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History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

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held April 34, 1813, at the residence of Benjamin Bentley, near Mitchell's Creek,
when a conference was constituted embracing the following persons: David
Short, Eichard Mitchell, Nathan Seely, Titus Ives, Charles Blanehard, Benjamia
Bentley, Simeon Power, Timothy Ives, Mary Bentley, Euth Ingersole, Abigail
Mitchell, Sally Short and Euby Mitchell. A covenant and articles of faith and
practice were adopted February 36, 1814, and on June 18, 1814, the place of
meeting was changed from the house of Benjamin Bentley to the house of
Eichard Mitchell, at Mitchell's Creek, and continued there until December, 1816.
The church was formally organized June 30, 1816. The following named per-
sons constituted the original members: David Short, James Mitchell, P. Keeney,
Elisha Tucker, John Maine, Samuel AVarriner, Charles Blanehard, Euby
Mitchell, Anna Keeney, Hannah Welch, Nancy Maine, Catharine Matteson, Sally
Short and Abigail Mitchell. Prom 1816 to 1844, the place of meeting was the
school house on the Bentley farm, near Mitchell's Creek. In the latter year the
present house of worship iu Tioga borough was erected and dedicated. The lot
on which it stands was the gift of Elijah DePui, who also gave $250 in money.
Labor and material to the amount of about $3,000 were contributed by the other
members. The building was erected by S. M. Broakman. The following per-
sons have served the church as deacons: Charles Blanehard, Thomas Keeney,
Asaph Ellis, Isaac Adams, John Drew, A. C. Keeney, E. T. Bentley, S. S.
McKinney and G. W. Dibble. The names of the pastors, in the order of their
succession, are as follows: Eevs. David Short, Elisha Tucker, Samuel Bigelow,
Elisha Booth, Daniel Piatt, T. S. Sheardown, W. A. Smith, James E. Burdick,
Jeremiah Weatherby, Tobias Pinkham, G-. L. Stevens, B. E. Swick, Jacob
Kennedy, A. M. Brown, Levi Stone, J. L. Smith, G. P. Watrous, D. E. Mc-
Dearmond, 1865-67; A. B. Chase, 1868-71; H. P. Hill, 1872; Eoss Matthews,
1873; S. D. Merrick, 1875-85; S. Z. Batten, 1886-87; Allen Peckham, 1888;
Fisher Wilson, 1889-91; S. A. Field, 1893-93; S. G. Brundage, 1895, and C. H.
Crowl, 1896.

The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Tioga dates its beginning in June,
1826, when a fund was raised by subscription for the purpose of erecting a house
of worship. On June 34, of that year, a meeting was held at the house of James
Goodrich, in Willardsburg, at which it was resolved to collect the subscriptions
and proceed to build. William Willard, Jr., Elisha Booth and Jacob Prutsman
were elected trustees to superintendent the building. On October 16, 1826, the
subscribers were notified to "furnish the amount of their subscriptions." April 7,
1837, the contract for carpenter and joiner work was let, and the frame of the



building put up. It remained in that condition until 1843, when it was inclosed.
In 1844 a charter for the First Methodist Episcopal chvirch of Tioga, was ob-
tained. It was united with the church at Lawrenceville, in one charge, until
1873, since which time the following pastors have served the Tioga church:
Eev. Harvey Lamkin, appointed in 1873; C. J. Bradbury, 1876; G. W. How-
land, 1877; Harvey Lamkin, 1879; J. \V. Gamble, 1881; J. D. Eequa, 1883; B.
E. Thomas, 1885; T. A. Peterson, 1886; W. A. Linaberry, 1888; C. M. Gardner,
1890; D. 0. Chamberlayne, 1891; L. P. Thurston, 1893; Uri Mulford, 1895, and
D. E. Stiles, the present pastor, who took charge in October, 1896. The first
church building stood fronting Meeting House alley. It was destroyed by fire
on the night of February 9, 1871. The new building, dedicated in 1872, stands
further east, and fronts on Main street. It is constructed of brick, with freestone
trimmings, and cost about $7,000. The lot on which it stands was the gift of
William Willard, Jr., and wife, the deed bearing date March 11, 1834. This
church and the church in Parmington are under one charge. The membership
of the church in Tioga is 135. T. D. Eouse is the superintendent of the Sunday-
school, which numbers about ninety students and teachers.

