The Reverend Mr. David Craft
The township of Granville was organized in 1831, from parts of
Troy, Burlington, Franklin, and Canton townships, and is situated between
the townships of Troy and West Burlington on the north, West Burlington
and Franklin on the east, Le Roy on the south, and Canton and Troy on the
west. The township is eight miles in length on the north line, east
and west, and about two and a half miles on the east line.
Its principal stream is the north branch or the Towanda creek, which takes its rise in Armenia townships in the eastern marsh, and takes its course down the mountain, near A. W. Thomas', and enters Granville near the northwestern corner, and passes out at the southeastern corner. Several small tributaries enter from the north, at intervals of about a mile, throughout its whole course in the township. On the main stream, near the summit, was in the early days a beaver-dam, and also a number of saw mills, but few of which are now in operation.
The township was noted for its timber, consisting of pine, hemlock, maple, beech, ash, white-wood, and chestnut, which has now nearly all disappeared before the axe of the settler or saw of the lumberman. The ground shaded by its foliage being now farms in excellent cultivation, fenced largely with the material once growing thereon. The town is somewhat celebrated for its butter manufacture.
The first settlers on the territory now included in the township of Granville were Jeremiah Taylor and his family, including two children, who came from Berkshire Co., Mass., to West Burlington, in the winter of 1798-99. The family stopped in that town the first season, where a crop was raised, Mr. Taylor in the mean time making a clearing and putting up a log cabin, with "shake" roof, fastened with poles laid across longitudinally. In the month of March 1800, he came to the cabin with his family, with an ox-sled, a portion of the track then cut through being yet visible. The cabin stood on the west bank of a small stream, a few rods north of its junction with Towanda creek. The cabin was not the most inviting home that could be imagined, having places for a door and window, a bole through the roof for a chimney, but neither of those rather comfortable articles in domestic economy were in existence. The floor was made of the usual bass wood punchions, which was a luxury in those days. Night was falling when the oxen were unyoked and, with the cow, were turned loose. The few household effects were brought into the cabin, a blanket was hung up at the door, and another at the window, a fire kindled on the fire-place, that is, on the ground, and their first repast in their forest home was prepared and eaten.
The second settler was Lewis Moffit, who came to the township
the same year (1800), and who settled about one mile west of the main stream,
on the firm now owned by Harrison Ross, and a road was cut along the stream,
the creek being crossed twice by logs or fallen trees. Moffit was
from Brimfield, Mass.
The next settler was Scovil Bailey, who came in the spring of 1801 or 1802, and settled on the firm now owned by Luman D. Taylor. He was from Connecticut, and a carpenter by trade, and a noted hunter. David Bailey and his father and mother came next, and settled on the farm now owned by Robert Bailey. They were followed by Ezra Bailey, who settled on the farm now owned by Elam Bailey. Thomas Bailey came next, and located on the farm now owned by John Vroman, and about the same tilde Uriah Baxter came and located on the farm now owned by Benjamin Baldwin. Benjamin Saxton and Oliver Nelson came about 1807, Saxton settling on the first location of Lewis Moffit. He was a blacksmith, and soon after arrivals built a shop and began operations at his trade. Nelson settled farther east, on the farm now owned by John Vroman 2d. The foregoing families were the pioneers for several years, and were all old acquaintances from New England.
About 1811 several new settlers came in, among them Philip Packard (1809), Abraham Parkhurst, and Charles Butterfield. In 1817, John Putnam, Alvord Churchill, John Pratt, Josiah Vroman, and David Ross came into the township, and from the settlers already named have sprung a large proportion of the present inhabitants of Granville.
About this time a new settlement was made on what was called the "Windfall,"-a large section of country on which the trees had been prostrated by winds, and which had been burned over by hunters. The first settlers here were Abijah Ayers (1820), Zoroaster Porter, Avery, Packard, Nathaniel Clark, Simon Chesley (1824),* Shoemaker, and Ferguson. These and their descendants have now settled the "Windfall" in every direction. This settlement soon built a school-house, opened schools arid religious meetings, and built the first church edifice in town, which was called the "Union meetinghouse," and furnished accommodations for several different denominations. Elders Pentecost, Sweet, and Asa Dodge were the pioneer preachers.
