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Origin of the Welsh Settlement
Article: Origin of the Welsh Settlement
Township: Charleston Township, TiogaCounty PA
By "Mrs. Owlett," 1910
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The Origin of the Welsh Settlement in Tioga County

Paper read before the Tioga County Historical Society, December 12, 1910

By Mrs. E. H. Owlett

In the settlement of Tioga County two streams of immigration may be noted, one coming in from the north, the earliest, and comprising people from the New England States, New York and New Jersey; the other coming in from the south, and comprising people from Philadelphia and its vicinity. Immigration from the north entered largely by way of the Tioga River, hence the name of the first political division—Tioga Township. Immigration from the south had its source largely in Delaware and Maryland, hence the name of the second political division—Delmar Township, Delmar being composed of the first syllable of each state name.

Among the various nationalities which came in with the southern stream of immigration were the Welsh settlers, some of whom later formed a community by themselves, known as "The Welsh Settlement," which is the subject of this paper. It is situated southwest of Cherry Flats, in Charleston township, and embraces an area of about nine square miles.

In writing a history of "The Welsh Settlement", the first question we naturally ask ourselves is in regard to its origin, its reason for being. Wales is a far away country. How did it happen that people from that country crossed the seas and all the vast intervening wilderness to occupy that particular portion of Tioga County known as "The Welsh Settlement?"

To answer this question in regard to individual families is a task beyond the scope of such a paper as this, but it may be answered in a general way, thus suggesting the lines along which individual investigation may be carried. If we follow back to its source the stream of immigration of which the Welsh Settlers of Tioga County were a part, we find ourselves in "The Great Welsh Tract" near Philadelphia, obviously the explanation, directly or indirectly, of the Welsh in our vicinity. Thus it seems fitting to spend a little time at this, the source of the stream, that we may better understand its quiet inlet at our doors.

Concerning the community of people occupying "The Great Welsh Tract" near Philadelphia, we take the following paragraphs from Robert Proud’s History of Pennsylvania—one of the first ever published:

"Among those early adventurers and settlers who arrived about this time were also many from Wales, of those who are called ancient Britons, and mostly Quakers. Divers of those early Welsh settlers were persons of excellent and worthy character, and several of good education, family and estate. They had early purchased of the proprietary in England forty thousand acres of land. Those who came at present (1680) took up so much of it in the west side of the Schuylkill River as made the three townships of Merion, Haverford, and Radnor, and a few years after their number was so much augmented as to settle the three other townships of Newton, Goshen and Uwchland. After this they continued still increasing and became a numerous and flourishing people."

From a history entitled "Merion and the Welsh Tract with Sketches of the Townships of Haverford and Radnor," by Thomas Allen Gleen, I take the following selections: After describing the persecutions of the Welsh Quakers in their home land, he says "It was therefore with great thankfulness and with hearts yearning for peace and rest that the Cymric Quakers heard that William Penn had secured in the New World an asylum for the persecuted, and thence after a short space of preparation they journeyed, bringing with them to their new home their religion, their language and their honor."

Glenn further says: "In education, industry and practical ability the Welsh planters had no superiors and few equals among the early colonists. No people ever landed upon Pennsylvania soil so well equipped by birth and fortune to cope with those perilous emergencies so frequently arising in a new country, as the Cymric Quakers. They were no pauper class, subsisting upon the charity of the proprietor or any other philanthropists, but a body of self reliant and earnest men with ample fortune in their hands, seeking amid the primeval forests of Pennsylvania a home of liberty where, undisturbed by priest or sheriff, they could worship God in their own fashion. Of these Welsh Quakers it has been remarked, and truly, that they were not only the first ministers, but the first statesmen, the first lawyers, and the first physicians of Pennsylvania. One of them Dr. Thomas Wynne, presided over the first Assembly; the Deputy Governor, Thomas Lloyd; the Register General, Thomas Ellis; the first Attorney General, and the first Deputy Surveyors, besides a large proportion of the earlier justices and members of the Council and Provincial Assembly were men of Welsh blood."

