History of Toms Brook


The New St. Peter's Dedicated:
Vast Concourse at Toms Brook

A notable Occasion for the Lutherans of this Thriving Town and Community.

Pastor and People build a Magnificent Edifice and Imposing, Useful and Enduring Monument to Their Energy, Their Liberality and Their Fidelity to God.† The Dedicatory Exercises -- The Church and Congregation -- History of the Place.

The Handsome new St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran church was dedicated on Sunday Morning to the service of God, in accordance with the beautiful liturgy of the Lutheran church.

The day, with the exception of being warm, was an ideal one. The brightness of which had been longed for by pastor and people to help make the consecration of this beautiful house of worship perfect.

The spacious church was more than filled, the Sunday school room was thrown open and every seat was taken, chairs placed in the aisles were occupied, many stood, others were in the anterooms, many turned away unable to gain an entrance and many did not attempt to go, anticipating a large crowd.† Many entered the church as early as 9 o'clock to be sure of a seat.† The hitching yard was soon filled with carriages and the streets were lined with them.

Ministers and members of other congregations gathered with St. Peter's equally interested in the impressive service which set aside the magnificent edifice for the up-building of the Christian work.† Never so many gathered to gatherer at Toms Brook in divine service as assembled on Sunday morning.


The dedicatory service opened with the anthem, "How Beautiful Upon the Mountains,"† The opening service of the church was conducted by the pastor, the Rev. L. L. Smith, D. D..

The sermon was delivered by the Rev. Augustus R. Steck, D. D., of York, Pa..† The text was from Matthew 16, 18, "And upon this rock ... build my church,"† The sermon was eloquent and able discourse forcibly delivered and it held the undivided attention of the congregation.† Mr. Steck is a forcible impressive pulpit orator whose first utterances catch the attention of the people and make them eager to catch every word which falls from his lips.† The sermon was unquestionably one of the ablest ever heard from a pulpit here.† St. Peter's was fortunate to secure so able a speaker on so important an occasion as this.

At the close of the sermon the beautiful anthem, "Praise Ye," was sweetly sung by Miss Lucy Ludwig, Messrs. A. D. Kendall and George Pollard, of St. Paul's choir, Strasburg.

Before proceeding with the dedicatatory service Mr. Smith announced that the total cost was $7,268.70.† Of this amount $5,670.10 had been reported subscribed at a meeting of the building committee several weeks ago, which left a balance of †$1,598.60 to be raised to lift the indebtedness before the consecration service.† The collection and subscriptions amounted to $1,298.60 leaving a balance of $300.† This amount was pledged, the Sunday school assuming $200 of the amount and the Ladies' Aid $100, making the church free of all indebtedness. During the lifting of the collection Dr. Steck, in a happy manner, congratulated the congregation upon the grand work just completed.

The consecration service was then conducted by the pastor in a most impressive manner.

Visiting ministers who occupied seats in the pulpit were:† The Rev. V. R. Stickley, of Jadwyn, and the Rev. J. A. Snyder, D. D. of New Market.

The dedicatory music by St. Peter's choir was excellent and was an important part in perfecting the program.† Mrs. J. N. Hockman had the arrangement of the musical program.

The ushers, Messrs. O. G. Borden, W. A. Walton, J. O. Bott, G. L. Borden, Edward Ritenour and Karl Miley, gave the large crowd their undivided attention and did everything possible for the comfort, of each one.† So large a crowd could not have been better managed.

There was an interesting attendant at the service, Mrs. Margaret Rutz, who has passed far into the evening of her life.† She enjoyed the distinction of being the only person, so far as we are able to ascertain, who attended the dedication 63 years, 6 months ago and on Sunday.† Each succeeding one has been more impressive to this aged mother.


Services in the interest of the Sunday school and young people were held in the afternoon.† Superintendent M. L. Snarr presided.

Interesting addresses were delivered by the Rev. A. R. Steck who spoke instead of the Rev. V. R. ......Stickley, who was present but was excused on account of sickness, Messrs. M. Coffman, of Woodstock, and J. W. Eberly, of Strasburg.

Special Sunday school music terspersed the address.† A special selection was sweetly sung by the smaller member of the school.

A special collection was taken and amounted to......†


The church was packed on Sunday evening to hear the Rev. W. J. Smith, of Bloom, brother of Dr. Smith.† His sermon was a post excellent one and held the earnest attention of the congregation.

The special service was continued over Monday night.


On Monday morning special communion service was held.† Coming in connection with the consecration, this service was deeply impressive to each member.† The sermon, a most excellent one, was preached by the Rev. George S. Bowers, of Winchester.


