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History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

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and the northern boundary line irregular, its general direction from southwest to
northeast being the same as the Cowanesque river, which flows through the northern
part of the township. It is said that the somewhat eccentric irregularities of this line
are due to the surveyor getting his figures "mixed" while snow-boimd at a house in
Broolcfield township. That portion of the township — about one-fourth of its area —
lying north of the Cowanesque river, is a narrow strip, averaging less than a mile
wide, about equally divided between level valley and steep hillside. The river
valley, which averages about half a mile in width, is comparatively level and its
soil fertile and productive. In this valley are situated the borough of Westfield,
and the villages of Potter Brook, Cowanesque and Phillips Station. South of the
Cowanesque river, beyond the hills that line its valley, the township, though rugged


and broken, is usually described as rolling. It is nearly all tillable and abounds in
well-cultivated and productive farms. The township is one of the best watered in
the county, and its streams axe all tributaries of the Cowanesque river. From the
north it receives North Fork, California and Purple brooks, which flow in a south-
east direction from Brookfield township. The streams that flow from the south
are Potter brook, Crause brook. Mill creek, Tuttle brook and Jemison creek, all of
which, except Tuttle brook, rise in Clymer township. All those various streams
have their rise in springs and their waters are clear and sparkling. In the early
days they abounded in brook trout, the disappearance of which has long been a
source of regret to the disciples of "Izaak Walton." Westfleld is an agricultural
township, and its farmers are industrious, intelligent and prosperous.

Since its organization Westfleld has had taken from it Brookfield townshi;^,
Westfield borough and a part of Clymer township. Each of these reductions of area
took from it also a certain number of inhabitants. Since the creation of Westfleld
borough in 1867, the census returns have shown the following number of inhabitants:
1870, 912; 1880, 907, and 1890, 1,361.


The first person to settle within the township boundaries appears to have
been Eeuben Cook, Sr., mention of whom is made in the chapter devoted to
Westfield borough. It is generally conceded, however, that the first permanent
settler was Ayers Tuttle. He was a native of Connecticut, came into the township
about 1809, and located just east of the present borough limits. He also bought a
part of the Eeuben Cook tract, now within the borough limits. His son, Cyrus
Tuttle, bom May 9, 1815, is the oldest living person born in the township. In 1810
Jesse Lapham, a Quaker, came from Ehode Island, and settled on what is now
known as the J. H. Batcheller place, at the mouth of Jemison creek, in the north-
eastern part of the township. This creek is said to have taken its name from Mary
Jemison, "the white woman of the Genesee." Others attribute the origin of the
name to the fact that John Jemison, her half-breed son, used to hunt and flsh in this
locality. Mr. Lapham resided at the mouth of Jemison creek until 1816, when he
purchased 200 acres of land in the western part of the present borough of Westfield.
He was the first resident carpenter and the first practical surveyor in the township.
He also dug the first well in the township, on that part of his place now known as
the Zacheus Mallory farm. A man named Eiggs was also one of the first settlers in
the township. He took up and partially cleared land at the mouth of North Fork,
afterwards owned by Jonathan Pierce, and now by Eev. 0. B. Weaver and others.
Nathaniel Mann was another early settler. The year of his coming is not known;
but inasmuch as his name appears in the list of the supervisors of Deerfield township
— which then included the territory of Westfield township — for the year 1815, he
must have been among the very first. He built the first frame house in the township.
It was erected about 1813 and stood by the roadside, near the present residence of
K. B. Hill, between the California and Purple brook crossings. Mr. Mann was
killed about 1826 or 1827, while building a bridge on the Jonathan Seamans place.
John Thomas, also an early settler, located on land which he afterwards sold to
Shelden Tuttle. Samuel Atkins, a native of Connecticut, came into the township


at an early day and cleared a farm. His son, Zena Atkins, was one of the first town-
ship supervisors. William Dyer Weeks, a native of Vermont, settled, in 1812, on the
land, at the mouth of the North Fork, now occupied by King's saw-mill and the
Westfield fair grounds. In 1814 Lindsay Mulf ord, a native of New England, settled
at the mouth of Jamison creek, and cleared several farms in the township before his

