100 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
commission merchants, receive all they manufacture. In the process of manufacturing, forty-eight cords of wood are consumed every week. The combustible portion of the wood is not destroyed, and large quantities of charcoal are produced as a residuum."
The village of Starucca lies in the narrow valley through which the stream of the same name runs, but is situated just beyond the limits of Susquehanna, in Wayne County. The Jefferson Railroad in following the wide sweep of this winding creek, passes near, the village, to which it has given new life and impetus. The station is in Susquehanna County.
The construction of the Lackawanna and Susquehanna Railroad has increased business at Lanesboro. A foundry is in active operation. Some years ago a yacht was built here for carrying passengers to and from 'Windsor, but navigation of the river was found impracticable.
A fine buck was shot five miles up the Starucca Creek, in November, 1871.
THE settlement of the last township of Susquehanna County was nearly coeval with that of the first, of which, in fact, it formed a part until the erection of Harmony. It was separated from the latter, December, 1853.
Oakland is six and one-half miles in extent, north and south, by two miles on the State line, and nearly three miles on the line of Jackson. The eastern boundary is formed by the Susquehanna River, and the Lenox and Harmony turnpike just east of Drinker's Creek.
Full one-half of the township is covered by the Oquago Mountain, which on the south and east slopes nearly to the river, though, in places, the valley widens, and reveals most inviting flats, rich in soil and culture. The tributaries to the Susquehanna are Drinker's Creek, and " 3d Run," ¹ on the south side, and Flat Brook, Bear Creek,² and two or three nameless small streams on the north and west sides.
The fall in the river below Lanesboro is so rapid, that the water seldom freezes over entirely; and the immense volume which here breaks through the northern spur of the Alleghany
¹ So marked by early surveyors, by whom the Canawacta was called the 1st
Run, Drinker's Creek the 2d, and John Travis' Brook the 3d.
² So named from early encounters of settlers with bears near it.
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Mountains furnishes almost unrivalled privileges for manufacturing establishments. The river crosses the township from east to west, and the traveler can follow its course six miles within the township limits.
Half a dozen islands dot the stream within a distance of three miles. What is called the Upper Island is near the mouth of Bear Creek. Gulf Island is just below the passenger bridge connecting the borough of Susquehanna Depot with Oakland village; and Lovers' Island, the favorite resort of young people, is at the crossing of the railroad bridge below.
Gulf Island was so named because it is situated near the mouth of the Canawacta, which enters the Susquehanna river through a deep gully.
There are no lakes in the township.
The name is derived from the forests of oak north of the river. Pine is also found there; but, south of the river, the timber is principally hemlock, maple, beech, and hickory. Old settlers mention hemlock-spruce; such a graft not being uncommon.
Turkey Hill is the elevation south of where the river begins to turn northward around the base of Oquago Mountain.
A stone-quarry, of some prospective value, has been recently opened near Drinker's Creek.
Ichabod Swamp, about four miles north of Susquehanna Depot, near the State line, is a locality once of some note as " a dreadful swamp, thick with hemlock and laurel, and full of paths of wild animals—bears, wolves, and panthers." It takes its name from the fact that here Captain Ichabod Buck was once lost, but fought his way out to the river with only a jackknife for a weapon.
A natural cranberry marsh is found about a mile north of' Susquehanna Depot. Bear Creek is its outlet. The marsh is indicated on a survey made in 1785. It is said that the Indians found lead here.
Prior to 1788 there was not a house in Oakland, but this date marks the arrival of Jonathan Bennet, who stopped here for a short time before settling two miles below Great Bend.
In 1791 William Smith, sometimes called " Governor", Smith, was located on the flat now owned and occupied by Levi Westfall,¹ whose father, James, about 1800, bought whatever title to it Mr. Smith held. It is said the latter had obtained it of Moses Comstock, his father-in-law, who then lived on the east side of the river, exactly opposite. On the west side the fiat is inclosed in the sharp angle formed by the river, which here
¹ Since deceased.
102 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
turns abruptly to the west, making in fact the great bend, which name, strangely enough, has been given to the point in the township where the river turns northward at a less-marked angle. The spot is one of the few localities in our county where indisputable evidences have been found of its preoccupation by the Indians. On the draft of a survey made by a Pennsylvania agent in 1785, six small wigwams are marked at the point of land just below the western abutment of the old bridge, to designate an old town of the Tuscaroras. Here were found by Mr. Westfall the poles of the wigwams and several pits containing charred corn and an immense quantity of clippings, showing that arrow-heads were manufactured here on a large scale.
William Smith bad two sons, Arba and William. All removed to Cincinnati, Cortland County, N. Y. William Greek located very early on the south side of the river, at the mouth of Drinker's Creek. He sold his improvements some years later to Marmaduke Salsbury, who married Clarissa, daughter of William Smith, and after her death married her sister Lydia (the widow Rouse). They had a large family.
John Stid also settled very early on the river in front of what is now known as Shutts' place, and just below the point where the railroad reaches the northern bank. Right opposite, at the mouth of the Third Run, John Travis was located. He claimed the island just below Lovers' Island, and his older brother, Ezekiel, the whole of what has since been the Joseph McKune farm.
When the Pennsylvania landholders looked after their interests here, some of the earliest settlers disappeared, and titles to land procured from them were found defective, necessitating a repurchase by those who remained.
Isaac Hale and Nathaniel Lewis lived near each other, on the north side of the river, as early as 1791. Afterwards, Mr. L. bought a place on the south side, and resided there for many years. The one he vacated was purchased by Samuel Treadwell. It is now owned by L. P. Hinds, Esq. Here Jason, youngest son of Samuel Treadwell, afterwards hung on conviction of the murder of Oliver Harper, lived until his marriage, when he moved into Great Bend Township. The father, prior to residing here, had been located ten or twelve years opposite Red Rock.
Isaac Hale was born March 21, 1763, in Waterbury, Conn. When a boy he was taken by his grandfather to Vermont. He stayed there through the Revolutionary War. After having worked one summer in Connecticut, he concluded to try " the West." At Ouaquago (now Windsor, N. Y.), he found Major
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 103
Daniel Buck, afterwards "Priest" Buck, with whom he boarded. His son David¹ says :—
"He was to furnish the meat, and the major the breadstuff—frost-bitten corn—to be pounded in a mortar, as there were then no mills in the country. The first day he went into the woods, he brought home a deer. They shortly afterward moved down the river to the Great Bend, which, as near as I can make out (there is no infallibility in the traditions of the elders), was in the fall of 1787, or thereabout.
"After exploring the country, and getting acquainted with the oldest settlers, viz., Moses Comstock Jonathan Bennett, Deacon Jedediah Adams, etc., he went back to Vermont, and married Elizabeth Lewis, sister of Nathaniel Lewis, who married about the same time Sarah Cole, whose sister, Lorana Cole, afterwards married Timothy Pickering, Jr.
"Well, now for the emigrant train, Isaac Hale and Nathaniel Lewis, with their wives Elizabeth and Sarah. Nathaniel Lewis had a yoke of steers and a cart, on which to carry all their plunder (baggage), a distance of about two hundred and twenty miles from Wells, Rutland County, Vt., to Willingborough,² Luzerne County, Pa. After writing those long names, please let me make a digression. Two hundred and twenty miles—a short distance in the present time—not so then—a small company, but void of fear. They had heard Ethan Allen swear, and so were not afraid of bears. They went through to Pennsylvania, as near as I can make it, in 1790.
"Isaac Hale bought an improvement of Jonathan Bennett. The land he afterward bought of Robert H. Rose, the same place on which I was raised, and on which he lived when I left my native place, and where he was buried."
This place is now occupied by James M. Tillman, in Oakland.
In the summer of 1793, Isaac Hale was one of the viewers of the first roads laid out in Willingborough. He was a great hunter, and made his living principally by procuring game. His sons, also, were hunters. His wife was for fifty years a consistent member of the Methodist church. A lady now living at Lanesboro, who knew her well, says: " I never visited her but I thought I had learned something useful." Her death occurred in 1842, in her seventy-fifth year. Their daughter, Emma, was intelligent, and, that she should marry Joseph Smith, Jr., the Mormon leader, can only be accounted for by supposing "he had bewitched her," as he afterward bewitched the masses.
It is thought that Mr. Hale was a little deluded at first, as well as others, in regard to Joe's prophecy of the exigence of precious minerals, when digging was progressing in the vicinity, under the latter's direction, and the party were boarding at Mr. Hale's, but his common sense soon manifested itself, and his disapproval of Joe was notorious. He was a man of forethought and generosity. He would kill the elk, up the Star-
¹ David Hale, of Amboy, Illinois.
² This locality was not then known by this name on the court records. It
was in Tioga Township until the following year.
104 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
ucca, in the fall, when it was the fattest; make troughs of birch or maple, to hold it when cut up; carry salt on his back, salt the meat, and cover it with bark, held down with heavy stones, and then leave it until the snow came, when he could easily bring it down. The fruit of his labor was sometimes exchanged for assistance on his farm, but perhaps as often found its way, unheralded, to the tables of others, when the occupants of the house were out of sight; and to them the gift seemed almost miraculous.
For many years there stood at Mr. Hale's door a stump-mortar and heavy wooden pestle, worked by a spring pole, and his boys were obliged to leave work an hour or two before dark, to grind out meal enough for mush for their supper. The hand-mill afterwards took the place of the mortar and pestle, and could grind half a bushel in a day—a great improvement.
His sons were : Jesse, David, Alvah, Isaac Ward, and Reuben. The last named " assisted Joe Smith to fix up some characters such as Smith pretended were engravers on his book of plates."
To David Hale, however, " it always appeared like humbug."
Jesse and David were drafted in 1814, and marched in Captain Frederick Bailey's company to Danville.
The following statements are also from the pen of David Hale:—
"Brother Jesse Hale was a man of business, fifty years ago. His height was six feet in his moccasins, and his common weight one hundred and eighty pounds. He had learned to hunt panthers with our father, Isaac Hale.
"At one time he was following a panther through a thicket of laurels, when the dog sprang over a log into a nest of young panthers. The dog seized one; one run to brother Jesse, who caught it in his hands; it was about the size of a common house-eat. He could have tied it fast, but he thought If the old one hears this fuss, she'll soon be here !' so he whipped it against a beech sapling, and helped the dog to dispatch him then hunted up the other, which was not far off; and killed it.
"The old one did not come, so he stuffed the three young ones into his pack, and went to the camp. The next day he returned, and found the old panther had been back, and, not finding. her young ones, had put off, so he started after her. In the course of the day, he came up with and killed her, and packed her to camp.
"After that, he came across two more that he took in the same way ; and these, with one wolf and about twenty deer, made out his winter's hunt, fifty-five years ago.
"Jesse Hale raised a large family, viz., six sons and four daughters. He had three sons killed by rebels. They were the younger three, viz., Captain Joab T., who fell at Fort Donelson ; Sergeant Frank, who fell at Corinth ; and Captain Robert, who fell at Marrietta, Georgia.
"His sons, now living, are Silas, Julius; and Charles, all men of property."
From Dr. Peck's 'Early Methodism' we obtain the following :—
"Joe Smith married a niece of Nathaniel Lewis. This same Uncle Nat. Lewis' was a most useful local preacher. He was ordained Deacon by Bishop Asbury, in 1807. After the story of the Golden Bible, and the miracle-
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 105
working spectacles had come out, Joe undertook to make a convert of Uncle Nat. The old gentleman heard his tale with due gravity, and then proceeded : " Joseph, can anybody else translate strange languages by the help of them spectacles ?'
" ‘O, yes !' was the answer.
"'Well now,' said Mr Lewis, I've got Clarke's Commentary, and it contains a great many strange languages ; now if you will let me try the spectacles, and if, by looking through them, I can translate these strange languages into English, then I'll be one of your disciples.'
" This was a poser, and Joe had to run."
Selah Payne was a school teacher here, early in the century. He had been a student in the first school at Ouaquago, and was ambitious to fit himself for teaching. He afterwards became a Methodist preacher, and, it is said, a chaplain to General Jackson during the southern campaign of the war of 1812. He was an eccentric man, but had considerable ability. On a large tract of land (540 acres) which he purchased near Ichabod Swamp, he designed a kind of African college; but, after laying the foundation,¹ the enterprise was abandoned for want of funds, and Mr. Payne left the place. The tract passed through several hands, and all the timber was cut down and shipped off. Within a few years Mr. P. returned, and was killed by being run over by &train of cars near Susquehanna Depot. His wife was a daughter of Judge McAllister.
Joseph McKune, Sr., came in 1810 to the place first occupied by Ezekiel Travis, near the burying ground. He died about 1851. Joseph McKune, Jr., located on the Belmont turnpike in 1825, but in 1832 came to the place previously occupied by his father in Oakland, and died here in 1861. It was on this farm that Joe Smith translated the Mormon Bible. It is now occupied by B. F. McKune, son of Joseph, Jr.
The sons of Joseph McK., Sen., were Robert, Joshua, Joseph, Charles, William, Hezekiah (now in Illinois and the only son living), John, and Fowler. He had five daughters.
Dr. Israel Skinner and his twin-brother Jacob, came in 1814 to the farms adjoining or lying on the line between Great Bend and the present township of Oakland (then Harmony). Dr. S. is remembered as the author of a 'History of the American Revolution in Verse.'
Jonathan Brush came in 1819; and his brother Ard, in 1820. Ard was accompanied by his son Samuel, who is still living on the homestead, near the line of Jackson. At a recent gathering there of his friends, among whom were old settlers and pioneers of the vicinity, he exhibited " a stuffed panther skin that looked enough like life to frighten even dogs." It is said he " never looked amiss along his rifle-barrel, and never had an
¹ This is incorrectly marked on the new atlas, as "Foundation of the first Mormon Temple."
106 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
unsteady hand. The skin exhibited measured fully nine feet from head to tail."
Jairus Lamb, one of the first three pioneers of Jackson township, has been for several years a resident of Oakland. His wife, Mrs. Betsey Lamb, during the four years prior to her 80th birthday, wove sixteen hundred yards of cloth, besides attending to the duties of her household. On her 80th birthday, which was celebrated by her children at the residence of C. W. Lamb, Esq., she wove four yards of plaid flannel. During the month closing July 8, 1869, she cut and sewed the rags, doubled and twisted the warp, and wove twenty-three yards of carpeting. In her 82d year, she wove two hundred yards.
If, with her day and generation, the necessity for such labor passes away, one can never cease to admire the industry and patience exhibited in their achievements.
This borough was incorporated August, 1853. It is an outgrowth of the Erie Railroad, the ground for which was broken here in 1846.
The first clearing was made by William Greek, late in the last century, and his improvements passed to M. Salsbury, as previously stated. But the only legal title to the land was then held by Henry Drinker of Philadelphia. It was purchased by him from the Commonwealth, Dec. 1794, and from his executors, byJohn Hilborn, January, 1810, and from the latter, two months later, by Marmaduke Salsbury, who lived on it about twenty-five years. At his death, it passed to his heirs, and eventually (June, 1847—July, 1852) it was sold by one or more of them to the New York and Erie Railroad Company.
