Borough Organization--Unusual Area--The Village of Osceola-Physical Features--Streams--The Word "Cowanesque"--Its Derivation and Definition--"Pindarville"--Origin of the Name--Population--Lands and Settlement--Early and Later Industries--Inns and Hotels--Schools--Borough Organization and Officials--Physicians--Churches--Cemeteries--Secret Societies.
In January, 1857, all that part of the old township of Elkland, lying west of a line extending north and south through the center of the borough of Elkland, was erected into the township of Osceola, which, in 1878, acquired a large accession of territory from the township of Deerfield, giving it an area of 7,800 acres. November 29, 1882, the entire township was incorporated as the borough of Osceola, thus giving it the largest territory of any borough in the county. Like Nelson, Osceola is a township with a borough organization, the greater part of its area being made up of farming lands. The borough center is in the village of Osceola, on the north bank of the Cowanesque river, at the mouth of Holden brook. The elevation here, railroad grade, is 1,166 feet, the hills on either side of the valley rising from 400 to 600 feet higher. The Cowanesque river follows a generally northeast course through the borough territory, leaving the larger portion of its area to the north of the stream. Between the north bank of the river and the foot of the hill, extending from the mouth of Holden brook to Academy Corners, in Deerfield township, a distance of over four miles, is an island of varying width containing about 1,600 acres, to the existence of which, before the water was drained off, the river owns its name, the word Cowanesque meaning, in the Indian language, "the river of the long island." Its etymology is thus set forth by Capt. J. W. Powell, of the Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, D. C., in reply to a letter of inquiry from Hon. Charles Tubbs, of Osceola:
The word Cowanesque seems to be no other than Ka-hwe-nes-ka, the etymology and signification of which is as follows: Co for Ka, marking grammatic gender and meaning it; wan, for hwe-n, the stem of (the word o-whe-na, an island; es, an adjective, meaning long; que, for ke, the locative proposition, meaning at or on; the whole signifying at or on the long island.
The island conformation is still partly preserved by Island Stream, fed by springs and creeks from the north hill. The principal tributaries of the river are Holden brook—named after William Holden, the first settler at its mouth—and Camp brook on the north, and Windfall brook on the south. Red House Hollow creek is a tributary of Holden brook, and Brier Hill creek of Windfall brook. That portion of the borough lying in the river valley is composed of level alluvial bottom lands, very fertile and productive; that lying along Holden brook, Windfall brook, and on either side of the river valley, is broken and hilly, the hills terminating in a series of abrupt elevated knobs. The land lying just east of the village of Osceola was at one time a swamp, which was reduced by ditching into Camp brook.
Before the establishment of the postoffice in 1851, what is now the village of Osceola was known as "Pindarville," due to the fact that in 1840 Robert H. Tubbs contributed some poetic effusions to the Lawrence Sentinel, dating them from "Pindarville." The name attached itself to the place and was in common use for ten years. When an application for the establishment of a postoffice was made, the name "Pindarville," "Bridgeport" and "Osceola" was suggested. A public meeting decided in favor of "Osceola," the name of the once famous Seminole chief. The name was afterwards applied to the township and later to the borough.
Notwithstanding its extensive area the greater portion of the population of the borough is within the limits of the village of Osceola. The number of inhabitants in 1860 was 450; 1870, 523; 1880, 790; and in 1890, 838.
LANDS AND SETTLEMENT.
The greater portion of the lands within the borough boundaries of Osceola were purchased from the State of Pennsylvania by, and were patented to, John and James Strawbridge. Warrants, covering other tracts, were issued to William Lloyd, Robert Blackwell, T. M. Willing and Thomas Willing. Each of the tracts purchased by John and James Strawbridge bore a distinguishing name. Those covered in part by the village of Osceola were named "Chatham" and "Huntingdon." The others bore such names as "Coventry," "Cornwall," "Colchester," "Confidence," "Pleasant Valley," "Spring Garden" and "St. James." The warrants for the first five of these tracts was obtained May 17, 1785, and the surveys for "Chatham" and "Huntingdon" made June 22, for "Coventry" and "Cornwall" June 23, and for "Colchester" September 2, 1786. The surveys of the other tracts were made in 1792, 1793 and 1794. In naming their tracts the Strawbridges followed an English fashion. To these original grantees from the State the present owners of the lands within the borough limits trace their titles.
