Photos by Joyce M. Tice
Retyped for Tri-Counties by Anne PRATT Slatin
(Joyce's Third Cousin)
Many thanks to the Tri-Counties guest who sent this book to Joyce and who wishes to remain anonymous.
THE FORMATION OF ASYLUM TOWNSHIP AND THE
FRENCH SETTLERS WHO REMAINED AS
IN November, 1814, the township of Asylum was taken from the township of Wyalusing which, up to that time, had extended on both sides of the river from the Sheshequin township line down to Wyoming County line, and southward to Sullivan County, at that time Lycoming County. When first formed, Asylum township comprised within its boundaries all the territory which now constitutes the townships of Towanda, Monroe, Terry, Asylum, Wilmot and Albany. The voting place was fixed at the house of Jonathan Terry, the first settler in Terrytown after the Indian invasion.
The name Asylum, or "Azilum," (as the French pronounced it) had been given by the French exiles to their settlement at Frenchtown as a place of refuge.
The township was not formed and named until about
twelve years after their settlement had as a village been broken up and
nearly all the residents departed.
BARTHOLOMEW LAPORTE, SR.
Unlike his friend and neighbor, Charles Homet, Senior, (who was very sedate) Bartholomew Laporte was talkative and inclined to be humorous.
In describing his fall from a hay stack, he said: "Me slippee; me snatch-ee; me no catch-ee; me come down co-whop-pee; dam-me-me!"
The following was related by William Terry of Terrytown:
"I had an odd ox, and was desirous of obtaining a mate for him. I was told that Bartholomew Laporte, Sr., had an ox for sale, and went to see him. The old gentlemen took me to the field where the ox was pasturing. He was a fine animal, in excellent condition, and the price was reasonable. I considered myself a good judge of cattle. I asked no questions, counted out the money, and drove the ox over to Terrytown. Just as I got home, I met my brother, Nathaniel, who said: 'Your ox has one blind eye, did you know it?' I replied: 'Do you suppose I would buy an ox without looking him over?'
"The blind eye was on the right side of the ox's head, and I remembered that the old gentleman took me into the field on the left hand side of the ox, and as he fed along nipping off the grass and we following, the old gentleman kept him turned away from us so that I did not see his right side at all. The blind eye did not lessen his value for work or for beef."
Bartholomew Laporte had a brother who was a sailor, and who visited him at Asylum, although there were no railroads or stage lines to bring him from New York.
Bartholomew Laporte, 1st; born in France 1758; died February 11, 1836. Married Elizabeth Franklin (born in England), December 11, 1797. They had an only child, John, born November 4, 1798, died August 22, 1862.
John Laporte was twice married; first to Matilda, daughter of Dr. Jabez Chamberlain and Irene Gilbert, February 28, 1822.
Second wife, Eliza Bendle, by whom he had one daughter, Matilda Jane, born October 24, 1841, died 1871. The children of John Laporte and Matilda Chamberlain were:
Bartholomew, born January 5, 1823, died September 15, 1889. Married Emily Terry, daughter of William Terry of Terrytown, July 31, 1845. Children of Bartholomew Laporte and Emily Terry, as follows:
John W., born July 25, 1856, died February 6, 1886.
Nancy M., born May 14, 1856, died February 18, 1896.
Nellie M., born September 14, 1879.
Edith J., born October 24, 1881, died July 23, 1898.
Eleanor R., August 6, 1908.
George B., born January 23, 1893.
Paul S., born March 20, 1894.
Nan, born January 23, 1896.
Samuel McKean, born February 25, 1832, died April 14, 1896.
Elizabeth, married Charles F. Welles, Jr., November 27, 1843, at Asylum, lived at Athens; their children were:
Louis S., married Millard P. Murray.
Robert H., died February 12, 1903.
Bartholomew Laporte, 2nd, grandson of Bartholomew, 1st, was a man of more than ordinary ability. He was superior to his father as a public speaker. He and George Landon, when on the political stump, had no superiors as orators and debaters in the county. He was three times elected to the Pennsylvania Legislature, and was a candidate for Congress and was defeated by Joseph Powell, a Towanda merchant. Nothing was alleged against his ability or could truthfully be said against his integrity. The sole cause of his defeat was because being a farmer, he had joined the Patrons of Husbandry, or the Grange. The country merchants were prejudiced against the Grangers because they bought a part of their supplies directly from the manufacturers at wholesale, and some of both political parties combined against him.
Charles F. Welles, Jr., was a large, fine looking
man, and exceedingly able. Studied land surveying; made a tour in the west;
returned and kept a store at Welles's Ferry, near Sugar Run; was at the
same time owning a half interest in a store kept by John Morrow in Quick's
Bend. He nearly lost his fortune in building a railroad, which could not
pay him when the work was completed.
