Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Time Capsule 1903
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Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Frank Loomis, Editor of Troy Register, 
dies in 1903
Last Year
Next Year 
Experience the Flavor of Small Town Life in this era by strolling through these pages
Edith Wharton can take us to the streets of New York City, and Henry James can show us Europe in this era, but only here can we experience the flavor of life in the farming villages of the Tri County area of rural New York and Pennsylvania. Here we can find the little scraps too minor for the history books to include that made up life in this time and place. 
If 1903 reminds me of anything, it is 2002. As the rural communities and small towns of our area tried to sort out the installation of new technologies, the telephone wires that were being strung, electricity, and new modes of transportation, both proposed and actual, I am reminded of our trials and tribulations in this transitional period as we adjust to the advances in communication through the Internet. Just as their phone lines were almost there but not quite, so too, is our high speed Internet access. Just as our new technologies are not quite fully developed and are imperfect, there's were too. Just as we were flying high on the so called "dot.coms" many of which fell flat with nothing to show, our 1903 neighbors were waiting for city to city trolley lines that never came through and experienced electric plants that went into business and then out leaving the customers stranded. Today's youngsters puncture their bodies with all kinds of hanging metal contraptions. Just as disturbing in 1903 were the young women who had taken to going out of doors without their hats creating a stir and controversy, amusing some and causing outrage in others. I have scoured the 1903 Troy Gazette-Registers for scraps that demonstrate the customs and culture that existed here then, and have found myself very much at home with their similar set of issues. If the tone of the community matched the editor's, they were much more patient waiting for the phone to come through than I am waiting for the blasted DSL service to get here. [It took rural areas 30 years longer to get electric service than the towns - let's hope we don't have to wait that long for high speed] It was a kinder, gentler time - perhaps. I have supplemented our local view with items of interest from other sources to show the "bigger picture" and will continue to add to this page and develop others on this model. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Have a good time visiting 1903, but PLEASE don't exceed the 8 mph speed limit set by the Pennsylvania legislature in this year. [Joyce M. Tice, Tour Guide and Time Travel Agent]
Year - 1903
U.S. President
Theodore Roosevelt
U.S. Population
NY Governor
Governor Odell
PA Governor
Governor Pennypacker
Mayor of Elmira
Mayor Sheehan
Other Municipal Officers
World & National
Source Citations
How to Submit to the site
One Cent Franklin issued 
Feb. 1903
Barclay Brothers big mill at Laquin will soon open TGR-040203
Old Packard House hotel in Canton to be torn down TGR-041603
Cheese Factory in Roseville begins operation TGR-041603
April - Griffin Spencer begins construction of a new hotel at Mountain Lake TGR-042903
May - Silverdale Creamery at East Canton burns TGR-052103
July 1, Glass Cutting business opens in Wellsboro with 15 employees TGR-061803
June 25 - The new Roseville Cheese Factory makes 18 cheeses a day. Owner Mr, Nottingham has employed H. H. Soper, an old cheese maker. TGR-062503
Troy Shoe Company undergoes reorganization TGR-070903
Three tons of dressed meat are taken from Millerton to Elmira market weekly. TGR-072303
Laquin - Model Lumber Town TGR-080603 (article will be presented here)
Hotel Stimson at Athens has a new porch TGR-080603
New Hotel at Canton going up on site of old Packard House will be done by February TGR-080603
Morgan E. Rose is president of Mansfield's newly organized First National Bank TGR-082003
Wellsboro's lumber mill at Tiadaghton cuts 100,000 feet of lumber a day TGR-082003
Anthracite Coal Commission of Pres. Roosevelt grants shorter hours and 10" raise for Anthracite coal miners. Trager 649
Ford Motor Company formed by Henry Ford
Stock of Belmar Manufacturing in Canton purchased by a rival business. Locals fear plant will close or move TGR-082003
Furniture dealer, Bloom of Troy, attends schooling in Philadelphia to learn the undertaking business. Upon his return he orders a fine new hearse, and adds undertaking to his furniture line (Furniture and undertaking were frequently practiced together in early times) TGR-091703
S. O. Daggett, formerly landlord of the Park Hotel at Tioga plans to buy a hotel near Philadelphia TGR-092103
Stanton & Company are remodeling the interior of their store to make space for more pleasing display of their large stock  of goods TGR-102203
Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre issues its eleventh annual report TGR-102903
The mines at Arnot are working only half time and over 100 families have moved away since last spring TGR-102903
Finley Furman has purchased the old church at Sylvania. Rumor has it it will become a cheese factory. TGR-110503
Fall Brook, once a flourishing mining town, is now abandoned and desolate owing to the exhaustion of the coal. TGR110503 (Whole article will be added later)
Potato crop fails in Bradford County, not worth digging up. Financial loss to farmers. TGR111903
Roseville's hotel, recently purchased by James Avery, is being spruced up and improved. TGR111903
Burlington Hotel Sold - Wilbur H. Cogswell has sold to John B. Johnson of Roaring Branch and will retire form the hotel business. Johnson has applied for a license and will open when he has it. TGR122403
Feb. Troy's Lilliputians present their school play of "Lilliputians in Fairyland."  - TGR-022903
August - Barnum & Bailey Circus in Elmira (LAST Week) TGR-081303
28 August - Sun Brothers performers in Troy TGR-082003
Hendrickson, an eminent magician, and Rosani, a shadowgraphist, will perform at the Troy Opera House Thanksgiving evening TGR-102203
The Darling Circus will be at the Troy Opera House Nov. 6th - a superb dog and pony show with educated animals. TGR110503
The Entertainment Course at Troy contracted with Brockway Bureau for a series of four entertainments to benefit the school's library fund, TGR110503
Lights of Gotham, a play with strong characters, to be at Troy Opera House Jan 15 TGR010103
June - Fierce Hail Storm in Ridgeberry causes great damage with trees uprooted TGR-060403
A US coin dated 1794 found 12 feet below ground on site of new Sayre shops TGR-073003
Murder in Elmira - The big bear at Eldridge Park deliberately killed the little bear recently presented to the city by the street car company TGR110503
Diaries, Letters, Other Memorabilia
1903 Diary of Emerson Smith of Rutland
1903 Diary Abstracts - Bert Strange of Sullivan
Westfield Fair to be held 8 to 11 of September TGR-073003
29th Annual Troy Fair held Sept. 15 - 18 TGR-091703
Troy Agricultural Society draws up plan designed to get the Troy Fair out of financial trouble TGR111203
Checked materials of two or three contrasting colors are popular. Buttons in great variety are once more to be used- not merely for fastening but as ornaments. This, if true, is regrettable, for the vulgar excess to which this fashion was carried in times past was ridiculous. TGR010103
March - Typhoid Epidemic in Ithaca NY - TGR
Small Pox breaks out in the Pine Creek lumber camps. Armed guards are posted to prevent their leaving and spreading the disease. TGR-043003
Smith Sanitarium under construction in Sullivan - To start with 80 patients (tuberculosis) TGR-070903
Typhoid Mary, Mary Mallon, a food handler in NY, is source of 1300 cases Trager 651
Sayre now has 15 physicians, three of them being members of the hospital staff TGR-082703
Smallpox scare - Man with smallpox got on Northbound Northern Central train at Trout Run. The car he was on was taken out at Elmira and fumigated and every passenger vaccinated by a company surgeon. TGR122403
Columbia Grange No. 83 Will hold July 4 picnic at Gladding's Grove at Altus, Music by the Grange orchestra TGR-070203
At LeRoy the women of the Church of Christ put on a chicken dinner with ice cream for the Fourth of July TGR-070203
Photo of the Inscho Christmas at Tioga 1903
Up to date girls who spell their names "Lilyan." "Nellye," "Mae," etc. are now being imitated by the young men of dude vintage, who sign "Byl," "Myke," and "Jym" respectively. TGR111203
Rural Free Mail Delivery to be established in Bradford County in summer -TGR-041603
May - Stockholder's of Roseville Telephone Co. vote to merge with Citizens' Mutual TGR-052103
June - Bradford County Independent Telephone Co. erects poles at Wyalusing to extend the line from Wysox to Wyalusing and then on to Laceyville TGR-060403
April - Branches of the Tabard Inn Library of Philadelphia to be established at Mansfield & Westfield TGR-040903
May - Athens Postmaster's salary doubled from $100 to $200 TGR-052103
May - Blossburg's Post master, D. O. Merrick, receives raise from $1300 to $1400 TGR-052103
Aug. The combined Farmer's Mutual and Citizen's mutual telephone systems prepare to extend service to include communications with Elmira TGR-072303
July - Canton Telephone Company has established communication with East Canton. The charge from Canton will be 10 cents (per call) TGR-072303
Rural Mail carriers are strictly prohibited from carrying verbal messages. If a farmer wants a nearby farmer to come to see him, he must write it on a postal card and have the carrier deliver it. The reason is that the government wants all the revenue possible. TGR111203
