Emanuel Swedenborg.

History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

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Elihu Hill was chosen deacon. The membership of this church was scattered from
Beecher's Island along the valley almost to Knoxville, a few residing across the State
line on the north, while others came from Brookfield and Farmington townships.
The church increased in membership, and in August, 1834, a second Congregational
was organized at Beecher's Island, by Eev. David Slie. September 26, 1834, these
two churches met at the Eyon school house and united into a church to be called
First Congregational Church of Elkland. January 23, 1835, at the house of Amasa
Culver, in what is now Kelson, this church adopted the Presbyterian form of govern-
ment, and became a church of that denomination. During the years 1830-33 the
churches mentioned were ministered to by Eev. Seth John Porter. Octavius Fitch
came in 1833 and remained one year; Oren Johnson came in 1834 and remained two

The Presbyterian Church of Elkland and Osceola is the successor of the First
Congregational church already mentioned. It was organized, as already stated,
January 23, 1835. For a time meetings were held in the school house at Elkland,
in the Bulkley school house in Osceola, in Deacon Elihu Hill's barn and in private
dwellings. In the fall of 1837 and winter of 1838 a rough board structure, 32x48
feet, was erected, where the Presbyterian church now stands, on land given by John
Eyon. It was roofed with boards, "looked like a political wigwam," and was called
the "Tabernacle." There were forty-six slips or pews in this church, each pew



having a door. The pew holders were stockholders, and held their pews or slips
in perpetuity. One of the certificates of stock still in existence reads as follows:

This certifies that Hannah Stevens has become a stockholder in the association
known as the First Presbyterian Church and Congregation, of Elkland, to the amount
of twenty-five dollars, in consideration of which sum, the payment of which is
acknowledged,- Slip No. 15, valued at twenty-five dollars, in the house of worship owned
by the association aforesaid, is hereby conveyed to said Hannah Stevens, her heirs and
assigns, forever.

The "Tabernacle" burned in the spring of 1853, and was not rebuilt until 1868.
In 1851, while the township of Elkland still existed, and before there was any terri-
tory known as Osceola, this same church built a second church edifice in what is now
Osceola, in which, after the burning of the church in Elkland, services were held,
as well as occasionally in Elkland. In 1868 a building used as a union church by
the Presbyterians and Methodists was erected. It may be well to say here that the
church in Elkland and the one in Osceola form one society, incorporated December
26, 1844, as "The Presbyterian Church and Congregation of Elkland," the corporate
name being changed December 2, 1874, to "The Presbyterian Church of Elkland
and Osceola." The same ministers and same officers have served both congrega-
tions. Ground was broken for the present church building, known as the "Park-
hurst Memorial Church," July 9, 1889. It is located on the original church lot, is
87x73 feet, and is one of the handsomest and costliest church buildings in northern
Pennsylvania. The foundation is of native blue stone, the masonry being broken-
range, rock-face ashler. The edifice proper is of brick, with brown-stone trimmings.
The architecture is an adaption of the Romanesque. It was built as a memorial to
the late Joel Parkhurst, by the members of the Parkhurst family, consisting of B. H.
Parkhurst, Mrs. C. L. Pattison and Mrs. J. B. Grier. It cost, including furnaces,
organ, etc., $17,000. It was furnished by the congregation at a cost of $1,500. A
pulpit set, costing $130, was given by Mrs. Rebecca Parkhurst and L. K. Parkhurst
as a memorial to John Parkhurst. The names of the pastors who have served this
church, as well as the church in Osceola, are as follows: Revs. E. D. Wells, 1835-36;
Oren Johnson, 1837-38; Octavius Fitch, 1839-40; Darius "Williams, 1841;
Lewis R. Lockwood, 1842-44; E. Bronson, 1845; D. Harrower and John Saylor,
1848; B. P. Pratt, 1849; H. E. Woodcock, 1851; Lewis R. Lockwood, 1852; David
M. Smith, 1855; Joel Campbell, 1856; Joshua Lane and Thomas S. Dewing, 1857;
Edward Kennedy, 1858; Elisha Ely Benedict, 1866, and John Cairns, 1870. Rev.
Solomon H. Moore, D. D., the present pastor, took charge in 1879. Besides the
congregation at Osceola, he has charge of the church in Knoxville. There are in
the church in Elkland 125 members, and in the Sunday-school 100 pupils. A
parsonage costing $1,500 was purchased in 1886.

