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Ingham Family--Jonas Ingham, a clothier by occupation, came from England to this country prior to 1700, settling at Trenton, N.J. He had a son, Jonathan, and three daughters. Jonathan married Deborah Bye and located in Bucks county, Pa., at a place known as Ingham's Springs, where he owned a farm and woolen factory. He was a rigid Quaker. A contemporary, who was well acquainted with him, said, "He did not belong to the old aristocracy, who governed Bucks county before the Revolution, but his position in life and high intelligence put him in their society." They made him a Justice of the Peace, a Judge of the Court and a member of the Assembly. He died at the age of 89 years. He had three sons and two daughters.
Jonas Ingham, youngest son of Jonathan, was born, 1746. He learned the business of clothier, and January 3, 1771, married Elizabeth Beaumont. Soon after his marriage he leased his father's fulling mill and was running it when the Revolutionary war commenced. In 1777 and '78 he was in active service as a militiaman, first as a lieutenant and then as captain. In this campaign during the months of November, December and January he suffered much from cold, lying out on the ground with no other covering than a single blanket. At the battle of Gulph Mills he was among the last to leave the grounds and came near being taken prisoner. After the war he purchased land and built a fulling mill near the Delaware river, where he lived some years and educated his children. In 1789, he came up the river to Wyalusing and bought the Connecticut title to what had been known as "Staple's pitch," and where the Skiffs had lived prior to the battle of Wyoming. On this he settled nearly three miles from any inhabitant.
Mr. Ingham was an ingenious mechanic and invented the machine for shearing cloth, which afterwards came into general use. He was an able writer and public speaker. In 1804 he was elected to the lower branch of the State Legislature from Luzerne county, and through his efforts the "Intrusion laws" and "Territorial Act," which were obnoxious to the people, were repealed. Of Mr. Ingham, Mr. Miner says: "He possessed a mind highly cultivated by scientific research, was a model of temperance, and a promoter of peace and harmony of society." He died suddenly, October 28, 1820 at Bloomsburg, N.J., while there on business. He had children: Joseph, Rebecca, Jonas, Sarah, Mary and John.
Joseph Ingham, the eldest son of Jonas Ingham, was born January 21, 1773. He was taught the common branches of education, including surveying and algebra by his father. He learned the trade of millwright, and about 1793, married Pamelia Ellicott, also of Quaker lineage. In 1795 he came from Bucks county and settled on lands at the mouth of Sugar Run creek in Wilmot, which had been purchased by his father. He began the construction of a saw-mill in the Fall, 1801, and finished it the following Spring. Soon afterwards he built a gristmill. His wife died November 17, 1824, leaving six sons, who married as follows:
Thomas, to Eunice Horton; Joseph Jr., to Anna Stone; Josiah C. died unmarried;
Alpheus died at the age of 33, unmarried; Benjamin P., to Lydia Miller;
John E., to Amanda Morgan, read medicine and practiced in Monroeton and Wysox.
Thomas learned his father's business of millwright, running mills and farming. After the death of his parent, he purchased the homestead, rebuilt the mills and also erected a store-house and engaged in the mercantile business. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace and held that office many years. He was a man of splendid information, excellent judgment and noted for his honesty and morality. His wife was a handsome, energetic woman, possessing a lively and cheerful disposition. She died March 2, 1844, and Mr. Ingham, August 14, 1855. Their children, who married as follows, were: Anna Pamelia, to Benjamin G. Horton; Joseph Washington, distinguished as a writer, to Mary E. Taylor;
Thomas Jefferson, served as Representative and Judge of Sullivan county, to Caroline A. Cheney; Deborah, to Jackson Stone; Emma A. to Dr. Volney Homet.
Alpheus was a young man of decided ability. He fitted himself for the legal profession at the Litchfield (Conn.) law school, was admitted to the Bradford county Bar and in 1824 was appointed Register and Recorder and afterwards County Treasurer and Prothonotary.
He accepted a position in the Treasury Department at Washington under his cousin, Samuel D. Ingham, Secretary of the Treasury, remaining a couple of years, when his health completely gave way. He returned to Sugar Run, where he died.
Joseph Ingham married for his second wife, Laura (Whitcomb) Vose. He died June 11, 1829. They had sons: Samuel, who married, second wife, Miss E. V. Vose; Edwin, who went West and died in California.
Rebecca married Luther Stone of Camptown.
Jonas married Sally Robinson and occupied a portion of the homestead above Camptown.
Sarah married Raphael Stone of Camptown.
Mary married Benjamin Perry.
John, born Nov. 13, 1784, in Bucks county, came to Wyalusing, 1795, and occupied a portion of his father's estate above Camptown. He brought, 1807, the first set of carding machines to this section from Cooperstown, N.Y. He established the first manufactory of window-sash in Northern Pennsylvania, carried on blacksmithing and making edge-tools, when the iron had to be conveyed up the river from Marietta on Durham boats, often occupying three or four weeks to a trip. He married Marinda, daughter of Edmund and Susan (Hotchkiss) Stone, and died Feb. 1, 1863. Their children, who married as follows, were:
Rebecca, to Aden Stevens, Pike; Charles K., to Lydia P. Stevens, Pike;
Emily M., to Isaac Hutchinson, LeRaysville; Sarah A., to Layton M. Hewitt, Wyalusing;
Harriet S., to Homer Camp, Camptown; Mary P., to Major Cyrus Avery, Camptown;
Susan E., to Oliver W. Stevens, Pike.
