Joyce M. Tice
The First Settlers
This community was first explored by the Furmans who had settles on Pine Creek.
The first records we have of any settler, according to county records is Mr. & Mrs. Zuber. Mr. Zuber was father-in-law of Conrad Bernauer, who had settled in the Old Red House now occupied by Howard Mattison. Mr. Zuber with his wife and daughter, Mrs. Miller and her children. Built a log cabin across the creek from the Henry Watrous property. One morning before the family had risen a a terrible storm came up. Mrs. Miller heard a tree cracking and putting the baby in the bed with Mr. And Mrs. Zuber went to the door to see which tree it was. As she reached the door the tree fell on to the cabin killing the three in the bed. Because of the storm causing such high water, Mrs. Miller had to walk down on this side of the creek it being impossible to cross the Elk Run stream, and call across Pine Creek to Barnaouer's. As soon as the water receded they went to Mrs. Miller's cabin. The funeral was held at the home of Conrad Bernaauer and during the funeral the Miller cabin burned to the ground.
THE GATEWAY TO ELK RUN
THE OLD COVERED BRIDGE
The Old Covered Bridge, the gateway of Elk Run, which spans the Pine Creek at Watrous near the mouth of Elk Run and over which the Elk Run road passes, was built about 1859 by Ellis and Weaver Contractors.
The first floor was of birch planks which were of uneven lengths but put in anyway. Many of them didn’t reach the side of the bridge. Once Alanson Knowlton was driving his oxen across and the oxen both crowded towards the center but one got the best of the other and pushed him so far that he fell and nearly went into the creek. Mr. Knowlton, a very stout man kept the ox from falling by holding him by the horns and resting him against the uneven plank. Help soon came and rescued the ox.
The second floor was put in some years later. This time the plank were made even lengths making the floor reach each side.
Several years ago the third floor was put in and a pier was made under
the bridge to keep the ice jams from washing it away.
THE HISTORY OF ELK RUN
The sketches were furnished by members of the various families represented.
"To those who hold dear the memory of their childhood home. This history has been prepared primarily for you in order to preserve the ties of comradeship formed during those days."
By the members of The Buds of Promise Class of Junior Girls, M. E. Church, Marshlands, PA.
DAVID SMITH & LOMANDA WRIGHT
David Smith made the first permanent settlement of Elk Run. He was a native of New Haven Colony, Conn. and came from Chenango Co., N.Y. to Tioga Co. in the autumn of 1833, settling at Round Top, Charleston Township. Here he built a mill in which he invested all his money. The first time he was unable to make a payment on this farm, he was asked to move off the property.
William Bache, a land agent for the Raddie Estate persuaded him to buy on Elk Run. The D. K. Marsh and O. A. Smith farms were in the hands of Wm. Willink. This is the reason for Mr. Smith buying so far up Elk Run. Mr. Bache gave him 3 fifty-acre lots for himself and his two oldest sons, John and Russel, providing they buy fifty acres more apiece at $1.00 an acre. He came here in the autumn of 1846, cleared a small piece of ground and made other preparations for building a home. In the following February 1847, he built a log house very near the big barn on the Henry Foote place, and occupied the same with his family in the early spring. During the next three years he built a frame house, later known as the Old Red House, back of the present dwelling place and across the brook from the Fred William’s house. Here he lived from the year of 1850 to 1869 when aged condition compelled him to take up his abode with his son Octavius, where he died March 15, 1870 at the age of 86. He married Lomanda Wright and had eleven children, nine of whom grew to maturity.
Lambert who was married before the family moved from Charleston Township, was the father of William and Pauline.
Elvira was married to George Wood, to them were born five children, Tommy, Eliza, Vina, Sarah, and Jeheil. Tommy and Eliza died while young. Sarah married Frederick Zimmerman, Vina married Eli Wood, and Jeheil married Jennie Watrous.
David Lewis was first married to Mary C. Smith. Their history appears later. He was afterwards married four times.
Lomanda was married to Nathaniel Dickinson. To them were born George, John, Mary and Adeliah. John is still living in Wellsboro and Adeliah in Smethport.
Alonzo married Lorinda Farnum, sister of Mrs. M. P. Marsh. To them were born four children, Henry Lanbert, Frank and Anna. Henry had two children, Edith and Grace both of whom are still living. Edith lives in Canisteo, now Mrs. Northrup, Grace resides in New York City. Frank’s two children still survive. Stella, who is now Mrs. Frank Ripley and Effie, the wife of Elwood Beach, both of this place. Anna’s two children were Fred and Frank Watrous.
Russel married Louisa Foote, mother of Henry Foote.
John Married Elvira Crofut. Their history follows later. Octavius married Hannah Kleinhans, Irene was married to Joshua Bernauer. These histories also appear later.
In these times if anyone wanted a pair of shoes, he had to get the leather and when the shoemaker came he would make the shoes, usually each member of the family had a pair of shoes made. One year the shoemaker, for some reason or other did not get around very early. The snow had fallen and Russel Smith had no shoes. One evening the Whetmore girls came down to Smith’s for one of their frequent visits. Russel wanted to escort them home, but he, poor fellow had no shoes. He finally put on several pairs of his home-made socks and took the girls home.
JOHN J. SMITH and ELVIRA CROFUT
John J. Smith was born in Chenango County, New York, March 29, 1825. At the age of eight years he came to Tioga County with his parents. When twenty-one he came to Elk Run and took up one hundred acres of land. The North West corner of which was what is now the North West corner of the school lot. On June 8, 1854 he married Elvira Crofut and began housekeeping in the smaller part of the Miner P. Marsh house which is now vacant. To them were born nine children all of whom lived to grow up. Dewitt C., born July 11, 1855; Ella L. born October 10, 1859; Luther M., born December 11, 1860, Eugene H., born May 10, 1865; Roy B., born November 4, 1866; Myra M., born October 16, 1871; Charles D., born December 3, 1873; Walter B., born February 29, 1876; and Dayton A., born September 23, 1879.
Myra is now a missionary in China.
Soon after John Smith settled here he commenced clearing up his farm. When he had only a small clearing and while at work he saw a deer come into the clearing. He supposing it was being chased by a dog, hastened to the house for his gun, everyone seemed to want to keep out of the country, dogs that hounded deer, so he thought it was his duty to help and that he would get this one. To his surprise a wolf came in sight, realizing that there was a forty dollar bounty on these animals he quickly made a shot but missed and the wolf disappeared.
One night the family was awakened by wolves. It sounded as if they were chasing something. The next morning Crofut’s, who lived where Sam Ripley now lives, found where several wolves had caught a deer and feasted on it.
