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History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania, (W. W. Munsell & Co., New York : 1883), 
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By Charles Tubbs.

The village of Knoxville was made a borough and its boundaries defined by the following statute:

"SECTION I.--Be it enacted, etc. That Knoxville, in the county of Tioga, shall be set apart and be separated from the township of Deerfield in said county, and the same shall be, and is hereby, erected into a borough, which shall be called 'the borough of Knoxville,' bounded and limited as follows: Beginning at a point on the east bank of Troop's Creek forty rods north of the northeast corner of the bridge crossing said creek; thence southerly along the east bank of said creek to its mouth; thence eastwardly along the north bank of Cowanesque to a line between the lots of Augustus Albee and Levi Falkner; thence north along said line to a point forty rods north of the public road; thence westerly on a direct line to the place of beginning on Troop's Creek."

This act was approved by William Freame Johnston, governor of the commonwealth, April 19th 1850, and thereby became a law. The borough as above "bounded and limited" is wholly within the township of Deerfield and contains about 265 acres. This consists mainly of alluvial flats, formed at the confluence of Troup's Creek and the Cowanesque River. Its elevation above tidewater is 1,245 feet. A guide board at the west end of Troup's Creek bridge has an index finger pointing up that stream, announcing: WOODHULL 12 M. TROUPSBURG 8 M. Another shows the way up the Cowanesque Valley, accompanied with the legend: PINE CREEK 20 M. WESTFIELD 6 M.

The population of Knoxville since its organization as a borough has been, at each decennial census, as follows: 1860, 313; 1870, 400; 1880, 459.

It was named Knoxville for Archibald Knox and William Knox, who established themselves in business in the place between 1815 and 1825--the former as a merchant, the latter as a hotel keeper. They were sons of William Knox, one of the pioneers of Deerfield.

The Indian history of the borough does not differ materially from that already given for Deerfield township. The only incident we have peculiar to the place is that after a distillery was put in operation at Knoxville in 1815 the vicinity was much frequented by bands of Indians, who were clamorous for "whusk," as they termed the product of the still.


The name of the first white man associated with the territory where Knoxville is located is Thomas Proctor. When the lands purchased of the Indians at Fort Stanwix in 1784 was put upon the market by the commonwealth of Pennsylvania he made application for and obtained land warrant number 531, under date of May 17th 1785. The warrant thus granted was located June 25th 1786 in the Cowanesque Valley from Wallace Gilbert's east line to Inscho Run, thus including the territory of Knoxville borough. Thomas Proctor, the warrantee, was a distinguished soldier of the Revolutionary war. He was born in Ireland, but came to Philadelphia early in life, where he worked at the trade of a carpenter until the beginning of the war. In October 1775 he raised a company of artillery, of which he was made captain. This company enlisted for one year and was to serve in the State under orders from the committee of safety. At the expiration of this term of service he was promoted to the rank of colonel and assigned to the command of the 4th artillery regiment in the continental line. He took part in the capture of the Hessians at Trenton, and was with his regiment in the battles of Princeton, Germantown and Brandywine. He commanded the artillery in Sullivan's expedition in 1779, and took a prominent part in the battle of Newtown, near Elmira. Colonel Proctor resigned his commission April 9th 1781, and died at Philadelphia March 16th 1806.(1) It is undoubtedly a fact that Proctor obtained a general knowledge of the lands in the surrounding country when he marched with Sullivan up the Chemung, and that knowledge ultimately led to the location of this warrant. November 22nd 1786 Thomas Proctor sold his warrantee rights in this tract of land to James Strawbridge, "for the consideration of five shillings specie as well as for other good causes and valuable considerations." To Mr. Strawbridge the patent was issued, and the land became a part of the "Strawbridge tract" and that part which was christened "Delight."

The first settler at "Delight," near the mouth of Troup's Creek-where Knoxville now is-was Simon Rixford. He had been a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and was afflicted with deafness caused by his close proximity to the artillery during battle. Few details of his service have been handed down. He enlisted at the age of 15 and served seven years. He came from Winchester, Mass., and made his settlement at Knoxville in 1799. His land lay along the bank of Troup's Creek from its mouth northerly to the borough limits, and was in breadth from 60 to 80 rods. He had five oxen, and by the help of his sons Asahel and David made a considerable clearing, upon which he had good crops.

The next settlers within the borough limits were Jonathan, Solomon and Alexander Matteson. Their parents were with them, but very aged. They lived with Jonathan. The family came in 1810 from the town of Salisbury, Herkimer county, N. Y., in a tract of land called "the Royal Grant." Originally the family came from Rhode Island. By the sale of their property in Salisbury they realized a comfortable sum of money for those times, and with it they purchased nearly all the land within the present borough limits to the east of Simon Rixford. Of this Jonathan, who maintained his parents, had by far the largest share-100 acres or over, in what is now the central part of the village-and to the east of his farm lay the lands of Solomon and Alexander.

In 1811 Daniel Cummings came to Knoxville from Pittsfield, Otsego county, N. Y., and bought a small lot of Jonathan Matteson where the drug store of George Gilbert & Son is now located. The nearest neighbor on the east outside of the borough was Levi Cook, blacksmith, who about this time sold his possession to Zadock Bowen (brother of Emmer Bowen), who was a carpenter by trade. His father lived with him.

These were the pioneers of Knoxville-the men who contended for the mastery with the forces of nature, cleared off the forests, fought back the wild beasts, reduced the soil to cultivation and made the country habitable. The settlement of the Knoxes has already been mentioned.

Among other early settlers was John Goodspeed. He came in 1813 with his parents, Cornelius and Phebe Goodspeed. He was born in Pottony, Vermont, in 1801. He acquired a good education considering the disadvantages of the times. He taught school and practiced the art of land surveying. As an agent and surveyor he was employed by the owners of the Bingham estate until 1836, and had extensive dealings with the people of the surrounding townships.


A few perfectly authentic accounts of hunting exploits are subjoined as illustrative of pioneer life at and near Knoxville. In their time they were themes upon which much discourse was had in the chimney corner, at the logging "bee," and wherever men met each other, and it is believed they have not entirely lost their interest to this day.

"Forks Hill" is the high precipitous knob of land that frowns upon Knoxville from the west. It is the abrupt termination of the elevated ridge that divides the valley of the Cowanesque from Troup's Creek. It dominates the plain, and early in the afternoon the town lies beneath its shadow. When the country was new it was heavily timbered. Early one morning in November 1816 James Carpenter ascended "Fork's Hill" with his dog and gun. When near the summit he discovered a large female panther and two young ones. At sight of the dog they ran up a tree. By a well aimed shot he brought down the old one, and he continued to reload and fire until he had dispatched the whole party. He descended the mountain, obtained a yoke of oxen and a sled, and by late breakfast time had his game down where the village now stands.

On election day 1818 the dogs were out in pursuit of deer. They ran a large buck into the deep water where the bridge now crosses Troup's Creek. One dog had the buck by the nose in the water. William and Archibald Knox waded into the water, took the buck by the horns and led him down to Daniel Cummings's house, where the election was being held. They took a rope, tied him up, and kept him there all day.

Shelden Tuttle was a great hunter, who lived up the valley, near Westfield. One day while out hunting his dog treed a young panther. He looked over the situation carefully, and made his plans. He tied his coat around the tree, and directed his dog to watch the game and coat. He went home, got a bed quilt and returned, accompanied by his father. He had observed another tree standing near the one in which the panther was. This tree he climbed and with a pole knocked the panther down. When the creature struck the ground the elder Mr. Tuttle threw the bed quilt over him and held him down until Shelden descended. Together they bound him, took him home, and kept him in the house all winter. He became as tame as a kitten by spring, when Tuttle sold him to a man going east.


From 1799 to 1822 the business transacted at Knoxville, aside from clearing land and farming, was inconsiderable. In 1822 it received the greatest impetus that has ever been given it at any other time. Silas Billings, who had purchased the unsold portion of the Strawbridge tract, as has already been related in the history of Deerfield, came to Knoxville in that year and set on foot many business enterprises. He had capital, credit, experience and a disposition to make manufacturing and commercial ventures. With him came several young men, at that time in his employ, who have since made the place their permanent home and have become leading citizens in every relation of life. Among these were Hon. Victor Case and Colonel Hiram Freeborn.

Since that time the development of the business interests has been steady and gradual. There have been individual losses and the destruction of property in isolated places; but no great and general disaster by floods, or fire, or commercial crisis, has swept away by accumulated results of business insight, toil and industry.

Saw-Mill.--Jonathan Matteson, Alexander Matteson and Joshua Colvin built a saw-mill in 1815, on the south bank of the Cowanesque. It had a single up-and-down saw, was driven by a flutter-wheel and was capable of cutting 1,000 feet of panel white pine in twelve hours. It continued in operation about ten years.

