The Reverend Mr. David Craft
HISTORY OF THE TOWNSHIPS
The township of Pike, so called in honor of General Pike, is situated
between the townships of Warren on the north; Tuscarora,
on the south; Orwell and Herrick, on the west; and Susquehanna County, on the east. The Wyalusing creek is its principal
stream, entering from Susquehanna county, in the southeastern portion of the township, and, running southwesterly, passes out,
near the southwest corner of the township, into Tuscarora. Cold creek, in the extreme western-southwestern portion of the
township, Rockwell creek, near the central, and Ross creek, in the extreme eastern portion of the town, are the tributaries of the
Wyalusing and flow into it from the north.
Along the Wyalusing the surface of the township is level; about Le
Raysville it is a high table-land, and in other portions it is
hilly. It was originally covered with a heavy growth of hemlock, pine, beech, maple, and other hardwoods. The soil is fertile, and
the principal occupation of the farming community is butter-making and cattle-raising. There are five post-offices in the
township, viz., Cold Creek, Stevensville, Pike, Le Raysville, and Neath.
The first settlements in the township were in the southern part,
along the Wyalusing. The pioneers were attracted by the beautiful
and fertile flats which skirt the creek all the way to the Susquehanna county line. Covered as they were with a heavy growth of
timber, they not only gave promise of unbounded fertility, but appeared much wider than the really are. An Indian path extended
up the creek, it being the thoroughfare from the Muncy town to Zeninge, near the present city of Binghamton. The Connecticut
land speculators had partly cleared out this trail, so as to make a tolerable bridle-path up to the forks. This path lay along the
low flats, frequently crossing the creek to avoid the hills, which at short intervals jut down to the very brink of the stream. Along
this path the proprietors had surveyed lots, and opened the township for settlers in 1788. Proprietary warrants, bearing date March
17, 1774, had been surveyed, and patents were issued by the supreme executive council of Pennsylvania, dated Julv 23, 1786, to the
"corporation for the relief of poor and distressed Presbyterian ministers, and the widows and cbildren of poor and distressed
Presbyterian ministers," and by the trustees of this corporation sold to John Nicholson, December, 1793. Wareham Kingsley
owned the greater part of the Connecticut rights in the township of Allensburg. On the north of the old warrants were the lands
of Le Ray. The first settlers came up the stream, bought lands under the Connecticut title, and began settlements in the spring of
1792. Feneler, who removed to Wysox, had built himself a cabin on a rise of ground near the present road, just above Cold creek,
and a few rods from the southeast corner of the township, some time before 1792. He was, however, here, as at Wysox, a squatter,
leading a solitary life, subsisting almost entirely by hunting, holding but little intercourse with the settlers, and was regarded by
them with some superstitious awe. The old house remained standing for a number of years, and was almost always inhabited.
Among the first settlers this part of Bradford County were Dimon
and Benajah Bostwick, two brothers from New Milford,
Connecticut, who took up four hundred acres of land on the Wyalusing creek, in the township of Pike, near what is now called
Stevensville, under the Connecticut title, which they had purchased in New Milford. Dimon, with his newly-married wife, Lois
Olmstead, came in about 1792, and Benajah a few years later with his wife, a sister of his brother's wife. These brothers were men
of great strength of character, and were remarkable for principles of justice, integrity, and honesty, and were liberal supporters of
the Episcopal church, of which they were zealous members.
Dimon was an admirable surveyor and draftsman, a great reader, and
well versed in mathematics general literature, history, and
theology. Both these men attained to a patriarchal age, and after several years of retirement and disability "entered into rest,"
Dimon dying at the age of eighty-seven, in 1857, and Benajah in the year 1864, at eighty-eight.
The Bostwick genealogy from 1668 to 1850, published by Erastus Bostwick,
of Burlington, has the following facts, which we take
(1) John, Arthur, and Zechariah were brothers* who came from Cheshire,
England, and located at Stratford, Conn., about the
year 1668. (1) John removed to New Milford, Conn., in 1707, and was the second person to settle in that town. (2) John, his son,
was born 1686, died June 17, 1741, married Mercy Bushnell, of Danbury, Conn., Jan. 3, 1712. (3) Benajah, third son of (2) John,
born Feb. 8, 1718, died Oct. 23, 1776. He married Hannah Fisk, born at New Milford, Dec. 16, 1723, and died Oct. 27, 1788. (4)
David, eldest child of (3) Benajah married Hannah Hill. Their children were (5) Dimon, born Oct. 7, 1770; (5) Benajah, born Feb.
17, 1776; Joel, born Feb. 2, 1778; Marshall, born July 25, 1779 - Lucinda, born April 1, 1781 ; and Anne, born June 7, 1783. (5) Dimon
married Lois Olmstead. Their children were Elmira, Julia, Eliza, married Rev. Samuel Marks (Episcopal), Randolph, Pernel
Marshall, Esther, Valvasa, and Sarah, married Rev. Geo. P. Hopkins (Episcopal). (5) Benajah married Mary Olmstead. Their
children were Hannah, Lucinda, Silas Jackson, and Harriet.
James Rockwell settled near the Wyalusing creek, below what is now
called Stevensville, in 1790. He was born in East Windsor,
Hartford Co., Conn. He cleared a piece of land, built a log house, and after a few years raised tobacco. He found good clay on his
farm, and clearing off a piece of ground for a yard, made brick for all who wanted. His was the first brick manufactory in
Seth P. Rockwell came in from the same place, and settled in what
was called Newtown, near what is called Rockwell creek, in
1791. A bear came to his pigsty one night and took out a shoat for his supper, and devoured about one-half of the porker. The
next night Mr. Rockwell carried the remainder of the carcass back to the pen, and laid in wait for Bruin, who came back to finish
the bill-of-fare, when a well-aimed shot from Rockwell's rifle killed the animal. Mr. Rockwell did some pioneer tanning and
currying by digging out a large trough, peeling hemlock-bark and pounding it with an axe in the trough, and then tanning
skins, with which he made shoes for himself and family. The leather was made up without blacking and an old scythe answered
for a currying-knife. His pioneer mill-mortar and spring pole pestle was free for the use of all without toll, provided they did their
own pounding. Seth P. Rockwell came to the wilderness empty handed and alone, and chopped a road up to his settlement on
Rockwell creek, where for seven years his nearest neighbor was, on the Wyalusing, Nathan Abbott (father of Benjamin Abbott),
where Ransom Coolbaugh now lives. Here he found the first location that suited him, and he called it Newtown. Here he built
his house, a log cabin, and began a clearing. In 1796 he was married, and the following summer brought his wife to his new
home, but returned with her the succeeding winter, and continued this manner of residence until he cleared sufficient land to
produce his own living. Mr. Rockwell was born Sept. 22, 1770, hence was not quite twenty-one years old where he went into the
wilderness to hew out for himself a home. A son, Joab Rockwell, is yet a resident of the township, and has contributed the facts
above given of the Rockwell brothers.
