400 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
THIS is the central township on the southern line of Susquehanna County. It was taken from Brooklyn April, 1846.
The names given to this section, while it was a part of Luzerne, were: Tioga, Nicholson, and Bridgewater. Soon after the organization of Susquehanna County, it formed a part of the new township of Waterford, and shared its several names, until formed into an independent township, named in honor of Benjamin Lathrop, Associate Judge of the county.
The north line of Lathrop crosses six well-traveled roads, one of which—the Abington and Waterford turnpike—for many years, subsequent to 1823, was the great thoroughfare of the township. Two other roads, as well as this, traverse the entire length of Lathrop, besides the Delaware, Lackawana and Western Railroad, which follows Martin's Creek on the east side—the tract set off April, 1853, from Lenox. Prior to this date the creek had been the boundary line. The railroad crosses the county line near the house of H. P. Halstead, about half a mile above the village of Nicholson.
Horton's and Martin's Creeks drain the township, passing through it from north to south. Tarbell's, Lord's, and a part of Field's pond—the only ones larger than mill-ponds---are still small sheets of water. The outlets of the first two are tributary to Horton's Creek. The valley of Martin's Creek is a narrow deep gorge, barely wide enough for a carriage road on the west side, and for the railroad on the other; and comparatively few of the population are located on it below the village of Hopbottom.
So far as can be ascertained, the present area of Lathrop, in the spring of 1799, had but one human inhabitant—a hermit by the name of Sprague. Charles Miner, writing of this individual and of his own experiences in 1799, said :—
" Four or five miles below Captain Chapman (then living on C. M. Chapman's present place, in Brooklyn) lived in solitude Joseph Sprague, twelve or fourteen miles of wilderness intervening between him and Marcy's mill in the settlement on the Tunkhannock.
" Having made sugar with Sprague on shares, I took a horse load down the Tunkhannock, peddled it out, a pound of sugar for a pound of pork, seven and a half pounds for a bushel of wheat. five pounds for a bushel of corn. Saw the Susquehanna, got a grist ground, returned, and with Mr. Chase¹
¹ A young man who came from Connecticut with Mr. Miner.
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made knapsacks of coarse shirts, filled them with provisions, and each taking an ax on his shoulder, we took the bridle path by Mr. Parke's, and thence fifteen miles more or less—arrived at Rindaw or Hyde's, at the forks of the Wyalusing. I do not think a line drawn due south from Binghamton to the Tunkhannock—near forty miles—would have cut out a laid-out road, or come in sight of a house or cabin of an earlier date than the preceding summer."
During the last illness of "the hermit," in Wilkes-Barre, several years later, he willed his land to Mr. Blanchard—the gentleman who took care of him. Afterwards there was trouble between Mr. Blanchard and those who held themselves to be the rightful heirs to the property, on the plea that the testator was incapable of making a will uninfluenced, or that he was not in a proper state of mind. The place was for a long time occupied by one of these heirs, but was finally sold at auction (300 acres constituting the estate), when it was bought by an association of gentlemen, who sold to John Chapman. It is now owned and occupied by Dr. Samuel Wright, and the location is called the "Five Corners ;" it is on the west side of Martin's Creek, just above the Hopbottom Depot. It is said that Sprague was the son of a surveyor to whom the land was promised by a Philadelphia landholder, in case of its occupancy by himself or family.
In the fall of 1799, Captain Charles Gere came from Vermont with others who joined the Hopbottom settlement. This extended over the present area of Brooklyn, the southeast corner of Dimock, and the northern part of Lathrop. He began his clearing on the place now owned by John Lord, on the Abington and Waterford turnpike; but did not bring in his family until 1801. After a year or two all removed north of the present line of Lathrop, one mile west of Mack's corners.
In 1801, John S. Tarbell (an uncle of J. S. Tarbell, of Montrose) was on the farm afterwards known as Mitchell's Meadows. Tarbell's Pond received its name from him. He removed in 1816 or 1817.
Josiah Lord came from Lyme, Connecticut, in 1801, to look for land, and in 1802, having purchased 'the improvement of Captain Gere, brought his family, including four sons—Josiah, Elisha, John, and Enoch. Mr. Lord and Mr. Tarbell were then the only settlers between the north line of the present township and Horton's mill, below Susquehanna County. Mr. Sprague lived two and a half miles due east of Mr. Lord. The latter remained on his first location (now occupied by his grandson, John Lord, Jr.) until his death, in 1845, at the age of 78.
His sons settled on what is now the Abington and Waterford turnpike; Enoch made the first improvement at Tarbell's Pond, and built a saw-mill there in 1820. The place is now known as Lakeside.
(The improvement of J. Silvius was not made until 1835.)
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402 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
The following, with some additional details, was written by John Lord, Sr., in the summer of 1856 :—
"My father, Josiah Lord, located with his family¹ in what is now called Lathrop township, in 1801. There was but one family then in Lathrop, and only six in what is now called Brooklyn. There is but one man of my acquaintance now living, who was here and had a family when I came here, and he is Captain Amos Bailey.
"About the 1st of April, 1803, my father was absent from home, leaving me and my brother Elisha to attend to the cattle, which had gone up a small creek into the woods. A little before sunset they came into the clearing on the run, and turned around and looked back, with heads up, as if they were much frightened. As one of the cows did not come, we went in search of her, hunted until dark, but in vain. In the morning we renewed our search, and found her between two logs. She was thrown upon her back, her horns stuck in the ground ; the- jugular reins were gnawed in two, and her flanks ripped open. Nothing of her calf was to be found but one of the hoofs and a part of the skull.
"My father procured a large double-springed, spike-joined bear-trap, set it by the cow and covered it with dirt. It had been undisturbed for a week, when father took up the trap and brought it to the house. The next day my brother and I found that the cow had been torn to pieces by the wolves. My brother then said, a German hunter had told him father did not set the trap right. He added a proposal to me to help him set it according to the hunter's directions, and, said he,' we will have one of the wolves before father comes home.' We collected all the fragments of the old cow in a pile against a log, and then went home for the trap. We knew mother would not let us set it, if she suspected our plan, so my brother left me outside the house while he went in, agreeing to whistle Yankee Doodle' when mother's attention should be so engaged she would not be likely to see me bear off the trap. I waited some time for the signal, but on hearing it I shouldered the trap and ran for the woods. When I got there I was very much exhausted, as the trap was very heavy. My brother soon came with an ax, and we set the trap with two large hand-spikes, and deposited it in the water in front of the bait. The trap was two inches under water, and the pan we covered with moss. The bait we covered with logs in such a way that the wolves could not get access to it without going into the trap.
About 2 o'clock the next morning we were waked up by a sudden yell of the wolves, and they yelled without intermission until daylight. We got up an hour before daylight to run some balls. My brother then told mother we had set the trap and had got a wolf in it, and were going to kill it. She was much frightened, and used every means, except force, to prevent us from going into the woods until father's return ; but the prospect of revenge upon the wolves for killing the cow—decidedly the best old mully of our three - carried our minds above every other consideration, and we started off so early that my brother said he could not see the sights of his rifle, and we sat down on a log to wait until it should be lighter. I was ten years old the February preceding, and my brother was not quite twelve. My brother had killed several deer, and was a good shot with a rifle. I had never shot one.
"The wolves continued howling, the fine yelp of the pups increasing the roar which seemed to shake the earth like thunder. I was seized with a sudden impulse of fear. I remembered reading that some children who had disobeyed their parents went into the woods to play, and God gave them up to bears which devoured them. I bad disobeyed my kind mother for the first time, and my conscience smote me. We had left her in sobs and tears, and were in a dark wilderness with a gang of wolves. Suddenly they were
¹ The family, it is believed, were not here until 1802, at the earliest.
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still, and I expected they were surrounding us. Every sin that ever I committed rushed into my mind, and I felt a true sense of my meanness. Just then my brother rose and said, Come, it is light enough now to commence the battle.' With much difficulty I succeeded in rising, but my legs utterly refused to carry me toward the scene of danger. Concealing my cowardice as much as possible, I said the wolf had got out of the trap, and we had better go back and relieve mother of her fright. But he said, No, we have got bne fast, I want you to go very still, for I want to get a shot at one that is not in the trap, first, and if I do, you may shoot the one in the trap., This was a grand idea ; I thought no more about the bear story, or about mother, or any of my rascally capers, and my fear all left me. Moving on, we were soon in plain view of where we set the trap. We lay in ambush some time, but as no wolves were to be seen we went to the bait, and the trap was gone ! There were tufts of hair and plenty of blood, and the ground was torn up. The track of the wolf was plain and we followed it up the creek about ten rods, when, as we turned around a short curve in the creek, a gang of wolves started and ran up the bank, too swift for my brother to shoot with success. The wolf with the trap started at the same time and ran up the creek, and we followed after, about thirty rods, when we could not find the track further ; but as a log there reached from one bank to another, my brother told me to go on the whole length of the log, and find where the wolf got over. Near the further bank a beech tree with the leaves on had fallen the summer before, and made a thick brush heap on and below the log. In getting through this brush I' slipped from the log. My bare feet—shoes were not fashionable for boys in those days—felt the soft fur of the wolf and the flinch under them, at the same instant I heard the trap rattle ; one bound brought me out of the brush, and I exclaimed, Here is the wolf hid under the brush l' My brother was looking at me with a grin, and replied, I thought you had found something by the way you jumped ?' He told me to stand back, and, as he fired the wolf gave a growl and commenced a violent struggle. He then told me to go above the log and keep the wolf from getting through under the log, until he could load his rifle. She had got her head through, but could get no further. The ball had passed through the wolfs mouth, and some of the teeth were hanging out. My brother came over the log, and told me to get behind a tree, for in his hurry he had put his powder horn to the muzzle of his rifle and poured in the powder by guess, and he did not know what it might do, for he would let it all go together. I told him to smash away. He let fly, and I saw the wolf's ear lop down. It was the most deafening report of a rifle I ever heard. I went towards the wolfs head and found the ball had gone through it; some of the brain was protruding from the ball-hole. We then went below the log and drew out the wolf—the largest one I ever saw.
" At this juncture we heard mother scream. She seemed to be coming in the woods towards us. We answered her, but she made so much noise herself —screaming every breath, as on she came, like a raving maniac—she could not hear, and did not see us, though we ran to meet her, until we were close to her. She then sat down on a log, and oh, what a picture of fright ! In running through a laurel thicket she had scratched her face so that it bled in several places, and she was as pale as a corpse. Her combs had been pulled out and lost, and her long hair was streaming in every direction ; she tried to arrange it, but her hands trembled so she could not do it, and it was some time before she could speak."
John Lord, Jr., in transmitting the above, adds :—
" Father was very feeble when he wrote it, and died without finishing it, August, 1856. I have often heard him tell this story. He and his brother dragged home the wolf, and their mother carried home the gun. Father and
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uncle afterwards captured a young bear, took him home alive, and kept him for some time; but he made his escape by gnawing off the rope with which he was tied."
In the fall of 1803, Barnard Worthing came from Vermont and purchased an improvement—the Abel Green farm—and returned. Two of his sons came in soon after to make preparations for the family's arrival in the fall of 1804 ; but they spent the following winter with Sargent Tewksbury, in Brooklyn. In the spring of 1805 they moved into their own house on the farm just mentioned, and which is now occupied by C. R. Bailey and G. C. Bronson. (It belonged to the Drinker estate, and at the time of the erection of Lathrop, was occupied by Francis Perkins, the first constable of the new township.) Barnard Worthing and son Jacob were interested in Paine's cotton factory in Brooklyn. Mr. W. was an Episcopalian in sentiment, but his family were active Methodists.
Anthony Wright came from Somers, Connecticut, in 1809, to the first farm above Sprague's place, which was then occupied by Ira Sweatland, one of the claimants previously mentioned. A granddaughter of Anthony Wright (Mrs. William Squiers¹) now lives on the farm he occupied for forty-eight years. He died December, 1857, in his 74th year. He was a prominent Methodist. His brothers, Wise and Samuel, settled in Brooklyn. Their father, Captain Samuel Wright, a Presbyterian, came to Lathrop some time later, and went into the woods a mile west of Hopbottom, where he cleared a farm. He died in 1835.
The sons of Anthony Wright were Loren and Samuel; the latter has been a botanic physician for more than twenty-five years.
In 1811, Elisha Smith and Noah Pratt (with families) settled on Horton's Creek, below Josiah Lord.
In 1812, Levi Phelps cleared the farm now occupied by Reuben Squiers, near the junction of the outlet of Tarbell's Pond with Horton's Creek.
Bela Case had come to what is now Brooklyn, as early as 1810, but afterwards removed to the present location of Hopbottom Depot. It is said a man by the name of Jason Webster had been there before him. He was from New York. but he soon returned and died. Orson, son of Bela Case, remained at H.
William Squiers (father of Mrs. Dr. Wright) came from Westfield, Vermont, in the fall of 1816, to the farm now occupied by A. Sterling, near the north line of Lathrop (then Waterford), on the first road east of Horton's Creek. About 1826, he went to the farm cleared by Phelps, where he died May, 1865, in his
¹ William Squiers is a son of Arey Squiers--a Springville family not related to William Squiers the early settler of Lathrop.
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78th year. He had nine children. He was an active Presbyterian, and was a constant attendant upon the meetings held at Brooklyn Center, though he resided in the south part of Lathrop nearly forty years.
Joshua Jackson and Joseph Fisk came from Vermont with their families about the same time as Mr. Squiers. Mr. Fisk settled near the first location of Mr. S. He moved some years later to Springville, at what is now called Niven P. O., but previously "Fisk's Corners." He became a Mormon, and left the county to join the "Latter Day Saints" in the West.
Mr. Jackson (commonly styled deacon) settled above the township line ; but his sons, Joshua, Joseph, and Caleb, settled in Lathrop. They are said to have been great choppers. Their father died September, 1842, aged 80.
Henry Mitchell came, in 1816, to the place previously occupied by J. S. Tarbell—a flat where two creeks empty into Hor-ton's Creek within a short distance of each other—since called "Mitchell's Meadows," and recently "the Searle farm."
Ephraim Tewksbury and sons, Asa and Isaac, came to this section the same year. He died many years ago in Lathrop; Asa died at Hopbottom January, 1871, aged seventy-four and a half years.
Isaac Brown was here early.
The first justices of the peace in Lathrop were Geo. L. Tewksbury and Ezra S. Brown ; Isaac S. Tewksbury, first town-clerk. There were about fifty taxables in the township in 1847. The present population is very nearly 1000.
There are at Hopbottom four stores, one hotel, two blacksmith-shops, one flouring-mill, one saw-mill, one tin-shop, and the station offices of the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad. The village is mostly on the east side of Martin's Creek, and its residents are principally descendants of the early settlers of Brooklyn and Lenox ; the Bells, Merrills, etc., in addition to the families already mentioned.
The Good Templars have a hall, and an effective organization.
