History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches
By H. C. Bradsby, 1891
If You Have Photos of People Mentioned on the Page, Send Them In For Inclusion
which marriage he had four children, viz.: Francis E., married to E. T. Bull; Hattie M., married to J. Wilbur Dunn; Mary E., married to E. R. Myer, Jr., and Isaac M. She died March 16, 1882, and May .5, 1884, he was married to Emma Compton, daughter of William H. Compton, of New York City. Mr. Beebe takes a great interest in church matters, and is a Republican. He has been three times appointed postmaster of different offices in the county; he has also served council and on the election board of Rome borough. In his business career Mr. Beebe has always been successful, and left a large circle of friends wherever he has resided; he commands the esteem and respect of a large circle of friends in this his adopted country.
JOSEPH B. and GEORGE M. BEIDLEMAN, merchants, Wilawana, were born in Wilawana, this county, Joseph B. on January 25. 1853, and George M. on March 23, 1862. They are the sons of Anson and Eunice (Seeley) Beidleman, natives of New York. Anson was the son of Isaac Biedleman, who moved to this county about 1816 or 1817, when his son was seven or eight years of age, began keeping house in a log house in the northwest corner of the township of Athens, where he followed farming. Anson followed the same vocation as his father in Athens township until 1847 when, in company with D.S. Brown, he entered mercantile business; after three or four years under the firm name of Beidleman & Brown, Mr. Beidleman purchased Mr. Brown’s interest, which he continued with much success until his death, which occurred in 1880, when he was in his seventy first year; he was in the mercantile business thirty-two years, carrying a general stock for country trade. His family consisted of three sons: Joseph B., George M., and Benjamin F. (deceased). Joseph B. and George M. Beidleman were reared and educated at Wilawana; Joseph B. is yet unmarried; George M., at the age of twenty-two married Hattie L., daughter of G. H. and Catherine Sible, of Wilawana, Pa., January 21, 1884 by which union there was born to them one daughter, Mildred B. Mrs. Anson Beidleman carried on the business in her own name ten years after the death of her husband; in 1890 J.B. and G.M. took the store in their own name, and are doing a prosperous business; besides a full line of groceries and provisions, they handle extensively farming machinery, and are known under the firm name Beidleman Brothers. They are both musicians of some merit, and are much respected by their townsmen. Joseph B. has held the office of constable two terms, and now holds the important position of justice of the peace. Mrs. Beidleman, Sr., is nearly sixty-five years of age, and enjoys good health. James Seeley, her grandfather, was a Revolutionary soldier.
ALONZO E. BENJAMIN, farmer, Albany township, P.O. New Albany, was born in Asylum township, this county, May 5, 1838, a son of John V. and Betsey Elizabeth (Bennett) Benjamin, natives of Albany township and of English descent. His father was a farmer and lumberman. His grandfather, John Benjamin, also a farmer and lumberman, was a native of Goshen, Orange Co., N.Y., and was one of the pioneers of Asylum. It is thought that the great-grandfather was also a resident of Asylum, and died there at a very old age; he was a soldier of the Revolutionary War, and a pensioner; he was a man of influence. Benjamin Bennett, the grandfather on the mother’s side, at one time owned a grist and saw mill at the mouth of the creek near where W.R. Storrs now resides; he died at the age of ninety-eight years, a pensioner of the War of 1812. Our subject was reared on his father’s farm and engaged in farming in Asylum; he was ten years in Monroe township and removed to his present farm of one hundred and fifty acres, in 1881, one of the finest properties in the township. In October, 1861, he enlisted in the Civil War in Company G, Fifty-seventh P.V.I., was in active service three years and two months, and was under fire a large number of times, receiving on slight wound. He was a prisoner in Libby prison about six months; had also four brothers in the war, making five of the family serving their country at one time. He was married March 20, 1866, to Eliza Mingos, whose ancestors were among the early settlers of Towanda township. To them have been born one daughter (now deceased) and one son, Almond H., who resides with his father. Mr. Benjamin is a member of the G. A. R.; politically he is a Republican, and he is one of the most successful farmers in the township.
JAMES BENNETT, chief of police, constable and tax collector, Athens, is a native of Pike township, Bradford Co., Pa., born June 23, 1858, and is a son of Miles and Lucy (Bishop) Bennett; his father is also a native of Pike township; his mother of Susquehanna county, Pa.; the latter died June23, 1858, in her twenty-fourth year. Miles Bennett is a farmer and veterinary surgeon, was in the service during the Civil War. Ferris Bennett, the grandfather of James Bennett, was a native Connecticut, and came to this county in an early day; he died in May, 1890, at the advanced age of ninety years. James Bennett is the youngest of three children (the second child died in infancy). He received a common-school education and followed farming until 1882, when he came to Athens and was appointed chief of police, the next year he was elected constable, has been elected since that; in 1887 he was elected tax collector, and has held that position since. He was married at Skinner’s Eddy, July 19, 1879, to Miss Josephine H., daughter of Abraham M. and Melissa A. Kramer, natives of Wysox township. Abraham Kramer was a machinist and foreman in Kellogg & Maurice’s machine shops when they first started in Athens; he died in November, 1882, in his sixty-fourth year, and Mrs. Kramer resides with her daughter, Mrs. Bennett, who is the second in a family of three children; she was born in Ulster township, March, 1858. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett have an adopted daughter, Mabel L. Mr. Bennett, who is a member of the Masonic Fraternity, Rural Amity Lodge, No. 70, and of the Royal Arcanum, Sexennial League and Province and Shield; in politics he is a Republican.
