300 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Simeon Tyler began preparations for building a log-house large enough to accommodate his own and Mr. Brewster's family. Mr. B. was laid aside from work, having cut his foot in getting out boards. But at length, when all was ready, the great "snow-storm" delayed their remoyal until some time in April.
This storm, to which reference is made by aged persons nearly as often as the great eclipse, occurred on the last day of March and the first day of April, 1807. Before the storm, Mr. McKenzie and others observed a peculiar appearance of the sun; it was surrounded by three very bright circles (probably more haze-like than is shown by the diagram), and where they crossed on the outside were three luminous bodies, called "sun-dogs."
For several days, it was with the greatest difficulty that any locomotion was possible— snow-shoes being requisite for safety.
The cabin of Mr. Tyler was three miles from Mr. Raynsford, being at the northern foot of the first hill, due north of Montrose, one of the very longest and steepest of our hills. The season did not allow them to put up a chimney, and, until the frost was out of the ground, a hole in the roof was made to serve the purpose for two fires. Cooking was done on each side of a central pile of logs, and blankets served as a partition between the two families. Mr. Tyler had fiye children, and Mr. Brewster only one, a son, Nathan Waldo ; Waldo being the maiden name of Mrs. B.'s mother, Mrs. Joseph Raynsford. And here it may be fitting to refer to the manner in which this section gathered in its settlers. The Brewsters were drawn here by the Raynsfords; Simeon Tyler by his connection with the Brewsters; the Raynsfords, by the fact that J. W. Raynsford's wife was a daughter of Walter Lathrop, who had settled on the Wyalusing in 1800. This is but an instance of what
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occurred in other family connections, as in the case of the Hewitts and Backuses, and the settlers from Long Island.
In the fall of 1807, Nathan Brewster built a comfortable log-house directly opposite that of Mr. Tyler, on the site of the large framed house in which he afterwards lived for many years, and where he died. Both houses were near the source of one of the minor tributaries of the Wyalusing. In the swamp not far from them, Mr. Brewster .lost, during the first season, one of the horses of a pair he brought into the county. There was no feed for horses, except as they browsed, and it was the custom to attach a bell to their necks that they might be found when wanted. In this case, though diligent search was made, no sound of the missing horse was to be heard. At length, weeks after, it was found mired to the neck, and had starved to death.
Mr. Tyler had brought a yoke of oxen, but, soon after the loss of Mr. B.'s horse, one of the oxen was killed by the fall of a tree. Thus the two farmers, at the outset of their pioneer life, were crippled in their efforts to subdue the wilderness. But Mr. T. finally succeeded in bartering off the ox for another horse, and thus a team was secured which was used in common
by the separate owners.
Simeon Tyler died July, 1850. He had eleven children, of whom the eldest, Haryey, has been our late representative at Harrisburg.
Nathan Brewster had nine children, of whom only three sons and three daughters lived to adult age. He died March 7, 1847, aged 66 ; his widow in 1850.
James Train, who lived in the vicinity of Montrose until his death in 1845, arriyed at Stephen Wilson's "in the great snow."
Samuel Fessenden arrived during the same storm ; he located for a time near J. Meacham, but afterwards near Joseph Backus, in Western Bridgewater. His son Henry, years after, bought a part of the old Doud farm between R. Kingsley and Joseph Butterfield. He died in 1847.
S. B., son of Samuel Fessenden, a resident of, Bridgewater, now eighty years of age, when fourteen years old rode on horseback from his father's to near the mouth of the Wyalusing Creek, and worked in the harvest field until he earned grain sufficient for a grist, took it to the nearest mill, and when ground returned safely home. When twenty-one years of age he was at work by the month near the foot of Jones' Lake, when a deer came bounding down the hill, jumped a descent of fifteen feet into the water, when he pursued and caught it around the neck, holding on with a will, until assistance came, when the deer was killed and dressed.
302 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
We have now reached an important period in the history of Bridgewater. From a historical discourse delivered by Rev. A. L. Post, fifty years later, we glean the following:—
"An incident in the providence of God which makes it sure that It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps,' brought Elder Davis Dimock from Exeter (Luzerne County), on a visit to this place—then known as the ' Hinds Settlement.' It was this : Captain Bartlet Hinds, then its principal settler, and, by the way, a member of the Middleboro' (Mass.) Baptist church, in the early spring of that year went to Wilkes-Barre on business. While there, he was told that there was to be preaching, at evening, in the court-house, and without knowing anything of the person who was to preach he went to hear. As the narrative of another day runs, the preacher was in the prime of young manhood, and personally prepossessing, having a square-built athletic frame, a fine smooth countenance, a dark brilliant eye, musical voice, and quick fancy. He announced his text, 'The blood of Jesus Christ, his son, cleanseth us from all sin;' and spoke with a life, pathos, and animation that commended both the gospel and the preacher to the hearers, and especially to the one here introduced. That hearer took the young preacher into his heart and resolved to secure a visit from him to his wild-wood home. The preacher, by invitation, went to General Ross' to tarry for the night. Being an old friend of the general, Captain H. followed. An introduction and nearly an all-night interview, resulted in an agreement on the part of Elder Dimock, for he was the young preacher, to visit (D. V.) the Hinds Settlement, on the twenty-ninth of the month (March, 1807). On that day, after a horseback ride, through forest paths, from Harford, where he had preached to a small Baptist church, the day previous, Elder D. reined his horse up to the door of the log-cabin of Father' (a cognomen more generally used by him) Hinds, and received a most cordial welcome.
“Here, after taking refreshments, he preached to the people, who had generally gathered from all the surrounding country, the first gospel sermon ever preached in the settlement. A deep interest was felt and a strong desire expressed by many that he should remain another day and preach to them another sermon. To this he consented; but with the next day came a storm known as the great snow storm,' in which the snow fell to the depth of four feet on the level. This detained him full a week ; during which time he preached several sermons to the people, who turned out on snow-shoes and otherwise as best they could, to hear. Before leaving, as he did on the next. Monday after his arrival, he was induced to promise future visits in the course of the season. This he did, making the place twice in his circuit from Exeter to Harford and Wyalusing. At one of these times he baptized two persons, probably the first ever baptized in the county. These visits
were the source of great comfort and encouragement to the few disciples who were scattered in these wilds; so much so that they began the holding of regular weekly meetings for prayer and conference, instead of occasional ones as formerly. The final result was the establishment of a little church, in 1808, under the name of the Bridgewater Baptist church, and the settlement of Elder Dimock as its pastor in 1809. He moved his family into the settlement June 17th of that year. From that time, this place became the central point of his labors." [See later page.]
In July, 1807, Samuel Scott and family, from Long Island, settled in the north neighborhood.
Asa Baldwin married S. Scott's eldest daughter, who is still living in Montrose; her husband died over fifty years ago, leaving her with eight children. Mr. Scott died April, 1835, in his seventy-sixth year. He had eleven children, and only one a son,
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Nehemiah, who was a member of the Baptist church over forty years, and long one of its most active deacons. Activity was characteristic of the man.
A newspaper writer says : "It was claimed by his father that the son, when twenty-one years old, mowed four acres in half a day."
He married a daughter of Elder D. Dimock, and had a large family. He died in September, 1870, aged seventy-four years.
A daughter of Samuel Scott was once lost two days in the woods.
" While searching for her, Elder Dimock lost his watch. The next season the late Mr. Samuel Baldwin, while looking for cows, found the watch hanging on a bush. A small twig having run through the links of the steel chain had taken it from the pocket unnoticed.
" The same men were out hunting deer ; the former bearing footsteps and seeing signs of something moving in the direction, raised his rifle, and when just upon the point of shooting, saw an object move, more of the appearance of a hat than a deer's head, and instantly dropped his rifle to the ground. I t was a hat, and on the bead of Mr. Baldwin. The effect was such upon Elder Dimock that he never went bunting afterwards."
Thomas Scott, brother of Samuel, was also here in 1808.
In March, 1808, Scott Baldwin and wife came to the farm adjoining that of Simeon Tyler on the north, and lived for sixty years on the same spot. They were originally from Connecticut, but moved to this place from Montgomery County, N. Y. From a statement made by Mr. Baldwin just fifty years later we copy the following:—
" We had but one dollar in money left when we got here. We had to work out part of the time for a living, and the rest of the time for our place. Our house was a log-house, the floor made of slabs split out of trees, the windows made of sticks crossed and paper put on them for glass. The nearest grist-mill was three miles off, and we had to go farther sometimes, and carry our grists on our backs. At one time we had to pay $1.62 for rye, and that we had ground without bolting. When our bread was almost gone, we had to lay some by for the children, and go without ourselves. Day after day we bad to depend on our guns for meat. For tea, we used spicewood.
" We used to make deer-licks by putting salt in certain places in the woods. One time I went to the place where I had put salt, and saw a very large deer-track. I climbed a tree, some thirty or forty feet high, with my gun. Before dark I tied my gun to a limb of the tree, pointing it, as near as I could guess, where the deer would come. There I sat, all night, until daylight, but no deer came. I thought I would not give it up so, and tried it again. The third night 1 sat on the tree as before nntil the cock crowed for morning. I then heard something coming. It proved to be a deer. He came to the lick, I fired, and when I came down from the tree, found I had killed a very large buck. We then had meat again.
“In the fall we got out of salt, and there was but one place we could get it, and there only, at the price of $3.00 per bushel. 1 had nothing to buy it with, and concluded to see what hunting would do. I took my gun, went out into the woods, and found a bear that had gathered a large quantity of chestnuts, 1 shot it, took its skin, and with it, bought a bushel of salt.
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" Brother Samuel and myself went to Dr. Rose's for work. He gave us the job of clearing out the road between us and Silver Lake. We had to go from six to eight miles to our work. Our living was corn-bread and dried venison. Our bed, hemlock boughs, with leaves for covering.
"There were settlers about six miles this side of Binghamton, and, on this end of the road, for about four miles north of Montrose; between them were dense woods, the path being only marked trees."
Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin lived together sixty-four years, and reared a family of twelve children, of whom one is at present associate judge of the county, and there was not a death among them until all were over thirty years of age, when the youngest, Isaac, was killed during the late war, at Springfield, Missouri. Mr. Scott Baldwin died January, 1869, in his eighty-first year. Samuel Baldwin's family was also large, and, at one time, the two brothers were obliged to pay two-thirds of the salary of the school teacher as their due proportion.
Noah Baldwin, the father of Asa, Samuel, and Scott, came in from Connecticut a little later, with his fourth son, Matthew, who is still living in East Bridgewater. He lived to be eighty-two years old, and his funeral was the first held in the old Presbyterian church, of which he was a member. His wife died in 1842 aged eighty-six.
Simeon Cook and Richard Daniels settled on the North road, in 1808.
Luther Dean came from Braintrim, the same year, and settled two miles west of Montrose, on the Owego turnpike. A beautiful double row of maples mark his location. he was one of the constituent members of the Baptist church. He died in Sept. 1813, and was the first adult buried in the village cemetery. Of his seven children, Mrs. N. H. Lyons is the only one now in the county.
Moses Tyler, an older brother of Simeon, and a native of Massachusetts, came from Wilmington, Windham County, Vt., in the spring of 1808, not then anticipating to find a home in this section; but, stopping in the south neighborhood to spend the Sabbath, it became known that he was a Congregationalist, and one ready to take an active part in a prayer-meeting. The circle of Christian mothers that had met from one Sabbath to another without the presence of a man to lead their devotions, now importuned him to bring his family to the settlement and remain to aid in sustaining religious services. Deeming this an indication of Providence, Mr. Tyler relinquished his intention of, going farther west, and returned to Vermont. In the fall of that year he came with his wife and nine children, all girls but one, Moses C., late associate judge; and was accompanied by Samuel Davis and his family, which was also large, and all his children, but one, were boys. The party came in via Great Bend. Mr. Edward Fuller happening there on business,
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met them, and hastened home with the joyful news, " Moses and the children of Israel are coming through the wilderness."
Mr. Tyler stayed with all his family at the house of Stephen Wilson until he finished a log-house on what is now the Jessup farm, not far from the old brick-yard. He bought of the Pennsylvania landholder, J. B. Wallace. Afterwards, when the county was set off, the lands donated to it covered part of his tract. He received some indemnity for his improvements, and removed to the farm in Dimock which is now owned by John Wright. He moved back some years later, near his old location, to a small house that occupied the site of Dr. J. Black-man's present residence. Later, he resided again on a farm, just south of Stephen Wilson's old place, until his last removal to the home of his son, in Montrose. He was a deacon of the Presbyterian church many years. He died April, 1854, aged eighty-eight; Mrs. T. in 1856, over eighty. They had twelve children. While living by the brick-yard (then only a swamp), Mrs. Tyler went to visit Mrs. Wheaton, when she met a bear, sitting on his haunches and staring her in the face. She screamed and struck the brushwood, when the bear turned and walked quietly away, and she proceeded on her errand. The young men at Wheaton's were hunters, and, on hearing her story, they went in pursuit of the bear and dispatched him.
Mrs. Porter, a daughter of Jonathan Wheaton, taught the first school near the house of Stephen Wilson, in April, 1809. She had six scholars so young that they were obliged to have blankets on which to take their naps. In the winter of 1809 and 1810, the school was taught by J. W. Raynsford.
Samuel Davis built his log-cabin on a part of the farm of Phineas Arms, near the present north line of Dimock, and which is now owned by F. Wells.
Phineas Arms came in the spring of 1809. A few years later he left his place to be gate-keeper on the Wilkes-Barre turnpike, near Benj. Lathrop, leaving his place to his son Phineas. He was one of the first deacons of the Presbyterian church. He removed to Bradford County in 1838.
Phineas Warner settled on the North road in 1809.
Obadiah Green was on the northwest part of Isaac Post's old village farm, where he made a little clearing, and was connected with the first ashery on the stream below Sayre's old ashery. He was afterwards on the Jos. Watrous farm. He was born in West Greenwich, Kings County, R. I., Feb. 5, 1772, and died in Auburn, Susquehanna County, Oct. 17, 1860, aged eighty-eight years.
Edmund Stone, prior to March, 1809, was on the Kingsley farm. A few years later, when Mrs. Stone was returning through the woods from a meeting at the South school-house, on horse
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back, a panther leaped for the child she held in her arms, but, missing his aim, passed over the horse's head. Mr. Stone's death, in 1814, was the first that occurred among the members of the Presbyterian church.
Adrian and Caleb Bush, and Joseph Beebe, purchased lands near Montrose about 1809-12 ; their descendants still reside in the vicinity.
In June, 1809, Elder D. Dimock removed from Exeter to Bridgewater, with his wife and five children, all on, horseback, five horses accommodating the family ; while a cart load of goods for them was brought in by A. Hinds. Dr. R. H. Rose had given him, as the first pastor of a church on his lands, one hundred acres; and the church aave him one hundred more, on the North road ; and he occupied this place until June, 1815, when he removed to the hill on the same road, overlooking the village; and his eldest daughter with her husband, Nehemiah Scott, occupied his first location. Elder D. was accustomed to relate with glee that for his first marriage fee he received a bunch of goose quills. Before detailing further account of his life here, we return to a sketch of his previous career, given in the discourse to which reference has already been made :—
" ELDER DAVIS DIMOCK was born at Rocky Bill, Hartford County, Conn., May 27th, 1776. His parents were David and Sarah Green Dimock. His father at the opening of the Revolutionary war entered the service first as a sergeant, and afterwards as lieutenant of the Continental army.
" He, with his mother and three brothers, on the opening of the war, were taken as a measure of safety into Vermont.
" At the close of the war the family returned to Connecticut, and resided at Norfolk until the year 1790, when with the tide of emigration from Connecticut they came into the Wyoming Valley, and settled at Wilkes-Barre.
“The subject of this sketch was then fourteen years of age.
