Emanuel Swedenborg.

History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania online

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1879, at the advanced age of niaety-six years. He was a shoemaker and worked at
his trade in connection with his hotel. In February, 1814, John ShefEer, Sr., a
native of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, removed his family from Williamsport,
where they had resided for several years, and settled on 150 acres of Academy land,
on ShefEer Hill, just north of the borough. At the time of Mr. ShefEer's coming
there were but eleven persons in the township. He early became a prominent and
leading citizen of Liberty.

About 1814 a body of United States troops, en route for BufEalo, New York,
encamped in Eehn's Hollow, on Laurel Hill, and excited the interest and curiosity
of the settlers. About this time also Daniel Hartsoek settled just east of the borough,
on the farm now owned and occupied by Levi Haa-tsock. John Levegood, a native
of southern Pennsylvania, settled about 1814-16, Just west of the borough, on
Academy lands. He was one of twelve settlers in the Block House neighborhood
to whom a donation of fifty acres each of Academy land was made in order to induce
them to settle. Peter Moyer came in 1815 and settled west of Black's run, on land
previously occupied by Henry Hews. Frederick Heyler, Sr., a native of Germany,
settled about 1818 on Briar Hill, and soon had for a neighbor Michael Linck, also
a native of Germany. Simon Sindlinger and his stepson, George Hebe, natives of
Wurtemberg, Germany, settled in 1819 in the eastern part of the township. Mr.
Hebe was a soldier in the Mexican War, and served under Colonel Wynkoop in the
First Pennsylvania regiment, and was promoted from private to staff officer.

Isaac Foulkrod, a native of Philadelphia, and the son of a Eevolutionary soldier,
settled in 1831 on fifty acres of Franklin College lands, northeast of the borough.
Among the valued relics still preserved in the family, are a fife presented to his
father by General Washington, and also a wooden canteen carried by him during
the Eevolutionary War. John Weal, a soldier in the War of 1813, settled in 1833
on 115 acres of land near the line of Jackson township, Lycoming county. Leonard
Miller, who came into the township between 1835 and 1838, was a native of Wurtem-
burg, Germany, and a soldier under !N"apoleon in his campaign in Eussia. At the
close of his service he received a silver medal from ITapoleon, for "zeal and bravery,"
so the inscription read. He settled in the northwestern part of the township. John
Sebring, a native of Bucks county, Pennsylvania, came about 1830 from Lycoming
county, to which he afterwards returned. In 1840 he again came into the township,
settling at Sebrings, where he afterwards erected a hotel. He was a soldier in the


War of 1813, and was later successively commissioned captain, major, colonel, and
on June 23, 1854, a brigadier general of militia.

Among other early settlers may be mentioned: Joshua Daxtt, who located in
the northern part of the township in 1817; Michael Dehr, who came in 1819, as did
also Frederick Bower and Henry Christ; Samuel, John and Henry Gleckler, who
settled at East Point about 1830; John Knodel, who served under Napoleon;
Michael Krause, John H. Stinehofer, the first physician; John Marquart, Lewis
Schneck, John T. Peek, Philip Zink, Jacob Boger, who settled near East Point;
John Leinhaxt, who settled on Briar Hill, and John Eeed, all came about 1821.
Jacob Brownmiller and Jeremiah Maneval came in 1822, as did Solomon Koupp, who
located near East Point, and Oliver Pierson, who settled at Nauvoo. In 1824 George
Hart, a Eevolutionary soldier, and his son, John F. Hart, became the first settlers
near the site of Hartford postoffice, between Liberty borough and ISTauvoo. In
1825 Leonard Schambacher and Leonard Shick settled near East Point. These
were the principal settlers of the township during the first quarter of the present
century. The work begun in the midst of the wilderness by these sturdy pioneers
has been carried forward by their descendants until Liberty township is to-day one
of the best cultivated and most prosperous townships of the county.