From the above tract (118 acres. and some perches), styled Pleasant Valley on the surveyor's map, sixty-three acres and a little over should be deducted as having been conveyed by M. Salsbury to J. H. Reynolds, and by him to William B. Stoddard. Possibly that portion of the town including the property of the Roman Catholic church should be excluded also, as once a part of Wm. P. McKune's land.
Sedate Griswold, formerly owner of a large tract within the borough limits, died here recently.
" On the site of Susquehanna Depot, one single farmer had sufficient work in 1848, the summer through, to guard against the encroachments of rattlesnakes that sung in his barn, and made music in his hay fields." Twelve years later a population of 2000 persons had apparently driven the reptiles from the place, but not from its neighborhood, which in 1870 they still infest.
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The borough has one street which runs in the valley, following nearly the course of the Susquehanna; the streets parallel to it are reached by steep acclivities, or by long staircases between the blocks of buildings. It well deserves the title it has received—the City of Stairs. It is said that some of the Erie employes go up to dinner two hundred feet above their work.
For a time after the Erie Railroad was finished, the population decreased, but it now gains steadily. Americans, English, Irish, and Germans are found numerically as named, with a few Italians and Poles. Many of the machinists in the Erie workshops are English.
JAMES B. GREGG, Master Mechanic of the Erie Railroad shops. is a native of Delaware, and is of Quaker parentage. The homestead was in New Castle County, near Wilmington.
He attended the State common schools until he was seventeen years of age, at which time he persuaded his father to permit him to learn the machinist trade, rather than pursue farming, to which he was brought up. His father procured him a position, though reluctantly, in the extensive machine shop of Geo. Hodgson, an Englishman, in Wilmington, Del.
At the expiration of his apprenticeship, in 1836, he attended school for three years ; one and a half years under the tuition of Jonathan Gause, near West Chester, Pa. ; and the same time at the High School of John Gummere at Burlington, N. J. These teachers were Quakers; and the schools were noted in their day as first-class schools, where young men could procure a thorough practical business education, including the languages if desired.
Mr. Gregg then spent one year in traveling in the Western States, and on his return was appointed general Foreman of the Piermont shop, the only one then on the New York and Erie Railroad. Here he remained until 1851. He was then promoted to the office of Superintendent of Motive Power at Susquehanna Depot.
This place is 195 miles from New York city, and 274 miles from Dunkirk.
The following is from correspondence of the Broome Republican,' May, 1859 :—
"The shops were located here in the summer of 1848. The buildings were then few and small. In 1854, they covered five acres, and in 1859, 350 men were employed, doing the work for 319 miles of the road. The capital then invested in the shop machinery was about $200,000. Sub-shops were stationed at Canandaigua, Owego, Hornellsville, and Port Jervis, of all which, Mr. Gregg was the superintendent.
" In the Susquehanna shops, there are sixteen departments of labor; each of which has its foreman, who has, in the performance of his duties, absolute control of all that pertains to his branch of business ; subject of course to the general foreman of the shop. He is not only required to see that every piece of work that leaves his department is perfect in itself, but is held individually responsible for the material used in its manufacture. Nor is the foreman alone responsible. There are in the several departments what are termed gangs,' over whom presides a subordinate foreman appointed to attend some particular job.
" Admirable system is observed in the general management and discipline that prevail throughout the shops. The care of tools is so secured as to insure the company from the consequences of any neglect on the part of their employes.
108 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
"In 1856 the steam hammer was introduced into the Susquehanna shops; in 1857, there were two hammers only, and the saving, in being able to manufacture their own material, was estimated at $25,000 for one year."
In response to inquiries respecting later work here, Mr. Gregg kindly furnishes the following statements :—
"I continued to increase our facilities for doing work by erecting additional buildings from. time to time, as business increased, until it was found, in 1862, of pressing necessity, and from the great danger of our then wooden buildings being destroyed by fire, to construct still larger and more durable buildings.
" At the request of the general superintendent, Mr. Minot, I furnished ground-plans for the construction of such shop buildings as would meet not only the then greatly increased wants of the company, but all future contingencies. These plans were laid before the board of directors, and in due time were accepted and adopted. The buildings were commenced in 1863 and finished in 1865, at a cost of $1,250,000 ; the tools and machinery cost, in addition, $500,000.
" The buildings, covering eight acres, are acknowledged to be the most extensive of their kind in this country, and also the most complete in their arrangements for economizing labor and facilitating work. This is the testimony of railroad men from all parts of this country, as also of our visitors from England.
" I made provision in the construction of the buildings, by consent of the company, for a library and reading-room ; and this is now an important institution, as connected with our shop system of management, for the benefit of the employes.
"I also made a like provision for a lecture-room, 42 x 60 feet. Both these rooms the company, upon my recommendation, very generously fitted up, at their own expense, with all necessary furniture, gas fixtures, and steam-heating apparatus.
"The library, which is circulating,' contains about 2500 volumes of well-selected, miscellaneous works, and is growing at the rate of 400 to 500 volumes annually. Our subscription for daily, weekly, and monthly reading matter, for the supply of the table for daily reading, is about $120 per year.
" I cannot speak of this library and reading-room in terms of too great praise, as an agent in the building up of good citizenship in our community. The books are read at about an average of 400 volumes per month by perhaps not less than one thousand persons. Each book can be retained fourteen days.
" It is the only library, reading-room, and lecture-hall connected with any similar shop or manufactory in the country.
" The number of men employed varies from 650 to 700, as our wants direct. The average amounts of money paid them is about $38,000 per month, wages being more than doubled within the last dozen years.
" I hazard nothing in declaring it as my opinion that no shop or manufactory of any kind in this country, employing a large body of men, can so truthfully boast of the intelligence and high moral worth possessed by the employes, as of this shop. Nor can any similar number of workmen boast of possessing so large an amount of property or real estate as is actually possessed, and in fee simple owned, by the employes of this shop, which is not less than $600,000 worth.
"The company originally owned about 300 acres of land, now covered by happy, thrifty homes of Susquehanna Depot. Prior to May, 1859, the company duly appointed me, by act of the board of directors, etc., their agent and attorney for the control and sale of the above property.
" By being careful to employ none but men of exclusively temperate habits
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 109
and of good moral character aside from being good workmen. and by holding out to these men encouragement to purchase lots and build houses for themselves, every lot of the 300 acres is now sold and deeded, and, in addition, our men have purchased largely of adjoining lands.
"The number of steam hammers is now increased to six, and with these I am now supplying forged work, axles, etc., and all iron work for bridges for all parts of the road and its branches. I have also very largely introduced the manufacture of cast-iron drilled wheels for engines and cars for the whole line of the road, the annual number supplied from this'shop averaging about 11,000 wheels. In the construction of new locomotives, the rebuilding and repairs of old ones, and, indeed, for the care of the road in all particulars, this shop has now become largely responsible."
Theodore Springsteen is chief clerk ; John T. Bourne, storekeeper; and Robert Wallace, general foreman. Forty-six miles of steam pipe heat the Erie shops and depot.
The Sisters of Charity occupy the building erected by Martin Newman, which was once Scoville's hotel. Near this point, the traveler coming north on the Lenox and Harmony turnpike, is suddenly met by a view of scenery remarkably beautiful. Before him is the abrupt bend in the river, and the Ouaquago Mountain, with its southern slope skirted with the new and flourishing village of Oakland. Lanesboro is at the right, and a little beyond, the grand stone bridge or viaduct that spans the valley of the Starucca. Its nineteen piers and eighteen arches are here distinctly seen, and, stretching still beyond the Susquehanna, in its due north course to the State line, is its valley rich in beauty and in the historical interest that gathers around it. The locality has been painted by one of its own residents. (See later page.)
The first four hotels were : J. B. Scoville's, Thomas Carr's, Elliot Benson's, and Robert Nichols'—not one of which was kept up as such in 1869. The Starucca House, near the railroad station, and the Canawacta House, had succeeded them, also the Hotchkiss House on Church Hill.
The churches are the Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, and Universalist.
L. P. Hinds was the first lawyer who located in the place; John Ward, the first merchant.
William Stamp, of Susquehanna Depot, is the inventor of a new steam-gauge, which is said to be a work of great value.
At present (1872) a city charter is petitioned for. Susquehanna Depot received from the State $3000 for schools. This allowance was made, partly in consideration of the fact that the place has no revenue from the Erie Railroad property.
The graded school building is a large and fine one, the site of which was selected with a view to accommodate pupils as to distance; but otherwise, it appears unfortunately chosen, on account of the lowness of the ground and the proximity of the railroad shops.
110 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
North¹ Susquehanna, or Oakland Village, is connected with Susquehanna Depot by a bridge across the Susquehanna River. This was first built in the fall of 1855, by a stock company, of which Thomas Jackson, M.D., was President, H. C. Godwin, Vice-President, and L. P. Hinds, Secretary. They with F. A. Ward, Levi Westfall, J. B. Scoville, and William W. Skinner, constituted its managers. The original expense was about $4700. This bridge was carried away by a freshet, and the half of the expense of the one which takes its place was borne by William M. Post.
In 1852 or 1853, the Van Antwerp and Newbury farms, with a part of Elijah Westfall's land, comprising about 400 acres lying north of the river, had been purchased by J. B. Scoville for Messrs. Jackson and Godwin, who laid out fifty or sixty acres in village lots, which they sold to William M. Post in 1857.
Prior to 1864, there was only one road in Oakland Village—the old Ouaquago turnpike—and but one or two farm houses. Five years later, there were three streets between the old turnpike and the river, and three cross-streets of the five laid out were open.
A hotel was built in 1864, near the north end of the bridge, by T. T. Munson, which has since been known as Telford's. After selling the hotel, Mr. Munson established the first store here.
West of the bridge there is a saw and grist-mill; east of it, a sash and blind factory. In 1869, there were about seventy buildings in the village. It now (spring 1872) contains over one hundred houses, and is steadily growing. A neat schoolhouse, with blinds, serves as a place of worship for the Methodist society. A union Sabbath school begun here 1865, by Mrs. William M. Post and Mrs. Cockayne, with eight scholars, numbered over one hundred scholars in four years.
The village is an independent school district. The majority of the residents are Erie Railroad employes.
WHEN first settled, in 1787, the area of Brooklyn was an atom in the vast space allotted to the most northern district of Luzerne County, and which, in 1790, was designated as Tioga
¹ Or West, as it is called by the people of Harmony.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 111
township. In 1795 it belonged in part to Nicholson township; in 1806 it was wholly in Bridgewater (then still in Luzerne), and in that portion of it which, at the second term of court after the organization of Susquehanna County, was included within the limits of a township then petitioned for, to be called Waterford. Of the latter, it was proposed the southeast corner should be where the county line crosses Martin's Creek; that the creek, for ten miles, should be its eastern border; thence a line due west five miles, its northern; thence a line running south to Luzerne County (now Wyoming), the western; and thence east to the place of beginning, the southern.
This made the northern boundary nearly on a line with that of Dimock, as since run; but Waterford as finally granted, April, 1814, was twelve miles north and south. This brought the northwest corner within two miles of Montrose and it was soon thought expedient to change it, leaving the residents along the Meshoppen, as far down as Lindsley's or North Pond, still in Bridgewater.
February, 1823, the court changed the name of the town to Hopbottom (that being the name of the post-office, as also of the settlement from an early day); for, as there were already three Waterfords in the State, it caused derangement of the mails. In 1825 a meeting of the citizens was held, and they decided to petition the court and the postmaster-general for a change of name, both of town and post-office, to Brooklyn, with a favorable result.
In 1846, Brooklyn was reduced nearly one-half, by the erection of the township of Lathrop, since which time its limits have remained unchanged.
The Hopbottom Creek, so called from the number of wild hops once found growing in its valley, runs through Brooklyn from north to south, having its source in Heart Lake, between New Milford and Bridgewater, and reaching Martin's creek in the northeast corner of Lathrop.
It is said that " up Martin's Creek a former hunter's range extended (as also to the upper branches of the Wyalusing) ; the fur of the marten, then abundant, was his chief aim." It is probable the creek derived its name from this circumstance, and that it is incorrectly called Martin's creek.
" Dry" Creek is also a tributary to Martin's Creek in certain seasons.
Horton's Creek has its rise in the western part of the township, and crosses the southern line about midway; thence passes entirely through Lathrop to join the Tunkhannock below. It was once a rival competitor with Martin's Creek for railroad honors.
South Pond (Ely Lake) and the half of North Pond, the latter
112 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
on the west line of Brooklyn, and the other near it, are the only lakes of the township.
The surface is very uneven. The traveler over the Owego turnpike (which enters the township at Oakley's and leaves it near its northwest corner) will cross some high hills, and, in going over the road from Kingsley's to the Center, will find those even higher but here is some of the best land.
In 1787, John Nicholson, Comptroller of Pennsylvania, and owner of extensive tracts of land throughout the State, attempted to colonize his lands along the Hopbottom ; and, in five years, collected about forty Irish and German families from Philadelphia, and "down the Susquehanna." He had agreed to supply them with provisions, for the first year at least, and that they should have the land seven years; the settlers in the mean time to clear what they could, and to build upon each lot a house and barn, and at the end of seven years to have the first right of purchase at the price the land might then be worth.
Adam Miller, a Protestant Irishman, though part of his life had been spent with a Roman Catholic priest, had married a cousin of Nicholson, and both were persuaded by him to come to his Hopbottom lands in 1787. At the end of one year they became discouraged, and Nicholson, to induce them to stay, deeded to Mrs. Miller 175 acres of land.
Mrs. Miller's maiden name was Elinor Nichaelson, as the name was spelled in the old country. Her father was a brother of John Nicholson's father, and a Welshman ; her mother was an Englishwoman.
Mrs. Fox, a Dutchwoman among the colonists, once complained to Mrs. Miller of their fare, when the latter responded : " Peggy, we ought to thank the Lord that we have enough such as it is." But " Peggy" could not assent, and replied : ' Do you really believe anybody under the heavens ever ;banked the Lord for johnnycake ?"
The eldest child of Adam Miller is now living (1870) in Michigan, in her eighty-fourth year, and she was about one Tear old when her parents came to what is now Brooklyn, and was just three years old when her brother William was born there, December, 1789. His was the first birth in this county, so far as has come to the knowledge of the compiler.
Elder Charles Miller, for many years a minister in Clifford, vas also born on the Hopbottorn, March 20, 1793. His sister Anna Maria, now the widow of John Wells, was born there in 795, and was in her fifth year when her parents with their family went to Obio. They returned the same season to Tunk-
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 113
hannock, and, early in the spring of 1800, reached Clifford Corners, in the vicinity of which they lived and died. (See CLIFFORD.)
Richard McNamara and Robert Patterson came in 1787. The latter is buried in Brooklyn.
