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insurance of only $12,400. In addition to the buildings, $6,000 worth of glass
and $2,000 worth of pots were destroyed, and nearly sixty men were thrown out
of employment.

The works were rebuilt the following February and opened at once under
the direction of the Glass Trust, but disaster again overtook them in 1892, when
they were totally destroyed by fire, and never rebuilt.

The Wellsboro Veneer Works, located on the site of the old glass factory, was
founded December 1, 1895, by T. B. Fields & Son. The plant is devoted to the
manufacture of wood veneers, baskets, handles and wood novelties, the annual
output amounting to about $25,000. The working force consists of from twenty
to fifty hands, according to the demands of business.

The Wellsboro Exchange of the New York and Pennsylvania Telephone and
Telegraph Company is one of the latest up-to-date enterprises of the borough.
This company is identical with the Bell IJIelephDne Company, and the exchange
recently established connects the borough with all the cities and towns throughout
the country embraced in the long-distance telephone system of the company. The
exchange is located in the store of E. L. Van Horn & Son, the local managers, and
is for the use of the public. There are in addition twenty-three subscribers, who
pay an annual rental for instruments placed in their offices or residences. The
system in the county also includes the principal towns of the Tioga and Cowanesque



It is ninety yeaxs since Benjamin Wistar Morris laid out the "county town"
of Tioga county, and named it Wellsboro, in honor of his wife, Mary Wells Morris.
At that time a forest stood on its site, and a wide-spreading wilderness environed
it. The forest has disappeared, and the wilderness has given place to the well-
tUled fields of thrifty and prosperous husbandmen. The log cabin of the pioneer
is a thing ,of the past, and on its site there now stands the modem home — a model
of up-to-date architecture — with its interior conveniences and exterior attractiveness.
So many of these handsome residences are to be seen in all parts of Wellsboro that
one feels that the claim put forth for it as a place of beautiful homes is amply
sustained. The rude log, and scarcely less rude frame, structures in which the early
storekeepers, innlceepers, doctors and lawyers transacted business, have been
replaced by sightly and substantial brick and stone business blocks and office
buildings of modern design and architecture. The log school house and the old
Academy find worthy successors in the present public school buildings, thronged
daily by hundreds of light-hearted pupils, the beneficiaries of the free school system
of the State. The old "Quaker Meeting House" is but a memory, and the Quakers
themselves have all passed away, but religion and morality remain. Instead of
one modest meeting house, there are now six church buildings, that bear witness
in their architecture, furnishing and decoration, to a spirit of free-giving on the
part of the many adherents of the different Christian denominations which they
represent. On every hand are to be seen evidences of intelligence, culture, taste,
refinement, public spirit and private enterprise.

And yet, it must be confessed that previous to 1870 Wellsboro grew very
slowly. This was due to its isolation — its distance from either navigable stream
or railroad. In 1840 it had but 368 inhabitants, and in 1870, 1,465. In 1872
came the railroad and gave it an impetus, resulting, not in a boom, but in a period
of subtantial growth, the census of 1880 showing 3,238 inhabitants, and that of 1890
3,961. The present population is slightly in excess of 3,000.

The Wellsboro of to-day is a well-built town. Its streets are wide, and though
unpaved, are graded and kept in good condition. In anticipation of early paving,
nearly 4,000 feet of sewers have been constructed, and the work will be carried
forward as rapidly as the finances of the borough will permit. Good flagstone
sidewalks have been put down in all parts of the borough. These, in combination
with well-kept grounds, stately shade trees and the absence of fences, add much
to the attractiveness of the residence portion, and show a commendable pride in
appearances on the part of the citizens.

The Park or "Green" though occupying but a single square, east of the court
house, is one of the most popular places of public resort in the borough. It is
county property, and was included in that portion of the original village site deeded
to the county in 1806 by Benjamin Wistar Morris. The center is occupied by a
handsome band pagoda, from which concerts are given every Friday evenmg,
during the summer season, by the Wellsboro Band, one of the best in the State.
West of the pagoda, facing Main street, stands the Soldiers' Monument, a descrip-
tion of which will be found in one of the military chapters. 'In the northern part of
the park is a fine monument erected in honor of John Magee, the founder of the Fall


Brook Coal Company, and one of the leading spirits in the development of the
great coal deposits of Tioga county. The money for this monument was con-
tributed by the employes of the company, and it was unveiled December 1, 1886. It
is fourteen feet in height. The bases, shaft and capstones are of Quincy granite,
and the bust of bronze. On the four sides of the polished shaft are bronze tablets
containing inscriptions and illustrations commemorative of the character, pro-
gressiveness and energy of the man. Surmounting the whole work is a bust of John
Magee, in bronze. It is four feet eight inches in height and weighs nearly 1,000
pounds. The likeness is good and the expression of the face natural.

