TOWNSHIPS OF CLINTON COUNTY.
Allison township was one of the original twelve townships of Clinton county. It was named in honor of Rev. Francis Allison, D.D.
The township, as first erected, was bounded on the north by Woodward and Dunnstable, on the east by Wayne, on the south by Lamar and a\Bald Eagle, and on the west by Bald Eagle township. When Lock Haven was incorporated as a city, March 28th, 1870, the limits of the city took in Flemington borough and a considerable part of Allison township.
Section 3, of the same act, put that part of Allison township, not included with the boundaries of Lock Haven, into Lamar township, thus blotting from the county map the township of Allison.
In 1872 an act was past, repealing section 3 of the act of 1870, annexing the remaining part to Lamar, and this part, which formed a neck between Lock Haven and Lamar township, was in 1873 added to Dunnstable township, where it remained as a part of the said township until 1877, when it and other parts of Dunnstable were erected into Castanea.
July 15th, 1878, the Court re-erected Allison township, and gave it political life and a place on the county map. It was to be composed of all that part of the original territory of Allison township, and the borough of Flemington, lying west and north of the west and north lines of the First, Second, Third and Fourth wards of Lock Haven. Thus the township lives, but is shorn of much of its original territory. Allison township is now bounded on the north by Woodward, the West Branch and Lock Haven city, on the east by Castanea, on the west by Bald Eagle, on the south by Bald Eagle and Lamar townships.
Among the early settlers were the Carskaddons and Patrick Moore, who came from Ireland before the revolution, and Squire Devlin, who settled on what was afterwards known as the Hunt farm, the building of which, as before stated, stood near the site now occupied by the Eagle Hotel, on bald Eagle street. The Logues were also among the early settlers. John Mader came to Allison township pervious to 1800; he married Sarah Logue. James Carskaddon came to the section in 1794, and located on the spot where the venerable Joseph Bridgens now resides. The Bridgens’ dwelling was erected on the same foundation built for the Carskaddon house, in 1795.
James Welsh, who was born at Monseytown Bottoms in 1802, was another pioneer resident of Allison township. He served nine years as county commissioner of Clinton county, and was for many years a pilot on the Susquehanna from Lock Haven to Tidewater. The bones of nearly all these pioneer settlers repose beneath the sod of Great Island cemetery.
Bald Eagle township was one of the twelve original townships into which Clinton county was formed, when organized, in 1839. Since that time it has been diminished in size by the forming of other townships, until it now contains but a small portion of its original territory. The township is now bounded on the north by Grugan and Colebrook, on the east by Allison and Lamar, on the south by Lamar and Beech Creek, and on the west by Beech Creek township.
The first regular authorized settlement made in bald Eagle township, under an actual government survey, was made soon after the survey of the officer’s tract, along Bald Eagle creek, in 1769.
The first setters of the township were mostly from the southeastern part of the state, several families coming from Lancaster county, and a number from Chester. Among the pioneers was William Reed, who settled in Plunket’s Run, several miles back from the "flats."
He was called "Hickory Reed," on account of his physical toughness. He located about the year 1776. He was the grandfather of the venerable surveyor, James David, and great-grandfather of Flarius David, present county surveyor of Clinton County.
The mineral wealth of Bald Eagle township is confined to the Tangascootac basin. Coal was discovered there in 1826 by James David.
The first school house in Beech Creek township was located on the left bank of Bald Eagle creek, a few rods above the bridge. A very short time after the erection of this house, a school was opened in the vicinity of Mill Hall, where the Beech Creek railroad station now stands, and two years later a school building was erected about half a mile east of Mr. Packer’s residence, on the site now occupied by the Harleman house. In 1834 a school house was built in Mill Hall, the only collection of houses entitle dot the name of village int he township. This house was located about the centre of the town, on or near the spot where the school house now stands. In 1848 a second school house was erected in Mill Hall, and two years later the village was incorporated as a borough.
The first Sabbath school in the county was organized in Bald Eagle township by Joseph Bartles, in a building which stood just above where Mann’s axe factory now stands.
At the first election held in Bald Eagle township after the organization of Clinton county, the following officers were elected:
J. M. Miller, Justice of the Peace; William Fisher, Constable; George Soder and William Huff, Supervisors; Levi Packer and George Williams, Overseers of the Poor; Benjamin Fredricks and David Logan, Auditors; A. Harleman, Assessor; William Fearon and John Smith, Assistant Assessors; Samuel McCormick, Asher Packer and George Bressler, School Directors; Thomas A. Smith, Judge of Elections; William C. Sanderson and Samuel Hayes, Inspectors; George we. Fredricks and William Clark, Fence Viewers; William L. Hoover, Township Clerk.
At this time, March 20th, 1840, the population was 1,178, which included the present territory of Beech Creek township, that township having been taken from Bald Eagle in May, 1850.
Beech creek township was separated from Bald Eagle in May, 1850.
The township takes its name form the "Beech creek," which flows through it.
It is not know when or by whom the first settlement was made on the stream.
It is know that Matthew Smith lived on the stream in 1793, and he was probably the first settler.
In 1800 John Quay, Isaac David, Daniel David and James David located above the present borough along Beech creek, on land that had been surveyed to other parties, but after remaining in peaceful possession for twenty-one years they received valid titles. The titles thus obtained included all the tillable land along Beech creek, between the mouth of Monument Run and the present borough of Beech creek.
The first school house in Beech Creek township was built in 1810. It was constructed of logs, and stood near the Fearon property, and at one time a school was taught in it by Buck Claffin, the father of Victoria Woodhull. The next house was built in 1820, and stood on Beech creek about one mile above the present borough. The next was built under the public school law in 1840, on land then owned by Robert Fearon. There are now seven school building in Beech Creek township, all painted and in good condition.
The first church in the township was built by the Methodists, in 1834. Both the Methodists and Presbyterians held services in this structure until it was sold, in 1868. This church was located at the west end of the present borough, and was afterwards destroyed by fire. One of the pioneer circuit riders who preached in the neighborhood of Beech Creek was the Rev. Timothy Lee.
For many years the principal industry of the township was lumbering. The first mill on Beech creek was built by Henry James, in 1818. Christian Nestlerode built the second mill in the vicinity, on the Centre county side of the creek, in 1820. George Carr built a mill about five miles from the mouth of the creek, about the year 1824.
In 1833 Joseph M. Smith built a mill on beech creek at the mouth of Monument run. The first lumber sawed at this mill was used in the construction of the Harrisburg bridge. The four mills mentioned above are the pioneer lumbering establishments of the township. Many others have been built since.
At the first election held in Beech Creek township, the following named officers were elected:
John T. Packer and Andrew White, Justices; Thomas Crispen, Constable; Thomas Crispen and Joseph Linn, Supervisors; Robert Irwin and Cline Quigley, Overseers of the Poor; J. McGhee, J. M. Smith and F. G. W. Hallenbach, Auditors; Thomas Crispen, Assessor; C. Bollinger, Thomas Crispen, A. Leonard, A Bittner, William Reed and William Masden, School Directors.
The only town in the township is the borough of Beech Creek.
At the February term of the Clinton County Common Pleas Court, held in 1877, a petition was presented by a number of the inhabitants of Dunnstable township, praying for the erection of a new township by the division of Dunnstable, which, on account of its great length and ill-shaped size, was inconvenient to a large number of its inhabitants. The petitioners asked for a division of said township by a line commencing at a point ton the northern bank of the West Branch of the Susquehanna river, where the southern end of the division line between Woodward and Dunnstable came to the river; thence in a southern direction through Great Island to low water mark on the souther side of Great Island; thence down the river to the northwestern corner of Wayne township. March 1st, 1871, the Court appointed George J. Eldrech, Jacob Quiggle and John Earon to inquire into the propriety of granting the said prayer. May 19th, 1877, the commissions made their report, recommending the said division. The voters of Dunnstable township met on December 1st, 1877, and by a majority vote consented to the said division, and on December 10, 1877, the Court approved the division, and gave to the new township the name of Castanea. The township of Castanea is bounded on the east by Wayne township, on the south by Lamar, on the west by Allison, on the north by Woodward township and Lock Haven. It contains the village of Castanea, from which it derived its name.
