EARLY MILITARY HISTORY.
Introduction--Early Settlers Who Were Revolutionary Soldiers--They Led the Way Into the Wilderness--Peter Shumway’s Discharge--A Priceless Relic--The War of 1812--Settlers of Tioga Who Served in That Struggle--Old-Time Militia System- The Mexican War.
During the Revolutionary War that portion of Pennsylvania now embraced within the limits of Tioga county was a savage-peopled wilderness. No white man was living within its borders, and none had penetrated its forest depths, save an occasional hunter, trapper, spy, scout, or, perhaps, a Catholic or Moravian missionary. While that memorable struggle was in progress, marauding bands of savages, from the tribes farther north, frequently followed the trails leading south up the valleys of the Tioga river and Crooked creek, and down those of Babb’s and Pine creeks, and harassed the settlers along the Susquehanna. So far as known, however, no conflict between the two races ever took place on its soil, its early settlers being happily spared the horrors of frontier warfare, with which those of other counties were but too familiar.
This was due to the fact that before settlement began the land was acquired from the Indians by the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, in 1784, and was thereby open to peaceable and unmolested occupation. Its pioneers had nothing to fear, unless, in the event of an Indian war. Fortunately they were called upon to undergo no such experiences, and were permitted to clear away the forests and cultivate their fields in peace.
Although Tioga county, owing to its wilderness condition, and its distance from the scene of active operations, is not embraced within the historic ground of the Revolution, it afterwards became the home and is to-day the resting place of a number of the patriotic soldiers of that memorable struggle. The first settlers at Lawrenceville, Tioga and in the Cowanesque valley were Revolutionary soldiers, who endured the privations of pioneer life in their wilderness homes with the same heroic courage and patient fortitude that they displayed while contending against British tyranny for the independence so nobly won by Washington and his patriotic army.
It is a matter for sincere regret that the names of all of these heroes of that great struggle cannot be ascertained. A patient inquiry, however, has resulted in securing the names which follow and the dates and places of their settlement. The list is believed, by those familiar with the early history of the different townships, to be practically complete, and to embrace the names of all or nearly all of the Revolutionary soldiers who became permanent settlers and residents of the county.
It was not until 1787, four years after the colonies had achieved their independence, that Hon. Samuel Baker, the first white settler, came and reared a home for himself and family within the confines of Tioga county. This herald of an advancing civilization was a Revolutionary soldier. In 1777, being then a boy of fourteen years of age, while he and a younger brother were picking berries near their home, at White Creek, Washington county, New York, he was captured by Indians and taken to the camp of Burgoyne, where he was redeemed by a British officer, who paid twelve dollars for him, and made him a waiter at army headquarters. After Burgoyne’s surrender, an American officer gave young Baker two dollars and told him to go home. This he did, remaining until 1781, when he enlisted in Col. Marius Willett’s regiment and took part in the skirmish of Canada Creek, in which Capt. Walter Butler, a noted tory leader, was killed. Four years after the war closed Baker turned his face toward the west, selected a site for a home near the junction of the Tioga and Cowanesque rivers, where Lawrenceville now stands, and thus became the first white settler of Tioga county.
Within a few months after his coming Mr. Baker was joined by Amos Stone, who was a captain in the Connecticut Line during the Revolutionary War, but who afterwards became an active participant in Shay’s Rebellion. Shay was defeated January 25, 1787, and his adherents were forced to seek refuge from the Federal authorities wherever they could.
Adam and George Hart, natives of Germany, and pioneer settlers in Lawrence township, served seven years each in the Revolutionary army. Adam removed to Mansfield in 1823 and George became an early settler in Liberty township, where his descendants still reside.
Andrew Holiday, a native of Ireland, came to America before the Revolution, and finally settled at Stroudsburg, Monroe county, Pennsylvania. He served in the Continental army and was a good soldier. In 1799 or 1800 he came to Tioga county and located at Lawrenceville. A few years later he removed to Troupsburg, New York, but soon afterward returned to Tioga county, and settled near Elkland, where he died early in the present century.
