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Early History of Canton
As Related By Charles E. Bullock
See also more articles from Mr. Bullock

This article is dated 1910 and probably appeared in the Canton Sentinel at that time.  It was printed in the Canton-Independent Sentinel Anniversary Issue in 1950.

Some fifteen miles west of Canton lies Liberty township, the Block House country, the settlers of which were almost entirely of German descent.  Equally distant on the south are Fox and Elkland township, which numbered many Quakers among the early settlers, while as for Canton township practically all of its settlers were from the New England states, Yankees, as they were called.  At first thought it would seem strange that sections lying so near together should differ so greatly in the character of the people who settled them.  There must have been a cause for this, and supposing this cause removed, we can readily imagine Canton, instead of being, as it is, a reproduction of many a New England village in the architecture of its dwellings and in the names of its inhabitants, we can imagine it, I say, as being like any one of a hundred towns in southern Pennsylvania, with brick dwelling houses built close to the street and having a population composed of our worthy fellow citizens of this state, the Pennsylvania Dutch.  Perhaps better it would be to imagine Liberty and Fox and Elkland as like unto what we now are, for undoubtedly all that kept the sturdy New England Pioneers from settling the country west and south of Canton was the rugged nature of the land in Union township and the mountain barrier on the south.  Given the waters of Block House flowing past Canton to the North Branch of the Susquehanna instead of into the West Branch by way of Pine Creek, and the Schrader Creek water shed possessing the broad valleys and fertile soil of the Towanda creek and settlement of Liberty and Fox and Elkland by the New England pioneers would have been inevitable.

It came about from a little mistake made some 250 years ago in writing upon a piece of paper that the Yankees are here at all.  But this piece of paper was called a charter and was a grant of land from the King of England.  The same land was granted, the width of one degree of latitude, to both the Connecticut colony and to William Penn.  In the contest over the title the successors of Penn finally prevailed, and had this outcome been foreseen the Connecticut colonists undoubtedly would have taken their habitation elsewhere.

The first white men to visit Canton, or rather, the ground it occupies came exactly 192 years ago the present month of March.  They came up the Lycoming creek, over the Indian path, or trail, from the west branch to the north branch of the Susquehanna creek to one of the two cross trails to Sugar Creek, thence to the latter stream.  There were two of them, one Conrad Weiser, Indian agent and interpreter, his companion, a Dutchman named Stofel.  They were accompanied by two Indian guides and were on their way to Onondaga upon a mission to the Six Nations.  They arrived at the mouth of Sugar Creek on the 29th day of March, 1737.  They were entirely out of provisions and had nothing since early morning.  They found a few Indian families here on the verge of starvation.  In his journal Weiser says, "There were many Indians living here, partly Cayugas, partly Mohicans.  We went into several huts to get meat, but they had nothing, as they said, for themselves.  The men were mostly absent hunting; some of the old mothers asked us for bread.  We returned to our quarters with a Mohican, who directed his old gray-headed mother to cook a soup of Indian corn.  She hung a large kettle of it over the fire, and also a smaller one with potash, and made both boil briskly.  What she was to do with the potash was a mystery to me, for I soon saw it was not for the purpose of washing, as some of the Indians are in the practice of doing, by making a lye and washing their dirty clothes.  She finally took the ash kettle off the fire and put it aside until it had settled, and left a clear liquor on top, which she carefully poured into the kettle of corn.  I inquired of my companions why this was done, and they told that it was the practice of these Indians, when they had neither meat nor grease, to mix their food with lye prepared in this manner, which made it slippery and pleasant to eat.  When the soup was thus prepared, the larger portion was given to us, and out of hunger I quietly ate a portion which was not of bad taste."

In 1743, six years later, Weiser made the journey again.  Setting out from Philadelphia on the 3rd of July in company with John Bartram, the celebrated English botanist, twelve days later they reached the headwaters of Towanda creek.  A part of Bartram's journal appears in one of his books published in London in 1751.  Emerging from the terrible wilderness of the Lycoming about two hours before sunset they "came to oak and hickory land, then down a steep hill producing white pine to a creek called Cornuria, a branch of the Towanda where they lodged."

