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Description—Physical Characteristics—Early Settlers—Population—Village Industries and Enterprises—Early Physicians and Lawyers—Early and Later Hotels—Borough Organizations and Officials—Village and Borough Newspapers—Schools—Churches—Secret Societies—Later Business and Manufacturing Enterprises—Tioga Water Works—Hose Companies—Fire and Flood.
The borough of Tioga is situated west of the center of Tioga township, at the confluence of Crooked creek and the Tioga river, on an oblong strip of land known as the "Island," which is bounded on the east and south by the Tioga river, and on the west and north by the "Cove"—a name given to an overflow channel of the same stream—and by Crooked creek. The elevation, railroad grade, is 1,042 feet above sea level; that of the surrounding hills from 400 to 600 feet higher. The widening of the valley at this point, caused by the junction of Crooked creek and the Tioga river, forms a basin affording ample room for a good-sized city, and is in pleasing contrast with the bold and rugged hills that hem the borough in on the east and south.
The land comprised within the borough limits formed a part of original surveys 61 and 67, entered May 17, 1785, by Edward Bartholomew and John Patton. They and a number of succeeding owners were non-residents. These surveys, as their numbers indicate, were among the earliest entered after this section of Pennsylvania was opened up for settlement by the treaty of Fort Stanwix, October 23, 1784.
In 1791 or 1792 Jesse Losey, accompanied by his wife, came to Tioga county from New Jersey. They ascended the river in a canoe as far as the "Island," and located on the west bank near the foot of what is now Church street. Jesse was soon joined by his brother, Stephen, who does not appear to have made a location. The deeds forming the chain of title to this land fail to show that Jesse Losey ever became the owner of it. Like many other pioneers, he had only a squatter’s right. He was, nevertheless, the first settler, not only on the site of Tioga borough, but within the present limits of Tioga township, and the sixth in the Tioga river valley, south of the New York state line.
Losey’s first home was a rude hut of poles and bark, which was blown down during a violent storm. He next built a log house farther up the river, between the west bank and the Williamson road, the site of which is still discernible on the land now owned by H.E. Smith & Son. Here his wife died. Her grave, it is said, lies under the sidewalk, near the northeast corner of Main and Church streets.
About 1794 Benajah Ives acquired title to the land upon which Losey had located, and, it is presumed, made terms with him for his improvements. Losey appears to have remained, however, until 1802, when he and his brother Stephen located two warrants in the western part of the township, on Crooked creek, where they took up their resid4ence. Jesse afterwards moved into Middlebury township, where he died March 12, 1844, aged eighty-five years. His remains lie buried in the Holidaytown cemetery, being among the first to be interred there. He was a shoemaker and distiller, and, after coming to Tioga, followed both occupations at intervals, the latter for a time in Samuel Westbrook’s distillery. He was also a Revolutionary soldier and a pensioner, and claimed to have participated in the battle of Bunker Hill, and to have witnessed the execution of Major John Andre, at Tappan, New Jersey, October 2, 1780. Stephen Losey, after residing in the western part of Tioga township for a time, removed to the Pine creek country, where he passed the remainder of his life.
The Roberts family, consisting of Peter Roberts, his sons, John, Benjamin, Peter and Silas, and his daughters, Polly, Rhoda, Sally and Betsey, are credited with coming in 1792. Roberts, who is supposed to have had a Connecticut title, settles on the west bank of the Tioga river, below the Losey location. He was a millwright, and some years after his arrival build a saw-mill on Crooked creek, near the present residence of David Hick, in the township.
Benajah Ives came about 1794, from Bristol, Connecticut. A year later he was followed by his brothers, Timothy, John and Titus, and by his uncle, John. The latter settled on the present T.J. Berry place. Benajah built a house near the ford, now occupied by the highway bridge at the south end of the borough. Here he kept a wayside inn until 1796, when he sold it and the upper half of his tract to Thomas Berry, and moved farther down the stream toward the Losey cabin. In 1819 he traded the remainder of his tract to Dr. Simeon Power for the north half of the John Gordon farm, and removed to Middlebury township.
In 1796 Thomas Berry, on his way from Maryland to the Genesee country, accompanied by his wife and four children, Mary, John, Margaret and Hester, and by James Jennings, his wife’s brother, stopped for the night at the Ives inn. Before morning Berry had bargained with Ives for one-half of his tract, including the inn, and thus became a permanent settler. His daughter, Rachel, was born here June 7, 1797, and is believed to have been the first white child born within the borough limits. The first election precinct in Tioga township, which then included the whole county, was established at Mr. Berry’s house by an act of the legislature April 3, 1804. Mr. Berry died April 17, 1807, aged forty-five years, and his widow March 8, 1850. After her husband’s death she kept the inn or tavern until 1838, managing the business shrewdly and successfully.
Uriah Spencer, one of the most prominent of the pioneer settlers, came into what is now Lawrence township in 1794, but did not settle within the borough limits of Tioga until after 1800. He was a blacksmith, and built a shop, the first one here, on Main street, in front of the present A. C. Bush residence. Upon the establishment, January 1, 1805, of the postoffice, which was named Tioga, he was appointed postmaster, and held the office until July 1, 1809. He was also elected one of the commissioners of the county in October, 1809; was prothonotary from 1818 to 1821, and also prothonotary and register and recorder from 1824 to 1831. He was for many years regarded as an influential citizen, and took a prominent part in all matters of public interest.