W. A. BENNETT, stone dealer, Silvara was born in Wyalusing township, this county, April 20, 1850, and is a son of Levi and Cornelia J. (Baker) Bennett. Of a family of seven children he is the third; his father is still a resident of this county. The boyhood of our subject was passed on a farm, and he had the advantage of a good common-school education; at the age of eighteen he begged to learn the carpenter’s trade with James Sharer, of Pike township; and after being in his employ about one year he began contracting on his own responsibility, following that occupation until 1889. In 1867 he removed to Silvara, which has been his home since; in 1882 he built a steam saw and planing and feed mill in that village, which he still operates. In the fall of 1888 he began his stone operations, leasing a tract of land close to the village, and opened what is now known as Bennett’s quarry; this is the Blue Stone Quarry where he quarries a superior article of flag and curb stone; he operates this during the summer and lumbers in the winter, thus furnishing steady employment for about twelve men. In his work in the quarry he cuts and ships on an average four car-loads of stone per week, finding market for the same in the cities of the Lackawanna Valley and New Jersey. Mr. Bennett is also an extensive land owner, having a tract of about one hundred and eighty acres of land mostly covered by a growth of fine timber. He was united in marriage, December 17, 1870, with Susan Smith, a daughter of William Smith, of New York, and this union has been blessed with three children: Frennie, Elgie and Clair. Politically Mr. Bennett is a Republican, and has filled the various township offices. He is decidedly a self-made man, and by hard toil and close application to business he has amassed a considerable fortune which under his careful guidance is constantly increasing.
JOHN GASKIN BENSLEY, farmer, Wysox township, P.O. Towanda, was born in Tioga county, N.Y., July 30, 1831, and is a son of John and Mary (Ross) Bensley, natives of Pennsylvania. In his father’s family there were five children, of whom our subject is the fourth. John Gaskin Bensley began life for himself at twenty-one, and was engaged in lumbering fifteen years upon the West branch of the Susquehanna; then located on a farm in Pike township, where he remained five years, and was then engaged in the mercantile business at LeRaysville five years, and in 1879 he removed to his present home. Mr. Bensley was married October 1, 1864, to Miss Althea L., daughter of George and Lydia (Dwight) Judd, and they have had born to them three children; George Judd, born August 4, 1865 (is professor in Lowell’s Commercial College, at Binghamton, N.Y.); Mertie Belle, born August 5, 1868, and Ward Eugene, born October 28, 1872, and died September 16, 1884. Mr. Bensley is a Sir Knight Templar, and in politics he is a Republican.
ALVIN L. BERRY, farmer, Springfield township, P. O. Berrytown, was born January 16, 1836, on the farm where he now resides, a son of Almond and Clarissa (Severence) Berry, the former of whom was reared in Otsego county, N.Y., and removed to this county in 1825 from Danby, Tompkins Co., N.Y., with his brothers, Woodard and Leaman, and they each cleared large farms. The father was a man of sterling worth and influence in his time. He had a family of seven children, and died at the age of sixty-seven years; the mother also died at the age of sixty-seven. Mr. Berry’s grandfather, Severence, was cook for Gen. Washington in the beginning of the Revolutionary War, when only seventeen years of age, and was afterward a soldier in the ranks serving in the war seven years. Alvin L. Berry was married to Eunice Harkness, who was born February 12, 1840, a daughter of Hiram and Lorinda (Boughton) Harkness, of South Creek township. Her father was the first white male child born in the town of Springfield, and his father, John Harkness, was the first settler in the place, having come here from Massachusetts in 1803. Mrs. Berry’s father died October 23, 1866, at the age of sixty-one years, and her mother in April, 1890, at the age of eighty-two. Mr. and Mrs. Berry have had two children: Grace E., born December 9, 1869, and Mattie L., born December 6, 1873. Mr. Berry lives on the old homestead, a fine farm of one hundred and sixty-six acres; his principal business is dairying, and he has one of the finest herds of Jersey cows in the county. Politically he is a Republican, and takes an active interest in the affairs of his party; has held several positions of public trust, and is considered one of the substantial men of the county.
WOODARD BERRY, farmer, P. O. Berrytown, was born March 29, 1830, on the farm where he now resides in Springfield township, a son of Woodard and Rhoda (Cass) Berry, natives of Otsego Co., N.Y., and who came to Springfield township, this county, from Danby, Tompkins Co., N.Y., in 1825. The grandfather, who was a native of Vermont, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and died in Springfield township, this county, at a very old age; the father, Woodard Berry, with his two brothers, Almond and Leaman, were the first settlers in this part of the township, and each cleared large farms. The father, who was one of the substantial men of Berrytown in his day, was twice married. His first wife died at the age of fifty-eight years, and he then married Anna Cass, who died at the advanced age of eighty-one years, he himself passing away when aged seventy-six. Mr. And Mrs. Berry were consistent Christians, he a Baptist in belief, and she a member of the Wesleyan Methodist Church. Our subject, who is the fifth in a family of seven children, all living, was reared on the farm. On May 19, 1855, he was married to Mary A. Smith, who was born April 21, 1836, a daughter of Nicholas and Anna (Avery) Smith, of Springfield, this county, natives of New York, former of whom, who was a farmer, died aged eighty-one, and the latter at the age of forty years. Mr. and Mrs. Berry have had born to them four children, as follows: Ada A., born March 11, 1856, wife of John Gordon; Jay W. born May 30, 1859, married to Laura Cornell; Ruth, born December 31, 1869, and Lamont, born April 21, 1874. Mr. Berry has a prime farm of 160 acres (the old homestead), has a dairy and raises some fine horses and Short-horn cattle. In politics he is a Republican, and takes an active interest in the affairs of his party; has held several offices of public trust; has been postmaster since 1889. The family are members of the Wesleyan Methodist Church.
JOHN BESLEY, farmer, P. O. Columbia Cross Roads, was born in Columbia township, this county, February 3, 1851, and is a son of John W. and Hettie M. (Swayze) Besley. His paternal grandparents were Oliver and Rhoda (Westbrook) Besley, natives of France and New York, respectively, and who were pioneers of Columbia township, settling on the farm now owned by the subject, which they cleared and improved and there died. John W., father of our subject, who was also a native of Columbia township, always followed farming, and died on the farm now occupied by his son Gabe C., his wife was a daughter of Obadiah and Elizabeth (Beamer) Swayze, of New Jersey, and by her he had three sons: Oliver B., John and Gabe C. John Besley was reared in Columbia township, and resides on the old homestead of the paternal grandfather. In 1876 he married Mertie, daughter of O. B. and Emily (McClelland) Howland, of Columbia township, and they have four children: Lena E., John O., Edith L., and E. Gabe. Mr. Besley is a member of the Presbyterian Church; in politics he is a Republican.
