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By an act of the Legislature of the state of Pennsylvania, of February 21, 1810, it provided for the formation of a county from parts of Luzerne and Lycoming, to be known as the county of Ontario. The act also provided for the appointment of three Commissioners, by the Governor, to survey the new county and fix the place for holding the courts of the same; Samuel Satterlee, Moses Coolbaugh and Justus Gaylord, were appointed commissioners.
By a subsequent act of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, passed March 28, 1811, the commissioners were authorized to change the name of the new county from Ontario to Bradford, which name it still bears. On the 24th of March, 1812, an act was passed authorizing the holding of an election of county officers in October of that year, and organizing it for judicial purposes, appointing the place for holding the first court at the house of William Means, in Meansville (now Towanda) until a court house could be erected. The county officers were elected in October, 1812, and the first court was held in the county commencing on the 18th day of January 1813. John Bannester Gibson was president judge, John McKean and George Scott, associates. The county officers were Abner C. Rockwell, Sheriff; Charles F. Welles, Prothonotary and Clerk, etc.; William Myer, Justus Gaylord, Jr., Joseph Kinney, Commissioners; Henry Wilson, District Attorney; John Horton, Coroner; Harry Spalding, Treasurer. Thus was the official machinery of the county set in motion.
Bradford County is situated on the east and west sides of the north branch of the Susquehanna river, and is bounded on the north by the state line and the counties of Chemung and Tioga in New York; east by the counties of Susquehanna and Wyoming in Pennsylvania; south by Sullivan, Wyoming and Lycoming; and west by the county of Tioga. According to the report of the Secretary of Internal Affairs of Pennsylvania, it contains an area of one thousand one hundred and sixty-two (1,162), square miles or seven hundred and forty three thousand six hundred and eighty (743,680) acres, and, according to the census of 1880, it then contained fifty-eight thousand five hundred and thirty-five (58,535) inhabitants. It contains now (1885) about 68,000. It is divided into thirty-seven townships and twelve boroughs, with over one hundred post offices, and over four hundred schools, and about seven hundred teachers. The principal streams of the county is the North Branch of the Susquehanna River. It enters the county on the north line in the township of Athens, which is located centrally upon the northern boundary of the county; it then flows in a general south-east direction and passes out of the county in the township of Tuscarora, within five miles of the extreme south-eastern portion of Bradford County. It has numerous tributaries emptying into it from the west and east. The principal streams from the west are Towanda Creek, Sugar Creek, and from the east Wyalusing, Wysox, and many other smaller streams.
The surface is diversified with valleys,
hills, plateaus and mountains affording some of the finest landscapes in
Pennsylvania, or the United States. Some of the points in western
Bradford are over two thousand feet above sea level, and over twelve hundred
feet above the valley of the north branch. These heights are reached
by terraces or plateaus, which in the main are under a high state of cultivation
to the very highest points. To stand upon one of these elevated points,
a view of the country is obtained for miles of elegant farm houses, well
cultivated fields, villages and towns most pleasing to behold.
The alluvial soils of the numerous valleys produce most excellent crops of wheat, corn, oats, tobacco and vegetables, while the rolling or uplands grow fine grass, oats, buckwheat, potatoes and very fine pasturage for sheep, cows, neat cattle and horses. Bradford county is particularly distinguished for the most excellent quantity of her dairy products.
The county was originally covered with a heavy growth of timber, and for many years the business of lumbering was carried on extensively, the surplus products finding a market via the North Branch and the Susquehanna river to Harrisburg, Port Deposit or by North Branch canal. Lumbering is not now carried on so extensively, the inhabitants devoting more attention to agricultural pursuits with a sure and steady increase in wealth and population.
MINERALS.—The minerals of the county are coal and iron. Coal is mined quite extensively in the south western portion of the county in the Barclay mountains. Iron ore has been mined in the western portion of the county in the township of Columbia, near the Tioga county line. Quarries of building and flagging stone have been opened in various sections of the county, and large quantities of sand stone, suitable for the manufacture of window glass and bottles are found in the southern portion of the county in the coal regions.