Nathan Abbott, and two brothers named Darius and Elijah Coleman,
came into the settlement about the same time that Seth P.
Rockwell came. The Coleman's were from Litchfield Co., Conn. They were masons, and used to build chimneys for the settlers'
log houses; but these structures were vastly different to those of the present, sticks and mud taking the place of bricks and
mortar. They were of sufficient size, too, to admit of scaffolding inside, rather than on the outside, in their construction.
Nathan Abbott was the father of Nathan, Benjamin, and John, and lived
on the farm formerly owned by Ambrose Bosworth,
some three miles from La Raysville, near Seth P. Rockwell's place. He died in 1804. The Colemans' children, who were numerous,
are all dead, but their grandchildren are many of them still living. One of the original settlers was formerly sheriff of Litchfield
Eleazer Russell came into the settlement in 1792, from the State
of New York. He went from Bridgeport, Conn., to Ballston,
where be bought a farm, from whence be came to Bradford County, with a yoke of oxen and a pair of tbree-year old steers and a
sled, in the month of March. At Athens (then Tioga Point) be was compelled to wait a week for the river to get clear of ice, before
he could venture upon it with his goods loaded in a canoe. He floated down to Wyalusing, and poled the canoe up that creek,
driving the cattle along the bank singly. He married Ruth Fairchild, a sister of Ephraim Fairchild, and reared a family of two
sons and four daughters. One of the latter married S. P. Rockwell. Mr. Russell located on the farm now occupied by ______
Keeney. He was killed by the fall of a tree he was chopping down. He went out before breakfast, and not coming in at the call of
his wife search was made for him, and be was found crushed under the tree, just as he was expiring. Wm. Frink married the
widow, and lived for some time on the place, and then removed to New Milford, Susquehanna County, to live with his son
Benajah, who married a daughter of Esquire Hancock.
Ezekiel Brown came in about the same time as did Russell,, and lived
next below him, on the flat where there are now some old
apple-trees growing. A daughter of Mr. Brown (Rhoda) married David Olmstead, and Nancy married John Mintz. Thomas
Brown, of Wyalusing was the father of Ezekiel.
Ephraim Fairchild came in from Norwich, Conn., as early as 1793,
if not earlier. He located on the place now occupied by Aden
Stevens. He married a Platt. When the settlers first came to the creek there were no black walnut-trees growing on the flats. Mr.
Fairchild's people went to the river, gathered a quantity of the nuts, and stored them in the attic of their log house for future use.
A black squirrel, tamed and petted by the children, took a great fancy to these nuts, and, with his instinctive foresight, proceeded
to appropriate the same, and store them in the ground in various localities for his future use. This planting produced the fine
trees of that variety now growing around Mr. Steven's house, which measure from fifteen to eighteen inches diameter. Mr.
Fairchild died on the place. His children were Edmund, David, Abel (a doctor, dying in Cleveland, Ohio, Hannah, Mary, Ruth,
and Huldah. The Fairchild property is now held, as it ever has been, under the Connecticut title, the Pennsylvania title never
having been purchased.
Elisha Keeler came from Brookfield, Conn., to the Wyalusing in the
spring of 1793. The family consisted of his wife Lucina
(Warner) and three children, and his aged father (Elisha). They came to Wilkes-Barre, and then pushed up the river and creek in
a canoe. When near Thomas Lewis', in Merryall (Wyalusing), the canoe upset, and spilled their goods into the river, which
received a thorough drenching. After drying them, they pushed on up the creek, and dwelt in Mr. Rockwell's house for a time,
until they could build one for themselves on their location, on the farm now occupied by Eugene Keeler, a grandson of Elisha.
John Bradshaw and Capt. Isaac Bronson came with the Keelers. The
journey was made to the Lackawanna with a yoke of oxen
and one horse, but in crossing that stream the horse was drowned, and the rest of the journey was performed with the oxen alone.
Mrs. Bradshaw was a sister of Mr. Keeler. There being nothing but a foot-path up the Wyalusing a horse was procured, with a
featherbed for a saddle, and Mrs. Keeler, with a little child in her arms, rode to the Rockwell's, crossing the creek eight times in
the journey. The old Bible of the father of Mr. Keeler was nearly ruined by its immersion in the Wyalusing, but the old patriarch,
being a tailor, ironed it out leaf by leaf with his goose, and it still remains in the family, a memento of the hardships endured by
the pioneers in a wild country covered with a tangled and unbroken forest. The old gentleman died in 1794, and is said to have
been the first person buried in the Stevensville cemetery.
Mr. Keeler had purchased three hundred and thirty acres under the
Connecticut title of Wareham Kingsley, and Bradshaw also
bought his tract of Kin-sley, and the two pioneers made their first settlement together, and subsequently divided the possession
by mutual agreement.
Mr. Keeler was not of a robust constitution, and soon found himself
unable to endure the heavy toil consequent upon clearing up
his heavily timbered possession. He had learned the trade of his father, but tailoring was a business but little patronized in the
forest. Therefore, in 1804, he purchased a small stock of goods, and established himself as a merchant on the border in his
dwelling house, and continued in that business for three or four years. On his ledger, which is yet in existence, occur the names of
nearly every inhabitant from the river to Montrose, and in the township of Pike, the charges for whisky equaling all others
Closing out his mercantile business, be formed a business partnership
with Guy Wells, and purchased, it is said, the first
wool-carding machine in the country, and set it up in the old Gordon mill. In this business he continued until near the time of his
death, in November, 1814. His customers were from Black Walnut, Wyalusing, Standing Stone, Montrose, and all the intervening
country. When prints were from sixty to eighty-five cents per yard, cotton handkerchiefs at eighty cents, muslin seventy-five cents,
and money scarcely to be had, home-made cloth was in great demand, and wool and flax were prime necessities.