Benjamin Crawford moved from Wyoming to Wyalusing, 1789. He located on the Jabez Chamberlain place, where he died June 27, 1804, and was buried at Terrytown. His son thus describes the funeral service: "On the day of the funeral they took the corpse over the river in a canoe to the flat below Major Dodge's house, where a couple of large maple trees were standing near together. Here they arranged for the funeral services. Uriah Terry read a sermon and Parshall Terry made a prayer, and then they buried him." He further says, "Salt was our greatest necessity. It was brought from New York state and sold for $10 per barrel. I remember that once my mother bought a barrel of salt for 20 yards of cloth." In 1790 Mr. Crawford's family consisted of four males and three females. After his death the family sold the farm and removed to Genesee.
William Dalton, an Irishman by birth and an impressed seaman in the British service, deserted and came to Wyoming before the Revolutionary war.
The day before the battle, July 2, 1778, he went up the river with others on a scout, when seeing a small party of Indians, Dalton fired, wounding one of them mortally, but the wounded Indian returned the fire and wounded Dalton in the knee; he carried the ball to his grave. The Indian killed was reported to have been a son of Queen Esther, and this has been given as the reason for her fiendish cruelty to the American prisoners taken at the battle. Dalton married a girl brought up by Adonijah Stransbury. He came to Wyalusing about 1789 and settled on Wyalusing Creek at Merryall. "The old gentleman was a man of great strength and a skillful boxer, but in the wrestling matches he seldom took part, unless he thought some boasting fellow was trying to impose upon a weaker man, when a few well-dealt blows would put an end to the imposition." He and his wife both died at Merryall. They had children:
John, who was sent to prison for the murder of Amos Hurlbut (1803) and died in Philadelphia after being pardoned, 1808.
Josiah moved to Allegheny county, N.Y.
Betsy married George Haverly of Auburn.
Catharine married Mr. Shove of Rush.
Solomon Tracy, a native of Preston, Connecticut, born June 1, 1756, who had served three years in the Revolutionary War, came to Ulster, 1789, having purchased 500 acres under Connecticut title. He settled on the Mather farm, where he continued to make improvements, which he sold, 1809, and removed to Angelica, N.Y. Mr. Tracy had married Mary Wells, a native of Southold, Long Island, born March 5, 1765. She was a sister of Gen. Henry Wells of Athens. They had a family of ten children:
Mehitable (Mrs. Solomon Rawson), Charlotte (Mrs. Oliver Moore), Catherine (Mrs. Zebadiah Nobles), Hila (Mrs. Jonathan Nobles) Ira, George, Leicester, Isaac, Guy, and
Mr. Tracy died April 4, 1835, with his son, Ira, near Canandaigua, N.Y., and Mrs. Tracy, November 22, 1845, with her son, Henry W., in Standing Stone. Three of the sons were prominent and influential citizens of Bradford county:
George, born April 11, 1797, married Hannah M. Ridgway, died June 3, 1877. He was for many years engaged in the mercantile business in Towanda and Monroeton and was Associate Judge of the county. His children were: Dr. George P., Henry C. and Burr R.
Guy, born October 14, 1805, was a prominent merchant and business man of the county. He married Ulilla R. Hoyt and died in 1867. They had a daughter, Helen A., and sons, Charles L. and Walter G., the former being for many years president of the First National Bank of Towanda.
Henry W., born September 24, 1807, was educated at the Angelica Seminary and read law in the office of Aaron Burr. In 1827 he located at Standing Stone, and engaged extensively in merchandising and real estate. He was elected to the State Legislature, 1860-'61, to Congress in 1862, and served as Deputy Collector of the Port of Philadelphia from 1866 to '68. Mr. Tracy married first, Emma, daughter of John C. and Jane A. (Reed) Wells. He died April 11, 1886.
Jonathan Harris, a native of Colchester, Connecticut, born June 6, 1739, came from Goshen, N.Y. to Athens, 1789. He first located at the Point, where he was an inn keeper the first year. He afterwards purchased a farm near Spanish Hill, where he died August 14, 1829. He married Lodemia, daughter of Samuel Tozer of Colchester, Conn. She was a sister of Julius Tozer, afterwards of Athens. Their children were: John, Alpheus, Russell, Squire, James, Minard, Samuel, Dorothea, Lodemia and Susan.
Alpheus, born July 17, 1765, was employed on the survey of the State line, 1786, and made Athens his home after his father settled there. He married first, Jerusha Miller, second, Elizabeth, daughter of Nathaniel Clapp of Athens. He was the father of the late Nathaniel C. Harris, for many years president of the First National Bank of Athens.
Joseph Tyler came from Orange county, N.Y., to Athens, 1789. In some difficulty growing out of the unsettled land titles, he was struck on the head by a ruffian, which impaired his reason. His wife was Jane Armstrong, and their children were: Caleb, Ephraim, Sally, Francis and Archibald.
Francis, born October 1, 1787, married Anna, daughter of Daniel McDuffee. He was a man of great industry and became one of the wealthiest and most respected citizens of Athens. He died November 13, 1871. His children, who married as follows, were:
1. Mary A., to Alonzo Long, Troy;
2. Eliza, to E. Curran Herrick, Athens;
3. Francis A., to Cynthia Spalding;
4. Jane, to Daniel F. Pomeroy, Troy;
5. Charles died unmarried;
6. Hugh read law and had an appointment in Washington, where he died unmarried.
Sarah ("Sally") married Chester P. Spalding, Sheshequin. The other children of Joseph Tyler removed from Athens.