Concerning the descendants of these early Welsh settlers, Glenn’s history further says: "The importance of the early Welsh emigration to Pennsylvania and the excellent result following the infusion of Cymric blood into the veins of later generations of Pennsylvanians cannot well be overestimated. In the municipal government of Philadelphia during the colonial period and during the first half of the 19th century, the descendants of the Welsh Friends bore a distinguished part. A score of the early mayors were of Cymric lineage. O the judges of the various courts and of the most eminent of the members of the bar of the city and state, down to the present day, a very large proportion trace to the settlers of Merion, Radnor and Haverford. It is a curious fact worthy of remark that the entire medical history of Philadelphia, beginning with Dr. Thomas Wynne, Dr. Griffith and Dr. Edward Jones and continuing through a long line of the most celebrated physicians and surgeons of our own day, is directly traceable through ancestry or influence to Welsh blood."

In tracing the connection, near or remote, between these settlers of "The Great Welsh Tract" and the Welsh settlers of our vicinity, the first fact of interest noted is the relation of the Morris family, of Philadelphia, so closely identified with Tioga County, to the Welsh Colony. In the three volume history of the Morris family by Robert C. Moon, we find that Anthony Morris, the mariner, the first of that name, was, according to tradition, of Welsh extraction, although probably a native of Barbados, in the West Indies. His son, Anthony Morris 2d, who afterwards emigrated to America married for his first wife Mary Jones, the name being Welsh, although her nationality is not noted. His son, William Morris, of the third generation, married Rebecca Cadwalder, while a nephew of William married her sister, Hannah Cadwalader. The Cadwalader family was one of the most distinguished of the Welsh families in Merion township. Its ancestral line is traced back, in Glenn’s history, to 1585, while, through one of the women of the family, Gwenhwyfer, bride of Evan the red-haired, it can be traced still further back, she being the granddaughter of Sir David Gam, who was slain at Agincourt in 1415, being knighted by Henry V. as his last breath was escaping on the field of battle. John Cadwalader, the founder of the family in America, was born in Wales, but removed to Pennsylvania in 1697. Here he married a daughter of Dr. Edward Jones, and granddaughter of Dr. Thomas Wynne, both of prominent families in the Welsh community. John Cadwalader was a member both of the Common Council and the Provincial council. One daughter, Mary, married Judge Samuel Dickinson and became the mother of John Dickinson, while two others daughters, Hannah and Rebecca, married Samuel Morris and his nephew, as above stated. Passing on, we find that Anthony Morris, 4th of that name, married Sarah Powell, a member of another Welsh family, who trace their ancestry directly to the Princes of Powis, an ancient royal line of Wales. Samuel Morris, a son of Anthony and Sarah Powell Morris, married Rebecca Wistar, whose son, Benjamin Wistar Morris, was so intimately connected with the early history of Tioga county. Again Benjamin Wistar Morris married Mary Wells, a great great granddaughter of Thomas Lloyd, perhaps the most distinguished member of the Welsh Colony. Concerning the Lloyds of Dolobran, Glenn'’ history says:" here is no house within the parish of Maifod, in Montgomeryshire, Wales, to which, or to the family once belonging to it, a more singular or more interesting history is attached than to Dolobran. This ancient family was seated at Dolobran for many generations, from 1476 to 1780, and trace their lineage to a remote period of genealogy. Dolobran Hall, which is prettily situated overlooking the Vyrnwy, is now merely used as a farm house, and the old meeting house which stands close by, built by Charles Lloyd the Quaker about 1669, has of late years been gradually dismantled of its carved oak gallery and paneling. There is strong reason for believing that William Penn worshipped, and not improbably preached, in this old Quaker chapel."

Thomas Lloyd of Dolobran, founder of the family in America, was born in Wales, Feb. 17, 1640, and died in Pennsylvania, Sept. 10, 1694. He was president of the Provincial Council of the Colony of Penn from 1684 to 1688, and was first Deputy Governor of Pennsylvania under William Penn. Thus we see that in Benjamin Wistar Morris and Mary Wells Morris two Welsh families were united whose ancestral line may be traced by authentic records to a time previous to the discovery of America.

