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Mosherville, Wells Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania

Submitted by J. Kelsey Jones
Originally published in Towanda Newspaper
January 3, 1933
Reprint Publisher - Joyce M. Tice


Tucked away in the northwestern corner of Bradford county, one and three quarters from the New York state line and one mile from the Tioga, Pa., boundary, is Mosherville, the only village in Wells township. The community is a lively one, approximately 150 persons residing in that vicinity. Their homes are well kept and attractive, the settlement being one of the neatest in rural Bradford county.

Located at the junction of two improved roads, Mosherville folks have easy access to the outside world. Elmira is but 10 miles away; Mansfield, Blossburg and Troy are within easy access. However, it is to Elmira that the Mosherville people turn for most of their trading, and it is the boast of the community that Mosherville is the nearest to a city of any town in Bradford county.

Mosherville was first known as French’s Mills, being settled in the early 1800’s. The first settler in what in now Wells township, was John Smith, a Congregational minister, who moved there from Dighton, Massachusetts. He was followed into the locality by two Reeder families who built cabins on the present site of Mosherville about 1792. In 1800, Lemuel Gaylord and his family located very near there, Mrs. Gaylord being the first teacher in the section. In 1824, Peter French came down from New York state and built a lumber mill at what is now Mosherville. For years the town was French Mills, in his honor. The first post office in the township was established there in 1825 with James S. French as postmaster and a mail route opened between Elmira and Mansfield. Prior to that time the nearest post office was Elmira.

The first store in Wells township was operated at what is now Mosherville by Henry Case Wells and John Roberts. The business prospered, other public buildings and homes were erected near it, and the community which still flourishes, came into being. The name of French Mills was dropped in time, and in honor of Humphrey Mosher, a prominent citizen, the settlement was called Mosherville.

For years, the community gained a livelihood from the lumbering industry which flourished in that section. When the lumber business waned, fine farms came into being, and in the vicinity of Mosherville at the present time are some of the best farms in Bradford county. As early as 1907, an improved road was built through the village, being one of the first stretches of macadam in the county. With the advent of good roads, more and more business came to Mosherville, and today, despite hard times, there is enough trade to keep two general stores prosperous. These stores are operated by John Davis and Lawrence Tallman. The Davis store is by far the older, belonging to the Lou Shepherd estate. It was established by C. L. Shepherd shortly after the Civil War.

There is an excellent school building at Mosherville, being the Wells consolidated. The teachers are Roy Soper and Miss Elizabeth Ameigh.

One of the most attractive buildings in the community at the present time is the remodeled inn, built more than a century ago. It is of the colonial type, very quaint, most inviting. Moreover, the rooms where once passengers waited for the next stage coach, or where sumptuous dinners were served, have been converted into living apartments, and only the exterior of the structure has the appearance of an inn. Sid McClelland, former sheriff of the county and now residing in his old home at Mosherville, once owned the hotel, purchasing it in 1902 from the Daggett brothers. The building now belongs to Newman E. Benson of Towanda, county detective, who is another Mosherville product.

There is a thriving Union church in Mosherville, which is served by the pastor at Pine City. Although the building has been remodeled, a portion of it, the greater portion, in fact, was a part of the first church in Wells township, built by the Presbyterians at what was called "State Line" in 1836. In 1869, the structure was moved to Mosherville where it now serves as meeting place for Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists. The first religious meetings in Wells township, however, were held in a log cabin two and one-half miles south of Mosherville, on what is now known as the old Will Gates place. This cabin was torn down just a few years ago.

The supervisors of Wells township conduct the affairs of Mosherville. They are Sid Varney, John Curran, Judson Hill. The school directors are Alonzo Curran, Glen Noble, Henry Terwilliger and Mrs. Verla Kilgore. The justice of the peace is Sam J. Brasted, who has been the squire of Mosherville for (seven faded words) of Sid McClelland and the two are great cronies. When Sid was sheriff, Sam often came to Towanda to see him. Now that Sid has retired, they both come to Towanda together to renew old acquaintances. Or occasionally, Towanda friends of the two visit Mosherville.

Other residents of the village include John Tuton, Jerome Brewer, Lizzie Hathaway, Lawrence Palmer, Stanton Hamilton, Arthur Hethrington, Carl Sterling, Mrs. Hendrick Brewer, Peter Bennett, Charles Robinson, George Lucky, Mrs. Early Benson, Arthur Balmer, Mrs. Oscar Sage, Milton Smith, Harry Frickels; Fred Wilson, who is a teller in the First National Bank of Elmira; D. R. Crippen, Samuel B. Criss, Orin Cook, Delbert Newberry and Floyd Shibe (should read Sheive). The oldest man is believed to be D. R. Crippen, 90, while the oldest woman is Mrs. Hendrick Brewer, 80.

Mosherville came into the limelight not so very long ago when a gas well was put down on the Brasted property. This was the first attempt to strike gas in Bradford county following the opening of the "boom" in Tioga county in 1930. The attempt, as all now know, was a failure, but for weeks, Mosherville was the cynosure of all eyes as Bradford countians eagerly awaited the big "blow in." The site of the well is just a short distance west of Mosherville on a high hill overlooking the town. According to Sam Brasted, the present owner, the site of the well was first owned by John Osgood, an early Wells township settler who once lived where the Sid McClelland home is now located.

Mosherville folks are very proud of their community and invite other Bradford county residents to visit there. Towanda friends of Sid McClelland and Sam Brasted are prone to twit them about living "way over in Wells," but the two men claim that they never could live "where Mosherville ain’t." Other residents of the community felt the same about it.

Towanda newspaper article dated 1/3/1933

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