History of Granville
(in Bradford County PA)
By Ruth Kinney
Retyped by Linda Selub & Christine Keel
MEMORIES ALONG THE NORTH BRANCH
History of Granville
by Ruth Kinney
a Word of Appreciation
Granville township along the North Branch of the Towanda Creek in its founding was a way of life in the woods that is gradually slipping into oblivion to be eventually known only to the historian or to be forgotten entirely with the passing of time.
In this book, Memories Along the North Branch, I have attempted to record much of the historical data during this era that is so vividly recalled by the relatively few that are still living and remember these as the happiest days of their lives.
With gratitude and appreciation to my friends who encouraged me to put in writing these dates, memories and experiences of other years, a journey into the past, I thank them.
Additional information and dates of the early settlers were received from the History of Bradford County 1615-1925 by C.F. Heverly; Bradford County History of 1891 by H. C. Bradsby; The Bradford County Directory of 1900 and 1907 by George Hanford. Also valuable information from histories written by C.E. Taylor and Encell Taylor; and books and diaries of friends and neighbors.
This book was written to take you on a nostalgic journey of what life was like in the little community of Granville Center and the township in its beginning. It was an era of pioneering, log cabins, tales of one room schools and the horse and buggy days. Many of these episodes have faded in our memory but they never should be forgotten.
The story of Granville is a fascinating one and one of the life in this rural community during the early 1800s and 1900s. The township consisting of 34 square miles was by a February Court of 1831 set off from the townships of Troy and West Burlington on the north. On the east by West Burlington and Franklin townships, south by LeRoy township and on the west by Canton and Troy townships. The township was laid out to be eight miles long, east to west; four and three quarters miles in width to the west; three and a half miles on the east. It has been said that this division was opposed, however it withstood.
Granville was named in memory of the former home in Massachusetts of many of its early settlers. It’s history goes back more than 173 years and its small industries played an important role in the well being of the community. In the early days, saw-mills, wheel factory, wagon factory, cheese factories, creameries, tannery, harness shops and farming were mainly the occupations of the day.
Granville Corners, Granville Center, Granville Summit and Windfall were the villages named to be located in the township. Granville Corners was later known as Bailey Corners. Cowley, located at the Summit was the name that was used for the railroad and its transactions. The word Center in the early years was spelled Centre. The Centre was also known as Taylor Huddle at one time. Windfall was the village established in the northwestern part of the township.
The North Branch of the Towanda Creek with its source in the Armenia Mountains flows in a nearly easternly direction across the center of the township. The lands were rolling and very well adapted to farming and grazing, which became an important in the early life in the area.
During the winter of 1798-99, Jeremiah Taylor Sr. at the age of 26 with his family left their native home in Berkshire, Massachusetts with a Connecticut title to a piece of land somewhere in Bradford County. He came first to the Sugar Creek area at West Burlington, remaining one year in that locality. While in that locale he was selecting land in the central part of the township on the North Branch to establish a permanent home.
Mr. Taylor had married Martha Bailey, the daughter of Oliver and Hannah Bailey in their native Massachusetts. The following children were born to them: Jeremiah Jr., Levi, Sylvester and Abigal. Their son, Sylvester, was the first white child to be born in the township on October 9, 1803.
As the country-side was covered with dense timber, he made a clearing in the wilderness and in the month of March of 1800 moved his family to their new home on an ox-sled. As related in one of the early history books, "Night was falling, when the oxen were unyoked and turned loose with the family cow. The household effects were brought into the crude cabin; a large blanket was hung to the window and to the door, a fire kindled in the fireplace and then their first meal in their forest home was prepared and eaten."
Mr. Taylor struggled faithfully, clearing and improving the land around him until his death on September 17, 1827 at the age of 55. He had served his fellowmen well through this brief but bitter struggle for life.
Jeremiah Taylor, Jr. was married to Mary White, the daughter of David and Mary White, pioneers of Troy township. This energetic man cleared the remaining part of the old homestead for farming. He built the first grist mill in the settlement in the year of 1820. Being a small mill it could only grind corn but this was a vast improvement over hand grinding. A few years later he built the first saw-mill. The mill provided much of the lumber from the virgin forest to build many of the first buildings in the settlement. He had a chair and rake factory that did an extensive business until the early 1860s. These chairs were heirlooms of many of the former residents of the Centre.
Scoville Bailey, son of Oliver and Hannah Bailey was a carpenter and a noted hunter. He came with his wife, Jerusha Hale and their family from Middletown, Connecticut in 1801 and settled down the stream some fifty rods. About 1803 his brother David came with their parents to settle a little east of the stream. David was married to Lucy Spalding, the daughter of Ezra Spalding of Canton. Later she died and he was married to Louise Loomis of Canton. His brothers Ezra and Thomas followed their parents and brothers at a later date to settle here.
