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History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

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About 1794 Benajah Ives acquired title to the land upon which Losey had
located, and, it is presumed, made terms with him for his improvements. Losey
appears to have remained, however, until 1803, when he and his brother Stephen
located two warrants in the western part of the township, on Crooked creek, where


they took up their residence. Jesse afterwards moved into Middlebury township,
where he died March 12, 1844, aged eighty-five years. His remains lie buried in
the Holidaytown cemetery, being among the first to he interred there. He was a
shoemaker and distiller, and, after coming to Tioga, followed both occupations at
intervals, the latter for a time in Samuel Westbrook's distillery. He was also a
Eevolutionary soldier and a pensioner, and claimed to have participated in the battle
of Bunker Hill, and to have witnessed the execution of Major John Andre, at Tap-
pan, New Jersey, October 3, 1780. Stephen Losey, after residing in the western part
of Tioga township for a time, removed to the Pine creek country, where he passed the
remainder of his life.

The Eoberts family, consisting of Peter Roberts, his sons, John, Benjamin,
Peter and Silas, and his daughters, Polly, Ehoda, Sally and Betsey, are credited with
coming in 1792. Roberts, who is supposed to have had a Connecticut title, settled
on the west bank of the Tioga river, below the Losey location. He was a millwright,
and some years after his arrival built a saw-mill on Crooked creek, near the present
residence of David Hick, in the township.

Benajah Ives came about 1794, from Bristol, Connecticut. A year later he
was followed by his brothers, Timothy, John and Titus, and by his uncle, John.
The latter settled on the present T. J. Berry place. Benajah built a house near
the ford, now occupied by the highway bridge at the south end of the borough.
Here he kept a wayside inn until 1796, when he sold it and the upper half of his
tract to Thomas Berry, and moved farther down the stream toward the Losey cabin.
In 1819 he traded the remainder of his tract to Dr. Simeon Power for the north half
of the John Gordon farm, and removed to Middlebury township.

In 1796 Thomas Berry, on his way from Maryland to the Genesee country,
accompanied by his wife and four children, Mary, John, Margaret and Hester, and
by James Jennings, his wife's brother, stopped for the night at the Ives inn. Before
morning Berry had bargained with Ives for one-half of his tract, including the inn,
and thus became a permanent settler. His daughter, Rachel, was born here June 7,
1797, and is believed to have been the first white child born within the borough
limits. The first election precinct in Tioga township, which then included the
whole county, was established at Mr. Berry's house by an act of the legislature April
3, 1804. Mr. Berry died April 17, 1807, aged forty-five years, and his widow March
8, 1850. After her husband's death she kept the inn or tavern until 1838, managing
the business shrewdly and successfully.

Uriah Spencer, one of the most prominent of the pioneer settlers, came into
what is now Lawrence township in 1794, but did not settle within the borough limits
of Tioga until after 1800. He was a blacksmith, and built a shop, the first one here,
on Main street, in front of the present A. C. Bush residence. Upon the establish-
ment, January 1, 1805, of the postofiice, which was named Tioga, he was appointed
postmaster, and held the office until July 1, 1809. He was also elected one of the
commissioners of the county in October, 1809; was prothonotary from 1818 to 1821,
and also prothonotary and register and recorder from 1824 to 1831. He was for many
years regarded as an influential citizen, and took a prominent part in all matters of
public interest. '


Dr. William Willard, a native of Lenox, Massachusetts, came to Tioga in 1798,
and settled on land forming a portion of the Peter Eoberts claim, all of which he
subsequently acquired. He built a square log house on the ground now occupied
by Philo Tuner's drug store, where he kept tavern and practiced medicine. He
-WHS appointed postmaster July 1, 1809, and held the oiliee until April 1, 1815. The
history of Tioga borough dates from the building of this public house by Dr. Willard.
Around it the village, which became known as Willardsburg, slowly grew. None
were more active in forwarding its growth and development that Dr. Willard and his
son, William Willard, Jr., and no other names are more intimately connected with its
early history. The original plot of the village was laid out by William Willard, Jr.
Dr. Willard died October 28, 1836, in one of the rooms of the old public house. A
few years after his death the name "Willardsburg" was dropped, and "Tioga," the
name of the postofice, adopted.

