What's In a Name?

Hopewell Township EagleA name is a term of identification – and names often help document an area’s history. Hopewell has some such names. The primary road in Hopewell takes its name from Col. Daniel Brodhead who. used the road, which had been cut through the wilderness by General Lachlan McIntosh, as a supply route from Fort Pitt to Fort McIntosh during the Revolution­ary War period.

Maratta Road takes its name from an early settler Peter Maratta who married Nancy McGee. There is “McGee Avenue” in “Agnew” Heights. We have Davidson Heights, Temple Heights, Wallace Circle, Sohn Road, Laird Drive, Steuers Road, Morrow Way, Buss Road, Veazey Cemetery, and Scottsville. All early family names in Hopewell Township. There are streets named for United States presidents, while other streets are named for states. Perhaps the most difficult name in the Township to document is “Hopewell.” How did we come to be known as Hopewell Township and where did the name originate?

“History of Beaver County” published by A. Warner & Company in 1888 suggests that Hope­well was so named because of its connection with Washington County. A portion of Washington County did become Beaver County in 1800, and there existed a Hopewell Township in Washington County at that time. Did settlers from Hopewell Township, Washington County settle in the area, which subsequently became Beaver County, and influence the naming of the township that was formed in the readjustment of townships in Beaver County in 1812?

The “History of Beaver County” written by Rev. Joseph H. Bausman states: “The name Hope­well was probably taken from a Presbyterian church, organized about ten years earlier, on the farm of Orion Aten. Three or four years later the church was removed a mile farther south in Findlay Township, Allegheny County, where the graveyard may still be seen.” A grave mark identifying Adrian Aten as having served in the Revolutionary War is located in the “Old Hopewell Cemetery” which is maintained by the present Hebron U. P. Church of Clinton (formerly known as Hopewell Church, then Hopewell-Hebron Church). The original Hopewell Church burnt down during the Civil War period. Early records were destroyed in that fire, so we do not know whether Adrian Aten was related to the Orin Aten identified in Bausman’s history.

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