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History & Geography of Bradford County by Heverly
Bradford County PA
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Chapter 37 - Troy

History & Geography of Bradford County

By Clement F. Heverly

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Troy Township (pp. 411-422)

By Clement F. Heverly 
(Transcribed by William Klauk)

Troy is so called in compliment to Troy, N. Y., by suggestion of Churchill Barnes, who was greatly pleased with that place. Troy was originally a part of the Connecticut township of Augusta in territory claimed by both the Susquehanna Company and the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania. Nearly all the pioneers had purchased and settled on Connecticut claims, and consequently were required to pay for their land the second time.

Geographical.-- Troy, comprising 1-31 of the area of Bradford county, is bounded north by Columbia and Springfield, east by West Burlington, south by Canton and Granville and west by Armenia. Skirted by high hills on the west, south and northeast, its interior is a rolling surface, traversed by broad valleys. Sugar creek, coursing southeast, with its tributaries, Leonard creek from the north, Canfield run, Mud creek and others from the south, drains the entire area. A heavy, primeval forest of hemlock and pine, intermingled with ash, beech, birch, chestnut, maple, oak, basswood, poplar and other species, covered Troy It was the domain of bears, panthers and wolves; deer and wild turkeys were abundant, and the streams alive with brook-trout. The township has an area of 38 square miles and was formed from Burlington in 1815; population 1140 in 1920.

History: Indian Domain.-- The. territory of Troy was within the big hunting grounds of the Indians. At the foot of Armenia Mountain, they had an important encampment, whither they brought the trophy of the chase and feasted. The trail from the south leading to Newtown was crossed at Troy village by the Sugar creek path to Pine creek.

The Pioneers.-- Nathaniel Allen, a patriot of the Revolution, was a native of Long Island. Having learned surveying, he became land-agent and surveyor for the Susquehanna Company and made the original survey of the greater portion of the wilderness of Western Bradford. Under Connecticut title he became the owner of three townships, but finally was obliged to relinquish his claim, and purchased 1000 acres under Pennsylvania title - an abundant field for his activity and enterprise. He located on Sugar creek, West Burlington, 1793, and in 1795 on his purchase at East Troy, being the first permanent settler in Troy township. Here he erected a saw and grist-mill which were a great convenience to the settlers of the surrounding country. In 1800 he was commissioned a Justice-of-the-peace and in 1815 elected county commissioner. His death occurred in 1839 at the age of seventy-eight years. He had married Lydia Stevens, their children being Adolphus, Laura (1st, Mrs. Horace Le Baren, 2nd, Mrs. Benj. McKean), Samuel, Alma (Mrs. Ezra Canfield), Lucy (Mrs. Howard Spalding) and Myron.

Reuben Case came as a settler under Connecticut title from Granville, N.Y., 1798, locating one and one-half miles west of Troy borough. In February he loaded his effects upon a sled with his wife and three children and made the journey with an ox-team, reaching Troy on the 6th of March. He was required to cut his own road from Nathaniel Allen's, his nearest neighbor, four miles. The previous summer he had been in and erected a log cabin on his claim. It was three logs high, open at one end for a fire-place, yet to be constructed, and covered with bark, the door and floor being of split slabs. Having no furniture, holes were bored in the side of the cabin, pegs inserted and split plank laid on them for a table; for chairs blocks were sawed from logs. Game being plentiful, the family did not suffer for meat and fish. Corn was procured and crushed with a stone pestle in the hole made in the top of a stump. Deer hides were tanned and made into breeches and jackets. Experience Nichols, wife of Reuben Case, was a doctor. In attending

her patients she made her trips on horse-back through the wilderness, sometimes going a distance of fifty miles. Mr. and Mrs.. Case spent the last years of their life at Spencer, N.Y. Their children were Elihu, Silvica (Mrs. Russell Palmer), Timothy, Esther (Mrs. Milton Hugg), Reuben, Philip,

and Ephraim.

The Barbers were the first to advance near the headwaters of Sugar creek, going thereto as early as 1798. They are said to have been part Indian. Thomas located on a property afterwards owned by G. F. Viele. He was a noted woodsman and built a small grist-mill in the glen on his place. Other members of the family, Joseph, John, Solomon, Reuben and Thomas, Jr., were settlers in the same neighborhood. Reuben was known as "Dr. Barber" as he frequently treated cases by the application of native herbs. It is related that John Barber, who occupied a cabin with a dirt floor on the site of the present fair grounds, "had a tame bear in one corner, a tame wolf in another, his tame coons in another and a tame fox tied by the door." This aggregation constituted the original menagerie in the county.

