119 South Pitt Street · Mercer, Pennsylvania 16137 · 724-662-3490


October has always been a special month for the Mercer County Historical Society and the MCHS Civil War Roundtable. Each year for the past thirteen or so years, Bill Philson, MCHS Executive Director, has led tours of Mercer Borough and its cemeteries, focusing on various aspects of the Civil War, the Underground Railroad, other issues and events in our history, and enjoying the great fall air. On the Wednesday evenings of October 10, 17, and 24, we will depart from the Society’s Headquarters at 7 PM and should return around 9 PM. or later—weather permitting. Bring a lantern or a flashlight so you can watch your step—the tour will be dark and bumpy in places. We will be walking in excess of a mile and a half—so bring your walking shoes! People who cannot walk that distance will be able to meet us at the various stops; however, they will miss much of the discussion and talking that goes on during the tour. Donations will be accepted to benefit the Old Mercer Cemetery, Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, and the Western Pennsylvania Civil War Reenactors Society. Please check our website, www.mchspa.org, before each tour—in case of inclement weather. Call the office of the Mercer County Historical Society for more...
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Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

At 1:30 in the afternoon of Sunday, October 28, 2018, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Isaac Eaton Camp 504, will meet in the Social Hall (basement) of the Helen Black Miller Memorial Chapel at the MCHS headquarters in Mercer, PA. For further information, please call the Historical Society at 724-662-3490, email info@mchspa.org, or look to our webpage www.mchspa.org .
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Christmas Specials at MCHS!

Christmas Specials at the Mercer County Historical Society It is almost Christmas!  The Mercer County Historical Society has a few things that might help you get into the Christmas spirit.  First we have a wonderful multi-colored Christmas bulb showing the Helen Black Miller Memorial Chapel in red, black, and green with its history in red on the back side of the bulb.  The price of this bulb is a low $10.00 tax included. The second featured item is our recently published pictorial history of the Shenango Reservoir.  This tabletop book is 8½ by 11 inches, well over 300 pages in length, has over 400 illustrations/photographs, and covers the history of the river, the dam, and the lake.  The price of this book is lowered to $50.00 with tax included—shipping and handling are an added cost. These are two of our items for sale—other items are...
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The Shenango Reservoir

Finally, the Shenango Reservoir—50th Anniversary Souvenir Photographic Remembrance is finished—350 pages and more than 475 photos and images. This book is 8 ½ by 11 and is a wonderful coffee table book. You can get one at the Mercer County Historical Society—the price here is $55.00, tax included. Or you can order these books from CreateSpace at https://www.createspace.com/7264504.
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The J.A. Stevenson Murder

A story told in the papers. Greenville Evening Record August 14, 1916 pg column 1&2 Osgood Man Murdered in his home last night J.A. Stevenson Met His Death in an Encounter With Burglars Who Got Away With $400 J.A. Stevenson of Osgood, proprietor of a country store and eating house, was found murdered in his home in that village shortly after midnight this morning by unknown burglars, who secured nearly $400. Mr. Stevenson was shot three times. One bullet broke his left arm, a second entered his left side, punctured a lung and came out on the right side near the back. The third missile was embedded in the body. Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson were alone in the house, in their bedroom on the second floor. Shortly after midnight they were awakened and found two men in the room. Mr. Stevenson seized a revolver lying on a table at the head of the bed and fired at the intruders, who ran, carrying Mr. Stevenson’s trousers containing his money. He followed them through an empty room to the head of the stairs, and down to the door of the kitchen, where he fell and expired before even the nearest neighbor could reach him. Mrs. Stevenson ran to the home of Jeff Williams, who telephoned for help to Greenville. Burgess Guy Thorne, Officers Landers, Grover, and Bessemer Detective Dennis Riley responded, and were at the Stevenson home at 2 o’clock. Coroner McBride of Sharon and Coroner’s Physician Steele of Greenville were also summoned and concluded a post mortem and investigation. Search of the premises showed there had been a struggle in the room next to the bedroom; there was a small spot of blood on the hall carpet, and only one of the three shots fired by Mr. Stevenson could be found. That went through a door and into a bed in an adjoining room where it was found. It is believed the other two took effect in the bodies of the robbers. Mr. Stevenson’s shirt was torn about the neck and there were marks and bruises on his neck where the murderer grappled with him. As he reached the kitchen door he fell to the floor, exclaiming to his wife, “They got my money and I guess they got me too.” These were his last words, and he died before Mr. Williams reached the house. The officers found the burglars...
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Man looks for a murderer 100 years later.

The MCHS was able to play a hand in looking into this mysterious death more than 100 years ago: The Record-Argus, Greenville, Pa. 16125 Saturday-Sunday, August 13-14, 2016 One-hundred years later, man seeks info about uncle’s murder By Molly Vanwoert Mystery is ‘out of a TV drama’ Until a few weeks ago, Jim Stevenson had no idea his great-great uncle J.A. Stevenson existed. While doing research on the history of another relative, Jim stumbled across J.A.’s story – documented in old newspaper articles collected by the Mercer County Historical Society (MCHS) – and found himself thrust into a murder mystery that he said “could be straight out of a TV drama.’ Now Jim said he is trying everything he can to learn more about the uncle he never knew he had, and the murder that ended his life exactly 100 years ago. According to historical society documents, J.A. died after being shot three times in his Osgood home on Aug. 13, 1916. While archives from the Greenville Evening Record and The Mercer Dispatch detail the many twists and turns of the investigation into J.A.’s untimely death, from the day after attack through Oct. 28, 1916, coverage of the investigation seems to end there. The final Evening Record article confirms the identity of one of J.A.’s killers – found dead just a mile outside of Mercer – and clears the name of another implicated in the crime, but does not answer the question of who the second killer was. This, among others, is a question Jim wants answered. Jim is currently working with Bill Philson – executive director of the historical society – in an attempt to track down missing newspaper articles, police reports and an obituary for J.A., which he hopes will help fill in the blanks of his family tree. Although his father was 11 years old when J.A. was murdered, Jim said his dad’s great-uncle was never mentioned to him; his sister, Nancy; or his brother, John, as they were growing up. “We knew nothing about [the murder], or him for that matter,” Jim said. “When it happened, my dad was 11 and lived very close by to J.A., but it was never discussed in our family – it was never brought up, by anyone.” Jim’s father kept hand-written records of the Stevensons’ family history, something Jim said he passed on to him. While researching a J.M....
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