History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches
By H. C. Bradsby, 1891
BRADFORD COUNTY. 559
WYALUSING TOWNSHIP-WYALUSING BOROUGH.
IN the cycles of time come the fleeting years, the fleeting tribes, nations and civilizations, and the great march taken up when the morning, stars sang together goes on and on forever. Because the seed and its environment, of which come sprouting and growth, ripenincy of other seed and decay of the bearing stem, are the eternal law of change and reproduction, is the chiefest cause of the historical interest that attaches to the gray traditions of the pre-historic peoples that once lived, flourished and passed away, and their changing predecessors, coming and going like the leaves of the poppy, until the circling throng comes within the range of vision of the chronicler and historian, and give us the foundation- beams on which press the present great superstructure of our societies and civilizations. The ascending rounds of the ladder it is that invests all the interest there is to past barbarisms, as they furnish the materials for the coining explorers, hunters and trappers, the conquerors of empire and the missionaries of the Church, that give the students of history and biology all their interests in the dim and uncertain past.
In this respect Wyalusing is the central point of interest in the northern tier of Pennsylvania. A little spot, Friedenshutten, about three miles square, figures pre-eminently in our Colonial history; it is on the North branch of Pennsylvania's great river, the Susquehanna, and is a part of Bradford county and Wyalusing township, and even includes, resting upon its outer border, a part of the borough of Wyalusing connecting itself, as it closely does, with the Wyoming Valley, it gives our history its first important chapter. Here is a cove of fertile alluvium, one of the many that indent the shores of this curious river in its winding through the Appalachian mountains and highlands that cross the State from northeast to south west-where is to be seen a peculiar condition of infrequent occurrence in nature-a great river with no valley proper of its own. The first the writer noticed of this strange formation was standing upon the summit of Vaughn hill, with the river hundreds of feet below the jutting- wall, and looking out over
560 HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY.
one of the finest perspectives he ever beheld, up and down the river, that coils in and out like a silvery serpent; and away in the blue distance is Pool mountain, and still further is Mount Pisgah, one of the first points in the State to kiss the jocund morn. Here, it is plain to see, the river has simply forged its way, cutting here and there the rock walls of the points of hills, with no certain valley to point to its once wide shores.
One hundred and twenty-five years ago the pure and gentle Moravian, David Zeisberger, came, planting, in the wilderness the cross of Christ and telling the simple children the transcendent story of the Redemption. On the beautiful cove at the mouth of Wyalusing creek had settled a clan of the tribe of Minsis Indians, under their chief, Poppanhauk. This beautiful and fertile spot was on the line of the southern warpath of the powerful Iroquois, or Six Nations, in their southern marauds, and hence it had passed into traditions as the I beautiful but bloody ground." The Indians under Poppanhauk had come here after their chief had met the Moravians near Bethlehem, and had been most favorably impressed with them and their Christian teachings. They had fled from what is now Carbon county, in 1752, it is supposed, and took. up their abode at the Wyalusing. In May, 1760, Christian Fredrick Post, of Bethlehem, going on a mission of danger to the Six Nations, came to the Wyalusing village and spent the night with the Indians. He was accompanied by John Hays, and describes the village as a 11 religious hand of Indians on the east side of the river," and be estimated the place to consist of "twenty well-built Indian houses." At the request of the Indians Post tarried a day and preached to the villagers. This sermon, May 20, 1760, was the first church service in northern Pennsylvania, and.. therefore, when David Zeisberger came as a missionary in 1763 the way had been prepared by Post, and he soon baptized Poppanhauk. John Woodman, an evangelist of the society of Friends, had visited the place a short time before the arrival of Zeisberger in 1701 and bad preached to the Indians.
The Moravian Mission properly commenced at Wyalusing 1765, after the end of the Pontiac conspiracy, and the return of Pappanhauk with his people, who had been driven out of the country, and had been in the barracks at Philadelphia. And the history of that missionary post, proper, is from May 9, 1765, to June 11, 1772. These peaceable and friendly Indians were first under the care of Moravians, and also were aided by the Colonial government. The site of their first village was at old Browntown, in more modern times the noted stage stand and most important place in the south part of the county, until the work of building the canal was completed, when what is the borough of Wyalusing commenced to grow, and Browntown slowly faded away, It was situated about five miles south of the present borough. The old Ira Brown farm is, no doubt, where the first Indian village was located. In 1776, it being resolved to select a more suitable place for their village, the "upper end of the flat " was agreed upon, and the village was moved, and upon this site stands the memorial monument of "old Friedenshutten, within plain view of Mrs. Judge Stalford's residence. and near the railroad track. This was made into regular streets, and thirty-five huts and cabins were moved from the old to the
HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY. 561
new village; and, with the others, was moved the church house, and set tip in the center of the plat, " near an excellent spring," and a log dwelling was put up for the missionaries. In January, 1767, a new and more commodious church house was erected, of square timbers, 32x22, and covered with a shingle roof in 1768. And in that year they made the further improvement of sash and glass in the four windows; and in the following September, 1769, a belfry, in which was hung a bell. June 11, 1772, this bell was taken (town and hung in the front part of Timothy's canoe. that headed the procession, and tolled so mournfully until the voyageurs. en route for the Allegheny country, rounded the point down the rivet- which forever shut out from their view the "huts of peace." Thus Ave see it was the second town that was given the name of " Friedenshutten" (huts OIL peace). At the time of the abandonment of the place it had grown to fifty-two dwellings-thirty-nine to,- cabins and thirteen huts ; left as empty, silent sentinels in the wilderness. The rate of this deserted village is not precisely known. It was left to the care of Job Chillaway. The site is now part of the farm of the late Judge Levi P. Stalford. The troublous times of the Revolution swiftly followed the exodus; in fact, that movement was but the forerunner or the coming war ; and, from accounts of Sullivan's expedition, we learn that a division of his army encamped on the village site, and then "there was not the appearance of a house to be seen, the old Moravian town having been destroyed partly by the savages and partly by the whites, in the present war." In this tittle Moravian church, the festivals of Easter, Pentecost, Christmas and Epiphany were celebrated after the Moravian custom. On Chrismas Eve of 1768, the chapel was finely illuminated, the picture of the Nativity being surrounded with fifty lights, for the first time furnished with burning tapers. and the whole people joined in the chorus: 11 Gelobet seist Du Jesus Christ, Dust Du Mensch geworden bist." On this occasion a strange scene was presented : Indians for many miles up and down the river had come, decked in all their barbaric splendors of skins, feathers, beads and paints, and, mute with wonderment, crowded about in that wondering silence characteristic of the wild children of the woods.
