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History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

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that time it has been held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November..
The following have served as sheriffs of Tioga county since it was organized for
judicial purposes: Alpheus Cheney, commissioned December 3, 1813. As he was the
first sheriff, and as a matter of history, it may be stated that under date of Novem-
ber 5, 1813, he gave bond in $5,000, with himself and the following named persons-
as sureties Caleb Austin, Nathan Niles, Jr., Oliver Willard and Daniel Kelsey..
His successors were elected as follows: Dr. Simeon Power, 1815; John Knox, 1818;.
Elijah Stiles, 1831; John Beeeher, 1834; Eobert Tiibbs, 1837; Seth Daggett,.
1830; Francis "Wetherbee, elected to fill vacancy caused by resignation of Seth
Daggett, 1831; Benjamin Gitchell, 1834; John Waklee, 1837; Dr. Curtis Park-
hurst, 1840; Joseph W. Guernsey, 1843; H. H. Potter, 1846; John Mathers, 1849,-
H. A. Guernsey, 1853; John Mathers, 1855; Simeon I. Power, 1858; Hezekiah
Stowell, Jr., 1861; Leroy Tabor, 1864; Jerome B. Potter, 1867; Edward A. Fish,,
1870; Stephen Bowen, 1873; Delos H. "Walker, 1876; H. J. Landrus, 1879; Harry
Baxter, 1883; Joseph H. Ferris, 1885; Francis M. Sheffer, 1888; John Irvin, 1891,,
and William E. Champaign, the present incumbent, elected in November, 1894,
and took office in January, 1895.

Profhonotaries. — In Tioga county one person is elected, every three years, to
the office of prothonotaxy of the court of common pleas, clerk of the court of
quarter sessions and clerk of oyer and terminer and general jail delivery. Previous
to the adoption of the Constitution of 1838, when the office became elective, the
incumbent was appointed by the governor. It has been held by the following
named persons: John Norris, 1813-18; Uriah Spencer, 1818-31; John Patton,,
1831-34; Uriah Spencer, 1834-31; Jouah Brewster, 1831-36; John F. Donaldson,
1836-38; A. S. Brewster, 1839; John F. Donaldson, elected in 1839, and served
thirty-three consecutive years, being re-elected to each succeeding term; Gen.
Eobert C. Cox, elected in October and commissioned November 13, 1873, served
continuously until January 1, 1894, being elected to each succeeding term. He de-
clined a renomination, although strongly solicited by his friends to accept another
term. In January, 1894, he was succeeded by Francis M. Sheffer, who was re-
elected in November, 1896.

Register and Recorder. — This office has been filled by the following named per-
sons: John Norris, 1813-18; Uriah Spencer, 1818-31; John Norris, 1831-34; Uriah
Spencer, 1834-30; Jonah Brewster, 1831-33; Benjamin B. Smith, 1833-36; Luman
Wilson, 1836-39; George Knox, 1839-43; Luman Wilson, 1843-48; John N. Bache,
1848-51; James P. Magill, 1851-54; W. D. Bailey, 1854-60; H. S. Archer, 1860-66;
Darius L. Deane, 1866-75; George C. Bowen, 1876-87; Homer J. Eipley, 1888-96,
and C. L. Babcock, the present incumbent, who was elected November 3, 1896, and
took charge of the office in January, 1897.

County Treasurers.— UndeT the Constitution of 1790 it was the custom of the
county commissioners to appoint a treasurer, who usually served for the term of
one year. This practice continued until the adoption of the Constitution of 1838,
when the office became elective. The following persons have served as custo-


dians of the funds: Samuel W. Monis, 1808; ^^■iIliam Williard, 1809; Alpheus
Cheney, 1810-11; Bethlehem Thompson, 1812-13; Benjamin W. Morris, 181i-15;
Eobert Tubbs, 1816; Daniel Lamb, 1817; Eobert Tubbs, 1818-19; John Beecher,
1820; Thomas Putnam, 1821-23; William Williard, Jr., 1824-26; Levi Vail, 1827;
Elihu Hill, 1828-30; Thomas Dyer, 1831-33; John Barnes, 1834-35; Archibald
Knox, 1836; Thomas Dyer, 1837-39; Robert G. White, 1840-42; John L. Robinson,
1843-45; A. 11. Bacon, 1846-47; George Levegood, 1848-49; S. L. Hibbard, 1850-
.51; George Knox, 1852-53; Henry Rathbone, 1854-55; Oliver H. Blanchard, 1856-
67; 0. F. Taylor, 1858-59; James S. Watrous, 1860-61; H. B. Card, 1862-63;

