Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Tri-Counties Genealogy & History
by Joyce M. Tice
Morris, My Home Town 

Records Compiled by Rhoda ENGLISH Ladd
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The Following material was compiled by Rhoda ENGLISH Ladd probably in the 1970s. She collected it under the title "Morris, My Home Town." It includes the Morris Township section of resources, many of which are already on the site in their entirety.  I have linked them to our existing pages where she has referred to them. Carolynn Magoon Roden is submitting them for inclusion on the site.

Tioga County Pennsylvania

Early History and formation of Tioga County and one of its towns.

Pennsylvania History began with the granting of a Charter to William Penn by Charles II in 1681; William Markham was the first Deputy Governor of the Province. In October 1682 William Penn arrived in Philadelphia in the ship Welcome. He laid out Philadelphia as the Capital City and created the three Original Counties:

Chester County was created in 1682 and named for Chestershire, England from which many early settlers came.

Philadelphia County was created in November 1682 its name meaning brotherly love.

Bucks County was created November 1682 and named for Buckinghamshire and English Shire where the Penn Family had lived for generations.

Other Counties were formed and on March 21,1772 Northumberland County was formed from parts of Lancaster ,Cumberland, Berks, Bedford and Nothampton Counties; and probably named for the English County, Sunbury, the County Seat was laid out in 1772 and was named for and English Village near London.

Lycoming County was formed April 13, 1795 from part of Northumberland County, and named for Lycoming Creek. Williamsport the County Seat was laid out in 1795.

The liberality and tolerence of the Quaker government attracted thousands of Immigrants seeking freedom from political and religious intolerance and looking for better economic opportunities.

Soon our state became populated by the Quakers - The Germans --The Scotch-Irish - The Welsh- French Huguenots -- And Irish along with The Dutch - - The Swedes and others who together formed the broadminded tolerence and the cosmopolitan outlook of its leaders.

Tioga County was organized March 26,1804, and was taken from Lycoming County. Its area is 1124 square miles contains 729,360 acres of land.

It is situated nearly midway between the Delaware River and Lake Erie on the boundary line between New York and Pennsylvania.

Its principal streams are The Tioga and The Cowanesque Rivers through one of the most beautiful valleys of the state.

The Tioga River is forty five miles in length. We also have Pine Creek which was navigable for rafts of lumber and timber and has been a great thorofare for many years, affording the lumberman a channel of commerce for their productions. It empties into the West Branch of The Susquehanna at Jersey Shore, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania

At the time of the erection of the county in 1804, it contained one hundred and thirty families with a population of about eight hundred.

Four years prior (1800) to its erection into a county it contained ten families consisting of sixty white persons and seven negros and with only one public road within its limits.

In 1810 it contained three hundred families and population was one thousand six hundred and eighty seven.

From 1810 to 1820 it more than doubled its population. In the year 1806, Wellsboro, by an act of Legislature was made the County Seat of the County, named for the Wells Family which was prominent in the area. Courts however were not held until 1812.In 1814, The County Commissioners Timothy Ives, Hopestill Beecher, and Ambrose Millard divided the county into six districts for Justices of the Peace as follows: District Township Justice Number of Taxables 1 Delmar Daniel Kelley 87

2 Deerfield none 63

3 Elkland Dorman Bloss 79

4 & 5 Tioga William Rose 139

6 Covington Daniel Lamb 95 Elijah Putnam By 1840 Tioga County had a population of 159498.
Not with standing the severe financial troubles of 1841 - 1842 The County continued to increase in wealth and population.

The almost inexhaustible supplies of pine, oak, and hemlock upon the hillsides made the business of lumbering attractive and remunerative, while the trade in semi bituminous coal was yearly increasing.

~- In 1860 the population of Tioga County was 31,044. From 1860 to 1872 a period of twelve years a large accession to the business interest of Tioga County was realized.

Delmar township was formed in 1808 from Lycoming County and September 1824 Morris Township was formed from Delmar Township. In 1856 Elk Township was formed from Delmar and Morris. In 1870 Morris Township had a population of four hundred and twenty three persons.

In 1870 Tioga County had 35,097 persons. In 1870 Pennsylvania rated second in Population; New York was first. In 1874 Morris had six schools; seven teachers; Average enrollment attending school 117 although there was a total enrollment of 166. Teachers were paid 26.14 a month to $39.00 per month; The school year averaged 4 ½ months a year.I

In 1875 in Morris Township we find: Enoch Blackwell, Lloyds; Lumberman and Proprietor of Coal, Iron & Wood Lands.

