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1878 History of Bradford County by Craft
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History of Bradford County 1770 - 1878

The Reverend Mr. David Craft

Towanda Borough

Retyped by Bruce Preston



The subject of this sketch was born in Litchfield Co., Conn., Nov. 6, 1796. He remained at home with his father, who was a farmer, until he was fifteen years of age, and during these years had received a good English education. He early in life conceived the idea of leading a professional life, and his natural literary tastes began to develop while he was quite young.

At the age of fifteen he entered Williams College, where he remained one year in a preparatory course. He then entered Union College, from which he graduated in the year 1817. He began the study of law in Albany, N. Y., and in the year 1821 was admitted to practice in the supreme courts of the State. In the year 1824, he came to the village of Towanda, Pa., and entered upon the practice of his profession, where he resided until his death, April 30, 1859.

Mr. Barstow was held in high esteem by his fellow townsmen, and was honored by them with various offices of responsibility and trust at home, and for two terms was the county's representative in the State legislature. Every duty placed upon him by his constituents was performed with integrity, and honor to himself and those whom he represented.

As an attorney and counselor-at-law he was among the foremost of the bar of his County and State. Possessing naturally strong mind, strengthened by a good classic education, as an advocate his opinions were listened to with the greatest deference and respect. He was a plain, unassuming man, void of concealment or disguise in the expression of his views, giving his opinions from honest and well-considered conviction. Not satisfied with the education of his younger days, be was a constant student of literature, and spent much time in literary research.

His attachment to home and family was a leading trait of character, and there his social and genial qualities were sunbeams of his life. He was an active, pious, and devoted member of the Episcopal church, and stood prominent in its councils, and was a ready supporter of both church and school interests.

In the year 1841, Nov. 10, he married Miss Amelia A., daughter of Col. Hiram and Elizabeth Mix, of Towanda. Her father was a native of Hudson, N. Y., and of New England extraction, and supposed to be of English descent. To Mr. and Mrs. Barstow were born three children, David Mary, Hariett, and Caroline A. Barstow; all are living. The widow and mother is a lady of rare intellectual qualities, devoted to the best interests of society, to the Episcopal church, of which she is a member, and especially to her children.


The subject of this sketch was born in the town of Neversink, Delaware Co., N. Y., May 30, 1804. He was the eldest son of a family of eight children of Edward and Lusina Mills. His father was a native of Connecticut, and descended from English ancestry. His mother was of Scotch descent. His grandfather was killed during the Revolutionary war, at Groton fort, Connecticut, when his father was only six weeks old.

When the subject of this memoir was only about six years of age, his father moved from their home in Delaware county and settled in Bradford County, coming to the town of Towanda about 1810, settling on the very farm where Stephen A. Mills now resides. His father became one of the pioneers of the county, and, as a farmer, lived in the town of his adoption for many years, dying in Illinois, July 5, 1869, at the advanced age of eighty-seven years and eleven months; the mother dying Oct. 29, 1847. The children had but a limited opportunity for obtaining education, but received that parental training common to Puritan parentage, which fitted them to become men and women ranking in the best society, and possessing that native ability so characteristic of some of the early settlers.

Stephen A. resided at home and worked on a firm until he was twenty-one years of age, and soon after bought the place where he now resides, which he has made his home for a half-century, and now, in his seventy-fourth year of age, is enabled to look over the result of a life of labor and toil. His life has been somewhat varied in business. First as a farmer and lumberman, ranking among the first of his town. Then, for some thirty years, he, in connection with his farming kept a public house, and in the latter years of his life gave his attention to farming. Held in high esteem by his fellow-townsmen, he has held the office of justice of the peace for some eighteen years, and is still an incumbent of that office. Originally he voted with the Whig party, but upon the formation of the Republican party became a member of that organization, and has unswervingly stood to his post. Integrity of purpose and uprightness of character are leading characteristics of him.

In the year 1826, Feb. 26, he married Miss Amanda, daughter of Elisha and Betsey Fanning, of Springfield, Bradford County. Her father and mother were both natives of Massachusetts and of English descent. Her grandfather Fanning was an officer in the Revolutionary war, and died from the effects of a wound received in the service, which continued to trouble him until his death. He lived to an advanced age.

To Mr. and Mrs. Mills were born six children, Marvin E., George B., Hannah B., Harriet E, Charlotte A., and Lewis Irenus. All are living except Marvin E., Hannah B., and Lewis Irenus.

It is due to the memory of the eldest son, Marvin E., to leave this sketch of his career. Naturally of a literary taste, be read- law with the late Hon. John C. Adams, of Towanda, and was admitted to practice in the supreme court of the State. After a short time be went to California, arriving there in 1851. Engaged in mining for some two years. In the year 1854 he was elected district attorney on the Whig ticket. In his new field he was considered second to none in the State, but while rapidly rising in his profession his career was suddenly cut short by death, which occurred in 1862, at the age of thirty-five years.

Silas Mills, a brother of the subject of this notice, married Miss Mary E. Allis, of Orwell, Bradford County, February 25, 1839. He was born Sept. 12, 1808, and his wife was born June 25, 1811. To Mr. and Mrs. Silas Mills were born five children, Sophia, Viletta (Edward died in infancy), Vaspasian, and Mary; also William Mills, an adopted son. The family resides on a portion of the old homestead first purchased by his father, on coming to the county, of John Sheppard.