These sturdy pioneers who chose this area in the settlement to make their new home must have felt the beauty and stature of these Pennsylvania hills were the "Eden of America." Before the close of the century little settlements dotted the valleys of the principal streams and they were clearing the hillsides.
The cabins of these pioneers generally about 14 to 16 feet square were built of logs hewn from the virgin forest, held together at the ends by notches. The spaces between the logs were filled with a clay mixed with grass and leaves. The roofs of these cabins had lofts which were reached by the use of a ladder where the younger members of the family slept. Benches were made of slabs of logs, as were chairs, beds and the tables; the furniture of the day. The pioneers covered their window openings with a greased paper to keep the elements out and allow the sunlight to shine through. The hugh [sic] fireplaces and blazing pitch pine splinters were stuck in the chimney jambs to provide light at night.
Their main food was bread made from homegrown corn and rye, ground by an Indian mortar and pestle. Johnny cake, mush and milk was a very common diet in the early days with maple sugar being used for the sweetening and bear fat for the shortening. As the country-side was covered with a dense growth of forest, the deer, bear, raccoons, woodchucks and squirrels were in abundance as meat for the family. The streams provided these families with brook trout and shad. The meat and fish with their home-grown potatoes were baked in their fireplaces by placing the pot on a bed of hot coals and covering it with coals to insure even baking. Their cabins were swept with brooms made of young birch and hickory boughs.
Many of the first homes of the early settlers were called an open-face brush homes. They were placed between two trees standing close together, with a pole across and the brush piled against this to keep the elements out. Would we call this home? Yet there was many a time when this was all the earliest pioneers had to call home during their first long hard winters in this remote wilderness.
Their one and only neighbor in the forest was Lewis Moffett, also a native of Massachusetts. Mr. Moffett followed Mr. Taylor here in the fall of 1800 and settled about a mile west up the main stream from the Taylors. Mr. Moffett had the misfortune to have death claim his wife and he returned to his native home in 1812. Mrs. Moffett was buried on the old Crofut farm on the Towanda Creek.
Oliver Bailey Bailey, a native of Middlesex County, Connecticut was the father-in-law of Mrs. Taylor. He emigrated to Berkshire, Massachusetts and came to Granville in 1803. He and his wife, Hannah Scoville whom he married in their native home wished to settle here to be near their family that was living in the village. Twelve children were born to them: Oliver, Keturah or Katy, Martha, Thomas, Scoville, Timothy, Pheba, Hannah, Polly, Ezra, David and Prudence. All came to this county with their parents except four. Oliver was married in his native home, remaining there and rearing a large family. The daughters, Pheba, Hannah and Polly married and remained at Great Barrington, Massachusetts, spending their lives there. His children who made this settlement their home were Katurah (Mrs. Uriah Baxter), Martha (Mrs. Jeremiah Taylor Sr.), Thomas, Scoville, Timothy, Ezra, David and Prudence.
The first wedding in the settlement was that of Prudence Bailey to Hugh Holcomb. Mr. Holcomb was the first settler in LeRoy township. He and his brother, Sterling came from Connecticut and settled in Ulster. Later they moved to LeRoy township in 1796. He Holcomb’s first wife, Miss Oakley had died leaving him a son, Marlin. Hugh and Prudence were the parents of eight children: Alonzo, Orator, Lura, Cyrus, Harvey, Judson, Emeline and Ezra.
Levi, son of Jeremiah Taylor Sr. was born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts had came in 1800 with his parents, residing here until his death on April 27, 1890 at the age of 93. Levi was married to Louise Holcomb. They were parents of Alvira (Mrs. Denton Perry), Betsy (Mrs. Hiram Reynolds), Volney and Sterling. His second wife was Mary Landon. For his third wife, he married Sarah Campbell by whom he had three sons, Milan, Hollis and Fred Taylor. His son, Volney was born in the township in 1829 and lived here until his death in May of 1923 at the age of 94 years. Levi’s brother, Sylvester Taylor died in January of 1891 at the age of 88 years.
The first frame barn, long torn down was built in 1815 by Levi Taylor. It has been related that Mr. Taylor worked as a storekeeper in East Burlington for a pound of nails a day to get the materials to use in the barn’s construction. The first frame dwelling was built in 1819 by Jeremiah Taylor Jr. This house is still standing and is in a good state of preservation. It is now the home [of] Mrs. Laura Taylor Clark, a direct descendent of the builder of the home.
