|Mansfield PA and Richmond Township in Tioga County PA|
The Brick Building was the Elliott Drug Store, later Bates Drug Store and Terry's Pharmacy. It is the oldest brick building in Tioga County and remains today. Its appearance is somewhat altered because of a fire in the upper story and a rebuilding later.
Organization-Physical Characteristics-Streams-Mineral Deposits-Pioneer Settlers-Pioneer Enterprises-Schools and Justices-Churches-Cemeteries-Villages
Richmond township, originally a part of Covington township, was organized in February, 1824. It is eight and one-half miles from east to west, six and one-half miles from north to south, and contains about fifty-five square miles. The surface is broken, the elevation varying from a mean 1,150 feet in the river valley, to 1,600 and 1,800 feet in the mountainous region, north and west of Lamb’s creek. With the exception of this limited area, the land of the township- Valley hillside and upland- is tillable and fertile. Richmond, therefore ranks as one of the populous, productive and prosperous townships of the county. In 1840 it contained 742 inhabitants; in 1870, 1,558; in 1880, 1,512,and in 1890, 1,640.
Before the land was cleared and settled it was covered with heavy forest growth of pine, hemlock, beech, maple, birch, oak, etc., nearly all of which has disappeared. The township is well watered. The Tioga river enters it from the south, about a mile east of the center of the southern boundary line, flows northeast to Canoe Camp, where it turns and takes northwesterly direction to the northern boundary line, which it crosses about a mile west of the center. Its course through the township is marked by a gradually narrowing valley, which becomes a mere gap in the mountains where it passes into Tioga township. It and its tributaries drain the entire surface of the township. On the east it receives Canoe Camp creek, flowing northwest from Covington township, and Corey creek, flowing northwest from Sullivan township. On the west it receives Lamb’s creek, which with its tributaries drains the northwestern quarter of the township. The northeastern part of the township is drained by Mill creek, which flows northwest into Tioga township, and the southwestern part by Elk run, which flows southeast into Covington township.
The Mineral wealth of this township consists of iron ore, plastic clays and building stone. The Mansfield ore bed, which supplied the furnace at Mansfield for many years, is situated three miles southwest of the borough, on the Wellsboro road. It is from three to four feet in thickness, contains about thirty-nine per cent of iron, and is know as the first or upper bed. What is thought to be the same bed, shows itself two or three miles north, along Lamb’s Creek, and on the east side of the Tioga river, southeast of Lamb’s creek also father east on “ Pickle Hill.” Deposits belonging to the second bed- 200-400 feet lower- have been found one half mile east of the O. A. Benedict place, in southwestern part of the township: on “Whipple Hill,” southwest of Mansfield: on Mann creek, below Mansfield; on the lands of Mrs. Sarah E. Morris and Albert Sherwood, west of the borough; on J. C. Howe’s and J. B. Clark’s land, and on “ Bixby Hill.” A third bed, 100 to 200 feet lower than the second, crops out in the river near the northwest corner of the borough limits. Ore from other deposits has been used in the manufacture of pig iron and mineral paint. None of these ore beds is being developed at present. Plastic clays, of fine texture, are to be found along the Tioga river and its tributaries. Good building stone is also found in various parts of the township. These are those who believe that Richmond lies within the oil and gas belt. The only thing, that has been done to develop either is limited to an oil well sunk several years ago at Canoe Camp. Gas was struck and a little oil found at a dept of about 2,000 feet. The well was , however, abandoned and plugged, just when interesting developments were promised.
