Emanuel Swedenborg.

History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

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ters. It is said that Norris brook takes its name from a Mr. Norris, who was the first
settler on the site of Mies VaUey. It is more than probable, however, that it was
named for John Norris, an early settler on the Big Marsh, who, in 1813, was ap-
pointed prothonotary and recorder, and afterward became one of the leading men of
Wellsboro. John Losinger is usually spoken of as the first actual settler on the site
of the village. In 1830 when Aaron Niles came and bought his land he had a small
distillery on the site of the "Old Eed Store." After selling his land to Niles he
moved south to the adjoining place and resumed distilling. In 1830, Erastus Niles,
a brother of Aaron, and David Creenleaf settled on the village site. In 1853 there
were hving in and around the village, Aaron Niles, Erastus Niles, Philander Niles,
Joseph E. Lyon, Samuel "Wedge and John Losinger. A postoffice was estabhshed
in 1859, with Jerome B. Niles as postmaster. The ofiice has since been held by John
Dimond, John Fletcher, T. D. Eouse, John Fletcher and Stephen Mclnroy, who was
appointed in July, 1893. The first store in the village was opened in 1868 by John
T. Purvis, and conducted by him until 1885, when he retired from business. The
store at the tannery was opened in 1871, and is now carried on by Thomas Clarendon.
Fletcher & "Wedge conducted a general store for several years. George E. Adams,
who has been in business six years, and C. A. Stratton, who began business in March,
1894, are the present merchants. The Niles Valley tannery and the Methodist
Episcopal church are dealt with elsewhere in this chapter. John T. Purvis, who was
appointed when the road was opened in 1873, is the Fall Brook Eailroad Company's
station agent. The Niles Valley Hotel was opened in 1860 by G. "W. Lloyd, and
kept by him until his death in 1870, since which time the house has been carried
on by his widow.

Middlehury Center, known for many years as "Potters," is situated south of the
center of the township, at the junction of Cumberland and Crooked creeks. The
first settler here was Archibald Hazelett, who located about 1834. The place took
the name of "Potters" from Henry H. Potter, who came in 1843, and who, for over
thirty years, kept hotel on the west side of the toll road. His sons, A. W., Benjamin
and G. W., also kept this hotel. It was closed in 1893, and has since been used as a
family residence. Before Potter's coming, Taft Aldrieh and William T. Compton
kept a log tavern near the same site. In 1884 the present Starkey House was built
by H. M. Lowell. Its landlords have been H. M. Lowell, "W. W. Finch, "William
Brown, A. M. Hazelett and Henry J. Shaff, each of whom kept it one year. In 1889
John Starkey bought the property. The buildings burned May 10, 1891. The
present house was built on the same site and opened in the fall by Mr. Starkey, who
still owns it. The postoffice was established in 1845, the first postmaster being
Henry H. Potter, who kept it continuously till 1877, except between 1857 and 1861,
when Henry New, the toUgate keeper held it. Archibald Hazelett held it from 1877
to 1881; H. M. Lowell, 1881-85; Frank Starkey, 1885-93, and George F. Davis, who
was appointed in September, 1893.


