Copyright
Benjamin Whitman.

Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the county also portraits and biographies of the governor's since 1790, and of numerous r online

. (page 13 of 192)
Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the county also portraits and biographies of the governor's since 1790, and of numerous r → online text (page 13 of 192)
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North East (borough) ; North Springfield,
Springfield township ; Northville, North East



township; Ovid (Beaver Dam), Wayne
township; Pennside, Conneaut township;
Phillipsville, Venango township ; Platea
(Lockpon borough) ; Pont, Elk Creek town-
ship ; Sibleyville, McKean township (near
Waterford line) ; Sterrettania, McKean town-
ship ; Swanville, Fairview township ; Teller,
Amity township ; Tracy, Conneaut township ;
Union City (borough); Wannetta (Albion
depot), Conneaut township ; Waterford (bor-
ough); Wattsburg (borough); Wesleyville,
Harbor Creek township ; West Greene, Greene
township ; West Mill Creek, Mill Creek town-
ship ; West Springfield, Springfield township ;
Wheelock, Wayne township.

Erie, Corry, North East and Union City
are "Presidential ofiices," their incumbents
being appointed by the President and subject
to confirmation by the Senate.

The following are money order offices :
Albion, Corry, Edinboro, Erie, Fairview,
Girard, Harbor Creek, Lundy's Lane, Mill Vil-
lage, Miles Grove, North East, Northville,
North Springfield, Platea, Union City, Water-
ford, Wattsburg, West Springfield.

Erie is the only letter carrier office.

BOUNDARY LINES BETWEEN ERIE AND CRAW-
FORD COUNTIES.

The boundary line between Erie and Craw-
ford counties was long a subject of dispute.
To settle the question, the Legislature passed
an act at the session of 1849-50, providing for
three commissioners to run a new line, who
were given full power to act, and whose deci-
sion should be final. In 1850, Humphrey A.
Hills, then of Albion, was appointed commis-
sioner for Erie county ; Andrew Ryan was
appointed for Crawford, and they two named
H. P. Kinnear, of Warren, as the third mem-
ber. Wilson King was chosen surveyor on
the part of Erie, and Mr. Jagger on that of
Crawford; but David Wilson, as deputj' for
Mr. King, did most of the work. A perfectly
straight line was run from east to west, and
marked by stones set two miles apart. The
commission added a long, narrow strip of
territory to Erie county, which is usually
outlined upon the county and township maps.
A number of persons found themselves in Erie
who had supposed they were citizens of Craw-
ford, and a less number in Crawford who had
imagined they belonged to Erie.



76



NELSON'S BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY



DISTANCES FROM ERIE.




Keepville


28






Jackson's


12


The distances from Erie, as adopted by the


Lockport (Platea P. O.)

Lowville

Lexington

Lovell's


22

18

24


county commissioners May 1, 1882


and fol-


lowed in computing the pay of ju


rors, vvit-


34


nesses, etc., are here given :




LeBceut Station


23




McLallen's Corners


22




Miles.


Moorheadville


11


Albion


27


McLane


14


Belle Valley


4


Middleboro (McKean P. O.)


10


BranchviUe


12


Miles Grove


16


Beaver Dam


26


Milltown (Lake Pleasant P. O.)


IS


Cherry Hill


28


Mill Village


25


Corry


38


North East


16


CranesviUe


28


Phillipsville


14


Cross's


20


Pageville..


. .28


Edinboro


20


Sterrettania


10


East Spring^field


21


Swanville


9


Elg-in


32


St. Boniface (Hamot P. O.)


8


Fairview


12


Union City


27


Franklin Center (FrankHn Corners P. O.) 17


West Greene


12




18


Wesleyville

West Springfield




Greenfield


18


25




8


Wellsburg- (Lundy's Lane P. O.)


28


Hatch Hollow


24


Wattsburg


20


Kearsarge


4


Waterford


20



CHAPTER III.

Population 1800 to 1890, Inclusive — Acreage ok the Several Townships — Taxa-
BLEs — Valuations and Taxes for 1895 — County Receipts and Expenses, &c.