The reminiscent service on Monday evening was a fitting close to the first service in the church.† The service was devoted to reminiscent talks from former living pastors.

The addresses were made by the Revs. J. A. Snyder, D. D., of New Market; Peter Miller, of Rio, W. Va., and A. A. J. Bushong of Strasburg


St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran church is finished.† It is a beautiful house of worship, a truly splendid building, the sacred pride of every member of the congregation.† From time to time we have noted the building that hose away might know the progress of the building ...while those at home watched the church grow from a mass of unkempt clay, rock, brick and timber into a beautiful tabernacle, as it proudly stands today.† The last reference to the work we add today, it is finished, it is consecrated to the glory and service of God.


For some years there had been a latent feeling that a new edifice was imminent.† However, the little frame church on south Main street was dear to every member of church and Sunday school, who was reluctant to see it torn away.† Its walls were sacred.† As an infant were many carried in to have the hand of baptism laid on the head.† When scarcely able to walk they were led into the Sunday school and there were spent the morning hours of their life.† From there the portals of the church were entered and the world renounced.† Possibly at the altar they had kneeled to receive a benediction after plighting their troth. The silent form of a father, mother, sister, brother or child may have been borne in for the last said rites.† Something to make the old church a hallowed memory.

Time was beginning to cause the old church to decay, and to it was inadequate for the rapidly growing congregation.† It became necessary to take some action in the matter. It was decided to build.†


It was natural to desire the new church to stand upon the site of the old one, but after the plans came it was apparent that the grounds were too small, consequently a most desirable lot was secured in the center of town by purchasing from Messrs. William Keller and Robert Crabill on the western side of the street.† The grounds afford ample ground for a hitching yard.††


The work of building began more than a year ago.† The cornerstone was laid just one year before the dedication.† Today St. Peter's congregation has a modern structure of brick second to none in the valley and more magnificent than had been expected, but no grander than they would have had it.††


As one enters the building he is impressed with the sacred beauty and blending of the interior. The approach into the vestibule is by five stone steps, turning to the right one enters the main auditorium, or going straight enters the Sunday school room.

The church is finished in oak with hardwood ceiling broken by massive columns.† To the left of ... is modern.† ....stands on a stone foundation of several feet.† The exterior columns break the plain walls.† The tower rises gracefully and is surmounted by a gilded cross.† The belfry is open so the sound of the old bell may echo far over the hills.† The Sunday school room is locate on the southern side.

The grounds have been graded, grass sown and pavements laid.

The rear furnishes ample hitching space, and is fitted up with racks.† Picket fence surrounds the grounds, ....o completes St. Peter's new church.††


Besides the liberal contributions, a number of special pieces were presented to the church.

The Ladies' Aid Society, which has done so much in helping with the work, gave the altar, rentable, redress, carpet and rugs.

Two Bishop chairs for the pulpit were the gift of Mr. W. C. Wisman.

The lectern was presented by Mrs. R. T. Grave.

Senator F. S. Tavenner contributed the pulpit.

The collection plate were a donation of Alexandria & Company, Waynesboro.

A set of communion linen was given by Mrs. L. L. Smith, of Strasburg.

Hymnal board was presented by Mrs. Susan Lutholtz.

The pulpit bible was the gift of Mr. O. G. Borden.

The book marks were donated by Mr. M. L. Snarr.

Mr. L. L. Smith gave the stone steps and the cross on the spire.

Two brass vases for the altar were given, one by Mrs. C. D. Borden in memory of her father, the late Dr. Joseph M. Brown, and the other by class No. 5, which she teaches.

The alter cross of brass was a gift of Dr. E. E. Campbell, president of Irving College, Mechanicsburg, Pa., in memory of his father the late Dr. J. F. Campbell.

Mrs. S. D. Hawkins gave the receiving alms basin.

The baptismal font was a present from Mr. and Mrs. N. F. Snarr.

These gifts are of the most beautiful designs and were most happily selected to perfect the symmetry of the church.††


The work was under the charge of a building committee of thorough business men, who have managed well.† They were:† S. B. Miley, chairman, N. F. Snarr, treasurer, J. S. Borden, M. F. Schmucker, S. J. Spiggle and B. F. Borden, Jr.

