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History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

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the only ones now in operation in the township.


The first school in the township was held in a log house, erected in 1831 for
a dwelling by Reuben Cloos. This school was taught in 1831 by a man named
Hovey. Other schools were established as the number of settlers increased. Soon
after the enactment of the public school law in 1835, the township was divided into
school districts. In 1878, when the northern part of the township was attached
to Deerfield township, it lost four out of sixteen school districts. ' The remaining
districts conform in their configuration to the variations of the surface, and are
so shaped as to obviate, as much as possible, excessive hill climbing on the part of
the pupils. They generally run with the valleys of the streams. The school houses
are good, substantial frame buildings, well supplied with modem furniture, and
good teachers are employed during the summer and winter terms. Among the early
teachers in the township were Stephen Wade, Stephen Martin, Miss Susie Gibson,
Daniel Van Dusen, Mary Van Dusen, Polly Cloos, Esther Avery, James Leach and
Augustus Andrews.

The following named persons have served as justices of the peace of this town-
ship: Allen Frazer, commissioned in 1830; Eeuben Cloos, 1840; Burdick Hill,
1840; William Boardman, 1845; Ben. Van Dusen, 1845; William A. Falkner,
1848; Samuel Strawn, 1850; Ben. Van Dusen, 1850; Prince P. Howland, 1851;


Abel M. Harris, 1853; F. W. Stark, 1855; Albert Clark, 1856; Eeuben Morse, 1857;
re-elected, 1862, 1867, 1873, 1877; F. W. Stark, 1860; A. A. De Grote, 1864; K
E. Hastings, 1865; Austin D. Riee, 1869; re-elected, 1882, 1890; Amasa Clark,
1879; Samuel W. Love, 1885; John A. Hornsby, 1886; re-elected, 1891; Alexander
Wass, 1894; John W. French, 1895.


The Free Will Baptist Church of Chatham Valley was organized in 1846 with
fifteen members. The names of the pastors who have served this church are Charles
Fooles, A. D. Pope, W. S. Smith,A. G. Downey and IST. J. Shirey. The church is
without a regular pastor at present. In 1896 a neat church building, costing $1,200,
was erected at Chatham Valley.

The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Chatham, at Little Marsh, was organ-
ized about 1855. It is difficult to ascertain the exact year. It appears, however,
that about this time a class was organized at the Boardman school house by Rev.
Alfred G. Terry. In 1855, also, the existence of a church was recognized by the
conference assigning Eev. James Duncan to Chatham. The accessible records,
however, do not give a list of the pastors back of 1868, when Rev. 0. P. Livingston
took charge, remaining until 1871. His successors have been Revs. Elisha Hudson,
1871-72; Mr. Hinman, 1872-73; A. D. Ensign, 1873-75; 0. P. Livingston, 1875-77;
WoodrufE Post, 1877-78; J. H. Perry, 1878-79; W. Beach, 1879-81; J. W. Miller,
1881-84; J. C. Stevens, 1884-86; W. S. Dubois, 1886-87; A. P. Cole, 1887-92; C.
R. Morrow, 1892-95, and H. R. Wagner, who came in November, 1895. The church
was duly incorporated September 10, 1870. The trustees of incorporation were
Sidney Beach, Leonard Clark, John Mead, Alexander Wass and Lockwood Smith,
and also included, but not as incorporators, Abel Close, A. D. Rice, Robert Hill and
A. H. Roberts. A church building was erected in the spring of 1872, at a cost of
$3,500. The church now numbers 108 members.

The Second Methodist Episcopal Church, otherwise known as the "Owlett
Church," is situated in the northeastern part of the township, neax the Middlebury
township Hne, and was established about thirty-five years ago. In 1882 a church
building was erected at a cost of $1,200. The same pastors have served this church
and the church at Little Marsh, and the list given in its history answers for both.
The church now has a membership of about fifty. The Sunday-school was regularly
maintained until recently, when, owing to irregular attendance, it was temporarily
discontinued. The society was incorporated April 3, 1882.

The First Chatham Cemetery Association was incorporated August 38, 1872, the
incorporators being Reuben Morse, Reuben Cloos, Lon Avery, Amasa Clark, Jr.,
Philip T. Cloos and Alanson Clark. The cemetery controlled by this association
is known as the old Cloos burying ground, where a number of early pioneers lie

The Lee Cemetery Association was incorporated December 22, 1886, the officers
and incorporators being Daniel H. Lee, president; Sylvester Treat, secretary; John
Owlett, treasurer. The cemetery, which was established about fifty years ago, is
located in the northeastern part of the township, near East Chatham postoffice. The
remains of the early settlers of the neighborhood axe interred here.


