History & Geography of Bradford County, Pennsylvania
By Clement F. Heverly
Chapter XLII - Granville Township
Typed by Pat Newell Smith
Granville was so named in memory of the former home in Massachusetts of some of her first settlers.
Geographical - Granville, comprising 1/48 of the area of Bradford county is bounded north by Troy and West Burlington, east by West Burlington and Franklin, south by LeRoy and west by Canton and Troy. It is a rolling table land, somewhat broken by channels of small streams. The greatest elevation, "the summit," 1400 feet, is in the northwest and the general slope of the area to the southeast. The North branch of Towanda creek, which has its source in Armenia mountain, flows nearly easterly across the center of the township, receiving in its course several tributaries from the north. Granville was covered with a fine forest of pine, hemlock, maple, beech, ash, basswood and chestnut. Here deer, bears, panthers and wolves abounded; brook trout were plentiful in the streams. The township has an area of 34 square miles and was formed from Burlington, Canton, Franklin and Troy in 1831; population 787 in 1920.
History: The Pioneer - Jeremiah Taylor, a native of Massachusetts, in the winter of 1798-99 came with his family to Sugar creek, remaining the first year in West Burlington, where crops were planted and harvested. In the meantime he had selected lands in the central part of Granville on the North branch of Towanda creek, made a clearing and put up a log cabin. He cut a road through the forest and in the month of March, 1800, moved to his new home on an ox sled. "Night was falling, when the oxen were unyoked and turned loose with the cow; the few household effects were brought into the cabin; a blanket was hung up at the door and another at the window, a fire was kindled in the fireplace and then their first repast in their forest home was prepared and eaten." Such were the beginning and environment of the first permanent settler in Granville. Mr. Taylor struggled faithfully, clearing and improving land until his death in 1827 at the age of fifty-five years. He had married Martha Bailey, their children being Jeremiah, Levi, Sylvester and Abigail [Mrs. Isaac Putman]. Lewis Moffit also from Massachusetts followed Mr. Taylor to Granville in 1800. His wife died and he removed before 1812.
Oliver Bailey, a native of Connecticut, served through both the old French war and the American Revolution. He married Hannah Scoville, removed to Berkshire, Mass., thence in 1803 to Granville, where some of the family had settled. Here he continued to reside until his death in 1822 at the age of eighty-four years. His wife died, 1826, in her eighty-eighth year. Of their children who came to Bradford county were Keturah [Mrs. Uriah Baxter], Martha [Mrs. Jeremiah Taylor], Thomas, Scoville, Timothy, Ezra, David and Prudence [Mrs. Hugh Holcomb]. Scoville, who was a noted hunter, came with his family in 1801; David emigrated with his father, and Ezra and Thomas followed them.
Benjamin Saxton from Massachusetts came to Burlington in 1804. Here he pursued his trade of blacksmithing until 1807 when he settled in Granville. He was known as the "pioneer blacksmith," following that vocation in connection with the improvement of his land until his death in 1842 at the age of sixty-eight years. He had married Susie Coburn who died at ninety-three. Their children were Lucy [Mrs. Chauncey Hill], Susan [Mrs. Elam Parkhurst], Benjamin, Charles, Mary [Mrs. Henry Putnam], Henry, Sarah A. [Mrs. Albert Watkins] and Lewis D. Oliver Nelson also became a settler in 1807 and continued improvements until 1848 when he sold to James Gee.
Uriah Baxter from Connecticut located in the town in 1808. He had married Keturah Bailey, their children being Chauncey, Ezra, Betsey [Mrs. Simeon West], Keturah [Mrs. Elam Parkhurst], Roxie [Mrs. John Vroman], Hannah [Mrs. Benj. West] and Oliver.
Other Early and Prominent Settlers were Philip Packard, 1809; Benjamin Avery, Charles Butterfield and Abraham Parkhurst, a Revolutionary soldier from Massachusetts, 1811; Zoroaster Porter from Vermont, 1812; Alvah Churchill, John Putnam, a Revolutionary soldier from Massachusetts, and Josiah Vroman, 1817; Elisha Andrus, Abijah Ayres and Simeon Chesley, a Revolutionary soldier, 1820; David Ross, 1821; Nathaniel Clark, John Ferguson, Samuel Gee, Joel Packard, Malachi Shoemaker and Caleb White, a Revolutionary soldier, were also pioneers.
First Events - The first child, born in the township, was Sylvester, son of Jeremiah Taylor, October 9, 1803. The first marriage that of Hugh Holcomb and Prudence, daughter of Oliver Bailey, in 1803. The first person to die was Mrs. Louis Moffit, soon after 1800. The first school was taught in the summer of 1807 by Miss Delight Spalding of Canton. The patrons of the school were Jeremiah Taylor, Benjamin Saxton, Scoville, Ezra, David and Thomas Bailey. Uriah Baxter and Oliver Nelson. There were about fifteen pupils in attendance from a territory embracing three miles square. The first religious movement was manifested about 1805 when Jeremiah Taylor and his wife made profession of religion and united with the Baptist church on Towanda creek.
The first settlers reached Granville by cutting a road through the forest from West Burlington. In 1807 a road was opened across the township from sugar creek to Towanda creek. A road, east and west, through the township from Towanda creek near West Franklin to the Wilson settlement at Alba, was laid out in 1811. A mail route was opened from Burlington in 1824 and the mail brought in once a week on horseback. In 1825 the North Branch post office, changed to Granville, 1831, was established with Sylvester Taylor, postmaster.
The first framed house was built by Jeremiah Taylor, Jr., 1819. He also had the first grist mill, grinding corn only, constructed in 1820. A few years later he built the first sawmill. The first general store in the township was opened at Granville Center, 1847, by Benjamin F. and Luman D. Taylor. The first constable of the township was Luman Putnam, 1831, who was also commissioned the first Justice of the peace, 1832. Granville’s first vote for the President was cast in 1832, being 31 voted for General Jackson and 20 for Henry Clay.
Patriotism - Granville has always been one of the most zealously patriotic sections of the county. Record: Revolutionary War - Oliver Bailey, Simeon Chesley, Jacob Headley, Abraham Parkhurst, John Putnam and Caleb White. Putnam enter the service in 1780 at the age of thirteen years and served until the close of the war. War of 1812 - David Bailey, Ezra Bailey and Peter S. Vroman. Civil War - Granville furnished one hundred and eighty-six soldiers, of whom seven were killed in battle, two died in rebel prisons and thirteen of disease. She made the last sacrifice in battle from Bradford county, being George Keasler, who was killed May 5, 1865, near Macon, Ga. World War - Granville contributed twenty-four of her sons.
Oldest Resident - Volney Taylor, son of Levi Taylor, was born February 14, 1829, in Granville and spent practically all his life there. He died May 19, 1923, aged 94 years, 3 months and 5 days.
Public Officials - Representatives - Luman D. Taylor, Fred K. Taylor; County Treasurer - William Bunyan; Prothonotary - Linsdorf T. Grenell; County Commissioner - Luman Putnam; County Auditors - Luman Putnam, Samuel W. Shepard, Horace H. Heald; Jury Commissioners - Horace Barnes, Hiram H. Foster, William B. Packard.
Granville Center became a place of much activity by the establishment of a tannery there in 1857 and grew into a flourishing village. Adam Innes, a Scotchman, in 1865 purchased the tannery, improved and enlarged it and for many years did an extensive business.
Granville Summit in the northwestern part of the township is a shipping point on the Northern Central railroad. A daily mail was provided between the Summit and Center in 1865.