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Township Organization--Selection of Name--Boundaries and Area--Physical Features--Early Land Troubles--Conflicting Claims of Pennsylvania and Connecticut--Final Settlement of the Dispute--The State Line Survey--Hon. Samuel Baker, the First White Settler--Other Early Settlers--The Borough of Lawrenceville--Manufacturing and Business Enterprises--Physicians and Lawyers--Newspapers--Schools--Churches, Sabbath-Schools and Cemeteries--Justices and Burgesses-Societies—Horacetown
Prior to 1816 the township of Tioga, which originally included all of Tioga county, had been reduced by the formation of other townships, to a territory six and one-half miles wide from east to west, extending from its present southern boundary north, nine and three-fourths miles to the State line. At the February term of court, 1816, a petition was presented, signed by Joseph M. McCormick, John Ryon, Jr., James Baldwin, Nathaniel Seely, Emmer Bowen, Andrew Bosard, Joseph Bennet, John Hazlett, Ebenezer Baldwin, John Allington and James Daily, praying for a certain described territory, comprising the northern part of Tioga and the eastern part of Elkland, to be erected into a separate township. Whereupon, February 22, 1816, the court appointed Charles Blanchard, John Cady and Daniel Walker, viewers, who at the following term reported in favor of setting off the new township, and the report was confirmed nisi. At the September term following (September 16), "upon the petition of divers inhabitants of the townships of Tioga and Elkland, setting forth that a township that hath lately been formed out of part of each of the townships of Elkland and Tioga, which township, if confirmed by order of the court, will be injurious and burdensome" to the inhabitants of said townships, and therefore "pray the court to appoint suitable persons to review the same. The court upon due consideration do order and appoint Ebenezer Seelye, Elihu Hill and Lorentes Jackson, to review the township thus laid off as aforesaid and enquire into the propriety of forming the same." At the following December term (December 6), the reviewers reported as follows: "That we consider the convenience of a more compact township to overbalance the expense that will eventually arise from such division, therefore, think proper that the new township begin at the ninety-fifth milestone of the York State line; thence south four miles to a hemlock corner; thence east eight miles and a half to a stake; thence north four miles to the State line; thence along said State line (west) to the place of beginning. The report having been read the first time on the 17th of this month, December, and a second time on the 18th instant, the court (consisting of Hon. James Burnside, president; Ira Kilburn and Samuel W. Morris, associate judges) do approve and confirm the same, and order and direct that it be entered of record, according to the courses and distances aforesaid, and in grateful remembrance of the gallant James Lawrence, of the United States navy, who fell in the action between the Chesapeake and the Shannon, call this township Lawrence."
The township as thus described is bounded on the north by the New York state line, on the east by Jackson, on the south by Tioga and Farmington, on the west by Farmington and Nelson, and contains thirty-four square miles, 20,760 acres, nearly all of which is arable land. The Tioga river enters the south line of the township about three miles from its southeast corner, takes a course a little west of north, leaving the township a few rods east of the ninetieth milestone. The Cowanesque, its principal affluent, enters the township from the west, about a mile and a half south from its northwest corner, flows in a mean northeasterly direction, leaves the township between the ninetieth and ninety-first milestones, and empties itself into the Tioga a short distance north of the State line. These streams flow through broad valleys, whose rich soil, of deep alluvium, is very productive and adapted to great variety of culture. While all crops are remunerative, of late years tobacco has been the leading product. The valleys are bounded by low ranges of hills from 500 to 600 feet in height, when they spread out in broken plateaus, which, until recently, were heavily timbered, but now contain some of the best farms in the county. The principal streams that fall into the Tioga from the east are, Smith’s, Hart’s and Westbrook creeks, which, having their heads in the plateau above the river flats, have cut deep ravines through the soft shales, not wide enough for farming purposes, but affording magnificent scenery and beautiful drives on roads of easy grades. The Tioga branch of the Erie railway is built in the ravine of Westbrook creek. On the west there are no affluents of any size within the limits of the township. A creek of considerable size, having its sources in the Farmington hills, flows into the Cowanesque at Tompkins, the only affluent of much volume it receives after entering the township.
EARLY LAND TROUBLES.
Those familiar with Pennsylvania history will remember that the charter of the Connecticut Colony gave her a territory extending through its entire breadth of latitude from Charles river to the Pacific ocean, except where occupied by some other Christian prince or State. The territory subsequently granted to William Penn lapped upon this grant more than the width of one degree of latitude, across the entire northern part of Pennsylvania. Connecticut claimed this on the ground that her charter was nineteen years older than Penn’s. accordingly, in 1754, she assigned to certain freemen and their associates, known as the Susquehanna Company, that portion of her territory from ten miles east of the northeast branch of the Susquehanna river, westward through the whole breadth of latitude, two degrees of longitude, or one hundred twenty miles, or measured on the State boundary line from the forty-sixth to the one hundred sixty-sixth milestone—from the eastern part of Bradford county to the Tuna valley in McKean. The strifes, conflicts, captures, reprisals, destruction of property, special legislation, compromises and law suits, growing out of this claim, which disturbed the Susquehanna valley for half a century, cannot here be discussed. The New England settlers believing the Pennsylvania government had taken an unfair advantage of the "Decree of Trenton," made December 30, 1782, which conceded to Pennsylvania the jurisdiction and pre-emption of the disputed strip, by the oppressive, unreasonable and tyrannical legislation, which had been harshly enforced against them, a meeting was held at Hartford, July 13, 1785, at which it was resolved that the company would support its claim to the purchase, protect the settlers and give as a gratuity a large number of rights to such as would come upon the ground and maintain by force and arms, if need be, their possessions. This resolution was scattered broadcast over New England and hundreds, mostly young me, or relatives of the old settlers, rushed upon the disputed territory.
In disposing of their lands, the company surveyed them into townships as nearly five miles square as the conformity of the land would allow, each containing twenty-five square miles, or 16,000 acres, which were divided into fifty-three shares or rights of 300 acres each, fifty of which were for settlers and three for public use. Hamilton, which embraced the present borough of Lawrenceville, was granted as early as 1790. May 30, 1796, Major Zephon Flower, the surveyor of the Susquehanna Company, ran the projection of the east line of it for fifteen miles. His field notes read: "A survey of part of Hemlenton and other towns." Beginning at the eighty-ninth milestone he indicates the streams crossed and their courses, with observations as to the timber, quality of land, etc.
The earliest emigrants into this county were mostly young men from New England and eastern New York, either single or recently married, who, availing themselves of the liberal offers of the Susquehanna Company, thought to secure for themselves, at small price, farms and homes on the rich bottom lands of the Tioga and the Cowanesque. Their route was by the way of the Susquehanna and Tioga rivers through Athens, Newtown, now Elmira, and Painted Post to their destination.
Immediately after the purchase of the Indian claim by Pennsylvania to the northwestern portion of her territory, the land office was opened and the land surveyed and offered for sale at a price which was soon reduced to six and one-fourth cents per acre. Speculation ran wild. Philadelphia merchants, bankers, men holding public office and others invested to the utmost limit of their money and credit. As early as May, 1785, warrants of survey were laid on both sides of the rivers, and patents were granted on some of them as early as 1792. great efforts were made to sell these warrants to settlers, but the uncertainty about title led them to hesitate in making investments. Men who had embarked in these speculations soon found themselves greatly embarrassed and unable to make their payments. Their lands were sold by sheriffs and United States marshals for taxes and warrant fees, and many were hopelessly ruined.
In the meanwhile, after pursuing a vacillating course toward the Connecticut people for more than sixteen year, in 1799, the Pennsylvania legislature reached a settled policy in its dealings with them. The confirming law passed that year, with its various supplements, made a distinction between the Susquehanna Company’s settlers prior to the Decree of Trenton and those who came later—"half-share men"—confirming the titles of the former to the lands they occupied, and, using the language of an eminent judge, "cutting up the pretended titles of the half-share men by the roots."