Calvin Churchill followed the Taylor and Bailey families locating in Granville in 1817. He was born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts in 1809, the son of Alvah and Aurelia Churchill. Mr. Churchill worked at the tinsmith trade and farmed on a small scale until his death. He was married to Lura, the daughter of the Hugh Holcombs. Three children were born to them: Olney, Lutila (Mrs. Hollis Holcomb) and Martha (Mrs. D. S. Sherman). His second wife was Mahitable Gee, widow of James Gee.
As Mr. Moffet had left here due to the death of his wife, Benjamin Saxton, a blacksmith came with his family in 1807 and settled on the Moffett homestead. Mr. Saxton built the first blacksmith shop soon after his arrival. He following this vocation along with farming until he died in 1842 at the age of 68. He was married to Susie Corbin, a native of Connecticut. The following children were born to them: Lucy (Mrs. Chauncey Hill), Susan (Mrs. Elam Parkhurst), Benjamin, Charles, Mary (Mrs. Henry Putnam), Henry, Sarah (Mrs. Albert Watkins) and Lewis. His son, Benjamin Jr. cleared a farm of 200 acres in the township, residing there until his death. Benjamin Jr. and his wife, the former Delight Holcomb of Ulster, were the parents of ten children, Valentine, Lucy (Mrs. Hiram Kittle), Oscar, Solon J., Edward, Mahlon, Samantha, Susie (Mrs. Charles Kenyon) and Charles.
Valentine, the son of Benjamin Jr. was born in Canton township in 1834. He was reared in Granville township, educated in the log-school of his day and engaged in the butchering and farming trade. In 1860 he married Polly, the daughter of Darius and Ann (Merwin) Manley of Troy township. Two children Fred and John were born to them;. Valentine was [ends here].
His brother Solon Saxton, born in Canton township in 1834 was reared on the old homestead where he always lived. He was in the Civil War in Co. F. 11th Pa. Cavalry, participating in Wilson’s Raid and the Battle of Petersburg. He was married to Harriett, the daughter of Charles and Rebecca (Becker) Martin. They were parents of two children, Nellie (Mrs. Raymond Selleck) and Charles W.
Another son of Benjamin Jr., Oscar was born and reared in the township and followed the mason trade for fifteen years. In 1856 Oscar was married to Persis, the daughter of Sullivan and Phoebe Bailey Morse of LeRoy. They were parents of three children Dayton, Ada (Mrs. Lischer Ross) and Robert. Oscar served in the Civil War with Co. I 15th N. Y. Engineers.
Franklin Saxton was born in the township in 1845, the son of Henry and Julia Saxton. He married Ella, the daughter of Samuel and Hannah Holcomb Rockwell in 1872. Franklin and Ella were parents of Henry, Clara, George, Ruby and Willis. Franklin was in the same regiment as Solon Saxton participating in nearly all the battles being discharged in 1865.
It was between the years of 1812-15 as the War of 1812 was being fought, a draft was ordered in the state. Ezra Bailey was drafted from the newly formed township. He went to headquarters but was soon allowed to come home and be discharged.
As the settlers struggled through their many trials and tribulations, an epidemic of a very serious nature prevailed in the settlement in the winter of 1814-15. Abraham Parkhurst and his sons, Luther and Asa died from the disease. Tales have been told that Mr. Parkhurst had the ability to converse with his departed friends. This was said to be the earliest case of spiritualism in the community.
These honest, patient and courageous folks never bothered their minds as to the humbleness of their homes, their only consideration was to see their children grow to be strong men and women. But disaster was to strike again. A near famine among the settlers was caused by a severe frost in August of 1816. This cold spell is said to have destroyed the corn and other harvest in nearly all the northern part of the county. The settlers were able to get a small supply by going to Lycoming County, then called "Egypt." This was a long, hard journey but in order to survive they had no choice but this way to secure the food for their families in the long winter months to come.
Encountering the many dangers that lurked on every corner, the early settlers required pluck and courage to build their homes, procure their food. hew out of the wilderness the farms and undergo all the toil. Their wants were few and simple, their ambitions and dreams high, all within the reach of those who were willing to strive for the better things to come. Jeremiah Taylor Jr. and Levi Taylor were among those hardworking, industrious men and they were willing to strive to seek their goal. They accumulated a considerable amount of property in the township through their endeavors.
It was during the years of 1817-18 that a new influx of settlers began to arrive in the territory namely: John Putnam, Alvord Churchill, Josiah Vrooman, John Pratt, and David Ross. The latter being of English parentage born in 1772. He married Pheobe Hamilton and they were driven from their home by the Indians from the East, their buildings burned in 1813. During the early part of 1814, the Ross family settled in Burlington township on Tom Jack Creek, now Burlington Borough. Meeting with adverse circumstances there, they moved in 1817 to the farm that was formerly owned by Lewis Moffett. The followed [sic] children were born to them: John, Benjamin, James, Rachael, Dunham, Henry, Ruth, David, William, Russell, Marrison and Sarah. David died in 1841 and his wife Phoebe in 1857.
