Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
History of Bradford County by Bradsby
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Tri-County Genealogy & History Sites Home Page
How to Use This Site
Warning & Disclaimer
No Unauthorized Commercial Use
Return to Bradsby Table of Contents
Say Hello to Joyce 
AWilbur House 1916 from Joyce M. Tice Postcard collection

History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches

By H. C. Bradsby, 1891

CHAPTER XXVIL. Sayre & South Waverly Boroughs.
Joyce's Search Tip - December 2007 -
Do You Know that you can search just this Bradsby book by using the Bradsby button in the Partitioned search engine at the bottom of the Current What's New Page



Pages 427-431


Howard Elmer determined to divide between Waverly and Athens the benefits that would arise in making the junction of the branch roads that converge at this place. Waverly was at one time the northern terminal of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and the building of the branch road was the beginning of Sayre. In May, 1870, Charles Anthony, Howard Elmer and James Fritcher purchased the plains between Waverly and Athens, between the two rivers. This purchase included the Morley, Hopkins and W. 11. Thomas farms-321 acresand they proposed to build a town upon these farm lands. All that was done that year was to simply cut out the timber growth of what is now Keystone avenue, and his new broad highway materially shortened the distance between Athens and Waverly, making it three miles. In May, 1871, the same parties purchased the Leggett Harris, Obenshire and portions of the Hayden and H. Thomas lands embracing what is now the junction of the Lehigh Valley, the Geneva, Ithaca & Southern Railroads. In the aggregate their purchases included 738 acres. The same year the Pennsylvania & New York Company purchased eighty-five acres of this tract, where is now the depot, junction and shops, and soon after built an elegant passenger depot ; the transfer of passengers was moved up from Athens in 1863, and the new station was named "Sayre," in honor of Robert 11. Sayre, president of the Pennsylvania & New York Railroad. In July of the same year a round-house was built and occupied. The town was laid out and platted, and the proprietors bad expended large sums in opening, grading and making good streets, and also in putting up many substantial buildings. A post office was established in 1874. In September, 1878, a beginning was made in building the small repair shops that have so rapidly expanded to their present proportions.

The vast shops and railroad buildings at Sayre were the small concerns at Waverly that were moved down in 1871, and but little added to until 1881. The first shops were completed in 1881. At present the area occupied by the railroad buildings is nine and fourtenths acres. The round-house is 273 feet in diameter, has 32 stalls; there are twenty railroad tracks in the yard, and seven tracks extend to Waverly. Five hundred men are employed in the shops. The main machine shop is 275x125; car shop, 204x140; blacksmith shop, 200x7O; locomotive shop, 160x60; foundry and carpenter shop, 160x60; paint and tin shop, 160x6O (two stories). Roster of railroad officials at the Sayre offices and shops, connected with the Lehigh Valley Railroad: Gen. Supt. Northern Division, William Stevenson; Asst. Supt. W. A. Stevenson; chief clerk, J. W. Bishop assistant clerk, R. ML Hovey; assistant general freight agent, Bert Hayden ; his chief clerk, D. St. Clair train-master, R. Al. Badger; assistant general car agent, F. J. Krom ; master mechanic, J. N. Weaver. In the shops: C. 1-1. Welch, general foreman; D. K. Hamilton. chief clerk power department; W. H. Flory, foreman in erecting department-, H. Weidow, foreman machinery shop; Aaron Hamm, foreman blacksmith shop ; James Pritchard, foreman in boiler department; John Thompson, foreman. in carpenter shop; George W. Lentz, foreman in foundry; George Kear, foreman in pattern shop; C. C. Wood, paint shop ; A. Strauss, foreman, and Charles H. Strauss, assistant in car department. Sayre Arbor Association was organized in 1879, and planted over ore thousand trees the first year, 800 the next. and, continuing, are beautifying the place with ornamental trees. Robert A. Pack built his fine residence, in Sayre, in 1875-76. Ile was president of the Pennsylvania & New York Railroad. He died, February 20, 1883. His splendid residence and twenty acres of ground became the property of Mary Packard Cummings, and by her donated to the Packer Association, chartered April 30, 1885, and to it was transferred the Packer residence, for a hospital-a noted hospital of northern Pennsylvania.

Sayre Water-Works were built in 1886; near the river is the reservoir into which is pumped the river water. The pipes extend to Waverly and Athens, and supply both these places, having fourteen miles of pipes.