CHARLES HOMET, SR., AND DESCENDANTS.
Charles Homet, Sr., was born in Paris, 1769; married 1793, Maria Theresa Schillinger; died June 3, 1823.
Children---Charles, born May 4, 1794; married Lucy Stevens, September 24, 1817. She was the daughter of Jonathan Stevens, and was born August 20, 1799, and died March 3, 1851. To them were born eight sons and one daughter, Theresa, who married Philemon Stone of Wyalusing Township. Charles, Jr., died in Asylum, August 20, 1864.
Harriet T., the only daughter of Charles, Sr., was born March 2, 1801, married Simon, son of the Hon. Jonathan Stevens, October 17, 1822, and lived in Standing Stone, where she died October 8, 1847. To them were born two sons and three daughters.
Francis X., second son of Charles Homet, Sr., was born on the old homestead in Asylum, April 5, 1798; married Lucy Jane Dodge, a grand-daughter of Major Oliver Dodge of Terrytown, June 24, 1828. They had no children. They lived and died on the old Homet homestead. She died April 19, 1884. He died January 27, 1890.
Joseph, third, and youngest son of Charles Homet, Sr., was born in Asylum, married Orice Brown, and for a while the owner of the Homet Mills, which he sold to his brother, Charles, and moved on a farm which he bought close to the Village of Monroeton. Joseph Homet died at Monroeton, February 26, 1880. His wife died July 2, 1865.
Charles Homet, Sr.'s first wife, Marie Theresa Schillinger, died January 3, 1823. Mr. Homet married a second time Cynthia Sickler, a young woman, by whom he had one child, (a daughter) Lydia, who married Eleazer T. Fox of Towanda. Mr. Fox and his wife had an only child, who died young, and unmarried. Mr. Fox died December, 1888. She died April 19, 1886.
Charles Homet, Sr., was a reserved man, but not distant. After his second marriage he moved into Wysox, where he died December 29, 1838. Judge Stevens says of him:
"By prudent management and industry, he soon acquired the means of comfort and ease. His integrity was never impeached, and with morals unblemished, he performed the pilgrimage of life and, like the righteous, met his death with the hope of immortality."
Most of the exiles were Roman Catholics, but Mr. Homet joined the Methodist Church.
Charles Homet, Jr., married Lucy Stevens September 24, 1817. Their children were:
Francis, born July 8, 1820; married first, Mary Gilbert, daughter of Oliver Gilbert. They had no children. His second marriage was with Ada Chamberlain. He was killed suddenly in 1867 by the fall of a derrick when building the creek R.R. bridge at the mouth of Wyalusing Creek. His children were: Mary, George S., and Rachel.
Theresa, daughter of Charles F., Jr., and Lucy Stevens, born July 8, 1822; married Philemon Stone October 9, 1848.
Jonathan, born February 16, 1824; married Harriet Donley March 24, 1851; he followed farming near Fairbanks; died July 1, 1905.
Edward, born May 3, 1826; married Maria Minnis, who was a well-educated physician with an extensive practice. Mr. Homet followed farming, and everything about his premises was kept in neatest condition and excellent order. There was a place for everything and everything in its place. They had an only child, Lucy J., born 1858; died in 1909. He died November 8, 1908. His wife died February 4, 1892.
Milton, born May 24, 1828; married Mary Ann Irvine. He followed farming and stock raising, and was prosperous. Their children were Irvine, born April 29, 1859; died in 1897. Theresa, born in June, 1872.
Milton Homet died in 1899. His wife died in 1884. He was a very thrifty hard working farmer, and a man of great business ability and accumulated a small fortune.
Charles S., (usually called Steven Homet), born May 20, 1830; married Julia Horton, June 11, 1861. She was the daughter of Dr. George F. Horton of Terrytown. They lived on Vaughan Hill. He was a good businessman, followed farming, and was successful. In early life he studied surveying and engineering and did considerable land surveying.
Volney, born March 20, 1833; married Emma A. Ingham, daughter of Thomas Ingham of Sugar Run, April 30, 1861. Previous to his marriage he studied medicine with Dr. Horton and graduated from one of the Philadelphia Medical Colleges. He practiced his profession successfully at Sugar Run, Camptown, and Wyalusing. At the breaking out of the Civil War, he was appointed an assistant surgeon, was sent to the Army of the Potomac, where he served with ability during the war. After his return he practiced his profession in the Village of Wyalusing until his death, which occurred December 27, 1906.
His wife was born November 25, 1840; died February 26, 1893. Their only child, Jessie, was born April 20, 1863. She is a fine musician, and instructor of music.
Dr. Homet was a pure patriot, a public spirited citizen, an obliging neighbor, and a kind hearted gentleman.
