Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Pioneer & Patriot Families by Heverly
Bradford County PA
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Bradford County :Chronology 1800 - 1820

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Pioneer and Patriot Families of Bradford County, Pennsylvania

By Clement F. Heverly

in Two Volumes

1913 & 1915

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Page 293 - 324


1800 – 1820

Typed by Pat Smith Raymond

VISITATION OF PESTS—At different periods great destruction has been caused by pests which have visited this section. In 1800 locusts appeared and devoured every green thing before them. At first a worm that worked itself out of the earth in vast numbers appeared. The ground was alive with them. A shell next formed, which after a little time, opened on the back and the locust came out with wings and legs, resembling the grasshopper, but much larger. They soon flew to the trees and bushes in multitudes and devoured the foliage, but passed away the same season. They also swarmed throughout the wilderness in 1795, 1814, 1829 and 1846. In 1856 the wheat crop was almost entirely ruined by the weevil. In many sections the grain harvested was not sufficient for the next year’s seeding. In consequence, for a year at least, the people had to subsist almost wholly on corn and rye bread. Grasshoppers and potato bugs seem to have been more of a modern creation but close rivals of the locust and weevil in their destructive propensities.

1800—Thomas Fox, Daniel Doane, Jonah Fox and Russell Fox, the first settlers in Windham.

PIONEER MAIL SERVICE—A post-route from the East was established and maintained by private subscription. The post-rider made his trips every two weeks, bringing the mail to Wyoming thence up the river. Prince Bryant, an early settler at Sugar Run, was one of the first post-riders. During the occupation of Asylum by the French, they established a weekly post to Philadelphia, the postman making his trips on horseback. The Act of Congress, April 23, 1800, established the first post-roads in the country, being from Wilkes-Barre by Wyalusing to Athens and from Athens by Newtown, Painted Post and Bath to Canandaigua. Post-offices were established at Wyalusing and Athens and commissions issued Jany. 1, 1801 to Peter Stevens and Wm. Prentice as postmasters respectively. In 1803 Charles Mowery and Cyril Peck carried the mail from Wilkes-Barre to Tioga, on foot, once in two weeks.

THE PEDOBAPTIST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF EAST SMITHFIELD—was organized February 11, 1801 at Poultney, Vt. By Rev. Elijah Norton and Rev. Lemuel Haynes, the celebrated colored preacher. The members were Solomon Morse, Samuel Kellogg and Nathan Fellows. They chose Samuel Kellogg their moderator and were commended to the grace of God. Their articles of faith were penned by Rev. Haynes. With their families these three gentlemen started for the "far west," arriving the same month in what is now East Smithfield. The first record of the church, May 16, 1801, is the baptism of Jemima Almira, daughter of Solomon Morse, Rev. James Thomas officiating. The first business was Aug. 16, 1801, when Sarah Kellogg and Jemima Morse were received into the church on profession of faith.

PERISHED IN THE WILDERNESS—February 15th, 1801, Henry Lent of Rome made a trip to Athens and on his return through a blinding snow storm, following a foot-path from Sheshequin, when reaching what is now Towner Hill, he became bewildered and exhausted by the darkness and intensity of the cold and was frozen to death. He was found a few days afterwards near a tree, around which he had run in the vain attempt to prevent freezing. So many times had he gone around the tree that a crease was cut in the bark by the rim of his hat.

1901—Mt. Zion township organized from Athens and Ulster, changed to Orwell, 1802.

1801—Ephraim Ladd and sons, the first settlers in Albany township.

JULY 4TH, 1801—The first general celebration of American Independence at Wyalusing was an occasion of great interest. People assembled from all parts of the country. Such a gathering had never been witnessed there before. John Hollenback presided at the meeting. Jonas Ingham made an address on "Disputed Land Titles," in which he defended the claims of the Connecticut settlers and denounced with great severity the adverse legislation of Pennsylvania. Uriah Terry composed an ode on the death of Washington which was sung by Polly Sill. The whole celebration ended with a barbecue. A huge bear killed that morning and roasted whole provided meat for the entertainment. Towanda, then Wysox, also celebrated. "Wm. Means provided an entertainment, the style and elegance of which reflected great credit on his taste and industry. An oration was delivered by Reed Brockaway. After dinner a number of appropriate toasts were drank."

REV. THOMAS SMILEY AND WILD YANKEES—In 1801 Col. Abraham Horn was appointed agent for the Pennsylvania land-holders to put the "Intrusion Law" in force. In June he came into Bradford county, but apprehending danger from the violent opposition of the people, stopped at Asylum. Rev. Thomas Smiley had been appointed a deputy agent and furnished with the necessary papers. By July 7th he had obtained the signatures of nearly forty settlers to their relinquishments (Connecticut title) and submissions, and started for Asylum. A meeting was held and the "Wild Yankees" determined that the business must the stopped. About twenty men from Sugar Creek, Ulster and Sheshequin, armed and disguised, started in pursuit. Mr. Smiley, hearing the arrangements of the conspirators, went down to Joshua Wythe’s near Monroeton, where he remained until dark, and then stopped for the night at Jacob Granteer’s, near the mouth of Towanda Creek. The party, learning of his lodging place, followed him, broke into his room, compelled him to burn his papers, took him near the creek, poured a bottle of tar over his head and beard, then adding feathers, after giving him a kick told him he might go, but must leave the country. Several were arrested for participation in this ignominious affair, but the proof being insufficient, "not a true bill" was returned by the grand jury. It was asserted, also, that the man who carried the bottle of tar was one of the jurors who acted in the case. In 1819 the legislature granted Mr. Smiley $250 in compensation for his sufferings.

1802—April, Burlington township organized from Wysox.

CONNECTING LINE OPENED, 1802—The first outlet from the county, leading to the West Branch, seems to have been along the old Indian path, down Lycoming Creek from Canton. Wallis and Harris in 1777 made an extensive survey on the headwaters of Little Loyal-Sock Creek and the South Branch of Towanda Creek, covering a good part of what is now Colley, Cherry and Forks in Sullivan and Albany in Bradford county. It was necessary for these surveyors in doing so large a job to have a supply road from the nearest settlement to some point convenient to their work, and it is probable that the Wallis Road, running from the West Branch near Muncy to the Forks of the Loyal-Sock, was first opened as a pack-horse route for this purpose. Subsequently the French Refugees who had settled at Asylum, wishing a more direct communication with the Muncy Valley marked out and opened from the termination of the Wallis Road, near the Forks of the Loyal-Sock, to their settlement what was afterwards known as the Frenchtown packhorse road. This completed the first through route for pedestrians or equestrians from the West to the North Branch, but was never opened for general travel. In 1802 the Genesee road which afforded the first thoroughfare was opened. This road started near Millstone Run in Monroe, thence in a southwesterly course passed through the central part of Overton to Eldredsville thence to Muncy. This road was of use only to travellers. For a decade it was the main and in fact the only thoroughfare between the North and West Branch of the Sesquehanna. It was called the Genesee Road because it afforded the first thoroughfare to emigrants from Southern Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia to the rich valley of the Genesee River, then the popular rage.

PIONEER PERISHES BY COLD—In the winter of 1802-‘3, Wm. Harding and Wm. Arnold of Warren made a trip to Sheshequin for provisions. These secured each with a pack of 50 pounds thrown over his back, started for home. A heavy snow fell and closed their track. Near where Potterville now is Mr. Harding gave out and could proceed no further. Mr. Arnold went for help but when he returned found his companion a stiffened corpse.

1803—Capt. John Harkness, the first settler in Springfield township.

GREAT FEVER EPIDEMIC—In the early summer of 1803 a fever, which baffled the skill of the best physicians, swept through Wysox, Sheshequin, Ulster and Athens. The disease proved fatal to many young people of both sexes; it abated during the fall but broke out with virulence the following winter.

FIRST MURDER TRIAL—In June 1803 Amos Hurlbut of Wyalusing had some words with John Dalton, who struck him across the head with a sharp instrument, causing his death. Dalton was tried for his life, the following being the record of proceedings, courts of Luzerne county:

"Republica vs John Dalton; indictment for the murder of Amos Hurlbut with count for voluntary manslaughter; true bill, August 16, 1803. The defendant being charged at the bar, pleads not guilty and thereof puts himself on the county for trial; attorney-general likewise, and now, August 17, 1803, a jury being called came to wit: James Atherton, Noah Taylor, Solomon Johnson, Oliver Pettibone, Zebulon Marcy, Daniel Ayres, Caleb Wright, Joseph Sweatland, Joseph Reynolds, Abraham Shurtz, Roger Searle and Case Cortlandt, who being duly sworn and affirmed to try the issue aforesaid on their oaths and affirmations, respectively, do say that they find the defendant guilty of murder in the second degree. Whereupon, the court, to wit, on the 19th day of August, 1803, sentence the defendant to undergo an imprisonment at hard labor for the period of 18 years; and that he be fed and clothed and that in all respects treated, according to the direction of the ‘Act to reform the penal laws of the State’; and that he be placed and kept three years out of the 18 in the solitary cells in the penitentiary house in the city of Philadelphia and fed upon low and coarse diet; and that he pay the costs of prosecution and stand committed until this whole sentence be complied with." Dalton was pardoned by Governor McKean in 1808. He died soon after in a Philadelphia hospital.