Owing to its circumscribed area, the borough has grown slowly in population.
In 1870 it had 440 inhabitants; in 1880, 530, and in 1890, 557.


Uriah Spencer built a saw-mill during the first decade of the present century
near the northern end of the "Island." The mill race ran from the rear of the pres-
ent driving park on Crooked creek, in a northeasterly direction, to the Tioga river.
Elijah Welsh, and Gershom Wynkoop, both of whom were here as early as 1813,
worked in this mill.

In the latter part of 1813 or early part of 1813, Allen D. Caulking, a native of
Broome county, New York, came to Tioga and built the public house, long known
as the "Goodrich House." It occupied the lot, now vacant, just south of the Wick-
ham block. In one room of this house he opened the first store in the village. A
few years later he was succeeded as storekeeper by Levi Vail, an early school. teacher,
who came in 1813, and was collector of taxes for the township in 1814. In 1831
or 1833 Vail built a store on the site now occupied by the P. S. Tuttle building.
Benajah Ives had an interest in the business in 1836-37, the firm being Vail, Ives &
Company. They were succeeded by Ambrose Millard, who was in business here
from 1838 to 1832.

Dr. William Willard built a story and a half red house on the present site of
the P. S. Tuttle residence, in one room of which he kept store. He was in business
in 1821, in which year the late Justus B. Claxk, of Eichmond township, then newly
married, bought a portion of his housekeeping outfit of him, and also purchased
a hand-saw, for which he paid $3.00, and shingle nails, for which he paid thirty
cents a pound.

In the early twenties William Willard, Jr., erected the "Old Eed Store," on
the southeast comer of Main and Park streets. This was occupied in 1823 and
1824 by Chris. Charles and Elijah Stiles. In the latter year Stiles was elected county
commissioner, and the firm went out of existence. In 1823 or 1824 Jesse Keeney,
a native of Connecticut, came here from Cortland county, ISTew York, and erected
a wagon-making shop. This enterprise he carried on for a number of years. The
shop was afterward remodeled and occupied as a residfence by William Garretson.
Levi and Joseph W. Guernsey, tanners and curriers, located about 1825. The latter


вЦ†was afterwards in partnership with his father-in-law, Jonah Brewster, in a store on
the site of the Park Hotel. Hobart B. Graves, prominent as a merchant, distiller
and builder, came here about 1835. In 1828 he was engaged in the distilling of
whiskey, and later had as partners David and Sylvester Beckwith, who afterwards
settled permanently in Middlebury township. Their distillery occupied the site
of the E. A. Smead hardware store. John Porter, a blacksmith, and, strange as it
may seem, a dentist, opened a shop here about 1837, with John Daniels as a partner.
In January, 1837, Eankin Lewis & Company moved the office of the Tioga Pioneer
here from Wellsboro. Jonah Brewster carried on merchandising from 1839 to 1831,
when he removed to "Wellsboro. A. C. and Jabin S. Bush, afterwards prominent
as lumbermen and merchants, arrived here and went into business in 1831. Joseph
Pish came here the same year and in 1833 established a shoe shop and a small tan-
nery. He afterwards carried on a shoe store on Main street. In 1833 Tuthill &
Wickham, of Elmira, ISTew York, established a branch store here, with B. C. Wickham
in charge, under the firm name of B. C. Wickham & Company. In 1833, also, Daniel
A. Lowell, his sons, Martia and William Lowell, and Thomas and Herbert HoUis,
all hatters, came here from Chenango county, 'Sew York, and erected for business
purposes the main portion of the building, on Wellsboro street, now occupied by
Paul Kraiss' furniture store. Henry H. Potter came here from Lawrenceville in
1830 and became landlord of the Willard Hotel. He afterwards removed to Middle-
bury township. A. D. Cole established a wagon shop and Bobert Andrus a foundry
in the rear of the same site previous to 1834. Barney and William Mirch were
blacksmiths here about the same time. James A. and William Hathaway came here
about 1835, and built a shop on Wellsboro street. E. Derow came here about 1836,
and was subsequently a partner of William Willard, Jr., in mercantile business.
Butler Smith came here about the same time, became a partner of John C. Knox in
merchandising, and afterwards landlord and proprietor of the old Willard House.
Joseph Hance, cabinetmaker, and Daniel S. Craig, tailor, came here in 1836, and
Henry Pord, tailor, and Lorenzo Pord, harness maker, about 1838. Prank and
Benjamin Carey, tailors, and Carpenter H. and Andrew Place, shoemakers, were all
here before 1840.

