Location and Surroundings--Population and Taxable Property--Early Settlers--Borough Organization and Officials--Postmasters--Physicians and Lawyers--Business and Manufacturing Enterprises--Incorporated Companies--Hotels--Newspapers--Railroads--Churches and Cemeteries--Societies.
Westfield borough is situated on the Cowanesque river, midway between the eastern and western boundary lines of Westfield township, from which it was taken in February, 1867. The area embraced within its boundaries contains 670 acres and it is one of the best locations for a town in the county. The site is not only one of the most beautiful and picturesque in the Cowanesque valley, but has advantages which have already made the borough an important business center. To the north lies the rich and prosperous township of Brookfield, easily accessible through the valleys of the North Fork, California brook, Purple brook and other small streams. To the south and east lie the equally prosperous townships of Westfield, Clymer and Chatham, from all of which it draws a large trade, in addition to what it commands for miles up and down the Cowanesque river valley, whose lands, noted for their fertility, respond each year with generous crops as a reward for well-directed and intelligent cultivation. The valley of the Cowanesque river is traversed by the Fall Brook railway, and that of Mill creek, which flows from the south and unites its waters with the Cowanesque river, near the eastern borough limits—by the Addison and Pennsylvania railway. These two lines of railroad, both built in 1882, give the borough direct communication with the great trunk lines of New York state, and with the great market centers of the coast. Since their building Westfield has grown rapidly, having more than doubled its population. At present it is the largest of the six boroughs in the Cowanesque valley. In 1870 it had 370 inhabitants; in 1880, 579, and in 1890, 1,128.
The first white settler within the borough limits was Reuben Cook, Sr., one of the first settlers in the Cowanesque valley. The exact year of his coming cannot be ascertained, but it was previous to 1809, in which year Ayers Tuttle settled in the township just east of the borough. Cook built a log cabin, the first one within the borough limits, on the south bank of the Cowanesque river, where the River street bridge, leading to the Tremain grist mill site, crosses that stream. At that time he was about sixty years of age, given to hunting, and, as a rule, remained but a year or two in a place. In 1816 Jesse Lapham, who, as early as 1810, had settled at the mouth of Jemison creek, bought 200 acres of land in the western part of the borough, which he cleared and improved. Mr. Lapham was a native of Rhode Island and a Quaker. He was also the first carpenter and first practical surveyor in this section. Jonathan Seamans, also a native of Rhode Island, settled, in 1817, within the borough limits, and later in life moved farther up the river into the township, settling on the farm still owned and occupied by his sons. Ezra Bowen, a Quaker, came from Rhode Island in the same party with Mr. Seamans, and bought a part of the Jesse Lapham tract. Martin Bowen also came with the same party and settled at the same time. Jonathan Pierce came in 1817, from Chenango county, New York, and settled west of Lapham, on what is now known as the Augustus Streeter farm. About this time, Jacob Price, a native of New Jersey, and a Quaker, settled in the edge of the borough, near the Tremain mill-site, on what is known as the "Dick" Phillips place. In 1819 Abram Pease, a native of Connecticut, came from Steuben county, New York, and settled on sixty acres which he purchased from Ezra Bowen, and which afterwards formed a part of the Richard Krusen farm. A few years later he exchanged farms with his brother Oliver, who had settled in the township below the borough. James King, native of Rhode Island, and a descendant of the "Pilgrim Fathers," came in 1821 and settled on the Richard Krusen farm. In 1821 Shelden Streeter, a native of New Hampshire, settled in the township. Two years later he removed to Shippen township, and, in 1826, returned and settled within the borough. In 1825 David Rixford settled near the mouth of Jemison creek, and, in 1832, removed to the place first settled by Reuben Cook. Zacheus Mallory came in 1823 and settled on the farm previously occupied by his brother-in-law, Jesse Lapham.