THE first census of the county was taken
in 1800, and has been renewed every
ten years under the auspices of the
United States authorities. Up to 1840,
the enumeration was made by one per-
son for the whole county. In the latter year
the county was cut up into two districts, and
since then the number of enumerators has been
regularly increased at each census. The coun-
ty contained 1,468 inhabitants in 1800, and
3,758 in 1810. Below is the result of the
enumerations from 1820 to 1890, inclusive of
both years :





IB..


183U


ISM


1850.


itm


xm.


,B..|lB..














,-,.


,;;J m:




- 1






























Concord |i)l - -


































- - - 1 2.*












































- , 1 .,1




.( -I J






1 '.






i.'' ■] ■ '.


















Hi?"


::














Middleboro


















































































































































-i 2W,














ilBH^wpiT^


















lUU


1 4








1 - ■■-' l.rWi
































1 ^Hl 1,7*




-!


!■-


1 Wl


1M4


3S.T4.


'^


05,^.


n^^m



«OTES TO THE CE.VSUS TABLE.

^ adding a portion to Springfield
of Albion Borougli in I8t;i.
off in 18W. A slice taken



I Glrard Borough Incorporated in IMtj,



I to form Corr.v Bor-
nade a cit.v in IStW.
ivnsliip was known

.sliip in ISffi. and an-

5w Borough created

,nd Lockport in ISrO.



1.0 Known as Beaver Dam until 1S4U. A part of Summit taken
If) Mil! ^'il!;l^'t' incorporated in 1870, after the census was

(..I .\ |.,iTii.iii Mf Franklin cut off in 1844 and of Summit in 1854.

Mi. 1^1. I...!-,! in,.ir|„.r,itcd in ISIil.

;, -^..nih I- n. Ill, iH-iinratfrt asa borough in 1866. and added to

ill' II ! , ' .. i.iin r >,]ic'ewas taken from the township.

I: I ' Mill Creek contained a population of

\p ||"i ' I -: ,1 r I iilvrn otr in I83i. and of Conneant add-

'il.i A'liiitv lak.ii I. tr 111 !■ni;uit("" till Ift^. Edinboro incorporated In
1S4U. A portion of Franklin cut off in 1841.

('») A slice ctu off to form Corr.v Borough in 18(!3. and another
in the creation of Corr.v Cit.v in l,«i.

il>) Inclusive of East Springfield Borough.

ERIE CITY.

The following was the population of Erie
Cit\ by wards in 1870, 1880 and 1890:

1870. 1880. 1890.

Fir t Ward 3,364 4,629 6,492

^ec nd " 5,031 6,581 9,985

n rd " 3,730 5,378 7,318

I rth " 4,526 5,799 7,292

I ftl " 1,497 2,348 4,360

^ \tl - 1,498 3,000 5,187

19,646 27,737 40,634

Male. Female. Native ForeiKn. WhitcCol'd.
Ward 3487 3 005 4812 1.680 6,413 79

1" 5 134 4 861 6 948 2,987 9.978 7

d " 3,693 3,625 5 723 1,595 7 306 12

•■ 3607 3,685 5 819 1.473 7,144 148

1 •' '2.287 2,073 3 080 1,280 4 357 3

" 2,558 2,629 3 806 1,331 5 187 ,..

20 756 19.878 30.238 10.396 40,385 249
1 olored colnmn embraces seven Chinese and one Japanese.

I he following figures relating to Erie City
iL from the U. S, census report for 1890:

I'jrsons of votingage — Native born, 6,644;
foreign born, 4,893; colored, 82.

Deaths— Males, 421 ; females, 354 ; total,
775.

Dwellings, 7,168; families, 8,027; per-
sons to a dwelling, 5.67 ; to a family, 5.06.

Public school enrollment — Male teachers,
9; female, 145; boy pupils, 2,700; girl,
2,700; colored boys, 24; girls, 16.



