Several items of interest, including several deaths and marriages can be found in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania newspapers beginning in 1798 before newspapers were published in Elmira (formerly Newtown). The Elmira Gazette began as a weekly in 1828. Abstracted by J. Kelsey Jones, Town of Southport Historian, courtesy of the Wyoming County Historical Society.
WILKES BARRE GAZETTE & LUZERNE ADVERTISER, WILKES BARRE, PENNSYLVANIA
July 24, 1798
$5 Reward - Broke Goal and made escape on 20th inst, Abel HINE (part Indian) about 24 years of age, 5' 9 or 10" high, blue eyes, long black hair, large mouth and nose; had a down look and speaks low - carpenter by trade. James MORGAN, Goaler. (It is supposed he has gone to Tioga Point, as he has a wife living near Mr. WARREN'S tavern between said Point and Newtown.)
April 23, 1799
Redbird - The Well Bred Horse - Will be at the stable of SamuelGORE, in New Sheshequin, then at the stable of Squire JENKINS near Newtown. Henry VECHTER
January 28, 1800
Whereas my wife, Hannah, has eloped from my bed and board, without any reason so to do. Therefore, these are to warn all persons from harboring of her, or trading with her upon my account, as I am determined to pay no debts of her contracting from this date. Henry HOUSER, Newtown.
May 13, 1800
Robbery - The subscriber was met on the 25th inst., near Shepherd's Mills, Luzerne Co., by Martin HARRIS and robbed of merchandise and cash to the amount of $400. Said HARRIS use to reside at Esopus, NY, of late he has been transiently, in different parts of this state and at Niagara. He is about 32 years of age, 5' 10" high, dark complexion, dark hair and queued, an American born. $30 reward will be paid, by the Sheriff of Tioga Co., NY for the delivery of said HARRIS to his custody, with all expenses attending the same, or on proof of his safe imprisonment in any jail in the state of Pennsylvania. Said HARRIS broke jail at Newtown in the month of August last, his conduct has been notoriously infamous, and the friends of justice are earnestly requested to exert themselves, in securing such an abandoned villain. The printers in Easton and Lancaster, are requested to insert the above in their papers. Peter WOELFFELT, On the Susquehanna near Chenango.
LUZERNE COUNTY FEDERALIST, WILKES BARRE, PENNSYLVANIA
July 26, 1802
William LOWE, Esq., attorney at law married to Miss Bridget MATTHEWS, both of Newtown, Tioga Co., on Sunday evening the 11th inst., at Newtown, by John Konkle, Esq.
August 9, 1802
Joseph HINCHMAN, Esq., formerly Sheriff of Tioga Co., died at Newtown, Tioga Co., on Friday the 23rd July, in the 40th year of his age. He was one of the first emigrants to the western country in New York. He has served in several public capacities and was a skilful physician. He leaves a wife and four children. His body was interred on Saturday following in the new burying ground at Newtown. A numerous and respectable class of citizens attended his funeral together with the Masonic order (of which he was a member) which walked in procession.
October 18, 1802
Letters remaining at the Post Office at Newtown (NY), Oct. 1st:
Michael SLY, Newtown
Joseph WILDEY, Newtown
Eli I. HARRIS, Newtown
Jonathan DAVIS, Newtown
Labius HAMMOND, Newtown
Samuel BROWN, Newtown
Joel THOMAS, Newtown
Amos ROWLEY, Big Flat
James M'CLEAN, Big Flat
John W. WATKINS, Cathrines Town
Edward HAWLEY, Cathrines Town
John KONKLE, P.M.
September 10, 1803
John HUGHES to Miss Anne, dau. of John KONKLE, Esq., all of Newtown, Tioga Co., NY, at Newtown on Sept. 3rd by John MILLER, Esq.
October 29, 1803
All persons are hereby warned, not to take an assignment of a Note for One Hundred Dollars, executed by the subscribers, sometime in June 1802, to Isaac BALDWIN, of Newtown, NY. The consideration having failed, we shall not pay said Note, unless compelled by law. Isaac D. TRIPP and Malachi SHOEMAKER.
November 12, 1803
On Saturday last, a large number of inhabitants of Newtown, NY, assembled to raise the frame of a ware-house (30 by 40 feet) for Judge HOLLENBACK, of Wilkesbarre; before the plates and rafters were put up, the stay lathing gave way, and the whole frame suddenly fell. A part of the company were within the frame, and escaped unhurt, except Mr. LAWRENCE, Mr. BREARLY and Michael SLY; the latter is dangerously wounded. Jonathan BOSWELL and Hamilton TUBBS were on the top of the beams of the upper story more than twenty feet from the lower floor and providentially escaped unhurt.