Still another Welsh family directly connected with Tioga County Morrisses is the Ellis family—Judge Samuel Morris, of Wellsboro, marrying Anna Ellis, and Rebecca Morris, his sister, marrying William Cox Ellis. These Ellises were descendants of Thomas Ellis, a prominent pioneer of the Great Welsh Tract, and this line is unbroken From Thomas Ellis, the head of the family in America, through nine generations to those little citizens of Wellsboro known to many of us, Charles Frederick Miller, Ernestine Miller Niles, and Catherine Morris Niles. So interesting is the history of the Ellis family, and so intimately is it connected with Tioga County, stretching back through two centuries and a half, from the quiet farm now occupied by Mr. T. J. Davies, of Welsh Settlement, to another of Merionethshire, Wales, once occupied by Thomas Ellis, peaceful farm situated among the picturesque hills and vales that I think is worth while to give it here somewhat in detail.

Thomas Ellis was born in Merionethshire, Wales, in 1635. From the autobiography of Richard Davies, in the thirteenth volume of "The Friends’ Library," some particulars of Thomas Ellis’s life and character in his native country are given. He is spoken of as a man of great esteem in his own congregation before he became a Quaker, and also afterwards among his new found religious friends. The chronicle goes on to relate: "As for our friend Thomas Ellis, the Lord blessed him and poured his spirit upon him and gave him part of the ministry, and he became a faithful laborer and serviceable man among us; and at length he was made a prisoner here at Welsh-Pool,"(This because of his Quaker faith). "In the sixth month, 1660, he, with a number of others, was arrested at a religious meeting, and with much abuse were driven twenty miles on foot to a town called Bala, where, for the conscientious refusal to swear, they were put in fetters and sent twelve miles further to prison. In this prison they were kept about fifteen weeks, during which they suffered much abuse and hard usage." "Twice again they were arrested, and the last time they were confined in a hole in which the marshal had been accustomed to keep his hogs. They were much exposed to the weather in time of rain, not being able to find dry spots to lie down upon, and this, together with the noise of the swine who at night clustered round their usual lodging place, prevented the prisoners from getting much rest. They were kept in this pig-sty for ten weeks and were then removed to another prison, where they for a time did not receive proper nourishment and had to sleep upon the floor." Again and again the chronicle records similar experiences in the life of Thomas Ellis and his Quaker friends, till the severity of the persecution finally turned their hearts away from their native land to the newly acquired province of Pennsylvania, as a refuge from their trials. In 1682 Thomas Ellis made preparations for bringing his family to America, and early in the following year came over with his wife, two sons and three daughters. Out of several large tracts of land that he had purchased in the new province, he chose for his residence one of those located in the township of Haverford, west. The friends he left expressed their love and esteem in the following certificate, which is copied from the records of Radnor Monthly Meeting, Pennslyvania; "A Testimony from ye County of Pembrock in South Wales Concerning o’Deare frind and Brother Thomas Ellis"

"Whereas, we are given to und’rstand that o’r deare frind Thomas Ellis, wife, and family, doe intend to remove themselves for Penn-Sylvania in America, he Being a man that for many yeares have Tarveled amongst us; And for some time Resident in these Parts we thought it o’r duty to give this o’r Testemony in his Behalfe.

"Our deare frined is a man of Tender Sperit and often Broken before the Lord; the sence of the power of an endless life being upon him: his testemony for the Lord and his trueth hath been very weighty to the reaching the Consciences of many, his labour in the Lord hath been very effectual being endued w’th an Excelent gift in opening of deepe devine misteryes. And as to the Innocency of his conversation in general (w’ch is the most evident token of trueth and Sincerity) we have this to say; we know few like him, for in that God hath made him an adorning to the doctrine of the Gospell; neither can we omitt mentioning his deepe Travel care and desiers for the prosperitie of the trueth; his Labours in the Lord hath not been vaine: he is owned by us to be a selfe denying man truly Sent of God & delligently seeking the good of all: his Imprisonments hath been many and difficult w’th spoyling of goods upon trueth’s accompts. All which was borne by him in that patience w’ch is the gift of God; for the satisfaction of those whom it may or shall concern, we have hereunto subscribed o’er names at o’r Monthly meeting at Redstone in the afors’d county of Pembrock the Second day of ye Seaventh month 1683. (Signed by) Edward Lord, John Poyer, John Bburge, James Thomas, William Jenkins, Evan Bowen, Lewis James, James Lewis, Richard White, David John, David Rees, Peregrine Musgrave."