The Bache Auditorium is one of the notable buildings of the Wellsboro of
to-day. It is located on the southeast corner of East avenue and Pearl street, and
owes its existence to the liberality and public spirit of William Bache, assisted by
a few other citizens. It was erected in 1894 at a cost of $16,000, and was planned
and supervised by William C. Kress. It is a frame building sheathed on the outside
with sheet steel, made to imitate brick. The seating capacity is 1,100, and it is
fitted throughout with the latest improved opera chairs. The stage, which is
40x70 feet, is unusually large, and there is a full equipment of stage scenery and
accessories. The building is heated by steam and lighted by electricity. It was
opened to the public in November, 1894, under the management of William C.
Kress. During the past year it has been managed by A. P. and 0. H. Dartt.

The business interests of the borough are in the hands of men of enterprise
and public spirit. The stores are well-stocked and the goods tastefully and
attractively displayed. Five hotels cater to the wants of the traveling public, each
being managed by an experienced and popular landlord. The bar is represented by
lawyers of ability and reputation, and the medical profession by educated and
skillful physicians. Three ably-conducted and neatly-printed weekly papers deal
with matters of public and local interest and receive the liberal support of the
people of the borough and the county. Each year witnesses the erection of a number
of handsome private residences, and, as increase of trade demands it, of new business
blocks. Wealth is evenly distributed and the number of needy poor less than in
most places of equal population.



Ceeation— Oeiginal Dividing Line— Origin of Name— Reductions op Abea—
Present Boundaries— Character op Surface— Streams— The "Big Marsh"
Altitude— Population— Pioneer Settlers— Manuactubing Enterprises-
Schools— Churches and Cemeteries— Villages and Postoppices.

AT the time of its creation, March 26, 1804, the county of Tioga constituted a
single township and also a single election district, likewise named Tioga. In
1805 the township of Delmar was created, the line between it and Tioga township
being thus described in the report of the survey made by William Benjamin. It
reads: "Began at the 93d mile-stone, on the New York state line; thence south
twenty-five miles to the Briar Hills, and thence to the line of MifS.in and Lycoming
townships," in Lycoming county, embracing all that portion of the county lying
west of the line that now forms the eastern boundary of Charleston township.

The name originally given to the township by the pioneer settlers, who were
from Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and Philadelphia, was Virdelmar, composed
of the first syllable of the names of each of the States mentioned. The initial
syllable of this composite appellation was dropped when the township was created,
leaving the present name, in which the first syllables of Delaware and Maryland are

By an act of the legislature, approved April 11, 1807, the township of Delmar
was constituted a separate election district, it being provided that "the electors
thereof shall hold their general elections at the house of Joshua Emlin." Its area,
at this time, embraced nearly two-thirds of the county, out of which, from time to
time, new townships were formed, until December, 1873, when the township was
established within its present boundaries. It is still, notwithstanding these repeated
reductions of area, the largest township in the county. From north to south
it is thirteen and one-half miles long. For a distance of nine miles from its northern
boundary line, it has an average width of six miles. The remaining portion averages
eight miles, by reason of an L-like extension toward the west. The total area is about
eighty-five square miles. The borough of Wellsboro, which was taken from it in
May, 1830, and which was the first borough created in the county, is situated on
the Charleston line, northeast of the geographical center of the township, which
is bounded on the north by Chatham and Middlebury; on the east by Charleston
and Duncan; on the south by Duncan and Morris, and on the west by Elk and

Owing to its oblong conformation and extensive area, the surface and scenery of
the township are diversified. The former is broken, consisting of hill and valley,
with limited areas of comparatively level upland, the whole forming a scene at once
pleasing and picturesque. The rougher portions lie north of Marsh creek, and along


the Shippen, Elk, Morris and Duncan borders. Much the greater portion is, however,
under cultivation, the soil, totli in the valleys and on the uplands, being fertile and