William Conrad (or Coonrod, as then pronounced) was among the earliest of Nicholson's colonists. He was one of the Hes sians employed by Great Britain in the Revolutionary War. All the time he had to prepare for the expedition was less than twenty-four hours, and then he left home and country forever. He supposed the expedition was designed only to go to England; but, when there, it was joined by the British fleet and sailed for America. The next year he was with Lord Howe at Philadelphia. The Hessians were then told, that if they deserted to the Yankees, they would be killed and eaten up. Conrad, however, made his escape, and the first American officer he met gave him a dollar. He soon found inhabitants with whom he could converse in his own language, one of whom, Page, accompanied him to this section. Hardships of every kind awaited the family of Conrad here. Their first home was under the shelter of a hemlock root, where one of his children was born. He stayed in Brooklyn long enough to make a small clearing, build a log-house, and set out an orchard on the farm afterwards owned by Andrew Tracy, Esq., and then removed to Harford, where he lived more than forty years, and where he died. A son of his is still living in the county, a little east of Hopbottom village; and another branch of the family is living at South Gibson.
Little is known of those who came in 1787, with the exception of a few persons. Mrs. Wells (mentioned above) states, that a physician, whose name was Caperton, accompanied the first settlers, and that he, Mr. Fox, and Mr. John Robinson, were her father's near neighbors.
The majority of these known as "the Nicholson settlers" were Irish, and their locality was called the Irish Settlement by the settlers of Great Bend and " Nine Partners." Nicholson had furnished teams, a quantity of " sugar kettles" for boiling sap, and erected a log grist-mill (about sixty rods below Whipple 's present saw-mill), but failed to supply provisions as he had agreed ; the families, being left to care for themselves, suffered much from want, and not knowing how to manage in the wilderness, became discouraged, and after a few years abandoned the
Among the few whose names are connected with the improvements purchased by the New Englanders, there were besides the settlers already given, another Conrad, Trout, McIntyre,
- 8 -
114 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
John Jones, a well-educated Welshman, came from Northumberland, 1790-2, and became a sort of superintendent of the settlement. His family consisted. of his wife (formerly Mrs. Milbourne), and his stepson, Bloomfield Milbourne, with their three daughters, Nancy, Betsy, and Polly. The last-named died in 1802. Nancy became the wife of Samuel Howard, a later comer, and Betsy, of John C. Sweet, of Harford.
A son of one of the earliest New England settlers in Brooklyn (J. Sabin) narrated the following incident:—
"I remember one time Mr. Jones went to Wilkes-Barre, forty miles away ; bought two five-pail kettles, in which to boil sap, hung them astride his mare, drove her before him, and walked himself. When he had nearly reached home, some brush caught in the legs of the kettles, which so frightened the beast she ran into the woods and broke them both."
In 1792 Mark Hartley, of Scotch descent but of Irish birth, and then living at Northumberland, was induced by Nicholson to join the Hopbottom colony. He was accompanied by his wife and two children, Mark and William, the latter only eight weeks old, now Esquire Hartley, of Lenox. He remained less than five years in the settlement before removing to the vicinity of Glenwood.
From 1792-95 the last of the Nicholson colonists came. They were William Harkins, James Coil (to Adam Miller's clearing), and Prince Perkins (colored), with his son William, and two grandchildren. Prince bad been the slave of Captain -- Perkins, of Connecticut (the great-grandfather of C. S. Perkins, now of Brooklyn), but as he became a freeholder, and spent his life in the township, his history forms a part of it. He came from near the mouth of the Tunkhannock, after acquiring his freedom in Connecticut by the laws of the State.
Denman Coe and Wright Chamberlain, from Connecticut, were on the Hopbottom, in 1795. (See Gibson.) James Coil removed after a few years to Clifford. [The location of the Nicholson settlers can best be given in connection with that of the New Englanders.]
On the failure of John Nicholson, his lands in the Hopbottom settlement passed into the hands of John B. Wallace, of Philadelphia, and from him, in 1818, to Thomas B. Overton, then of Wilkes-Barre. 4. portion of the .lands of Brooklyn belonged to the Drinker estate.
The earliest New England settlers came to this section supposing themselves to have clear titles to land under the " Connecticut Delaware Purchase." Prior to locating on the Hop-bottom, Joseph Chapman—a sea-captain, who had made fifty voyages to the West Indies—and his son Joseph, from Norwich, Ct., had begun an improvement on their purchase in Dimock, or
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 115
" Chebur," as that town was then named, on Connecticut surveys. But, as there was no building on their land, they procured an improvement in the adjacent town of " Dandolo" the section including the Irish settlement or Nicholson colony, and in the fall of the same year (1798) Captain Chapman brought his family to the log cabin vacated by John Robinson. He remained here until the spring of 1800, when with his wife and his sons Isaac A. and Edward, and his daughters Elizabeth and Lydia, he removed to the house, which he in the mean time had built on his place in Chebur.
The only child of his first wife, Joseph Chapman, Jr., remained upon the Hopbottom place, but was not then without neighbors, from one to three miles away, nor many months with- out a companion.
The incoming of Andrew Tracy can best be given in his own words, though fully to understand his position, the reader must be informed that he was Secretary and Recorder of the Connecticut Delaware first Company, and that this was the final effort of the Connecticut claimants under the Indian Delaware Purchase to obtain possession. Captain Peleg Tracy, his eldest son, appears to have purchased the first improvements of Messrs. Jones and Milbourne, on the present farm of Obadiah and W. P. Bailey, as early as his father secured those of William Conrad, the place a little north of Brooklyn Center, which is now owned by Jared Baker; but he did not come to occupy it until two weeks after his father's arrival with his family.
DIARY OF ANDREW TRACY, Esq.
"1798, August 21st, I set out from Norwich (Ct.), with my son Edwin (Leonard E.) for the Delaware Purchase, and we arrived at Dandolo the 30th inst., at Mr. Milbourne's ; the 31st at Chebur; 1st Sept. at Mr. Brownson's at Rindaw ; where we waited for Mr. E. Hyde till the 11th, and the 12th left there and went to view the Manor, etc. On the 14th took possession of Coon-rod Castle with the premises. We sowed about four bushels wheat and rye, and rolled up a log-house, two logs above the chamber floor ; and on the 11th November set off for Norwich.
" On the 8th January 1799, sent off my team, and on the 11th set out with my family for our seat in Dandolo, and got to Peleg's place on the 6th of February, after a long and expensive journey of 28 days. We left Peleg's house about the 5th of March, and then moved into the castle—it was thirteen feet square—having eleven in the family steady, until the 4th of July, and then we moved into the new house to celebrate the day of American Independence, and had about 40 persons to dine."
The foregoing appears to have been written at the same time with what follows in the diary down to July 1801. To account in part for the large number of " persons to dine," it is here noted, that Captain Tracy was married and had three children when he settled in Hopbottom ; and that his wife was accompanied by her sister Betsey Leffingwell. Capt. Chapman's family
116 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
re still in Brooklyn. Charles Miner may also have been of party, since he came to this section with Capt Tracy. "Coon! Castle" then contained three "sets" of children ; five were children of Esq. Tracy's first wife, and four were those of Mrs. Tracy and her first husband, Amaziah Weston ; while the youngest, then an infant (now Mrs. Warner Hayden of New Milford), was hers and Esq. Tracy's. On the arrival of the Tracy family at Martin's Creek, they were met by Capt. Chapman, who bore her in his arms the remainder of their journey. But to return to the diary :—
The last winter (1799-1800) was very hard and severe ; snow that fell during the first week in November lay until May. We had about 12 inches of snow on the first of April, and there fell a snow 9 or 10 inches deep, and on the 8th, near as much more, and on the 2d of May we had a snow fall so to make the ground look white. The hard winter was followed by a severe drought. which was the means of my going to French Town [now in Bradford Co. ], three times after grain, and once down the Tunkhannock, and so up the Susquehanna to the Wyalusing, and so home with four bushels wheat and rye. On my way home, I got within half a mile of Joseph Chapman's house, when it being very dark and rainy, my horse became frightened, and ran into the woods ; and I was under the necessity of lying there all night, not having as much as an old log or anything but a small beech to screen me from the storm, which was incessant all night. As soon as the daylight appeared, I found the path, and then proceeded on to Capt. Chapman's where I got half an hour before sunrise, not having had any sleep, but very wet and cold. After dinner I set out with my load for home.
June 6th, 1800, occurred a very great frost that killed corn, beans, pumpkins cucumbers, etc."
Under date of July 26, 1801, he mentions a frost which killed some things.
August 5th, following, he acids : " Rev. Jacob Crane, a missionary from New York, preached a sermon at my house, to about 40 hearers." On the 21st of the same month, he mentions his own son-in-law Thompson, who preached two sermons that day at the same place. August 25th, there was " a frost that killed evrything subject to frost." On the 12th and 13th of September following there was also " some frost." This was the last entry of his diary.
Andrew Tracy, Esq„ died Nov. 1, 1801.
In 1801, Captain P. Tracy sold his place with the house which Messrs. Jones and Milbourne had built in 1790, to Captain Amos Bailey. Traces of the ruins of the house are still to be seen near the spring, in the orchard of O. Bailey ; where there are trees set out by the first occupants, which are still bearing. Captain Tracy then went to the clearing first made by William Harkins, where H. W. Kent now resides ; but remained there only two or three years before removing to Wilkes-Barre. All of the first family of Andrew Tracy, Esq., left the town soon after his death, except his son Leonard who died here in 1802.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 117
The widow of A. Tracy with her children, Samuel, Mary, William, and John Weston, and Sally and Andrew Tracy (the last named born soon after his father's death) continued to reside at the homestead until her marriage with Deacon Joshua Miles. She died in 1856. Her son Andrew, after his marriage removed to Marathon, N. Y. Sally (Mrs. Hayden) says : " I have often heard my mother speak of the good old time when we lived in Coonrod Castle, and took the door from the hinges and laid it on barrels for a table, before we could get any made."
Samuel and Mary Weston were early teachers in Brooklyn ; William, father of E. A. Weston, died here in 1853 ; John is a physician in Towanda, Pa.
Charles Miner did not take up land in the vicinity of the Chapmans and Tracys, but his associations with them, in 1799, permit us to copy a few items from a letter written by him about fifty years later :—
" On the 12th of Feb. 1779, in company with Captain Peleg Tracy, his brother Leonard, and Miss Lydia Chapman in one sleigh ; Mr John Chase of Newburyport and myself in another ; set out from Norwich, Ct., and arrived at Hopbottom the 28th. The snow left us the first night, when we were only twelve miles on our way, and we were obliged to place our sleighs on trundle wheels. Our cheerful, undaunted female friend, through the patience-trying journey of sixteen days (never a tear, a murmur, or a sigh) lived to see her grandchildren, the children of an eminent judge of the Supreme Court."
After selling to Captain Tracy, Mr. Jones made a small improvement where James Adams 1st, now lives. This he sold in 1813, to Latham A. Smith. Mr. and Mrs. J. spent their later years near Mrs. Milbourne, in a house of which the logs were cut by Mr. Jones, though younger men rolled them up. After Mrs. J.'s death, in 1822, he lived with his son-in-law, S. Howard, and died in Brooklyn, in 1834, aged 91.
Bloomfield Milbourne, after he and Mr. Jones left their first location, took possession of the place to which Mr. Fox had come in 1787. An old apple-tree is still pointed out as near the site of his log cabin, on the farm now owned by Lyman Tiffany. The road from McIntyre Hill to Martin's Creek passes the place. It was cut through one early 4th of July, as a holiday job, by Capt. Joshua Sabin, his son Jonathan, Jos. Chapman, Jr., and others ; no whiskey was drank on the occasion.
He is remembered as a very honest, kind-hearted, and obliging man, and very fond of a practical joke. He was acknowledged to be "the greatest chopper in town," and was also "a dead shot" with the rifle.
He married a daughter of Isaac Tewksbury, and spent the remainder of his days upon the Fox place. He died in 1839, aged 68.
118 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Richard McNamara's improvements were purchased by Capt. Joshua Sabin, an account of whose settlement is here given, in the words of his son, in a letter to J. W. Chapman, Esq.:—
"In the spring of 1799, Ezekiel Hyde, a land speculator from Connecticut, came to my father, who was living in Otsego County, on the left bank of the Susquehanna, 70 miles above Great Bend, and told him that he would sell him 800 acres of land in Hopbottom. My father accompanied him to H., and bought out McNamara, who gave possession immediately. Then my father came back and took my oldest sister, and my brothers Lyman and and Aaron, and some household furniture, and moved them to Hopbottorn. He bought a cow, and left them to keep house for the summer. He had sold his farm on the river, but had the use of it that year. He was late in getting to Hopbottom to mow the grass, and your grandfather Chapman and your father mowed and stacked the hay. In September, my father lashed his two canoes together, and, loaded with household goods (including a loom, etc.), and also a number of apple-trees large enough to set, took me, and went down to Great Bend. He there buried the roots of the trees in the grourd for the winter, and then we started together for Hopbottom, on the Newburgh road (the turnpike afterwards built nearly on the same line), seven miles through the woods to the first house, which was Corbett's tavern (now Phnney's in N. M.), where we halted. I went into the barn, and saw a pair of elk horns on the floor. They were standing on four points, and I took off my hat and walked between the horns under the skull, and as I stood erect under the horns they just touched my hair. (My height was 5 feet 10 inches.) There I saw also a tame elk among the cattle.
" We went on to Hopbottom by way of a town then called Nine Partners.' When we reached our destination, I was heartsick with the place; but I became more reconciled when I became acquainted with your father and your uncles Edward and Isaac, and your aunts Lydia and Polly. Your grandfather had bought a new place about eight miles from there (in Chebur), and wished me to go with him to visit it. He had already built a house on it. and a family named Myers had moved into it till they could build.
"Mrs. Myers was very glad to see him, and said, Captain Chapman, have you any snuff?' He told her he had plenty, and she said she 'had suffered so for snuf' that if she had this house full of gould' she would give it all for one pinch of snuff.'
"I helped him fence his ground, and sow and drag in three acres of wheat, and I returned home Saturday night.
"My father went back up the river, and left my oldest sister, myself, and Aaron to keep the house. He was down twice during the winter."
Capt. Sabin's family then consisted of his wife and eight children. The letter continues :—
" The whole family moved down, in March, 1800, in sleighs. They crossed the river twice on the ice, and drove the cattle and sheep. They reached the new home the last week in March. The most of the stock, consisting of 9 horses, 60 head of cattle, and 20 sheep, was turned over to Hyde for land, which father lost because he failed to get a good title."
From another letter to the same, written nearly twelve years ago, we learn that Capt. Joshua Sabin was born in Dutchess County, N. Y. He served in the Revolutionary army as captain under Washington, and at the close of the war settled in Rensselaer County, N. Y., and received an appointment as jus-
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 119
tice. He afterwards rented his farm there, while he lived in Otsego County, where Ezekiel Hyde found him.
He became so disheartened after losing his property through the Connecticut land speculation, that after about four years' residence in Hopbottorn he returned to his old home in Rensselaer County, where he spent the remainder of his days (17 years) in tranquillity.
His eleventh child, and the only one born in Susquehanna County, had been named after Ezekiel Hyde, who gave him 100 acres of land, but unfortunately the giver did not really own a
foot of it.
