History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches
By H. C. Bradsby, 1891
THE TOWANDAS--TOWNSHIPS AND BOROUGHS.
TOWANDA is an Indian word from the Delaware Towandemunk- burial place." There are other traditions, but this seems to be the most authentic. A century a'go it was spelled " Towandee," but the modern way is more musical, and an Indian name once stripped of its euphony is a barren nothing.
Claverack.-The first civil organization that is now the Towandas was a grant by the Susquehanna C Company made to Col. John H. Lydius, Capt. Abraham Lansing, Baltaser Lydius, Peter Hogaboom and others, June 1774. The survey and location was made by Jeremiah Hoga-boom and Solomon Strong, and is described as on the East Branch of the Susquehanna river, beginning at a, place called and known by the name of Wysox creek, about five hundred yards below where said creek flows into the East Branch of the Susquehanna river at a white oak tree ; thence south 590 west five miles and sixty rods ; thence north 311 west five miles; thence north 59' east five miles; thence south 300 east five miles to the first mentioned bound-containing if twenty-five square miles, exclusive of the river." This embraced half of the present Towanda, a third of Wysox and a part of lower Sheshequin. The other half of Claverack, on the west side of the river, covered more than half of the present Towandas and the balance of these townships were embraced in the Company's towns called,: Bachelor's Adventure," "Bloomingdale " and "Bortle's Pitch."
In the latter part of 1800 Col. John Franklin and Col. Benjamin Dorrance became the owners under Connecticut title to Claverack, and leased and sold to settlers as they could induce them to come here. In short, Claverack was one of the Seventeen Townships, the history of which is given fully in a preceding chapter.
Township Organization.-Brad ford county was formed from parts of Lycoming and Luzerne in 1812. The western third of that territory now embraced in the Towandas, was in Lycoming county, and the balance in Luzerne. At the court held at Wilkes-Barre in March, 1790, it is ordered by the justices of this court that the county of Luzerne be divided into eleven townships, by the following names and descriptions, to wit:
1. Tioga, bounded north by the north line of the State; on the east by the east line of the county; on the south by an east and west line, which shall strike the Standing Stone, in the west line of the county." The "2d " township was Wyalusi n wh ich bounded Tioga on the north. "Tioga," as thus described, was sixty-seven miles in length from east to west, and a trifle more than eighteen miles in width from north to south.
At the April sessions, 1795, a petition was presented to the court, asking for a division of Tioga township by an east and west line, passing, through a small stream on the east side of the Susquehanna, southwesterly of "Breakneck; "the north part to be called 1, Tioga," and the south part "Wisocks." The prayer of the petitioners was granted
Again, in 1807, at the April sessions of the Luzerne county court, upon the petition of Job Irish and other citizens of Wysox, setting that, owing to the inconvenience, and at times the impossibility of crossing the river, and praying for a new township to be set off on the west side of the river, Jonathan Stevens, M. Minor York and John Taylor were appointed viewers, to examine and report in relation to the same. At the November court (1807) they report in favor of a new township, to be called Towanda, with the following boundaries: Beginning at the mouth of Durell creek, thence south forty-five degrees west to the county line (rather what now is); thence on said line west to the corner of Canton ; thence north on the east line of Canton to the county line (between L ycoming and Luzerne); thence as said line runs to the Susquehanna river. The report was confirmed finally in January, 1808. The territory embraced within the foregoing boundaries included parts of Asylum, Monroe, Overton, Barclay, the Burlingtons, the Towandas and all of Franklin. Towanda was one of " the original ten townships," or one of the ten already formed within the limits of the county prior to its organization.
After the incorporation of the borough of Towanda, the northern and southern parts of the township were so completely separated that it made a division practically necessary for the convenience of the inhabitants residing in the two portions of it.
Accordingly, H. L. Scott and other citizens of the township, upon petition at the December term of court, 1850, "represent that great inconvenience results to the citizens of the township from its present shape, and pray that Commissioners be appointed to view and inquire into the propriety of dividing the same." Whereupon the court appoint Geo. 11. Bull, E. C. Kellogg and Earl Nichols, who report in favor of dividing the township a the February session, 1851, " by a line commencing on the west line of the borough of Towanda, at a point near the northwest corner of lands of Henry S. Mercur, thence in a straight line west to the Burlington line, intersecting it immediately north of the Overshot mill.",
The Commissioners report having been made, the citizens in a second petition " pray the court to confirm it, and further respectfully ask that the new township lying south of said line be named Towanda township, and the one north of it Sugar Creek."
The report was con firmed finally December 15, 1851. "the townships to be called North Towanda and South Towanda." Subsequently the citizens petitioned the court to have the word " South" dropped, and "South Towanda " was accordingly changed to Towanda township.
The first settler was Rudolph Fox, of whom mention has been made, who settled on the west side of Towanda creek, about half a mile from its mouth. At the time of his arrival a few Indians were living about where is Maj. Hale's present residence, and of these Fox purchased his land and erected his cabin, covered with bark and practically one end left open for a door. Fox did everything to keep the friendship of the Indians, but in March, 1777, while out hunting his cattle, he was seized and taken by the Indians a prisoner to Quebec. The family were kept in ignorance of Mr. Fox's whereabouts. He escaped, and traveled all the way from Canada and reached the opposite side of the river from his cabin December 19th, following. He called to his family; Mrs. Fox recognized his voice, but the Indians had stolen their skiff, and there was no way to cross. The poor man had to spend the intensely cold night on the bank, and by morning the ice was hard enough to bear him over. When the Indian party that captured the Strope family passed up the river they again took Fox along a prisoner, as they said, lest he drive the alarm; he escaped, however, just before they reached Tioga Point.
Jacob Bowman settled on Towanda creek prior to the Revolution. He sided against the "rebels " and became known as "Tory " Bowman; he went to Canada when hostilities commenced. After the war he returned and settled on the farm finally owned by his grandson, B. F. Bowman. "Tory " Bowman was a man of enterprise, and in 1801 was licensed to keep a tavern. He had a store in addition to his tavern as early as 1809 ; established the first ferry near the mouth of Towanda creek, and built the first frame house. His place was a noted resort, and that and his brother-in-law's place by William Means, were rivals. Bowman died in 1845, aged eighty-six years; he had married Mary Fox, daughter of Rudolph Fox, and their children were: George, Jacob, John, Daniel, Mary, Rebecca, Hannah, Susan and Harry.
Jacob Grantier, German, came from New York, and settled on Towanda creek in 1784, about eighty rods south of Maj. Hale's residence. It was here Rev. Thomas Smiley was tarred and feathered by the Yankees in 1801. March 7, 1802, Grantier transferred his claim to Reuben Hale, and removed to Canton township where are today his descendants.
James, Silas and Orr Scoville came in 1788. James and Silas purchased of Smith, a farmer-preacher, and they made an improvement a little west of where the nail mill is, where Silas built the first frame house in the township, where he kept "bach " until 1796; James had returned to Luzerne county. In 1796 Silas married Abigail Harris, and then had his own housekeeper. Orr improved the H. L. Scott place and married Polly Rutty, daughter of Ezra Rutty, and removed to Canton township. Silas Scoville came to own three ox teams, and made trips to the lakes. taking millstones and bringing salt, then worth thirteen dollars a barrel. He died in 1824.
One early settler was Richard Goff; just how soon is not known, but the assessor's books show that in 1796 he had eleven acres improved.