Col. John Franklin--This remarkable man was of English descent and a son of John and Keziah (Pierce) Franklin. He was the third in a family of eight children and was born September 23, 1749 at Canaan, Conn. John Franklin, the elder, was a man of considerable wealth and
influence in the town where he lived, a man of integrity, piety and virtue; a strict disciplinarian, yet commanding the love and veneration of his family. The mother is said to have been a woman of uncommon intelligence, quick of wit and of unusual vivacity and power of conversation. Colonel Franklin enjoyed only the educational advantages afforded by the public schools of his day. He married February 2, 1772, Lydia Doolittle of Canaan, and the following spring moved to Wyoming and settled at Plymouth. Here the family remained until the summer, 1776. Colonel Franklin's father had become a proprietor in the Susquehanna purchase and located his right in the township of Huntington.
Thither, John went solitary and alone in the spring of 1775, and made his "pitch" on the banks of Huntington creek. "No white man had preceded him in this vicinity; he was the first, and the unmolested choice of the virgin soil was before him and here he made his selection and dedicated his future home. His faithful dog, the only witness to this act of possession, and his rifle leaning against a tree hard by--the only battery of his defense." During this year he erected his log house, cleared and sowed some three or four acres to grain and in the summer of 1776 moved his family into the wilderness. His nearest neighbor was at the Susquehanna river, a distance of eight miles. During the next two years he was busily engaged on his farm, attending the town meetings, where he was quick to debate and able to defend his opinions, and was soon looked upon as one of the foremost men of the valley.
When the 24th regiment of Connecticut militia was organized, he was made captain of the Salem and Huntington Company. At the battle of Wyoming, Franklin and his company were directed to report to Forty Fort immediately, but his company was so scattered that he was unable to bring them on in time to participate in the battle. Of himself, he says, as soon as he had taken care of his family he set out with what few of his company could be gathered for Wyoming, and reached the fort too late to participate in the engagement. He was present, however, to lend his advice in regard to the surrender and his aid to the fugitives.
Having done all in his power to help the sufferers, he returned to his family, and taking his wife and three little children, started for a place of safety. After reaching Windsor, Berks county, the family was attacked by the smallpox, of which Mrs. Franklin died November 17, 1778. As soon as the children recovered, about the 1st of December, he set out for Canaan in order to leave his helpless children in the care of his relatives.
(Portrait of Colonel John Franklin)
Hitching a yoke of oxen to a cart, he put into it his three little children (the oldest 4 years, the youngest 8 months old), tied a cow by the horns to follow and drove on, having a cup into which he milked from time to time as occasion required and fed the babe. Thus he traveled the rough way 200 miles, through forests, fording streams and frequently sleeping under the canopy of the heavens, though in the month of December, arriving at his destination in safety, having exhibited all the patience and tenderness of a mother as well as the care and providence of a father.
After devastating the country, burning houses, destroying crops and driving off what livestock they could find, the Tories and Indians abandoned the valley. Soon after a few of the old settlers began to venture back to secure some portion of their crops, if any had been left by the enemy. They built some log houses for shelter and defense in which they spent the winter. Franklin returned to Wyoming early the next Spring. Here his ability as a leader was readily acknowledged, and from this time he began to be the foremost man at Wyoming. He was now in the 30th year of his age, over six feet in height, broad of shoulder, lithe, strong, quick, resourceful, fearless, an athlete physically, commanding the respect of all for the uprightness of his life, his commanding abilities and his unquestioned patriotism. Those who had returned to Wyoming for better protection had formed themselves into a military company, of which Franklin was made the captain; he was also appointed a Justice of the Peace, so that he combined in himself both the highest military and civil functions in Wyoming, and to his decisions all bowed with respect and confidence.
In the expedition of Colonel Hartley, Autumn, 1778 were two companies from Wyoming; 58 men of the Independent Company, under Capt. Simon Spalding, and 12 volunteers of the Militia Company commanded by Franklin. In this expedition, Franklin and his men were in the fore front and won the greatest praise of their commander. In Sullivan's campaign, 1779, he was captain of the Wyoming volunteers, and in the attack of Gen. Hand on Chemung, known as "Hogback Hill," was severely wounded in the shoulder, which, of course, prevented further participation in the campaign. From the return of the expedition until the close of the war, scouting parties were out daily watching exposed points, pursuing marauding bands of Tories and Indians, protecting workmen on their farms, and the many ways where there was danger from the lurking foe, a service that taxed the utmost skill and judgment of the commandant, whose eyes must be everywhere. Franklin was not content in planning these military expeditions, but not infrequently took part in them himself.
On one occasion, he accompanied a scout as far as Wysox, where they had a brush with the enemy and captured a sword and a silver watch--this Franklin wore to the day of his death, a memento of his fortitude and of his bravery. Yet we find him holding his justice's court, at work upon his farm, taking a hand in the hunt, writing letters about Wyoming affairs--in short, in all the multifarious work that came to his hand.
After the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania over the Susquehanna Company's purchase had been affirmed by the Trenton decree (December 30, 1782), contrary to all expectations, the government, instead of confirming the settlers in their possessions, declared that nothing could be done to interfere with the claims of those holding Pennsylvania title, and instead of quiet, the New England people were given to understand that they must purchase their land at the landholder's own prices or vacate their homes.