Henry E. Smith opened a shoe shop here in 1839, and has since been uninter-
ruptedly engaged in business. He was bom in 1811, is one of the oldest citizens,
and the oldest business man in the county. In January, 1896, Mr. and Mrs. Smith
celebrated the sixty-second anniversary of their marriage. This unusual event was
rendered all the more remarkable from the fact that during the entire sixty-two
years there has not been a death in their family, all their children being alive. Dr.
H. H. Borden came here as a carpenter in 1840. He studied medicine under Dr.
Abel Humphrey, and was admitted to practice in 1847. He soon afterwards opened
a drug store, which, with but a brief interruption, he carried on until his death in
July, 1894. Philo TuUer came here as a cabinet maker in 1841, and worked at his
trade until the breaking out of the war, when he entered the construction depart-
ment of the government service. In 1866 he embarked in the drug business, which
he still carries on. P. S. Tuttle, recently deceased, went into business in the fall
of 1840, and continued untft about 1880, when he was compelled to retire by reason
of impaired eyesight. Maj. Seth Daggett removed here from Jackson township


in 1842. His son, Lewis Daggett, was in business here for several years. W. T.
TJrell came in 1848, was employed for several years as a clerk, and in 1857 embarked
in business for himself.

The foregoing embrace the principal merchants, manufacturers and tradesmen
who located in Tioga previous to its incorporation as a borough. As a rule, they
were earnest, honest and sincere men, who came here in their young manhood, with
but little capital other than willing hands, tireless energy and active brains. The
obstacles they overcame, the discouragements, hardships and privations they ex-
perienced and endured, tested patience and fortitude, made them strong, sturdy and
self-reliant, and developed in each of them a distinctive individuality, sometimes
unique, sometimes eccentric, but always earnest and interesting.


Among those who did an important work in forwarding the growth and develop-
ment of Tioga were the early physicians and lawyers. By reason of being, as a rule,
more liberally educated than the average citizen of the place, they usually took a
leading part in all matters of public concern. Dr. William "Willard, the first phy-
sician, kept public house and practiced his profession for a number of years. Mention
is made of a Dr. Beard, who was also here during the iirst decade of the present
century. Dr. Simeon Power came here about 1808 from Knoxville, where he had
settled in 1805. He removed to Lawrenceville about 1821, where he resided until
his death. His brother. Dr. Pliny Power, came here from Canoe Camp. He mar-
ried Brittania Gordon, and remained as a resident physician until 1835. Dr. F.
H. White, who lived to be over one hundred years of age, and died a few years ago in
Eutland township, was an early physician. Dr. H. Eoberts is credited with being
here in 1826, but it is not known how long he remained. Thomas J. Huston was
a physician here previous to 1835. Dr. Cyrus Pratt, editor and proprietor of the
Tioga Democrat, came here in 1835, but appears to have paid more attention to
moulding public opinion than to practicing medicine. Dr. Abel Humphrey located
here in 1836, and continued in practice until ill health compelled him to retire.
Dr. H. H. Borden, who studied medicine under Dr. Humphrey, was admitted to prac-
tice in 1847. He continued to practice until his death in July, 1894. Dr. T. B.
Warner was a partner of Dr. Borden for several years, as was also Dr. Charles B.
Borden, a son of the latter, and now a prominent physician of Marion, Indiana.
Dr. 0. P. Baxden, a representative of the Homeopathic school, located here in
1868, and continued to practice until shortly before his death, January 25, 1892.
The profession is now represented by Dr. Eobert B. Smith and Dr. S. P. Hakes, of
the regular school, and Dr. L. C. Brown, homeopathist.

