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History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

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who served as pastors of this church, as successors of those already named, previous
George as leader. The leader of the western society was Ira Baker. Among those
another class was organized in the eastern part of the township, with William
in 1852; William Armstrong, 1854; T. J. Bissell, 1857; James Duncan, 1858;
William M. Haskell, 1859; Joel H. Austin, 1861; Charles Bush, 1863; Cornelius
Dillenbeck, 1864; A. F. Countryman, 1866; C. G. Lowell, 1867; J. V. Lowell,
1869; George Blanchard, 1870; Charles Weeks, 1873; Isaac Eyeritt, 1873; G. S.
Transue, 1875; 0. N". Eoherts, 1878; Harris Peek, 1879; John Knapp, 1880;
Jasper Kellogg, 1881; H. B. Mason, 1883; J. C. Stevens, 1886; Charles E. Morrow,
1888; Frank H. Eowley, 1890 to 1895; J. S. Brown, 1896-97. This church now
numbers twenty-one members, with fifty pupils in the Sunday-school, of which
S. P. Chase has been the superintendent for nearly thirteen years. Eev. Justus B.
Seely, a local minister, often preached for this congregation, of which he was a life-
long member. He was a son of Luman Seely, the pioneer.

The Second Methodist Episcopal Church of BrooTcfield, incorporated August 36,
1863, was organized April 18, 1860, and was the outgrowth of a class formed in the
eastern part of the township previous to 1840. The church was organized by Eev.
William M. Haskell. The first board of trustees consisted of Luman D. Seely,
William E. Seely, Allen Potter, John George, John L. Miller and Eiehard Schoon-
over. Of these Luman D. Seely and Eiehard Schoonover are the only survivors.
The members of the first building committee were: William Jordan, George W.
Northrop, Zenas Pierce, James Eoff and Levi W. Grinolds. Soon after the organi-
zation the society decided to build. A lot in the village of Austinburg was pur-
chased of E. P. Eddy for $50, and the contract for the building let to John W.
Fitch for $1,090. It was dedicated January 39, 1863, by Eev. A. M. Fillmore,
presiding elder of the Homellsville district. The dedicatory sermon was preached
by Eev. William M. Haskell. The names of the pastors of this church are as follows:
Eevs. Charles Bush, Joel H. Austin, Cornelius Dillenbeck, I. A. Blanchard, A. F.
Countryman, C. G. Lowell, J. V. Lowell, Charles Weeks, J. Knapp, George S.
Spencer, John Irons, David White, C. M. Gardner, H. J. Owen and S. C. Famham,
who took charge in October, 1894. There are about fifty members in the church at
present, and about the same number of pupils in the Sunday-school, of which M. V.
Jordan is the Duperintendent.

The Free Will Baptist Church of Broolcfield, incorporated December 15, 1861,
was organized June 23, 1840, at the house of Sheldon Atkins, by Eevs. Philip
White, Jesse Bennett and Isaac Hill. The church was the outgrowth of meetings
previously held by Eev. James Sherwood, of Cameron, New York, which resulted
ia a number of conversions. The original members were: Sheldon Atkins, Eiehard
Baird, John Owens, Daniel Andrus, Chester G. Seely, Ives Lane, Martha Atkins,
Susan Baird, Lucinda Owens and Clarissa Joseph. Meetings were held in dwell-
ings and at the old school house until 1860, when the present house of worship, at
Austinburg, was begun. It was completed in June, 1861, and is valued at $1,500.
The first pastor, Eev. Jesse Bennett, remained two years; the second, Eev. James
Sherwood, three years. The names, of their successors, in order of service, are as


follows: Eev. William Mack, 1850-51; Levi C. Warriner, 1853-56; Selden Butler,
1857-60; George Knapp, 1860-61; Selden Butler, 1863; D. W. Hunt, 1863;
Charles P. Pessenden, 1865; J. W. Brown, 1866; John Borden, 1867; L. Sargent,
1871; Hiram Bacon, 1877-83; 0. J. Moon, 1883-84; N. J. Shirey, 1886; A. J.
Wood, 1887; 0. C. Hill, 1889; N. J. Shirey, 1892; D. W. Hunt, 1893; E. F. Lyon,
1894-95. The present membership of the church is about forty, with an equal
number in the Sunday-school, which is in charge of Lazell George, superintendent.

