Newell Family -- John Newell came from the East with his family to Lower Sheshequin, 1784-'85. He purchased lot No. 11 in Claverack, Connecticut title, a part of which he sold to Joseph Salisbury, the balance being held by his son, Abel. Mr. Newell and his wife, Hannah, were early members of the first church organization, formed at Wysox. In 1790 his family consisted of six males and four females. His eldest children were: Abel, Josiah, John and Polly. In 1799 Mr. Newell and his sons, except Abel, who remained in Sheshequin, removed to the headwaters of Lycoming Creek, across the county line.
Polly married Samuel Rutty of Sugar Creek and moved to Canton township.
Josiah married, 1793, Lydia Ogden and had the following children: John, Josiah, William, Jared, Joseph, Margaret (Mrs. Joseph Gruver), Millie (Mrs. Crandle) and Lydia (Mrs. John Rouse).
Abel Newell remained upon the homestead, where he died April 9, 1837, aged 78 years. He married Sally, daughter of Ethan Wilcox, who had a son killed at the battle of Wyoming. She died April 6, 1831, aged 74 years. Their children were: Stephen, Hezekiah, Hannah, Elisha, Samuel, Roba, Lucy and Benjamin.
Stephen married Catherine Cole, inherited the homestead, which he occupied until his death, 1885. Their children were: David, John, Sally (Mrs. William Skinner), Catherine (Mrs. Joseph Keegan), William, Sylvia (Mrs. George Frink), George, Mary (Mrs. Ransom Horton) and Elisha J.
Hezekiah married Sally, daughter of Henry Tuttle of Wysox. Children: Henry, Abel, Beecher, Lyman, Warren, Mary (Mrs. Reuben Bennett), Abbie (Mrs. William A. Pierce).
Elisha married Anna, daughter of John Post, removed West and died at Hale, Iowa.
Samuel married and settled in Potter county, Pa.
Hannah married David Horton, reared a large family, died in 1875, aged 81 years.
Roba married Peter Barnard, died in Sheshequin.
Lucy married Elisha Forbes, died in Sheshequin.
Benjamin lived and died in Sheshequin.
Ezra Rutty of German descent, who had served as an ensign (1778) in Capt. Ichabod Ward's company, 3rd Regiment, Dutchess county (N.Y.) Militia came from Pawling's precinct, Dutchess county, to North Towanda, 1785, being the first permanent settler on Sugar Creek. He and his eldest son had secured title to 500 acres, Connecticut lands. A few friendly Indians were still in the neighborhood when Mr. Rutty came.
Soon after locating he started a nursery, and many of the old orchards in the neighborhood were taken from it. Mr. Rutty was a man of industry and enterprise. While he succeeded well he endured many privations. The first summer provisions were short. He would work until becoming faint from exhaustion, then go to the house and drink sparingly of their supply of milk and only food. He shared generously with his neighbors the fruits of his toil; died highly esteemed, 1812, upon the farm he had improved. Mr. Rutty married Mary Simons, and their children were: Samuel, Martha, Rebecca, Anna, Sarah, Esther, Mary, Deborah, Orrilla and Ezra. Mrs. Rutty died in 1817 and lies beside her husband in Riverside cemetery.
Samuel married Polly, daughter of John and Hannah Newell of Sheshequin and moved to Canton township. His children, who married as follows, were: Willard died unmarried; Ezra Wright to Minerva Loomis; Simon went West; Nelson to Mary Turner; Harrison to Margaret Neal; Jackson died unmarried; Clara to Joseph Keys; Roxy first to Richard Horton, second to Thomas Farrer.
Martha married Ozias Bingham, a Revolutionary soldier, of North Towanda.
Rebecca married Martin Stratton of North Towanda.
Anna married a Mr. Smith of Watertown, N.Y.
Esther married Eleazer Allis of Orwell.
Mary married Orr Scovell, who removed from Canton to Indiana.
Orrilla married Garner Carpenter of North Towanda.
Sarah and Deborah were provided for in Mr. Rutty's will and were living, 1805.
Ezra married Polly Bloom of Burlington and succeeded to the homestead. He was one of the foremost farmers in the county, raised wheat in large quantities and took it by ark-loads down the river to market. Generous, his doors were always open, and his house a favorite resort for raftsmen. The poor and distressed were never turned away, and Mr. Rutty will ever be remembered for his true kindness of heart. He died June 12, 1855, aged 74 years, and his wife, May 25, 1824, aged 38 years. Their children, who married as follows, were: Weltha to Henry Strope, Anna first to John Gillion, second to Nathan Coon; Lois to Roderick Granger; David first to Margaret Granger, second to Emeline Granger; Polly to Stephen Vroman; Betsy to George Taylor; Patience to Dr. Edward Mills; Ezra to Ellen Wilson.
Adrial Simons, who had one right in the Susquehanna's township of Ulster, came on from Connecticut in 1785 and occupied his claim.
He had served in the Revolutionary War from 1777 to '80, and was taken prisoner in one of the battles fought in the vicinity of New York. For a long time he was confined in one of the prison ships in Long Island Sound, where he suffered untold hardships from confinement, hunger, cold and filth. In 1781 he married Sarah Bingham (sister of Chester and Ozias) of Windham, Conn. She and three children, Rebecca, Polly and John, died of fever in the Summer of 1803. Mr. Simons is described as "a fine old gentleman, hard working, frugal and kind to the poor." He reared a large family. The census of 1790, giving besides himself and wife, four sons and three daughters. Other children were subsequently born. "Septer," who died November 20, 1798, aged 15 years, has the oldest marked grave in the Ulster cemetery. Of the children remembered, were: Adrial, Elijah, Anson, Bingham, George and Jeduthan. Jeduthan married a Miss Mayhew and died in Ulster, the others removed West. Adrial, Jr., married Patty Merritt of Tioga county, N.Y., and settled near Cincinnati, Ohio, 1817. The Revolutionary father and patriot died October 12, 1829 at Ulster, aged 72 years, 8 months and 10 days. His wife died July 27, 1803, aged 43 years.
