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 XLVI - Springfield Township
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History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches

By H. C. Bradsby, 1891

CHAPTER XLVI. Springfield Township 
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Page 491 - 492

THIS township was originally called Murraysfield, and received its present name because a majority of the first inhabitants were from Springfield, Mass. The only change in the original boundaries occurred in the southwest corner, where the line followed in a westerly direction and passed through Ezra Long's little gristmill, where afterward was built 11. F. Long's mill; then followed the line of the road to the village of Troy where it cornered just west of the Presbyterian church ; thence north, including that part of Troy township, along the road leading to Columbia Cross Roads. The surrounding hills, however, and growth of Troy necessitated transferring a portion of Springfield to Troy township, which leaves it in its present shape, nearly a square which drops down, including a part of Leonard creek.

At the opening of this century Springfield township was a wild and uninhabited waste, with no other human marks than those made by passing Indians. In June, 1803, Austin and Ezekiel Leonard started from West Springfield, Mass., under the auspices of the Susquehanna Company, to make a home in northern Pennsylvania, and they journeyed till they came to Sugar creek, near East Troy, where they stopped with Nathaniel Allen, and began. prospecting for a thousand acres of level land but they were soon discouraged, and made up their minds to return. But just then they met a man who claimed to know all the country well, and under his guidance they went up the stream to where it emptied into Sugar creek. He deceived them, by leading them around and around, into the belief that they were on the " 1000 acres of level land" -near where are the Isaac Doane and Paul Furman farms, and these they concluded to locate and make their homes, and they returned to Esq. Allen's and arranged with him to clear some of the land and build cabins for their families. for whom they set out for, to Massachusetts, to bring them in the fall.

Capt. John Harkness came in March, 1804, and settled the farm occupied by 0. P. Horton. . . In April, same year, William and Abel Eaton following the Leonards, arrived and located where is now Leona. The Harkness and Leonard families knew nothing of each other's presence for nearly a year after their arrival, when one family found the other while hunting their cattle.

Ichabod Smith came in I804 and Josephus Wing came in 1805. In 1806 came James Mattocks, Len. Pitch, Joshua Spear, Stephen Bliss, Oliver Gates, Henry Stever, Amaziath Thayer, Joseph and Gurdon Grover. The last two located near where is now Springfield Centre. James Harkness, with his large family, came in 1806. Next year Joseph Grace settled where is no w Leona; and Nehemiah Willison and Abel Fuller, same year, settled north of the Centre. In 1808 Isaac Cooley and Gaines Adams improved the properties, afterward owned by Rodney Cooley and Joel Adams. About the same time came Thomas Pemberton, Samuel Campbell, E. F. Park-, Samuel Kingsbury, Thomas Parkhurst and Alfred Brace. In 1810, it is estimated, there were 160 persons in the township. William Brace, who came in 1804-5, lived to be the oldest man In the township. Many new comers arrived between 1810-20, among them being Maj. John Parkhurst, David Brown, Lemuel White, William Evans, the Parameters, Evan Bennett, Quartus Greeley, Amos and John Searjant, Elishu Fanning Alexander Kennedy, Chas. Burgess, Joseph and Wakeman Brooks, Williams, Faulkner and the Graces.

The first white child was born to Hiram Harkness, April 20, 1825 the first death, a Mrs. Morey, in 1809 ; first wedding, Abel Leonard and Abigail Leonard. The first school teacher was William Nevens, who taught in a weaver's shop in 1SOS-9 ; first frame building was by John Harkness ; first sawmill was by Austin Leonard in 1808 ; first grist- was by Luke Pitts, in 1813, situated where Dr. William Carey's mill stands, first school-house, of logs, was in Leonard's Hollow (now Leona), in 1813 ; about the same time a frame school-house was erected on Grover hill, and soon after another on Harkness hill. Samuel Campbell built a distillery in 1810 ; James Manix was the first justice, same year. The -Methodists had the first religious organization in 1813 ; the Baptists followed in 1819. The Methodists now have two buildings, one at Leona the other at Pleasant Valley ; the Universalits have a building at Springfield, and the Methodists in the northern part of the township.

Mount Pisgah, the highest point in Bradford county, and the second highest point in the State, is in the southern part of this township. From here our early Moseses are supposed to have "viewed the promised land." It is a singular mountainous formation, cone-shaped, and has recently been improve(], having a nice large hotel, with pleasant grounds, and is quite a summer resort. Air. Kellogg, of Towanda, is now proprietor of the hotel, to which he has added! recently, many improvements.

Sspring field, which is situated in about the center of the township, on the head-waters of Leonard creek, contains one hotel, two stores, one cooper shop and two churches.

Leona contains a gristmill, store, two wagon-shops, one Methodist church. it was named in honor of the Leonards, and was for a long time called "Leonard's Hollow.' It is in the beautiful valley on Leonard's creek. Wetona is a postoffice on Mill creek. Big Pond is a postoffice in the northern part of the township.

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 the out of pocket costs of producing this page 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. 
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