Grist-Mills.--Jonathan Matteson built a grist-mill on the north bank of the Cowanesque opposite the saw-mill, in which he had an interest. It had one run of stones, which were driven by water power from the river. It was completed in 1817, and to a great extent superseded the Bethlehem Thompson mill. This mill passed through several hands, and continued in operation until about 1865.

In 1825 Silas Billings built a large and substantial grist-mill on Troup's Creek. In the gable the following inscription can yet with some difficulty be deciphered:

E Pluribus Unum.
Head Quarters.
A.D. 1825.

David T. Billings was for many years the manager of this mill. This mill was driven by water power until 1854, when steam was put in and the business extended by the addition of a saw-mill. This mill was purchased in 1863 of one of the heirs of Silas Billings by Joel Johnson, who continues to own and manage the property. This combined saw-mill and grist-mill are the only ones now in operation in the village.

Distilleries.--Jonathan Matteson and Daniel Cummings built a log distillery in Knoxville in 1815. They brought the water from a spring on the north hill. They distilled whiskey from corn and rye. Stephen Colvin, a son-in-law of Jonathan Matteson, carried on the business for the proprietors. They continued the business until 1825.

In 1823 Silas Billings and Hiram Freeborn built a distillery, and conducted the business of distilling whiskey from corn, rye and barley under the firm name of Freeborn & Co. until 1829, when Freeborn purchased the interest of Billings in the concern and became sole owner. In 1829 Mr. Freeborn built a new distillery with many improvements. In 1853 he discontinued the business. During this time the distillery used about 3,000 bushels of corn, rye, and barley per year. The whiskey was all sold at the distillery door, for consumption in neighboring hotel and villages. The rate of exchange at this distillery was six quarts of whiskey for sixty pounds of corn or rye. Whiskey was sold from the distillery at thirty-one cents per gallon by the barrel for cash, or fifty cents for a single gallon. The average price paid during these thirty years for corn and rye was fifty cents per bushel.

Fulling-Mill.--Daniel Cummings constructed a fulling-mill in Jonathan Matteson's grist-mill building, both mills being driven by the same water power. In the second story of this establishment was a cloth-dressing department, in charge of Aaron Alba, who was an expert workman at the business. He came from Massachusetts in 1818. The cloth fulled and dressed here was all woven in hand looms in the dwelling houses of the early settlers. For many years the wool was carded by hand as well as spun and woven. Soon after Mr. Alba's arrival a carding machine was added to this establishment, and it lifted a great burden from the labors of the households in the surrounding settlements. Horace Streeter had charge of the carding machine.

Oil-Mill.--Every farmer raised flax when the country was new, from which to make linen cloth in the household for family use. The flax seed was wasted for many years, but in 1824 Silas Billings built an oil-mill and manufactured linseed oil from the flax seed. To be able to sell the flax seed for a price was an important aid to the struggling farmer. This mill quit business in 1839.

Hotels.--At the house of Daniel Cummings the public was entertained as early as 1815. This house was situated on the south side of Main street about three rods west of the Stoddard House. Cummings owed an interest in a distillery, and the State at that time did not interfere with his right to make and sell spirituous liquors. Whiskey could be had by the drink, and food and lodging for man and beast. At this house for many years the elections and town meetings for Deerfield were held.

Stephen Colvin in 1822 built a frame hotel not very far from the location of the drug store of George Gilbert & Son, on the north side of Main street. He operated the Cummings distillery and obtained his supply of liquid refreshments therefrom. This hotel had a succession of landlords. Among them were Charles Ryon (1844), and A. J. Monroe (1845). In 1851 the Colvin hotel was demolished and Olmsted P. Beach built a new one on its site, which he conducted until 1860. The building never was completed. Its plan contemplated a block of stores and other business places.

In 1824 William Knox built a log hotel, which he called the Rixford House. It was situated several rods from the street, south of Linden Case's store. This place was kept open as a hotel until 1829.

In 1826 Silas Billings built a large house near Troup's Creek and opened it as a hotel. He conducted it as such as long as he remained in the village-until 1840. The house is still standing, and is used as a dwelling house by Joel Johnson, the owner of the mill.

Jairus Crandall built a hotel in 1830 on the site of the Eagle Hotel. He conducted it until 1832, since which time it has changed names several times and had many landlords. It has at different times been known as the "Knoxville House," the "Weaver House," and the "Eagle." The first of these names is at present emblazoned on the street sign and the latter is painted across the front of the house. You can take your choice. In 1832 Victor Case and Caleb S. Allen succeeded Crandall and they in 1836 gave possession to Joseph Weaver, who kept the house seventeen years. Since Weaver's time landlords in this house have been about as follows: 1853, G. D. Gillet; 1855, Nathan Comstock; 1857, H. G. Short; 1859, Charles Rixford; 1860, Manly and Henry Wagner; 1861, J. H. Stubbs; 1864, G. W. Matteson; 1867, Doctor Hoyt; C. C. Phillips; Tom Mayhew; 1869, J. M. Gibson; Charles Wing, Hopper and Wildman, Eugene Benn, J. M. Christy, Robert Traver, B. W. Stanley, George Signor and B. A. Signor. It has been many times repaired and altered, and is still open for the entertainment of the public.

In 1871 Jeremiah Stoddard re arranged the rooms in a large brick building which he had built for a store and dwelling house, and opened it as a hotel. The landlords in this house since the retirement of Mr. Stoddard have been A. D. Bryan, A. B. Graves, ------ Lovelace, H. G. Short, and A. B. Graves, the present landlord.

Ashery.--In 1823 Silas Billings built an extensive ashery, potash and pearling works. The product of the manufactory was hauled to Ithaca, N. Y., and Williamsport, Pa., and shipped to New York city and Philadelphia for sale. This enterprise made ready sale for ashes.

Merchants.--Scarce & Wing began the mercantile business in Knoxville about 1815. They took lumber largely in payment for goods. They ran the lumber down the river, lost heavily and quit business.

Harvey Hemmingway succeeded them, but did not long remain in business.

Archibald Knox established himself as a merchant in Knoxville as early as 1818, and continued to sell goods for many years.

In 1823 Silas Billings began business as a merchant, and for many years kept the lead in trade. At his store in August 1824 Robert Douglass purchased the dagger with which he killed Samuel H. Ives at Troupsburg, N.Y. This appeared in the evidence upon the trial of Douglass for murder, of which he was convicted and for which he was hanged at Bath, N.Y.

In 1836 O. P. Beach and Nehemiah Beach engaged in trade, and they continued in the business four or five years.

Albert and Justus Dearman have been in trade since 1845 jointly and separately. In 1836 Henry Seely and John Goodspeed sold goods and dealt largely in lumber, and together and separately continued to do so for many years.

Victor Case begun in Knoxville, selling goods as a clerk for Silas Billings, in 1826. About 1836 he established himself as a merchant, and remained in the business until his death, in 1872. His son Linden Case continues the business at the old stand.

Levi B. Reynolds came to Knoxville from Allegany county, N. Y., in 1845 and opened a store, and sold goods until 1870. In 1875 and 1876 he re-entered trade under the firm name of Reynolds & Son, since which time he has been retired from business. D. W. Reynolds has succeeded to and continues the business.

Olmsted P. Beach established a drug store in 1852. Some others who have dealt in drugs and medicines have been F. G. Babcock (1875), Joel J. Seely (1877) and George Gilbert & Son (1878), who continue in the trade. John Goodspeed & Son are also actively engaged at present in mercantile pursuits.

Reynolds & Gilbert opened a general store in 1878, which is still in operation. The same is true of J. W. Fitch and E. G. Kelts, who began business in 1881, and of Jesse Everitts, who engaged in the sale of groceries in 1882.

In 1852 Jones & Young began selling stoves and tinware. In 1853 Giles Roberts, who came from Cortland county, N. Y., bought them out and associated William Markham with himself in the trade. In 1863 Markham retired, and Roberts conducted the business alone until 1869, when he took Augustus Alba as a partner. This firm dissolved in 1878, since which time Mr. Roberts has had no partner. The business has grown into a general hardware trade. In 1843 Henry Sherwood and Charles Ryon sold goods in Knoxville. W. D. Angell in 1878 opened a boot and shoe store. He also sells groceries and provisions.

Sidney Beach is at present associated in the business of a general store with Linden Case, under the firm name of Case & Beach.

Tannery.--Daniel Angell built a tannery in Knoxville in 1844. In 1845 he associated Hiram Gilbert with himself, and they conducted the business until 1853, when Angell retired. In 1855 Angell and Butler Pride bought the property, and owned it until 1859, when Angell sold his interest to A. D. Knox. In 1862 Knox sold to William R. Beard, and in 1868 Daniel and Delos Angell bought the whole property. In 1872 W. D. Angell purchased it, and in 1878 sold out to Thomas Brock, the present owner.

Foundry.--The Knoxville Foundry was built in 1851, by Gleason, Biles & Robie, of Bath, N. Y. John P. Biles conducted the business of this firm from its beginning until 1876; since 1876 Solomon Gleason. The main business of the establishment is the manufacture of farming utensils and machinery.