" To a compact, symmetrical, and truly admirable physical organism, there was added a pleasing personal address. To an extremely social nature there was added an almost unbounded and attractive humor. To a quick perception of the relation of things, and the workings of human nature, there was added an ambition that knew no bounds but those of patriotism and honor. And to a heart unsanctified by the Divine Spirit, and that had come to drink in, quite deeply, infidelity to Christ and the Bible, there was added a purpose to gain and enjoy as much as possible of the world's pleasures, riches, and honors.
With these developments he labored on the farm and in the workshop; improved the scanty opportunities in his reach to gain knowledge by attending and teaching common schools ; and was active in all of the political and other gatherings of the people. All seemed bright before him.
" On the 5th of June, 1797, he was united in marriage to Betsey Jenkins, of Tuukhannock, who became the mother of his twelve children, and the beloved and faithful partner of his toils and privations, as well as his hopes and enjoyments, during fifty-five years of his earthly pilgrimage.
" In 1801, while living in Exeter with his young family, toiling for and rapidly acquiring wealth—carrying on at the same time the business of farming, blacksmithing, and distilling ardent spirits—he was arrested in his career, and by the power of divine Grace his proud heart was made to yield to the
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requirements of the law of faith in an atoning sacrifice, and changed at once all of the plans and purposes of his life.
"He was received and baptized into the Exeter Baptist church, August 9th, 1801, by Eld. Jacob Drake, the pioneer Baptist minister of the valley. Heeding the great commission which seemed directed to him—' Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,' turning back upon place proffered in legislative halls, he commenced preaching that Jesus whom he had persecuted, and that resurrection which, in the scepticism of his heart, he had repudiated. His first sermon was blessed by the divine Spirit in leading his companion to embrace Christ as her only hope.
" In 1803, at the yearly meeting of the Apocalyptic number of Baptist churches, then called the Susquehanna Baptist Connection, he was formally ordained to the ministry, by the imposition of the hands of the elders, and soon came to occupy a prominence which made him the master spirit of the Connection.
" The incident connected with his call to Bridgewater has already been given. Upon his settlement he engaged earnestly in ministerial work.
" In 1810, under his labors, occurred what was afterwards known as the great revival, in which fifty-two, mostly by baptism, were added to the number of the church. The influence spread into the settlement from fifteen to twenty miles around, and he followed it up with an energy and zeal that knew no bounds but impossibilities. Often might he have been seen, on his horse, threading his way from settlement to settlement, along forest paths, over hills, and through valleys. sometimes guided only by marked trees. Here or there, where he found a hut or log cabin, he was wont to stop, if but for a moment, to minister a word of admonition or cheer to its sinning, sick, or disconsolate inhabitants. He soon came to be everywhere known, and a welcome visitor.
" He had studied medicine in his earlier years; and on coming here when there was no physician, his medical services were often required and given. Finding it an aid rather than detriment to his gospel ministry, he continued more or less to practice successfully during subsequent life.
" Not deeming it inconsistent with his ministerial office, nor an infringement upon his pastoral duties, he accepted, through the general solicitation of his fellow citizens, f:orn the hands of the governor, an appointment of associate judge of the tben new county of Susquehanna. In this capacity he served successfully and honorably, from the time of the organization of the judiciary, during the term of twenty-seven years.
" He organized churches in Auburn, Rush, Middletown, Choconut, Great Bend, Harford, New Milford, Jackson, Gibson, Dimock, and possibly elsewhere.
"Eld. Dimock was the sole pastor of the Bridgewater church, from its organization in 1808, down to June, 1835, a term of twenty-seven years. At the close of that period, notwithstanding deaths and removals, the church numbered 322 members.
" At the expiration of his sole pastorate of the church, by his own request, Eld. J. B. Worden became associated with him. This relation continued two years; when from the infirmities of age and disease, and a desire to retire from the exciting scenes of a new era in the church, he resigned his relation, took a letter from this, and united with the church at Braintrim, having previously received a call to become its pastor. As pastor of that church, he labored, according to the measure of his health and strength, witnessing many tokens that those labors were not in vain, until the fall of 1847, when admonished by physicians, and his personal consciousness of what a long life of labor and privation, as well as disease, had wrought upon his wonderful constitution, he resigned the pastorate to another.
" In the spring of 1848, he returned with his companion to Montrose to reside the remainder of his days with his children. He reunited with this
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church and supplied occasionally its pulpit; lived to enjoy and deepen the interest of its semi-centennial anniversary."
Mrs. Dimock died December 1st, 1852, aged 72. Elder Dimock died September 27th, 1858, aged 82 years and 4 months.
They had twelve children, two of whom died in infancy ; three daughters married and settled in the vicinity, and one died young. Of their sons who lived to adult age—Benjamin, Davis, Asa G., John H., David and Gordon Z.—Only two are now living.
Hon. Davis Dimock, Jr., was an early editor in the county, and a politician of influence. He died while a member of Congress, January, 1842.
Jonathan Vaughn, from Arlington, Vt., settled in Bridgewater, February 18, 1810, but had visited this section the previous year. From a short diary kept by him, we have the following items:-
1810.—February 24, sap free ; April 21, apple trees with leaves ; May 1, Daniel Austin and Chapman Carr came ; went to the mouth of the Wyalusing and one and a half miles below to Stafford's for wheat; meeting on Sabbath " out at Wilson's," and at Eld. Diniock's ; September, helped Mr. Warner at a logging bee ; November, many inquiring the way to Zion.
1811.—January, conference meeting at Mr. Samuel Scott's; singing-school by James Burch ; February, went twice in one week to Latbrop's mills after boards for the schoolhouse; June, married Lydia Avery; October, four of us pulled one hundred bushels of turnips.
1811.—July, a Mr. Nelson, missionary, preached in our schoolhouse; 6th, militia election at Isaac Post's, and a noisy time it was ; December 27, Chenango turnpike laid out through the settlement across my land.
1812.—January 30, sap run some. [Caleb Bush and Matthew Baldwin are mentioned. At a later date he enters : " Split 260 rails and left off before night."]
Jonathan Vaughn died in 1869, aged ninety.
Dr. Rose gave ten acres of land on which to erect a schoolhouse. The first one built of logs, was on the old road (long since vacated), about half-way between Thomas Scott's and Scott Baldwin's, wo were about two and a half miles apart. The next school-house was built near Scott Baldwin's. Beginning at the foot of "Brewster's Hill," the settlers on the west side of the road in 1810, were in the following order: Simeon Tyler, Scott Baldwin, David Dimock, Simeon Cook, Jonathan Vaughn, and Thomas Scott. (Henry Congdon was a little off from the road.)
On the east side there were: Nathan Brewster, Samuel Baldwin, Phineas Warner, Richard Daniels, Asa Baldwin, Samuel Scott, and Benjamin Fancher.
Jared Clark purchased, in 1812, the lot next above Asa Baldwin.
The north and south roads were well settled, while in the direction of New Milford, and of Heart Lake, all was yet a
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dense forest, with the exception of the clearing of Nathaniel Curtis, who was alone for nearly four years.
In 1810, Hugh and Alexander McCollum, brothers, from Duanesburgh, N. Y., located in his vicinity; Alexander occupied " the Fields farm," now owned by L. Gardner.
In 1811, Cornelius Wood, also from near Albany, N. Y.; Solomon Simmons and family, from Connecticut, and Samuel and Abraham Chamberlin, from Greene County, New York ; in 1812, Charles Trumbull, and in 1814, Walter Stewart from Duanesburg, New York, were added to the settlement. All were on the road leading from Brooklyn to New Milford and on roads just west of it, or on that leading from Heart Lake to Montrose, forming a triangle.
Very soon after, Lemuel Beebe and Ebenezer Williams from Connecticut, and Abraham E. Kennard and Joseph Guernsey from Windsor, New York, settled here, and Ezra Kingsley, who in 1832 went with the Mormons.
Of the heads of the foregoing dozen families—constituting "the Curtis neighborhood"—all are now deceased.
There are but two families of the name of Curtis remaining in the neighborhood, viz., Cornelius J. and the family of Joshua W., both sons of Nathaniel Curtis, Jr. The former owns and occupies the farm that his grandfather and father took up when it was a wilderness. The other sons of Nathaniel, Jr., were Anson, a physician of some eminence in Pittston, Luzerne County, who died in 1855, and Gaylord, now a banker at Susquehanna Depot. N. Curtis, Jr., died May, 1850.
Harvey Curtis built the first grist-mill on the outlet of Heart Lake, in 1823. The present one, owned by J. L. Griffing, was built by Grant and Hammond, in 1842.
Alexander McCollum left his farm in Bridgewater, over thirty years ago, and lived some years in New Milford. He died at Lanesboro', April 1, 1871, in his ninety-second year—the last of the east neighborhood pioneers. His sons were five : John, Hugh, George, Alexander, and Peter.
Hugh McCollum, 1st, and family, with the exception of one son, Daniel, moved to Wisconsin in 1814. Daniel McCollum, and John, son of Alexander, remain in Bridgewater ; Hugh McCollum, 2d, is in Montrose.
Of the sons of Solomon Simmons, Julius, Charles, Solomon, Harly, and Garry, went to Illinois, and all are now dead but Charles.
Solomon, Jr., once cut a slender branch from an American willow at Towanda, used it as a cane while walking home, then stuck it into the ground near the house, and it now flourishes as a large tree that marks the site of his father's log cabin, near
310 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
the present toll-gate, on the farm of N. Passmore. (There was once a beaver dam near Passmore's present brick-kiln.)
Ira, son of Solomon Simmons, resided in Bridgewater and New Milford until his death.
The oldest child of Solomon Simmons, Sen., Mrs. Luther Catlin, the only one of the family who remained in the township, died October 25, 1872, in the eighty-fifth year of her age.
Luther Catlin came from Litchfield County, Connecticut, in 1812, and located near his cousin, Putnam Catlin; in what is now Brooklyn ; but soon after came to the place now occupied by Robert Kent, and made the first clearing there. He removed after a time to the present location of John Reynolds, on the Meshoppen ; but, about forty years ago, he came to the farm, previously occupied by a Mr. Matteson, where he now resides with his son, Martin L. Two of his sons located at the West.
Erastus Catlin, brother of Luther, made the first clearing on the Harrington farm. He removed to Dundaff, and afterwards to Pitcher, N. Y., where he died. The only representative of his family in the county is Mrs. Abel Turrell.
Ebenezer Williams went to Illinois in 1837; Alonzo L. Kennard, to Iowa. William, son of Samuel Chamberlin, and Lewis E., son of Abraham hamberlin remained in the township. Israel Chamberlin, who recently murdered his wife and then committed suicide, was the son of Samuel.
Others of the pioneers here are represented by John Trumbull, Daniel Stewart, Levi Guernsey, John and Peleg Wood—all substantial farmers. The last two are sons of Cornelius Wood, who had four others, viz., Jonathan, Eseck (in Illinois), Ezra, and Ira, now removed.
Ezekiel G. Babcock came to the county (possibly later to this neighborhood), about 1812.
It is remarked that there is a striking contrast in the character and success in life of the families of the pioneers in this section ; those who were taught to reverence the Sabbath seem to be prosperous, while those who disregarded it are the reverse.
The plank road, or its later substitute, has proved of immense service to East Bridgewater; the farmers send over it large quantities of butter every season to Montrose Depot, for the New York markets. At its junction with the road to Brooklyn, the East Bridgewater post-office was established in 1868.
In early times the mills of this and adjoining townships would often lack water, and farmers were obliged to go to Windsor, twenty-six miles, with their grain.
Timothy Brown, from Connecticut, and Samuel Parmeter, from the Mohawk, were early settlers on the farms now owned by Elijah Brown and Andrus Aldrich. Joseph and William
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Darrow were early on the farms now owned by Messrs. Shu-felts and J. F. Gardiner.
Jonah Brewster, brother of Nathan, located in 1812, near the present farm of Joseph Watrous. His house is still standing, being the first one on the road leading to Brooklyn. He was much interested in politics, and once represented this section in the State Legislature. He had five wives (one of whom was a sister of Hon. William Jessup) and ten children. He left Susquehanna County about 1830, and went to Tioga, County, where he engaged in the mercantile business. Was appointed to the judgeship to fill a vacancy, and removed to Wellsboro', where he died about 1858, aged seventy-eight.
James W. Hill, afterwards justice of the peace, settled in Bridgewater, in 1812, and cleared a farm, where he resided until his death in 1853, at the age of sixty-three. He and Reuben Reynolds occupied a log-house together for a time.
Joseph Butterfield, who settled in Forest Lake in 1801, removed in 1812, to the Samuel Main farm in Bridgewater, where he died in 1848, aged seventy ; Mrs. B. died about ten years later. Their sons, Oliver, Alanson, and Joseph are all dead.
The vicinity of Williams' Pond echoed to the ring of the woodman's ax about the same time with the east neighborhood.
Joseph Williams and Jarah Stephens (his father-in-law) came together from Pierstown, Otsego County, New York, and located their lands in 1809 ; but returned to their families for the winter. In the spring of 1810, they came again, and made a clearing, and, with the help of men from Great Bend, rolled up a log-house. Mr. Stephens was left to finish it, while Mr. Williams went for his family, who returned with him, May, 1810, accompanied also by Philander, son of Jarah Stephens. Mrs. Williams and her children, Orin and Frederick (the latter born the preceding January), came to the house when it was but half shingled and floored, and when a blanket served for the door, and while in this unprotected condition, heard in the night the tread of a wild animal on the roof, which, by its tracks, was afterwards ascertained to have been a panther. Their daughter, Mrs. A. L. Post, was born here, the framed house (still standing) not being erected until 1823. Mrs. Eleanor Williams died in 1827.
Jarah and Philander Stephens brought their families in 1811. The former was a captain in the Revolutionary army ; he died here December, 1821 ; the latter removed to Dimock.
Daniel Foster, who came in 1812 from Vermont, and settled on the road to New Milford, near Williams' Pond, formed the fourth of that name then in the township, including Montrose, between whom there existed no relation. He was on the top
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of the hill; James Stephens cleared the farm beyond, lately occupied by Otis Bullard.
William Stephens occupied what has since been known as Timothy Warner's place; Nathan Shipman, William Salmon, John, James, and Luther Snow, and Stephen Webb, were settlers on the Snake Creek about 1812. Luther Peck, Gideon Southworth, from Connecticut, Andrew Young, and perhaps others, were in the vicinity about 1814.
Bela Jones came from Colchester, New London County, Connecticut, May, 1810, and lived for a time with Isaac Post in the first building he put up. On June 7th, 1811, he cut the first tree on his farm, one mile from Montrose. In 1813, he cut floor boards and small timber for the court-house. In 1815 he was town clerk. In the winter of 1818-19 he assisted William Jessup in teaching the first school in the old academy ; both being in the lower rooms. In 1820, he took the census for Susquehanna County. In 1833-1835 he honorably represented the county in the State Legislature. Few names occur more frequently than his as chairman of political meetings of the old democratic school. He resided nearly forty years on the northern shore of the lake which is still known as Jones' Lake.
Here, in 1814, he erected a carding-machine. A description of the effort required to accomplish this, was recently given by J. Backus in the 'Montrose Republican.'
"Bela Jones, Esq., and myself proposed to set up a carding-machine at the outlet of Jones' Lake. Taking my knapsack of provisions, I started on foot for Otsego County, New York, distant about one hundred miles, where machines were being manufactured; purchased a single machine, and set about finding means of transportation.
" An acquaintance told me he had a skiff in the river somewhere below, and if I could find it I might take it for that purpose. I hired a teamster to carry my machine to a place designated, in the neighborhood of what was then known as Collier's tavern, some miles above Wattles' ferry, where I found the skiff, bottom upwards, with its seams so opened by the sun as to cause it to be very leaky. However, I procured some tow and tar, and proceeded to calk and fit my craft for the voyage. I succeeded, and, loading, I set sail. Landing at night, and putting up with a settler along the bank, I reached Great Bend in safety, deposited my freight in DuBois's shed, and came home. At that time it was much more difficult to get teaming done than now; but Capt. Abinoam Hinds, a very kind, obliging man, went with me on Saturday, to bring the machine, and such was the condition of the roads that we failed to reach our destination till long after dark ; so we detached the horses, came into town, put them in Austin Howell's shed, and the captain led the way into the chamber of the house, and we retired for the night. Starting early, before any one was stirring, we unloaded, and returned home without disturbing. the community.