1804—August, Canton township organized from Burlington.

1804—Post-offices established at Wysox and Sheshequin with Burr Ridgway postmaster at the former place and Avery Gore at the latter.

1804—Jesse Moore, the first permanent settler of South Creek township.

A CONVENTION OF CHURCHES—of Smithfield, Wysox, Orwell, Wyalusing and Braintrim was held at Wysox, February 16, 1804 at which a resolution was passed against Sabbath-breaking, profanity and gambling, and offenders were threatened with the rigors of the law if they did not desist.

COLONEL FRANKLIN AND DIVISION OF COUNTY—Col. John Franklin, the earnest and persistent advocate of the Connecticut claim was very popular with the New England men of Luzerne county by whom he was elected every fall to represent them in the legislature, where every opportunity was seized by him to vindicate the justness of the Connecticut title and protest, in most bitter language, against the greed of the Pennsylvania land-holders and the unusual severity of the measures taken to secure their titles. He was a continual thorn in the side of the Pennsylvania land-jobbers, who at that time possessed controlling influence in the legislature and they determined to get rid of him—legislate him out of the House. To effect this, the northwestern part of Luzerne, including the residence of Colonel Franklin, was attached to Lycoming county. An Act, approved April 3, 1804, provided that that part of Luzerne county beginning where the northeast branch of the Susquehanna crosses the State line, thence southerly to the northeast corner of Claverack, thence by the northerly side of Claverack to its westerly corner, thence in a direct westerly direction to the line of the county, be attached to the county of Lycoming. In 1805, however, Colonel Franklin 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.

1804—Jonas Ingham of Wyalusing elected to the Legislature from Luzerne county. Through his efforts the "Intrusion laws" and "Territorial Act," which were obnoxious to the people, were repealed.

1805—Isaac Fuller and Joel Campbell and their sons, the first settlers in Ridgebery township.

THE GREAT HUNT—There were to "big hunts" in this county in 1818, but the Great Hunt, an event unequalled in this or any other country, took place in 1805. At that time there were less than 5,000 inhabitants in what is now Bradford county. There were a few small villages, but the settlers were generally scattered about on farms. With the exceptions of these clearings, the country was still an unbroken area of dense forest. Wolves, panthers and bears had hardly thought of retiring before the encroachments of the settlers. Deer roamed the woods in herds and the elk still browsed in the mountain fastnesses. The backwoods clearings were constant foraging grounds for wild beasts. The few sheep, swine and cattle the pioneers possessed were never safe from these marauders and it frequently happened that these raids left the settlers’ stock inclosures entirely empty. Although hundreds of wild animals annually fell victims to the traps, snares and guns of the pioneers, their depredations still remained a serious obstacle to the welfare of the settlers. In 1805, at the suggestion of a long suffering farmer named Buck, it was resolved to organize a systematic and combined raid on the haunts of the animals, whose destructiveness, individual efforts had but slightly checked. Buck’s idea was to enlist every one in the afflicted settlements who was old enough to carry a gun and with this small army form a circle around as large an area of country invested by the animals, they desired to assail, as the number of men warranted. The party was to be divided into companies of 10, under the lead and command of an experienced woodsman and hunter. When the hunting ground was surrounded, each party was to move forward simultaneously toward a common centre, the march to be conditioned on such obstacles as streams, swamps or hills that might intervene. As the raid was to be merely of extermination, deer, elk and other unoffending animals were not to be ruthlessly nor indiscriminately killed. Every hunter, however, should be bound to lay low every panther, catamount, bear, wolf or fox, young or old, that crossed his path.

The pioneer’s suggestion was unanimously adopted at the meetings of settlers held at convenient localities, and it was resolved to make two raids during the year. One was to be in June, when the animals they sought would generally be found with their litters and families of young brought forth in the spring, thus affording opportunity to put much future trouble out of the way with ease, and the other raid was fixed for November, during the nutting season. Every arrangement for the successful and smooth working of the novel campaign was perfected during the winter and spring and when the day came for the grand raid to commence, 600 men, each armed with his flintlock, a hatchet, and a hunting knife and provided with two days’ rations, were ready for the march.

The number of men who were to participate in the raid was known for days before the appointed time and warranted the selection of a wide area of country to hunt over. A wild region, which was known to furnish all the requirements of the animals to be proceeded against, extending from the headwaters of Wyalusing Creek and taking in portions of Lycoming and Luzerne counties, it was thought could be profitably and thoroughly scoured by a large party, and a circle of hunters, five to a mile, was formed in that region. This gave an area 40 miles across, or 120 miles around, to close in upon.

The day before the day appointed, each command of 10 men had received orders to be at a place designated at 6 o’clock in the morning and to be in position to start forward half an hour later. The arrangements were all successfully carried out. The circle was to be reduced 10 miles the first day. Each hunter had strict orders not to shoot, except when he saw some animal plainly and within easy range to avoid the danger of shooting a fellow-hunter in mistake for game moving, but not seen, in the brush. During the first day’s march through the woods and swamps, all round the great circle of hunters, the result of the raid, according to the returns of the hunters, whose shots had been successful, was as follows, old and young: Panthers, 40; wolves, 58; bears, 92; foxes, 20; catamounts, 13. The second day’s march brought the hunters close together at the center of the area and also drove into close quarters a large number of wolves, bears and panthers, besides many deer and a few elk. The hunters stood in ranks five deep about them.

The panthers yelled furiously from the tree-tops as they leaped from branch to branch to escape, but rifle balls met and followed them in all directions. Bears huddled together, covering their cubs with their bodies, growling fiercely and showing fight even against such fearful odds. Wolves sneaked and snarled about, showing their great white teeth and looking a fierceness they did not possess. The frightened deer and elk ran wildly to and fro within the circle and frequently made desperate rushes and cleared the wall of hunters at a bound. Short work was made of the corralled beasts of prey and when the slaughter was over the record for the two days’ hunt stood: Panthers, 72; wolves, 90; bears, 145; foxes, 37; catamounts, 28. A number of deer and elk were also killed by hunters who could not resist the temptation. Scores of both could have been slain with ease. Foxes and catamounts, being less belligerent than bear and panther and more wily, escaped with less slaughter, although very numerous in the woods. The bounty on the animals killed amounted to $550. The skins had an aggregate value in these days of not less than $2,500. Then the bears killed yielded at least 35 pounds of highly prized food to each hunter. But the benefit that resulted to the farmers from the raid in protecting their pastures and farm-yards overbalanced ten-fold all other profit there was in the hunt. The November raid proved also very successful and the destructive prowlers of the woods never regained the foothold in the region they had so long enjoyed.

MOVE TOWARDS NEW COUNTY—At a meeting of delegates from Wysox, Wyalusing and Braintrim "it was thought necessary to give inhabitants of the north part of Luzerne and the east part of Lycoming notice to appoint one delegate from each district to meet at the house of William Means on Tuesday, the 11th day of November next, to consult and agree where the line shall run for the purpose of having a new county, set off." Signed by John Taylor, John Horton, Jacob Strickland, Jonathan Terry, William Means, Asa Stevens, Thomas Wheeler, B. Laporte, Amasa Wells, Justus Gaylord, Jr., Josiah Grant, Reuben Hale, Eleazer Gaylord and Job Irish. March 24, 1806, "an Act to erect parts of Luzerne and Lycoming counties into a separate county district: was read the first time, and "ordered that it be recommended to the attention of the next Legislature."

THE DARK DAY or total eclipse of June 6, 1806, filled the people with awe. Birds sang their evening songs, disappeared and became silent; fowls went to roost; cattle sought the barn-yard and candles were lighted in the house. Many persons believing that the end of all things had come, betook themselves to religious devotions. There was an earlier historic dark day, May 19, 1780, extending all over New England.

