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

We’re Opening!

The Mercer County Historical Society (MCHS) will be opening Friday, June 26, 2020. Please follow the following rules for admittance. We reserve the right to NOT ALLOW ENTRANCE to anyone failing to follow our guidelines, which follows all CDC, Federal, State and Local guidelines. Please DO NOT come in if you think you have been infected with COVID-19, been around someone who has been identified with COVID-19, or if you have a cough, fever, or think you might be getting sick. There is a MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY of seven people at one time in our library. This includes patrons, volunteers, and staff. Once inside, you will be required to sanitize your hands (provided by MCHS), put on a mask (provided by the MCHS or your own), and have your temperature taken by a volunteer or staff member of the MCHS (your temperature must be under 100.4 degrees). Then you must sign in in our lobby—including a phone number—so we can contact you in the unlikely event someone here develops COVID-19 or its symptoms. You will also be required to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from other patrons, volunteers, or staff. Please cough or sneeze into a tissue and throw it, along with any used wipes, away into a waste basket (throughout the MCHS). Please leave any books, files, or other items used in research or reading on the desks to be cleaned by you (using wipes), or the volunteers or staff. Guided tours will be conducted three times a day, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, or 3:00 PM. You must reserve times by calling the MCHS at 724-662-3490. No more than seven people will be allowed on a tour. They will last no longer than 45 minutes. The patrons will sanitize their hands, wear a mask, sign in, and attempt not to touch anything within the museum and agree to all the below conditions once they leave. Once you leave the MCHS, please contact us if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 or you test positive with...
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Mercer County, PA, In The American Civil War

A new two volume set of books are now available through the MCHS. These new works, from Mark S. Painter, are titled Mercer County, PA, In The American Civil War Volume I (1860-1863) and Volume II (1864-1865 and beyond) and can now be purchased either on line (www.amazon.com) or at the Historical Society Headquarters in the borough of Mercer. Both volumes have 300+ pages for a total of 600+ pages of first hand documents from the period 1860—1865 and beyond. These books dig deeply into letters, diaries, newspaper articles, and other sources. No stone was unturned searching for information for these books!Through these in-depth sources the reader can almost envision what life was like at that time in the various towns and backwaters of Mercer County and life on the front lines of the Army or Navy. The reader gets to know these men and women and learn about their struggles, wounds, and, in a lot of cases, their deaths.Interspaced throughout these books are sections that will explain what is going on in the “whole” war and those sections will be tied to individual thoughts and struggles from Mercer County and other near-by Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio areas. Learn about various people from this area who were embroiled in this massive struggle—from all sides of the Civil War—and their thoughts and actions. These books are enjoyable to read and should be a “must have” for any Civil War buff or a historical reader interested in learning the true ways of life during the early-to-mid 1860’s in small town America.The price for each of these books are $24.99 plus tax and shipping online (a very, very, reasonable cost for a book of this length and quality) and can also be bought as individual books at our headquarters in Mercer for the same price ($24.99 plus tax and shipping, if necessary) or as a pair—a two volume set—for $45 tax included (plus shipping if...
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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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New Books Coming

The Mercer County Historical Society is in the process of trying to create two new photographic souvenir type books. One is on the Borough of Mercer and the Surrounding Areas and the other on the 50th Anniversary of the Shenango Reservoir. If you have any stories and/or photos you believe would help promote either the Mercer area or the Shenango Reservoir, please consider helping us through the use of your materials. These books are proposed to be finished by late summer or in the fall. Contact us at 724-662-3490; info@mchspa.org; MCHS,119 South Pitt Street, Mercer, PA 16137; or stop in. We thank you in...
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