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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 51 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 51 of 192)
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in the woods of Florida. The factory build-
ing was moved to Erie after the war. A fire
in 1871 swept away one hotel ; some two
years later the foundry was burned ; and in
J 876 the second and last hotel fell a prey to
the same destructive element.

Lockport was incorporated as a borough in
1870, taking in about 1700 acres, of which
the chief portion is farming land. Its popu-
lation then was estimated at 500, but had
been reduced to 345 in 1880, and was only 240
in 1890. The territory included in the borough
limits was originally a portion of Elk Creek
township, and after the organization of
Girard township, formed its southern central

The eleven mile level of the canal com-
menced at the head of the locks at Lockport,
and extended to Spring Corners, in Crawford
county. Crooked creek, which empties into
Lake Erie in Springfield township, rises in
or near Lockport borough.

The borough contains two churches — the
Disciple and the Methodist Episcopal — both
built in 1878.

The Disciple Church was organized in the
winter of 1877. No regular service was held
for some years, but an effort is being made to
revive the congregation.

The Methodist Episcopal congregation
was organized about the year 1843, and soon
thereafter a church building was erected about
a quarter of a mile west of Lockport. This
was torn down and partially used in the con-
struction of the present edifice.

The P., S. and L. E. R. R. runs through
and has a station in the borough.

The town has a cheese factory (established
in 1876), a planing mill, a sawmill and a cider
mill. A tannery was started by Wm. Aid-
rich in 1848, and an oar factory by Mr. Row-
ley in 1860, both of which have gone down.



GREENE, one of the original sixteen
townships, was known as Beaver
Dam until 1840, when the present
name was adopted in honor of Gen.
Nathaniel Greene, of Revolutionary
memory. Its western boundary has been
twice changed — first, by adding a piece to
McKean, and second, by the erection of Sum-
mit in 1854. Greene township is bounded on
the north by Mill Creek and Harbor Creek,
on the east by Greenfield and Venango, on
the south by Waterford and on the west by
Summit and Mill Creek. Its greatest extent
is seven miles from north to south, and six
from east to west. It contained 140 inhabit-
ants in 1820, 443 in 1830, 1,081 in 1840, 1,542
in 1850, 1,450 in 1860, 1,395 in 1870, 1,531
in 1880 and 1,511 in 1890. The township is
divided, for election purposes, into the East
and West districts.


The earliest settlers in Greene township
were Peter Himebaugh and Conrad Wine-
man, two Pennsylvania Germans, who took
up lands in 1800 along LeBceuf creek and re-
mained there the balance of their lives. About
1802 Jacob ard Samuel Brown, Thomas Bun-
nell and John and Ambrose Coover settled in
the LeBoeuf valle}-. In the spring of 1802
Thomas Hinton, with five sons and two
daughters, made their homes in the northeast.
The Browns built mills on the creek and for
a long period supplied a good portion of the
timber used at Erie. In the Welsh settlement
the Hintons were followed by the Joneses,
Knoyles, Morgans, Wilkinses and others of
their countrymen. From 1804 on a number
of persons went in and left, and the tide of
emigration did not commence again until
1816. Between that year and 1818 a colony
of New England people located in the town-
ship, among whom may be named Cyril
Drown and sons, Martin Hayes and sons,

Isaac and David Church, Benjamin Gunnison,
Roger Root, David Edwards and S. T. Rock-
wood. Weed's Corners was settled in 1828
by William B. Weed and William Yaple,
who went there when the country south of
Hayes's to Lake Pleasant was a continuous
forest. The first German emigration was in
1838, when the Hirts, Pringles, Kellars and
others settled on and near the Wattsburg road.
Mr. Kuhl and sons removed from Alill Creek
in 1835. The Irish began settling in the
township about 1836, mostl)' on the Kuh
road. Among their number the Barrys, Gal
laghers, Morrisons, McManuses, Cosgroves
and McGinneses were first on the ground
H. L. Pinney bought a farm in Greene ir
1843 and moved there the next year. E. O
Pinney first rented a farm in 1848, asd pur
chased in 1846 ; and Martin Pinney made the
township his home in 1851. Griffith Hinton
one of the sons of Thomas, above referred to.
died at the residence of his son-in-law. Sum
ner Bemis, on the 15th of March, 1880, at the
advanced age of 96 years. The Hinton fam
ily came from Wales in 1801, but did not set
tie in this county till the next year.


