550 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
fruitful discussions of the seventeenth century, England has produced no single political treatise which, for seriousness of conviction, and sustained elevation of thought, deserves to be ranked beside it."
The following is from the literary items of the 'Boston Recorder:'—
" Very little has yet been known, personally, of Mr. E. Mulford, the author of that profound and sterling work, "The Nation.' Born in Montrose, Penn., and a graduate of Yale College in the class of 1855, he studied theology for a time at Andover, and afterwards in Germany, where also he entered upon the thorough study of German philosophy and political science, of which we see the first-fruits in his great treatise. He was for a time the rector of an Episcopalian church at Orange, N. J., from which position he retired a few years since, and took up his residence at Friendsville, Susquehanna Co., Pa., near Montrose, where he has since lived in strict seclusion and close devotion to study."
He obtained in college special distinction in literature, and was the chief of the editors of the ' Yale Literary Magazine.. "
A correspondent of the Golden Age' writes of his (Mr. Mul-ford's) retirement, closing thus:—
" There, in a delightful domestic circle, with the brightness and gayety of children giving grace to every day, he realizes such a life as Southey and Wordsworth lived. It is in the midst of such an atmosphere of refined and thoughtful leisure that he has for years been building up the great argument on which he has sought to give expression to the thought of the people in the late war, and that conception of the nation which they who were so worthy, held worth living and dying for.' "
Wm. A. Crossman, in 1867, prepared a work to facilitate county business, entitled Assessors' Form Guide,' and its worth is securing its use in several counties besides our own.
Hon. S. B. Chase, of Great Bend, has issued several works, among which are the following : 'Digest and Treatise on Parliamentary Law' (now in its ninth edition); Good of the Order ;" Manual of Good Templars ;" History of Good Tern-plars,' for Mill's Temperance Manual.
Mrs. S. B. Chase, in 1870, issued Derry's Lake,' a good temperance story.
Mrs. Laura Trowbridge, of Great Bend, is the author of a cook-book of " more than thirteen hundred sensible receipts," from a practical cook.
Mrs. Mayo, of Susquehanna Depot, has executed oil-paintings of scenery in that vicinity, which are said to possess much merit.
Mrs. Theodore Smith, and her sister, Miss L. Avery, excel in water-colors, particularly 'in painting " Autumn Leaves."
Stephen Wilson, a former resident of Montrose, but now living in Philadelphia, became quite a successful portrait painter.
¹ The degree of LL D. was recently conferred on Mr. Mulford by Yale College.
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[As mention has been made in the annals, of such township libraries as have come to the knowledge of the writer, the public libraries of Montrose only are referred to here] :—
" 1818. A meeting at the house of Chapman Carr (hotel), to form a library association; the second meeting at Stephen Wilson's.
" 1820. Susquehanna Library, Joseph Backus, librarian.
"1821, December. Opening of reading room at Montrose hotel.
"1823. Meeting to establish a library.
"1840 (or about that time). Montrose Literary Association ; R. J. Niven,
secretary. Books of the association sold at auction, December 25, 1841.
" 1866. Montrose Book Club ; J. H. Williams, secretary.
"1869. $500 subscribed for a public library.
"1871-2. Another fund, including a part of the former, and the establishment of a reading room and library. Rev. Mr. Ford, of the Baptist church, was the first secretary and librarian of the association."
There are private libraries and museums of value doubtless in many homes of the county. The Syrian curiosities of Rev. J. L. Lyons were recently purchased by John B. Gough. Occasionally, books of ancient date are discovered in the possession of persons throughout the county, the oldest being two copies of a Bible printed in 1599 in London; one owned by Elder Pitcher, of Clifford (who has also four books of the 17th century), and the other by Edw. Paine, of Ararat. Another Bible, of the date of 1613, is owned by H. R. True, Middletown. A Latin Treatise on the Bible, London, 1621. is owned by W. L. Thatcher, of Harford. A gentleman of New Milford owns a work printed in 1688.
Mrs. Perry, of Harmony, has in her possession two coins of the day of Constantine the Great, A. D. 306 (1566 years ago), also a money box, once the property of the Proctor family, in the days of Salem witchcraft, A. D. 1692.
George Catlin, the artist, is a son of Putnam Catlin, Esq., and came with his father to Brooklyn, where he taught school; he also spent some time at his father's house at Great Bend. He was born in Wilkes-Barre ; but, when quite young, was taken with the rest of the family to Ouaquaga, N.Y., where he remained ten or twelve years prior to coming to Susquehanna County. We have his own testimony to his two inveterate propensities—those for hunting and fishing.
He was disinclined to books in his childhood, but in early manhood read law for a profession, attending the law school of Judges Reeve and Gould two years; he read two years longer, was admitted to the bar, and practiced several years. In the mean time a passion for painting acquired possession of him. He says :—
" After having covered nearly every inch of the lawyer's table (and even encroached upon the judge's bench) with penknife, pen and ink, and pencil sketches of judges, juries, and culprits, I very deliberately resolved to convert my law library into paint-pots and brushes, and to pursue painting as my future and apparently more agreeable profession."
552 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
He commenced painting in Philadelphia. In the midst of success, after a few years, he decided " to rescue from oblivion the looks and customs of the vanishing races of native man in America."
In 1832, he started for the Great West, without government or individual aid; and, during the summer and fall, his letters from the Mandan Village, Upper Missouri, were published in the N. Y. Commercial Advertiser' and the N. Y. Spectator.' During the winter following he visited his father at Great Bend.
In 1834 he was among the Comanches and Pawnees, and, later, on the Red River, 200 miles from Fort Gibson, at the mouth of the False Washita. January, 1836, a letter of his was published in the Montrose Volunteer,' from which we learn that his wife was then with him.
His letters to the N. Y. papers, published November, 1836, were reprinted here, and it was said of him, "The productions of his pen are hardly less graphic than those of his pencil."
In the fall of 1837, Mr. Catlin lectured in New York, in connection with the exhibition of paintings, while Black Hawk, Keokuk, and about fifty Indians from four tribes were present.
In 1838, the value of his paintings was estimated at from $100,000 to $150,000.
In eight years he visited about fifty tribes, and brought home more than 600 oil-paintings (in every instance from nature) of portraits, landscapes, and Indian customs, and every article of their manufacture, such as weapons, costumes, wigwams, etc. He exhibited this collection in New York and Washington, and also in London and Paris. He had offers from noblemen in England for his collection, but he declined them, preferring to dispose of it in his own country. He offered it to the government of the United States for $65,000. The bill for its purchase was discussed in the Senate, and lost by one vote. This was probably owing to the influence of H. R. Schoolcraft, who had endeavored to secure the use of Mr. Catlin's paintings to illustrate a work he contemplated editing for the United States; but Mr. C. had already incurred great labor and expense towards a publication of his own, and declined his proposition.
Further than this, Mr. Schoolcraft stated, in his large work afterwards published and presented under authority of the government to scientific institutions throughout the civilized world, that Mr. Catlin's descriptions of the Mandan religious ceremonies were contrary to facts, that they were the works of his imagination, that the tribe was not extinct but rapidly increasing, etc. Mr. S.'s statements were not made from his own observation, and Mr. Catlin, in a memorial presented to Congress in 1869, has abundantly disproved them. In this memorial, dated Brussels, Belgium, December, 1868, he petitioned for an act of Congress authorizing Mr. Trubuer, of London, the present proprietor of his '" O-kee-pa," to supply him with a number of copies of that work (descriptive of the ceremonies referred to above, and attested to by the late Prince Maximilian of Prussia, who visited the Mandan tribe about the time Mr. Catlin did), equal to the number of copies of Schoolcraft's book circulated, for presentation to the same institutions and libraries, as far as possible. This was all the amende be asked. This has not been granted, unless very recently.
While in London, unfortunate speculations subjected Mr. Catlin's collection to liens, under which it was seized and advertised to be sold at public auction. Mr. Joseph Harrison, of Philadelphia, then passing through London, paid off the liens and took the collection with him to Philadelphia.
It was under these discouraging circumstances that Mr. Catlin left London in 1853, for Venezuela, South America. He traversed British and Dutch Guiana, the valley of the Amazon, and other parts of Brazil, the Andes, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, California; reached Vancouver and Queen Charlotte's, and having visited most of the tribes of Indians of the Pacific coast as far as Kamt-
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 553
schatka and the Aleutian Islands, he returned to cross the Rocky Mountains from San Diego to Santa Fe and Matamoras, thence to Guatemala, to Yucatan, to Cuba, and back to London. His last roamings were in some places extremely hazardous.
At this time he added one hundred and twenty-five full length portraits, and many other paintings, to his previous collection. He says :—
" With the labor of thirteen years, 1 have visited and recorded the looks and customs of nearly every tribe (and remnant of tribes) now existing in North America."
The following high compliment was paid to Mr. Catlin during the recent exhibition of his American Indian collection in Brussels, by Mr. P. Van Schendel, the celebrated artificial light painter:—
" I paid four visits to Mr. Catlin's Indian collection, being particularly delighted with his landscape views, in which I find a remarkable effect of perspective, and that produced visibly, without the application of the rules of perspective science; and his night scenes of salmon spearing, deer hunting, etc., by torch light, and his numerous sun-setting scenes I found of such striking effect, neatness of tone, and brilliancy of colors, that they are not to be equalled by any of the existing artists of Brussels."
In 1871, Mr. Catlin returned to this country and exhibited his collection in New York, and more recently in Washington, D. C.
Influential city papers urge that it be bought by the government. He is now verging on eighty years of age, and still retains, if his deafness be excepted, a vigor of mind and body that many men of half his years might crave.¹
From an English paper we learn that he is preparing to publish a work entitled The Lifted and Subsided Rocks of America, with their Influences on Oceanic, Atmospheric, and Land Currents.'
PHYSICIANS AND THE MEDICAL SOCIETY.
THOSE WHO PRACTICED IN TIN COUNTY BEFORE 1820.
1787. A Dr. Caperton, it is said, accompanied the Nicholson settlers to Hop-bottom, now Brooklyn, but may not have remained more than a year.
1788. Rev. Daniel Buck, of Great Bend, practiced as a physician.
1791. Dr. Forbes, at Great Bend. He left before 1807.
1794. Comfort Capron, in Nine Partners Settlement, Harford, until his death in 1800.
1801. Noah Kincaid, 1 who died in 1804.
1801. Asa Cornwell, f "Phesitions" on tax-list for " Willingborough."
1804. Robert Chandler, at Gibson, a "Root and Cancer Doctor" of considerable practice.
1804. Charles Fraser, at Great Bend. He left spon after, for a time, but returned, and remained until 1813, when he removed to Montrose, where he practiced to the close of his life.
1807, or earlier, Reuben Baker, near the Forks of the Wyalusing, but just below the present line of Susquehanna County, practiced extensively in its western townships.
¹ George Catlin died at Jersey City, December, 1872.
554 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
1807, or earlier, Jonathan Gray, at Great Bend.
1807. Eleazar Parker came to Great Bend and remained two and a half years.
1808. Dr. Luce, at Harford for a few years, then removed to Great Bend.
1809. Eld. D. Dimock, Bridgewater.
1810. Horace Griswold, at Harford a year or two.
1811. Mason Denison, at Brooklyn a few years, then at Montrose, where he practiced to the close of his life, 1838.
1811. James Cook, in Bridgewater.
1812. Asa Park, in Bridgewater.
1812. Joseph B. Streeter, in Harford, practiced over forty years, is still living, the oldest physician in the county.
1812. Dr. Stanford, in Liberty.
1813. Daniel McFall, at Great Bend, where he died in 1835.
1813, or a little later, Benj. A. Denison, at Montrose, afterwards in Dimock.
1814. Israel Skinner, on the line of Great Bend and Old Harmony (now Oakland).
1815. Samuel Bissel, Brooklyn, where he died in 1829.
1816. Calvin Leet, a short time in Choconut, then removed to Friendsville, where he still resides.
1816. William Bacon, at Hopbottom.
1817. Lemuel W. Bingham, New Milford, fifty years.
1818. Charles B. Johnson, Silver Lake.
1820. Dr. Emerson, Silver Lake.
Dr. Jackson, of Tunkhannock (father of Thos. Jackson, M.D.), practiced in Springville at an early day. Mrs. Mercy Tyler, of Harford, and afterwards of Ararat, rode extensively in answer to the calls of the sick.
THE FIRST MEDICAL SOCIETY.
In May, 1820, Dr. L. W. Bingham proposed the formation of a county medical society, but no organization was attempted until September 23, following. At present no papers can be found to give the result of a meeting for this purpose, advertised to be held on that day. But whether Dr. Bingham's effort was successful or not, the credit of making it should be awarded him.
Lemuel Webb Bingham was born at Windham, Connecticut, January 7, 1794; studied medicine with Dr. Avery of the same place, and attended medical lectures at Yale College. He commenced practice in New Milford, and adjoining townships in Susquehanna County, in 1817, where he remained until his death, fifty years later, at the age of seventy-three.
The Second Medical Society of Susquehanna County was formed upon the suggestion of Dr. John L. Kite, at the office of Dr. Asa Park, November 19, 1838, long prior to the organization of the State and National Medical Associations. The original members were: Drs. Asa Park, Ezra S. Park, and Josiah Blackman, of Montrose; L. W. Bingham, New Milford; B. Richardson, Brooklyn; Calvin Leet, Friendsville; W. W. Pride, Springville; and John L. Kite, Silver Lake (but now of Philadelphia). B. Richardson was chosen president ; J. Blackman, secretary ; and L. W. Bingham, chairman of committee to draft a constitution. On the 4th of February, 1839, a constitution was adopted.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 555
Thomas Jackson, of Montrose, afterwards of Binghamton, and now deceased, may have been among those who joined the society at the semi-annual meetings, held regularly previous to November 10, 1854; but, at this date, the records of the society, then in the office of the secretary, Dr. Park, were burned with it in the fire that destroyed nearly all the west side of the public avenue, and the names of all the former members are not recollected.
The society met January 3, 1855, and from the list of those present, and the officers then elected, we have these additional names : Drs. Ezra Patrick, Jr., and Gordon Z. Dimock, Montrose ; Latham A. Smith, New Milford ; C. E. Edwards, and A. M. Tiffany, of Harford—then associate members only, but received in full in 1863-4.
Braton Richardson was chosen president for that year ; L. W. Bingham, vice-president; G. Z. Dimock, secretary, and L. A. Smith, treasurer. Delegates were appointed to the State Medical Society, and to the American Medical Association ; the secretary was requested to rewrite the constitution of the society, and a special meeting was appointed to be held at New Milford, the following May to consider its adoption. At the regular meeting, June 6, 1855, at Lodersville (now Great Bend borough), it received the signatures of most of the then members of the society, to which have since been added the following :—
Prior to 1865, Drs. Wm. Bissel, of Jessup ; Israel B. Lathrop, and P. Edwards Brush, Springville; James Griffin (died January, 1858), — Lyman (dead), E. F. Wilmot, Great Bend; D. C. Warner, W. L. Richardson, Calvin C. Halsey, J. W. Cobb, D. A. Lathrop, and E. L. Gardner, Montrose ; A. C. Blakeslee, Di mock; P. H. Gardner, Gifford ; H. A. Tingley, and E. N. Smith, Susquehanna Depot ; C. L. Stiles, Gibson ; David C. Ainey, New Milford; J. B. Streeter, and G. M. Gamble, Harford; A. B. Sherman, Fairdale ; E. L. Handrick. Friendsville.
Later members—Drs. A. D. Tewksbury, Auburn; Samuel Birdsall, H. P. Moody (died in 1869), James D. Leslie, Susquehanna Depot ; A. T. Brundage, Factoryville (?); A. J. Ainey, A. Chamberlain, Brooklyn; W. J. Alexander, Dundaff; F. D. Gulick, Dimock (?) ; S. W. Dayton, and C. P. Bigelow, Great Bend ; W. N. Green, Hopbottom ; E. G. Marsh, South Gibson. Upon the present records appear notices of election to membership of the following, whose names are not on the list:
Drs. Addison Newton, Liberty; N. Y. Leet, Friendsville; Orchard, Jackson; G. W. Beach, Brooklyn ; E. L. Blakeslee, Dimock.
The society is generally represented in the State society and in the American Medical Association. Reports of the proceedings of these bodies are given at the meetings of the society ; the sanitary condition of the respective localities of members is stated;
556 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
clinics are held, at which patients with chronic diseases are prescribed for free of charge; essays upon medical topics are read, and free discussion is maintained. A fee bill has been adopted, all the members now making uniform charges.