The question of title being settled the landholders, in 1806, appointed as their agent Thomas Overton, of Ulster, Bradford county, who came here in the summer of that year, and with great tact and persuasion prevailed upon most of the settlers to abandon their worthless Connecticut titles and buy of the Pennsylvania owners. The people had no money. The little they once had, had been expended in the purchase of their Connecticut rights and the improvement of their farms. Mr. Overton, however, arranged easy terms of payment, which was secured by bond and mortgage upon the holding. He was succeeded by Michael R. Tharp, who adjusted the great majority of titles and is still remembered by the older people. The first volume of records in the recorder’s office in this county is mostly filled with mortgages upon farms along the river given to secure the payment of the purchase money, and many of the deeds contain a warranty which can only be understood by remembering that to a part or the whole of the land conveyed there was an adverse title from another State.
In 1786 commissioners and surveyors began to run the boundary line between the States of New York and Pennsylvania, beginning at the Delaware river and going westward. When reaching the ninetieth milestone, which stands near the northeast corner of William Kuhl’s barn, in the borough of Lawrenceville, they suspended work until the following spring, when it was resumed. At the re-survey of this line, in 1879, astronomical observations were taken at this point, which was found to be exactly 42° 00’.01’± 0".14 north latitude, the exact parallel cutting the houses on the north side of State street. At the time of running this line there was not a white settler farther up the Tioga than Painted Post. The open plains at the junction of the Cowanesque, where generations before the red man had cultivated his corn and squashes, had now grown up in hazel bushes, or were covered with wild grass higher than a man’s head, but as yet no white man had sought it for a habitation or located upon its fertile meadows his future home.
HON. SAMUEL BAKER, THE FIRST WHITE SETTLER.
The distinction of being the first white settler within the township of Lawrence, and indeed in the county of Tioga, belongs to the Hon. Samuel Baker,* late of Steuben county, New York. He was born in Branford, Connecticut, April 24, 2763, of Puritan ancestry. Jonathan Baker, father of Samuel, removed with his family to White Creek, Washington county, New York, before the Revolutionary War. Early in August, 1777, Burgoyne was marching by easy stages from Ticonderoga to the Hudson. The forests in advance of him were swarming with hostile savages. Both boys hid themselves and might have escaped hand not Samuel been too anxious to see a live Indian, when he was discovered and captured. The next day, after a journey of considerable hardship, the party reached the camp of Burgoyne, and Samuel was redeemed by a British officer for twelve dollars, and became a waiter at army headquarters. After the surrender of Burgoyne he was found by an American officer, who gave him two dollars and told him to go home, which he did, and remained there until 1781. In that year, at the age of eighteen, he enlisted in Col. Marius Willett’s regiment, for the protection of Tryon county, and took part in the skirmish of Canada Creek, in which the noted Tory leader, Capt, Walter Butler was killed.
In 1786 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Daniels. Having purchased a right in the Susquehanna Company, in the spring of 1787, provided with only his rifle, he started alone to locate his land on the Tioga, the unexplored west. Striking the headwaters of the Susquehanna, he came to Tioga Point (now Athens), then pushed up the Tioga to Painted Post, and on to its junction with the Cowanesque, and there he built his cabin and commenced a clearing. His log house was near the west bank of the Tioga, almost directly east of the residence of Charles Beebe, in Lawrenceville, near a large oak on the lands of Mrs. Damon. He was the first settler in the valley of the Tioga in Pennsylvania. Samuel Harris, son of John Harris, the founder of Harrisburg, located at Painted Post, was his nearest neighbor, and next to him was Colonel Hendry, below Big Flats. Having provided himself with a cow, purchased probably at Tioga Point, Mr. Baker managed to live through the summer. He planted with his hoe a piece of corn and raised a good crop. Game and fish were to be had at his own door.
Before autumn he was joined by Capt. Amos Stone, who had been a prominent actor in Shay’s notable rebellion against the operation of the Federal Constitution in western Massachusetts. Shay’s army was defeated January 25, 1787, and his adherents sought refuge from the federal authorities wherever they could. Baker and Stone remained here alone until Christmas day, 1787, when Baker, leaving Captain Stone to hold his claim, started for the Hudson to bring on his wife and child. The weather was severe. Night overtook him at Big Flats. He kindled a fire on the bank of the river and laid down, but though accustomed to exposure, so intense was the cold he could not sleep. Early in the morning he resumed his journey, and in due time reached his family in safety.
In the spring of 1788 he brought his wife and infant daughter, accompanied by his wife’s father and mother, to Tioga Point. Leaving his family here until the freshet in the Tioga should subside, he struck across the country to see how his friend Stone fared. On reaching the bank opposite his cabin not a human being, except an Indian pounding corn in a samp mortar, was to be seen. Baker supposed his friend had been murdered by the savages, and he lay in the bushes an hour or two to watch the red miller. At length he saw the captain driving his cow along the bank of the river. Baker hailed him, when Stone, seeing who it was, sprang into the air with delight. He had not seen the face of a white man during Baker’s absence. In a few days, returning to the Point, he brought his wife and little one and his wife’s parents to their new home in the forest.
Now that his family was with him, Mr. Baker, with redoubled energy and zeal, set himself to work to make for them a comfortable home. There were many Indians living in the neighborhood, who, though peaceable, yet now and then by their unexpected visits caused the young wife some trepidation. She had, however, far more dangerous neighbors in the deadly rattlesnakes which swarmed in great numbers in the vicinity. One day while engaged in some out of door duties, her little one, whom she had carried in her arms from the Hudson the year before, was sitting upon the sill of the open door. Casually turning her eyes that way, the mother witnessed a sight that would have paralyzed an ordinary woman. A large rattler was coiled in front of the child attempting to charm it, while the child was reaching out her tiny hand to clutch the sparkling, diamond-like eyes of the reptile. The snake would duck its head to avoid the hand. This it did several times. The mother, equal to the emergency, flew to the rescue, reached over the glittering charmer, seized the child, threw it into the house and killed the snake. For several years the sturdy pioneer quietly pursued his labors and diligently sought to enlarge his clearing and make comfortable his woodland home.
Early in June, 1793, the settlers were startled by a cavalcade of battered, travel-stained horsemen, and shaggy, leather-dressed hunters emerging from the forest into the clearing. Their first thought was of a party of Pennsylvanians to dispossess them of their homes which they were holding under a Connecticut title that had been declared void by the Pennsylvania legislature. The leader was a tall, spare, dark-visaged gentleman of courtly manner and bearing, who, as he gracefully vaulted from his saddle, introduced himself as Captain Williamson, "of whom you have doubtless heard," and craved the hospitality of the frontiersman. The greeting in return was most cordial, and from that day the two men were fast friends.
Great uneasiness was beginning to be felt by the settlers here on account of the uncertainty of their Connecticut titles. Captain Williamson promised Mr. Baker a farm, with a clear title, of any shape or size he should wish wherever he should locate it on the Pultney estate. At the suggestion of Benjamin Patterson, one of Williamson’s surveyors, he located a farm in the deep and beautiful valley extending from Lake Keuka to the Conhocton. In the summer of 1793 he went upon his location, erected a log house, made a clearing, receiving a conveyance from Mr. Williamson, dated October 19, 1793, for 200 acres of land, after which he returned for his family. In the spring of 1794 he removed from the Cowanesque with his wife and four children, viz: The daughter born on the Hudson, and two daughters and one son, William, born on the Tioga+, to his farm in Pleasant valley. Here he continued to reside in peace and comfort, beloved and respected, until his death, which occurred December 2, 1842. His wife was a woman of great strength of mind and high character, stately in manner and a most devoted member of the Episcopal church. Beside the four children they had on leaving Lawrenceville, eight were born to them in Pleasant valley.
*(For the facts relating to Samuel Baker and Richard Daniels, I am indebted to A. J. McAll, Esq., of Bath, New York, who obtained them at first hand.)
+Some of these were, no doubt, the first white children born in Tioga county.
OTHER EARLY SETTLERS.
Richard Daniels, father-in-law of Samuel Baker, was born in Albany, New York, and served in the French and Indian War of 1754. Soon after the war he returned to Columbia county, New York, and married Cornelia Hoos, a near relative of Martin Van Buren, and took up his residence in Coxsackie, New York. In the War of the Revolution he was a loyalist, but his wife was a true, spirited American, and in every way his superior. He was "a North River Dutchman, short, stout, stubborn and thrifty." They had two children, Elizabeth, who was said to be the very likeness of her mother, and married Samuel Baker, and Mary, who died unmarried, probably before leaving their Coxsackie home. He accompanied his daughter to Lawrenceville in 1788, where he had a log house near his son-in-law. Mrs. Daniels brought some apple seeds, which she planted, and from which grew trees that were standing near the site of their residence until a few years since. He followed Mr. Baker into Pleasant valley in 1794, where he had a beautiful farm north of the inlet, which he conveyed to his grandson, Richard Baker, in 1816, and soon after was laid to rest.
