Jefferson Township Historical Society
Jefferson Township Historical Society HomeAbout Jefferson Township Historical SocietyJefferson Township Historical Society Veterans MemorialJefferson Township Historical Society White ChurchJefferson Township Historical Society Heritage HallContact Jefferson Township Historical Society

Welcome to Jefferson Township Historical Society

The purpose of the Jefferson Township Historical Society (“Society”) shall be to bring together those people interested in history, and especially in the history of Jefferson Township and surrounding areas. Understanding the history of our community is basic to our democratic way of life, gives us a better understanding of our state and nation, and promotes a better appreciation of our American heritage. Read More about JTHS

Click Here to learn about the History of The Jefferson Township Historical Society!




The March meeting of the Jefferson Township Historical Society will be held on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at 10:00 am in the White Church building located in Eldersville on Fire Road across from the fire hall.  If you are unsure where we are located, type into your GPS the address of 12 Fire Road, Burgettstown, PA 15021.

Come in your Green to our March meeting.  It is St. Patrick’s Day. Bring with you some history of St. Patrick’s Day.  Share with others why the day may be special to you.

At the March 17 meeting, we will be discussing the “History of the Automobile”.  It will be a meeting of audience participation.  What was your first car? Do you have a picture of your first car to bring and show us? We will sit around a table and pass out pictures of automobiles.  There will be pictures of a 1924 Model T Touring and a 1937 Buick owned by the late Ben Strain. The inspiration for this meeting came from our friend, Frank Muzopappa, who wrote the enclosed article “History of the Automobile”.  Enjoy reading his article and reminiscing over the old automobile that your Grandfather drove.

You do not have to be a member of the Historical Society to enjoy this discussion on Automobiles.  Hopefully you will have something to add to the discussion. Refreshments will be available and there is always social time after the meeting.

Mark your Calendars now for these Scheduled Fundraisers

Plant Sale – The Plant Sale will be May 25 and 26.  We need more plants this year.  You can help.  Start growing plants now to donate to be sold at the Plant Sale in May.

Yard Sale – The Yard Sale will be June 22 and 23.  Start cleaning out now to have your donations ready for the Sale.  We can sell everything but clothes, shoes and books.

Helping Wounded Police Officers and Correction Officers

“Covering the Blue” – Diane Huggins has organized a group of ladies that are willing to crochet Thin Blue Line Lap Covers for Wounded Police Officers and Correction Officers.  They have just sent out two covers to two Officers wounded in Idaho this week.  They have two more covers to go to wounded Officers in New York and two covers that will go to wounded Officers in Clinton, Missouri. The need is great to cover the wounded with lap blankets. Diane has learned of still another Officer down this week in Florida.  Because of the convenience of the internet, help is being given to Wounded Officers across the country.  What an opportunity you are being given to help!  If you can crochet, please join this group or help with donations.

What are the needs of this special group?  They need donations of Red Heart Super Saver Jumbo Yarn in Royal Blue and Black.  All the lap blankets will be the same.  Monetary donations are needed for mailing these covers to the Wounded Officers.  The Historical Society has agreed to receive the donations and put the donations under a designated account.   Checks can be made out to Jefferson Township Historical Society as follows:  JTHS and in the memo line – Covering the Blue. 

Next week retired Lt. Randy Sutton from Las Vegas is going to high light the group on his Facebook live show, cocktails with Randy.  If you are on Facebook, you can find the group under Covering the Blue and look up Randy Sutton.  He was the most highly decorated Officer on the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

This work is very important as so many officers have fallen.  The group wants them to know that they cover them with their love and support. If anyone can help, it would be greatly appreciated by the group but mostly by the Wounded Officers receiving the lap blankets. Diane Baughman (Huggins) Facebook name Diane Baughman


Premier Designs Jewelry Fundraising Campaign – JTHS member Jamie Copenhaver-Cribbs, Independent Consultant for Premier Designs Jewelry, is offering her services and expertise by way of running a Premier Designs Jewelry Fundraising Campaign.  More details will follow in the newsletter once the dates for the campaign have been established. 


Dues are Due Our annual dues are $15.00 for a single person and $20.00 for a family.  You can pay your dues at a meeting or mail a check made payable to Jefferson Township Historical Society, Box 383, Burgettstown, PA 15021.


If you have any questions, please call our President Jean Baltich 1-304-748-6376.


by Frank Muzopappa
Part Two

Mr. A.D. White, a talented professional educator, local historian, and a humanitarian left a legacy that is still remembered by many of the students that he taught and supervised. As a Supervising Principal, he served elementary schools from Turney to Eldersville in Jefferson Township. The other schools under his jurisdiction were Cedar Grove (Studa), Patterson Mill, and Browntown. None of these exist today.

In the 1930’s, and 1940’s, his job was not one with a fixed schedule. He visited each school regularly, but there were times when he filled in for a teacher that could not meet her classes, or problem students required a reprimand for their behavior.

In those years, if students were not attending school Mr. White would visit the family of a truant. In those years, infectious diseases such as measles, mumps, chicken pox, diphtheria, common colds and flu were all common. The only disease students were protected against was small pox, for which children were inoculated. I am certain those children, now adults, can still remember being vaccinated prior to beginning first grade.

Obviously, there could be times when all the students from a family were infected, and Mr. White would have to check on these families. There were times when Mr. White transported pupils to a clinic or doctor if the family was unable to do so. In some cases, he took it upon himself to visit students that were unable to attend school and supply them with books and homework to keep up with their classes.