Luke Scott and James C. Turner came between 1830 and 1835 and opened the first store in the place. Turner was also the first hotel keeper. In 1834 B. Schuyler Lewis, who had previously resided in Brookfield township, came to Westfield. After remaining a year or two, he removed to Lawrenceville, where he kept a boarding house on the Corning and Blossburg railroad, then being constructed. About 1838-39 he returned to Westfield and soon afterward engaged in the grocery business. He was the second postmaster. About 1835 Samuel Baker located here and soon afterward bought the greater part of the land now forming the business portion of the borough. Richard Phillips came about 1836 and settled on the place first occupied by Jacob Price. In 1837 he built a saw-mill near the late Tremain mill. Hollister Baker, a native of Rochester, New York, and a millwright, came in 1839 and in 1840 built a water power grist-mill for Richard Phillips on the site of the burned Tremain mill. About 1840 Francis Strang came and opened a general store. He was soon followed by George Close and by Hale & Hall. In 1840, also, Aaron L. S. Leach, a native of Niagara county, New York, came and for several years worked at his trade as a shoemaker. David Close came in 1840, also, and for seven years kept the Red Lion Hotel. In 1844 Richard Krusen, a native of Tompkins county, New York, entered the employ of Hale & Hall as a clerk. In 1846 he bought them out and afterwards became a leading merchant of the place, continuing in business for thirty-seven years. In 1845 Peter B. Bush removed from Knoxville, and during the next five years kept the Red Lion and Boardman Hotels. The latter was built by Ransom Boardman, who came in the early forties. In 1845 Daniel McNaughton, M. D., a native of Steuben county, New York, located here and began the practice of his profession, continuing until his death in 1883. William Simmons, a native of Benton, Yates county, New York, came in 1845. He soon entered the store of Richard Krusen as a clerk, and later embarked in business for himself. In 1846 John Montanye removed from Clymer township and built and operated what is now known as the Eberle tannery. Others, the date of whose coming cannot be ascertained, had also located in the village previous to the last mentioned year, some remaining but a short time, while a few became permanent residents. The names given, however, embrace nearly all of those identified with the early settlement and growth of the place, which at that time was but a small and struggling village.
BOROUGH ORGANIZATION AND OFFICIALS.
The borough of Westfield was organized in February, 1867, the first meeting of council being held on the 16th of that month. At this meeting B. B. Strang, burgess, and Richard Krusen, James Masten, M. D., Simon Wilcox, S. B. Lewis and Thomas C. Sanders, councilmen, were sworn in. Thomas C. Sanders was elected secretary; Nelson Gardner, treasurer, and B. Lewis, street commissioner. The following named persons have been elected to the office of burgess since 1867:
Ambrose Close, 1868-69; Hollister Baker, 1870; S. B. Lewis, 1871-72; J. W. Hancock, 1873; Lovel Plank, 1874; J. W. Hancock, 1875; T. C. Sanders, 1876; B. B. Strang, 1877; E. E. Thompson, 1878; S. W. Shirley, 1879; Charles Bliss, 1880; Elijah Thompson, 1881; Albert Wetherbee, 1882; Richard Krusen, 1883; Hiram Hunter, 1884-87; Ambrose Close, 1888; Hiram Hunter, 1889; W. F. Everitt, 1890-91; C. M. Allen, 1892; M. D. Lawrence, 1893; Lovel Plank, 1894-96, and John R. Dengle, elected in 1897.
The office of justice of the peace has been filled by the following named persons since the organization of the borough: Francis Strang, 1867; J. O. Thompson, 1872; Frank Buck, 1872; T. C. Sanders, 1874; Dr. Daniel McNaughton, 1877; Niles White, 1878; re-elected in 1879; Orris O. Tremain, 1879; W. H. Parsons, 1880; re-elected 1885, 1890 and 1895; M. L. Foster, 1882; Frank Strang, 1885; re-elected, 1890; John T. McNeil, 1895.
The Westfield postoffice was established in the early twenties, the first postmaster being Harry B. Trowbridge, then living in the township, about a mile east of the borough. He held the office nearly twenty years, and was succeeded by B. Schuyler Lewis, a resident of the borough. Then followed Adriel King, Dr. Boardman and Thomas Leach. George Close acted as deputy for Leach, and seems to have had charge of the office, so much so, that many still speak of him as the postmaster. Leach was succeeded, in 1861, by Daniel McNaughton, M. D., who held the office until 1872, when he resigned to serve as an associate judge of the county, and was succeeded by his son, Niles W. McNaughton, who had been his assistant. In the fall of 1885 Mr. McNaughton was succeeded by James Masten, M. D., who held the office until July, 1889, when William N. Hurlbut was appointed. Mr. Hurlbut’s successor, Francis Strang, was appointed December 28, 1895. in the earlier years of the borough’s existence, the mail was carried on horseback to and from Williamsport, through the wilderness. Now the Westfield office is one of the best paying and best patronized in the county.