The First Baptist Church of Broohfield, incorporated September 7, 1859, was
organized May 35, 1848. Rev. William G. Eaymond, a noted revivalist, and the
first pastor, held the meetings preceding the organization. The original members
..., were Benjamin Cuer and wife, George Hunt, Jackson Hunt, Laura L. Plank, Maria
Metcalf, Elisha Hackett, Matilda Mascho, L. Plank and D. B. Fisk. A church
edifice was built by ISTathan Besby in 1859, and the first meeting held in it in
June, 1860. This church stood at "the forks of the road," east of the Adam Loper
place. After prospering for a few years, the membership of this society dwindled,
until it was unable to sustain a regular pastor. Prom 1873 to 1883 no records
were kept. In the latter year those who had kept the organization alive, made an
effort to revive its growth. The old building, which had become dilapidated, was
sold and a new building erected two miles further south, near Sylvester postoffice.
This building, which is a neat frame edifice, was completed in the fall of 1883.
Since its erection, services have been held regularly. Rev. S. L. Bouvier, the first
pastor, had charge from 1883 to 1890. His successors have been: Revs. J. Mul-
lany, 1890-91; G. P. Watrous, 1891-93; A. W. Mettler, 1893, and S. A. Field,
who came in ISTovember, 1894. The church now numbers fourteen members. There
are fifty-six pupils in the Sunday-school, which has been maintained without in-
terruption from the beginning. R. L. Pride is the superintendent.

Cemeteries. — Brookfield Hollow Union Cemetery Association was organized in
1879, the trustees being Andrew J. Simmons, Charles Stanburrough, I. P. Parker,
John E. Cofiin and John G. Bowman. This cemetery, which contains about four
acres, is situated on the north side of the road, just east of Brookfield. It is the old
neighborhood burying ground, and contains the remains of many of the first set-
tlers. The Plank cemetery, just east of the residence of W. L. Plank, near
Sylvester, was at first a family burying ground. In 1854 it was deeded to
the heirs of Lovell Plank, by the old pioneer, and has since been used as a place
of interment by the immediate neighborhood. At Austinburg there are two ceme-
< teries. The old cemetery opposite the Free Will Baptist church is the resting place
of many of the pioneers, their children and their grandchildren. Interments were
made here as early as 1815. The new cemetery, situated southeast of the village, is
owned by the Woodlawn Cemetery Association, incorporated June 1, 1885. The
trustees are Rufus Cook, E. E. Shumway, Charles Fitch, M. V. Jordan, Goodsell
Everitt, E. E. Holmes and William Austin.


Broohfield — also known as Mink Hollow and Brookfield Hollow — is situated
in the northwestern part of the township, about half a mile south of the New York
state line and a mile east of the line of Potter county. Brown run, a branch of


the North Pork, flows from the north through the place, pursuing a slightly south-
west course. When the first settlers came into the township mink were found along
this run, hence the name Mink Hollow. The first settler on the site of the village
was John H. Brown, a Revolutionary soldier, who came about 1813. The village at
present contains a church, a school house, a store and postoffice, and a cheese factory,
around which are clustered a few farm homes.

The exact date of the establishment of the postoffice has not been ascertained.
Isaac H. Metcalf, who came into the township in 1834, and who was appointed soon
after coming, was the first postmaster, the office being at his house, a custom followed
by his successors until 1866, when it was permanently located at Brookfield. Dr.
Ethan B. Bacon was the second postmaster and held the office a number of years.
J. P. Sleeper was appointed about 1845, and was succeeded by Joseph W. Davis,
who was appointed by President Buchanan, and who held the ofB.ce up to the begin-
ning of the Civil War, when Andrew J. Simmons was appointed. He served until
1883, and was succeeded by Charles Stanburrough, who held until 1885, when
C. C. Kizer was appointed. In May, 1888, R. R. Ramsey secured the of&ce and
held it until August 1, 1893, when G. 0. Manwaring was appointed. Mr. Man-
waring soon after resigned and the ofiBce lapsed. The patrons of the office imme-
diately petitioned for its re-establishment, and it was re-established May 30, 1894,
with S. M. Baker, postmaster.

The first store in the township was opened in this neighborhood, in the early
thirties, by William Simmons, on his place, about a mile southeast of Brookfield. At
first he kept the goods for sale in his house, but soon afterwards erected a small store
building on the south side of the road a few rods east of his dwelling. He got his
goods from Joel Pao-khurst, of Elkland, with whom he appears to have been in part-
nership. His customers were his neighbors, and he took his pay in money and
labor, generally the latter. A day's chopping was the price of a yard of sheeting
or a yard of calico. Fifty cents a day was the usual price for labor. Mr. Simmons
sold goods here for many years, being in business either directly or indirectly until
his death, in January, 1880. J. P. Sleeper and Joseph Montanye also sold goods
in the Simmons store. The second store — long known as the Gardner store — was
built in Brookfield, at an early day, by George Bacon and David Gardner. Many
others followed them in business here, some of whom succeeded in building up a
large trade, while others, especially during recent years, failed to do a profitable bus-
iness, the trade of this section having been diverted to Westfield, North Fork and
Troupsburg. The store has been vacant for more than two years. In 1866 Andrew
J. Simmons erected a store building at Brookfield, in which he kept the postoffice
and sold goods until his father's death, when he moved back to the old homestead.
This building is also vacant. The cheese factory, which is No. 3 of the series of
factories operated by 0. H. Snyder, of North Fork, Potter county, Pennsylvania,
was built in 1866 by Wood & McBride. In 1894 its output was 166,000 pounds of
cheese, for which a good price was obtained.

