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Timothy Winship, a Hartford merchant, came to the county
in 1800. He had purchased the Connecticut title to 9,000 acres of land
in what is now Herrick township at 25 cents per acre, but LeRay holding
the Pennsylvania title, he lost his venture. Mr. Winship married the widow
of Ichabod Blackman of Sheshequin. She died in 1809 when her husband moved
to the Mohawk valley where he died in 1812. He never recovered from his
Nathan Farr came to Towanda creek, locating in the Fox neighborhood, 1805.
He married, 1806, Susannah, daughter of Rudolph Fox, sold his titles to the Foxes
and in 1807 removed West.
Oliver Newell, born March 15, 1780, a carpenter by occupation,
came to Towanda village from the Newell settlement in Onondaga county,
N.Y. about 1805. He built and occupied a small framed house on the Ditrich
property. He married Jane, daughter of Francis Watts. In 1824 he sold to
Francis Delpuech and removed to Grover, Canton township, where he died,
May 13, 1840. Children and marriages follow: John W., b. Nov. 17,
1809, to Phoebe Jones, died at Rockfield, Indiana, 1889; Samuel M.,
March. 22, 1813 to Polly Maria Green, died March 8, 1882 at Sayre, Pa.;
S., b. March 13, 1816 to Susan Fitzwater, occupied the homestead;
W., born Feby. 22, 1819 to Susan ____, died at Rockfield, Indiana about
1887; Electa J., b. January 22, 1822, died unmarried;
E., b. March 4, 1826 to Joseph Peck, died at Rockfield, Indiana; William
S., b. April 14, 1830, died unmarried at Rockfield, Indiana.
Adam Conley, a blacksmith, came from the West Branch to Towanda about 1805.
He built and occupied a framed house where Tracy & Nobles' block now stands.
His shop was on the opposite side of Main street. He married Betsy, sister of Wm. Means. Their children were Clark, Joseph, John, William, Eliza, Mary and Jane.
After Mr. Conley's death, his widow lived with a daughter at Syracuse, N.Y.
Clark followed tailoring and died at Ralston, Pa. William married Phebe Acla,
remained in Towanda, died April 10, 1850, aged 47 years; his wife died
Dec. 27, 1881, aged 83 years.
Edward Mills was born August 12, 1780 at Branford, Conn. When he was an infant only three weeks old, his father was brutally murdered by the British at Fort Griswold. While he was yet a child, his mother again married, a Mr. Smith, and removed to New York on the Delaware. Here, Mr. Mills grew to manhood and married Miss Losina Stewart. Being desirous of having a home of his own and knowing of the opportunities in the "new country," he started for Pennsylvania with his family in the spring of 1808. Arriving at Ulster, the first year he worked
the Cash farm and the next year moved to Sugar Creek and rented the Smith place where he remained until 1814. Having purchased a possession of Stephen Wilcox, he moved thereon and went to work in a most diligent manner, clearing his land and cultivating the soil. After his children had grown up and began to leave the paternal roof and settle in other sections of the country, the father and mother being somewhat discontented, removed to Ohio where Mrs. Mills (b. April 1, 1785) died Oct. 29, 1847. Mr. Mills then went to Illinois where he spent his last days among his children and grand-children. His death occurred July 5, 1869 at Winnebago. He was a consistent and exemplary member of the M. E. church and for some years was the only member of that denomination in the neighborhood. In the days of early Methodism, his house was the preaching place and home of the itinerant. The children of Edward and Losina Mills were:
Stephen A., born May 30, 1804, married Amanda Fanning of Springfield; he engaged in lumbering, farming and hotel keeping; died Dec. 21, 1888. His wife died Aug. 22, 1879, aged 77 years, 7 months and 29 days.
Hannah S., born February 15, 1805, married 1st Geo. K. Bingham, 2nd Cornelius Coolbaugh; was a remarkably bright and interesting old lady; died in Towanda, September 9, 1899.
Esther, born February 15, 1807, married Erastus Pratt of Pike; died in Missouri.
Silas A., born Sept. 12, 1808, married Mary Ellen Allis of Orwell, occupied the homestead where he died June 20, 1901 in his 93rd year. His wife died Sept. 17, 1890, aged 89 years, 2 months and 27 days.
Freeman married Minerva Grace of Springfield, emigrated to Illinois and subsequently to California, where he was honored with high office and was prospering finely when a kick from a horse caused his death.
Dr. Edward, born March 21, 1813, married Patience Rutty, studied medicine and located in Ulster where he continued in successful practice nearly fifty years; died January 17, 1887. His wife died Dec. 13, 1889, aged 67 years, 8 months and 10 days.
Garner C., born March 17, 1817, went to Illinois when a young man and became a man of prominence.
Losina, b. Oct. 26, 1819, went to Ohio, married there and afterwards
moved to Missouri.
William Keeler came to Wysox in 1808 and opened a store at Myersburg where he did quite an extensive business for the times. He took an active part in politics and in 1821 came within 228 votes of being
elected sheriff of the county. In 1820 he removed to Towanda and for
two years kept hotel. He was then a partner in the mercantile business
with Thomas Elliott. Mr. Keeler was noted for his wit and as the great
joker of the village. He was the idol of the smaller boys and took great
delight in gratifying their mischievous natures. Finally to their sorrow,
he removed to Rockford, Illinois where he died.
Dr. Seth T. Barstow came to Wysox about 1810. He purchased the Fencelor place, built a good house, which, in commemoration of the "hermit" and his home, was named "Fencelor Castle." In addition to the practice of his profession, he soon opened a store and did an extensive business for the times. He became a large land owner and also operated a saw-mill and distillery. Dr. Barstow was a cultured gentleman of the old school and a man of prominence and influence in the early history of the county.
He married Clarissa, daughter of Samuel Woodruff of Orwell and had the following children: Marguerite St. Leon, who attained considerable celebrity as a poetess and writer, married John Loud of Georgia; Ellen C. died unmarried, 1833, at the age of 25;
Julius R. was a young man of fine talents, read law, was admitted
to practice but met with poor success owing to indifference and intemperate
habits; he died at Wysox, 1852, aged 35 years; Herbert H. died,
1847, in New York city, aged 29 years. Dr. Barstow sold his property to
Col. Robert Spalding, 1840, became intemperate in his habits and died poor,
Sept. 13, 1852, aged 73 years. Mrs. Barstow died March 14, 1853, aged 67
Jacob Wickizer, of German descent and born Oct. 18, 1784 near Wilkes-Barre, removed to Wysox in or before 1810. He purchased in company with Willard Green a tract of land on Johnson creek in south Rome. He settled in the wilderness and at once began improvements. Though suffering many privations and rearing a large family, he cleared and improved a fine farm. He was a sincere Baptist of the old school and quite a forceful exhorter. He was a strong Union man and had a desire to see the Confederacy subdued. The wish of his old age was gratified. Mr. Wickizer married Thankful Green, a lady of Irish descent. He died March 5, 1868 and his wife, December 28, 1862, aged 72 years. Their children were Rosina, Lucy, Margaret, Andrew (died in childhood), Jacob, Catherine, John H., Alexander, Theodore Willard, Sarah, George, Mariam, Andrew W.
Marriages as follows: Rosina to Hezekiah Russell; Lucy to Rev. Jeremiah Barnes; Margaret to Ezra R. Allis; Sarah to John Horton, Jr.; Catharine to Asa Eastman; Alexander to Harriet Parks; George to Emily P. Wage.