These religious Indians retained their native Characteristics-the men hunting and the women planting, hoeing and harvesting the corn, beans and pumpkins; in addition to planting on the Judge Stalford farm, they cultivated fertile patches on the creek, and on the island above the village, and on Sugar run. The women also cut and carried the winter supply of fuel; often followed the men on the chase, and halted at designated points, which were the base of supplies, or, when required, repaired through the woods and over mountains, despite the weather, to distant hunting lodges, with venison or bear's meat that had been taken from the cache-the Indian's store house for future or summer use; again in the later winter or early spring they were required to repair to the sugar camps and make the annual supply of maple sugar; in the summer gathering flag and rush for mats, huckleberries , Pulling wild hemp for making bands, picking cranberries in the swamps, especially in Wilmot township, and ginseng and
562 HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY.
wild potatoes; they also cut the rank wild grass and made hay, and for this purpose they had to go seven miles up from Wyalusing to Mesehasgunk (Flea-town), as there was not a sufficiency of grass nearer.
From the diary of the Moravians, who kept the Wyalusing mission! are take the following extracts:
July 14, 1765-1 gathered bark for covering my hut (Zeisberger). July 21-The entire nation of the Tutelars (but a handful of people) passed en route for Shamokin, to bunt. . Sept. 30.---This evening a wolf was killed in the town. . Jan. 2, 1766.-The hunters brought in ten deer. . Jan. 18-The young men went out on a bearhunt and returned on the 17th with seven. "The meat was apportioned among, the heads of families. . Sept. 23.-Esther, with other sisters, went to gather ginseng. . Nov. 4 -Cornelius trapped two wolves near town of a pack that had been tearing calves. He secured the culprits by an ingenious piece of strategy, having suspended one of their slain victims from a tree, and immediately under the lure placed two rifles! with muzzles directed toward the only point of approach, in attempting to pass which a rope nicely adjusted, so as to control the triggers, would inevitably be disturbed and discharge the pieces."
In the diary for 1768 are the following :
" April 23.-The Susquehanna rose and inundated the plantation. June 25.-The Captain of Shamunk, the new town above Tioga, came to purchase corn. . August 22.-Council set a bounty of two quarts of corn for every inhabitant on a wolf-scalp, payable to the fortunate hunter. . September 13.-Set watches and kept fires burning through the night, to guard against the depredations of wolves. September 14.-Unroofed the church in order to build it higher by two rows of logs October 25.-My wife and myself harvested potatoes. . November 21.-Excessively cold weather and deep snow. March 20, 1769-Twenty Nanticokes from Zeninge arrived. They report a scarcity of food, almost a famine up the river, and they bring the blankets and strouds which were apportioned among them at the last treaty, to barter away for corn. . July 16-Twenty families came up from Shamokin to procure corn. . July 20-Forty Indians from different points, all half famished, came for corn. . July 23.Cayugas came on the same errand. There is scarcity with us also, and the Indians eat but one meal a day. . January 16, 1770-The brethren felled trees and hewed logs for the proposed schoolhouse. . March 26.-Bro. Jungman was busy boiling maple-molasses. . May 16.-Took 1200 shad. . June 6-planted corn for the second time, the worms having destroyed the first planting entirely. June 16.-There arrived two Mohawks, sent by the Six Nations, with a message and a belt to the New Englanders at Wyoming, to the effect that if they (the New Englanders) delayed evacuating the valley, they would come down and take them by the hair and shake them. October 12-My wife and myself bound buckwheat. . December 20.-The school closed for the term. The scholars have been punctual in their attendance, and have made commendable progress. Some write on slates, the younger ones on wooden tablets. . April 27, 1771.-dAILY we have a plentiful supply of pigeons."
HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY 563
From these faithful annalists of the ancient times we glean the following authentic history. June 10, 17 72, thirty canoes were ready at the bank to convey the people away from their "buts of peace," never to return. Others were to go overland to Mercy creek, the first under Brother Roth and the other under Brother Ettwein. In their journals they speak of the movements of white men through Wyalusing and vicinity. There were no white men residing in the valley during the occupation of Friedenshutten by the missionaries. In one place they mention the fact that a white man, 11 an Irishman " was residing in Schechshiquanink (Sheshequin), this entry is dated December 5, 1768, and is again mentioned February 2, 1769. He assisted Jim and Sam Davis in conveying Missionary Roth's effects to Sheshequin when the latter was settled there at the dates given. Another man ( "an Irishman " again) is noticed as in Sheshequin, referred to December 20, 1770, spoken of by three Indians that passed through the Indian village. These Indians were police in the hunt of this man to arrest him, and they said he bad stopped a short time in Sheshequin. Occasional visits are mentioned of traders passing through-a man named Anderson of Easton who made regular annual trips; another named Ogden, of Wyoming, whose trading house and dwelling were sacked and burned by the Connecticut men in April, 1770.
The causes of the exodus from Friedenshutten were first the evident coming trouble between the Yankees and Pennamites and the growing indications that John Pappanhauk's title to the lands assured to them would ultimately be involved, and second the action of Job, Chillaway in securing a survey to himself of the land from Penn. Chillaway assured the Indians that lie had acted thus, solely in their common interests, but this assurance was not satisfactory. The authorities at Bethlehem were offered lands in Ohio for these people, and they therefore determined to abandon forever Friedenshutten.
