Emanuel Swedenborg.

History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

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owner of a well-improved farm in Bloss township of 100 acres, and is one of the lead-
ing farmers of this section of the county.

LIBEETY AND UNION TOWNSHIPS.

Jonathan Sebeing, a native of Berks county, Pennsylvania, settled at Liberty,
Tioga county, in 1813, where he became proprietor of the old Block House tavern,
succeeding its original landlord, Anthony. He kept this house for many years,
entertaining the pioneers and travelers over the Williamson road, and finally erected



BIOGEAPHICAL SKETCHES. 1141



on the same site the Liberty Hotel. Mr. Sebring was a shoemaker and carpenter,
which trades he followed while conducting the hotel, and also cleared and cultivated
a farm. He sold out and went to Wisconsin in 1856, where he resided until his
death, in 1879, at the remarkable age of ninety-six years. To Jonathan Sebring and
wife were bom thirteen children, twelve of whom lived to maturity. He was one
of the real pioneers of Liberty, and endured the privations, hardships and trials
incident to that period.

EoBBRT C. Seeking, a son of Jonathan Sebring, was bom in Liberty, Tioga
county, April 5, 1819, and obtained his education in the pioneer schools of his native
place. In 1835 he began clerking in his brother John's store, in Liberty. In 1840
his brother removed to Jersey Shore, Eobert C. continuing the business at Liberty
until about 1856, when he sold a half interest to William Narber, who subsequently
purchased the remaining interest. In 1867 he erected a new store building and
formed a partnership with Horace Fellows, who a few weeks later sold Ms interest
to Charles A. Miller and the firm became Sebring & Miller. It so continued until
the autumn of 1872, when Mr. Sebring bought out his partner and carried on the
business alone one year. He then sold out to Charles A., Nathaniel and Ira Miller
and took charge of the Eagle Hotel, which he conducted for twO' years. In 1875
he engaged in farming, and three years later purchased the Liberty Hotel, fo'rmerly
owned by his father, which he carried on up to within a short time of his death. In
May, 1844, Mr. Sebring married Phoebe Keed, of Trout Eun, Lycoming county, who
bore him eight children, four of whom are living, viz: John, a resident of Lock
Haven; Clara P., wife of C. A. Miller, of Liberty; Mattie, wife of Nathaniel Skin-
ner, of WUliamsport, and Grant, of Liberty. Mr. Sebring died May 33, 1884, and
his wife, June 21, 1891. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
PoHtieally, he was a Eepublican, and was also a charter member and Past Grand
of Block House Lodge, No. 398, I. 0. 0. F., of Liberty.

Gbant Seeking, proprietor of the Sebring House, at Liberty, was bom in
Liberty borough, Tioga county, March 8, 1865, and is the youngest living child of
Eobert C. Sebring. After completing a common school course, he attended the
Williamsport Commercial College. When but fifteen years of age he and his brother
John built and conducted the Coleman House, at Morris, Tioga county, where they
also carried on a general mercantile business. In 1885 he sold his interest and en-
gaged in farming, which he continued to follow until February, 1888. At that time
he purchased his present hotel property, and has since carried on the business suc-
cessfully. On April 5, 1888, Mr. Sebring married Emma H. Hartsock, a daughter
of John Hartsock, who has borne him one child, Clara Belle, deceased. In politics,
Mr. Sebring is a Eepublican, and is a member of the borough council. He is also
connected with Block House Lodge, No. 398, I. 0. 0. F., and Washington Camp,
No. 628, P. 0. S. of A., of Liberty. Mr. Sebring is recognized as a genial and suc-
cessful landlord, and the Sebring House is not only the leading hotel in the bor-
ough, but is patronized by the majority of the traveling trade.