A. M. Spencer, 1864-65; C. V. Miller, 1866-67; H. C. Bailey, 18G8-G9. The last
election under the old Constitution occurred in October, 1869, when Gen. Robert
•C. Cox was chosen. Under the Constitution of 1873 the term of office was extended
to three years and the time for holding elections fixed for November. General C"ox
held the office until the close of 1872. Since the Xew ('onstitution went into
operation the succession has been as follows: Henry Rowland, 1873-74; Thomas
Allen, 1875-77; Thomas B. Bryden, ISTS. In March, ISTS, Mr. Bryden died from
the effects of an accident, and ( 'liarles F. Veil was appointed to fill the vacancy. He
was succeeded in 1881 by John R. Btnscn, since which tinio the liiif has been as
follows: Alonzo B. Horton, 1884-86; Orlando F. Taylor, 188:-8l»; Otis G. (i^Tould,
1890-92; Jonathan X. Morgan, 181):?-!)."), and Koss A. Mitchell, the present incum-
bent, who assumed the duties of the (lilicu January 1, 18'Jt;.

County Commissioners. — These officers, who have charge of the county business
and the care and superintendence of the public build! iirs, were elected annually for
the term of three years until tlic adoption of the Constitution of 1873, which pro-
vided for the triennial election of the iiitire board of thruo memlier.-. The Cunsti-
tution requires each elector to vote for no more tiian two pi rsons, ami the three per-
sons having the highest number of votes shall In- elcctiil. This enables the minority
party to always have a representative on the board. Previous to the adoption of the
Constitution of 1873 the dominant party generally had all the commi.<sioner8. The
commissioners of Tioga county have been elected as follows: Nathan Nilc.s. Sr.,
Caleb Boyer and Ira Kilburn, 1808; (.'eorge Ilart and Uriah Spencer, 18(i!i; Eddy
Ilowland, 1810; Samuel W. Morris, 1811; Timothy Ives, 1812; Nathan Niles, Jr.,
appointed to fill vacancy caused by resignation of Samuel W. Moiris, 1813; Hopestill
Beecher and Ambrose Millard, 1813; Justus Dartt, 1814; Robert B. Elliott, 1815;
John Knox, 1810: Asa ]\lann, 1817; Elijah DePui, 1818; John Ryon, Jr., 1819;
Oliver Willard. 182(i; Seth Daggett, 1821; Hiram Beebe, 1822: William Knox,
1823; Klijah Welch, 1823; Elijah Stiles, 1824; James Goodrich, 182".; Hiram
Beebe, 1826; Lorentus Jackson, 1827; Aaron Alba, 1828; John Cochran, 1829; E.

B. Gerould, 1830; Job Geer, 1831; A. Hammond, 18;V2: Chaunccy Alford, 1833;
Geor^'c Knox, 1834; M. W. Stull, 183 1; Samuel Miller, ]83.i; (' N. Sykes. \^-M):
Philemon Doud, 1837; George Levegood, 1838; Buel Baldwin, 18.S9: Levi Elliott.
1840; M. W. Stull, 1841; C. 0. Spencer. 1842; H. H. Potter, 181.T; Eddy Howland,
1841; H. P. Van Ness, 1815; William Rose, Sr., 1846; John Fox. 1846: Tsm.l Mer-
rick, Jr., 1847; David Ellis. 1818; Lennder Culver. 1819; David Caldwell, 18'>0;
Ansel Purple, 1851; Benjamin Van Dusen. 1S.")2; Austin Tjithrop. 18:.3; O. B.
Wells, 18.^4; C. F. Culver, lR.".,'i; D. C Stevens, 18.-»6; John .iMmes, 18.".:; L. D.