As was the case in many other places in the county, the permanent settlers of Osceola were preceded by those who made but a temporary stay, whose names have not, in all cases, been preserved. They were usually squatters, who embraced the first opportunity to sell out and move further west, leaving to others the task of clearing and cultivating the lands. The first actual settler, who came to stay, was William Holden, who had made a previous settlement at Lawrenceville, as early as 1788. Holden, who was a bachelor, came about 1795 and built his cabin on the eastern bank of Holden brook—which was named for him—near its mouth, within the present village of Osceola. His main employment was building post and rail fences for new settlers. Following William Holden came a number of temporary settlers, some of whom came before 1800, and all of whom had moved elsewhere not much later than 1810. Among these were Cooper Cady, who settled on the Cowanesque near the Elkland borough line, and who afterwards removed to Troupsburg, New York. Then came Caleb Griggs, who built a cabin on the Cowanesque below the Tubbs grist mill. A man named Smith became the first settler on the John Tubbs place. Griggs and Smith died and were buried here. The second settler upon the village site of Osceola was Nathaniel White, whose deed from George Strawbridge, as administrator and owner, was dated December 31, 1807. Daniel Phillips was the first settler near the mouth of the Island Stream, and James Whitney on the Charles L. Hoyt place. Whitney sold his land to Henry Mott. White, Phillips, and Mott afterwards removed to Marietta, Ohio. John Parker, a Mr. Randall, Nathan Lewis, who made a clearing, still known as "Lewis’ lot," on the hill side, north of Osceola, and a man named Sesher, were also temporary settlers. Sesher had a cabin on Island Stream. It burned one night about 1800, and he was never seen or heard of afterwards. There were rumors of foul play, but the guilt of the crime, if crime there was, was never fixed on anyone.
In 1800 Israel Bulkley came from his native town of Colchester, Massachusetts, and settled upon the tract previously occupied by Sesher’s cabin. He also purchased the possession of Randall. Bulkley had a Connecticut title, but afterwards purchased the land from the owner of the Pennsylvania title. He was a man of means and enterprise and brought with him from Connecticut an improved breed of cattle and other live stock, established a blacksmith shop, dealt in merchandise, built a grist mill, carding mill and distillery, and was a land surveyor and an agent for the Strawbridge estate. He planted a nursery from which the first orchards in Tioga county were raised. He was the owner of a Negro female slave, whose freedom was subsequently purchased by one of her own race.
The Taylor family, consisting of Mrs. Permelia Taylor and her three sons, Ebenezer, Philip and Mitchell, emigrated first from the Delaware Water Gap, in New Jersey, to the Wyoming valley, where they participated in the Pennamite War; from thence to Pipe Creek, below Owego, and in 1806 to the Cowanesque valley. They first settled at Barney Hill, below Elkland. Ebenezer first bought out Caleb Griggs in Osceola, but soon sold to his brother Philip. He next bought the farm known as the John Tubbs farm, which he sold to Robert Tubbs. His third purchase was the farm of Henry Mott, known as the C. L. Hoyt farm. Here he made his home and resided during the remainder of his life.
Paul Gleason, a native of Charleston, Massachusetts, settled on the farm now owned by George Baker. His father, Abner Gleason, came later. He was the first shoemaker here, and established a shop in front and a little to the east of the residence of Charles Tubbs. In front of this shop was the only grindstone in the neighborhood. Lemuel Cady, a native of Connecticut, and a carpenter, came about 1810, but removed to Farmington township in 1812.
The Tubbs family came into the Cowanesque valley from Newtown, now Elmira, New York, in 1811. Samuel, Sr., and his sons Samuel, James and Benjamin, located in Elkland. Robert, as already stated, purchased a farm from Ebenezer Taylor, in Osceola, living the first year in a small log house near the site of the grist mill. In 1817 Samuel Tubbs, Jr., removed from Elkland, and purchased part of the Daniel Phillips farm. Nathaniel Seely, a native of Southport, New York, came in 1812, and purchased the farm of Nathaniel White—upon which the main part of the village of Osceola is built—and later the Nathan Lewis lot. He was a farmer, an early hotel keeper, and justice of the peace from 1820 to 1840.