Dr. William Willard, a native of Lenox, Massachusetts, came to Tioga in 1798, and settled on land forming a portion of the Peter Roberts claim, all of which he subsequently acquired. He build a square log house on the ground now occupied by Philo Tuller’s drug store, where he kept tavern and practiced medicine. He was appointed postmaster July 1, 1809, and held the office until April 1, 1815. The history of Tioga borough dates from the building of this public house by Dr. Willard. Around it the village, which became known as Willardsburg, slowly grew. None were more active in forwarding its growth and development that Dr. Willard and his son, William Willard, Jr., and no other names are more intimately connected with its early history. the original plot of the village was laid out by William Willard, Jr. Dr. Willard died October 28, 1836, in one of the rooms of the old public house. A few years after his death the name "Willardsburg" was dropped, and "Tioga," the name of the postoffice, adopted.
Owing to its circumscribed area, the borough has grown slowly in population. In 1870 it had 440 inhabitants; in 1880, 520, and in 1890, 557.
village industries and enterprises.
Uriah Spencer built a saw-mill during the first decade of the present century near the northern end of the "Island." The mill race ran from the rear of the present driving park on Crooked creek, in a northeasterly direction, to the Tioga river. Elijah Welsh, and Gershom Wynkoop, both of whom were here as early as 1812, worked in this mill.
In the latter part of 1812 or early part of 1813, Allen D. Caulking, a native of Broome county, New York, came to Tioga and built the public house, long known as the "Goodrich House." It occupied the lot, now vacant, just south of the Wickham block. In one room of this house he opened the first store in the village. A few years later he was succeeded as storekeeper by Levi Vail, an early school teacher, who came in 1813, and was collector of taxes for the township in 1814. In 1821 or 1822 Vail built a store on the site now occupied by the P. S. Tuttle building. Benajah Ives had an interest in the business in 1826-27, the firm being Vail, Ives & Company. They were succeeded by Ambrose Millard, who was in business here from 1828 to 1832.
Dr. William Willard built a story and a half red house on the present site of the P. S. Tuttle residence, in one room of which he kept store. He was in business in 1821, in which year the late Justus B. Clark, of Richmond township, then newly married, bought a portion of his housekeeping outfit of him, and also purchased a hand-saw, for which he paid $3.00, and shingle nails, for which he paid thirty cents a pound.
In the early twenties William Willard, Jr., erected the "Old Red Store," on the southeast corner of Main and Park streets. This was occupied in 1823 and 1824 by Chris. Charles and Elijah Stiles. In the latter year Stiles was elected county commissioner, and the firm went out of existence. In 1823 or 1824 Jesse Keeney, a native of Connecticut, came here from Cortland county, New York, and erected a wagon-making shop. This enterprise he carried on for a number of years. The shop was afterward remodeled and occupied as a residence by William Garretson. Levi and Joseph W. Guernsey, tanners and curriers, located about 1825. The latter was afterwards in partnership with his father-in-law, Jonah Brewster, in a store on the site of the Park Hotel. Hobart B. Graves, prominent as a merchant, distiller and builder, came here about 1825. In 1828 he was engaged in the distilling of whiskey, and later had as partners David and Sylvester Beckwith, who afterwards settled permanently in Middlebury township. Their distillery occupied the site of the E. A. Smead hardware store. John Porter, a blacksmith, and, strange as it may seem, a dentist, opened a shop here about 1827, with John Daniels as a partner. In January, 1827, Rankin Lewis & Company moved the office of the Tioga Pioneer here from Wellsboro. Jonah Brewster carried on merchandising from 1829 to 1831, when he moved to Wellsboro. A. C. and Jabin S. Bush, afterwards prominent as lumbermen and merchants, arrived here and went into business in 1831. Joseph Fish came here the same year and in 1833 established a shoe shop and a small tannery. He afterwards carried on a shoe store on Main street. In 1832 Tuthill & Wickham, of Elmira, New York, established a branch store here, with B. C. Wickham in charge, under the firm name of B. C. Wickham & Company. In 1832, also, Daniel A. Lowell, his sons, Martin and William Lowell, and Thomas and Herbert Hollis, all hatters, came here from Chenango county, New York, and erected for business purposes the main portion of the building, on Wellsboro street, now occupied by Paul Kraiss’ furniture store. Henry H. Potter came here from Lawrenceville in 1830 and became landlord of the Willard Hotel. He afterwards removed to Middlebury township. A. D. Cole established a wagon shop and Robert Andrus a foundry in the rear of the same site previous to 1834. Barney and William Mirch were blacksmiths here about the same time. James A. and William Hathaway came here about 1835, and built a shop on Wellsboro street. E. Derow came here about 1836, and was subsequently a partner of William Willard, Jr., in mercantile business. Butler Smith came here about the same time, became a partner of John C. Knox in merchandising, and afterwards landlord and proprietor of the old Willard House. Joseph Hance, cabinetmaker, and Daniel S. Craig, tailor, came here in 1836, and Henry Ford, tailor, and Lorenzo Ford, harness maker, about 1838. Frank and Benjamin Carey, tailors, and Carpenter H. and Andrew Place, shoemakers, were all here before 1840.
Henry E. Smith opened a shoe shop here in 1839, and has since been uninterruptedly engaged in business. He was born in 1811, is one of the oldest citizens, and the oldest business man in the county. In January, 1896, Mr. and Mrs. Smith celebrated the sixty-second anniversary of their marriage. This unusual event was rendered all the more remarkable from the fact that during the entire sixty-two years there has not been a death in their family, all their children being alive. Dr. H. H. Borden came here as a carpenter in 1840. He studied medicine under Dr. Abel Humphrey, and was admitted to practice in 1847. He soon afterwards opened a drug store, which, with but a brief interruption, he carried on until his death in July, 1894. Philo Tuller came here as a cabinet maker in 1841, and worked at his trade until the breaking out of the war, when he entered the construction department of the government service. In 1866 he embarked in the drug business, which he still carried on. P. S. Tuttle, recently deceased, went into business in the fall of 1840, and continued until about 1880, when he was compelled to retire by reason of impaired eyesight. Maj. Seth Daggett removed here from Jackson township in 1842. His son, Lewis Daggett, was in business here for several years. W. T. Urell came in 1848, was employed for several years as a clerk, and in 1857 embarked in business for himself.
