Emanuel Swedenborg.

History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

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thirteen children, viz: William and Marietta, both of whom died in early youth;
Edwin, a resident of Indiana, who served tliree years and nine months in the Ke-
bellion; Sarah, deceased wife of James Marcus; Henry H., who died at Chattanooga,
Tennessee, while a soldier in the Kebellion; Delia, wife of M. S. Potter, of Syracuse;
Lewis G., a resident of Indiana; Alanson C, who lives in South Dakota; John A.,
a blacksmith at Hammond; Lizzie, wife of G. W. Groom, of South Williamsport;
Emma, wife of Charles M. Jennings, of Charleston township; Ida L, deceased wife of
C. L. Ferry, and Carrie, who died at the age of three years. Mrs. McLean died
April 17, 1880. Her husband resides with his son, John A., at Hammond.

John A. McLean, son of Alexander A. McLean, was born at Bob Roy, Fountain
county, Indiana, January 15, 1853, and was seven years old when his father
located at Hammond. When thirteen years of age he went into his father's shop to
leam the blacksmith's trade, which he has followed continuously ever since at
Hammond, but has also been engaged in farming on a small scale on land owned by



BIOGEAPHICAL SKETCHES. 801



his wife. Mr. McLean was married October 6, 1881, to Ada B. Stevens, a daughter
of Daniel G. Stevens, of Middlebury, to which union have been born four children,
. viz: Henry H., Eveline J., Clara E. and Ida E. The family attend the First Bap-
tist church, and in politics, support the Eepublican party.

Chakles N. Wilcox was bom March 29, 1815, and came to Tioga county in
early manhood, locating in Middlebury township. He married Euby Keeney, a
daughter of Jesse Keeney, of that township, July 31, 1839. She was bom May 18,
1833, and became the mother of five children, viz: Edward A., bom April 19, 1840,
who died in infancy; George E., born November 13, 1841, and died November 6,
1847; Jesse K., bom November 12, 1843, and died in Andersonville prison, in
October, 1864, while a Union prisoner; Catherine E., born April 13, 1846, and died
December 34, following, and Eansom E.j bom March 24, 1848, a farmer of Middle-
bury township. Mr. Wilcox was a stanch Democrat. He died July 11, 1854, at
Waterville, Wisconsin, while on his way to visit a brother in the west. His widow
survived him six years, dying December 4, 1860.

Eansom Eugene Wilcox, only living child of Charles N. Wilcox, was bom at
Keeneyville, Tioga county, March 24, 1848. He received a common school educa-
tion up to the age of twelve years, when the death of his mother compelled him to
go out into the world to make his own living. He worked as a farm hand until he was
twenty-three years old, when he went to learn the carpenter's trade. He purchased
a home in Keeneyville, followed his trade there until 1877, and then bought his
present farm of eighty acres northeast of that village. He still continued to work
at his trade for some ten yeaxs, but has since devoted his whole attention to agri-
culture. Mr. Wilcox was married March 34, 1869, to Mary L. Dickinson, a daughter
of Nathaniel Dickinson, of Middlebury township, where she was bom August 13,
1844. Five children have been the fruits of this union, viz : Jesse N., bom February
10, 1870, and died September 5, 1889; Eaymond C, bom January 19, 1873, and
died March 6, following; Agnes M., bom January 5, 1875, wife of Waorren Colgrove,
of Savona, New York; Charles E., bom June 38, 1878, and Euby L., bom August
33, 1880, and died October 14, of the same year. Mr. Wilcox is a Prohibitionist, and
is also a member of the I. 0. 0. P., and the Patrons of Husbandry.