S-ELSON'S BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY



Debt— 1880, $1,148,729; per capita,
$41.42; 1890,11,027,309; per capita, $21.54.

Population— 1870— Native, 12,718; for-
eign, (3,298. 1880— Native, 20,031 ; foreign,
7,706.

CITY OF CORRV.

Tiie population of Corry by wards was as
follows :

1870. 1880. 1890.

First Ward 3,559 2,758 957

Second '• 3,250 2,519 1,357

Third " 1,737

Fourth " 1,626



6,809 5,277 5,677

The following are from the United States
census reports relating to Corry :

Population— 1870 — Native, 5,080 ; foreign,
1,729. 1880— Native, 4,250; foreign, 1,012.
1890— Native, 4,895 ; foreign, 782 ; male citi-
zens, 2,736; female, 2,941; whites, 5,657;
colored, 20.

Debt— 1880, $65,148; per capita, $12.35.
1890, $122,300; per capita, $21.54.

ERIE COUNTY GENERALLY.

The following figures, from the U. S. cen-
sus reports, relate to Erie county in general :

1870.
65,584



1890.

85,756
308



Puptiliititin. II

White 49,251 65,584 74,345

Colored 181 389 332

Male 37,303 43,526

Female 37,295 42,548

Native-born... 40,758 52,699 61,543 71,196

Foreig-n-born.. 8,674 13,274 13,145 14,878

Persons of voting age in 189(1 — Natives,
17,520; foreign, 7,094; colored, 114.

Dwellings and families in 1890 — Dwell-
ings, 17,668 ; families, 18,849 ; persons to a
dwelling, 4.87 ; to a family, 4.57.

General statistics for 1890 — Insane per-
sons, 211; feeble-minded, 139; deaf, 156;
deaf and dumb, 84; blind in one eye, 150; in
both eyes, 66.

RECEIPTS AND EXPENSES OF ERIE COUNTY.

Below were the receipts and expenses of
Erie county for 1894, as shown by the state-
ment of the county commissioners, approved
by the county auditors, February 22, 1895 :



Balance in treasury January 1, 1894 S 62,059 36

Net avails county tax 74,063 78

License fees under high license 11,571 60

Unseated lands 440 85



State tax 19,770 84

Redemption monej' 212 10

Commonwealth costs 398 59

Outstanding- tax 835 09

Maintenance at Warren Asylum 369 50

Transferred from sheep fund 3,000 00

All other receipts 204 12

.?n2,925 83

EXPENDITURES.

Publishing annual statement S ^'^Z ^^

Auditors' pay 707 88

Appropriations to societies 300 00

Assessments 3,.556 32

Blanks, blank books, etc . . . 1,88!) 80

Apprehension and punishment of crime. 21,936 17

Court House expenses 6,096 26

Commissioners' office 4,854 50

County Treasurer 2,304 00

Court expenses 17,853 81

Election expenses 12,170 06

Inquests _ 424 49

Poor and insane 45,615 34

Other expenses 2,.j02 84

Balance in the treasury January 1, 1895. 52,507 36

3;i72,92o 83

SHEEP FUND.

Balance in the treasury

January 1, 1894 $ 6,506 76

Net available dog tax ... . 4,863 05

Cash on dog tax 1 00

Amount transferred to

county fund 3,000 00

Sheep warrants paid in

1894 2,517 15

Balance in the treasury

January 1, 1895 5,853 66

Sll,370 81 fll,370 81

SCHOOL FUND.

Balance in the treasury

January 1, 1894 $ 2,222 00

Amount on unseated lands 1,286 84

Amount on unseated lands

sold, not paid for 16 75

School warrants paid in

1894 1,940 64

Balance in treasury Janu-
ary 1, 1895 1,584 95

$3,525 59 $3,525 59

ROAD FUND.

Balance in the treasury
January 1, 1894 # 903 73

Amount from unseated

lands 533 64

Amount from unseated

lands sold, not paid for.. 2 37

Road warrants paid in

1894 134 23

Balance in treasury Janu-
ary 1, 1895 1,305 49

$1,439 74 $1,439 74



AND HISTORICAL REFERENCE BOOK OF ERIE COUNTY.



