John L. Sexton.

History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

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loth 1828; Harriet Patterson, February ist 1831; John
McLean, December 26th 1833; and Ellen Augusta, June
24th 1840.

Of these, Edwin married Margaret Prutsman, May
28th 1S50; Eliza married Colonel James P. Magill,
of Philadelphia, December 4th 1845; Harriet mar-
ried Daniel Watts, November 5th 1855; and John Mc-
Lean married Harriet Barber, May 8th 1855.

So far in this historical sketch it has been the purpose
of the writer to give as faithful a record of the genealogy
of the .early settlers of Tioga township, and their imme-
diate descendants as it has been practicable for him to
obtain. He has been careful and quite extended in this
respect, covering a period of thirty years — from 1790 to
1820 — bringing to the attention of the present generation
names that were fast passing out of recollection, and
which properly belong to the field of historical inquiry
and research, while the genealogy of the present genera-
tion is within their own possession or immediate
reach, at least from the latter date down to the present
time. He has already included in his pioneer and prim-
itive sketch the names of no less than four hundred per-
sons; and he has done this that there might be a more
enduring record of the dead, and of the living who have
come properly within the range of this historical sketch,
than it is possible for monuments of either brass or stone
to give.

Chief Settlers between 1S20 .wn 1830.

Dr. Pliny Power came and settled for a time with his
brother Dr. Simeon Power, both of whom were early set-
tlers in Lawrence township; Simeon, who had been
sheriff of the county from his election in the fall of 1815
up to January ist 1819, settling some three years subse-
quently on the Benajah Ives or John Prutsman place,
Tioga, then removing again to Lawrence. Simeon I.
Power, sheriff in 1859-61, was born at 'J'ioga in 1820,

during this residence of his father's family here. Dr.
Pliny Power married Brittania Gordon, and was resident
physician at Tioga up to about 1835, when he removed
to Detroit, Mich.; he was at one time a member of the
Legislature of that Stjte. Following him in the order of
settlement at Tioga, as near as can now be stated, were
Henry Van Wey, lumberman and farmer; Elder Amos
Mansfield, an occasional preacher, and a farmer, who
subsequently moved to Rutland township; Jesse Keeney
sen., a wagon-maker, and several sons and daughters;
widow Daniels and her three sons James, Harry and
Solomon; Joseph Brown, William Patrick, Phineas
Stevens, Clement Slate, Clement Couch, Silas Campbell,
lumbermen and farmers; Levi and Joseph W. Guernsey,
tanners and curriers, the latter subsequently in partner-
ship with Jonah Brewster, his father-in-law. in the store
built by them on the site of the Park Hotel; William
Garretson; Hobart B. Graves, merchant and distiller;
George W. and Rankin Lewis, the latter editor and pub-
lisher of the Tioga Pio/iccTj Eugene Cushman, Elijah
Stiles and Christopher Charles, merchants; Dr. Thomas
T. Huston, resident physician until about 1835, and
brother of Judge Charles Huston, of the supreme bench;
M. T. Leavenworth, attorney and counsellor at law, ad-
mitted to practice in our courts ]\Iay 17th 1826; Rev.
Elisha Booth, an occasional preacher of the Baptist per-
suasion, and successor to Lewis brothers in the publica-
tion of the /'/(Wftv; George Mi.x, George A. Gardner and
Mr. Pickard, school teacher, the latter marrying a Miss
Lamb, sister to William Willard jr.'s wife; George Dan-
iels and Charles Fish, shoemakers; Dean Dutton and
Joseph Aiken, farmers; Dr. H. Roberts, at the hotel of
James Goodrich, in 1S26; Jacob Schieffelin sen., who re-
moved from New York city to Charleston township in
1828, and subsequently to Tioga; and George March,
residing on Wellsboro street.

