The Reverend Mr. David Craft
What is now known as Ulster was originally called Sheshequin. It was the site of an Indian town built after the Pontiac war, at which the Moravians established a mission on the solicitation of some of the native inhabitants, who had belonged to Brainerd's congregations on the Delaware. The name Sheshequin, however, was not confined to the Indian town, but was applied to the whole district claimed by the inhabitants of the village, which included the meadows on Queen Esther's flats and on the east side of the river. When Gen. Spalding first settled in what is now called Sheshequin, he gave that name to his settlement, and for many years the two places were each called Sheshequin, and, to distinguish one from the other, that on the west side of the river was named Old Sheshequin, and that on the east side New Sheshequin. The new Sheshequin becoming much the more important place, at length threw off the qualifying term, and became simply Sheshequin, while Old Sheshequin, after much discussion, and several different names having been proposed, at length took the name of both the Connecticut and Pennsylvania township, and, by the general acquiescence of the inhabitants, has retained the name which was assigned to it. It is only one of many examples of the strange way in which old names become transferred to new places, while the older place assumes some new name without historic significance or local value.
The present township known by
this name is but a very small remnant of the one first organized as Ulster.
The original township was about five miles from north to south, and about
eighty from the east to the west. It is bounded by the Susquehanna on the
east, North Towanda on the south, Smithfield on the west, and Athens on
the north. Along the river are the plains usually found along the river,
broken by high land between Ulster and Milan, and terminated on the south
by the Ulster mountain. West of the river the land rises to a considerable
height, Moore's hill being among the highest points of land in the county.
The hills, though high, are not steep, and are susceptible of cultivation
to their very summits, and good crops are raised by the thrifty farmers
whose farms cover their rugged sides.
Ulster takes its name from the Susquehanna company's town, of which it is a part. An account of this town and the papers connected with it, although covering part of
Sheshequin, are best understood by being taken together, and seemed most appropriately to belong to that part of the old town which has preserved the name. Ulster was originally granted by the committee of the Susquehanna company to Asahel Buck and others in 1775 ;* but no survey nor allotment being made, it was superseded by another grant, made Sept. 12, 1785, which was itself superseded by a third grant, dated July 23, 1786, and surveyed and allotted in the fall of the same year, and described as follows:
Beginning on the west, side of the Susquehanna river, opposite the head of an island, about threedburths of a mile below the junction of the Tioga and Susquehanna; thence west two miles to a corner; thence south five miles; thence east five miles; thence north five miles; thence west three miles to the place of beginning.
In order to obtain more accurate knowledge of the history of the township, Judge Gore and Elijah Buck, then of Buckville, N. Y., made the following deposition:
"September 2,1802. "Before me, Thomas Cooper, Esq., one of thc commissioners under the act passed April 4, 1799, entitled 'An act for offering compensation to the Pennsylvania claimants of lands within the seventeen townships of Luzerne county,' etc., personally appeared Obadiah Gore, Esq., associate judge of the court of common pleas, of the said county, and Elijah Buck, Esq., of Tioga county, of the State of New York, who, upon their oaths, do swear, depose, and say that on the 28th of August, 1775, on the application of persons (proprietors in what was called the Susquehanna company), whose names are mentioned in document A and B, hereto annexed, a grant was regularly made, according to the rules and regulations of the Susquehanna company, for a township containing twenty-five square miles, called Ulster, located on the west side of the northeast branch of the river Susquehanna. A true copy is hereto annexed, marked G.
"That the war breaking out soon after with the British and Indiana, no effectual settlement was made in the said township under the said grant of 1775, the generality of the proprietors and settlers, under the said grant of 1775 being called to the defense of Wyoming and the neighborhood, or having joined the army of the United States.
"That on the close of the war, and during thc fall of 1784 and the spring of 1785, these deponents, with upwards of thirty other persons, settled and resident within the township of Ulster, as located in the said grant of 1775, and being weary with the contest with Pennsylvania respecting thc Susquehanna company's claim, and desirous of living in peace and conformably with the laws of the State in which they were placed by the decision of Trenton, they, with the generality of the proprietors and settlers, were and have continued supporters of the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania.