PHYSICIANS AND LAWYERS.
The first physician to practice in Westfield was Dr. Barton Streeter, who was here about 1830. He and his immediate successors were required to practice over a large area, including Westfield, Brookfield, Clymer, Chatham and Deerfield townships, and even portions of Potter county. Visits were made on horseback, and long rides over lonely roads, night and day, in summer and winter, were a common experience. Among the doctors who have resided in the borough and practiced their profession were William B. Ritchie, Dr. Townsend, Dr. Benedict, Dr. Ide, Ebenezer Pratt, Elihu Y. Brown, Philetus J. Boardman, Daniel McNaughton, who came in 1845 and practiced until his death in 1883; A. Frazer, Stephen Begell, who removed to Brookfield township; James Masten, who came in 1860, is still in practice, and is the oldest physician in the borough; F. H. S. Ritter, Dr. Ingram, and Dr. Hazlett. Besides Dr. Masten, the profession is at present represented by Dr. a. L. Bottum, who began practice here in 1875; Dr. A. T. Kunkel, who came in 1883, and Dr. F. G. Masten, a son of Dr. James Masten, who began practice in 1891. The dental profession is represented by Dr. H. J. Stocking.
The first lawyer to locate in Westfield was Augustus Streeter, a native of Furmantown, Shippen township, who was admitted to practice in December, 1854. He continued in practice until his death, in 1882, a period of over twenty-seven years. Butler B. Strang, who, as did also Mr. Streeter, studied law in the office of A. J. Monroe, at Knoxville, was admitted in 1852, and located in Westfield soon after his fellow student. In 1856 Mr. Strang was elected district attorney. In 1860 he was elected to the legislature and served four terms, and was speaker of the House in 1870, in the fall of which year he was elected State Senator, and served two terms. In both bodies he was a prominent and influential member, and was chairman of a number of important committees. T. C. Sanders and C. M. Adams, also practiced in Westfield for a number of years. The bar is now represented by Clark W. Beach, who was admitted to practice in 1865, and who has for several years past been located in Westfield, coming here from Knoxville; D. W. Baldwin, a rising young lawyer, and John T. McNiel, who fills the office of justice of the peace and also practices law.
BUSINESS AND MANUFACTURING ENTERPRISES.
Scott & Turner, the firm being composed of Luke Scott and James C. Turner, were the pioneer merchants of Westfield. They began business in a frame building which they erected on the site of the present William Simmons store about 1835. They were followed by Francis Strang, who came about 1840, George Close and Hale & Hall. Richard Krusen came in 1844 and entered the employ of the latter firm as a clerk. In 1846 he bought them out, and at once became a leading spirit in the mercantile life of the place. Others quickly followed these pioneer merchants, each year witnessing the establishment of some new business enterprises to meet the demands of increasing population and growing trade.
The Phillips Mills were built by Richard Phillips, who came into the borough in 1837, in which year he built a water power saw-mill north of the Cowanesque river, taking the water to run it from that stream. In 1840 Hollister Baker, a millwright, erected for Mr. Phillips a three-run, buhr mill, costing $5,000, on the site of the recent Tremain mill. The machinery of this mill was run by a twenty-foot, back-shot water wheel. In 1844 the race was extended, the water being taken from the river as at present, south of Main street, opposite the Richard Krusen place. This mill burned October 3, 1869, and on its site was erected the Westfield flouring mill, which was completed in October, 1870. it was run both by water and steam power, the mill proper costing $6,000, and the steam power $3,500. From 1888 until the fall of 1896, when it was destroyed by fire, it was owned and operated by O. A. Tremain. It had a capacity of 350 bushels a day.
Hollister Baker’s Foundry, the first in the borough, was established in 1840, by Hollister Baker, on the site of the present Phillips foundry. This he operated until 1863, when it was burned. In 1865 Mr. Baker and his brother built on the same ground a shop for the manufacture of carriages, wagons, etc. This was burned in 1870. During this time also Mr. Baker’s son, Albert Baker, was connected with him in business. Another shop was erected by them and operated for a short time.
The Eberle Tannery was established on Mill creek, in the southern part of the borough, in 1846, by John Montanye. In 1874 it was purchased by Frank Eberle, and is now operated by his son, Joseph Eberle. It is devoted to the tanning of upper leather, and is a successful and prosperous enterprise.
