OLD LYCOMING TOWNSHIP.
LYCOMING, one of the original townships, now called Old Lycoming, to designate it from Lycoming, a subdivision of modern creation, was erected August 22, 1785, over nine years before Lycoming county was formed. The petition to the Northumberland court set forth the absolute necessity that this territory should b e, organized "for the purposes of order and a civil state of society," and prayed the court "to erect that part between Lycoming and Pine creeks, being near, fifteen miles, into one township; and from Pine creek upwards into another township," which was accordingly done, the former receiving the name of Lycoming, and the latter that of Pine creek. This territory had just been acquired from the Indians by the treaty of 1784, and it had been under Fair Play government for at least ten years.
The township officers chosen March 25, 1786, were as follows: Constable, John Johnston; overseers of the poor, Amariah Sutton and John McAdams; supervisors, William Winter and William Hammond; viewers of fences, William Jones and Samuel Sutton; assessor, Brattan Caldwell; collector of , taxes, Joseph Mahaffey. In 1788 the assessor returned 21,506 acres, 182 horses, 177 cows, and thirty single. men. Total valuation, £23,184; quota of State tax, £56; county tax, £24.
In its original boundaries Lycoming township extended from Lycoming creek to Pine creek, and the court annexed to it the lower end of Bald Eagle township, from opposite the mouth of Lycoming creek, and extending up the south side of the West Branch as far as opposite Pine creek, to include Nippenose valley, now in Limestone township. This was a large district for a township, but land was plenty in those days and the inhabitants were few, But the last 100 years have seen: Old Lycoming. divested of so much of her territory that she is now the thirty-first in size in the county, and contains only 8,960 acres. Her boundaries are as follows: On the east, Lycoming creek; on the north, Lycoming township; on the west, Woodward, and on the south, the city of Williamsport. The principal streams within her borders are Dougherty's and Bottle runs, while Lycoming creek forms her eastern line between Loyalsock township. By the census of 1890 the population was 589.
Looked at from a geological standpoint, Old Lycoming consists of formation (No. VIII) as the lowest observed (No. VI), (Lewistown limestone) sinking rapidly southward, and at Lycoming creek being some 2,000 feet or more beneath the surface, where, on the west side of the creek, Genesee (VIII d) or Hamilton (VIII C) forms the first rock under the valley drift at a depth of sixty-five feet from the surf ace, and makes up about the entire area of the township, except a small part along the north line, which is supposed to be Red Catskill (No. IX).
The mineral developments in this township are meager. There are some good rock exposures, where flag and building stone might be quarried; Youngman's quarry at Newberry is extensively worked. The first fossil ore belt on the south dip passes along the north line of the township. The surface is generally rolling with some high ridges, and there are some very fine farms along Lycoming creek.
Early History. - The history of Old Lycoming commenced before Revolutionary times and will be found fully detailed in the earlier chapters of this work. Newberry, the first town laid out in this part of the county, was within its borders, and then came Jaysburg. John Sutton's trouble in getting a title for the land on which he. laid out Newberry is described in Chapter XX. The names of the early settlers will be found in the enumeration lists for 1796 and 1800, given in Chapter XV. The first courts in the county were held at Jaysburg, and there the first jail was located and kept till the beginning of 1800. French Margaret's Town stood near where Jaysburg was founded, and there is where the Moravian missionaries met her in 1753.
Jaysburg had been laid out in lots soon after the county was formed, by Jacob Latcha, and strenuous efforts were made to found a town. Buildings were erected and stores and shops and a tavern were opened. In fact it was the only settlement at that time in this part of the county that could lay claim to being a town. And in order to give a further impetus to improvements Jacob Latcha on the 13th of August, 1796, conveyed "lot No. 133, fronting southward on Fifth street," to John Cummings and John Stewart, trustees, in consideration of 5 shillings, for the erection thereon of an "English school house." The tradition is that the school house was built, but who the first teacher was is unknown. The township enumeration report shows that in 1796 Robert Young, John McMachan, and Samuel Reed were "schoolmasters," and possibly they all taught at Jaysburg.