The early religious interests of Lathrop were identified with those of Brooklyn, the church-going people of the former either attending the churches of the latter, or worshipping in private
houses and school-houses until late in 1870, when the first M. E. church at Hopbottom was dedicated—the first house of worship of any denomination within the limits of Lathrop. "On the day of dedication, December 15th, $1800 were to be provided for after the infant society had done all it felt able to do ;" but under the benign influences of the occasion, the entire sum was pledged, and the new church has auspiciously begun its history. The house, 35 by 50 feet, with bell and belfry, was built at a cost of $3200.
406 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
" The elder brethren of the Conference, who traveled the Brooklyn Circuit in its earlier history, will remember the appointment at ' Anthony Wright's' on the Martin Creek. Well, this is the Wright appointment, and the faith which dwelt in `Father Wright' is descending to the generations that bear his name."
One week later, December 28th, 1870, the conference of Susquehanna Association of Universalists met at Hopbottom, and dedicated another church edifice, rivaling the other in beauty. "It is 36 by 56 feet, with 22 feet posts, surmounted with a belfry and steeple nearly 100 feet high. The cost of the building was about $5600. The windows are oval on the top, and of colored glass. The building is of wood, but the roof is covered with the best quality of slate. The front is ornamented with a large oval window, which lights the orchestra, and this is also of colored glass. The society of Universalists has been organized here but a short time, and already has the largest Sunday-school in the association." [Newspaper item.]
The second Methodist Episcopal Church of Lathrop was in the course of erection the same year, at Lake Side, near the center of the township ; and was completed at a cost of $2600, and dedicated February 16th, 1871. On that day the people were informed that $1000 was needed to free the church from debt; and $1100 was raised with help from friends in Nicholson.
The previous conference year had witnessed a large increase of membership to the Methodists of " the old Brooklyn circuit ;" and the marked advance in church enterprise was doubtless in part due to this, as well as to the fact that the directors of school-districts were unwilling to have the school-houses opened for public worship any longer.
AT the second term of court after the organization of the county, a petition was presented for a new township to be set off from the southern part of Bridgewater, but it was not until April, 1814, that Springville was "finally" confirmed by the court. Its northern limit was the five-mile-tree on the Wilkes-Barre turnpike south of Montrose, extending eastward to one-half a mile east of the Meshoppen. Waterford (including Lath. rop and Brooklyn) was taken from Bridgewater at the same time,
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and formed the eastern boundary of Springville, while Brain-trim (changed to Auburn, same court) was the western, with the exception of a mile where Rush adjoined it. Eighteen years later, on the erection of Dimock township, the line of the latter was extended nearly a mile further north, and Springville was reduced to its present limits—about six miles on the county line by five miles north and south.
The township is well watered by two large branches of the Meshoppen and their tributaries, also by excellent springs. Its lakes are scarcely more than mill-ponds, the largest being Field's
Pond in the southeast corner, crossed by the line of Lathrop. Its bills sloping to the waters of the Meshoppen are high, but present no peaks of special note. The soil is fertile, and the farms are in a high state of cultivation—perhaps there are none finer than those along the turnpike, which passes through the township from north to south. Rye, oats, and corn grow better than wheat. Great attention is given to the dairy.
The principal timber is beech, maple, hickory, bass-wood, and hemlock. There are a few elms, but no oaks.
At different periods since the erection of Susquehanna County, there has been more or less disquiet among the residents remote from the seat of justice, and those of Springville have been of the number. As early as 1839, the matter of annexing Springville and Auburn to portions of Luzerne and Bradford, to form a new county, with Skinner's Eddy for a county-seat, was openly agitated. Again, in 1842, it was only vigilance on the part of some, that prevented their loss to Susquehanna when Wyoming County was organized. To this day, there are those who contend that the township for half a mile within its southern border belongs, of right, to Wyoming, since the line dividing them, is the unrectified one of 1810-12. This should have been due east from Wyalusing Falls, and was so run by the surveyors going east; but the party from the east line of the county, on account of some variation understood by surveyors, failed to meet those from the west, being considerably south of them. The matter was finally compromised by making the line not " due east and west" as directed. This had so long been acquiesced in, and farms and town-arrangements were so well established in 1842, it was concluded best to make no changes.
The first clearing in the township of Springville was made near the site of the Presbyterian church, by Captain Jeremiah Spencer, either in 1800 or the previous fall, when he and his sons put in six acres of wheat. He had come in with his brother Samuel, and they had surveyed a township six miles square, which Oliver Ashley, of Connecticut, had bought of the Connecticut company, or of the State, for a half-bushel of silver dollars, and to which he gave the name of VICTORY. An irregular
408 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
township by this name appears on the map of Westmoreland. The southern line of Victory ran near Lynn P. O., and its whole area embraced much of what is now Springville, with a part of Auburn. The Spencers were originally from Claremont, New Hampshire, but had removed to Renssellaer County, New York, some years previous to 1800. The family came in 1801.
The wife of Captain S. was a sister of Judge Ashley. They had five daughters and two sons, Daniel and Francis. The latter was well educated for the times, and was the first postmaster in Springville (1815.) Daniel was commonly called "the hunter." Captain Spencer died in 1825, aged 75.
Samuel Spencer bought 500 acres of land lying south and adjoining or near Victory ; and embracing what is now called Lymanville, with lands east and north of it. The whole tract he obtained from Colonel Jenkins, of Wyoming, for a horse and saddle; but Spencer sold it, on his return to New Hampshire, to his brother-in-law, Gideon Lyman, of Wethersfield, Vermont, for $500. Of this, a part was paid down, and the rest, by agreement, was to be paid after Mr. L.'s occupation of the land.
In 1801, Ezra Tuttle, of the same town, came in with a family of six children, of whom Abiathar, now living, was the oldest, then 13 years old. The following is a recent published note of him :—.
Abiathar Tuttle, who came in with his father, is now living in this township. Last year (1868) he scored and hewed all the large timber for a grain barn, 26 by 18 feet, for Mr. H. K. Sherman ; laid out all the framework, Mr. Sherman assisting some in the framing and also in the covering ; Mr. Tuttle laying the lower floor in good common style. Be is now about 81 years old. His health and faculties are good. He has been an acceptable member of the M. E. Church over 50 years; his life and general deportment an honor to himself and the church.
Myron, son of Ezra Tuttle, was the first child born in the township.
Mr. T. had bought his land under the Connecticut title, and paid to Ezekiel Hyde $300 for three hundred acres ; but he had afterwards to pay $500 for the same to secure a legal title from the Pennsylvania claimant, Henry Drinker.
He drove in from Vermont two cows, one team of two horses, and another of one horse ; and settled near Captain Spencer. He built the first framed house in Springville; and with his sons cleared about two hundred and fifty acres. He also constructed a large part of the Wilkes-Barre turnpike.
He had three sons and four daughters. His death occurred in 1826.
Salmon Thomas came first in 1800, sowed wheat, and returned to New Hampshire; but came back in 1801. Samuel Thomas, his father, and family then accompanied him. Both took up one
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hundred acres of land just below A. Wakelee's present location, and lived together; Salmon then being single. In 1805 he married Rosalinda, daughter of Ezekiel Lathrop. Their sons were Reuben, Benjamin, Denison, Salmon Davis, and Edwin.
Samuel Thomas, Jr., came in later, and lived on "the Dr. Denison farm," near the north line of the township; but afterwards removed to Connecticut.
In 1802, Myron Kasson, a native of Litchfield County, Connecticut, came from Auburn (then Braintrirn), and settled in the western part of what is now Springville, on the farm at present occupied by bis son James. He had come alone, in 1799, to Auburn, and began clearing near the " Four Corners ;" but in 1802 his improvements there were purchased by Chester Adams, or the two effected an exchange of farms, the latter never having, brought his family to Springville. Mr. Kasson became one of the most prominent men of Springville, and "took an active part in giving coloring and tone to the organization of our county. He filled successively every post of honor in his township, as long as age would permit, with credit to himself and with marked approval by his fellow townsmen." his death, late in 1859, was preceded three months by that of his wife.
In March, 1803, Gideon Lyman, with his wife and eleven children, and accompanied by Captain Spencer (who had been East on a visit,) came to the farm since owned and long occupied by Justus Knapp, Esq. It was but a temporary halt while Mr. Lyman prepared a home on the land he had purchased of Samuel Spencer.
Owing to his generosity while on the way hither, in relieving a friend pressed by a creditor, Mr. Lyman had only fifty cents in his pocket when he reached his destination. The house he occupied was built by felling basswood trees, splitting them open, and laying them up with the flat side inward. It was probably 18 by 14 feet, and had to accommodate thirteen persons through the summer. The roof was made of white ash bark, but the floor was of the same material as the sides of the building.
Two barrels of pork constituted the stock of provisions, and Mr. Lyman was obliged to go to Exeter, near Wilkes-Barre, and sell a horse to get grain for bread. This left him only one horse. He sold a bed to buy a cow. To crown his discouragement, he found he held a worthless title, and had eventually to buy of Mr. Drinker; recovering nothing of what he had paid in good faith to the claimant under the Connecticut title. But he had been a soldier in the Revolutionary army, and was not easily daunted.
In the fall he went to the farm since known as the Lyman homestead, where he lived until his death in May, 1824. His
410 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
first house was built about ten or twelve rods from one of the most bountiful springs in our county ; but this was so concealed by laurels that he had lived upon the place several years before
it was discovered. Subsequently he built nearer it, and the house is now occupied by his grandson, James H. Lyman. The spring supplies him, and many of the neighbors, with an unfailing stream of pure cold water during protracted drouths.
Gideon Lyman's children all lived to old age, and all but one were present at his funeral. His sons were, Elijah, Gideon, Joseph Arvin, Samuel, John, and Prentiss. Elijah is still living (September, 1869), in Alleghany County, New York, aged 87. His sister, Dolly Oakley,¹ is 85. Gideon, a twin with the latter, died when 55 years old. Naomi Spencer died when 69 ; Samuel when 71 ; Joseph Arvin in his 62d year. The five others are living, the youngest being 71.
Benjamin, Zophar, and Aaron Blakeslee came also in 1801. The last-named was but seventeen years old, and worked for his brothers who had families, until he was twenty-one, when he located next below where A. Tuttle now lives; and occupied the same farm until his death in 1859. " He was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a generous contributor towards the erection or purchase of a good house in the village of Springville, where that society met for public worship. His house was ever an asylum for itinerant clergymen."
Zophar Blakeslee's farm occupied " the Hollow"—now covered by the village of Springville ; but, in 1829, he removed to the farm now occupied by his widow, near the line of Auburn.
Benjamin Blakeslee's place has been occupied many years by Arad Wakelee (after F. Eaton and S. Pierpont).
Reuben, brother of J. and S. Spencer, Daniel Brewster, and Aaron Avery came in soon after the elder Spencers ; but Reuben died in 1804, and Messrs. Avery and Brewster, thinking all must starve here, returned after two or three years to New York. But subsequently Mr. Avery came back, and died in Tunkhannock several years since.
Frazier Eaton and family came in 1803, to the farm where enjamin Blakeslee died; but afterwards removed to the first location of the latter, an exchange of farms being effected.
The next year, Thomas Cassedy, wife and two children, came from the State of New York, and settled below the Presbyterian church.
The first marriage in the township was that of Abel Marcy of Tunkbannock, to Eunice Spencer, in 1804.
Three families came in from Saratoga County, N. Y., March 1st, 1806, numbering in all twelve persons. The names of the
¹ Died August 25, 1870.
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heads of the families were Pardon Fish, Ebenezer Fish, and John Bullock. Justus Knapp, then a boy, was of the company. All occupied the same house, which had accommodated Gideon Lyman's family in the summer of 1803. During the following summer a house was built, affording some relief.
Aaron Taylor, a native of Connecticut, who had settled on the river above Tunkhannock in 1796, came to this vicinity about 1806. His farm was on the turnpike, near that of Stephen Lott (another old settler) though they were just below the line, after Susquehanna County was set off. A son of Mr. Taylor now occupies his place. Aaron Taylor, Jr., and his sister, Mrs. Zophar Blakeslee, live in the township near Auburn.
In 1806, Augustine Wells Carrier came to the farm lately occupied by Thos. Nicholson.
About 1807, Jeremiah Rosencrants, and the same year or the next, Jonathan Strickland, from near the Delaware River, were added to the number of settlers. Mr. S. died in 1853, aged 80 ; his widow, in 1866, aged 94.
One summer, among the earlier years of the Lynn settlement, there was a scarcity of bread. A crop of rye was growing, and as soon as it was full in the head it was cut in small quantities, and when dry, was taken out of the straw, cleaned, and set before what was called a Dutch fireplace, and kiln-dried ; it was then ground in a coffee-mill, the hopper of which would not hold more than a pint, then sifted and made into something called bread.
Gideon Lyman one Sabbath morning, searching for his cow, found some raspberries; anything so gratifying and exciting he did not think it right to tell his wife during holy time, and so waited until evening, when custom closed its observance. His wife was then unable to sleep for joy. In the morning, pails of berries were secured.
A few years later Mrs. L. and a young woman set out with a lantern one evening, to go about a mile and a half to watch with a sick neighbor. Starting from a house where they had been visiting in the afternoon, they lost their way, and spent the night in the woods. A brisk snow storm added to the unpleasantness of the situation, but they made a fire, and as they had a hymnbook, they passed the time in singing hymns. In the morning they proceeded on their way and crossed a wolf's track in the snow, before they reached the small stream which they followed to their destination.
The road from Col. Parke's to Springville Hollow was opened in 1803 or 1804 by the Spencers. Previous to that, only marked trees and a bridle path had guided the traveler to the Susquehanna River at the mouth of the Meshoppen. In 1808 it was traveled by sleds, etc.
To cross narrow streams, tr9es were often felled to serve as
412 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
bridges. Many were the homely substitutes for former comforts in other things. Venison tallow served for candles, branches of hemlock for brooms, three-pegged stools for chairs, etc.
Of the first adult settlers, or of those who came to Springville and near vicinity prior to 1810, Reuben Spencer, Ebenezer Carrier, and Clarinda, first wife of Zophar Blakeslee, were dead at that date. The deaths of the others occurred thus :—
From 1810-20, Alfred and Thomas Brownson, John Taylor, the first Mrs. Elijah Avery, James Rosencrants, Mrs. Timothy Mix, Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Strickland, Sr., and Ebenezer Fish. Joel Hickcox came in 1814 and died 1817. His widow survived him nearly thirty years, and saw a descendant of the fifth generation.
From 1820-30, Gideon Lyman, Sr., J. Bullock's wife, Capt. J. Spencer, Ezra Tuttle, Samuel Thomas, Sr., and wife, and Aaron Taylor aged seventy-five.
From 1830-40, Rhoda Fish, Keziah Lyman, Daniel Spencer, and Zophar Blakeslee.