Joshua Wythe, who was an officer in the Revolution, located here about 1794. He bought land on Towanda creek of John Heath, known later as the George Bowman place; his wife, nee Elizabeth Brewer, died in 1805; was buried in the flats, and the railroad passes over her grave. Mr. Wythe emigrated to Ohio.
Reuben Hale came among the early pioneers from Connecticut, and settled on the place now occupied by his son, Maj. Elias Wellington Hale. The fact that Isaac Tracy bad preceded Reuben was the cause of turning his course to this locality. He purchased land of George Wells, dated June 14, 1799, and became in time the sole owner of the old mill on Towanda creek. Reuben Hale married Wealthy Tracy. daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth Rogers Tracy, of Tioga Point, Feb- ruary 1, 1803, and at once removed into the old Dougherty log cabin that stood a short distance from Maj. Hale's present residence. He was appointed postmaster at Towanda in 1810, said to be the first in the place.
Casper Singer, from Philadelphia, came in 1791, and took up land now in Wysox; he built a sawmill "near the mouth of Towanda creek;" this is the "Hale Mill." Singer made a deposition in Phila-delphia in 1796, and testified that living in this locality in 1795 were Orr' Scoville, Joseph Gee, Jacob Bowman, Jacob Grantier, Joseph Wallace, Michael Krause and Stephen Strickland.
A son-in-law of Rudolph Fox, Nathan Farr, was here at an early date. James Davidson was here in the other century ; settled near the nail works.
The first and one of the most important pioneers to settle in what is now North Towanda, township was Ezra Rutty who came from New York in 1785, and located on Sugar creek. he purchased on time 500 acres, and improved what is yet known as the " Rutty farm," on which his descendants remained. His son Ezra was a baby when the family came, and Ezra (third) eventually occupied the old homestead. Mr. Rutty died in 1813, and his widow five years later; they were buried in Riverside Cemetery.
Abial Foster settled on the E. 11. Horton farm; he married, in 1795, Mary Means a sister of William Means. He built a sawmill, among the first if not the very first, on the site of "Myer's Mills," and for years this was the important milling point. Mr. Foster died on the place he improved, August 10, 1841, aged seventy-seven. Mrs. Foster died November 3, 1855.
Joshua Bailey, from New York, settled on Sugar creek in 1792 he had come to Wyalusing in 1791, stopped there with the Bennetts, married Susan and moved to his permanent place. He passed through Towanda, and describes the place where there was " a man living in a log cabin a little south of the present court-house," and that he had about four acres cleared, which he offered him for $40. His nearest neighbor from his Sugar creek settlement was his brother-in-law, Amos Bennett. Mr. Bailey died February 14, 1861, aged ninety-two years.
Martin Stratton came in 1794, stopped with Ezra Rutty, and in time married Ezra Rutty's daughter; he was a millwright and carpenter; was five years in West Burlington, where he built a gristmill for the Goddards, and then returned to North Towanda, and in 1805 bought an improvement of Amos Bennett originally Seeley's. Martin and Cephas Stratton and Jonathan Holcomb erected a grist- mill on Sugar creek, near where is Mr. Barne's sawmill, and in 1809 a sawmill was added. Martin Stratton died November 3, 1821, aged sixty-three years, his widow soon after, and both sleep in Riverside Cemetery.
Ozias Bingham, from New York, a Revolutionary veteran, came to North Towanda in 1795 ; he married Martha Rutty. He had been a captain in the Continental army and was in the battle of Germantown, He was a widower when he came West, and left his five children behind. He afterward brought on his children, and one of his soils opened a trading store at the family home, and exchanged peltries for goods. Mr. Bingham, who lived to be ninety-two years of age, died February 9, 1845.
Stephen Powell (brother of Joseph C.) came to North Towanda, and purchased Dr. Baldwin's place.
Settling the Towanda Hills.-William Finch, of Connecticut, a Revolutionary soldier, was the first to settle on the " hills." He landed at "Bowman's eddy " in 1798, made a clearing on the Welles flats, and raised a crop of corn, but the overflows determined him to go to the hills. He built his cabin on the present William Welch place. During the war he was taken a prisoner to Montreal. He dug his way out of prison, and made his escape to the American shore, whence he commenced a long and perilous journey homeward, traveling by night and keeping secreted by day, accompanied, day and night, with an empty stomach. His only guide through the wilderness was the sun and the moss on the trees ; after untold sufferings he reached the army, and served faithfully until peace was declared. He had learned the tailor trade, and tanned the skins, and made the clothes, including shoes, of his family for many years. He died at the age of eighty-six, and is buried at Cole's. His wife, Mary (Huxley), lived to pass the age of eighty years.
Andrew Gregg was in Sullivan's expedition up the river. After the war he married Nancy Santee, of Luzerne, then came to Ulster and from there to Towanda, in 1804, where he died April 25,1846; his wife died, May 17, 1838.
Benjamin Bosworth, a Revolutionary father, and a batter by trade, came from Boston, and improved the Willis Fisher place. His neighbor was Williston West, who settled on the Harry Decker place in 1812. West's second wife was Susan Bosworth, daughter of Benjamin -Bosworth; the last named died suddenly at the age of eighty.
Maj. Frederick Fisher came to Towanda in 1827, and was a prominent man of the olden time. He merchandised for a time at Monroeton ; died May 14, 1857, aged over sixty years; his wife, Dolly (Cole), died May 16, 1865.
William McGill (Irishman) came in 1802, lived with Jacob Bowman and eventually married Marv Bowman. He was a stone-mason, arid after some time removed to the hills back of Towanda, and improved the Philander Ward place. He died in 1855, aged seventy-seven years; his wife had preceded him six years.
Benjamin Davidson, a farmer and lumberman, lived to be the oldest settler of the Towanda hills; he was born January 31, 1S07.
Early Settlers in what is now the Borough of Towanda.-Of these the name of William Means will ever stand first, and the destiny, indeed the very existence of the place as a borough, owes everything to him. The town was (and it most probably should never have been changed) called " Meansville." He was of Irish descent, a son of Samuel Means, of Northumberland county at the commencement of the Revolution. Samuel Means and one of his sons were in the army; the father was fatally wounded in battle, and the son was never heard of after the battle of Wyoming, where it was supposed he was killed. The family fled from Northumberland county from the invading savages, in which flight Mrs. Means carried, with her other children, an infant only six weeks old; they went b canoe down the Susquehanna river, paddling around the bend by the light of their burning house. The family returned, when it was safe, to their desolated home, but the brave mother survived only a short time, and the little children were scattered among different families. When Rudolph Fox fled down the river, they fell in company with the Means families, and this was the cause eventually of bringing William Means to Towanda, and soon after the war he came to look at the country. Another account says that William followed boating, and in his trips became acquainted with his future wife, Elizabeth Fox. In 1794 he had the contract to convey the French refugees from Harrisburg to their place in Asylum. The French, when he met them in Philadelphia, advanced him money on his contract, and he purchased goods which be brought along on the trip. On reaching their destination, he sold his boat to them, and on it they fixed a temporary shelter, and he hired as overseer of their building, and his energy and thrift soon cleared him $1,000 in addition to the goods he had brought. This was the foundation of his fortune. He settled on the river directly opposite the old dam, and for many years kept tavern and a ferry-built the famous "Old Red Tavern " on what is now the corner of Franklin and Main streets. He was licensed a taverner" in 1797. His building was a two-story frame, and the store was in his old log house-his were the first store, tavern and distillery in Towanda. The "Old Red Tavern " was the court-house until the county buildings were erected in 1816. The jail was at Monroeton.