Keeneyville is situated on Crooked creek, in the western part of tlie township.
It was named in honor of Elias Keeney, a blacksmith, who settled on the village site
previous to 1835. The village is now regarded as the largest and most important
one in the township, notwithstanding the disadvantage of being distant several
miles from the railroad. A postoffiee was established here about 1856, E. P. Wilson
being the first postmaster. The following named persons have since held the office:
Jesse Keeney, M. W. Staples, A. J. Smith, J. C. Eoe, Levi Beck, E. G. Close and
Jared Davis, who was appointed in July, 1894. The first store was started before the
Civil War by Charles 0. Etz. The succeeding merchants were Chase & Hymes,
Silas Staples, Hugh W. Wellington, Card, Staples & Son, Eichard Keeney, and M. C.
Potter, 1864 to 1889. In February, 1896, there were two general stores— Close
Brothers, and A. J. & M. J. Smith, and one furniture store, kept by J. W. Eoe.
The first hotel in the village was opened in 1860 by E. L. Wilson. His successors
were W. Stevens, M. C. Potter, John Carl, W. H. Wood and Gilbert B. Owlett. Dr.
J. L. Blatchley also kept hotel for a number of years. The names of the physicians
who have practiced here are: Dr. Leonard, Dr. Wiley, Dr. J. L. Blatchley, who
remained over twenty years; Dr. Augustus Niles, who removed to Wellsboro, in
1893, after having practiced fifteen years, and Dr. Luther N. Cloos, who read medi-
cine under Dr. Niles, and who bought his residence and practice in 1893. The
village is in the midst of a rich agricultural section and has grown to be an im-
portant trading point. Its churches and the public school are well attended, and the
different secret ajid beneficiary societies, which meet in the village, have a large
membership and are prosperous.

Hammond is the name of a station and postoffiee on Crooked creek, in the
eastern part of the township. The postoffiee was established here in 1873, since
which time the office of postmaster has been filled by Alexander McLean, Frank
Hammond, D. Carlton and W. H. Carlton, the present incumbent, who was ap-
pointed in March, 1893. Mr. Carlton also carries on a general store, the only one
in the place. The railroad station agent is J. E. DeGrote.



Organization— Area and Boundaries— Physical Characteristics— Streams
AND Drainage— Population— Early Settlers— Manufacturing Enterprises
—Schools and Justices— Churches— Cemeteries— Postoffices and Post-

FAEMINGTON township was created in February, IS 30, and was taken from
Elkland township. It is nine miles in length from east to west, has an average
width of four miles and contains about thirty-six square miles. It is bounded on the
north by the boroughs of Osceola, Elkland and Nelson, and a part of the township
of Lawrence; on the east by Lawrence and Tioga townships; on the south by Middle-
bury, and on the west by Chatham and Deerfield. Lying midway between the Cowan-
esque river, on the north, and Crooked creek, on the south, this township forms
a part of the watershed between the two streams. Its surface is rugged, hills and
valleys alternating. With but few exceptions, however, the former are tillable from
base to summit, and at least seventy-five per cent, of the area of the township is
under cultivation. It is distinctively an agricultural township and one of the best
in the county. The drainage is principally toward the north and east. Thorn Bottom
and Cummirigs' creeks, which rise west of the center of the township, flow northeast
into Nelson township. The valley of the former, on account of its picturesque
beauty, is known as Pleasant valley. Elkhom creek rises near Farmington
Hill and flows southwest into Tioga township, uniting with Crooked creek at
Tioga. A few of the smaller tributaries of Crooked creek rise in the southern part
of the township and flow south into Middlebury township. The township was
heavily timbered when first settled. This has been cleared away, except a few
acres here and there. The pine and hemlock has been manufactured into lumber.
Owing to its small streams the township has not had many saw-mills within its
boundaries, and the pine and hemlock logs have, as a rule, been hauled to Osceola,
Elkland, Nelson, Tioga and other milling points, and there manufactured into

The township has no villages and it is claimed for it that there has never been
a license granted to sell liquor within its boundaries. It has grown slowly but pros-
perously, and is in many respects the model farming township of the county.
In 1840 it had 503 inhabitants; 1870, 997; 1880, 995, and 1890, 907.