The present members number 25, with three additional honorary members. Dr. C. C. Halsey, the president of the society, is one of the censors for the 2d district State society ; and Dr. W. L. Richardson, the treasurer, is one of the vice-presidents of the State society. Five members of the county society are permanent members of the State society, and the names of most of the members are also on the roll of the latter. Only 35 out of the 66 counties of the State are now represented in it.
Among other physicians who have practiced, or are now practicing in the county, though not known to have been connected with the Medical Society, the following are remembered:
Drs. Chas. W. Bankson, ------ Plant, Isaac, James A., and Alexander Lewis, and Charles Bliss (dead), of Silver Lake; R. S. Eastman, A. H. Bolles, and D. C. Porter, Montrose; — Munger (1822), E. Mack, Samuel Bissell (died 1829), P. M. Way, and — Meacham, Brooklyn ; Albright Dunham, Elijah Snell, — Ruttan, Rush ; Gark Dickerman, Harford ; Wm. Terbell, Joseph Falkner and -- Gritman, Dundaff; Rufus Fish, Liberty; N. P. Cornwell, Jessup; E. L. Brundage, Charles Drinker, Gibson; E. S. Hines, and -- Vailes, Friendsville; -- Field, an Englishman, in Bridgewater; -- Daniels, Great Bend; ----- Shutts, Susquehanna Depot; — Lambert, Springville; H. A. Riley and J. D. Vail, homceopathic physicians, of Montrose; Samuel Wright, botanic, at Hopbottom ; J. W. and D. F. Brundage, water-cure establishment in Gibson.
Miss Ellen E. Mitchell, of Montrose, was one of five ladies who were admitted to the practice of medicine by receiving a degree from the Women's Medical College of New York in 1871.
The Susquehanna and Bradford Dental Society held its third semi-annual session at the office of W. W. Smith, in Montrose, Sept. 14th, 1871.
At a meeting of physicians, held at West Harford, Susquehanna County, Aug. 15th, 1872, an organization called the Susquehanna Eclectic Medical Society was formed, as an auxiliary to the State and National societies. President, E. N. Loomis, of Oakley.
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IN the second issue of the Centinel,' February, 1816, Daniel Curtis offers " 350 gallons of good, rectified whiskey at $1.00 per gallon ;" and the whole air of the advertisement presupposes the community ready to bail it as a benefaction.
F. Fordham announces "a hogshead of rum, to be sold cheaper, than ever it was sold in the village." But he was a respecter of money, if not of persons, since he asked " 9 shillings only if N. Y. bills are offered, but 10 shillings if those of Philadelphia, and 11 shillings if bills from the interior."
Nathan Raynor " will sell rum if requested."
In 1817, Isaac Post "sells brandy, rum, gin, and whiskey;" but this was not probably a new business with him, since he became a "taverner" ten years previous to this.
Sayre & Mulford advertised, about the same time with Mr. Post, rum and brandy " of the first quality ;" and doubtless the endorsement would be considered good, could their liquors be tasted after the adulterated ones of the present day.
In 1819, " Nathan H. Lyons sells whiskey by the hogshead, tierce, barrel, gallon, or quart," in a small red house on the corner now occupied by J. R. Dewitt & Co.
In 1820, probably from the increased number of distilleries, whiskey is sold, for cash, at 44 cents per gallon, by I. & D. Post. The Britannia Distillery is announced in 1821.
In 1822, " Butterfield's best rectified whiskey" was by no means the result of his enterprise alone; I. P. Foster, Daniel Lathrop, and S. S. Mulford were silent partners.
In 1823, the Montrose Gazette' complains of the scarcity of wheat, which is felt the more since "too much rye goes to the distilleries." One bushel of rye purchased five quarts of whiskey.
At Montrose, 1824, " Herrick, Fordham & Gark continue the stilling business on a pretty extensive scale." This establishment was closed in June, 1825, and soon after " Clark and Tyler (Harvey) take pleasure in informing the public, that the distillery they have been erecting near Jones's mill is now completed and in perfect readiness for business."
But time would fail to write of all the places where the worm of the still lay coiled quiescent—its treacherous power not yet recognized.
558 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
The venerable Rev. Burr Baldwin, on being asked, " Where were the ministers all this time of darkness ?" replied, " Treating their parishioners, as they felt in duty bound, whenever favored with a visit, and accepting from them reciprocal attentions." (Elder Dimock was an exception to this rule, though he, too, before being a church-member, was a distiller.) It was not until after he had attended a meeting of the synod, where the temperance question was discussed, as late as 1828, that he felt something must be done to arrest the tide of intemperance which threatened the spiritual death of so many. He first cast out the beam from his own eye, by destroying the few "cordials" he had in his house, and then he saw clearly to cast out the mote that was in the eye of his brother ; and one of the first efforts he made was upon Esquire T--, of Harford, whose distillery was sending to Gibson, and even to Honesdale, constant supplies, while he was active as a member of Bible and tract societies, and contributed to home and foreign missions, which just then began to engage the attention of Christian men. Mr. B. set the matter before him by comparing the results likely to flow from the two sorts of influence he was exerting; and the balance appeared so largely in favor of profanity, and Sabbath-desecration, and wife-heart-breaking which so often accompanied the use of ardent spirits, that after this interview his distillery was turned into a "conference room."
But it was a harder task for Deacon H---, of New Milford, to bring his business to tally with an awakened conscience. Rev. Mr. B—, meeting him one day, spoke to him of the alarming increase of drunkenness in the county, and of the responsibility of the church in regard to it, and asked him to give up his distillery. " Can't do it, Brother B ; it's the support of my family." Months passed on, and the parties again met. " How about the distillery, Brother ?" " Brother B , I can't
give it up—it's the support of my family." What could be said to this ? If a man provide not for his own household, is he not worse than an infidel ? More months went by, and the deacon again met his reprover. " How about that distillery ?"
" It's given up," was the ready reply.
" Ah, indeed ! but how about the family ?"
" Oh, they're living yet !"
But we anticipate a year or two. In the mean time, nearer home, the inconsistency of selling Bibles with one hand, and intoxicating drinks with the other, was not apparently felt. We
may be allowed, without injury to the dear, silver-crowned head of the senior deacon of the Montrose Presbyterian Church, to quote from one of his numerous advertisements of the years 1824 and 1825. After giving a long list of dry-goods, hardware, etc., he
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mentions books, among which were " Daboll's arithmetics, testaments," etc. (in small type), and just below in staring letters—
WHISKEY cheap by the barrel
Ah, well! it is to be hoped "the times of this ignorance God winked at," and that the " 100 pages of tracts for 10 cents" were blessed in spite of the wretched company they were obliged to keep.
To form some idea of the demand for the product of distil. leries one must take into consideration, aside from the merchants (all of whom sold liquors), the number of " licensed taverners," and the fact that too often there were those who stooped to evade the law, and kept what were styled " tippling houses." As intimated before, some of it found its way to Honesdale, to supply laborers along the Delaware and Hudson Canal.
Horatio Strong, of Willingboro (Great Bend), was licensed to keep a tavern in 1796; A. H. Kent, H. Tiffany, and W. Chamberlin, in 1798; Sylvanus Hatch, in 1799, and the same year, Abel Kent, Wright Chamberlin, and Hosea Tiffany (Nicholson, afterwards Harford), either renewed their licenses or procured them for the first time. Oliver Trowbridge and Stephen Wilson, in 1801; D. Summers, Jas. Parmeter, and Robt. Corbet, as early as 1801 ; McCarty and Isaac Post, in 1807; B. Hayden, A. Du Bois, Wm. Tanner (Clifford), John Kent, and William Ward, in 1812 ; Calvin Summers, Thomas (?) Mott, Rufus Bowman, and Zebulon Deans, in 1814; Benjamin Sayre and Seth Mitchell, in 1819.
The Luzerne County Court, the last year of its connection with Susquehanna County, issued 72 licenses ; and at the following April session in Montrose, 15 were granted.
Some of the earlier prominent men who kept houses of entertainment are omitted, as dates cannot be supplied. It may be of interest to know some of the former innkeepers of our borough. The Montrose hotel, as is generally known, originally consisted of one sharp-gabled building, which has since been removed a little to the west of the one recently occupied by Mr. Koon. A part of the latter once formed the addition to the old one, though standing at a right angle with it. After Mr. Post moved to the corner now occupied by Boyd & Co., Chapman Carr kept the hotel—in 1818, or earlier ; in 1819, a Mr. Green was there; then, J. Buckingham, D. Searle, and Mr. Hepburn—the latter in 1831—when the post-office had its first removal from that house to the opposite corner, afterwards occupied by William L. Post. It was once a temperance house; but of that, another time.
Daniel Curtis's stand forms the nucleus around which J. S.
560 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Tarbell's more imposing structure has been built. Doubtless Mr. C.'s noted " assembly room," in which so many have
"Tripped the light fantastic toe,"
has quite sunk into insignificance. A. D. Olmstead and D. D. Warner have been proprietors of the house since his day.
A building, destroyed by fire within the last dozen years, stood just below what was long known as " Keeler's Hotel ;" it was erected by .A ustin Howell in 1812--the year after the village was laid out—and was used as a hotel many years, first by himself, then by Eli Gregory; but as early as 1817, Edward Fuller had taken the stand, and he was there as late as 1828. There are those still living who recall with relish the dinners prepared by Mrs. F., a person of whom might be written a far higher commendation than that she excelled as a cook. Stephen Hinds afterward owned the house, and furnished accommodations for boarders.
The Washington Hotel, on the site of the recent "Keystone," was kept by B. Sayre, with the usual intoxicating accompaniments, from 1819 till 1828, at least, but at last he dispensed with them altogether. For a few months in 1822 Henry Catlin run the establishment. The basement of " Keeler's Hotel" once served as a jail for the county, and there, also, Deacon N. Scott was master of the first school taught in the village.
But to return. In 1827, the year previous to the one marked by the first temperance society in the county, a kind of desperation seems to have been felt by all classes in view of the deplorable results of intemperate drinking. Some of those who felt themselves under the control of their appetites for liquor, treated their case as one needing medicine—and they were wise. The prescription used was" ipecacuanha, tartar emetic, and assafcetida ;" and we are told that individuals of Susquehanna County, of very intemperate habits, were cured by taking it. The Rev. Lyman Beecher's famous Six Sermons on Intemperance were widely circulated and read about this time, and were having a silent but powerful influence. The following occurrence, in June of the same year, doubtless started many into thought, if not into action. A man purchased a gallon of whiskey at one of the stores in Montrose one Monday, and was found dead on the Thursday following, in an unoccupied house a mile west of the village. He was seen Monday afternoon walking on the turnpike leading to this building, had not been seen after that, and must have been dead for two or three days. A jug containing a quart of whiskey was found a few feet from him. No wonder that sober men sought to find some means of averting a repetition of such an occurrence, and that a few agreed to meet and " get up a pledge." The following is the result :—
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" At a meeting of a number of gentlemen¹ from different parts of the county, at the Presbyterian meeting-house, in Montrose, on the 1st day of October, 1828, the expediency of forming a society in this county for the suppression of intemperance was considered, and it was resolved that a meeting be held at the court-house in Montrose, on Monday evening of next December
court, for the purpose of forming said society.
W. JESSUP, Sec."
Agreeably to this notice, a large number of the citizens assembled at the time, December 1st, and place designated ; and the object of the meeting having been stated, the Hon. Davis Dimock was called to the chair, and Wm. Jessup appointed secretary. Addresses were made by several gentlemen, and a constitution was unanimously adopted.
Gentlemen from nearly every township in the county were present, and a free discussion of the subject took place. The evils of intemperance were so apparent, that every member seemed desirous of doing everything in his power to prevent its progress. Forty-one gentlemen became members of the society.
The annual meeting was appointed for Tuesday evening of the next court, and the choice of officers was deferred until that time, but it was resolved that Elder Davis Dimock, Rev. Burr Baldwin, Asa Dimock, Jr., and Wm. Jessup, should be an executive committee, and be directed to procure printed copies of the constitution for circulation, and to do what might be necessary to promote the objects of the society. A liberal contribution was then made to the funds of the society, and placed in the hands of the treasurer pro tem., Asa Dimock, Jr.
During court, December 1, 1828, the Grand Jury of this county, sensible of the great and growing evils of intemperance, and wishing to discourage it by example, resolved " to abolish the custom heretofore practiced, of using ardent spirits while in session."
Work in different parts of the county now began in earnest.
At the close of 1828 there were about four hundred and fifty temperance societies in the United States; Susquehanna County now began to swell the number, even before the society at Montrose had elected its officers, which election was postponed to February court, 1829, but in reality it was not effected till fourth of May following. Harford was thoroughly organized for work with twenty-five members, " hardly one of whom could have
¹ After a church meeting, thinly attended, a few days previous, Thursday, September 11, 1828, the following gentlemen signed the pledge : Wm. Jessup, Benjamin Sayre, Benajah McKenzie, Isaac P. Foster, and Deacon Moses Tyler.
In Elder D. Dimock's diary, more than ten years before this pledge was adopted, the following record appears: " Feb. 1818. Wrote an agreement, for the inhabitants of the village, to suppress drunkenness." Thus, though it is not positively known that this " agreement" was ever circulated and signed, the fact of its having been written at such an early period, gives to it a peculiar Value and entitles the author of it to the honor of being the first in Susquehanna County to advocate the temperance reform.
562 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
been persuaded to take such a step one year before." The first officers elected April 21, 1829,¹ were John Carpenter, president; Lee Richardson, vice-president; Samuel E. Kingsbury, secretary ; Joab Tyler, Austin Jones, and James Greenwood, executive committee. The Harford ladies' society was organized in June following. On the 11th of August, 1829, the Gibson Society, auxiliary to the Susquehanna County society, was organized with more than thirty members. Wm. Abel, president; Arunah Tiffany, vice-president ; S. S. Chamberlin, secretary ; Moses Chamberlin, treasurer; and Alamanzer Griswold, auditor.
Though the Brooklyn young people's organization must have been completed about this time, by the encouragement of Rev. B. B., and though Choconut had certainly held temperance meetings previously, there is no mention of their officers until a year or two later. I. P. Foster, who left Montrose in 1829, was influential the same year in the organization of a society in Honesdale.
The principle upon which all these societies agreed was this " We will not allow the use of distilled spirits in our families, nor provide them for persons in our employment; and in all suitable ways we will discountenance the use of them in the community."
Acting upon this, Benajah McKenzie, whose name appears among the first seven in the county pledged to its observance, determined, in the spring of 1829, to raise his dwelling without "the ardent." The builders, James Deans and Hezekiah Bullard, had enrolled their names with his, and so the raising was accomplished, though the help of a still unenlightened deacon had to be dispensed with, as he, finding out the new order of things, mounted his horse and left for home. But his conduct is less astonishing than that of Mr. McK.'s wife. It was long before she could be reconciled to his course relative to the banishment of liquors from the entertainments offered to their friends and visitors—it savored so of meanness! Time and again he labored to convince her of its propriety, but she could only weep for his disgrace, and shared her grief with Mrs. S. Bard ; for her husband, too, alas! had joined the temperance society.
Somewhat later, Walter Foster wished to have a saw-mill raised; and his convictions would not permit him to ask any one's help without the understanding that nothing stronger than cider would be on the ground ; consequently the work was but half finished the first day. " Stingy !" was thought and whispered, and Mr. F. had to come to Montrose for help. While stating his case he was overheard by A. H. Read, who, learning the cause of
¹ It is stated that the society was organized wits fourteen members on the 22d of January previous.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 563
his difficulty, volunteered to go down, and was afterwards present. It must be acknowledged the cider used with the whiskey that some obtained further down the Wyalusing wrought worse consequences than the latter would have done alone.
About this time merchants' clerks were uneasy; and one, Chester B., refused to sell goods for Mr. Mulford, if he must have anything to do in dealing out liquors.
When S. S. Mulford was ready, in 1830, to raise the large building, now the residence of his family, his brother-in-law—the late Judge Jessup—resolved the work should go on without distilled spirits, but in this he did not have the sympathy of the joiner ; consequently a whiskey barrel was rolled into the barn, for, "Brother William wouldn't have it any nearer!" Mrs. M. bad done her best to get rid of it altogether by substituting home-made beer and light gingerbread, of which all were invited to partake ; but some of those engaged—afterwards noble temperance men—declined, and " sneaked off to the barn!"
The reports of the societies now began to come in.