Colebrook township is one of the twelve townships into which the county was first divided. In forming the townships of Gallauher and Grugan, Colebrook was divided into two parts each, retaining the name. The township is bounded on the north by Grugan and Gallauher, on the east by Woodward, on the south by Bald Eagle, on the west by Grugan township. The streams of the township are Lick run, Ferney’s run, Tangascootac creek and Holland’s run. Holland Ferney’s runs received their name from individuals. Tangascootac is a name of Indian origin. The minerals of the township are bituminous coal and fire clay. The first settler of the township is said to have been George Saltzman, whose brother, Antony, was killed by the Indians at the mouth of Queen’s run in 1877.
The property upon which he located is still owned by the Saltzman heirs. It is located on the north side of the river, about two and one-half miles west of Lick Run.
The first school house erected in the township was built on this tract. About the time Saltzman located on this land a small mill was erected at the mouth of Tangascootac creek. An employ of the mill by the name of Jones was killed by the Indians. Other settlers followed Saltzman, and in a short time all the bottom lands were taken up.
Christian Earon came from Germany and settled on what is now known as the Joseph Earon farm, about the year 1825. The farm is till in the possession of his descendants.
`The greater part of the mineral lands of the township are now owned by Fredericks, Munro & Co. Fifty years ago the leading industry of Clinton county was located at Farrandsville, in Colebrook township. The name of the township was formerly spelled Coalbrook, and was derived from the discovery of coal on one of the streams.
In 1866 the Alumina Fire Brick Company began the manufacture of fire brick at the mouth of Ferney’s run. Their works were afterwards destroyed by fire, and have never been rebuilt.
Ira Mason built a large saw mill on the Tangascootac creek, near its mouth, in 1864. A large water power shingle mill was afterwards erected in connection with the saw mill, and six extensive dams were constructed on the stream at a cost of $25,000. The mill and improvements connected with it cost at least $100,000.
The township now has two schools, one of which is at Farrandsville. There are about eighty families in the township, the greater part of them living in the vicinity of Farrandsville.
Previous to the organization of Clinton county, what is now Crawford township, was a part of Limestone township, Lycoming county, and after the organization of Clinton, It was included in Wayne township.
The township was created by an act of Assembly, approved January 14, 1841. It was named in honor of Hon. George Crawford, one of the first Associate Judges of Clinton county.
This township is bounded on the north by Wayne, on the east by Lycoming county, on the south by Green and on the west by Wayne township.
Part of the township lies in Nippenose valley. The first improvement in the valley was made by John Clark in 1776. He and his family were driven away by the Indians at the time of the revolution, but they returned in 1784.
The valley is thickly populated, and contains quite a number of prosperous and populous towns and villages. It was in this now peaceful valley that the famous Indian hunter, Peter Pence, once lived. Some of his descendants yet reside in the valley.
That portion of Crawford township within the limits of Nippenose valley was settled about sixty years ago. Other settlements were afterwards made within its limits on the borders of Green township. Much of the land is mountainous. Among the early settlers of the first settled portion we find the names Green, Shaw,, Showers, Sallade, Gebhart, Shadle, Ranch, Brosius and Smith. The descendants of some of these families still form a portion of its people. The mountain portion of the township contained at one time much valuable timber. Agriculture and lumbering have formed the principal business of its inhabitants. Valuable beds of iron ore exist within its limits. Considerable prospecting has been carried on for coal. Nickle has been discovered, and, if the search were prosecuted, would likely be found to exist in pay quantities. Likewise, gold, silver and plumbago have been found in small quantities.
Among its citizens who are considerably above three score years and ten, may be mentioned: Mrs. Sara Ghun, widow of Joseph Ghun, deceased, who is still living at the age of about eighty-one years. The venerable Isaac Robbins is till living at the advanced age of eighty-seven years.
Chapman township was formed while the territory now contained in Clinton belonged to Lycoming county. Since its organization it has lost much of its territory by the erection of other townships. A portion was taken off in the formation of Grugan, in 1855, and in the formation of Noyes, in 1875.
The west Branch flows through the southern part of the township, and receives as a tributary Young Woman’s creek, which joins it at North Bend.
Precisely when the first settlement was made in the township is not know. As far as can be learned a man named William Reed cleared a few acres of land at the mouth of Young Woman’s creek. He sold his improvement to Samuel Campbell. He in his turn conveyed the same to Thomas Robinson, who obtained a presumption warrant, dated October 1st, 1785, for 307 acres. The tract included nearly all the flat land adjacent to the mouth of Young Woman’s creek, and was afterwards conveyed by Robinson to Andrew Epple, of Philadelphia, by deed dated January 10, 1787. "The history of North Bend prepared by Judge James W. Crawford gives a full and complete account of the above transactions."
A man named Bennett built the first grist mill in the township. A few years alter another mill was built at the mouth of Hyner run, and one was also built at the mouth of Paddy’s run. These, with another built at the mouth of Tangascootac creek, were the first, and for a long time the only manufacturing establishments on the West Branch above the Big Island. A salt well was bored about the year 1820 by a man named Boggs. It was located on the south side of the river, above the mouth of Boggs’ run. He sand the well to a depth of ninety feet, where he found water strongly impregnated with salt, but nothing was ever done towards the manufacturing of the article.
About the year 1830 a modern water power mill was built on Hyner’s run by Leonard and Michael Bradney. This mill was purchased in 1852 by T. B. Loveland and Isaac Shaffer, who, in their turn, sold out to Hansel & Brother in 1855.
In 1862 the Hansels built another mill about one-half mile farther down the run, but soon after sold their property to Kolter, Hoshour & Co., of York county, Pa. In 1872 the firm built a steam mill. The sawing capacity of the steam mill was 5,000,000 feet per year.
In 1866 an act was passed by the Legislature, authorizing the construction of a state road from North Point up Young Woman’s creek to Germania, in Potter county, a distance of twenty-six and a half miles. By a supplement to the act passed in 1867, Joseph Schwartzenbach, Joseph H. Bailey, John White and A. J. Quigley were appointed commissioners to lay out and open the road, which was accomplished in 1874, and the road is now in good condition. In 1868 an act was passed, incorporation the Clinton and Potter county Navigation company, the object of which corporation was to improve and clear Young Woman’s creek for running down logs.
In 1854 R. K. Hawley & Co. Erected a saw mill on Young Woman’s creek, about one-fourth of a mile from its mouth. In 1872 Messrs. Mensch & Lowenstein of Wilkes-Barre, built a steam mill. The mill had a capacity for sawing 6,000,000 feet per year.
In 1863 Joseph and George Parsons and Henry Clark also built a large steam saw mill at the mouth of Paddy’s run. This mill was purchased in 1876 by Gamble, White & Co. In 1827 a building, which served the two-fold purpose of church and school house, was built at the mouth of Young Woman’s creek, under the supervision of Rev. Daniel Barber. The following episode in the history of Chapman township, was written by Hon. A. J. Quigley, a former resident of North Point:
"In 1837, at the Gubernatorial election, every effort was made to re-elect Joseph Ritner. Thaddeus Stephens had designed the Gettysburg tape worm, and put in course of construction the West Branch division of the Pennsylvania canal. The workmen on the canal were anxious to have the work continue, and nothing but his re-election would in any event continue the work. The Democratic party, headed by David R. Porter, were opposed to internal improvements by the state, believing that all such enterprises could be managed safer by private corporation. Many believed that the construction of a canal to Erie was a stake of rather questionable policy. But the country being in the midst of a financial crash and hard times, the working men were looking to their own interest, and Thaddeus Stevens, a wily politician, seized the opportunity to take advantage of the manifest will of the laborers on the canal, and came up to Young Womanstown, and devised a plan with the workmen to ‘vote early and often.’ The election board was manipulated to make the oath easy and bear lightly, and Young Womanstown, hitherto unknown in history, only for its Indian tradition, became the notorious birth place of ballot-box stuffing, carried on to the present day in Philadelphia and other cities of the Union. Chapman township, which at that time had about fifty legal voters, polled over 700 votes for Joseph Ritner. The return judge, in carrying the returns to Williamsport, (this being then Lycoming county,) and who also was an untiring friend of Ritner, showed the open returns so often that they became sadly defaced, after which, to satisfy his many inquiring friends, he opened the sealed report, which act forfeited the legality of the report, and the board of return judges rejected it, and so save Young Womanstown the first and last illegal returns ever sent from that strong-hold of democracy. We have heard it said that it was dangerous to get to the window unless you could exhibit a ticket with name of Joseph Ritner. Patrick O’Flaherty would vote, and then go away and take a drink, and return to the window with other tickets and vote the name of John Dougherty, without a question from the ward, except a significant nod from the ‘boss’ who stood at the window indicating that all was right, and so they continued repeating all day."