The Hopbottom farm continued to be occupied by Jonathan Sabin, after his father left, until 1809 (he having in the mean time married the widow Raynale), when he removed to the Lake country.
The following incidents were given by Mr. Sabin upon receiving a copy of the Montrose Republican' which contained the proceedings of the Old Settlers' Festival, June, 1858. Hon. J. W. Chapman says: " No one acquainted with Jonathan Sabin, his skill and success as a hunter, and rectitude as a man, will question the truth of his statements."
" In the spring of 1800, Capt. Bartlet Hinds, in company with another man, came five miles through the woods to grind their axes—four in number, and new from the blacksmith shop—on my father's Nova Scotia grindstone, preparatory to cutting the first trees for a road from Great Bend to where Montrose now stands.
" While reflecting upon the events of my youthful days, my mind involuntarily reverts to some of the wilder and more exciting scenes enjoyed by me in hunting game, with which the wilderness of that country, at that time, was so bountifully supplied.
"I was then sixteen years of age, and lived with my father in a house about half a mile from Joseph Chapman's, where in those days there stood a, yellow willow tree near the foot of the hill.
"During my four years' residence there, I destroyed five panthers, a number of bears, some seven or eight wolves, and at least two hundred deer. On one of my hunting excursions, I discovered, about two-thirds of the distance up the mountain southeast from the willow tree, a pile of leaves some two or three feet high, and upon examination found they contained a dead buck, which I supposed had been placed there by a panther. I took off the skin, and covered the body again as I found it, as nearly as I could. I then loaded a musket with eleven buckshot, and set it for the panther just at dark, and had left it only about five minutes, when I heard the report of the gun; upon returning to the spot, found the panther dead, not nine rods from the place where he received his wound. Every shot had taken effect. He measured nine feet in length from his nose to the end of his tail.
" While upon a hunting excursion about 200 rods north of the house, on the hilt, I discovered a bear coming directly towards me. I allowed him to come within 16 feet before I fired ; the charge, a ball and nine buckshot, took effect in his heart, and killed him instantly.
" On another occasion my brother and I went up to the north pond, about one mile from the house, to shoot deer by torchlight from a canoe. Soon after dark we heard the deer in the pond. We moved towards them care-
120 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
fully, and when within twelve rods, I fired and killed three the first shot ; and before morning I killed four more, making seven deer with five shots, and had them all home in the morning."
From his letter written in 1866, we have the following :—
" About sixty years ago I saw a man coming up the hill towards my house, fallowed by his horse. He wanted to bait the horse on the beautiful clover before the door. That man was Robert R. Rose from Philadelphia. He named the town of Montrose. He owned 20,000¹ acres of land there. He surveyed his land himself, and boarded at Captain Hinds' that summer.
" He sent to me for a barrel of pork. It was impossible to get through the woods with a wagon, but I contrived to get the pork to him. I took two poles twenty feet long, and bored holes with a two-inch auger, about five feet from the butt, and inserted two cross-bars to hold the barrel, then sprung the poles together, bound them with withes, and lashed them behind the oxen. In this way I took him the pork, and got $20 for it—a great sum in those days."
He also mentions the fact that in 1799, when he came, there was no settler from Page's (at Brooklyn Center) to Colonel Parke's ; and from Page's to Horton's mills-9 miles—there was ut one, John S. Tubell.
Four barrels of salt paid for a span of horses purchased by Jon. Sabin when he was 21 years old. He sold to Mr. Miles a pair of millstones for $50.
About 1808, Mr. Sabin had occasion to go to Cayuga Co., N. Y., to buy wheat, which could be obtained there for fifty cents per bushel, while at Hopbottom it was $2.00 ; and he was then so
delighted with " the lake country," he determined to leave the Beechwoods, and all their game. Having no regular title to the land, he sold his " improvements " to John B. Wallace, the Pennsylvania claimant, who gave him for them, $100 and 100 acres. The latter he sold to David Morgan, and in 1809, he removed to Ovid, N. Y. In 1812, he bought a farm beyond Seneca Lake, in Steuben County, and resided there many years. He had eight children, one of whom, Joshua, died at Fort Leavenworth in the service of the U. S. during the rebellion. During the last twenty years of his life, he was blind from a cataract. His home was then with his youngest son in Niagara Co., N. Y., where he died the 25th of January 1870, aged 87 years.
Prior to the departure of Jonathan Sabin, J. B. Wallace and s brother in law, Horace Binney, Sen., of Philadelphia, came on to see their lands, and employed him to cut a road to " the Gregory settlement" in New Milford.
All his family finally removed to the west.
The Sabin farm was afterwards occupied by John Seeley, and sons Alden, Reuben, and Justus ; Putnam Catlin also resided here a short time before he purchased a farm half a mile above, and
¹ The whole tract owned by Dr. Rose in 1809 consisted of nearly 100,000 acres.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 121
the place at length came into the possession of Jezreel Dewitt. A son of the latter now lives on it.
It was half a mile from this place up the creek, on the north side, that Mr. Trout, another of the immigrants of 1787, was located. The farm is now occupied by N. C. Benjamin.
Mr. Denison's clearing, which was half a mile above Mr. Trout's, was early abandoned by him. In 1799, the timber around the rock on which his oven was built had grown to a
diameter of six inches.
" Conrad Hill" takes its name from the location of one of the Conrads a short distance above Denison.
Prince Perkins first settled where C. R. Palmer now lives, but soon moved to the farm now occupied by Charles Kent. In 1811, he sold the latter to Latham Williams, and by the kind assistance of Colonel Frederick Bailey, procured one hundred acres of land (which Henry Dennis now owns) and there he and his son lived and died. Prince was the soul of all the early dancing parties in the vicinity, and was probably an accessory to the feast mentioned on another page. Some one exhibits a memorandum running thus : " 1800—Prince Perkins for fiddling on the fourth of July-11s. 3d.
To give a picture of the life of a young woman for a fortnight in primitive times, the following is copied from Betsey Leffingwell's diary, kept for a friend in Connecticut, in 1799. Miss L.
had come to visit her sister, Mrs. Capt. Tracy :—
" Bidwell,¹ September 30—Monday morn.—Mr. Chapman went to Webber's² after the horses in the time we were getting breakfast, which we eat with haste, mounted, and set off. Met Leonard Tracy on our way to Capt. Chapman's. Mr. Robison³ and Mary met us before we got to the house where they had been waiting for us near an hour. We soon proceeded on our way to Rindaw, called on the Mr. Parkes, was treated with short cake, dryed bear's meat, and boyled corn. After a short tarry, we again mounted, jogged on to Mount Calm, made a visit to the new house, and then set off anew. Drove through swamp-holes, over logs, roots, and stumps, dismounting every half hour to pass creeks and brooks. At twelve we found seats, and partook of a comfortable meal, which refreshed us mightily. By four o'clock we came in sight of the famous store,4 which was filled with men of every description. Mr. Hyde, Reynolds, and Miner were not backward in welcoming us to Rindaw. We were escorted to Mr. Brunson's by them ; found all well, and glad to see the ladies. Mr. Reynolds invited us to walk ; we steered for the famous creek, and were joined by Mr. Pascal Tyler and the other gentlemen ; took a sail, returned, drank tea, spent a sociable eve, and at nine we retired to rest.
¹ Miss L. dates from the residence of Capt. P. Tracy, who then lived where Obadiah Bailey now lives.
² It is thought Mr. Webber may have lived where S. K. Smith is now.
³ John W. Robinson. She wrote the name as it was then generally pronounced.
4 Enoch Reynolds, of Norwich, had established a store at Rindaw as an experiment.
122 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
"Tuesday (Oct. 1st) was very pleasant. We rose, took a walk to the store and on the banks of the creek. Returned to breakfast; was introduced to Doctor Usher and son, from Chatham—a proper tippe. Mr. Hyde found some work for us, which employed us till half-past ten, when we prinked up, eat a luncheon, mounted our horses, and set out with Mr. Reynolds, Chapman, and Robison to visit the Miss Inghams, seven miles down the creek. Had a very polite welcome from the ladies. Was treated with melons, apples, and an excellent cup of tea, and many other delicacies too numerous to mention. Miss Polly Ingham is soon to be married ; we all had a polite invite to (the) wedding, and agreed to attend—hem. At even we mounted our nags to return to Brunson's, which we gained by nine ; eat a hearty supper, and retired to rest.
" Wednesday.—Rose early, in order to turn our faces towards Bidwell. We jogged on leisurely, viewing the country as we passed, and making our remarks on the inhabitants and their plantations. There are eleven families in fourteen miles of the road, which three years since was a wilderness. At three o'clock we got within five miles of Mr. Chapman's ; as it was the last house, we called. Mrs. Wilson was happy to see us, and set before us a good dinner. It being late, and no road but now and then a blazed tree for our guide, we concluded to stay the night. We took a walk around his clearing, and found it very pleasant, indeed. Mr. Wilson has been a settler but eight months, and has thirteen acres well cleared and fenced; hear this, and believe, for it is true. He sows six acres of wheat this fall, with no one to assist him.
" We rose early on Thursday morn, the third day of October, mounted our horses, and left them (the Wilsons). We crept along, over hills, and dales, and mud-puddles; found the Valley (Capt. C.'s) at 9 o'clock.
" Fryday, October 4th.—Got home. Mrs. Chapman came and spent the day with us, accompanied by Mrs. Tracy. I took a run over to Mrs. Harkins' about noon.
"Saturday, October 5th.—Cloudy, and some rain ; I not over smart today, but am fixing for our tour down to Rindaw, as we must be ready at a minute's warning (for Miss Ingham's wedding). Isaac and Edward Chapman called on their way to Mr. Jones'. The day was spent in work and play, and the night in sleep.
"Sunday morn.—Very pleasant. I rose not so early as common. Mr. Mil-burne made us a visit before we breakfasted. About eleven, I dressed myself and set off for meeting, alone. Found Milburne at Mr. Harkins', with Linsey. They were going to meeting, so Miss Leffingwell had their agreeable company. Arriving at Esq. Tracy's, we were disappointed in not hearing the sermon, as Capt. Sabins had that moment begun the last prayer, and such an one as I never heard; shall, however, say but little about it. I found Joseph and his sisters with Mr. Robison, of the congregation, with many more not worth mentioning (to you). They all left the house soon after but Mr. Chapman and Betty [herself], who drank tea with the Esquire's family, and then set off for home. Had a mighty serious walk (with the serious consequence of a wedding). Took a view of the plantation Mr. Webber is soon to move on. Got home by sunset, made up a good winter fire, and spent the evening by its side, in good spirits.
" Monday, October 7th, eve.—Mr. Harkin came in after some oyl for his child. I finished washing in time to prink up before dark. Mr. Robison made his appearance. We spent the evening very agreeably at whist. Mr. Et. and Miss Leffingwell came off victorious.
"Tuesday, 8th.—The afternoon I spent in writing, and the eve in knitting.
" Wednesday.—No company to-day. I have been ironing, Mr. Tracy gathering corn and pumpkins—the largest I ever saw ; they will weigh, take hem as they rise, thirty pounds, and one thirty-seven.
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" Thursday.—Mr. Chapman has made us a visit, on his way to Mr. Jones', to make Nancy a pair of shoes ; had his saddle-bags on his neck.
"Fryday.—Mr. Chapman called on his way home. We retired to rest at eleven.
" Saturday eve.—I have got the ink-horn, with my paper, in my lap, just
to bid you a good night's rest.
" Sunday eve.—We have spent the evening knitting, paring pumpkins, and telling riddles. [Saturday evening, and not Sunday evening—a New England custom of early times—was considered a part of the Sabbath.]
" Monday. . . . Spent the day rationally—no company—and at nine re-
tired to rest, in spirits."
Miss Leffingwell was married to Joseph Chapman, Jr., the 25th of December, 1800, at Norwich, Conn.
Referring to this, in 1858, Charles Miner said : " Capt. Peleg Tracy and Joseph Chapman, Jr., had each chosen a bride of the old aristocratic family of Leffingwell, in Norwich, amiable and
The children of Joseph Chapman, Jr., were George, James W., Lydia (Mrs. J.L. Adams, recently deceased), John H., and Joseph, who died a young man. All were born on the farm which their father took up on the Hopbottom in 1798, and which Joseph Chapman, Jr., purchased under Pennsylvania title (a half mile square), and where he and his wife resided to the close of their lives. He died in 1845, and Mrs. C. in 1846.
Joseph Chapman, Jr., was a shoemaker, and one " who was never known to fail in keeping his promise."
George purchased a farm adjoining his father's, but the latter is occupied by C. M. Chapman, a son of George; and thus it has been held by four generations of the same family.
Samuel Howard's first clearing is now the farm of Nehemiah Mack ; he afterwards cleared the farm of James Adams, Sr., and finally settled near B. Milbourne, until late in life, when he removed to South Auburn, where he died in 1843, aged seventy. Mrs. H. died in 1872.
In 1800, Jacob Tewksbury, from Vermont, bought out Mr. Page, who, with his large family—eleven children—was located just where Brooklyn Center now is. What was then known as Dutch Meadow is partly covered by the village cemetery. The Page place was purchased, in 1808, by Deacon Joshua Miles, and Jacob Tewksbury removed to a farm about half a mile west of it (where Rev. L. H. Porter now lives), and afterwards went to Gibson, where he died November, 1842, aged seventy-four.
Ebenezer Whitney came first to the clearing made by Mark Hartley, but soon removed to the place now owned by C. S. Perkins.
Capt. Amos Bailey was born in Groton, Ct., January, 1777. He was married, February, 1801, to Miss Prudence Gere, a
124 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
sister of Charles and Ebenezer Gere, and came with the latter to "Bidwell" the following month. (The locality was then in Nicholson, Luzerne County.) Capt. Charles Gere settled in what is now Lathrop, but Ebenezer G. and Capt. Bailey spent the summer with the family of Capt. Tracy. They were obliged to go to the mouth of the Tunkhannock for some provisions, which they brought on horseback, with marked trees to guide them ; and seven miles to mill, leading the horse that carried the grist. Capt. B. killed the first deer he ever saw the morning after he arrived here. He and Mr. Gere split lumber from a cherry log, and made them a table and a bedstead. The table is still in perfect preservation in the room of one of his daughters, on the place where it was made; and from its neatness of finish no one would suspect it was constructed outside of a cabinet shop. Possibly it is the only piece of furniture now in the county which was furnished by its forests and foresters in 1801. In the fall of that year they returned to Connecticut, where Mr. G. remained nearly twenty-one years before he came to settle in Brooklyn. It was the intention of Capt. Bailey to bring his wife that winter, but as there was no sleighing he came alone, and worked through the summer of 1802. He purchased of Mr. Tracy his improvements, and the log house, built in 1790, by Messrs. Jones and Milbourne ; and in the fall, with his wife, began housekeeping on the farm, where both lived until death. They came from Connecticut in a wagon, and were seventeen days on the road, three of which were spent in traveling from Great Bend, twenty miles. But they were more fortunate than many of the early settlers; they had a home to come to, and provisions in store for them, and something to spare to the hungry who came to their house; still they necessarily suffered many hardships and privations. Mrs. B. lived here three months without seeing a woman ; but, though she had left a good home and society, she endured her privations cheerfully. As the country was cleared up, all the privileges of social life sprang up around them. Their united industry and economy soon secured to them a comfortable home. Capt. B. cleared his farm, and raised stock and produce to pay for it. He planted his first orchard from seeds which he brought from Connecticut; some of the trees are now standing and bearing.