The first annual meeting of the Susquehanna County Temperance Society was held at the court-house the 2d of February, 1830. The secretary reported five hundred members of the society and its auxiliaries—an encouraging account of one year's operations. John L. Kite and others addressed the large and respectable audience. Elder Davis Dimock was again elected president; Wm. Jessup, secretary; and Asa Dimock, Jr., treasurer. It does not appear that any change was made in the constitution, which still left open a wide door to those who wished to withdraw from the society, but provided no means for turning out any lawless member. One gentleman, at least, refused to have any connection with the society until this matter was remedied.
February court, 1830, made a move in the right direction by the following rules adopted for the regulation of its decisions in the granting of licenses for keeping public-houses :—
"No person shall be licensed to keep a public-house where the same is not necessary for the accommodation of the inhabitants and travelers.
" No person shall be licensed to keep a public-house whose principal object in obtaining such license is for the mere purpose of selling intoxicating liquors, without providing other accommodations suitable and necessary for travelers.
" No person shall be licensed to keep a public-house who is known to be habitually or occasionally intemperate.
"No person shall be licensed to keep a public-house who is known to permit gambling, drunkenness, or any other disorders in his house, or who is known to be in the habit of permitting the meeting of his neighbors or others at his house on Sundays for the purpose of drinking or other worldly business."
On the 25th of that month, the Bridgewater and Montrose Society was formed, auxiliary to the "American Society for the
564 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
promotion of Temperance." There was a large number present, and the merchants of the village manifested their approbation by closing their stores during the meeting. Addresses were delivered by the Rev. D. Deruelle, J. W. Raynsford, and Eld. D. Dimock, after which a constitution was adopted, and officers chosen: D. Post, president; E. Kingsbury, Jr., secretary.
By the 3d of April of that year, the Brooklyn Society had enrolled 104 members. Their constitution was "formed upon the principles of total abstinence." Dr. Enoch Mack and Rev. Messrs. Cook, Comfort, and Coryell made addresses at a meeting held at the Presbyterian meeting-house, April 3d.
The M. E. church, at a quarterly meeting held in the town of Springville, a little later, passed resolutions encouraging the formation of associations to discourage the use of ardent spirits except as a medicine.
June 2d, 1830, a meeting was held in a barn in Springville, on the farm owned by Daniel Spencer (whose distillery was the first in Springville), and a temperance pledge circulated, prohibiting the use of ardent spirits, and a society formed. The first officers were: Volney Avery, president; E. B. Slade, vice-president; Justus Knapp, secretary; Gideon Lyman, Thomas Lane, Jethro Hatch, Jonathan Nutt, Thomas Cassedy, Abiathar Tuttle, Daniel S. Avery, managers. The society met quarterly for a few years, but finally disbanded and passed away. Number of names-49 men, 126 women.
By the 12th of July, 1830, the Harford Society reported a membership of 41, which, with the 70 belonging to the female society, organized in June, 1829, made " 111 individuals who have pledged themselves to abstinence except in cases of bodily infirmity." Their quarterly meeting, then held, was addressed by Rev. Messrs. Adams and Miller. " Resolved (by the ladies), not to associate with young men who are in the habit of drinking spirits."
The annual meeting of the Bridgewater and Montrose Society was held at the Baptist church, 25th October, 1830,¹ when it was
"Resolved, That a committee be appointed to bring in at the next meeting of the society a list of the families within our bounds with a view to the
¹ The writer does not understand why the annual meeting should have been held only eight months after the organization of the society, nor why it was made auxiliary to the "American Society," rather than to the Susquehanna County Society. It appears that at a meeting held Dec. 19th, 1831, it was resolved to amend the constitution so as to read, " Auxiliary to the Susquehanna County Society ;" and that, instead of holding the annual meeting on Tuesday evening of September court, it should be on the first Monday in January ; and that the Secretary report annually to the Secretary of the Susquehanna County Society. Officers for 1832 E. Kingsbury, Jr., president ; Jeremiah Meacham and Hubbard Avery, vice-presidents ; Wm. Foster, secretary ; and Hyde Crocker, treasurer.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 565
visiting of every family by the members of the society upon the subject of temperance.
" Resolved, That a committee be appointed to procure a sufficient number of the best publications on the subject of temperance as soon as practicable.
" Resolved, That Dr. C. Fraser, Elder D. Dimock, Rev. D. Deruelle, D. Post, Wm. Jessup, and E. Kingsbury, Jr., Esqs., compose said committee."
Officers for the year following: Nehemiah Scott, president; J. W. Raynsford, Nathaniel Curtis, vice-presidents; Francis Perkins, treasurer; and John F. Deans, secretary.
In the fall of that year, 37 retailers of foreign merchandise and liquors within the county of Susquehanna are reported. All were below the fifth class, that is, their annual sales did not
The first meeting of a society known as the Choconut and Silver Lake Society, was held on the first Saturday of January, 1830.¹ To the constitution then adopted about 40 signatures were attached. Within a year, 91 were pledged to total abstinence. Gordon Bliss, as secretary, says, January 1st, 1831 :—
" Your committee speak with confidence and pleasure of the beneficial results of the operations of our society. Within the sphere of its influence, the quantity of ardent spirits consumed during the last year is not more than one-fourth as great as in 1827. At one place where whiskey was once vended in the ratio of a barrel per week, the sale has very materially decreased. At another, where a barrel was generally retailed in three months, none is now kept for sale or use. On three or four of the largest farms in the neighborhood, where it was a custom to use ardent spirits plentifully in harvest time, not a drop was used during the last season. Mechanics discourage the use of it. f eighteen within our limits, fifteen use none; and at a brickyard, where it was once thought indispensable, none was furnished during the last season—more and better brick were made than before.
" In this vicinity, there are about thirty families, consisting of at least a hundred and eighty persons, who may be said to entirely abstain from the use of ardent spirits. There are also about the same number who come near the principles and practices of the society—acknowledging its beneficial efforts, but who as yet withhold their names from our constitution. There is still another class consisting of about twenty families who regard temperance societies as dangerous combinations for the ultimate union of Church and State, and for destroying the liberties of our happy Republic."
Added to the influence of Beecher's Sermons about three years previous, the secretary speaks of the circulation of Kitteridge's, Humphrey's, Porter's, and Beman's Addresses, as awakening the public mind on the subject of temperance. Certainly the march forward in the meantime had been remarkably rapid.
Refuting the prejudice against "dangerous combinations," the editors of the ‘Register,' in January, 1831, remark, respecting the Susquehanna County Society " Constituted, as this society is, of members of various denominations of Christians—united
¹ So it is stated in the Annual Report, but the compiler is at a loss how to reconcile it with the fact that in March, 1829, there appeared in the Susquehanna Register,' two and a half columns of poetry, being an " address delivered before the Choconut and Silver Lake Society, for the promotion of temperance."
566 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
with many who are under no special religious obligation what-ever—it is wholly impossible that its benevolent design should be perverted to any sectarian or selfish purpose."
Early in 1831. a temperance society was formed in Lawsville, enrolling about 40 members. Its officers for the first year were Nehemiah Park, president; Ebenezer Leighton, vice-president; .Anson Smith, secretary; and Henry B. Smith, treasurer.
To show to what extent, in 1832, the interest of the public was excited in behalf of temperance, and how thoroughly in earnest its promoters were, a list of the township committees, whose duty it was to present the constitution of the Susquehanna County Society to every person therein, is here given :—
Auburn.—Edward Dawson, Daniel Cooley.
Bridgewater.—James Deans, Hubbard Avery, J. W. Hill, Nathaniel Curtis, N. Scott, J. Meacham.
Brooklyn.—Edward L. Gere, Thomas Garland, Alfred Mack.
Choconut.—Chauncey Wright, John Mann, Eben Griswold.
Clifford.—Earl Wheeler, Dr. Wm. Terbell, B. P. Bailey.
Great Bend.—P. Catlin, Daniel Lyon, John McKinney.
Gibson.—Wm. Abel, Dr. C. Tyler, Dr. Wm. Pride.
Harmony.—John Comfort, Jessie Lane.
Herrick.—Walter Lyon, Jabez Tyler.
Harford.—Joab Tyler, M. Oakley, Enos Thatcher.
Jackson.—H. Bushnell, Daniel Tingley, Simeon Tucker.
Lawsville.—Nehemiah Park, Lyman Smith, H. B. Smith.
Middletown.—J. A. Birchard, Jr., 0. Mott, Jr.
Montrose.—D. Dimock, Jr., Wm Foster, A. L. Post.
New Milford.—Seth Mitchell, J. B. Bill, Col. Job Tyler.
Silver Lake.—Lewis Chamberlin, Edward White, Edwin Bliss.
Springville.—Dr. J. Hatch, Jairus Day, Daniel B. Avery.
Wm. Jessup was appointed to represent this society at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Society.
Of the training days, May 29th and 30th, of the same year, the ' Volunteer' reported thus: " On neither of those days was there to be seen any drunkenness, rioting, or disorderly conduct whatever."
The Young Men's Society of Montrose and vicinity, was organized June 9, 1832.
On motion of R. B. Gregory, it was
Resolved, That the following gentlemen be officers for the ensuing year, viz., Albert L. Post, president; George Williston, and Ezra S. Park, vice-presidents; F. M. Williams, secretary; H. J. Webb, treasurer; Isaac Fuller, D. C. Warner, and A. G. Dimock, committee of vigilance.
The Montrose Temperance Hotel is announced in September,
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 567
Benjamin Sayre, proprietor ; who states: " A variety of wholesome and refreshing drinks will be kept as a substitute for ardent spirits." About the time he signed the pledge, in 1829, persons could be accommodated at his restaurant with pies, oysters, etc., and " a cup of hot coffee ;" and though his house had then been recently fitted up for the use of the public, no mention was made of liquors for their refreshment.
Benjamin Taylor, of Great Bend, notifies the public that no ardent spirits will be sold at his house after the 1st of January, 1833.
At the meeting of the County Society the preceding January, on motion of 0. Collins, it was
" Resolved, That duty to the public demands from the patriot, the moralist, the philanthropist, and the Christian, that, all other things being equal, he should promote the cause of temperance by patronizing those who cease to manufacture, vend, or use ardent spirits, in their common and usual forms."
At the next annual meeting, February 4, 1833, it was stated that the adoption of this resolution being by many members deemed inexpedient, the society without expressing any opinion as to the principle therein contained, deemed it best to rescind the same. The Choconut and Silver Lake Society approved the resolution.
The American Temperance Society bad recommended through the State Society, that on the 26th of February, 1833, meetings of temperance societies should be held simultaneously in all the cities, towns, and villages of the United States; it was recommended by the Susquehanna County Society, that the township societies hold meetings in accordance with this action of the American Society (composed of twenty-one State societies).
March 4, 1833, the Young Men's Society became a county affair: C. F. Read, secretary, in place of F. M. Williams, resigned.
In 1833, the Second Annual Report of the Choconut and Silver Lake Society (Almerin Turner, president; Lewis Chamberlin, secretary), stated that " nine-tenths of the hay and grain that was cut and secured within the limits of the society, the summer past, was done without the aid of ardent spirits ; and three-fourths of the mechanics perform their business without using it themselves or furnishing it to their workmen."
April 29, 1833, the Susquehanna County Society and the Young Men's Society, met in conjunction at the court-house, and their united thanks were offered to the Grand Jury for the presentment that day made, in which "the Jury respectfully suggest to the court the policy of suppressing rather than increasing the present number of tavern licenses;" and in which they "contemplate with great satisfaction and deep personal interest the laudable efforts in progress by the patriotic citizens of this county, for the suppression of the prolific and destructive vice
JAMES NEWMAN, Foreman."
568 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Hon. D. Dimock, Rev. S. Marks, John Mann, and Wm. Jessup, were appointed delegates to represent both societies in the State Convention the following May, at Philadelphia.
On Thursday evening of the same week, the Young Men's Society elected officers for the ensuing year, making C. L. Ward, president, and Geo. Williston and Ezra S. Park, vice-presidents.
At a meeting in Lawsville, at the Presbyterian meeting-house, May 24, the constitution of a Young People's Society was adopted and signed. Wm. Greene was elected president; S. Park, Jr., and J. Smith, vice-presidents; and N. Leighton, secretary. The following resolution was unanimously passed :—
"Resolved, That we highly approve of the formation of the Young Men's County Temperance Society, but do not deem it expedient to become auxiliary thereto, so long as its constitution precludes young ladies from membership."
Two years before this, in an address delivered by F. Lusk, A.B., before the Young People's Society, Binghamton, N. Y., he said:—
"Respecting the practicability of soliciting the names of females to our subscription, the only ground of objection, wearing the least shadow of plausibility, consists in the suggestion that by publicly obligating themselves to abstain from the use of distilled spirits,' they are in danger of impairing the usual confidence in their acknowledged purity and firmness of character." But he added : " Rather than dampen their zeal in this worthy cause, or diminish their solicitude for a ruder sex, we would heartily solicit their signified approbation, too well convinced of their deep and direct interest in the success of this important undertaking, to reject their kindly proffered assistance."
In May, 1833, the Bridgewater and Montrose Young Men's Society was organized. D. A. Lathrop was elected president ; George V. Bentley and Philander Lines, vice-presidents ; J. H. Dimock, secretary; Wm. J. Turrell, treasurer; Chapman Baldwin, James Stout, Elias West, Jr., examining committee. Harris W. Patrick and Silas Perkins were afterwards added to this committee for the purpose of obtaining the names of all the young men in the township and borough, to present them to the society at the next annual meeting. D. Wilmot, Philip Fraser, Benj. Case, and H. W. Patrick were invited to speak.
During the first six months of 1834, a newspaper controversy was maintained with much spirit, respecting the question, Is the making, vending, and using of ardent spirits a moral evil? Perhaps it is not too much to say that from this, in part, arose the distinction afterwards drawn between temperance and total abstinence men. The question was originally brought up Dec. 1833, at a quarterly meeting of the County Temperance Society on motion of Wm. Jessup, seconded by J. W. Raynsford, and we find it still open to discussion in November, 1835. At the annual meeting of the Bridgewater and Montrose Young Men's
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 569
Society, the young ladies within the bounds of the society were invited to subscribe their names to the constitution.
In the programme of a 4th of July dinner that year, it was stated that " light wines, lemonade, etc., will be furnished, but ardent spirits wholly excluded from the table."
Early in 1835, the ladies of Montrose were solicited to write essays on the subject. Mrs. L. C. Searle and Miss Lucretia Loomis, each obtained a ten dollar prize.
At the annual meeting of the Harford Society, February 26, 1835, statistics were given, showing that, attached to the constitution of the three societies in that town, were 312 names-86 added the previous year.
October 20, 1835, the Bridgewater and Montrose Young Men's Society question thus: "Would it be policy for this society to adopt the principle of total abstinence from all intoxicating drinks ?"
New Milford, in the mean time, had been active, holding meetings at Haydenville, Moxley's school-house, and even at the Episcopal church.
In 1836, the rise of abolitionism occasioned apparently a lull in the excitement on the subject of temperance; though a proposition was broached to sustain in Montrose a periodical devoted to its interests, it was never established.
REVIEW OF SOCIETIES FOR FIVE YEARS.
Susquehanna County Society, organized December 1, 1828.
Harford Society, April, 1829.
Harford Ladies' Society, June, 1829.
Brooklyn Society, 1829.
Gibson Society, organized August, 1829.
Choconut Society, January, 1830.
Bridgewater and Montrose Society, February, 1830.
Springville Society, June, 1830.
Lawsville Society, early in 1831.
Susquehanna County Society, auxiliary to State Society, January, 1832.
Young Men's Temperance Society, June, 1832.
Middletown Society, 1832.
Young Men's Society—a county affair—March, 1833.
Lawsville, " don't become auxiliary for cause," May, 1833.
New Milford Society, May, 1833.
Bridgewater and Montrose Young Men's Society, May, 1833.
Young Men's Society (independent), Harford, September, 1834.
In May, 1839, a meeting was held at the court-house, in favor of the proposition before the Legislature, submitting to the people the decision in regard to the sale of intoxicating drinks ; Joab Tyler, chairman.
In July following, great interest was excited in the temperance cause, by a series of lectures from Rev. Thomas P. Hunt, of Wilkes-Barre.
Early in 1840, the court judges at an adjourned session, took
570 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
up the subject of licensing taverns. All manifested a disposition to go to the extent of the law in restraining tippling. One of them stated, "No man may expect to obtain a license who knowingly sells a glass of grog to a person who is in the habit of getting intoxicated."
Temperance meetings were regularly maintained.
Early in 1842, a great impetus was given to them by the rise of the " Washingtonians," or reformed inebriates, and the Sons of Temperance.
For the last fifteen or twenty years, special activity in the temperance cause has been mostly confined to the Good Tern-plars. There have been forty lodges in the county, but at present (April, 1872) there are only twenty-five.