The subject of this sketch was born in the town of North Towanda, June 13, 1814. In the year 1784 his grandfather, Isaac Foster, with his family, consisting of his wife and three children, emigrated from Massachusetts and settled at the mouth of Sugar creek, Bradford County. At this time there were no roads except Indian trails, and very few clearings. The first thing to do was to erect a rude cabin, which served as shelter until he built a saw mill on the creek and manufactured lumber, three-inch plank, with which to construct a dwelling, it being put up in the shape of a log house, and is still standing and occupied as a dwelling. Clearing off the forest, preparing the land for raising crops, was the business of the first few years. Gradually the country began to be settled. School-houses were erected, mills built for flouring and making cloth. In all these improvements the Fosters did their part, and stood in the front rank.

Such was the character of this family, their perseverance and resolution, that the original tract of 300 acres of land taken up by them was mostly cleared by the family, and a part of which is still owned by one of its members.

In the pioneer days of the history of this family, as with others, a pecuniary value was placed upon the time of the children, prior to coming of age, by the parents, and, as the result, a limited opportunity was given for obtaining an education; and inasmuch as the family, while in Massachusetts had been well to do in property, but had unfortunately sold it for Continental money, which afterwards became valueless, they were not in the most flattering circumstances upon coming to their new home in the wilderness. The struggles with pioneer life, with its loneliness, its poverty, its want of society, were all met with that fortitude which has since characterized the progeny of Isaac Foster; and such were the first principles of integrity and honor instilled into the minds of the children that their influence still continues; and some of the representatives of the family have so much of the confidence of the people in their native town as to receive their suffrages to represent them in the legislative halls of the State (viz., James Foster). Isaac Foster died at an advanced age in the year 1821. His eldest son, Abial Foster, was the father of the subject of this memoir, and married Miss Mary Means, sister of Col. Wm. Means, the first settler of Towanda. To them were born nine children, of whom William H. was next to the youngest child.

His father, Abial was a farmer through life, gave his children as liberal an education as the times and his means could afford, lived a Christian man, a member of the Presbyterian church, and died in 1841, at the age of seventy seven years, honored and respected by all who knew him.

His mother, fully devoted to the best interests of her children, lived in their affections, instructed them in all that makes them true men and women, a devoted Christian woman, lived to the age of eighty three years, and died in 1855.

William H., on account of his father's illness, remained at home for several years after coming of age, and took charge of his father's farm and business. When he was twenty-eight years of age his father died, and he in connection with his elder brother, received by inheritance the old homestead, still owned and occupied by one of the family. He has been during his life a tiller of the soil, and to day is enabled to look back over a life of labor and toil, numbered among the representative farmers of his day. He has severally held the most important offices of his town, all of which positions have been filled with honor to himself He was identified with the Democratic party from the time of casting his first vote until the breaking out of the

War of the Rebellion, since which time he has acted with the Republican Party, and closely adheres to its principles.

At the age of twenty-eight, in the year 1842, be married Miss Matilda, daughter of William and Rosannah Alloway, of Towanda. She was born in Clearfield, Pa., April 5, 1823.

To Mr. and Mrs. Foster were born five children, Celinda M., Frederick, Helen, Jenett, and Irene Foster. The eldest married Hon. James Foster, and died l871. The rest are living.


The subject of this sketch was born in the township of Monroe, April 28, 1815. His parents were among the earliest settlers of the county. His father, Eliphalet Mason, was a justice of the peace while this county was a part of Luzerne.

Dr. Mason spent his early life in the various pursuits of farming, lumbering, and other business that presented at home. He early manifested a desire to obtain an education, and by dint of unwearied labor and perseverance became a good scholar. By his own industry in study and teaching he prepared himself for college, and, after a course of study with the late Dr. Samuel Houston, of Towanda, and also with Dr. Horton, of Terrytown, he entered Jefferson medical college, at Philadelphia; graduating from there at the age of twenty-three, and in the year 1838.

With the exception of about three years spent in Reading, Pa., and two years in California, he lived, and practiced his profession, in Towanda and vicinity. He was for many years an honored member and officer of the Bradford County medical society, and to his experience as much as to that of any other one man the society is indebted for its high standing and usefulness.

Dr. Mason was one of the founders and oldest members of the Bradford County historical society, and at his death it’s presiding officer. For a long time he had been impressed with the belief that it was the duty of the living to rescue from oblivion and forgetfulness items of history and knowledge as they transpire to day, and record them for coming generations. To this end he labored zealously, and lived to see the society fairly organized and prospering under his own leadership. He engaged in this enterprise with an earnestness and energy which gave unmistakable evidence that his heart was in it, and that he was not living for himself alone, but for the good of mankind. Very soon after his death, Feb. 3, 1871, the Bradford County historical society unanimously adopted the following resolutions:

  1. Resolved, That in the decease of our worthy president, Dr. E. H. Mason, the society has lost a faithful and competent officer, and our community one of its most valued members.
  2. Resolved, That in the brief space of time in which 'be presided over our deliberations be had, by his many virtues, his superior fitness for the place he occupied, his kindness of heart, his amiable disposition, and the sunshine which always accompanied his presence, together with his rare scientific knowledge and sterling integrity, won the friendship and affection of the society, which be had ever held in the community in which he lived, and left a monument to his memory more valued than granite or marble."
He was an honored member of the Masonic fraternity. When be addressed the lodge he was listened to with the greatest attention and respect, and in the most exciting debate he never lost his courteous and gentlemanly manner; and while his words were words of wisdom and power, they were always chaste and respectful. With purest and noblest principles and motives himself, his charity was bounded only by the human race.

In the year 1862, after the sanguinary battle of Antietam, the governor of this State appointed Dr. Mason examining surgeon for Bradford County. His duties throughout the

drafting excitement were performed with his characteristic kindness and sympathy, and without an unkind word. True to his duty, to his country, and to his friends, he performed his duty with fidelity, fearless of nothing that stood in the way of right.

In no relation in life did his virtues shine so pre-eminent as in his home, in the bosom of his family. It was there that the pure gold of his affection was most apparent.