OCTAVIUS SMITH and HANNAH KLEINHANS
Octavius A. Smith was born in Coventry, Chenango Co., N.Y. on May 5, 1833. He came to Marshlands with his father David Smith when a young man. He and his brother Russel with their father took up three claims of 100 acres each which cost one dollar an acre, for half of each claim with fifty more acres given to each one. In 1861 he began clearing the land and built a barn which stood for over sixty years, when it was burned.
In 1863 he was married to Hannah Kleinhans, of Germania. At first they lived with his father. In 1865 he built a small "shanty" in which they lived until 1870. This cabin stood very close to the new house which since has burned.
At the time he bought his claim it was heavily timbered with hemlock and hardwood. The pine had been taken off a few years previous. Several large pine that were down were left as it was thought they were not of much value. From these down trees he cut logs and hauled them to a small saw mill that then stood not far from the Germania bridge across Elk Run near the present store. He helped to saw the logs into lumber from which he built the house. Walter Marsh did the carpenter work. When it was completed he told Mr. Smith if he would show him a knot in the house he would cover it with gold.
He served two terms as county auditor, at the expiration of which, he was elected county commissioner. He was a life long member of the Baptist Church and was always a staunch Republican. He was the author of many pieces of poetry, one of which, Wanda, was largely copied and received much favorable comment.
Another poem of much worth was entitled "The Lily of Eden", which was a portrait of Eve. In this poem occurs the following verse:
When sunlight and starlight were blending,
There came to this beautiful garden,
Enrobed in white garments celestial,
The Maker, Creator and Ruler,
To visit the flower-beds of beauty
And talk with inanimate Nature;
And there in the dew of the twilight,
Unrolled, expanded and fragrant,
The beautiful flowers of the garden
Greeted their Sov’reign Creator,
And flourished their leaves and their petals
In meek adoration and wonder
And feared not the face of their Maker,
For innocence dwelt in their being.
Hannah Kleinhans Smith, usually known as Aunt Hannah, was born in Hanover, Germany, February 3, 1840. She came to America when eight years old with her parents. At that time only sailing vessels were known. A very rough voyage was encountered causing delays and she was on the ocean nearly a month. Food and water became very low and all hands were put on rations and were allowed a pint of water per day. Prior to her marriage she was employed in Plymouth, Mass., and in Wellsboro, PA. She also taught school several terms. Her entire married life was spent on the farm at Marshlands.
Among the social activities in the early days was the gathering of neighbors when the apples were ripe to assist in drying them. The apples were peeled, quartered and cored by hand, then strung on heavy strings, and hung near the ceiling to dry. There were millions of flies and with no screens for the windows or doors these insects had free access. The strings of apples were black with swarms of files but when these apples were dried they were made into applesauce which was considered a delicacy.
DAVID LEWIS SMITH and MARY B. SMITH
Lewis Smith, a son of David Smith, born in Cheshire, Conn., Dec. 29, 1816, was married first to Mary B. Smith his own cousin, daughter of John Smith. They lived in Delmar Township. To them were born eight children, Sara who died at the age of six, Anna Eliza, Mary A., Calvin L., Willis W., Emily Eleanor, Alice Augustus and Jessie M. The last two were born in Wellsboro. Willis, Emily and Jessie are still living. Mrs. Smith died in 1863. Mr. Smith with his second wife Martha Lay, lived in Wellsboro. After her death he met Mary A. Barmore of Alabama. After their marriage they lived in Marshlands. Being alone after the death of this woman he married a Marcham and resided in Catlin Hollow. He also survived this wife then married the widow of a Rev. Ward of Lawrenceville. This elderly couple spent the remainder of their lives in Lawrenceville.
Will Smith the son of Lewis Smith tells us a very interesting incident. It is as follows: "While living on Brace Run, now Bloody Run, with my parents, I played with the Davis twins who were about my age. Their folks used tobacco, raised it in the garden. One day the boys made some plugs, fixed it up with molasses and other stuff so it smelled good. They chewed some of it and it made them sick so they brought me what they had left. I chewed some of it, the juice running out of each corner of my mouth, the boys standing there looking at me, laughing to themselves to think what would happen pretty soon. Sure enough, it did happen. I was sick. I threw away all the tobacco I had chewed and also what I had left. I was sick for a week. It was the best thing that ever happened to me, I never could chew tobacco since."
Here is another of Will Smith’s stories, "I was going to school one morning and Uncle Josh’s father and his son Johnnie overtook me. This was when we lived up Brace Run. They asked me to ride. They had a yoke of oxen and a pair of bobsleds and two planks on the bob sleds with a scalding tub on. The old man was standing up leaning on the tub behind and Johnnie was driving the oxen while I, Will, got on the front sled. These oxen were contrary as most oxen are and they turned off at the fording place near Winfred Dewey’s. In those days before the present road was a built the road ran along the creek crossing it seven times from Pine Creek to Knowlton. This road was on the other side of the creek from Brace Run and came out where Winfred Dewey’s barn now stands. The bridge at that place had been torn out by a flood. They forded the creek here but a new bridge had been built above this place and those contrary oxen would not venture onto it but started to cross by old way. The creek had frozen over and a raise of the water had left ice on each side 12 or 14 inches down to the creek bottom where there was no ice in the middle of the creek. When I saw where they were going I undertook to get off and I was hanging on to the front sled and did not dare to let go for fear the hindsled would get on me so I was dragged right through the creek. When the front sled struck down on the ice, the old man ended right over the scalding tub and struck his head and shoulders on the plank of the front of the sled. By that time the front of the sled had struck the ice on the other side and stopped the oxen. The old man kicked around and got up and jumped up and down and swore in Dutch. This happened about 63 years ago when I was twelve years old."
Will also tells us the following story and we have other authorities, too for this one: "Down where Sam Ripley now lives there was a log house where Henry Crofut’s lived. They had a deer lick up the hollow with a trap set in it. The men were away so the two women started out, the mother and daughter-in-law, the young woman took a rifle and the woman took a knife. She was carrying a lunch too. When they got to the deer lick they found the trap gone so the older woman went on to see if they could find it. She came to a windfall and had to climb up a high log and in so doing looked down on the other side, in the bush she saw a bear in the trap trying to gnaw his leg out and the woman called for the young woman to come and bring the rifle that there was a bear there in the trap. It scared the young woman so she threw the rifle and ran to get the men and expected to find the older woman half eaten up by the time they got back to her. But the older woman used her knife to cut a club and every time the bear went to gnaw his leg she hit him over the head with the club and then he would stop and growl at her so he was still in the trap when they came back. She heard them coming and called to them that she was all right and sitting on a log."