A Mr. Bacon owned the Connecticut title, arid those Who bought of him lost their ventures, by reason of the loss of his property by Bacon. Oliver Bailey was the ancestor of all the Baileys of Granville.
The first white child born in Granville was Sylvester Taylor,
the third son of the first settler, Jeremiah Taylor. He is still
living on the farm on which be was born in 1804, the original location
of his father, who died Sept. 17, 1827. This farm is at Granville
The first death that occurred in the town was that of Mrs. Lewis Moffit, who was buried on Towanda creek, in the old burying-ground on the Crofut farm.
The first wedding was that of Hugh Holcomb, one of the first settlers in the present town of Le Roy, and Miss Prudence Bailey, daughter of Oliver Bailey. Mrs. Holcomb lived to see her family well settled around her, and one or her sons. Hon. Judson Holcomb, now of the Bradford Republican, Towanda, filling many important official trusts.
The first school was taught in the summer of 1807 by Miss Delight Spalding, late of Franklin township. The patrons of this school were Jeremiah Taylor, Benjamin Saxton, Scovil, Ezra, David, and Thomas Bailey, Uriah Baxter, and Oliver Nelson. There were about fifteen pupils in attendance, from a territory embracing about three miles square, many of whom are present residents of the township.
The first religious movement was manifested about 1805, when Jeremiah Taylor and his wife made a profession of religion and united with the Baptist church on the Towanda creek. Elder Thomas Smiley was the pioneer evangelist who raised up this church. In 1810 the Methodist Episcopal church made its first preaching appointment in the town and organized a society, which continued till 1850, when it ceased. The Protestant Methodists formed an association in the town about 1820-22, Uriah Baxter being the leader of the class. Elder David Randall, of Burlington, was active in this organization, exhibiting much zeal and industry in forming and maintaining the society until his death. This society is yet in existence, Rev. Alexander Lane being its occasional supply. In 1832 a Disciples church was formed of twenty members by Dr. S. E. Shepard, of Troy, which is yet in a flourishing condition.
The first framed barn was built by Jeremiah Taylor in 1815, and the first framed house was built in 1819 by Jeremiah Taylor, Jr.
The first grist-mill was built in 1820 by the last-named person, who used it to grind corn only. In this mill afterwards were placed a turning-lathe and chair-making apparatus by Nathaniel Phelps. A few years later Jeremiah Taylor built a saw-mill, and shortly afterwards another gristmill, which was in operation until quite recently.
The first road opened in the township was the one up the creek, between Taylor's and Bailey's, in 1802. In 1807, the Towanda creek and Sugar creek road was opened through the town. It began near the present road from West Burlington to Granville and Le Roy, and crossed the Sugar creek at the site of Goddard's saw-mill (afterwards). From that point the road ran up the hill south, and intersected the present road near George Shattuck's, and continued near the same to Bailey's, where it crossed the North Branch, and from thence ran south near the present road, intersecting the "Taylor" road (as the old road is still called) about a mile from Towinda creek. In 1811, a road was laid out from the Towanda creek in West Franklin to Irad Wilson's, near Alba borough, a distance of about eleven miles, near the present road, but over the points of the hills, on which road the settlers began to build their houses, leaving their old cabins on the stream. In 1846, the change in the road laws was made, and highway commissioners were first elected in the township; John Sayles, Levi Taylor, and Marcus Ayres being the first incumbents.
In 1826, through the influence of Gen. Samuel McKean, then a member of congress from this district, a mail-route was established through the settlement, from East Burlington to Alba, with weekly mail carried on horseback. The next year a post-office was established in the settlement and known as the "North Branch" post-office. In 1831, when the town of Granville was organized, against a spirited opposition, the name of the office was changed to Granville.
About 1849, the first public house for the entertainment of travelers and others was opened by Levi Taylor, and about the same time B. F. and L. D. Taylor opened the first store in the township.
In 1852, the Williamsport and Elmira railroad was opened through the northeast corner of the township, and the "Summit" depot established, taking its name from the fact that its site is the highest point on the road. Here, too, a post-office was soon established by the same name. About this time, Albert and Wilson Nichols came in from the State of New York, and purchased a quantity of timber land, and erected a large steam saw-mill, and with others manufactured a large amount of lumber. In 1857 a large tannery was built at the centre. In 1859, C. G. E. Martin succeeded to the proprietorship of the tannery, and operated it until his death, Nov. 14, 1861, and the present owner, Adams Innis, bought it in 1865, and has made extensive improvements thereon.