John Sheffee, Se., was one of the earliest settlers of Liberty, Tioga county,
Pennsylvania. He was bom in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, April 30, 1779, the
son of a Eevolutionary soldier, whose ancestors came from Holland. He was
reared in his native county and there learned the tailor's trade. Mr. Sheffer was



1142 HISTOKT OF TIOGA COUNTY.

twice married, but his first wife lived only a brief period. June 8, 1803, he mar-
ried Susannah Reynolds, and soon after removed to Williamsport, Lycoming county.
Here he continued working at his trade for several years, or until his appointment
as deputy sheriff. While filling that office he became security for a debtor and his
property was sold to satisfy the claim. Discouraged and disgusted by such treat-
ment he removed with his family to Liberty township, Tioga county, in February,
1814, and bought of John Norris 150 acres of academy land on what has been since
known as "Shefler Hill." Here in the midst of an almost unbroken wilderness he
erected a rude cabin and began the arduous task of carving a home from the primi-
tive forest. While devoting his principal attention to agriculture he also worked
at his trade for the pioneers and did considerable surveying, which business ho fol-
lowed until his death, August 5, 1841. His wife survived him until September,
1860. They were the parents of the following children: John, William, Samuel,
Elizabeth, who married William Harmon; Catherine, who married Peter Lutz; Jacob,
Polly, Susannah, who married Daniel Miller; Joseph, Mary, Michael, Julia
Ann, who married Nicholas Elter; George E., and Sarah. Of these Mrs. Miller,
Michael, Mrs. Elter and George E. survive. Mr. Shelter and wife were members of
the Lutheran church. In politics, he was a Democrat, and served as justice of the
peace in Liberty for many years.

John Sheffek, Je., was born in Williamsport, Lycoming county, February 8,
1803, and was a lad of eleven years of age when his parents settled at Liberty, Tioga
county. In 1816-17 he carried the mail on horseback between Williamsport and
Painted Post, being thus one of the pioneer mail carriers of this section. He after-
wards learned the blacksmith's trade in Williamsport. May 13, 1835, he married
Sarah Shaffer, a daughter of John Shaffer, of White Deer valley, Lycoming county,
Pennsylvania, and the same year opened a blacksmith shop in Liberty, where he
carried on business continuously forty-five years, retiring in 1870. To John and
Sarah Sheffer were born ten children, viz: George, Henry, Mari;in, and Philip, the
last three of whom are dead; Susan, wife of Charles Hagenbach, of Kansas; Sarah,
wife of Jonas Artley, of Bradford, McKean county; George Washington, of Bloss-
burg; Alpheus, of Liberty; Elvina, and Ada, wife of Jabez Hancher, of Liberty.
Mr. Sheffer and wife were members of the Lutheran church, and died November 8,
1876, and April 4, 1887, respectively. In politics, he was a stanch Democrat, and
served as a school director for many years.

Alpheus Sheffeb, youngest son of John Sheffer, Jr., and grandson of John
Sheffer, Sr., was born in Liberty township, Tioga county, February 15, 1841. He
obtained a common school education, and learned the blacksmith's trade with his
father, with whom he remained from 1857 to 1870, when he started in business for
himself, in which he still continues. March 8, 1863, he married Jennie, a daughter
of Daniel Achenbach, of White Deer valley, Lycoming county, who has borne him
five children, viz: Leona, deceased; Kate, wife of John Budd, of Williamsport;
Harry G., Jennie, deceased, and Carrie. Harry G. was bom November 4, 1868,
learned the blacksmith's trade with his father, which he followed up to 1891, when
he began clerking in the Wilcox House, in Towanda, and remained there until 1894.
He then secured a position as brakeman on the Northern Central railroad, but is now
working with his father. Mr. and Mrs. Sheffer are members of the Lutheran church.



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 1143



In politics, the family is Democratic, and Mr. Sheffer has filled the offices of con-
stable and school director. He is also a member of Block House Lodge, No. 398,
I. 0. 0. F.