Susquehanna County Good Templars' Lodges.
No. 4. Great Bend.
" 92. Crescent, New Milford.
" 93. Brooklyn.
" 97. Regulator, North Jackson.
" 439. Lanesboro'.
" 441. Thomson Center, Thomson.
" 443 South Gibson.
" 444 Harford.
" 456 Susquehanna Depot.
" 460 No Compromise, Gibson.
" 463 Montrose.
" 499 Olive Leaf, Harford.
" 512 Brackney.
No. 549. Glenwood.
" 551. Dundaff.
" 555. Lathrop, Hop Bottom.
" 556. South Harford, Harford.
" 557. LenOXville.
" 565. Silver Creek, Lawsville Center.
" 568. Reform, New Milford.
" 592. East Bridgewater.
" 618. Cambrian, Uniondale.
" 632. City, Dundaff.
" 720. Earnest, West Lenox.
" 763. Brookdale.
Political action on the subject is now commanding attention
HON. SIMEON B. CHASE
Was born at Gibson, Susquehanna County, April 18, 1828, and has always resided in this county. By teaching school in winter to earn the means, and studying industriously at all times, he prepared himself to enter Hamilton College, New York, where he graduated with honors in 1851. The expenses of his collegiate course were partially defrayed by his acting as deputy prothonotary. Industrious and thrifty, he has paddled his own canoe, as most of our best men have done. He studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1852; and for four years, commencing with 1851, he edited and published the ' Montrose Democrat' in connection with K B. Chase.
Politically, he acted with the Democratic party until 1856, when he united in the formation of the Republican party, of which he became a leading and influential member. He was chairman of the State Convention of 1856, which nominated David Wilmot for Governor, and was chairman of committee on nominations in one convention since. In the same year he was elected a member of the House of Representatives of Pennsylvania, and re-elected in 1857, '58, and '59. Here he took a high rank, occupying the position of chairman of the ways and means, judiciary, and other important committees. He was a prominent candidate for speaker one term, and though not elected, he occupied the speaker's chair most of the session, on account of the protracted illness of the speaker elect. Thoroughly familiar with parliamentary law, self-possessed, firm, an excellent speaker, and of commanding and agreeable address, he makes a good presiding officer.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 571
He continued the practice of law in addition to his public duties until August, 1868, when he was employed by the Good Templars to give his entire time to the temperance work.
He has worked earnestly with every organization formed to resist the increase of intemperance, and more especially with the Sons of Temperance, from 1850 till 1853, and with the Good Templars since that time.
He has been presiding officer of either State or National lodges almost continuously, from 1856 till the present time, sixteen years, and has attended every session of the R. W. G. L. of North America, over which he presided for five consecutive years. He is now the honored W. C. T. of Pennsylvania, a position he has filled for seven years with ability and dignity.
He is a polished writer, and has written much that has exerted an influence at the time and since.
He has written more or less on the rituals, platforms, etc„ of the order, largely shaping the policy and purposes of the Good Templars of Pennsylvania and the Union.
He has resided at Great Bend for the last twenty years.
SECRET SOCIETIES AND THE CENSUS.
MASONRY IN SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
THE following is a list of the lodges, chapters, and commanderies :-
1. A masonic lodge in Clifford was installed January 24,1811. Its officers were David Taylor, Jonathan Wilber, Joseph Potter, Oliver Granger, and Abel Kent. The sermon on the occasion was preached by Rev. E. Kingsbury.
2. Nothing further is known of this lodge, but it is possible, that as Gibson was then a part of Clifford, the "NORTH STAR" Lodge, No. 119, installed at Gibson in 1816, may have superseded the former.
3. The "RISING SUN" Lodge, No. 149, in Montrose, was chartered December 2, 1816 ; Jonah Brewster, W. M. ; Perez Perkins, S. W.; Wm. C. Turrell, J. W. B. T. Case, Isaac Post, and George Clagget formed a committee in this lodge, and at its installation Eld. Davis Dimock preached a sermon. Mason Denison, and Hiram Finch were later officers. It closed its working in the year 1825. [There is incidental mention of "Franklin" Lodge in the year 1824, as not remote; but its location is not given.]
4. The " EVENING STAR" Lodge, No. 206, in Middletown (at Bostwick's—now in Forest Lake), was chartered September 5, 1825 ; Wm. C. Turrell, W. M.; Seth Taylor, S. W.; Jonathan C. Sherman, J. W. It ceased its work in 1827.
5. The " MORNING DAWN" Lodge, No. 207, in Brooklyn, was chartered June 5, 1826 ; Ebenezer Gere, W. M. ; Charles R. Marsh, S. W. ; Joseph Lines, J. W. Closed in 1827.
6. "MONTROSE" Lodge, No. 213, in Montrose, was chartered September 23, 1827 ; Jonah Brewster, W. M. ; James W. Hill, S. W. ; Daniel Lathrop, J. W. Closed in 1828.
7. " WARREN" Lodge, No. 240, in Montrose, was chartered June 4, 1849 ;
572 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Robert C. Simpson, W. M. ; Ezra S. Park, S. W. ; James W. Chapman, J. W.
8. "GREAT BEND" Lodge, No. 338, at Great Bend Borough. Chartered March, 1860 ; John H. Dusenbury, W. M. ; R. T. Stephens, S. W. ; George W. Orange, J. W.
9. A lodge was installed at Clifford three or four years ago ; Ezra Lewis, Dr. Gardner, and M. C. Stewart, officers.
10. "CANAWACTA" Lodge, No. 360, at Susquehanna Depot. Chartered December 18, 1865 ; Wm. M. Post, W. M. ; George N. Brown, S. W. ; H. P. Moody, J. W.
11. " HARFORD" Lodge, No. 445, is held in Harford.
12. A lodge is also at work, it is believed, in New Milford.
1. WARREN CHAPTER, No. 180, at Montrose, was chartered February 19, 1855; George L. Stone, H. P. ; Braton Richardson, K. ; Samuel S. Benjamin, Scribe.
2. GREAT BEND H. R. A. CHAPTER, No. 210, at Great Bend. Chartered May, 1866 ; J. H. Dusenbury, J. P.; C. P. Bigelow, M. D., K. ; T. D. Hays, Scribe.
1. GREAT BEND COMMANDERY, No. 27, at Great Bend. Chartered June, 1867; J. H. Dusenbury, Commander ; T. D. Hays, General; G. F. Thompson, Cap. Gen.
INDEPENDENT ORDER OF ODD FELLOWS.
Susquehanna Depot, D. D. Grand Master.
ST. JOHN, No. 50. Instituted at Montrose, Febr'y, 1847. Present members 42
CANAWACTA, " 225. Susq. Depot, Mar. 1872. Present members 38
C. C. HALSEY,
Montrose, D. D. Grand Patriarch.
MARY, No. 7. Instituted at Montrose, 1869.
Amount paid for relief for year ending April 1, 1872 $500
Amount of funds on hand April 1, 1872 $4000
The GRAND FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY of 1820-22, or longer. (The Sons of Temperance and Good Templars are elsewhere noticed.)
The GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC, Post 41, at Montrose; 53, at Susquehanna Depot; 96, at Great Bend; and 143, at Brooklyn.
There is a Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers at Susquehanna Depot.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 573
In 1810, Susquehanna County, although erected by act of legislature, was still officially connected with Luzerne ; and the population of several of the townships included those of both counties, as Nicholson, Gifford, Braintrim, Rush, and Bridgewater. The last-named, however, was almost entirely above the line of division, and its population 1418; that of Willing-borough, 351 ; Harmony, 80 ; Lawsville, 169 ; New Milford, 178. The census was taken by Isaac A. Chapman.
Population in 1820. (Taken by BELA JONES.)
Of the above there were the following classifications: farmers, 1864; mechanics, 261 ; merchants, 23 ; foreigners not naturalized, 309.
There were in the county : sheep, 12,259 ; horses, 857 ; OXen, 1358 ; cows, 2586 ; gristmills, 29 ; saw-mills, 62 ; fulling-mills, 7 ; carding machines, 8 ; tanneries, 5; grain distilleries, 12.
There was manufactured in the county during the year ending August 1, 1820 : of woolen cloth, 37,797 yards ; of linen cloth, 52,762 yards.
There was in the county (1820), of improved lands, 33,780 acres; of unimproved lands, 171,831 acres ; of unseated lands, 224,935 acres. Total acres in county, 430,546 acres.
The valuation of taxable property as collected from assessment rolls of 1821, amounted to $1,007,698. Number of taxables, 1821, 2061.
574 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
The census of 1860 was taken by A. J. Garretson ; of 1870, by James Howe, Philo Burritt, David Summers, Horace A. Deans, and C. E. Davis :—
¹ Before the erection of Forest Lake and Jessup.
² " Lathrop.
³ " Dimock.
HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY - 575
Comparison of Population.
By comparing, this result with the official totals, a discrepancy
For 1860, 36,267. For 1870, 37,523. Gains, 1256. Difference, 96.
Great Bend and Little Meadows boroughs were not enumerated separately in 1860, and part of Bridgewater has been added to Montrose since that date, so that the change in those districts is not exactly known.
" The war and western migration depleted some of our best townships. Every western township lost heavily; and all the southern, excepting Lathrop and Springville, also Gibson, Gifford, and Dundaff, on the east, lost in population. But the northeastern portion of the county—those districts, notably, which are threaded by the railroads, or so near as to feel their business influences—all exhibited a healthy growth. New Milford township and borough gained 318, Great Bend 310, and the three districts into which old Harmony is divided (viz., Harmony, Susquehanna Depot, and Oakland), show an increase of 1373.
"The lesson is a telling one in urging the importance of the railway through the centre of the county, and also of one or more on our western borders. The increase in wealth and business accommodations is equal to that of the population."
Progress by Decades.
576 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Susquehanna County is the twenty fourth in the State in point of population. There are forty-two counties with a smaller population. The valuation of personal property in the county is $2,343,273 60, and the number of taxables is 9532. The assessment of tax amounts to $5987 06, which, by act of assembly, approved April 16th, 1868, is reduced fifty per cent. The half mill tax of May, 1861, is $1169 83. The county is in the tenth military division, and is associated with Wayne in that division. There is no organization of militia in the district. The total number of men subject to military duty from the county is 511—from the division, 2272.
In 1870, the native population was 33,519 ; foreign born residents, 4004. Of the latter, 84 were born in British America ; 665 in England and Wales; 2879 in Ireland; 97 in Scotland; 215 in Germany ; 14 in France; 21 in Sweden and Norway ; 4 in Switzerland; 10 in Holland; 2 in Italy.
There were also 9284, one or both of whose parents were foreign.
Prior to 1820, the few colored persons (two or three of whom were slaves), in this section were numbered, of course, in Luzerne County.
In 1820, there were fifty in Susquehanna County ; in 1830, seventy-three ; in 1840, ninety-seven ; in 1850, one hundred and sixty; in 1860, two hundred and nine; in 1870, two hundred and forty-nine.
In 1850, there were seventeen more colored persons in Montrose than in all the rest of the county ; in 1860, twenty-seven more ; and in 1870, ninety-one more.
In 1850, they were found in seventeen townships and boroughs; in 1860 and 1870, in but fifteen.
There are twenty-one persons who are deaf and dumb—twelve males and nine females ; the oldest is over fifty and under fifty-five years of age. Three males and one female are in the Deaf and Dumb Asylum at Philadelphia.
The following figures are taken from the Annual Report of the Surveyor-General of Pennsylvania for the year 1871 :—
JOE SMITH, THE MORMON PROPHET.
" A madman, or a fool, hath ever set the world agog."
IT is a fact, of which we are not particularly proud, that Susquehanna County harbored such a madman as Joe Smith at the period when he was engaged in the compilation, or, rather, the translation, of the Book of Mormon. But to the fact itself there are living witnesses, with some of whom the writer has conversed.
There appears to be some uncertainty as to the time of his arrival in Harmony (now Oakland), but it is certain he was here in 1825 and later; and, in 1829, his operations here were finished, and he had left the county.
In 1830 the Book of Mormon was published, the requisite funds being furnished, it is said, by Martin Harris, a coadjutor of Smith during its translation, and who had sold his farm for the purpose, and reduced his family to straits in consequence. His wife and daughters were greatly exasperated at his course, but he appeared to have been a sincere believer, firmly convinced of the truth of Mormonism. (Mrs. David Lyons, of Lanesboro, once heard Joe's wife speak of Mrs. Harris' complaints to her of the destitution of the family.)
Mr. J. B. Buck narrates the following :—
"Joe Smith was here lumbering soon after my marriage, which was in 1818, some years before he took to ‘peeping,' and before diggings were commenced under his direction. These were ideas he gained later. The stone which he afterwards used was then in the possession of Jack Belcher, of Gibson, who obtained it while at Salina, N. Y., engaged in drawing salt. Belcher bought it because it was said to be a seeing stone.' I have often seen it. It was a green stone, with brown, irregular spots on it. It was a little longer than a goose's egg, and about the same thickness. When he brought it home and covered it with a hat, Belcher's little boy was one of the first to look into the hat, and as he did so he said he saw a candle. The second time he looked in he exclaimed, I've found my hatchet l'—(it had been lost two years)—and immediately ran for it to the spot shown him through the stone, and it was there. The boy was soon beset by neighbors far and near to reveal to them hidden things, and he succeeded marvelously. Even the wanderings of a lost child were traced by him—the distracted parents coming to him three times for directions, and in each case finding signs that the child had been in the places he designated, but at last it was found starved to death. Joe Smith, conceiving the idea of making a fortune through a similar process of seeing,' bought the stone of Belcher and then began his operations in directing where hidden treasures couid be found. His first diggings were near Capt. Buck's saw-mill, at Red Rock ; but, because his followers broke the rule of silence, ' the enchantment removed the deposits.' "
The first reference in the county papers to Joe's influence appears to have been in November, 1831, and December, 1832, when "two or three wretched zealots of Mormonism created much excitement, and made some proselytes in a remote district on the borders of this county and Luzerne." The new converts then purposed removing to " the promised land," near Painesville, Ohio.
In December, 1833, Isaac Hale, of Harmony, addressed a letter to D. P. Hurlburt, in the State of Ohio, in reply to his application fora history of facts
- 37 -
578 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY
relating to the character of Joseph Smith, Jr., author of the Book of Mormon, called by some the Golden Bible." The Mormons pronounced the letter a forgery, and said that Isaac Hale was blind, and could not write his name. This was followed by a request from another gentleman of Ohio, that Mr. Hale would assist in laying open Mormonism to the world, by drawing up a full narrative of the transactions wherein Smith, Jr., was concerned, and attesting the same before a magistrate. The result is here given :—
Statement of Isaac Hale. Affirmed to and subscribed before Chas. Dimon, J. P., March 20, 1834. The good character of Isaac Hale was attested to the following day by Judges Wm. Thomson and D. Dimock.
"I first became acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr., in November, 1825. He was at that time in the employ of a set of men who were called money-diggers,' and his occupation was that of seeing, or pretending to see, by means of a stone placed in his hat, and his hat closed over his face. In this way he pretended to discover minerals and hidden treasure. His appearance at this time was that of a careless young man, not very well educated, and very saucy and insolent to his father. Smith and his father, with several other money-diggers, boarded at my house while they were employed in digging for a mine that they supposed had been opened and worked by the Spaniards many years since. Young Smith gave the money-diggers great encouragement at first, but, when they had arrived in digging to near the place where he had stated an immense treasure would be found, he said the enchantment was so powerful that he could not see. They then became discouraged, and soon after dispersed. This took place about the 17th of November, 1825.
"After these occurrences, young Smith made several visits at may house, and at length asked my consent to his marrying my daughter Emma. This I refused, and gave him my reasons for so doing ; some of which were, that he was a stranger, and followed a business that I could not approve; he then left the place. Not long after this he returned, and, while I was absent from home, carried off my daughter into the State of New York, where they were married (February, 1826), without my approbation or consent. After they had arrived at Palmyra, N. Y., Emma wrote to me inquiring whether she could have her property, consisting of clothing, furniture, cows, etc. I replied that her property was safe and at her disposal. In a short time they returned, and subsequently came to the conclusion that they would mode out and reside upon a place near my residence. Smith stated to me that he had given up what he called `glass-looking,' and that he expected and was willing to work hard for a living. He made arrangements with my son, Alva Hale, to go to Palmyra, and move his (Smith's) furniture, etc., to this place. He then returned to Palmyra, and soon after Alva, agreeably to the arrangement, went up and returned with Smith and his family.
