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peace ten years. The few old settlers who are now living still call him Captain or Esq. Mitchell. His wife dying, he married again in 1837, but has been the second time a widower for nine years. By his first wife he had eight children, five of whom are now living. He has cleared over 300 acres of land, and built more than 700 rods of stone wall—has built one log and six frame dwellings—seven barns, besides two horse-barns, cattle sheds, out buildings, etc. He has used no strong drink for the last forty-two years. He has been to the Mississippi River five times, once alone, after he was eighty-two years old. He is now nearly eighty-seven, with his faculties all well preserved, and recently walked from his home to Montrose (two and a half miles) to attend meeting at the Baptist church, of which he has been an active member about fifty years. He acquired a handsome competence, wholly by hard labor and judicious economy. As an instance of how money was made in early times, he stated that he raised large crops of corn with which he fattened large numbers of hogs, and packing the pork, carted it to the lumber region on the head-waters of the Delaware River. a trip requiring three days, and selling it on long credit. Pork was then worth five dollars and beef three dollars per cwt. Butter ten to twelve cents, and cheese five to six cents per pound."
Seth Mitchell was supervisor of the township fourteen years.
The following is clipped from his autobiography.
" The first house that we stopped at when we came in, in 1804, was Captain David Summers's. He lived in a log house at what is now Summersville. He had then just built a frame grist-mill, which was quite a large building for this region in those days. In that year, a ball was held in Summers's mill, and was attended by the young people of New Milford, Great Bend, and Lawsville. There were about twenty-five couples present. The mill floor being smooth and the room large, it was a good place to dance. I attended. We had a very merry time. That mill was afterwards altered into a house, and became Summers's hotel—afterwards Barnum's—long famous for its good table, and much resorted to by young people and pleasure-seekers as Phinney's now is.
"The turnpike had been lately finished from Newburgh to Mount Pleasant when I moved out in 1809, but it was not then built from Mount Pleasant to New Milford.
" After living on the old farm about thirty years, I purchased an almost unapproved one, about three miles from Montrose, on Snake Creek, where cleared up about fifty acres and built a house and barn."
Since 1857, the home of Seth Mitchell, with but temporary interruptions, has been in Montrose; and he is now (August, 1872) the oldest man in the borough. Three of his sons, Thompson, Norman, and Charles, are dead. Norman was a much esteemed deacon of the Baptist Church ; his death occurred June, 1870.
In the spring of 1805, Josiah Crofut and Joseph Gregory moved in from Connecticut ; and Seth Mitchell boarded with the former while he cleared five acres on his own land, which adjoined theirs. Provisions were scarce that summer, as everything had to be purchased at Great Bend. The large log-house was but half-floored below, and above there were only five boards, on which S. Mitchell's straw-bed was placed ; and to whiich he climbed by the log walls. Josiah Crofut died in 36, aged sixty-seven.
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Seth and Nathan Mitchell boarded with Mr. Gregory in the summer of 1806. In 1807 Nathan moved into his own house, where he lived until his death, in 1816, at the age of thirty- five years.
Wm. Rockwell came to the township in 1805.
Asa Bradley came to New Milford about 1806. "He and his family were received by Deacon Hawley, with the hospitality. common to those times, though he and his wife then occupied a small three-cornered room in his distillery, where they entertained Mr. Bradley and family, until a log-house could be built for them. Anxious to rid Deacon Hawley of their unavoidably burdensome company, they hurried into the new building before it was furnished with a more substantial door than a blanket. They took with them a pig, and put it into an inclosure attached to the house; but the first night they were awakened by its squealing, which sounded as if the. animal were being taken off. In the morning they found it, some distance from the house, half devoured ; and around the pen were the tracks of a panther. The question arose, if the animal had not found the porker, what was to hinder the ravenous beast from entering the house for his supper?
Freeman Badger had been in this vicinity prior to 1804, but had returned to Cheshire, Ct., and was not settled here before 1806. He was a prominent man in the township. He had one son, Frederick, and two daughters. He died in 1855, aged seventy-two ; his wife Mary, died five days after him, aged sixty-seven. His father, David, died here in 1835, aged eighty-six ; Mrs. D. Badger in 1828, aged seventy-five ; but the exact date of their coming has not been ascertained.
About this time Nicholas McCarty bought the farm and tavern of Christopher Longstreet, and continued to keep a public house there until his death, in 1821. Situated at the junction of the Newburg Turnpike, with the road from Jackson and Harmony to Montrose, it became a noted place ; and " McCarty's Corners" served long as a landmark for travelers. The McCarty House has been kept as a public house by various tenants, from that day to this, being at present the Eagle Hotel. Mr. McC., like those who preceded him, received his license directly from the governor, who granted it on the recommendation of the Court of Luzerne County (to which Mr. M.'s petition had been made, indorsed in the usual way by respectable men of his neighborhood), and was granted, the first time, January, 1807. Though, " In the Name and by the Authority of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," he might sell " Rum, Brandy, Beer, Ale, Cyder, and all other Spirituous Liquors," it was "provided" that he should not "suffer drunkenness (!), unlawful gaming, or any other disorders." He had
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a son named Benjamin, and three daughters, one of whom married Isaac Warner; anther, John Boyle; and another, a man named King, who removed to the West.
Ichabod Ward came from Connecticut to Susquehanna County in 1807. He occupied a house near the site of the present residence of H. Burritt. and nearly opposite the Presbyterian Church. A pear tree planted by his hand, and still flourishing, marks the spot. He was long an active member and faithful officer and deacon of the Presbyterian denomination, and to him is due the honor of maintaining public religious services, in his own house, in the early days of the settlement —each alternate Sabbath uniting with the people of Lawsville in their neighborhood. He had two sons, William (who settled here in 1806, preceding his father one year), and Samuel much younger; and three daughters, Mrs. B. Doolittle, Mrs. Seba Bryant, and Mrs. Uriah Hawley. All, except the last named, removed, after some years, to Ohio and further west.
His second wife, Mary, who came with him to this country, was the mother of Seth Mitchell, at whose house she died in 1828, aged seventy-seven. Ichabod W. died four years earlier, and is buried in the village cemetery. His descendants, to the fifth generation, reside upon the land he helped to clear—an instance as rare as it is gratifying.
William Ward, of Litchfield County, Conn., was encouraged to come to Pennsylvania by his brother-in-law, Benjamin Doolittle. In 1806 he married Sally Briggs, in Roxbury, Conn., and came directly to this country. To the young bride this was, indeed, a wilderness, but she would not express her longing for the home she had left. She passed many hours, of the lonely first year, in watching her husband and assistants engaged in clearing the forest, from the identical spot now covered by the railroad depot and adjoining buildings. She little dreamed then of railroad and telegraph stations within sight from her door. The wonders of steam and electricity were then, indeed, not dreamed of by any one.
The following year their first child—the late C. L. Ward, of Towanda, Pa.—was born. They named him after the friend they found in the wilderness—Christopher Longstreet. Soon after this, they removed from the log house—the pioneer's first home, the site of which is now covered by the residence of their grandson, William T. Ward—to the first frame dwelling in this part of the county, and since known as the Ward House.
The late William C. Ward and two other sons were born in New Milford, previous to the removal of the family to Mt. Pleasant, where they remained a few years, and then returned to New Milford. In the mean time two daughters had been added to the family group; to which came in succession another son, and a daughter who died young, and then three sons.
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Ten children lived together for years in the old homestead, little able to realize, from the comforts surrounding them, what privations their parents had experienced.
The following incident of pioneer life was related to the compiler by the heroine herself:—
" A large buck was one day chased by the hunter's dogs into Mr. Ward's clearing. Samuel Ward—then only a lad of twelve or fourteen years—who was living with his brother, seeing the animal stumble and fall, immediately sprang and caught him by the horns, at the same time calling to Mrs. Ward for assistance. Feeling her helplessness, but, with a true woman's courage and quickness of perception, realizing the dangerous position of her young brother-in-law, who was struggling to prevent the animal from regaining his feet, she hastened to unwind the long-webbed garters she wore, and with them speedily succeeded in tying its legs until a neighbor, who happened to be in calling distance, reached them and cut the animal's throat."
William Ward was commissioned a justice of the peace in 1834. He was for many years in charge of and acting as agent for the DuBois Estate, also for the sale of the Meredith, Bingham, and Drinker lands, in which capacity he became widely known. A contemporary wrote of him thus :—
" Few of the citizens of the valley of the Salt Lick have done more to develop the resources and contribute to the prosperity of Susquehanna County than William Ward. To great perseverance and untiring industry in the pursuit of business, he added the most unqualified kindness, ever extending to rich and poor a cheerful hospitality. He was one of our most valued citizens."
He died in New Milford, October, 1849, aged 64. His widow afterwards married one of the pioneers of Bridgewater, Joseph Williams, since deceased. She is now (1871) 84 years old, and the sole survivor in New Milford of the settlers who came prior to 1810. She resides¹ in the old Ward homestead, where eight of her children were born.
There seems to have been little accession to the settlement of New Milford during the five years succeeding 1807.
The first entry on the Town Records, March 18, 1808, mentions a town meeting at the house of John Hawley, when he and John Slater (here only a few years) were elected judges of elections ; H. Leach, clerk ; Thomas Sweet and B. Doolittle, supervisors and constables.
March 3, 1809.—N. Buel, clerk ; B. Hayden and J. Gregory, supervisors.
[A list of ear-marks of sheep is the only further record until 1814. An entire gap occurs from 1848 to 1860, and from February, 1866, to September, 1871.]
About 1812, John Phinney came from Windham County, Conn., and settled on the hill west of the village. His father,
¹ Died August 17, 1872.
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Samuel came in shortly after, with his wife, and died years later at Summersville. Mrs. Samuel Phinney's maiden name was Hyde; she escaped from Wyoming, at the time of the massacre.
John Phinney died in 1867, aged 85; Lucretia, his wife, in 1853, aged 66. The proprietor of the Eagle Hotel is their son.
Gurdon Darrow came from Groton, Conn., May, 1812. He served in the war of 1812. Sally, his wife, died in 1864, aged 75.
Thomas Sweet had a license, in 1812, to keep a tavern on the Newburgh Turnpike, not far from where the Baptists have their house of worship. He sold to Jonas B. Avery and removed to Harford.
Military parades were frequent in the vicinity. At one time the firing of cannon shattered the window-panes of Mr. A.'s house.
Jonas B. A. died in 1836, aged seventy; his wife in 1835, aged sixty-three. They had one son, Franklin N., commonly called Major Avery, who died in 1843, aged forty-seven ; his widow, Rosana, died in 1869, aged seventy-two.
Ebenezer and Park W. Avery, brothers (of another family), from Groton, Connecticut, came in early and married sisters, the daughters of Jonas B. Avery. Ebenezer's farm is now occupied by D. W. Moxley, and that of Park W. (who returned to Connecticut), by Andrew S. Roe.
The taxables of New Milford, at the time Susquehanna County was officially organized, were sixty in number, besides non-resident landholders: Henry Drinker, Isaac Wharton, Abraham Du Bois, Bobert Bound, Samuel Meredith, and Thomas Clymer. The highest resident-tax, in 1812, was upon valuation of $2550. John and Uriah Hawley owned a saw-mill, and David Summers and son James another.
Robinson Lewis (deacon), who died about 1858 at an advanced age, came from Groton, Connecticut, in 1813. He was a pillar of the Baptist interest in its early days. His widow survives him.
Jacob Wellman, William Phinney, John Dikeman, John Belknap, and Titus Ives were taxables of 1813. All remained in the township many years.
Jacob W. was a soldier of the Revolution. He died in 1830, aged ninety-one. His sons were John, Jacob, David, Berry, Hiram, and Calvin; the last named being the only one living. He, as also descendants of the others, are in N. Milford.
The first Scotch settlers were Daniel McMillen and Laflin (or Lauchlin) McIntosh, who were also among the taxables of 1813. During that year the court was petitioned to grant "a road from H. Leach's to Lauchlin McIntosh's—near the Middle
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Lake. McFarley, McLoud, McKenzie, and others of Scotch birth, came in between the years 1814-17. William McKenzie lived where H. Burritt is now located. He died in 1827, aged
John Wallace, a Scotch-Irishman, came in 1814, from Delaware County, New York, with his son-in-law, Thomas Walker.
Ithamer Mott was taxed for land in 1813; but does not appear to have been a resident when the assessment was made. In 1814 he was licensed to keep a tavern ; his house was near the top of one of the highest hills of the township, on the line of the Newburg Turnpike, and near the junction with it of the Philadelphia and Great Bend Turnpike. Mott's Hill is one a traveler could never forget, having once made the toilsome ascent, or dashed down from the summit in an old-fashioned stage-coach ; and even with all modern improvements in road and vehicle, there are few hills one would care less to encounter.
Captain Thomas Dean, from Cornwall, Connecticut, in 1814, settled opposite Benjamin Hayden and remained in the township, or in what is now the Borough of New Milford, until his death at the age of ninety-one, June 22, 1870. For several years preceding his death he had been deprived of his eyesight, but passed his last days peacefully at the house of his daughter, the widow of Dr. Bingham. He had buried two wives.
Jonathan Moxley came from Groton, Connecticut, in 1814. His father's name, Joseph Moxley, is on the Fort Griswold monument at Groton, among those slain by the British under the leadership of the traitor Arnold, in 1781. Jonathan served in an emergency in that contest, but was never regularly enlisted. He died in New Milford in 1849, aged eighty-four ; his wife, Sally, in 1826, aged sixty-seven. Of their seven children, two are living—the twin brothers,Francis and Gurdon. The present Sheriff, William Tyler Mxley, is a son of Francis. Gurdon Moxley speaks of having raised thirty-nine and forty bushels of wheat to the acre. The Moxleys occupy large farms around the corners where the Baptist meeting-house and Moxleyschool-house are located. The meeting-house was finished in 1851, and such were the prices of labor and materials at the time, and the liberality of the neighborhood, that the cost of the building was but $1000.
John and Alpine Pierce settled in the northwest corner of the township in 1815.
" Tennanttown," in the southern part, retains the name of three brothers, Oliver, William, and Allen Tennant, and their half-brother, Benjamin, who leave a large posterity. Oliver T. was from Fisher's Island, in Long Island Sound ; he came here in 1816, and died at the age of seventy-eight. William T. came from Shelter Island, Suffolk County, New York, in 1817, and
156 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
died at the age of seventy. Allen T. came from the same island in 1818; his first wife, Polly, died in 1833, aged fifty-four; his second wife, Camilla, 1853, aged seventy-four ; and Allen himself, in 1858, aged eighty-two. Benjamin Tennant came in about 1820, and moved westward some years since.