" I will describe the locality of our machinery: Across the stream, a short distance below the outlet, we felled a couple of trees for the foundation of the building; erected a small frame, put the machine in operation, and finding business accumulating, we concluded to manufacture a single machine ourselves; but where was the foundry to do our casting? That must be HISTORY
OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 313
started; so a Mr. Perkins, a very ingenious mechanic, being with us, established a water blast ; but where was the metal ? I canvassed far and near for broken iron ware, and we succeeded in our endeavors.
"Let any one bear in mind the means and mode of travel, and of doing business, and then step into Sayre's foundry, in Montrose, Mott's cloth factory, in Bridgewater, or Wright's cloth factory, in Forest Lake, and behold the contrast."
With only such facilities, it can hardly be supposed that this, or the saw-mill and grist-mill he erected here about the same time, were the best of their kind; but they served the community many years.
Bela Jones removed a few years since to Liberty, and kept the " Valley House"—noted for its generous cheer. He married a sister of Nathan Brewster ; of their children, three daughters reside in the county, but their only son died young. Mr. Jones died March 9, 1872, in the eighty-second year of his age.
Amos Nichols came to Bridgewater in 1810. The following statement appears in Rev. A. L. Post's 'Historical Discourse.'
" While there is a history of the church, the names of Deacon Amos Nichols and Amindwell, his wife, must have a prominent place. Taking into account their ability and means we shall have to seek long to find those who have accomplished an equal amount of good. They were received into the church on letters from the Baptist church in Salisbury, N. Y., March 18, 1810. In November following, he was ordained the first deacon of the Bridgewater Baptist church."
He died in New Milford July, 1845, at the house of his son-in-law, Secku Meylert, in the seventy-second year of his age. Mrs. Nichols had died in Bridgewater the year previous.
Dr. James Cook, the first regularly educated physician in the town, located about this time across the Wyalusing Creek, opposite Stephen Wilson. He practiced here several years, and then removed to Spencer, N. Y.
Josiah Mills came to Bridgewater in 1811, and settled near C. Hinds' last location. He was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, October 7, 1763. In his fourteenth year, then a homeless orphan, he enlisted in the Revolutionary army as a drummer. After a year's service, he exchanged his drum for a musket, which he carried to the close of the war, receiving an honorable discharge. He was at the battle of White Plains; was with Gates at Stillwater and Saratoga, assisting at the capture of Burgoyne ; was also with Washington at Trenton and Princeton, and endured the terrible sufferings of the march through the Jerseys, and the fearful winter at Valley Forge. He was also permitted to share in the glorious triumph of the federal armies at Yorktown. In after years he received a pension.
Soon after the war he emigrated, with his young wife, to the
314 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
wilds of Maine, and was one of the first settlers of the town of Joy, Oxford County, where he remained until his removal to Susquehanna County.
He had received, in 1804, a commission as captain, from Governor Caleb Strong, of Massachusetts—Maine then being a province of that State.
In 1812, he married, for his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Elder Samuel Sturdevant, of Braintrim.
In 1817, Captain Mills settled on a farm two and a half miles west of Montrose, on which he lived until his death, March 23, 1833, in his seventieth year. His widow died in Montrose, September, 1841.
One chid, Bartlet Hinds Mills, formerly an editor and merchant in Montrose, has been a resident of Upper Alton, Illinois, since 1854.
In a recent letter, he says: "Often have I heard my father speak of the three African regiments in the Revolutionary war, officered by white men, and of the gallant and effective service they rendered; and, in connection with this, he would denounce the system of American slavery as something abhorrent, utterly at variance with the principles he had suffered to maintain."
Samuel Gregory, who had been with his father in what is now Herrick at an early day, came from Mt. Pleasant late in 1811, and settled half a mile south of Montrose. His family then consisted of his wife, one son, and two daughters; another son and four daughters were born here.
The two sons, Rufus B., a graduate of Union College, and a young lawyer of great promise, and Asa, a graduate of West Point Military Academy, and a lieutenant of the regular army, died in Florida. Rufus was the hero boy of thirteen years, of whom mention was made, in our county paper, as having, while on a squirrel hunt, encountered and killed a large bear.
Mr. Gregory died June, 1850, aged sixty-five. He had twice been sheriff of the county, and is spoken of as a bold and efficient officer.
A story is told of his serving a writ of ejectment, when he knew the inmates of the house were prepared to eject him with hot water. He managed to elude being seen, and entered the loft of the house through a window, and raised a board of the chamber floor. The hot water did not then prevent his serving the writ.
Mrs. G. had marked characteristics. Without the least ostentation or affectation, she possessed a quaintness and good humor which was peculiarly attractive. She was a sufferer from ill health many years, and died, in 1869, when within three days of her eighty-sixth birth-day.
Dr. Asa Park, a natiye of Preston, Connecticut, who had
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located in Mt. Pleasant, in 1806, and had married, in 1808, Lorana, sister of Samuel Gregory, came with the latter to the vicinity of Montrose. The two families, at first, occupied the house vacated by Samuel Cogswell, who had sold his farm to Dr. Park.
Dr. P.'s practice began here in January, 1812, and became extensive and lucrative, but was relinquished to his son, Ezra S., after about thirty years. Mrs. P. died in October, 1845, and Dr. Park in January, 1854, aged seventy-one. They were buried on their farm, as were also Mr. and Mrs. Gregory, and other relatives of the family.
Dr. Ezra S. Park practiced here about twenty-five years, and removed to the West in 1858. He was an infant when his parents left Mt. P. They had lost two children. Two sons, Hiram and Asa, and four daughters were born here. Hiram moved West in 1836, and died in 1838. The daughters all married here; two are dead, one resides in Montrose, and one upon the old homestead. Asa was a volunteer in a New York regiment, and was killed at the first battle of Bull Run.
Isaac Bullard, a Revolutionary soldier, settled, in 1812, where James Bunnell lives (now Dimock), but after a time removed to the late location of his son, Hezekiah, in the south neighborhood. He died in 1842, aged ninety-seven. Of his sons, Elijah, the eldest, is now living in Montrose, over eighty years of age ; Hezekiah and Otis have died recently, aged respectively seventy-nine and seventy-seven.
Of later settlers only a few notices can he given.
Robert Eldridge, a native of Connecticut, came from Lewis County, N. Y., in 1814, and located on the farm first taken up by Elias West, and occupied, for a time, by Samuel Kellum, brother-in-law of Mr. E. James Eldridge, father of Robert,. died here in 1841, in his eighty-eighth year. After living here about thirty years, Robert removed to Brooklyn, where he died in 1861, aged eighty. Of his sons, James has since occupied the old homestead, but now resides in Owego, N. Y.; Orlando is in Brooklyn. Of his fiye children, Mrs. C. Cushman is the only one in the county.
Jeremiah Etheridge came from New London, Conn., in the spring of 1815, and was the first cabinet-maker in the south neighborhood. He returned to Connecticut, in the fall, to be married, and in October he and his bride began housekeeping in the house vacated by Edward Fuller, near the south line of the township. A few months later, he built on the corner below Deacon Deans'.
Mr. Etheridge removed to Montrose in 1818, and occupied, at first, the small, low building in the rear of the present residence of Mrs. E. There was not then a neighbor on Turnpike Street,
316 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
above where M. S. Wilson now lives. Mr. E. died in 1866, aged seventy-five. His only son, Isaac L., died when a young man, about twenty-five years previous.
Samuel Warner came, about 1815, to Conrad Hinds' first location in the north neighborhood. He was an earnest temperance and anti-slavery advocate. He died in September, 1848.
Ebenezer Sprout, from Hampshire Co.' Mass., came with his wife, in 1816, to the farm they occupied near Montrose, until 1862, when they removed to Lycoming County. They reared a large family. He died January, 1871, in his eighty-fourth year.
Amos Burrows came to the east neighborhood in 1817.
David Bushnell, a native of Connecticut, came to Bridgewater, from Greene County, N. Y., as early as 1816, and purchased the farm now occupied by Matthew Baldwin. He brought his family in the spring of 1819. Five years later, he was obliged, while building a barn, to pay a bushel of oats for every pound of nails he used. In 1829, he came to the farm on the east line of Montrose, where he lived ten years. While here, he joined the Presbyterian church by profession of faith. Upon leaving Montrose, he spent two years in Bradford County before locating in Auburn, where he died April 5, 1872, aged eighty-six.
Joseph W. Parker was born in Saybrook, Conn., April 20, 1797. He removed to Bridgewater in 1816; was baptized by Elder D. Dimock, in 1818, when twenty-one years of age; was licensed June 10, 1826 ; and was ordained May 13, 1829. A considerable portion of his life was spent as a missionary under the patronage of the New York Baptist State Convention, principally in the counties of Susquehanna, Wyoming, Luzerne, and Bradford, where he assisted in organizing several churches, and baptized 602 professed believers, of whom seven entered the ministry. He was a faithful, persevering, good man, whose ministry covered almost forty years. He died near Montrose, April 9, 1866. Mrs. Parker died in Binghamton, December, 1870, in her seventy-third year.
About 1818, Cyrus Cheevers, a native of Massachusetts, came from Harford to the place afterwards known as Mr. Lillie's, on the Wilkes-Barre turnpike, where the gate was last kept, and where he built the house still standing. Mrs. C. died in Bridgewater, July, 1870, in the ninety-first year of her age. She united with the Baptist church of Attleborough, Mass., in 1802.
Orin Clemons and Henry Patrick, later settlers, were located in the vicinity of Montrose over forty years. They and their wives have since deceased.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 317
Twenty years after Stephen Wilson made his clearing, the township was quite well settled. His farm was occupied, in 1819, by Elizur and Dernmon Price ; when they left, it passed into the hands of Messrs. Park, Gregory, and D. Post.
The customs of the people at this time were, in some respects singular. Apple-bees were common, with mince-pies, doughnuts, and sled• riding as accompaniments. A couple would go to a justice of the peace to be married, on horseback, the lady riding on a pillion behind her lover.
Capt. B. Hinds and Dr. R. H. Rose were friends. They agreed to name, each for the other, their places of residence. The former named Silver Lake, and the latter Montrose, after a town in Scotland.
The site of the court-house was fixed by Commissioners Butler, Sutton, and Dorrance, of Wyoming Valley, in 1811.
From this period, the population and interest of the township centered in Montrose. A village plot was surveyed in 1812; its area was but 112 by 139 perches. Singularly enough, it did not include the first location of Bartlet Hinds, the south line being the road just above it, now leading to the cemetery.
In the diagram, the original borough, including 126 by 16` perches, is in heavy lines. The north line passed across the site
318 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
of D. R. Lathrop's present residence; the east line did not include the site of the present residence of E. C. Fordham, nor the west line that of E. Bacon.
The first extension added forty perches to the southWest side. It included the house of D. Post, Esq., but not the site of Mrs. H. Drinker's. The second extension (in 1853), added twenty perches on the northwest and northeast, thirty perches on the southeast, and fifty-two on the southwest. It took in the houses of Walter Foster and E. Bullard, and the row of houses on Turnpike Street, from Mrs. J. C. Biddle tp the Methodist church, but did not include the farm-house of Wm. Jessup, or the late residence of J. T. Langdon ; the northeast line passed through the residence of S. Bard. The borough was then three-fourths of a mile in length by a little less in width.
In 1864, it was extended by town council to one mile square, due east and west, by north and south, the centre being a little south of Sayre Bros.' foundry. It then included the houses in the vicinity of Gen. Warner, but it was found not to extend far enough west to include all who wished to come in, and the next year the extension was confirmed by the legislature, with eighty perches more added on the west. The center of the borough is now about on the east line of " the Green," between M. C. Tyler's corner and the residence of C. M. Gere. The borough includes the source of the Wyalusing, near the plank road, and extends east nearly to "the Dunn house," north, nearly to the residence of O. S. Beebe; and west, so as to include the farm buildings of J. S. Tarbell.
When the act of legislature was passed in 1810, setting off Susquehanna from Luzerne, the tavern of Isaac Post, the small house of David Post under Cemetery Hill, and the log-house of B. Hinds, were the only residences in what is now Montrose. During thatl year, Jabez Frink, Sen., had a log-house opposite the present Baptist church, and carried on blacksmithing for Isaac Post in a shop just west of Wm. Foster's present residence. A horse-shed was on the corner where the post-office has recently been placed upon the foundation of the first brick building erected in the town. A new barn, roofed but not completed, stood on the site of Wm. H. Cooper's banking-bouse, and years later was in its rear. This was all of Montrose when it was chosen as the county-seat. Mr. Frink afterwards owned the farm now Mrs. A. Butterfield's. His sons Jabez and George were later blacksmiths here. Rufus, brother of Jabez Frink, Sen., and fit her of Avery Frink, now of Montrose, came early, and afterwards occupied the site of the present residence of Wm. J. Mulford, where he died.
About 1811, Isaac Post erected a store on the site of the building now occupied by J. R. Dewitt & Co. It was a low
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 319
building, painted red—the first painted house in the township. Both sides of the road were then clear from the corners occupied by Mr. Post down to B. Hinds' house.
Isaac P. Foster, the first tanner and currier in the place, came from South Hampton, Long Island, in 1811, and erected first the house afterwards occupied by B. T. Case, Esq., but soon after the old Keeler Hotel, and prepared his tanyard just back of it. The basement or cellar of this was the first place of confinement for breakers of the public peace; in it, also, Nehemiah Scott taught school when Rev. A. L. Post and playmates were learning their A B C's. Mr. Foster afterwards had a store in this building. J. W. Raynsford was in business with him, and upon closing up resigned to Mr. Foster the house he had built on the west line of the Green. Here Mr. F. lived until 1829, when he removed to Honesdale, where he still resides.
Austin Howell came from the same place, early in 1812, and became associated in business with I. P. Foster. In November, 1813, he raised his tavern sign, at the house he erected just below Mr. Foster, and which continued to be a public house after he built a private residence, for about forty years, kept by successive occupants, among whom were Edward Fuller and Stephen Hinds. The house was burned October, 1854. Its site is occupied by a low, long building used as a store-room by Smith Brothers.
Mr. H. was elected and filled the office of sheriff for the second official term after the organization of the county. He was ever respected as a kind-hearted, honest, and upright man. He had married previous to coming here a sister of the late Hon. William Jessup.
He removed to Rush about 1815, and afterwards to Jessup, where he died, in 1866, at the age of seventy-eight years. His last days were spent at the house of ex-Sheriff Howell, his son
by a second marriage.
William Foster, our present townsman, came in the spring of 1812, from the same place as Messrs. Foster and Howell, and became their apprentice in the tanning business for six years. Two of his tanneries have been destroyed by fire, on the site of the present establishment of his son, Charles S.
Francis Fordham, also from Long Island, in 1812, was the first hatter here. February 9th, 1813, he brought his bride from the same place, and their housekeeping was commenced over the hat-shop, which stood on the street in the north corner of H. F. Turrell's garden. He was afterwards engaged in various mercantile enterprises here, and had one of the first distilleries. Abraham Fordham, brother of the former, was the first cooper here. Both remained here to the close of life, both
320 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
were old men when they left us, and descendants of their families are still among our business men.
In the fall of 1812, Dr. Charles Fraser came from Great Bend to Montrose, having been elected to the offices of prothonotary, register, and recorder, etc. He first occupied a log-house a little north of the present Baptist parsonage, while he was building the house which his daughters now occupy. This was raised in May, 1813. He was afterwards elected senator for five counties, including Susquehanna, and, upon the close of his term of service, resumed the practice of medicine, and endeared himself to many. He died February 4th, 1.834, aged 54 years. Mrs. Fraser survived him thirty-six years, and died at the age of 85. They had four children ; the sons became lawyers, and the daughters teachers. Philip, the eldest son, is judge of the United States District Court of Florida, of which State he has been a resident for the last thirty years, remaining there throughout the late war, and maintaining his position as a Unionist.