The streams of Delmar township are numerous and serve the double purpose
of diversifyiag and beautifying its scenery and fertilizing its soil. The watershed
extends from a point near school-house No. 9, northwest through the township
center, to near school-house No. 15, in the Baldwin district. Marsh creek, the prin-
ciple stream, is formed by the junction, in the northern part of Wellsboro, of
Charleston creek coming from the southeast out of Charleston township, and Kelsey
run, which flows from the southwest, having its source near the center of the town-
ship. Morris creek, which rises near the southeast corner of the township, and
pursues a northerly course, empties into Kelsey creek near its mouth. Marsh creek
follows a northwest course to near Stokesdale Junction, where it turns west and flows
through a marshy and winding valley to Ansonia, in Shippen township, and there
unites its waters with thpse of Pine creek. The branches of Marsh creek on the north
are Baldwin run, Kennedy run and Dents run. From the south it receives the waters
of Heise run, which rises about a mile and a half west of Wellsboro. Darling run,
which rises in the western part, and Campbell run which rises in the southwestern
part of the township, are branches of Pine creek, which crosses its southwest comer.
Stony Fork has its headwaters near the center of the township. Its course is south
into Morris township, where it empties into Babb's creek. West Branch, a tributary
of Stony Fork, rises near the southeast corner of Shippen, and flows southeast into
Morris tovmship. Wilson creek rises in the southeastern part of the township, and
pursues a slightly southeast course to the village of Morris, where it unites with
Babb's creek.

The "Big Marsh" is one of the noticeable physical features, not only of the
township, but of the county. It is a level, marshy area, lying principally northeast
of Stokesdale Junction, and extending to the Middlebury township line. It is
claimed by those who have made the geology of this locality a study, that the
origiual course of Marsh creek was through this marsh, and that instead of flowing
toward the west, from Stokesdale Junction, as it now does, it kept on toward the
north and united with Crooked creek at Middlebury Center, and thus became a
feeder of the Tioga river, instead of a tributary of Pine creek. Old settlers say,
that during times of high water, before the days of railroad embankments and other
obstructions, the drainage of the "Big Marsh" was toward the north and the south,
its waters finding an outlet into Crooked creek on the north, and Marsh creek on
the south, thus constituting it a valley watershed, giving it a continuous and
unbroken valley drainage in opposite directions. There are several of these valley
watersheds in the county, their presence constituting a physicial peculiarity of this
section of the State. It has been asserted that a dam fifty-four feet high across
Pine creek, at Ansonia, would turn its waters into the Marsh creek valley, and cause
them to flow — as it is contended they once did flow — into Crooked creek and the
Tioga river.

The mean elevation of Delmar township is about 1,500 feet above tide water.
The highest points are about 1,800 feet. The lowest, at Tiadaghton, about 900 feet.
The altitude of Wellsboro, railroad level, is 1,395 feet. The township is thickly


settled and well cultivated, its farmers having a good market and trading point in
Wellsboro, the county seat. The growth in population and material wealth has been
constant. In 1880, the iirst census taken after the township was established within
its present boimdaries, showed 3,534 inhabitants, and that of 1890, 3,081.


It is a matter of considerable diffiiculty to definitely determine who was the
first settler in Delmar township, outside of the present limits of Wellsboro, upon
the site of which Benjamin Wistar Morris settled in 1800. Within the next few
years a number of gentlemen — either his relatives, friends or business acquaintances —
became interested with him in the settlement and devlopment of the lands of the
township, and several of them, following his example, removed hither and addressed
themselves to the difficult work of establishing homes in the heart of a mountain

Among those who may be classed as the advance guard of the army of settlers
who soon found their way hither, were William Hill Wells and Gideon Wells, brothers
of Mrs. Benjamin W. Morris; John Norris, David Lindsey, Alpheus Cheney,
Daniel Kelsey, James Iddings, James Dixon, Eichard Jackson and Eev. Caleb Boyer.