The order for the survey at Wyalusing to Job Chillaway was made May 20, 1772, and the survey was made by John Lukens, surveyor general, September 16, 1773, and Chillaway's title confirmed as surveyed March 10, 1774, and his patent March 12, following and is signed by Thomas and John Penn for six hundred and twenty-three acres, now the farms of the late Judge L. P. Stalford and Mr. Brown; the boundary lines as follows: Beginning at the easterly side of the northeast branch of the Susquehanna, at the mouth of Wyalusing creek ; thence up along the side of said creek, one hundred, and thirty-nine perches to a post; thence by Benjamin :Bear's land, south fifty-seven degrees east, one hundred and ninety-four perches to a marked white oak ; thence by vacant land south thirty-seven degrees. east one hundred and forty-two perches to a marked pine, south sixty-eight degrees east, ninety-six perches to a marked pine and north sixty-seven degrees east one hundred and forty-two perches to a post; thence by William Kinsley's land (spelled Kingsleys in the patent) south seventy degrees east, one hundred and forty perches to a marked buttonwood at the site of the northeast branch on Susquehanna aforesaid ; thence up along the side of the said branch on the several courses thereof eight hundred and eight perches to the place of beginning. The tract
564 HISTORY 'OF BRADFORD COUNTY.
being a part of the 11 Manor of Pomfret 11 in the county of Northumberland.
May 4, 1775, Job and Elizabeth Chillaway conveyed by deed this tract of land to Henry Pawling, great-grandfather Of the late Judge Levi Pawling Stalford, in consideration of the Sum of 1784, subject to a mortgage of X236 due parties in Philadelphia; and Pawling by his will, dated August 29, 1792, conveyed a part of this land to Ills daughter, Catharine Stalford (spelled Stalmford), wife of Joseph Stalford. She was to locate her 275 acres according to her pleasure. The commissioners appointed to settle the titles in Springfield township assigned the upper half of the Pawling track to Connecticut claimants, leaving to the Stalford family, where it is now, the part actually occupied by the Indians.
The Moravian brothers of Bethlehem visited Wyalusing in 1870, and hunted out the grounds of Friedenshtutten, and a memorial monument was erected on the old village ground, standing in front of the late Judge Stalford's residence, and near the track of the Lehigh Valley Road. The dedicatory services of the monument were held June 14 and 15, 1871. It is of drab sandstone from near Pittston; the foundation stone is from Laceyville; total height of the structure is fifteen feet; on the eastern face is the following 11 This stone was erected on the 15th of June, in the year of Redemption 1871, by members of the Moravian Historical Society." There was present at the dedication Bernhard Adam Grube, eighty years old, a grandson of Rev. Grube, who had been a teacher and adviser at old Friedenshutten, who told the audience interesting reminiscences of his grandfather who died at Bethlehem, March 20, 1808, aged ninety-three years. In the course of his remarks lie pointed out a little girl, sitting at his side, Annie W. Lehman, whose great-grandfather, John Heckewelder, bad followed the Indians of Friedenshutten into the western country casting his lot with theirs in the darkest days of the mission.
The Pawlings took possession of their land, and they brought as tenant ' . Isaac Hancock, who came in 1776, who soon had cleared a farm near the old Indian village site. It is a disputed question whether any white man remained in the valley during the War of the Revolution or not, and yet from the late Judge L. P. Stalford's notes is taken the statement that this man Hancock opened the first public-house and kept it from 1780 to 1795; and he farther states that he was the first justice of the peace; that he was here from 1766 to 1795, and that his daughter, born in 1777, was the first white child born in this vicinity.
It is-well to here state that the Moravians are Protestants who came from Moravia, in the south of Bohemia, and in 1574 were expelled on account of religion. In 1627, at the council of Ostrorog the Bohemian and Swiss churches were consolidated and took the name of "Church of the United Brethren." They are Episcopal in government, Calvanistic in doctrine, and noted for their missionary zeal; they established themselves in Bethlehern, Pa., in 1742, and from there sent out their missionaries to the heathen in all lands.
Hon. L. P. Stalford, under date of November 6, 1867, wrote to
HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY. 565
Hooker's Northern Tier- Gazette, of Troy, in reply to Mr. Hooker, giving some incidents of the settlement of Wyalusing that he had heard his father relate, expressing regret that, in 1857, his books, papers and memoranda were burned with his house.
The whites came first to Wyalusing about the year 1776; Joseph Stallford leased the land to Isaac Hancock, who built near old 11 Friedenshutten " church. The same year Nathan Kinsley settled on the same lot, and built his log house near the mouth of the creek. The same year, three brothers, Reuben, Amasa. and Guy Welles, came and also built near the creek's mouth. These were of the family of C. F. Welles. In 1778 came Thomas Lewis, father of Justus Lewis, and settled down nearer the Indian village. These were all from Connecticut, and claimed under the Susquehanna Company. Thus stood the Wyalusing settlement until 1778. In 1192, L. P. Stalford's grandfather, and his father, Benjamin Stalford, came and built their log house near the Indian village. Stalford found himself surrounded by adverse claimants, and finally compromised the whole and kept for himself 480 acres 11 as far up and down the river as the Indians had cultivated."
He relates the horrible tragedy that occurred in Nathan Kinsley's family: In the year 1778, just before or after the Wyoming massacre, a party of Indians traveling up the river, in passing Kinsley's house saw two boys in the dooryard grinding an ax; an Indian fired and killed one of the boys, and they seized the other and carried him off. Poor, broken-hearted Kinsley spent the remainder of his life trying to find his boy, but could never hear of him. The Kinsley house stood, until very recently, covered and protected by C. F. Welles', a solemn memento of the pioneers. The whole settlement gathered and pursued the Indians and overhauled them in the western part of the township, where a sharp fight took place, in which one Indian was killed, and the Indians tomahawked a white woman captive.
The first tavern at Wyalusing was kept by Isaac Hancock, in a log house, of course, about one hundred rods from the Indian church. People traveled on horseback and in canoes, and the rush to the north gave this hostelry much patron age. The first frame house in the township was built by Joseph Stalford in 1796-got the lumber from Tioga Point-on this roof were real feather-edged shingles and band-wrought nails. . Samuel Gordon built the first gristmill in 1792--one-horse water power without bolt. In 1796 Joseph Town built a saw and grist mill. 'About the same time the people, four miles along Wyalusing creek, built a school-house. This was used by the Presbyterians for a number of years as a church.