Reuben Cook, Sr., the pioneer settler of the Cowanesque, west of Lawrenceville, was a Revolutionary soldier. He settled in what afterward became Nelson township, in 1792 or 1793. It is not known in what command he served, but he was granted a pension of $40 a year during life by the legislature of Pennsylvania in 1823. For a fuller account of him the reader is referred to the chapter devoted to Nelson borough.
Ebenezer Seelye, a native of Connecticut, settled immediately east of Academy Corners in 1798, and resided there until his death, June 23, 1837, in the eighty-second year of his age. He served throughout the Revolutionary War in Sheldon’s Light Horse, a Connecticut company, and a portion of the time under Washington. Before coming to Tioga county he became a Quaker, and was a consistent adherent of that faith during the remainder of his life. He lies buried in the old Quaker burying ground at Knoxville.
Simon Rixford or Rexford, the first settler on the site of Knoxville, where he located in 1799, was a native of Massachusetts. At the age of fifteen years he enlisted in the Revolutionary army and served seven years. He was afflicted with deafness caused by proximity to artillery during battle. In 1820 he removed to Mixtown, Clymer township, where he passed the remainder of his life, and where he lies buried.
Israel Bulkley, who came from Connecticut in 1800 and settled upon the farm in Osceola now occupied by his grandson, Charles Bulkley, served a brief time in Capt. N. Waterman’s company, Twentieth regiment, Connecticut militia, when the British burned New London, Connecticut, in September, 1781.
Nathaniel Peaseley Moody, a native of Haverhill, Massachusetts, where he was born in 1760, entered the Continental army at the age of sixteen and served through the Revolution. In 1795 he settled at Wysox, Bradford county, Pennsylvania, lived there a number of years, and then removed to Osceola, where he died in 1840, and where he lies buried.
David Jay, an early settler at Osceola, was a Revolutionary soldier. But little is known concerning him. His remains lie buried in the Osceola Cemetery.
Ayres Tuttle, a pioneer settler at Westfield, fought at Bunker Hill, as a member of the patriot band who so stoutly resisted the British on that occasion.
Daniel Lee, who came to Tioga county from Otsego county, New York, and was an early settler in Chatham township, was a soldier in the Revolutionary army. Many of his descendants still reside in Chatham township.
Samuel Tubbs, Sr., a native of Lyme, Connecticut, settled at Elkland in 1811. He came to Pennsylvania in 1773, with his parents, and settled at Wyoming. August 26, 1776, he enlisted in Capt. Robert Durkee’s Independent company, which was attached to Col. John Durkee’s regiment of the Connecticut Line. He participated in the battles of Bound Brook, Mill Stone River, Mud Creek, Brandywine and Germantown; wintered with the army at Valley Forge, and served in Sullivan’s Expedition against the Indians in 1779. His command was on its way to Wyoming the night of the massacre, and stopped at Shoup’s tavern, Northumberland county, Pennsylvania. He died at his home near Elkland, September 7, 1841, and his remains rest in the cemetery at Osceola.
John Ryon, Sr., a pioneer settler at Elkland, whose parents were natives of Ireland, was born on the Atlantic Ocean, March 10, 1848, while they were enroute for New York. He removed to the Wyoming valley, Pennsylvania, before the Revolution. The records in the war department at Washington show that he served during the Revolutionary War as a private in Capt. Thaddeus Weed’s, formerly Capt. Solomon Strong’s Company, Fifth Connecticut regiment, commanded by Col. Philip B. Bradley, from July, 1777 to December, 1780, and that he re-enlisted October 20, 1780, "for during the war." The records also show that he served as a sergeant in the Fifth Company, formerly Capt. Thaddeus Wood’s Company, Second Connecticut regiment, commanded by Col. Heman Swift, from March, 1781, to April, 1783. A portion of this time he was on duty in the commissary department in New York. He was afterward pensioned, as a Revolutionary soldier, by the State of Connecticut.
John H. Brown, one of the pioneer settlers of Brookfield township, was a Revolutionary soldier, though it is not known in what command he served. He settled in Brookfield township in 1812.