"Soon after this I was informed they had brought a wonderful book of plates down with them. I was shown a box in which it was said they were contained, which had to all appearances been used as a glass box of the common-sized window glass. I was allowed to feel the weight of the box, and they gave me to understand that the book of plates was then in the box, into which, however, I was not allowed to look. I inquired of Joseph Smith, Jr., who was to be the first who would be allowed to see the book of plates ? He said it was a young child. After this I became dissatisfied, and informed him that if there was anything in my house of that description which I could not be allowed to see, he must take it away ; if he did not, I was determined to see it. After that the plates were said to be bid in the woods.
"About this time Martin Harris made his appearance upon the stage; and Smith began to interpret the characters and hieroglyphics which he said were engraven upon the plates, while Harris wrote down the interpretation. . . . . . . 1 told them, then, that I considered the whole of it a delusion, and advised them to abandon it. The manner in which he pretended to read and interpret was the same as when he looked for the money-diggers, with the stone in his hat, and his hat over his face, while the book of plates was at the same time hid in the woods.
APPENDIX - 579
" After this Martin Harris went away, and Oliver Cowdry came and wrote for Smith while he interpreted as above described. This is the same Oliver Cowdry whose name may be found in the Book of Mormon. Cowdry continued a scribe for Smith until the Book of Mormon was completed, as I supposed and understood.
"Joseph Smith, Jr., resided near me for some time after this, and I had a good opportunity of becoming acquainted with him, and somewhat acquainted with his associates, and I conscientiously believe, from the facts I have detailed, and from many other circumstances which I do not deem it necessary to relate, that the whole ` Book of Mormon' (so called) is a silly fabrication of falsehood and wickedness, got up for speculation, and with a design to dupe the credulous and unwary, and in order that its fabricators might live upon the spoils of those who swallowed the deception.
Alva Hale, son of Isaac, stated that Joseph Smith, Jr. , told him that "his (Smith's) gift in seeing with a stone and hat, was a gift from God ;" but also states, that "Smith told him, at another time, that this peeping was all d—d nonsense. He (Smith) was deceived himself, but did not intend to deceive others ; that he intended to quit the business (of peeping) and labor for his livelihood."
Hezekiah McKune stated that, " in conversation with Joseph Smith, Jr., he (Smith) said he was nearly equal to Jesus Christ.; that he was a prophet sent by God to bring in the Jews, and that he was the greatest prophet that had ever arisen."
Joshua McKune stated that he was "acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr., and Martin Harris, during their residence in Harmony, Pa., and knew them to be artful seducers." . . . . .
Levi Lewis stated that " he had been acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr., and Martin Harris, and that he has heard them both say adultery was no crime. With regard to the plates Smith said, God had deceived him—which was the reason he (Smith) did not show the plates.'"
Nathaniel C. Lewis stated he "has always resided in the same neighborhood with Isaac Hale, and knows him to be a man of truth and good judgment. He further states that he has been acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr., and Martin Harris, and knows them to be lying impostors."
Sophia Lewis testifies that she "has frequently heard Smith use profane language. Has heard him say the book of plates could not be opened under penalty of death by any other person but his first-born, which was to be a male." ¹
" We certify that we have long been acquainted with Joshua McKune, Hezekiah McKune, Alva Hale, Levi Lewis, Nathaniel C. Lewis, and Sophia Lewis [the individuals furnishing the several statements-above referred to], and that they are all persons of good moral character, and undoubted truth and veracity.
"ABRAHAM Du Bois, J. Peace.
" JASON WILSON, Postmaster.
" HERBERT LEACH.
" GREAT BEND, SUSQUEHANNA CO, PA., March 20, 1834."
Many stories respecting Joe Smith are still current in the localities he frequented here:—
" A straggling Indian, who was passing up the Susquehanna, had told of buried treasure. Joseph, hearing of this, hunted up the Indian, and induced him to reveal the place where it was buried. The Indian told him that a point, a certain number of paces due north from the highest point of Turkey Hill, on the opposite side of the Susquehanna River, was the place. Joseph now looked about for some man of means to engage in the enterprise. He induced a well-to-do farmer by the name of Harper, of Harpersville, N.Y., to go In with him.
¹ The child was a girl, and was buried in the graveyard on J. MoKune's farm.
580 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
They commenced digging on what is now the farm of Jacob I. Skinner, in Oakland township. After digging a great hole, that is still to be seen, Harper got discouraged, and was about abandoning the enterprise. Joseph now declared to Harper that there was an enchantment about the place that was removing the treasure farther off ; that Harper must get a perfectly white dog,¹ and sprinkle his blood over the ground, and that would prevent the enchantment from removing the treasure. Search was made all over the country, but no perfectly white dog could be found. Joseph said he thought a white sheep would do as well. A sheep was killed, and his blood sprinkled as directed. The digging was then resumed by Harper. After spending $2000 he utterly refused to go any further. Joseph now said that the enchantment had removed all the treasure; that the Almighty was displeased with them for attempting to palm off on Him a white sheep for a white dog, and had allowed the enchantment to remove the treasure. He would sit for hours looking into his hat at the round colored stone, and tell of seeing things far away and supernatural. At times he was melancholy and sedate, as often hilarious and mirthful ; an imaginative enthusiast, constitutionally opposed to work, and a general favorite with the ladies.
"Smith early put on the airs of a prophet, and was in the habit of blessing' his neighbors' crops for a small consideration. On one occasion a neighbor had a piece of corn planted rather late, and on a moist piece of ground, and, feeling a little doubtful about its ripening, got Smith to bless it. It happened that that was the only piece of corn killed by the frost in the neighborhood. When the prophet's attention was called to the matter, he got out of the difficulty by saying that he made a mistake, and put a curse on the corn instead of a blessing. Rather an unneighborly act, and paid for, too!"
Harris came from Coventry, Chenango County, N. Y. [Query. Was he not the same Martin Harris who, in 1799, was imprisoned and broke jail at Wilkes-Barre ?]
Joe often told Mrs. D. Lyons of the hidden treasure, aud of the "enchantment" about it, and that it was necessary that one of the company should die before the enchantment could be broken.
After Oliver Harper's death the digging was prosecuted with renewed energy. Harper had been efficient in procuring men and means to carry on the enterprise, which was not to search for the "plates" from which Joe pretended to receive revelations, but for reported hidden treasure.
A belief that money will yet be found as predicted still affects some weak characters, and even within the last five years digging has been carried on slyly at night on or towards Locust Hill, but not in the same place where Joe's believers worked.
The compiler has herself visited the place where the Book of Mormon was prepared for publication. A part of the building forms the rear of the house at present occupied by Mrs. Joseph McKnne. It was (in Joe's time) close by the brook, and had been used by Mr. Hale for dressing deer-skins. Mrs. Lyons saw both Smith and Harris there with the manuscript in hand.
Samuel Brush, of Oakland, often talked with Harris upon the subject of the translation ; but, though Mr. B. was often in company with Joe Smith, fishing, etc., the latter never referred to it, and "this was after all the digging."
Reference has been made to the difference of opinion in regard to Joe's first operations in Susquehanna County. R. C. Doud asserts that in 1822 he was employed, with thirteen others, by Oliver Harper, to dig for gold under Joe's directions (though the latter was not present at the time), on Joseph McKune's land ; and that Joe had begun operations the year previous. He states that George Harper, a brother of Oliver, had no faith in the enter-
¹ Another version of this is : "To remove the enchantment, Joe's followers killed a black dog, in lieu of the desired black ram, and dragged it around and around in the pit."
APPENDIX - 581
prise, but tracked the party to Hale's farm. The digging was kept up constantly ; seven resting and seven at work.
On the old Indian road from Windsor to Chenango Point, about four wiles west of Windsor, men were digging, at the same time, for silver, upon Joe's telling them where it could be found. Mr. D. further states that he himself had no faith at all, but hired out at so much per day, and it was of no consequence to him whether his employer gained his point or not.
It is said that even Mr. Isaac Hale was at first a little deluded about the digging, while he boarded the party. This probably was some time before he had met Joe Smith ; as it would appear, that the time referred to by Mrs. D. Lyons, was in 1825, when the digging was renewed after Harper's death, and Joe himself was present.
Jacob I. Skinner. son of Jacob (who was twin-brother of Israel Skinner), has the deed of the land on which Joe's followers experimented. It is something over a quarter of a mile north of the river to "the diggings," up Flat Brook. The accompanying diagram will illustrate the relative position of the pits.
JOE SMITH'S DIGGINGS.
1. Situation of J. I Skinner's house.
2. Pit filled and grain growing over it.
3. A larger pit filled.
4. A smaller one partly filled.
5. A pit that has not been disturbed, in the woods.
6. Fence. Relative positions only, not exactly proportionate distances, are here given.
Starting from Susquehanna Depot to reach this place, one crosses the bridge and turns to the left following the road nearest the river, which strikes the old river road at Shutt's house; then continuing on down until he crosses a creek and comes in sight of a school-house, with a grove beyond it, in front of which, on the opposite side of the road, is a graveyard. Just above the school-house he turns into a road on the right, and follows up "Flat Brook" to the farm now owned by J. I. Skinner. From his house a path leads about 120 yards southeast to the largest excavation, which was also the last one, from which proceeds a drain about twelve rods long.
The sides of the pits were once perpendicular, but one has been wholly filled up, and corn is growing over it; another, in addition to the large one mentioned, is now partially filled, and the sides in consequence are sloping. In the fourth (the one just over the fence), no alteration has been made, ex-
582 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
cept as cattle have pushed in the surface around it to reach the water which gathers there. It is under the trees, the land not having yet been cleared.
Poor Emma Hale Smith lived long enough to rue her " inquiry into Joe's character ;" the pretext she gave for leaving home the day she went with him to be married.
(Her mother said to Mrs. D. Lyons, "Don't you think Emma was such a goose as to go up to Joe's father's to find out his character ?")
Joe Smith removed to Ohio where he founded a church ; from there the " Saints" moved to Independence, Mo.. Smith following them January, 1838. From Independence they went to Nauvoo, Illinois, where Smith was imprisoned, on a warrant obtained by the owners of the "Expositor" newspaper, which had been demolished by Smith's orders. On the 27th of June, 1844, a mob of nearly two hundred men broke into the jail and shot Joseph Smith, Jr., and Hiram, his brother.
THE TREADWELL TRIAL.
[In the early period of the labors of the compiler in preparing a history of Susquehanna County, she spent several weeks in condensing the voluminous notes of one of Treadwell's counsel, B. T. Case, Esq., and weaving in such outside information respecting the case as had come to hand. On account of its being the first trial of its kind in the county, it excited an intense interest, which has scarcely yet disappeared; but the annals have so grown upon her bands as to render compression a necessity, and the repulsiveness of this subject, together with the fact of the greater frequency of trials of this kind at the present day, may justify its selection for only a passing notice here. Should there be any persons who feel an interest to look further into the facts of the case, they are welcome to take the fuller account originally prepared for this work, or perhaps they may find it published hereafter in the newspapers of the county.]
About sunset. May 11th, 1824, the body of Oliver Harper, son of Hon. Geo. Harper of Windsor, N. Y., was found lying and streaming with blood in the old Harmony road, a mile and a half below Lane's mill (Lanesboro). A foul murder had been committed, and suspicion pointed to Jason Treadwell, of Harmony (Oakland), or possibly just over the line in Great Bend, as the author of the deed. He was arrested and brought to Montrose jail. His trial took place Sept. 1-5, 1824, before Judge Herrick, with D. Dimock and Wm. Thomson, Associates. He was defended by B. T. Case, Esq., and Hon. Horace Williston, late of Athens, Bradford County; while N. B. Eldred and Garrick Mallery, Esqs., were the attorneys on the part of the Commonwealth. The evidence daily grew stronger to implicate Treadwell as the murderer; and the jury's verdict was, "GUILTY." Upon his own statement he knew who committed the deed ; he lent the rifle to the murderer, gave him provisions while lying in the woods two days—the time within which Harper and another man were expected to pass with money; received the rifle in a secluded spot the evening after the murder, and kept him secreted that night. But until he saw his own immediate danger of paying the penalty, he was silent as to any knowledge of the murder.
He was executed Jan. 13, 1825, on the only gallows ever erected in Susquehanna County. The location was on the west side of the public square, nearly in front of the present residence of Dr. Vail. [There is some discrepancy in the statements respecting this.] The remains were taken to Great Bend and interred on the bluff above the 60.feet cut on the Erie Railway, between the house of I. Hasbrook and that of the late Isaac Reckhow, Esq. He left a widow and seven children. The county newspaper, for two months after the execution, contained earnest discussions upon the question of capital punishment.
APPENDIX - 583
The Hon. H. Williston relied upon his client's protestations of innocence until the following incident occurred on the trial :—
One witness described the disguised person seen in the woods the day Harper was shot, and not far from where he was found dead, as having on a particular coat, from which a certain button was missing. The coat was produced, shown to be Treadwell's ; but there was no missing button. The fact tended to discredit the witness, and favor Treadwell. As the trial passed on Mr. Williston drew the coat towards him, carelessly turned it over so that he could see the button alleged to have been missing, and discovered, by the thread, etc., that the button had been newly sewed on! A cold conviction of Treadwell's guilt passed over his lawyer like an ague chill, as this mute fact corroborated the witness. He revealed it to no one then, and but rarely in later years. Both 0. N. Worden, Esq. (who furnished the item), and Hon. W. J. Turrell, have heard the incident from his own lips.
The former in a recent statement says:—
" While in Great Bend village, Mr. Hinsdale, a shoemaker, who saw Tread-well hung, stated that his brother received, about twenty years ago, the printed confession of a man who was hung near New Orleans, in which the criminal stated that he had committed seven murders, but knew of only one man being hung for his crimes. That was Treadwell, of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Both lay in wait for the murdered man One was to shoot first, and if Isis shot was not successful, the other was to shoot next The first shot fell to the man named ; Isis victim fell dead ; and so Treadwell did not have to shoot, and did not shoot, although he was in every respect, excepting the first shot, a murderer.
" The name of the criminal who was hung, and the exact time and place, Mr. Hinsdale cannot recall ; but having, although young, witnessed T's execution, this revelation of the probable accomplice remains clear upon his mind."
NOTE TO PAGE 24.—The following letter of Hon. J. W. Chapman is in explanation of the magnetic variation in running the county line
" Having as county surveyor retraced, and with careful chain-carriers remeasured the east line of Susquehanna County, under the direction of our county commissioners in August, 1870—a little over two years ago—I am able to give the precise course and distance from personal observation.
In doing so I have to correct the survey of Mr. Case in 1827, from whose notes the statement is made. Although the very best authority, generally, in such matters, Mr. Case reported the whole distance to be six perches less than 24 miles to a stone-heap erected on (what he took to be) the State line. Charles Avery, Esq., who was one of the commissioners at the time, and now the only living man among us who accompanied Mr. Case in 1827, says, they built the monument on a marked E. and W. line, which they took to be the State line ; and it being in the wilderness, several miles from any habitation at the time, and late in the last day of the week, and a storm impending, they quit without further examination.
" We found the stone monument according to his measure, but the true State line over three-fourths of a mile beyond, proved by tracing it eastward 120 perches to the sixth mile-stone from the Delaware River, by which the exact width of the east end of the county is proved to be 24 3/4 miles, and the length only 33 miles and 200 perches, instead of 34 miles, as generally quoted from the sixth to the fortieth mile-stone.'
"Having some years since measured the west line of this county also (excepting the width of Auburn township), I know it starts from the fortieth milestone, and the width must be about 24¼ 1miles at the west end—or mile less than the east end; and the State line of Pennsylvania and New York being due east and west on the forty-second parallel of latitude, we found the present variation of the magnetic needle to be 5¾; the apparent course of the State line being 84¼ E. and N. 84¼ W. The present apparent course of the east line of the county was found to be N. 3 E.; while the true
584 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
meridian being 5¾ therefrom, the real course of the line must be about N. 2¼ W.
" This line was originally run for the division between Northampton and Northumberland Counties, Wayne County since taken from the former, and Luzerne (now Susquehanna) from the latter; and, instead of striking the State line at the sixth mile-stone, as generally supposed, it is 120 rods west of it.
"The matter may be more briefly stated thus: Susquehanna County extends from 120 perches west of the sixth milestone on the New York State line to the fortieth, and is consequently 33 5/8 miles in length by about 24fr miles average width ; the east line being 24 3/4 miles precisely, and the west about 24¼; the true polar course of the east line being N. 2¼° W. ; and the north line due west, embracing an area of about 824 square miles."