Dr. Mason was a Christian gentleman, an active member of the Universalist faith, of unassuming manners, uncompromising integrity, unsullied character, great medical skill, and high intellectual attainments, which were partly bidden from the inquisitive eye of public appreciation under the graceful mantle of modest unobtrusiveness. June 6, 1838, he married Miss Philyndia, daughter of Jared Woodruff, Esq., of Towanda Township. By this marriage be had five children: Ruth Katbleen, Alice Philyndia, Helen Sophia, Jared Halbert, and Mary Bernice. All are dead except Ruth and Helen. The widow and mother is a lady of rare accomplishments and fine social qualities, and often assisted her husband by her angel visits to the sick and suffering and at the same time managed to make her own cheerful home the brightest spot on earth to her husband and family. She still survives, being born Nov. 6, 1817.


The subject of this sketch was born in Rockport, Essex Co., Mass., May 4, 1796. He was early placed in the best schools afforded at that time. His desire for an education increased with his years, and at the age of Sixty years be entered Dartmouth college, from which he graduated with the usual honors. His natural inclination led him to take up the study of medicine, and he began his labors in that branch of literary research with the celebrated Dr. Fowler, of Boston, and graduated from the medical schools of that city. In the year 1819 he received a diploma from the New Hampshire medical society, for the practice of physician and surgery, given by the president, Josiah Bartlett.

He began the practice of his profession in New Londonderry, N. H., where he remained, with the exception of a short time, until he came to Towanda, Bradford County, Pa., in the year 1824. Coming to this county during its pioneer history, he became not only a pioneer in his profession, but his natural ability and skill in practice made him a leader, and ranked him at the head of his profession in the village and county where be resided. Characteristic of Dr. Houston was his great sympathy for those whom he thought deserved or merited assistance. He lent a ready hand to counsel those young in the profession, and encouraged them in their laborious struggle against older and more experienced practitioners. His medical assistance was rendered alike to the rich and poor, and often his great charitable disposition was drawn out to administer to the needy by supplying the comforts of life. Notable in native talent and skill, his opinions were paramount among those of his profession, and he stood a peer among his medical associates to the time of his death, May 20, 1856. Socially, the doctor was a man of great likes and dislikes, but was highly respected and esteemed by all who knew him. His firmness, integrity of purpose, and strong resolution make his name still remembered and honored.

He was unswervingly a Democrat in politics, and was prominently identified with the Masonic fraternity of his village and county.

In the year 1831, Oct. 25, he married Miss Emeline M., daughter of Hiram and Elizabeth Mix, of Towanda.

To Dr. and Mrs. Houston were born ten children, six of whom are living. The widow and mother still lives in the village of Towanda, having survived her husband some twenty-one years.


The subject of this sketch was born in Clitheroe, Lancashire, EngIand, Dec. 30, 1795. He received early in life a good English and classical education, and by the assistance of his uncle, Giles Blaisdell, a very eminent English lawyer, who took a deep interest in the early education and future welfare of his nephew, was prepared, at the age of sixteen, to commence the study of the law, and shortly after was articled to him for five years as a student of the law, the articles of enrollment being recorded in the King's Bench, with a stamp-duty of one hundred pounds sterling. At the age of twenty, and before the expiration of the five years, he emigrated to America, first coming to Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He was admitted to the court of common pleas of this State very soon after an examination held by Judges Gibson and Burnside and a committee of the other lawyers of the court, in which examination his sound knowledge of the principles of the law and his naturally legal mind became quite apparent to his examiners. At about the age of twenty-two he opened an office for the practice of his profession at Tioga Point, now called Athens, where he remained for three years, and came to Towanda, where be has since resided. Soon after taking up his residence in Towanda he was admitted to practice in the supreme courts of the State. Now fully established in a profession for life, and one in which his natural ability seemed peculiarly adapted, he gradually gained prominence in the courts where he plead, and rose to the foremost ranks in the bar of the county and State as an attorney and counselor. Beginning the practice of the law in the early days of the history of the county, he was very notably identified with the litigation respecting land titles growing out of the Connecticut claims covering the northern part of Pennsylvania, and the imperfect surveys of State claimants, in which litigation he was foremost as a land lawyer.

Mr. Overton is the oldest member of the bar of the county, and possibly of the State, having been connected with the same for some sixty years, and an active member of the bar for nearly one-half a century.

In politics he was originally a Whig, but upon the formation of the Republican Party adopted its principles and became an ardent supporter of its platform.

He was never solicitous of public office. Neither has he shrank from bearing with integrity any responsibility placed upon him. Through life Mr. Overton has taken a deep interest in all matters relating to church and school, contributing largely in the building of church edifices, arid the forwarding of any enterprise looking to the education of the rising generation and the establishment of good society. He has been a member of the Presbyterian Church of Towanda since his first settlement in that village, and has always shown a fervent attachment to its articles of faith and laws of Government. Throughout its history this church has been greatly indebted to him for generous and unceasing counsel and help, and all the schemes of benevolence of the Presbyterian church in the United States have found in him a liberal benefactor. He has always had an open hand for the poor and distressed. To eminent legal ability and learning he added in early life the refinement and amenity of poetic and social culture. During a long and varied career he has been signally successful in maintaining a high reputation for honor and honesty, and is now enjoying in old age an ample competence.

In the year 1818 he married Miss Eliza, daughter of Henry Clymer, of Philadelphia, and granddaughter of Hon. George Clymer, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, one of the framers of the Constitution of the United States, and the first president of the Academy of Fine Arts of Pennsylvania. To Mr. and Mrs. Overton were born seven children: Mary, Giles Blaisdell, Henry Clymer, Louisa, Francis Clymer, Edward, Jr., and Eliza.W. Watkins

Mr. Watkins, like many of the early residents of Towanda, traced his origin, with commendable pride, to a New England ancestry. The fifth of seven sons, be was born in Reading, Windsor Co., Vt., March 18, 1802. Choosing the law as his profession, he was admitted to the bar in Montpelier, Vt., in the year 1825.

