History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania
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By Charles Tubbs.
Deerfield township was formed from Delmar, in 1814, with an area originally of about 150 square miles. Its territory has undergone many changes. Out of it have been formed the townships of Westfield, including Brookfield (1821) and Chatham (1828), Knoxville borough (1851), Clymer (1858), and part of Osceola (1878). In 1879 it regained a part of the territory from which Chatham was formed. At present constituted it is bounded north by the State of New York, and Osceola; east by Osceola and Farmington; south by Chatham, and west by Westfield and Brookfield. It contains an area of 20,725 acres, or a little more than 32 square miles exclusive of Knoxville borough, which lies entirely within its boundaries. Its drainage is to the eastward, through the Cowanesque River and its tributaries-Troup's Creek and Yarnall Brook being the most considerable. The height above tide of the bottom lands of the Cowanesque in this township will average about 1,200 feet, while the summits of the hills upon either side rise from 400 to 600 feet above the river.
Geologically Deerfield was formed in the Devonian age-the age preceding the local measures. Such out-crops as we have exhibit rocks of the Chemung and Catskill formation. Says the report of the second geological survey of Pennsylvania: "Chemung rocks repeat themselves along the valley of the Cowanseque. There are many gray and few bluish and greenish beds, especially toward the bottom of the visible mass. Such beds form the surface over a part of Deerfield, comprising the southeast corner and the valley of the Cowanesque as far up as the mouth of Troup's Creek. Lower Catskill may be seen jutting, from the brow of the mountains in may places on the north side of the Cowanesque. * * * On Troup's Creek a half mile above its mouth, at the saw-mill, where thirty feet of red shale appears, containing so much iron that ore bogs are formed by the springs which issues from the foot of the hill, the first overlying 200 feet of rocks in the mountain side are of green Chemung sandstone, as shown by the characteristic pink soil and the fragments covering the surface at no great distance; as it was opened on the Cowanesque two miles, showing two feet of poor fossiliferous limestone.
When the township was set off in 1814 from Delmar by the county commissioners it is reported in the official proceedings as having 63 taxable inhabitants. The United States census returns show the population at each enumeration since the formation of the township to be as follows: 1820, 678; 1830, 568; 1840, not separately mentioned; 1850, 721; 1860, 677; 1870, 665; 1880, 908.
The name Deerfield was given to the township because there was such an abundance of deer in its then extensive boundaries.
The main tributary of the Cowanesque in this town comes in from the north, and is mentioned in early deeds as "Troup's Town Branch." Latterly it has been known as Troup's Creek in common parlance, and is so called on all maps. It derived its name from Robert Troup, attorney in fact for David Cathcart (Lord Alloway) and Masterton Ure, owners of extensive landed estates in the adjoining county of Steuben in New York, in which it has its source. He was also secretary of the treasury board of the Continental Congress. (Pennsylvania archives, Second series, Vol. III, P. 336.)
Yarnell Brook was named for James Yarnall, who settled near its mouth in 1807. James Mix, a full blooded negro, was the first settler at the mouth of this stream. Yarnall bought him out and the brook took his name.
There is abundant evidence of the occupancy of Deerfield by the Indians for several centuries previous to the appearance of the white man. Many Indian implements of flint and stone have been found, such as arrowheads, spearheads, knives and axes. Stone tools for grinding corn and for dressing skins of animals were often picked up by the first settlers while working in their fields. An occasional Indian pipe of stone has been found.
The most remarkable evidence of ancient Indian occupancy of Deerfield was the mound discovered in the forest at Academy Corners. Joshua Colvin purchased the ground where that hamlet now stands of William Knox sen., in 1808; took possession of it in 1809, and in 1810 cleared the land of its timber. Where the stores of Martin V. Purple and Daniel H. Buckbee now stand he found a mound about seventy feet in diameter, raised about four feet above the level of the valley. The summit of the mound was level. In the fall of 1810, Mr. Colvin dug a hole in the center of this mound in which to bury his potatoes. When he had dug a little over three feet deep he was surprised to find human bones and Indian implements. He found arrowheads of flint, and axes made of a very hard blue stone, with a neck, probably intended for a withe handle. The bones and Indian implements. He found arrowheads of flint and axes made of a very hard blue stone, with a neck, probably intended for a withe handle. The bones taken out were skulls and thigh bones and were very much decomposed. Two or three pine trees grew upon the tip of this mound, which were over two feet in diameter and rings of annual; growth, as they were counted at the time, indicated that the trees were at least two hundred years old. It does not seem from any account that we have that an attempt was made to determine the number of skeletons buried in this mound. The fact that the smaller bones had become entirely decomposed showed that the mound was one of high antiquity. Of the object if its erection we can only conjecture. "If these mounds were sometimes used as cemeteries of distinguished persons, they were also used as monuments with a view of perpetuating the recollection of some great battle, event or transaction." (Trans. Amer. Antiq. Soc., 1820, Vol. I, Page 164).
Many Indians were found in Deerfield by the first white settlers. They belonged to the tribes of the Seneca nation of the league of the Iroquois or Six Nations. They came from the Genesee Valley, entering Deerfield by way of Troup's Creek down which they had a path or trail. They mainly used the Cowanesque Valley as a hunting and fishing park. They came here in the spring and summer to hunt and fish, and returned in the fall to their villages upon the Genesee to spend the winter. They had some girdlings and sandy bars along the river where the squaws raised corn, beans and squashes. One of these was on the bank of the river near the residence of William D. Knox--the site of union Academy. This was a favorite camping place with them. It is a tradition whose seventy years of strange vicissitudes among the Indians fill a page of history and volumes of romance, camped here for several seasons with her band of dusky companions. Leaving tradition for fact, We find that several well known Seneca chiefs with their hunting parties came here from 1790 to 1820. The name of one Chief was Sundown. He led a band of twenty braves. Another chief who frequented these hunting grounds with his band was John Little beard, who no doubt was a son of the famous Seneca Chief Little Beard, who died in 1806. The Indians were friendly in their intercourse with the whites, and often went to the cabins of the early settlers to trade venison for meal or bread. They were very fond of ack-kwa-nun-gwa, which it is remembered stood for "bread and milk" in the Senaca dialect. The Indians built their wigwams in their camps facing each other, with the fire between. If a pole was set up against a wigwag it was a notice to all comers not to enter, as the owner was absent.
Another incident is told of the relations of the early settlers and their Indian neighbors: William Knox and his son camped just below Academy Corners during the summer of 1798. A band of Indians had their camp on the river bank near by. Young Knox spent his leisure time in sport with the young Indians. The Indians an the Knoxes got their supply of water from the same spring. For some time it was observed that after the Indians got water the spring was very roily. Young Knox determined to learn the cause. He secreted himself behind a thornbush near the spring. Soon a young Indian stealthily approached and, after dipping up water, went into the spring and stirred up the mud with his feet. At that instant young Knox threw a stone, hitting the Indian on the head. He fell to the ground and for a few moments lay unconscious, but, recovering, sprang to his feet and ran. After that the Knoxes and the Indians had no intercourse and the spring remain clear.
Year by year the visits of the Indians to this valley became less frequent, and their parties smaller in number, and about 1825 they disappeared altogether.
LANDS AND SETTLEMENTS.
At what time the first white man made a settlement in Deerfield cannot now be definitely determined. The people who came and permanently located on the lands, in 1798 found, near where the hamlet of Academy Corners now stands, a log house much decayed, and a field on the river bank chopped and partly cleared, and enclosed with a log fence, in the corners of which thorn trees six inches in diameter had grown up; and on the south side of the river they found a mill-race dug out and almost finished near the mouth of Yarnall Brook, James Strawbridge made this settlement. It is inferred from the evident age of the improvements that it was made during the Revolutionary war, and tradition asserts that Strawbridge was obliged to abandon his home on account of the hostility of the Indians at the time of Sullivan's expedition up the Susquehanna and Chemung in 1779.
Another tradition makes Strawbridge's settlement at least six years later. May 17th 1785, James Strawbridge obtained land warrant No. 451, which was located June 25th of the same year along the Cowanesque River, from Joseph S. Ingham's wollen factory to Wallace Gilbert's farm. After this purchase, says our other tradition, Strawbridge made his settlement, and was driven away by white squatters, who killed his oxen, purloined his plow and destroyed his crops on the belief that his claim to title in the lands was antagonistic to their interests. As to who these squatter were the tradition is silent, nor do we have any authentic account of them. Were the Strawbridge warrants located in the Cowanesque Valley because of the information obtained of its fertility during a previous settlement? Or were the warrants located first and the lands occupied afterward? We are unable to answer. From these theories and traditions we assort the facts that not long before or after the purchase of the lands of the commonwealth in 1785-6 Strawbridge made a settlement, and then was disturbed and driven out of the country.