T. Willard and Andrew W. were soldiers in the Civil War.
Matthew Cannan, who was of Irish descent, came to Rome in or before 1811. He settled on what is known as the Lewis Barns place in Rome borough. He was well-educated for the times and taught school after coming to the new settlement in addition to farming. Commanding the respect of his neighbors, he was familiarly known as "Captain Cannan." He married Betsy Whitman of Providence, R.I., who died Nov. 27, 1846, aged 70 years, 5 months and 21 days; he died March 13, 1843, aged 68 years. Their children and marriages follow: John to Jerusha Miles of Pike; James to Ann Hutchinson of Washingtonville, Pa.; Campbell to Augusta Washburn of Windham; Deborah to Stephen Gregory of LeRaysville; Mervil to John Vought of Rome; Jane to Lewis Barns of Rome; Clarinda to Lucius Case of Wysox.
The Sopers are of English origin and appear to have flourished in Connecticut, Long Island, Green, Schoharie and Delaware counties, N.Y., coming from Connecticut and Long Island at an early date. During the Revolution, this family played an important part in the Continental army against King George.
Levi Soper came from Connecticut with his family in 1800, stopping a year in Ulster, then locating permanently on Sugar Creek near Burlington village. Here, he and his son, David, cleared and improved a farm where the father died. Roger and Levi Soper, Jr. appear to have been two other sons of Levi Soper who came from Connecticut and, after stopping a few years in Burlington, settled in Columbia township.
Roger, born December 23, 1774, married June, 1797, Melinda Rose (born April 15, 1777, died January 28, 1841), died January 17, 1857. Their children and marriages follow: Olive, b. November 20, 1799, married March 15, 1821, Asa Bullock; Cynthia, b. Dec. 3, 1800, married June 15, 1820, Curtis Merritt; Roselinda, b. January 8, 1802, married, June 15, 1824, Theodore Harding; Amos R., b. June 24, 1804; David M., b. Oct. 3, 1806; Hannah, b. March 1, 1809, never married; Elijah, b. Sept. 27, 1811; Joel, b. January 30, 1814; Amanda, b. May 29, 1817, married Peter Hulslander; Miriam, b. April 13, 1823. All these children lived in Columbia, Canton and Sullivan, Tioga county.
Levi, Jr. and Roger both located in Columbia in or before 1812. They were industrious and thrifty pioneers. Here the former died, 1848. In his will, he provides for his wife, Naomi and children, Allen, Samuel, Levi, Moses, Darius, Hannah (Mrs. Mosher), Polly, Aurelia (Mrs. Lay), Sophia (Mrs. Meades), Sally (Mrs. Baldwin) and Abigail (Mrs. Williams).
David was prominent in the affairs of the community and 25 years
a justice of the peace; he married Polly, daughter of Elisha Luther; died in Burlington about 1870, aged over 90 years; children and marriages follow: Horatio to Mary _____; Rowena to Benjamin Parshall; Elizabeth to Matthew Betts; Almira to Henry _____; Serephina E. to Rev. E. S. H. Cobb; Diadema to Charles Knapp; Edward O. to Jane E. Bailey; Isaac D. to Charlotte Stuart.
Abraham Taber, a soldier of the Revolutionary war, emigrated from Massachusetts to Canton township, 1802. He located at Grover on the Daniel Innes farm, where he died about 1812. He married Puella Bunker of Nantucket, Mass. Their children were Reuben M., Nathan Bunker, Lydia and Philip. Both Mr. and Mrs. Taber rest in the Goff cemetery.
Reuben M. married Malinda, daughter of Noah Wilson of Alba.
Nathan B. married Nancy Granteer and had children, Eliza Ann (Mrs. Loomis), William, Cyrus, Lavalette, George, Andrew, Emily (Mrs. Orrin B. Granteer). He died October, 1861 on the homestead.
Jeremiah Smith came on sleighs with his family from Vermont in the spring of 1804, locating near Alba. He was a successful and prosperous farmer and land owner. He died in Canton, 1852. Buell and Nathan Smith were sons.
Jacob Thomas, a native of New Hampshire, moved with his family from Vermont, 1808, settling in Troy township on the farm of his son, the late Wm. A. Thomas. Here he labored and improved lands until his death in 1841. He had married Susannah, daughter of Dr. Reuben Rowley, a Revolutionary soldier (p. 65). Their children were Zeruah (Mrs. Samuel Case), Alvin W., Samuel, Hiram, Chester, Allen, Lucy M. (Mrs. Dummer Lilley) and William A.
Alvin W. engaged in farming in Troy township; married Amy Harding and had children, Lorenzo, Alexander H., Charles B. (killed in the Civil war), Lucy M. (Mrs. E. D. Thomas), Susan (Mrs. Edwin M. Slade), Julia (Mrs. Newton McClelland), Alvin W. (died in the Civil war), Emma (Mrs. John Lilley) and Jacob.
Samuel spent his life in farming in Troy township; married Lydia P., daughter of Jerome Wright of Canton and had children, John C., Mary J. (Mrs. Wm. Vanderlip), Lydia S. (Mrs. John C. May), Hiram W., C. Ellen (Mrs. Ephraim M. Clark), Fidelia A. (Mrs. Burton A. Porter), William H. H. (died in Andersonville, Civil war), David W. and Martha A. (Mrs. Thomas M. Scott).
William Alonzo, born June 6, 1824, occupied the homestead, died June 8, 1913; was elected county commissioner, 1859, and prothonotary, 1866 and '69; married 1st Jane, daughter of John Lilley, 2nd
Wrexaville (Long) Rockwell; children, Alonzo L., Jane A. (Mrs. J. R. Harris) and
Harriet E. (Mrs. Milton T. Fassett).
Stephen Hickok, son of a patriot of the Revolution, came to Troy, 1807 from Rutland county, Vermont, to pursue his trade of carpenter. For some years he was employed at Long's mills, finally removed to Columbia X Roads where he died, 1856 in his 76th year. His wife was Ruth Ellsworth by whom he had children, Almeron H., Aaron R., Deborah (Mrs. F. Ashley) and three others.
Aaron R. married Clarissa Ann Middaugh and followed farming in Troy township; children, William L., Phoebe A. (Mrs. Reuben Stiles), Henry H., Stephen C., Helen M., (Mrs. Jared S. Manley) and Stephen Newton.
Almeron H. married Hulda, daughter of Nicholas Smith and followed farming in South Creek; children, William, Nicholas and Thaddeus.
James Hickok located at Troy in 1809. Upon the organization of Bradford county, he opened a hotel which he kept some years. He also had a fulling-mill and built the first foundry in Troy. He was one of the most prominent and enterprising in the early history of the town. At his death between 1832 and '36, he was survived by his wife, Polly and children, Herman R., Clarissa M., David N., Sally (Mrs. Moses Coolbaugh), Hiram H., Leander O., Polly and James H.