Seely, 1858; Amos Bixby, 1859; Ambrose Barker, 1860; Job Eexford, 1861; C. P.
Miller, 1863; Myron Eoekwell, 1863; E. S. Seely, 1864; E. Hart, 1865; P. V. Van
Ness, 1866; Job Rexford, 1867; M. W. Wetherbee, 1868; P. V. Van Ness, re-
elected, 1869; Job Eexford, re-elected, 1870; T. 0. Hollis, 18Y1; E. Hart, 1873;
L. B. Shelve, 1873; Edwin Klock, 1874. Up to 1875 one commissioner had been
elected each year, the term being for three years. The New Constitution, however,
required all three to be elected at one time. The ofhce has since been filled as fol-
lows: L. L. Smith, Elisha J. Purple and N. A. Elliott, elected in 1875; 0. A. Smith,
James E. Peters and N. A. Elliott, 1878; James E. Peters, John J. Reese and Charles
M. Rumsey, 1881; John Karr, William Kimball and William H. Baxter, 1884; Seth
Tremain, H. D. Wheeler and G. D. Dennison, 1887; M. H. Stebbins, C. H. DeWitt
and T. H. Bailey, 1890; T. H. Bailey, John P. Pitts and W. H. Garrison, 1893, and
Henry B. Colegrove, Thomas M. Reese and Louis Doumaux, 1896, the present in-

Commissioners' Clerics. — Prom the organization of the county to the present time
the following named gentlemen have served as clerks to the commissioners, being
appointed annually by the board: October 20, 1808, John Norris was appointed and
served until January 3, 1814, when he was succeeded by David Lindsey. The latter
served until December 2, 1826, when he was succeeded by James Lowrey. On
August 5, 1838, Lowrey resigned, when Israel Merrick, Jr., took his place by appoint-
ment of the board and was continued in office until November 4, 1847, a period of
nineteen years. After Merrick came A. J. Sofield, who served until January 7, 1863,
when J. A. Knapp succeeded him. The latter only remained in office two years,
when A. L. Ensworth was appointed January 9, 1864. He was succeeded January
6, 1865, by Thomas Allen, who remained until January 5, 1874, when J. W. Don-
aldson was appointed. He resigned May 15, 1875, and Charles P. Veil was ap-
pointed his successor. Mr. Veil continued until April 5, 1878, when he was
appointed county treasurer to fill a vacancy caused by the death of T. B. Bryden.
Leonard Harrison was appointed clerk for the unexpired part of 1878, and continued
to discharge the duties of the office until 1884, when Eugene Beauge succeeded him
and remained until March 1, 1888, when he resigned and was succeeded by Prank
Watkins, who had been an assistant in the office for several years. Mr. Watkins
is still chief clerk. The work of the office has wonderfully increased since John
Norris opened the first record of the proceedings of the board in the autumn of
1808. His first year's entries covered less than a page of foolscap; now several
portly volumes are required to contain the records for a similar period.

County Auditors. — In pursuance of the act of March 16, 1809, three auditors
were elected to settle the accounts of the commissioners for the previous year. They
were Daniel Lamb, James Gray and Benjamin Bentley. Since that time the fol-
lowing citizens have been elected to the office: W. D. Bacon, Isaac Baker and Arnold
Hunter, 1810; Israel Bulkley, Timothy Ives and Ira Kilburn, 1811; Ira Kilbum
and Timothy Ives, 1813; Samuel W. Morris and Timothy Ives, 1813; Cyprian
Wright, Daniel Kelsey and Elijah DePui, 1814: from 1815 to 1820 records missing;
James Pord, Justus Dartt and James Gray, 1830-33; William Willard, Elijah De
Pui and Curtis Parkhurst, 1833-34; Daniel Kelsey, John Cochran and James Weeks,
1835-37; Amariah Hammond, James Gray and William Garretson, 1838-31; H. H.


Potter, N. II. Purple and Aaron Alba, 1832-35; ^\"illiam Garretson, 1838; Samuel
ii. Knox, 1841; George Knox, elected in 1846; Morgan Seely, 184T; Austin
Lathrop, 1848; H. S. Cook, 1849; B. C. Wickham, 1850; John" C. Robb, lb.31;
Charles liyon, 1852; Apollos Pitts, 1853; Alanson E. Xiles, 1854; James S.
Watrous, 1855; Charles F. Veil, 1856; William A. Douglass, 1857; James I. Jack-
son, 1858; Charles F. Veil, 1859; D. T. Gardner, 1860; Charles Goldsmith and M.
Bullard, 1801; Charles ¥. Veil, 1862; Justus Dearman and James I. Jackson, 18G3;
J. G. Argetsinger, 1864; Charles F. Veil and D. L. Aiken, 1865; Israel Stone, 1866;
David Cameron, 1867; H. B. Seeley, 1868; Israel Stone, S. D. Phillips and D. K.
Marsh, 1869; D. P. Hurley, 1870; A. F. Packard, 1871; Israel Stone, 1872; Charles
F. Veil, 1873; Albert M. Bennett, 1874; O. A. Smith, John Youmans and Andrew
K. Bosard, 1875; Vine Crandall, J. P. Wickham and L. A. Sears, 1878; Eugene
Beauge, L. K. King and E. A. Bryden, 1881; Charles N. Moore, E. C. Stihvell and
W. W. Tate, 1884; Lucius Truman, Charles X. .Moore and Otis H. Davis. 1887;
Eugene Beauge, R. 0. Close and Olis II. Davis, 18!)(); Jui^^'iie Beauge, I{. G. Close
and J. H. Ilubers, 1893; Eugene Beauge, Otis L. Coolidge and Joseph I-;mbcrf,'er,