In 1828 he was married to Almira Hulett, daughter of John Hulett, of Reading, Vt., and removed at once to Towanda. He gave himself immediately to the practice of his profession, never engaging in speculation, and only participating in the passing questions of the day when he considered a moral principle to be involved. His keen perception of character and motive and his persistency of purpose secured him, in time, a reputation for shrewdness as a lawyer, and the integrity of mind that was a distinguishing trait gave him an undisputed claim to the confidence of his clients and the respect of his neighbors and friends.

To comprehend more fully the nature of some of these earlier New England pioneers of Bradford County, one needs to have seen them among the granite hills, evergreen slopes, and under the steely skies that gave the first shapings of character. That which seemed sternness rises into grandeur as the mouldings of an upright character are recognized, and there are many such among the earlier settlers of this county who have unquestionably left their brand of intellectual strength and rectitude upon the present generation. The subject of this notice was a man of strong convictions, and of such as did not always lead into avenues of popularity. He identified himself with the earliest Abolition movements in the county, when a single old colored man, familiarly known as "Black Henry," was his main ally. Years later, in the interval of which history was verifying the correctness of his sympathies, his oldest son, Lieutenant-Colonel G. H. Watkins, who had early enlisted in the War of the Rebellion, fell in the fruitless charge before Petersburg of June 18, 1864.

An instinct of tenderness towards the unprotected or unfortunate made him a loving as well as watchful parent and husband, and a friend that could be relied on in adversity. Remembering the difficulties he had himself been obliged to overcome as a stranger, in a State with whose laws he was as yet unfamiliar, he invariably evinced a kindly interest in the young men of the profession. A keen sense of the ridiculous gave relish to an intercourse that might otherwise have seemed severe and reticent, and the repartee of a child has been known to save from deserved punishment. Although for many years a Christian, he did not become a member of any Christian organization until, about the year 1865, be united with the Presbyterian Church.

Mr. Watkins died in the home he had inhabited for nearly fifty years on the evening of September 12, 1877. He leaves a wife and one son, William Hersey Watkins, of Independence, Kansas, and two daughters, married respectively to Hon. H. T. Davies, and H. L. L'Amoureux, of Towanda.


The subject of this sketch was born in Towanda, Bradford County, 1825. He was eldest son of a family of seven children of Gen. William Patton and Eliza Hale, both natives of Pennsylvania.

At the age of fifteen years, Joseph, the subject of this memoir, entered a Quaker school called Mannington academy, in Susquehanna county, where he remained one year. Soon after returning home, he was called to mourn the loss of a devoted and amiable mother, who died at the early age of thirty-six years. In the year 1843 he went to Hinsdale, N. Y., to attend the Cattaraugus manual labor institute, where every student was required to labor sufficient to defray the expenses of his board, a large farm being connected with the institute.

Mr. Patton engaged and worked upon the "Hinsdale Expositor," a monthly journal published at that place in the interest of the school. Here he remains for some two years, and became a practical printer. The school proved a failure. He then became a student of' Grand River Institute, of Austinsburg, O., where he remained for two years prosecuting his studies. In 1847 he entered Alleghany college, at Meadville, Pa., qualirying himself for the discharge of the practical business transactions of life. After traveling through different parts of the west, occasionally teaching as a means of defraying current expenses, he returned to his home in the autumn of 1850, and taught the district school Hale's schoolhouse, in Towanda township, in the winter of that year. At the close of his term, receiving notice from his father engaged as a clerk in the United States Senate that a temporary appointment awaited him in the same department, he removed at once to Washington and entered upon his duties.

Returning to Towanda he engaged in shipping lumber to the towns on the lower Susquehanna, these being the only reliable markets that Bradford County lumbermen enjoyed. In 1855 he purchased the drugstore north of Pine Street, which he subsequently established in Patton's block. In 1867 he embarked in trade in books and stationery, and in 1870, after disposing of his interest, gave attention to the improvement of his real estate. Mr. Patton is an ardent supporter of temperance reform, and has given some attention to lecturing upon that subject. Besides being a member of the borough council he has filled several other offices of responsibility, to the satisfaction of the people. In I872 he was elected a member of the constitutional convention to raise the organic law of the State, where he had the honor of introducing the present system of an indorsed and numbered ballot, which affords a ready means of detecting and preventing, fraud. He has been for many years, and is now, one of the directors of the Towanda Bridge company.

In politics, Mr. Patton is an unswerving Democrat. Socially, he is affable and genial, possessing a frank, generous, and unpretentious disposition, kindness of heart, and ardent attachment to friends.


the second of a family of five children, was born in Huntingdon Co., Pa., 1799. After receiving such advantages as the schools of that early period afforded, he entered the office of Elias W. Hale, Esq., studied, and was admitted to the practice of the law, and removed to Bradford County in 1821. In 1824 he married Miss Eliza Hale, daughter of Reuben Hale, Esq., of Towanda. To Mr. and Mrs. Patton were born three sons and four daughters, Joseph, Gideon, Phebe Ann, Wealthy Maria, Eliza Hale, William Hale, Jane, and William, Jr., of whom only two survive, Joseph Gideon and Phebe Ann. A short sketch of the former will be found in another place in this work. Phebe Ann, in 1853, married John J. Griffiths, of Philadelphia. They have two children, William Patton and Anna Maria Griffiths, being the only grandchildren of Gen. WilliamPatton.