WILLIAM W. BESLEY, farmer and stock dealer, of Columbia township, P. O. Columbia Cross Roads, was born in Columbia township, this county, November 16, 1849, and is a son of Oliver O. and Susan (Wolfe) Besley; his paternal grandparents were Isaac and Rebecca (Watkins) Besley, and his great-grandparents were Oliver and Rhoda (Westbrook) Besley. Oliver and Isaac Besley, who were both pioneers of Columbia township, cleared farms and died there. The children of Oliver and Rhoda (Westbrook) Besley were as follows: John W., Isaac, Elias, Susan (Mrs. Bateman Monro), Sophia (Mrs. James Fries), Elthera (Mrs. Peter S. Furman), Mary A. (Mrs. William Strait) and Catherine (Mrs. Jacob Fries). The children of Isaac and Rebecca (Watkins) Besley were Oliver O., Philo W., George N., Clayton O., Polly (Mrs. Elnathan McClelland), Ada (Mrs. Albert Campbell), Esther A., (Mrs. William H. McClelland). Oliver O., the father of our subject, was born in Columbia township, and died there; he cleared several farms, and was also a dealer in stock; his wife was a daughter of George and Leefe (Kennedy) Wolfe, and granddaughter of Michael and Elizabeth (Furman) Wolfe, who settled in Columbia township in 1813. Oliver O. and Susan (Wolfe) Besley became the parents of seven children, of whom three grew to maturity: William W., George D. and Isaac. William W. Besley was reared in Columbia township, where he has always resided, and since attaining his majority has been engaged in business for himself as a farmer and stock dealer. He married June 3, Hiza, daughter of Andrew Fraley, of Springfield township, and has one son, Frank. Mr. Besley is one of the prominent and enterprising citizens of Columbia township, and in politics he is a Democrat.
FRANCIS EUGENE BESSEY, pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Rome, was born in Monroeton, this county, November 22, 1850, and is the son of George and Amanda (Staples) Bessey, the former of whom was a farmer and lumberman, a native of New York, and the latter a native of Connecticut, both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church; their family consisted of three children: Albert, a machinist; Herman, superintendent of schools at Delaware, and Francis Eugene. The father came to this county about the year 1846, and resided here until his death in 1866; the mother died one year before him in Fairfax county, Va., aged fifty. The boyhood of our subject up to his twelfth year was spent in Monroeton township, where he attended the public schools; then removed with his mother to Washington, D.C. and studied in Columbia University three years, after which he entered the Crazer Theological Seminary, and was graduated in May, 1876. Then went to Union, N.Y., where he remained about two years, after which he removed to Hancock, N.Y., whence after four years he came to Rome where he has since remained. Mr. Bessey was united in marriage, April 17, 1888, with Sophronie R., daughter of Hiram and Jane (Ridgeway) Woodburn, of Rome township, this county. Mr. Bessey’s present charge includes Rome and Orwell. As a minister he has been very successful in winning the love and esteem of his congregation where he has been. He is a member of the International Fraternal Alliance, of Baltimore, Md., and in his political views was formerly a Republican, but now leans strongly toward the Prohibition party.
JEROME E. BEST, merchant, South Warren, is a native of Potter county, Pa., born September 3, 1861, and is a son of William and Elizabeth (Epley) Best, natives of New York, farmers, born of German extraction; the father died in 1863, the mother is a resident of Warren Centre. They were the parents of five children, of whom Jerome E., the fourth in the order of birth, was reared in Jackson Valley, Susquehanna Co., Pa., where he received his education, but was more at work than in the school books, and when old enough he was apprenticed and learned the blacksmith’s trade, but in time he quit the anvil and commenced merchandising in South Warren, which he has carried on very successfully, and now has the only store in that part of the county, keeping a general assortment suitable to the surrounding country trade, and a full and general assortment for all his custom. He was married in LeRaysville, in 1884, to Abbie Currier, daughter of David and Jane (Gamble) Currier, natives of this State, and of English and Irish descent. To Mr. And Mrs. Best were born two children: Maud and Lorena. Mr. Best is a Republican in politics, and is recognized as one of the eminently respectable citizens of Bradford county.
JOHN A. BILES is a farmer and teacher, of Wyalusing township, P. O. Homet’s Ferry. The family from which this gentleman is descended has occupied a prominent position in the pioneer history of the State, as well of Bradford county. The names first sprang into notice in 1678 or 1679, two brothers, William and Charles, coming from Dorchester, England and settling in Bucks county. The elder brother, William, was an extensive land holder there, and occupied a prominent position in early Colonial times; he brought with him his wife and family of seven children, and two servants, settling close to the falls of the Delaware. He purchased a large plantation from William Penn, also an island in the Delaware river, of the Indians, the deed being confirmed to him March 19, 1729. He was elected to the council of Philadelphia in the spring of 1682, and his name is also found among the signatures of the Great Charter. The first meeting of the Friends in that county was held May 2, 1683, at his house, which was constructed of brick, imported from England. He died in 1710, and was succeeded by his son William. The family have occupied prominent positions in different sections of the State.