The Keenev F.•\^nLV. — Jesse Keeney, one of the fore-
going settlers, who has left numerous descendants, living
both in Tioga and Middlebury townships, was born Sep-
tember 28th 1778, in Litchfield county. Conn.; removed
with his father's family to the east or north branch of
the Sus(iuehanna; thence to Chemung township, Mont-
gomery (now Chemung) county, N. Y.; thence to Trux-
ton, Cortland county, and finally, in 1823 or 1824, to
Tioga, accompanied first by his eldest son, Elias, and
three years subsequently joined by his family. His
father, Thomas, born May 21st 1751, was a Connecticut
settler; removed his family to the east branch of the
Susquehanna River prior to the year 1787, and settled
near the mouth of Mehoopany Creek. He was one of the
fifteen or eighteen persons concerned in the abduction
of Colonel Timothy Pickering, prothonotary of Luzerne
county, on the night of the 26th of June 17S8, from his
residence in Wilkes-Barre, by a forcible entrance of his
dwelling, dressed and painted in the costume of Indians.
The Keeney family subsequently removed to Chemung;
thence to Fabius, Onondaga county, N. Y. Thomas, the
grandfather of the present Keeneys of our county, died
at the house of his son-in-law, Richard Mitchell sen..



Tioga, about 1828 or 1830, and was buried in the Mitch-
ell grave)'ard, but was removed a few years since to
Chemung, and there re-buried beside his wife, who had
died subsequent to liim at the house of their daughter,
Mrs. Palmer.

Jesse Keeney the son came to Tioga in 1S23 or 18,74,
and built the wagon shop afterward remodeled into the
dwelling house of William Garretson as it at present ap-
pears. He here carried on his trade of wagon making
several years; then removed to Mill Creek, and built the
saw-mill near the site of George Ellis's farm house;
thence at a later period to the old Lyman Adams farm,
and finally to a house near the mouth of Mill Creek and
west of the Williamson road.

Jesse Keeney sen. was born at Litchfield, Conn., Sep-
tember 2Sth 1778, and died at Tioga, June iSth 1S34; his
wife — Caroline Middaugh, sister of John Middaugh — was
born September ijth 1781, and died at the residence of
her daughter Mrs. Brady, August 13th 1S48, and both
she and her husband are buried in the Mill Creek or
Guernsey cemetery. They had children: Elias; Sally
Ann, wife of George Daniels; Thomas; Parmelia, wife of
Erastus Hill, Waverly; Abram S., born July nth iSii,
married, first, Anna Matilda Mudge, and afterward Sarah
Matilda Crandall (sister to Charles Crandall, inventor
of the " Crandall blocks'"); Jesse M., born September
9th 1813, died January 6th 1882; Catharine, wife of De-
linas Walker, both deceased; Mercy, widow of Clinton
Brady; Richard, Marsh Creek; George D., Keeneyville;
and Ruby, wife of Charles Wilcox. Abram S., who now
resides in the village of Tioga, joined the Baptist church
in 1 83 1, under the ministry of Elder Sheardown, at the
same time that Mary and Almira De Pui joined, and has
been deacon of the church about 40 years. Jesse M.
Keeney married Mary Ann Fellows, of Sullivan township,
and he there joined the Methodist church, of which he
was class leader many years, and up to the time of his
death. Thomas Keeney jr., who lived at Mitchelltown
in 1S16, and joined in the organization of the Baptist
church there, subsequently moving to Middlebury, was a
brother of Jesse sen.

WiLLi.^viM Garretson. — No person who has ever lived
in Tioga, peculiar and singular as the man was in many
respects, ever left so strong a remembrance of his
individuality and character as William Garretson. No
stranger who ever came to the village temporarily, either
on business or for observation, and staid sufficiently
long to make the acquaintance of its citizens, including
William Garretson, went away from it with a stronger
and more vivid impression of any individual in it than
of the "old 'squire," or " quaint philosopher," as he was
termed by friend and stranger in his more advanced
years. It is probable, had Mr. Garretson lived in Con-
cord, he would have been in intimate fellowship with
Emerson, Alcott and Thoreau, and been a member of
their school of philosophy; but as it was, in the place
where he lived so many years, his school was specially
his own, in which he could only be regarded as a tutor,
with never any associates; e.Kcept, perhaps, for a short

period Hiram K. Hill, the village school teacher, during
the time when Fourierism flourished — chiefly through
the influence of the New York Tribune. This Hiram K.
Hill subsequently established the short lived Fourier
society at Gaines, this county.