Smith Family -- In 1785, Jonas Smith and his son, Nathan, of Connecticut took up 200 acres of land in what is now North Towanda, "bounded by the river and Sugar Creek, and known in the sub-division of Claverack as Numbers 69 and 70." Mr. Smith had married Mercy Buxton. Their children were: Jesse, Lydia, (Rev.) Nathan, Enos, John, Sarah, Joseph and Charles. The father died about 1800, and is probably buried in the old cemetery on the Bishop Horton place. His widow afterwards married William Coolbaugh. She died August 9, 1822, aged 78 years, and is buried at Hornbrook. Of the children, Sarah married Isaac Horton; John was frozen to death while hunting. His children were: Mercy (Mrs. Samuel Landrus), Fanny (first Mrs. William Lane, second Mrs. John Gustin), Elizabeth, Phoebe, Isaac and John. The widow, Phoebe Smith, subsequently married Lemuel Landrus.
Jesse Smith, son of Jonas and Mercy Smith, born November 25, 1766, married Jane Miller. He settled on the line between Wysox and Sheshequin, cleared and improved a farm, where he died December 23, 1843. His wife, born September 21, 1766, died March 15, 1844. Their children were: Sarah, John M., James, Rachel, Jonas, Polly, Betsy, William, Jesse, Jane and Anna.
Sarah, born April 21, 1787, married Lemuel Streeter and removed to Illinois.
John M., born December 24, 1788, married Rachel, daughter of Benjamin Brink. Located at Hornbrook, where he died July 14, 1864. His wife, born March 23, 1791, died March 7, 1872. Their children, who married as follows, were: Benjamin to Eliza McGill; Isaac to Permilla Horton; John B. to Lucinda Horton; Calvin to Catherine Myers; Curtis to Betsy Gardner; George to Matilda Chaffee; Guy to Lucinda Horton; Elizabeth to Richard C. Horton; Electa to George Heath; Harry to Abigail Chaffee; Miller to Jane Rundell; Jay died unmarried; Charles to Melissa Allen; Mary Ann first to Hiram Bowman, second to Henry Vann; Clark and Rachel died in early childhood.
Rachel, born December 21, 1792, married Daniel Brink and removed to Illinois.
Jonas, born October 3, 1794, spent the last years of his life in Williamsport, Pa.
Polly, born September 29, 1796, married Ebenezer P. Clark, died August 19, 1867.
Betsy, born December 26, 1798, married Alanson Lovelace, died January 8, 1866.
William, born January 29, 1805, married Jane Blauvelt; was accidentally killed by the bursting of a gun at Waverly, N.Y.
Jesse, born March 31, 1807, married Anna, daughter of Joseph Lent; died August 26, 1871.
Jane, born August 25, 1809, married William Foster.
Anna, born December 17, 1811, married Henry Lent and removed to Potter county, Pa.
Daniel Moore, a native of Ireland, came to America as a soldier in the British Army during the Revolutionary War. He forsook the service of King George, never to return to the mother country. In 1785 he came to Tioga Point and located on lands east of the river. About 1790 he established a ferry at the Park's place, which he operated several years. He died in Litchfield about 1830. Of his children: Esther married James Bidlack of Sheshequin; Zipporah married Richard Lent of Rome; Polly married a Henry Millett; John was a noted river pilot.
Nathaniel Hicok (Hickok, Heacock), a soldier of the Revolutionary War, came to Claverack as a settler under Connecticut title, 1785, locating on Towanda Creek. He afterwards moved to Orwell township, being one of the earliest inhabitants there. Mr. Hicok, his wife, Esther, children, Joanna, Esther, Nathaniel, also a Huldah Hicok in the family, were all early and active members of the first church organization in the county, established at Wysox. He was for some time a
scribe, and many of the old church minutes are in his hand-writing. While away from home, Mr. Hicok's house was destroyed by fire and everything lost. He then lived with his daughter, Joanna, who had married William Myer, and after her death (1825) went to Indiana and spent his closing days with another daughter, who had moved to that state. The son, Nathaniel, married Polly Ann, daughter of John and Ann (Hinman) Johnson, lived in Standing Stone some years, then removed to Canton township, where he died.
John Heath was another settler in Claverack on Towanda Creek in 1785. His farm of 250 acres and improvements, known as the George Bowman place, were purchased by Joshua Wythe, and in 1794, Heath, who was something of a hunter, removed to other parts.
William Miller, a German and said to have been an Indian trader, came to Athens, 1785, locating on the east side of the river, where he died. By the census, 1790, his family consisted of five males and four females. Two of the sons were Johnson and John. One of the daughters married Samuel Hepburn, a trader and early hotel keeper at Tioga Point; another daughter, Margaret, married, 1788, David Alexander, an early merchant and extensive land owner at Athens. John engaged in merchandising and died, 1812, at Athens, in his 33rd year. His widow afterwards married Alphonso C. Stewart, an early member of the Bradford county Bar, who was murdered in a sham duel by one Timothy Bennett at Belleville, Illinois in 1819. The other Miller boys removed West.