M. T. Leavenworth, attorney-at-law, was admitted to practice in the courts of
Tioga county May 27, 1826. He appears, however, to have had but a transient resi-
dence. Thomas DePui was also one of the earliest lawyers to practice here. William
Garretson, who moved from Wellsboro, in January, 1827, is generally regarded as
the first lawyer to locate here permanently. He continued as a resident lawyer
until 1869, when he was appointed a law clerk in the internal revenue department
at Washington, D. C, where he died in 1872. John C. Knox, an early
editor and merchant, and aftei-wards associate justice of the State Supreme


Court, read law under Garretson and practiced for seyeral years in Tioga, whence
he removed to Wellsboro. John W. Maynard practiced here from 1833 to 1840,
when he removed to Williamsport. W. H. Higgins came about the same time, but
made a brief stay. John W. Guernsey practiced here from 1835 until within a few
years of his death, November 29, 1883. Charles H. Seymour comes next in the
order of time. He read law under John "W. Guernsey, was admitted to the bar in
1847, and continued in active practice until a few years preceding his death, which
occurred June 6, 1882. Frederick E. Smith was a contemporary and partner of
Seymour for several years. He, too, was a student in Guernsey's office, was admitted
to practice in 1849, and was one of the prominent members of the Tioga county bax
up to his death, October 8, 1889. Lauren H. Tuttle opened an office in Tioga in
1874 and practiced here a few years. The present resident attorneys are Fred B..
Smith, J. H. Putnam and H. L. Baldwin.


The first public house in Tioga was that of Benajah Ives, erected in 1794 or-
1795, near the ford, at the southern end of the "Island." In 1796 Thomas Berry
became the proprietor. He carried on the house until his death in April, 1807, from
which time until 1838, when she retired, it was carried on by his widow.

The Willaxd House, erected in 1798, by Dr. William Willard, on the ground
now occupied by Philo TuUer's drug store, was a square log house, with two
rooms on the first floor, and a sleeping loft or chamber above. It was rebuilt in
1809 or 1810, the new edifice being a two-story, clap-boarded frame, with a
dancing hall in the second story. Dr. "Willard was the first landlord and was very
popular with the traveling public. Among his successors were Henry H. Potter,
Buel Smith, and Lyman H. Smith, his son, who enlarged it in 1855. About 1860
the property was purchased by Col. H. S. Johnston. A year or two later the new
part was moved to the lot just west of the Park Hotel and the old part to the lot.
now occupied by the residence of Mrs. E. P. Tnscho.

The Goodrich House was built by Allen Daniel Caulking in 1813, on the lot,,
now vacant, south of the Wickham block. In 1819 Capt. James Goodrich became
landlord and continued, save for a period of about ten years, when it was in
charge of his lesees, until 1859. It was destroyed in the fire of February 9, 1871,
the landlord, at the time, being George W. Hazelett.

The Smith House was in a sense the successor of the Willard, the new part
of which was moved ia 1862 to the ground just west of the Park Hotel, by
Lyman H. Smith. He carried it on up to November, 1868, when he sold it to Elias
M. Smith, who conducted it until it was burned, February 9, 1871.