VISIT OF CELEBRATED PREACHER—"A queer specimen came to the Burlington settlement in June, 1806, dressed in Quaker drab and broad-brimmed hat and took up his abode at Mrs. Jane McKean’s. He announced preaching in the church that evening and a general notice was sent throughout the settlement, accompanied with a faithful, if not an exaggerated, description of the preacher. A large congregation assembled to hear and see the unknown oddity. He had not given his name, nor the locality whence he came and until he ascended the pulpit every one was ignorant of all things concerning him. He then announced: ‘My name is Lorenzo Dow; my business is to save souls from hell, and for this purpose I have brought my credentials which are these—‘To ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned.’ A strong and lasting impression was made by his sermon, and the eccentric went from house to house exhorting the people and in the evening preached from the text—‘Beware of wolves in sheeps’ clothing,’ intimating rather strongly that they had better inquire into his antecedents and ascertain if it was not a wolf, who had robbed a Quaker sheep of his garb, who was warning them from the wrath to come."

GREAT SNOW STORM—Beginning March 31, 1807, snow fell continuously three days and was between four and five feet deep. For several days it was cold blowing weather, then the sun shown out and the snow melted rapidly, causing a great flood, one of the most notable in the Susquehanna river.

1807—April 3, Union Lodge, No. 108, F. 7 A. M., the second oldest secret society in the county, instituted at the house of Amos Mix in Wysox with the following charter members: James Grant, David Scott, Wm. B. Whitney, Ebenezer B. Gregory, Abner C.Rockwell, James Swartwout, Eliphalet Mason, Amos V. Matthews, Cyp Grant, Orente Grant, Oratio Grant, Josiah Grant, Asahel Johnson, Amos Mix, Ebenezer Tuttle, George Scott, Wm. B. Foster and William Myer.

STATE ROAD, EAST AND WEST—In 1807-‘8 pursuant to an Act of the Legislature a road was surveyed, "beginning at a point where the Coshecton and Great Bend turnpike passes through the Moosic mountains, thence in a westerly direction to the western bound of the State." This road, which was several years in building, passed through the towns of Pike, Herrick and Wysox, crossed the river at Towanda, thence up by Gregg’s, through East Troy and Covington in Tioga county.

1808—Ephraim and Nathaniel Platt, brothers, the first settlers in Herrick township.

1808—January, Towanda township organized from Wysox and Wyalusing

1808—November 16, Burlington Baptist Church organized, the original members being Elisha Rich, Sr., Elisha Rich, Jr., Russell Rose, Moses Calkins, James Mattison, Phoebe Rich, Peggy Rich and Lydia Rose. March 25, 1809, Aaron Case, Elisha Rich, Jr., John Barber and Eli Parsons appointed a building committee. May 6, 1809, the church entered a very commodious house of worship for the time, built of hewn logs with galleries on three sides, on lands given by Elder Rich, east of Troy village, now the site of Glenwood cemetery.

1809—Great July flood in the Susquehanna river; extensive damage to growing crops.

1809—December, Smithfield township organized from Ulster.

1810—Daniel Heverly and sons, the first settlers in Overton township.

AN ASSOCIATION OF MAGISTRATES—A meeting of the justices of the peace in the northern part of Luzerne county was held February 8, 1810 at the house of Jonathan Stevens in Wyalusing, "for the purpose of forming a society and fixing certain precedents to govern said society." Henry V. Champin was chosen president and George Scott secretary. Among the resolutions passed was one in which they declare "that we will use our best endeavors to suppress all pettifogging whereby it appears they do it with an intention to stir up and encourage litigation>" The second meeting was held in Wyalusing, June 12, 1810. A constitution was adopted which provided that the name of the society should be the "Associated Magistrates resident in the north part of Luzerne county." Among the requirements in this article of its members were "to use every precaution to suppress law suits and to bring about a reconciliation between the parties; to reprove persons of immoral character of every description and by all proper means to supress every species of vice and immorality." Those signing the constitution were Henry V. Champin, Josiah Fassett, Isaac Brownson, Guy Wells, Salmon Bosworth, Parley Coburn, William Myer, George Scott and Eliphalet Mason. After 1811 there were no records of the society and it is believed that the association ceased to exist with the changes that grew out of the organization of the new county.

ONTARIO AND SUSQUEHANNA—On January 17, 1810, Mr. Dorrance brought in from a special committee, previously appointed and directed so to do, the Act which finally set off the two new counties (Bradford and Susquehanna), but as county districts only. It subsequently passed both houses, was approved by the governor and became a law as the Act of February 21, 1810. The bill as first reported from the committee gave the name of "Morris" to Bradford county, but before passing, "Ontario" was substituted for it. Among other things the Act provided that Ontario "should remain attached to Luzerne and Lycoming counties for all judicial and other county purposes the same as it had been, until it shall be otherwise directed by law." In 1812 Bradford became a separate judicial district or county.

NEW BALTIMORE—In anticipation that the county-seat of the new county would be at Wysox, in 1810, a town plat was surveyed, streets marked and named and the place called New Baltimore. The people of Wysox were very much disappointed when in 1812 the trustees selected Towanda as the site for the court house.

MAIL SERVICE 1810—Conrad Teeter (1810) contracted with the government to carry the mail once a week in stages from Sunbury to Painted Post, by the way of Wilkes-Barre, Wyalusing and Athens. However, he did not always drive his "coach and four," as he was accustomed to call his stage and team, going on horseback or with a one horse wagon when the mail was small or the passengers few. August 8, 1810 the Towanda post-office was established with Reuben Hale postmaster. The office was kept by E. B. Gregory whom Mr. Hale had appointed his deputy. When the stage arrived on the east side of the river the mail-carrier would blow his horn when some one would be sent across the ferry for the mail which would be left in a hollow stump. This was usually carried over in one’s pockets or a pillow-case.

COUNTERFEITING GANG—In 1811 a gang of counterfeiters were operating in what is now Bradford county. They had a retreat under an overhanging rock up Millstone run in Monroe township, known as "the cave," used to conceal their spurious coin and bills, as also themselves in times of danger. In the same locality they had their "money-mill" where spelter coins were cut and died from the German silver plates which were brought into the country by the gang. The counterfeit paper money was made and obtained in the city. The mode of swindle follows: "A smooth tongued sharper approaches an inhabitant, exhibiting to him a full hand of genuine silver dollars and half-dollars and with great assurance informs the Puritan where such new and shining coins can be obtained for half price. The unsuspecting man invests $5 in the hands of the sharper and at the stipulated time receives the $10 all bright with apparent new coinage (but counterfeit). Unsuspicious next invests all he has, can find or borrow and induces his neighbors to deposit in this unseen bank for themselves, exhibiting the gains that he has made so easily. In this way the unsuspecting are induced to contribute largely to this new money-making institution, and nearly all the available funds of the whole population are gathered into the hands of the sharpers in a private way. The rascals made a pile in the final strike and their dupes empty pockets and some of them empty homes." After the organization of the county Sheriff Rockwell broke up the combination and scattered them in all directions. In the "great scare," one man fled to Canada and others to new York and Ohio. The arrests and prosecutions were chiefly for meddling with counterfeit paper money.

SPRINGFIELD’S FIRST CELEBRATION, 1811—The first and a grand 4th of July celebration in Springfield township was held at the home of Luke Pitts; the speaker was Theodore Leonard and Isaac Cooley marshal of the day. Exactly 50 years afterwards Mr. Cooley officiated in the same capacity at a celebration in Springfield.

YOUNG LADIES SCHOOL—The first school exclusively for females in this section of country was opened in Towanda, 1811, by Mrs. E. B. Gregory at her own house as a boarding school for young ladies and girls. Mrs. Gregory was very strict but an accomplished lady and excellent teacher. She gave instructions only in the rudimentary branches. One of her pupils says: ""e did our studying on the second floor, which to reach, we had to mount a latter."" The school was continued two or three years. Among the pupils were Hannah Ridgway, Eliza Warner, Eliza and Nancy Hale, Zilpha and Roxy Mason, Vesta, Augusta and Miranda York.

1812—Coal discovered in Bradford county on Coal Run in Barclay township by Absalom Carr while hunting. It was first used by Jared Leavenworth, a blacksmith.

BRADFORD COUNTY ORGANIZED—The bill to organize the county for judicial purposes was reported favorably January 11, 1812, passed by the house March 10 and by the Senate March 24 and the same day approved by the governor. The Act fixed the second Tuesday of October, following, as the time when its complete organization should take effect and directed on that date its county officers should be elected; it provided that its first court should be held at the house of William Means in Towanda township and changed the name of the county from Ontario to Bradford in honor of Col. William Bradford. William Bradford for whom the county is named was a descendant of Wm. Bradford, a printer, who came from England to Philadelphia, 1685, as a printer of books for the Society of Friends in the colonies. Both Colonel Bradford and his father were distinguished patriots of the Revolution. He was the first attorney-general of Pennsylvania, a judge of the supreme court of the state and attorney-general of the United States, being appointed by President Washington, 1794. While filling the last office he was stricken with fever and died 1795, at the age of 39 years. He left no children.