St. Andrew's Protestant Episcopal Church dates the beginning of its history
to 1840, in which year an occasional service was held in Tioga by Eev. Charles Breck,
rector of St. Paul's church, of Wellsboro. He organized a parish under the
name of Christ Church, which, however, failed to secure a charter. Eev. George
Hopkins, of Lawrenceville, next supplied the parish, and was followed by Eev.
A. A. Marple, of Wellsboro, who held monthly services until September, 1860,
when Eev. Thomas H. Cullen took charge. In May, 1861, the parish was ad-
mitted into union with the Diocese of Pennsylvania, under the name of St.
Andrew's Parish. The charter members of the vestry were John W. Guernsey,
J. S. Bush, P. S. Tuttle, S. M. Geer, P. E. Smith, T. L. Baldwin, H. H. Borden
and 0. B. Lowell. In January, 1863, Eev. Mr. Cullen resigned, and the parish
remaiued without a rector until 1867, when Eev. J. Hobaxt DeMille was called.
He remained about a year. In June, 1869, the corner-stone of a frame church
building was laid by Eev. Thomas H. Cullen. This building was opened for ser-
vice St. Andrew's Day, November 30, 1869. On the night of February 9, 1871,
the church and rectory were destroyed by fire. In the following month a
temporary chapel was erected. In May, 1871, Eev. John H. Babcock took charge,
but soon resigned. In June, 1873, Eev. Thomas H. Cullen was recalled, and it
was largely through his efl;orts that the present handsome house of worship was
erected, the corner-stone of which was laid by him, August 13, 1873. The build-
ing was opened for service on the evening of May 14, 1874. The church is of
gothic design, aiid is built of Elkhorn stone, trimmed with light-colored freestone
from the Corning quarries. It cost about $13,000. There are four memorial
windows, as follows: One on the south side, in memory of Mrs. James Goodrich,
given by her children; one on the north side, in memory of S. Morris Wain, of
Philadelphia, given by his sister, and two in front, in memory of Mr. and Mrs.
Levi Bigelow, donated by their children. A beautiful stone font is the gift of
Mrs. Edwin A. Meade, of New York, and Mrs. S. S. Caldwell, of Omaha, Ne-
braska, in memory of their children, Bertie Meade and Annie Caldwell. ' The


chancel rail was presented by Mrs. Thomas H. Cullen. Kneeling stools were
given by Miss Eachel Morris, and book racks by Mrs. A. C. Bush and Mrs. F. B.
Smith. The gilt cross surmounting the spire is the gift of Mrs. John W.
Guernsey. The building was consecrated Tuesday, May 23, 1877, by Et. Eev. M.
A. DeWolfe Howe, D. D., bishop of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania. The
successors of Mr. Cullen have been Eevs. John London, Percy Clinton Webber,
Percy J. Eobottom, W. G. Wells, William DuHamel and F. Southgate Hipkins.
Eev. L. B. Thomas, the present rector, took charge in November, 1894.

