Emanuel Swedenborg.

History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

. (page 53 of 163)
Online LibraryEmanuel SwedenborgHistory of Tioga County, Pennsylvania → online text (page 53 of 163)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

various owners. In 1873 a cheese factory was established on Holden brook by
William Bosard and James F. James. In 1875 it was purchased by Hoyt Tubbs
and A. F. Eose, who conducted it until 1877, when it shut down.


The first "Inn" was opened in Osceola in 1813 by Nathaniel Seely. No liquor
license was required in those days and the public patronized the bar as well as sought
his place for the purpose of being fed and lodged. He continued in the business
until 1830. In 1834 George Parker opened a house. He was succeeded in 1830
by Aaron Buck. The place was purchased by Abel Hoyt in 1835, who closed it
as a house of public entertainment. The Osceola House was built on the site of
the present hotel in 1851 by Allen Seely, who kept it until 1861. He had numerous
successors, among them James Atherton, Joseph Weaver, Charles Culver, John
S. Seely, Stewart Daily, W. E. Cooper, Benjamin B. Barse, Charles Graham, James
Martin, Eugene 0. Martin, Arthur P. Bosard and Hoyt Tubbs. This house was
destroyed by fire in 1870, and rebuilt in 1873, from which time until 1882 it was
known as the Bosard House, when it resumed its former name. It was destroyed
by fire in 1888. In December, 1891, the present Osceola House, erected by William
Wildrick, was opened, with W. A. Newcomb as landlord. Since the spring of 1895
it has been kept by W. E. Colvin.


Majy Ann Landon, the first teacher in Osceola, taught school in 1813 in an
old log house upon the Island Stream, near the residence of Abel Hoyt. Among her
pupils were Ira Bulkley, Hiram Bulkley, Horace Hill, Elisha Hill, Benjamin Hill,
Edwin Hill, Ann Tubbs, Julia Gleason and Nelson Gleason. This was a charac-
teristic, primitive, pioneer school. The children living east of Holden brook crossed
that stream on a fallen tree, there being no bridges. Prom 1814 to 1833 an
old log shop, in front of the Vine Crandall residence, was used for school pur-
poses. Still later another log house west of John Tubbs' residence was fitted up
for school purposes, and also one on the site of the present Methodist church.
Schools were also kept in the dwelling houses of Eobert Tubbs and William Barker.
The Bulkley school house was erected in 1822 and was the first building erected for
school purposes. It was used for twenty years. Among the early teachers in these
various schools were John Hammond, 1813; Jonathan Bonney, 1814; Chester Gid-
dings, 1815; Mahala Seelye, 1816; Caroline Gardner, 1817; Nathaniel Seely, 1818-
19; Martin Stevens, 1830; William P. Gardner, 1821; Amasa Smith, 1833; Elihu Hill,
1833; John Smith, 1834, and Polly Howland, 1825. In 1836 a new school house


was built on the road leading toward Camp brook. It was burned in 1845. Here
taught Andrew Keller Bosard, Eobert H. Tubbs, Lavina Leonard, Elizabeth Tubbs,
Mary Stull, Harriet Beebe, Edwin E. Hill and Sally Tubbs. From 1845 to 1850
school was held in old houses in the village. In 1849 a new school house was built
upon Holden brook by subscription, and in 1859 the subscribers deeded it to the
Osceola school district. It was used as a school house until 1869. In 1871 the
present school building was erected, at a cost for the lot of $200 and for the building
lA $3,000. It has since been improved to meet the increasing demands of the
district. From 1888 until 1896 this school was in charge of Prof. Artemas Edwards,
an experienced and able ediicator. The present principal is Hugh Sherwood. In
1845 a school house was built by H. B. Cilley in the Brier Hill district. It was
destroyed by fire in 1866 and rebuilt. In 1878, by the addition to its area of a por-
tion of Deerfield township, Osceola township, as it was then, and borough, as it
is now, acquired the Holden brook district and school house, a portion of Bulkley
District, No. 2, and of District No. 11, then of Deerfield township.

