CREATION—ORIGINAL DIVIDING LINE—ORIGIN OF NAME—REDUCTIONS OF AREA—PRESENT BOUNDARIES—CHARACTERS OF SURFACE—STREAMS—THE " BIG MARSH"—ALTITUDE—POPULATION—PIONEER SETTLERS—MANUFACTURING ENTERPRISES—SCHOOLS—CHURCHES AND CEMETERIES—VILLAGES AND POSTOFFICES.
At the time of its creation, March 26, 1804, the county of Tioga constituted a single township and also a single election district, likewise named Tioga. In 1805 the township of Delmar was created, the line between it and Tioga township being thus described in the report of the survey made by William Benjamin.
It reads: "Began at the 93rd mile-stone, on the New York state line; thence south twenty-five miles to the Briar Hills, and thence to the line of Mifflin and Lycoming townships," in the Lycoming county, embracing all that portion of the county lying west of the line that now forms the eastern boundary of Charleston township.
The name originally given to the township by the pioneer settlers, who were from Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and Philadelphia, was Virdelmar, composed of the first syllable of the names of each of the States mentioned. The initial syllable of this composite appellation was dropped when the township was created, leaving the present name, in which the first syllables of Delaware and Maryland are preserved.
By an act of the legislature, approved April 11, 1807, the township of Delmar was constituted a separate election district, it being provided that "the electors thereof shall hold their general elections at the house of Joshua Emlin." Its area, at this time, embraced nearly two-thirds of the county, out of which, from time to time, new townships were formed, until December, 1873, when the township was established within its present boundaries. It is still, notwithstanding these repeated reductions of area, the largest township in the county. From north to south it is thirteen and one-half miles long. For a distance of nine miles from its northern boundary line, it has an average width of six miles. The remaining portion averages eight miles, by reason of an L-like extension toward the west. The total area is about eighty-five square miles. The borough of Wellsboro, which was taken from it in May, 1830, and which was the first borough created in the county, is situated on the Charleston line, northeast of the geographical center of the township, which is bounded on the north by Chatham and Middlebury; on the east by Charleston and Duncan; on the south by Duncan and Morris, and on the west by Elk and Shippen.
Owing to its oblong conformation and extensive area, the surface and scenery of the township are diversified. The former is broken, consisting of hill and valley, with limited areas of comparatively level upland, the whole forming a scene at once pleasing and picturesque. The rougher portions lie north of Marsh Creek, and along the Shippen, Elk, Morris and Duncan borders. Much the greater portion is, however, under cultivation, the soil, both in the valleys and on the uplands, being fertile and productive.
The streams of Delmar township are numerous and serve the double purpose of diversifying and beautifying its scenery and fertilizing its soil. The watershed extends from a point near school house No. 9, northwest through the township center, to near school house No. 15, in the Baldwin district. Marsh Creek, the principle stream, is formed by the junction, in the northern part of Wellsboro, of Charleston Creek coming from the southeast out of Charleston township, and Kelsey run, which flows from the southwest, having its source near the center of the township. Morris Creek, which rises near the southeast corner of the township, and pursues a northerly course, empties into Kelsey Creek near its mouth. Marsh Creek follows a northwest course to near Stokesdale Junction, where it turns west and flows through a marshy and winding valley to Ansonia, in Shippen township, and there unites its waters with those of Pine Creek. The branches of Marsh Creek on the north are Balwin run, Kennedy run and Dents run. From the south it receives the waters of Heise run, which rises about a mile and a half west of Wellsboro. Darling run, which rises in the western part, and Campbell run which rises in the southwestern part of the township, are branches of Pine Creek, which crosses its southwest corner. Stony Fork has its headwaters near the center of the township. Its course is south into Morris township, where it empties into Babb’s Creek. West Branch, a tributary of Stony Fork. Rises near the southeast corner of Shippen, and flows southeast into Morris township. Wilson Creek rises in the southeastern part of the township, and pursues a slightly southeast course to the village of Morris, where it unites with Babb’s Creek.