In 1816, Silvanus Wade, a blacksmith; Joseph Paine, a tailor Gaius Moss a tanner; Chauncey B. Foot, a physician, and William Sabins, a shoemaker, were added to the community. The last named came from New Haven, Connecticut, with his wife and four children ; he remained in New Milford until his death, at the age of ninety-one years, February, 1869. His widow is still living, aged ninety-one. They were married in 1803.
Darius Bingham also came in 1816. His wife, Sally, died in 1821, aped forty-seven. He was killed at the age of sixty, in 1828, by the fall of a tree. Their son, Lemuel, for some time kept a public-house just north of Capt. Leach's, where the late Deacon Mackey died.
Calvin and Gad Corse, Jason Wiswall, and Luther Mason were in New Milford about this time.
In December, 1816, the population of the township as reported by the assessor was 461, the males being 29 in excess.
Among the settlers of 1817, were Dr. L. W. Bingham (not the same family as above), John S. Hendrake, David G. Wilson (had a store), Stephen and Jacob Hart, Joseph Thomas (a store), Levi Page, and Enoch Smith. The last named remained here until his death, October, 1871, aged eighty.
Dr. Bingham boarded at Wm. Ward's, and tended store for him until he established himself as a physician. He wielded the pen of a ready writer, of newspaper articles at least, as early as 1819. On all the public questions of the day, he appears to have had decided, outspoken opinions. In his profession he had an extensive practice to the close of life.
Albert Moss came from Cheshire, Connecticut, in 1818, and engaged in business with his brother Gaius, and continues to reside in New Milford, enjoying the improvements that have been made in his day, and to which his own enterprise has contributed.
Samuel Hammond came from Cheshire County, New Hampshire, and bought a farm near the south line of the county—the same on which his son, Lieutenant-Colonel Asa Hammond, now lives, and to which he came the following year. The son has cleared over one hundred acres here. The father died in New Milford, the day he was eighty-two years old.
At this time (1819) William Ward kept a tavern as well as a store. Ira Summers bad a clothing or fulling mill, and, soon after, an oil mill.
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Lincoln and Shubael Hall were here. Seth Mitchell kept an inn.
The same year, John Boyle, a native of Ireland, came to New Milford, at the age of nineteen years. A newspaper writer says of him
“His brain, industry, and energy were his capital. Men then worked hard for fifty cents per day and boarded themselves ; and for ox team and driver one dollar per day—the men living upon game, and blackberries in their season. This was then a wild lumber country, but no outlet to markets. The market prices were—Lumber, clear Pine, $7.50 per 1000 ; Wheat, $1.00 ; Rye, 50 cents ; Oats, 16 cents ; Butter, 10 cents ; and land worth from $2.00 to $3.00 per acre; and Pine Shingles, $1.50 per 1000.
" The Newburg Turnpike was then the main road through this region, and remained so until the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad gave an outlet to the produce of the country.
" Mr. Boyle, the Irish emigrant boy, afterwards became, by appointment of the governor, county surrogate for ten years, and by election of the people, in 1851, associate judge for five years ; and by marriage, industry, and good management, became the possessor of a large amount of the land now within the borough limits of New Milford."
He married a daughter of N. McCarty.
James B., his brother, a carpenter, came in later, and bought of Benjamin McCarty the place now occupied by his widow.
He died in 1857, aged sixty.
Many other worthy men and women of New Milford were doubtless among the arrivals prior to 1820, but no definite record of them (with one exception) has been furnished the compiler. The interest of the following sketch, it is believed, will justify its extended mention of foreign affairs :—
Secku Meylert, born in the City of Cassel, Germany, December 24, 1784, was the son of Michael Meylert, a banker. He received a liberal education, and traveled extensively in Europe, spending two years in Paris during Bonaparte's early and brilliant career. Returning to his native city he applied himself to business with his father, with whom he remained for some years, and afterwards established himself in business as a banker in Cassel.
When the French army entered Germany he was offered and accepted a position, for a short time, as an officer of the staff, and participated in several engagements. On June 14, 1807, he was seriously wounded at the battle of Friedland, having had two horses shot under him, and was left on the field for dead.
After the affairs of Europe were settled by the victory of Waterloo, the old Elector of Westphalia was restored to power, he having promised to make concession to the people and to grant them a constitution. Mr. Meylert was one of those who believed in his promises and who favored his recall. The Elector, however, postponed the fulfilment of his word, and followed a reminder of his promise with exactions more rigorous, and a rule more tyrannical than before.
During this period, Kotzebue, aided by other writers as unscrupulous if not as able as himself, in the secret service of Alexander of Russia, flooded Germany with publications in the interest of imperialism and opposed to free government. The people of Germany had been led to expect concessions on the part of their rulers, and anticipated the speedy establishment of representative systems. Now, however, the attempt to form liberal in-
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stitutions was ridiculed—every species of political amelioration was opposed, and a marked enmity was exhibited to the liberty of the press.
Good and true men throughout all Germany felt that these influences must be opposed and counteracted, or the cause of free government would be lost. No organization, however, was then in existence to accomplish this except the secret associations of the students in the universities. These were utterly insufficient for the purpose, and indeed must themselves be controlled and directed by the counsel of mature minds. An organization was soon formed composed of some of the most enlightened and liberal men throughout Germany, to withstand this tide of imperialism, and to exert an influence in high places for constitutional government. In Westphalia, this organization was strong and powerful. So carefully, however, were its affairs conducted that its very existence was not even suspected.
Before the plans of these associations were fully matured, a secret letter rom Kotzebue to the Emperor of Russia was published, which so exasperaed the students that it became difficult to control them and to moderate heir wrath. One of their number, Karl Ludwig Sand, of the University of Jena a young man of irreproachable character, but enthusiastic and fanatical, became impressed with an insane impulse to kill Kotzebue. For months re struggled to rid himself of this conviction, revealing it to no one, and atlength went to Mannheim, and on the 19th of March, 1819, he assassinated Cotzebue in his own house, and then deliberately gave himself up and was subsequently executed.
Thus from this foolish, criminal act, all plans for amelioration of Germany had to be abandoned. The excitement throughout the German States was intense The rulers immediately commenced a vigorous investigation to ascertain if secret political associations existed, and the leaders of such associations quietly absented themselves for a time until the excitement should subside. Mr. Meylert, who was the treasurer of and a leader in the central and main association in Westphalia, and who had made himself peculiarly onoxious to the Elector, because he had not hesitated to remind him of his promises and to ask for their fulfilment, went to Holland, whence he was advised by his friends to return, or at most to absent himself for a short time to Sweden or England, but, disgusted with tyranny, and hopeless for reforms, he decided to come to free America.
In England, Mr. Meylert read the pamphlet of Dr. Rose of Silver Lake, then in circulation in Great Britain, which gave a glowing description of the fertility of the soil and advantages to persons emigrating, who should settle in Susquehanna County. This determined his destination.
In the summer of 1819 he arrived, and purchased 50 acres of land in New Milford-1½ miles from the present village—built a house and commenced clearing a farm. Unused to this kind of work, his progress was slow and his returns meagre. He added to his house a store, and kept a small stock of goods, but the country was thinly settled, money was scarce, and his sales were small. Some outside investments made by him proving unfortunate, the means which he brought with him soon wasted away.
Seeking occupation better suited to his education, he taught school for a short time; taught a class in the French language in Montrose, and was employed for a considerable time by Mr. Thos. Meredith in business relating to his lands.
In 1833 Mr. Meylert removed to Montrose, where he held the position of Clerk to the County Commissioners, and Deputy Register and Recorder. In 1844 he returned to his farm in New Milford, which had been greatly increased by the purchase of adjoining farms, and there lived until his death, Dec. 30th, 1849. During the later years of his life the agency of large landed estates was placed in his hands, and before his death he had charge of nearly all the land estates belonging to non-resident land owners in northeastern Penn-
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sylvania. He had also purchased several bodies of wild land, and his New Milford farms then aggregated nearly 1000 acres.
Mr. Meylert married Abigail, the eldest daughter of Deacon Amos Nichols, of Montrose, Feb. 11th, 1821.. She is now living in Laporte, in this State. 'They had five sons and threedaughters, all of whom are now living.
Mr. Meylert was a highly educated man, being proficient in both ancient and modern languages, and excelling in mathematics. As a business man he was remarkable, having few equals in his capacity to transact business with great force, rapidity, and accuracy. He was an active member of the Baptist Church ; a zealous Christian, kind and affectionate, and benevolent in every good work. He was a man of strict integrity and of great truthful-ness—positive in character, and stern and unyielding in the performance of his convictions of duty.
The highest number of votes polled in New Milford, in 1814, was 19 : in 1830, 57 (at town elections). The population in 1810, 78; 1820, 611; 1830, 1000. In 1844, the whole vote at Presidential election, 249.
The first merchant in New Milford was William Ward, in 1815. Within the next five years three or four small stores were opened ; one of which was kept by James Edmunds and Capt. Dean, in 1815; first, in one of the Hayden rooms, and afterwards in the red house at the lower end of the present borough.
The second firm that had any permanence, was that of Griffing & Burritt, about 1821. The former was from Guilford, and the latter from Newtown, Conn. They dissolved in 1824, and kept separate establishments.
Henry Burritt has been longer in the mercantile business than any man in Susquehanna County ; but, in several cases, the establishments of the fathers have been continued by the
In 1827 Warner Hayden opened a store. The firm name was afterwards Hayden & Ward, " merchants and innkeepers."
In 1832 Wm. Ward and son were in partnership.
John McKinstry opened a store in Summersville. This was afterwards kept by Summers & Scott, Summers & Sutphin, etc.
Uriah C. Lewis was a practising physician in the township in 1828.
The borough of New Milford was petitioned for, Aug. 1859. The petition included the following statement respecting the locality :—
"It is a compact, regularly built, populous, and thriving business place, containing within its limits a railroad depot, two licensed hotels, two extensive tanneries, three churches, a large number of stores, shops, manufactories, and other business places, and private dwellings—the population and business steadily increasing." Decree of Court confirmed Dec. 1859.
The petitioners were a majority of the freeholders within the boundaries given.
160 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
The north line of the borough consists of 84 perches on the north line of the Hayden farm ; the east line, 522 perches; the west line 527 perches ; and the south line 234 perches, or nearly three times as many as the north line.
A newspaper writer, Jan. 1870, furnished the following items:
"The main street is a trifle over a mile in length, almost a dead level, and as straight as a bee line.' It is broad and well worked, with good sidewalks on both sides of the road. Good-sized sugar-maple shade trees fence in the side-walks, from north to south, on both sides of the street; and the Park, in front of the Graded School and the Congregational Church, with graded and graveled walks, is shaded in like manner. The architecture of the buildings and grounds displays taste, refinement, modesty, neatness, and comfort, without the least appearance on the part of any one to over-reach, over-match, or over-display his neighbor.
" The Union Mills'—grist and flouring mills, sawing, planing, sash, blinds, and doors, etc., are suspended for the present. There are three cigar manufacturing establishments in the place, that carry on a large stroke of trade.' An iron foundry is energetically working its way into the confidence of the people. Two tanneries—one a custom establishment,' and the other a large manufacturing concern. It is now conducted by Messrs. Corbin & Todd, late of Ulster Co., N. Y., and successors to the Pratt Brothers. It now employs from twelve to twenty men, uses from 2000 to 2500 cords of bark per year, at $5.00 per cord, and turns out from twenty to thirty thousand sides of sole leather per year. It is estimated that there is bark enough in the county to serve it for ten years yet—the proprietors owning enough bark land to serve it four years.
" A. B. Smith has a machine shop run by water-power.
" One drug store, and only two doctors—L. A. Smith and D. C. Ainey, supplying the region for miles around—speak volumes for the health of the locality.
" Eight mercantile establishments offer to the surrounding country their various wares. This is exclusive of the cigar establishments, that keep Yankee Notions at both wholesale and retail. "With the exception of one store at Summersville, this is the market place for the whole township and parts of several adjoining townships. Besides the farming interests, there are in this township some dozen circular saw mills, each employing from twelve to twice that number of men, generally with families, all of whom seek family supplies from these stores.
" One banking house—that of S. B. Chase & Co.
" The public hall of the Eagle Hotel is used for lectures, concerts, and religious services, as well as for merry-makings.
" One printing office—that of the Northern Pennsylvanian.'"
Another writer says :—
" Our industrial interests, although in a newly settled region, begin to be felt as of some importance. From the 1st of June to the 1st of January, 1870, our lumbermen shipped at this depot, 3,720,000 feet of lumber. I think that every foot of this lumber was taken from the forests of this township, and it is believed that more lumber has been shipped at Somersville and Susquehanna Depot than at New Milford. Our dairymen have also shipped at this depot, through our village merchants, 240,169 pounds of butter, from the 1st of June to the 1st of January." Sutton's, or the East Lake Steam Saw-mill, about 3½ miles from New Milford Depot, runs during the entire year, and
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furnishes the miners and railroads with large quantities of long timber.
In the summer of 1870 the pond belonging to Mr. Elliot Page, and which occupies a space of one hundred acres, was drained preparatory to a repair of the dam ; when the fish, which had been accumulating there for about twenty-four years, were made an easy prey by the use of a net. In all, there were caught about six thousand pounds of pickerel, perch, chubs, stickers,
A gentleman of Lynn (March, 1869) says :—
" Forty years ago, beginning at the lower end of the town, the inhabitants were Benj. Hayden, and Warner his son, Captain Dean, old Esq. Wm. Ward, Albert Moss, Henry Burritt, John and James Boyle. Those few, with their families, composed the chief of the population where the village now stands. The writer lived nine or ten years very near the old Leach Farm. The old school-house at the foot of Mott's Bill furnished some scenes that still distinctly linger in recollection. In those days the master was supposed to be master of the situation, without the necessity of calling in school directors. On one occasion a boy some nineteen or twenty years old became disobedient, and was forthwith brought up to be chastised. He very distinctly refused to accept the punishment; whereupon he was seized, and thrown upon the floor, and the whip applied. He being nearly equal in strength with the teacher, the result was doubtful till he was turned upon his face and became more easily managed. He then called to his sister to go home and have his brother, with whom he lived, come to the rescue. Go quick !' says he. I will,' she answered, and started. Come back !' says teacher. Go on' and come back' were alternately used for a while, when order was restored by a promise of future obedience."
A remarkable case of longevity is mentioned :--
John Robinson, born in Dutchess County, N. Y., 9th November, 1770, died in New Milford 8th April, 1867. His widow Betsy died two years later, aged ninety-four. They lived together in the bonds of matrimony seventy-seven years, and reared a large family. Both were Baptists, and Mrs. R. had been a church member seventy-five years.
The poor-house for the township and borough is in the eastern part of the township. The farm was purchased of Jesse Baldwin for $4000 and $500 additional for stock. The institution opened April, 1871.