The township derived its name from William Dunn, one of its first settlers. It was taken from Bald Eagle township, and organized while its territory was a part of Lycoming county. Dunnstable township is bounded on the north by Gallauher, on the east by the West Branch and Pine Creek township, on the south by the West Branch and Lamar township, on the west by Woodward township and Lock Haven. The "Great Island," containing about 280 acres, is located within Dunnstable township. William Dunn, its first settler, took an active part in the Revolution, being one of the committee of safety for Northumberland county. He participated in many battles, among the number being those of Germantown and Trenton. Among the other pioneers of Dunnstable were Thomas Proctor and William Baird. The former was captain of the first Continental company of artillery, raised in Philadelphia. He was afterwards made a general. Other settlers followed Dunn and settled upon the rich lands of the township, and in a few years the territory in the vicinity of the Big Island was thickly settled.
The village of Liberty was one of the most important places in the county at one time, and was settled at a very early date. The place received its name from the patriotic feelings of its first settlers. A store was kept in the village by one William Tweed, in 1812, and a hotel was kept at the same time by George Quigley. Afterwards D. Moran kept a store near where the abutment of the river bridge now stands.
The only business place in Liberty at the present time is the store of R. H. Quigley, at which the township elections are held. The public road crosses the island and reaches the place by the great Island iron bridges which were erected in 1889.
In 1855 the postoffice at Lockport was removed to Dunnsburg, and called the Dunnsburg postoffice.. Jacob Myers was the postmaster. The office was afterwards moved to Liberty; from there returned to Dunnsburg, and finally returned to Liberty, where it has remained ever since. The name, however, was changed to Island postoffice, the name it now retains. The first church in Liberty was built by the Methodists in 1825. The present church structure was erected in 1870. Years before there was any structure erected for religious worship, circuit riders visited the place and held services in the dwellings of Zebulon and Benjamin Baird. The first school house in Dunnstable township was a log structure, which stood at the time on what is now the Stewart farm. George Quiggle, of Liberty, manufactured the first plows made between Bellefonte and Williamsport. He also manufactured harrows and grain cradles, which were greatly in demand at the time. R. H. Quigley, the present postmaster at Liberty, has kept store in the place for forty years.
The culture of tobacco was introduced into Dunnstable township in 1838, by David Baird.
As the Great Island is a part of Dunnstable township, a sketch of the same will not be out of place here. As before stated, it contains about 280 acres. One hundred years ago this island served as a landmark for many of the important military operations in the West Branch valley. It is known that previous to its early settlement by the whites it was a great council ground of the Indians. History records the meeting of representatives of several powerful tribes of Indians on this island in 1755. This meeting was held to discuss several propositions made to the red men by the French at the time of the French and Indian war.
About the year 1768 a apart of surveyors visited this section of the west Branch valley, for the purpose of running off the Allison tract and probably others in the vicinity. They were accompanied by a hunter named William Dunn, of York county, Pa., whose sole occupation was to furnish meat for the party from the abundance of game that then existed. Dunn carried a very handsome rifle and other accouterments to correspond, which attracted special attention and admiration from an Indian chief, who claimed to be owner of the island. The chief was anxious to secure the objects of his admiration. Their owner refused to part with them, until at last he was offered the great Island in exchange for the rifle, its belongings and a keg of whisky. Dunn accepted the chief’s offer, and took possession of the "Big Island." After the whisky was drank the Indian wanted to trade back, a wish, however, which was not gratified, for Dunn knew a good thing when he saw it, and was determined to hold on to the island. It is said the Indians hung around the place for weeks, trying to get a shot at its new owner, who, knowing of their plans, kept out of their reach. The island was owned by William Dunn for many years, and at his death was divided among his heirs. One section of it is yet in possession of Elizabeth Dunn, widow of Judge William Dunn, a grandson of William Dunn, who purchased the land from the Indians. Of course the land was afterwards bought and the title secured from the Proprietary government, but history loves to relate the fact of its having been purchased at one time for a rifle and a keg of whisky.
Gallauher township was erected September 18th, 1849. It is bounded on the north by Grugan township, on the east by Lycoming county, on the south by Line creek, Dunnstable and Woodward, and on the west by Woodward, Colebrook and Grugan townships.
The first settler of which we have any account was John Gotschalk, who located on the Coudersport pike in 1835. The region at that time was a wilderness inhabited only by wild beats. After the west Branch canal was completed, many of the laborers employed in its construction settled in Clinton county. Among them were John and George Lovett, Andrew Nolan, John Hennessey and Michael Welsh, who selected farms in that portion of the present Gallauher township lying between Quinn’s and Plum runs, forming the community now knows as the "Irish Settlement."
At the time that settlement was formed there was not a road within five miles, and not even a tree had been cut on the land taken by them. The howls of the wolf, the scream of the panther and the cry of the ferocious wild cat disturbed the midnight slumber of the sturdy settlers. Wild animals were very numerous, while herds of deer could be seen at one time, and panthers and bears would boldly carry off domestic animals in open daylight.
The greatest difficulty that beset the early settlers of Gallauher township was the securing of supplies. There were no roads, and not even a bridle path. The settlers were compelled to carry their grain to mill on their backs, the nearest mill being at Chatham’s Run, a distance of five miles. This laborious and dangerous task was often performed by the women, who were neither lacking in courage or willingness to perform the work.
The father of P. B. Crider, the latter who at one time was a citizen of Lock Haven, but who now resides in Bellefonte, settled in the township near the "Irish Settlement" in 1845.
Another early settler of the section was Thomas McCann, a bachelor, who lived by himself. He cultivated a small farm and seemed to enjoy life. One winter morning he was found dead in bed. The cause of his sudden departure from this life was never known.
J. Focht was another pioneer settler of the township. He was a soldier under Napoleon, and was with him at the defeat of Waterloo. It is said that he was compelled to work two years to pay his passage to America.
The Glovers, who located on the Coudersport pike at an early day, were also among the first settlers.
The Jersey Shore and Coudersport pike is the boundary between Gallauher township and Lycoming county. This old and prominent thoroughfare, as its name implies, connects Jersey Shore with Coudersport, the county seat of Potter county. The first school house in the township was built in 1850. It was located near the residence of John Lovett. The township took its name from Judge Gallauher, who was instrumental in its organization. Jack Lovett, who was murdered by Charles Brown on the night of December 14th, 1889, was a son of John Lovett mentioned above.
Green township was organized in February, 1840. It is located in the southeast corner of the county and bounded as follows: On the north by Crawford and Lamar townships, on the east by Lycoming county, on the south by Centre county, and on the west by Lamar and Logan townships. The greater part of the township lies within Sugar valley.
The Fishing creek is the principal stream in the township. The part of the township lying in Sugar valley is about 800 feet higher than the level of the Susquehanna river.
The first settlement was made in 1800 by Rudolph Karstetter. Many of his descendants yet reside in Sugar valley. Among the other settlers who came to the section at an early day were the Schracks, Brungards, Kahls and Kleckners.
Those who settled in the east end of Sugar valley previous to 1825 were John brown, Jacob Franck, Henry Price, Daniel Cromley, Major Philip Wohlfart, David Stamm and others.
Previous to 1830 a man named Frederick Friedley erected a blasting furnace in the township. The said furnace was called "Deborah Furnace." It was operated for several years, and finally sold by the sheriff. Remains of "Deborah Furnace" may yet be seen in the extreme east end of the valley, near the Brown farm.
