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History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

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Dr. Webster Lewis, a brother of Ellis Lewis, one of the first resident lawyers of Wells-
boro. He came to Wellsboro in the summer of 1835, and was admitted to the bar
September 13, of that year. In January, 1837, he removed to Tioga, where he opened
an office and for some time, in connection with his practice, edited the Tioga Pioneer,
after its removal to that village. He filled the office of deputy attorney general in
1839. In 1836 he was elected to the legislature and was re-elected in 1837. He
stood shoulder to shoulder with Thaddeus Stevens in his great fight for the passage
of the common school law, and rendered him valuable service in that cause. Mr.
Garretson was one of the parties interested in the celebrated "Slave Hunt," and
aided the fugitives in their flight for liberty. He became a prominent conductor
on the "Underground Eailroad," and assisted many a fugitive on his way to freedom.
He was a warm personal friend of James Buchanan, and when the latter was
appointed minister to Great Britain by President Pierce, he offered Mr. Garretson
the position of secretary, which he declined. As they were of opposite political
views, the tender of such an office was a very high compliment. In 1869 Mr. Garret-
son received an appointment in the department of internal revenue, "Washington, D.

C, where he remained until his death, December 33, 1872. The bar of Tioga county
held a meeting, and passed suitable resolutions to his high character and worth
which were inscribed in the court minutes. Mr. Garretson was a man of sterling
integrity, decided opinions and positive convictions, and enjoyed the confidence of
his contemporaries at the bar.

Hon. James Loweey was bom in Parmington, Connecticut, in 1802, and
graduated from Yale College in the class of 1824, soon after which he came to Wells-
boro, and taught in the academy from November, 1834, to April, 1825, when he
began the study of law under Ellis Lewis. He was admitted to practice in 1836, and
became the partner of his preceptor. For nearly forty years Mr. Lowrey practiced
law in Tioga county, removing in 1865 to Burlington, New Jersey. He was a
gentleman of scholastic attainments, a lover and a student of the best literature and
did much to stimulate the intellectual life of Wellsboro. Although not distin-
guished as an advocate, he was wise in counsel and enjoyed a large and lucrative
practice. In 1835 he married Mary W. Morris, a daughter of Judge Samuel W.
Morris, and a lady of culture and refinement. His home and his office were for
years centers of attraction for the student and the lover of learning. It has been
truthfully said of him that "his professional career was without a stain, and his
private life equally spotless in its purity, and he was distinguished alike for his
modesty and his learning, for his gentleness of heart and his clearness of head." He
represented Tioga county in the legislature two years. Close application to
business having undermined his health, he abandoned his profession, removed to
New Jersey, and engaged in agriculture, hoping to recover his physical strength
while devoting his time to light outdoor pursuits. But the change did not benefit
his condition, and he died suddenly November 30, 1875, in the seventy-third year of
his age.

After his death Mrs. Lowrey took up her residence for a time in Washington,

D. C, and then removed to Pasadena, California, where she died August
23, 1896, aged eighty-three years. Mr. and Mrs. Lowre/s surviving children


are Anna Morris; llary, wife of Hon. Henry Booth, of Chicago; Ellen M., wife of
Frederick K. Wright, of Wellsboro, and Louisa, wife of Frank Foster, of St. Paul,

JosiAH Emehy became well and widely known as an educator, scholar, lawyer
and historical writer, and more than passing reference should be given to him. He
was born in Canterbury, New Hampshire, November 30, 1801, and traced his
ancestry back through six generations to Xathan Emery. The family was of
Norman origin. He was the third of sixteen children bom to Nathan and Betsy
(McCrillis) Emery, and attended Kimball Union Academy, in his native State, until
the age of nineteen, when he entered Dartmouth Colkt,^-. Here he remained until
reaching his majority, and then followed teaching for six years. He was graduated
from Union College, Schenectady, New York, in 1828, in which year he came to
Wellsboro, and took charge as principal of the academy. After hU retirement
from the Wellsboro Academy he was married February l'^, 1830, to Julia Ann,
daughter of Hon. John Beecher, of Tioga county, an old-time landlord, sheriff and
member of the legislature.