"That the sentiments of the undersigned deponents and other settlers in the old town of Ulster being commonly known, they were Violently opposed on many occasions and their interests thwarted by many leading proprietors in the Susquehanna company, then and now resident in Luzerne county, and who were and have continued universally hostile to the pretensions of Pennsylvania, in respect to the Susquehanna purchase, and opposers of any plan of compromise hitherto held out under the authority of the State.
"That being overpowered by the numbers of their opponents in the Susquehanna purchase, and unwilling to embark in any further contention and dispute, the undersigned, with other settlers of the old town of Ulster, acquiesced in thc claims of an interfering township laid out by and under the patronage of their opponents, of the description aforesaid, under the name of Athens, still existing and settled as a half-share township and not recognized as one of the seventeen townships of the county of Luzerne under the act of April 4, 1799, and the supplements, in lieu of the old town of Ulster, which was entirely on the west side of the river, northeast branch of Susquehanna. These deponents and other claimants acquiesced in and accepted a new grant of the township of Ulster, the northern bounds of which commenced at the south part of Tioga Point, and extended on both sides the river Susquehanna. A copy of the second grant, as far as it remains perfect, is contained in document D. Document E is a list of the proprietors applying for the second grant, in conformity to the rules and regulations of the Susquehanna company. The boundaries of the town of Ulster, according to the location of the second grant, were not yet agreeable to the claimants and settlers of the town of Athens, who, having the guidance of the affairs of the Susquehanna company entirely among themselves and their adherents, insisted that the town of Ulster should be placed still lower down the river, and this was again consented to by the undersigned deponents and other settlers in Ulster, and a third grant was accepted in the year 1786, a copy whereof is contained in document F. Of the old town of Ulster no regular survey was made, owing to the circumstance of the war immediately succeeding the original grant, nor was a survey completed under the second location, as the third was granted about nine months only after the second. A copy of the survey under the three grants herewith presented being document G. If the old location of Ulster, under the grant of 1775, be established it will include but few comparatively of the applicants under the law of April 4, 1799; the second will include all those who have applied under said law."
"List of the proprietors of the township of Ulster, Mr. Asahel Buck, agent, August 28, 1775:
Catherine Draper, ½ share, I right, certified by receipt.
Elijah Phelps, ½ share, 2 rights.
Jonathan Buck, ½ share, 1 right, certificate. Lockwood Smith, ½ share, 1 right, certificate. Thomas Millard, ½ share, 1 right, receipt. Aholiab Buck, ½ share, 1 right, certificate.
Capt. Joseph Eaton, ½ share, 1 right, certificate. Elijah Buck, ½ share, I right, certificate. Daniel Kellogg, 1 share, 2 rights, certificate. Abraham Brockaw, ½ share, 1 right, receipt.
"N. B.--On another list exhibited these names appear to have been added:
Stephen Shepard, ½ share, 1 right. Joseph Spalding, ½ share, 1 right. William Buck, 2½ shares, 5 rights. Obadiah Gore, ½ share, 1 right. M. Hcllenback, ½ share, 1 right.
J. Jenkins requests the favor of being admitted. Asahel Buck, 1 share, 2 rights. Thomas McCluer, 1 share, 2 rights.
"List of proprietors for Ulster, July 21, 1786 [figures in parenthesis denote the number of rights belonging to the person whose name they follow]:
Capt. Simon Spalding (4), Capt. Thomas Baldwin (3), Obadiah Gore (2), William Buck (2), Elijah Buck (2), Henry Baldwin (1), Joseph Kinney (1), Joseph Kinney, Jr. (1), Capt. Joseph Spalding (1), John Spalding (2), Reuben Fuller (1), Widow Hannah Gore (1), Samuel (tore (2), Abraham Brockaw (2), Avery Gore (1), Capt. Joseph Eaton (2), Capt. Joshua Dunlap (1), Lockwood Smith (1), Heir8 of Aholiab Buck (1), John Shepard (1), Stephen Shepard (1), Col. Nathan Denison (1), Joshua Jewel (1), Hugh Forsman (1), Isaac Baldwin (1), Chester Bingham (1), Adriel Simmons (1), Nehemiah Defries (1), Abner Kelly (1), Benjamin Clark (1), Maj. William Judd (1), Capt. Timothy Hosmer (1), Silas Gore's heirs (1), Asa Gore's heirs (1), Zerah Beach (1), Lebbeus Hammond (1), Benjamin Bally (l), Laurence and Sarah Myers (1).