WOMAN'S WORK FOR THE UNITED STATES SANITARY COMMISSION.
MONTROSE AND BRIDGEWATER.
In Montrose, woman's work for the soldiers of the late war began immediately upon the formation of the first company of volunteers, April 22, 1861. During the ten days which elapsed before its departure for the seat of war, trembling fingers prepared lint while hearts ached at the thought, so suddenly forced upon them, of its possible speedy use. To most women, the roll of the drum, and the company's drill, were depressing rather than inspiriting; but, since men must meet their country's call, the women of 1861, as those of 1776, arose to make them ready.
Mrs. Judge Jessup had prepared a dinner for sixty volunteers from Susquehanna Depot, the day the company was organized.
Mrs. Wm. L. Post procured subscriptions for the purchase of a flag for the company, two days later.
On the 26th, while picking lint, a number of ladies were in consultation at Mrs. W. J. Mulford's, in regard to the making of blouses, haversacks, and shirts, material for which had been provided.
April 29th a full meeting was held at Academy Hall, for cutting out and arranging the work, which was consigned to committees, and distributed throughout the community. The few sewing machines then here were kept constantly busy in the work.
On the 30th at Mrs. B. S. Bentley's, and on May 1st, at Mrs. F. B. Chandler's, there were large gatherings of the ladies engaged on the shirts and blouses, while the young ladies, at Mrs. I. L. Post's, finished eighty-four haversacks. Everywhere there was activity and excitement.
May 2d, 1861, all the preparations were completed, garments and haversacks having been taken to Judge Jessup's, and, at 11 A. M., the company, (Charles Warner, captain,) marched there to receive them.
In each haversack, Mrs. Jessup had placed a Testament; and within each, another had slipped a printed card, endorsed by the " Mothers and Sisters of Montrose," at one of the meetings of the previous week. It was expressive of the spirit in which they began the great work afterward accomplished by them, saying to the volunteers, " We regard you as a part of the great National Police, to whom we shall owe not only our personal safety, but the preservation of the true idea of national self-government."
From Judge Jessup's house the company marched to the court-house, where the flag was presented them, and its acceptance acknowledged in a speech by Ira N. Burritt, who has since done his country honored service. Fifty-six carriages took the volunteers to the depot. A sadder day had never been known in Montrose. Though the enlistment had been only for three months, it was expected severe fighting would occur in the mean time, but that this would end the war. On reaching Harrisburg, other measures
APPENDIX - 585
were found to prevail, and enlistment for three years being demanded, the most of the company returned home by the 11th of May following. Upon the organization of Capt. G. Z. Dimock's company, Sept. 19, 1861, and prior to their departure on the 27th of the same month, the ladies of Montrose busied themselves in preparing for their comfort.
In December following, four large boxes were forwarded to the company at Beaufort, S. C. The perilous voyage in the " Winfield Scott," with the overtasking of mind and body it involved to those on board, and particularly to Company D., Fiftieth Pennsylvania Volunteers, placed a number of the latter on the sick list, and for them a special boxwas prepared. These boxes were gratefully acknowledged, January, 1862.
Though the U. S. Sanitary Commission was at work ere this, and in September. '61, had received the endorsement of President Lincoln and General Winfield Scott, little was known of it here.
In July, 1862, just prior to the organization of the Montrose Soldiers' Aid, public notice was given that a box would be forwarded, as soon as filled, to our sick and wounded soldiers in a Philadelphia hospital. The call was promptly met by our citizens generally. The receipt of this and of a second bOX was gratefully acknowledged six days later.
July 31, 1862, the ladies of Montrose met and organized a Soldiers' Aid Society—the first in Susquehanna County. It orginated in the casual meeting of four ladies, detained by a shower, in the vestibule of the Baptist church; when one of them, being the wife of a soldier (C. W. Mott), then sick in camp, and another, the daughter of a soldier (E. B. Mooney), mentioned the receipt of letters from them, which revealed their destitution. Actuated by these accounts, the ladies then and there agreed to exert themselves to secure the formation of a society for the relief. not only of the soldiers in question, but, as far as might be, for that of their suffering comrades wherever they could be reached. A number of the ladies of the borough were shortly afterwards called upon and requested to meet at Mrs. Mooney's, on the day above mentioned; when, as it resulted, the four were joined by perhaps as many more. Mrs. Wm. L. Post presided ; and the organization was effected by assent to certain rules, making the chief officer, or president, to be chosen weekly, that the responsibility might be shared by all. Miss Kate N. Hill was elected a permanent secretary and treasurer.
During the week following, Mrs. J. W. Chapman and Mrs. Benjamin Case, as well as the former, solicited from the community such material as could be made available in preparing comforts for the soldiers; their second meeting was at Mrs. Post's, and was fully attended. The gentlemen of the place, from the outset, encouraged the movement. A lawyer offered a room in his office for their accommodation, but, before they had occupied it, Mr. B. R. Lyons, having two large rooms over his store, most conveniently fitted up for the purpose, tendered their use to the society. Over fifty ladies gathered here about the middle of August, 1862 ; and, with varying numbers (often more than fifty), they met here every week for two and a half years, during which, Mr. L: did gratuitously everything for their comfort which kindness and liberality could devise. He furnished fuel for three winters. During the first months, no one was obliged to stay at home, on Soldiers' Aid day, because of a storm or of bad walking; the carriage and escort of Hon. M. C. Tyler were always in readiness, and often secured an efficient meeting, that must otherwise have been a failure.
The report of the society, from its organization to October 6, 1862, showed an income from private cash donations, subscriptions, avails of concert by Montrose band, and of the ladies' table at the fair, etc., amounting to $274.43. From this $21.23 had been paid to the express company for charges on seven boxes. Of these, one was sent to Capt. Dimock, Fredericksburg, Md. ; two to Miss Ellen Mitchell, Point Lookout, Md. ; one to Mr. Charles
586 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Neale, Washington, D. C.; two to Quartermaster Gen. Hale, Harrisburg, Pa. ; one to Miss E. P. Heberton, Media, Pa. The contents were shirts, dressing-gowns, slippers, canned and dried fruit, etc.
Early attention had been given to drying berries and currants for the use of the sick in army hospitals ; but, in the fall of 1862. a call from the Sanitary Commission for dried apples furnished glad work for many neighborhoods. A circular, entitled, " What they have to do who stay at home," issued by the same soon after, was of great service.
The society had the free use of the columns of the Montrose newspapers, and it is but just to refer very much of its efficiency to this fact.
As winter approached, attention was given to knitting and procuring woolen socks for soldiers in actual service. An entertainment was given by the society. Christmas eve, at Academy Hall, the avails of which were $154.43. Prior receipts from the Odd Fellows and Masonic Lodges, and private donations in money and clothing had given abundant means for the work in hand ; and, by the close of 1862, the eighth box had been filled. This was forwarded to the Sanitary Commission in New York. The ladies were assured that, with one exception, their consignments had reached the parties designed ; one box, it is supposed, fell into the enemy's hands.
About the 1st of January, 1863, the Montrose Aid elected new officers, and abrogated the plan of rotation in the office of president ; Mrs. Mary L. Wootton was chosen permanently; Mrs. F. B. Chandler, vice-president; Mrs. M. C. Tyler, Mrs. Joel D. Lyons, Mrs. I. Vadakin, Mrs. Hugh McCollum, Mrs. Wm. L. Post, Mrs. Erastus Rogers, Mrs. N. Mitchell, and Mrs. Gilbert Warner, on financial and executive committees; Miss Hetty D. Biddle, treasurer ; Miss Ellen Searle, secretary ; a new office was resolved upon—that of corresponding secretary—and Emily C. Blackman was elected to fill it. The first meeting of a Mite Society acting in connection with the Aid, was held Jan. 6th, at Mrs. Charles Neale's.
Not far from this time the ladies of Philadelphia responded favorably to an appeal from H. W. Bellows, President of the U. S. Sanitary Commission, for uniting the women of that city, "and throughout the Keystone State, in a more systematic supply of the wants of the National Soldier, who falls wounded or sick in the service of his country." In return the President of the Commission addressed to Mrs. Moore, the Corresponding Secretary of the organization in Philadelphia, a circular to be communicated to the women of our whole State, giving a statement of the facilities enjoyed by the Sanitary Commission for doing its work, and its reasons for wishing to concentrate the efforts of individuals and societies then acting independently.
This circular came to us accompanied by one issued by the Women's Pennsylvania Branch of the U. S. Sanitary Commission, and signed by Caleb Cope, president and treasurer; R. M. Lewis, secretary; Mrs. M. B. Grier, chairman, and Mrs. B. H. Moore, corresponding secretary, with more than fifty names on the different committees of the ladies of Philadelphia, comprising many of its best citizens. An appeal from them merited and received consideration, and particularly as it was based on facts such as these :—
"That the Commission's agents are notified of the time of an army's advance, and permitted to transfer their stores to as near the front as possible—and that they are the only organization authorized by Government to pass within the lines, and administer their supplies on the field of battle for the saving of life and the relief of suffering, knowing no difference between men from any section who are nobly fighting for the preservation of the Union.
" The work must be left undone if THE WOMEN of the land do not keep the Sanitary Commission supplied with the means of doing it."
Then followed a statement of their own organization, and an invitation to " every loyal woman" in the city and State, and surrounding counties of other States, to co-operate with them.
APPENDIX - 587
In response to this, the Soldiers' Aid of Montrose, March, 1863, became an auxiliary of the Women's Pennsylvania Branch, by au unanimous vote of the Society ; and thereafter were stimulated to a greater degree of activity. First, by having a safe and prompt mode of transportation, free of expense to ourselves ; thus allowing us to use all our funds for the purchase of material and maintenance of the Society ; and, secondly, by the encouragement received through a correspondence with the Commission, as also with the ladies of the societies that soon organized in our vicinity. From the Montrose Aid, an appeal had been issued through the local newspapers, in the endeavor to arouse the county to exertion and to a connection with the Sanitary Commission. Circulars from the Women's Pennsylvania Branch were received by the society, and distributed by letter, and by personal interview on the street, one public day, when almost every township was represented in Montrose. The society's appeal had solicited the correspondence that was afterwards so mutually encouraging, and which served to give to the societies of the county some unity of method as well as of purpose.
Still, this would have failed to effect a result commensurate with the demand, but for the acceptance, by Miss SARAH M. WALKER, of her appointment, May 5, 1853, as Associate Manager of the W. P. B. for Susquehanna County; the duties of which post she at once assumed, by correspondence, being then in Philadelphia. Upon her return to her " mountain home," she made a visit in person to several societies, and in other instances assisted in their organization. Her presence and influence were the mainspring in the machinery of operations from that time onward. The demands upon her pen, so freely met ; the amount of travel and exposure to which she was subjected ; the untiring voice of entreaty and encouragement which she gave to the work, are facts known throughout the county, and her services were fully appreciated by the highest officers of the Commission. But we anticipate.
In March, 1863, Miss Walker then in Philadelphia, " meeting with the circulars of the Women's Pennsylvania Branch, became interested in the completeness of the system, and sent them to the ` Ladies Aid' in Montrose, which resulted in a cordial response of valuable supplies—the very first received at the rooms, No. 1307 Chestnut street." Within five months three dozen boxes had been forwarded by the society to the same destination, besides one box to the militia by Major Jessup. The secretary in, her report of these gave the number of articles (shirts, 254, and other things in proportion), but added : " Not having estimated each consignment when sent, it is impossible to do it now."
Our rooms had been witness to exciting scenes through this summer. Extra meetings had been called after the Gettysburg battles, and four boxes were packed and forwarded within forty-eight hours. When the militia and " emergency men" were about to leave, the society, too, was pronounced in the public prints
" EQUAL TO THE EMERGENCY.—If our men deserve credit for the promptness with which they responded to the call of the Goveruor, there is no less praise due to the ladies who did so much to get/them ready. Haversacks for a hundred men were to be made and filled with three days' rations, woolen shirts were to be made, and a hundred other little conveniences were to be got ready in a few hours. The ladies undertook the work, and by the time the company was ready to go, everything was ready for them to go with."
The society had been befriended in the matter of funds.
The "Emergency Band" gave the avails of a concert, $100; the music department of the Academy gave another, with just half that result, but which permitted the society to give to each of two nurses $25, for the purchase of such delicacies for the sick as might be wanting in the hospitals. A strawberry festival—the berries a donation from J. P. W. Riley, and the proceeds of which were nearly $65; a private dramatic entertainment supplied over $40; a still larger sum was given by the citizens; on one occasion
588 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY
$25 from one individual; $15 from another ; $10 at different times from others, and many a five dollar note from as many friends were all so many spurs to our industry, as well as to procure material upon which to exercise it.
In August, 1863, at the thanksgiving services, after great Union victories, a collection of $25 was taken up and sent to the Christian Commission. Several young misses held a fair at the residence of H. Drinker, realizing $42.48, which was forwarded to the Sanitary Commission.
Owing to the departure of the president of the society, Mrs. Wootton, for Georgetown, D. C., to take charge as matron of the Volunteer Officers' Hospital, Mrs. Isaac N. Bullard was elected to fill her place, and it is pleasant to record here the unanimous opinion of the society, that we were singularly happy in having presiding officers of such energy and faithfulness, and to
whose excellent judgment very much of our efficiency was due. A tribute is fitting here also to the recording secretary, Miss Ellen Searle, of whose valuable service we were about this time deprived by her removal to Pittston. Pa., where her death occurred, in October, 1867.
In November, '63, the society sent two barrels valued at $100, to the prisoners at Richmond. During this month Miss Walker responded to the request for a report of the Aid Societies of Susquehanna County, from which we learn that there were at that time 21 societies. One township had three societies, three or more townships sent their contributions to the Montrose Aid, and in two instances two townships acted in concert. This, with our 27 townships, left but few where there was no organized effort. Before the close of the year two more societies were added to the list. When this report was read before the Board of Managers of the W. P. B. of the U. S. San. Com., December 7th, 1863, "it was on motion, resolved, that the secretary be requested to convey to Miss Walker the thanks and gratification of the meeting for the same, and to express through her to the societies of the county this appreciation of the noble efforts they are making in behalf of the Commission and our great cause." In forwarding this to Miss W., the secretary, H. M. Lewis added : " It affords me great pleasure to have this opportunity to express my cordial wish for the continued increase of your work, and to say how much we are indebted for it to your unwearied exertions as our associate manager."
Prior to 1864, the Montrose Aid had forwarded 82 barrels, boxes, and firkins, containing supplies for the sick and wounded. More than half of them went to the W. P. Branch.
The Mite Society, Miss Kate E. Searle, sec., continued to hold its meetings or " sociables," the avails of which were expended in the relief of absent soldiers' families. Thus, undesignedly, the young people imitated the noble example of Westmoreland (Wyoming), in 1777, when, at a town meeting, it was " voted by this town, that the committee of inspection be empowered to supply the sogers' wives and the sogers' widows, and their families, with the necessaries of life."—[Miner's History of Wyoming, p. 207.]
In January, 1864, the societies of the county were represented by Miss Walker at the Grand Council of the different branches of the Sanitary Commission at Washington, D. C. The following month she sent her appeal (lithographed) to the Aid Societies in behalf of the Great Central Fair at Philadelphia, to swell the receipts of the U. S. Sanitary Commission, February 26th, the Montrose Aid held a sanitary fair at the Keystone Hotel, realizing about $400.
April 11th, a meeting of the citizens was held at the Court House, "to take into consideration the best method of representing the patriotism and ability of Susquehanna County at the great fair, in June next, at Philadelphia." Township committees had been appointed and requested to procure subscriptions to the fair; Wm. H. Jessup was appointed to prepare a circular for the use of the several committees. The Aid Societies acted as committees in all townships where organized. The result was most gratifying. More than
APPENDIX - 589
$3000 were contributed by the county, the Montrose Aid collection being one-tenth of the amount. Several valuable relics were given up and disposed of, that the proceeds might comfort the sufferers of the national army.
Three or four copies of a large picture of the Fair buildings on Logan Square, Phila., drawn from nature, and on stone, and printed in oil colors, were presented to the Montrose Aid by the managers of the fair. Total receipts of the fair, about $1,200,000.
During the progress of the fair, a paper was issued by the commission, entitled ' Our Daily Fare.' Miss Walker procured fifty subscriptions for this, at $1.00 each. Other ladies in the county served the cause in a similar manner, but to a less extent.
In the mean time, the ordinary work of the society was not suspended. The fifty-seventh consignment was made to the W. P. B., the day after our box for the fair was forwarded.
Early in August, '64, an urgent appeal came to us, as to all contributing to the W. P. B., for blackberry brandy.