Henry Biles was a native of Trenton, N.J., but while a young man he immigrated to Smithfield township, Monroe Co., Pa., and then, in his old age, about the year 1812, removed to the vicinity of Pittsburg where he died about 1820, aged about seventy years. He married Phebe Patterson, and had a family of seven children, viz.: John, Charles, William, Robert and Henry (twins), Alexander (grandfather of subject) and Benjamin. He was married (the second time) to Miss Broadhead, by whom he had two children, Polly and Betsey. Of the sons: John and Charles followed surveying; William became a lawyer; Robert a farmer, Henry was a cripple, and Alexander was a printer. Alexander, the grandfather, was born October 28, 1783, married Roseanna Place, September 14, 1801, and died March 28, 185l; they had the following children: John, born January 2, 1802, married to Sallie Bramhall, February 13, 1825, and died February 6, 1880; Eleanor, born April 28, 1805, married to Jacob Strunk, January 17, 1823, and died May 22, 1878; Phebe, born February 27, 1807, married to Chandler T. Baldwin, September 12, 1830, and died July 10, 1831; Samuel W., born January 19, 1809, married to Matilda Jane Ennis, February 13, 1834, died May 1, 1859; James A., born November 22, 1810, married to Lizzie VanNoy, March 8, 1836, died November 6, 1877; Charles, born October 11, 1812, married to Jane VanNoy, April 24, 1838, a resident of Wyalusing; Polly, born April 27, 1814, married September 12, 1833, to Chandler T. Baldwin, the husband of her deceased sister, Phebe, died February 19, 1856; Jacob P. (father of subject), born January 29, 1816, married to Mary Bunnell, August15, 1839, died April 25, 1890; Rebecca, born April 19, 1818, married to James Depew, February 5, 1844, died May 9, 1857; Elizabeth and Alexander (twins), born February 8, 1820, died in infancy; George, born July 20, 1821, married to Almedia Camp, December 12, 1843, died April 16, 1869; Lewis, born June 19, 1823, married to Catherine VanNoy, January 29, 1850, resides in Wyalusing; Betsey, born May 12, 1826, married to Calvin Camp, May 12, 1847, live at Camptown. Samuel W. Biles had eleven children, all of whom are deceased except one, George, who lives in Meshoppen. Jacob P. Biles, father of our subject, had the following children: Helen M., born January 11, 1844, married to Alan Hover, May 15, 1873; James M., born September 3, 1845, married to Millie Wilson, August 7, 1870; Aaron, born September 10, 1847, died October 11, 1862; Mary, born December 16, 1849, died November 7, 1862; Sarah, born May 10, 1851, died May 7, 1853; Emily A., born May 14, 1853, died March 17, 1872; Anna E., born October 31, 1855, died March 15, 1870; John A. and Jacob M. (twins), born February 16, 1858; Jacob married to Ida M. Quick, November 29, 1882, and is now a physician at Meshoppen. Jacob P. Biles, the father, was captain for three years, from September 17, 1842 to 1845, in the Union Light Infantry, Fourth Volunteer Battalion, Second Brigade, Ninth Division of Pennsylvania Militia. John A. Biles married Sarah E. Kerrick, of Asylum, October 21, 1884; Martin L., born November 28, 1860, died May 1, 1884; Elmore L., born August 17, 1863, died June 13, 1885; Albert S., born July 25, 1866, died April 23, 1872. Mr. Biles is the father of the following children: Elmore II., born June 15, 1885; Frank V., born August 1, 1887, and Clarence E., born December 9, 1889. The father of the subject was an extensive land owner, and one of the best farmers of the county; a Christian gentleman, and at one time was connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church, but severed his connection on account of some church quarrel, and never again united with any church. His farm was one of the neatest in the neighborhood, noted for fine farms. Although a man of limited education, he was a great reader, and kept thoroughly posted on all the leading questions of the day. He resided on the old homestead, now occupied by his son, from 1839 until his death, and reared a family of twelve children, eight of whom are dead, and four still living have become successful men and women. John A. Biles was born and reared on a farm, and educated in the common schools, at Keystone Academy, and at the Susquehanna Collegiate Institute, having graduated from the latter in 1889. He has followed teaching part of the time during the past ten years; is also a practical surveyor, and follows that, to a considerable extent; is a farmer and owns about seventy acres of the old homestead, having always lived there, with the exception of from November, 1887, to May, 1890. He is a member of the Baptist Church of Camptown, of the Patrons of Industry, and is a Republican, taking active part in politics, but seeking no political emoluments.
CHARLES BILES, farmer, of Wyalusing township, P.O. Homet’s Ferry. This gentleman, who is one of the pioneers of his section, was born in what is now Monroe (then Northampton) county, Pa., October 11, 1812, a son of Alexander P. and Rosanna (Place) Biles. His parents had a family of fifteen children, of whom three are now living, he being the eldest of the three; Lewis is a farmer, and Betsie married Calvin Camp, whom she survives, and now resides at Camptown; Our subject came to this county with his parents when twelve years old, and for a short period resided on Vaughn hill, on the farm now owned by S. S. Butts; from there they removed to Frenchtown, and there remained four years; then for three or four years they made their home on the premises now owned by George Homet, at Homet’s Ferry, and then removed to the farm where Lewis Biles now lives, where they passed the rest of their days. This section was a wilderness at that time, and amid such surroundings young Charles was reared, having but poor facilities for acquiring an education. Leaving home when about twenty-one years of age, he built a small house on a clearing, where his present residence now stands, and started for himself, spending the next ten years clearing the land and fitting it for cultivation. He leased a sawmill, and for one year was engaged in sawing lumber and rafting the same down the Susquehanna. After undergoing the usual hardships of the early pioneer, and perhaps far more than his share, he at last developed a farm of eighty-four acres, as fine as the county affords, and, having secured a comfortable competence, retired from active business, and, under the care of his daughter Emma, is prepared to pass his declining years in comfort. He was united in marriage April 24, 1838, with Jane Van Noy, daughter of Peter Van Noy, of Sussex county, N. J., and this union was blest with six children, viz.: Adelia, married to N. A. Fuller, Elizabeth (deceased), Lindly (deceased), Peter A., Emma V., and Delphine, married to J. M. Irvine. His wife died in 1877, since which time his daughter Emma has cared for him. Mr. Biles has been a life-long Democrat, an earnest worker for his party, but never a place seeker; his life has been one of hard and continuous toil, starting in life with no resources but good health and an earnest desire to succeed, he has secured a comfortable home and a fortune ample for his needs.
P. A. BILES, farmer and stock grower, of Wyalusing township, P.O. Homet’s Ferry, was born on the farm where he now resides, June 12, 1850, a son of Charles Biles. He was born and reared on the farm and attended the common schools of the neighborhood until attaining his majority. Mr. Biles was married, March 26, 1872, to Margaret, daughter of Andrew and Margaret (Bush) Wilson, of Wyalusing township, and to them have been born three children, viz.: Lizzie, Charles and Scott. Politically Mr. Biles is a Democrat, and now fills the office of school director. He has always resided on the farm and been a successful business man.