"Pursuant to a vote of the Susquehanna company, appointing a committee to grant townships to such proprietors as appear authorized to take up the same, I have, with the leave and approbation of said committee, located and surveyed a town on the North ~ranch of the Susquehanna river, beginning, etc.,t which survey is made at the request of Capt. Simon Spalding, Lieut. William Buck, and others, a list of whom is herewith delivered to thc committee aforesaid.
(Signed) "Obadiah Gore, Agent.
"The above survey of a township called and known by the name of Ulster is accepted and approved by us, the subscribers, to be and belong to the said Simon Spalding, etc., etc., and others, their associates, as part of their general rights in the Susquehanna company's purchase, and the same is hereby granted and confirmed to them, their heirs, and assigns, agreeable to the votes of the Susquehanna company. In testimony whereof, we have signed these presents this 21st day of July, A.D. 1786.
(Signed) "ZEBULON BUTLER,
"JOHN FRAHKLIN, Committee."
This last grant was regularly surveyed and allotted, and the lots distributed among the proprietors of the township.
As Ulster was included in the purchase of 1784, we find no Pennsylvania surveys prior to that date. The title, however, was vested in Charles Carroll, and in Picketing, Hodgdon & Company, whose agent, Thomas Overton, sold to the settlers after it was decided by the commissioners that Ulster could not be embraced in the confirming law. Old Ulster included a few of the settlers in the upper part of the township.
Settlers came into Ulster about the same time that Col. Spalding and others went into Sheshequin, 1783 and 1784. A number of them were from Wyoming, and came about the same time, if they did not come together. Of these may be mentioned, as one of the pioneers, Capt. Benjamin Clark, who was among the very first to build a house on the" town-plat" of Wilkes-Barre, having emigrated from To!land Co., Conn. He was a corporal in the First Independent company of Wyoming, under Capt. Robert Durkee, and served seven years in the Revolutionary war. In the battle of Mud fort, the man in front of him had his head shot off by a cannonball. He was one of the detachment sent for the relief of Wyoming after the fatal battle, and was in the army of Gen. Sullivan, which devastated the Indian country in 1779. For his services he received a pension of $96 per year. Subsequently he was appointed captain of militia, and was known by the old settlers as Capt. Clark. After peace, Capt. Clark remained in Wyoming one year. In the spring of 1784 he moved to the place now called Frenchtown, and the year after came up to Ulster, built a log house on the bank of the river, and moved his family into it in the spring of 1785; a tenement building on the Ross farm now marks the site of Capt. Clark's first house. It will be remembered, an unusually severe rain fell in October, 1786, causing an unusual rise in the river, called the Pumpkin freshet. Capt. Clark's house stood on the low fiat near the river. The water began to rise rapidly, the family became alarmed and fled to the hills, and Mr. Clark commenced moving his goods from the house; and so rapidly did the water rise, that across a low place between his house and the hill-side, where was dry ground when he went for his last load of goods, he was compelled to swim his oxen on the return. Although soaked with water, the family had no shelter for their heads from the storm on that chill October night, The water came up to the eaves of the house, but the building resisted the force of the current, and after the flood subsided the family moved back into it. Like other Connecticut settlers, Capt. Clark took up his farm in Ulster under the Connecticut title, but this proving worthless, he purchased the State title through Thomas Overton.
Capt. Clark was an ardent Federalist, and a member of the Methodist church. His house was a place of entertainment for travelers, and the home of the Methodist itinerant for many years, and in it the first preaching was held in Sheshequin. Here, in 1810, under the preaching of Rev. Loring Grant, H. B. Bascom, late bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, was converted and received into the church.
The winter before the great ice freshet he was at Sheshequin, and in company with Sergeant Thomas Baldwin went down to Wilkes-Barre in a canoe. There had been a thaw accompanied with rain, and the river was bank full, when the weather became suddenly cold. It was with great effort the two men could keep from freezing. They reached Wilkes-Barre the same day, but so intensely cold had the weather become that, high as the river was, it froze over that night.
Captain Clark was twice married. In tile Westmoreland town records are thc following entries: "Births of the children of Benjamin Clark and Nabbe his wife,--John Theophilus, born July 8, 1770; Polly, born Feb. 24, 1772; Nabby, born March 3, 1774; Sally and Milly (twins), born March 5, 1777. Nabbe, wife of Benjamin Clark, departed this life March 12~ 1777 in the twenty-fourth year of her age."
