Evans City, Pennsylvania



204C South Jackson Street                                Evans City, PA 16033

724-538-3629                                           evanscityhistory@gmail.com

February 2019


February General Membership Meeting

The February General Membership Meeting will be held at 7:30 P.M. on Monday, February 25, 2019 in the library community room of the Leone and John Irvine Community Center, 204 South Jackson Street, 
Evans City, PA.


Our program for the evening , Muzzle Loaders and Powder Horns, will be presented by Richard Rosenberger. Rick has put together a program on this famous American firearm and its history. He will bring with him a variety of items from the longrifle era.  Rick is the author of "The Longrifles of Western Pennsylvania” published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. It is available at the Butler, Cranberry, Evans City and South Butler libraries. Rick has also said if anyone has a longrifle and would like to bring it to the meeting, he will gladly take a look at it.


Our programs are open to the public. You do not need to be a member of the historical society to attend. You just need to be interested in history – local and otherwise. Please join us for this program and bring a friend with you.


A THANK YOU to Becky Gannon for a canvas roll-up military medical kit carried by her father, Dr. Richard Alsopp, during World War 2. The kit, in very good condition, has a spot clearly identified for each piece of equipment that could be carried. A few of the pieces still remain in the kit.

A THANK YOU to American Legion Post 219 for a monetary donation.

A THANK YOU to Roger Jones for a monetary donation


OUR SYMPATHY to the family of Chalmers Richardson who passed away on November 4, 2018. Chalmers was a member of the Evans City Historical Society. During World War 2 he served in the U.S. Navy. He was active in the community throughout his life serving on borough council,  SW Butler County and Seneca Valley school boards and was the first president of the Lions Club. If Chalmers has lived until January 1, 2019, he and his wife Helen would have celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary.

OUR SYMPATHY to the family of Sara (Sally) Bergmann who passed away December, 5, 2018.  Sally was a long time member of the Evans City Historical Society.

OUR SYMPATHY to the family of Clair Drushel who passed away December 25, 2018. Clair also had long been a member of the Evans City Historical Society. His World War 2 story was featured in our November newsletter. Daughter, Barbara Etter is a member of our Board.

OUR SYMPATHY to Board member, Mary Kosinski, who son Richard lost his battle with cancer. Richard passed away on JANUARY 8, 2019.

OUR SYMPATHY to Board member Beverley Sacripant whose sister, Shirley  Kelly, passed away on January   Shirley was a member of the Evans City Historical Society.

OUR SYMPATHY to the family of Society member Donald Drushel who passed away several months ago. Donald graduated from Evans City High School in 1946 and has spent the majority of his life in Arizona.


A NOTE from your president: For the past ten years it has been my privilege to be president of the Evans City Historical Society. The Board I have worked with could not have been a better group of people who wanted to make sure the history of our community was preserved.

Together, all our display cabinets have been replaced with cabinet’s custom made by Bill Smith, most of our holdings are now on a computer data base, our membership has increased. Among my responsibilities was the writing of the newsletter, which, with the input of you, the Society members, has grown. I have learned much local history and enjoyed the challenge of digging for information.

            For example – a few months ago we received a call from a person asking for information about ‘Camp Deer Head’. No one in the museum knew anything about it and we forgot about it. Then in December we received another call. We still knew nothing but started thinking we should. Our first lead came when a Board member talked to someone who thought it was off Ash Stop Road, across the Connoquenessing Creek from Wonderland Park. Several phone calls led to the following story:

            Camp Deer Head was located at the far end of Ash Stop Road. But let’s go back a number of years.

            The property was owned  a hundred or so years ago by Agustus Behm who kept a flock of sheep on the land. He also kept a row boat at the bank of the creek so he could daily row across from his main farm located on Brownsdale Road to check on and feed the sheep. He may have sold the land to the First United Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh some time around 1920 give or take a few years. The church developed this area into a summer church camp, put in a swimming pool, erected a large dining & recreation hall (which was called Bono Vista Lodge and is still standing) and a number of  tents and cabins , They named it Camp AR-CO-HO, .Larry Parisi has a post card of the building and staff in his book Butler County Revisited.  The post card is dated 1925. We believe the camp could have been funded by the Arbuckle’s of Arbuckle Coffee, thus the fist two words AR-CO. The camp was still in existence in 1940 because Parasi’s book has another post card  postmarked 1940.


The First United Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh may have sold the property to another church some time in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s.

One explanation  for the new name of the camp was when members  of the church were walking the property to see just what all they had bought they saw a deer head laying on the ground and decided to call it Camp Deer Head. Another explanation  is that when you look at a map of the direction of the creek, one can see the shape of a deer head.

            Camp Deer Head continued in existence until the early 1960’s but was completely gone by the time Night of Living Dead was filmed. During this time the camp was sold to Reddi-Green Sod Farm , then to a Mr. Gass and finally to the McElhinny Farm. While it was still Camp Deer Head the camp was also used by some Pittsburgh high school football teams for training camp..