In 1785 and 1786 all the land in the Cowanesque Valley in Deerfield was surveyed, upon warrants issued to James Strawbridge and Thomas Proctor, and in June 1790 the valley of Troup's Creek was surveyed, upon two warrants issued to James Stewart. Warrants issued to James Strawbridge under date of February 25th 1794 were located upon the remaining territory of Deerfield north of the Cowanesque River in May and June of that year.
James Strawbridge, following the English fashion, gave a distinguishing name to each tract surveyed under his warrants. He called the stretch of flat lands where he made his settlement "James Choice." It extended from located from the woolen factory. The warrant located from the woolen factory easterly to the Oseola town line he named "Pleasant Garden," and the territory reaching westerly from Academy Corners to the Westfield line he named "Delight," He gave names to all the tracts lying north of the valley. The wooded knob north of the woolen factory he named "Mount Pleasant," and to the other tracts he gave such names as "Blooming Grove," "Fertility," "Richland" and "Spring Field." He acquired the warrantee rights of Thomas Proctor and James Stewart, and to him the patents were issued by the commonwealth, and these lands became a part of the "Strawbridge tract."
The subsequent history of the lands of the "Strawbridge tract" before they came into the hands of actual settlers is briefly told: James Strawbridge, the patentee, in his life time executed a mortgage to Jonathan Smith, of Philadelphia, and others, as trustees for the widow and heirs of John Strawbridge, deceased. This mortgage was foreclosed and the lands were sold at sheriff's sale at Williamsport, Pa., November 30th 1807. George Strawbridge, a nephew of James Strawbridge, was the purchaser at this sale.
The next month, December 1807, he came upon the lands in person, offering to sell and convey to settlers. His terms were $8 per acre if the purchaser took all flat land, and $4 per acre if he took one-half and one-half hill land. His sales were all upon time. His manner of doing the business was to execute a deed and take back a mortgage. In many cases the mortgage was for the full amount of the purchase money. In this way Mr. Strawbridge sold all of the flat lands in the valley, attending to the business personally. Subsequently he constituted Michael R. Tharp his attorney in fact to manage his real estate. Finally, January 24th 1822, he conveyed to Jonathan D. Ledyard (who married Jane, daughter of George Strawbridge) "all lands lying between the farms on the Cowanesque River and the New York State line," for $100 and other considerations.
March 6th of the same year Jonathan D. Ledyard and Jane his wife sold to Salis Billings the same lands, described in the conveyance as "about 7,000 acres," for the consideration of $2,000. Mr. Billings moved into the county, took personal supervision of his estate, and by his enterprise and outlay of capital did much to develop it. From him and his heirs the lands have passed into the hands of actual settlers upon the soil.
The lands on the south side of the Cowanesque River in Deerfield were surveyed upon warrants issued to Thomas M. Willing, Robert Blackwell, and William Lloyd, in 1792-3. The interest of the warrantees was subsequently acquired by William Bingham the elder, and to him, or the trustees named in his will, the patents were issued. From the Bingham estate the lands have been purchased by actual occupants, and by them have been cleared of the timber and improved into farms.
The first settlers who came to stay were William Knox sen. And Ebenezer Seelye. Both had large families Knox was from Massachusetts and Seelye from Connecticut. They had temporarily resided some years near Painted Post, N.Y. As has been seen James Strawbridge had made some improvements in Deerfield. In 1797, or about that time he approached Seelye and urged him to settle upon his lands upon the Cowanesque, offering as an inducement to sell at $2.50 per acre, making no charge for the improvements. This offer was accepted. Seelye, however, did not wish to go into the wilderness alone. He offered Knox the improvements if he would join him. Knox accepted the offer, and in 1798, with his son William Knox jr., camped upon their new farm and enlarged their clearing. In the fall they returned to Painted Post, and spent the winter with the family. The next spring (March 1799) both families moved into the wilderness, traveling from Beecher's Island (now Nelson) to their new home upon the ice in the river, as there was no road cut through the forest. They found the valley of the Cowanesque covered with a growth of magnificent timber. Black walnut a was abundant, growing very straight and tall, some specimens of it being six feet in diameter. White oak and burr oak and stately white pine predominated. Here and there were tracts of elegant maple. Along the sandy flats and coves of the island stream and Cowanesque were majestic elm, butternut and buttonweed trees. In low and swampy places grew dense forests of hemlock and black ash. Into this howling wilderness they had come to build their homes.
Ebenezer Seelye settled half a mile to the eastward of the Strawbridge clearing occupied by Knox. Ebenezer Seelye a son of Eleazer in 1867 contributed to the Wellsboro Agitator a brief chapter of pioneer experiences, from which we quote. After detailing the arrival of the family he says:
"My father erected a cabin of bark set against a large pine log, and lived in it for a year in a half. He then built a log house. In this he lived the first winter without a floor, there being no saw-mill nearer than Painted Post. For a grist-mill we used a stump hollowed out by fire for a mortar, and a spring pestle. In this we pounded our camp for bread and pudding timber for two years. After a while several of the settlers clubbed together and purchased a pair of millstones about two feet in diameter, which we turned by hand. At first we could only raise corn. Wheat blasted, rusted, and would not mature. This state of things lasted seven or eight years, when wheat, rye and oats began to be raised. The family dressed chiefly in deer skins, and I was ten years old before I had a pair of shoes.
The Knox family had their share of pioneer hardships. William Knox jr. Was sent by his father in the first years of their residence in Deerfield to Williamsport to mill, in mid-winter, with a sled hauled by a yoke of steers, and an old gray-tailed mare for a leader. Thinly clad and poorly fed he made his way across the wilderness by way of what is now Wellsboro and Liberty, and was so long performing the trip that the grist was mostly fed to the team. The family at home became very anxious at the delay in his return. But one night about midnight they were awakened by a noise in front of the house, and found that the steers and old gray-tail had returned with William asleep in the bottom of the sled, nearly frozen.
The next year after the arrival of these pioneer families (1800) a child was born to each - Sally Seelye (tenth and youngest child of Ebenezer, and afterward wife of Prince King), and James, son of William Knox. These were the first white children born in the Cowanesque Valley.
From this time forward settlers came into the township freely. Bethlehem Thompson was among the first. He settled where Emmer Bowen now resides, but soon sold his possession to Reuben Cook. In 1803 John Howland and his son Eddy came and settled where Eddy Howland the younger now resides. In 1807, Emmer Bowen sen. Bought a possession of Jesse Rowley, and subsequently the right of soil, where Benjamin Salsbury Bowen now resides. During the year 1807 Emmer Bowen, Newbury Cloos, James, John and William Fulkner, John Short, Reuben Short, Jonathan M. Rogers and Curtis Cady bought farms. So also about the same time did Zadoc Bowen, David Short, James Yarnall and Joshua Colvin. Besides these were several families who occupied and improved lands as squatters, without acquiring title.
With the year 1809 we close the pioneer period. Yarnall came from Philadelphia, and the Bowens, Howlands, Clarks and Colvins from Rhode Island. Nearly all of the early settlers came from the eastern States, whose sterile soil they were glad to exchange for the more fertile fields and milder climate of the Cowanesque Valley. To acquire these they had to undergo the privations of pioneer life, and they met their hardships with manly courage and womanly endurance.
Bears, deer, elk, panthers, otters, wolves, minks, wild cats, beavers and other wild animals abounded in Deerfield. The early settlers used no dogs in pursuing deer. A hunter was sure t find one within easy range, either standing in the river, browsing on the hill sides, or at one of the numerous "licks." The most noted of these was the "Grand Deer Lick," near the residence of Isaac Sutton. A school house is also located near the place. It consisted of a salty spring on law ground, and a wooded knoll near by, upon which a "blind" was erected, behind which the hunter concealed himself. Hundreds of deer have been killed here when they came to lick the brackish water. Mud licks were more numerous and not so much frequented by deer.
On the north hill below Academy Cornors there is a cave popularly known by the name of "Bear Wallow." The tradition that it was a residence and safe retreat for Bruin it is impossible to trace to an authentic source, although the name that still attaches to the place would seem to indicate that such was the case. There are, however, a few stories of encounters with wild animals that are perfectly authentic.