The foundation was put in by Mr. G. W. Miller, of near Woodstock.† Mr. John S. Hoshour, of Woodstock, had the contract for the brick work.† Mr. D. M. Crabill had charge of the carpenter work, Messrs. Kneisley Brothers, of Woodstock, put on the slate roof.† Mr. E. Hines plastered the building.† Mr. G. W. Armentrout, of Strasburg did the artistic work with the brush. The frame material was furnished by the Fravel Sash and Door Company, of Broadway.† The windows were bought of S. S. Marshall, of Allegheny, Pa.† The pews were furnished by the Wabash Church and School Furniture Works of Anderson, Indiana. The pulpit furniture is the work of Alexander & Company, Waynesboro.† Capt. J. E. Fleming made two of the pulpit chairs.††


The membership has just cause to feel proud for having accomplished so important an undertaking.† Pastor and people have worked unremittingly and have given liberally of their time and means to accomplish the building of a new church. The building committee managed well and it had the unanimous cooperation of .........but they erected to themselves a monument which their posterity will point to with peculiar pride to each succeeding generation as the work of their forefathers. The popular opinion is, "It is beautiful."

In brief, it present to the eye what a church should, a ray of truth and love.†


Pastor -- The Rev. L. L. Smith, D. D.

Elders -- Hampson Borden, J. S. Borden, J. O. Borden.

Deacons -- N. F. Snarr, Granville Painter, S. J. Spigle.

Trustees -- N. F. Snarr, C. O. Keller, S. J. Spigle, M. F. Schmucher, B. F. Borden, jr.

Sunday School -- Superintendent, M. L. Snarr, assistant, B. F. Borden, Jr.; treasurer, S. B. Miley; secretary, Edward Ritenour.

Ladies' Aid Society -- President, Mrs. Maude B. Hockman; vice president, Miss Maude Crabill; treasurer, Miss Lena Borden; secretary, Miss Emma S. Borden.††


The early settlers of the Shenandoah Valley were largely made of Germans, being a part of the third settlement of Lutherans in this country, coming in 1717 - 27 to Pennsylvania, and many of them moved in later years to this section.† As early as 1752 a Lutheran pastory visited the dispersed members in this section, and congregations were established at Winchester, Strasburg, Frieden's near Mt. Olive, Woodstock, Zion and other places.† St. Peter's grew out of old Frieden's, the first preaching being held in a schoolhouse above the station.† The people living in this section at first worshipped at Frieden's as they did for many miles around, and old Frieden's was a union church Lutheran and Reformed.

It was in 1842 that the old log church on the hill was completed by the joint labors of the Lutherans and Reformed congregations and on May 28-29, 1842, that first church was dedicated.† The services began at 10 a. m. on Saturday and the following ministers were present;

Lutheran -- The Revs. S. Nicholas Schmucker, John B. Davis, James R. Keiser, Lewis Eichelberger and A. R. Rude.

Reformed -- The Revs. I. Heller, John S. Kessler and H. St. John Rinker.† The old record says that "the concourse of people being very great" preaching was held in both the church and schoolhouse.† At 10 a. m. the Rev. Mr. Schmucker preached and also the Rev. Mr. Hell in the Church and in the schoolhouse the Revs. Messrs. Keiser and Rinker† ........ con.......Union church.† At 3 p. m. the sermons were preached by the Revs. Messrs. Rude and Eichelberger.† At these dedicatory services the Revs. Messrs. Rinker and Keiser also preached.† At this time officers of the church were:† Elders --- William Crabill and Christian Windle.† Deacons -- David Schwartz and Ferdinand Schmucker.† Clerk -- Charles Maurer.† The congregation was small in number at this time to judge by the communicant roll.

On April 27, 1844, the Rev. J. F. Campbell, D. D., took charge of the congregation, and June 9 of the same year the first complete roll of membership is recorded as follows:

Christian Windle, William Crabill, David Schwartz, Ferdinand Schmucker, Samuel Cronk, Reuben Kneisley, David Crabill, John Keller, George K. Crabill, Samuel L. Crabill, Jonas Crabill, Samuel Doll, William Doll, Peter Nossett, Elias W. Rittenour, Moritz Heller, Solomon Zeigler, William Kronk, Mortiz Loenback, Abraham Crabill, Anna Schwartz, Mary A. Rosenberger, Eva Noissett, Eva Rhodes, Rebecca Crabill, Eva Funkhouser, Savilla Bushong, Mary A. Funkhouser, Hannah Funkhouser, Rachel Kronk, Caroline Sherman, Barbara A. Kronk, Susan Windle, Susan Crabill, Elizabeth Doll, Rachel Keller, Catherine Schmucker, Mary Lutholtz, Elizabeth Lambert, Mary J. Crabill, Lavinia Hide, Margaret A. Hide Eliza Funkhouser and Lydia Fisher.

On the same day the following Council was elected:† Elders David Schwartz and David Crabill.† Deacons -- Ferdinand Schmucker and George K. Crabill.

