500 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
prospects), in the march of prosperity and general improvement of the country."
It was, probably, to this well that reference was made in Gordon's Gazetteer,' published in 1832, by the remark that "it contains as much salt as the ordinary waters of Salina."
John Darrow and David Green made salt in this well about 1833, but by this time, those who had used the salt for two years, were ready to give it up ; it was said to contain a poisonous ingredient, fatal to cats and dogs, and on this account the well was abandoned.
During the oil-fever of 1865, a well 600 feet in depth was sunk seventy feet from the Rose & Milligan well, by parties seeking for petroleum, but without success. This is known as the Coryell well.
A few miles east of Mr. Brister's, on land owned formerly by Jesse Birchard, near the middle branch of the Wyalusing in Forest Lake, there was a spring, early celebrated as a deer and elk lick. It certainly seems strange that near a stream " where there were more deer licks than on any other stream in the country," salt in abundance has not been secured. The very name, by a signification elsewhere given, indicates that the vicinity was once an excellent place for hunting.
The following items are clipped from different published statements, which are endorsed by the proprietors of the Mineral Spring in Rush :—
"'Phis remarkable spring, situated about ten miles west of Montrose, and about three quarters of a mile from Snyder's hotel, near the Wyalusing Creek, in Rush, for some time has had more than a local reputation. Invalids, not only from this county, Binghamton, Owego, and other surrounding towns, but also from New York and Philadelphia, have visited the spring, and used its waters, which have been used for medicinal purposes by the inhabitants in the immediate vicinity, for more than half a century. It belonged to the Drinker estate, but for many years the title of the land was vested in Wm. D. Cope, Esq., of Philadelphia, a large land-owner in this county. He had, until recently, refused to part with his title."
"A number of years ago, rude shower-baths were put up at the spring, free to the public use—or at most a slight compensation was charged, to assist in keeping up repairs. At times no less than 700 persons visited the baths in a single day. But the water was very cold, and there being no means of warming it, the baths fell into disuse, and went into decay. J. D. Pepper has occupied the land upon which the spring is situated, under a lease from Mr. Cope, for more than twenty years. Mr. Pepper has given away the water freely to all who came for it. He informs us that hundreds of people from the surrounding country visited this spring at all times of the year, and carried away its water in bottles, jugs, barrels, and other vessels in large quantities. The spring and farm upon which it is situated were purchased in 1869 by E. S. Butterfield, Esq., of Syracuse, N. Y., in company with his brother A. D. Butterfield, of Montrose, who have made preparations for bottling and selling its.waters, and have erected a commodious house for the
accommodation of invalids and others who desire to visit the spring, and use its waters."
"The water of this spring, we are informed, has been found beneficial for
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 501
most diseases of the kidneys, rheumatic and cutaneous affections, scrofula, and impurities of the blood.
" The character of the water is clear, sparkling, and almost tasteless ; a fish will live in it but two or three hours.
"The following is a qualitative analysis made by Dr. A. B. Prescott, professor of chemistry in Michigan University ; his quantitative analysis being withheld to prevent the imposition of chemicals upon the public, pretending to contain the same constituents and properties as the water itself:—
"Chlorides of magnesium, potassium, and lime ; carbonates of magnesia, soda, and lithia; phosphoric, silicic, and carbonic acids ; chlorine ; protoxide of iron."
The following is a newspaper item :—
"The mineral springs on the Riley Creek, about one mile south of the old John Riley farm, in Auburn, is causing some little excitement at present (1871).
" All trace of the spring for the last twenty years was lost, until very recently. It has just been cleared and a barrel sunk in it, so that the water can he easily obtained. Many people are visiting the spring, and bringing away jugs and bottles of water to test its reported wonderful curative effects."
Also, in Great Bend township an old spring appears to have been discovered, or at least, made available within a year or two. And still another :—
And still another: -
" A mineral spring was discovered in 1871 on the farm of Widow John Rosencrants, in Dimock township, near the Meshoppen Creek, half a mile above the State Road. The water of this spring has not yet been analyzed ; but judging from the smell, taste, and appearances, the ingredients are sulphur and iron. On confining the water in a jug, the presence of sulphur is acknowledged by all; and a portion of the iron precipitates itself from the water, in a few days' time, and the smell and taste soon disappear. Allowing the air to come in contact with the water in an open bottle, it turns to a dark color ' but if the bottle is kept corked, the water seems to remain good any length of time."
At Oakland village may be seen remains indicating an extinct oil enterprise which involved a considerable outlay, and the destruction of not a few ill-founded hopes. Still, in 1871, there are suppositions that petroleum may yet be found in the township.
Little Meadows and Auburn oil-wells were owned by the Tuscarora Petroleum and Mining Company, the principal officers being located in Owego, N. Y., but the stockholders being in
Susquehanna, Bradford, and Wyoming Counties.
[The following account is furnished, upon request, by M. L. Lacey, Esq.]
The well in Auburn is on land now owned by A. F. and L. B Lacey, formerly by E. Billings.
" The Petroleum Company here sunk their first well, along with about $9000 of their capital. The fact that upon one corner of the old Billings lot there was a deer lick in old times, a great resort for wild game—induced the early settlers to dig for salt. Men are yet living along the Susquehanna, who used to come here, when boys, with their kettles, and manufacture enough for their own use. This fact in connection with the large quantity
502 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
of inflammable gas that could be seen coming up from the bed of the creek at different places, induced the projectors of the company to believe that there might be treasure under ground, even here, that would pay for seeking. A few energetic men took the matter in hand and succeeded in organizing the company and raising sufficient capital to put down a well. The 17th November, 1865, witnessed the first blow towards driving the pipe, which struck the rock at a depth of sixty feet from the surface. By the 1st of January, 1866, the boring had reached a depth of 525 feet, passing through a crevice at the depth of 340 feet, and striking a vein of salt water strongly impregnated with sulphur; which commenced flowing from the well, accompanied by inflammable gas, at the rate of two to three gallons per minute. At the depth of 493 feet, after passing through red shale, white quartz, gray wacke, and light, hard sand-rock, a crevice was struck which sent up a large quantity what oil men call black gas.' By the last day of January, a depth of 780 feet was reached, during the last 20 feet of which, the shows of oil were so abundant after passing the second sand-rock, that the company determined to cease boring for the purpose of testing the well. Owing to a delay in the shipment of the tubing, the test was not made for some two weeks, by which time the show of oil had almost entirely ceased. The test proving unsuccessful, the boring was resumed about the 20th of February, and continued until about the middle of March, at which time a depth of 1004 feet had been reached. After giving the well as thorough a test as was practicable with the means at the company's command, it was abandoned, and the engine and machinery removed to Little Meadows for the purpose of testing that
section. Thus ended the most thorough attempt ever made to develop the mineral or oleaginous resources of Auburn. The experiment was watched with considerable curiosity, and many were disappointed that it did not prove an exception to nine out of every ten wells put down in the oil regions."
At Little Meadows, also, the company's efforts were fruitless. Two wells about half a mile apart were sunk, but neither of them to half the depth of the Auburn well. The rock proved "too shelly," and the enterprise was abandoned.
A well was also sunk at Bear Swamp, by a gentleman from Owego, but without success. Some party or parties made an attempt at Friendsville, which proved a failure.
AGRICULTURE AND THE MECHANIC ARTS.
THE following letter is Dr. R. H. Rose's reply to queries (apparently from a gentleman from Connecticut), respecting the quality of the soil, climate, etc., of Susquehanna County.
SILVER LAKE, August 2, 1814.
SIR : . . The country here will admit of a general settlement ; there is a very small proportion of waste land.
There is little interval land; the upland in general is equal if not superior to the interval land in depth of soil.
Twenty bushels of winter wheat per acre is a frequent crop ; twenty-five bushels is not unfrequent, and upwards of thirty have been raised.
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Wheat, soon after harvest, generally sells from one dollar to one dollar and fifty cents, and from spring till the following harvest, from one dollar and fifty cents to two dollars per bushel.
Good crops of Indian corn are raised; it bears about two-thirds the price of wheat.
The climate and soil are favorable to the production of apples, plumbs, peaches, pears, etc. The natural grape-vines grow to a great size, but their cultivation has not been attempted.
Eighteen inches is considered a deep snow ; it has been two feet ; about a foot is the common depth. I do not recollect the commencement of the winter. Young leaves have been plucked on the 1st of April from the bushes.
Good flax is raised. The potatoes are excellent and the product large.
The country is as healthful as any part of America. The fever and ague is not known; we have no prevailing diseases. The typhus, malignant, or spotted fever of the Eastern States has not visited us.¹ The climate seems to agree remarkably well with the constitutions of the settlers from your State, and being in the same latitude as Connecticut, cannot be much different. The Connecticut settlers, however, say, we have not the long eastern storms to which they were subject.
Labor is high, people preferring to clear farms for themselves to working for others ; another cause is the abundance of money in this state ; it was never more abundant than at present. In clearing, all the timber is cut down. The price of clearing and fencing is from twelve to fifteen dollars per acre ; the first crop generally pays this, if carefully put in, besides all the expenses of seed, harrowing, reaping, threshing, etc. The seed is harrowed in without plowing ; grass seed is sown with the grain in the fall or the following spring.
The houses are either frame or log; none of stone, as we have not lime.
An industrious, good farmer (and none other need come here), may, with common success, pay for his farm from the grain that he raises, for which he can always get cash and a good market. The country, however, is more particularly favorable to grass, and is not, it is presumed, exceeded in this respect by any part of the United States.
Some parts afford plenty of chestnut timber for fencing; in other parts it is scarce. White ash is used for rails in some places. There is very little oak timber in the country; what there is, is of a large size. White pine in some parts is plenty, large and good ; however, take the country generally, there is not more than is sufficient for its consumption. There is no walnut. Cherry is plenty and of a large size.
Salt sells from four to five dollars per barrel of five bushels.
Shad are caught in the Susquehanna. There are no salmon. The Susquehanna River is about ten miles distant from the tract, and is navigable with rafts, arks, and large boats to Baltimore.
Cattle are dear.
Wheat is sown in September and October, and reaped in July and August. Rye grows large; it is frequently upwards of eight feet high. Very little spring wheat is sown.
No slaves are allowed in the State.
Springs are very numerous, the county abounds with them, no place is better watered. The water is cold, pure, and wholesome, of a soft and excellent quality—dissolves soap well—has never been known to deposit a sediment in tea-kettles, but has been observed by some persons from your State in a very short time to dissolve and remove obstructions of that kind from
the kettles which they have brought into the country.
¹ Five years later it swept through the county.
504 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
There are no streams here on which they raft boards, etc., until they get near the river. I believe there is not a rattle-snake on my tract.
The settlers are mostly from Vermont, Connecticut, and New York. They are generally a moral, religious people, principally Presbyterians ; there are some Baptists. Ministers of both denominations are established in the country.
As to politics, there is very little party spirit here; and it is the wish of the most respectable part of the community to avoid it as the bane of all social comfort.
I will allow you ten per cent. commission out of all payments made to me for my wild lands by such persons as you shall send on as settlers—I sell to none else.
I enclose you a small map of the land, and remain, Sir,
Your obedient servant.
Standard Value of Lands in 1816.
The first agricultural society in Susquehanna County was organized January 27, 1820, and was mainly the result of the energy and enthusiasm of Robert H. Rose. He was one of the corresponding secretaries of the Luzerne Agricultural Society, as early as 1810.
The first officers of the society were : R. H. Rose, president ; Putnam Catlin, vice-president; Isaac Post, treasurer; J. W. Raynsford, secretary ; I. P. Foster, recording secretary.
The society held a meeting in September following its organization, but in December it was deemed expedient to organize anew, so as to obtain the benefits of an act of assembly for the promotion of agricultural and domestic manufactures, passed in March preceding.
The same president and secretary were re-elected December 6, 1820; Dr. Asa Park, treasurer; Cols. Fred. Bailey and Thos. Parke, D. Post, Z. Bliss, Rufus Lines, Jonah Brewster, Joab Tyler, and Walter Lyon, Esqrs, Messrs. Calvin Leet and William Smith, directors.
The meeting was opened with prayer by Elder Davis Dimock, and was followed by an address by Dr. Rose. In this he stated :—
" The soil of the beech and maple lands which compose the greater part of Susquehanna County is a sandy loam, about eighteen inches in depth, resting on a compact bed of argillaceous earth and minute sand, which from its re-
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 505
tentive nature is extremely well calculated to prevent the escape of moisture, and to preserve the fertilizing quality of the manures which may be intermingled with the superincumbent soil."
Dr. Rose was indefatigable in promoting farming interests ; offered large inducements to the raising of stock; and in carrying out his own extensive plans, furnished employment to many persons ; thus incidentally extending his ideas doubtless to the permanent benefit of this section.
The first agricultural show occurred November 10, 1821. Captain Watrous's artillery company accompanied members to the court-house after they had viewed the stock, when they listened again to an address from the president. He said : "To the hilliness of the county we are indebted for the salubrity of the air, the abundance of the springs, and the purity of the water; also, for the fewest sheep with disordered livers. He referred to the fact that our soil is peculiarly adapted to grazing. He advised farmers to fatten cattle with grain in winter, discouraging distilleries ; " whiskey must be taken in wagons to market, but cattle can walk to market with their fat; whiskey does mischief, good beef hurts no one." He believed $1000 worth of cattle could be driven from this county to New York or Philadelphia for the sum which it would cost to haul $1000 worth of wheat five miles.
He stated that the cost of clearing land here was not more than the expense of hauling out the manure and ploughing old lands, and added : " Putnam Catlin, on his first settlement, cleared, a field of thirty acres ; the first crop of grain paid all the expenses of clearing and those attendant on the crop, paid for the land, and left $3.00 per acre over."