RAILROADS.—The Elmira and Williamsport
railroad, was constructed in the year 1854. It is now under the management
of the Northern Central Railroad. It enters the county in the township
of Canton, in the extreme southwestern portion of Bradford County, and
runs northward, keeping close to the western line of the county, passing
through the villages and boroughs of Carpenter, Grover, Canton, Minnequa,
Alba, Granville, Troy, Columbia X Roads, Snedekerville, Gilletts and leaving
the county at the state line in the township of South Creek, about eight
miles east of the western county line.
The Lehigh Valley Railroad enters the county near the south-eastern portion, and follows up the valley of the North Branch on the east side of the river, until it reaches Towanda, where it crosses to the west side, running on that side for about eighteen miles, recrossing at Athens borough and going out of the county near the village of Sayre.
--The North Branch Canal was constructed in the year 1842. For the past ten years it has been abandoned.
--The Towanda and Barclay Railroad was constructed in the year 1856, from Towanda sough westward, to the semi-bituminous coal mines, at Barclay, a distance of sixteen miles.
--The State Line and Sullivan Railroad was constructed in the year 1871. It runs from Towanda to the semi-anthracite coal mines at Bernice, in Sullivan county, a distance of twenty-eight miles. It is now owned by the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company.
TOWNSHIPS.—Albany, Asylum, Armenia,
Athens, Barclay, Burlington, West Burlington, Canton, Columbia, Franklin,
Granville, Herrick, LeRoy, Litchfield, Monroe, Orwell, Overton, Pike, Ridgebury,
Rome, Smithfield, Springfield, South Creek, Sheshequin, Standing Stone,
Terry, Towanda, North Towanda, Troy, Tuscarora, Ulster, Warren, Windham,
Wyalusing, Wysox, Wells, Wilmot.
BOROUGHS.—Athens, Alba, Burlington, Canton, LeRaysville, Monroe, New Albany, Rome, South Waverly, Sylvania, Towanda, Troy.
POSTOFFICES.—Alba, Allis Hollow, Altus, Aspenwall, Asylum, Athens, Austinville, Ballibay, Barclay, Bently Creek, Big Pond, Birney, Black, Browntown, Burlington, Camptown, Canton, Carbon Run, Cold Creek, Columbia X Roads, Durell, East Canton, East Smithfield, East Troy, Edsallville, Ellwell, Evergreen, Fassett, Foot of Plane, Franklindale, Ghent, Gillett, Granville Center, Granville Summit, Green’s Landing, Grover, Herrick, Herrickville, Highland, Homet’s Ferry, Horn Brook, Imler Valley, Laddsburg, Leona, LeRaysville, Leroy, Liberty Corners, Lime Hill, Litchfield, Luthers Mills, Macedonia, Marshview, Mercur, Merryall, Milan, Monroeton, Mountain Lake, Myersburg, Neath, New Albany, New Era, North Orwell, North Rome, Orwell, Overton, Parks Creek, Potterville, Powell, Ridgebury, Rome, Rummerfield Creek, Sayre, Sciotaville, Sheshequin, Silvara, Snedekerville, South Branch, South Hill, South Litchfield, South Warren, Springfield, Springhill, Standing Stone, Stevensville, Sugar Run, Sylvania, Terrytown, Towanda, Troy, Tuscarora Valley, Ulster, Warren Center, Warrenham, Wells, West Burlington, West Franklin, West Warren, West Windham, Wetona, Willwana, Wilmot, Windham, Windham Center, Windham Summit, Wyalusing, Wysox.
MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.—It will be recollected that Bradford county, or rather the territory comprising the present territory of Bradford, was a portion of the county of Westmoreland, under the Connecticut titles and sent members to Hartford semi-annually. The representatives from Bradford were: 1774, Christopher Avery; 1781, Obadiah Gore; Capt. John Franklin; 1782, Obediah Gore. In the years 1813-14, the representative district comprised Lycoming, Bradford, Tioga and Potter counties, and Hon. Henry Welles, was the representative in the Pennsylvania State Legislature. From 1815 to 1819, Bradford and Tioga counties constituted a representative district, and Hon. Samuel McKean, represented Bradford from 1815 to 1819 inclusive. In 1820-22, Simon Kinney represented the district. In the year 1822, Bradford became a separate district and the representative was Hon. William Myer, from 1822-23; then in 1823-24, Lemuel Streator; 1824-28, Constant Mathewson; 1828-29, John LaPorte; 1829-32, John LaPorte, who was speaker in 1832. Two members to the district—1833, Lockwood Smith; 1835-36, Darius Bullock, Isaac Myer. District of Bradford alone—1836-37, Isaac Cooley; 1837-38, George Kinney; 1838-40, David F. Barstow; 1840-41, Stephen F. Pierce; 1841-43, William Elwell, Bradford, two members—1843-45, John Elliott, Irad Wilson; 1845-47, John L. Webb, Victor E. Piolett; 1847-48, Francis Smith, Allen E. Thomas; 1848-49, Charles Stockwell, A. Wattles; 1849-50, Charles Stockwell, Joseph C. Powell; 1850-52, Addison McKean, Henry Gibbs; 1852-54, John Passmore, William E. Barton; 1854-56, Judson Holcomb, Bartholomew LaPorte; 1856-58, John G. Babcock, Cullen F. Nichols; 1858-60, O. H. P. Kinney, Thomas Smead; 1860-62, Chester T. Bliss, Henry W. Tracy; 1862-63, Bartholomew LePorte, D. Lilley; 1863-64, Joseph H. Marsh, D. Lilley; 1864-65, Joseph H. Marsh, Lorenzo Grinnell; 1865-66, G. Wayne Kinney, Lorenzo Grinnell; 1866-67, G. Wayne Kinney, James H. Webb; 1867-70, John F. Chamberlain, James H. Webb; 1870-71, Perley H. Buck, James H. Webb, the latter elected speaker. 1871-72, Perley H. Buck, B. S. Dartt; 1872-73, E. Reed Myer, B. S. Dartt; 1873-74, E. Reed Myer, James H. Webb; 1875-77, George Moscrip, Elijah G. Tracy, Uriah Terry; 1877-78, E. Reed Myer, elected speaker; James Foster, John F. Gillett.
PRESIDENT JUDGES.—1812 to 1816, John Bannister Gibson; 1817, Thomas Burnside; 1818 to 1839, Edward Herrick; 1839 to 1849, John N. Conyngham; 1849 to 1851, Horace Willison; 1852 to 1861, David Wilmot; 1861 to 1865, Ulysses Mercur; 1865 to 1874, F. B. Streeter; 1874, Paul D. Morrow.
ASSOCIATE JUDGES.—October 13th, 1812
to May, 1818, George Scott; October 13, 1812 to May 1837, John McKean;
1818 to 1841, Jonathan Stevens; 1837 to 1845, John LaPorte; 1841 to 1844,
Abraham Goodwin; 1845, David M. Bull; 1846 to 1851, Harry Morgan, Reuben
Wilber; 1851 to 1856, Myron Ballard, Harry Ackley; 1856, Aaron Chubbuck,
John F. Long; 1858, John Passmore; 1861, V. M. Long; 1863, L. P. Stalford;
1866, J. Wilson VanDyke; 1868, Zebulon Frisbie; 1871, Stephen D. Harkness;
1873, Chauncy S. Russell.
ADDITIONAL LAW JUDGE.—Paul D. Morrow, 1870 to 1874.
PROTHONOTARIES.—1812 to 1818, Charles F. Welles; 1818 to 1830, George Scott; 1830-31, Darius Bullock; 1831, Alpheus Ingham, 1831-36, James P. Bull; 1836, Samuel Straight; 1836-39, Joseph C. Powell; 1839, David Cash; 1842, Aaron Chubbuck; 1845, Addison McKean; 1848, Allen McKean; 1860, E. O. Goodrich; 1866, William A. Thomas; 1872, Benjamin M. Peck.
SHERIFFS.—1812, Abner C. Rockwell; 1815, John Spalding; 1818, Lemuel Streator; 1821, Joseph C. Powell; 1824, Reuben Wilbur; 1827, Benjamin McKean; 1830, Ira H. Stevens; 1842, John N. Weston; 1845, John F. Means; 1848, William S. Dobbins; 1851, Chester Thomas; 1854, John F. Means; 1848, William S. Dobbins; 1851, Chester Thomas; 1854, John A. Codding; 1857, Thomas M. Woodruff; 1860, A. H. Splanding; 1863, James Monroe Smith; 1866, William Griffis; 1869, J. P. VanFleet; 1872, Thomas Monroe Smith; 1875, Andrew J. Layton.