Other Settlers, 1785, who came to Athens with their families and remained a few years were: Christopher Hurlbut, Nathan Cary and Eldad Kellogg. Uriah Stephens and Solomon Bennett were also settlers in Athens, 1784-'90. Those at Wyalusing: Stephen Beckwith, William Sherman Buck and Robert Carr, all of whom had married daughters of Mrs. Lucretia York.
Foster Family -- Isaac Foster, a native of Massachusetts, with two sons, Abial and Rufus, came into Claverack, 1785, as settlers under Hogaboom & Strong, being the first to follow Ezra Rutty on Sugar Creek. They received 100 acres each, but afterwards added to the original grant. The lots which they occupied lay between the river and Sugar Creek, extending beyond the latter. These pioneers found their way into North Towanda by coming down the Susquehanna in a canoe. Clearing away the forest, preparing the land for raising crops, was the business for the first few years. Abial and Rufus resided with their father until after taking wives. Mr. Foster was a mechanic and gave attention to the manufacture of spinning wheels, and
the sons more especially to the improvement of their lands. Such was the courage and perseverance of these New Englanders that the original tract was mostly cleared by them, and we may add, that the splendid character of these pioneers has been well sustained by succeeding generations. Isaac Foster was twice married, his first wife dying several years before he removed from the East. His second wife was Abigail Franklin, sister of Arnold Franklin of Sheshequin. She died June 11, 1812, and Mr. Foster, March 26, 1821, aged 84 years. He had four sons: Abial, Rufus, Abraham, William, and three daughters. Abigail married Arnold Franklin of Sheshequin, and another daughter a Mr. Diven of New York state. The Fosters were prominent Presbyterians, and an important factor in the first church organization in the county.
Abial Foster was a man of much enterprise. He built the first saw-mill, also the first grist-mill on Sugar Creek, and for many years was extensively engaged in milling and farming. He was one of the noted old-time hunters. In 1795 he married Miss Mary Means, sister of William Means of Towanda. He died August 10, 1841, aged 77 years, and his wife, November 3, 1855, aged 80. The children of Abial and Mary Foster, who married as follows, were: Elizabeth to Ephraim B. Gerould, Smithfield; Nancy to Abel Judson Gerould, Smithfield; Samuel B. died unmarried; Dorinda to George Manley, Canton; Electa to Wheelock Bingham, North Towanda; Polly to Elijah H. Horton, North Towanda; Celinda to Owen Campbell, Burlington; William H. to Matilda Alloway; Jane to George Upright and died in Illinois.
Rufus Foster devoted his life to farming. He was a good man, and for many years, one of the ruling elders of the Presbyterian church. He married first, Phoebe, sister of Arnold Franklin of Sheshequin. Their children, who married as follows, were: William died unmarried; Rufus to Aurilla Allis, Orwell; Elizabeth to Major Jared Hunt, Canton; Alfred to Patience Franklin, Sheshequin; John to Mahala Goddard, Burlington. For his second wife, Mr. Foster married Sarah Lewis and had one son, Franklin L., who never married; died September 10, 1832, aged 65 years.
Abraham Foster came to North Towanda after his father. He finally settled in the West, where he died. He married Millie Strope of Wysox (evidently a daughter of John Strope, page 95), and had children: Elisha married Eleanor Carpenter, North Towanda; Nancy married Curtis Frink, North Towanda; William and other children, who went West with the family.
William Foster also came to North Towanda after his father and brothers, finally settled in Canton township. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Jacob Myer, Wysox. Their children were: Harry located at Patterson, N.J.; Caroline married first Frank Reveland, second Mr. Eaton, Canton; Myer married Miss Wright; Betsy married Rufus Mason; Hiram; Isaac never married; William engaged in business, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Joseph Spalding, who had served his country on both land and sea in the War for Independence and was one of the original proprietors of the Susquehanna Company's township of Ulster, came to Sheshequin in 1785. He was born June 7, 1745 at Plainfield, Connecticut, being a descendant in the 5th generation from Edward Spalding and distant relative of General Simon and William Witter Spalding. In 1791 he removed to Athens and settled on the West side of the Chemung, where he died August 31, 1832. He married first Eunice Shepard, who died December 6, 1790 in Sheshequin, aged 37 years and 2 months. Their children were: Wealthy, John, Howard, Jared, Rachel, Sarah.
Wealthy, born October 20, 1771, married first Benedict Satterlee, second Jonathan Ellis; died April 28, 1860 at Ypsilanti, Mich.
John, born October 22, 1773, married Elizabeth, daughter of Dr. Amos Prentice; died August 11, 1852. Their children were: George, Owen, Amos P., William, Julia Ann (Mrs. Curtis Thurston), Joseph, John, Harriet (Mrs. Alpha Warren) and Jesse. Mr. Spalding filled many local positions, and in 1815 was elected the second sheriff of Bradford county.
Howard, born October 22, 1775, married Lucy Allen; died December 17, 1857. Children: Harry H., Eliza Ann (Mrs. O. P. Ballard), Laura (Mrs. Francis Smith), Adolphus, Howard, Nathaniel S., Lucy Helen (Mrs. W. H. Peck).
Jared, born October 20, 1778, married Naomi Baldwin; died November 20, 1863.
Rachel married Daniel Snell; died, 1868, aged 90 years.
Sarah married Dr. Amos Hamlin and moved to Ohio.
For his second wife, Joseph Spalding married Mrs. Anna Snell. Children: Simon married Eliza, daughter of Abner Murray; Celestia married Isaac Morley, 3rd.