The early settlers in and around Block House were dependent for several
years upon the grist-mill and saw-mill of Peter Sechrist, erected about 1811, at
the falls on Block House run, about a mile south of the county line, in Jackson
township, Lycoming county. About 1825 Henry Hartley erected a saw-mill on
Black's creek, near the county line. It was bought in 1827 by James Freeze, who
also erected a grist-mill. A few years later these mills becajne the property of
Jeremiah Black, a cousin of the celebrated jurist of the same name, and were
operated by him and his sons for more than half a century. About 1830 Joseph
Hagenbach erected a saw-mill on Block House run, in the northern part of Liberty
borough. It was afterwards owned and operated by Jonathan Sebring, Robert C.
Cox and Jonathan Eaker. It was burned, and Francis M. ShefEer bought the site
and built a new mill, which also burned and was rebuilt. Jonathan Kreiger then
purchased the property. In 1890 the mill was again destroyed by fire, and the
present steam saw-mill and planing-mill was erected near its site.

About 1839-30 Isaac Werline erected a tannery near Block House run, in the
northern part of Liberty borough. He operated it until 1853. The subsequent
owners were Werline & Elder, J. J. Werline, Gottlieb Krise, and Albert Krise, who
conducted it from 1867 to 1876. Isaac Harmon erected a grist-mill and saw-mill,
about 1830, on Block House run, north of Liberty borough. In 1833 Jacob Benner
became the owner and operated them until 1855. The present three-run, water-
power grist-mill was erected on this site in 1888, by E. H. Hartsock. About 1833
William Diffenbacher erected a fulling-mill in the northeastern part of Liberty
borough, and soon after added a carding machine. In 1843 Horace Fellows became
owner and enlarged it to a woolen factory. He ran it successfully until aboiit
1873, when he sold the machinery and it was removed to Nauvoo. In 1842 Michael


ShefEer established a wagon shop in Liberty borough, which has been conducted
by himself and his sons down to the present time.

Among the saw-mills erected between 1830 and 1840 were one on Zimmer-
man's creek, above Nauvoo, by John W. Frederick; the Oliver Pierson mill, on
Fall creek, north of Nauvoo; the Leonard Schambacher mill, near the site of the
steam saw-mill now operated by Solomon Roupp, half a mile east of East Point;
the Frederick Bower mill, afterwards owned by Philip J. Kohler, on Block House
run, east of Sebrings, and the Frederick Boyer mill, northwest of East Point.

In 1838 Charles F. Veil erected a tannery at what is still known as Veiltown,
about a mile north of Liberty borough. It was operated by Mr. "Veil and his sons
for over thirty years. About 1838 a saw-mill was erected on Block House run, near
Veiltown, by James Merrill, and a grist-mill about 1841. From 1867 to 1884 the
mills were owned by William Keagle. In the latter year Washington Newberry
bought the property. The saw-mill has not been operated for many years. The
grist-mill is known as Liberty mill. About 1838, also, a grist-mill was erected at
Nauvoo by John J. Herman. It has been operated by Caleb A. Comstock, Daniel
W. Canfleld, who added a saw-mill in 1848, and others. The grist-mill alone is
now running. It has been owned since 1889 by Adam Coppersmith.


The following named physicians have practiced in what is now Liberty
borough: John H. Stinehofer, who came before 1825 and remained about three years;
Dr. Eiehard B. Hughes, 1828 to 1842; Benjamin C. Morris, 1835 to about 1837;
Jacob Eaker, Jr., 1838 to his death in 1843; F. W. Krause, 1836 to 1846; Frederick
Reinwald, 1845 to about 1847, when he was killed by a panther; L. K. Garfield,
1847 to 1856; John C. Bastian, 1850 to 1852; Charies Ridenbach, George Hammon,
Thomas Stewart, and W. W. Webb, each of whom made but a short stay. Dr.
William F. Weseman came in 1851-52, and is still a resident of the borough. The
other resident physicians are Dr. G. A. Smith, who located m 1874, and Dr. Z.
EUis Kimble, who came in 1886.