In April, 1865, the post-office was re-established at Granville Centre, with a daily mail from the Summit, and called the Granville Centre post-office.
Old homes are giving way to the new; new school-houses are erected
in more convenient locations, and more conformable to modern advanced requirements
of education; mills are constricted on more economical principles, for
more expeditious and better work, with the best and latest improvements.
The old is rapidly passing away, and the new, with all its progressive
ideas, is entering in and taking possession of the business places in every
department. The "hayloader" is an invention of Luman D. Taylor, of
Granville Centre, and manufactured there, and is a useful improvement over
the old method of pitchforks. E. F. Larcom is a cooper, whose work
is much sought after by the butter makers. P S. Bailey, boot and shoe maker,
David Sayles, harness-maker; N. Sayles, wagon-maker; Henry Arnold, blacksmith;
E. Roby, millwright - J. P. Bush, joiner - and Adam Innis, are all excellent
mechanics of the present day in the town.
In 1856, through the liberality of different individuals, a commodious and convenient house of worship was erected in Granville Centre, and the same year a bell was placed in the tower and the edifice dedicated as a "Christian" church, Since then two other churches have been built in the western part of the township, one for the Disciples church, and the other for the Free-Will Baptists. The detailed history of the churches of the township will be found elsewhere in the general history of' the county.
In 1852, a division of the Sons of Temperance was organized in Granville. In June, 1854, a lodge of Good Temperances was organized, which continued its meetings several years. Through the influence of these organizations, the liquor traffic was closed, and has so continued. Scoville Bailey had the only distillery ever built in the township, but it disappeared a great many years ago.
of the pioneers, though not elaborate, were nevertheless somewhat difficult
to follow in the way of clothing, for in the entire absence of wool and
flax they were necessarily chiefly confined to the article furnished by
nature to primitive man in all countries, the skins of wild beasts.
These, however, were more or less elaborately manufactured, and adorned
according to the taste and skill of the artist who manipulated the raw
material. Buckskin breeches, jackets, and coats took on a buff color,
and under skillful working became soft and pliable. Raccoons, foxes,
minks, and such small fur-bearing animals furnished hats and caps of no
Amusements were no rarity, though often sought and participated in under difficulties of the little moment. The young gallants took their "faire ladyes" to their rustic dances and sports on horseback behind them on the same horse, and occasionally "Dobbin" carried a triple burden. The "party" gathered its constituents from a wide extent of territory.
The subject of this sketch was born in Musselburg, Scotland,
April 10, l820. He was a son of Robert and Murion (Kirkwood) Innis,
and the fifth child in a family of seven, none of whom except himself are
now living. He learned the tanning trade, serving an apprenticeship
of five years, and working at the trade eight more, when be removed with
his father to Ulster Co., N. Y. Upon his arrival he at once took charge
of A. I. Shultz's tannery. He had the management of the business
for seven years, when he purchased an interest in it, remaining ten years
longer. In 1865 be sold out and went to Granville, Bradford Co.,
Pa., where he purchased the tannery of Mrs. C. J. Martin. He has
more than doubled the business by judicious management, besides building
his present residence, his son's residence, and many outbuildings.
His tannery is at present in successful operation. He owns also a
tannery at Grover, besides an interest in the Troy tannery, with Mr. B.
He was married Oct. 4,1844, to Ellen McNiel, a daughter of Daniel and Mary McNiel, of Linlithgow, Scotland, the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots
His family consists of five sons and three daughters, viz. Robert, born July 27, 1845, in Scotland (married Betsey H. Sayles, daughter of John Sayles, of Granville Centre); David, born in Scotland, Feb. 28, 1848; Mary C., born in Ulster county, May 15, 1850; Olivia A., born June 1, 1853, in Ulster county; John A., born July 20, 1855; Colin A., born in Ulster county, May 27, 1858; Helen J., born July 8, 1860; and Judson K., born Dec. 25, 1862.
Robert, in the spring of 1875, began the tannery business for himself in Bodinesville, Lycoming Co. David represents the tannery at Grover.
In politics, Mr. Innis is a Republican, and has always possessed considerable influence at the polls. He joined the Congregational church in Scotland, but united with the Dutch Reformed church upon his arrival in America.