Overton Boys of Mark.
The most precious product of the hills of Overton has been her sons that have gone forth as useful servants in the callings of life, benefactors to mankind and men successful in affairs, teaching the lesson of "great possibilities" and the achievements of honest, well directed effort. Overton has never furnished a President, but was the boyhood home of a Governor, a Bishop and many bright and useful men.
Bishop Thomas McGovern, son of Edward and Margaret McGovern, was nine years old when his parents moved to Overton. His early ambition was to acquire an education. "Frequently after his hard day’s work in the fallow he would like down at night and study some book by the light of the burning logs." After attending the public schools of Overton and self preparation, he entered St. Mary’s College, Emmittsburg, Md., from which he was graduated in 1859. He concluded his theological course in the seminary of St. Charles Borromeo and Overbrook, and was ordained a priest, December 27, 1861. His first official duty was assistant at St. Michael’s church. Kensington, and next as assistant at St. Philip’s church. Second and Queen streets, Philadelphia. In June, 1864, he was sent to Bellefonte, where he officiated for six years, and from there to York, where he staid until 1873 when he was sent to Danville. In 1881 he took an extensive tour through Europe, Asia and Africa. He was appointed Bishop of the Harrisburg diocese, January 15, 1888, serving until the time of his death –July 25, 1898, aged 66 years. He was one of the best known and most beloved Catholic prelates in the United States.
Govern William Goebel of Kentucky attended his first school and spent his early childhood in Overton. He was a son of William Goebel, and was born January 4, 1856, in Albany township, Bradford county, Pa. His father, who was a German and carpenter by occupation, came to Overton in 1857 and lived on the John Streevy place. He was a man of intelligence and an excellent mechanic. Among the buildings erected by him were school house No. 1, the Sherman house and Sheedy house. Mr. Goebel went South with his family in 1861 or ’62. His son, William, who became a great force in Kentucky political affairs, was described in 1899 "as one of the most unique and impressive characters Kentucky has developed in a quarter of a century. His personality is suggestive of force, determination and intelligence. He is 43 years old, short, straight and plump, without being stocky. His movements are quick and alert, always without being conspicuous. By sheer force of will he has become a celebrity in politics. He is a calm, passive man, who says little. He seldom smiles and in a crowd in unobtrusive. He is a cool, calculating thinking machine. He has courage, too. Once—in 1895—he shot and killed a man, the president of a bank, who tried to shoot him. But Goebel is ordinarily known as a man of peace. He is a lawyer and a good one, with a big practice." After an exciting contest he was chosen Governor in 1899, and shot by a wicked and cowardly assassin, January 30, 1900.
Hon. Daniel L. O’Neill, son of Daniel and Bridget O’Neill, was born December 10, 1835, at Port Deposit, Md. When a child he removed with his parents to Overton, where his time in early life was diligently spent in assisting in clearing up a farm and in attending the district school. He had a keen perception, learned easily and soon had a mind stored with useful knowledge. At the age of seventeen he began a successful career as teacher, a calling he followed for eight years. He then entered the law office of Hon. Hendrick B. Wright, and in 1864 was admitted to the Luzerne county Bar. He soon rose to prominence in the legal profession, and in 1868 was chosen State Representative from Luzerne, proving a very able and most useful member. He has also served two terms a member of the Wilkes-Barre city council, five terms as member of the school board and held other offices of trust, in all of which he acquitted himself with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents. He has a bright and interesting family, four of his sons being lawyers. Mr. O’Neill is still actively engaged in the practice of his profession at Wilkes-Barre.
John McGovern, son of Edward and Margaret McGovern, was born June 30, 1824 in Ireland. He came to Overton with his parents and gave his faithful assistance in clearing land and lumbering until 1847, when he entered upon his successful career as railroad contractor. He performed many important contracts, and by strict attention to details, careful management and the overseeing of his business in person earned a fine fortune. In 1876 he retired to the homestead in Overton until after the death of his mother in 1888. He ten went to Lancaster, Pa., to reside with his daughter, and oversee his large farm near that city. Here he died September 8, 1899. Mr. McGovern won a wide reputation as being a shrewd and successful business man. His fortune, amounting to several hundred thousand dollars, was the greatest ever accumulated by an Overton boy. Mr. McGovern was a genial gentleman, with a big heart and an ever helping hand. His kind and encouraging words were always inspiring. He was a generous and royal host, in short, one of nature’s noblemen. His closing years were saddened by the sudden demise of his son, Edward, in October, 1896, at the age of 39 years. Edward was a gentleman of kindly nature beloved by everybody. His sister, Mrs. Alice E. McConomy and children are the only surviving members of the family.
Philip O’Neill, son of Daniel and Bridget O’Neill, who spent his early life in Overton, distinguished himself as a soldier and writer. After a service of eleven years in the U.S. Cavalry and navy he gave his attention to literary pursuits. His poetry was of high order; and his style as a writer, finished and entertaining. He labored many years as editor and correspondent, and won considerable renown in the literary world. He died at Wilkes-Barre, Pa., in 1899, aged 66 years.