TJie Osceola High School was established in December, 1860, for the purpose
of affording facilities for pursuing an academic education. The enterprise was
set on foot by a number of leading citizens, who subscribed the necessary money,
the second and third stories of the H. & J. Tubbs block being fitted up for chapel,
recitation rooms, and apartments for non-resident students. The school opened
Avith 100 students in December, 1860. The faculty was composed of Anderson
Eobert Wightman, A. B., principal; Samuel E. Thayer, A. B., assistant principal;
Jane A. Stanton Wightman, preceptress; Mary Abigail Stanton, assistant pre-
ceptress; Prof. Isaac Grunn Hoyt, instructor" in iausie. A large boarding house
containing twenty-four rooms, known as "The Castle on the Hill," was built in 1861,
and an equipment of philosophical apparatus purchased. Various changes in the
faculty were made up to 1866, when the school was formally closed and was suc-
ceded by a select school, taught in 1867-68 by James Huntington Bosard, and in
1869-70 by Charies C. Ward.

The Osceola School of Musical Instruction was opened in 1872 by Prof. Isaac
Gunn Hoyt. It existed four years, both vocal and instrumental music being taught,
and diplomas awarded those taking a full course of instructions.


The towiiship of Osceola was incorporated as a borough Novamber 24, 1883,
and the first election held in February, 1883. The office of burgess has been filled
by the following named persons: Eobert Hammond, 1883; James Tubbs, 1884;
M. L. Bonham, 1885-86; Eobert Hammond, 1887; Albert L. Tubbs, 1888-90;
Hiram Taylor, 1891-93; C. W. Morgan, 1894-96, and D. Baxter, elected in 1897.
Hon. Charles Tubbs has held the position of clerk since the organization of the

During the years Osceola was a township, the folowing named persons served
as justices of the peace: Isaac B. Taft, 1857; Lyman P. Hoyt, 1858; A. K Bosard,
1860; re-elected, 1865, 1871, 1875; Norman Strait, 1861; re-elected, 1866; E. E.
Bosworth, 1870; C. L. Hoyt, 1872; Morgan Seely, 1876; J. "W. Hammond, 1879;



0. S. Kimball, 1880; Morgan Seely, 1882. Since its incorporation as a borough the
office has been held by the following named persons: 0. S. Kimball, 1885; C. R.
Taylor, 1886; re-elected, 1891; L. P. Davis, 1891; James A. Eogers, 1893; Frank
E. Hazlett, 1894.

A postoffice was established at Osceola February 16, 1852. The office of post-
master has been filled by the following persons: Enos Slosson, appointed April 3,
1852; James Mapes, September 2, 1856; Joseph Barker, March 28, 1859; H. C.
Bosworth, August 7, 1861; Edward E. Bosworth, January 6, 1871; C. H. Bosworth,
April 29, 1879; L. P. Davis, May 30, 1886; Ella Strait, April 1, 1890; James A.
Eodgers, July 25, 1892, and James Kelly, August 1, 1896.


The wife of Eeuben Cook, familiarly known as "Granny Cook," though not a
recognized member of the medical profession, had a large obstetrical practice during
the first quarter of the present century. Her fee was invariably one pound of tea.
The first regular physician, however, to locate at Osceola was Adolphus Allen, who
practiced here from 1813 to 1816. Henry C. Bosworth, a native of Vernon,
New York, who graduated from Geneva Medical College in 1837, located
at Osceola in 1852, and continued to practice until his death, December 5, 1870.
William W. Day, a homeopathist, located at Osceola in 1855, and remained until
the autumn of 1867, when he removed to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. In April, 1857,
Dr. William T. Humphrey, a graduate of the Albany Medical College, removed
from Elkland to Osceola, and still continues in the active practice of his profession.
Adelbert J. Heggie, who acquired his "medical education in Georgetown, D. C, and
in the University at Ann Arbor, Michigan, located at Osceola in 1866, remaining
about twenty years. Wilmot G. Humphrey, a son of Dr. William T. Humphrey,
graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore, Maryland, in
1880, and immediately began practice at Osceola. In 1890 he removed to Elkland.
Charles H. Bosworth, a son of Dr. Henry C. Bosworth, entered upon the practice of
medicine at Osceola, March 1, 1882, and has continued as a resident physician to
the present time. Dr. T. N. Eockwell practiced here from August 1 to October 1,
1886, and then removed to Elkland. Dr. E. E. Clark, now a resident physician,
began practice in Osceola in May, 1893.