Major Ezra Long, a Vermonter, born Sept. 24, 1782 at Wilmington, full of push and enterprise, emigrated "west" with his family in 1809. Upon reaching Ulster, he leased and conducted the Overton hotel three years, then in 1812 moved up Sugar Creek where he purchased the mill and improvements commenced by Elisha Rich. He soon enlarged the mill property and erected a good house which he opened as a hotel. "Long's Mills" became a center and people came a long way with a bag of grain on horseback or with crude wagons or sleighs to have small grists ground. His hostelry became widely known and was a favorite stopping place. He also had a saw-mill and distillery. He purchased 1,500 acres of Drinker lands and with his varied enterprises, in all of which he succeeded, he was kept very busy. He was popularly known as "Major Long" from his connection with the old militia. He was a prominent Freemason and a gentleman having the confidence and esteem of a wide circle of friends. He left a fine fortune at his death in 1848. Major Long married, April 3, 1805, Lydia Alvord by whom he had children, Alonzo, Philander A., Volney M., Horace F., Lydia M., Clarissa E., Martha M. and
Ezra O. His second wife was Abigail Huldah Sherman of Athens.
Alonzo, born March 4, 1806, married April 28, 1833, Mary, daughter of Francis Tyler of Athens, died 1867 at Troy; engaged in the milling business and real estate; children, Martha J., Frederick A. and Fannie E. F.
Philander A., born October 1, 1807, was given a classical education.
Volney Morell, born June 4, 1809, was a prominent and worthful citizen and served as an associate judge of the county, 1861-'66, died May 3, 1879 in Troy. He married 1st ____ by whom he had children, Wrexaville (Mrs. Wm. A. Thomas), Emma (Mrs. Thomas McCabe) and Horace (died at 13); married 2nd Emily (a lineal descendant of Elder William Brewster of Mayflower celebrity), daughter of Ebenezer and Laura (Porter) Pomeroy; children, Brewster A. and Lydia (Mrs. Albert C. Hopkins); married 3rd Sophronia P. Davison.
Horace Foster, born Nov. 1, 1811, married Mary E. Clever and had a daughter, Emily; engaged in the milling business; died April 3, 1887 in Troy.
Lydia M., born Dec. 5, 1815, married Dr. Erastus Fitch of Canton.
Clarissa Eliza, born January 9, 1818.
Martha M., born Nov. 15, 1819, married Oscar Calkins.
Ezra O., born January 28, 1821, was a graduate of Union college.
Jeremiah Travis, son of Sylvanus Travis, a valiant soldier of the Revolution, came from Seneca county, N.Y. to Burlington, locating at Luther's Mills, 1809-'10. Here he lived the life of a faithful pioneer and died, 1869 aged 84 years. He married Sally, daughter of Alexander Lane (I-302). Their children were Myron, Zury, Lucretia, Jeremiah, Zepheniah and Sylvanus. Jeremiah was prominent in public affairs and served a term as county auditor. Landis L. Travis, a son of Zury, was a gallant soldier of the Civil War, participated in the battle of Gettysburg and died suddenly July 2, 1913 upon the battlefield while attending the great 50th anniversary celebration of the Blue and Gray.
Job Stiles, a patriot of the Revolution, came to the Tioga district in or before 1808, being one of the first settlers in Ridgebury township. He located near the state line and died upon the farm which he had improved in 1841, aged 82 years. In 1776 he enlisted under Captain Bates in the regiment of Col. Ephraim Martin and served six months; in 1777 he enlisted under Captain Wade of the same regiment and served until the close of the war.
His services merited and he was given a pension by the government. His wife was Esther, daughter of Asahel Burnham. Their children were Enos, Keeny B., Betsy (Mrs. Phillips),
Hannah (Mrs. Pierce), Asahel and Aaron. Mr. and Mrs. Stiles were buried in the old cemetery above Chemung.
Josiah Crocker removed from Lee, Mass. to Milltown in 1808 and engaged with John Shepard in building a fulling-mill and saw-mill across the state line. Carding machines were afterwards added. Mr. Crocker interested himself in educational and religious matters. Among the first things he did was to secure a good school house at Milltown, which afterwards became one of the preaching places for Rev. Wm. Wisner.
"Mr. Crocker had a large family of sons and two daughters, well-trained after New England customs. The morning and evening sacrifices were daily offered at his home and it was pleasant to see on the Sabbath this long train of neatly clad and well-instructed children following their parents to the place of worship. They removed West in 1818."
Amos V. Mathews from Northumberland county came to Monroe in or before 1808.
He is said to have stopped for a short time in Overton on the Paine place on the line of the old Muncy road. He made some improvements then moved into Monroe, locating on Millstone Run. Here he built a log house and furnished accommodations for raftsmen.
He also had a blacksmith shop and made traps, bells and sharpened tools for the settlers. In 1812 he erected a large cottage roofed building which he opened as a hotel the same year, the sign being ornamented with Masonic emblems. He brought in fruit trees from Muncy and set out the first orchard in the valley. His house was a favorite stopping-place for raftsmen and proved quite a lucrative business for him. In 1816 Mr. Mathews sold to John Northrup and moved to West Virginia.
Samuel Wood was a descendant in the fifth generation from William Wood, who came with the Puritans from England and settled at Concord, Mass. His parents were Nathan and Rebecca (Haynes) Wood and he was born January 26, 1761 at Westminster, Mass. His youth was spent in the midst of those troublesome and historic times immediately preceding the American Revolution and he entered into the spirit of the contest with the mother country with the usual ardor and enthusiasm of youth. His father died in 1777 and about that time he went to Vermont to live with a man named Darby. At the age of 16 years, he was enrolled in a company of Minutemen. Mr. Wood used to relate the story that when he was first called into the service, "the woman of the house where they first stopped for the night thought him too small to wait while she cooked supper for the squad and gave him a supper of mush and milk which she had ready." This was during
the emergency of Burgoyne's invasion of the States from Canada. Young Wood was assigned to duty in the division of General Stark, the hero whose memorable words at the battle of Bennington were, "There are the red coats; we must beat them today, or Betty Stark is a widow." On the day of the battle, Mr. Wood was detailed on the guard to the baggage and stores at that point and consequently did not participate in the immediate engagement at Bennington.
The season of 1780 again found him in the ranks in General Arnold's department at West Point. On the 23rd of September, while on a reconnaissance with a squad of 12 men under the command of a mounted sergeant, they came upon a party of three "cow boys" as they were styled by the soldiers of the regular army. (They were a class of men who, though loyal to the American cause, yet owing allegiance to no military authority, were really a band of free-booters, sustaining themselves by plundering the property of the loyal citizens). These men had in their custody a prisoner they had arrested while traveling on horseback and in citizen's clothes, under the name of John Anderson and protected by a pass from General Arnold. The man, when they stopped him, had incidentally declared himself to be a British officer, which exciting their suspicions, they searched him and found papers in his boots which led them to believe he was a spy. The sergeant immediately assumed command and taking one of his stirrup straps he buckled it around their captive's wrist and handed the other end to Mr. Wood and detailed him as his personal guard. He then caused the squad to put their fire-locks in prime order and giving them strict orders to kill him on the slightest attempt at rescue or escape, they started for camp. He said their prisoner did not enter into any conversation whatever, as he marched by his side, but kept silent and with his attention on the alert to his surroundings, as though meditating an escape, which Mr. Wood thought by a desperate and resolute effort he might have successfully accomplished as the country was rough and wooded and it was long after dark before they arrived at camp. But no such attempt was made: their prisoner was safely conducted to Lieut. Colonel Jameson's headquarters. The case was immediately reported to the general of the army. A court martial was convened by order of General Washington and he was tried and condemned as a spy, and ten days after his capture, he was hanged at Tappan on the Hudson under his real name and title of Maj. John Andre, adjutant-general of the British army, and the names of the three "cow boys" have passed down with honor into American history.