Land leased to U.S. in Panama for building of Panama Canal -  Trager 648
Susquehanna and New York railroad opens with connections to Towanda, Barclay, etc. TGR-092103
The proposed trolley line from Elmira to Mansfield will pass through Millerton & Roseville [I don't believe this ever materialized] TGR-100803
AthensTown council has let a contract for an experimental concrete macadam pavement TGR-100103
Roseville reports a real estate boom in anticipation of the electric road [trolley line that never happened] TGR-102903
Troy Borough citizens interested in reestablishing electric service after the Troy electric light plant shut down last spring. [Note: rural areas did not have electric until 1934-36] TGR110503
Parcel Express service inaugurated on the trolley line between Athens, Sayre & Waverly TGR-080603
Meetings in Wellsboro and Mansfield on the new electric railroad to be built from Elmira to Wellsboro through Mansfield, Mainesburg and Roseville [It never happened] TGR111203
So far this year more than forty railway postal clerks have been killed and over 500 injured more or less seriously. Many have asked to be transferred from the trunk lines with salary of $1500 per year to the branch lines with maximum salary of $1000.  TGR111203
Bradford County cares for 85 insane persons - 55 at Danville and 30 at county home. Proposal to build a local modern asylum would reduce costs. The Danville patients cost the county $1.75 per week each. TGR120303
Troy's Electric lights will be turned on again on Friday - Carpenter & Pierce are putting in electric arc lights which will add to the illumination of their popular store during the holidays. TGR121703
Legal Documents and Events
Will - David Fanning of Springfield  (1903)
Will - Samuel Minier of Sheshequin (1903)
S. A. W. V.(Spanish American War Veterans), Camp No. 208, to hold Bradford County Soldiers and Sailors Encampment at East Towanda Fair Grounds Aug 25 - 27. TGR-080603
Encampment of Soldiers and Sailors of Three Wars held at East Towanda (TGR)
Reunion of Company C (Civil War) at Cedar Ledge. Many fallen comrades represented by wives and children. 200 present TGR-090303
Newspaper Extracts
Troy Register 1903
Firemen's Monument erected at Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira.  - Byrne 16
Sullivan & Bradford Counties' Pomona Grange meets at Gillett TGR-031203
Lodges of the Sons of Temperance organized in Athens & Sayre  - TGR-040203
A Lodge of the Red Men is organized in Mansfield  - TGR-040203
84th Anniversary of the founding of the Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) TGR-043003
A Chapter of Eastern Star, auxiliary to the Blossburg Masonic Lodge, to be established in Sept. TGR-070203
August 13. Odd Fellows Picnic on Fair Grounds at Towanda - Combined 28 Lodges in Bradford County TGR-071603
Towanda Village Improvement Soc. Organized - July TGR-071603
Firemen's Convention held at Hornellsville (Steuben County NY) July 4 - Sayre Hose Company's running team won in two events TGR-071603
Elmira Masons cleared $18,000 on carnival and street fair. This is half what is needed to clear debt on temple. TGR-071603
P.O.S. of A. Convention to be held at Mainesburg 13 August TGR-072303
Annual Picnic of Mitchell Mils Grange in Jackson Township will be held 26 August. Will take form of a Pomona Grange with all 37 Tioga County granges represented. TGR-072303
Galeton will hold Firemen's Convention in August TGR-080603
K. of P. (Knights of Pythias) at Blossburg to hold a field day August 1 TGR-073003
Independent Polish Club of Morris Run, organized four months ago, has membership of 250 with applications coming in rapidly TGR-082003
Eighth Annual Convention of Five County Volunteer Firemen's Association - Galeton Aug 20 - 21 TGR-081303
Second Annual Meeting of Old People's Union of Bradford County to be held at Log House August 5-7 TGR-073003
17th Annual P. O. S. of A. Convention for Bradford County to be held in Towanda Sept. 11 TGR-082703
Bradford County Grange Picnic  held at Troy Fairgrounds Aug 27 - over 1000 attend TGR-090303
Bradford County W. C. T. U. Convention held in Sayre Last week TGR-082703
Athens Camera Club is arranging an exhibition of amateur photos Dec. 3 to 5 TGR-102203
The women of the Ladies' Aid Society of Judson Hill Church will give a concert Nov. 5th assisted by talent from Troy and Austinville. TGR110503
Nov. Pomona Grange Meeting at LeRoy TGR111203
The women of the Circulating Library Club met to dispose of the year's collection of books TGR121703
March - Frank Loomis, Founder and Editor of the Troy Register Newspaper, dies TGR-032603
Louis, son of Dr. Frank Smith of Millerton, heads to Alaska to strike it rich mine prospecting TGR-061803
July - Adam Richter of Blossburg sustains an uninsured loss of livestock and machinery in fire TGR-080603
Nellie, the little white pony of Uel Porter that has been familiar on Troy's streets for thirty years, is put to death out of mercy. TGR-110503