The next time that white men visited the headwaters of Towanda creek they came in greater numbers.  It was in September 1778.  The year of the Wyoming massacre, that two hundred militia, under the command of Colonel Thomas Hartley set out from Muncy to chastise the Indians.  The troops met at Muncy the 18th of September.  "When we came to count and array our force for the expedition," says Hartley, "it amounted to only 200 rand and file.  We thought the number small, but as we presumed the enemy had no notice of our designs, we hoped at least to make a good diversion if no more whilst the inhabitants were saving their grain on the frontier.  We began our march on the 21st at 4 o'clock.  We carried two boxes of spare ammunition and twelve days' provisions.  In our routine we met with great rains and prodigious swamps; mountains, defiles and rocks impeded our march.  We had to open and clear the way as we passed. We waded and swam the river Lycoming upwards of twenty times.  The difficulties in crossing the Alps or passing up the Kennebec could not have been greater than those our men experienced for the time, and which they surmounted with great resolution and fortitude.  In lonely woods and groves we found the haunts and lurking places of the savage murderers who had desolated our frontier.  We saw the huts where they had dried the scalps of the helpless men and women and children who had fallen in their hands.  On the morning of the 26th our advance party of nineteen met with an equal number of Indians on the path near what is now Canton village, approaching each other.  Our people had the first fire; a very important Indian chief was killed and scalped; the rest fled.  A few miles further, in the neighborhood of Leroy, we discovered where upwards of seventy warriors had encamped the night before on their march toward our frontier, the panic communicated, they fled with their brethren."

Colonel John Franklin, of Sheshequin, a man prominent in the early history of Bradford county, was in command of the party of nineteen who had the skirmish with the Indians near Canton.  He afterwards told Horace Spalding, in a conversation with him at this father's house in Canton, that he pursued a band of Indians up the creek to where Allen Taylor lived until his death, known as the John Newell farm, where he with nineteen men engaged the Indians, killing the chief and wounding some others.  The Allen Taylor farm is at Grover at the headwaters of both the Towanda and Lycoming creeks.  Here was a landmark often referred to in early local history, as beaver dam and meadow.  Near this point, upon the farm formerly owned by Daniel Innes, in 1796, some eighteen years after Hartley's raid, the first settlement in Canton township was made.  Jonas Gere was the name of the first settler and with him were his wife and three children.

Ezra Spalding, to whose son Horace we are indebted for much of our knowledge of early local history, came the same year.  Other settlers who came before the year 1800 were as follows:  Jonathan Prosser the first settler within the limits of Canton Borough.  His improvement was probably upon Lycoming street on the lands of Ezekial Newman estate.  A man by the name of Cook who settled on what is now the William Bohlayer farm, Main street.  These three settlers, Jonas Gere, Jonathan Prosser and Cook, Ezra Spalding found here when he came in 1796.  The same year Gasham Gillett settled the farm on south Main street formerly owned by Daniel Innes, and his son, Wilkes Gillett, the farm on South Main street now owned by Mrs. C. B. Williams.  It is from this family that the name Gillett's pond, formerly applied to lake Nephawin was derived.  Calvin Sellard, Captain Sellard, as he was called, father of Mrs. Emeline Leavitt, married a granddaughter of the elder Gillett.  Zephaniah Rogers settled the Hubbell Manley farm, now Mourland Park, and his son the Lindley farms.  The old gentleman built a little tub mill as it was called, a very crude affair, having a capability of cracking corn from a bushel and a half to three bushels of corn in twenty fours, if kept steadily at work.  Mr. Spalding built a similar mill and his son Horace says of it:  it would crush a bushel and a half of corn in a day, while squirrel and chipmunks took the toll, but it was preferable to pounding corn in a hollow stump.

John Newell, Moses Emerson and Laban Landon settled, the first at Grover, the others between Grover and Canton.  Laban Landon was father of the late Eldah Landon.  He settled lands formerly or now owned by Joseph Brooks, Charles Spalding and Orrin Granteer.