The foregoing embrace the principal merchants, manufacturers and tradesmen who located in Tioga previous to its incorporation as a borough. As a rule, they were earnest, honest and sincere men, who came here in their young manhood, with but little capital other than willing hands, tireless energy and active brains. The obstacles they overcame, the discouragements, hardships and privations they experienced and endured, tested patience and fortitude, made them strong, sturdy and self-reliant, and developed in each of them a distinctive individuality, sometimes unique, sometimes eccentric, but always earnest and interesting.
early physicians and lawyers
Among those who did an important work in forwarding the growth and development of Tioga were the early physicians and lawyers. By reason of being, as a rule, more liberally educated than the average citizen of the place, they usually took a leading part in all matters of public concern. Dr. William Willard, the first physician, kept public house and practiced his profession for a number of years. Mention is made of a Dr. Beard, who was also here during the first decade of the present century. Dr. Simeon Power came here about 1808 from Knoxville, where he had settled in 1805. He removed to Lawrenceville about 1821, where he resided until his death. His brother, Dr. Pliny Power, came here from Canoe Camp. He married Brittania Gordon, and remained as a resident physician until 1835. Dr. F. H. White, who lived to be over one hundred years of age, and died a few years ago in Rutland township, was an early physician. Dr. H. Roberts is credited with being here in 1826, but it is not known how long he remained. Thomas J. Huston was a physician here previous to 1835, but appears to have paid more attention to moulding public opinion than to practicing medicine. Dr. Abel Humphrey located here in 1836, and continued in practice until ill health compelled him to retire. Dr. H. H. Borden, who studied medicine under Dr. Humphrey, was admitted to practice in 1847. He continued to practice until his death in July, 1894. Dr. T. B. Warner was a partner of Dr. Borden for several years, as was also Dr. Charles B. Borden, a son of the latter, and now a prominent physician of Marion, Indiana. Dr. O. P. Barden, a representative of the Homeopathic school, located here in 1868, and continued to practice until shortly before his death, January 25, 1892. The profession is now represented by Dr. Robert B. Smith and Dr. S. P. Hakes, of the regular school, and Dr. L. C. Brown, homeopathist.
M. T. Leavenworth, attorney-at-law, was admitted to practice in the courts of Tioga county May 27, 1826. He appears, however, to have had but a transient residence. Thomas DePui was also one of the earliest lawyers to practice here. William Garretson, who moved from Wellsboro, in January, 1827, is generally regarded as the first lawyer to locate here permanently. He continued as a resident lawyer until 1869, when he was appointed a law clerk in the internal revenue department at Washington, D. C., where he died in 1872. John C. Knox, an early editor and merchant, and afterwards associate justice of the State Supreme Court, read law under Garretson and practiced for several years in Tioga, whence he removed to Wellsboro. John W. Maynard practiced here from 1833 to 1840, when he removed to Williamsport. W. H. Higgins came about the same time, but made a brief stay. John W. Guernsey practiced here from 1835 until within a few years of his death, November 29, 1882. Charles H. Seymour comes next in the order of time. He read law under John W. Guernsey, was admitted to the bar in 1847, and continued in active practice until a few years preceding his death, which occurred June 6, 1882. Frederick E. Smith was a contemporary and partner of Seymour for several years. He, too, was a student in Guernsey’s office, was admitted to practice in 1849, and was one of the prominent members of the Tioga county bar up to his death, October 8, 1889. Lauren H. Tuttle opened an office in Tioga in 1874 and practiced here a few years. The present attorneys are Fred B. Smith, J. H. Putnam and H. L. Baldwin.
early and later hotels
The first public house in Tioga was that of Benajah Ives, erected in 1794 or 1795, near the ford, at the southern end of the "Island." In 1796 Thomas Berry became the proprietor. He carried on the house until his death in April, 1807, from which time until 1838, when she retired, it was carried on by his widow.
The Willard House, erected in 1798, by Dr. William Willard, on the ground now occupied by Philo Tuller’s drug store, was a square log house, with two rooms on the first floor, and a sleeping loft or chamber above. It was rebuilt in 1809 or 1810, the new edifice being a two-story, clap-boarded frame, with a dancing hall in the second story. Dr. Willard was the first landlord and was very popular with the traveling public. Among his successors were Henry H. Potter, Buel Smith, and Lyman H. Smith, his son, who enlarged it in 1855. About 1860 the property was purchased by Col. H. S. Johnston. A year or two later the new part was moved to the lot just west of the Park Hotel and the old part to the lot now occupied by the residence of Mrs. R. P. Inscho.
The Goodrich House was build by Allen Daniel Caulking in 1813, on the lot, now vacant, south of the Wickham block. In 1819 Capt. James Goodrich became landlord and continued, save for a period of about ten years, when it was in charge of his lesees, until 1859. It was destroyed in the fire of February 9, 1871, the landlord, at the time, being George W. Hazelett.
The Smith House was in a sense the successor of the Willard, the new part of which was moved in 1862 to the ground just west of the Park Hotel, by Lyman H. Smith. He carried it on up to November, 1868, when he sold it to Elias M. Smith, who conducted it until it was burned, February 9, 1871.
The Park Hotel, a four-story brick, with mansard roof, was built by a stock company at a cost of over $30,000. It was opened to the public July 1, 1876, with Elias M. Smith as landlord. S. O. Daggett purchased the property in 1892, carried it on up to April, 1896, and then sold it to his father and brother, who leased the hotel to Pettibone & Joseph, the present proprietors.
borough organization and officials.
