefactor because it saved the local farmers
from having to transport their grain great distances to have it milled.14 Benjamin and Elizabeth were also leaders among the early Methodists, donating the land for a church in
7 R. C. Brown, "Parker Township," in History of Butler County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: [N.P.], 1895), 666.
8 Birth, calculated from census age. Death, tombstone, Fletcher Cemetery, Bruin, Butler Co., PA, hereafter cited as Fletcher Cemetery)
9 James A. McKee, "E. M. Fletcher," in 20th Century History of Butler County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: Richmond-Arnold Publishing Co., 1909) 698.
10 Waterman, Watkins and Co., "Parker Township," in History of Butler County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: Waterman, Watkins, 1883), 406.
11 J. H. Beers, "Hamilton H. Say," in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania: her people past and present (Chicago: J. H. Beers and Co., 1914), 712-713.)
12 Birth date calculated from census ages. Death date is taken from tombstone at the Fletcher Cemetery. Elizabeth Hemphill was the sister of James Hemphill (d. 1818) who was the first white settler in neighboring Donegal Township, Butler County. He (and presumably, they) arrived in 1795 choosing 400 acres where the town of Chicora now stands. Elizabeth and Benjamin Fletcher were married about 1805. James Hemphill, Hemphills from Donegal Township (Butler, PA: privately printed, [N.D.]), Sec.1. 3p.)
13 Waterman, Watkins, 408. Nothing is known of Asa Fletcher. Josiah remained in Bruin, dying 10 October 1842 at the age of sixty and is buried in the Fletcher Cemetery there.
14 McKee, 554.
15 Brown, 666. The M.E. Church was organized in 1834. The church building was erected in 1835 and was in use until 1874 when the congregation moved into a new building in the center of town. The cemetery at the site of the former church is known as the Fletcher Cemetery. Also see Butler Co., Deed Book K: 614. The trustees of the M.E. Church were Benjamin Fletcher, William Beatty, Josiah Fletcher, John Smith and Lewis Chambers
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