History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania
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TIOGA TOWNSHIP AND BOROUGH.
By Henry H. Goodrich.
A.C. BUSH and his brother JABIN S. BUSH, lumbermen and merchants, came in June 1831. The former is dead, and a brief biography of him will be found below; the latter is still living, now the owner of Bush's Park and other valuable real estate, and the cultivator of a small farm including a valuable orchard of apple and pear trees.
Alvah C. Bush, a man well known throughout the county, and a leading and public-spirited citizen of Tioga, died very suddenly of apoplexy, at his residence, Thursday morning October 14th 1880, at the age of 76 years. His remains were taken by special train to the residence of his brother, the Hon. Joseph Bush, at Bainbridge, N.Y., for interment in the family cemetery.
He was the second of seven children, only two of whom survive him. He was born at Bainbridge, N.Y., in 1804, on the place originally located by his father, being a beautiful farm on the banks of the Susquehanna, which now remains in the family and is owned by his youngest brother, the Hon. Joseph Bush. He inherited from his father great energy and sagacity, and several years before his majority, with his father's assent, engaged in business for himself, principally in lumbering on the Susquehanna. At the age of 22 he engaged in mercantile business in connection with lumbering, and carried on the same largely and successfully.
In 1830 and 1831 he traveled extensively over the then west and finally, in 1831, settled in Tioga, which he always afterward considered his home. At Tioga he engaged in lumbering and mercantile business, manufacturing, buying and selling lumber in the markets of the Susquehanna, and at Albany, New York, Fall River, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington.
He was a very active politician for many years, and was the contemporary and intimate friend of a class of men once active in Tioga County but who have long since passed away, such as Asa Mann, of Mansfield, R. G. White, of Wellsboro, Anson V. Parsons and Ellis Lewis, afterward of Philadelphia, and many others who might be named.
His first wife was Miss Ellen Bigelow, daughter of the Hon. Levi Bigelow, by whom he had his only child--Mrs. John A. Matthews, of Winona, Minnesota. His second wife, who survives him, was Miss Anna Bigelow, a sister of his first wife.
After active lumbering business had practically ceased upon the Tioga River he was engaged in speculations in New York City fifteen or sixteen years, residing there winters and returning in the summer to his elegant home in Tioga, which was his pride and to which he ever returned with satisfaction. In 1873 he conceived the idea of improving the hillside east of the village, intending then, with other parties, to erect thereon a public school-house. He was to furnish and improve the grounds, and the other parties to erect the buildings. The enterprise failed on the part of the others; but he carried out his part, which resulted in what has since been favorably and widely known as Bush's Park, a place of resort for the public, which he opened gratuitously to every one. Mr. Bush was never better pleased than when he saw it filled with a bright and happy party. The only compensation he demanded or would receive was that the guests should enjoy themselves to their fullest capacity.
He was a man of unusual business capacity, sharp, shrewd and justly discriminating, and while in New York possessed the confidence and respect of the leading financiers of that city. He was a man of very general information, and was thoroughly familiar with the business interests of the country. Socially he was courteous and polite, but a man of strong prejudices and impulses. He carried out his purposes with energy, and was untiring in his efforts for those he liked, and those he did not like he let alone, thus avoiding any difficulty.
He was a large-hearted, public-spirited man, and his loss is deeply felt in the community where he lived and among those who knew him best."
THE GUERNSEY FAMILY.--In October 1831 came John W. Guernsey, attorney and counsellor, brother of Levi and Joseph W. Guernsey (the first settling at Tioga in 1825, the second in 1827) and of Peter B., who came in 1834, all natives of Montrose, Susquehanna County, Pa. Levi, who was partner with his brother Joseph in the tanning and currying business, succeeding Gordon & Millard, remained only a few years, and then returned to Susquehanna County. Joseph was engaged for a while in trade with his father-in-law, Judge Jonah Brewster; subsequently in lumbering on Mill Creek, then in farming and public house keeping at the mouth of that stream, where he build about 1839 the fine old mansion now the property of A.S. Turner. Joseph was high sheriff of the county in 1843-45, as was in 1852-54 his oldest son, Henry A., now a resident of Willsboro. Joseph W. was born October 5th 1799, and died July 18th 1849; his widow, Ann Brewster, died March 26th 1881, aged about 80 years. They had sons Henry A., Brewster W., Alonzo B., Wallace and Charles, and two daughters.
P. B. Guernsey owned the present Nelson Miller farm, and built the fine mansion thereon; was appointed superintendent of the Tioga Railroad after the laying of the Trail in 1852, and was killed by a collision at Six Mile station, November 22nd 1852, aged 40 years, 2 months and 2 days. His wife was the daughter of Rev. William Donaldson.
Hon. John W. Guernsey is specially mentioned in the sketch of members of the bar; but it may be said here that by the death of William Garretson and the recent death (in September 1882 and since the preparation of the sketch of his life on page 75) of Clarendon Rathbone, of Blossburg, he is left the oldest practicing attorney at the bar of our county, having had a continuous practice from 1835 to the present date, except a residence of about one year at Norristown, near Philadelphia. His patrons are chiefly the older settlers and their descendants, whose confidence he acquired forty years ago, and which by his professional integrity and uprightness he has retained through life. He has been justice of the peace six years for the township and six for the borough, and September 15th 1882 entered on a third term; has also been burgess of the borough two terms; was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1854 and 1855, and of the Senate in 1852 and 1853.
John W. Maynard settled at Tioga about 1831, in the Chris. Charles house, and built an office opposite. His first wife was Sarah Ann Matthews, and his second Almira De Pui. He removed to Williamsport about 1838, where he still resides. N.H. Higgins, lawyer, came at the same time, but early moved away.
BENJAMIN C WICKHAM, merchant, farmer and banker, came in May 1832. He was born at Mattituck, Long Island, in 1804, son of Thomas Wickham, of an old and long established family of that place. His brothers, Joseph P., Henry P. and Alfred, were all once wholesale dry goods merchants in Pearl Street, New York. Alfred died at Tioga, November 21st 1841, in his 32nd year, and is buried in the old Tioga Cemetery. Benjamin C. Wickham came to Elmira in October 1827, and was in copartnership with a Mr. Viol nine months; then continued alone until 1831, when he associated David H. Tuthill with him under the firm name of Tuthill & Wickham. They established a branch store at Tioga, under Mr. Wickham's management and in the firm name of B.C. Wickham & Co., a copartnership which existed up to 1844, when it was succeeded by Wickham & Baldwin, who in turn were succeeded by Baldwin, Aiken & Mathews about 1848. In the fall of 1859 Mr. Wickham became the president of the Tioga County Bank, in association with A.S. Turner as cashier; the bank was conducted by them until 1867, when it was changed to a private banking house, of which Mr. Wickham still retains the presidency, and David L. Aiken is cashier. Mr. Wickham's first wife, Catharine Mathews, died August 19th 1846, in her 41st year, and is buried in the old village cemetery, beside three children who died young.
FROM 1840 TO 1850
the following prominent citizens came to Tioga: Dr. H.H. Borden came from Steuben County in 1842; studied medicine with Dr. Abel Humphrey, and commenced practice in 1847; opened a drug store in company with C.O. Etz, in the J.B. Steele store, and subsequently built one, in 1861, which was destroyed by the fire of 1871. He is now in the drug business, in copartnership with Dr. T.R. Warren, in the Wickham block. Dr. Warren is both physician and dentist, a graduate of the dental college of Philadelphia.
Henry E. Smith, shoemaker and dealer, from Otsego County, N.Y., came in 1841; is successful in his business, and he and his son Carter are owners of two valuable farms (one of which includes the old John Prutsman and Elijah De Pui farms, lying within the borough limits of Tioga), besides a valuable store, and private residence.
Philo Tuller, a native of Wayne County, N.Y., and a cabinet maker by trade, arrived in 1841; has been in the drug business since 1866, and postmaster since 1869, and so uniformly attentive, obliging and accommodating in that office as to make his political opponents wish he may change his politics to suit a change of administrations.
Frederick E. Smith, a native also of Wayne County, N.Y., came in 1843; for a while was engaged, in copartnership with Ira Baker, in keeping the Goodrich House; subsequently a student at law with C.H. Seymour, and has been a practicing attorney since 1850. He has been the register in bankruptcy for the eighteenth (and is now for the sixteenth) Congressional district since the passage of the bankrupt act of March 2nd 1867. He is more fully spoken of under the head of members of the bar, on page 77.