An association, composed of the Gores, Roswell Franklin, John Franklin and others of the prominent New England men in Wyoming, was formed for the purpose of purchasing a large tract of land about Oswego, N.Y., upon which they would remove. Franklin was absent on a tour of exploration from May till June, 1783, but for some reason the purchase was never consummated. He returned, determined to resist every act by which an attempt should be made to wrest from the settler his claim to the lands, which were bought by the blood of his kindred. The struggle which ensued was long and bitter. In the various conferences which were held with commissioners and other officials, in writing letters, in visiting various other parts of the Wyoming settlements, in circulating petitions pleading the cause of the Connecticut people before the supreme executive council, congress and the legislature of Pennsylvania, Franklin was constantly busy, and "always true to the people whom he represented and for whom he spoke, challenging not only the unqualified confidence of the settlers, but calling forth the bitterest epithets from the partisans of the Pennsylvania land-holders. Whenever the rights of the Connecticut people were assailed he stood ready for their defense."
In nothing was Colonel Franklin more distinguished than in his wonderful versatility in devising means for the accomplishment of his purpose. When it became evident that the legislature of Pennsylvania was controlled by the land-holders, the first scheme was to secure a court in which the private right to the soil could be tried. Failing in this, the next government was to interest the Connecticut government in behalf of the suffering settlers; but in this the government declined to use anything but the moral influence of its opinions on its executive council of the Commonwealth.
Next was the new state plan in which it was intended, through the aid of the Susquehanna Company and the sympathy felt for the New England people at Wyoming to bring on a sufficient force to wrest the territory from the grasp of the Commonwealth.
At this date the Articles of Confederation were in effect, which compelled Congress to refrain from interfering in the domestic affairs of any state. Men prominent in politics, possessed of great wealth and personal influence, pledged Franklin their support. A conference was held with Gen. Ethan Allen, of Fort Ticonderoga fame, who had just succeeded in securing statehood for Vermont under much opposition, and who, in cocked hat and feathers, came to Wyoming, declaring that he had made one state and "by the Eternal God and the Continental Congress he would make another." The plan seemed feasible and success certain. In the meantime, the Pennsylvania government became thoroughly alarmed and began to make overtures for peace. The disputed territory was erected into the county of Luzerne by an Act of the Legislature passed September 25, 1786. This was the next act of conciliation and compromise.
Col. Timothy Pickering, who had been quartermaster in the Revolutionary army and held in high esteem throughout the country, a man of consummate skill, tact and of great ability, courage and enterprise, was appointed to organize the new county. Promises were freely made that the settlers should be quieted in their possessions, if the laws of Pennsylvania were permitted to go into effect. At the suggestion of Pickering, a petition was circulated and numerously signed by the old settlers, stating that 17 townships, each five miles square, had been allotted to settlers prior to the Trenton decree, and praying that these lots be confirmed to settlers thereon; the legislature, March 28, 1787, passed what was called the Confirming Law, confirming said lots to the settlers thereon, providing for compensation to Pennsylvania claimants out of the unoccupied lands in the Commonwealth, and for the appointment of commissioners to carry into effect the provisions of the law. The Act establishing the county of Luzerne and the Confirming Law created heated discussion in Wyoming.
On the one side it was declared that Pennsylvania had come to a better understanding of the case and was disposed to treat the settlers with justice, recognize their rights, secure their titles to their lands, and give them courts and officers of law and representation in the legislature.
On the other side it was contended that no confidence could be placed in Pennsylvania, that she had frequently allured them to trust her promises only to deceive and destroy them, and was now under a different guise, pursuing the same policy of deception and fraud--that there were many who had expended large sums of money in the purchase of land lying outside of the 17 townships, others whose husbands, fathers or brothers had been killed in the war, and whose lands had not been assigned until after the Trenton decree, but the title of these was in justice as good every way as that of the old settlers in the township; and then the half-share men, who had come to them in their distress, relying upon their promise, who had aided them in their conflict with the Pennsylvania authorities, and by their loyalty and courage had driven them to make this offer of compromise, whom now to forsake would be the most wicked treachery, that these were abandoned without recognition and compensation.
A public meeting was held for the purpose of discussing the provisions of the law and determining what course should be pursued. Quoting from Mr. Miner: "So great a gathering had not been in the valley for years. Matters of the highest moment were to be discussed and decided. Indeed, the future of Wyoming seemed to rest on the deliberations and the decisions of that day. Little less than war or peace appeared to be involved in the issue. All felt the magnitude of the questions to be resolved. But Wyoming was no longer united. Discord had reared its snaky crest; malign passions were awakened. Brother met brother, friend greeted friend, not with the all hail of hearty good will, but with beating heart, knit brow and the frown of anger and defiance. Colonel Pickering, sustained by the Butlers, the Hollenbacks, the Nesbits and the Denisons, appeared as the advocate of the law and compromise. Colonel Franklin, supported by the Jenkinses, the Spaldings and the Satterlees, came forth the champion of the Connecticut title." The meeting ended in riot and confusion, although a vote was taken to support the law and accept the compromise.
These measures completely thwarted Franklin's new state scheme. The whole country was in confusion. Pickering had succeeded beyond his expectations in the first part of his program of dividing the Connecticut people and setting the old settlers against the half-share men. Franklin, however, continued busy, devoting all his tireless energy and consummate ability to uniting opposition to the Confirmation Law. In order to frustrate the efforts of Franklin, Pickering determined to get rid of him, for a time, at least.
