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History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

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point, and died March 18, 1870. His wife died on April 6, 1885.

Albert Mitchell, eldest son of John Mitchell, and grandson of Eobert
Mitchell, was bom at Mitchell's Crec'k, Tioga county, August 30, 1839, and was about
seven years old when his parents removed to Jackson township. He was reared upon
the homestead farm, and received the usual education of a farmer's son. On April
39, 1853, he married Mary Deming, a daughter of Samuel and Electa (Dickinson)
Demi Tig, early settlers of Jackson township. Five children were bom to this mar-
riage, viz: Clark E., deceased; Eoss A., the present treasurer of the county; Mary
E., wife of John Snyder; John S. and Bertha, both deceased. Mr. Mitchell and wife
are now living in Millerton.

Eoss A. Mitchell, treasurer of Tioga county, was born in Millerton, Jack-
son township, February 13, 1856, and is the oldest living child of Albert Mitchell.
He was reared on the farm and educated in the common schools. In early manhood
he taught school four terms, later became a railroad employe, and was agent and
operator for several years at Millerton and Covington. Mr. Mitchell was superinten-
dent of the Covington Glass Works in 1894-95. In the fall of the latter year he was
elected on the Eepublican ticket treasurer of Tioga county and is now filling that
office. On March 17, 1880, he married Effie A. Hudson, a daughter of George W.
and Eunice Hudson, of Jackson township, and has four children: Albert, Arthur,



BIOGKAPHICAL SKETCHES. 989



Bemice and Eva. Mr. Mitchell is an excellent business man, careful, methodical
and reliable, and is an efficient and capable official. He is one of the popular mem-
bers of his party, and is also connected with Covington Lodge, No. 374, I 0. 0. F.

Nathan Niles, Se., a descendant of Capt. John Niles, of Wales, who settled
at Baintree, Massachusetts, in 1630, came to Pennsylvania from Hartford, Connecti-
cut, and located in Tioga township, in September, 1796. This date is established
by the fact that his fourth son, Augustus Niles, boi-n February 6, 1793, was four years
of age when the family settled. Mr. Niles' father was a physician, and also, at times,
performed the duties of a local preacher of the Presbyterian church. For some
years previous to and during the Eevolutionary War, Mr. Niles was engaged in
mercantile pursuits and owned several vessels in the coastwise trade. During the
struggle for independence these were mostly captured by British cruisers, thus
depriving him of the bulk of his fortune. In 1796 he invested the remnant in
Connecticut titles to lands in Tioga county and removed hither with his family.
The land settled upon by himself and family was the most southern of the "Bar-
tholomew and Patton tracts, including the mouth of Mill creek." In 1797 he, with
many others, claiming lands under Connecticut titles, were arrested on a charge of
violating the Intrusion Law, taken to Williamsport, and there tried and acquitted.
A full account of the trial will be found in a preceding chapter. He finally obtained
a valid title to his land through the Pennsylvania Bank. Mr. Niles married Irene
Eussell in Connecticut, and their children were: Irene, who married Major William
Eathbone; Nathan, Aaron, Erastus, Augustus, Kodney, Clarissa, who became the
wife of John Beecher; Violetta, who majried John Daily, and Temperance, who
married Timothy Brace. Of the sons, Nathan, moved into Charleston township;
Aaron and Erastus into Delmar, and Kodney into Eutland. Augustus remained
on the homestead in Tioga township until his death. Mr. Niles was commissioned
a justice of the peace for the township of Tioga, January 7, 1808, while it was yet
under the jurisdiction of Lycoming county, and his name frequently occurs in the
early records. He served as a county commissioner from September, 1808, to Oc-
tober, 1811, when he was succeeded by Samuel W. Morris. He was also collector of
taxes for the year 1804 under the Lycoming county control of Tioga township.
When Wellsboro was founded Mr. Niles became identified with the interests of the
town. The residence of his sons in Delmar also tended to bring him into closer
communion with the people of the county seat. It is regretted that the Bible record
of his birth and death, as also that of his wife, was lost in the destruction by fire
of the house of his grandson, A. E. Niles, in October, 1878. He died about 1837, in
the eighty-fourth year of his age, which shows that he was bom about 1753. He left
as a legacy to his descendants an honored name and an unsullied reputation. He
was familiarly known as "Squire Niles." He was not the man to seek notoriety;
was plain and unobtrusive, conscientious, and -well disposed towards his fellow-
men. He left numerous descendants, all of whom were not only honored through
life, but many of them attained to high distinction in professional, political and
military station.

