Emanuel Swedenborg.

History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

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CAT. NO. 23211



^CORMEU. UNIVERSTTY UBRAftV



^ IIIIIIBUL

3 1924 096 448 935





Cornell University
Library



The original of this book is in
the Cornell University Library.

There are no known copyright restrictions in
the United States on the use of the text.



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924096448935



HISTORY



—OF—



TIOGA COUNTY,



PENNSYLVANIA.



EMBRACING

ITS TOPOGRAPHICAL AND GEOLOGICAL FEATURES ; INDIANS AND WHITE
EXPLORERS; BEGINNING AND ORGANIZATION; PIONEERS AND EARLY
SETTLEMENT; EARLY COURTS AND CASES; INTERNAL IMPROVE-
MENTS; INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT; COAL MINES AND MINING;
PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND OFFICIALS ; LEGAL AND MEDICAL PRO-
FESSIONS ; MILITARY HISTORY; LITERATURE; SKETCHES
OF BOROUGHS, TOWNSHIPS AND VILLAGES; MATERIAL,
SOCIAL, EDUCATIONAL AND RELIGIOUS PROGRESS;
BIOGRAPHIES AND PORTRAITS OF PIONEERS AND
REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS, ETC., ETC., ETC.



ILLXJSXR.jPs.TEID.



R. C. BROWN & CO.

1807.



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••■;. t ,:■ e;^'.



.■("■







PRESS OF

harrisburg publishing company
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania



-5-/]



PREKACB.




ORE than one hundred years have passed away since the first white
settlers built their cabins along the Cowanesque and Tioga
rivers and commenced laying the comer-stone of American civiliza-
tion within the confines of what is now Tioga county. The Indian
occupants had been pushed back farther into the wilderness by the
advancing tide of progress, and in their place came the hardy, reso-
lute, intelligent pioneers whose descendants now occupy the land. Several genera-
tions have come and gone since these events occurred, and the historian of to-day
finds a difiicult task to unravel the story and harmonize the many conflicting ac-
counts that tradition has handed down from one generation to another.

In writing a history of Tioga county it has been our aim to preserve, as far
as possible, a chronological order. Its topographical and geological features come
first, followed by a sketch of the Indians whose numerous camping sites, paths
and villages prove that "The Land of Tioga" was a favorite dwelling place and
hunting ground. The (.'aucasian race came next, holding aloft the ti)nh of civili-
zation — the founders of communities in which the church and the school followed
in the wake of the cabin home. With the gradual settlement of the country came
the erection of the county, the establishment of a county seat, civil organization
and courts of justice. The early constriiction of roads, the improvement of water-
ways and the building of railroads furnished transportation for the product of the
farm, the mill and the mine, thus keeping pace with the industrial development of
the country. The official history of the county has been carefully compiled, and
the names of her citizens who have filled public office in the Nation, the State and
the county have thus been preserved. The legal and medical professions; the
pioneer fathers who served in the Revolution and War of 1812; a roster of Tioga's
sons who went out to defend the flag during the dark days of civil strife; the "Lit-
erature of Tioga," and the creation and growth of townships, boroughs and vil-
lages all find appropriate mention in the pages of this work.

The labor involved in this undertaking required the examination of state,
county, borougli and township records; the careful perusal of books, pamphlets,
newspaper files, old family documents, deeds and letters, and the personal inter-
viewing of local authorities in every part of the county. To John F. Meginness,
Esq., of Williamsport, the veteran historian of the West Branch valley, was in-
trusted the first twenty-two chapters of the book, and he spent over a year in their
compiliition. The remaining thirty-six chapters embraced in tlie general history,
were compiled by ^fr. John Meagher, an experienced and pains-taking w^riter,
with the exception of Chapter XLTV. contributed by Rev. David Craft, of Law-
rcneeville. The chapter on "Coal ifincs and ^fining" wn-: also written by Ifr.
Meagher, and the whole work was compared, revised and o<lited under the personal
supervision of the senior member of the firm, who has hud a wide ex]ierience in
til is line of historical effort.