Jonathan Seamans, a native of Ehode Island, came in 1817 and settled within
the present borough limits, and is referred to in the chapter devoted to the borough.
He subsequently removed farther up the river and settled on the farm still owned
by his sons. In the same party with Mr. Seamans came Stephen Potter, John Potter,
Ezra Potter, Ezra Bowen and Martin Bowen, all from Ehode Island. They made
the journey with ox teams. About 1818 Stephen Potter, who was a stone mason,
selected a tract of land at the mouth of the brook that bears his name. His brother
Ezra also settled here, but soon after removed to Chatham township. This is now
the site of the village of Potter Brook. Ezra Bowen, a Quaker, bought a part of the
Jesse Lapham tract, which he sold a few years later to Abram Pease. Jonathan
Pierce, who came from Chenango county, New York, in 1817, settled on the
Augustus Streeter farm, through which the western boundary line of the borough
passes. Abram Pease, a native of Connecticut, came into the township from Steuben
county. New York, in 1819, and settled on sixty acres of land, afterwards a part of
the Eichard Krusen farm, in the western part of the borough. A year later, his older
brother, Oliver, bought 100 acres of land belonging to the estate of a man named
Chambers, of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, on which Nathaniel Mann, about 1813,
built the first frame house in the township. Oliver and Abram subsequently ex-
changed farms.

James King, a native of Ehode Island, and a descendant of the Pilgrim fathers,
came in 1821, and settled on the Eichard Krusen farm. His son, Prince King,
located on Jemison creek, in 1823, where his sons. Prince W. and Willard King, now
reside. In 1821 Shelden E. Streeter, a native of New Hampshire, settled just east
of the borough. In 1823 he removed to Shippen township, and three years later
returned to Westfield. In 1821 Henry B. Trowbridge was living on the farm ad-
joining Mr. Streeter, but the date of his settlement cannot be ascertained. John
Howland, a pioneer of Deerfield township, moved into Westfield township about this
time and settled on Jemison creek. His nephew. Marvel Handy, came with him,
and, in 1825, cleared the farm now occupied by his son, Dyer Handy. In 1823
Hosea Saulsbury was living in the Jemison creek valley, as was also Joseph Swime-
ley, who cleared the farm now owned by John Swimeley. In 1825 David Kixford
settled near the mouth of Jemison creek, and in 1832 bought and removed to the
place first settled on by Eeuben Cook. Christopher Sayles, a native of Ehode Island,
and a blacksmith, came to Tioga county in 1825, and in 1828 removed to the Jemi-
son valley, buying and settling upon the farm previously owned by Hosea Saulsbury.
Here he farmed and worked at his trade. He died July 10, 1884, aged ninety-four
years. Halsey Aldrich, also a native of Ehode Island, and a stone mason, settled,
in 1829, just east of Stephen Potter, at Potter Brook. John Hoover settled in 1830
near the mouth of the Jemison. In 1833 Zacheus Mallory settled on the farm pre-



viously occupied by his brother-in-law, Jesse Lapham, now within the borough
limits. Melchier Labar settled in the southern part of the township ia 1840, on the
farm now owned by his son, James Labar. He died ia 1851, aged ninety-six years.
In 1835 Burgess Luce settled on the site of the yillage of Cowanesque, where his
son, Ira Luce, still resides. Nelson Burdie settled in the southeastern part of the
township in 1836. In this year, also, Thomas Pride, a native of Connecticut, settled
on Jemison creek. In 1838 Mrs. Susan (Prisby) Leonard, widow of Timothy
Leonard, removed from Smyrna, New York, with her three sons, James, Stephen A.
and George, and settled two miles west of Westfield borough. Stephen A. became
a Wesleyan minister. His sons still own the home place. In 1837 George Champlin
settled on a farm west of Abram Pease, still owned by his sons. In 1839 Ansel
Purple settled at the mouth of the brook bearing his name. Daniel Hunt, a native
of Lycoming county, came in 1840 and settled on what is known as the Barton
Hunt place, in the southern part of the township. In 1842 John Whitmarsh settled
on what is now known as the Cornelius Bush farm. Charles H. Metcalf, a native of
Susquehanna county, and a cooper, settled in 1843, east of Potter Brook. In 1844
Sylvanus S. Baker settled near the head of Broughton hollow, which takes its name
from Henry Broughton, who settled in 1845. Mrs. Margaret Little — ^who married
George Graham — and her sons settled, in 1847, on what is known as the Graham
place, on Potter brook. In 1849 Samuel Edgcomb located at Edgcombville, now
Cowanesque. In this year also Thomas Sprague settled on what is known as the
L. E. Garner farm.

The names thus far given are those of the more prominent settlers during the
first half of the present century. The dates given are believed to be approximately
correct, and have been obtained in nearly every instance from their living descend-
ants. These early settlers found the township a wilderness, and left it when they
closed their eyes upon the scenes of earth, cleared and cultivated, dotted with homes,
churches and school houses, and inhabited by an intelligent, industrious and thrifty
people, nearly all of whom were their children and grandchildren.