The Robert Hill Cemetery Association was incorporated December 29, 1894, the
incorporators being A. M. Eoberts, A. Spencer, H. C. "Warmsley, W. H. Thompson,
Gurden Reed, G. D. Beach and C. E. Beach. This cemetery is situated between
Little Marsh and Beach's Mills and has been used as a place of burial for nearly
half a century.

The Boardman Cemetery, near the old Boardman school house, in the western
part of the township, is an old burying ground. There is also a small cemetery
near the Swing Gate school house, and also one at Shortsville.


Chatham is fairly well supplied with societies, embracing the following organi-
zations: Little Marsh Lodge, Ifo. 2263, K. of H., was chartered August 27, 1880.
It meets in a hall over the store of S. P. Beach, at Beach's Mills, and embraces about
twenty-five members. Alfred Toles Post, No. 320, G. A. E., contains fifty mem-
bers. It was organized April 21, 1883, and has a hall at Little Marsh. Alfred
Toles Corps, No. 28, W. R. C, meets at the same place. It was organized September
4, 1889, and has a membership of nearly forty. Both the post and corps are pros-
perous and help to keep alive a patriotic spirit in the township. Little Marsh Tent,
No. 179, K. 0. T. M., was organized May 31, 1893, and meets at the lodge room in
Little Marsh. Excelsior Grange, No. 1136, P. of H., which meets at the hall over
Beach's store, was organized May 16, 1895. It has a membership of twenty-six.


Little Marsh, so named from a small marsh about two miles northwest, up the
Crooked Creek valley, is situated north and east of the geographical center of the
township. The first settlers upon its site were Rensselaer Toles and Robert Hill.
Toles settled below and Hill above the creek bridge within the village. They both
located in the early thirties. In 1837 Nehemiah Beach removed from Knoxville,
and engaged in limibering here, remaining until 1847. The first store was opened
here about 1855 by T. P. W. Stark, on the site of the present hotel building. Alvin
H. Rice was also an early merchant, as were also Kelley & Smith, Seymour Guild
and Abner Humphrey. There are now two stores in the place; one is carried on
by Cooper & Carpenter and the other by E. S. Davis & Sons. In the second story
of the Cooper & Carpenter building is the lodge hall of the Grand Army of the
Republic, the Woman's Relief Corps and the Knights of the Maccabees. The first
hotel in the village was built in 1878, by Erastus Rice — a son of Alvin H. Rice—
who still keeps it. In 1889 Alexander Wass built a cheese factory, which he still
operates. A wagon shop is carried on by C. "W. Ordiway and a blacksmith shop by
Charles Heath.

Dr. Harvey Leach, who settled in the township in 1837, was the first physician
to practice here. His successors have been Dr. S. P. Kenyon, Dr. Simmons, Dr.
Street, Dr. John Feltwell and Dr. B. J. Fulkerson, who remained about fifteen years.
The profession is represented at present by Dr. Inman H. White, who came in the
fall of 1895.

A postofiice was established in the township previous to 1840, at the residence


of Eedding Macumber, who was the first postmaster and held the office a number
of years. Amasa Clark was the postmaster during the war and was succeeded by
Edward Miller, who held the office one year. In the fall of 1868 the office was
established at Little Marsh, with John Mowrey, postmaster, who held it until 1876.
His successors have been E. W. Toles, A. D. Rice, A. M. Roberts and A. D. Rice,
who was appointed a second time in the fall of 1893. The village contains a good
graded school. The population of the place numbers about 150, nearly all of whom
are interested in agriculture.

Chatham Valley Postofflce, or Shortsville, is in the Crooked Creek valley, near the
eastern boundary line of the township. A postoffice was established here about
1840. Henry Caton was the first postmaster. The office was located in his dwell-
ing, a custom continued by his successors, among whom were William Spaulding,
Samuel Cady, James Wiley, John W. Erench, B. W. Suffem, Redding Macumber
and Russell Brigden. Mr. Brigden permitted the office to lapse. A new office was
established February 6, 1883, and David H. Curtis, who still fills the position,
appointed postmaster. He has the office in his dwelling, in which it was located
in 1852, when his father-in-law, William Spaulding, was postmaster. There ;is one
store, that of HoUister Leach, and two blacksmith shops, carried on by Joe Borden
and David Short, in Chatham Valley.

East Chatham is the name of a postoffice established July 11, 1870, in the
northeastern part of the township, at the residence of R. G. Treat, who still holds
the office of postmaster, and serves for the accommodation of his neighborhood
rather than for any honors or emoluments attached to the place.