FIRST POLITICAL PARTIES—With the organization of the county came the lining up the political forces to capture the offices. The parties locally, as in the state and nation, were Federalists and Democratic-Republicans. Representatives from different parts of the county of each of these parties at a meeting or convention decided upon a county ticket which was recommended to the voters. In 1812 the Federalists presented the following ticket: For sheriff, Abner C. Rockwell of Towanda township and John Spalding 2nd of Athens township; for county commissioners, Wm. Myer of Wysox township, Justus Gaylord, Jr., of Wyalusing township and Joseph Kinney of Ulster township; for coroner, Harry Spalding of Towanda township and John Taylor of Wyalusing township. The following was the opposing Democratic-Republican ticket: For sheriff, Samuel McKean of Burlington township and Wm. Means of Towanda township; for county commissioners, Samuel Gore of Ulster township, John Saltmarsh of Athens township and George Scott of Wysox township; for coroner, John Horton of Wyalusing township and John Minier of Ulster township.

THE FIRST ELECTION—in and for the county of Bradford was held Tuesday, October 13, 1812 for the election of sheriff, county commissioners and coroner. At said election, candidates for congress, state senator and assembly were also voted for. The districts participating in the first election and their election boards follow:

Athens and Ulster: Judges—Zephon Flower, Ebenezer Shaw and Chas. F. Welles.

Burlington: Judges—John McKean, Isaac Swain and Ebenezer Kendall; Inspector—Nathan Ballard: Clerks—Howard Spalding, Churchill Barnes and David Ross.

Canton: Judges—Luther Hinman, Samuel Griffin and Samuel Rutty; Inspector—Daniel Ingraham; Clerks—Horace Spalding, Isaac Chaapel and Orr Scovell.

Orwell: Judges—Chester Gridley, Edward Russell and Josiah Bosworth; Inspector—Cyp Grant; Clerks—Oratio Grant, Benj. J. Woodruff and Josiah W. Grant.

Rush: (Rindaw district): Judges—Benajah Bostwick, John Hancock and Jesse Ross; Inspector—Asa Olmstead; Clerks—Jesse Hancock and Samuel Edsall.

Smithfield (Cliftsburg): Judges—Samuel Campbell, Austin Leonard and Ichabod Smith; Inspector—Wm.Furman; Clerks—Samuel Satterlee, Jr. and Moses Wheeler.

Towanda: Judges—John Felton, Jacob Bowman and Charles Brown; Inspector—Eliphalet Mason; Clerks—Ethan Baldwin and Ebenezer B. Gregory.

Wyalusing: Judges—Jonathan Terry, Humphrey Brown and Wm. Camp; Inspector—Amasa Wells; Clerks—Joseph Ingham, Justus Lewis and Uriah Terry.

Wysox: Judges—Jesse Allen,Wilber Bennett and Wm.Myer; Inspector—Ralph Martin; Clerks—Harry Morgan, Jacob Bell and Hiram Mix.

One of the judges from each district met the other judges at the house of Wm. Means in Towanda township, October 16th, canvassed the returns and certified as to the result. At the election there was much independent voting. Local candidates were generally given the preference. The result was very close, neither party being entirely successful. The Federalists elected sheriff and commissioners and the Democratic-Republicans, coroner. The vote stood as follows: Sheriff—Rockwell, 337; Spalding, 272; McKean, 260; Means, 225; John Taylor, 149; John Mints, 108. In addition to the foregoing complimentary votes were cast for 33 other persons. John Doe receiving 9 votes and Richard Roe, 15. Each elector voted for two candidates and the names of two receiving the greatest number of votes were forwarded to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, one of whom the governor commissioned to be sheriff. The same rule applied to coroner. County Commissioners—Myer, 454; Gaylord, 388; Kinney, 351; Gore, 349; Saltmarsh, 315; Scott, 303; Clement Paine, 84; David Scott, 17; Eliphalet Mason, 14. Complimentary votes were cast for 6 other persons. Myer having the largest vote was declared elected for 3 years; Gaylord, the next largest, for two years and Kinney, the smallest for 1 year. Coroner—Horton, 353; Minier, 345; Spalding, 292; Taylor, 235; Reuben Hale, 87. Complimentary votes were cast for 17 other persons. The total number of votes cast in the county was 791. Owing to the fact that there were but nine polling places in the county, roads few and in bad condition, it is surprising that even so large a number of persons should have voted, many being required to go a distance of 15 miles through the wilderness.

OTHER FIRST OFFICERS—Under the Constitution of 1790, only a part of the county officers were elective. The State administration in 1812 was Democratic-Republican. Governor Snyder accordingly selected for the appointive offices in the new county persons in harmony with his administration. John B. Gibson had been given the appointment of president judge of the district, and as his associates for Bradford county, Governor Snyder commissioned George Scott of Wysox and John McKean of Burlington. Charles F. Welles of Athens was appointed clerk of the several courts, prothonotary, register of wills and recorder of deeds. The county commissioners (Federalists) had two appointments, that of county treasurer and commissioners’ clerk. These officers were given respectively to Harry Spalding of Towanda and Joseph Kingsbury of Sheshequin. The Federalists were in possession of the sheriff’s office while the coroner was a Democratic-Republican. It will thus be seen that when the machinery of the county went into operation, the first administration was about equally divided between the two parties.

FIRST OFFICIAL ACTS—Under date of July 13, 1912, Charles F. Welles was commissioned recorder of deeds, register of wills, prothonotary and clerk of the several courts. He took the oath of office October 14th and on that date filed the first papers. The first instrument placed upon the records, under date of Jany. 20, 1813, is the commission, issued October 14, 1812by Governor Simon Snyder to John B. Gibson, as "President of the courts of Common Pleas of the 11th judicial district or circuit, consisting of the counties of Bradford, Tioga, Wayne and Susquehanna." The first deed recorded, October 25, 1812, was that from Stephen Pierce of Smithfield to Helmont Kellogg of Goshen, Conn. For 206 acres of land in Smithfield. The first letters of administration were issued Nov. 19, 1812 to John D. Saunders upon the estate of John Cranmer late of Towanda township. The first will recorded, Dec. 23, 1812, was that of Ezra Rutty of the township of Claverack (Towanda). The first proceedings in the Orphans’ Court, Jany. 19, 1813, petition of Elsy Ridgway asking for the appointment of a guardian for her son, Wm. Moger, a minor.

The second officers to qualify were the County Commissioners. The original entry in their journal reads: "November 10, 1812, Commissioners met for the first time in the county of Bradford; present, Joseph Kinney, Justus Gaylord and William Myer together with the Trustees of said county; convened on account of the donations made relative to the seat of justice, at the house of Ebenezer B. Gregory." Several succeeding meetings were held to consider the same subject. Jany. 10, 1813 Harry Spalding appointed treasurer for one year. Jany. 19, 1813 Joseph Kingsbury appointed Commissioners’ clerk for one year at the rate of $1.33 a day.

Abner C. Rockwell was commissioned sheriff for three years "from and after the second Tuesday of October, 1812." He furnished bond in the sum of $5,000 with Jacob Bowman, Silas Scovell and Charles Brown as sureties; recognizance taken and bond filed Dec. 1, 1812; took oath of office Dec. 22, 1812 and entered upon his duties.

THE COUNTY PLAT—Upon locating the site of the court house in 1812, the proprietors laid out the town into lots and streets, which on the original plat was called Overton and is so called in the deed conveying the public or court house square and a lot on State street, below Main, for county offices, to Joseph Kinney, Justus Gaylord and Wm. Myer, commissioners of the county and their successors in office, in trust for the use of the county described as being a part of a large tract called "Canewood" and patented to William Kepple, May 17, 1785, who conveys the same to Adam Kuhn, August 24, 1795, and he to Thomas Overton, Oct. 24, 1810, being the tract of land where the stake was stuck for the county town of Bradford county, now called "Overton," containing two acres, more or less.

PIONEER LIBRARIES—A century ago a large proportion of the settlers of Bradford county were from New England. Many were well educated for the times and had become acquainted with the periodicals and books extant. Their thirst for knowledge did not slacken after coming into the wilderness. Books were few and expensive, but the ingenuity of the Yankee always found a way for everything and this was created the "Wysox and Orwell Library Company." Prior to 1812 a few books had been gathered for public use, the collection being styled the "Orwell Library." This was the nucleus for the new and greater library, and the origin of public libraries in the county. Under date of December 26, 1812, 154 persons residing in Wysox, Orwell, Rome and Standing Stone, being the subscribers, set forth as follows: "Having taken into consideration the advantages resulting from public libraries, do hereby resolve to make the attempt for a library institution to be called the Wysox and Orwell Library Company, and as a first step towards said establishment do agree that said library shall consist of 200 shares at $2.50 per share, payable in merchantable lumber or grain at the market price within three months after the books shall have been purchased, etc." The 200 shares having been fully subscribed, a meeting was held February 6, 1813 at which by-laws and regulations were adopted. Dr. S. T. Barstow elected librarian and J. M. Piollet, Jacob Bell, Wm. Myer, Wm. F. Dininger and Asahel Johnson as standing committee. March 13th following standing committee met and selected books, "other than such as are selected by the subscribers." This institution answered a useful purpose for twenty years. Meetings were held and officers chosen annually until 1834 when we find the last record of proceedings under date of March 3. The association being un-incorporated could not enforce its by-laws and the subscribers becoming careless about returning books gradually brought the library to an end.