Mr. Emery was admitted to the bar at Wellsboro in 1831. He served aa district
attorney of Tioga county and postmaster of Wellsboro; also as commissioner of
bankruptcy, and of drafts during the war. In 18 U he removed to Williamsport,
where he practiced his profession for a short time, when he retired. lie always took
a deep interest in literary work, and especially in the cause of education. He was
for many years a trustee of the Wellsboro .\cademy, after retiring from it as teacher,
and he wrote much on local topics. Through his industry in this line of work a
great deal of early history relating to Wellsboro and Tioga county has been

During his residence in Williamsport lie was a member of the school board for
nine years, serving one term as jiresident. lie founded the public school library,
and the Emery school building in that city was named in his honor, because of his
devotion to the cause of education. The closing years of his long and industrious
life were devoted to literary pursuits. He wrote much for the local press. One of
his greatest efforts in the literary line was a manuscript history of earthquakes.

On July 24, 1871, Mr. Emery had the misfortime to lose liis wife by death. He
survived her almost twenty years, dying in Williamsport, April 26, 1891, at the ripe
age of ninety years, four months and twenty-eight days. Both are buried in the
cemetery at Wellsboro. Mr. and Mrs. Emery were the parents of eleven children,
five sons and six daughters.

Hon. John Wesley Maykabd, who attained to great distinction in the legal
profession, commenced his career in Tioga county. He was bom ilay 18, 1806, at
Springfield, Vermont. In 1823 his parents removed to Hamilton, New York, where
he received an academic education. lie commenced studying law in the office of
William G. Angell and George C. Clyde, of Otsepo county, where he spent three
years, and in 1828 removed with his parents to Lawrenceville, Tioga county, Pennsyl-
vania, where he practiced law until the spring of 1833, when he located in Tioga. In
18(0 ho removed to Williamsport, because it afforded a wider field. He became
eminent at the bar of Lycoming county. In 1859 he was appointed assistant law
judge at Pittsburg, and in 1862 he was elected president judge of the Third judicial


district, composed of Northampton and Lehigh counties, where he remained for six
years and then resigned and returned to Williamsport. After an experience of half
a century he retired from practice and spent the remainder of his days in repose. He
was a ripe scholar, an able lawyer and brilliant advocate. Judge Maynard was mar-
ried three times. The second wife of Peter Herdic was a daughter by his second
marriage. He died at Minnequa in 1885, at the ripe age of nearly seventy-nine

Hon. John W. Guernsey was born in Hudson, New York, January 38, 1811.
When he was about four months old his parents removed to Susquehanna county,
Pennsylvania, and settled on a farm. His father died early, leaving a widow and
eight children. At nine years of age young Guernsey was thrown entirely on his own
resources, but possessing ambition and pluck, he managed to secure an education at
the Montrose Academy. In 1831 he came to Wellsboro; commenced reading law
under the direction of James Lowrey; was admitted in 1835, and opened an office at
Tioga. In 1840 he was appointed United States marshal, and that year took the
census of the entire county of Tioga, which gave a population of 15,498. In 1850 he
removed to Wellsboro, where he resided until 1853, when he returned to Tioga. He
served one term in the State Senate and two terms in the House. Although leading
such an active public life, Mr. Guernsey did not neglect his practice, which embraced
the counties of Tioga, Potter, McKean, Bradford and Lycoming. He devoted his
principal attention to collections, and won a high record as an honest lawyer and a
man of unquestioned integrity. To his watchful care was intrusted the manage-
ment of many estates, and he acquired a competency by the practice of his profession
which he continued to prosecute until 1874, when advancing age admonished him to
retire. His wife, Susan Marriott Morris, was a daughter of Judge Samuel Wells
Morris, and brought to his home culture and refinement. He died at his residence in
the borough of Tioga, November 39, 1883.

Alexandbb S. Beewstee was born at Bridgwater, Susquehanna county, Peim-
sylvania, April 7, 1813, a son of Jonah and Lovisa (Sprague) Brewster. He was
educated in the common schools of his native town and at Montrose Academy, and
when sixteen years of age began teaching school, which he followed about a year. He
came with his father to Tioga in 1839, and clerked in the store until the spring of
1831, when he became a clerk in his father's offtce at Wellsboro. During this period
he read law under James Lowrey, was admitted to practice in February, 1835, and is
to-day the oldest living member of the Tioga bar. Ten days after his admission he
was appointed district attorney and filled the office three years. In 1839 he was ap-
pointed by Governor Porter prothonotary of the county, held the office one year, and
was then elected a county auditor. He practiced his profession a few years and then
secured the position of transcribing clerk in the legislature, in 1846, and served as
such six years. He subsequently held the postmastership of Wellsboro, and has also
filled the offices of councilman, burgess and poormaster. Though a staunch Demo-
crat, and living in a community strongly Eepublican, 'Squire Brewster has been
elected seven successive terms as justice of the peace, each time without opposition,
and at the close of his present term will have held the office thirty-five consecutive
years. In the eariy thirties he was major of the First Battalion, One Hundred and
Fifty-sixth Eegiment, Pennsylvania Militia, and took quite an active interest in local