P.S. Tuttle, a native of Greene County, N.Y., came to Tioga in the fall on 1840, and until recently has been engaged in trade, from which he has retired in consequence of impaired eyesight. He build a fine store on the site of the old Vail store, consumed by the fire of 1871; and a dwelling house on the site of the Dr. Willard residence. He rebuilt his store, or brick, and it has now been rented for a restaurant and bakery.
C. H. Seymour, a native of Pulteney, Steuben County, N.Y., came in 1842. He was a carpenter by trade: but subsequently studied law with Mr. Garretson, and practiced his profession until his death, early in the summer of 1882. He was State senator for the twenty-fifth district for the years 1877-80.
Jacob Schieffelin Sr., mentioned as having settled in Charleston in 1828, and of whom a sketch is given in the history of that township (page 115), came from there to Tioga in 1847 and settled in the old Gordon house now the site of the Colonel H.S. Johnston residence. He was born in New York City, of German extraction, and his father, grandfather and great-grandfather all bore the name of Jacob. His grandfather during the Revolutionary war moved on to the neutral territory of the French, at Detroit; and it is said the latter's son, father of Jacob Schieffelin Sr., was for a time an officer in General Knyphausen's division of Hesse-Cassel troops during the same period. He subsequently married, at Philadelphia, a Miss Lawrence, a member of the Lawrence family of Long Island, through whom the children acquired possession of large tracts of land both in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Jacob S. Sr. died December 27th 1880, and his wife, Elizabeth Black, January 27th 1881, and both are buried in Evergreen Cemetery.
S. B. Wellington came from Essex County, N.Y., about 1846, and carried on the lumbering business extensively. He was the father of Q.W., James and Samuel Wellington of Corning, and Mrs. O.B. Lowell and Mrs. C.B. Farr of Tioga. He died in 1854, and his widow resides in Tioga.
Major Seth Daggett, father of Allen and Lewis Daggett, and of Mrs. Daniel Dewey, Mrs. William T. Urell, and Mrs. H.W. Caulking, was born in Westmoreland, New Hampshire, July 3rd 1790; came in 1808 from Paris, Oneida County, N.Y., to what is now Jackson Township, this county, and established there, in conjunction with his father Reuben, the Daggett mills, on lands purchased of the Bingham estate. He married Eunice Allen, of Barnestown, Greenfield County, Mass. He came to Tioga in 1842, and purchased the William Willard Jr. property in the village, including the old mansion and 12 acres of ground, subsequently acquired chiefly by F.E. Smith and which he now occupies; also three farms now known as the William A. and H.H. Goodrich, E.M. Smith and H.W. Caulking farms. His chief occupation through life was lumbering. He died January 2nd 1874, and his wife Eunice died March 22nd 1864, aged 74 years and 7 days; their children were Allen, George, Lewis, Clymena, Minerva, Rowena, Richard, Mary Ann and Charlotte. Major Daggett was sheriff in 1830, but resigned.
J. B. Steele and his father-in-law, Mr. Slocum, came to Tioga in 1848, and conducted a general store on the "New York plan" four or five years. Mr. Steele built the residence in which Joseph Fish now resides. Mr. Slocum purchased of Major Seth Daggett his town property of twelve acres; and, removing the old Willard mansion, built on its site the fine residence now occupied by Frederick F. Smith, which the latter has since largely improved. Mr. Steele subsequent to the civil was moved to the city of Charleston, S.C., and has occupied the office of mayor of that city. Mr. Slocum returned to Homer, Cortland County, and is now dead.
Judge Levi Bigelow and wife, parents of Mrs. A.C. Bush and Mrs. F. E. Smith, came from Bainbridge, Chenango County, N.Y., about 1849 or 1850, and resided in the H. B. Graves cottage house, generally called the "Derringer house," up to the time of their death. He died October 5th 1868, in his 84th year, and Hannah his wife June 3rd 1866, in her 77th year.
THE BOROUGH OF TIOGA.
was organized in February 1860. Its boundaries were surveyed by David Heise, assisted by James Dewey and A. D. Cole, to run through the center of the water courses that bordered the "island," as it is called; yet it is claimed by the corporation that the inner banks of the stream limit its extent. As two bridges span the river, one the creek, and three the cove, leading from the island, it is obvious there was much liberality in not taking any portion of them from the township--a delicate regard for the rights of property not often exhibited by corporations. This, of course, gives the township the exclusive right to repair hew own bridges, without any molestation or conflict of authority.
Since the incorporation many things have been done by authority of the burgess and council to improve the streets and side walks, and establish water works and a system of lamps for lighting the streets at night; and ordinances for cleanliness, protection against fire and the better preservation of order have been adopted.
The burgesses have been as follows: John W. Guernsey, 1860-64; C. H. Seymour, 1864-67; T. L. Baldwin, 1867, 1868; Joseph Fish, 1870, 1871; W.O. Farr, 1871, 1872; Joseph Fish, 1872, 1873; C. H. Seymour, 1873, 1874; O. B. Lowell, 1874-77; R. B. Smith, 1877-79; O. P. Borden, 1879-82; E. A. Smead, 1882.
The present councilmen are C. B. Farr, James Dewey, F H. Adams, Robert Bishop, E. M. Smith and T. A. Wickham; school directors, F. E. Smith, R. B. Smith, Justice of the peace, John W. Guernsey. Constable, S. M. Geer. High constable, John M. Jack. Assessor, E. M. Smith. Assistant assessors, James Dewey, T. A. Wickham, Judge of election, H. L. Baldwin. Inspectors of election, C. J. Dewey, E. C. Fish. Auditor, H. L. Baldwin.
Justices of the peace for Tioga borough have been commissioned as follows:
William Garretson, 1863; Henry H. Borden, 1865, 1876; Joseph Fish, 1866, 1871, 1881; Philo Tuller, 1867; J. Van Osten, 1869; John W. Guernsey, 1872, 1882; L. H. Tuttle, 1877, 1882.
Postmasters have been appointed for the Tioga office as follows:
Uriah Spencer, January 1st 1805 (when the office was established) and July 1st 1835; Dr. William Willard, July 1st 1809; William Willard Jr. April 1st 1815; John Berry, April 1st 1819; James Goodrich, May 31st 1821 (subsequent appointments were all made July 1st); A.C. Bush, 1838; Edwin C. Goodrich, 1845; William Lowell, 1846; Albinus Hunt, 1848; Lewis Daggett, 1850, 1861; H. H. Goodrich, 1853; C. G. Dennison, 1855; William T. Urell, 1857; Mrs. Sarah M. Etz, 1865; Philo Tuller, 1869.
The population of the borough in 1880 was 522. The number of taxable inhabitants in 1882 was 205, and the assessed valuation $105,174.
THE FIRE OF 1871 AND RESULTING IMPROVEMENTS.