It is a difficult matter to determine who was the first white man to settle within
the present boundaries of Farmington township, or to definitely fix upon the year of
his coming. Lemuel Cady, a carpenter and Joiner, is credited with locating at Osceola
about 1810. In 1813, so his living descendants say, he went into Farmington town-


ship, and bought 200 acres of land near what is now known as the Cady school house,
but his name does not appear upon the assessment rolls of Elkland township, from
which Parmington was taken, until 1817. In 1818 he returned to Osceola where
he remained imtil 1823, when he went back to Farmington, bought a tract of land
near his former location and became a permanent resident. He worked at his trade
imtil 1839. The name of David Bryant appears on the assessment list of Delmar
township for 1812, the territory of which then included Farmington, and so far as
can now be learned, he appears to have been the first permanent settler. He located
on the State road, on what was long known as the Bryant homestead. He was still
a resident of the township in 1831, the year of its organization. The name of
David C. Bryant makes its appearance on the assessment list of 1819. The name
was spelled "Briant" by the assessors. Tha names of Ezra Cummings and Chandler
W. Chamberlain, both residents of the township at its organization, appear on the
assessment list of 1823, as does also that of Jacob Culnmings. Martin Bowen's
name is on the assessment list of 1838. In this year also appears the name of John
McCallum. His descendants say he was the fifth settler in the township. The
assessment list of 1829 contains the name of William Gee, whom his descendants
say came in 1824. Moses Atwood appears to have settled about 1829. James Cook
came in 1830 and erected a saw-mill. Peter Moury came previous to 1831, as did
also Asa Moury. It has been stated that in 1828 there were but four log cabins in
the township, and that in 1830, when the first election was held, there were but
eleven voters. If this be true, the township must have grown rapidly during the next
year, inasmuch as the assessment list of 1831 shows sixty-five persons, who were
assessed as owners of seated lands and personal property within its boundaries.
Among the more prominent of these, in addition to those already named, were Ives
Chamberlain, Zebediah Clark, James Works, John and Daniel Crippen, Jacob
Lichenthaler, David Cummings, Job Herrick, Lockwood G. Hoyt, Freeman Place,
Alva. Cummings, John C. Eobb, Samuel P. Babcock, Jonathan Sobres, Nathan
Bottom, Charles Carr, Eandall Drake, George Stanley, William Perrigo, Johnson
Butts, Henry B. Turk, Harvey Foster, Hiram Merritt, Samuel and Daniel Buckbee,
and Abner Webster. Descendants of most of these pioneers are still to be found
in the township. Like the early settlers in other townships of the county, they
felled the forests, cleared the lands and planted homes for themselves and their
descendants and lived to see the township transformed from a wilderness to a
thrifty and prosperous agricultural community.


James Cook erected a saw-mill on Elkhorn creek in 1831. In 1838 he was
suceeded as owner by Ephanetus Cook, who sold to Northrop Young in 1849, who
was succeeded in 1853 by Lyman Fisk. This mill was afterward changed to a
steam mill and was operated until 1882, being owned at the time by A. J. Fisk. Peter
Moury operated a saw-mill from 1844 to 1847. These appear to be the only saw-
mills erected in the township.

The West Farmington Cheese Factory, located near the Cady school house, was
erected in the spring of 1895. It is owned and operated by E. A. Bean, of Knox-
ville, and has an output of 70,000 pounds of cheese annually.




The first school was taught in the township in 1836 and was located in what
is now known as the House district. Within the next few years school buildings
were erected in other parts of the township. Although the public school law went
into effect in 1835, the schools were supported by subscription until 1850. Ten
schools are now maintained within the township, there being an average of seven
months school each year. Good school buildings have been erected and a liberal
policy pursued in supplying them with furniture, globes, maps, charts, etc. Com-
petent teachers are employed and are paid fair wages.