Brookfield Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Association, No. 317, which was
organized February 25, 1892, meets here in the school house. It numbers twenty
members and is prosperous.

Austiriburg is situated in the northeastern part of the township on Troup's creek.


The first settler here was Bedford George, whose home stood on the bank of the
creek, near the mouth of South Pork. A school house was huilt here between 1835
and 1840. About the same time E. P. Eddy built a saw-mill, first run by water and
later by steam. This mill was purchased twenty years ago by Eichard Schoonover.
In July, 1881, it was destroyed by fire. He rebuilt it and still owns and operates it.
In 1861-63 church buildings were erected by the Free Will Baptist and the Metho-
dist Episcopal societies. The first store was opened in 1863 by Eichard Schoonover,
who ran it one year. In 1871 William Austin located here and opened a general store,
continuing until 1892, when he was burned out. In 1877 a postoffiee was established
through his efforts. He was appointed the first postmaster and the office was named
Austinburg. In 1892 E. P. Schoonover opened the present store in a new building,
and was appointed postmaster as Mr. Austin's successor. A cheese factory, built in
1883, is owned and operated by E. A. Bean, of Knoxville. Its average annual output
is 100,000 pounds. E. E. Shumway owns and operates a feed mill, and J. Cartwright
performs the labors and duties of the village blacksmith.

Austinburg Tent, No. 194, K. 0. T. M., meets in the hall over E. P. Schoonover's
store. It was organized September 14, 1893, and now numbers twenty-seven

Sylvester is the name of a postoffice established August 23, 1880, on the Califor-
nia road, in the central part of the township. It was named in honor of Sylvester
L. Plank, oldest son of Lovel Plank, the pioneer. Spencer B. Plank, the first post-
master, held the office until April 20, 1891, when he resigned, because of ill health,
and C. C. Mead, the present incumbent, was appointed. Mr. Plank also conducted
a general store until 1886, when he sold out to Mr. Mead. There is a cheese factory
here operated by 0. H. Snyder. The Baptist church, Sylvester Grange hall and a
few residences are the only other buildings in the village.

Sylvester Grange, No. 1078, was organized February 9, 1893. In 1894 it erected
a two-story, frame hall building costing $600. This grange has grown steadily and
now numbers fifty-seven members.



Organization — Reduction op Area — Physical Characteristics — Streams-
Timber Growth— Early Settlers— Pioneer Industries— schools and Jus-
tices—Churches AND Cemeteries— Societies— Villages and Postoppices.

CHATHAM township was organized in February, 1838, and was taken from Deer-
field township. In May, 1831, a strip two miles wide from east to west was taken
from Middlebury township and added to it on the east. In 1878 a strip, averaging
about two miles in width, was taken from it on the north and added to the southern
part of Deerfield township. As at present constituted it is about six and one-fourth
miles from north to south, six and a half miles from east to west, and contains about
forty square miles. It is bounded by Deerfield township on the north, Farmington
and Middlebury townships on the east, Delmar and Shippen townships on the south,
and Clymer and Westfield townships on the west. The township is watered by
numerous nms, brooks and creeks. The principal of these is Crooked creek, which,
with its tributaries. Mead's brook and Norris brook, drains the central and eastern
portions of the township. Other small unnamed streams drain difEerent sections
of the township. The northern boundary of the township is practically the water-
shed between the tributaries of the Cowanesque river, which flow north, and those of
Crooked creek, which flow south and southeast. The drainage of the township,
with the exception of the northwest quarter, is in these last-named directions.
One of the curious physical features of the township is a little marsh, from
which the village of Little Marsh takes its name. It is situated north of
Crooked creek, a short distance west of Beach's Mills, and is a marshy area between
the surrounding hills. Its head is a narrow ravine, which branches off, about a
mile north of the Boardman school house, from another ravine, the natural drainage
of which is toward the northwest, while that of the Little Marsh ravine is to-
ward the east and southeast. Until artificially obstructed, the water, in case
of heavy rains, has sometimes turned aside, either in whole or in part, into
the Little Marsh ravine, thus presenting the curious spectacle of a stream dividing
and one portion flowing east and southeast into Crooked creek and the other north-
west into Jemison creek. A natural watershed thus formed by the junction of
two ravines, is a thing rarely seen, and must be regarded as one of the physical
curiosities of the county.