In 1816 Mr. Means built his commodious (then of the most stylish plan of architecture) residence, yet standing on the corner of Main and Bridge streets, and there lived until the time of his demise. About the same time he erected a small building, 18 x 20 feet, on the corner of Main and Bridge streets, on the same lot with and south of his house, and occupied it as a store till he went out of business, his son William keeping the hotel for a series of years after 1816. Mr. Means was an extensive land-holder. He owned about 600 acres adjoining on the south by the Fox-chase farm, and extending northward to about where Decker Bros'. store now is. Besides he owned several hundred acres at Greenwood and other points. He lumbered extensively and shipped his lumber in rafts down the Susquehanna. In 1809 he built a sawmill at Van Gorder's on Towanda creek, and afterward a second one at Greenwood. In addition to his lumbering business he bought grain and shipped it in ark-loads to the lower counties. After the improvement of the public highways, he would load an old-fashioned " Dutch four-horse wagon " with peltry. go to Philadelphia, and then return with a load of goods. it required nearly six weeks' time to make the trip. By means of his ferry, which was directly opposite the Red Tavern, communication was opened with the east side of the river and the place thus greatly benefited. He was the first magistrate of the town (commissioned Dec. 20, 1800), and was generally known ,is "Esquire Means." In 1812, he was appointed postmaster of Towanda village. he was appointed county treasurer in 1815, and served one term. Mr. Means brought his sisters into the county, one after another, and gave them a home in his family. The life of this active man was closed Oct. 3, 1829, at the acre of 64 years. His body is entombed in the family burial ground on Second street. Mrs. Means, or "Grandma Means," as she was familiarly called, survived her husband many years. The children of William and Elizabeth Means were William, John, Samuel, Celinda and Eliza.
Ebenezer B. Gregory came here through the influence of Mr. Means. At all events he accompanied him on his return trip from Northumberland where he had gone after his sister, Nancy (Airs. Dr. Warner). he lived in a double log house near the river, a little northeast of the present residence of 1. 0. Blight, on the same lot. The building was used as a house of entertainment, and Mr. Gregory was licensed a "taverner" in 1802. He seems to have also engaged in the mercantile business for a short time, being marked "merchant" on the assessment roll of 1814. Mr. Gregory was a man of education and "very much of a, gentleman." His wife was an accomplished lady, and as early as 1810 or 1811 established a boarding school at her own house for young ladies and girls. Mr. Gregory was one of the original proprietors of Towanda, and donated from his portion two tots for an academy, which were subsequently appropriated to private uses. In about 1817 he removed to Owego, and died.
James Lewis located in the borough before 1798. he occupied a log house standing on the gulf, near where the Episcopal church now is. In about 1806 he moved into Monroe, where he died in 1822.
Frederick Eiklor was also one of the earliest inhabitants. He built and occupied a house where M. E. Rosenfeld's store now stands. While dressing flax one day, it caught fire, and burned the house. He then moved to Rome.
John Schrader, a Hessian soldier, who espoused the American cause, came to Towanda in or before 1799. He occupied a small board house, used both as a residence and cooper shop , which stood nearly east of the Presbyterian church, near the site of McKean's hotel. After a few years he moved to Greenwood and settled where the tannery now is. Nathaniel Talcutt was an early resident of Towanda and "kept a little store." His name is found for the last time on the assessment rolls in 1809. Adam Conley, a blacksmith, came in from the West branch, and married Miss Betsy, sister of William Means. He built and occupied a framed house, near the corner of Main and Pine streets, where Tracy & Nobles' block now is. On the opposite side of the street, on the site of Stevens & Long's store, he had his shop. After Air. Conley's death, his widow moved to the head of Seneca lake, with her son Clark, where she died. Their chil- dren were: Clark, Joseph, John, William, Eliza, Marv and Jane, Clark learned the tailor's trade and had a shop adjoining his father's house. He subsequently moved to Ralston, Pa., and died there a few years since.
Abijah Northrup (familiarly " Bij") before the year 1800 built a log cabin on the ground now occupied by the First National Bank. He was one of the most noted pilots on the river. He afterward moved to an island near the mouth of Towanda creek, thence above Greenwood, where he died. His father, Nathan Northrup, a native of Connecticut, came to Athens at an early day with his family, whence Bij " proceeded to Towanda.
Col. Henry Spalding came to Towanda from Sheshequin in 1810. His store was below where is now the Barclay depot; he then built his frame store! which was afterward occupied by Henry Mercury as a hatter's shop. In 1812 he built the Mix residence, and kept tavern there, and near it was his store. In 1813 the firm of Harry Spalding & Co. was dissolved; his associates were John Robinson and Stephen C. King. Col. Spalding, who was the first treasurer of the county, died May 23, 1821, aged thirty-seven. His children were : Franklin, Asa, Harry, James, Simon and Weltha.
James Woodruff was the first tailor to locate in the place. he came from Wilkes-Barre in 1812. He enumerated the inhabitants as follows on his arrival: William Means, Harry Spalding, Adam Conley, Abijah Northrup, E. B. Gregory, Oliver Newell and the Watts family. Four frame houses and all others log cabins. He opened his tailor shop in a log house west of Gregory's, and prospered so that in time he built a hotel, abandoning the "goose "; his was the " Tiger Hotel
afterward kept by Daniel Bartlett, to whom he sold. Then built the "Bradford House," where is now the Reporter-Journal office, and council rooms. This., in 1840, be sold Ira H. Stevens, and purchased a farm in North Towanda, where he remained until 1863; thence went to Battle Creek, Mich., and spent the remainder of his days with his daughter. His daughter Celinda married Edward Young, whose sons are in Troy and Towanda.
Francis Watts, of Scotch-Irish extraction, who had married Miss Jane, sister of Win. Means, came in from the West branch not long after his brother-in-law, and occupied about 400 acres of land, extending from the Arcade block to Geo. Blackman's, and from the river a mile westward. He built a log house, nearly where Mr. Hawes' residence now is, and the homestead was in the occupancy of the fam I ly for more than three-quarters of a century. Mr. Watts died before 1809, and left a large family. Mrs. Watts only having a squatter's claim, gave one-half the possession to Harry Spalding for securing and advancing the money necessary to perfect the title.
Andrew Irvine, the tanner, came in 1812. He bad received his discharge from the army, and was returning home when he stopped at Towanda, and his keen eve detected an eligible spot for a tannery. He purchased a half acre of ground of Esq. Means, and built a twostory log house, making a shop of the first floor. Irvine's lot adjoined where is now Rosenfeld's store, and was back of Tidd's hotel; he is the man who advertised " soal leather " for sale.
Simon Kinney, Esq., the first white child born in the present town of Sheshequin, came to Towanda in 1813-14, to follow his professionthat of law. He was a son of Joseph Kinney, a soldier of the Revolution, and Sarah (Spalding , a daughter of Gen. Simon Spalding of Revolutionary celebrity. His early life was spent in assisting in clearing up a heavil timbered farm, receiving, in the meantime, a careful and intellectual training. At his majority he married Phoebe Cash, and removed to a farm, which his father owned in Scipio, N. Y., and commenced the study of law. Finding his means inadequate to properly complete his studies and procure a library, the farm was sold and the proceeds used for establishing him in business at Towanda. He was a man of unquestioned legal ability, being the compeer of Mallory, Conyngham, Dennison, Strong, Williston, Overton, Baldwin and Watkins, leaders at the bar of Bradford and northern Pennsylvania. he was a member of the State Legislature for the sessions of 1820-21 and 1821-22, the district then comprising the counties of Tioga and Bradford, also county treasurer for 1816-17. Mr. Kinney was a man of strong mind, and his service is favorably remembered by active participators In the political affairs of the time. Judge David Wilmot completed his law studies in Mr. Kinney's office. He was one of the most prominent and active men of the county. In 1834, he removed to Rockford, Ill., with his family.