Prominent Settlers. - William McMeens was a native of South Carolina. He first located in Cumberland county, near Carlisle, where he married Miss Sharen, of a distinguished Presbyterian family. They came to the West Branch valley and settled on the river opposite Lewisburg, and at the first court held in Northumberland county (1772) he served as the constable of Turbutt township. At the end of four years (1776) they removed to "Long Reach," and settled on the river in what was afterwards Lycoming township. They were driven off at the time of the "Big Runaway," and did not return until 1791. During their absence he served a short time as a captain in the Revolutionary army. He died about the close of the century and, was buried in the Newberry graveyard. His family consisted of two sons, John and William, and three daughters, Margaret, Jane, and Rachel. The first married Stephen Fennes, the second, William Watson, father of Oliver Watson, and Rachel, the third, died unmarried.
John McMeens, first son of William, afterwards known as Colonel McMeens, became a man of considerable prominence. He was one of the county commissioners in 1808. In 1809 he was appointed a State commissioner, with Jabez Hyde, of Luzerne county, and Samuel Hunter Wilson, of Centre county, to superintend the disbursement of an appropriation made by the legislature to improve the navigation of the Susquehanna river to the mouth. He was chosen a member of Assembly from this district in 1814 and 1818. Colonel McMeens was a remarkable man, of great energy and untiring industry. When young his opportunities to acquire an education were limited, but on attaining manhood be took up his studies and succeeded in becoming a good scholar. Governor Synder appointed him a justice of the peace and he filled the office creditably. His wife was a Miss Ritchey. They had three sons: Robert, John, and William, and four daughters: Margaret, Elizabeth, Anna, and Rosina. Of the sons Robert became a surgeon in the United States Navy, John emigrated to California and died there, and William died here. Elizabeth married Dr. Andrew Hepburn, of Williamsport; Anna married Dr. Massey, who died in Kansas, and Rosina and Rachel died unmarried. The date of the death of Colonel McMeens was not discovered by the author, but it must have occurred about 1820 or 1822. He was buried at Newberry.
Thomas Mahaffey settled on the west side of Lycoming creek in 1773, and built a log cabin near what is now bridge No. 2. He was a soldier in the Revolution. During the Indian invasion of 1778 his house was burned. On the restoration of peace he returned and built another house. Thomas Mahaffey was a man noted for his strength and courage. He had four sons, viz: Moses; William; John, and James; and several daughters. Moses was the father of Lindsay, David, and William. Mahaffey. John was the grandfather of Sheriff Thomas Mahaffey. The descendants of the pioneer are numerous, and several of them reside in Williamsport.
In 1787 Dirck (now called Derick) Updegraff purchased over 500 acres of land from Clark and Dougherty, and soon afterwards located here. Mr. Updegraff at that time lived at or near York. After making his purchase he removed hither. On account of old Fair Play claims he became involved in., a lawsuit which lasted six years, but he finally won and got his title. With the, aid of five grown up boys he cleared a farm which became one of the finest on the river. His barn was the largest in the county and stood for years as a monument of its builder. He prospered and in course of time purchased what were known as the Weir and Latcha farms, seven miles up the river. Derick Updegraff's sons were Herman, Samuel, Daniel, George, and Martin. He divided his estate among them, and many of their descendants still live in the county and city.
Mills. - The flouring mill of John Good, on Lycoming creek, was, built in 1798 by Thomas Caldwell. In 1833 it was purchased from his heirs by Lloyd & Oliver; and afterwards it was run by Anderson Harvey for several years. In 1858 the mill was purchased by George Good, who carried it on until 1874, when he sold out to his son, John Good, who still owns it. In 1886 he greatly improved the mill by introducing the roller process and other modern improvements. It is one of the oldest mills in the county. When Caldwell came over from the Culbertson mill and built it, there were few improvements in the township; and it becomes more historic, from the fact that one of the first if not the first saw mill in this part of the county was built there, and was the beginning of the great lumber industry of Williamsport.