Sash-Factory.--In 1852 Henry Seely built and put in operation a sash factory. In 1863 it was burned down, and rebuilt in 1864. It has passed through the hands of several parties, and is now owned by Ira Edgcomb, who employs in it daily fifteen men. They manufacture sash, blinds, doors and shingles.

Furniture Factory.--Chester Wells came to Knoxville in 1869 and engaged in the manufacture and sale of household furniture. He also does an undertaking business. Charles R. Pride has sold furniture since 1874.

Blacksmiths.--Peter Roberts engaged in blacksmithing at Knoxville in 1824. He was succeeded by John E. White, who came to Knoxville from Windham county, Conn., in 1833, and labored at his trade most of the time until 1853. Joseph Weaver ran a shop from 1836 to 1844. Josiah Welsh succeeded him. John Hogencamp came from Ludley, N. Y., and opened a shop September 9th 1855, and still follows the trade. Joseph Ellison and E. F. Mott, who located in the town in 1866, are practical blacksmiths, still in business. J. G. Plaisted, who makes and repairs wagons, located in town in 1867.

Banking House.--In 1869 Morgan Seely, David Coates and Vine Crandall opened a banking house in Knoxville. They did a general business of selling exchange on New York, discounting notes and negotiating loans. They discontinued the business in 1877.


In speaking of the first school in Deerfield it has been seen that Asahel and David Rixford of Knoxville attended it in 1802-3. The fact that children anywhere within four miles of a pioneer school-house attended it when there was school accounts for the circumstance that no pedagogue was employed at Knoxville until 1817.

The school-houses of Knoxville have been three in number. The house erected in 1817 was built of plank which were dovetailed and dowel-pinned to the frame. This was succeeded about 1834 by a much better house, located on the south side of Main street and further east than the old one. This was occupied until 1855, when it was nailed up by John Goodspeed, an account of which will be found in extracts from minutes of the board of directors. From 1855 to 1860 the school district rented the Quaker meeting-house and used it for school purposes. In 1858 a lot was bought of Julius G. Seely, and in 1860 the school-house at present in use was erected for the school district by Messrs. Markham & Roberts, contractors.

Of school teachers it is possible to give but a partial list, especially in the earlier years. Some of them were as follows:

1818, Sophia Hale; 1821, Gaylord Griswold Colvin; 1822, Anson Rowley; 1828, Abby Goodspeed; 1832, Madison Darling; 1835, Rhoda Horton; 1837, H. G. Olmsted; 1838, Victor Case; 1839, Hiram K. Hill; 1852, Nelson G. Ray; 1853, Ambrose Close; 1854, L. Augusta Youts; 1855, S. B. Dickinson; 1856, Helen Marks; 1857, Samuel Olmsted; 1858, J. T. Cone; 1859, Ulysses P. Stebbins; 1860, 1861, J. T. Cone; 1862, 1864, Mary Bowen; 1863, Mrs. ------ Short; 1865, Mary E. Coffin; 1866, Mary Van Dusen; 1867, Mary Eastman; 1868, Frances M. Wright; 1869, Clarinda Teall; 1870, Clinton Mercer; 1871, Alice Phillips and H. C. Bartlett; 1872, Ira Sayles; 1873, 1874, S. H. Edwards; 1875, Elias Horton; 1876, Ada Horton; 1877, 1878, G. R. Hammond; 1879, J. D. Everitts; 1880, 1881, Byron J. Costley.

The school directors who have watched over the interests of the schools since the erection of the borough are as follows:

Elected 1851 for 3 years, William Markham, Henry Seely; for two years, Hiram Freeborn, O. P. Beach; for 1 year, William Dunham, David Beach; 1852 (all at and after this date for 3 years), Daniel Angell, Gardner Matteson; 1853, Victor Case, William Price; 1854, David T. Billings, E. Rumsey; 1855, Daniel Angell, J. W. Bellows; 1856, Victor Case, William Markham; 1857, J. H. Rogers, D. B. Closson; 1858, L. B. Reynolds, A. J. Monroe; 1859, J. H. Stubbs, Julius Morgan; 1860, William Tiffany, Hiram Freeborn; 1861, J. P. Biles, Victor Case; 1862, John Kelts jr., J. H. Stubbs; 1863, H. W. Howland, Jefferson Matteson; 1864, Giles Roberts, Isaac Loughry; 1865, L. B. Reynolds, Joseph Sunderlin; 1866, Victor Case, Edwin Teall; 1867, Joel Johnson, E. Horton jr.; 1868, William Finknor, Augustus Alba; 1869, Victor Case, David Coats; 1870, George Spring, J. E. Cady; 1871, George B. Smith, Joel Johnson; 1872, Augustus Alba, W. W. Dunham; 1873, Linden Case, C. R. Pride; 1874, J. S. Wainwright, J. D. Hood; 1875, George W. Spring, J. W. Putnam; 1876, W. D. Angell, Linden Case; 1877, Giles Roberts, J. E. Cady; 1878, A. Dearman, L. B. Reynolds; 1879, Linden Case, J. D. Hood; 1880, Luther Matteson, John E. Cady; 1881, Herman T. Gilbert, Giles Roberts; 1882, Linden Case, Albert Dearman.

A few extracts from the minutes of the proceedings of the board of directors are given to illustrate the changes in the laws, wages of teachers, and text books, and the duties and difficulties these unpaid officers have to grapple with:

The office of county superintendent of common schools was provided for in an act of the Legislature of May 8th 1854. Previous to that time boards of directors had to examine those who applied to teach school, as the following minutes would seem to indicate:

"November 8th 1852.--Directors met and examined N. G. Ray as to this qualifications for teaching. Voted to give him a certificate and hire him for 3 months at $18 per month. Voted to give Helen Somers an order for $24, it being for 12 weeks' labor as teacher."

"November 29th 1854.--Meeting of the board voted that the following class books be adopted for this school, viz.: Denman's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd reader and Sanders's 4th reader and speller; Davies's arithmetic, Brown's grammar, Mitchell's geography and Walker's dictionary. Voted that the above list be furnished the teacher."

"January 11th 1855.--On motion voted our present teacher be discharged for incompetency and general lack of government."

"Knoxville, May 5th 1855.--At a meeting of the school directors held this day at the store of V. Case it was resolved that the directors meet at the school-house on Monday 7th May at 7 o'clock A.M. for the purpose of clearing the house in order to establish a school, they having understood that John Goodspeed was ILLEGALLY (as they believe) using it for a store room."

"Monday, May 7th, 9 A.M.--The school directors met at the school-house. They found the door nailed up, and very soon John Goodspeed came with oaths and threats placed himself against the door, crowding our president away, and swore that he would prevent our entrance at all hazards, calling us a set of Damned Scoundrills and such other approbrious epithets as he could think of; and after some parleying on the part of the directors, and being fully satisfied that the directors could not gain an entrance to the house without subjecting themselves to personal violence from Goodspeed, they left the house in his possession."

"May 11th.--Directors met and resolved to prosecute John Goodspeed for taking possession and nailing up the school-house."

"November 29th 1855.--Voted unanamously to carry the suit recently arbitrated with J. Goodspeed back into court and try it there. Voted that an order for $25 be drawn for the purpose of paying cost in said suit."

"June 20th 1857.--Board of directors met, voted that Victor case be sent to Wellsboro to consult counsel about the propriety of carrying suit with Goodspeed up to the supreme court."

"September 13th 1859.--Board met pursuant to adjournment. Voted that John Goodspeed's bill of costs to be allowed and order drawn for $25.49 for the same."

March 16th 1861.--On motion the following text books were adopted: Davies's arithmetics, Kenyon's grammar, Sanders's series of readers and speller, Colton and Fitch's geography, and Comstock's philosophy."

"August 24th 1864.--Meeting of the board at Case's store. Present, Roberts, Stubbs, Loughry, Case. On motion voted that the volunteers from Westfield and other towns have the privilege of organizing their company in the school-house."

"April 24th 1879.--Moved and carried that the following school books be adopted, to wit: Swinton's series of geographies, American educational readers, Kent's series of grammars, Swinton's U. S. histories and Spencerian penmanship."

The following statement from the report of the superintendent of public instruction for 1881 exhibits the present condition of the school of Knoxville borough:

Whole number of schools, 2; average number of months taught, 8; number of male teachers, 2; female 1; salary of males per month, $32.62; salary of female per month, $22; number of male scholars, 56; number of females, 76; total tax levied for school purposes, $524-96; amount of State appropriation, $105.


Cowanesque Lodge, No. 351, F. & A. M. was organized June 24th 1875, with 7 charter members. J. P. Biles was W. M. and Jeremiah Stoddard secretary. The officers for 1882 were: J. S. Grantier, W. M.; James C. Goodspeed, secretary. The lodge meets Wednesday evening on or before each full moon, in its hall over the post-office at Knoxville. It has 31 members.