"We are losing," it stated, "lives valuable to home and country for the want of this remedial agent. We append a receipt, that no one may be at a loss as to the mode of preparing it. What is done must be done quickly. Old linen and muslin, and bandages are also needed in large quantities. Hospitals, crowded with wounded men, are suffering for want of them. Act promptly ; send largely."
In response to this, the society sent five boxes of blackberry syrup, in the month of August, '64. A dramatic association of ladies and gentlemen of the place, assisted by visitors, gave to the society, this month, $150.
At the suggestion of the associate manager, a call for a county council of soldiers' aid societies was made in the fall of 1864.
The following reports show the response it received :—
Secretary's Report, October 18, 1864.
"The Ladies' Aid Societies of Susquehanna County in council, and friends of the soldiers, met at the court-house at 2 o'clock P.M., on the 18th inst. Hon. Win. J. Turrell was elected president of the council, and, on taking the chair, addressed the meeting with a few well-timed remarks. The following were elected vice-presidents : Hon. C. F. Read, B. R. Lyons, M. C. Stewart, Miss Sarah Walker, Mrs. L. Hewen, Mrs. Wade, Mrs. Cooley, Mrs. Stanford, Mrs. Thomas, and Mrs. M. C. Stewart. Secretaries, Dr. C. C. Halsey, Thomas Nicholson, and G. A. Jessup.
"Miss Sarah Walker, associate manager for Susquehanna County, from her list, called on the different societies to report. Reports were made (some at length, and some briefly and verbally) by the following, viz: Montrose,Elk Lake, Springville, Lawsville Center, West Herrick, Auburn, West Auburn, Jackson, Glenwood, Rush (Eddy), Clifford, Dimock, Bridgewater, West Harford, Liberty, Fairdale, and Franklin.
"Hon. C. F. Read reported, as chairman of the county committee to the sanitary fair, that over $3000 had been sent to the Central Fair at Philadelphia from this county, and Miss Walker added the testimony of one prominent in the Sanitary Commission, that the direct supplies thereto from this county had not been lessened by this great contribution to the fair, as had been the case in many other counties. Mrs. D. Parish, of Philadelphia, made a brief address. Mrs. Holstein, of the same place, who has for the most of two years labored for the Sanitary Commission, and has recently come from the front, made a very interesting report, and many important suggestions. Said the organization here was more complete than in any other county she knew of. She had seen no rooms equal to those of the Soldiers' Aid Society in this place.
"In the evening, Dr. Parish, of Philadelphia, addressed the meeting at length —gave a full and very interesting account of the operations of the Commission. Rev. Mr. Cather, of Philadelphia, also spoke at length on the same subject.
590 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
"Hon. Wm. J. Turrell made a brief address.
"One of the resolutions unanimously adopted by the meeting was this :—
"Resolved, That we regard the labors of the Sanitary Commission as second in importance only to the actual service of the soldiers in the field, and that our confidence in its efficiency increases more and more as we become thoroughly acquainted with its operations.
" Dr. Halsey, secretary of the Council, at a later date, reported :—
"A few societies were unable to report by reason of the loose manner in which their accounts had been kept. Deaths, sickness, and removals are the reasons, in some cases, of imperfect reports. A large number sent in complete returns containing lists of all articles forwarded, with estimated cash value, while some sent complete lists, with cash value of only a part, or the cash value of all that had been done, with only a partial list of articles. Some have only a list of articles, and others only the cash value.
"Montrose, Harford, Uniondale, Franklin, Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Rush, Forest Lake, Friendsville and Forest Lake, West Harford, Lawsville, Center, Dimock (two societies), Friendsville, West Auburn, Clifford, Springville, Auburn, East Bridgewater, and Little Meadows aid societies have sent to the Sanitary Commission, 1247 shirts, 174 sheets, 588 pair drawers, 720 pillows, 755 pillow cases, 212 arm slings, 291 dressing gowns, 247 pairs slippers, 342 pairs socks, 1913 towels and handkerchiefs, 126 quilts and blankets, 295 bottles of wine, 71 gallons of wine, 1 keg of wine, 1 cask of wine, 28 gallons syrup, 507 cans of fruit, 2709 pounds of dried fruit of all kinds, 13 1/2 bushels dried fruit, 273 packages dried fruit, 31 1/2 firkins of pickles, 100 pounds of butter, 5 tubs of butter, 1 firkin of butter, 50 pounds maple sugar, 1125 cakes maple sugar, 1731 dozen eggs, 1 keg eggs, 16 coats, 64 hop pillows, 2 pairs shoes, 3 1/2 bushels apples, 10 quarts vinegar, 12 cans honey, 14 cans sundries, 11 bushels potatoes, 110 needle-books, etc., 61 pads, 1 sack dried corn, 8 quarts dried corn, 12 pounds horseradish, 17 pounds corn starch, 32 pounds cheese, 6 pairs mittens, 4 pairs pants, 110 lemons, 300 and more packages of unenumerated articles.
" Large quantities of bandages, lint, old cloth, reading matter, dried beef, sage, hops, fruit, combs, jelly, tea, green currants, pie plant, currant shrub, raspberry and elderberry vinegar, peaches, pears, eggs, beans, etc., are reported, of which no exact account can be given.
"Great Bend, Glenwood, Elk Lake, Brooklyn, Upsonville, and Jackson Aid Societies report estimated cash value of articles sent at $943.62; donation from Welsh citizens, $200; sent to central fair articles valued at over $3000; making considerably more than $4000 in addition to the foregoing list of articles.
" West Auburn and several other societies that were struggling to keep up the good work acknowledge, with thanks, $10 donations for their encouragement from unknown friends, by hand of Miss S. M. Walker.
"Mrs. Grier, of Philadelphia, wrote to the associate manager, 'I am so delighted with the report and summary you have sent It is, indeed, most gratifying and full of encouragement to earnest, faithful workers, as showing them, through you, what fidelity, and perseverance, and faith can accomplish. I feel like saying, Hurrah for Susquehanna County!' I have been so worn out this summer and fall that such things refresh me,"'
The thanksgiving collection, November, 1864, and a second supper, given at the Keystone Hotel in December, so replenished the treasury of the Montrose Aid, that, notwithstanding the large expenditures of the year, there was a good balance on hand.
The following, prepared by Mrs. Webb, is a summary report for each year of the society, from its organization to the close of 1864.
The receipts of the society for the year 1862 were . $446 19
Expenditures for the same year . . . 259 21
Leaving balance of . $186 98
Miss KATE HILL, Treasurer.
APPENDIX - 591
MRS. H. J. WEBB, Treasurer.
It must be understood that Bridgewater had no separate organization from the Montrose Aid until late in 1864.
Hitherto little has been said of difficulties encountered by the Montrose Aid, and, in contrast with those known in scattered neighborhoods, they had none ; but at least one difficulty they had in common. This arose from the often repeated stories derogatory to the San. Com. Respecting these, Mr. Knapp, special Relief Agent of the San. Com. at Washington, wrote :—
" At times the supplies at our store-houses in Washington have been very short, and some of the demands for the hospitals could not be met ; but as a general thing nineteen-twentieths of all the real needs which come within their proper province to supply, have been met.
" A great many requisitions are made upon the charity of the people, through the Sanitary Commission, for supplies that can and ought to be obtained from the Government, and it is made an especial duty of our hospital visitors to endeavor to insure to the patients such supplies through that legitimate channel, rather than by distributing of the Sanitary stores. I inclose to you a list furnished me direct from the books kept at the store-house of the Commission, of articles given out by the agents of the Commission in Judiciary Square Hospital (where it is stated that little or nothing was furnished) during the four months prior to December 1st, 1864. You will perceive that of wool shirts, there are nearly 400 ; wool drawers, 230 ; socks, 251 ; towels and handkerchiefs together, over 500 ; blackberry wine, 95 bottles. These were distributed in small quantities from week to week, to meet real needs, although at times more would have been issued and wisely had the stock on hand been larger.
"Our hospital visitors endeavor, each one in his or her own assigned hospitals, to go through all the wards at least once each week, and learn the needs, and so far as is right supply them. Those hospital visitors are all, I believe, conscientious, earnest men or women, doing their work with thoroughness, and with no dainty bands—visiting the bedsides of the men themselves and ministering to them. None of the agents referred to keep house in the city—but all board, with one exception, at the simplest tables with the ordinary accommodations. That one, for good reasons, boards at a hotel.
" With one exception, also, the vehicles used by these agents in visiting the hospitals, and conveying the supplies, are simply covered wagons—one horse and wagon being assigned to a visitor who attends to three or four hospitals. For that one person, excepted for good reasons (connected with the work of visiting with other hospitals, the post hospitals, and the hospitals of various forts at long distances from each other), two horses and a comfortable carriage are provided."
692 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
Extracts from Mrs. Grier's letter to Miss Walker:—
"The Sanitary Commission in every city is composed of the very best and wisest men who could be selected for an important trust: such men as dying fathers trust their children and fortunes to. In Philadelphia we have no more honored names than those who compose our Ex. Corn. of gentlemen. You know of them yourself. It is the same in New York and Boston. The Commission itself is composed of men known for character and intellect all over the country. I ask these doubters whether they think it likely such men would lend themselves to establish a great fraud, or even to cover it if it bad crept into an institution without their knowledge ? Why, their very honored names are at stake in the fair fame of the Sanitary Commission. It is impossible, too, that anything really wrong should go long undiscovered if it were caused by minor officials. Think of the constant system of checks and guards kept upon the employees of the Commission.
" For instance in our office, I am certain it would be utterly impossible for roguery to go undiscovered for a week. I know the general work of the Corn. is so conducted. Then think of the watching people all the time on the lookout for mismanagement of the trust they have reposed in the institution. The Christian Commission is also a first-rate police force to see that the Sanitary does no wrong."
The same month the Montrose Aid were in receipt of a letter from Miss Ellen Mitchell, in which she says : "The Sanitary have adopted a new plan of distributing their stores in the hospitals around Washington. And with what they are doing for us at present, and the manner of doing it, I am satisfied entirely."
The last year of the war, and the closing up of the work of the U. S. San. Commission, found the Montrose Aid faithful to the last.
After having had the use of Mr. Lyons' rooms two and a half years, we were offered the pleasant parlor of the engine house, No. 1, by the Rough and Ready Company, upon the former being needed for another purpose.
The first meeting at the engine house was held March 2, '65, during a severe snow-storm, which, however, did not prevent a large number from being in attendance, or keep away the indefatigable Associate Manager, who rode ten miles to meet us and return. Four barrels were packed that day for the W. P. B. The young misses of the place contributed patchwork ready for quilting with a text of scripture written on each block, for hospital reading.
In May, a box of Syrian curiosities, valued at $100, and a box containing small blocks from the ancient cedars of Lebanon, valued at $50, were sent to the Northwestern Fair at Chicago ; and the society received in return a handsome silk flag, now in the keeping of the compiler. The total receipts of that fair were $325,000.
May 15th, the several branches and societies of the Sanitary Commission were requested by the President, Dr. Bellows, to maintain their usual system and activity up to the 4th of July following. The last regular meeting of the Montrose Soldiers' Aid occurred on the Thursday previous to the latter date. The following summary of consignments by the society was then given by the secretary:
"Forwarded in 1862-3, 82 bbls.—Ellen Searle, Recording Secretary. 1864, 48 bbls.—Maggie Baldwin, Recording Secretary. 1865, 22 bbls.—Mrs, H, C. Tyler, Recording Secretary. Total 152 bbls.
One hundred and three of these bbls. were sent to the Sanitary Commission, 5 bbls. of unenumerated articles to the American Union Commission, for Refugees, 2 bbls. to our prisoners in Richmond, and 42 bbls. were distributed promiscuously."
[This statement does not include the donation sent to Chicago.]
The ladies proposed to give a dinner, on the 4th of July, to all the returned soldiers in the county who might accept the invitation ; but finding themselves unequal to the labor requisite, they consented to give the enterprise
APPENDIX - 593
into the citizens' hands, accompanied by $100 from their treasury. At the dinner, the members of the society waited upon the tables, happy in having their labors culminate in rendering "honor to whom honor" is due.
By request the Treasurer submitted the following summary report of the Montrose 5:Soldiers' Aid, from its commencement, in July, '62, to its close, in October,
Total receipts in cash..........................................................$2505 22.
Mrs. H. J. WEBB, Treasurer.
Recording Secretary's Report.—The Recording Secretary also gives the following report of consignments from the Montrose Soldiers' Aid since its organization, in July, 1862, to October. 1865. The following articles were forwarded : 808 shirts, 452 prs. drawers, 181 dressing-gowns, 142 prs. slippers, 328 prs. socks, 360 pillows, 365 cases, 61 sheets, 7 prs. mittens, 951 towels and handkerchiefs, 33 quilts and blankets, 332 housewives, 12 prs. pants, 17 collars, 9 vests, 4 coats, 324 cans of fruit, 830 boxes dried fruit, 91 gallons wine, 325 bottles wine, 3 boxes blackberry cordial, 4 1/2 bbls. green apples, 52 bbls. potatoes, 1 cask cider apple-sauce, 35 firkins pickles, 1 barrel pickles.
The value of these articles is estimated at $4345.83. Many valuable packages which were sent cannot be fully estimated. Of these are corn-starch, tapioca, gelatin, maple sugar, soap, catsup, dried corn, canned chicken, horseradish, apples, leather, mustard, farina, raisins, packages of lint, linen and bandages.
We feel that the above estimate is lacking by some hundreds of dollars the value of the articles sent.
MAGGIE BALDWIN, Secretary.
In the fall of 1865, friends in Montrose and vicinity sent $40 to the fair for the Soldiers' Home in Philadelphia. Packages both to the Home and the Lodge were forwarded about the same time.
In 1866, a barrel and a box of supplies for the Thanksgiving dinner of the disabled soldiers of the Home were sent from Dimock, Bridgewater, and Montrose, which were so thankfully acknowledged, that the same parties have contributed, every succeeding fall, more or less liberally for the same purpose ; all the packing has been done at the residence of G. V. Bentley.
The society at Little Meadows was the second Soldiers' Aid in the county, the date of its organization being September 17, 1862. Other neighborhoods, such as Upsonville and West Harford, contributed comforts to our soldiers as early, and perhaps earlier; but no society was then formed in those places, and permanent work was not anticipated.
At Little Meadows the ladies enlisted " for the war," and served, as an organization, the full term of their enlistment; though the corps of fifteen, engaged during the first year, was reduced the last year to five, and consequently the amount of labor accomplished was greatly diminished.
The borough of Little Meadows, so remote from the center of the county, and bordering on the State line, is allied by business to Owego, rather than Montrose, and the volunteers of the Union Army from that section were, for the most part, connected with the 109th Regiment N. Y. S. V.
The ladies of the Aid Society were, as a general thing, represented in the army by members of their own households, for whom they were laboring directly, thus diminishing their work through the Sanitary Commission.
The officers of the society were: Miss Mary Barney, President, and Mrs. Adda Louise Beardslee, Secretary and Treasurer.
For the first six months their stores were sent to the U. S. Sanitary Commission at Washington; but in May, 1863, they made their first consignment to the Women's Pennsylvania Branch at Philadelphia, and thereafter were
- 38 -
594 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
confident of a wise disposal of their contributions. The clothing forwarded was principally of new material. The following is from a letter to the secretary:—
" I do not believe yon are aware how well Susquehanna County is doing, and I think it quite right to appeal to your county pride by way of stimulating and encouraging yon. I believe we have more Aid Societies in Bucks and Susquehanna than in any other counties
" I am, very truly yours,
"M. C. GRIER,
"Chairman Executive Com. U. S. S. C."
A Festival and Concert at Little Meadows, held under the auspices of the Aid Society, and aided by volunteer musical talent from Owego, yielded a fund of upwards of $125. The borough contributed over $60 in cash and articles of value to the Great Central Fair. The number of bOXes forwarded to the Commission is not given, but from the number of articles we can specify enough to show something of the industry of the society. Over six hundred garments, including bedding, were made; over two hundred pounds of dried berries and currants, twelve bushels of dried apples, eight and a half gallons of blackberry cordial, one barrel of cucumbers, three firkins of pickles, one box of onions, one box of lemons, potatoes and tomatoes in quantity, and a variety of smaller packages for hospital and field use were sent ; and, with donations to the Grand Central Fair and for " Special Relief," were too moderately estimated at $600.