Mr. Wood was three times called into active service in the field,
twice for a term of six months each and once for a term of nine months. After the victory at Yorktown in 1781, many military organizations were discharged from service and he, with his comrades, returned to Vermont and to their ordinary avocations. In 1786, he married Anna Califf and settled at Halifax. His wife died, 1804 and he subsequently married Huldah Cole. The sterile soil of New England affording but a precarious subsistence, he resolved to change his residence to a more hospitable climate and find, if possible, a more fertile soil. Accordingly having sold his property at Halifax, he with his three eldest sons, started out on a voyage of discovery in the early part of 1809. The course of their travels led them to the tavern of John Shepard above Athens. Mr. Wood contracted with Mr. Shepard for 360 acres of land in what is now Smithfield township. He returned to Vermont and came on with his family in the autumn of the same year.
He passed through successfully the struggles incident to pioneer life and died in 1828, honored by all who knew him. He was one of the founders of the Baptist church at East Smithfield, one of the first grand jurors of the county and several years a justice of the peace. The children of Samuel and Anna (Califf) Wood were Anna, Eunice, Moses, Samuel, Lois, Ezra, Jonathan, Nathan, Rebecca, Abraham and Amasa. The children by his second marriage were Samuel 2nd, Barnard, Eunice 2nd, Joel, Miriam, Elizabeth, Lefa, Amy and Darius B.
Anna married, 1813, Erastus Brookings of Athens, had several children and died at Youngstown, N.Y., 1851, aged 66 years.
Eunice died at Halifax in her 16th year.
Moses married, 1811, Peggy Newell, was the father of 8 children, died, 1852 in Smithfield, aged 64 years.
Samuel died at Halifax in his 14th year.
Lois married, 1812, James Gerould, had 12 children, died in Smithfield, 1863, aged 71 years.
Ezra married, 1816, Lucy Hackett, had 8 children, died 1872 in Smithfield, aged 79 yrs.
Jonathan married, 1818, Abia Thomas, had 12 children, died 1873 in Smithfield, aged 78 years. He was for many years pastor of the Disciple church at East Smithfield; he married for his second wife the widow of his brother Nathan.
Nathan married, 1822, Sally Hackett, had 6 children, removed to Armenia where he was accidentally killed in a saw-mill, May 22, 1835, aged 38 years.
Rebecca married, 1819, John E. Hale, had 12 children, removed to Illinois, 1846 and died at Knoxville, 1854, aged 55 years.
Abraham married, 1824, Electa Farnsworth, had several children, died in Smithfield, 1848, aged 47 years.
Amasa died in Halifax in his 8th year.
Samuel 2nd, married, 1826, Polly Thompson, had several children, died in Smithfield, 1863, aged 58 years.
Barnard married, 1828, Betsy Perkins, had several children, was pastor many years of the Smithfield Disciple church, died in Smithfield, 1852, aged 46 years.
Eunice married, 1829, Benjamin Hale, removed to Illinois and died 1844 at Belvidere, aged 36 years, survived by her husband and daughters.
Joel married, 1834, Hannah Rockwell and had 9 children, removed West, 1846 and died at Emporia, Kansas.
Miriam married, 1832, Allen Hale, had several children, died in Smithfield.
Elizabeth married, 1839, Barnard Farnsworth, removed West and died, 1864 near Chicago, aged 49, survived by her husband and several children.
Lefa married, 1840, Colburn Allen and died in Smithfield survived by her husband and children.
Amy died in Smithfield in her 14th year.
Darius Bullock went West when a young man and settled at Palatine, Illinois. He married 1st Jane Wilson, 2nd Sarah Ann Sayles.
Henry Mercur, "the hatter, scholar and gentleman," was born in Lancaster county, Pa., where his parents had settled in 1780, emigrating from Klagenfort, Austria. When he was 9 years old, he was sent to Vienna to be educated at the university where he spent 8 years. During this time, he witnessed the entry of Napoleon and his army into Vienna.
He returned to America a thoroughly educated gentleman. Having learned the hatter's trade, he came to Towanda, 1809 and being pleased with the prospect, located here.
In 1810, he married Mary, daughter of Francis and Jane (Means) Watts (I-287) and soon after moved to LeRoy, but returned to Towanda in 1815. He built a framed house on his lot, northeast corner of State and Second streets, where he had his hatter's shop. In 1828, he sold his business to Zenas and Benjamin Thomas and turned his attention to farming, spending a portion of his time in his study. He was in Illinois a few years looking after his investments there. Mr. Mercur served as county treasurer 1818-'19 and '20. One hundred years ago he was regarded not only as the most scholarly man in the county but in Northern Pennsylvania. He was a scientific scholar of rare excellence and a linguist.
He was fluent in
German, read Latin and knew much of the Arabian and Sanskrit. He died in Towanda Sept. 10, 1868, aged 82 years. His wife died Dec. 14, 1839, aged 49 years. Their children were Henry S., James W., Mahlon C., Ulysses, Hiram and Eliza.
Henry S., born Aug. 29, 1811, married, April 17, 1836, Sarah A. Guernsey of Oxford, N.Y. In 1832 he engaged in the mercantile business with Hon. Ellis Lewis and afterwards with his brothers. His death occurred Aug. 7, 1869.
James W., born Sept. 23, 1813, was associated with his brother Henry S. in the mercantile business. His health having failed, he retired from the firm and visited South America and Italy in hopes of recovery; but getting no relief, he returned to Towanda and died May 22, 1853.
Mahlon C., known as "the father of Towanda," was born February 6, 1816 and died in Towanda, Oct. 17, 1905.
His education was in part acquired at private schools, the Towanda academy but principally from his father. When but a mere lad he evinced a strong inclination for business. At 12 his father gave him a tract of land which he soon after sold for $2,000. Such ability had he for business that when he was 16, he took his place with the men in the buying and shipment of lumber and looking after its sale. At 19 he purchased a heavy stock of goods, continuing the mercantile trade several years in conjunction with an extensive lumbering business. Having made a contract to furnish the entire hewed and sawed lumber required for the building of the bridges of the Catawissa railroad, the greater portion of the spring and summer of 1836 was absorbed in making deliveries.
In 1838, Mr. Mercur was elected councilman, an office he held several years and the only one he would accept till 1877, when he was appointed Deputy Collector of U.S. Revenues. He erected the first planing mill in this vicinity and by the employment of a large number of laborers and the erection of numerous buildings in Towanda and the surrounding townships, did much in promoting the business prosperity of the county. The great fire of March 1847, having destroyed the court house and the greater portion of the business part of Towanda, Mr. Mercur believed that the future business security of the town required a better class of buildings than heretofore had, erected a permanent three-story brick block on the southeast corner of Main and Pine streets. At that time, this was the best business block in the county and largely influenced the quality of blocks thereafter erected in the town.