military affairs during that period. On December 3, 1843, Major Brewster married
Mary Sophronia Smith, of Chenango comity. New York, to which union have been
born six children, viz: Mary E., Joseph W., Almira and James J., all of whom are
dead; Mary S., wife of C. H. Eoberts, of Tioga county, and Sarah E., wife of James
E. Fish, of Wellsboro. 'Squire Brewster's family are connected with the Presby
terian church. Though never accumulating much of this world's riches, he is held in
high esteem by the people of Wellsboro, where he has lived for sixty-five years.

Hon. Loeenzo Pahsons Williston, bom at Binghamton, Xew York, August,
1815, died at his home in Wellsboro ilay 22, 1887. He received a good education
and studied law under the direction of his father, Hon. Horace Williston (then of
Athens), who served as president judge here a short time, by appointment, after the
retirement of Judge Conyngham. After settling in Wellsboro he was associated
for a short time with Hon. S. F. Wilson in the practice of the law. In 1856 he was
elected a member of the lower house of the legislature and served in that body until
1860. President Lincoln appointed him United States judge in Dakota, and three
years afterwards he was transferred to Montana. Returning honu- he settled at
Towanda and practiced his profession there for three years, when he retunu-d to
Wellsboro, where he continued to reside until his death, the immediate cause of
which was apoplexy. Judge Williston married Miss Martha A., daughter of Dr.
John B. Murphey, one of the early physicians of Wt'llsboro. His widow, two sons and
two daughters survive.

Hon. John C. Knox, one of the most distinguished members of tlie Tioga
county bar, was born in what is now the borough of Kno.xville, February 18, 1817.
He studied law with Judge Purple, of Lawrenceville, afterward a prominent jurist
in Illinois, and with William (Jarretson, of Tioga, wJiere he practiced a few years
and then removed to Wellsboro. He rose rapidly in his chosen profession, and soon
became one of the leading lawyers of the county. He served as deputy attorney
general in 1840-42. In 1845 he was sent to the legislature and re-elected the
next year, but before the expiration of his last year Governor Sliunk appointed him
judge of a judicial district in the western part of the Stiito. Before his term expired
he was nominated and elected an associate justice of the State Supreme Court. The
routine work of the court proved too monotonous, and he resigned before the expi-
ration of his term. In 1858 he was appointed attorney general of Pennsylvania,
and at the close of his term he accepted the position of judge advocate in the United
States army and held it till the close of the war. Settling in Philadelphia he soon
took high rank as a lawyer, but in the midst of his busy practice he was stricken with
paralysis of the brain and was forced to retire from the bar. He lingered for several
years in a helpless condition and died at Wellsboro August 26, 1880. As a lawyer
he was able and brilliant, and would have attained to higher eminence in the profes-
sion if he had been permitted to reach the full maturity of his powers. He was an
honor to the profession and the county that gave him birth, and his death was
deeply mourned.

Pardon' Damon was an old-time member of the bar. He was bom in ^fnsfsa-
chiisotts in 1808. When a young man he came to this county, read law with John
C. Knox, was admitted to the bar and located in practice at Lawrenceville. ^fuch
of his time was devoted to real estate business, and buying and selling land. He


married Lois Lindsley and died in Lawrenceville, in 1873, in the sixty-fourth year
of his age.

A. J. MoNBOE was born in Massachusetts, October 7, 1806; came to Tioga county
in 1843; studied law with Hon. John C. Knox, at Lawrenceville, and was admitted
to the bar in 1843. Locating at Knoxville he entered upon the practice of his
profession. In 1849 he was appointed deputy attorney general, and he represented
Tioga county in the legislature in 1850. In 1859 he removed to Monticello, Iowa,
where he practiced his profession and held several offices of trust.