The first settler in Richmond township was a man named Carter, who about the year 1794, or soon after the opening of the Williamson road, located on what is now known as the Lannigan place, on the east side of the Tioga river , about half a mile below Lamb’s creek. Here he built two log houses and cleared about eight or ten acres of land. In the fall of 1796, or spring of 1797, he sold out to a man named White, and removed to Canaseraga Creek, in western New York. Neither Carter nor White appear to acquired any title, beyond that of occupation to the land, the first purchaser receiving a deed and becoming a permanent settler, being Gad Lamb who came into the township in the summer of 1797. In the mortgage given by him January 2, 1808, to secure the unpaid portion of the purchase money, the tract is described as part of Survey No. 317, and is designated as “Oakland.” Lamb and his family left their native town of Wilbraham, Massachusetts, in the spring of 1797.AT Towanda , Pennsylvania, where his son, Ebenezer Ripley Lamb, was born, May 27, 1797, Mr. Lamb left his family and accompanied by his son, Daniel, then seventeen years old, came to Tioga County. They first visited Canoe Camp, where they planted the old Williamson encampment clearing in corn and potatoes, but did not purchase the land. Continuing down river , they came to the Carter place , which , as already stated , Mr. Lamb bought. He next returned to Towanda for his family, leaving Daniel in charge of the place. The lad remained there alone for two weeks, with no neighbors nearer than the Nathan Niles family at the mouth of Mill Creek. The settlement of Benjamin Corey, who came earlier than Lamb, is noted in the chapter devoted to Mansfield borough. The next settler was Josiah Hovey, whose name appears in the assessment list of 1800 as an innkeeper- the first in the township. He came in 1798 or 1799, and located on what is now is known as the Sumner Wilson place, on the Williamson road, near the southern line of the township. The names of his sons, Simeon and Gurdon Hovey, appear on the assessment list as carpenters. Simeon, at a later date, settled on what was known afterwards as the Henry Searle place. About 1799 or 1800 Peres Bardwell, whose name appears on the census list for 1800, located on the place afterwards owned by Asa Mann; an Englishman, named Burton, settled near Lamb’s creek, on the place occupied later by Joshua Shaw; Amasa Culver, Nathan Rowley and Samuel Negley settled at Canoe Camp; David Miller and Cheney Ames, a mile south of Mansfield, and Nathan Hill and Peter Button, above Canoe Camp, near the Hoveys. Edward Gobin, who settled within the Mansfield limits, is referred to in the chapter devoted to that borough, Elihu Marvin came in 1803 and built a saw-mill-- the first one in the township--one mile south of Mansfield. In 1804 Asa Mann, the founder of Mansfield came from Rhode Island, and settled one mile below the borough, on what was afterwards known as the James R. Wilson place. Here he kept hotel and a small stock of merchandise in a log house, replaced in 1818 by a large frame dwelling which is still standing and is used as a residence by B. H. Osgood, the occupant of the farm. It is the oldest house in the township. Reference is made to Asa Mann in the chapter devoted to Mansfield and also to John, Peter and Jacob Kelts, who came about 1804.In the year 1806 Elijah Clark, his brothers , John, Loren and his sister ,Philena, came from Wilbraham, Massachusetts, and Elijah settled on the place now owned by Albert Sherwood, west of the borough. His brothers and sister made their home with him until the arrival of the rest of the family in 1814. Amos Spencer, a native of Unadilla, New York, settled at Canoe Camp in 1806, built a grist mill in 1807 and a saw-mill a few years later. Ebenezer Burley, who came in 1808, is referred to in the Mansfield borough chapter. Joshua Shaw came from Plainfield, Massachusetts, in 1810, and the following year settled at Lamb’s creek. Aaron Gillet, who first settled at Mill Creek, Tioga township, in 1797 and afterwards removed to Cherry Flats, again removed in 1811, settling on the Vedder place above Canoe Camp. During the War of 1812 he carried the mail on horseback between Tioga and Williamsport. He rode at full speed , fresh horses being provided at each station. In 1813 Cephas Stratton came from Bradford county and settled between Mansfield and Canoe Camp. In 1814 Seth and Eleanor Clark, parents of Elijah , John, Loren and Philena Clark, heretofore