The "Big Marsh" is one of the noticeable physical features, not only of the township, but of the county. It is a level, marshy area, lying principally northeast of Stokesdale Junction, and extending to the Middlebury township line. It is claimed by those who have made the geology of this locality a study, that the original course of Marsh Creek was through this marsh, and that instead of flowing toward the west, from Stokesdale Junction, as it now does, it kept on toward the north and united with Crooked Creek at Middlebury Center, and thus became a feeder of the Tioga River, instead of a tributary of Pine Creek. Old settlers say, that during times of high water, before the days of railroad embankments and other obstructions, the drainage of the "Big Marsh" was toward the north and the south, its waters finding an outlet into Crooked Creek on the north, and Marsh Creek on the south, thus constituting it a valley watershed, giving it a continuous and unbroken valley drainage in opposite directions. There are several of these valley watersheds in the county, their presence constituting a physical peculiarity of this section of the state. It has been asserted that a dam fifty-four feet high across Pine Creek, at Ansonia, would turn its waters into Marsh Creek valley, and cause them to flow—as it is contended they once did flow—into Crooked Creek and the Tioga River.
The mean elevation of Delmar township is about 1, 500 feet above tide water. The highest points are about 1,800 feet. The lowest, at Tiadaghton, about 900 feet. The altitude of Wellsboro, railroad level, is 1,295 feet. The township is thickly settled and well cultivated, its farmers having a good market and trading point in Wellsboro, the county seat. The growth in population and material wealth has been constant. In 1880, the first census taken after the township was established within its present boundaries, showed 2,524 inhabitants, and that of 1890, 3,081.
It is a matter of considerable difficulty to definitely determine who was the first settler in Delmar township, outside of the present limits of Wellsboro, upon the site of which Benjamin Wistar Morris settled in 1800. Within the next few years a number of gentlemen—either his relatives, friends or business acquaintances—became interested with him in the settlement and development of the lands of the township, and several of them, following his example, removed hither and addressed themselves to the difficult work of establishing homes in the heart of a mountain wilderness.
Among those who may be classed as the advance guard of the army of settlers who soon found their way hither, were William Hill Wells and Gideon Wells, brothers of Mrs. Benjamin W. Morris; John Norris, David Lindsey, Alpheus Cheney, Daniel Kelsey, James Iddings, James Dixon, Richard Jackson and Rev. Caleb Boyer.
To William Hill Wells is usually accorded the credit of being the first person to attempt to clear a farm and establish a home in the township. He and his brother located in 1802 about two and one-half miles southwest from the site—in Wellsboro—of the old Morris mansion, now occupied by the residence of W. D. Van Horn. Here they remained a few years and then removed from the township, as did also James Iddings, James Dixon, Richard Jackson and Rev. Caleb Boyer, none of whose names appear upon the assessment list of 1812.
When William Hill Wells decided to remove from the township and to return to the vicinity of Philadelphia, he gave his farm and implements to Eben and Hetty Murry, Elias and Maria Spencer and Marcus Lovett, the colored slaves, whom he had brought with him, accompanying the gifts of property with the more priceless gift of their freedom and manumission. The white neighbors in time dispossessed them of their property, and to the kindness of John Norris, Eben and Hetty Murry were finally indebted for the home that sheltered them in their declining days. A number of the descendants of these slaves are now residents of Wellsboro.
John Norris, a native of England, where he was born in 1768, and a graduate of Oxford, came to America toward the close of the Eighteenth century and in 1799 located on the headwaters of the first fork of Pine Creek, near the present village of Texas, in Lycoming County. In the "Historical Collections of Pennsylvania," by Sherman Day, we find the following concerning this old pioneer:
Mr. John Norris, from Philadelphia, first came about the beginning of the year 1799, to the southwestern part of the county, as an agent for Mr. Benjamin W. Morris, who owned lands in that region. He was accompanied by his brother-in-law, Mordecai Jackson, then a young lad. On Mr. Norris’ arrival he erected a grist and saw mill on the waters of Little Pine Creek, just within the boundary of Lycoming County. This establishment was known as Morris’ Mills.***After remaining at Morris’ Mills five or six years, and inducing some half dozen settlers to immigrate, Mr. Norris removed to the vicinity of the Big Marsh, and subsequently, in 1807, to the place where he now  lives, within a mile of Wellsboro.
Soon after locating on Little Pine Creek, Mr. Norris leased a building in which he established a female seminary, he and his wife serving as teachers. While he was thus engaged Benjamin Wistar Morris appears to have persuaded him to undertake the work of promoting the settlement of the lands in and around Wellsboro, and as an inducement to do so deeded to him 200 acres of land adjoining "Morris Mills" tract. Norris purchased of Morris another tract of 100 acres near the site of Stokesdale Junction, and thus became one of the earliest settlers in the township. Removing within a short time to near Wellsboro, he acquired prominence as a citizen and a public official.