The First Methodist Episcopal Church of ETkland was incorporated April 23,
1879. It originated in a class organized over fifty years ago, its members being
drawn from the church at Osceola, at that time in the Knoxville charge. The first
meetings were held in the school house. In 1856 a house of worship — used as a union
church — was erected. On September 25, 1891, the present building was dedicated.
It is a handsome frame edifice and cost $5,800. The old building was moved back of
the new one and is used as a Sunday-school room. Since its organization this church


kas been served by the same pastors as the one in Osceola, the history of which is
given in the chapter devoted to that borough. The church now numbers about 135
members, with about sixty pupils in the Sunday-school, of which W. E. CorneUus
is superintendent.


The pioneer cemetery was on Barney Hill. Here Mrs. Permelia Taylor and her
sons, Philip and Mitchell Taylor, and other early settlers, were buried. In 1882 the
bodies of Mrs. Taylor and her sons were removed to Osceola and re-interred in the
cemetery at that place.

The Presbyterian Graveyard near the Presbyterian church is another early burial
place. Interments were made here up to about twelve years ago. A large number
of those who died in Elkland during the earlier years of its history were buried in
the cemetery at Osceola.

The Highland Cemetery Association of ETkland was incorporated January 36,
1885, by L. K. Pajkhurst, B. H. Pao-khurst, G. G. Dorrance, C. L. Pattison and
J. S. Eyon. The capital stock of this association is $3,000, and the cemetery owned
and controlled by it is situated on the hillside in the northern part of the borough.


Within the past twenty-live years a number of secret, social and benevolent
societies have been organized in Elkland, some of which had but a brief existence.
The pioneer society, Elkland Lodge, No. 1360, K. of H., was organized January 16,
1879, with twelve charter members, and is now in a prosperous condition. Cowan-
esque Union, No. 534, E. A. U., was organized January 36, 1887, and has a good
membership. J. Edgar Parkhurst Post, No. 581, G. A. E., was organized April 5,
1889. It now numbers among its membership twenty veterans of the CivU War.
Elkland Tent, No. 313, K. 0. T. M., was organized April 9, 1894, with twelve mem-
bers. It is growing and prosperous.



Borough Organization— Unusual Area— The Village of Osceola— Physical
Features— Streams— The Word "Cowanesqub"— Its Derivation and Defini-
tion— "Pindarville"— Origin OF Name— Population— Lands and Settle-
ment—Early AND Later Industries— Inns and Hotels— Schools— Borough
Organization and Officials— Physicians— Churches— Cemeteries— Secret

IN January, 1857, all that part of the old township of Elkland, lying -west of a line
extending north and south through the center of the borough of Elkland, was
erected iato the township of Osceola, which, in 1878, acquired a large accession of
territory from the township of Deerfield, giving it an area of 7,800 acres. November
29, 1882, the entire township was incorporated as the borough of Osceola, thus giving
it the largest territory of any borough in the county. Like Nelson, Osceola is a town-
ship with a borough organization, the greater part of its area being made up of
farming lands. The borough center is in the village of Osceola, on the north bank
of the Cowanesque river, at the mouth of Holden brook. The elevation here, railroad
grade, is 1,166 feet, the hills on either side of the valley rising from 400 to 600 feet
higher. The Cowanesque river follows a generally northeast course through the
borough territory, leaving the larger portion of its area to the north of the stream.
Between the north bank of the river and the foot of the hill, extendingfrom the mouth
of Holden brook to Academy Comers, in Deerfield township, a distance of over four
miles, is an island of varying width containing about 1,600 acres, to the existence
of which, before the water was drained off, the river owes its name, the word Cowan-
esque meaning, in the Indian language, "the river of the long island." Its etymology
is thus set forth by Capt. J. W. Powell, of the Bureau of Ethnology, Washington,
D. C, in reply to a letter of inquiry from Hon. Charles Tubbs, of Osceola:

The^word Cowanesque seems to be no other than Ka-hwe-nes-ka, the etymology and
signification of which is as follows : Co for Ka, marking grammatic gender and meaning
it; wan, for hwe-n, the stem^of |the word o-whe-na, an island; es, an adjective, meaning
long; que, for ike, the locative proposition, meaning at or on; the whole signifying at or on
the long island.

The island conformation is still partly preserved by Island Stream, fed by springs
and creeks from the north hill. The principal tributaries of the river are Holden
brook — ^named after William Holden, the first settler at its mouth — and Camp brook
on the north, and Windfall brook on the south. Eed House Hollow creek is a tribu-
tary of Holden brook, and Brier Hill creek of Windfall brook. That portion of the
borough lying in the river valley is composed of level alluvial bottom lands, very
fertile and productive; that lying along Holden brook. Windfall brook, and on either


side of the river valley, is broken and hilly, the hills terminating in a series of abrupt
elevated knobs. The land lying just east of the village of Osceola was at one time
a swamp, which was reduced by ditching into Camp brook.