Rufus Bowman came in 1813, from Windsor, N. Y., and with his family occupied the log house vacated by Dr. Fraser, until he built a frame house on the spot now occupied by the store of Wm. J. Mulford. In its best days it served many families in succession, and now forms the front part of the residence of E. C. Fordham. He built also a small house (in which he died) on the corner now occupied by the residence of R. B. Little, Esq. He was a baker by trade, but here, at that time, every housekeeper made her own bread, and he was employed' in the mason work on the first court-house, and on other buildings.
After his death, in 1827, the family moved to the farm now occupied by M. L. Catlin. The children married and settled in different parts of the county; two daughters were teachers here many years. Mrs. Bowman died in Jessup in 1856.
In June, 1813, the first court-house was raised, in a new clearing, in which the blackened stumps were still standing; and even five years later they ornamented the west side of the public avenue.
The first court had been held in the ball-room of I. Post's tavern. Mr. Post began to raise his house and store on the southwest corner of Main and Turnpike Streets, August 13th,
following. As soon as he occupied it, Edward Fuller kept his public house for a year, before going into that of Austin Howell.
George Claggett and Stephen Hinds came in August, 1813. Of the sons of the latter, L. B. Hinds of Susquehanna Depot, is the only one in the county. Loami is in Factoryville, Pa. David Post raised his large house in 1814.
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The first lawyers who located here were A. H. Read and B. T. Case, Esqs.—the former in 1814 and the latter in 1816.
Nathan Raynor, merchant, came in 1815. He lived for a time with F. Fordham before commencing the house lately owned by Alfred Baldwin.
Garner Isbell, a cabinet-maker, was here about this time.
Dr. Mason Denison had been occupying a part of D. Post's house, some months, before raising in 1816 the rear of his own house, now the residence of J. R. Dewitt.
Benjamin Sayre and S. S. Mulford, both natives of Long Island, established themselves as merchants here, in the fall of 1816. Mr. S. came with his young wife from Greene Co., N. Y.; Mr. M. was then single. They resided in the rear and chambers of the store of Sayre & Mulford, which stood on the site of the present residence of Mrs. S. S. Mulford. The building was bought, a few years later, by Aaron Green, a tanner and shoemaker (and a Long Islander), and removed down the hill where it now forms a part of the house of C. M. Crandall.
In 1816, a newspaper was established here, from one of the first numbers of which the following item is taken, in reference to the growth of Montrose :—
" In the year 1812 the town of Montrose contained but two families. It now contains a court-house, prison, printing-office, lehther factory, 2 shoe-factories, bat-factory, cabinet-factory, chair-factory, druggist's, tailor's and two smithshops ; 3 physicians, 7 carpenters, 3 public inns, 5 stores, 28 dwelling-houses (several more now building), and 186 inhabitants."
Of the many houses being built in 1816 and 1817 were the following:—
That of Eli Gregory, now Rev. B. Baldwin's; Daniel Gregory's, a small house that stood on M. C. Tyler's corner ; Mrs. Clarissa Avery's, now belonging to her son Charles Avery, Esq.; A. H. Read's next below, now C. M. Gore's ; Mr. Mauger's, now occupied by H. H. Frazier, Esq.; Mr. Plum's, now A. N. Bullard's, and the Silver Lake Bank, now the residence of F. B. Chandler. This could just be seen through the thinned woods, from Mr. Sayre's house ; Mr. Mauger's, though nearer, was wholly concealed by the dense woods in that direction.
Between the court-house and Post's tavern (then kept by C. Carr) there was only his barn, fronting on the west side of the avenue. On the east side D. Curtis had built a tavern, and next below was the store of Sayre & Mulford, then R. Bowman's house, and no other above the corner, where a low red house then stood, the rear of which was occupied by Justin Clark, the editor of The Centinel. The printing-house was opposite Howell's tavern. On Turnpike Street, Geo. Claggett, tailor, had built the rear of M. S. Wilson's house, Alansoa
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322 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Coy, blacksmith, and Peter Brulte,-hatter, were. in the houses opposite, which are still standing.
On Main Street there was no house on the east side above I. P. Foster's. Below him was the tavern Mr. Howell had left to occupy his new building, which was where Wm. W. Smith has since built, and whic was the last house on that side. Opposite were D. Post's new and old houses, and north of them, Mr. Benedict's (first Orimel Deans'—its site is now covered by Miss E. Rose's house); B. T. Case's; Wrn. Turrell in F. Fordham's first building; Herrick & Fordham's store, and Mr. F.'s residence under the same roof; and on the corner Isaac Post's house and store. Nathan Raynor's house was near the site of the fork factory. The small house first built by Mr. Manger had been moved, and now forms a part of Wm. L. Cox's house. Mr. Birchard, a carpenter engaged in building the bank, then lived in it. This was Montrose in 1817.
Wm. Turrell, wife and two children, had come from Conn. in 1816, and lived a short time in the Benedict house, then removed to Auburn for a year. While there he brought? a load of apples to Montrose—the first ever brought here from trees grown in the county. He then came and settled here permanently. He was the first saddler here. His eldest son, Wm. J., represented this district in the State Senate from 1862—'65, and was elected speaker.
In the year 1818, Montrose could boast of one weekly mail, brought on horseback from Great Bend by the post-boy, Leonard Searle. As he neared the village every Thursday, he announced his corning by a shrill blast from a tin horn, which usually hung from his saddle in readiness for this occasion. At this welcome sound there was an immediate rush for the post-office, then kept by Isaac Post in his tavern (to which he returned after it was vacated by C. Carr).
S. S. Mulford boarded at Mr. Sayre's, and often brought from the office letters for the family.
One day when he came in, he exclaimed, "Major Post says you ought to be satisfied this time, as you have the entire mail, seven letters and three papers," the aggregate of a whole week ! The New England settlers were not without their correspondents, even at 18i cents per letter, and this was an exceptional case; but it is amusing when taken in connection with the statement of our present postmaster, that an average of two hundred and fifty-eight letters are now received in a day.
In 1819, Charles Catlin built the house on the corner near the court-house, and now the residence of H. J. Webb. Mr. C. was admitted to the bar of the county several years earlier, 'but had not previously resided here.
The same year, Benjamin Sayre erected a dwelling-house on
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the lot next below, where for several years he kept the " Washington Hotel." Afterwards it was his private residence until it was destroyed by fire in the spring of 1851. The generous hospitality bestowed here many have reason to remember. For the members of the Presbyterian church, of which he was a ruling elder, it was a place of frequent meeting for prayer or consultation ; and much of that church's prosperity is due to his zeal and efforts.
He was a native of Southampton, L. I., but came here from Cairo, N. Y., where he married Priscilla, daughter of Dea. Benj. Chapman. They had five daughters (of whom two died young) and three sons ; the latter are the proprietors of the Susquehanna County Agricultural Works, Foundry, Steam Mill, &c., which contribute largely to the material interests of the place.
Mr. Sayre died in August, 1858, in his 67th year.
Silvanus Sandford Mulford was born August 20th, 1784, at Easthampton, L. I. The names of his ancestors are given among the founders of that Puritan community in 1643. He came to Montrose in 1816, and two years later was married to Fanny, daughter of Zebulon Jessup, of Southampton, L. I. He was one of the few merchants in the county whose business continued without interruption nearly half a century. "he avoided public office, but he did not avoid public duties. In the path of unobtrusive life he sought only the fulfilment of the relations, citizen, father, and friend, which for him had a higher distinction than civil or social honor, and his life was marked by that integrity and equity which for him had the highest reverence."
He had six sons and one daughter. Three sons, either separately or jointly, continued the business established by their father, until the recent death of Sylvester H. Three sons were educated at Yale College. Samuel B., a graduate of 1849,'became a lawyer of high promise. He went to California in 1849, and died at Marysville. Cal., in 1863. S. S. Mulford, jr., a graduate of 1850, served as a surgeon of the Union army through the Rebellion, and now practices his profession in the city of New York. Elisha is a graduate of 1855. [See Authors.]
S. S. Mulford died June 6th, 1864. As a voluntary expression of regard, all the stores and public offices in Montrose were closed at the time of his funeral.
The following miscellaneous items, in which style is sacrificed to brevity, are culled from the newspapers of their respective dates :-
1816.—Herrick & Fordham, merchants, in new store, near the court-house. (This was soon moved down to the lot now occupied by E. C. & G. F. Ford-ham's shops.) Montrose Academy, established by act of the Legislature ; C. Fraser, orator, 4th July celebration ; he was elected Senator the following fall. Benj. '1'. Case, lawyer, located in the village—his sign at first mistaken for Beer & Cake. [He removed it in consequence, and no other took its place.,
1817.—May 7th, Miss Stephens' school on the avenue where store of W. J. Mulford is now. A daughter of Samuel Scott, lost two days in the woods. In June, a freshet swept away the saw-mill dams of Major Post, Conner & Bliss, and John Street. In August, another freshet occurred, in which Mr. Harris, owner of a mill about one and a half miles below town, was drowned. Foster & Raynsford's dry goods and leather store—now Exchange Hotel. R. B. Locke, tailor; Anson Dart, carriage manufacturer, " at sign of gilded
324 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
coach, in Mechanics' Hall" (lot now occupied by W. L. Cox's shop). Daily allowance for subsistence of criminals in gaol was twenty cents.
1818..—January, on petition of B. Sayre and others, Maple Street was extended twelve rods to reach Milford and Owego turnpike, between the banking house and Rufus Bowman's (then near G. F. Fordham's present residence). February. the typhus fever begins its ravages. Anson Dart advertises paints ; Mr. Curtis, dancing in Assembly Room ; Asa Hartshorn, watches and jewelry; Wm. Turrell, as saddle and harness-maker; Montrose Gazette,' opposite Fuller's tavern ; Mary T. Chapman, select school, drawing and painting in addition to studies; Abraham Fordham, coopel; Sayre & Mulford dissolved ; Raynor & Mulford form a partnership ; Samuel Gregory, sheriff; P. Brulte. fencing-school.
1819.—N. H. Lyons, bookbinder, opposite Montrose Hotel (on present site of J. R. Dewitt), was joined in the spring by his brother, Jerre Lyons ; theirs was the first bookstore. In the fall they built a store where H. J. Webb now has one. Robert McCollum, tailor, in same building. J. Etheridge, cabinet-maker, advertises for an apprentice, "who can come well recommended, clear of the itch." Justin Clark, gaoler; " the gaol needs a lock;" three prisoners escaped in March, and one in April. Charles Catlin & Co., surveyors and land agents. B. Sayre, licensed. July 5th, a public dinner at E. Fuller's, the 4th occurring on Sunday. Among the toasts was the following by Walker Woodhouse : "The United States—what God has joined together, let no man put asunder." July 10th, Samuel Warner and Robert Day, committee upon public burying-grounds. Typhus fever continues to prevail; thirty-three adults died of the disease. October 24th, "As yet no mail stage has ever passed through this place ; we want the music of stage horns to enliven our village." Late in the fall a highway robbery occurred, and one hundred dollars was offered for the apprehension of the robber, who was secured by N. H. Lyons. David Fields, tailor. S. S. Mulford's store in the double house he built. now the residence of Jerre Lyons; he resided here ten years. Samuel Barnard occupied house first built by S. S. Mulford (now Mrs. A. Jessup's), and engaged as teacher in the academy.
1820.—January, Agricultural Society proposed by Dr. Rose. May, Medical Society proposed by Dr. Bingham ; Carbine & Woodhouse, merchants, in store first occupied by B. Sayre; first proposed division of Susquehanna County. December, Howard and Jerre Lyons, " Bibles and whisky." Asa Hartshorn, watchmaker. Peter Jameson supplies the village with fresh meat, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, at Sayre's tavern.
1821.—Much attention given to the making of maple sugar; also a great interest felt in the Agricultural Society, and in the raising of stock. Board of scholars from one dollar to one dollar and fifty cents per week, in families. November 10th, first agricultural show.
1822.—Eyre & Hodgdon, merchants, in store previously occupied by I. & D. Post. [Samuel Hodgdon soon after built the house now owned by Saxon Wilson, and used it as a store and residence.] Both the turnpike roads from New York and Philadelphia finished through the county. July 4th, oration by A. H. Read ; committee and officers dine at L Post's tavern ; committee of arrangements " return acknowledgments to Capt. Sayre and his company, for their very polite behavior, likewise to Lieut. Coy, Sergt. Dimock, and Henry Clark of the Artillery." October 9th, cattle show. Death of Bartlet Hinds, who was the first man to cut a tree where Montrose now stands. Henry Catlin keeps the tavern of B. Sayre (Washington
Hotel), for a short time. Green & Bowman, boot and shoe manufacturers, north side of Public Square.
1823.—Statement of expenditures of Susquehanna Academy, from May 1, 1820, to January 27, 1823, shows the school teachers had received not quite live hundred dollars. March 23d, great snowstorm ; B. T. Case, deputy sur-
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veyor, in place of Jas. Catlin, resigned ; Wm. Dennis, gunsmith ; Thos. J. Brooks, hatter ; Elias Colborn (afterwards Colborn & Gregory), tin and sheet-iron manufactory ; Fordham & Woodhouse, merchants. July 4th, Masonic celebration, North Star and Rising Sun Lodges—dinner at B. Sayre's Washington Hotel. July 9th, Widow Cornwell's log house burned. Stephen Hinds " Makes boots in the neatest and best manner for two dollars." November, twenty-five sheep killed by wolves within two miles of Montrose.
1824.—January 1. "'Phis morning the new line of stages commenced running to New York. Business quite lively to-day. Took ten dollars cash, nearly thirty bushels of oats, and six bushels of rye and corn, and charged $3.42." (From private diary of Jerre Lyons, given to show what could be done in 1824.) The following extract is also from Mr. L.'s diary : " Huzza ! huzza! for the new stage (via Milford and Owego turnpike) ; this evening about 7 o'clock, the new stage direct from New York. O what a shouting ! It was saluted by the drum and fife, and by the cheers of the populace. A number of buildings were brilliantly illuminated. The stage was forty-one hours coming from the city, but might have got in in less than forty hours, but stayed at Dundaff unnecessarily; six persons aboard." [This was the establishment of a triweekly mail from New York to Ithaca. which place it reached on the third day—two and a half days to Owego. The Philadelphia and Baltimore mail intersected this route at Montrose twice a week.] James Catlin contracts for carrying the mail to Silver Lake. Lawsville, Great Bend, Harmony, and Deposit. Ashery of B. Sayre in what is now " Bethel Valley." Tannery of Stephens & Foster. Brooks & Bailey, hatters, where is now the law office of F. A. Case, Esq. The borough incorporated March 29; B. T. Case, first burgess. May 7th, proposals solicited for putting up the frame of a Presbyterian meeting-house, signed by 1. P. Foster. May 21st, reward offered for the murderer of Oliver Harper ; Martin Curtis succeeds N. Raynor ; A. H. Read, fire insurance agent ; B. R. Lyons, merchant ; Wm. Harrington, plasterer ; B. Sayre introduces " Vertical Spinner." September 10th, Treadwell's trial; Christopher Eldridge, merchant, on site of Mrs. Mulford's present residence; B. Sayre moves his store into a wing of his house, across the street ; Miss Cochran and sister, milliners ; S. Hodgdon moves to his store and house opposite Presbyterian church ; James Catlin, opposite the Silver Lake bank, and first house east of S. Hodgdon's drug store and residence the same is now a wing of the house of Rev. H. A. Riley ; Colonel John Buckingham in Montrose Hotel.
