Emanuel Swedenborg.

History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

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of mountains and ravines, and there is but little tillable land in the township, com-
pared to its area. As a consequence, it is but spaxsely settled, its agricultural popu-
lation being confined to the northern part. When first settled it was covered with
a heavy growth of pine, hemlock and hard wood. Fifty years of extensive lumber-
ing operations have greatly depleted this forest growth, a considerable portion of
which has been converted into lumber in the mills operated in the township, but
much the greater part has gone down Pine and Kettle creeks to mills on the Susque-
hanna. The scenery of the township is picturesque, the mountains rising sharply
from the sides of the clear streams that, as branches of Pine creek, Elk run and
Kettle creek, break its surface up into numerous narrow, gorge-like ravines. The
principal of these streams is Cedar run, a rapid-flowing stream, having its source near
the centre of the township. It flows through a narrow ravine, the mountains on
either side rising to a height of 800 to 1,000 feet. This stream unites with Pine creek
at Cedar Eun, Lycoming county. Kettle creek rises in the northwestern part of
the township and flows southwest into Potter county. Elk run rises in the northern
part of the township and flows northwest into Gaines township. Several smaller
streams rise in the southern part of the township and flow into Lycoming county.

In November, 1856, there were thirty-one resident taxables in the township,
fourteen of whom were laborers. In 1870 the census returns showed a population
of 172; in 1880, 470, and in 1890, 693.


In 1847 Silas Billings erected a steam saw-mill near the head of Cedar run, and
around it built a number of houses for his employes. This place took the name of
"Lungerville." The flrst permanent settler — ^the first man who came into the town-
ship with a view to establishing a home and cultivating the soil — ^was John Maynard,
who, in 1853, purchased and located upon 500 acres of wild land in the northwestern
part of the township. Here he cleared the farm upon which his son Eeuben now
resides. In February, 1856, when the township was organized, the actual settlers


were John Maynard, George Maynard, Loren Wetmore, John B. Smith, Jehial
Beach, Homer Euggles, D. W. Euggles, Benjamin Freyer, James F. Weseott, Jason
Smith and G. W. Howd, who were all located in the northwestern part of the town-
ship, near the Maynai'd and Sehanbacher school houses. In this year, also, Fred-
erick Zimmerman settled in the township. Frank Pm-hen settled about 1862; Henry
Hubers came about the same time; Carl Walpers, in 1863; Francis Schramm, in
1864; Peter B. Champaign and Henry Brecher, in 1867; Charles H. West, in 1868;
Alexander Kherley and William E. Eumsey, in 1869, and Hiram L. Colegrove, in
1872. The settlers all located in the northern part of the township, where with
patient industry they cleared away the forest, built homes for themselves and- their
families, planted fields and orchards, established schools and in other ways promoted
the development of that section of the township.


Ever since the building of the first saw-mill in 1847 on Cedar run by Silas
Billings, lumbering has formed the leading enterprise of the township. Much of
the pine and hemlock has been converted into lumber by saw-mills established
within the township limits, but more has been floated in the log to Williamsport
and beyond. The timber in the vicinity of the streams went first, and the moun-
tains were soon stripped bare from base to summit. The leading spirit was Silas
Billings, an early settler at Knoxville, and later an extensive lumber operator in
Gaines. Mr. Billings purchased the greater part of the timber land of the town-
ship, and with characteristic energy set about converting the timber growth into
logs and lumber. His mill on Cedar run, established in 1847, was the first one in
the township. He continued operations here until his death in 1853. In order to
get the product of his mill to Pine creek, he built a plank road to the mouth of
Cedar run. Soon after the completion of this road he sold a large quantity of
standing timber to parties in Williamsport who were connected with the Boom
Company. In 1878 his son, Silas X. Billings, who succeeded his father on the death
of the latter, sold the hemlock bark on 20,000 acres to Lee & Company, of Nos. 20
and 22, Ferry street. New York City.