John Kleckner built the first grist mill in Sugar valley about the year 1800. It stood on the site of the present mill at Loganton.
The first school house in the township was built in 1824. It was still in use as a church in 1880.
There are quite a number of mills in the township, the largest, perhaps, being the steam mill of Jamison & Co. The old Philadelphia mill, as it was called, which was built in 1845, and located near where the Rosecrans postoffice now is, and which was latterly called "Garrity’s Mill," was destroyed by the June flood of 1889.
The township has ten good school houses, and an average term of six months. The village of Carroll, which is located at the extreme east end of Green township, contains about fifteen dwellings, a store and postoffice, a blacksmith shop and several minor industries.
This township was formed in 1851, the territory which it comprises being taken from the townships of Colebrook and chapman. It is divided into two nearly equal parts by the west branch. The township is bounded on the north by Gallauher, Colebrook and Chapman, on the east by Colebrook and Gallauher, on the south by Bald Eagle and Beech Creek, and on the west by chapman.
The principal wealth of the township consists in lumber. At an early day the best quality of oak and pine could be found, but the forests are now nearly depopulated.
The mineral wealth of the township consists of coal, iron ore and fire clay, but very little has ever been accomplished by way of developing the mines. In 1864 an organization, called the West Branch Coal, Iron Ore and Lumber Company, was formed for the purpose of developing the mineral wealth of the township. This company purchased over 15,000 acres of land upon the waters of Baker’s run, for which they paid $75,000. Lack of funds and great cost of getting the products to market, prevented anything of importance from being accomplished.
By whom or at what time the first settlement in Grugan township was made is not definitely known. The earliest records that can be found claim that a tract of land, called "Indian Coffin," was surveyed to John Baker Atkin, October 8th, 1785. This tract included the land around the mouth of Baker’s run. About the time of the revolution, this man Baker Atkin lived on the tract which had not yet been surveyed to him, but when the war broke out he, with the other inhabitants of the section, left and went to "Reed’s Fort" for protection. Baker returned and secured his warrant in 1785. He was a German, and seemed to prosper by his industry. It is said he received the title of "King of the Narrows," as the valley west of Lock Haven was called. Baker built a water power grist mill, which was probably the first mill built west of Sunbury. Although it was a crude affair, it was a great improvement over the hand mills. Baker finally sold out and moved to the flat, now called baker’s town, where he died.
The next settler seems to have been James Burney, who located on what is now the farm of ex-Commissioner John Grugan, at Glen Union. The tract was called "Settlers’ Lick," on account of a deer lick in the vicinity. It is though that Burney settled on this tract several years previous to the Revolution. The Grugans, from whom the township was names, were among the early settlers. Charles Grugan, the grandfather of Coleman and John Grugan, came to this country from Ireland about the year 1870. He was accompanied by his brother, John Grugan. They landed at New York, and there separated, the former coming to Pennsylvania dn the latter going to Canada. Charles was married to a sister of James Burney, above mentioned. He lived in Buffalo valley, and was frozen to death. He had two sons and two daughters. The sons were James and Alexander. They were great hunters, and the latter is said to have killed in one season fifteen bears at sixteen shots. Coleman and John Grugan are sons of Alexander.
The first school in Grugan township was opened in 1830. John Taylor, a shoemaker by trade, was the first teacher. The school building was swept away by an ice flood in 1837.
The Baker tract was owned for a time by Buckman Claffin.
The last elk ever seen in Clinton county lost its life in Grugan township.
KEATING TOWNSHIP, (EAST AND WEST.)
Keating township occupies the extreme southwestern portion of Clinton county. It was erected December 21st, 1814, and its territory enlarged by the addition of a part of Grove township in 1844.
In 1875 it was divided into East and West Keating.
East Keating is bounded on the north by Cameron county, on the east by Noyes township, on the west by Cameron county and West Keating, and on the south by the west branch.
West Keating is bounded on the north by Cameron county, on the west by Clearfield and Cameron counties, and on the south by the West Branch.
The first survey made in these townships was on August 13th, 1785, by John Houstan, in pursuance of a warrant dated at Philadelphia, May 17th 1785. The tract was surveyed to John Strawbridge. It consisted of 285 acres of land, situated on both sides of the Sinnemahoning creek, at or near its mouth. Strawbridge sold his claim to Patrick Lusk. His children, Robert and Martha Lusk, were sent from their home in Northumberland county to reside on the place, and they became the first settlers of Keating township.
The next settler appears to have been John Hilderbrand, who settled on the Moore place in 1805. He sold his farm to Thomas Burges, who in 1830 sold it to James Moore.
About this time John Conway settled at what is now called "Hickory Hill."
John Rohn, Sr., settled in the same locality. John Rohn, one of West Keating’s prominent citizens, is a son of this pioneer.
John Kryder, a native of Dunnstown, settled in East Keating in 1819. The following account of his death, which occurred April 25th, 1875, appeared in the Clinton Democrat of May 6th 1875.
On Sunday, April 25th, there died in East Keating township one of the pioneers of the west Branch. John Kryder was born in 1800, and came to Keating when it was yet a part of Grove township, Northumberland county. His reputation as a carpenter, builder and mill wright was known and respected. He lived for a few years at Cook’s Run, on the farm of old Johnny Baird, (now owned by Squire McCloskey,) but finally settled down on the old homestead owned by Mattie Lusk, (sister of Mrs. McBride, who was murdered by Wade, ) on the north side of the mouth of Sinnemahoning creek, whom he afterwards took "for better or for worse," and lived with her for many years after. In 1848 his house was swept away by the flood, and nearly everything that he owned was also claimed by the raging waters; but, nothing daunted, he soon set to work and built himself another home, which still stands on the banks at the mouth of the creek, as a monument of his industry and handiwork. Indeed, there is scarcely an old house or mill between Lock Haven and Keating but that was partly built by his hands.
As he grew up in years he became famous as a river pilot, and was counted one of the best on the river. During the last few years of his life he devoted most of his spare time to fishing, and was never so happy as when paddling his canoe on the river.
He was the father of a large family, all of whom he has gone to meet but three — two sons and s\one daughter. Durell and Allison Kryder are well known to many of your readers, while his only daughter is the wife of our late commissioner, Wallace Gakle.
PIONEER SCHOOLS. — "The first school house was built about the year 1830. It was built of logs, and within a few yards of the present school house, opposite Keating Station. John Rohn, Sr., was President; John Kryder, Secretary; and James Moore, Treasurer of the first Board of Directors. Robert Lusk, first Justice of the Peace, appointed and commissioned by the Governor."
PIONEER TAVERNS — FLOOD. — "The first tavern was kept by Jacob Berge, in the house now owned by Caleb Cannon, situated about one mile from the mouth of the Sinnemahoning creek, and bore the very queer name of ‘Mad House,’ by which name the building is known at the present day. Robert Lusk also had a distillery (on a small scale), in which he made apple-jack from the large orchard on his farm. In the year 1847 the great flood swept away nearly ever improvement in the shape of buildings in the township."
The first store in the township was built by C. C. McClelland, near the mouth of the Sinnemahoning creek.
The pioneer industry of the township was lumbering. Each settler would cut and make his own raft, and float it down the river, sometimes as far as Marietta.
Hunting and fishing at odd times kept the settlers in meat, and the skins of the animals killed would be taken to Jersey Shore and disposed of for groceries and other needed articles.
East Keating has three railroad stations and three postoffices, viz: Round Island, Wistar and Keating.
East Keating has four schools and West Keating three. The latter has no postoffice.
Lamar township lies between the Bald Eagle and Sugar valley mountains. It is bounded on the north by Beech creek, Bald Eagle, Castanea and Wayne, on the east by Crawford and Green, on the south by Green, Logan and Porter, on the west by Porter township.
Before Clinton county was formed, Lamar township belonged to Centre county, and included at that time the territory now embraced in Lamar and Porter townships.