DISTRICT ATTORNEYS.—1850, Thomas Smead; 1858, James Macfarlane; 1856, Paul D. Morrow; 1859, Guy H. Watkins; 1862, George D. Montanye; 1865, William T. Davies; 1868, Warner H. Cornachan; 1871, Joseph B. Read; 1874, John N. Califf; 1877, Isaiah McPherson.
CORONERS.—1813, John Horton; 1819, John Minier, 1822, Chauncy Frisbie; 1824, John Fox; 1827, John L. Webb; 1837, Aaron Knapp; 1839, Henry J. Salsbury; 1842, Calvin Storms; 1845, John Hatch; 1848, Thomas I. Ingham; 1854, W. W. Easterbrook; 1857, Newall Leonard; 1860, Jeremiah Culp; 1863, Abram Snell, Jr.; 1866, Joseph H. Hurst; 1869, John F. Dodd; 1872, J. B. Geiger; 1875, D. B. Walker
COUNTY TREASURERS.—1813, Henry Spalding; 1815, William Means; 1816, Simon Kinney; 1818, Henry Mercur; 1821, Gurdon Hewett; 1823, George Scott; 1824, Andrew Irvine; 1827, J. P. Bull; 1829, Alpheus Ingham; 1830, Andrew Irvine; 1831, William Russell; 1833, Chauncey Frisbie; 1835, D. M. Bull; 1838, John E. Hale; 1839, Charles Stockwell; 1841, William B. Storm; 1843, Leonard Pierce; 1845, Jacob Reed; 1847, James N. Peck; 1849, John Horton; 1851, Benjamin Wilcox; 1853, P. Forbes; 1855, Ezra C. Kellog; 1857, Edward P. Shaw; 1859, J. P. VanFleet; 1867, Charles A. Morey; 1869, C. K. Ladd; 1871, William Bunyan; 1875, James C. Robinson.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.—1812, Joseph Kinney, Justus Gaylord, William Myer; 1812, Burr Ridgway; 1814, Clement Paine; 1815, Samuel McKean; 1816, Salmon Bosworth; 1816, Nathaniel Allen; 1817, Eliphalet Mason; 1818, Joseph C. Powell; 1819, Bartholomew LaPorte; 1820, William Myer; 1821, George Hyde; 1822, Lemuel Streator; 1823, Darius Bullock; 1824, John Taylor; 1825, Theodore Leonard; 1826, Gould Seymour; 1827, Burton Strait; 1828, Churchill Barnes; 1829, Hezekiah Dunham; 1830, Eliphalet Mason; 1831, John L. Webb; 1832, Isaac Cooley; 1833, John Elliott; 1834, Morris Spalding; 1835, Elias Rockwell; 1836, Henry Morgan; 1836, E. S. Goodrich; 1837, Daniel Park; 1838, Ira Stevens; 1839 Myron Ballard, Ira Willson; 1840, Benjamin Buffington; 1841, Edson Aspinwall; 1842, Daniel Brink; 1843, Joseph Turner; 1844, Luman Putman; 1845, Ashbel S. Cranmer; 1846, John H. Black; 1847, Hiram Spear; 1848, Simeon Decker; 1849, Augustus I. Smith; 1850, Sturgess Squires; 1851, Daniel B. Cotton; 1852, Isaac A. Park; 1853, Stewart Smiley; 1854, George H. Bull; 1855, Perley H. Buck; 1856, Dummer Lilly; 1857, Daniel Decker; 1858, Perley H. Buck; 1859, William A. Thomas; 1860, William H. Decker; 1861, Isaac Lyon; 1862, Joseph Campbell; 1863, William B. Dodd; 1864, John Beardsley; 1865, Sterne McKee; 1866, William B. Dodge; 1867, John A. Moody; 1868, Asa McKee, Jr.; 1869, John B. Hindes; 1870, E. C. Kelley; 1871, Morris Shepard; 1872, Benjamin Kirkendall; 1873, Abram Snell; 1874, Morris Shepard; 1875, John Baldwin, M. J. Coolbaugh, George W. Kilmer.