He continued in the practice of his profession until appointed justice of the peace, in which capacity he dispensed law and equity, and as an umpire displayed those traits of compromise and conciliation that have characterized a life replete with instances of reconciliation between neighbors in their constantly recurring legal and political estrangements. In 1829 he received the appointment of transcribing clerk of the senate of the State, and was continued in that position until about the year 1835, when he was appointed engrossing clerk of the Senate of the United States, which position he occupied for a period of twenty-five years, extending from the administration of General Jackson to the accession of Abraham Lincoln. During his occupancy of this position he enjoyed an intimate acquaintanceship and association with the eminent statesmen, Clay, Webster, Calhoun, Cass, Benton, and Douglas, whose friendship he retained until the close of their lives. In the year 1841 his wife died. In 1842 he married the present Mrs. Patton.

General Patton was a man of singularly unobtrusive nature, and although chosen from a large circle of prominent men to serve in the capacity of general of the State militia, he was notably a man of peace. Entertaining decided opinions of moral and religious obligations, he was, nevertheless free from bigotry, and one of the most tolerant of men. Possessed of a moral courage that never quailed in the presence of opposition, he espoused what he believed to be right with the earnest zeal of a conscientious conviction, but when vanished, he yielded with the grace of a patriotic citizen to what be accepted as the will of the people or a legal determination.

As an author and biographer General Patton will leave a void not easily filled in the field of his operations, while his contributions to the current and political literature of the day will be cherished as clear, concise, and valorous arguments in behalf of the ideas enunciated. As a citizen and neighbor he is remembered for that Gentleness of heart which contributed genuine sympathy to the misfortunes of the lowly, while he possessed that independence of spirit that had no cringing adulation for the exalted. In the transaction of business he was the soul of honor and the embodiment of integrity.

He was a life-long student, and a man of indefatigable industry. His powers of endurance were almost incredible. Until within a few days of his death be could be found with book or pen at any hour of the day, and frequently till midnight, engaged in literary labor. He gave valuable assistance to the compilation of the present "History of Bradford County," a work in which he felt great interest, both as a citizen and as ex-president of the Historical Society, under whose auspices it was written.

General Patton was connected with the Towanda Grange, No. 200, the interests of which he did all in his power to forward, as the following will show, being embodied in the memorial tribute to his life at a meeting of the lodge after his death: His introduction before the Grange county convention of a resolution to do away by law with what he termed a fatal blow to credit the demand for personal security on an obligation to which the signer is not a party in interest elucidates the close scrutiny which his legally analytic mind has given to questions of political economy, and leaves us to feel keenly the void caused by his departure from our radical discussions.

"His presence will be missed for the conservatism that his counsels added to our deliberations. We shall lose the benefit of an investigating mind, for many years turned to the field of chemical constituents as a means to the greater promotion of agricultural results in the domain of scientific farming." Gen. William Patton died Oct. 10, 1877.


The subject of this sketch was born in what is now Wilmot township, Bradford County, Feb. 17, 1828, being the fourth son of John and Sally Morrow, of that place. His early life was spent at home, where in alternate labors of the farm, the studies of the schoolroom, and teachings of the home circle, were laid the foundations of a good physical development, firm intellectual culture, and high moral character, which have distinguished him through life.

At the age of eighteen, at Franklin Academy, in Susquehanna county, he began the preparatory course of study, and in September 1848, entered the freshman class of Hamilton College, and graduated with honor July, 1852. Previous to entering the academy, and while pursuing his studies, he was engaged in teaching for several terms.

Possessing a strong, analytical mind, argumentative, and practical in the ordinary affairs of life, be turned naturally to the law as his chosen profession and immediately after his Graduation came to Towanda, and entered the office of Judge Mercur, as a student-at-law. In September, 1853, be was admitted to the bar, having studied law extra during his senior year under Dr. Dwight.

Entering upon his profession, he found at the bar such men as Elwell, Adams, Mercur, and others, who then were eminent in their profession, and doing the principal part of the legal business of the county. To make for himself a place and obtain business against such competitors required no little ability, energy, and perseverance. He made haste slowly, but made it a rule to do well whatever be had to do; and, with an unyielding integrity of purpose, he attracted attention and won the confidence of the public; so that in 1856 he was elected district attorney. In 1862 he became the law partner of Judge Wilmot, who then was United States senator, and remained with him until he was appointed one of the judges of the court of claims at Washington. He was subsequently associated with Henry Peet, Esq., until March, 1865, and then with Judge Mercur until March, 1870. At this latter date, he received the appointment of Additional Law Judge of thirteenth judicial district, composed of the counties of Bradford and Susquehanna, of which Hon. F. B. Streeter was President Judge.

In the fall of 1870 he was elected Additional Law Judge for the term of ten years. Under the new constitution, Bradford and Susquehanna counties were each made a separate judicial district, and Judge Streeter having assigned himself to the latter, in 1874 Judge Morrow was commissioned President Judge of the Bradford district, for the remainder of his term. Ever since he went upon the bench he has been a hard worker, painstaking and diligent. Conscientious and upright in the discharge of his duties, just and correct in his decisions, he has won the respect and confidence of all.

In June, 1857, he married Miss Harriet King Pitcher, of Warren, Bradford County, and to them have been born three children: Henrietta, now in the senior class at the Elmira Female College; John Paul, born Oct. 23, 1863; and Charles Sidney, born Oct. 30, 1868.

Mrs. Morrow is a woman of rare intellectual and social culture, to whose kindly sympathies and encouragement her husband attributes much of his success in life, and whose genial influence makes home attractive for him, his children, and friends. As a Christian woman, she is active in all the benevolent enterprises of the church and the Sabbath-school. She was born Oct. 19, 1836, in Byron, Genesee Co., N. Y.