The destructive fire of the 9th of February 1871 has done more for the renovation and improvement of Tioga than any ordinances of councilmanic authority could possibly have done. The fire originated in the restaurant in the basement of A. C. Bush's store at a late hour in the evening of the 9th, and soon spread in every direction to the nearest buildings, destroying two churches, two dwellings, two hotels, thirteen stores, one marble shop, one law office, one bank building, one wagon shop, one blacksmith shop, one barber shop, and many out buildings, with a large amount of personal property. Though at the time it seemed to be an irretrievable calamity, there was a latent power of wealth and energy among the citizens that was little dreamed of. They immediately set themselves to work to restore their necessary places of business, erecting in the meantime temporary sheds for occupation while putting up on their respective sites substantial an even elegant brick structures, a prompt and judicious ordinance of council forbidding the construction of wooden buildings within the burnt district. In less than two years many of the buildings were finished and occupied, and by the year 1874 all the present structures excepting the stores of Moses S. Fields and E. C. Fish were completed. Within the area burnt over there are now the following business places, etc.: The banking house of B. C. Wickham & Co., T. Alfred Wickham's clothing, grocery, boot and shoe store, Borden & Warren's drug store, C. F. Hurlburt's general store, Cassel's cigar and shoe store, C. G. Hurlburt's general store, the store of T. L. Baldwin, by Frank H. Adams (general merchandise), H. E. Smith & Son's boot and shoe store, Jacob Schieffelin's hardware store, Philo Tuller's drug store, the post-office, Frederick E. Smith's law office, E. C. Fish's grocery store, Elias M. Smith & Peck's grocery and meat market, J. S. Field's dry goods store, and the Building Association Company's Park Hotel and two stores in the rear, the whole of fine finish, with mansard roof and dormer windows. The hotel, large and commodious, is now kept by Mr. Alleman; one store is occupied by Robert and Frank Bishop, and the other by Voorhess, Aiken & Co.'s cigar manufactory, now employing about seventy hands and paying them weekly about $475. In addition to the buildings mentioned there are the fine stone gothic Episcopal Church, elsewhere described, and the Methodist brick church, the C.H. Seymour law office and dwelling, and P. S. Tuttle's store, now occupied as a restaurant and bakery by Max Leutnor, and George Reynold's barber shop. Of the other business places may be mentioned in this connection E. A. Smead's hardware store, Paul Kraiss' furniture and cabinet shop, Joseph Kreger's harness shop, Hiram Pickering's sash and door shop, H. C. Wheeler's wagon shop, Stewart M. Geer's, Lewis Bouton's and George W. and Henry Hathaway's blacksmith shops, Frank Adams's marble shop (formerly conducted by A. D. Cole, Etz, Fuller and Wilcox, W. W. Hathaway's planing-mill and shingle factory. William Bishop's cooper shop and Robert Bishop's stave factory, established by Van Name Brothers in 1860, run by John Van Name and Bishop in 1864, and at a later period by Bishop alone, turning out about 4,000 bundles of hogshead shooks per annum so long as white oak timber could be obtained, and now cutting firkin staves and pine box material. The planing-mill erected by Messrs, Wickham, Aiken & Chris. Prutsman, on the Corning, Cowanesque and Antrim Railroad and the highway to Bear Creek, was removed in 1881 by T. A. Wickham & Co. And put up in their large saw-mill, reconstructed from their former hay press building, the whole making at present a very fine and useful manufactory, located on the river, west side, south of New Street.
The water works are another important and valuable result of the fire, which showed the necessity of having more convenient arrangements for the supply of water in such an extremity, and also for constant convenience in every household. Messrs. T. A. and Charles Wickham, the latter a practical civil engineer, conceived the idea of bringing to every house in the village an abundance of good fresh water from the Bentley, or Adams run, as it is called by the old settlers.
It was brought very nearly over the same course by which Captain Hobart B. Graves brought water in 1828 to his distillery on Wellsboro Street, in large pine pump-logs, of about two inches internal diameter, bored by hand. Several penstocks from the original pipe were put up at different houses at the center of the village, one at Dr. Willard's house, one at James Goodrich's, one at the Graves residence, and possibly others. The great pressure of the water at the foot of the hill, brought from so elevated a point as 300 feet, made it difficult for Mr. Graves to keep his pump-logs in order, and he at length abandoned their use. The writer remembers the dry old penstocks, standing for several years disused.
The present water works were commenced the 22nd of August 1874, and water was let into the pipe December 16th of the same year. The storage reservoir is a basin on the stream itself, with a 3½ feet earth embankment, and a "puddle wall center," 300 feet long, having a capacity of 1,200,000 gallons, at an elevation of 330 feet above the village, and one mile distant from it. The distributing reservoir, built of stone and cement, lined with brick, stands on the brow of East Hill, over looking the village, at the height of 220 feet, and has a capacity of 750,000 gallons. There are four miles of distributing pipe laid, of the Wyckoff manufacture, of three and six inch sizes, and 15 fire hydrants, with 21 openings for the use of hose. The daily use of this water at present is from 300,000 to 500,000 gallons. To prevent a shortness of supply from the stream in case of drought, a 35 horse-power engine, with a pump of capacity of 1,000 gallons per minute, has been placed in the new saw-mill, with an underground communication with the river.
STREETS AND DWELLINGS.
Since the fire of 1871 three new streets within the borough limits have been opened--Berry Street, with four dwellings built by E. M. Smith, and one by Dr. Robert B. Smith; Willard Street, on which three houses were built by Dr. R. B. Smith; and Summit Street, containing eight buildings by various parties. Coleman Street, bearing Mr. Wickham's middle name, has recently been opened on the west side of the Cove, running north and south, and connecting an extension of Summit Street over the Cove, with Wellsboro Street. The bridge was completed the third week in June 1882, and the road graded and opened for travel the first week in August following.
Of the fine dwellings that have been erected on Main Street since 1871 may be mentioned those of O. B. Lowell, Thomas Middaugh, Philo Tuller and P. V. Hixon, on the east side, south of Church Street; T. A. Wickham's on the west side, south of Jabin Bush's; and Robert Bishop's west side, south of Jabin Bush's; and Robert Bishop's, west side, south of Berry Street, on the site of the old Lyman Adams house. John Dillistin has erected a very fine brick building on Broad Street since the fire. Of the old structures remaining, of the better class, may be mentioned, in the order of time: The Chris. Charles house, now Ana Baldwin's; the A. C. Bush cottage house, with stone basement, and large garden area, built by Hobart B. Graves, and long called the "Derringer house," from its acquisition by Mr. Derringer, of Philadelphia, of pistol fame; and the old Berry farm mansion, all three built about 1828, and probably also the Carter Smith or Prutsman house; the fine mansion of Thomas J. Berry Sr., built in 1840; the A. C. Bush mansion, about 1842; the H. E. Smith house, in 1845; the Dr. A. B. Smith house, by Frank Carey, about 1850; the Jabin S. Bush house, about 1852 or 1853; the Dr. H. H. Borden and Mrs. C. B. Farr houses, built by Silas B. Hathaway, about the same time; the John W. Guernsey house, by Mrs. William Lowell, in 1848; the Joseph Fish house, by Mr. Steele, in 1852; the P. S. Tuttle house, about 1860; the I. G. Putnam house in about 1870. Of the older dwellings may be mentioned the Colonel Millard house, occupied by Edwin C. Goodrich, which, with E. A. Smead's dwelling, built by H. B. Graves (originally near his distillery, standing north of the big elm tree), and the William Garretson house, are the only ones that preserve their original shape.
The "Chris. Charles elm," on Main Street, Tioga, dates from 1800, and is 15 feet 10 inches in circumference five feet from the ground. The "Graves elm,: on Wellsboro Street, dates from 1820, and has an iron bolt through it, grown over, as has also the Smead elm, on the same street.
Other old buildings have been so remodeled and added to as to have lost their identity--such as the Banner and Gazette newspaper officers, and some others.
though located on the East Hill, and outside of the borough limits, has been so closely identified with the improvement of the village and its general prosperity, that it must be mentioned here. The enterprise was conceived by A. C. Bush in 1873, as a source of employment and recreation for his mind, after his final withdrawal from active business in New York City. On the slope of the hill, south of the railroad depot, he simply had the thick undergrowth of timber thinned out, roads and paths graded, and buildings erected of great convenience for picnics and parties from a distance. These buildings consist of a large dining hall, set with two rows of tables, and furnished with easy arm chairs, crockery and glassware, with an ample kitchen adjoining to cook for any party however numerous; a theatre hall, provided with stage for declamation, plays and concerts, and with floor for dancing; a ladies' reception room, a smoking room, a bank pavillion, a spring house, a flower conservatory, a photograph gallery, a store house, a bower house, and an outdoor rostrum and amphitheatre of seats for large public meetings. A band of music of the youths of the town was provided with a full set of instruments and uniformed at Mr. Bush's expense, to entertain guests on important occasions; a six-pounder gun was provided for proper salutes' and a park bell to ring at sunrise and sunset. The park up to the time of Mr. Bush's death was largely attended and popular, excursion parties coming from all parts of the county, and southern and central New York villages, and the hospitality of the proprietor was a subject of general praise. It was open in 1881, but is closed this year in consequence of the impaired health of Jabin S. Bush, the present owner. The prominence of the park buildings, together with four dwelling houses erected on the hillside by Dr. R. B. Smith, near to the entrance of the park, gives to the location in agreeable and picturesque effect as viewed from the village.