To William Hill Wells is usually accorded the credit of being the first person
to attempt to clear a farm and establish a home in the township. He and his brother
located in 1802 about two and one-half miles southwest from the site — in Wellsboro —
of the old Morris mansion, now occupied by the residence of W. D. Van Horn. Here
they remained a few years and then removed from the township, as did also James
Iddings, James Dixon, Kichard Jackson and Eev. Caleb Boyer, none of whose
names appear upon the assessment list of 1813.

When William Hill Wells decided to remove from the township and to return
to the vicinity of Philadelphia, he gave his farm and implements to Eben and Hetty
Murry, Elias and Maria Spencer and Marcus Lovett, the colored slaves, whom he
had brought with him, accompanying the gift of property with the more priceless
gift of their freedom and manumission. The white neighbors in time dispossessed
them of their property, and to the kindness of John Norris, Eben and Hetty Murry
were finally indebted for the home that sheltered them in their declining days. A
number of the descendants of these slaves are now residents of Wellsboro.

John Norris, a native of England, where he was bom in 1768, and a graduate
of Oxford, came to America toward the close of the Eighteenth century and in 1799
located on the headwaters of the First fork of Pine creek, near the present village of
Texas, in Lycoming county. In the "Historical Collections of Pennsylvania," by
Sherman Day, we find the following concerning this old pioneer:

Mr. John Norris, from Philadelphia, first came about the beginning' of the year 1799,
to the southwestern part of the county, as an agent for Mr. Benjamin W. Morris, who
owned lands in that region. He was accompanied by his brother-in-law, Mordecai Jack-
son, then a young lad. On Mr. Norris' arrival he erected a grist and saw mill on the
waters of Little Pine creek, just within the boundary of Lycoming county. This estab-
lishment was known as Morris' Mills. * * * After remaining at Morris' Mills five or
six years, and inducing some half dozen settlers to immigrate, Mr. Norris removed to the
vicinity of the Big Marsh, and subsequently, in 1807, to the place where he now [1843]
lives, within a mile of Wellsboro.





Soon after locating on Little Pine creek Mr. Norris leased a building in which
he established a female seminary, he and his wife serving as teachers. "While he was
thus engaged Benjanoin Wistar Morris appears to have persuaded him to undertake
the work of promoting the settlement of the lands in and around "Wellsboro, and as
an inducement to do so deeded to him 300 acres of land adjoining "Morris' Mills"
tract. Norris purchased of Morris another tract of 100 acres near the site of
Stokesdale Junction, and thus became one of the earliest settlers in the township.
Removing within a short time to neax Wellsboro, he acquired prominence as a citizen
and a public official

David Henry, whose name appears on the assessment list of 1813 as a "single
freeman," settled in the northeastern part of the township. James Dickinson,
whose name appears on the assessment list for 1816, settled about three miles
southwest of Wellsboro. John M. and David Kilbum located between Wellsboro
and Stokesdale about 1815. Mordecai M. Jackson, who was a brother-in-law of
John Norris, and came with him, was a miller in Samuel W. Fisher's mill. Daniel
Harvey Bacon, a prominent and well-known pioneer, settled with his family on
Marsh creek, on 330 acres near the Shippen township line, in 1815.

William Bberenz, a native of Germany, came in 1817 and settled about three
miles southeast of Wellsboro. Edmund Wetherbee settled between 1816 and 1818
in the Eberenz neighborhood. Allen Butler, a native of Vermont, and father of
the late Eev. Selden Butler, of Deerfield township, a prominent Pree Baptist min-
ister, settled in 1817 near Stony Pork. William Stratton, an early court crier,
located near Wellsboro before 1818. Zenas Pield, a native of Massachusetts, came
from Vermont inl817, and took up 154 acres of land southwest of Wellsboro. John
Borden, who came about the same time, settled in the Stony Fork neighborhood.
John Daily, who came about 1818, located south of the borough, near the Charleston
line. Eobert Francis, who was here in 1819, settled southwest of Wellsboro near
Stony Fork. John Allen, Jonathan Austin, Smith Ainsworth, and Benjamin ■
Borden, who were all here in 1830, settled in the neighborhood of Stony Fork.
Frederick Hiltbold, also here in this year, settled in the Marsh creek valley, where
his descendants still reside. Levi Hardy, John MeCowan, Samuel Parrish and
William Warriner all settled southwest of Wellsboro. Elijah Wedge settled on the
site of Stokesdale between 1818 and 1830, resided there for a number of years
and then removed to Mies Valley. Amos Coolidge, who came about 1819, settled
south of Wellsboro, in what is known as Coolidge Hollow.