Azel Nobles, one of the pioneers of Brookfield township, served in the Revolutionary War, for which service he received a pension until the time of his death. His son, Asahel Nobles, was a soldier in the War of 1812.
Jesse Losey, the first settler on the site of Tioga borough, was another Revolutionary soldier. He claimed to have participated in the Battle of Bunker Hill, being sixteen years old at that time, and to also have witnessed the execution of Maj. John Andre, at Tappan, New Jersey, October 2, 1780. He died March 12, 1844, aged eighty-five years, and lies buried in the cemetery at Holidaytown.
Harris Hotchkiss, who settled at Tioga in 1804, was a native of Connecticut, and a Revolutionary sailor and soldier. While in the marine service he was captured by the British and confined for some time in chains on board the notorious prison ship "Jersey." He suffered much by exposure to cold and from want of proper food. He died November 21, 1854, aged ninety-six years, and lies buried in the old cemetery at Tioga.
Robert and Benjamin Patterson, who acted as guides for the party who constructed the Williamson road in 1792-93, were noted Indian scouts during the Revolution, rendering valuable services to the cause of liberty. After the opening of the Williamson road they settled at Painted Post, New York
In what is known as the Bentley burying ground in Rutland township, west of Roseville, is a tombstone bearing the following inscription:
A Soldier of the Revolution.
Born in Connecticut in 1761 ; died in Tioga county, Pennsylvania, May 19, 1839.
This stone was erected to his memory by J. M. Wattles, of Bradford county, as a mark of filial affection and gratitude.
Daniel Wattles was one of the early settlers in Rutland township, but the year of his coming could not be ascertained. He served during the Revolutionary War in Capt. William Moulton’s company of Second Battalion, raised for the defense of the Connecticut coast, from Horseneck to New Haven. He was hired by the town of Lebanon, Connecticut, and joined the company July 25, 1781.
Stephen Morrill, Sr., a native of Maine, and an early settler in Jackson township, was a veteran of the Revolution. His son, Stephen, served in the War of 1812, in a marine regiment.
James Gray, Sr., came from Otsego county, New York, and settled at Gray’s Valley, in Sullivan township, in 1805, and was one of the pioneers of the township. He was born in Sharon, Connecticut, in 1760, served seven years in the Continental army and was discharged with the rank of captain. He died in Sullivan township in March, 1846.
Russell Rose settled in what is now Ward township in 1807, but soon afterward removed to and located near the State road in Sullivan township. He was born in Connecticut, June 11, 1753, and when twenty-three years of age enlisted in the Continental army and remained until the war ended, rendering good and efficient service. While in camp at Valley Forge he was promoted to serve as an aide on Washington’s staff. He died in Sullivan township June 1, 1830.
Jeremiah Rumsey, an early settler in Sullivan township, was also a soldier in the Revolutionary army. He resided in Sullivan township for many years and died at the age of ninety.
Ebenezer Burley, who settled in Richmond township in 1808, was a Revolutionary soldier. He died in 1837, aged eighty-seven years.
Seth Clark, who came from Wilbraham, Massachusetts, in 1814, and settled in Richmond township, was a Revolutionary soldier and carried a musket under Washington.
Deacon Isaac Lownsbery, born December 21, 1757, served in the Revolutionary army. He came to Tioga county in 1818 and settled at Canoe Camp, where he died April 4, 1851, aged ninety-four years.
Major Ebenezer Ripley, who came from Cooperstown, New York, in 1817, and settled at Lamb’s Creek, served in the Continental army with the rank of major. After coming to Tioga county he was appointed a justice of the peace.
Lieut. Jacob Allen, who born in Massachusetts in 1763, entered the Continental army as an aide-de-camp to his father, who was killed in the early part of the war. Young Allen remained in the service to the close and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. He came from Massachusetts in 1818 and settled near Mansfield, where he died December 11, 1836, aged seventy-three years.
