Emanuel Swedenborg.

History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

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principal stream is Crooked creek, which enters the township near the center of the



western boundary line; flows southeast to Middlebury Center, and there takes a
northeast course, leaving the township near the northeast corner. Its branches
are Cumberland creek, formed by Norris brook and Catlin Hollow run; Hill's creek,
Stephen House run, Losey creek. White creek and Shingle School House run. The
altitude in the Crooked creek valley ranges from about 1,100 feet at Hammond to
1,192 feet at Niles Valley, railroad grade. The mountains rise to an altitude of
1,800 to 2,000 feet above sea level. Owing to the numerous creek branches and to
a gradual widening of the Crooked creelc valley as it approaches the Tioga township
line, a fair proportion of the area of the township is tillable. Its alluvium valley
soils are very fertile and are especially adapted to the raising of tobacco, large quan-
tities of which have been produced during recent years. Cereal grains, grasses and
orchard fruits are also produced. The farmers of the township are, as a rule,
prosperous. The township has had a steady and progressive growth. In 1840 there
were 725 inhabitants; in 1870, 1,500; in 1880, 1,737, and in 1890, 1,658.


It is a difficult matter to determine who was the first white .person to settle
within the present boundaries of Middlebury township. The honor appears to
belong to Elisha White, whose name is found on the census roll of 1800, and who
came during that or the preceding year. He was a native of New England, and
settled on the site of Holidaytown, where his son, Daniel White, bom in 1815, — ^the
oldest living person born in the township — still resides. Some of the immediate
descendants of the old pioneers claim that Abner Kelsey settled before WTiite, but
the absence of his name from the census roll, would indicate that he did not come
until later. Kelsey settled just below Middlebury Center, on Crooked creek, about
where A. B. A. Briggs now resides. Eoswell Ives settled on the 300 acres adjoining
Elisha White on the north. John Ives, second, between Holidaytown and Middle-
bury Center, and Jesse Losey on Hill's creek. The Loseys and the Ives' were
pioneers in Tioga township and borough, and are mentioned in the chapters devoted
to them. The years of their coming into Middlebury cannot be definitely ascer-
tained, but they were among the very earliest settlers. Their names appear on the
assessment list of Delihar township, which then included Middlebury, for 1812.

Eichard Goodwin, a native of New Hampshire, settled two miles below Middle-
bury Center in 1807, on land a portion of which is now owned by his grandson,
George H. Goodwin. Thomas Keeney , a native of Hartford, Connecticut, settled in
the autumn of 1815 just above Holidaytown. Elijah Wedge came into the county
in 1815 and located at Stokesdale, but a few years later removed to and settled at
Niles Valley. John Koe, a native of Vermont, also came in 1815, and settled on
Crooked creek. Edsell Mitchell, a native of Tioga township, and reputed to be
the first white child born in the county, came in 1816, and settled on the farm below
Holidaytown, now occupied by his sons, Thomas E. and William A. Jacob Hymes,
another early settler on Crooked creek, was in the township in 1816. John Losinger
came about 1817 and is said to have been the first settler on the site of the village
of Mies Valley, where he was operating a distillery two years later. Elpheus
Button and James Bryant settled about 1820, in which year Aaron and Erastus
Niles removed from Wellsboro and settled at Mies Valley. Aaron purchased the