A writ was obtained secretly and entrusted to competent hands, and Franklin, unsuspecting the plot, was suddenly arrested and conveyed to Philadelphia jail on the charge of high treason. The news of the arrest and abduction of Franklin spread over the country as fast as couriers could carry it. The northern part of Luzerne was swept with a whirlwind of excitement. Here the half-share men principally lived. "The blow which struck down Franklin was aimed at them. He had fallen in defense of their rights. He was their leader, counselor and friend. They felt their interests were at stake and determined that Pickering, for whom they could find no language strong enough to express their contempt, should suffer for this assault upon their beloved leader." Pickering fled to Philadelphia. In November, 1788, a court was ordered to be held at Wilkes-Barre for the trial of Franklin. Chief Justice McKean presided. Franklin's strong frame was bowed and weakened by sickness and 13 months' confinement, and his spirit was broken. "The lion was tamed." He was indicted for high treason, but the trial was never called, and Franklin was admitted to bail, it was claimed, under the promise that he would not further oppose the laws of Pennsylvania. Soon after (1789) he removed to his farm in Athens township, Bradford county, where he lived until his death, but never took out for it a title under Pennsylvania, nor was ever molested because he did not.
In 1792, Colonel Franklin was elected high sheriff of Luzerne county. From the expiration of his term as sheriff, he was busy for a number of years as one of the commissioners of the Susquehanna Company, which continued to hold frequent meetings at Athens, selling rights and granting townships. The Intrusion Law (1795) made these acts criminal. Under this Act, Colonel Franklin, John Jenkins, Elisha Satterlee and Joseph Biles were indicted at the August sessions, 1801, of Luzerne county, and a special verdict found against them. The case was removed by certiorari to the Superior court. The Act was held to be constitutional, but the defendants were discharged on other grounds.
In 1781, while Connecticut claimed jurisdiction over the county of Westmoreland, representatives were sent to her assembly at Hartford. Colonel Franklin went one year. In 1795 and '96 he represented Luzerne county in the Pennsylvania Assembly. From 1799 to 1803 he was in the assembly every term. Mr. Miner says of him: "A few months before an election with great tact Franklin would commence his essays, awaken old and new prejudices and hopes, kindling the spirit of the people to that degree of warmth that Colonel Franklin must go to the Assembly, and he went." In the legislature, on all those questions relating to the land titles he was ever ready to defend with his might the half-share men, and bitter in denunciation of the inhumanity and greed of the landlords.
An attempt was made in the sessions, 1802-'03, to expel him from the House on account of his being under indictment for violations of the Intrusion Law; but it failed. Determined, however, to get rid of him, in 1804 an act was passed, setting off that part of Luzerne county which contained the residence of Franklin to Lycoming. The first draft of the bill included that part of Luzerne, north of Towanda creek and west of the Susquehanna river. Colonel Franklin, when the bill was read, arose in his seat and informed the gentlemen that he lived on the east side of the river. The bill was accordingly changed so as to include him in the dismembered portion. In 1805, however, he was elected by the people of Lycoming, and to the chagrin and mortification of his enemies he appeared again at Lancaster and took his seat. As it was his crowning, so it was his closing victory. In politics, Colonel Franklin was a Federalist, and wielded so large an influence in Luzerne county (in the nearly equally balanced parties of the state) that he was courted and countenanced by eminent politicians in the Commonwealth. Even between him and Colonel Pickering civilities passed and they dined together at the table of a mutual acquaintance.
Colonel Franklin's life had been one of constant toil, exposure and anxiety, burdened with many cares and wearied with many conflicts. The several questions to which he had devoted his great energies were practically settled, and he desired the peace and rest of his own home. Here he was not idle, but as long as strength remained he was busy in the cultivation of his farm and in the management of private enterprises in which he was engaged. Surrounded by friends who loved and revered him, it was his delight to recount the story of his early days, and the sufferings and toils of his associates and companions. Although usually grave and dignified in his demeanor, there was a vein of sly humor often mingled in his conversation. He was a ready writer and his pen was constantly employed. In his last years it was his custom to attend the funerals of the older people of his acquaintance and make some remarks, relative to the life and character of the deceased, which for many years were held in grateful remembrance.
In early years Franklin was a communicant member of the Congregational church. During the period of strife and war and political contention, he gave but little thought or attention to religious matters. In his retirement during the last years of his life, he was a pronounced Universalist. He read his Bible much, and for many years the older people spoke reverently of his long, fervent prayers and devout conversation.
Colonel Franklin married for his second wife Abigail, daughter of Capt. Stephen Fuller and widow of Capt. James Bidlack, slain at Wyoming, July 3, 1778. By this marriage he had no children, but was ever a father to the two sons and two daughters left by Captain Bidlack. Colonel Franklin died at his home in Athens, March 1, 1831, in his 82nd year. He is buried on a gravelly bluff, a few rods north of his mansion, overlooking the highway and in full view of Tioga Point. His wife, Abigail, died January 30, 1834, in her 83rd year, and is buried beside the colonel. By his former marriage Colonel Franklin had three children, Billa, Amos and Keziah.
Billa settled at St. Albans, N.Y., where he died, leaving a family of nine children. His son, Amos, came to Athens and lived with his grandfather. He married Cynthia McKinney. Their daughter, Rebecca, married Zephon F. Walker.
Amos, a physician by profession, settled at Cayuga village and died there, October 11, 1804, leaving one son, Henry, who died without children.
Keziah married Dr. Solomon Beebe, settled at Geneva, N.Y., and died without children.
Amos Bennett and his family were living in Wyoming at the time of the Indian attack, 1778, occupying a log house. During the progress of the battle, a party of Indians came near and was discovered. One of Mr. Bennett's daughters out of curiosity, opened the door, but was instantly pulled back into the house and the door re-closed. Scarcely had the inquisitive girl been dragged into the house when a bullet struck into the door-post where she had stood a moment before. About the year 1785 Mr. Bennett removed with his family from Orange county, N.Y., to Wyalusing where he lived until 1791, then purchased the Ketchum possession and settled permanently in Asylum. He built a little tub-mill at the falls just below the road on Bennett's creek. His house stood on the flats below the present Storrs' residence. Mr. Bennett died, 1813, aged 65 years. His wife died, 1814. The children of Amos and Anna Bennett were: Amos, Thomas, John, David, Gideon, Nathan, Benjamin, Susannah, Hetty, Prudence, Martha and Hannah.