Amos Stone was a captain in the Connecticut Line in the Revolutionary War, and an active participant in Shay’s Rebellion. He was born in 1759 and unmarried when he came to Lawrenceville, but in the winter of 1789 he married Miss Elizabeth Ives*, of Newtown, now Elmira, New York, and brought his wife to Lawrenceville on a "pung." He lived a near neighbor to his friend, Mr. Baker, and removed with him to Pleasant valley in 1794, purchasing the farm next east of Baker. The conveyance from Williamson is dated December 4, 1793, for 160 acres, which he paid for by cutting the road from Bath, New York. He lived to the advanced age of eighty-three years, entering into rest in 1842, having outlived his wife a number of years. He was light-hearted and jolly, making many friends, an intelligent and respectable farmer, and left many descendants.
Of William Barney but little is known, except that he came from the "North River" and settled in the neighborhood of Mr. Baker. There are very strong reasons for believing that his log house was on the north side of the Cowanesque, on the farm subsequently owned by John Cady. That he had a family is certain, as in 1811, his son, George Barney, writes from Vincennes, "Indiana territory," to a friend describing his home, etc., who must have been at least twenty-one years old, and born before his father left the Cowanesque. He also moved to Pleasant valley, bought a farm adjoining those of his old Pennsylvania neighbors, the conveyance bearing date October 18, 1793, for 160 acres. These four families seem to be almost inseparable. They came on the Tioga nearly the same time, settled near each other here, left the same spring for Pleasant valley, where they took adjacent farms, and all of them lived to an advanced age.
Another pioneer of considerable note in his day was William Holden. He came also from the neighborhood of Albany, New York, when a mere boy. There is a tradition that he accompanied the party who came to survey the State boundary line. He was here before 1790, probably as early as 1788 º. At that time he was but a young lad. In the assessment for 1800 his age is given at twenty-eight. He built a log cabin west of the present Main street, in Lawrenceville, and put under cultivation a few acres of ground. About 1795, having sold his possession to Uriah Spencer, he went up the Cowanesque and made a settlement at Osceola, on Holden brook, which is named in his honor. He was a bachelor and seems not to have had a residence at any one place for a great length of time. He was expert in making post and rail fence, and during the latter part of his life he was employed the most of the time in that occupation by the farmers. He fell a victim to the drink habit, and for several years was maintained at public expense. He died near Pritchard station about 1846, about seventy-four years of age, and was buried in a little cemetery near Henry Colgrove’s. He was of good family. After he became a public charge he was visited by his brother and sister, both in affluent circumstances, who desired him to return and spend his remaining days with them. This he refused on the ground that his tastes and habits were such as to reflect upon them, while the culture and refinement of their home would be an uncomfortable restraint upon him. He was a man of much natural ability and shrewdness, and had his surroundings and early opportunities been of a more favorable character he would have made his mark in the world.
The period from 1790 to 1800 was one of considerable activity along the Tioga valley. At the first named date there was no road except nature’s highway, the river, and the trail of the boundary surveyors now being rapidly obliterated. There was not a saw-mill nor a flouring-mill in the county. The settlers were compelled to go to Tioga Point for anything better in the way of breadstuffs than their samp mortars afforded. In 1791 an act was passed providing for the opening of a road from the mouth of the Loyalsock creek to where the State line crosses Troup’s creek. The survey was made in the spring of 1792. It crossed the Tioga at the forty-eighth milestone near the south line of the township; thence in a northwesterly direction, crossing the Cowanesque near the present railroad bridge; thence in a west by northwest course to the ninety-second milestone on the State line. Near the Cowanesque crossing on the north side is marked "Baker’s house," evidently a mistake, probably "Barney’s." The road, however, was never opened. In 1792-93 Capt. Charles Williamson, agent for the Pultney estate, in the State of New York, was engaged in opening a wagon road from Williamsport, on the West Branch, to Williamsburg, on the Canaseraga creek, a distance of 150 miles. The survey of this road followed the east bank of the Tioga the entire width of the township**, but when the road was built, on account of expense in construction, it crossed the Tioga a mile above the State line, and became the present main street of the borough of Lawrenceville. In May, 1793, the Williamson party of road makers was at Lawrenceville. In Williamson’s account book, under date of May 3, 1793, is the entry, "To cash paid Samuel Baker for Mr. Bennitt on account of his charge to the Germans, $14.30." This road made the Tioga valley accessible to the people about Sunbury and Northumberland, and brought a large emigration to this township from that part of the country, mostly of the class known as "Pennsylvania Dutch," a hardy, thrifty race.
April 11, 1795, was passed by the Pennsylvania legislature the "Intrusion Law," inflicting heavy fines and imprisonment upon any one convicted of taking possession of, entering, intruding or settling "on any lands in the counties of Northampton, Northumberland or Luzerne by virtue or under color of any conveyance of half-share-right, or any other pretended title not derived from the authority of the commonwealth," except in the seventeen townships of Luzerne county. Under the vigorous operation of this law a number of people from the township were arrested, and, having been indicted by the grand jury, were taken to Williamsport for trial, but, much to the credit of the court, were acquitted. During the decade under consideration all of the original settlers moved away from the township, but others came to take their places.
Uriah Spencer was among the pioneers of this period. He was born in Salisbury, Connecticut, and married Miss Deborah Elliott, of Guilford, Connecticut, first cousin of John Elliott, of Kent, both of whom were lineal descendants in the fourth degree of the celebrated John Eliot, missionary among the New England Indians. Mr. Spencer had purchased of Hon. James Hillhouse, of New Haven, Connecticut, a near relative by marriage and a considerable dealer in Pennsylvania lands, the Connecticut title for the township of Hamilton, which included a large part of the present Lawrence township. Mr. Spencer came to Lawrenceville first about 1794, without his family. At this time Baker and his friends, except Holden, had removed to Pleasant valley, and Holden sold his possession to Mr. Spencer, it is said, for a barrel of whiskey. William Dewees, of Philadelphia, and Josiah Lockhart, of Lancaster, had entered warrants of survey for a great part of Mr. Spencer’s township. He was active in selling Connecticut rights until, with quite a number of others, he was arrested for violating the intrusion law and taken to Williamsport, where he was duly indicted by the grand jury at the May sessions, 1797, and finally tried and acquitted at the September term, 1798. Soon after his acquittal he removed up the Tioga to what was later known as the John Elliott place, and subsequently to Tioga, where he became one of the most prominent men of the county.
John Elliott, a cousin of the wife of Uriah Spencer, was born in Kent, Litchfield county, Connecticut, November 3, 1760, and died in Lawrence, December 13, 1845; his wife, Penina Walter, born March 11, 1777, died August 29, 1870. Having bought the Connecticut title to a farm in Uriah Spencer’s township, he started with his family the first of March for his new purchase, with two sleighs and two teams of horses. Crossing the Hudson river at Catskill, he came to Unadilla, where, loading his effects on a raft, he floated down to Tioga Point. Here he left his family while he went up to Tioga, procured a canoe and secured the services of Robert Mitchell and returned to Tioga Point for his goods and family. Returning, he stopped at Erwin Center, where he learned of the arrest of Mr. Spencerºº, and determined to keep out of Pennsylvania until the trouble was settled. In 1811, he removed to Lawrenceville, occupying land formerly improved by William Holden. In 1816 he sold his farm to James ford, and going up the river to Risings, bought of John Shepard, July 8, 1816, 193 acres, with the improvements made by Uriah Spencer. In his native town Mr. Elliott had been a justice of the peace and a member of the legislature. He is spoken of as an honest, conscientious man. His old residence, with its porch and four tall, round columns, is still standing, a conspicuous and interesting landmark of other days.