Losinger land, the latter removing to the next place south, where he continued the
manufacture of whiskey. In 1820, also, Solomon Westbrook settled near the mouth
of Hill's creek. In 1833 George Abbott was living on the site of Keeneyville; Isaac
Losey on Losey creek, in the western part of the township, having settled there about
1818-20; Jacob Kiphart near Keeneyville; Israel P. Keeney near Holidaytown;
James Martin, William I. Millard, Jedediah Millard and James Maxwell below
Holidaytown; Thomas Boyes near the Chatham township line; Jesse Streeter,
David Sloat and Cornelius Saxbury near Keeneyville; Amasa Thompson below
Holidaytown, and Smith and Harry Cornell on Crooked creek below Holidaytown.
In 1824 Sala Cole, a native of "Windham, Connecticut, settled on the old Cole home-
stead near Hammond, and Simon Snyder Chamberlain on Crooked creek. About
1824 Archibald Hazelett settled on the site of Middlebury Center, and between 1825
and 1830 Thomas Leete settled on Crooked creek near Hammond. In 1829 John
"West, a native of Massachusetts, settled on the farm owned and occupied by the
late Nathan T. West near Middlebury Center. Sylvester and David Beckwith, who
had previously located in Tioga, settled near the Tioga township line on Crooked
creek. Here Sylvester erected, and for a number of years operated, a saw-mill.
These were the principal settlers up to 1830. The farms they located upon were con-
fined mainly to the Crooked creek valley. Tioga village was the nearest trading
point for a number of years. Lumbering was the principal industry until the farms
began to be cleared. The pioneers passed through the usual experiences and endured
all the hardships of frontier life, except having to deal with a savage foe. By
patient industry they laid the foundations of the prosperity now enjoyed by their
descendants, besides establishing schools and churches, and doing their duty toward
the upbuilding of the county.


In 1820, when Aaron Mies came into the township, John Losinger had a small
distillery on the site of the "Old Eed Store," at Mies Valley. After selling his land
to Mies, he removed to the adjoining place on the south and there resumed dis-
tilHng. This appears to have been the pioneer enterprise in the township. John
and Fred. Losinger afterwards erected a saw-mill on Norris brook. It was run by an
over-shot water-wheel. In 1854 it gave place to a steam saw-mill erected by Solomon
Bennett and John M. Eandall. A store was run in connection with this mill. The
firm afterwards became S. Bennett & Son, and later Bennett, Diamond & Eandall. A
grist-mill was erected in 1868. It was destroyed by fire in 1880. The saw-mill was
operated until 1888. Another early saw-mill was erected on Crooked creek, near
the Tioga township line, by Sylvester Beckwith, and operated by him for a number
of years. The first grist-mill in the township was built on Crooked creek, above
Middlebury Center, by Amasa Thompson, about 1830, or, perhaps, earlier. About
1835 he built another mill above the mouth of Hill's creek, below Holidaytown. It
was run by himself and his son, Nathaniel Thompson, for a number of years.
Nathaniel Thompson sold it to T. E. Mitchell. In 1885 William T. Compton
secured the property and operated the mill until his death in 1890, when he was
succeeded by his son, Jesse C. Compton, the present owner. It is devoted to custom
work, and is known as the "Central Mills."


Elisha White built a saw-mill at Holidaytown over sixty years ago. It was
afterwards operated by Benjamin Holiday, until about 1853. Charles and George
Herrington built a grist-mill on Crooked creek, above Middlebury Center, about
1846. It was burned in 1848. About this time Joseph Lyons had a small feed-null
on his place near Mies Valley. About 1850 Arvine Clarke built the first steam saw-
mill in the township, on Crooked creek, just above Hammond. From 1853 to 1860
Judge Levi I. Nichols and his son, W. A. Nichols, ran a steam saw-mill just above
Middlebury Center. In 1866 Henry J. ShafE and Newbury Cloos, Jr., built a saw-
mill on Losey creek, which they operated until 1894.

The Niks Valley Tannery, the leading manufacturing enterprise in the town-
ship, was established in the summer of 1871 by 0. B. Lowell & Company. In 1884
they were succeeded by L. H. Lappell & Company. May 1, 1893, the property was
acquired by the Union Tanning Company, and is one of the series of tanneries
now operated by them in the county. This tannery manufactures what is known
as Union Crop sole leather, and uses about 4,000 tons of hemlock and oak bark
annually. About forty men are employed. James H. Orford is the superintendent,
and S. H. Orford, foreman. The store, formerly run in connection with the
tannery, is now carried on by Thomas Clarendon.

The Keeneyville Cheese Factory was built in 1885 by A. J. Smith, who ran it two
years. It is now operated by A. C. Close. This factory has a capacity of from 75,000
to 100,000 pounds of cheese annually.