Sayre Fire Board.-Chief, John R. Murray - assistant, James Brown. R. A. Packer Hose Company-President, Patrick McNerny; foreman, John Hammond ; secretary, Fred Cole ; fort * y-five members. The Wilbur Hook and Ladder Company-First officers: President, C. C. Wood ; foreman, Arch. Williams; assistant, Ed. Smith ; secretary, Henry Colt-thirty-two members.

In 1879 Sayre became division headquarters for the railroad, and was soon one of the most important railroad points between WilkesBarre and Elmira, and is now, in this respect, rapidly developing. The town has had recently a phenomenal growth in population and wealth, which is not a 11 boom " but a healthy, consistent increase that bids fair to continue many years. lie census of Bradford county, in 1890, shows a slight increase in population over 1880, solely because of the increase in Athens and Sayre, otherwise the decrease in population would have run into four figures. The people the last decade have been 11 going West," still lured by the fairy tales told by land speculators and town boomers. Sayre was incorporated February 1, I891 including a territory two and a-half miles in length, from north to south, and making the three boroughs-Athens, Sayre and Waverly-a continuous town or borough from the south line of Athens to the State line. The first officers of Sayre, elected in 1891, were: James N. Weaver, burgess; J. C. Horton, clerk; A. Strauss, treasurer; Joseph Wheelock, street commissioner; R. Mercur, attorney; N. F. Walker, engineer; Charles Codett, chief of police. Council : J. N. Weaver, W. H. Flory, L. Eighmey, D. A. Utter, George M. Peters, G. A. Kennedy,A. Zeeler.

The Cayuta Wheel and -Foundry Company.-President, Howard Elmer treasurer, F. E. Lyford; superintendent, M. C. Chapman. A joint-stock company; cap ital $75,000; organized 1871, and buildings erected on eight acres of ground donated by the Sayre Land Company, the pioneer factory to locate in Sayre. in 1881 bought the axle works, and consolidated the two adjoining factories. They turn out 200 wheels (railroad) a day, and employ seventy men. Have five buildings, steam-power in three buildings, equal 120 horsepower. One of the important industries in the county.

In 1876, the time the place began to grow in earnest, there were six business houses and a hotel, kept by Samuel Briggs, on the east side. This house was burned in 1877. There were four merchants and of these Charles Wheelock kept the principal store; three of the stores were east of the track. Mr. Ross had a planing mill; just north of where is now the postoffice was a hardware store. The first postmaster (in 1874) was H. G. Spalding - The appointee (1889), Sid-ney Hayden, died in office in March, 1890, and Isaac M. Burk became acting postmaster; then was appointed, and is the present incumbent. The population in 1880 was 700, and at this time (1891) is 3,200. The present "Wilbur Hotel" was the first large first-class hotel in the place, was first called the 11 Packer House," and was built with the first railroad improvements of the place. It was named eventually for Mr. Wilbur, whose wife Was a Miss Packer. The finest building in the place is the Eighmey opera-house, built in 1882-83. The auditorium is 51x80 The place is supplied with gas from the Waverly works. The celebrated Robert Packer Hospital was built as the Packer residence in 1879-80, and after Mr. Packer's death, it became the property of his sister, who donated the -rounds and building for a hospital, chiefly for railroad employes, but is free to all, without regard to nationality or religious creed. It is one of the most inviting homes for the unfortunates ill northern Pennsylvania. The resident physician and surgeon is Franklin M. Stephens, M. D.; executive committee: William Stevenson, E. P. Wilbur, J. W. Bishop, Howard Elmer, C. S. Maurice. Bert Hayden, Rev. John Costello, Dr. W. E. Johnson, James W. Weaver; secretary, It. M. Hovey; treasurer, Joseph W. Bishop. The report of the treasurer for 1890 shows that $5,841.73 were disbursed : receipts $7,009.17. In 1890-91 there were 123 house-patients, and 643 dispensary cases treated. The hospital is now in the sixth year of active existence, and is in a most prosperous condition, a steady advance from year to year in the good. work being one of its marked features.

Sayre Water Works furnish Athens with water, and have abundant capacity to supply any future increased wants.

Sayre Schools are deserved very popular, and new buildings are being erected to meet the growing demand upon their accommodations. They have an enrollment of over 800, and have fourteen regular teachers and one supply. The following are the names of the officers and teachers: Board of Directors: L. M. Morton, R. B. Stevens, W. H. Flory, A. McVaugh, Lewis Eighmey, Charles Bowman.