Shortly after his coming, in 1810, Ayers Tuttle erected a small grist-mill on
the river near the eastern boundary of the borough, and later replaced it with a
better mill, run by water, located further down the stream. Tuttle also opened a
wayside inn, in his dwelling, which he kept for a number of years. It is said that at
times his temper was a little testy, and he was not disposed to put himself to any
extra trouble to accommodate his guests, but he was, nevertheless, taking his cir-
cumstances into consideration, a good landlord. .A story is told of two travelers who
arrived one night, who desired before retiring to bathe their feet, having walked
a long distance during the day. The landlord told them they would find a bucket
on the back porch, leaving them to search for it in the dark. A bucket was found,
partly filled, as they supposed, with water. When, however, one of them immersed
his foot in it he discovered it was maple syrup. Pearing Mr. Tuttle's wrath, if the
truth was told him, the traveler wiped the syrup from his foot, as best he could,
and with his companion retired to rest. It is presumed the syrup found its way to



the table without those who partook of it ever surmising the use previously made of
it. The first store in the township was also kept by Mr. Tuttle, who seems to have
been a man of considerable energy and enterprise.

The King saw-mill was built m 1845, by John Craig and Godfrey Bowman, near
the mouth of North Fork creek. It was afterwards operated by several different
persons, among whom were Dyer Weeks, Ira M. Edgeomb and others. The ma*
chinery was finally removed, leaving the frame-work standing. Several years ago the
King Brothers put in the machinery of a portable mill here, which they still operate.
They manufacture lumber, etc., principally for home trade.


The principal schools in the township are maintained in the villages of Cowan-
esque and Potter Brook. These schools, the outgrowth of early schools established
over half a century ago, are in charge of competent teachers and are well attended.
The first school in the Potter Brook neighborhood was established east of the village,
the old school house also being a meeting place for Methodists, Wesleyans and Bap-
tists, the meetings being held whenever a minister of either of those denominations
chanced in the neighborhood. A good building, recently enlarged, in the village
of Potter Brook, gives ample accommodation for all pupils in that school district.
The original school building in Cowanesque stood on a knoll Just west of the resi-
dence of Ira Luce. The present neat and commodious building stands on the south
side of the road, farther east.

Henry B. Trowbridge and Godfrey Bowinan, the first Justices of the peace of
Westfield township, were appointed January 8, 1823. Their Jurisdiction also in-
cluded Deerfield township. The office has since been held by the following named
persons: Jonathan Bonney, commissioned in 1823; Luke Scott, Jr., 1837; John
Goodspeed, 1828; Sheldon Tuttle, 1828; Isaac Metcalf, 1838; Allen Prazer, 1830;
Colton Knox, 1833; Archibald Campbell, 1833; Edward C. Young, 1834; John
Waklee, 1835; Eddy Howland, 1838; Jacob Everitt, 1840; Elijah Hancock, 1840;
William Ladd, 1845; Hiram Tubbs, 1845; re-elected, 1852; Francis Strang, 1846;
Chauncey E. Skinner, 1847; John Goodspeed, 1850; Zacheus Mallory, 1855; re-
elected, 1860; Charlton Phillips, 1857; re-elected, 1862, 1867; George Close, 1865;
I. C. Thompson, 1868; re-elected, 1873; Henry Warren, 1869; John Swimelar;
1873; William Finker, 1876; re-elected, 1882;"^ T. E. Leonard, 1877; re-elected,
1882; James H. Metcalf, 1885; re-elected, 1890; H. G. Seely, 1890; re-elected,
1895; William Brock, 1895.


The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Cowanesque, incorporated June 34,
1889, dates the beginning of its history to the early fifties, when meetings were held
in the old school house and a class organized, by Eev. Alfred G. Terry. Services were
regularly held and the class maintained its organization until 1890, when a church
was organized and a house of worship erected, costing $1,200. It is a neat, frame
edifice and was built by Hugh D. King. The first members of the church were:
Hiram McCoy and wife, Mrs. John Champlin, Mrs. Sarah J. Skinner, Erastus and
Amanda Cooper and their daughter, Marcelia L. Cooper, Erastus Hoose and wife,


Mrs. James Davis, and Asa Bancroft and wife. Among the ministers who have
preached here since the organization of the class have been: Eevs. Samuel Nichols,
William Jones, Thompson Jolly, Alva Davison, A. D. Edgar, Elisha Sweet, Cornelius
Dillenbeck, Charles Weeks, 0. B. Weaver, J. H. Blades, Isaac Everitt, G. S. Transue,
J. J. Turtin, Philo E. Brown, Albert A. Ensign, WoodrufE Post, Elisha Hudson,
D. A. Pareells, W. I. Janes and W. 0. Peet. This church has been for a number of
years in the Westfield charge. It now numbers sixty-four members with about forty
pupUs ia the Sunday-school, of which Willis Calkins is the superintendent.