The Cedar Bun Tannery, at Leetonia, was established in 1879 by W. Creighton
Lee. Ground was broken in the spring and the tanning of leather begun on Sep-
tember 1. The massive and heavy machinery had to be hauled from Stokesdale and
Wellsboro, with teams, over roads that made the work both dangerous and difficult.
It was, however, successfully accomplished. Houses for employes were also built
and a village established, which soon had a population of between 200 and 300
inhabitants. May 1, 1893, the tannery passed into the control of the Union Tanning
Company, and is one of the large number of tanneries operated by that corporation
in northern Pennsylvania. When operated to its full capacity this tannery gives
employment to eighty men and turns out 450 sides of sole leather a day. The super-
intendent is James L. Snyder and the foreman Eobert Thompson.

E. S. & W. B. Christian have operated since the fall of 1895 a saw-mill on Cedar
run, above Leetonia. This mill is devoted to getting out hard wood lumber and



What is known as the Maynard school, in the northwestern part of the town-
ship, was the first school established, the first teacher being Miss Marion A. Wat-
roiis. Among the early teachers in this and the other schools of the township were
Martha Dennison, Mary Kelley, Selana Hart, Carrie Wilcox, Albina Vennilyea, Nora
Dartt, Phoebe Wetmore, Amsi Strait, Florence Noyes and Emily Merrick. Miss
May Herrington was an early teacher at Leetonia, where a neat school building was
erected soon after the establishment of the tannery.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Leetonia was organized in 1879, the first
pastor being F. C. Thompson. His successors have been S. A. Brace, J. C. Stevens,
W. Beach, C. D. Eowley, J. C. Ferrell, John Irons, Eev. Bursh, A. T. Percy and G.
W. Doan. The church has no pastor at present. A Sunday-school is maintained
with Miss Stella Tate as superintendent. The society worships in the public school

North Elk Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in April, 1895, with the
following members: Frederick -Schanbacher, William F. Schanbacher, J. H. Hubers,
Mrs. Mary S. Hubers, P. H. Hubers, Miss E. Sophia Hubers, Mrs. Sarah S. Cham-
paign, Mrs. Kate Eeinwald, Frederick H. Eeinwald, I. C. Zimmerman and William
Anderson. The first pastor was Eev. Uri Mulford. The present pastor is Eev. A.
C. Hill. There are now eleven members. Meetings are held in the Schanbacher
school house, a class having met here for many years previous to the organization
of the church.


The first elections in the township were held at the house of Homer Euggles, and
later at the Schanbacher and Maynaxd school houses. The present voting place is at
Leetonia. The office of justice of the peace has been filled by the following named
persons: John Maynaxd, 1861; re-elected, 1866, 1871, 1876; John E. Smith, 1862;
Loren Wetmore, 1868; John F. Schanbacher, 1873; J. H. Hubers, 1876; re-elected,
1881; Oscar K. Brown, 1881; George E. Maynard, 1884; Edward Peters, 1888;
Joseph Gorton, 1891; re-elected, 1892; F. E. Bradley, 1894.


Leetonia is the name of a village that sprung up in 1879 around the Cedar Eun
Tannery. It is situated on Cedar run, seven miles above its mouth. The Cedar run
valley at this point is quite narrow and the dwellings of the tannery employes are
ranged along the hillsides. Besides the tannery, the place contains a store, formerly
carried on by the tannery company, but since May 1, 1893, by Shaut & Company; a
public school building, and Methodist Episcopal church society, which worships in
the school building.. The postoffice — named Leetonia — was established in 1879.
H. H. Tenbrook was the first postmaster. Plis successors have been James F. Palen,
Eobert Thompson and the present incumbent, James L. Snyder.

Malone was the name of the first postoffice established in the township, the
postmaster being Loren Wetmore. It was soon discontinued, since which time the
residents of the southwestern part of the township get their mail at Maxshfield, in
Gaines township.