Daniel Guthry (Gutry, Guthrie) came to Sugar Creek as a Connecticut settler, 1785-'86. He and his wife, Lydia, were members of the original Wysox church. They had children, Ephraim and Huldah. Guthry conveyed his claim to Abial Foster and left the county, 1792.
Robert (Roberts) -- Asahel ("Sale") Robert and John Robert were settlers, Connecticut title, in Wysox, 1785-'86. Asahel sold his improvements to Moses Coolbaugh, and is said to have moved to the vicinity of Breakneck, where he died. John was still in the neighborhood, 1799. Moses Robert, a broom and basket maker, and Gilbert Robert, probably of the same family, were among those on the earliest Wysox lists.
William Nelson was also a settler, Connecticut title, in Wysox, 1785-'86. He sold his possession to Jesse Allen, who conveyed, 1790, to James Lewis and Aaron Dean, the latter selling his interest, 1791, to John Hinman.
George Murphy, son of John and Sally (Gore) Murphy, was born September 30, 1778. His father, a native of Ireland, was killed at the battle of Wyoming. At the age of seven years (1785) he came to Sheshequin to live with his uncle, Judge Gore. Upon the establishment of a mail route through the wilderness from the Wyoming Valley to the Lake country, he had the honor of being the first post-boy on the route and made the trips on horseback once a week. In 1803 he married Lydia Wallace and took up a farm in the wilderness. He kept up his active habits and labored in the fields and garden until he was very aged. On the 100th anniversary (1878) of his birth, several hundred people assembled at his home to do him honor. In his long life he never called a doctor, and retained his mental faculties to a remarkable degree. He died January 27, 1879. His wife, born February 2, 1784, died December 6, 1852. Their children were: Selim W., born November 12, 1805, married Hannah Townsend; died November 17, 1885; Lucy Ann, born August 10, 1812, married John Munn of Geneseo, N.Y.; John and Chester died on the homestead; Percilla married Harry Lawless, Rome; Polly married Samuel Bailey, Sheshequin; Ira, born August 20, 1826, soldier of the Civil War, married Amanda Shores; died September 15, 1910.
Chester Bingham, who was an extensive speculator in lands under Connecticut title, came to Ulster, 1786, locating on the G. H. Vandyke farm. He was reputed wealthy, but by the failure of the Connecticut claim, lost everything. In 1790, his family consisted of himself, wife, four sons and three daughters. In 1803, during an epidemic of fever, his wife and sons, Joseph, aged 20, and Chester, aged 13, died. Another son, Augustus, married Sarah Bardwell. Of the daughters, Jerusha married Josiah Tuttle and lived in Sheshequin; Sarah married Josephus Campbell of Burlington; Millie married Morris Wilcox, and spent her last days with her daughter, Mrs. George E. Arnout in Monroe.
Soon after the death of his wife, Mr. Bingham returned to Connecticut. He was a brother of Ozias Bingham of North Towanda.
Lockwood Smith, a native of New England, served through the Revolutionary War, and belonged to the command that conducted the Refugees from Wyoming to places of security among their friends in the East. He had removed from Connecticut to Dutchess county, N.Y., thence to Wyoming before the war. Upon the breaking out of hostilities, he took his family back to Connecticut, where his wife died. He afterwards married Deborah Buck. In 1786, Mr. Smith, with his brother-in-law, Aholiab Buck, left Connecticut, crossed the Catskill mountains, the North river and reached the Susquehanna in the vicinity of Great Bend. Here taking an Indian canoe, they paddled down the river with their families. Mr. Buck settled at what became Buckville, Mr. Smith coming on to Ulster, where he held one proprietary right, Connecticut title, covering the Havens and Snell farms. Having become permanently settled, he improved his 400-acre farm and died thereon in 1832, aged 89 years. Mr. Smith was one of the original Baptists in the county, and took a deep interest in helping organize the first church of that denomination in the "wilderness." He is buried in an unknown and unmarked grave in the Milan cemetery, which ground was donated by him. By his wife, Deborah, Mr. Smith had eight children: Enos, who lived and died in Smithfield; Nancy married William Knapp of Burlington; William married Leah Curry and died in Michigan; Asahel died in Illinois; Deborah married Thomas Buck of Big Flats, N.Y.; Phoebe married John Phelps and died in Tioga county, Pa.; Lockwood was a man of considerable political prominence in the county, having filled the offices of sheriff and representative, he married Sarah Kinney of Sheshequin, went to Illinois and died there; Silas died in young manhood.
Mr. Smith married for his third wife, Mrs. Rachel Platt of Sackett's Mills, N.Y. Their children were: Platt, who died in Wisconsin; Rachael married Burdette Wilson and died in Tioga county, Pa.; Mary married William Edminster and died at Spencer, N.Y.; Abigail married Henry Smith of Ulster, and was the last surviving member of the family, died October 1, 1890, aged 82 years; Zeruah married Shepard Moody and died in Oregon.
William Buck held two proprietary rights in Ulster by the allotments of 1786 and was one of the first to locate there. In 1789 he was an overseer of the poor for Ulster, and still on the assessment rolls in 1802. On March 20, 1798, he was married by Judge Gore to Miss Urana, daughter of Reuben Mitchell of Smithfield, this being the earliest marriage
within Ulster and Smithfield of which there is any record. Mr. Buck removed west.