April 7, 1804
A vast number of Rafts, Arks and Boats have descended the Susquehanna river the present spring. One Ark, belonging to Mr. IRWIN, of Newtown, has gone by, loaded with 150 bbls. Pork, 60 of Whiskey, and 100 of Flour. A Raft belonging to Mr. ANDROS, on which was a horse and about 20 bbls of Pork, unfortunately ran upon CATLIN'S stand in the night; the men were taken off by boats, but a part of the pork was lost, and the poor horse was not relieved for 48 hours, but was at length taken off totally blind.
April 14, 1804
On Tuesday morning, the 10th inst, arrived here from Newtown, four large, beautiful, new boats - the Enterprize – Minerva - Chesapeake and Harmony, under the command of Capt. SKEAR. These Boats were each laden with 800 bushels of Wheat, and are the property of Mr. H. GOLDSBOROUGH, of that place. On Wednesday, the little fleet sailed for Baltimore. The enterprizing owner has our sincerest wished for a prosperous voyage. Mr. G. left Newtown with a fifth Boat, the Intrepid; the evening after he sailed, four of his men attempted to remove her to place where they supposed she would remain secure through the night, but unfortunately the Boat filled and sunk - the cargo, consisting of 900 bushes of wheat was lost, and two men, Terrence M'MULLEN and a Mr. LEET were drowned. The Boats, we understand, were insured at Baltimore. A number of Arks have been loaded with Wheat, Fat Cattle and Fur, in the small streams that rise in the very heart of the Gennesse Country and gone on to the Chesapeake.
May 5, 1804
We are sorry to state that Howes GOLDSBOROUGH, of Newtown, NY has lost two Arks loaded with wheat, near Havre de Grace. One of them after being run to the Chesapeake Bay was sunk by the violence of the waves, the other broke from her fastening in the night and has undoubtedly gone to pieces. We learn too with regret that James IRWIN, of the same place has lost an Ark, about 800 bushels of wheat and a number of barrels of Pork. The dangers of navigating the Susquehanna below this place, are so numerous, that every prudent man would rather take the price for his produce, which we could afford to give for it here, if the Turnpike road was finished, then run the risk of proceeding further down with it.
March 16, 1805
William DUNN, died lately at Newtown, NY.
May 4, 1805
William HOFFMAN married to Miss Peggy, daughter of Timothy SMITH, married lately at Newtown, NY by Rev. Simeon R. JONES. All of Newtown, NY.
December 19, 1806
Ann, daughter of Philip JACKSON, of Kingston, died at Newtown, Tioga, NY, on the 4th inst., in the 20th year of her age, after a tedious illness of eleven weeks, which she bore with Christian fortitude. And was interred on the 6th inst., attended by a numerous concourse of friends and relations. A funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. Dr. JONES.
December 25, 1807
William DROWN married to Miss Polly HORTON, at Chemung, NY by Thomas FLOYD, Esq.
January 22, 1808
Abraham BREWER, aged 17 years to Miss Hannah STAGE, aged 22 years, at Chemung, NY by Thos. FLOYD, Esq. (no marriage date)
November 22, 1811
John CHERRY, merchant, to Miss Alcinoe, dau. of Maj. Isaac BALDWIN, at Elmira, NY, the 30th ult, by Henry WELLES, Esq. All of Elmira, NY.
THE ADVERTISER, WILKES BARRE, PENNSYLVANIA
April 14, 1815
Swiftsure - New Line of Stages from Wilkesbarre to Painted Post, NY. The subscriber respectfully informs the Public, that he now runs a stage once a week from Wilkesbarre to Tioga Point, Newtown and Painted Post. (Up to 12 passengers). Coonrod TEETOR.
THE GLEANER, WILKES BARRE, PENNSYLVANIA
January 20, 1815
To Contractors, Proposals will be received until the first of April next for making a Turnpike Road from the village of new-Town to the head of the Seneca Lake, distance 21 miles. By order of the Directors, Thos. MAXWELL, New-Town (or Elmira).
December 1, 1815
Died - At Elmira, N. Y., on the 21st ult, Col. Isaac BALDWIN, aged 51, after a short but distressing illness of three days.
June 6, 1817
Died - At Newtown, Mrs. Phineas TAYLOR. (no date)
November 28, 1817
Freshet. The late rains have swelled the Tioga River, and the streams emptying into it. On Sunday night last the water had risen fifteen feet. Much damage has been sustained in the loss of cattle, grain, fences, &c. Newtown has suffered greatly. The Ontario Repository states in that section of the country much damage had also been done. The bridge at Genesee had been carried off, and the toll bridge building at Avon considerably injured, many mill dams and bridges on the smaller streams, swept away. At Rochester, several buildings near the river are considerably damaged; and on the Genesee flats, large quantities of hay, &c. destroyed. The stream have not been so high for eight years.