The children of Elisha Keeler were seven: Orabella (married Loomis
Wells), Marietta (married John Elliott). Polly (married Justus
Lewis), Charles (married a Nichols), Elisha (married a Lovett), John, and Lucy (married Roswell Coburn). All lived in Bradford
County, in Pike, Wyalusing, Herrick, and Warren. John lives in Wyalusing, and Charles lived on the homestead.
Nathan and Aden Stevens came to the present site of Stevensville
in the spring of 1794. They were sons of Peter Stevens, of New
Milford, Connecticut, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary army; was wounded at the capture of Danbury, from which he never
recovered, and died from the effects of the wound about a year afterwards, August 6, 1779, aged forty eight years. The sons,
Nathan and Aden, purchased the farm of Captain Isaac Bronson, who moved into Susquehanna County. He had built a little log
house at the end of the present lane between Messrs. Myron and Cyrus Stevens, nearer the bank of the creek, and cleared three or
four acres around it. Nathan soon returned to Connecticut for his family, and Aden remained, chopped a fallow, and put in a
piece of grain. In the following fall Nathan returned with his family, consisting of his wife, Hannah Warner, and three children.
The hardships common to the settlers in the wilderness were endured by these pioneers. Three months passed without flour in the
house, corn-meal, made in the mortar, being the only article for bread. Aden bought a cow for twenty dollars, which was pastured
on the opposite side of the creek. One night she was somewhat dilatory in responding to his call to come home, and to hurry her
movements he threw a stone at her, which hit and broke her leg. He paid his remaining money (nine dollars) for a hog to fatten.
They moved in with two horses and a yoke of oxen. One of the horses
was sold for a twenty gallon kettle to boil sap in for
maple-sugar, and while drawing wood with the other, he was frightened in going down the steep bank of a ravine, and fell and
broke his neck. Bears, wild-cats, and wolves, were numerous, and the latter made havoc among the sheep of the settlers, and
bounties were offered for their scalps. While hunting a wild-cat in 1839, the dogs signaled larger game, and on coming up with
them the hunters, the Stevens and Rockwell brothers, found a bear, which had taken refuge in the roots of a hollow tree for his
winter nap. Here he managed to keep the dogs off, but being encouraged by their masters they made another and fiercer attack,
in repelling which Bruin ventured outside of his covert far enough to expose himself to the shots of the men, and Stevens lodged a
ball in his head. They then dragged him out, and the last bear killed in Pike township lay at their feet.
Aden was unmarried when he first came to Pike, and for two winters
he returned to Connecticut, where he taught school,
returning to his forest home in the spring. The second winter he married Anise Winter, a sister of Nathan's wife. The two brothers
worked the farm together the first year, and then divided it equally. Their descendants still reside on a portion of the property.
About 1800, Nathan built a new log house on the main road, and moved
into it, and lived therein until the death of his wife,
which occurred Sept. 25, 1847, at the age of seventy-seven years. He then lived with his son Myron until his death (April 6, 1854),
at the age of eighty six years. He was a remarkably vigorous man, and but a short time before his decease could walk several
miles without apparent weariness.
Aden built and lived in a log house near the old, framed house until
1809, when he erected the latter, which is yet standing. A
brother of Nathan and Aden, Samuel, moved into Stevensville, and lived where the widow Jones now lives. He bought of William
Turrell, who bought of Shoemaker. Samuel was a tanner and currier and shoemaker, and built a tannery, and was the first to
carry on the leather manufacture on the Wyalusing. Jonathan, a half-brother of Samuel, came with him, and settled first at Cold
Creek where Peck Maxfield now lives, and died on the farm now owned by George Atwood, April 1, 1847, aged seventy-five years.
The family record of Aden Stevens shows he was born April 20, 1770,
married Anise Warner (born Nov., 1766) Nov. 14, 1796, and
died July 28, 1858. Mrs. Stevens died Feb. 6, 1814. He married, Feb. 16, 1815, Rebecca Purda Somers, who was born Dec. 23, 1783,
and died Dec. 28, 1861. The children by the first wife were Oliver W.; Hiram (deceased); Cyrus, still living in Stevensville; Anna,
married Abel Bolles, and now deceased; and Sally, married Elkanah Bolles. By the second wife: Philena, married Elislia Lewis,
and lives in Merryall and Peter who died in Kansas.
Samuel Luckey came first to the township in 1793, and cleared a piece
of land, and planted some corn, and built him a house,
and moved into the same with his family the next year. When he came back with them, be found his corn all gone. He bought
the possession of the Roswells, who are said by Alba Bosworth to have made a settlement where Abraham Taylor lived about 1790
or 1791. On selling their claims to Mr. Luckey, they moved up the creek above the forks, and about 1811 moved north into the lake
country in central New York. Mr. Luckey was from Sussex Co., N. J., and was one of the company which surveyed the line
between the States of New York and Pennsylvania westward from Athens. He had four children, two by each of his wives, he
being married twice.
Salmon Bosworth came from Litchfield Co., Conn., his native place,
to Pike, in 1795, at nineteen years of age. He made a
beginning in the forest near the Wyalusing above what is now Stevensville, chopping and clearing off a small piece of land,
building a log house and a blacksmith shop. He then went to work at his trade of blacksmith. After two years he returned to
Connecticut and married Sally, daughter of David Olmstead. The young couple packed their worldly goods into a one-horse
wagon, and bidding farewell to the homes of their childhood, turned their faces to their future home in the wilderness of the
Wyalusing where they arrived after a journey of twenty one days. He cleared off a large farm, and made scythes and axes in his
shop for the settlers. He died Nov. 4, 1831, aged fifty-nine years.
Josiah Bosworth, a brother of Salmon, came to the township about
the same time, when about eighteen years old. He went into
the settlement then called Newtown. He married Mary Traver, in Pike.
Alba Bosworth, another brother, came in 1806, and lived about a year
on the Crandall place, and in the fall of that year came to
the place now occupied by Ransom Coolbaugh, where he lived until his death, in 1840. He bought of John Abbott, who had
cleared off about twenty acres, and built a log house on it.