mentioned, came from Vermont with their son, Justus Burr Clark, and settled below Mansfield. In 1821 Justus Burr Clark married Catherine Hart. As a part of his house- keeping outfit, he bought an iron tea kettle of William Willard in Tioga, giving therefore three bushels of wheat; also a hand saw and some shingle nails, paying three dollars for the former and thirty cents a pound for the latter. In 1814, also there were living at and in the vicinity of Canoe Camp, beside those mentioned: Daniel Williams, a clothier; David and Richard Miller and Daniel Rose . The first minister of the gospel to settle in the township was Rev. Nehemiah Hobart Ripley, father of the late Philip S. Ripley, and grandfather of Capt. Homer J. Ripley, recently county recorder. He came from Albany, New York, in 1815, and settled on Corey Creek, on the place now owned by William B. Jerald. Mr. Ripley was ordained an Old School Baptist minister, but afterwards embraced the Universalist faith and became a minister of that denomination. John and Abner Cochran came from Cambridge, Vermont, in 1816, and settled at Lamb’s Creek. His son, William C. Ripley, was one of the pioneer teachers of Mansfield. Isaac Lownsberry, a Revolutionary soldier, settled at Canoe Camp in 1818, where his son, Isaac, born February 9, 1811, still resides. Peter Whitteker, a son-in-law of Isaac Lownsberry, came with him from Schoharie, New York. He first settled at Canoe Camp, but afterwards moved up Canoe Camp creek to the place now owned by his son, Barney Whitteker. Lieut. Jacob Allen, grandfather of the late Prof. Fordyce A. Allen, came from Cummington, Massachusetts, in 1818, and settled on the place previously owned by Elijah Clark, and now owned by Albert Sherwood. He was a lieutenant in the Revolutionary War, and aide-de-camp to his father, who was killed in the early part of that struggle. Before settling here Lieutenant Allen peddled woolen goods, etc., through this section. In 1818, also, Sumner Wilson, who came from Massachusetts, settled on the place previously occupied by Josiah Hovey, near the Covington township line, still known as the Sumner Wilson place. In 1820 Thomas Dyer settled on the Vedder place, above Canoe Camp, and Robert Searle on the adjoining farm north. John and Martin Kelly came here in 1827 and Marcus Kelly in 1829, and settled at what is known as Kellytown, between Mansfield and Lamb’s creek. Here John ran a cabinet - maker shop , saw-mill and store for a number of years. Daniel Sherwood, a native of Connecticut , came from Cortland county, New York, in 1830, and built a saw-mill about half a mile below Lamb’s Creek bridge. He and his sons engaged in the lumber business until 1839, when they removed to Mansfield. Andrew Sherwood, of Mansfield, a grandson of Daniel Sherwood, is well known as a geologist, and has been prominently connected with the geological surveys of Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio. David Dorsett came from Peekskill, New York, in June, 1830, and settled on Lamb’s Creek. Michael Fralic came from Marathon, New York, and settled at Lamb’s Creek in 1831. His sons, Daniel and Henry Fralic, are well known lumbermen. Lewis Cruttenden, Tobias and Philip Lent, who settled on Lamb’s Creek , and Thomas Jerald, who settled on Corey Creek also came in 1831. Rev. Asa Donaldson , who held the first stated service and organized the first church in Mansfield, came to Tioga county in 1832, and lived on the Albert Sherwood place until 1837, when he moved to Illinois. Oliver Elliot, afterwards a business man of Mansfield , came into the township in 1835. About 1834-35 Marcus Benedict settled on the Wellsboro road, near the western line of the township. Joseph Walker and R. P. Buttles came in 1839; Levi Cooper in 1841; Vine D. Patchen and his son, Robert M. and Robert H Pratt and his son, Edwin, in 1842; George Slingerland, in 1844; Joseph Whipple, in 1845; James M. Ramsdell, in 1846; John Drew, in 1847; James Hoard, John Voorhees, William Powers and John Kiley in 1849. The foregoing names are those of the more prominent settlers of the township to the close of the first half of the present century. They endured the dangers, hardships and privations of pioneer life. The farms they cleared, after years of patient toil, are now possessed by their descendants, who have replaced the rude log cabin, the log church and the log school house with homes, schools and churches, that bear eloquent witness to the thrift, industry, intelligence and morality of the people of the township.