Churches and Schools. - There is one German Baptist church in the township, situated near Buchanan; also three school houses, viz: Bottle Run, Oak Grove, and Franklin. The report for 1891 shows six months taught by three female teachers, whose pay averaged $32.50 per month. Number of male pupils, 55; female, 61.
Anthony was erected September 7, 1844, out of territory, taken from Lycoming township and named in honor of Joseph B. Anthony, then president judge of this judicial district. It is the thirty-third in size and contains an area of 8,640 acres. It is bounded on the east by Lycoming, on the north by Cogan House, on the west by Mifflin, and on the south by Woodward.
In its geological aspect it consists of Chemung (No. VIII) located in two belts across the township about one mile and a quarter wide. Alternating with these are two bands of Red Catskill (No. IX), and then the same formation occurs up the valleys of the streams and at the foot of the mountain, forming several red shale districts. Above this occurs Pocono (No. X), forming the side of the mountain, while next is observed Mauch Chunk (umbral) red shade (No. XI) forming the top Of the lower part of the mountain. Pottsville conglomerate (No. XII) occupies the crest of the mountain. The upper part of this township forms part of the south escarpment of the Allegheny range, at an elevation of 1,850 to 1,900 feet above tide. Fossil iron ore of the Chemung measures has been mined quite extensively. The surface of the lower part is rolling; in the upper part are high ridges and mountains. The old State road, built in 1800, passes over the mountain on the eastern line of the township.
Anthony is an offspring of Old Lycoming, and its territory during the perilous period of the Indian wars belonged to the Fair Play domain, and its early history would be but a repetition of the history of those times. The names of its early settlers will be found in the enumeration of taxables made in 1796 and 1800, printed in Chapters XIV and XV. Brattan Caldwell was one of the early leading men, followed by Alexander, on the head waters of Queneshaque; John Robinson and George Herne were early settlers on Hoagland's run; Gideon and John Williamson, from Bucks county, located early on the head waters of Queneshaque.
The principal streams running through this township are Larry's creek, Queneshaque, and Hoagland's run. The first two empty into the river and the latter into Lycoming creek. Pine run, on which Brattan Caldwell lived about a mile from its mouth, heads in this township and falls into the river. There are two sawmills, one owned by the late John Slonaker and one by C. W. Williamson. They are not far from Salladasburg.
Two Churches are found in this township St. John's Evangelical, and the German Baptist. The latter was incorporated, February 8, 1879, (See Deed, Book 4 K, page 369) under the title of the "German Baptist Church of Anthony Township," and the following names are appended to the charter, William E. Kunkel, William S. Kiess, Jacob L. Ulmer, John Heinlen, Christopher Sheets, Jacob Ulmer, Daniel Getz, David Waltz, Conrad Waltz, Samuel F. Waltz, George Waltz, Samuel Ulmer, Daniel Ulmer, Abraham Kiess, William H. Ulmer, Abraham Sheets, John A. Ulmer, William Kiess, George F. Waltz, John Sheets, John Marquardt, Nicholas Marquardt, and Christopher Auch. Of these twenty-three signers seven are now deceased. The semi-centennial of this and of the Blooming Grove and Fairfield churches, all founded at the same time, was observed in Williamsport in September, 1891. These were the first German Baptist churches founded in America, and a fuller account of their origin will be found in the review of Hepburn township.
Schools. - There are five school houses, viz: Greenwood, Kiess, Stony Gap, Steam Mill, and Pine Run.
Early in 1855 petition was made to the court praying for a division of Anthony township, whereupon Charles Hepburn, Samuel Torbert, and J. S. Runyan were appointed viewers. They reported in favor of division, March 31, 1855, and on the 23d of November of the same year, the court made a decree dividing the township and directed that the new part be called Woodward, in honor of Apollos Wood ward, of Williamsport, who was on the bench as an associate judge. It is the twenty-sixth in size and contains an area of 9,600 acres. It is bounded on the east by Old Lycoming and the city of Williamsport, on the north by Lycoming and Anthony, on the west by Piatt, and on the south by the river. By the census of 1890 the population was 817.