Okganization— Reductions of akea -Physical Chaeactebistics— Timber and
Coal— Streams— Railroads— Population— PioNEEK Settlement— Mills and
Other Enterprises — Schools — Physicians and Justices — Churches—
Societies— Villages and Postofpices.

MOEEIS township was organized in September, 1824, and was taken from
Delmar. As originally constituted it extended to the Potter county line,
and embraced the greater portion of the present township of Elk, which was organ-
ized in 1856. In December, 1873, a strip nearly a. mile in width from north to
to south by three miles iu length from east to west, was taken from it on the north
to make a portion of the area of the new township of Duncan. It is nearly thirteen
miles from east to westj has an average width from north to south of about five
miles, and contains about sixty-five square miles. The general surface of the town-
ship is mountainous, the hills being steep and high and the valleys narrow and
restricted. This is especially true of all that portion lying west of a line drawn
north and south through Hoytville. The cultivable area is confined to the uplands
in the southeastern part and to the valleys of Pine creek, and to those of Babb's creek
and its tributaries. The farming area in the southeastern part of the township is,
however, noticeable for its well improved farms and prosperous farmers, the soil
being rich and productive. The mountainous area is wild and picturesque, and is
still the scene of active lumberiug operations, though the timber supply is about
exhausted. The general upland level of the township is from 1,000 to 1,200 feet
higher than the mouth of Babb's creek, which unites with Pine creek at Blackwells,
at which point the elevation is 833 feet above tidewater.

The streams of the township are Pine creek, Babb's creek. Stony Fork creek,
Wilson creek, Dixe's run and Zimmerman's run. Pine creek pursues a southeasterly
course through the western part of the township to Blackwells, where it turns
southwest and crosses the Lycoming county line about a mile below. Its valley
is deep and narrow, the mountains on either side rising almost precipitously to a
height of a thousand feet. The portion of the township lying west of the valley
of this stream is uninhabited, as is also the greater portion of the township lying
between it and Stony Fork creek, north of the Babb's creek vaUey. Babb's creek,
a tributary of Pine creek, rises in the southeastern part of Charleston township,
flows southeast to the Duncan township line, where it turns south and a few miles
further on southwest, which latter course it pursues through Morris township to its
junction with Pine creek at Blackwells. It receives as tributaries Wilson creek
and Stony Fork creek from the north; Dixe's run and several smaller streams


from the south. It and its tributaries are, in times of high water, turbulent streams.
The northeastern portion of the township lies within the Blossburg coal basin, most
of the coal land being the property of the Fall Brook Coal Company, now operating
the mines at Antrim.

The valley of Pine creek is traversed by the Pine Creek railroad, completed ia
1884, and operated by the Fall Brook Eailroad Company. The Amot and Pine
Creek railroad, completed from Arnot to Hoytville in 1883, is now operated by the
Erie. It connects with the Tioga railroad at Blossburg.

During the earlier years of the township's history its principal industry was
lumbering, and its population was largely transient and shifting. The census of
1840 showed only 120 inhabitants. In 1870 there were 433; in 1880, 633, and in
1890, 1,849, 560 of which were credited to the village of Hoytville.


Samson Babb, a native of Wilmington, Delaware, was the first settler of the
township. He came in 1800 and located on Babb's creek — named for him — on the
site of the present village of Morris, near the mouth of Wilson creek. He had pre-
viously purchased from the Pine Creek Land Company a tract of 450 acres of heavily-
timbered land, known as "Icassa." Here, as early as 1806, he erected a water-power
saw-mill. He was largely instrumental in getting a State road built from Williams-
port up the Pine creek and Babb's creek valleys to Wellsboro. He was appointed
a justice of the peace in 1813, and held the office until his death, in October, 1815.