Nathan Niles, Jr., eldest son of Nathan Niles, Sr., was bom in Hebron, Con-
necticut, in 1783, and came to Tioga township with his parents in 1796. In 1809
he married Euth Gitchell, a sister of Elder and Benjamin Gitchell, and his chil-



990 HISTOET OF TIOGA COUNTY.

dren were Col. Alanson E. Mies and Mrs. John F. Donaldson. Mr. Niles lived on
his farm in Charleston, just outside the borough limits, but, as was the custom
in those days, all those who lived near the lines were claimed as practically belongiag
to the borough. In January, 1813, he was appointed a county commissioner and
served until the following October. He always took a deep interest in Wellsboro
affairs, and when the Academy was incorporated in 1817, he was named as one of
the trustees, and held the office until 1838, serving in the meantime as treasurer. As
a citizen he was held in high esteem by the public, and was fully entitled to that
best of all appellations, "a good man." He did not seek notoriety, being very much
like his father, and never put himself forward. Though a man of good general in-
formation, of fair education, and capable of filling any office in the county with credit
to himself and friends, he preferred the quiet of a farmer's life, rather than the per-
plexities of public office. So high was he regarded, that, "as honest as Nathan Niles"
was as good a recommendation as any man could desire. He died March 3, 1830, in
his forty-ninth year.

Aaeon Niles, the second son of Nathan Niles, Sr., was bom in Hebron, Connec-
ticut, June 27, 1784, and came with his parents to Tioga when it was comparatively
a wilderness. He endured all the trials and sufferings incident to the lives of
pioneers, and gave his full share of labor toward reclaiming the countrj' from its
wilderness condition. In June, 1807, he married Deborah Ives, a daughter of
Cornelius Ives, of Tioga. About 1810 he purchased wild land in Delmar and
cleared a farm, which he occupied for ten years. In 1820 he sold out and
removed to Middlebury township, settling at what is now known as Niles
Valley, where he cleared a valuable farm. Mr. Niles and wife had issue:
Clarinda, bom June 12, 1808; Philander, March 13, 1811; Erastus, April
17, 1814; Lucinda, August 28, 1816; Sylpha, August 29, 1818; Irena, Au-
gust 28, 1820; Betsey, March 13, 1822, and Russell, August 20, 1826. The majority
are now deceased. Mrs. Deborali Niles died in 1830, and March 4, 1833, he married
Mrs. Betsey Kilboume, bom May 5, 1798. She was a daughter of Rufus Butler, who
came from Vermont about the beginning of this century, and the widow of John Eal-
bourne. The issue of this marriage was one son, Jerome B., bom September 35,
1834, who has attained distinction as a lawyer and politician, and a sketch of whose
life will be found in the chapter on "The Bench and Bar." The last wife of Mr.
Niles died at the homestead in Niles Valley, June 3, 1863, aged a little over sixty-
five years. In 1865 Mr. Niles went to live with his youngest son, Hon. Jerome B.
Niles, at whose home in Wellsboro he died, February 22, 1872, in the eighty-eighth
year of his age. Like his honored father, he was a man of inflexible integrity and
undaunted courage, and was widely known as an energetic, industrious and public-
spirited citizen.