Col. H. L. Kinney achieved an enviable celebrity by his dash, courage and enterprise, which made him at one time quite the lion of the country. He was the founder of Corpus Christi, Texas, and peopled the town b y a denomination of his own settlers; served in the Mexican War in Gen. Scott's army; supplied the commissariat with stores from the resources of the country; and was deemed a millionaire at the end of the war. He spent much of his fortune afterward in Central American expeditions. During- the rebellion, fie served in Mexico as colonel in her army, fought against the French and Maximilian, and was killed at Monterey while leading a small troop in ferreting out guerrillas in the city. he became one of the finest horsemen in Texas, taking lessons of the Comanches, and so far surpassing them that they were, to his mastery, but initiates. He won many victories over them in some of their sharpest fights. It will not be amiss, perhaps, to state that he married a daughter of Gen. Lamar of the " Lone Star" fame.
Charles F. Welles, upon the organization of this county, received from the Governor authority to administer the oaths of office to the newly chosen officers, and himself was chosen prothonotary, clerk of the courts, register and recorder, and the first records of the county are in his own neat and peculiar penmanship. For ten years he was a resident of Towanda, when he removed to W alusing in' 1822. He was a son of George Welles, one of the first settlers of Athens, and was born in Glastonbury, November 5, 1789. In 1816 he -was joined in wedlock with Miss Ellen J daughter of Judge Hollenback. Mr. Welles was a man of varied and extensive reading. He wielded a busy pen, and contributed for the papers some of the best poetic articles which were published. Though never a politician, in the sense of aspiring for office, tie Look a deep interest in political questions. In early life he espoused the principles advocated by Jefferson ; later he became an admirer of Henry Clay, and a defender of his policy. During his residence in Towanda he exerted a well-nigh controlling influence in the g
politics of the county. His articles on political questions, written at this time, were marked. by breadth of view and urged with a cogency of reasoning that carried conviction to the mind of the reader, white the corrupt politician received scathing rebukes from his trenchant pen. He became an extensive land owner and left a fine fortune at his death, September 23, 1866.
The Vandykes.--John Vandyke, a native of Holland, came to America and at first settled near Trenton, N. J., whence he removed to Turbit township, Northumberland county, Pa. He married an Irish lady, and remained in Northumberland, where he reared his family. In 1815, William Vandyke, a son, came to Towanda and purchased of John Leavenworth a tract of land on Towanda creek, including a grist-mill and a sawmill. -Mr. Vandyke and the balance of the family came the same or the following g year. In 1817, John Vandyke was assessed as follows: " Seven acres of land improved; seven town lots; two houses; a tan-yard, and a horse and cow." His land extended from the Overton basin to State street. Air. Vandyke's sons settled about him. Davis, -1 the saddler," occupied the James Ward place. He bad a saddlery-shop. on the ground where Dr. Pratt's residence now stands. After some years he sold out and moved to Granville township, where he lived until the time of his demise. Wilson, "the tanner," moved to Allegany, N. Y. and there died. John lived where Henry Porter now does" He sold out and removed to Canton, where he Spent the residue of his days. In 1825, Mr. Vandyke and his son William, traded their property in Towanda with 11. W. Tracy for land in Ulster township, on what is now known as Moore's hill, and moved there while the locality was yet a wilderness. The farm on which they both spent their last days is yet owned and occupied by the family. William married Miss Susan, daughter of James Dougherty, whose mother's maiden name was Hammond. He was the father of G. 11. Vandyke, of Ulster, ex-Democratic county commissioner.
Eliphalet Mason came to Towanda in 1816, "being the twelfth family within the borough limits." He built a house on the cornet- west of Main street, and north of State street, which he afterward sold to George Scott. In 1820 he erected a stone house, out of small stones, in front of the Public Square, standing where Jordan's meat market now is. The building was named the Stone Heap," but nick-named the "Stone-Jug" He built a stone building adjoining. and engaged in selling groceries for about a year. In 4822 he erected a storehouse on the corner of Court and Maine streets, opposite the Public Square, which he rented to Gurdon Hewett. Of Mr. Mason's residence in Towanda he says: "In the spring of 1817 grain was very scarce. Corn bad been ruined by the frosts of the fall before, and every kind of food was in meagre supply. It became evident that some one must undertake to supply the village with meat, and as I could best afford the time, the task fell upon me. Indeed, so great was the dependence, that the villagers could not boil the pot without my providing." For many years Mr. Mason was one of the most prominent men of the county. His early life was spent in teaching. In the fall of 1814 he Was commissioned lieutenant of militia, and with others was drafted in the War of 1812. A company of 110 men was raised, and placed under his command and sent to Danville, awaiting orders; but returned home after a month's absence. At the October election, 1814, he was chosen count y auditor, being the only Democrat elected on the ticket that year. Front April, '1815, he acted (is deputy sheriff, tinder A. C. Rockwell, till the close of his term, and transacted nearly all the business con- nected with the office. In 1816 he was elected county commissioner over A. C. Rockwell, his brother-in-law, the Federal candidate. July 1, 1818, he was commissioned by Governor Findlay, recorder of deeds, and in conjunction with the prothonotary to administer oaths of office to such persons is might be appointed by the Governor. In 1824 he was appointed a commissioner with Edward Eldred and Wm. Brindleto lay out a State road from Muncy to Towanda. Again. in 1829, he was elected to the office of county commissioner, having a greater majority than his competitor had votes. In 1837 Mr. Mason and his son, Gordon F., purchased several thousand acres of land of the Asylum Company, lying in Bradford county. The investment proved a fruitf ul one. Mr. Mason continued in active and varied business till I 844, when he threw off most of his cares to enjoy his closing days. He found great comfort in making verse, reading his papers, and in frequently contributing an article to the press. His writings will be remembered by many under the sobriquet of "Old South." Air. Mason was a man of genius, indomitable energy and undaunted courage. His honesty
and integrity were never questioned, and of littleness he was never accused. His life was a successful one and a noble example.
Walter S. Minthorn, a mechanic, came to Towanda in 1817. He was a soldier of the War of 1812, and lost a leg. For a while he lived on the corner of Second and State streets, finally moving to Rome.
Nathaniel Heacock, a carpenter, was assessed in Towanda in 1817. He lived at the terminus of Second street, with Lombard. From Towanda he went to Canton.
William Kelly and sons, Lewis and William, mechanics, settled n Towanda in 1818. He established a ferry across the river, the wharf being at the terminus of State street, and was known as the upper, or Kelly's ferry. Ills house stood on the corner of Water street, South of State. He also kept a grocery for a while, on Court street, which he sold to Benjamin Hunt. Lewis Kelly lived on Second street, where Benjamin Northrup now does. He followed cabinet-making. Thinking Newton a more favorable place for his business, he moved thither.
.Dr. Charles Whitehead located at Towanda in 1818. His house stood a little south of N. N. Bett's residence, in the same lot, which he then owned. He was a man of ability and considerable eminence. From 1820 and 1823 he was register and recorder of the county. He was also a justice of the peace. He died in 1825 (aged thirty-one years). and was buried in Riverside Cemetery. Mrs. Whitehead taught school in the village after her husband's death
Lewis P. Franks, a printer, came to Towanda in 1817, and edited the Washingtonian the first regular Federal paper in the county. After continuing the paper about a year he turned its management over to Octavius Holden, who continued its publication only a short time. Franks is remembered as a central figure, with a keen intellect, but eccentric. He wielded an able and trenchant pen. Upon leaving Towanda he went to Philadelphia, where he engaged in journalism.