The Wesleyan Methodists used to meet in the old school house, east of Potter
Brook, over thirty years ago. Rev. Stephen A. Leonard preached here and an organi-
zation was maintained for several years, but finally dwindled and passed out of ex-

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Potter Broole was organized December 21,
1884, with the following membership: William Brock, Florence Brock, Nellie Brock,
Alpheus Converse, Margaret Converse, D. E. Perry, Carrie Mulford, Elmer Eaton,
S. J. Potter, Nancy Richardson, Mary Yerington, Olivia Proctor, Milan Ham, Prank
Root, Hattie Thompson, Florence Proctor and Phoebe Baker. Rev. J. C. Ferrell,
the first pastor, held services in the depot, December 31, 1884, and afterwards once
iu two weeks. He remained during 1884 and 1885. The succeeding pastors have
been: Revs. H. B. Mason, 1885-87; J. W. Bamett, 1887-90; W. I. Janes, 1893-93;
A. G. Cole, 1893-94; J. S. Brown, 1894-95; L. P. MulhoUen, 1895-96. Rev. Noah
SelUck preached and held class meeting through February, 1886. In April, 1890,
Rev. D. A. Pareells came from Westfield and held services every alternate Sunday
until 1893. Rev. L. F. MulhoUen is the first resident pastor. The society worships
in the Peoples' church building. The young people attend the Union Sunday-school,
of which C. D. Markham is superintendent.

The Potter Brook Branch of the Harrison Valley Baptist Church was organized
in 1883, and is under the charge of the Baptist church at Harrison Valley, Potter
county. It now numbers seventeen members. The following ministers of the
church at Harrison Valley have preached here: Revs. S. L. Bouvier, 1883 to 1890;
J. C. Smith, 1890 to 1893; J. MuUany, 1893 to 1893, and the present pastor, H. T.
Allen, who took charge in April, 1893. The church building, known as the
Peoples' Church of Potter Brook, was erected in 1890 and cost $1,300. It is occu-
pied jointly by the Baptist and Methodist societies. A Union Sunday-school is
maintained with C. D. Markham as superintendent.

The Peoples' Church of Potter Broole is a corporation, chartered July 7, 1890,
the incorporators being I. C. Thompson, P. B. Rexford, C. D. Markham, William
Brook, George R. Johnson, and G. N. Manning. This corporation was organized
for the purpose of building the house of worship now occupied jointly by the
Baptist and Methodist societies. The church was erected in 1890 and cost $1,300.

The Potter Cemetery Association of Potter Broole, incorporated September 1,
1884, own and control the old burying ground in the western part of the village,
embracing one acre and a half of ground. The trustees are John Little, James
H. Metcalf and W. C. Kendall. I. C. Thompson is the sexton. In this cemetery
lie buried the remains of Stephen Potter and other early settlers in the western
part of the township.


The Champlin Cemetery Association was incorporated in August, 1887, the
ineorporators being S. M. Strawn, John Champlin, Erastus Hoose, E. M. Tucker
and G. H. Tremain. The cemetery owned by this association is located on the old
George Champlin place, east of California brook. This was an old neighborhood
burying ground and was used for many years before the association was incor-
porated. \


Cowanesque, formerly known as Edgcombville, is the name of a Tillage,
situated on the Cowanesque river, two miles east of Westfield borough. The first
settler upon the village site was Henry B. Trowbridge, who located in 1831.
This land afterwai-ds became the property of Emmer Bowen, In 1835, when Bur-
gess Luce purchased a portion of this land, there were living east of him in the
township, Thomas Pride, Thomas Warner and Jacob Price. Those living west,
between him and Westfield, were Leonard Daniels, Oliver Pease, Thomas Doty,
George Champlin, Ayers Tuttle and Shelden Tuttle. Otis D. Bowen, a son of
Emmer Bowen, also resided here at this time. Ira Luce, a son of Burgess Luce,
is the oldest living resident of the village. In 1858 Ira M. Edgcomb located on
the village site, and in 1865 erected the first store building and opened the first store
in the place. This building burned and he replaced it with the store building now
occupied by E. Sherman. Mr. Edgcomb was also the first postmaster. His suc-
cessors have been William N. Hurlbut, D. W. Eeynolds, William Haskell, Burr Bob-
bins, I. K. Skinner, E. B. Phillips, S. K. Eumsey, A. M. Thompson, Albert Matteson,
and C. H. Martin, who was appointed November 3, 1893. A. H. Bostwick has charge
of the ofiice as Mr. Martin's deputy. The Cowanesque Hotel, first known as the
Edgcomb House, was built by Thomas Pride. The first landlord was Ira M.
Edgcomb. His successors have been Orson Edgcomb, William Edgcomb, and the
present landlord, S. B. Lovelace, who purchased the property in 1883.