            We are still looking for more information or pictures and are hopeful someone out there will share this with us.




            When we printed a story about Coulter Glenn in our September 2018 newsletter, we were using information from our files. Since then a great nephew of Coulter’s, Bill Glenn,  has sent us more information to fill out the story about Coulter.

            Coulter Edward Glenn was born January 25, 1858 in Coulter, Pennsylvania. Coulter is located on the bank of the Youghiogheny River in what is currently South Versailles Township, Allegheny County, Most of his young life was spent in Concord Township, Butler County, PA

            Coulter and older brother Harvey became life long partners in the oil business. In 1892  Coulter and Harvey received a patent on their invention of  a portable oil drilling rig. They would receive four other patents through the years.

            In 1901 Coulter  married Nettie Buhl. Three children were born to them, namely Christine in 1902, Lucille in 1905 and Coulter Jr. in 1913. In 1903 Coulter and Nettie built their 17 room residence at 233 North Washington Street in Evans City.  In 1930 the value of the house was $35,000.00  or about $530,000.00 in today’s dollars. In 1909 Coulter had a power plant installed to light the house as electricity had not yet come to Evan City.. Today the home currently operates as apartments called

 ‘The Mansion”.

            Although they were well off from their early oil ventures, the big break for Coulter and Harvey came in 1905 when Benedum Trees Oil Company selected them to perform the drilling operations at their newest project in areas surrounding Robinson and Palestine, Illinois.  So how did Coulter and Harvey manage to get themselves in business with Benedum Trees Oil Company?. They had two things working in their favor. Coulter had given Joe Trees his first job after he graduated engineering school. And their portable drilling rig was so prized for its efficiency and cost saving that Benedum was anxious to put the rig to work on his projects. The “Glenn Boys”, as Mike Benedum referred to them, received a 2/20th interest in the Illinois venture in return for performing all the drilling operations.

            Benedum Trees Oil Company was owned by Mike Benedum and Joe Trees. Mike Benedum to this day is known as the greatest oil wildcatter of all times, discovering more oil in more places around the world than any other man. Joe Trees, Benedum’s life long partner, had quite an interesting past. He attended Western Pennsylvania University (today Pitt) He was the college’s first student to be given a scholarship based on athletics. This was the early days of football and Joe was so valued by Pitt that Pitt once postponed a game with Penn State so that Joe could play in the game. He had a professional game to play on the original date of the game and he could earn $75. In those days there were no rules to prevent college players from playing professional as well. Trees  is considered one of the first men to be paid to play football. At the time of their deaths, both Benedum and Trees were among the 100 richest men in Ameerica.

            In 1907 Benedum and Trees began selling their Illinois operation. From the sale Coulter and Harvey each received $375.000 or about $10 M in 2018 dollars.

            In 1908 Benedum moved to his next venture in Caddo, Louisiana. Again the “Glenn Boys” were granted drilling operations in return for a 1/5th interest in the venture.

            In 1910 Benedum And Trees sold this venture to Standard Oil for 9M dollars (equal to 235M in 2018 dollars). This was the biggest sale in the oil industry to that point in history. Coulter and Harvey each received 1.8 M or about 48M in 2018 dollars.

            In 1913 Coulter and Harvey filed suit against Benedum Trees Oil Co., saying the true actual price received from Standard Oil was concealed from them and they were paid less than the actual price paid by Standard.. Benedum and Trees and another partner H.S. Grayson  claimed they kept 3M for land owned separately in Texas of which the Glenn’s had no interest. The lawsuit was decided against Coulter and Harvey who appealed the case all the way to the PA Supreme Court, which ordered a re-trial. Again the Glenn’s lost, again they appealed . When the case reached the PA Supreme Court, the court ruled against them. Coulter tried again in 1929  saying he had new evidence, but his efforts failed.

            In 1922 Coulter donated a pipe organ to Westminster United Presbyterian Church in Evans City , traveling to Erie to oversee its constructions.

            Coulter died in 1948 and is buried in Evans City Cemetery


*Have a story you remember about something that happened in Evans City? Or a person you remember? Or your own family history? Please write it down and email or regular mail it to us. We will include it in a newsletter.  How about a picture? Or a document? We will copy it and return it to you immediately. It’s called saving history for future generations, because once we are gone, that story, picture or family history may also be gone




Taking office at our February meeting



President,  Richard Reifenstein 

Vice President, Barbara Etter

Treasurer,  Chris Ripper 

Recording Secretary, Sandra Knauff

Corresponding Secretary,  Rita Reifenstein 

Past President, Rita Schoeffel 

New Board Members-at-Large:

 Kitty Martin, Tammy Rape and Kurt Wearing.





Yes! I want to help preserve our history


            Individual.....$10.00                                                               Student..... $2.00

            Husband & Wife..... $18.00                                                    Patron..... $100.00

            Family (children under 18)..... $25.00                                    Benefactor.....$250.00




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            Evans City Area Historical Society   204 C. S. Jackson St., Evans City, PA  16033





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