John married and settled in Burlington, near Luther's Mills; Mary married a Blanchard, and Abigail married a Culver; both left the State.
His second marriage was to Keziah Yarrington, whose first husband, Silas Gore, was slain in the battle of Wyoming. She came from Stonington, Conn.; she was in the Forty fort at the time of the battle. An Indian, who had been on friendly terms with Mr. Gore, hinted to them that it would be best to go down the river, but he did not heed the warning. After they learned that our men were defeated, Mrs. Gore, Mrs. Bidlack, Mrs. Durkee, and Mrs. York went to the door of the fort, and were refused a pass. They were persistent in their demand, and finally were allowed to go out. They found a canoe, and went down the river and escaped.
Mrs. Gore had three daughters by her first marriage. Patty married a brother of Ebenezer Shaw; Rebecca married James Braffitt, who died; and she then married Joseph Bloom. Both these were settlers in Burlington. Mr. Bloom and his family moved into the State of Ohio. Lucy married Avery, son of Obadiah Gore, and lived in Sheshequin. By his second marriage were Lucinda, who was married to Nathaniel Hovey; Ursula was married to Samuel Treadway, and her family moved to Illinois; William married Sylvia, a daughter of Ezra Mills, and had a part of his father's farm. About 1817 he went to Cairo, Ill. Julia Ann married John Overton, and he having died, she married a man by the name of Passmore, and went west.
Captain Clark died in Ulster, Aug. 9, 1834, aged eighty-seven years.
Nathaniel Hovey, who married Lucinda Clark, came to Ulster as early as 1802. He moved to Batavia, N. Y.; enlisted in the war of 1812, was sergeant of a company, and died near Sackett's Harbor in 1814. Rev. S. C. Hovey, the eldest son of Nathaniel, lived with his grandfather, Clark, until his death; became possessor of a part of the old farm, and yet resides in Ulster. Portraits and a biography of him and his wife will be found on another page.
Adrial Simons came from Connecticut (probably Brandon) about the time, or a little before, Capt. Clark, and occupied the farm now owned by Mr. Van Dyke and Adolphus Watkins. he was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, was taken prisoner by the British in one of the battles fought in the vicinity of New York, and was for a long time confined in one of the prison-ships in Long Island sound, where he suffered untold hardships from the confinement, hunger, cold, and filth, which gave those floating dens such an unenviable notoriety. He is described as a fine old gentleman, hard working, frugal, and kind to the poor. Capt. Simons raised a large family. Four of his sons, to wit, Elijah, Anson, Bingham, and George, went to the State of Ohio. Jeduthan died in Ulster.
Solomon Tracy lived in the lower part of Ulster, on the farm now owned by Mr. Mather. He was born in Litchfield Co., Conn., January 1, 1756. His wife was Mary Wells, born in Southold, on Long Island, March 5, 1765; was a sister to General Henry Wells, for whom Wellsburg, in New York, and Wells township, in Bradford County, were named. Mr. Tracy moved from Litchfield to Orange Co., N. Y., to a place called the Drowned Lands; from there he went to the Lackawaxen, where he was engaged in the Indian wars. After the Revolutionary war he went to Wyoming, and then to Ulster, arriving at the latter in 1787. Hon. Henry W. Tracy, a son of Capt. Solomon, says, "My oldest sister was born Oct. 19, 1787. When she was a child, they moved to Ulster. I have heard my mother say she carried her in her arms through the Breakneck narrows on horseback. In 1809 my parents moved to Angelica, N.Y. My father died at my brother's, near Canandaigua, N.Y. My mother died while with me in Standing Stone, Nov. 22, 1848, and was buried in the old Wysox burying-ground."
Eli Holcomb came from Simmsbury, Conn., and in March, 1793, settled in Ulster, on the place now occupied by Mr. Walker. The farm lay in the centre of the town, on what is now known as Cash's creek. He was industrious citizen, and raised a large family of sons, some of whom remained in Ulster, while others went into Le Roy, where they were the pioneer settlers. One of the daughters married Seeley Crofut, of Le Roy, and another Ebenezer Shaw, the centenarian of Sheshequin. The Holcomb sawmill, on Cash's creek, was known for a long distance, and lumber, with which most of the houses in Ulster and adjoining towns were built, was sawed there.