Soon after the establishment of the Wysox and Orwell library, another on a similar basis was organized at Towanda as will be seen from the following notice, under date of May 1, 1814, appearing in the Bradford Gazette: "Library Notice! All persons owning shares in the Towanda Library, known by the name of the ‘Orient Library,’ are requested to meet at the house of Elisha Cole in Towanda on the third Monday inst. At 2 o’clock in the afternoon. All persons holding books are desired to return them on or before said day. Eliphalet Mason, Samuel Cranmer." The next was the Athens Library started about 1815 by David Paine.

THE FIRST COURT in Bradford county was held at the house ("Red Tavern") of William Means in Towanda. The original entry of proceedings follows:

"January Sessions, 1813

Bradford County, ss:

At a Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, holden at Towanda in and for the county of Bradford on the 18th day of January anno domini, one thousand eight hundred and thirteen: The commission of Honorable John B. Gibson, Esquire, appointing him to be President of the several Courts of the 11th Judicial District in Pennsylvania, was read with a certificate of his having taken and subscribed the requisite oaths of office; and also the commissions of John McKean and George Scott, Esquires, his associates; the commission of Abner C. Rockwell, sheriff; the deputation of Henry Wilson as prosecutor for the Commonwealth; and the commission of Charles F. Welles, appointing him to be Prothonotary; Clerk of Quarter Sessions, Clerk of Oyer and Terminer, Clerk of Orphans’ Court and Register and Recorder in and for the said county of Bradford, and their several official oaths were respectively read; whereupon came the said Abner C. Rockwell, High Sheriff, as aforesaid and before the said President and Judges made return of several write and process to him directed, here this day returnable. Among which he produced a certain venire facias jurators with a panel thereto annexed which being called over, the following persons appeared, to wit: 1. James Ward, foreman. 2. Jonathan Stevens 3. John Spalding 4. Isaac Chapel 5. Adonijah Warner 6. Isaac Foster 7. David Rundle 8. Samuel Cranmer 9. Jonathan Fowler 10. Zephon Flower 12. Ezra Spalding 13. Jesse Allen 14. Moses Calkins 15. Parley Coburn 16. John Harkness 17. Reuben Hale 18. Humphrey Brown 19. Robert Ridgway 20. Jonathan Frisby 21. Elisha Rich

Who were duly sworn and affirmed for the Commonwealth and the body of the county of Bradford.

On motion of Mr. Wilson, Ebenezer Bowman, Esq. Admitted as an attorney in the courts of Bradford county and sworn. Whereupon Mr. Bowman moved for the admission of Messrs. Palmer, Graham, Scott, Mallory and Stuart as attorneys to practice in said courts, which was granted accordingly and the usual oaths administered. The oath of office was then administered to Mr. Wilson; and on motion of Mr. Wilson, Ethan Baldwin was admitted as a practicing attorney in the courts above mentioned and qualified according to law."

The first case listed in the Court of Quarter Sessions was that of the Commonwealth vs Wm. B. Spalding. The first case tried was that of the Commonwealth vs John Head; indicted for assault and battery upon the body of John D. Saunders; true bill presented Jany. 19, 1813; Jany. 20 jury called—find the defendant not guilty and that the prosecutor, John D. Saunders pay the costs. The first case listed in the Court of Common Pleas was that of Ethan Baldwin vs Andrew Gregg; capias, case issued Jany.12, 1813. The first judgment entered, Enoch and David Paine vs Ebenz B. Gregory, transcript from the docket of John Shepard, Esq. Wherein judgment was rendered Feby. 3, 1813 in favor of plaintiff for $101.40.

NEW TOWNSHIPS—In April 1813, the union of townships in Bradford county was made 13 by the addition or formation of Pike from Rush and Orwell; Warren from Rush and Orwell, Windham from Orwell and Wells from Athens. The territory embraced in these four new townships comprised nearly one-fifth the entire area of the county. In August 1813 there was an addition of two other townships, Columbia with an area of 43 square miles and Springfield with an area of 44 square miles, both taken from Smithfield.

THE FIRST NEWSPAPER—in the county, the Bradford Gazette, was established Aug. 10, 1813 by Thomas Simpson and published every Tuesday at Towanda at $2 per annum. It was four pages, 16 inches long, 5 columns to the page. In his announcement, the publisher says:

"The necessity of a weekly publication in this county being sufficiently obvious, it is presumed there will be no impediment to the general patronage of this paper when the public are fully assured that its object is not disunion and domestic animosity, but the acceleration of local business, diffusion of national intelligence and in all these matters, which are generally comprehended within the limited view of a newspaper-the amusement and benefit of our subscribers. Situated as the United States are it is impossible for any man, who interests himself in the affairs of the country, should be impartial between its two great political sects. He who pretends to be impartial is no more than a pretender. The editor is a Republican and his paper will bear that character in the editorial department, but its pages will be at all times free to well written communications of whatever political nature, provided they be not calculated to wound private feelings or estrange the free and general intercourse of neighborhood. The editor’s intention is to serve the whole and to please all without violating his duty or abandoning the above professions."

On account of the difficulties attending the publication and distribution of his paper, Mr. Simpson issued his last number Aug. 23, 1814 and sold the plant to Burr Ridgway. Mr. Ridgway resumed publication of the Gazette, April 13, 1815 and continued same until 1818, when he sold the press and material to Lemuel Streator and Edwin Benjamin, who changed the name of the paper to The Settler. The second paper in the county was The Washingtonian, established September, 1816 at Towanda by Lewis P. Franks. It was ably edited as an advocate of the Federal party but appeared only for a little more than a year.

1813—Considerable excitement and interest over the war with England. Many from the county enter the United States service.

THE SECOND ELECTION for county officers was held October 12, 1813. The candidates put forward by the Democratic Republicans and Federalists received votes as follows: County Commissioner—Burr Ridgway (D. R.), 363; Joseph Kingsbury (F.), 257. County auditors—Clement Paine (D. R.), 372; Moses Coolbaugh (D. R.), 363; Jonathan Stevens (D. R.), 363; Parley Coburn (F.), 253; Aden Stevens (F.) 258; Russell Fowler (F.), 250. The Democratic-Republican candidates for the Assembly received a majority in both the Lycoming and Luzerne sections of the county. The result was a complete Democratic-Republican victory. Referring to the election the Bradford Gazette says: "The Democratic ticket has carried in Bradford, Tioga, Susquehanna and Luzerne counties; not a single Federal elected in either of these counties, some of which formerly gave a large Federal majority."

1813—The first jail in the county was a log addition, built to his house by Sheriff Rockwell at Monroeton. Here the prisoners were kept, 1813 to ’16.

1814—April 25, Athens Academy opened with Prof. Sylvanus Guernsey of Harrisburg, first teacher.

GRAND CELEBRATION AT SMITHFIELD—"The inhabitants of Smithfield and vicinity convened on July 4, 1814 at the house of James Gerould to commemorate this eventful era. At 11 o’clock the procession was formed and escorted by Lieut. Hayes, the officer of the day, to an adjacent grove, where the ceremonies of the day were performed in the following manner: Introductory prayer by Elder Ripley; reading Declaration of Independence by Col. Samuel Satterlee; Charles Woodworth delivered an oration, appropriate to the occasion. Rev. Mr. Stone closed the ceremony by prayer. The procession then moved back to the house and partook of an excellent repast, the American flag waving 70 feet over their heads. After the cloth was removed 22 toasts were drank, attended by music and the firing of musketry; the company then retired with cheerful hearts without an instance of irregularity."—Bradford Gazette

"THE COLD PLAGUE"—"In the fall of 1814 a disease called the ‘cold plague’ made its appearance among the people of the Sugar Creek valley, the premonitory symptoms being an intense ague, the shaking continuing ten or twelve hours. This was succeeded by an exudence of a yellowish slime from the loins and the abdomen, and the patient would fall into a collapse, become unconscious and generally die in about forty hours from the first attack. Scarcely one-twentieth of those attacked recovered, men seeming to be more liable to the attack than women, and all persons under fifteen years, being wholly exempt. The disease subsided and disappeared as the weather grew colder.