It was during the ministry of Dr. Campbell that many were added to the church roll, the congregation well organized, and his labors greatly blessed.† His ministry was from 1844-49, and his firmly established the work and laid the foundation for the future church.† His ministry was strong and impressive and gave the congregation abiding strength.† His name and memory are loved and cherished to this day by the† older members of the church and they lovingly tell of his earnest zeal in the work and the power with which he preached the everlasting gospel. His memory is blessed and "his works do follow him."

After the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Campbell, during an interim of a year or more, the congregation was served by the Rev. J. Richards, then living on Cedar Creek.† His ministerial relation to the congregation was that of a supply, for, during this period, a great transition was taking place and various trouble arose in the churches of this section.† The church was changing from German to English and difficulties arose awakening some strong....work for the congregation...

After Mr. Richards, the Rev. Levi Keller, of blessed memory, became pastor.† Until 1859 he served the church with unceasing fidelity.† A kind and jovial spirit, full of love and sympathy, he was greatly beloved.† His ministry was very fruitful and, during this time, such men as Joel S. Borden, Hampson Borden and many others identified themselves with the church.† Mr. Keller returned to this field after the war as the successor to Dr. Snyder.† The old church on the hill used as a hospital during the war was sold and the location changed to the site along the turnpike and that church built.† It was begun in 1868 and was dedicated in September, 1869, the Rev. J. F. Campbell, preached the sermon.† Few pastors were ever so beloved and respected as was Mr. Keller.

The Rev.. J. A. Snyder began his ministry in the stormy period preceding the outbreak of the war.† His ministry, interrupted by that dreadful contest, was under great disadvantages, yet he was full of hope and comfort to the stricken and sorrowful.† At the close of the war he resigned to become the pastor at New Market, where for 40 years he has done a great and successful work.† He is the oldest minister in the Virginia Synod and has served one field for a longer period than any pastor on its roll.† Few ministers have lived such a long and useful career among our people.

After Mr. Keller resigned, the Rev. Peter Miller became pastor and his ministry was one of great blessing.† A hard worker, he declaimed the gospel in his parish from Fishers Hill to Mt. Jackson and from mountain to mountain.† He did a tremendous work in his large field, and was faithful in season and out of season.† His ministry at the Brook was blessed and the records show how great was his influence for the up building of Zion. Mr. Miller is the junior of Dr. Snyder by one year, yet his
health is good.† Located at Rio, W. Va., he serves faithfully a large parish, preaching generally three times each Sunday and ministering to the sick and dying of his mountainous region. Through rapidly approaching the four scour limit, few younger men do the arduous, self-sacrificing work as does this "Apostle of the Capon,".† Great has been his service to the church and few men live such a grand and useful life.

The successor of Mr. Miller was the Rev. A. A. J. Bushong, who for 15 years served the Brook church.† Coming to the Woodstock pastorate in 1880, through an almost constant suffering from neuralgia, he took up the great labor of this extensive charge. Until 1895 his work was multitudinous as a faithful pastor and earnest preacher, and the church grew under his shepherd-ship. Much of the present strength of St. Peter's is due to his efforts, and his labors are justly appreciated by his former parishioners.† They will always kindly remember this servant of God who often in pain and suffering ministered to them in sickness and death -- was with them in days of joy, and who gave them a devoted service for so many years.† In 1895 Mr. Bushong was succeeded by the present pastor.

It was a great pleasure to the congregation to have present Monday.†

Toms Brook:†
Past and Present
The early History




The earliest history concerning the territory is and around Toms Brook is enshrouded in a 
simple yet interesting tradition.†Whether it be truth or fiction does not take from it in the 
least its significance, and will be handed down in posterity from generation to generation 
until the end of time.


Lord Fairfax came cantering through the forests of the Valley with his courtiers, viewing the 
possession which were contained in the grant of King Charles II to his ancestors.† They had 
with them a horse which no one was able to ride so the story runs, for its dismounted ever 
rider who attempted it.† When journeying in the section which was destined to become the 
thriving burg of Toms Brook, he purchance came upon one Crabill.† The fact of the 
unconquerable horse was mentioned, so Mr. Crabill offered to ride the animal.† Lord Fairfax 
was ever eager for some one to mount it, so he assented.† Mr. Crabill took the animal and 
soon, seemingly through a peculiar influence had the animal carrying its rider as though it 
had always been accustomed to a burden.† The feat of horsemanship so delighted Lord 
Fairfax that he gave Mr. Crabill a grant for many acres thereabouts, and doubtless, too, the 

Toms Brook, as the name of a town has not caused a few inquires.† "Whence the derivation 
of this peculiar name?".† It is not strange that it should so impress one, for why should a place 
be called a brook.† There is no other such name known in the world for a town that we can 

There are several theories advanced.† Among them we mention; when, we know not, there 
lived hereabouts a colored man whose name was Toms, and that the name was linked with
the brook, which courses its way through the town and hence the name.† Also that its name 
was taken from the name of a white man who was known as Toms and associated with the 
creek, or that the creek was named for him, and the earliest settlers, casting about for a name 
selected that of the riverlet for their town.† However, these are mythical stories, and that time 
origin of the name may never be known.