1825.—Daily stage to New York. January 13th, execution of Treadwell ; newspaper controversy on capital punishment. February. A man imprisoned for a debt of four cents. March. Hiram Finch and E. W. Fuller. constables; Wm. Foster and Caleb Weeks, saddlers ; Jabez and George Frink, blacksmiths. July 13th. Deacon Deans finished raising the steeple of the Presbyterian church ; the bank question was decided this afternoon in favor of Dundaff. July 28th. Esq. Post's woods on fire just below Mr. Etheridge's —wind from the south, and the village in danger of being consumed. August. Theatre (Archbold's) at the academy ; religious meetings held in the same
building on the Sabbath ; Bible society and S. S. Union hold annual meetings here. December. S. F. Keeler & L. Catlin, tanners and curriers ; J. W. Raynsford and James Deans, committee to raise subscriptions for a singing school this winter. Jerre Lyons mentions the putting up of a new article of comfort for those times—a stove.
1826.—Asa Hartshorn purchases the Montrose drug store ; teams go to New York for goods on the 6th of April and return the 24th. June 22d. Dedication of Presbyterian church ; pews sold August 28th, highest bid, $86. August 26th. Dimock & Fuller's office raised on east side of avenue, where is now Lyons & Co.'s store ; subscriptions in county for Wyoming monument; J. C. Biddle succeeds Wm. Drinker as agent of the " Drinker Estate ;" law partnership of A. H. Read And John N. Conyngham.
326 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
1827.—Charter revoked of Northern Bank of Pennsylvania, at Dundaff. February 26th. Baptists begin to draw timber for their meetinghouse; its raising finished June 28th. March. Internal improvement meeting at court-house ; canal commissioners anxious to bring trade of northern Pennsylvania to Philadelphia ; help for the Greeks ; address by Eld. Dim-ock ; supplies sent, with $86 in money. from Montrose. Postage, not over thirty miles, six cents; over thirty and not eighty miles, ten cents ; over eighty and not one hundred and fifty miles, eighteen and three-fourths cents ; over one hundred and fifty and not tour hundred miles, twenty-five cents. July 4th. Bible, tract, and domestic missionary societies, and S. S. Union met; discourses delivered by Elder Dimock and Rev. Burr Baldwin ; anniversary of same societies October 3d. , December, Montrose Alumnus Eloquentice meet for debate.
1828.—Stage route established to Chenango Point. March 30th. Prot. Epis. service at the academy; in May following, a visit was paid by Bishop Onderdonk. May. Wm. Foster & A. H. Bolles, shoemakers. (The latter studied medicine with Dr. Fraser, and became a practicing physician. He built the house which stood for many years on the site of D. D. Sayre's residence, and which served as a parsonage to Episcopalians, Universalists, and Presbyterians, in succession.) C. Cornwall and Allen G. Plum were wagon-makers, 'forty rods east of the court-house ; Daniel Searle succeeds Buckingham in charge of Montrose Hotel ; Asa Harsthorn's drug store, which occupied the corner of his house (now Mrs. Fanny Lathrop's), was moved down to the site of Read's store ; a sidewalk was laid up the avenue ; " hooped skirts come again;" store established by M. S. Wilson and Wm. L. Post. December. Meeting to form a temperance society, ' forty-one gentlemen members.
1829.—January 8th. A ball in honor of Andrew Jackson at D. Curtis', and an oration at the court-house, by B. Jones ; Hough & Prindle, tailors, over the store of Porter & Keene ; the latter disposed of their stock to C. Avery & Co. ; washing-machines by Samuel A. $rownson and Stephen Hinds ; E. Walker's fanning-mill ; Samuel Hodgdon and I. P. Foster remove in 1829 ; controversy about Sabbath mails; G. & H. D. Fuller, dry goods, groceries, etc., opposite Montrose Hotel—no liquors ; music school, T. T. Evans taught the German flute and clarionette; Elder Dimock preached three sermons on the Sabbath, after having preached a New-Year's discourse the Thursday previous. February. Judge Herrick came Saturday evening to attend court, and left the following Wednesday. [This item and a number following are from the diary of D. Post, Esq.] Ordination of Elder J. W. Parker and of Baptist deacons in the Presbyterian meeting-house. July 1st. Dr. Mason Denison's house raised ; Hyde Crocker occupied his house (late Walter Foster's) at the lower end of the village—then next house to D. Post's; a house opposite H. C.'s was built for a parsonage and afterwards called the Judd house; Luther Catlin & S. F. Keeler dissolve partnership ; J. & B. R. Lyons' store.
1829.—Bounty of thirty-seven and a half cents for the scalp of a full-grown fox ; for that of a wild-cat, $1.00 ; of those not full grown, twenty-five cents each. Lewis Brush on Harrington farm. Fashions for May; "the sleeves are of a frightful breadth ; when you have taken the quantity of stuff necessary for the gown, cut just the same quantity, and it will be about enough to make the sleeves." Ladies with gaiters, to be seen--' an instance of downright departure from the proper modest bearing of the sex." A gentleman of Newburg offered "a reward of five dollars for the lady who will wear the smallest hat in church for the next six months." The same paper ('Susquehanna Register') contained S. S. Mulford's advertisement of " Leghorn and Nava-rino Bonnets," the size of which was probably never exceeded.
1830.—Excitement about Delaware and Hudson Canal and Railroad. At a meeting in Montrose, of which D. Post was chairman and C. Avery secre-
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tary, it was " Resolved, It is the sense of this meeting that the interests of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company are so intimately connected with the prosperity of the county, that an injury to the one will be seriously felt by the other." At an anti-masonic meeting it was "Resolved, That in our belief, Christianity is all-sufficient to promote charity, peace, harmony, friendship, and brotherly love, thro' the whole world, without the aid of a secret society which is limited in its charitable deeds." Reuben Harris, chairman ; George Walker, C. Avery, and Geo. Fuller, standing committee; Joel Lamb, Warren Bailey, Dr. C. Fraser, G. Fuller, Thos. Christian, Simon Stevens, committee of vigilance. Great interest felt in North Branch Canal. May 27th. D. Post mentions going with Wm. Jessup " to see where they had been digging for coal down on Snake Creek." Admiral Rupley, tin and sheet-iron manufactory. Mr. R. built the horse now the residence of B. R. Lyons. James Eldridge and Alvan Dana, cabinet-makers. M. Curtis and L. Searle, dry goods, etc., one door east of Hartshorn's drug store. B. G. Grover & Co., boot and shoemakers. P. Hepburn, in Montrose hotel. U. Cushman and C. F. A. Volz, merchants. Wilson & Post remove to new store, Dewitt's corner. December. S. S. Mulford enters new house and store on the avenue. Census of Montrose, 415. Benjamin Hitchcock, merchant.
1831.—Post-office removed from the hotel to Post's (Dewitt's) Corner. Misses Sutton, milliners, over A. Baldwin's harness shop. James Seymour surveys Susquehanna and Lackawanna Railroad, from Owego, via Chenango Point and Lanesboro' to Carbondale. Fourth of July celebrated by eight Sunday-schools : Union Sunday-school, Wm. Jessup, superintendent St.
Paul's church, J. W. Raynsford; Bridgewater, first, B. Sayre; second, J. W. Hill ; third, N. Scott; fourth, James Deans ; Lawsville, Lyman Smith ; Friendsville, Thomas Christian; nearly four hundred scholars and teachers; Elder Dimock, president of the day; Revs. D. Deruelle and S. Marks, speakers. First complaint of public buildings; question whether a new court-house should be erected here, or in some other village possessing superior advantages for a domestic mart. Proposal to set off a part of Susquehanna County with Wayne and Luzerne, and make the county seat Carbondale—" the undoubted future emporium of Northeastern Pennsylvania." Complaint of meeting-house floors besmeared with tobacco, or of slips adorned with spittoons filled with saw-dust and quids. D. Post & Son, store. October. A railroad meeting; delegates elected to a general convention in relation to a contemplated railroad from the,city or county of New York to Lake Erie, to be holden at Owego, iu December. Tuesday morning, 1 o'clock, December 27th. Great fire on Public avenue, west side; extended " from Post's Corner, and included it, with the Register' office in which the fire originated, the store of Avery & Drinker, J. & B. R. Lyons' store, house, and granary, and the building owned by Doctor ,Denison, the front room of which was occupied by the Volunteer' office, and the remainder by the family of E. Kingsbury, Esq. The fire was extinguished by tearing down and removing the store of C. Cushman, and by bringing the engine to play upon his dwelling-house (the site of W. J. Mulford's store). [The engine must have been the " Water Witch," though this appears to be the first mention of it.] A meeting in the court-house to form a Universalist society. Lecture by Rev. George Rogers.
1832.—Newspaper dispute between Elder D. Dimock and Rev. S. Marks, in reference to "revivals." Mail from Montrose to Towanda triweekly. More railroad routes proposed, one of which was to come within half a mile of Montrose. August 9. Day of fasting and prayer in view of the ravages of cholera. D. D. Warner in Franklin Hotel. June 1. Lyons and Bennet, new store over the ruins of the former. Circuit court in August ; ten cases, all but one, ejectments. Public dinner given at D. Curtis' to soldiers of the Revolution, September 12th, during a special court held for the purpose of
328 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
hearing and examining applicants under the new pension law; upwards of forty gray-headed veterans attended, and on Monday (11th), they paraded under command of Capt. Potter, an officer of the Revolution. The drum was beaten by one of their number, and, after marching, they were addressed by Judge Dimock. Many of them were upwards of eighty years of age, and their exercises were performed with astonishing precision and spirit. Simeon Wylie, Elias Van Winkle, E. Wakefield, Rufus Kingsley, and Asahel Gregory gave toasts at the dinner. September. Montrose Temperance Hotel, by B. Sayre ; " a variety of wholesome and refreshing drinks will be kept as a substitute for ardent spirits." "Protracted meetings" in the fall of 1832, and early in the winter, by the evangelist Burchard. Seven wolves shot not far from Montrose; numerous sheep had been killed. Charles Beardsley's carriage factory. Citizens meet to consult about establishing a bank at Montrose.
1833.—Wm. Wynn arrives with the " Hygeian Vegetable Medicines of the British College of Health, London, invented by J. Morrison ;" a meeting of the fire company, of which C. Cushman was chairman and Geo. Williston secretary ; indignation at the little spirit of the community in providing an efficient engine 'Read & Wurts' law office, at the Silver Lake Bank ; plaster and salt hauled from Owego ; the front-room of the long, low building then newly-erected for, the Register' printing-office, across Turnpike Street from Mason Wilson's residence, was used as a tailor shop ; the building stood about thirty years; C. L. Ward, editor of the Register,' built the front of the house next west of it, and occupied it after his first marriage ; it was purchased by Leonard Searle, and occupied by him until he took the Montrose Hotel; Mr. Etheridge buried his bees for the winter, and, in the spring of 1833, found them in good condition. Dr. Buck, dental surgeon, at Sayre's Hotel. Asa Hartshorn sells out his drugs and jewelry to Bentley & Mitchell. Constitutional reform meetings. December. M. C. Tyler, traveling merchant, has a store over that of Lyons & Co. ; open Mondays and Tuesdays ; his residence was then one door below B. T. Case's.
1834.—April. Doctor Daniel Avery Lathrop at the old stand of Dr. Fraser; soon leaves to form partnership with Dr. Leet, in Friendsville. Sharp discussions respecting the act of Legislature which established a system of education by common schools. Frost on the 4th of June. Fourth of July. Twenty-four ladies in white represented twenty-four States. "A novel and handsome display of fireworks in the evening." Friday, July 11th. Tribute to Lafayette ; large procession of citizens and school children ; funeral sermon by Rev. T. Stow. Dental surgeon, J. M. Finch. Preserved Hinds in Montrose Hotel. October. Dr. Porter in house formerly occupied by A. Hartshorn. Montrose furnace and plow-shop by David Post and John Carman. Wilson & Raynsford, merchants.
1835.—December. Burying-round to be inclosed with a stone wall. In the spring, a meeting of " those who have enrolled themselves to form a fire company," the old organization having been given up. September. Stephen Hinds in " FarmeesHotel" (a building that stood below Keeler's). Dr. B. A. Denison where Rev. Burr Baldwin now lives. November. " Itinerant corps dramatique," at Keeler's. J. Etheridge's grocery and provision store —the " Arcade."
1836.—January 7th. Unprecedented storm, which commenced Thursday evening and continued three days and a part of another; snow over three feet deep on a level, and from six to ten feet where drifted. This storm "exceeded any one probably ever experienced in this part of the country, by our oldest inhabitants." The weather was extremely cold, hundreds of cattle and other animals died—" nothing like it since April 1, 1807." Only one mail in nearly a week. February 18th. " Owing to the extreme depth of the snow in the woods, it is with great difficulty the deer can plunge through it. Our citizens have engaged in hunting them on snow-shoes, and four have
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been caught and brought alive into this place this week." February 25th. Death of Mrs. C. L. Ward, daughter of J. W. Raynsford, Esq.; she, and the Misses Fanny Post (Mrs. Jackson), A. L. Fraser, Dotha Catlin (Mrs. Wm. L, Post), Mrs. Lusk, and Mary Barnard (Mrs. George Fuller), have been designated as a bevy of " Montrose beauties." March. S. B. Bennet gives a public concert at the Presbyterian church, with a choir of singers trained by him. Dr. W. Terbell purchases the stand of B. A. Denison, M.D. It was said of the latter: "He can't show off so much as Dr. ____ but he understands the theater of medicine better !" Anti-slavery discussions, warm and frequent. E. S. Castle in Montrose H otel. Webb & Williston, merchants, dissolve. Ladies' " Mental and Moral Improvement Society ;" first meeting in the Presbyterian church. Dr. Josiah Blackman, from Binghamton, locates one door below S. S. Mulford. Case & Hancock, hatters.
"The Washington Band," of Montrose, give a concert at the Baptist church. The first visit of a governor to Northern Pennsylvania, made by Gov. Ritner, who came to Montrose. The hay scales on the avenue, opposite M. C. Tyler's store.
1837.—A remarkable aurora borealis, late in January. Dr. B. A. Denison died, aged sixty-four. April 13th. "The bill to charter a bank, to be located at this place, has become a law." P. Hinds again in Montrose Hotel. " Four daily stages, and one triweekly stage, meet here at night and depart in the morning." An immense red barn then stood north of the hotel, with the great doors open on the avenue. J. Etheridge's " Arcade" was next north of it. December. Eld. Dimock's farewell discourse. Bank of Susquehanna County; directors elected October 9th; J. C. Biddle (president), Wm. Jessup. I. Post, S. S. Mulford, Wm. Ward, D. Post, F. Lusk, Jesse Lane, C. L. Ward, William L. Post, Daniel Searle, M. S. Wilson, Charles Avery.
1838.—July. C. F. Read, postmaster, in place of Wm. L. Post. September. Dr. Mason Denison died, aged fifty years. Bank began operations Dec. 17th, Isaac Kellum, cashier ; broke Nov. 1849, T. P. St. John, cashier. December. Wood-bee for the widows and needy of Montrose. Wood cut on farm of Calvin Cox ; M. C. Tyler, H. J. Webb, and B. S. Bentley, committee.
1839.—A parting public supper to Judge Herrick. Montrose, Bridgewater, Choconut, New Milford, Jackson, Gibson, and other townships within the bounds of the contemplated new county, send memorials to the Legislature against a division of the county. Susquehanna County Mutual Insurance Company; J. C. Biddle, president, I. Kellum, treasurer, J. W. Raynsford, secretary.
1840.—February 27th. " Snow is quite a stranger in this mountain land ; lilacs begin to bud ; at least one farmer has cast in his spring wheat. C. D. Cox in Montrose Hotel. Thomas Jackson, physician. Drs. E. S. Park and Ezra Patrick in partnership.