After the North Branch Canal had been sold by the State to an inactive company, Mr. Mercur was induced in connection with some of his personal friends to buy a majority of the canal stock. Immediately after the purchase, it was arranged that he be secretary, general superintendent and general agent of the company, with full power to make any business arrangements necessary to encourage transportation on the canal, and to settle and adjust all damage claims against the company. Damage to the amount of $500,000 was claimed by those injured by the canal, but through Mr. Mercur's fairness and business sagacity, he secured a settlement with nearly all the claimants at a cost in the aggregate of $40,000. Finding the business of the canal too small to pay
expenses, he made arrangements with the Wyoming, West Branch, Pennsylvania, Union, Schuylkill and Tide Water Canals, giving the North Branch Company authority to ship lumber and all kinds of farm produce from the North Branch Canal over the several lines to market, at such rates of toll as in his judgment the shippers could afford to pay, giving through coupon clearances from the point of shipment to destination. This greatly benefited farmers and lumbermen, but the amount shipped was still insufficient to make the canal a paying enterprise. Mr. Mercur now determined that a coal tonnage should be carried over the canal, and the point was gained through his persistence and shrewdness. A combination was formed in the shipment of coal with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad; also the Williamsport & Elmira Railroad, which proved profitable to the three shipping companies, remaining unbroken for several years, and being a great advantage to the consumers. In order to carry out the agreement made with the railroad companies, Mr. Mercur was required to take the trade allotted to the North Branch Canal himself, and supply the division north of Wilkes-Barre with boats. This was a herculean undertaking and a great risk to run, yet Mr. Mercur was not daunted, and by working night and day, and watching his business closely, made a fortune in what others of more capital did not dare venture.
The canal now being in good condition, accommodating the local trade, Mr. Mercur felt that a railroad up the Susquehanna Valley would be a great convenience to the people. Accordingly, he went to Harrisburg and drew up a bill to enable the company "to change their name, style and title from the North Branch Canal Company to the Pennsylvania and New York Canal and Railroad Company, with authority to construct and operate a single and double track railroad upon, along or near the tow-path or berm bank of the canal from the county of Luzerne to the New York state line in the county of Bradford, the railroad company being compelled to keep open the canal and subject to all the obligations and liabilities of every kind of the North Branch Canal Co." The foregoing bill was drawn up by Mr. Mercur without consultation with anyone. Seeing the leading members of both branches of the Legislature, by his influence with them, certain rules were suspended, the bill introduced in the forenoon, and before 8 o'clock in the evening passed through both Houses and was signed by the Governor. This was the most rapid legislation of which we have any record. Mr. Mercur thought he had now accomplished a two-fold measure, the construction of a railroad and the perpetuity of the canal, thus securing in the best possible way the business interests of the county. However, it must be remembered that subsequently, the railroad company took advantage of the measure, slipped a bill through the Legislature, which virtually abandoned the canal.
For some years, Mr. Mercur, in company with J. Langdon and A. Tompkins, carried on a very heavy coal trade between the Pittston and Kingston mines and Baltimore, having 1,200 cars alone marked in his name. When he sold his stock in the Canal company, he also sold his coal mines, boats, Elmira and Chicago real estate and coal business, and thereafter devoted his time and money to the completion of the Sullivan & Erie Railroad and improvements in and about Towanda. Some years before this time, Mr. Mercur was induced by some personal friends in Philadelphia to join them in obtaining a charter and building a street railway over Fourth and Eighth streets in that city. Through his energy and sagacity, a charter was obtained, and the roads completed and put in running order in a short time. For several years, he remained a heavy stockholder and director in the company.
(Illustration of Mahlon C. Mercur)
During the Rebellion, his business interests would not permit his entering the service, but he most generously aided the county with his means. At a low rate of interest, he loaned the county the money necessary to pay her volunteers and to whomsoever asked his aid in procuring volunteers in the formation of companies. Indeed, any one in the service who needed money for the support of his family always obtained aid from Mr. Mercur, who would never accept payment from the widow, should her husband lose his life while in his country's service. When the draft was made, although by age exempted, he sent a representative to the army and kept one there until the close of the war.
After the war, Mr. Mercur, in company with Col. Welles, purchased some three or four thousand acres of coal land in Sullivan county, and in company with Geo. D. Jackson and M. Meylert, organized a coal and railroad company, putting in 5,000 acres of coal land for capital stock, M. C. Mercur being president of the company. An unfortunate contract was made for the building of the road, which was finally thrown back upon the hands of the company, who were compelled to finish it themselves. All the moneys were advanced by Mr. Mercur or borrowed on his endorsement. Finally, some Boston parties acquired an interest in the stock and induced Mr. Mercur to largely endorse the company's paper. Circumstances afterwards proved that their scheme was to injure his credit, break down the company and buy in the stock at a trifle. His unfortunate confidence in the Boston men cost him property to the amount of $1,050,000. However, this enormous loss did not discourage him. "Mercur's Block," which will long remain as a proof of his enterprise, was erected by him, almost the entire material in it having been manufactured on and from his possessions.
Mr. Mercur always took an active part in politics, ever working zealously for his friends and the welfare of his party. His purse was always open to aid in the campaigns of his party, no man in the county having contributed more liberally than he. Originally he was a Whig and remained with that organization till he became one of the charter members of the Republican party.
He was a man of wonderful activity, excellent judgment, rare comprehension and concentration of mind in business matters, venturesome and full of pluck. He was gifted with genuine sociability, always having been a gentleman to lord and peasant alike. His great pride was in the upbuilding of his native town, in which his time and means were never spared. He was a model of unselfish nature, ever aiding the deserving. Though he was a man of extensive and active business, he found time by the midnight lamp to acquire a general and literary knowledge. Mr. Mercur was also for a number of years engaged in the banking business, first in the old Towanda bank and afterwards as president of the Mercur bank. For nearly his whole life, he was a regular communicant of the Episcopal church and a liberal supporter of it. Upon the organization of the church at Towanda in 1833, he was one of the first vestrymen and wardens.
In 1839 Mr. Mercur was united in marriage with Miss Helen, daughter of Col. Joseph Kingsbury. They had one son, Mahlon M. His second wife was Annie H. Jewett and their children surviving at his death were: Mrs. Helen Rosenmuller, Lillian A., William H., Hiram T., Robert J. Mercur and Mrs. Elise Wagner.
Ulysses, jurist and statesman, the 8th judge of Bradford county and 12th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, was born August 12, 1818; died June 6, 1887.
In boyhood, he labored on his father's farm and attended the village school in winter.
At the age of 16, he entered the store of an elder brother where he remained three years. However, the duties of clerk became irksome to him as he had a great desire to acquire a liberal education and take up the legal profession. At the age of 20, he entered Jefferson College, where he pursued his studies with great industry and untiring perseverance. Indeed, he was noted for his studiousness and extraordinary perceptive faculties.
He took a high position
(Illustration of Ulysses Mercur, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania)
in the literary society of which he was a member and in his junior year was chosen disputant of his class in a joint discussion with the senior society of which the late Clement L. Vallandigham of Ohio was disputant. The discussion was decided in Mercur's favor, which so annoyed Vallandigham that he resolved not to leave college until he had another opportunity of crossing swords with his rival of the junior class. The opportunity was given him and he was again worsted, Mr. Mercur coming off victorious the second time. During his last year in college, Mr. Mercur also found time to begin a systematic study of law and, accordingly, entered the office of Hon. Thos. M. T. McKennan, author of the "Tariff of '42." He graduated with the first honor of his class in 1842 and immediately returned to his home in Towanda where he entered the law office of Edward Overton, Esq.