I. O. of O. F.--Cowanesque Lodge, No. 332, was instituted at Knoxville March 21st 1849. This lodge had an extensive membership and prospered for many years. It finally went into decay, and in 1867 was removed to Mansfield.

Deerfield lodge, No. 800, was organized June 11th 1872; Emmer Bowen, N. G.; Julius G. Seely, secretary. The number of members in 1882 was 34. The officers in 1882 were: L. K. King, N. G.; Lucius Matteson, secretary. It seems every Saturday evening in the hall over the post-office in Knoxville borough.

Sons of Temperance.--Cowanesque division, No. 359, was instituted at Knoxville June 14th 1849. It was attended and supported about ten years. It has been impossible to obtain details of its history.

A. A. and G. C. Seely Post, No. 44, Grand Army of the Republic was organized July 10th 1875, with 17 charter members, with F. G. Babcock as commander, and A. M. Dunham adjutant. The times of meeting were the first and third Friday of each month. The charter was surrendered in 1879. F. G. Babcock was adjutant at the time.

Knoxville Lodge, No. 760. Knights of Honor, was organized October 5th 1877, with 12 charter members; F. G. Babcock, dictator; G. R. Hammond, reporter. The lodge meets alternate Friday evenings in its hall over Hiram Freeborn's store. The number of members in 1882 was 60. The officers that year were: W. R. Francis, P. D.; H. T. Gilbert, D.; Sidney Beach, reporter.

Good Templars.--Lodge No. 1,355 was organized June 23rd 1879. The first presiding officer was C. K. Bunnell, W. C. T.; S. H. Baxter, secretary. The lodge meets Monday of each week. The officers in 1882 were: L. A. Johnson, W. C. T.; Miss Ada Watts, secretary. There were 15 charter members. At the present there are 55 members.

Equitable Aid Union No. 271 was organized March 22nd 1881, with 22 charter members. The first president was Jesse Everitt; secretary, John Whitnack. The union meets the first and third Monday in each month. The membership in 1882 was 30. President, H. G. Short; secretary, Peter J. Sensabaugh.


The Quakers.--The first religious body that had its place of worship in Knoxville was the Society of Friends or Quakers. They organized at the house now occupied by Benjamin Salisbury Bowen (1882) in Deerfield, and decided to build their meeting-house in Knoxville. In 1812 they built a log meeting-house after the usual manner of building places of worship by members of this sect. Through the middle ran a movable partition, which was raised and lowered with much noise by means of chains. On one side of the partition sat the men, on the other the women. During the hour of worship the partition was removed, but when there was business to transact the cumbrous machinery was put in motion and the men and women separated, and each held a separate business session. The rules of the meeting were to sit an hour; if any one felt moved to speak he or she did so; otherwise the hour was sat out in silence, and ended by a general hand shaking. The men sat with heads covered; when they spoke they removed their hats. Ebenezer Seelye and Mehitabel his wife, Julius Seelye and Joanna his wife, Joseph Colvin and Ruth his wife, Emmer Bowen and Huldah his wife, Jesse Lapham and wife and George Martin and wife were among the first members of this society. Soon afterward Martin and Freelove Bowen were added to the membership, and Freelove became the most frequent speaker. Eddy Howland and Julius Seelye often spoke in meeting. At many meetings not a word was uttered. The society belonged to the Ontario quarterly meeting. In 1820 it built a new framed meeting-house, which was used until the society dissolved, in 1840. The building is still standing, having been converted into a dwelling house.

The Quakers wore a garb peculiar to themselves, which became an object of ridicule, and enforced a regulation that no member should marry out of the meeting. Mainly to these two facts can be traced the decadence and extinction of the Society of Friends in Knoxville. The founders of this society here lived and died in the faith, but their descendants have attached themselves to other religious denominations.

"The Quaker of the olden time--
How calm, and firm, and true,
Unspotted by its wrong and crime
He walked the dark earth through."

The Free Church.--"We the subscribers, desiring a House for Public Worship in the Borough of Knoxville, Do associate ourselves together under the name of the Free Church Society of Knoxville, and we agree to pay the sums set opposite our respective names for the purchase of a lot and the erection of a meeting-house thereon under the following general rules (viz.):

"1st. The said House and Lot shall former remain the property of the said society." 2nd, Provides for the election of officers. 3rd, Provides that shares shall be $10 each and that each member shall have one vote for each share he owns. 4th, Provides for the amendment of the rules.

The action above indicated was taken by nearly all of the leading citizens of Knoxville October 24th 1851. Many of the subscribers were members of no religious denomination. Hiram Freeborn, Henry Seely, Daniel Angell, David T. Billings and John Goodspeed gave $100 each to the enterprise. Others gave liberally according to their means. The needs of the town had outgrown the old Quaker meeting-house and the school-house. A lot was purchased of Jonathan Matteson for the nominal sum of $50, which Mr. Matteson donated. Henry Seely contracted with the trustees to erect the church building, which he did in 1852. From 1852 to 1869 it was the only church in Knoxville. Different denominations have used it, agreeing between themselves and the trustees as to the time. In 1867 an elaborate time table was made out and agreed to between the Methodists, "Christians" and Congregationalists. The schedule was arranged, to quote its own language, "So that each denomination shall have the house two Sunday mornings in each six weeks." The claims of rival congregations for the morning hours engendered much friction. The most pliable and accommodating board of trustees could not award it to all the same Sunday. Accordingly the Methodists built themselves a church in 1869 and the Congregationalists in 1871. The annual meeting of the stockholders of the Free Church takes place on Easter Monday. In November 1866 a bell was purchased and hung in the belfry of the church. In January 1867 a charter of incorporation was granted the "Knoxville Free Church" by the court of common pleas of Tioga county. In May 1867 an organ was purchased to assist in the music. John F. Boom is president of the board of trustees, and Linden Case secretary.

Methodist Episcopal Church.--Knoxville was a headquarters of Methodism in the Cowanesque Valley for the first fifty years in this century. William Knox, the pioneer of Deerfield, was a Methodist local preacher and exhorter. His labors were followed by those of the Rev. Samuel Conant, who preached with such force and effect that it was not unusual for members of his congregations to become unconscious, or in the phraseology of the time, to be overcome by the "power" of God. His ministration began about 1815, and continued for many years. We are unable to determine just when itinerant preachers were first sent to Knoxville.

In 1826 the Methodists had so far established themselves and increased in numbers as to be able to build a parsonage. Zadock Bowen made a free gift of the land upon which to build it. Of the preachers who have occupied it and ministered to the various churches in the "circuit" of which this was a center, it will be impossible to give a complete list. Among them were: From 1820 to 1830-Rev. Messrs. John Copeland, Abe, Cary, Asa Orcutt, Caleb Kendall and I. J. B. McKinney; 1830 to 1840-Rev. Messrs. Bell, Dewey, Nathan Fellows and Brooks; 1840 to 1850-Revs. Francis Conable, Milo Scott, Samuel Nichols, J. L. S. Grandin and Turk; 1850 to 1860-Revs. A. D. Edgar, ------ Davison, ------ Duncan, Samuel Nichols, R. L. Stilwell, Samuel P. Guernsey and Elisha Sweet; 1860 to 1870-Revs. C. Dillenbeck, C. L. F. Howe, Isaac Everett, O. B. Weaver and Isaac Everett; 1870 to 1882-Revs. John H. Blades, Charles Weeks, J. V. Lowell, W. W. Hunt, J. W. Barnett, J. O. Jarman and John Knapp, the present incumbent.

Mr. Knapp was born at Wells, Rutland county, Vt., in 1817; was educated at Troy Conference Academy, and has been a member of the conference since 1842.

The Methodist church edifice was built in 1869, and is now undergoing repairs.

The "Christian" Church was organized October 14th 1865, by Revs. Chester D. Kinney, of Osceola; ------ White, of Watkins, N. Y.; J. W. K. Stewart, of Lawrenceville, and W. D. Rutherford, of Knoxville; with 18 members. Since its organization it has had the following pastors: 1865, W. D. Rutherford; 1866, H. R. Kendall; 1868, Chester D. Kinney; 1876, E. T. Abbott; 1878, Walter T. Mills; 1880, J. E. Hays.

This society worships in the Free church, and has sixty members.

The Congregational Church was organized April 28th 1867, by Rev. L. Smith Holbert, with seven members, viz. Joel Johnson, Francis his wife, and Caroline his daughter; Elias Horton jr. and Ada his wife; J. P. Biles, and Miss Emily Goodspeed.

This society began the erection of a church edifice in 1869. The corner stone was laid with appropriate religious ceremonies. In the stone (which is in the southwest corner) was placed a tin box containing a Bible, a hymn book, a county paper, the Lycoming Gazette of December 21st 1831, and a copy of The Excelsior. This church, substantially built of brick, was completed in 1871, and dedicated February 2nd of that year by the Rev. E. D. Taylor, D. D.

The pastors have been as follows: 1868, J. A. Farrar; 1870, John Cairns; 1872, W. H. Segston; 1875, A. E. Palmer. For several years past this society has employed no pastor.