The known history of the town dates from 1852.† It was in that year that our venerable and 
esteemed blacksmith, Mr. Harrison Miller, located here, having moved from Narrow Passage.
The town bore its name then, but there were only four houses;† The old stage coach tavern, 
which was owned by David Crabill, now repaired and occupied by the family of Mr. Elijah 
Rosenberger; a log house on the corner, where Mr. Miller has built; the Donovan house; then 
owned by the late Samuel Crabill, and now rebuilt and occupied by Mr. William Keller, and 
a dwelling between that ant the creek.† On the side where now stands the ruined sawmill and 
mill race, a flour mill was in the course of erection.† The fire brands of war destroyed it, and 
it was never rebuilt, the sawmill replacing it. 
The late Adolph Hell, who afterwards moved to Woodstock, conducted a store and post office 
in a small building near the Crabill home.

Several years later the railroad was laid and the first depot was built by the late David Crabill,
who was the first agent.†Mr. Crabill owned the land lying between what are now Mr. David 
Hamman's Farm, just south of the toll gate, and Mr. M. L. Bauserman's residence, the tract.
David Crabill had twelve children among whom he divided his property.† Jacob Crabill 
inherited the land lying on the eastern side of the pike, and Samuel Crabill a goodly portion 
now occupied by the town.† Thus it appears that the Crabill family have been identified with 
the town from its infancy.
The Borden family became identified with the town about 1867, William Borden, who 
resided near Harrisville, having purchased the depot property.† Later his son, Mr. George 
W. Borden , now †residing near Middletown became the purchaser of the land east of the 
pike and afterwards Messrs. J. S. and B. E. Borden bought four acres, extending from the 
street leading to the depot northward.† They were the first Borden residents in the town's 
history, a family which has grown here, and which has done not a little in the development 
of the town's prosperity and improvement.† They and the late Samuel Crabill began dividing 
the lands into lots for sale about 35 years ago, and so was laid out the Toms Brook of today.† 
They also built may of the dwellings. 

However, in the meantime, the Civil War came.† In and around the little village were enough 
courageous men to form a company of 100 soldiers, who enlisted as company B, 33rd Virginia 
Regiment, Stonewall Brigade, and volunteered to fight for a cause they believed to be just.
Emanuel Crabill was the captain; Mont Stickley, lieutenant; George Crabill, orderly sergeant; 
Col. Neff drill master.† They went into service early in the spring of 1861, but when the wheat 
was reap, the company was granted a furlough to return home to harvest.† The cradling ended 
they gathered their arms and went back into service.† Their first conflict was the battle of 
Manassas, July 21, 1861.† Here some of their members were killed and a number wounded.† 
It fact, near the close of the War, many of that brave little company laid down their arms 
forever, thought the remainder fought to the end. 


There were no slaves at Toms Brook.† The only colored inhabitants the town has ever known 
were Billy Foster wife, son and daughter.† He came here soon after the war, and resided about 
seven years.† Since his departure the town has not had a single colored inhabitant.
In the early history, merchants who succeeded Adolph Heller were:† Henry Snapp, Jacob 
James and John Crabill.
The frequency of the name of Crabill indicates that the family has been identified with the 
earliest history and development has been indispensable to its progress.
The War closed, the survivors returned and began life anew.† For several years they were 
recovering from the shock and then the development of a town was begun, which has grown 
steadily into the most thriving towns of its size in the valley.†


The town began to grow, business interests developed, and the spirit of progress has grown 
steadily and firmly, until today its people are noted for energy, thrift and integrity.
Appended below we trace the past and present history of the town's important industries.  
Soon after the War, Mr. Harrison Miller began blacksmithing in a shop built on the now John
Bowman stable site.† Some years later he moved to the present place, and for these succeeding 
years has the sound of the hammer on the anvil been reverberating with the sound of industry.† 
It may seem odd, and is doubtless without a parallel, he has never had any opposition in 
business.† During the recent years his son Mr. S. L. Miller has been working with him. 




The town has three up to date stores, which are managed in a thoroughly business manner.† 
Every firm discounts its bills with the wholesale house.