David Henry, whose name appears on the assessment list of 1812 as a "single freeman", settled in the northeastern part of the township. James Dickinson, whose name appears on the assessment list for 1816, settled about three miles southwest of Wellsboro. John M. and David Kilburn located between Wellsboro and Stokesdale about 1815. Mordecai M. Jackson, who was a brother-in-law of John Norris, and came with him, was a miller in Samuel W. Fisher’s mill. Daniel Harvey Bacon, a prominent and well-known pioneer, settled with his family on Marsh Creek on 320 acres near the Shippen township line in 1815.
Willaim Eberenz, a native of Germany, came in 1817 and settled about three miles southeast of Wellsboro. Edmund Wetherbee settled between 1816 and 1818 in the Eberenz neighborhood. Allen Butler, a native of Vermont, and father of the late Rev. Selden Butler, of Deerfield township, a prominent Free Baptist minister, settled in 1817 near Stony Fork. William Stratton, an early court crier, located near Wellsboro before 1818. Zenas Field, a native of Massachusetts, came from Vermont in 1817, and took up 154 acres of land southwest of Wellsboro. John Borden, who came about the same time, settled in the Stony Fork neighborhood. John Daily, who came about 1818, located south of the borough, near the Charleston line. Robert Francis, who was here in 1819, settled southwest of Wellsboro near Stony Fork. John Allen, Jonathan Austin, Smith Ainsworth, and Benjamin Borden, who were all here in 1820, settled in the neighborhood of Stony Fork. Frederick Hiltbold, also here in this year, settled in the Marsh Creek valley, where his descendants still reside. Levi Hardy, John McCowan, Samuel Parrish and Willain Warriner all settled southwest of Wellsboro. Elijah Wedge settled on the site of Stokesdale between 1818 and 1820, resided there for a number of years and then removed to Niles Valley. Amos Coolidge, who came about 1819, settled south of Wellsboro, in what is known as Coolidge Hollow.
The names given are those of the principal settlers up to 1820. During the next decade the township filled up rapidly, farms being cleared, roads opened and mills and other enterprises established. The principal settlements were in the neighborhood of Stony Fork, the vicinity of Wellsboro, and at Stokesdale Junction, where the earliest mills were established. Year by year the township increased in population, there being a corresponding increase in the area of cleared land, until today it abounds in well tilled fields and is dotted with farm houses, schools and churches all evidencing the presence of a thrifty and prosperous people.
The pioneer enterprises of the township were a saw mill and a grist mill erected by Samuel W. Fisher, of Philadelphia, on Marsh Creek, below Wellsboro. These mills are mentioned in an advertisement of Benjamin Wistar Morris in November 1806, and were erected in order to grind the grain of the settlers in and around Wellsboro and provide them with lumber needful in building their homes. Mordecai M. Jackson had charge of the grist mill as early as 1816. In 1819 John Norris became the owner of these mills and ran them until 1827, when the saw mill ceased to be operated "in consequence of decay." About 1830 Norris sold the grist mill to Mordecai M. Jackson, who had filled the position of miller under himself and Samuel W. Fisher. He rebuilt the saw mill and carried on both enterprises until 1847, when he sold the grist mill, then the only one running, to John Dickinson. In 1856 Mr. Dickinson added a saw mill, and both mills were operated by him until 1880, when they were abandoned and a steam grist mill erected in Wellsboro, near the railway station, by himself and Alanson Spencer, who had been his miller for twenty-four years. This mill is now owned and operated by Mr. Spencer. The old grist mill, which may still be seen near the railroad, on Marsh Creek, below the borough, though often repaired, is the building erected by Samuel W. Fisher, more than ninety years ago, and is probably the oldest building in the county. It is certainly the oldest landmark in Delmar township, and unless torn down or burned bids fair to round out a century before falling into entire decay.
About 1818 Samuel W. Morris erected a large grist mill and a saw mill on Marsh Creek, near the site of Stokesdale Junction. Mordecai Moore, whose name appears on the assessment list of 1812, had charge of the grist mill, the saw mill being in charge of George Marsh. The site of these mills was then known as "The Marsh", and the settlers, may of whom were sufferers from chills and fever, attributed the prevalence of these malarial diseases to Mr. Morris’ mill pond. About 1828 a number of them from the Crooked Creek neighborhood, in Middlebury township, as well as from the vicinity of the mill, disguised themselves as Indians, made a raid on the dam and tore it away. The remains of this old dam are still visible and it is frequently alluded to as a "beaver dam", by those unacquainted with its origin and history. After the raid of the "Creek Indians", as they styled themselves, Mr. Morris made no further attempt to operate the mills.