Augustus Niles, fourth son of Nathan Niles, Sr., was bom in Hartford, Con-
necticut, February 6, 1792, and was between four and five years old when his parents
came to Tioga eoimty. He was reared a farmer, and spent his life on the old home-
stead in Tioga township, where he died October 27, 1841, in his fiftieth year. He
married Anna Adams, a daughter of Capt. Lyman Adams, also an early settler of
Tioga township. She died in December, 1886, in the eighty-ninth year of her age.
Their children were as follows: Augustus E., a resident of Tioga township; Byrott



BIOGHAPHIOAL SKETCHES. 99I



B.; a grain dealer of Topeka, Kansas, and Julia A., who married Whiting Miller,
and died at the home of her brother, Augustus E., March 16, 1894.

Attgustus E. Niles, eldest child of Augustus Niles, and grandson of Nathan
Niles, Sr., was bom on the homestead farm in Tioga township, March 36, 1819, and
upon the death of his father took charge of the same. He has spent his entire life
thereon, devoting his attention to agricultural pursuits. On January 18, 1853, he
married Belinda Bridgeman, and has two sons, viz: Augustus, a physician of Wells-
boro, and Henry C. The latter was bom on the home farm January 33, 1857; was
educated in the common schools of his district; was married on November 16, 1893,
to Nellie Cochran, a daughter of John and Ellen (Beam) Cochran, and has charge
of the old homestead. In politics, Mr. Niles was originally a Whig, but has been a
Eepublican since the organization of that party. He has filled the offices of col-
lector and supervisor of the township, the latter for twenty-nine years. Mr. Niles
is a member of Tioga River Lodge, No. 797, I. 0. 0. F., and is one of the leading
farmers of his native township.

Uriah Spencek was a man of considerable note in early days. He first came
into the Tioga valley in 1794, having purchased under the Connecticut title the
township of Hamilton, now embraced within the boundaries of Lawrence and Tioga
townships. He also bought the improvements of William Holden, and continued to
sell his lands under the Connecticut title until the spring of 1797, when he and
twenty-one other pioneers of the Tioga and Cowanesque valleys were arrested under
the Intrusion Law and taken to Williamsport, where they were subsequently tried
and acquitted. A few years later Mr. Spencer removed to the village of Tioga, where
he opened the first blacksmith shop at that point, and afterwards operated a saw-
mill. His first wife, who was Deborah Elliott, of Guilford, Connecticut, died in
November, 1802, and was buried in the Lawreneeville cemetery. She left four chil-
dren, two daughters and two sons. As early as 1804 he was married again, his second
wife being Eleanor Boher. By her he had seven children, three sons and four daugh-
ters. On the establishment of the postoffice at Tioga, January 1, 1805, he was ap-
pointed postmaster, it being the first in the county. In 1810 he was elected a
county commissioner; was prothonotary from 1818 to 1831, and again from 1834
to 1830. During his last two terms he also served as register and recorder. Through
his influence his son-in-law, Levi Vail, was appointed county treasurer in 1837.

On account of his many years of public life he becanie one of the leading poli-
ticians of the county. In 1836 he was a candidate for Congress, and John Eyon, Jr.,
and Asa Mann were his conferees. The nominating convention met at Muncy,
Lycoming being one of the counties composing the IXth Congressional district,
but he failed to secure the nomination.

Mr. Spencer was also one of the committee chosen in 1836 to draft an address
to the governor of New York in furtherance of a canal from the head of Seneca
lake to the Pennsylvania line, to be continued thence by. Pennsylvania authority
to the coal mines at Blossburg. He and Judge Morris were chosen a committee
to present the petition to the legislatitre of New York, and Mr. Spencer visited
Albany for that purpose in the month of Febmary, 1837. He was also one of the
original incorporators of the Tioga Navigation Company. He was one of the most



992 HISTOET OF TIOGA COTJNTT.

influential citizens of the county up to about 1835, when he lost his property and
his influence.