From 1840-50, Widow Ezra Tuttle, Mrs. Aaron Blakeslee, Jeremiah Rosencrants, Widow Aaron Taylor aged eighty, and Benjamin Blakeslee.
From 1850-60, Pardon Fish, Sr., in his ninety-ninth year ; Thomas Cassedv, Sr., aged seventy-five Widow Ebenezer Fish, Rosalinda L. Thomas, Aaron Blakeslee, Myron Kasson, and Widow Benjamin Blakeslee.
From 1860-70, Widow Thomas Cassedy, Sr., aged eighty; Salmon Thomas aged eighty-seven; John Bullock, and Francis Spencer.
The last-named died in Factoryville, Pa., January 1st, 1869. He had always resided in Springville until a short time before his death.
To this list must now (1872) be added that of Justus Knapp, whose interest gained for the compiler most of the previous items. His death occurred December, 1870, just previous to which he had written the following:—
" Justus Knapp was in his 7th year when he came to this place (Springville); has lived here sixty-four years last March ; raised a family of nine children—five sons and four daughters--all of whom lived to grow up to adult years. The mother, three sons, and two daughters, died in the space of six years and two months; the last son was killed at Gettysburg, July 2d, 1863.
“Justus Knapp never voted at any other election polls but Springville, having been' voter almost fifty years ; was elected justice of the peace in 1846. He succeeded Myron Tuttle, who removed to the West."
He furnished in 1870 the following list of early settlers, who are dead, additional to those given elsewhere :—
Edward Goodwin, Benjamin Lull, Samuel Quick, James W. Hickcox, Charles Thomas, Joseph Cooper, Asahel B. Prichard,
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 413
Martin Park, Joseph A. Lyman, Samuel Lyman, Samuel Sutton, William B. Welsh, Robert Smales, Archibald Sheldon, David Rogers, William Taylor, Thomas Lane, Isaac W. Palmer.
When J. Knapp came in with the Lymans, there were but two
log houses where Montrose now stands. He said:—
" There was a log house near where the Widow Isbell now lives, occupied by Dr. James Cook ; the next house south was Roberts' ; the next what is called the Raynsford house ; the next Deacons Wells' and Deans' ; the next was where Friend Hollister now lives, near the north line of Dimock township, that being the last place where we stayed over night till we arrived at our place of destination.
" Near Dimock Corners Captain Joseph Chapman lived ; the next house was occupied by Martin Myers ; the next by Benjamin Blakeslee ; the next by Frazier Eaton ; the next by Samuel Thomas ; the next by Ezra Tuttle ; the next by Captain Jeremiah Spencer."
John Lyman, Abiathar Tuttle, of Springville, and Caleb and Pardon Fish, of Lynn, of the juvenile first settlers, still survive.
In 1815, Titus Scott came from Waterbury, Connecticut, and made a small clearing on the top of the hill east of Springville Hollow. He brought his family May, 1816 ; and October, 1817,
his brother Jesse came. At the time Titus Scott came in, Arad Wakelee was on the Barnum farm in Lawsville ; but in the fall of 1817 his name was among the signers to the charter of St. Jude's Church ; as were also the names of other settlers, the date of whose in coming has not been ascertained. Mark Scott came to Springville about 1822.
The first regular church services were held at Titus Scott's log house.
The three brothers, Titus, Jesse, and Mark Scott, belonged to a remarkably long-lived family. Those not now living died at an average age of 72 years. Mark Scott died January, 1860, aged
77. Titus is 87, and Jesse in his 85th year.
The first town officers for Springville were elected in 1814. They include residents of what was afterwards set off to Dimock.
The first constable, Joseph Arvin Lyman ; supervisors, Myron Kasson and Daniel Spencer; poormasters, Asa Lathrop and Frazier Eaton.
In 1815, Thomas Parke, Ezra Tuttle, Francis Spencer, and Spencer Lathrop, are mentioned as "freeholders." In 1816, Francis Spencer was the first town clerk.
Samuel Pierpont was here as early as 1817, and had a small store where Arad Wakelee lives. It is said that Francis Morris and brother had the first stock of goods in the Hollow.
About 1818 or 1819, Leonard Baldwin opened a house of entertainment or tavern in Springville. It was but a small building. This was enlarged and improved by his successor,
414 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Spencer Hickcox who continued to keep a public house until his death. The same house, further enlarged and improved, is the present hotel of Dr. P. E. Brush.
Elections, which had been held at Thomas Parke's, were held in 1818, at Salmon Thomas'.
One who came to Springville from Renssellaer County, New York, in 1819, fifty years later (after mentioning that the family were twelve days on their journey hither), makes the following remarks respecting the wonderful improvements in locomotion and other matters since that time :—
In 1819, the steamboat was only in embryo, or helpless infancy. The locomotive engine and iron track were not known. Six-horse teams, carrying from four to six tons, were passing over the roads almost daily—goods coming up country being brought in the other way—an occasional Durham boat passing up the river, only excepted. This was the Northern Pennsylvania style. Other States could boast nothing better, unless we except the eight-horse wagons, with tire six inches wide, which were used on the " Great Western Turnpike" in the State of New York. At the date mentioned there was nothing in the shape of a canal boat; and no place for it if there had been. There were no cast-iron plows at that time ; all were made with the mould board of wood. Wagon tires made in just as many pieces as there were pieces of felloes in the wheels, were then going or gone out of use. " Wooden springs" were mostly used in the best style of carriages. The mowing, reaping, and threshing machines were unknown. Yes, and one of the great wonders of the age we live in, the sewing machine, also. In those days we knew nothing of the friction match, nor the most wonderful, although not the most useful, of all improvements named, the electric telegraph.
Augustine Meacham and wife came from Claremont, New Hampshire, in 1818 or 1819, and resided here until both died in old age.
William Drinker, agent of the Drinker Estate, and an older brother of Henry Drinker, of Montrose, located in Springville some time between the years 1817 and 1820. He built the house where Thomas Nicholson lived many years, Hon. Asa Packer being one of the workmen. He had previously been married to Eliza G. Rodnian, of Philadelphia. Upon leaving Springville he came to reside in Montrose, and occupied the house built by Charles Catlin, the present residence of H. J. Webb, Esq. He lived for a time in Union, New York, and afterwards in the "Bowes Mansion" at Great Bend. He died at the West, about the year 1836.
William Drinker, a bachelor uncle of William, the agent, came and resided with the latter in Springville. He had a fondness for literature, a good knowledge of conveyancing, and was a skilful draughtsman ; many of the maps of the Drinker Estate were prepared and drawn by him. He died while on a visit to Philadelphia in 1822.
A friend of Judge Packer contributes the following:—
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 415
HON. ASA PACKER.
Asa Packer, son of Elisha Packer, of Groton, New London County, Con-iecticut, was born in that town on the twenty-ninth day of December, 1805. soon as he was old enough to do for himself, a situation was procured 'or him in the tannery of Mr. Elias Smith, of North Stonington. He soon von the confidence and affection of his employer, but for whose death he vould, no doubt, have become a partner in the establishment. He spent the ollowing year in Groton.
Although his opportunities for attending school were limited, he early earned the value of an education, and applied himself with diligence to the acquisition of the rudiments, and afterwards attained considerable proficiency n those branches which promised to be of the greatest practical advantage ,o him.
In the year 1822, when but seventeen years of age, he set out on foot, with few dollars in his pocket and his worldly goods comprised in a knapsack, 'or Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Here he apprenticed himself to the rade of carpenter and joiner in Hopbottom, now Brooklyn. He wrought assiduously, and in due time became master of his business. While so engaged, he went with his employer to Springville, to build the mansion of the ate William Drinker, Esq., on the place recently occupied by Thomas Nich-dson, Esq., and since purchased by Mr. Packer himself. It was during the ;rection of this dwelling, that he became acquainted with that highly esteemed gentleman, Henry Drinker, Esq. An intimacy grew up between them which ;ontinued amidst mutual affection of great warmth until the death of Mr. )rinker in the year 1868.
It was here also that he first met the daughter of Mr. Zophar Blakeslee, Sarah Minerva, who afterwards became his wife, and as such has always )roved herself to be all that a wife and mother should be, acquiring and regaining the respect and love of all who have had the happiness of being lumbered amongst her friends.
Through these early years he remained poor, but fortune was soon to smile ipon him. He heard of the Lehigh Valley as affording greater remuneration for labor, and superior opportunities for advancement. He was induced therefore to remove thither, and in the spring of 1833 located at Mauch Munk. He brought to his new home but a few hundred dollars, his capital consisting rather of his active mind, strong arms, and industrious habits. His first and second summers were spent in boating coal from Mauch Chunk to Philadelphia, himself acting as master of his own boat. The energy and capacity which he displayed while thus employed, commended him to the favorable notice of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, with whom he afterwards formed a profitable connection which lasted a number of years.
During a visit which he made at this period, to Mystic, Conn., he gave to its brother Robert (then living with their uncle Daniel at Packersville, (Windham County) such a favorable description of the coal region, that he also concluded to take up his abode there and join Asa in the business of boating at Mauch Chunk. Subsequently, they formed a co-partnership under he style of A. & R. W. Packer, whose operations before long became quite ;xtensive, embracing as they did, a large mercantile business at Mauch 3hunk and elsewhere ; contracts with the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, which involved the building of dams and locks on the upper navigation ; working coal mines leased from the company, and afterwards Mr. acker's own mines near Hazelton, and shipping coal to Philadelphia and New York. A similar shipping business was done by them on the Schuylkill. They were the first through transporters of coal to the New York narket, and it is a fitting return for all his original enterprise in this direc-ion, that Judge Packer's large income now is chiefly derived from this source. Through his coal-mining operations, he was brought into close relations with
416 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
the late Commodore Stockton, and between them there sprung up a warm personal friendship, which proved of considerable value in assisting Judge Packer to complete the great enterprise of his life, the Lehigh Valley Railroad. Up to October. 1851, this undertaking was looked upon with but little public favor, and accordingly was prosecuted with but little vigor. At this date Judge Packer purchased nearly all the stock already subscribed, and commenced to obtain additional subscriptions. Late in 1852, he submitted a proposition, which was duly accepted, for the construction of the road from Mauch Chunk to Easton, and immediately took steps for the early performance of the contract. The road was opened for business in September, 1855, having connection with both New York and Philadelphia. (The expenditures for the first three months of its business were $23,763.33, the receipts being V26,517.95.) By the merger of the Beaver Meadow, Mahonoy, and Haze1ton Railroad Companies, and by valuable connections elsewhere, the business facilities of the company had been already largely increased. Judge Packer now proposed that the road should be extended through the valleys of the Lehigh and Susquehanna to the New York State line, there to connect with the Erie and other projected railways, thus affording a direct route from the lakes to the seaboard. This has been accomplished by the construction of the Pennsylvania and New York Canal and Railroad, having its terminus at Waverly. It has already been the means of developing to a wonderful extent a country of prolific resources, and conferring untold benefits upon the immense population with which it is teeming, and who have been largely induced to take up their residence on its route by the conveniences it has afforded for utilizing the great wealth, mineral and agricultural, abounding in the regions which it traverses and connects. In this respect, Judge Packer deserves a high place among the benefactors of the commonwealth, Find in the grand results of his undertakings he furnishes a noble example of what may be accomplished by well-directed energy and business integrity.
It may be interesting to append a statement of the operations of the railroad from Easton to Waverly for the year ending November 3d, 1871, including those of its several branches :—
Total coal tonnage 3,606,530 tons, besides a very large and increasing general freight and passenger business. The total receipts from all sources were $6,571,159.36. For a number of years it has regularly paid an annual dividend of ten per cent. upon its stock, which now amounts to nearly twenty millions of dollars.
The attention of Judge Packer has not been directed solely in the channels of business. He has always taken a deep interest in all questions affecting the public welfare. Conscious of this, and of his ability to contribute to the general good, he was elected for several years a member of the State Legislature. Retiring from that, he was appointed one of the judges.of the connty court, a position which he held with honor five years. He was afterwards chosen for two consecutive terms a member of the lower house of Congress, in which capacity he rendered valuable service to his constituents.
In 1868 be was a prominent candidate for the Presidency, and in the National Democratic Convention at New York received the unanimous support of Pennsylvania, and several votes from other States. In 1869 he was the Democratic nominee for Governor in Pennsylvania, his opponent being elected by a small majority.
On his return from a trip to Europe in 1865, he announced his intention of founding an educational institution where young men should be supplied with the means of obtaining that knowledge which should be of the most practical advantage to them. The branches to which he designed particular attention should be given, were civil, mechanical, and mining engineering ; general and analytical chemistry ; mineralogy and metallurgy ; analysis of soils and agriculture; architecture and construction. Having reference to the peculiar advantages for such an education in the neighborhood, he presented
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 417
as a site for the buildings a beautiful woodland park of sixty acres on the borders of South Bethlehem. To this he added a donation of $500,000 in money, beside which he has annually made other large gifts in cash for the current expenses of the Lehigh University, the name by which the institution is called. The main building, Packer Hall, has no superior of its kind in the country. The means of instruction are ample, and are offered gratuitously to all who may desire to avail themselves of them.
In addition to his munificent donations to this cause, Judge Packer has contributed very largely to the building and maintenance of churches in Mauch Chunk and in many other places, and has been a liberal friend to numerous benevolent and charitable enterprises all over the country. At the present time he is advancing the material interests of Susquehanna County in the indispensable aid he has given in the building of the Montrose Railroad. In the welfare of this section he has always taken special pride, and his relations with his old friends of the neighborhood remain of the most pleasant and affectionate character. By frequent visits there, and by receiving visits from them in his most hospitable and beautiful home at Mauch Chunk, and above all by his unaffected modesty and simplicity of habits and manners, he has given them ample evidence of the value he sets upon old associations, and of that true manliness of character which is neither unduly depressed by adversity nor puffed up by prosperity.
In 1822, Wm. Frink, of Springville, aged 83, walked 200 miles within eight days, not on a wager, but simply because no other opportunity offered to enable him to pay a visit to his daughter.
In 1824, John J. Whitcomb was a tanner and currier in Springville.
In 1826, F. A. & E. Burrows opened a store on the corner west of A. Beardsley. They were succeeded in 1830 by Noble & Day. F. A. Burrows removed to Cleveland, Ohio, Jan. 1844.
In 1828, a rifle company was formed in Springville. During the winter of 1827-28, Albert Beardsley taught school in the building then used for a church. For ladies, dresses of dark blue calico, with light blue spots, the usual pattern, were then thought sufficiently good to wear to meeting.