1841.—February 5th. Parting supper to Judge Conyngham, by the Susquehanna bar. " Festival conducted on temperance principles ;" Judge Conyngham said :—
" Disclaiming every intention of making invidious comparisons, and particularly of speaking one word in disparagement of the county where my residence is located (Luzerne), and over whose courts I am called to preside ; there is no county in Pennsylvania that stands so high in the scale of morality as the county of Susquehanna. This fact, so honorable to the inhabitants, is not only established by the records of her courts; it is conceded by all; and if it had been my lot to have had my residence within her limits, no considerations would have induced me to make the separation." Referring to this, the United States Gazette' styles Susquehanna the " Banner County." At this supper, J. T. Richards referred to Horace Williston, Esq., as " Our absent father-in-law." He was one of the most prominent of the
330 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
early non-resident lawyers who practiced here. The village cemetery, of one and a half acres, with right of way, purchased for $300.
1842.--Daguerreotypes taken in Montrose (first time) by Edwin Foot. Montrose procures a cannon. May 21st. Revival of military honors. In June, frosts, the mercury nearly to 0 F. October. Animal magnetism attracting attention. 31st. Public meeting to form a fire company (the present No. 1) ; organized in November. " General Taylor was then hewing his way to the ' Halls of the Montezumas,' and from his mode of fighting had won the sobriquet of Rough and Ready. This name was suggested and adopted."
The events of the last thirty years are presumed to be too fresh in the public mind to render further itemizing necessary, and the record is now left to some future annalist. A few dates, however, may be acceptable.
The second large fire occurred in May, 1851, and swept the western side of the avenue, with the exception of one house on each end, viz., Searle's and Webb's.
The fire of November, 1854, was still more destructive; commencing in the harness shop of A. Baldwin (where is now the drug store of Burns & Nichols), two houses east of that were burned—James Eldridge's large building and Mason Wilson's store; then westward the stores of Bentley & Read, A. Turrell, and the dwelling of I. L. Post, then the only brick building in the place—and crossing the street., the residence of Judge 1. Post, and all the buildings south on both sides of the street to the house of Mrs. Turrell and the storehouse of S. F. Keeler.
A week later the old "Farmer's Hotel"—once Howell's, Fuller's, and Hinds', etc., was burned. Before the next fire, No. 2 Fire Company was organized, and, like the first, corn-prised many of the business men of the place. About 2 o'clock in the morning, March 19, 1863, the old foundry of S. H. Sayre & Brothers was totally destroyed by fire. The Republican' of the same week stated that the establishment had added $100,000 per year, for three years, to the prosperity of our business population. Its destruction was a great loss to the community. But, with favors from some, of the liberal-hearted, the firm were able to re-establish themselves, and to extend their business. In 1870, they Imanufactured and sold seventy-five Hubbard mowing-machines, fifty with reapers at-tached—also repaired about two hundred in addition to their other business.
The following is the number of hands employed by Sayre Brothers, in each department of the foundry: machine shop, 9; blacksmith shop, 3; wood shop, 6 ; moulding room, 13 ; cleaning room, 2; painter, 1; steam-mill, 1.
Early in February, 1866, the Keystone Hotel, Wm. K. Hatch, proprietor, was burned. It stood upon the site of Mr. Sayre's house, which had also been burned fifteen years earlier, and had
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been occupied by him as a residence several years, before he sold it to Mr. Hatch.
On the 26th February, 1870, Searle's hotel, also a bookstore in which the fire originated, and the express office were burned —the buildings all owned by L. Searle.
At present there are four fire engines in the place, two of No. 1 Company, one of No. 2, and one of the " Wide Awake" Company, who use the engine first brought here.
In addition to the manufactory and foundry of the Sayre Brothers, Montrose and vicinity has a fork factory, woolen mills, a "building-blocks" factory,¹ eight dry goods and general merchandise stores, four shoe, and two jewelry stores, six groceries, three eating saloons (no liquor), two drug, and two hardware stores, four blacksmith shops, three insurance offices, three milliners, three or four mantua-makers, three liveries, three wagon shops, two tanneries; two shops of each of the following: cabinet-makers and undertakers, carpenters, turning and scroll-saw, coopers, saddle and harness, barbers, news-dealers; also, two hotels, two meat markets, and two printing-offices ; one shop of each of the following : light-cabinet, pattern, upholsterer, and marble dealer; one banking house, a bookbindery, an-ashery, an express-office, and a photograph gallery ; thirteen lawyers' offices, two justices', six physicians', and one dentist's.
The court-house and jail are both fine structures.
A machine for bending hay, straw, and manure forks of every
¹ The blocks were invented in December, 1866, and patent issued February 5, 1867. A few small sales were made in December, previous to granting of patent.
Early in 1867, the blocks were shown by Mr. Crandall, the inventor, to Barnum, of New York, who was so much impressed with their novelty and beauty that he gave them a place in his museum, where they remained on exhibition for several weeks. By this time the demand for them had so much increased that the attention of Mr. Crandall was required at home in the invention and perfection of adequate machinery for their production. That year the sales amounted to about ten thousand dollars.
In January, 1868, a contract was made with the publishers of the American Agriculturist,' of New York, Messrs. Orange Judd & Co., foi the sale of all the blocks manufactured, which amounted in that year to about thirty thousand dollars.
In October, 1868, Mr. George Welles Comstock, of New York, became a partner in the business, and the firm is now C. M. Crandall & Co. About twenty thousand dolllars' worth of toy railway trains will be manufactured this year. The market for these, as well as the blocks, is principally found in New York, from which, through the regular channels of trade, they find their way to every State in the Union. A few days since you might have seen in New York a case of Crandall's blocks marked for Australia, and several more for Liverpool, England. Messrs. Crandall & Co. will cut up this year about 200,000 feet of bass-wood lumber, and some 65,000 feet of hemlock boards will be required to make the packing-cases. About forty regular hands are employed this year. The factory is the second, or upper story of Sayre Brothers' foundry building, and is 40 feet wide and 250 feet long. Twenty circular saws are in operation, and other machinery in proportion. [From ' Republican,' 1870.]
332 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
description has lately been invented by G. R. Lathrop, and is now in use in the fork factory.
M. T. Jackson has lately obtained a patent for a carriage top; and H. L. Beach for a scroll-saw.
The population of Montrose by the census of 1830, was 415 ; in 1860, it was 1263, and in 1870, 1463.
The Montrose and Bridgewater Poor Asylum has been in successful operation for the last five years; and affords a comfortable and pleasant home for our poor.
After the passage of the act of incorporation in the spring of 1864, the directors purchased a farm in Bridgewater township, containing one hundred and twenty five acres, at a cost of $4357 ; also stock and the necessary farming implements. Notwithstanding this " enormous expense," the debt and interest have been paid ; additional personal property has been purchased; the paupers in both districts have been kept for five years, and now the property—real and personal—is worth $8000; all paid for at the rate of eight mills on the dollar of valuation, on an average each year—and this too, without resorting to the indictable offence of selling the keeping of paupers to the lowest bidder.
HON. ALMON H. READ.
Almon Heath Read was born at Shelburne, Vermont, June 12, 1790. He remained at home with his father, working on the farm, until seventeen years of age. He then entered Williams College, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1811. During his collegiate course, on one of his visits home, he gave his views on political affairs, favoring a Democratic policy ; and his father, a stern old Whig, threatened that unless he gave up his Democratic notions, he would take him from college, and set him to work on the farm. It appears, however, that after his graduation he studied law for two years in Albany, where his political notions were not disturbed.
In 1814, he was drafted into the military service, just before the battle of Plattsburg, and arrived there the day after the battle ; his company was disbanded, and thus suddenly ended his military career.
Soon after, he left his home in Vermont, on horseback, with a pair of saddle-bags, and a few dollars in his pocket, for the State of Ohio--then the far West—where he expected to settle. But, on reaching Mott's tavern on the old Newburgh turnpike, in New Milford township, the roads were nearly impassable, the mud being knee-deep to the horse. He learned that one of his young associates, Col. Wm. C. Farrell, had settled a few miles south of Montrose, and he concluded to turn aside from his route and spend a few days with him, hoping the roads would improve, and that he might then proceed on his journey.
On reaching Montrose, which was then a new county-seat--the first court having been held the year previous—he was prevailed upon to remain, and was offered the position of clerk to the county commissioners. He applied for admission to the bar of Susquehnna County ; but the only settled (?) lawyer then in practice here, objected, as he had not pursued the requisite course of study in accordance with the rules of Pennsylvania courts. He was therefore compelled to enter his name as a student. in the office of Judge Scott, of Wilkes-Barre. Very soon after, the objection was withdrawn, and he became a regular practitioner.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 333
In 1816, Mr. Read married Miss Eliza Cooper, of Southampton, Long Island, and then settled permanently in Montrose, where he prosecuted his profession¹ (at the same time holding the office of county clerk, from January 1, 1815, to January 1, 1820), and became much interested in the progress and growth of the town. He took a lively interest in the establishment of the Academy, and later, when the temperance movement was first agitated, he became one of its warmest supporters.
It does not appear that he took any prominent part in politics until about 1827, when he was elected as Representative.
In 1828, he was not a candidate, but was elected in 1829, '30, '31, and '32.
In 1833, he was elected State Senator and served for four years. He was soon after elected State Treasurer, which office he held one year, and was then elected a member of the convention to revise the Constitution of Pennsylvania. He took a prominent part in this convention. After its close, the chairs occupied by the members were sold at public auction. The one used by Mr. Read was sold for $14 (being the first choice), and the remaining one hundred and thirty-one seats for prices varying from $3 to $10.
Soon after he accepted an invitation of the citizens of Erie County to a banquet at Erie, and they there presented him with a beautiful oak cane, having upon it six silver plates bearing the following inscription :—
Presented by the Democratic citizens of Erie County, to
Almon H. Read, for his distinguished services in the Convention to reform the Constitution of Pennsylvania.
Commodore O. H. Perry's Victory,
Lake Erie, Sept. 11, A. D. 1813.
“We have met the enemy and they are ours."
Taken from the Flag-ship
Lawrence, Aug. 4th, A. D. 1838.
His name was sent by Gov. Porter to the Senate, as President Judge of one of the Western Judicial Districts of the State; but the Senate being equally divided between the Democrats and Whigs, the vote was a tie ; and his nomination was not confirmed.
In March, 1842, he was elected to Congress to fill the unexpired term of Hon. Davis Dimock, Jr.; and, in the fall of 1842, he was re-elected for the years 1843 and 1844. In Oct. 1843, his wife died, after a short illness; and soon afterwards, whilst on his way to Washington, he took •a severe cold, which terminated in consumption, and which, during that session, prevented him to a great extent from participating in its deliberations. Even his political enemies esteemed him a pure legislator.
During his sickness at Washington, in order to show his regret at having been a politician, he said to his son : " Never accept an office from the people. I have always been successful whenever my name came before the electors, for fifteen years, never having been defeated, and all I have ever received as compensation is this (holding up his Erie cane), and a few newspaper puffs; leaving my family in a far different position from that which
¹He was often called the " honest lawyer," from the fact that he was never known to engage in a case for a client, unless he honestly thought him in thy right; and always discouraged the petty litigation so prevalent at the present day.
334 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY
they probably would have held, had I pursued my profession ; besides de priving, myself, for a great portion of each year, of the comforts of a home."
Mr. Buchanan having called upon him and- inquired after his health, ho replied he hoped to be well enough to start for home in a few days. Mr. B urged him to stay in Washington, as it was a better climate than the nortl for consumptives ; but he replied, " Mr. Buchanan, you have no children, no home-ties; I desire to go home and die among my children."
He predicted that the slavery question would soon result in a terribly strurgle between the North and the South.
Although very feeble, he succeeded in reaching home about the first of May 1844, and on the third of June following he died, in the 54th year of his age
The Hon. B. A. Bidlack pronounced a eulogy in the House of Represen tatives upon the character and services of Mr. Read, in which he said : " H. was possessed of a strong, vigorous, and cultivated intellect, which enable( him to be a distinguished member of all the deliberative assemblies wit] which he was associated, so long as the health of his body permitted the fre, and full exercise of the powers of his energetic mind."
Mr. Read was in politics a Democrat of the old school, as opposed to tin Whig party.
HON. WILLIAM JESSUP.
William Jessup was born at Southampton, L. T., June 21, 1797. He graduated at Yale College, 1815. Three years later, he, with several others, eft his native place for Montrose, and entered the law office of A. H. Read, Esq. The following winter, he taught the first term of the first academy sere. He was admitted to the bar, February, 1820. In July of the same rear he married Amanda Harris, of Long Island.
He held the office of register and recorder for the county by appointment pf Governors Shulze and Wolf, from January, 1824, nine years, and declined re-appointment in 1833. In 1838, be was appointed, by Governor Ritner, president judge of the eleventh judicial district of Pennsylvania, which then comprised the counties of Luzerne, Pike, and Monroe. " Upon the acces-;ion of the Hon. John N. Conyngham to the presidency of the adjoining listrict, a transfer was made by the legislature of the counties of Luzeime tnd Susquehanna, that accommodated both judges in respect to residence. Upon the expiration, in 1848, of his first constitutional term upon the bench, Judge Jessup was re-appointed by Governor Johnston to the district then :omposed of Luzerne, Susquehanna, and Wyoming. Here he continued to preside until the term again expired in 1851 ; prior to which he had been pominated by a State convention of the Whig party, as one of the five judges of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth, but that party was, as usual, lefeated at the following election. He then returned once more to his Favorite profession." In this he was actively enraged until disabled by paralysis, in the year 1863. In 1848, Hamilton College conferred upon him :he merited degree of LL.D.
As a lawyer, " he was quick and persevering, a strong advocate both with lhe court and with the jury, winning success with the former by the clear-mess and correctness of his legal knowledge, and with the latter by the force of his character, the fairness and strength of his argument." The first authority quoted, says : " One of his most brilliant forensic triumphs may be reckoned his defence of the Rev. Albert Barnes, of Philadelphia, ipon the charge of heresy, before the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church."
The second authority continues: " His judicial course was characterized by great ability, clearness, impartiality, and a stern adherence to integrity and uprightness. As a citizen, he was a person of great public spirit, liberal in his views, and generous in his gifts, both of time and money, for the public welfare. He was affable and courteous in his bearing to the humblest of
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 335
his acquaintance. In politics he was strongly Republican, and entered into the prosecution of the late war with zeal."
The temperance movement, the interests of the oppressed, the cause of education, and the advancement of agriculture received his early and con tinned hearty co-operation.
He joined the Presbyterian church of Montrose, September 3, 1826, and was ordained a ruling elder of the same, August 2, 1829. " It became almost a proverb," as stated in a discourse preached at his funeral, " than the pungent sermons of the pastor were fitly supplemented by Judge Jessup's glowing arguments and pathetic appeals."
" Much that is noble in the development, achievements, and position of many persons is directly attributable to him."
He was widely known and highly honored throughout the New-School branch of the church to which he belonged; but nowhere did his Christian character shine with greater lustre than among those who knew him best He became vice-president of the A. B. C. F. M., and cheerfully gave up twc sons as foreign missionaries. Of these, Henry Harris Jessup, D.D., is at present professor of Biblical Literature in the Protestant Theological Seminary at Beirut, Syria. Judge Jessup died September 11, 1868. Of hi: eleven children, eight are still living.
HENRY DRINKER, THE ELDER.
Henry Drinker, at the time of his decease one of the largest landholders in Pennsylvania, was the second son of Henry Drinker, of Philadelphia, and Mary Gottier, of Burlington, N. J. He was born 21st February 1734, (old style). When twenty-five years of age, he embarked for England, returning in the following year. Letters written by him during this tour are still ex tant among his descendants, and they bear evidence to the fact that he wa: a man of observation, and graphic powers of description. Soon after hi: return, on the 13th January, 1761, he was married to Elizabeth Sandwith.
The lands of Henry Drinker were located in Wayne, Luzerne, Wyoming Center, Clearfield, Indiana, Cambria, Bradford, Tioga, and Susquehannt counties, in Pennsylvania; and in Montgomery and Delaware counties New York.