William Garretson was born at Mount Pleasant, Jeffer-
son county, Ohio, October 13th 1801, of Quaker parent-
age, his mother being a descendant of the Bright family
of England, and his grandfather a native of Holland.
His elementary education was obtained in his native
place, and in his 19th year, filled with a spirit of ad-
venture common to one of that age and to the then
frontier country in which he was born, he engaged him-
self as a hand on an ark loaded with produce for the
New Orleans market, and floated down the Ohio and
Mississippi Rivers to that city. Remaining there but a
short time he |jroceeded to Mobile, where lie made the
acquaintance of Moses .Austin, subsequently commodore
of the Texan navy and president of that republic.
Coming north through Georgia and the Carolinas he at
length arrived at Alexandria, Va., where he taught school
for a season in the year 1S20. Thence he went to Lew-
isburg, York county, Pa., where he studied medicine
with Dr. Webster -Lewis, and also law, probably with
Ellis Lewis, brother of Dr. Lewis, remaining there from
the fall of 1821 to the summer of 1825. In September
of the latter year he settled at Wellsboro, as also did
Ellis Lewis, either at the same time or nearly contempor-
aneously, each establishing himself as a practicing at-
torney and counsellor at the bar, Mr. Garretson's office
being in the prothonotary's office, and Ellis Lewis's one
door west of the commissioners' office, on Main street.
Here Mr. Garretson remained in practice until Febru-
ary 1827, when he removed to Tioga, or " Willardsburg,"
as it was then more generally termed. His old friend
Ellis Lewis, receiving about the same time the appoint-
ment of deputy district attorney of Lycoming county, re-
moved to Williamsport, where in time he received the
appointment of attorney general of the State, January
29th 1833; was elected associate judge of the supreme
court in the fall of 1S51, and became chief justice of
that court January 5th 1855.

Mr. Garretson was admitted to practice at the several
courts of Tioga county September 13th 1825; in the dis-
trict court of the United States for the western district
of Pennsylvania October 3d 1831; in the supreme court
of Pennsylvania for the middle district, at Sunbury,
June 20th 1832. In the spring of 1826 he was elected
second lieutenant of the Wellsboro artillery, and com-
missioned by Governor Schultz for said office the Sth of
May of the same year, his term of office to expire August
31st 1828. He was appointed by the brigadier-general
of the second brigade ninth division of Pennsylvania
militia his aide-de-camp, and commissioned as such by
Governor Schultz August 3d 1828, to serve until August
3d 1835. The Sth day of March 1831 lie was appointed
and commissioned by Governor George Wolf justice of
the peace for district number four, composed of the
township of Tioga and part of Lawrence, to hold con


tinuously during good behavior. Under tlie constitution
of 1837-8 he was elected a justice of the peace for Tioga
township, February 27th 1855; again March 3d i860;
and for the borough of Tioga February 4th 1863. On
the second Tuesday of October 1836 he was elected by
Tioga county alone a representative in the Legislature
for two years, during which term he made a speech on
the free school system. He was elected caunty auditor
on the 8th of October 1839, for three years. On the
14th of October 1862 he was elected county surveyor, an
office which he declined, and E. P. Deane was appointed
in his place. He was a member of the Masonic and
Odd Fellows' orders and of the Sons of Temperance
association, being appointed G. W. P. of the latter asso-
ciation for the subordinate divisions of Lawrence, Tioga
and Covington February ist 1856.