ALONZO A. BISHOP, Wysox, is a descendant of one of the pioneer families of this county. His father was Elihu Bishop, a tanner, who settled in Wysox township in 1803, and established a tannery on his place. The mother of our subject was Mary (Sweetlan) Bishop; both parents were of Connecticut; they had a family of four children. The father returned to Troy, N.Y., after a short residence, but soon went back to Wysox, where he died in 1857. Alonzo A., who is the youngest and only surviving member of their family, was born in Wysox township, this county, February 29, 1808, and attended school in the old frame church; he operated a tannery and made shoes, and was thus engaged fifty-five years. He was noted for his integrity and honesty as a workman, and his products always found a ready sale at home, from those who knew him best. Mr. Bishop has farmed, for some years, a portion of his land, which he paid $102 per acre for, and during the Civil War he was offered $200 for it, and refused the offer which was, possibly, all it was worth; but the old homestead was not parted with, and here he has spent over fifty years of his long life. He has retired from active labor, and, in the gentle evening of his life, feels more and more attached to the dear old home. He was married in Wysox, one bright Sabbath day in March, 1830, to Eveline B., daughter of Shepard and Sarah (Coolbaugh) Pierce, natives of Pennsylvania, of German and English descent, who came to Bradford county in 1806, and settled in Wysox, where he took up four hundred acres of valuable land, and, for many years, was the most extensive farmer in this communitiy. Mr. and Mrs. Bishop have spent many years of their lives in Wysox, where they reared a family of seven children. Alfred S., the eldest, was born August 26, 1831, and is now a resident of the "Sunny South", where he was when the Civil War broke out; and if his father, who is a Republican, could have seen the name of Alfred S. Bishop on the Confederate roll, he would have felt that his boy was lost . The next, Frances M., born January 23, 1833, married Durius Williams, both deceased in 1880. Edward R., born September 18, 1835, is superintendent of the home farm, and is unmarried; he attended the district school and Williamsport College; is active in local politics, and has held most of the offices in Wysox,; served as collector for twenty years in Wysox township, is a Republican, a Mason, and a member of the Grange, and is well informed and a diligent reader. Elizabeth S., born May 14, 1837, is the wife of Jesse R. Smith. Mary, deceased, was born December 5, 1838, and became the wife of Robert Austin; her death occurred in 1862. Joseph W. was born April 28, 1840, and is in the employment of the LehighValley R. R. Co. Sheperd E., the youngest, was born August 21, 1846. Mrs. Bishop is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Bishop served twenty years as a member of the school board in Wysox; was a drummer and bugle major in the rifle company there many years.
JOSEPH W. BISHOP, chief clerk, general office of the L.V.R.R., Sayre, is a native of Wysox township, this county, born April 28, 1840, and is a son of Alonzo and Evaline (Pierce) Bishop, the former from Connecticut and the latter born in Bradford county. The father was a mechanic, and operated a tannery in Wysox township, where the son grew to his majority and had the advantages of the public schools. He was also a student in the Collegiate Institute, Towanda. In 1867 he was employed by the L.V.R.R. Company, and was with the corps of engineers in the construction thereof, and until it was built, when he became the Towanda station agent. He was soon, however, transferred to the superintendent’s office, Towanda, where he remained from 1871 to 1876, when the general offices of the company were transferred to their present place, Sayre, and he came with them and continued in the same service. Joseph W. Bishop and Mary H. Wells were joined in marriage at Meshoppen, Wyoming county, in 1872. She is a daughter of Dr. Nathan and Mary (Horton) Wells, the former of whom was born in Orange county, N.Y., and died in July 1886; the latter, a native of this county, survives. In their family there were three daughters and one son, Mrs. Bishop being next the youngest, born October 31, 1850. Mr. And Mrs. Joseph W. Bishop have had children as follows: Louise W., Katherine W., Nathan Wells (deceased), and Howard Elmer. Mrs. Bishop is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Bishop is a member of the K. and P. and of the Iron Hall, and is a member of the Democratic party. The family are widely known and highly respected.
G. M. BIXBY (deceased) was, during life, one of Wyalusing’s most successful and highly respected business men. He was born in Campbell, Steuben Co., N.Y., October 30, 1820, a son of Solomon and Lucy (French) Bixby, the former of whom was a native of Connecticut, and by trade a shoemaker, died in Steuben county, N.Y., May 7, 1843. His family comprised six children, of whom G.M. is the only one that ever lived in Bradford county. The father, after the death of his first wife, married a second time, and G. M. Bixby then went to live with his uncle, a hardware merchant of Rochester, N.Y.; he was educated in the public schools of that city, and, after finishing his schooling became a clerk in his uncle’s store, where he remained a few years, and then entered the hardware business for himself, in Rochester, N.Y., where he remained until 1853, when he sold, and removed to Wyalusing, and conducted a general store and lumber business for C. F. Welles. After a few years he embarked in business for himself here, conducting a general store, and dealing extensively in lumber; then, in January, 1876, he opened the first and only bank at Wyalusing, conducting the same until his death, July 26, 1880. He had acquired extensive real estate interests in Wyalusing and adjoining townships, as well as several valuable pieces of property in the borough. Starting in life a poor boy, without aid he accumulated a fortune, being eminently successful, and was renowned for his exactness and scrupulous honesty. Socially, he was loved and honored by all. Mr. Bixby was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and an earnest worker, was Sunday-school superintendent many years, and was always a liberal contributor to all benevolent or religious enterprises. His death left a void that was difficult to fill. He was united in marriage, September 15, 1874, with Clara Dunklee, and to them were born two children: Robert M., born March 14, 1876 – a student at Miller’s School of Commerce, Elmira; and Bradford H., born October 14, 1879. After her husband’s death, Mrs. Bixby assumed the management of his large estate, which she has conducted with consummate skill and judgment; she is a member of and an earnest worker in the Baptist Church of Wyalusing.