Andrew Bozzard (now spelled "Bosard"), a native of what is now Monroe county, Pennsylvania, came in 1813, and purchased a part of the farm originally occupied by John Parker. He was the first carpenter and joiner to become a permanent settler. He became a saw-mill owner and a manufacturer of household furniture, spinning wheels and coffins. In 1823 Stennett Crandall, a native of Rhode Island, and a shoemaker, settled on the B. F. Colvin farm on Holden brook. Here he had a shop in his dwelling and worked at his trade. Abel Hoyt came in 1835 and bought a part of the Parker farm. Reuben Cook, to whom a more extended reference is made in the chapter on Nelson, returned to the valley in 1820, from Marietta, Ohio, and became a resident of Osceola, remaining until his death, June 25, 1829.
EARLY AND LATER INDUSTRIES.
The first saw-mill within the borough boundaries was built between 1812 and 1816 by Ebenezer Taylor and Richard Bozzard on Holden brook, about a mile above the mouth. This mill was burned in the latter year. in 1828 Andrew Bozzard and Truman Crandall erected a mill half a mile further up the stream. Mr. Bozzard soon afterward became the sole owner of this mill, which was operated by him until 1852, and after that by his son, Arthur F. Bosard. In 1837 Robert Tubbs erected a saw-mill on the north bank of the Cowanesque river, near the Elkland borough line. This mill is still in operation and is now owned by L. B. Cadogan. It has been several times enlarged and improved. In 1849 a saw-mill was built near the mouth of Island Stream, by Culver and Slosson, and was driven by water brought in a race from the Cowanesque river. It burned in 1860. A steam saw-mill, driven by a thirty-horse-power engine and rigged with a circular saw, was built in 1864 by George Sharp Bonham on Holden brook, and was run up to a few years ago.
Israel Bulkley erected a flutter-wheel grist mill in 1814, the water being taken from the Cowanesque river in a race to the Island Stream. This mill site was north of the Charles Bulkley residence. It had one run of buhrs and was operated until 1829. In 1830 Robert Tubbs built a four-run grist mill near his saw-mill. Since 1871 steam power has been used during low water in the river. This mill descended to H. and J. Tubbs, sons of Robert, and has had several owners. It is now owned and operated by L. B. Cadogan.
A log distillery was built previous to 1812 by Israel Bulkley near his grist mill. He paid one dollar a bushel for corn, and whiskey was correspondingly high. He quit the business before 1816. Andrew Bozzard built a log distillery in 1816 on the highway in front of the Alvers Bosard residence, getting water from a spring on the north side of the road. He ran this distillery about six years. In 1818 George Parker built a distillery, also of logs, on the north side of the road, opposite the C. B. Hoyt residence, which he operated until 1824. It became a popular drinking resort.
A carding mill was erected in 1814 by Israel Bulkley. It was driven by the water power used at his grist mill. In connection with it he has also had a fulling mill, both in charge of Henry B. Trowbridge. In 1827 Josiah Holcomb engaged in the manufacture of wooden ware in Osceola, procuring black ash knots from the swamp and fashioning them into sugar bowls, salt dishes and whiskey kegs, some of which are still preserved in the homes of the old families. A potash manufactory was established in 1839 by Robert Tubbs. In 1841 he added a pearling oven to his works. He hauled the potash and pearlash to Ithaca, New York, and Williamsport, Pennsylvania, whence they were shipped to New York and Philadelphia. He operated his works until 1843. In 1827 he began the manufacture of brick, continuing at intervals for a number of years, and in 1829 built one of the first brick houses erected in Tioga county. The mason work was done by Stephen Potter, of Potter Brook. This house is still standing, in good repair, and is used as a residence. Andrew K. Bosard began the manufacture of brick in 1848, and continued about twenty-five years, when he sold out to Henry Seely, who ceased business about 1880. A kiln of limestone was burned in 1848, on Holden brook, by Philip Taylor. The quality of the lime was poor and the enterprise abandoned. Two kilns of tar were burned in 1838 by Isaac Van Zile, who hauled his knots and pitch-pine wood from Norway Ridge. He continued the business two or three years. A few kilns of tar were also burned in 1839 by Jacob Rowley, on the farm now owned by Charles Tubbs. Charcoal was burned as early as 1810 by Israel Bulkley. Until coal came into use, it was used for blacksmithing, and charcoal pits were generally put up and burned by the blacksmiths.