The township is one of the most elevated
in the county, containing the dividing ridge
from which the waters of Mill creek. Walnut
creek, Four-Mile creek and Six-Mile creek
flow into the lake, and of LeBceuf creek to
the south. The main body of the land is clay
and gravel, best for grazing. There is a good
valley along LeBoeuf creek, in the southwest,
ranging from half a mile to a mile in width.
The value of land is from twenty to forty dol-
lars an acre. A considerable area of forest
still exists, and the township may be said to
be the main supply point of Erie for firewood.

The township postoffices are: Boscobel,
in the Wales settlement ; East Greene, at
Bogus Corners ; Hamot, at St. Boniface


Church ; Clipper, in the Church and Tate
neighborhood; and West Greene, at the set-
tlement of the same name.

Le Boeuf creek rises on the south edge of
the township, and empties into French creek
below Waterford; a branch of Mill creek
starts in the northwest; Four-Mile creek
about a mile northeast from St. Boniface;
Six-Mile creek a short distance south of
Wales, and Walnut creek, near the Greene
and Summit line, a little northeast of White-
ford's Corners. The great gully of Four-
Mile creek begins nearly at the head of the
stream, about three and a half miles south of
the Harbor creek line, and continues to the
crossing of the Station road, below Cooper's

The mills of the township are the saw and
feed-mill of Miles Brown, on Le Breuf creek ;
Kane's sawmill, near the north boundary ;
Ripley's sawmill, back of St. Boniface Church,
both on Four-Mile creek; a sawmill on
Six-Mile creek, north of Wales ; and one near
F. & M. Cook's. The first and only gristmill
in the township was built by Jacob Brown,
early in the century, and ran until 1872, when
it burned down.


The leading thoroughfares are the Watts-
burg plank road ; the old road to Wattsburg
by way of Phillipsville, which branches off
from the plank road at the Seigel place ; the
Lake Pleasant road ; the road from Harbor
Creek to Waterford ; through West Greene ;
the old Shunpike, from Augustus Graham's,
in Summit, to Waterford, and the road from
the Shunpike to West Greene. The Watts-
burg plank was completed in 1858, and given
up as a toll road in the spring of 1865. The
Lake Pleasant road was opened from Erie to
the Martin Hayes place in the winter of
1821-22, and extended to French creek in the
winter of 1826-27, through what was, for a
good part of the way, a dense wilderness.
Both of these roads traverse the entire width
of the township from northwest to southeast.
The Shunpike was laid out in 1827-28, to
avoid the Waterford turnpike, growing out of
a quarrel between its owners and the stage
company over the rates of toll. The Harbor
Creek and Wattsburg road was opened in
1810, and the one which branches off from

the Shunpike has been in existence forty to
fifty years.

The only railroad in Greene is the Philadel-
phia and Erie, which crosses about a mile of
its southwest corner, between Summit and
Waterford, It has no station in the township,
and the nearest stopping places are at Belle
Valley, Langdon's and Jackson's.


Greene township has no incorporated
towns, and no settlements that can strictly be
called by the name of villages. There are,
however, several thickly settled localities
which have been honored with special names,
such as West Greene, St. Boniface, Wales,
Bogus Corners, Weed's Corners and Six-
Mile Creek.

Wales, in the northeast, on the Venango
line, derives its name from being first settled by
Welsh, of whom the Hintons were the pio-
neers. The district known as Wales, includes
a Presbyterian and Methodist Church, a school-
house and a few farmhouses. The Presbyterian
congregation was organized in 1849, by Rev.
G. W. Cleveland, its first pastor, and erected
a building in 1851 at a cost of $800. A
cemetery adjoins the church. The Methodist
congregation has been in existence some
forty-five vears. A creamery was started at
Wales about 1891.

St. Boniface is a German settlement on the
Wattsburg plank road, seven miles from Erie,
which derives its name from the Catholic
Church there located. The church was
organized in 1857 by Rev. J. A. Oberhofer,
with a congregation of some forty families.
A building was erected the same year, which
burned down in 1867, and the present one
was erected in 1873, at a cost of $4,000.
Meantime a separation took place between
the German and English-speaking members of
the congregation, which led to the construc-
tion of another edifice by the latter in 1870.
This building, known as St. Peter's Church,
was subsequently removed to Kuhl's Hill,
where it has a graveyard attached. A par-
sonage and a graveyard are connected with
St. Boniface's Church. The parochial school,
which has an average attendance of eighty, is
in charge of the Benedictine Nuns.