Statements of the Agricultural Society for 1821.
To personal subscriptions, personal and county donations, and
paid for 1822 . . . . . . . . $177 00
Paid the following persons premiums from $5 to $2, amounting to 109 00
To William Ross, for the best acre of wheat; David Post, best oats, and best half acre of potatoes; R. H. Rose, best quarter awe ruta baga ; Jacob P. Dunn, best mare ; Archi Marsh, best bull; John Griffin, best cow ; Charles Perrigo, best yoke of OXen ; R. H. Rose, best ram ; Putnam Catlin, best ewe ; William Ward, best boar ; Robert Eldridge, best cheese ; Peter Herkimer, greatest quantity of maple sugar (upwards of 100 tons were manufactured the previous spring in the county) ; R. H. Rose, best quality of maple sugar; (J. C. Sherman made 1127 pounds from 200 trees) ; Erastus Catlin, best woolen cloth ; John Kingsley, second best do. ; Putnam Catlin, best specimen flannel; S. S. Mulford, best carpeting; Samuel Weston, best specimen linen ; James Dean, second best do.; Jesse Sherman, best plough ; R. H. Rose, best harrow; Dalton Tiffany, greatest quantity of stone fence ; Jonah Brewster, greatest quantity of harvesting without spirits ; Mrs. Rice, a grass bonnet; Mrs. Emmeline Chapman, a straw bonnet; William C. Turrel, hair cloth.
506 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Premiums paid amounted to $89. October 9th, 1822.
To Sylvanus Hatch, best breeding mare ; Jesse A. Birchard, best bull ; Almon H. Read, cow; Benjamin Hayden, oxen; Archi Marsh, boar; Zebulon Deans, sow ; David Turrel, one acre of corn (ninety-eight bushels and twenty-two quarts) ; Daniel Lathrop, wheat (twenty-six bushels and some quarts) ; Wm. C. Turrel, potatoes; Frederick Bailey, greatest quantity of cheese; Thomas Parke, best quality do. ; Allen Upson, greatest quantity and best quality of butter; Charles Perrigo, best loaf of bread; Peter Herkimer, greatest quantity of maple sugar; Isaac Smith, best quality do. ; Joseph Butterfield, greatest quantity of stone wall ; Samuel Weston, greatest quantity of flax; Wm. C. Turrel, the greatest quantity of domestic manufactures in one family in one year; Mary Packer, best half-dozen worsted stockings; Eunice Parke, best yarn stockings ; Ruth Duer, best coverlid ; Mary Packer, best quality of linen ; Harriet and Mary Crocker, second best do.; Sophia Rice, American Leghorn bonnet; Elisha Mack, best fanning-mill.
In the spring of 1824 the 'Gazette' stated that the society had been "suffered to fall off; from lukewarmness in some, and by opposition in others ;" and urged the efficient members "to assemble, and come to such resolutions as they may deem proper, either for the revival of the old, or the establishment of a new society ;" neither of which is reported.
In 1838, the number of farms was 2768, averaged size, 105 acres; 5459 acres were given to wheat, 1624 to rye, 8404 to oats, 3330 to corn ; meadow, 34,792 acres ; potatoes, 2367 ; turnips, 73 ; buckwheat, 3546 ; flax, 195 ; ruta bagas, 32 (C. Carmalt raised 200 bushels per acre). There were 3998 horses, 2919 oxen, 8187 cows, 51,609 sheep, 9033 swine; 22,746 neat cattle of all kinds. Butter sold, 257,325 lbs.; cheese, 58,559 lbs; maple-sugar, 293,783 lbs.
The first call for a meeting of farmers and mechanics with practical results was made 7th January, 1846; on the 26th following a meeting was held at the court-house, when Wm. Jessup stated the object of the meeting; a committee of fifteen from different townships was appointed to draft a constitution, and another of three to prepare a circular calling attention to the subject; and a committee of five from each township to attend a meeting for organization. The latter took place March 4, 1846. Caleb Carmalt was chosen president; Benjamin Lathrop and Thomas Johnson, vice-presidents; Thomas Nicholson, corresponding secretary; Geo. Fuller, recording secretary; D. D. Warner, treasurer; Wm. Jessup, Wm. Main, Frederick Bailey, George Walker, Charles Tingley, Abraham Du Bois, Stephen Barnum, managers, or executive committee. The constitution and by-laws had been drafted by the committee the day before at Judge Jes-
Horticulture and domestic and rural economy were made objects of attention, though the " Promotion of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts" was the principal aim of the society.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 507
The first fair-ground was on land leased from David Post, adjoining the garden of G. V. Bentley on the south, and now occupied by the residences of Dr. R. Thayer and Nelson Hawley. The road leading to it was long known as Fair Street. The lease was only a nominal one, the use of the land in reality being given.
In November, 1861, the society procured of Avery Frink a deed of one hundred and three and a half perches of land in the upper part of the borough, which land with additions has been
made the county fair-ground.
The existing books of the society date only from 1861. At least two presidents had succeeded Caleb Carmalt previous to that year—Wm. Jessup and Henry Drinker.
The officers for 1861 and succeeding years have been as follows :—
Presidents, Abel Cassidy, M. L. Catlin, Samuel F. Carmalt, Benjamin Parke, J. C. Morris, Wm. H. Jessup (five years), James E. Carmalt.
Vice-Presidents, J. F. Deans, J. Blanding, Wm. H. Jessup, S. F. Car-malt, B. Parker, Stephen Breed, R. S. Birchard, H. M. Jones, M. L. Catlin, H. H. Harrington, David Summers, E. T. Tiffany, Eli Barnes, John Tewksbury, F. H. Hollister, James Kasson, H. H. Skinner, C. J. Hollister, H. C. Conklin, Abner Griffis.
Executive Committe (first appointed in 1863), Alfred Baldwin, S. F. Car-malt, J. C. Morris, F. H. Hollister, J. S. Tarbell, J. E. Carmalt, A. Frink, H. H. Skinner, H. H. Harrington, D. F. Austin, Allen Shelden. [Three on committee, one new one each year.]
Recording Secretaries, C. L. Brown (four years), C. M. Gere (two years), C. W. Tyler, G. A. Jessup, M. M. Mott, H. C. Tyler.
Corresponding Secretaries, C. M. Gere (two years), A. N. Bullard, C. L. Brown, C. W. Tyler, J. E. Carmalt, G. A. Jessup, J. R. Lyons.
Treasurers, Azor Lathrop, C. M. Gere (1868-72).
1861. Membership, $1 00 per annum.
1862. Life membership on payment of $10 00.
1863. Society out of debt, a condition necessary to secure the legacy of C. Carmalt.
1864. In January it was resolved to institute proceedings to procure a charter, and Henry Drinker, Wm. H. Jessup, and S. F. Carmalt constituted the committee appointed for this purpose. The petition presented to the court April 12th was signed by twenty-nine "Members associated for the advancement of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts." The society was fully incorporated August 24, 1864.
During this year, and while president of the society, S. F. Carmalt died, and Benjamin Parke (V. P.) filled the vacancy until his own election in 1865. From his address before the society October 5, 1865, at the nineteenth annual fair the following paragraph is taken :—
" Having attended the State Agricultural Fair at Williamsport last week, I can say that, with the exception of a very few fine horses there exhibited, the stock now upon this ground exceeds in number, and is superior in quality to that exhibited at the State fair; and setting aside the agricultural implements and machinery, the manufactures and specimens of merchandise—much of which was from other States and exhibited as an advertisement to
508 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
the public—with the expensively prepared and very elegant floral tent, with its fountain and walks, our fair as an agricultural exhibition is fully its equal.
" Susquehanna is probably THE butter county of our State. No better quality of butter is made any where than is here made. The increased price and the facility of sending it to New York and Philadelphia has not only stimulated but largely increased its production within the past few years.
"The establishment of cheese factories, and their great success wherever established, will gradually work a change in the dairy business ; which, without lessening the profits, will greatly lessen the labor and care, and add much to the health and comfort of dairy women and their children."
HON. BENJAMIN PARKE, LL.D.
BENJAMIN PARKE, LL.D., is a son of Col. Thomas Parke, the first settler of Dimock. He left home at the age of twenty-three to study his profession, and afterwards settled at Harrisburg as an attorney-at-law. While there Mr. P., in company with Wm. F. Packer (afterwards governor), edited and published the 'Keystone,' then the central and leading organ of the Democratic party of Pennsylvania. After disposing of that paper he for a time edited the Harrisburg Argus,' and commenced the publication of the Pennsylvania Farmer and Common-School Intelligencer.'
In 1834 he was appointed by Governor Wolf to be the prothonotary of the Middle District of the Supreme Court, consisting of sixteen counties. He also held the office of commissioner in bankruptcy, and was the principal compiler of Parke and Johnson's Digest of the Laws of Pennsylvania,' published in 1837.
After thirty years of professional toil he returned to Susquehanna County, and now glories in being numbered among her farmers.
1866. The Agricultural Society had a balance of $1019 79 in the treasury. The land from the I. Post estate was deeded to the society—eight acres and three and a half perches, and additional land was procured from General D. D. Warner.
1867. Premiums on native cattle abolished. Premiums to boys under nineteen years of age for plowing to be the same as to men.
1868. Article XV. added to constitution, making only citizens of Pennsylvania and of Susquehanna County eligible to office in the society.
Resolution to make trial of mowers and reapers in June and July. 1869. Amendment of Article VI., relative to meetings of society, making them the first Tuesday evening of each quarter sessions of court.
Three days to be given to the fair, the first for plowing, as usual.
1870. Among the premiums offered were one year's subscription to the 'Scientific American,' American Agriculturist,' and Horticultural Journal.'
Proposed sale of stock at the fair, and to dig a well upon Fair Ground. Boys must be sixteen years of age to compete in plowing.
1871. Plans of new buildings. Change in mode of electing
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 509
officers to be more democratic. At the twenty-fifth fair, in the fall of 1871, when there were one-third more entries than on any previous year, over $1000 were taken in.
Fairs to be between the 10th September and the 20th October, and time to be fixed by executive committee.
1872. There have been eighty life members.
There are three cheese factories in the county, one on the farm of Sayre brothers in Silver Lake, one in South Bridgewater, and the third on the Asa Packer farm in Springville. The last is more extensive than the others, having capacity for the daily use of the milk of five hundred cows.
The Jackson Agricultural Society was organized in 1856 ; R. Harris, president, Wm. H. Bartlett, secretary and treasurer. It suspended on the breaking out of the war.
Glenwood Agricultural Fair was held in 1861-62-63, and then removed to Nicholson. F. P. Grow was president, and Asa Eaton, treasurer.
Harford Agricultural Society was established in 1866—the fifteenth annual fair taking place in the fall of 1872. The present president is H. M. Jones; secretary, E. C. Carpenter. Ira H. Parrish, D. L. Hine, Jackson Tingley, executive committee.
The Friendsville Fair, of several years' standing, is for the sale of stock, rather than its exhibition, no premiums being given.
The Canawacta Agricultural Society, now inactive, has a driving park in Oakland, which was graded at a cost of $1000.
ROADS, POST—OFFICES, ETC.
IF the surmise respecting "Ellicott's Road"—a road sometimes referred to in the earliest court records—is correct, it was the passage cut, in 1786, for the transportation of supplies during the running of the State line between New York and Pennsylvania, Andrew Ellicott being the commissioner on the part of the latter in this business. On the 16th June, 1786—
" The General Assembly of Pennsylvania appointed Andrew Ellicott commissioner, to run and mark the northern boundary of the Commonwealth, and the State of New York appointed Samuel Holland and David Rittenhouse. They ascertained and fixed the beginning of the forty-third degree of north latitude on the Mohawk, or western branch of the Delaware—planted a stone marked NEW YORK, 1774, cut on the north side ; and on
¹ Can it be that he was employed to survey the road once planned by the State to stretch across this section to Tioga Point ? Such a route will be seen on map of old Luzerne.
510 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
the west side of said branch of the Delaware placed a heap of stones at water-mark, and, proceeding further west four perches, planted another stone with the words PENNSYLVANA cut on the south side thereof." . . .
"And the said Andrew Ellicott, on the part of this Commonwealth, and James Clinton and Simeon Dewitt, on the part of the State of New York, did, in the year of our Lord 1786-7, in pursuance of the powers vested in them, run, fix, and ascertain the said boundary line, beginning at the first mentioned stone, and extending due west by a line of mile-stones to the bank of Lake Erie, etc."
The road terminating, in 1789, at the mouth of Cascade Creek, was the first in the county for general travel. In 1791 a road was cut through from the Delaware to Great Bend ; the general course of it being since followed by the Newburgh turnpike. The early township roads have been mentioned in the Annals, with the road in 1798 from Tunkhannock to Great Bend, and another (1799-1801) from the forks of the Wyalusing to join the latter.
THE NEWBURGH TURNPIKE.
The first turnpike in the county connected Great Bend with Newburgh on the Hudson. It was begun in 1806 and finished in 1811. In the fall of 1872, a final meeting of the directors of the old Newburgh and Cochecton turnpike company was held at Newburgh. At Cochecton, on the Delaware River, the road referred to connected with the Cochecton and Great Bend turnpike, and together they were familiarly styled the Newburgh turnpike. This was among the first great highways constructed. Leading west from the Hudson River only one other preceded it—that leading from Albany westward. As the old landmark is no longer of any value to the stockholders, they are about giving it over to the several towns through which it runs. The length of the road from Cochecton to Great Bend is fifty miles. Beginning at the Delaware River, it passes through the towns of Damascus, Lebanon, and Mount Pleasant, in Wayne County; and Gibson, New Milford, and Great Bend in Susquehanna County. The act incorporating this pike was passed 29th March, 1804. Henry Drinker, Ed. Tilghman, Thos. Harrison, and Wm. Poyntell, of Philadelphia ; John Conklin, Jason Torry, and Samuel Stanton, of Wayne County; Asahel Gregory, John Tyler, and Minna Du Bois of Luzerne (now Susquehanna) County, were appointed commissioners of the road. The road received no assistance from the State.