The next permanent settlement was made at the mouth of Babb's creek, on the
site of the present village of Blackwells, by Enoch Blackwell, Sr., in 1811. When he
came on to the land he found it occupied by A. P. Harris and George Bonnell, but
as they had secured no title he found no difficulty in obtaining possession. Mr.
Blackwell came from Haven Parish, Gloucestershire, England, in 1805, and was
one of a colony from that parish who established the "English Settlement" in Pine
township, Lycoming county. Like most of the colonists, he became dissatisfied
with the location, and afterwards exchanged his lands for a tract of 1,200 acres of
fine timber land on Pine creek, above and below the mouth of Babb's creek. After
securing possession he devoted himself to getting out and rafting square pine timber
down Pine creek, and seems to have prospered in that line of effo;rt. He died at
Jersey Shore in the spring of 1816, aged about sixty-five years, and was buried in
the old Pine Creek burying ground. In 1817 his son, William, removed to the mouth
of Babb's creek, and became the founder of the village of Blackwells. He died
December 6, 1859, aged seventy years, and lies buried in the cemetery about a mile
up Babb's creek.

Owing to its rugged character, the township settled slowlj', so that when it was
organized in 1834 there were but eighteen taxables within its boundaries. Their
names are as follows: William Babb, Jacob Babb, William Blackwell, Nathan
Broughton, who came about 1830; Samuel, Eobert and John Campbell, who came
about 1831; William Diggins, who came in 1833; Charles and Terence Duffy,
Mary Landis, and Jacob and William Emmick, who came about 1833; Samuel M.
Harrison, the first school teacher in the township, who came in 1819; Eobert and


C. Willammee and Jacob Warren, who came in 1834. Thomas Lloyd, Jacob Valen-
tine and Sylvester "Webster, "single freemen," were residing in the township in 1834.


The first Raw- mil] ia the township was erected by Samson Babb, in 1806, on
Babb's creek, near the site of the present mill of the Blossburg Coal Company, in
Morris. Like all early mills it was a water-mill and was run by a flutter-wheel.
The lumber sawed during the first year of the mill's existence was floated down
Babb's creek to its mouth, the intention being to raft it down Pine creek to the
Susquehanna. A sudden flood, however, swept it away. After Mr. Babb's death
in October, 1815, the mill became the property of his son, William Babb, who
operated it continuously until 1833, when it appears to have been diseontiuued.
In 1831 he resumed operations again, continuing uninterruptedly until 1858.

In 1835 a saw-mill and a grist-mill were built on Babb's creek just above the
village of Blackwells. The owner was Mary Landis, who was assisted in operating
the mills by her cousins, Charles and Terence Duffy. In 1835 the saw-mill became
the property of James Duffy, who also acquired the grist-mill in 1839. He con-
tinued as sole owner until 1854, when the firm of James Duffy & Brothers was organ-
ized. In 1865 they were succeeded by John H. Humes, and he in 1870 by W. C.
GiUespie. In 1874 he was succeeded by Gillespie & Company. The next owners
were W. Walters & Son, who sold the property in the spring of 1896 to E. J. Prank-
ILq. The saw-mill was washed away in the June flood of 1889, and has not been
rebuilt. The grist-mill, which has two-run of buhrs, has been recently repaired.

Another early saw-mill was erected on Babb's creek in 1836 by Jacob Emmick.
In 1839 he sold it to Eobert Archer, who, in 1840, associated with himself H. S. and
Stephen Archer, and they carried on the enterprise for twenty years, enlarging it
about 1843 to a double mill. Among other early mUl owners and operators were
Alexander and James Porsythe, Samuel Forsythe, Horace Williston, Merrils & Com-
pany and Job Doane. Mr. Doane erected a mill about 1848, on Babb's creek, at
the mouth of Stony Fork. This mill he operated for nearly forty years. After his
death his son, P. E. Doane, operated it until it was washed away by the June flood
of 1889. In 1890 it was replaced by a steam-mill built on higher ground.