Reed Bosworth lived on the farm adjoining the Crandall place. At
one time the family owned farms for seven miles, adjoining one
another, with a singIe intervening exception.
Josiah and Alba caught a cub one day, despite his scratching and
biting, and made a pet of the young bear, but his sports were
rough and be would allow none to touch him save his masters.
Joseph Bosworth, a brother of the above named, came also in the spring
of 1806, and stopped for the summer on the farm owned
by the late Dr. Crandall. The following fall he built a cabin on the Ransom Coolbaugh place. Dan. Metcalf came in during the
year 1795, and settled on the Sherwood place. His daughter Lucy married Ichabod Terry. She was born Sept. 28, 1787. Mr. Terry
was born March 25, 1783.
Ezekiel Mowry came from Rhode Island with his father, George Mowry,
in company with Salmon Bosworth, but stopped a short
time only, and moved into Susquehanna county. Susanna Mowry married Eliphalet Marsh and lived on the mountain below
John Ford came from Schoharie, N. Y., in 1792,* and made a possession,
but worked mostly for other settlers. His wife was a
Curtis, and they had several children, all of whom are dead.
Bela Ford, brother of the last named, came into the township some
time after his brother, and made a clearing of a few acres, and
built a log house, which be sold in 1805 to James Brink for $60, and made another clearing on the adjoining farm. He married a
Lasdell. Her father was a physician, and the knowledge of medicine she acquired while a member of his family was almost
invaluable to her neighbors when the services of a physician were difficult to obtain. Her daughter married Elisha Cogswell, and
lived on the Tuscarora. Her oldest daughter married John Abbott, some of whose children are yet loiving in the neighborhood.
Joseph Pierce came to the settlement in the spring or early sumnier of 1796. His wife, Temperance, a daughter of Samuel Luckey,
brought her babe in her arms, and rode on horseback from Kingston in Wyoming County. He settled on the Crandall place, but,
being a carpenter, did not, own any land, and moved from place to place, where his calling led him. He remained on the creek
but a few years, and then removed to Ithaca, N. Y., where be died in December, 1804.
Thomas Brink, a son of Nicholas Brink, of Walapack, Sussex Co., N.
J., came into the settlement in 1797. Nicholas Brink came
to the Wyorning valley at an early day, but the Pennamite troubles, and the disasters suffered by the great ice-flood of 1784,
induced him to remove, and be went to Owego, N. Y., where he retrieved his misfortunes. Thomas lived on the M. Hollenback
place, afterwards owned by G. W. Rose. Daniel and Benajah Bennett, from Connecticut, had previously made a possession and
built a log house, but had done scarcely anything, in the way of a clearing. He married a Marsh, in New Jersey. He and his
brothers, Benjamin and James, were soldiers of the revolution.
James Brink came to Wyalusing in June, 1798, and lived for three
years on the rise of land where the railroad now runs, nearly
opposite the Moravian monument on the farm of the Stalfords, a part of which he worked. In 1805 he came into Pike, to a farm
about a mile and a half southeast from Le Raysville, on the Montrose road, now occupied by David Blackman. He had a family
of five boys, and bought the possession of Bela Ford, and moved to it in March, on wagons, being the first of those vehicles which
had progressed so far into the woods. Asylum was the grain market, to and from which had to be transported on horseback, by
bridle-paths through the forest, the surplus grain that could be sold or what was needful to purchase.
William Brink was a son of Thomas Brink, who married Loraine Brister,
of Middletown, Susquehanna county, and moved on
Vaughan Hill, after his father bad lived in Wyalusing. He lived there five years, when his wife was bitten by a rattlesnake, which
so frightened her that she became discontented, and desired, naturally enough, to go where rattlesnakes were less familiar
acquaintances. He came to Pike in 1806, and settled about half a mile cast of Le Raysville, on a tract on which a tree bad not
been felled in the way of a clearing. He made a large quantity of maple-sugar the spring of 1806.
Jesse and Daniel Ross were sons of Lieut. Perrin Ross, who was killed
at Wyoming. Jesse married Betsey, a daughter of Isaac
Hancock, Jan. 22, 1795, and the following spring moved up the Wyalusing. He was born in Connecticut, March 15, 1772, and died
Oct. 1, 1843. Betsey Hancock was born at Wyalusing Sept. 10, 1777, the esquire, their father, being one of the very earliest settlers
in the valley before the war. She died March 15, 1823. Mr. Ross married again, Aug. 8, 1824, Charlotte, the widow of Rev. Edward
Paine, of Brooklyn, Susquehanna county. He had children as follows: Isaac H., Perrin, Nelson, Eleanore, George, and Irene.
Eleanore married a son of the Rev. E. Paine, and Irene married Van Guilder, and died on the old farm.
Daniel Ross married Jennie, a daughter of Esquire Hancock, but reared
no children, and made the first possession on the latter's
Joseph Ross, a brother of Jesse and Daniel, married Anna, daughter
of Job Camp. He is said to have come to the township in
Nelson Ross, son of Jesse, married Eliza W. Bosworth, and now lives in Wyalusing.
William Johnson came to Le Raysville, in 1798, from Stamford, Conn.,
and settled on the farm now owned by his son Denison. He
came first to Sheshequin, where he remained two years, and while, there came on this farm, cleared three acres, and rolled up the
body of a log house, then went to the farm now owned by Zebulon Frisbie, made a clearing, and remained thereon for about two
years, and came again to his original location in 1802. His son Denison now occupying the place, was born in Orwell, on the
Frisbie place, in 1800. His daughter Mary, who married Adolphus, son of David Olmstead, is said to have been the first white
child born between the Wysox and Wyalusing roads. Mr. Johnson, while making his first clearing used to pack his provisions
from Sheshecluin, carrying them on his back. Once be was accompanied by his wife on horse-back, who rode over to see the
place, but while there her horse died. Her return conveyance was a primitive one, being a forked tree with a seat fastened across
the forks, the body forming the pole, which was attached to the yoke of his oxen. On this contrivance of her husband, the wife
rode back to Sheshequin. Her maiden name was Abigail Hart. Mr. Johnson died in December, 1853, aged eighty years and ten
months, and his wife died in 1858, aged about eighty-one years.
