Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
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Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
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In the early 1960s, Troy Gazette-Register ran a series of articles called Mystery Farms. Each week they presented a photo and asked readers to identify the farm. In the following week's issue, they identified the farm and wrote a brief article about it.  Marjorie JORALEMON Oldroyd, now of Austinville, saved them all in a scrapbook which we scanned recently. I will present them here, sorted by township where possible. In some cases the Post Office is the only identifier and it may or may not be accurate as to physical location.
Return to table of Contents for all farms listed.
File:  tgrfarm0002 – Donald Rockwell

Donald O. Rockwell is the owner of the farm pictured last week, located on Porter Road, Troy RD 2.  He has had the farm for the past nine years and to the best of his knowledge, he knows of only two previous owners of the acreage he now holds.  He believes that Ray S. Smith had the area in 1901 and 24 years later sold it to Earl Hager who retained its ownership until 1946 when it was sold to the present owner.

Dairying is the principal occupation on the farm, but it is also the site of pasture land and barning of livestock that both Don Rockwell and his father, O. W. Rockwell, buy and sell.

There are about 200 acres on this particular site, but Don Rockwell also has an interest in another farm site of about 250 acres elsewhere in the area.  The Rockwells are well known for the fine Holstein cattle they handle.

During the past year 1300 feet of underground drainage and 2000 feet of conversion ditches have been instituted under the soil conservation program.  Mr. Rockwell is a member of Troy Grange No. 182 and of the Holstein-Friesian Association of America, Brattleboro, Vt.

Gertrude Packard Rockwell, whom he married in 1940 and their four children comprise the household of the Rockwell farm.  The children are Donald O., Jr., 12, in the 7th grade; Robert W., 10, in the 5th grade; Patricia, 6, in the first grade; Richard, 5.

Mr. Rockwell is a member of the Trojan Lodge No. 306 and of the Consistory, Williamsport, Pa.  Both he and his wife are members of the First Methodist Church of Troy.

File:  tgrfarm0007 – Walter Rockwell

Last week’s Farm Mystery Picture was that of the former Walter “Walt” Rockwell farm which is presently owned by George Scott.  The farm is about two and a half miles south of Troy, along Route No. 14.

Mr. Scott, well known diary cattle owner and dealer purchased the farm site from William Sturgess in 1948, who had owned it for about five years.  Information is a bit hazy as to the former ownership of the farm, but Mr. Scott believes that Jake Lindeman owned the farm before “Walt” Rockwell had it.

After Mr. Scott purchased the property he converted the farm house into three modern apartments.  Also, he has added about 1,200 feet of diversion ditch and about 400 feet of drainage tile during the latter part of 1954.  There are about 165 acres of land on the site, 65 of which are under cultivation of corn and hay crops. 

The grazing land is used for the various herds of dairy cattle that Mr. Scott obtains and sells on his farm.  He has been buying, selling and auctioning dairy and beef cattle for the past 14 years.

Together with his wife, Doris Benson Scott whom he married on June 26, 1940 and their two daughters, Helen 10 years old and Georgia 6 years old, he lives on the farm in another house to the north of the building shown in the Farm Mystery Picture.  He is a member of the Trojan Lodge, Masonic Order, and the Coudersport Consistory.  The family are members of the Methodist Church of Troy.

As for improvements, Mr. Scott not only converted the house into apartments, but he drained a small pond of water which he expects to supplant with a big pond of water that will cover about two acres of land, which will be spring-fed.