It was through the efforts of General Samuel McKean, a member of the Congress from this district, a mail route was establish [sic] in North Branch in the year of 1825 through the settlement from East Burlington to Alba as a pony-express, being delivered once a week. In February of 1831 the name of the post-office was changed to Granville and later to Granville Center on January 30, 1865.
The clothing of these early settlers was very plain, the man wearing homemade buckskin pantaloons and the ladies, their long buckskin skirts and jackets. In the cold winter months a homemade moccasin was made of deerhides. The women spun the wool from the family sheep. This wool was then carded, spun into the thread for use in the making the clothing. Their stockings were also handknitted from the wool. These settlers grew flaxseed, when ripe, was gathered, processed and used as thread. in later years, the settlers with the aid of the tannery which tanned their hides, had leather boots and shoes to wear. These were made by the village boot and shoemaker. Tallow and animal grease were used to soften the leather.
Times were rough and it took the efforts of the whole family to make a living. The wives of these pioneers not only performed their household duties of cooking, sewing, spinning and weaving but often helped in the fields beside of their husbands. The raising of their food was a tedious task as their implements were very crude. Their plows, with a wooden blade and one handle were drawn by oxen. A sapling stick served as a frame for a harrow as their grains were planted. The pitchforks and hoes in those days were all made by the local blacksmith. It was about 1820 that a turning lathe was erected and a wheel chair factory was carried on by Nathaniel Phelps.
Orlando Taylor was born in the township in 1832, the only child of Sylvester and Susannah Dewitt Taylor. He married Esther, the daughter of Lewis and Minerva Sabins Fowler. They were parents of two children Melda (Mrs. Charles F. Gray) and Encell. Orlando’s father, Sylvester was appointed a deputy marshall in 1840. His mother, Susannah was the daughter of Paul and Elizabeth Slye Dewitt, early settlers in West Burlington Township.
As the early settlers had no roads, wild beast and nature combined to make traveling a hazardous undertaking. In the early days it was common to see the pioneers carrying all their worldly possessions on their backs in a knapsack.
The first road was opened in 1802 across the township from Sugar Creek to the Towanda Creek. A change was made in this road about 1807, commencing near the present road from West Burlington to North Branch on to LeRoy. This road crossed Sugar Creek near the Goddard sawmill, then ran further up the hill, south and further north on the side of the hill – intersecting the road to continue on to the Baileys. It then crossed the North Branch and ran south until it joined the Taylor road which was located about a miles [sic] from Towanda Creek. A road running east and west along the township was laid out in 1811 to the Irad Wilson settlement near Alba. This road consisted of 11 miles. It was on this new road that the settlers began to build their new homes, thus moving from their log cabins along the stream of the North Branch.
It was during the years of 1809-12 that the new settlers began to arrive. Philip Packard came in 1809, Abraham Parkhurst and Charles Butterworth at a later date to live in some of the vacated cabins.
Early settlers knew as their thermometers and weather signs only the nature and the heavens – the Zodiac and the movement of the moon. The time of the day was determined by the sun marks shining on the doors and the windows of their cabins. The life of these pioneers of this era were called "Happy days" because no one neighbor envied another. They did everything in their power to encourage and help one another. But by today’s standard of living their life would seem one of endless hardships.
About the year of 1818 Jeremiah Taylor Jr. gave the part of the Centre Cemetery designated as the old part. The ground in a rough, uncultivated state, covered with stumps and knolls and in this condition was occupied which account for the disorderly manner in which the graves are found today. The first person buried there was Keturah Parkhurst, wife of Elam Parkhurst not far from the above date.
In 1866 more ground was purchased from Mary Taylor, widow of Jeremiah Jr. who gave the first ground. In 1878 an association was formed to be known as the Granville Center Cemetery Association. The burial lots were plotted by E. P. Allen, fence repaired and trees planted. More land was purchased from Mrs. Taylor, the whole cemetery replotted by J. C. Rockwell. The association was incorporated in 1882, recorded December 4, 1882, the charter issued from the Recorders Office in Towanda in book No. 1 and page 285.
A little poem on a picture postcard reads as follows: When at last I cross the bar, Friends will gather from near and far…….At this place called Granville, PA……..Will lay to rest my lifeless clay.
Thomas Hayes was a photographer who did a flourishing business in the Centre in the late 1890s and the early 1900s. Many of his photos are still in possession of the families here today. A minister at the Church of Christ ran a printing shop in the Centre in the year of 1897. He remained in the township only a short time, namely J. F. Coss.