In the winter of 1806 Ebenezer Seelye had his hogs taken by bears one after another, to the number of eight. He determined to save the old sow, and built a log pen and put her in it. One night, about 10 or 11 o'clock, he heard a loud squealing at the hog pen. His two sons, Julius and Elanson, aged respectively 17 and 13, went hurriedly out and found a bear in the pen. The bear had the hog in his embrace and was trying to lift her out of the pen. Julius seized an axe and dealt the bear a blow upon the back, embedding the bit of the axe in the meat. The bear at once let go of the hog and fled, taking the axe with him. The axe was found the next morning about ten rods from the house. The remains of the bear were found in the woods near the north hill.
Rev. David Short settled in 1806 upon the farm now owned by the heirs of Ar Hoyt Bacon, and lived there until 1813. His home was upon the bank of the river and his pig pen near the door. One morning just at bread of day he heard his pig making a furious outcry. He went out and found a bear tying to carry it away. He seized his rifle and shot the bear from his door.
In 1812 Reuben Howland, then a young man, heard a dog barking in the woods about one hundred rods north of the main Cowanesque road. Upon going where the dog was Reuben found a large panther on a lateral limb of a large oak tree, about forty feet from the ground. He left the dog barking up the tree, went to the house of John Sweet (who lived where Loren Carpenter does now), and got him to go and shoot the panther. Sweet had a short gun he called his "Hessian rifle." He fired two or three times with this gun before he brought the animal down. The State paid at that time a bounty of $8 for killing a panther. In this case the bounty was divided by consent of the parties - Sweet getting $4, Reuben Howland $2, and Elanson Seelye $2, because he owned the dog that discovered the game.
Eddy Howland sen. Was an adept in trapping. At the spring on the farm where Joseph Howland now lives (from which the family at present gets its supply of water) he caught eight wolves in one winter. In March 1815 he caught a she wolf in one of his traps. Mr. Howland and his son Reuben tied her firmly about the neck with moosewood bark. They tied crotched sticks to the moosewood and by the use of these they conveyed the wolf home between them. They put her in a small log barn, and in about a week she was delivered of four whelps. After these where a few days old they killed the whole party, and obtained the bounty, which at that time was $8 per head. Mr. Howland bought 150 acres of land at $4 per acre, and paid a large share of the purchase money with the bounty he had received for killing wolves. The State never paid a bounty upon bears.
The avocation in which most of the people of Deerfield are employed is the cultivation of the soil. The climate and the soil conspire to produce excellent results in agriculture. Grain and grasses grow in great luxuriance. The cultivation of flax and hemp, which in the first forty years of the century furnished a considerable portion of the husbandry of each farm, has been entirely abandoned. So has that part of the household industry by which the raw materials of these articles were manufactured into cloth. The same remark is measurably true of the production of maple sugar.
Saw Mills.--The first saw-mill was built by Emmer Bowen and Ebenezer Seelye, on the Cowanesque, south of the present residence of Benjamin S. Bowen. It had a flutter wheel (undershot) and a single upright saw. By diligence and good management one thousand feet of panel white pine could be cut in twelve hours. This mill was operated until between 1835 and 1840.
Luke Scott built the first saw-mill on Troup's Creek, in 1820. It had an undershot wheel and a single upright saw. It was undermined and destroyed by high water in about ten years.
Eddy Howland built a saw-mill in 1804 above Knoxville on the Cowanesque. It was driven by a flutter wheel and had a single upright waw. He sold it in 1818 to Caleb Smith. This mill was afterward owned by Moses Inscho, who came into Deerfield in 1826 and operated the mill until 1847.
In 1830 Reuben Cloos built the first saw-mill on Yarnall Brook, near the present residence of Isaac Sutton. It was rigged with a flutter wheel and a single upright saw.
In 1831 James Yarnall built a saw-mill near the mouth of Yarnall Brook. This was built after the fashion of the day with flutter wheel and single upright saw, capable of cutting 1,000 feet of lumber in 12 hours.
In 1832 Luman Stevens built a saw-mill on the site of the last mentioned, 32 by 68 feet. It was driven by water, with a center-vent wheel. A circular saw was used. In 1873 steam power was put into this mill, and it was capable of cutting 1,000 feet of lumber per hour. In 1879 it was burned down and rebuilt. The amount of lumber annually sawed at this mill varies from 600,000 to 1,400,000 feet.
Joseph Yarnall built a saw-mill near the mouth of Yarnall Brook in 1848. It was run by water from the Cowanesque, taken out in a race a third of a mile above the mill. This race and the river surrounded a large island on the south side of the river. This mill had improved machinery and drove three saws. Yarnall sold it in 1853 to J.W. & H. E. Potter, who conducted the business until their river dam was taken out by the great flood of 1861 and the property otherwise injured.
Messrs. Walker & Lathrop, of Corning, N.Y., in 1881 built a large saw-mill at the mouth of Inscho Run. Two circular saws are driven by steam power; A. J. Miller is the manager.
Joshua Dake built a mill on the south side of the Cowanesque, opposite Knoxville, in 1848. Two upright saws were rigged in the same gate, and driven by a center vent wheel. B. and B. Hows bought this mill in 1855; they sold it to Mattison & Billings in 1860, and they to John Goodspeed in 1865. This mill has done no business since 1880.
Grist-Mill.--Bethlehem Thompson built a log grist-mill in 1811 about a mile above Knoxville. It was propelled by water power, by an overshot wheel. He took the water from Inscho Run in long continuous troughs hewed out of pine trees, and thereby conducted it upon his wheel. The main Cowanesque road ran under this aqueduct. Thompson sold this mill to Abram Smith. It did business about ten years.
Distilleries.--Joshua Colvin built al log distillery by a large spring north of Academy Corners in 1815. He brought a copper still and other apparatus from Herkimer county, N.Y., and manufactured whiskey for one bushel of rye of corn.
John Knox built a log distillery in 1818 by the Strawbridge spring, south of main Cowanesque road and a short distance east of Academy Corner. He bought the still, mash-tubs and other apparatus of Joshua Colvin, and conducted the business of distilling whiskey for about five years. At this establishment whiskey was distilled from corn, rye and potatoes to limited extent. It was all sold at home.
Merchants.--Eddy Howland brought in a stock of goods as early as 1814 and began a mercantile business. There was not much money in the county, and his sales were mostly for barter. Grain, maple sugar, lumber and the skins of wild beast were received in exchange for goods at this store.
Soon after 1840 A. William, J. Knox built the first store at Academy Corners. About it as a nucleus the hamlet has grown up. In this store, which is still standing (1822), there has been a succession of merchants, about as follows: 1840, William J. Knox: 1842, Andrew Beers: 1847, William A. Fulkner; 1856, Jeremiah Stoddard; 1858, J.B. Payne; 1861, G.B. Gridley; 1863, Brown; 1864, Charles R. Howland; 1865, Purple & Buckbee; 1869, Matthias Marlat; 1870, Joseph B. Payne; 1872; Asa D. Taft; 1874, Burnette Close; 1881, W.A. Falkner.
Jeremiah Stoddard built a store at Academy Corners in 1858, which has changed proprietors about as follows: 1858, Jeremiah Stoddard; 1865, Lee & Rutherford; 1866, Elling Rutherford; 1875, store moved to Cowanesque road and occupied by Purple & Buckbee; 1880, Daniel H. Buckbee, who is still in business (1882). Purple & Buckbee were extensive dealer in butter, paying out to dairymen about $50,000 per year.
"The Boss Store" was opened for business in 1877, near the east end of Troup's Creek bridge. It is conducted by Miss Charlotte A. Inscho.
Mr. Jacobs deals in hardware at Academy Corners.
Hotels.--In 1819 John Knox built a large hewed-log house about forty rods east of Academy Corners. This he opened as a place of public entertainment, and conducted it as a hotel about five years.
The Cowanesque Hotel was built at Academy Corners in 1854, by William Falkner, and opened with a Christmas party. It has had a succession of landlords about as follows; 1854, William A. Falkner; 1858, Ansel Purple; 1861, Martin V. Purple; 1865, Ira Wagner; 1870, Morgan Shaut; 1875, M.D. Van Scooter; 1881, Henry Hamilton.
Lime Kiln.--In 1830 Jacob Babb, a stone mason, discovered limestone on the hill north of the wollen factory, owned by Julius Seeley. From 1830 to 1840 one or tow kilns open year were quarried, burned and sold to the public. Julius and Elanson Seelye conducted the business. The State geologist describes the quality of the lime stone as "poor and fossiliferous."
Sash Factory.--In 1851 Loren Carpenter built a sash factory on the Cowanesque road, between Academy Corners and Knoxville. At this place he made sash and blinds for home use until 1863.