In 1799 Samuel Griffin, Sr. a revolutionary soldier who was in the battle of Yorktown, settled on the George Goff farm near the fair grounds.  His path up the creek at this time was shown by marked trees.  His son, Samuel, Jr., father of the late George W. Griffin, came with him.  The elder Griffin died soon after coming here, and is said to have been the first grown person who died in the township.  Mrs. Griffin was accustomed to relate to her family that when she first came up the creek the Holcombs were keeping bachelor hall in Leroy and that there was no house above there until their place was reached.  In 1803 Mr. Griffin was appointed Lieutenant of the 2nd Company, 57th regiment and in 1805 promoted to Captain of the Company.

In 1800 Joel Babcock built where the Cyrus Taber house now stands.  He sold to Abraham Taber, a revolutionary soldier, father of Nathan B. Taber.  In this year also came John Grantier, from Schoharie county, New York.  There were three sons, Jacob Jr., John and David, and several daughters, one of whom married Samuel Rockwell and one Nathan B. Taber.  In the winter of 1804 Samuel Rockwell came from Vermont by sleigh, by way of a road which Noah Wilson and others had opened the previous year from Troy to Alba.  Mr. Rockwell who is the ancestor of many in this section settled on the Jacob G. Rockwell farm north of Canton Borough.

Ezra Spalding, who came to Canton in 1796 was a soldier of the revolution.  He was born in Connecticut, came to Sheshequin in the fall of 1795, left his family there during the following winter and with his son Horace, came to Canton and located a farm under the Connecticut title near Cedar Ledge.  He built a log cabin between the main road and Towanda creek and chopped a fallow of about four acres.  He then returned to Sheshequin for his family and in the month of February removed them to his new home.  His goods were loaded on an ox sled and Col. John Spalding took the family in a sled with horses.  They made the trip in four days, picking their way through the woods and frequently being compelled to stop to clear out a way for the teams.  The family consisted of two sons and three daughters, viz. Horace and William, Lucy, Betsey and Deligh?  Besides there were two negro slaves, who came from Connecticut.  Beulah and her son Caesar.  Beulah lived with her master part of the time and died there.  Caesar ran away; returned to his master but proved to be worthless and left.  Mr. Spalding suffered all the inconveniences of living in a new country and endured many privations.  He could raise no more grain than was needed for the sustenance of the family, while maple sugar was the only product with which to buy groceries and clothing, glass, nails etc., and Tioga Point or Williamsport the nearest point at which they could do their trading.

It is to the preservation of Ezra Spalding's account book and to the use of it made in refreshing the recollection of his son Horace, when an old gentleman of upwards ninety that we are indebted for much of the knowledge of the early history of Canton.  Horace Spalding's recollections were prepared for the Canton Sentinel in 1876 by his son in law the late Sylvester D. Kendall, and were reprinted in that paper in 1892.  Some of the names in that account book are the names of persons now living here.  The book covers a period of from 1799 to 1813.  I notice the following names:  John Griffin, Hugh Holcomb, Sela Crofut, David Pratt, Jr., Benjamin Stone, Samuel Wilcox, John Granteer, Nathan Wilcox, Henry Segar, John Crandall, Samuel Griffin, in 1799, "to horses and oxen drawing hay from beaver meadows," John Newell, Laban Landon, Jesse Roberts, Uriah Soper, Noah Wilson, Eli McNett, Augustus Loomis, Zoroaster Porter.