In 1828, Dr. Miner Kelly was appointed justice of the peace for Springville. Either in that year, or the one following, Dr. Jethro Hatch, from Connecticut, settled in the place. Previous to their coming, Dr. Jackson, of Tunkhannock, was the physician for all this region. About 1835, Dr. Wm. Wells Pride, bought out Dr. Hatch, and remained nearly 25 years. Upon giving up the practice of his profession, he removed to Middletowp, Conn., where he passed the evening of his days with his daughter, Mrs. Rev. Dr. J. Taylor. One cannot correctly estimate the value to the community of two such Christian lives as those of Dr. and Mrs. Pride. Both had gone in their early, prime as missionaries of the A. B. C. F. M. (1819-1826) to the Choctaws in Mississippi;
the former from Cambridge, N. Y., and the latter as Miss Hannah Thacher from Harford, Susquehanna County. Two of their children were born at the South. On account of the doctor's failing health, the family were obliged to come to the North, the
- 27 -
418 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
parents most regretfully leaving the work to which they had hoped to give the remainder of their days.
Dr. Pride had been established in Gibson a short time before coming to Springville. In the latter place he was a ruling elder in the Presbyterian church, and an active anti-slavery advocate.
Mrs. P. died at Middletown, Conn., Aug. 8, 1861, aged 63 ; Dr. Pride, March 24, 1865, aged 69. His house in Springville is now owned and occupied by Thomas Nicholson, Esq.
Dr. Israel B. Lathrop has been for many years a practicing physician in Springville.
In 1829, Spencer Hickcox had a small store on the site of the present hotel.
‘Hazard's Register' contained a notice of Daniel Spencer's wonderful pound of gunpowder, entitled, "Susquehanna County against the world I" "In the early settlement of this county, Mr. Spencer, of Springville township, killed, with one pound of powder, 60 deer, 9 bears, 3 foxes, 1 wolf, 3 owls, and a number of partridges and quails. Mr. Spencer has killed upwards of 1500 deer since he came to reside in this county."
The following is the testimony of one of his former neighbors : " He was out one day in the fall of the year, when the bucks frequently get into a family quarrel, as in this case. He found two lusty bucks that had been fighting, and in the battle their horns, being long and prongy, became locked together so firmly that they could not be separated by any effort they could make, and one of them died either in the battle or by starvation, and the other had dragged his dead comrade around until he was just aliye and had become a mere skeleton."¹
In 1830, A. Beardsley was appointed justice of the peace. J. Knapp, Orin Fish, E. M. Phillips, Miles Prichard, and A. G. Stillwell have been later justices.
Lynn is a flourishing little village, situated in the south part of the township of Springville, twelve miles from Montrose, and nine from Tunkhannock. The first post-office was established in 1836, John Cassedy, Esq., P. M. It has one mercantile establishment, a carriage shop, a shop for ironing carriages, one for repairing clocks, watches, etc., a blacksmith shop, a milliner's, shoe, cabinet, and harness shops, and a mitten factory. It has also a new school-house, a physician, and a Good Templars' organization.
A cheese factory has been established by Hon. Asa Packer in the vicinity.
Niven is the name of a post-office in the southeastern part of the township at " X Roads."
¹ A similar case is reported by F- B. Chandler, of Montrose, in which he had the fortune to secure the living buck, and the horns of both ; the latter now ornament his hall.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 419
Patents have been issued to D. G. Dugan for an improved bedstead, and to Dr. J. Owen for an animal trap. [It is probable there have been inventions of greater value, which have not
reached the knowledge of the compiler.]
The township is considered healthy, but within a few years it has been visited by the scourge, diphtheria. Six deaths occurred in one family, that of Edward S. Coggswell, within twenty-one
In the fall of 1843 or '44, Wm. Belcher proposed teaching a select school in Lyman settlement, providing he could get a room. John and Joseph A. Lyman built a small house on the old homestead, near the Junction, or corners of five roads, where the school was kept for several years, and which became known as the Lymanville Select School, giving name to Lymanviile, as it has been called ever since, though there is no village. The M. E. church parsonage and school-house is all there is to distinguish it from other farming communities.
ST. JUDE'S CHURCH.—Some time previous to 1815, several families from Waterbury and its vicinity, in Connecticut, removed to and settled in Springville. Being mostly Episcopalians, they established a stated Sabbath meeting, some one reading the service from the Prayer-Book, and a sermon from some published volume.
They were visited by the Rev. George Boyd, of Philadelphia, during whose stay a church was organized, a vestry elected, and application made for a charter of incorporation. The charter was granted by the Governor 7th October, 1817, and Joel Hickcox, Amos Bronson, Thomas Parke, John Camp, Titus Scott, Randall Hickcox, Benjamin Welton, Spencer Hickcox, John Bronson, and Leonard Baldwin, were appointed the first vestry.
The Society for the Advancement of Christianity in Pennsylvania, sent the Rev. Manning B. Roche, who alternated for some months between Springville and Pike, occasionally preaching in
About 1825, the Rev. Samuel Marks was sent to Springville, where he resided several years, officiating occasionally throughout the county. He was a man of popular manners, ade many
friends and did much good.
In 1829, a difficulty in relation to the election of the vestry occurred, which not having been settled in May, 1832, a new charter was applied for and obtained 'under the name of "ST.
ANDREW'S CHURCH " (consecrated October 21, 1834).
The first vestry-men were : Thomas Cassidy, Arad Wakelee,
420 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Myron Kasson, A. B. Pritchard,¹ Philonus Beardsley, Asa Packer, and Amos Williams.
The Rev. Samuel Marks continued to officiate alternately in Springville and Montrose. After a time. he removed to Carbondale, and was succeeded in Springville by the Rev. Willie Peck, who remained nearly two years. His successor, December, 1835, was the Rev. Freeman Lane, who officiated in Springville and in Pike, Bradford County. In 1836, he taught a select school in Springville. He remained in the parish till 1842, when he resigned, and the Rev. Richard Smith took charge, and held service. at Springville two-thirds of the time, and one-third at Montrose.
In May, 1836, Rev. John Long was invited to take charge of the parishes of Springville, Montrose, and New Milford, giving one-third to each. He also organized a parish at Tunkhannock, and a charter was obtained. About this time a parsonage was purchased for Springville, with nearly an acre of ground attached.
In September, 1848, the Rev. H. H. Bean succeeded Mr. Long, giving the whole of his services to the parish and adjoining neighborhood, officiating frequently at Tunkhannock. He remained two years and preached very acceptably. Mr. Bean was succeeded by the Rev. G. M. Skinner, and after a service of some two years the Rev. J. G. Furey took his place, and remained seven years. His successor, Rev. W. S. Heaton, officiated about five years, and then took charge of Pike and the country adjoining. The Rev. W. Kennedy has now charge of the parish. It has a neat and convenient church building, with organ, and some fifty communicants.
List of Presiding Elders in the Methodist Episcopal Church,
Of (formerly) Oneida Conference, Wyalusing District, and Bridgewater Circuit ; at present, Wyoming Conference, Susquehanna District, Springville Circuit.
Early, Silas Comfort ; 1812, George Harmon ; 1815, Marma-duke Pearce ; 1819, George Lane.
From 1830 to 1870, Horace Agard, Fitch Read, George Lane (2d time), John M. Snyder, David Holmes, Jr., William Ready, D. A. Shepherd, George Peck, George Landon, George H. Blakeslee, Henry Brownscombe, and D. C. Olmstead.
¹ Died December, 1866, aged 77.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 421.
List of Traveling Preachers—same Territory.
Prior to 1830, Thomas Wright, Joshua Dawson, Caleb Kendall, Joshua Rogers, Mark Preston, William Lull, and Philetus Parkiss.
From 1830 to 1845, Joseph Towner, C. W. Harris, George Evans, C. W. Giddings, M. K. Cushman, Benjamin Ellis, T. Davy, S. B. Yarington, L. S. Bennett, Erastus Smith, John and Samuel Griffin, E. B. Tenny, C. T. Stanley, A. Benjamin, K. Elwell, T. Wilcox, William Varcoe, William Round, William Ready, H. Brownscombe, J. W. Davidson, E. A. Young, J. O. Boswell, William Silsbee.
From 1846 to 1870, Ira Wilcox, Welcome Smith, Joseph Whitham, T. D. Walker, John Mulky, O. F. Morse, F. Spencer, Marcus Carrier, Charles L. Rice, E. F. Roberts, Luther Peck, F. S. Chubbuck, Z. S. Kellogg, A. P. Aiken, Ira D. Warren, J. V. Newell, Ira T. Walker, E. W. Breckenridge, Charles Pearce, C. W. Todd, A. F. Harding, Stephen Elwell, D. Worrell, John F. Wilbur, and Joshua S. Lewis.
The Methodist Society worshipped in the school house opposite Esquire Beardsley's after 1860. They have now 'a neat edifice on the main street. The first school house was of logs, " rolled up," near where Ezra Tuttle lived.
This society was organized about 1819, by Rev. Mr. Ccnger ; but there was no church edifice untill 1836, and this was not dedicated until Feb. 9th, 1837. The ministers have been :—
Rev. Sylvester Cooke, 1836, or earlier ; Rev. Archibald B. Sloat ; Rev. B. Baldwin; Rev. James W. Raynor. Deacon H. G. Ely is probably the only officer remaining.
The church is located near Lynn, two miles below Springville Hollow. Service at present (1869) only once in two weeks ; no stated pastor.
The ladies of the church bought the parsonage, and paid part of the debt on the church. The avails of the sale of the former are still in possession of the church.
422 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
UNDER date of November 27, 1846, the court erected a new township from the western part of Choconut, and ordered "that it be called Apolacon." The line between Choconut and Apola-con then crossed four roads besides the turnpike.
The new township being four and a half miles in width, by six miles north and south, left to Choconut less than half its original dimensions. Like the latter, it took its name from the stream which is the principal drain of the township. At the time the State line was run across it this stream was called the Appelacuncle, which is said to signify "From whence the messenger returned." The name has been variously written, and at present the town at the mouth of the stream, in New York State, is called Apalachin, while the name of the township in Susquehanna County, and of the stream itself, is written as ordered by the court The sources of the Apolacon and Wyalusing Creeks, in the township, are within two rods of each other. Another source of the latter is in Lake Wyalusing. The small lake which nearly touches the Bradford County line—the western boundary of the township—is one of the sources of the Wappa-sening, which runs northwesterly and joins the main stream in Bradford County.
Briar Hill is one of the most marked elevations near the creek.
Bear Swamp, not far from the head of the creek, is one of several marshes, almost amounting to lakes, within the boundaries of Apolacon.
This northwest corner of the county is traversed by the same turnpike as that of the southeast corner, and has some features very similar; the lakes, the diagonal stream and valley, and symmetrical " Hills," while its "Meadows" have one counterpart at least in Decker's Flat, in Cliffbrd. The latter is not more inviting to the tourist than the former, unless seen from a high elevation.
A large marsh on the Apolacon, just west of Briar Hill, was known in early times as Big Meadow.
Little Meadows, a locality so named very early to distinguish it from the marsh mentioned above, is two and a half miles lower on the Apolacon Creek, across which, at this point, the HISTORY
OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 423
beavers once built a dam ; and thus cut off much of the timber before it was visited by the ax. The borough is on this tract.
It was here the first settlement was made within the bounds of the township, or even of old Choconut from which Apolacon was taken.
Relics of Indians were found near where the beavers built their dam. Arrow-heads of various sizes, made of flint-stone, were found in considerable quantities; also, stones of exquisite workmanship, the use of which is not known. One was shown to some Indians a few years ago, but they could not tell certainly its use, but suggested that it might have been used on their war-clubs. The stone itself was peculiar—of a kind not found in this section of country. One end was worked to a very fine edge, and flat; the other was round, and very nicely polished. These stones were of various sizes, ranging from three to six inches in length, and from two to three inches wide on the edge. A few pieces of pottery, made apparently of coarse sand, were also found in the vicinity; generally five or six inches under ground.
In cutting down maple trees, the early settlers discovered indications of their having been tapped many times in former years. Evidently the locality had been a resort of the Indians in the spring for making sugar; and in the winter for killing beaver.
This section was once included within the limits of old Tioga township, Luzerne County; as may be seen by the first assessment roll, 1796, where Francis Johnston is taxed for " lands on Appalacunck Creek, joining the boundary line." In 1799, unseated lands of Tioga are mentioned as lying " on the Choconut and Appalacunck."
The first white man who settled in Apolacon was David Barney, a native of New Hampshire; which State he left in 1784, reaching Vestal, Broome County, N. Y., in 1785. From this place he came, in 1800, to Little Meadows, where for at least four years he was the only settler west of Snake Creek, above Forest Lake. The hotel of II. Barney and the house of D. Barney are on his farm. He bought of Tench Francis, a large landholder, and received his deed from his widow Anne.
Though Indians as well as beavers had disappeared from this locality before he came, yet two Indians, named Nicholas and Seth, lingered on the creek about six miles below, near the Susquehanna River. Nicholas sometimes came up to hunt in the winter, with Mr. Barney, whose son Harry tells the following of him and his squaw :—
" It was the rule or law among the Indians, that if an Indian married a second squaw, the children of the latter inherited all his property. Nicholas moved from the river about the time my father settled here, to the home of the Oneidas. Not long after, his squaw, finding she must die soon from con-
424 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
sumption, poisoned him to death, that her children might inherit his property. Thus ended the life of the last Indian known to have inhabited this part of the country."
In 1801, what is now Apolacon was included in that part of Tioga township then set off to Rush.
In this year Darius, eldest son of David Barney, was born. Within the next seven years, three daughters were born, and in 1809 and 1811, two sons, Jonathan and Harry ; two more daughters and David, Jr., constituted the family. Mrs. Richard Collins of Apolacon, Mrs. Jotham Rounds, of Vestal, N. Y., and Mrs. Levi Jones, of Owego, N. Y., are his daughters. David B. died March 27th, 1852, in his 77th year; his wife, February 20th, 1843, in her 62d year.
The next settler within the limits of the borough of Little Meadows, was a soldier of the Revolution, Reuben Beebe, from Dutchess County, N. Y.
A year or two earlier, about 1805, Joseph Beebe, his son, had settled on the creek, above Bear Swamp.
Soon after, Calvin Drake, John Brown, John Smith, Benjamin and Robert Buffum, Charles Nichols, and others, also settled along the creek. Joel, son of Reuben Beebe, Belden Read, Benaiah Barney, brother of David, Lewis and William Barton, and John Anderson, were at Little Meadows previous to 1813. The last named occupied the place afterwards owned by James House. Lewis Barton was a native of Dutchess County, N. Y. He died November, 1852, aged 71. Mrs. Almira B. died in 1868, having lived in Apolacon fifty-six years.
The first death in Little Meadows was that of Xenia, wife of Reuben Beebe, in 1807.
The first school was taught by Eunice Beardslee, the same year. Her marriage, October 19th, 1809, to Joseph Beebe, was the first in the township.
Schools were kept in such vacant rooms as could be found, until a house was built for the purpose a little north of the present school-house in Little Meadows. This was the only one within the limits of Apolacon for a number of years, and most of the scholars had far to go, as the inhabitants were few and scattered.