In 1823 William Hoadley erected a grist mill at Stony Fork, which he operated until 1834. Samuel Parrish erected a saw mill at Stony Fork in 1825, which was run by himself and Zenas Parrish until 1833. In 1826 David Kilburn erected a distillery near Stokesdale, which he appears to have operated about three years. In 1830 or 1831 Allen Butler and Simeon Houghton erected a saw mill near Stony Fork. It was run until 1841, Wellman Butler, Pharas Houghton, Jeremiah D. Houghton and Oliver Bacon being interested in it at different times. In 1841 William Eberenz erected a saw mill on a branch of Stony Fork, about three miles southwest of Wellsboro, which he operated for nearly forty years. In 1832 Archibald Nichols & Company erected a saw mill at Round Island, on Pine Creek. Within a year it was transferred to Wilcox, Gates & Company, and afterwards had various owners. Among other early mill owners and operators were George Kress, who operated a saw mill on Marsh Creek near Stokesdale; Aaron Niles, Reuben Herrington, Russell Hewitt, Edwin Royce and Scoville & Osgood, who erected a mill on Pine Creek, above Round Island.
The first schools were established in Wellsboro, which early became the educational center of the county. As the township was settled subscription schools were started and were maintained until the going into effect of the public school law of 1835, after which public school districts were established and school buildings erected for the accommodation of the children of the various districts. Among the early teachers were Beadle Skull, Robert Campbell, Lyman Walbridge, Erastus P. Deane and Israel Stone. There are now thirty-one schools in the township in which thirty-two teachers are employed, and school is taught on an average of seven months in the year.
CHURCHES AND CEMETERIES
The First Baptist Church of Delmar originated in a conference held April 15, 1837, in the Butler school house. Those participating were Samuel Parrish, Elizabeth Parrish, Cornelius Putnam, Cynderilla Putnam, Joseph Butler, Olive Butler, Thomas Horton, Anna Horton, Isaac C. Horton, Rosanna Horton and Susan Horton. Covenant meetings were thereafter held monthly. Among those added by letter or baptism were: Nelson Field, James Campbell, Emma M. Campbell, Abigail Horton, Sally Ann Horton, Lucinda Field, Mary Field, Elizabeth Wilcox, Simon Wilcox, Caroline Catlin, Melissa McClure, Harriet Hildreth, Lucy Ann Hildreth and Susan Lawton. The foregoing, except Olive Butler, who joined the Mormons, became members of the church, which was formally organized March 7, 1838. Several ministers of the gospel, among them Rev. Sidney Smith, had preached in this place occasionally before the organization of the conference. Soon after its organization Rev. B. R. Swick came frequently from Hector, New York, preaching and performing pastoral duties. The names of the regular pastors are as follows: Revs. Ethan A. Hadley, 1840-1841; Abijah Sherwood, 1841-44; Comfort M. Beebe, 1845-50; Abijah Sherwood, 1851-54; Myron Rockwell, 1854-58; Levi Stone, 1858-60; James VanPatten, 1861-62; Myron Rockwell, 1863-64; Philander Reynolds, 1864-65; Alexander Smith, 1867; William A. Smith, 1868-69; G. W. Remington, 1870-72; Philander Reynolds, 1872-75; James A. Boyce, 1875-85; A. B. Brown, 1887-88; Fisher Wilson, 1889; D. L. Lappeus, 1890; J. T. Bradfore, 1893-94; and Philander Reynolds, 1895-96. A house of worship was erected and occupied in 1845, but was not completed and dedicated until 1851. It was used until 1894, when a new church was built one mile further south at Stony Fork. A parsonage lot was purchased and a parsonage erected in the early history of the church. It was afterwards sold and the present parsonage built in 1878. The present membership of the church is 125. A Sunday school has been maintained almost from the beginning of the church’s history. It now numbers 68 pupils. Wilbur F. West is the superintendent.
