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 XXXI - Wysox Township
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History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches

By H. C. Bradsby, 1891

CHAPTER XXXI. Wysox Township 
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576                                          HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY.

R0SWELL FRANKLIN settled on the Wysox flats in 1785, it is supposed. His brother Jehiel came with him, and the last-named settled on what is now the Robert Laning, farm. He sold to Solomon Franklin, who sold to Job Irish. Jesse Allen, an old Revolutionary soldier, was here in 1787, and cleared the old York farm, which he sold to Theophilus Myer.

Ralph Martin came in 1789, and settled on the Conklin farm near Myersburg. Maj. Coolbaugh came about 1790, and purchased the improvement of Asahel Roberts, afterward the Darius Williams farm. Mr. Coolbaugh was the first justice or the peace, and was elected to the Legislature, and William Myer succeeded him as justice.

John Hinman came in 1791. He put up a mill and sold afterward to Judge Harry Morgan. A deed to John Hinman for one-half of Nelson's possessions is dated May 1, 1791. . Nancy Man, a spinster, in

      HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY.                   577

1799 lived where now resides Joseph Piollet. . Wilbur and Robert Bennett came to Wysox in 1800, and purchased land of Samuel Bowman. . Joshua Shores came in 1795, and in a short time made his improvement on Shore's hill. He died on the hill in about 1825.

The earliest permanent settlers in Wysox came about 1790, and of these were: Stephen Strickland's father and his young family, the grandfather of Morgan and Stephen Strickland, Jr. The Strickland  farm numbered several hundred acres in the 11 plains," on the west side of the river. The original tract was divided among the Strickland  heirs. The next farm east was the Mathias 1-1. Laning place; was settled originally by Job Irish-father of Col. Jud Irish. A few  years later John Hinman settled a little northwest of the Laning farm on the road leading to Shore's Hill , he built the first gristmill  in the township, on Laning creek. This was great joy to the settlers, as before they had to go ninety miles to Wilkes-Barre to mill. Hinman's sons were John and Abner C. Hinman, the latter of whom resides on the old homestead. Moses Coolbaugh, father of Daniel, Cornelius and Samuel Coolbaugh, was with the first settler and located on the  Rev. Darius Williams' place. He was the grandfather of Edwin B., Eustace and Morris 1. Coolbaugh. John Strope was the first settler (1800), on the Harry Morgan farm. The first blacksmith, Henry Tuttle (1800), built adjoining Strope on the South, put up his shop,  and followed his trade many years ; his son John inherited and lived on the homestead. John Elliott came about 1804, and was the first settler on what is now the splendid Piollet lands, near the river; his sons Thomas and Deacon James Elliott, and Joseph and Samuel  Elliott, lived in Towanda and at Rome. Sebastian Strope settled in 1804 on the Magill farm, near the mouth of Wysox creek, and his land extended north toward Myersburg; his son, Harry Strope, lived in Towanda. About the same time Ralph Martin made his improve-ment on the Joseph Conklin farm. William Coolbaugh, already men-tioned, was the first settler in Myersburg, about 1806. Jacob Myer came and built a gristmill, then soon after a sawmill, and from him the place received its name; his sons were William, Alvin, Jacob and Isaac Myer; His grandson was Hon. E. Reed Myer, who eventually occupied the old homestead.

But the pre-historic character of Wysox was a very dirty and buggy hermit known as " Fencelor." Traditions say he was an old resident in his hole or cave when the first foxes and wolves arrived, and the first superstitious Indians both worshiped and feared him-possibly because he was so much dirtier than they dared to be. His " hole " was about a mile north of Myersburg, owned afterward by Dr. Seth T. Barstow, and finally by Col. Robert Spalding. The place of the "Hermit of Weasauking," as the name went into fiction, was called by Dr. Barstow  "Fencelor Castle." There are descendants of people who, it is said, actually saw the " Hermit " and talked with him. The old fellow was found dead in his residence about 1808 or 1810.

The first settler in the Pond hill neighborhood was one Grover, who came about 1806 and built near, that beautiful lake that gives the name

578                                            HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY.

to " Pond hill," a deep, placid body of water on the hill that has so long mystified every beholder on the question as to whence it gets its supply.  It is on a high elevation about a mile north of Myersburg. In later years property known as the "Allen property" was purchased by Miner York, fattier of Amos York, and the Narrows eventually took the name of "York Narrows." The first settler on the Owens farm, west of and adjoining the Piollet land, was a man named Price, who located in 1805; he built the first distillery in the township, which was eventually removed to Myersburg.

Burr Ridgeway came in 1803. . Naphtali Woodburn came to Wysox in 1805, and settled on the creek above Barstow's, in an old house that had been built for a Baptist meeting house. He brought a small stock of goods and soon after built a sawmill Elisha Tracey lived on the creek near Peter Johnson's, and near him was Dr. Gillette. . Elisha Whitney came in 1916. . [For an account of the coming of the Piollets to Wysox see biographical sketches on another page.]

Dr. Seth A Barstow was one of the first physicians in Wysox, in 1810; his residence was called "Fencelor Castle"; he married Clarissa Woodruff. Dr. Warner came to Wysox when a young man, and be died there in 1845, aged seventy years. . Shepard Pierce came in 1810 married a Coolbaugh, and bought the John Shepard farm.

The first school-house was built near Alonzo Bishop's. . John Hinman built a grist and saw mill on the Little Wysox, in the rear of the Laning, farm-the first in the township. The Myers' mill was built in 1802 or 1803. The Woodburns later had a sawmill on the Wysox.

Wysox, a station on the. Lehigh Valley Railroad, situated in almost the center of the beautiful broad Wysox valley, is a place of consider able importance, and has long been noted for its wealth and public, spirit. It has two stores, a large hotel, and a creamery built in 189 Myersburg is two miles north of Wysox.

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