Rood’s Carriage and Wagon Shop was established in 1850 by Morris DeMaurier, who operated it until 1863, since which time it has been owned and operated by Theodore Rood, who has acquired a reputation not only as a skillful workman but as an inventor. He has recently invented an automatic wagon brake that has already attracted the notice of manufacturers throughout the country.
Kelts & Gilbert’s Tannery was established about 1852 by J. Kelts and W. W. Gilbert, who also were shoe merchants. About 1862 the partnership was dissolved and Mr. Kelts carried on the tannery alone for a number of years.
The Cowanesque Tannery, the leading manufacturing industry in the borough, was established in 1875, by H. H. Crary, William H. Garritt, James Horton and E. G. Davidge, under the name and style of Crary, Garritt, Horton & Company. A large tannery, with bark sheds, etc., was erected in the eastern part of the borough, on land purchased of John L. Wilbur. Mr. Garritt died in November, 1876, and soon afterward his interest was purchased by Walter Horton. The firm name was changed to H. H. Crary & Company, and so continued until May 1, 1893, when the tannery became the property of the Union Tanning Company, which is a member of the United States Leather Company. E. G. Davidge filled the position of superintendent until November 5, 1895, when he resigned. P. S. Martin is now the acting superintendent. Henry Eick fills the position of foreman. This tannery gives constant employment to about seventy men, and has an average output of 400 sides of sole leather per day, in the tanning of which there is used annually between 7,000 and 8,000 tons of hemlock bark.
Albert Baker’s Foundry and Machine Shop is owned and operated by Albert Baker. In 1880 he built the machine shop a short distance east of the old Hollister Baker foundry site, and in 1887 erected a foundry building. These enterprises he has since carried on successfully, giving constant employment to a number of skilled workmen.
The Westfield Co-operative Association operate a foundry and machine shop on the site of the old Hollister Baker foundry. The property was purchased in 1883 by J. Phillips, and is also known as the Phillips foundry.
The Westfield Planing Mill was established in 1883, north of the Fall Brook railroad, near the depot, by W. N. Hurlbut, R. Krusen, L. Plank and H. Plank, under the firm name of R. Krusen & Company. They were succeeded by the Westfield Manufacturing Company, who carried on the enterprise until 1889, when they were succeeded by L. Plank, William Mead and C. E. Krusen.
The Farmers’ and Traders’ Bank was established in 1885 by E. M. Tucker as a private banking institution. This bank has a capital of $25,000, is ably managed and has the confidence of the general public. The officers are E. M. Tucker, president, and F. J. Seely, cashier.
The Westfield Steam Flouring Mill was built in 1886, near the Addison and Pennsylvania railroad depot, by John B. Bush and John Richardson. Mr. Bush afterwards sold out his interest to J. Whitmarsh. This enterprise proved a valuable and important one, greatly enlarging the country trade of the borough. Its destruction by fire in 1891 inflicted a severe loss upon its owners. It has not been rebuilt.
The Westfield Marble Works were established by Johnson & Van Dusen in 1887. In 1890 the firm became Van Dusen Brothers, who do a large business in Tioga and Potter counties, Pennsylvania, and in southern New York.
The Pride Opera House, on the north side of Main street, was erected in 1896. It is a handsome brick edifice, the lower story of which is used for business purposes, and is occupied by the grocery house of John R. Dengle, who is also the manager of the opera house, which is fully equipped with opera chairs, stage scenery and other amusement accessories.
The Westfield Oil and Mining Company was incorporated August 4, 1865, with a capital stock of $500,000 divided in 10,000 shares of $50 each, $10,000 of which was paid in. The company was organized for the purpose of boring for petroleum oil. Leases on about 1,000 acres of land belonging to different parties were secured and a well drilled on the Phillips farm. Oil and gas in large quantities were found. The incorporators of the company were Lucius C. Beebe, president; Charles E. Combs, treasurer; John F. Kingsbury, secretary, and A. L. Bennett and A. B. Walden.