The "Big Store," owned by Messrs. Snarr & Miley, is one of the largest general mercantile 
establishments in the valley.
It was founded in 1868 by Messrs.. William Borden, Sr., and Hiram Bauserman, beginning 
business on the site of the present building in a room 20x25 feet.† The firm continued about 
one year, when Messrs. J. S. and B. F. Borden Sr., bought Mr. Bauserman's interest.† The 
firm then became Borden & Sons.† In 1876, Mr. Borden sold to his sons and the style of the 
firm became B. F. Borden & .....
The partnership continued until 1882, when Mr. J. D. Borden bought an interest, the firm 
name changing to Borden Brothers.† By this arrangement Mr. B. F. Borden assumed the 
management of the stave factory, June 12, 1885 Messrs. N. F. Snarr and S. B. Miley each 
bought a one fourth interest and the style of the firm changed to J. S. Borden & Company.† 
Mr. J. S. Borden retired from the firm three years later and with his retirement the firm 
became Snarr, Borden & Miley, which continued until June 22, 1896, Messrs, Snarr & Miley 
having bought the interest of Mr. B. F.† Borden Sr., the fir becoming Snarr & Miley.


From a floor space of 20x25 feet to 8,291 square feet with a stock of about $15,000 indicates 
a magnificent development.† The store is first class in all its appointments, and attract 
shoppers from all parts of the valley.




The Rockdale Lime Company's store was originally the store opened by the grangers, in the 
building now occupied by Mr. O.¬†G. Borden.† Mr. Mark Bushong, now of Chicago, was the 
manager of the business.† The business was sold to Messrs. W. H. and M. L. Bauserman, the 
firm being W. H. Borden & Brother.† The firm sold out to Mr. C. W. Jones, who continued 
about 16 years in the Mercantile business.† During this time Messrs. S. D. Hawkins and 
H. W. Scott became associated with him.† Mr. Scott retired from the firm about two years 
afterward and Mr. M. L. Bauserman came in, and later he and Mr. Jones purchased the 
interest of Mr. Hawkins and the firm was known as Jones & Bauserman.† These gentlemen 
continued the business for a short time in connection with the lime works, but finally Mr. 
Jones took charge of the store and Mr. Bauserman† the lime interest.† Mr. Bauserman then 
came into possession of the s....ch was operated in connection with .. ... business, hence the 
derivation of its ....me.† In the meantime it was transferred to its present quarters, and its 
conducted in connection with the lime works ... 


Mr. J. S. Borden launched† into the mercantile business in 1892 in a building he erected near the 
center square of the town.† However, in 1895 he sold to his son Mr. O. G. Borden who continues 
the business† in a handsomely refitted room on the corner, having moved in less than a year ago.† 
He carries an up-to-date line of goods† has gained a large trade by his fair dealings and courteous 



Mr. W. H. Barglet has recently opened up a jewelry store in the room formerly occupied by 
Mr. O. G. Borden and will doubtless find plenty of work in his store.


The town is well supplied with two good meat markets.† Mr. G. Crabill has successfully 
conducted a business for a† number of years.† He also finds steady markets at Strasburg and 
Woodstock.† Mr. R. L. Crabill launched into the business† more recently, and has no trouble 
in disposing of fresh meats.† Both men have their markets arranged in connection with ice 
houses, always assuring well kept meat.
Insignificant as seemingly was its beginning the business of Borden Brothers & Company, 
Limited, has developed into one of the most important enterprises in the† valley.† One which 
has given employment to scores of men, thus drawing to town a†number of families.
The stave factory was started by Messrs.† J. S., B. F. and George Borden† They having .... 
business† ... under the firm name of Borden Brothers.† The business was carried on there 
about six years, when a new building was erected on the present site, and the machinery was 
moved.† About two years after moving the factory burned, but a few weeks later, December 
25, 1880, a new building was going up on the same foundation which showed the enterprising 
spirit of the firm.† Mr. George Borden sold his interest to Mr. John D. Borden, who was a 
member of the firm for several year, disposing of his interest to Mr. J. S. Borden. The firm 
then became B. F. Borden & Brother.† Mr. J. S. Borden then became sold owner having 
purchased Mr. B. F. Border's interest.† In 1894 the mill was built in connection with the 


A company was formed in 1895 which purchased the business from Mr. ..... and the firm 
became J. S. Borden & Son's Company.† This management sold to a stock company, known 
as O. M. Smith & Company.† Mr. Smith retirement and the company reorganized and 
incorporated as Borden Brothers & Company limited.


There is a large demand for the company's staves and heading, and the flour they manufacture 
is un... 