Aaron Case, an enterprising Yankee from Vermont, located within the present limits of Troy borough in or before 1801. He early erected a grist-mill on the site of Bowen's tannery in which he was killed about 1828. His family consisted of his wife Abigail, and children, Moses, Philip, Martha (Mrs. Simeon F. Utter), Abigail (Mrs. Joseph Wills), Betsey (Mrs. Ansel Williams), Eunice (Mrs. Wm. Gifford), Aaron, Abraham, Lucinda (Mrs. Elon Cowles) and Miriam (Mrs. James Voorhis).

Samuel Case located in the western part of the township in or before 1801. He had sons, Zina, Philander, Thomas, Samuel, Benjamin and John.

Robert Claflin settled at East Troy in or before 1801. His family consisted of his wife, Anna, and children, Buckman, Carrington, Robert, Jr., Jane, Ledyard, Ellen (Mrs. Taylor), Abner, Susan and Clarissa (Clark).

Elihu Smead made a start at the foot of the mountain about 1801, but in 1802 purchased the improvement of Timothy Nichols within Troy borough and removed thereto. He died in the winter of 1825-26, leaving his wife, Eleanor, and children, Roxanna (Butterfield), Reuben, Francis, Eleanor (Mrs. J. Peters), Elihu and Louana.

Reuben Rowley, a Revolutionary soldier from Vermont, located on the farm of the late W. Alonzo Thomas in 1802. He practiced medicine and farmed there until his death in 1834 at the age of eighty-four years. His wife was Susannah Campbell and their children: Reuben, Susannah (Mrs. Jacob Thomas), Betsey (Mrs. Jesse Orvis), Seth and Samuel.

Caleb Williams, a Revolutionary soldier, came from Connecticut in 1802. He pursued blacksmithing and farming. He died in 1854, aged eighty-seven years. By his wife Abigail Andrus he had children: Ansel, Chester, Sally (Mrs. Abraham Case), Johnson, Warren and Laura (Mrs. Stephen Dewall).

Daniel Loomis came from Connecticut to the Sugar creek valley in 1803. He cleared and improved the Vannoy farm at East Troy. His wife was Mary Goddard and their children: Marilla (Mrs. P. C. Williams), Alvin, Eley, Orrin, Lucy (Mrs. Geo. Fritcher), Harriet (Mrs. Edward Gough), Caroline (Mrs. Leonard Upham), Ezra and Luther.

Elisha Rich, a Revolutionary soldier from Vermont, settled east of Troy village in 1804. "Early in 1808, Elder Elisha Rich and son, Elisha, with others from Vermont and several who had been long sighing for religious company, met for worship and consultation, desiring that a church might be constituted. The visit of Missionary Hartwell was improved and on November 16, 1808, a church (Baptist) was recognized, containing as many members as the world had people at the close of the deluge. The eight were Elisha Rich, Sr., Elisha Rich; Jr., Russell Rose, Moses Calkins, James Mattison, Phoebe Rich, Peggy Rich and Lydia Rose. Mr. Rich was enthusiastic in the work and preached to the people

round about." He was known as "Elder Rich." His wife was Peggy, sister of Churchill Barnes. He died March 16, 1812, aged seventy-one years, his being the first grave in Glenwood cemetery. Elisha Rich, Jr., was also a Baptist preacher.

Adriel Hebard, a clothier by occupation, located below Long's mills, 1805, where he established a fulling-mill about 1808. He removed from the town in 1850.

1807. -- Dr. Thomas Alexander came to upper Sugar creek. He was a skillful doctor and had an extensive practice. In 1816 he moved to another field. Stephen Hickok, a carpenter from Vermont, arrived. His wife was Ruth Ellsworth and their children: Almeron H., Aaron R., and Deborah (Mrs. F. Ashley). Reuben Wilber from Rhode Island joined the settlement. He became one of the noted men in the county and state. His wife was Sally, daughter of William Dobbins, and their children: Jane (Mrs. Alfred Parsons), Polly (Mrs. Thos. B . Baldwin), Lydia, Stephen F., Mary (Mrs. Nelson Adams) and Sarah (Mrs. Albion Budd). Mr. Wilber died November 4l, 1881, in his ninety-sixth year, and his wife, November 18, 1881, in her ninetieth year; they had been husband and wife over seventy years.