Frederick Eiklor, a German, who had been wealthy and lost his property, followed his brother-in-law, Jesse Allen, to Wysox about 1786. In April, 1792, he supplied the trees for and set out Judge Gore's orchard (some yet bearing fruit). Whether he had a nursery in Wysox or brought the trees from Catskill, we have been unable to learn. Mr. Eiklor built and occupied a house in Towanda, where the store of M. E. Rosenfield now stands. One day while dressing flax it caught fire and burned the house. He then in 1798 joined his former neighbors, Henry Lent and Godfrey Vought, in the Rome settlement. In the year 1800 his wife died, being the first death in Rome township. The first school was taught by Mr. Eiklor, 1803, in a log school house within the present Rome borough. Mr. Eiklor had married Sarah, daughter of Samuel Baker, an Englishman. Their children were: Andrus, David, John, George, Susanna and Jennie. The Eiklor young people are remembered as "sweet singers, whose voices were always heard at the old-time parties." Mr. Eiklor and most of the family returned to Catskill.
David married Dena Huyck, resided in Standing Stone some years, removing to Huron, Ohio where he died.
Andrus (Andrew) married, 1804, Catharine, daughter of Godfrey Vought, theirs being the second marriage in Rome. Their children were: Sally married Reuben Russell, Rome; Godfrey married Millie, daughter of Isaac Strope, Rome; Polly married Jerry Morris, Rome; David married Sally, sister of Reuben Russell, who had been the wife of Isaac Vought; Daniel married Weltha Rowe, Rome; Betsy married Henry Wilmot, Rome. Mr. Eiklor died, 1831, and his wife, 1879, in her 97th year.
Jeremiah Shaw, a native of Bristol county, Rhode Island, born February 2, 1730, came to Sheshequin with his family, 1786. He married Abigail Campbell, and in 1772 removed to the state of New York, serving his country in the struggle for Independence. Seeking better opportunities he went to Wilkes-Barre, where he remained only a few weeks, when through the persuasion of General Spalding, he decided to locate in Sheshequin. He, accordingly, secured a boat, took his family on board with such effects as he had and came up the river, requiring a journey of several days. He settled the present Kinner farm, performing the part of a true pioneer, where his life came to a close, May 29, 1815. His wife died March 19, 1811, aged 64 years. The children of Jeremiah and Abigail Shaw were: Esther, Jedediah, Hannah, Ebenezer, Jeremiah, Benjamin, Lorin, Abigail, Phoebe and Deborah.
(Illustration of Ebenezer Shaw, Centenarian)
Esther, married Charles Manchester of Rhode Island; died at Tarrytown, N.Y.
Jedediah married Martha, daughter and Silas Gore, killed at Wyoming, 1778; died May 15, 1800 in Sheshequin, aged 37 years.
Hannah married Hezekiah Townsend; died March 19, 1866 at Torry, N.Y., aged 100 years, 1 month and 26 days.
Ebenezer, the second centenarian in the family, soon after attaining his majority, succeeded to the homestead. For many years he was constable for Ulster, and while acting in that capacity was required to go to Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport to make his returns to court. In 1801 he married Cynthia, daughter of Eli Holcomb of Ulster. On September 5, 1871, he celebrated his 100th birthday anniversary, five generations being present to do him honor. It was his pride and boast that he voted for General Washington at his second election and at every presidential election up to the time of his death.
He was a Freemason 70 years and at his demise, December 17, 1871, is said to have been the oldest in the state. Mrs. Shaw died April 10, 1868, aged 85 years. Their children, who married as follows, were: Laura to Sidney S. Bailey; Harry to Polly Snyder; Uriah to Patience L. Segar; Norman to Mary Ann Marshall; Hiram to Mahala McAlpine; Matilda to Obadiah Gore; Eliasaph to Samuel Thompson; Ebenezer P. to Emeline Gladding.
Jeremiah removed to near Canandaigua, N.Y., where he married and reared a family.
Benjamin married Margaret, daughter of Stephen Powell, Ulster, and removed to Penn Yan, N.Y.
Lorin married Electa, daughter of Daniel Kellogg, lived at Milltown some years, then removed to Towanda, where he died April 26, 1857, aged 68 years, 9 months and 5 days. Mrs. Shaw died June 13, 1844, aged 52 years, 6 months and 19 days. Their children were: Philander, Celemana (Mrs. William Elwell), Cynthia (Mrs. Everett Elwell), Lawrence, Celestia (Mrs. William A. Chamberlain), William B., Maryetta (Mrs. James Lamon) and Frances (died in childhood).
Abigail married William Ball; lived near Geneva, N.Y., where she reared a family and died.
Phoebe married Samuel Bartlett, Sheshequin, removed to Michigan with her husband.
Deborah married David Eddy, Penn Yan, N.Y., where she lived,
reared a family and died. Some of her descendants have become distinguished
as ministers of the Gospel and in the medical profession.
William Means, the first permanent settler of Towanda borough, was of Scotch-Irish descent. He was a son of Samuel Means, residing in Northumberland county at the breaking out of the Revolutionary War. Samuel Means and his oldest son were soldiers in the patriot army. The former died from wounds inflicted by the enemy; the son never returned, and is supposed to have been killed at the battle of Wyoming. The family remained in Northumberland until the mother was warned of the approach of Indians, when taking her children, one an infant six weeks old, in a canoe, and made her escape down the river. None too soon, however, for yet while in sight, the savages appeared and burned her house. The family afterwards returned, but the mother, whose maiden name was Clark, did not long survive, and the children were scattered among different families.
It is stated that "when Rudolph Fox fled with his family down the river (1778) they fell in with Samuel Means' family, and through them, William Means learned of the country about Towanda.