An enterprise which has proved of unlimited importance to the town is the industry conducted 
by the Rockdale Lime Company.† The first promoters of this enterprise were Messrs. C. W. 
Jones, .. O. Hawkins and H. W. Scott, while engaged in merchandising.† They build the first 
kiln in 1884, and when Mr. M L. Bauserman purchased an interest in the business and the 
other members retired, he assumed the management of the kiln and through mutual agreement 
took the lime business and Mr. Jones the store.†
The demand for the product grows annually, the leading market being in the south.† The brand 
of the lime became famous as the Rockdale, hence the style of the company became the 
Rockdale Lime Company, limited.† Mr. Jones sold the stone to Mr. Bauserman, and since 
then the two enterprises have been under the same control.
In the spring of 1902 a company of home people was organized for the purchase of the 
Rockdale business, but the deal had been consummated but a few weeks until the offer of 
Mr. J. C. Paxton was accepted by a unanimous vote, and he became the purchaser.† He now 
owns and controls the entire business.† He has added another kiln and has been continually 
improving the plant.† A cooper shop is also connected with the plant, where a large force of 
hands find employment. 


A stock company was organized June 18, 1900 for the establishment of a creamery, but after 
conducting it for some time, it was leased to Mr. J. S. Haldeman, who has operated it 
successfully for the past four years.† Mr. C. W. Coldwell has had the management for the 
past two years.† The creamery is not utilizing about 2,000 pounds of milk daily, converting 
it into cheese, or pasteurizing it, as the price on the market may demand, and shipping to the 
eastern cities.† This enterprise pays out among the farmers about $200 each week.


Postmaster J. D. Borden, about six years ago, decided that there was a growing demand for 
huckster wagon through the rural districts surrounding the town.† In accordance with this 
belief he put one in operation , which has proven a great boon to the farmers.† He had 
associated with him, Messrs. R. H. Bowman and Mahlon Orndorff.† Recently Mr. B. M. 
Borden has been in charge of collecting the produce and scattering the change among the 
poultry raisers.† The firm is know as J. D. Borden & Company.† They are paying out weekly 
fully $300 for produce, which in a year's time amount to a handsome amount.† They do a 
strictly cash business, and give their patrons the very highest market prices.† No better men 
could be found for the business.




While the residents breathe a health giving atmosphere, and its people are long-lived, still she 
has never been long without a physician.† The first practitioner was Dr. R. T. Graves, now 
spending the evening of his life at home near Maurertown.† Dr. William Larrick, Now of 
Middletown, was here for a short time.† Dr. W. S. Cline spent several years prescribing for 
Woodstock, where he continues to practice his profession.† The family of Browns sent three 
representatives of the profession.† Drs. George and Oscar Brown, neither of whom remained 
any length of time.† Dr. C. J. Sager, of near Woodstock, located here some years ago, and 
continues to answer the calls of the sick and injured.




There is a livery in town under the management of Mr. W. H. Bowman.† He keeps good teams 
and is very moderate in his charges.† This gives the people a opportunity to get business and 
pleasure rigs whenever in need.


Mr. J. D. Hupp also located here in ?? need of a good† ..... man give him a call, and we 
guarantee it well done.† He handles the dallies, sticks the staves, furnished you with new 
soles, and is will to help you in any way when not other wise employed.


Mr. E. Hines has proven himself a plasterer second to none.† His excellent work keeps him 
busy with contracts.† He can hold his own on crowning cisterns too.† A trial will convince you.


Mr. D. M. Crabill is building contractor, as in also Mr. Stuart Furr.† Both men are first class 
workmen, and hence never want for work.† They do considerable work at other points.
Mr. Bennett Kronk is the artist with the brush and kept busy keeping the houses touched up 
like new. 




The DuPont Inn furnishes every accommodation to the traveler.† Its tables are well laid and 


The town has three churches, Lutheran, United Brethren and Methodist. 


The Lutheran congregation is the oldest.† The first church built here was in 1869.† The Rev. 
L. L. Smith D. D., is the Pastor.
The united Brethren congregation built a neat concrete church, which was dedicated April 25, 
1880.† The Rev. L. A. Racey is pastor.† The congregation is a very active one.
The Methodist erected a church on the hill overlooking the town from the south where it has 
stood for a quarter of a century.† The Rev. William Lee Smith is the Pastor.† While the 
congregation is not† ... yet the members are carrying on a ...ful work.
The Tennessee Lutheran pastorate has a parsonage here, the Rev. M. L. Pence is the pastor 
occupying it.† The Harrisville charge of the Reformed church has recently completed a 
handsome parsonage for their pastor, the Rev. A. H. Smith.
There is a most excellent public school, which has four teachers.† The school building is well 
finished and furnished, and the play ground exceptionally large.