He was a staunch member of the Society of Friends, and for this reason was not brought so much before the public, as he in all probability, other wise would have been ; the members of this denomination not being in the habit of taking an active part in public affairs. He was for many years member of the firm of James & Drinker, shipping and importing merchants of Philadelphia; they were very successful in their business previous to the Revolution.
One of the cardinal doctrines of the Society of Friends is opposition to war in every form, and a firm and decided refusal to bear arms in support o any cause, however just. In consequence, be, with nineteen other persons seventeen of the number being Friends, were arrested and taken, first to Staunton, Va., and afterwards to Winchester, Va., where they were kept it partial confinement nearly eight months, without provision being made fol their support.
His first speculations in lands were in the purchase of farms in the settled counties, principally adjoining Philadelphia County, in which transactions his was very successful, and this led him into his large purchases of wild lands He was a man of great business ability. He resided in Philadelphia, and died in 1808.
The late Esq. Raynsford, of Montrose, and Hosea Tiffany, were the firs purchasers of any of his land in Susquehanna County, under the Pennsylvania title. They walked to Philadelphia to obtain their deeds.
336 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Henry Drinker, son of Henry S. Drinker of Philadelphia, and grandson of Henry Drinker the elder, founder of the " Drinker Estate," was born in the year 1804, near Philadelphia. After living for a short time at Stroudsburg, Pa., he came to Susquehanna County, about the year 1828, remaining for a time on a farm in Springville (now Dimock). He became a partner of the late James C. Biddle, in the agency of the Drinker estate; to the full agency of which he succeeded, upon the death of Mr. Biddle. In the year 1845 he was married to Frances Morton of Wilmington, Del., and continued to reside in Montrose until his decease, which occurred on the 5th February, 1868.
His life, like that of most of the residents of Montrose who have taken no active part in political affairs, was devoid of incident ; but it may be truly said of him, his instincts were generous, and his liberality worthy of example by others. It is to his influence and means that the congregation of St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal church of Montrose are largely indebted for the handsome house of worship they now occupy.
He took an interest in everything appertaining to agriculture; was fond of, and took pleasure in the cultivation and ornamentation of the grounds about his residence, and had also a fondness for fine horses, as well as for other domestic animals. To his own proper employment he added that of a farmer and banker, and for some years previous to his decease, he had owned and superintended the operations of two farms in the immediate neighborhood of Montrose. He was at one time president of the County Agricultural Society.
JAMES C. BIDDLE.
James C. Biddle was a native of Philadelphia, born December 23d, 1802. He was early educated to business habits, having served his apprenticeship to the shipping and commission business, and ou November 1, 1825, he left the counting-house of Smith & Stewardson of that city, and in the year 1826 came to Susquehanna County as agent for the Drinker estate, and soon won the esteem and confidence of the settlers by his liberality and indulgence. On the 3d April 1828, he was married in Philadelphia to Sally Drinker, a granddaughter of the founder of the estate ; and after his marriage, Montrose became his permanent residence.
In order to qualify himself properly to conduct the business of his agency, he commenced the study of law under the Hon. Wm. Jessup, and in the spring of the year 1836, was duly admitted to the bar of Susquehanna County. He was pre-eminently a man of public spirit, and sagacious business qualifications, and he won among his neighbors, and throughout the county, a popularity as extensive as it was well:deserved.
As president of the Bauk of Susquehanna County, of the Mutual Insurance Company, and as an active director and patron of various other institutions, his services were important ; while his name, so far as it was known, yielded unbounded respect and confidence. Many had cause to remember his cheerful benevolence and unostentatious charity.
But eminent as was his usefulness in a public capacity, his private worth among his immediate friends and neighbors, and in the domestic circle, was more truly inestimable.
His death occurred at Philadelphia, whither he had gone on business, March 31st, 1841, in the thirty-ninth year of his age.
The usual resolutions of respect and condolence with the family were passed by the various corporations with which he was connected. Though highly eulogistic, they expressed no more than what every one who knew him felt was his due.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 337
Notice of the Baptist church having already been given in the sketch of Elder D. Dimock, a few items only need be added.
Henry Congdon, Asa Baldwin, Jonathan Wheaton, David Knowlton, Samuel Baldwin, and Luther Dean covenanted together and were duly recognized " as the Baptist Church of Christ of Bridgewater, Pa.," April 9th, 1808, by Elder Dimock and other brethren of the Exeter church, at the log-house of Bartlet Hinds. Two days later, the church met at Henry Cong-don's, and received into membership Sarah Cortgdon, Mary Baldwin, Achsah Knowlton, and Betsey Baldwin. It was not until the 4th of May following that Bartlet Hinds presented testimonials of his membership of the 2d Middleboro' Baptist church, Mass., and was received here. His wife Agnes, Stephen Wilson, and John Gardener were baptized by Elder Dimock, and added to the church. During the following fifty years over one thousand members were received by baptism and by letter. Eleven had been ordained deacons, and ten licensed to preach. Several years, following April, 1837,. were years of trial on account of a division of sentiment on the subject of slavery. Forty-six disaffected members received letters of dismission, August, 1839, and afterwards organized " The Montrose and Bridgewater Baptist church." This was disbanded, and most of the members returned to the old church (the anti-slavery party) during the great revival of 1842-3.
The pastors of the church have been : Elders Dimock, Wor-den, Post (" supply "), Taylor, Glanville, Ransted, Wyeth, Stone, Morse, Ford, and at present, John E. Chesshire, D.D. Others have occasionally ministered to the church some weeks at a time ; Elder Fox was connected with one or two revivals here.
The house of worship was commenced in 1827; the first service in it was held December 10th, 1829. The building was materially enlarged, and a basement added about twenty years ago.
The first Congregational church of Bridgewater was organized at the house of Joseph Raynsford, July 3d, 1810, by Revs. E. Kingsbury, then missionary from Connecticut, and M. Miner York, of Wyalusing, with the following members : Moses Tyler, Edmund Stone, Simeon Tyler, Samuel Davis, Amos West, Phineas Arms, Sarah Tyler, Esther Lathrop, Anna Raynsford (wife of Joseph) Anna Davis, Hannah Fuller, and Hannah, wife of J. W. Raynsford. The first named was chosen deacon.
The sermon on this occasion was preached in the barn of Walter Lathrop, near the barns since erected by his son Daniel; it was burned in 1816. The service was one of great solemnity, and was the prelude to a revival of great power. Church
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338 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
meetings were held very generally after this, at the house of Edward Fuller.
Rev. Mr. Kingsbury had visited the settlement previously, and baptized children of Mrs. Fuller, Moses and Simeon Tyler. Rev. Wm. Lockwood, another missionary, was here in the fall of 1810. At the first communion, October 4th, Revs. Ard Hoyt and M. M. York were present, and thirty-two joined the church.
On the 19th of June, 1811, Rev. Joseph Wood was installed pastor of the church.
The first parsonage, or, at least, the first minister's residence, was a few rods from the house since occupied by John Stroud, and at present by N. Smith.
Mr. W. preached half the time for the 2d Congregational church of Bridgewater (now Brooklyn). Meetings were held at the South school-house for the first time, September, 1811. A former log school-house was burned.
Deacon Tyler resigned his office May, 1812, and Z. Deans was chosen in his place; he was ordained with P. Arms, December 31st, 1812, and the Articles of Faith and Covenant of the Lu-zerne Association were then adopted.
On the 28th of January, 1814, the church applied to the New Hampshire Missionary Society for assistance; twelve of the members contributed forty cents for the postage on two letters about this business.
Mr. Wood's connection with the church was publicly dissolved September 24th, 1815. A constitution was drawn up at a meeting at the school-house, Thanksgiving day, November 13th, 1815, " for the purpose of forming a permanent ecclesiastical society, for the support of an evangelical gospel minister in Bridgewater." Another meeting was held at the house of J. W. Raynsford the first Monday in Jan. 1816, and an agreement was entered into to support a minister half the time in the village of Montrose, and the other half in the south neighborhood, each man to pay $1, the half of which might be in produce. But the tide of opinion was not all one way, and a " newspaper war" ensued.
During the same year the Union Bible Society was formed. Luzerne, Susquehanna, and Bradford Counties acting in concert, and this, too, excited great controversy. " A citizen," animadverting upon the constitution of the Bible Society, linked this with banks, turnpike companies, &c., thus: "Every man of sense and information knows that these institutions are diametrically opposite to the principles of a free government. They are engines which I fear will destroy the Republic."(!) Another opposer said of the Bible Society : " The austensible object is certainly laudable, but the best of objects will not justify the
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 339
worst of means "—referring to the constitution, which he believed "drawn up in an artful, ambiguous manner, peculiarly calculated to trap the unwary."
On "Lord's-day, September 15th, 1816," a meeting for public worship was held at the court-house. Rev. M. M. York, preacher. All meetings for the first half of the year 1817 appear to have been held at the South school-house; but about this time J. W. Raynsford removed to Montrose, and a number of new members being also located here, meetings were held here every alternate Sabbath. There were then four Congregational ministers and seven churches in the county.
In January, 1818, the first mention of Rev. G. N. Judd appeared on the church records. He became the " stated supply" before the following July.
Public worship was held in the academy for the first time, December 20th, 1818.
In May, 1819, the church agreed to give Mr. Judd $600 per year, by an assessment on the members in proportion to the valuation of their property.
The first board of trustees appointed to transact the business of the society, consisted of Joseph Butterfield, Zeb. Deans, I. P. Foster, Benj. Sayre, and Elizur Price.
The monthly concert of prayer was first mentioned July 4th, 1819. Church meetings were held monthly, and usually at the house of Reuben Wells. A visiting committee of four to six was appointed to serve three months, to call on the church-members, inquire after delinquents, &c.
Mr. Judd, though greatly beloved, was never installed here. He left early in 1820, on account of the health of his wife—a sister of the late Hon. Theo. Frelingliuysen. They had occupied a house which B. Sayre and I. P. Foster built for a parsonage; Mr. Judd putting in some money also, which, when he left, these gentlemen refunded, taking the society for security. Mr. F. eventually received his portion by the sale of the property, but that of Mr. S. was yielded to the society. The house was a two-story framed one, opposite Walter Foster's, at the lower end of the village, and long afterwards known as " The Judd house." It has been tal‘en down.
There appears to have been no regular preaching from Feb. 1820 to Feb. 1822, after which Rev. Enoch Conger was here occasionally; he administered the Lord's Supper once in the South school-house, in 1822, and once at the court-house, in 1823. During a visit from Mr. Judd September 12, 1823, after considerable discussion, it was unanimously resolved to adopt the Presbyterian form of government, and seven ruling elders were elected, viz., P. Arms, Z. Deans, R. Wells, M. Tyler, J. W. Raynsford, B. Sayre, and I. P. Foster.
340 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
About the same time, Rev. Burr Baldwin came as a missionary to Northeastern Pennsylvania. In the spring of 1824, he brought his family to Montrose and began his pastoral services, but his installation was deferred until the meeting of Presbytery in September following.
The plan hitherto adopted of attending Sabbath worship at the South school-house in the morning, and in the village in the evening, was creating much ill feeling; Mr. Baldwin reversed the order, and the erection of a church in the village was decided upon; the building was raised in July, 1825. The $1400 which had been subscribed for the church edifice was all expended on the foundation, the timber, and raising it ; and Mr. Baldwin set off to N. Y. and Philadelphia to raise funds, returning with $635. The building was completed, and the first service in it was held on Sabbath, June 4th. It was dedicated June 22, 1826.
[The building at the left and in the rear is the parsonage.]
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 341
It would be delightful to linger here and recount the wonderful work of grace that followed the dedication. There had been none equal to it since 1810. Although the labors of the several ministers here had not been unblest, still nearly half the additions to the church had been by letter. In succeeding years, the old church became enshrined in the hearts of hundreds ; and, especially, is its quaint old session-room recalled with tender emotion.
" Ilk place we scan seems still to speak
Of some dear former day—
We think where ilka ane had sat
Or fist our hearts to pray ;
Till soft remembrance drew a veil
Across these een o' mine 1"
The pastor's home was in the old " Silver Lake Bank." Rev. Mr. Baldwin's pastorate ended in May, 1829. The preceding year had been one of great trial to the church, owing to the disaffection of some of its members. The organization of the Episcopal church was one result of this ; and the healing of differences was followed by a revival of great interest.
In the fall of 1829, the church extended a call to the Rev. Daniel Deruelle, a native of New Jersey. He met with the session for the first time January 21, 1830, and was installed in June following.
The church was greatly prospered during his ministry. He left in 1833, and, his health requiring him to travel, he engaged for some time as the agent of the board of education in the Middle States.
The following is from a parting tribute to him by a parishioner¹ ---
“Thine was the skill to look with eye unfailing
Quite through the deeds of men to action's spring ;
Nor was thy heaven-born genius unavailing
To wake on feeling's harp the master string."
When Mr. D. left there were 202 members belonging to the church, of whom nine-tenths were members of the temperance society.
Mr. Deruelle died March 4 1858, in North Carolina, while agent for the American Bible Society. He was about sixty years old.
The Rev. Timothy Stow was here early in 1834, and his labors were continued with this church until the fall of 1838. He was an outspoken, uncompromising anti-slavery advocate, and left a decided impression upon his congregation. A revival was enjoyed in 1835 and in 1837.
Mr. Stow was occasionally absent-minded. He was accustomed to give notice of the evening meeting " at early candle-
¹ Miss A. L. Fraser.
342 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
light," or, "at the ringing of the bell ;" but, on one occasion, much to the amusement of the congregation, he announced that it would convene " at the ringing of the candles." Both Mr. and Mrs. Stow died some years ago.
During the pastorate of the Rev. H. A. Riley, for twenty-five years succeeding, the church was largely increased by a succession of revivals of unusual power.
He stimulated the church to the erection of the present beautiful brick house of worship. Its cost was about $15,000. The corner-stone was laid June 13, 1860. The first service held in it was the funeral of the last one of the constituent members of the church, Mrs. Hannah Fuller, December 17, 1864 ; the first Sabbath service, January 5, 1862 ; and the dedication, the following 5th of February.
The present pastor, Rev. Jacob G. Miller, was installed in the fall of 1864.
REV. BURR BALDWIN.
Burr Baldwin was born January 19, 1789, in the town of Weston (now Easton), Fairfield County, Connecticut. He entered Staples Academy at eight years of age ; at fourteen he was recommended by the principal to read the Bible daily and consecutively—a practice he adopted, and has never relinquished. He believes it to have been one of the chief instruments of his conversion. He entered Yale College (second term Soph.) at eighteen ; joined the College church the next year; taught school some months after be graduated, and entered Andover Theological Seminary in 1811. He was twice obliged to give up study on account of his health ; the . first time he took a journey of five hundred miles on foot, and was benefited ; the second time he rode eight hundred miles on horseback in order to ascertain if he could endure the labors of a foreign mission (having been accepted by the A. B. C. F. M.); but returned debilitated. It was not until 1816 that he was able to enter the ministry; he was then licensed by the Litchfield South Association. In the mean time he had taught a classical school at Newark, N. J., and had been eminently successful in Sabbath-school enterprises.
He spent the following year as a missionary along the Ohio River from Steubenville to Marietta—then the far West—and upon his return, was obliged to resign his appointment to the heathen, on account of his health. During the next four years he labored as missionary in New York city and Northern New Jersey, and as agent for the Presbyterian Education and United Foreign Missionary Societies. Soon after his marriage, in July, 1821, be preached, as stated supply in Hardiston and Frankford, N. J., until his mission to Northeastern Pennsylvania and subsequent pastorate here.
After leaving Montrose he was settled in Connecticut and Massachusetts. In 1838 he resumed teaching in Newark, and remained there nine years ; his leisure being spent in efforts for the elevation of the working classes. He interested Roman Catholics in the Temperance movement, and obtained twelve hundred names to the pledge. He made strenuous efforts to further the education of the colored race here and in Africa—but the time for the success of his plan had not yet come.
