Article taken from the Sesquicentennial Souvenir Program published in 1956.
First White Settlers
By Willard L. Lewis
The first white man to settle in this region was William Stewart, one of George Washington's scouts, who established residence on the New Haven side of the Youghiogheny in 1753.
History does not record Stewart as remaining here long, but it was long enough to give the place a name. It became known as Stewart's Crossing and the spot, just north of the new bridge over the river, is yet recognized by that name.
The first permanent white inhabitant was Colonel William Crawford, a personal friend and land-partner of George Washington. He was the father of two girls, Effie and Ann. The former married William McCormick, who came here from Winchester, VA., in 1770. He was the first white settler in Connellsville.
Zachariah Connell came here a few years later. For a time he lived with the Crawfords on the New Haven side but in 1778 moved over to the Connellsville side, taking up a tract embracing the old borough limits and designated in the survey as "Mud Island." His first cabin stood a short distance from the riverbanks but he later built a stone house in West Fairview Avenue and resided there until his death in August 13, 1813. His body is buried just east of the city limits, surrounded by graves of a few relatives.