The following named persons have served as justices of the peace since the
organization of the township: John Gray, 1825; John Marvin, 1825; re-elected,
1836; Ephraim B. Gerould, 1827; Thomas Dyer, 1827; Chauneey Alford, 1827
James C. Turner, 1828; Thomas Putnam and David Ellis, 1830; Eufus Smith, 1831
Joseph Aiken, Daniel IS^. Hunt and Martin Eobinson, 1832; James E. Eay, 1833,
John F. Donaldson and Alanson Miller, 1834; Daniel Holiday, Jr., Solon Eichards
and William Hill, 1835; Simeon Houghton, Levi 1. Mchols and Alfred Eipley,
1836; Evan Harris, 1837; Edwin Dyer and Isaac Drake, 1838; Isaac Werline,
1840; re-elected, 1845, 1850; John Cochran, 1840; Charles F. Veil, 1845; re-
elected, 1850, 1859; Jackson J. Werline, 1853; re-elected, 1858, 1863, 1872, 1877,
1882, 1887, 1893; C. L. Farnsworth, 1855; Eoberi; C. Cox, 1862; William L.
Keagle and J. G. Albeck, 1867; William Poulkrod, 1869, re-elected, 1875; Isaac
F, Wheeland, 1881; Francis M. Sheffer, 1886; John Hagerty, 1889; re-elected,
1894; John Mase, 1894. The justices of the peace elected for Liberty borough
have been Isaac F. Wheeland and J. J. Werline, elected in 1893.



The first school attended by children of the eaxly settlers in and axound Block
House, was taught by Isaac Foulkrod, in a log cabin across the road from the present
residence of Levi Miller, in Jackson township, Lycoming county. The next school
building stood near the old burying ground in the northern part of the borough, on
land now owned by Grant Sebring. After it became unfit for further use, a building
was erected near the grounds of William McVoy. In 1859 the present graded school
building in the northern part of the borough was erected. Early schools were also
established at Hartford, ]Si"auvoo, East Point, Sebrings and other places in the town-
ship. Among the early teachers were George Eoberts, John Sloat, Henry Keagle,
a Mr. Spaulding, William Gilday and others. There are now eleven schools in the
township outside of Liberty borough, in the graded school of which two teachers
are employed. An average of seven months is taught each year. The school houses
are well built and well furnished.


i Frieden's Evangelical Lutheran Church, situated across the line in Jackson
township, Lycoming county, below Liberty borough, stands near the site of a log
structure erected in 1827 by the members of the Lutheran and German Eeformed
churches, and formally opened for worship in 1838. The present brick edifice,
costing $7,000, was erected in 1871. The original members of this church comprised
a large number of the early German families in Liberty township, from whom the
membership of the churches at Hartford, Nauvoo and Sebrings was drawn. This
church has been served by the following named pastors: Eevs. J. P. Shindle,
Sehultz, Deich, Dultman, D. B. Sours, Fritzinger, L. S. Shade, H. Daniels, Stude-
backer, Brienenger, Prey, I. P. NefE, A. B. Miller, A. H. Sehultz, A. H. Weaver,
and the present pastor, Eev. D. B. Lau. A church edifice, costing $3,000, was
erected in Liberty borough in 1896, and a separate congregation formed.

Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church at Hartford was organized about fifty
years ago. It worshiped for several years in the Hart school house. A church
building was finally erected and used until 1893, when the present handsome edifice,
costing over $2,500, replaced it. The church is prosperous and maintains a good
Sunday-school. It has had the same pastors as Frieden's Evangelical Lutheran
church. This church was incorporated June 9, 1870.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church at Nauvoo was organized about twenty-five
years ago. It has no house of worship, but uses the Union church building. Its
members are residents of the eastern part of Morris and the western part of Liberty
townships. It has been served by the pastors of Frieden's Evangelical Lutheran

The Evangelical Lutheran Church at Sebrings, organized about 1860, has here-
tofore worshiped in the Union church building. In 1896 the society erected a new
house of worship, costing $2,000. The church is in charge of the pastor of Frieden's
Evangelical Lutheran church.