In 1847 he was appointed a missionary of the Montrose Presbytery to strengthen feeble churches and organize new ones. In this undertaking he organized eleven churches, and secured the erection of, at least, twelve church edifices. For such as needed assistance he obtained funds in New
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 343
York and Philadelphia, and in each case made it an object to cancel the debt on the building at or prior to its dedication.
In the autumn of 1856 the Southern Aid Society invited him to go to Texas to inquire into the condition of the several evangelical denominations ; he accepted and was absent eight months, encountering many physical difficulties and dangers; and returned to renew his labors in the Montrose Presbytery.
In 1859 his labors were transferred to the Genesee Presbytery, where he remained short of two years, when operations were suspended in consequence of the war.
In July, 1862, he was appointed post chaplain at Beverly, Western Va., in the hospital, until it was closed, in 1863.
His last engagement was with the Delaware Presbytery, until April, 1866, when, at the age of seventy-seven years ani three months, he laid off the harness ; since which time he has been quietly domiciled aq ong us with his family.
REV. HENRY A. RILEY.
Henry Augustus Riley was born in the city of New York, November 21, 1801. At the age of fourteen he was placed at the Roman Catholic College, at Georgetown, D. C., where he remained two years, and where he was led to renounce the Protestant faith of his parents, and to purpose a preparation for the priesthood in that institution—a renunciation and a purpose, however, which were recalled when he was freed from the influences to which he had been subjected.
He graduated in 1820 at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), in the collegiate department; and entered as student of law, in the office of Horace Binney, of that city. Remaining here a few months he was induced, after a very dangerous illness, to commence the study of medicine ; and graduated in the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1825.
He commenced the practice of medicine in New York, and continued it until the beginning of 1829, when, from a change in his religious views and feelings, he entered the Theological Seminary, at Princeton, to prepare for the ministry.
He graduated in 1832, and in 1835 was ordained and installed pastor over what was then the Eighth Avenue Presbyterian church, now that of West Twenty-third Street, New York.
In January, 1839, he commenced his ministry at Montrose, Pa., and after a pastorate of just twenty-five years he resigned the position, but has continued to reside in the parish. [See Authors.]
ST. PAUL'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
October 5, 1829, Bishop Onderdonk confirmed J. W. Raynsford, wife, and eldest daughter, also John Street and wife, as constituent members of St. Paul's church. The ceremony took place in the Presbyterian meeting-house, of which church three of the party were former members. For many years St. Paul's had but two male members.
Not far from this time Rev. Samuel Marks was a resident Episcopalian missionary in the county, officiating in Springville and New Milford and, in the spring of 1831, in Montrose, at the court-house.
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June 2, 1832, the corner-stone of St. Paul's church was laid. Among its contents was the following record :—
"Rector, Rev. S. Marks; Wardens, J. W. Raynsford and J. C. Biddle; Vestry, Benjamin Lathrop, John Melhuish, S. F. Keeler, Henry Drinker, C. L. Ward, and Admiral Rupley ; Contractors, Jesse Scott, Enos P. Root—contract, $1200. Donor of the ground, Reuben B. Locke. Date of charter, December 20, 1830. Our banner is Evangelical Truth and Apostolic Order.'"
This building was 30x43 feet. Service was held Christmas Eve, 1832, when the rector gave reasons for decorating the house with evergreens. It was consecrated by Bishop Onder-donk, October 27, 1833. An organ was purchased in December for $95.
In December, 1849, land for a parsonage was donated by J. W. Raynsford.
Purchase of land for a new church, September, 1855. Laying of the corner-stone, June 1856; consecrated by Bishop Potter, July 17, 1857. At this time the first rector of the church preached the sermon. The cost of the church was $7500, and through the liberality of Henry Drinker, Esq., the debt was cancelled so as to allow of its consecration. A new organ was procured, late in 1866, for $1000. A lot for the erection of a Sabbath-school chapel has been purchased.
The rectors of St. Paul's have been : Revs. S. Marks, W. Peck, Charles E. Pleasants—each at $150, for half the time, per year—George P. Hopkins, John Long, D. C. ,Bvllesby, Robert B. Peet, Wm. F. Halsey, and E. A. Warriner—the last-named on a salary of $1000, with parsonage.
The old church edifice was sold to the Roman Catholics, who celebrate Mass here once every three weeks. Their first services in Montrose were held at the house of Peter Byrne, about thirty years ago.
A Universalist society was organized here late in 1831. The church was built in 1843, and dedicated July 11, 1844. The preachers of this denomination which are mentioned in the annals of Brooklyn have officiated here, unless the last one is an exception.
The Methodist Episcopal church was built in 1845, on land donated by Hon. William Jessup. It was for a long time weak in numbers and in means; but within the last few years, through a series of revivals unprecedented in this church, its weakness has become strength, both in numbers and influence.
Two African Methodist churches in the borough, and a Union cciurch in South Bridgewater, have been erected within the last twenty-five years.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 345
THIS township was so named because it was the middle one of the three townships, into which Rush was divided, in 1813. It was bounded on the north by Choconat, east by. Bridgewater, south by Rush, and west by Bradford County. Its fair proportions, six miles north and south, by eight miles east and west, have since been twice curtailed by the encroachments of Forest Lake township, leaving the area of Middletown but little over thirty square miles. But this change is scarcely less marked, than the change in the community, which from being originally almost wholly New Englanders, is now composed almost entirely of persons of foreign birth and descent—prin-cipally Welsh and Irish. Numerically, the latter predominate. Their immigration dates back less than forty years; while the pioneers of the section now included within Middletown, settled in its forests over seventy years ago. These were Riel Brister and Benjamin Abbott in the spring of 1799; Andrew Canfield and Silas Beardslee in the fall of the same year; Albert Camp and Joseph Ross in the spring of 1800. Mr. Brister's family consisted of six children, of whom Ira was one; Mr. Canfield's, the same number, of whom Amos, then seventeen, is now living, in his eighty-eighth year; Mr. Beardslee's, eight children; Mr. Ross's, the same; and Mr. Camp's, five children, of whom four were sons. Thus, at least forty-five persons, in the opening of the century, were located on the north branch of the Wyalusing ; the section known to them as Locke, one of the townships laid out by surveyors under the Connecticut claimants. The readers of these pages need not be told, that the high expectations of these settlers were soon doomed to disappointment.
On a previous page it has been mentioned that Andrew Canfield left Connecticut in 1797, locating not far below the forks of the Wyalusing ; when he came to the North Branch, he settled just above Riel Brister, on what has since been known as the Stedwell farm. Joshua Grant afterwards settled between them. When the Canfields came here, in 1799, for some days they had only the milk of one cow as the sole sustenance of the family. The men would go in the woods to chop,
346 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
become faint, and eat the inside of bark, and when their work was finished, have milk alone for supper.
Amos, son of Andrew Canfield, afterwards cleared a farm just above Middletown Center. Benjamin Abbott and Silas Beardslee located still further north, but Mr. A. afterwards moved into Rush. There were no mills nearer than the river. Mr. Amos Canfield says :—
" The first summer we lived on the North Branch, we burned a hole in a maple stump for a mortar, in which we pounded our corn, using a spring-pole. It made quite a mill for the whole neighborhood."
In 1799, a family moved upon the head-waters of Wyalusing Creek, one of the survivors of which states, that one winter they kept their cattle alive by cutting down trees for them to
browse upon the buds, sprouts, and tender limbs ; yet, when spring came; some had to be drawn on sleds to the pasture fields. He also stat!,es that the people, to eke out their meal, in some cases mixed the inner, pulp-like part of hemlock bark with it.
Of the settlers whose labor changed this wilderness into a fruitful field, only meager items are recorded, but "their works do follow them."
Riel Brister died prior to 1815. Hon. Charles Miner mentioned him more than forty years afterwards, as " the renowned wolf slayer."
Benjamin Abbott was at Wyoming at the time of the massacre, and in old Wyalusing township, outside the county, in 1796 ; as were also a large number of those who located afterwards in Rush and Middletown. In his old age he was fond of relating incidents connected with Wyoming. He removed to Pike, Bradford County, in 1856, where he died in 1858, at the age of ninety-three years.
Andrew Canfield was a prominent Methodist, and his house was ever open for the itinerant preacher.
In 1814, Middletown was in the Wyalusing circuit, then about twenty by forty miles in extent.
Andrew C. died June, 1843, aged eighty-five years. Jeremiah, a brother of Andrew, was also an early settler.
Silas Beardslee's death occurred in 1820—his neck being broken by a fall from a load of hay. His widow removed to Apolacon, where his descendants now reside. His grandson, E. B. Beardslee, is now (1870) a member of the State Legislature.
Albert Camp was one of a numerous family, children of Job, a pioneer, prior to 1793, on the Wyalusing, five miles from its mouth ; a place still occupied by his descendants, and called Camptown. He died at a very advanced age, in 1822. His daughter Polly was the wife of Joseph Ross. His sons were Isaac (now in Bradford County), Levi, Jonathan (now in Illi-
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 347
nois), and Nelson, late on the old place just below Middletown Center.
Joseph Ross was one of three brothers, who settled on the Wyalusing. Their father, Perrin, fell in the Wyoming massacre, having run down three horses to reach home the day previous; their mother fled over the mountains to Connecticut. Joseph was an active man in Middletown ; his house was. its political center. He was often engaged in surveying and locating roads, and from his comparative abundance of means, was called upon to be the succorer of others. At one time when the children of neighbors were crying for food, Mrs. R. had but a crust to give them. The spring-pestle was all the mill privilege they had for years, except when Mr. R. took corn on his back seventeen miles, to Black's mills below Camptown. When he first came up the North Branch, he crossed it eighteen times. Mrs. R. would often go.with her child two or three miles into the woods after the cows. They had ten children, six of whom are now living. Of the three sons, Otis occupies the homestead ; Norman is in Michigan, and Orin J. is in Bradford County. Mr. R. died May 10, 1855, aged eighty-one years. Mrs. R April 27, 1864, in her eighty-eighth year. The present large house was erected over fifty years ago.
Daniel Ross, brother of Joseph, was located near the forks of Wyalusing. His sons were John, William, Daniel, and Hiram. Jesse, the youngest son of Perrin Ross, had two sons residents of this county, Perrin and Isaac H. The sons of Otis Ross are Joseph and Perrin S. His daughter Mary, is the postmistress at Middletown Center.
In 1800, Darius Coleman settled on the North Branch, just below Riel Brister. His name, as well as those of all persons in the vicinity, is to be found on the assessment roll of " Rindaw," or Rush, for 1801. He was a hunter, and in one year killed forty deer, besides bears, panthers, etc. He had nine daughters and three sons, Amos, Alonzo, and Darius. Mrs. C. survived her husband many years, dying but recently (late in 1870), on the old farm to which he came seventy years ago, and which is now occupied by hispn Alonzo. The old house was across the road and a little north of his present residence. Mr. C. was a man of peace, diligent in business, and active in the support of the schools of the neighborhood. His farm was on the line between Middletown and Rush. In the same year (1801), Josiah Grant was taxed for a saw-mill.
The outlet of Wyalusing Lake, after passing through Jackson Valley, runs for a mile or two in Bradford County, re-enters Middletown at Prattville, and falls into the North Branch two miles above the fort.
At Prattville, on the road passing from the creek into Brad-
348 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
ford County, and precisely on the line is the Methodist church edifice, half of which is in Middletown, and this half is all the house of worship there is in the township. The village takes its name from Isaac Pratt, who came in 1801, to the farm now occupied by Jeremiah Canfield, Jr. He was in old Wyalusing as early as 1795. Russel Pratt was his son.
Henry Ellsworth came in prior to 1807, and settled on the creek near the north line of the township. His son Joseph began on what is called the McGrath place, afterwards occupied by N. Billings.
Jonathan Ellsworth was a great hunter. One day when in the woods he found a long hollow tree on the ground, which, from the appearance of one end, he judged to be the home of some wild animal. He prepared to make a discovery, by a Putnam like feat, and entered the hollow with his knife before him, drawing after him his loaded gun, muzzle hindmost, to serve in case he should be attacked in the rear. He emerged unharmed, however, with three young panthers, which he bore home without being disturbed.
Between 1807 and 1811, Darius Bixby, Seymour Galutia, and John Holeman were added to the number of settlers of the township.
" Bixby Pond," a very pretty sheet of water, takes its name from the second location of Darius Bixby. The town line passes through it, but he was on the Middletown side. His son Asa afterwards resided on the place. Another on, Richard, settled within the limits of Rush, but has since removed. Mr. B.'s remains rest in Birchardville Cemetry.
Samuel Wilson, a native of Massachusetts, and a soldier of 1812, came from St. Lawrence County, New York, in 1813, with his wife and seven children. Three children were added to the family here. He had six sons, the oldest two being now dead. The four living, in their best days, weighed not less than seven hundred and eighty pounds altogether ; all, like their father, light in flesh and heavy in bone and muscle. As a pioneer, he acted well his part, having chopped and cleared more than two hundred acres of heavily timbered land in this county, and had chopped three hundred acres before he came here. He was a man of powerful frame and iron will, and generally succeeded in everything he undertook. He was as skilful with the rifle as powerful with the ax. He was for fifty-one years a taxable citizen of Middletown, and died on the farm on which he first settled, in 1864, in the eighty-fifth year of his age. All his sons and daughters were strong and healthy, the youngest being thirty-seven before death made an inroad among their number. Of grandchildren he had seventy-five born during his lifetime, of whom fifty still live (January, 1872).
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Eleven of his grandsons, together with one son-in-law, and four other young men married to his granddaughters, buckled on the implements of war and sped to their country's rescue, during the late rebellion. Six, alas, returned no morel Their remains are buried under a Southern sky.
The first grist-mill within the township as it is, was put up by Stulph (?) Shoemaker, on one of the tributaries of the N. Br. of the Wyalusing, where now is a chair factory, a mile west of the Brister farm. Linas, son of Riel Brister, had a grist-mill on the North Branch, in 1815.
Joseph Ross built the first saw-mill at what is now called Middletown Center, about 1809. A few years later he built a grist-mill on the other end of the same dam. This he sold in 1843, to Otis Frost; who built a new one on the site of the old saw mill, which had long before " gone down." Charles Tripp is the present owner of the property.
In 1816, the Canfields had a saw-mill on the North Branch.
Nathaniel Billings came in and bought a part of the Ross farm; afterwards he bought of J. Ellsworth the one adjoining. He and Silas Beardslee had framed houses.
Andrew Canfield was then the largest resident tax-payer.
Thomas Mitchell, Brown and Ives, Samuel Meredith, Samuel Wilcox, and R. H. Rose, were owners of unseated lands, but were non-residents.
Beginning at the north line of Middletown, the settlers on the North Branch were in the following order :—
Samuel Wilson, Henry Ellsworth, Jeremiah Canfield, Silas Beardslee, Amos Canfield, Joseph Ross, Albert Camp, Joseph Ellsworth, Andrew Canfield, Riel Brister, and Darius Coleman.
Samuel Spafford was in the vicinity of what has since been known as Spafford Creek. Twenty years later, he was justice of the peace for Middletown, Rush, and Auburn.
Samuel Wilson was on the North Branch where it crosses the line of the Apolacon.
In 1817, Samuel and Abner Taggart were in the section since called Jackson Valley. Samuel, in 1847-8, served the county in the State Legislature. He had five children, of whom two (?), with a son-in-law, occupy the old homestead.
Charles S. Campbell came also in 1817.
His son Charles, afterwards the first postmaster at Jackson Valley, removed to Friendsville, thence to Wisconsin, and is now in Elmira, N. Y.
Charles S. died in 1852, at the house of his son, in Friendsville.
In 1818, Peter Saunderson, who, three years previous, had come from New Hampshire to Choconut, settled near those just mentioned, on the place now occupied by his son James. Of