When Elder Elisha Booth succeeded Rankin Lewis &
Co. in the publication of the Tioga PionoT, and changed
its name to the A^oithcni Baniur, Mr. Garretson as
editor aided Mr. Booth in its publication, about 1829 and
1S30. In 1844-46 Mr. Garretson and family resided in
Wellsboro, and he had for a time in 1845 and 1846
editoral charge of the Tio::;a IliralJ, a Whig organ,
and wrote for it the then customary "Carrier's Address"
for January ist 1S46, in which he refers to the famine in
Ireland, and criticises with considerable severity the
Federal administration, and the attitude of the south on
the slavery question. I'p to that time he had always
been strongly Democratic, yet he early drifted into the
anti-slavery party, and supported it up to the time of his
death. As a memento of his early attachment to the
Democratic party we give the following toast, proposed
by him at the Fourth of July dinner in 1826, at the house
of James Kimball, Wellsboro: "The next president —
May he be made of Hickory, or anything rather than

As an evidence of his equally early sympathy for "the
bondman of the south," he gives in the January and
February numbers of the Agita/oi- for 1868 a detailed
account, first, of his participation in procuring, through
a letter handed him from his old medical preceptor. Dr.
Webster Lewis, employment for four fugitive slaves in
the fall of 1828: secondly, of being counsellor for two
of them who had been captured by their masters on writs
issued by associate Judge Ira Kilbourn, of Lawrenceville,
in March 1829; and thirdly, of being one of the nine
defendants (including Almon Allen and Samuel Hunt, of
Mansfield; William Garretson, H. B. Graves and Groves
Gordon, of Tioga; Dr. O. F. Bundy, of Wellsboro, and
John Barnes jr., Joseph McCormick and Anson Phinney,
of Lawrence) placed on trial for the rescue of the said
slaves, at the summer term of the IT. S. district court at
Williamsport, in 1832, resulting in the final release of
himself and all the defendants, at a cost to the ])rosecu-
tors of not less than i|3,ooo. The article is exceedingly
interesting, as portraying the dangers of slave hunting
and slave rescue in times which happily no longer exist
in our Union.

In i860 and 1861 Mr. Garretson held a clerkship in the

treasury department at Harrisburg; and in 1S69 was ap-
pointed law clerk in the department of internal revenue
at W^ashington, D. C, a position which he occupied at
the time of his death, which occurred December 21st
1S72. Here his services and ability were so much ap-
preciated that he was twice promoted, and was about to
receive a third promotion with much increased salary at
the time of his death. Resolutions commemorative of
the deceased were adopted by the officers and clerks of
the internal revenue bureau, including the following:

J\rs(>I;rJ, That in this event we recognize a loss, not
only to those immediately associated with the deceased
in daily labor, to whom the amiability of his character
and the intimacy of long association have endeared him,
but to the bureau with which he was connected, and to
the community of which he was a valued and esteemed
member; a loss of one whose literary attainments, mature
judgment, quick sympathies and large benevolence in-
spired high respect and distinguished him in the society
in which he mo\ed.

His old and esteemed friend Mr. Cobb, the original
proprietor and editor of the Wellsboro Agitator, but then
as now cashier of the Ignited States mint at Philadelphia,
on the same day of Mr. Garretson's death wrote to his
old home a letter characteristic of his able pen, in which
he draws an admirable portraiture of the superior char-
acter, intellect and virtues of the deceased, and in which
he says : "To me he was what the stars were to the shep-
herds of Chaldea — a light discoursing eloquently of the
Great Light of the universe. He saw clearly in advance
of very many men whose patient search into hidden
things has given them to fame. He was an educator, and
in his sphere wielded more influence than he knew.
LInready of speech as he was, he never spoke that men
did not acknowledge that he was master of his theme."