The Presbyterian Church of Tioga was organized Wednesday, January 25,
1852, by Eev. J. S. McCuUough, with nine members, as follows: Mrs. Eunice
Aiken, Miss Abigail Preston, Mrs. Amelia Wellington, Cyrus B. and Mrs.
Eliza B. Hathaway, Miss Anna Maria Wickham, Mrs. Emeline Guernsey, Mrs.
Emily L. McCuUough, and the pastor, Eev. J. S. McCuUough. Through the per-
sonal efforts and financial aid of Mr. McCuUough, B. C. Wickham, Joseph and
David L. Aiken, J. B. Steele, Mr. Slocum and others, the present church building
on Broad street was erected in 1851, at a cost of over $2,000. Mr. McCuUough
served the church as pastor from its organization until 1868. His successors have
been Eevs. D. Otis Fletcher, 1868 to 1871; E. H. Shumway, 1871 to 1872;
William Baldwin, May 1, 1872, to March 9, 1885; Albert Bacon, supply from
May 17, to August 9, 1885; W. L. Woodruff, supply, August 9, 1885, to No-
vember 9, 1885; F. S. Houser, December 13, 1885, to May 29, 1887; W. H.
Tussing, supply, June 5, 1887, to September 11, 1887; S. D. Merrick, (Baptist),
supply, time not stated; J. L Campbell, April 7, 1891, to March 6, 1892; J. H.
Elliott, from latter date to March 8, 1895, when the pulpit became vacant. The
church was incorporated September 4, 18C9, and now consists of over seventy
members. Eobert Bishop is the superintendent of the Sunday-school.

St. Marxfs Catholic Church was organized in 1861, in which year the old
village school building was purchased and used as a house of worship. The price
paid was $550, and it was dedicated under the pastorship of Eev. Father Gogan.
Among the original members were the following named persons and their families:
John Kinney, John Eouen, Peter Burns, Edward Eogers, Charles Hickey, James
Kelly, John Gleason and John O'Neal. In 1880 the old buUding was sold to E.
A. Smead, who removed it to the rear of his hardware store, and a new church
building was erected on the lot at a cost of nearly $3,000. The building was dam-
aged by the flood of June, 1889, but was repaired and greatly improved by the
addition of a handsome new altar in 1892. Services axe held twice a month by
the pastor of St. Peter's church, Wellsboro. The Sunday-school is in charge
of Miss Jennie Norton. .


Willardsburg Lodge was the name of the first Masonic society organized in
Tioga. The lodge room was in the second story of Dr. Willard's residence, and
among its members were Dr. William Willard, his sons, William and Henry; Col.
Ambrose Millard and Harris Hotehkiss. During the excitement, in 1829 and
1830, attendant upon the disappearance of William Morgan, Colonel Millard, and a


few other members of this lodge, used to meet in the woods, in order to keep its
charter from lapsing. The lodge, however, went out of existence soon afterward.

Tioga Lodge, No. 373, F. & A. M., was chartered October 16, 1866. Previous
to its organization a number of the resident Masons of Tioga were members of
Painted Post Lodge, at Coming, New York. They became either charter or early-
members of the lodge here, which elected the following officers and perfected its
organization July 11, 1867: H. S. Johnson, W. M.; T. E. Warren, S. W.;
Calvin Hammond, J. W.; J. S. Bush, T.; ¥. H. Adams, S.; Philo Tuller, S. D.
The lodge now numbers sixty-six members, and is in a flourishing condition.

Adelphic Lodge, I. 0. 0. F., was instituted October 8, 1847, and retained its
charter until April 2, 1857, when it was removed to Eoseville. The first officers
of the lodge, elected December 23, 1847, were as follows: John W. Guernsey,
N. G.; Alpha D. Cole, V. G.; F. E. Smith, S.; Edgar D. Seeley, A. S., ajid John
Mathews, T.

Tioga Biver Lodge, No. 797, I. 0. 0. F., was chartered May 1, 1873, with the
following officers: S. M. Geer, N. G.; A. E. Niles, V. G.; 0. P. Barden, S.; C.
B. Parr, A. S., and C. P. Miller, T.

Etz Post, No. 401, G. A. R., named in honor of Lieut. Charles 0. Etz, who
was killed at the battle of Malvern Hill, July 14, 1862, was organized December
14, 1883. The commanders have been A. S. Eeynolds, H. Pickering Schuyler
Beers, Charles Eyon, N. E. Shappee, A. H. Eawson and William Kimball. About
eighty soldiers of the Union army have been mustered into this post since its

The beneficiary orders are represented as follows: Phoenix Lodge, No. 933,
K. of H., organized March 7, 1878. It has thirteen members. Keystone Lodge,
No. 105, 0. 0. W., was organized February 9, 1892, and now has fourteen mem-
bers. Tioga Tent, No. 176, K. 0. T. M., was instituted June 10, 1893. It has
now about thirty members and is growing.