The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Osceola, incorporated August 25, 1879,
was organized sometime during the twenties, and was the outgrowth of early camp
meetings to which the settlers flocked from near and far. The earliest laborer in
this field appears to have been Capt. Ebenezer Taylor, who was a local preacher.
His co-laborers were David Jay and Elihu Hill. Meetings were held in cabins, in
barns, in school houses and in the open air. The first camp meeting was held on
the river bank on the farm of George Newton Bulkley, in September, 1828, and
was in charge of Eev. Parker Buell, presiding elder. Eev. Samuel Conant, Peter
Sliter and others participated in this meeting. Another camp meeting was held
in September, 1829, and a third one in 1835, at each of which a number of persons
were converted. Presiding Elder Abel conducted the second, assisted by Eevs.


Asa Orcutt, Amos Carey and John Copeland. The third was conducted by Eev.
Nathan Fellows, assisted by Eev. Darius Williams and others. From 1861 to 1868
the society worshiped in the Presbyterian church. In 1867 the society was organ-
ized anew under the name of "The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Osceola."
February 35, 1868, a church building, costing $3,000, was dedicated, and in 1881 a
parsonage built at a cost of $1,500. The names of the ministers, so far as it has been
possible to ascertain them, who have served this church are as follows: Eevs. Asa
Orcutt, Amos Carey, John Copeland, Caleb Kendall and I. J. B. McKinney, 1830
to 1830; Eevs. Bell, Dewey, Nathan Fellows, David Fellows, Theodore McElhany
and Ealph D. Brooks, 1830 to 1840; Francis W. Conable, Milo Scott, Samuel Nichols
John Abbott, J. L. S. Grandin and Henry Bascom Turk, 1840 to 1850; A. D. Edgar,
Austin P. Davison, James Duncan, 1854; Samuel Nichols, 1855; E. L. Stillwell,
S. P. Guernsey and Elisha Sweet, 1850 to 1860; C. L. F. Howe, 1861; C. Dillenbeck,
1862-63; William E. Pindar, 1864; 0. B. Weaver, 1865-67; Isaac Everitt, 1868-70;
J. H. Blades, 1871-72; Q. C. Jones, 1873-74; Henry C. Moyer, 1875-77; F. M. Smith,
1878; W. D. Taylor, 1879-81; S. M. Dayton, 1882-83; D. W. Gates, 1884; C. M.
Gardner, 1885-86; J. 0. Jarman, 1887-90; I. K. Libby, 1891-95, and John Segwalt,
who took charge in October, 1895. The church now numbers about 100 members.
There are sixty-five pupils in the Sunday-school, of which A. Cadogan is the super-


Those of the first settlers who died between 1795 and 1815 were buried on a
triangular-shaped piece of groimd on the west bank of Holden brook near its mouth.
Eude, inscribed stones marked their resting places. These were broken down and
destroyed between 1848 and 1860, during which time the site of this old burial
ground was occupied as Culver & Slosson's mill yard. The land is now cultivated
as a garden. Here were buried Cooper Cady's wife, a Mr. Smith, Caleb Griggs and
wife. Baker Pierce, three children of Daniel Phillips, and others.