On the 27th day of the same month, the court of com-
mon pleas of Tioga county being then in session, the
announcement of Mr. Garretson's decease was formally
made to the court by F. E. Smith, whereupon Hon.
Henry Sherwood and John W. Guernsey were appointed
a committee to prepare and report resolutions suitable
to the sad event; whi-:h were accordingly so made, and
a committee appointed to present them to his family.

Mr. Garretson was extremely social in his character,
and as companionable to the young as to the old. He
was an inveterate reader, both of books and newspapers,
so much so that his profession suffered for the want of
closer attention, and this was an obstacle to his business
success. Had his aspirations and ambition been equal
to his abilities the respect and esteem in which he was
held by the citizens of his own county would have gained
him eminence either in Congress or on the bench. For
the latter position his logical and reflective mind, his
thorough knowledge of elementary law, and withal his
strong and instinctive perception of right and wrong,
would have made his elevation to it eminently proper.
But while others sought and aspired for it he seemed
content to walk in an humbler and less responsible
sphere; and who will say that his choice was not wiser
and nobler, allying him nearer to the antique mould of


philosophers, who, disdaining wealth, ostentatious pride
and display, were content if the simple wants of nature
were supplied, and they had leisure afforded them to
gain knowledge and wisdom from a more intimate study
of nature and themselves?

Mr. Garretson was the chief educator of his own chil-
dren, and, ocepting two of them who died early, they
have grown up and are engaged in useful and honorable
occupation. He was married in 1836 to Miss Emily
Caulking, of Tioga, who is still living, and is residing
with her son William in Brooklyn, N. Y. They had chil-
dren (who are still living): Henrietta Bright Garretson,
wife of an Episcopal clergyman, and resident at AValla
Walla, W. T.; Emily M. Garretson, wife of Mr. Rams-
dell, recorder of the District of Columbia, and long the
yr/fo//!;' agent at Washington; William C, merchant, a
resident of Brooklyn, N. Y.; Hiram F., lawyer, a resident
of \^ictor, Iowa; .^ddie Knox, married, a resident of
Grant City, Mo.; Stella B., single, a resident of Walla
Walla, W. T. There were two children, Ellis Lewis and
Emily, who both died young and are buried in the old

Mr. Garretson's funeral services and burial took place
at Tioga, during a severe snow storm, on the 26th of De-
cember 1S72, many citizens from Wellsboro attending.
His remains lie in lot 2, section B, Evergreen cemetery.

Between the Years 1S30 .'vnd 1840

the following persons settled at Tioga:

The Bush brothers came in June and John W. Guern-
sey in October 1831; John W. Maynard and N. H. Hig-
gins about the same time, and B. C. Wickliam the follow-
ing year. Joseph Fish, shoemaker, came in March 1831;
settled first near the old Fish saw-mill, below the mouth
of the Elkhorn, but moved to the corner of Walnut and
Cowanesque streets two years after, and there established
his shop and a small tannery, which he conducted until
he built a fine shoe store on Main street, and moved into
the J. B. Steele house about i860. He was born March
nth iSog; has been justice of the peace of the borough
two full terms, and entered on his third term April 9th
1881. Martin Lowell and William Lowell — the latter
the father of O. B. Lowell, who was born in the vil-
lage of Tioga — and Daniel A. I^owell and his wife Mary
A. (father and mother of the former two), together with
aunt Abigail Preston, came about 1S32, as did Thomas
and Herbert Hollis, all of whom were hatters, and erected
for their business the main building now occupied by
Paul Kraiss' cabinet shop. Josiah and Alvah Wright,
Henry Messereau and Jacob and Colonel Horace S
Johnston, lumbermen from Chenango county, N. Y. —
from whence also came the Lowells and Hollises — came
in 1832 and 1833. Henry H. Potter, public house keep-
er, removed from the public house at Lawrenceville to
the old Dr. Willard stand at Tioga about 1830. A. D.
Cole, wagon maker; J. B. Shurtleff, printer and editor of
the Tioga Gazette; Barney Roberts and William Mirch,
blacksmiths, and Daniel Piatt settled here at the same
period; also Nelson and Robert Andrus, who established