The following named persons have served as justices of the peace since the
organization of the township: Martin Bowen, 1831; Samuel Snow, 1881; A. M.
Compton, 1834; John C. Whitaker, 1836; Eiehard Ellison, 1838; Chamdler W. Cham-
berlain, 1840, John C. Eobb, 1840; Eockwell "W. House, 1845; John A. Kemp,
1845; re-elected, 1850; John Peters, 1850; Seneca Horton, 1855; J. B. Redfield,
1855; Eeuben T. Hall, 1858; M. D. Bosard, 1860; James Beebe, 1863; re-elected,
1868; Andrew J. Doane, 1864; A. J. Smith, 1866; J. M. Shaw, 1869; William
Campbell, 1869; Aurel J. Fisk, 1874; Edgar D. Eish, 1877; re-elected, 1882; E. S.
Lugg, 1879; J. H. Merritt, 1885; re-elected, 1890, 1895; Justus Leonard, 1887;
re-elected, 1893.


The Presbyterian Congregation of Farmington was organized February 10, 1844,
at the house of Johnson Butts near Earmington Hill. The constituent members
were Johnson and Lucy Butts, John C. Eobb, Miss Prudence Crippen, Mrs. Prudence
Poster, and Josiah H. and Mary Ann Foster. The elders have been Johnson Butts,
Peter M. Close, John C, Eobb, Harvey Foster, P. L. Butts, 0. H. Blanchard and
D. P. Close. Eev. S. J. MeCuUough, who organized the church, was its pastor till
1848. His successors have been Eevs. Thomas E. Woodcock, J. Gordon Camahan,

F. Band, 1859; Fred Graves, 1866; S. A. Rawson, 1873; Benjamin Russell, 1880;
C. B. Gillette, 1881; U. G. Williams, 1885; S. P. Gates, 1889; J. I. Campbell, 1890;
John H. Elliott, 1892, and W. C. McCormack, who took charge in January, 1896.
He is also pastor of the church at Tioga. A church edifice was erected in 1851 at a
cost of $1,200, and has been repaired as needed. The congregation is a strong one.
Services have been held with but occasional interruption since the society was organ-
ized and a good Sunday-school maintained. The society was incorporated February
14, 1853, upon the petition of John Harrower, Peter M. Close, Isaiah H. Foster,
Johnson Butts, John C. Eobb and Leverett L. Wilson.

The Farmington Hill Methodist Episcopal Church was organized about 1845.
The following are the names of the original members: Daniel S. Buckbee, S. P.
Buckbee, Mrs. Hannah Buckbee, Miss Katie Buckbee, Mrs. John Crippen, Mr. . and
Mrs. H. Merritt, Mr. and Mrs. John Edgbert, Mrs. Katie Tremain, Mr. and Mrs.
Benjamin S. Mulford, and H. B. Turk. The following named pastors have served
this church: Eevs. G. W. Terry, Mr. Grandin, A. E. Jones, Mr. Davison, E. D, Eosea,
Mr. Christian, E. L. Stillwell, James Duncan, J. M. Powell, J. H. Austin, 1860-63;

G. K Packer, 1863-64; C. L. E. Howe, 1864-66; Y. Brownell, 1866-67; W. M.
Haskell, 1867; W. H. Eumsey, T. L. Weaver, John Van Kirk; Harvey Lamkin,


1873-76; C. J. Bradbury, 1876-77; G. W. Howland, 1877-79; Harvey Lamkin,
1879-81; J. W. Gamble, 1881-83; J. D. Eequa, 1883-85; E. E. Thomas, 1885-86;
F. A. Peterson, 1886-88; W. L. Linaberry, 1888-89; C. M. Gardner, 1889-91; D. 0.
Chamberlayne, 1891-92; L. P. Thurston, 1892-95; Xlri Mulford, 1895-96, and D. E.
Stiles, who took charge in October, 1896. The society was first organized by Daniel
Buckbee, and services were held in a log school house. In 1852, during the pastorate
of Eev. A. E. Jones, a church edifice was erected on Farmington Hill, at a cost of
about $1,500. The society now numbers sixty-three members. There is a good
Sunday-school and a Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of West Farmington — also known as the
Pleasant Valley Church — was organized in November, 1883, by Eev. James Scovill,
pastor. The following are the names of the original members: S. C. Doane, class
leader; Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Teachman, Mr. and Mrs. William Van Dusen, Mr. and
Mrs. M. A. Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Simeon Cady, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Casbeer,
Mrs. Charles Starr, Mr. and Mrs. Morris Seely, and Mrs. Eedfield. The names of the
pastors are as follows: Eevs. James Scovill, 1883-85; M. D. Jackson, 1885-86;
William S. Crajadall, 1886-88; D. L. Pitts, 1888-90; Melvin J. Smith, 1890-91;
J. W. Miller, 1891-94; A. G. Cole, 1894-96, and W. J. Wilson, who came in October,
1896. The first trustees were Eev. Charles Weeks, Simeon Cady and Aaron Baker,
under whose supervision a church building costing $1,300 was erected in 1883,.
on land purchased from Simeon Cady. It stands in the valley of Thorn Bottom
creek, in the midst of a prosperous agricultural section. There are at present
fifty members in the society, which is in the Osceola charge. There are sixty
pupils in the Sunday-school, of which Aaron Baker is the superintendent.