William Adams was born in Tioga, Tioga county, March 34, 1816, a son of
Capt. Lyman Adams, and grew to manhood in his native county. In 1831 he became
an apprentice in the office of the Tioga Pioneer, then published by Eankin Lewis &
Co. In 1838 he succeeded Dr. Cyrus Pratt as owner and editor of the paper, which
then bore the name of Tioga Democrat. In 1840 he sold a half interest to John C.
Knox and others, and the plant was removed to Lawrenceville and the name
changed to Lawrence Sentinel. The next year he sold his remaining interest in
the paper, returned to Tioga township and bought a farm on Mill creek, where for
fourteen years he followed agriculture in connection with the practice of law. Mr.
Adams was married, February 33, 1841, to Euth Ann Daily, a daughter of John and
Violetta (Niles) Daily, to which union two children were born: John Willard, an
attorney of Mansfield, and William Erastus, who died on March 30, 1873, aged
twenty-seven years, being at the time of his death collector of internal revenue for
this district. In 1855 Mr. Adams removed to Mansfield, and in 1857 he was chosen
a justice of the peace. With the exception of the years 1883 and 1883, when he was
door-keeper of the State Senate at Harrisburg, he filled the office continuously up to
May, 1895. Prom 1863 to 1877 he was in the mercantile business at Mansfield.
Mrs. Adams died in that borough July 31, 1868. Her husband survived until
August 11, 1895, dying at the ripe age of nearly eighty years. In politics he was a
staunch Eepubliean, and in religion a Methodist. He was also a member of Priend-
ship Lodge, No. 347, P. & A. M. Besides serving as a justice of the peace he filled
the office of councilman, assessor and school director, and was one of the useful and
respected citizens of Mansfield.

John 'N. Bache, a son of William Bache, Sr., was born in Wellsboro, Tioga
county, March 8, 1830, and was educated in the public schools of his native town.
He commenced the study of law with his brother-in-law, Hon. Eobert G. White, in
1841, and completed the usual legal course at Yale Law School, in New Haven,
Connecticut. In the fall of 1843 he was admitted to the bar of Tioga county and
is one of its oldest members now living. He personally knew and has a very clear
recollection of many of the old-time lawyers who practiced at this bar. He devoted
his attention chiefly to land titles and collections, as jury trials were generally
distasteful to him. He served as deputy attorney general for about one year. In
1848 he was elected register and recorder, served one term, and was afterwards
chosen a justice of the peace, but he soon resigned the office. Years ago, in con-
nection with his brother William, he turned his attention to timber and coal lands
and geological explorations. They first called the attention of the Pall Brook Coal
Company to the lands now known as the Antrim Pield, the development of which has
added so much wealth and prosperity to the county. Mr. Bache was married at


Seneca Falls, New York, September 1, 1847, to Sarah StoweU, a daughter of Heze-
kiah Stowell, one of the pioneer lumbermen of Tioga county. She was bom in
Bainbridge, Xew York, June 30, 1823, and came with her parents to Wellsboro in
childhood. Six children were bom of this marriage, three of whom grew to matu-
rity, viz: Anna S., wife of A. A. Truman; Louisa M., wife of L. F. Truman, and
Nellie, wife of F. W. Graves, all of whom are residents of Wellsboro. Mrs. Bache
died at her home in that borough December 31, 1896, after a residence there of
nearly half a century. In politics ilr. Bache was originally a \Vliig, but has been a
Republican since the organization of that part;y. Although now retired from active
business life, he is still recognized as one of Wellsboro's most substantial citizens.

Julius Sherwood was one of the leading members of the bar forty veins ago.
He was bom in what is now Schuyler county, New York, January 2'i, 1^'i'i. and
was admitted to the bar of Tioga county, December 17, 1844. From the time of his
admission until the breaking out of the Rebellion, he continued to practice at Wells-
boro. When Sumter was fired on he was one of the first men in Tioga county to
take an active part in raising troops for the defense of the Union, and was elected
captain of one of the two first companies organized at Wellsboro, on Monday, .Vpril
22, 1861. lie filled the same position when his men were mustered in ai Cam]) Cur-
tin the following June, as Company H, Thirty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and
served until September, 1861, when he resigned. Mr. Sherwood died at Williams-
port, July 7, 1875.

A. P. Cone was born in New Hampshire in 1820. When a young man he came
to Elkland and settled, lie read law under the direction of lion. John ('. Kno.x, at
Lawrenceville, and was admitted in 1846. In addition to his law business, hf became
an active operator in real estate and a builder of houses and hotels. He built a largo
hotel in Wellsboro in 18G9-70, which was named the Cone House, but is now known
as the Coles House. He also built the Albemarle House at Elizabeth City, .N'orth
Carolina, through which he suffered heavy losses. Mr. Cone died in 1871.

