Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Tri-County Histories
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Ogdensburg Times
Tri-Counties Genealogy & History Sites
How To Use This Site
Warning & Disclaimer
Union Township Page
No Commercial Use
Say Hello to Joyce

VOL. I No. 1

Ogdensburg, PA

Monday, May 26, 1980

Special Edition

Price .50

Ogdensburg Settled 1839

John Ogden, with wife Polly, and son Luther, arrived at Ogdensburg in 1839. There was no land cleared at that time, and was a wild and uncultivated Union Township. The farm of John Ogden was a tract of 70 acres of improved land, with good buildings and a fine apple orchard. Mr. Ogden had witnessed the great change in the appearance of the county and can justly be called one of the pioneers.

After the logs had been cut from the land, farming and dairying replaced the logging business. The price of land at that time was $1 per acre.

Ogdensburg, a small village with a post office, the stores of Daniel Irwin and Ogden and Company, a saloon kept by R.C. Irving, a hotel by P. McIntyre, a wagon shop and cooper shop, two blacksmith shops and a sawmill.

The first hotel was kept by John Irwin. The first merchants were Hunt & Harding, and the next was William Baldwin.

The first schoolhouse in the township was built of logs, and stood nearly opposite the Swamp Baptist Church. Among the first teachers in the township were Hiram Landon, Miss Rockwell, Miss Frisbee, Miss Van Housen, Ithiel B. Reynolds, Hamilton Thomas, D. Manley, Janette Roper, and Miss Rogers.

Among the physicians in Ogdensburg were Dr. Cleveland who had a very successful practice for about 15 years before going into Canton. In February, 1880 Dr. Theodore F. Wooster, who had had experience in the army as assistant to Surgeon Frank Keise, and was otherwise qualified, located in Ogdensburg and was successful in treatment of disease, especially scarlet fever, which raged with great fury immediately after he established himself there.

----- Tioga County History ------- 1804-1880
Yankee Path Finished by Local Resident

Union --- 1840:  Yankee Path was completed recently by Alfred Jackson, who is a newcomer to the town of Union, joining other pioneer settlers who are struggling to subdue this wilderness. The significance of this road being that it will now save travelers many miles to go from Roaring Branch to Blossburg.

Yankee Path as conceived by Mr. Jackson opens up communications with the settlers on the Tioga River and connects it with the waters of Lycoming Creek by a thoroughfare. At the present time it is crude, but more work is planned and a stage route is being considered which will make four runs a day. This short route of twelve miles from the Northern Central Railroad in Roaring Branch to Blossburg will save ninety miles of travel by railroad.

The Yankee Path ascends from an altitude of about 940 feet up to over 2300 feet at the summit. A traveler traveling over the road will notice an almost unbroken forest with only here and there a clearing, where smoke from a pioneer’s cabin may be seen. Mr. Jackson says he hopes to see log cabins give away to farmhouses as the land is cleared for farming.

Yankee Path is becoming a well used road by every old riverman on the Tioga, Cowanesque, Canisteo, Conhocton and Chemung Rivers. It now puts Ogdensburg as an important crossroad for those traveling from Canton to Liberty or from Roaring Branch to Blossburg may have better connections.
Ogdensburg Grange Chartered July 4, 1874

A charter for the Ogdensburg grange was granted on July 24, 1874. There were thirty charter members. The grange was the third in Tioga County. It met over the store in Ogdensburg, and by 1876 it had 58 members. In 1877 members failed to pay their dues;
and by 1878 no roll or dues were recorded. The Grange lost its charter, but some members had caught the vision of the Grange as a benefit to pioneer farmers. Some attended and joined the Grange at Minnequa. Since this was a great distance by horse and buggy, it was decided to organize a grange at Union Center. By April 14, 1884, they had a meeting at Gleason, upstairs in the corner house. This Grange grew until farmers around the whole area became very interested.

The meetings were held in homes of the members, first in North Union and then in the Ogdensburg vicinity. After about six years plans were made for a new building. A disagreement followed as to where it should be built. There was a vote and North Union received the most votes, so it was built there.