The Evangelical Church of Liberty was organized in October, 1830, the first
services being held in the residence of Samuel Hartman, Sr., in Block House, by


Eev. John Seybert. Services were held in Frieden's church up to 1847. In 1848
the present church building in Liberty borough was completed. A large number
of the early German families in and around Liberty, East Point, and other places
in the township, formed the original membership of this church, which has been
served by the following named pastors: Eevs. James Barber, Charles Hammer, Mr.
George, Thomas Epples, Uriah Everhart, Charles Lindelman and Daniel Kehr up
to 1848; Simon Wolf, 1849; Mr. Stambach, 1850; Michael Zulauf, 1853-55; H.
Price, 1857; Simon Aurend, 1860; Alexander Longsdorf, 1861; A. Eearick, 1863;
J Bo'wersos 1865; P. H. Eishel, 1867; Thomas Norris, 1869; Z. Eomburger, 1870;
M W Harris, 1871; J. M. King, 1873; H. N. Greninger, 1876; M. Sloat, 1876-79;
Noah Young, 1880; James M. Price, 1881; P. S. Vocht, 1883; James Sechrist,
1883-86; William Minkler, 1889; William Brillhart, 1891; G. Heinrich, 1895, and
J. W. Hammett, 1896. This.church has a large membership and maintains a well-
attended Sunday-school. A branch of it has held meetings in the Beuter school
house, north of Hartford, since about 1855, and another branch has met in the
Frock school house, three miles southwest of Liberty, for about twenty-five years.

The Evangelical Church of Nauvoo was organized about 1859, and is composed
of members residing in the western part of Liberty and eastern part of Morris town-
ships. The society worships in the Union church building. It has been served
by the same pastors as the church in Liberty.

The Evangelical Church of East Point was organized as a branch of the church
at Liberty, and drew its original members from the parent church. It has been
served by the same pastors. Its members held their early meetings in the school
house. In 1870 the present house of worship, which cost $1,700, was erected.
This church maintains a Sunday-school with about forty teachers and pupils. The
superintendent is John Shick.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Liberty was organized in 1843, by Eev. Mr.
Smith, of the Genesee conference, the early meetings being held in the old Liberty
church. A building was erected and dedicatd in 1851. It stood on the lot in
Liberty now owned by Frank Brion. It was replaced by a two-story building
erected in 1867, and the latter in 1868 by the present building, which cost $3,000.
In 1853 the church— which is now in the Central Pennsylvania Conference— was
transferred to the Baltimore conference, since which time it has been served by
the following named pastors: Eevs. B. B. Hamlin, 1853; J. D. Eyer, 1854; E.
E. Kelley, 1855-6; David C. Wortz, 1856-57; James Gamble, 1858; K Shaffer,
1859-60; James Hunter, 1861; J. T. Wilson, 1863-63; P. B. Bush, 1864; E. E.
Kelley, 1865; M. L. Drum, 1866-67; Elisha Shoemaker, 1868; E. H. Colbum,
1869; Levi G. Heck, 1870; E. M. Chilcoat, 1871-73; J. F. Craig, 1873; A. C.
Crosthwaite, 1874; Isaiah Edwards, 1875; H. S. Lundy, 1876-78; J. P. Long,
1879; I. A. Patton, 1880-81; J. F. Glass, 1883; W. H. Bowden, 1883-84; G. E.
King, 1885-87; 0. G. Heck, 1888; Wilfred P. Shriner, 1889; J. Guldin, 1891; E.
T. Whiteley, 1893; M. J. Eunyan, 1894, and I. J. Eeeser, the present pastor, who
took charge in April, 1896. This church now numbers thirty members. The
Sunday-school, which was organized in 1851, contains about sixty pupils. Michael
Sheffer is the superintendent. The churches at Nauvoo and at the Plank school
house, in Morris township, are in this charge.


The Methodist Episcopal Church at ISTauvoo is the outgrowth of a class organ-
ized about fifty years ago^ the early meetings being held in private residences and
in the school house. The society now meets in the Union church building. This
church has always been in the Liberty charge, and has been served by the pastors
of the church at Liberty. Its members reside in Liberty and Morris townships.