"It was built by individual enterprise; most of the stock was taken on the line of the road. It was constructed twenty feet wide, at a cost of $1620 per mile. The materials are- earth, stone, lime, and timber. Its form was convex, being about four inches higher in the centre than at the sides. During the first three years it paid a debt of $11,000, besides keeping itself in repair. Some portions of this part of the State owe their early existence and growth to this road. It gave a decided impulse to the increase of population and improvements to the surrounding country."
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THE MILFORD AND OWEGO TURNPIKE.
Passed 26th of January, 1807, an act to authorize the Governor to incorporate a company for making an artificial road by the nearest and best route, through the counties of Wayne and Luzerne, beginning at the river Delaware, where the proposed bridge is to be built; near the town of Milford, thence through the said town and the counties aforesaid to or near the forty-third mile-stone in the north line of the State. Time for completing the road extended to December 1, 1826.
By the act of 24th of March, 1817, the Governor was authorized to subscribe $16,000 to the stock of the company, and as soon as five miles of the road is completed between Montrose and the Philadelphia and Great Bend turnpike, he is required to draw his warrant for a sum in proportion to the whole distance, and a like sum for every five miles, until the whole sum shall be drawn. It cost $1300 per mile.
The president and managers of the Milford and Owego turnpike were authorized, by act of 20th of March, 1830, " to construct a branch or lateral turnpike road, beginning at or near Dundaff, thence to Carbondale, in Luzerne County, and thence to intersect the said Milford and Ohio turnpike road at the most convenient point east of the Lackawanna Creek."
In 1808 an act was passed authorizing commissioners to explore and mark out a road from where the Cochecton turnpike passes through Moosic Mountain to the west line of the State. This road is probably the one that left the turnpike at Robert Chandler's in Gibson, and running westward reached the Wyalusing at Grangerville.
BRIDGEWATER AND WILKES-BARRE TURNPIKE.
An act was passed 30th March, 1811, to incorporate a company for making a road from the northern boundary line of this State at the most suitable place, near the 28th mile-stone, to the place where the seat of justice is established for the county of Susquehanna, thence by best and nearest route to borough of Wilkes-Barre. The road was begun in 1813. The Clifford and Wilkes-Barre turnpike was also begun that year, and cost $1200 per mile.
In 1818 books were opened for subscription to stock in the New Milford and Montrose turnpike; but it appears there never has been a turnpike between these two points, though more than twenty years later the subject was again engaging the attention of some of our most enterprising men.
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PHILADELPHIA AND GREAT BEND TURNPIKE.
In 1818 the legislature passed "an act to authorize the governor to incorporate the President, Managers, and Company of the Philadelphia and Great Bend Turnpike Road," which should " commence at or near the 30th mile-stone on the Easton and Wilkes-Barre turnpike road, pass over the nearest and best ground through Leggett's Gap in Lackawannock Mountain, and terminate on the Cochecton and Great Bend turnpike road, at or near the tavern of Ithamer Mott, in the county of Susquehanna." Work upon the road was begun in 1821. It followed the Nine Partners' Creek through Harford to Lenox post-office and Lenoxville, thence to the southern boundary of our county and below, as ordered by the act of legislature. Messrs. Thomas Meredith, William Ward, and Henry W. Drinker appear to have had charge of the contracts on this road—much of the business, at least, was in their hands. This great thoroughfare has ceased to be a toll road, and the travel over it is limited almost entirely to local business; but, in its day, it served to open a most desirable communication with Philadelphia, and contributed greatly to the advantage of the county.
The Belmont and Ochquaga turnpike was begun in 1821 and finished in 1825. The following turnpikes were incorporated as follows:—
Abington and Waterford, January, 1823 ; Dundaff and Tunkhannock, April, 1828 ; Dundaff and Honesdale, March, 1831 ; Lenox and Harmony, April, 1835 ; Lenox and Carbondale (past Gifford Corners), March, 1842, extended to South Gibson by act March, 1847; Brooklyn and Lenox, March, 1848 ; Tunkhannock Creek Company, March, 1849.
Among the earliest items respecting railroads in Susquehanna County we find the description of a route considered feasible ac early as 1832. The immediate object then was to connect Owego with the Lackawanna coal-field, and a railroad was proposed—
"From the mouth of the Choconut Creek to its headwaters, thence to Forest Lake, thence by the valley of Pond Creek to near its mouth, thence across by the headwaters of the east branch of the Wyalusing, and thence by the best route to the headwaters of Horton's Creek, following said creek till it falls into the Tunkhannock."
The same year, at a meeting held in Friendsville the 7th of March, of which Samuel Milligan was president, Parley Coburn, vice-president, and George Walker and Ira Brister, secretaries, another route was proposed : from Owego, by the valleys of the Apolacon and the north branch of the Wyalusing, thence by the east branch to the vicinity of Montrose, and thence striking Horton's Creek, to follow it as above. It was claimed that the distance by this route from the Tunkhannock to Owego would be six miles
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shorter than down the Salt Lick and via Great Bend to the same place, a survey of which was even then being made.
Mr. Milligan's speech, at the meeting referred to, was a very able one. After a review of the different routes proposed, he argued in favor of Montrose, stating the advantages of having a road run somewhat diagonally through the county.
A route similar to the last mentioned was proposed early in 1833 :—
"From Tunkhannock up the Hopbottom Creek to its head, thence by a moderate rise to the headwaters of the Snake Creek, down the Snake to its junction with the Silver Creek, thence up the Silver Creek, and thence by the Mud Creek to its forks ; up the middle branch of Mud Creek to its head, thence by easy ground to a small creek emptying into Choconut Creek, and along Choconut Valley to the boundary of the State, where it could be taken up and continued by the people of Owego."
Still another was "from the mouth of Snake Creek to the head of the east branch of it, thence by the waters of Wolf Creek by Kingsley's mills to its intersection with the Hopbottom, and thence by said creek till it shall intersect Martin's Creek on James Seymour's route," etc.; for a little before this time, the late James Seymour had been appointed to make the survey of a road from some point on the Lackawanna, passing through Leggett's Gap, and by the way of the Tunkhannock and Martin's Creek to Great Bend on the Susquehanna.
All these projects were lost sight of apparently for some years upon the construction of a road westward from New York through Owego.
NEW YORK AND ERIE RAILROAD.—Extended reference to this road having been already made in the Annals, little need be added here. The following is an item from the Register' of February, 1841: " We are glad to see that our representative, F. Lusk, Esq., has procured the passage of a bill through the House to allow the New York and Erie Railroad to be laid through a portion of this county if required."
" ERIE'S GREAT RIVAL."—The Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad proper extends from Great Bend, near the northern boundary of Pennsylvania, to the Delaware River, at a point about seven miles south of the Delaware Water Gap, through which it passes.
Exclusive of its recent extensions and roads acquired by lease, the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Company comprises two divisions—the Northern and Southern—the former extending from Great Bend to Scranton (49 miles), and the latter from Scranton to the Delaware River (64 miles). The Northern Division was the first opened, October, 1851. The original organization was the Leggett's Gap Railroad Company. During the same year
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the title was changed to the Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company.
The Southern Division was organized as the Delaware and Cobb's Gap Railroad Company, and finished in May, 1856. The two divisions were consolidated in April, 1853, under the style of the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad Company.
The object in constructing this railroad was to find an outlet north and east for the vast deposits of coal in the Lackawanna and Wyoming Valleys, as well as to build up a large manufacturing interest midway at a point where both coal and iron ore could be supplied with little or no cost of transportation.
Shortly after leaving Nicholson, the road reaches Martin's Creek, finds the summit at New Milford, and goes down Salt Lick to Great Bend, where it joins the New York and Erie.
The Valley Railroad is of great importance to the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Company. It completes their line of 325 miles from New York to Oswego, leading to the greatest coal markets in the State. The divisions are as follows: Morris and Essex, from New York to Scranton, 149 miles; Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western, from Scranton to Great Bend, 47 miles; Valley, from Great Bend to Binghamton, 14 miles ; Syracuse and Binghamton, 80 miles ; Oswego and Syracuse, 35 miles.
The Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Company formerly paid about $400,000 a year for the privilege of running their coal and freight trains over fourteen miles of Erie track.
The Lackawanna and Susquehanna Railroad is a branch of the Albany and Susquehanna, connecting with the latter at Nineveh, New York, and with the Jefferson Railroad near Starucca Viaduct, at Lanesboro, Susquehanna County. It is twenty-two miles in length.
"A charter was obtained at an early day, we believe as early as the year 1828, for a railroad from the Lackawanna Valley to Lanesboro. Other charters were also obtained at later dates, but nothing was effected toward building a railroad until Col. C. Freeman, member of assembly from Wayne County, at the session of 1851, secured a charter for the Jefferson Railroad Company, with Earl Wheeler, Charles S. Minor, Francis B. Penniman, and Benjamin B. Smith as corporators. This company was authorized to build a railroad from any point on the Delaware River, in Pike County, to the Susquehanna River, in Susquehanna County, through the county of Wayne. Under it a railroad has been built from the mouth of the Lackawanna, in Pike County, up said stream to Honesdale, under the auspices of the New York and Erie Railroad Company. Also the same company (the N.Y. and Erie), have under it built a railroad from Carbondale, north, through the eastern border of Susquehanna County, to Lanesboro. This latter road has been built under an
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arrangement with the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, they furnishing the money, it is stated, by guaranteeing bonds of the Boston, Hartford, and Erie Railroad to a certain amount, and receiving payment in tolls upon coal, on the Jefferson Railroad, and other lines of the New York and Erie Railroad Company. A third rail has been laid upon this Jefferson Road to accommodate cars of different gauges. It is proposed to connect the two sections of the Jefferson Railroad, which will probably be done by a road extending up the Dyberry branch of the Lackawanna, from Honesdale either to the Ararat Summit, or through Griswold's Gap to Forest City station. [Hon. S. S. Benedict.]
THE MONTROSE RAILROAD.—The public began to be interested in this enterprise during the summer of 1868.
At a large and enthusiastic meeting in Montrose, January 20, 1869—
"B. S. Bentley gave it as his opinion that a railroad would be built through Montrose within five years, or never. Here were the two interests that must and would be brought together—the Albany and Susquehanna Railroad and the consumers of coal in the region through which it passes, on the one hand, and the Lehigh Valley Railroad and the coal fields of which it is an outlet, on the other. The railroad by which these two interests are to be connected must pass through Susquehanna County, either by the proposed Montrose route or by another further west.
"If the people of Montrose show a determination to build it, then Judge Packer and the Albany and Susquehanna Road will no doubt lend their aid. W. H. Jessup spoke much to the same effect, urging the importance of immediate action, and the procuring of proper legislation to forward the object. W. J. Turrell stated that Judge Packer had said it was quite important to the mining region to have access to the agricultural products of Susquehanna County.
" George Walker stated some facts with regard to the two routes—the Tunkhannock and that from Meshoppen. The Meshoppen route is somewhat shorter, being only 20 miles, and has a grade of about 60 feet to the mile. The Tunkhannock route has a grade of 100 feet to the mile for the first four miles, and after that only 40 feet.
"On motion, Messrs. Abner Griffis, F. B. Chandler, and S. H. Sayre were appointed a committee on permanent organization, to report at the next meeting. On motion, W. H. Jessup and W. J. Turrell were appointed to prepare a charter and obtain an act of incorporation by the legislature for a railroad from some point on the Lehigh Valley Road at or near Tunkhannock or Meshoppen, to the State line of New York, with a view to connecting with the Albany and Susquehanna Railroad at Binghamton."
We gather the following from the annual report of the Montrose Railroad Company, January 8th, 1872 :—
" In pursuance of the charter granted by the legislature of Pennsylvania incorporating the Montrose Railway Company, a meeting was held at the public school-house in Springville, on the 27th day of April, A. D. 1871, when the following gentlemen were duly elected :—
" President—James I. Blakeslee.
" Directors—Wm. H. Cooper, Samuel H. Sayre, H. K. Sherman, Samue Stark, C. L. Brown, C. M. Gere, 1). Thomas, G. E. Palen, W. H. Jessup, S. Tyler, B. F. Blakeslee, Felix Ansart.
"At the first meeting of the board, held at Springville, on the 27th of May
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following, it was directed that a corps of engineers be at once employed under the supervision of Mr. F. Ansart, Jr., to survey and locate a cheap route for a narrow gauge railroad, extending from Tunkhannock to Montrose. It is believed that a narrow gauge road will he sufficient for all the business likely to be offered, and the cost of construction being so much less than a wide, or a four feet eight and a half inch gauge, it is expected that handsome dividends will be earned, which would hardly result from a first-class wide gauge road.
"The Lehigh Valley Railroad Company has agreed to furnish the rails, ties, spikes, and splices necessary for the superstructure, as soon as the grading has been completed and paid for, by receipts from stock subscriptions; they agreeing, also, to receive the payment due them in stock at par. That company has contracted for the greater number of the ties to be furnished from along the route of the proposed road, and they will thus distribute some ten thousand dollars to parties who may have taken more stock than they could otherwise conveniently provide for.
"The survey was commenced on the 15th of May, 1871. The work is now under contract and progressing favorably.
"The line runs from the depot of the Pennsylvania and New York Canal and Railroad Company, at Tunkhannock, to Marcy's Pond, thence along the west bank of the pond to a summit between the waters of Marcy's Pond and the Meshoppen Creek ; crossing the same, it runs in nearly a direct line to the village of Springville ; thence by the village of Dimock, into the borough of Montrose.