Organization— Oeigin of Name— William B. Clymer— His Generous Treat-
ment OF Settlers — Physical Features op Tovfnship— Forest Growth —
Streams — Area — Early Settlers- Early Industries — Schools and Ju stices
— Churches and Cemeteries — Societies— Villages and Postopfices.

CLYMER township, originally named Middletown, was formed from portions,
of Westfield and Gaines townships in December, 1850, and was named in
honor of William B. Clymer, a grandson of George Clymer, a distinguished Penn-
sylvanian and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Mr. Clymer
was the agent of the Bingham estate, to which, before its settlement, nearly all the
land in the township belonged. Land was sold at $1.35 per acre, and Mr. Clymer


did much to encourage settlers to locate in the township, and many stories are told
of his generosity toward those who, through failure of crops, sickness or other
causes, not due to their own shiftlessness or lack of industry, were unable to meet
their payments. In many instances he extended them time, loaned them money,
refusing interest therefor, and did his best to put heart into them and encourage
them to remain on their clearings and make their permanent home in the township.
Many of the old settlers, who afterwards became prosperous and well-to-do farmers,
freely admitted that, had it not been for his generous aid and encouragement, they
would have been compelled to abandon their clearings and begin anew elsewhere.

The general elevation of this township is about 1,600 feet above the sea level.
It forms a part of the watershed of northern Pennsylvania, the streams in the
northern half flowing north into the Cowanesque river, and those in the southern
part flowing south into Pine creek, a tributary of the West Branch of the Susque-
hanna river. The surface of the land is rolling and hilly, but not enough so to
interfere with cultivation, except to a very limited extent. The township is there-
fore a good agricultural" township, and abounds in well-tilled and productive farms.
Unlike most of the other townships of the county, the timber growth at the time of
its settlement was mostly hard wood, principally maple and beech, with a liberal
admixture of hickory, cherry and hemlock. The lands were not, therefore, pur-
chased, in the first instance, with a view to lumbering, but to cultivation.

The streams of the township are Potter brook, which rises in the northwestern
part, and flows north into Westfield township, uniting with the Cowanesque river
at the village of Potter Brook; Crance brook, which rises in the southern part of
the township and flows north into "Westfield township; Mill creek and its branches,
which drain the central part of the township, flow north into Westfleld township
and unite with the Cowanesque at Westfleld borough; Jemison creek, which has
its source in the southeastern part of the township and flows north into Westfield
township, emptying into the Cowanesque at Phillips Station; and Long run and
its branches, which drain the southwestern quarter of the township, and flow south
into Gaines township and unite with Pine creek.

The township is nearly square, being seven miles from east to west by about
five and one-third miles from north to south, the superficial area being about thirty-
seven square miles.


James Mix, who located at what is still known as Mixtown in 1818, is reputed
to have been the first settler in the township. In 1820 Simon Eixford, a Eevolu-
tionary soldier, and a pioneer settler at Knoxville, purchased the Mix property.
He was accompanied by his wife and his stepson, George 0. Bristol. The latter
assisted him in clearing his land and later purchased a tract for himself from Mr.
Eixford's son David. At this time the entire township was a wilderness, the nearest
neighbor being Stephen Potter, at the mouth of Potter brook, in Westfield town-
ship. In 1833 Eufus Scott, a son of Luke Scott, a pioneer settler at Knoxville,
located west of Eixford on the place now owned and occupied by his son, Eli D.
Scott. George Briggs, another early settler, came about 1833, and settled east of


Mixtown. Christopher Sehoonover also settled about 1833 in the Mixtown

Silas S. Griffin, a native of Madison county, New York, settled, in 1833, in the
eastern part of the township, on the farm now occupied by Charles L. Bruce, who
married his widow. Peter Eushmore, a native of New York, and a tanner and
currier, settled in Enoxville in 1820 and in 1835 removed to and cleared and im-
proved the farm now occupied by Wilbur Churchill, passing his life there. In 1836
Lyman Hancock, a native of Madison county. New York, settled near Sabinsville,
where he resided until 1868, when he removed to Westfleld. In the same year Isaac
Beach located in the Mixtown neighborhood on the farm now occupied by his son,
Burdett Beach. Charles P. Douglas, also a native of Madison county. New York,
located in February, 1837, near Sabinsville. In 1837, also, Orrin Stebbins settled
in the Sabinsville neighborhood. Alonzo Giles Sabin, a native of Lebanon, New
York, settled. in 1838, on the farm southwest of Sabinsville now occupied by his
widow and his son, Luman E. Sabins. The village of Sabinsville was named in his
honor. In 1840 Freeman Wilcox, a native of New York, settled on and improved
the farm west of Sabinsville now occupied by his son, William W. Dixon South-
worth settled in 1843, in the northeastern part of the township, on the farm now
owned by his son Charles. He died in February, 1893, aged eighty-nine years.
Erastus G. Hill located in the township in 1844, and afterwards removed to West-
field and built the Hill House. In 1845 Thomas Barber settled in the Mixtown
neighborhood. Aaron Yale, one of the oldest living settlers of the township, located
in 1845 a short distance southeast of Sabinsville. In 1847 Thomas Eldridge, a
native of Vermont, settled on the farm southeast of Sabinsville now owned by his
son, John Eldridge. In this year, also, Eeese I., Eeuben and Hiram Eeynolds
settled on Jemison creek.