The township is of uneven and, in places, rugged surface, yet the greater part
of its area is rolling and gently undulating, the uncultivable portion being very
limited. When first settled its hills and valleys were covered with a heavy growth
of white pine and hemlock, which, in the course of years, gave way to cultivated
fields and highly-improved and productive farms. Its lands are adapted to the


cereal grains, to grass, tobacco and orchard fruits, and its annual products show
that it is one of the best agricultural townships of the county. Not having any
railroads within its borders, the greater part of their trading is done in Westfield,
Knoxville, Osceola, Elkland, Sabinsville and Middlebury Center. Chatham is
strictly an agricultural township and its people devote their energies to the care and
cultivation of their farms.


The first white settler in Chatham township, as at present constituted, was
John Short, who located near the outlet of the "Little Marsh," in 1818. Two years
later he removed to what is now known as Shortsville. He was soon followed by
his brothers, Asa and Benoni, the latter making but a brief stay. Eeuben Cloos, a
son of Newbiiry Cloos, a pioneer settler of Deerfield township, commenced improve-
ments on his land in the "Cloos Settlement" in 1818. He built a log house, raised
two crops of grain and, in 1831, moved his wife to her new home. The first season,
during their absence, the house burned with everything in it, including $60 in silver
money. William Wass, a native of Sussex county, New Jersey, and a soldier of the
War of 1812, located in Deerfield township in 1817. His son, David Wass, now
a resident of Knoxville, says that in 1818 he removed to Chatham township and
settled about two miles west of East Chatham. Jesse Eowley also settled in the
township in 1818. Abel Cloos, a brother of Reuben, settled in the Cloos neighbor-
hood in the winter of 1832-33, and Abel Cloos, an uncle of Eeuben, and Armon
Cloos, a brother, a year or two later. Charles Avery, a native of Madison county,
New York, came in 1836, and located on the tract of land on which the East
Chatham postoffice is situated. This he sold in 1837 to Sylvester Treat, and located
on the farm now owned by Edward Carl. Here he passed the remainder of his life.

A number of early settlers who selected lands in this township were either
pioneers or sons of pioneers in Deerfield township. Some purchased lands and
did not settle, while others moved into the township and became permanent residents
and citizens of it. The first assessment made in 1829, by Allen Frazer, Jr., shows
that the following named persons, residents and non-residents, were taxable in the
township: Cyrus Ames, Aaron Alba, James Allen, Francis Burrell, Alexander
Burrell, Beersheba Bates, Asa Bates, Silas Billings, Daniel Baker, Stephen Colvin,
Joel Crandall, Samuel Carpenter, Allen Frazer, Jr., Eddy Howland, Jr., Joseph
Howland, John Knox, William Knox, David Lesure, John Macumber, Joseph
Matson, David Seamans, Level Short, Samuel Strawn, John P. Tracey, Elijah
Thompson, Samuel Taylor, Mrs. Tracey, widow of A. W. Tracey, William Wass
and Joseph Yamall. Of these about twenty were actual settlers, among whom
were Joel Crandall, a son of Stennett Crandall, who settled in Osceola township
in 1833; Stephen Colvin, who settled in the northern part of the township; Samuel
Carpenter, a son of Charles Carpenter, a pioneer of Osceola township; Allen Frazer,
Jr., who made the first assessment of the township; David Lesure, who settled on
Crooked creek; John Macumber, who settled northeast of Little Marsh, in the Cloos
district; Lovell Short, who was living on Crooked creek, at Shortsville, and Samuel
Strawn, who settled on the place now owned by his son, Samuel M. Strawn.