The experience of Noah Wilson, first settler of the northern portion of Canton Township, and his son Irad, whom many will remember as Colonel Wilson, is typical of many settlers here.  Noah Wilson came to the place now bearing the name of Alba in May, 1802.  He built a cabin and made a clearing by burning over a windfall at the base of Armenia mountain, which mountain he named.  He raised about forty bushels of good sound corn, which he stored in a crib for use when his family should come.  In the fall of 1802, after harvesting his corn and drying what pumpkins he needed, he returned to Vermont for his family, with whom on the 5th of May, he began his pilgrimage again for the west.  His family consisted of his wife, three sons and three daughters, and with them and his goods he loaded two wagons, the same being drawn by five horses.  When Troy was reached a number of the settlers there accompanied Mr. Wilson to Alba and with their axes cut and cleared a road for the wagons to pass.  Late in the afternoon of May 29th, 24 days after leaving Vermont, the cabin of Mr. Wilson was reached and occupied by a portion of the family.  Colonel Wilson, then a boy of five years sleeping under the wagon while a sister slept in it, and the accompanying men slept by the log fire they kindled.  The next day was spent in making a better and more comfortable house, which was completed the same day, the roof of ark even being put on.  In afterwards writing of his early recollections Colonel Wilson says:  "We all lodged the second night in comfortable quarters.  The bedsteads consisted of crotched sticks driven into the ground, with little poles reaching from the cracks between the logs, and elm bark served as bed cords.  As we had more leisure, basswood planks were split for flooring and other preparations for comfort made.  Being in a new country, the next thing was to cut down the forest, clear up a farm, and make a permanent home.  All energies were exerted in this direction."

The early habits and customs of the pioneers conformed as nearly to the principal of a commonality as was practicable.  If the meal time or night found one neighbor at the house of another, he was made welcome to the best the house afforded, be it little or much, and no bill was to pay on his departure.  The men cut down the forest and cleared and tilled the land, and the women did the spinning and weaving for the clothing of the household.  The boys caught trout and hunted cows, and the girls helped their mothers and taught the schools of the day.  The fashions were plain:  men wore buckskin pantaloons and the women sometimes wore buckskin shirts and jackets.  Colonel Wilson says:  "It was a common practice for men, women and children to go to church barefooted, and the boys bareheaded.  As the settlement increased, the fashions changed, the ladies began to wear shoes to church, but they would carry them in their hands until near the house of worship, (generally a private one) and then stop, clothe the feet with woolen stockings and cowhide shoes, and adjust the other apparel, which was composed of tow-linen cloth dresses of their own manufacturing."  Much of the foregoing is to be found in the two histories of Bradford county, that of David Croft and that of H. C. Bradley.  I have not hesitated to retain, in part, the exact language of the book.

Until March 24, 1810, Canton township was in Luzerne county, a bill creating Bradford county out of pars of Lycoming and Luzerne counties having been signed by the Governor on that day.  In the same month and year, Canton Township, then in the county of Luzerne was made a separate election district.  There were at this time six election districts in the county.

By 1805 a wagon road had been constructed from Williamsport to Canton, the state assisting in its construction, and later it was completed to Troy and then to Elmira.  In 1854 the Elmira and Williamsport railroad was built.  Asa Pratt was the first postmaster.  Previous to this time the settlers had to receive their mail at Towanda.

As late as 1849 some of the customs appear to have survived.  The late Frederick Black came to Canton in that year.  Some years ago his experiences were printed in the Sentinel.  There were only two stores in town at that time, one kept by Walter and Ezekial Newman, the other by Mr. Rathbone.  After moving into the house he had rented he went down to Newman's store and asked for a bag of flour.  The late Ezekial Newman, who waited upon Mr. Black, was astonished at the request.  "We don't keep flour," he said; "you must get some wheat and take it to the grist mill."  He then directed him to Mr. Rathbone's place, where he purchased some wheat, loaded it upon a wheelbarrow and had it converted into flour at what is now Rockwell's mill.  A day or two later he wanted some meat and asked for it at Newman's store.  They told him that they didn't keep meat for sale but there was a chunk in the back room he might have.  Mr. Black examined it and said he would take three or four pounds.  They refused to cut it, but said he might have the whole for three cents a pound, and he bought it.  It weighed fifty pounds, and as he had no ice, not even a cellar, his only way of keeping it fresh for a few days was by tying it to the end of a rope and lowering down in a well almost to the water line.