There are four churches in the borough : The Protestant Episcopal, dedicated November, 1829, was built principally through the liberality and efforts of David Badger, Gains and Albert Moss, and William Ward, Esq., with the favoring influence of the rector of the parish, Rev. S. Marks.
The Presbyterian, though built later, represents an earlier denominational interest here; as also the Methodist, which was not built until 1848, though such class-leaders as Benjamin Hayden and Captain Dean held religious services in their own
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162 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
houses at a very early day. Their church is on land donated by William C. Ward, Esq.
The Baptist society was constituted February 23, 1827. Their house of worship was dedicated January 15, 1851, in the Moxley neighborhood.
October, 1869, the Roman Catholics started a chapel, 26 x 50 feet, on ]and donated by John Boyle, but the frame was blown down the following month. In 1870 it was again upon its foundations, and was completed and dedicated July, 1871.
The name of William C. Ward is closely connected with a large portion of the business, political and social, interests of this township, as the high esteem and confidence of the people in imposing upon him offices of trust and responsibility fully attest. He held the office of justice of the peace nearly thirty years, and in the performance of his duties gained the name and character of peace-maker among his neighbors, generally succeeding in settling their disputes to their mutual satisfaction, and gaining the good-will of both the parties. He died February 24, 1871.
Respecting his eldest brother, the following is contributed :—
CHRISTOPHER LONGSTREET WARD was born in New Milford in 1807. He came of a race who found a home upon our shores in the infancy of our country, who shared in her struggles, and bore a loyal part in her early history.
He never lost the leaven of labor, the energy and vigor which have found root and borne fruit in the peculiar growth of American character. To these virtues he united something of the liberality and culture which are distinctive of an older and a riper civilization than our own.
He lent himself from his earliest youth to such studies as leisure would allow, and made himself acquainted with a very considerable range of reading; his mind was disciplined to hard work and to habits of industry.
His diversions indicated the bent of his mind. From the school-boy to the printer-apprentice, and through the initiatory studies of his profession, he gathered many curious things, and delighted in arranging them appropriately ; and in later years this propensity led to his acquisition of a most valuable collection.
With freedom from other demands upon his time, he might have fallen upon some congenial path in the world of letters. He did not yield himself to such a career, but knew much of its consolations amid the cares of business. [His connection with the press, and his occupancy of positions of trust in Susquehanna County, are mentioned on other pages of this work.]
He removed to Towanda, Bradford County, more than thirty years ago, and lent his aid to many enterprises of lasting benefit to the town.
He was the President of the Atlantic and Great Western Railway during its construction through Pennsylvania, and through his instrumentality the means for its early completion were obtained in Europe.
He never deviated from the resolution formed in early life of not entering the political field to hold office, though high honors were tendered him during more than one presidential term.
In political matters he, was a tried and trusted counsellor to those with whom he affiliated, and felt the deepest interest in all the important measures of the day.
The laborer and skilled workman profited by his enterprises ; the debtor
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knew his forbearance; the poor blessed him. The following incident is worthy of notice as illustrative of his generosity and unsolicited benevolence :—
Such was the confidence felt in the officers of the Susquehanna County Bank, that many persons, including several lady school-teachers, had their savings in its notes. When the bank failed, Mr. Ward felt so keenly the sufferings inflicted upon the latter, that he, though not an officer of the bank, redeemed with his own funds several hundreds of dollars of the worthless notes in their hands.
Those who knew him well remarked that he had a habit of doing and intending a kindness without admitting the intention. His hospitality was liberal to friends and strangers. His acquaintance, by reason of his active and varied course of life, extended widely among the leading men of his time. He had considerable knowledge of the early history of the section in which he lived. Though progressive, he loved the traditions of the past, and honored and respected the men who removed the wilderness, and laid the foundations of both local and national progress.
His love of books and his superiority of taste, united to rare system and method, enabled him to collect many thousands of volumes, selected with great care, and containing, it is stated, more rare works than can be found in any private library of the country. His collection of autographs was unusually complete; and by his skill in arranging, mounting, and illustrating them, they constituted a unique feature of his literary possessions.
He was a well-read and clear-minded lawyer, respecting and respected by the profession, but his business affairs multiplied year by year and took him from active practice, though it had been attended with abundant success. To the extent and variety of his labors may be attributed, in part, the sudden and comparatively premature closing of his life.
He died at Towanda, May 14, 1870, aged sixty-three.
THIS township was formed from parts of Gibson¹ and Clifford, May, 1825. Its original extent was eight miles on the Wayne County line, south from the N.E. corner of Gibson (then neat Long Lake, or Dunn's Pond, now in Ararat), by four miles and a half east and west—a right-angled parallelogram. It was reduced to its present proportions in 1852, having then parted with three-eighths of its former territory on the north. It received its name in honor of Judge Edward Herrick, who was then presiding over the Courts of Susquehanna County, which was included in one district with Bradford and Tioga. He had been appointed for this district upon its erection in August, 1818, and he continued to preside over it twenty-one years,
¹ The court had been petitioned, May, 1815, to have Gibson divided "through the centre from north to south ; the westernmost ' part to retain the name o Gibson, and the new town to be called Lawrence." Nothing farther appears in relation to it.
164 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
lacking one term of court. Judge Herrick is still living at Athens, Bradford County.
" Though now (1870) 82 years of age, he is as erect as ever, and loves to converse, with his older acquaintances especially. Enjoying the fruits of early care and industry, he takes little interest in the contests of the day for wealth or honor ; but in the bosom of his surviving family, and in the society of books and papers, he is a good specimen of vigorous old age. Though he was the weakest of a large family of children, he has outlived them all, thanks to his calm and equable temperament, and the good providence of God."
That section of the township north of the Great Bend and Coshecton Turnpike, is but sparsely settled. The principal timber left there is hemlock. The traveler, in entering the town by the road from Ararat church, passes through woods where there is not a resident for a mile and a half; and, if in summer, seems to be going through a tunnel roofed with green interlacing boughs, which for some time close to him the view of the exit beyond. The surface here appears to be a continuation of the broad table-land of Ararat, gradually sloping to the south, from which spring the sources of the east branch of the Tunkhannock. The west branches of the Lackawanna, rising in Ararat, are but slender streams in the northern part of Herrick, which is cold and wet compared with the section below the turnpike. The latter is a good farming country, though but little wheat is grown. The best crops are oats and corn.
The township is walled in by mountains on two sides. The Moosic Mountain ranges along the eastern border, and the two peaks of Elk Mountain tower in the extreme southwest, though Prospect Rock is just below the township line; while East or " Tunkhannock Mountain" (as it was formerly called), rises a little beyond in Gibson, and extends nearly to the line between Herrick and Ararat.
A road traversed the township prior to January, 1798, which was even then known as " the old Brace road." A part of this has been traveled within the memory of present residents; but its route beyond the limits of Herrick seems very indistinctly defined.
At the time mentioned above, the Court at Wilkes-Barre appointed a committee to see if a new township was needed, " beginning at the line of Northampton County (now Wayne) where the Brace road crosses said line, then running due west," etc. etc.
At the same term a petition was presented for a road to Great Bend, from Samuel Stanton's near the line of Northampton County (or near Mount Pleasant) :—
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" To begin at the line of said county, where the road crosses said line, and run west to the third Lackawanna bridge ; thence to Abel Kent's, thence to Asahel Gregory's, thence to Johnson's Creek, thence to D. Church's, thence to Tunkhannock Creek, thence to Joseph Potter's, thence to old Brace road, thence to David Hamilton's, then to Daniel Hunt's, then to Daniel Leach's, then nearly west to Salt Lick, then to R. Corbett's, then north six miles to the ferry Great Bend-23 miles." [See Gibson.]
This, with an alteration afterwards made, was approved and confirmed, April, 1799.
The route proposed is given here to show that the roads were distinct from each other. The line of the Great Bend and Coshecton turnpike, run a few years later, follows the latter in its general route; but the Brace road appears to have been designed to connect the road cut through to Great Bend, by settlers of 1791, with the north and south road in Northampton County, some miles below, the point intersected by the road mentioned above.
A road from Belmont to Tioga Point, though never completed, is laid down on Proud's Map of Pennsylvania (1798), the grand route northwestward, and the only road in the section now included in Susquehanna County."
At that time Herrick was within the limits of Nicholson township, which then covered territory now embraced in five whole townships, and parts of three more in Susquehanna County, besides a strip of the counties below. Thus we find on the court records mention made of a road "from the Brace road in Nicholson."
It appears to have left Northampton Co., at a point due east from the head of Stillwater Pond, in Clifford, and crossing the northeast corner of the township as it is, entered Herrick near the present farm of E. Carpenter. It passed through the orchard of Major Walter Lyon (late that of Wheeler Lyon), and is said. to have intersected the old road to Great Bend not far from the west line of Herrick.
But, controverting this idea, it is the prevalent opinion that it terminated on the top of Tunkhannock (East) Mountain, in Gibson. This, in turn, is discountenanced by the statement that " it crossed the northeast corner of Nine Partners," as an order was issued August, 1800, for a road "from Van Winkle's mills on the Brace road," to run westward from Martin's Creek.
The principal lakes of the township of Herrick are Low Lake and Lewis Lake. The former was named after John N. Low, an early settler who died previous to 1814. It is one mile long, and is near the centre of the township. At its outlet, Lewis Lake, near Uniondale, has superior water privileges. Just above the turnpike there is a large reservoir made by a dam in one of the tributaries of the Lackawanna. This stream, with two tributaries to Tunkhannock Creek, drains the township.
166 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Nathaniel Holdridge was probably the first settler ; it is state) he was here as early as 1789. He removed soon after to Great Bend, then Willingborough.
In 1790-'92, Abel Kent and his brother Gideon, with their families; Asahel Gregory and family; Jonas and Sylvanus Campbell ; Daniel Church, and _____ Hale (two hunters), came over the mountain, or via the Susquehanna River, into this secluded region, where they were joined in the latter year by Walter Lyon. The only other settler known to have come in before 1800 was John C. Await.
Abel, John, and Carlton Kent were brothers (Carlton 2d was son of Abel); and Gideon and Durham sons of Gideon Kent, Sr. The old road of 1791 passed the vicinity of their clearings, which were known as the " Kent Settlement" many years. It was about four miles west of Belmont, and nearly a mile south of the Great Bend and Coshecton Turnpike, and a little west of the Wilkes-Barre turnpike, or where these roads were afterwards located.
Abel Kent was a "taverner," as early as 1798, on the farm now owned by Mr. J. Thomas. He died in 1806. His brother John then kept a public-house on the old road until 1812, when he built and removed to a tavern at the junction of the two turnpikes.
Asahel Gregory, who also had lived on the old road, then moved up to the turnpike, about half a mile west of John Kent. He was the first justice of the peace in this section. His career was an active one for the times, in the hardships of which he had a full share. He brought his family down the Susquehanna River to the Bend on a raft, and when their destination was reached he built a log hut, peeled bark to shelter the bed, and took possession.
(NOTE: Tombstone reset in 1971)
Mr. Gregory lived in Herrick over forty years, when he removed to the residence of his son Samuel; in Bridgewater, where he died April, 1842, at the age of 83. He was a Revolutionary
pensioner. His remains rest in the burial lot on Dr. Asa Park's old place.
Hubbel Gregory, his son, had a small store, about 1820, near his father's residence in Herrick. He removed to Michigan, and died at Ann Arbor, in the 72d year of his age.
Traditions of the exploits of the hunters Church and Hale are still extant, but some of them have too improbable an air for sober history. Hale pursued his calling con more. Once, when entertaining a friend at his house, he heard that peculiar barking of his hounds which announced the approach of game, when he exclaimed, " Oh, what heavenly music !" His friend,
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not appreciating a hunter's taste, or not understanding the cause of his pleasure, replied, " The d—d hounds make such a noise I can't hear it!"
Jonas Campbell remained in this vicinity at least twenty years. He married a daughter of Mr. Await ; their son was drowned in their spring in his second year, and his body was the first buried in the cemetery at Uniondale, June, 1811.
Walter Lyon came from Ashford, Conn., in 1792, with his wife and one child on a rudely-fashioned sled, a yoke of steers, and an ax; his wife's stepfather (Green) drove in a heifer for her, and carried a pair of steelyards—all their worldly effects. He bought of John Clifford 400 acres, on which he afterwards built the large house in which he lived and died; and, adjoining this tract, he bought 100 acres of William Poyntell (a landholder who died, 1811, in Philadelphia), and paid for the whole, within a few years afterward, by lumbering on the Delaware River. He had also 200 acres additional.
His family was large, including five sons—Wheeler, Jacob, John, Henry, and Walter, to whom he gave five large adjoining farms, the road through which has been named " Lyon Street." Their descendants are numerous in the vicinity.
In early times, he was obliged to take his grain to Great Bend on his back, and return with his grist in the same manner. Once, when the water was low, he was obliged to wait for his grist three weeks; and, not wishing to make a second journey, he hired out to husk corn. In the mean time, his family had only potatoes and milk to eat, and were in great fear for his safety, as his route lay through forests then traversed by bears, panthers, and wolves, and broken by only a few clearings.
He was an active man in township and county affairs, being justice of the peace, a major in the 76th regiment Pennsylvania militia, and a county commissioner, besides being often intrusted with other public business. He went on foot to attend court at Wilkes-Barre before the organization of Susquehanna County. He died in 1838, aged 68.
Wheeler Lyon, his eldest son, occupied the homestead until his death, February 20, 1870, aged 76.
Walter L. died in the spring of 1872.
Jacob L. was colonel of the " Washington Guards," a volunteer battalion of Pennsylvania militia. He was " honest, patriotic, intelligent, public-spirited, and generous." He died May 10, 1854, aged nearly 58 years.
John Coonrod Await was one of the Hessian soldiers that England hired to fight her colonies of this country ; and of those who, after the war, chose to remain here. He located on the road leading from Frost Hollow to Mt. Pleasant, and within
168 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
a few rods of the county line. He had a large family of children, most of whom had, arrived at maturity previous to 1807.
Seth Holmes was, early in the century, if not previously, located southwest from " The Corners." Luke Harding and his son Elisha were also here early ; their farm was next above Major Lyon's, and joined Abel Kent's, on the opposite side of the road.
Joseph Sweet settled, about 1804 or 1805, on the farm now owned by James Curtis, near the present tannery of Ira Nichols, a locality which, as the center of business, is also called "Herrick Center," though very nearly on the east line of the township. He kept a tavern very early where, after the Newburgh Turnpike (Great Bend and Coshecton) was completed, a popular house was kept by Sylvanus, son of Ithamar Mott, of New Milford. Here stages and relays of horses were at all times in readiness to supply the heavy demands of the road. Mr. Sweet sold and moved away about 1815, and Ezra Newton had a part of his farm.