Grand Jury - Bert Brace of Springfield indicted for fiendish and unprovoked attack on the aged Hannah E. Guild resulting in her death. TGR120303
John M. Hall of Roseville convicted of forgery, fined $100 and will serve 2 years, 3 months in Eastern penitentiary TGR121703
June - Residents of North Towanda & Sheshequin petition for a new bridge across the Susquehanna River TGR-060403
Mayor Sheehan of Elmira advanced money from his own account to give police 20 days pay before Christmas (1902) TGR010103
Public Works
May - The new iron bridge at Roseville is completed TGR-050703
Athens to spend $35,000 on street paving TGR-072303
May - Gov. Odell of NY signs bill appropriating $10,000 for improvement of dikes on Chemung River in Elmira TGR-052803
Land leased to U.S. in Panama for building of Panama Canal - Trager 648
Religion & Church
New church bells in Burlington for both the Methodists and the Baptists TGR-042903
Church Attendance down for men while lodge membership increases (TGR)
The new pipe organ for Wellsboro's Baptist church arrived. Andrew Carnegie paying half of the $1350 cost. TGR-073003
July - Presbyterian Sunday School Picnic at Alperon Park in Troy TGR-073003
New organ due at the Mansfield methodist Church Sept. 1 TGR-082703
LeRaysville Congregational Church celebrates its 100th anniversary Oct. 10 TGR-100103
The new $3000 organ installed at the Episcopalian church in Wellsboro, $1000 of it paid for by Andrew Carnegie, ceased to work. When examined it was discovered that rats had shredded 221 of its 222 leather bellows. TGR-100103
Three weeks of Evangelist meetings colsed at East Smithfield Nov 29 TGR121703
Ripley Reunion to be held in Sullivan 09 September TGR-070903
Aug 11 - Lilley Family Reunion at Canton Fairgrounds TGR-072303
The 82nd birthday of Edwin Dewey of Sullivan was celebrated by a reuiniono of his descendants TGR-092103
Schools & Education
Gov. Pennypacker of PA signs bill fixing $35 as minimum monthly salary for teachers TGR-043003
School Souvenir Books of Gray Valley School and Holly School and Elk Run School and Sullivan Township Teacher Listing
School Souvenir Books of Berrytown School and Mosherville School and Beckwith School and
School Souvenir Books for Knoxville High School and Leetonia School and Palmer School and Roe Town School
1903 Troy High School Graduates
Troy, July, J. H. White, Ph.D. of W.V., elected as principal of Troy Graded and High Schools by the school board TGR-070203
Camptown Schools to become graded - both high and graded schools. This will increase appropriations from the state. TGR-071603
There are 1,030 pupils in the Sayre schools TGR-100103
There are five township high schools in operation in Bradford County, East Smithfield, Granville Centre, Camptown, Orwell, and Luther's Mills TGR-102203
Bradford County Educational Assoc meets at Sayre 13 & 14 November TGR110503
Farmer's Institute for Tioga County - Mansfield Jan. 6th & 7th, Millerton Jan.8th & 9th, Liberty Borough, Jan. 11th & 12th. TGR111903
July - A new innovation in social entertaining -  "Progessive Dinner Party" at Troy took guests house to house for various courses of the meal TGR-073003
Second Annual Old Folks Picnic to be held at Smythe Park in Mansfield August 29 TGR-072303
Annual Picnic of alumni of Mansfield Normal School to be held at Smythe Park, Mansfield, August 12 TGR-072303
July - Presbyterian Sunday School Picnic at Alperon Park in Troy TGR-073003
Second Annual Meeting of Old People's Union of Bradford County to be held at Log House August 5-7 TGR-073003
Halloween Dance at Mitchell Hall in Troy - fifty guests en masque. Music by Sherman's Band TGR110503
Edison announces his perfection of the storage battery predicting the demise of the horse in favor of lower and lower priced automobiles TGR-060403
Tools & Machinery (Farm & Home)
1,350,000 Singer Sewing Machines sold. Trager 650
Dr. Rumsey of Covington is first physician in Tioga County to visit his patients in an automobile TGR-080603
Elmira & Waverly trolley line work will begin in May TGR-040203
Introduction of Harley-Davis motorcycle by Willliam Harley and Arthur Davidson and Walter Davidson Trager 651
First cross country trip by an automobile. 52 days for a Packard - San Francisco to New York. Poor roads discourage sales. Trager 651
Wright Brothers first sustained flights in gasoline powered craft Trager 651
Legislative Act of April 23, 1903 requires automobiles to be registerd within each (PA) County. Autos may not go faster than 8 miles an hour within any city. Autos must have two lighted lamps in front and at least one red light behind. This annual license will cost $3. TGR-091703
See Source Citations on Main page of this Time Capsule Section
Life is a series of little moments. 
Here we try to salvage a few of those scraps.

Time Capsule Project Started  on 2/4/2002
By Joyce M. Tice

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