Thomas Wilson and his family, consisting of his wife, three sons, Thomas, Joseph and Alexander, and one daughter, Amy, who later married Daniel Walker, came from Maryland and settled on the Smith farm in 1795-96. Thomas, Jr., and Alexander moved to Batavia, New York. Joseph went to Angelica, New York, but after his father died he returned to Lawrence and occupied the farm until his death, September 11, 1857, at the age of eighty-seven years. His wife, Linda Shumway, died August 31, 1827. Thomas Wilson, his son, Thomas, and their neighbor, Daniel Ingersole, who came to Lawrence about the same time, were arrested and taken to Williamsport for violating the intrusion law, having bought and settled upon their farms under a Connecticut title, in 1797. Mr. Ingersole settled on the farm owned by the late George L. Ryon. He bought the Pennsylvania title of Samuel Pleasants, "with buildings and appurtenances," by deed bearing date October 14, 1806, and sold it to Jacob Reep, May 11, 1812. Leonard Cole and Benjamin Cole were also among the "intruders," and probably lived where Norman Allen now lives, as early as 1795-96. They owned no land, but occupied several places for a short time and died in the vicinity of Lawrenceville. George Buchanan settled on the place now owned by ex-Sheriff John Irvin, probably before 1800. He sold to Eleazer Baldwin, deed bearing date October 15, 1808, and left this vicinity.
Jacob Reep came from near Danville, Pennsylvania, in the fall of 1795, to Athens, Pennsylvania, where he spent the winter. His wife, Amy Walker, had four brothers and one sister living there. The next spring, loading his goods and family in a canoe, he pushed up the river as far as Elmira, when his wife and one child, with a horse and cow, took the bridle path over the hill to Lawrenceville, while he pushed his canoe up the stream. He first settled on the George L. Ryon farm, where he remained several years. Doubting the validity of his title, he afterwards removed farther up the river to the "old Reep homestead," now owned by the heirs of Peter Reep, where Jacob died in 1829. The deed from Charles Spurrell, Surry, England, for 169 acres of land, "whereon said Reep now lives, with the buildings, improvements and appurtenances," bears date August, 1820. The following incidents illustrate pioneer life. One morning a good tracking snow had fallen and Mr. Reep went out to hunt deer. He followed one until the deer crossed his track, when he found an Indian was following the same deer. Mr. Reep left the chase to his red competitor and came home. One night the pigs, which were shut in a pen, were making a great noise. When going out to see what was the matter he found a bear trying to get out of the pen with a pig. He ran for his ax, intending to break bruin’s back, but struck him on the side; the ax stuck fast, the bear escaped and he never saw his ax again. Jacob had two sons, Jacob, Jr., who married Betsey, daughter of Adam Hart, and had two children, a son Peter, who died young, and a daughter, Amy, who married Abram Walker; and Peter, who married Catharine Ridgely, to whom were born fourteen children.
Obadiah Inscho located on the east side of the Tioga, a mile above Lawrenceville, upon the Horton farm, in 1798. Here he resided until his death in 1820. Many of his descendants are living in the county.
Adam Hart joined Mr. Reep on the south, his farm including what is now called Somer’s Lane. He was of German parentage, served seven years in the American army during the Revolutionary War, and with his brother George was an early emigrant from Reading, Pennsylvania, to Lawrence. The Harts were enterprising and thrifty farmers. Adam built a distillery on the little stream which still bears his name, said to have been the first erected in the county, and also a saw-mill. He had two sons, John and Daniel, and one daughter, who was married to Jacob Reep. He and his wife moved to Mansfield about 1823, where they died. George Hart served seven years in the Revolutionary War. He had one son, John, whose family now lives in Liberty, and two daughters, one of whom was married to Joseph Middaugh, and the other to Joseph Rowley, who moved to Big Flats, New York.
Joseph Middaugh, son of Samuel, who lived on the Chemung, came from the east a young man, married a daughter of George Hart and settled adjacent to him. He had a saw-mill and did quite an extensive lumber business. Middaugh and the Harts bought the Connecticut title to their land, but finding it worthless bought of the Pennsylvania owners, giving mortgage for the payment of the purchase money. It is likely that Elias Westbrook, who came from the Wyoming valley and settled near Tioga Junction, came before 1800, but the precise date has not been ascertained.
Thus, at the beginning of the present century, nearly every farm along the Tioga valley from the State line to the present Tioga township was occupied by hardy pioneers, whose thrift, push and enterprise were beginning to let the sunshine into the woods, and commencing to hew out of the wilderness the beautiful farms, and introduce the appliances of civilization, which for nearly a century have distinguished this portion of the county.
In the meanwhile settlements began to be pushed with equal enterprise up the Cowanesque. Among the first of these was that of John Cady. He was born at Saratoga, New York, July 4, 1774, and was married to Permelia Frick in 1795, at Southport, New York. He came immediately to Lawrenceville and settled upon the farm, recently the home of his daughter, Mrs. Robert Stewart, on which William Barney had formerly lived. Barney had built a rough log house with bark-covered roof, a few stones laid up at one side for a fire place and a hole in the roof for the escape of the smoke and had cleared a few acres of land for a corn patch. A hollow maple stump at the door, over which swung a stone pestle suspended from a spring-pole, was the mill. Here young Cady brought the eighteen-year old wife for her wedding trip. And here they lived, industriously clearing and improving their farm, reared a family of children, and spent their old age in peace and comfort until their death, which occurred to Mr. Cady, August 23, 1850, and to his wife February 3, 1862. Mr. Cady’s father, Zebdee Cady, came about the same time, made a settlement on the south side of the Cowanesque near the "old red house," remained a few years and then went to Ohio, where he died.
Lyman and Calvin Pritchard, two brothers, came about the time or a little after Mr. Cady† and settled the farm next above him, Calvin on the farm afterwards owned by his son, the late William Pritchard, and Lyman the nest above. The family is of Welsh origin, but were at Wyoming, where their father was taken captive by the Indians and never heard of after. The sons, with their aged mother, came to Athens, then went Owego, and later to Lawrenceville. Lyman married a daughter of William Allington, a blacksmith, who came about the same time as the Pritchards, and lived in a little house east of Abram Walker’s. he was physically a powerful man, and held a prominent place in the little community. He went west where he died. Calvin married a daughter of Hosea Kennedy, who was also an early settler on the Cowanesque. Mr. Pritchard for many years carried the mail on horseback from Painted Post to Williamsport over the Williamson road. One night while riding along rather slowly, a panther dropped from a tree upon his horse, but got off without doing injury to either horse or postman, except a big scare. The brothers were joint owners of a saw-mill, where much of the superb pine, which once covered their farms, was manufactured into lumber. They were both men of good education for the times, raised large families, and died upon the farms they first settled.
It has been asserted that in 1800 Tioga county contained only ten families, sixty white persons and seven Negroes. There were, however, that many families within the bounds of Lawrence township. The population of the township at the time of its organization, 1816, has not been ascertained. In 1818 the assessment enumerated forty-six taxables, with 5,520 acres of improved land, 692 unimproved, one grist-mill, six saw-mills, one tannery, and a valuation of $13,621. Among the persons here at that time the following deserve mention:
Ira Kilburn, son of Elijah Kilburn, was born in Colchester, Connecticut,
October 29, 1772; at twenty was prepared for college; pursued his collegiate
studies at Williams and Yale, and graduated in 1796. After teaching a year
in Westerly, Rhode Island, in company with Drs. Lee and Collings, he engaged
in mercantile business for a couple of years, when he began the study of
law with Hon. Coddington Billings, of his native town, whence after three
years he entered the office of Judge Gilbert, of Hebron, intending to present
himself for admission to the bar at the next term of court, when unforeseen
circumstances called him to Tioga county in the latter part of 1802. Here
he purchased an extensive tract of land, embracing a large portion of Lawrenceville,
and 1,100 acres on the east side of the Tioga, devised by Josiah Lockhart
to the First Presbyterian church of Lancaster, and by it sold to Mr. Kilburn.
Here, on almost the exact site of the railroad station, he erected a saw
and grist-mill, which he operated for many years. In 1808 he was elected
a commissioner of Tioga county, and September 18th, of the same
year, commissioned justice of the peace. August 3, 1811, he was commissioned
a colonel by Governor Snyder, and commanded a regiment of militia. February
6, 1812, he was made postmaster of Lawrenceville, and at the same time
was United States mail contractor. July 13, 1812, he was commissioned an
associate judge of Tioga county and held this important office nearly twenty-eight
years. On retiring from the bench in 1840, he was again elected justice
of the peace, "and in the next four years disposed of over 800 cases brought
before him." He also held nearly every office in the town and borough.