WILLIAM WATROUS and ELIZA HIGLEY
Wm. Watrous born in 1798 came to Elk Run from Broome Co., N. Y. in 1847 for the purpose of lumbering, taking up his residence a little less than a mile from Pine Creek. He lived at first in a log house near Elk Run and near his mill, later building a commodious frame dwelling on the hill.
He married Eliza Higley Smith, Aug. 15, 1822, by whom he had ten children, two of whom died in infancy. Of the others Amanda, Eliza, James S., Wm. Miles, Sarah C., Charles B., Emma and Marian, one, Marian survives. Wm Miles aged 98 died at his home in Oregon in May, 1928. Marian is now in her 87th year.
Wm. Watrous lived to be 84 years of age and his wife Eliza died when past 92.
Six of the eight children who survived infancy attained an average age of 85 years and one is still carrying on, a really remarkable example of longevity. The girls of the family except Emma who died when 24, married young, the average age being about 19 years.
For many years, Wm. Watrous was actively engaged in lumbering sawing lumber in his mill, drawing it to Pine Creek and there making it into rafts, which in the spring were piloted down the stream to market. The spring rafting was one of the picturesque and interesting events of the year. Many tales were told of the various scyllas and charibdyses that menaced the raftsmen.
Gun Barrel Rock, the Big Bend, the Barbers, Rattle Snake Rock and many other fearsome titles embellished the tales which the hardy raftsmen told to excited youngsters and interested adults on their return from the annual spring adventure.
The saw mill was subsequently located a little more than a half-mile further up Elk Run at an almost ideal place for constructing a dam.
And then, for many years, the old fashioned upright saw ate its slow way through the logs hauled in the winter and tumbled down the high bank into the pond. Charles B. Watrous, the youngest son of William, conducted the mill.
D. K. MARSH and SARAH WATROUS
The pioneer of the Marsh family on Elk Run was Danforth Knowlton Marsh who came from Harpersville, Broome County, New York in 1847. He was twenty-one years of age on the thirtieth day of June in that year, and soon after he was competent to contract, he cast his lot with the little colony in the wilderness, carving out a home where kindness and hospitality were unfailing for more than three score years.
In 1851, on his twenty-fifth birthday he married Sarah Caroline Watrous a daughter of William Watrous. They lived together for more than sixty-one years, braving with steady courage and philosophy the discomforts of pioneer life; and year by year adding to the conveniences of their home, finally achieving a bath room and running water, comforts which in the early days were almost as remote as the millenium.
August 11, 1860, he was appointed post master at Marshfield (afterwards changed on account of other post-offices of the same name to Marshlands) a position he held for fifty-two years and two weeks, or until his death August 25, 1912, when he was past eighty-six years of age. Mrs. Marsh died November 14, 1920 at the age of eighty-eight years.
Mr. And Mrs. Marsh were the parents of the first child born on Elk Run, *Howard Marsh, who claims the right to inscribe on his escutcheon "The First Native of Elk Run". They had three other children, one of whom died in infancy, the other two, Emma Champaign and Winfred W. Marsh attaining mature years. The three live in their native County all within twenty miles of their old home.
In the early days when the forests were close and wild life abundant the bears were sometimes too numerous and officious. One year when Mr. Marsh had a corn field on the west hill an over-size bruin took his tool from the crops, one of his alleged stunts being to carry into the woods a whole shock of corn, a proceeding which all the pioneers held to be unethical and unfair and justifying punishment which they combined to inflict. With trap and rifle the marauder was dispatched and for a day he lay in state on a big wood-shod sled, an object lesson to black-coated depredators and a delight to all the boys of the community.
*Mr. Marsh is now the Judge of Tioga County.
WARREN WHETMORE and SUSAN SEGERS
Warren Whetmore came from Charleston Township and bought an uncleared farm at Knowlton Corners in 1849. He moved in 1850. The farm was then valued at $100 and he trapped enough wolves so that the bounty paid for two thirds of it. The nearest neighbors lived at Marshlands and the nearest store was at Wellsboro.
They first built a log cabin between the shop and creek, later they built the house now occupied by Robert Persing and family. They were forced to move into the new house, before it was finished, by a flood which ran into their cabin.
The maiden name of his wife was Sussin Segers. Children: Sussin married to John May, Wallace Carpenter; Eunice married to Oscar Secor; Vine married to Cora Marsh.
JAMES H. WATROUS
James H. Watrous, son of James S. Watrous and wife Betsey (Payne) Watrous, all natives of Connecticut, later of Broome County, N.Y. came to Gaines Township in the spring of 1851 locating on a 400 acre tract of timber land joining his brother’s, William, who preceded him by four years.
They moved into the log house which William had built, where they lived until their own house was completed. This was located near the present site of the buildings known as the Kjelgaard buildings. Wm. Watrous had some difficulty in securing title to the land and lived on it about a year before a deed was granted to him.
Eight children were born into this family; John Henry, Sarah (Mrs. Jesse Locke), Jennie (Mrs. Jehiel Wood, Emma (Mrs. H. M. Foote), Francis E.; Arthur J. and Charles, Emma, Mrs. Henry Foote, of Washington, D.C., is the only one remaining with us.
WILLIAM HENRY WATROUS and EMMA WILLIAMS
William H. Watrous was born in Windsor, Broome County, N.Y., on May 5, 1838. He moved to Gaines Township with his parents in 1851. At the breaking out of the Civil War he enlisted in Co., I 45, Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. During the war he suffered from sun stroke and was wounded in the left shoulder at the battle in the Wilderness. He was honorably discharged in 1865 and returned to his home on Elk Run where he began cutting the timber and clearing the land for his farm on which he lived until about 85 years of age when he moved to the present home in Watrous.
In October 1866 he married Emma Williams of Union. Six children were born to this union. Charles H. of Watrous; Nellie E. wife of M. M. Smith of Gaines; Kittie L. wife of George D. Frick of Wellsville N. Y., Ida E. Watrous; and M. Earl of Watrous, who now owns the farm which his father cleared. Mr. Watrous died Sept. 30, 1928.
JEHIEL BEACH and SALLY SHERMAN
Jehiel Beach was born at South Mountain, Smithfield Township, Bradford County, Pa., in 1808. He was well educated for that period of time and taught school when a young man. He married Sally Sherman of Springfield, Bradford County, who had lately moved there with her people from Massachusetts, her native state. It is rather an interesting fact that while Sally and her people were moving from Massachusetts in 1826, they passed through Quincy, Mass., at the time the first Railroad in the U. S. was being built.