November 28, 1817
Married - At Newtown, N. Y., Lyman COVELL, Merchant, to Miss Susan DUNN. (no date)
December 19, 1817
Died at Newtown, Samuel SANFORD, aged 60.
THE SUSQUEHANNA DEMOCRAT, WILKES BARRE, PENNSYLVANIA
July 23, 1819
Information Wanted. At the time of Gen. ST CLAIR'S defeat, about 28 years ago, the subscriber was taken prisoner by the Indians, and thereby separated from her kindred, of whom she has not heard since. She was the daughter of James STONE by his second wife - was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Her father removed from thence to Little Whitely creek, about 3 miles from its confluence with the Monongahela River, where he died. At this place her half-brother, Elias STONE (who married Miss Betsey BALDWIN) then lived; who had a sister living about 40 miles above at a place called the Forks of Cheat. At Little Whitely Creek her mother was married to Peter WALDEN, who removed with his family to Post St. Vincent, on the Wabash River, where he was killed by the natives. Here she was married to Jas. FULLEN (who she believes was killed) and her mother to Lewis SURVEYOR. One of her sisters (Margaret STONE) married a Mr. MALBUFF - the other (Betsey) a Mr. SMITH. She had three brothers, James, Samuel and John STONE. After eleven months cruel treatment by the savages, she was ransomed by a benevolent Frenchman of Detroit, who was then trading among the Indians. If any person can give information of her connections, they will confer a favor by addressing a letter to her by mail Sally (or Sarah) GEARHART, Elmira, Tioga Co., N. Y.
In the early settlement of Southport, mail was obtained sometimes from distant locations. The early days of mail service was similar to modern times when someone who has a post office box goes to the post office to acquire their mail. It was often difficult for early settlers to obtain mail and it was not uncommon for the post master to advertise a list of letters that was in their possession that had not been picked up. One of the earliest newspapers for our region, before a newspaper was printed in Elmira, was printed in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. In the Luzerne County Federalist, printed February 13, 1807 in Wilkes Barre is found the following:
List of letters remaining at the Post Office, Athens (Pennsylvania),
James H. WILSON, Tioga Point
Abraham MILLER, New-Athens Tioga
Timothy SMITH, New-Athens Tioga
Henry CHURCHHILL, New-Athens Tioga
Mathew CARPENTER, New-Athens Tioga
David RUNDELL, Sheshequin
George HOLLENBACK, Toga Point
Arthur FARLIE, Tioga Point
Oliver JENNINGS, Sullivan
Jeduthan WITHEY, Sugar Creek
David JAYNE, Shepards Creek
John SPALDING, Athens
Isaac RUNDELL, Sugar Creek
Benj. SHOEMAKER, near Tioga
James HARKNESS, Munceysfield
Eleazer MERILL, Litchfield Tioga Point
Tho's WRIGHT, Halestown Susquehannah
Laura FRISBIE, Orwell
Theron DARLING, Orwell
Lewis MOFFIT, to be left at Tioga Post Office
Timothy WINSHIP, Claverick
Wilber BENNET, Wysox Creek
Henry Mott, Tioga Point
Uriah WILSON, Esq., near Tioga Point
John REDINGTON, near Tioga Point
John HILL, Tioga Point
Nathaniel HOVEY, Tioga
Mrs. Neterville, Athens, NY
Polly DECKER, Tioga Point
Capt. Noah WILSON, Alba
Oliver DOUGLASS, Tioga Lycoming Co.
Noah MURRAY, Jun., Tioga Point
Asa DOUGLASS, Tioga Lycoming Co.
Doctor Stephen HOPKINS, Tioga Pt.
Elnathan ELLIS, Tioga Point
Chester STEPHENS, Tioga Point
Ashael PORTER, Tioga Point
Henry D. LAKARY, Little Chotauqua Town, NY
Samuel SATTERLEE, P. M.
Of note are the four men with addresses of New-Athens, Tioga. The New Athens postal designation and location has eluded history books and its exact location is not known. Chemung County was originally part of Tioga County and at least two of the men with the New Athens address lived in Southport. Timothy Smith lived near Pennsylvania Avenue and Mountain View Drive and is buried in the cemetery at that intersection. Abraham Miller lived on Maple Avenue east of Seeley Creek in that portion that became Ashland and is buried in the Miller Family Cemetery on Maple Avenue.
New Athens may have been a postal address in Southport. Or, it was perhaps a name briefly used for Newtown, which became Elmira?
J. Kelsey Jones
Town of Southport historian