In March, 1807, Asa Dimock, Sr. (an older brother of the late Hon. and Elder Davis D.), came from Pittston, Pa., with his wife and four children, to a log house of one room, which had been built for a school-house, on the old road south of the turnpike, a little southeast of A. Gregory. He moved up with the others when the turnpike was finished (or about 1811), and located about one hundred rods east of John Kent's tavern, which was afterwards and for a long time kept by his son, Warren Dimock. The locality was known as "Dimock's Corners,¹” though the post-office kept by him was named Herrick Center, and retained the name until its removal, in 1858, to its present location on the Lackawanna. W. Dimock was appointed postmaster in 1826.
Asa D. was appointed a justice of the peace by Gov. McKean during the summer of 1808, and by Gov. Snyder was commissioned as major of the 1st battalion 129th regiment Pennsylvania militia. This was composed of the militia of Northumberland, Luzerne, Ontario (Bradford), and Susquehanna counties.
He was the first blacksmith in the vicinity, and built a shop near his residence on the turnpike.
He carried the United States mail from Chenango Point to Newburgh, on the Hudson River, once a week, sometimes on horseback, and sometimes in a single wagon or cutter.
" I recollect," says his son Shubael, now of Wisconsin, " his coming home from Newburgh with the mail, flying a white flag from a pole stuck up in his cutter with the word Peace' inscribed on it in large letters. This, at the close of the war with England, caused great excitement along the road.
¹ Asa D. was postmaster of " Dimock's Post-office," here, as early as 1815, but the township was then included in Gibson.
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" Often have heard the panther scream and the wolf howl in the wilderness around us, and seen the scalps brought to my father. to secure to the successful huntsman a certificate for the bounty allowed for them. I recollect an old hunter (Wademan) once came in my father's absence, and, while waiting for his return, he took out from his knapsack some nice white-looking meat to eat for his dinner, and, at the same time, invited us to taste it. I was the only one who accepted the invitation, and then he told us it was the meat of the panther he had killed."
John Kent, Asa Dimock, and Parley Marsh, a school teacher (1812-13), were the first settlers at or near the Corners.
In 1818, Asa D. removed to Clifford, and purchased a farm of Amos Morse, who lived half a mile below "the city," down the east branch of the Tunkhannock. Two years later he was located on the present site of Dundaff, where there was but a hat shop, a school-house, and three dwellings.
[Another statement: "Asa Dimock, Sr., had a store (1817) on the corner opposite (and south) of the hotel which was then kept by Warren Dimock. It then consisted of only the present back part of Phinny's. These were the only two houses in 1817. There was then no road past Crystal Lake, but it was being cut out."] Asa D. removed, in 1827, to Lenox, where he resided with his son Shubael to the close of his life, in 1833. Warren and Shubael had returned to the " Corners."
In the month of September, 1807, Edward Dimmick, and his son, Martial, came from Mansfield, Conn., and located on the Lackawanna, not far from the present church at Uniondale, the father having bought three hundred acres of Thomas Meredith. In the spring of 1808, he brought in his family, consisting of a wife and eight children. As the spelling of the name indicates, there was no relation existing between this family and that of Asa Dimock, who preceded Edward Dimmick only a few months in coming to the township. John Coonrod Await and Joseph Sweet were the only settlers then in the vicinity of Uniondale, except two or three outside the present bounds of Herrick. David Burns was four miles below, in Clifford, and Sam. Stanton had been settled some years, about three miles northeast, at Mount Pleasant. Mr. Dimrnick had been a Revolutionary soldier. His sons were Martial, Eber, Joshua, Tilden, Edward, and Shubael.
In his reminiscences of early days at Uniondale, his oldest son, Martial, communicates the following
" In July, 1808, towards night, there came a thunder shower, which continued till near midnight; and although I have lived here sixty-two years, 1 have never seen, I think, half as much water in the Lackawanna, at one time, as there was the next day. It swept bridges and all before it to its mouth. Everything in our little cabin was as wet as though it had been dipped in the sea. In June, 1809, I went to the Chenango River, five miles above its mouth, to one Mr. Crocker's, and brought three bushels of corn on horseback, between forty and fifty miles, as none could be obtained nearer.
170 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
But what a change has taken place in the sixty-two years since I came to this section ! Then it was woods, woods, all around, abounding with wild animals; and these were really necessary for food for the inhabitants. One could shoot and kill a large fat buck that would weigh about two hundred pounds, and nice wild turkeys that weighed twenty-one pounds dressed, or catch them in traps, as I have done. The Lackawanna Creek, passing right through the settlement, swarmed with speckled trout. Surely these were almost the staff of life, for bread was often scarce; but this game has passed away, and the time which made it necessary.
"The settlers had many sore trials to pass through; poor roads, poor houses, a want of buildings to store what little they did raise, and a want of many things they had been used to having before they came here ; but with all their trials, there was some real enjoyment."
In 1810, Blackleach Burritt, Hezekiah Buckingham, Abijah Hubbell, James Curtis, from Connecticut, and David N. Lewis, from Wyoming Valley, came with their families into the neighborhood. Lewis Lake received its name from the latter, and near it he had a grist-mill—the first in what is now Herrick.
Blackleach Burritt settled first on the Flat, near M. Dimmick, but afterwards moved to the Wilkes-Barre turnpike, below Stephen Ellis, in Clifford, where he died. His widow died in the fall of 1869, aged ninety-one. His sons were Grandson, now in Wisconsin, Samuel, Rufus, and Eli. One other died young, and Rufus, at two years of age, was drowned in the creek, during the fall of 1813. Of the sons of Samuel Burritt, Loren P. has represented this county in the State Legislature two years; and Ira N. is now private secretary to President Grant to sign land patents. Both did active and protracted service in the Union army.
About 1809, Philip J. Stewart bought a part of John Kent's farm, and built a house opposite him.
In 1810, Stephen Ellis and family came in from Connecticut. J. T. Ellis, his son, at present one of the commissioners of Susquehanna County, was then but five years old. They were located near the Tunkhannock Creek, on what is now Lyon's street. Stephen E. bought of Moses Wharton, a large landholder in that section. He was afterwards a Revolutionary pensioner. He died November, 1847, aged eighty-four. His son, Capt. H. H. Ellis, died in 1828.
"Smith's Knob," a hill near Uniondale, was named after Raynsford Smith, a settler in the vicinity, in 1811, whose residence was, however, just over the present line of Clifford.
In 1811, James Giddings, formerly a sea-captain, came from Connecticut, and purchased a farm of Asa Dimock and Walter Lyon, Sr., next above that of the latter. He had thirteen children, twelve of whom lived to adult age.
His son, Giles A. Giddings, left Susquehanna County in 1835, and died in 1836, from wounds received in the battle of San Jacinto, Texas. J. D. Giddings, a lawyer, went to Texas in
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1838, to tale care of the landed property his brother Giles had left; and there he accumulated a large fortune before the War of the Rebellion. George H., another brother, is also in Texas. Still another brother, John J., who went there as mail-contractor, was killed on the plains by the Indians early in 1861. Several daughters of Capt. Giddings married and settled within the county. Near a spring on his farm, traces of its former occupancy by Indians have been found, such as beads, pipes, hatchets, etc.
In 1812, Eli Nichols settled on the place now occupied by his daughter, the widow of Samuel Burritt, Esq. He gave, three or four years afterwards, a large number of books to form a library for general circulation, which were kept for years at Mr. Ellis'. The postmaster at the present " Center," Ira Nichols, is his son, and to his enterprise the locality is indebted for much of its recent prosperity. A large tannery and a store are under his management, at the point where the old Newburg turnpike crosses the Lackawanna.
In 1813, a road was laid out from Gideon Kent's to A. Gregory's.
About this time, possibly a year or two earlier, Wm. Tanner kept a tavern on the turnpike near the western line of the present township.
A year or two later, Dr. Erastus Day (NOTE: Dr. Day’s wife, Kenzia born 4-11-1790 and died 1859. Buried in Smiley Cemetery. Dr. Day died 6-10-1861 aged 84 years) succeeded him, and became quite a prominent man in the vicinity.
Saw-mills were built or owned by Asa Dimock and Carlton Kent.
" On the 6th of July, 1814, about 5 P.M., there came up a thunder shower, accompanied with a hurricane," says Mr. M. Dimmick, "which leveled almost everything before it, for five or six miles in length and about a half-mile in breadth, com-mencina. on the north side of Elk Mountain, and reaching to Moosic Mountain. It unroofed buildings and tore down others, and opened a new world in appearance."
The first store, for many miles around (except that of Joseph Tanner, in Mount Pleasant), was kept, in 1815, by M. and E. Dimmick, at Uniondale. People came to it from ton and fifteen miles, and even farther, to trade.
The year 1816 was marked here, as elsewhere, by the peculiarity of its seasons. " The most of January and the whole of February was like what our weather generally is in Septem-ber—the ground dry and dusty, and the atmosphere warm and pleasant as summer. This was followed by a sickly spring and summer. Many died of 'inflammation of the lungs.' It snowed in June." Philip J. Stewart kept a tavern in 1816, and Eber Dimmick, in 1817, on the Newburg turnpike. In 1818, A. and Hubbell Gregory opened another.
172 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
In 1817, Rev. Williams Churchill came to the township from Rhode Island. His wife is a descendant of Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island. They celebrated their golden wedding May 18, 1870, in Herrick, surrounded by nine of their children, and others of their descendants.
In 1819, the first school-house in the southeast part of the town was built, arid a teacher (Gurdon H. Tracy) kept school in it a few weeks, when it was burned.
At this time, Uniondale, as well as all of Herrick, bordering on Clifford (below a line extended to Wayne County from the line between Gibson and Clifford), was in the latter township. It was not until six years later that Herrick was erected.
It is difficult here, as elsewhere in our county, to associate the early settlers with the name of a township which now includes the places of their former abode, but which had no existence until they had passed away.
Thus, prior to 1796, the settlers on lands now within the bounds of Herrick, were in the old townships Tioga and Wyalusing, Luzerne County. From that time for ten years they were in Nicholson ; from 1806 to the organization of Susquehanna County they were in Clifford ; from 1814 they were, with the exception mentioned above, included in Gibson, until, in 1826, the tax-list of Herrick was made out for the first time, the township having been erected the year previous.
By reference to the annals of Gibson it will be seen that a division of the township had been petitioned for once or twice before the eastern part was set off for Herrick. The peaks of Elk Mountain and the ridge of Tunkhannock or East Mountain formed a barrier to oneness of interest among its inhabitants, and to ease in the transaction of township business.
To the writer, while on a recent visit to that section, it was a matter of surprise that they had continued so lona. together; but it was then no longer a surprise that the people ofc' Herrick, as early as 1827, 1831, and again in 1839, sought to be set off with Clifford, to form a part of' a new county, proposed on our southeastern border. The natural features of the country countenanced the wish, as at the present day, most of the business of the section is done with Carbondale and Scranton; but it is none the less painful to see our own county more foreign to some of its inhabitants than Wayne and Luzerne. Happily, political considerations just now are too powerful to make them desirous of any immediate change of county relations. The completion of the Jefferson railroad facilitates egress from their retreat southward, and also brings them into readier communication with the townships north of them, and may thus ultimately, unite them to the interests of their own county.
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RELIGIOUS AND MISCELLANEOUS.
In the Kent Settlement a Methodist class was formed in 1810.
The earliest notice of any religious services in the vicinity of Uniondale is related thus :—
"In 1812 there came along an old man, and stopped at the house of Mr. Buckingham, just before night, and, giving out that be was a minister, appointed a meeting. The whole neighborhood assembled at short notice, and had a good meeting. Though the preacher, Phillips, a Baptist, could give a good discourse, he was very illiterate, being unable to read writing at all.
"The neighbors gave him a piece of land and built him a small log-house, where he lived alone. He preached for us about a year.
" In the fall of 1813, Mr. Bill, a missionary from the Connecticut Society, came and labored for a short time, and in the winter following there was quite a revival. A. Congregational Church was formed by Rev. E. Kingsbury and Rev. Worthington Wright of Bethany ; ten of its members being in this vicinity, and five in Mt. Pleasant. In 1833 the connection between them was dissolved, and the Uniondale Presbyterian Church was formed with forty-three members. Their meeting-house, the first in the place, was erected in 1835." A new one is built on its site, but the old house stands near.
A Baptist church was formed in the western part, June 1834, and consisted of ten members, viz.: Jacob and Mahala Lyons, Thomas and Alex. Burns, Benjamin and Harriet Coon,/ Silas and Emily Finn, Martin Bunnel, and Benjamin Watrous. From 1839-41 Eld. Joseph Currin was pastor. In 1840 Silas Finn " received liberty to improve his gift" as a preacher in this denomination, and was afterwards licensed. In 1842-43, Rev. John Baldwin was pastor. The highest number of members was thirty-one. The church was disbanded in 1851.¹
A Methodist society was organized about forty years ago, by Rev. V. M. Coryell.
Religious services were held in a school-house for many years, but, in 1853, a neat church edifice was built near the residence of Walter Lyon, Jr. This gentleman, with his brother, the late Wheeler Lyon, Esq., Carlton Kent, and Andrew Giddings, were chiefly instrumental in,its erection, though the community, in general, were liberal in their contributions to it.
In 1851 or 1852 there was a Freewill Baptist church erected about half a mile north of the Methodist church. Most of the church members have died or moved away, and the house is now unoccupied except on funerals or extra occasions.
A Bible Society, in connection with Clifford, was formed at an early day ; Sabbath schools and temperance societies were also formed and have been continued ever since. They have changed somewhat in form, but not in substance. The Herrick
¹ From E. L. Bailey's Hist. of Abington Association.
174 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Anti-Slavery Society was organized in 1838: Martial Dimmick, President, and Grandison Burritt, and Day. W. Halsted, Vice-Presidents.
Politically, the township was democratic until 1830.
While Herrick was a part of Gibson, in 1814, the heaviest tax-payers in the former were of the Kent family; after the separation, they were Samuel Benjamin, a tavern keeper, and Walter Lyon, Sr.
Within the last thirty years, nine Welsh families have located in Herrick, though they are considered as belonging to " the settlement," whose members are principally in Clifford and Gibson.
IN November, 1807, the court of Luzerne County granted (" Nisi") the petition of John Tyler and others for a new township from the north part of Nicholson, seven and a half miles wide and six and a half long, to be called Harford; but this grant was not " finally" confirmed until January, 1808. The name was varied from Hartford, at the suggestion of Laban Capron, to make the orthography of the word correspond with its customary pronunciation. A petition had been presented to the court as early as 1796 by the same parties, "inhabitants of a place called Nine Partners," praying to be set off into a new township, and commissioners were appointed to examine whether the same was necessary. Their report, January 17, 1797, was favorable to the petitioners, and the following boundaries were described :—
" Beginning at the dwelling-house of Mr. Amos Sweet, then running on a straight line north till within five miles of the line of Willingborough, then turning a corner to the west, running five miles to a corner, thence running seven miles south to a corner, then east five miles, then turning north and running that course until it meets the aforesaid."