The Osceola Cemetery Association was incorporated April 21, 1876, the follow-
ing named persons being the officers and incorporators: Eobert Hammond, presi-
dent; Eussell Crandall, secretary and treasurer; and C. E. Taylor, E. E. Bosworth
and George Tubbs. The grounds of this association are on the north side of the
Cowanesque road, west of the village. They are inclosed with a neat and tasteful
picket fence. Above the ornamental entrance gate is the inscription, "Man goeth to
his long home." The first person buried within this inclosure was Abner Gleason,
who died about 1812, an'd who was the owner of the land. In another grave lie the
remains of Nathaniel P. Moody, a Eevolutionary soldier and a graduate of Yale
College. Here also lie the remains of Eeuben Cook, the pioneer, of Sarah Cole,
his wife; Eeuben, his son, and Phelind, his son's wife. Here also rest the remains
of members of the Taylor, Tubbs, Gleason, Bosard, Crandall and other pioneer
families, whose graves are cared for and whose memories are held in veneration
and esteem by their living descendants.

Holden BrooTc Cemetery is an inclosure of about an acre of ground, on the
Philip S. Taylor farm. The first person to be buried here was Silas Overfield


Taylor, -who died in 1855, since which time the place has been free for burial pur-
poses to the public.

Fairview Cemetery Associaiion, with a capital of $3,000, was incorporated
October 2, 1883, the incorporators being Albert Dearman, Knoxville; Morgan Seely,
Osceola, and 0. P. Babcoek, Elkland. The grounds of this association adjoin those
of the Osceola Cemetery Association and are tastefully laid out for burial purposes.


Osceola is the meeting place of a number of representative secret societies, all
of which are well attended and prosperous. Osceola Lodge, No. 421, F. & A. M.,
was organized July 32, 1868, and now numbers thirty-three members. Capt. Alfred
J. Sofield Post, jSTo. 49, G. A. E., was organized January 18, 1876, and is one of
the oldest posts in the county. Osceola Lodge, No. 843, K. of H., was organized
January 8, 1878, and Vidette Lodge, No. 115, K. & L. of H., December 20, 1878.
The former has tjventy-four and the latter forty-eight members. Osceola Union,
No. 219, E. A. U., was organized January 18, 1881j and Osceola Tent, No. 160,
K. 0. T. M., April 4, 1893. The latter now has upwards of sixty members.



Organization— Area and Boundaries— Streams— Physical Features— Early
Settlers— Manufacturing and Business Enterprises— Borough Organiza-
tion AND Officials— Physicians— Schools— Churches and Cemeteries-

THE borough of Nelson was created May 8, 1886, and is simply the township of
Nelson incorporated into a borough. It has the same boundaries and the same
area as the old township, and embraces within its limits 6,201 acres,
or nearly ten square miles. It has an average length, from east to west,
of three and a half miles, and an average width, from north to south, of two and three-
fourths miles. It is bounded on the north by New York state, on the east by Law-
rence township, on the south by Farmington township and on the west by the
boroughs of Osceola and Elkland. The Cowanesque river enters it from the west,
about a half mile south of the State line, pursues a winding course, slightly south-
east, and passes into Lawrence township, south of the center of the eastern boundary
line. A number of small branches flow into it from the north and south. Those on


the north beginning at the west are Rathbtin or Wright brook, and a stream flowing
through the John Maseho faxm, known as Drew creek south, and Baldwin brook
north, of the State line. The little stream that flows through Nelson village is
known as Cook creek, while the one that flows into the river on the C. F. Merritt
farm is known as Crowl creek. On the south side of the river are two creeks, Thorn
Bottom creek, which rises in Farmington township, and empties into the river above
the village of Nelson, and Cummings' creek, which unites with the river near the
Lawrence township line. The river valley in the western portion of the borough
is level and averages over half a mile in width, above Nelson village. The eastern
portion is more restricted and broken. The hills on either side are lower and
less bold than those further up the valley, and are tillable, the soil being fertile and
productive. The Fall Brook railway passes through the borough, following the
north side of the river valley. The Addison and Pennsylvania passes through the
northeastern portion and has a flag station, called Nelson, within the borough

The unusual area of the borough, and the large amount of finely farming
land embraced within its boundaries make it necessary to distinguish, in writing,
between the country proper and the village of Nelson, or Beeeher's Island, as it was
formerly called. The village of Nelson, though a component of the borough, oc-
cupies but a small portion of its area, and lies on both sides of the Cowanesque river,
about a mile west of the Lawrence township line. It contains the borough building,
two churches, a graded school building, the railroad station, the postoffice, a hotel,
and had about 300 of the 540 inhabitants within the borough limits in 1890. For
convenience, therefore, and to avoid confusion, it will be referred to by its old name
of Beeeher's Island, a name familiar to every old resident of the county.