Tanneries.--Peter Rushmore built a tannery on the west side of Troup's Creek, opposite Knoxville, in 1820, and tanned upper leather and deer skins for about ten years. His business was on a small scale, and was intended to supply the home demand.
Martin Bowen built a tannery in 1820 half a mile east of Knoxville. He tanned upper leather, mainly on shares for farmers-each party getting one half of the finished leather. He quite the business about 1835.
Cider Mills.--In 1817 Eddy Howland built a mill and manufactured cider for himself and neighbors. This is believed to have been the first mill of the kind in the valley. It continued in operation about ten years.
In 1828 Eleazer Seelye built a cider-mill, which was patronized by the public about twelve years and then discontinued.
Broom Factory.--Asa Delos Taft in 1872 began manufacturing brooms for sale. He makes and sells about 25,000 per year. He raises some of the broom corn from which they are made, but buys most of it.
Cheese Factories.--Moses Lee built a factory for manufacturing cheese in 1862. He made about 6,000 pounds annually, charging the patrons two cent per pound for making. He discontinued the business 1877.
In 1875 Eben A. Bean built a cheese factory on Troup's Creek, near Knoxville. He charges patrons 1½ cents per pound for making cheese and 2 ½ cents per pound for making butter. The annual make of the factory has been 60,000 pounds. This factory is still in successful operation (1882).
Brick Yard.--Loren carpenter manufactured brick upon his farm, and sold to the public one or two kilns per year from 1862 to 1870.
Woolen Factory.--In 1837 William Hurlbut and Eleazer S. Seely purchased a water privilege and site from Julius Seelye and began the construction of a woolen factory a mile east of Academy Corners. It was built 26 by 70 feet and three stories high. In 1839, on account of financial embarrassments, the interest of William Hurlbut was sold and the enterprise passed into the hands of a stock company, consisting of Eleazer S. Seeyle, Elanson Seelye, John Brownell, C.C. Welch, Abel Hoyt, Joseph Weaver, A.J. Monroe, Benjamin S. Bowen and Emmer Bowen. The machinery was purchased the shares of the other stockholders and continued the manufacture of woolen goods until February 7th 1847, when the factory burned down, with a loss of the machinery, 13,000 pounds of wool and much manufactured stock. The Messrs Bowen rebuilt the factory 36 by 80 feet. The new machinery purchased of Lathrop, Horton & Washburn, of Rochester, N.Y. consisting of two beaker cards, one condenser card, and 220 spindle jack and four broad looms, was hauled from that place on wagons and put in, ready for use, by June 1st 1848. In 1855 a shingle-mill was added and a large amount of shingles manufactured. In 1863, Joseph Ingham, a native Leeds, Yorkshire, England purchased the entire property. In 1864 G.W. Ingham, a son of Joseph, was taken in the establishment, and the business was done under the firm name of J. Ingham & Son until 1876. From 1865 to 1876 the firm consisted of Joseph, Joseph S. and Henry Ingham, each owning a one-third interest. In 1876 Joseph S. purchased the share of Henry. Joseph Ingham died in 1879, since which time the business has been carried on in the name of Joseph S. Ingham, who has been the superintendent of the factory since 1863. The capacity of the factory is about 100 pounds of raw stock per day. It turns out cassimeres, doeskins, full cloths, stocking yarn, flannels, fancy suiting, sheeting, etc.
Blacksmith.--Levi Cook worked at blacksmithing on what is now the Levi Falkner farm in 1809, and continued in business until 1815, when he was succeeded by John Byers, who had a shop on what is now (1822) the Wallace Gilbert farm. Byers died in 1822. Elmer Bostwick, Charles Hackett (1840), Albert Berzac, Lewis Lowell Carr, William Roundsville, a Mr. Pritchard, Albert Newman and others have labored at the forge in Deerfield. The last named has performed the duties of this useful trade since 1875.
Trotting Horses.--As Deerfield is admirably adapted to grazing, the raising of all kinds of young livestock for sale is part of the business of almost every farmer. Since 1861 a special industry has been developed in the breeding and training of trotting horses. In 1861 O.L. Wood two-year-old colt sired y Alexander's "Abdallah," he by Rysdyk's Hambletonian. He is known as "a Wood's Hambletonian," is still alive (1822), and has become the sire of many horses well known upon the turf.
In 1865 O.H. Woods, W.C. and J. Wood, N.G. Ray, W.D. Knox, A.S. Wood, William J Knox, E. Humphrey, John Hogencamp, M.S. Purple, Charles R. Howland, F. Woodcock, M. Shaut and William Wagner leased a lot of land of Caleb Short and fitted up a track for the purpose of racing, training and exhibiting horses. Upon this track "Kilburn Jim," "Blue Mare," "Billy Ray," "Nancy Hackett," "Minnequa Maid," "Argonaut and others that have become famous in sporting circles made their first records. The last meeting at this driving park was in 1880.
The first school opened in the Cowanesque Valley was in Deerfield. It was taught by Betsey Bodwell afterward wife of John Hovey) in 1802-3. The school-house was near the burying ground at Carpenter's. It was about 18 feet square, built of logs and very low between joints. It was covered with a cobbed roof and floored with puncheons, and the benches were split basswood logs with legs. The fire was built upon a hearth against a back wall. There were no jambs to the fireplace, and the smoke escaped through a hole in the roof. The scholars who attended this school were Reuben Cook, Asahel Rexford, Harvey Seelye, John Knox, David Rexford, Elanson Seelye, Archibald Knox, Abel Cloos, Anna Seelye, William Knox, Matilda Cloos, Mehetabel Seelye, Betsey Knox, Julius Seelye, Lucina Seelye and Betsey Steelye.
The only books used were Webster's spelling book and a reader called "The Third Part." At the close of the term Reuben Cook and John Knox enacted a dialogue entitled "Hunks and Blythe." It began thus:
"Blythe: How now, Mr. Hunks; have you settled the controversy with Baxter?
"Hunks: Yes, to a fraction; upon condition that he would pay me six per cent from the date until they were discharged. I will not trust a farthing without interest upon interest.
"Blythe: This looks a little like extortion.
"Hunks: I have already lost five hundred pounds by a lot of rascally bankrupts."
Cook also declaimed a selection entitled "Tubal." Of what series of readers this was the "third part" we have been unable to ascertain.
Of subsequent teachers we have but an imperfect list. Among them were Caroline Scott (1809), William Wattles (1810), - Maxwell (1814), John Knox, and Amsa Smith 91816). A school-house at Academy Corners the "Liberty school-house" was built in 1812. Gaylord Griswold Colvin taught the first term in this house, and several terms afterward.
When the common school system was inaugurated, in 1834, Deerfield at once accepted its provisions, elected and organized a board of directors, and exercised the power of taxation to furnish money to build school-houses and pay teachers. The status of its educational condition in 1881 may be judged from the following exhibit (report of superintendent of public instruction for 1881, page 110):
Whole number of schools, 7; average number of months taught, 6; number of female teachers, 5; number of males, 7; salary of males per month, $21.82; salary of females per month, $19.25; number of male scholars, 90; number of females, $75; number of mills levied for school purposes, 4; amount of tax levied for school purposes, $1,104.94; amount of State appropriation, $137.76.
Union Academy.--The first effort made in the Cowanesque Valley to furnish the means of procuring a higher education than that afforded by the common schools was made in Deerfield. Union Academy was begun in 1845. The means to put up and enclose the building was raised by subscription.
Allen Frazer jr., M.D., conceived the idea of establishing this institution of learning, and was the chief promoter of the enterprise. Caleb Short, John Knox and other citizens contributed of their means, but it was not carried to completion as a public undertaking. S.B. and William Price bought the building, finished it, and began school December 7th 1847. Hannibal Goodwin was the first principal. He was assisted by the Price brothers. Prof. Smith was employed and put in charge in 1848. In 1849 the Price brothers assumed the principalship, and Mrs. S.B. Price became preceptress for the first time-a position which she held with few interruptions for fifteen years. In 1850 William Price left the school and Samuel B. Price became principal. In 1859 and 1860 Prof. Anderson Robert Wightman leased the building and conducted the school. He was assisted by Mrs. Jane A. Stanton Wightman, Miss F.A. J. Conover and Miss Mary Abigail Stanton. Orrin Motimer Stebbins and Charles Tubbs taught some classes during a part of this time. In 1861 Prof. S.B. Price resumed control of the school. During the years he conducted the institution he was assisted in teaching by Jerome B. Niles (1857), Clark W. Beach, Annette Beach, Eliza Beach, Mary Bowen, Mary Seelye, Hannah Sears, Lucy Wood and others. Miss T. R. Gunn, Mrs. Van Dusen, Miss Annette Bach, Miss Frances Davenport and Prof. Isaac Gunn Hoyt were the music teachers. In 1867 Elias Horton jr. bought the academy, and with the assistance of his wife conducted it until March 1st 1871, when two of the buildings were consumed by fire. They have never been rebuilt, and Union Academy has ceased to exist.
