Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
History of Bradford County by H. C. Bradsby, 1891
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Chapter XLII - Rome Borough
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History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches

By H. C. Bradsby, 1891

CHAPTER XLII. Rome Borough
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Pages 483 - 485

ROME TOWNSHIP takes its name from the "Eternal City," because it is situated on the same parallel of latitude. It is a well watered by the Wysox creek and smaller streams, Bullard, Johnson, Park, Hicks and Bar creeks. The surface is divided by hill, table-land, and valley. The largest valley noted for its fertility is along Wysox Creek.

It is suppose that Nathaniel Peasly Moody was the first settler, in the year 1795, coming with his ox-sleds, in which were conveyed his wife and three children, all the way from Massachusetts. Moody, assisted by Levi Thayer cut a road from Sheshequin to the headwaters of Wysox Creek, that passed through the borough of Rome. Moody had purchased a piece of land of Thayer near the confluence of Bullard Creek with the Wysox. Just below them were Henry Talady, Peter Florence, Mathias Fenceler, "the Hermit," and Mr. Halthaway, whom they found camped while on a hunting expedition. These were about four miles below where Moody settled. In 1798 Godfrey Vought, Henry Lent, and Frederick Eiklor came with their families; Vought and Lent located near the present north line of Rome borough, and Eiklor about halfway between Vought and Moody on the John Passmore place. About 1800 it was discovered that the title to all these lands belonged to Pennsylvania. In 1801 John Parks made his improvement to the D. C. Wattles farm. The first settlement on Towner hill was made by Elijah Towner in 1806. Mr. Towner had purchased 400 acres of Mr. Thayer. The title proving worthless, he moved to Oak hill, cleared 100 acres and built a distillery; afterward, in 1806, he traded his improvements for what is now Towner Hill, where he spent the remainder of his days. His eldest son, Elijah Towner, married a daughter of Leonard Westbrook, who came at an early day with George Murphy. John Hicks settled in the hollow west of Towner's. George Murphy commenced his improvement on Towner hill and 1803, and John Hicks settled in the hollow west of him, in 1804.

William Elliott, with a large family of boys, came in 1805. Elliott had 14 children; his son Thomas commenced merchandising in 1813. In 1806 Reuben Bump and Russell Gibbs settled in the northwest part of the township, and the settlement was called "Bumptown. " Bump was a great hunter, and could tell some tall hunting stories. Achatius Vought commenced his first improvement on Park's Creek, north of Rome Village, 1807. Rev. C. E. Taylor came from Connecticut and 1817; his family consisted of his wife, two sons and one daughter - Edwin W., Delamar and Abby Jane.

Martin Van Buren Moore was an early settler on the hill. He was relative of his namesake.

The first wheatfield was the ground now the Judge Passmore Orchard. The seed to sow the ground was carried by Nathaniel P. Moody, one bushel, and each of his sons a half-bushel. He planted the first orchard. Some of the old apple trees still stand in front of D. H. Rice's residence. . . Godfrey Vought built the first frame house, in 1804. . . Burr Ridgeway built the first mill in 1808, which he sold in 1818 to his brother David, who disposed of it to Sylvester Barnes. Previous to this the nearest mill was Hinman's, at Wysox, the present Robert Laning place. . . Jacob Myer built the first mill where is the Myer & Frost mill. . . Silas Gore was the first blacksmith, in 1812. . . Godfrey Vought and Andrus Eiklor built a saw mill near the confluence of Bullard and Wysox creeks.

Benjamin Moody was the first white child born in the township, board in 1798. . . The first death was that of Mrs. Frederick Eiklor, in 1800. . . In 1801, Henry Lent went to Sheshequin, but attempting to return through the deep snow, he perished. His body was found near the dividing line of the farms of Prof. J. G. and Washington Towner. . . The first wedding was in the year 1803, the parties being James Lent and Chloe Park. The first school teacher was Frederick Eiklor who taught in the first log school-house, built in 1803, near the 0. F. Young farm.

In the township are a gristmill, owned by Charles Barnes, two miles south of Rome borough, William Sypher's steam and water grist and saw mill, located three-fourths of a mile north of Rome, and Seneca Russel's steam sawmill four miles north of Rome. There is a steam sawmill near North Rome. North Rome, situated in Centre Valley, has one store.

Rome Borough.

Rome borough was incorporated in February, 1860. It is situated in the south-eastern part of the township, about one and a half miles along Wysox Creek, about one-third of a mile wide. For a good many years it has been an important business point. It has a hardware store, drug store, a general store, and a shoe store, two miscellaneous stores, Byron Wilmot's planing mill, two blacksmith shops and wagon shop.

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