COUNTY SURVEYORS.—1812, Jonathan Stevens; 1821, Zephon Flowers; 1833, James M. Edsall; 1836, Rowland Wilcox; 1850, Edward G. Nichols; 1853, James A. Paine; 1856, Joseph E. Spalding; 1859, Josiah J. Newell; 1868, Oliver W. Stevens; 1871, Joseph E. Spalding; 1874, George V. Myer; 1877, T. A. Stewart.
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS.—1822-24, Samuel McKean; 1834-36, John LaPorte; 1844-50, David Wilmot; 1862-64, Henry W. Tracy; 1864-71, Ulysses Mercur; 1874-76, Joseph Powell; 1876-78, Edward Overton.
JUDGE OF UNITED STATES COURT OF CLAIMS.—David Wilmot appointed in the year 1863.
CONSUL TO WEST INDIES.—Edward H. Perkins appointed in 1862.
SURVEYOR OF THE PORT OF PHILADELPHIA.—E.
O’Mara Goodrich appointed in 1869.
Samuel McKean appointed Secretary of the Commonwealth in the year 1829.
SURVEYOR GENERAL.—John LePorte in the year 1845.
DEPUTY SECRETARY OF THE COMMONWEALTH.—Elisha S. Goodrich, in 1852.
CHIEF CLERK AUDITOR GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT.—Edward Herrick, May 1878.
JUSTICE OF SUPREME COURT.—Ulysses S. Mercur, 1872; now Chief Justice
STATE SENATORS.—1815, Henry Welles; 1829, Samuel McKean; 1830, Reuben Wilbur; 1837, Elihu Case; 1850, George Sanderson; 1856, E. Reed Myer; 1859, George Landon; 1874, Delos Rockwell; 1877, William T. Davies.
First court held in Bradford county commenced
January 1813, John Bannister Gibson president judge, John McKean and George
Scott associates, Abner C. Rockwell sheriff, Charles F. Welles Prothonotary.
In May, 1770, Rudolph Fox settled at a point near the borough of Towanda.
J. Conrad Weiser, an Indian interpreter, visited (Diahago) Athens, March 29, 1737.
In 1755, Lewis Evans published a map which described the territory embracing Bradford county.
May 20, 1760, Christain Frederic Post preached to the Indians in Bradford county.
Ziesberger, the Moravian missionary, commenced preaching to the Indians in Bradford county in the year 1763.
The Moravian village of Friedenshutten, in Bradford county, was named thus, by the Moravian Synod which convened at Bethlehem, now Northhampton county, in June, 1766.
A monument was erected June 15, 1871, to mark the site of Friedenshutten.
The Susquehanna Land Company was formed in Connecticut, July 8, 1753, the object being to purchase and sell lands now in Bradford county.
About one hundred families had settled within the present limits of Bradford county prior to the revolutionary war.
June 12, 1778, William Crooks was killed by the Indians, the first death at the hands of the Indians upon the north branch of the Susquehanna river during the revolutionary war.
General Sullivan passed through Bradford county with his army against the Indians in 1779.
September, 1778, Col. Thomas Hartley with a small army visited Bradford county to chastise the Indians.
Great floods in the Susquehanna March 15, 1784, October 1786, March 17, 1865.
The first lawyer in Bradford County was William Prentice.
Alexander Wilson, the Ornithologist, visited Bradford on his way to Niagara Falls in the year 1804
The Asylum Land Company, composed of French refugees, was formed April 22, 1794, and purchased large tracts of land in Bradford, Lycoming, Luzerne and Sullivan counties from Robert Morris of Philadelphia. They named their village in Bradford county, Asylum. They were visited by Talleyrand and Louis Phillippe.
Thomas Overton gave the land for the public square at Towanda in the year 1811.
Bradford County Teachers Association organized January 5, 1855, Rev. James McWilliams, President, P. D. Morrow Secretary.
