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Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
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Roger Keagle's Complied History of Canton, Bradford County PA
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Page 237.
Development of the Canton Borough Authority Water System

Just as the last decade marked the high point in industrial development in this area so the expansion and improvement of public facilities has paralleled the industrial growth.  This has been particularly true of the water system which is now completing long planned facilities for increased water supply and storage.

It has been apparent for many years that much had to be done both in the conservation of the presently available water resources and in providing additional sources for future expansion.  The need for conservation can readily be understood from a review of the yearly water production and use records which the Authority has made available.

While production has ranged from a low in 1954 of 85 million gal. to an estimated high in 1963 of close to 120 million, the essential uses, which include residential, commercial and industrial demand, have increased from 40 million gal in 1954 to well over a projected 100 million in 1963.  In other words, leaks and other wastes consumed more than half (nearly 60%) of the water taken from the source in 1954 while in 1962-3 more than 85% of the water produced found its way into essential uses.

Of course, the great jump in consumption has been caused by the constantly increasing industrial demand.  Essential residential demand has remained for several years at a steady 30 million gal. per year.  Industrial demand, however, has increased from 10 million gal. in 1954 to over 40 million in 1962 and will exceed an estimated 65 to 70 million in 1963.

The installation of water meters in all services, completed in 1959,and leak detection programs and repairs have done much ton conserve a large share of the present supply for essential uses - but not enough.  The balance had to be provided by more efficient treatment plant operation combined with much greater production rates.  In fact the plant has been operated for some time at 200% to 250% of rated capacity - an expedient which has serious disadvantages and should not be continued.

As the present source, Lake Nephawin, a natural storage basin, filled largely by Spring runoffs from a very limited (1/2 sq. mile) drainage area, cannot be depended upon for any substantial increase in supply, it was recognized several years ago that additional supply and storage facilities would b necessary to meet industrial demand and provide adequate fire protection.

Arrangements for Federal financing and engineering plans were undertaken two years ago to provide a clear water storage capacity of 300,000 gal. and a well supply capable of producing a minimum of 300 gal. per minute.

After the usual delays in financing, engineering, well testing and surveying were overcome, final plans were completed for a 300 gal. well and pump facility to be located east of the Borough on route 414, and a 300,000 gal. steel storage tank to be erected on an elevated site near the end of High Street.  A mile long 8" pipe line will connect the pump and storage facilities and incidentally provide better fire protection for residents of Union Street, the Swayze plant and other plants south and east of the line.

Page 238.
The cost of the present project will amount to some $135,000.00 which will bring the total investment in water facilities close to the half million mark.

While interest charges and amortization payments are high on an investment of this size, increased water revenue combined with low operating costs should provide the necessary funds without an increase in rates.

The program of automation which has been so successful during the past several years in reducing operating costs at the treatment plant will be applied to the new system.  This means telemetering controls, automatic valves, etc. which are rapidly becoming a part of your modern water system should relieve  much of the labor and uncertainty so prevalent in the past.

Photo Caption - page 238p:
The Dam on the Lower Mountain Road
Mill Creek

Page 239.
Canton Water System Organized in 1873
Canton Boro Purchases Citizens Water Co. in 1951

Residents of Canton Borough were supplied initially with water by the Minnequa Springs Improvement Co., incorporated April 17, 1873.

About four years later, the Canton Water Company was granted a charter, Sept. 20, 1877, to supply water to inhabitants where the Minnequa outfit was not, or could not supply it.  Both companies combined their facilities to supply water to the boroites and this system continued until 1883.

Due to the failure of the Canton Water Co. to provide annual reports of its operations, the governor of Pennsylvania, under proper authority, declared Canton Water co. as having forfeited its charter, as of April 6, 1883.

A group of men connected with the Canton Water Co. then petitioned for the establishment of the Citizens Water Company, and on July 20, 1883, it commenced operations.

The Citizens Water Co. was sold to the Canton Borough Authority in 1951-52 for a sum of $56,000.  The borough authority floated a bond issue of $250,000 to cover the purchase prices of the company, to install new mains, make improvements, establish a treatment plant and for other operative costs.  The bond will be completely amortized in 40 years.