■ CONTENTS.



CHAPTER VI.

County Obganization Completed.

Location of County Seat— Trustees Appointed— Proposals for a Site Advertised for
The Offer of Benjamin Wistar Morris Accepted— Location Made— Why Named
Wellsboroug-h- A Town Laid Out— Activity of Morris— Delmar Tovynship Formed
First Commissioners— Early Financial Statements— Other Statistical Informa-
tion— Grovyth of Population by Decades '^'^''^^

CHAPTEK VII.

Eably Cotjbts and Cases.

Arrests and Trials Under the Intrusion Law— The Case of Ezra Spaulding— History of
the Defendani^Other Tioga Settlers Indicted— First Courts of Tioga County —
Docket Entries— A Horse Thief Convicted— Six Magisterial Districts Established
— The Great Slave Hunt — Important County Records Stolen — ^An Obdurate
Judge, 80-93

CHAPTER VIII.

Internal Impeovements.

First Traveled Ways— The State Line Survey— A Rude Road Brushed Out^— The
Williamson Road — Why and How It Was Built — A Princely Entertainment in
the Wilderness — The Patterson Brothe'rs — Morris State Road — ^More Roads Laid
Out — East and West StaEarly Physicians and Justices — Churches and Cemeteries —
Villages 413-420

CHAPTEE XXXI.

Knoxville Bobgugh.

Organization — Origin of Name — Area and Elevation — ^Billings Park — Population —
Early Settlers — Manufacturing Enterprises — ^Mercantile Enterprises — Inns and
Hotels — Schools — Borough Organization ajid Officials — Postmasters — Physicians
and Lawyers — Newspapers — Churches — Cemeteries — Societies, 421-430

CHAPTER XXXII.

Westeield Township.

Organization — ^Physical Characteristics — ^Population — Early Settlers — Early Enter-
prises — Schools and Justices — Churches and Cemeteries — Villages, 430-437

CHAPTEE XXXIII.

Westfield Boeotigh.

Location and Surroundings — Population and Taxable Property — Early Settlers —
Borough Organization and Officials — Postmasters — ^Physicians and Lawyers —
Business and Manufacturing Enterprises — Incorporated Companies — ^Hotels — ■
Newspapers — ^Eailroads — Churches and Cemeteries — Societies, 438-449

CHAPTEE XXXIV.

Beookfield Township.

Organization — ^Location and Area — -Physical Features^-Streams — ^Forest Growth —
Population — Justices of the Peace — Early Settlers — Mills and Factories — Schools
— Churches and Cemeteries — ^Villages, 449-456

CHAPTEE XXXV.

Chatham Township.

Organization— Eeduction of Area—Physical Characteristics— Streams— Timber Growth
— Early Settlers — Pioneer Industries — Schools and Justices — Churches and Ceme-
teries — Societies — Villages and Postoffices, 457-463

CHAPTEE XXXVI.

Clymek Township.

Organization — Origin of Name— William B. Clymer — His Generous Treatment of
Settlers — Physical Features of Township — Forest Growth — Streams — ^.f^rea —
Early Settlers — Early Industries — Schools and Justices — Churches and Ceme-
teries — Societies — ^Villages and Postoffices, 463-469



COXTENTS. xi



CHAPTER XXXVri.

Shippek Township.

Organization — Present Boundaries and Area — Streams — Physical Features — Popula-
tion — Early Settlers — King and Manning's Explorations — Big Meadows — The
Furmans — Assessment of 1824 — Division of Township — Settlers on Marsh Creek —
Early Mills — Schools and Justices — Churches and Cemeteries — Villages 469-474

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

Gaines Township.

Organization — Reduction of Area — Derivation of Name — Physical Characteristics —
Streams — Timber and Game — Population — Early Settlers — Past and Present En-
terprises — The Gaines Coal and Coke Company — Early Schools — Physicians and
Justices — Churches — Cemeteries — Societies— Villages and Postoffices, 475-488

CHAPTKU XXKIX.