Nathaniel Dickinson, a native of New York state, was born September 18,
1818, a son of Arnold and Mary (Sutton) Dickinson. His father was a son of
Nathaniel Dickinson, who came with his brothers, Francis and Amold, from England
to America about 1770. Nathaniel, Sr., and one of his brothers were soldiers in the
Eevolution. The subject of this sketch was reared in New York and came to Tioga
county, Pennsylvania, in 1839. He purchased a farm four miles north of Holiday,
in Middleburj' township, but was obliged to cut a road through the forest from
Holiday to his farm before he could reach the latter. He cleared and improved this
property, and resided upon it up to his death, July 7, 1869. He married Eliza L.
Smith, a daughter of David Smith. She was bom in Hartford, Connecticut, Jan-
uary 3, 1819, and is the mother of five children, viz: Mary L., wife of E. E. Wilcox;
George W., a farmer of Middlebury; Fidelia I., wife of Albert E. Hackett, of Smeth-
port, McKean county; John J., of Middlebury, and a daughter that died in infancy.
Nathaniel Dickinson was a well educated and public-spirited citizen, and quite ac-

51



802 HISTOEY OF TIOGA COUNTY.

tive in public affairs. Politically, a Eepublican, he filled nearly all of the town-
ship offices at different periods. His widow resides with her son, John J.

Geoege W. Dickinson, eldest son of Xathaniel Dickinson, was born in Mid-
dlebury township, Tioga county, November 15, 1845. He was educated in the com-
mon schools and the academies of the county, and also attended Bryant and Strat-
ton's Commercial College, Binghamton, New York. When nineteen yeai-s of age
he commenced teaching, and taught at Losey Creek, Keeneyville, Shortsville, Koe
and Treat's. He remained on the home farm until twenty-three years old, and then
became book-keeper for a lumber firm in Shippen township. Soon after he pur-
chased his present farm of fifty acres, which was then covered by the primitive
forest, and has since resided upon it. In 1887 he bought seventy-two acres more,
a short distance northeast of the original homestead, and has devoted his attention
principally to farming. Mr. Dickinson was married November 15, 1868, to Myra
J. Keeney, a daughter of Eichard M. Keeney, of Middlebury township. They are
the parents of two children, viz: Anna M., born March 19, 1871, and died June 21,
1880, and Burton N., bom June 24, 1881. The family are members of the Free
Baptist church, in which Mr. Dickinson has been choir leader for many years. In
politics, a Eepublican, he has held all the township offices except constable and
justice of the peace, and has been clerk for many years. Mr. Dickinson is president
of the Tioga County Grange Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and a member of the
executive committee of the State Grange. Both he and wife are members of the P.
of H., and he has always taken a deep interest in the growth and prosperity of that
society, to which he has devoted a great deal of valuable time.

John Shaff, a native of Saratoga Springs, New York, bom in 1776, was a
son of William Shaff, who came from Germany to America and fought in the Eevo-
lution. John was reared in New York state, and married Annis McCarty, who bore
him a family of eleven children, viz: Nancy, widow of Darius Dickinson; Stephen
C, a resident of Middlebury; Betsey, William, Margaret, Jane and Angeline, all
of whom are dead; Eosanna, widow of Moses French; Lucinda, deceased; Welling-
ton, a farmer in Lawrence township, and John H., a resident of Potter county.
Mr. Shaff and family came to Tioga county in 1839, and located on a farm in Mid-
dlebury township. Here his wife died in 1857, and himself in 1871.

Stephen C. Shaff, oldest son of John Shaff, was born in Schoharie county.
New York, April 4, 1809, and came to Tioga county, Pennsjdvania, in January, 1836.
He purchased eighty acres of timber land in Middlebury township, and set to work
clearing and improving it, making agriculture and lumbering his life vocation. He
married Cynthia West, a daughter of John West. She was bom February 19, 1806,
and became the mother of nine children, viz: Mary A., wife of A. E. Eowley, of
Middlebury township; Henry J. and Porter D., both residents of Middlebury; Lois,
wife of John E. Eoe, of the same township; Asa, James A. and Hulda, all of whom
are dead; Matilda, wife of Jacob Schaffner, of Lindley, New York, and Alonzo D.,
of Middlebury. Mrs. Shaff died September 24, 1875. In July, 1862, Mr. Shaff en-
listed in Company A, One Hundred and Thirty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and
served until February, 1863, when he was discharged on account of sickness.' In
politics, he is a stanch Eepublican.