1808.-- Zoroaster Porter arrived from Vermont. After some years he moved to Granville, being one of the pioneers of that township. Jacob Thomas, a native of New Hampshire, came from Vermont. He settled on the farm afterwards occupied by his son, W. Alonzo Thomas. His wife was Susannah Rowley and their children: Zeruah (Mrs. Samuel Case), Alvin W., Samuel, Hiram, Chester, Allen, Lucy M. (Mrs. Dunmer Lilley) and William Alonzo. Joel Stevens from Connecticut located at East Troy. He died, 1814, survived by his wife, Lydia, and eleven children.

1809. -- John Wilber, an ardent patriot of the Revolution, came from Rhode Island. His wife was Abigail Johnson and their children: Samuel, Reuben (came 1807), Sally (Mrs. Eber Leonard), John, Abigail (Mrs. Jacob Kenyon) and Betsy. He died, 1846, aged 86 years. James Hickok located at Troy borough. Upon the organization of the county he opened a hotel which he kept some years. He also had a fulling-mill and built the first foundry in Troy. His children were: Herman R., Clarissa M., David N., Sally (Mrs. Moses Coolbaugh), Hiram H., Leander O., Polly and James H. Shubal Maynard came from Vermont with his family, locating in the northwest part of the township. His children were Archibald, Kate (Mrs. Stoddard), Olive (Mrs. Erastus Booth), Cyrus, Amos, Susan (Mrs. Geo. W. Shattuck), Lois and Abby Ann (Mrs. James McClelland).

1812, or before -- Churchill Barnes, a Vermonter, who was prominent in public affairs. Zina Dunbar, a carpenter, came from Connecticut to the Sugar creek valley, 1791, locating finally at Long's mills. His wife was Bethiah Ward and their children: Roswell, Dana, Alanson, Linus, Huldah (Mrs. Truman Merry), Asenath (Mrs. Thomas M. Scott), Betsy (Mrs. Ralph Wheeler) and Sally (Mrs. Andrew Ayres). Dr. Horace Le Baren married Laura, daughter of Nathaniel Allen, and located in Columbia Township where he practiced successfully until his death. He left children, Horace, Frederick, Charles, Lydia, Laura and Lucy. Thomas Merritt, a soldier of the Revolution, came from New York State. He had a son, James. David Williams was a native of Wales and a blacksmith by occupation. His wife was Rachel Hayden and their children: Harrison, Catherine (Mrs. Andrew Fitch). Edwin C., Lewis, Samuel and Olive (Mrs. Jacob Linderman). Joseph Wills, who located within Troy borough, was a man of deep piety and a. leading member of the Baptist church. He died, 1848, aged ninety-five years.

1812.-- Ezra Long, a Vermonter, who had stopped three years in Ulster, purchased the mill and improvements commenced by Elisha Rich. He enlarged the mill property and erected a good house which he opened as a hotel and at the same time began merchandising, his being the first store in Western Bradford. "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. From his connection with the old militia he was popularly known as "Major Long." By his wife Lydia Alvord he had children: Alonzo, Philander A., Volney M., Horace F., Lydia M. (Mrs. Erastus Fitch); Clarissa Eliza, Martha M. (Mrs. Oscar Calkins) and Ezra O.

1813.-- Samuel Conant, a clothier, purchased of Adrial Hebard and was associated with him in the fulling-mill, which was destroyed by fire in 1822. Amos Himes located in what is known as "Himes Hollow." His children were Charles, Lydia (Mrs. Cyrus Holcomb) and Tyrus.

1814.-- Thomas Porter came from Bethlehem, N.Y., locating in the northern part of the township. He was both farmer and school teacher and was popularly known as "Master Porter." His wife was Mrs. Hannah (Mosher) Waltsie by whom he had three children: John, Uel and Betsy (Mrs. Warren Williams).

1815.-- Amos Alexander arrived from Vermont. In 1831 he emigrated to Texas where he was shot and scalped by the Indians in June, 1835. Jabez Baldwin, a Revolutionary soldier, came from Massachusetts. His wife was Nancy Tilden and their children: Charles T., William (?), Lucy (Mrs. Ebenezer Preston), Phebe (Mrs. Rufus Baldwin), Thomas and John.

1816.-- James Long, a native of Vermont, joined his brother, Ezra and managed his hotel three years, then established himself at Burlington corners and engaged in farming and conducting a hotel. His wife was Lydia Davidson and their children: Holden, Eliza (Mrs. Alfred Braffit), John F., Nancy (Ist Mrs. Isaac Cash, 2nd, Mrs. Jonathan Hill).