The manufacturing enterprises of township have been confined almost exclusively to saw-mills and grist-mills. The first saw-mill was built in 1803, one mile south of Mansfield, by Elihu Marvin; the second, in which Elijah Clark afterwards had an interest , was built about 1810 or 1811, on Corey Creek by John and Peter Kelts; the third in 1812 at Lamb’s Creek, by Gad Lamb and his sons, and the fourth a little later by Amos Spencer at Canoe Camp. As the township was settled up, the number of mills increased until lumbering became and remained an important industry, so long as the timber supply lasted. As lumber grew scarcer, the mills shut down, until all but two, the Spencer mill at Canoe Camp, and the Fralic mill at Lamb’s Creek, have passed out of existence. In 1805 Elihu Marvin purchased from Dorman Bloss, at Nelson, a grist-mill, to turn by hand. This he hauled on an ox sled and placed under his saw-mill, south of Mansfield. It would grind five or six bushels a day. Mr. Marvin then set about getting out a frame for a better mill, but died before he could erect it. His widow sold the frame to Amos Spencer, who in 1807, used it in erecting a grist-mill at Canoe Camp, on one of the best water powers in the county. This mill was afterwards replaced by a better one, and in 1857 a still larger mill was built. This, with the adjoining saw-mill was destroyed by fire May 20, 1879. The present grist-mill and saw-mill, both run by water power, were built in 1883, by a. M. Spencer, a grandson of Amos Spencer, the pioneer. In 1855 Amos Bixby built a paint-mill on the site of the old Marvin saw-mill, which he operated for a number of years.
Schools and Justices.
The first school in the township was taught in 1814, at Canoe Camp, by Miss Sally Elliott, a daughter of Nathaniel Elliot. She afterwards married Daniel Rose. Among her pupils was Martin Stratton, born in 1807, and now a resident of Blossburg. She was followed by Daniel Rose, Gardiner Seaman, Asa Howe, Dr. Pliny Power and his sister, Lucy, Erastus P. Deane and Charlotte Harkness, now the wife of Col. N. A. Elliott, of Mansfield. She taught about 1835. A school house was built about 1825. In 1818 Miranda Allen, a daughter of Lieut. Jacob Allen, opened a school in a building erected and used as a dwelling by Frank Truman, a short distance south of Kellytown. In 1835 a school house was built at Lamb’s Creek. Among the early teachers in these schools were Abigail Bickford, Lucretia Atherton, D. P. Hotchkiss, Warren VanValen, Elliott S. Rose, Erastus Herrington, Fidelia King and W. F. Lamb. As the township settled up, neighborhood schools were started, and later public school districts created, until there are now within the township limits sixteen public school buildings. In 1895 the revenue derived from state and county taxation, set apart for school purposes was $ 4,004.10.
The first justice of the peace for Richmond township was Almon Allen, who was commissioned January 19, 1827. The office has since been filled as follows: Thomas Dyer, 1827; David Hazzard, 1830; Daniel N. Hunt, 1832; Solon Richards,1835; Isaac Drake, 1838; Porter Gaylord, 1840; Leander K. Spencer, 1840; re-elected, 1845, 1858; William C. Ripley, 1842; re-elected, 1859, 1864, 1872, 1877; Simeon F. Utter, 1847; re-elected 1852; Apollos Pitts, 1848; re-elected 1853; Daniel Sherwood 1854; John C. Howe, 1864; Lorin Butts, 1869; James R. Wilson, 1869; H. k. Husted, 1874; Alonzo M. Spencer, 1878;M. R. Goodall, 1881; re-elected 1886,1891 and 1896; J. F. Ripley, 1882; Curtis P. Fuller, 1887; George R. Fuller 1892; re-elected, 1897.