Soon after the war he came up to examine the land and, being pleased with the country, settled here," 1786. Another says, "Mr. Means commenced life as a boatman on the Susquehanna, and in this manner became acquainted with and married Elizabeth Fox, thus determining his future residence." In early years before the lines of improvement were even projected, the river was navigated by Durham boats, which carried freight along the length of the Susquehanna. By this tedious and toilsome process, provisions and goods were brought for the convenience of the settlers. For two years or more, Mr. Means was engaged in the transportation of goods for Judge Hollenback between Wilkes-Barre and Athens. After he became able to purchase a boat of his own, Mrs. Means frequently joined him in his trips and assisted in poling the loaded boat up the river.
In 1793, Mr. Means conveyed the French people and their baggage from Harrisburg to Asylum, receiving for his services over $1,000, besides an advance made him, with which he had purchased a small stock of goods in Philadelphia. The money received from the French, his merchandise and business at home, laid the foundation, with subsequent industry and economy for the large estate he accumulated. Mr. Means settled on the bank of the river directly opposite where the dam was built, and for many years kept a ferry and distillery at that place. He continued to live in his log house until 1804, when he moved into the "Red Tavern," a two-story framed building, which he had erected on ground now partly covered by the Bailey block. Mr. Means was licensed a taverner in 1797, and his inn and store (1793), the first in Towanda borough, were originally kept in his log house.
Upon the formation of the county, 1812, the Red Tavern was established as the place for holding courts, and so continued until the old court house was built and occupied, 1816. The court-room was on the second floor, and the prisoners kept in side rooms adjoining, during trial, the log jail then being at Monroeton. In 1816, Mr. Means built his commodious residence, yet standing back of the Citizens National Bank building, from which site it was removed. He owned 600 acres of land, extending to the "Fox-chase farm," also several hundred acres more at Greenwood and other points. He lumbered extensively, bought grain and shipped in ark-loads to the lower counties. He was a man of decided enterprise, and it was largely through his influence that the county seat was located at Towanda, which for a time was called in his honor "Meansville," also "Williamston." Mr. Means was the first magistrate of Towanda, being commissioned December 20, 1800, and was generally known as "Esquire Means."
In 1812, he was appointed the first postmaster of Towanda village and served as county treasurer, 1815. One after another, Mr. Means brought his sisters, Betsy, Ellen, Jane, Polly and Nancy, to Towanda and gave them a home in his family. The life of this active man came to a close, October 3, 1829, aged 64 years.
The Means sisters married as follows: Betsy to Adam Conley, Towanda; Ellen to Mr. Diven, New York; Jane to Francis Watts, Towanda; Polly to Abial Foster, North Towanda; Nancy to Dr. Adonijah Warner, Wysox.
Elizabeth Means, or "Grandma Means" (page 32) as she was familiarly called, survived her husband many years. The story of her life is one of courage, patience and romantic interest. The following will illustrate: In 1778, her father, Rudolph Fox, took his family to Sunbury, where they remained until the close of the Revolutionary War, then moved to Wilkes-Barre, whence he and four of his children proceeded to their old home at Towanda. Reaching it, they found the buildings and stacks of grain, which they had left, in ashes. A bark covered cabin was constructed, and other preparations made for the reception of the family. When ready to return, the daughter, Elizabeth, then 13 years of age, was the only one who would consent to remain. A more heroic undertaking could scarcely be proposed--a young girl on the spot where their buildings had been burned surrounded by ferocious beasts and liable to be disturbed by savage men, consents to be the sole occupant of the premises for five days--the time supposed to be necessary for the trip. But unexpected trials awaited her. The mother was found to be too ill to be removed and a delay of two weeks was unavoidable. The shrill screams of the panther and howls of the wolf at night added horror to the girl's dreary situation in the wilderness. Both these savage beasts had been heard upon her cabin trying to gain admission. One night as she was lying upon her bed of hemlock boughs asleep, a panther unceremoniously came in through her blanket-door, took the jerked venison from over her head and then left without doing her any harm. Elizabeth kept her post 17 days, when, after eating the last of her provisions, and seeing no prospect of relief, set out to meet the family, or find a hut where she might procure some food. She had proceeded only a few miles, when she discovered the boat with her family slowly ascending the river. The father inquired, "Where are you going?" "To Wilkes-Barre to get something to eat," replied the daughter. She was taken on board, and the family reached home after an absence of five years. Such was the courage of the first pioneer child born in Bradford county. She lived a beautiful and useful life.
In her closing days she took great comfort in perusing the sacred pages of her Bible. So zealous was she to know the Holy Book that she learned to read after she was 70 years of age. Her demise occurred in Towanda, July 21, 1851, aged nearly 81 years.
The children of William and Elizabeth Means were: William, John M., Samuel, Celinda, Lucinda and Eliza.
William married first Eunice Hewitt, who died, 1817, aged 22 years. They had one child, Col. John Fox Means, born October 6, 1816; died May 22, 1893. For his second wife, Mr. Means married Lydia Matthewson of Athens, and had a daughter, Celinda; he died in 1827.
John M. married Harriet Ballard of Burlington. They had sons: Samuel C. married Ellen, daughter of James H. Phinney, residing in Philadelphia, and Capt. John William, born June 27, 1833 of Towanda. Mr. Means died, 1834, and his wife, 1867.
Samuel died a young man, unmarried.
Celinda married Gurdon Hewitt, brother of Mrs. William Means, Jr.; died at Owego, N.Y.
Eliza was the first wife of Nathaniel N. Betts, and had a daughter, Eliza M.