Cowanesque Valley Agricultural Society was organized August 14, 1886, and incorporated August 31, 1887, with a capital of $5,000, for the purpose of holding agricultural and horticultural fairs in Westfield township, and for the improvement of agriculture and study of the kindred arts and sciences. There were twenty-four charter members, embracing many of the prominent citizens of Westfield borough and township. The first officers were L. King, president; E. M. Tucker and A. J. Montanye, vice-presidents; J. F. Rugaber, corresponding secretary; S. Martin, Jr., recording secretary; W. L. Converse, treasurer; P. V. Rolason, librarian; E. M. Tucker, S. Martin, Jr., and W. L. Converse, trustees. The society owns thirty acres of ground, with buildings, etc., valued at $12,000, situated at the mouth of North Fork creek, in the township. Within the inclosure is an excellent half-mile race tract. The fairs which are held here annually draw large crowds and have been very successful.
Westfield Water Company was incorporated September 2, 1890, with a capital of $25,000, for the purpose of supplying the borough with water. The incorporators were W. H. Vermilyea, Hiram Hunter, W. N. Hurlbut, G. H. Tremain and N. W. McNaughton. Since the organization of this company the borough has put in its own water works system.
Union Tanning Company was incorporated April 17, 1893, with a capital stock of $50,000. The incorporators and directors were O. B. Grant, S. P. Davidge, A. A. Clearwater, George C. Darling and Frank E. Bible. May 1, 1893, this corporation became a member of the United States Leather Company, which controls a large number of tanneries in Tioga, Potter and other counties, under the name of the Union Tanning Company.
The United States Pipe Line Company, in 1893, erected a pumping station, equipped with powerful Holly pumps, on the Fall Brook railroad, in the northern part of the borough. Four reservoir tanks of 5,000 gallons each were placed in position on the hillside, the purpose being to make this place a pumping station between Bradford and Athens, it being thought at the time that the distance was too great to pump from the former to latter place without the aid of an intermediate station. It afterwards turned out that this could be done, and the pumps here have never been called into use. The station is in charge of Frank H. Walker, who looks after the section of the line between Oswayo and Elkland.
The Red Lion Hotel, the pioneer hotel in the borough, was opened by James C. Turner between 1835 and 1840. It had a number of landlords, among whom were George Hunter, Peter B. Bush, David Close, Henry Brown, William Douglas and Erastus G. Hill.
The Hill House was the successor of the Red Lion Hotel and was erected by Erastus G. Hill about 1850. Among those who succeeded him as landlord here were A. L. S. Leach, M. G. Bowman and others. This hotel burned about twenty years ago.
The Boardman House, erected west of the river bridge, by Ransom Boardman, in the early forties, had a number of landlords, among whom were A. L. S. Leach, Peter B. Bush and Samuel Scranton. This hotel has been used as a dwelling for over twenty years.
The Westfield House was built by George Close before the Civil War. He ran it for three or four years. It was then kept by C. Phillips for a number of years. He was succeeded by S. B. Lovelace, who remained two years. It next became the property of Mrs. James Strock. In 1878 J. W. Smith became manager of the house for her, and before the close of the year rented the property. In 1882 he purchased it, and in 1890 rebuilt the hotel inside and out, making it one of the best hotel buildings in the Cowanesque valley.
The American Hotel was erected in 1885 by Shirley Brothers, who ran it until 1887, when Beach Brothers succeeded them. They were succeeded by Lucius Inscho, who sold out in 1894 to Asa Hill and John Rohrback. Mr. Hill soon afterwards bought out Mr. Rohrback’s interest. He has since thoroughly repaired and improved the building and it is now, in every respect, a first-class hotel.
The Westfield Index, established by James V. Leach and N. W. McNaughton, was the first newspaper in the Cowanesque valley. The editorial department was under the personal charge of Mr. Leach. It was independent in politics. Mr. McNaughton soon sold out to Mr. Leach, who discontinued the publication of the paper in July, 1874. In November, 1875, O. S. Webster purchased the material and started the Westfield Idea, as an organ of the Greenback party. Early in 1878 the paper was removed to Wellsboro.
In the latter part of 1878 E. M. Bixby, formerly of the Elkland Journal, began the publication of the Westfield Free Press. In 1881 he sold out to J. F. Rugaber, who conducted it until January 1, 1890, when J. Hart Miller and A. C. Kimball purchased it. At the close of the year Mr. Kimball bought Mr. Miller’s interest and has since conducted the paper alone. In January, 1896, he changed it to an all home print. It is independent in politics, being devoted to local news and the interests of the northwestern part of the county. It is bright, readable, and ably conducted.