The gist of this information is to emphasize the value of the automobile in providing the vehicle for Mr. White to be able to practice his profession, dedication and, above all, his compassion. You must agree that Mr. White had a tremendous responsibility in meeting his basic duties, but he increased his commitment on his own volition.

Now enters the automobile. How could Mr. White have accomplished so much on the meager income of teachers at the time? He had to have a reliable auto that he could afford, and also provided favorable miles per gallon of gas.

You are now probably wondering “how does this information relate to the history of automobiles and Mr. White?” The answer is “he drove a Willys.” He was the only one I knew that owned a Willys from 1936 through 1944, but in the fall of 1948, my uncle Frank bought a used civilian Willys Jeep Wagon.

The Jeep, “G.P.” (General Purpose) gained much fame in the second World War. The Bantam American was the first auto company to have its model approved by the military. Bantam of Butler, Pennsylvania, was not able to meet the production quota set by the military. The government then awarded Willys and Ford contracts to meet the demand of the three companies producing jeeps, but the Willy’s name was the only one recognized. They made most of the improvements to the basic model and continued as Willys Jeep after the war.

The Willys Jeep had proven its reliability and became an icon of the military. The Willys Company was an established auto company for many years before 1929 and the Great Depression. The company began its production of compact cars, which became popular during the Depression, and the decision saved the company. Now, it seems obvious that Mr. White considered the compact car as the car for the common worker in the future.

You may be thinking, why did he not buy a Bantam, which was a compact auto smaller than the Willy’s American that Mr. White drove. Reason one is that the Bantam had the reputation of being overpriced. Reason two is that it had a reputation for a poor frequency of repair record. The Bantam only lasted from 1936 to 1941 (pre-WW II) but continued to build Jeeps until the war ended. It seemed that Mr. White knew quite a bit about automobiles that met the requirements that he had to have to survive the rigors and demands that he placed on himself as to his position as an educator. After all, the Jeep had the same engine that powered his Willy’s Americar...what better assurance does one need than that to prove that he knew the automobile that was right for him and the environment.

In 1946 the Willys Jeep Wagon was placed on the market, the mood of car buyers after the war began to favor the larger, more powerful cars. In 1949 Ford increased the horse power in its cars. Chrysler introduced its powerful Hemi Head V8, and Oldsmobile produced its Rocket 88. Even Chevrolet introduced a V8 in the mid 1950’s, and Dodge and Plymouth followed suit.

However, also in 1949, two Volkswagen beetles were brought into America. In 1962, I visited three VW agencies wishing to purchase a VW. I was told that I would have to put my name on a waiting list.

In 1972 our country was experiencing long lines waiting to get to a gas pump; then came many regulations from the government to increase the miles per gallon of gas, a decrease in exhaust emissions, which has moved the auto industry into producing mostly four cylinder engines in smaller cars.

We can still see the name Jeep on newer automobiles, but not the Willys name: The Jeep Cherokee is popular, but it is produced by the Chrysler-Fiat Corporation.

From 1941 to 2018, the basic design of the grill of these vehicles is still retained, and no other vehicle has such a history.  If you might think of the VW Beetle, you must recall that it had no grill. 

I believe that most would agree that those of us who were privileged to have known Mr. White as a teacher or principal were even more impressed with him when reuniting with him at the Turney Reunions...a legend in his time!

As a final thought on covering over one hundred years of the automobile, I believe you would agree with me that one of the most dreadful moments in the long life of a senior citizen is to have one’s driving privilege revoked.

Other than a few small religious groups in America, the automobile has become indispensible to our way of life.  However, one sect of the Mennonite religion is known in the vernacular as the “Black Bumper” Mennonites because they paint the chrome and anything that looks extravagant black, and even the children of the group will insist that the auto is strictly for business, not pleasure.

I thank God that Ben and A.D. White preserved an interesting century of the America that many of us began our lives.

A 1938 Willys, like the one Mr. White drove.



Jefferson Township Map - circa 1932
with locations of historical sites noted by Frank Muzopappa.
Click Here to Download a copy of the Map.

Information and Events

The Jefferson Township Historical Society meets at the White Church the third Saturday of every month at 10:00 am.
We will be providing information for the meetings each month. Christmas in the Village is the Historical Society’s biggest fundraiser of the year, look for 216 information soon!
Read more about upcoming events and fundraisers... Read More

Buildings and Monuments

~ Veterans Memorial

It was February 2004 when the Board members of the Jefferson Township Historical Society had a vision for a Veterans Memorial in Eldersville. They owned property where a Memorial could be built. There was a Jefferson Township Honor Roll in front of the former Eldersville Grade School.... Read More

~ The White Church

The White Church is uniquely located in a tri-state area attracting visitors from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. It has been awarded historic landmark designations by the Washington County History and Landmark Foundation for The White Church, built in 1844 and Heritage Hall, built 1876. The White Church Building is a useful site for community events and its monthly meetings and Heritage Hall houses its museum.... Read More

~ Heritage Hall

Heritage Hall is located at 493 Eldersville Road, Burgettstown, PA 15021. In 2012 the Washington County History and Landmarks Foundation awarded Historic Landmark Designations for the Society’s two buildings: Heritage Hall and The White Church....
Read More



A contribution of any size is welcome for this worthwhile and commendable White Church Preservation Project. You may mail your contribution to Jefferson Township Historical Society, White Church Project, Box 383, Burgettstown, PA 15021 or contact Frank Malardie, Treasurer at

Jefferson Township Historical Society