Mr. Johnson was a shoemaker, and used to tan leather for his own
use, -going beyond Towanda for oil to dress it with. He
carried on the business for some fifteen or twenty years, and his son Denison continued it for fourteen years after his father ceased
to follow it. The son also employed four hands at shoemaking, making all his own leather and considerable more.
William Buck came to Pike township about 1801. He went front Killingly,
Conn., at the age of fourteen years, to live with
President Wheelock, then president of Dartmouth College. In the spring of 1798, when he was twenty one years of age, he came to
Sheshequin, where he lived with Joseph Kinney for two or three years, and then came to Pike, as before stated, and located on the
farm now occupied by Oliver Palmer. About a year and a half afterwards he married Charlotte Seymour, a relative of Gould and
Isaac Seymour, who formerly lived in Norwalk, Conn.
President Wheelock gave him a deed of a piece of land, on condition
that he would go and settle it, which gift brought him to
Pennsylvania. His title proved, like that of all of his neighbors, worthless, and he was compelled to purchase the Pennsylvania
title of Le Ray, paying five dollars per acre for it.
Gould and Isaac Seymour, brothers, came in about 1802, from Vestal,
N. Y. They were formerly from Norwalk, Conn. When that
place was burned by the British during the Revolutionary war, the family left, and after a few years, about 1789, removed to
Vestal, about four miles from Binghamton, where they settled. Gould Seymour lived where Wilson Canfield, a son-in-law of his,
now lives. He came in with a yoke of oxen and a sled, and bought his land of Le Ray. The brothers went to Sheshequin and
procured apple-seeds, sowed them, raised a nursery, and planted a large area to orchards. Gould built his log house about sixty
rods above where
Wilson Canfield's house is; he built a framed house about 1813. He
brought his wife, Martha Hart, and one child five other
children were added subsequently to his family; the sons were two, and daughters four. Electa married William Hutchinson, and
now resides on Orwell bill. Wilson Canfield's father, Andrew, lived for a couple of years on the Wyalusing creek, on the Crandall
place, with his brother-in-law, Thomas Tillotson. Wilson Canfield came into the town in 1817.
Isaac Seymour's family have all died but one, the wife of L. C. Belding,
now of Carroll County. Isaac was a justice of the peace,
and was generally known as the Esquire, while his brother Gould was known as Major Seymour. The latter served one term as
county commissioner of Bradford County.
Esquire Isaac Hancock came to the farm on the creek about 1802. The
old squire was a portly, jovial, light complexioned man,
the very opposite of his grave, dignified Quaker wife, whose dark face and black tresses contrasted strikingly with the light
blonde locks or her husband.
Edmund Stone came from New Milford, Conn., to Milton, near Ballston,
N. Y., in 1794, thence in 1796 to the Butternuts, near
the French settlement in that State, and thence to the Wyalusing above Cold Creek, in 1803, to the place now occupied by Peck
Maxfield. They came in with two or three teams, the family consisting, of the wife, Susan Hotchkiss, and several children. His
New York purchase proved a loss to him, his title proving worthless after having paid for it in hard cash. The change from the
school, church, and social privileges of New York to the privations of the wilderness was anything but pleasure, but the same
endurance that characterized the pioneers already there before them was shown by this family also. Mr. Stone bought of Peter
Stevens, who had a log house and a clearing of several acres on his possession where he sold it. The family came in March,
having good sleighing throughout the trip.
Mrs. Marinda Ingham, a daughter of Mr. Stone, of whom the facts concerning
her father have been obtained, relates the
following incident: Her little daughter, when about five or six years old, went to visit at Joseph Ingham's, who lived where Oliver
Stevens now lives, the whole distance nearly being through heavy timber. She stayed until it was nearly dark. On her return she
met what she supposed was her father's dog which was about the size and color of a wolf. She spoke to the animal, but it passed
her, and went into the woods, and immediately she heard the howl of a wolf, which was answered by a number in different
directions. Joseph Ingham beard them, and fearing the little girl had not yet reached home, sprang upon his horse, and rode at
full speed after her; but the little one was too well posted in woodcraft not to comprehend the significance of that signal, and had
run home as fast as her little feet would carry her. She arrived there about the same time that Mr. Ingham did, safe, but sadly
frightened. Dr. Baker was a skillful physician and an early settler, one of the first physicians who came to Wyalusing. He came
first to Cold Creek, where Sarah Maxfield now lives. and then to the place occupied by HODry Pepper. He returned to
Connecticut in 1834, on the death of his wife, Rebecca, a daughter of Isaac Hancock. They had no children. He was very kind,
and kept no accounts with the families he visited, taking whatever his patients could pay, and in whatever material it was
offered. His small farm, and the spoils of the chase and stream, supplied his wants. His ride was through the forests, guided by
blazed trees, and on his calls he was frequently followed by the wild beasts. He was from Washigton, Litchfield County, Conn.
Among other early settlers were Joseph Preston, Elijah Tillotson,
James Hines (who married Sally Hancock), Benajah and Daniel
Bennett (1807), Benajah Stone, Abraham Taylor (brother-in-law of Edmund Stone, died June 9, 1839, aged seventy-four years),
Samuel Seeley (before 1802), David Doud, Peter Stevens, Judah Benjamin, Timothy Gaylord, Reuben and Amasa Wells, Jesse (a
schoolmaster) and Samuel Edsall* (the latter died March 2, 1859, aged seventy five years), Reuben Atwood, Joseph Utter,
Benjamin Seeley, Matthias Scrivens, Roswell Slater (1806), Winship, Amos Northrup, and the Ellsworth brothers, Henry, James,
Joseph, and Jonathan, sons of Henry, a Revolutionary soldier, who lived in Susquehanna county.
THE WELSH SETTLEMENT
A considerable portion of the town of Pike along its eastern boundary
is known as the Welsh settlement, it having been peopled
by natives of Wales. A citizen of Philadelphia, named Simmons, was the means of introducing his countrymen into the township.