"The length of the road is twenty-seven and twelve one-hundredth miles. The present terminus of the road at Montrose is 1045 feet higher than the railroad of the Pennsylvania and New York Canal and Railroad Company at Tunkhannock. There are six principal summits : the Marcy's Pond Summit, Lemon, Springville, Woodbourne, Decker, and Montrose."
The engineer reports :—
" In grading the road, 120,000 cubic yards, of material will have to be moved. There will be 4000 cubic yards of rectangular culvert masonry ; 500 cubic yards of bridge masonry ; and two bridges, each of one hundred feet in length, one across the canal at Tunkhannock, and across Meshoppen Creek. There will be six hundred feet of trestling, of the average height of 26 feet.
" As the road is under contract to. e built ready for the track for $101,000, this sum can be taken for an approximate estimate of the cost of graduation, masonry, bridges, trestling, grubbing, and clearing."
Prior to September 16, 1872, the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company had expended $91,000 on the Montrose Railroad. Hon. Asa Packer's offer to furnish the rolling-stock holds good.
We understand that the Susquehanna Depot people are really in earnest and wide-awake on the question of extending the Montrose Railroad to their borough.
We have received a map of "The Skinner's Eddy and Little Meadows Railroad," which it is proposed to build from the north branch division of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company's river route, at Skinner's Eddy, northward to Owego, with a branch from Little Meadows to Binghamton.
Another road is proposed front Binghamton to the coal fields of Sullivan County, and through Sullivan and Lycoming Counties to the city of Williamsport :—
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" A survey of the line from Binghamton to Dushore, in Sullivan County, is to be made by John Evans. The route to be first surveyed is down the Susquehanna River, on the south side, to near the mouth of the Choconut Creek, and then up the creek to the summit of St. Joseph's, and thence down the Wyalusing Creek to Wyalusing village, on the Susquehanna River; thence, continuing in a southwest direction up a small stream known as Sugar Run, and on to Dushore. The distance from Binghamton to Dushore is 45 miles, and it is expected a good grade can be found the whole distance.
" At Onshore, connections will be made with a railroad now partly built to Williamsport. The distance from Dushore to Williamsport is 63 miles; making the entire distance from Binghamton to Williamsport 108 miles."
Joel and L. M. Turrell, engineers, have, from maps and surveys, made the following comparison of the advantages of the Wyalusing and Choconut, and the Skinner's Eddy and Little
Meadows routes :—
"From forks of the Wyalusing (the present terminus of the proposed Wyalusing Railway), to Binghamton by the Apolacon Creek, about where a railway would have to be built, it is (33 3/4) thirty-three and three-quarters miles; and from the said forks to Binghamton by the Choconut Creek it is (30) thirty miles. The difference is 3 miles in favor of the Choconut route to the Wyalusing. 'These measurements both extend to one mile above the lower bridge at Binghamton.
" From the covered bridge in Binghamton to the State line, by the way of Apolacon Creek, the distance is 18 miles ; by the Choconut Creek it is 12 3/4 miles ; difference in favor of the Choconut route, 5 1/4 miles. The amount that would be saved to New York capital. by shortening the distance to the State line, would, it is thought, be sufficient to build the bridge at Binghamton."
One or two railroads are talked of in the eastern part of the county.
POST-OFFICES OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY, 1872.
The names in small caps are boroughs.
SILVER LAKE BANK, at Montrose.—The books were opened for subscriptions June 6, 1814. The bank was fully organized with board of directors, Jan. 4, 1817. It began to discount April 10, 1817. Suspended Aug. 7, 1819, but resumed after a very short time, and continued in operation ten years longer, when the bill for its re-charter was lost.
NORTHERN BANK OF PENNSYLVANIA, at Dundaff.—Established probably early in 1825, and closed Jan. 1827.
BANK OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY, at Montrose.—Established in 1837 ; failed Nov. 1849.
A bank for discount existed in Great Bend, March, 1842.
Post, Cooper & Co. commenced business (banking) in Montrose, Nov. 1855, and were succeeded by Wm. H. Cooper & Co., May, 1859.
S. B. Chase has a Savings Bank at New Milford. There is one also at Great Bend.
CHANGES IN POLITICS.
WHILE included in Luzerne, the vote of this section was too light to be of importance. Nearly the whole territory of what is now Susquehanna County was comprised, in 1792, in the election district of Willingborough, which was 36 x 20 miles in extent. Elections were ordered to be held at the house of Horatio Strong. In 1804 it was divided into two districts; elections for Willingborough were held at the house of C. Longstreet (then at New Milford), and for Rush, at the house of Jabez Hyde. These were the first general elections here on record, so far as ascertained. The vote for Congressman was 324.
In 1807 the vote for Senator was a little over 200.
In 1808 the same territory included six districts: Willingborough, Rush, Nicholson, Gifford, Harford, and Bridgewater.
In the first political excitements shared by the people of this section, parties were divided into Federalists and Republicans or Democrats.
The Federalists claimed to be sole adherents of the policy of Washington, and charged the opposite party with imbibing
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French principles. The Republicans or Democrats considered themselves the exclusive friends of liberty. The former had elected John Adams for president; the latter found their choice in Thomas Jefferson, who was in the minority, and therefore by the law of that time, the vice-president.
The two parties were also divided upon the subject of the funding of National and State debts, and upon the banking system ; the " Feds" for a National Bank, Jefferson against it. The disputes upon these subjects may fairly be said to be the origin of that violent party-spirit which for thirty years arrayed one part of the American community against the other.
When a second war with England was iMminent, the Democrats favored the war policy, but the Federalists opposed it. "Is the war justifiable?" was a fruitful theme of discussion here as elsewhere.
It was at this juncture, in the fall of 1812, that the first Democratic and Federal tickets in Susquehanna County were issued. The Democrats nominated for sheriff, .Asa Dimock and W. C. Turrell ; for commissioners, Isaac Brownson, Bartlet Hinds, La-ban Capron ; for coroner, Stephen Wilson and H. Leach, Jr. The Federalists nominated for sheriff, J. Carpenter and Edward Fuller; for commissioners, Myron Kasson, Caleb Richardson, and J. W. Raynsford ; for coroner, Jos. Washburn and Rufus Lines. This was at a meeting at I. Post's, September 14th; John Tyler, chairman ; I. A. Chapman, secretary.
In 1813 the " Friends of Peace" met at Howell's (Montrose), to consult; Thomas Parke, chairman; Edw. Fuller, secretary.
The election districts this year were seven: Bridgewater, elections held at I. Post's; "New District" of Bridgewater, at Thos. Parke's; Rush with Braintrim, Susquehanna County, at Jabez Hyde's; Harford and Nicholson, Susquehanna County, at H. Tiffany's; Gifford, at A. Gregory's; Choconut and Silver Lake, at Levi Smith's ; and the rest of the county, comprised in the district of Willingborough, at Josiah Stewart's.
The Federalist party was broken up by its opposition to the war, but new opponents were obtained by a division of the Republican party. The new ticket recommended Hiester for governor, in opposition to the renomination of Governor Findlay, and was supported by Isaac Post, Asa Park, and Samuel Hodgdon as prime movers.
The Republican Reformer,' a campaign paper, was the exponent of their views. The Whig party, as it came to be called in Jackson's time, was now forming in opposition to the Republican—thenceforth known as the Democratic party. The Whigs were in favor of a protective tariff; the Democrats opposed it. A " Democratic Republican" was not considered a paradox.
In 1823, the vote for governor in Susquehanna County was
520 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
1202. Party spirit ran high. Each of the two political papers of the county claimed to be the Democratic one, though they were opposite in sentiment.
A. H. Read, who was first nominated for the State Legislature by Isaac Post, in opposition to the regular party, afterwards became the regular party man. Prior to 1825 the county vote fluctuated between different parties ; but thereafter, for thirty years, it was Democratic.
In 1826, a new element entered into politics— opposition to Free Masonry—which was well developed here. But the Anti-Masonic party declined after about a dozen years, or about the time the Anti-Slavery political party was formed.
At the Presidential election in the fall of 1828, 1062 votes were cast in the eighteen districts of Susquehanna County, Jackson's majority being 368. Such men as William Jessup, Charles Avery, and William Foster, who, in later years, eminently opposed the Democratic party, then voted for Jackson. The former standing committee of the "Democratic Republican" party—Philander Stephens, William Jessup, and Simon Stevens—be-came prominent advocates of as many different parties, viz., Democratic, Whig, and Anti-Masonic. Still, voters claimed that the change was not in their own principles.
In 1832, a campaign paper, the "National Republican," was published at Montrose, in which appeared an appeal to voters in behalf of Henry Gay, whose peculiar views on national finance found adherents and originated the Whig party. The signers of the appeal were I. Post, S. S. Mulford, C. Cushman, M. S. Wilson, Leonard Searle, James C. Biddle, B. T. Case, A. Hartshorn, D. Bailey, P. Hinds, and D. Post. Some forty reasons were given why Jackson should not be elected. Similar reasons had been discussed at a National Republican meeting at Montrose a year earlier: John Mann, president; J. C. Biddle, C. F. A. Volz, vice-presidents; Jesse Lane and U. Burrowes, secretaries.
Joseph Ritner was the Anti-Masonic candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, then unsuccessful. In Montrose the Anti-Mason headquarters were at the house of B. Sayre.
The 'Register,' edited by C. L. Ward, was opposed to the President's removal of the deposits of the United States Bank to the local banks; while the Volunteer,' under E. H. Easterbrooks, favored the measure. George Fuller, approving of pacifying rather than exciting the public mind on the matter, had left the editorial chair. Exciting meetings were held both for and against a re-charter. William Jessup and others newly opposed to Jackson repelled the charge of contending in behalf of the United States Bank; it was their conception of the "kingly power" and " corruption" of Jackson's administration which excited their opposition.
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In the fall of 1834, George Fuller resumed the editorship of the 'Independent Volunteer,' and thenceforward that paper was the exponent of views held by the majority of Democrats as opposed to Whigs. Such men as William Hartley, Asa Dimock, Jr., Davis Dimock, Jr., and A. H. Read, adopted the same platform.
The year 1835 witnessed the division of the Democratic party in State politics. George Wolf and Henry A. Muhlenberg represented the two factions.
Through the disputes of the Democrats, the Whigs and Anti-Masons succeeded in electing Joseph Ritner for governor.
Late in the fall, " the Democratic, Anti-Masonic, and Whig citizens of Susquehanna County, including all good Democrats (without respect to former distinctions), opposed to the election of Martin Van Buren," were invited to a meeting, which afterwards elected Major Isaac Post senatorial delegate, and George Walker county delegate, to represent Anti-Masons in convention.
At a " Democratic meeting," the same fall, the minority of the party (whose defection caused Ritner's election), "offer to make every sacrifice but those of honorable principles, to effect a reconciliation, and to heal the division now existing in the Democratic party." The majority "accept the proposition, stipulating only that, hereafter, the minority shall recognize the fundamental principle that a majority is to decide for the entire party in all cases of dispute and differences of opinion." This union resulted, in 183'6, in the triumph of this party, and it continued in the ascendant here until 1856. The Anti-Masonic party disbanded " for the campaign" in the spring of 1836, and never revived.
In the meantime other principles were germinating, destined eventually to alter the points at issue among political parties. In Susquehanna County the history of anti-slavery, moral and political, is precisely that of the whole country—every measure having met a response and had its advocates here from beginning to end. The origin of the Anti-Slavery Society here appears to have been innocent enough of any intention to mix itself with either of the political parties. A stirring appeal bad been made in the 'Register' of July 23, 1835, by Enoch Mack, of Brooklyn, relative to the formation of a county anti-slavery society. This was responded to by John Mann, of Choconut, who proposed a meeting to discuss the subject at Benjamin Sayre's hotel, 25th of September following. Nothing more than discussion appears to have been elicited then.
A call to form an anti-slavery society was issued March 17th, 1836, signed by sixty-one persons, and the number was afterwards increased to eighty-six.
This caused the publication of another "call" signed by 143
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persons "opposed to the dangerous principles and projects of the Abolitionists."
April 18th, 1836, the "Susquehanna County Anti-Slavery and Free Discussion Society" was fully organized, and made a declaration of its sentiments. The meeting opened with Elder J. B. Worden in the chair. Rev. Joseph Barlow offered a prayer, and Rev. Timothy Stow and John Mann drafted a constitution, which was signed by upwards of 80 gentlemen of the county.
Addresses were made by Elder Worden and Wm. Jessup. The latter said that "the society, in clear and explicit terms, discard and disavow all interference in party politics," its members belonging to all the three existing parties. Rev. Adam Miller and B. R. Lyons were elected delegates to the American Anti-Slavery Society.
The Susquehanna County Society afterwards published an address to their fellow citizens, in which it was shown that they expected to put down slavery through the power of moral suasion. They requested discussion with their opponents.
The following is extracted from the county records under date of May, 1836 :—
"Presentment of the Grand Jury, sitting and inquiring for the body of the county of Susquehanna: That the Anti-Slavery and Free-Discussion Society does materially disquiet, molest, and disturb the peace and common tranquillity of the good people in this part of the Commonwealth, being calculated to move and excite them to hatred and dislike of the Constitution of the United States, which has reserved to the States respectively the power of regulating slavery in their own confines," etc. etc.
Of this, it has been asserted that it was not drawn up either by the responsible officer of the Commonwealth, or by any of the grand jurors, and it was not signed in the jury-room.