From 1801 to 1813, the township was a part of Rush, which in the latter year was divided into three parts; the northern being Choconut, of which Apolacon is the western section. While its inhabitants belonged in Choconut, nearly half the town officers were from Apolacon ; and it is difficult to associate the early settlers with the present township, since they passed away previous to its erection.
In 1814, Asahel Graves, Sen., and Caleb Brainerd came, and in 1815, Winthrop Collins, Sen., John Clifford, and David Pul-
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cipher. At this time Asahel Graves was taxed "in the room of Calvin Drake who is gone to York State." Caleb Brainerd died in 1849.
In 1816, David Currier, John Fessenden, Sen., Noah and William Houghton, Hugh Whitaker, and James House came. Abraham Whitaker's lands lay partly in the township, hut his buildings were in Bradford County. Hugh W. afterwards built a house over the line, where he lived until his death.
This year witnessed much suffering here, from scarcity of provisions ; David Barney's trusty rifle relieved many, by furnishing them with game. The inhabitants frequently came to him, having nothing to eat, and offering to work on his farm while he hunted venison, and thus kept them from starvation.
The nearest grist-mill was at Ithaca—a distance of forty-three miles. Many devices were resorted to to supply a substitute ; the most successful of which was a mortar for pounding corn for samp. This was made by cutting down a large hard-wood tree and burning a hole in the top of the stump. The pestle or pounder was made of a hard-wood sapling six or seven inches in diameter, and four or five feet long, with a stick run through for handles. This attached to a spring-pole completed the mill. Samp formed a large portion of the food of most of the inhabitants; it was the staff of life, and must be eaten; a change of diet could not be obtained.
In 1817, John Ayer, Abiel Bailey, Moses Buffum, David Heald, (Edward and Alfred Heald were not taxed until two years later), Stephen I. Jewitt, Nathaniel and Silas Balcom, were new corners. Moses B. removed to Bradford County in 1824. He was taxed while here for " one negro slave."
Oliver Merrill was a taxable of 1819, he afterwards moved in, but left the town in less than ten years.
The trades were well represented by the early settlers. Asahel Graves, Sen. and Jr., and Noah Houghton were blacksmiths; Abel Merrill and Josiah Wines, shoemakers. Benaiah Barney erected the first grist-mill, in 1811 ; in 1816 David Barney and Belden Read ran a saw-mill. The latter removed in 1821.
Benaiah Barney removed to Indiana, — where he died.
The first thoroughly educated man who settled in Apolacon was SAMUEL MILLIGAN. In 1820, he was taxed for 3000 acres. He was born in Philadelphia, April 18th, 1789 ; graduated at Princeton College, New Jersey, at the age of seventeen ; studied law in compliance with the wishes of his family, and practiced at the Philadelphia Bar, acting for some years as the attorney for the Bingham Estate. He was persuaded to buy lands in Susquehanna County; thus relinquishing the law, which was never the profession of his choice. He bought a large tract in the then township of Choconut, and entered largely into farming.
He moved to Ellerslie in the summer of 1821, and became heartily devoted to the interests of his new home. Ellerslie was on a ridge dividing the townships of Choconut and Apolacon, when the latter was erected. The house
426 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
was built in the English style, with arched windows, and occupied considerable ground ; it has since been divided, and a part moved away.
Mr. M. was appointed justice of the peace (of Choconut inclusive of Apol-aeon) at the earnest solicitation of his neighbors, and afterwards town-clerk ; which latter office he held again and again to the great accommodation of the township.
In 1830, Ellerslie post-office was established, S. Milligan, postmaster; and although it paid expenses, his own mail was often all the bag contained.
He was an ardent Whig, and by his personal influence, and writings, he contributed much to the cause, particularly in the fall of 1832, when by his writings he was said to have caused a great change in sentiment throughout the county. Although all his life interested in politics, he never wished to enter into the excitement of political life or to accept office save in the service of the county for whose benefit he labored.
In 1832, he actively advocated the construction of a railroad to connect Owego with the Lackawanna coal-field by the way of Apolacon Creek, etc. [See Roads.]
In 1842, Mr. Milligan was again urged to accept a nomination as justice of the peace, which he repeatedly refused, but finally accepted on the grounds, as his friends insisted, that no other Whig could gain the election (the township being Democratic), and he was elected. He was a man of strict integrity, of fine talents, and extensive reading. He was one of the first promoters and directors of public schools ; and so earnest was he that all should be benefited, that when, by his entreaties, he failed to get the consent of the people to send their children to school, he appealed to their priest to require it of them. His zeal was equally great for good roads throughout the township. At one time, losing all patience on account of a bad piece of road near his house, he requested his friends to make him supervisor, which they did, and thus the roads were put in order.
He was largely instrumental in building the Presbyterian church at Friendsville, of which he was an elder and trustee.
In 1847, at the earnest wish of his family to return to the old homestead, he removed to Phoenixville, Chester County. In the latter place he was again active in building a Presbyterian church, in which he served as elder and trustee until his death, April 24th, 1854.
The first town clerk of old Choconut was Alfred Heald, in 1821. His farm was on the turnpike between Friendsville and the Apolacon Creek ; he died December, 1835, aged 41 years. This road was so excessively hilly as first constructed, that the court appointed B. T. Case, Esq., and others to review it, which was done; but it is difficult to conceive of its ever having been any more hilly than it is at present.
In the Annals of Middletown reference is made to the incoming of Silas Beardslee. After his death Mrs. Bearsdlee came, with her son Silas, to Apolacon about 1822. Our present member of the State Legislature, E. B. Beardslee, is their son.
In 1824, O. B. Haight settled upon the farm vacated the same year by Moses Buffum.
A swamp in the northeast .corner of Apolacon takes its name from one Hugh Bois, who in 1825 built a shanty there, stayed a few months, cleared a small place, and left. [Incorrectly marked Hubois Swamp on county map.]
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Winthrop Collins, Jr., removed about 1826. His father, Winthrop, Sr., remained in the township until his death in 1828.
This year Caleb Carmalt purchased of Dr. R. H. Rose one-half of his original estate in Susquehanna County, and, by the division, nearly all the then unseated land in what is now Apolacon, additional to lands in other townships. [See Choconut.]
The first Irish settlers of Apolacon were Edmond and Patrick O'Shoughnessy, in 1831.
Prior to this time a number of the sons of the first settlers had become of age. Among these was William House, a son of James and father of William A., at present a member of the New Jersey Assembly. The 'State Sentinel,' of Trenton, New Jersey, in a series of "Legislative Daguerreotypes," represents William A. House as one of the finest in the group.
James House had three sons, Ezekiel, William, and Royal E. The youngest, who was but six months' old when his father came from Vermont, is known as the inventor of the " Printing Telegraph." He was accustomed to experiment in childhood. Once having caught a toad, he skinned it, placed a set of springs in the skin, and made it hop.
His residence for many years was near Binghamton, high up the side of " House's Hill."
When the township of Apolacon was erected, more than forty years after its settlement, there remained upon the tax-list an unusually large proportion of the names of the early families: Barney, Beebe, Barton, Brainerd, Buffum, Beardslee, Collins, CliffOrd, Currier, Fessenden, Graves, Heald, Houghton, House, and others.
A large number of Irishmen were here.
Evan Evans and John Jones, Welshmen, connected with the settlement extending hither from Middletown, and the eastern border of Bradford County, had settled not far from the latter, west of Lake Wyalusing. This lake rests on the top of a high hill on land belonging to the heirs of Samuel F. Carrnalt, whose residence was near it many years later. The early death of this gentleman, the eldest son of Caleb Carmalt, of Choconut, was felt as a serious loss to the township. He was President of the County Agricultural Society.
There are fine orchards in this neighborhood, and ,the land lies handsomely. There are also good dairy farms, and the vicinity produces excellent fruit.
O. B. Haight, having a dairy of eight cows, made and sold 1313 pounds of butter in the season of 1868. besides having on hand sufficient for the winter's use. The milk and butter for the use of the family, for the season, was also taken from the general product.
In November, 1869, Patrick Harding raised an apple of the
428 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
variety known as ox-heart, which measured 14a inches in circumference, and weighed one pound and seven ounces.
Upon the incorporation of the Borough of Friendsville, Apolacon parted with a small portion of territory on the southeast corner.
November, 1856, the court was petitioned to order the erection of the Borough of Little Meadows, fl miles square. Its decision in favor of the petitioners was reversed by the Supreme Court the following year ; but in August, 1859, the petition was again made, with an alteration in the dimensions, and was granted January, 1860. The Supreme Court twice reversed the decision. The final decree was made when the Governor signed an Act of the Legislature for that purpose, March 27th, 1862.
The northern line of the borough is the State line, 1¾ miles ; the east line is 400 rods, and the west, on the Bradford County line, is 430 rods.
The borough is pleasantly situated on the Apolacon, and is easy of access. Hopes are entertained of a railroad to connect it with the Lehigh Valley Road at Skinner's Eddy, and with the Erie Railroad. Carnpville station on the latter, seven miles distant, is now the nearest station. A daily mail, two stores, a sawmill, grist, lath, and planing-mills, two blacksmith shops, wagon, harness, shoemaker, and cooper shops, give life and animation to business. There are forty-one voters in the borough. Its physicians are A. H. Bolles and Jonathan Barney. The Methodist church is a neat structure. Maplewood Cemetery was chartered in 1865.
For the last few years, in addition to the district school, a select school has been sustained in the autumn mouths by J. W. Tinker, William F. Miles, and others.
During the war the patriotism of this section was well represented in the field and at home.
With few exceptions, the aged people of Apolacon are not the longest residents. One John Ragan, is said to be 104 years of age, and walks to Friendsville, a distance of three miles from his home, to attend church, quite regularly.
Darius Barney, the first-born of the Borough of Little Meadows, lived in the place all his life—sixty-nine years.
Polly Fessenden came to the township in 1809, and moved to Tuscarora in 1869.
Jonathan and Harry Barney, some of the first settlers, have spent their lives in Little Meadows.
As early as 1809, this section was visited by ministers of the Methodist Episcopal church, among whom were Messrs. Loring Grant (circuit preacher), Ross, and Baker.
Asahel Graves, Sen., a layman of the Presbyterian church, who came in 1814, collected a few of the scattered inhabitants,
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 429
read to them a discourse and conducted other religious services. This was three or four years prior to any regular church organization here.
It could not have been earlier than 1816, that Elder Davis Dimock organized a Baptist church here. Two of the constituent members, Polly Fessenden and Lucinda Whitaker, are still living; but the organization long since ceased to exist. It was the first religious society of the township, as the Free Will Baptists were not organized until a little later, by Elder John Gould, who afterwards became a follower of Joe Smith. Notwithstanding this unpropitious fact, the society continued, and having concentrated about two miles north (in the State of New York), built a church edifice in 1845, and are now in a state of prosperity.
Not far from the time of' the latter organization, the Methodists were formed into a society by John Griffin. The constituent members were John Brown and wife, Charles Nichols and wife, Benjamin Buffum and wife, and Winthrop Collins and wife. A little later John Cliftord and wife joined the society, and the former was appointed class-leader, a position he held for many years. They have all passed away, as have most of those who labored for their spiritual benefit: Solon Stocking, Joseph Towner, Erastus Smith, Thomas Davy, John Griffin, Morgan Rugar, and others.
The first quarterly meeting was held in a building used as a carding-machine shop. Solon Stocking was then presiding elder. The society continues and is now in a strong and healthful condition, numbering about one hundred members. In 1845 they built the meeting-house they still occupy, but it has since been enlarged, and a bell is added.
An effort was made in 1823, by Elder Edward Dodge (Baptist), to establish a Sunday-school, but it proved a failure, possibly because the Sunday-school hymns were not then attractive. A verse of one is here given as a specimen (No. 102, Watts):—
" No, I'll repine at death no more,
But, with a cheerful gasp, resign
To the cold dungeon of the grave
These dying, withering limbs of mine."
In 1824, Miss Polly Graves collected the children together, and spent an hour each Sabbath morning and afternoon in explaining to them the Word of God ; but it was not until the following year that a regular organization was effected by William Dobson. This Sunday-school has been continued to the present time. Its first officers were : Wm. Dobson, superintendent ; Benaiah Barney, president ; Lewis Barton, treasurer ; Wm. House, librarian ; and Jacob Barton, secretary.
In the summer of 1828, there was a great Sunday-school celebration at Owego, N. Y., when seventy-eight scholars from this
430 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
vicinity, under the superintendence of Wm. Dobson, were present. Each scholar wore around the neck a blue ribbon, having a Testament suspended from it. There were fourteen wagons in the procession, while some persons went on horseback and others on foot. Many were barefoot, and all were dressed in homespun. A Bible had been offered by Charles B. Pixley, of Owego, to the school best represented at this celebration, and Supt. Dobson, in behalf of his scholars, had the honor of bearing off the prize, which, by a vote of the school, was afterwards presented to him as a token of kind regard.
DURING the first term of court held in Susquehanna County, January, 1813, a petition was presented for the erection from the northern part of Rush (then extending to the State line), of a township eight miles square, to be called Choconut. A remonstrance, setting forth the propriety of dividing Rush into three nearly equal townships, was afterwards received, and the prayer granted " nisi," November, 1813, and finally, January, 1814, making Choconut six miles north and south, by eight miles east and west. Its area as thus determined remained unaltered until 1846, when it was reduced more than one-half by the erection of Apolacon, which now forms its western boundary. The State line is on the north, Silver Lake township on the east, Forest Lake and Friendsville on the south.
Choconut derives its name from the stream which traverses the entire length of the township near its eastern border, and so nearly due north, that from the hills on either side, near the State line, the whole valley southward is distinctly seen.
At the time the State line was run, it was reported to cross the Chucknut, among other streams falling into the Susquehanna within a short distance above the line. Its Indian signification is not positively ascertained. The head of the Choconut is in the narrow divide between it and the middle branch of the Wyalusing in the northern part of the township below; but it is also fed by a beautiful lake of the same name in the southwestern part of Choconut township. Small ponds form the sources of three or four tributaries on the west, which furnish fine mill-seats, as also do two or three coming from the east; and these have been improved from the first settlement of the township.
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The surface of Choconut is hilly; the soil, gravel and clay. It is well adapted to the raising of corn, potatoes, oats, rye, grass, beans, carrots, turnips, etc., and spring wheat and barley, when managed properly. The land on the hills is the best for grain. Buckwheat grows well, but rye and oats better.
There are not as many sheep as formerly, but most of them are of superior breeds. " There are no finer sheep-pastures than the hills of Susquehanna County, and there is no reason why, with a little effort and enterprise on the part of farmers, and the introduction of the same breeds, it should not compete with Vermont."
The wild animals of the earlier times were deer (very numerous), wolves, and a few bears. There were a few foxes, otter, the porcupine, sable, and marten. Panthers and wild-cats were quite frequently seen ; and in some years there were millions of wild pigeons. Wild geese and ducks are still found on the lakes every autumn, which contain trout (genus salmo); some being two feet long.