He died in Lawrenceville in 1854, aged eighty-one years. He married Sally
Ross, June 20, 1803, and their children were Wells, Harriett, Ralph Lee,
Eliza Ann, Adaline and Charles Lawrence. Judge Kilburn was an honest, upright
man, a large contributor to every benevolent enterprise, and is still remembered
as one of the foremost men of his day in this community.
John Gordon settled on the farm now owned by Mr. Patchin, near Tioga Junction, prior to 1803. He was born in Scotland, in March, 1761. While at school he was impressed into the British military service, was put into the Fifty-third regiment, sent to this country during the Revolutionary War, and discharged in December, 1779. He chose to remain in the United States, attended school for a time, married Sarah Rathbone, and settled in Berkshire county, Massachusetts. He was second cousin to Lord Byron, (whose untitled name was George Noel Gordon), and his wife was first cousin to Commodore Perry, of Lake Erie fame. He secured the Pennsylvania title to 240 acres of land, which he subsequently sold, and moved within the present limits of Tioga township. His family are dead or left the county. John Maine, connected by marriage with the Gordons, settled about the same time on a farm of 286 acres between Gordon and Benjamin Westbrook. Here he built a saw-mill, and sold his property to Jesse Smith and William Babcock, of Ontario county, New York, September 2, 1816, and later moved to Sullivan township.
Capt. Eleazer Baldwin settled near the village of Lawrenceville in March, 1806. His grandfather, John Baldwin, a prosperous farmer and merchant, lived in Norwich, Connecticut, and had two sons, one, Jabez, served through the entire Revolutionary War, and Rufus, the father of Eleazer, who assisted in the erection of Dartmouth College, Eleazer as a lad assisting to haul the logs of which the first buildings were constructed. Leaving Dartmouth school, Eleazer came to Geneva, New York, where he was for some time in the employ of Colonel Williamson. About 1800 he came up Sugar creek to Troy, Pennsylvania, where he married Betsy Stevens, and in March, 1806, came to Lawrence township, where he died in 1831. In 1813 he was collector of taxes, and an active man of affairs until the day of his death. His sons, Buel, Moses and Thomas L., were farmers and lumbermen. Buel and Thomas subsequently moved to Tioga, while Moses remained in Lawrence, and died on the farm where his widow now lives.
Dr. Simeon Powers came to Lawrenceville in 1805, but remained here only a brief period. Removing to Knoxville, he lived at that place until 1808, and then located in Tioga. In 1821 he returned to Lawrenceville, which remained his home until his death. His practice extended over a vast territory; westward up the Cowanesque into Potter county, south as far as Williamsport and north to Addison, Painted Post and Bath. In 1815 he was elected the second sheriff of Tioga county, holding the office for three years. The doctor built the "red house," on Cowanesque street, Lawrenceville, where he died in December, 1863, in the eightieth year of his age. He came to Tioga county a single man, but married Polly, a daughter of Obadiah Inscho.
Daniel Walker was born at Nescopeck, Pennsylvania, in 1778. At ten years of age came with his father, George Walker, to Nichols, New York, and thence to Lawrenceville in 1810, and settled upon the farm now owned by his son, Abram Walker. The deed bears date December 2, 1815. Some one, whose name is unknown, had made a settlement here before Walker came. In 1811 he married Margaret, daughter of Thomas Wilson. She died in 1836 and he in 1854. His son, Abram, an octogenarian, whose wife was Amy Reep, is still living on the old homestead, while his daughter, Amy, married Austin Lathrop, and died in 1850.
Hon. James Ford was born in Morristown, New Jersey, March 4, 1783. At the early age of thirteen he went to New York to learn the mercantile business, where he remained six years. In 1814 he had a store at Watson’s, a mile north of the Pennsylvania state line; in 1816 he is spoken of as a merchant in Painted Post, and in that year he removed to Lawrenceville and built the mansion now occupied by his grandson, George Shumway. When the frame of the building was erected, the people for twenty miles around had been invited to the raising. At its christening, as was then the custom, the various names by which the place had been known, such as "Bachelorsville," "Shaver’s Point," "Rogue’s Harbor," etc., were discarded, and that of Lawrence adopted, in honor of Captain Lawrence, of "Don’t give up the ship" fame. Mr. Ford became the most extensive business man in Tioga county, especially as a merchant, lumberman and dealer in real estate. To him and Judge Kilburn Lawrenceville is largely indebted for its broad streets, deeds for lots specifying that Main street, a part of the Williamson road, should be eighty feet wide. As a business man Mr. Ford was intelligent and energetic. At his mills large quantities of lumber were cut and floated down the river, and grain was purchased which was manufactured into flour for southern markets. He served acceptably two terms in the state legislature, 1824 and 1825, and two in Congress, elected in 1828 and 1830. He died in 1859 and was laid to rest in the Lindsley family burying ground, where sleep many of the pioneers of this valley.
Dr. Curtis Parkhurst, a native of Marlborough, where he was born in 1794, came to Lawrenceville in 1818 and built up a large professional practice. He was elected to the legislature in 1827, sheriff in 1840, and appointed an associate judge in 1847, and was a man of prominence and influence.
Hiram Beebe, who came in 1815, was the first merchant. In 1840 he removed his business to Nelson, but retained his home in Lawrenceville until his death. He was a prominent business man and a leading politician. His brother, Anson Beebe, with his brother-in-law, Asa Lincoln, both of whom came in 1817, were engaged with Hiram in the manufacture of gloves and mittens for years.
Among the other early settlers of prominence were Joseph McCormick, Samuel McDougall, who came from Washington county, New York, was county surveyor from 1827 to 1836, and died in 1859, aged seventy-six; Job Geer, a leading contractor and builder, who erected the court house at Wellsboro; Daniel Cook and others who became identified with the development and upbuilding of the township.
Such were the leading men among the settlers up to 1831, in which year the settlements were practically confined to the river flats, the hillsides remaining, for the most part, a wilderness. Year by year, however, the timber was stripped from these and the adjacent uplands, and the land placed under cultivation, until, in time, the entire township was transformed into well-tilled and productive fields. In 1890 the population of the township was 1,017, and of Lawrenceville borough 441, making a total for both of 1,458.
*She was doubtless of the family of Ives who subsequently settled in Tioga, but who were for a short time at Southport. They were from Bristol, Connecticut, near where Captain Stone had lived.
ºCaptain Buel Baldwin said that Colonel Eleazer Lindsley’s settlement on his tract north of the State line preceded by some time the construction of the Williamson road, as also did the settlement of William Holden on the south side.
**So it is laid down on a Williamson map in the possession of Judge Spencer of Corning, New York.
ººThis fixes 1797, as the year of Mr. Elliott’s trip. Had Spencer been arrested when Elliott first came to Tioga, he certainly would have known it. That event must have occurred while Elliott was at Tioga Point. The arrest was in April or May, 1797.
†In an interview with the late Hiram Pritchard of Corning,
New York, he with great positiveness put the date of the coming in 1792,
yet both he and others say the Cadys came first, but Cady was here not
earlier than 1795.
THE BOROUGH OF LAWRENCEVILLE.
From the first, the natural advantages of its situation made the junction of the two rivers the business center for a large outlying territory, which, with the rapid development of the lumber manufacturing, so enhanced its importance as to render a municipal organization desirable. Accordingly, by an act of legislature, approved March 21, 1831, that part of the township of Lawrence, bounded on the north by the state line, on the east by the Tioga river; on the south by Ira Kilburn’s south line, and on the west by James Ford’s west line, was erected into the "Borough of Lawrenceville," and in a few weeks the borough government went into operation.
The completion of the Chemung canal to Corning, in 1834, and of the Tioga railroad a few years later gave a great impulse to business. From 1840 to 1855 the lumber trade was at its zenith. A perfect lumber fever prevailed. In the spring season and on every freshet, the Tioga and Cowanesque rivers were literally crowded with rafts of logs, lumber and timber, and ark loads of shingles. Two hundred million feet annually passed through Lawrenceville, exclusive of the large amount manufactured at or near the town. Merchants did a heavy business. Stores, shops, hotels, churches and private residences were erected during this fever, which began to subside in 1856. The forests, which had yielded such large revenue and given employment to so much capital and labor, had been swept away, and the soil, though good, was covered with stumps, brush and undergrowth, or had been swept by devastating fires. In a few years the borough, which had been the commercial metropolis of the county, was prostrate and has never recovered its former prosperity.