The first annual meeting of the Anti-Slavery Society was held July 4, 1836. Its numbers as given in the report of the secretary, A. L. Post, July 4, 1837 were 275. Five years earlier there was but one society in the United States, and that had but 12 members; in 1836, there were 1076 societies.
In the summer of 1836, The Spectator and Freeman's Journal,' was established by A. L. Post, Esq. This paper, though W hig in politics, was essentially the organ of Anti-Slavery men. That it developed and educated the moral sentiment of the people here, will hardly be disputed. But, it was gradually drifting towards the advocacy of the use of the ballot-box, as a means for purging out the leaven of slavery from the councils of the nation. Mr. Post, at the " Harrison and Tyler" committee meeting in Montrose, Feb. 1840, announced his intention to enlist politically as well as morally under the banner of Equal Rights and Universal Liberty." He could not support Harrison with his pro-
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slavery record. He said : " I have become convinced that the abolition of slavery in this country is a subject paramount in importance to all others now before the American people." In other words, he was convinced of the truth of the statement of Judge Post (his father), that " Tippecanoe and Tyler too" meant nothing less than "Tippecanoe and Slavery too."
On this subject, O. N. Worden, at the time junior editor of the Spectator,' was not at one with Mr. Post, and the connection was dissolved, and the publication of the paper ceased the following
At the annual meeting of the Anti-Slavery Society on the 4th of July, the same year, the orator of the day, R. B. Little, Esq., said :—
" Better than that slavery exist, the Union dissolve, our institutions crumble and political death descend upon us."
But all the members of this society were not prepared to indorse the sentiment, it being too far in advance of the times.
In Oct. 1840, a State electoral ticket was formed in the interests of anti-slavery, with James G. Birney, of New York, for president, and Thomas Earle, of Pennsylvania, for vice-president.
Of the thirty electors chosen, six were from Susquehanna County : Isaac Post, Benjamin R. Lyons, Samuel Warner, George Gamble, Abel Bolles, William Foster.
A circular headed "LIBERTY TICKET !" was issued and circulated under the supervision of a county committee, consisting of David Post, Wm. Foster, and R. B. Little.
"The truth is," stated the committee, " our principles are directly at war with those of both political parties. We cannot be true to our views of duty, and act with them. The sooner, therefore, our connection with them is dissolved, the sooner we allow our principles to develop themselves in a political form, the sooner will they triumph."
Of the men who now arose to meet the issue, it may be truly said, in the words of Jean Paul Richter :—
" Every brave life appears to us out of the past not so brave as it really was, for the forms of terror with which it fought are overthrown. Against the many-armed future, threatening from its clouds, only the great soul has courage ; every one can be courageous towards the spent out, disclothed past."
The votes polled that fall for the Liberty Ticket, were 343—precisely the Harrison majority in the State. The number of votes in Susquehanna County, for the same, in the election of governor, in 1841, was 36, the vote of the State being 793.
A campaign paper, Freedom's Annual,' was published at Montrose in 1841, '2, '3, and in 1852. It supported a county Liberty Ticket.
A number of societies in the township were formed auxiliary to the county Anti-Slavery Society, and among them, were those
524 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
of Clifford, New Milford, Liberty, and Harford. The last named had 200 members in 1844.
J. G. Birney was again the Liberty candidate for president, in 1844 ; with Thomas Morris, of 'Ohio, for vice-president. In 1848, the platform of direct abolition was virtually exchanged for that of non-extension of slavery.
A remnant of the Liberty party were dissatisfied, and, in 1852, the "Free Democracy," as opposed to the Democratic and Whig National conventions, nominated John P. Hale and Geo. W. Julian for president and vice-president.
In 1856, the opponents of slavery were merged into the Republican party.
"The abolition spirit, which really had its headquarters in Montrose for all N. E. Pennsylvania, laid the foundation for the Republican party so far as this State is concerned. The Wilmot and Grow Congressional District made them, and not they the district; it educated them and raised them to office, which both parties acknowledge they honored."
The following is taken from the Montrose Republican' of November, 1868 :-
" Politically, the northern central range of counties were once a Democratic stronghold. They sometimes saved the State of Pennsylvania for that party. They were most inflexible and rigid partisans.
"To see how vast the change in what we call 1 Wilmot's District,' we give the following list of Republican majorities :-
" They used to be 3000 or 4000 the other way.
" Of the recent progress of the county and of the two great parties, let the
election returns speak :-
Montrose. Susq. Co. Montrose. Susq. Co.
1838. Whig, 76 1264 1868. Rep., 276 4882
Dem., 25 1530 " Dem., 65 3392
"It will be seen, that the voters have twice double generation-an increase of 200 per cent.
" Nearly all the old Democratic editors in Susquehann have become Republicans-Hon. George Fuller, Hon Carr, S. T. Scott, 0. G. Hempstead, S. B. Chase."
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 525
VOTES OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
526 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES.
THOUGH much has been said of schools in the annals of the different townships, some points were reserved for a more general chapter as bearing upon the interests of the whole county.
Prior to the awakening of the State to the importance of common schools, it had made appropriations to encourage the establishment of public classical schools. The first of the kind in our county was styled :—
THE SUSQUEHANNA ACADEMY.
In and by an act of assembly passed the 19th of March, 1816, establishing an academy in the town of Montrose, the following gentlemen were appointed trustees:—
William Thomson, Davis Dimock, Isaac Post, Jabez, Hyde, Jr., Jonah Brewster, Austin Howell, Isaac Brownson, Daniel Ross, Wright Chamberlin, H. Tiffany, Jr., Robert H. Rose, David Post, Charles Fraser, and Putnam Catlin.
These trustees comprised the principal officers of the county, with the president and cashier of the Silver Lake Bank. A meeting was appointed for the 3d of September following. In the mean time the legislature granted $2000 towards the erection of an academy at Montrose.
The care of its erection was given to Isaac Post, and it was completed in 1818. The offices of judges and commissioners in the board of trustees were then filled by J. W. Raynsford, Benjamin Sayre, S. S. Mulford, I. P. Foster, Samuel Warner, Justin Gark, Bela Jones, and B. T. Case, the last named being then secretary, and for several years afterwards.
There was no church edifice in the place, and the second floor of the building was used as a place of religious worship every Sabbath. The academy at that time occupied the brow of the hill above the new jail, the hill then being much steeper than at present, and containing a valuable quarry but little excavated.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 527
The grandparents of our time relate with glee, their feats in coasting down this bill with an upturned bench for a sled, which many a merry boy and girl could enjoy together. About 1828, the building was moved down close to the sidewalk, between the present locations of the new academy and the old court-house, where it remained for twenty-two years. (A correct representation of it appears in the picture of the Montrose Green.)
Among the teachers engaged in this institution, the following are remembered :-
1818. William Jessup (advertised by the trustees as teacher of mathematics and " the learned languages") and Bela Jones ; J. W. Raynsford, part of the year.
1819. Samuel Barnard, and daughter Catharine (since Mrs. Morgan).
1820. Ralph H. Read, Walker Woodhouse.
1821-24. Albert Bingham, David Benedict, P. Wright.
1825-28. Eli Meeker, Sloane Hamilton, Franklin Lusk, Benjamin and D. Dirnock, Jr.
1829-31. Seth T. Rogers, P. Richardson, S. S. Stebbins, Rufus B. Gregory.
1833-36. B. S. Bentley.
1837-42. L. H. Woodruff, (?) H. S. Fairchild, — Payne, Rev. S. Manning.
1843-44. Z. L. Beebe and Lafayette G. Dimock.
1845-47. C. C. Halsey.
1848-49. A. J. Buel.
Most of the above were collegiate graduates.
Among the lady teachers after Miss Barnard, and prior to 1830, were Misses Ann Harris (afterwards Mrs. S. Hodgdon), Maria Jones, Abigail Sayre (Mrs. James Catlin), Mary Ann Raynsford (Mrs. D. D. Warner). (Of other schools, Miss Harriet Conner taught early over Raynor's store. A French and English select school was taught in 1828, by Mrs. B. Streeter. Courses of lessons in English grammar, and also lessons on the German flute had been given by different gentlemen ; in the mean time, Wentworth Roberts taught in the Bowman House.)
In 1832, the academy was thoroughly repaired, and an orrery and other apparatus procured. The same season an infant school was taught by Mrs. Amanda B. Catlin. She had the first piano in the place (in 1819), and taught music in 1832. Subsequently, and prior to 1837, Misses Jane A. Brand (Mrs. Dr. Justin A. Smith, of Chicago, recently deceased), Lucretia Loomis, A. L. Fraser, Nancy and Caroline Bowman, Caroline C. Woodhouse, and possibly others, were teachers in the lower rooms of the academy, while the classical department occupied ,the one long room on the second floor.
Early in 1839, Miss Elizabeth Wood was the first teacher of
528 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
the female seminary—in the same building. It was incorporated through the exertions of Col. Asa Dimock. This institution, it was intended, should be entitled to $300 annually for ten years from the State. Its first trustees were A. H. Read, J. C. Biddle, D. Dimock, Jr., Geo. Fuller, and Daniel Searle.
In 1840-41, the preceptress was Mrs. Elizabeth H. Stone (afterwards Mrs. Niven). A piano was purchased, and Miss Theodosia A. Catlin taught a large class in music, though there were then but three pianos in the place.
In 1841-2, Miss Mariana A. Read, of Homer, New York, was preceptress here.
For three or four years following, select schools by former teachers appear to have occupied the lower rooms.
In 1847, Miss F. L. Willard began teaching in the academy, but afterwards kept a boarding-school for young ladies (assisted by Mrs. Theo. Smith, and E. C. Blackman), and a day school, which included young lads, in the building now the residence of George C. Hill ; later in the old Post-house, Miss Totten, assistant. Pupils attended from remote parts of the county, and from other counties.
A new academy had been projected in 1846, but it was not completed until the summer of 1850; the building, 50 by 60 feet, is now occupied by the graded school. Its cost was $4200.
The first board of trustees consisted of William Jessup, president; R. J. Niven, secretary; M. S. Wilson, treasurer; Rev. H. A. Riley, F. B. Streeter, B. S. Bentley, William L. Post, George Fuller, Alfred Baldwin, William J. Mulford, Leonard Searle, D. D. Warner, and Henry Drinker. They made valuable contributions for the foundation of a library and cabinet of natural curiosities, which it is to be regretted have not been well preserved.
The first instructors were Lemuel H. Waters, A.M., principal ; Miss Mary J. Crawford, preceptress; William H. Jessup, and Miss A. A. P. Rogers, assistant teachers ; Miss Caroline Bowman, superintendent of primary department; Emily C. Blackman, teacher of music; Gustave H. Walther, teacher of German. Succeeding principals were Rev. Isaac Gray, Rufus C. Crampton, William H. Richmond, John L. Mills, and -- Hartshorne, col-legiates. After Miss Crawford, the lady teachers were Misses Bessie Huntting, Caroline Bush, Frances J. Woolworth, and --- Brown.
A normal school was established in the fall of 1857, J. F. Stoddard, principal. He was succeeded by H. Broadhead, B.A , and S. S. Hartwell, B.A.
In the fall of 1863, under the care of F. D. Hunt, it assumed distinctively the features of a graded school, which it still retains. Rey. J. R. Stone bad charge of the classical department; Misses C.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 529
M. Dixon, M. M. Chamberlin, Jessie Bissell, and A. Perry and Mrs. A. M. Richards, were among the earliest teachers of other departments. Succeeding principals have been W. W. Watson, J. C. Hammond, E. B. Hawley, J. G. Cope, Wm. C. Tilden, and A. H. Berlin.
FRANKLIN ACADEMY, OR HARFORD UNIVERSITY.
In the absence of promised information respecting this institution, only meager items can be given. It was the outgrowth of a select classical school at Harford, begun by Rev. Lyman Richardson, in 1817. Ten years later, his brother Preston had charge of it for a time. In 1830 it became "Franklin Academy," of which, in 1837, Willard, son of Rev. L. Richardson, was the
principal; F. B. Streeter, Mrs. L. T. Richardson, and Misses
Kingsley, and H. A. Tyler, assistants.
In Nov. 1839, the corner-stone of the new building was laid. Nathan Leighton taught in the spring of 1840, but in the fall following, Rev. L. Richardson resumed the charge, assisted by his daughter, N. Maria, Henry Abel, Miss M. Gardner, and Mrs. L. T. Richardson. From 1848-55, Rev. Willard Richardson was principal. In 1856 his father again took the post, but not long after resigned in favor of Rev. Edward Allen.
This institution, latterly styled a university, had been emphatically a normal school from the beginning, and upon the establishment of the school at Montrose, under the care of Prof. Stoddard, its labors appear to have been permanently suspended, after a duration of half a century.
A very large number of its graduates became professional teachers: many, ministers of the gospel, and not a few, prominent public men. Among them may be mentioned Revs. Moses Tyler and Washington Thatcher; Rev. Wm. S. Tyler, D.D., LL.D., of Amherst College ; Rev. W. H. Tyler, formerly of Pittsfield Institute, Mass.; Prof. John Wadsworth Tyler, a graduate of Union College, and former principal of Cazenovia Seminary, N. Y., who died in 1833 ; Prof. E. G. Tyler, now of Canandaigua, N. Y.; John Guernsey, State Senator; John D. Stiles, Congressman for Carbon County; F. B. Streeter, President Judge, and Paul D. Morrow, Law Judge of this Judicial District ; Hon. Luther Kidder, deceased; Henry W. Williams, President Judge of the 4th Judicial District; Stewart Pierce, State Representative, and Historian of Luzerne County ; Jesse Barrett, Prof. of Mathematics in the University of Missouri; G. A. Grow, former Speaker of House of Representatives, U.S. ; C. R. Buckalew, U. S. Senator, and late candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania; and Cyrus C. Carpenter, present Governor of Iowa.