That the early settlers suffered many hardships and privations is unquestioned.  They were separated from the kindred and friends of their former home by many miles of wilderness through which communication was difficult and infrequent.  They were often scantily protected against the cold of winter, often suffered from lack of sufficient food, and were tortured, in many localities, in the summertime, by myriads of gnats and mosquitoes, "worse", as one settler expressed it, "than cold or hunger."  But there were compensations.  Their fathers, too, had battled the stern forces of nature, and they had reached  manhood and womanhood inured to hardship and privation.  They had become adapted to their environment.  The virgin forest meant to them opportunity.  The heavier the timber the better the land.  The native strength of the soil was attested by a plenteous yield.  Hope pictured for their declining years, and for their children, affluence to follow present privation.  The open fireplace and unplastered walls of their dwellings insured abundant ventilation.  Robust appetite, the best of sauces, attended their tables, however scantily provisioned they might be.  Their neighbors though few, were neighborly after a fashion unknown to these later years.  They were content with their lot and would not have exchanged it for another.  They would not thank us to pity them.

It is well for us now and then, in our minds, to turn back the wheels of time, and as far as may be, enter into the live of the early settlers of Canton Township.  Their the same hills and mountains, the same springs and water courses, the same advance of the seasons, the same influence of nature as ours.  We picture the slow trek up the Towanda creek, the arrival at the spot where a home is to be established, the first cabin, the first fallow, the first tilled field, the father wielding the axe or pounding the corn or journeying many a weary mile to mill or to market; the mother spinning or at other household duties, her brood of children about her.  The meetings and cooperations of neighbors and their ungrudging acts of hospitality.  The first election, the first post office and the first receipt of mail thereat.  All this and much more we may summon before our mind's eye.  It is well, now and then to enter into the life of the early settlers, a life which for us and in us may thus still continue.

"By midnight moons o'er moistening dues, in vestments for the case arrayed.
The hunter still the deer pursues, the hunter and the deer a shade."


We are fortunate to have people like Ezra and Horace Spalding, and his son in law Sylvester D. Kendall, who took the time to record the early history of Canton, and Charles E. Bullock who took the time to gather information about the lives and times of the early settlers.  Without the accounts they have written, much of the knowledge of early Canton would not have been available to us today.

Canton township was formed from Burlington and Wyalusing in 1804.  It was named for the Connecticut Township of Canton.  The first white man to enter southwestern Bradford was Conrad Weiser, who followed the Sheshequin path through the township of Canton.  The first settler was Jonas Gere, who settled at Grover in 1795.  After building a log house and clearing a few acres, he sold to Orr Scovell in 1799 and moved away.  Jonathan Prosser, a German, settled on the present site of Canton in 1795, but sold to Jacob Grantier in 1801 and left the county.  Ezra Spalding, a Revolutionary soldier was the first permanent settler, coming to Cedar Ledge in 1796.  Samuel Griffin came in 1799, as did Laban Landon, Samuel Rutty, Orr Scovell.  Noah Wilson came to Alba in 1803 and gave it the name Alba because of its stream of pure water.  In 1804came David Pratt, Samuel Rockwell and Levi Morse.  The Sellards and David Lindley, John Haxton and John Watts came in 1812.

The first school taught in the township was the winter of 1801-02.  The first store was opened by Ezra Spalding in 1796 and he built a distillery in 1797.  Spalding also brought two negro slaves with him.  The first white child to be born in the township was Joshua G. Landon on Feb. 27, 1800.

Where Jacob Grantier settled was known as "Canton Corners."  In 1864 it was incorporated as a borough.  Canton post office was established in 1825 with Asa Pratt as postmaster.  Alba post office was established in 1827, and the borough was incorporated in 1864.  East Canton post office was established in 1862, Minnequa in 1869, and Grover in 1872.