John Stower was a deputy sheriff and jailor under Lemuel Streeter, having removed to Towanda in 1819. He at first lived in the basement of the old court-house, then built on Ills lot, the same as now Occupied by Mercur's block. He sold out to Col. Harry Mix and removed to Binghamton, where a son had preceded him, and gone into business.
Charles Comstock occupied the lot of now Judge Benjamin Al. Peck, and had a store a little south of his present residence. He came to Towanda in 1819, and removed to Athens in about 1823, where he was a merchant for many years.
Jacob P. Ensley, a shoemaker, was a resident of Towanda in 1819, and occupied the first floor of Jesse Woodruff's tailor shop. . . . James E. Haslet, a mason, was also a resident of the borough in 1819, and lived in a small house where Hon. W. T. Davies' residence now is. . . Edwin Benjamin came to Towanda in about the same time (1818) that be and Lemuel Streeter purchased the Bradford Gazette. He was postmaster of Towanda in 1819, and county clerk in 1821. He lived where A. Snell's residence now is.
Elisha Newberry, a blacksmith, began working at his trade in the village in 1819. He subsequently went to Troy, and became a prominent citizen there.
Hon. George Scott, a native of Berkshire county, Mass., born November 19, 1784, having attained his majority, in company with an elder brother, David, started for the "Sunny South " to begin life in earnest and make his fortune. The young men were both well educated for those days, and had decided to engage in school-teaching when an opportunity presented itself, until something more congenial and paying should be found. Accordingly, sometime in 1805, they set out with a single horse, and drifted into Wysox, Bradford county. They made their business known, whereupon the citizens called a meeting at the house of Burr Ridgeway, and George was hired to teach the school of the district. David found employment west of the river. He also clerked for William Means, read law in the meantime, and finally went to Wilkes-Barre, where he was admitted to the bar. He became a man of note; was prothonotary of Luzerne county, and for several years was president judge of the Luzerne district. George continued teaching in Wysox, and having been appointed a justice of the peace, purchased a lot next beyond the "brick church," and built a house thereon. Finally, Miss Lydia, daughter of Henry Strope, " possessed the necessary charms," and he became a permanent fixture in the county. Upon the organization of the county in 1812, he was apI pointed an associate judge with John McKean, by Gov. Snyder, and held that office until 1818. He was clerk to the county commissioners from 1815 to 1820, and was appointed prothonotary in ISIS, and register and recorder in 1824, which office he held till 1830. In 1816 he was appointed a commissioner to superintend the distribution of the funds appropriated for the building of the State road, " extending eastward and westward through the county," and passing through Towanda.
In the Autumn of 1819, Mr. Scott moved to Towanda with his family, and took tip his residence on the corner north of State street, west of Main, but afterward lived and died on the ground now occupied by Dr. Pratt. He edited and published the Bradford Settler from 1821 to 1823, his printing office standing east of Main street, and south of State, near the corner. From 1823 to 1824 he was country treasurer, and for many Years was prominent in the politics of the county. He died at Towanda, March 2, 1834, and was buried in Riverside Cemetery. Mrs. Scott survived her husband many years; she was born in Wysox, February 29, 1788, and died in Towanda, February 25, 1881.
William Hart, a native of New Jersey, came to Wysox about the close of the War of 1812, in which he served as a farrier and shod Capt. (afterward Gen.) Scott's horse. He was for a time connected with Hollenback's store and house of entertainment. While here engaged, he married a daughter of Henry Strope. In 1818 he moved to Towanda and rented the " Red Tavern" and ferry of Mr. Means. He perhaps kept the hotel but one year, then worked at his trade, that of blacksmith. He finally moved to Monroeton, where he resided until the time of his death.
Gurdon Hewett, who had engaged in lumbering at Monroe, and married a daughter of Wm. Means, came to Towanda in 1819, and engaged in the mercantile business. He built a store on the corner of Main and Bridge streets, where Patton's block now stands, and a residence farther east. About 1827 he removed to Owego, N. Y., and engaged in the banking business, and became, it is said. a millionaire.
He was the architect of his own fortune, having begun life as a poor boy. From 1821 to 1822 he was treasurer of Bradford county.
William Keeler came to Towanda in 18.20, and for a couple of years kept hotel. He was then a partner in the mercantile business with Thomas Elliott. They occupied the store south of the Stone Jug," erected by E. Mason, where Fitch's confectionery store now is.
Joseph C. Powell, upon being elected sheriff, came to Towanda to reside in 1821. He was the son of Stephen Powell, a Revolutionary soldier, who emigrated from Dutchess county, N. Y., to Ulster, Bradford county, in 1798, and settled the first farm above "the narrows."
In 1836 he was made prothonotary by the voluntary suffrages of the people, and a member of the State Legislature in 1849. Upon moving to Towanda Mr. Powell at first occupied the "Barstow House," but finally removed to North Towanda on his farm, where he remained until the time of his death, September 2. 1854. After having lost his first wife, he married -Mrs. Vespusian Ellis, nee Selina Phillips. Of his first marriage, Percival and 13. Franklin were well known. The former, for some time postmaster of Towanda, engaged in tailoring and the sale of ready-made clothing ; and the latter in journalism, being for many years editor of the Bradford Argus, and a proprietor gwith "Judge" Parsons. Of his second marriage were children: Lucretia, married to John K. Baker, of Bath, N. 1'. ; Mary, married to W. I'). Webb, of Chicago; and the Hon. Joseph.
Andrew Trout (1821), a blacksmith, and a soldier of the War of 1812, was a resident of Towanda till 1831, when he was drowned with George 11. Bingham it Shamokin dam. He had a number of sons, who became bright men
Warren Brown came to Towanda as early as 1817. He built the (,'Oil lit y House" SO called from its having been built, of second-hand material, procured of the county commissioners. This building stood where is the residence of J. J. Griffith, and was used as a hotel by Mr. Brown as early as 1824. He was clerk of the county from 1826-'30 and in about 1832 went West with his family.
James Catlin and Octavius Holden were early residents of Towanda, and among the first printers. William F. Dinniger, a Frenchman skilled in the art of teaching, came here from Wysox, taught school and resided for awhile. The early records of Wysox show that he took quite an active part in politics, and held various local offices. He was somewhat rigid and eccentric as a teacher, and is well remembered by some of the elderly people.
Among early families that were here for a short time only, are remembered: The Moores, the Wheelers, the Beebes, the Leavenworths, the Ingrams. . . Thomas Elliott established himself in the mercantile business, near the corner of Main and Pine streets, in 1821. He was for sometime associated with William Keeler, and afterward with Hiram Mercur. Here, in 1846, the Hon. Joseph Powell took his first lessons in the mercantile art. Mr. Elliott was a prominent merchant of the town for many years. He built a spacious mansion in the southern part of the village, where he died in affluence in 1868, aged seventy-six years. His aged widow and son, Edward T., occupy the homestead. Mr. Elliott was the first president of the old Towanda 13 ink. He was a man of strict in tegrity, and was greatly respected.