In 1848 Sylvester Davey, a native of Chenango county. New York, settled south
of Sabinsville, in what was then Gaines township. In the same year Eoswell Ackley
settled in the Ackley school district, northeast of Sabinsville. His son, C. C. Ackley,
now occupies the old homestead. E. G. Smith settled between Sabinsville
and Mixtown in 1849, in which year John Sawyer came into the township.
In 1849, also, Dennis D. Eoberts, a native of Herkimer county. New York,
settled near Sabinsville, and divided his time between farming and his trade. Be-
sides those mentioned, the following were early settlers in the township: John King,
Blihu Matteson, Willard Potter, Archibald Campbell, Samuel Swimelar, Orson
Pemberton, Nathaniel Owen, Watson Trowbridge, who settled about 1839 or 1840;
Nathaniel Skinner, William Larrison, Samuel Niver, C. E. Skinner, Caleb Trow-
bridge, Peter Lovell and John Lovell, all of whom settled in and around Mixtown.
Among the early settlers on Long run were George Harvey, Jared Davis, who located
on the site of Davis Station; Calvin Newton, Moses Newton and William E. Burdic.
Among those who settled in and around Sabinsville were Thomas Strait, Zachariah
Heminger, William Eogers, Eoswell Eogers,^ Demarquis Thompson, Frederick
Swimelar, William Ladd, Level Short, Cyrus Paddock and George, William and
Charles Labar.



Before the forests were cleared away and the township reduced to its present
high state of cultivation, nearly every settler had a "sugar bush," of from one to
several hundred sugar maple trees upon his place, and the approach of spring was
heralded by the lighting of the fires in hundreds of "sugar camps," and the manu-
facture, during the sap-running season, of large quantities of maple sugar, which
was hauled overland to the Cowanesque river and to Pine creek, and shipped on rafts
down those streams, finding a ready market in Painted Post, Coming, Elmira,Towanda,
Williamsport, Harrisburg and Philadelphia. The sugar camp was not only a scene
of industry but of merry making, of which the young people took the fullest and
freest advantage, and many a gray-haired sire and matron loves now to recall the
frolics and dances that accompanied this pleasant and well-nigh departed occupation
of each returning springtime.

Though not the leading industry, lumbering was carried on to a considerable
extent, and mills for the purpose of home supply were erected on Mill creek and its
branches, the lumber manufactured being used in the erection of houses and barns,
though most of the settlers contented themselves for years with the log cabin, the
typical home of the pioneer. In time these were replaced with neat frame resi-
dences fit to domicile an industrious and thrifty people. '


The first school house in the township was built in 1836 at Mixtown. In 183^
a school building was erected at Sabinsville, and as the township became settled
new school districts were created, and proper attention paid to the education of the
young. The school at Sabinsville is now a graded school, in which two teachers
are employed. Among the early teachers in this school were Alonzo G. Sabin,
Ambrose Close, Martin Purple, Alma Davey and Ann Benn. Other early teachers
in the township were Hiram K. Hill, Horace P. Hill, Sarah Whittaker, E. 0. Austin,
J. B. Seely and Alveron Pritehard. Good school houses have been erected for the
accommodation and comfort of the pupils and good teachers are yearly employed
for instructing them in the courses of study adopted.

The office of justice of the peace has been filled by the following named persons:
W. A. Douglas, 1851; re-elected, 1858, 1863; James Pritehard, 1853; Daniel
Holmes, 1861; V. E. Gee, 1868; re-elected, 1873, 1878; Ira S. Stocum, 1873; re-
elected, 1878, 1883, 1888, 1893; J. L. Thompson, 1882; re-elected, 1887, 1896;
Alfred King, 1892; John Davis, 1893.