When the Canton Borough Authority was created, among its provisions was that of the establishment of a board of five members, one of whom was to be chairman, each serving five years.  The terms of office expired in such a manner that one vacancy was filled yearly.

Henry Hallett was the first chairman of the board, but he resigned in 1954 after the board established the office of manager, to which Hallett was appointed at a salary.

The board meets monthly, pays bills, establishes policy and otherwise functions as the head of the authority.  The manager makes recommendations as to its operations which the board approves or disapproves.  The board approves the rates and regulation governing the water system of the borough.

Currently Hallett is paid $2000 annually and Ronald Saxe, assistant manager is paid $450.

Current membership of the board consists of Carroll VanNoy, president; Thomas Mears, vice president; Phillip Preston, secretary; Floyd Taylor and Donald Ayres.

When the authority was established the water-use rates in effect then had been established in 1934.  Due to the improvement program of 1952, it was necessary to revise the existing rates.  Because 400,000 gallons of water were coming from the lake, but only 200,000 gallons were being paid for, meters were installed in 1959.  This has greatly reduced water waste.

Today, there are about 750 water users of the authority's water supply; about three or four residents have their own wells.

--Excerpts from an article written by C. Dixxon Avery

Page 240.
Local Telephone System is One of the Finest

The week of February 20, 1949 the Canton and Leroy Farmers Telephone Company closed its old switchboard that had been in use for the past several generations and made all the calls through the new modern system.  The new equipment is a product of the Stromberg-Carlson Company of Rochester, N.Y., and uses the selective ringing method.  With the new system not more than five persons are on any one of the town lines.

The entire expansion was carried out with an eye to the future.  All installations were made so that additional equipment could be installed as the town and system grow.

The new home and equipment of the company is the result of several month's planning and hard work to make this one of the finest systems possible to obtain.  The entire equipment is all usable and easily adaptable to the dial system.

When the telephone company decided to proceed with the new system, the former Farmers National Bank Building was purchased from the First National Bank.

Present officers of the Canton & Leroy Farmers Telephone Company are:  Edward F. Flannery, president and general manager; Wesley Mott, vice president; Robert Burk, secretary; Adelbert E. Seeley, treasurer; Fred Ferguson.

In 1903 the company was formed with the following men as officers:  H. E. Landon, president; D. E. Whipple, secretary; Louis T. McFadden, treasurer; W. T. Lawrence, vice president; director for three years, D. E. Whipple; director for two years, H. E. Landon, and director for one year, T. S. Greene.

For some time no charge was made for the service, all customers being stockholders, until such time as the lines needed repairs when a service fee was charged.

The first phones in the new company were:  Preston Bros., Bacon & Ronan, Theodore Pierce, T. S. Greene, S. Wilcox, Dennis E. Whipple, Thomas Mott, H. K. Mott, D. B. Whipple, Palmer Bros., W. H. Morse, E. W. Griswold, Leon B. Stone, Dr. L. B. Smith, J. C. Savacool, Louis T. McFadden and Merton Smiley.

The first telephone exchange was located in the rear of the present W. R. Most Rexall Drug Store.  At that time the J. O. Whitman Drug Store.  In 1911 the exchange was moved to the Bullock Building on Troy street in the southwest corner of the second floor where it remained until more room was needed to accommodate additional equipment.  In 1925 the office was again moved to the rooms in the same Bullock Building over the hardware store owned by Newell & McConnell.  At this time the Canton & Leroy Farmers Telephone Co. bought the Harry Whitman interest in the Bell Telephone system in Canton and combined the facilities of the two companies to give local users the benefit of greater telephone coverage.

From a handful of customers when the lines were first built, the growth of the company has been steady.  In 1938 the number had grown to 650 and at present there are nearly 1400 phones in daily service in Canton and vicinity.

The late W. H. Collins served as president and general manager from Jan. 8, 1924 to Jan. 1, 1946 when he retired.