1817.-- Dr. Almerin Herrick came from New York state. He built up a fine practice and was one of the town's most enterprising and worthful citizens. He had been a soldier in the War of 1812 and was the first post-master of the village. Other residents, given in the first assessment of Troy, 1817, Thomas Barrows, Benjamin Bassett, Joseph Baxter, Jesse Beach, John Clifton, Jeremiah Cole, Tobias Cole, Jehial Ferris, Jesse Marvin, Russell Palmer, Stephen Palmer, Wilmot Peters, Joseph C. Powell, Lewis Powell, Elias Rockwell, James Rockwell, Luther Rockwell, Samuel Rockwell, Jonathan Scott, Joshua Simpkins, Howard Spalding, Moses Stafford, Allen Taylor, Moses Taylor and Aldrich Ward.

1818.-- Isaac N. and Ezenezer Pomeroy, brothers, came from Connecticut and embarked in the manufacture of woolen rolls and cloth. They also engaged in other enterprises and farming and were remarkably successful in all their ventures. The former was the father of Sibyl K., Daniel F., Eleazer, Horace, Samuel W., Laura A., Charlotte E. (Mrs. Chas. C. Paine), Newton M., Anna M., Solomon, Henrietta B. (Mrs. Geo. B. Davidson) and George H. The children of the latter were Edwin S., Emily (Mrs. Volney M. Long), Kingsbury, Fayette, Augustus, Chauncey N., Sibyl M. (Mrs. E. B. Parsons), Mary, Frances (Mrs. W. B. Hoff) and C. Burton.


First Events.-- The first settlers found their way into Troy by following up Sugar creek. The first public road from the river to Troy up the creek was. built in 1798-99. This was the only means of ingress and egress for several years. The first child born within the Troys was Esther, daughter of Reuben Case, January 30, 1800. The first male child was Reuben, son of Reuben Case, born May 30, 1802. The first marriage, of which there is any record, was that of Horace Spalding and Lucy, daughter of Nathaniel and Lydia Allen, October 26, 1806.

So far as known, the oldest institution of learning in the Troys was the old shad school house, which stood west of the Sugar creek road about halfway between Major Long's and Esquire Allen's. It took its name from the weather-vane in the form of a fish which surmounted the building. Thomas, or "Master Porter," was one of the earliest teachers. The first meeting-house in the Troys was erected in 1808 on the summit of the hill where the old burying-ground remains with the ashes of many of the pioneers. The building was 24 X 36 feet and was built of hewn logs, the timbers for which were got out and dressed by Reuben Wilber and Stephen Palmer. Elder Rich was the first Pastor of the Baptists who worshipped here.

Troy's first Justice-of-the-peace was Nathaniel Allen, commissioned, 1800; Adrial Hebard, first constable, 1816; the first assessment of the township, made for 1817 by Churchill Barnes assessor and Joseph C. Powell and Samuel Conant assistant assessors; total county tax on real estate and personal property $81.51; greatest valuation, Horace Spalding, $768; number of horses forty, oxen thirty-three, cows eighty-one; James Long was tavern keeper, Lewis Powell and Samuel Rockwell distillers, Elias Rockwell tanner, Zoroaster Porter tailor.

Reminiscences.-- "During the land troubles a certain agent who had been spying and taking notes was captured, his papers burned and after being given a coat of tar and feathers was sent away. A few days later, a horse, riderless, with saddle and bridle, was found wandering in the road some miles away. Not long after this occurrence, another spotter appeared in the locality. Early one morning he stepped out in front of the house where he had tarried over night. The stillness was broken by the report of four rifles, fired from different directions; the stranger, pierced in the abdomen, fell and soon expired." By whom these deeds of outlawry were committed, was never ascertained; the names of the perpetrators were ever kept a profound secret.

When twelve years old Elihu Case was sent on an errand to Elihu Smead's on horseback. On his return he discovered something black in his path about the size of a woodchuck. Dismounting he procured a club and dealt the animal, a young bear, a blow across the back. This brought forth squeals from the cub and the mother bear came tearing through the brush to the rescue. Seizing the cub, the lad mounted the old mare and made off with his prize at full speed, pursued by the old bear. The race continued to Elihu's home, the cub squealing and struggling, but the lad held firmly and landed his first bear.

Patriotism. -- The Troys in the different wars: Revolutionary War.-- Seth Adams, Nathaniel Allen, Aaron Case, Tobias Cole, Thomas Merritt, Solomon Morse, Israel Pierce, John Preston, Elisha Rich, Reuben Rowley, Samuel Strait, John Wilber and Caleb Williams. War of 1812. -- Hezekiah Avery, Churchill Barnes, Thomas Case, Dr. Almerin Herrick, John Knights, Colburn Preston, Aldrich Ward, Reuben Wilber and Chester Williams. Civil War.-- The Troys furnished 227 soldiers of whom twelve were killed in battle, three died in rebel prisons and twelve of disease. World War.-- Borough and townships contributed ninety-eight soldiers of whom three were killed in battle and three died of disease.