The Baptist Church was organized March 7th 1868, with seven members, viz. E. P. Masterson, Mrs. P. J. Masterson, Miss Frank Masterson, Zadock Short, Mrs. Elizabeth Short, William R. Simpson and Mrs. Clara Plaisted. This church has employed the following pastors: 1868, W. P. Omans; 1871, Stephen H. Murdock; 1873, C. K. Bunnell; 1876, C. A. Diffin; 1878, Philander Reynolds; 1882, S. L. Bovier.

This church has forty members, and rents and holds its services in the church of the Congregational society.


The officers who have administered the laws in Knoxville and managed its affairs have been as follows:

Burgesses.--1851, Hermon Temple; 1852, 1853, Hiram Freeborn; 1854, David T. Billings; 1855, 1856, David Angell; 1857, Julius Morgan; 1858, John P. Biles; 1859, Augustus Alba; 1860, Charles O. Bowman; 1861, Charles H. Goldsmith; 1862-64, Justus Dearman; 1865, 1866, Giles Roberts; 1867, Julius G. Seely; 1868, William Markham; 1869, 1873, William Morse; 1870, Augustus Alba; 1871, John M. Christie; 1872, Giles Roberts; 1874, Lucius Matteson; 1875, 1876, John M. Christie; 1877, Charles Boom; 1878, Jesse Everitt jr.; 1879, 1880, 1882, Albert Dearman; 1881, John F. Boom.

Town Council.--1851-Hiram Freeborn, David T. Billings, L. B. Reynolds, Cornelius Van Dyck, William Markham. 1852-A. J. Monroe, Cornelius Van Dyck, William Markham, G. A. Mead, Levi B. Reynolds. 1853-David T. Billings, William Tiffany, Ephraim Rumsey, Joseph Weaver, George A. Mead. 1854-Joseph Weaver, Warren Gleason, William Tiffany, H. G. Short, John E. White. 1855-Samuel May, David Beach, H. B. Closson, John Matteson, Jesse Smith. 1856-Samuel May, David Beach, H. B. Closson, John Matteson, Jesse Smith. 1857-Victor Case, J. H. Rogers, Charles Mosher, Henry Seely, Giles Roberts. 1858-Victor Case, Ephraim Rumsey, Gaylord Pringle, John F. Boom, Ezra Bowen. 1859-Julius Morgan, William Markham, John Kelts jr., Jefferson Matteson, John P. Biles. 1860-William Tiffany, Hiram Freeborn, Augustus Alba, Julius G. Seely, John P. Biles. 1861-J. H. Stubbs, John Matteson, Archibald D. Knox, Nelson G. Ray, John E. White. 1862-John P. Biles, Nelson G. Ray, John F. Boom, Archibald D. Knox, J. H. Stubbs. 1863-Nelson G. Ray, Henry W. Howland, J. W. Bellows, Jared Davis jr., John P. Biles. 1864-Hiram Freeborn, Joseph Barker, Joseph Sunderlin, William H. Wilkins, Sumner P. White. 1865-John E. White, Sumner P. White, for three years; W. W. Dunham, G. W. Matteson, for two years; John P. Biles, John Hogencamp, for one year. 1866 (all for three years thereafter)-Victor Case, S. L. Love. 1867-L. D. Seely, W. W. Dunham. 1868-Charles Morse, William B. Smith. 1869-J. M. Christie, Giles Roberts. 1870-Jeremiah Stoddard, S. L. Love. 1871-G. B. Smith, Joel Johnson, Linden Case, John Hogencamp, Giles Roberts. 1872-Augustus Alba, Victor Case. 1873-John Hogencamp, H. A. Phillips, Joel Johnson, W. W. Dunham, William Markham, Charles Morse. 1874-W. D. Angell, Nelson G. Ray, Giles Roberts, J. M. Christie, Fred Woodbury, J. E. Cady. 1875-J. L. Wood, H. G. Short, Giles Roberts, Joel Johnson, W. W. Dunham, William B. Smith. 1876-C. R. Pride, J. G. Plaisted, D. S. Shove, Giles Roberts, W. W. Dunham, D. W. Reynolds. 1877-J. Wainwright, H. G. Short, E. D. Bowen, E. Matteson, John Fitch and Sydney Beach. 1878-J. Wainwright, H. G. Short, E. D. Bowen, L. Matteson, John Fitch, Sidney Beach. 1879-H. G. Short, John W. Fitch, J. E. Wainwright, E. D. Bowen, Milan Ham, Sidney Beach. 1880-Nelson G. Ray, E. D. Bowen, Milan Ham, Sidney Beach, J. W. Fitch, J. S. Wainwright. 1881-Chester Wells, John F. Boom, J. G. Plaisted, Ira M. Edgcomb, J. W. Fitch, Luther Matteson. 1882-Chester Wells, John W. Fitch, Milan Ham, J. S. Wainwright, Ira M. Edgcomb, James B. White.

Clerks of Council.--1851, 1852, Benjamin B. Strang; 1853, C. O. Bowman; 1854, H. G. Short; 1855-57, Victor Case; 1858, E. Bowen; 1859, 1860, 1864, John P.Biles; 1860-62, Nelson G. Ray; 1863, Henry W. Howland; 1865, W. W. Dunham; 1866-72, Victor Case; 1873-75, Linden Case; 1876, Giles Roberts; 1877, Charles L. Peck; 1878-81, John Ormerod; 1882, John Thomas Gear.

Treasurers.--1851, Daniel Angell, 1852, Augustus Alba; 1853, Levi B. Reynolds; 1854-56, Hiram Freeborn; 1857, Giles Roberts; 1858-60, Ephraim Rumsey; 1860, 1861, H. Freeborn; 1862, William Markham; 1863-66, John P. Biles; 1867-76, Giles Roberts; 1876, D. S. Shove; 1877-80, Sidney Beach; 1881, 1882, J. W. Fitch.

Constables.--1851-53, 1855, Samuel May jr.; 1854, William Jones; 1857, William Whitaker; 1858, Henry Hopkins; 1859-61, D. B. Closson; 1862-64, M. D. Wilhelm; 1865, William D. Knox; 1866-74, Moses D. Wilhelm; 1875, John C. White; 1876-82, John C. Knox White.

Justices of the Peace.--1851, Andrew Beers, Cornelius Van Dyck; 1853, W. B. Dimmick; 1854, 1864, 1869, 1874, 1879, John E. White; 1855, J. W. Bellows; 1858, Nathan Comstock; 1861, Victor Case; 1862, Nelson G. Ray, John P. Biles; 1867, 1872, Giles Roberts; 1882, James C. Goodspeed.

John E. White was once elected to the above office in Deerfield before the borough of Knoxville was erected. He is therefore serving out the time of his sixth commission, which will make 30 years should he live until 1884.


As a central point in the Cowanesque Valley Knoxville was the place where battalion training was usually held on the second Monday in May of each year. Company training was held on the Monday preceding, in the towns where the company belonged. Trainings were held as early as 1812, and grew in importance as the country increased in population, until within a few years of the time they were discontinued, which was about 1849. The men of the companies and battalions elected their own commanding officers, and aspiring young men sought these positions. Among the citizens of Knoxville who arose to eminence in the militia was Hiram Freeborn. He was commissioned to serve from 1828 to 1835 as major of the second battalion 129th regiment of the second brigade 9th division of the Pennsylvania militia, by Andrew Schultze, governor of the commonwealth. In 1830 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and commissioned by Governor George Wolf.

Training day was a gala day and usually the greatest gathering of the year. The vender of gingerbread and other refreshments was always on hand, and there were plenty of places where whiskey could be had for three cents a drink. It was the custom for newly elected officers to treat their men. As a consequence in a new country, with men full of pluck and muscle, there were sometimes brawls and fights. Athletic sports were indulged in, and often the day would up with a dance at Billing's or Weaver's hotel.


Judge Victor Case kept a record of some events which took place of Knoxville at the beginning of the civil war, and a list of the men who entered the army from what borough, with some brief memoranda concerning each one. From this we quote:

"April 24th 1861.--War excitement strong. Knoxville raising flags and soldiers. Pole raised 85 feet high with the star and stripes. Four hundred dollars raised to support families of volunteers. Several war speeches."

"April 25th.--Intense excitement at Knoxville. Recruiting officers call for volunteers. Music playing, soldiers marching, flags flying, all in commotion. P. M.-21 volunteers departed from Knoxville amid deafening cheers from the multitude. Names of volunteers-T. Steward, A. Seely, F. Aikens, S. Rumsey, H. Rumsey, W. Knox, J. Green, H. Bostwick, P. Freeman, C. Dimmick, Card, 3 Cooks and others. (Nearly all returned within one month.)"

The explanation of the last sentence is that the government did not accept their offer to serve. It will be seen by examining the following list that when the government was ready to receive them most of them were ready to go. At least two of them gave their lives for their country.