Amos married Amy Wilcox and in 1790 settled on Sugar creek in North Towanda, where he lived until the time of his death, February 10, 1839, aged 73 years. Their children were: Amos settled in Canton; George; Thomas located at Canton; Enos settled in Burlington; Chester lived in North Towanda; Polly married Enoch Luther, Burlington;
Nathaniel occupied the homestead; Hannah married, first, Wm. Lee, second, Amos Coon.
Thomas went to the Genesee country, married, lost his wife and died insane.
John married Hannah Vargason and lived in Albany township.
David married in the Genessee country and died there.
Nathan went to the Genessee country, married Polly Ellsworth and joined the Mormons.
Benjamin married Betsey Abbott of Wyalusing and lived on the Storrs place. He was drafted in the War of 1812 and was discharged after reaching Danville.
Susannah married Joshua Bailey, North Towanda.
Hetty married Justus Seeley and removed with her husband to Canada.
Prudence married Jacob Strickland of Wysox and went West with her husband about 1811.
Martha married Richard Benjamin, Asylum.
Hannah married Benjamin Acla, Asylum.
Richard Benjamin served as a private, the latter part of the Revolutionary war, in the Florida regiment of Orange county militia, commanded by Col. Henry Wisner in the company of Richard Bailey. He accompanied his father-in-law, Amos Bennett, to Wyalusing, 1785, and resided there until the Fall of 1793, when he and his brother-in-law, Benjamin Acla, went to Bennett's creek in Asylum, built log houses and the following Spring moved in with their families. Benjamin lived on the farm known as the Haight place, where he died March 21, 1815, possessed of 500 acres of land, leaving a wife and ten children. He is buried in the old cemetery on the Storrs' farm, but no stone marks his final resting place. The children of Richard and Martha Benjamin were: Jonathan, John, Patty, Polly, Peter, David, Jesse, Sally, Hetty, Joshua, Betsy and two others dying in infancy.
Jonathan married Leah, daughter of Benjamin Acla, and lived on Seeley Hill, where he died February 1, 1847, aged 77 years. They had a family of eleven children.
John married Patty Vincent, and for his second wife, the widow of his brother, David. He was the father of eleven children.
David married Hannah Johnson.
Sally married Ebenezer Drake, Wysox.
Polly married Samuel Chilson.
Hetty married Robert Chilson.
Patty married Amos Vargason.
Benjamin Acla came from Florida, Orange county, N.Y., with his father-in-law to Wyalusing (1785) and located in Asylum, 1793. Here he resided until the time of his death, April 26, 1835, at the age of 82 years. He and his wife, Hannah, were the parents of eleven children: Betsy, Amos, John, Anna, Leah, Phebe, William, Jonathan, Polly, Benjamin and David.
Stephen Durrell came to Asylum about 1789. He located at the mouth of Durrell creek (so called in his honor) and built a house and saw mill there. He secured a land warrant for 20 acres, surveyed August 13, 1792. In 1790 his family consisted of four males and three females. How long he remained, or whether he died here we are not informed. His name does not appear on any of the early assessment rolls.
Daniel Minier served in the Northampton county, Pa. Militia during the Revolutionary war. He was a son of Christian Minier, a persecuted Huguenot, who came from Germany and settled in this country. The former, in or before the year 1789, left Northampton county, bringing his family in a boat up the river to Milan, where he located, being the first settler at that place. He occupied the Warner farm and his son, John, built a log house and lived where the Milan house now stands. His lands included a purchase of 400 acres, which he made from the State of Pennsylvania, 1813. Here Mr. Minier lived until the time of his death, August 4, 1822, which occurred while visiting friends in Northampton county. He was in his 74th year. His family, a large one, were ardent Methodists and organized the first class of that denomination in the neighborhood about 1794. The children of Daniel and Polly Minier were: John, Abraham, Elias, George, Daniel, Anna, Catharine, Elizabeth (Mrs. Jacob Wagner), Hannah (Mrs. Daniel Smith), Mary (Mrs. John McKean), Sally (Mrs. Helsey Bird), and Susan (Mrs. John Huy). Catharine died unmarried February 5, 1816, aged 25 years. Polly, the wife and mother, died December 14, 1842, aged 95 years.
John, born February 7, 1777, married, 1800, Rachel, daughter of Obadiah Brown of Sheshequin. He was active in politics and elected the third coroner of Bradford county. In 1822 he sold his farm and soon after moved West with most of his family, dying in Illinois. His children, who married as follows, were: Daniel, to Amanda Subert; Sarah, first to Joseph Brooks, second to Joseph Edmiston; Robert, to Sarah Burt; Hannah died unmarried; Mahala, to Perrin Burnham; George W., to Sarah Ireland; Catherine, to William Hudmet; Theodore L., to Sarah Maxwell; Jemima, to Watson Cook.
Abraham, born October 16, 1782, was an itinerant preacher for over fifty years, died August 10, 1865. He married Lillie Burch, sister of Rev. Robert Burch. She was born January 12, 1781, died March 14, 1840. Their children, who married as follows, were: Robert to Sarah Barton, New York; Maria to Justin Morley, Athens; Ellen to Andrew Burnside, Ulster; Thomas to Matilda Brink, Sheshequin; Ethan to Ariana Keeler, Smithfield; Sarah to Henry Vosburg, Burlington; Margaret died unmarried; Abraham D. to Elizabeth Stone, Athens.