Captain Isaac Cash was a prominent citizen of Ulster and one of its early settlers. He was the oldest son of Daniel and Mary (Tracy) Cash, and was born in Orange Co., N. Y., August 15, 1766. The family removed to Wyoming about 1776, and just preceding the battle Mr. Cash went east to solicit aid to repel the expected invasion. On his return he met the flying fugitives, and among them his wife and her little children. They went back to Orange County, and after the war was over returned to Wyoming, where he died in 1789. Isaac Cash was among the early settlers in Athens, having settled on the Point, on the farm afterwards owned by Gen. Welles. He sold his improvement in 1791, and moved to Ulster while yet a single man. He settled on the farm next above Mr. Holcomb, and which Solomon Tracy owned, of whom Mr. Cash purchased it by deed dated Aug. 8, 1791, and is described as lot No. 3, 6f Ulster, in Old Sheshequin. His grandson, S. S. Lockwood, now lives on the farm. Here he married Sarah, youngest daughter of Judge Gore, of Sheshequin. He was an active, energetic man, dealing largely in lumber and real estate. He was appointed justice of the peace, and held the office until the time of his death, which was April 12, 1813; his wife died two weeks before him, viz., March 28. Of the eleven children left orphans by the sudden death of both their parents, Anna married first Dr. Robert Russell and second Col. Edmond Lockwood. As the biography of Col. Lockwood appears on another page, no further mention need here be made of this branch of the family.
David Cash traveled considerably, and, after embarking in several enterprises, studied law at Nashville, and was admitted to the bar; but being called home by the illness of a sister, he formed a partnership with his uncle, Simon Kinney, and took up his abode in Towanda. Here he married Mary Ann Spencer, who still survives. He held the ofllees of notary public, district attorney, prothonotary, and was a candidate for the State senate, but was defeated by Hon. Samuel Morris, of Luzerne county. Mr. Cash was also interested in the construction of the North Branch canal and of the Barclay railroad. He continued to reside in Towanda until his death, Sept. 18, 1864. George W., second son of Isaac Cash, went to Texas, where he enlisted in the war for Texan independence, was captured by the Mexicans, and put to death in cold blood by orders of Santa Anna. Another son, John Spalding, went to Texas. and met a similar fate as his brother. Daniel Shepard, the fifth son of Isaac Cash, was a blacksmith and went west, became deeply interested in the Lake Superior copper business, and died Jan. 4, 1869. Two other sons, Isaac and William K., and one daughter, Sarah M., are still living.
Abram Parmeter was among the early settlers of Ulster. He was a native of Boston, and when about fifteen years old enlisted in the Revolutionary army, and was in the battles of Stillwater and Saratoga, and at the surrender of Burgoyne, and for his services drew a pension. He came to Ulster a single man, and, though never owning hind, lived for many years on what is known as the Overton, now the Mather, farm· The family of Mr. Walker's mother, whose name was Patience Mills, came from New Jersey to the West Branch, and thence to Ulster in 1791, intending to settle in the State of New York, but the commotion attending the Indian treaty at Athens that year indueed them to remain in Ulster until that affair should be ended. While the family remained here, Patience became acquainted with Mr. Parmeter, and they were married. Mr. Parmeter remained in Ulster until 1813, when he moved his family to the State of Ohio. The family of Mr. Mills moved to Canada, where land was offered gratuitously to settlers.
Chester Bingham was at Ulster at an early day. He was from Connecticut, and an extensive speculator in lands claimed under the Connecticut title. At one time he was considered wealthy, but by the failure of the Connecticut claim he lost everything. He had a brother Ozias, who resided just below the line of Ulster, in North Towanda township. His wife died in 1803, and soon after Mr. Bingham returned to Connecticut. Wanton Rice, who probably was at Frenchtown in 1793 was on the Bingham farm in 1809· At one time he lived in the neighborhood of Cayuta creek. Josiah Tuttle, of Sheshequin, married one daughter, and Josephus Campbell, of Burlington, married another. Mr. Bingham had sons, Augustus, Joseph, and Chester, who died young· Mr. G. H. Vandyke lives on part of the Chester Bingham farm.