Peter Shumway, a native of Massachusetts, came to Tioga county about 1805, and located at Mansfield. A year later he removed to Charleston township, and settled on Shumway Hill. He was a veteran of the Revolution, serving nearly seven years. There is now in the possession of his great-grandson, Peter E. Shumway, of Wellsboro, the original discharge received by him, June 9, 1783. This rare and highly-prized relic shows that Peter Shumway was a "soldier of the Fourth Massachusetts regiment;" that he "faithfully served the United States six years and three months," hving "enlisted for the war only." John Trumbull, Jr., certifies that it was "given at headquarters by His Excellency’s command." It was signed by Washington himself, the signature, "Go Washington," being clear, bold and distinct. It bears unmistakable evidence of genuineness. Another high officer, whose name has become dimmed by age, certifies that "the above Peter Shumway, soldier, has been honored with the badge of merit, for six years’ faithful service," and "John M. Davis, adjutant," certifies that it is "registered in the books of the regiment."
This venerable relic of Revolutionary days, although 114 years old, is in a fair state of preservation, and with care will easily last another century. Inclosed in the same frame with the discharge are two specimens of "Massachusetts Bay" paper money of the time, coarse-grained and antique in design. One bill is of the denomination of $8; the other is No. 59.222, and calls for $65, "in gold or silver." In the contemplation of these old documents one’s mind is carried back to "the time that tried men’s souls"—the days that were dark and gloomy, and when the cause of liberty trembled in the balance.
After Peter Shumway’s death in 1833, the discharge passed into the hands of his son, Sleeman Shumway. He died May 3, 1864. It then became the property of his son, N. P. Shumway. During recent years it has been in the possession of Melvina L. Shumway, wife of Jonathan V. Morgan, and is now owned by Peter E. Shumway, Wellsboro, a great-grandson of the Peter Shumway to whom it was originally given as an evidence of faithful service in the Revolutionary army. It is an heirloom of inestimable value.
Col. Justus Dartt, the founder of the Dartt settlement in Charleston township, where he located in 1811, was a soldier of the Revolution and afterwards a colonel in the Vermont militia. He died in Charleston July 5, 1838, aged eighty-one years.
Israel Greenleaf, an early settler and tavern keeper in Wellsboro, was also a Revolutionary soldier. He died June 1, 1847, aged eighty-two years, and lies buried in the old graveyard on Academy Hill in Wellsboro. In the same graveyard lies buried Joseph Thompson, another Revolutionary soldier, who died November 23, 1842, aged eighty-five years. This graveyard, having been abandoned many years ago, has become overgrown with brush and brambles, and the graves of these two heroes are sadly neglected.
Deacon Richard Ellis, a native of Massachusetts, served in the Revolutionary army. He settled in Delmar township in 1811 and died in Ellisburg, Potter county, in 1841.
Royal Cole, who settled in Wellsboro about 1818, and who became a well-known and prominent citizen, was a veteran of both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. He died in Wellsboro, July 4, 1849, in his ninetieth year.
Robert Steele, Sr., was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, about 1766. He served a short time in the Revolutionary army. In 1805 he came to Tioga county and was the first settler on the site of "Big Meadows," now Ansonia. He died at the home of his son Robert in Delmar township in 1836.
Robert Campbell, a pioneer of Morris township, enlisted in the Continental army when only sixteen years of age, and served under Washington. He lies buried at Cammal, Lycoming county.
THE WAR OF 1812.
As Tioga was a frontier county, and sparsely populated, she was not called on to raise a military company during the War of 1812. Some apprehension was felt that the Seneca Indians, whose territory was close to the county, might be tampered with by the British and induced to make trouble. Governor Snyder was communicated with by some of the citizens of this and the adjoining counties on the west, whose fear of an Indian invasion was great, and they went so far as to request military protection, but the governor succeeded in allaying their fears.