Thomas Keeney, a native of Litchfield, Connecticut, who had first located at Wapwalopec, came to Wilmot home-seeking in 1786, and lived alone the first season in a brush cabin. The next year he brought his family, and in 1788 was arrested as one of the abductors of Timothy Pickering, taken to Wilkes-Barre and kept in confinement all summer. During his absence, a party of men tried to take his canoe and attempted to push it into the river, but Mrs. Keeney hung to the chain with such determination, even after being dragged into the water that the men gave it up and left the brave woman in possession. His daughter, Mercy, in September, 1788, married Richard Keeney, a distant relative, being Wilmot's first bride and groom. She, like her mother, was a woman of great resolution. On one occasion a party of men had driven a panther up a tree at Rocky Forest, and Mercy, although but 16 years of age, volunteered to stand under the tree and keep the panther up, while the man ran home to get their rifles with which the animal was killed. In 1812, Thomas Keeney sold to John Gamble and removed to Chemung, N.Y.
John Swift, noted hunter, daring patriot of the Revolution and a leader of "Wild Yankees" in the struggle for their rights, located at Athens, 1786. In 1789 he became one of the founders of Palmyra, N.Y.
He early enlisted in the War of 1812, was made a brigadier-general and was killed in battle on the Niagara frontier.
Thomas McClure, a Scotch-Irishman, who had located at Wyoming and served in Capt. Simon Spalding's company during the Revolutionary War, came to Athens, 1786, settling on the east side of the Susquehanna river. He sold his claims and in 1794 removed to Catherinestown, N.Y.
Waterman Baldwin, a brother of Thomas Baldwin, "the Indian fighter," was one of the original proprietors of Athens, 1786. He had served in Washington's army and Captain Durkee's Wyoming company when a mere boy. Later he was a captain in Colonel Proctor's regiment and still in the service, 1791, when he accompanied Proctor over their old route on his mission to the Indians. He was also for some time Indian agent for the U.S. Government. In 1790 his family consisted of himself, wife and three sons. He finally settled near his brother on the Newtown battlefield, where he died, 1810, and is buried.
Other Settlers -- In or before 1786, Abel Yarrington, a relative of Capt. Benjamin Clark's second wife, settled near the Ulster line on the west side of the river. In 1790 his family consisted of four males and two females. He left soon after 1796. Uriah and Phineas Stephens, probably brothers of Ira Stephens, were early comers west of the mouth of the Chemung. They removed before 1790. In 1786 Benjamin Gardner, John O'Neal and William Slocum also located at Athens. Slocum, who was one of Colonel Franklin's most devoted friends, remained some years. In 1790 his family consisted of three males and four females.
Terry Family -- Parshall and Uriah Terry (cousins) were lineal descendants in the fifth generation from Richard Terry, who emigrated from England and settled in Southold, Long Island, N.Y., in 1640. From here the family seems to have scattered, some settling in Orange county, N.Y., and others in Connecticut.
Uriah Terry was born October, 1728, on Long Island. He married for his first wife, Abigail Case, and removed to Wyoming. He, with his family, was at Forty Fort at the time of the battle, after which he went to Orange county, N.Y. After the war he returned to the Wyoming Valley. Abigail, the eldest daughter of Uriah and Abigail (Case) Terry, married Jonathan Terry, her second cousin, a son of Parshall. Uriah Terry was the school-master, moralist, theologian and also the poet laureate of Terrytown, Wyalusing and all this section of country.
His poem on the death of Washington carries sublimity in every stanza, and was and is well worthy of the hero whose death it commemorates. He was a man of faith and an elder in the Wyalusing Presbyterian church. In his old age, he married a second wife, by whom he had one son, Ichabod, who married Lucilla Metcalf and settled in Rush, Susquehanna county. Mr. Terry died June 29, 1804, aged 76 years, at Terrytown, where he is buried.
Parshall Terry, born August 8, 1734, near New London, Conn., and his brother, Nathaniel, were among the 117 Connecticut settlers, who came to Wyoming in 1763. Wyoming suffered from the Indian troubles which then existed, and on the 15th of October of that year Nathaniel was shot and killed by an Indian. Parshall soon after made his way back to Connecticut, which journey he made no less than 20 times. He was also in Wyoming in 1773, and was made one of the directors for the town of Kingston, under the plan of government adopted by the Susquehanna Company. He, with his family, including Jonathan Terry and wife, and Uriah Terry and family, were inmates of famed Forty Fort, the night after the Indian battle and massacre at Wyoming, July 3, 1778. He afterwards with other fugitives made his way over the mountains to the Delaware river. Leaving his family at Stroudsburg, he went East to obtain assistance to remove them to a place of safety. Here his wife died and was buried. On his return, he took his children, one an infant, to Sugar Loaf, near Newburgh, N.Y., where he remained until the close of the war, when he returned to his farm in Wyoming, afterwards removing to Terrytown. He was a tailor by occupation, and could make a coat in a day and often did it for a dollar. About the year 1794, he built a small grist-mill on the Major Terry place, the first in the town. He was an enterprising, go-ahead man of genial temper, a devout Christian and elder in the Presbyterian church. He died May 15, 1811, in his 77th year. He had children: Parshall, Jonathan, Joshua, Nathaniel, Nathan, Deliverance, Deborah, Remittance and Lydia.
Jonathan Terry was born June 13, 1758. The greater part of his early life was spent in the Wyoming Valley, where he gave his heart and hand to the cause of liberty. In 1786 he removed to Wyalusing, and the next year (1787) built a house at Terrytown and moved into it, thus becoming the founder of the village and the first permanent settler in what is now Terry township. He purchased a tract of 600 acres, which he occupied during life and has since been in the Terry family, now the home of descendants of the fifth generation. In 1806 he constructed his mansion in the woods, yet in an excellent state of preservation.