Soldiers Enlisted from Knoxville Borough.--Murray Dunham; N. Y. State regiment; returned at end of war. George Matteson, invalid corps; returned. Giles Seely; died in hospital at Washington. Horace Rumsey; discharged. Thomas Stewart; discharged. Seth Leroy Love; nine months volunteers, Company B 136th Pa. Eli Teller; enlisted spring 1864, wounded; returned at end of war. William Franklin; deserted. D. S. Buck; killed at or near Richmond; 2nd Pa. James Loghey; spring of 1864; returned. Warren S. Boom; spring of 1864; re-enlisted and returned at end of war. John B. Waklee, Warren Gleason and John W. Schoonover; enlisted in the spring of 1864; returned. Frank Matteson; drafted and commuted. Luke Seely, lieutenant; taken prisoner at Petersburg and exchanged. Albert Seely; killed at the battle of Mechanicsville. Horace Chisholm, Clark B. Worden, Frank Nieler, Jehiel Norton, Charles Matteson and E. D. Rutherford; nine months volunteers, Company B 136th Pa.; discharged. M. W. Teall, 1st Conn. artillery; re-enlisted after three years; returned at end of war. Douglass Cook; re-enlisted; wounded. Hiram Bostwick; New York State; killed in the 2nd battle of Bull Run. E. Godfrey; from the town; returned. Milan Ham, Westfield; spring of 1864. Fred Freeman, returned; re-enlisted; died in rebel prison. Barton Morse and River Bostwick; returned; discharged at end of war. Frank Freeman, discharged, non compos mentis.

"Drafted men in Knoxville borough to report March 22nd 1865; in consequence of the great flood time extended to April 15th 1865. Reported:

"William B. Mead, S. P. White, William Hurlbut, W. W. Dunham, J. W. Bellows, William Morse, H. K. Rumsey, Linden Case, Henry Newell, M. D. Wilhelm, Giles Roberts, George Budson, E. R. Dunham, William B. Smith, Horatio Chisholm."

"Failed to report: Milton Boyce, O. H. Wood, toothless, Jefferson Matteson, furnished substitute, James Bowen, O. T. Quackenbush."

"Those reporting were ordered to return home and await further orders. The war closed by the capture of Lee and Richmond, and the drafted men were not wanted."

The records of the borough show what was done in the line of raising bounties. The first entries are:

"Foundry office, Knoxville, February 17th 1864.--Council met upon call of the burgess, who stated the object of the meeting to be to consider the propriety of raising a local bounty for volunteers. On motion resolved that under all the circumstances of the case we do not consider it expedient to raise by tax any local bounty for this borough."

The next entry upon the subject is as follows: "July 25th 1864.--Resolved that we give a bounty of one hundred dollars to all those who shall volunteer into the service of the U. S. and be accredited to this borough." At the same meeting a tax was levied, and John P. Biles was appointed "to see that the borough have proper credit, and all persons not liable to draft be stricken from the roll." August 8th 1864 the borough council guaranteed "an additional $100 to every volunteer for this borough." September 1st 1864 the council voted "an additional $100, making $300 in all, to each volunteer from this borough to fill the last call." Also "resolved that J. P. Biles and Giles Roberts be sent down to Harrisburg to see and pay the men, and make returns to this council."

December 19th 1864 the county of Tioga assumed the indebtedness incurred as above by the borough. The quota of the borough under the call for 500,000 men was nine. Subsequently the United States called for 300,000 men, and the council under date of March 4th 1865 "resolved that there be a bounty raised for volunteers and substitutes of $300 to each man to fill the quota of the borough." March 7th 1865 a tax was provided for to pay the indebtedness thus incurred. Not very much money was raised under the above resolution. Jefferson Matteson furnished a substitute, a draft was had as indicated above, some expenses were incurred, but the downfall of the Rebellion obviated the necessity of any of the men actually entering the service. From the above review it will be seen that in furnishing men and money Knoxville did her full share toward putting down the slaveholders' rebellion.


De Lancy Freeborn, son of Colonel Hiram Freeborn, was born at Knoxville, September 9th 1833. In his youth he attended the common schools at his home, and Union Academy, in Deerfield. He prepared himself for college by spending one year under the tuition of Professor William C. Kenyon at Alfred Academy, in Allegany county, N. Y., and two years at Lima Seminary. He entered Yale College as a freshman in 1854, and having completed the full classical course graduated with honors in 1858. Intending to follow the legal profession he entered the Albany Law School, finished its course of two years, and was graduated in 1860. He then went to Memphis, Tenn., and taught school until the outbreak of the Rebellion, when he returned home and taught in an academy at Spring Mills, N. Y., one year. He next learned phonography in New York city, but a nervous affection in the right hand and arm prevented his making use of this acquirement. Since this time he has followed the profession of teaching, spending some years in Ohio, five years at Wellsville, N. Y., and the past seven years in charge of the schools at Hornellsville, N. Y. June 30th 1860 he married Miss Emma Cobb. They have three sons and a daughter.

A. J. Monroe is a native of Williamstown, Berkshire county, Mass., and was born October 7th 1806. When he was eleven years of age his parents removed to Cayuga county, N. Y., and he grew up to manhood and lived there until 1842, then removed to Pennsylvania. He completed his legal studies in the office of Hon. John C. Knox, at Lawrenceville, and was admitted to the Tioga county bar in 1843. He located at Knoxville and entered upon the practice of his profession. In 1850 he represented Tioga county in the State Legislature, having been elected to that office as a Whig. The following year he was appointed district attorney. In August 1859 he removed from Knoxville to Monticello, Jones county, Iowa, and has since practiced law there. He has held that offices of assistant assessor of internal revenue and justice of the peace. In 1843 he married Adelia Wood; they have five children-Augustus, Clarence, Herman, William and Edward-and he has one son by a former wife--Eugene. He had three sons in the Union army--Eugene, Clarence, and Augustus.

Charles O. Bowman, son of Godfrey Bowman, was born in Westfield (Brookfield) township, March 6th 1825. In his youth he attended the common schools in Brookfield, and a select school taught by Dr. Robert H. Tubbs on Troup's Creek in 1843. In 1844 he attended the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, at Lima, N. Y. He studied law with Hon. Robert G. White, and was admitted to the bar September 8th 1852. He located at Knoxville in November 1852, where he built up a large legal practice. In 1862 he was elected a member of the House of Representatives from Tioga county. In October 1865 he removed to Corry, Erie county, Pa., where in 1869 he was elected a representative to the Legislature, and in 1872 a member of the constitutional convention. He is a member of the bar in Erie county, where he has been in active practice since 1865.

Charles L. Peck is a native of Farmington township, where he began his education in the common schools. He subsequently attended Union Academy, in Deerfield, and the high school at Osceola. He studied law in the office of Hon. M. F. Elliott, was admitted to the bar, and practiced his profession at Knoxville from 1872 to 1876.

John Ormerod came from Coudersport, Potter county, and opened a law office in Knoxville in 1877. He remained in practice there until 1881, when he returned to Coudersport, where he is still engaged in his professional labors.

John Thomas Gear was born October 4th 1854, at Pittsford, Ontario county, N. Y. He was educated at the common schools and at Friendship Academy, Allegany county, N. Y. He studied law in the office of L. H. Cobb, at Coudersport, Pa., and was admitted to the bar at that place June 15th 1881. He opened an office for the practice of law at Knoxville December 1st 1881.

F. G. Babcock was born at Westfield, April 15th 1849, and was educated in the common schools and at Union Academy, in Deerfield. July 6th 1864 he enlisted in Company D 4th N. S. artillery, and served as hospital steward. He studied law two years in the office of C. L. Peck, at Knoxville, and afterward for some time in the office of John Ormerod. From 1880 to 1882 he attended lectures in the law department of the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, and was admitted to the bar June 17th 1882. He has located in business at Knoxville.

Hermon Temple was born at Eaton, Madison county, N. Y., July 8th 1810. He began his medical studies with Allen Frazer jr., of Deerfield. He was graduated at the Vermont Medical College, located at Woodstock in that state. He began the practice of medicine at Knoxville about 1840, and pursued the profession successfully until his death, which took place February 3rd 1852.

William B. Rich came from Otsego county, N. Y., and began the practice of medicine about 1843. He has lived at Knoxville, in Deerfield and Chatham at various times. He remained in active practice about thirty years, when failing health compelled him to relinquish his business. He died in 1878.

Jerome Knapp was born at Bainbridge, N. Y., in 1822. He studied medicine with his father, Dr. William Knapp, and attended lectures at Geneva Medical College, where he was graduated in 1851. In the autumn of that year he located at Knoxville and entered energetically into the practice of his profession. He died in 1853, and his remains were taken to Waverly, N. Y., for burial.

H. A. Phillips was born in Massachusetts, March 29th 1832, and when about 12 years of age removed with his parents to Broome county, N. Y. He studied medicine with Dr. P. M. Wey, at Kirkwood, N. Y., and was graduated from the Albany Medical College in 1866. He located at Springs Mills, N. Y., and practiced medicine one year, when (1867) he removed to Knoxville, where he pursued his profession until his death, which occurred August 17th 1877.