The Farmington Cemetery Association was incorporated December 2, 1872. The
cemetery owned and controlled by this association embraces two acres of land and
was opened in 1854. It adjoins the Presbyterian church. The incorporators were
James Beebe, E. H. Close, 0, H. Blanchard, Eeuben T. Hall, 0. L. Butts, George
White, James L. Eobb and P. M. Close. It is neatly fenced and well cared for. It
has been for nearly half a century the burial place for the families resident in the
eastern part of the township.

The Union Cemetery Company of Farmington was incorporated December 5,,
1873. The incorporators were Andrew Van Dusen, Edgar M. Stevens, James E.
Peters, J. B. Eedfield, Carlos H. House, William Welch, A. B. Wright, William
Pierce, Willard Cass, E. D. Fish, Charles Edwards, William Van Dusen and Milo
Anderson, all representatives of old families in the western part of Farmington
and eastern part of Chatham townships. This cemetery, known as the Peters cem-
etery, is situated on high ground near the old parsonage. It contains the graves
of many of the first settlers of the township.

The Cemetery Association of North Farmington was incorporated April 13, 1882,
by J. W. Teachman, Osceola; Warren Phelps, Farmington, and Eev. Charles Weeks,.
Nelson. This cemetery is located about half a mile east of the Pleasant Valley
church, on the road to Nelson. The land was given by Eev. Charles Weeks and
wife. The deed and charter require that the money derived from the sale of lots shall


constitute a permanent fund, the interest of which shall be devoted to keeping the
grounds in proper condition and repair. The first interment was made here in
1851. It was a family burying ground for many years.

The Moury Cemetery, a family burying ground, was incorporated April 30, 1886,
by Jonathan and Charles W. Mourie, Daniel Moury, Ira H. Moury and Henry Moury.
This was the private burying ground of the Moury family. It was incorporated to
preserve it in perpetuity as a cemetery.

Besides these incoi-porated cemeteries there are several private burying grounds
in different parts of the township.. Among these may be mentioned the Gee burying
ground, and the Jacob Prutsman burying ground. All the public and private
cemeteries are well cared for and contain an unusually large number of handsome
marble and granite monuments.


The West Farmington Postoffice was established about 1858, the first postmaster
being C. H. House. His successors have been Ansel Wright, John Hammond,
Eoekwell House, Adelbert Van Dusen, Willard Cass and Elizabeth Cass, the present
incumbent, who was appointed in July, 1895.

Farmington Hill Postoffice, in the eastern part of the township, was established
in 1861. There have been but two postmasters, Eeuben T. Hall, who held the office
until November 37, 1882, when George White, the present postmaster, was appointed.
Faj-mington Hill Grange, No. 841, which was organized March 8, 1888, meets in a
hall near the Farmington Hill Methodist Episcopal church. It now numbers sixty-
four members.

