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Visit the History Center on Main Street at 83 North Main Street where our library resources are housed. We also have a museum location at 61 North Main Street.
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Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Diaries & Letters of Tri-Counties
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Home Page Guide Disclaimer Copyright More Diaries & Letters Sullivan Township  Joyce New & Search
1909 Letter John W. DeWitt to Paul Cudworth
Joyce's Search Tip - December 2010
Do You Know that you can search just the 355 pages of our
Diaries and Letters
on this site  by using the Diaries button in the Partitioned search engine at the bottom of the Current What's New Page? But diaries and letters are wonderful sources to understand the culture of time and place. Read them and enjoy them slowly.
Dear Joyce,

I am attaching the transcript of the letter from my gggrandfather John W. DeWitt (1850-1918) to his wife's uncle Paul C. Cudworth who was born in Sullivan Twp in 1834 but living in Manistee Michigan at the time of this letter (1909). There were a few names that I struggled with (marked by ?). I am hoping that people more familiar with the genealogy and vicinity will be able to make them out. It is meant to inform Paul Cudworth of the changes in the area and property owners since he was a boy. It is interesting and hopefully informative to some whose family names are referred to. Don't hesitate to let me know if there is more I can add.

Barbara HAYMAN Stollsteimer

9 Dec 1909

Uncle Paul,

When I have been on earth about seventy five years and have moved up towards that pole that Dr. Cook did not find, I believe I should like to receive a letter from some of my friend who were yet living and traveling the roads that I did when a boy. So if you will come down to Troy in your mind and come up on Paynes Hill near the old Academy and start with me I will take you to Mainesburg the town though old and nearly depopulated by our living friends yet contains the remains of those that are dear to us, and looking upon the surrounding hills and down the valleys will bring to our minds many pleasant relationships. Well I have no auto so you will have to ride behind a nice brown horse and I know you have not lost your love for the horse, for this lives forever in the life of a Cudworth or any one who has any of the blood in him. Well we must start or we will not get to the Burg for Christmas. We will go down the hill across the rail road and start up Maine St. and on our right we find a nice brick building used as a Court House in place of the old Adams Hotel. On our left instead of the old Payne shops and store we find dwellings and a hotel called the Williams.

Photo at left - John W. DeWitt

 We go on and we see the old Pomeroy house and bank same as ever, the Leny(???) House at our right with some improvement. We pass by the corners and just beyond you will find the building used in your time for publishing the Troy Gazette but now by two happy go easy fellows who buy eggs, butter, TC and do some insurance and collect their old store debts. On our right just across the way we see a nice home and occupied by a DeWitt and Armstrong. Well we will go on next to DeWitts lives Isaac Clever then Lyman Oliver then Dell Smith and so on. But we must go on. At the top of the hill formerly owned by Horace Pomeroy lives Mrs. Henry Sweet formerly Ester Orvis and her nephew Wm Sweet. They have a creamery and stock farm, a very nice place. We go a little way on and come to a small house in which Joel Adams lives with his daughter. He owns the Bill Frisk farm. A short way on and we come to house and go in and find an old man sitting and smoking his pipe, reading the newspaper, or he may be napping, or he may be humming some old song, or he may be plaguing the dog or it might be a small boy or his neighbors little girl but he is there and enjoys life I believe. You will also find a happy woman, although at this time she is not very well. You will also find a man that you could see the Cudworth look and build very clearly, also two boys (good boys) one of them taller than you are and full of life and only 14 years old the other quite small but boys must not step on his toes or down they go! Well we must go on over to the next house. Here we find just as good a man and woman and two children, a girl and a boy. And they are bright and full of life. We next come to the old Reddington home. Ed Reddington lives here but is blind. Next is the Bill Frisk farm owned by Joel Adams and worked by one of Bill Bixby’s boys. Next is the Runion (?) farm owned by Orin Ruggles. Next is the old Jackson farm. One of the boys – rather old men – live there. We will go down through the woods to Sylvania. It is a nice little town and the old Waldo store is doing lots of business, they also do a large undertaker business. We will drive on quite fast now and go up Bailey Hill. Ezra Dann is yet living. Daniel Bradford is dead. At the top of Bailey Hill we now see in Old Tioga Co. once more. Coley Smith lives a t the top of the hill. Dell Ballard lives on the old homestead and raises mules and Guernsey cattle. The Nathan Palmer property is owned by Pem Rose's wife and is much run down. Chas. Palmer lives where he always did but has no post office. It is all R.F.D. now. Alvin Palmer is living but his old shop is about as near gone down as he is. A nice house is built on the old Dan Bixby farm and is owned by Ray Palmer. Elmer Strait lives on the old farm yet but drive faster next is Burt Palmer, Next old Slingerland farm worked by Lester Early a son in law. Abraham S. and wife are both dead. Next James Lay property owned by Harry Hulslander one of Charleys boys. Next Sam Rockwell has a new house. Next Geo Smith farm owned by Bert Squires who also owns the one next to it. He married Ida Smith. Next George Squires farm. Mrs. Squires lives there the farm is worked by Al Oby(?) Smith. Next is Joe Strange just the same as ever. He once told Uncle Jerome in my hearing that he had two things to be thankful for – one was that he was a democrat the other was he had no wife. We’ll go on. The Fayette Gray place is owned by John Strange who married Ed Gray’s daughter. Next is Isaac Squires farm owned by E.R. Orvis’ wife - and mostly by wife - you remember her. Next is Geo Robbins ever the same slap and slather though a pretty good fellow. Next is the spot in Robbins Hill where many guns have been made and lots of ammunition been wasted and no good thing ever done until the good Lord or the other fellow come and got Old Bill Robbins – no one lives on the property. Do you remember the socks that old Jane stole out of our store? Well I have you in sight of the Burg and I think you can find your way in so I will have you until some other time and I will take you around and introduce you to the strangers. We are well and hope you all are. This is your Christmas Present.

Truly Yours,

J.W. DeWitt
The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933   histcent83@gmail.com

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Published On Tri-Counties Site On 28 MAR 2008
By Joyce M. Tice
Email Joyce M. Tice