Tioga was incorporated as a borough in February, 1860. The first election for borough officers took place July 3, 1860, at the house of Lyman H. Smith. At this election the following officers were chosen: John W. Guernsey, burgess; Jabin S. Bush, Thomas L. Baldwin, Henry E. Smith, Charles O. Etz and Frederick E. Smith, councilmen; Levi Bigelow, justice of the peace; Stewart M. Geer, high constable; Carpenter H. Place, assessor; O. B. Lowell, judge of election; R. P. H. McAllister and Charles J. Wheeler, inspectors of election; Vine DePui and Leroy Tabor, overseers of the poor.
The first meeting of the council was held July 9, 1860. F. E. Smith was chosen secretary and treasurer of the borough; Stewart M. Geer, poundmaster, and Silas B. Hathaway, street commissioner. This completed the borough organization.
The names of the burgesses elected from 1861 to 1897, inclusive, are as follows: John W. Guernsey, 1861-63; C. H. Seymour, 1864-66; T. L. Baldwin, 1867; John W. Guernsey, 1868-69; Joseph Fish, acting Burgess, 1870; W. O Farr, 1871; Joseph Fish, 1872; C. H. Seymour, 1873; O. B. Lowell, 1874-76; Dr. Robert B. Smith, 1877-78; Dr. O. P. Barden, 1879-81; E. A. Smead, 1882; James Dewey, 1883-84; S. M. Geer, 1885-86; C. B. Farr, 1887-88; Dr. C. B. Borden, 1889; C. B. Farr, 1890-91; E. A. Smead, 1892-96, and Philo Tuller, elected in 1897.
F. E. Smith served as secretary of the borough from July, 1860, to February, 1865, and from February, 1867, to February, 1884. John I. Mitchell served in 1865; A. M. Bennett, 1866; Walter T. Merrick from February, 1884, to October, 1885; J. H. Putnam from October, 1885, to March, 1890, when F. B. Smith, the present secretary, was chosen. F. E. Smith was treasurer of the borough from July, 1860, to March, 1884; E. A. Smead, until March, 1887; Philo Tuller in 1888, and E. A. Smead in 1889. H. L. Baldwin, the present treasurer, has held the office since March, 1890.
The following have been elected and commissioned justices of the peace for the borough: Levi Bigelow, 1860; William Garretson, 1863; H. H. Borden, 1865; re-elected, 1876 and 1890; Joseph Fish, 1866; re-elected, 1871 and 1881; Philo Tuller, 1867; J. Van Osten, 1869; John W. Guernsey, 1872; re-elected, 1883; L. H. Tuttle, 1877; re-elected, 1882; H. L. Baldwin, 1883; re-elected, 1883; L. H. Tuttle, 1877; re-elected, 1882; H. L. Baldwin, 1883; re-elected, 1888 and 1893; J. H. Putnam, 1885, and F. W. Shappee, 1895.
The Tioga postoffice, established January 1, 1805, is the oldest in the county. Following is a lost of the names of the postmasters of the village and borough from that date to the present: Uriah Spencer, 1805-09; Dr. William Willard, 1809-15; William Willard, Jr., 1815-19; John Berry, 1819-21; Capt. James Goodrich. 1821-35; Uriah Spencer, 1835-38; A. C. Bush, 1838-45; Edwin C. Goodrich, 1845-46; William Lowell, 1846-48; Albinus Hunt, 1848-51; Lewis Daggett, 1851-53; H. H. Goodrich, 1853-55; C. G. Dennison, 1855-57; William T. Urell, 1857-61; Lewis Daggett, 1861-65; Mrs. Sarah M. Etz, 1865-68; Philo Tuller, 1868-85; William T. Urell, 1885-90; James T. Davis, February 10, 1890, to February 10, 1893, when David C. McAllister, the present incumbent, was appointed.
village and borough newspapers
The first newspaper established in Tioga county was the Tioga Pioneer, which made its appearance at Wellsboro, December 3, 1825. Its publishers were Rankin Lewis & Company. In January, 1827, the place of publication was changed to Tioga. In 1828 Rev. Elisha Booth became proprietor, with William Garretson as associate editor. He changed its name to the Northern Banner. In 1831 or 1832, J. B. Shurtliff became owner, and changed the name to the Tioga Democrat. He conducted it about four years and sold it to Dr. Cyrus Pratt, who disposed of it is the spring of 1838 to the late William Adams, of Mansfield. In August, 1840, the office was moved to Lawrenceville, Mr. Adams having disposed of a half interest in it to John C. Knox and others, and the name of the paper was changed to the Lawrence Sentinel. Two years later it was sold to Asa H. Carey, who moved it, so it is said, to Troy, Pennsylvania.
In 1863, the plant of the Wellsboro Banner was purchased and moved to Tioga, by several gentlemen anxious to have a paper established here. Before, however, they succeeded in getting out an issue, the plant was re-purchased by the Democratic county committee and taken back to Wellsboro.
The publication of a little four-page sheet was begun March 21, 1872, by Samuel J. McCullough, Jr., and conducted by him until April, 1873, when it was superceded by the Tioga County Express, an eight-column folio, edited and managed by O. S. Webster and Azro Lumbard. On September 3, 1875, it passed into the hands of A. H. Bunnell. In March, 1879, he changed its name to the Tioga Express. It ceased publication in September, 1880, Mr. Bunnell removing the plant to Canisteo, New York. February 2, 1882, E. M. Bixby began the publication of a paper under the old name of Tioga Express. He died in 1883, and his widow carried it on for a time, with the assistance of Joseph H. Geer, who afterwards acquired control of it. It went out of existence in 1886. For sometime after this, the Lawrenceville Herald published a supplement sheet with a Tioga date and heading. In December, 1889, F. G. Babcock revived the Tioga Express, which he published until January, 1891, when he sold it to J. R. Bower, who ran it about a year, when the office was purchased by the Wellsboro Agitator.