The first religious wave was started in the settlement in 1805 when Jeremiah Taylor and his wife joined the Baptist Church on Towanda Creek. The church had been built by Elder Thomas Smiley. The first Baptist meeting was held in the township soon after. It has been told that this Elder Smiley was visited one night, tarred and feathered by the Connecticut land claimants. It is said they took him away from his home and greatly maltreated him. A contemporary report says "Those men came from the North Country, probably meaning the Tioga Point area, rode fast horses and had fierce countenances." As the religious wave tempered to some extent, the Methodists ventured to organize a society in the settlement in 1810. The society was fairly active until about 1856 when it ceased its activities.
A Disciple Church was organized in 1832, called Disciples of Christ through the efforts of Dr. Silas Shepard of Troy. This Church grew in a few years to a congregation numbering 120; when through differences in opinion it ceased. It was revived, however, in 1852 and has served as a beacon light to the surrounding area since. The Church was incorporated February 20, 1885, the land being deed from Levi Taylor in 1887. In a history book it is said that a large church was built at the Centre and it had a barge bell to ring out to all the good people. The present edifice was dedicated in 1862.
As there is no record of the ministers of the church prior to 1870, Revs. Silas Shepard, J. L. Phoenix, W. S. St. Clair, M.C. Flick, B.A. Bower, J.C. Bryan, J.F. Coss, H.F. Keltch and M.G. Blair served the pulpit. From 1900 Reverends Morgan Genge, George Morse, B.A. Bower, Jesse Porter, Otto Young, Mr. Heinsley, Harry Martin, Manford Williams, Paul Rockwell, Garth Maynard, Paul Diehl, R.J. Bennett, Harvey Peters, Louis Hewitt, Wilma Hoose, Edward Spencer, Robert Stewart, James Brookhart and the present pastor Ed Spencer have served the Church. There has always been constant problems within the church but with God’s help the Church has always remained the center of the community life with its bell still calling people of the valley to worship each Lord’s Day.
Being true to their New England principles, the first thought of the pioneers after raising the food and shelter for their families, was to establish schools for the training of their children. The first school in this little settlement was taught in the summer of 1807 by Delight Spalding of Canton. This school had 15 pupils in attendance from a territory embracing three square miles. The pupils attending from the settlement were Jeremiah Taylor Jr., Benjamin Saxton, Scoville Bailey, Uriah Baxter and Oliver Nelson. A log schoolhouse in the Centre was built by Elisha Harris.
Uriah Baxter, a native of Connecticut settling in the township in 1808 was married to Keturah Bailey. The following children were born to them: Chauncey married Nancy Vroman; Ezra married Charity Vroman; Betsy (Mrs. Simeon West), Keturah (Mrs. Elam Parkhurst), Roxie (Mrs. John Vroman), Hannah (Mrs. Benjamin West) and Oliver who married Ruth Ross.
Oliver Nelson came as a settler in 1807 and continued to live in the settlement until 1848 when he sold his farm to James Gee. James, a native of Portland County, N.Y. came to Granville in early manhood with his parents, Samuel and Hannah Hopkins Gee and settled here. James and his wife, Mahitable Ralyea were parents of Sarah (Mrs. Gilbert Baxter), Mary (Mrs. Warren Smith) and Julius. Julius, born in 1845 was married to Clarissa, the daughter of Hiram and Elsie (Smith) Every of LeRoy township. They had an adopted daughter, Lottie (Mrs. Floyd Barnes).
[PHOTO OF TEMPERANCE HOUSE]
The first inn was opened in 1848 by John Vroman Sr. in partnership with B. Franklin Taylor, the father-in-law of the late Anna Taylor. Mr. Vroman and Mr. Taylor built the large hotel in 1848. Mr. Vroman conducted the bar in the hotel until 1852 when it was taken over by Mr. Taylor. The latter was a staunch advocate of temperance and immediately did away with the bar. In letters three feet high he placed the word "Temperance House" on the front of the building and it became known throughout the county. Never from that day was liquor sold in the hotel. B. Franklin Taylor died October 14, 1902 at the age of 84. This hotel became the spacious home of the late Charles and Anna Taylor. It was said of this hotel that for many years it was a place where the weary traveler could have a meal and lodging for the night for a mere quarter.
The first store in the community was started on this property by B. Franklin Taylor and Luman D. Taylor in a three story building now used as a garage by Miss Ruth Leonard. Luman Taylor was born in the township in 1820, the son of Jeremiah Jr. and Mary Taylor. He married Matilda, the daughter of Sterling and Betsy Stone Holcomb of LeRoy. In his early years he taught school in the winter months and assisted his father in the general merchandise business.