Elias, born January 12, 1787, married Judith H., daughter of Samuel Gore, and settled in Sheshequin, where he died May 31, 1865. His children, who married as follows, were: Sylvester, to Christiana Russell; Samuel, first to Amanda Morley, second to Lodema Vancise; Sarah, to Daniel Miller; Mary died unmarried; Daniel, to Martha Riddle; Dow, to Sarah Swain.
George married a Miss Cooper and died in Ulster. His children were: Minerva (Mrs. Platt), Maria (Mrs. Young), Abraham, Solomon, Fleming and Susan (Mrs. Matthias Lent).
Daniel married and resided in Sheshequin and Wysox.
Isaac Cash, born August 15, 1766 in Orange county, N.Y., was the eldest son of Daniel and Mary (Tracy) Cash. His father removed to Wyoming about 1776, and just preceding the battle, Mr. Cash went East to solicit aid to repel the expected invasion. Upon his return he met the flying fugitives, and among them his wife and little children. They went back to Orange county, and after the war was over returned to Wyoming, where Mr. Cash died, 1789. Isaac was among the first settlers at Tioga Point. In 1791 he sold his improvements there and went to Ulster, and purchased a property known as Lot No. 3, of Solomon Tracy, since known as the Lockwood farm. He was an active, energetic man and dealt largely in lumber and real estate. For some time he was a justice of the peace. Mr. Cash married Sally, daughter of Judge Gore, Sheshequin. They had eleven children, all left orphans at an early age, by the sudden death of their parents. Mrs. Cash died March 23, 1813 in her 39th year, and her husband, April 12, 1813 in his 47th year. Their children were:
Mary Ann, born March 8, 1793, married first Dr. Robert Russell, who lost his life in the War of 1812, and afterwards Col. Edmund Lockwood of Ulster, died July 5, 1865.
David, born December 7, 1794, after embarking in different enterprises, studied law at Nashville, Tenn., and was admitted to the Bar. He returned North and formed a partnership with his uncle, Simon
Kinney at Towanda. He was district attorney and prothonotary of the county, and was interested in the construction of the North Branch Canal and also the Barclay Railroad. He married Mary Ann Spencer, and died September 18, 1864, in Towanda.
Eliza, born November 28, 1796, married John Wattles, Wysox.
Clarissa, born March 13, 1798, married Morris Spalding, Towanda.
George W., born September 16, 1800, was for some years engaged in the tanning business in Towanda with Morris Spalding, subsequently went to Texas, where he enlisted in the war for Texan independence, was captured by the Mexicans and put to death in cold blood by orders of Santa Anna.
Lord Gore, born May 13, 1802.
John Spalding, born March 13, 1804, went to Texas and was killed by the Mexicans near Saltillo.
Daniel Shepard, born April 8, 1806, was a blacksmith. He went West and became deeply interested in Lake Superior copper business; died January 4, 1869.
Isaac, born May 19, 1808.
Sarah, born October 7, 1810.
William K., born November 28, 1812.
Moses Park, born August 1, 1766, came to Sheshequin about 1789. His father was a sea captain and was lost at sea when the son was of tender years. After coming to Sheshequin, Moses taught school, probably the first in the town, and also began preaching as a Baptist there and at Tioga Point. In 1772 he married Mary, daughter of Gen. Simon Spalding. A year later he commenced to preach Universalism, and in 1797 removed to Ohio. He returned to Bradford county, 1801, and purchased a farm east of the Susquehanna in Athens, where he resided until the time of his death, May 30, 1817. He continued preaching at Sheshequin and Athens until the close of his life. The children of Moses and Mary Park were:
Cynthia, born December 25, 1792, married Constant Matthewson, Athens.
Clarissa, born April 29, 1795, married Nathaniel Flower, Athens.
Amanda, born November 24, 1799, married Jabez Fish, Sheshequin; died July 7, 1891.
Rev. Chester, born January 20, 1802, married Lemira Fish, Sheshequin, died 1881; children: Dana F., Harriet (Mrs. Charles E. Johnson), Horace A., Lemira A. (Mrs. C. C. Tracy), Mary (Mrs. Charles Greer).
George, born July 25, 1806, married a Miss Hutchins, died in Athens, where he kept a public house.
Silas Warren, born March 18, 1809.
Mary, born November 28, 1813, married Rev. G. S. Ames, died February 20, 1843.
Consider S., born October 31, 1816.
Harriet, Moses and Simon died young.
Samuel Clark came to Ulster soon after his brother, Capt. Benjamin Clark. In the census of 1790 his family is given as consisting of five males and three females. Mr. Clark met a tragic death on Christmas, 1808. He had a contract for building a section of the State Road, crossing the county from east to west, and while engaged on the Gregg place in clearing away brush, was shot in mistake for a deer by a neighbor. But little is known of his family. One son, Ebenezer P. Clark, was for a number of years a resident of Towanda and did teaming for Col. Harry Spalding. Harry S. Clark, son of Ebenezer P., born 1823, is still a resident of Towanda.
The Bidlack Family--In the struggle for Independence there was no more heroic and self-sacrificing family in the Wyoming Valley than the Bidlacks. James Bidlack and his three sons all bore arms against the minions of King George III. James, his second son, commanded the Wilkes-Barre company and fell at the battle of Wyoming while leading his men. He was seized by the savage fiends and thrown on the burning logs of the fort, held down with pitchforks and tortured till he expired. Captain Bidlack had married Abigail Fuller (page 115) and had four children: Stephen, Sally, Hettie and James. Captain Bidlack's widow married Col. John Franklin, who took her children under his own roof and thenceforward was a father to them. Of the children:
Stephen married Lois, daughter of Capt. Samuel Ransom and removed to Spencer, N.Y.