Samuel Shepfee, third son of John ShefEer, Sr., was born in Williamsport,
Lycoming county, January 11, 1806, and was eight years old when his parents set-
tled at Liberty, Tioga county. Here he grew to manhood and learned the carpen-
ter's trade, which business he followed the greater part of his life. He was also a
stage driver between Williamsport and Sunbury, and Elmira and Painted Post for
several years. He married Susan Kinsman, a daughter of James Kinsman, of
Towanda, Bradford county, Pennsylvania, to which union were born eleven children,
as follows: James, of Liberty; Harrison, Evan, and Lydia Jane, all of whom are
dead; Amanda, wife of George Hartley, of Lycoming county; Theodore, a resident
of Decatur county, Iowa; Eiland, who lives in Nebraska; Frank, a resident of Mil-
lerton, Tioga county; Cornelia and Amelia, residents of Denver, Colorado, and one
that died in infancy. Mr. Sheffer died in Liberty, January 31, 1889, while his wife
died in Iowa, in 1893. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and
in politics, he was a Eepublican.

James Sheffer, eldest child of Samuel Sheffer, and grandson of John Sheffer,
Sr., was born in Towanda, Bradford county, February 10, 1837. He was reared in
Liberty, and learned the carpenter's and cabinet-maker's trades with his father.
In 1858 he married Elizabeth Caylor, a daughter of Isaac Caylor, of Lycoming
county, to which union have been born eight children, viz: Celestia, wife of John
Mitchell, of Blossburg; Emma, wife of Joseph Eidge, of Tioga county; Isaac P.,
Ella, wife of Frank Bastian; Mamie, wife of George Heyler; Alice, Edith and Lela.
Mr. Sheffer served in Company F, Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, towards
the close of the Eebellion. In 1865 he removed to Iowa, where he lived seven
years. He then returned to Tioga county and has since made his home in Liberty
borough, where he follows the carpenter's trade. In politics, he is a 'Eepublican,
and in religion, a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Michael Sheffer is the oldest living son of John and Susannah (Eeynolds)
Sheffer, and was bom on Sheffer hill, in Liberty township, Tioga county, November
17, 1821. He was reared upon the homestead farm, spending his boyhood days
in the rugged pursuits of clearing off the forest and tilling the soil, the country at
that time being a comparative wilderness. In 1839 he went to Williamsport, where
he learned the wagon-making trade, remaining there two years. Eetuming to
Liberty he established a shop, and was engaged in the wagon-making business up
to within the last few years. September 28, 1843, Mr. Sheffer married Mary E.
Cox, a daughter of William Cox, and a sister of Gen. Eobert C. Cox, of Well'sboro.
Five children were bom to this union, as follows: Francis Marion, the present
prothonotary of Tioga county; Sarah J., wife of William Woodruff, of Liberty;
Warren, who is in the employ of the Arnot Coal Company; Edgar, who is engaged
in business in Clearfield county, and Eobert, who died in infancy. Mr. Sheffer is
a stanch Eepublican and has filled several of the local offices. For more than half
a century he has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and has filled
the position of teacher and superintendent of the Sunday-school since its organi-
zation. He justly enjoys the confidence and esteem of his neighbors and a wide



1144 HISTOHT OF TIOGA COUNTY.

circle of friends, and has been a resident of Liberty township for over three-quarters
of a century.

Fkancis Maeion Sheffeb, prothonotary of Tioga county, was bom in Liberty
township, Tioga county, August 17, 1844, a son of Michael and Mary E. (Cox)
Sheffer. He was educated in the public schools of Liberty township, and when
seventeen years of age entered his father's shop to learn wagon-making. When
twenty-one years old he began life for himself, and worked at his trade in Liberty
township imtil 1881, when he purchased a saw and planing-mill, which he operated
until 1889. Mr. Sheffer has always been an ardent Eepublican and has given an
unwavering support to that party. In the autumn of 1864, he enlisted in Company