Tax payers on the first assessment of 1813:
David Andres John Grantier Roswell Rogers Daniel Wilcox, Jr.
James Armstrong Jacob Grantier Jesse Roberts Nathan Wilcox
David Allen Hugh Holcomb Samuel Rutty Charles Wilcox
Nehemiah Allen Sterling Holcomb Zephaniah Rogers, Jr.  
Ezra Bailey John Haxton Zephaniah Rogers  
David Bailey Luther Hinman Elias Roquat David Way
Timothy Bailey Daniel Ingraham Nathan Rogers Noah Wilson, Jr.
Scovell Bailey Jacob Kingsbery Reuben Rowley Oliver Woodside
Nathaniel Babcock John Knapp Isaac Randall John Watts
Benjamin Babcock Samuel Knapp Stephen Sellard  
Smith Bailey Benjamin Landon Henry Segar Jeremiah Taylor
Abel Blackman Laban Landon Nancy Strickland  
Jonathan Clark Laban Landon, Jr. Benjamin Saxton  
William Clark Augustus Loomis John Smiley Aziel Taylor
John Crandall Jesse Morse Ezra Spalding  
Isaac Chapel Thomas Miles Benjamin Stone  
Seeley Crofut Gourley Marsh Daniel Stone  
William Cole Henry Marker Orr Scovell  
Isaac Cole Ebenezer Pratt Jeremiah Smith  
James Crofut Abraham Palmer Horace Spalding  
Joanna Emison David Pratt William P. Spalding  
Samuel Everet Elam Parkes Isaac Simmons  
Samuel Griffin Philip Packard Reuben Taber  
Elizabeth Grantier Samuel Parker Adam Vanvalkenburg  
Zoraster Porter Noah Wilson Isaac Wooster   

The Settler Vol. II April, 1954 Number three

The First Election Held Oct. 13, 1812
Nine Polling Places in the Entire County

By act of Legislature, March 24, 1812, Bradford county was formed, or taken from counties of Luzurne and Lycoming.  The measure provided for the election of county officers at the general election, the next October, and their inauguration into their respective offices.  With the organization of the county came the lining up of political forces to capture the offices.  The parties locally, as in the state and nation, were Federalists and Democratic-Republicans.

The first election held in and for the county of Bradford was on the second Tuesday of October (13th) 1812, for the election sheriff, coroner and county commissioner.  At said election candidates for Congress, State Senator and Representatives were also voted for. There were no local candidates for any of the offices.

Canton's election board included:

Judges-Luther Henman, Samuel Griffen and Samuel Rutty; Inspector-Daniel Ingraham; Clerks-Horace Spalding, Isaac Chaapel, and Orr Scovell.

The following is a list of persons in Canton (in order of voting), who voted in the first general election in Bradford county;

Reuben M. Tabor, Scovel Bailey, Jacob Kingsbury, James Ingraham, William Cole, William P. Spalding, Henry Segar, Isaac Rundell, Aaron Knapp, John Grantier, Nathan Wilcox, Isaac Wooster, Roswell R. Rogers, David Way, Samuel Evert, Adam Vanvalkinburg, Benjamin Stone, Reuben Tower, Nathaniel Babcock, Isaac Simons, Nathan Roberts, Ezra Bailey, *Samuel Griffen, John Smiley, Peter Latimer, Sterling Holcomb, Daniel Stone, *Laban Landon, Daniel Ingraham, Smith Bailey, Thomas Miles, Samuel Rutty, Noah Wilson, Jr., Nemehiah Allen, Luther Henman, Samuel Knapp, Abraham Palmer, Seelye Crofut, David Andrus, Jeremiah Smith, *Noah Wilson, Hugh Holcomb, Samuel Parker, *John Knapp, Benjamin Landon, Samuel Wilcox, Abel H. Blakeman, Laban Landon, Jr., Philip Packard, Augustus Loomis, *Zephaniah Rogers, Stephen Strickland, Henry Marker, Orr Scoville, Jesse Morse, *Jacob Grantier, *Isaac Chaapel, Zorrester Porter, Elam Parms, Horace Spalding, Jeremiah Tayler, *Ezra Spalding, David Pratt, David Bailey, James C. Crofut, Orr Scoval, Jr., Benjamin Saxton, John Knapp.

Those marked with (*) were Revolutionary soldiers.

Owing to the fact that there were but nine polling places in the county, roads few and in bad condition, it is surprising that even so large a number of persons should have voted, many being required to travel a distance of 15 miles through the wilderness.