In the period from 1820 to 1830 there were five stills in full operation in the township; two taverns, of which one was kept in full blast by one of the church deacons, who sold liquor freely, and another prominent brother ran one of the distilleries.
The first church services, after the Moravian church was destroyed, was at the house of Widow Lucretia York' in 1785, on the old John Hollenback place. Services were held here until the Presbyterian Church was organized at her house in 1793-the first of the kind in the
566 HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY.
county, held under the direction of a man named Baldwin, his wife and Mrs. York constituting the total first membership. This organization afterward moved to Merryall and continued to the present. Joseph Stalford's first frame house was burned in July, 1851, and four men lost their lives in the conflagration. It is said that Hancock bad a rope factory, using wild hemp to make strings, ropes and cords, in much demand by the Indians in packing.
Mrs. York was a daughter of Manassah Miner, of Connecticut, where she was born in February, 1730. Her husband was Amos York, who came here in 1773 and proved himself an ardent Whig. He was captured by the Indians February 14, 1877, and taken to Canada through " the deep snow," in which he suffered incredible hardships, but was finally exchanged and reached his native place in Connecticut, where he died, leaving a widow and eight children, the youngest child being but three weeks old, Added to the horrors of their situation, they bad been plundered by the Indians and were in the wilderness, surrounded only by the enemy. She took her family to Wyoming, and it was at the battle where her son-in-law, Capt. Aholiab Buch was killed, leaving a widow with a four-months'-old infant. This woman get out with the hegira with her eight children and orphan grandchild for Connecticut. In 1785 she returned to Wyalusing and remained till her death, which occurred October 30.. 1818, when she was in her eighty-eighth year.
Nathan Kinsley, Justus Gaylord, Oliver Dodge, Thomas Lewis, Isaac Hancock and Gideon Baldwin were appointed by the court commission, in 1788, to lay out all necessary roads in Springfield township, the first regular roads opened in Wyalusing.
In 1771 Lieutenant James Welles, of Connecticut, came as a settler, and he became proprietor of one of the two townships surveyed by the Susquehanna company-Charlestown township. In 1775 Col. Plunket, under orders from Pennsylvania, with a force of armed men, broke up the settlement, burned the buildings, plundered their property and took the men as prisoners to jail. James Welles was the father of Reuben, Guy and Amasa Welles. Justus Gaylord was one of the men captured by Plunket, and was lodged in Sunbury jail. When released he returned to Wyalusing and lived where the railroad now crosses the line between the Welles and Stalford estates. Among those who fled to the forts for protection were Z. Marcy, E. Sanford, 1. Thompson, Phelps the Elder, N. Depew and R. Carr. It is not known that any of. these ever returned.
1780-1786.-The valley of the North Branch originally formed a part of Northampton county, but subsequently it was set off to Northumberland, and in 1780 the township of Wyalusing was created. As then described it was bounded on the north and south by parallel lines running due east and west, the north line crossing at Standing en creek; the Stone and the south line at the mouth of Meshopp eastern boundary being the east line of Susquehanna county, and its western line the limits of the headwaters of Towanda creek. The organization of the township did not take place until some time after the act creating. Luzerne county -was erected September 25, 1786, and
HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY. 567
Wyalusing, was one of its eleven townships. The townships of the Susquehanna Company were never recognized by the Pennsylvania authorities as political divisions.
When the country bad quieted from the effects of war, the old settlers in the valley about Wyalusing began to return. Among the first to arrive was Thomas Brown, who occupied a clearing on Sugar run creek, about half a mile from the river.
In 1791 Richard Vaughan was buried at Wyalusing. He was a native of New York, born in 1754, and came to Lackawanna with two brothers; he served in the Revolution, and was part of the time a quartermaster. All the Vaughan family, except the son Elias, left this country. Tie was commissioned postmaster in 1811, and retained the office a number of years. lie removed to Vaughan Hill, where his posterity reside; he married Sarah Abbott, March 6, 1807, and died in 1865, in his eighty-third year.
The next arrivals after Brown were the Kinsleys, Amos Ackley, Richard Bennett and Judah Benjamin, about 1782. These all clustered about what was known as Browntown, along a path which followed nearly the course of the old canal. By 1795 they began building up along the creek. Benjamin's house was nearly five miles from the mouth, and was near a place lately occupied by G. W. Jackson. He removed to Pike township. Ackley lived about sixty rods still further up, at the foot of the hill beside the old mill. He removed to Durell creek, and there are several of his descendants no w there. Bennett built a small mill near where stands Bascom Taylor's barn. This small mill, perhaps the first-a small affair-is mentioned in a survey of 1890. It may be said to be the first mill in the county.
Isaac Hancock returned about 1785. It has been mentioned that his third daughter, Polly, was born here September 10, 1777-the second white child born in Wyalusing; Amos York's son, who died in infancy, being the first. Polly Hancock was married- to Ezekiel Brown. Soon after Hancock's return he built his log tavern, nearly opposite the Sugar run ferry road; here he dealt out entertainment to man and beast generously, together with New England rum and home-made whisky.
Ancient chronologists inform us that Justus Gaylord was one of the most.prominent citizens of this part of the county, honored and respected by his neighbors, full of public spirit, and his good judgment was freely given for the promotion of the public weal. In 1806 be was placed on the Luzerne county ticket for the Assembly. The vote stood: Justus Gaylord 38; Justus Gaylord, Jr,, 333; Moses Coolbaugh 364. He was beaten by Ibis mistake of the voters, though really having a majority of the votes. Less than 400 votes, it will be seen, at that time elected, although the district embraced what is now Luzerne, Wyoming, Susquehanna and Bradford counties, except the Tioga district. The first school in Wyalusing was taught in Justus Gaylord's house, the teacher being Uriah Terry, the founder of Terrytown.