C. M. Phillips studied medicine with Dr. H. A. Phillips and practiced under a license, not being a graduate of any medical college. In 1881 he removed to Rathboneville, N. Y., and he has since resided there.

Charles Albert Reese was born in Somerset county, Pa., August 20th 1841. He was educated in the common schools and at Bernville Academy, Berks county, Pa. He studied medicine with Dr. D. J. Reese, Hyner, Pa., in 1860, and attended one course of lectures. He then entered upon the practice of medicine at Sinnamahoning, Cameron county, Pa. In 1873 he completed his studies at the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, and received his degree. In 1875 he came to Knoxville, where he continues in the active practice of his profession.

Walter R. Francis was born in Wellsboro, March 22nd 1853. He was educated in the common schools and at the State normal school, where he graduated in 1871. He was entered as a student in medicine at the office of Dr. J. Masten, at Westfield, in 1873, and after attending lectures was graduated from the University of Buffalo, February 23rd 1876. He began the practice of medicine at Westfield in 1876, but the same year removed to Sabinsville, where he remained two years. In 1878 he removed to Knoxville, where he is at present established.


"Our vales are sweet with fern and rose,
Our hills are maple-covered;
But not from them our fathers chose
The village burying ground."

No favorable criticism could justly be made upon the location of the two cemeteries in Knoxville. Both are plots of ground that could be rendered beautiful and attractive if properly cared for. At present they are overgrown in places with locust sprouts, thorny brush and weeds to such an extent that it is almost impossible to penetrate the thickets to examine the monuments located therein.

The Quaker Burying Ground is situated on the south side of the Main street of the village, and is plainly and substantially fenced. The strictly sectarian Quakers erected no tombstone or monument to mark the resting place of their dead. We shall therefore look in vain for the tombs of many of the pioneers who were members of the Society of Friends. Within this inclosure, in unmarked graves, lie the remains of John Howland, the first of the name to settle in this valley, John Handy and many others. We transcribe some of the inscriptions of the tombstones and monuments:

Emmer Bowen died the 3d of the 5th month 1841, aged 71 years & 29 days.

Huldah wife of Emmer Bowen died the 9 of the 7 month 1847, aged 72 years 8 M. & 22 D.

Julius Seely died the 21st of 10 mo. 1850, Æ 63 years. 4 mo. 15 d's.

Joanna wife of Julius Seely died 3d of 4 mo. 1848. Age 60 yrs. 1 mo. 15 d's.

Ebenzer Seely(2) died June 23d 1837, aged 81 years, 2 mo. & 27 ds.

Mabel wife of Ebenezer Seely died May 27th 1839, aged 82 yrs. 9 mos. & 17 ds. [Her name was Mehetabel.]

James Yarnall died Feb. 24 1843, aged 73 years 10 ms. 18 dys.

Elizabeth wife of James Yarnall died April 3d 1847, aged 66 years 10 M. & 13 D.

Elanson Seely died Dec. 29 1866, Æ 73 yrs. 9 M. & 15 D.

Mercy wife of Elanson Seely died Nov. 25th 1867, Æ 74 yrs. 9 M. & 19 D.

Lavinia daughter of Julius & Joanna Seely died the 17th of 9th M. 1842. Age 29 y's 7 mo. & 10 d's.

Gideon Ray died, Mar. 21st 1862, aged 76 yrs. 7 months & 9 days.

Olivia C., wife of Julius G. Seely, daughter of George & Laura P. Bulkley, died Jan. 13th 1862, aged 32 Y. 1 M. & 6 Days.

Eleazer Clark died Oct. 6th 1862, aged 74 years and 1 Day.

"Our Mother"--Rosomon, wife of Eleazer Clark, died July 4 1873, Æ 70 yrs. 10 ms. 28 dys.

Abigail wife of Eleazer Clark died October 16th 1824, aged 35 years 4 ms. 25 dys. "She was a kind and affectionate wife, a fond mother and a friend to all."

Martin Bowen died June 5 1858, aged 69 years 7 months and 1 day.

Freelove wife of Martin Bowen died 24 of the 7 mo. 1866, aged 76 yrs. 9 mo. & 15 ds.

Ralph A., son of Abraham and Cynthia Pease, died Apr. 26 1868. Age 25 yrs. 8 m. 10 days.

Jesse Rose died July 30th 1868, Æ 73 yrs. 6 mo. & 18 days.

Almira wife of Ebenezer Seely died Nov. 8th 1869, aged 49 years 8 mo. & 8 days.

Jesse Everitt died Feb. 1 1875, Æ 67 yrs. 8 mo. & 23 days.

H. A. Phillips, M. D., born March 29th 1832, died August 17th 1877. "Erected to his memory by the Tioga County Medical Society."

Ruth C., wife of O. H. Wood, died August 28th 1866, aged 38 years 2 months 25 days.

"She sleeps at last, her work is done;
'Tis finished and she's gone to rest;
Her Saviour has now called her home
To dwell in regions of the blest."

Rev. Elisha Sweet died September 7th 1869, aged 59. A member of the East Genesee Conference. "As for me I will behold thy fact in righteousness." "I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness."

H. L. Bostwick was killed at the battle of Bull Run, August 28th 1862, Æ 19 Y. 8 M. & 28 D.

The Free Church Cemetery lies immediately about the church edifice to the southward. It is substantially fenced in front but poorly upon the rear. The older portions of the grounds are overrun with brambles and the graves and monuments are uncared for. The first burying ground in Knoxville was upon Main street, not far east of Troup's Creek. The remains were exhumed and reburied in the Free Church graveyard about 1832. In an unmarked grave lie the remains of Simon Rixford-the pioneer of Knoxville. Some of the inscriptions upon the tombstones and monuments in this cemetery are as follows:

Archabald Knox died Mar. 4 1851, aged 57 years 9 M. &1 D.

Caroline wife of Archabald Knox and daughter of Luke & Chloe Scott died Mar. 20 1855, aged 58 years 8 ms. & 11 ds.

Sacred to the memory of Aaron and Fanny Alba. Aaron Alba died April 21 1847, aged 54 ys. 9 ms. & 19 ds. Fanny Alba died Dec. 24 1867, aged 69 ys. 4 ms. 26 ds.

AG: 51:AND 13DAY
Jonathan Matteson died October 30th 1859, aged 79 yrs. 4 mos. & 8 days.

Lydia Colvin wife of Jonathan Matteson died May 29th 1849, aged 63 years 2 Ms. 28 Days.

Joseph Yarnall, born July 25 1803, died June 5 1875.

Sarah wife of Joseph Yarnall died Oct. 21 1839, Æ 42 yrs. 5 mo. & 27 days.

Minerva wife of John E. White and daughter of Abisha & Martha Baker died June 18 1849, aged 40 years 1 Mo. & 2 Ds.

Dolly second wife of John E. White and daughter of William & Sally Knox died April 19 1872, aged 56 years 4 Mos. & 9 days.

Stephen King died Dec. 12 1841, Æ 55 Y 9 m & 23 d.

"Death is a debt to nature due,
Which I have paid and so must you."

Mary wife of Stephen King died Nov. 29 1855, Æ 70 Y. 3 m. & 14 d.

"Thou art in the grave, mother,
We have laid thee there with weeping;
There where the tall grass waves, mother,
Low in the mould thou art sleeping."

In memory of Hiram Gilbert, died June 10 1871, aged 75 years 3 Ms. and 4 Ds.

Truman Gilbert died Jan. 23 1878, aged 41 years 1 M. & 2 days. Gone but not forgotten.

John Waklee died Feb. 4 1838, aged 79 years.

Dinah wife of John Waklee died April 4 1832, aged 37 years.

Elizabeth C. wife of John Waklee died Jan. 27 1839, aged 93 yrs. 1 M. & 11 Days.

John Waklee died March 28 1864, aged 67 years 11 M. & 16 Ds.

Mary A. wife of John Waklee died June 5 1870, aged 53 years & 29 days.

JuLY 19 1829.
John Matteson died Aug. 26 1870, aged 69 yrs. 4 ms. 9 ds. "I have finished my work and gone home to rest."

Rosetta wife of Silas Billings died Dec. 25 1835, aged 36 years.

Nabbey wife of Silas Billings died Feby 15 1831, aged 27 years.

James Scott died Oct. 12 1860, aged 59 years 11 Ms. & 12 Ds.

Mehetabel wife of James Scott and daughter of Theodore and Lydia Gilbert, died June 8 1848, aged 56 years 1 Mo. & 12 D.

Henry Seely died March 23 1865, aged 58 years 8 Ms. & 28 Ds.

Emily wife of Henry Seely and daughter of Luman and Hannah Stephens, died April 7 1851, aged 35 years 8 Ms. & 22 days.