The first white person to settle within the present borough boundaries was
Eeuben Cook, Sr. This pioneer, mention of whom is also made in the Osceola,
Deerfield and Westfield chapters, was the first white settler in the Cowanesque valley,
west of Lawrenceville. He was a Eevolutionary soldier and drew a pension from the
State of Pennsylvania, under the following act, approved June 16, 1833, by Joseph
Heister, governor:

Sec. 3. Be it enacted, etc. , That the state treasurer be and he is hereby authorized
and required to pay to Reuben Cook, of Tioga county, a Revolutionary soldier, on order,
Forty Dollars immediately, and an annuity of Forty Dollars during life ; to be paid half
yearly ; to commence on the first day of January, 1823.

"In May, 1793 or 1793," says Charles Tubbs, of Osceola, "he moved into Nelson
township, locating on a little flat north of the present residence of Harris T. Eyon.
He lived in a bark cabin all summer, and planted an Indian girdling to corn and
turnips. In the fall of that year he built a log house and lived in it three years.
An Indian erected his wigwam near by, and they hunted and flshed in company in
the greatest friendship. The river was full of trout and it was no trouble to kill a
deer. He never lived long in a place. At diilerent times he owned valuable farms
in Deerfield, Westfield, Osceola and Elkland boroughs. In 1814 he went to Marietta,
Ohio, but returned to this valley in 1830, living at Osceola until he died. He pos-


sesfeed the true pioneer spirit — was always willing to sell out and move west." He
was bom at "Old Harford, West Division," August 35, 1747, and died at Osceola,
Pennsylvania, June 35, 1839. His wife, whose maiden name was Sarah Cole, was
born at Flat Brook, New Jersey, June, 1757, and died at Osceola, March 35, 1833.
He lies buried in the cemetery at Osceola. His son, Eeuben Cook, was born at
Hooper's Patent, on the Susquehanna, below Owego, July 10, 1783, and died in
Brookfield, Tioga county, Pennsylvania, October 5, 1881, in his one hundredth year.

The next settler appears to have been Dorman Bloss. His name is found on the
census roll for 1800, as a "millwright." In 1805 he sold a hand grist-mill to Elihu
Marvin, of Mansfield, who hauled it from Nelson overland on an ox sled. He did
not, however, make purchase of land until January 2, 1807, when he bought a por-
tion of the tract called "Ketreat," now within the boundaries of the village of Nelson.
He left the valley in 1818.

No further permanent settlement appears to have been made within the
borough limits until about 1805 or 1806, when John, Thomas and Hopestill Beecher
settled on and around a piece of land — now within the village of Nelson — ^to which
the name of Beecher's Island was soon after given. At that time it seems the
Cowanesque river was known as Log creek, and so is described in the deeds to the
Beechers, to Dorman Bloss and to other very early settlers in the Cowanesque
valley. The lands settled upon by the Beechers are described as "late of Daniel
Verden," and were part of a tract called "Eetreat." The deeds are dated October 15,
1806, and that to John Beecher was delivered in the presence of Dorman Bloss and
Thomas Overton. The name Beecher's Island had its origin in the fact that the
land settled on lay between two channels of the Cowanesque river, the one a main
and the other a branch channel, the inclosed land being an oblong strip, now form-
ing a portion of the village site.