Joseph Elliott came in 1785, from his native place, Stonington, Conn.,
where he was born October 10, 1755. Elliott was captured at the
of Wyoming, stripped and led to the " Bloody Rock" with
568 HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY.
the other captives to be butchered. When six or seven men in the fated line had been murdered, one, Thomas Fuller, shook off his captors and sprang to escape, but was seized and tomahawked; while this attracted the attention of the Indians, Elliott and Hammond at the same time broke away and fled, Hammond to the mountain and Elliot to the river. Though hotly pursued he escaped, but was wounded in the shoulder by a ball when nearly across; secreting himself, he made his way in the dark to Wilkes-Barre to the fort. As soon as he recovered he again joined the army, and was in Sullivan's expedition; he and John Carey were chosen as express between the army and Wyoming and their service was arduous and heroic. In 1792 Elliott removed to Merryall where he died March 29, 1849, the last survivor of the battle or Wyoming. He was twice married, his first wife being a daughter of Thomas Brown; after her death he married, October 17, 1787, a daughter of Thomas Lewis.
The "hard times" of those ears, the poverty among a people who had endured all that borderers could suffer and live-their property destroyed, and fleeing for their lives from burned and desolated homes, it required brave hearts and willing hands to return and renew the bitter struggle for existence. Timothy Pickering passed Lip the Susquehanna in 1784, and he says: " We were under the necessity of passing through the Wyoming settlements from Nescopeck to Tioga. The inhabitants, from the causes before mentioned (the Indian depredations), were universally poor, and their stock of cattle small and inadequate to the common purposes of husbandry. From Nescopeck-to Tioga, a distance of one hundred and twenty miles, we tasted bread but once." For several years, corn, coarsely broken in their stump mortars, and venison, formed almost exclusively their only articles of diet. It must be borne in mind that the first settlements were on the low river flats. In the ice-floods of 1784 these grounds were covered with water, and in 1789 the river suddenly rose to a greater height than ever before known, causing much destruction of property. Hay in the stacks, corn in the shocks, and, cattle on the meadows were all swept away, and the greatest suffering followed. This was the great Pumpkin Freshet," so called from the number of pumpkins that were seen floating on the raging river.
Often the early history is found mostly in ancient church records. In 1793 the first Presbyterian Church, in the whole valley drained by the North branch of the Susquehanna, was formed in Wyalusing, there were thirteen members: Uriah Terry, Lucretia York, Justus Gaylord, Jr., and his wife Lucretia, Zachariah Price and Ruth his wife, Mary Lewis, Abigail Welles, Sarah Rockwell, Anna Camp, James Lake,Thomas Oviatt and Hannah Beckwith.
Mary Lewis, nee Turrell, was the wire of Thomas Lewis: they were married May 20, 1768, and came to Wyalusing in 1786 and built their cabin a few rods south of the borough, near the river. Here their son Justus was born, August 24, 1787. The wife, widow and mother died January 23, 1813. Anna Camp, nee Oviatt, was born in Connecticut January 27, 1749, married Job Camp, February 22, 1773, and they came to Wyalusing in 1792; settling in Camptown, and there lived
HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY. 569
until his death, January 17, 1822; she died November 19, 1825. Abigail Welles, a sister of Mrs. Lewis, wife of Deacon Reuben Welles, was an early comer.
In 1794 ten persons were added to the church: Justus Gaylord and Elizabeth, his wife; John Taylor and wife, Deborah; Daniel Turrell and his wife, Temperance; AT. Miner York, Bernetha Buck, Parshall Terry and Reuben Welles.
John Taylor was a native of Dauphin county, Pa., born January 7, 1770, and came to Wyalusing in 1793. On May 16, 1794, he was married to Deborah Buck, daughter of Capt. Aholiab Buck and granddaughter of Mrs. Lucretia York. Deborah was born in Forty Fort, March 25, 1778. three months before the battle where her father was slain. She died September 26, 1856.
Rev. Manassah Miner York was the only son of Amos York, born in Stonington, Conn., in October, 1767. His father (tied when lie was aged eleven years, and the ]ad had to face many hardships. He married Betsy Arnold, in 1792, and having studied for the ministry was licensed in 1809, in which year he became the stationed minister at Wyalusing, and continued here until 1818; he died in Wysox, January 2, 1830.
The additions to the church in 1795 were Deborah Horton, Uronia
Stalford and Zeruah Lacey. The first, who was a daughter of Parshall Terry, and wife of John Horton, came with her father to Terrytown in 1792, and died in May, 1844. Nathan and Aden Stevens came in 1806, and settled several miles up the creek.
Thomas Lewis founded and named the once noted place in the township, now a mere cluster of farm houses, called Meryyall. He came from Connecticut where he was born April 11, 1745; on May 20. 1768, he married Mary Turret]; he served in the Continental army under Washington, and was in the battle of Ticonderoga, and in the army invading Canada. In May, 1787, he came to Wyalusing In 1788 he moved up the creek four miles, purchased Warrum Kingsley's land and named the settlement " Merryall," where lie (tied in February, 1810; he was the pioneer of the country up the creek. In the same boat that brought the Lewis family up the river, came Reuben. Amasa and Guy, sons of James Welles, and occupied the place held by their father previous to the Revolution.
Maj. Reuben Welles removed to Susquehanna count ; Amasa went to Pike township in 1817, where he died in 1836, aged seventy-one years. Guy Welles was born in Connecticut in 1766. and in 1790 married Elizabeth Ross, daughter of Perrin Ross. -Mr. Ross was killed at the battle of Wyoming. Guy Welles moved up Wyalusing, creek where he (tied in 1828. He was elected justice of the peace for Braintrim and Wvalusing, in 1800, and held the office twenty-five years.
David Shoemaker and Thomas Wigton, brothers-in-law to Maj. Gaylord, were among the early settlers. It is said Wigton was here before the war; lie was a school teacher and one of the original proprietors of Springfield township.