D, Ifinety-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served until the close of the war.
While a resident of Liberty, he filled the offices of school director and constable three
years each, and that of justice of the peace five years. He was elected sheriff of
Tioga county in 1889, served in that office three years, and then returned to his home
in Liberty township. In 1893 he was elected prothonotary, and was re-elected in
1896, which position he still occupies. He is one of the most efficient and popular
officials in the county, and is quite prominent in the local councils of his party.
Mr. Sheffer was married December 28, 1864, to Margaret L. Bastian, a daughter of
Benjamin Bastian, of Jackson township, Lycoming county, to which union have
been born two children: Leroy W., deceased, and Ada B. The family are members
of the Methodist Episcopal church, and Mr. Sheffer belongs to the Masonic order.

Chables a. Miller, merchant, was born in Jackson township, Lycoming
county, Pennsylvania, January 7, 1840, and there grew to manhood. He obtained
a common school education, and subsequently entered the employ of Werline &
Miller, merchants of Liberty, Tioga county. At the end of two years he purchased
the interest of Mr. Werline, and the firm then became H. Miller & Company. In
1863 this partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Miller worked in saw-mills and at lum-
bering. In 1864, in coimection with Isaac Miller, he built a saw-mill at Eoaring
Branch, which they operated until 1867, when he sold out to his partner. He then
entered the employ of Sebring & Fellows, general merchants at Liberty, and one
month later bought the interest of Mr. Fellows and continued as a member of the
firm of Sebring & Miller until 1872. In that year he sold out to E. C. Sebring and
removed to his farm in Jackson township, Lycoming county, but in 1873 purchased
the Sebring store, in partnership with his brothers, Nathaniel and Ira, and carried
on the business up to 1877, when his brothers sold out to G. T. Werline. Mr. Wer-
line continued as a partner until 1883, since which time Mr. Miller has conducted the
business alone, being to-day the leading merchant of the borough. Mr. Miller has
met with considerable losses during his business career. In 1865 his mill and boom
were swept away, and December 5, 1879, his store was destroyed by fire. His safe
has been robbed three times, and he also suffered much loss by the great June flood.
Notwithstanding these reverses, Mr. Miller is to-day the owner of one of the leading
business houses in Tioga county, as well as one of its most substantial citizens. On
July 15, 1869, he married Clara F. Sebring, a daughter of Eobert C. Sebring, of
Liberty, to which union have been bom four children, viz: Merton E., Phoebe
Belle, wife of George C. McVoy, of Carney, Michigan; Minnie M., wife of Fred

E. Baird, and Fred B. Mr. Miller is an enthusiastic Eepublican. He was ap-



BIOGEAPHICAL SKETCHES. 1145



pointed postmaster of Liberty under President Harrison's administration and served
nearly five years. He has also filled the offices of justice of the peace, school director
and auditor. In 1896 he was chosen as one of the Eepublican delegates to the state
convention at Harrisburg. He is a Past Grand of Block House Lodge, "No. 398,
I. 0. 0. F., and is also a member of Washington Camp, No. 638, P. 0. S. of A.

Meeton E. Millee, eldest child of Charles A. Miller, was born in Liberty,
Tioga county, April 7, 1870, and obtained his education in the common schools and
at Williamsport Commercial College, from which institution he graduated in 1889.
He afterwards took a special course in stenography and typewriting, and then en-
tered his father's store in Liberty, where he has reniained up to the present. Mr.
Miller is an ardent Eepublican, and has filled the positions of auditor, inspector,
clerk and chairman of the vigilance committee. He is a member of Amot Lodge,
No. 465, K. of P., of Amot; Washington Camp, No. 628, P. 0. S. of A., of Liberty,
and is also connected with the L. A. W. and the Williamsport Turn Verein.