Years later, some people of the vicinity reclaimed the charter of  the Ogdensburg Grange. It was started again in 1891. The master in 1891 was W.G. Tarbos. There were 58 members who attended. Harry Groover’s grandfather, Thomas Groover, split the sand rock for the building of the church, known to us as the Grange.

Since 1891 when the charter was reclaimed, the Grange has met continuously every other week. A Junior Grange was organized and continued for many years, teaching boys and girls to be good citizens of the community.

In 1932 the Grange purchased the Baptist Church which had lost its membership. Plans were made to renovate the building for Grange use. In 1952 the Old Gray Hall was moved across the road and connected to the church to make a kitchen and dining room on the present hall.

Both 90th and 100th anniversaries were celebrated with a large crowd in attendance.
Catfish White Cap Case

August 29, 1900  ----  Excitement runs high in Union Township, Tioga County, where 30 masked men seized a man suspected of robbing, and beat him up in an effort to extract a confession. An Ogdensburg man was severely beaten by several unidentified men for stealing $50 from a nearby farm.

William McMann, known by his friends as Bill Catfish, reported that several men wearing flour sacks over their heads to hide their identity, dragged him from his bed around midnight and carried him to a nearby maple tree. He said a rope was tied around his neck and he was pulled off his feet, forcing him to hang from his neck. Catfish said this was done repeatedly and each time he denied he had stolen the money. After several hangings the men left Catfish lying on the ground limp and totally exhausted. During Bill’s struggle he had bitten a man and punched several others. He thinks he will be able to identify more men who will probably have bruises, and that one of the men had a missing finger. The two men that Catfish has identified have been arrested and more arrests are expected to be made within the next week. The men arrested have retained the services of Stone and Brooks to defend them. Attorney Thad Hickok of Canton will be taking Catfish’s case.
Trial Concludes in Catfish Case

November 1900   -----   Trial in the Catfish case was heard at the county courthouse at Wellsboro, with Judge Cameron presiding,  during Thanksgiving week. A jury having been selected, the trial began with various witnesses for the defense being called to testify. Four defendants wives swore that their husbands were home in bed at midnight because their babies were all sick, on the night of the alleged hanging.

Before the case went to the jury, those jurors who desired, were allowed to have Zell Landon, one of the defendants, grasp their arm, so they could detect, if possible, if a finger was missing. After very emotional summations by both attorneys, Judge Cameron
charged the jury and retired them to the jury room for deliberation.

The jury was not long in their coming to a verdict. When the foreman announced the verdict ---- NOT GUILTY, pandemonium broke out in the courtroom, men slapping each others back, women weeping and kissing the defense attorney. The men have been released.

From School To Parsonage

In Ogdensburg in 1830 a crudely built log school was erected. Among the first teachers was Alfred Jackson, one of the original settlers in Union Township. Mr. Jackson taught basically the English subjects. He had school for two to three months in the summer and again in the winter. The school year was short as the children had to help their parents in the spring and fall to plant and harvest their crops.

The present building was constructed in 1860. There were two rooms. Two of the teachers around 1896 were Harry Baldwin, who taught the upper classes, and Harriet Kilborn, who had the lower grades.

As time wore on, church meetings were held in the school and eventually a Sunday School was organized.

In the early days Ogdensburg was a prosperous village and both rooms were needed. As the forests were cleared and homesteads were built, farming became the chief occupation. The children were compelled to stay home and help with the crops and only one room was needed. The other room was used for Ladies Aid dinners and also voting took place there.

In the 1930’s, 11 of the 13 schools in the township were closed. Ogdensburg School was remodeled and both rooms were again in use. It was at this time that the 7th and 8th grades were moved to Canton, leaving only grades one through six at the grade school.

Indoor restrooms were installed around 1960. Prior to that there was a cement block building in the schoolyard which was used.

Mrs. Myrtle Page, a resident of Ogdensburg, taught for about 14 years in the school. She was well liked and greatly respected by all her students. She was presented with a silver spoon by one of her classes.

Mrs. Helen Schmelzle, another resident of Ogdensburg, also taught several years. She was teaching the remedial course in Ogdensburg and surrounding communities when the school closed.

1971 was the last year for this great school. Ogdensburg area children, as well as other small communities whose schools were also closed, were sent to Canton where a modern school had been built.