Many interesting details of his life in America might be given if time afforded. He was one of William Penn’s commissioners and spent much time in Philadelphia, where he held public trusts under the government. On July 28, 1687, he was commissioned Registrar General for the province and held the office till his decease. He died in 1688, and his body was interred in the burial ground at Haverford Meetinghouse. Ellis Ellis, the eldest son of Thomas Ellis, was born in Wales. He came to Pennsylvania with his father, in 1683, and settled in Haverford township. His son, Benjamin Ellis, removed to East-town township, where he bought a tract of land; and there, in 1751, was born his son, William Ellis, who was destined to have not a little to do with the early history of Tioga County. William Ellis received a good education and for a few years engaged in teaching. But enterprise seemed to be natural to him, and later we find recorded a sale of his property at East-town for 133 pounds. This sale was probably preparatory to his purchase of land in the beautiful valley of the Munsey, on the West Branch of the Susquehanna. Here he built, in a fine locality, a house, and planted a garden and orchard, and hither, after the many vicissitudes of war, he brought his wife, Mercy Cox, of Hartford county, Maryland. They were married in 1785. For a number of years William Ellis was a land agent and surveyor of lands in this part of the state, and in 1789 was appointed surveyor general of the lands lying in the district from which McKean, Potter and Tioga counties were formed. In 1804 he was appointed one of the commissioners to define the boundaries of the three new counties, and later was appointed Trustee of Tioga County. His daughter, Anna, became the wife of Judge Wistar Morris, as stated above and jointly with her husband conveyed to its next owner the farm in Welsh Settlement now belonging to Mr. T. J. Davies.

Thus we may trace in imagination a line; compacted of many subtle ties and relationships, stretching from Wales, without a break, across the seas and intervening wilderness to the center of Welsh Settlement now belonging to Mr. T. J. Davies.

This farm now owned by Mr. T. J. Davies, as stated above, is the first tract of land on record in the Recorder’s office sold and deeded by the Bingham estate after the county was organized in 1804. It is also the first tract of land in the Welsh Settlement owned by Welsh people. Its history in brief is as follows:

About the year 805 Harris Hotchkiss squatted on a tract of land containing 205 acres adjoining the holdings of Timothy Culver, who was also a squatter. The Hotchkiss and the Culver holdings were sold and deeded to them by the Bingham estate, the deeds dated May 7, 1811, for a consideration of five shillings for each holding, the inference being that the land was practically given to them to hod them as permanent settlers and thus induce others to settle near them. (This Harris Hotchkiss was the grandfather of Darius H. Hotchkiss, of Wellsboro).

Harris Hotchkiss sold this tract to Samuel W. Morris for $100, and it was thereafter known as the "Judge Morris lot." The subsequent transfers of deeds were as follows: Anna Morris, Daniel Williams, Moses Calkins, Abram Hart, William J. Richards, John A. Bowen, David E. Bowen and Thomas J. Davies, its present owner—60 acres of the tract having been in his possession 43 years. It is interesting to note that this tract of land, the first purchased in the Welsh Settlement, is almost exactly in the geographical center of the settlement, and upon it are located the church and school buildings—the religious and education centers of a thrifty and prosperous community.

We may sum up the facts thus far presented as follows:

First: Philadelphia, because of "The Great Welsh Tract" in its vicinity, became the distributing point for the Welsh immigrant into the industrial and agricultural districts of our state.