Elijah Granger came from Sutfield, Conn., in 1804, and lived where Alanson Smith now lives. He remained in Ulster but two or three years, when he moved to Athens, where he died December 1814, at the age of seventy years. Alfred, a son of Mr. Granger, had moved to the Susquehanna previous, and gave such a flattering description of the country that the father was induced to move his family to Ulster.
Thomas Overton, born in England, came from Luzerne county to Athens, where he resided a short time, and then purchased the Solomon Traey place in Ulster. Here he kept a public-house for a number of years. He was a man of much enterprise and activity, and for many years the agent for Carroll and other landowners. He died suddenly, and the place passed into the hands of Mr. Gibson. Mr. Mather lives there now. The place was noted for the militia trainings which used to be held there. The old Overton house was burned, and another has been erected on the site.
Abraham Brokaw, of Sussex county, N. J., drew the lot on his proprietor's right in Ulster, which was lot No. 12, and sold it to Mr. Tracy, who had formerly lived on the Cash farm.
Leonard Westbrook lived down next the Narrows at one time, and was an early settler in the town. The family were remarkable for their size and strength.
Above the Narrows, towards Milan, Joseph C. Powell lived. The place was known by those who ran the river as Powells eddy. He was at one time sheriff of Bradford County.
On the places next above were Joseph and Lockwood Smith, brothers, from Westchester county, N. Y., who are mentioned in connection with the history of the Baptist church Of Ulster and Athens. The Anthony estate is the farm of Joseph, and Abraham Snell lives on the Lockwood Smith property. Ezekiel Curry lived on the farm which belonged to the late Col. C. F. Welles' estate, his log house standing near where a brown house afterwards stood on this farm. He had a son, Ezekiel, Jr. Mr. Minier, who has been mentioned in connection with Athens, a German by birth, lived on the place now owned by Myron Warner, Esq. He had sons, George, Abraham, who married Judith Butch, whose brother was Rev. Robert Butch, a preacher in the Methodist Episcopal church, and at one time presiding elder on the Susquehanna district; and lived at Ulster, Daniel, who lived in Wysox, and John.
William and Joseph Loughry were probably brothers, and early settled in Ulster. By deed dated Dec. 11, 1794, Reuben Fuller, of Tioga, conveys to William Loughry, of Tioga, a lot described as Nos. 1 and 2 of Ulster, and opposite New Sheshequin. William Loughry and Nancy, his wife, Joseph Loughry and Mary, his wife, of Ulster, conveyed to Stephen Powell, of "Stamford town, Dutchess County, N. Y. State, the same land, by deed dated Oct. 6, 1801.
In the back part of Ulster is what is known as the Moore's Hill settlement, to which reference has been made in the history of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. Clement Paine, of Athens, owned some property in this place, on the Burlington road, and had made some improvement on it, and Jeduthan, a son of Capta in Adrial Simons, was living in the same neighborhood about 1820 to '25. Mr. Howie bought the place of Mr. Paine, and Peter McAuley was near him. Besides these there are families of Pollocks, Mathers, Dicksons, and others, names familiar to every reader of Scotch history. Mr. Gibson was a Scotchman, but settled at Ulster, and being among the first aided his countrymen in the selection of their homes and in the negotiations for their farms. The emigration began about 1822, and families continued to come for several years.
At the upper end of Fish island was a shad fishery. In the year 1810 five hundred shad were taken here at a single haul.
The father of Lorin Kingsbury probably taught the first school. The school-house stood 'where the house is in which George Rockwell lives.
Eli Holeomb had a saw-mill near the mouth of Cash's creek. His son Truman probably built the first saw-mill on the creek back from the river. The first framed house built in the town was in 1818, of lumber sawed at Hol-comb's mill.
Thomas Overton built a grist- and saw-mill together on the river.
In the Luzerne Federalist of July, 1801, is the following paragraph: "Died of fever in Ulster (Old Sheshequin), Mr. Joseph Bingham, aged twenty, Master Chester Bin-gham, aged thirteen, sons of Chester Bingham; Miss Polly Simons, aged thirteen; Mrs. Sally Simons, wife of Capt. Adrial Simons; Miss Todd, aged 23; and a son of Mr. Hibbard, aged seven."
"A fever which prevailed at Wysox and Sheshequin in 1803, and proved fatal to many young people of both sexes, abated during the summer, but broke out with virulence the following winter."--Luzerne Federalist.