The Tabor, Mathews & Company foimdry was established in 1849, on the
site now occupied by the store of M. S. Field and the Smith & Peek meat market.
About 1860 this foundry burned down and was not rebuilt.

The Union Tanning Company, a member of the corporation known as the
United States Leather Company, operates a tannery on Wellsboro street, devoted
to the tanning of sole leather. Its output is 400 sides of leather a day; its con-
sumption of hemlock bark 6,000 cords a year, and it gives employment to fifty
men. L. E. Johnson is the superintendent, and ' C. A. Nearing the foreman.
The original tannery, of which this is the successor, was started in the winter of
1853-54, by Joseph Fish and Charles Somers. Among those who afterward ac-
quired either a partial or controlling interest in it, were Ira Wells, H. F. Wells,
Col. H. S. Johnston, 0. B. Lowell, C. B. Farr and others. In 1882, while being
operated by Lowell & Company, it suspended, and almost immediately passed into
the hands of the Wellsboro Leather Company, who were succeeded by Garrett,
Davidge & Company, who in February, 1892, sold out to the Union Tanning
Company. During the time Garrett, Davidge & Company were in control, a


currier shop was erected by the Tioga Improvement Company, and was run in
connection with the tannery— which was then an upper leather tannery — by Dew-
son, Williams & Company, of Boston. Since passing intO' the control of the
"Union Tanning Company, the plant has been devoted to the production of sole
leather exclusively.

The Tioga County Bank was incorporated May 11, 1857, and organized with
T. L. Baldwin, president, and John "W. Guernsey, cashier. The authorized capital
was $100,000, with permission to increase to $200,000. It began business with
a paid up capital of $56,610. The control soon fell into the hands of outside
parties, who came near wrecking it. B. C. Wickham and A. S. Turner took
charge, and by advancing their private funds restored its credit. Henry H. Good-
rich was made teller and book-keeper. On the night of May 34, 1864, the bank,
then located in a private dwelling, was entered, the safe blown open and robbed
of $21,000 in cash and bonds. The safe, at the time, contained $102,000 in cur-
rency and United States bonds. Fright on the part of the robbers is given as the
reason why a larger amount was not secured. The robbery is still an unsolved
mystery. None of the money or bonds was ever recovered. July 1, 1866, the in-
stitution was changed to a private bank, with B. C. Wickham, president, and
David L. Aiken, cashier. It continued business under the name of B. C. Wick-
ham & Company's Banking Hotise, until December 13, 1883, when it suspended.
The suspension was a severe blow to the prosperity of the borough, and one from
which it did not recover for years.

The Bolert Bishop Factory, at the foot of Park street, is the successor of the
old Van Name factory, established about 1860 by Charles Van Name. He died
in 1867, and was succeeded by his brother, John Van Name. Mr. Bishop first
entered the factory as an employe; then became a partner, and, in 1872, the sole
proprietor. The factory is devoted to the manufacture of butter tubs and firkins,
tobacco cases, boxes and finished lumber.

The Lucky Oil Well Company, with a nominal capital of $150,000, was
chartered April 18, 1865. The officers were Edward Bayer, president; T. L. Bald-
win, vice-president; A. M. Bennett, secretary, and Henry H Goodrich, treasurer.
A tract of land on Bear creek, two miles from Tioga, was leased from Abiel Sly,
known by the sobriquet of "Old Lucky." A well was sunk to the depth of 923
feet, at a cost of over $7,000. The well was tubed and pumped, and a small
quantity of oil obtained from it.