Bradford County Historical Society organized at Towanda, May 4th, 1870. Hon. L. P. Statford, President; Dr. E. P. Allen, Secretary, Officers elected, President, Christopher L. Ward; Vice-Presidents, Dr. Darius Bullock, Hon. F. B. Streeter; Recording Secretary, Dr. E. P. Allen; Corresponding Secretary, Edward Herrick, Jr.; Treasurer, L. P. Statford; Librarian, H. L. Scott.
The Agricultural and Manufacturing Society of Bradford County, incorporated by an act of the legislature in 1820.
Troy Farmer’s Club organized January 2, 1875. J. C. McKean, President; G. M. Card, Secretary; A. M. Cornell, Treasurer; A. S. Hooker, Reporting Secretary. First fair held October 8th and 9th, 1875.
The Bradford County Bar Association was organized Dec. 17, 1877. President, Elhannan Smith; Vice President, H. J. Madill; Secretary, John F. Sanderson; Treasurer, Henry Streeter.
Bradford County Medical Society was organized in August 1847. Dr. Samuel Huston, President; Alexander Madill, Secretary.
A printing office was established in Towanda, in 1813.
The Bradford Gazette, was founded in Towanda, in 1814, by Burr Ridgeway, Gen. Samuel McKean, Gen. Henry Welles and George Scott.
The Washingtonian was published in 1815, by Lewis B. Franc.
The Towanda Republican was issued in 1826, by Warren Jenkins.
Bradford Argus was first issued by O. P. Ballard in 1829.
The Bradford Democrat was first issued in 1836, by Cantine & Hogan.
The Bradford Reporter was first issued by E. S. Goodrich, June, 1840.
The North Branch Democrat was first issued by Wean Forney in 1850.
The Towanda Business Item was first issued August 5th, 1871, by O. D. Goodenough and E. J. Clawson.
The Bradford Republican was first issued June 1st, 1875, by Judson Holcomb and T. G. Angus.
The Towanda Journal was first issued May 14, 1873, by D. M. Turner.
The Anti-Masonic Democrat was published at Troy, in 1830, by O. P. Ballard.
The Analyzer was first issued at Troy, by Francis Smith, in the year 1840.
The New Star was first issued by O. P. Ballard, at Troy, in the year 1846.
The Troy Banner was first issued in 1847, by William C. Webb.
The Trogan was first issued in 1850, by Barkley & Messenger.
The Independent was issued in 1854, at Troy, by Doctor Johnson.
The Temperance Banner was first issued at Troy, by Moses Gustin, in 1855.
The Troy Times was issued in 1868, by A. C. Lumbard, now the Northern Tier Gazette, edited by A. S. Hooker.
Athens Scribe was issued in 1841, by Owen Worden.
The Athenian issued in the year 1841, at Athens, William F. Warner, Edwin C. Marvin, James H. Forbes and Ezra O. Long, editors.
The Democratic Laborer’s Advocate was issued at Athens, March 3, 1843, by Owen Worden and Jason K. Wright.
The Athens Gazette, issued in 1855, by Mark M. Pomeroy.
The Athens Republican was issued in 1866, by S. Frank Lathrop.
The Weekly Athens News, issued in 1868, by D. V. Stedge.
The Athens Gleaner was issued March 16, 1870, by Charles T. Huston.
The Athens Gazette was issued in April, 1870, by Charles Hinton.
Bradford Democrat was issued Sept. 1875, by Cannon Brothers, at Athens.
The Athenians was issued in 1876, by Julius Corbin.
Canton Sentinel was issued in 1871, by C. H. Butts & Son.
Rome Register was issued in 1875, by Cannon Brothers.
Troy Register issued by Frank Loomis, in 1883.
ATHENS TOWNSHIP AND BOROUGH
CANTON TOWNSHIP AND BOROUGH
MONROE TOWNSHIP AND BOROUGH
PIKE TOWNSHIP AND THE BOROUGH OF LE RAYSVILLE
ROME TOWNSHIP AND BOROUGH
SOUTH CREEK TOWNSHIP
TROY TOWNSHIP AND BOROUGH
TOWANDA, NORTH TOWANDA TOWNSHIPS AND TOWANDA BOROUGHS
WEST BURLINGTON TOWNSHIP