Theodore Geroulds (1822), a blacksmith, lived on Water street for awhile. Col. Hiram Mix came to Towanda in 1822 from Myersburo, where he had been a merchant. purchased a lot of John Stowers and opened a store in partnership with his brother. St. John Mix. Col. Hiram Mix closed his days in Towanda. His children were: William, Harry, Hiram, Amelia (Mrs. D. F. Barstow), Emeline (Mrs. D. Huston), Elizabeth (Mrs. Jno. F. Means), Matilda (Mrs. Jos. Kingsbury) anti Ellen (Mrs. St. John Mix). Of these Harry, Amelia anti Matilda are still living William was the father of John W. mix, of Towanda.
Nathaniel -N. Betts, the father of N. N. Betts, cashier of the First National Bank of Towanda, came from Oxford, N. Y., in about IS20 to officiate as clerk for Gurdon Hewett with whom he subsequent] y became a partner. After Air. Hewett removed to Owego, he sent Jos. .D. Montanye to Towanda as his clerk, who finally became a partner in the concern. Mr. Hewett subsequently sold his interest to the other two, and the firm became Betts & Montanye. They were for several years one of the principal firms of Towanda, and occupied the corner of Court and Main streets, where P. L. Decker now is. Mr. Betts married a daughter of Esquire Means. and after her death he married Miss Eliza Clark, daughter of Dr. Adonijah Warner, of Wysox, which union was blessed by the birth of Eliza Ellen (Mrs. Dr. 11. C. Porter) and Nathaniel Noble. Mr. Betts was, in his later years, a magistrate, and scrupulously honest in his official relations. He died in 1875 at the age of seventy-six years.
Benjamin Hunt (1822) kept a cake, beer and confectionery establishment on the ground now occupied by McCrany's livery stables, on State street, and afterward had a grocery on Court street, between the Presb yterian church and Frost's Sons' ware-rooms.
Dr. John N. Weston was born in Norwich, Conn., February 12, 1794. He made his advent into the county in the winter of 1813-14, instructing in the art of penmanship, but remained only until the fol-lowing spring.
George W. Cash, son of Capt. Isaac Cash, one of the first settlers in Athens and Ulster, came to Towanda in 1822, and entered into partnership with Morris Spalding in the tanning business, which was continued under the firm name of Spalding & Cash for five years. They purchased of the Vandykes. Mr. Cash afterward went to Texas, and enlisted in the war for Texan independence. He was captured by the Mexicans and put to death in cold blood by orders of Santa Anna.
Gen. William Patton, a native of Mifflin county, Pa., and lawyer by profession, came to Towanda in 1823. Mr. Patton was a magistrate, and held at successive periods clerkships in the State Senate, and in the United States War and Navy Departments, and General Land-Ollice, and also in the United States Senate, serving in the last body for more than a quarter of a. century. He was a captain in the militia, and in 1833 was elected major-general, and at the acre of sixty-five volunteered for the defense of Washington against an expected attack during the late Rebellion. Gen. Patton married, first, the eldest daughter of Reuben Hale, and for his second wife, Mrs. Ann J. Gai, of Washington, 1). C. Airs. J. J. Griffith is a daughter, and the Hon. Jos. G. Patton, a son, he having derived his title by having been a Senatorial Delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1872 to revise the organic law of the State. Gen. Patton died in 1877, at the acre of a little more than 78 years.
James McClintock, a young man of superior ability, came to Towanda in IS24 to read law with his uncle Ethan Baldwin. His first plea before a jury was in the case of the Commonwealth vs. Hall, for an aggravated assault on James P. Bull, editor of the Bradford Settler., in which he displayed great oratorial powers. His poetic genius was also more than medium. He settled in Wilkes-Barre Death robbed him at once of a loved wife, which together with the loss of a large property and political defeat, unbalanced a brilliant intellect, and the darkness of insanity settled on him forever, momentary gleams of the sunlight of reason only rendering the gloom more fearful.
Dr. Caleb W. Miles was the first permanent res ident physician of Towanda. James Gilson, a cabinet-maker, established himself in business at Towanda in 1824. He lived about where Henry Porter now does, and bad a cabinet shop nearly on the line between the late James Macfarlane and D.A. Overton. Jared Downing Goodenough came to Towanda in 1821, from Oxford, N.Y. He was a saddler and harness-maker, and carried on the business here for several years, also following general merchandising. In 1835 he was elected justice of the peace, and held the office consecutively for seventeen years. He died January 6, 1874, in his eighty-second year, and his remains are interred in Riverside Cemetery. in 1825 be was united in marriage with Sybil, daughter of the late Daniel Brown, of Wyalusing. 0. D. Goodenough, son of Jared Goodenough, was a well-known resident of Towanda, for many years connected with journalism, wielding an able, fluent and versatile pen, and in a manner pleasing. In 1859, the Bradford Herald was published by Chase & Goodenough; in 1871 the TowandaBusiness Item. by Goodenough and Clauson.
Ebenezer Bartlett, the ancestor of the family in Bradford county, was a Revolutionary patriot, and was among the freemen who struck the first blow for liberty at Lexington.
Elinas Beebe, a hatter, located in Towanda in 1823, and Elnathan Beebe, who followed the same vocation, in 1825. William Flatt, a carpenter, came to Towanda in 1823; married a daughter of William Keeler, and finally removed West. Francis Delpuech, born at Geneva, Switzerland, and a gentleman of culture, educated in French, in 1824 chose the quietude of Towanda to spend the residue of his days, and accordingly purchased the Oliver Newell property. He was a skillful artist, and had a great passion for flowers, which he took pride in cultivating.Mir. and Mrs. Delpuech were estimable personages.
Hon. George Tracy, son of Solomon Tracy, a Revolutionary soldier, and early settler in Ulster (1787), came to Towanda in 1824, and engaged in mercantile business; his brother, Hon. 11. W. Tracy, of Standing Stone, being associated with him. His store was where the residence of D. A. Overton now is. Mr. Trac y moved to Monroeton in 1832. William D. VanHorn, a carpenter, and also Curtis Frink, a blacksmith, were added to the populace of the town in 1824. . . David Cash, a nephew and law partner of Simon Kinney, began the practice of his profession at Towanda in 1825. He was elected prothonotary of the county in 1839, and was a candidate for the State Senate, but was defeated by Hon. Samuel Morris, of Luzerne count v. Mr. Cash was interested in the construction of the North Branch Canal, and also of the Barclay Railroad. He built a fine residence on the corner of Third and Poplar streets, on the south side of the latter, and there lived until the time of his death, in 1864, aged seventy years. His wife, Mary Ann Spencer, died in 1883, at the age of seventy-seven years. The children of David and Marv A. Cash were: George, Charles, Fred, Louise (Mrs. James Wood) and Mary (Mrs. 11. S. Gris- wold). -David Cash was a brother of George W. Cash.
Alva Kelloao- a blacksmith, began business in Towanda in 1825. He married a daughter of Noah Spalding and lived where A. Snell now does.. Warren Jenkins, grocer, began business in Towanda in 182.5. He subsequently engaged in journalism. Gilbert 1-1. Drake, wagonmaker, located at Towanda in 1825. He had his shop on the ground now occupied by James McCabe's residence, his house standing where the Methodist Episcopal church now is. Benjamin Specs was associated with him for awhile. Drake afterward built a house and shop on the ground now occupied by Humphrey Bros. & Tracy. He removed to Montrose in 1866.
lion. David F. Barstow, a native of Litchfield county, Conn., who studied law at Albany, N. Y., and was admitted to practice I n 1821, came to Towanda in 1825. He was a gentleman of letters, a graduate of Union College, and began life in Towanda as a teacher. For many years he was a magistrate, and did an extensive business in connection with collecting. He also practiced at the bar. Mr. Barstow was a man held in high esteem by his fellow-townsmen and was honored by them with various local offices of responsibility and trust, and served the county in the lower branch of the State Legislature from 1838 to 1840. He was an active, pious and devoted member of the Episcopal Church, and stood prominent in its councils, and was a ready supporter of both church and school interests.