Judge Morrow is a ready supporter of both church and school interests, as well as every enterprise looking to the advancement of literature and the preservation of good society. In his religious belief, he is in heart accord with the Presbyterian Church, without narrowness or bigotry towards those who may differ from him.

He was an active member of the Democratic party until 1854, when the Kansas and Nebraska question led him to cast in his lot with the opposition, and become a warm advocate of the principles of the republican party. Since his elevation to the bench, though taking no active part in politics, he has stood unswervingly by the principles he then espoused.

The, official position now held by Judge Morrow involves great labor and responsibility. The business in the courts has largely increased of late, and occupies all his time. Large interests are involved, and, to say nothing of the physical efforts required, there is a constant anxiety and strain of the mental faculties. Yet he is courteous, patient, and willing to hear all that may be said by way of argument or persuasion, but at the same time is firm and independent, and seems to have but one object in view, viz., that the right may prevail. He has a well-balanced, discriminating mind, and an abiding love of justice.


The subject of this sketch was born in Sheffield, Conn., June 1809. He was the eldest son of a family Of nine children of Roderick and Almeda Granger, natives of Connecticut, and of Welsh descent on the father's side, and of Irish descent on the mother's side.

His father was born in 1780, and during the years of the Revolutionary war the grandfather on the father's side put in two substitutes to serve in the war, and his grandfather on his mother's side served himself as a drummer during the entire war.

The family characteristics for independence, under the native born principles of Puritanism, were fully established before the subject of this notice was born, by their participation in the war for independence.

His father emigrated from Connecticut and settled in Bradford County, Ulster Township, in 1809; lived in the township of Wysox for three ears, and in the year 1828 settled on the land now owned and occupied by his sons Horace and Roderick, views of which will be found in this work. His father began by clearing off the forest and preparing the land for raising crops. He was really one of the pioneers of the county; did all he could to impress upon the winds of his children the value of honesty, integrity of character, and virtue. He lived to the age of sixty nine years, and died in the year 1848, and while returning from election after voting for General Taylor for president of the United States. His mother lived to the advanced age of eighty-four years, and died December 1869.

Horace and Roderick, after the death of their father, receiving most of the original purchase of 200 acres, have since cleared most of it and made it good producing land, erected suitable buildings, and are among the representative families of their town. They have lived to see the various changes since the early settlement of the county, the rude log cabin supplanted by palatial residences, commodious schoolhouses, with all modern improvements, and steam navigation and railroading in place of sails and ox-carts.

Horace, at the age of twenty-four years, and in the year 1833, Oct. 10, married Miss Matilda Vandyke, of Ulster. To them were born three children, George H., Francis M., and James R. All are living. Mr. Granger is now in his Sixty ninth year of age, and well versed in the current topics of the day. Originally a Whig in politics, now an, ardent supporter of Republican principles. His first vote was cast for General Harrison for president of the United States.

Roderick Granger married Miss Louisa, daughter of Ezra Rutty, one of the first settlers of Towanda township. This marriage took place in the year 1833, Aug. 20. To Mr. and Mrs. Granger were born twelve children, eight of whom are living. Names of children are as follows: Patience, Sophia, Joseph, Alexander, Burton, Franklin, Adelia, Frederick, Anna (died in infancy), Francis, Mary, and Ida M., Roderick Granger is identified in politics with the Republican party, and previous to its formation was a member of the Whig organization. He is now in his sixty-fifth year, having been born Oct. 14, 1813. Mrs. Granger was born May 16,1814. They live in the affections of their children, and their portraits and a view of their residence will be found on another page of this work, as a monument to their memory of a life of industry and toil.


The subject of this sketch was born in the town of Bath, Steuben Co., N. Y., April 24, 1825. He was a son of Henry and Anna Smith, natives of Bradford Co., Pa. At an early age Erastus engaged as a clerk in the store of Hon. Mr. Hubbell, of Bath, afterwards with Mr. Barney, and at the age of twenty one years had thoroughly learned the mercantile business. His natural business ability had been strengthened by experience, and he was at this time enabled to take a position with men of large experience and greater age. He established the firm of Smith Brothers, at Olean, N. Y., in 1852, and continued the active man of the business until compelled by extreme ill health to relinquish his place. Having chosen his business, he made himself a thorough master of it, and by his energy, industry, and uncompromising honesty he soon won a high place among business men about him. His advent in Olean revolutionized the methods of business, and opened a pathway in which others followed with success.

He was compelled, on account of ill health, to give up his business in that place, and found a pleasant home in Towanda, on the banks of the Susquehanna. A director and stockholder at its organization, he was soon after made president of the First National bank of Towanda, and under his management that institution soon became a success. He was connected with the interests of the bank until his death, May 2, 1872.

He was a cordial hater of all forms of wrong and oppression, a friend of those in need, possessing that urbanity of manner and gentle disposition that commended him to the confidence of all who knew him.

Characteristic of Mr. Smith were his social qualities, and especially in his own family, where he was met by those in whose affections he lived.

At the age of twenty-eight, in the year 1853, he married Miss Olean, daughter of Hon. Frederick S. and Cornelia Martin, of Olean, N. Y. Her father was a member of the State legislature of New York for two terms, and of the United States congress one term, during President Fillmore's administration.

To Mr. and Mrs. Smith were born two children, Anna C. and Frank W. The widow and mother survives her husband, and resides in Towanda, and on another page of this work will be found a view of her residence, and the portrait of her late husband.


John A. Coddin- was born in Dutchess Co., N. Y., July 6, 1819. His father David, his grandfatlier James, and great-grandfather George Codding were born in Bristol Co., Mass. Their ancestors were from England, and among the early settlers of Massachusetts.