Such confidence had Mr. Overton in the young man's ability that he made him an equal partner in the profits of the business from the time he entered his office. On the 4th of September, 1843, Mr. Mercur was admitted to practice in the several courts of Bradford county. His intuitive love for the profession and thorough knowledge of "the books" acquired by close study were supplemented by strict attention to business and untiring industry--virtues which seldom fail of success. Upon his accession to the bar, he was brought into contact with such able and distinguished attorneys as David Wilmot, Edward Overton, Judge Williston, William Elwell, William Watkins and others, who rendered the Bar of Bradford county famous for ability and personal worth. The young member soon reached the front rank and before he had been many years in practice was acknowledged the peer of his ablest associates. As a practitioner, he was conscientious and never advised litigation merely to get a "retainer." After a client had repeated his case, if hopeless, Mr. Mercur would inform him that he was wrong and that he could not take it. "But I will pay you well for your services, Mr. Mercur." "You are wrong, Sir! and I don't want your case at any price." This reputation won for him the most implicit confidence of the people and few important cases were tried in court, while he was practicing at the bar, which he was not employed in. It has been justly said of him that as a young lawyer, he was unsurpassed in the state.
As an evidence of Mr. Mercur's transparent candor and honesty in his relation to clients and his desire to impress upon students the sacred obligation to profound secrecy and fidelity in their business relations with those by whom they might be professionally employed, it is said that he never retired to the "consultation room" with clients, but compelled them to state their cases in the presence of such students as were present--assuring them that anything they might disclose would never be repeated. A marked characteristic of Mr. Mercur, remembered by the citizens of Towanda, was the untiring industry with which he labored at his profession. While Mr. Wilmot, the leading lawyer in the town, who was always noted for a tendency to avoid close application to his desk, was at the village store in the evening telling stories to the crowds of rustics, young Mercur was at his office writing deeds or poring over his books in search of authorities for use in court. "At any hour," remarked an old citizen of Towanda, "Mercur could be found at his office. In those days, I used to go home very late at night, and there was always a light in his office." His industry, integrity, skill and success in the trial of cases made his professional services eagerly sought after and for several years before leaving the Bar, he had a larger practice than any other attorney in the county. Wilmot was strong with a jury, but he relied upon an infinite fund of wit and
turning to use some trifling circumstance brought out at the trial, but Mr. Mercur studied cases thoroughly and always went into court prepared.
Seventeen years of close application to his extensive business told on his constitution and in the winter of 1860-61, Mr. Mercur was compelled to give up work for several months, and that respite restored his health and gave him a new lease on life. On the election of Judge Wilmot to the United States Senate in January, 1861 he (Wilmot) resigned the president judgeship of the 13th Judicial District and Ulysses Mercur was appointed March 19, 1861 by Governor Curtin to fill the vacancy. Mercur discharged the onerous duties with such entire acceptability to the bar and people, that at the ensuing election (October, 1861) he was chosen for a full term without opposition, the district being composed of the counties of Bradford and Susquehanna.
In 1862, a division occurred in the Republican party in the Congressional district, composed of the counties of Bradford, Columbia, Montour and Sullivan, resulting in the defeat of the regular nominee. To prevent a similar disaster in 1864, Judge Mercur was prevailed upon to accept a unanimous nomination and was triumphantly elected over Col. V. E. Piollet. He was nominated for three consecutive terms and before the expiration of his fourth term in 1872, was nominated by the republican State convention for Judge of the Supreme Court. Judge Mercur accepted a fourth nomination to congress only because he wished to use his influence in the repeal of the law, imposing a duty on tea and coffee, also the law giving a portion of the penalty, for violations of the revenue law to the informant. On the bench and in Congress, Judge Mercur earned a record that was an honor to his constituents and one of which any generation might justly feel proud. His public service was singularly free from demagogy and tricks of the average politician, while in his private life he was as pure as the mountain stream. His political advancements, like his business success, were solely due to marked ability and personal worth. During the quarter of a century he was in public life, his bitterest political opponents never even intimated anything derogatory to his honor as a gentleman and strict fidelity to the trusts confided to his keeping. His eminence as a jurist was evinced in his nomination for the Supreme Court, without having canvassed for the office, over some of the ablest judges in the state. In Congress, Judge Mercur was not a "talking member," though he had few equals in debate, but was looked up to as one of the most useful Representatives. He was a member of the Judiciary Committee and took an active part in preparing the reconstruction measures rendered necessary by the secession of the Southern states. It was during the discussion on one of the bills on that subject that he made use of this memorable sentence: "If they (the people of the States lately in rebellion) will not respect the Stars they must feel the Stripes of our glorious flag."
One important measure which he was instrumental in passing through Congress deserves to be placed beside the Wilmot Proviso and Grow's Homestead Bill--the act exempting tea and coffee from duty, thus reducing the price of those almost necessary articles of diet which are needed alike by the rich and the poor.
In politics Judge Mercur was originally a Democrat (though his brothers were all active Whigs), adhering to the Freesoil wing of the party, having been educated in the same political school with Wilmot and Grow. He was one of the first to protest against the scheme to enslave Kansas and Nebraska and took an active part in the organization of the Republican party, which we believe had its birth in Towanda as early as February, 1855 when a meeting
was called to give expression to indignation of the people of the North at the Repeal of the Missouri Compromise. He was a delegate to the first Republican state convention and also to the first Republican National convention, which nominated John C. Fremont for the presidency. He was an elector on the Lincoln ticket in 1860. However, at the time of the meeting of the Electoral College, he was ill at his home in Towanda and Hon. E. R. Myer was substituted who cast the vote of his district for Lincoln. David Wilmot always esteemed Judge Mercur, his friend and confidential adviser in politics as well as legal affairs. When Wilmot was invited by President Lincoln in the spring of 1861 to act as Peace Commissioner at Washington before accepting the appointment, he visited Judge Mercur, and after a full consultation, decided to go and to use his own words, "try to prevent a patched up compromise," which would leave the difference between the two sections of the Union as far from being settled as before. About the time Judge Mercur entered the bench of the Supreme Court, Jefferson College conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws.
Justice Mercur, on the 2nd of January, 1883 by seniority of commission became Chief Justice, his term expiring in January, 1888. But while thus in the busy duties of his high office, the final great summons came. After a brief illness, he passed peacefully away Monday, June 6, 1887 at the home of his son in Wallingford, Delaware county. The immediate cause of his death was heart-clot. By sorrowing friends, he was borne away to his home in Towanda, the spot where he first drew breath and which he loved so well and was there buried in Oak Hill cemetery. Chief Justice Gordon said, "We lament the death of our good Chief Justice. He was not only an able lawyer and a just judge, but also an excellent gentleman and a kind and agreeable companion. We miss him sadly as well in the council chamber as in the court room. He was a successful man, a fortunate man--fortunate in his domestic relations, in his wonderful popularity with his fellow citizens and in the important offices which they conferred upon him in his professional and social life. He has passed from the highest position in his native state to a still higher position in the heavens: for he was a good man and an honest member of the Church of Christ."
In 1850 Judge Mercur married Miss Sarah S. Davis, daughter of General John Davis of Bucks county and the union was a very happy one. Their children are Rodney A., a leading member of the Bradford county Bar; Dr. John D. of Towanda; James W. of the Delaware county Bar; Ulysses, Esq. of Philadelphia and Mary E. (Mrs. B. F. Eshleman) of Lancaster, Pa.
Hiram, born April 8, 1821, engaged in the mercantile business with Thomas Elliott.
Ill health compelled him to retire and he died February 29, 1848.
Eliza J. died April 22, 1841, aged 17 years.
