Four Mile Presbyterian Church
6078 Tuscarawas Road
Ohioville Borough, Beaver County, Pennsylvania 15009

Part I

Some Notes On The Church History Written By Rev. J. Thompson

By Ray Anderson

I have been interested in the history of this area and in reading the church history there were several items that caused me to do some researching.

In the church files we have a letter from Dr. T. D. Imbrie. Dr. Imbrie's great-grandfather, David Imbrie, was the preacher at Four Mile back in 1812. He tells that Rev. David Imbrie attended Dr. J. Anderson's Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1806. He became pastor of the Big Beaver Church, (later New Brighton), Brush Run, (Greersburg -now Darlington), Four Mile and also Bethel in Lawrence Co. PA.

Dr. Imbrie tells us that his great-grandfather weighed 316 pounds and that when he rode thru the woods he would take two horses and change from time to time.

He and his wife are buried in the old Seceder Cemetery above Darlington.

Dr. John Anderson, Pastor of Service Church also began Service Theological Seminary of the Associate Presbyterian Church in a log cabin known as "Eudolphia Hall" near Service Church. It was the second Divinity School in America.

I wondered how Dr. Anderson got from Service Church to Four Mile in 1812. As the crow flies it is about ten miles. He could have gone to Georgetown and used the ferry to cross the Ohio to Smith's Ferry, then have taken the road to Four Mile or he could have crossed the Ohio River at Vanport which had a ferry at that time (see map of Beaver Co. 1817). It would have taken considerable time on either route by horse or horse and buggy.

Prior to 1800, the water level in the Ohio River was not as deep as today. In the dry season of the year it was possible to walk across the river in various places as the water's depth was three feet or less. Flat bottom boats, keel boats, rafts, and large canoes were used in the spring of the year to go down river when the spring rains raised the water level. Several dams had been placed in the Ohio by 1812 which raised the water level to at least three feet; then a few years later larger dams were placed which raised the level higher and permitted paddle wheel boats to come up river to Pittsburgh.

The early ministers of Four Mile shared time with other churches for a number of years. Four Mile, West Beaver, and West Union. We know where Four Mile is located but where is West Beaver? I found it to be on Ohio Route 518 west of West Point, Ohio, between East Liverpool and Lisbon, Ohio, overlooking the west branch of the Little Beaver Creek.

As a point of interest, in July of 1863 General John H. Morgan of the Confederate Army surrendered with 364 officers and men near the West Beaver Church. A large granite stone records his capture and marks the point farthest north reached by the confederate forces.

West Union or Long's Run is in Calcutta, Ohio. West Beaver Church is 13.2 miles from Long's Run Church and Four Mile is 8.7 miles from Long's Run Church. The minister spent one third of his time at each church.

There may be other questions you have of the area and want an answer. Bausman's History of Beaver County Vol. I & II is a good place to start.

Four Mile Church History Index

Beaver County Churches Index

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