1814—November, original Asylum township organized from Wyalusing.

1814—During this year, company of volunteers recruited by Capt. Julius Tozer of Athens, go to the front. Militia of the county called out by the governor placed under the command of Lieut. Eliphalet Mason of Monroe and proceed to Dansville, Pa.

POLITICAL MATTERS, 1814—There was but little excitement over politics in the county this year. The Democrats put forward Clement Paine for county commissioner and Samuel McKean, Eliphalet Mason and John Hollenback for county auditors. The Federalists nominated John Taylor of Wyalusing for county commissioner and David Paine, Athens, W. F. Dininger, Wysox and Salmon Bosworth of Pike for county auditors. At the October election following the Democrats won on state officers, county commissioner and one auditor, while the Federalists elected two auditors. The vote follows: Governor—Snyder (D.) 331; Wayne (F.), 277. Congress—David Scott (D.), 308; Wm. Wilson (D.), 306; Jared Irvin (F.), 303; John Boyd (F.), 281. Commissioner—Paine (D.), 321; Taylor (F.), 269. Auditors—Hollenback (D.), 283; Mason (D.) 318; McKean (D.), 306; Paine (F.), 294; Dininger (F.), 308; Bosworth (F.), 308. Candidates for state senator and assembly were also voted for. The Luzerne section of the county was in one senatorial and assembly district and the Lycoming section in another. The only local candidate was Julius Tozer of Athens who stood as a Democratic candidate for assembly. He was defeated.

SEVERE WINTER 1814-‘15—"This Year there was heavy snow and a hard winter. The wolves were driven down from the mountains in search of food and many sheep were devoured by them. They could be heard howling at all times of night. The inhabitants were much in fear of them and were afraid to pass from Milltown to Athens, even in the daytime. There was no travelling after dark, so great was the fear and danger. The sheep were often called into the door-yard and lights were kept burning for their protection. Bears and panthers were sometimes seen between the rivers. Bounties were offered for killing these animals and those that were not killed retired to the mountains." –From journal of John Shepard.

TOWANDA AND WYSOX CELEBRATE—"On Tuesday, July 4, 1815, in pursuance of previous arrangement, a respectable concourse of citizens assembled at Mr. Haslet’s inn in Towanda village for the purpose of celebrating the 39th anniversary of our nations independence, in a manner consonate with the joy and gratitude they felt on that occasion. At one o’clock p.m. a procession being formed they marched to an adjoining grove where an oration was delivered by Ethan Baldwin, Esq. The utmost order and harmony prevailed. The procession then returned and partook of a repast prepared for the occasion. After the cloth was removed a number of toasts were drank. The day was spent in that joy and conviviality which friendship and unanimity alone can inspire; the wine, which flowed plenteously, could scarcely by its exhilarating powers add to the hilarity and the merriment, when such was the cordiality of hearts, and such was the occasion. No disturbance or scene of intoxication occurred to interrupt or mar the pleasures of the day. *** The citizens of Wysox and vicinity without any distinctions of party met at the house of J. M. Piollet to celebrate the 39th anniversary of Independence. Wm. Myer was appointed president of the day and Abel Eastabrooks vice-president. An oration was delivered by Rev. Mr. York, the company then sat down to an excellent dinner, provided by Mr. Piollet. When the fare was over 23 toasts were drank, accompanied by the discharge of guns and the hilarity of the festive board."—Bradford Gazette

THE FIRST COURT HOUSE was a frame structure about 30x40 feet, occupying the site of the rooms of the Bradford County Historical Society and extending some feet farther north; it was two stories high with basement, standing lengthwise with the river; in the center of the crown of the gable roof was a small cupola containing a bell. The entrance to the building was by the door in the center on the west side, facing the public square. The basement was the jail and a couple of rooms on the first floor were also used for keeping prisoners, the balance of the floor being occupied by the jailor. The court room was on the second floor. Peter Egner of Northumberland was the contractor and builder who erected and completed the superstructure in 1815; the masonry had previously been done under the supervision of the Commissioners. The total cost including contributions was about $7,000. The court house was first occupied Jany. 9, 1816, and was used continuously until March 12, 1847,when it was destroyed by the great fire of that date.

THE WYSOX FISHERY was one of the most celebrated on the river and was a source of considerable profit to the promoters for many years. According to the deed, 1815, from William and Joel Tuttle to M.Miner York, Moses Warford, Jacob and William Myer, Ralph Martin, Wm. Coolbaugh, Elisha Cole and George Scott the land embraced in the fishery on the Wysox side was contiguous to what was called the "Narrows fishing."


Gentlemen and Ladies please to call at my Store in Wysox, a few doors below Fencelor Castle, and on the south side of Pond Lane and west side of Squabble Hill street, where I have on hand, (Just received by the fast sailing boat Rose-in-Bloom, Capt. Griffin, in a short passage of seven days from Wilkes-Barre), a New and General Assortment of Goods, suitable to the season, consisting of Dry Goods, Groceries, Queens & Glass Ware, Hardware and Cutlery, Stationary.

Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Saddles and Bridles, Portmanteaus, Hats, etc.,

All of which will be disposed of cheap for

Cash, Lumber or Produce.

Cash paid for clean Cotton and Linen Rags.

My customers have my sincere thanks for their past favors, and I again solicit their patronage. WM. KEELER.

Wysox, Sept. 23, 1815

1815—September 5, the Church of Orwell and Warren, organized as a Congregational church by Rev. John Bascom and Rev. Salmon King with 8 members; changed to Presbyterian, 1824

1815—December, Troy township, organized from Burlington.

POLITICAL CONTEST 1815—The delegate system was inaugurated this year and especial effort made by both Democrats and Federalists to strengthen their organization by binding resolutions and an appeal or "address" to the voters. This, however, did not prevent a third or independent ticket being put in the field. These were the nominations: Democrats—For state senator, Henry Welles, Athens; assembly, Samuel McKean, Burlington; sheriff, Julius Tozer, Athens; commissioners, John Hollenback, Wyalusing and Samuel Satterlee, Smithfield; coroner, Reuben Wilber, Troy; auditor, Ethan Baldwin, Towanda. Federalists—For state senator, John Franklin, Athens; assembly Joseph Kingsbury, Sheshequin; sheriff, John Spalding 2nd, Athens; commissioners, Salmon Bosworth, Pike and Nathaniel Allen, Troy; coroner, E. B. Gregory, Towanda; auditor, Theron Darling, Orwell. Independent or "Merino"—Assembly, Samuel McKean, Burlington; sheriff, Wm. Allen, Wysox and John Mints, Towanda; commissioners, Charles Brown, Towanda and Jonathan Stevens, Standing Stone; coroner, Reuben Hale, Towanda; auditor, John Hannock, Pike. Candidates at the October election received votes as follows: State Senator—Henry Welles (D.), 572; Samuel Stewart (F), 266; Welles was chosen in the district which included the counties of Bradford, Clearfield, Center, Lycoming, Potter, McKean and Tioga. Assembly—Samuel McKean (D), 444; Joseph Kingsbury (F), 447; McKean was elected in the district including Bradford and Tioga county. Sheriff—John Spalding 2nd (F), 433; Julius Tozer (D), 411; John Mints (M), 80. Commissioners—Salmon Bosworth (F), 404; Nathaniel Allen (F), 395; Samuel Satterlee (D), 374; John Hollenback (D), 389; Jonathan Stevens (M), 60; Charles Brown (M), 70. Coroner—Reuben Wilber (D), 421; E. B. Gregory (F), 308. Auditor—Ethan Baldwin (D), 415; Theron Darling (F), 382. In speaking of the outcome the Bradford Gazette says: "It appears from the above had it not been for the reduction which they suffered by the Merino ticket the Democrats would have carried every candidate by considerable majority.

HON. THOMAS BURNSIDE, the second Judge of Bradford county, son of William Burnside, was born July 28, 1782 near Newtown Stewart, County Tyrone, Ireland. In 1792 his father came to America with his family, locating in Montgomery county, Pa.