Before the establishment of the postof&ee in 1851, what is now the village of
Osceola was known as "Pindaxville," due to the fact that in 1840 Robert H. Tubbs
contributed some poetic effusions to the Lawrence Sentinel, dating them from "Pin-
darville." The name attached itself to the place and was in common use for ten
years. When an application for the establishment of a postoffice was made, the
names "Pindarville," "Bridgeport" and "Osceola" were suggested. A public meeting
decided in favor of "Osceola," the name of the once famous Seminole chief. The
name was afterwards applied to the township and later to the borough.

Notwithstanding its extensive area the greater portion of the population of the
borough is within the limits of the village of Osceola. The number of inhabitants in
1860 was 450; 1870, 533; 1880, 790, and in 1890, 838.


The greater portion of the lands within the borough boundaries of Osceola were
purchased from the State of Pennsylvania by, and were patented to, John and
James Strawbridge. Warrants, covering other tracts, were issued to William Lloyd,
Eobert Blackwell, T. M. Willing and Thomas Willing. Bach of the tracts purchased
by John and James Strawbridge bore a distinguishing name. Those covered in part
by the village of Osceola were named "Chatham" and "Huntingdon." The others
bore such names as "Coventry," "Cornwall," "Colchester," "Confidence," "Pleasant
Valley," "Spring Garden" and "St. James." The warrants for the first five of these
tracts were obtained May 17, 1785, and the surveys for "Chatham" and "Hunting-
don" made June 32, for "Coventry" and "Cornwall" June 23, "and for "Colchester"
September 2, 1786. The surveys of the other tracts were made in 1792, 1793 and
1794. In naming their tracts the Strawbridges followed an English fashion. To
these original grantees from the State the present owners of the lands within the
borough limits trace their titles.

As was the ease in many other places in the county, the permanent settlers of
Osceola were preceded by those who made but a temporary stay, whose names even
have not, in all cases, been preserved. They were usually squatters, who embraced
the first opportunity to sell out and move further west, leaving to others the task of
clearing and cultivating the lands. The first actual settler, who came to stay, was
William Holden, who had made a previous settlement at Lawrenceville, as early as
1788. Holden, who was a bachelor, came about 1795 and built his cabin on the
eastern bank of Holden brook — which was named for him — near its mouth, within
the present village of Osceola. His main employment was building post and rail
fences for new settlers. Following William Holden came a number of temporary
settlers, some of whom came before 1800, and all of whom had moved elsewhere not
much later than 1810. Among these was Cooper Cady, who settled on the Cowan-
esque near the Elkland borough line, and who afterwards removed to Troupsburg,
New York. Then came Caleb Griggs, who built a cabin on the Cowanesque below
the Tubbs grist mill. A man named Smith became the first settler on the John
Tubbs place. Griggs and Smith died and were buried here. The second settler


upon the village site of Osecola was Nathaniel White, whose deed from George
Strawhridge, as administrator and owner, was dated December 31, 1807. Daniel
Phillips was the first settler near the mouth of the Island Stream, and James Whitney
on the Charles L. Hoyt place. Whitney sold his land to Henry Mott. White,
Phillips and Mott afterwards removed to Marietta, Ohio. John Parker, a Mr. Kan-
dall, Nathan Lewis, who made a clearing, still known as "Lewis' lot," on the hill side,
north of Osceola, and a man named Sesher, were also temporary settlers. Sesher
had a cabin on Island Stream. It burned one night about 1800, and he was never
seen or heard of afterwards. There were rumors of foul play, but the guilt of the
crime, if crime there was, was never fixed on anyone.

In 1800 Israel Bulkley came from his native town of Colchester, Massachusetts,
and settled upon the tract previously occupied by Sesher's cabin. He also purchased
the possession of Eandall. Bulkley had a Connecticut title, but afterwards purchased
the land from the owner of the Pennsylvania title. He was a man of means and
enterprise and brought with him from Connecticut an improved breed of cattle and
other live stock, established a blacksmith shop, dealt in merchandise, built a grist
mill, carding mill and distillery, and was a land surveyor and an agent for the Straw-
bridge estate. He planted a nursery from which the first orchards in Tioga county
were raised. He was the owner of a negro female slave, whose freedom was subse-
quently purchased by one of her own race.