After living in Springfield for quite a number of years, Jehiel, and family moved to Covington, Pa., where he and his eldest son John, were employed in a glass factory. In 1855 they moved to Elk Run and purchased the farm now owned by Benjamin McCracken, but which was then a veritable wilderness. There were two sons in the family, John S. and Edgar J., four daughters, Bethana, who died in infancy, Martha who became the wife of George Ballard, Rebecca, wife of Joshua Bernauer, and Mary, wife of C. E. Vermilyea, all deceased.
Soon after the Civil War broke out John entered the service and took an active part until he was taken prisoner toward the close of the war, and imprisoned at Salisbury, North Carolina, where he died. His health at the time did not permit him to endure the hardships of a rebel prison.
One time while coming home on a furlough he cut a cane from a yellow willow as he walked up Pine Creek. When he reached home he stuck the cane in the ground. From it sprung a very large willow tree still standing on the Ben McCracken farm.
Jehiel Beach passed away in 1878 while living on the farm. His wife Sally died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Joshua Bernauer, in 1899 at the age of nearly ninety-one.
HOMER RUGGLES and MERCY MORSE
Homer Ruggles cleared and lived on a farm on the ridge above the farm now occupied by Albert Smith. This farm has long been vacated, is now grown back to timber. He was born in 1793, married Mercy S. Morse and became one of the first settlers of Elk Township. While a resident of new York State he served in the war of 1812. He resided in Elk from 1854 until his death in 1865, age 72 years.
His son Daniel Ruggles was born in Chemung Co., N.Y., 1833. Was reared in Elk Township, in 1856 he bought some land there for himself. In 1858 he married Rosetta Kelly (daughter of James and Sophronia Butler Kelly) of Charleston Township.
To them were born the following children: Arthur A. of Geneva, N. Y.., Eva M. wife of Jesse Beach, of Arlington, Calif., James H. of Elmira, N.Y.., Mabel (deceased) wife of Thomas Sweet; Martha V. (deceased) wife of A. W. Stickley.
Mrs. Ruggles died in 1875 and in 1877 he married Zelia O. Colgrove (daughter of H. L. and Eliza Colgrove of Elk Township. Children: Charles D. of Geneva, N. Y., Joseph H. deceased; Emma E. deceased; Bessie L. (Mrs. Stone of Roseville, PA.) Eben C. of Toronto, Canada; Hazel R. (Mrs. R. Brace of Mansfield, PA); Lena A. deceased.
In February 1864, Mr. Ruggles enlisted at Wellsboro in Co. A. 187 Pa. Volunteers. Capt. George W. Merrick in Command. They proceeded to Harrisburg spent three weeks at Camp Curtis, then went to Washington, D. C., and joined the army of the Potomac at Cold Harbor, Va.
In Feb. 1864 this regiment was ordered to Philadelphia to recruit and do guard duty.
In following August he returned home. In 1875 on the death of his first wife he entered the employ of C. B. Watrous, of Gaines Township. And from then until his health failed, he operated a wagon shop at Gaines, having previously worked at carpentering and wagon making in Wellsboro. Mr. Ruggles died November 5, 1911 aged 78 years. The second Mrs. Ruggles died in 1907.
ETHAN STRAIT and JULIANA WRIGHT
Ethan Strait, son of Daniel and Sally (Crowl) Strait was born in Steuben County, New York. He was married Sept. 1838 to Julania Wright, daughter of Justus and Anne Wright who bore him one son, Justus D.
Mr. Strait learned the wagon makers’ trade and followed it for a number of years. In 1847 he located in Wellsboro, then in Lawrenceville. In March 1850 he settled Gaines Township on the from recently vacated by Elmer Kern, better known as the Strait place. He died in 1876.
JUSTUS D. STRAIT and ANNIE BARNHART
Justus D. Strait only child of Ethan and Juliana Strait was born in Steuben County, New York, in 1839. At the age of eight his family moved to Marshlands.
Sept. 21, 1861 Mr. Strait enlisted in Co. I 45th Pa. Volunteers and re-enlisted in the field in Dec. 31, 1863. He participated with his regiment in over thirty engagements besides a number of skirmishes. On Sept. 30, 1864, he was taken prisoner at the battle of Poplar Grove Church and was confined in prisons at Petersburg, and Richmond, Va., and Salisbury, N.C. He was exchanged Feb. 23, 1865.
After a short furlough he joined his regiment at Alexandria, Va., and was discharged at Harrisburg, Pa., July 18, 1865. While in service he was promoted to corporal and sergeant successively.
April 5, 1865 Mr. Strait was married to Annie E. Barnhart daughter of John H. and Sarah (Harrison) Barnhart. Nine children were born to this marriage.
Getta married Harvey Gardner; Ida H.; John E.: Norman I.; married Ida Watrous; Julia; Darwin C.; Eugene J., deceased; Sarah S.; Carl C., deceased.
FREDERICK ZIMMERMAN and SARA WOOD and SUSAN B. (?)
Fred Zimmerman was born in Wurtemberg, Germany in 1835. When he was 14 years of age his parents came to America making their home in Baltimore. During the years he spent there he learned the cooper’s trade from his step-father. At the age of 17 he left his home there in search of other work. He came to Elk Run and hired out to George Maynard to build roads. The road from Marshlands to Germania was one on which he worked.
His first marriage was to Sarah Wood (daughter of George Wood). To them were born five children: Louisa married Frank Brown; Eva married W. E. Kelly, a jeweler in Galeton; Nora married Robert Lewis; Laura married Ralph Farley, Joseph Terwilliger; George married Eva Ripley.
After the death of his first wife, he married Susannah B. Anderson (widow of John Anderson). To them were born four girls; Sarah married S. D. Sherman; Verna married John G. Case, George Robinson; Clara married Elmer Kern; Gertie married Pearly Reed.
Frederick more commonly known as "Fritz" to all his neighbors lived on farms on Elk Run after coming here. He cleared and settled what is known as the George McCracken farm now owned by Otto Butler. He died after a short illness at the age of 72 in 1907. Burial was made in the Knowlton Cemetery.
JOHN MAYNARD and ABIGAIL WHITNEY
John Maynard was the pioneer of the tax payers in Elk Township. He was born in Adderbury, England, Dec. 5, 1811. He came to North Adams, Mass., in 1829, was married there to Abigail Whitney in 1832, and in 1847 he and his family came to a place this side of Ansonia called Gang Mills. It took him two weeks to come. His brother Edward Maynard, a lawyer in Wellsboro at that time, got him a position in the mill there for White, Lents and White.
On March 8, 1853 he bought 2 square miles of wild land reaching from Kettle Creek to the Gaines Line. He cleared 150 acres, set out four orchards containing 1000 trees, erected dwellings, barns, etc.