Thus making a township seven miles north and south by five miles east and west, which was to be called Stockfield ; but no further record is found respecting it.
In the eleven years that elapsed before the " Nine Partners" secured township privileges, the settlers between them and Willingborough had also petitioned for the township of New Milford; and this occasioned an alteration in the boundaries proposed by the former, when at last their object was virtually
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 175
attained. The north line was then established on that of Nicholson, two or three miles south of the one given in the report of the first commissioners, and the center was essentially different, many new families having been added to the settlement. The western boundary of Harford is Martin's Creek, a tributary to the Tunkhaunock, like every stream in the township. Its principal feeder is the outlet of the Three Lakes. Van Winkle's Branch and Nine Partners Creek, in the eastern part, have their principal sources in other townships. Upper Bell Brook rises near the center of Harford Township, in the vicinity of Beaver Meadow, memorable as the birthplace of the settlement. (See diagram.) The brook reached the Tunkhannock in Lenox near the early location of Elisha Bell. Spring Brook, which flows into Martin's Creek at Oakley, was visited by a remarkable flood in the summer of 1870.
The lower of the three lakes, and the larger part of the middle one, with Tingley Lake, a much larger sheet, with a pure sand bottom, and two ponds about three miles west of it, are in the northern part of Harford, while Tyler Lake rests on the top of a hill, and is the pet and pride of the village. The beautiful white pond lily is found here, also in the lower and middle lakes.
In the vicinity of Montrose depot, which is in the northeast corner of Harford Township, a rare variety of the mullein (Verbascum thapsus—white-flowered) was found by Rev. II. A. Riley, of Montrose. A German work, written in Latin, describes the plant, but it is known to but few American botanists.
The timber is principally beech and maple. In the early years of the settlement, pines four feet in diameter at the ground and sixty feet high beneath the lowest limb, were common, and were of great service in building. Shingles were made from them three feet long, the roofs being ribbed, that is, the shingles were held on by poles fastened at the ends of the roofs.
The township is uneven, but the soil is very fertile. A graft put in a plum-tree by Milbourn Oakley, in the spring of 1868, had grown eight feet and six inches before December following.
The following four pages are compiled principally from the Historical Discourse of Rev. A. Miller :—
In the fall and winter of 1789 several young men, afterwards its first settlers, were deliberating together in Attleborough, Massachusetts, on the subject of emigrating from the place of their nativity. Most of them were unmarried and unsettled, but several were married and proprietors of small farms. The difficulty of obtaining near home and from their own resources an adequate supply of land, urged them to seek ampler room in some new region and on cheaper soil. A company of nine concluded to enter upon the adventure in the spring. They were Hosea Tiffany, Caleb Richardson, Ezekiel Titus,
176 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Robert Follet, John Carpenter, Moses Thacher, Daniel Carpenter, Samuel Thacher, and Josiah Carpenter.
Messrs. Tiffany, Titus, and Follet were married. Mr. Tiffany only was over thirty years of age; the others were mostly under twenty-five.
They left Attleborough by two different routes on the 27th and 29th of April, 1790, to meet. at West Stockbridge; thence they proceeded via Kin-derhook, to Albany, New York. Information was sought of the Surveyor-General. He suggested Canajoharie, Herkimer, and German Flats as inviting fields, or, if not suited there, Cherry Valley, or some towns soon to be surveyed west of the Unadilla. Reports of the sickliness of the otherwise most attractive portion of the Mohawk Valley, induced them to turn aside from the river at Canajoharie and proceed to Cherry Valley. Here they were strongly inclined to settle. But, visiting William Cooper at the outlet of Otsego Lake, they were invited to pass down the Susquehanna in a boat with him in a few days, free of expense, to view lands of which he had the agency, lying about one hundred miles south. To this southerly movement consent was given the more readily in hope of finding the climate warmer, as a settler at Cherry Valley had stated that during five years of his residence there, not a month had passed without frost.
Passing down the river they arrived at the Great Bend, May 16th. Here they foun a few families, with whom they remained the next day, which was the Sabbath, and attended worship. On Monday. with Mr. Cooper, surveyor, and others, they proceeded into the wilderness in a southern direction. On Tuesday, the 19th, they reached the Beaver Meadow, and having found near it a good spring of water, they erected a bark cabin, the first dwelling constructed or occupied here by the white man- (The first log house was afterwards built under the hill, between the house of Captain Asahel Sweet and the village-) The emigrants found snow, on their way from Massachusetts, one and a half feet deep ; on their arrival in Pennsylvania, the trees were in full leaf, and the ground covered nearly everywhere with leeks or wild onions.
After some days had been spent in viewing the vicinity, a tract four miles long and one mile wide was purchased for £1198. By a subsequent arrange-
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 177
meat with Mr. Drinker, the landholder, their joint obligation for the wholesale purchase was cancelled, and each individual became responsible for his own possessions.
The corner of the tract was near the spring mentioned thence a line ran northwest one mile, and thence four miles northeast. The centre of a parallelogram with these sides, would fall a short distance southwest of the Congregational church in Harford village. The writings were drawn and signed on a hemlock stump, May 22d, 1790.
At that time, Northern Pennsylvania, and the adjacent parts of New York, presented, with little exception, the solitude of an immense wilderness. Between Harmony and the mouth of Snake Creek, about a dozen families had located but a year or two previous. Another small settlement, styled " the Irish Settlement," had been made at Hopbottom, now Brooklyn ; and another fifteen or twenty miles south, at Thornbottom, below the present county line.
From neither of these could our adventurers expect an adequate supply of provisions, if they should continue through the summer.
Wilkes-Barre, and a "French settlement" on the Susquehanna, below Towanda, were the nearest places on which they could depend ; and to reach these, a wilderness of forty or fifty miles must be traversed, without beasts of burden and without even a path.
These considerations determined their return to Attleborough to secure their harvests. From the diary of Caleb Richardson, r., we learn that the following agreement was made in the spring of 1790, after the return of the purchasers to Massachusetts :—
“To run a centre line lengthwise, which should be 160 rods from the exterior lines; then beginning at the northeast end and going upon the centre line 150 rods, would make two lots of 150 acres each ; and to proceed until they should have sixteen lots—eight on each side of the centre line—the remainder at the southwest end to remain as public property to the company. Then, to apportion each man's share, it was agreed to make sixteen paper tickets to represent and designate the sixteen lots, and to let each man draw for himself two lots, and upon going back in the fall, and viewing the land, each man to make his choice of the two he had drawn. Then, for adjusting the remaining eight lots, it was agreed that he who, in the candid judgment of the company, had the poorest lot of the eight already chosen, should have his choice out of the remaining eight lots ; and to proceed in this way until the whole should be disposed of."
This was eventually done to general satisfaction.
In the fall of the same year, nearly all returned, accompanied by several others. They brought with them an ox-team, tools, clothing, provisions, etc. Having labored awhile they left again, late in the season.
The spring of 1791 found most of them on their land, clearing and cultivating. In the fall they returned to Attleborough. About that time the settlement became extensively known by the name of "Nine Partners," from the fact that the original purchase was made by nine partners, though only eight returned to share the first division.
On the 2d of February, 1792, Hosea Tiffany and wife, with their children, Hosea, Amos, and Nancy ; and Robert Follett. wife, and daughter Lucy, left Attleborough with ox-teams and reached the settlement the first week in March. In this company were the first white women who visited this place. A considerable number of persons were on the ground, without families, during the season. Among these was Joseph Stearns, who occupied what was afterwards known as the John Tyler farm. He was from Tolland Co., Conn., and returned there in the fall for his family, and on his way back to Nine Partners, he stopped at Mount Pleasant, and remained there ; but his sons Otis and Ira afterwards became residents of Harford and Gibson. Ira Stearns died in Harford December, 1870, in the 80th year of his age.
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178 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
The supply of provisions raised was insufficient for all. Grain or flour was procured even from the French settlement" or from Wilkes-Barre, on horseback, and sometimes nearly that distance by hand- For several years after this, the nearest mill was in the vicinity of Binghamton. The stump at the door, excavated to form a large mortar, was often the most convenient substitute for the mill, in the preparation of a scanty measure of grain for food. It will not appear at all surprising that the settlers of some of the first years did, at times at least, find themselves uncomfortably straitened in their necessary articles of food, both as respects variety and quantity. Except for the abundance of deer, they would often have suffered severely.
In the spring of 1794, the additions to the settlement were : Laban Capron, wife, and children—Wheton, Nancy, and Hannah; Thomas Sweet, wife, and daughter Charlotte ; John Carpenter, wife, and son John ; Samuel Thacher, wife, and son Daniel C. ; also John Tyler, Jr., and Dr. Comfort Capron.
In the fall of that year, John Tyler and wife, and their children, Job, Joab, Achsah, and Jabez; and Thomas Tiffany, wife, and children — Lorinda, Alfred, Thomas, Pelatiah, Tingley, Dalton, and Lewis. They came from the Delaware to the Susquehanna at the rate of ten miles per day, over a road cut out without being worked. The Tylers were three weeks on the journey.
In the fall of 1795, Amos Sweet, wife, and children, Asahel, Stephen, Oney. Polly, and Nancy; Ezekiel Titus, wife, and children—Leonard, Richardson, Preston, and Sophia—and Ezra Carpenter.
To these were added the same year or years immediately succeeding, Elkanah Tingley, Obadiah Carpenter and sons, Obadiah and Elias ; Joseph Blanding, Obadiah Thacher, John Thacher, Moses Thacher, Abel Reed, Thomas Wilmarth, Noah Fuller, Nathaniel Claflin, and others.
All the accessions previous to 1800, it is believed, were directly or indirectly from Attleborough, except Jotham Oakley, who came from Thorn-bottom, and was a native of Dutchess Co., N. Y.
Most of the settlers of Attleborough, Mass., were from Attle-borough, Norfolk Co., England.
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John Tyler, son of Captain John Tyler of Mass., was born in Attleborough in 1746, and belonged to a line of John and Job 'Tylers of several generations, who were descended from Job Tyler of Andover, England. The sons of John Tyler were John, Job, Joab, and Jabez. The first-mentioned and four sisters (married) were already in Pennsylvania when their parents came in the fall of 1794, with the remaining daughter and sons.
John Tyler was chosen to fill the office of deacon by the Harford church, April, 1803, and after his removal to what is now Ararat, he served also in the same capacity ; in each case being the first elected by the church. He was from an early day the agent of Henry Drinker in the disposal of lands on the head-waters of the Tunkhannock and Lackawanna. This, with his position in the church, and with somewhat larger means than most of those around him, gave him influence, while his wife Mercy, by her untiring and unselfish efforts in behalf of the sick, far and near, gained as much, or more, in the sphere allotted her. The volunteer testimony of two of the oldest physicians of the county now living, is sufficient to endorse her skill as a practitioner in the specialities she adopted. (Dr. E. Parker, now of Luzerne County, and Dr. Streeter.)
Dea. Tyler died in Gibson (now Ararat) in 1822, at the age of 77. His son John, at Harford, in 1857, aged 80. Colonel Job Tyler, the same year, in New Milford, aged 77. Dea. Jabez Tyler in Ararat, April, 1864, aged also 77. John W., only son of John Tyler, r., died in 1833.
Dea. Joab Tyler (of whom we give a portrait) upon the removal of his father to Ararat in 1810, took his farm in Harford, and his place eventually, in civil and religious affairs. He contributed freely to the erection of church and school-houses, and built miles of turnpike and plank road from his own means. To his public spirit Harford owed much of its growth and prosperity. At a great pecuniary sacrifice, early in the temperance reformation, he bought out his partners in the distillery business, and stopped the sale of its spirit-ous products. He died and was buried in Amherst, Mass., Jan. 1869, in his 84th year.
All the sons and nearly all the grandsons of Joab Tyler were educated at Amherst College ; an institution which for forty years was daily remembered in his prayers. Of his sons, Susquehanna County may well be proud ; each filling a post of widely honored usefulness. One died on the coast of Labrador while in pursuit of health.
In his reminiscences of Harford, one of them mentions having once seen fourteen wolves troop across his father's farm, in broad daylight. Deer grazed like cattle quietly in the meadow till the hunter's rifle brought them low.
John Carpenter, Sen., was a son-in-law of John Tyler; one o1 his grandsons, C. C. Carpenter, is now governor of Iowa.
The ancestor of the Richardsons of this county emigrated from England about the year 1666, and settled in Woburn; Mass. The next generation moved to Attleborough, in the same Suette, where the family became numerous. Caleb Rich. ardson, a son of Stephen, of Attleborough, and a great-grand. son of the first settler of Woburn, was one of the nine partners of Harford. He had been a soldier in the French War of 1765, and traversed the Mohawk before any settlements were made upon it. He went with Gen. Bradstreet in his expedition down the Oswego River, and across Lake Ontario to the taking of Frontenac, at the outlet of the lake. He was a captain in the war of the Revolution, had command and
180 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
held the fort where the Battery is now in New York city, while Gen. Washington retreated from New York. After the war he was acting justice of the peace in his native town. He came in the spring of 1790, with eight others, to Susquehanna County, and was the only one of the nine partners who did not return to settle upon the purchase then made. He came, however, eighteen years later (1808) and died in Harford in 1823. His wife was a sister of Hosea Tiffany.
His son Caleb became justice of the peace in Attleborough, upon the expiration of his father's appointment, and was elected deacon of the church to which he then belonged. Deacon Richardson came to Harford in 1806, and was elected deacon of the Cong. Church here, Oct. 1810, and retained his office to the close of his life. He died April 1838, aged seventy-six. The year previous to his death he wrote for his grandson, C. J. Richardson, a history of the Nine Partners' Settlement, to which the present history is largely indebted. He had five sons.
The eldest, Rev. Lyman Richardson, was a distinguished educator, and was, for many years, at the head of the literary institution at Harford, and was connected with it about forty years. Dr. Edward S., Rev. Willard Richardson, of Delaware, and N. Maria, were the children of his first marriage, E. K. Richardson, Principal of the New Milford Graded School, George Lee, and Lyman E. by his second marriage. The eldest and the two youngest sons are deceased.
Lee, the second son of Caleb R. was a deacon and colonel of militia. He died in 1833. He also had five sons : Dr. Wm. L. (of Montrose), Ebenr., Stephen J., Wellington J., and C. Judson Richardson of Chicago.
Caleb Coy, the third son of Caleb, is the only one living.