Elk Tow.nsiiip.

Organization — Boundaries and .\rea — Mountains and Streams — Timber — Population
— Early Settlers — Industrial I'^ntcrpriKes — Schools and Churches — Justices of the
Peace — Villages Is.i-iSS

CHAPTER xr..

MoiiRis Township.

Organization — Reductions of Area — Physical Characteristics — Timber and Coal —
Streams — Railroads — Population — Pioneer Settlement — Mills and Other Enter-
prises— SchooIs^Physicians and Justices- — Churches— Societies — \'illages and
Postoffices 486-493

CHAPTER XLI.

DrxfAS Township.

Derivation of Name — Organization — Area — Boundaries^ — .Vltitude — Population — Jus-
tices — The Fall Brook Coal Company — The Villag-e of .\ntrim — Hotels — Postmas-
ters—Schools — Physicians — Societies^Churches — Villag-es, 4!i:;-497

CHAPTER XLII.

TlOOA TOW.NSHIP.

Organization — Reductions of Area— Physical Features — Streams — Population — Pio-
neer Settlers — Early Enterprises — Schools and Justices — Churches and Ceme-
teries — Villages and Postoffices 498-504

CHAPTER XLIII.

TlOOA BOROUOH.

Description— Physical Characteristics- Early Settlers — Population — Village Indus-
tries and Enterprises— Early Physicians and Lawyers— Early and Later Hotels —
Borough Organization and Officials— \illage and Boroiiph Xewspmpers — Schools
— Churches— Secret Societies — Later Business and Manufacturing Enterprises—
'I'iojra Water Works — Hose Companies— Pire and Flood ,103-520



Xii CONTENTS.



CHAPTER XLIV.

Lawrence Township and Lawrencetille.

Township Organization — Selection of Name — Boundaries and Area — Physical Fea-
tures—Early Land Troubles— Conflicting Claims of Pennsylvania and Connecti-
cut—Final Settlement of the Dispute— The State Line Survey— Hon. Samuel
Baker, the First White Settler— Other Early Settlers— The Borough of Lawrence-
ville — Manufacturing and Business Enterprises — ^Physicians and Lawyers — News-
papers — Schools — Churches, Sabbath-Schools and Cemeteries — Justices and Bur-
gesses — Societies — Horacetown, 530-542

CHAPTER XLV.

Jackson Township.

Organization— Origin of Name— Original Area— Present Boundaries— Physical Fea-
tures—Streams—Altitude—Population—Pioneer Settlemenl^Early Milling En-
terprises — Schools — ^Physicians, Lawyers and Justices — Churches and Cemeteries
—Societies— Villages and Postoflaces, 543-550

CHAPTER XLVI.

KuTLAND Township.

Organization— Boundaries — Physical Features — Streams— Iron Ore — Population-
Early Settlers— Mills and Other Enterprises— Schools— Physicians and Justices —
Churches and Cemeteries — Eoseville Borough 551-556'



CHAPTER XLVII.

SuxLivAN Township.

Organization — Original Area and Present Boundaries — Soil and Products — Streams —
Derivation of Name — Population — Early Settlers — Business Enterprises — Schools
— Physicians and Justices — Churches — Cemeteries — Secret Societies — Borough of
Mainesburg — Villages and PostofEces 557-566

CHAPTER XL VIII.

Richmond Township.

Organization — Physical Characteristics — Streams — ^Mineral Deposits — Pioneer Set-
tlers — Pioneer Enterprises — Schools and Justices — Churches — Cemeteries — Vil-
lages 567-574

CHAPTER XLIX

Mansfield Bohough.

Location and Surroundings— Early Settlers and Enterprises— Borough Organization
and OfBcials — Fire Department — Postmasters, Physicians and Lawyers — Hotels
—Public Schools— Mansfield Classical Seminary— The Mansfield State Normal
School— The Soldiers' Orphan Home— Business Colleges— Later Industries and
Enterprises— Newspapers— Churches and Cemeteries— Societies, 575-592



CONTENTS. xiii



CHAPTEE L.