The village of Ulster, which for a time seemed to lack enterprise, has within the past few years exhibited new activity, and has witnessed material growth. It has a church building, owned by the Methodists, a graded school, two hotels, several stores, steam grist mill, and about sixty dwellings. The village is the natural outlet for business from parts of Smithfield and Sheshequin. It has a post-office, and the Pennsylvania and New York Railroad Company has a depot at the town. As has before been said, the village occupies tile site of the Indian town, and Cash's creek, which formerly bore the name of "Old Town creek," which divided tile heathen from the Christian portion of the Indian settlement, runs through nearly the central part of the village.
Milan, three miles above and at the upper borders of the township, was formerly called Marshall's Corners, in honor of a prominent citizen there, but the name was changed to the shorter one of Milan. The Methodists have a house of worship here, and there are the post-office, store, hotel, shops, etc., a few dwellings, and a railroad depot.
There are in the township seven school districts, of which two are joined in the village of Ulster, and compose the graded school. In 1870 the total population was 1174, of which 1058 were native and 116 foreign, 1172 white and 2 colored.
GEORGE HAMMOND VANDYKE
was born in Towanda, Pa., Aug. 27, 1819; His father, William Vandyke, having removed from Northumberland, Pa., to Towanda in 1812, where he died in 1860.
Mr. Vandyke is of Holland Dutch and Irish blood. At the age of seventeen he went into the lumbering business with his brother James, rafting lumber to Port Deposit, in which he was quite successful.
In 1846 he settled upon the farm he now occupies, near the village of Ulster. His education is chiefly of the practical sort, he having attended school but three sessions, when quite young, walking five miles to school during that period. He is a good business man; hence, although liberal, even generous to a fault, he has acquired a handsome property, owning, besides his farm, a saw- and grist-mill, hotel, etc., in Ulster.
He is a Democrat in politics, but has not sought office, filling only such positions as justice of the peace, school director, town auditor, treasurer, commissioner, etc., which offices were not sought by him, but were offered by the voluntary suffrage of his neighbors, and which he filled faithfully and satisfactorily.
SIMMONS CLARK HOVEY
was born in Ulster, Bradford Co., Pa., Jan. 8, 1807, where he has spent his whole life. His mother was a daughter of Capt. Benj. Clark, a Revolutionary hero, who served seven years in the War of Independence, settling in Ulster soon after its close, having married Keziah Gore, whose first husband was killed in the celebrated Wyoming massacre. His father, Nathaniel Hovey, was an officer (ensign) in the War of 1812, and died at Sackett's Harbor during the war, leaving a wife, two sons, Simmons C. and William M., and a daughter, now Mrs. Hannah Horton. William M. died in 1850. His yourrgest son, Robert M., was adopted by his uncle Simmons, and carefully educated, and has been for some years general ticket agent and paymaster, and now chief clerk, in the G. I. & S. railroad office at Sayre, Pa.
The subject of this sketch received a good common-school education, and adopted farming as a profession, in which he has been very successful. He added to the small tract of land inherited from his grandfather Clark, by purchase at different times, till he owned an ample estate, where he resided till 1873, when he sold it and retired from active life to his residence in the village of Ulster,--still retaining, however, a farm on Moore's hill, purchased in 1837.
Mr. Hovey was married in 1829 to Miss Eleanor Boyce, who was born in St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., May 14, 1812, and whose parents settled in Sheshequin, Bradford Co., Pa., during the War of 1812.
For some years before and after his marriage until their death, at the respective ages of eighty.seven and ninety-one, Mr. Hovey took care of his aged grandparents, Capt. Clark and wife, whose last days were rendered pleasant by the kindness of their filial grandson and his generous hearted and sensible young wife, who has proven herself a true helpmeet, as well as a loving and devoted wife, a good neighbor, a useful member of society, and a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church during her half century of married life. Mr. Hovey joined the same organization at the age of seventeen, and has been an active and prominent member for over fifty years. He has been class-leader, exhorter, and local preacher, and in 1840, he was regularly ordained by Bishop Roberts.
The Hovey mansion has for a generation been the home of the Methodist minister, and the headquarters of Methodism in Ulster. Mr. Hovey has been an active promoter of education, serving for twenty-three years as school treasurer. He also filled the office of town clerk for some years, and in all positions, public and private, he has acted his part well.