This township was named in honor of Major Lamar, a gallant Revolutionary officer, who was killed at the battle of Paoli. About one-half of Lamar township lies in Nittany valley, often called the "Garden of Clinton County," on account of the fertility of its soil.
Among the first settlers of Lamar township were two men named Cowden and Birchfield. They both located in the east end of Nittany valley. They never secured a title to the land, hence it is not supposed that they remained very long, neither is it definitely known just what time they came to the section. It was, however, previous to 1800. About this time John George Furst came from near Sunbury, Northumberland county, and obtained a patent for about 500 acres, also near the east end of the valley. This purchase was subsequently divided among his heirs, five in number, one of whom, Cline G. Furst, Esq., of Lock Haven, now owns the original homestead. The Snyders, Brumgards and several other families came to the township at an early day, and located where their representatives now reside, in what is known as the East End of the valley. The Snyder farm was purchased by a grandfather of John Snyder, its present occupant, previous to 1800.
Though the early settlers of the township were mostly of German descent, there were some of other nationalities. Besides those already mentioned were the Herrs, Leidys, Hartmans, Kleckners, McGhees, browns, Spanglers, McNauls, Heards, Wilsons, Rishels, McKinneys and Porters, all of whom were permanent citizens.
The firs school house in Lamar was built about 1810. It was constructed of logs, and at one stage of its existence was heated by a large stove, which projected through one side of the building, and received its supply of fuel, in the shape of logs, four feet long, from the outside. It stood on or near the lands of George Furst.
In 1833 or 1834 a furnace was erected just within Lamar Gap by Messrs. Kurtz and Hepburn. It was thought that sufficient ore, or a good quality, could be obtained in the vicinity, but when the furnace was in blast the supply of material at hand proved to be unsuitable for profitable manufacture, and it was found necessary to haul all the ore used from Some distance up the valley, which made operations so expensive that the enterprise was soon abandoned.
About the Year 1824 Samuel Hepburn & Co. Started a store at what is called cedar Springs. In 1833 they were succeeded by John S. Furst, Esq.
At quite an early day Samuel Brown kept a tavern at or near the place now occupied by Furst’s store. It was probably the first public house in the township. Brown also had the first tan yard in the vicinity.
Lamar township has turned out more prominent men than any other township in Clinton county. Among the number were Hon. Joseph Quay, who served as state senator from 1843 to 1846, and as associate judge and county commissioner in Clinton county. John Miller, first sheriff of Clinton county. Dr. George C. Harvey, who served as associate judge of the county from 1850 to 1856. Thomas McGhee, who served one term as sheriff and two terms as prothonotary. Hon. George J. Eldred, who represented the county in the Legislature.
General D. H. Hastings, the hero of Johnstown, and adjutant general under Governor Beaver, was also a barefooted boy of Lamar township; and the citizens of the said township are very proud of the fact.
Martin W. Herr, former county superintendent of Clinton county. S. M. McCormick, a prominent member of Clinton county bar, and Professor Daniel Herr, the oldest teacher in Clinton county and at one time county superintendent. Samuel Porter, who at one time resided in Lamar township, was a member of Morgan’s rifle command in the revolutionary war. He died January 10th, 1825, aged 79 years. He was buried the next day in Great Island cemetery, Lock Haven.
Lamar township contains three villages — Salona, Mackeyville and Rote. This township also contains Cedar Hill cemetery.
We are under obligations to ‘Squire J. C. Sigmund, of Salona, for the following sketch of the same:
The Cedar Hill cemetery association was incorporated in the year 1870. Prior to that time the residents of the lower portion of Nittany valley had no place of interment except the old cemetery on the hill at the western end of Lock Haven, and several smaller ones, one of which was located in Bald Eagle valley, and the other two severally at the eastern end of the town of Salona, and on the hill on the southwest, where the old Reformed church stood. All of these had become crowded, and none of them possessed that order, nor were kept in that secure condition, which the eye of affection loves to see around the resting place of its dead. And more than this, no proper title, or guarantee against the ruthless hand of encroaching enterprise, was held by the parties who had buried in them.
These considerations, and principally the last, impelled some of the prominent citizens of the valley to place their names to a petition, asking the court to grant them the charter under which they could attain to the ends desired.
At a meeting of the petitioners held February 9th, 1870, five persons were chosen as managers, viz: Hugh Conley, G. J. Eldred, John P. Heard, James L. Stephenson and J. C. Sigmund. Another meeting was called on the 21st of the same month, for the purpose of effecting a more thorough organization, but, owing to the illness of Mr. Conley, was adjourned, and before another meeting was held the association had lost one of its most respected and active members, and the remains of Mr. Conley were the first, with the exception of those of a little child, to find a resting place in the newly consecrated ground, he having died just fifteen days after the first meeting of the association.
At the next meeting William Hays was chosen to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Mr. Conley, and the following were elected officers: President, John P. Heard; Secretary, John C. Sigmund; Treasurer, James Stephenson.
Among the dead buried here may be found the names of many of the early settlers of the valley, and some prominent strangers, notably those of the Chisholm family, who were murdered in the state of Mississippi in 1877, and brought to Cedar Hill and interred in 1779.
The brutal murder of three innocent persons, father, son and daughter, in DeKalb, Kemper county, Mississippi, is still fresh in many memories, but we recall, briefly, some of the circumstances. Judge Chisholm had been pursued for ten years, and threatened by the Ku Klux, of Kemper county, and their sympathizing friends across the Alabama line. Several raids had been made upon him, the last just before the election. The matter coming before the United States District court, the Judge and John P. Gilmer testified against the ruffians before the grand jury. This so enraged the gang that they determined to kill those who had sworn against them as soon as a pretext could be found.
One of the leaders, John W. Gully, was shot on the 26th of April, 1877, while riding through the woods on his way from DeKalb to his home. The banditti at once accused Chisholm, Gilmer and others with having instigated the murder.
They were arrested — or rather, they gave themselves up — and Gilmer was shot on his way to jail, whilst Chisholm and his two children were mortally wounded in the jail; the others escaped. Subsequent events revealed the fact that Gully was shot by a negro whom he had threatened to kill, and who has since been hanged. More than this, there has never been a fact or circumstance that would sustain the shadow of a suspicion against Chisholm or anyone of the accused.
Leidy township was stricken from Chapman township in 1847. It is bounded on the north by Potter county, on the east by Chapman township, on the south by Noyes township, on the west by Cameron county.
The first white settler of Leidy township was Simeon Pfouts, who settled on Kettle creek in 1813. In the spring of 1814 he moved his family from their home in Perry county to the rude cabin he had built in the fastness of the mountains. He was an expert hunter, and game and fish furnished the largest share of his provisions. He reared a family of nine children. One of his daughters became the wife of Isaac Summerson, who is now a prominent citizen of Leidy township. Simeon Pfouts died August 26th 1856, from the bite of a rattlesnake which he was handling.
Previous to 1820 — probably about 1819 — several men came to Kettle creek and settled upon the rich bottom lands of what is now Leidy township. An Englishman name Summerson settled on the northeastern side of Ox-Bow bend. He reared a family of ten children. Isaac Summerson, mentioned above, is a son of this pioneer; he now resides on the old homestead.
During the year 1824 Jacob Hammersley and Archie Stewart settled at the mouth of the first fork of Kettle creek. They erected the first grist mill in this section. This mill was a great boon to the settlers, who, heretofore, were compelled to carry their flour from the river. Their groceries at that time were purchased near the "Great Island" and shipped to the homes of the settlers in canoes. Jacob Hammersley was a great hunter. He is said to have killed five elks in one day. He reared a family of nine children. Many of his descendants still reside on Kettle creek. "Old Jake," as he was familiarly called, died in February, 1873, at the age of ninety years.
The first school house erected in Leidy township was built on the east bank of the creek, on the farm now occupied by Isaac Walters. The said house was erected in 1844. The first teacher in the school was a man named Grimes. The next school house was erected on the western bank of the creek, opposite the point where the Boone road reaches the stream. There are now five schools in the township, which are kept open during the summer season.