By his advice Joseph Jenkins called on a friend of Simmons, T. Mitchell, who owned a large tract of wild land on both sides of
the county line in the townships of Pike and Middleton, and during this call negotiated for a tract of land in Pike, and came
thereto in the spring of 1824. Mr. Jenkins also contracted for and made some improvements on a lot of land adjoining the farm of
which Wm. J. Davies now lives. In the fall of the same year Edward Jones, Sr., came with his family to a lot joining Mr. Jenkins
on the west, the farm now being owned by W. J. Davies. Mr. Jones had a family of nine children, seven sons and two daughters;
three of the former and one daughter are now living in the settlement, Edward in Pike and the others in Middletown. Mr. Jenkins
and Mr. Jones were both most excellent citizens and stanch supporters of the church.
In 1825, David Thomas, Sr., moved his family into Pike, accompanied
by his brother-in-law, Rees Griffies, and commenced an
improvement on the tract now occupied by his son, David Thomas, Jr., just across the line in Middletown. He died of sunstroke
six weeks after bringing his family into the wilderness, leaving a wife, three sons, and three daughters, David Thomas, a minister
now at Stevensville, Griffith, now in Smithfield, Bradford Co.; Hannah, now in Minnesota, Margaret and Sarah, both of whom
died suddenly not many years after, followed by their mother, also suddenly, in May, 1849. Rees Griffies died in 1875. In or about
1827, David Morris, a son-in-law of Edward Jones, Sr., came to the settlement in Pike. He is yet living in Susquehanna county.
About 1828, David Williams who married Hannah Thomas, settled in Pike, joining Rees Griffies on the west. In 1821, Mr.
Williams revisited Wales, and on his return was accompanied by his widowed mother, his two brothers, Philip and John, and
Rev. Daniel Jones, all single men, and Samuel Davies, who died in 1876, at an advanced age, at his son John's, in Middletown,
on the same farm he settled on, about a mile and a quarter from the church, and William Evans. John Edwards and Jenkins
Jones (lst) came in a short time previous to this time. They and their wives are buried in the grave yard near the church; seven
daughters survive Jenkins Jones and wife.
Soon after Jenkins Jones came, Thomas Jones, a brother of Edward
Jones, Sr., came in from Wales, and settled next north of
David Morris. In 1832 two brothers, Evan and William Howell, moved in from Wales, and settled in South Warren. The next year
their father, John Howell, and their brothers, Thomas and Roger, and David Davies, their brother-in-law. The latter settled in
Warren, and the Howells joined him in Pike. The elder Howell died a few months afterwards, and Roger soon followed him.
Thomas lived but a few years later. Mrs. John Howell died in 1853; Mrs. Davies, a daughter, in 1856; and Mrs. Evans, the
remaining daughter, in 1867. Prof. E. W. Evans, dean, professor of mathematics in Cornell university, was the son of Wm. Evans
and grandson of John Howell. He died in May, 1874, and his father the following August. Wm. Evans has seven children yet
living two sons in the west, and two sons and three dau-hters in Pike, viz.: Mrs. Thomas, wife of Rev. T. Thomas, Mrs. P.
Williams, Mrs. P. Davis, William, and Thomas. The sons live on the homestead, and the farms of all the children join on the road
leading from Griffies corners to Warren pond.
Evan Howell died in 1875; Jane, his wife, in 1873. They have a son
and daughter living in the settlement, H. Howell, on the
homestead, and Mrs. S. W. Williams, in Pike. William Howell is still living on the farm in Warren, with his son-in-law. He has a
son, Roger R. Howell, living in Owego, N. Y., and a daughter, Mrs. J. W. Jones, on the homestead. Mrs. Howell died in 1841,
and his oldest son, John, in 1862.
Daniel Davies is still living near his three sons and three daughters,
John, Philip, Evan, Mrs. H. Howell, and Elizabeth and
Kate, unmarried, and at the homestead. Besides these there are Hon. Wm. T. Davies, his son, a lawyer at Towanda, and at
present a member of the State Senate; Mrs. Rev. J. Davies, a daughter, in the west; Thomas, in Pottsville; and Dr. Rees, in
In 1833, Henry, James, and Thomas Walters came in. About the year
1832, John Morris, Richard Williams, Daniel P. Jones, and
John Davies came to the settlement., all settling in Pike except Morris, who located east of Warren pond. Morris has
grandchildren in Warren. Richard Williams' family are all dead, save a daughter, Mrs. J. Thomas, who lives in Clifford,
Susquehanna county. John Davies and wife and Mrs. D. P. Jones are yet living and have children and grandchildren in the
settlement. D. P. Jones died in 1876.
In 1833 or '34, John Thomas, Widow Elizabeth Davies, and Samuel Thomas
settled at Neath. Mrs. E. Davies has a son and
daughter, Evan W. and Elizabeth Thomas, in the settlement. Samuel Thomas has an only son, Thomas F., living on the
homestead. John Thomas died in 1876; two daughters live in Pike, east of Neath church.
In 1834 or '35, Israel Evans, John Jones, David J. Thomas, and Jenkins
Jones settled in Neath, and David Davies, Thomas J.
Thomas, Roger Griffies, Thomas Williams, Evan Evans, Dr. William Roberts, David E. Davies, Henry Davies, and others, are
anion- the original stock which were comprised in the settlement; but the exact date of their coming thereto cannot now be
given. Of these Dr. Roberts only settled in Pike, on the Edsall farm, south of William S. Davies, and is still living there. Dr.
Roberts married the widow of Rev. Daniel Jones.
The settlement occupies portions of the townships of Pike, Warren,
and Middletown, the greater portion of the same, however,
being, in Pike. The country is hilly and uneven, but the Welsh are a hardy, industrious race, and by their industry have become
the owners of well-cultivated farms, with good buildings and fences. The settlement, taken as a whole, for thrift, wealth, morality,
intelligence, and religion, will compare favorably with any other portion of northern Pennsylvania, with like quality of soil, area of
territory, and number of families. Their occupation is chiefly farming their politics are nearly unanimously Republican, and in
their religious faith they are Congregationalists.
The settlement contributed its full share in filling, the quotas
of the county under the calls for troops in the Great Rebellion,
many of the young men enlisting, some of whom never returned, and others were brought back for burial in the Neath
The first framed house was built in 1808 or 1809, by Isaac Seymour.
The first hotel was opened in 1830, by Hiram Bosworth.