MRS. MARY ANN LOCKWOOD
Anna, daughter of Isaac Cash and Sally Gore, and granddaughter of Obadiah Gore, Esq., was born March 8, 1793, at Old Sheshequin. On Oct. 22, 1812, she married Dr. Robert Russell, who was a surgeon in the New York State forces in the War of 1812. He is supposed to have been killed during the war, as he was never heard from afterwards. Her mother died March 22, 1813, and her father a few weeks later, April 12. Anna, the oldest child, was barely turned twenty at this time, and was left with the care of her orphaned brothers and sisters, ten in number, as follows: David, born Dec. 7, 1794; Eliza, afterwards wife of John Wattles, born Nov. 28, 1796; Carassa, who married Morris Spalding, born March 13, 1798; George W., who was killed in Texas, born Sept. 16, 1800; Lord Gore, born May 13, 1802; John Spalding, who was shot near Saltillo, Mexico, born March 13, 1804; Daniel Shepard, born April 8, 1806; Isaac Jr., born May 19, 1808; Sarah, who married William Kendall, born Oct. 7, 1810; and William Kirkpatrick, born Nov. 28, 1812. Of these, David, the oldest, was eighteen years, and William a babe of four months. The latter was taken to his Uncle Nathan's, at Stafford, N. Y., where he was brought up. Daniel was taken in charge by one of his aunts. The others were kept in charge by Anna. Her labors were soon increased by the birth of a daughter, Miami (now wife of J. M. Pike, of Athens), who was born July 29, 1813.
On March 13, 1816, she married Col. Edmund Lockwood. He was born at Watertown, Conn., Nov. 24, 1769. He there married Nancy Judson, by whom he had two children, Caroline, who married Samuel Simons, and Charles J., who died unmarried. May 19, 1797, he was commissioned captain in the 8th Regiment of militia, by Governor Oliver Wolcott. May 28, 1802, he was promoted to the rank of major by Governor Jno. Trumbull. May 10, 1810, he received his commission as colonel of the same regiment from Governor John Treadwell.
About this time he removed to Baltimore, Md., and entered the service of Charles Carroll. He was soon after appointed by him agent for the sale of the Carroll lands i, Bradford and adjoining counties, and removed to Smithfield, in that county. He soon formed the acquaintance of Anna, widow of Dr. Russell, whom he married as above. They took up their residence in Old Sheshequin, in a house built by her father. After this, the homestead now owned and occupied by Mrs. A. O. Jones was erected, where Col. Lock wood died, Jan. 16, 1834, aged sixty-three years. In her eighteen years of married life with Col. Lockwood she bore to him eight children, six of whom survive: Edmund, born Nov. 12, 1816; Abigail Carassa (widow of John Jones), born Sept. 14, 1818; Richard Caton, born Sept. 19, 1820; Samuel Simons, born Feb. 22, 1823; Mary Ann (wife of Daniel B. Walker), born Nov. 7, 1825; Phoebe Maria (wife of Henry Segar), born March 2, 1830; two others, Francis and Chas. Huston, died young.
During the more than thirty years of her widowhood, besides rearing her own children, she was more than a mother to perhaps a score of others, who at various times, and for longer or shorter periods, found a home beneath her roof. Her hospitable mansion was always open to tile poor, the needy, and the unfortunate, and was often filled for days at a time by those who had no claim to her hospitality other than her invitation to share it with her. She had a very tenacious memory and good conversational powers. Having been born and reared on the spot which for more than threescore years was her home, she had a very wide acquaintance, and in her later years many people resorted to her for information of the early history of the county. This she was fond of recounting. Though she was from a long lived and healthy family, her later days were full of suffering from a cancer. She passed away on July 5, 1865, at her old home, surrounded by most of her children and in the full enjoyment of all her faculties, at the green old age of seventy-two years and four months.
Though the flowers have bloomed
over her grave for more than a dozen years, yet her memory is still fresh
and green in the hearts of many, not only of her immediate family
and friends but many a recipient of her bounty. The home farm was divided among the children, and Edmund, Abigail, Mary Ann, and Maria occupy their portions. Simons exchanged his for a business-stand a few rods south, where he resides. Caton removed to Wellsburgh, Chemung Co., N. Y., where he has several farms and a planing-mill. Miami (Pike) lives at Athens.