Bogus Corners are at the intersection of a
cross-road with the Wattsburg plank, not far
from the center of the township. The post-



office was established about 1829. Half a
mile west are a church and graveyard. The
building was erected in 1857. It is known as
St. Paul's United Lutheran and Presbyterian
Church, and the congregation was organized
several years previous. In 1885 the church
was rebuilt at a cost of $1,200, C. R. Gray
being the contractor.

Weed's Corners, at the intersection of the
road from West Greene with the Lake Pleas-
ant road, is nothing more than a few farm-
houses. It derives its name from William B.
Weed, who was the first settler.

West Greene consists of a small collection
of buildings at the meeting of two roads in
the south part of the township. The cheese
factory was opened May 12, 1873. The
Methodist Episcopal Church at West Greene
was organized in 1827. The early meetings
were held in dwellings and schoolhouses un-
til about 1848, when a frame church was
built. It was superseded in the autumn of
1888 by a new structure, erected on the site
of the old church.

Six-Mile Creek is a small settlement about
a mile north of Wales.


The public officers furnished by Greene

township are Capt. Thomas Wilkins, Collect-
or of the Port of Erie from 1861 to 1869 ;
Jonas Gunnison, a prominent Erie attorney
and a member of the Assembly in 1859 ; Rod-
nev Cole, County Commissioner from 1851 to
1854; William B. Weed, from 1867 to 1870,
and Albert B. Gunnison, from 1875 to 1881 ;
Ora P. Gunnison, Deputy Sheriff for a few
months ; Assistant Assessor of Internal Rev-
enue for a long term ; Acting Collector of
Internal Revenue from October 8 to No-
vember 8, 1875 ; Mercantile Appraiser in
1879, and Clerk to the County Commissioners,
from 1881 to 1883 ; Horace L. Pinney, Jury
Commissioner from 1870 to 1873; E. O.
Pinney, Trustee of Erie Academy from 1875
to 1878, and William E. Hayes, County Audi-
tor from 1874 to 1880.


Soon after 1825, a schoolhouse was built
on lot 184, in the east part of the township.
A second was erected about two miles farther
south, and a third was built on the farm of
William B. Weed, both at an early date.

Lake Pleasant Independent School Dis-
trict embraces the southwest part of Greene
township, and the adjoining corners of Venan-
go, Waterford and Amit}'.



GREENFIELD is one of the sixteen
townships established by the Legis-
lature when the county was created.
It is bounded on the north by North
East township, on the east by Chau-
tauqua county. New York, on the south by
Venango, and on the west by Harbor Creek
and Greene. The boundary lines are all
straight, excepting a jog of about an eighth of
a mile, commencing at the Prindle place, on
the west side, and extending to the Plumb
farm on the south. As originally formed.

Greenfield was considerably larger than now,
a long, wedge-shaped strip having been taken
off of its northern part in 1841 and added to
North East. The township as thus reduced is
about seven miles in length from east to west
and about four and three-quarters in breadth
from north to south. Greenfield had a popu-
lation of 281 in 1820,664 in 1830,862 in 1840,
731 in 1850, 880 in 1860, 1,039 in 1870,
1,020 in 1880 and 1,432 in 1890, being one of
the few rural districts that increased during
the last census period.



The surface of the township is mainly hill_\';
but there are some fine flats along French
creek and upon a tributary of that stream
which comes in from New York at the south-
east corner. Tlie valley lands range in width
from a half mile to a mile. They produce
corn, oats, wheat and all kinds of fruit, except
peaches, but are much troubled with frosts.
The hill lands, which are less affected by the
frosts than the valleys, are a clay loam, and
yield good crops of corn, oats and potatoes;
but are best adapted for grass and grazing.
The loftiest elevation is at the Brown farm in
the southwest. About half a mile southeast
from that, in Venango, is said to be the high-
est point in Erie county. Land ranges in price
from twenty to forty dollars an acre.