The settlement of the township was begun in 1806 along Cho-conut Creek, by James Rose, David Owen, James Thayer, John Lozier, and James Winchell. Mr. Rose was a man of education, a surveyor, and agent for lands in this section. His early life had been spent in Philadelphia and vicinity. He located on the flat now occupied by Michael Donnelly, 2nd. Mrs. Rose died here in 1816, leaving eleven children, only one of whom, the widow of Horace Bliss, is now living in the county. Mr. Rose died in Silver Lake, on the site of the former residence of his brother, Dr. Robert H. Rose, many years after the death of the latter.
David Owen was from Connecticut, and is spoken of as " a good farmer ;" James Thayer, from New York, an excellent millwright, whose sons, Hiram and Thomas, were deer-hunters as well as farmers. John Lozier remained a number of years, but James Winchell appears to have left after a short time.
Joseph Addison, Edward Cox, and the Chalker brothers—Daniel, Joseph, and Charles—were on the Choconut, below James Rose, prior to March, 1809, and Bela Moore was at the junction of the outlet of the lake with the creek.
Joseph Addison was a Scotch-Irishman—a Protestant; his wife, a Dutch woman. Their son Isaac was the first child born in Choconut. The father died April, 1849, aged 72.
Edward Cox had settled in Lawsville as early as 1805. He died in Choconut in 1821. His sons were Edward and Thomas. His daughter Sabra taught the first school in the township, at her own home.
In 1810, Adam Carman, a hunter, purchased of Dr. Rose,
432 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
lands now owned by the widow of Caleb Carmalt near the lake, which was first called Carman's Lake.
William Price owned the farm next below J. Addison, and near the State line; Joshua Griswold, from Vermont, was in the western part of the township, and, a few years later, he and his
sons, Clark and George, built the first saw-mill in Choconut ; and he was appointed the first justice of the peace. Captain Ezra Doty, a blacksmith, and a soldier of the Revolution, was, with his sons, William, Nathan and Zura, at the place since known as " Man-nington," and later "St. Joseph's." E. Doty was afterwards in Forest Lake.
Amos Webster, a native of Connecticut, came from near the Mohawk, September, 1810, and located on the creek north of E. Doty, where he remained until his death, in 1841, aged 77. He was a shoemaker. his sons were, Abel, Alexander, Asahel, Alvah, Sylvester, Elias, and Russell. None of the family are now residents of Choconut.
Adonijah Webster, brother of Amos, first took up land here—about two hundred acres, dividing with the latter—but did not settle until years afterwards, and somewhat later than his only son, Elias. The latter died in Choconut, May, 1832, and his father in July following.
Prior to 1813, Horace Bliss, who married Isabella, daughter of James Rose, was located near the latter; Levi Smith, a potter, from Vermont, settled where Cornelius Hickey lives; Jedediah Tallman, a Quaker, and son Stephen J., a carpenter, were here, and the latter taught the first public school ; also, Reuben Faxon, a hatter, and many years later a justice of the peace. Jesse Truesdell was a taxable, at least, as early as these.
Lewis Chamberlin, a native of Rhode Island, who removed to Vermont in 1800, and married there in 1811, came to Choconut September 1, 1813, with his wife and one child (Albert), and settled on the farm he occupied until his death, March 20, 1871, when he had reached nearly the age of 87 years.
A. Chamberlin, late justice of the peace in Montrose, and now United States assessor in Scranton, recalls the time when from his bed he could see the stars through the chinks in the roof. Eight or nine brothers and sisters grew up with him, and one-half of the number still remain with their mother on the old spot—the only persons of New England birth and descent now left in the valley of the Choconut, down to the State line.
During the Presidency of Andrew Jackson, Lewis Chamberlin received a commission as postmaster, which office he held without intermission or re-appointment until his death, a period of 42 years ; and is supposed to have been, at the time, the only acting postmaster in the United States whose commission bears so remote a date.
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Benjamin Chamberlin, father of Lewis, came a few months later than he. Both were scythe-makers. The father when a soldier in the Revolutionary war was a prisoner three months on board a prison-ship in the East River, near New York. He died in 1822, aged 60. His widow, Olive, died in 1843, aged 82.
All the common trades were represented by the early settlers, the most of whom also cultivated land.
Among the taxables of 1813 were : Jesse Taylor, a cabinetmaker; Gordon Bliss, a house-joiner and carpenter, near the school-house, on the creek, below James Rose ; and Jirah Bryan, a farmer near St. Joseph's, and also, a Baptist minister. He published a small treatise on the Atonement, entitled the Seven Links.' He died in 1844, aged 64. His widow, afterwards Mrs. Horace Birchard, recently deceased, mentioned the fact of a small clearing having been made on the hill near St. Joseph's, close to which a panther prowled all winter. " He would begin to yell near the clearing, and go off screaming till he was out of hearing. I have counted," she added, " seven deer, all large, going out of our wheat-field, where they had been feeding."
Paul Taber, Jonathan Green, Paul Jones, Ezra Congdon (since in Binghamton), and Andrew Gardner, were farmers—the last named also a mechanic. Lark Moore, " a first-class cooper and farmer," was in the southwest corner of the present township, a part of his land being now included in the borough of Friendsville, and extending on the turnpike from Silver Lake Street to the west line of Mrs. Munda. Michael Dow, Bildad Hubbell, William L. Isham, and David Lindley appear to have been in as early as 1813 ; but in the year following their places were occupied by others, among whom were Jacob and Jesse B. Goodsell.
Jacob Goodsell, and his sons, Isaac, Daniel, Samuel, Harry, Ira, and Truman, settled near the lake, having purchased the lands of Adam Carman, and for some years after it was called "Goodsell's Pond."
In 1814, Matthew Stanley began a clearing at the place since named " Ellerslie," then in Choconut, but he soon after came to the farm now occupied by his son Jasper Stanley, about two miles north of Choconut Lake. He was afterwards a justice of the peace. His sons who came with him were, Calvin, Luther, Jasper, Captain Stephen Heriman, Archy, Horace, Jason, and Matthew. Luther Stanley was in the war of 1812. Matthew Stanley, Sr., died in 1838, aged 72.
Jasper Stanley is the only man of the settlers prior to 1817 now (1872) living in the township. These pages are indebted to him.
Capt. John Locke, one of the Boston tea-party of 1773, and a soldier at Bunker Hill, White Plains, and Saratoga, came to
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434 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Choconut, May, 1814. His farm was on the south line of the township, adjoining Jirah Bryan's. His sons, John, Edmund, and Nathaniel R., were stone-cutters and masons. He died in the spring of 1834, aged eighty-three.
Nathaniel R. Locke came to Choconut a single man. He married Hetty Ross and lived on the place now occupied by John Gorman. Their son, David Ross Locke, is the author of the Petroleum V. Nasby' papers—a series of political letters which have' had an influence on the politics of the country. They very early attracted, by their ability and humor, the attention of President Lincoln. "Nasby" was born on Choconut Creek, it is said, but a little beyond the State line, in Vestal, Broome County, N. Y. N. R. Locke, now nearly or quite eighty years old, writes from the West, that, on his arrival in Choconut, May, 1814, there was no military organization ; but that in October of that year an election of officers was held and Isaac Goodsell was chosen Captain, Joseph Whipple (Silver Lake) First Lieutenant, — Jewett, Second Lieutenant, and N. R. Locke, First Sergeant. He says :—
" We had to go to Montrose for our battalion. We were given the right, and so became the first company in the regiment. I think Mr. Whipple must have resigned, as I was elected first lieutenant. Frederick Bailey was colonel, and Edward Packer, major. But by some means our company dwindled away. The military law was then very defective in Pennsylvania, and we were without an organization for some time ; so Dr. Rose proposed to have a rifle company formed in Silver Lake. We met at his office and organized into a company called the Silver Lake Rifles.' Our uniform was a hunter's frock, and pants of green flannel, trimmed with yellow, a red sash, common hat with a buck-tail in front. We had a full company, according to law, N. R. Locke, Captain, Philip Griffith, First Lieutenant, and Bradley Chamberlin, Second Lieutenant. By some means we never got our commissions, so that company also went down, and I went out of the military business altogether."
A family of Lockes, not related to the above, consisting of Molly, widow of Ebenezer Locke, and her sons, Reuben T. and Charles, were located on the creek below Gordon Bliss, and on the place now occupied by Peter Clarke. Mrs. Locke died in 1844, in her seventy-sixth year. Reuben T. Locke was afterwards a tailor in Montrose, and built what was long known as the Locke Mansion, now Odd Fellows' hall. "He was of Lambertine proportions," says a newspaper correspondent, " whom I well knew as an original abolitionist and a wit of the first water, in the days when the fun of the controversy, as brought out in that tailor's shop, found precious few who had the capacity to enjoy it."
Capt. Westol Scoville, a Revolutionary soldier, was another settler of 1814. His sons, Buel and Orlen, were wagon-makers.
In 1815, Peter Brown moved in from Silver Lake, and kept the first store in Choconut. Bildad Hubbell afterwards sent goods to the place, which were sold by his agent, Mr. Stanley.
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Chauncey Wright, a clothier, from Hartwick, Otsego County, N. Y., settled on a branch of the Choconut, near the present center of the township, and established a fulling-mill. In 1842, he removed to Forest Lake.
John Sherer, miller and farmer, came the same year. His sons were John, James, William, Barrett and David.
Robert Giffen and his sons Isaac and Robert, farmers, settled on the Choconut next below James Rose. He died about 1821.
The year 1816 brought in a large number of inhabitants, but it was a. year of great destitution. The corn crop was a total failure. None was raised this side of Chester County, Pa. Jehu Lord, then residing there, but afterwards in Choconut, raised ten acres of corn, which was all sold for seed, at $5.00 per bushel. " Hogs were not fat enough to be called pork. Deer were poor, but with rye bread and a very few potatoes, furnished subsistence for the pioneer. Maple sugar had been plentifully made as late as the 12th of May. The snows of 1815-16-17 were not sufficient for sleighing."
Hiram Bates, a shoemaker, tanner, and currier, located just opposite and north of Chauncey Wright, on the present farm of Mrs. E. Mulford, where he remained until about thirty years ago, when he went West.
Of other settlers of 1816, there were : Ezra Conant, a cooper ; John Clark, a great hunter; John Eldred, a soldier of 1776, and Zephaniah, his son, of the war of 1812, and who died recently at Owego, aged eighty-six ;¹ William Elliott, a blacksmith ; Jehiel Griswold, formerly a ship-carpenter, and sons, Judson, Levi (afterwards a Presbyterian minister), and Eben ; John Fairbrother ; David Robbe, a farmer, and some years later a justice of the peace ; and Daniel Wheeler, a school teacher and farmer.
Calvin Leet, a physician from Vermont, located first at " Slab City"—as the vicinity of Wright's mill was called—but soon removed to Friendsville where he owned about 300 acres. His father, Capt. Luther Leet, came soon after. Dr. Leet was the first regular physician in the western half of the county, and for some years the only one. " He had a rough circuit to ride when the roads were root-y and full of stumps." He was once an Associate Judge of Susquehanna County Courts, and served in the State Legislature. He is still living, an octogenarian, at Friendsville. His son, Nathan Y. Leet, succeeded him in the practice of medicine in the same vicinity, several years, but is now located at Scranton. Calvin L., another son, resides in Friendsville, on the old farm of Henry Cox.
¹ Mrs. Eldred, at an early day, lost her way while chestnutting, and wandered about until nearly midnight in a marshy part of the woods. The wolves howled around her, and she climbed a tree for safety. She was found there in the morning, and put on the path for home.
436 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
In 1817, Joab Chamberlin, a wheelwright and wagon-maker, and a brother of Lewis, located near the latter; he removed some years ago to Michigan, where he died May 4th, 1869, in the seventy-fourth year of his age.
Jacob Heath and his son Amos purchased farms in the northeast corner of the township.
In 1818, elections for Silver Lake and Choconut were held at the house of Levi Smith. For many years these townships were united in. many ways; all the settlers were on lands of Dr. R. H. Rose, his tract then extending over both townships and beyond.
In 1819, Samuel Barnard, from Boston, England, Thomas Laycock, Samuel and Isaac. Marshall came to this section, and soon after, Thomas Christian. The first named soon removed to Montrose. Thomas Laycock was near Choconut Lake.
In 1820, Thomas Peironnet, an Englishman, had scarcely reached Friendsville, when he died suddenly ; his lands along the turnpike, extending into both Choconut and Apolacon, were transferred to his brother James S. Peironnet. The latter was born in Dorchester, England. A friend said of him : " He exchanged for a home in a then uncultivated wild, the shaven lawn and rose-wreathed cottages that lend such charms to English scenery. He often reminded me of those virtues that grace the character of an English country squire as shadowed forth by the felicitous pen of Irving. He retained a love of letters to the last ; and when in the mood, touched his violin as a master. He had a thorough knowledge of music as a science, and composed with readiness." He died December 21, 1843, in his seventy-first year. Thomas Christian built the R. D. Peironnet house, now M. Dow's, and this was in Choconut ; but the house of James S. Peironnet, now E. Moran's, was in Apolacon, upon the division of the former.
Of J. S. Peironnet's sons, R. D. and John S. were merchants of Friendsville in 1835, and for several subsequent years; Frederick was a physician. Two daughters married Henry and Sackville Cox. The family removed to the West several years ago.
The year 1819 was marked by the arrival of a large number from the vicinity of Philadelphia who belonged to the religious Society of Friends.
About this time Dr. Rose set off a tract three-quarters of a mile long by three-sixteenths of a mile wide on each side of the Milford and Owego turnpike, which he named Friendsville. This was in reality the name of the settlement of Friends, though
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 437
few of their number were within the prescribed limits, the lands of some lying in what is now Forest Lake and Middletown, and of others in the center of the present township of Choconut.
William Salter, Samuel Savage, William and John King (English), John and Thomas Nicholson (from Ireland), Thomas Barrington, Daniel Richards, Enoch and George Walker (from Chester County), were among the earliest Friends here. The last named located at " Lakeside," but soon removed to " Wood-bourne."
Lydia, wife of Daniel Richards, was a minister among Friends. Their sons were, Abel, Roland, Daniel, Samuel, and Joseph. Mr. Richards is buried in Friends' Cemetery ; Mrs. R. died in 1840, in her 70th year, at the West. The Nicholsons were located east of the lake. John died in New York ; Thomas removed to Springville.
Thomas Barrington died in Ohio. Samuel, his brother, came to the place S. Barnard had occupied ; he died in Friendsville (or vicinity). Elizabeth, his wife, is mentioned as "a woman whose mild and courteous demeanor was happily blended with the unobtrusive graces of the christian." She died in Springville at the house of her son-in-law, Thomas Nicholson.