· Board of Instructors: HIGH SCHOOL: C. P. Garrison, principal of schools; Mary E. McCarty, assistant; Candace Brown, assistant; Annie Flynn, intermediate department; Lizzie Presher, secondary department; Villie Mercereau, primary department. PLAINS SCHOOL: Emma L. Bush, secondary department; Lena McCarty, primary department. ELMER AVENUE SCHOOL: Ida D. Ledford, secondary department; Ida L. Stevens, primary department. EAST SIDE SCHOOL: Lida Homet, secondary department; Louise A. Brooks, primary department. MILLTOWN SCHOOL: Miss Knight, secretary; Miss Styres, principal. They have an enrollment of over 800, and have fourteen regular teachers and one supply.


This is to some extent the outgrowth of what was, " Factoryville," so called because here John Shepard and others built saw and ,grist mills, fulling mills, and others put up different industries along Cay uta creek. But more properly of to-day, South W averly is simpl y Waverly, N. Y., where it has grown south of the State line, and is of necessity organized under Pennsylvania law. The State line is not even a street, and in many places runs through houses, even without regard to partition walls in the same. The borough of South Waverly was incorporated in 1878; the boundary limits being defined as follows : Beginning at a point on Wilcox street at the crossing of the State line along the center of that street, thence southerly to -the junction of Bradford street, thence along the center of Bradford street to the junction of Keystone avenue, thence to the south line of the borough. First officers: John Thompson, burgess ; council, Willis Howard, William Dunham, John J . Patiner, G. W Smith, Fred Bachle, John Mahoney and Charles C. Tozer, secretary. 1879: Fred Bachle, burgess ; council, John Mahoney, Patrick Falsey, James McArdle, Willis Howard, Jeremiah Cleary, Ephraim Dubois. 1880: Alvin Strauss, burgess; council, E. E. Dubois, John Mahoney, George Blizard, John 11. Murray, Thomas Warren, Lee Northrup. 1881: T. Hireen, burgess ; council, Lee Northrup, John Lawn, Thomas Warren, James McArdle, Sr., Alexander Zoltowiski. IS82: George Barnes, burgess; council, Lee Northrup, D. L. Clark, S. D. Barnum, Michael McCarthy, John Post, J. W. Storms. 1883: Same. 1884: S. D. Barnum, burgess ; council, John W. Post, Lee Northrup, Lawrence Curry, D. L. F. Clark, J. W. Storms. 1885: W. 11. Plumb, burgess ; council, D. L. F. Clark-, John M. Post, Lee Northrup, J. W. Storms, Griscomb Hay. I886: John E. Faulkner, burgess ; council, John M. Post, Lee Northrup, Griscomb Bay, J. W. Storms, Thomas J. Moore, Lawrence Curry. 18ST : Sarne. 1888 : J. 11. Murray, burgess; council, J. M. Post, William T. Clark, Thomas Moore, Lawrence Curry, Jr., John Boyce, James Glynn. 1889: Murray re-elected ; council, T. J. Moore. J. P. Glynn.. John Boyce, E. House, William T. Clark. 1890: Lee Northrup, burgess council: T. J. Moore, J. P. Glynn, John Royce, E. House, Sid Matterson, David Hand. 1891: P. R. Ackley, burgess. The borough is supplied with gas and electric light; has free postal delivery, and of course the largest portion of the business is in the main town across the line ; no saloon license in the place ; two hotels and one grocery store. The Erie Railroad runs only about ten rods north or the State line. Two Herdic street-lines are constantly run from Waverly to Athens, passing through Sayre. The population of South Waverly is 1,288, being an increase over that of 1880 of 434.



The preceding was scanned from the Bradsby book and interpreted by OCR software by Joyce's office staff. It was edited and formatted by Joyce M. Tice. Financing for this project was provided by the gift contributions of web site guests who are listed on the sponsors page. Our gratitude goes out to them for helping to cover some of the costs of generating this web site.
Joyce Tip Box -- December 2007 -
If you are not navigating this Tri-Counties Site via the left and right sidebars of the Current What's New page you are doing yourself a disservice. You can get to any place on the site easily by making yourself familiar with these subject and place topics. Try them all to be as familiar with the site's 16,000 plus pages as you can. Stop groping in the dark and take the lighted path. That's also the only way you'll find the search engines for the site or have access to the necessary messages I may leave for you. Make it easy on yourself.