It is said "misfortunes never come single." Lawrenceville was visited by two very destructive fires just when every line of business was paralyzed. The first occurred in 1867, and the other in 1868. These fires burned out the center and business portion of the village, and destroyed property to the amount of $160,000. the town has never recovered from this blow, the burnt district being still mostly covered by cheap board structures. Although advantageously situated at the junction of the Tioga and Cowanesque Valley railroads with the main line of the Fall Brook, yet its population does not exceed 800 souls. One general store, two groceries, a feed and a notion store, two furniture stores, two blacksmith, and two wagon and one carpenter shop, two markets, a drug store, three physicians, one lawyer, two clergymen, two jewelers, two barbers, an undertaker and a shoemaker, a newspaper, two justices and a hotel represent the principal places of the borough.
MANUFACTURING AND BUSINESS ENTERPRISES.
Adam Hart, who settled at Somer’s Lane, and who was a man of enterprise, erected a distillery and a saw-mill on the little stream that still bears his name. They were among the earliest in the county. In 1812 Hart was assessed as an innkeeper. He removed to Mansfield in 1823. His brother, George Hart, appears to have had an interest with him in these enterprises.
Joseph Middaugh, who married a daughter of George Hart, and lived near him, was an early saw-mill owner and operator.
Lyman and Calvin Pritchard, who settled on the Cowanesque, on the farm owned by the late William Pritchard, were joint owners in a saw-mill erected during the earlier years of the present century.
Ira Kilburn, who settled in Lawrenceville in 1802, erected a few years later, a saw-mill and a grist-mill, on almost the exact site of the present railroad station. These he carried on for many years. He also erected a distillery a short distance south of the station, which was operated by himself and Hiram Beebe.
John Maine, who settled between the farms of John Gordon and Benjamin Westbrook, about 1803, built a saw-mill which he operated until September 2, 1816, when he sold it to Jesse Smith and William Babcock, of Ontario county, New York.
James Ford, who located in Lawrenceville in 1816, and immediately engaged in mercantile business, soon afterward erected a saw-mill and grist-mill on the north side of the Cowanesque river, above the mill now owned and operated by Nathaniel Eaton. The Ford grist-mill was burned and rebuilt several times and was owned successively by James Ford, his son, C. H. L. Ford, Augustus Wolz and Nathaniel Eaton, who has run the present mill about twelve years. It stands some distance below the site of the early mills, and is operated by water power.
The foregoing are the principal early enterprises. In 1823 there were in Lawrenceville and in the township three grist-mills, five saw-mills, two distilleries, one tannery, two blacksmith shops, one chairmaker and one cooper. During the lumbering activity, which came later, the number of enterprises was largely increased, and every branch of industry prospered.
The first store in Lawrenceville was started in 1815 by Hiram Beebe and a man named Hollabert. Mr. Beebe, who attained prominence as a merchant and politician, continued in business until 1840, when he opened a store in nelson in connection with Hunt Pomeroy, father of the late Mark M. Pomeroy, otherwise known as "Brick" Pomeroy, editor of the LaCrosse Democrat. The second store was opened in 1816 by James Ford, who soon became the principal merchant of the place. Others followed as the population of the village and township increased.
Adam Hart’s wayside inn, at Somer’s Lane, was the first public house in the township. The first hotel in Lawrenceville was built about 1817 by Enos Slosson. After his death it was kept by Samuel Besler. Mr. Slosson married Eben McDougall, who kept the house for a number of years. Then came James Baldwin, of Addison, and H. H. Potter. The latter removed to Tioga in 1833, and was succeeded by Clark Slosson. This old hotel was burned in the fire of 1867. In 1826 John Barnes built a hotel on the site of the present Hotel Kirkland, which he conducted until about 1835. Among his successors were S. B. Denton, Job Geer, Barney McDougall, George Jordan and Lewis Daggett. It burned about twenty years ago, and was rebuilt by Mr. Daggett. He and his sons, Seth and Wells Daggett, were the landlords in February, 1890, when the property was leased to F. G. Kirkland, who purchased it January 1, 1894. He has proven a popular and successful landlord.
PHYSICIANS AND LAWYERS.
Dr. Ralph Kilburn, a brother of Judge Ira Kilburn, came to Lawrenceville in 1804, and practiced until 1840, when he went to live with a sister near Rochester, New York, where he died. He was never married. Dr. Simeon Power first came to Lawrenceville in 1805. He soon removed to Knoxville and later to Tioga, returning to Lawrenceville in 1821, where he died in December, 1863. His brother, Dr. Pliny Power, came a few years later. He practiced in Lawrenceville, Canoe Camp and Tioga until 1835, when he removed to Michigan, where he died. Dr. Curtis Parkhurst came to Lawrenceville in 1818, and practiced his profession until his death. He was elected to the legislature in 1827, and sheriff in 1840. Dr. Lewis Darling came from Wellsboro to Lawrenceville in 1831, and practiced in Lawrenceville until his death. His son, Dr. Lewis Darling, Jr., and grandson, Dr. A. L. Darling, both physicians of skill and reputation, are in practice in Lawrenceville. A fuller reference to each of them will be found in their biographical sketches. Dr. Milton Pardee Orton located in Lawrenceville in 1834, and practiced until 1862, when he became a surgeon in the United States service. He died at Hatteras Inlet, February 2, 1864. Locke Granger, a graduate of Geneva Medical College, came to Lawrenceville in 1841, and for a time was a partner with Dr. Lewis Darling, Sr., but later practiced alone. He died in 1883. Dr. Van Horn, a homeopathist, came to Lawrenceville in the early seventies, but removed, a few years later, to Elmira, New York. Dr. J. B. Smith came to Lawrenceville in 1890, and has built up a good practice. He and Drs. Lewis and A. L. Darling comprise the present resident physicians.
The legal profession has been well represented in Lawrenceville. Hon. Ira Kilburn, though not in regular practice, served for many years as an associate judge and as justice of the peace, and was prominently identified with the legal history of the county. Clarendon Rathbone came to Lawrenceville in 1820, and practiced about twenty years, when he removed to Blossburg. John W. Maynard, who came to Lawrenceville with his parent in 1828, practiced here until the spring of 1833, when he removed to Tioga. Newell F. Higgins, who located in Lawrenceville about 1829, remained two years and removed to Williamsport. Norman H. Purple studied under Higgins, and practiced in Lawrenceville until 1837, when he removed to Peoria, Illinois. Pardon Damon came to Lawrenceville about 1826, studied law with Purple and Judge Knox, and practiced in Lawrenceville until his death. John C. Knox, afterwards eminent as a judge of the State Supreme Court, practiced in Lawrenceville in the later thirties and early forties. John W. Ryon, a native of Elkland, came to Lawrenceville in 1847, and practiced until 1863, when he removed to Pottsville. Wallace P. Ryon, a brother of Hon. John W. Ryon, has been in practice in Lawrenceville since 1882. D. C. Harrower, a son of Hon. G. T. Harrower, was admitted to the bar of Tioga county and practiced in Lawrenceville until 1894, when he removed to Wilkes-Barre.
In August, 1840, the late William Adams, of Mansfield, then the editor and proprietor of the Tioga Democrat, published at Tioga, sold a half interest in the paper to John C. Knox, Hiram Beebe, James Ford and Dr. Curtis Parkhurst, of Lawrenceville, who removed the plant and paper to that place, and changed the name of the paper to the Lawrence Sentinel. Mr. Adams subsequently sold his remaining interest to Mr. Knox. Two years later the latter sold it to Asa H. Carey, who removed it, so it is said, to Troy, Pennsylvania. The Sentinel was Democratic in politics. Lawrenceville was without a paper then until 1871, when Henry C. Mills established the Valley Enterprise. A year or two later he removed the plant to Mansfield. In 1879 the Lawrenceville Herald was established by A. Redfield & Son, who conducted it until 1889, when it passed into the hands of Dr. Lewis Darling, Jr. Early in 1890 he sold it to Wallace P. Ryon. On February 1, 1892, Leon A. Church became associated with Mr. Ryon in the publication of the Herald, which relationship still continues. The paper is well conducted, has a good circulation, and is devoted principally to matters of local interest.