In 1859 Nelson Root erected a saw-mill in the eastern part of the township
near Nauvoo. It was a water-power mill. He was succeeded as owner by James
W. Childs, and he by Robert Custard. The present owner is James Dinnison, who
purchased the property in 1869. In 1889 the mill was washed away, but was
rebuilt. In 1893 Mr. Dinnison fitted up the old woolen factory as a grist-mill,
for the grindiug of buckwheat and feed. The roller process is used. A woolen
factory was started in the building by Robert Custard in 1869, and operated by him
and James Custard for about fifteen years.

At the present time the saw-mills in active operation are the steam-mill of P. E.
Doane, on Babb's creek, near the mouth of Stony Pork creek; the steam-mill of
Lafayette English, on Dixe's run; the steam-mill of the Blossburg Coal Mining Com-
pany, at Morris, and the water-mill of James Dinnison near Nauvoo. In addition to
the manufacture of lumber, large quantities of hemlock bark are gotten out each year.


This is used by the Brunswick tannery, which is fully described in the portion of
this chapter devoted to the ^dllage of Hoytville.


The first school was taught about 1831 by Samuel M. Harrison in a log building
on Pine creek, below Blackwells, near the county line. It is said it was built for
a meeting house, and there is a difference of opinion among the persons living at
Blackwells as to whether it stood on the Tioga or Lycoming side of the county
line. About 1833 a school house was erected on Babb's creek about a mile above
Blackwells. It was a log structure with a slab roof. Among the early teachers
here were Nancy Clark, Samuel M. Harrison, Lyman "Wallbridge and a Dr. Eogers.
Another early school was erected near the present store of Thomas J. Birmingham,
in Morris. James "W. Lewis, Samuel M. Harrison and Jacob Babb were early
teachers here. A public school building was erected about 1840 just below the
Hoytville tannery. The Doane school house near the mouth of Stony Fork creek
is one of the earlier school houses of the township, which now has thirteen schools,
includiag a graded school in the village of Morris. There is an average in the several
districts of six months' school each year.


About 1850 E. H. Archer, a mill owner and lumberman, began the practice of
medicine in the township, continuing for several years. In 1865 Dr. William
Blackwell, who had previously practiced in the United States hospital attached to
the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, opened an office at Blackwells, and
is still in active practice. In 1883 Dr. J. B. McCloskey located at Morris, where he
continued in practice until 1890. In 1890 Henry Mathews, the "Indian Doctor,"
who practiced under the name of James McCoshaway, located at Blackwells. He
died in 1895. Dr. S. "W. Sine came in 1889 and remained until 1896. Dr. E. P.
Eobinson, who purchased the drug store of W. B. Kerr, and located in Morris in
1891, and Dr. C. C. Gentry, who came in 1894, are the resident physicians.

The following named persons have served as justices of the peace of the town-
ship: Samson Babb — appointed January 7, 1808, while the township was yet a part
of Delmar; Jacob Babb, 1836; Lucius Barto, 1837; David Ellis, 1830; Joseph Aiken,
1833; Jesse E. Eay, 1833; John P. Donaldson, 1834; Daniel Holiday, 1835; Simeon
Houghton, 1835; Levi I. Nichols, 1836; Samuel Harrison, 1841; James H. Lewis,
1843; Daniel Doane, 1850; Henry S. Archer, 1854; Eichard Childs, 1858; Job
Doane, 1859; re-elected, 1864, 1869, 1874 and 1879; Edwin Gregory, 1864; Eobert
Custard, 1869; Eobert Custard, Jr., 1874; John Haggerty, 1877; re-elected, 1883;
C. W. Beardsley, 1884; W. W. Seaman, 1886; D. "W. Eeynard, 1888; re-elected,
1893; Jeremiah Desmond, 1891; E. G. Comstock, 1896.