The first store where goods were offered for sale was erected on what is known as the Leonard farm. This was in 1858. In 1860 Hamilton Fish engaged in the mercantile business. In 1862 Munson & Goodman started a store, which they conducted for about nine years; then Munson sold out to Goodman & Brother. Clement & Mills conducted a mercantile business for about five years. They failed in January, 1874.
John J. Walton, Benjamin Wheaton, Michael Campbell, Arthur Clement and Nicholas Watt have served as justices of the peace for Leidy township. The latter is acting in that capacity at the present time.
The first hotel where liquor was lawfully sold in the township was kept by Isaac Summerson.
The Paddy’s Run road was constructed by Derlin, Chatham & Co., in 1862.
The first road extending from the river to Kettle creek was built many years before there was any settlement on Kettle creek. It was built under the supervision of an engineer named Boone, and has ever since been called Boone road.
The Butler road was constructed from Sugar Camp run to the river in 1850. The distance was twelve miles.
In 1869 an act of Assembly was passed authorizing the construction of a rod from Westport to the Potter county line. A. C. Noyes, Hamilton Fish and Nicholas Watt were appointed to superintend the work.
The township was named after Judge Leidy, of Salona. The first election in the township was held in the house of Alexander Kelly.
In 1864 a New York company put down an oil well to the depth of 888 feet, and as no oil was found the company ceased operations.
White and red sandstone, of an excellent quality, are found in the mountains of the township. Fire clay and coal, of a superior quality, also exists in the township. Several large tracts of land have recently been purchased, and it will be but a short time until the clay and coal mines will be fully developed. A. H. Mann, of Lock Haven, owns a number of acres of land in the township, which is underlaid with the finest quality of fire clay yet discovered.
Many Indian relics have been discovered in the Kettle creek region, such as fire places built of stone, stoneware, arrow heads and pipes, all of which go to prove that the section was once the home of the red man.
What is now Logan township was originally included in Miles township, Centre county, and was organized previous to the formation of Clinton. At that time it contained the territory now embraced in Green township.
Logan township is bounded on the north by Porter and Lamar, on the east by Green, on the south and west by centre county.
The township received its name in honor of the celebrated Indian chief, Logan, who, according to tradition, had a path across the valley. The place were he crossed Nittany mountain is still called "Logan’s Gap."
The only stream in the township of any importance is Fishing creek.
The first actual settlement in Sugar valley was made soon after the Revolution by John Christopher Culby, who had been a Hessian soldier. He deserted the British cause and joined the Americans. He located on the farm afterwards owned by Joseph Herb, at Logan Mills. Samuel Jones, another Revolutionary soldier, was the next to arrive. The Grenningers, whose descendants now live at Tylersville, were also among the pioneer settlers of the valley. Philip Schreckengast, John Philips, John Strawcutter and Henry Spangler came at nearly the same time. Quite a number of settlers came from Brush valley and located in Sugar valley at a very early date. Among the number were Barnet Rockey, Michael Bressler, Michael Kettner, Philip Glantz and Frederick Womeldorf. About the year 1840 Colonel Anthony Kleckner built the stone mill at Logan Mills. About the same time Michael Kettner built a grist mill about three miles west of Tylersville.
This property is now owned by John Ruhl, who now has a saw and shingle mill, which is erected near the site of the old mill. There are several saw and shingle mills in the township at the present time.
John Lamey made a settlement in 1829 on the north side of the valley, which has since been known as "John Currin’s improvement." A settlement was made on the south side of the valley about 1819 by John Kitchen.
The township contains three villages — Tylersville, Booneville and Logan Mills. There are six schools in the township, with an average term of six months. The schools of the valley, although for many years in a backward state, are now in a flourishing condition.
Noyes township was cut off from chapman in 1875. It is bounded on the north by Leidy, on the east by Chapman and Grugan, on the south by Beech Creek, and on the west by East Keating township. It is well watered by many streams. Among the number are Kettle creek and Drury’s run. Bituminous coal abounds in the mountains, and valuable mines are now being operated. There is also an unlimited amount of the best fire clay beneath the surface of the lands of Noyes township. A. H. Mann, of Lock Haven, owns a large tract of land in the township, underlaid with clay.
The first settlement in the territory was made about the time of the Revolution, by Richard Gilmore.
SHINTOWN SETTLEMENT. — The first settlement at Shintown was made by a Mr. Long about the year 1790, and after he abandoned it a man by the name of George Hunter succeeded him. Hunter lived here in 1806 or 1807 at the earliest; he had two sons and two daughters; lived in an old log house with the chimney built on the outside. Hunter subsequently moved west. He was succeeded by David Drake and David Summerson. Drake also moved west in course of time. The property at this time was owned by John Caldwell. It was sold by him to David Summerson, and was afterwards sold out by the sheriff and again purchased by John Caldwell, and finally sold by him to Jacob Kepler about 1831, who moved on it from Drury’s Run.
The land on the north side of the river was improved by Joseph Carns and John Berry about 1806 or 1807. This property was owned by a Philadelphia party and sold to Jesse Hall. Carns moved to the flat now owned by William Stout, where he lived for many years. He finally sold his land to John Bridgens, who, after living on it for a number of years, sold it to William stout.
The land on the south side of the river, near the mouth of McSherry’s run, was settled by Barney McSherry between the years 1810 and 1815.
COOK’S RUN SETTLEMENT. — Cook’s Run was settled at an early day by a man by the name of James McGinley, perhaps about the time of the revolution or shortly after. It was known for many years as McGinley’s Bottom. This was then Pine Creek township, Northumberland county. This land was claimed by pre-emption right, and the warrant dated August 2d, 1785, and patent issued in the name of William Cook, under Governor Mifflin, dated May 26th, 1793. The land was purchased by William Cook, of the McGinley heirs.
William Cook subsequently sold this property to one Samuel Hains, of Loyalsock township, Northumberland county, and in time he sold to John Carskaddon, May 6th, 1795, and Carskaddon sold to John Baird, May 7th, 1810, both of Lycoming county, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Baird had the first postoffice established at Cook’s Run, and he also got the mail route through from Dunnstown to Coudersport. He was appointed postmaster at Cook’s Run, and also had the mail route. This was the only postoffice for many years in what is now Noyes township. The office and the route were established in 1830. The Cook’s Run postoffice was abolished by the department in 1863. Mr. John Baird closed his earthly career in the year 1851. His property at Cook’s Run was divided between two of his daughters, Nancy, who is married to Abner McCloskey, and Emily, married to John McCloskey. Each of these have raised large families. A. O. Caldwell, late of Westport, was married to a daughter of Mr. Baird.
This township was cut off from Lamar in 1841, and named in honor of Governor Porter. It is bounded on the north by Beech Creek, on the east by Lamar, on the south by Logan, and on the west by Centre county.
The McKibbens are supposed to have been the first settlers. They were of Scotch-Irish descent. The first settlers were pretty much all Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, and went to church at Jacksonville, where stood the only church in that part of the country at that time. Rev. Wilson was the first stationed preacher at that place. Then came James Linn, the father of Judge Linn, who used to preach in the neighborhood, sometimes at the houses of James McKibben, David Allison and others.
Other early settlers in the township were the Stephensons, Watsons, Dornblazers, Reeds, Brownlees, Allisons, McCloskeys and Shields. The Stephensons came to the township in April, 1795. They bought the land and settled where H. C. Allison now lives. John Watson settled near where Clintondale now stands. William, his brother, settled on the Dornblazer farm. John Shield settled on the land of which the farm of James Wilson is now a part.
From the year 1800 to 1820 the following named persons came to this township: Andrew Eakins, father of the present James Eakins; Philip Walker, father of Philip and John Walker; Joseph Gamble, who married the widow of John Watson; Alex. Robertson, the Moores, Peter Smith, George Ohl, Esq., the Millers, Bechtols, William and Thomas Brown, James Nixon, and a number of others. Between 1820 and 1830 came William C. Wilson, David Allison, Peter Seyler (who had a large family of boys and girls), William Devling, Valentine Meyer, Solomon Crotzer, J. P. McElrath (who was afterwards sheriff of the county), Martin Long, Robert Tate, John Best, Jacob Krape, Sr., John Solt, John Dornblazer, father of the present John and Peter Dornblazer. The latter came in 1831.