Covington Township.

Organization — Original and Present Area — Drainage and Physical Features — Popula-
tion — Early Settlers — Early and Later Enterprises — Schools— Postmasters and
Justices — Churches, Cemeteries and Societies 593-596

CHAPTER LI.

Covington Borough.

Location and Surroundings — Population — Early Settlers — Manufacturing Enterprises
— Early Hotel Keepers and Merchants — Borough Organization and Officials —
Postmasters and Physicians — Newspapers — Schools — Churches and Secret So-
cieties, 507-604



CHAPTER Lll.

Bloss Township.

Organization — Physical Features — Stream.s — Forost firowth— Mineral Deposit,-;— Lim-
ited Agriculture — Justices of the Peace — Changes in .\rea and Population— The
niossburg Coal Company — Arnot — Churches — Societies— Landrus 604-610



CHAPTER LIII.

BLOssnt'RO BonouGH.

The Williamson Road— Peter's Cnrnp — Borough Site and Surroundings- Pioneer
Settlers — Early Industries and Enterprisos— Discoverj- of Conl — Judge Knapp's
Enterprises — The Arbon Conl C'onipiuiy—A Real Kstate Boom — The Corning and
Blossburg Railroad— The Seymour House— Sir Charles Lyoll's Visit— Window
Glass Jfanufaetory- The Morris Run Roilroad— The Arnot Branch— Borough Or-
ganization ond Oifleiiils— Fire Department- The Fire of 187,3 — Physirians and
Lawyers— Sehools—Churches and Cemeteries — Societies — Later Business Co'r-
porations— The Cottage State Hospital r,n-02j

CHAPTER LIV.

Hamilton ToyrNsitip.

Organization— Physical Characteristics— Mineral Wealth— Streams— Railroads— Pop-
ulation— Justices of the Peace — Morris Run Mines and Railroad— Coal Mining
Companies— The A'illage of Morris Run — Schools and Churches — Societies 625-630

CHAPTER LV.

Wakd Township.

Organization— Reduction of .\rea— Drainage — Population — .Justices of the Peace —
Early Settlers — Manufacturing Enterprises — Sehools — Churches, Cemeteries and
Soeieties, 630-632



^{y CONTENTS.



CHAPTER LVI.

Fall Bkook Borough.

Location and Surroundings— The Pall Brook Coal Company— Its Organization and
History — Borough Organization and Officials — Schools — Churches — Societies,.. 633-638

CHAPTER LVII.

LiBEKTT Township.

Organization — Physical Characteristics — Soil and Products — Coal and Iron — Timber
— Streams — Population — Pioneer Settlement — First White Men — The District
Line — ^Williamson Road — ^The Block House — Anthony, the First Landlord —
Other Early Settlers — Mills and Other Enterprises — Physicians and Justices —
Schools — Churches and Cemeteries — Societies — Liberty Borough — Villages and
Postoffices 639-649

CHAPTER LVIIL

Union Township.

Organization — Physical Features — Streams — Population — Pioneer Settlers — Early
and Later Enterprises — Schools — ^Physicians and Justices — Churches, Cemeteries
and Societies — Villages, 649-654



CHAPTER LIX.

BlOGKAPHICAL, SKETCHES.

Wellsboro— Delmar and Charleston Townships, 655-780

CHAPTER LX.

BlOGEAPHICAL SKETCHES.

Middlebury and Farmington Townships— Nelson, Elkland and Osceola Boroughs, .. 780-867

CHAPTER LXI.

BlOGHAPHICAL SKETCHES.

Deerfield Township and Knoxville Borough-Westfield Township and Boroueh—

Brookfield Township

^ 867-947

CHAPTER LXII.

BlOGBAPHICAL SKETCHES.

Chatham, Clymer, Gaines, Elk and Shippen Townships, 947-986

CHAPTER LXIIL

Biographical Sketches.