Seth, son of Charles Homet, Jr., born March 13, 1836; died December 19, 1904. He married Elizabeth Eilenberger, March 4, 1864. He served as a soldier nine months in the Civil War, and lived all his life on the Homet homestead near Homet's Ferry. Their children were:
Marietta, born March 5, 1865; married Dr. A. D. Nesbit, June 19, 1890, and resides in Tekamah, Nebraska. They have one child, Marguerite, born May 7, 1891.
Charles M., born October 6, 1867; married Carrie S. Chamberlain, October 28, 1896. Their children are:
Elizabeth, born May 26, 1898.
Marietta, born March 24, 1900; died October 12, 1910.
Charles M., lives on the old homestead occupied by his father and his grandfather.
Cora, born October 21, 1869, died suddenly May 10, 1888, of fever just before she was to graduate at Collegiate Institute, Towanda, Pa.
Anna, born April 16, 1877; died April 18, 1877.
Geraldine M., born June 29, 1876; married March 24, 1906, to Frank D. Vaughan.
Joseph A., (son of Charles Homet, Jr.,) born May 18, 1840; married Adelia Gordon, June 8, 1865. Their children were:
Augusta, born August 26, 1867; married Emory Kerrick, December 24, 1891.
Fanny, born October 2, 1870; married Walter N. Wolcott, July 17, 1906.
Edward, born January 3, 1873; died November 26, 1911.
Minor, born May 2, 1875; died February 20, 1890.
Eleazer, born June 3, 1877; died October 17, 1911.
Mr. Joseph A. Homet was an active businessman, owned and operated the Homet Mills for many years. He sold the mill, which later was destroyed by fire. He removed to Towanda, where he died December 1, 1905.
The children of Augusta (Homet) Kerrick:
Joseph Homet Kerrick, born February 20, 1893.
Dorothy F. Kerrick, born October 1, 1894; died December 15, 1894.
Helen A., born October 1, 1895.
Fanny (Homet) Wolcott has one child, Lydia Homet, born March 9, 1909.
The children of Charles S., or "Steven" Homet and Julia Horton, his wife, were:
William H., born March 22, 1862; married Adelia L. Mitten, October 17, 1889. She died March 18, 1910.
Eliza H., born December 5, 1865; married John G. Black, June 18, 1899.
Francis B., born August 27, 1869; married Lizzie Morrow, October 9, 1895.
The children of William H. Homet are:
Harold M., born August 1, 1890.
Roland, born July 16, 1891.
Julia H., born December 5, 1892.
Edna C., born December 27, 1893.
Marion W., born May 8, 1895.
Francis J., born March 20, 1898.
Mildred, born July 14, 1899.
Neva, born June 11, 1901.
Dorothy C., born December 29, 1902.
Alice M., born August 13, 1905.
Ruth G., born December 27, 1906.
The children of Francis B. Homet are:
Beatrice Frances, born October 4, 1896.
Evelyn Ferieda, Born December 3, 1898.
Lida Hannah, born January 7, 1901.
Charles Emerson, born December 19, 1908.
Francis B. lives on the homestead built by his father near Wyalusing Borough. He is a farmer and an accomplished teacher of vocal music and president of the Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Tuscarora.
The children of Theresa Homet (daughter of Charles Homet, Jr.,) and Philemon Stone were:
Charles R., born May 27, 1849; died June 19, 1913.
Thomas Benton, born March 4, 1857; married Minnie Hillis, April 2, 1879.
Ulysses P., born March 5, 1859; married Augusta Hoffman, April 11, 1908.
Lucy, born November 9, 1865.
The children of Thomas B. are:
William, born December 31, 1879.
Susie, born April 14, 1888.
One child died in infancy.
The children of Francis Homet were:
Mary married George W. Fell, and their children were:
George S. had no children.
Rachel married William Wells, June, 1876. Her children were:
Arthur, who married Cora Overfield.
Arlene, who married Moses Sparks.
Francis N., who married Emma Ruff.
The children of Jonathan Homet were:
Lucy, born May 21, 1853; married J. H. Howard, February 8, 1883.
Ida, born April 27, 1860; died September, 1863.
Ada, born April 23, 1863.
The children of Lucy Homet Howard are:
Brunetta, born January 31, 1884; married Ackley E. Blocher, August 30, 1912.
Harriet, born August 3, 1885; married J. Vinette Taylor, October 18, 1912.
Genevieve, born April 29, 1887; married Ernest F. Fox, August 30, 1912.
John, born June 15, 1892.
Brunetta Howard Blocher has one son, Howard N.
Harriet Howard Taylor has one son, Justus V.