Coroners. — Although this office is one of more importance than it f,'enerally
received credit for in earlier years, its value is now fully appreciated. In case of
accident, death, or any calamity which may befall the siieritT, the coroner takes
charge of the office and conducts the business thereof until the next regular election.
And, like the sheriff, he is chosen for a period of three years. Thus far no coroner
of Tioga county has succeeded to (he shrievalty. Owing to carelessness on the part
of those whose duty is was to keeji the earlier records, some difficulty has been ex-
perienced in compiling a complete list. And in many instances a justice of the
peace in districts remote from the residence of the coroner held inquests when
necessity required it, and the ineajjre reference to the matter on the records has
caused confusion, and it has been found difficult to determine who the real officer
was. Then, again, during a period of fully ten years, no nomination for this office
wna made, consequently a blank appears. The following is believed to be as com-
plete a list of the coroners as it is possil)le to compile:

The first coroner of the county was Lyman Adams, appointed by Governor
Snyder, May 6, 1814. His successors were: Nathaniel Seely, 1S17; John Heeeher,
1820; John Gray, 1825; Henry W. Stoddard, 1831; Peter Backer, 1834; Joel
Culver, 1837; Edwin Dyer, acting, 1841; Jefferson Shuman, 1841; Josiah X.
Wright, 1812; John S. Warner, 1847-52; John C. Bennett, 1852-53; Joel Koso,
185;) to 1864; D. S, Peters, 1864; E. J. Bosworth, 18t;7: H. H. Borden, 18i;ri: Dr. A.
J. Ilepgie, 1870; Giles licberts, 1874; Dr. A. J. Ileppie, 1s7S-8;i; W. E. Francis,
188 1-89; Augustus Xiles, 1890-95, and Charles W. Hazlett, the present incumbent,
elected in 1895.

Couiili/ t^urrei/ars. — At first the title of the occupant of tliis office was deputy
surveyor, and he was appointed by the surveyor general until 1850. when, by art of
the legislature, the otlice was made elective. The following have served both as
deputy and county surveyors:

Jolin Xorris, February i>, 1814; re-appointed, June 4. 1824; Samuel McDougall,
]827-3(;; E. P. Dcane, ISr.ii; Samuel McDougall, 1830-50; David Heise, 1850-5r,;


H. S. Archer, 1856-59; E. P. Deane, 1859-63; William Garretson, 1862-65; David
Heise, was elected in 1865 and appears to have served until 1873, when he was suc-
-ceeded by H. S. Archer, who held the office until his death in 1889. In November,
1893, John T. Purvis was elected. The office is at present practically vacant.

County Superintendents. — The act of May 8, 1854, authorized the election of
.a superintendent of common schools in each county of the Commonwealth. It was
.carefully framed by H. L. Dieffenbach, then chief clerk in the office of the state
superintendent, with the view of bettering the condition of the schools. In some
•counties it met with strong opposition, it being regarded as a useless appendage to
the educational machinery of the State, but time has vindicated the wisdom of its
framers, as the law has proved advantageous in promoting the efficiency of the
.schools. The county superintendent serves for a term of three years, and is elected
by the directors meeting in convention the first Monday in May at the county seat.
They also fix the salary at the same time. The incumbents of this office have been
•elcted as follows:

Eev. J. P. Calkins, 1854; Newell L. Reynolds, 1857; Hiram C. Johns, 1860;
Victor A. Elliott, 1863; Newell L. Eeynolds, appointed September 30, 1864, to fill
vacancy caused by resignation of Victor A. Elliott; S. B. Price, elected 1866, and
resigned September 2, 1866, Eev. J. P. Calkins, appointed 1867; Elias J. Horton, Jr.,
'elected 1869; re-elected 1872; Miss Sarah I. Lewis, 1875; re-elected 1878; M. P. Cass,
1881; re-elected 1884 and 1887; Henry E. Eaesly, 1890; re-elected in 1893 and 1896.