Samuel Savage left after two or three years.
William Salter had a store at Friendsville in 1820. Dr. Levi Roberts came about this time. He died here about five years later. His lands passed eventually into the hands of Isaac Carmalt and Joshua Gurney. James Palmer, a blacksmith from Delaware Co., John Hudson, Thomas Darlington, Nathan Hallowell, Jehu Lord, Seth Pennock, John L. Kite, Joseph and William Thatcher (from Chester County), whose land was transferred from James Thayer and David Owen, were among the arrivals prior to 1825.
John Hudson was an Englishman ; his son John married Susan, sister of Caleb Carmalt, and both are buried in Friends' Cemetery.
John Lord was a minister among Friends ; he died in Ohio. His three daughters were the wives of Seth Pennock, John L. Kite, and John Mann.
Those who came in 1819 and 1820 were diminished nearly one-half within three years. T. Darlington and N. Hallowell left not long after. They were located just north of Lakeside.
What was thought of this section by a visitor, and by others at that time, may be learned from the following letter dated June, 1821, and first published in the Village Record,' edited by Asher Miner, in Southern Pennsylvania ; it was written by Samuel Baldwin, of Chester County, who afterwards purchased lands here, which, by 1823, had reverted to Dr. Rose.
" The timber of Susquehanna County is a suitable proportion of white pine and hemlock, for building, fencing, etc.; white ash, chestnut, wild
438 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
cherry, and beech, somA white and black oak, with a plentiful proportion of sugar maple to supply a sufficiency of sugar and molasses for the inhabitants, and some for exportation.
" The county is, as respects the surface, what is generally called a ridgy or rolling surface—very few of the hills too steep for cultivation, and their summits appear equally fertile with any other part. In the hollows or valleys there are delightful clear streams, a proportion of which are large enough for any kind of water-works, and they abound with trout and other kinds of fish. I think it the best watered country in my knowledge. Sufficient evidence can be produced that abundant crops of wneat and rye have been raised there, and Indian corn at the rate of 100 bushels to the acre, and these crops without ploughing the ground. The custom of the country is to raise several successive crops with harrowing the ground only.
" From a free conversation with the inhabitants, I was assured that the air is generally serene and clear, the climate very healthy—seldom if ever any fog—clear of fever and ague, or fall fevers.
"The Friends' settlement is called Friendsville, and is situated on the great western turnpike leading to the Lake Country. There are divers turnpikes passing through said county from Philadelphia and New York, and our navigable waters furnish an easy mode for the conveyance of produce to those markets—say 160 to 180 miles distant, and there is a prospect of having the distance considerably shortened.
"The Friends hold meeting regularly twice a week, under the care of a committee of the monthly meeting of Stroudsburg."
Mr. Waldie, editor of the Messenger,' which he then published at Montrose, added in his paper the following comments upon Mr. Baldwin's letter :—
" We hope it will allay the foolish and unfounded ideas regarding our situation, soil, etc., which have been latterly entertained in the cities. That the most incorrect opinions are circulated in Philadelphia, by certain people, we ourselves know; and if we had given credence to the many idle tales we heard we certainly should never have ventured here. But, like Mr. Baldwin, we wished to judge for ourselves ; we visited it, and are satisfied."
Yet he, too, disposed of his interests in the county as early as Mr. Baldwin.
Benjamin T. Glidden, a native of New Hampshire, came to Friendsville from New York State, about 1825. He was a blacksmith. He remained but a short time before his removal to Warren, and subsequently to Little Meadows ; but in 1831 , he purchased a farm near Stanley Turrell, in what is now Forest Lake. Two years later be was again in Friendsville, and built the house now owned by J. Mulhare, where he died February, 1852, aged 68. His sons are Benjamin, of Friendsville (the late county treasurer), and D. W. Glidden, of Montrose.
The lands and store of William Salter were transferred in 1827 to Thomas Christian (not a Friend), who kept a store and tavern many years in Friendsville.
Caleb and Sarah Carmalt joined the Friends' Settlement in 1829. During the previous year Mr. C., in addition to purchasing the half of Dr. R. H. Rose's estate in Susquehanna County, had secured the farm now known as " Lakeside," from Thomas
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 439
Williamson, of Philadelphia, who bought it, in 1819, of Jacob Goodsell. Goodsell's Pond has since been known as Carmalt or Choconut Lake.
" LAKESIDE," NEAR FRIENDSVILLE. RESIDENCE OF MRS. CALEB CARMALT.
(The Lake lies about sixty rods south of the house.)
Caleb Carmalt was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania. His ancestors emigrated from Cumberland County, England. His education was mainly the result of his own efforts. He first entered a printer's establishment, and learned the business ; but afterwards entered the office of a distinguished conveyancer of Philadelphia, and learned the profession thoroughly, reading law to such an extent that he is said to have " committed Blackstone to memory." He was a member of the Society of Friends, growing more interested in their principles as he grew in years. During the first ten years of his life he resided in Philadelphia, and was always active in political and public affairs.
He removed to this county in 1829, becoming, by his purchases from Dr. R. H. Rose and others, one of its largest land owners ; and he exercised a great influence among the settlers.
The division of the Society of Friends carried from the community in which he lived, many of those who were most nearly associated with him.
440 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
The completion of the Erie Railroad superseded the great stage routes, and contributed to isolate this section from the outside world.
Thus the latter years of his life were spent in seclusion, although he never lost his activity until his last illness. He died March 10, 1862, in the 70th year of his age, leaving five children, and a widow who still has her home in the house he built more than forty years ago.
In 1830, the division among Friends took place, and the meeting at Friendsville, then consisting of only about ten families, was broken up. Most of the Orthodox Friends left within a year or two after the division.
[The following tribute to Miss Richards, a successful teacher and army nurse, is from the pen of a grateful pupil.]
Elizabeth W., the only daughter of Daniel and Lydia Richards, accompanied her parents and brothers from Chester County, about 1820. Their first location was where J. Carrigan now resides ; but afterwards the present H. Duffy farm within the borough limits.
Like the majority of early settlers, they secured the necessities of life by daily toil ; yet, in their thirst for knowledge, evening always found the family with books and slates in hand.
Many were anxious to avail themselves of Miss Richards' success in imparting instruction ; but her instinctive modesty end desire for a retired life prevented her becoming as widely known as her attainments deserved. She occasionally, after her parents' death, gave up her school, or changed its location. while she devoted her time and sympathies to aged and feeble relatives, in different States. Her mission to California in attendance on her youngest brother—the late Joseph T. Richards, Esq., of Montrose—was as heroic as it was sad.
The journey at that time—in 1852—was but rarely attempted by women, and almost only by those impelled by love and duty. Yet the privations were nothing compared to the changes of climate; the miasma on the Isthmus. which induced the Panama fever ; the severing of home ties ; the feeling of care and responsibility on her part ; knowing, as far as human foresight could foresee, that her beloved charge could not live to be her protector on the return voyage; the trials of an invalid in a strange land; their peril on the rainy night, when their hotel at Sacramento was consumed by fire ; their flight and exposure, only escaping with the bedclothes wrapped around them ; their journey to a more genial southern clime ; then the last sad scenes, and the lonely grave in which now rest the mortal remains of her only treasure in that far off El Dorado ! Her reliance on the All-sustaining arm alone carried her through all and brought her home a composed, though sorrowing woman. She now turned her attention to her brother's orphan children. This duty occupied her time for several years.
On the breaking out of the rebellion, she offered her services to the Governor of Ohio (where she was then residing) as hospital nurse. She was assigned to duty at Camp Dennison ; but the effects of the Panama fever had never been wholly eradicated from her system, and the exposure and hardships of camp life, together with her new duties, soon induced typhoid fever, which terminated her life while yet in its prime in the autumn of 1864.
The township was accommodated in 1831 by a second post-office at Ellerslie—the first being established at L. Chamberlin's in 1829.
The high hill just on the line dividing Choconut from Apola-con was for twenty years or more a part of the estate of Samuel Milligan, Esq.; "Ellerslie," his residence, however, was on the
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 441
Apolacon side of the line. It is difficult to associate him with the latter township, as it was not erected until years after he left Choconut.
The year 1832 was one of lively interest to the inhabitants of Choconut, pending discussions relative to roads. The Milford and Owego turnpike was their principal communication with the
outside world, but this was fearfully hilly, and other avenues were sought ; the Choconut Creek and Wilkes-Barre turnpike was projected, but never constructed. Reference is elsewhere made to the jokes perpetrated at the expense of the former road; they were sometimes grim enough. A drover once remarked, "Every rod of the Owego turnpike ought to make a barrel of soap; for my cattle alone have lost grease enough there to come to that much."
In 1833 the strife was earnest to obtain the location of a railroad from the Lackawanna coal field up Martin's Creek to the East and Middle Branches of the Wyalusing, and down the Choconut, and from thence to Owego. S. Milligan, Esq., made an able speech in behalf of this route, but other measures obtained favor, and resulted in the construction of the present
Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad.
In the fall of 1833, John Mann, who had hitherto given his attention to his farm and saw-mill, opened a boarding-school at his residence. During the summer of 1834, the school was suspended for the purpose of erecting suitable buildings. In 1839 it was incorporated as " Mannington Academy." This institution was of service not only to Choconut, but to all the towns in the vicinity. The Choconut and Friendsville Lyceum had been established January, 1833, and both institutions combined to develop much hitherto latent talent.
John Mann's hearty efforts in the anti-slavery cause served it well, and abundantly heaped upon himself the adverse criticisms of others. He went to Great Bend in 1842, and taught school in the Bowes' mansion for a time, and soon after left the county.
The cause of temperance found early advocates in Choconut.
Edward White was probably the first Irishman (not Protestant), in the vicinity of Friendsville. He was a man of education, and it was owing to his influence probably, that other Irishmen located here. His residence was in Middletown, where Keenan brothers are now. His land was ever a mile in extent.
The first Irishmen in the township were Thomas and Michael Donnelly, brothers-in-law, and Michael Donnelly second and third, uncle and nephew, distantly related to Michael Donnelly first. All came as early as 127. Michael Donnelly who lives
442 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
on the flat where his father, M. Donnelly, 1st, located, was then a little boy. Michael D., first and second, are dead.
Michael Kane, Sen., Jeremiah O'Keefe, Dennis O'Day, and Michael Ryan were among the first twelve families. Within five years from this time a large number of Irishmen were here, and, among them, Edward Burke, who is still a resident of Choconut. His son John, who studied at Harford, and graduated at Hamilton College, is now prosecuting attorney for eight counties in Iowa.. Edward Clark came in 1832; has served five years as justice of the peace; Michael, son of Cornelius Hickey, who came in 1837, has also served five years, and is now postmaster and merchant at St. Joseph's.
In 1831, Edward White contracted for building a small Roman Catholic church at Friendsville, and supplied all the materials, the frame excepted. This church has since been greatly improved through the influence of Father Mattingly, and has a large, fine-toned bell—the only church bell in the vicinity.
St. Joseph's College, on the Choconut Creek, was opened in the autumn of 1852, and was destroyed by fire on the night of January 1, 1864. "The building was insured, and cost about $5000. The chapel was elegantly fitted up, and the college was in a most flourishing condition, there being nearly a hundred students in attendance. There were four regular professors engaged, assisted by four clergymen and a corps of subordinate teachers. The libraries were all destroyed, and were very valuable. Fortunately there were no lives lost, although a portion of the pupils lost their clothing."
The convent in the same vicinity was built about 1858, and was discontinued (removed to Susquehanna Depot) October, 1866.
The corner-stone of the cathedral, situated at the head of the valley, was laid in November, 1859. The cost of the building has been estimated at about $25,000; but this is thought too low. The church records were burned with the college.
Fathers O'Reilly and Fitzsimmons were influential in establishing the college; but the cathedral was built by the efforts of the former, Father Fitzsimmons being then in Wilkes-Barre.
Among the later Friends were : Joshua Gurney (Orthodox), Stephen and Hannah Brown, Benjamin and Mary Battey, and members of the families of Mann, Griffin, and Taylor. In 1839, there were sixty-two members of the monthly meeting at Friendsville. The meeting-house, now gone, stood by the Friends' burying-ground about half a mile from the borough, on the road leading to the lake. In 1849, the meeting was discontinued in consequence of many removals of Friends, and this "Prepara-
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 443
tive" was attached to the monthly meeting at Scipio, N. Y. Only one member now resides in Choconut, and in Friendsville not one remains.
Friendsville was incorporated as a borough in 1846, with the following limits :—
" Beginning at a stake and stones on the lands of Joshua Gurney, in the township of Middletown, thence south 370 W. 320 rods across lands of said Gurney and those of William Carlon, deceased, to a stake and stones ; thence north 530 W. 480 rods to a stake and stones on lands of Canfield Dayton in the township of Apalachian ; thence north 370 east 320 rods to a stake and stones on lands of the estate of James Peironnet, deceased ; thence south 530 east 480 rods across the corner of Choconut to the place of beginning ;" just twice the original limits.
Very little, comparatively, of this tract is occupied by village lots. The residents are mainly located on Turnpike Street, which passes through the center, and between North and South Streets. The principal cross-roads lead to Binghamton, Silver Lake, and the Wyalusing. Two churches, a school-house, two or three stores, two hotels (J. Foster's was formerly Hyde's), a post-office, a wagon-shop, two blacksmith shops, two physicians' offices, and one justice's comprise the principal business of the place; farms extend within the borough limits.
The Choconut Baptist church was constituted January 29th, 1814, at the house of David Owen, by " messengers" from the churches of Bridgewater and Rush, Elder D. Dimock presiding. The original members were : Bela and Lucy Moore, Stephen, Daniel, and Keziah Platt, Silas P. and Amy Truesdell, Aurilla and Lydia R. Owen, and Achsah Doty. Of all the members who united during the first three years, not one was,connected with this church forty years later. Meetings were held at the houses of Deacon Bela Moore and D. Owen, until 1817, when a schoolhouse was occupied for a year or two; after that, quite regularly at the house of Edward Cox for four years, when a meeting " at the lower school-house near Brother Edward Cox's" is mentioned, the next year, at the school-house near Capt. Scoville's.
The meeting-house was built about 1831, on the farm of Edward Cox. Elder Dimock preached here occasionally until 1822, when Elder Joseph Bingham came ; in 1825, Elder Worden
preached here a part of the time, and a Thursday evening prayer-meeting was established. In December, 1826, a written covenant was adopted. Elder James Clarke became the pastor of the church, and resided near it for five years. His son, Aaron B., a summer resident of Montrose, was for thirty years a principal of public schools in New York and Brooklyn.
Elder Curtis came late in 1831; Elder Brand in 1833 ; Elder
444 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
C. G. Swan in 1834, for a time, and again in 1838, and then again in the spring of 1843, when there was a large accession to the church. In 1845, Elder Webster preached here, and there were then forty members in good standing; yet, ten years later, the church disbanded.