Asahel Coe opened the second one some time afterwards, where Mr. Case now keeps a hotel, whereupon Mr. Bosworth ceased
the business. Denison Johnson kept a hotel afterwards on his present place. The first wool carding machine and cloth dressing
establishment was built in or about 1808, by Elisha Keeler and Guy Wells. Jesse Ross afterwards in 1820 or 1821, built such an
establishment on his farm, Sophronius Stocking, a Methodist preacher, managing the manufacturing and business.
Distilleries were numerous, and came in early. Jesse Ross, Daniel Ross, and Ezekiel Brown each had one in the town.
A primitive saw-mill and small grist-mill was built early by Mr.
Fairchild. The latter was supplied with a bolt, operated by the
hands of the customer. The saw mill at Stevensville was built in 1815, by Alba Bosworth. He and his brother Salmon built the
grist-mill in 1819. In this mill were the first buhr-stones brought into the county.
The first school house was built in 1806 or 1807, where the Congregational
church now stands. It was built of logs and covered
with ash-bark. The windows were made of greased paper, and the floor of basswood slabs. Patty Sill, from Connecticut, taught
the first school in this house, having five or six pupils. Zeruah Northrup, afterwards the wife of Ebenezer Lacy, was the next
teacher. Polly Canfield taught a school in an old saw-mill near Van Guilder's. There was a big rock near by, and when the days
were pleasant the children prevailed on the teacher to keep school on the rock, over which they made a bower of limbs and brush.
William Brink was the first person who drove a pair of wheels from the Wyalusing creek.
In the upper part of the township is a spring which the early settlers
supposed contained a suifficient quantity of salt to pay for
working, and a company was chartered by law in 1834 for the purpose of developing the enterprise; but the brine proved to be too
weak to manufacture salt in paying quantities. The location is still known as the "salt well farm."
In 1794, Robert Morris, of Philadelphia, received warrants for a
large portion of the lands of Bradford and Susquehanna counties,
and in 1795 he disposed of several thousand acres to James Donatietis Le Ray de Chaumont, a French gcntleman, residing in Le
Raysville, Jefferson Co.,. N. Y. In 1819, Le Ray bought of Morris nineteen other tracts, containing 7600 acres. In 1822, James D. Le
Ray de Chaumont sold 88,000 acres, less a few tracts reserved for Vincent Le Ray de Chaumont, of Jefferson Co., N. Y., receiving
for such sale $50,000. Col. Joseph Kingsbury was the agent for the Le Ray lands. A portrait of Le Ray is on the opposite page.
Le Raysville is situated on the Michael Olmley tract. He was a Parisian,
but lived, at the time of his purchase of 4400 acres of the
Le Ray lands, in Baltimore. He sailed for Paris, and was never heard from afterwards. The settlers on this tract held their lands by
possession, after much trouble in straightening the tangled line of their titles. LeRay charged an average of three dollars per acre
for his lands. The settlers sent their fellow-settler, Esquire Brush, to Harrisburg to look up the title of Col. Kingsbury, who
claimed the lands. An examination of the records revealed the fact of Olmley's ownership, whereupon the esquire returned and
reported accordingly, and the settlers refused to pay anything further to Kingsbury. Wm. Brink was one of the first settlers who
bought the Le Ray lands of Kingbury, and being ready to pay for them in advance of his stipulation, the colonel brought two
deeds along which excited the purchaser's suspicion, and on their being submitted to Esquire Brush, while Kingsbury was
asleep, the fact was revealed that one was a quit-claim deed, and covered that part of Brink's farm which lay on the Olmley tract,
hence the journey to Harrisburg. The expenses of the commission were but five dollars, as the neighbors hoed the squire's corn
for him while he was gone, and he went and returned on foot.
Le Raysville was so named in honor of Vincent Le Ray.
The North American Phalanx was the first newspaper published in Le
Raysville, by Dr. Samuel C. Belding, who is still living. It
was discontinued in 1847.
The borough was incorporated in 1863.
The subject of this sketch was born Dec. 16, 1814, in Yorkshire,
England. He was a son of John and Mary Haigh. His father was
a woolen manufacturer. At the age of fifteen Joseph began to learn the woolen manufacturing trade, which he mastered at the
age of twenty-one. His education was obtained b attendin- night-schools. He worked at his trade in England till 1842, when he
came to America, locating in Bradford Co., Pa. He was employed in Black's woolen-mills. At the end of five years be purchased
an interest in the factory, becoming partner with Mr. Stewart. In 1856, Mr. Haigh bought out Mr. Stewart's interest, becoming
sole proprietor. He was united in marriage, May 20, 1847, to Harriet S. Browning a daughter of John and Lucy Browing, of
Orwell township, who came from Windham, Conn., and located in Bradford County in an early day. They had born to them six
cliildren, viz., Mary B., Lucy N., John F., Emma M., Sarah J., and William S., of whom all except William, who died when nine
years old, are still living. Mr. Haigh is a Republican. He has held nearly every office in his town, and has invariably discharged
his duties in accordance with the best interests of his constituents.
The subject of this sketch was born Au-. 25, 1788. He lived at home
till 1811, when he went to Bradford County locating upon the
farm which is now occupied by Mrs. Smith. He returned to Connecticut the following year, and was married to Betsy Gregory,
March 20, 1812. He remained in Connecticut till the conclusion of the War of 1812, when he went back to Bradford County. By
industry and frugality he became owner of a finely-cultivated farm. His wife died in 1848, leaving him with a family of four
children, viz., Augustus S., Eliza A., Alonzo, and Harriet M. He did not marry again, but passed the remainder of his days
among his dutiful children. He was an honest, upright man in all his dealing with the world. He was a member of the
Congregational church, practicing in every day life its pious teachings. He died Jan. 17, 1873.
A cut of Mrs. Smith's place can be seen by referring to another page of this work.
The subject of this sketch was born in Yorkshire, England, Dec. 11,
l8l3. He was a son of William and Ann Black. His parents
emigrated to America in 1819. His father, who was a woolen manufacturer by trade, made the first woolen goods in Bradford
County. John lived with his parents till he was twenty-five years of age. He was then married to Harriet Belding May 2, 1838. The
issue of this marriage was the birth of Collins H., who died Jan. 3, 1878. He married, for his second wife, Elizabethh Cook, a
daughter of Uri and Phoebe Cook, who were among the earliest settlers from Connecticut in Orwell, Bradford Co. The fruit of
this marriage was two daughters, Harriet E., who was married to Carl P. Stirn, wholesale merchant in New York city, and
Phoebe A., who resides with her parents. Mr. Black is a stanch Republican and is considered a good worker and organizer at the
polls. He is a strong temperance man, and has been very active in organizing and keeping up a temperance society in his place.