79



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8o



NELSON'S BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY



COUNTY RATE OF TAXATION.

The county rate of taxation has been as
follows for twenty-six years :



1869

1870


Mills.

IS

20

4

3

3

VA

3


1876

1877


1872

1873


1879

1880


1874




1875


1882



1890


Mills.

2






1892

1893








1895





*Since 1871 the rate has been based upon the
assumed value of the property.

The count}' is entirely- free from debt, and
has been for a long period.



CHAPTER IV.



Remains ok a Pue-Historic Race — Gulfs, Cascades axd Nati-ral Curiosities



VARIOUS indications have been found
in the county which lead to the con-
clusion that it must have been peopled
centuries ago by a different race from
the Indians who were found here
when it was first visited by white men. When
the link of the Erie and Pittsburg R. R.
from the Lake Shore road to the dock at Erie
was in process of construction, the laborers
dug into a great mass of bones at the crossing
of the public road which joins the Lake road
near vScott's Pioneer Farm. From the pro-
miscuous way in which they were thrown to-
gether, it is surmised that a terrible battle
must have taken place in the vicinity at some
day so far distant that not even a tradition of
the event has been preserved. The skulls
were flattened, and the foreheads were seldom
more than an inch in width. The bodies were
in a sitting posture, and there were no traces
that garments, weapons or ornaments had
been buried with them.

At a later date, when the roadway of the
Philadelphia and Erie R. R., where it passes
through the Warfel farm, was being widened,
another deposit of bones was dug up and
ruthlessly disposed of. Among the skeletons
was one of a giant, side by side with a smaller
person, probably that of his wife. The arm
and leg bones of this native American Go-
liath were about one-half longer than those of
the tallest man among the laborers ; the skull



was immensely large ; the lower jawbone
easily slipped over the face and whiskers of a
full-faced man, and the teeth were in a per-
fect state of preservation.

Another skeleton was dug up in Conneaut
township some years ago which was quite as
remarkable in its dimensions. A comparison
was made with the largest man in the neigh-
borhood, and the jawbone readily covered his
face, while the lower bone of the leg was
nearly a foot longer than the one with which
it was measured, indicating that the man
must have been eight to ten feet in height.
The bones of a flathead were turned up in
the same township some two years ago with a
skull of unusual size. Relics of a former time
have been gathered in that section by the
pailful, and among other curiosities a brass
watch was found that was as big as a com-
mon saucer.

In preparing the bed for the ''Nickel
Plate" railroad, near the bridge over Elk
creek, in Girard township, numerous skele-
tons were thrown up by the steam shovel and
carelessly dumped to one side with as little
respect as if they had been the bones of so
many cattle.

An ancient graveyard was discovered in
1820 on the land now known as the Carter
and Dickinson places in Erie. Dr. Albert
Thayer dug up some of the bones, and all in-
dicated a race of beings of immense size.



AND HISTORICAL REFERENCE BOOK OF ERIE COUNTY.



PRE-HISTORIC MOUNDS.

No less curious are the pre-historic mounds
and circles found in Wayne, Harbor Creek,
Conneaut, Girard, Springfield, LeBocuf, Ve-
nango and Fairview townships. The princi-
pal one in Wayne township, which is still in
a fair state of preservation, is near the road
from Corry to Elgin, and but a short distance
east of the springs which furnish water for
the State fish-hatching establishment. It con-
sists of a circle of raised earth, surrounded by
a trench, from which the dirt was dug, the
whole enclosing about three acres of unbroken
ground. The embankment has been much
flattened and reduced by the elements, but was
still from one to two feet high and from three
to four feet wide at the base some years
ago. When the first settlers discovered it the
interior of the circle was covered with forest
trees. Half a mile west, a little to the north
of the road, on a slight eminence, was another
and smaller circle, w'hich has been plowed
down, leaving no vestige behind.