[PHOTO: The Taylor and Manley Store and later the F.B. Larcom Store]
Sometime later the store was moved to a larger building on the site of the Morrison’s garage. Mr. Taylor conducted the store until 1892 when he took in partnership his son-in-law Samuel Manley. In 1881 Mr. Taylor was elected to the State Legislature, serving one year. He was postmaster in the Centre for nearly 32 years. Other proprietors of this store were Fred Taylor and Walter Manley, keeping the same firm name of Taylor and Manley, F. B. Larcom and the Launs. It was during the time that the Rudolph Laun family owned the property and business, the building was destroyed by fire on February 14, 1924. There were a number of apartments in the building.
The Hayloader was an invention of Luman D. Taylor and was manufactured by him in the Centre. While experimenting with his invention it is said that Mr. Manley built a tiny "hayloader" to the exact scale of the large one. The invention of this hayloader was considered a boon to the farming industry in the area. It was a piece of machinery to haul behind the wagon to lift the heavy hay from the ground. The hay was always pitched from a haybunch on to the wagon by the means of a hay fork in the hand.
Samuel Manley was born in Troy township August 9, 1842, son of Darius and Sophia Ann (Merwin) Manley. He spent his early years in Troy, going to school there. He was a soldier in the Civil War enlisting in 1864. After his return from the service he located in Troy where he was in the restaurant business three years. He came to Granville where he was a member of the Taylor and Manley store for 22 years. Mr. Manley was married on December 22, 1869 to Ella, the daughter of Luman and Matilda Holcomb Taylor. They were parents of Walter, Luman, Belle, Matilda, Taylor and Ida Manley. He was postmaster in Granville for many years. Walter was the father of Mrs. Harriet Shedden now residing here.
Fred Taylor was born in the township in 1859, son of Levi and Sarah Campbell Taylor. He was educated in the township school and Troy High School. He engaged in farming until 1890 when he became associated in the lumbering business. He married Ida, the daughter of Hiram and Lucy Saxton Kittle. They were parents of Bayard, Irene and Elsie. Fred died in 1925.
A sawmill was owned and operated by Fred Taylor across the road from what is now the Lou Ayres home. This spacious home, formerly known as the Bovier home was built by Fred Taylor. The main structure of the home across the ravine now occupied by the Laurence Greenough family, originally the Manley home was built by Samuel Manley, the great, great grandfather of Mrs. Harriet Shedden.
In the 1900 Directory of Bradford County Fred Taylor was listed as a dealer in general merchandise, dry goods, clothing and groceries. Mr. Taylor made fine carriages, sleighs and sold agricultural implements. He was also a shipper of the Fine Bradford County butter, eggs and farm produce.
Another inn was built by Levi Taylor in 1849. This inn was built at the top of the hill near the site of the former Fred Saxton home, across from the intersection of High St. and Route 514. The former Fred Saxton is now owned by the Ernest Hoffman family. The inn was later purchased by the Grange and moved in 1892 to its present location in the center of town, being used now as a Grange Hall.
In the latter 1890s and early 1900s William B. Wright and Albert Bailey were business partners as carpenters and built many of the fine buildings in the village. William Wright built the famed Glenside barns to be mentioned later on in the book. The Wright Brothers, John C., Rush J. and William Wright were the manufacturers of the famed Keystone Suspension Fence. The shop was located on the edge of the creek on what is now the church annex lawn.
Manning Bailey ran a boot and shoemaker shop at a later date. About the same time a cooper shop was operated by Edward Larcom in the eastern part of the township and whose work was much sought by the buttermakers of the area. David Sayles was a harness maker at one time and N. Sayles was a wagon maker. Not to be outdone in energy was little "Hanky Avery" who was a chair caner in the early 1920s. He resided on the Blodgett road leading from the Centre to the Bunyan Hill area.
A carpet weaver shop was operated by Volney Lament in the early 1900s in his home near the Lament school on the gulf road. A short distance away near the Troy township lines was a cooper shop operated by George White on his farm there. Another cooper shop was operated by Deb Kenyon just across the bridge from the Huff home now occupied by the Ernest Clark family.
A flour mill known as the Doolittle Flour Mill was located at the foot of Titus Hill leading to Bunyan Hill on the old road. This property is owned by the George Hulslander family. The George Kennedy Meat Market was in business for many years on out the same road from the flour mill.
Also in the 1900 Directory, Charles Kenyon and William McIlroy were listed as fine masons. This brings to mind the unusual work of another mason in the community in later years, George Cole and much of his work still stands as a monument to his memory.
As transportation facilities were very limited in the early days, many travelers arrived daily on the trains at Cowley. A stage line known as the Granville Centre and Granville Summit Stage Line was run by Fred Saxton who met the trains and transported the passengers to the Centre to meet their relatives there. Mr. Saxton also conducted a livery stable in the Centre for many years. Another stage line was conducted by Encell Taylor from Cowley to the Centre for sometime.