LOWELL'S & CO.'S TANNERY,
on Wellsboro Street, near the Cove, was originally built in the fall and winter of 1853-4, by Joseph Fish and Charles Somers, who soon associated with them Ira Wells, assuming the firm name of Somers, Fish & Wells. In about two years Mr. Fish sold to his partners, and his name was dropped from the firm. Mr. Somers soon sold to Henry F. Wells, and the firm became H. F. & Ira Wells. In 1864 Colonel H. S. Johnston bought out Ira Wells, and for a time the firm name was Johnston & Wells. O. B. Lowell bought out Wells, and associated with him Cyrus King, who soon sold his interest, and the firm became Johnston & Lowell. Johnston sold his interest in 1875 to C. B. Farr; a short time afterward Ryon & Schieffelin had an interest, but soon withdrew, and the firm name became Lowell & Co., as now. Changes enough, one would certainly think, to make somebody either rich or poor; but it is thought now that the changes are about over, the dark days gone, and light gleams on the future. The tannery has twice passed through fire, once in 1865, necessitating a complete rebuilding of it, and once since, causing less damage, which was promptly repaired, and improvements and additions made from time to time. Its annual consumption of bark is nearly 4,500 cords; it has a capacity for tanning 60,000 sides, and employs immediately about it 30 hands, not to speak of the number necessary to supply the bark.
THE TIOGA COUNTY BANK
was incorporated by the Legislature May 11th 1857; the incorporators named by the act were 22 in all, including eight persons in the township of Tioga. The organization was made the same year; T. L. Baldwin was elected president, and John W. Guernsey cashier. The act authorized a capital of $100,000, with an increase to $200,000. The bank began business with a paid in capital of $56,610. Its control in a short time fell into the hands of a Mr. Wallbridge and others of the city of Buffalo, who improperly used its funds and currency to promote their private ends; and in the fall of 1859, to save the institution from wreck, B. C. Wickham and A. S. Turner were appealed to take charge of it and restore it to credit, the old officers having resigned, and the bank being then in the hands of Edwin Steers as cashier and bookkeeper. These gentlemen finally accepted the situation, investigated the affairs of the institution, advanced their private funds and placed in once more in credit. Henry H. Goodrich, coming home on a visit from Philadelphia, where he had been for a year previous, was engaged as the teller and bookkeeper, and the following winter new currency was prepared, signed, dated and numbered by the officers, and gradually issued by them, as the wants of business required and the charter of the bank permitted, to the amount of $163,000. When the civil war was fully inaugurated and immense quantities of federal currency and three-years certificates were put afloat, the managers of the bank, as cautious and prudent men, gradually withdrew their currency from circulation rather than extend or keep it at its full volume; yet the wants of the business men who applied for accommodations were generally supplied, and but little reason could be given for complaint.
On the night of the 24th of May 1864 the bank, then located in a private dwelling, occupied by a family who were about removing from it, was entered from the hallway by springing the door from its lock; the windows were covered with carpets to prevent light being seen through the blinds; and the door of the safe was drilled into, and blown open with powder, exposing the entire contents to the robbers, except a small recess in one corner of the safe, closed by a small iron door, containing $25,000 in greenbacks and $800 in national bank currency. There was in the safe $102,000 in money and U.S. bonds ($6,500 worth of the latter); and the great mystery of the affair was that, with all this money before them, the robbers only carried away a little over $21,000 in cash and bonds, actually having in their hands $30,000 worth of 5 per cent, coupon notes, and $30,000 more of currency. The iron door of the little corner box could readily have been broken by the blow of hammer, but it appears not to have been attempted. Nothing but extreme fright seems to have prevented the capture of all this valuable property. The cashier immediately telegraphed to the bank's correspondent at New York City--the Market Bank--informing it of the robbery, and thus gave the affair, or course, prematurely to the newspapers. It is unnecessary to say what views the officers of the bank may have entertained as to the participators in the affair, and whether any proof was ever found. It was eighteen years ago, and possibly the whole event would soon pass out of recollection were it not for the record here given.
The bank designed applying for a charter under the national bank system, but, postponing application for it, it was unexpectedly prevented by a charter being granted to a company of individuals at Wellsboro, which, under the $300,000,000 limit of national bank circulation at that time fixed by the act, and as the comptroller of the currency claimed, gave Tioga County its quota. On account of the 10 per cent. tax laid by the national bank act on all State bank currency paid out after the 1st of July 1866, the Tioga County Bank management found it expedient to change to a private bank, which is now known as B. C. Wickham & Co.'s Banking House, of which Mr. Wickham is president and David L. Aiken cashier.
JOURNALISM IN TIOGA.
The Tioga Pioneer, the first newspaper established in the county, was issued at Wellsboro November 12th 1825, by Rankin Lewis & Co., the "Co." Being understood to be Rankin's uncle, Ellis Lewis. It was a four-page sheet of four columns each, eighteen inches long, by eleven broad, and seems to have been very well edited and well printed for the time. In the first week of January 1827 it was moved to Tioga, its first number appearing here on Saturday the 6th of that month. In 1828 it passed into the hands of Rev. Elisha Booth, who changed its name to the Northern Banner, and associated with him William Garretson as editor. About 1831 or 1832 it passed into the hands of J. B. Shurtleff, who came from central New York, it is thought Syracuse, and who changed its name to the Gazette. Mr. Shurtleff built an office for it, which is now the main two-story part of the Getter house; and also a fine dwelling at or near the northeast corner of Main and Broad Streets, which subsequently burned down. He conducted the paper about four years, and then sold it to Dr. Cyrus Pratt, who in turn transferred it in the spring of 1838 to E. W. Adams, he editing and printing it with the assistance of Henry Fellows and Joseph Hoyt. In August 1840 he sold a half interest in it to John C. Knox, Hiram Beebe, Hon. James Ford and Curtis Parkhurst, and the paper was removed to Lawrenceville, and named the Lawrence Sentinel, John C. Knox assisting Mr. Adams in its editorship. Mr. Adams subsequently sold his interest to Knox, who continued the paper about two years, and then it was sold to Asa Carey, who moved it, it is believed, to Troy, Pa.
During this later period, the Herald of Wellsboro being Whig, and the Tioga Democrat under management inimical to the interests of certain other parties in the county, several gentlemen contributed for the establishment of a Democratic paper at Wellsboro, and a young printer, James P. Magill, connected with the old Pennsylvanian, conducted by John Rice, was engaged to edit and conduct it. He named it the Tioga Eagle. The following persons contributed to its establishment: Samuel W. Morris, $150; Joseph W. Guernsey, $40; James Kimball, $45; James Lowrey, $25; R. G. White, $150; James Goodrich, $90; Thomas Dyer, $85; John Brewster, $58.
In 1863 several gentlemen in Tioga bought the press and material of the Wellsboro Banner, which had then ceased to exist, and it was moved to Tioga; but, before they could well settle in their minds how to establish and have it edited and managed, an offer came from the Democratic county committee, in the interest of Theodore Wright, then Democratic candidate for Congress, for its repurchase and transfer to Wellsboro.
In 1882 Samuel J. McCullough Jr. established a small four-column sheet, of four pages, 11 by 15 inches, the first number of which was issued March 21st. It was conducted by him until it was superseded by the large eight-column TiogaCounty Express, the first number of which was issued April 10th 1873. This continued under the management of Mr. Webster and Azro Lumbard up to September 3rd 1875, when it passed into the hands of A. H. Bunnell, who changed the name in March 1879 to Tioga Express. He ceased its publication in the second week of September 1880, removing to Canisteo, N.Y.
The Tioga Express resumed publication February 2nd 1882, under the proprietorship and editorship of E. M. Bixby. He designs to enlarge the paper to eight pages of six columns each, to accommodate his growing patronage.
As the construction of the system of railroads in this county has been specially detailed in the general county history, it has not been necessary for the writer of this to say anything specially on that subject. He will say however that the station for Tioga was for twelve years at "Allen's," now David L. Aiken's; and on relaying the track with T bars, in 1852, a new and commodious passenger depot was built at "Berry's bridge" (and a freight house subsequently) and John Dillistin was assigned to the charge of it, an office which he has now filled thirty years, apparently to the entire satisfaction of the company, whose rights no one seemingly could be more zealous in promoting or jealous in preserving. He was born in the town of Dundee, Ontario county (now Yates), N.Y.; married a Miss Sheardown, daughter of Rev. T. S. Sheardown, about 1850, and followed the daguerreotyping business at Tioga the same year and until his appointment to his present position.
