Elk Lick was so named from the fact that within the
township was a lick which the elk and deer used to frequent. The township
was organized as a division of Bedford county about the year 1785.
Settlements were made very early by immigrants of German and Irish birth.
Elk Lick township contains rich deposits of coal, iron ore and limestone.
Since the building of the railroad the development of these products has
become an important industry.
The first settled farm is believed to have been that now owned byJohn W. Beachly, situated immediately north of the town of Salisbury. The settler was Joseph Markley, who became the owner of a tract of land extending from the mouth of Pine Run along the Casselman river to the mouth of Meadow run, thence along Meadow run for a distance of about one and one-half miles; thence north to Pine run; thence following Pine run to the place of beginning. The date of settlement was probably between the years 1755 to 1760. Markley also claimed a portion of the land on the opposite side of the river, being a part of what is now the David Livengood farm. A man named Judy also laid claim to the same land. One day the two claimants met on the hill on the opposite side of the river, and proceeded to settle the dispute by a fist encounter. Judy was vanquished in the fight, and Markley continued in possession. From this affair arose the name of Flog Hill.
Capt. Tissue owned the Sullivan and A.P Beachy farms. He lived in the hollow above Beachy's present sugar-camp, and was in good circumstances for those days. He kept a sort of public-house, which was a stopping place for travelers and packhorse men. Tradition says that on one occasion a train of thirty pack-horses, in charge of a man and his four son's stopped at Tissue's. The landlord also having four sons, a wrestling match was proposed, and resulted in the vanquishing of the Tissues. The result was a free fight, in which Tissue's sons were again beaten. Tissue took part in the revolutionary war, and during his absence his wife was murdered.
Peter Livengood, a native of Switzerland, came to America, married in Berks county, Pennsylvania, and removed to Elk Lick township, settling on the farm now known as the Arnold property. This was in 1760. It is said that there was then a small clearing on the farm which had been made by the Indians.
Abraham Beachy was a native of Switzerland. He came with his parents to Maryland when young, and in 1780 settled on a farm three-fourths of a mile west of Salisbury, where he resided until his death. Solomon Glotfelty , a native of Germany, settled one mile east of Salisbury in 1775, and followed farming and blacksmithing until his death. He was the father of Adam, Henry, Jacob, Caspar, Elizabeth, Mary and Catharine. Jacob was born in this township in 1790. He followed blacksmithing, and died in 1873. He married Elizabeth Showman, and was the father of eight children: Samuel, David, Jeremiah, John, Michael, Harriet, Adaline and Elizabeth. Solomon Glotfelty was born in 1809. He commenced to learn blacksmithing when eleven years old, and for fifty-three years has been in business for himself.
Jost J. Stutzman, whose long and faithful service to the common schools of this county cause him to be gratefully remembered, was born in Brother's Valley township. His father was an early German settler, who removed to Ohio with his family. In 1820 Jost. J. returned to Somerset County and located in Summit township, removing thence to Elk Lick, where he died in 1867. He first taught near Meyersdale, and afterward in Salisbury. He followed teaching for forty-five years, and was among the first and best of the teachers of this section. He was a man of fine intellect and great natural abilities. He served two terms in the state legislature. Mr. Stutzman was twice married; first to Elizabeth Gerber, and, second, to Elizabeth DeHaven. His children were: Joseph J., Alexander, Christian G., Franklin, Ann M., Ellen S. (Keim), Alice (Livengood) and Edith C. (Beachy). Joseph J. was the first county superintendent of school in Somerset county; also a government clerk at Washington. Alexander was twice elected to the state senate. Christian G. was a practicing physician in Salisbury.
Jacob George Rauch came from Hagerstown, Maryland, and settled in Brother's Valley in 1781. He was one of the early justices of the peace. Jacob G. Rauch had one son, John, who died in 1849, aged seventy-three years. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. John, son of John, was born in 1801 and died in 1872. He followed farming on the old homestead in Brother's Valley, and served one term as county commissioner. He married Catharine Bowman, and was the father of Henry, Mary A. (Hay), Caroline (Bittner), Rosanna (Hanger) and Isabell.
George Folk came from one of the eastern counties and settled in this township. he followed farming, and died young. He married Catharine Saylor, and their children were: Jacob, Samuel, Magdalena and Lydia (Miller). Jacob was born in this township in 1817, and died in 1872. He married Barbara Gingrich. Children: Jeremiah J., Samuel, Henry, Ananias, Catharine, Caroline and Elizabeth.
Nicholas Keim came from Eastern Pennsylvania to this county soon after the revolutionary war, and settled near Davidsville, in Conemaugh township. He moved to Elk Lick in 1810, and died in 1838. He was married three times, and was the father of twenty-four children. John, his eldest child, was born in Conemaugh township in 1792, and came to this township with his father. In 1813 he married Barbara Livengood, who was born in 1789. Seldom does it fall to the lot of the historian to chronicle the life of a couple so ages as Mr. and Mrs. Keim. They are the parents of ten children: Henry, John J., Elizabeth, Susan, Catharine (Bockes), Mary, Diana, Nancy (Miller), Barbara (Speicher) and Sarah (Hoffman). Henry and John J. were farmers.
Jonas Keim was born in Conemaugh township in 1803, and came to Elk Lick in 1810. He was one of the first to agitate the subject of free schools, and was twice elected to the legislature, the second time on an independent ticket. He also served as associate judge of the county. Judge Keim was an extensive stock dealer, and one of the foremost business men of the township. He died in 1865. Noah G., one of his sons, was a soldier in the late war. Christian L., another son, was taken prisoner by the rebels while driving stock in Southern Pennsylvania. At the time of his capture he had five thousand dollars upon his person. As he was being take to prison he met his brother-in-law, who was passing on parade, and, by quickly handing the money to him, it was saved. He was confined in Libby prison for five months. Silas C. Keim, also a son of Jonas, died in 1882. He was a German Baptist preacher for twenty years, and was also engaged in farming, stock-dealing, merchandising and banking. His son, N. George Keim, was a German Baptist minister and school teacher.
James Kelso came from the Cumberland valley to this township in 1824. He was a farmer and a minister of the German Baptist denomination. His son, Jonathan, the only one of his children now living in this county, is bishop of the German Baptist church.
The following settlers were among the earliest in the township: Joseph Markley, William Tissue, Ebenezer Griffith, John Hochstetler, Jacob Maust, Peter Livengood, Peter Beachy, John Christner, John Fike, Patrick Sullivan (grandfather of Judge J. S. Black), John Fadley, Peter Shirer, Martin Weimer, William Lietseel, Solomon Glotfelty, Lemuel Engle and John Hendricks.
The first gristmill in the township was built by John Fike on the Casselman river, A mile northeast of Salisbury. Joseph Markley operated the first distillery, about 1790.