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"Ferree's Purchase" Joel Ferree Land Patent

Joel Ferree was the son of Philip and Leah Dubois Ferree and grandson of Daniel and Marie Ferree. In 1752 he received land from his father, set up a gunshop and became a very prominent gunsmith called upon during the Revolutionary War to provide arms for the military. There are still two houses in Paradise, Pennsylvania, that at one time were owned by Joel and what remains of that gunshop can still be seen, however, the present owner of the gunshop site has offered the property for sale. "Joel Ferree Houses" "Joel Ferree Gunshop"

After the Revolution he migrated west which brought him to an area along the Monongahela River. Although there were very few settlers, he decided to stay. On October 26, 1785, Joel Ferree acquired a land patent of about 323 acres "Ferree's Purchase" on Peters Creek which was about twenty four miles up the Monongahela River from Pittsburgh in what would become Jefferson Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He built a house and a gunshop and began the manufacture of guns.

Historic Pittsburgh: Map Image Warrantee Atlas, Plate 16 - Jefferson Township

Joel's daughter, Rachael, married cousin Jacob Ferree. After Rachael's death and his second marriage to Alice Powell, Jacob and family left the Lancaster area to locate and settle at the mouth of Peters Creek on this land of his uncle and former father-in-law. (Jacob would later purchase his own land "Britania". )

Joel Ferree died in 1801, killed and scalped by Indians while hunting during a visit with Jacob. The following is from Joel's will (Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Will Book H, Page 95) "Jacob Ferree, late the husband of my daughter, Rachael, deceased - all my tract of land now in his tenure on Peters Creek in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, containing 300 acres. After Jacob's death - land to go to grandchildren - Joel, Rebecca, Jane, and Elizabeth, the four children of Jacob by my daughter, Rachael."

This land known as "Ferree's Purchase" would later come under the ownership of Henry Large and the Large family and become the site of the Large Distillery which established a reputation for excellence in the manufacture of Monongahela rye whiskey. The Large Distillery was sold to the National Distillery Company which sold it to the Noble Dick Company. It was leased in 1958 to Westinghouse for a nuclear research facility which is now closed.

Joel Ferree was born 1730/1731 and died 1801. Lineage: Joel Ferree and Mary Copeland, Jane Johnston, Susan Green, Sarah (Sallie) Davis)/Philip Ferree and Leah Dubois/ Daniel Ferree and Marie Warenbur.

Source: "Historic Pittsburgh: Warrantee Atlas Plate 16 -Jefferson Township" , University of Pittsburgh Digital Library at http://digital.library.pitt.edu; "Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Register of Deeds Vol (B)2 page 446"; "Mifflin Township Historical Society" , www.mifflintownship.org/History; "West Jefferson Hills Historical Society", www.15122.com/WJHHS/HISTORY/Large; "Yohogania County -History of Jefferson Borough, PA" , www.1512.com/YOHOGANIA/Jefferson History; "GenCircles" , www.gencircles.com.