Since then the following farms have been taken from that tract of land. Part of R. A. Dewey’s, Addison Dewey’s, Purhen’s, Fischler’s, Trowbridge’s, Beecher’s, Kohler’s, Waltz’s, Lorenz’s, James Farley bought the land which is now Frank Ripley’s lower orchard on the upper side of the road and Ben Freyer bought that on the lower side. Later this was owned by Schramns now by Frank Ripley.
The Maynard cemetery was given by John Maynard to the community. The first to be buried there was John Maynard’s grandson, Adolph Winkler in 1857, the next was Jimmy Maynard, son of John Maynard.
Mr. Maynard was a practicing physician, his boys doing most of the farm work. At the organization of Elk Township, he was elected justice of peace and filled the office continuously up to the time of his death. He also held nearly every other township office at different periods and was one of the commissioners chosen to select the site of the county poor farm.
Thirteen children were born to this union, May Ann married Wheeler Bratton, C. John died in childhood, John C.; Martha M. married Gustave Winkler; Marshal M. who died in Kentucky, Sept. 1863 while a member of Co., I 45th, Pa. Volunteers; Ede and Edward both died in youth; Edward E. 2nd married Emma Thompson; Reuben G. married Ettie Niles; Carrie E. married first to John C. Trowbridge, 2nd to John Purhen; Anna M. wife of Herman Perry. Three of these are living, Mrs. Carrie Purhen, Mrs. Martha Winkler and Mrs. Anna Perry.
Mr. Maynard died at his home in Elk Run, Dec 9, 1878; his widow died Oct. 22, 1884. Both were buried in Maynard Cemetery.
GEORGE MAYNARD and LUCRETIA STRICKLAND
George Maynard a native of Oxfordshire, England, came to North Adams, Mass. With his parents in 1835. He married Lucretia Strickland in 1846. In 1847 he with his wife and babe came to Gaines Township Tioga County, Pa. And went to work in Silas Billings lumber camp. They returned to North Adams, Mass., two years later.
In the year of 1854 he came to Elk Run taking up the farm where John Purhen now resides. The farm consisted of about thirty-nine acres with three or four acres of cleared land. There was a log house and a log barn which Royal Whitney a former Massachusett’s man had built. They soon built a two story frame house which burned in April 1865. Following the fire the present house was built on the same site.
The country was sparsely settled and Mr. Maynard’s brother John, who had preceded him here was his nearest neighbor.
They could often hear the howling of wolves and the cries of wild cats. Some of the animals were so bold that they would visit the barnyards and carry away some of the farmer’s stock for food. The farmers were all provided with shot guns to protect themselves and the stock both from the depredations of the wild animals and from the Indians. At this time most of the Indians were friendly and worked in lumber camps and peeling bark for the tanneries.
Of George Maynard’s nine children only five reached maturity. George E. who married Ida Allen, Franklin B., who married Ida Parson’ Mary J. who married Harry Stone; Elnora who married Charles Wilson; William who married Mary Barber.
LEVI MARSH and KEZIAH MARSH
Levi Marsh, a half-brother of D. K. Marsh, and M. P. Marsh came from Broome Co., N.Y. to Elk Run somewhat after the coming of D. K. Marsh and located adjoining the mill site of William Watrous and near the junction of Elk Run with the stream first known as Brace Run.
He married Keziah Marsh and they had six children, Walter E., Thomas D., Thomas D., Phoebe, Marys, Sarah and James. The last three all died of diphtheria, in the first epidemic of that disease.
Walter E. and Thomas D. enlisted in Co., I 45th Regiment and served with credit throughout the war. The former located in Kansas, where he died many years ago. He married Marian, the youngest daughter of William Watrous, and she is now living in Los Angeles, Calif. At the age of 87.
Thomas D. Marsh married Alice Russel, a daughter of Lucius L. Russel. He died in Wellsboro about 20 years ago.
Phoebe married John C. Maynard, a son of John Maynard who was for many years the principal reliance of the people in the event of sickness and also a trusted counselor in their various troubles.
ERWIN VERMILYEA and PHOEBE HURD
Erwin Vermilyea Sr. came to Elk Run in the year of 1859 when he purchased the farm now owned by Samuel Ripley. He was born in Otsego County, N. Y. about the year of 1818. During his early manhood he went to work at Caton Steuben County, N.Y. While there he met a very charming young lady by the name of Phoebe Ann Hurd, daughter of Nathan Hurd. In due time the young couple were married and returned to Otsego Co. to set up housekeeping. While living there Emmet the first child was born. In about a year Erwin and family returned to Caton and lived there when two daughters were born, Cynthia, June 4, 1850 and Harriet May 10, 1852.
A severe blow came to this family in 1855 when the beloved wife and mother passed away leaving three children, Emmet the eldest a lad of only twelve, and the two little girls of three and five.
After coming to Elk Run, Erv. as he was familiarly called was again married, this time to Julia Thompson of Unadilla, N. Y. Erwin and son Emmet took an active part in road building on the present Elk Run road, and also the first road over the Leetonia mountain. They also helped in the building the Old Covered Bridge.
Cynthia became the wife of Edward Maynard. Her death occurred March 15, 1891. Harriet became the wife of Allen Brewster of Lamb Creek, where she lived at the time of her death February 12, 1928.
Emmet enlisted in Battery D. 1st Pa. Light Artillery and served his county until the close of the Civil War. He was twice married, first to Mary E. Beach, who died October 26, 1911. In October 1912 he was again married this time to Clara A. Coon of Cameron, N.Y. , who still survives. To this first union were born five children: Inez deceased when a child of seven; Erwin Jr., who is now the only surviving member of the family on Elk Run, Hattie Barnhart of Marcellus, N.Y., William of Mansfield, Pa., and Nina Kennedy of International Falls, Minn.
Emmet reached the age of eighty and passed away July 19, 1923 after being a sufferer of Bright’s disease for three years.
DAVIS HISTORY - RICHARD BOND DAVIS and MARY BOWEN
Mr. James B. Davis of 4262, 44th Street, East San Diego, Calif., sent the following letters upon request. These are so well written we are printing them as received. The data is as follows:
"Should the Davis family, residing there only from May 1963 (sic) to October 1865, have a place among the old settlers?
Richard Bond Davis was born in Shiloh, New Jersey in 1799 and died on Elk Run in 1866. He married Mary Bowen, also a native of the same place. To them were born two children, Amos Wells and Mary Bowen Davis.