There is a pond that is not used now, but formerly served as a cooling station for butter and milk prior to delivery or pickup for the market that is about 12 feet deep and about 10 feet wide.  It is considered an excellent source of water.  This pond is along Route No. 14, south of the barn shown in the Mystery Picture.  Those identifying the picture were:

Gerald Warner, Evalyn Sullivan and Ben Ballard of East Troy, Roy Garrison, Lois Mitstifer, Charles Schucker, Donald Bruce, Lee Cleveland, Susan Rathbun, Mrs. J. H. McMahon, Susan Ritz, Russell Van Noy and George McKean of Troy. Lou Judson and Mark Watkins of Columbia Cross Roads, Miss Anna Cole and Mrs. Lawrence Fleming of Granville Summit. Mrs. Raymond Holcombe of LeRoy, Henry Pierce of Burlington, Mrs. Wilson Carnright of Mainesburg, Buddy Secules and Carlton Thomas of Troy RD 1, Edgar Seeley, Canton RD 2, Charles H. Smith, Troy, Linda Darrow, Troy, Martha Merrill, Troy and Jean Merrill, Troy.

File:  tgrfarm0008 – Harry Havens

The Farm Mystery Picture of last week was that of Harry Havens, 2 miles north of Troy on Route No. 14, opposite Cummings Lumber Mill.

Those who have correctly identified the picture are Nina Calkins, Harry Decker, Mae McGlenn, Lee Cleveland and Earl Rolison of Troy.  Mrs. Edna Cummings of Kissimmee, Fla., Hary Wilston of Troy  RD 4, Laurence Jennings of Snedekerville, Lou Judson of Columbia Cross Roads and Russell Van Noy of Troy.

Harry Havens purchased the 300 acre farm in 1945 from his mother, Mrs. Lee Cummings, after having helped to operate it with his mother since the death of his father, Hugh Havens, on Jan. 1, 1934

As far as Harry knows, his grandfather, Walter Havens, bought the farm in 1914 from the Cobb estate which had owned and operated the land as a farm for many years prior.  The farm today has about 120 acres under cultivation of oats, corn and hay with the principal occupation being dairying.  There are 30 head of Holstein cattle on the farm, 14 of which are thoroughbreds.

Since taking over the ownership of the farm, Mr. Havens has built a milk house, calf pens and other small structures to improve the operation of the farm.  He is planning some terracing of the farm land in the near future.

Hurricane “Hazel” blew the corn crib roof off last October and this is evidenced in the picture which was taken after that event.

Mr. Havens lives on the farm with his wife, the former Clara McClure whom he married on Feb. 19, 1942, and their only daughter, Nan, who is four years old.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Havens are members of the Troy Baptist Church.

Mr. Havens is a member of Troy Grange No. 182, the Blue Lodge of the Masonic Order of Troy and the Lions Club of Troy.  He is also the technician, since 1947, of the Western Bradford Artificial Breeders’ Cooperative with headquarters at 126 W. Main Street, Troy.

File:  tgrfarm0009 – Myles Storch

Last week’s Farm Mystery Picture is that of Storchmont, on Porter Road, owned by Myles Storch, RD 2, Troy.

Mr. Storch purchased the farm in the Spring of 1948 from Mrs. Paul Sherman and has lived there since 1949.  Former owners were Mr. Wright, Hillis Spaulding, Fayette Pomeroy and Floyd Baker.  At one time the stone quarry on the farm was worked and the stone for the house came from the quarry.

Under Mr. Storch’s ownership, the basement of the dairy barn has been remodeled and 20 acres of meadowland surveyed for strip crop farming.  The original purchase of 110 acres was supplemented in 1949 by the purchase from Eighmey & Warner of an additional 40 acres.

Mr. Storch has 60 head of Holsteins, mostly registered, on his dairy farm and has under cultivation about 100 acres of corn, oats and hay.  He purchased his Holstein Freisan (**Typo in original?**) stock from the Penna. State University.

As for improvements, since Mr. Storch is interested in introducing strip crop farming, he is planning to have 25 more acres surveyed in addition to the 20 acres already surveyed.

Mrs. Storch is the former Geraldine Lewis and they have one son, Robert L., who is 12 years old and in the 6th grade at the Troy Borough School.

They are all members of the Troy Methodist Church and Open Hand Grange.  Mr. Storch is a member of Friendship Lodge F&AM No. 247, Mansfield; Troy Royal Arch Chapter No. 261; Towanda Lodge of Perfection; Williamsport Consistory, AASR.  Also the Bradford County Farmers Association and the Pennsylvania Farmers Association which is affiliated with the American Farm Bureau Federation.  The latter federation is a national organization of 1,608,000 member families organized in all the 48 states and Puerto Rico.