The Park Hotel, a four-story brick, with mansard roof, was built by a stock
company at a cost of over $30,000. It was opened to the public July 1, 1876,
with Blias M. Smith as landlord. S. 0. Daggett purchased the property in
1892, carried it on up to April, 1896, and then sold it to his father and brother,
who leased the hotel to Pettibone & Joseph, the present proprietors.


Tioga was incorporated as a borough in February, 1860. The first electioa
for borough officers took place July 3, 1860, at the house of Lyman H. Smiths


At this election the following officers were chosen: John W. Guernsey, burgess;
Jabin S. Bush, Thomas L. Baldwin, Henry E. Smith, Charles 0. Etz and Frederick
E. Smith, councilmen; Levi Bigelow, justice of the peace; Stewart M. Geer,
high coniiLi.blc-t Crirpenter H. Place, assessor; 0. B. Lowell, judge of election;
E. P. H. McY\llisl.cr and Charles J. Wheeler, inspectors of election; Vine DePui
and Leroy Tabor, overseers of the poor.

The first meeting of the council was held July 9, 1860. P. E. Smith was
chosen secretary and treasurer of the borough; Stewart M. Geer, poundmaater,
and Silas B. Hathaway, street commissioner. This completed the borough

The names of the burgesses elected from 1861 to 1897, inclusive, are as follows:
John W. Guernsey, 1861-63; C. H. Seymour, 1864-66; T. L. Baldwin, 1867;
John "W. Guernsey, 1868-69; Joseph Pish, acting burgess, 1870; W. 0. Parr, 1871;
Joseph Pish, 1872; C. H. Seymour, 1873; 0. B. Lowell, 1874-76; Dr. Eobert B.
Smith, 1877-78; Dr. 0. P. Barden, 1879-81; B. A. Smead, 1883; James Dewey,
1883-84; S. M. Geer, 1885-86; C. B. Parr, 1887-88; Dr. C. B. Borden, 1889; C.
B. Parr, 1890-91; E. A. Smead, 1892-96, and Philo TuUer, elected in 1897.

P. E. Smith served as secretary of the borough from July, 1860, to Pebruaxy,
1865, and from Pebruary, 1867, to February, 1884. John I. Mitchell served in
1865; A. M. Bennett, 1866; Walter T. Merrick from Pebruary, 1884, to October,
1885; J. H. Putman from October, 1885, to March, 1890, when P. B. Smith, the
present secretary, was chosen. P. E. Smith was treasurer of the borough from
July, 1860, to March, 1884; E. A. Smead, until March, 1887; Philo TuUer in
1888, and E. A. Smead in 1889. H. L. Baldwin, the present treasurer, has held
the office since March, 1890.

The following have been elected and commissioned justices of the pea.ce for
the borough: Levi Bigelow, 1860; William Garretson, 1863; H. H. Borden,
1865; re-elected, 1876 and 1890; Joseph Fish, 1866; re-elected, 1871 and 1881;
Philo Tuller, 1867; J. Van Osten, 1869; John W. Guernsey, 1872; re-elected, 1883;
L. H. Tuttle, 1877; re-elected, 1883; H. L. Baldwin, 1883; re-elected, 1888 and
1893; J. H. Putnam, 1885, and P. W. Shappee, 1895.

The Tioga postoffice, established January 1, 1805, is the oldest in the county.
Following is a list of the names of the postmasters of the village and borough
from that date to the present: Uriah Spencer, 1805-09; Dr. William Willard,
1809-15; William Willard, Jr., 1815-19; John Berry, 1819-21; Capt. Jamea
Goodrich, 1821-35; Uriah Spencer, 1835-38; A. C. Bush, 1838-45; Edwin C.
Goodrich, 1845-46; William Lowell, 1846-48; Albinus Hunt, 1848-51; Lewis
Daggett, 1851-53; H. H. Goodrich, 1853-55; C. G. Dennison, 1855-57; William
T. Urell, 1857-61; Lewis Daggett, 1861-65; Mrs. Sarah M. Etz, 1865-68; Philo
Tuller, 1868-85; William' T. Urell, 1885-90; James T. Davis, February 10, 1890,
to Pebruary 10, 1893, when David C. McAllister, the present incumbent, was