The circles in other portions of the county
are or were similar in their general features,
with one exception, to the above. Those in
Harbor Creek township were situated on each
side of Four-Mile creek, slightly southeast of
the big curve of the Philadelphia and Erie
R. R., on points overlooking the deep gulf of
that stream. The one on the west side of the
creek is still in a fair state of preservation.
The two Conneaut circles were near together,
while those in Girard and Springfield, four in
number, extended in a direct line from the west-
ern part of the former township to the south-
western part of the latter. One of the circles
partially occupied the site of the cemetery at
East Springfield. In Fairview township there
was both a circle and a mound, th.e first at the
mouth of Front run, and the second at Man-
chester. The latter, at the close of the last
century, was about six feet high and fifteen
feet in diameter. A tree was cut on one of
the embankments in Conneaut that had at-
tained the age of 500 years. The circles in
LeBtruf and Venango were very much like
those above described.

BOXES OI' A MAMMOTH AND A MYSTERIOUS
liEAD.

The skeletons of extinct species of animals



have frequently been found



th:



countN



Perhaps the most extraordinary discovery of
that nature was made near Girard borough, in
the early part of May^, 1880. A man, while
plowing, turned up some bones of a mammoth,
which were thought to indicate an animal fif-
teen feet long and from twelve to thirteen
feet high. One of the teeth weighed three
and a half pounds, having a grinding surface
of three and a half by four inches. Pieces of
the tusks led to the opinion that they must
.have been eight or ten feet long.

In the year 1825, while Francis Carnahan
was plowing along the lake shore in Harbor
Creek township, he turned up a strange look-
ing bead, which was cleaned and preserved.
It fell into the hands of L. G. Olmstead,
LL. D., a traveler and archa;ologist of some
reputation, who pronounced it to be one of the
celebrated " Chorean beads" of ancient Egypt,
and kept it until his death as a relic of rare
interest and value.

CURIOSITIES OF NATURE.

Among the natural curiosities of the coun-
ty are the "gulfs" or gullies through which
the lake shore streams descend from the divi-
ding ridges in the south to the level of the lake.
The gulf of Four-Mile creek extends from
near the crossing of the Station road, about
half a mile south of Wesleyville, to Ripley's
mill, in Greene township, a distance in a
direct line of about four miles, and by the
course of the stream of about one-half more.
Its depth varies from fifty to a hundred and
fifty feet, with sides that are almost perpen-
dicular at some points, and its width is from
one to two hundred feet. The deepest part is
at a spot locally known as Wintergreen Gulf,
some four and a half miles southeast of Erie.
The "gulf" of Six-Mile creek, which is
wholly in Harbor Creelv township, is very
similar to the other. It commences about
half a mile south of the Buffalo road and ter-
minates a little north of the Station road,
being about the same length as the gully of
Four-Mile creek. Its deepest and most pic-

: turesque point is at the Clark settlement,
where the banks are not far from a hundred
and fifty feet high.

" Gulfs '■ of a like nature attend every one of

1 the lake shore streams, but are less pictu-

I resque, generally speaking, than the two above
named. The most interesting are those of

. Twelve-Mile creek, near the lake; of Sixteen-



NELSOJ^-S BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY



Mile creek, in the southern part of North East
township; of Twenty-Mile creek, near the
New York line; of Walnut creek, where it
was crossed by the old aqueduct ; of Crooked
creek, in Springfield township : and of Elk
creek, in the southern part of Fairview town-
ship.

In Girard township, south of the borough,
is the "Devil's Backbone," which owes its
novelty, as in the other cases mentioned,
mainly to the long-continued action of water.
The West branch of Elk creek winds around
the base of a ridge for about one-fourth of a
mile until it reaches its point. This it sud-
denly turns, and then runs in the opposite
direction along the same ridge. The constant
washing of the base has reduced the ridge to
very slender limits, so that it has a width on
top, in some parts, of barely two feet. The



summit is about a hundred feet above the bed
of the creek, and the sides of the ridge are
nearly perpendicular.

WATERFALLS.