In 1840 the family moved to Iowa taking a claim of 160 acres of Government land where the city of Riverside now stands. While in Iowa, Amos W. married Hannah Randall, her grandfather having been a soldier in the Revolutionary War was given 160 acres of land on the upper end of Slate Island. This proving too sandy for farming he abandoned it and "came West" before Horace Greeley’s day. Richard B. Davis longing for people of his religious faith, went back East locating at Friendship, N. Y., where his wife died. He then went into the mountains of Pennsylvania, buying timber land at what is now known as Gardeau. He later married Louisa Eusign and to them was born a daughter Urania now living as the widow of Alben Krebs in the Rural Delivery of Emporium, PA. While living in the Pennsylvania mountains at the mineral spring on his property, the Indians were numerous and Richard B. did much for them and one of them did him up. The old buck had five specimens of silver ore, telling his friend Davis about the mine but never giving a definite location. Mr. Davis quized him for years until he thought he had it located on Elk Run on properties belonging to Levi Marsh or his son Walter from whom he secured mining privileges. So sure was he that he could locate silver that he sent for his son Amos who was then at Milton, Wisconsin in the vehicle business, but he moved his family of four children to Elk Run only to share in the disappointment of his father as no mineral was found in the rock which they prospected.
Those days on Elk Run were war days and tough sledding unless a person had a government job at home. Our mail was brought to Marshfield twice a week by a boy on horse back, and it was long between mails for those who had sons and husband in the army. The writer, James B. Davis, a boy of thirteen years of age when he reached Elk Run had always felt a large degree of gratitude for the influence of the people of that community. Of the many places which I have lived the people, as a whole, have never been finer, morally and spiritually than those on Elk Run. As a school teacher, Miss Emma Horvey was my ideal and I shall always feel indebted to her for the start that she gave me in fitting myself for a business career in later years.
The school house standing beside Elk Run (the dearest stream to me in all this world to-day) it’s door facing down stream with the beautiful water beech grove behind it, is a vivid memory to me now, and the pupils who were in attendance those days. Among them Allie Foote, one of the sweetest personalities that God ever gave breath of life to and she will be one of the most nearly perfect angels that God welcomes into the Celestial hour. In my visits back there twenty and eight years ago I found a new school house where the old one had stood and I was pleased to find that on each side of it the ground showed where the old building had stood. One former land mark I missed was the pine stump on which my twin brothers and I had sat to eat our lunches those summer days. Another land mark had disappeared, the Old Log House in which I am proud to have lived. My sister Ella Virgene was born in that log heap and she is proud of that too. I think it was the first house built on Elk Run and before the first Watrous saw mill was erected. It stood between the two first bridges over Elk Run just above the Chapin house in which Will Prouty later lived, since burned. When I was back there twenty years ago and a guest of Mr. And Mrs. D. K. Marsh, she told me that a tramp photographer (I was one on that trip) had taken a view’of the old Log House, from which she had mad a painting and thought the photo was with some of the family. She later secured it and mailed it to me when I had arrived home in San Diego, Calif. I had my artist, who developed and printed for me, copy it to my camera size plate 5 by 7 and have it now. I kept the view from my sister for some time, fearing her pride might be humbled in seeing the place of her birth, but on the contrary she is as proud of it as I am. She is the wife of Edward Robar, a contractor, building summer houses around beautiful Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, for Chicago millionaires. She and my brother Edgar with myself are the only ones living of the A. M. Davis family both of them residing in Wisconsin."
In the year of 1856 George Wood with his wife, four children and his aged mother came from Charleston, Tioga Co., to settle of Elk Run. The year before he had cleared about an acre of land and on it he built a one room house not larger than 16 by 18 feet. A ladder was used to reach the upper story which was very low.
In this small room the family of seven ate, slept, lived and worked for George Wood was a shoe-maker and made the shoes for most of the new colony. He also furnished some shoes for the store of D. K. Marsh.
With all the conveniences of to-day we can not conceive how a family of seven could live in a room so small, yet we are told it was always as neat and clean as any of our modern homes.
In the room were beds, a table which when not in use was tipped back against the wall, chairs, stove, spinning wheel, a shoe bench with all the tools of the trade and of corse a cupboard and many other things. The pioneers worked and were proud and happy in doing so. In summer the cooking was done out of doors over an open fire in a covered iron kettle.
In the fall of 1856, Sally Wood the aged mother died at the age of 80 years 2 months 29 days. She was buried in the small cemetery which is in the town now called Watrous, at that time a wilderness. Jehiel Wood the father died in 1830, age 59 years, twenty-six years before George Wood came to Elk Run.
By the year of 1861 several acres had been cleared and then came the Rebellion. Jehiel, then a boy of nineteen enlisted and went to war. The children they at home were Sarah Lomanda age about 18, Thomas James age 12, Ann Liza age 7 and her twin sister, Lavina Irene. In the history of the pioneers of Elk Run has been told the privations of war times added to that of the already burdened pioneer. How they survived those times the One who will carry all our burdens if we will as Him, knows.
When Jehiel received his first pay he sent to his mother two gold dollars which she always prized highly and which are still in the family passing from generation to generation.
On August 14, 1862, Sarah Lomanda was married to Fredrick Zimmerman. They lived with her parents during the was then went to a home of their own.
In April 1863 Thomas James died at the age of 13 years of diphtheria of which an epidemic was then raging, taking toll from nearly every family on Elk Run. He was buried in the new cemetery, the first to be laid to rest there. In Dec. of the same year Ann Eliza died of the same disease age 9 years.
Jehiel Wood served through the four years of war. He was taken prisoner in Sept. and taken to Andersonville, from there transferred to Salisbury and also spent some time in Libby. At this writing it is impossible to get the exact dates. He was there until April of the next year. When released he re-enlisted and served till the end of the war taking part in may battles and being honorably discharged at the close of the war. He then came home and began the work of clearing the rest of the farm.
George Wood was injured by a load of logs rolling on him so severely that he could not do very hard work. He died May 9, 1876 age 70 years.
Jehiel was married to Jennie Watrous Jan. 1, 1866. He built a new house and after his sister Lavina was married to Eli B. Wood of McKean Co. his mother came to live with them there until her death. Eunice Elvira Smith Wood, was the daughter of David and Lomanda Smith. She died March 26, 1894 age 82 years.
To Jehiel and Jennie Wood, were born nine children, one boy dying in infancy, one girl, Alice age 13 dying of spinal meningitis in 1887. Seven others reaching maturity.
Jennie Watrous Wood died Dec. 21, 1895 presumably of cancer. After her death Jehiel married Nettie Hartwell of Wysox, Pa. To them was born one child, a daughter. (In my book there is a penciled notation Ella - Rozelle died 1985)
After his second marriage he moved to Delmar, Tioga Co., and lived there until the death of Nettie Hartwell Wood which occurred Dec. 8, 1904.