The same year of the fire, 1871, a new depot was built on the east side of the river, opposite New Street, and a bridge built by subscription of the citizens to reach it; a necessity of the Tioga railroad company arising from the construction of the depot of the Corning, Cowanesque and Antrim road on the other side of the village and its greater convenience. The Berry bridge depot, which when vacated as such was occupied by Peter Burns, a section foreman on the road for 30 years, was consumed by fire in June 1882.
Of the bridges of Tioga Township there are five over the river, five over Crooked Creek, one over Mill Creek, three over the Cove, two over the Elkhorn, two over Bear Creek, and one over Mitchell's Creek. Of these there are five covered "Burr" bridges--the Berry bridge, built in 1833 or 1834; the Mill Creek bridge, about 1845; the lower river bridge, in 1850; the Crooked Creek lower bridge, in 1851; and the upper one, by the plank road company of which B. C. Wickham was president, in the fall of 1851, or the spring of 1852. The fine arch and chord bridge over the river close by, or on the north line of Richmond township, was built in 1881, by W. W. Bentley, son of Bethuel Bentley. He is now laying the center stone pier for a similar bridge to replace the string bridge over the river at the foot of New Street, on contract, for $1,450.
The old landmarks which most especially appeal to our veneration and respect, and are most closely allied to the early settlers and their descendants, are the graveyards where so many of the fathers and mothers and their children have been buried--in all, nine of them, including the aboriginal burying place on the north bank of Crooked Creek, which in the construction of the first bent and string bridge over the creek near its mouth was broken into and disturbed, the workmen finding, according to a statement given the writer by Jacob Kiphart, some ten or twelve skeletons, of large size, indicating men of tall stature and large frame. In grading the railroad in 1838, around the point of the daily Hill, the skull of an Indian was found and it was for some time at the house of James Goodrich.
The Berry Graveyard.--The earliest tombstone record we have of the death of any person is that of the child of Thomas Berry Sr., who died January 17th 1803. Three others of this family died in the spring of 1807, including the father. These persons were probably all buried in the Berry burying ground, which lies on the hillside, southeast from the east end of the lower river bridge, some twenty rods or so from it. It has no fence, and shrubs and trees are growing over it. Ten graves are readily distinguishable, but only one has a sculptured tombstone, which is of slate, three feet high, and of that style of which there are several in the old village cemetery, put up at about the same time by a tombstone--manufacturer than resident at Tioga. Its inscription is "Vrooman A. Brandt, died Oct. 7 1832, aged 32 yrs., 1 mo., 26 days." The Berry family, though the persons above mentioned still lie in this ground, have a fine monument of Quincy granite in Evergreen Cemetery, on which are recorded all the family names of the elder Thomas Berry.
The Van Camp Ground.--Below the Berry graveyard, on David L. Aiken's land, on the west side of the road, close to his south line, was where the Van Camp burying ground was until some half dozen years past. The Allen family were here buried, as well as that of the Van Camp and Kiphart families. The remains of all that could be found were taken up and transferred to the Evergreen Cemetery, the Allen family only having a tombstone record.
The Bentley Ground.--The next graveyard of ancient date is the Bentley burying ground, lying a little north and to the rear of Deacon C. Reynolds's farm house, and once included in the Bentley farm. Here lie John Gordon and his daughter Marcia, who died November 8th 1810, aged 20 years; Colonel Ambrose Millard's mother; Obadiah Inscho, the grandfather of the present Inschos, and several members of the Bentley family. In all there are eleven tombstones, and eight graves not so marked are plainly distinguishable, while the remains of some buried here have been transferred to Evergreen Cemetery.
The Mitchell Graveyard lies adjacent to the residence of Mrs. Dean Dutton and her son-in-law, Jacob Westbrook; and, though it is said by Mrs. Dutton that there are at least one hundred graves in this yard, but forty-two of them, with rough, rude stones at head and foot, and no sculptured name or device of any kind to be found, were here counted by the writer in March last. It has been so much overrun by animals, close as it is to two farm houses, that it is a mystery that any stone to-day could be found indicating a grave. Here Uncle John Ives was buried, and probably many others of the Ives family, and also James Dickinson, and some of his children.
The Mill Creek or Guernsey Cemetery, as it is indiscriminately called, is on the point of hill above John Daily's, and overlooks the mouth of Mill Creek, and the Tioga River south toward the Gap. Forty tombstones with their inscriptions were here noted by the writer in February last, and seventeen graves without monuments, were plainly distinguished. Here the Guernsey, Niles, Adams, Daily, Keeney and many other families are buried. Here grandfather and grandmother Niles lie in unmarked graves; and, standing there that bright, sunny, cheerful day--snowless, though a winter's month it was--the writer could not but feel that kind Nature looked lovingly down on the sod where these two venerable early settlers lay in peace, and hallowed it with more than usual grace and sacredness.
The Old Tioga Village Cemetery, half a mile west of the village, on the Wellsboro road, first opened to the public in the fall of 1829, contains seventy-six tombstones with records of the deceased, and thirty -five graves that are distinguishable, though without monuments. Here the Wickhams, Prutsmans, grandfather Aiken and mother, Abigail Preston, Barney Roberts, the widow Daniels and her sons, Daniel S. Craig, and many others are buried. Large trees have grown up in this ground, and it is assuming the appearance of a grove of large proportions. Many graves have been opened and the remains transferred to the Evergreen Cemetery.
Evergreen Cemetery was incorporated December 9th 1863, by twenty corporators, citizens chiefly of the borough. It lies a little over half a mile west from the village on two of a series of alluvial knolls, and contains about twenty acres of ground very nicely and judiciously laid out. In September and October 1881 the ground and roadways were much improved and fences and gateways rebuilt. It contains at present time: 36 fine obelisks; lots sold and occupied, 169; tombstone records, 209, and graves unmarked 163. It is in full view from the village.
THE TIOGA CHURCHES.
Baptist Church.--(Furnished by Rev. S. D. Merrick.)
One the 24th of April 1813 a few Christian people assembled at the house of Benjamin Bentley in Tioga (at that time almost an unbroken wilderness) for the purpose of organizing a religious conference, with a view of ultimately becoming a regular Baptist church. The names of those constituting the conference were David Short, Richard Mitchell, Nathaniel Seeley, Titus Ives, Charles Blanchard, Benjamin Bentley, Simeon Power, Timothy Ives, Mary Bentley, Ruth Ingersoll, Abigail Mitchell, Sally Short and Ruby Mitchell. Charles Blanchard was chosen moderator and Timothy Ives clerk.
On the 26th day of February 1814 the conference adopted a covenant and articles of faith and practice. On the 18th day of June 1814 the place of meeting was changed from the house of Benjamin Bentley to the house of Richard Mitchell, and continued there until December 1816. From that time until 1844 the church center was at Mitchell's Creek, two and a half miles north of Tioga village, the meetings being held at the school-house in that place.
In 1844 the present house of worship was built, and it was dedicated in December of that year. It cost about $2,000 and is supposed to be the first Baptist church edifice erected in Tioga County.
In November 1815 the conference took into consideration the propriety of being recognized as a regular Baptist Church, and on the 20th of June 1816 a council was convened for that purpose, composed of the following named persons: Elder Roswell Goff and Charles Wolcott of Elmira, N.Y.; Elder Samuel Bigelow of Middlesex, N.Y.; Elders Amos Chase and John Goff of Benton, N.Y. The conference appointed as their representative Daniel Bacon. Elder S. Bigelow was chosen moderator and A. Chase clerk.
The following named persons were the constituent members of the church: David Short, James Mitchell, F. Keeney, Richard Mitchell, Elisha Tucker, John Maine, Samuel Warrener, Charles Blanchard, Ruby Mitchell, Anna Keeney, Hannah Welch, Nancy Maine, Catherine Mattison, Sally Short, Abigail Mitchell.
On the 7th of September 1816 the church observed for the first time the ordinance of the Lord's Supper, Elder Samuel Bigelow administrator.
In 1817 the church united with the Ontario Baptist Association. In 1818 it joined the Steuben Association, in 1822 the Chemung, in 1842 the Tioga Association.