Preston, the fourth son, was an alumnus of Hamilton College and .a member of Auburn Theological Seminary, which he was forced to leave on account of pulmonary hemorrhage. He spent the residue of his life in establishing the school at Harford, where he died in 1836. His only son died before him.
" Dr. Braton Richardson, the youngest son, passing the days of his boyhood in a new country, was, to a great extent, deprived of the literary advantages which have sprung up with the progress and growth of the people; yet his education was not neglected, for around his father's fireside, he and his brothers diligently prosecuted their studies.
" In 1825 he commenced the study of medicine with Dr. Thomas Sweet, of Wayne County. In 1828-29 he was a student in the office of Dr. Charles Marshall, at Newton, Sussex County, N. J. He attended two courses of lectures at the Western District Medical College, and received the degree of M.D. at Albany in 1834. He commenced practice at Carbondale, Pa., in 1829, continuing there one year, when he removed to Brooklyn, Susquehanna County. In September, 1840, he married Lucy C. Miles, of the same place,
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and was there for a third or a century engaged in an extensive and successfu practice, until prostrated by the brief illness which terminated in his dead on the 20th day of March, 1864. He had no children.
" As a physician, Dr. Richardson was in the foremost rank of the professior in Susquehanna County. He despised quackery out of the profession or it it, and was a zealous supporter of medical organization for its suppression. He was remarkable for his punctuality in all appointments, and whenever absent or tardy, it was well known there must be a good reason for it. For several years he represented the County Society at the State Society, o which he was one of the Censors, and twice attended the American Medica Association as a delegate." [From Biography in Transactions of State Medical Society.]
A blacksmith's shop was erected by Amos Sweet, in 1795 a grist-mill, in 1796, by a Mr. Halstead (who died early), in the southern part of the settlement, where Harding's mills now stand; a paw-mill, by Messrs. Tiffany, Fallet, and Elias Carpenter, in 1800, about one hundred rods southeasterly from the village graveyard; a fulling-mill, in 1810, by Rufus Kingsley; on Martin's Creek; and in the same year a carding-machine, by Elkanah Tingley, where D. K. Oakley now has a mill, two miles below Kingsley's.
The road to Martin's Creek " from near Van Winkle's mill; on the Brace Road," was laid out in 1800. " The inhabited part of the Beechwoods.' was now open. As early as 1793, a road had been surveyed " from the Stockport road in Nine Partners to the road called Harding's, in Thornbottom;" it waE laid out the following year, and was seven miles in length.
[The writer is at a loss to understand the use of the terms "Brace Road" and " Stockport Road," in this vicinity. The latter may simply have led to the road of that name in Har. mony ; the Brace Road of earliest mention was not supposed, tc reach so far west.]
In 1798 another, from the State line " near the 19th mile. stone, via Major Trowbridge's, and thence to the road on the waters of Tunkhannock, 108 perches higher up the creek than the 16th mile-tree on Tunkhannock road." The road from Asahel Sweet's to Solomon Millard's, on the Tunkhannock, waE. ordered in 1800; and the same year, another from Robert Cor. bett's, on the Salt Lick, via Comfort Capron's, to the same point.
In 1798 the township officers of Nicholson (13 miles by 20), included E. Bartlett, S. Thatcher, E. Stephens, Potter, Casey, Tiffany, Millard, and T. Sweet. In 1797 H. Tiffany was poor. master. In 1800 Major Trowbridge was collector for Willing borough and Nine Partners. At the first election of officer; after the erection of the township of Harford, 33 votes were polled.
A military organization was required in 1798 or 1799. Obadiah Carpenter was the first officer.
Thomas Tiffany was commissioned justice of the peace it
182 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
1799 ; and Hosea Tiffany two or threeyears afterwards, the former having resigned. On the erection of Susquehanna County, this commission became void.
Capt. Asahel Sweet,¹ now (1869) ninety-two years of age, is able to recall the following incident, which occurred about 1800 :—
He started with his oxen and cart to carry grain to Hallstead's mills, at Thornbottom. At Rynearson's (in Lenox), he reached the end of the road, and was obliged to push into the stream and travel down it five miles, until he reached Marcy's sawmill, where the water in the race was so deep he had to betake himself again to the shore but from this point there was a road which he followed two miles to the grist-mill. Returning, he retraced his course up the stream five miles. The weather was warm.
He was married January 1, 1801, and moved in April following to the farm ever since occupied by him. His enterprise procured the first cannon in the county. On one occasion he hid it in the "Pulk" to keep it from being carried off to Wilkes-Barre. The Harford artillery was often in requisition in other places on Independence Day.
Nathan Maxon, from R. I., settled in 1800 on the farm where Almon Tingley lives. His daughter, Mrs. Leonard Titus, now (1869) 81 years of age, has spun 13 of 14 lbs. of wool during the past summer, besides knitting five pairs of socks. In the olden time, when 30 knots of linen thread were a day's work, her week's work was accomplished in five days. This was the ambition of " the girl of that period."
Jacob Blake was here about 1802 or 3. He died in 1849, aged 74.
Rufus Kingsley came in 1809, from Windham, Conn. He had been a drummer in the battle of Bunker Hill. His farm was the one since owned by his son John at Kingsley's station on the Del. L. and W. R. R.
Thos. Wilmarth was the first constable (1808 ?).
In 1810 there were 477 inhabitants; in 1820, 641, and in 1830, 999.
The first store in Harford village was on the corner, northwest of Dr. Streeter's, kept by a Mr. Griswold, as early as the fall of 1812 or spring of 1813. At that time Joab Tyler lived above Dr. S., on the brow of the hill. Joab T. and Laban Capron were commissioned J. P.'s in 1813. Mr. Capron resigned
¹ He died March 13, 1872, aged nearly ninety-fcur and a half years. The ccmpiler considers her interview with him (in 1869) one of the greatest privileges of her route through the county, permitting the remembrance of a beautiful picture of old age, confiding in the ministry of a daughter, who fcr eighteen years occupied the house alone with him.
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soon after, and Hosea Tiffany, Jr., was commissioned. He resigned in 1826, and was followed by Samuel E. Kingsbury. Mr. K. died in 1831, and 'Hosea Tiffany was re-commissioned. Mr. T. died in 1836, and was followed by Payson Kingsbury. Mr. K. resigned in 1839, and John Blanding was commissioned. Since 1840, under the new Constitution, John Blanding and Amherst Carpenter were the first justices elected.
Dr. Comfort Capron commenced the practice of medicine in Harford (then Tioga township), in 1794, and continued to practice until his death in 1800, at the age of 56 years.
Mrs. Mercy Tyler used to ride on horseback for miles around to visit the sick. " On one occasion a person was very sick, when the snow was so deep Mrs. T. could not go on horseback ; but so very important was her attendance considered, and so much confidence prevailed in her skill, that four stalwart men volunteered to bring her on their shoulders. Strapping on their snow-shoes they proceeded to Mrs. Tyler's house, wrapped her up in a blanket, and carried her on their shoulders to the house of her patient."
Dr. Luce came in 1808, but removed after a few years. Dr. Horace Griswold came and left prior to 1812.
Dr. Streeter, a native of Connecticut, came to Harford from Cheshire, N. H., in 1812. He was, at first, in the west part of the town, with Obadiah Carpenter; but after his marriage (to a granddaughter of Dr. Capron) he removed to the house previously occupied by Robert Follet, about a hundred rods above his present location. Here he remained while he built what is now the middle part of his residence. His ride extended into Brooklyn, Lenox, Clifford, Herrick, Gibson, Jackson, Ararat, Thomson, Harmony, New Milford, and Great Bend. At the latter place several physicians had successively settled, but only one or two were there in 1813, and for years after. Dr. Chandler, of Gibson, confined himself to specialities, and Dr. Mason Denison, who had established himself at Brooklyn, left after two or three years. Dr. S. continued to practice over forty years, and now, at the age of 87 (1872), attended by two daughters (the third removed), enjoys his well-earned rest, among the people to whom his virtues and his services have endeared him. His eldest son, Hon. Farris B. Streeter, is President Judge of the XIIIth Judicial District of Pennsylvania, and resides at Towanda; his second son, Hon. Everett Streeter, was at the time of his death, a judge in Nebraska. The youngest, Rienzi, resides in Colorado.
Dr. Clark Dickerman, came to Harford in 1832, and remained in the practice of his profession until his death in 1853. With-
184 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
in the last fifteen years, Drs. Edwards, Gamble, and Tiffany, natives of the place, have been its physicians : the last has deceased.
Dr. E. N. Loomis is an eclectic physician.
Harford has furnished other places with physicians from among her sons, of whom we can mention Thomas Sweet, of Carbondale, Daniel Seaver, Braton Richardson, late of Brooklyn township, W. L. Richardson, of Montrose, Edward S. Richardson (deceased), Lorin Very, of Centreville, La., Asahel Tiffany, of Milwaukee, Wis.; William Alexander, of Dundaff; Henry A Tingley and James D. Leslie, of Susquehanna Depot.
The common school from 1794 ; a church organized in 1800, and still efficient ; a library of historical works, and others of a substantial character, begun in 1807, and read with care and interest ; a select school established in 1817, merged into an Academy in 1830, and still later into a University ;—may all be reckoned as having had powerful influences bearing upon the earlier and best interests of the people of Harford, and by no means confined to them. We have but to inscribe the name of RICHARDSON to represent the honored instructors of many youths in Harford, of whom not a few have since been written in the roll of fame,--and better, that of usefulness.
We append on the next page an illustration of the Harford Academy. The buildings, with some alterations made by C. W. Deans, Esq., are now used as a Soldiers' Orphan School.
The early settlers were characterized by industry, frugality, morality, and mutual kind feeling. Hardly distinguished in interest or employment, or temporal circumstances, they found at each other's rude cabins a homely but cordial entertainment. Remote from public roads, they were mostly shut in from the rest of the world, and for a time knew little of its agitations. For nearly ten years they were also left undisturbed by taxes Dr military duties ; and entirely overlooked by the officers of justice in the immense district of which this section formed s part.
The power of moral training, and of public opinion, were their officers and exactors.
" During the first four years, not a professor of religion settled in Nine Partners. Still the Sabbath found them resting from their labors. Nor was the day devoted to hunting or public amusements. Three of them, whc during the second season occupied one cabin, were several times annoyed by the visits of some one, perhaps from a neighboring settlement, of Taxer view: respecting the sanctity of the Sabbath. On a repetition of the visit, it ww proposed to read aloud from what they styled good and interesting book, for mutual edification. The expedient was successful, and was the beginning Df a practice continued through the season. 'Phis may be accounted the firs
186 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
approach to the form of any part of social worship attempted in the settlement.
"Among the settlers of 1794-5, were several professors of religion. In the fall of 1794 they were visited by Rev. Mr. Buck, then preaching at Windsor, N. Y., and at Great Bend. The visit was soon repeated. His sermons, the first heard in the place, were preached in a bark-covered cabin, which stood in the field a short distance northwesterly from the Congregational church. A 'reading meeting' was then by vote determined upon ; and on motion of Ezekiel Titus, John Tyler was appointed to conduct it. These meetings were sometimes at Amos Sweet's, but oftener at Deacon (John) Tyler's—the red house now standing some rods west of the residence of H. M. Jones, but then on the site of the latter. They were held regularly every Sabbath ; the Scriptures and sermons were read, and, with singing and prayer, constituted the humble public worship of the day."
A recent writer says :—
" These reading meetings' (continued one-fourth of a century) were transferred in 1806 to a one-story meeting-house (no spire) ; afterwards to a church with steeple and a pulpit half as high as the steeple, with a great east window behind the pulpit; and, not a deacon but a reverend, was seen there 'standing in the sun.'"
A missionary named Smith preached in Harford a few times; afterwards a Mr. Bolton, an Irishman, was employed to labor for a time. A Mr. Thacher paid them a transient visit or two, and organized a society, but it never went into operation. The missionary visits of Rev. Messrs. Asa Hillier, David Porter, and others, are remembered with interest.
A Congregational church was organized June 15, 1800, by Rev. Jedediah Chapman, a missionary from New Jersey, sent by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. It consisted of seven members, viz.: Obadiah Carpenter and his wife, Ama, John Tyler and his wife, Mercy, John Thacher, Mercy Carpenter, wife of 0. Carpenter, Jr., and Miss Mary Thacher ; all having letters from the Congregational church in Attie-borough, of which Rev. Peter Thacher (father of Mrs. Mercy Tyler) was pastor.
The first revival occurred in the winter of 1802-3, under the labors of Rev. Seth Williston, in the seryice of the Missionary Society of Connecticut.
Joseph Blanding was the first convert. He came to the settlement in 1794, and remained here until his death, in 1848, in the eighty-second year of his age.
From 1803-10 the church had an occasional sermon from missionaries passing through this section. In 1806, a small meeting housewenty-two feet by thirty—had been erected on land given by Hosea Tiffany and son ; it was afterwards removed across the road, and now forms a part of the residence of Miss Lucina Farrar.
In the winter of 1808-9, occurred the second revival, which was one of great power. Meetings were held almost daily—
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some of them in what is now Brooklyn and Gibson—then considered within the bounds of the same church. Distance, darkness, and bad roads were no obstruction to the gathering of religious assemblies anywhere. The services were conducted principally by Rev. Mr. Griswold, of West Hartwick, N. Y., and Rev. Joel T. Benedict, of Franklin, N. Y. The latter remained only four or five weeks; the former, for awhile afterwards. In July following, forty-three persons united with the church, Mr. Benedict returning to officiate on the occasion.
Rev. Ebenezer Kingsbury, who had been pastor of a church in Vermont, visited Harford, and received a call to settle, February 21, 1810. He was installed in August following, and was then nearly fifty years of age. His pastoral labors here continued seventeen years, and were crowned with success ; several seasons of special religious interest occurring. In these he was sometimes assisted by Rev. Messrs. York and E. Conger; and the then " new measure" of visiting from house to house by the elders was practiced.
He was a native of Coventry, Conn. He graduated at Yale College in 1783, and studied theology with Dr. Backus, of Somers, Conn. His labors, under the auspices of the Missionary Society of Connecticut, began in this county in 1808, and were continued, half the time, during his pastorship, and for seyeral years afterwards, with feeble churches.
He travelled over a large part of the counties of Susquehanna, Bradford, Luzerne, and Wayne, on horseback, by marked trees and bridle-paths, preaching in log-cabins, barns, and schoolhouses (of which there were a very few at that time), and assisted at the formation of nearly all the churches in this region. He was everywhere esteemed. He had four sons who lived to manhood, of whom E. Kingsbury, Jr., was a lawyer, and afterwards, speaker of the State Senate. Payson K. was several years a deacon in the Harford church. He died in 1843. Williston K.'s funeral sermon was the first sermon preached in the present house of worship, in 1822—long before it was finished and dedicated.