When the British burned Buffalo in 1814, the feeling generally prevailed that they intended to march south and lay the country in waste, and a call was made for men to meet the invaders. A company was collected from the Tioga and Cowanesque valleys at Lawrenceville, in February of that year, and Henry Baldwin was chosen captain. It is not known that any roster of the company is now in existence. The organization was purely volunteer. The company proceeded in sleighs to Dansville, New York, and were put in a camp of instruction. But as the British retired after their assault on Buffalo, the alarm subsided and the Lawrenceville company was sent home and disbanded. Among those who joined the company were the following from Osceola: Samuel Tubbs, Jr., David Taylor, Reuben Cook, Jr., and Andrew Beard. The following pioneers of Deerfield township were also members of this company: Newbury Cloos, John Knox, Charles Carpenter, Elanson Seelye and Eleazer Seelye. Those who enlisted in this company were afterwards given land warrants by the government of the United States, and in 1879 Reuben Cook received a pension of $8 a month.
A number of companies on their way to Black Rock passed through Tioga county over the Williamson road, as it was the principal thoroughfare down the Tioga valley at this time. The State road, as it was called, was also used. The companies came from the lower counties, and the Tioga valley at times presented quite a martial appearance as they marched through. Some artillery and many baggage wagons passed this way.
In addition to the few who enlisted from the county while the war was in progress, there afterwards settled in the various townships a number of men who served from other states and from other parts of Pennsylvania. The names of all of these have not been preserved, owing to some of them making a stay of but a few years in the county, while others died, leaving no descendants to perpetuate either names of memory. We give the names of such as we have been able to obtain.
Edsell Mitchell, reputed to be the first white child born in Tioga county, served in the War of 1812, and in 1816 removed from Mitchell’s Creek, Tioga township, his birthplace, to Middlebury township, where many of his descendants still reside. He died August 15, 1870.
Ebenezer Ferry, who settled in Tioga township in 1818, was a native of Massachusetts and served from that State. He removed to Charleston township in 1839, and there died at a ripe old age.
John B. Farr, Sr., a native of England, who came to Tioga county about 1800 and finally settled in Sullivan township, saw service during the war. He died in 1863, aged ninety-four years.
Daniel Rose, eldest son of Russell Rose, one of the pioneers of Sullivan township, enlisted soon after war was declared, and served until May, 1814. His father saw service during the Revolution under Washington. Daniel died August 26, 1870, aged seventy-eight years.
James Cudworth, Sr., who came with his parents to Sullivan township about 1808, served as a drummer boy in the War of 1812.
Capt. Levie Mabie, an early settler in Sullivan township, served as a captain in the Seventieth New York regiment.
Jacob Hulsander, the son of a Revolutionary soldier, served in a New York regiment. He came from Tompkins county, New York, to Sullivan township in 1831. He died in May, 1849.
Gad Lamb, the pioneer settler at Lamb’s Creek, was commissioned a captain during the War of 1812, but was not called into service.
Francis Upton Spencer, who lies buried in the old cemetery at Canoe Camp, is said to have been a soldier in the War of 1812. Nothing definite concerning his history can be ascertained.
Cornelius Middaugh, who settled in Lawrence township soon after the War of 1812, served from Bradford county during that struggle.
John A. Smith, an early settler in Lawrence and later a resident of Nelson township, was in the service during the war, presumably from Cortland county, new York, the place of his nativity.
James Smith, a native of Vermont, and an early settler in Nelson township, also saw service, but in what command is not known.
Sylvester Stewart and John Weeks, both of whom settled in Nelson township in 1838, were in the service during the War of 1812, though in what command cannot be ascertained.
Col. Marinus W. Stull, a native of Southport, Chemung county, New York, was an early settler at Elkland. He served in the War of 1812 from his native State, and later in life was for seven years a colonel of militia. He died at Elkland in June, 1864.
William Casbeer was a resident of Tioga county, New York, when the war began. He served in it, and in 1816 removed to Osceola, remaining there until 1841, when he located in Farmington township, where he passed the remainder of his life. His mother, Catherine Jay, was a descendant of John Jay, the celebrated jurist.
William Wass, who was born in Sussex county, New York, saw service during the war, and in 1817 settled in Deerfield township. A few years later he removed to Chatham township, where he died May 18, 1889, in his ninety-fifth year.
Asahel Nobles, son of Azel Nobles, a Revolutionary soldier, served in the War of 1812, and settled in Brookfield township in 1816, coming into the township with his father. Five generations of the family have lived on the old homestead in Brookfield township.