William F. Weseman, M. D., is a native of Goettengen, Kingdom of Hanover,
Germany, where he was born December 23, 1822. His father, Frederick Weseman,
was a prominent government official, and a member of a leading German family.
William F. spent his boyhood in the University of Hanover, and at the age of twenty-
two entered the Medical University at Goettengen, \7here he pursued a full course
of study. When twenty-five years of age he came to the United States and com-
menced the practice of medicine in the Mahanoy valley, Northumberland county,
Pennsylvania, where he remained four years. In 1852 he located in Liberty, Tioga
county, and during the succeeding twelve years built up a large practice. On Sep-
tember 8, 1864, Dr. Weseman was commissioned by Governor Curtin quartermaster
of the Two Hundred and Seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, with the rank of first
lieutenant, and served with his regiment until the close of the war, being mustered
out May 31, 1865. He then resumed practice in Liberty, which he continued up to
a recent date, when he retired from the active duties thereof. Dr .Weseman has been
very successful in his profession, enjoyed an extensive practice, and was held in high
esteem because of his medical skill and kind attention at the bedside of the suffering.
He is a member of the G. A. E., and one of the oldest physicians in Tioga county,
where he has lived for nearly half a century.

Daniel Haetsock was bom in Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, in September,
1806. His parents removed to Williamsport a few years later, and when Daniel was
seven years old they located in Jackson township, Lycoming county, where he grew
to manhood. He married Magdalena Brion, whose parents were early settlers of
that locality, and in 1830 removed to Liberty township, Tioga county, where both
he and wife resided until death. They were the parents of twelve children, seven
of whom are living, as follows: Christina, widow of James McVoy; Eiehard H.,
a resident of Liberty; George, Mary, wife of John Eaker; Elizabeth, wife of Sylvester
Keeler; Harriet, wife of Seth Wilson, of Nebraska; Jacob, deceased; Levi, Samuel,
Daniel and Henry, the last three of whom are dead. Mr. Hartsock died in 1885, and
his wife in 1880. They were members of the Lutheran church, and in politics, he
was a Eepublican. At the time of his death Mr. Hartsock was one of the largest land
owners in Liberty township.

EiCHAED H. Haetsock, oldest son of Daniel Hartsock, was bom in Liberty



1146 HISTORY OF TIOGA COUNTY.

township, Tioga county, December 11, 1833, and was reared on the homestead farm.
At the age of twenty-one he engaged in merchandising at Liberty, which business
he followed for three years, and then began dealing in wild lands in connection with
fajming. In 1881 he established a general store in Liberty, which business he con-
tinued for eleven years. In 1893 he embarked in the milling business, followed it
for two years, and then engaged in stock and grain dealing, which he has continued
up to the present. In politics, Mr. Hartsoek is a stanch Kepublican, and is one of
the oldest and most substantial citizens of his native place.

Fkedeeick Heylee came from Stuttgart, Germany, about 1818, and settled
on a farm in Liberty township, Tioga county, Pennsylvania. He was married in
Germany to Dora Goodschmert, who bore him nine children, as follows: Frederick,
Mary, who married Henry Kohn, of Lycoming county; Catherine, who married John
Linek, of Morris; Jackson, deceased; John, Daniel, deceased; Mina, who mar-
ried Fred Boger; Caroline, who married Jacob Gleckner, and Gottlieb. In politics,
Mr. Heyler was a Democrat, and in religion, a member of the Lutheran church. He
died in November, 1881, and his wife in May, 1876.

John Heylee was bom in Liberty township, Tioga county, in September, 1836,
a son of Frederick Heyler, and has spent his entire life in his native township, en-
gaged in agricultural pursuits. On May 11, 1853, he married Elizabeth Boger, who
became the mother of nine children, as follows: Julia Ann, wife of William Snyder;
Johanna, wife of Samuel Maneval; Mary Ann, wife of John Mayer, of South Dakota;
Joseph, who married Annie Smith; Samuel, who married Annie Purhan; John,
who lives in South Dakota; Edwin and Emma, both of whom live in South Dakota,
and Titus, who lives with his parents. Mr. Heyler is a stanch Democrat, and is a
member of the Lutheran church.