Hon. John ^\^ Ryon was born in l^lkland, Tioga county, March 4, iy?."i, a son
of Judge John Ryon, and grandson of John Ryon, both pioneers of the ( 'owanesque
valley. He received an academical education at Millville, New York, and Wellsboro.
Pennsylvania; read law with Hon. John C. Knox, at Wellsboro, and comiileted his
studies with Hon. .lames Lowrey of the same place. He was admitted tn the bar of
Tioga county in 1846, and soon after opened an offiee at Lawrenceville. In ls.">0 he
was elected, on the Democratic ticket, district attorney, was re-elected at the expira-
tion of his term, and filled the office six consecutive years, discharging: its duties in
a very satisfactory manner, ifr. Ryon was not only an able and safe counsellor, but
was reeo'::nized as a powerful advocate, and his practice extended to the adjoining
counties of Totter, .McKean and Bradford, where he met in legal coml>at the best
lawyers of those sections. ( >n the breaking out of the Rebellion he heartily supported
the government, and did all in his power to encourage enlistments and raise troops
for tlu' defense of the llaj:. Ho was largely instrumental in raising Company A, of
the famous liuektails, and gave freely of his time and means towards that object,
in ISCl he was appointed paymaster in the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps, and held
that position one year, during which time the Reserves were mustered into the
United States service. In March, 1863, :Mr. Kyon removed to Tottsvillo. Srhuylkill


county, where he has since resided. He represented the Thirteenth congressional
district in Congress one term, and for the past thirty years he has been one of the
leading lawyers of central and eastern Pennsylvania.

Hon. Chahles H. Setmoue was born in Bath, New York, June 31, 1830;
studied law with Hon. John W. Guernsey, at Tioga, and was admitted to the bar in
ISl?. He was an active practitioner for many years and a recognized leader at the
Tioga bar. In November, 1876, he was elected a state senator and represented his
district with ability and fidelity four years. Before the close of his term he con-
tracted a malarial disease which was the indirect cause of his death, at his home in
the borough of Tioga, June 6, 1883, in his sizty-second year.

Hon. Heney Sheewood was one of the most prominent and successful mem-
bers of the Tioga county bar for nearly half a century. He was a native of Bridge-
port, Connecticut, bom October 9, 1813, and a son of Salmon and Phoebe (Burritt)
Sherwood, of that place, where his paternal ancestor, Thomas Sherwood, settled ia
1645. Henry was of the seventh generation from the founder of the American
branch of the family. In 1817 he removed with his parents to the town of Catheriae,
in what is now Schuyler county. New York, where he spent his boyhood days on a
farm. His education was obtained in the common schools, supplemented by a few
terms at an academy. At the age of sixteen he began teaching, which he followed
about a year, and then went to Columbus, Ohio, where he clerked in a general store
a few years. He later resided in the South for several years, mostly in Louisiana and
what is now the State of Texas. While there he was a soldier in the Texan army
under General Houston, and when the independence of Texas was obtained he re-
turned to Columbia, Bradford county, Pennsylvania, to which place his parents had
removed. In 1840 he located in Knoxville, Tioga county, where he was a merchant
and lumberman. Meeting with financial reverses, he entered -the employ of Joel
Parkhurst, of Elkland, for whom he clerked a few years.

Mr. Sherwood began the study of law in 1845, and in December, 1846, removed
to Wellsboro and entered the law office of Hon. Eobert G. White. He pursued his
studies under Judge White until his admission to the bar, September 7, 1847, when
he entered at once into active practice. With the passing years he built up a fine
legal busiuess and became widely known as a safe and successful lawyer. His courte-
ous manners and pleasing address made him a favorite among the people, and for
nearly half a century he was engaged in all of the important civil and criminal
causes tried in Tioga county. His professional career was one of uninterrupted suc-
cess. Possessing a strong constitution and great will power, his force and persevering
industry swept aside every obstacle that came in his way. His perceptive faculties
were of the keenest character and his knowledge of human nature enabled him to
fathom men and their motives. Among the qualities that made Mr. Sherwood a

Online LibraryEmanuel SwedenborgHistory of Tioga County, Pennsylvania → online text (page 20 of 163)