Simeon Taylor came from Connecticut, 1806, locating in Pike township. He was a faithful and industrious pioneer, cleared and improved a farm where he died, 1871, aged 84 years. He was twice married, his first wife being a daughter of Rial Brister and second wife Thyrza Brink. His children were George, Lory, Rial, Harvey B., Henry K.,
Julia (Mrs. Grant), Harriet (Mrs. Jos. J. Scovell), Nancy (Mrs. Snyder), Betsy (Mrs. Agnew), Horton and Simeon.
Ebenezer and Roswell Lee were among the first to locate in Warren, coming thereto in or before 1803. Roswell was a teacher and taught the first school in the town, 1807. The Lees left before 1812.
Joseph Armstrong came to Warren about 1808. He built a large house on the turnpike and opened it as an inn. "A four-horse stage was run on the turnpike and it was the custom to blow as many blasts on a horn on the hill above Bear Swamp as there were passengers for breakfast." Mr. Armstrong married, Sept. 26, 1809, Mrs. Ruth (Coburn) Dewing (pg. 17). He died in Warren, 1840, leaving sons Jasper and Jesse.
Capt. Benjamin Case, a soldier of the Revolution, who had served in the 2nd regiment, Ulster county militia, commanded by Col. James McClaghry, removed from Newburgh, N.Y. to Great Bend in 1808. About 1812 "he pitched his tent in Warren and aided in the work of civilization and progress and where, after a life of honor and usefulness, he was gathered to his fathers." His son Benjamin T. married Annis Coburn, settled in Montrose and was a prominent lawyer; a daughter Maria W. D. married Andrew C. Coburn (brother of Benjamin T.'s wife); Arunah, evidently another son, married Sally Waite. Mary, widow of Captain Case, died in 1840. In her will she provides for her son Benjamin T., daughter Maria W. D. Coburn and grandchildren, Ellen, Jane, Benjamin, William Penn and Frederick Augustus Case, and Mary C., Andrew, George Washington and Ebenezer Coburn.
Jesse Barnes, a native of Blandford, Mass. and son of Jerre Barnes, a patriot of the Revolution, settled in Orwell, 1805. He purchased a 150-acre tract of land, which he improved until his death. He was accidentally killed in a saw-mill, 1828, being in his
44th year. His wife was Roxanna Warfel. Their children were Lucretia (Mrs. Alvin Goodenough), Jeremiah, Dr. Jesse, Ollie (Mrs. Louis Martin), Nelson, Philander, Alonzo and Francis Sylvester.
Jeremiah married Sally Aurelia, daughter of Cyprian Grant, located in Herrick where he died November 26, 1880, aged 69 years. Children were Polly (Mrs. Geo. Coe), Melissa, Ulysses, Roxanna, Philetus and Loren.
Philander married, September 8, 1841, Miss Abigail Wage.
Nelson died July 18, 1881 in Orwell survived by his wife Matilda E. and daughter Rozilla Adelaide (Mrs. Alphonzo Robinson).
Zophar Platt, whose sons, Ephraim and Nathaniel, had settled in
East Herrick, 1808, came on from Connecticut and joined them the next year. They formed the first settlement within the present Herrick township. The father died upon the homestead at an advanced age. A daughter was the first wife of Amos Northrup of Pike.
Ephraim married Polly, daughter of Judah Benjamin, a Revolutionary soldier of Pike and was the father of the late Anson Platt.
Nathaniel married Mabel Hitchcock and was accidentally killed at a general training in Orwell about 1831. He had sons, Charles, Nathaniel and Jarvis.
Reuben Atwood, born Nov. 1, 1782 at Woodbury, Conn., emigrated to Pike township in 1807. Here he lived a number of years then removed to East Herrick where he died Oct. 25, 1878, aged 96 years. He was an industrious and money-making citizen. He married Abiah, daughter of Zophar Platt (p. 125). She was born June 4, 1779, died July 12, 1864. Their children were Nelson R., Silas H., Wheeler, Caroline (Mrs. Gibbs) and George C.
Nelson R. (b. January 3, 1811, died May 5, 1869), married Sarah Ann Camp and followed farming and wagon-making at Camptown.
George C. (b. May 17, 1825, died October 19, 1889), married, July 3, 1852, Henrietta, daughter of Aaron Taylor; engaged in merchandising, farming and money-loaning; was very successful in all his ventures and left a fine fortune.
David Beardsley came from Connecticut, 1802 and purchased a large tract of land at North Towanda, afterwards known as the J. C. Adams and Jesse Woodruff farms. His purchase included the island under the James street bridge, since the days of raftsmen, known as Beardsley's Island. Mr. Beardsley lived in a log-house on the bank of the river. He continued making improvements some years then sold for $300, a span of horses, harness and wagon and removed to Erie county, N.Y. Here he died at Eden, the family returning to Bradford county. Mrs. Beardsley died June, 1842 with her daughter, Mrs. F. Blackman at Hornbrook. The children of David and Louisa Beardsley were:
Amy married Gilbert Horton, was the mother of 8 children, removed West with the family and died there.
Sibyl married Col. Franklin Blackman and was the mother of 9 children, two of whom, Wealthy Ann (Mrs. Ayer) at 93 and George W. at 83 are living.
Jackson was a miller by occupation. He married Anna Young of Monroeton and lived at Franklindale. Their children were Amazilla (Mrs. John M. Martin), Sarah (Mrs. Wilson Decker), Betsy
(Mrs. Wm. _____), Fidelia (Mrs. Wm. Decker), Emma (Mrs. Wm. Piper), George (killed at Chancellorsville, Civil War) and Wallace.
Samuel was a miller and farmer. He married Nancy _____ and settled in Herrick. He had children: David, John, Nathaniel, Solomon and Esther.
Thomas Granger came from Vermont to Towanda Creek, 1800. With the Ladds and Fowlers, he went up the South Branch into Albany where he selected lands, began improvements and planted a piece of corn. He returned East for his family but took sick and died. His sons, Calvin and Dorus, came on and harvested the corn and remained a year or two.
Jonathan Frisbie located at Eilenberger springs (originally known as Frisbie springs) in Albany in 1805 or '6. He had a large family of boys. After making a considerable improvement, he sold, 1815 and went West.
Daniel Heverly, the Overton pioneer, was a native of Northampton, afterwards Lehigh county, Pa. His parents, Adam and Maria Heverly, were thrifty Germans, the father being a liberal contributor to the State in the promotion of the war against the French and Indians and paying a substitute (he being exempt from age) to represent him in the Revolutionary war. Having been induced by the extraordinary opportunities offered in the "new country," he sold his valuable property in Lehigh county for 900 pounds Pennsylvania currency, and arranged for his emigration. Accordingly, in 1806, with his wife, five sons and two daughters, a heavy covered wagon, loaded with household goods and light farming implements, two horses, two cows and some young stock, he set out to find the rich lands, "flowing in milk and honey." His route was by way of Williamsport, thence up Lycoming Creek to Canton and down Towanda Creek to Greenwood. Here he tarried and upon the location of the Berwick and Elmira turnpike, contracted to build several sections of the road which passed through Southern Bradford. He was well-pleased with the land which he found in the Overton basin and thinking the country would soon be settled along this road, he took up a tract of 640 acres.