Marsh Creek Baptist Church was organized December 2, 1880, and was the outgrowth of a revival held by Revs. Alfred Ward and James A. Boyce in the Kennedy Run school house. The names of the original members are as follows: Manuel Skelton, George W. Mason, Charles Sanders, Charles McCaslin, Jay Munson, M. P. Kelsey, Charles Hart, Daniel Barrett, Thomas Hunt, Alfred Ward, Edward Mason, Sarah Skelton, Charlotte Mason, Mrs. Charles Sanders, Mrs. Charles McCaslin, Nettie Barrett, Martha Kelsey, Phoebe Rolles, Esther Barrett, Helen Hunt, Emma Campbell, Clara Paine, Caroline Holiday, Lois Beeman, Eleanor Travor, Anna Hunt, Clara J. Sanders. The pastors of this church have been as follows: Revs. James A. Boyce 1881; Alfred Ward, 1882-83; S. F. Mathews, 1884-85; no pastor, 1886-90; E. B. Cornell, 1891; J. L. Williams, 1893-94; B.M. Posten, 1895, and W. E. Braisted, 1896. In 1894 the society dedicated a neat frame house of worship costing $1,000. It is pleasantly located near the mouth of Heise Run. This church now numbers twenty-seven members. There are sixty-six pupils in the Sunday school of which Mrs. E. L. Beeman is the superintendent.
The Delmar Free Baptist Church was originally organized during the thirties as the Stony Fork Free Will Baptist church. After flourishing for a time it went down and was revived in 1843. Some years afterward another church, known as the Middle Ridge Free Will Baptist Church, was organized, and continued in existence until about 1874, when it merged with the church at Stony Fork, which then took its present name. A charter was applied for the society incorporated September 15, 1875. In 1876 the present house of worship at Draper was completed at a cost of $2,200. Among the early ministers of this church were Elder Gowner, Calvin Dodge and Selden Butler. Since 1866 the pastors have been as follows: Revs. Jacob Ingerick, 1866; Nathaniel Hart, 1868; David A. Pope, 1869; Asa Dodge, 1871; O. C. Hills, 1874; A. G. Downey, 1881; George Donnoker, 1883; O. C. Hills, 1885; Hiram Witcher, 1890. Rev. G. N. White, the present pastor, took charge in 1896, the pulpit having been vacant for several years before his coming. The church now numbers twenty-seven members, with thirty pupils in the Sunday school, of which Mrs. Mary Lawton is the superintendent.
The Delmar and Shippen Free Baptist Church was organized April 1, 1894, with the following members; Elihu J. Dartt, Amelia Dartt, Stephen R. Campbell, Henry Darling, P.O. Darling, George Scranton, Walter Scranton, Samuel Scranton, W. M> Wilson and Ida Wilson. The pastor since the organization has been Rev. O. C. Hills. The church now numbers forty-eight members. There are seventy pupils in the Sunday school of which O. J. Navil is the superintendent. In 1895 the society erected a frame house of worship, costing $1,500, in the Kennedy post office neighborhood.
The Coolidge Hollow Methodist Episcopal Church is the outgrowth of a class organized over forty years ago. Among the early members were Amos Coolidge and wife, Charles Coolidge and wife, Wesley Coolidge and wife, Joshua Peet and wife, Lyman Meachan and wife, and William Coolidge and wife. Meetings were held in the school house, the society being in the Wellsboro charge until 1886, when it was placed in the Round Top charge. In November, 1892, a neat church building costing $1,100 was completed. The church now numbers twenty-five members. The Sunday school, which is in charge of Mrs. E. Watkins, has a membership of thirty-five pupils.
The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Middle Ridge was organized in 1858, the original members being Elijah Phillips and wife, Philura Phillips, Jackson Kennedy and wife. The early meetings were held in the Kennedy school house. The church was first placed in the Wellsboro and in 1876 in the Delmar charge, and is now in the Ansonia charge. The following named ministers have served this church as pastors since 1871: Revs. O. P. Livingstone, 1871-74; J. D. Reyna, 1874-75; A. A. Kennedy, 1875-76; E. D. Rawson, 1877-78; P. M. Jerolman, 1878-80; A. G. Cole, 1880-81; E. W. Harned, 1882-83; G. H. Allatt, 1884-85; W. H. Ferrell, 1885-86; C. D. Rowley, 1886-87; A. T. Percy, 1887-92; J. S. Fausey, 1892-95, and Rev. G. W. Doane, the present pastor, who took charge in October, 1895. This church was incorporated in 1881 and a church building erected in the Kennedy post office neighborhood. It now numbers about thirty members and maintains a Sunday school of fifty-five pupils, of which C. C. Maynard is the superintendent.