A Good Templars Lodge was organized in the Centre in 1860 lasting only a few years. A fellowship organization "Division of Sons of Temperance" was chartered may 8, 1858 but soon disbanded.
As many of the residents were soldiers returning from the various wars, pensions were the livelihood of many a family in those years. Rev. Abraham Mott was a Pension Attorney living in the township in the early 1900s. Mr. Mott was born in Chemung County, N.Y. in 1824, the son of Alvah and Anna (VanCampen) Mott. He attended school in his native county, served an apprenticeship at the blacksmith trade and a carriage ironer in Elmira, N.Y. He settled in Granville in 1845 worked at this trade with the exception of the time he was in the service from 1861 to 1865. In 1885 he was ordained a minister of the Church of Christ. He married Cynthia, the daughter of Elisha Bailey in 1846; one son Devyr was born to them. Rev. Mott was appointed United States Pension Attorney by the Government where he practiced in all departments of the Pension Bureau. His home and blacksmith shop was where the Bud VanNoy family lives, the shop being across the road from the house.
Many old-timers will remember the home remedies and medicine of their youth. Quinine, castor oil, sulphur, molasses and Epsom Salts were medicines common in the early days. Herbs of all kinds were always kept on hand to be used as medicines; each having its own special use when transformed to a tea-like liquid. Many home remedies were handed down from the Indians. A spring tonic for purifying the blood was made of wild cherry bark, sassafras and burdock root, with hot mustard plasters for lame muscles and flaxseed poultices for the family sores.
In this modern age of specialization, increased knowledge of medicine and surgery, it is too bad that the profession of the country doctor has vanished. Granville Center was very fortunate in the early days to always have their family doctor near. An old History lists Dr. John McLachlan as a physician practicing in Granville township in 1879. Dr. C.H. Blackwell practiced medicine in the Centre in 1894. After studying with Dr. Carrier, he took a course at the Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York where he graduated March 13, 1894. He located in Granville the same year where he continued to live until fate stepped in and death claimed him on October 28, 1894 at the age of 37 years. His funeral was held at the Granville Christian Church with burial in the Old Methodist Church cemetery near Burlington.
Dr. Leonidas H.C. Mintzner practiced medicine and surgery in the village in the early 1900s and late 1890s. About 1905 Dr. Benjamin Genung and his family resided in an apartment in the Taylor and Manley store and was the ardent supporter of many activities in the town. Two other physicians are remembered by the old residents as Dr. Barnes who resided in the former Mildred Perry home in the early 1900s and a Dr. Crawford sometime after 1902.
Dr. Clarence Bradford was the family doctor here in the middle 1900s, residing in the lower apartment in the Taylor and Manley store. He married a locale [sic] girl, Cecile Leiby. After taking a course in medicine in New York City in 1923, he left to practice medicine in Canton, Pa. Dr. George Bevans of LeRoy was always available to the community and surrounding area from the early 1900s until his retirement.
The Bailey Corners Baptist Church was built by Orcelus Baxter and James Sawyer as the carpenters. The church building was dedicated on October 12, 1883. The original charter of the Baptist church was dated April of 1874. In the early years of the church it was known as the Free Will Baptist Church. According to the History of Bradford County, published by L. H. Everts and Co. in 1878, the East Granville, West Granville Free Will Baptist Churches along with the East Troy church belonged to the Troy quarterly. They formed what was called the Susquehanna Yearly Meeting. The Troy Quarterly Meeting continued until the merger of the Free Will Baptists and the Northern Baptist Convention in 1912 which is now the American Baptist Convention.
A. M. Knapp was the pastor at the time of the Church dedication. Rev. O. J. Moon was listed as pastor soon after with Noah Clark and Franklin Baxter as deacons. Other ministers were Elder Cranston in 1893, Rev. W. H. Ward, 1896-1898 and Rev. A. F. Sanford in 1899. For a time from 1900 supply minister came from the Baptist Church in East Troy with Brothers Mansfield, Roberts and Burroughs filling the pulpit. Walter Skillet and Elder Martin were pastors from 1907 to 1909, Rev. Eric Kunzman in 1914, John W. Reese in 1915 and Clarence Moss in 1916. A Mr. Seabolt was chosen pastor from 1918 to 1922 followed by the Rev. .Ray Northrup from 1922 to 1925. Rev. E. V. Winder was the pastor from 1925 to 1927 with Rev. George Straw from 1928 to 1932. Mr. Straw will be remembered by many as the pastor with the musical saw. In 1932 to 1934 Rev. Joseph Harrison was the pastor, followed by Rev. Paul Dale in 1934 to 1937 and Rev. George Kyrk in 1939.