The causes of this decline, as given by Horace Bliss, then deacon and clerk of the church, were these : " That, though there have been nearly two hundred members since the organization, they were reduced to about thirty, of whom only seven or eight were male; about thirty having taken letters to Vestal, N. Y., and a number of others having sold their lands for various reasons, to immigrants, and removed ; Presbyterian and Methodist churches had grown up around them ; and the remnant left possessed small means and moderate talent, and were in the midst of a people to whom they could have no access in a religious point of view."
Deacon Bliss died in Silver Lake at the house of his daughter, Mrs. Andrew Rose.
The Silver Lake and Choconut Presbyterian Church, organized in 1816, is mentioned fully in the following chapter. The first house of worship was erected on Choconut Creek 1831-33 ; but it became a private residence, and was first occupied as such by Horace Bliss. It had no spire.
The Presbyterian church at Friendsville was built in 1841, and had once quite a flourishing congregation; and an academy, under care of the Presbytery, was established here.
For a long time there has been but occasional preaching here; the Episcopal service has been conducted by Rev. E. Mulford. The house is fast going to decay.
DURING the first term of court in Susquehanna County, viewers were appointed to lay off a new township from the northern part of Bridgewater, to be called Silver Lake, after the name of one of the many beautiful sheets of water within its proposed limits.
In August, 1813, it was the first township added to the original ten townships of the county. Its eastern boundary was then the west line of Lawsville; its southern, Bridgewater; its western, Rush (from which Choconut was separated a little later); and its northern, the State line. Its area was thirty-five square miles
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 445
(5 by 7). In 1836, three or four square miles were set off to Forest Lake township.
From a map of surveys made prior to the settlement of this section, we learn that the tract just north of, and nearly surrounding, the lake was called Hibernia ; this, if not prophetic, is at least not a misnomer in reference to the present cast of its population.
The whole township of Silver Lake was included in the one hundred thousand acres (or, by actual measurement, 248 tracts of 400 acres each), purchased by Dr. R. H. Rose, February 18th, 1809, of Anne, widow of Tench Francis; who bought of Elizabeth Jervis and John Peters, whose patent was obtained from the State in 1784. The purchase covered a tract at least thirteen miles in extent on the State line.
Perhaps to no one individual is Susquehanna County more indebted for the early development of its resources than to Dr. Rose. His father, a Scotch gentleman, and his mother, a lady of Dublin, came to the United States a little before the Revolutionary war, and settled in Chester County, Penna., where their son, Robert Hutchinson, was born. He received a liberal and accomplished education.
Dr. Rose said of himself (introductory to a sketch of his voyage to Italy, in the Port Folio,' September, 1822) :—
" In the early part of my life I was accustomed to pass my winters in Philadelphia, and the rest of the year in the country. I spent the greater part of 1799 rambling in the wilderness which now forms the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. I hunted with the Indians, slept in their wigwams, and was half tempted to remain with them.
“Among the Indians I had the reputation of being a good hunter, and capable of enduring much fatigue ; but my companions in the city considered me as a sybarite, and seldom found me out of bed before noon. One reason of my indolence was that I had nothing to do. We may be 'stretched on the rack of a too easy chain.' I sometimes thought myself capable of
" I don't know what to do with myself,' said I to an acquaintance. He replied you are fond of poetry, painting, and music—go to Italy.'
“A few days after, he told me a ship was ready to sail, bound for Leghorn ; and my trunk was soon on board."
From the sketch of the voyage which followed, it appears to have been no holiday affair. He set sail June 23d, and did not pass the Azores until the 29th of July. At Gibraltar the ship was attacked by privateers, and disabled so much as to oblige them to remain two months to refit; when again en voyage, they reached Leghorn November 3d (probably 1800).
The incident which led him, not long after his return, to come to this region, is given by one who heard it from his lips:—
" One morning he met Colonel Pickering on the street, when the latter asked : Rose, what are you going to do with yourself this summer?'
"' I have not decided.'
" ‘Come with me ; I am going as government agent to look after those disputed lands."
446 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
" At that time Dr. Rose was 'a splendid shot,' and passionately fond of nature; and Colonel Pickering judged rightly that such an excursion would suit his taste. In recounting it, Dr. Rose said that he was so pleased that he determined on purchasing a tract, though at the time he had no thought of living in the country himself. It was in the course of some of the business transactions connected with the land, that he met the lady he afterwards married; and the fact that her physician said her health required a country residence, determined him to locate on the banks of the lovely mountain lake ever after associated with his name.
"He had studied medicine, and graduated in the University of Pennsylvania, to please his friends who thought he should have a profession ; but it is said he never seriously intended to practice.
"His paternal property was sufficient, and his tastes were suited by the circle in which he moved. His musical abilities were of a high order, and his poetic and literary tastes made him a prominent member of the literary club of which Dennie (editor of the 'Port Folio,' until his death, January, 1812), Nicholas Biddle, Ewing, Cadwallader, and a few others were ornaments.
" The venerable Thomas Sully, one of our first as well as our oldest artists (deceased), told me he owed to him a debt of gratitude, for that he took him by the hand when he (Sully) was unknown, encouraged and patronized him, and was, he considered, the founder of his fortune.'
Dr. Rose, as an author, is mentioned in a succeeding chapter. As early as 1804 or 1805 he must have made the excursion referred to; but before making his purchase he interested himself in the disposition of portions of' the Drinker and Francis estates.
During the year 1809, he gathered about him a large number of workmen to fell trees near the lake, and to construct a sawmill preparatory to the erection of his dwelling house.
His enterprises were a benefaction to those whose services he required, as they were paid for in cash—a rare return for labor then.
In 1809, Zenas Bliss came with a large family from Tolland County, Connecticut, and located in the vicinity of the Choco-nut Creek, but still within the bounds of Silver Lake township. He was the first justice of the peace appointed here.
"He was a Puritan of the old school. In early life be made a profession of the religion of Christ, and was ever afterward distinguished for consistent and devoted though unobtrusive piety. As a magistrate, he exhibited an enlightened sense of his duty as a guardian of the public peace. He believed that peace was as effectually promoted by discouraging unnecessary litigation as by inflicting the salutary penalty of the law when circumstances mae that necessary."
In 1841, he removed to Leroy, Bradford County, where he died January 26th, 1864, in the 94th year of his age. His wife died there previously. His first vote was cast for Washington, his last for Lincoln.
His sons were six : Gordon (now in Connecticut), Horace, Edwin, Beza H., Clark W., and Chester. Horace, long a resident of Choconut, and deacon of the Baptist Church there, spent the last years of his life in Silver Lake. He died May 15, 1868,
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 447
aged 76 years. Beza and Clark are also dead. The latter was a physician at Elmira, New York. The youngest son is a physician at Watkins, New York. Of his two daughters, one is living at the latter place. Some of his grandchildren arid great-grandchildren are at present residents of Silver Lake.
Dr. Rose held out inducements to industrious men to purchase farms in the vicinity. A number of the first settlers were Quakers, and from their location the largest lake in the town-ship—one mile long and half a mile wide—derived the name by which it is most frequently called, Quaker Lake, though its prettier designation—Derwent Lake—should be revived.
Alpheus Finch, Peter Soule, and others were near it ; and the township has not at present, to the tourist, a more inviting 1 ocality.
On the 10th of June, 1809, Alpheus and Sylvanus Finch, Jacob Hoag, Isaac Higgins, Charles Wooster, Peter Soule, and Philip Griffith arrived at Binghamton from Duanesburg, Schenectady County, New York, and from thence they proceeded by marked trees to Silver Lake. There was but one clearing (a Mr. Gould's), between Binghamton and the lake, except that begun by Dr. Rose.
The party did not bring in their families until 1810. They were two days in reaching Silver Lake from Binghamton.
The first house was erected by Alpheus Finch, on the east side of the Quaker Lake ; the second by Philip Griffith, on the farm now owned by James Foster. Logs were rolled up to form the sides, arid split logs served for floors, gable ends, and roofs.
Philip Griffith lived fifty-nine years in Silver Lake, until his death, November 21, 1868, in the 79th year of his age. His father, Jabez, came into the township a little later, and remained to the close of his life, March, 1819, aged 82 years.
The wife of Philip Griffith was a sister of Peter Soule and a daughter of Jonathan Soule, who came later. Her death occurred in 1857. They had ten children, and all married while their parents were living. The sons were, David, Jonathan, Benjamin, Isaac, Philip, Ezekiel, Absalom, and Charles. The only one or the family now in Silver Lake is Mrs. Joseph S. Gage.
Four of the sons of Jonathan Soule are living, though none are nearer the lake than Windsor, New York. He had seven sons and four daughters ; one of the latter was the wife of Charles Wooster. He died June, 1842, aged 81.
In 1810, Philo Briggs, Joseph and John Whipple; in 1811, Mortimer Gage, and two or three years later, Henry Hoag, and William Miller, came to the township, all from Duanesburg, New York. Philo Briggs located on Sucker Brook, or the inlet of Quaker Lake. He died in 1859. Two of his daughters now
448 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
reside in the township—Mrs. Ansel B. Hill, and the widow of Michael Hill. The former has heard her mother speak of pounding corn for three weeks in succession, when it was the only article of food in the house.
Joseph Whipple first cleared the place where Dr. Lewis now lives, at Brackney. He afterwards moved to the northeast corner of Quaker Lake, where a small frame house had been built and vacated by Charles Wooster. After clearing a farm here. he sold it to Dr. Rose, and then bought one hundred acres and a saw-mill on Ranney Creek, where Jonathan Howard lives. This he left, again to subdue the forests on the farm whefe he now resides. He has raised sixty bushels of wheat from two bushels of seed, in Silver Lake. He is now (1871) an octogenarian.¹ He reared twelve children, all now living, for whom he never spent a dollar for medicine. When he first settled here he could say that he lived in a township where there was neither physician, lawyer, nor justice of the peace. The latter office was soon after filled by Zenas Bliss.
Mortimer Gage (or Gaige, as formerly spelled) was the first-comer of all the Gages in Silver Lake. There have been eighteen or twenty families of that name in the township at one time, and at present there are sixteen. There are also six more families just over the State line. All are descendants of four brothers, Simeon, Moses, Benjamin, and Joseph Gage, of Duanes-burg, N. Y., of whom only Joseph resided here.
Dr. Rose had married, in 1810, a daughter of Andrew Hodge, Esq., of Philadelphia, and in 1811 he brought his bride to Silver Lake. For a time Mrs. R. boarded at Judge Thomson's, in Great Bend, " while some last touches were given to her new home; and when she took possession she was obliged to go on horseback, blazed trees alone marking the way. All the household stores were carried on the backs of horses led by men. One stalwart man declared he could carry as much of such stuff as any horse; and a good portion of the more fragile things were packed for his shoulders, and he was paid accordingly, to his great satisfaction, and doubtless to the material benefit of the china."
The first roads of the settlers were in general very bad. They were made by cutting the trees down close to the ground, and when the roots had in a measure decayed, a furrow was ploughed on the outside and the earth thrown into the middle of the road. But even this labor was then thought too great, as the first object of the settlers was to raise grain for their families.
The rapid influx of population, within the next three or four years, can best be shown by an advertisement of Dr. Rose's which
¹ Since deceased.
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appeared August 26, 1814, in ' The Union,' the first paper printed in Union County, Pa., and issued at Mifffinsburg :—
"To SETTLERS.—The subscriber offers for sale a large body of lands on the waters of the Wyalusing, Choconut, Apolacon, and Wappasuning Creeks, in the townships of Silver Lake, Bridgewater, Choconut, Middletown, and Rush; county of Susquehanna (lately part of Luzerne county), and State of Pennsylvania. The timber is principally beech, mixed with sugar maple, hemlock, ash, birch, basswood, chestnut, cherry, and white pine. The soil is in general of a good quality, and the country remarkably healthy and well watered. There are several mills built, two post-offices established, and a considerable settlement formed which is rapidly increasing. Montrose, the seat of justice for the county, is placed on the southeastern part of the tract. It is about 130 miles from the city of New York, and 160 from Philadelphia. A turnpike is now making to the city of New York, which passes for twenty miles through the tract ; and another is granted to Wilkes-Barre, on the way to Philadelphia, which passes twelve miles through it. The purchaser is suffered to take his choice of all the land unsettled. The price is three dollars per acre, except for the lots on the turnpikes, which are four dollars per acre. A reasonable credit will be allowed, an indisputable title, and deed of general warrantee will be given. For further particulars inquire of the subscriber, at the Silver Lake, on the premises.
ROBERT H. ROSE.
" We the subscribers have purchased farms on the lands of Robert H. Rose. The soil is in general of a good quality, deep and lasting ; and the situation very favorable on account of market for our
"Daniel Gaige, Peter Soule, Alpheus Finch, Oliver C. Smith, Isaac Howard, Mortimore Gaige, Abraham Gaige, Joseph Whipple, Philip Griffith, Peleg Butts, Charles Davis, Christian Shelp, Nathan Brewster, John Griffis, Jonathan Ellsworth, Henry Ellsworth, Jacob Bump, George Bump, John Lozier, William Price, Lark Moore, Bela Moore, Joseph Addison, Charles Chalker, Daniel Chalker, Scott Baldwin, Richard Daniels, Zpnas Bryant, Ephraim Faucher, Zephaniah Cornell, Moses Chamberlin, Benjamin Fancher, Caleb Bush, Asa Baldwin, Samuel Baldwin, Philip Blair, Thurston Carr, Elisha Cole, Isaac Soule, Hiel Tupper, Jabez A. Birchard, David Owen, Jeremiah Glover, Albert Camp, Daniel Heman, Ebenezer Coburn, H. P. Corbin, D. Taylor, Lemuel Walbridge, Leman 'Farrell, Canfield Stone, Philo Bostwick, Salmon Bradshaw, Billings Babcock, Robinson Bolles, Zenas Bliss, John C. Sherman, Philo Morehouse, Reuben Faxon, Darius Bixby, Asahel Southwell, Asa Brown, Edward Cox, Peter Brown, Amory Nelson, William Chamberlin, Daniel Chamberlin, Moses W. Chamberlin, Luther Dean.
" From Northumberland the distance is about 120 miles; the road is up the river, by Wilkes-Barre and Tunkhannock, at which places it leaves the river and passes by Montrose to Silver Lake. To Tunkhannock, 90 miles, the road is very good ; the greater part ff the rest is bad, but is rapidly improving."
In a handbill, dated September, 1818, the above is repeated with additional statements.
" There are now about five hundred families resident on the land." (This included nearly one-fourth of Susquehanna County.) Another statement gives four post-offices instead of two, as in 1814. The distance from New York is shorter by seven miles, A third turnpike is mentioned (the Great Bend and Cochecton, completed in 1811, but not running through the Rose lands), as affordina ready conveyance of produce to New York, as the Susquehanna River for that designed for Baltimore. The price
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