The Dexter Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1864. Meetings were held in the school house and with the Middle Ridge church until 1894, when the present house of worship was erected at a cost of $1,500. Previous to 1876 this church was in the Wellsboro charge, since which time it has been in the Delmar and Ansonia charges and has been served by the same pastors as the church at Middle Ridge. The present membership is fifty-six, with eighty pupils in the Sunday school, which is in charge of Mrs. George B. Mathers. There is also an Epworth League of eighty members.
Cemeteries and graveyards, owing to its extensive area, are to be found in various parts of the township. One of the oldest is the graveyard adjoining the old Baptist church building at Stony Fork. The new cemetery, a few rods south, was incorporated May 4, 1886. The only incorporated cemetery in the township beside the one at Stony Fork is the West Branch Cemetery. It was incorporated November 27, 1882. The people of that portion of the township adjacent to Wellsboro bury their dead in the cemeteries in that place.
VILLAGES AND POST OFFICES
Stony Fork is situated in the southern part of the township, in the Stony Fork creek valley. The first store was opened here over forty years ago by Ebenezer Sherwood, whose successors were Peter G. Walker, Guernsey & Borden, Hiram S. Hastings, J. S. Coles, M. S. Coles & Company, and J. W. Hastings. In 1869 W. F. Horton opened a drug store and has continued in business to the present. In 1885 James A. Boyce erected the building now occupied by Dort Brothers, and conducted a general store in it until the fall of 1886, having for a partner Robert Steele, to whom he sold. In 1890 Mr. Steele sold to Oren A. and William J. Dort. M. S. Coles, who carries on a general store and hotel in the northern part of the village, erected the building now occupied by him in 1883.
The village proper was laid out about thirty-five years ago by J. S. Coles, who bought the land, previously used as a farm, from Leonard Palmer. He divided it into lots and sold them to whoever desired them, either for business or residence purposes. A post office had, however, been established previous to the purchase of this land by Mr. Coles, the first postmaster being Hiram S. Hastings. His successors have been J. S. Coles, Elizabeth Hoadley, Charles Orr, W. F. Horton, Sylvester Houghton, M. S. Coles, C. S. Houghton, Oren A. Dort and W. D. Allen, the present incumbent, who was appointed October 1, 1895. A daily stage conveys the mail to and from Wellsboro.
After J. S. Coles purchased the village site he erected a hotel building and carried on a hotel for a number of years. Among those who succeeded him as landlord were George W. West, Charles Walker and Edward Campbell. The present hotel building was erected in 1883 by M. S. Coles, who carries on a general store in the same building.
About 1865 John S. Fitch located in the village and began the practice of medicine, remaining until 1870. The profession is now represented by Dr. J. M. Gentry, who is the only physician in the township. He located in Stony Fork in June, 1884, and has built up a large and lucrative practice.
The Stony Fork Creamery Association was incorporated May 4, 1886, the directors being John W. Hastings, George Hildreth, James Vandegriff, W. S. Boatman and Julius Dort. This creamery has been in operation to the present time and has done much to make Stony Fork a dairying center. It is run on the cooperative plan. A feed mill and planing mill is operated by J. W. Bartle.
A number of secret societies have their meeting place in the village. Stony Fork Lodge, No. 564, I. O. O. F., was organized in August, 1886, with thirty-two members. The present membership is 112. This lodge owns a large and well furnished hall building adjoining the old hotel property. Marinda Lodge, D. of R. organized in 1890, also meets in this hall as does Stony Fork Castle, No. 23, K. G. E., organized with over thirty charter members. The present membership exceeds 100. Stony Fork Grange, No. 1,033, P.of H., was chartered July 1, 1891. It owns a hall building, originally erected for a store, which was purchased in the spring of 1894 for $1,000. This grange is strong and prosperous.