The following named persons have served the church as pastors: David Short, Elisha Tucker, Samuel Bigelow, Elisha Booth, Daniel Platt, T. S. Sheardown,--Smith, James R. Burdick, Jeremiah Weatherby, Tobias Pinkham, G. L. Stevens, B. R. Swick, Jacob Kennedy, A.M. Brown, Levi Stone, J. L. Smith, G. P. Watrous, D. R. McDermond, A. B. Chase, H. F. Hill, Ross Matthews and S. D. Merrick, the present pastor. Of the above named, Daniel Platt, Jacob Kennedy and D. R. McDermond were ordained by this church. The following persons were licensed to preach by this church. The following persons were licensed to preach by this church: David Short, Elisha Tucker, Samuel Grinnell, S. M. Broakman and Francis Purvis. Samuel Grinnell and N. L. Reynolds were also ordained by this church.
The following named persons have served the church as deacons: Charles Blanchard, Thomas Keeney, Asaph Ellis, Isaac Adams, John Drew, A. C. Keeney, A. S. Keeney and E. T. Bentley.
Since the organization of this church there have been added by baptism, by letter and experience over 500 persons. The most important revivals were under the pastorates of Elisha Tucker, in 1820 and 1821; T. S. Sheardown, in 1836; G. L. Stevens, in 1825; William Spencer (evangelist), in 1852; Levi Stone, in 1853; G.P. Watrous, in 1862 and 1863; D. R. McDermond, 1866, and A. B. Chase, in 1870.
The first Sunday-school was organized in 1840, Deacon Isaac Adams superintendent; and from that time to the present the school has been an important auxiliary to the church.
The church members at present 96 members. It is sixty five years old, has had twenty pastors and baptized over 250 converts. The present pastorate has continued eight years, while the terms of settlement has been only 3¼ years on the average.
The church edifice was erected by WS. M. Broakman, builder, on a lot contributed by Elijah De Pui, who also contributed some $250: other members of the church at the then low cost of valuable pine material and labor, contributed about $3,000.
St. Andrea's Episcopal Church.--(By Mrs. John W. Guernsey)
The history of the Episcopal church in Tioga dates back to the year 1840. At that time the Rev. Charles Breck, rector of St. Paul's church, Wellsboro, held occasional services. Under his direction a parish was organized and a charter applied for, but for some reason the charter was not acted on, and the parish failed of representation in the diocesan convention.
A Sunday-school under the auspices of the Episcopal church was started in June 1857, in the office of John W. Guernsey.
In 1860 the Rev. Thomas H. Cullen (deacon) was sent by the Rt. Rev. Alonzo Potter, bishop of the diocese of Pennsylvania, and took charge of the services, preaching his first sermon Sunday evening September 23rd 1860. The parish was organized and admitted into union with the convention of the diocese in May 1861, under the name of St. Andrews, John W. Guernsey, J. S. Bush, P.S. Tuttle, S. M. Geer, F. E. Smith, T. L. Baldwin, H. H. Borden and O. B. Lowell were the charter members of the vestry.
The first church building was a wooden structure, and was opened for service on St. Andrew's day (November 30th) 1869. On the night of February 9th 1871 the church and the rectory adjoining were destroyed by fire.
In 1872 the Rev. Mr. Cullen, who had resigned the parish in 1863,. Was recalled. During his ministry and largely through his efforts the present handsome stone church was erected, and it was opened for service on Ascension day (May 14th) 1874.
The church is gothic and consists of a tower ten feet square, nave 25 by 60 feet, organ chamber 9 by 11 feet, and vestry 8 by 12 feet. It cost about $12,000. It is build of stone from the Elkhorn quarry, with trimmings of light colored freestone from the Corning quarries, cut and dressed, which form the arches of the doors and windows, buttresses, caps, corbels, & c. The windows are of richly stained glass, and four of them are memorial--the two in front in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Bigelow; one on the south side, of Mrs. James Goodrich, and one on the north, of S. M. W. The rear or chancel triple window is the gift of Anna Bush and Anna Baldwin; the stone font, of Mrs. Edwin A. Meade, of New York, and Mrs. S. S. Caldwell, of Omaha, Nebraska; and the chancel rail of Mrs. Cullen.
There have been several short rectorships. The last incumbent was the Rev. John London, who resigned in November 1881. The parish is now vacant.
The Presbyterian Church.--(Furnished by Rev. William Baldwin, pastor).
At a meeting of the presbytery held at Beecher's Island, September 1st 1851, Rev. Messrs. J. S. McCullough, J. F. Calkins and J. B. Allen were appointed a committee to organize a church at Tioga village, to be called the Presbyterian Church in Tioga. At a meeting of the committee, held at Lawrenceville, January 17th 1852, it was resolved "That it is expedient to organize the church." Also resolved that the church be organized on Wednesday, January 25th 1852, and in case no other of the committee by present Rev. Mr. McCullough be authorized to act in behalf of the committee." January 25th 1852, Messrs. Mills and Calkins not being present, Rev. Mr. McCullough proceeded to organize the church, with nine members. No officers were elected at this meeting.
Mr. McCullough preached to the church from 1851 to 1868; Rev. D. Otis Fletcher from 1868 to 1871; Rev. S. R. H. Shumway one year from May 1st 1871; and Rev. William Baldwin has supplied the church from May 1st 1872 to the present.
(Mr McCullough was a graduate of Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., and was regarded as a fine theological scholar, and a very sincere and devoted man in his profession. He removed from the pastorship of the Lawrenceville church to Tioga in 1842, and contributed much of his own means, in conjunction with B. C. Wickham, Joseph and David L. Aiken, J. B. Steele, Mr. Slocum and others, for the construction of the present Presbyterian church, on Broad Street, which was built in 1851. He died December 10th 1867, aged 58 years, and the members of this church erected a fine slate-stone monument to his memory over his remains in Evergreen Cemetery.
Rev. William Baldwin, now preaching here, is a native of Connecticut, but removed with his father to Port Deposit when but two years of age; graduated at Yale College, and subsequently followed the mercantile business as did his father, adopting finally the profession of the ministry. Aside from his knowledge of the Bible and general theology. Mr. Baldwin's forte is physical science, and he delights to illustrate his pulpit discourses with frequent references to the wonders of nature. He was much mechanical skill, and is the inventor of some very ingenious "unpickable" locks, for the manufacture of which a factory was established at Tioga in the winter and spring of 1875.--H.H.G.
The Methodist Church, the second denomination in the order of its organization in Tioga, had its inception, so far as the present site and church building are concerned, in the following notice published in the columns of the Tioga Pioneer:
"WILLIARDSBURG, June 24th 1826--The subscribers to the Williardsburg Meeting House this day met at James Goodrich's agreeably to public notice, and after organizing unanimously.
"Resolved, That we proceed to elect three suitable persons as trustees to superintend the said building, and all things connected therewith. Whereupon William Willard Jr., Elisha Booth and Jacob Prutsman were elected trustees for the purposes aforesaid.
"Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the chairman and secretary, and published.
Again, we find following notice: "The subscribers to the Willardsburg meeting-house are requested to furnish without delay the amount of their subscriptions, as the building is commenced and rapidly progressing.--William Willard Jr., Jacob Prutsman, Elisah Booth, trustees. Williardsburg, October 16th 1826." By notice published March 27th 1827 a letting of the contract for the whole or part of the carpenter and joiner work for the said meeting-house was to be given to the lowest bidder, at the house of John S. Allen, April 7th 1827. The frame was subsequently put up, and remained in that condition until finally, by the exertions of Messrs. Fish, Cole and Munsell, it was enclosed in 1842, and a charter for The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Tioga was obtained in 1844. The deed for the ground from William Willard Jr. and wife is dated March 11th 1834, and was recorded March 28th 1836. The church formerly stood fronting on Meeting-House alley, but on rebuilding it, after the fire of 1871, at which time it was destroyed, it was placed further east, fronting on Main Street, and constructed of brick, with dressed freestone door and window trimmings, at a cost of about $7,000. It was dedicated in 1872, by Bishop Jesse T. Peck."Benjamin Bentley, Chairman.
"William Williard, Jr., Secretary."
The parsonage of this church, on Willard Street, was purchased in 1878, at a cost of $850.
The old church contained a bell, which was procured mostly through the efforts of Mrs. William Lowell; and at a later period a town clock, obtained by general subscription of the citizens, at a cost of $300, which like most town clocks was out of repair at least half the time. The present church has a bell, as have the Presbyterian and Baptist churches, but none of them seem desirous of a new town clock.