The Methodist Episcopal Church of Glymer was organized about 1853, and a
house of worship erected in 1856 at a cost of $1,100. It was dedicated December
17, 1859. A new church edifice was erected in 1888, and dedicated December 18,
of that year. This was destroyed by fire December 9, 1893. This church being in
the Westfield charge, the same pastors have served both societies. Since the
burning of the church building, however, the organization has lapsed. Some of
its members have united with other churches, while others attend the church in


Glymer Baptist Church was organized in March, 1869, in the Methodist church
in the Aekley school district, about a mile east of Sabinsville, by Eev. William
Owens, evangelist. Among the early members were 0. B. Colony, Barton Morse and
wife, Mrs. Martha Eeynolds, Mrs. Estoria Frasier, Mrs. S. J. Aekley, Noah Weeks
and wife, Asa Gile and wife and Mrs. Betsey Davis. In 1871 the congregation began
the erection of a house of worship in Sabinsville. It was completed and dedicated
in 1877. It is a neat frame edifice and cost $3,000. The first deacons of this church
were 0. B. Colony, Willard Brown and L. H. Knapp. The following named minis-
ters have served this church as pastors: Eevs. Orson Schoonover, Martin Seagers,
Mr. Todd, Charles Diffin, P. T. Eeynolds, S. L. Bouvier, J. MuUany, A. W. Mettler
and S. A. Fields. The church now numbers forty-eight members. There are sixty
pupils in the Sunday-school, of which Mrs. E. J. Eeynolds is the superintendent.

The Free Will Baptist Church of Sabinsville was organized in June, 1895, with
the following members: Mrs. Minnie Aekley, Mrs. Nellie Nichols, Mary Vanloy,
S. French, Frank Gill and wife, Daniel Brown and William Cole and wife. This
congregation meets in the Baptist church. The pastor is Eev. J. C. Warren, of

Cemeteries. — The Sabinsville cemetery is located in the southern part of the
village. It is unincorporated and is a free burial place. The Aekley cemetery is
situated southeast of Sabinsville, on the Main road to Wellsboro. The Labar bury-
ing ground is near the Westfield township line on the Mud road. The West Beech
Woods cemetery is one and one-half miles south of Sabinsville on the farm of
Andrew J. Clark. The Bristol burying ground is two miles west of Sabinsville.
In this graveyard lie the remains of Simon Eixford, the patriot and pioneer. The
Owen cemetery is situated in the southwest corner of the township, near the Potter
county line. The Barber cemetery is at Mixtown. The Larrison and Swimelar
cemeteries are practically family burying grounds. In each of these places
of burial rest the remains of the early settlers in the immediate neighborhood. Some
originally family graveyards have become public cemeteries, while others have been
set apart for the private burial of the relatives of the family on whose land the first
graves were opened.


The societies of Clymer are as follows: Sabinsville Lodge, No. 2300, K. of H.,
was organized October 2, 1880, and has fifteen members. Sabinsville Union, No.
253, E. A. U., was organized March 5, 1881, and embraces thirty members. H. C.
Aekley Post, No. 469, G. A. E., organized January 19, 1885, contains a membership
of thirty old soldiers who helped to defend the flag. Sabinsville Grange, No. 989,
P. of H., has a membership of sixty-five. It was organized December 15, 1890,
and is in a flourishing condition. Clymer Tent, No. 166, K. 0. T. M., was organized
April 26, 1893, and has thirty members. Sabinsville Hive, No. 95, L. 0. T. M., was
organized in 1895. Thus the township is well supplied with social and secret organ-
izations, some of which have done much good in the community.


Mixtown, named for James Mix, who settled upon the site in 1818, is situated
in the western part of the township, about a mile from the Potter county line. At


one time it gave promise of being a place of some importance as a trading point. It
contained two stores, carried on by W. 0. Bristol and J. H. Eushmore, but after tbe
completion of the Fall Brook railroad to Westfield and Potter Brook, and of tbe
Addison and Pennsylvania railroad to Sabinsville, trade was diverted to these places
and the stores at Mixtown, discontinued business. A postoffice, established over
fifty years ago, was discontinued in October, 1894, for lack of sufficient patronage.
Among those who filled the office of postmaster here were Christopher Schoonover.
James Pritchard, W. 0. Bristol, J. H. Eushmore and Eli D. Scott. Mr. Scott held
the office for seventeen years previous to its discontinuance. A cheese factory,
erected in 1886, by J. H. Eushmore, and still owned and operated by him, is the

Online LibraryEmanuel SwedenborgHistory of Tioga County, Pennsylvania → online text (page 61 of 163)