Jehiel Wood died Nov. 7, 1914 of Brights disease.
Lavina Irene Wood died Jan. 22, 1926 of heart trouble. She was survived by her husband Eli Wood, who is still with us at this writing, a well preserved man of nearly 81 years. The last of the older generation of the Wood family.
MINER PARKER MARSH and CATHERINE FARNHAM
Miner P. Marsh, a brother of D. K. Marsh and two years his junior was born Oct. 9, 1827 in Colesville, N.Y.
After coming to his maturity he worked on a farm for twelve dollars a month thereby saving enough in two years to pay for the hundred acres which constituted his home.
This farm adjoining that of his brother D. K. was bought in 1857. The following year Oct. 18, 1858, he married Catherine A. Farnham and they lived together in the home still standing until his death July 2, 1906.
Mr. Marsh besides clearing up a farm, spent some time teaching school in the old Red School House which stood in practically the same place which the more modern temple of learning now adorns.
He was a careful conscientious educator and if he did not always spare the rod, he practiced more lenience than some of the not too earnest seekers after knowledge deserved.
He held many town offices, was assistant Post master, Deacon of True Hill Baptist Church for over 40 years. He was a great reader always keeping posted on matters of state and nation.
Mr. And Mrs. Marsh knew what the true pioneer life was like in those early days on Elk Run.
Mrs. Marsh died July 6, 1925, Children: Cora married A. V. Wetmore; Anna died Nov. 23, 1923; Jesse married Gertie Styres; Harry married Blanche Williams; Hugh married Hattie Gridley and Nora Focht.
Moses Robbins came to Sullivan Township, Tioga Co. from Mass. Before the Civil War. He married Hariet Hart from near Lindley, N. Y. They moved to Gaines about 1864 and Mr. Robbins worked for some time on the farm of S. X. Billings.
He then bought a 100 acre tract above Joshua Bernauer’s. This tract was divided, John Fred, his oldest son having half and the other half being retained for Mr. Robbins own home.
Seven children were born, Huldah, (penciled in M. Alois Flaigg), John Fred, Ruth Cleveland, George, Victor, Ed, Emery, all deceased.
AUGUSTUS REINWALD and CATHERINE SCHANBACHER
Augustus Reinwald was born in Nuremburg, Germany 1835. When 10 years of age he came to America with his parents in a sailing vessel being about 60 days on the ocean landing in Philadelphia. From there he went to Jersey Mills on Pine Creek.
At the beginning of the war he enlisted as a private in Capt. McDonald’s Company G. 42nd Reg. Pa. Volunteers. He was enrolled on April 25, 1861 and received a bullet wound in the face at the battle of South Mountain Sept. 1862, which terminated in partial paralysis of the right side of his face and deafness of the right ear. He was discharged from service March 21, 1863. In 1866 he came to Elk Run and settled the farm now owned by O. A. Champney. The place was first owned by Lynn Weist.
He cleared the land, burning many piles of good timber, and built a log house.
In 1872, he married Catherine Schanbacher. Their children are Fred, Charles, Frank, Walter, Lillie and Margaret who died in young womanhood.
Mr. Reinwald died in 1905 and Mrs. Reinwald’s death occurred in 1906.
FREDERICK SCHANBACHER and ELIZABETH DIEHR
Frederick Schanbacher was born at Wittenberg, Germany. In 1811 at the age of 11 years he came to New York, from there to Liberty where he spent the greater part of his life. While living in Liberty he cleared over 100 acres of land.
In 1836 he was united in marriage to Elizabeth Diehr of Liberty Township. To them twelve children were born.
Christena married Willis Rathbone.
Catherine married Augustus Reinwald.
Michal married Sara Bowersocks.
Henry married Jane Jackson.
Isreal died age 9 years.
Mary Married Henry Hubers.
William married Mary Frick.
Daniel married Sara Diehr.
Sara married George Champaign.
Conrad married Grace Jenkins.
Laura married Henry Frick.
JOHN ANDERSON and SUSANNAH McCRACKEN
John Anderson who was of German descent came from Liberty in 1868. While still very young he served a period of his life in the Civil War, was wounded and given an honorable discharge.
After his return home he married Susannah B. McCracken, daughter of John Beard and Phoebe Ann Howland McCracken. They moved at once to the place now occupied by F. C. Ripley, not into the same house, however.
After a short time they purchased the land where S. D. Sherman now lives and where Wm. R. Rumsey lived.
He cleared this himself and built a small temporary house of logs (as they then supposed) but as years went on they built additions to this home. The first log room still stands and is very firm and sound to this date.
John Wesley unmarried.
Phoebe Ann married Charles Fritchell.
Florence died very young.
William married Florence Boddy now residing in Kansas.
Albert married Ina Hurlbut.
John Anderson died at the early age of 37 years and was buried in Knowlton.
In the summer of 1858, Francis Schramn with his wife and only son, Martin, left his home in Mayence, Germany, to try his fortune in America.
The monotony of the six weeks ocean voyage was broken by their meeting and passing in mid-ocean the famous Great Eastern, engaged in laying the Atlantic cable. This was presumably the first one to be carried across and which ceased to work after a few weeks.
The family lived in Williamsburg (New York) for over two years before coming to Pennsylvania to locate on a farm near Germania. This farm adjoins the grounds of the school building later called the Kitzmeyer School. They lived on this farm until 1866 when friends induced them to move to St. Louis, Missouri. Soon after making the change, the wife and mother died, and early in 1869 the family returned to Pennsylvania.
The son, Martin, had married before going to St. Louis and after his return from Missouri purchased the farm now owned by Frank Ripley. Here the family lived during the life time of father and son.
Needless to say that the family in common with their early neighbors, suffered many hardships and knew few comforts or convenience. When flour, sugar and like commodities were obtained only by a tedious trip with one horse and wagon or more often with ox teams, going to Tioga the nearest center of supply, people became masters in the art of doing without.
With little money, and only hand tools, clearing fields, planting and harvesting the crops, required heart breaking labor for all. But the family was housed and fed, not a light task, for eleven children were born to Martin Schramn and his wife. Five sons and four daughter grew to young manhood and young womanhood on this farm. As none of the children cared to remain on the farm, but wished to take up other means to a livelihood, the farm was sold in 1904 to Mr. Ripley. The mother and younger children moved to Galeton where several of the married sons and daughters were living.
There was work enough for all in those early years, for the father and mother firmly believed that Satan still finds mischief for idle hands to do.
They were likewise firm believers in the doctorine of helpfulness to others, carefully grounding their children in the same faith. In a day when doctors were few and far away, and nurses were not; the hardworking mother was never too tired to spend the night at the bedside of suffering, to hush the first cries of the new born, or to ease the last hours of the dying.