The first blacksmith shop was built in 1810 by Henry Mott. In 1815 Godfrey Bowman built a small log shop, which he carried on until 1818, when he was succeeded by Bela Graves, who made a specialty of cutting tools and trap springs. Bartholomew Thing opened a shop in 1822, and was succeeded by Lewis Lowell Carr, who worked at his trade here from 1824 to 1830. About 1825 George Bulkley established a shop on his farm—later a part of the Charles Bulkley farm—and carried it on until 1850. In 1828 William Barker built a shop, and carried it on until 1860, when he was succeeded by his son George. In 1850 Oliver Rice Gifford opened a shop which he carried on for many years. All these shops, except that of George Bulkley, were in the village of Osceola.
The Banking House of Morgan Seely was established in 1877 and has been successfully conducted by its founder ever since. It enjoys the reputation of being a safe and sound financial institution. On April 1, 1897, the name was changed to the Cowanesque Valley Bank, with Morgan Seely, president; Frank J. Seely, vice-president, and Ed. M. Seely, cashier.
Two attempts to discover petroleum oil at Osceola have been made, and two wells sunk, but without success. The first was made in 1865, when the Osceola Oil and Mining Company—chartered July 24, 1865—was organized with a capital stock of $500,000, the incorporators being B. F. Paxton, S. P. Wolverton, J. R. Barker and H. S. Marr, of Northumberland and Schuylkill counties, Pennsylvania. A well was drilled to the depth of 800 feet on the Charles Bulkley farm, by Joseph Barker, but no oil was found. In 1879 a stock company was formed, the officers of which were Hoyt Tubbs, president; Charles Tubbs, secretary, and Morgan Seely, treasurer. A test well was drilled by Hoyt Tubbs on the lands of Allen Seely, to a depth of 1,300 feet without striking oil. The well was then abandoned.
In 1852 Hoyt Tubbs and Truman Crandall erected a tannery on the Cowanesque river, opposite the mill pond. Mr. Crandall disposed of his interest to Lyman P. Hoyt in 1857. He conducted the business until 1860, from which time until 1864 the tannery lay idle. In the latter year Robert Hammond leased the property. In March, 1866, the building was destroyed by fire and never rebuilt. In 1866 R. Hammond & Company built the present tannery upon Holden brook in the northern part of the village of Osceola and operated it until May 1, 1893, when it passed into the control of the Union Tanning Company. The output of this tannery averages about 100 sides of sole leather a day. The superintendent is Robert Hammond, and the foreman John Duly.
In 1854 Enoch M. Steen and Eleazer Clark built a sash, blind and door factory, which they operated until 1863, when they sold out to Hoyt Tubbs and V. C. Phelps. This factory was operated until 1872, when it shut down, having had various owners. In 1872 a cheese factory was established on Holden brook by William Bosard and James F. James. In 1875 it was purchased by Hoyt Tubbs and A. F. Rose, who conducted it until 1877, when it shut down.
INNS AND HOTELS.
The first "Inn" was opened in Osceola in 1812 by Nathaniel Seely. No liquor license was required in those days and the public patronized the bar as well as sought his place for the purpose of being fed and lodged. He continued in the business until 1830. In 1824 George Parker opened a house. He was succeeded in 1830 by Aaron Buck. The place was purchased by Abel Hoyt in 1835, who closed it as a house of public entertainment. The Osceola House was built on the site of the present hotel in 1851 by Allen Seely, who kept it until 1861. He had numerous successors, among them James Atherton, Joseph Weaver, Charles Culver, John S. Seely, Stewart Daily, W. E. Cooper, Benjamin B. Barse, Charles Graham, James Martin, Eugene O. Martin, Arthur F. Bosard, and Hoyt Tubbs. This house was destroyed by fire in 1870, and rebuilt in 1873, from which time until 1882 it was known as the Bosard House, when it resumed its former name. It was destroyed by fire in 1888. In December, 1891, the present Osceola House, erected by William Wildrick, was opened, with W. A. Newcomb as landlord. Since the spring of 1895 it has been kept by W. R. Colvin.