HARRISON BLACK, farmer and stock grower, of Wyalusing township, P.O. Wyalusing, was born in Wyalusing township, this county, December 4, 1825, a son of John H. and Hannah (Ackley) Black. John H. Black was born, of Irish parentage, in the township where he was a farmer and mill owner, clearing a large amount of land and fitting it for cultivation. He died April 2, 1878; his wife had died in May, the previous year; of their family of six children, three only survive, viz., Harrison, N.A. and Nancy P., wife of John I. Ingham, architect, of Elmira. Harrison Black attended school at Merryall, and had but limited educational advantages; his boyhood was passed in the woods and in the mills of his father, and when twenty-three years of age he started out for himself as a farmer, which occupation he has followed until the present time. In 1846 he purchased a farm containing one hundred and twenty-five acres, which he has since added to until he now owns one hundred and ninety acres of land, a large portion of it being covered with fine timber. He does a general farm business; his farm is beautifully located and well improved, and stocked with Holstein and Jersey cattle, and horses. He was married March 28, 1849, to Henrietta M. Gregory, and they have a family of three sons; C.H., a farmer of Wyalusing, who married Carrie Spencer; G.L., educated at they Wyoming Seminary and now a surveyor and mine superintendent of Wyoming, and John G., a railroad engineer of Rock Springs, Wyoming. Mr. Black has had to depend largely on his own resources, and has long filled a foremost place in the ranks of Bradford county’s most successful farmers. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he fills the position of trustee; he is a charter member of Wyalusing Lodge No. 508; of the I.O.O.F. at Camptown, has taken all subordinate degrees, and has passed all the chairs; in politics he is a Democrat, and he has filled all the various town offices, being at present town commissioner.
JOHN BLACK, retired farmer, of Pike township, P.O. LeRaysville, was born in Yorkshire, England, December 11, 1813, a son of William and Ann (Spencer) Black, woolen manufacturers. The family came to America in 1819, and on account of the English law forbidding mechanics to immigrate to America, he father passed himself as a gardener; he worked at his trade successively in Kingston, Muncy (then called Pennsborough) and Monroeton. In 1830 he purchased the farm on which John now lives, and built what is known as the Haigh Woolen Mill, which he sold to Joseph Haigh and L.L. Stuart in 1846; afterward he went to Carroll county, Ill., where he and his wife died in 1870. John Black attended the district school in Pike township, also the LeRaysville borough school, and at the age of twenty-five began life for himself by going on a farm one mile east, and in 1857 he bought of his father the homestead where he now lives. Besides attending to his farm he has dealt in real estate in Bradford county, but chiefly in the West. In 1838 he married his first wife, Harriet, daughter of Dr. Lemuel C. and Lucy Belding, natives of Vermont; she died in 1847, and in 1848 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Uri and Phoebe (Barber) Cook. They have two children: Harriet E., born May 28, 1849, married to Paul C. Stern, an importer of toys and fancy goods in New York City, and Phoebe A., born September 10, 1853, married to George W. Buck, a real estate agent in Duluth, Minn. In his religious views Mr. Black is a Swedenborgian, and in politics he is a Republican. Mrs. Black is a member of the Congregational Church at Potterville.
John H. Black, farmer, of Tuscarora township, P.O. Spring Hill, was born on his present hojme March 20, 1842, and was educated in the common schools and at the Academy at Wyalusing, Pa. He is a son of Davis Dimmock and Lois (Marsh) Black, of New England origin, the former of whom was born in Wyalusing township, this county, March 22, 1808; came to Spring Hill in 1830, purchased 106 acres of land (now owned by his son John H.), and died June 17, 1878, highly regarded by all who knew him. He was a man of strict business integrity, and a true patriot. He was a son of Joseph Black, who was born in Colchester, Conn., June 24, 1762, and married Alice Wells, whose father was a victim of the Wyoming massacre. Joseph Black settled in Wyalusing in 1807, purchased over six hundred acres of land for $37 and at one time owned the only gristmill between Athens and Wilkes-Barre; he also owned one of the first sawmills in Wyalusing.
John H. Black enlisted at Canton, March 30, 1864, in Company G, Second Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Heavy Artillery, and was in the following battles; Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North Ann River, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and several minor engagements, during which his regiment lost over eight hundred men. On July 12, 1864, he was taken sick and sent to City Point Hospital, from there to Mount Pleasant Hospital, Washington, C.C.; after a time his health had so far improved that he was detailed to do light duty about the hospital, and for six months he had charge of the dead house at Mount Pleasant. He was discharged August 3, 1865, and returned to Spring Hill, where he has since been engaged in business, when his health would permit. On July 4, 1866, Mr. Black was married to Sarah A. Bolles, by whom he had two children: George Melville, born July 7, 1867, died July 1, 1875, and Sarah Blennie, born February 3, 1874. This wife dying February 11, 1874, Mr. Black then married Marietta R., daughter of John F. and Malissa (Elliott) Dodge, of Terrytown. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Spring Hill, and in politics he is a Republican, and a strong advocate of Prohibition. He has been general agent for the Farmers’ Mutual Fire Insurance Company thirteen years, and it may be truly said of him that he is a gentleman of high standing in the community where he lives, and an earnest supporter of good government and all honest enterprises.
N. A. BLACK, retired merchant, Wyalusing, was born on the old Black Homestead at Merryall, this county, December 5, 1835, a son of John H. Black, a native of Exeter, Luzerne county, and Hannah (Ackley) Black, of Bradford county. His father was a farmer who passed his life on the old homestead, and had the following children: Harrison, of Wyalusing; George, deceased; Benjamin, deceased; Nancy, married to J. Q. Ingham, of Elmira, and N.A. Our subject was born and reared on a farm, educated in the public schools of Wyalusing, and upon reaching his majority engaged in farming, residing on the old homestead until 1885, when he removed to Hazelton, and for two years was proprietor and operator of a hat factory there; then embarked in mercantile pursuits, and conducted a produce store until the spring of 1891, when he sold his interests and returned to Wyalusing, purchasing property of L.D. Little, which he improved and made into as comfortable and elegant a home as the borough contains. He enlisted in the service of his country, October 15, 1862, in Company D, One Hundred and Seventy-first Regiment, P.V.I., and was discharged August 15, 1863, by expiration of term of service. He served on detached duty, and so escaped the hard battles, but was engaged in several severe skirmishes during his service, losing his health, and is now, in the prime of life, unable to engage in any active occupation. He was united in marriage, June 3, 1861, with Lizzie Billings, daughter of Samuel Billings, of Wyalusing, who was married twice, first to Elizabeth Stork, and Mrs. Black is a child by this marriage. The family worship at the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which Mrs. Black is an active member. Mr. Black is a member of Franklin Lodge, No. 263, F. & A. M., and has taken the degree of Master Mason; he is identified with the Democratic party, yet takes but small interest in politics.