Second: Through the instigation and encouragement of the Morris and Wells families and of their influential Welsh kinsmen, this distribution naturally included Tioga county.

Having thus endeavored to show that a Welsh settlement in Tioga county was the result of causes by no means obscure, we will pass to a consideration of a few of the individual families who formed the community.

The first Welsh settler of Welsh Settlement of whom we have any account was Evan Harris. He came up from Philadelphia about 1830 as a surveyor employed by the Bingham Estate. He was also a school teacher and later was appointed Justice of the Peace for District No. 6, (comprising the townships of Covington, Bloss, Rutland, Richmond, Union and part of Liberty.) The date of his commission, obtained from files in the Recorder’s Office, was January 24, 1837. Evan Harris settled on a lot of land about one-half mile south from Ely’s corner, on the State Road. This land was assessed as 90 acres in 1835. Here Harris built a log house, but some time after sold his holdings and removed to Wyoming Valley. The present owner and occupant is Thomas L. Davis.

As early as 1830 came also Daniel Williams, who settled on the East and West State Road, about two and one-quarter miles west of Cherry Flats on the south side of the road. Here he built a frame house of sawed lumber about 200 feet from the road. Concerning this house, Mr. T. J. Davies says: "From diligent inquiry we believe this to be the first frame house erected in the Settlement by the Welsh settlers, and the only one of that kind and period still standing and inhabited, without any material change or alteration." Mr. Williams came direct from Wales to Philadelphia, and thence to the settlement the usual way from the south—up the West Branch of the Susquehanna and Pine Creek, over the State Road from Newburg to Wellsboro. He was evidently possessed of considerable means for that period, as later he sold his holding in Charleston township and removed to Canoe Camp, where he built a commodious dwelling in the northern limits of the village. This house is also still standing and occupied. Later he sold this property and removed to Blossburg, where he erected a brick dwelling house on the west side of the Williamson road. This house also still remains, is well preserved and neatly kept—a noted landmark well remembered by all the old residents of that town as the first brick building erected in Blossburg. It is indeed an interesting object lesson in home building for the present generation. Mr. T. J. Davies, a resident of Blossburg in his boyhood, remembers Mr. Williams well and says of him: "Here he lived a retired life, respected and honored by all who knew him". The permanency of his work as a pioneer citizen reflected the character of the man.

The original property owned by Mr. Williams in Welsh Settlement passed into the hands of Daniel Burns, and was afterwards known as "the Burns place." The present owner and occupant of the house and a part of the land is Daniel A. Evans.

Sometime previous to the year 1830 there came from Wales to Philadelphia a man by the name of Lewis Lewis. He remained there some months, working at his trade as a blacksmith, but during the year 1830 came to the Welsh Settlement in Tioga County and located on land one-half mile south of the Evan Harris lot, on what is now called the "Welsh Road". Here he built a log house and smithy and for many years did blacksmith work for his neighbors, in addition to his farm work. After he died the place passed into the possession of Evan Lewis, his eldest son, who afterwards sold it to its present owner, Mr. Thomas L. Davies, he himself removing to an adjoining farm.

In 1830 came also (directly from Wales) William Davis, and Miles and Peggy Harris. These fine "1830" settlers all located on what has from that time been called the Welsh Road.

In 1832 there arrived from Wales David Walters, who was by occupation a mason and stone cutter. He also located on the Welsh Road, building a frame house on his land. In 1838 he sold his holdings to Walter Morgans and moved further into the wilderness. Mr. Walters was employed in the building of the Court House, and these walls by which we are surrounded contain a mute evidence of his existence. Mr. Davies says in his notes:"High up on the southwest wall may be seen his insignia, the outlines of an eagle carved on one of the stones and fitted into the wall. Who knows what suggestion or thought caused this humble worker in stone to place it there? He may have lived near the Eagle or Snowdon Mountains in the north of Wales, or he may have had in mind the soaring American eagle, for it is hard to determine which country these Celtic immigrants loved the best".