The Universalist Church was organized ta 1861 at Shoptown. A frame house
of worship was erected and regular services maintained until about 1880. The
first pastor was Eev. Walter Biillen. His successor was a Eev. Mr. Carpenter. The
society as an organization has passed out of existence.

The United Evangelical Church of Liberty is a member of the new denomina-
tion resulting from difEerences arising in the general conference of the Evangelical
Association some years ago. A number of the members of the church in Liberty
withdrew from the old society and joined the newer organization, adherents of
which are also to be found at ISTauvoo and in the Beuter school and Frock school
neighborhoods. The church in Liberty numbers fourteen members, and main-
tains a Sunday-school, of which Samuel Hartman is the superintendent. Meetings
are held in a rented building. Eev. M. Kennelley was the first pastor of this
church, which is now served by Eev. L. M. Dice.

The Ehenezer United Evangelical Church of East Point was incorporated June
3, 1895, in which year a handsome church building, costing $3,000, was erected.
The society has been in existence about five years, and has had the following pas-
tors: Eevs. J. B. Pox, S. W. Stover and D. W. Miller, who came in the spring of
1896. The church now numbers ninety members, and maintains a Sunday-school
of about 105 pupils, of which Joseph Eoupp is the superintendent.

Union Churches are to be found in ISTauvoo, Sebrings and at Shoptown. The
one at Sebrings was erected in 1863, that at ISTauvoo about 1870 and the one at
Shoptown in 1891. The latter church is a neat and attractive edifice, costing
$1,500. A Union Sunday-school is maintained here with about forty pupils. Mrs.
Murray Mase is the superintendent.

Cemeteries and burying grounds are to be found in various parts of the town-
ship. The old Block House burying ground, in which the early pioneers were laid
at rest, was in the northern part of the present borough. Another old cemetery
was m the rear of the Evangelical church. There is a cemetery adjoining the
Lutheran church, near Hartford, and one adjoining the Union church at Sebrings.
The cemetery at East Point was incorporated in June, 1895. In each of these as
well as in private buiying grounds, rest the remains of the first settlers of the tora-
ship and those of many of their descendants.


_ Block House Lodge, No. 291, 1. 0. Q. F., was instituted Pebruary 35, 1850 The
origmal charter was destroyed, and a new charter issued August 38, 1856 Decem-
ber 9, 1879, this lodge lost by fire all its regalia and lodge furniture, except the
desks and books. It has now a well-furnished hall in the Odd Fellows' building,

X,-.^f;;' P T\f ?o' '''°^^''* '""^ ^°^* Vrosv^rou. lodges in the county!
King Brothers Post, No. 288, G. A. E., was organized September 30, 1883, with
thirty-five members. It also meets in the Odd Fellows' building. Sebring Grange,


No. 1047, P. of H., was organized November 2, 1891, with sixteen members. It
now numbers 100 members, and meets regularly at Sebrings, where it owns a hall
building, erected in 1893 at a cost of $500. NauTOO Grange, No. 1056, P. of H.,
was organized in February, 1892, with eighteen members. It now numbers fifty
members. Its place of meeting is Nauvoo. Washington Camp, P. 0. S. of A., was
organized February 11, 1893. It meets in the Odd Fellows' building, in Liberty,
and has 145 members. Zimmerman Castle, No. 457, K. G. E., was organized Sep-
tember 6, 1892, at NauTOO. In the fall of 1893 it erected a hall building costing
$1,200. It has a large membership. A Farmers' Alliance, with a large mem-
bership, was recently organized in the Beuter school house neighborhood. It
meets regularly and is prosperous.