I had attended this school for six years and it was a sad day when on June 3, 1971 the last graduating class of Ogdensburg Grade School marched out and the doors were closed. I am sure this must have also been an emotional day for Marion Donaldson and Doris Mase, who were the last teachers to close their books in the school.

The school was then purchased by the Ogdensburg Church of Christ and once again the building was remodeled and presently serves as the parsonage for the church.

Ogdensburg Man Released From Andersonville Prison

1865 --- After 11 grueling months as a prisoner of war in the Confederate military prison camp at Andersonville, Georgia, Daniel Peet of Ogdensburg returned home to his family recently. He was serving with Company B of the 3rd Regiment Penna.Volunteers when he was captured and taken to Andersonville. He affirmed the rumors which for some time have been circulating the area concerning the terrible conditions which prevailed in the prison camps. He told about the lack of good drinking water, very little food, shortage of clothing, and the unsanitary conditions within the prisoner barracks which made life almost unbearable.

“Anderson was a crowded log stockade,” he said, “enclosing 16-1/2 acres with as many as 30,000 prisoners at a time.”  More than 12,000 died as a result of wounds, infection, and disease.

Life as a soldier was not easy either he reported. The pay was poor, the food consisted of salt pork, hardtack, and coffee. Clothing was rather shoddy, often falling apart in the first storm. He told that the southern soldier often had to march and fight barefooted. Their rifles were the Springfield muzzle-loading on shot type gun with an effective range of only 250 years.

Since the surrender of General Lee at Appomattox, Va. on April 9th, and the word reaching all forces of the south, it was several weeks before he was finally able to return home. He said he was thankful he was able to come home after all this terrible experience and he really appreciated the good home-cooking of his mother. His whole family said that his return was an answer to all their prayers.

Residents of Ogdensburg 1908-1909

Austin, Leroy G. (Blanche) -  farmer,constable, tax collector
Austin, Frank B. (Hattie)  - farmer
Austin, Ira (Matilda H.)  - farmer
Barrow, Mary - schools teacher boards at Charles Smith
Bunn, A. Jackson (Emma) - farmer
Bunn, Francis L. (Emma L.)  -  lumberman
Dibble, William H. (Mabel E.) - blacksmith, carpenter, stone mason
Groover, Elmer (Clara I.) - farmer
Groover, Margaret - widow Thomas, boards at George Schmeltzle
Harrington, Marion W. (Ada A.)  - laborer
Irving, David L. (Margaret) - general merchant (see adv.)
Jackson, George W. (Phoebe) - farmer
Jones, John H. (Hattie) - farmer
Kingsley, Mrs. Anna - widow
Kingsley, Edward - school teacher
Kingsley, Margaret - school teacher
Kingsley, Thomas  - farmer
Kennedy, Clarence E. (Francis M.) - farmer
Lawrence, Francis H. (Edna D.) - operator for R.B.& L. Tel.Co., farmer
Lawrence, Harvey A. - Prop.Central Hotel (see adv.)
Middaugh, Joseph W. (Elizabeth) - blacksmith & wagonmaker (see adv.)
Miller, Warren L. (Laura J.) - farmer & carpenter
Peet, Ray (Anne) - farmer
Ogden, David V. (Adeline) - farmer
Riley, Lawrence (Harriet) - justice of the peace, Postmaster
Schmeltzle, George (Elizabeth) - farmer
Schmeltzle, Warren F. (Ida M.) - farmer
Shanley, Matthew (Catherine) - farmer
Smith, Charles (Marcia) - farmer
Smith, Newell (Helen A.) - merchant and Postmaster Gleason
Spaulding, Daniel L. (Mary J.) - farmer
Spencer, Ulysses L. (Alma V.) - farmer
Stone, Walter G. (Edith) - farmer
Tabor, George F. (Helen M.) - laborer
Terry, Fred B. (Cora J.) - farmer and salesman
Thomas, William L. - farmer
Thompson, Benjamin F. (Angie) farmer
Wynn, James A. (Elizabeth A.) - farmer, secretary R.B. & L. Tel. Co. Gleason

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On?
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: Joyce M. Tice

You are the  visitor since the counter was installed on 14 FEB 2007 
Retyped for Tri-Counties by Sue Perry