The parents of John A. Codding settled in Pike, township, Bradford County, in October 1823. His mother, Susanna Wood, was the eldest daughter of Consider Wood, who served the whole seven years of the Revolutionary war under General Israel Putnam. In 1823, when Mr. Codding came to this county, settlers were few; much of the county was a wilderness, with poor roads and few schools. The advantages for education were so limited that the subject of this notice walked two miles to a district school for big first common school instruction. He acquired a good English education, and in 1837 commenced to teach school in the rural districts and board around, and continued in the business of an educator of children for fifteen years. About one thousand different scholars have received instruction from him. In early life he learned the stone and brick-mason's trade, and many of the best buildings in this and adjacent Counties are monuments of his handiwork. Under the militia laws of the commonwealth he was elected successively to the offices of first lieutenant and captain of cavalry, major, lieutenant colonel, and brigade inspector.

In 1854 he was elected High Sheriff of the county, and remained in the office and did business with his successor three years after his own term expired, making six years in the sheriff's office. In 1862 be was appointed a commissioner to superintend the draft for Bradford County. He was senior member of the hardware firm of Codding & Russell, for sixteen years.

He married in November, 1847, Percilla L. Hodge, of Le Raysville, daughter of Rev. James Hodge. Their family is three sons and one daughter. James H., the eldest son, is finishing his law studies with Hon. P. D. Morrow .

John W. graduated at La Fayette college in the class of 1877, and is studying law in the office of Messrs. Overton & Mercur . Charles L. was born in the court-house, and is now with B. M. Peck, Esq., in the prothonotary's office,also preparing for the legal profession ; Mary is the youngest and only daughter. The mother died in 1865, aged seventy-nine. The father died in 1874, aged eighty eight.


No man has ever lived in Bradford County, nor indeed in northern Pennsylvania, who has achieved so wide a reputation as David Wilmot, whose picture, accompanying this sketch, will be hailed with joy by many of his admirers. He was born in Bethany, Wayne County, Pa., where he spent his boyhood and youth, and where, and at Aurora, he was educated. At the age of eighteen be commenced the study of law at Wilkes-Barre, where he remained until his admission to the bar, when he removed to Towanda, Bradford County.

Immediately Mr. Wilmot took a prominent position as a politician, taking the side of the party opposed to General McKean. For several years he occupied a commanding position in the political affairs of the county, and won a wide reputation as an able and effective speaker.

In 1844, Mr. Wilmot received the unanimous nomination of the Democracy of the Twelfth congressional dit3triet, composed of the counties of Bradford, Tioga, and Susquehanna, henceforth known as the "Wilmot district." He was elected by a large majority, and took his seat at the opening of the Twenty-ninth congress, in 1845, where, in common with the Democratic Party, he favored the annexation of Texas. On the 4th of August 1846, the president sent to the senate a confidential message, asking an appropriation to negotiate a peace with Mexico. A bill was introduced in the House, appropriating two millions of dollars for the purpose specified. It had now become so apparent that the proposition was intended to strengthen the pro-slavery influence in the general Government that, at Mr. Wilmot's suggestion, a consultation was held by a few of the northern representatives who were opposed to the extension of slavery, the result of which was the offering by Mr. Wilmot of the celebrated proviso, which has been so generally known as the "Wilmot Proviso," which provided that in any territory acquired from Mexico "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any part of the territory, except for crime," etc. This proviso was adopted in committee, and the two million bill, containing the proviso, was sent to the Senate, where it wits killed by John Davis, of Massachusetts, talking against time and preventing its passage.

In 1846, Mr. Wilmot received again the unanimous nomination of his party for con-ress, and was re-elected. In 1848 the question of slavery be,-,an to be a,,itated, and the Free-soil party was formed. which nominated Martin Van Buren for the presidency. Wilmot, however, received the unanimous nomination for con-ress, and was re-elected by a large majority, and was succeeded by Mr. Grow in 1850.

On the formation of the Republican party, Mr. Wilmot very soon espoused its principles and identified himself with the movement. In fact, the very measures he had proposed in congress in 1846 had no small influence in leading to its existence. At the Republican national convention held in Philadelphia in 1856, Mr. Wilmot was proposed as the candidate for vice-president on the ticket with Fremont. He could have commanded the unanimous nomination, but was averse to it. He was chairman of the committee on resolutions, and drew up the platform adopted by that convention.

The next year, 1857, Mr. Wilmot was nominated for governor. He had, under the provisions of the amended constitution creating an elective judiciary, been chosen president judge of the judicial district composed of the counties of Bradford, Susquehanna, and Sullivan, in 1851, but resigned the office for the purpose of entering the gubernatorial contest. Although defeated by Wm. F. Packer, his speeches made throughout the State had awakened a deep interest in the principles of the Republican Party, and though defeated, the party was strengthened by the canvass.

In 1860, Gen. Simon Cameron was named in the Pennsylvania Republican convention as their first choice for president, and according to usage Mr. Cameron selected Wilmot as delegate at large to the Chicago convention, of which he was made temporary chairman, and when Mr. Cameron's name was withdrawn, used his great influence to secure the nomination of Abraham Lincoln, whose confidence he enjoyed during his administration.

The selection of Gen. Cameron to, be secretary of' war created a vacancy in the United States Senate, which Mr. Wilmot was elected to fill, and took his seat in that body March 18, 1861. A wide field of honor and usefulness seemed to be opened before him. He was in the prime of manhood, in the full vigor of his mental powers, revered everywhere as the champion of freedom, and his friends confidently expected him to win for himself a still loftier name while advancing the cause of human rights. But at the out-set of his senatorial career his health began gradually to fail, until it was almost impossible for him to attend to the routine of his duties. He served two years on the committees on foreign affairs, claims, and pensions, and was succeeded, in 1863, by Mr. Buckalew.