In the early years of the township’s history, before any attempt was made to organize a church, the settlers depended for religious services upon itinerant evangelists, members generally of the Methodist Episcopal of the “ Old School” Baptist denominations. Whenever one of these put in an appearance the settlers would flock to hear him, the meetings being held in the open air or in the dwelling or barn of one of the settlers. The earliest meetings of this kind in Richmond township were held sometimes in the open air and sometimes in the barn, on the premises of Gad Lamb, the pioneer settler at Lamb’s Creek. Here the pioneers listened to the earnest and oftentimes, fiery eloquence of Kimball, Beers, Solon Stocking--who preached Mr. Lamb’s funeral sermon in April, 1824-- Sheardown, Cranmer, Rogers, Andrew Pickard.-- who married Maria Lamb, and who died in Colorado in June, 1894, aged ninety- four years--and other ministers of the denominations named. In 1826 Jerusha Lamb, Gad Lamb’s widow, organized the first Sunday -school in the township at her home. the meetings on the Lamb place continued until the building of the school house in 1835, after which they were held there, although no regular church appears to have been organized.
The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Lamb’s Creek was organized in February, 1883, with the following members: D. L. Fralic, C. P. Fuller, J. L. Moore, Jackson Smith, H. P. Van Ness, L. A. Brewster and W. B. Ripley. A church building, costing $1,600, was dedicated April 29, 1884. The church was in the Tioga charge until 1884, since which time it has been in the Covington charge, the same pastors serving both churches. The names of the pastors from the organization are as follows: Revs. J. W. Gamble, 1883; J. D. Requa, 1883-84; F. H. Van Keuren, 1884-87; W. M. Dubois, 1887-88; F. H. Rowley, 1890-91; D. L. Pitts, 1891-94; Cornelius Dillenbeck, 1894-95; W. B. Armington, 1895-97.
The First Church of Canoe Camp, incorporated April 4, 1884, was organization as the “ First Christian Church of Canoe Camp,” September 24, 1849,by Rev. Theobold Miller, its first pastor. The names of the original members are as follows: Leander K., Amos, Valorus O., Alonzo M. and I. R. Spencer, Thomas William, John, and G. W. Goodall, John Churchill, J. C. Ireton, W.W. Russell, A. A. Noble, Sophia, Sarah, Jane, Mary A. and Martha Spencer, Susan and Ziba Gillett, Sophia M. and Anna M. Goodall, Cynthia Lownsbery, Jane Churchill, Louisa, Jane E. and Rachel Nobel, Lois M. Cleveland and Levina A Cass. Rev. I. R. Spencer served this church as pastor for twenty years. He was succeeded by Rev. G. W. Headley, who remained until 1884, since which time the church has been served by Revs. J. O. Cutts,1884-87; M. S. Blain, 1891; U. A. White, 1891-96, and Leon J. Reynolds, the present pastor. A store building, previously purchased, was dedicated as a church May 19, 1851, and was used until 1880, when the present building, representing an outlay of $2,000, was erected. This church now numbers 130 members. There are fifty pupils in the Sunday-School, of which M. R. Goodall is the superintendent.
The early settlers buried their dead near their homes, where they could watch over and care for the graves. It was in this way that the private graveyards, to be found in almost every section of the township, were established. In them reposed the remains of the early pioneers, until the removal of the bodies to Mansfield and other cemeteries. In a few instances, however the old graves have remained undisturbed. Among the oldest of these graveyards is the one at Lamb’s Creek , containing the remains of members of the Lamb, Ripley, Shaw and other pioneer families; The Ripley burying ground on the old Philip S. Ripley place-- given by the will of Philip S. Ripley Richmond Township, and the graveyard on Lamb’s creek, near the place of W. B. Ripley. In the cemetery at Canoe Camp are found the graves of members of the Spencer, Cass, Lownsbery, Gillet, Rowley, and Stratton families. The oldest gravestone in this cemetery marks the grave of Francis Upton Spencer, who died in 1813, and who, it is said was a soldier in the War of 1812. The tombstones over the graves of Nathan and Anna Rowley, contain the following inscription: ”They were the first settlers in Larabee’s Point in Shoreham, Vermont, at the close of the Revolutionary War.” A cemetery in the Whitteker neighborhood near the Covington township line, contains the graves of members of the Whitteker, Jaquish, Phelps, Woodward and other families. A cemetery on the old Wellsboro and Mansfield post road, near the Charleston township line, contains the graves of members of the Benedict and other families, early settlers in the western part of Richmond and eastern part of Charleston townships.