Mary Ann Landon, the first teacher in Osceola, taught school in 1812 in an old log house upon the Island Stream, near the residence of Abel Hoyt. Among her pupils were Ira Bulkley, Hiram Bulkley, Horace Hill, Elisha Hill, Benjamin Hill, Edwin Hill, Ann Tubbs, Julia Gleason and Nelson Gleason. This was a characteristic, primitive, pioneer school. The children living east of Holden brook crossed that stream on a fallen tree, there being no bridges. From 1814 to 1822 an old log shop, in front of the Vine Crandall residence, was used for school purposes. Still later another log house west of John Tubbs’ residence was fitted for school purposes, and also one on the site of the present Methodist church. Schools were also kept in the dwelling houses of Robert Tubbs and William Barker. The Bulkley school house was erected in 1822 and was the first building erected for school purposes. It was used for twenty years. Among the early teachers in these various schools were John Hammond, 1813; Jonathan Bonney, 1814; Chester Giddings, 1815; Mahala Seelye, 1816; Caroline Gardner, 1817; Nathaniel Seely, 1818-19; Martin Stevens, 1820; William F. Gardner, 1821; Amasa Smith, 1822; Elihu Hill, 1823; John Smith, 1824; and Polly Howland, 1825. In 1836 a new school house was built on the road leading toward Camp brook. It was burned in 1845. here taught Andrew Keller Bosard, Robert H. Tubbs, Lavina Leonard, Elizabeth Tubbs, Mary Stull, Harriet Beebe, Edwin R. Hill and Sally Tubbs. From 1845 to 1850 school was held in old houses in the village. In 1849 a new school house was built upon Holden brook by subscription, and in 1859 the subscribers deeded it to the Osceola school district. It was used as a school house until 1869. In 1871 the present school building was erected, at a cost for the lot of $200 and for the building of $2,000. It has since been improved to meet the increasing demands of the district. From 1888 until 1896 this school was in charge of Prof. Artemas Edwards, an experienced and able educator. The present principal is Hugh Sherwood. In 1845 a school house was built by H. B. Cilley in the Brier Hill district. It was destroyed by fire in 1866 and rebuilt. In 1878, by the addition to its area of a portion of Deerfield township, Osceola township, as it was then, and borough, as it is now, acquired the Holden brook district and school house, a portion of Bulkley District, No. 2, and of District No. 11, then of Deerfield township.
The Osceola High School was established in December, 1860, for the purpose of affording facilities for pursuing an academic education. The enterprise was set on foot by a number of leading citizens, who subscribed the necessary money, the second and third stories of the H. & J. Tubbs block being fitted up for chapel, recitation rooms, and apartments for non-resident students. The school opened with 100 students in December, 1860. The faculty was composed of Anderson Robert Wightman, A. B., principal; Samuel R. Thayer, A. B., assistant principal; Jane A. Stanton Wightman, preceptress; Mary Abigail Stanton, assistant preceptress; Prof. Isaac Gunn Hoyt, instructor in music. A large boarding house containing twenty-four rooms, known as "The Castle on the Hill," was built in 1861, and an equipment of philosophical apparatus purchased. Various changes in the faculty were made up to 1866, when the school was formally closed and was succeeded by a select school, taught in 1867-68 by James Huntington Bosard, and in 1869-70 by Charles C. Ward.
The Osceola School of Musical Instruction was opened in 1872 by Prof. Isaac Gunn Hoyt. It existed for four years, both vocal and instrumental music being taught, and diplomas awarded those taking a full course of instructions.
BOROUGH ORGANIZATION AND OFFICIALS.