George W. Hunt, son of George Hunt, a soldier in the French and Indian War, was born in Connecticut in 1771. During the War of 1812 he served three years, enlisting from Middleton, Delaware county, New York. He removed to Brookfield township in 1844 and there resided until his death in 1859.
Godfrey Bowman was born in Connecticut in 1792. In 1802 he removed to Kingston, Pennsylvania, and in March 1813, enlisted in the Kingston Volunteers, under Captain Thomas. He was assigned to duty in the shipyard at Erie, and worked upon the ships for Perry’s fleet. He was ordered aboard the "Somers" in August, 1813, commanded by Captain Amy, and took part in the celebrated naval battle on Lake Erie, September 10, 1813, known in history as "Perry’s Victory." He was wounded, but as soon as his wound was dressed he returned to his post. In testimony of his bravery, the State of Pennsylvania presented him with a medal, which is now in the possession of his son, Hon. Charles O. Bowman, of Erie county, Pennsylvania. He settled in Brookfield township in 1819, and there passed the remainder of his life.
Duncan L. Thompson, an early settler in Westfield township, served at Sacketts Harbor as a soldier during the War of 1812.
Daniel Hunt was born in Lycoming county, Pennsylvania, in 1796, and was the son of William Hunt, a Revolutionary soldier. Daniel was reared in Lansing, New York, and was a soldier in the War of 1812. In 1840 he settled in Westfield township, where he resided until his death, December 14, 1862.
Jared Davis was born in Rhode Island, September 25, 1795, and was reared to manhood in the town of Butternut, Otsego county, New York, serving as a soldier during the War of 1812. In 1840 he removed to Knoxville, but only remained one year. In 1846 he returned to Tioga county and settled in Gaines township, where he remained until 1858, when he took up his residence at what is now known as Davis Station, in Clymer township. Here he died November 22, 1882.
Thomas Eldridge, a native of Vermont, came to Tioga county in 1847, and settled in Clymer township, where he died in 1867. He was the son of a Revolutionary soldier and served in the War of 1812.
Matthew Boom, who was born in Delaware county, in 1798, did service as a guide during the War of 1812. In 1836 he settled in Chatham township and there resided until his death.
Samuel P. King, who settled in Chatham township in 1842, saw service during the War of 1812. He died in 1864, aged sixty-eight years.
Jason Cooper, who came from Tompkins county, New York, in 1844, and settled in Chatham township, was a soldier in the War of 1812, serving from New York.
John Crippen was born in Delaware county, New York, in 1796. At the age of nineteen he entered the service of the United States during the War of 1812, as a substitute for a man named Kimball. In 1824 he came to Tioga county and located in Rutland township, remaining until 1829, when he removed to Farmington township, and became the first settler on Farmington Hill. He died March 4, 1875.
Peter Mourey was born in Germany in 1793, and came to America with his parents in childhood. They settled in Berks county, Pennsylvania, where Peter resided until 1830, when he came to Tioga county and located in Farmington township, where he passed the remainder of his life. While living in Berks county he served as a soldier during the War of 1812.
Duncan Carl, a soldier in the War of 1812, came from Washington county, New York, and settled in Farmington township in 1846.
Stephen Morrill, Jr., a native of Maine, served in the War of 1812 from his native state. His father was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and both settled in Jackson township in the early thirties, where Stephen, Jr., died in 1881.
Solomon Westbrook was born in Chemung county, New York, in 1796, there grew to manhood, and served in the War of 1812. A few years after the close of the war he came to Tioga county, lived two years in Lawrence township, and then settled permanently in Middlebury township, where he died in August, 1863.
Henry H. Potter was born in Rhode Island, September 15, 1791, and removed with his parents to Onondaga county, New York, in 1804. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, serving under General Scott, and participated in the battle of Lundy’s Lane and other engagements on the Canadian frontier. In 1827 he came to Tioga county and located in Lawrenceville, and later removed to Tioga, where he remained until 1843, when he settled at what is now known as Middlebury Center, in Middlebury township. Here he resided until his death, march 24, 1879.