The first newspaper established in Tioga county was the Tioga Pioneer,
which made its appeajance at Wellsboro, December 3, 1825. Its publishers were


Eankin Lewis & Company. In Januajy, 1837, the place of publication was
changed to Tioga. In 1828 Eev. Elisha Booth became proprietor, with William
Garretson as associate editor. He changed its name to the Northern Banner.
In 1831 or 1832, J. B. Shurtliff became owner, and changed the naiie to the Tioga
Democrat. He conducted it about four years and sold it to Dr. Cyrus Pratt, who
disposed of it in the spring of 1838 to the late William Adams, of Mansfield.
In August, 1840, the office was moved to Lawrenceville, Mr. Adams having dis-
posed of a half interest ia it to John C. Knox and others, and the name of the
paper was changed to the Lawrence Sentinel. Two years later it was sold to
Asa H. Carey, who moved it, so it is said, to Troy, Pennsylvania.

In 1863, the plant of the Wellsboro Banner was purchased and moved to
Tioga, by several gentlemen anxious to have a paper established here. Before,
however, they succeeded in getting out an issue, the plant was re-purchased by the
Democratic county committee and taken back to Wellsboro.

The publication of a little four-page sheet was begun March 21, 1872, by
Samuel J. McCuUough, Jr., and conducted by him until April, 1873, when it was
superceded by the Tioga County Express, an eight-column folio, edited and man-
aged by 0. S. Webster and Azro Lumbajd. On September 3, 1875, it passed into
the hands of A. H. Bunnell. In March, 1879, he changed its name to the Tioga
Express. It ceased publication in September, 1880, Mr. Bunnell removing the
plant to Canisteo, New York. February 2, 1883, E. M. Bixby began the pub-
lication ot a paper under the old name of Tioga Express. He died in 1883, and
his widow carried it on for a time, with the assistance of Joseph H. Geer, who
afterwards acquired control of it. It went out of existence in 1886. For some-
time after this, the Lawrenceville Herald published a supplement sheet with a
Tioga date and heading. In December, 1889, F. G. Babcock revived the Tioga
Express, which he published until January, 1891, when he sold it to J. K. Bower,
who ran it about a year, when the office was purchased by the Wellsboro

On July 23, 1893, Fred. L. Graves began the publication of the Tioga Argus,
a six-column quarto. This paper, which is still in existence, has met with a
liberal support, and gives promise of permanence. It is devoted to local
news and to the interests of the borough and township. In politics it is inde-


The first school in Tioga borough was taught about the beginning of the
present century by Benjamin Eoberts, in his father's log house, near the foot
of the present Park street. Benjamin Eoberts also taught in a house which
stood near the site of the barn on the A. C. Bush place. About 1812 or 1813 a
building was erected for school purposes, on the T. J. Berry place, below the
borough. Among those who taught here were Miss Jemima Hotchkiss, Levi
Vail, A. M. Betts, Andrew Pickard, Dennis Hawes, A. M. Traw, John W.
Guernsey and others. In 1836 a school building was erected by Hobart B.
Graves, on the groimd now occupied by the Catholic church, and used for school
purposes until 1889, when the present building on Broad street was erected. It


is a two-story frame, with two rooms in the first, and one in the second, story,
and cost nearly $3,000. With the erection of this building a graded-sehool
course was adopted. Among those who have filled the position of principal are
H. L. Baldwin, Ellas Horton, J. C. Doane, J. E. Hazelett and "W. E. Blair, the
present incumbent, who has proved himself a capable and competent educator.


The First Baptist Church of Tioga, incorporated, March 17, 1843, is the
oldest regularly organized church in the coimty. Its history dates to a meeting

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