Samuel Ely K. became justice of the peace in Harford.
Rev. E. Kingsbury's death occurred at Harford, March, 1842, in the eightieth year of his age. His widow died in 1859, at the age of eighty-eight. Her house was ever open to "the sons and daughters of want."
The successor of Rev. E. Kingsbury in the Harford pulpit was the Rey. Adam Miller, who began his labors there in 1828; was installed April 28, 1830, by the Susquehanna Presbytery, having been ordained in the interval. In 1872, he is still at his post, having had the longest pastorate of any one in the county.
188 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Seven hundred and ten persons have been connected with the church since its organization ; and it is not too much to attribute to its influence very much of the prosperity, intelligence, and high standard of morals that have ever characterized the township. Sabbath-school instruction was commenced about 1816.
The people of Harford were forward in the temperance reformation, in the cause of anti-slavery, and in various objects of Christian enterprise-foreign and domestic missions, education for the ministry, and distribution of Bibles and tracts.
From the Congregational church the following persons have been furnished for the gospel ministry:-
Revs. Lyman, Willard, and Preston Richardson; Washington, Moses, and Tyler Thacher; William S. and Wellington H. Tyler.
In 1821, Miss Hannah Thacher, daughter of Obadiah Thacher, joined the Choctaw Mission, and while there became the wife of Dr. W. W. Pride. The health of the latter failed, and they returned to Susquehanna County. [See Gibson and Springville.]
In 1823, Miss Philena Thacher, a sister of Mrs. Pride, joined the same mission, married the Rev. B. B. Hotchkin, and remained in the nation until her death.
Respecting the. Harford Baptist church, the record says :-
"June 6, 1806, brother Thomas Harding, sister Hannah Harding, brother Abijah Sturdevant, and sister Polly Sturdevant thought proper to meet every Lord's day for to worship God, not having the privilege of meeting with the church at Exeter, to which we belonged ; Elder Davis Dimock being the pastor." In August, 1809, the four had increased to fifteen; in 1810, they first celebrated the Lord's Supper; in 1812, when recognized as a church, they numbered twenty members. The place of worship was at the old mill-site, in the southeast part of the town, generally called "Harding's," and at school and private houses throughout the neighborhood. The formation of neighboring churches often weakened the membership, and, in 1841, the church was reported to the association as having disbanded.
In 1853, however, a revival was enjoyed, the church was reorganized with twelve members, and the same day (22d Dec.), a neat house of worship was dedicated, near the Harding mills. The church has never enjoyed much pastoral labor. Some of the Baptists in Harford township are members of the West Lenox and New Milford churches.
The Universalist denomination has always been numerous in Harford, and formerly a minister was sustained among them one-half of the time; but they never erected a house of worship, and at present most of the denomination are connected with the societies of Brooklyn and Gibson.
Within a few years the Methodists have erected a neat church at Harford village.
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The marriage of Orlen Capron to Ama Carpenter, October, 1798, was the first in the settlement. The first birth was that of Robert Follet's son Lewis (who died young), September, 1794; the first death, that of an infant daughter of the same, and whose burial was the first in the village graveyard, December, 1796. The first adult interred was Dr. Capron, June, 1800.
Henry Drinker, of Philadelphia, gave a deed, December 6, 1803, for one acre as a burial-ground, for the use of families within three miles of it. Hosea Tiffany and his son Amos, by their deed, September, 1824, annexed seventy-five perches on the northeast side of the lot, and the whole is now enclosed with stone-wall. Mr. Drinker also gave fifty acres in the northern part of the town for " a ministerial lot ;" in 1830 or 1831 this land was sold, and the avails were applied to the erection of the Congregational parsonage, adjoining the late residence of Joab Tyler, Esq., one-fourth of an acre being donated by him for that purpose.
Eight of the " nine partners" were living in 1830, forty years after their first visit to the beechwoods of Pennsylyania. In 1844 only two remained, and in 1872 all are gone. Robert Follet died June, 1809, aged forty-one years; Caleb Richardson in 1823; Hosea Tiffany, April, 1833; Samuel Thacher, October, 1833 ; Daniel Carpenter, in Massachusetts, 1835 ; John Carpenter, 1838 ; Josiah Carpenter, in Massachusetts; Moses Thacher, in Massachusetts; Ezekiel Titus, 1846. (?)
Others of the early settlers died as follows: Obadiah Carpenter in 1810, aged sixty-eight; Asa Very in 1829, aged fifty-three ; Nathaniel Jeffries in 1833, aged seventy-one; Thomas Tiffany in 1835, aged seyenty-eight; Abel Rice in 1837, aged seventy-seven ; William Coonrod in 1837, aged eighty-four ; Obadiah Thacher in 1838, aged eighty ; Elkanah Tingley in 1838, aged seventy-eight; Aaron Greenwood in 1845, aged sixty-four ; Rufus Kingsley in 1846, aged eighty-four, and his wife, aged seventy-nine; Samuel. Guile in 1847, aged sixty-five; Abel Read in 1857, aged eighty-nine; Amos Tiffany in 1857, aged seventy-two ; Eliab Farrar in 1858, aged eighty-five ; Austin Jones in 1861, aged seventy-three ; Asaph Fuller in 1868, aged ninety-two.
In 1868 there were in Harford fifty-four persons aged over seventy ; fourteen over eighty;¹ and one (A. Sweet) over ninety.
¹ Mrs. Hannah Guile, one of this number, died January 3, 1871, aged eighty-seven. Of her eleven children, seven are living ; of forty-eight grandchildren, thirty are living ; of fifty great-grandchildren, thirty-seven are living.
190 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
John Gilbert died February, 1869, aged over eighty. He had lived on the same farm in Harford for fifty-five years.
Of the very few men of our county who lived over a century, one was John Adams, a native of Massachusetts, and a Revolutionary soldier, who came to Harford in 1837. He was then ninety-two, but it was his wish to spend his last days with his son James, who came here several years previous.
Often, after his one hundredth year, he made (and made well) a pair of shoes in a day. Four letters written by him when he was one hundred and one years old, and published before his death in a Massachusetts paper, have been preserved ; they evince a wonderful retention of mental faculties, cultivated and improved after his maturity, his early advantages being but few. He died in 1849, aged one hundred and four years, one month, and four days.
Several cases of death by drowning have occurred in the different lakes of the township; and one woman, Esther More, was .burned to death in May, 1829, when Elias Carpenter's house was burned.
The first inhabitants found a source of revenue in making sugar, but more by raising neat cattle; a yoke of good oxen would sell at $80 or $100 during the first twenty years after the settlement. The demand was occasioned by the lumbering business, then carried on extensively upon the Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers.
Major Laban Capron was the first post-master.
Hosea Tiffany, Esq., had been a Revolutionary soldier, and was afterwards a pensioner. His first log-cabin stood on the ground now occupied by the Congregational church ; his garden is now the graveyard. His daughter Nancy was married New Year's, 1800, to Captain Asahel Sweet. She was once greatly frightened by wolves which had been attracted by the smell of the blood of a sheep her husband had killed and brought into the cabin. The night following, when he was in the sugar-camp, a mile or more from home, Mrs. S., who was with her children in the house, heard wild animals tramping around, and she was fearful they would reach the roof; a low sloping one, and effect an entrance through the hole left for a chimney. She did not lose her presence of mind, but took straw from her bed, and during the night threw it upon the fire by handfuls, thus keeping them at bay until dawn, when to her inexpressible relief she heard them leave.
An amusing story is told of Hosea Tiffany as justice of the peace. He had married a couple, and, soon after, being dissatisfied with each other, they came to him to inquire if he would un-marry them. "Oh, yes !" said he, and invited them them to step outside a moment. Taking his ax and putting his foot on a log,
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he said, " Let the one who wants to be unmarried first, lay the head there !" In 1800 he brought in a barrel of cider, the first in town, for which he paid $8 ; its sale netted him six cents profit. The apple-tree at first did not thrive well, but in later years there was and is a good share of orcharding.
In 1810 the first cider-mill was erected on land of H. Tiffany, and the first cider was sold for $3 or $4 per barrel.
In 1827 Thos. Tiffany's orchard yielded 1400 bushels of apples.
In 1830 Elkanah Tingley made one hundred barrels of cider.
The year 1833 was a remarkably fruitful one.
A MOVEMENT was made, November, 1812, to divide the township of Clifford, then thirteen miles on the east line of the county, by nine miles east and west; and the first court of Susquehanna County was petitioned to erect the northern half of it into a new township to be called Gibson. This name was designed to commemorate that of the late Hon. John B. Gibson, at that time president judge of the district of which this county forms a part.
It appears that, contrary to the original intention, the west line of Gibson was extended about a mile beyond that of Clifford, making the township ten miles east and west. This took from Harford twenty-two taxables, and about a mile square from the territory of Lenox. Against the latter encroachment a remonstrance was soon presented, but the court declined making a review of the township lines on account of the low state of the treasury, though granting permission for a renewal of the petition at some later period. But no after change in the western boundary appears to have been made. Thus very desirable territory was gained, including " Gibson Hollow," "Kentuck," and a portion of South Gibson.
But the township was then too large and, November, 1814, the court was petitioned to divide it by a line drawn north and south four and a half miles from the western boundary, the new township to be called Bern. Viewers were appointed, but nothing further appears relative to the matter.
One year later another petition was presented, praying to have Gibson divided through the centre from north to south, the " westernmost" part to retain the name of Gibson, and the new town to be called Lawrence.
192 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
But, though there were geographical reasons to justify these requests—East Mountain and the tall peaks of Elk Mountain being nearly in the centre of the .township—ten years appear to have elapsed before a division was made, when Herrick was added to the list of Susquehanna townships. Gibson was then left in nearly its present shape, containing about thirty-six square miles, which have been slightly reduced by small additions to Herrick and Ararat.
East Mountain extends along half of the eastern boundary of Gibson ; and, north of it, the valley of the Tunkhannock is confronted by other heights which skirt those belonging to the "Mount Ararat" of old land-surveys in the adjoining township.
The Tunkhannock Creek, rising in Jackson and Thompson, traverses Gibson diagonally through Gelatt Hollow in the northeast to the southwest corner, where it enters Lenox. With its ten or twelve tributaries, some of which are the outlets of pretty ponds, it forms the whole drainage of the township. Stearns' Lake, in the northern part, covers several acres of elevated ground.
There is no central place of business for the whole township; consequently the stores, manufactures, and mechanics are principally located at five small villages, viz., Burrows' Hollow, Kennedy Hill, South Gibson, Smiley, and Gelatt Hollow. Burrows' Hollow is located on Butler Creek and the old Newburg turnpike, and near the northwest corner of the town ; Smiley, four miles distant on the same road, and the main branch of the Tunkhannock ; Kennedy Hill, at the summit of the ridge between the two creeks; South Gibson, four miles down the creek from Smiley, and near the southwest corner of the town ; Gelatt Hollow, one and a half miles up the creek from Smiley, and near the northeast corner of the township.
The vicinity of Kennedy Mill was the first settled.
It is, probable that Joseph Potter, from Ballston Spa, N. Y., was the first settler within the present limits of Gibson. In 1792 or '93 he lived on the farm now occupied by his grandson, Oliver Potter.(NOTE: He and his wife buried in private cemetery on former Harold Baker farm, now owned by Mrs. Daniel 9/26/1971)
After bringing in his family he returned to Ballston Spa for a short time on business, leaving his family with only a hired man as protector. It was winter, and the cabin was without a door. Mrs. P. did not see a woman's face for the first six months.
Capt. Potter, as he was usually called, afterwards moved a mile further west, to the farm now occupied by his grandsons, Joshua M. and Stephen W. Potter, near the small lake known by his name. He died here after a residence of many years. (NOTE: He and his wife buried in private cemetery on former Harold Baker farm, now owned by Mrs. Daniel 9/26/1971)
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He early kept a public house. His sons were: Noah (NOTE: & wife, Lucinda, buried in private cemetery with Capt. Potter and wife); John, and Parley.
John Belcher, in 1794, came to the farm now owned by Geo. Maxey. It extends west from the Union Hill church, and was formerly owned by George H. Wells, whose name is marked at this place on the county map. Mr. B. lived here until he sold it to Abijah Wells, and removed to Lymanville, in Springville township. His sons were: John, Ira, Hiram, Michael, and
Joshua Jay, a brother-in-law of John Belcher, Sen., must have come about the same time. He built the first grist-mill where Claflin's mill now stands; also, the old " Skyrin house," near the mill, and still standing, which was afterwards the first location of Dr. Chandler. had also a blacksmith shop, but he did not remain here many years before removing to "the lake country," N. Y.
A Mr. Brown is said to have lived here about 1796.
Wright Chamberlin bought a farm of Joshua Jay, May, 1796, on the eastern slope of what was called Putt's Hill, about a mile east of Burrows' Hollow, and here he spent the remainder of his life. He had left Litchfield, Ct., one year previous, and "set out with Denman Coe to visit the State of Pennsylvania." From his diary, now preserved by Silas Chamberlin, we quote the result :—
" I bought a possession at Hopbottom, and on the 11th of June (1795), I set out with Coe's family to carry them into Pennsylvania, and I worked at Hopbottom that year from the 26th day of June until the 8th of September following, when I set out for Litchfield, in order to move my family to Hopbottom. But, as I passed Nine Partners, Mr. John Tyler persuaded me to purchase a possession there. Jan. 21st, A. D. 1796, I bid farewell to the State of Connecticut, and on Feb. 26th, 1796, I arrived with my family in Nine Partners."
In August following he removed his family to his new purchase on Putt's Hill, now in Gibson.
After the death of his first wife in 1797, he married Sally Holdridge, daughter of the first pioneer of Herrick. He had three wives and twenty-lour children. (Some assert that there were twenty-eight in all, but the record closes with the birth of his son Jackson, in 1833.) His first wife's family consisted of seven boys and one girl. Moses C., who died in Gibson, Aug. 1870, at the age of 83, was one of those boys, and was eight years old when his father left Connecticut. James was another, and was the father of Silas Chamberlin, now of New Milford; but who was born in Gibson, and lived here 67 years. There are but three persons surviving who have lived in the township as long as he, viz., the widow of Ezekiel Barnes (a daughter of John Belcher, Sr.), and Corbet Pickering, of South Gibson.
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194 -HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
-Wright Chamberlin, Jr. another brother, lived for many years on the river between Susquehanna De of and Great Bend. He died recently." Wright Chamberlin, Sr., died in 1842, aged 84. He had been a Revolutionary soldier. or many years he was a deacon in the Presbyterian church on Union Hill.
Prior to 1800, he was a licensed " taverner" in his log house on the high ground, a short distance west of Lewis Evans' present house, which he built two or three rods from the house raised by Mr. C., Oct. 1814. At a later date in his diary, he says: "I moved my new house down to the well." The first house stood on the old road, which, in 1807-10, was superseded by the Newburg turnpike.