Vine Seagers, served during the War of 1812 from his native state, Massachusetts, and soon afterward came to Tioga county and settled in Charleston township. He afterward removed to Westfield. He died in December, 1871.
Royal Cole, a Revolutionary soldier, also served in the War of 1812. He settled at Wellsboro in 1818, residing there until his death, July 4, 1849, in his ninetieth year.
John Pershing, a native of Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, and a soldier of the War of 1812, located in Gaines township in 1814, coming by canoe from Williamsport. He removed to Potter county in 1840, but finally returned to Gaines, where he died October 12, 1886, in his one hundredth year.
Homer Ruggles, a native of New York state, and an early settler in Elk township, served in the War of 1812. He died in 1865.
John Sebring was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, July 25, 1793, and was a soldier in the War of 1812. He came to Tioga county and settled at Liberty. Possessing a fondness for military duties, he was successively commissioned captain, major, colonel, and June 22, 1854, a brigadier general of militia. He died a few years ago at an advanced age.
John Neal, who was born near Philadelphia, and who became one of the pioneer settlers of Liberty township, was a soldier during the War of 1812. He died in 1871.
John J. Cole, son of John Cole, a Revolutionary soldier, served during the War of 1812. He came to Tioga county about 1827 and settled in Union township. He died in Canton, Bradford county, in 1865.
OLD TIME MILITIA SYSTEM.
The act of April 10, 1807, directed the organization of the militia of Pennsylvania, and the State was apportioned into military divisions, with a major general commanding. Tioga county belonged to the Ninth division, and some officers served for years at a time. According to the law, company organizations met on the first Monday of May for practice and drill. This was followed on the second Monday by battalion drill and inspection, at which the general commanding and other line officers appeared. These "training" days were a great event. The men usually appeared with corn stalks and canes for arms, and thus equipped were "put through" the manual. Many exciting incidents occurred on these warlike occasions, and there are men yet living who have a vivid recollection of the fights and fisticuffs that occurred on "training day." The region of Tioga county did not come under the militia law until about 1812. Two citizens of Osceola attained the rank of colonel, but the date cannot be ascertained. Robert Tubbs’ term as colonel expired about 1821, and Philip Taylor was colonel of the One Hundred and Twenty-ninth regiment, Second brigade, Ninth division, from 1828 to 1835. As late as June 2, 1848, James Tubbs was captain of the Sixth company, Second battalion, Third regiment, Tenth division.
In early days battalion "trainings" were usually held at Knoxville, or Willardsburg, now known as the borough of Tioga. As late as 1830 Inspector Horton, of Bradford county, was a reviewing officer. In the days of Colonel Taylor, Hiram Freeborn was lieutenant colonel, and Marinus W. Stull major. George T. Frazer was captain of the Deerfield company, Israel P. Kinney of the Middlebury company, and Timothy S. Coats of the Elkland company. On the breaking out of the War of the Rebellion, Robert C. Cox, of Liberty, was brigade inspector under the old militia laws.
THE MEXICAN WAR.
Pennsylvania furnished but two regiments to the army that invaded Mexico in 1846-47 and wrested from her all that portion of her territory lying north of the Rio Grande. As these regiments were enlisted in the larger cities and near the lines of railroad and the sea coast, Tioga county was not formally called upon to help fill their ranks.
George Henry Gee, who was living at the time of the breaking out of the war within the present limits of Osceola borough, accompanied the army of General Taylor in his campaign in Mexico, but not in the capacity of a soldier.
George Hebe was born in Wurtemburg, Germany, in 1809. In 1819 he came to America with his step-father, who settled in Liberty township. In 1833 he married Elizabeth Myrtle, of Schuylkill county, where he appears to have resided for a number of years afterward. In 1842-44 he was colonel of the Schuylkill County Volunteers. Upon the breaking out of the Mexican War he enlisted as a private in the First Pennsylvania regiment, under Colonel Wynkoop. He served during the war and was promoted to a staff office. He died a few years ago in Liberty township, at an advanced age.