Stokesdale is the name of a village, situated on Marsh Creek, a mile and a half north of Wellsboro. The first settler here was Elijah Wedge, who located on the village site in 1820, resided there a number of years, and then removed to Niles Valley. The village owes its existence to the establishment of the present tannery, in 1871, by Bailey, Lowell & Company. This firm consisted of John W. Bailey, F. K. Wright, O. B. Lowell and Edward G. Schieffelin. Writhe and Schieffelin were the managers. In 1880 Wright and Bailey sold out to James H. Humphrey, of New York, and the firm became Schieffelin & Company. On October 17, 1883, the Wellsboro Leather Company was incorporated with a capital of $200,000, the stock being owned as follows: George H. Danforth, New York, $99,000; Edward G. Schieffelin, Wellsboro, $100,000, and M. F. Elliott, Wellsboro, $1,000. The company became the owner of the Stokesdale tannery property, including 175 acres of land and eighteen dwelling houses. On May 1, 1893, the control of the property was transferred to the Union Tanning Company, a member of the United States Leather Company, which operates a number of other sole leather tanneries in the county. This tannery, when operated to its full capacity, turns out 800 sides of sole leather a day. Edward G. Schieffelin, who has held the position of superintendent since 1891, is the only one of the original owners now connected with the enterprise. D. M. Lounsbury, the foreman, has been in the employ of the various owners since 1875. He also acts as station agent. A store, formerly carried on by the company, is now run by J. L. Landrus & Company. A post office was established here March 6, 1877. Edward G. Schieffelin, the first postmaster, held the office until January 19, 1893, when the present incumbent, J. L. Landrus, was appointed.
Stokesdale Junction, situated three miles north of Wellsboro, at the "Big Marsh", is the junction of the Fall Brook and Pine Creek railways. The station was established here in 1883, upon the completion of the Pine Creek railway. Trains to and from Wellsboro connect here with trains to and from Corning and Williamsport.
Tiadaghton is the name of a railroad station in the Pine Creek valley, on the Pine Creek railway, near the southwestern corner of the township. A post office was established here in July, 1882, the first postmaster being Stephen Warriner. His successors have been B. H. Warriner, F. B. Osborn, H. J. Austin, and the present incumbent, Howard P. Beckwith, who was appointed in March 1896. There are two stores in the village; the general store kept by F. B. Field & Son, and a grocery store carried on by Howard P. Beckwith, who also keeps the village hotel. A large steam saw mill is operated by F. B. Field & Son. The Tiadaghton and Fahnastalk railroad is a line seven miles long which winds its way up the mountain, penetrating the forests of Elk township. The motive power is Shaw-gear engines, build especially for heavy grades.
Kennedy is a post office situated in the southwestern part of the township, near the head of Campbell run. The office was established here in 1881. O. J. Narvil, the first postmaster, held the office until August, 1894, when Della Gross was appointed. She removed to Ansonia and was succeeded by Nellie Kennedy, the present incumbent. This is the meeting place of Kennedy Grange, No. 903, P. of H., which owns a hall building here and has a large membership.
Olmsville post office was established in 1883, at the home of S. A. Kilburn, about four and a half miles southwest of Stony Fork. He held the office until June, 1896, when J. D. Wilcox was appointed.
Knapp post office is situated in Broughton Hollow, on Wilson Creek, in the southeastern part of the township. Daniel Knapp, the first postmaster here, held the office until his death, when the present incumbent, Miner Benjamin, was appointed.
Delmar is the name of a post office five miles southwest of Wellsboro. The office was established ten years ago. S. A. Hampton held the office of postmaster until 1890, when he was succeeded by D. D. Stubbs, the present incumbent.
Draper is the name of a post office on Stony Fork creek about a mile and a half southwest of Stony Fork. The post office was established here in November, 1888. The first postmaster, E. B. Carvey, held the office until 1889, when J. N. Warriner was appointed. In February, 1895, he resigned and was succeeded by the present incumbent, Albert Osborn. A store was opened her in the fifties by William McNitt, and was afterwards kept by Simon Wilcox, who also operated a steam grist mill until it was destroyed by fire. The present store was opened in 1892 by J. N. Warriner.
Balsam is the name of a post office situated about three miles
southwest of Wellsboro, on the Stony Fork Road. The office was established
in May, 1895. Lizzie Hakes, the first postmaster, held the office until
June 16, 1896, when G. B. Close, the present incumbent, who also carries
on a general store, was appointed. A cheese factory, which was established
here about twenty years ago by. A. P. Cone, is now operated by Field &
Avery. Middle Ridge Grange, No. 385, P. of H., one of the oldest granges
in the county, owns a two-story hall building here in which meetings are
held regularly. This grange is one of the strongest in the county It was
incorporated April 18, 1881.