The first school in the township was taught in a log building, which stood just
south of Daniel Holiday's barn. One of the early teachers here was Calvin Cowley,
known as "Black Hawk." About 1837 Amanda Hill, a daughter of Ebenezer Hill,
taught a school in Edsell Mitchell's barn. A school house was afterwards built
across the road from Thomas E. Mitchell's residence, in which the Baptist church
was organized in 1833. This building was used for about twenty-five years. Among
the teachers here were Charles Churchill, Henry Warner, Mary Ann Bentley, Nancy
Otterson, Eowena Porter, John Stevens and Chester Dolph. Schools were estab-
lished at an early day also at Niles Valley and Keeneyville. In June, 1889, the old
school house at Keeneyville was washed away by the great flood and a new one, cost-
ing $1,000, erected on higher ground to replace it. Good school buildings have also
been erected at Hammond, Holidaytown, Middlebury Center, Niles Valley and
other places in the township, in all of which competent teachers are employed, and
the latest and best methods of instruction followed.

The office of justice of the peace of the township has been filled since its organi-
zation by the following named persons: Jacob Babb, 1836; Eeuben Cloos, 1827;
Lucius Barto, 1837; Chauncey Alford, 1837; Martin Bowen, 1831; Samuel Snow,
1833; Jesse R. Eay, 1833; John P. Donaldson, 1834; A. M. Compton, 1834;
Daniel Holiday, 1835; re-elected, 1845, 1850, 1855, 1880, 1881; Simeon Houghton,
1836; Levi I. Nichols, 1836; Stephen Babeock, 1836; John C. Whitaker, 1836;
Richard Ellison, 1839; Sylvester Beckwith, 1840; Oliver Briggs, 1840; David
Beckwith, 1845; Benjamin King, 1850; Willis B. Daily, 1855; George D. Keeney,
1859; re-elected, 1864, 1869, 1881, 1886, 1891; Oliver P. MeClure, 1860; A. J.


Smith, 1870; Thomas Keeney, 1871; William C. Stevens, 1874; C. J. Smith, 1876;
S. I. Hayes, 1886; re-elected, 1891, 1896, and Lemuel F. Smart, 1896.


The First Baptist Church of Middlebury is one of the oldest Baptist churches
in Tioga county. The first steps toward organizing it were taken at a meeting held
September 4, 1830, of which Eev. Samuel Grinnell was moderator and Edsell
Mitchell clerk. July 2, 1831, a meeting was held, of which Elder Grinnell was
moderator, at which it was voted to invite a council to meet on the third Wednesday
of August, 1831; This council met August 17, 1831, and formally organized the
First Baptist Church of Middlebury. The following was the order of exercises:
Prayer of recognition, by Elder Elisha Booth; charge to the church, by Elder
Thomas S. Sheardown; hand of fellowship, given by Elder Piatt. September 10,
1831, Edsell Mitchell was appointed clerk, and Thomas Keeney, deacon. The names
of the original members, as nearly as they can be ascertained, were Elder Samuel
Grinnell, and Eosanna, his wife; Thomas Keeney, Edsell Mitchell, Nancy Mitchell,
Chauncey Mann, Jeremiah Churchill, Nathan Abbott, Simeon Babcock, Charles
Orchard, Michael Cady, Annette Flood, Katherine Matson, Martin Flood, Matthew
Hymes, Eachel Stout, Mary Keeney, Elizabeth Churchill, Sally Cady, Zilpha Losey
and Patience Churchill. The meetings of the church were held in the old school
house on the Mitchell place. It was not, however, until 1890, in which year the
church was incorporated, during the pastorate of Eev. Fisher Wilson, that the society
succeeded in erecting its own house of worship. It now has a neat frame church
building, representing an outlay of $1,700. A Sunday-school was organized May
23, 1891, with a membership of fifty, of which V. W. Lewis is the superintendent.
The church now has about sixty members. The following named ministers have
served as pastors since its organization: Eevs. Samuel Grinnell, 1831-35; W. S.
Smith, 1835-36; J. T. Coffin, 1842-44; Samuel Bullock, 1845; Elder Burmaa,
1847-48; C. Beebe, 1851-52; Elder Smith, 1855-57; Levi Stone, 1857; Elder
Marriott, 1858-59; G. P. Watrous, 1863-65; C. A. Stone, 1867-69; C. Beebe, 1870;
C. K. Bunnell, 1871-72; G. P. Watrous, 1873; H. E. Ford, 1874-76; D. T. Van
Doren, 1877-79; George Crocker, 1882; E. K. Hammond, 1883-84; H. M. Wolf, Jr.,
1886; S. Z. Batten, 1887; Fisher Wilson, 1890-91; W. H. Porter, 1892-94; S. P.
Brundage, 1895-96; A. C. Bennett, 1896-97. The first prayer meeting in the town-
ship was held at the house of Edsell Mitchell. He was also superintendent of the
Sunday-school for over forty years.

