History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches
By H. C. Bradsby, 1891
DURING the winter of 1798-99 Jeremiah Taylor, with his family, left his native Berkshire, Mass., home, and with a Connecticut title to a piece of land in what is Bradford county came and first stopped in what is now West Burlington, where he stayed one season, and in a way worked a piece of land, afterward Amasa Greeno's. While here, he put in his odd time in clearing and preparing his future farm home, In March, 1800, he moved to his place with a yoke of oxen and a sled, a distance of about four miles to Towanda creek, now Leroy township. Their only neighbor was Lewis Moffit, who came the same year and settled about a mile west, up the main stream on the Harrison Ross farm. The next arrival, in 1801, was Scovil Bailey, who was down the stream some fifty rods, on the Lame D. Taylor farm. Ile was a carpenter and a noted hunter. Then came David Bailey and his father and mother, who settled east on the Robert Bailey farm. Then came Ezra Bailey, who settled between Scovil Bailey and David Bailey, on the Elam A. Bailey farm. Then came .Thomas Bailey, who settled north of them on the John Vrooman farm; then Uriah Baxter, on the Benjamin Baldwin farm.
The first white child born in the settlement was Sylvester Taylor, third son of Jeremiah Taylor, the latter of whom died September 17, 1827. Sylvester lived to be an old man on the old farm at Granville Centre. The first death was that of Mrs. Lewis Moffit, who was buried on the old Crofut farm on Towanda creek. The first wedding was that of Hugh Holcomb (the first settler in Leroy township) with Prudence Bailey, daughter of Oliver Bailey. One of Holcomb's sons was Hon. Judson Holcomb, of Towanda.
The first school was taught in the summer of 1S07 by Miss Delight Spalding. The patrons 'of this school were Jeremiah Taylor, Benjamin Saxton, Scovil Bailey, Ezra, Bailey, David Bailey, Thomas Bailey, Uriah Baxter and Oliver Nelson. The last and Benjamin Saxton came that year. There were fifteen pupils in the school, embracing a territory of about three miles square. Lewis Moffit left, and Benjamin Saxton settled on his place. The latter, who was the first blacksmith, soon built his shop and went to work. Nelson settled on the John Vrooman farm. This was the total for Granville for some years-all were old New England acquaintances.
From 1807 there were but few additions to the settlement, but about this time a change was made in the road from Sugar creek to Towanda creek; commencing from near the present road from West Burlington to Granville and Le Roy, which crossed, Sugar creek at Goddard's sawmill (the gristmill was added several years after); the road then ran further up the hill south and further north on the side of the hill, and intersected the present road near George Shattuck's, then continued near the same to Bailey's, and then crossed the North branch and ran south near the present road until it intersected the Taylor road, " about a mile from Towanda creek.
the first religious wave struck Granville in 1805, when Jeremiah Taylor and wife joined the Baptist Church on Towanda creek. Under Elder Thomas Smiley a church was built on this creek. It was this Elder Smiley that was visited at night, and tarred and feathered by the Connecticut land claimants. They took him away from his house and greatly maltreated him. 01' this circumstance a contemporary account says: "The men came f rom the north country" (this probably means Athens or Tioga Point) 11 rode fast horses and had fierce countriances.))
About 1810 the Methodists bad preaching appointments in this section, and did organize a society in the settlement, and had two revival meetings, and showed some activity until 1856, when it all ceased. The next year, 1811, a road was opened from -Towanda creek (now West Franklin) to Irad Wilson's, near Alba borough-elevenmiles. On this road the settlers began to build and remove from the first houses along the stream. During this year new comers arrived, among others, Philip Packard, Abraham Parkhurst and Charles Butterfield; Packard settled the farm afterward Joseph Pratt's, Parkhurst at Bailey's old place, and Scovil Baile y where David Bailey had settled.
During the years 1812-15 a draft was ordered in the State, and Ezra Bailey was drafted from his township; lie went to headquarters, but was soon allowed to return home again discharged.
In the winter of 1814-15 an epidemic prevailed in the settlement, and Abraham Parkhurst and his two sons, Luther and Asa, died. Mr. Parkhurst had believed in his ability to hold converse with departed friends, which was the earliest case of spiritualism in the county, no doubt.
In 1816 there was the severe frost, in August, that in all parts of the county destroyed corn, and a famine among the people was threatened. A small supply was had by going to Lycoming creek then called Egypt.
The first frame barn was built in Granville In 1815, by Jeremiah Taylor; the first frame dwelling, in 1819, by Jeremiah Taylor, Jr.. and the next year the latter built a small gristmill, which could grind only a little corn. In this some time afterward a turning-lathe was erected, and a chair-wheel factory was carried on for some time by Nathaniel Phelps. Afterward Jeremiah Taylor, Jr.. built a saw and grist mill which (lid a good business until the earl "sixties."
There was quite an influx of settlers in 1817, among others being John Putnam, Alvord Churchill, John Pratt, Josiah Vrooman and David Ross.
About this time a new settlement commenced about three miles from " Centre " on what was called the " Windfall," where the timber bad been blown down by a hurricane and then burned over, it is supposed by hunters. The first here were Abijah Avers, Zoroaster Porter, Mr. Avery, Packard, Clark, Chesley Shoemaker and Ferguson. These people soon erected a log school and church house in one, and Elders Pentecost, Sweet and Asa Dodge preached therein, and in a few years these people erected the "Union Meeting House," where five or six denominations held meetings.
In 1828, through the exertions of Gen. Samuel McKean, then a member of Congress from this district, a mail route was established through this settlement from East Burlington to Alba, pony mail, once a week, and in 1829 a postoffice was established in the settlement, called I North 13 ran ch. "
At the February court, 1831, Granville was set off from parts of Canton, Troy, Burlington and Franklin. This was hotly opposed by many good people; however, it prevailed, and the name of the post office was at once changed to Granville. The township is eight miles long, east and west, four and three-quarter miles in width. on the west, and three and a half miles on the, east,
A Disciple Church was organized in 1832, called " Disciples of Christ," through the efforts of Dr. Silas E. Shepherd, of Troy. This church grew in a few years to a congregation of 120; when through dissensions it ceased. It was revived, however, in 1862, and regained its former vigor.
The first public-house was opened in 1849 by Levi Taylor, and about the same time B. F. and L. D. Taylor opened the first store in the township. In 1852 public-houses for the sale of liquor were all closed by the vigorous action of the "Sons of Temperance," then first organized.
In 1852, on the building of the Elmira K, Williamsport Railroad, Summit depot " and postoffice were establ ish ed-cal led " Summit," because it is the highest place on the road. At this time Albert and Wilson Nichols came from New York and bought large tracts of land, and erected a large steam sawmill. In 1856 a large and commodious church was built at Granville Centre, dedicate([ as a " Christian Church," and had a bell on it to ring out to the good people " Come, let us worship God! " In a few years two other churches were erected in the western part of the township- a Disciple Church and a Free Will Baptist Church
A large tannery was built at Centre; the builder failed, and it was purchased by C. G. E. Martin, who successfully operated it until his death, November 14, 1862. In 1865 it was purchased by Adam Innes. In 1865 a postoffice with a daily mail was established at Granville Centre, daily, except Sunday. The Innes tanneries at this place, Canton and Grover, were among the most important and flourishing in the county.
Granville Centre is near the center of the township, and once had considerable trade.
Granville Summit is a station on the railroad in the northwest corner of the township.