The annual exhibitions of Franklin Academy brought to-
- 34 -
530 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
gether several thousand interested spectators. The benefits of the institution were within the reach of those of bumble means, owing to the accommodations for students to board themselves; and the best yeomanry of the county were here constantly represented.
Academies established at Dundaff, Gibson, Great Bend, Friendsville, and Dimock, bad a more local influence than the foregoing ; but, in all cases, a beneficial one, and too strongly marked to be unnoted in the history of the county. The boarding schools at Mannington, at Friendsville, by Miss Richards, and at Newtonville, by S. A. Newton, should also be included in this connection. Private classical schools have been occasionally established in different localities, but were without permanence.
The early common schools were not free; the children of the indigent were taught at the expense of the town in which they resided. In January, 1830, Hon. A. H. Read offered in the House of Representatives three memorials from Susquehanna County praying for a general system of education.
An act to establish a general system of education by common schools was approved by Gov. Wolf, April 1st, 1834, to which an act supplementary was passed a fortnight later. But these were still far from being satisfactory to the public. In February, 1835, Mr. Read reported a bill, changing the features and simplifying the details of the school law of the previous session, which was thought to remove all fair objections to a system of general education. In July, 1836, the act relative to common schools was published in the Susquehanna Register,' and received some adverse comments; some persons asserting that the majority of the people had no right to levy a tax upon the whole people for the purposes of universal education. The common school convention, early in 1839, recommended uniform school books to be adopted the ensuing fall ; and this was a new bone of contention. Hon. William Jessup exerted himself to show the propriety of the measure, and with success. Susquehanna County was, it is believed, the first to accept the entire provisions of the school law.
The board of directors of the first free school of Susquehanna County consisted, September, 1834, of the following gentlemen : Wm. Jessup, J. C. Biddle, J. W. Raynsford, Asa Dimock, Hiram Finch, George Fuller, and Jerre Lyons, treasurer. At a later period a meeting of the taxables of Montrose was held to discuss the propriety of levying a tax of $500 for the support of a free school in the place. If the whole of that sum was not secured, enough encouragement was given to rent a room in the Academy
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 531
and install Wm. J. Turrell as teacher, at a salary of $22 per month. In the fall of 1836 another room was secured, and Miss N. Bowman had charge of the female department at $3 per week. It was then proposed to add rooms to the Academy for the use of the free school, but upon the report of Messrs. Geo. Fuller and H. Drinker, committee to ascertain the expense of putting up a building separate from it, it was decided to act upon their suggestions. The new house, 34 x 22 feet, was erected July—Decem-ber, 1837, between the Academy and the old " Fire Proof," at an expense of $480, without desks and seats. The building was moved, in the summer of 1849, above the Universalist church, and, about fifteen years later, to the lower end of the borough, where it was converted into a dwelling house. It was a power for good in the community, which it is pleasant to recognize.
The colored children were taught separately after November, 1857, and Miss H. N. Austin was their first teacher.
In the fall of 1840 the examination of persons wishing to be teachers was made necessary by law.
[The following items respecting the Teachers' Association is taken from a more detailed account kindly furnished by A. B. Kent, of New Milford.]
"The year 1854 marks a new era in the educational affairs of this county. Previous to this there had been a sort of mechanical compliance with the terms of the Pennsylvania school law ; but a clear and willing comprehension of a system of education suited to and sufficient for all the children of the county, based for its support on a fair percentage of all the property in the county, in addition to that received from State appropriation, had as yet found a place in the heart and hand of but few of the people. Some of the teachers began to have an earnest desire for improvement, and C. W. Deans and a few others concluded to make an effort. A call was issued, and on the 31st of December, 1853, a meeting was held in the court-house in Montrose, which organized the SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION, with S. T. Scott, president; J. Jameson, vice-president, and B. F. Tewksbury, secretary. Meetings were held during the winter and following spring.
"The directors of the county elected a county superintendent of common schools for the first time, June 5th, 1854; Willard Richardson being elected, and his salary fixed at $350. It was supposed the duties of the office would take but part of one's time; there was considerable opposition to the idea of a county superintendent among the people; and from the additional appropriation by the legislature to the school fund, only that sum could be taken, and leave for the direct support of the schools about the same amount as before. The county superintendent and Teachers' Association worked in unison. Meetings were held in the fall of 1854, and it was decided to hold a Teachers' Institute at Harford University, commencing on Monday the 13th of November following, and continuing through the week.
" This being an entirely new movement, involved some risk to its promoters, as competent instructors from abroad were to be secured, and it was not known whether the teachers of the county would attend in sufficient numbers to make it a success. But when the time arrived about one hundred teachers, or those who intended to be such, were present; and probably no greater interest on the part of all has been manifested at any other educational meeting ever held in this county. The instructors were Dr. S. A.
532 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Richardson of New Hampshire, and Prof. Jr. F. Stoddard, afterwards known here as a prominent educator as well as mathematical author. From this meeting we date the permanent introduction of mental arithmetic as a study in our schools, and many of the features which mark the improvements of the present day over the system of twenty years ago. The Teachers' Association held meetings during the winter and spring, and, in October following, another Teachers' Institute, at New Milford, taught by Prof. ()has. W. Sanders of New York and others. During 1857-58 the meetings of the association (of which A. B. Kent was then president) were sometimes continued two days under instructors from abroad.
"After this the county superintendent, B. F. Tewksbury, assumed direction of the educational meetings of the county, sometimes calling instructors from abroad, and sometimes relying upon home talent. In 1861, A. N. Bullard being county superintendent, the Teachers' Association was revived and continued during his term of office ; since which the county superintendent has at his discretion called meetings from one day to one week in duration, with instructors from this and other counties."
The present superintendent receives a salary of $1200.
B. F. Tewksbury, county superintendent for 1858, then reported as follows:---
" Our teachers are improving in their ideas of propriety and taste, with reference to pupils and school-houses. Many decorate their school-rooms with flowers in summer, and with evergreens in winter. Some have induced the proprietors to erect a fence inclosing a tidy little yard in which they have arranged flower-beds, and have also planted with vines and shade trees. In some cases this has been done in admirable taste, enlisting the attention and voluntary labors of the pupils during their spare hours, for weeks together."
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 533
Tabular Statement, for the School Year ending June 6, 1870.
W. C. TILDEN, Sup't for Susquehanna County.
Table Not Included
534 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
answering the description of the school department as first-class houses, —neither are grounds found of suitable size and properly improved in but few instances. A great negligence exists in this respect, for the majority have not a shade or ornament, and both sun and storm beat upon house and children, at their play, without hinderance."
The Harford University was purchased by Prof. Charles W. Deans, a native of Bridgewater township, and opened by him as a State institution for the education and maintenance of soldiers' orphans, on the 7th day of November, 1865.
Hon. Thomas H. Burrowes, superintendent of soldiers' orphans, executed the contract on behalf of the State, in pursuance of a law passed by the legislature at the suggestion of Gov. Curtin.
The institution is conducted under the regulations laid down by the department of soldiers' orphans at Harrisburg.
The number of orders of admission issued from date of organization to June, 1872, have been 410. The number of pupils admitted per order and transfer 366. The number discharged per order, and on arrival at the age of sixteen, 180. The number of deaths have been 11. The number of pupils at present, June 1, 1872, is 170.
The children admitted represent the counties of Wayne, Pike, Monroe, Luzerne, Columbia, Montour, Schuylkill, Center, Tioga, Bradford, Wyoming, Susquehanna, and Sullivan.
In March, 1868, Mr. Deans was called to take charge of a similar institution in Chester County, Pa., since which time Prof. Henry S. Sweet, a native of Harford, has been in charge. Mrs. A. L. Sterling, of Wyoming County, and Mrs. Geo. W. Crandall, of Franklin, Susquehanna County, have been efficient matrons of the school; and Misses Helen M. Williams, E. M. Orvis, —
Gould, E. Gamble, and Mrs. Redfield, teachers; Charles S. Halstead, farmer and steward.
Revs. Edw. Allen and Adam Miller, in christian kindness, have held regular services here for the moral and religious training of the orphans.
Each county has a committee of supervision appointed by the State, whose chairman must approve all applications for admission sent into the department from the county. Hon. L. F. Fitch is chairman for Susquehanna County.
A few notes of one who attended the examination of the soldiers' orphan school at Harford, in 1870, may be of interest :—
"There are in the school 163 children supported by the State-110 boys and 53 girls—and six supported by their friends. The scholars remain till they are sixteen years of age, when some of them are taken charge of by their friends, and places are provided for others. H. S. Sweet is principal of the school, with four teachers. There are 21 persons employed about the institution—principal, steward, matron, and assistant teachers, two farmers, teamster, baker, shoemaker, two in laundry, sewing superintendent, hospital
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 535
matron, etc. There are 300 acres in the farm, and 50 cows in the dairy. The farm is expected to produce 1000 bushels of oats, 5000 bushels of potatoes, and other crops in proportion. The boys are divided into three 'reliefs ;' the girls into five ; each relief' works two hours one week on some special work, then changes ; thus all learn the different kinds of work taught. There are regular hours for work, drill, study, recreation, and sleep. All look cheerful and healthy. There is very little sickness—not one in the hospital on an average. The children are dressed in uniform—the boys in dark blue jackets, light blue pants, and military caps—the girls in check gingham. The exercises in the school were very creditable. Those in arithmetic, reading, declamation, etc., would do credit to schools of higher pretensions. In mental arithmetic they could hardly be excelled.,
" Many, having reached the age of sixteen, are of course discharged, and few new ones are added, so that the orphans' schools will soon be a thing of the past.
" The former buildings of the Franklin Academy, or Harford University, have been supplemented by several others, embracing a chapel in the rear of the main building, a girls' dormitory, a dining hall, and other suitable structures. The grounds have been sodded, and ornamented with flowers, evincing care and culture most commendable."
The following is a part of an address by one of the pupils to his fellow-students on his fifteenth birthday :—
" It is sometimes said that this institution is a great, commendable charity!' I hold that 'charity,' as applied to this school, is a shocking misnomer. I protest that we are not charity scholars. We have paid in advance, the highest price for our board, clothing, and tuition, that was ever paid for the same benefits on the continent of America. Each and every pupil of this school has given a father's life for the defence of our national integrity, union, and liberty. And we, enjoying the fostering care of the State, owe it to ourselves, to the memory of our fathers, to the community, to the State and Nation, and to posterity, to make all efforts possible here, to prepare ourselves for the duties that the future may thrust upon us."
It is said that, prior to 1815, Sabbath-schools had been designed for the poorer classes, and were mainly of a secular character; instituted for the benefit of those who had not the privilege of a day-school during the week. But the school organized in the Newark Academy (by Rev. Burr Baldwin) in 1815, was on a different basis, including all classes, the rich as well as the poor, the colored as well as the white children, the instruction to be of a religious character, and the text-book to be the Bible.
1815-46. A number of schools on the new plan were established in New York, New Jersey, one in Philadelphia, and one in Boston.
1816. The Sunday-school Union of New York. Later, question books issued.
1824. The Philadelphia school was remodelled, and the American Sunday-school Union formed, and question books and libraries were improved.
In Montrose.—So far as is known to the compiler, the first Sabbath-school in the county was formed about 1818, by Mrs.
536 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Hannah Fuller and Miss Hannah Cochran, at the house of the former. It was in the building (now burned) long used as a hotel, next below S. F. Keeler's old stand. The ladies induced J. W. Raynsford, Esq., to join them and open the school with prayer. Many persons thought the school a desecration of the Sabbath. Elder Davis Dimock was of this number at first, and expostulated with one of his church members for sending heson to the school. He was afterwards one of the warmest advocates of Sabbath-schools.
May 4th, 1823, at the Academy, Sabbath-school "commenced for the season." Jerre Lyons taught the first or most advanced class. There were sixteen teachers and seventy-seven scholars. Gosed October 6.
June 21, 1824, Monday, a Sunday school union was formed at the court-house. A constitution, having for its basis the establishment and permanency of Sunday-schools in Montrose and vicinity, was adopted. The officers of the Union were then elected : Rev. D. Dimock, president; Rev. B. Baldwin and Dr. W. R. Griffith, vice-presidents; J. W. Raynsford, Esq., secretary; S. Hodgdon, treasurer. Managers: N. Scott, J. W. Raynsford, D. Post, Wm.
Jessup, Samuel Backus, 0. Deans, and Edmund West. It was resolved to open ten schools in Bridgewater.
1825. Sunday-school concert at Rev. B. Baldwin's.
1826, June 11th. Sunday-school held in Presbyterian church the first time, at 9 A. M. June 12, Monday evening, Sunday-school monthly concert at the court-house. I. P. Foster, superintendent.
1827. Presbyterian Sunday-school numbered 124 scholars. October 3d, Sunday-school scholars of different denominations met at the house of J. W. Raynsford, and went in procession to the union meeting of the Susquehanna County Bible, Domestic Missionary, and Tract Societies, and the Sunday-school Union. This is remembered as a marked occasion.
1828. Sunday-school monthly concerts in the office of J. W. Raynsford, Esq.
1829, April. Sunday-school reorganized. William Jessup, superintendent. This office he held many years. His successors have been B. Sayre, B. S. Bentley, and Wm. H. Jessup. Each denomination in the borough (except the Universalists) has a flourishing Sabbath-school. The organization of other Sunday-schools is given in the township annals.