Yoorhees, Aiken & Company, cigar manufacturers, began business in Tioga,
in 1880. They had a capital of $25,000, and their factory was conducted on a
large scale, employment being given to 100 hands. The failure, December 13,
1883, of B. C. Wickham & Company's Banking House, crippled the enterprise.
In March, 1884, the factory was sold to Mansfield parties, and there continued
under the name of G. S. Voorhees & Company.

T. 0. Hetfield's Cigar Factory was started in 1888, one and a quarter miles
west of Tioga, on the Wellsboro road. September 15, 1893, it was destroyed by
fire. He resumed business in the borough, remaining until April, 1895, when he
removed back to the old site west of town, having, in the meantime, rebuilt his
residence and factory.



As early as 1828, Hobart Graves brought water in wooden pipes to his dis-
tillery, on "Wellsboro street. The pipes were pine logs with holes bored through
them lengthwise. A few private residences were also supplied by Mr. Graves. The
great pressure, however, made it difficult to keep the pipes in repair, and they were
finally abandoned to disuse and decay.

The Tioga Water Works Company was organized in 1874, with T. A. Wick-
ham as superintendent, and Charles A. Wickham as engineer. Work was com-
menced August 23, of that year, and the water let into the pipes December 16.
The water is brought from Bentley's creek, over nearly the same course as that
followed by Hobart Graves in 1828. The storage reservoir is a basin of the creek,
320 feet above the level of the borough, and has a capacity of 1,200,000 gallons. The
distributing reservoir stands on the brow of East hill, 220 feet above the borough,
and has a capacity of 750,000 gallons. The specific gravity system is used, and
the consumption averages about 500,000 gallons. The company was incorporated
January 20, 1888, with a capital of $15,000, divided into 600 shares, 476 shares being
owned by Eufus S. Frost, of Chelsea, Massachusetts; eight shares by T. A. Wick-
ham, and four each by Edward G. Schieffelin, Henry L. Baldwin, C. B. Eaxr and
J. E. Sweetland, of Tioga. T. A. Wickham has been the superintendent of the
company since its organization.


The Parle Hose Company was organized in 1874. Its membership was made
up of the leading citizens and the most active yoimg men of the borough. It did
good service whenever called upon, and won many honors in the tournaments
of the county's firemen.

Smead Hose Company, No. 1, the successor of the Park Hose Company, was
organized June 2, 1893, and was named in honor of E. A. Smead, who was then
burgess. The names of the charter members and the first officers of this organi-
zation, are as follows: W. C. Adams, president; I. L. Eich, vice-president;
Daniel Berry, treasurer; W. C. Wells, secretary; H. Pickering, chief engineer;
George Abrams, foreman; E. D. Brigham, first assistant; George M. Eice, second
assistant; J. F. Decker, Alfred J. Dewey, A. A. Porter, F. D. Eeynolds, E. B.
Smith, W. Marsh, W. J. Hughes, Eoyal Wheeler, F. L. Aiken, John Day, John
J. Davis, Jr., Daniel Holleran, B. B. Eundall, F. W. Shappee, John Kreiger, W.
Jack and Herman Kemp.


On the evening of February 9, 1871, a fire, originating in the restaurant of
the basement of A. C. Bush's store, resulted in the destruction of the business
portion of the borough. It swept away thirteen stores, the Protestant Episcopal
church and rectory, the Methodist Episcopal church building, one law office, one
wagon shop, the bank building, the old Goodrich Hotel and the newer Smith
Hotel buildings, a marble shop, two dwellings and a number of outbuildings.
The loss of these, with their contents, though severely felt by their owners,
proved, in the end, of benefit to the borough. Aside from calling into activity a


latent spirit of enterprise, and giving to the borough a new impetus in the
direction of progress and prosperity, it led to the establishment of fire limits, and
the passage of an ordinance prohibiting the erection of wooden buildings within
the burnt district. The work of rebuilding was promptly begun, and it was not
long before the old wooden structures were replaced by substantial and sightly
buildings of brick and stone. These not only add much to the appearance of
the business portion of the borough, but afford a reasonable security against a
repetition of the calamity.