The Hammond Regular Baptist Church was organized at Hammond, July 31,
1894, with thirty-four members, as follows: G. L. Cole and Frank Pease, deacons;
A. G. Hammond, clerk; Emmer H. Steele, treasurer; S. P. Spaulding, H. L.
Stevens, Frank Hammond, C. H. Stevens, and Frank McKinney, trustees; and
Martha, Amy, Keith and Callie Hammond, Daisy Hymes, Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Farr,
Jenny Farr, Lulu Nichols, C. G. Bailey, Mrs. Elizabeth and Mrs. C. Cutter, Arthur
Cutter, Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Stevens, Paul and Jenny Stevens, Mrs. Frank Pease,
Morgan Pease, Mr. and Mrs. J. DeGrote, and Caroline, Emma and Louisa Eoot.
The first pastor was Eev. W. H. Porter, who remained one year, when he was suc-
ceeded by S. J. Brundage. A. C. Bennett, the present pastor, who also has charge


of the churches at Tioga and Holidaytown, came in the autumn of 1896. A neat
house of worship was dedicated February 31, 1895. The church now numbers forty-
seven members. There are fifty pupils in the Sunday-school, of which Arthur G.
Hammond is the superintendent. A Young People's Christian Endeavor Society,
with fifty members, was organized February 35, 1895. It is composed of the young
people of the church.

The Keeneyville Free Baptist Church was organized in 1840 as the "Chatham
and Middlebury Free Will Baptist Church," and was composed of the societies
then existing in Chatham and Middlebury townships. In 1846 each society took
a separate name, the one under consideration, being known as "Middlebury Free Will
Baptist Church," until June 3, 1895, when it was incorporated as the "Keeneyville
Free Baptist Church." The church was organized in Keeneyville by Elder Jesse
Bennett, and among the original members were George Abbott, the first deacon, and
Linda, his wife; Mrs. Eeuben Stevens, Eachel Slote, Sarah Carpenter, Mrs. Hods-
kiss, Peter Huntsinger and Solomon and Sophronia Huntsinger. Nathan West,
who joined in 1844, was a deacon for many years. About 1848 or 1849 the place
of worship was removed to the Losey Creek school house, where the society held ser-
vices for about thirty years, and then returned to Keeneyville, where a neat church
building, costing $1,300, was erected in 1895. Elder Jesse Bennett was the first
pastor; Rev. Selden Butler was pastor for about twentj^-five years. A. G. Downey
served from 1883 to 1885; 0. C. Hills and Wesley Ingerick each one year; William
Smith and wife came in 1890, and J. C. Warren, the present pastor, in 1894. The
church now numbers twenty-four members.