From the first, as might have been expected from their New England origin, the people of Lawrence were careful to provide for the education of their children. As early and probably before 1800, there was a school at Hart’s and one at Pritchard’s. At the latter place Lyman Pritchard taught for several winters. Later another school house was built near the farm now owned by Norman H. Ryan, and in 1824 one was erected at Tompkins. On the Tioga the first school house was built near Reep’s, which was abandoned and another put up at Somer’s Lane (Hart’s). These were log structures, built by the people who lived in the vicinity, and rudely finished and furnished. The Hart school house was burned one night during a term of school. The next day the inhabitants came together and before night the logs for another house were put up. There was not a box of glass to be had nearer than Painted Post, but Mr. Baldwin went up on horse back and brought a box, and another neighbor gathered grain sufficient to purchase books, which was also taken to Painted Post, and every school book in the place was secured. In a week from the time the old house was burned the new one was completed, and the school continued. In 1834 school directors were elected under the common school law of the State, as follows: William Updegraff, Clarendon Rathbone, Horace Frizelle, Abisha Baker, Job Geer and Rufus Baldwin. Job Geer was elected president; C. Rahbone, secretary, and Wells Kilburn, appointed treasurer. The township was divided into five sub-districts, two on the Cowanesque, two on the Tioga, and one at Lawrenceville. There are now seven districts in the township, outside of Lawrenceville, which forms a separate district. The school houses are well built and well furnished, and good schools are maintained, the average in the borough being eight, and in the township seven months each year.
The Lawrenceville Academy was incorporated September 21, 1848. The first board of trustees was constituted as follows: James Ford, Curtis Parkhurst, E. D. Wells, Milton P. Orton and Micajah Seelye. A building was erected and was opened for the reception of students—both sexes being admitted—about 1852. George Barker, the first principal, remained about two years. His successor, Thomas Benton, had charge for two years. Rev. Roswell Brooks, who followed him, died within a year, and his wife succeeded him. Then came William Merris, who died within two years after taking charge. His successors were Dr. Milton Pardee Orton and Rev. Sidney Mills. The Academy was maintained until about 1860, when the property was transferred to the borough for public school purposes, and the building has since been used and occupied by the borough graded schools. Dr. Lewis Darling, Jr., who was a student at the Academy, says it was an excellent school, and that it was largely attended, students coming from the "Southern Tier," of New York, and from various parts of Pennsylvania. The course of study was intended to prepare the student for college, and the instruction was thorough.
CHURCHES, SABBATH-SCHOOLS AND CEMETERIES.
THE Baptists were probably the earliest to hold religious worship in Lawrence. Elder John Drew, whose wife was a sister of Eleazer Baldwin, came from Norwich, Connecticut, about the same time as Baldwin, raised a family and remained here until his death. Elder David Rathbone—a graduate of Yale College, where he had taken a master’s degree, and a man of great ability—came about 1813. He ministered to the little companies gathered at various points, until August 23, 1823, when he was instantly killed by the overturning of his carriage. He was at the time about sixty years of age. Both he and Mr. Drew are buried in the old cemetery west of the village. He was followed by Elder Thomas S. Sheardown, Elisha Booth and others. A church was organized in 1813, across the line in Tioga township, at the home of Benjamin Bentley, of which many of the Baptists, resident in Lawrence township, became members. No church appears to have been organized in Lawrence township, or if organized, to have had anything but a brief existence.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Lawrenceville is one of the oldest societies of that denomination in the county. The first public worship was held soon after the beginning of the present century. The "circuit rider," who made occasional visits, and resident local preachers conducted the services, which, when the weather permitted, were usually held in the open air. In winter and in inclement weather they were held in the homes and in the barns of the settlers. Among the pioneers of Lawrence township—who occasionally conducted these early services—was a local preacher named Ephraim Thomas. He was also a carpenter and farmer. He was born in Ireland in 1788; came to America in 1805, and found his way into Lawrence township, where he passed the remainder of his life, and died in September, 1852. The date of the organization of the first class is not known, but is said to have been some time during the early twenties. The first house of worship was of brick. It was begun in 1831 or 1832; was completed in 1836, and was built on land donated by Ira Kilburn, situated at the head of old Mechanic street. It was sold and torn down, and the land reverted the heirs of Kilburn, who donated it to the borough for the extension of Mechanic street. In 1849 another building was erected on the corner opposite A. P. Radaker’s. This was burned in December, 1888, and the present edifice built in 1889.
Owing to the fact that, previous to 1858, the records of the church were very imperfectly kept, a complete list of the pastors is not obtainable. From a broken file of the conference minutes and from other sources, the following list has been compiled: Rev. Lemuel Maynard, a circuit preacher, and the father of the late Judge John W. Maynard, of Williamsport, was here as early as 1828. He was born May 10, 1773; died February 8, 1838, and lies buried in the Lawrenceville cemetery. Rev. Asa Orcutt was the pastor of the church in Tioga in 1829-30. As Lawrenceville and Tioga were both in the same charge until 1873, the same pastors served both churches. Rev. Chandler Wheeler was pastor in 1833, and Rev. Hiram Sanford in 1835. The name of Rev. Samuel Nichols appears from 1844 to 1846. In 1857 Rev. Daniel Clark was in charge, since which time the succession has been as follows: Revs. Samuel Nichols, 1858-60; N. N. Beers, 1860-61; William B. Holt, 1861-62; George Stratton, 1862-63; William Potter, 1863-64; Thomas S. Abrahams, 1864-66; N. Fellows, 1866-67; J. J. Turtin, 1867-70; W. S. Kymer, 1870-71; William Cochran, 1871-72; G. W. Gibson, 1872-75; Paul Smith, 1875-78; W. W. Hunt, 1878-80; N. N. Beers, 1880-81; Andrew Purdy, 1861-64; Ward Platt, 1884-86; Henry Vosbugh, 1886-89; F. H. Van Keuren, 1889-91; C. M. Gardner, 1891-92; G. Wilbur Shipley, 1892-95; E. A. Anderson, 1895-96; E. E. Jones, the present incumbent, who took charge in October, 1896. The church now numbers seventy-two members. There are 100 pupils and teachers in the Sunday-school, and sixty-eight members in the Epworth League.
The First Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, the oldest Presbyterian church in the county, was organized February 10, 1824, by Revs. David Higgins, of Bath, New York; Henry Ford, of Elmira, New York, and Ruling Elder Elias Hopkins, a committee appointed by the Presbytery of Bath. The following are the names of the original members as they appear upon the church record: Joseph Miller, Linda Mira, his wife; Abisha Baker, Martha, his wife; Nancy (wife of Rev. Davis) Rathbone, Phila (wife of Calvin) Cowley, Polly (wife of Samuel) McDougall, Betsey Wilson, Jerusha L. (wife of Michael R.) Tharp, Widow Roxcelana Brown, Mary (wife of Joseph) Nelson, Eunice (wife of Eleazer) Lindsley, and Eleanor (wife of Job) Geer. Rev. Simeon R. Jones and other supplied the pulpit until 1831, when Rev. Elijah D. Wells became the pastor, and continued, excepting one year, until 1842. Mr. Wells was born in New York City, September 29, 1800; died in Lawrenceville, February 11, 1883, and was buried in the Lawrenceville cemetery. Rev. Samuel J. McCullough, who served as pastor 1842 to 1847, and for thirty years a minister of the Gospel, was born in Dickinson, Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. He was a graduate of Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania; was deeply learned in theology, and was a sincere and devoted man in his profession. He died at Tioga, December 19, 1867, aged fifty-eight years, and lies buried in the cemetery at Lindley, New York. Rev. Mr. Hood, who was the pastor from 1847 to 1849, was followed by Rev. Sidney Mills, who had charge from 1849 to 1854, and also taught for a few years in the Lawrenceville Academy. He was born March 20, 1779, and died at Lawrenceville, March 13, 1875. His remains were buried in the Lawrenceville cemetery. Rev. Albert Henry Barnes was the pastor from 1854 to 1860, and Rev. Octavius Fitch from 1861 to 1863. Mr. Fitch was a faithful and earnest minister. He died February 24, 1869, and lies buried in the Lawrenceville cemetery. Rev. Elijah D. Wells and others supplied the pulpit from 1864 to 1869, since which time the pastors have been as follows: Revs. Walters S. Drysdale, 1870; Mr. Cooper, 1871; Henry P. Baker, 1871-73; John B. Grier, D. D., 1873-77; Henry T. Scholl, 1882-85; W. Tussing, 1886; W. A. Dunning, 1887; A. C. Reed, 1888; J. Addison Whittaker, 1888-89; James I. Campbell, 1889-90, and David Craft, the present pastor, who came in 1891, and who also has charge of the church in Antrim.