On July 22, 1892, Fred. L. Graves began the publication of the Tioga Argus, a six-column quarto. This paper, which is still in existence, has met with a liberal support, and gives promise of permanence. It is devoted to local news and to the interests of the borough and township. In politics it is independent
The first school in Tioga borough was taught about the beginning of the present century by Benjamin Roberts, in his father’s log house, near the foot of the present Park street. Benjamin Roberts also taught in a house which stood near the site of the barn on the A. C. Bush place. About 1812 or 1813 a building was erected for school purposes, on the t. J. Berry place, below the borough. Among those who taught here were Miss Jemima Hotchkiss, Levi Vail, A. M. Betts, Andrew Pickard, Dennis Hawes, A. M. Traw, John W. Guernsey and others. In 1836 a school building was erected by Hobart B. Graves, on the ground now occupied by the Catholic church, and used for school purposes until 1889, when the present building on Broad street was erected. It is a two-story frame, with two rooms in the first, and one in the second, story, and cost nearly $2,000. With the erection of this building a graded-school course was adopted. Among those who have filled the position of principal are H. L. Baldwin, Elias Horton, J. C. Doane, J. E. Hazelett and W. E. Blair, the present incumbent, who has proved himself a capable and competent educator.
The First Baptist Church of Tioga, incorporated, March 17, 1842, is the oldest regularly organized church in the county. Its history dates to a meeting held April 24, 1813, at the residence of Benjamin Bentley, near Mitchell’s Creek, when a conference was constituted embracing the following persons: David Short, Richard Mitchell, Nathan Seely, Titus Ives, Charles Blanchard, Benjamin Bentley, Simeon Power, Timothy Ives, Mary Bentley, Ruth Ingersole, Abigail Mitchell, Sally Short and Ruby Mitchell. A covenant and articles of faith and practice were adopted February 26, 1814, and on June 18, 1814, the place of meeting was changed from the house of Benjamin Bentley to the house of Richard Mitchell, at Mitchell'’ Creek, and continued there until December, 1816. The church was formally organized June 20, 1816. [See Wellsburg Church Records - Feb. 3, 1816 ..\church\welsb100.htm] The following named persons constituted the original members: David Short, James Mitchell, F. Keeney, Elisha Tucker, John Maine, Samuel Warriner, Charles Blanchard, Ruby Mitchell, Anna Keeney, Hannah Welch, Nancy Maine, Catharine Matteson, Sally Short and Abigail Mitchell. From 1816 to 1844, the place of meeting was the school house on the Bentley farm, near Mitchell’s Creek. In the latter year the present house of worship in Tioga borough was erected and dedicated. The lot on which it stands was the gift of Elijah DePui, who also gave $250 in money. Labor and material to the amount of about $3,000 were contributed by the other members. The building was erected by S. M. Broakman. The following persons have served the church as deacons: Charles Blanchard, Thomas Keeney, Asaph Ellis, Isaac Adams, John Drew, A. C. Keeney, E. T. Bentley, S. S. McKinney and G. W. Dibble. The names of the pastors, in the order of their succession, are as follows: Revs. David Short, Elisha Tucker, Samuel Bigelow, Elisha Booth, Daniel Platt, T. S. Sheardown, W. A. Smith, James R. Burdick, Jeremiah Weatherby, Tobias Pinkham, G. L. Stevens, B. R. Swick, Jacob Kennedy, A. M. Brown, Levi Stone, J. L. Smith, G. P. Watrous, D. R. McDearmond, 1865-67; A. B. Chase, 1868-71; H. F. Hill, 1872; Ross Matthews, 1873; S. D. Merrick, 1875-85; S. Z. Batten, 1886-87; Allen Peckham, 1888; Fisher Wilson, 1889-91; S. A. Field, 1892-93; S. G. Brundage, 1895, and C. H. Crowl, 1896.
The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Tioga dates its beginning in June, 1826, when a fund was raised by subscription for the purpose of erecting a house of worship. On June 24, of that year, a meeting was held at the house of James Goodrich, in Willardsburg, at which it was resolved to collect the subscriptions and proceed to build. William Willard, Jr., Elisha Booth and Jacob Prutsman were elected trustees to superintendent the building. On October 16, 1826, the subscribers were notified to "furnish the amount of their subscriptions." April 7, 1827, the contract for carpenter and joiner work was let, and the frame of the building put up. It remained in that condition until 1842, when it was inclosed. In 1844 a charter for the First Methodist Episcopal church of Tioga, was obtained. It was united with the church at Lawrenceville, in one charge, until 1873, since which time the following pastors have served the Tioga church: Rev. Harvey Lamkin, appointed in 1873; C. J. Bradbury, 1876; G. W. Howland, 1877; Harvey Lamkin, 1879; J. W. Gamble, 1881; J. D. Requa, 1883; R. E. Thomas, 1885; T. A. Peterson, 1886; W. A. Linaberry, 1888; C. M. Gardner, 1890; D. O. Chamberlayne, 1891; L. P. Thurston, 1893; Uri Mulford, 1895 D. E. Stiles, the present pastor, who took charge in October, 1896. The first church building stood fronting Meeting House alley. It was destroyed by fire on the night of February 9, 1871. The new building, dedicated in 1872, stands further east, and fronts on Main street. It is constructed of brick, with freestone trimmings, and cost about $7,000. The lot on which it stands was the gift of William Willard, Jr., and wife, the deed bearing date March 11, 1834. This church and the church in Farmington are under one charge. The membership of the church in Tioga is 125. T. D. Rouse is the superintendent of the Sunday-school, which numbers about ninety students and teachers.