William D. Knox lives (1882) upon its site. It consisted of three buildings, one of which is now occupied by Mr. Knox as a dwelling. They were built at different times as the needs of the school demanded, and from time to time alterations were made. The average attendance was about one hundred students. A boarding house was usually kept up for such as wished to patronize it, but the great majority of the student boarded themselves. A small library was collected by donations and loans at the commencement of the school. Afterward additions were bought until there were three or four hundred volumes.
The "Amphictyons" and the "Ladies" were the literary societies. They held weekly meetings, and were a valuable aid to the young men and women who attended this institution.*
Samuel Baker Price, who owned and conducted Union Academy nearly twenty years, was born at Westfield, August 5th 1819, and died in Deerfield, December 30th 1868. He was educated in the common schools, at Alfred academy and at Lima Seminary, which he attended in 1848-9. He then acquired the training necessary to fit him for the principalship of this pioneer academy.
Mrs. Sophia Leonard Price was born in Chenango county, N.Y., and there resided and attended school until 12 years of age. She graduated at the Leroy Female Seminary in the class of 1849. By nature and training she was admirably adapted to perform her long and arduous labors as preceptress of Union Academy.
*An advertisement (1859) of Union Academy lies before us. (It never issued a catalogue.) After noting the name, location, "board of instruction" and "calendar" we reach "expenses per term," which we quote: Tuition in primary branches, $3; common English, $3.50; higher English, $4; languages and chemistry, $5; music (extra), $8; use of instrument, $2; board $1.75, all excepting wood and lights; fuel prepared, $3; fuel not prepared, $1.75; room rent, $1.50; drawing, $2; oriental painting, $3.
Regulations.--1. Punctuality in attending all regular academic exercises will be required. 2. Students must not visit each other's rooms during the hours of study, or be engaged in ordinary conversation. 3. Gentlemen must not visit the rooms of ladies, nor ladies the rooms of gentlemen, without permission. 4. Playing at games of chance, using profane language, or the indulgence int he use of tobacco or intoxicating drinks not allowed. 5. Attending places of amusement without excuse, or dancing parties at all strictly prohibited. 6. All students are required to retire at 9 o'clock p.m.
In September 1812 forty-nine citizens of this county joined in a petition to governor Simon Snyder setting forth, among other things, that "we have no longer any confidence in such a part of our red brethren as have lately left their homes to join our enemy (as we suppose), and fear many acts of cruelty and barbarity may be perpetrated." It closed with the prayer that certain militia might "be stationed for the protection of our defenseless frontier." Of those who signed the petition John Sweet, John Ives jr., and Timothy Ives were from Deerfield, and Moses Inscho, ensign, who also signed it, in 1826 came to live in this town. To these petitioners the governor made answer through the deputy secretary of the commonwealth as follows:
"To Ira Kilburn, Esq., and others, inhabitants of the county of Tioga and its vicinity, Wellsboro."HARRISBURG, September 28th 1812.
"Sir: In answer to the request of yourself and others that the governor would order on service, for the defense of Potter and McKean counties, the drafts heretofore made from Colonels Kilburn's and Satterly's regiments, he has instructed me to inform you that those drafts are subject to the requisition of the United States government, and, therefore, he cannot order them into the service of the State; nor can he perceive the danger those counties have to apprehend, the seat of war being considerably more than one hundred miles from them on the frontier of the State of New York. The enemy after defeating our troops there, which he trusts will not happen, must penetrate through that State before the just fears of the petitioners can be excited.
"I am, sir, respectfully
"Your obedient servant,
Notwithstanding the assuring tone of the letter of the secretary in reference to an advance of the British, grave apprehension did exist that the Seneca Indians, who at that time owned and occupied the Genesee Valley, and who had allies of the British in the Revolutionary war, would make an incursion down the Troup's Creek trail and destroy our settlements. So disquieted was the community that Joshua Colvin, who had purchased and at Academy Corners and had lived upon it four years, went to Herkimer county, N.Y., in 1813 and remained there until the cessation of hostilities, when he returned to Deerfield.
At the time Buffalo was burned by the British in 1814 Newbury Cloos, John Knox, Charles Carpenter, Charles Costley, Elanson Seelye and Eleazer Seelye volunteered to serve against the enemy, and went to Big Tree to tender their services. John Howland conveyed the party there home again. Their services were not needed.
The records of the township give no complete list of the men who entered the army from Deerfield during the rebellion, and the recollections of individuals at best will fail to name them all. It is remembered that among the first to enlist were Truman Gilbert, William A. Falkner, Martin V. Purple, Lafayette Godfrey, Luther Matteson and Lurthe G. Bulkley. Falkner was a lieutenant and some others of the above privates in Company L 2nd Pennsylvania cavalry.
In October 1862 a draft was made for the citizens liable to military duty in Deerfield. Menzo Knox and Elias Clark were drafted, and paid the United States $300 each as commutation for military service. Richard Ham and George Smith were drafted, and served nine in company A 171st Pennsylvania. Micajah Inscho, of Deerfield, served in the same company as a substitute for Alanson Donaldson, of Wellsboro.
In July 1863, when General Robert E. Lee invaded Pennsylvania, a company of "emergency men" went from the Cowanesque Valley to defense of the State. It was mustered in as Company G 35th regiment Pennsylvania militia. The following named men were in this company from Deerfield: Luman Stevens, captain; E. D. Rutherford, second lieutenant; Charles Boon, Menzo W. Knox, George Gilbert, Robert B. Howland, B. Frank Bowen, Martin V. Payne, Archibald D. Knox, Jeremiah Stoddard, Eugene M. Griffin, Alonzo Stevens jr., Lewis Short.
This company was mustered into the service of the state of July 2nd 1863, and discharged on the 7th of August following.
Hiram E. Potter, supervisor of Deerfield in 1861-3 and agent of the township in filling its quota during the war, writes as follows:
"In March 1864 we filled our quota, which was 17, without a draft, with men mostly form Potter county. Adelbert Seely and John Rose, however, were from our town. The town paid $100 to each. I attended to mustering them in at Williamsport. Under the second call of the same year-September-we filled our quota without a draft. Charles Bulkley had them mustered in at Williamsport. Robert B. Howland and George Matteson of our town are among the number that went. The rest were from other town. They went because of the bounty. We paid $100 town bounty. At the last call in 1865 there was a draft made in Deerfield, but the troops did not have to go. We offered $400 bounty."
The township records supplement the information given above by the following entry, Book b. page 95:
"Volunteers that were credited to Deerfield February 26th 1864--John Hounter, Adelbert Seely, James Costley, John Rose, Charles Brigham, David W. Rathbun, Moses Costley, Uriah Robinson, Truman Gilbert.
The following entries appear on page 96: "Names of the men that volunteered in April 1864 for 3 years--Stewart Stevens, James Howland, George Costley, Malvin H. Seely, William Falkner. Men that were credited to Deerfield on the September call of 1864-- ------ Bliss, J.C. Thompson, Robert B. Howland, E.D. Dingman H. C. Manning, Hiram Green, William R. Furman, George Matteson.