The Taylor family, consisting of Mrs. Permelia Taylor and her three sons,
Ebenezer, Philip and Mitchell, emigrated first from the Delaware Water Gap, in
New Jersey, to the Wyoming valley, where they participated ia the Pennamite War;
from thence to Pipe Creek, below Owego, and in 1806 to the Cowanesque valley.
They first settled at Barney Hill, below Elkland. Ebenezer first bought out Caleb
Griggs in Osceola, but soon sold to his brother Philip. He next bought the farm
known as the John Tubbs farm, which he sold to Eobert Tubbs. His third purchase
was the farm of Henry Mott, known as the C. L. Hoyt farm. Here he made his
home and resided during the remainder of his life.

Paul Gleason, a native of Charleston, Massachusetts, settled on the farm now
owned by George Baker. His father, Abner Gleason, came later. He was the first
shoemaker here, and established a shop in front and a little to the east of the residence
of Charles Tubbs. In front of this shop was the only grindstone in the neighbor-
hood. Lemuel Cady, a native of Connecticut, and a carpenter, came about 1810, but
removed to Farmington township in 1813.

The Tubbs family came into the Cowanesque valley from Newtown, now Elmira,
New York, in 1811. Samuel, Sr., and his sons Samuel, James and Benjamin,
located in Elkland. Eobert, as already stated, purchased a farm from Ebenezer
Taylor, in Osceola, living the first year in a small log house near the site of the grist
mill. In 1817 Samuel Tubbs, Jr., removed from Elkland and purchased part of the
Daniel Phillips farm. Nathaniel Seely, a native of Southport, New York, came in
1812, and purchased the farm of Nathaniel White — upon which the main part of
the village of Osceola is built — and later the Nathan Lewis lot. He was a farmer,
an early hotel keeper, and justice of the peace from 1830 to 1840.

Andrew Bozzard (now spelled "Bosard"), a native of what is now Monroe
county, Pennsylvania, came in 1813, and purchased a part of the farm originally


occupied by John Parker. He was the first carpenter and joiner to become a perma-
nent settler. He became a saw-mill owner and a manufacturer of household
furniture, spinning wheels and cofiins. In 1823 Stennett Crandall, a native of
Ehode Island, and a shoemaker, settled on the B. P. Colvin farm on Holden brook.
Here he had a shop in his dwelling and worked at his trade. Abel Hoyt came in
1835 and bought a part of the Parker farm. Eeuben Cook, to whom a more extended
reference is made in the chapter on Nelson, returned to the valley in 1830, from
Marietta, Ohio, and became a resident of Osceola, remaining until his death, June
25, 1829.


The first saw-mill within the borough boundaries was built between 1812 and
1816 by Ebenezer Taylor and Andrew Bozzard on Holden brook, about a mile above
its mouth. This mill was burned in the latter year. In 1828 Andrew Bozzard
and Trimian Crandall erected a mUl half a mile further up the stream. Mr. Bozzard
soon afterward became the sole owner of this mill, which was operated by him until
1852, and after that by his son, Arthur TP. Bosard. In 1837 Robert Tubbs erected
a saw-mill on the north bank of the Cowanesque river, near the Elkland borough line.
This mill is still in operation and is now owned by L. B. Cadogan. It has been
several times enlarged and improved. In 1849 a saw-mill was built near the mouth
of Island Stream, by Culver & Slosson, and was driven by water brought in a race
from the Cowanesque river. It burned in 1860. A steam saw-mill, driven by a
thirty-horse-power engine and rigged with a circular saw, was built in 1864 by George
Sharp Bonham on Holden brook, and was run up to a few years ago.

Israel Bulkley erected a flutter-wheel grist mill in 1814, the water being taken
from the Cowanesque river in a race to the Island Stream. This mill site was
north of the Charles Bulkley residence. It had one run of buhrs and was operated
until 1829. In 1850 Eobert Tubbs built a four-run grist mill near his saw-mill.
Since 1871 steam power has been used during low water in the river. This mill
descended to H. and J. Tubbs, sons of Eobert, and has had several owners. It is
now owned and operated by L. B. Cadogan.

A log distillery was built previous to 1812 by Israel Bulkley near his grist mill.
He paid one dollar a bushel for com, and whiskey was correspondingly high. He
quit the business before 1816. Andrew Bozzard built a log distillery in 1816 on the
highway in front of the Alvers Bosard residence, getting water from a spring on the
north side of the road. He ran this distillery about six years. In 1818 George
Parker built a distillery, also of logs, on the north side of the road, opposite the C.
B. Hoyt residence, which he operated until 1824. It became a popular drinking

A carding null was erected in 1814 by Israel Bulkley. It was driven by the water
power used at his grist mill. In connection with it he' also had a fulling mill, both
in charge of Henry B. Trowbridge. In 1827 Josiah Holcomb engaged in the manu-
facture of wooden ware in Osceola, procuring black ash knots from the swamp and
fashioning them into sugar bowls, salt dishes and whiskey kegs, some of which are
still preserved in the homes of the old families. A potash manufactory was estab-
lished in 1839 by Eobert Tubbs. In 1841 he added a pearling oven to his works.