St. Andrew’s Protestant Episcopal Church dates the beginning of its history to 1840, in which year an occasional service was held in Tioga by Rev. Charles Breck, rector of St. Paul’s church, of Wellsboro. He organized a parish under the name of Christ Church, which, however, failed to secure a charter. Rev. George Hopkins, of Lawrenceville, next supplied the parish, and was followed by Rev. A. A. Marple, of Wellsboro, who held monthly services until September, 1860, when Rev. Thomas H. Cullen took charge. In May, 1861, the parish was admitted into the union with the Diocese of Pennsylvania, under the name of St. Andrew’s Parish. The charter members of the vestry were John W. Guernsey, J. S. Bush, P. S. Tuttle, S. M. Geer, F. E. Smith, T. L. Baldwin, H. H. Borden and O. B. Lowell. In January, 1863, Rev. Mr. Cullen resigned, and the parish remained without a rector until 1867, when Rev. J. Hobart DeMille was called. He remained about a year. In June, 1869, the corner-stone of a frame church building was laid by Rev. Thomas H, Cullen. this building was opened for service St. Andrew’s Day, November 30, 1869. On the night of February 9, 1871, the church and rectory were destroyed by fire. In the following month a temporary chapel was erected. In May, 1871, Rev. John H. Babcock took charge, but soon resigned. In June, 1872, Rev. Thomas H. Cullen was recalled, and it was largely through his efforts that the present handsome house of worship was erected, the corner-stone of which was laid by him, August 13, 1872. The building was opened for service on the evening of May 14, 1874. The church is of gothic design, and is built of Elkhorn stone, trimmed with light-colored freestone from the Corning quarries. It cost about $12,000. There are four memorial windows, as follows: One on the south side, in memory of Mrs. James Goodrich, given by her children; one on the north side, in memory of S. Morris Waln, of Philadelphia, given by his sister, and two in front, in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Levi Bigelow, donated by their children. A beautiful stone font is the gift of Mrs. Edwin A. Meade, of New York, and Mrs. S. S. Caldwell, of Omaha, Nebraska, in memory of their children, Bertie Meade and Annie Caldwell. The chancel rail was presented by Mrs. Thomas H. Cullen. Kneeling stools were given by Miss Rachel Morris, and book racks by Mrs. A. C. Bush and Mrs. F. E. Smith. The gilt cross surmounting the spire is the gift of Mrs. John W. Guernsey. The building was consecrated Tuesday, May 22, 1877, by Rt. Rev. M. A. DeWolfe Howe, D. D., bishop of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania. The successors of Mr. Cullen have been Revs. John London, Percy Clinton Webber, Percy J. Robottom, W. G. Wells, William DuHamel and F. Southgate Hipkins. Rev. L. B. Thomas, the present rector, took charge in November, 1894.
The Presbyterian Church of Tioga was organized Wednesday, January 25, 1852, by Rev. J. S. McCullough, with nine members, as follows: Mrs. Eunice Aiken, Miss Abigail Preston, Mrs. Amelia Wellington, Cyrus B. and Mrs. Eliza B. Hathaway, Miss Anna Marie Wickham, Mrs. Emeline Guernsey, Mrs. Emily L. McCullough, and the pastor, Rev. J. S. McCullough. Through the personal efforts and financial aid of Mr. McCullough, B. C. Wickham, Joseph and David L. Aiken, J. B. Steele, Mr. Slocum and others, the present church building on Broad street was erected in 1851, at a cost of over $2,000. Mr. McCullough served the church as pastor from its organization until1868. His successors have been Revs. D. Otis Fletcher, 1868 to 1871; R. H. Shumway, 1871 to 1872; William Baldwin May 1, 1872, to March 9, 1885; Albert Bacon, supply from May 17, to August 9, 1885; W. L. Woodruff, supply August 9, 1885 to November 9, 1885; F. S. Houser, December 13, 1885 to May 29, 1887; S. D. Merrick (Baptist), supply, time not stated; J. I. Campbell, April 7, 1891, to March 6, 1892; J. H. Elliot, from latter date to March 8, 1895, when the pulpit became vacant. The church was incorporated September 4, 1869, and now consists of over seventy members. Robert Bishop is the superintendent of the Sunday-school.
St. Mary’s Catholic Church was organized in 1861, in which year the old village school building was purchased and used as a house of worship. The price paid was $550, and it was dedicated under the pastorship of Rev. Father Gogan. Among the original members were the following named persons and their families: John Kinney, John Rouen, Peter Burns, Edward Rogers, Charles Hickey, James Kelly, John Gleason and John O’Neal. In 1880 the old building was sold to E. A. Smead, who removed it to the rear of his hardware store, and a new church building was erected on the lot at a cost of nearly $3,000. The building was damaged by the flood of June, 1889, but was repaired and greatly improved by the addition of a handsome new altar in 1892. Services are held twice a month by the pastor of St. Peter’s church, Wellsboro. The Sunday-school is in charge of Miss Jennie Norton.
Willardsburg Lodge was the name of the first Masonic society organized in Tioga. The lodge room was in the second story of Dr. Willard’s residence, and among its members were Dr. William Willard, his sons, William and Henry; Col. Ambrose Millard and Harris Hotchkiss. During the excitement, in 1829 and 1830, attendant upon the disappearance of William Morgan, Colonel Millard, and a few other members of this lodge, used to meet in the woods, in order to keep its charter from lapsing. This lodge, however, went out of existence soon afterward.
Tioga Lodge, No. 373, F. & A. M., was chartered October 16, 1866. Previous to its organization a number of the resident Masons of Tioga were members of Painted Post Lodge, at Corning, New York. They became either charter or early members of the lodge here, which elected the following officers and perfected its organization July 11, 1867: H. S. Johnson, W. M.; T. R. Warren, S. W.; Calvin Hammond, J. W.; J. S. Bush, T.; F. H. Adams, S.; Philo Tuller, S. D. The lodge now numbers sixty-six members, and is in a flourishing condition.