The Free Baptist Church of Holidaytown was organized in 1888 by Rev. 0. J.
Moon, and the society incorporated September 3, 1889, by A. J. Dickinson, A. D.
West, C. F. Sweet, George H. Rozell and Jacob Doan. It now numbers ninety mem-
bers. The names of the pastors are as follows: 0. J. Moon, 1888-89; H. M. Abbey,
1889; R. M. Cloud, 1893-94; J. C. Warren, 1895-96. The old house of worship,
erected as a union church about 1858, and occupied for many years by the Regular
Baptist society, was purchased at sherifE's sale in 1889 and is now the property of the

The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Middlebury, otherwise known as the
"Shingle School House Church," was organized about fifty years ago. It has been
in the Little Marsh and Farmington charges, except since 1893, when it was placed
in the Keeneyville charge. Among the pastors who have served the society are Revs.
Purvis, Ford, Charles Weeks, J. W. Miller, 1881-84; J. C. Stevens, 1884-86; W.
M. DuBois, 1886-87; A. G. Cole, 1887-93; C. R. Morrow, 1893-93; W. R. Kenyon,
1893-94; A. Scrimshaw, 1894-95; A. T. Percy, 1895-96, and Uri Mulford, 1896-97.
The society was incorporated July 7, 1884, in which year a house of worship, cost-
ing $1,400, was erected.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Keeneyville, incorporated May 9, 1893, was
organized as the Keeneyville charge in 1893. Previous to that time it had been in
the Little Marsh and East Charleston charges, and was served by the pastors ap-
pointed to those charges. The present society is the outgrowth of a class organized
a number of years ago. Since it was organized as a separate charge the pastors — who
have also served the churches at the Shingle school house and at Mies Valley —


have been as follows: Eevs. W. E. Kenyon, 1893-94; A. Scrimshaw, 1894-95; A. T.
Percy, 1895-96, and Uri Mulford, 1896-97. A church building costing $3,300
was erected in 1892, in conjunction with Middlebury Lodge, No. 844, I. 0. 0. F.
This church has a growing membership.

The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Niles Valley, incorporated October 1,
1888, is the outgrowth of a Methodist class organized in 1863 or 1863. Among the
original members were Joseph E. Lyon — the first Methodist in the valley — Abram
Lyon, Mary Lyon (wife of DeLong Cutter), Sarah Lyon (wife of Lorenzo Cutter),
Augustus Lyon, Lydia Lyon (wife of Orlando Jones), Mrs. T. Carpenter, James H.
Niles and Emily, his wife, and John Diamond. The meetings were held in the
school house. In 1886-87 a church building, costing $1,300, was erected. The pas-
tors since the erection of the building have been Eevs. H. J. Owen, 1887-90; A. W.
Decker, 1890-92; F. A. Peterson, 1893-93; W. E. Kenyon, 1893-94; A. Scrimshaw,
1894-95; A. T. Percy, 1895-96, and Uri Mulford, 1896-97. Previous to 1893 this
church was in the East Charleston charge. It is now in the Keeneyville charge.
There are nearly fifty members in the church and forty pupils in the Sunday-school,
of which William Manning is the superintendent. There is also an Epworth
League of thirty-four active members.


The Holiday town Cemetery Association, incorporated February 5, 1875, by
Daniel Holiday, V. B. Holiday, Daniel White, Samuel H. Hays and W. W. White,
own and control the old burying ground south of the village of Holidaytown. Here
lies buried Jesse Losey, the first settler on the site of the borough of Tioga. He
died March 13, 1844, aged 85 years. Here rest also the remains of the members of
the Ives, West, Wedge, Archer, Dickinson, Holiday, Keeney and other early fami-
lies. There is another burying ground on the side hill northwest of the village, in
which a number of interments have been made. It is now on private property, and
interments have ceased.

The Middlebury Cemetery Association, incorporated August 3, 1865, own a
burial ground of one and a half acres at Hammond. The incorporators were: Daniel
G., Henry A., Ezra I., George 0., Martin and James M. Stevens, A. C. and Heber
Cole, J. H. Westbrook, John Starkey, Chauncey LaForce, Cephas Bailey, A. A.
M. Lane, Calvin Hammond, George Potter and William Chase.

The Niles Valley Cemetery Association was incorporated April 38, 1881, by
Philander Niles, E. M. Niles, J. A. Fletcher, Abram Lyon and Henry Wedge. The
burial ground owned by this association is situated on the hillside southeast of the
village of Niles Valley. The remains of many of the early settlers of Niles Valley
and Middlebury Center are buried here.