Mercantile Appraisers. — This office was created by act of 1850. Prior to that
time the duties of the office were performed by a board composed of the county
■ commissioners and associate judges. The officer is required to visit all merchants
in the county and appraise their business for the purpose of imposing a state tax.
.Since 1850 the office has been filled by appointment of the commissioners, and it is
generally among their last acts at the close of the year. The records show the fol-
lowing appointments: Josiah Emerj', 1851; Thomas Allen, 1852-53; Henry W.
Williams, 1854-55; Josiah Emery, 1856; Thomas J. Wood, 1857-58; William But-
ler, 1859; David P. Gardner, 1860-61; Jerome B. Niles, 1863; Alpheus E. Dann,
1863; E. J. Purple, 1864-67; B. W. Skinner, 1868; Selah Frost, 1869; Job
•Symonds, 1870; George H. Baxter, 1871; Otis L. Atherton, 1873; M. W. Wetherbee,
1873; B. Short, 1874; J. E. Shelve, 1875; Sidney Beach, 1876; John Brown
Wakeley, 1877; H. J. Elliott, 1878; J. S. Morgan, 1879; Silas S. Eockwell, 1880;
-Andrew J. Doane, 1881; J. Porter Wilcox, 1882; Sumner P. White, 1883; Timothy
B. Culver, 1884-85; C. E. Thomas, 1886; Jonathan V. Morgan, 1887-88; W. D.
Knox, 1889; Deruyter Avery, 1890; A. M. Pitts, 1891; N. Losey, 1892; John C.
'White, 1893; Sheridan E. Coles, 1894: Frank Marvin, 1895, and Chas. Washburn, 1896.

Jury Commissioners.— TYas, office was created by an act of assembly, approved
April 10, 1867. It authorizes the election of two commissioners every three years,
one of whom shall belong to the minority party. The incumbents of this office have
been elected as follows: Leroy Tabor and John W. Bailey, 1867; S. S. Love and
John W. Bailey, 1870; Edward A. Fish and Hiram S. Hastings, 1873; G. H. Baxter
and Daniel Watson, 1876; E. C. Stilwell and H. J. Elliott, 1879; Samuel D. Evans
and Otis H. Davis, 1883; Jonathan V. Morgan and D. S. Horton, 1885; Charles C.
Mathers and James C. Goodspeed, 1888; Thomas M. Eeese and Frank M. Davis,
1891, and Andrew Brimegin and Floyd F. Hogaboom, 1894.

^^yt l^






Personal Sketches of President Judges— Many Able and Distinguished
Jurists Among Them— The Bar of Tioga County— a Brilliant Array op
Legal Talent— The Tioga County Bar association— John F. Donaldson,
Prothonotary and Politician— a Skktch of His Career.

THE men who have filled the important and honorable office of president juil>;e,
since the organization of the first courts of Tioga county to the present time,
have been men of marked ability as jurists and lawyers, and havu, as a rule, been
personally popular in the prwit body of the citizciisliii) of the county.

Hon. John Bannister (Jibson, who presided at the opening of the first
court in January, 1813, was a native of ('umlnTliiinl (now I'l rry) county, Penn-
sylvania, whore he was born November H, 1780. He was a son of Col. (ieorge
Gibson, who fell at St. ("lair's defeat in IT'Jl. After receiving his preparatory
education he entered Dickinson Coliei^c and gradimled therefrom in due season. He
studied law under the direction of Hon. Thomas Duncan and was admitted to the
bar in 1803. After practicing for a short time in (Carlisle he ri moved to Beaver,
where his father had at one time been engaged in military operations. Thence he
went to Hagerstown, Maryland, and shortly afterward returned to Curlisle. In
1810 he was elected to the lower house of the lefjislature, and was re-elected the
following year. In JiUy, 181'.', he was appointed president jud'je of tiie lileventh
judicial district, and three years after was commissioned an associate justice of the
Supremo Court. At the death of Chief Justice Tilphman, in is-jr, he was ap-
pointed by the governor to succeed him. In 1838, nt the date of the adoi)tion of the
Constitution, he resigned, but the governor immediately re-appointcd him. I'.y
a change in the Constitution making the judiciary elective, his seat became vacant
in 1851. During the same year he was elected an associate justice of the Supreme
Cmirt and remained on the bencli to the close of his life.