In 1856, John Lord, Sr., just before his death, wrote the following:—
"Capt. Amos Bailey was here about two years before I came. He was always foremost in opening roads to accommodate new settlers. As soon as there were children enough for a school, then he was the foremost one in providing good schools. Through his influence the necessary amount of subscription was raised for a public meeting-house, which was built
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without serious embarrassment to any one. He has always been a man of peace, and, by his friendly interpositions, he has prevented many serious litigations. Prominent men were willing to take counsel of him, because they knew he would act for the good of all."
Capt. Bailey died November 9, 1865, in the eighty-ninth year of his age.
Mrs. Bailey was greatly respected and beloved. She died July 15th, 1854, aged 85 years and 9 months. Amos Bailey and wife were among the earliest and most active Universalists of the township. Their children were: Prudy, who married Robert Kent, and died in Bridgewater, in 1863 ; Amos G., who lived in Brooklyn, and died in 1855; Eunice G., and Obadiah, at the old homestead—the farm which W. P. Bailey, a son of the last named, now owns and occupies with him.
Silas Lewis was a settler of 1801. Also, Edward Goodwin Amos, Daniel, and William Lawrence. Amos Lawrence occupied the Hartley place after E. Whitney, but removed, with his brother Allen, after a few years, to Dimock.
Joshua Saunders and family settled at Mack's Corners. While his son Nathan was helping Capt. Bailey to clear his land, about 1804, he was knocked down by the limb of a tree, and died from his injuries. Mr. S. sold to Elisha Mack in 1811, and in 1817 moved to Ohio with Orlando Bagley and sons, and returned, after a time, to Brooklyn.
1802.—Jeremiah Gere—cousin of Charles and Ebenezer Gere, and son of Rezin Gere who fell at Wyoming—lived the first three years after his arrival with Joseph Chapman, Jr., and tanned leather in vats dug out of pine logs. In 1806, on the day of the great eclipse, he moved into the frame house he had built on the farm where S. W. Breed now lives. He died September, 1842, aged 72.
Charles V., his eldest son, died recently in Minnesota, aged 74 years; George M. died there, also; Henry resides in Missouri, and Edward L. in Brooklyn. Two others of his sons and two daughters are dead. Miss Otis, afterwards the wife of Freeman Peck, of Harford, came in with the family.
Mott Wilkinson and family came in 1802; also, Sergeant Tewksbury (a brother of Jacob), from Vermont. He settled just below Joshua Saunders, where John Bolles now lives; he died in 1842, aged 68.
1803.—Isaac Tewksbury (father of Jacob and Sergeant T.) and Barnard Worthing came from Vermont on a visit; the latter purchased an improvement—the Abel Green farm (in Lathrop). Both returned the same fall. Alfred Tiffany and family came from Harford.
1804.—Early in this year, Isaac Tewksbury and family located on the clearing of one of the original forty settlers of Brook-
126 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
lyn—" McIntyre" hill. For nearly fifty years this hill has been crowned with the Universalist church, a landmark for
Isaac and Jacob T. built the first saw-mill in the town, about 1805, nearly opposite the house now owned by P. G. Birch. Isaac and Judith T. are buried in the Methodist Episcopal churchyard.
The ancestors of the family came from Tewksbury, England, where one of them, John, was burned at the stake, about 1620.
Orlando Bagley, wife, four sons, and three daughters came on ox and horse sleds from Hartland, Windsor County, Vermont, at the same time with Isaac Tewksbury. Jesse B., the oldest son, now (1871) 85 years old, says :—
" We started on Tuesday, and were two Sundays on the road. It was in March, and the snow in some places was nearly five feet in depth. We settled on the hill east of what is now Mack's Corners. We went to Tunkhannock and Wilkes-Barre for store goods, to Horton's and Tunkhannock to mill, and to Hyde's, at the forks of the Wyalusing, to our post-office. Esquire Hinds, only, lived where Montrose is."
Orlando Bagley's sons were : Jesse, Stephen, Thomas, George, and Washington. The family moved to Ohio in 1817, but four of the brothers returned to Brooklyn. Jesse recently removed to Lanesboro'.
The present Mrs. Otto, née Miriam Worthing, and two of her brothers, came to the town with the families of Orlando Bagley and Isaac Tewksbury, a few months before Barnard Worthing, her father, located permanently in the vicinity. She spent some years in the family of Deacon Joshua Miles, and prepared for teaching. She taught school twenty seasons in Susquehanna and Luzerne counties. She united with the Methodist class in 1821, at the age of 17, and was acquainted with all the early ministers of that denomination. She has contributed some valuable items to its history.
Capt. Charles Gere (brother of Ebenezer), remained in Lathrop until 1803 or 1804, when he came to the place now owned by Joseph Tiffany, and remained there until his death, early in 1842. His wife was a sister of Drs. B. A. and Mason Denison, and, from her own knowledge of medicine, she was accustomed to practice at an early day, going to her patients on horseback, guided by marked trees.
Of their children, Charles D. and Mrs. Dr. Merrill are deceased Robert W. and one daughter, Mrs. J. W. Adams, live in Brooklyn, and another, Mrs. Sarah D. Kintner, in Wyoming County.
1804-1807.—Samuel Yeomans and sons Joseph and Samuel, Isaiah Fuller, Noah Fuller, and Stephen Gere (brother of Jere-
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miah, and father of Albert R. Gere now of Brooklyn), John Seeley and sons Alden, Reuben, and Justus, settled in the town.
COL. FREDERICK BAILEY.
Col. Frederick Bailey, a younger brother of Capt. Amos Bailey, bought of Amos Lawrence his title to the improvement first begun by Mark Hartley, Sr. (father of Esquire Hartley, of Lenox), one of the original Nicholson settlers. He afterwards added to his possessions by purchase from the State of some vacant land adjacent, making with this the large and valuable farm now owned by his youngest son, Henry L. Bailey. Here Col. Bailey settled, in 1807, and resided till his death, in September, 1851, at the age of 71 years. Having acquired a thorough common-school education in his native State (Connecticut), he was several times employed in winter in teaching the youth of his neighborhood. One who attended his school at the age of five years, and again at the age of 11, contributes the following notice of Col. B.:—
“The writer of this, among several others, most of threescore years or more, can bear testimony to his strict discipline, thorough training, and his happy faculty of inspiring the ambition of his pupils, and laying the foundation for all their attainments in after life. He was not only a successful teacher and a thrifty farmer at home, but a man whose qualifications fitted him to be foremost in any public enterprise. The old Milford and Owego Turnpike Road, which sixty years ago was considered almost as momentous an undertaking as the Pacific Railroad was half a century later, furnishing as it did a thoroughfare for travel by daily stages from Western New York to the city, through this corner of Pennsylvania, owed much to his wide-awake, persevering energy for its construction and maintenance as a public benefit, till superseded by the railroads of the country. But it was in the domestic cir-cle—in his own family and immediate neighborhood—that he was most especially appreciated. His surviving children piously regard the fifth commandment, while many other relatives and friends revere and cherish his memory." The following extract from the obituary, published at the time, is expressive of the sentiment entertained : " He was intimately identified with every enterprise calculated to promote the growth and improvement of the country. He was extensively known in it, and was eminently respected by the past generation and the present as a man of sound judgment, superior business attainments, and active, prompt, and energetic habits. He was alike liberal in his sentiments and his actions ; and having obtained a competency by his industry and prudent management, his heart and his hand were always open to the wants of his friends and neighbors."
He had six sons and four daughters. He had buried one wife, three sons, and one daughter (among whom was his eldest son, Frederick W. Bailey, an enterprising merchant near Boston). Two daughters and his second wife have since deceased—the latter in 1869, in her 90th year. Robert M. Bailey, of Boston, James W. Bailey, of Lawrence, Mass., Mrs. Wm. Stevens, of Pike, Bradford County, and Henry L. Bailey, now on the old homestead, constitute the remainder of his family.
1808.—Joshua Miles—commonly called Captain or Deacon Miles—came to Brooklyn Center, purchased the saw-mill of the Tewksburys, and built a grist-mill. He is remembered as a public-spirited man, a good mathematician, and a devoted Christian. He had quite a library, for those days, of excellent books, including a number of volumes of sermons, which were read in public worship nearly every Sabbath for years after
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his death, which occurred July 6, 1815. His house occupied the site of D. A. and A. Tittsworth's store.
Erastus Caswell, a brother of Mrs. Miles, came with her and remained some time; afterwards went to Wilkes-Barre, married, and did not return to Brooklyn until 1825. He had nine children, of whom six live in the vicinity.
1809.—Noah Tiffany, from Massachusetts, came with his family, including his sons Olney, Noah, and John, and their sister (now the widow. of Eliab Farrer, of Harford), to the Harkins place, near a fine spring, the coveted location of early settlers. After Deacon Miles's death, he purchased his house and farm, and resided there until his death, July 19, 1818. He had been postmaster some years, and his son Arunah occupied this post during the two years he resided in the place, immediately subsequent to the death of his father.
Charles Perigo and Edward Payne were settlers of 1809.
1810.—Joshua Miles, Jr., came in the fall, with his wife and one child (subsequently Mrs. Dr. B. Richardson). After two or three years he came in possession of the mill property of his father. He was a man of enterprise and sterling integrity. Being a carpenter, he erected two saw-mills in Brooklyn and two in Lathrop, and two grist-mills in Brooklyn, several dwelling-houses, a Presbyterian and a Methodist church, and, for himself, an oil and a paper-mill. The last-named enterprise was burned in 1842, soon after it was started, and embarrassed him so much he decided to repair his fortune at the West. He removed to Sterling, Ill., in 1843, and died there in 1863, aged eighty-five.
Elisha Safford, a native of Massachusetts, came from Connecticut to the west part of Brooklyn in 1810, and selected the farm which he afterwards cleared, cutting the first tree felled on the place, and which is now occupied by Albert Allen ; a pretty ridge, abounding with hemlock, beech, birch, and maple. He brought in his family—wife and two children—in 1811, and built a log house, which he occupied nineteen years. His wife, Olive, is said to have been " always abounding in works of kindness and love to her neighbors." She reared six sons and four daughters to adult age, and all settled not far from home. When she was in her seventieth year she
wrote a sketch of her early life in Brooklyn, from which the following is copied:—
" There were at that time meetings held on the Sabbath at a dwelling-house two miles from us. We attended as often as we could conveniently, but we had to walk and carry our children. When we did not go we did not wholly forget the Sabbath ; we did not visit or receive visitors on that day. Like others, we had to suffer many privations: The necessaries of life were hard to be got. My husband went, one time, ten miles for a half
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bushel of salt, and brought it home on his back. The roads were very bad ; but. prompted by ambition, I did forbear to murmur or complain, though at times, when the friends and associates we had left behind came fresh to my mind, I would think within myself, Oh, why was my lot cast in the wilds of Susquehanna !" The pen of one of her daughters writes : " Father had sheep, and mother spun and wove, and, with her girls' help, made warm clothing for winter, and bedding too. He raised flax every year, and we spun and wove it every springtime. I remember well, when I was seven years old, of spinning; having the quill wheel fitted up with standard,' and old-fashioned head,' as I was too small to spin on the great wheel."
After describing a terrific night-storm, she says:—
" In the morning we looked out upon what seemed a new world. So much of the woods was laid prostrate, we could look through the opening and see cleared fields and buildings three miles distant—a great treat to us, although the damage done in the forest was great. Southwest of us, about six acres were swept nearly smooth."
Some years after that, a raging fever went through the place, three or four in a family being sick at one time.
Elisha Safford died in 1862, aged eighty-one. His wife, after years of suffering, died in 1859, aged seventy-three. One son, J. Dwight Safford, now deceased, became a minister, a member of the Wyoming Conference.
Silas P. Ely "contributed his full share to every public improvement." He came in the first of the Ely family, his father Gabriel and uncle Zelophehad Ely, arriving three or four years later. He had a large family, of whom only three survive ; his son George occupies the homestead. He lived to be eighty-one years old; had been a Presbyterian for fifty
The Macks of Brooklyn belong to three families, descendants of three brothers : Elisha Mack's sons were Elisha, Marvin, and Enoch 2d; Elijah's were Josiah, Elijah B., Nehemiah, and Edward; Enoch has but one, Flavel. Enoch settled where Amos Hollister lives.
David Morgan, Gideon Beebe, Bela Case, Isaac Sterling and sons, Bradley and Isaac H., carpenters, were settlers of 1810. Isaac II. Sterling is now a resident of Sterling, Ill.
Dr. Mason Denison began the practice of his profession in Brooklyn about 1810.
Putnam Catlin, Esq., came to the township as agent for the Wallace estate of "14,000 acres of beech and maple lands," receiving land in payment, of which a part was Mr. Sabin's old sugar-camp. he built a fine residence here. The Hop-bottom post-office was established in 1813, P. Catlin, postmaster. The returns for letter-postage, the first quarter, were $1.00. In the small frame building erected for the office, his son George, " since eminent on three continents as an artist,
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130 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
and particularly as a delineator of Indian life and features," once taught school.
When George was born, his parents resided in or near Wilkes-Barre. His mother's maiden name was Sutton, and she belonged to a prominent family in Wyoming Valley. Putnam Catlin was admitted as an attorney during the first court in Wilkes-Barre, May 29, 1787. He removed to Windsor, N. Y., and from there to Brooklyn, then (1810) included in Bridgewater. His aged father resided with him, and died here. Julius, a brother of George, who also had artistic tastes, was drowned, in 1828, at Rochester, N. Y., while sketching the Falls.
Though Putnam Catlin is said to have had an " aristocratic bearing," he was yet truly affable and easily approached. The poor were never turned away from his door. He would say, " I shall always have enough," and would take the clothing, which Mrs. C. thought still serviceable, and give it to the children of others more needy. He encouraged young men to clear land for him; and though it was then the custom to give cattle, or " truck," as payment for work, he would pay to each from two to three dollars in cash, that they might be able to expend something on holidays. Even as late as 1825, for a whole summer's work, a farm-hand received but $10 in cash, the rest being in produce, etc.
While he was cashier of the Silver Lake Bank, he and his family lived for a time where J. S. Tarbell lives in Montrose; and afterwards in the bank building, now owned and occupied by F. B. Chandler. Afterwards he removed to Great Bend, where he died in 1842, aged 77. Mrs. C. died two years later, at Delta, N. Y., in her 74th year.
He had been a drummer-boy of the Revolution. He was born in Litchfield, Ct., and was there admitted to the bar. In 1814 he was a Representative in the Legislature of Penn'a.