The Methodist Episcopal Church of Blackwells dates the beginning of its history
to a class organized about 1859, the original members of which were Samuel M.
Harrison, Betsey Lloyd, Samuel Campbell, Sarah Blackwell, Eobert Wilson, Mary
E. Blackwell, Maria Earnest and Warren Lewis. Meetings were held in the school
house until 1893, when a new house of worship was erected. This church was origin-


ally in the Liberty charge and later in the Hoytville charge. In 1895 it was con-
stituted a separate charge, including also the Dixe's Bun church, the Mt. Pleasant
church and the church at Oregon Hill. The first pastor was W. E. Buckingham,
whose successors have been as follows: Ecys. N. Shaffer, 1859-60; James Hunter,
1861-63; P. B. Bush, 1864; E. E. Kelley, 1865; M. L. Dunn, 1866-67; Elisha
Shoemaker, 1868; E. H. Colburn, 1869; Levi G. Heck, 1870; E. M. Chilcoat, 1871-72;
J. E. Craig, 1873; A. C. Crossthwaite, 1874; Isaiah Edwards, 1875; H. S. Lundy,
1876-78; J. P. Long, 1879; I. A. Patton, 1880-81; J. F. Glass, 1882; W. H. Bowden,
1883-84; G. E. King, 1885-87; 0. G. Heck, 1888-90; Eiehard Brooks, 1891; J. E.
Weeks, 1891-94; J. W. Leach, 1895; D. M. Grover, 1896. This church now numbers
forty-two members. There are forty pupils in the Sunday-school, of which E.
J. Mattoon is superintendent.

Hoytville Methodist Episcopal Church is the outgrowth of a class organized in
1861. Early meetings were held in school houses. In 1883 a house of worship was
erected costing $2,000. A parsonage costing $1,000 was erected in 1888. This
church was in the Liberty charge when organized. In 1888 it became a station hav-
ing a resident minister. The pastors of the church have been Eevs. W. H. Bowden,
1883-84; George E. King, 1885-87; 0. G. Heck, 1888-90; Eiehard Brooks, 1891-92;
J. E. Weeks, 1892-95; T. A. Elliott, 1896. This church now numbers 112 members,
and the Sunday-school, of which S. T. Darby is the superintendent, has over 120

The Mt. Pleasant Methodist Episcopal Church was organized with the following
members: Chauncey Brud, Frank Briggs and wife, H. Briggs and wife, James
Briggs and wife, Hiram Mattoon, and Lyman Graham and wife. A church
building was erected in 1893 costing $1,800. The church now numbers twenty-five
members. There are thirty-five pupils in the Sunday-school, of which Wesley Em-
mick is the superintendent. Mt. Pleasant is in the Blackwell charge.

Dixe's Run Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1892, with the follow-
ing members: James, Maria E., Alfred D., Lottie, Charles B, and Maria P. Black-
well; Michael, Catharine D., Eobert and Henry Campbell; Charles, Ida, Leslie and
Violette Merrick; Hiram, Anon and George Johnson; James Ashmay, Lafayette
and Lucinda Broughton and Henry and Lydia Hatfield. This society has no house
of worship. It meets in the Dixe's Eim school house and is in the Blackwell charge.

The Plank School House Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1888, in
the eastern part of the township, with twenty members. In 1896 a frame church
building costing $1,000 was erected. A good Sunday-school with forty-five pupils
is maintained. Warren Lewis is the superintndent. This church is in the Liberty

The First Baptist Church of Morris was organized August 23, 1870. The fol-
lowing named persons constituted the original membership: Warren Lewis, William
Ayers, J. E. Webster, Ambrose DufEey, Eli Love, Nancy Lewis, Elizabeth Duffey,
Alsina Webster, Sarah E. Love, C. Herd, Orpha Ayers and Elizabeth Emmiek. Eev.

Online LibraryEmanuel SwedenborgHistory of Tioga County, Pennsylvania → online text (page 64 of 163)