Wlien Judge Ctibson presided over the first court of Tio^'a county he was a
young man of scarcely thirty-three, but he had already seen much of public life and
understood well the manners nnd customs of the frontier settlers. .Vs a jurist he
was recognized as one of the ablest of his time and his legal opinions are among
the richest treasures of the country. He died in Philadelphia May 3, 18.">3, and was
buried at Carlisle.

Hon'. Thomas BruNsini:, of Bellefontc, succeeded Jiulire (libson. He. how-
ever, soon afterward resigned , appearing only during one term of court in Wellsboro.

Hon. Edward HEunicK, the successor of Judge lUnnside, was appointed by


Governor Pindley July 6, 1818. The judicial district was then known as the
Thirteenth, and was composed of the counties of Bradford, Susquehanna and
Tioga, to which were subsequently added Potter and McKean. Judge Herriek,
who was of English descent, was born in Dutchess county, New York, October 36,
1787. After finishing his law studies with his brother at Zanesville, Ohio, he was
. admitted to the bar at Chillieothe, August 8, 1808, a few months before reaching
his majority. He at once entered on the practice of his profession in Ohio, and
was soon appointed district attorney for Licking, Knox and Tuscarawas counties.
In 1813 he was elected to the legislature from Licking county. He located at
Athens, Bradford county, Pennsylvania, in 1813, because he had relatives living
there, and engaged in his profession. He rose rapidly, became a representative
man, and filled several positions of honor, among which was that of brigade in-
spector of the counties of Lycoming, Potter, McKean, Bradford and Tioga, by ap-
pointment of Governor Snyder in July, 1814. After a service of twenty-one years
on the bench he retired February 37, 1839, the New Constitution having limited
the judicial tenure. He was honored by having a township in Bradford, and one
in Susquehanna county named for him. Judge Herriek died at Athens March 7,
1873, in the eighty-seventh year of his age.

John Nesbit Conyngham, of Wilkes-Barre, who came upon the bench in 1839,
succeeded Judge Herriek. He was born in Philadelphia, December 17, 1798, grad-
uated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1816, studied law in the office of Hon.
J. K. IngersoU, and upon being admitted to the bar settled in Wilkes-Barre in 1830.
Judge Conyngham retired from the bench of Tioga county in February, 1849, but
he served twenty years longer in the adjoining district. The circumstances of his
death were peculiarly sad. In April, 1871, while on his way to visit a son in
Mississippi, he fell under the wheels of a car, while stepping from a moving train,
and had both his legs crushed below the knees, dying in two hours.

Hon. Hoeace Williston, of Athens, Bradford county, was appointed to succeed
Judge Conyngham, and he held the judgeship until the first Monday of December,
1851, when he went out by virtue of an amendment to the Constitution, adopted at
the general election in 1850, making the judges elective.

Hon. Eobeet Geay "White was elected president judge in 1851, and re-elected
in 1861, and was the first citizen of Tioga county to fill the oifice. That was the
year in which the union took place of the Wilmot Proviso party, under the lead of
David "Wilmot, and those straight Democrats under the immediate lead of John F.
Donaldson and Mr. "White, both of "Wellsboro — or rather the going over of those
two gentlemen to the "Wilmot Proviso party.

Previous to April 15, 1851, Tioga and Bradford counties were in the same
judicial district, and "Wilmot and "White each M^anted to be elected judge at the
fall election. Here was a difficulty. "White was afraid to run against Wilmot, and
Wilmot was .afraid to run against White. Something must be done to harmonize
matters. Here was a chance for the political genius of Donaldson, and he was
equal to the emergency. He proposed to "raft over three or four districts; leave
Tioga in the Eighteenth, and make a new one with Bradford the principal county
in it." The suggestion cut the Gordian knot and all parties were again happy. A
bill was drawn by an expert, reported by the judiciary committee of the legislature,


and paased with little opposition. By it Tioga, Potter, McKean and Elk formed
the Eighteenth district; Bradford, Susquehanna and Sullivan the Twenty-seventh.
Thus both White and Wilmot became judges. WTiat could have been more neatly
done? And the beauty of the operation was in the fact that neither the people nor
the legislature knew anything about the object of the movement to create a new

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