A story is told of one of his early trips from Wilkes-Barre to " Nine Partners." The only house of entertainment was halfway between the places; it was built of logs, and consisted apparently of but one room, containing two or three beds. There was no floor. A short-cake was baking before the fire, and a white cloth was spread on a stump, the only table. At bedtime he was invited to sleep " in the other room," a pleasant fiction, as the only partition consisted in the projecting chimney and another stump.
Justice Kent, originally from Massachusetts, came in 1810 from Windsor, N. Y., to the farm now occupied by David, his oldest son, and which then adjoined that of P. Catlin on the north. When Mr. K. brought his family in 1811 to the log-cabin he had engaged the previous season, it was occupied by
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Joseph Guernsey and family, and for six weeks the two families lived in one room; four adults, and twelve children; six of the latter in each family. A ladder led to a small loft where some of the children slept. Fifteen sheep were yarded near the house. Dogs could not be depended upon for guard, as they were afraid of the bears.
Mr. K. built a grist-mill (where Jewett's saw-mill is) near the present line of Bridgewater. Robert, his second son, tended the mill, though at times he did not have more than one customer a week. He with other boys was accustomed to practice stratagem to secure venison. They made temporary salt licks between the roots of trees, then constructed a bower, and " set" a gun for an unwary animal. He was a playmate with George Catlin at Windsor, and confirms the statements of the latter respecting his .prowess in hunting, saying "He would hit if within fifteen rods of anything." He had eleven children, all of whom are living in the county, except one daughter. His sons are Robert, Elijah, H. Wallace, Ezra S., Charles, and George J.
About 1825, farmers began to realize cash for cattle sold to drovers. A two-year old would sell for from seven to nine dollars. In 1826, one farmer sold 100 bushels of wheat at 75 cents per bushel, and only one bushel could command cash.
This money was the first he had received in fifteen months ; the fifteen shillings he had previous to that time, had held out I Money for taxes was raised by working on the turnpike.
1811.—Nathan Jewett came in the spring from East Haddam, Conn., built a log-house on the place now occupied by his grandson, Nathan R. Jewett, and then returned for his family. They arrived Nov. 3, 1811. He had then two children, Francis, who died when a young man, and Rodney, fifteen months old. Two daughters and one sou, Allen, were born here. The last named was killed in the war for the Union.
On his arrival, he paid for his farm, 100 acres or more, in gold ; and always enjoyed a competence from the fruits of his labor. He died in 1861, aged 78. Mrs. J. died in 1865, aged 77.
Cyril Giddings ; David Sutliff, and sons Zerah, Joel and Harris; Latham Williams and family, from Groton, Conn.; and Jedediah Lathrop, were among the settlers of 1811. Also, Jacob Wilson, who taught the first school in his neighborhood.
Wise Wright, from Connecticut, settled in Brooklyn (where his son Orlando now resides); at the same time (1811) his brother Anthony settled in Lathrop. A lady of Brooklyn writes :—
" I remember when Wise Wright and family lived in a log-house covered with bark. Perhaps none here endured more of the hardships and privations of a new country than Mrs. W. Many times after the children were in bed, she had spun a day's work sometimes working all night to procure food and clothing for their needy family. They had nine children, and lived
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to enjoy a comfortable home on the farm where they first settled ; and where they both died. Mr. W. died in 1854, aged 71 ; and Mrs. W. a few years later."
Esek H. Palmer and Amy his wife were natives of New London Co., Ct., where they lived until after the birth of four of their twelve children. In March, 1811, he came from Conn. on
foot and alone, to the house of Amos Bailey, in Susquehanna County. After prospecting a little, he selected the farm now occupied by his son, C. R. Palmer (Prince Perkins' first "chopping"), cleared, put in crops, and made them ready to leave until harvest ; and then returned, as he came, to Connecticut. In August following he brought his family and goods in a two-horse wagon, and commenced housekeeping in a log-house belonging to his neighbor A. Bailey. The lumber for his own house had to be drawn from Titus' mill (now Oakley's) up a steep hill; and by the road, they had to travel more than three miles with oxen and sled in the heat of summer ; but he persevered, and had his house inclosed so that the family moved into it in Nov. 1812. The old house was removed in 1840, and a new one built near its site. Here he died Oct. 31, 1861, in his 84th year.
Mrs. P. now (1872) in her 90th year, resides at the homestead. Their six daughters, and four of their sons, James S., Gurdon W., Charles R., and Isaac N., became heads of families. The oldest son, James S., formerly edited a paper in Montrose, and is now a preacher of the Universalist denomination in Mansfield, Pa. Two sons and one daughter are deceased ; the rest of the family are independent farmers, or farmers' wives of Susquehanna County.
1812.—Stephen Breed came from Stonington, Conn., to the clearing where Adam Miller and family had their home in 1787 ; but, prior to 1812, it had been also vacated by James Coil and Edward Goodwin. Mr. Breed was extensively known as the keeper of a public-house. " Early in the Temperance Reformation he adopted its principles; and to the time of his decease kept a temperance house, where travelers found a home at which good order and comfort awaited them." He was for many years an Elder in the Presbyterian Church. He died in 1852, and his farm is now occupied by his widow and their son, R. F. Breed.
Edward Packer settled on McIntyre Hill, on the farm now occupied by Dudley Packer, his son. It was in this vicinity that Hon. Asa Packer, now of Mauch Chunk, learned the carpenter's trade.
James Packer, Solomon Dickinson, Caleb Crandall and family, Luther and Erastus Catlin, Ephraim Howe, Thomas and William Sterling, were all here in 1812.
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1813.—Dana Fox, at the age of 18, came from Connecticut with a sister (afterwards Mrs. P. Wood) older than himself. into the wilderness, and cleared the farm where Lebbeus Rogers afterwards lived and died.
David Bissel came in this year.
James Smith, wife, and sons Latham A. and Isaac, with their families, came from Connecticut. The ten children of L. A. Smith now (1871) reside within the county, and two are prominent physicians. James S. died at the age of 83, and his wife at that of 82.
1814.—Gabriel and Zelophehad Ely. The sons of the latter were Lyman, John R., Hiram, and Jacob. He died about 1822. Gabriel Ely was postmaster in 1815 or '16.
Anthony Fish, and sons Francis, Frederick, and Asa. He had eventually four daughters, three of whom reside in the county.
Israel Reynolds, and sons Nathaniel and Samuel. Two other sons, Hatfield and Israel, died long since.
1815.—Asa Crandall, Sen., a wheelwright.
Joshua Baker, a Baptist minister, had a large family. He moved to Lenox, where he died in 1871.
Nathaniel Sterling resided in Brooklyn until his death, April 15, 1872, in his 98th year.
Andrew and Lebbeus Rogers, Peter Herkimer, James Oakley and family, from Harford ; Ebenezer Payne, Thaddeus Palmer, Elihu B. Smith, Elisha Williams, Thomas and James Davison, are reported as here in this year.
1816.—Dr. Samuel Bissel, Stephen Griffis, Joshua and Josiah Fletcher, Laban and David Cushing, Joseph Lines, Joshua Jackson, wife, and sons Joshua and Joseph, with their wives, and Caleb (single).
George Cone, wife and two children, came in February, in a " coaster" wagon, with three yoke of oxen. He brought in $2500—then considered a large sum. None of the family remain here. his place is owned and occupied by Rodney Jewett.
1817.—Jonas R. Adams, a hatter.
Thomas Garland came from Maine and set up a tailor's shop ; the first in the county outside of Montrose. In June, 1821, he received the appointment of postmaster, the office then being named Hopbottom, though the town was Waterford. It was upon his petition that the town received the name of the P. O.
1818.—Lodowick Bailey, a younger brother of Amos and Frederic B., is still a resident of the township, and recently celebrated his 86th birthday. As illustrative of the longevity of the people of this section, it may be stated that there were
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five persons present at the celebration between 80 and 90 years of age ; six between 70 and 80 ; and seventeen between 60 and 70. In the fall of 1867, forty-nine persons in Brooklyn were over 70 years old, fifteen of whom were over 80, and one (N. Sterling just noticed) over 90. With few exceptions, all were natives of New England. One year later, there were but thirty-six reported as being over 70.
Amos Merrill, wife, and sons Jonathan H. and Amos B. The elder became a physician, and died in New Hampshire the younger resides in Hopbottom. The mother died in her 100th year.
Asa Hawley, father of E. W. Hawley, of Bridgewater; Abel Hawley, brother of Asa, and father of Joseph H., of Lenox, and Nelson H., of Montrose ; Jeremiah Spencer, a carpenter, who lived and died on the old Saunders farm ; Isaac Aldrich ; Arunah Tiffany (postmaster two years) ; Thomas Oakley ; Moses Smith ; Joseph Peckham. The last named took up a farm which is now divided—his widow and son James occupying one part of it, and G. W. Palmer the part which George Newbury purchased before him.
1819-22.—Nathan Aldrich ; George Risley ; Capt. Randall, a cooper ; Rufus Pierpont, and Richard Williams, afterwards in Lathrop, with his father's family, and John Austin.
Ebenezer Gere, twenty-one years after his first sojourn in. the county, returned with his wife and children—the present Mrs. R. O. Miles, and Mrs. G. W. Palmer, of Brooklyn, and Christopher M. Gere, of Montrose—to the farm which he had purchased in 1816, of Orlando Bagley. He remained here until his death. Mrs. G. is still living (1872) in her 90th year.
1823.—James Noble (as asserted by many) was the first merchant in the town. He had been previously a short time at Burrows Hollow in Gibson, but came here from New York. It was at his suggestion the town received the name of Brooklyn. In 1831, he removed to Springville, where he remained two or three years ; then returned to New York, where he died.
The celebration of the 4th of July, 1823, is remembered as more general and spirited than that of any previous year.
1823-24.—Edward Otto, Isaiah Hawley, and Capt. Rowland Miles and families.
1825.—Capt. Elisha Baker purchased of Samuel Weston the farm now owned by his son, Jared Baker, of New York.
William Ainey was born in Fulton Co., N.Y., in 1776. His wife (Hannah Crawford) was a native of Connecticut. She died ten years after their arrival ; he died aged 74. Both lie in the old burying ground near the Methodist church. Of their grandsons, Albert J. Ainey is a practicing physician at Brooklyn
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Center ; D. C. Ainey, at New Milford, and William H. Ainey is a prominent lawyer, and president of a national bank in the city of Allentown. Their father (Jacob) was for some years a
resident of Dimock.
1826-1830.—Y. S. Culver ; Lucius Robinson (had a carding machine and fulling works many years); Jezreel and Aaron Dewitt from New Jersey ; Eli B. Goodrich ; Isaac and Amos
Van Auken, Dr. B. Richardson.
Rollin T. :Ashley came from Atlantic Co., N. Y., in the spring of 1831, and engaged in the mercantile business. In 1866 be was elected associate judge of the Susquehanna courts, which office he held until the recent election of James W. Chapman.
Years of disquiet to the settlers, in consequence of conflicting claims of Philadelphia landholders, did not prevent them from improving the land, and erecting buildings in comfortable style. One source of difficulty had arisen from the fact that land warrants issued to Chew and Allen, in 1775, were overlapped by those issued to John Nicholson in 1785; but at last, by decision of the Legislature, March, 1842, the minds of the people were set at rest.
The first school-house in Brooklyn was made of logs ; the first teacher in it was Leonard Tracy, December, 1800. He died two years later. There appears to have been no school from that time until 1807, when Samuel Weston taught for one winter. Following him during the next five years were: Edward Chapman, Mary Weston, Frederick Bailey, Eunice Otis, Miss Austin, George Catlin, Mrs. Joseph Chapman, Jun., and Joshua Miles ; the ladies teaching in summer, and the gentlemen in winter.
Jesse Bagley taught very early near Mack's Corners ; and several years afterwards in other localities.
A daughter of Capt. Amos Bailey writes :—
" The first school in this district, as near as I can ascertain, was taught by Lucretia Kingsley, of Harford, in Mr. Milbourne's barn, in the year 1812. The next, by Col. Frederick Bailey, in his own house. Our first school-house was burnt soon after it was built; I think Dea. Cyril Giddings was teaching that winter. Another school-house was built on the same spot. Miss Sally Kingsbury (now the widow of Lyman Richardson), Miss Ruth Cone, and Noah Williston Kingsbury, of Harford (now deceased), were among the early teachers of this district. It was at a school of the last named that a young woman brought a grammar, wishing to study that branch; but it was thought by some of the directors to be unnecessary, and likely to interfere with other studies; and was not allowed. The only branches taught in school where my sister, my brother Amos, and myself attended, were spelling, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Thus, and because we could not be spared to go to school much, after we were old enough to work, our advantages of school education were limited enough. My last teacher was Mr. .Asa Crandall."
Eliza Milbourne was the first teacher near E. Safford's, in 1820
Of later teachers, whose labors were continued year after year, honorable mention may be made of Sarah D. Gere,
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daughter of Charles Gere, and of Verie Ann Safford, who began teaching between 1830-35. Miss Safford died July, 1867, aged 59..
Samuel A. Newton came from Connecticut in 1833, to the farm Deacon Jacob Wilson had owned and occupied, and where he had taught school in his own house, about four miles from Montrose. Here, in the fall of 1839, he established a select school which was afterwards known for years as Newtonville Institute. He died in 1863.
Among the earliest town-officers were : Cyril Giddings, first constable of Waterford, and Fred. Bailey and David Sutliff, first supervisors (1814). Joshua Miles, Jeremiah Gere, Charles Gere, and Joseph Chapman, Jun., were elected " freeholders" the following year. Frederick Bailey was town clerk in 1820.
The Abington and Waterford Turnpike was incorporated by Act of Legislature, in 1823. It passes through the township from north to south.
In addition to the remarkably cold seasons of 1801 and 1816, may be noticed that of the hard winter of 1842-43, in Brooklyn. The diary of Miss V. A. Safford states :—
" The snow fell at intervals from early in November until February, 1843, when there was four feet of snow on the ground. The roads were almost impassable till April." Under date of April 12th, she added : " Farmers almost without exception are destitute of bay. Many have kept their stock on browse for a month past. Numbers of sheep and cattle have died, and those that are alive can scarcely get up alone. Poor people, who had managed to lay by a few bushels of grain for their families, have used them up, and are now destitute of food either for themselves or cattle." Later, her journal continues : " Snow fell on the first day of December, 1845, and bare ground was not seen again till March, 1846. Uninterrupted good sleighing four months in succession. A great flood when the snow thawed."
Notwithstanding the severity of Brooklyn winters, its soil is productive to an extent that compares well with that of other townships. Tall oats and large crops of wheat have been reported. In 1839, a pumpkin was raised which weighed a hundred pounds. Cattle thrive, either from the quality of the grass and grain, or from the good attention paid to their wants.
Industry and thrift characterize the inhabitants and their surroundings.
Though the cluster of buildings surrounding the hotel, store, and post-office, at Montrose Depot, are in the township, the station itself is in Harford, as the Lackawanna and Western
Railroad runs east of Martin's Creek — the eastern limit of Brooklyn.
