Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Canton Township, Bradford County PA
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Families & Individuals of the Tri-Counties
Thomas Manley of East Canton
Photo: Thomas Manley
Township: Canton Township, Bradford County PA
of East Canton
Year: Letter written 1904
Photo Submitted by: Jo Mapel
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Thomas Scott Manley b. Canton, Pa 5 February 1824.  m. Lucy Miranda Taylor 15 April 1847.  d. August 1905. buried East Canton Cemetery, East Canton, PA.  The name of the family homestead is Valley Farm in East Canton, PA
Joyce's Search Tip - January 2008
Do You Know that you can search  the site by using the Partitioned search engine at the bottom of the Current What's New Page? Family pages are listed on the Family list but also on the individual Township pages in the Photo, Bible, and other sections.
My Dear Children:  At different times you have asked me to write a little outline of my uneventful life, not realizing the task of doing so at my time of life, but knowing that it would please you, I am attempting to do it.

 First I will go back a little while and note Father [Thomas Manlely] and Mother’s [Betsey Wright]  start in life at Canton.  Father came to what is now East Canton, in the fall of about 1820, and purchased, for $3.00 per acre, the farm, then a wilderness, where W. T. Lawrence now lives, cleared a small fallow, put it into rye and went back to Conneticut.  In the spring, with a team, he took his family of Mother and three children and made the journey to Canton in three weeks and moved into a little log hut in what is now Mr. Smiley’s garden, and I have heard my mothr say she was never happier than in that hut where she could sit at a table and help herself to all she had.  It was their first own home.  They soon built them a new log house of two rooms with a ladder to go upstairs and a string to open the doors.  There I was born February 5th, 1824.  I think all the children not born in Connecticut were born in that house.  You ask no doubt how they lived and brought up so large a family--eleven children.  Well, we did not have much of the extras either in food or clothing.  Father taught school, so did all the family with posssibly one exception.  Mother made straw hats for many of the wealthy ladies of the vicinity.

 Now about your father.  Like all boys then, I had to work but always attended such common schools as we had and made as good use of my time as most boys, but reciting in classes was unknown until I was about fourteen years old, when D. N. Newton came here and infused new life into our schools and from that time until I was about eighteen I made good progress.  When I was about fifteen, I remember working on this farm and wondering if I might not some day own it.  When I was about eighteen, Mr. Newton and myself started on foot prospecting for a week, at a cost of $1.00 each.  I took a school in Columbia County, finished my term, came home and with the money paid the last payment on father’s farm.  The next fall I started out on foot through Sullivan county, going through Shunk, Forksville, and a very long piece of wilderness.  I came out to the Berwick Turnpike about 25 miles south of Monroeton, turned to the left and took a schoool near Cushore, where I taught two terms, boarding with Wm. Lawrence.  I received $15 a month and paid $5 per month for my board.  I have always looked upon my turning to the left and spending the two winters with Mr. Lawrence as one of the providential small things that had much to do in shaping my business life--not only of my own but of others also.  One of the incidential things I will mention, Mr. Lawrence afterwards married my sister, Ann, came to East Canton and purchased the old homestead, where W. T. Lawrence now resides, and I have always looked upon my friendly and business intercourse with him as a large factor in my owning this farm.  The next event I went into partnership with Benjamin Landon in the wagon making business (no carriages in those days.)  My stock in trade at that time was $4.44.  I taught school two terms, where I found your Mother.

 Well, how did it happen?  It was this way.  When I was fifteen years of age, I used to go into that neighborhood to visit some cousins.  I learned of the large family of Taylor girls and again I wondered if I would not some day find a wife there.  In those days teachers were hired by vote of the District.  Consequently when they met to decide there was some little jealousy as a number of teachers had found wife or husband in the Taylor family and it was suggested that the teachers must not spark the girls, so I had to be pretty careful but still kept an eye open.  While teaching there, sister Achsah said, “Thomas, that Lucy Taylor is a splendid girl.”  I said, “Guess I had better see about it.”  On April 15, 1847, we were married.  For these 57 years she has been a loving, faithful and helpful Christian companion, whose advice it has been safe to follow, and My Dear Children, she has been to you a Mother with all that endearing name implies.  Now when you get home read the last chapter of Proverbs.

 Perhaps, Children, you would like to hear about our start in a business way.  About three years after working at my trade we were married and went to keeping house in what is now the East Canton blacksmith shop.  I found a little fault with your Mother for not sitting beside me at the table, but she said that that was not the proper way.  Of course, I succumbed.  In the meantime I had purchased the property where Mr. J. N. Smiley now lives.  After about six years I sold it and moved to Troy and went into partnership with Newberry, Dart & Fitch in the carriage business.  After two years we came back to East Canton and after a coupld of years I purchased this farm.  One incident I will mention.   I thought some of buying only the west side of the road, when Mrs. Manley said, “Thomas,” (with a big “T”) I don’t want you to buy the farm without the Flat, for I don’t want to covet my neighbor’s property.”  That settled it.  The next thing was to pay for it.  Well, we determined not to wait for something to turn up but to try and turn something up and my recollection is that never but once was a payment thirty days past due.

 Another incident!  When we came to think we ought to have a better house I suggested we repair the old house again.  Mrs. Manley said, “Thomas, we will live in this house just as long as you say, but we don’t want to put any money into it.”  That again settled the question.
 Now, my dear ones all, it is the great joy of my old age that I do not have to mourn over the waywardness of any of my children, and that none of you have been drawn into the maelstrom of intemperance, and that no breath of scandal has ever darkened our doors, and I pray God to ever keep you all in the path of rectitude.

 Many other incidents I might mention which in their day interested us, but will close by saying that I haver expected to have another as joyous a time with you all, in this world, as we have had today, but I hope to have in the next.  My life has been a busy one and I trust the world has been a little better for my having lived in it.

Good bye my Dear ones
Good bye
with a Fathers Blessing

Joyce Tip Box -- December 2007 -
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Published On Tri-Counties Site On 07 OCT 2000
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: Joyce M. Tice

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