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Tioga County History
Most of the early settlers at Covington were from New England and possessed the intelligence and vigor which have so uniformly distinguished her sons and daughters. They commenced in earnest to reclaim the wilderness and bring under cultivation the virgin soil. The Williamson Road was cut out north and South through the Tioga Valley in 1792, and the East and west State Road from Towanda, Bradford County, west to Wellsboro via Covington and 1808. These highways afforded the early settlers a mode of ingress and egress, and it was nearer or at their intersections that the earliest settlers located, where the present borough of Covington is situated, 35 miles south of Corning, 12 miles east of Wellsboro, 5 miles south Mansfield and five miles north of Blossburg, on the line of the Tioga and Elmira State Line Railroad.
For the very earliest settler is at Covington the nearest trading points were Athens, at the junction of the Chemung and Susquehanna River, (then known as "Tioga. Point"); Painted Post, at the junction of the Conhocton River with the Chemung; and Williamsport on the west branch of the Susquehanna River at the mouth of Lycoming Creek. It was not long however, that the settlers of Covington were dependent upon the towns mentioned for their supplies or trading posts. At "Covington Four Corners" a little village grew up, supplied with stores, shops, mills, hotels, and all the necessary institutions both a thriving and prosperous community. The citizens were generally public spirited, and for quarter of a century Covington was the most favored and prosperous village into County of Tioga; and as early as 1831 the borough of Covington was organized, being preceded only one year by the county seat, Wellsboro.
It will be borne in mind that the township of Bloss was not organized until the year 1841, Blossburg only being a small ham lots until that time, and Covington this center of trade and population from which radiated the Enterprises which ultimately resulted in the development of the mines at Blossburg. Covington can therefore be justly called the mother Blossburg, or the hive from which to a marked degree emanated the prosperity of the latter town. Probably no borough in the County has had so many stages the prosperity and impression as Covington. From 1820 to 1840 great improvements were made. During that period streets were opened upon both sides of the river, running north and South, and a general impetus was given to business by the erection of mills, factories, stores, hotels, churches, school houses, and all the requisites of a flourishing country town. Great projects were conceived and carried into execution. Blossburg was banned in Covington Township, and many other leading man who were prominent in the building of the Corning and Blossburg Railroad, which was completed in 1840, made Covington their temporary or permanent home.
Covington remained a Bourough a number of years, when it's charter lapsed. In 1851 it was made a Bourough again, with the following officers: George Knox, Burgess; John Lang (now Treasurer of the Fall Coal Co.), clerk; Martin Gerould Street Commissioner on the east side of the river, and Elijah Gaylord on the West side; O. F. Taylor, treasurer; Ira Patchen, collector; A. L.. Johnson, poormaster.
The Chief Burgess is of the Bourough since have been George Knox, W. C. Webb, T. Putnam (twice), J. C. Bennett (twice), Edwin Dyer, H. M. Gerould, Ira Patchen, Leonard Palmer (twice) Perley P. Putnam, O. G. Gerould (twice), A. M. Bennett (3 terms), Jacob Hartman, E. B. Decker, Charles Howland, T. B. Putnam, William Lamkin, Edwin Klock, J. M. Hoagland.
The present bourough officers are: Burgess, J. M. Hoagland, clerk, S. A. Gaskill, Councilman, Harry Kendrick, Michael Dailey, William Holman, John W. Horton, F. P. Copp, S. A. Gaskill; assessor, Charles Howland; assistant assessor, T. P. Putnam, George Keltz; Judge of election, Henry LeValley; inspector of election, Samuel Putnam, E. Howland; auditors, W. S. Farrer, W. H. Lamkin, G. A. Spring; high Constable, Frank Ferguson; Constable, Thomas W. Patchen; justice of the piece, O. G. Gerould, L. B. Smith.