Giles C. Seely, Co. F 86th Regt. N. Y. Vols., died at Camp Griffin, Va., February 21 1862, aged 18 years, 6 mos. & 26 days.

Albert A. Seely, Sergt. Co. A 1st P. R. Vol. Corps, wounded at Gaines Hill, June 27th, died in prison at Richmond July 3 1862, aged 21 years 2 mos. & 15 days.

"So sleep the brave who sink to rest
With all their country's wishes blest."

Victor L. Beach, Co. C 127th N. Y. Cav., died Oct. 30 1863, aged 23 yrs. 4 Ms. 5 ds.

Oscar F. Beach, Co. L. 2nd Pa. Cav., died Nov. 19 1862, aged 20 yrs. 7 ms. & 15 ds.

Acenath wife of Nehemiah Beach died Ap. 21 1844, aged 35 yrs. 10 ms. 5 days.

"The Lord hath called, and I obeyed;
The debt of Nature I have paid."

Caroline A. wife of Nehemiah Beach died Dec. 12 1847, aged 26 yrs. 11 ms. 23 ds. "Have we not all one Father? hath not one God created us?"

Ruth M. wife of Nehemiah Beach died March 27 1855, aged 46 yrs. 6 ms.

"Thy memory, loved one,
How sacred, now dear."

Moses Inscho died Oct. 1 1848, aged 56 yrs. 5 ms. 3 ds.

John Goodspeed died Aug. 26 1864, aged 63 years 2 Ms. & 21 Ds.

Orril wife of John Goodspeed died Aug 13 1865, aged 66 yr. 10 ms. 29 ds.

George Dearman died Dec. 7 1867, aged 69 Y. 6 M. & 13 Ds.

Olive wife of George Dearman died Aug. 12 1833, aged 33 yrs. 4 ms. & 14 Ds.

Viola L. wife of W. B. Mead died Jan. 29 1870, Æ 24 yrs. 7 ms. & 29 ds.

"How sweet it will be in that beautiful land,
So free from all sorrow and pain,
With songs on our lips and harps in our hands
To meet one another again."

James Costley died Jan. 12 1834, in the 37th year of his age.

Philena wife of Joel Crandall died May 13 1834, Æt. 37 yrs. 10 ms. 29 ds.

Victor Case died Nov. 17 1872, aged 64 yrs. 8 Ms. & 10 Ds.

"Tis better to rest in the halls of the dead
Than to linger in life,
Where the head and the heart with pain are oppressed,
And the soul is beleaguered with sorrows and strife."


The post-office at Knoxville was established November 20th 1826. The postmasters and the dates of their commissions have been as follows: Aaron Alba, December 16th 1826, October 3d 1831, March 15th 1843; Colton Knox, January 23d 1830; Victor Case, August 12th 1841, January 30th 1849, April 29th 1869; Daniel Angell, October 9th 1847; Samuel May jr., March 2nd 1851; Hiram Freeborn, July 26th 1853; Levi B. Reynolds, May 13th 1861; Linden Case, January 6th 1873.

The following named citizens of Knoxville have been elected to serve as county officers: Archibald Knox, county treasurer, 1836; A. J. Monroe, representative, 1850; Charles O. Bowman, representative, 1862; Victor Case, associate judge, 1861.

The vote for borough officers at the last election was published as follows: Burgess-A. Dearman, 80. Councilmen-M. Ham, 78; I. M. Edgcomb, 79; J. W. Fitch, 80; C. Wells, 78; J. S. Wainwright, 79; James B. White, 76; D. W. Angell, 2. School directors-A. Dearman, 95; L. Case, 95; D. W. Reynolds, 95; H. T. Gilbert, 1; P. J. Sensabaugh, 1; Ed. Wagner, 1. Justice of the peace-James C. Goodspeed, 74; E. F. Mott, 27. Constable-J. C. White, 93; J. Hogencamp, 1. High constable-E. G. Kelts, 68. Assessors-H. T. Gilbert, 95; D. W. Reynolds, 90; I. M. Edgcomb, 92. Judge of election-A. E. Atherton, 96. Inspectors of election-J. D. Everetts, 28; W. D. Reynolds, 53. Auditor-W. R. Francis, 94; D. W. Reynolds, 94; H. T. Gilbert, 94; Ed. Wagner, 1.


The Fourth of July 1843 was celebrated at Knoxville. Hon. Henry Sherwood, then a young dry goods merchant in the village, was orator of the day, and acquitted himself to the satisfaction of all present. One who was present thus describes the festivities of the occasion:

"The Fourth of July was celebrated in 1843 in old fashioned style. The American Eagle spread her wings very wide and soared very high, and her scream was heard up and down that valley for many miles. The ceremonies were conducted by the substantial men of the locality; such men as John Goodspeed, Archibald Knox, John Knox, James Knox, Eddy Howland, Henry Seely, Joseph Weaver, Emmer Bowen, Benjamin Bowen, Charles Toles, Levi Falkner, George Bulkley, Ard H. Bacon, George Bacon, Robert Tubbs, Benson Tubbs and a host of others. Mine host, Joseph Weaver, gave us good fare and good jokes."

Some other celebrations are remembered. In 1861 the Fourth of July was celebrated, and Hon. Butler B. Strang and Charles O. Bowman delivered the orations. The same orators appeared before the people of the Cowanesque Valley at Knoxville in 1875 upon a similar occasion. In 1877 the "Fourth" was celebrated under the auspices of the men who had joined in the Murphy temperance movement, and whose distinguishing badge was a blue ribbon worn conspicuously in a button hole. Addresses were made by the Rev. Mr. Abbott and Eccles Robinson, of Elmira. In 1882 preparations were made to celebrate the Fourth of July, when Major George W. Merrick was to have delivered the oration. But the rain poured down all day and no celebration was held.

In 1844 politics ran high in the Cowanesque Valley. Two mass meetings were held-one by each party. The Democrats raised a hickory liberty pole at Academy Corners upon a platform, and with 72 yoke of oxen hauled it to Knoxville, where the meeting was being held. At this meeting Martin Grover, of Angelica, N. Y., popularly known as the "ragged lawyer," was the chief speaker. A free dinner was served to all who attended. The day was stormy. The same season the Whigs made a large demonstration at Knoxville. Their meeting was addressed by A. Bray Dickinson, of Hornby, N. Y., and was considered to be a great success.

September 25th 1868 the Republicans held a mass meeting at Knoxville. One hundred and fifty men on horseback from Osceola and Elkland attended this meeting. The day was stormy and the speaking took place at the "Free Church."


In the autumn of 1844 Hiram Freeborn bought and stored in his distillery about 2,000 bushels of corn and rye. The following spring there was a great scarcity of grain among the settlers and laborers who were clearing lands in South Deerfield and Chatham. About forty of these people entered into a conspiracy to plunder Mr. Freeborn's store in open daylight. They matured a plan, set a day, and took steps to carry out their purpose. Each one of the conspirators (according to the plan) was to take a grain bag across his shoulders and at a certain hour to go to the storehouse of the distillery and gain admission under pretence of exchanging maple sugar for whiskey. Then they were to take forcible possession of the grain and carry it away. One of the party secretly informed Mr. Freeborn of these designs and the execution of the plan was frustrated. When the men appeared the doors of the storehouse were locked and help was at hand to resist an attack should one be made.

In the summer of 1862 a draft was made to fill the quota of some towns in Tioga county that had not been forward in volunteering. To adjust the size of the quota and examine the men who had been drafted a Commissioner of the United States and a surgeon met the representatives of the towns in the Cowanesque Valley and the drafted men at Knoxville September 16th and 17th 1862.

The Knoxville Cornet Band was organized with 12 members, in 1875, C. M. Allen leader. It is at present (1882) in a flourishing condition; has 12 members; F. G. Babcock is leader.

Truman Gilbert committed suicide by shooting himself January 23d 1878. He was suffering great bodily pain, which in the opinion of the attending physician created temporary aberration of mind.

The Corning, Cowanesque and Antrim Railroad Company finished its road bed through the territory of Knoxville borough and began running trains in the fall of 1882.

The Addison and Northern Pennsylvania Railroad Company finished its road through the village during the same season.

Simultaneous with the advent of the railroads comes the newspaper. It is announced that A. H. Owens is to launch a journalistic enterprise entitled the Knoxville Courier November 1st 1882.

1. Pennsylvania Archives, second series, Vol. XI, pages 175, 184 and 191; also Rev. David Craft's address at Elmira at the Centennial celebration of Sullivan's Expedition, August 29th 1879.

2. Ebenezer Seely (for so he spelled his name) was a Revolutionary soldier. He served the seven years of the war in Sheldon's light horse-a Connecticut company. After the war he emigrated to this State. He married Mehetabel Todd in Connecticut, by whom he had ten children that grew to manhood and womanhood, married and produced unto him 101 grandchildren. We regret our inability to give more details of his service in the Revolutionary army. He did not become a Quaker until after his settlement in Deerfield.  

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