Early Townships In Greene County Pennsylvania By Raymond Martin Bell Washington & Jefferson College Washington, Pennsylvania 1961
When Washington County was laid out in 1781, the townships were formed with streams or watersheds as natural boundaries. Greene County was composed of Greene Township, Cumberland Township, Morgan Township, and part of Donegal Township. Greene was drained by Whitely and Dunkard Creeks. Cumberland and Morgan were drained by the South Fork of Tenmile Creek, with the creek as the division line. Donegal included all of western Greene County that drained directly into the Ohio.
The first organization of what is now Greene County was as the western part of Springhill Township, Bedford County in 1771. In 1773, Springhill became a part of Westmoreland County. From 1775 to 1780, Virginia claimed Greene County - the western portion was Ohio County, the eastern part was Monongalia. It is interesting to note that in 1771, as today the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania was Springhill Township. However, between then and now this area belonged to Springhill, Donegal, Finley, Richhill, Aleppo, and Springhill.
When Franklin Township was formed in 1786 from Cumberland and Morgan, it included the upper (western) part of the South Fork basin. Southern Donegal Township became Finley in 1788. In 1792, Richhill was taken from southern Finley to include all of what is now western Greene County. In 1794, the Washington County court was petitioned to divide Greene into Greene, Whitely, and Dunkard. This was not acted upon until 1798, two years after Greene County was set off from Washington. On page 2 are given the petitions as found in the Washington County courthouse for Franklin, Finley, Richhill, Dunkard, Whitely Townships. A careful reading of these petitions shows that Donegal, Finley, then Richhill included all of western Greene County. Maps are given for various periods. When Greene County was formed in 1796, it included Cumberland, Franklin, Greene, Morgan, Richhill, and a small portion of Finley. Help on this project has been received from Senator Edward Martin.
Franklin Township June 1786The signers from Morgan and Cumberland Townships say that they have been harassed by the Indians and do not wish to travel so far to handle legal business. The bounds: “Beginning at the mouth of Owens Run, up the said run to the dividing ridge which divides between Ruffs Creek and the South Fork of 10 mile Creek, thence by the said ridge to Donegal Township, thence easterly with Greene Township to the head of the east fork of ?Hone Coal Run and down said run to the South Fork, thence up South Fork to place of beginning.” Finley Township, January 1788 (division of Donegal Township)The bounds: “Beginning where the great Road, leading from the Town of Washington to Wheeling Fort crosses the state line, by the said road to the Plantation and House of Thomas Waller, thence by the road leading from Thomas Waller to the Plantation and House of David English on the Stone Coal Fork of Buffalo Creek, and thence due east to the top of the ridge dividing the Waters emptying into the Monongahela from the Waters emptying into the Ohio. Thence along the top of that ridge to the state line, and thence along the state line to place of beginning.”
Richhill Township, March 1792 (division of Finley Township)The bounds” “Beginning where the state line crosses Pack Horse Fork of Wheeling Creek, up the creek including Robert Wharton’s to the mouth of Robinson’s fork to the first main fork, up right hand fork to the head, straight to the mouth of Templeton’s Fork, up Hunter’s fork to Dr. Moore’s plantation, to the mouth of Hunters Run, up straight right fork to the head of Brushy Fork of 10 Mile, along the dividing ridge between Brushy and South Fork to the head of English’s Run, down the ridge on east side of creek to the South Fork of 10 Mile, across the creek and along the ridge, including Parkenson’s fork to the head of Dunkard Fork of Wheeling Creek, along the dividing ridge between the Monongahela and the Ohio Rivers to the state line, thence to the place of beginning.”
Whitely and Dunkard Townships, December 1794 (division of Greene Township)The bounds: “Beginning at the head of Smith’s Run on the state line, down said run to the mouth, across Dunkard Creek to the mouth of Glade run, up the said run to the head, along the ridge dividing Meadow run from Watkins run, straight to the mouth of Montgomery run on the north side of Whitely Creek, thence up the said run to the head till it strikes the present township line, the upper or western district, to be called Whitely Township.” “Beginning at the mouth of Minors run on the Monongahela River, thence up said run till it strikes the old Wheeling path, continuing on the path to the summit of the ridge dividing Dunkard and Whitely Creeks, continuing on the ridge to the line, the lower or eastern district, to be called Dunkard Township.”