Adelphic Lodge, I.O.O.F., was instituted October 8, 1847, and retained its charter until April 2, 1858, when it was removed to Roseville. The first officers of the lodge, elected December 23, 1847, were as follows: John W. Guernsey, N. G.; Alpha D. Cole, V. G.; F. E. Smith, S.; Edgar D. Seeley, A. S., and John Mathews, T.
Tioga River Lodge, No. 797, I.O.O.F., was chartered May 1, 1872, with the following officers: S. M. Geer, N. G.; A. E. Niles, V. G.; O. P. Barden, S.; C. B. Farr, A. S.; and C. F. Miller, T.
Etz Post, No. 401, G. A. R., named in honor of Lieut. Charles O. Etz, who was killed at the battle of Malvern Hill, July 14, 1862, was organized December 14, 1883. The commanders have been A. S. Reynolds, H. Pickering Schuyler Beers, Charles Ryon, N. R. Shappee, A. H. Rawson and William Kimball. About eighty soldiers of the Union army have been mustered into this post since its organization.
The beneficiary orders are represented as follows: Phoenix Lodge, No. 933, K. of H., organized March 7, 1878. It has thirteen members. Keystone Lodge, No. 105, O. O. W., was organized February 9, 1892, and now has fourteen members. Tioga Tent, No. 176, K. O. T. M., was instituted June 10, 1893. It has now about thirty members and is growing.
later business and manufacturing enterprises.
The Tabor, Mathews & Company foundry was established in 1849, on the site now occupied by the store of M. S. Field and the Smith & Peck meat market. About 1860 this foundry burned down and was not rebuilt.
The Union Tanning Company, a member of the corporation known as the United States Leather Company, operated a tannery on Wellsboro street, devoted to the tanning of sole leather. Its output is 400 sides of leather a day; its consumption of hemlock bark 6,000 cords a year, and it gives employment to fifty men. L. R. Johnson, is the superintendent, and C. A. Nearing the foreman. The original tannery, of which this is the successor, was started in the winter of 1853-54, by Joseph Fish and Charles Somers. Among those who afterward acquired either a partial or controlling interest in it, were Ira Wells, H. F. Wells, Col. H. S. Johnson, O. B. Lowell, C. B. Farr and others. In 1882, while being operated by Lowell & Company, it suspended, and almost immediately passed into the hands of the Wellsboro Leather Company, who were succeeded by Garrett, Davidge & Company, who in February, 1892, sold out to the Union Tanning Company. During the time Garrett, Davidge & Company were in control, a currier shop was erected by the Tioga Improvement Company and was run in connection with the tannery—which was then an upper leather tannery—by Dewson, Williams & Company, of Boston. Since passing into the control of the Union Tanning Company, the plant has been devoted to the production of sole leather exclusively.
The Tioga County Bank was incorporated May 11, 1857, and organized with T. L. Baldwin, president, and John W. Guernsey, cashier. The authorized capital was $100,000, with permission to increase to $200,000. It began business with a paid up capital of $56,610. The control soon fell into the hands of outside parties, who came near wrecking it. B. C. Wickham and A. S. Turner took charge, and by advancing their private funds restored its credit. Henry H. Goodrich was made teller and book-keeper. On the night of May 24, 1864, the bank, then located in a private dwelling, was entered, the safe blown open and robbed of $21,000 in cash and bonds. The safe, at the time, contained $102,000 in currency and United States bonds. Fright on the part of the robbers is given as the reason why a larger amount was not secured. The robbery is still as unsolved mystery. None of the money or bonds was ever recovered. July 1, 1866, the institution was changed to a private bank, with B. C. Wickham, president, and David L. Aiken, cashier. It continued business under the name of B. C. Wickham & Company’s Banking House, until December 13, 1883, when it suspended. The suspension was a severe blow to the prosperity of the borough, and one from which it did not recover for years.
The Robert Bishop Factory, at the foot of Park street, is the successor of the old Van Name factory, established about 1860 by Charles Van Name. He died in 1867, and was succeeded by his brother, John Van Name. Mr. Bishop first entered the factory as an employe; then became a partner, and in 1872, the sole proprietor. The factory is devoted to the manufacture of butter tubs and firkins, tobacco cases, boxes and finished lumber.
The Lucky Oil Well Company, with a nominal capital of $150,000, was chartered April 18, 1865. The officers were Edward Bayer, president; T. L. Baldwin, vice-president; A. M. Bennett, secretary, and Henry H. Goodrich, treasurer. A tract of land on Bear creek, two miles from Tioga, was leased from Abiel Sly, known by the sobriquet of "Old Lucky." A well was sunk to the depth of 923 feet, at a cost of over $7,000. The well was tubed and pumped, and a small quantity of oil obtained from it.
Voorhees, Aiken & Company, cigar manufacturers, began business in Tioga, in 1880. They had a capital of $25,000, and their factory was conducted on a large scale, employment being given to 100 hands. The failure, December 13, 1883, of B. C. Wickham & Company’s Banking House, crippled the enterprise. In March, 1884, the factory was sold to Mansfield parties, and there continued under the name of G. S. Voorhees & Company.
T. G. Hetfield’s Cigar Factory was started in 1888, one and a quarter miles west of Tioga, on the Wellsboro road. September 15, 1893, it was destroyed by fire. He resumed business in the borough, remaining until April, 1895, when he removed back to the old site west of town, having, in the meantime, rebuilt his residence and factory.
tioga water works.
As early as 1828, Hobart Graves brought water in wooden pipes to his distillery, on Wellsboro street. The pipes were pine logs with holes bored through them lengthwise. A few private residences were also supplied by Mr. Graves. The great pressure, however, made it difficult to keep the pipes in repair, and they were finally abandoned to disuse and decay.