E. F. Flannery, better known as Ed. has grown up with the local company.  He has served in various capacities for well over a quarter of a century.  The burden of the new system fell largely on him.  Mr. Flannery's responsibility has been enormous and he has handled it with a great deal of credit.

Page 241.
Will H. Collins, president from 1924 to 1946 and Attorney Lee Brooks, company secretary for a number of years were instrumental in the growth and development of our local telephone system.  Paul Griswold was also secretary for several years.

Other who have given many years of service to the company are:  Miss Margaret Hallinan, chief operator, Mrs. Teresa Griswold, operator, and A. E. Seeley, director.  Miss Hallinan is assisted in the business office by Mrs. Paul Crandall.

The operators are: Mrs. Frances Riggs, Mrs. Teresa Griswold, Mrs. Harold Shepard, Mrs. Edgar Vermilya, Barbara Mason, Patricia Evans, Mrs. Donald Baldwin.

Electricity Comes to Canton
The Canton Illuminating Company first supplied Electrical Service to Canton.  They had a small steam plant and generated their own electricity.  This plant was located on West union Street behind the Coal and Ice Office of S. H. Jewell.  Lee Clark was owner and secretary of the company which was organized in 1904.  he sold it to Gannett, Seelye and Fleming who combined a small group of properties consisting of Troy, Mansfield, Blossburg, Galeton and Knoxville into one interconnected property.  They in turn sold these properties to General Gas and Electric Co. in 1924.  Later a transmission line was built from Sayre to Milan, Columbia Cross Roads, Troy and into Canton and the steam plant was then shut down.  This was subsequently sold to Louis Dipillo who used the building for his Canton Wood Products Company.  Northern Pennsylvania Power Company acquired the General Gas properties in1929 and has furnished electric service around Canton ever since.

--Excerpted from THE METER, Vol. VII, No. 2. March 1950.  Published by Northern Pennsylvania Power Company Employees.

Page 244
Natural Gas Comes to Canton in 1931
Service Extended to Surrounding Areas

In the first of October, 1931 the construction work was completed on the transmission line and mains throughout the borough of Canton and the first gas jets turned on.  The Allegany Gas Company bringing natural gas here from Tioga was the reason for a celebration.

September 24, 1937, the Jones and Harahan Co., whose headquarters had been in Canton since the last of July where they had engaged in laying a six inch pipe line through this section, moved their machinery and equipment to Williamsport.

About thirty miles of pipe were laid during their stay in Canton.  It was estimated that about $100,000 was paid out from the local office to their employees of about 300 and a large number of local people, which created a boom in Canton greater than any other since the building of the P. B. & E. railroad.

At later dates the gas service was extended to outlying districts in the area until at the present time the pipes extend South to Lake Nephawin, Northwest to the William Foster home near Cedar Ledge and East to the home of Duane Shoemaker.

The first manger here was Reginald Gaddes; other managers were:  W. E. Hill, Robert cutting, E. C. Dexter, William Powers and the present manager, Robert Spencer, who came here in 1945.

Mr. Spencer is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Spencer, Sr. of Troy, and attended the Troy School.  Mr. Spencer was employed by the North Penn Gas Company, a branch of the Allegany Gas Company prior to the Second World War.  During the war years he worked at an American La France Foamite Corp., Elmira, N.Y.

Mr. Spencer was recalled in 1945 by the Allegany Gas Company and was appointed manager of the Canton office.  He moved his family from Elmira into the Lorene Jewell house on East Union Street where they now reside.

Mrs. Spencer is employed by The Canton Publishing Company.

They have two daughters, Bobbee and Sandra, both students at Canton High School.

Miss Marcella Ronan, who has been with the Allegany Gas Company for the nineteen years it has been here states that the first month's billing totaled only 30 consumers but now there are 885 names on the list.

Mrs. William Powers who is also employed in the office has been with the company since 1940.  Other employees besides those in the office and manager Robert Spencer, are Norman Day who has been with the company since 1946 and David Rundell who began work with them this fall.

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 28 AUG 2008
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: Joyce M. Tice

The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933