The Tioga M. E. church was united to that of Lawrence in one charge until the close of Rev. G. W. Gibson's pastorate in 1873. The pastors succeeding Mr. Gibson have been Revs. Harvey Lambkin, appointed in 1873; C. J. Bradbury, 1876; G. W. Howland, 1877; Harvey Lambkin, 1879; J. W. Gamble, the present pastor, in 1881, and reappointed for 1882 and 1883.
Rev. Mr. Gamble was born in Palmyra, Wayne County, N.Y., and in 1878 went as a missionary to India, passing through the Suez Canal, and visiting some of the most important provinces of that country, lying on the Ganges and at the foot of the Himalaya mountains. He returned in 1880, and was first assigned to the pastorship of the M. E. Church at Tioga. He is still a young man, the youngest of the Tioga pastors, and has that zeal and courage in his profession that actuate him unhesitatingly to attack the ordinary vices of society, and which have gained for him the distinctive name of "Reformer."
The Catholic Church of Tioga was established about the year 1861, by the purchase of the old village school-house, situated on the northwest corner of Centre and Walnut Streets, at a cost it is said of about $550. It was dedicated under the pastorship of Rev. Father Gogan, and in 1880 was sold to E. A. Smead, who removed it to the rear of his hardware store; and a fine church was erected at a cost of $2,300, exclusive of the pulpit and seats, which are not yet put in. The church is in charge of Rev. Father J. C. McDermond, who resides at Wellsboro. On Wednesday September 20th 1882 Bishop O'Hara, of Scranton, confirmed 24 converts as members of this church.
Masonic.--The original masonic lodge of Tioga, it is believed, was called the "Willardsburg Lodge," and its lodge room was in the second story of Dr. Willard's residence, on the present site of P. S. Tuttle's dwelling. The members of it as now known were Dr. William Willard and his sons William and Henry, Colonel Ambrose Millard and Harris Hotchkiss. James Goodrich was a member of the old Painted Post Lodge, as were Stewart M. Geer, E. A. Smead, Frederick E. Smith, T. L. Baldwin, Colonel H. S. Johnston and one other, at the time of the organization of the present Tioga Lodge. During the exciting times of 1829, following the disappearance of Morgan, the Willardsburg Lodge ceased its regular sessions. Colonel Ambrose Millard, the noble grand, and two others met for some time in the woods, to hold their conferences and keep up the ritual service.
The present Tioga Lodge, No. 373, was chartered by the grand lodge October 16th 1866. Its present officers are: E. A. Smead, W. M.; George W. Hazlett, S. W.; Elias M. Smith, J. W.; Thomas Middaugh, treasurer; John Mack, secretary. Its hall is in the third story of Rev. William Baldwin's brick store, and its meetings are held on alternate Thursday nights. It has had as many as 86 members, but at present has about 30.
Odd Fellows.--The original lodge of the I.O. of O.F. at Tioga was styled the Adelphic Lodge, and was instituted on the 8th of October 1847. It retained its charter up to the 2nd of April 1857, when it was removed to Roseville, this county. The original officers of the Adelphic, elected at Tioga December 23rd 1847, were as follows: Joseph W. Guernsey, N.G.; Alpha D. Cole, V. G.; F. E. Smith, secretary; Edgar D. Seely, A. S.; John A. Mathews, treasurer.
The present Tioga River Lodge, No. 797 was instituted July 10th 1872, and a charter granted the same year. The original officers were: S. M. Geer, N. G.; A. E. Niles, V. G.; O. P. Barden, secretary; C. F. Miller, treasurer. The present officers are: Albert Lewis, N. G.; Willis Hyde, V. G.; H. H. Borden, secretary; Henry Shutter, assistant secretary; S. M. Geer, treasurer. Mt. Geer has been delegate to the meetings of the grand lodge from the Adelphic Lodge five or six times, and from the Tioga River Lodge every year since its organization except twice. The lodge meets Wednesdays in Odd Fellows' Hall, third story of T. L. Baldwin's store.
Knights of Honor.--Pheniz Lodge, No. 933, of K. of H., of Tioga, was organized March 7th 1878, the following officers being elected for that year: John C. Horton, dictator; O. P. Barden, B. D.; S. B. Peck, assistant D.; R. E. Urell, past D.; O. B. Lowell, chaplain; William Dudley, guide; Joseph P. Wickham, financial reporter; J. S. Field, reporter; J. Schieffelin, treasurer; R. E. Hathaway, guardian; representative to grand lodge, R. E. Urell. The lodge meets every Thursday evening in Commercial block.. The officers for 1882 are: Dictator, J. Schieffelin; vice-dictator, W. H. Harris; assistant dictator, Merrit Carr; financial reporter, J. P. Wickham Jr.; reporter, O. P. Barden; treasurer, M. P. Prutsman; chaplain, S. B. Peck; guide, A. S. Reynolds; guard, F. H. Adams; sentinel, J. M. Jack.
The Sons of Temperance association was in existence between the years 1850 and 1860. Three of its organizations were the Covington, Tioga and Lawrenceville lodges. William Garretson was then grand worthy patriarch.
The Park Hose Company, No. 1, of Tioga was organized in December 1874, and its meetings are held each month at its rooms in the Wickham block. Joseph P. Wickham is president and F. B. Smith secretary.
The Tioga Grange, No. 241, was organized May 6th 1874, at the house of George W. Hazlett, by District Deputy Evans, of Charleston. There were 22 charter members enrolled, and the following officers were chosen: Daniel Dewey, master; O.H. Blanchard, overseer; E. F. Bentley, lecturer; R. P. H. McAllister, steward; A. E. Niles, assistant steward; J. M. Stevens, treasurer; T. L. Baldwin, secretary; C. Hammond, chaplain; W. A. Mitchell, gatekeeper; Mrs. P. C. McAllister, Ceres; Mrs. G. W. Haxlett, Pomona; Mrs. J. H. Westbrook, Flora; Miss Ellen F. Johnson, lady assistant steward.
The society continued in existence only three years, and in that time Daniel Dewey, H. S. Johnston and Elisha F. Bentley were its masters. As this order still exists in other sections of the county and State, and the Tioga Grange may possibly be revived, it is here historically mentioned. It is an educational, social and protective association. A county or Pomona grange, No. 30, was organized at Mansfield June 27th 1877, and Elisha F. Bentley and Henry H. Goodrich were its master and secretary at its last organization. It had 90 enrolled members.
There are eight school districts in the township of Tioga, viz. Mill Creek, Upper Mill Creek, Mitchell's Creek, Hughes, Prutsman, Man Hill, Daggett Hill, and Brooklyn, for which a school tax was collected and appropriated for the year ending June 30th 1882 of $1,595.61, and from State appropriation $274.83; total, $1,870.44.
The graded school of Tioga borough is usually a six months school, with one principal and two assistants. The house was built the year prior to the incorporation of the borough, at a cost of nearly $2,000, and the township was deprived of it by the separation of jurisdiction. The principals of this school for the past ten years have been H. L. Baldwin, now attorney at law; Elias Horton, and Professor J. C. Doane, now engaged on his second term, and formerly connected with the State normal school at Mansfield.
TOWNSHIP OFFICERS ETC.
The following is a list of justices of the peace having jurisdiction in Tioga Township, with the years in which they were commissioned:
Nathan Niles, 1808; Eddy Howland, 1810; Daniel Lamb, 1813; William rose, 1813; Ambrose Millard, 1816; Enos Sloman, 1818; Elijah De Pui, 1819; Samuel McDougal, 1819; Seth Daggett, 1820; Job Geer, 1825; L. Vail, 1825; Benjamin Miller, 1826; William Willard, 1827; Rufus Daggett, 1829; H. Howland, 1829; William Garretson, 1831, 1835; Joseph Clark, 1825; Erastus W. Derow, 1826; Charles S. Spencer, 1826; Lewis Mead, 1826; Curtis Parkhurst, 1838; Carpenter H. Place, 1838, 1840, 1855, 1860; Lyman Johnson, 1838; Joseph Aiken, 1841, 1846; Henry E. Smith, 1845; J. H. Putnam, 1851; C. J. Humphrey, 1861; Charles F. Swan, 1865; John W. Guernsey, 1867; C. H. Seymour, 1868; William J. Mann, 1870; W. T. Urell, 1873, 1878; Horace S. Johnson, 1875; John Stevens, 1881.
The number of taxable inhabitants in Tioga township in 1882 was 508; aggregate quantity of land returned, 25,360 acres; assessed valuation of all property, $221, - 151. The population of the township in 1880 was 1,259.