In the year 1882 the Fall Brook Railroad Company completed a line of railroad from Lawrenceville to Westfield, and to Harrison Valley, in Potter county. The first station agent, J. C. Edwards, was succeeded in 1883, by E. S. Horton, who still fills that position. The Addison and Pennsylvania railroad was also built in 1882 as a narrow gauge road. In March, 1895, it was changed to standard gauge. At Westfield it turns southwest and follows the Mill creek valley, passing through Westfield, Clymer and Gaines townships in Potter county. The agent at Westfield is G. H. Tremain, who has held that position since the opening of the station, which is located in the eastern part of the borough. These two lines of railroad make Westfield an important business and shipping center, and since their completion the borough has more than doubled the number of its inhabitants. There has also been a corresponding increase in the amount of business transacted. In the business district the old frame buildings have given place to handsome brick blocks, and the town wears a wide-awake, enterprising and progressive appearance.
CHURCHES AND CEMETERIES.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Westfield, incorporated September 11, 1855, was organized about 1830, under the ministration of Revs. Marshall, St. John, David Fellows and Stuart Conant. Meetings were first held in the old school house west of the Main street bridge, near the mill race. Among the early pastors were Rev. Theobald McElhaney and Rev. Samuel Nichols, the latter being appointed to this charge in 1842. No list of the pastors serving between this year and 1854 has been obtainable. In 1854, however, Rev. William Armstrong took charge. He was followed in 1857 by Rev. Thompson Jolly and Rev. A. Davison. Their successors have been Revs. J. J. Turtin, appointed in 1858; James Duncan, 1859; A. Sweet, 1860; William M. Haskell, 1861; Walter Stathen, 1862; Veranus Brownell, 1863; C. L. F. Howe, 1865; Myron H. DePuy, 1866; C. Rowley, 1867; O. B. Weaver, 1868; W. W. Hunt, 1871; Isaac Everitt, 1873; G. S. Transue, 1875; O. N. Roberts, 1878; H. Peck, 1879; J. Knapp, 1880; G. W. Howland, 1881; H. B. Mason, 1883; J. W. Barnett, 1886; D. A. Parcells, 1887; W. I. Janes, 1892, and W. O. Peet, the present pastor, in October, 1895. A church building was erected in 1854, during the pastorate of Mr. Armstrong. It was replaced in 1887 by the present edifice, which cost $7,500. the pastor’s residence was erected in 1869, during the pastorate of Rev. O. B. Weaver. It cost $2,500.
The First Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church of Westfield, incorporated January 14, 1875, was organized June 14, 1846, by Rev. S. Hall and G. A. Lambert, who were the early pastors. Their successors have been Revs. L. Salisbury and G. P. Burdick, 1854; Amos Chapman, 1855; Francis Strang, 1869; P. S. Slanson; S. W. Jennings, 1877; J. S. Fausey, 1882; S. W. Jennings, 1883; J. S. Fausey, 1886; W. A. Scribner, 1895, and John Drake, who took charge in May, 1896. In 1870, through the exertions of Rev. Francis Strang and Rev. Stephen A. Leonard, a house of worship, costing $1,000 was erected. The church now numbers 130 members, with fifty pupils in the Sunday-school.
St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Church is the outgrowth of meetings held during 1882, by Rev. Percy Clinton Webber, at that time rector of St. Andrew’s church at Tioga. The first meetings were held in the Methodist Episcopal church and afterwards in a room over C. E. Krusen’s store, rented for the purpose. Mr. Webber made occasional visits. Rev. William Painter was the first resident minister, serving also the churches at Gaines and Elkland. Rev. William Du Hammel and Rev. L. B. Thomas, also paid the mission visits. August 1, 1895, Rev. W. N. R. Ashmead, the present rector, took charge. Among the early members of this church were Frank Yeager, Guy Clark, Joseph Eberle, Mrs. Mary H. Eberle, Mrs. Charles Bliss, Cora A. Bliss, W. H. Vermilyea, M. F. Sherman and wife, Mr. and Mrs. D. B. Clauson, Miss Ann Ackley, Mrs. Edward Bulkley, Mr. and Mrs. William Clark, Mrs. A. Christie, Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Dengle, Mrs. C. E. Krusen, Mrs. S. I. Krusen, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Smith and Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Everitt. Through the generosity of Mrs. John H. Sherwood, of New York City, a sister of D. B. Clausson, who contributed $5,000, the society was able in 1893 to begin the erection of a house of worship, which was completed and opened for service November 8, 1895. This edifice, which cost $7,500, is one of the handsomest church buildings in northern Pennsylvania. It is built of bluish-gray stone, quarried on the hill north of the borough. The blocks are small, laid irregularly, and the masonry is what is known as "rock-finish" work. The interior is semi-Gothic and finished in natural wood. Handsome stained glass memorial windows were contributed as follows: John H. Sherwood, by the society; Kate A. Wakeley and Maud E. Wakeley, by the family; Lafayette Hill, by his widow; Frank Eberle, Frank Eberle, Jr., and Fannie C. Eberle, by the family; W. H. Vermilyea, by Mrs. W. H. Vermilyea, and Margarette A. Wells, by the family. The building was erected under the supervision of W. F. Everitt, Albert F. Yahn, J. W. Smith, G. H. Tremain and C. E. Krusen, building committee. The church, which numbers about forty members, has not yet been chartered. There are twenty pupils in the Sunday-school, which is in charge of the rector.