GEORGE W. BLACKMAN was born in Sheshequin, this county, February 19, 1831, a son of Franklin and Sybil (Beardsley) Blackman. The father was born in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne county, Pa., and came to Sheshequin with his father, Ichabod Blackman, when three years old, settling at the place known as Blackman’s Ferry, opposite the mouth of Sugar creek. Six years after the settlement of the father of Franklin Blackman was drowned near the mouth of Sugar creek. The sons and daughter of Franlin were ten in number, the subject of this sketch being the youngest.
He received a common-school education, and at the age of nineteen commenced teaching; his first school wastaught at Franklindale, and the first pupil that interviewed him was Thomas Ryan, who afterward became famous as member of Congress from Kansas, and is at this writing Minister to Mexico. He followed teaching for several winters, until 1856, when he married Ada M. Kinney, daughter of Guy Kinney, Esq., and to this union was born one son, Harry L., now of Streator, Ill. Mrs. Blackman died in February 1869, and he married Miss Margaret E. Hillis, daughter of Richard Hillis, of Herrick. He held many places of trust in his native town, having been twice elected justice of the peace, three times assessor, and nine years school director, and during the full term of nine years was secretary of the school board; during his term of office ten new school-houses were erected. In 1873 he was elected district deputy grand master of the I. O. O. F., and was re-elected for five successive years. When he took charge of the office there were eleven Lodges in the county, with a membership of eleven hundred; at the close of his terms, 1878, there were twenty-seven lodges, with a membership of twenty-four hundred. In 1878 he was nominated and elected pro-thonotary, and moved to Towanda, taking charge of the office January 6, 1879; he was renominated in 1881 without opposition, and elected by an increased majority. Notwithstanding the difficult positions he had held in his native town, but fifty-five votes werecast against him, of a total vote of nearly four hundred. In 1886, by vacancy in the office of assessor, the county commissioners appointed him to fill the vacancy, and has held the office since by election, without opposition (borough of Towanda). He has held the responsible position of treasurer of the Bradford County Agricultural Society for the past five years, and also the first and present treasurer of the Towanda Electric Illuminating Company. He is now following his favorite occupation, that of farming, having purchased the valuable home of M. Ward, in the borough of Towanda; he also owns the old homestead in his native town, Sheshequin.
JOHN BLACKWELL, farmer, P.O. West Burlington, was born April 5, 1823, in Lycoming county, Pa., a son of John and Sarah W. Blackwell, both of whom were born in England and removed to America with their parents when children, settling in the English colony on Pine creek, where our subject was born. The grandfather and father were farmers and lumbermen. In 1826 these families removed to Bradford county and located in the wilderness in West Burlington township, being among the first settlers, and experienced all the privations of pioneer life. John and Sarah Blackwell’s family consisted of six children, of whom our subject is the fifth. The father was a man of influence in his time, holding public positions until the time of his death, which occurred when he was aged seventy-four years. The subject of these lines was reared on the farm, has always been a very industrious and persevering man, and has accumulated a fine property, being now the owner of a farm of one hundred and seventy-five acres, where he has a fine dairy, and raises sheep and cattle quite extensively. He was married April 7, 1847, to Lucy Phelps, of West Burlington, by whom he has had six children, as follows: Alfred C., a merchant, married to Emma Rockwell; Delos, a farmer, married to Maryette Mosier; Willis, of Elmira, N.Y., married to Jennie Farnsworth; George, Syracuse, N.Y., a salesman, married to Etta Pruyne; Helen, wife of Dix Ballard, and Isadore, wife of Delos Rockwell. Mr. Blackwell is a staunch Republican as was his father, holds the position of assessor, and has occupied several offices of public trust. He is one of the substantial and honored citizens of the town.
THOMAS BLACKWELL, farmer, P.O. Troy, was born January 16, 1816, on Pine creek, near Jersey Shore, Lycoming Co., Pa., and is a son of John and Sarah J. (Wells) Blackwell, and grandson of Thomas Blackwell, all natives of England. His parents settled on Pine creek in pioneer days, first engaged in farming, and for some time kept hotel at Roaring Branch. In 1828 they settled in Burlington township, this county, where the father purchased a farm, and kept adding to it until he had accumulated nearly 500 acres, cleared and improved a large part of it, and died there in 1863, in his seventy-fifth year. His children were: Mary A. (deceased), Thomas, Phebe (Mrs. Abram Moore, deceased), Sarah (Mrs. James McKean, John and Enoch. Of these, Thomas and John own most of the old homestead. Thomas Blackwell lived on the old homestead nearly sixty years, but in 1887 he removed to Troy, where he still resides. In 1841 Mr. Blackwell married Jane, daughter of Hon. Samuel and Julia (McDowell) McKean, of Burlington township, and by her he has had four children: Julia (Mrs. Edward Horton), Sarah (Mrs. Lou Bodien), Ruth and John T. For his second wife he married Irene, daughter of Beull and Samantha (Wilson) Smith, of Canton township, and he has had by her two children: Dr. Clarence H. and Clara (Mrs. George D. Leonard). Mr. Blackwell is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church; politically he is a Republican. STRYKER BLAIR, physician and surgeon, Ulster, is a native of Conesville, Schoharie Co., N.Y., born November 20, 1857, a son of Alfred and Charlotte (Allen) Blair, of Scotch descent. His maternal grandfather, John McKenzie, came to this country from Scotland in early Colonial times, but after remaining here a short time returned to Scotland, and upon completing his business there, started to return to this country and was shipwrecked in mid-ocean. Many years passed and his family mourned him as dead; in the meantime his wife had formed an attachment with another man, and her marriage with him was about to be consummated, everything was prepared, and the marriage guests invited, when, the night previous to the day set for the marriage, the long-lost husband returned, bringing with him joy, but sorrow to the expectant bridegroom. The family came from New York to Susquehanna county, Pa., and lived there three years, then