It has been mentioned that Uriah Terry taught the first school in
570 HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY.
the house of Maj. Gaylord in the winter of 1792-93. The next spring a log school-house was built near where the Presbyterian church stands, the first building of the kind in the township; it was burned, and another built of hewed logs; it stood in front of the cemetery. I n that school the 11 master " was paid by the parents at the rate of a bushel of corn to a bushel of wheat per quarter.
Benjamin Ackley, the first blacksmith, came in 1791 and built his log house where Elisha Lewis' house stands. His wife was Nancy Maxfield, to whom he was married in 1780; after her death he married Amy daughter of Thomas Lewis; he was commissioned a justice in 1813, when the county was formed; he died in Wyalusing in 1855. He had a large family of children, as did also his neighbors, four families: John Hollenback, Maj. Taylor, Mr. Buck and Mr. Ackley, all within a. square mile, and, collectively, they had upward of sixty children.
The Stalfords came in 1792, and in a few months this family and lineal descendants will have been one hundred years on the same farm, where now reside Mrs. Levi P. Stalford and daughter. Joseph Stalford's wife was Catharine Pawling, and to them were born three sons and one daughter. Of these, Benjamin Stafford, was the late Hon. Levi P. Stalford's father, and in the possession of the family are two-thirds of the original Stalford farm, the title of which came through the Indian, Job Chilloway. Joseph Stalford was a son of Samuel Stalford, of Tipperary, Ireland, where Joseph was born.
He immigrated to this country when quite young, and in Philadelphia married Elizabeth Richardson ; then went to Montgomery county, and thence to Wyalusing. In 1795 Joseph Stalford bad the highest valnation of any man in the township. Judge Levi P. Stalford, son of Benjamin and Urania (Turrell) Stalford, wag born in Wyalusing April 11, 1811. Benjamin died in 1841. Levi P. Stalford was elected a justice in 1847, and associate judge of the count in 1863 ; in 1842 he married Mary Rebecca O'Callaghan, of New York, born October 16, 1818, who, surviving her husband, with her daughter occupies the old family homestead. Mrs. Hannah Loomis (widow of Lieut. James Wells) died at the Merryall settlement in 1795, and while she lay a corpse the neighbors cleared off a place for the grave, and this was the first of the Merryall burying-round.
A bridge was built across Wyalusing creek at Camptown in 1799, but, before entirely completed, it was carried away by the flood of 1800. . In 1803 Lim Dalton murdered Amos Hurlbut on the low ground Where Hiram Stevens lived-the first capital offense in what is now Bradford county. He was tried at Wilkes-Barre and sentenced to the penitentiary for a term of eighteen years, but was pardoned out in 1808.
Job Camp, who came in 1792, planted a crop of corn, and next year brought his family. The only way they could reach this place was to follow the one road from Connecticut to Pittson, and then push up the river. The cart and younger members of the family and small belongings were placed on a keel boat, and two men hired to push it up the river; to pay them took all of Mr. Camp's crop of corn. In order to get the oxen tip the narrow path to Wyalusing they were unyoked and
HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY. 571
in single file driven along the narrow Indian trail-passing many dangerous places on the tall cliffs. This terrible rugged path was the only highway to Wilkes-Barre, fifty miles away, and where the inhabitants must go for all necessary supplies, either over this path or by river.
As stated, Samuel Gordon built his mill, near where is the Lewis mill in 1793. For this mill-the Connecticut Company having offered any one who would build the first mill a township of land-Mr. Gordon was given Walsingham, township, but, this title having failed, the mill property was lost.
Joseph C. Town, a carpenter, built a sawmill on the creek near Aaron Culver's, and soon after Grover's gristmill was put up. The
people now began to feel they were having all the luxuries of life. In 1798 he added a gristmill, and for the first time this mill had a bolt, and people began to disdain the husks, and feed on poundcake. The freshet of 1800-1, however, swept this all away, and all the sections of country far around felt the awful calamity.
What traveling was, originally, When this country all lay in a state of nature, may be imagined to some extent when we describe the nature of the roads and highways in 1795, after the people had traveled over them and fixed them as best they could. Duke Rochefouin May, 1795, passed up the river, and of this subject lie wrote: 1, The road was bad, and we were several times obliged to travel in foot-paths which were hardly passable. We frequently met with quarries of mill-stones, and with spots where a path only eighteen inches in breadth was cut through the rock, or where the road was supported by trunks of trees, narrowed by falls of earth, obstructed by fallen trees, and led along the ledge of a precipice. . At times the road is even and good, often recently cut through the wood, or interrupted by new settlements (clearings), the fences of which occasion a circuit of nearly a furlong, at the end of which it is difficult to find the road again. We often passed over declivities, rendered more dangerous by the ground being strewed with loose stones or fragments of rocks. Fortunately, it so happened that we never got more than a few rods out of our road, but we were obliged to inquire of every one we met to avoid more considerable detention."'
At this time there were scattered along the river from Browntown to Fairbanks probably forty-five or fifty families-and up Wyalusing creek-each a distance of about six miles. To these were that year assessed about eight thousand acres of land, one-fifth of which it is estimated was even rudely cultivated. Forests of great trees and dense undergrowth, for which there was no market for timber, confronted on every hand the pioneer, as he stood, ax in hand, in the great valley, now the happy homes of its teeming, population. Round log floorless huts, with one little room, regardless of numbers, sex or previous conditions were the sum total of -the architecture of the primitive land. The fat soil of the valley sent forth its strong and tangled vegetable life, as though to defy in man's strongest hands and stoutest hearts. After twenty-five years of sore struggles stricken despair and bloody deaths, the men in the serried ranks of war, the poor women and children in the dead of winter, flying across rivers, hills, mountains,
572 HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY.
through a trackless wilderness, starving, dying, bivouacking the dreary days and weeks beneath the cold stars, where babes were prematurely born, and where the little weak wails were bushed in death often , and their little cold bodies carried in the mother's arms for many days to reach a place of even safe sepulture, are but glints of the awful experiences that encompassed these people.
When Rochefoucauld traveled through the county, he mentions Wyalusing and Asylum as the only settlements from Wilkes-Barre to Tioga Point (Athens).