John Fick was born in Northimiberland county, Pennsylvania, a son of John
Fick, who removed from Berks county to Northumberland county in 1793. In
1835 the family came to Liberty township, Tioga county, where the father died in
1863. At the age of twenty-four Mr. Fick left home and lumbered for two years
along Big Pine creek, and later worked two years on the Tioga railroad, from Mans-
field to Berry's bridge. He subsequently bought a farm in Liberty township, on
which he lived until 1890, when he sold out and moved to Liberty borough. He
reared a family of four sons, viz: Levi J., Huling J., Perly H. and Albert L.; also
an adopted daughter, Mary S., who married Abraham L. Monroe, of Delmar town-
ship. Mr. Fick has retired from active labor and is spending the evening of his life
with his son, Albert L., of Liberty, being now seventy-seven years old. In religion,
he is a Lutheran, and in politics, an adherent of the Democratic party.

Peely H. Fick, third son of John Fick, was born in Liberty township, Tioga
county, July 37, 1857. He was reared on his father's farm and attended the com-
mon schools of the district. At the age of twenty-one he began lumbering, which
business he continued for eight years. He then went to Detroit, Michigan, worked
at house-painting in that State for three years, at the end of which period he re-
turned to Tioga county and bought his father's farm. He farmed one year, then
sold out and worked at house-painting for two years, when he purchased a tract of
land in Pine township, Lycoming county, where he engaged in clearing the land
and lumbering. In the spring of 1895 he bought a small place a mile and a half from



BIOGEAPHICAL SKETCHES. 1147



Liberty borough, where he follows faxming and painting as an occupation. In
politics, he is a Democrat. Mr. Fick was married in Wellsboro, May 2, 1890, to
Delila A. Boswell, a daughter of Kichard E. Boswell. Her father was a native of
Conway, Stafford county. New Hampshire, ajid settled at English Centre, Lycoming
county, where Mrs. Fick was bom November 9, 1854. She is the mother of one
daughter, Katherine May, bom July 8, 1893, the only grandchild in the family.

Petek Maneval emigrated from Wurtemburg, Germany, in 1828, and set-
tled in Liberty township, Tioga county, Pennsylvania. His parents, Peter Maneval
and wife, came a short time afterwards and located close to their son. Both Peter
and his father were stocking weavers, which trade they followed in their native land.
Our subject was the eldest in a family of four children, viz: Peter, Jacob, Louis and
John. The father died in 1834, while the mother survived until 1856, living to the
ripe age of ninety-two years. The subject of this sketch was married in Germany,
but his wife died soon after coming to this county, leaving four children, viz: David,
deceased; Charles, who lives in Lycoming county; Peter, deceased, and Jacob, a resi-
dent of Salladasburg, Lycoming county. Mr. Maneval married for his second wife,
Maria Kopp, of Liberty, who became the mother of five children, as follows: Mary,
wife of Jacob Essiek, of Blossburg; Susan, Catharine, widow of Henry Root; John,
of Liberty, and Elizabeth, wife of James Morehouse. In politics, Mr. Maneval was
a Democrat, and in religion, a Lutheran. He died in 1856, and his wife in 1889.

David Maneval, eldest child of Peter Maneval, was born in Wurtemburg,
Germany, in October, 1817, and was eleven years old when his parents settled in
Liberty, Tioga county, where he grew to manhood. In 1837 he married Elizabeth
Boger, a daughter of Jacob Boger, who bore him a family of thirteen children, as
follows: Peter, a resident of Ohio; Eosanna, wife of Michael Heyd, of Lycoming
county; Benjamin, of Liberty township; Daniel, who lives in Williamsport; Ed-
ward, deceased; Aaron, a resident of Ohio; Mary, deceased wife of Albert Douglas;
Catherine and David, both deceased; James, who lives in Denver, Colorado; "Wilson,
a resident of Clearfield county; Elizabeth, wife of Charles Cowden, of Williams-
port, and one that died in early youth. In politics, Mr. Maneval was originally



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