removed to Tioga county, N.Y., where he still lives. Stryker received his early education in the country schools, but his parents finding that the opportunities were not sufficient, sent him to a select school at Newark Valley, where he remained several years. He studied medicine and received his medical education at the University Medical College, New York City, graduating in March, 1882, and began the practice of his profession in Susquehanna county, but afterward moved to Ithaca, and from there to Ulster in 1888. As a physician, he has been eminently successful, and while a comparatively young man, has built up a practice of large proportions. On September 5, 1882, he was united in marriage with Lila E.Japhet, daughter of Milo G. and Martha Japhet, the latter of whom is a direct descendant of Gen. Green, of Revolutionary fame. The fruits of this marriage are two children, viz.: L. Blanche and Cecil DeVere. In his early life Mr. Blair identified himself with the Presbyterian Church, and has been an active church worker since, and of which he is an Elder. Mrs. Blair belongs to the same church. In his political views our subject was raised a Democrat, and for awhile voted that ticket, but he has now identified himself with the Prohibition party, of which he is a zealous advocate. CHARLES D. BLAUVELT, farmer, of Monroe township, P.O. Liberty Corners, was born April 20, 1862, on the farm where he now resides, and is the only son of James and Eliza (Ennis) Blauvelt, the former a native of Herkimer county, N.Y., and of German origin, the latter a native of Asylum, Bradford Co., Pa., and of Scotch lineage. The father of our subject was born August 11, 1820, and died December 14, 1888; the mother was born July 14, 1827, and is still living with him on the old homestead. Charles D. Blauvet spent his boyhood on the farm, and attended the common school, he completed his education at the Susquehanna Collegiate Institute, and has always been engaged in farming on the old homestead. Mr. Blauvelt is a Republican in politics, a man of much public spirit and a supporter of every worthy enterprise for the benefit of the community.
LISTON BLISS, of Bliss, Willour & Price, a well-known business firm of Troy, was born in LeRoy township, this county, November 30, 1846, and is a son of Dr. Chester T. and Nancy (Bostwick) Bliss. His paternal grandfather, Zenos Bliss, a native of Connecticut, settled in LeRoy township in 1841, where he engaged in farming and died. The father of our subject, who was the youngest in a family of eight children, was a graduate of a Philadelphia Medical College, and for upward of twenty-five years was in the active practice of his profession in LeRoy; he removed to Rochester, N.Y., in 1873, and there died in 1883; his children were four in number, viz.: Sarah H. (Mrs. A.S. Hamilton), Theodore F. (an M.D.), Mary I., and Liston, who was reared in LeRoy township, was educated in the common schools and at Susquehanna Collegiate Institute, Towanda. He began life as a clerk in a store at Athens, Pa., in December, 1865, and followed that occupation there until 1866, and in Troy from 1866 to 1880. He then became a member of the firm of Bliss, Willour & Co., which continued up to 1889, when the style was changed to Bliss, Willour & Price. Mr. Bliss was married twice, his first wife being Aimee Merrick, of Gaines, Tioga Co., Pa., and his second wife Mrs. H. Brunette Pomeroy, of Troy. Mr. Bliss was a member of Company C, Thirtieth Pennsylvania Militia, during the Civil War, served six weeks and was honorably discharged in 1863. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and of the G.A.R.; he is a Sir Knight Templar. In politics he is a Republican, and has been burgess and councilman of Troy one term.
J. F. BLOCHER, a farmer and produce dealer, Spring Hill, was born in New Preston, Conn., March 12, 1840. Of the Blocher family we glean the following: The great-grandfather of our subject, John Fredrick Blocher, was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, March 23, 1731, and married his first wife, Anna Dower, October 14, 1755, and afer her death he married Salome Strobal. By the first marriage he had four children, and by the second, five. The grandfather, John Jacob Blocher, was the second child by the second marriage, was born in Germany, August 14, 1770; married, in 1798, Agnes Dannacker, and their family consisted of six children. Martin, the father of our subject, was the second of these children, was born in Germany, May 23, 1801, and died in Herrick township, this county, December 28, 1881; in 1832 he was united in marriage with Anna Mary Sulzla, who was born in Germany, January 13, 1809, and died in Herrick township, June 11, 1870. They emigrated to America in 1837, and after a four year’s sojourn in Connecticut removed, in 1841, to Herrick; they had a family of children as follows: Agnes, born in Germany, May15, 1834, married Charles Sumner, a prominent farmer of Wyalusing township, this county; William G., born on the ocean, June 14, 1937, enlisted in Company A., One Hundred and Forty-first P.V.I., August 27, 1862, and died in Cliffburn Hospital, Washington, October 25, 1862; Jacob Frederick; Mary L., born in Herrick township, this county, June 3, 1842, and married Martin Keeney, a farmer of Laceyville, Pa.; Henry M., born in Herrick township, November 7, 1846, a prominent farmer of that township, and a partner in the firm of Fuller & Blocher, owners and proprietors of the Camptown creamery; George T., born in Herrick, May 23, 1850, a farmer residing on the old homestead in that township. Our subject was born and reared on a farm, and educated in the common schools, Camptown Academy and Wyoming Seminary. When about eighteen years of age he began teaching, and taught every winter for about ten years, in Bradford and Luzerne counties; also had charge of a graded school near Lanark, Ill. In 1857 he began working at the carpenter’s trade during the summer, teaching in the winter; in 1864 he removed to Illinois, where he taught school and worked at his trade. In 1865-66 he attended Eastman’s Business College, Chicago; then worked at his trade in Chicago one year. In the spring of 1869 he returned to Bradford county, and embarked in mercantile business at Wyalusing under the firm name of Ackley, Lloyd & Blocher, conducting a general store in the building now occupied by O. L. Dyer; this firm continued until 1878, when they sold to Gaylord, Sumner & Co. He then entered the produce business in Wyalusing, continuing in same until 1888, when the death of his wife’s father called him to the farm where he now resides, and since which time has combined farming and dealing in produce, especially wool and buckwheat flour. He has a beautiful farm of