When John Schalcosky got a Facebook message Saturday saying the plaque and a piece of Casper Reel's gravestone had been stolen, he jumped in his car to see for himself.
The plaque, indeed, was gone along with the chunk of gravestone to which it was bolted.
"It was total disbelief," said Mr. Schalcosky, 30, of Ross, who is president of both the Ross and West View historical societies.
"I just said, 'You can't be serious.'"
He said he filed a report with the Ross police, but officers could not be reached this afternoon.
Casper Reel was the first permanent settler in West View after he was given 1.1 square miles of land in exchange for his service in the Revolutionary War, Mr. Schalcosky said. He was the first tax collector in Allegheny County.
The grave site is in the middle of the Highland Country Club's golf course, which Mr. Schalcosky said had been purchased by a developer.
"We all live in this township because of this guy -- and all of a sudden it just disappears," he said of the plaque.
Alex Zimmerman: email@example.com or 412-263-3909.