Heney J. Shaff, eldest son of Stephen C. Shaff, was born in Madison county,
New York, September 10, 1834, and was less than two years old when his parents



BIOGKAPHIOAL SKETCHBS. 803



came to Tioga county. He was reared on the homestead in Middlebury township,
and in the spring of 1854 went to Wisconsin, and worlced in the lumber woods of
that State a few years. In 1858 he and his brother, Porter D., purchased the old
homestead of 205 acres, on which they both now reside. Here he followed farming
up to 1866, when he and Newbury Cloos, Jr., built a saw-mill on Losey Creek. He
followed that business up to December, 1894, quite successfully. Mr. ShafE
has been identified with many of the leading industries of the county, and every
dollar he now possesses was earned by hard work and rigid economy. He was mar-
ried September 6, 1861, to Amarilla Cloos, eldest child of Newbury Cloos, Jr. She
was born in Deerfield township, April 1, 1844, and is the mother of three children,
viz: George, deceased; George N., a resident of Belmont, New York, and Sophia B.,
wife of Matthew Haskell, of Middlebury township. In politics, Mr. ShafE is a
Democrat, and has served as a school director three years. He is a member of the K.
of H., and one of the enterprising farmers of the community.

PoBTEE D. Shaff, second son of Stephen C. Shaff, and grandson of John ShafE,
was born in Madison county. New York, October 13, 1835, three months prior to the
coming of his parents to Tioga county. He was reared in Middlebury township,
and attended the common schools of his district in boyhood. With the exception
of a few months in 1865, when employed by the United States government, and
about one year spent in Illinois and Wisconsin, he has always been engaged in farm-
ing and lumbering in this county. His homestead farm contains 307 acres, and he
also owns 1,193 acres of timber land in Lunanburg county, Virginia. On September
7, 1861, he married Mary J. Dickinson, a daughter of Darius Dickinson. She was
born DeeembesT 30, 1835, and has five children, named as follows: Stephen C, a
resident of South Dakota; James E., of Middlebury; Ida A., wife of Burt Sherburn,
a resident of the same township; Clarence B., and Nettie J., wife of Orrin Doan,
both residents of Middlebury. In politics, Mr. Shaff is a stanch Eepubliean, and has
been a school director for the past twenty-five years, and assistant assessor three
terms. Mr. Shaff and sons, James and Clarence, are members of the I. 0. 0. P.,
and themselves and wives are connected with the Patrons of Husbandry. He is
one of the progressive, enterprising farmers of the county.

Alonzo D. Shaff, youngest son of Stephen C. Shaff, was bom in Middlebury
township, Tioga county, April 9, 1851, obtained a common school education, and
worked for his brother. Porter D., until his majority. He then began working out
as a farm hand, and at the end of six years purchased the farm on which he now re-
sides. Bight years later he sold a part of it to' his father, and again went to work
as a laborer, lumberman, and farmer, on rented farms, returning to his old property
in 1894, which is owned by his father. Mr. Shaff was married January 15, 1876, to
Louise Eggleston, a daughter of B. H. Eggleston, of Middlebury township. She
was bom April 23, 1856, and is the mother of nine children, as follows: Cynthia,
Edwin, Mary, Iva, Grant, Grace, Burr, who died in infancy; Ethel, and Harold. Mr.
and Mrs. Shaff are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and in politics,
he is an independent voter.