Those identifying the farm were Kenneth Gernert, Russell Scott, Ray Decker, Earl Rolison, Russell Van Noy, Mr-Mrs Chas. Smith, Don Rockwell, Robert Storch, Suzane Ritz, Lee Cleveland, Budd Cunningham, Lewis Batterson, Troy; Harold Warner, Harry Packard, Robert Whitlock, Sylvania; Lou Judson and Mark Watkins, Columbia Cross Roads.

File:  tgrfarm0010 – Charles Leggett

The picture shown last week was that of Charles L. Leggett on Route 14, four miles south of Troy.  Of course, you were right.  The Leggetts have owned the farm since 1945 when they purchased it from R. Arthur Packard, who was failing in health at the time, father of Mrs. Leggett.

Three generations of Leggetts have occupied the farm, but the building is over 130 years old, having first been built in 1820 by Allen Taylor.  The building was known as the Halfway House, conveniently located between Elmira, N.Y., and Williamsport, Pa.

Fennimore Packard purchased the farm and building about 1890 and moved his family, Ida Manley Packard and two sons, Dalson Packard and the late R. Arthur Packard, to live upon the property.  The house was remodeled at once.

In 1895 Arthur married Cora Wilson and they lived in the smaller house on the farm until the death of his mother in October, 1931.  When the estate was settled he bought the farm and moved his family into the big, 19-room house.

The Leggetts, who were married on January 24, 1925, have 40 acres of the 245-acre property in woodland, the remainder being partly under cultivation of oats, corn and millet and partly for grazing land for their 30 head of Holstein cows.  Since obtaining ownership of the farm the Leggetts have built a concrete silo, new milk, water and spring houses.  Siding shingles have been added to the buildings, also.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Leggett are members of Minnequa Grange, and members, as have been four generations of the family, of the Alba Church of Christ.  They have two sons, Arthur, 26, of Maitland, Fla., and Francis, 23, of Pittsburgh, Pa

In 1921 Mr. and Mrs. Fennimore Packard celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary when they entertained 150 guests during an open house at the old homestead.  Twenty-four years later, on Nov. 7, Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Leggett entertained Mr-Mrs. C. Arthur Packard on the occasion of another 50th wedding anniversary as 175 persons attended.

Those who correctly identified the Leggett farm are:

Russell Van Noy, Lulu Brown, Ray Decker, Don Bruce, Florence Horton, Treet DePew, Earl Rolison, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Smith. Lee Cleveland and Maurice McGee of Troy.

Harold Warner and Harry Packard of Sylvania.  Lynn Ayres of Granville; Louis Judson and Harry Gernert of Columbia Cross Roads. Mrs. John Kobbe of Troy RD 3, Harold Warner of East Troy, Wayne E. Harkness of Gillett, Ellen and Melvin Case of Troy RD 1, Mrs. Walter Wilbur and Hilda Austin of Alba.

File:  tgrfarm0013 – Ward Kittle

The picture shown last week was that of the Will-O-Spring Farm, two miles west of Troy on Farmers’ Valley Road.  It belongs to W. Ward Kittle who has had it for the past 14 years.

Mr. Kittle purchased the farm from Mrs. Sadie and Miss Clara Austin of Troy in 1941.  Nelson Maynard owned it before the Austins and many folk still refer to it as the Maynard Farm.  Mr. Kittle believes that the Taylor family owned it before the Maynards took it over.

“It has one of the oldest houses in Bradford County, I believe,” says Mr. Kittle.  “In the cellar of the house are still the original logs that were hewn to build it.”


Another unique feature of the farm is that it holds one of the few Guernsey dairy cattle herds in this part of the County.  There are 84 head of Guernseys on the 210 acre farm with 40 of them producing milk, according to Mr. Kittle.  Practically all of the land excepting about 20 acres has been turned into meadow and pasture land.