Early on the morning of Saturday, June 1, 1889, the people of the borough
were aroused from their slumbers by an invasion of the waters of Crooked creek
and the Tioga river into the lower stories of their houses. These streams, swollen
by the incessant rains of the previous day and night, had overflowed their banks,
and had risen with unprecedented rapidity. In a few hours the water stood from
one to six feet deep in the residences, and was over the counter tops of most of
the stores in the borough. So sudden and rapid was the rise, coming as it did
in the last hours of the night when the people of the borough were wrapped
in slumber, that there was no time to prepare for it. Millions of feet of logs,
lumber and timber, borne on the rushing and rapidly rising current, added terror
to the situation, threatening, as they did, the entire destruction of the town.
The people fled to the upper stories of their buildings or sought safety on the
hillsides, and many stories of remarkable escapes from death are related by those
who were taken unawares by the sudden rising of the waters, which attained a
height of four or five feet beyond any other flood in the history of the borough.
The lodgement of logs, lumber, outbuildings, etc., in the ten-acre orchard at the
back of the A. C. Bush residence, proved providential, and prevented many build-
ings from being torn from their foundations and carried down stream. The
breaking of Crooked creek through the embankment southeast of the borough,
added volume to the flood and peril to the situation, and for a time the entire
destruction of the place seemed imminent. The flood attained its greatest height
in about four hoiirs, and receded as rapidly as it rose, leaving the streets, yards,
gardens, and vacant lots filled with logs and a miscellaneous accumulation of
trash and debris. The carpets, floors and submerged contents of residences and
business houses were covered with a deposit of several inches of mud, and
furniture, books, goods, etc., were either greatly damaged or utterly ruined. The
loss of property, within the borough limits alone, exceeded $50,000, the heaviest
individual losers being Eobert Bishop and T. A. Wickham. The box factory of
the former, on Park street, was badly wrecked, and nearly his entire stock of
lumber, including 300,000 feet of box pine, was carried away. His loss was
$7,000. Mr. "Wickham lost logs and lumber to the value of $5,000. Growing
Crops in flelds and gardens were destroyed, and it was months before the streets,
alleys and individual grounds were cleared of the logs, lumber and debris of the
flood, and the borough resumed its former neat and attractive appearance. As
in the case of the fire of 1871, measures were immediately taken to prevent a
recurrence of the disaster. *

The following entry relative to this inundation appears in the record book
of the borough clerk, under date of June 1, 1889:



Water higher, by four and a half to five feet, than ever known here before. This
book was under water six to eight hours. The streets were filled with logs, flood trash
and outbuildings, after the water went down.

This flood, and the damage to property resulting from it, led the council to
provide for the construction of a dyke along the west bank of the Tioga river,
from the southern limit of the borough to the foot of Broad street. This dyke,
which cost betn^een $2,000 and $3,000, is above high water mark, and will, it is
believed, protect the borough from further inundation.



Township Organization— Selection of Name— Boundaries and Area— Physical
Features— Early Land Troubles— Conflicting Claims of Pennsylvania
AND Connecticut— Final Settlement of the Dispute— The State Line
Survey— Hon. Samuel Baker, the First White Settler- Other Early Set-
tlers—The Borough of Lawrenceville— Manufacturing and Business
Enterprises— Physicians and Lavtyers- Newspapers— Schools— Churches,
Sabbath-Schools and Cemeteries— Justices and Burgesses— Societies—

PEIOK to 1816 the township of Tioga, which originally included all of Tioga
county, had been reduced by the formation of other townships, to a terri-
tory six and one-half miles wide from east to west, extending from its present
southern boundary north, nine and three-fourths miles to the State line. At
the February term of court, 1816, a petition was presented, signed by Joseph M.
McCormick, John Eyon, Jr., James Baldwin, Nathaniel Seely, Emmer Bowen,
Andrew Bosard, Joseph Bennet, John Hazlett, Ebenezer Baldwin, John AUing-
ton and James Daily, praying for a certain described territory, comprising the

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