Geologically the township consists of Lower Helderberg limestone (No. VI) in the bends of the river above Linden, but it is all concealed, with the exception of a few exposures where the roll in the measures brings it up to the surface, and dipping to the south at Linden. The next formation is (No. VIII) Chemung, which occupies the greater portion of the township, excepting a very narrow belt of Red Catskill (No. IX), along the line adjoining Anthony township. A number of exploitations for galena have been made upon Queneshaque run, but no occurrence of it has been discovered. Building and flagstone are found at quite a number of places. The surface of the township is rolling, with fine bottom farming land on the river.
The principal stream in the township is Queneshaque run, with, Kulp's run as a tributary, and Pine run in its northwestern corner. The famous stream with the generally unpronounceable Indian name, Quen-is-chasch-hacki, falls into the river just east of the village of Linden. Heckewelder, the Moravian missionary, and best authority on Indian names and their meaning, says the Delaware Indians, who had a village where Linden now stands, called the "Long Reach" by this name. The "Reach" is a stretch of water in the river, several miles in length, with such a dead, sluggish current, that it can scarcely be seen to move. Hence the Indians called the West Branch Quen-ischachachgek-hanne, which word has been corrupted into Susquehanna. Zeisberger, another eminent Moravian missionary and scholar, thus defines the word: Quin, long; Quenek, length; Schasehack-ki, straight-meaning "long straight water." The white settlers called the creek by the Indian name for the "Long Reach," which was corrupted into "Queen-e-shock-any". It is now generally written "Queneshaque" On the Historical Map of Pennsylvania, drawn by P. W. Sheafer and published by the State Historical Society, the word is spelled Quinishahaguy.
Pioneers. - One of the leading and representative men within what is now the territory of Woodward during the stormy times of the Revolution and Indian invasion was Brattan Caldwell. He was a native of County Kildare, Ireland, and came to this country about 1770, landing at Philadelphia. The Hughes brothers had preceded him in 1760, and settled in Donegal, Lancaster county, where be joined them. Attracted by the flattering, reports of the fine lands on the West Branch, they came here in 1772 and settled west of Lycoming creek. They soon discovered that the lands were in dispute and that they were outside of the Province. In the party were the Toners, McClarin, Magee, James Hughes, and Brattan Caldwell. The latter located on the Indian path on a beautiful flat east of Pine run, near where the public road crosses that stream. There he erected a cabin and made some improvements. On the breaking out of Indian troubles he abandoned the place and his cabin was burned.
In the winter of 1775 Caldwell married Miss Elcy, daughter of James Hughes. Tile marriage ceremony was performed at a cabin in Nippenose bottom by a justice of the peace, and the contracting parties and their friends crossed the river on the ice. The land on the south side of the river was in the Province, and a justice of Northumberland county could act there. This wedding is said to have been the first one that occurred in the settlements west of Lycoming creek, and the event was cause for a great jollification.
Being outside the jurisdiction of the Province of Pennsylvania, and therefore having no laws for their protection and guidance, the settlers organized the Fair Play system and elected three commissioners to administer local laws and see that all had "fair play." Brattan Caldwell became a leading commissioner and frequently served in that capacity.
At the time of the "Big Runaway" he fled with his wife to Lancaster county, where they remained until it was safe to return. After the treaty of 1784 he took out a pre-emption warrant for the land on which he had originally settled and secured 315 acres, for which he was granted a patent.
Brattan Caldwell and wife reared a family of eight children - three sons and five daughters. The sons were named James, David, and John. James lived and died on Pine run. The others went west. The daughters were named Nancy, Elizabeth, Susan, Margaret, and Mary. Elizabeth married Adam King and they went west in 1835 and settled near Indianapolis. Their descendants now reside there. Margaret married William Pearson and they settled near Cincinnati. Nancy, the eldest, remained single, and Susan died young. Mary became the wife of James Watson and they settled in Jersey Shore. Mr. Watson was one of the first storekeepers in that place. Their descendants, the Miss Watsons, are all deceased.