J. Andrew Wilt, born in Overton in 1848; entered the service of the Union, under the age of 15 years, in 1863 and served until after the close of the war. Returning home, through his own efforts, he obtained a good education, and for several years was a successful teacher in Bradford and Sullivan counties. He read law, and in 1875 was admitted to practice in the several courts of Bradford county. In 1878 was appointed County Superintendent to fill vacancy caused by the death of A.A. Keeney. He was elected District Attorney of Bradford county in 1886, Prothonotary in 1899 and re-elected in 1902. His administrations were painstaking, efficient and popular. In 1910 he was appointed Supervisor of Census for the Bradford-Susquehanna-Wayne-Wyoming district and performed his duties with cret credit and efficiency. Besides these offices he had been burgess of Towanda Borough and several years a member of the School Board. Being deeply interested in the history of the county for several years, he has acted as Secretary of the Bradford County Historical Society. Form many years Mr. Walt has been identified with the G.A.R. In 1905 he was elected Department Commander of Pennsylvania and his term was signalized by faithful work. He was one of the most active in organizing the Militia company at Towanda in 1876, and was chosen second lieutenant of Company K of the 12th Regiment, and subsequently as captain of Company A of the 9th. Personally, Captain Wilt is unassuming, candid and companionable, displaying those qualities of mind and heart, which attract men and win their confidence and esteem. He is a prominent Odd Fellow and mason, but, above all is a most worthful and patriotic citizen. He has been a resident of Towanda since 1872.
Clement F. Heverly, born in Overton in 1859, was farmer boy and mechanic. Through faithful effort procured a good education; began teaching at 17 years and pursued educational and literary work until 1890. Was appointed Secretary of War, Robert T. Lincoln, to a cadetship at West Point in 18881, but resigned by reason of age. In 1884 was elected County Auditor, being the first and only resident of Overton ever elected to county office. Was chose deputy Prothonotary by Gen. H. J. Madill in 1891 and served three years. In 1894 founded the BRADFORD STAR, which he has since edited and published. His editorials and "battles for necessary reform" have attracted wide attention, and been productive of great good and large saving to the public. Mr. Heverly has written extensively on local history and is the author of many volumes, besides a text book on United States history. HE served four years as Secretary and has been Librarian of the Bradford County Historical Society since 1906. He has been a resident of Towanda the past 19 years.
In the Christian ministry faithful workers sent out from Overton have been Father Charles Heichemer, Father Daniel Cusick and Rev. Edward C. Musselman. Others successful in the legal profession are Lemuel Fawcett and Edward J. Mullen. Charles Molyneux, Lawrence Byron and Edgar R. Park qualified themselves for the successful practice of medicine.
Facts and People, 1910.
Overton village comprises a population of about 80 persons. The town was plotted in 1856 by Henry Sherman and the first lot sold to Joseph Mosbacher, who began blacksmithing in the village in 1855. In 1873 an effort was made to have the town and a considerable surrounding territory incorporated into a borough. The greater part of the inhabitants remonstrated and the request was refused by the Court. Situated in the center of a rich agricultural district, Overton for many years has been an excellent trading point. The present business concerns are: General merchants –F. Osthaus & Co., E. Francke & Son; creamery products –E.C. Musselman; shops and manufacturing –William Bird, G.L. Rinebold; blacksmithing –George Bower; shoemaking –C. F. O’Connell; hotel –J. J. Hannon; barber –James B.. Smith. The town has a hall and two organizations –a Tent of Maccabees and Overton grange. Arthur J. Bird is the resident physician. An important industry in the western part of the township is the Barclay Chemical Works, manufacturing wood alcohol and charcoal.