He is classed as one of the best business men in his township. A cut of his residence, etc., can be seen on another pace of this
The subject of this sketch was born in Connecticut, Dec. 28, 1790.
His parents, Andrew and Eunice Canfield, came from
Connecticut to Wyalusing creek, Bradford Co., in 1797. His educational advantages were quite limited. He lived with his parents
until he was large enough to engage in lumbering and rafting, and then began to work on a farm summers, and in the winter
and spring at logging and rafting. When he was twenty-five years of age he bought some land upon which a portion of Le
Raysville is built. He was united in marriage to Julia Seymons, Feb. 17, 1818. She was a daughter of Gould and Martha Seymons,
who emigrated from Connecticut to Bradford County in 1800. The result of this union was the birth of three children, viz.,
Chandler, Aurelia, and Elizabeth, all of whom are living and are well settled in life. Mr. Canfield united with the Methodist
Episcopal Church nearly forty years ago, and has been a consistent Christian ever since.
WM. S. DAVIS
The subject of this sketch was born in Glamorganshire, Wales, Feb.
27, 1827. He was a son of Samuel and Mary Davis. His
parents emigrated to America in 1831, and settled near where Mr. Davis now resides. His father died in 1876, at the advanced age
of eighty nine years. Mr. Davis lived at home till be was twenty-five years of age. He then married, May 29, 1852, Elizabeth
Phillips a daughter of John and Jane Phillips, who emigrated from the same place in Wales as Mr. Davis' father. They had born
to them seven children, viz.: Joseph R., John B., Samuel, Mary J., Ruth, Daniel, and Gomer. Joseph R. is a professor in Union
college, Schenectady, N. Y. Mr. Davis is a member of the Republican party, and has, since his affiliation, been true to its nobler
principles. He united in early life with the First Welsh Independent Congregational church, of Bradford County, of which he has
been an active and prominent member. He is strictly temperate in his habits, and upright in all his business transactions.
HORACE B. CHAFFEE
The subject of this sketch was born in Bristol Co., Mass., Sept.
28, 1828, and was a son of Wilder Chaffee, who moved to Bradford
County in 1832. He attended a common district school in the winter, and worked on his father's farm in the summer until
nineteen years of age, when be began to learn the blacksmithing trade. Mastering his trade at the end of three years, he began
business for himself in Sheshequin, where he built up a large business by his skill and industry. Ile married Polly Gore, of
Sheshequin, March 4, 1851. The fruits of this union were five children, viz.: Frank, Omer H., Willie A., Fannie S., and Frederick
A., all of whom are living except Willie, who died March 4, 1877. Mr. Chaffee moved to Pike township in 1852, where he has
followed the blacksmithing business, in connection with farming, up to the present time. He has filled many town offices, the
duties of which he discharged very acceptably. A cut of his residence, with portraits, can be seen by referring, to another page of
C. S. DUSENBURY, M.D.
was born in Dryden, Tompkins Co., N. Y., and was descended from one
of the early emigrants from Holland who settled in this
country. His educational advantages were such as could be obtained by attending a common district school, where, by faithful
application, be laid the foundation of a good thorough education. His father's stringent circumstances made his services needed
upon the farm until nineteen years of age, when he apprenticed himself to a dentist in Dryden Village. At the expiration of two
years, having mastered his profession, he came on foot to his present home, Pike, where he at once began the practice for his
profession with success. In the spring of 1861, having earned enough to pay off a mortgage on his father's farm, and a surplus
besides, he began the study of medicine under the late Benjamin Dewitt, M.D. After having read the required time, he entered
Bellevue medical college, New York City, from which he was graduated with distinction in 1865.
His wife, Lucy W. Haigh, is a daughter of Joseph Haigh one of the
most prominent citizens of Pike. He has held the most
important town offices, discharging their duties satisfactorily to the people, and was honored with the presidency of the Bradford
medical association, gaining by his courtesy and talent the respect of his associates. A cut of his residence and grounds can be
seen by referring to another page of this work.
Mr. Burrows was born in Hebron, Tolland Co., Conn., Aug. 25, 1817,
and is a son of Daniel and Olive Burrows. His father died
when he was eleven years old. He then went to Pennsylvania to live with his uncle, and received what was considered in those
days a good commod-school education. At the age of sixteen he apprenticed himself to a cabinet-maker, and devoted himself
with diligence and perseverance to the mastery of this trade, for which he had a special taste. He followed successfully the cabinet
business, in connection with farming for more than twenty years. In 1854 he engaged in the mercantile business at Stevensville,
which be continued for sixteen years. He was united in marriage, Feb. 9, 1840, to Miss Harriet E. Bostwick, a daughter of
Benajah and Mary Bostwick, who were early settlers in Bradford County. Six children were born to them, viz., Mary O., Francis
E., William C., A. B., and Gilbert S., all of whom, except Mary O., are living. Francis is an attorney in New York city; George H.
is a manufacturer in the same city; William C. and A. B. are engaged in the mercantile business at Stevensville and Gilbert S. is a
stenogapher. Few men have been blessed with so fine a family of children. Mr. Burrows was a member of the old Whig party, but
joined the Repablican party at its organization. He has held the highest offices in the gift of his fellow-townsmen, and has
invariably proven an efficient and trustworthy officer. He has always manifested an earnest interest in education, and has
unsparingly contributed both time and money to the advancement of its interests. By his industry and perseverance he has
amassed considerable wealth, to which deserving charity never appeals in vain. Mr. Burrows is still living in good health, and has
every reason to feel gratified over his eventful and successful life.
*David E. Bostwick adds the following MS. notes: "I am of opinion
that John who first settled in New Milford, in l707, was the
son of Arthur, and not his brother." "Arthur settled in Stratford some time previous to 1659, and deeds appear on record there
with the signatures of himself and wife to their son John, the name being spelled Bostock. They held extensive lands, and were