Tioga Township and Borough— Lawrence Township and Lawrenceville Borough-
Jackson Township, 987-1049



CONTENTS. XV

CHAPTER LXIV.

B100RA.PHICAI. Sketches.

Richmond Township and Mansfield Borough — Sullivan Township and Mainesburg' —
Rutland Township, 1050-1107

CHAPTER LXV.

BiooBAPHiCAi, Sketches.

Covingrton Township and Borough— The Blossburg Coal Region— Liberty and Union

Townships — Morris Township 1107-1160



^^^^^ 1161-1186



Map of Tioga County 16





'^"1^



HISTOEY OF

TIOGA COUNTY.



CHAPTER I.

TOPOGEAPHICAL AXD GEOLOGICAL FEATUEES.

Surface Teansfoemation— Mountain Ranges— Anticlin a ls and Synclinals—
The Blossbueq Mountain Basin— Dip of the Rocks— Wellsboeo Anticlinal
— Ceooked Creek Basin— Valley of the Cow anesque— Streams of the
County^The Tioga River— Crooked Creek— Lycoming Creek— Pine Creek
—Marsh Ceeek— The Cowanesque River— Minor Streams— concluding
Observations.



BEFORE proceeding to write a general history of Tioga county, from its earliest
settlement to the present, it is dut'iiifJ best to first deal with its topographical and
geological features, and to give, from the scientific sources availaMu, some idea of
how, through the ages that liave elapsed since the beginning of time, the surface of
the county came to take on its i)rosent varied and picturesque appearance. In doing
this, a free use has been made of the exfclloiit report of Andrew Sherwood, of Mans-
field, Tioga county, which ajipcars in \'olume G, of the Soeond Geological Survey of
Pennsylvania.

It may bo well to preface the liberal extracts from this report with a general
statement to the ctToit, that there was a time, in the remote past, when, if the story of
the rocks hns been rightly read and interpreted, the surface of Tioga county jtrescnted
a radically different appearaiue from what it does at present. To those miglity con-
vulsions of nature, known as earthquakes; to floods and frosts and the erosion of ages,
must be attributed the wonderful work of transformation, ilountains that were once
thousands of feet high, inclosing basins in which were deposited successive seams of
coal, have disappeared, and, in the form of sand and mud, have been borne on the
currents of the Tioga river. Pine creek and other streams to the Susquehanna and the
sea. The story is full of interest, and the student who seeks to read it, will find him-
self constantly confronted with eloquent evidence of the fact that,

God moves in a mysterious way.
His wonders to perform,
and that while much is hidden, or lies beyond the grasp of the finite mind of man,
enough has been revi'aicd to show that "order is HeavcnV first law," and that what-
ever changes have been wrouglit in the surface appearance of Tioga county, are the
result of an orderly operation of laws fixed and eternal as the universe itself.



18 HISTOBT OF TIOGA COUNTY.



In his report, after a brief descriptive introduction, Mr. Sherwood says:

"The Allegheny mountain plateau of Lycoming and Potter counties begins in
Tioga county to break up into parallel flat-topped mountains, supporting, in shallow
basins, several isolated coal fields and numerous > smaller coal patches. These
synclinal mountains are separated from each other by broad anticlinal valleys of
Devonian rocks. Culture is confined to these valleys, and the villages and towns are
situated in them; while the steep mountain slopes and broad tops are covered with
forest, and often with continuous sheets of angular blocks of the conglomerate, the
edge of which forms continuous lines of vertical cliiis from 50 to 100 feet high,
gashed with dark chasms. Three such mountain ranges penetrate into, and two of
them pass through, the county about north sixty degrees east, and a fourth just
touches its southeast corner.