The Universalist Church of Westfield was organized June 26, 1887. As early, however, as 1851 ministers of this denomination visited Westfield. The first of these was Rev. Wallace Bullard, who was followed by Rev. Mr. Darrow, Rev. Earl Wesley, Rev. Mr. Fuller, Rev. Mr. Whitcomb, Rev. J. S. Palmer, Rev. W. H. McLaughlin and Rev. Emma E. Bailery. In June, 1887, through the efforts of Ambrose Close, William Converse, Stephen Martin, Jr., and Rev. H. W. Hand, an organization was effected. On September 29, of the same year, the corner-stone of a neat and attractive house of worship was laid by Rev. George Adams, of Athens, Pennsylvania. The building, which cost $3,500, was designed by G. B. Davis, and the construction superintended by Ambrose Close and William Converse. It was dedicated December 14, 1888. Among the early members of this church were William Converse, Ambrose Close, S. Martin, G. B. Davis, A. C. Kimball, G. A. King, Mrs. G. A. King, Cora Close, Mrs. A. Sayles, G. H. Tremain and J. G. Osborn. The first officers and trustees were Ambrose Close, president; Mrs. R. R. Parshall, secretary, and William Converse, Sunday-school superintendent. The pastors have been Revs. C. C. Richardson, F. Temple Lathe, T. M. Alvord, G. W. Barnes and Marcia D. Selmen. The church now numbers fifty members. There are twenty-five pupils in the Sunday-school, of which H. J. Stocking is the superintendent.
The First Baptist Church of Westfield was organized August 5, 1891, and incorporated October 17, 1895. the names of its original members are as follows: Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Allen, Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Van Dusen, Mrs. S. M. Cottrell, Lena Cottrell, Mrs. Amasa Ellis, Mrs. Harrison, Rev. A. W. and A. E. Mettler, Mrs. J. Richardson. The names of the pastors are as follows: Revs. A. W. Mettler, 1891-93; C. A. Wilson, 1894, and S. A. Field, the present pastor, who took charge in 1895. The society holds its meetings in Tucker’s hall, the use of which was given free for five years. About a quarter of a century ago the Baptists had an organization in Westfield, but removals, deaths, etc., depleted its membership. The present church, though a new one, is the second organized in the borough.
The Krusen Cemetery, situated in the northern part of the borough, was established in 1867 by Richard Krusen. It occupies a circular, mound-like knoll, less than 100 feet in diameter, which rises about eight feet above the level of the surrounding land. Some are inclined to believe it is an old Indian mound, but no attempt to explore it has ever been made. This cemetery contains the graves of many early settlers. The limited area caused it to be quickly filled, and burials there ceased several years ago.
Mount Pleasant Cemetery Company was organized April 19, 1892, the officers and incorporators being O. A. Tremain, president; Albert Baker, secretary; Clarence Hancock, treasurer; James Tubbs, superintendent, and J. W. Hancock, James Champlin and John G. Bowman. The company owns forty acres of land northeast of the borough which is devoted to burial purposes.