The records of Deerfield are meager and incomplete, but so far as it has been possible we have gleaned the names of the men who have watched over its interests and administered its finances:
Supervisors.--Titus Ives, 1815; Nathaniel Mann, 1815; Ebenezer Seelye, 1815, 1816; John Howland, 1816, 1817, 1819, 1820; Julius Seelye, 1817, 1818; Arnold Hunter, 1818, 1822; William Knox, 1820, 1827, 1831; William Falkner, 1820, 1822, 1823; Henry B. Trowbridge, 1821; Daniel Cummings, 1823, 1825, 1826; Luke Scott, 1824 James Knox 1824, 1825; Elanson Seelye, 1826, 1842; Joseph Yarnall, 1827, 1828; John Howland 3rd; Eleazer Clark, 1829, 1830, 1833; 1844; William Ways, 1829; Stephen Burlingame, 1830; Benjamin S. Bowen, 1831, 1832, 1840; Eli D. Abbott, 1832; Parnall Robinson, 1833; Barna Daniels, 1833; Archibald Knox, 1834; Elihu Hill, 1834; Luman Stevens, 1835, 1836; Stephen King, 1835-37; Stephen Colvin 1835; Joseph Colvin, 1837-39; Truman Crandall, 1837, 1838, 1849; Charles Taylor, 1839, 1840; Abraham Smith, 1839, 1840; William Falkner, 1841; John Matteson, 1841; Charles H. Taylor, 1842; Moses Inscho, 1843, 1844; James Knox, 1845-48; Hiram Gilbert, 1845; Newtown Bulkley, 1845, 1846; David T. Billings, 1846; Hermon Temple, 1847, 1848; Emmer Bowen, 1847, 1848; A.J. Monroe, 1849; William J. Knox, 1849; Joseph Yarnall, 1850; William Markham, 1850; John Seelye, 1851; Benjamin S. Bowen, 1851; Henry M. Burlingame, 1851; Eleazer S. Seelye, 1852, 1859; Willard Howland, 1852; Charles Bulkley, 1852-54; Alden Abbott, 1853-55; Eleazer Seely, 1853; George Gilbert, 1854, 1855; Chester B. Hoyt, 1856; Henry Burlingame, 1856, 1865, 1866; Charles Toles, 1857, 1858; Henry Stevens, 1857; Hiram E. Potter, 1858, 1861, 1862; Malvin Howland, 1859; Lyman Hurlbut, 1860; Jonathan Jourdan, 1860; A.H. Bacon, 1861, 1862; Horace Keltz, 1863; William B. Simpson, 1864; George W. Clark, 1864; Joseph Falkner, 1865, 1866; Benjamin S. Bowen, 1870-72; Julius G. Seely, 1870-73; J.H. Sanford, 1873; Noah Everetts, 1874, 1875; William J. Knox, 1874, 1875; Archibald D. Knox, 1876, 1877; Eddy Howland 1876, 1877; William Wagner, 1878-81; Charles F. Billings, 1878, 1879; L.B. King, 1880, 1881; John Yarnall, 1882; Daniel H. Lee, 1882.
From 1835 to 1854, inclusive, the township board consisted of three members called road commissioners. Both before and after that period it consisted of two members and was called the board of supervisors. The records show no minutes of the proceedings of the board of supervisors. We can infer their action only from items in the accounts and statements of settlements with the board of auditors, and these are sometimes lacking. During the years of the civil war the supervisors had vested in them extraordinary powers to levy taxes to pay bounties. We judge they were exercised in Deerfield. From the entries in the town books of special bounty taxes, two of which amounted to $1,085.32 and $1,078.76 respectively.
Auditors.--Zadoc Bowen, 1815, 1816, 1820, 1821, 1823; Archibald Knox, 1815, 1819; Henry B. Trowbridge, 1815, 1818, 1819; Amsa Smith, 1816, 1822-25, 1829; Nathaniel Seelye, 1816-18; Luke Scott, 1816, 1817, 1822; Jesse Lapham, 1817; Daniel Cummings, 1817, 1818; Nathaniel Mann, 1819; Jonathan Bonney, 1820; Arnold Hunter, 1820; Aaron Alba, 1821, 1823, 1830, 1831; William Knox, 1821; John Knox, 1822-25, 1828; Eddy Howland, 1822, 1824, 1825; John Goodspeed, 1824, 1825, 1827, 1832, 1833; Silas Billings, 1826; Joshua Colvin, 1826; Eli D. Abbott, 1826; Benjamin D. Smith, 1827; Julius Seelye, 1827; George T. Frazer, 1828; William Falkner, 1828; James Knox, 1829-32, 1836; Hiram Gilbert, 1829, 1834, 1835; John Howland 3rd, 1831, 1833; Victor Case, 1833-35; Martin Bowen, 1836, 1837; Archibald Knox, 1837-39; Eleazer Clark, 1837-40; Newbury Cloos, 1838-40; Barna Daniels, 1840-42; Eddy Howland 1841, 1843, 1846-48, 1852, 1856-58, 1861-66; Benjamin S. Bowen, 1843-45, 1850, 1851; John Knox, 1842-45, 1850, 1851, 1853; Daniel Angell, 1844, 1847; Allen Frazer Jr., 1846-48; Emmer Bowen, 1849, 1860, 1861; Hermon Temple, 1849; John Howland, 1852-55, 1868. 1869; A. H. Bacon, 1852, 1853; E. Seely, 1854; Eleazer S. Seely, 1855, 1856, 1862-64; Newton Bulkley, 1856; James Knox 1857-59, 1867-71; Ansel Purple, 1858-60; Charles Toles, 1859, 1861, 1867; Emmer Bowen, 1860, 1861; Alonzo Lee, 1864-66, 1870-72; Hiram E. Potter, 1865; W.W. Gilbert, 1867-71; Joseph S. Ingham, 1872, 1873, 1875-77, 1879-82; Eddy Howland, 1872-76, 1879; Chester B. Hoyt, 1873, 1874, 1877, 1878; Charles Bulkley, 1874; Menzo W. Knox, 1877-82; Daniel H. Lee, 1881, Charles R. Rice, 1882.
The records show occasionally minutes of the board of auditors.
In 1836, the board had met seven times from March 25th to May 16th, each time noting an adjournment in the minutes, without transacting other business and without making any explanation of their non-action. Where-upon they made this entry: "Monday May 16th 1836 met according to adjournment. Colvin having run away we adjourned further to Saturday 21st May, at same place and time." Stephen Colvin was one of the supervisors of the previous year, with whom they desired to have an accounting. Under date of June 14th 1845 we find the following:
"The supervisors of Deerfield township for 1844 having laid no road tax, & no acc't rendered by them, therefore the subscribers, auditors, opened no acc't with them.
One of the curiosities of our statute law is that township auditors are ex officio fence-viewers. We extract the following report from the auditors' minutes:"Daniel Angell.
"B. S. Bowen.
"Deerfield, Pa., Oct. 15th, 1869.--We the auditors of Deerfield, Pa., have examined the line fence between Alonzo Lee and Nelson Steevens, and decide that A. Lee is to build the east part of upper 1/2 half the fence less 5 rods over; and Nelson Steevens is to build the west or lower part 5 rods over, on ac., of difference in drawing and furnishing material to build, which will necessarily have to be drawn up hill at a further distance.
Overseers of the poor were elected by the people until the office was abolished and the duties of those officers enjoined upon the supervisors by the Legislative enactment of April 15th 1834. The records show an incomplete list, as follows:"James Knox.
Harry B. Trowbridge, 1816; Benjamin D. Smith, 1823, 1824; Peter Falkner, 1823, 1824; Archibald Knox, 1828; Joel Crandall, 1828; George T. Frazer, 1829, 1830; John Knox, 1829, 1829; Amsa Smith, 1830; Hiram Hilbert, 1831; Hiram Freeborn, 1831; Jonathan Matterson, 1832. 1833; Emmer Bowen, 1832, 1833.
Of the proceedings of these overseers there are some memoranda, accounts, and statements. From these we cull a few samples. They will serve to illustrate the manner of managing the poor when they were by law a charge upon the township. They are as follows:
"Joseph Bennett, a pauper, delivered to George T. Frazer and John Knox, overseers of the poor of Deerfield township, by Joel Crandall, one of the overseers of the poor for last year.--15 April 1829."
"20 July 1829.--The said pauper's keeping sold to David Seamans, at 75 cents per week."
"August 10.--J. Bennett's keeping sold to Elanson Seelye for 4 shillings per week."
"Now, to wit 17 August 1829, the said Joseph Bennett, a pauper, refuses to be kept by the overseers of the poor; where upon they do hereby discharge him the said Bennett from the book of the township, & shall not consider ourselves, as overseers of the poor of Deerfield township, bound under his former application to support him during his refusal.
"18 August.--Said Pauper Returned to our Charge; kept by Elanson Seelye two weeks, $1.00 (ending 24 August 1829).""John Knox.
"George T. Frazer."
Town Clerks.--The office of town clerk was established by act of Assembly April 15th 1834. We find no mention of this officer in the records of Deerfield until 1843, and from that time the list is not complete. It is as follows:
Martin Bowen, 1843; Allen Frazer jr., 1845; William J. Knox, 1846; David T. Billings, 1848, 1849; Eleazer S. Seely, 1850, 1851; William S. Falkner, 1852-58; Martin V. Purple, 1858, 1859, 1863-73; Charles H. Goldsmith, 1862 Charles R. Howland, 1874, 1875, 1878, 1879; Herman T. Gilbert, 1876, 1877; Daniel H. Buckbee, 1880-82.