William Payson was a deputy sheriff, and lived in the old courthouse. He came to the village as early as 1820, moving finally to the State line. Byron Kingsbury, son of Col. Joseph Kingsbury, of Sheshequin, located in the northern part of the village in 182.5, on the farm now owned and occupied by his son, W. W. Kingsbury. . . George Robinson, a weaver by occupation, settled (1825) in the upper part of the village. He was familiarly known as "Robinson Crusoe." Thomas Barnes married a daughter . . Deacon James Elliot, a brother of Thomas, kept a grocery and drug store, in 1825, on the corner of Main and Poplar streets, where Clark B. Porter now is. Subsequently Mr. Elliott sold out and remove(] to Ulster, where he remained some years, then returned to Towanda to close his years, which almost reached a hundred. Morris Spalding, a cousin of Col. Harry, lived in Towanda for a number of years, first coming thereto as early as 1817. In 1822 he and Geo. W. Cash were issociated together in the tanning business, which they continued till about 1 1827. I I e was postmaster of Towanda in 1822, appointed county clerk in 1824, and elected county commissioner in 1834. In 1825, he kept a store and occupied the fraimed house, near where the new Episcopal church foundation now is. He afterward kept a store farther down town, and finally removed to the State of Illinois with his family.
Obadiah Spalding, a brother of Col. Harry, a " mechanic and single freeman," lived ill Towanda from 1812 to 1817. . . Noah Spalding another brother of Col. Harry, who had been associated with Will. B. Spalding (a brother) in lumbering on the Towanda creek, became a villager in about 1822. He built a tavern on the east side of the river, a little north of where the bridge approach now is, and kept it in con-nection with a ferry. He died g in 1835, aged forty-seven years, and is buried at Riverside.
John A. Spalding came to Towanda in 1824. He was a carpenter by trade ; was elected constable ; and afterward kept a grocery for some time. J. W. and G. K. Bingham erected a store on the ground where the Presbyterian church now stands. and began business in 1826. Elisha Munger a silversmith, or watch repairer, etc., came to the village in 1825. Wm. W. In 1826 the following were also residents of the vi g , Goodrich, shoemaker; John Turner, merchant; Robert Dunham, tailor ; Andrew McIntyre John W. Berger wagon-maker. In 1827 were added : Charles ft. Brown, a cabinet-maker, who had a small shop and continued in business for some time. . . Thomas Polleys, a shoemaker, became somewhat conspicuous as a fisherman. He had two sons, one of whom at one time edited a paper at Waverly, N. Y. Burton Kingsbury opened a store on the ground now occupied by E. F. Dittrich & Co., grocers, where he continued in business for some years, then supplanted the wooden building by a brick one. In 1829 he built a brick residence on the corner of Pine and Main streets.
Dr. Samuel C. Huston, a native of Essex county, Mass., came to Towanda in 1827. He became eminent in his profession, was a man of great firmness, integrity of purpose and strong likes and dislikes. He was unswervingly a Democrat in politics, and prominently identified with the Masonic Fraternity. Dr. Huston married Miss Emeline, daughter of Col. Hiram Mix. He died May 20, 1856, aged sixty years. A son occupies a part of the homestead on York avenue. Huston street was so called in his honor William W. Goodrich had come in 1826 from New York to take charge of the tanning interests of George Kirby, who, for a time, had a tannery on the bank of the river, near the west end of the old dam. He engaged in shoemaking and in the sale of merchandise. After some years he removed to Wysox, where he lived.
The following citizens were added to Towanda in 1828: Jesse Taylor, a house-painter and chair-maker by occupation. Jacob Whitman, a tailor, and a man of much activity. Perrin Wells, also a tailor, had a shop where G. M. Clark's place of business now is.
Edward F. Young started the first foundry at Towanda. It was operated by horse-power, and stood on the bank of the river just above State street. Spencer Goodale, in a couple of years, became the owner of the property. Mr. Young subsequently built up an extensive business at Monroeton. George Wansey, who was an Englishman of culture and considerable landed estate, was a resident of the countyseat for several years. He was a Christian gentleman of great benevolence. So attached was he to his native country that he never became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Mrs. Wansey was an English lady of paragon amiability. She moved with her husband to Genesee Falls, N. Y.
Additions made in 1829: Samuel Gordon, a saddler and harnessmaker, was a resident of the village for several years. Pliny Nichols was assistant county clerk, then engaged in business where the "Ward House" now stands. He died in 1832, and his widow subsequently married Dr. Hiram Rice. Zenus and Benjamin Thomas, cousins, and hatters by occupation, were successors to Henry Mercur. The latter, especially, was a man of remarkable natural talents. His children were exceptionally bright, and he that was familiarly known as "Little Ben Thomas in Towanda, more than thirty years ago, is to-day that clear-headed gentleman who has the general superintendency of the New York, Lake Erie & Western Railroad. Much to his credit, he earned his place by his sterling integrity, perseverance., care and punctuality in business, having begun his career as a poor boy. The Hon. Ellis Lewis was one of the prominent men of Towanda in 1832 fie was a volunteer candidate for the State Legislature, being indorsed b then e ent Democrats and National Republicans, and was elected over regular Democratic nominee. He was a bright and able mind, and at the time of his practice at the county seat was conceded to be the ablest lawyer of the Bradford county bar. While in the State Legislature he made an excellent record, and displayed, superior judgment, making him so conspicuous in the State, that he was soon after chosen attorney general. Subsequently he became president judge of the several courts of Lancaster county, and in 1851 was elected to the bench of the supreme court of Pennsylvania, becoming chief justice, January .5, 1855. As a lawyer and jurist he ranked among the foremost, and leaves a bright page on the judicial history of the "Keystone State." He spent the last year of his life in Philadelphia, where he left a fine fortune.
William Watkins was born in Windsor county, Vt., was admitted to the bar in Montpelier in 1825. In 1828 he married Almira Hulett, and soon after removed to Towanda. He gave himself immediately to the practice of his profession, never engaging in speculation, and only participating in the passing questions of the day, when he considered a moral principle to be involved. His keen perception of character and motive, and persistency of purpose, secured him, in time, a reputation for shrewdness as a law er, and the integrity of mind, that was a distinguishing trait, gave him an undisputed claim to the confidence of his clients and the respect of his neighbors and friends. Mr. Watkins was a man of strong convictions, and of such as did not always lead him into avenues of g popularity. He identified himself with the earliest Abolition movements in the county. when a single old colored man, familiarly known as " Black Henry," was his main ally. Years later, in the interval of which history was verifying the correctness of his sympathies, his eldest son, Lieut. Col. Guy 11. Hawkins, who had early enlisted in the War of the Rebellion, fell in the fruitless charge before Petersbu rg, June 18, 1864. Mr. Watkins died September 12, 1817, aged seventy-five years, in the home he inhabited nearly fifty years; Mrs. Watkins died February 9, 1879, at the age of seventy two. Their children were two sons, Guy If. and William H., and two daughters, who married Hon. W. T. Davies, and H. L. L'Amoureaux, respectively.