David Walters quarried the stone for the Wellsboro Court House from a stone quarry near Shumway Hill, and was employed constantly in the erection of the Court House until it was completed. Mr. Thomas Wingate says that Walters also shaped and fitted in place the large capstone over the entrance to the Court House.

In 1833 Thomas Evans and family arrived; in 1840 the Bowen families; in 1841 the Edwards families; in 1842 came David W. Reese, John S. Thomas and John Jones, Sr., father of all the Jones’; in 1851 came the Richard and Davies families; and in 1860 J. J. Rogers and William Rogers. Since hat time only two or three new families have come into the settlement.

Many interesting papers for the Historical Society might be written concerning these Welsh settlers and their descendants. Their record during the Civil War alone would make a valuable document of local history. There went out from the little tract of nine square miles twenty-five young men who had been born and reared in Welsh Settlement; also many of the original settlers, among them Lieut. J. J. Rogers, who refused to die, though shot through the body. It is hoped that this subject may be pursued further at a later date.

The following sketch by Mr. T. J. Davies is of such general interest that I give it entire:

My father’s name was Thomas D. Davies. He was born June 21st, 1812, at Blaencwnlage, Abergwill, Carmarthenshire, South Wales. My mother’s maiden name was Elizabeth Jones. Born June 2, 1816, at Llyncroes, Llamhingelievoth, Carmarthenshire, South Wales. They were married in 1838. After marriage they lived at Pontyberem, in the same shire. There was a coal mine near by called Coalbrook. Father operated an incline place at these mines until 1841. One son (John, my elder brother) was born to them during their residence there. Having learned of the settlement in Tioga County, Pa., from their fellow countrymen who had preceded them, in the early summer of 1841, in company with some other families who were like minded, they engaged passage in a sailing vessel.

They bade adieu to all their kindred and friends and to their homeland forever. With all their earthly possessions packed in two deal chests, each two feet wide by two feet deep and three feet long, they bravely launched forth into the uncertain, unknown future to seek a new home and habitation in the wilds of Pennsylvania. A six weeks voyage on the Atlantic brought them safely to New York, and thence by boat again to Philadelphia, and from there after a long, tedious journey they reached the desired goal, the Welsh Settlement in Charleston township. When they reached here, of the little hoard of gold sovereigns, English money, that by thrift and economy they had accumulated in the homeland, after paying their oceanpassage money and carefully doling out what was absolutely necessary for the incidental expenses of such a long journey, there remained only one solitary gold sovereign. This fact was known only to the mother who carried the purse and guarded the family treasures. (This was the custom then, and is quite common now among our people). And right well she guarded them, both the fact and the money; for she had determined in her own mind to cling to that one sovereign as a last resort, in case the worst should happen to her or to any of her dear ones, that she might have at least the means to bear the expense of a Christian burial in this strange new land; for a sovereign would cover much in those days of cheap pine coffins, with no hearse or undertaker, just some kind friend conducting the funeral. Ministers officiated at the funeral of their parishioners without extra pay. All this she knew, for the custom was the same in the homeland among her countrymen.

Father evidently had a vision of landed estate in this new country, where land was cheap, with plenty of elbow room, and no doubt was looking forward into the future upon broad cultivated fields and meadows, with ample preserves of woodland, and sparkling brooks meandering through it, wit fish and wild game in abundance—something akin to the titled estates of old England, that he had seen many times.

These or similar thoughts were undoubtedly in his mind when he proposed to mother that they buy a goodly tract of wild land in the immediate neighborhood of the Welsh settlers. But after careful consideration they concluded the proposition was not very promising under the circumstances, and were content to turn their faces to Blossburg and the coal mines, where they settled, and abode thereafter for eighteen years. Mother still kept the English coin and father knew not that she had it. Old residents of Blossburg well remember that coin. Money, especially gold, was very scarce as a medium of exchange in that locality in the early days of the old Mallory mines. The principal medium of exchange was store script, commonly known as "shin-plasters", with a promise to pay in store goods at the Company Store printed on its face. This passed current as money, even among the farmers, who accepted it in payment for farm produce and then bought goods from the Company Store with it.