A few years after Mr. Terry had settled at Terrytown, there came also his father, Parshall Terry, father-in-law, Uriah Terry, brothers, Joshua, Nathaniel and Nathan, and sisters with their husbands: Deliverance, wife of Israel Parshall; Deborah, wife of Major John Horton; Remittance, wife of Lebbeus Garner, and Lydia (unmarried). The three brothers, and Mr. Parshall and family soon left Terrytown, going to Palmyra, N.Y. Garner and family removed to Canada and Major Horton remained in the place. Jonathan Terry was a brave and typical pioneer. He was a man of genial nature and social qualities of a high order. He filled various offices of trust and responsibility, and was for nine years a Justice of the Peace. In the latter capacity, he was gifted with a remarkable happy faculty of persuading litigants to settle their difficulties amicably. In 1778, he married Abigail Terry. He died, 1833, aged 75 years. His wife, born March 22, 1757, died July 8, 1849. Their children were: Jonathan, Abigail, William, Nathaniel, Mary, Uriah, Nathan, Ebenezer, Hiram, George, Deborah.
Jonathan, born February 23, 1779, married Polly Crawford, had a family of 17 children, moved to Michigan, where he died June 13, 1868.
Abigail, born July 2, 1781, married Edmund Dodge, had two children who died young; she died September 7, 1809 at Terrytown.
William, born October 26, 1783, married Nancy Sherman; died September 3, 1860 at Terrytown. Children: Abigail, Uriah, Nelson, Susan, Emily, Jane, Lydia, Zilpha, William, Nancy, Mary, and one dying in infancy.
Nathaniel, born October 2, 1785, married Sarah Franklin; died December 16, 1862 at Terrytown. Children: Miner, Hiram (died young), Matilda, Rebecca, Maria, Elizabeth, Mary Ann and Lucretia.
Mary, born December 5, 1787, married Eben Horton; died March 26, 1873, in Terry. Children: Jason P., Nathaniel, Hiram, Ebenezer, Adell, Eunice, Julia, Jane and Lydia Ann.
Uriah, born October 24, 1789, the first child born in Terrytown, never married; died August 22, 1823.
Nathan, born October 9, 1791, married Belinda Preston, and had children: Preston, Davis D., Uriah and Deborah; moved to Michigan, where he died.
Ebenezer, born January 9, 1794, married Susan Sherman, sister of William's wife, and had children: George, Ann, Rebecca, Hiram, Deborah, Warren, Mehitable and Uriah; removed to Illinois, where he died.
Hiram, born January 17, 1796; died October 5, 1805.
George, born March 11, 1798, married first Deborah Elliott, and had one child, Abigail; second marriage to Abi Gray, one child, Jonathan; third marriage to Martha Knott, two children, Eben G. and Nathan W. Mr. Terry died September 25, 1878 at Terrytown.
Deborah, born June 11, 1801, married first Gilbert Chamberlain, second Thomas Ingham; died July 8, 1859 without issue.
Thomas Lewis, a native of New London, Connecticut, born April 11, 1745, was a zealous patriot of the Revolution. He served under General Montgomery in the Canadian expedition, and later at the battle of Danbury, caught General Wooster as he was falling, shot from his horse. He married, May 20, 1768, Mary Turrell of New Milford, Connecticut. Having purchased a Connecticut claim, he emigrated to Wyalusing with his family, 1787, and the following year located at Merryall, where he continued to reside until the time of his death, February 1810. "Moving into his log cabin in a wild, dreary wilderness, four miles from a neighbor on the one side and forty on the other, the prospect was dreary enough, but Mr. Lewis persevered and helped others to come in and settle around him." Mrs. Lewis is remembered as a superior woman. She encountered the trials, privations and dangers of pioneer life without a murmur or complaint. She impressed her character upon her household, and faithfully trained her children in the knowledge of the Scriptures. She died January 23, 1813, aged 55 years. The children of Thomas and Mary Lewis were: Sarah, Deborah, Jeremiah, John, James, Amy, Justus and Ebenezer.
Sarah, born March 3, 1769, married January 17, 1787, Amasa Wells of Pike; died October 18, 1823.
Deborah, born November 17, 1770, married October 18, 1787, Joseph Elliott; died at Merryall.
Jeremiah, born February 11, 1776, married Esther Gardner; died May 8, 1825.
John, born June 20, 1780, married, May 21, 1801, Huldah Maine; died September 5, 1857.
James, born December 5, 1782, married, September, 1807, Anna Rowley; died May 30, 1866.
Amy, born June 20, 1785, married, December 10, 1812, Benjamin Ackley, Wyalusing.
Justus, born August 24, 1787, in Wyalusing, married December 3, 1812, Polly, daughter of Elisha Keeler of Pike. He was an early and successful teacher, and for twenty-five years actively engaged in temperance and anti-slavery reforms. He was a man of decided force of character, noted for his good works and useful life.
He died May 10, 1874 at Merryall. His wife, born November 23, 1793, died April 20, 1857. Their children, who married as follows, were:
Elisha, September 7, 1841, to Philena Stevens
Augustus, October 19, 1847, to Sarah I. Stone
Clinton, November 28, 1854, to Mary Shafer
Burton, April 5, 1865, to Elizabeth Barker
Adelia, September 4, 1849, to Rev. Darwin Cook
Eliza C., March 29, 1865, to Joseph Miles Brown
Mary, October 18, 1860, to Rev. Edward Kennedy
Theresa, never married
Mary Ann, to Rufus D. Cleveland
Nancy, to Wilmot Coburn
Jackson, to Harriet E. Paine
Betsy, to H. B. Van Gilder
Sarah, to Henry Verbryck