The vote of Bradford county at the November election (presidential) 1812, was returned with Luzerne and Lycoming counties, and therefore the date is not at hand.  In that year, however, a Clement Paine of Athens was on the Democratic-Republican electoral ticket.  He was elected and cast the vote of the district for Madison and Gerry.

Canton Independent-Sentinel Anniversary Edition in 1950

Canton in 1837.  (As remembered by and written by Simon McIntosh)

Having been requested to write a short sketch of "Canton Corners;, the name by which our village was first known, I will try to describe it as it appeared over 70 years ago.

My father, with his wife and five children, left their home in Delaware (Delhi) county, New York State and settled on Armenia Mountain, which was then (in 1837)a dark wilderness, inhabited chiefly by wild animals.  Here my father found an old log house which had been deserted by some unlucky earlier settler.  Having arranged what few household goods we had in this old house, my father, Alexander Cease, and myself started out to find Canton Corners.  We travelled about a mile through the woods, came to the brow of the mountain, where a dug way led down the mountain side.  At the foot of the dug way we found a clearing with an old log house in its center from which the road led through the woods and laurel swamps down to the Troy road, which it joined about where the house of William Chapman now stands.  As we approached nearer the Corners we saw a small old log house standing on the spot in front of what is now Rockwell's mill, where the weighing scales are now located.  Back of this was a well built, red colored house, in which lived Samuel Rockwell, father of Elias Rockwell, grandfather of Jacob Rockwell, and great-grandfather of Robert and George Rockwell.  On the south side of Mill creek was a large, two story frame building used for a shop, on the west end of which was a large over-shot wheel, 16 feet in diameter, which furnished the power to drive the machinery.  Beyond this, as far as one could see, and extending down to the main road, were thick heavy woods.  This building is still standing, and was afterwards converted into a dwelling house, sometimes called the "Bee-hive" because so many families moved in and swarmed out of it.

Opposite to where the house of Giles Coons now stands, on the east side of Troy St. was a double log house, used for a school house.  This was the beginning of educational institutions in our city.  It was not quite so convenient as our present building, since the upper grade pupils were obliged to reach their classroom by climbing a ladder, that being the only means of getting into the upper room.  The fame of Canton Corners as an educational center was even at this time abroad in the land, and pupils came to the school from what is now called Grover, but at that time had not received a name.

All that section of the town known as Center St., and where the Methodist church and the schoolhouse now stands, was covered with woods and briers.

The next house on Troy St. at that time was a little old house which occupied the space where Mr. Herrick Thomas' residence now stands, and which was occupied by a Mr. John Rose.  On the spot where T. Burk & Co's store now stands was the "Old Red Tavern" and a large barn and stable for stage horses occupied the corner on which the Manley block now stands.  The proprietor of the "Old Red Tavern" at that time was a Mr. Cummins.  The space occupied by Sechrist & Hickock's law office then held a blacksmith shop, the proprietors of which were John & George Griffen.  Opposite the blacksmith shop, across the street, was Kendall's wagon shop.

John Griffen lived in a small house where Mr. Weline's house is now.  Further down the street David Grantier lived in a frame building on the west side of the street.  The building is still standing.  Mr. Grantier also had a saw mill in the ravine just below where the railroad crosses.

Where the Bullock block now stands John C. Rose had a small store.  After his death there were no stores in Canton for a year or more, and people went to Troy to trade, Troy being at that time half as large as it is now.  Soon after this Barnett Wood built a little one horse store which was located about where Clayton's tin shop now is.  Calvin Sellard has a blacksmith shop about where the Dr. Brooks residence is now situated.  On the spot occupied by Milton Fassett's residence there stood an old dilapidated church, which fell into disuse for public worship.  This building was repaired and moved to where the present school-house now stands and was used for many years as a school-house.  When the present school building was erected the old church was moved to its present location on the east side of Center St., and is the second house south of Carson St.  It can be easily recognized by the decoration on the gable which resembles a lady's fan.  Additions have since been added to the original building, and it has been converted into a dwelling house.  This building, the David Grantier house and the "Bee-hive" must be nearly 100 years old.

The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 19 JAN 2008
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: Joyce M. Tice