The township of Osceola was incorporated as a borough November 24, 1882, and the first election held in February, 1883. The office of burgess has been filled by the following named persons: Robert Hammond, 1883; James Tubbs, 1884; M. L. Bonham, 1885-86; Robert Hammond, 1887; Albert L. Tubbs, 1888-90; Hiram Taylor, 1891-93; C. W. Morgan, 1894-96, and D. Baxter, elected in 1897. Hon. Charles Tubbs has held the position of clerk since the organization of the borough.
During the years Osceola was a township, the following named persons served as justices of the peace: Isaac B. Taft, 1857; Lyman P. Hoyt, 1858; A. K. Bosard, 1860; re-elected, 1865, 1871, 1875; Norman Strait, 1861; re-elected, 1866; E. E. Bosworth, 1870; C. L. Hoyt, 1872; Morgan Seely, 1876; J. W. Hammond, 1879; O. S. Kimball, 1880; Morgan Seely, 1882. Since its incorporation as a borough the office has been held by the following named persons: O. S. Kimball, 1885; C. R. Taylor, 1886; re-elected, 1891; L. P. Davis, 1891; James A. Rogers, 1892; Frank R. Hazlett, 1894.
A postoffice was established at Osceola February 16, 1852. The office of postmaster has been filled by the following persons: Enos Slosson, appointed April 3, 1852; James Mapes, September 2, 1856; Joseph Barker, March 28, 1859; H. C. Bosworth, August 7, 1861; Edward E. Bosworth, January 6, 1871; C. H. Bosworth, April 29, 1879; L. P. Davis, May 30, 1886; Ella Strait, April 1, 1890; James A. Rodgers, July 25, 1892, and James Kelly, August 1, 1896.
The wife of Reuben Cook, familiarly known as "Granny Cook," though not a recognized member of the medical profession, had a large obstetrical practice during the first quarter of the present century. Her fee was invariably one pound of tea. The first regular physician, however, to locate at Osceola was Adolphus Allen, who practiced here from 1813 to 1816. Henry C. Bosworth, a native of Vernon, New York, who graduated from Geneva Medical College in 1837, located at Osceola in 1852, and continued to practice until his death, December 5, 1870. William W. Day, a homeopathist, located at Osceola in 1855, and remained until the autumn of 1867, when he removed to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. In April, 1857, Dr. William T. Humphrey, a graduate of the Albany Medical College, removed from Elkland to Osceola, and still continues the active practice of his profession. Adelbert J. Heggie, who acquired his medical education in Georgetown, D. C., and in the University of Ann Arbor, Michigan, located at Osceola in 1866, remaining about twenty years. Wilmot G. Humphrey, a son of Dr. William T. Humphrey, graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore, Maryland, in 1880, and immediately began practice at Osceola. In 1890 he removed to Elkland. Charles H. Bosworth, a son of Dr. Henry C. Bosworth, entered upon the practice of medicine at Osceola, March 1, 1882, and has continued as a resident physician to the present time. Dr. T. N. Rockwell practiced here from August 1 to October 1, 1886, and then removed to Elkland. Dr. E. E. Clark, now a resident physician, began practice in Osceola in May, 1893.