"The southwest corner of the county is part of the general Potter-Lycoming Alle-
gheny mountain plateau, cut through to its base by the deep, dark gorge, or canon,
of Pine creek, and over this spread the townships of Elk, Morris and Gaines. The
first and principal mountain range is merely a projection of this plateau, north sixty
degrees east, through Morris, Liberty, Bloss and Ward, ending roundly in Armenia
township, Bradford county. The range is drained southwestwardly along its center
line — representing the axis of the synclinal, or deepest part of the trough — by the
Second Fork (Babb's creek) of Pine creek; and the extraordinary spectacle is here
exhibited of several large streams from the Wellsboro valley flowing towards the
north fall of the mountain, entering it and uniting with the main stream along its
middle line." **** **********

"This topographical phenomenon is repeated in the next mountain range to the
north, and is an example on a small scale of a law much more grandly illustrated by
the rivers of the State of Ohio, which flow into the Ohio river above and below
Wheeling, West Virginia.

"The eastern end of this first mountain range". * * * «^g ^ ^^^^ p^^^j
basin drained by the Tioga river, which breaks out from a gap in the north wall near
Blossburg, and flows due north into the State of New York. The run of the Bloss-
burg coal basin — in Bloss, Ward, Armenia and Union townships — is the edge of the
cup of the conglomerate, forming an unbroken ellipse of cliffs, from which the spec-
tator looks down a thousand feet upon the broad valleys of Mansfield and Wellsboro
to the northwest; over the open rolling county of Bradford county to the north and
east; and into the narrower valley of the Lycoming, separating the Blossburg from
the Towanda mountain.

"The second mountain range" * * * "is a projection from the Potter
coimty plateau, north seventy degrees east, through Shippen, Middlebury and Tioga
townships, in which last it ends as boldly as the Blossburg range ends in Armenia
township. Through its western mass Pine creek and its waters cut canons nearly
1,000 feet deep. In the middle of its course the mountain receives from the Wells-
boro valley on the south, and Chatham-Farmington valley on the north, several large
streams which approach, enter and unite within and flow along the center line of the
mountain in a long canon, splitting the mountain lengthwise into two. Further east
the Tioga river cuts square through the mountain, isolating its eastern end. Steep
slopes of sand rock form the rim of the flat top of the mountain, and the summit line



TOPOGBAPHICAL AND GEOLOGICAL FEATUBE8. 19

of the canon on both sides. Small patches of the lowest coal bed have been left
along the summit, but all other traces of the coal formation have been swept away,
except in Gaines township.

"The third mountain range passes through the northwest comer of the county —
Brookfield and Deerfield townships — and from it descend the branches of Cowau-
esque river, which flows in a pretty straight line about north seventy-five degrees east
for fifteen miles, at its foot. No coal measures are left upon this mountain range,
and the conglomerate becoming comparatively fine-grained and thin-bedded, does
not furnish its top with the same remarkable cliffs. To this enfeebled condition of
the conglomerate is no doubt due the erosion of the overlying coal measures." * *

"Descending from any part of the rim of cliffs at the top of either of the three
ranges of mountains in Tioga county, the geologist climbs down a steep slope over
the nearly horizontal edges of always one and the same system of rock formations.
The surface geology of Tioga county is, therefore, monotonously simple to an extra-
ordinary degree." *♦******•*»*

"In the Blossburg basin there remain several hundred feet of the lower coal
measures holding several valuable beds. And this exception to the universal destruo-
tion is due to the fact that, around Blossburg, the trough which extends for a hun-
dred miles through Bradford, Tioga and Lycoming counties, and is traceable still
further to the northeast and to the southwest, is exceptionally deep in thi.-; part of its
course, the coal in the bottom of it having been somewhat protected Ijy steeper dips
than usual on the sides, and by a somewhat greater breadth of bottom. Whurevui-
this and the other parallel troughs are flat and shallow the toiil beds, wanting this
protection, have been gradually washed away. But if in past ages the mountain.s
have been several thousand feet higher than they are now, so also have been the
valleys. In fact the valleys have suffered more from erosion than the mountains."
* * * "Originally they were higher than the mountains In spite of the sin-
gularity of this assertion it is strictly true, and any inliabitant of Tioga county can
vorify the fact by his own observation."

ANTICLINALS AND SYNCLINALS.

"It is only necessary to notice that, throughout Tioga county, all the rocks of



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