"The village of Brooklyn is built on an inclined plane, 40 minutes from rail. It has a post-office and a daily mail, and here, and in the township, it is said there are two hotels, five dry goods stores, one dentist, two
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 137
physicians, and three wealthy retired merchants; four music-teachers. There is also a steam saw-mill, cabinet and chair factory, a tannery, a stove and tin shop, a carding machine, two feed mills, a flour-mill nearly ready for operation, four saw-mills, two cider-mills, a tailor shop, a cooper shop, four blacksmith shops, two carriage shops, one harness shop, four boot and shoe shops, and two movable meat markets.
" There are in town twenty-five pianos, organs, and melodeons, one knitting machine, forty sewing machines, one photograph gallery, two milliners, and three dress-makers. There are in the township three wealthy, influential, religious societies, with seven pastors or clergymen. Each congregation has a well-regulated choir. There is one thriving Good Templars' Lodge, one town hall (called Rogers Hall), and ten school-houses. The independence and wealth of our people is largely with the farming community."
A Farmers' and Mechanics' Association was organized some years ago.
Brooklyn was awake, in comparatively good season, to the importance of the temperance movement, and to the interests of the slave.
E. L. Paine, son of Edward, is said by some to have been the first merchant, and to have sold out to James Noble. Succeeding merchants were as follows: George M. Gere, — Betts, F. W. Bailey, James Jackson, S. W. Breed, R. T. Ashley, Edwin Tiffany, O. A. Eldridge, Robert Eldridge, O. G. Hempstead, E. McKenzie, Amos Nichols, James Smith, C. Rogers, — Foot, D. A. & A. Tittsworth.
Justices of the peace, appointed: Edward Packer, Dr. Samuel Bissell, James Noble, Abel Hewett, Marvin L. Mack, Ebenezer Gere.
Elected : Amos G. Bailey, R. O. Miles, Amos Tewksbury (declined), E. A. Weston, G. B. Rogers. [Abel Hewett was elected and re-elected as long as he lived in Brooklyn.]
Physicians : Mason Denison, a native of Vermont, educated at Dartmouth College, removed to Montrose in 1813 ; married Wealthy, daughter of Walter Lathrop. Mrs. Edmund Baldwin is the only one of the children now in the county. Samuel Bissell, E. B. Slade, Enoch Mack, Palmer Way, B. Richardson, Wm. L. Richardson (1841), and Doctors Meacham, Chamberlin, Blakeslee, and Ainey.
In 1804, the Hopbottom settlement was visited by Morris (James?) Howe and Robert Burch, preachers in Wyoming circuit, who formed a Methodist class of four members: Jacob Tewksbury and wife, Mrs. Tracy (afterwards Mrs. Miles), and Silas Lewis. [In the History of Early Methodism, by Dr. Peck, Mrs. Joshua Saunders is mentioned as one of the four; hut it is said she did not join until several years later.] The circuit embraced Wayne and Luzerne, including what are now Susquehanna, Bradford, and Wyoming counties.
138 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
In 1806, Christopher Frye, who is described as "rough as a meat-ax," was on this circuit. The first class-leader was Nicholas Horton, who lived ten miles below Brooklyn Center. Upon his resignation on account of the distance, Frazier Eaton, only six miles away, was appointed leader, and was accustomed to fulfil his appointments barefooted. After him, Jacob Tewksbury was the leader until about 1809, when Edward Paine came to the place, received and retained the leadership, until he began to preach. Mr. Paine was, for many years, " the life of the Methodist Society." His wife was an efficient helper. While Mr. Frye was here, there was a rapid increase of members, among whom were several of the Bagleys, Tewks-burys, Saunders, Worthings, and others. A daughter of Jacob Tewksbury, Mrs. Garland, was a member for sixty years preceding her death in 1868.
In 1812, Rev. Elisha Bibbins was on the circuit. He had appointments "at Crowfoot's (Josiah Crofut), within eight miles of Great Bend, thence (via Hopbottom?) to Springville, or 'the little Beechwoods,' thence to Lyman's settlement, thence to Meshoppen, next to Braintrim, and from thence up the Tuscarora Creek into the neighborhood of Father Coggswell's"—in Auburn.
" Hoppingbottom" was a name given, by outsiders, to the settlement on the Hopbottom—the ing being inserted to illustrate the leaping and shouting by which the Methodists then exhibited their spiritual joy. A revival continued here through the year.
The houses then afforded so little privacy that persons were accustomed to retire into the woods to pray. A gay hunter declared that they frightened the deer away, and that he came upon praying people everywhere.
In 1813, Bridgewater circuit was formed, John Hazard and Elijah Warren, preachers. "Hopbottom was the centre of the circuit, and gave tone to the whole." In 1814, Wyatt Chamberlin was one of the preachers; in September, 1816, a camp-meeting was held ; in 1817, Joshua and Caroline Miles sold land, twelve by six perches, for $15, for the erection of a house of worship; in 1818, Edward Paine was licensed to preach, and in 1819 he occupied the circuit with George Peck (now the Rev. Dr. Peck, of Scranton). The latter says :—
"Methodism had long been in existence in this region of country; but still it had to dispute every inch of ground. The class in Hopbottom had been diminished and weakened by removals, and here we met with active hostility from Old School Presbyterians and Universalists. Elder Davis Dimock (Baptist) was firmly intrenched in his stronghold at Montrose, and from that point spread himself as widely as possible in all directions; and wherever he came he was sure to strike a blow at Methodism. In spite of
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 139
opposing elements, we had seals to our ministry. There was a rising in the church at all points."
Respecting his companion in the circuit, Dr. Peck says :—
" Edward Paine, a native of Connecticut, was born in 1777, of pious parents, and was converted when fourteen years old ; at fifteen, he joined the Baptist, and afterward the Methodist, church. About the time he came to Hopbottom he was licensed to exhort, and was soon licensed as a local preacher. After several years he began to be exercised about the itinerancy. At home, he possessed a good living, was highly esteemed by all his neighbors, was honored with the office of justice of the peace (the first justice of the town of Waterford, as Brooklyn was then called), was strongly attached to his family, but he resolved to sacrifice all for the church of God."
Edward P. was drowned, in 1820, while bathing near Owego, N. Y. He was on his way to Conference in Canada. His widow married Jesse Ross, and removed to Oshkosh, Wis., where she died in 1870.
Other early prominent ministers and presiding elders in this section were, Geo. Lane, Loring Grant, Benjamin Bidlack, Gideon Draper, John Kimlin, Noah Bigelow, Wm. Brown, George Hermon, and Marmaduke Pierce. It is said of Father Bidlack that " he preached much against dress. On one occasion, he told his hearers if they should see a fox-hole, and a fox's tail hanging out of it, they would say there was a fox in it ; so, hats and bonnets, all covered with feathers and ribbons, showed there was pride in the heart."
The Methodists had held their meetings, until 1809, at the house of Jacob Tewksbury, and from that time at Edward Paine's, until about 1813, when they erected the frame of the first house of worship in the town. As soon as it was inclosed, they put in a temporary pulpit, placed boards across the joists for seats, in comfortable weather, and here many delightful seasons were enjoyed. The building was taken down in 1830, and a new one built near its site, by Joshua Miles, Jr. This, in 1867, was remodeled at an expense of $4000, a cupola and bell being added.
The church membership now numbers about 200.
The first public religious services of the New-Englanders of the Hopbottom settlement were held by Congregationalists, among whom Joshua Sabin was prominent in 1799. After the arrival of Jacob Tewksbury, and the formation of the Methodist class, all united in public worship several years.
" Rev. Wm. Purdy, a Baptist, preached frequently at Hopbottom as early as 1808 ; and went from there over the hills to `Nine Partners' to Elkanah Tingley's, a Baptist Tavern' stilll (1863), and over rugged ridges through the Elkwoods." A Baptist church was never organized in Brooklyn.
August 7th, 1810, the " Second Congregational Church of Bridgewater" was organized with the following members:
140 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Joshua Miles, Noah Tiffany, Olney Tiffany, Josiah Lord, Eleazar French, Mary Miles, Patty Gere, Nancy Howard, Betsey Mack, Mary Lord, Elizabeth Whitney, Phebe Wilkinson.
The first two of the above were the first deacons of the church.
In 1811 and '12, Rev. Joseph Wood, pastor of the First Congregational Church of Bridgewater, also officiated here a part of the time. About 1813 or '14, a young man by the name of Treat preached here for a time, and several members were added to the church, including Jacob Wilson and Cyril Giddings, who were afterwards elected as deacons, upon the deaths of Deacons Miles and Tiffany. A few others joined the church at intervals prior to 1818 ; in this year forty-seven were added, under the labors of Rev. M. M. York, a home missionary, who was with the church three months, and Rev. G. N. Judd, of Montrose, who came here July, 1818, and preached one-fourth of the time, for about two years. Among the additions of 1818, were "honorable women not a few," whose lives have been a blessing to the township, of whom Mrs. Stephen Breed, now in her 87th year, is the only survivor.
In 1823, the form of government was changed to Presbyterian. In 1825, the name of the church, after being called by the successive names of the township—Bridgewater, Waterford, and Hopbottom—became what it is at present, the Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn.
In the mean time, Rev. Mr. Judd had twice visited the church, after his removal from this section; and additional members had been received.
Rev. B. Baldwin labored as a missionary in Brooklyn a short time, and preached the sermon at the dedication of the first Presbyterian church-edifice, November 6th, 1829. In the following month, Rev. Sylvester Cooke commenced his labors here, and continued them fourteen years, " beloved by all who knew him." In 1844 he removed to Deckertown, New Jersey, where he still resides. While a resident of Brooklyn, he became the father of five sons, all of whom were in service against the late Rebellion. One of them, General Edwin F. Cooke, recently died in Chili, while serving as Secretary of Legation of the United States to that government.
Rev. O. Fraser succeeded Mr. Cooke at Brooklyn, remaining three or four years, when Mr. Baldwin resumed his missionary labors, preaching here half of the time for three years. Revs. Mr. Shaffer and Edward Allen filled the interim till 1858, when Rev. Wm. H. Adams came and remained ten years. Rev. George Spaulding, the present pastor, came in 1868. The church has about 50 members. A new house of worship was completed and dedicated January, 1872.
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Mr. and Mrs. Judd organized a Sabbath-school as early as 1819. This was not long kept up, but a re-organization was effected in 1826 or '27 (J. W. Raynsford, Esq., assisting), and is
still in operation.
Rev. Barzillai Streeter, of Massachusetts, while on a visit to his brother, Dr. Streeter, of Harford, in. 1820, was the first Universalist preacher in Brooklyn. The society of that denomination was not formed here until about 1822 after the arrival of Rev. Amos Crandall. It belonged to the Chenango Association, which met here for the first time, September, 1824.
Mr. Crandall died, " much lamented," July 2d, 1824. Very soon afterwards, the corner-stone of the " Universalian " or "Liberal" meeting-house was laid with Masonic ceremonies,
142 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
and the building was inclosed the same year. Upon its completion it was dedicated, November 17, 1825, Rev. C. R. Marsh, from Vermont, officiating. Previous to this, the meetings of the society had been held in school-houses, private dwellings, and sometimes in a grove. Mr. Marsh, a young man of much promise, continued preaching here until prostrated by sickness. He died March 10, 1828, and was buried with Masonic honors, as was also his predecessor, and both rest side by side near the church, on McIntyre Hill.
The following is copied from the original minutes of the society:—
" At a meeting held at the Universalist meeting-house in Brooklyn, on the 17th of December, 1826, proposals were made at the aforesaid time, to commence the formation and organization of a church, and those who felt willing were called upon at this time to manifest their wishes upon this subject, and the following named persons did present themselves at the above meeting, to wit : Charles R. Marsh, Brs. James Smith, Rufus Kingsley, Amos Bailey, Esek H. Palmer, Freemond Peck, Joshua K. Adams, James L. Gray, Frederick Bailey. Sisters, Annis Smith, Lucinda Kingsley, Prudence Bailey, Betsey Chapman, Almira Wright. Therefore the above-named brothers and sisters would invite others who feel firm in the faith of God's universal goodness and grace, and who feel determined so to conduct themselves, as to be instrumental in the good cause of the Redeemer—to come forward and unite with us on Sabbath-day, the 31st of January next, for the purpose of further organizing and consolidating said church, and those who cannot conveniently attend at said meeting, are desired to place their names, as well as others, to this paper—that we may ascertain our numbers, etc. Brooklyn, December 18th, 1826."
This appears to have been only a renewed society organization, as the church was not organized until July 5th, 1868, under the present pastor, Rev. H. Boughton. It has now (1871) forty-nine members. " Church members are those only who sign the Declaration, Constitution, and Laws of the Denomination, and who are received according to the forms for admission of members. Baptism is conferred upon those only who desire it, but the Lord's Supper is an ordinance regularly observed in all Universalist churches as in others. A Sabbath-school of sixty scholars is connected with the church.
A subscription is raised, and a lot purchased, for a new 3hurch-edifice to be erected at Brooklyn Center; after which ;he old one will be taken down.
The Universalist ministers of Brooklyn from 1828 to 1867 were : Revs. George Rogers, Alfred Peck, Thomas J. Crowe, T. S. Bartholomew, James Mack, J. B. Gilman, A. O. Warren, N. Doolittle, and L. F. Porter. These, with those before nentioned, include nearly or quite all the ministers of this denomination who have been located in the county.
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THIS township was established August Sessions, 1807, by Luzerne County Court. Its boundaries were described thus:—
"Beginning at the turnpike road on the south line of Willingborough, thence west along said line to the east line of Lawsville, thence south one mile and a half, thence west to the extent of five miles from said turnpike,¹ thence south to the north line of Nicholson township, thence east to Wayne County line, thence north along said county line to the southeast corner of Willingborough, thence west along the south line of Willingborough to the place of beginning."
Besides its present territory, it then included all of what is now Jackson and Thomson, and a part of Ararat. It was reduced to its present limits by the erection of Jackson (then extending east to Wayne County), in 1815.
It is thought the name New Milford was given to the township in honor of N. Milford, Connecticut. Although Willingborough, for several years, had practically extended over the original area of New Milford, its southern line is nowhere officially described (except as that of a justice's district) lower than six miles from the State line ; and thus, though the records do not state the fact, New Milford must have been taken from old Tioga township, since the strip between Nicholson and Willingborough had not been apportioned to a new township until 1807, though a petition for New Milford bad been made two years earlier.
High hills and narrow valleys, with the exception of the valley of the Salt Lick Creek, mark the township which still exhibits well cultivated, richly productive, and excellent dairy farms. Quite a large number of sheep are raised. Next to grass, rye and oats are the heaviest crops. Beech, birch, maple, pine, and hemlock constitute the principal timber of the township. Some of the best land is on the ridges where the hard maple grows. There are very few oaks or elms in the township, and very little chestnut timber. Corn does better than formerly.
The south line of the township passes through the middle one of the three lakes, the upper lake being wholly north of it.
¹ On the large county map, the west line of the township is not marked more than three and a half miles west of the turnpike.
144 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
These lakes are the source of one of the principal branches of Martin's Creek.
Hunt Lake, about two miles east of the upper lake, is the chief source of Nine Partners' Creek, which passes through Harford.