Washington iron works were built in 1809 by William Beattie and John Dunlop. The later was killed in the ore bank. Beattie carried on the works for some time and failed, and left the country, after which Valentine Showers took the works and used up the stock. The works were then out of use for fifteen years, during which time they became the property of Mrs. Henderson, mother of Mrs. Calvert and Mrs. Bressler, of Lock Haven. About 1825 Irvin & Huston took possession and operated the furnace successfully for about ten years, when Whitaker & Co. Became operators. After the death of Benjamin Pyle, one of the firm, the works were operated by McCormick & Morris and James Irvin, and finally sold to Messrs. Fallon, and operated by them during the war, and since then by Samuel Watson, Barlow & Day, and later by Jacob Yearick. The works were abandoned in 1878, and have never since been operated.
The first school house of which we could obtain any authentic information in that part of Lamar, now embraced within the territorial limits of Porter township, was located near Clintondale, on the farm of Mr. John Watson. It was built in 1808, and, like all other primitive buildings, was made of logs.
The first term of school in this house was taught by Andrew Ackens, who did good service here in the capacity of teacher for a number of years.
A year or two after the establishment of the school near Clintondale, a school was opened by Mr. Patrick Hughs, in a house located on Cedar Run, near the residence of David Allison. The third school building, erected about 1820, was located west of Cedar Run, on the farm of James McKibben. This was a frame house, and a slight improvement, in several essential particulars, on those previously built in the district. About 1830 a fourth school was established near the public highway leading to Bellefonte. The question of accepting or rejecting the system of instruction, provided by law, was submitted to the people some time during the spring or summer of 1834; and although the verdict pronounced at the ballot box was in favor of accepting, yet the system met with a strong and bitter opposition, which did not wholly subside for many years after.
In the autumn of this year (1834) seven free schools were opened in the township, and placed under the control of the following teachers: Mrs. J. W. Ferree, George Furst, Samuel Hartman, James Stephenson, John Brady, James Crawford and Ezra G. Bartram. The first Board of School Directors were John Darnblazer, Sr., President; Joseph Milliken, Secretary; William C. Wilson, Israel Nuffy, David Allison and Valentine Meyer.
Porter township now has seven schools, all in a flourishing condition.
PINE CREEK TOWNSHIP.
Pine Creek is one of the twelve townships into which the county was first divided, and is so called from the creek of that name which plows along its eastern border.
It is bounded on the south by the West Branch, on the west by Dunnstable, on the north by Gallauher and Lycoming county, and on the east by Lycoming.
The township is well supplied with water. AT one time the region through which Pine Creek flows was bountifully suppled with the choicest pine timber, hence the name which was given by the first settlers. The Indian name for the stream was "Tiadaghton." It is the largest tributary of the West Branch.
The whole township was settled upon several years previous to the Revolution. The first settlers, who returned about the year 1785, settled on their improvements, made previous to time of the "Big Runaway," and took out their warrants.
Among those who never returned was a man named Donaldson, who had settled on the tract known later as the Duncan farm, now owned by Crawford and Smith. Alexander Hamilton never returned, being killed by the Indians at Northumberland. His family returned and took out a warrant for his improvement in 1785.
The first laid out road through the township was a bridle path; it was laid out in 1775, beginning at the mouth of Bald Eagle and ending opposite Sunbury. In 1797, soon after Lycoming county was organized, a view from Pine Creek, to and trough the Great Island, laid out a wagon road on the same ground.
The first settlement on the north side of the river, in Pine Creek township, commenced in 1772. The first settlers were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, and, as in all other places where they located, they at once organized schools.
The first house erected for school purposes was built of logs, and located opposite Sour’s ferry. Another was erected later on the main road, within a half mile of Pine Creek, where the brick school house now stands. This was quite a prominent educational institution. Reading, writing, arithmetic and surveying were taught. The teachers were mostly Irishmen. The pupils came from all sections of Pine Creek. One of the teachers who plied the birch, and taught the rule of three, was Rev. Kincaid, who was driven away by the Indians and never returned.
Missionaries visited Pine Creek long before there were any churches built. The first church erected in the township was a frame structure located on the west bank of Pine Creek, two miles west of Jersey Shore. John Knox was the contractor. It remained unfinished for many years, and services were held without fire for twenty years. It was then heated by two fireplaces, and afterwards wood stoves were used. The structure was burned in 1842 and never rebuilt. Rev. Isaac Grier was the first regular pastor. In 1814 Rev. John H. Grier was installed as pastor of this and the Great Island congregation. Rev. Grier served the Great Island congregation eleven years, and the Pine Creek and Jersey Shore congregations for nearly forty years. He purchased a farm in Pine Creek township, which he cultivated in connection with his pastoral duties during the later part of his life. He died in 1880, aged ninety-two years.
The Coudersport pike was completed to Coudersport in 1833, a distance of sixty-five miles. In 1860 it was abandoned as a turnpike and located as a township road. From 1820 to 1824, the mail was carried form Jersey Shore to Olean, a distance of 109 miles. John Murphy was the mail carrier. He traveled on horseback. From 1832 to 1840 a two-horse stage ran over the route. For four years of the time it ran once a week, and for the other four twice a week.
Among the prominent events that have occurred in the township was the "Pine Creek declaration of Independence." On the Fourth of July, 1776, a number of men of the township assembled on the plains of Pine Creek and formally declared the independence of the colonies. Among the number present were Robert Lore, Thomas Nicols, John Jackson, Thomas Francis, Alexander Hamilton, John Clark, William Campbell, Adam Carson, Henry McCracken, Adam Dewitt and Alexander Donaldson. This event occurred before the citizens of Pine Creek knew the result of Richard Henry Lee’s motion in Continental Congress at Philadelphia.
John Brown came to Pine Creek in 1809 from Northampton county. His son, Thomas Brown, married Priscilla Ferguson, a daughter of Andrew and Esther Ferguson. This wife died February 24th, 1834, and Mr. Brown was again married March 4th 1835, to Eleanor G. Ferguson, a sister of his first wife. Thomas brown died September 12th, 1875. He was one of the leading citizens of his township, and was greatly mourned at his death. He owned a number of fine farms, several of which are at present owned by his descendants.
The White family were among the pioneers of Pine Creek township. Colonel Hugh White was a captain in Colonel Hunter’s battalion, Commissioned April 19, 1776. He was six feet high, straight as an arrow, and of dignified deportment. He reared a large and highly respectable family. One son was killed by being thrown from his horse while riding a race. Colonel White himself died from an injury received by being thrown from his horse. His death occurred in 1822, when he was in his eighty-second year.
Pine Creek township has eight school sin a flourishing condition. There are a number of industries of various kinds within the limits of the township, and some of the finest farms in the state of Pennsylvania. Tobacco raising has become a leading industry, and the weed is being cultivated with great success along the river bottoms.
The villages of the township are Charlton and Richville. The venerable John Hamilton, who died in the township a few years ago at a very advanced age, was a man of learning and ability. The principal facts used in the preparation of this sketch was taken from articles written by him. He was probably the best authority on the subject that would have been found.
Wayne township is one of the original twelve townships of Clinton county. It was taken from Nippenose township, Northumberland county, in 1795, when Lycoming county was organized. It was named in honor of General Anthony Wayne, or "Mad Anthony," as he was called.
The township is located on the south side of the West Branch of the Susquehanna. It is bounded on the north by Pine Creek and Dunnstable, east by Lycoming county and Crawford township, west by Castanea, and south by Lamar township. Part of the township is several hundred feet above the river. It is well supplied with small streams and possesses considerable mineral wealth.
The first white man to settle in what is now Wayne township was William McElhattan, an Irishman, who, about 1760, settled about one mile west from where the McElhattan creek empties into the river. McElhattan never received a title to his land.
The next settler was Richard McCafferty, who settled on the river bank about one mile east of McElhattan creek. He died in 1770. He was the first white person buried in the township.
The third settler was Robert Love, who settled on what is now called Love’s run, a short distance below Pine station. He built a mill, which was kept in operation for many years.