On November 5, 1939 the church was ordered closed until further notice by Fred Whipple, a trustee. It remained closed until October 5, 1941 when the doors were opened again with Paul Rockwell, Troy as the pastor. From 1934 to 1944 Rev. Lyle Pepper of LeRoy was the pastor when the church was closed again due to the polio epidemic. It was re-opened in October of 1946 when Rev. .Lloyd Williams served as pastor. Rev. Paul Dale returned soon after this to become the pastor until his retirement. Rev. Melvin Scultz of Towanda is the pastor at the present time.
Granville has always been one of the most patriotic sections of the county. Serving in the Revolutionary War were Oliver Bailey, Jacob Headley, Abraham Parkhurst, John Putnam and Caleb White. Putnam entered the service in 1880 [sic] at the age of thirteen years and served until the close of the War. In the War of 1812, David Neiley, Ezra Bailey, Peter Vroman and Joseph Newland served their country. During the Civil War the township furnished one hundred and eighty-six soldiers of whom seven were killed in battle, two died in rebel prisons and thirteen soldiers died of various diseases. Elizabeth Pratt who is buried in the Vroman Hill Cemetery furnished ammunition for the soldiers in the War of 1812.
The square in the Centre known as High Street at the turn of the century did not intersect with the Sayles Hill road. Instead it continued its present course from Route 514 to the house occupied by the John Shedden family just west of the former home now occupied by the Kenneth Cole family. There it turned southward through what is now the pasture lands of Ernest Hoffman to Route 514 between the homes of Harry Butcher and Mel Judson.
At the turn of the century, with the coming of the automobile, farming and the way of life in the country neighborhoods were much different from what they had been in the days of the first settlement. To many of the older people these changes seemed almost unbelievable. From the time of the founding to the late 1930s practically everything needed by the family with the exception of a few staple goods, was grown on the farm and processed in the home.
A mercantile appraisement of the township dated July 12, 1938 the following businesses were listed: Elwin Allen, Cowley for feed; Dean Duart, Windfall for Groceries; Joe Foust, Cowley gas; Francis Morrison, Center, gas; J. Roland Smith, Center, General Merchandise and groceries; E. Webster, Summit, notions and fitting of glasses; Stanley Gilbert, meat dealer. A meat market and home delivery route was operated by Orcelus Baxter for many years.
Residents of the township serving as public officials were for Representative in Congress, Luman D. Taylor and Fred K. Taylor; County Treasurer, William Bunyan; Prothonotary, L. T. Grenell; County Commissioners, Howard Barnes, H. H. Foster and William Packard; County Superintendent of Schools, Herbert Putnam and Congressman, Lewis T. McFadden.
Lindrof Grenell was born in 1873, the son of Fayette and Francina Grenell. He spent the greater part of his life in Granville engaging in farming. He was married to Jennie Bower whose father, B. A. Bower was then minister of the Church of Christ here. He served as Prothonotary from 1920 to 1928.
Theodore L. McFadden was born in 1841 at Lewisburg, Pa., the son of William and Harriet McFadden. Reared in his native county until he was 12 years of age, he went to Williamsport, Pa. to serve an apprenticeship in the confectioners trade and a journeyman. Enlisting in the Civil War, serving a few years he was discharged and returned to Williamsport. He came to Granville in 1872, engaging in farming and the poultry business. In 1870 he married Julia, the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Gamble Babb and Babbs Creek, Tioga County. They were the parents of one son, Lewis McFadden, the Congressman.
Remembering the country-peddler of the early days – Granville had their own, Eugene Webster. He drove his little horse and cart over the country-side peddling his wares. . He sold most anything his customers wish to buy, even glasses.
The Saxton Post No. 65 G. A. R. organized in 1878 with Harrison Ross as Commander. The Post was named for Solomon Saxton, Sgt. in Co. F 11th Pa. Cavalry. Mr. Saxton died in the rebel prison.
Prominent names in the assessment book of 1882 that are entirely unknown in the area today are Bowman, Churchill, Cattel, Catlin, Dubois, Doyle, Holford, Hanscom, Levering, Maney, McLachlan, Rittenshouse, Shea, Shehee, Tinklepaugh and VanWalkner.
This farming area had a threshing machine, community owned. The name of the company was "Granville Threshing and Silo-Filling Association." The stockholders of 1919-20 were Burt Smith and son Roland, Willard Arnold, J. C. Bryan, Dave Hartman, Taylor Manley, Leland May, John Ross, Fred Baxter, Arch and Howard Baxter, C. J. Youmans, Wilbur Baxter, Fred Whipple, Lumerne Selleck, Willard Gilbert, John Bailey, Raymond Rockwell and Harry Sackett.
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Published On Tri-Counties Site On 10/30/99
By Joyce M. Tice