Flbridge Postoffice was established in 1883. J. E. White was the first post-
master. His successors have been Charles McCallum, J. E. White, Mrs. C. B.
Moury, J. B. McCallum, and Mrs. C. B. Moury, the present incumbent. Mrs.
Moury also carries on a general store. The office is near the center of the town-
ship. Elbridge is also the voting place of the township.

Odle Corners Postoffice, in the western p^rt of the township, near the Deerfield
township line, was established in July, 1893. Mary Odle, the postmistress, has kept
a store here for twenty years.



The Odd Townshep of Elkland — Its Organization and Boundaries— Reduc-
tions OF Area — Organized as a Borough — Enlargement of Borough
Limits— Pioneer Settlers —Village Growth -Later Enterprises— Schools
—Hotels— Borough Organization and Officials— Postmasters-Physicians
and Lawyers -Newspapers -Churches— Cemeteries— Societies.

IN 1814 the township of Elkland — now no longer in existence — was organized.
Its territory, taken from Delmar township, extended along the New York state
line from the ninety-third to the one hundred and fourth mile-stone — a distance
of eleven miles. It extended north and south a distance of ten miles, and embraced
within its boundaries the present boroughs of Nelson, Elkland and Osceola, all of
Farmington, and parts of Ijawrenee, Deerfield and Middlebury townships. In
December, 1816, a part of the township of Lawrence was taken from it, and in Sep-
tember, 1823, another portion of its territory went to Middlebury township. In
February, 1830, the territory of the township of Farmington was taken from it.
Those several reductions confined it to a narrow strip, about eight miles long, from
east to west, by two and three-fourths miles wide, from north to south. By an act of
the legislature, approved April 10, 1849, its territory was still further reduced by the
creation of the borough of Elkland, to which, from time to time, additions have been
made. In January, 1857, all that part of the township not embraced in Elkland
borough limits, lying west of a line extending through the center of that borough,
from north to south, was erected into the township of Osceola, and in December,
1857, all lying east of the same line became the township of Nelson, and Elkland
township passed out of existence. By the subsequent extension of the Elkland
borough limits south of the Cowanesque river, the townships of Osceola and Nelson
both suffered material reductions of area. There is still left, however, a narrow
strip between the southern boundary of Elkland and the northern boundary of
Farmington township, the western half of which belongs to the borough of Osceola,
and the eastern half to the borough of Nelson. Some years ago a movement was
afoot to annex this strip to Elkland borough and thus give it and Osceola and Nelson
boroughs more symmetrical boundaries, but for some reason the annexation was
not made.

PIONEER settlers.

A man named Baker Pierce, who died in 1815, and whose remains were buried
in the old pioneer graveyard at Osceola, appears to have been the first settler within
the boundaries of Elkland borough. Just when he settled or how long he remained
cannot now be ascertained, but it must have been during the earlier years of the first
decade of the present century. The next to settle was the Taylor family, who located

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at Barney Hill. This family consisted of Mrs. Permelia Taylor and her three sons,
Ebenezer, Philip and Mitchell, who emigrated from the Delaware Water Gap, New
Jersey, to the Wyoming valley, thence to Pipe Creek, below Owego, from which
place, in 1806, they came to the Cowanesque valley. Ebenezer and Philip soon
afterward removed to Osceola. The latter, his mother and his brother, Mitchell,
all died before 1815, and were buried at Barney Hill. In 1883, their resting place
being disturbed by the building of the Addison and Pennsylvania railroad, Capt.
Charles E. Taylor and Charles Tubbs — descendants in the fourth generation of Mrs.
Permelia Taylor — removed their remains to the cemetery at Osceola.

It appears that William Courtright acquired title to the land first bought and
settled on by Philip Taylor, which, in 1814, he conveyed to Lintsford Coates. The
Coates family came early, as early, so it has been stated, as 1806. In 1808, however,
Timothy Coates, St., acquired the title to 170 acres of land, situated between the

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