I remember well the first time I heard mother tell the story of their coming to this country as I have told it briefly here (for she gave all the details). It was nearly ten years after they came; I was then about seven years old. Conditions were getting better and money more plenty. She told the story to her children in the good old mother tongue (Welsh), for she could speak but very little English at that time. There was no other language spoken in our home circle. The children all understood it thoroughly and could speak and read it fluently. She told the story in her simple, calm, composed manner, just as if the experience she narrated was a thing of common occurrence at that time, and I have no doubt bit it was, and that others under similar circumstances fared even worse than they did. She showed us the gold sovereign at the same time, and told its connection with the story. I often heard her tell the story afterwards, but I never saw the coin again, and do not know when she disposed of it; but have often wished since, that I had the sense of maturer years at that time to persuade her to give it to me. I certainly would have preserved it as a souvenir in honor of the heroic fortitude and patient endurance of not only my mother, but of all the brave and noble mothers of that most trying pioneer period.

For 18 years father operated the mechanism in the drum house at the head of the incline plane that let the coal down, in five ton cars, from the mines near the top of the mountain to the Tioga railroad in the valley below. The opening to the mines was about a third of a mile back on the face of the mountain from the plane, all on the east side of the valley. The five ton dumps were hauled to and fro between the plane and the mines by horse power. The plane was at the steepest place, on a point of the mountain that projected out westward, and directly opposite the middle bridge over the Tioga River. It was a sightly place, and a conspicuous object for many years, with its drum house perched high up on the mountain and built projectingly out from a rocky shelf, to conform to the trestled approach that led into it. From the operator’s window, in his perch that overlooked the plane, it was more than forty feet to the ground. All who approached the town, from either up or down the valley, could see the plane for a long distance, and it always attracted attention, especially when in operation. It was there on that mountain perch, when a lad 10 years old, I earned my first pocket money winding tarred rope into balls, that father used when repairing the incline cable, and my wages were three shillings a day.

In the winter of 1858-59 the Blossburg mines closed down. The following spring father severed his connections with the mining industry and moved to the farm he had purchased in the Welsh Settlement the year before (1858). During their residence at Blossburg two of their children, David and Annie, had died and are buried there. So the family at this time consisted of the parents and four children in the order of their ages, as follows: John, Thomas J., Elizabeth and Maria Ann. The Civil War broke out in April, 1861. The daughters were under eleven years of age at this time. On Sept. 18, 1861, Thomas J., aged 18 years, enlisted in Co., G, 45th Regiment, Pa. Vet. Vols., and served continuously to the close of the war; enlisted as private, commissioned Second Lieutenant January 24th, 1865, wounded in action four times, mustered out of service July 17, 1865. On Sept. 16, 1862, John, aged 21, enlisted in Co. G, 149th Regiment, Pa. Vols. (in Stone’s Bucktail Brigade), and served with his regiment until July 1, 1863, when he was killed in action at the battle of Gettysburg. His body is buried in the national cemetery on that field. In August, 1865, father sold the farm he lived on then and bought the farm that was known as the "Widow Rees farm."

My elder sister, Elizabeth, died in 1867, aged 17 years.

My sister, Maria, married Thomas Rees, of Charleston. She died recently. Two children were born to them, to wit, Mr. J. Albert Rees, of Wellsboro, and Miss Ada Rees, at home. My mother died in 1887, aged 77. Father died in 1891, aged 79.

January 14, 1868, I married Jane Lovia Davis, daughter of David S. and Mary Davis, who came to this country from Wales in 1842, and settled near Cherry Flats. There were born to us eight children.

From 1865 to the present time I have resided on the farm where I now live. April 15th, 1891, bought of David E. Bowen his farm, which adjoined mine on the south. Also a few years previous had bought 40 acres of the David G. Edwards estate, adjoining on the north.

The author wishes to acknowledge the kindly assistance of Mr. T. J. Davies and of Mrs. C. L. Miller in the preparation of this paper.

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 12 MAR 2003
By Joyce M. Tice
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