Sally married Franklin Chitsey.
Hettie married William Patrick and removed to Michigan.
James Bidlack, the younger son of Captain Bidlack, born September 22, 1778, came to Athens, 1789, with Colonel Franklin. He married, 1803, Esther Moore (page 134) and settled in Sheshequin. His final location was at Ghent on the farm afterwards occupied by his son, Daniel M. Mr. Bidlack was accidentally killed, April 30, 1828, while loading a raft at Sheshequin. His wife, Esther, born May 16, 1787, died August 28, 1863. Their children were:
Anson, born May 7, 1804, died unmarried April 14, 1865.
Mary, born January 20, 1806, married Joseph McKinney of Athens, died May 10, 1891.
Sally, born September 28, 1808, married Philip Verbeck, died March 11, 1883.
Lydia, born July 20, 1811, married Samuel P. Wolcott, died at the age of 72 years.
Zipporah, born August 5, 1816, married John E. Horton, died April 12, 1895.
Abigail, born Oct. 17, 1818, married Martin V. B. Towner, died at the age of 76 years.
James, born January 3, 1821, married Laura Russell, was a soldier of the Civil War, died October 24, 1903.
Daniel M., born April 23, 1823, married Caroline, daughter of Cornelius Smith, died April 25, 1905 upon the farm where he was born.
Stephen, born April 10, 1826, married Ethelinda Vibbert, died January 29, 1908.
Noah Murray was born April 11, 1748 at Guilford, Conn. He was one of the nine sons of Jehial and Mary (Way) Murray and spent his early life at Kent. Upon the breaking out of the Revolutionary war, he is said to have enlisted in the first call for troops, April, 1775, and again, May 6, 1777, entered the 7th regiment, Connecticut line, serving as a sergeant until December 14, 1778, when he retired bearing the scars of battle. After the war he became a Baptist preacher, and in 1787 removed to the Wyoming valley. Having been commissioned a justice of the peace for the upper district of Luzerne county, he brought his family up the river early in 1789, settling at Athens. Soon after he renounced the Baptist doctrines and began preaching Universalism, being the founder of that faith in Bradford county. He preached in various places as opportunity offered, and for a year was pastor of the Universalist church in Philadelphia. He was noted for his logic and persuasive powers. He took an interest in educational matters, and was one of the proprietors of the old Athens academy. The Connecticut township of Murraysfield (now Springfield) was named for and granted to him. Here he died and a monument there to his memory bears this inscription: 'Sacred to the memory of Noah Murray, the first preacher of Universalism in Bradford county, who died May 16, 1811, in the 75th year of his age." He had married Mary Stowe of Middletown, Conn. Their children were: Sylvia, Lucy, Abner, Mary, Irene, Elizabeth and Noah.
Abner occupied the homestead in Athens and was a prosperous farmer, inn-keeper, merchant and lumberman.
He married, December 25, 1797, first, Dorothea Harris (page 173) and had children: Eliza (Mrs. Simon Spalding), Harris, Francis G., Mary Ann (Mrs. Horace L. Holcomb); married, second, Nancy Ely (White), and had a son, Edward A.
Elizabeth married John McConnell of Newtown.
Mary married Ambrose Collins of Athens, afterwards St. Louis.
Noah was for many years a justice of the peace for Athens. He married a Mrs. Dutilh of Philadelphia and removed to Ohio, 1831.
Zephon Flower, son of Nathaniel Flower, was born November 30, 1765 at Hartford, Conn. In the spring, 1779, at the age of 13 years, he enlisted in the American army, serving till January 1, 1780. On the 25th of January, 1780, he joined Col. Elisha Shelding's regiment of Light Dragoons and served until the close of the war, receiving his discharge, June 12, 1783. He was remarkably brave and had many thrilling escapes. Once when on sentinel duty, he halted General Washington because he was passing the guard without giving the countersign. The general stopped and after giving the countersign and salute, tossed the lad a silver half dollar, saying "Good boy, good soldier." In 1785 he married Mary Patrick of Hartford and removed to Stillwater, N.Y. He had learned surveying and assisted in the State Line survey, 1786. He lived at Kingston for a time, then in or before 1790, removed to Sheshequin, going to Athens, 1803, where he settled permanently. He was very efficient as a surveyor, laid out many of the early roads and helped locate numerous obscure claims. From 1821 to '24 he was deputy surveyor of Bradford county. Soon after coming to the county he was elected major of Militia, hence the title "Major," by which he was familiarly known. He was the first person made a Mason by old Rural Amity Lodge, the date being June 12, 1798. Major Flower died April 16, 1855. His wife, born December 20, 1765, died March 5, 1848. They had children:
Helosia, born January 16, 1786, noted for her many deeds of kindness and charity, died unmarried, July 13, 1861.
Mary, born July 12, 1788, married Zebulon Mix, Towanda.
Nathaniel, born July 16, 1791, married Clarissa, daughter of Moses Park, died September 8, 1851, without children.
Ithuriel, born December 10, 1797, removed West.
Zuliema, born April 6, 1800, married George Walker of Nichols, N.Y., was the mother of nine children, the fourth being Zephon F. Walker, a noted surveyor and civil engineer of the county.
Huldah, born October 26, 1793, married Timothy Bartlett, Sheshequin.
Other children of Zephon Flower were: Philomela, Zephon, George, Alfred, Albert, (and) Almore.