About 1806 or 1808 Daniel Strait came from Lindley, New York, and located
upon what is now known as the Hazlett farm. In 1810 he sold out to John and
Samuel Hazlett and removed to Steuben county. New York. The Hazletts came
from the north of Ireland. The greater part of the land then purchased is still
owned by their descendants. In 1810 Joseph Campbell, Sr., a native of Scotland,
also came from the north of Ireland, and settled at Beecher's Island. The Hazletts
and his family appear to have been members of the same party and to have crossed
the ocean together. His eldest daughter, Sally, was the wife of Samuel Hazlett,
and the next oldest daughter, Jane, was married to John Hazlett, at Beecher's
Island, April 11, 1811. Amasa Culver, a native of Connecticut, also came in 1810,
and cleared and improved the farm now owned by Mrs. Betsey Tubbs. His daughter,
Content Culver, who became the wife of Walter C. Bottum, was born within the
present borough limits in 1810.

James Daily settled soon afterward. His son. Perry Daily, who died July 18,
1896, was born here in 1814, and at the time of his death was the oldest person born
in the township. Cyprian Wright came about 1813 and settled on the land adjoining
Amasa Culver, on the east. He kept an early way-side inn, the first in the present
borough limits. William Allington settled about 1813 and John and George AUing-
ton before 1816. Calvin Chamberlain came about 1815. Amariah Hammond, a
native of Connecticut, came in 1817 and settled between Nelson village and Elkland,



near the Byron Shaw place. He taught school ia 1831, in a building which then
stood near the William Merritt residence, below Nelson village. Samuel Kathbun,
a native of New York state, came into Tioga county about 1814 and appears to have
resided until about 1817 or 1818 at Lawrenceville, and then to have moved within
the present borough of Nelson, and to have settled on and improved the farm now
owned and occupied by the widow of his eldest son, Henry Rathbun.

In 1818 Mrs. Sarah Blackwell, of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, a widow, married
John Campbell and came to live at Beecher's Island. Her son, Enoch Blackwell,
born in Jersey Shore, June 12, 1814, afterwards became prominent as a mill owner
and merchant at Beecher's Island. Richard Ellison and James McGinley, Scotch-
Irish and Calvinists, were also among the early settlers at Beecher's Island. Among
other early settlers, the year of whose coming cannot be ascertained, were George W.
Phelps and John Vroman. Walter C. Bottum, a native of Connecticut, came in
1827. His father, Clark Bottum, came later. Walter C. engaged in lumbering and
during an active career erected three saw-mills in the Cowanesque valley. In 1830
Artemus Losey, a native of Orange county. New York, settled at Beecher's Island
and bought the John Campbell saw-mill, still owned and operated by his son, J. T.
Losey. From this time forward settlers came in rapidly, so that in 1835, when the
Congregational church was organized, it numbered fifteen members, all residents
of Beecher's Island and vicinity. Most of the families already named were repre-
sented, as well as those of Samuel Snow, Nahum Kelley, Sabra Daily, Hubbard
Clark, William Clark and M. Cummings. Among the more prominent of the later
settlers were Henry Smith, who came in 1833; Sylvester Stewart, a soldier of the
War of 1813, who came in 1838; John Weeks, also a soldier of the War of 1813,
who came the same year; Harris T. Ryon, who came in 1839; Dr. Albert M. Loop,
who first came in 1838, went to Illinois, from which he returned in 1840, and per-
manently settled at Beecher's Island; Daniel Angell, a shoemaker, who came in
1843; Luther Rice, a carpenter, who came in 1843; Samuel Edgcomb, who came
in 1845, and Louis Bevier, a tanner, who came in 1849.


John, Thomas and Hopestill Beecher, who settled on Beecher's Island in 1805
or 1806, erected a saw-mill about 1810 on the site of the present J. T. Losey mill,
familiarly known as the old Campbell mill. About 1818 this property passed into
the hands of John Campbell, who operated a saw-mill on the same site till 1830,

Online LibraryEmanuel SwedenborgHistory of Tioga County, Pennsylvania → online text (page 53 of 163)