On Falls run, a small stream ihat flows
into Elk creek from Franklin township, is a
cascade, some fifty feet in height, which is
said to be quite attractive at certain seasons.
A beautiful waterfall formerly existed on the
bank of the bay at the mouth of Cascade run,
but was destroyed in the building of the Erie
and Pittsburg R. R. and dock, to the regret
of many citizens. A small waterfall still
e.xists on Little Cascade creek, where it joins
the bay, within the city limits, and numerous
low but picturesque falls prevail on most of
the lake shore streams as they approach their
terminus.



CHAPTER V.



Stre.v.ms, Interior Lakes — Bridges, (Sit



ERIE COUNTY, though one of the
best-watered sections of the State,
has no rivers and few streams of im-
portance. A large number of creeks
and runs have their origin on the
dividing ridges, and course through the county
in all directions, so that almost every farm has
its running water, but only three or four are j
of sufficient size to be given a place on the '
general map of the commonwealth. The
dividing ridges separate the water system of
the countj' into two distinct divisions, which
may be classed for the present purpose into
the Northern and .Southern. All of the
streams which form on the north side of the
main ridge flow into Lake Erie, and thence,
through Niagara river. Lake Ontario and the
St. Lawrence, to the Atlantic ocean. Those
on the south side invariably unite with the
Allegheny river, which in turn pours its waters
into the Ohio, the Mississippi, and the Gulf of
Mexico. Of the southern streams the most



important is French creek, the common recep-
tacle of all the rest, with the exception of the
Brokenstraw (which flows through a corner
of Wayne township), and the head-waters of
Spring creek and Oil creek, having their
sources, the former in Concord and the latter
in that and Union township. The principal
tributaries of French creek, within the county,
are the East, West and South branches, the
outlet of Lake Pleasant and LeBoeuf creek.
The Conneauttee, which rises in Franklin
township, and the Cussewago, the sources of
which are both in that township and Elk
creek, join the same stream in Crawford
county.

The leading lake shore streams are as fol-
lows : Conneaut, Crooked, Elk, Trout, Walnut,
Mill, Four-Mile, Six-Mile, Twelve-Mile, Six-
teen-Mile and Twenty-Mile, the five last men-
tioned being named according to their distance
from Erie City. The smaller streams which
empty directly into Lake Erie, are Raccoon



AND HISTORICAL REFERENCE BOOK OF ERIE COUNTY.



and Turkey runs, in Springfield township ;
Trout run, in Fairview township; Fassetrun,
Kelso run, the Head run, and One, Two and
Three-jSIile creeks, in Mill Creek townsiiip ;
Cascade and Garrison runs, in Erie City ; Five-
Mile creek, Elliott's run and Scott's run, in
Harbor Creek township ; Spring, Spafford and
Averill runs, in North East township; and
several rivulets, tiie titles of which are various-
h- given.

rRIBUTARV S riJKAMS.

The tributaries of the above streams are as
follows, the terminus of each being in the
township indicated :

French Creek. — In Greenfield township, a
number of creeks and runs ; in Venango town-
ship, Middlebrook Alder run and Fritts run
of the West branch, and Spafford run of the
East branch; in Amity township (East and
West branches unite), the outlet of Lake
Pleasant, Jones' brook, Henry brook, the Hub-
bell Alder run, Deerlick run, the Hatch Hol-
low Alder run and Buncombe run ; in Water-
ford township, Davis run ; in LeBoeuf town-
ship, the South branch, LeBocuf creek. Trout
brook, Colt run. Mill run, Moravian run, Gill
brook and Mallory run.

LcBauf Creek. — In Waterford township,
the West branch, Boyd run. Trout run and
Benson run. (Boyd and Trout runs empty
into Lake LeBo-uf, which is really no more
than an expansion of the creek.)

The .South Branch of French Creek.— in
Concord township, Scotch run. Spring brook,
Lilly run, Beaver Dam run, Spencer run,



Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the county also portraits and biographies of the governor's since 1790, and of numerous r → online text (page 13 of 192)