Caldwell, his wife, and daughter Susan all died within a short time of each other, about 1810 or 1811, of some disease like yellow fever, and are supposed to have been buried in the old cemetery on West Fourth street, Williamsport. He was an active and useful man in the community. His name occurs often on the official records after the organization of the county, as assessor, overseer of the poor, and foreman of grand juries,
One of the old settlers, a short distance west of Linden, was John Bennett. In 1797 be purchased a tract of 3261 acres of land from Dennis Toner, 'which had been surveyed to him on a pre-emption warrant dated May 2, 1785. Soon after making the purchase he married Miss Margaret Clendenin. In 1798 he opened an inn at a house which stood at the foot of the bill a short distance from what was afterwards known as the Bennett House, sign of the "Buck," in stage coaching days. This hotel was a popular place of resort, especially for shad fishing parties at Toner's island. The militia also met here on "training days" and some lively times were witnessed. Mr. Bennett died about 1841 at an advanced age. He left two sons, William and John, and five daughters. John became sheriff of the county in 1847. Both are deceased. Of the daughters Nancy married William Mahaffey; Rebecca, Seth Rogers; Hannah, David McMicken; Margaret, Frank Carothers; Elizabeth, first, James R. Hughes, second, John Hughes, who was a relative of her first husband. John Bennett married, second, Morey Sutton, of Newberry. They had two sons and three daughters. Nearly all are deceased.
The Hughes family were older settlers than Bennett. Among others who came later were the Maffets, Griers, and Wiers. In the chapter on the Fair Play system reference will be found to the Hugheses and other early settlers, and the trials and troubles they experienced.
Mills. - Woodward has no grist mills within its borders; there are three saw mills, however. One, near Linden, is operated by John Campbell, and is also prepared to grind chop. Thomas Smith has one on Queneshaque run by steam and water, and Mr. Waltman operates a small mill near Linden, which also grinds chop.
Linden, the only village, is situated on the public road leading to Williamsport. Being on high ground a fine view of the rivet and the great boom is afforded, as well as that rich agricultural district on the south side of the river known as "Susquehanna bottom," In 1832, when the canal was being built, the contractor erected a number of shanties for his laborers, and the people called it "Shanty Town." In course of time better buildings were put up and it grow into a pleasant village. A hotel was opened by Paul Brewer, who kept it for many years. Afterwards William Maffet opened another hotel, which he kept for some time. In course of time both of these hotels passed out of existence, but another one was opened, which is still kept up.
A postoffice was established April 18, 1832, and called Level Corner. It was located at the cross roads near the present residence of Marshall M. King. James Russell Barr was the first postmaster. His successors were George L. Armstrong, appointed December 17, 1832; William Maffet, June 10, 1834 (Maffet moved it to his hotel a short distance further east); Paul Brewer, January 14, 1843 (He kept a hotel in the village, and at the suggestion of John Wier, the postoffice was named Linden in 1845, a name by which it has been known up to the present time); Margaret E. Lyon, January 28, 1846; Andrew J. Toner, July 22, 1852; Thomas Johnston, June 3, 1853; William Bennett, Jr., September 13, 1856; Thorn as, Johnston, February 13, 1857; Jeremiah Donachy, December 27, 1864; Ellen Donachy, March 20, 1868; Jennie Donachy, December 21, 1869; William Bennett, May 3, 1888. He is the present incumbent.
Schools. - Woodward has six school houses, viz: Linden, Oak Grove, Pine Run, Limber Bridge, Forest Glen, and Stewart's.
Churches. - Of churches, there are two at Linden - one Presbyterian and one Methodist. The former was organized in 1859, but it never has been entirely self-sustaining. The third and last church is located at "Emery's," and belongs to the Christian denomination. Near it is an old cemetery where many of the early settlers are buried. It is the only one in the township.