Gilbert B. Owlett, Sk., was born in Kent county, England, April 11, 1799.
His father, Thomas Owlett, was a farmer, and the son adopted the same vocation.
In 1822 he married Miss Martha Pope, and in 1831 came with his family to the



804 HISTOKY OF TIOGA COTJNTT.



United States, locating in Saratoga county, N'ew York. Later he removed to
Otsego county. New York, and in 1840 came to Tioga county, Pennsylvania, and
purchased a farm of 140 acres on the line of Chatham and Middlebury townships.
Here he resided until his death, August 22, 1877. His farm then passed into the
possession of his son Benjamin, and is still owned by him. Mr. Owlett was thrice
married. His first wife died in 1851, leaving eleven children, as follows: Thomas
M., a deceased farmer of Chatham township; Martha, wife of Edwin Temple, of
Corning, New York; Gilbert B., a retired farmer, Keeneyville; Jane, widow of
Charles Close; Mary Ann, wife of Albert Foote; Mrs. Eebecca Poote, of Elkland;
Susan, wife of James Hamilton, of Jackson township; John, a deceased farmer
of Chatham; Sally A., wife of Charles H. Van Dusen: Benjamin, a retired farmer,
Keeneyville, and Joseph, a farmer of Chatham township. His second wife, Mrs.
Phila Lee, was a daughter of Jidius Seely. She died in 1860, leaving two chil-
dren: Henry J., of Horseheads, New York, and Edward Howland, an attorney
of Wellsboro. His third wife, Mrs. Adelia Van Osten, nee Eord, survived him a
few years. Mr. Owlett was a representative pioneer farmer. Rugged physical
powers, practical wisdom and strict integrity were his distinguishing characteristics.
"When he came to Tioga county he took possession of an uncleared tract of land in
an almost unbroken wilderness. At the time of his death five of his sons were set-
tled on adjoining farms, the family possessions embracing over 1,000 acres of land.

GiLBEET B. Owlett, retired farmer, KeeneyvUle, was born in Kent county,
Englaad, June 26, 182G, and was five years old when the family came from England
to the United States, and fourteen when they settled in Middlebury township,
Tioga county. Here he grew to manhood, and at the age of twenty-two years pur-
chased a farm of eighty-two acres of heavily timbered land in Middlebury town-
ship. This has since been cleared, added to and improved, until his present farm
embraces 225 acres, and is one of the best in this part of the county. In 1890 Mr.
Owlett rented his farm and moved to Keeneyville, where he purchased a hotel prop-
erty, which he has since remodeled and fitted up as a residence. Mr. Owlett has
been twice married. In 1848 he married Sarah Temple, a daughter of Maj. Russell
Temple, of Chatham township, who bore him three children, viz: Jane, wife of
Lawrence Martin, of Parmington; James H., a farmer of Chatham, and Madella,
wife of Charles 0. Churchill, of Chatham township. Mrs. Owlett died June 9,
1888. On March 14, 1895, Mr. Owlett married Julia Roushy, a daughter of Jacob
Eoushy, of Chemung county. New York. In polities, a Republican, he is one of
the prominent and substantial citizens of Middlebury.

Calvin Hammond, a son of Ebenezer and Sally Hammond, was bom in War-
ren county. New York, November 1, 1820. He attended the common schools of his
native county, and on attaining his majority came to Tioga county, Pennsylvania,
and found employment in a saw-mill at Hammond. A short time later he bought
the plant and carried on quite an extensive lumber business, subsequently purchas-
ing the farm which his two sons now own. Mr. Hammond was an energetic business
man, upright and honest in all his dealings, and had many friends in the commimity.
He was married in Warren county. New York, to Louisa Wells, who bore him five
children, viz: Janette, wife of Andrew Briggs, of Wellsboro; Alice M., widow of
Henry Hymes; Emmer, wife of Prank Steele, of Bradford county; Prank, and



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. gQS



George, the latter deceased. Mrs. Hammond died August 39, 1860, and her husband
вЦ†was again married, to Emma A. Stone. Three children were born to this union,
viz: Arthur G., of Middlebury; Jennie and Ida. Mr. Hammond died May 5, 1876,
and his widow, December 31, 1891.