The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Osceola, incorporated August 25, 1879, was organized sometime during the twenties, and was the outgrowth of early camp meetings to which the settlers flocked near and far. The earliest laborer in this field appears to have been Capt. Ebenezer Taylor, who was a local preacher. His co-workers were David Jay and Elihu Hill. Meetings were held in cabins, in barns, in school houses and in the open air. The first camp meeting was held on the river bank on the farm of George Newton Bulkley, in September, 1828, and was in charge of Rev. Parker Buell, presiding elder. Rev. Samuel Conant, Peter Sliter and others participated in this meeting. Another camp meeting was held in September, 1829, and a third one in 1835, at each of which a number of persons were converted. Presiding Elder Abel conducted the second, assisted by Revs. Asa Orcutt, Amos Carey and John Copeland. The third was conducted by Rev. Nathan Fellows, assisted by Rev. Darius Williams and others. From 1861 to 1868 the society worshiped in the Presbyterian church. In 1867 the society was organized anew under the name of "The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Osceola." February 25, 1868, a church building, costing $3,000, was dedicated, and in 1881 a parsonage built at a cost of $1,500. The names of the ministers, so far as it has been possible to ascertain them, who have served this church are as follows: Revs. Asa Orcutt, Amos Carey, John Copeland, Caleb Kendall and I. J. B. McKinney, 1820 to 1830; Revs. Bell, Dewey, Nathan Fellows, David Fellos, Theodore McElhany and Ralph D. Brooks, 1830 to 1840; Francis W. Conable, Milo Scott, Samuel Nichols, John Abbott, J. L. S. Grandin and Henry Bascom Turk, 1840 to 1850; A. D. Edgar, Austin P. Davison, James Duncan, 1854; Samuel Nichols, 1855; R. L. Stillwell, 1862-63; William E. Pindar, 1864; O. B. Weaver, 1865-67; Isaac Everitt, 1868-70; J. H. Blades, 1871-72; G. C. Jones, 1873-74; Henry C. Moyer, 1875-77; F. M. Smith, 1878; W. D. Taylor, 1879-81; S. M. Daytpm. 1882-83; D. W. Gates, 1884; C. M. Gardner, 1885-86; J. O. Jarman, 1887-90; I. K. Libby, 1891-95, and John Segwalt, who took charge in October, 1895. The church now numbers about 100 members. There are sixty-five pupils in the Sunday-school, of which A. Cadogan is the superintendent.
Those of the first settlers who died between 1795 and 1815, were buried on a triangular-shaped piece of ground on the west bank of Holden brook near its mouth. Rude, inscribed stones marked their resting places. These were broken down and destroyed between 1848 and 1860, during which time the site of this old burial ground was occupied as Culver & Slosson’s mill yard. The land is now cultivated as a garden. Here were buried Cooper Cady’s wife, a Mr. Smith, Caleb Griggs and wife, Baker Pierce, three children of Daniel Phillips, and others.
The Osceola Cemetery Association was incorporated April 21, 1876, the following named persons being the offers and incorporators: Robert Hammond, president; Russell Crandall, secretary and treasurer; and C. R. Taylor, E. E. Bosworth and George Tubbs. The grounds of this association are on the north side of the Cowanesque road, west of the village. They are inclosed with a neat and tasteful picket fence. Above the ornamental entrance gate is the inscription, "Man goeth to his long home." The first person buried within this inclosure was Abner Gleason, who died about 1812, and who was the owner of the land. In another grave lie the remains of Nathaniel P. Moody, a Revolutionary soldier and a graduate of Yale College. Here also lie the remains of Reuben Cook, the pioneer, of Sarah Cole, his wife; Reuben, his son, and Phelind, his son’s wife. Here also rest the remains of members of the Taylor, Tubbs, Gleason, Bosard, Crandall and other pioneer families, whose graves are cared for and whose memories are held in veneration and esteem by their living descendants.
Holden Brook Cemetery is an inclosure of about an acre of ground, on the Philip S. Taylor farm. The first person to be buried here was Silas Overfield Taylor, who died in 1855, since which time the place has been free for burial purposes to the public.
Fairview Cemetery Association, with a capital of $3,000, was incorporated October 2, 1882, the incorporators being Albert Dearman, Knoxville; Morgan Seely, Osceola, and O. P. Babcock, Elkland. The grounds of this association adjoin those of the Osceola Cemetery Association and are tastefully laid out for burial purposes.
Osceola is the meeting place of a number of representative secret societies,
all of which are well attended and prosperous. Osceola Lodge, No. 421,
F. & A. M., was organized July 22, 1868, and now numbers thirty-three
members. Capt. Alfred J. Sofield Post, No. 49, G. A. R., was organized
January 18, 1876, and is one of the oldest posts in the county. Osceola
Lodge, No. 843, K. of H., was organized January 8, 1878, and Vidette Lodge,
No. 115, K. & L. of H., December 20, 1878. The former has twenty-four
and the latter forty-eight members. Osceola Union, No. 219, E. A. U., was
organized January 18, 1881, and Osceola Tent, No. 160, K. O. T. M., April
4, 1893. The latter now has upwards of sixty members.