The Tioga Water Works Company was organized in 1874, with T. A. Wickham as superintendent, and Charles A. Wickham as engineer. Work was commenced August 22, of that year, and the water let into the pipes December 16. The water is brought from Bentley’s creek, over nearly the same course as that followed by Hobart Graves in 1828. The storage reservoir is a basin of the creek, 320 feet above the level of the borough, and has a capacity if 1,200,000 gallons. The distributing reservoir stands on the brow of East hill, 220 feet above the borough, and has a capacity of 750,000 gallons. The specific gravity system is used, and the consumption averages about 500,000 gallons. The company was incorporated January 20, 1888, with a capital of $15,000, divided into 600 shares, 476 shares being owned by Rufus S. Frost, of Chelsea, Massachusetts; eight shares by T. A. Wickham, and four each by Edward G. Schieffelin, Henry L. Baldwin, C. B. Farr and J. E. Sweetland, of Tioga. T. A. Wickham has been the superintendent of the company since its organization.
The Park Hose Company was organized in 1874. Its membership was made up of the leading citizens and the most active young men of the borough. It did good service whenever called upon, and won many honors in the tournaments of the county’s firemen.
Smead Hose Company, No. 1, the successor of the Park Hose Company, was organized June 2, 1893, and was named in honor of E. A. Smead, who was then burgess. The names of the charter members and the first officers of this organization, are as follows: W. C. Adams, president; I. L. Rich, vice-president; Daniel Berry, treasurer; W. C. Wells, secretary; H. Pickering, chief engineer; George Abrams, foreman; E. D. Brigham, first assistant; George M. Rice, second assistant; J. F. Decker, Alfred J. Dewey, A. A. Porter, F. D. Reynolds, E. B. Smith, W. Marsh, W. J. Hughes, Royal Wheeler, F. L. Aiken, John Day, John J. Davis, Jr., Daniel Holleran, B. B. Rundall, F. W. Shappee, John Kreiger, W. Jack and Herman Kemp.
fire and flood.
On the evening of February 9, 1871, a fire, originating in the restaurant of the basement of A. C. Bush’s store, resulted in the destruction of the business portion of the borough. It swept away thirteen stores, the Protestant Episcopal church and rectory, the Methodist Episcopal church building, one law office, one wagon shop, the bank building, the old Goodrich Hotel and the newer Smith Hotel buildings, a marble shop, two dwellings and a number of outbuildings. The loss of these, with their contents, though severely felt by their owners, proved, in the end, of benefit to the borough. Aside from calling into activity a latent spirit of enterprise, and giving to the borough a new impetus in the direction of progress and prosperity, it led to the establishment of fire limits, and the passage of an ordinance prohibiting the erection of wooden buildings within the burnt district. The work of rebuilding was promptly begun, and it was not long before the old wooden structures were replaced by substantial and sightly buildings of brick and stone. These not only add much to the appearance of the business portion of the borough, but afford a reasonable security against a repetition of the calamity.
Early on the morning of Saturday, June 1, 1889, the people of the borough were aroused from their slumbers by an invasion of the waters of Crooked creek and the Tioga river into the lower stories of their houses. these streams, swollen by the incessant rains of the previous day and night, had overflowed their banks, and had risen with unprecedented rapidity. In a few hours the water stood from one to six feet deep in the residences, and was over the counter tops of most of the stores in the borough. So sudden and rapid was the rise, coming as it did in the last hours of the night when the people of the borough were wrapped in slumber, that there was no time to prepare for it. Millions of feet of logs, lumber and timber, borne on the rushing and rapidly rising current, added terror to the situation, threatening, as they did, the entire destruction of the town. The people fled to the upper stories of their buildings or sought safety on the hillsides, and many stories of remarkable escapes from death are related by those who were taken unawares by the sudden rising of the waters, which attained a height of four or five feet beyond any other flood in the history of the borough. The lodgement of logs, lumber, outbuildings, etc., in the ten-acre orchard at the back of the A. C. Bush residence, proved providential, and prevented many buildings from being torn from their foundations and carried down stream. The breaking of Crooked creek through the embankment southeast of the borough, added volume to the flood and peril to the situation, and for a time the entire destruction of the place seemed imminent. The flood attained its greatest height in about four hours, and receded as rapidly as it rose, leaving the streets, yards, gardens, and vacant lots filled with logs and a miscellaneous accumulation of trash and debris. The carpets, floors and submerged contents of residences and business houses were covered with a deposit of several inches of mud, and furniture, books, goods, etc., were either greatly damaged or utterly ruined. The loss of property, within the borough limits alone, exceeded $50,000, the heaviest individual losers being Robert Bishop and T. a. Wickham. The box factory of the former, on Park street, was badly wrecked, and nearly his entire stock of lumber, including 200,000 feet of box pine, was carried away. His loss was $7,000. Mr. Wickham lost logs and lumber to the value of $5,000. Growing crops in fields and gardens were destroyed, and it was months before the streets, alleys and individual grounds were cleared of the logs, lumber and debris of the flood, and the borough resumed its former neat and attractive appearance. As in the case of the fire of 1871, measures were immediately taken to prevent recurrence of the disaster.
The following entry to this inundation appears in the record book of the borough clerk, under date of June 1, 1889:
Water higher, by four and a half to five feet, than ever known here before. This book was under water six to eight hours. The streets were filled with logs, flood trash and outbuildings, after the water went down.
This flood, and the damage to property resulting from it, led the council to provide for the construction of a dyke along the west bank of the Tioga river, from the southern limit of the borough to the foot of Broad street. This dyke, which cost between $2,000 and $3,000, is above high water mark, and will, it is believed, protect the borough from further inundation.