The list of taxables in 1795 was as follows; , Benjamin Ackley, Sherman Buck, Gideon Baldwin, Daniel Brown, Eurnpbrey Brown, Richard Baldwin, Stephen Beckwith, Benjamin Crawford, Dr. Jabez Chamberlain, Job Camp, William Dalton, Samuel Gordon, James Gordon, Justus Gaylord, Jr., James Hines, Mathias Hollenback (lived at Wilkes-Barre), Isaac Hancock, Nathan Kinsley, Warruni Kinslev, David Lake, Robert Lattimore, Thomas Lewis, Thomas Oviatt, Jolin Ogden, Philip Place, Reuben Place, Zachariah Price, Israel Shear, John Shoemaker, David Shoemaker, Thomas Smile\,, Joseph Stalford, John Taylor, Joseph G. Town, Amasa Welles, Guy Welles, Reuben Welles, Nathan Winton and Miner York. This assessment covered the whole of the original township. The total was nineteen horses, eighty six horned cattle and seven slaves; real estate and personal property valued at $10,291.
In 1797 John Hollenback established a shad fishery at Wyalusing, the first in this section of the country. . This brings us to the time in the history of the valley when Col. John Franklin's scheme to establish a new State, carved out of this portion of Pennsylvania, collapsed, and the clouds lowered darkly over the Connecticut settlers; immigration from that region, where practically nearly all immigrants formerly, came from, ceased nearly entirely and the gloomy years set in that are fully described in a previous chapter, entitled "Seventeen Townships."
Fairbank8 Settlement.-In 1798 Humphrey Brown surveyed a town plat of two or three acres and christened it " Fairbanks." The story of the settlement is something as follows: Benjamin Crawford was the first settler in that vicinity, in 1789, and built near where is the railroad cut. In 1793 he moved to the Jabez Chamberlain farm, where he built a cabin, and the next spring, white chopping, a tree felt on him and broke his leg. Mr. Crawford died here in June, 1804, and was buried at Terryt6wn, across the river. The next farm above Crawford's was that of Nathan Winton, who sold to Humphrey Brown. The particular place where " Fairbanks " was located is described as 11 lying between Justus Gaylord and Benjamin Crawford." The original town consisted of a small log hut. Settled just above this place were the children of Gaylord and their families- Mrs. Wigton, Mrs. Shoemaker, Timothy and Chauncey Gaylord. These all sold their claims to Charles Homet, and most of them left the county
Gilbert, Daniel and Hezekiah Merritt, brothers, and relatives by marriage of the Strunks and Biles families, carne about 1825. Simeon Harsh made the first improvement on Vaughan hill, at the Indian spring, at the head of the run which empties at the railroad tank, near
HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY. 573
Fitzgerald's. He sold his improvement to Stephen Charlott, who in 1815 exchanged property with Elias Vaughan and went to Rummerfield.
In 1801 John Hollenback came to Wyalusing and opened his store -the marvel of the time, as he brought 2,400 pounds of goods from Philadelphia in wagons to Middletown, and then on boats and pushed up the river. He had been engaged for his uncle, Mathias Hollenback, in trade along the river since 1796.
In 1801 Wyalusing held its first " Fourth of July " celebration. The inspiration thereto chiefly was because it was the year of Jefferson's first inauguration as president-the first Republican-Democrat elected. John Hollenback presided at the meeting, and Jonas Ingham delivered a spirited address, devoted mostly to the 11 Disputed Land Titles," in which he ably defended the Connecticut claimants. Uriah Terry prepared and read an ode on the death of Washington. . In
1821 John Hollenback built his gristmill at the mouth of the creek.
Charles F. Welles was one of the prominent men of Wyalusing at the time of the organization of Bradford county. He was a son of the noted George Welles, of Athens. Charles F. was a native of Glastonbury, Conn., born November 5, 1789; he married Ellen J., daughter of Judge John Hollenback, and came to Wyalusing in 1822, where he died September 23, 1866. He was a man of the highest character-the first prothonotary of Bradford county, a man of wide and varied knowledge-a scholar and poet. A man of liberal enterprise, he was of incomparable value to the young county. His influence, on the completion of the canal, secured the building of the canal basin at Wyalusing, on which he put up his large warehouse and coal bins, and thus contributed so much to the trade and prosperity of the place. His splendid old family residence stands as a landmark, occupied by his son. Widow C. F. Welles died in 1876, at an advanced age.
Jonathan Stevens came to Wyalusing, in 1805, and soon opened a small store and tavern near where is the Welles residence. The Stevens family were English, and- were driven from England for taking part in the revolution that resulted in taking off the bead of Charles 1. Asa Stevens was father of Jonathan - -he was a native of Connecticut, and among the first immigrants to the Wyoming country; lie was a lieutenant, and was killed n the Wyoming battle. Jonathan was his
second son, born at Canterbury in July, 1764; he was sixteen when be enlisted in the Revolutionary army ; he married Eleanor Adams, of Brooklyn, in October, 1785; lie was a tailor, and came to this vicinity in 1795, and in 1805 to Wyalusing, where he remained until 1812, and then to Standing Stone, where he died in June, 1850. He was one of
the first justices, appointed in 1800 ; in 1811 lie was elected to the State Legislature - in 1818 he was appointed associate county judge, and was in office until 1840, when it was changed by the new constitution was many years a deputy and county surveyor, and surveyed every foot of ground for many miles around Wyalusing,
This brings us to the period that marks the first great change in this part of Bradford county-the canal era, which commenced to excite public attention as early as 1826. The second wave of coming immi-
574 HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY.
grants marked this as an era. The two-horse coach and its daily trips from Wilkes-Barre to Athens or Waverly had grown to be a great institution. One of the last to drive on the daily route from Towanda to Waverly was Jim Smith, a resident of Wyalusing, who was born near old Browntown. lie once drove from Browntown to Towanda, but moved up as the canal was built and drove the last through trip, and mournfully witnessed his favorite yield to the proud ship of the raging canal. The strong, men along the line were alert to induce the building of locks, basins and towns adapted to their individual benefit as well as the public's. It was individual influence, no doubt, that fixed upon what is now the borough of Wyalusing-that was the knell to old Browntown and Fairbanks. Before the canal was completed it was understood that here was to be an important point, and the village was platted and lots were purchased, and the founding of a town was soon well under way.