We extract the following memoranda from the entries of the first town clerk:
"1843, September, Friday the 15.--this day the Mamouth fresh, the highest water that was ever known in the Cownisque, did great damage in sweeping Bridges, Fences, Lumber, Corn, Potatoes &C, and washed of the Banks of the River some Rods in width; much damage on Troop's Creek to dams and fences, Lumber &C.
"This is the first Record that has been made of any thing of this kind on the town Records." He thus congratulated himself upon the above deliverance. As it was the first, so it is the last. No subsequent clerk has made a note of any "fresh," and scant attention has been given to the dry details of business. Except for the year 1882 there is no list of township officers recorded, and we therefore shall not occupy any space in detailing the names of justices of the peace, assessors, constables and the members of the election board."MARTIN BOWEN, Town Clk."
In the auditors' settlements there is mention of "Aaron Alba Treashury of Deerfield Town 1837-8; and from that time on some of the names of the men who have held the responsible office of treasurer might be gathered were it considered to be of sufficient interest. But we do not deem it necessary. Enough has been given to show that men of intelligence, integrity and executive ability have been at the head of affairs in Deerfield since the organization of the township.
The following citizens of Deerfield have been elected to hold county offices:
County commissioners--Eddy Howland, 1809; John Knox, 1817; William Knox, 1824; Eddy Howland, 1844. High sheriff, John Knox, 1818. County treasurer, Bethlehem Thompson, 1814. Register and recorder, George C. Bowen, 1875. County superintendent of common schools, Samuel Baker Price, 1866; Elias Horton jr., 1869, 1872.
The vote for township officers at the election early in 1882 was given as follows in one of the county papers:
Supervisors--D. H. Lee, 52; John Yarnall, 92; George W. Curran, 47. Justice of the peace--Albert Newman, 6; Caleb Short, 79. Constable--William D. Knox, 85. School directors--D.L. Van, 63; L.C. Matteson, 86; Aaron Butler, 28. Assessor--William Wagner, 88. Assistant assessor--D.L. Van Dusen, 90; Town clerk--J.H. Buckbee, 91; D.H. Buckbee, 2. Judge of election--E.D. Taft, 50; Preston Gilbert, 18; D.H. Lee, 23. Auditor--C.H. Van Dusen, 1; A. Blachard, 1.
The aid of the Legislature had been invoked to regulate the internal affairs of Deerfield from time to time.
April 19th 1850 it was enacted by the Legislature "that Knoxville, in the county of Tioga, shall be set apart and be separated from the township of Deerfield." All elections for Deerfield had hitherto been held in what is now Knoxville borough. After the erection of the borough that state of things was to be tolerated no longer. The Legislature was appealed to and under the ample provisions of the constitution of 1838 the remedy was applied by the passage (February 9th 1854) of the following: "SEC. II,--That the township, general and special elections in Deerfield township. Tioga county, shall hereafter be held at the house of William A. Falkner in said township."
The approach of the Cowanesque River toward the highway has given disquietude to the township authorities at different times. In the supervisors' settlement for 1838 we find the following items: "By river work done by George Bulkley, $5.25; ditto by Ira Bulkley, $5; ditto by William Falkner, $3." In 1867 the river had made such inroads upon it banks along the farm O.L. Wood, the estate of A.H. Bacon, deceased, and the farms of Elias H. and E.W. Clark, and was so threatening in its course toward the farms below, that all efforts by the farmers and the township were abandoned and the Legislature was appealed to. This resulted in the passage of an act March 7th 1867 "to change the bed of the Cowanesque River in the county of Tioga." Joel Parkhurst, A.M. Spencer, Chester B. Hoyt, John Maynard and Charles Bulkley were appointed commissioners to examine the bed of the river near the lands of E.H. and G.W. Clark and O.L. Wood in Deerfield township; and, if a majority of them thought the bed of the river ought to be changed for the purpose of protecting these farms and the highways and bridges along the river, they were empowered to have it changed, at an expense of not more than $2,000, which was to be borne by the parties benefitted.
The commissioners met, and after viewing the situation decided to change the course of the river, and let the job of doing the same to Andrew Keller Bosard, of Osceola, for $2,000. According to the plan of the commissioners, the contractor erected a dam across the river upon the estate of Ard Hoyt Bacon, deceased, and excavated a new channel through the lands of O.L. Wood in the summer of 1867. Mr. Wood was awarded damaged for the land taken for the new river channel. The award further set forth that benefits would be derived from this work by the estate of A.H. Bacon, deceased, E.H. and G.W. Clark, Charles Toles, Joseph Falkner, Ira Bulkley, Newton Bulkley, Abel Hoyt, Alvers Bosard, the estate of Philip Taylor, deceased, Andrew K. Bosard, the township of Deerfield, and the county of Tioga. The cost of the construction was apportioned in various sums, to be paid by each of the above named parties. The county of Tioga resisted the claim made upon it, and was successful in the litigation which followed. The property owners named above and the township of Deerfield had to pay the cost of the improvement.
The Free-Will Baptist Church of Deerfield was organized by the Rev. Samuel Wise, in March 1829, with 12 members. Some of them were Orpah Cotley, Orra Howland, Laura D. Whittaker, Hannah C. Whittaker, John C. Whittaker, Electa Matteson, Anson Rowley and wife, and Enoch Coffin and wife. The society has had at times as many as 50 members. It has worshiped in the Liberty school-house, Union Academy chapel, and the present school-house at Academy Corners. It has been ministered to by the following pastors:
1829, Rev. Maxcy Burlingame; 1830-40, Revs. John Steds, Walter Brown, Valorus Beebe, James Bignall and Hiram bacon: 1840-50; Revs. William Mack, Calvin Dodge, and Daniel Hunt; 1850-60, Asel Aldrich and Selden Butler; 1870-80, W.M. Peck and W.M. Sargent.
A large share of the time this church has conducted a Sunday-school.
The First Baptist Church of Deerfield was organized in 1843. The society has no church edifice, and has always held its meetings at school-houses. It was the first known as "The Chatham and Farmington Baptist Church." The change of name was rendered necessary by a change of township lines. The society had 15 members at its organization. Among them were Walter Van Dusen and wife, Chadwick Clark and wife, Hannah Seelye, Mrs. Humphrey, Mrs. Treat, Mrs. Curran and Mrs. Strong. Elder Bullock was the first pastor. Walter Van Dusen and Philip Vincent were the first deacons. At present (1882) there are 43 members in the society, and Elihu Bowen and William Clark are the deacons. Rev. Philander Reynolds, Elder Bunnel and others have ministered to this church.
The Free-Will Baptist Church of Chatham, known as the "Butler Church," is situated in Deerfield township. The society was gathered by the Rev. Selden Butler, in September 1852. It began its organizations with 14 members. Services were held in school-houses, barns and dwelling houses until 1874, when a neat and substantial church edifice was built and dedicated. The half acre of land upon which it stands was donated by Rev. Selden Butler. A Sunday-school has generally been conducted in connection with this church. This society has had as many as 40 members at one time, but at present has but 20.
Its pastors have been as follows: 1852:, Selden Butler; 1857, William Mack; 1870-73, W.M. Sargent; 1875, Ira Leach; 1877-80, W.M. Peck; 1881, ------ Douscker; 1882, Sheldon Butler, who has also occupied the pulpit much of the time during intervals between the ministrations of other pastors.
Rev. Selden Butler was born in 1806, embraced religion in 1819, and began to preach the gospel in Chatham and Farmington in 1840. The country was new, and the state of society at that time such that
"As he listened to the hymn, the parson wondered,But over forty years has wrought a great change, and now no more orderly community gathers in its house of worship than this in South Deerfield.
If it was Yankee Doodle or Old Hundred."
PROFESSIONAL AND LITERARY MEN.
Eddy Howland was the first practitioner of medicine. He was not educated to the profession, but exercised such skill as he possessed among the new settler in the early part of the century. He had rare good judgment, and made few mistakes.
Dr. Simeon Power came into Deerfield in 1803, when a young man, and remained about five years. He worked part of the time at coopering, and practiced medicine when called upon. He located on the south side of the Cowanesque River, opposite Knoxville. While here he boarded with James Costely. He afterward married a Miss Inscho, and settled permanently at Lawrenceville.
Jonathan Bonney came from near Horseheads, N.Y., in 1811. He had studied medicine with a practicing physician, and came into Deerfield to establish himself. He was a one-legged man. He made some removals after his first settlement, but never got so far away as to be out of each of his patrons in Deerfield. He continued in practice here during his life.
Rev. David Short settled in Deerfield in 1806, and preached the gospel in dwelling houses, barns, and school-houses as long as he lived. He was a Baptist in belief. He came from Rhode Island. He preached all the funeral sermons in the township for many years.