Notwithstanding his long residence in Wellshoro, Mr. Spencer had contracted
a violent hatred of the town, and especially of some of its leading citizens. This
dislike had its beginning in 1818, when, by reference to the history of the old
Academy, it will be seen that he was refused the loan of $500 by the trustees of
that institution, because the security he offered was not considered good. He was
one of the original trustees, but was not re-elected in 1818. This seems to have so
incensed him that ever after he was a bitter enemy of the school. Later, in the
attempt to remove the county seat to Tioga, he was a prominent actor in the move-
ment. Mr. Spencer was a man of strong convictions. One who knew him weU
has left this analysis of his character:

He was no hypocrite. He had never studied the art of blarney, nor did he duly
appreciate the true value of soft soap in managing men. What he thought he said. He
was not an adept in the use of those soft words that turn away wrath. He was a man of a
good deal of natural talent, though deficient in early education ; was a Democrat of the
strictest sect, and never strayed from the fold or went after other gods. He was a good
hater and a warm friend ; was never accused of dishonesty, or of altering his opinion when
he had once expressed it.

In the closing years of his life his mind began to waver, and he dwelt much
on his early land troubles, caused by purchasing Connecticut titles. His son, George,
held a clerkship in the postoffice department at Washington, D. C, and while on
a visit to his son's home in Georgetown, about 1850, he died, aged eighty years, and
was buried there. His widow, Eleanor, removed to Mainesburg, and died some two
years later.

Nicholas Prtjtsman, Sb., a native of Hamburg, Germany, immigrated to
Pennsylvania towards the close of the Eighteenth century anH located near Easton.
He had quite a large family, and in 1802 came to Tioga county, and settled a short
distance below the site of Tioga village. His three sons, Jacob, Adam and Nicholas,
Jr., came in 1804, but the two last soon removed to New York state, leaving Jacob
and their father in Tioga county. The latter erected a grist-mill, which he operated
until it burned down. He died about 1810.

Jacob Peutsman came to this county with his two brothers in 1804. He had
previously learned the cabinet maker's trade, which he followed many years, and
also owned and cu^iivated a farm. He married Mary Miller, who became the
mother of fourteen children, viz: Polly, John, Abram, Elizabeth, Jacob, Andrew M.,
Adam, Sarah, Catherine, Susan, Eunice, Eachel, Mary and George, only one of
whom is living, Adam, a resident of Hlinois. Mrs. Prutsman died in 1847, aged
seventy-one years, and her husband, in 1863, aged eighty-nine.

Andbbw M. Peutsman was bom in Tioga township, Tioga county, in 1807,
fourth son of Jacob Prutsman. He was reared on the homestead, and in 1830 mar-
ried Mary A. Bentley, a daughter of Benjajjiin Bentley. She was bom in this county
in 1809, and bore him six children, named as follows: Martha J., bom December
17, 1831, and married Robert H. Brown, of Canisteo, New York, in 1859, who died
in 1862; Christian M., who served as a Ueutenant in the Union army in the Re-
bellion, and now resides in Nebraska; Mary A., wife of Edwin Spaulding, of Coming,



BIOGBAPHICAL SKETCHES. 993



New York; Lindley H., who died while serving with the rank of lieutenant in the
late war; Henrietta M., wife of John H. Pattison, of Williamsport, Pennsylvania,
and Melville B., an engineer on the Fall Brook railroad, who resides at Newberry
Junction, Lycoming county.' Mr. Prutsman died in 1890, and his wife, in 1891,
each at the age of eighty-two- years.

Capt. Ltman Adams was horn in Lenox, Massachusetts, April 12, 1775, and
married Sophia Mantor, born April 31, 1782. In the spring of 1804 they came from
Tinmouth, Eutland county, Termont, to Tioga, Tioga county, Pennsylvania, airiv-
ing at their destination on July 4. They were accompanied by their three daughters,
Anna, Susan and Sophia, and the following children were born to them in this
county: Phoebe, Lucy, Maria, Lyman N., "William, Julia, Jane, Hiram and Mary B.
Anna became the wife of Augustus Mies; Susan married Lorain Lamb; Sopbia re-
mained unmarried; Phoebe married Amos Utley; Lucy married Sullivan Power;
Maria married G. E. Lillibridge; Julia married Samuel Naglee; Jane mapried W.
E. Crane, and Mary B., became the wife of Dr. A. J. Cole. The only survivors are
Juha, Hiram and Mary B. After living a short time in Tioga, Mr. Adams removed
to the mouth of Mill creek, where he kept a store and tavern during the War of
1812, and also followed farming. Subsequently removing to "Wellsboro, he cpn-
ducted a hotel there until 1827, when he returned to Tioga township and resumed
agricultural pursuits. He was a stanch Democrat, served as collector of taxes in
Tioga township in 1809-10, and also as constable for many years. Captain Adams'
died June 27, 1847, and Ms wife, July 1, 1868.