Covington bourough now contains for churches (Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, and "Christian"), a grated school, 2 general stores, 2 drug stores, a hardware and a tin store, a hotel, 2 blacksmiths shops, a glass factory, a sawmill, a grist mill, a shingle mill, a wagon shop, 2 shoe shops, 3 groceries, a furniture store, a soda and mineral water bottling establishment, a clothes pin manufactory, 2 gun shops, 2 watch makers shops, a barber, a newsroom, a harness shop, a fruit drying establishments, a tannery, a driving park, 3 physician's, 3 residence ministers and about 800 inhabitants. There has been a marked improvement in the business of the borough within the last two years. The glass manufacturing of Messrs. Hirsch and Ely has been within that time steadily running, giving employment directly and indirectly to about 100 men; a a number of new dwellings and business places have been erected, a and nearly 400 inhabitants added to the population since 1880, which has given new life to every department of business. Located in the center of a good agricultural country, it's continued prosperity is now assured, with the aid which local manufactories are giving it.
The glass manufactory was erected about 30 years ago by David Hurlbut, and has had many owners and lesses. About two years ago Hearsh, Ely, and company of Blossburg purchase it in and placed Indian repair, and this firm has since been running yet with profit. John B. Hirsch is the manager, Michael Ely the store agent, and a concern is under the general superintendence of B. N. McCoy of Blossburg, who also looks after the general interest of the glass manufactory owned by the same firm at the latter place. The factory has been the means of stimulating business in a large extent in Covington giving employment for ten months in the year to a large number of man, and adding materially to population and business.
Among the industries at Covington which bids fair to result in extensive
business is the evaporate her or fruit drying establishment of Messrs.
A. M. Bennett and G. A. Spring. And 1881, when it was established, it gave
employment to 10 persons, and handled many thousand pounds of fruit, which
in that had a ready cash sale in the market. Bright hopes are entained
by its projectors and the community for the development of the very extensive
Early and Prominent Residents
Elijah Putnam was an early settler. He came from the Langdon Cheshire County, New Hampshire, and located within what is now the borough of Covington in the year 1809 he was more and in Worcester, Massachusetts June 1st 1761. His father was a cause of all the celebrated general Israel Putnam Of Revolutionary fame. Elijah Putnam went into New Hampshire soon after the close of the revolutionary war, and remain they are till 1809, when he talked his family in a sleigh and came to Covington by the way of White Hall, Saratoga, Utica, Ithaca, Horseheads and Painted Post. His family consisted of a wife and for children-three daughters and one son, Lucy, Christiana, Sally and Thomas. Mr. Putnam was a man of great energy, or enterprise and industry, and did much toward the developing of the new home in the wilderness of Tioga. The guy in August 11th 1825, aged 64 years, 2 months, 11 days. His wife, Lucy, survived him nearly nine years. She died May 23rd, 1834 aged 76 years, three months and 12 days. They were pioneers both in New Hampshire and PA, and were distinguished and notable persons of those early days. Their daughter Christiana married Ephraim B. Gerould. Sally married Peter Keltz, and has continuously resided in Abington 74 years. Lucy remained unmarried. Thomas became a distinguished citizen of the county. He was born in Massachusetts, June 14,1790 and was about 18 years of age when he came with his parents to Covington. For many years he was inactive businessman, highly respected by his fellow citizens; with county treasurer in 1824, and subsequently largely engaged in farming. He died July 12, 1870, aged 80 years and 28 days.
Isaac Walker came from New Hampshire and located at Covington,
on the west side of the Tioga River, within the present limits of the bourough,
July 4th, 1813. His family consisted of a wife, and seven sons
and three daughters-Royal, Isaac, Asahel, Samuel, and Roswell, Lewis, James,
Polly, Lydia and Cynthia. At that early J. Mr. Walker and family were quite
in addition to the little Hamlet. He died July 25th, 1839, age
72 years; four months, and five days. Many other descendants of this worthy
pioneer are in Covington, Blossburg and vicinity. His eldest son, Royal,was
for many years one of the leading carpenters of the county, and the remainder
of the family became highly respected members of society.