Robert Love was one of the "Fair Play" men who passed the "Pine Creek Declaration of Independence" during the summer of 1776.
Horn’s Fort, a famous resort of the early settlers, was built in 1774-’75. It was located on a high bluff a little west of Kurtz’s run, at which place there is a short curve in the river, giving a view of both banks, east and west, for over a mile. No doubt it was built there so that the approach of the wily Indian could be more easily seen, and give the settlers, in time of danger, time to flee to the fort for safety.
Horn’s Fort was only a stockade fort, and was not supplied with any arms but the muskets and rifles of the settlers; it was the most advanced on the frontier, save Reed’s Fort, near where Lock Haven now is. The remains of Horn’s Fort could be seen till 1856-’58, when, by the building of the Philadelphia and Erie railroad, the last vestiges of it were destroyed.
The mountain land was not much looked after till about 1804 or 1805. Among the permanent settlers who bought land and improved it were the Quiggles, who came from Lancaster in 1788, and the Montgomerys in 1790. The original Montgomery farm is now owned by Wilson, James and Andrew Montgomery. The Quiggle farm was owned by S. N. Quiggle till within a few years, when it was bought by Charles S. Gallauher. The last payment on this farm by the Quiggles is acknowledged by the following queer receipt, now in the hands of S. N. Quiggle:
June the 27th, 1807. — Receivt by the Hand of George Quickle the Sum of Sixty-Two Pounts for John Quickle to the Yuse of Adam and George Wilt, I Say Receivt by "Henry Shearman."
There were two Indian towns of considerable note within the limits of the township. On the Montgomery farm, about a half-mile northeast of Wayne station, was a town called "Patterson," over which a chief of that name of the Shawanee tribe ruled. In this town lived the famous Chinklacamoose, prior to going to "Chinklacamoose’s old town," now Clearfield. The other was called "Tucquamingy," and was on the farm now owned by Major Sour.
PIONEER SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS. — The first school in the township was taught by Walter S. Chatham, father of ex-Sheriff Chatham, in an old, abandoned dwelling house near Kurtz’s run, which was prepared for school purposes. This school was opened in 1807-’8, and soon gained such a reputation that it was attended by students from Jersey Shore, Pine Creek and Nippenose, among whom were Robert G. White, afterwards judge, John and Isaac Brown, men of character and distinction. Though Chatham made no pretensions to teach anything but reading, writing, arithmetic and a little grammar, he was for many years considered the best teacher in this section. He continued to teach in this old house till 1813, at which time a new house was built on the Quiggle (now Gallauher) farm. This house was burned in 1827, on account of a man having, in a state of mental derangement, committed suicide within it.
In 1830 a school house was built on the road leading to Sugar Valley. This house was used for school purposes until 1861, and was also used as a church from the time of its erection until the building of the union church, in 1853.
Hon. James Chatham, Hon. G. O. Deise, Hon. J. W. Quiggle and James M. Deise received their early education in this school house. Wayne township has now four schools, with an average term of six months.
Among her early and prominent citizens, were the following; Hon. G. O. Deise, attorney at law, who served as District Attorney of Clinton county from 1859 to 1865, and as representative for two terms. He died in 1873 at the age of thirty-six years; and James M. Deise, a brother of G. O. Deise, also a lawyer, who served three terms as District Attorney of Clinton county. He died in 1879 at the age of thirty-nine years.
Hon. James W. Quiggle, father of Hon. Jas. C. Quiggle, who was a prominent lawyer and politician, was the first commissioners’ clerk of Clinton county. He was for several years associated with Allison White in the legal profession. He was Deputy Attorney General for four terms by appointment, and when the office became an elective one, he was elected by a large majority. He was elected State Senator in 1852, for the district composed of Clinton, Centre, Lycoming and Sullivan counties. Hon. C. A. Mayer read law with him, and for a time they were partners, practicing under the firm name of Quiggle & Mayer. In 1856 he removed to Philadelphia, where he was engaged in banking and real estate business until appointed by President Buchanan as United States Consul to Antwerp, Belgium, in 1859. He held the position three years, then, after a season spent in travel, returned to his home, where he died.
Hon. James Chatham, who was born in Wayne township in 1814, received the rudiments of his education in the old school house before mentioned; was a shoemaker by trade, and followed that occupation for seven years. For about twenty years he acted as river pilot between Lock Haven and Marietta. In 1848 he was elected sheriff of Clinton county. At the age of forty years he began the study of law with Hon. C. A. Mayer, and was admitted to the bar two years later. In 1861 he was elected to the Legislature, and afterwards twice received the nomination of his party for State Senator and once for Congress. For several years he was United states Commissioner for Clinton county in the Western District of Pennsylvania. The Chatham family came from near Milton, Pa. Colonel John Chatham owned land and erected a mill on "Chatham’s run" at a very early day. His daughter, Susan, Married Judge John Fleming, who died in 1817. Colonel Chatham was grandfather of Hon. James Chatham.
Wayne township is the seat of the West Branch camp meeting association grounds. These grounds were located on the banks of the McElhattan. The place was built up and greatly improved. Hundreds of tents and cottages were built. The grounds were laid out in streets and avenues, which were kept in the best of condition by the association. The place became quite popular as a summer resort. The June flood of 1889 swept away nearly every vestige of improvement, and damaged the grounds to such an extent that they were abandoned. The stock of the Association was held by members of the Methodist church, and the grounds were under their control.
The township is also the seat of the Pine Station camp meeting association grounds, which are located on Love’s run, three-fourths of a mile from the Philadelphia & Erie railroad. The stock of this association is nearly all held by members of the Evangelical association, and the meetings held each year are under their control. The grounds are beautifully located and well supplied with pure water. They are becoming quite popular as a place to spend the hot months of summer. Numerous and expensive improvements have been made to the place, and the association is at present in a very flourishing condition.
This township is located on the north side of the West Branch, opposite Lock Haven. It is bounded on the south by the river, on the west by Colebrook, on the north by Gallauher, and on the east by Dunnstable, and is about four by five miles in extent. It was organized in 1841, and named in honor of Hon. George W. Woodward, then President Judge of the district. In 1844 a portion of Dunnstable was annexed to the township, and in 1853 a part of Colebrook was added, so that now its area is considerably greater than when it was formed. The township is hilly and contains very little level land, with the exception of several hundred acres along the river. The soil is productive and especially adapted to fruit raising, and favorable to the production of grass, grain, etc.
The pioneer settlements of the township were made upon the present sites of Lockport and Dunnstown. The history of these villages will be given in their proper places.
The river flats of this township seem to have been a resort for the Indians. History tells us that at one time an Indian town stood where Dunnstown now stands; another called Pattersontown was located opposite the mouth of Chatham’s run. The next most important one was located on the level bottom, a short distance above Lockport, and belonged to the Monseys. Traces of their village were perceptible long after the arrival of the whites. The place is known to this day by the name of "Monseytown flats."
Upon the farm of Isaac A. Packer have been found the bones of two Indians buried in the soil. In the mouth of one of the skeletons there was a well preserved clay pipe, which is now in the possession of Mr. Packer.
In the spring of 1825 John Feller, John Witchey and Nicholas Ginter came from Switzerland and moved into what is now the "German settlement," then a dreary wilderness, without a house or hut or even a road. J. Feller built the first house, or rather log hut, in the settlement. Mr. Feller and seventeen men cut and hauled the logs, put up the house, split the boards, put on the roof and put in the windows all in one day. The next day Mr. Feller and family moved into their house. J. Witchey and N. Ginter put up houses soon after and began to clear up small patches for gardens, pasture, etc. This was all done without the aid of a team. Within ten years quite a number of people came from the "Faderland;" among whom were the Swopes, Probsts, Shoemakers and Wenkers.
The first school house was built in 1841. The first teacher was William Riley. The school house was afterwards remodeled and changed into an Evangelical church, and used for that purpose until 1869, when the new church was built. Woodward now has six schools, with an average term of six months.
The commissioners of Clinton county conferred a boon on the citizens of Woodward township when they purchased the river bridge and made it a county institution.