The principal manufacturing enterprise in the village is the planing mill,
sash and door factory, owned and operated since January, 1888, by E. Sherman.
This was established in 1870 by Ira M. Edgcomb, E. Skinner and William N.
Hurlbut, and operated by them for a number of years under the name of E. Skianer
& Company. It employs a number of hands the year round and does a large
business. A foundry and machine shop, giving employment to six men, was es-
tablished in 1887 by John Eieppel. It is equipped with improved machinery and
does a large repairing business. In 1889 Bennett H. Parkhurst erected a creamery
just east of the village. In the fall of 1890 it was changed to a cheese factory, and
is now operated by 0. H. Snyder, of N'orth Fork, Potter county. At the present
time there are three merchants in the place, E. Sherman, who occupies the old Ira
M. Edgcomb store; G. W. King, who occupies a building erected by Thomas
Pride, and in which he sold goods for a number of years, and A. H. Bostwick, who
carries on a grocery store and attends to the duties of the postofSce. The railroad
station is in charge of N. H. Seely, who acts as agent for the Fall Brook and the
Addison and Pennsylvania Eailroad Companies.

Potter Brooh, near the western township line, at the mouth of the stream of
the same name, occupies the land settled upon about 1818 by Stephen Potter, a



native of Ehode Island. In order to reach his location he was compelled to cut «
road up the river valley from Westfield, a distance of over three miles. The county
line hes just west of the village, and Mr. Potter, thinking his land lay in Potter
county, went, so it is related, to Harrison Valley to vote, until he became better
informed. He was a stone mason by trade and laid every stone in the front wall
of the court house at Wellsboro. In 1829 Halsey Aldrich settled east of Mr.
Potter on land now forming a part of the village site. In 1866, when I. C.
Thompson, a son-in-law of Mr. Potter and son of Isaac Thompson, a pioneer
settler of Harrison township. Potter county, moved on to the present village site,
there were living in the neighborhood, Halsey Aldrich, George W. Potter, Stephen
Potter, Jr., Joseph "Wood, Jonathan Potter, Eev. Stephen A. Leonard, James and
George Leonard and Jonathan Seamans. The Leonard and Seamans families lived
on what was the site of "Beautiful Camp," below Halsey Aldrich. At an early day
this camp was occupied by three Indians named Pete, Nichols and Blue Eye. The
latter derived his name from the fact that one of his eyes was black and the other
a deep blue.

No effort to establish a village appears to have been made until 1874, when
I. C. Thompson opened the first store in the place. At present there are four
merchants, W. C. Kendall, who began business in 1883; C. D. Markham, in 1884;
"Willis "White, in 1893, and J. L. Havens in 1894. A postofBce was established
October 1, 1874, and Horatio Aldrich appointed postmaster. I. C. Thompson,
his successor, held the office from 1876 to January 1, 1886. "W. H. McGovem,
his successor, surrendered it in 1888 to "W. C. Kendall, who was succeeded April
14, 1889, by C. D. Markham, who held it until June, 1894, when Mr. Kendall was
again appointed.

The completion of the railroad in the early part of 1883 gave the little village
a period of growth, and made it a trading point of some importance. It now has
a population of about 300. The only hotel in the place, known now as the
KendaU House, was built by Adelbert Hawley, at a cost of $8,000. The property
is still owned by Mr. Hawley. George "W. Potter, the only surviving son of Stephen
Potter, the pioneer, operates a planing mill, a shingle mill, a feed mill and a carding
machine, all under one roof. These enterprises he established in 1883. New
Hall Council, No. 846, Jr. 0. TT. A. M., organized July 34, 1894, is located here,
and embraces over thirty members.

Phillips Station is a railroad station and postoffiee in the eastern part of the
township, at the mouth of Jemison creek. E. B. Phillips has been the postmaster
since the office was established in 1883, and has also carried on a general store.



Location and Surroundings— Population and Taxable Property— Early Set-
tlers-Borough Organization and Officials- Postmasters— Physicians
AND Lawyers— Business and Manufacturing Enterprises— Incorporated

Online LibraryEmanuel SwedenborgHistory of Tioga County, Pennsylvania → online text (page 57 of 163)