Ltman N. Adams, son of Capt. Lyman Adams, was bom in Wellsboro, Tioga
county, and grew to maturity in Tioga township. He engaged in the butchering,
business, which he followed during his residence in Tioga borough, where he located
in the thirties. He married Caroline Mantor, who bore him a family of three chil-
dren, viz: Frank H., of Tioga; Mary, wife of Jude Sweet, of Niles Valley, and
Charles, deceased. Mr. Adams died November 18, 1880, in the sixty-fifth year of his
age. His widow is stiU living in Tioga.

Feank H. Adams, only living son of Lyman N. Adams, and grandson of Capt.
Lyman Adams, was bom in Tioga borough, Tioga county, April 19, 1843. He
received a common school education and later began clerking in the store of Thomas
L. Baldwin, whom he bought out in 1865 and has since conducted the business
successfully. He carries a stock valued at $10,000, and owns the building in which
his store is located. Mr. Adams is one of the leading business men of Tioga, as well
as a progressive, public-spirited citizen. September 26, 1868, he married Ellen
M. Carpenter, a daughter of. A.. Carpenter, of "Warsaw, New York, and has one son,
Walter C. In politics, he is a Eepublican, and in religion, a member of the Episcopal
church. He is connected vdth Tioga Lodge, No. 373, P. & A. M.; Tioga Eiver
Lodge, No. 797, 1. 0. 0. F., and Phoenix Lodge, No. 933, K. of H., in all of which
he takes an active interest.

Iea McAllistee was bom in Chenango county, New York, November 24, 1789.
When about eight years old he came with Ambrose Millard to Tioga, Pennsylvania,
and in later years settled on the site of Tioga village. In January, 1824, he mar-
ried Mary P. Hall, a daughter of Eoland Hall. She was bom NovembeT 9, 1788,
and became the mother of three children, viz: Thomas and Eliza, twins, bom
63



994 HISTOEY OF TIOGA COUNTY.

September 19, 1835, and E. P. H., who lives in Tioga. Mr. McAllister was a
blacksmith and worked at his trade for a number of years. He died on March 29,
1854, and his wife, December 31, 1870.

R. P. H. McAllister, youngest child of Ira McAllister, was bom in Tioga
village, Tioga county, August 17, 1828. He received a common school education,
and after arriving at manhood engaged in farming and lumbering. In 1871 he
furnished the ties for the Fall Brook railroad. Upon the completion of the road
he was appointed ticket and freight agent at Tioga village, a position he held
twenty-three years, resigning July 1, 1894, because of ill health. Mr. McAllister
was married September 5, 1853, to Phoebe C. Hall, a daughter of Benjamin R.
and Deborah Hall. Six children were born to this union, viz: Mary, who died
July 5, 1889; David C, a resident of Tioga; Bennie R., who died in youth, and
three that died in infancy. In politics, Mr. McAllister is a Democrat, and has
filled the offices of constable, justice of the peace, school director, collector and
supervisor. In religion, he is a TJniversalist, and is also a member of Tioga
River Lodge, No. 797, I. 0. 0. F. He built and at one time owned every house
in Tioga village, and still owns a number of them. He has made an honorable
record as an enterprising and public-spirited citizen.