The present officers of the township are as follows:
Supervisors, C. O. Loveless, Smith beers. Constable, John C. Adams, School directors, William Kimball, E. S. Horton, C. W. Loveless. Assessor, H. N. Lawrence. Assistant assessors, T. C. Mitchell, A. E. Niles. Judge of election, T. B. Mitchell. Inspectors of election, R. P. H. McAllister, C. W. Loveless. Auditors, A. S. Reynolds, Robert T. Urell.
SUNDRY BUSINESS INSTITUTIONS.
The Lucky Oil Well Company was organized in the months of January and February 1865, under an act of the Legislature for mechanical and mining purposes, approved July 18th 1863. The capital of the company was nominally $150,000, represented by 15,000 shares of $10 each. The officers were: Edward Bayer, president; T. L. Baldwin, vice-president; A. M. Bennett, secretary; and Henry H. Goodrich, treasurer. The company leased a tract of land of Abiel Sly, who generally went by the sobriquet of "Old Lucky;" hence the name of the company. The tract lay on Bear Creek, two miles distant from Tioga village, and a well was sunk 923 feet deep, at a cost of $7,086.25, paid out by the treasurer. Fourteen thousand four hundred and twenty-five shares were sold--12,000 at 50 cents per share, and 2,425 at 25 cents per share. The well was tubed and pumped, and some oil obtained from it; bit it was not torpedoed, as this system was then but little known.
Mills.--In 1850 the old Charles Fish mill, built in 1831, afterward rebuilt by Hiram Fisk, passed into the hands of Mr. Chapman, who built in addition a large steam saw-mill. By obligations due the Steuben County Bank John Magee was obliged in 1852 to take an assignment of the property, and Mr. Blakely was for a time the agent in charge. During his charge of the mills occurred the famous "log war" between him and Mr. Bulmer, for possession of logs sold by the Stevens brothers to Mr. Chapman. Subsequently Duncan S. Magee returned from St. Louis and assumed charge of them, and Henry H. Goodrich was bookkeeper for both him and Blakely. In the fall of 1853 and winter of 1854 James G. Messereau became sole manager of them, and Mr. Magee and his son Duncan began to develop the coal mining interests of the county, which have since proved so profitable to the Magee family and to Tioga County.
In 1849 or 1850 was established the large foundry of Tabor, Mathews & Co., on the site now occupied by Fields & Smith. Subsequently Young and Hathaway became partners in it, and E. A. Smead, Barney Tabor and J. G. Putnam had employment in connection with it. In 1860 or 1861 it burned down, since when no foundry interest has been revived in Tioga. John A. Mathews, formerly associated with T. L. Baldwin in trade, and a member of the foundry firm, withdrew from it in 1854. He married the daughter of A. C. bush, and settled himself at Winona, Minnesota, about 1855, in the real estate and banking business. He has been closely identified with the business prosperity of that place, and has reaped his share of its bounties.
There are now in operation in the township the following mills: The steam mill of A. S> Turner, on Painter Run, cutting large quantities of hemlock lumber; the McCoy steam-mill, formerly the Doughty mill, near Big Hill and just below the Gap, cutting hemlock and hard wood of all kinds; the William Kimball steam mill, at Mitchell's Creek; the Bayer water power mill, and the grist-mill adjoining, doing custom work only, and both occupying the site of William Willards' mill.
Flagging Stone and Iron Ore, both of excellent quality, are obtained from the Shutter Hill, distant about three quarters of a mile from the center of the village, and in full view of it. The flagging stone is of the olive gray sand formation, belonging to the Chemung group, and immediately underlies the red shale of the Catskill, from which the iron ore is obtained. George W. Hathaway, a blacksmith and practical iron worker, who has been experimenting with this ore since 1872, claims for it the superior virtue of giving to pot metal, common iron, and other iron ores a highly steel-like character, and being indestructible by ordinary acids, muriate of soda, or exposure to the weather. His idea is that the metal vanadium is largely present in the ore, is retained in processes of manufacture, and will in time, when better understood and appreciated, five to the red shale ores in the vicinity of Tioga an incalculable value. Mr. McCreath, chemist for the State geological survey, has given the following analysis of the ore: Silica, 59,630; alumina. 18,560; sesquioxide of iron, 8,571; sesquioxide manganese, .290; lime, .672; magnesia, 2.252; potash soda, 5.109; sulphuric acid, .123; phosphoric acid, .279; titanic acid, tract; water, 4.560; total, 100.046. An analysis by Mr. Brittain, of Philadelphia, gave 15 per cent iron.
The flagging stone varies in thickness from three to five inches, and several thousand feet of it have been laid for pavements in various parts of the village, varying in sizes from two by four feet all the way up to nine and a half by fourteen and a half feet. Very large flagging is now being laid on the north side of the Wickham block.
The Trotting Park of Tioga was established in 1874, on the farm of Thomas J. Berry Jr. within the borough limits. It is well fenced, and has a judge's stand and covered seats for spectators.
Latest Enterprises.--As a new industrial era is about dawning on Tioga, in this sketch, which has dealt so much with old times, and events and individuals connected with its past history, the writer is glad to mention, before he parts altogether with his subject, that the Fall Brook Coal Company is now constructing two hundred coke ovens on land purchased of B. C. Wickham, Jabin S. Bush, Eleazer Seagers and H. E. Smith & Son, in all about thirty-five acres. The price paid for the land was $150 per acre for 10 acres, and $200 per acre for 25 acres; $1,950 of which was paid by subscription of the citizens of Tioga and the balance by the coal company. A grading of three tracks in a triangular shape has already been made to reach these ovens, and several shops put up, and a double wall three hundred yards long laid, using about two thousand yards of stone from a quarry opened on the old Thomas Berry estate, less than half a mile distant. It is said the company designs the construction of two hundred more ovens next year. The company has also surveyed a line of railroad connecting the Corning, Cowanesque and Antrim Railroad at Tioga with the mines at Morris Run and Fall Brook, along the west side of the Tioga River, which they intend to build should not the Tioga Railroad Company concede the terms demanded by them. Simon B. Elliott is the civil engineer in charge of all these works.
As the writer was born on the farm where all this improvement is now going forward, and contrasts the spirit of his boyhood, when he roamed over it cheerful and hopeful in everything pertaining to life, with that spirit of sadness in which he now looks on the wonderful changes being wrought upon it, that seem to him more the desecration of a once hallowed spot than its advancement, he cannot but feel in these sad and melancholy days of autumn that he, like the seasons themselves, is passing away; that the ripeness and fullness of the years have come and gone, and the leafless winter of age fast approaches.
Fair autumn now, in sweet and pensive mood,
Enrobed in hues rich as the eventide,
Lone sister of the season's sisterhood,
Walks through the groves and by the forest side.
Enchantress she, she waves her magic wand,
And lo! transformed, the vale and mountain height
Put on the semblance of enchanted land,--
Entrancing scene that charms the glowing sight.
By her transmitting touch the stately oak,
The maple, beech, the hickory and elm,
Stand forth arrayed in masquerading cloak,
Mute spirits of a weird and fairy realm.
Not long they'll wear their changeful, gay disguise,
Fantastic glories of a transient hour,
For soon they'll vanish from our wond'ring eyes,
Sad spectral emblems of a lifeless power.
The writer cannot close this sketch without acknowledging his many obligations to Hon. John W. Guernsey for the use of rare and valuable books contained in his library, and much valuable oral information imparted to him in connection with his work. Thanks are also specially due from him to Frederick E. Smith, Captain Buel Baldwin, S. M. Geer and Mrs. Martha Brown.
Note.--It is due to the writer of the foregoing historical sketch to say that the following items, furnished by him, were omitted by the publishers: A topographical and geological description of the township; a review of the Connecticut title and several titles in the central and western portion of the State of New York having a bearing on the early settlement of northern Pennsylvania; a personal notice of Rev. S. D. Merrick, designed to accompany Mr. Merrick's Baptist church history, but received after the latter was printed; explanatory detail in connection with the Timothy Pickering abduction, by which Mr. Kinney and others sought to hold him as hostage for the release of John Franklin, a Connecticut title agent; and allusions to the Rev. Mr. O'F's confession, the Fardown and Corkonian conflict, the Freeland affair and the Graves' trial.
Tioga Township & Borough Part One
-- Part Two -- Part Three
-- Part Four