Camptown is the next town to Wyalusing borough of importance in the township. It is a cluster of houses and, as a business center for the surrounding country, has gathered quite a number of people. and remains an important point. They have a postoffice; two general stores; a furniture factory that does an important trade, started about 1840; a creamery that was started in 1889 ; one harness shop, and two blacksmith shops. C. II. Amsbry, some years ago, operated a woolen mill near Camptown. It was originally built by John Hollenback, and in its prosperous days was one of the most important industries in the county. In 1840 John Ingham built here a spoke factory, and this and the sawmill, planing-mill and woolen-mill were all operated to their full capacity, getting their driving power from the Wyalusing creek, that here affords splendid water privileges. The gristmill at this place is an excellent one, and is provided with the modern roller process. It is now operated by J . E. Adams & Son.
Homet's Ferry.-A postoffice and general store is the sum total of the "make-up" of this place.
Churches.-The early doings of the church people of Wyalusing is given in the first part of this chapter. There are now in the borough three churches. The Second Presbyterian Church (Rev. David Craft's church) at this time is without a pastor, Mr. Craft having., accepted a call in an adjoining county. This Society was organized in 1854, and was the Second because the old church at Merryall was the First. Rev. John White was the stated supply until 1857. The building was erected in 1855. Rev. Thomas S. Dewing succeeded White, and remained until 1861, when Rev. David Craft came and remained until May, 1891. The latter became the regular pastor in 1866.
The first church building at Merryall was put up in 1828 by contractor Justus Lewis; it was not completed and dedicated until 1831, and Rev. Simon R. Jones became stated preacher; it was this year that the congregation at a full meeting resolved to leave the Congregational service to again become Presbyterians. Thus, after a lapse of nearly twenty-five years, Presbyterianism was again established in this valley. In 1836 these earnest Christians were torn and troubled over the slavery question. There never had been many slaves or slave
HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY. 575
owners in this county, and yet thus early do we see that the question of abolishing slavery was greatly disturbing the good people of Wyalusing' The preacher, Rev. George Printz, deprecated the discussion of the subject in the church. The congregation was rent into furious factions; obstreperous members were arraigned and tried, and the furies were loosened and finally the anti-slavery portion of the congregation secured letters of dismission in 1842, for the purpose of forming a new Presbyterian Church. Their whereas boldly said: 11 We believe that truth is in order to godliness, and the Scriptures say 'first pure and then peaceable! "
In 1844 a parsonage was built at Merryall. This improvement was made under the ministration of Rev. S. F. Colt, who served the church with marked success about ten years. When he took charge the congregation was scattered over a wide range of country, and he adopted the idea of placing a new organization in each locality where there were living a number of members, and thus making it more convenient, for all. The result of his labors in this direction resulted in laying the foundations of the churches at Herrick, Stevensville, Rush, and Wyalusing (2d).
The Old-School Baptist Church on Vaughan hill, was once a flourishing institution-n ever very numerous, but the members, far and near braved all wind and weather, and their "MEETINGS," whether many or few were present, were real religious and social events. It was organized in the early 11 forties," and among a primitive and pioneer people gave that fullest measure of consolation. Of late years it has been somewhat neglected.
The Methodist Episcopal Church at Camptown, and the church at Wyalusing are served by Rev. J. B. Davis, of Camptown. They have a flourishing g Baptist Church at Camptown, presided over by Rev. Franklin Pearce.
Industries.-Geo H. Welles' gristmill was built in 1820, and an addition added in 1869. The mill has the new roller process, and has a capacity of fifty barrels a day. It is furnished with water-power from Wyalusing creek. . I. C. Fuller's steam planing mill, put up in 1870, manufactures all sorts of building material.
Wyalusing has two general stores, one drug store, one clothing store, one furniture store, two grocery stores, one bakery, one hardware store, two meat markets, one jeweler, two hotels, three blacksmiths, two wagon shops, one gristmill.
Wyalusing had long been the most important village between Tioga Point and Wilkes-Barre, and had, for some years, contained the requisite population for organization as a borough. The leading people, however, were conservative, and it was not until 188'1 that the consented to clothe the place with the dignity and authority of incorporation. A special election on the subject was called in February, 1887, and March 16, following, in accordance with the unanimous voice of the people, Wyalusing borough was duly incorporated and officers elected as follows: Burgess, David K. Brown;
576 HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY.
council, J. V. Taylor, 11. J. Hallock, E. 13. Stone (each for three years), H. J. Lloyd (two years), and 1. M. :Brown and 1. C. Fuller (one year). E. W. Fee was the clerk. These served out their terms; those for the one-year term were re-elected , for the two years, Lloyd was re-elected, and H. T. Smith succeeded Stone; for three years, Taylor was re-elected, and J. G. Keeler succeeded Hallock. Dr. 1'. Homet was the second burgess, and R. R. Garey the third.
The old warehouse, that was once the point of so much stir and business in the canal (lays, stands yet as a landmark, near which are the outlines of the basin. Welles' mill was built where it now stands, in 1869. The first old mill was built in 1820-a frame with four run of stones, and in the course of time it was replaced and moved to where it now stands. It is a merchant mill, supplied with waterpower from Wyalusing creek, and has a capacity of fifty barrels per day.
II. L. Case opened to the public his creamery in April, 1888. It has a capacity of 1,000 pounds of butter per day, and opens a fine market for the farmers for a circuit of six miles in every direction. It has just added the Ely valve system, one of the important recent improvements introduced into the county. In the borough are two general stores, one fancy goods, one furniture, One clothing, one drug, two groceries, one bakery, one hardware, two meat markets, one jewelry, two millinery, two hotels, one steam-planing mill (built in 1870 by 1. C. Fuller), three blacksmiths, two wagon-makers, two physicians. Population of the borough, 420. There is an elegant high school building.
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