Corse's Lake, or, as now known, Page's Pond, and the largest sheet of water in the township (covering about one hundred acres), is near the west line of Jackson. These lakes furnish ine water power for various mills and factories.
The larger part of Heart Lake' is within the west line of Mew Milford.
In the northeastern part of the township the outlet of East Lake forms, with that of Page's Pond, a large tributary to the Salt Lick. The sources of the latter and of Martin's Creek are within a few rods of each other, and this point is the summit of the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad—the two valleys furnishing a natural road-bed from Great Bend south across the county.
It is stated that Jedediah Adams came from Great Bend, in l789, and did the first chopping in New Milford, whilst accompanying the surveyors of a Philadelphia landholder. He and his wife occupied a cabin on the flat, near the present site of he Eagle Hotel. They returned to Great Bend in the fall of 1790.
A hunter and trapper by the name of De Vough, or De Vaux, lived about the same time, in a bark shanty, which is said to have been the first dwelling in New Milford. It stood on the site of the residence of the late Wm. C. Ward, Esq., but the old well of the hunter was across the present road, near the hotel.
In 1790, Robert Corbett, with his family, was located on the Flat vacated by the hunter, and may be considered the first settler there. He came from near Boston, through the agency of Mr. Cooper, of Cooperstown, New York.
In 1799, a road was granted from his house to Solomon Millard's, in Nicholson (now Lenox). In 1801, he was taxed as “innkeeper," but must have left soon after, with his sons, Sewell and Cooper, for the mouth of Snake Creek--now Corbettsville. His son Asaph appears to have remained, as, in 1802, he was one of the assessors for Willingborough district, and, not far from this time, probably, built the first framed house in New Milford, on land now the garden of Henry Burritt. It was removed, years since, to the bank of the creek ; and now, after
¹ There is an uncertainty as to the origin and orthography of this name, the general impression being that the lake, in shape, resembles the human heart. Another authority states that it was named after Jacob Hart, who lived in the vicinity.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 145
seventy years, so sound are its timbers, it forms a part of the residence of Charles Ward. It had been the temporary home of several early settlers. Cooper Corbett, now of Binghamton, was born in New Milford, and is nearly or quite eighty-two years old. He is positive that his father was preceded by Mr. Adams in the occupancy of the flat.
Benjamin Hayden came in, single, March, 1794, and began a clearing, where, years afterward, he kept a tavern ; the site of which is occupied by the residence of his grandson, William Hayden.
He married Ruby Corbett, a daughter of the pioneer. They had but one son, Warner, named after a son of Robert Corbett. Warner Corbett died March, 1795, at the age of seven years, and his remains are interred in the New Milford cemetery, near the Eagle Hotel. The stone that marks the spot appears to bear the oldest date of any interment there.
Benjamin H. died in 1842, aged 67. A contemporary wrote of him : "So long as probity and virtue have advocates, the memory of Mr. Hayden will be revered." His widow, Ruby, died in 1849, aged 70.
Warner Hayden married, in 1815, Sally, daughter of Andrew Tracy, Esq., who brought his family to what is now Brooklyn township, early in 1799. When they reached New Milford, Mr. Benj. Hayden, with his ox-team, helped them through Harford, as their horses were pretty well tired out with the rough journey from Connecticut-28 days in all. At Martin's Creek they were met by Mr. Joseph Chapman, who conducted them to their new home, carrying in his arms the infant who was destined to become the mother of the eight "Hayden brothers;" five of whom reside in New Milford, one in New York, and two are deceased.
Warner Hayden was a saddler, and an enterprising man, keeping up establishments in two or three towns at the same time, and very successful. He died in 1850, aged 52. His widow is still living in New Milford.
David Summers settled in New Milford, two months later than Mr. Hayden. He had passed through this section in the fall of 1793, and secured a cabin which had been erected by some one (possibly one Smith, or a hunter by the name of Houck), on the spot, in Summersville, now occupied by his son James (now over eighty years of age). To this place, in May, 1794, he brought his wife and five sons: Eli, Calvin, David, James, and Ira ; the youngest being then an infant. The spring was so far advanced that he could not have a garden that season on his oven place, but cultivated one on Mr. Hayden's clearing, a mile and a half away ; but Mrs. S. would run up there, after her morning's work was done, for garden-
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146 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
sauce for dinner, and still do her day's work at spinning or weaving. The woods that lay between were then frequented by deer, bears, wolves, and panthers ; but were the path the smoothest of roads, with no peril from wild beasts, as it is now, the woman of the present day could hardly compete with the pioneer matron in energy, and in the endurance of so many privations. David S. was originally from Fairfield County, Conn. He left there, in 1787, for Durham, Greene County, N. Y., and remained at the latter place until his removal to New Milford. Here he was an innkeeper in 1801; and, many years later, the hotel of his son Calvin, on the same spot, kept up the fame of its excellent table. Mr. Summers lived here to the close of his life, April, 1816. His age was 55. Mrs. S. survived him until 1844, dying at the age of eighty-four. She had lived just fifty years on the same farm.
Of their sons, David died in 1831 ; Calvin in 1852, aged sixty-six; and Eli, the eldest, who had been a resident of Illinois some years, August, 1870, in his eighty-eighth year ; Ira, the youngest, now nearly eighty, lives near the brother who occupies the homestead.
In 1797, Samuel Hayden, father of Benjamin, was a supervisor of Willingborough. He lived nearer Great Bend than his son, but possibly not within the town limits.
Three sons of Hezekiah Leach, viz., Hezekiah, Daniel, and Samuel, were in the vicinity of the Salt Lick at a very early day; Daniel is mentioned on the records of Luzerne County, April, 1799, as a settler south of Robert Corbett on the old road to Great Bend from Mount Pleasant. This road, after passing Capt. Potter's in what is now Gibson, and soon after touching the old Brace Road (probably at Gibson Hollow), was made to run " thence to David Hamilton's, thence to Daniel Hunt's, thence to Daniel Leach's, thence nearly north to Salt Lick, thence to Robert Corbett's, thence 6 miles to the ferry at Great Bend."
It is not certain that Hezekiah Leach, Sr., came in at that time, but he spent many years in New Milford, and died there in 1823, at the age of 83 years. He was one of the patriots of the Revolutionary Army.
If Daniel Hunt was located, as we may suppose, near Hunt Lake, he must have left within a short time afterward. He married a daughter of Robert Corbett.
Hezekiah Leach, Jr. (or Capt. Leach), also married a daughter of Robert Corbett, and was a prominent member of the community. A sketch of his location, etc., written from information given by his son, George Leach, is copied from the Montrose ' Republican':___
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 147
"Among the once notable taverns on the Great Bend and Coshecton Turnpike—a section of that great thoroughfare, the old Newburg Turnpike —was one a mile south of New Milford village, at the cross-roads and forks of a branch of Salt Lick Creek. To a person standing on the high hills south of this junction, parts of New York State are visible through the valley stretching directly north to Great Bend. At the foot of this hill, on a fine meadow, was the greatly frequented public house of Hezekiah Leach. Mr. Leach came to the place from Litchfield Co., Conn., about the close of the last century, on horseback, bearing, besides his gun and other notions,' a sixteen-pound trap, of which he afterwards made good use.
"He took up some three hundred acres of land, which he greatly improved. He died January 1, 1840, aged 66, and his large family are now scattered from Boston to California. The land passed to Secku Meylert, Esq.. and is now owned by Nathan Fish and Robert Gillespie, who have removed a part of the old house, and demolished the sheds, so that the place is no longer adapted to public accommodation. The present generation can little realize the number of emigrants and the amount of heavy transportation upon this road before canals and railroads came to the relief of oxen and horses, and entirely diverted travel from many of its accustomed channels. From Newburg and other eastern points, to the Lake country in New York and elsewhere westward, there was such a throng of travelers, that, even among that comparatively sparse population, several public houses were required where but one is now kept.
" In those days timber was plentiful, and the people got rid of much of it by working what they could into their buildings, which were certainly very strong. Mr. Leach put up a very large dwelling, and, on the opposite side of the road, corresponding barns. My informant was born on the spot, in 1802, and his earliest recollections were those of travelers, from year to year, filling the house from garret to bar-room ; and of a cellar stored with liquors and eatables in their season, while the long sheds were crowded with horses and vehicles. Customers were moving at all hours, coming in until midnight, while others, long before daylight, at the summons, Hurrah, boys ! we must be off again,' were starting away. On a rainy day, or when work was slack, crowds of men and boys would gather to pitch quoits, or play various games of skill and strength. Balls, sleigh-rides, and parties were frequent in winter. Whiskey was as common—and almost as much imbibed by most per-sons—as water. It was deemed an absolute necessity, on many occasions, where it is now disused. Liquors were then much purer than they now are, yet many a strong, good-hearted, useful man, through their seductive influences, came to poverty, disease, and death.
" Fish and wood-game were plentiful in early times. Mr. Leach was accustomed to say that during his residence here, he had killed 548 deer, 61 black bears, 1 white bear, 11 wolves, and 1 panther, besides wild cats and lesser game never counted. The white bear,' killed at Hunt Lake, was rather of a very light straw color ; the skin was sold to a Judge Woodward, somewhere near Cooperstown."
Benjamin Doolittle, from Connecticut, was a taxable of Wil-lingborough, for 600 acres, in 1799, but is not mentioned as a resident before December, 1801. He was located nearly one and a half miles west of the present Eagle Hotel. His wife was Fanny, daughter of Ichabod Ward, who came later. Their children were Nelson, Albert, George, Harry, Benjamin, and Lydia. Mr. Doolittle moved to Ohio many years ago.
John Foot, a shoemaker, was " a new-comer" on the tax-list, December, 1801. He lived next west of Mr. Doolittle. He
148 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
came from Vermont with his wife and three children—Timothy, Belus, and Amanda. Belus died in New Milford in 1841. His son Edwin was the first (1842) Daguerrean artist in Montrose.
It is probable that Nathan Buel and Peter Davis came in 1801. Josiah Davis, father of the latter, was in Lawsville. Mr. Buel then had two children—Arphaxed and Polly, afterwards Mrs. Leighton.
John Hawley was here as early as November, 1802. He was elected one of the overseers of the poor of Lawsville in 1804, though his location was within a mile of the Salt Lick. Hezekiah Leach was, the same year, a supervisor of Willingborough, though, certainly, three miles below the line of that town as recorded in 1791 and 1793. Both were in the same justice's district, which, from 1801 to 1806, extended from the State line, and included Lawsville and Nicholson, as well as Willingborough. These remote townships of Luzerne were little known at the county seat. Some of the inhabitants of Nicholson and Willingborough were placed in either at different times, as, for instance, " S. Hatch, taverner in Nicholson ;" and "Abel Kent, Wright Chamberlin, and Hosea Tiffany, taverners in Nicholson and Willingborough."
Mr. Hawley lived less than half a mile east of Mr. Doolittle. " He, being a widower, had married a widow, and she had two daughters by her first husband, whose names were Merab and Roxanna Andrews. His sons were John (well known in later days as Deacon Hawley), Uriah, and Newton ; his daughters were _____ who married Elias Carpenter, of Harford (then the Nine Partners), and Betsey, who married Belus Foot, and lived all her life in the neighborhood."
Deacon Hawley died in 1866, aged 84 ; Merab, his wife, in 1830, aged 55 ; Phebe, his widow, in 1869, aged 83.
Christopher Longstreet, from New Jersey, may have been in earlier than 1803, since he bought out Robert Corbett, who appears to have left a year or two before this date ; but at present nothing positive can be asserted of Mr. Longstreet's presence here until that time.
Mrs. Longstreet died in 1813 ; and, soon after " Col." Longstreet removed to Great Bend. " Old Prince," a colored man, who came in with them, remained in New Milford until his death, July, 1815. Like " Prince Perkins," of Brooklyn, he seems to have been quite noted in his day.
There were probably other settlers of 1803. Early in 1804, at least, Cyrenius Storrs, Job Tyler and family, and Joseph Sweet and family, were on the main road southeast from Captain Leach. Some of the posterity of the first named remain in the township.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 149
Colonel Job Tyler (from Harford) had three children: Jared, now in Harford, but until recently in New Milford ; Nancy, wife of Francis Motley, on the Tyler homestead ; and another daughter, Mrs. Brewster Guile of Harford. He was " an excellent farmer," public spirited, and quite widely known. He died in 1857, aged 77.
Joseph Sweet's farm was afterwards Jonas B. Avery's.
The substance of the following sketch was kindly communicated to the compiler in personal interviews with Seth Mitchell, Esq., but subsequently (Jan. 1872) some other listener prepared it for the Montrose Republican,' from which it is taken.
" Seth Mitchell was born in Roxbury, Litchfield County, Conn., April 9th 1785. Left an orphan at eight years of age, his boyhood was passed in hard labor and se:vice, with very small opportunity for schooling, the nearest school being nearly two miles distant. When seventeen years old he worked one winter for his board and attended school, acquiring sufficient knowledge of arithmetic to enable him to transact all ordinary business. I have known him to beat good accountants in computing interest, both as to speed and correctness—and this when past threescore and ten. In 1804, when 19 years old, he came with Mr. Benjamin Doolittle to New Milford, Susquehanna (then Luzerne) County, and worked for him that summer, returning on foot to Roxbury in December. The next spring, 1805, he came again to New Milford, and bought 100¹ acres, being a part of what was long known as the Mitchell farm.' At this time, excepting two families, his nearest neighbors were distant six miles, south and west, the log house of Esq. Hinds being the only dwelling in Montrose, and there were no roads through the woods —even cut out. This season he worked two days in a week for his board, and two days more to get a yoke of oxen to use two days for himself, in this way clearing and sowing five acres, and returning to Roxbury in the autumn. In the spring of 1806 he came west' again, his brother Nathan coming with him and buying a lot adjoining. This summer he cleared and sowed eight acres more, going back east again at the approach of winter. In 1807 he came west' the fourth time, driving a yoke of cattle. Enlarging his clearing still more, he returned again to Roxbury to spend the winter. The spring of 1808 found him again early at his western home.' This season, besides clearing and fencing more land, he built a log house and frame barn, again going east in December to spend the winter. In February, 1809, he was married, and one week afterwards started west' to prepare his log mansion for his bride. In June next he returned to Roxbury and moved his family (wife) with a few necessary house-keeping articles, to their home in the woods of what was then the great west.' In 1815 he built a large frame house, which is still standing, and is at present owned and occupied by Mr. Ezra Beebe, nearly three miles west of what is now New Milford Borough. During these years and afterward he gradually added to his farm, until it finally numbered 470 acres. Three times he made the trip from Roxbury to New Milford on foot, twice driving before him a yoke of oxen, and twice he footed it from New Milford to Roxbury. carrying his clothes and provisions on his back, some of the way breaking his own path through snow knee deep. The distance was about 170 miles. At the age of 23 he was elected captain of a company raised in New Milford and Lawsville, having risen from the ranks. His commission was for four years. He afterwards served as justice of the
¹ He bought of the landholder Bound or Bowne. The Wallace estate joined that, and was principally in old Bridgewater (including Brooklyn).