Our informant says :—
"There was a good deal of travel over it, and Chamberlin's log tavern as not a little frequented. One night the ground fiii(ir (as probably the upper floor), was entirely covered with lodgers, except a narrow passage from the hearth to the outer door, for the accommodation of ' mine host,' who sat up through the night to keep a fire for his weary, slumbering guests. Most of these were loyalists, or rather, as we should say, ' royalists,' from New Jersey, who were going to Canada after the war, to claim the British promise of a farm to the emigrating tories. But there was also a considerable emigration from New England and elsewhere to the ' Holland Purchase' in Western New York.
“This previous route of travel varied considerably, in this section, from the present track of the old Newburg road, from half a mile to a mile south of the former, though in general it had the same well-defined route. Here, instead of going through the gap, as now, at Smiley's, it crossed the ridge of the Tunkhannock Mountain (marked ' East Mt.' on the old county map), south of W. Rezean's present place, and came down near D. Reece's. to the Tunkhannock Creek, a considerable distance below Smiley's ; and, on the west side, up by Thomas Evans' and H. D. Bennett's to the pond of J. Bennett 2d ; thence up the west feeder of the pond, and over the hill a little west of Lewis Evans'. or past the old log tavern of Wright Chamberlin, to Burrows' Hollow and Claflin's grist-mill ; thence to E. Green's, on the Harford line; thence to Judge Tingley's old place, and on to the Great Bend. Just how much it varied from the old road, from this point, is not stated, but there was probably less variation than across the section just mentioned."
Jotham Pickering, and his brother Phineas, from Massachusetts originally, came to what is now Gibson, in 1798, from a farm now owned by Mr. Wellman in New ilford, to which they had come in 1793. Corbet, son of Jotham Pickering, stated in an article published in the ' Montrose Republican,' that his father was "the second inhabitant of Gibson," but as he also stated positively, that he was five years on the place where he began in 1793, his memory failed him in regard to the settlement of Gibson, as proved by the diary of Deacon Chamberlin.' The farm of J. P. was less than half a mile east of Kennedy Hill, to which he came with the purpose of uniting his family of children with those of Capt. Potter, to establish a school. The advantages they were able to command must have been
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limited, as it is asserted the first teacher in Gibson did not know how to write. Mr. C. Pickering says:—
" At that time Gibson was indeed a wilderness, and without a figure might have been styled a howling wilderness, because upon every hand, at all times of day or night, could be heard the melancholy howl of the wolf, and very often the piercing screech of the panther. Truly those were times that tried men's nerves, if not their souls. At this time, moreover, there were no mills nearer than Wilkes-Barre, and it was some years before we had the advantage of any other process of grinding than that of a hard wood stump, dug out in the form of a mortar, while the pestle, with which we pounded our corn, somewhat resembled a modern handspike. But we could not afford so tedious a process in manufacturing our rye ; so we put on 'the big kettle, and boiled a quantity of what is, in these days of improvement, called whiskey seeds ; and, really, we found rye and milk much more palatable than rye and kerosene. The first mill that I can remember was ten miles distant, nearly every step of the way in the woods; and the boy that had sufficient nerve and muscle, had the exalted privilege of mounting a bag of corn, which had first been mounted on horseback, and taking up his tedious pilgrimage to the gristmill.
" At one time, when my uncle Phineas was traveling from New Milford to Gibson, the only sign of civilization was here and there a marked tree. Losing his way, he wandered, of course, every way but the right. Still he was not much concerned, until he was suddenly aroused to real consciousness by the near howling of wolves. There being no other alternative, he climbed a tree, and had but just got notions of safety in his head, when the wolves gave him a greeting such as he never forgot while he lived. All that night he was favored with music that probably never charmed the savage breast. He carried the inevitable old rifle, but the charge got wet, so they had things their own way, except the privilege of picking a few human bones, till daylight, when the cowardly villains withdrew."
The sons of Jotham Pickering were Henry, John, Preserved, Corbet, and Potter. Corbet came to his present place, in 1833, from Gelatt Hollow.
Phineas settled in the vicinity of Gelatt Hollow. His sons were Augustus, Joseph, and John B.
John Collar made one of the earliest clearings on the Tunk-hannock, within the bounds of Gibson. His farm is now occupied by T. J. Manzer. Unlike most of the settlers of the township, he came in from below or near the mouth of the creek. He was a great trapper, and caught, in one season, nine bears in what has since been called Bear Swamp, near South Gibson. A stream of the same name here joins the Tunkhannock.
Between 1798 and 1800, Samuel Carey, the first settler of South Gibson, moved in ; but died soon after, and was buried at the foot of the hill which bears his name. It is on the southern line of Gibson, where the northeast corner of Lenox joins Clifford.
In 1800, Samuel McIntosh and Benjamin Woodruff made a beginning in what is called the old Samuel Resseguie farm..
In 1802, or 1803, Joseph Washburn, afterwards first justice
196 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
of the peace, settled on Gibson Hill, and put up a blacksmith shop, a great accommodation then to settlers for miles around. Mrs. N. E. Kennedy and Mrs. Thaddeus Whitney,¹ daughters of Joseph Washburn, reside near the old homestead; and Ira, his only son, on a part of it.
Waller and Ebenezer Washburn were brothers of Esq. Washburn; the sons of the first were Samuel, Lyman, Dexter, and Julius.
In 1804, Capt. Eliab Farrar came. He married a daughter of Noah Tiffany, and resided some years near his wife's brother, Arumah Tiffany, in " Kentuck." He removed to Harford about 1818, and died there in 1858, aged 86. His widow survives him, is about ninety years old, and has been for seventy years a resident of the county. " She says, with tears in her eyes and her countenance quivering with emotion," writes a correspondent, "that she is thankful that she never went to bed hungry, nor put her children to bed when they wanted food ;" but she has known those who have been at times in that condition.
In 1804 or '5, Dr. Robert Chandler, first P. M. at Gibson Hollow, occupied the Skyrin House. It beard this name from the fact that it belonged with land which the wife of John Skyrin received from her father, Henry Drinker, of Philadelphia. Mr. Skyrin, years later, spent some time here putting up a saw-mill and looking after the property, but was not a resident. Dr. Chandler exchanged this place with Mr. Drinker for wild land, and resided until his death, in 1831, about half a mile east on the turnpike.
The Drinker lands covered most of the township, except in the vicinity of the Tunkhannock Creek, which had been covered in 1784 by warrants of Mr. Poyntell as far north as Jackson Center.
Stephen Harding, Sen., built the first saw-mill, near the gristmill of Joshua Jay, and bought out the latter, probably as early as 1806. Mr. Harding was a millwright, and built the second grist-mill at this point, and afterwards sold to N. Claflin and Cyrus Cheevers. The latter has since lived in Bridgewater. S. Harding removed in 1815.
There were several additions to the settlement about this time, but a number ;of the first corners had left or were dead. The heads of families residing in 1807, within the present town, '(which was then in Clifford), were
Capt Joseph Potter and his son John; John Belcher, Wm. Belcher, Joshua Jay, Wright Chamberlin, James Chamberlin, Phineas Pickering, John Collar, Sen. and Jr., Joseph and Eben-
¹ Since deceased
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 197
ezer Washburn, Robert Chandler, Stephen Harding, Sen., David and Amos Taylor, Joseph Cole, Olney Sweet, Nathan Maxon (left in 1818 for Lenox), James Bennett, John Green, George Galloway, Capt. Elias Bell, Ezra Follett, Henry Wells, and Capt. Eliab Farrar—twenty-six in all.
Reuben Brundage was a taxable of Clifford the same year, and in 1808 lived on Kennedy Hill. Several taxed in Clifford in 1807 were taxed in Harford in 1811, and in Gibson in 1814.
David Taylor built the hotel still standing on the Newburg turnpike east of the creek at Smiley. This, and ,the Skyrin House, and Capt. Potter's tavern, were the only frame houses then in Gibson. Amos, son of David Taylor, came here a little before his father, and located on the west side of the Tunkhannock, a mile below the hotel, where his &on William now resides, and where he was born. Amos Taylor also owned a farm on East Mountain, which was for a time occupied by William.
Joseph Cole lived on Kennedy Hill, just west of Jos. Washburn. Wm. Holmes afterwards had this farm.
Olney Sweet, a brother of Capt. Asahel S., of Harford, was for many years where A. Sweet has since kept a hotel, above Gibson (Burrows') Hollow. His wife was a daughter of Dr. Chandler. 0. S., died in 1842, aged 65.
James Bennett was near the outlet of the pond that bears his name. He came here from Rockland Co., N. Y. His wife, in 1807, drove a bear and two cubs from her premises with only the help of a dog. She was the first Methodist in Gibson. Their sons were, Charles, and Loren G., of South Gibson, Luke and John.
Levi, brother of James Bennett, lived half a mile west of Smiley. His sons were, William, George, John, and James.
The outlet of Bennett's Pond is called Bell Creek, from the fact of Capt. Bell's early settlement here. Abijah Wells bought this place and Geo. Galloway's next, north of it, also John Belcher's, and Sterling Bell's (marked T. Evans on the map). He first lived on the last named, gave it afterwards to his son Coe, and removed to time Belcher farm ; built a new dwelling, etc., there, and remained on the farm until he gave it to his son Geo. H.; he then came to the Elias Bell farm, adding to it a strip of the Galloway farm, and building a house, barns, etc., as there were previously no buildings of value on the Bell farm; and here he lived and died, leaving this place to his widow, and the son of his eldest son, who has long since deceased.
Ezra Follett began where Captain Oliver Payne afterwards lived. George Galloway was a Dutchman and a very worthy citizen. He was the maternal grandfather of the present governor of Virginia, Gilbert C. Walker. The latter was not born
198 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
in Gibson, as has been stated in the public prints, but in Cuba, Allegbany County, New York, during his parents' temporary residence there, after leaving Susquehanna County. His mother afterwards returned to Gibson, and the present Gov. Walker was "'put out" for some years with Mr. T., a farmer in the vicinity of "Kentuck." One of his neighbors tells this story :—
" Mr. T. was a very rigid disciplinarian ; thought children should be always on their propriety—miniature men and women. One day he was gone from home and young Walker was left alone, for there were no children of his years, and the time seemed heavy and long. To ‘kill' it he ventured upon an expedient which he knew would be a high offence in the eyes of Mr. T. He took the only horse, a staid old family beast, and went out for a ride. Suspecting Mr. T. would be back before his return, he left the horse in the woods back of the pasture, and came across the lot to the house, and meeting Mr. T., he told him that the horse was out of the lot ; he had seen him over in the woods. Whereupon Mr. T. went over and got him back into the lot, and he and the Gov. reconnoitered the fence around the pasture to find where the horse got out ; the old gentleman never once suspecting the ruse till it was too late to call the culprit to an account." But this incident occurred many years later than the period under consideration.
It is stated that an old Kentucky hunter came through what is now the western part of the township, at an early day ; and being struck with its beauty, said it was "equal to old Ken-tuck." From this circumstance it took the name which seems so odd to a stranger. No one can fail to admire the scenery, so varied and pleasing; and the rich lands which make the section not unworthy of its frequent designation—" the garden of the county." Its elevation affords views of great loveliness, both near and distant. All the prominent points of neighboring townships are revealed with a distinctness peculiar to a clear atmosphere. The slopes furnish unsurpassed grazing, as the butter of the township well exemplifies. The farm-houses bear little resemblance to the low, rough structures of early times, and with the grounds about them, evince at once the taste and wealth of the present inhabitants. The editor of the Susquehanna Journal,' after taking a trip in 1870, through Gibson and Jackson, speaks of them thus :—
" They are devoted mainly to dairying. We judge from what we learned during our trip, that Gibson maid fully $100,000 worth of butter last year, and that Jackson did about the same. The farmers are thrifty and rapidly accumulating wealth. We saw many fine herds of cattle, and not one unstabled or poorly cared for."
It abounds in productive orchards and gardens.
Arunah Tiffany lived about 1809, on the highest point of " Kentuck" Hill, and remained there, with the exception of two years spent in Brooklyn, until his death, in 1863, at the age of seventy-eight years. His son, George B., now occupies the old homestead.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 199
From a point west of the house one can see, by the aid of a field-glass, the Presbyterian churches of Ararat and Harford ; the Soldier's Orphan School buildings in Harford, and the Presbyterian church of Gibson. Before its removal, the old Methodist church on Kennedy Hill was included in the view.
The settlement called " Kentuck" was once quite extensively known as " Five Partners," as distinguished from the " Nine Partners," both being within the former limits of Harford.
In the fall of 1809, William Abel, James Chandler, Ebenezer Bailey, Hazard Powers, and Daniel Brewster, carpe from Connecticut, and bought land here in partnership ; returned for the winter, and, with the exception of the last named, came back to Pennsylvania in the spring of 1810. (Mr. Brewster died in Connecticut soon after the others came on. This lot was afterwards Elisha Williams's). Their families joined them the following fall.
William Abel and James Chandler went to Philadelphia in 1812, to arrange business with Mr. Poyntell, from whom the purchase of from 6 to 700 acres had been made, and the whole tract was deeded to Mr. Chandler, to be deeded to the five by lot. Three men came from Harford to appraise the land. The average price was $3.00 per acre, at which Mr. Abel received his; Mr. Bailey's, $3.25 ; Mr. Brewster's, $3.50 ; Mr. Chandler's, $2.75; and Mr. Powers's, $2.50. Samuel Powers, son of the last named, is on his father's farm. Joseph, the eldest, settled in Jackson; Ichabod, another son, was there a short time. Hazard Powers, Jr., became a resident of Lenox.
William Abel lived to the age of ninety-two, and died in 1869. His sons were, William A., Gurdon L., Sylvester, Alonzo, Nelson, Henry, and Seth. The last two occupy their father's farm ; one or two of the others are near.
James Chandler and Dr Chandler were not relatives, but each had a son Charles, one of whom—the son of James—became our representative in the State Legislature.
Before the close of 1809, David Carpenter came from Massachusetts and settled on " the Kautuck road" (where R. Tiffany's name appears on old maps). He was a cousin of two of the nine partners of the same family name, and his wife was a sister of another—Robert Follett. They had four children : Chester, now dead; Lucy, now Mrs. John Brundage; Mrs. Sabinas Walker, and Timothy, a justice of the peace, residing in South Gibson. David C. was a resident of Gibson over fifty years. He died there May 4, 1864.
Between the years 1809-1812, George Gelatt, Sen., and Collins, his son, settled on the Tunkhannock Creek, in the northeast corner of Gibson, now well known as Gelatt Hollow, or simply " Gelatt." George Gelatt, Sen., lived to be an hundred