June 8th, 1870. A. C. Purple, corresponding secretary of the Susquehanna County Sunday-school Association, furnished a table of statistics, from which the number of scholars in the different townships is here given :—
" Ararat, 63 ; Auburn, 241 ; Bridgewater, 104 ; Brooklyn, 167 ; Dimock, 23; Franklin, 163; Forest Lake, 199; Great Bend borough and township,
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 537
462 ; Gibson, 49 ; Harford, 271 ; Herrick, 103 ; Harford, 68 ; Jessup, 35 ; Jackson, 306 ; Liberty, 111 ; Lathrop, 76 ; Lenox, 233 ; Little Meadows, 73; Montrose, 400; New Milford, 158; New Milford township, 1`27; Oakland, 69 ; Rush, 133 ; Susquehanna Depot, 460 ; Springville, 148; Thomson, 95-4337 in 78 schools.
"Two schools reporting later, made 80 schools reporting to the Association, in which are engaged over 700 teachers, and about 4400 scholars, with an average attendance of about 3600, and nearly 20,000 volumes in their libraries. There are probably 25 schools that did not report."
Although sixteen districts had decreased in numbers, and four remained stationary, still the whole increase over the report of 1869 was more than 500.
CONGREGATIONAL AND PRESBYTERIAN.
Though quite extended mention of churches has been already made, it is believed the following summary is desirable.
The first church in the county was organized at Great Bend, in 1791, and reorganized in 1802. It is now Presbyterian, though like all the first ten of this order, it was Congregational when organized. The Congregational church of Harford was organized in 1800 ; First Bridgewater (now Montrose), and Second do. (now Brooklyn), in 1810 Rush (in what is now Forest Lake), in 1811; Lawsville and New Milford, Ararat, Gibson and Mt. Pleasant (now Uniondale), in 1813 ' • Silver Lake and Choconut in 1816 ; Gibson, Union Hill, in 1818.
The Luzerne Association, to which most of these churches belonged, was changed to the Susquehanna Presbytery, in 1817. The following churches have since been formed : Springville, Dundaff, Gifford (Welsh), Jackson, Friendsville, Silver Lake (1847), Liberty, Rushville, Susquehanna Depot, New Milford (formerly with Lawsville), Dimock, Auburn, and Lenoxville. The last two are disbanded, as also two or three of the earlier churches, leaving eighteen, at least, still efficient; four of them having a total membership of about one thousand. [A statistical table was designed to be given, but so few churches made full reports, it was abandoned.]
The first class in the county was formed in Brooklyn, about 1804. There are thirty church edifices : at Little Meadows, Choconut, Brackney, Liberty, Franklin, Great Bend, Susquehanna, Lanesboro, East Rush, Fairdale, Montrose, New Milford, Jackson Corners, North Jackson, Thomson, Ararat, Brooklyn, Harford, Gibson, South Gibson, Herrick, West Auburn, South Auburn, Jersey Hill, Springville, Lymanviile, Hopbottorn, Lakeside (Lathrop), Lenoxville, and Dundaff.
These are comprised in seventeen charges, with a church membership of about 2700, including " probationers ;" the Mon-
538 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY
trose church alone had more than two-thirds of its membership of the latter, in the spring of 1872. There is an independent society at New Milford.
The two African Methodist churches of Montrose have a different connection.
SUMMARY HISTORY OF REGULAR BAPTIST CHURCHES IN SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY. [By O. N. Worden, Esq., with the request that blanks may be filled and errors noted.]
There have been twenty-two distinct organizations, six of which have been absorbed by neighboring churches, or dissolved by the loss of members, from various causes.
First Clifford, Lenox, and Union churches belong to the Abington Association; South Auburn, to Wyoming; Harmony, to Deposit (N. Y.) ; and the others to the Bridgewater Association.
FREE WILL BAPTISTS.
Jackson, organized 1820, m h.; Liberty, 1848, m. h. ; East LenOX, 1852 ; West Lenox, 1853, m. h. ; Thomson, 1868 ; Gibson Union, 1869 ; Herrick, m. h., no organization ; Franklin, m. h., organization " gone down." [This, with further details, kindly given by A. D. Corse, Esq.]
THE OLD SCHOOL BAPTISTS.
There is a small church of this order called Gibson and Jackson, in Gibson. and occasional meetings are held by their preachers.
There is a meeting house of the Seventh Day Baptists in Clifford.
¹ Dropped 1856.
3 Dissolved 1851
6 Dissolved 1866
² Dropped 1860 ;
4 Dissloved 1841
reorganized Sept. 28, 1872.
5 Dissolved 1850
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 539
The Universalists have four organized churches, viz.: at Brooklyn, Montrose, Gibson, and Hopbottom ; and also three congregations having preaching part of the time : Gifford, Susquehanna Depot, and Elk Lake. Rev. L. F. Porter, missionary, preaches in these places, as well as at Gibson.
The resident ministers are Rev. H. Boughton, at Brooklyn, and A. 0. Warren, at Montrose.
There are six church edifices; and five Sabbath schools, with a scholarship of about three hundred.
There are nine Roman Catholic churches, viz.: at Silver Lake, Friendsville, St. Joseph's, Rush, Auburn. Montrose, New Milford, Great Bend, and Susquehanna Depot.
NEWSPAPERS AND EDITORS.
THE Centinel,’ ² the first newspaper in the county, was published at Montrose, February, 1816, by Justin Gark. Its entire contents would not fill a page of the present 'Independent Republican' Even had the sheet been as large, it would have been difficult to fill it with news, as the first editor was situated. In
¹ First charter granted to this church October 7, 1817.
² Garner Isbell, Sen., was a printer of the `Centinel,' and took the first sheet from the press. He preserved a full file of that paper, and of the papers that followed in Montrose, for more than thirty years. To his son, L. B. Isbell, the compiler is indebted for the privilege of constant reference to them during the progress of her work.
540 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
1817 he begged his readers to " excuse the barrenness of the Centinel,'" for he had received no papers by the mail—the one weekly mail.
In the spring of 1818 the ‘Centinel' contained the following appeal from the editor : "Help me, or I die I For three months I have not received as much money from the whole of my patrons as the paper itself costs for bare one week."
In 1818 he changed the name of the Centinel' to the Montrose Gazette,' which he published four years, then sold out to Catlin & Fuller, who continued only a few months in partnership, Geo. Fuller selling out to James Catlin.
Justin Clark removed from Montrose, and died in the spring of 1822.
In 1820 a campaign paper, the Republican Reformer,' was printed in Montrose. It had no apparent editor, but he was supposed to be " the brigade inspector," Isaac Post. The 'Pennsylvanian,' another campaign paper, dated at Dundaff, was printed in Montrose. Neither passed beyond a few numbers. Opposed to these, being entirely neutral in politics, was The Messenger,' a valuable literary journal, established by Adam Waldie, June, 1820. The second volume was named the Susquehanna County Herald.' In 1822 Mr. Waldie sold out to S. C. Wilson & Co.
In 1823 the Montrose Gazette' and Susquehanna County Herald' were united, and the publication was continued three years by James Catlin.¹
In 1824 he edited and printed, also, The Repository,' a literary and religious semi-monthly magazine; and in the fall of the same year he began to issue Elder Dimock's Christian Magazine.'
Vol. I. The Christian Magazine, a monthly publication, devoted to the public for general information. Published by Davis Dimock, pastor of the Baptist Church at Bridgewater.' Montrose : printed by James Catlin, at the ' Gazette' office. Commenced November 1, 1824, comprising 32 pages, about the size of this book, at $1 cash, or $1 25 in grain, flax, or wool.
Vol. II. The same title, but issued semi-monthly, on 8 pages, at 87f cents cash, in advance ; $1 in grain, etc.
Vol. III. Baptist Mirror and Christian Magazine,' etc. Printed by Dimock & Fuller, office of the Register,' enlarged to three columns to a page, 8 col. semi-monthly; closed September 17, 1827.
In 1824 George Fuller established and edited the Susquehanna County Republican ;' the second year he was joined by S. C. Wilson.
December, 1825, both the 'Gazette' and the 'Republican' were merged into the Register.
The 'Register' was established by Davis Dimock, Jr., and Geo. Fuller. After one year the name was changed to The Susque-
¹ James Catlin died November, 1847, at Milton, West Florida.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 541
hanna Register,' and was published three years longer by the same parties, who favored the election of Jackson ; Geo. Fuller then withdrew, and D. Dimock, Jr., continued its publication
alone until January, 1831, when C. L. Ward became his partner.
The accession of Mr. Ward to the editorship was at a period of moment to popular education and the prosecution of the public works; and his best efforts were given to their promotion.
From the above time until March, 1836, he conducted the paper, being for the first two or three months the associate of Davis Dimock, Jr., and for the last fifteen having James W.
Chapman in partnership.
In 1832-34 the paper had an additional title, the 'Northern Pennsylvanian.' In 1835 only the original name was used, but the following year the Northern Farmer' was attached to it.
In reference to Mr. Ward's ability as a journalist, Greeley's ' New Yorker,' April 9, 1836, says :—
" C. L. Ward, Esq., has withdrawn from the editorial chair of the ' Susquehanna Register,' at Montrose, Pa. He bases his withdrawal on a disinclination to political life in its present aspects and under the prevailing doctrines of the day. The Register,' under the auspices of Mr. Ward, has held a high rank among the better sort of journals, and we sincerely regret the loss which the profession as well as the readers of that paper have sustained."
Mr. Ward sold out to D. Dimock, Jr., the firm-name becoming J. W. Chapman & Co., until September, 1836, when J. W. Chapman bought out D. Dimock, Jr., and it became a Whig journal.
The Susquehanna Register and Northern Farmer' was conducted by James W. Chapman alone through four volumes. In 1841 he was joined by B. H. Mills, but after April, 1843, was again alone until 1846, when, for one year, Theodore Smith was his publisher and co-editor.
June, 1851, The Susquehanna Register' establishment passed into the hands of John C. Miller, and April, 1852, it was published by Homer H. Frazier.
In 1854 H. H. Frazier and Theo. Smith were editors and publishers of the last volume of the paper.
January, 1855, its name was changed to the 'Independent Republican,' C. F. Read, associate editor with H. H. Frazier, the publisher.
The ‘Independent Volunteer' was established at Montrose by Isaac Fuller, November 4, 1831, and continued ten months, when Asa G. Dimock bought the press and started the Democratic Volunteer,' issuing only one or two numbers, when it was repurchased by George and I. Fuller and " restored to Republican principles," and to the old name. The 3d volume was published first by George Fuller alone, and then by E. H. Easterbrooks. The 4th and 5th volumes, by G. Fuller, and the 6th and 7th volumes by Fuller and Read. The 8th volume began November,
542 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
1838, under the name of the Montrose Volunteer,' C. F. Read, sole editor. The 9th volume was edited by Read and Turrell ; the 10th by Abel Turrell, alone, November, 1840; the 11th, under the title of Montrose Volunteer and North Star,' was edited by A. Turrell and J. H. Dimock, the 12th by A. Turrell and S. T. Scott. The 13th volume resumed the name of Montrose Volunteer,' under the sole supervision of Mr. Turrell, and early in January, 1844, the paper known under all its changes as the Volunteer,' ceased to exist.
The Northern Democrat' was established by Geo. Fuller and A. Turrell, January 25, 1844. The 2d volume was edited by A. Turrell and I. N. Bullard; the 3d and 4th volumes by Geo. Fuller and 0. G. Hempstead ; the 5th by the latter alone. With the 7th volume, January, 1849, by the same editor, the name was changed to the Montrose Democrat,' which it has retained unaltered to the present day.
About 1851, E. B. and S. B. Chase purchased the establishment, and it continued under the charge of one or both of these editors until 1856, when it was purchased by A. J. Gerritson and J. B. McCollum; the latter sold out January 1, 1858, to Mr. Gerritson, who published and edited the paper until August 1, 1869, when it passed into the hands of the present editor, E. B. Hawley.
The 'Spectator and Freeman's Journal' was established by Albert L. Post, June, 1836. It was a Whig paper devoted to free speech, but became the organ of anti-slavery men. At that time there was but one other paper in the State distinctively antislavery. After eighteen months, 0. N. Worden was associated with Mr. Post until the enterprise was given up, June, 1840. The press was purchased by Messrs. Ariel Carr and Amos N. Meylert, who published for six months, the 'North Star,' which was continued a few months longer by Ariel Carr and S. T. Scott, when it was merged with the 'Montrose Volunteer.' The 'North Star' bad been the outgrowth of divisions among the Democrats. This may be said also of the ' People's Advocate,' established by Franklin Lusk, in 1847, which passed away with the temporary disquiet then existing among politicians.
‘Paul Pry,' in 1835, and The Moon,' a few years later, were papers issued anonymously in Montrose, to 'touch up' the characters, and, particularly, the foibles of its citizens.
The 'Candid Examiner,' an organ of the Universalist denomination, edited by Messrs. Peck and Marsh, was issued at Montrose in 1827; followed, in 1832, by the Herald of Gospel Truth and Watchman of Liberty,' Messrs. Alfred Peck and George Rogers, editors. This was published but a year or two.
The Gospel Missionary,' a weekly religious journal of the Universalists, was edited, in 1817, by Rev. J. S. Palmer.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 543
The title 'Northern Pennsylvanian,' as has been seen, formed a part of that of the Register' in 1832-3-4. It was proposed in 1824, by Amzi Wilson, as the title of a paper to be issued in Dundaff, but it was not used, the Dundaff Republican' being the first paper established there four years later.
The ‘Northern Pennsylvanian,' Independent in politics, was started at Susquehanna Depot, in the spring of 1856, C. S. Bennet and A. W. Rowley, proprietors, and a Mr. White editor for a few weeks. H. C. Vail then became editor and proprietor, and under his editorship the paper was Democratic. In 1858, L. P. Hinds took the paper, made it independent again, but in less than a year he sold it to Wm. H. Hunter, who conducted it two or three years, and sold it to P. H. Rafter. The latter sold after about two years to Mr. Benedict, who sold, after a year or two, to S. B. Chase, who took the press to Great Bend, in 1865 or '66, and afterwards sold it to L. Hib. Whittlesey, who edited and published a spicy paper until his death, in 1870. J. R. Gailor succeeded him, but was obliged to relinquish it on account of failing health. The press was removed to New Milford, where, since his death, the 'Northern Pennsylvanian' is published by H. F. Beardsley.