Distinguished and Honored Sons.-- Natives of Troy in other states: Adolphus G. Allen, lawyer, member of Assembly and Judge, Tioga county, N. Y.; Adrial H. Case, noted lawyer and district attorney in Kansas; Milton H. Case, successful lawyer and thrice mayor of Topeka, Kansas; Nathan P. Case, noted lawyer in Kansas and California; Henry P. Davison, New York banker, multi-millionaire, chairman American National Red Cross during World War and afterwards chairman of the World Red Cross League; Maj. Chas. L. Greeno, successful and wealthy business man of Cincinnati, O; Geo. H. Himes, printer, publisher and curator and secretary of the Oregon Historical Society; John W. Sadler, lawyer and Judge of Onondaga county, N. Y.

Residents honored by state and county officers: State Senators.-- Reuben Wilber, Elihu Case, Delos Rockwell, Benj. B. Mitchell; Representatives.-- Stephen Pierce, Francis Smith, Benj. B. Mitchell, Milton O. Loomis, Willard D. Morse; President Judge.-- Adelbert C. Fanning; Associate Judges.-- Reuben Wilber, Jere Adams, Volney M. Long; Sheriffs.-- Joseph C. Powell, Reuben Wilber, Wm. S. Dobbins, J. Monroe Smith; Prothonotary.-- Wm. A. Thomas; District Attorneys.-- Stephen Pierce, Warner H. Carnochan, Adelbert C. Fanning, James T. McCollom, H. Kent Mitchell, David C. Fanning; Sheriffs.--Joseph C. Powell; County Treasurer.-- John H. Grant; County Commissioners.-- Nathaniel Allen, Joseph C. Powell, Churchill Barnes, Wm. A. Thomas, Ezra Loomis, Milton O. Loomis, Horace M. Spalding, .Michael J. McNulty; Coroner.-- Reuben Wilber; Jury Commissioners.-- John E. Dobbins; County Auditor.-- John M. Coney.

Troy Borough.-- " The village of Troy had its inception from the advantages of the cross-roads (east and west, north and south), and we may easily imagine the original locality as dark and forbidding, with its low and marshy grounds, heavily shaded by a thick forest of hemlocks and pines, interspersed with tangled thickets of laurel, through which roamed the deer, bear and panther, unmolested save by an occasional arrow from the quiver of the wandering Indian hunter."

The first building within Troy borough was the log cabin, erected in 1800 by Timothy Nichols, father-in-law of Reuben Case. In 1802 he sold to Elihu Smead. The village of Troy, originally known as Lansingburg, had scarcely a beginning in 1820. In that year, the post-office which had been established at Long's Mills in 1817 with James Long postmaster, was moved to Lansingburg and kept by Dr. Almerin Herrick. In 1822 the first general store was opened by Orrin P. Ballard. Vine Baldwin, stirring and enterprising, began business here about the same time. He was succeeded .by his son-in-law, Gen. George Kress.

In 1827 the village consisted of two stores, kept by Orrin P. Ballard and George Kress; two hotels, those of Vine Baldwin and Col. I. N. Pomeroy; the Case grist-mill; Elihu Newberry's blacksmith shop; a tannery operated by Calvin Dodge; and a school house. The residents were Vine Baldwin, Orrin P. Ballard, Churchill Barnes, Mrs. Aaron Case, Adrial Hebard, Dr. Almerin Herrick, Capt. James Hickok, George Kress, James Lamb, Elihu Newberry, Col. Isaac N. Pomeroy, Reuben Smead, Ansel Williams, Caleb Williams, Warren Williams and Joseph Wills. The first newspaper published in the place was the Anti-Masonic Democrat, edited by Thomas E. Paine, in 1830. This was succeeded by the Troy Argus in 1832.

The village was incorporated as Troy borough in 1845. E. C. Oliver was the first burgess; G. F. Redington, V. M. Long, Frederick Orwan and Layton Runyon, members of the first common council, and Allen E. Thomas, clerk. In 1850 the town had a population of 480, and 1419 in 1920. Troy was made a half-shire town by Act of the Legislature, providing that two terms of court be held there each year. The first court was convened March 28, 1870, and the court house erected in 1894. April, 1923, the Troy court was abolished by Act of the Legislature. A decided impetus to Troy's growth was the opening of the Northern Central railroad in 1854. The town developed into the leading butter market in Northern Pennsylvania.

East Troy three miles southeast of Troy is a pleasant village on the Towanda-Troy road.