a foundry on ground in the rear of Kraiss' cabinet shop,
James A. and William Hathaway, shoemakers, who built
a shop on ground a little west of James Fields's store,
arrived in 1834. Hiram Babcock, carpenter; Mr, Vail-
lant, from Philadelphia, silversmith (who built the
present Rachel Prutsman house); Hiram Pickering, car-
penter and joiner, born in New Hope, Pike county. Pa.,
and brother to Daniel F. Pickering, long postmaster of
Elmira and member of the Legislature for Chemung
county. Dr. Cyrus Pratt, editor and proprietor of the
Tioga Banner, all came about 1835. E. W. Derow, from
Lancaster, Pa., a harness maker and subse(piently part-
ner of William Willard jr. in mercantile buisness; Butler
Smith, father of Lyman H. Smith, first a merchant in
partnership with John C. Knox in the old LI. B. Graves
store (on the site of the Episcopal church), and subse-
quently proprietor and landlord of the old Willard stand;
John C. Knox; Mr. Andrus, husband of Mrs. Andrus
the school teacher; Ichabod Davis, from Rhode Island,
who owned the Mrs. Hance place and followed garden-
ing, and his son Joseph, a cabinet maker, all settled
here about 1S36. Thomas Hance, a farmer; Dr. F. H-
White, now of Rutland township and aged about 85
years, and Daniel S. Craig, tailor, came here in 1837.
Dr. Abel Humphrey, still a resident physician of Tioga,
and a special mail agent from the spring of 1861 to the
spring of 1869, came in 183S; Henry Ford, tailor, and
Lorenzo Ford, harness-maker, some time previous to
1S38; Dr. Joseph McConnell, Mr. Rodgers, silversmith,
and Frank and Benjamin Carey, tailors, about 1840;
Carijenter H. and Andrew Place, shoemakers, as early as
1835; Hiram K. Hill and E. W. Hazard, school teachers,
in 1839; and William, George, Arvine, Israel and Gurdin
Mann at the same time.

A. C. Bush and his brother J.\i;im S. Bush, lumber-
men and merchants, came in June 1S31. The former is
dead, and a brief biography of him will be found below;
the latter is still living, now the owner of Bush's Park
and other valuable real estate, and the cultivator of a
small farm including a valuable orchard of apiile and
pear trees.

Alvah C. Bush, a man well known throughout the
county, and a leading and public-spirited citizen of Tioga,
died very suddenly of apoplexy, at his residence, Thurs-
day morning October 14th 1880, at the age of 76 years.
His remains were takeii by special train to the residence
of his brother, the Hon. Joseph Bush, at Bainbridge, N.
Y., for interment in the family cemetery.

He was the son of Joseph and Betsey Bush, who were
among the very earliest settlers of Chenango county, N.
Y. He was the second of seven children, only two of
whom survive him. He was born at Bainbridge, N. Y.,
in 1S04, on the place originally located by his father,
being a beautiful farm on the banks of the Susquehanna,
which now remains in the family and is owned by his
youngest brother, the Hon. Joseph Bush. He inherited
from his father great energy and sagacity, and several
years before his majority, with his father's assent, engaged
in business for himself, principally in lumbering on the



Susquehanna. At the age of 22 he engaged in mercan-
tile business in connection with himbering, and carried
on the same largely and successfully.

In 1830 and 1831 he traveled extensively over the then
west and finally, in 1831, settled in Tioga, which he
always afterward considered his home. At Tioga he en-
gaged in lumbering and mercantile business, manufactur-
ing, buying and selling lumber in the markets of the Sus-
quehanna, and at Albany, New York, Fall River, Boston,
Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington.

Online LibraryJohn L. SextonHistory of Tioga County, Pennsylvania → online text (page 66 of 99)