The assessor’s report for Overton township (1910) gives the following:
|Value of Real Estate||
|Money at Interest||
|Cows (237); Value||
|Horses (119); Value||
|No. Taxables (including non-residents)||
|No. School Children (Twp. And Ind. Dist)||
The residents of Overton (1910) including heads
of families and others over twenty-one years of age, are:
|Isaac Bailey||Henry Corner||George Hartford|
|Joseph Bailey||Newton Crammer||Alex C. Haverly|
|J. M. Baker||Arthur Cunningham||Fred Haverly|
|Charles Bartlow||John Cunningham||John Haverly|
|James Bennett||Joseph Decker||Joseph Heidt|
|Nelson H. Bidell||Frank Dieffenbaugh||Mrs. Angeline Heverly|
|Dr. Arthur J. Bird||Joseph E. Dieffenbaugh||Clara Heverly|
|George Bird||Maria Dieffenbaugh||Mrs. Clara Heverly|
|Lee Bird||Thomas Dieffenbaugh||Daniel Heverly|
|William Bird||John Dorsey||Daniel Heverly (4th)|
|Oscar Birdsall||James Driscoll||Frank Heverly|
|Carl Beleiler||Charles Epley||Mrs. Mary Heverly|
|Clarence Bleiler||Curtis Epley||Orin R. Heverly|
|Frank P. Bleiler||Samuel Epley||Russell Heverly|
|Reuben Bleiler||John Fogarty||Wallace Heverly|
|William Bleiler||Matthew Fogarty||Caroline Hottenstein|
|George L. Bower||Michael Fogarty||George E. Hottenstein|
|Fred Broshart||Joseph J. Fancke||Ira Hottenstein|
|Joseph Broshart||Daniel J. Frawley||John C. Hottenstein|
|Lizzi Byron||John F. Frawley||William Hottenstein|
|Matthew Byron||John Frawley||Mrs. Mary Houck|
|Michael Byron||Mrs. Mary Frawley||Edward Jennings|
|Michael Byron, Jr.||Michael Frawley||Frank Keefe|
|A. M. Campbell||Thomas E. Frawley||Jeremiah Keefe|
|Fred E. Card||Thomas H. Frawley||Jeremiah Keefe, Jr.|
|Mrs. Arvilla Carner||E. L. Green||Joseph Keefe|
|George Cederburg||Thomas Giffith||Patrick Keefe|
|Arvilla Chambers||Maggie Grimes||William Kinner|
|Benjamin Chase||Terrence Grimes||Rozell Knapp|
|Fred Chase||Thomas Grimes||Mrs. Clara Lancaster|
|Mahlon M. Chase||Lyman Hakes||Frank Lancaster|
|Barbara Clark||James J. Hannon||Frank P. Leahy|
|Belinda Clark||Katie Hannon||John Lee|
|Edward Clark||Maggie Hannon||Joseph Lee|
|Daniel Collins||Mayme Hannon||George Martin|
|Mrs. Ellen Collins||Benjamin J. Hausknecht||R. S. Martin|
|Michael J. Collins||Herbert E. Hausknecht|
|Al Mayo||Con. F. O’Connell||Richard Sherman|
|William Mayo||John O’Connell||William Sick|
|William McCarthy||John O’Connell, Jr.||George Slocum|
|Charles McGroarty||Julia O’Connell||James B. Smith|
|Melissa Messersmith||Christopher F. Platt||Clinton Streby|
|Edward T. Molyneux||George Prutzman||Edward Streby|
|Jacob Molyneux||Daniel Regan||William L. Streby|
|Ray Molyneux||William Regan||Allen Streevy|
|Daniel Moore||Addison L. Rinebold||Ornal N. Streevy|
|George Morris||Charles Rinebold||James Sweeney|
|James Morris||Gilbert L. Rinebold||Mary Sweeney|
|Rev. J. F. Morrison||Lewis Rinebold||Thomas Sweeney|
|Anthony J. Mullen||Fred Royce||Floyd Swingle|
|Thomas Mullen||Ford Serine||Stephen Swingle|
|Mrs. John Murray||Henry Serine||Fred Teeter|
|Julia Murray||William Serine||G. C. Thrasher|
|Maggie Murray||John L. Shaffer||Herbert Updegraff|
|Michael Murray||John Shahan||Jonas Updegraff|
|George O. Musselman||John F. Sheedy||Ira Vough|
|Reuben Musselman||Fred Sherman||William Wanck|
|Mrs. Jennie Nestor||Hannah Sherman||Lloyd Warburton|
|Dennis F. O’Brien||Leo Sherman||Leroy Williams|
|William O’Brien||Nelson Sherman||Ray Williams|
Although costing a vast amount of research and labor, it is a matter of great satisfaction and pleasure for us to be able to present this volume to the many people who will be interested in the contents. It has not been our aim to make fancy word pictures, but to write history such as will endure for all time. Public and family records have generally been consulted for information, and in verifying all material facts. From Betsy Granteer, Betsy Streevy, Jacob Heverly, Henry Sherman, Elizabeth Rogers, Rosina Heverly, Ezra Kellogg, Wells Wilcox, Charlotte Ormsby, Amas Heverly, William Heverly, Andrew Wilt, Almira Chase, Caroline Mosier, Martha Dieffenbaugh, John McGovern, William J. Hottenstein, mary A. Hottenstein, John Molyneux and many others, who are now resting in their eternal sleep, most valuable information was obtained. We are under may obligations to George E. Hottenstein for working out and furnishing us with many details, and to Mrs. Lydia Covey, Daniel Heverly, John C. Hottenstein, Ezra Rinebold, Mrs. Elizabeth Heverly, Hon. D. L. O’Neill, J. Andrew Wilt, Thomas Mullen, Thomas Grimes, Thomas Sweeny, C. J. Sullivan, Mrs. Angeline Heverly and G. L. Rinebold for aid and valuable information. To these and many others, whose names may have been overlooked, we wish to express our gratitude.