Peter Keltz preceded Isaac Walker in his residence in Covington by about five years, having located there as early as 1808. He was also a carpenter. He came from the Valley of the Mohaw., and as well as of German descent. On the first of January 1818 he was married to miss Sally Putnam, daughter of major Elijah Putnam, and for nearly 60 years they live happily together.
Maj. Thomas Dyer in the year 1820 came from Amherst, Hampshire
County MA, to Covington. He and formerly resided in Rhode Island's and
had been a manufacture of cotton goods. He came prepared to open to store,
and by the aid of 2 yoke of oxen and any horse, attached to a ponderous
New England wagon, he made the journey with his goods and family from Massachusetts.
They crossed the Hudson at Catskill, ascended the mountains, and passed
through the counties of Greene, Delaware, Broome and Tioga to Newtown (now
Elmira), and thence via Troy and Columbia Flats to Covington. When near
Columbia Flats, Bradford County, major Dyer stopped had a settler's by
the name of Mudge, but the latter could not entertain him and his family
overnight, and the major press on to the darkness and had the misfortune
to drive off from the pole bridge into a stream, and nearly erected cargo.
He finally staid all night with a settler named Briggs, and in the morning
"righted off" his load and that day arrived at his destination. Among the
wares with the major had purchased for the trade at Covington were axes,
scythes, (Bush and grass), Cow bells and straw and cotton goods. For these
he found are ready sale, and is fame as a merchant was established. Maj.
Dyer became one of the most prominent citizens of the county and held a
number of important trusts among men being county treasurer of 1834-35.
It was during the year 1834 that asked county treasurer he went in Philadelphia
and negotiated alone for the county commissioners from the Mechanics and
Manufacturers Bank, to erect present Tioga County courthouse and Wellsboro.
He was a good financier and was vice president of the bank Of Towanda.
Maj. Dyer had done service in the war of 1812 as a marine he died June
30th, 1850, a 68 years and 19 days. He left a good record and
it must for developing the business interests in the community in which
Edwin Dyer , subsequently known as Judge Dyer, was born near
Providence, Rhode Island, in 1807, and accompanied his father, Major Thomas
Dyer, to Covington in 1820 he became one of the most prominent citizens
of the place. He was largely interested in coal and other lands of Covington
in Blossburg, and directly and indirectly added much in the building of
the first railroad in the county, the Corning and Blossburg, now the Tioga
and Elmira State Line Railroad. During the early history of the railroad
he accompanied Honorable Samuel W.. Morris of Wellsboro to New York and
Philadelphia and assisted him in selling the stock, in order to raise money
for the construction of the road. He was largely engaged in mercantile
pursuits, and from 1839 to 1842 his sales were from 60 to 80 thousand dollars
per annum. He spent large sounds in improving the bourough of Covington,
erecting dwellings, stores, hotels, mills, shops, churches foundaries,
and depots etc. He erected the buildings now occupied as a depot and Post
Office,, and for 32 years from 1840 held a position of station agent,,
a greater portion of the time giving his personal attention to do business
connected there with. And 1851 he was elected associate Judge of Tioga
County, and served with honor and credit five years. An 1867 his fine residence
was were, which proved a great loss to him. Most of his valuable household
goods and keepsakes and his fine library were destroyed. He served several
terms as Chief Burgess of Covington; was presiding officer in the Odd Fellows
Lodge and an elder in the Presbyterian church. As a father he was kind
and affectionate, as a neighbor accommodating, and as a businessman energetic
and public spirited, as a citizen a polished and affable gentleman. He
died at his residence in Covington, Saturday August 23rd, 1879
aged 72 years. His funeral was largely attended on Tuesday August 26, Rev.
G. D. Meigs officiating. Business prices were close during the services,
and every mark of respect was shown his memory. The union Sunday school
and Odd Fellows lodge attended in body, and at the grave the services were
conducted by a latter. He last five daughters-Mrs. Esther A. McGrath, Miss
Fannie A.., Miss Belle, Mrs. Catherine D. Keene, and Mrs. Ellen D. King-
to mourn his loss.
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