Westfield Lodge, No. 477, F. & A. M., was organized December 28, 1870, by R. W., R. C. Simpson, D. D., G. M., with the following officers and members: T. C. Sanders, W. M.; N. J. Krusen, S. W.; E. B. Bulkley, J. W.; A. D. Ashcraft, S. D.; Nelson Doty, J. D.; E. H. Stebbins, S.; Isaac Plank, T.; John Davis, S. M. C.; K. B. Hill, J. M. C.; E. P. Fish, P.; O. B. Weaver, C.; A. K. Sayles, T., and Sylvester D. Phillips, Dr. James Masten, Philetus E. Corbin, Charles Bliss and Levi Skinner. The lodge now numbers over eight members.
Westfield Chapter, No. 265, R. A. M., was organized December 19, 1883, with the following officers and members: W. H. Vermilyea, H.P.; Gilbert H. Tremain, K.; Elijah H. Thompson, S.; Lovel Plank, T.; James Masten, M. D., S.; John Champlin, T., and W. H. Fuller, James F. Lewis, Niles W. McNaughton, George W. Fisk, Justus E. Green and Adelbert R. Vermilyea. The office of High Priest has been filled as follows: William H. Vermilyea, Gilbert H. Tremain, Elijah H. Thompson, Niles W. McNaughton, Edson G. Davidge, Charles E. Krusen, George S. Trim, William B. Riddell, Wentworth D. Vedder, M. D., and Lovel Plank. There are now thirty-two members in this chapter.
Jemison Lodge, No. 332, I. O. O. F., was organized November 20, 1883, the charter being a re-issue of a charter granted October 16, 1848, to Cowanesque Lodge, No. 232, of Knoxville. The original lodge flourished until 1867, when it was removed to Mansfield. In 1872 another lodge known as Deerfield Lodge, No. 800, was organized in Knoxville. This maintained an organization until 1883, when it passed out of existence and the records were transferred to Jemison Lodge, Westfield. The first officers and charter members of this lodge were as follows: L. H. King, N. G.; A. P. King, V. G.; C. H. Martin, S.; A. B. Beers, A. S.; P. V. Rolason, T., and G. A. King, J. S. Barto and S. L. Bouvier. The lodge now numbers sixty-four members, several of whom are residents of Knoxville borough and Deerfield township. Westfield Encampment, No. 272, the members of which also belong to this lodge, was organized August 22, 1887, and has now sixty-four members.
R. P. Babcock Post, No. 258, G. A. R., was organized July 11, 1882. The first officers were A. A. Amsbry, C.; C. C. Ackley, S. V. C.; Seth Tremain, J. V. C.; S. P. Chase, C.; A. K. Sayles, Q.; A. D. Ashcraft, S.; W. M. Kiser, O. D.; M. D. Whipple, O. G.; M. D. Foster, A.; D. Whitmarsh, S. M., and S. K. Rumsey, Q. S. This post numbers among its members many of the soldiers of the late Civil War, resident in Brookfield, Westfield and Clymer townships as well as in Westfield borough. It is strong and prosperous.
R. P. Babcock W. R. C., No. 128, was organized February 6, 1889, with the following officers and members: Lucy Kimball, P.; Lizzie Sturdevant, S. V.; Nettie Kizer, J. V.; Nora Johnson, S.; Addie Manning, T., and Anveretta Close, Kate Horton, Mariah Van Dusen, Sarah Jones, Emma Scott, Amelia Moore and Kate McNeil. This corps at present numbers forty members.
There are also a number of other secret and beneficiary organizations
in the borough, some of which have a large membership. The Knights of Honor
are represented by Westfield Lodge, No. 1206, which was organized September
16, 1878, and chartered in January, 1885. Westfield Council, No. 3, Chosen
Friends, was organized in 1881, with thirty members, but has not met for
several years, though a few members pay dues regularly. Westfield Local
Branch, No. 1077, Order of the Iron Hall, had a good membership before
the suspension of the order. It has held no meeting for two years. A lodge
of the Sons of Temperance was organized as early as 1854, since which time
there have been several lodges, both of the Sons of Temperance and of the
Good Templars. Westfield Lodge, No. 67, S. F. I., was organized December
18, 1890. It now numbers fifteen members. Eulalia Grange, No. 1088, P.
of H., was organized August 18, 1893. It is a flourishing condition and
has eight members. Westfield Tent, No. 155, K. O. T. M., was organized
March 10, 1893, with forty members, since increased to sixty-five. Westfield
Hive, No. 46, L. O. T. M., was organized March 13, 1894, and chartered
July 31, 1894. It now numbers thirty-four members. Fleetwood Tribe, Improved
Order of Red Man, was organized December 2, 1896.