The Keeneyville Cemetery is situated west of the village of Keeneyville. It is
neatly fenced and well kept, and is the resting place of many of the early settlers
at Keeneyville and in the western part of the township. There is also an old neigh-
boring burying ground on Losey creek, in the northwestern part of the township.

The Shingle School House Cemetery, near the Shingle school house, north of
Keeneyville, is also an old burying ground. It is not incorporated.

The French Hill Cemetery Association was incorporated September 34, 1894, by


A. D. ShafiE, S. J. Eoe, N. T. French, P. D. Shaff, John Brown and James Shaff.
This cemetery is situated in the northwestern part of the township at what is known
as French hill.


Middlebury Lodge, No. 844, I. 0. 0. P., was organized June 37, 1873, with
nine members. It now has 160 members and is one of the most prosperous lodges
in the county. In 1892, in connection with the Methodist Episcopal church of
Keeneyville, it erected a building costing $3,300, and at the present time has $5,000
in the treasury. Middlebury Grange, No. 705, was organized May 14, 1874, with a
large membership, and was incorporated August 34, 1891. It now has a membership
of 135, owns a fine hall, with spacious carriage sheds and extensiye grounds, and
is prosperous. Niles Valley Grange, P. of H., was organized in 1889. It meets at
Holidaytown and has a membership of seventy-five. Keeneyville Tent, No. 167,
K. 0. T. M., was organized May 3, 1893. For the past two years it has been the
banner tent of the county and now numbers eighty-five members. Keeneyville Hive,
No. 77, L. 0. T. M., was organized April 18, 1895, and contains thirty-five members.


Holidaytown, or Crooked Greek Postoffice, is situated about a mile and a half
south and east of the geographical center of the township, on Crooked creek. It was
named Holidaytown for Daniel Holiday, who has resided in the village since 1832.
The first settler here was Elisha "White, who came in 1799 or 1800, and whose son,
Daniel White, bom here in 1815, is still living, his present residence being but a few
rods distant from the site of the old cabin in which he was born. The first store was
kept here from 1830 to 1835 by Daniel Holiday, who built a tavern in 1832, which he
kept until 1857. It was burned in 1861. Another building was erected about 1870.
I. P. Keeney was landlord here for three years, and was succeeded by H. P. Holiday,
who closed the house as a hotel in 1893. The postoffice was established in 1839.
Thomas Keeney was the first postmaster. He kept the office where his son Thomas
now resides. His successors have been Benjamin Holiday, Edsell Mitchell, Ezra
Potter, S. I. Holiday, John E. Eedington, M. P. Kelsey, I. A. Newhall, E. 0. "West-
brook, A. J. Smith, M. G. "White, T. M. Archer, "W. J. Brown and H. L. Hays, the
present incumbent. Previous to S. I. Holiday's appointment the office was kept at
the home of the postmaster. Since then it has been either in the hotel or one of
the stores. The present merchants are H. L. Hays and M. G. "White, each of whom
keeps a general store. There are two church buildings — the Baptist and the Free
Baptist churches — and a public school building in the village. A planing-mill,
shingle-mill and wagon shop is operated by George Baker. The station of the Fall
Brook Eailroad Company is in charge of Van Buren B. Holiday, who has filled the
position since the opening of the road in 1873. Dr. James L. Beers, the resident
physician, located here in 1889, and has built up a lucrative practice.

Niles Valley is situated near the southern boundary line of the township. It
is at this point that Norris creek, after flowing almost due east out of Chatham
township, where it has its source, turns north. At the tannery it unites with Catlin
Hollow run to form Cumberland creek, which, after flowing a short mile, unites with


Crooked creek at Middlebury Center. Just south of Niles Valley is the Big Marsh —
the watershed of the valley. In times of high water, it is said, the water iiows from
this marsh north toward Norris brook and south toward Marsh creek. There is evi-
dence goiug to show that this stream formerly flowed into Crooked creek and thence
to the Tioga river. This matter is, however, more fully dealt with in previous chap-

Online LibraryEmanuel SwedenborgHistory of Tioga County, Pennsylvania → online text (page 49 of 163)