Greenfield was one of the first townships
to be settled. Among those who were im-
pressed with its advantages was Judah Colt,
a native of Lyme, Conn., who came on in
1795. He made the Population Company,
which claimed most of the lands in the county,
an offer of one dollar an acre for thirty thou-
sand acres off of the east end of the Triangle,
which they declined. They were so much
pleased with his energy and shrewdness, how-
ever, that they appointed him their agent for
Erie count)^ Mr. Colt took up a permanent
residence in Greenfield in 1797, having been
preceded by Elisha and Enoch Marvin (his
brothers-in-law), Cyrus Robinson, Henry and
Dyer Loomis, Charles Allen, Joseph Berry,
John and William Wilson, James Moore,
Joseph Webster, Phllo Barker," Timothy Tut-
tle, Silas and William Smith, Joseph Shad-
duck, John Daggett and John Andrews.
All of these were hardy New England people.
Mr. Colt established his headquarters at what
came to be known as Colt's Station, around
or near which most of the emigrants settled.
The same year, Mr. Colt cut a road through
from the lake at Freeport to the vStation (the
first in the county after the old French road),
as an avenue for supplies, which were brought
by lake from Buffalo. This road was extend-
ed in 1798 to French creek, near what is now
" Little Hope," or Greenfield village, where
Mr. Bissell had established a landing, and later
in the season Mr. Colt and William Miles con-
tinued it to the forks of French creek (now
Wattsburg). The eastern road from North

East to Wattsburg was opened about 1800 ;
the one from Colt's Station to Waterford, by
way of Fhillipsville, in 1804 or 1806 ; and the
Station road, from Wesleyville, by way of
Colt's Station to Mayville, in 1813.

Mr. Colt brought his wife on in May,
1798. In 1803, James Taylor, with wife and
one child, from Rockbridge county, Virginia,
settled in the township, about two miles north-
east of Colt's Station. Here they remained
until 1812, when they removed to New York.
Henry Taylor reached the township about the
same time, but changed to North East several
years later. Nehemiah Finn, from Orange
county. New York, located on the State line
in the spring of 1834.

The inducement that took Mr. Colt and his
colony to Greenfield was the belief that the
hill lands were preferable to those of the lake
shore, which were densely wooded, swampy
and well-nigh impenetrable. In a short time,
Mr. Colt saw his error, and in 1804, he re-
moved to Erie, where he remained the balance
of his life. He died suddenly October 11, 1832,
aged 71 years and 8 months. On Mr. Colt's
departure, the greater portion of the colony
left also, scattering in various directions, and
most of them taking up some of the choicest
lands in the county. Enoch Marvin became
the company's agent in the Beaver valley,
where he died and was buried. His brother
Elisha was one of the few who remained, and
he and his wife both died at Colt's Station,
the first in 1829 and the second in 1858. Their
son, William E., continued to reside at Colt's
Station till the decease of his mother, when
he made his home in North East.

Col. Joseph Selden opened a store at the
Station in 1820, which was continued for some
years by other parties. Morrow B. Lowry
clerked in this store when a boy of 16, and B.
F. Sloan spent a portion of his youthful years
in the localit3^ A tavern was established about
sixt}' years ago, and kept up till 1860 or 1865.
The first celebration in Erie county of the Na-
tion's Independence was near Colt's Station,
on the 4th of July, 1797- The first military
company in Erie county was organized in
Greenfield, in 1801, with Elisha Marvin as cap-


The chief stream of Greenfield is the West
branch of French creek, which receives many



small tributaries in the township. ' It heads in
or near Findley's lake, about two miles from
the State line in Chautauqua county, and run-
ning across Greenfield from the northeast to
the middle, and through the entire width of
Venango from north to south, joins the East
branch in Amity, just below Wattsburg, after
a course of eighteen or twenty miles. The
headwaters of Six-Mile, Twelve-Miie, Six-
teen-Mile, and of a branch of Twenty-Mile
creek, are all in Greenfield. They have their
rise on the ridge north of the West branch of
French creek, and not more than a mile or
two from that stream. Some of the tributaries
of the West branch head within a few rods of
the sources of the lake shore creeks.

The first sawmill was built by Leverett
Bissell, at or near Little Hope, in 1799, being
among the earliest in the county. Another
was put up in 1824, by John Whiteside, in the
south part of the township.

The postoffices are : Greenfield, at the vil-
lage of the same name ; Hornby, atShattuck's
Corners ; Delhil, near the Union schoolhouse ;
and Nasby, on the Station road.

The first Protestant religious services in Erie
county were held at Colt's Station on July 2,
1797. About thirty persons assembled from
Greenfield, North East and Venango, to whom
a sermon was read by Mr. Colt. The old
graveyard, on the Erie and Mayville road, a
little east of the Station, was the earliest (1801)
of which any record has been preserved in the


The onljr settlement in the township which
approaches the dignity of a village is Green-
field, on the West branch of French creek, just
off from the middle road between North East
and Wattsburg. The place is better known
by its nickname of " Little Hope." The site
of the place was taken up about 1796, by Lev-
erett Bissell, on a soldier's right of 400 acres.
He built a sawmill and a lan

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 51 of 192)