He hauled the potash and peaxlash to Ithaca, New York, and Williamsport, Penn-
sylvania, whence they were shipped to New York and Philadelphia. He operated
his works until 1843. In 1827 he hegan the manufacture of brick, continuing at
InterTals for a number of years, and in 1839 built one of the first brick houses erected
in Tioga county. The mason work was done by Stephen Potter, of Potter Brook.
This house is still standing, in good repair, and is used as a residence. Andrew K.
Bosard began the manufacture of brick in 1848, and continued about twenty-five
years, when he sold out to Henry Seely, who ceased business about 1880. A kiln
of limestone was burned in 1848, on Holden brook, by Philip Taylor. The quality
of the lime was poor and the enterprise abandoned. Two kilns of tar were burned
in 1838 by Isaac Van Zile, who hauled his knots and pitch-pine wood from Norway
Eidge. He continued the business two or three years. A few kilns of tar were also
burned in 1839 by Jacob Eowley, on the farm now owned by Charles Tubbs. Char-
coal was burned as early as 1810 by Israel Bulkley. Until coal came into use, it was
used for blacksmithing, and charcoal pits were generally put up and burned by the

The first blacksmith shop was built in 1810 by Henry Mott. In 1815 Godfrey
Bowman built a small log shop, which he carried on until 1818, when he was suc-
ceeded by Bela Graves, who made a specialty of cutting tools and trap springs.
Bartholomew Thing opened a shop in 1833, and was succeeded by Lewis Lowell
Carr, who worked at his trade here from 1834 to 1830. About 1835 George Bulkley
established a shop on his farm — ^later a part of the Charles Bulkley farm — and
carried it on until 1850. In 1828 William Barker built a shop, and carried it on
until 1860, when he was succeeded by his son George. In 1850 Oliver Eice GifEord
opened a shop which he carried on for many years. All these shops, except that of
George Bulkley, were in the village of Osceola.

The Banking House of Morgan Seely was established in 1877 and has been
successfully conducted by its founder ever since. It enjoys the reputation of being
a safe and sound financial institution. On April 1, 1897, the name was changed
to the Cowanesque Valley Bank, with Morgan Seely, president; Frank J. Seely,
vice-president, and Ed. M. Seely, cashier.

Two attempts to discover petroleum oil at Osceola have been made, and two
wells sunk, but without success. The first was made in 1865, when the Osceola Oil
and Mining Company — chartered July 34, 1865 — was organized with a capital
stock of $500,000, the incorporators being B. P. Paxton, S. P. Wolverton, J. E.
Barker and H. S. Marr, of Northumberland and Schuylkill counties, Pennsylvania.
A well was drilled to the depth of 800 feet on the Charles Bulkley farm, by Joseph
Barker, but no oil was found. In 1879 a stock company was formed, the ofiicers
of which were Hoyt Tubbs, president; Charles Tubbs, secretary, and Morgan Seely,
treasurer. A test well was drilled by Hoyt Tubbs on the lands of Allen Seely, to
a depth of 1,300 feet without striking oil. The well was then abandoned.

In 1853 Hoyt Tubbs and Truman Crandall erected a tannery on the Cowanesque
river, opposite the mill pond. Mr. Crandall disposed of his interest to Lyman P.
Hoyt in 1857. He conducted the business until 1860, from which time until 1864
the tannery lay idle. In the latter year Eobert Hammond leased the property.
In March, 1866, the building was destroyed by fire and never rebuilt. In 1866


E. Hammond & Company built the present tannery upon Holden brook in the
northern part of the village of Osceola and operated it until May 1, 1893, when
it passed into the control of the Union Tanning Company. The output of this
tannery averages about 100 sides of sole leather a day. The superintendent is
Eobert Hammond, and the foreman John Duly.

In 1854 Enoch M. Steen and Eleazer Clark built a sash, blind and door fac-
tory, which they operated until 1863, when they sold out to Hoyt Tubbs and V. C.
Phelps. This factory was operated until 1872, when it shut down, having had

Online LibraryEmanuel SwedenborgHistory of Tioga County, Pennsylvania → online text (page 52 of 163)