At the conclusion of his senatorial term he was appointed by President Lincoln a judge of the court of claims, which office he held up to the time of his death.

He was a man of strong convictions, and outspoken in the expression of his opinions; a man greatly beloved by his friends and unsparingly hated by his enemies. He was a powerful speaker, keen in debate, carrying with him the hearts of his hearers, and producing conviction in others frequently by the strength of his own.

He died at his residence in Towanda, on the 16th day of March 1868, aged fifty-four years one month and twenty-six days. He is buried in Towanda cemetery, and his resting place is marked by a plain slab on which is inscribed, in addition to his name and the dates of his birth and death, that celebrated proviso which has made his name immortal.


The subject of this sketch was born in New Marlborough, Berkshire Co., Mass., Aug. 28, 1812. He was the eldest son of a family of four children of Charles Adams, of New England birth and of English descent. His early life was spent on the farm with his father, receiving only the benefit of a common school education, but this so impressed his mind with the importance of an education that, while in the field at work, or during, any leisure time, be was a constant student, and very early in life gave unmistakable evidence of the possession of much intellectual ability. At the age of sixteen he became a teacher, and taught school during winters, and with his earnings spent his time in school during summers. At the age of twenty he began the study of the law with Benjamin Sheldon, father of Judge Sheldon, of Illinois. Afterwards he came to Barrington and continued his studies, and at about the age of twenty two came to Wilkes-Barre, and entered the law office of Judge Conningham, but finished his study of the law with the late Judge Wilmot, of Towanda, Pa., and was admitted to the practice of the supreme court of' the State at the age of twenty-four years. He at once opened an office, in partnership with Mr. Edward Overton, of Towanda, with whom he continued in partnership for several years. He was afterwards a partner with Judge Mercur and others, and continued the practice of his profession in Towanda until his death, June 18, 1866.

From the time of his admission to the bar up to the time of his death he occupied a high position among his professional brethren, and as a forcible and persuasive speaker, especially in cases where the sympathies of a jury could be reached, he was unequaled by any member of the bar of Bradford County. His plain Anglo-Saxon vocabulary conveyed his meaning unmistakably, and at such times it was a frequent occurrence for both jury and bystanders to be bathed in tears. Both in his professional and private business he was scrupulously honest, always regarding the oath he had taken "to behave himself in his office as attorney with all good fidelity to the court as to the client." His honesty was not of the kind that it is a shame for a man to be without, but was inwrought in his very being until for him to have done a dishonorable act would have been doing violence to every inclination of his nature. And then, again, his warm, sympathetic nature led him at all times to discourage litigation, and his energies were directed, first, to preventing it by painstaking and careful preparation of the papers he was called upon to write, and the admirable manner in which he executed the other business entrusted to him ; and in case litigation had been or was about to be commenced, he bent all his energies to bring about, if possible, an amicable settlement. Few men leave a brighter professional record behind them. In the year 1837, Aug. 13, he married Miss Lucy M., daughter of George and Rosseter Pynchon, of Great Barrington, Mass. Her father was great-grandson of John Pyncbon who was a native of England. To Mr. and Mrs. Adams were born five children: John, residing in Towanda; Henry M., who became a lieutenant of Company I, of the 57th Regiment Pennsylvania volunteers, was in the service nearly three years, being among the first to enlist in the cause of the Union, and was killed before Petersburg just before the close of the War of the Rebellion; Samuel C., resides at home; Lucy (deceased); Mary E., residing at home.

Mrs. Adams survives her husband, being born May 28, 1815. She is a lady of great devotion to her family. At the age of sixteen she united with the Protestant Episcopal church, and at the time of writing this sketch, is the oldest member of the Episcopal church of Towanda.


James Elliott was born in Livingston Manor, Columbia Co., N. Y., in the year 1790. From what he recollects that his father said before his death, his grandfather with his five brothers emigrated from the north of Ireland to the British colonies of North America. One by the name of James married and settled at Albany, N. Y. John followed coasting and was frequently on the North River.

His grandfather held some military office under the British government, as his old sword and cocked hat were always to be seen hanging in their place. John and Joseph Elliott, older brothers of the subject of this memoir, came to Bradford County in the spring of 1803. Joseph settled in Rome township, where he spent the latter part of his life, and died at the age of eighty-five years. The whole number of the family coming to this county finally, that year, was twenty persons, among whom were William Elliott, his father, and an aged grandmother, who died of the fever and ague, and was buried not far from the mouth of Wysox creek, and not a stone tells where she lies. His father rented a farm of Squire Means, who lived in a log house on the bank of the river, where now the village of Towanda is located. The farm consisted of upwards of one hundred acres of good corn land, and here the large family of boys had a good opportunity to develop their muscles, and provide means for the support of the family by cultivating the soil. William Elliott's family of fourteen, by two wives, has at this date dwindled down to three sons and two daughters. The principal staple of flesh-food on their first coming to this county was shad, eels, and venison.

William Elliott was a religious man of the Methodist persuasion. The subject of this sketch was the only one who embraced the Baptist faith, and was baptized in the fall of 1812 at what is now Myersburg, in company with Joel Barnes, of Orwell, and Mrs. Amos Mix, of Wysox, and is thought to be the first baptism performed in this way in this vicinity. William Elliott was a pensioner of the Revolutionary War. Joseph Elliott, of Wyalusing was also a pensioner. One son of William Elliott was in the War of 1812, and two of his grandsons were killed in the War of the Rebellion of 1861.

The Elliott family, although not coming here until the country had been settled some thirty years, have contributed their part in the improvements of their day. James has given great attention to pisciculture, and the necessities of the early settlers in using fish for food may have given him greater interest in that study. He has written some very instructive and interesting treatises upon that subject, which have been justly noticed by the press of his county.