The names given are those of the principal settlers up to 1830. During the
next decade the township filled up rapidly, farms being cleared, roads opened and
mills and other enterprises established. The principal settlements were in the
neighborhood of Stony Pork, the vicinity of Wellsboro, and at Stokesdale Junction,
where the earliest mills were established. Year by year the township increased in
population, there being a corresponding increase in the area of .cleared land, until
to-day it abounds in well-tilled fields and is dotted with farm houses, schools and
churches all evidencing the presence of a thrifty and prosperous people.


The pioneer enterprises of the township were a saw-mill and a grist-mill erected
by Samuel W. Fisher, of Philadelphia, on Marsh creek, below Wellsboro. These


mills are mentioned in an advertisement of Benjamin Wistar Morris in November,
1806, and were erected in order to grind the grain of the settlers in and around
Wellsboro and provide them with lumber needful in building their homes. Mordecai
M. Jackson had charge of the grist-mill as early as 1816. In 1819 John Norris
became the owner of these mills and ran them until 1827, when the saw-mill ceased
to be operated "in consequence of decay." About 1830 Norris sold the grist-mill to
Mordecai M. Jackson, who had filled the position of miller under himself and Samuel
W. Fisher. He rebuilt the saw-mill and carried on both enterprises until 1847, when
he sold the grist-mill, then the only one running, to John Dickinson. In 1856
Mr. Dickinson added a saw-mill, and both mills were operated by him until 1880,
when they were abandoned and a steam grist-mill erected in Wellsboro, near the
railway station, by himself and Alanson Spencer, who had been his miller for twenty-
four years. This mill is now owned and operated by Mr. Spencer. The old grist-mill,
which may still be seen near the railroad, on Marsh creek, below the borough,
though often repaired, is the building erected by Samuel W. Fisher more than
ninety years ago, and is probably the oldest building in the county. It is certainly
the oldest landmark in Delmar township, and unless torn down or burned bids fair
to round out a century before falling into entire decay.

About 1818 Samuel W. Morris erected a large grist-mill and a saw-mill on
Marsh creek, near the site of Stokesdale Junction. Mordecai Moore, whose name
appears on the assessment list of 1812, had charge of the grist-mill, the saw-mill
being in charge of George March. The site of these mills was then known as "The
Marsh," and the settlers, many of whom were sufferers from chills and fever,
attributed the prevalence of these malarial diseases to Mr. Morris' mill pond. About
1828 a number of them, from the Crooked creek neighborhood, in Middlebury town-
ship, as well as from the vicinity of the mill, disguised themselves as Indians, made
a raid on the dam and tore it away. The remains of this old dam are still visible,
and it is frequently alluded to as a "beaver dam," by those unacquainted with its
origin and history. After the raid of the "Creek Indians," as they styled themselves,
Mr. Morris made no further attempt to operate the mills.

In 1823 William Iloadley erected a grist-mill at Stony Fol-k, which he operated
until 1834. Samuel Parrish erected a saw-mill at Stony Fork in 1825, which was
run by himself and Zenas Parrish until 1833. In 1826 David Kilbum erected a
distillery near Stokesdale, which he appears to have operated about three years. In
1830 or 1831 Allen Butler and Simeon Houghton erected a saw-mill near Stony Fork.
It was run until 1841, Wellman Butler, Pharas Houghton, Jeremiah D. Houghton
and Oliver Bacon being interested in it at different times. In 1841 William Eberenz
erected a saw-mill on a branch of Stony Fork, about three miles southwest of Wells-
boro, which he operated for nearly forty years. In 1832 Archibald Nichols & Com-
pany erected a saw-mill at Round Island, on Pine creek. Within a year it was trans-
ferred to Wilcox, Gates & Company, and afterwards had various owners. Among
other early mill owners and operators were George Kress, who operated a saw-mUl
on Marsh creek near Stokesdale; Aaron Niles, Eeuben Herrington, Russell Hewitt,

Online LibraryEmanuel SwedenborgHistory of Tioga County, Pennsylvania → online text (page 46 of 163)