David C. McAllister, postmaster of Tioga, is a native of that borough and a
son of R. P. H. McAllister. ' He was reared and educated in Tioga, and in 1889 em-
barked in merchandising in Tioga village, as senior member of the firm of McAllister
& Shay. In 1891 he bought his partner's interest and continued the business alone
until 1893, when he sold out. On February 10, 1893, he was appointed postmaster
of Tioga, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James T. Davis, which
position he still holds. Mr. McAllister was married to Ruth H. Daily, a daughter
of V. B. and Mary Daily, October 10, 1888, and has three children: Edna, Beatrice
and Bennie. In politics, he is a Democrat, and served as township collector in
1890. Mr. McAllister is a member of Tioga River Lodge, No. 797, 1. 0. 0. F., and
also of Lawrenceville Encampment. He is one of the respected and popular citi-
zens of his native place.

Obadiah Inscho was bom in Delaware, in 1758, and was a descendant of one
of the pioneer families of that State. He came to Tioga county, Pennsylvania, with
his family, in 1798, and settled on the east side of the Tioga river, a short distance
above the site of Lawrenceville. Here he cleared and improved a farm, upon
which he died. May 9, 1830, aged sixty-two years, and was buried in the Bentley
graveyard. His wife, whose maiden name was Judith Jennings, survived him until
August 10, 1842. Their children were as follows: Polly, who married Dr. Simeon
Power; John, Moses, Isaiah, Rachel, James, Thomas, Obadiah, Lavina M., who
married John Kemp; Solomon, Ruth, who married Asa Lincoln, and Robert.

John Inscho, eldest son of Obadiah and Judith Inscho, was bom November
1, 1789, and came with his parents to Lawrence township, Tioga county, in 1798.
He was reared on the homestead farm, and married Lavina Mitchell, a daughter of
Richard Mitchell, Sr. She was bom at Mitchell's Creek August 26, 1795. After
their marriage they settled in Tioga township, locating a little north of her father's
place, at Mitchell's Creek. The following children were bom to them: Richard
J., Ruby K., wife of Alpheus Keeney; Obadiah, Judith J., wife of Rev. Samuel



BIOGEAPHIOAL SKETCHES. 995



Broakman; John J., William M., Thomas M. and Lavina M. Mr. Inscho died
April 20, 1865, and his wife, Noyember 11, 1861.

EiCHARD J. Inscho, eldest son of John and Lavina Inscho, was bom on the
homestead in Tioga township, there grew to manhood, and married Euth P. Parshall,
a daughter of Asa and Susan (Keeney) Parshall. For a number of years after his
marriage he resided in Jackson township, then purchased the Prutsman farm, just
north of Tioga borough, where he passed the remainder of his life. By his mar-
riage to Euth B. Parshall, he became the father of the following children: Susan
K., wife of Seth Snell, of Woodstock, Maryland; Lavina M., deceased wife of Ira
H. Ayres, of Jackson township; Asa, deceased; John L., of Tioga borough; Jesse
P., of Elmira, New York; Albert, deceased; William W., of New Camp, Penn-
sylvania; E. Louisa, wife of T. F. Eolason, of Mansfield; Mary E., wife of Dr.
J. W. Stewart, of Big Plats, New York, and Eva B., wife of Charles T. Ehodes,
of Tioga. Mr. Inscho died January 20, 1875. His widow is a resident of Tioga.

John L. Inscho, eldest living son of Eiehard J. Inscho, was bom in Jackson
township, Tioga county, April 11, 1844, and was reared upon the homestead farm.
He received a common school education, supplemented by a course at the Elmira
Commercial College, from which he graduated in 1865. He remained on the farm
imtil 1873, when he embarked in merchandising at Holiday. In 1875 he removed
to Tioga and carried on a meat market and grocery there for several years. He
is now a member of the firm of Alford & Inscho, coal dealers, and also of Inscho
& Kimball, hardware merchants. Mr. Inscho was married February 13, 1868, to
Mary E. Miller, a daughter of Cephas C. and Lucy D. (Kelley) Miller, and has had
two children, Lena M. and Ida M., the latter of whom died June 17, 1882. Mrs.



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