As already stated in the portion of this chapter dealing with the pioneer settle-
ment, Anthony, who kept the old Block House tavern, was the first settler on
the site of Block House, now Liberty borough. In 1813 he was succeeded
as landlord of the old Block House tavern by Jonathan Sebring, who kept a well-
ordered and reputable house. He later erected a better building on the site of the
Block House. Among his early successors were a Mr. Morris, Joseph Hagenbach
and Joel H. "Woodruff, who purchased the property in 1841, and in 1847 built a
new house. He continued the business until 18G9, since which time there have
been a number of landlords. A. Semsey took charge in 1881, and in 1886 the
present hotel building was erected. The Eagle Hotel was opened in 1866, the first
landlord being A. Artley, whose successors have been Gurdon Felter and Henry
Barrow, John and Charles Foulkrod, Eobert C. Sebring and his son, Grant Sebring,
who has owned the property since 1887.

In 1816 a post route was established from Williamsport, through Block House,
to Painted Post, New York. John SheJier, Jr., then a lad thirteen years old, carried
the mail. A stage route was established later, and was continued until the building
of the Northern Central railroad from Williamsport to Elmira. Daily stages now
connect with Trout Eun, Canton, Blossburg and Morris. A postof&ee, named
Liberty, was established December 23, 1824, Jacob Levegood being the first post-
master. About 1837 Jonathan Sebriag was appointed. His successors have been
Isaac Foulkrod, Horace Fellows, Joel H. Woodruff, B. F. Werline, Eobert C. Cox,
William Narber, Charles N. Moore, C. A. Miller and John Foulkrod, who was
appointed January 1, 1894. Prior to 1824 letters for Block House were directed to
Williamsport. John Foulkrod, the present postmaster, has in his possession one
written by John P. Foulkrod, of Oxford township, Philadelphia county, Pennsyl-
vania, inscribed as follows:

Mr. Isaac Pulkrod,
Near the Block House,
Tioga. Co.,
To the care of Mr. Thomas Updegraft,
Williamsport, Pa.


He also has one postmarked Frankford Postoffice, May 14, 1833, and inscribed:

Mr. Isaac Fulkrod,
Tioga Co., Liberty Township,
Liberty P. O., Blockhouse,


The first store was opened in 1833 by Joseph Hughes. Among the eaxher and
more prominent merchants have been John Sebring, 1835; Charles Hagenbach,
■who began business about 1837; Charles H. Cochran, 1840; Eobert C. Sebring,
1840; C. H. Hensler, 1842; John Cochran, 1843; George E. Sheffer, who opened a
grocery in 1849; I. & H. TJlman, who opened a store on Jew Hill, about 1850;
Eobert C. Cox and others. Liberty has always been a good business point. It
is in the midst of a fine farming section and commands the trade of a large number
of thrifty and prosperous farmers. Its business center is compact and well-built
and its business men public-spirited and enterprisiag.

Liberty was incorporated as a borough July 3, 1893, and was duly organized
by the election of the following officers: I. M. Warriner, burgess; F. M. ShefEer,
J. W. Guernsey, C. A. Maneval, Z. E. Kimble, D. 0. Hartsock and Israel Faver,
couneilmen; J. F. Wheeland and William Foulkrod, justices of the peace; John
Foulkrod, assessor; J. E. Keagle, constable and collector; W. W. "Woodruff, high
constable, and G. F. Brion, Merton Miller and M. M. Werline, auditors.


Nauvoo is situated on the western line of the township, about a mile north of
the county line, lies on both sides of Zimmerman's creek, and is partly in Morris
township. It was named by Mrs. Lydia Jane Pierson, because during the Mormon
excitement a few persons living in the neighborhood became adherents of that faith,
and went with the Mormons to Nauvoo, Illinois. She and her husband, Oliver
Pierson, were pioneer settlers here, coming into the township as early as 1823, Mr.
Pierson having previously invested in 1,000 acres of wild land lying in and around
the village. A postoffice was established here in the early forties, C. A. Comstock
being the first postmaster. The office has since been held by D. W. Canfield, John
Compton, L. A. Comstock, Ben-jamin Maneval, John Sebring, John Childs, J. S.
Childs and Miss Maggie Eitter, who was appointed in December, 1895. The first

Online LibraryEmanuel SwedenborgHistory of Tioga County, Pennsylvania → online text (page 85 of 163)