This township was formed of territory taken from Old Lycoming. April 26, 1858, a petition was read in court praying for a division of the township by a "line commencing at a point on Lycoming creek at or between Little Beauty's run and the division line of lands of John K. Hays and Squire Hays, on said creek." The court appointed William Fink, Thomas P. Simmons, and J. W. Milnor as viewers. They reported in favor of a new township, August 3, 1858, and an election was ordered to be held at Newberry October 12, 1858. The result was 124 votes in favor of a new township and seventy-four against. On the 2d of December, 1858, the following decree was made by Judge Jordan: "The court directs that that part of Lycoming township between the river and the division be called Old Lycoming township, and the part between said line and Cogan House and Lewis townships be called Lycoming township."
Next to the mother township, Lycoming is the thirty-second in size, and has an area of 8,704 acres, with a population of 643 by the census of 1890. It is bounded on the east by Loyalsock and Hepburn, on the north by Lewis and Cogan House, on the west by Anthony, and on the south by Old Lycoming. It consists of Chemung measures (No. VIII) with its subdivisions (VIII e, Portage) and I(VIII f, Chemung), which cross the township in two belts about one mile and a half wide, which lie on either side of a belt of red shale. This belt of red shale and shaly sandstone is supposed to belong to Red Catskill (No. IX). Another belt of red shale lies north of Hoagland's run at the foot of the mountain, extending in Some places two-thirds up the side of the mountain, with the next succeeding formation (No. X, Pocono) forming part of the south escarpment of the main Allegheny chain from north of Hoagland's run to Lycoming creek, below Crescent.
Iron ore mines were worked from 1854 to 1875 quite extensively on the farms of Isaiah Hays, Jesse Quigel, William Bowen, and J. M. McClarren. The last working was about 1883. All the ore banks are good localities for fossil plates and casts. Along Lycoming creek below Cogan Station good flag and building stone may be found. A drill hole was put down at Quigelville in 1866 some 300 feet, but making a flat hole it was abandoned.
There is a very interesting up throw of the measures of Chemung (No. VIII) along the valley of Lycoming, on the west side, where the public road leads from the creek to the State road along Beauty's run, which consists of a number of sharp crested and knob like hills. They may be seen very plainly just west of the line of the Northern Central railroad.
First Settlers. - The history of the early setters is blended with the history of Old Lycoming, and their names will be found in the enumeration lists of 1796 and 1800, already referred to. After the Revolutionary war the Hayses, Quigels, Groves, Knights, Adam Hale, Artley, and David Kulp settled along Hoagland's, run, and Asa Conn, Jacob Rickert, Adam Han, Jacob Bower, William Blair, and Catharine Reed settled on Beauty's run and made improvements. In 1784 James Kyle settled on the place afterwards owned by Robert Hays.
Quigelville. - The principal streams running through the township, are Hoagland's run, and Big and Little Beauty's run, with Lycoming creek washing its eastern border. Quigelville, a hamlet of about a dozen houses, is located on Hoagland's run. It has two churches, Evangelical and Lutheran, one store by W. B. Flook, a water power saw mill, run by Whitman & Ludwig, and postoffice. The latter was established December 4, 1886, and called Lycoming, and Joseph Moyer was appointed postmaster. He was succeeded September 9, 1889, by William B. Flook, who is the present incumbent. There is another saw mill in the township run by Henry Reighard.
Perryville, a hamlet of about ton houses, is situated on Lycoming creek. It has one general store conducted by Valentine Stiber, and a flouring mill run by L. Corter. The first mill was built by Isaiah Hays in 1831. In 1837 it was burned. He rebuilt it the next year. Mr. Hays was a remarkable man. He was born in February, 1796, on Warrior run, and died November 18, 1889, in his ninety-fourth year. He settled on Lycoming creek with his parents in 1805, and during his long life was an active, industrious man, and did much to reclaim the country and promote its interests. Mr. Hays and his wife lived together sixty-four years, when she died in 1882. His father, who was named John, was nicknamed "umbrella," to distinguish him, as there was a "curly" John, and a "black" John.
Schools. - Lycoming has five school houses, named as follows: Perryville, Quigelville, State Road, Maple Springs, and Pleasant Hill. The 1891 report shows six months taught by three male and two female teachers, with an average pay per month of about $28. Number of male scholars, eighty-one; female, 104.