The parents wisely encouraged their children to make the best use of the somewhat meagre facilities for obtaining an education, afforded by the little of schoolhouse by the road. Possessed of a real desire for learning and a determination to fit themselves for useful and honorable work in life, all have become respected citizens of the widely separated communities in which they live. The family growing up on the farm knew naught of many things the present generation finds so indispensable. There were no telephones or radios, no automobiles or flying machines to bring the world to their doors. Yet lacking these they had something of greater worth; hope, courage, love and laughter, the will to work and the joy of living.
ALOIS FLAIGG and HULDA ROBBINS
Alois Flaigg come from Germany in November 1868 at the age of 18, with his step-brother, Mathew Scheeley, who came directly to Wellsboro from new York.
Mr. Flaigg stayed in New York City, thinking that in a city of that size he could get work at any time but much to his disappointment did not get anything until after Christmas. Then he got a job firing in a hotel at 10 dollars a month and board but two months wages were required to pay back board bill.
He worked at this hotel until spring, leaving there to work on a farm in New Jersey for a short time. He came to Wellsboro in the fall of 1869 and worked for Charlie Herrington on a farm. The following year he went to the lumber woods in Asaph Run for Mr. Herrington as blacksmith and from there to Wellsboro and worked as blacksmith for P.G. Lyons.
In 1870 he went to Gaines and opened a blacksmith shop. Here he met Hulda A. Robbins daughter of Moses E. Robbins whom he married at Gaines January 8, 1871.
Mrs. Luman Cleveland, Canoe Camp, PA.
John F. and Mrs. Peter Omelion both deceased.
Walter of Wellsboro.
Glen of Ovelewain, Iowa.
And two died in infancy.
Mr. And Mrs. Flaigg resided here about three years and then sold the farm to D.K. Marsh. Later he bought the fifty acre farm owned by John. F. Robbins about one half mile above Joshua Bernauer’s.
Again he dealt with D. K. Marsh disposing of this farm and moved to Schodac, near Mansfield.
He now resides at Canoe Camp where he has conducted a blacksmith shop for the past 25 years. His wife died October 23, 1921.
The Bernauer family is numbered among the pioneers of Elk Run. About the time of Napoleon’s greatest power, when the principalities of Germany and other European states were forced to furnish troops to further the mad ambitions of the Emperor, Colonel Bernauer of Baden, was drafted for the Russian campaign.
All his patriotic instincts rebelled against serving the interests of him who caused his country to bleed and lie prostrate at the conqueror’s feet.
He fled to Switzerland for asylum. After a time he escaped to America by using the passport of his dead brother. Arriving at Philadelphia, he was bound out for three years to pay his passage of sixty dollars.
About 1815 he immigrated northward with a small company of three families. They came to Pine Creek and made clearings on Elk Run, which was then a wilderness.
Those were pioneer days when the wits and strength of the hardy woodsmen were pitted against the problems of a livelihood and the dangers of the forest which echoed to the screams of the panther. Wellsboro was a little clump of houses, other towns not yet located.
Under such conditions Joseph B. Bernauer was born January 8, 1833. He lumbered in pine and hemlock, drove logs, and rafted on Pine Creek and the Susquehanna.
He married Mary C. Champney of Canton. Four children blessed the union, Ada, Nellie, Edna and Frank.
On September 17, 1898 Mrs. Bernauer passed away. On November 22, 1902, he married Mrs. Elizabeth Schoonover, of Gaines. He died in the spring of 1909.
ALANSON KNOWLTON and SARA CROFUT
Alanson Knowlton, born in 1816 came from Broome Co., New York with his wife Sara Crofut, (who was born in 1831) that they might be near Mrs. Knowlton’s people who had preceded them. They came on a lumber wagon with two children. Jane, widow of Harvey Champney and Annverna who died while a little child. They purchased the farm which is now owned by B. H. Champney, from Alonzo Smith.
Annverna, the younger child died at the age of three years, five months and five days, as a result of playing in the fire. Mr. Knowlton was at the time working away from home and Mrs. Knowlton had to do the milking. She went to the barn after warning the child to stay away from the stove. While milking she heard the child scream. She rushed to the house and finding the little girl’s clothing in flames, threw the milk and some water on her. Mr. Knowlton was sent for and came as soon as possible but Vernie died that night.
Later two more children were born, Vesta who married Thomas McCracken and Gurdon, husband of Abbie Secor. The former is deceased.
Mr. Knowlton gave the lot where the Knowlton school now stands. The two older children Jane and Gurd had to walk to Marshlands to get their education.
The people made their own mittens. For work mittens they were made of deer skin which the settlers tanned themselves and clipped the hair short. The lining was knitted by the housewife. Most of the settlers made them for their own use but Mr. Knowlton made them for sale, selling them at two dollars a pair. Another popular and warm pair of gloves was made with the hands of deer skin and long wristlets of coon skin. The women and girls thought they had something fine when they got capes of clipped coon skin with muffs of the same.
VAN RANSALLER CHAMPNEY
Van Ransaller Champney was one of the three brothers who came here from France. He lived in the house now owned and occupied by De Forest Secor. He operated a plaster mill beside the bridge on the Germania road, obtaining the plaster from the old swamp by the bridge.
His children were Isaiah, V. R. Jr., Mary.
His wife died and he married a Mrs. Putnam. Their children: Harvey who married Jane Knowlton, Leuten (Deceased) never married.
The second wife died and he married Mrs. Olive Williams. To them one child was born. Julia married John Kjelgaard.
Mrs. Williams had by her first husband, Louis, Ira, Fred, Emma.
DAVID SECOR and EUNICE WHETMORE
David Secor left Roxbury, N. Y., which is on the Hudson River in 1848 or ‘49. His wife was Eunice Whetmore. When they came here they took up the Suttles place recently owned by Wright Snyder, now owned by Leonard Dickerson. Their children are Abbie, born in 1857, Fred born in 1867 and DeForest born in 1876.
Mr. Secor enlisted and served in the war. He was wounded in the battle of the Wilderness and discharged. His death occurred in 1885.
For two years after his death Mrs. Secor lived at Charleston then returned here. She died in 1911.
Secors had a two room log cabin. In one room was a large fire place and they cooked in pots hanging over it.
The lanterns in those days were square, just like a square gallon oil can. Instead of being glass they were of a metal and full of tiny holes for the light of a candle to shine through. The next kind of lanterns were square with glass sides and a candle for light. The slut lamps which were used were just small dishes with a straight piece projecting upright with a hole in to put the chains through to hand them by. Any kind of grease was put in the dish and a wick in the grease to light