Amasa Clark was bom in Providence, Ehode Island, in 1801, and came to


Deerfield town&hip, in 1817, with Eleazer Clark, a relative. Soon after axriving
at manhood's estate he became an early settler in Chatham township, locating on
the farm now occupied by his son, Alanson Clark. Isaac Cole, the oldest living
resident of the township, came as early as 1831-32. William Spaulding, a native
of Hebron, E"ew York, removed from Vermont to Potter county, Pennsylvania,
in 1835, and in 1836 came to Chatham to^mship, settling on the farm below Chat-
ham Valley, now occupied by his son-in-law, D. H. Curtis. Eobert Hill and
Eensselaer Tolas settled on the site of the village of Little Marsh in the early
thirties, the former locating above and the latter below the creek bridge in the
village. In 1836 Matthew Boom settled in the northwestern part of the township,
near the "Swing Gate" school house. In 1837 Kehemiah Beach removed from
Knoxville, located at Little Marsh, and engaged in lumbering. In 1847 he removed
one mile west to the property now owned by his son, S. P. Beach. Harvey Leach,
for many years a prominent physician with a large practice, came into the township
in 1837, from Steuben county, IsTew York, and cleared a smail farm, on which he
resided till his death. Eonaldo Hawley, a native of Columbia county, Ifew York,
settled in 1840 on the farm now owned by Curry Beach. In 1841 Jeremiah Garner
settled in the western part of the township, southwest of the Boardman school
house. In 1842 Philo Churchill settled on the farm in the eastern part of the
township now occupied by his son, Eandolph Churchill. Jason Cooper, a soldier of
the "War of 1812, settled in 1844 in the northwestern corner of the township. In
the same year, also, Daniel H. Curtis, a native of Cayuga county. New York, settled
below Shortsville, on Crooked creek. In 1846 Philip Erway came into the town-
ship from Delmar township, and settled on the farm in the "Swing Gate" district
which he still occupies. About this time Thomas Owlett, a native of England,
settled in the northeastern part of the township. Alvin H. Eice, a native of Dela-
ware county, New York, came in 1847, and settled at Little Marsh, and became the
first merchant in the place.

Among other early settlers were Benson Hill, Z. Burdick, Frank Spencer, Aurora
Spencer, Calvin Davis, Moses Wilhelm, Joseph, Whitney and Calvin Wheeler, Alex-
ander Holmes, Azariah Slocum, Samuel Main, Artemus Crippen and Charles Fuller,
who settled in the southern part of the township; Miletus Brown, Peter Houghtaling
and Lemuel Jackson, who settled on the Shortsville road; Samuel Mosher, Nathan
Taylor and Daniel Hill, on the Mosher road; John Bates and Samuel Strong, on
the Bates road; Burdick Hill, Dyer Clark and Josiah Hall, on the road leading from
Beach's Mills to Academy Comers, and Daniel Shores, Harlow Boyce, Asher Man-
ning, Nehemiah Smith, Ezra Allen, M. Brownell and Samuel King, in the north-
western part of the township.


Chatham, at the time of its settlement, being a forest-covered township, lum-
bering preceded agriculture as its most important industry. The leading purpose of
the settlers was, however, to, as quickly as was possible, transform these tracts into
cultivated farms. Their main dependence for the accomplishment of this work
was a keen-edged ax and their own strong arms. Unwilling to wait until better
roads and a denser population should create a demand for the pine and hemlock


that then encumbered the ground, many of them called fire to their aid in the
clearing of their fields, and this accelerated the work of forest destruction. The
early mills were devoted to supplying lumher for home consumption, the first one
being built by Henry Eaton at Shortsville. It was not, however, until after the
building of the plank road from Tioga to Wellsboro, about 1850, that Ivunbering
became an industry of magnitude and importance. Mills were erected along
Crooked creek and its branches, and hundreds of teams were employed in hauling
the lumber down the Crooked Creek valley to Tioga, when it was either rafted down
the river or shipped by railroad. It is estimated that, at one time, nearly 1,000,000
feet of lumber a week was shipped out of Chatham and Middlebury townships in
this way. In time the pine disappeared, since which the cutting of hemlock for
lumber and bark has been carried on, until it, also, is nearly exhausted.

One of the first mills in the township was erected on Kate Mead's brook, by
Nehemiah Beach, about 1838. In 1847 he moved about a mile west of Little Marsh,
on Crooked creek, and erected a saw-mill, having as a partner MaJ. Seth Daggett.
A grist-mill was also erected and the water power derived from a reservoir formed
by damming the outlet to Little Marsh. Considerable malaria prevailed about this
time and those living near attributed it to the dam. An order of court was secured
compelling Mr. Beach to remove it. He claimed the decree was unjust and arbitrary
and would cause him great financial loss, and refused to obey it. Malarial fevers
still prevailing, the people took the matter in hand and destroyed the dam, as well
as the value of the mills. In 1873 steam power was put in, and in 1877 a store estab-
lished in connection with the mills. These properties are now owned and operated
by Mr. Beach's son, Simeon P. Beach. The upper story of the store building is
used as a lodge hall by the Knights of Honor and the Grange. These mills are

Online LibraryEmanuel SwedenborgHistory of Tioga County, Pennsylvania → online text (page 60 of 163)