In 1831-32 the present church edifice was erected on ground donated by James Ford. The heavy timbers used in the building were donated by Dr. Simeon Power. The exterior of this church—the oldest house of worship in the county—is a perfect model of Doric architecture. The interior was remodeled a few years since, and is neat and comfortable.
In 1840 the society was incorporated under the name of the "Presbyterian Congregation of Lawrenceville." There were thirty incorporators, including the following trustees: Erastus Butts, Joel Adams, Micajah Seelye, James Ford and Samuel Rockwell. In 1860, on account of dissensions, a portion of the membership withdrew and the Second Presbyterian church of Lawrenceville was organized by a committee of the Presbytery of Susquehanna. Rev. Lyell T. Adams was employed as pastor until 1866. His successor, Rev. John Garretson, supplied the pulpit until 1870, when the two factions were again united. The church now numbers seventy members. There are sixty-five pupils and teachers in the Sunday-school, of which William S. Smith is the superintendent.
St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Church was organized in 1860 under the rector-ship of Rev. j. Hobart De Mille. As early as 1841, Rev. Charles Breck, the pioneer minister of the denomination in the county, held services here. His successors have been the rectors of St. Andrew’s church, at Tioga, who also administered to this congregation up to 1893, since which time there has been no stated rector. The present church edifice was built in 1873, by the Society for the Advancement of Christianity in Pennsylvania. Previous to its erection the congregation worshiped in a hall.
The Christian Church was organized a number of years ago in the eastern part of the township. A neat and substantial house of worship was erected in which the congregation worship. A good Sunday-school is also maintained.
Sabbath-Schools were early organized. Joseph Nelson, a Scotch Presbyterian seceder, who came from St. Lawrence county, New York, about 1815, and settled near Henry Colgrove’s place, was an early Sabbath-school worker and used to gather the children of the neighborhood in his house for religious instruction. Denominational Sabbath-schools were held in the churches of the borough, and a union undenominational Sunday-school was organized by Samuel Rockwell at Middaugh’s in 1850. Mr. Rockwell is a ruling elder in the Presbyterian church of Lawrenceville.
Cemeteries.—When the township was first settled the pioneers buried their dead near their homes in order to protect their graves from wild animals. In the early thirties the present cemetery west of Lawrenceville was set apart for burial purposes. It is in charge of the Lawrenceville Cemetery Association, incorporated September 23, 1876. The East Lawrence Cemetery Association, incorporated May 10, 1881, own and control a cemetery in the township, about three miles southeast of Lawrenceville.
JUSTICES AND BURGESSES.
The office of justice of the peace for Lawrence township has been filled as follows: Elijah Putnam, 1813; Ambrose Millard, 1816, John Drew, 1818; Elijah De Pui and Samuel McDougall, 1819; Job Geer and Levi Vail, 1825; William Willard, Jr., and Reuben Cloos, 1827; Jonah Brewster, 1830; William Garretson and Martin Bowen, 1831; Samuel Snow, 1832; Horace E. Spencer and Horace Fizelle, 1883; A. M. Compton, 1834; Calvin Cowley, 1835; Erastus W. Derow, Lewis Meade and J. C. Whittaker, 1836; Curtis Parkhurst and Lyman Johnson, 1838; William Evans, 1841; Austin Lathrop, 1842; re-elected, 1847 and 1852; Samuel Broakman, 1847, and Dwight R. Cowley, 1856. Although the election returns show that candidates for justices of the peace were regularly voted for, the record of commissions contains no name of any who qualified from 1856 to 1872, in which year Peter Reep was commissioned. The names of the succeeding justices are as follows: Isaac Losey, 1874; Peter Reep, 1878; re-elected 1883 and 1887; Sylvester Shoemaker, 1880; re-elected 1885; J. B. Squires, 1884; George Reep, 1890; Willis F. Reep, 1895.
The following named persons have served as justices of the borough of Lawrenceville: Lewis Meade and Ira Kilburn, 1840; Job Geer and Locke Granger, 1844; re-elected, 1850; Curtis Parkhurst, 1845; Edward R. Kasson, 1848; Samuel B. Brooks, 1849; E. D. Wells, 1854; re-elected 1859 and 1864; James Ryon, 1855; Pardon Damon, 1857; re-elected, 1862, 1867 and 1872; J. H. Mather, 1867; re-elected, 1872 and 1877; Augustus Redfield, 1875; George T. Losey, 1877; re-elected 1887 and 1896; George McCullough, 1881; James Stewart, 1886; re-elected, 1891; D. C. Ford, 1890; Wallace P. Ryon, 1894.
The burgesses of the borough of Lawrenceville have been elected as follows: Job Geer, 1831-32; Ira Kilburn, 1833-34; Micajah Seelye, 1835; Horace Frizelle, 1836; Lewis Meade, 1837-38; Isaac C. Whitehead, 1839; Samuel Satterlee, 1840; Wells Kilburn, 1841; Dr. Lewis Darling, Sr., 1842; James Ford, 1843; Samuel Satterlee, 1844-45; Robert Inscho, 1846; Samuel Kinsey, 1847-48; Pardon Damon, 1849; Alexander Cropsey, 1850-51; A. C. Coopley, 1852; John Ryon, 1853; I. W. Tubbs, 1854-55; Pardon Damon, 1856; W. F. Trowbridge, 1857-60; W. G. Miller, 1861; Alexander Cropsey, 1862-67; Pardon Damon, 1868-69; J. F. Rusling, 1870-73; Locke Granger, 1874-75; N. Losey, 1876; Alexander Cropsey, 1877; C. S. Mather, 1878-79; D. C. Ford, 1880; J. C. Beeman, 1881-83; J. F. Rusling, 1884; Alexander Cropsey, 1885; J. F. Rusling, 1886; F. L. Kolb, 1887; C. S. Mather, 1888; James N. Hill, 1889; J. F. Rusling, 1890; N. Losey, 1891; Myron Losey, 1892; J. N. Hill, 1893; George B. Colby, 1894, and Dr. Lewis Darling, 1897.
Lawrenceville Lodge No. 913, I. O. O. F., was organized July 14, 1875. The first officers were as follows: George T. Losey, N. G.; Seth O. Daggett, V. G.; Dr. Lewis Darling, Jr., S.. and J. Phippen, T.
Lawrenceville Encampment, No. 98, I. O. O. F., was organized in 1878, with the following officers: C. H. Tremaine, C. P.; George T. Losey, H. P.; Lewis Daggett, S. W.; C. S. Mather, J. W.; N. Losey, S., and W. H. Baxter, T.
Capt. Phil Holland Post, No. 357, G. A. R., was organized July 16, 1863, the first officers being as follows: James A. Rodgers, C.; James Loughridge, S. V. C.; E. C. Rockwell, J. V. C.; J. C. Beeman, Q. M.; George Odell, S.; H. A. Stratton, C.; S. M. Morgan, O. D.; H. B.Colgrove, O. G.; H. T. Caton, A.; L. G. Brant, S. M., and L. M. Smith, Q. M. S.
In 1838 Horace Frizelle was running the Kilburn mills and quite a number of the families in his employ were living on the east side of the Tioga. Thinking it to be advantageous to be incorporated into a borough, an act of the legislature, approved February 19, 1840, was passed, providing for the erection of the "Borough of Horacetown," including the territory bounded north by the State line, on the east by Ansel Bascom’s east line, on the south by Obadiah Inscho’s north line, and on the west by the west bank of the Tioga river at low water mark. Other sections provide for the election of borough officers and prescribe their duties. The records of the borough are lost and its very existence forgotten by most, even of the old people. The assessment of 1841 gives twenty-seven taxables, of whom fourteen at least were transient persons. The borough organization was soon abandoned and the territory lapsed into the township.