Mr. Heverly built a log house and moved in with his family in 1810. In the midst of many surrounding dangers, this bold pioneer lived 14 miles from his nearest accessible neighbor. There were a few settlers over in Albany, but no means of forming an acquaintance, as there were no roads or paths between the two places. For three years, Mrs. Heverly did not see a single female face, yet she was not disheartened or even think of fleeing from the lonely spot. When Mr. Heverly
came to Overton, the woods were full of wild beasts, panthers, bears and wolves, which were very troublesome. They frequently destroyed his sheep, calves and hogs, but whenever he got a chance at them, their lives paid the penalty for their depredations. Not infrequently would Heverly and his boys tree a panther. Should they thus bring their wily foe at bay at nightfall, they would build a fire at the base of the tree and keep it burning all night, so as to keep him from escaping, when upon the dawn of morning they would bring him down with a rifle ball.
Mr. Heverly soon made an opening in the wilderness and his first crops met the requirements of the family. Altogether he cleared about 70 acres. He possessed all the characteristics of the ideal pioneer. He was courageous, could endure privations and hardships without becoming disheartened, and was resourceful in providing for every emergency. Though not a large man, he was in many respects a very remarkable man. He stood about five feet seven, had a well-knit frame and weighed 160 pounds. He was athletic and knowing no fear, unfortunate was the victim that stirred his ire. At the age of 60 years, he would place his hands upon a horse's hips and spring astraddle his back. He was a Hercules in strength, as the following will illustrate. About the year 1812, John D. Saunders erected a saw-mill on the South Branch. All the strong men for many miles around were at the raising to put the heavy timbers in place. As was common in those days, a lifting contest was engaged in. Heverly was the champion, outlifting all the others.
Mr. Heverly was a genius. He had learned the art of weaving and when he came to Overton, he brought his loom with him, manufacturing the cloth for his own and other families. He was also something of a tailor and made his own clothes. He had knowledge of surgery and whenever an accident happened in the neighborhood he was called to set the broken bones. For years, he was the only person in the settlement, who could thus go to the relief of an unfortunate neighbor. With a butcher-knife and saw he manufactured the window sash for his house, and in many other ways exercised his ingenuity. He had a pretty good education in German and sang with comforting satisfaction. The last years of his life he lived alone, and one of his greatest pleasures was the visits of young people, whom he always made happy by some little gift. He learned to speak English, but was "very dutchy" to those who remember him. He was noted for his benevolence and honesty. Generally too credulous, he was sometimes taken advantage of by unprincipled men. His career is most interesting, and
"Grandfather Heverly" must be remembered as one of the truest and most heroic pioneers of Northern Pennsylvania. He died March 29, 1844, aged 80 years.
Many years before moving to Bradford county, Mr. Heverly had married Catharine Ott, a lady of many excellent qualities. She was a neat and dutiful housewife, sharing the privations and hardships of her husband, like a heroine, with true Christian fortitude. Among other things, she had a fondness for flowers and her flower beds were things of beauty. Her handsomely decorated dishes, which she had brought from Lehigh county, were the admiration of the neighborhood, and used with great care. Her demise occurred January 20, 1831 at the age of 67 years. The children of Daniel and Catharine Heverly were Betsy, Catharine, Hannah, John, Daniel, Jacob, Christian and Henry, all born in Lehigh county.
Betsy married Leonard Streevy and was the mother of Isaac, Betsy (died unmarried), Nancy (Mrs. Ebaugh), Susan (Mrs. Daniel Kaufman), John, Lydia (Mrs. Youell Miller), Catharine, Jacob, Hannah (never married), Shubina (Mrs. Guycoris) and Louisa (Mrs. Wm. Kirkpatrick); died in Overton, June 1, 1827.
Hannah married Jacob Granteer, Jr. of Canton and was the mother of Eli and Electa (Mrs. Ozias Kilburn); died about 1819 at Canton.
Catharine married John, brother of Jacob Granteer and was the mother of Betsy (Mrs. Philander Case), Laurinda (Mrs. Samuel Conklin), Catharine (Mrs. Wm. Wilcox), Nancy (Mrs. Jesse Conklin), Henry and Katie (never married).
John, born March 14, 1788, shared with his father and brothers the hardships of pioneer life in Overton, where he died August 11, 1864; he married, April 4, 1816, Almira, daughter of Amasa Kellogg of Monroe. Their children and marriages follow:
Amasa to Betsy Ann Betts; James to Sally Rinebold; Eunice to George Irvine; Catharine to Gideon Boyles; Maria to Solomon Wayman; Orlando to Hannah Warren; Adeline (only one living) to Sophronus Paris; Almira to Orange M. Chase; Oliver Delanson to Sarah Tompkins; Mary Ann to George B. Neal.
Daniel, like his father, was a genius, noted hunter, faithful and successful pioneer, owning at one time 800 acres of land; in 1821 married Magdalene, daughter of Jacob Wilt, a soldier of the Revolution; died February 11, 1874, aged 79 years. Their children and marriages: Catharine to Reuben Rinebold; Elizabeth to Sylvester Chapman; Eli to Angeline Rinebold; Hannah to 1st Wm. Waltman, to 2nd Jeremiah Kilmer, to 3rd Ezekiel D. Jones; Daniel (only one living, aged 85) to Elizabeth Heverly; Henry to Lovina Hottenstein; Jacob to Mary Dimock; Mary Ann died in childhood.
Jacob was a shoemaker and farmer; he died, unmarried, 1826, aged 29 years.
Christian, born Sept. 9, 1800, was a successful and enterprising pioneer; married 1st Hannah Warren and had one son William L.; married 2nd Martha Kilmer of Fox; died December 27, 1860. Children and marriages follow: William L. to Almira Old; Hannah to 1st Moses M. Lewis, to 2nd Samuel Annable, to 3rd Eldaah Landon; Martha to Myron Annable; Catharine to Horatio G. Ladd; Celinda (only one living) to Edward Rinebold; Christian LeRoy to 1st Harriet Heverly, to 2nd Eliza Place, to 3rd Lydia Crandall.
Henry, born Nov. 24, 1803, was noted for his industry and great strength; he married Rosina Kilmer, sister of his brother Christian's wife; died Sept. 5, 1871. Children and marriages: Hannah to John Molyneux; Henry to Louisa Chilson; William to Olive Corbin; Rosina to Reuben Camp; Hester Ann to Dr. John M. Heacock; Alexander Chauncy to Elizabeth Place.
John E. Kent, a blacksmith and noted storyteller, came to Monroe in or before 1809.
He built a house near the junction of Kent Run (so-called after him) with the South Branch. He claimed to have found a vein of coal on Kellogg mountain and it is said brought in loads of it upon his back in a basket and used it in his shop. When making his visits to this spot, he would never allow any one to accompany him. "Kent's coal mine" has been the subject of much speculation for years. He married Sally, daughter of John Cranmer, whom he subsequently deserted. Of their children: Orsemus joined the Mormons and was a preacher of that faith; Omer went West and became a judge.
Williams Lee, born January 31, 1771, came from Rensselaer county, N.Y. to Monroe in or before 1804. Six years later, he joined the Albany pioneers and shared with them the hardships of life in a new country. Here he spent the balance of his days. His wife was Elizabeth Lindsley and their children, Morrilla (Mrs. Henry Hibbard), Polly (Mrs. Seth Stevens), Rachel (Mrs. Solon Lindsley), James married Tacy Scriven, Anna (Mrs. Abner Emory), Joseph married Hannah Brewster and Williams married Sally Brewster.
Archelaus Luce, a native of Vermont, who had been a sailor, settled on Hatch Hill, Albany township, 1811. He was a hard worker and cleared up a considerable farm; finally sold and moved to the Williams settlement in Sullivan county. He had several daughters.