Lamb’s Creek is situated near the northern line of the township, where the stream of the same name enters into the Tioga River. Both stream and village were named for Gad Lamb, the pioneer, the date of whose settlement, as well as that of other pioneer, is given in a preceding portion of this chapter . In 1812 Mr. Lamb and his sons built a saw-mill, the third in the township, on the east bank of the river just below the present bridge. This mill, owned at the time by Hoard & Beach, was purchased about 1858 by Michael Fralic. In 1869 a flood took the dam away, In 1870 Mr. Fralic’s sons Daniel L. and M. H.., who succeeded him in 1866, and who compose the present firm of Fralic Brothers, built a new mill on the opposite bank of the river, which is run by steam, and has a capacity of 10,000 feet of lumber a day. A school house was built in 1835, replaced after the late war by the present building. A grocery store was started in 1854, by P. Davis, and a post office was established in 1867, E. R. Haight being the first postmaster. His successors have been Linus Thayer, D. Porter Shaw and D. L. Fralic, the present incumbent, the office being in charge of his assistant, Mrs. Jennie Day, who also runs a general store in connection therewith. The only other store in the place is that of Francis Flower, born in 1811, and one of the oldest men engaged in active business in the county. D. B. Lamb has been the station ticket agent since the railroad passed into the hands of the “Erie.” His sister, Maria Lamb, born in 1818, has for over twenty years, carried the mail to and from the trains, with unvarying promptness, and in all kinds of weather.
Canoe Camp is situated two miles south of the railway station in Mansfield, at the confluence of Canoe Camp creek and the Tioga river. It marks the point to which the Williamson road was completed in 1792, and its name is said to owe its origin to the fact that on the approach of winter the force engaged in road building embarked in canoes and floated down the river to Painted Post, New York. As already related Gad Lamb and his son Daniel stopped here in 1797, long enough to plant the camp clearing in corn and potatoes, but did not purchase the land. The first actual settler was Amos Spencer, who located in 1806, and by deed bearing date March 1, 1809, became possessed of the land on which the village of Canoe Camp stands. The previous owners were Thomas Barber and Oliver Jennings. Here Mr. Spencer built a grist and saw-mill at the ripples on the river. These mills, replaced by larger and more modern ones, are owned and operated by his grandson, A. M. Spencer. A post office was established in 1821 and Amos Spencer became the first postmaster. A few years later the post office was removed to Mansfield. It was re-established in April, 1868, with T. J. Jelliff as postmaster. His successors have been M. A. Cass, F. M. Gillet and A. D. Gillet, the present incumbent, who was appointed February 12, 1890. A hotel was carried on in the village for a number of years, the first landlord being L. K. Spencer. Among his successors were Edward Gordon and John C. Bennett. Before the building of the railroad, Alexander Hall used to carry the mail over the Williamson road to and from Williamsport. One of the earliest schools in the township was taught here in 1814 and 1815 by Miss Sallie Elliott. A school has been maintained here ever since. The church of Christ, the only “Disciple” or Christian” church in the township, was organized here, September 24, 1849, by Rev. Theobold Miller The manufacturing enterprises of the place are confined to the Spencer mills, already referred to, and to the Canoe Camp Full Cream Cheese Factory, established in May 1895, by F. E. Zimmer, who also operates a similar factory at East Charleston. The Canoe Camp factory uses the milk of 300 cows daily, and produces from 700 to 800 pounds of cheese per day. It is in charge of J. H. Mosher. The plant cost $2,000. There are two general stores in the place, one carried on by A. W. Gillet, and the other by A. D. Gillet, who is also the station agent and postmaster. His store is in the depot building. The oldest living resident of the place is Isaac Lownsbery, born in 1811, who has lived there since 1818. The barn on his place was built in 1827.
Mardin is the name of a post office in the western part of the township,
on the “ Old Post Road.” It was established in 1879. O. M. Patchen, the
first postmaster, held the office until June 21, 1883, when H. N. Spear,
the present incumbent, was appointed.