Wm. T. Buttrie manufactured chairs, bedsteads, etc., for several years, and did a g g ood business. He had his shop on the bank of the river, between State and Pine streets . . . Nathaniel Eaton, a chairmaker, was associated first with James Gillson and afterward with Chas. It. brown William Foley attended ferry for Mr. Kelly. Mrs. Foley was the village laundress, am introduced 'paper collar; among the young men Hamlet A. Kerr for two years edited and published the Bradford Settler Seth W. Paine engaged in he mercantile trade until 1835, when he sold out and went to Troy, where he did an extensive business, which gave a great impetus to the growth of that town.Mr. Paine has been a man of much enterprise, and is vet living at Troy at an advanced age.
Capt. Nicholas Hentz. of France, landed in this country in 1816 and settled in Wilkes-Barre, and learned the tinner's trade, whence he removed to Towanda in 1830. He served as a captain in the French army under Napoleon I., in the Imperial. Guard, and afterward in regiments of the line, from 1806 to the downfall of the emperor, but did not resign his commission until he accompanied his father to the United States. His father, Nicholas Hentz was a member of the National Assembly of France during the Revolution of 1792, and belonged to the party of the Mountain, and was a colleague of Robes-pierre and St. Just. He was on the legislative committee and assisted in compiling the code of laws known as the " Code Napoleon." After the death of Robespierre he was proscribed by the convention and sentenced to imprisonment for life in the castle of Ham, but lived in concealment, under the assumed name of Arnold, for a number of years, and thus eluded being captured.
Hiram Rice learned the printer's trade with J. P. Bull, and from 1833 to 1835 was editor and proprietor of the Northern Banner. He studied medicine, and removed to Rome where he practiced until the time of his demise. A son, Dr. Will. Rice, succeeded him, and ranks high in the medical profession. Mrs. Rice is an accomplished lady, and is yet living at an advanced age. James Warford was a wagon-maker of the village for a number of years. In his younger days he had read all the popular tales, arid took great pride in rehearsing them to the village lads. Nehemiah J. Keeler followed clerking for a number of years in Towanda. He was married to a, daughter of Jesse Taylor. A. C. Steadman, for a time a resident of the borough, was a cabinet-maker by trade. John E. Geiger, a gunsmith, came from Elmira to Towanda in 1830 and started the first regular gun shop in the town and perhaps in the count He was a thorough and skillful workman, and continued at his trade until 1858, when he was succeeded by his son, J. V. Geiger, popularly known as Boss Geiger'' who is still engaged in the same business. Mr. Geiger purchased a desirable property in East Towanda, where he spent his closing days.
William Smalley began blacksmithing in the village in 1832 ; subsequently sold to his brother Isaac and removed to Ulster.
Lyman H. Hodges kept an "inn " in 1832, where the "Ward House " now stands. Mark C. Arnout came as a tanner, in 1832, and finally bought out Andrew Irving,. After some years he removed to Granville township and then engaged in farming. Eli Beard began selling goods in 1833, on the corner now occupied by Stevens & Long. He finally moved to Troy and re-engaged in same business.
Neely & Shoemaker came to Towanda in the same year as Beard, and kept a store where Decker Brothers now are. George W. Allies in 1833, was engaged in watch-making and repairing.
John Savage, a hatter ; Edward Watts, a tailor; Charles Tousey, a saddler; George A. Mix (brother of Col. Hiram), a teacher; Thomas Shiply, a tailor; Nathan Tuttle, a shoemaker, who afterward built a hotel on the ground now occupied by the Presbyterian church.
Those who came to Towanda in 1834 were H. L. Kingsbury, painter; Daniel Miller, blacksmith; G. H. Bunting, tailor; Silas Noble, lawyer; Edward Young, a native of England and father of Prothonotary Young, came to the village previously, and. in 1839 moved to Columbia.
In 1835-36 the following names were added to the assessment list of Towanda: John C. Adams, lawyer; Sheldon S. Bradley ; J. M. Chilson, silversmith ; Hogan & Gantine, printers; G. H. Dalrymple, tailor; John R. Eaton, shoemaker; John Frost, shoemaker; Abram Goodwin, merchant; Johnson, silversmith ; Dummer Lilley, printer ; John Lockwood, blacksmith ; Clement Paine, merchant; Page & Ells- worth, merchants ; Isaac H. Ross, shoemaker (also kept hotel) ; Isaac C. Ray, barber; Jonathan R. Coolbaugh ; William B. Storm, cashier of Towanda Bank ; It. B. Stewart, merchant; Richard Wheeler, grocer; Edward White, merchant ; David Wilmot, lawyer; Richard Wright, hatter; Jabez Wright, hatter; George Williams tailor.
Names added in 1837: Bottom & Scott, bridge builders; Thomas Black, shoemaker; V. H. Bruce, cabinet-maker; William E. Barton, constable ; S. S. Bailey, merchant; Jeremiah Culp, saddler ; Edmund S. Castle, merchant ; E. S. Clark, grocer; A. M. Coe, inn-keeper -, Thomas Coombs, shoemaker; A. S. Chamberlain, commissioners' clerk; John Decker, shoemaker; Harkness, grocer; L. L. Hancock, shoemaker; James P. Kinsman; J. P. Lawrence; Adonijah Moody, butcher ; John Morris, carpenter; James Matoon, brickmaker ; O'Grady; Amos Pennypacker, tailor; Samuel Riley, blacksmith Nicholas Shoemaker, of the firm of Neely & Shoemaker ; Seth Steel, barber; Elkanan Smith, saddler; H. H. Seely, fork-maker; Charles Shockey, baker; Rial Taylor, blacksmith ; G. H. Taylor grocer Daniel Vandercook, cabinet-maker ; John Wilson, bedstead manufacturer; Sterling W. Wells, blacksmith ; Henry Yontz, tailor.
Names added in 1838: E. F. Bliven, wagon-maker; Hiram Beech, printer ; Allen S. Burnham, inn-keeper; R. R. Carpenter, crockery merchant; John Carman, foundryman ; Luke Gillespie; Francis Heath. blacksmith; J. P. Kirby & Co.; Isaac W. Loveland ; James Nestor, grocer Ralph Peters; G. W. Rowbaker; George Sanderson, lawyer bram Savercool ; Gilbert Seeman, tailor; George Stein, blacksmith,William Shepherd; Patrick Slain, grocer; C. Sullivan, shoemaker; 0. R. Tyler, merchant ; Hugh O'Hara, grocer.
Names added in 1839; Henry' Butler ; John Britton, butcher Abram Brads, wagon-maker; Thomas Barnes; Josiah Betts, shoemaker; M. J. Clark, contractor; William Chamberlin, silversmith ; A. F. Day, cooper; Henry Essenwine, blacksmith ; Gabriel Eldredge, hatter; Freeman Fairchild, harness-maker; John B. Ford, tailor; E. L. Fuller, printer; Stephen Hathaway, shoemaker; James 11. Heaton, lawyer; Harvey Jones, inn-keeper; II. F. Kellum, clerk; A. M. War-ner silversmith ; Tracy & Moore, merchants ; William .11. Overton Ziba Partridge; Samuel B. Roberts, grocer; Charles Day, cooper.
Names added in 1840: E. W. Bair, attorney, Miles Carter, merchant; Coryell, Heylman Co., dam-builders; John Carter. Among the most prominent and distinguished personages who have been residents of Towanda since 1840 were the following : Hon. John LaPorte, Christopher L. Ward, Hon. James It. Coburn, Col. G. F. Mason, James Macfarlane, Warner H. Carnochan, Jacob Dewitt, Col. Abram Edwards, Hon. L. P. Williston, John P. Cox.