At the age of 18 Thomas commenced the study of law under Hon. Robert Porter of Philadelphia; was admitted to the Bar, February 14, 1804 and in March removed and settled in Bellefonte, Pa. In 1811 he was elected to the state senate and was an active supporter of Governor Snyder in all the war measures of 1812. He was elected to Congress,1815 and served during the memorable session of 1816. June 28, 1816, he was commissioned president judge of the 11th Judicial district or circuit composed of the counties of Bradford, Tioga, Wayne, Susquehanna, Pike and Luzerne. This position he resigned in 1818 and resumed practice at Bellefonte. In 1823 he was again elected to the state senate and in 1826 before his term had expired he was appointed president judge of the 4th Judicial district, which office he held until 1841, when he was appointed president judge of the 7th Judicial district (Burks and Montgomery counties). January 2, 1845, he was commissioned an associate judge of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, an office he filled with honor up to the time of his death, March 25, 1857. It will thus be seen that both he and Judge Gibson were on the Supreme Bench at the same time. "Judge Burnside was a man of indomitable will and had that intensity of purpose which baffled want, poverty and ill-fortune. As a judge, he possessed a keen and discriminating sense of justice and extensive knowledge of the law and moral courage to carry its mandate into execution. In person he was of medium height, prominent nose and eyes, dark complexion, wore a wig and rather noted for want of comeliness of features. His kindness and blunt honesty made ample amends for lack of personal beauty. In the language of a contemporary, ‘the judicial ermine was as unspotted when he laid it aside for the habiliments of the grave as when he first put it on’."

THE YEAR WITHOUT A SUMMER was the name given 1816 for in every month there was a sharp or killing frost. January was mild as was February with the exception of a few days. The greater part of March was cold and boisterous, April opened warm but grew colder as it advanced, ending with snow and ice and winter cold. In May ice formed half an inch thick, buds and flowers were frozen and corn killed. Frost, ice and snow were common in June. Almost every green thing was killed and the fruit was nearly all destroyed. July was accompanied with frost and ice. In August ice formed half an inch thick. A cold northwest wind prevailed all summer. Corn was so frozen that much of it was cut down and dried for fodder. The first two weeks in September were mild and the balance of the month cold with frost, ice forming to the thickness of half an inch. October was more than usually cold with frost and ice. November was cold and blustering with snow enough for good sleighing. December was quite mild and comfortable. The destruction of crops was so general that a famine almost resulted. Early settlers referred to this unfruitful year as "eighteen hundred and starve to death."

Game was plentiful in the woods and the snow being deep the following winter the deer were easily taken; but having browsed on laurel for a long time the venison was unwholesome and caused a distressing bloody flux. None of the settlers, however, died and in the spring getting access to the ground-nuts, leeks and artichokes, with the wild beef (bear’s meat) corned, they managed to exist till the harvest of 1817 brought a greater abundance."

PARTIES AND CANDIDATES, 1816—The Federal party made its last great effort in 1815 and then went rapidly to pieces as a county organization. In 1816 these were the nominations: Democratic—For assembly, Samuel McKean, Burlington; commissioner, Eliphalet Mason, Towanda; auditor, Edward Herrick, Athens. Federalist—For assembly, Stephen Hopkins, Athens; commissioner, Abner C. Rockwell, Towanda township; auditor, John F. Satterlee, Athens. The Democratic candidates for congress in the district were David Scott and Wm. Wilson, and the Federal candidates for the same office were Roswell Wells and Wm.F. Buyers. At the October election the following was the vote in the county; Congress—David Scott, 712; Wm. Wilson 714; Roswell Wells, 405; Wm. F. Buyers, 399. Assembly—Samuel McKean, 717; Stephen Hopkins, 399. Commissioner—Eliphalet Mason, 723; Abner C. Rockwell, 381. Auditor—Edward Herrick, 747; John F. Satterlee, 367. Of the ten districts participating in the election the only ones giving Federal majorities were Athens and Ulster, Wysox and Pike. In Columbia every vote was cast for the Democratic candidates while Wysox remained the Federal Gibraltar. At the November, or Presidential election, the Monroe and Tompkins electors (D) received 395 and the King and Howard electors (F), 82.

1816—Bradford county in 1816 paid $136 for bounties on panthers and $264 for bounties on wolves. These were days when it was not agreeable travelling after dark.

TERRIBLE WINTER. 1816-‘17—Mrs. Clement Paine of Athens in her diary, says: "February 15, 1817, the cold is very intense. Mr. Smith says it is the most severe winter we have had for 38 years. There are many sufferers on account of it. The extreme distress it brings is such as I have never known. Yesterday the cold was really terrifying. The streams being frozen, a famine almost prevails, and I am under serious apprehension that some will actually perish from want. We have baked our last bread, but it is not for myself that I fear. It is for those who have no bread, nor any other comfort, and many such there are around us. March 2nd, cold, famine and pestilence seem every day to increase and threaten desolation. The oldest person of our acquaintance remembers no such time. A mother thinly clad came 3 miles through the storm to beg a trifle for her children to eat. I have partially relieved three families today. The one best provided for had nothing save some frozen potatoes and milk—a family of nine children. March 5th, the very great and extreme severity of the weather has abated. It has been remarked by elderly people that such a severe winter has not been known since the year, 1780." Mrs. Perkins adds: "Abisha Price was greatly straitened for food for his family and started out with his gun almost in despair, when he saw a fawn and was upon the point of firing at it, but discovered that a wolf was approaching behind him. He turned and killed the wolf, then pursued the deer, killed and dressed it and took it home to his family with a joyful heart. He went to Esquire Saltmarsh, made oath that he had killed the wolf, and obtained a certificate for which he received of the county treasurer $12 bounty. But for the success of this day, he said he could not have supplied his family through the season with the necessaries of life."

POSTAGE RATES, 1816—In the first days of post-offices, the postage was paid by the one receiving the letter or parcel. By Act of Congress, February 1, 1816, the following rates of postage were established: "For single letters, any distance not exceeding 40 miles, 8 cents, over 40 miles not exceeding 90, 10 cents, over 90 not exceeding 150, 12 ½ cents, over 150 not exceeding 300, 17 cents, over 300 not exceeding 500, 20 cents, over 500, 25 cents. Double and triple letters (two or three pieces of paper) were double and triple the above rates.

1817—"May 13, 14 and 15 severe frosts at Towanda and in many places ice half an inch thick." Washingtonian

BERWICK AND TIOGA TURNPIKE—By Act of the legislature, 1806, a company was incorporated for the purpose of constructing a road from Berwick on the Susquehanna to Newtown (Elmira) on the Chemung, which was known as the "Company of the Susquehanna and Tioga Turnpike Road." The state made an appropriation, 1808. The road began near Berwick and extended in a northwesterly direction through the counties of Columbia, Sullivan and Bradford thence to Elmira. Work on the road was begun soon after the granting of the charter. In 1808-‘9, Daniel Heverly and sons constructed sections of the road from Millstone Run, across the huckleberry mountains through southern Overton whence it was extended by Rink’s to Long Pond in Sullivan county. This was known as the "old turnpike" and was used until the route was changed from the vicinity of Long Pond by the way of Dushore, Albany, etc. The new route was completed over the North mountain to the county line in 1817. In 1818-’19 the road was constructed through Albany, down the South Branch to Monroe and subsequently extended across the southwest corner of Towanda township, through Burlington, Smithfield and Ridgebery to Wellsburg thence Elmira. The road was a public benefit, not only as a thoroughfare, but it gave employment to a large number of men and brought many settlers to Southern Bradford and Sullivan county. The company was unable to comply with the conditions of its charter and the road became a constant expense and annoyance. Many objected to paying toll and would tear down the gates and otherwise commit depredations. Accordingly the company forfeited its charter and abandoned the enterprise in September, 1847. Much of the road is still a public highway.

PARTIES AND CANDIDATES, 1817—Local nominations were as follows: Democratic—For congress, John Murray; assembly, Samuel McKean, Burlington; commissioner, Joseph C. Powell, Troy; auditor, Jonathan Stevens, Wysox. Federalist—Congress, John Franklin, Athens; assembly, Ezra Long, Troy; commissioner, Charles Brown, Townda township; auditor, Timothy Alden, Towanda township. Following is the vote for candidates at the October election: Governor—Wm. Findlay (D), 927; Joseph Heister (F), 333. Congress—Murray, 936; Franklin, 217. Assembly—McKean, 964; Long, 284. Commissioner—Powell, 974; Brown 250. Auditor—Stevens, 948; Alden, 295.

1817-‘18—winter very mild until the 24th of February after which it was intensely cold.

1818—February, Ridgebery township organized from Athens and Wells.

1818—This year mail facilities greatly improved in the county. A route was established from Towanda to Burlington, Troy and Sylvania, thence back through Springfield and Smithfield to Towanda.

BIG HUNT, 1818—A century ago wild animals were so numerous as to be a serious drawback to the pioneer farmers in the growing of their crops and the keeping of their live stock to say nothing of the constant fear in which they stood for the safety of themselves and family. In the fall of 1818 Col. Aden Stevens of Pike conceived the idea of a "big hunt" to be engaged in by as many men as could be collected from far and near on a given day and to be conducted on a systematic plan over a wide extent of country. Having formulated his plans, Colonel Stevens wrote the call for a general hunt and sent it to WilkesBarre for publication. In due time a large bundle of attractive posters was received and forthwith they were sent in every direction to advertise the great prospective event. Mounted messengers rode through a large section of country and the bills were posted in all the conspicuous places throughout the Susquehanna Valley. The call specified that every man was to come fully armed and equipped, either with a gun, an ax, spear or pitchfork, and that as many tin horns as could be collected were to be brought along. The men were assigned different places of rendezvous around the territory to be surrounded in detachments of 10 men each, these to spread out each way along the boundary line, forming a complete circle as near together as possible. Colonel Stevens, who was commander-in-chief, set December 4 as the day for the hunt.