Feank Hammond, superintendent for J. B. Weed & Company, at Slate Eun,
Lycoming county, was bom in Middlebury township, Tioga county, and is the only
son living of Calvin and Louisa (Wells) Hammond. He obtained a good education
in the public schools of Tioga and Wellsboro, and at Mansfield Business College.
He worked on the home farm until twenty years of age, and then followed lumbering
in Middlebury township for two years. He next cultivated a farm for three years,
and conducted a store at Hammond for two years. At the end of this period he was
appointed foreman with J. B. Weed & Company, lumber operators, and was soon
after made shipping clerk. He worked for that firm three years, and then entered
the employ of C. B. Parr & Company, lumber dealers, and later engaged with the
Union Tanning Company. After a year spent with the latter, he returned to J. B.
Weed & Company, with whom he has since filled the position of superintendent at
Slate Eun. He owns and lives on a part of the old homestead, and also owns an
additional tract of seventy-eight acres in Middlebury township. Mr. Hammond
was married August 20, 1876, to Amy Thurston, a daughter of A. K. Thurston, of
Middlebury, and has two children, Keith C. and Callie M. The family belong to
the First Baptist church, at Hammond. In politics, Mr. Hammond is a Eepubhean,
and has filled the office of school director one term. He is a member of the I. 0.
0. F., the F. & A. M., and the K. 0. T. M. societies, and is recognized as one of the
enterprising citizens of the community.

Aethue G. Hammond, only son of Calvin and Emma (Stone) Hammond, was
bom on his present farm, in Middlebury township, October 20, 1867, and obtained
a good education in the district schools and Tioga graded schools. He is living on
the old homestead, a well-improved farm of 160 acres near Hammond, and has
devoted his attention to agriculture. On February 33, 1888, he married Martha
Simonds, a daughter of Oscar Simonds, of Middlebury township, and has one daugh-
ter. Hazel. The family are members of the First Baptist church, at Hammond.
In politics, Mr. Hammond is a Eepublican, and is also a member of the I. 0. 0. F.
He is one of the substantial young farmers of Middlebury.

Henet H. Pottee, a son of Benjamin Potter, was born in Ehode Island, Sep-
tember 15, 1791, and removed with his parents to Onondaga county, !N"ew York, in
1804. He was a soldier in the War of 1813, serving under General Scott, and partici-
pated in the battle of Lund/s Lane and other engagements on the Canadian fron-
tier. He was thrice married. His first wife was a Miss Ketehum, who bore him one
son, Alanson E., now a resident of Spring Lake, Minnesota. His second wife was
Abigail Maxwell, to which union were born three children, viz: Howard H., who
died in Wisconsin in 1878; Jane, deceased wife of A. A. McLean, and Delia A.,
widow of A. C. Cole. About 1824 Mr. Potter removed to Spring Mills, Allegany
county, 'New York, and built the first mill at that place, thus giving the hamlet its
name. In 1827 he came to Tioga county, Pennsylvania, and kept the tavern at
Lawrenceville, afterwards known as Slosson's Hotel. Here his second wife died,
December 17, 1828. On March 13, 1829, he married Malinda G. Stevens, a daughter



806 HISTOBT OF TIOGA COUNTY.

of Martin Stevens, an early settler of Middlebury township. To this union were born
eight children, viz: Harriet, deceased wife of the late W. H. Currier, of New
Hampshire; Jerome B., and Angle, wife of H. E. Potter, both residents of Wells-
boro; Benjamin B., who lives in St. Clair, Michigan; JuUa A., wife of L. A. Potter,
and George W., both residents of Middlebury; Albert W., of Mansfield, and Alice,
wife of Poleman Brown, of Middlebury. In 1830 Mr. Potter removed to Tioga and
for several years kept the old Willard Hotel. During the building of the Corning
and Blossburg railroad in 1839-40, he took contracts for two sections of the road bed,
on which he lost over $4,000 by the failure of the party with whom he made the
contract. Mr. Potter, however, paid his employes to the last cent. For several
years afterwards he was seriously embarrassed, but eventually succeeded in recovering
from his financial troubles. In 1843 he located at Middlebury Center, where he
kept hotel for many years, the place becoming widely known as "Potters." He
was elected county commissioner in 1843, and sheriff of the county in 1846. For
thirty years he was postmaster at Middlebury Center, the office originally being
named "Potter" in his honor. He died March 34, 1879, in the eighty-eighth year
of his age, and his wife, January 8, 1886, in her seventy-ninth year.