A Soldiers' Aid Society was formed at Dimock Corners, October 7, 1862. A bOX soon filled, and valued at $37, was sent to the Sanitary Commission at Philadelphia. Nothing more was accomplished until after the reorganization of the society and its connection with the W. P. B., July, 1863, when a new impetus was given to its efforts by Miss Walker and friends and the efficient officers—Mrs. Lyman Blakeslee, President; Mrs. Mason Tingley, Treasurer; Miss Fannie Woodruff, Secretary.
Their labors were continued to the close of the war, with a total result of consignments (including the above) of five barrels and four bOXes of sanitary stores, two firkins of pickles, two tubs of butter, and a cask of blackberry wine. The estimates of two barrels and two boxes are not given; the remainder were valued at $206.68. The society was always small, there being two other societies within the limits of the township. Perhaps no contributor was more active than an aged lady—Miss Sarah Babcock—whose knitting-needles were kept steadily at work; the avails sometimes found their way to the Montrose Aid, without waiting for the less frequent consignments from Dimock. She died at the latter place a few years afterwards, aged nearly 84 years. She was born in Westerly, R. I.; came to this county in 1812, and was one of the constituent members of the Dimock Baptist church.
In August, 1863, the following report of the Elk Lake Society was given by the corresponding secretary:—
"The Elk Ladies' Aid Society was organized November 5th, 1862. There were twelve ladies present, who proceeded to elect a president, secretary, treasurer, and a committee of three ladies to solicit contributions. As we had no funds, it was 'resolved that the society commence work by each member furnishing such articles of necessary clothing as call be spared from our own houses ; that we meet one afternoon each week to repair such articles until we can obtain new material; also, that each member pay to the treasurer the sum of three cents per month, to be used for the purchasing of thread, tapes, buttons, etc., for our work.' Any one, however, was at liberty to pay more. The average number of ladies in regular attendance until May 1st, 1863, did not
APPENDIX - 595
"During the winter we filled one box with dried fruit, butter, new flannel shirts, woolen shirts, slippers, dressing-gowns, towels, handkerchiefs, and many other useful articles. It was sent to Washington, D. C., in charge of Miss Clara Barton, from Massachusetts. We have, since the first of May, filled two barrels and one box with clothing, pillows, quilts, lint, bandages, and delicacies, which have been sent to the Women's Pennsylvania Branch, Philadelphia."
By the 18th October, 1864, the Elk Lake Society had contributed, including donations to the fair at Philadelphia, very nearly $500, for the benefit of suffering soldiers. The average number of working members was but five the second year ; for, though at times the neighborhood was well represented, far oftener only three ladies met for work. But there is abundant evidence that they were not idle in their homes, in the immense quantities of dried fruit prepared for the society, the liberal quantities of butter and cheese (106 lbs. of the latter), and other articles of home manufacture.
'['he meetings of the society were frequently enlivened by the presence of the associate manager for the county, or encouraged by her letters in her absence. " It is a source of satisfaction that not only our county, but that our own township should be so well represented in the Women's Council at Washington," wrote the secretary in reference to Miss 'Walker, and added, " Every hour that I work for our brave soldiers, every gament I cut and make, every sock I knit, and every delicacy I prepare, increases my interest in the Sanitary Commission."
About this time the society seemed to increase in popularity, also in means, and for several weeks the meetings were well attended. " I make it a rule," wrote the president of the society, " to read something from the documents sent me every week, also the letters I receive from Philadelphia." Here it may be stated, that the correspondence of all the societies with the secretaries of the commission was a source of comfort and strength not to be forgotten by us. A oneness of feeling with all who labored in the same humane and patriotic cause was one of the blessed outgrowths of the working of soldiers' aid societies everywhere. Denominational differences were lost sight of, and, in politics, the only question was of loyalty to the Union.
The officers of the Elk Lake Society were : Mrs. Denison Thomas, pres. and cor. sec.; Mrs. George Young, vice-pres. ; Miss Harriet Stevens, treas., and Misses Mary E. Young and Sally Stevens, rec. secretaries.
The receipts of an oyster supper given by the society were $85. This, in a farming district where the inhabitants are scattered, indicated a general interest in the cause. Still, reports prejudicial to the Commission found their way here, and proved one of the severest trials of the society. Their cash receipts in all amounted to $112. From November, 1864, to the close of operations, July, 1866, six valuable boxes were filled and forwarded, which, even at the moderate estimate of the donors, added to former supplies, made the total value of their consignments not a whit behind those of Little Meadows, or about six hundred dollars. The list below is toe much condensed to fully represent the results of the organization. It is from the pen of the corresponding secretary :—
We submit the following report from the Elk Lake Aid Society since its organization, November 5th, 1862, to the present time, July, 1865. Forwarded 16 boxes, 4 barrels, and 6 firkins, containing 33 shirts, 53 pairs socks, 32 pairs slippers, 7 dressing gowns, 144 handkerchiefs, 27 towels, 73 pillow-cases, 6 quilts, 2 bed-spreads, 14 pairs drawers, 25 needlebooks, 30 ration bags, 6 sheets, several pairs mittens, 100 fans, a large quantity of dried, canned, and pickled fruit, blackberry cordial, sorappel, potatoes, dried corn, horse-radish, dried herbs, lint, bandages, old linen and cotton, reading matter, etc. etc. We have received efficient aid from Auburn Four Corners and also from Rush.
[We notice the omission of pillows, of which quite a number were sent, and one pair deserves special mention—it was filled with rose leaves—the
596 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
fragrance of which was not sweeter than the love that contributed the gift. Mothers who had given their sons, their bravest and their best, and mourned them fallen in the service of their country, alleviated their grief by laboring for the sons of others, then suffering in hospitals or exposed to the perils of the field of strife.]
John Young kindly gave the society the use of a room, which two or three of the ladies furnished pleasantly. One gentleman supplied a stove ; another the most of the fuel ; and receipts in money from many of the gentlemen enabled the ladies to purchase material for their work. Even small boys rendered efficient aid in various ways.
The members of this society, previous to their organization, contributed to the two other societies of the township.
Its officers were Mrs. George Blakeslee, president; Miss C. J. Newton, secretary; and Mrs. E. C. Miles, treasurer. The cash receipts, including $10 per Miss Walker from the fund entrusted to her, were but $43.42.
The meetings were held every Tuesday, at Mrs. Wm. Miles'.
The society consisted of hut ten members; but they were able to report, November, 1864, having filled two boxes for the W. P. B., valued at about $80.
It is not known that any regular organization was ever effected by the ladies of Harmony; but there is evidence that their hands furnished supplies for the comfort of the Union's defenders. Mrs. Amanda Lyons was successful, during the first year of the war, in filling a large box, which was sent to Washington. Considerably later, Mrs. David Taylor forwarded a box to the Sanitary Commission, via Montrose Aid.
It is not probable this comprises all the effort made; but no further record has been given ; as, also, in
where, as early as the summer of 1862, rumors reached us from Susquehanna Depot of work accomplished in getting off supplies for sufferers from the battle of Bull Run; but no definite report was ever made of it. No organization of the ladies was ever effected, so far as known to the associate manager for the county.
The records of effort here are wanting in several particulars. The first box consisted of private contributions, valued at $35. It was sent to Washington after the first battle. The Presbyterian Society, Mrs. F. D. B. Chase, secretary, sent a bOX, valued at $50, to the Washington Hospital : the Young People's Society sent two boxes to the same amount. At a late period, Great Bend became auxiliary to the Sanitary Commission at Philadelphia, and sent two barrels and one box of supplies, besides one box, valued at $100, for the central fair. These contributions, with a few dollars in cash from one or two parties, amounted to $325.
This, however, seems a meager statement of what was actually done at Great Bend for the soldiers ; but societies appear to have been discouraged because of injurious reports respecting the misappropriation of supplies, and because some of their donations were never heard from after being forwarded. Agents for different commissions obtained frequent contributions from the place.
APPENDIX - 597
When it became a settled fact that the war would not be ended in 1861, the citizens of Susquehanna County quickly anticipated the needs of the army for the winter. It is believed that townships, in which no aid societies were afterwards in operation, were then active in forwarding supplies. Harford began early, and continued late in the good work in the face of strong opposition.
At a meeting held Oct. 28, 1861, at which Dexter Sibley was chairman, and E. T. Tiffany, secretary, it was" Resolved, To send aid to soldiers in the field to make them comfortable during the winter."
The committee appointed to carry out this resolution were, Tyler Brewster, Shippard Carpenter, Mrs. B. Wartrous, Mrs. A. Abel, and Mrs. H. Spear-beck. 'Their efforts resulted in filling a bOX containing socks, mittens and nightcaps, to the value of $100, which was forwarded to Captain Gates' Company of Fourth Pennsylvania Reserves.
In July, 1862, two large boxes containing hospital stores of considerable value were sent to Washington. No account is given of any further movement until July 22, 1863. when the Ladies' Aid Society was organized by the election of Mrs. Joab Tyler, president, Miss Lucina Farrar, vice-president, Miss M. M. Edwards, secretary, Mrs. C. S. Johnson, treasurer, and Miss Melissa A. Tiffany, corresponding secretary. The society became auxiliary to the Women's Pennsylvania Branch of the Sanitary Commission, and two days later sent its first consignment : 1 bbl dried apples, 110 lbs., and 1 box of berries, 75 lbs. At this time there were 33 members enrolled, but the number of contributors were more than 100, and thus they were able, Aug. 31st following, to send another box of dried fruit, and one of clothing, etc.
Within a fortnight these were followed by a barrel of eggs (50 doz.), and a firkin of butter, and, before the close of September, a tub of butter (55 lbs.), additional. Dec. 16, 1863, the ladies were ready with another valuable box of clothing, bedding, etc., and a box of dried fruit (30 lbs. apples, 20 lbs. currants and berries) with 6 bottles of wine and jelly. The record thus far, ranks Harford next to Montrose in the number of consignments ; but the year 1864 was one of discouragement to the society, whose only effort appears to have been made in connection with the Sanitary Fair at Philadelphia, to which it forwarded
Supplies to the amount of - $100 00
And, in addition, cash - 50 00
Total - 150
The collection on Thanksgiving-day, sent to the Christian Commission. . 27 30
The three boxes filled prior to the organization of the society . 205 00
The contributions to the Sanitary prior to Jan. 1865, estimated at 217 10
Total amounting to $600 00 of edibles
Besides this, the citizens throughout the township sent 1100 lbs. for the soldiers' Thanksgiving dinner, 1864, among which were 1 tub of butter, 1 bbl. of apples, in all 5 or 6 boxes.
In the fall of 1864, on the resignation of former officers, Mrs. Peck was named as president, and Mrs. Whitney, treasurer. After replenishing the treasury from the avails of an oyster supper, in January following, and with $10 from Miss Walker's fund, the ladies filled one more box with clothing, dried fruit, etc., and forwarded it to the W. P. B., Feb. 22, 1865.
Probably two dozen boxes, barrels, and tubs constituted the total consignments, containing at least 56 pairs drawers, 45 shirts, 40 pairs socks, quantities of old cotton and reading matter, and small packages, besides 249 lbs. dried apples, 165 lbs. berries, and about 3 gallons blackberry cordial.
598 - HISTORY OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY.
The ladies comprising afterwards the West Harford Aid (Mrs. Alvin Stearns, president, Mrs. Tyler Brewster, secretary), sent to a hospital in Philadelphia, sometime in 1862, 1 firkin of butter, 1 keg of eggs, and a box containing over 50 pillows and cases, 36 pounds of dried berries and currants, old muslin, towels, etc.
In 1863 and '64 they contributed many valuable articles to the Aid Societies of Brooklyn and Montrose, among which were 3 bushels of dried apples, 15 pounds of dried berries, 10 pillows and cases. 10 towels, hop pillows, socks, mittens, 4 flannel shirts, and some other large garments.
From June, 1864, the ladies made their consignments independently, sending first, one box to Central Fair, Philadelphia, containing 1 quilt, towels, pillows, housewives, etc., valued at $25.35. Also, 2 barrels of potatoes, and a box of eggs. (Many contributions in township report were from this section.)
September, 1864, 1 box, containing 20 pounds of dried berries and 35 pounds of dried apples, and three kegs of pickles were sent to the W. P. Branch. A barrel of sauer kraut (44 gallons) was afterwards forwarded, and January, 1865, the ladies were engaged in making up into shirts and drawers the flannel purchased with $10 received per Miss Walker. Total estimate about $185.
No. 1. The ladies of Upsonville forwarded a box, as early as October, 1862, to the Sanitary Commission at Philadelphia
The contents valued at $35 00
Cash, Dec., 1862 12 00
One box to Sanitary Fair, 1864, valued at 17 00
One box to Sanitary Commission, at Philadelphia, September, 1864, valued at 34 00
One firkin of pickles 5 00
Cash sent to the Christian Commission 12 00
Total $127 10
It is not stated when an organization was effected, but it is believed to be not earlier than that of the foregoing societies. The president was Mrs. 0. M. Hall. She received from Mrs. Plitt, secretary of the W. P. B. for this section, an acknowledgment of the box sent in September, 1864, in which she said :—
"Your box was unpacked yesterday, and every article found to be useful and of the best quality. Everything will be disposed of as you requested." Such words as these sustained the courage of the societies all over the county.
The secretary of the Upsonville Aid, Mrs. Mary A. Ward, was the widow of a soldier wounded at Gettysburg, and whom she had nursed for two weeks in the hospital just before his death. It was from such scenes that desolated hearts turned to the work of relieving the sufferings of those still languishing in hospitals.
No. 2.--The Franklin Aid Society had not been thoroughly organized prior to a visit of the associate manager for the county, in November, 1863, but the ladies of the township had already accomplished something in the way of sending supplies, as is seen by the report of the Upsonville Aid, and by the acknowledgments of the secretary of the society at Montrose.
APPENDIX - 599
"The visit of the associate manager referred to resulted in a meeting at the Baptist church. Sausage-making, and all the after-work of butchering, was readily laid aside, but the work of some was brought along; the mother of eleven children had the eleventh in her arms, a babe of eleven months, and a quiet one at that ; so, business was undisturbed. Suggestions were made and canvassed, and the result was the unanimous vote of the Franklin ladies present, to exert themselves anew for the relief of sick and wounded soldiers, and to combine their efforts by a systematic organization. Officers pro tem. were appointed, and the day for their first meeting, Thursday, the 19th inst. Here, too, the services of the stronger sex were not wanting to give the revived society a cash basis, which, if not large, still showed generous giving."
The Sanitary Commission department of the Saturday Evening Post, in copying a printed notice of this organization, said :—
" We must add an interesting incident that occurred at this meeting, and which reached us through a private source. A woman arose and said, I wish to tell you what the Sanitary Commission did for me. It saved the life of my only son, and sent him home to me with warm clothing on, which bore the stamp of the Commission.'
"If we mistake not, this unsolicited, simple testimony was of more benefit to our cause there than any argument could have been."
Pursuant to the appointment made at the church the ladies of Franklin met, and elected Mrs. D. H. Blowers, president ; Mrs. Henry Beebe, vice-president; Mrs. Edwin Summers, treasurer; and Miss Jennie H. Lane, secretary.
By the last of December, 1863, they had forwarded to the W. P. B. one barrel of supplies, and, by the last of April, 1864, another, containing bedding, clothing, dried fruit, etc.
After these consignments were made, little appears to have been done until after the reception of $10 from Miss Walker's fund. In acknowledging it the secretary adds:—
" We are much encouraged thereby. Last Sabbath, at the close of our services, the congregation were told of the gift with which to resume our labors for the soldiers, and were asked to aid also. They responded by giving us nearly $20. We met yesterday (Nov. 25, 1864), and elected our officers, and are going to work with new energy and zeal, we hope. Our place of meeting is at the church."
Mrs. Mahala Pierson, president ; Mrs Charlotte Stockholm, vicespresident; Mrs. James Fisk, treasurer; and Jennie H. Lane, secretary (as before).
The contributions of this society were estimated to be at least $72.35.
As early, probably, as the spring of 1863, something was done by the ladies of New Milford, but no report has reached us of the result, except that by September of that year one bOX had been sent to the W. P. B., and they had held a festival, from which they realized $48. A reorganization is mentioned as having then been made; hut, not expecting ever to render any account of it, no note was taken. "Their intention was good," writes one of their contributors; "their sole aim and object being to provide something for the aid and comfort of suffering humanity."
Their meetings were held at the houses of members (six or eight only) each Wednesday afternoon. Their officers, six in number, were relieved of their duties each month, except the treasurer and secretary, who were elected permanently. No name is given except that of the latter officer, Miss Mary W. Bowers. The society were in receipt of $89 upon their reorganization.
It is not probable this " talent" was " hid in a napkin ;" but the compiler