John Blackwell, Lloyds; Lumberman & Farmer

Sampson Babb, Morris; Farmer

Robert Custard, Nauvoo; Civil Engineer & Proprietor of Woolen Mills

Job Doane, Morris; Farmer & Lumberman

Samuel Doane, Morris; Lumberman & Post Master

John Link, Nauvoo; Farmer, Owner of Wood Lands & Manufacturer of Maple Sugar Henry Miller, Nauvoo; Farmer & Owner of Timber

Joseph Mitchell, Wellsboro; Proprietor of Bituminous Coal Mine

Robert Wilson, Morris; Lumberman & Farmer

John Wilson, Morris; Farmer & Blacksmith

John Williammee, Morris; Farmer & Owner of Timber Land

References for the preceding work are The Tioga Atlas 1875 and Outline of Pennsylvania History.

The following References used will be The Tioga County History 1897 and The Tioga County History 1883

Also The History of Seven Counties published by The Elmira Weekly Gazette

Newspaper Clippings

Census Records

Tioga County Directory 1899 - Tioga County Directory 1907

Dr. White's Account Book

Church Records

Cemetery Inscriptions

References will be listed

Morris Township, named in honor of Hon. Samuel W. Morris, a distinguished citizen of Wellsboro, was formed in Sept. 1824, taken from the township of Delmar. It is one of the southern tier townships of Tioga County bordering upon Lycoming County Line.

Its principal waters are Pine Creek, Babb’s Creek, Sand Run, Zimmerman Creek and Stony Fork; the largest being Pine Creek and Babb's Creek, these latter named creeks are skirted on either side by mountains from eight hundred to one thousand feet above their bed. The lowest point in the township is about eight hundred twenty five feet above tide and its highest point is about two thousand feet. In the eastern portion of the township along Babb’s Creek, and on the highlands east of the valley are some good farming lands. Along Pine and Babb’s Creeks were the Indian paths of the Six Nations. At the confluence of these creeks was the site of an Indian village, some of the trees surrounding the village bearing marks which were made by an ax or metal tomahawkin the year 1732.

Samson Babb died in October 1815.

Job Doane was an early settler and erected a saw mill.

Rev. George Higgins, a Baptist Minister, held services in 1835.

Samson Babb built the first saw mill in the township in the year 1806. The Arnot and Pine Creek Railroad completed from Arnot to Hoytville in the year 1882.

The Jersey Shore and Pine Creek Railroad has a station at Blackwell’s.

Robert Campbell, a Revolutionary Soldier, settled in Morris at an early day.

Mr. John Link, of eastern Morris, is one of the wealthiest men in the county.

William Wells was a member of the English Land Company. He settled in Wellsboro in 1802.

Samson Babb was commissioned a Justice of The Peace by Governor Simon Snyder in the year 1813.

Enoch Blackwell, grandson of Enoch Blackwell, the pioneer, has resided 60 years in Morris Township.

The Pine Creek Land Company owned large tracts of land in Morris and the adjoining territory of Lycoming as early as 1799.

In the year 1881, Hoyt Brothers, of New York, erected a tannery upon Babb’s Creek for the tanning of sole leather. It is the largest tannery in the world.

The first white settler in Morris Township was Sampson Babb, a native of Wilmington, Delaware, who settled and gave the name to Babb’s Creek in the year 1800.

Hoytville was founded in the year 1881; it contains about 500 inhabitants and is one of the most active business centers in the southern portion of the county. Lumbering and Tanning are carried on very extensively. Enoch Blackwell, senior, a member of the English Land Company who owned twelve thousand acres in Morris Township, Tioga County and Lycoming County settled in Morris Township in the year 1810. He had previously settled in Pine Township in the year 1805. He was a native of England. Reference: History of Seven Counties.

Sampson Babb settled in Morris Township on the stream which bears his name, in 1800. He purchased 450 acres from the Pine Creek Land Company and built a sawmill and became a pioneer lumberman. He died between

May 13th and Dec. 14th 1814. In his will he said " he wished to be buried in the north east corner of my garden and walled in". His tombstone inscribed with the following words," Samson Babb Esq., died Oct. 28, 1815 was finally moved to the Lewis Cemetery near Blackwell. The stone was removed at the time the road was built. We are told Waldo Hart was responsible for its being placed in Lewis Cemetery.

The above partly from Tioga County History 1897 and Morris History You will find certain items repeated as we are using different source material but each record contains a little more information on the beginning of Morris Township and its Pioneers.

Data collected and compiled by Rhoda English Ladd

The following was furnished by Mr. Arthur Williammee (Tippy) who copied it from the original in The Wellsboro Court House.