Jeeome B. Pottee was bom in Tioga, Pennsylvania, January 6, 1833, and is
the eldest son of Henry H. and Malinda G. Potter. He was educated in the common
schools and at Alfred Seminary, in Allegany county, Few York. About 1855 he
embarked in the mercantile and lumber business at Middlebury Center, continuing
four years. In the spring of 1861 he was appointed to a clerkship in the United
States treasury department, Washington, D. C, which position he resigned four
years later on account of ill health. Eeturning to his home, he was elected sheriff
of Tioga county in 1867 and served one term. He next engaged in the real estate
and lumber business which he followed up to 1880. In 1876 he was appointed one of
the inspectors of internal revenue during the Centennial Exposition at Philadel-
phia. In 1878 he was elected sergeant-at-arms of the House of Eepresentatives at
Harrisburg and served through two sessions. In 1881 he became private secretary
to Hon. John I. Mitchell, United States Senator from Pennsylvania. He was also
appointed clerk of the Senate committee on pensions, serving in that capacity nine
years. In December, 1895, he was appointed one of the assistant door-keepers of the
House of Representatives at Washington, a position he still holds. Mr. Potter rsr
tains his residence in Wellsboro and owns the old homestead in Middlebury town-
ship. He was married December 3, 1858, to Amy E. Eockwell, a daughter of ISTor-
man and Sophia Eockwell, of Cherry Flats, to which union have been born nine
children, as follows: Cora L., wife of T. C. Sullivan, of Wellsboro; May M., de-
ceased; Burton M., an attorney of Wellsboro; Edwin S., editor of the Pathfinder,
Washington, D. C; Margaret S., a physician of the same city; Maud A., wife of C.
H. Seaton, of Washington; Frances W., a teacher in the Washington public schools;
Helen H. and Shirley B. Mr. Potter has been a life-long Eepublican and a stanch
adherent of the principles and measures of that party. He was a delegate from this
congressional district to the National Eepublican Convention in 1856, and also to
the National Eepublican Convention of 1872.

EiCHAED Beown is One of the oldest and best known farmers in Middlebury
township. He is a native of Woodstock, Connecticut, bom August 6, 1815, a son of
James and Elizabeth (Carpenter) Brown, natives of Connecticut and Ehode Island,



BIOGEAPHICAL SKETCHES. 807



respectively, and of English ancestry. Eichard was the fourth in a family of six
children, as follows: William, Maria, Almira, Eichard, Amy and James B. The
father was drowned in Ehode Island about 1845, and the mother died in Middlebury
township, at the home of her son Eichard, aged seventy-nine years. The subject of
this sketch is the only survivor of the family. When ten years old he went to work
in a cotton factory in his native town, where he was employed eight years, at the
end of which period the family moved to Ehode Island, and from there to Otsego
county. New York, and subsequenty to Michigan. In 1849 Eichard came to Tioga
county, Pennsylvania, and rented a farm at Wellsboro, where he resided ten years.
In March, 1859, he purchased his present homestead in Middlebury township, upon
which he has lived for the past thirty-eight yeajs. On August 5, 1847, Mr. Brown
married Annette Wilcox, a daughter of Archibald Wilcox. She was bom September
16, 1822, and is the mother of two children, viz: James H., born November 20,
1852, who resides with his parents, but owns a farm adjoining the old homestead
which he also cultivates; and Mary L., bom May 11, 1854, wife of Albert Eedfield,
of Virginia. Mrs. Brown is a member of the Baptist church. In politics, the family
are stanch Eepublicans.

James B. Beown was bom in Woodstock, Connecticut, December 18, 1820, a
son of James and Elizabeth (Carpenter) Brown, and a younger brother of Eichard
Brown. When a mere lad he went to work in a calico-printing mill, where he was
employed up to 1839. He then emlisted in the United States navy, and soon after was
chosen as one of 300 picked men to make the famous voyage around the world on



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