The Susquehanna Journal' was established May, 1869, at Susquehanna Depot, by several gentlemen, and edited by Wm. H. Gardner. The present editor is B. F. Pride.
Various small publications, pamphlets, etc., have been issued from each office, and, in some instances, books.
Summary of Newspapers, etc., in Susquehanna County.
1816-17. The Centinel.
1818-21. The Montrose Gazette.
1820. The Republican Reformer; The Pennsylvanian; The Messenger (Lit.).
1821-22. Susquehanna County Herald.
1823-25. Gazette and Herald united.
1824. The Repository (Lit.).
1824-25. Susquehanna County Republican.
1824-26. The Christian Magazine.
1825. The Register.
1826-31. The Susquehanna Register.
1827. Baptist Mirror, etc.
1827. The Candid Examiner.
1828-32. The Dundaff Republican.
1831-37. Independent Volunteer.
1832-36. Susquehanna Register and Northern Pennsylvanian.
1832. The Herald and Watchman.
1835. Paul Pry.
1836-40. The Spectator.
1837-50. Susquehanna Register and Northern Farmer.
1838-40. Montrose Volunteer.
1840. North Star.
1841-42. Volunteer and Star.
1843. Montrose Volunteer.
544 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
1844-48. Northern Democrat.
1847. The Gospel Missionary.
1847-48. The People's Advocate.
1849-72. Montrose Democrat.
1851-54. Susquehanna Register.
1855-72. Independent Republican. (Circulation in 1872, 5350.)
1856-65. The Northern Pennsylvanian. (Susquehanna Depot.)
1869-72. Susquehanna Journal. (Susquehanna Depot.)
In 1865 the Northern Pennsylvanian was removed to Great Bend, and
from there, in 1870, to New Milford.
AUTHORS AND ARTISTS.
ON the authority of the late Hon. Charles Miner, a "New Yankee Song," dated Auburn Village, July 23, 1803, was the earliest product of the Susquehanna County muse, and his " old and worthy friend Charles Mowry was the writer." He lived not far from Elk Lake, and possibly from the name he gave to his location, the township of Auburn received its name. The song had reference to the Intrusion Law, and began thus :—
" A. cruel law is made, boys,
Which much our peace and wealth destroys—
A cruel law is made, boys,
To frighten and distress us ;
But if we firm together join,
Supported by a power Divine,
Our Yankee cause shall not decline,
Nor shall it long oppress us."
In the seven remaining stanzas reference is made to Colonels John Franklin and John Jenkins, as those foremost in "the cause." It will be remembered that, though these sturdy champions of Yankee rights resided in the vicinity of Athens, this section as well as that were alike in the disputed territory claimed at the same time by Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
Dr. Israel Skinner, of Oakland (then Harmony), published at an early day a history of the American revolution in verse, a part of which is quoted by Mr. Miner in his History of Wyoming.'
Dr. R. H. Rose published a volume of fifty-six poems, or, as he termed them, 'Sketches in Verse,' about 1820. It was a handsomely bound octavo, designed for private circulation only, and but one or two copies can now be found in the county. In this 'volume his many quotations from the Latin, French, and Italian show his familiarity with various languages and authors. Many
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 545
of the sketches were love-ditties, and professed imitations of a race of bards no longer greatly admired. There were also prose versions from the Arabic poets, turned into rhyme. An exception to the foregoing is found in his Instructions to Manufacturers,' in which is seen a gleam of the wit and raillery of which he is said to have been fond. He could, at least, follow his own " Instructions :"—
" What ! you would write a sonnet !—sit you down,
And take your pen, no matter for the theme,
So it be dull and sad—a waking dream;
And, careless of the peevish Muse's frown,
Run stanza into stanza. Break your lines
And form them that the first and fourth may chime,
And to the third the second be the rhyme.
" Oft introduce a colon : but when shines
A gleam of passion, never then neglect
A note of admiration, and an Oh !
For thus you will display a deal of wo,
And to your sonnet give a fine effect.
Then lug two limping lines in at the close,
And swear 'tis thus the great PETRARCHA'S metre flows."
A work designed apparently for circulation in England, and which did circulate there and influence immigration to this county, was written here, and bore the following on its title-page :—
" Letters from the British Settlement in Pennsylvania : to which are added, the Constitution of the United States and of Pennsylvania, and extracts from the laws respecting aliens and naturalized citizens. By C. B. Johnson, M.D."
This was entered according to Act of Congress, by H. Hall, Philadelphia, 1819. Another edition was published the same year, by John Miller, Piccadilly, London (England).
More than one English immigrant bemoaned the day he read 'Johnson's Letters,' and heaped upon the author accusations born of disappointment. "Too rose-colored," his descriptions may have been ; but so, also, were the notions of town-bred people respecting their own capacity to endure the inevitable ills attendant upon pioneer life.
Samuel Barnard was among those who left the old world in 1819, with hopes founded upon statements contained in the 'Letters.' While in this county he devoted himself to the preparation of a—
" POLYGLOTT GRAMMAR of the Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac, Greek, Latin, English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German languages, reduced to one common rule of syntax, and an uniform mode of declension and conjugation as far as practicable."
This was published in 1825, in Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, and Boston. President John Q. Adams was a subscriber for the work. Mr. Barnard presented an elegant copy, prepared expressly for the occasion, to General Lafayette. Several col-
- 35 -
546 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
leges subscribed for copies, as also the Department of State at Washington.
He removed to New York, and afterwards to Kentucky, where he died in 1850. One of his daughters, Mrs. George Fuller, is still a resident of Montrose.
We are indebted to the same alluring Letters' for the arrival from England, in 1819, of Mrs. Juliana Frances Turner. During the next three years she wrote the Harp of the Beechwoods,' a volume of sixty-five poems. This was published at Montrose, by Adam Waldie, in 1822.
Some of her ballads, in old English style, are quite pleasing. Other pieces possess real merit; but fairies and goblins seem most frequently to have entertained her fancy and engaged her pen. A sample of the smoothness of her style may be seen in the following extract:—
"THE COT OF CONTENT."
"On the banks of the Schuylkill still evening was glinting,
And the tide's silvery surge a soft murmuring kept,
While the bright hues of autumn the slope woods were tinting,
And the brown sunny mountains in mellowness slept.
There I marked a sweet villa, the day star declining,
Where the jessamine lingered, with late roses blent;
Where the scarlet-leaved creepers neat trellised were twining,
And they called the sweet bower—the Cot of Content."
Mrs. Turner was born in London, married in 1802, and died in England early in 1837.
Reference has been made to Adam Waldie as her publisher ; on another page his connection with the newspaper press is given. His position as editor of a literary rather than a political journal, and his influence in calling out the talent that lay dormant here, entitle him to grateful mention.
In 1823, a painting was made by _____ Thompson, of Susquehanna County, from a scene in The Pioneers.'
In 1829, a new hymn book, by Sebastian and Barzillai Streeter.
In 1832, materials for a history of this section, by C. L. Ward, destroyed by fire.
A number of pamphlets have been issued from the county press, some of which are remembered : The Atonement, in Seven Links, by Jireh Bryan ; a Historical Discourse, by Rev. Adam Miller, 1844, published by A. Turrell ; a discourse on Baptism, by Rev. A. L. Post.
In 1837, The Spectator' office printed a book of seventy-six pages, entitled 'Intellectual Chronology,' for schools and learners, by "Technica Memoria" [R. Pike]. It endeavored to simplify the acquisition of dates, by the use of letters for figures, weaving them with words, and often into poetry.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 547
From 1820 to 1840, the newspapers contained frequent contributions of much literary value, from various parts of the county. The schools at Mannington and Harford sent out many ; and some fugitive pieces of poetry of real merit gave evidence of native talent if not of genius.
The following, by Miss A. L. Fraser, is only one poem of many of hers worthy of mention :—
" How beautiful she lay
Upon her couch of death,
Ere from the lovely clay,
Parted the living breath.
Could one so loved be dying,
Whose gentle voice we heard,
Sweetly to ours replying.
In many a tender word ?
" Like sculpture fair her brow
Gleamed through her sunny hair;
How rich her cheeks' warm glow—
'l'he hectic rose was there.
0 bright deceitful blossom !
Flower of the fatal breath !
To the eye thou'rt life and beauty,
But to the wearer—death !
"Bright shone her eye, and clear
As the cloudless blue of heaven ;
Its spirit-light how dear,
How soon to darkness given !
Now she has passed the shadow,
Ours is the void, the gloom ;
She bathes in love's pure ocean,
Far, far beyond the tomb !
" Sweetly the morning star,
Fading is lost in light--
So fled the maid afar,
Forever, from our sight.
Weep not! she dwelt among us
A bird of brighter skies,
Whose song was sweet while fettered,
Far sweeter when it flies I"
It would be erroneous to suppose that the last thirty years have been less prolific in poetical or prose contributions to the local press; but attention can only be called to compositions of a more enduring character.
" Edith May" is the nom de plume of Miss Drinker, the gifted poetess whose summer bome has been in Montrose for the last twenty-five years; and whose poems, evincing true genius, have delighted readers both at home and in the literary circles of our country. A Philadelphia firm solicited her poems for publication, and they appeared in 1851, prefaced by a tribute from
548 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
N. P. Willis. She also published, in 1855, Tales and Poems for children.'
It has been frequently remarked, " she might have sat for her own
"In her eyes are tranquil shadows
Lofty thoughts alone can make,
Like the darkness thrown by mountains
O'er a lake.
" If you speak, the slow returning
Of her spirit from afar
To their depths, is like the advent
Of a star.
* * * * * * *
" Be a theme however homely,
It is glorious at her will,
Like a common air transfigured .
By a master's skill.
" And her words, severely simple
As a drapery Grecian-wrought,
Show the clear symmetric outline
Of her thought."
During the late war, Mrs. L. C. Searle issued a pamphlet volume entitled, McGellan the Second Washington.'
She has nearly ready for publication the biography of her father, Elder Davis Dimock.
In 1865, the 'Life and Times of Sheardown' was edited by O. N. Worden, of New Milford. Its title in full gives a general idea of the work.
Half a Century's Labors in the Gospel, and Thirty-five Years of Backwoods Mission Work and Evangelizing in N. Y. and Penn'a. An Autobiography, by Thomas S. Sheardown, as related in his seventy-fourth year to a Stenographer.'
Also, A Jubilee volume,' entitled—
"The First Half Century of the Northumberland Baptist Association, situated in Northumberland, Montour, Sullivan, Lycoming, Clinton, Union, and Snyder Counties, Penn'a. From 1820 to 1870. Compiled at the request of the Association by 0. N. Worden.'
He has also issued various historical sketches.
In 1866, Rev. H. A. Riley, late pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Montrose, Pa., wrote and published The Restoration : of, The, Hope of the Early Church Realized ;' a l2mo. volume of nearly three hundred pages.
In 1868, a second edition was issued by J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, the title of which gives a clearer idea of the work. The Restoration at the Second Coming of Christ. A Summary of Millenarian Doctrines.'
The New York 'Evangelist' said :—
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 549
" This volume is an addition to the popular literature on the subject of the Premillennial Advent of Christ. The book is the presentation in a modified form of a series of sermons preached to the congregation over which the author was settled. His endeavor seems to have been to present the whole subject in a simple scriptural light, relying on no arguments but those which come from a fair interpretation of the inspired words, and turning aside to scarce any objection which is not drawn from the same source."
The Western Episcopalian,' in a review of its merits, stated that—
" In the language of Dr. Seiss' introduction, it is a work of a sober, mature, and candid mind, conscious of having something important to communicate. It ably deals with the great questions of the course of future Providence, and the consummation for which our religion teaches us to hope. It makes no pretensions, but is full of important truth, fairly deduced, popularly presented, and suitably enforced. It is meat in due season,' from a faithful steward, and a workman who need not be ashamed.'—This eulogy, we think, is no more than just, and we cordially recommend the volume to all who are seeking an insight into the solemn subject of which it treats."
The Nation: The Foundations of Civil Order and Political Life in the United States,' by Elisha Mulford, 1870.
In compassing his object, Mr. Mulford discussed, amongst other subjects, The Relation of the People and the Land : Representative Government : The right of Suffrage: The Nation and the Commonwealth : The Nation the Antagonist of the Empire : The Nation the Antagonist of the Confederacy : The Nation the Integral Element in History : The Nation the Goal of History.
The work is one upon which the compiler is quite willing to confess her inability to pass judgment, and may be allowed, instead, to give the opinions of others.
James B. Angell, President of the University of Michigan, say s :—
" It is the most valuable contribution to political philosophy which has been written in the English language in this generation. Its hearty recognition of the moral element in the national life carries it back to the good old times of Hooker and Milton. It ought to impress our people with the conviction that not alone tariff and exchanges, but above all the moral and religious spirit of a nation determines its career and destiny."
Charles Sumner wrote:—
" I have read it from the first to the last with constant interest and sympathy. It is a most important contribution to our political literature, and cannot fail to strengthen and elevate our national life." In a private letter to an eminent scholar, Mr. Sumner says : " It is thoughtful., matterful, learned, and right."
J. L. Diman, Professor of History in Brown University, says:—
" It is not only by far the most profound and exhaustive study in the field of speculative politics that American scholarship has yet produced, but we shall be obliged to go very far back in the literary annals of our mother country to find anything worthy of comparison with it. Certainly since the