The hunt was made up of two big hunting parties, that of Eastern Bradford and the other covering a section between the Susquehanna and Chemung rivers. Both hunts came off on the same day. For the eastern division, an area was mapped out, covering 10 miles square of the most unbroken wilderness. The line bounding this area began on the Susquehanna road at Wysox, extending down the river to the mouth of Wyalusing creek and then down that stream to the place of beginning. This dense wilderness contained many swamps and impenetrable thickets with glens and rocky gorges, affording hiding places for the denizens of the forest, and game of all kinds was abundant. In the center of this territory a circular spot a mile across was marked out as the place to which the game was to be driven. In the center of this last blazed circle was a rounded knoll with a rise of some 50 feet, covering some three acres of ground with an easy ascent on all sides. A day or two before the hunt the hunters began to arrive from every direction, many coming 25 or 30 miles, some even farther. About 900 settlers responded to the call. The morning of December 4 came and all was ready. At 8 o’clock a blast was blown from a horn at Wysox. It was immediately answered from the waiting detachments on the right and left. From detachment to detachment the blasts resounded on around the line, sending their pealing echoes through the forest, and in 30 minutes the signal had gone entirely around the great circle and the army of hunters was on the march. Forward they moved while the loud blasts from the horns at short intervals, mingled with the shouts and noise of the men drove the animals in great numbers before them. Many animals escaped between the detachments at first, but as they drew closer together few made the attempt. About the middle of the afternoon the hunters came together at the appointed rendezvous, about a mile south of the State road. As they drew in around the knoll with orders to shoot only in front, the steady crack of the rifles resembled the sound of a regular pitched battle. When the slaughter ended the count showed 150 deer killed, 50 wolves, 15 bears and a great number of foxes. To dress and dispose of the game dispatched the greater part of the company remained on the ground all night.

The hunt of the Athens-Chemung company is described by Orrin Decker, a participant: "News of Colonel Steven’s prospective great hunt soon reached us in the upper Susquehanna valley and Elias Matthewson took up the idea and organized a similar hunt for the benefit of the sufferers along the State line. The district to be raided was that lying between the Susquehanna and the Chemung from what was then known as the Pine Woods on the south (Athens) at the junction of the two rivers and the hills north of Waverly. The hunt was under the command of two captains, Matthewson having charge of the Pennsylvania men and a Mr. Tuttle directing the movements of the New Yorkers. One hundred and fifty men responded to the call, a force entirely too small to cover the territory from river to river, and the New York hunters advanced from the northern hills, their line extending from the Chemung river to Shepard’s creek. The plan was for the two parties to draw gradually together at a common center, driving such animals as were in the intervening area to that point, corralling them there, and putting them to indiscriminate slaughter. The spot selected for the centre of the circle was a small abandoned clearing midway between the two boundary lines, now Waverly village. The hunters began their march early in the forenoon. We had orders from the captain not to fire a gun until the rendezvous was reached. Early in the day it was seen that the force was entirely too small to have the lines sufficiently compact and many deer, bears and wolves succeeded in breaking through the gap and making their escape. This led to a pretty general disobedience of the order not to fire and guns began to bang on every side. Although a number of deer and other animals was killed, the firing was dangerous to the hunters and after three men had been hit with bullets the firing was discontinued.

"There were many in the ranks who were not armed with guns. They carried axes, pitchforks, clubs and even flails. These hunters made good use of these rude weapons on the march. Sylvant Decker of the Pennsylvania file particularly distinguished himself by dispatching two bears with his flail after a hard struggle. Jacobus VanSickle smashed the skull of an immense buck with his ax as the deer bounded by him. Young Mark VanDeven ran his pitchfork clear through a wolf and carried the struggling, howling beast aloft on his weapon until it died. Another man who earned much fame on that march from the Pine Woods was Warren Tuttle. An immense panther, which had been started from its lair, came bounding towards him through the tops of the trees, leaping from one to another with the ease of a squirrel. Tuttle waited until the panther was within easy gunshot. As the beast leaped from a tree to alight in another 20 feet away, Tuttle shot it while it was in the air, the bullet having passed through the panther’s heart. It was late in the afternoon when the advancing lines were within hearing of one another. The spot encircled by the forces was perhaps half a mile each way across. In the contracted space frightened animals could be seen—deer darting here and there like the wind, seeking some avenue of escape; wolves snapping and snarling in unavailing hiding places; now and then a bear showing himself a moment, then slouching sullenly back into the bushes, growling and showing his teeth. In the indiscriminate firing that began in this corral it is a wonder that many hunters were not killed. The killing of game lasted about two hours, upwards of 30 animals being slaughtered and probably twice that number escaping.

YANKEE PEDDLERS—With the organization of the county followed, not only public improvements, but an individual, the Yankee peddler, who was an appreciation. Stores were few and remote from the backwoods settlements, hence the coming of the peddler was heralded with delight. His "notions" were mostly articles of utility and almost every family found a little change with which to purchase. Some peddlers drove and would receive maple sugar, peltry, deer’s horns, linen cloth and other articles in exchange for their goods. For many years the Yankee peddlers did a thriving business, always receiving a hearty welcome ad generous entertainment from the settlers.

CANDIDATES AND ELECTION 1818—In 1818 there was no organized opposition to the Democratic county ticket, although there were a number of independent candidates. The Democratic ticket comprised the following: Congress—George Denison and John Murray; assembly—Samuel McKean, Burlington; sheriff—Lemuel Streator, Orwell and Bur Ridgway, Towanda; commissioner—Bartholomew Laporte, Asylum; coroner—John Minier, Ulster and Wm. Means, Jr., Towanda; auditors—Wm. Means, Towanda (3 yrs), George Hyde, Wells (2 yrs) and Benj. I. Woodruff, Windham (1 yr). As a matter of second choice numerous candidates for sheriff and coroner were voted for at the October election. Candidates received votes as follows: Congress—Denison, 869; Murray, 869. Assembly—McKean 745; Clement Paine, 159. Commissioner—Laporte, 790 (no opposition). Sheriff—Streator, 672; Ridgway, 350; Edmund Russell, 113; Abel Eastabrooks, 113; Uriah Terry, 112; James Watts, 101; Joseph C. Powell, 81; Chas. Whitehead, 76; Francis Tyler, 82; James Gerould, 65; Clark Griswold, 45; Solomon Keeny, 45; Conklin Baker, 11. Coroner—John Minier, 582; Wm. Means, Jr., 340; Adrial Hebard, 247; Harry Morgan, 130; Nathan Maynard, 95; Wm. Hart, 91; Samuel C. Keith, 41; Thos. B. Beebe, 40; Andrew Irvine, 23. Auditors—Wm. Means, 804; George Hyde, 865; Benj. I. Woodruff, 508; Gould Seymour, 339; Chas. Whitehead, 44.

1819—March 1, Evergreen Lodge, No. 163, F. & A. M., the fourth oldest secret society in the county, chartered and the officers therein named being Eliphalet Mason, W. M. Simon Kinney, S. W. , Russell Fowler, J. W. By the conditions of the charter the lodge was to hold its meetings at "Towanda or within five miles therefrom." The places of its gatherings varied from Myersburg to Monroe to suit the convenience of its members. The third lodge chartered in Bradford county was Mt. Moriah Lodge, No. 150, F. & A. M. at Troy, 1817, with Ezra Long as first Master. During the Anti-Masonic excitement the Lodge surrendered its charter. It was, however, revived in 1857 under the name of Trojan Lodge No. 306.

1819—September, Franklin township organized from Towanda and Canton.

1819—October 23, the second Dark Day occurred, when between 9 and 10 o’clock in the morning, the darkness was so great that the pioneer had to light his old lamp or blaze his pitch-pine knot.

THE POLITICAL CONTEST. 1819 seems to have been on personal grounds rather than along political lines as an independent vote was cast throughout the entire county, At the October election candidates received votes as follows: Senator—John McMeens, 490; Wm.Wilson, 368. Assembly—John Ryan (Tioga county), 704. Commissioner—Wm. Myer, Wysox, 508; Andrew Irvine, Towanda, 316. Auditor—Samuel Bartlett, Ulster, 678; Churchill Barnes, Troy, 147.