William Knox, the pioneer, was a Methodist exhorter, and often held meetings--especially in his later years, when his health was infirm on account of a paralytic attack.
Allen Frazer jr., M.D., was born at Westernville, N.Y. in 1798. He was graduated by the University of the State of New York from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Western District, at Utica, January 13th 1823. He came to Deerfield in 1825 and entered upon the practice of medicine, in which he was very successful. He died in 1872. Aside from a few temporary removals he spent his life here in the pursuit of his profession. He was commissioned by governor George Wolf as surgeon of the 129th regiment of the 2nd brigade 9th division Pennsylvania militia in 1834. He was also commissioned as a justice of the peace in 1832.
John Colton Knox was born in Deerfield, at Academy Corners, in February 1817. He was the son of William and Sally (Colvin) Knox. He received the rudiments of his education in the old "Liberty school-house." He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1839. He located at Lawrenceville, and in 1842 and 1843 edited the Lawrence Sentinel. His career in his profession and in public life is related on page 69 of this volume.
Frank W. Knox was born near Academy Corners, and is a son of James and Ann (Fulkner) Knox. He removed to Potter county when young, studied law, was there admitted to the bar, and has since practiced in the courts at Coudersport. We have been unable to obtain any of the details of his life and career.
Allen Floyd Frazer was born in Deerfield, March 11th 1826. He was a son of Allen Frazer jr., M.D.; was educated in the common school and at Alfred academy, N.Y.; graduated from the Ballston law school, and practiced law at Coudersport, Pa., and at Fox Lake, Wis. He afterward studied medicine and practiced it with success at Crestline, Ohio, where he died May 5th 1864. He contributed poetry to Graham's Magazine and to the newspapers wherever he was located. He composed several pieces of much merit.
James Bacon was born in Deerfield, December 8th 1854. He is a son of Ard Hoyt and Lucinda (Murdock) Bacon. He attended common school at the Bulkley school-house, near the residence of B.E. Lewis. He was graduated int he classical course from Lafayette College in the class of 1876, and by the Columbia College Law School in the class of 1878. He entered upon the practice of his profession in the office of W.B. Williams in Jersey City, N.J., where he remained one year. In the summer of 1879 he removed to Elmira, N.Y., where he continues the practice of law in partnership with S.S. Taylor.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell forever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep."
"The rude forefathers of the hamlet" are buried in the cemetery located at Loren Carpenter's farm, about half a mile east of Academy Corners. It is at present in an overgrown and neglected condition. The earliest known interment at this place is said to have been that of the body of a man belonging to a surveying party. A well preserved tradition asserts that his companions split planks out of a log, and without nails encoffined him by placking one plank on each side, one above and one below his body. They erected a headstone, upon which is still to be seen the inscription, in neatly cut characters, "C. C. J. 1800."
William Knox, the pioneer of the township, is buried in this ground in an unmarked grave. We copy a few inscriptions:
"D. Closs D. AUG 13 1826 AE. 84."
"R Cloos D. FEB THE 14 1826 AE 83."
"Isreal Bulkley died Jan. 18 1828, aged 66."
"Lucy wife of Isreal Bulkley died April 3rd 1844, aged 76 yr. 3 mo. 11 days.
"Jesus can make a dying bed
Feel soft as downy pillows are"
"Rev. David Short died November 25 1842, aged 68 yrs. 11 mos. 13 days."
"Sally wife of David Short died Dec. 21 1851, aged 71 yrs. 6 mos. 28 days."
"William Knox died Jan. 3 1832, aged 40 yrs. 3 mos. 23 days."
"John Knox died April 28 1867, aged 75 yrs. 4 mos. 10 days."
"Mary wife of John Knox died April 9 1862, aged 71 yrs. 9 mos. 14 days.
"Dear mother, in the silent hours of night,
When stars around me shed their light,
I think of thee and feel thy spirit near,
With smile to bless and kindly words to cheer."
"Cyprian Wright died Nov. 8 1835, aged 69 yrs. 5 mos. 28 days."
"Esther wife of Cyprian Wright died may 17 1835, aged 64 yrs. 3 mos. 7 days."
"Harriet wife of Ira Bulkley died May 2 1832, aged 27 yrs. 7 mos. 22 days,"
"George Bulkley died Jan. 25 2867, aged 65 yrs, 3 mos. 27 days."
"Hiram Bulkley died June 6 1860, aged 53 years.
"Dear husband, thou art gone, we know,
To mansions of the blest,
Where trails, sins and mortal woe
Can ne'er disturb thy rest."
"Luther G., son of Hiram and Mindwell G. Bulkley, died Oct. 311862, while in defense of his country.
"Thou too must now yield;
To my withering breath;
Come away, gentle youth,
I am Death--King Death."
"Joseph Falkner died Nov. 18 1837, aged 56 yrs. 2 mos. 1 day."
"Newbury Cloos died May 7 1853, aged 80 yrs. 10 mos. 20 days."
"Esther wife of Newbury died Oct. 2 1829, aged 53 yrs. 3 mos. 8 days."
"Patty P., 2nd wife of Newbury Cloos and widow of S.Reynolds, died Aug. 7 1853, aged 82 yrs. 3 mos. 23 days."
"John Howland died Dec. 13 1869, aged 66 yrs.
"He sleeps at last: his work is done:
Tis finished, and he's gone to rest.
His Saviour has now called him home,
To dwell in regions of the blest."
"Joseph Ingham was born in the county of York, England, February 20 1797: departed this life Dec 25 1869."
"Sacred to the memory of Ralph Bulkley, who was drowned at Post Town 22 June 2825. Aged 20 years, 6 months and 3 days."
Interments are still made in this cemetery. It is not incorporated.
About fifty years ago Daniel Cummings gave to the public an acre of ground for burial purposes. It is situated on the south side of the Cowanesque River, opposite Knoxville. About eighty interments have been made in this ground. It is not incorporated, but is still used for burial purposes.
The South Deerfield Cemetery Association owns about half an acre of ground near the Butler church. The ground was purchased and is deeded to 19 individuals. The first interment was made in this ground in September 1862. There are now about forty graves in the cemetery: active measures are now (1882) being taken to have articles of incorporation granted by the court.
John Byers lived just west of Academy Corners. He was a blacksmith by trade, a man of good education but of intemperate habits. In 1822 he took his rifle, went into a log barn near his house, lay down upon the floor, and committed suicide by shooting himself.
In November 1850 Jesse Moffit and Thomas Stone jr., engaged in an altercation in the road in front of the present residence of William C. Wood, which resulted in the death of Moffit. Joseph Yarnall resided there at that time. He employed Stone that day to assist him in butchering. Moffit had been to Knoxville and on his way home stopped at Yarnall's. The men at the butchering had a runlet of whiskey, out of which all hands took a drink. A fight ensued between Stone and Moffit, in which Stone knocked Moffit down. Moffit's head struck a stone or the frozen ground with such force, that his skull was cracked, and he died the following night. Stone was convicted of manslaughter, but judgement was arrested and he was discharged because he was not present in court when the jury returned and rendered their verdict.
Seth Bronson, a laborer, who lived in a small house near the cemetery at Carpenter's committed suicide by hanging in 1856. He had been insane for some time.
In September 1860 a band of 150 gypsies encamped three weeks on the island south of Academy Corners. These vegabonds traded horses by day and depleted cornfields and potato patches by night. In the evening their camp was merry with music and dancing. The students of Union Academy had their fortunes told by the ancient crones of the camp.
May 29th 1876 the only post-office in the present territory of Deerfield was established and named "Academy Corners." Martin V. Purple was commissioned as post-masters June 8th 1876, and he is the present incumbent.
September 3rd 1876 the Grand Army of the Republic had an encampment in the driving part at Academy Corners. It was participated in by the J. Edgar Parkhurst post, of Elkland; Alfree J. Sofield post, of Osceola; and the A.A. and G. Seely Post, of Knoxville. F. G. Babcock was commander of the encampment, J.S. Ingham officer of the day and G.T. Harrower adjutant. The encampment was attended by about 2,000 people and lasted two days.
As we write (September 1882) the territory of Deerfield is being invaded by the workmen of two railroad companies. The Corning, Cowanesque and Antrim Railraod Company have their road bed graded. And are only awaiting the completion of bridges and trestles to lay down and ballast their track. Parallel to the above named road through this township runs the line of the Addision and Northern Pennsylvania Railroad, which is at present being handled by as motley a crew of laborers as were ever gathered together--Italians, Hungarians and Poles predominating. They number about 300. The town lines of railroad are from ten to thirty rods apart.