The crops of hay, oats and wheat have been rotated on the meadows, although he plans to plant the acreage on all-year grass crops.

Since purchasing the farm Mr. Kittle has enlarged the barn, added several chicken coops and a silo, one of which blew down on Mar. 28 during the unusually steady and long winds from the west.

The name of Will-O-Spring comes from the presence of numerous springs in the area and the clusters of willow trees.

Mr. Kittle is a member of the American Guernsey Club.  He and his wife, Lois Freelove Kittle, are members of the Methodist Church of Troy.  All of their children are members of churches, too.  Mr. and Mrs. Kittle were married on Jan. 4, 1929.  They have six boys and one girl and they are Duane, Willis, Wilma, Donald, Leland, Harry and Gary.  The oldest is Duane, 24, and the youngest, Gary, 9.

Readers of this newspaper who have identified the Kittle Farm are:
Harold Warner, Harry Packard of Sylvania.  Ray Decker, Lee Cleveland, Grant Palmer and Earl Rolison of Troy.  Jill Nearing of West Franklin, Fred Seymour of Columbia Cross Roads, Eleanor Oldroyd of Snedekerville.

File:  tgrfarm0014 – A. Henry Case

The picture shown last week was that of A. Henry Case, located one and a half miles east of Troy, on Route No. 6.  It is a Pennsylvania Century Farm, and a plate testifies to this, adorning the front entrance to the 500 acre farm land.

The farm has been in the Pomeroy family since 1844 when Ebenezer Pomeroy, together with other members of the Pomeroy family came from Connecticut to settle in this area.  J. W. Pomeroy was the last male heir to own the land and when Sophie Pomeroy married Mr. Case on September 7, 1935 it became a joint ownership farm in 1944.

A Pennsylvania Century Farms holds a unique distinction and awards are made to the owner of such a farm because the farm has been in one family for at least a 100 years.

Originally, the Pomeroy farm consisted of 250 acres.  Property of Hiram Rockwell that adjoined the Pomeroy property was purchased, thus adding 54 acres to the holding.  Further addition to the farm came with the purchase of about 800 acres from E. S. Pomeroy and the total acreage was cut by the sale of a good portion of it to Raymond Chrzan in 1954, thus leaving the present 500 acres.

A mixed diary herd of 105 Holsteins and Guernseys now occupy the farmsite which has more than 320 acres of cultivated land in corn, oats and hay.  There are both improved and permanent pasture lands on it

Soil conservation practice is observed by Mr. Case who has terraced and contoured his land.  In 1952 he improved 45 acres of birdsfoot trefoil.

Mr. Case enjoys a widespread reputation as a contractor and builder of poured concrete silos.  Since 1945 he has been building these concrete silos for owners located by the shores of Lake Ontario to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, from New Hampshire to Lakewood, New Jersey, an area that includes Pennsylvania.  He has built over 60 of these silos for Grange storage and over 150 for individual farmers.

Mr. Case also owns the Sports Center in Troy, Main Street.  He is also an ardent promoter and supporter of youth activities.

Mr. and Mrs. Case live on their farm, together with their children, John Pomeroy Case, eighteen and Lydia Adelle, sixteen.  Another son of Mr. Case, Robert F. Case, by a former marriage, lives in Schenectady, N. Y.

Mr. Case is a member of Troy Grange No. 182 and the Pennsylvania Farmers’ Association.  He belongs to the Methodist Church of Troy and his wife to the First Presbyterian Church of Troy.  He also is a member of the Rotary Club of Troy.

The readers of this newspaper who identified Mr. Case’s farm are Harold French, Ray Decker, Ross Williams, Freddy Barrett, Beverly Rolison, Earl Rolison, Lee Cleveland and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Smith, Troy. Harold Warner and Harry Packard of Sylvania.  Gaylord Grinnell of Snedekerville, Billy Calkins of East Troy.

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 18 AUG  2008
By Joyce M. Tice 
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