There is only one secret order in the town, the Junior Order United American Mechanics.† The 
council was organized September 18, 1895 with a charter membership of 28, and today there 
are 133 members.† The order has a splendid hall which is handsomely furnished.† it is one of 
the most active councils in the State.† Of course residents are connected with numerous other 
orders, but their membership is in other towns.


For some years a cigar factory flourished, having been built in 1882, and the town was noted 
for its excellent grade of cigars.† However, the factory burned in 1901 and was never rebuilt.


The town is in direct touch with the outside world.† There are four mails daily, and there are 
three phone lines, which have offices here.


The people are noted for their unbound hospitality.† They are always ready to welcome the 
friendly visitors.† No stronger evidence of this fact could be desired than that displayed on 


Improvements are continually being made to property.† The houses are all comparatively new 
and kept in the best repair and painted.
In brief, it is a town noted for its thrift and the energetic spirit of its people.† Located amidst 
the rich fields of old Virginia in the vale of the Shenandoah it offers every inducement for 
those seeking a home in the farm fame valley, or we may add, seeking one anywhere.† Its 
Natural advantages, with the blood of progress and ambition coursing through the veins of its 
people will cause it to continue the upward reach until the end of time.† Thus stands other 
important pages to its already†interesting history.




The paper from which this information was copied is in very poor 
condition.† Some words are missing and some are difficult to 


Calvin Sonner cal@shentel.net

Additional History of Toms Brook for the Woodstock Herald 1895


Toms Brook.† Where in ante bellum days, flourished the wagon stand of old David Crabill, and there could be seen but five other residences, now nestles the lively little town of Tom's Brook, with its steam factories, large stores and general business bustle.† It is located on either bank of the beautiful stream whose name it has appropriated to itself.† Among the industries is The Steam Flour Mill of J. S. Borden.† It was built and is now run by Mr. Otis Smith.† Adjoining the mill and run by the same engine is the Stave Heading and Wagon Factory of J. S. Borden Sons, Co.† A short distance from this Factory are the Lime Kilns of the Rock Dale Lime Company which produces 200 barrels per day.

On Main Street is the Cigar Factory of Mr. John H. Crabill.† He here employs thirteen hands who are constantly engaged in rolling choice brands of Sumatra Connecticut and Havana cigars.† Messrs. Smith and Crabill still continue the saw and chopping mill at the old stand where the slowly revolving heel has attracted the attention of one generation after another.† They have attached this mill a cider press.† By the enterprising efforts of Dr. J. I Triplett, Tom's Brook is connected with the upper Valley towns by telephone.†  

Large quantities of hay and apples are now shipped from this point.† Mr. C. W. Hawk, who shipped 124,000 dozen of eggs last year resides here.† Messrs. Borden & Argenbright and Messrs. Snarr, Borden & Miley furnish the farmers fertilizers.† 

Mr. C. W. Jones has a large store on Main Street in the general merchandise business.† On the opposite side a few doors north Mr. O. G. Borden carries a general assortment of seasonable goods.† At the depot is the large and well equipped store of Snarr, Borden & Miley, with general merchandise, Clothing Hardware, Fertilizers and furniture.

Mr. E. F. Rutz takes care of the soles of the people at his boot and shoe shop East of C. W. Jones's store, while Mr. Charles Albert cuts and trims their hair.† George W. Crabill and Joseph Rosenberger furnish the choicest Porter House steaks and veal cutlets for the lovers of more substantial food.† Mr. Frank Bean furnishes photography.† Near the Photograph Gallery can be heard the sound of the hammer and the anvil from the shop of Mr. Harrison Miller.† He marched with the Brook Boys to the front and was with them on the plains of Manassas when one-half their number fell on their successful effort to turn back the advance of Heintzelman's corps.

Mr. William Bowman runs the Livery.† Messrs. D. M. Crabill, C. N. Crabill and Stewart Furr and the principle carpenters of the town.† The mail for the people is handled by Mr. H. W. Borden, the accommodating Post Master.† Rev. L. L. Smith is pastor at the Lutheran Church.† Almost opposite on a beautiful rising hill, stands the Methodist Church.† At the opposite end of the town stands a beautiful church, erected by the united Brethren.† Dr. G. W. Brown answers the calls of the sick.† Miss Rebecca Rinker adds charm to the ladies by decorating their heads with the most beautiful hats and bonnets.† The business has been successfully conducted as a general mercantile establishment, and enjoys a liberal patronage.† J. F. Bushong is the successful manager. †