These persons petitioned the court to have Morris Township formed in September 1824:

William Babb

John Campbell

Terence Duffy

Charles Duffy

Robert Williammee

J.W. Babb

William Blackwell

Robert Campbell

Eligha B. McCarter

Silvester Webster

Jacob C. Valentine

William Diggin

Charles L. Robertson

Jacob Emmick

Samuel Campbell

Thomas McCarter

Nathan Broughton

Samuel H. Harrison

Pioneer Settlement and The Pioneers who settled:

Samson Babb was the first settler of the township; the next settler was Enoch Blackwell Sr. who made a settlement at the mouth of Babb's Creek, on the present site of the village of Blackwell @ 1811. When he came to the land he found it occupied by A.P. Harris and George Bunnell. Mr. Blackwell came from Haven Parish, Gloucestershire, England in 1805, and was one of a colony from that parish who establish the "English Settlement" in Pine Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. He died in Jersey Shore in the spring of 1816 age about 65 years, and was buried in the old Pine Creek Burying Ground. In 1817 his son, William, removed to the mouth of Babb’s Creek, and became the founder of the village of Blackwell’s. He died December 6, 1859, age seventy years, and is buried in the cemetery about a mile up Babb’s Creek.

Owing to its rugged character the township settled slowly so that when it was organized in 1824 there were but eighteen taxables within its boundaries. Their names are as follows:

1.William Babb
2.Jacob Babb
3. William Blackwell

4.Nathan Broughton who came about 1820

5. Samuel Campbell

6. Robert Campbell

7. John Campbell who came about 1821

8. William Diggin who came about 1822

9. Charles Duffy

10. Terence Duffy

11. Mary Landis

12. Jacob Emmick

13. William Emmick who came about 1823

14. Samuel M. Harrison First school teacher who came about 1819

15.Robert Williammee

16.C. Williammee

17.Jacob Warren who came about 1824
18.Thomas Lloyd - Single Freeman living within the township in 1824

19.Jacob Valentine - Single Freeman living within the township in 1824

20.Sylvester Webster - Single Freeman living within the township in 1824

Pioneer Settlement continued:

Mary Landis owned a sawmill and grist mill in 1825 on Babb’s Creek. Her cousins Charles and Terence Duffy helped operate it.

In 1835 the sawmill became the property of James Duffy. He also acquired the grist mill in 1839. In 1854 it became the firm of James Duffy and Brothers. In 1865, it was owned by John H. Humes. In 1870, it was owned by W.C. Gillespie. In 1874 it was Gillespie and Company. Next it was owned by Walters and sons who sold it to R.J. Franklin. Sawmill was washed away in the flood of 1889.

Jacob Emmick owned a mill in 1836 on Babb’s Creek. He sold it to Robert Archer in 1839. In 1840 associated with himself, H.S. and Stephen Archer, enlarging it in 1842.

Other mill owners were:

Alexander Forsythe

James Forsythe

Samuel Forsythe

Horace Williston

Merrils and Company

Job Doane in 1848 on Babb’s Creek; Hisson, F.E. Doane, operated it until it washed away in the June Flood of 1889.
In 1859 Nelson Root erected a sawmill near Nauvoo, succeeded by James W. Childs, and he by Robert Custard and then James Dennison, Robert and James Custard had a woolen factory in 1869.

In 1897 more sawmills replaced ones washed away in flood:

F.E. Doane on Babb’s Creek near the mouth of Stony Fork Creek.

Lafayette English on Dixie Run; He was assisted by his father Robert English;

James Dennison near Nauvoo;

The first school was taught by Samuel W. Harrison in 1831, in a log building on Pine Creek below Blackwell’s. In 1832 a school house was erected on Babb’s Creek about a mile above Blackwell.

A Pioneer Settlement More about early schools: Among the early teachers were:

Nancy Clark

Samuel M. Harrison

Lyman Wallbridge

Dr. Rogers

Another school was located by Thomas J. Birmingham's Store, early teachers were: James W. Lewis

Samuel M. Harrison

Jacob Babb

A public school building was erected in 1840 just below the Hoytville Tannery location.

The Doane school house was located near the mouth of Stony Fork Creek. At this time there were thirteen schools located in the village of Morris and Morris Township; school being held six months of each year. Morris area had the following Physicians:

A.H. Archer 1850

Dr.Wm. Blackwell from Blackwell 1865

Dr. J.B. McClosky from Morris 1883

Henry Mathews "Indian Doctor" practiced under the name of

James McCashaway from Blackwell, Pa., in 1890

Dr.S.W. Sine in 1889

Dr.R.F. Robinson in 1891

Dr. C.C. Gentry in 1894

In 1859 The Original Church Members of Blackwell’s Methodist Episcopal Church were:

Samuel M. Harrison Mary E. Blackwell

Betsey Lloyd Maria Earnest

Samuel Campbell Warren Lewis Sarah Blackwell

Robert Wilson

Pioneer Settlement More on early Church Members
Dixie Run Methodist Episcopal
the following members:
James Blackwell Charles Merrick
Maria E. Blackwell Ida Merrick
Alfred D. Blackwell Leslie Merrick
Lottie Blackwell Violette Merrick
Charles B. Blackwell Hiram Johnson
Maria P. Blackwell Anon Johnson
Michael Campbell George Johnson
Catherine D. Campbell James Ashmay
Robert Campbell Lafayette Broughton
Henry Campbell Lucinda Broughton
Henry Hatfield
Lydia Hatfield
The first Baptist Church of Morris was organized Aug. 23, 1870.
with the following members:
Warren Lewis Sarah E. Love
William Ayers C. Hurd
J.E. Webster Orpha Ayers
Ambrose Duffy Elizabeth Emmick
Eli Love There are about forty pupils in
Nancy Lewis the Sunday School, of which
Elizabeth Duffy Lafayette English is Superintendent
Alsina Webster
The following served as Justices of the Peace at Morris:
1808 Samson Babb
Simeon Houghton 1869 Job Doane
1826 Jacob Babb
Samuel Harrison 1874 Job Doane
1827 Lucius Barto
James H. Lewis 1879 Job Doane
1830 David Ellis
Daniel Doane 1864 Edwin Gregory
1832 Joseph Aiken
Henry S. Archer 1869 Robert Custard
1833 Jesse R. Ray
Richard Childs 1874 Robert Custard Jr.
1834 John F. Donaldson
Job Doane 1877 John Haggerty
1835 Daniel Holiday
Job Doane 1882 John Haggerty

Justices of The Peace, cont.,

1884 C.W. Beardsley

1886 W.W. Seaman

1888 D.W. Reynard

1891 Jeremiah Desmond

1893 D.W. Reynard Reference: Tioga County History

1896 E.G. Comstock 1897 

The following information is from the 1875 Atlas of Tioga County The following early families are shown in Morris Township in 1875.
T. Stone J. Williammee School
W. Owens J.E. Broughton W.C. & J.M. Gillespie
Hotel J.E. Webster W. Blackwell
Store Mrs. Love E. Blackwell
T. Stone E. Love E. Blackwell
Saw mill W.O!Conner Post Office Lloyd,Pa.
S.Doane W.Broughton John Blackwell
Post Office School James Blackwell
T.Stone E.G.Banfield J.H.Perkins
School C.Breed E.Blackwell
A.Emmick F.Briggs J.Campbell
C.Barker H.Breed WM. Stoddard
J.Cole P.Saunter J.Plank
Mrs. S.M.Wilson L.Graham J.Little
Mr.Edwards G.Graham J.Custard
O.Gaines J.Doane School
R.Campbell G.Steele J.Akin
R.Wilson W.Ayres H.Guy S.Babb
M.Campbell W. Lewis W.H.Thomas W.& J.N.Bache
N.Brooks E.Blackwell G.L.Thomas
Joseph Mitchell
E.Blackwell Sawmill J.Dennison
R.E.English J.Campbell H.Thomas
J.Desmond Robert Custard H.Campbell
Mr. Gregory F.Heyler J.Link

The following has been copied from "Old Home Days"

Morris Fire Department 1946 August 31,September 1,2,

The Gateway to The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon and Dedicated to The Late Waldo Hart

The first settler of Morris was Samson Babb, a native of Wilmington, Delaware. He erected a dwelling and in 1805 built a water power saw mill.

The next settlement was in 1811 at the mouth of Babb’s Creek, made by Enoch Blackwell Sr. He too bought a tract of land on which he found two settlers: A.F. Harris and George Bunnell.

In 1831 near the county line, was erected the first school house. In 1840 Morris Post Office was established with William Babb as postmaster. The census of that year showed but 120 persons in the whole township.

During the eighty three years from 1800 to 1883 many changes took place within its limits: Hoyt Brothers of New York built the Brunswick Tannery. Morris grew with the tannery, because of the large amount of money that industry brought into the community, many kinds of business enterprises were attracted to the town.

To serve the needs of a growing population -- schools and churches were built and in the space of a few years the village got off to a good start, became the center of economic and social growth for many miles around. As the years passed by industries located in or near Morris, but while many of these have disappeared the mining industry is still in operation.

Some of the present business concerns are a half a century old, one with the same firm name throughout three generations. The High School, one of the best of its kind, has turned out graduates whose careers later in life have been a credit to our town. For many years Morris has supported a baseball team.

The above is Pages one to thirteen - More to come