Genevieve Howard Fox has one daughter, Harriet
DESCENDANTS OF ANTHONY LEFEVRE
THE MIX FAMILY
Anthony Lefevre was among the first exiles who settled in Asylum in 1793, where he remained during its entire existence, keeping an "inn" or licensed tavern. When the settlement broke up he was one of the three who remained on the ground, or only moved a mile or two from it. Bartholomew Laporte and Charles Homet remained where they were. Anthony Lefevre moved to a new home across the river, only a mile or two from the abandoned town, where he kept an excellent tavern for many years. His locality, or neighborhood in which he lived, was sometimes called Standing Stone, and sometimes Lime Hill. His daughter, Cecelia, married John Prevost, in 1815, and lived on Russell Hill, Wyoming County, Pa., and died there in 1876. John Prevost came from France in 1800, but was not one of the residents at Asylum. He and Cecelia Lefevre had a daughter, Angelique Mary, who married William Mix, one of the substantial and revered residents of Towanda, January 18, 1842. She died January 8, 1911, aged 92 years. Their children were: John W. Mix and Mary E. Mix. John W. Mix married Bell Spalding, who died January 29, 1855. Mary E. Mix married Mahlon M. Spalding. She died January 12, 1915, at Towanda, Pa., her husband and one son, William M. Spalding, surviving her.
William M. Spalding was born February 15, 1876; married to Sarah Gertrude Packer, March 9, 1907, and have three children, viz.:
Marie Angelique Spalding, born January 10, 1908.
Gertrude Jane Spalding, born May 23, 1910.
William Mix Spalding, Jr., born March 18, 1915.
John W. Mix resides at Towanda, in the large, fine
looking family homestead, surrounded with spacious grounds, shade trees,
fruit trees and flowers. Mr. Mix has geld the important and responsible
office of United States Commissioner for 46 years under successive administrations,
since August, 1869, which is proof of his ability and popularity.
THE D'AUTREMONT FAMILY.
Hubert d'Autremont was born in France and lost his life at the time of the French Revolution. On February 3, 1770, he married Marie Jane d'Ohet. She was born in 1745, and died in at Angelica, N. Y., in 1810. She left France in 1792, with her three sons, viz.: Louis Paul, born November 7, 1770, died in 1840 in Paris, leaving no male issue. He had one daughter who married a man named Bridet. She had two sons and in 1852, by a decree of the Emperor, Napoleon III, they took their mother's maiden name, d'Autremont, which their descendants bear to this day in France, said Louis Paul d'Autremont having returned to France with Talleyrand in the latter part of the 17th century.
The second son, Alexander Hubert d'Autremont, was born in Paris, March 12, 1776, and died at Angelica, N. Y., April 4, 1857. His wife was Abigail Dodge, daughter of Major Dodge of Towanda, Pa. Their third son, Augustus François d'Autremont, one of nine children, was born November 19, 1822, at Angelica, N. Y., and died March 3, 1891, at Angelica. In 1850, he married Sarah Collins at Angelica, N. Y. They had two children, Charles d'Autremont, Jr., born June 2, 1851, at Angelica, now living at Duluth, Minn., and Mary d'Autremont, born October 16, 1864, at Angelica, N. Y., and still living here.
Charles d'Autremont, Jr., married on April 21, 1880, Hattie Hart, daughter of Erastus P. Hart of Elmira, N. Y. They have five children, as follows:
Antoinette, born July 10, 1881.
Louis Paul, born August 23, 1883.
Charles Maurice, born August 6, 1887.
Hubert Hart, born February 19, 1889.
Marie Genevieve, born March 9, 1892.
They live at Duluth, Minn.
Inscription on the Tablet marking the site of Asylum, erected and dedicated with appropriate ceremonies June 14, 1916.
THIS MONUMENT IS ERECTED
TO COMMEMORATE AND PERPETUATE
THE MEMORY AND DEEDS OF
THE FRENCH ROYALIST REFUGEES
WHO ESCAPING FROM FRANCE
AND THE HORRORS OF ITS REVOLUTION
AND FROM THE REVOLUTION IN SAN DOMINGO
SETTLED HERE IN 1793
AND LOCATED AND LAID OUT THE TOWN OF
UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE VISCOUNT de
NOAILLES AND MARQUIS ANTOINE OMER TALON
IN 1796 LOUIS PHILIPPE, DUKE OF ORLEANS,
AFTERWARDS KING OF FRANCE, VISITED HERE
THE PRINCE de TALLEYRAND,
THE DUKE de MONTPENSIER, COUNT BEAUJOLAIS,
THE DUKE de la ROCHEFOUCAULD de LIANCOURT,
AND MANY OTHER DISTINGUISHED FRENCHMEN
WERE VISITORS OR RESIDENTS FOR A SHORT TIME
ERECTED IN 1916 BY JOHN W. MIX
AND CHARLES d'AUTREMONT, JR.,
DESCENDANTS OF FRENCH REFUGEE SETTLERS
LAND DONATED BY GEORGE LAPORTE HEIRS.