Beer's "History of McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter PA."

Submitted by PHGS member Mike Henderson

History of McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter Pennsylvania, with Biographical Selections", J. H. Beers & Co., 1890, pp 229-30.


Late in 1837 Samuel Estes came to Ceres village, where he found a one half log and one-half plank house standing opposite the present Central Hotel. Within a few years (in 1841) he moved south of the creek and erected part of the present Oswayo House, which he conducted until the Western New York & Erie Railroad was built, when be nioved to Olean and built a hotel near the depot. In later years he moved to Minnesota, where he died.

In 1838 Nelson Peabody came to the Village. He found John Smith's general store and the Estes tavern. John King kept the  post-office where William K. King now resides; Cooper's old saw-mill, where Franklin Van Wormer's large mills are now situated, and the Youngs' mill, where is now the Minor mill, were in operation; the Methodists had a class here, which has been continued to the present time. Mr. Peabody was clerk in John Smith's store until February, 1840, when V. Perry Carter bought the concern and Mr. Peabody joined Russell Cooper in business and continued four or five years. V. Perry Carter pened his store after the death of John Smith, whose daughter he married in 1842.

In 1841 the residents of the Village grew tired of having to walk one and one-half miles to John King's house for their letters, and had V. Perry Carter petition the department for an office in the village. This petition was granted, but Mr. King interested John Keating and others in his cause and had the office returned to him. A little later Mr. Carter had a chart of the locality made and a new petition signed. The demand was manifestly so just that the department ordered the removal of the office to the village, where it has been continued to this day. Mr. King kept the post-office on the table in the family sitting-room, and into this each one who expected a letter had to go to seek it.

Josiah Priest, who, in 1850, wrote sketches of the Oswayo valley, was justice of the peace at Ceres. His papers were never published is the statement of Mrs. Keyser, while Mr. Carter is positive that parts or all of the papers appeared in print. 

Robert Hinds was the only merchant here in 1852. John Robarts was a trader here for a number of years; also Simpson & Barber, C. H. Smith, John B. Gleason, F. H. Raymond and G. Perry. Joseph Morse was postmaster here before the war, succeeding John King, and had the office in his house, which occupied the site of the Central Hotel, afterward the residence of V. Perry Carter until destroyed by the first fire, in 1869. In 1855 or 1556 Mr. Carter returned from Richburg, bought the Hinds store and was appointed postmaster, holding the office until his removal to Duke Centre, in 1879, when he was succeeded by Robarts, who in turn was succeeded by Call. Louis Carrier was appointed in 1885, but Miss Augusta Call conducted the office for eight years, or until the appointment of John B. Gleason in June, 1889.

When Nelson Peabody arrived there were two school buildings -- one south, where is the present school building on the Pennsylvania side, while the building on the New York side occupied the site of Wellington White's present home. These buildings continued in use until the present house was erected. In Ceres township in 1846 general stores were kept by P. B. Dedrick and Ralph Adams, and the tavern by Samuel Estes. In 1847 Dedrick & Pardy, Samuel Estes and C. Peabody were merchants; J. H. Wright and D. Dunham the new tavern-keepers.

In 1847 the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Ceres was incorporated. The oldest record in possession of tbe pastor shows the names of W. T. Lane, Honeoye; Joel Whitney, Lane school-house; Stephen Chapel, South Bolivar; R. D. Garrison, Pikeville (members joined the Nazarites), and B. C. Call of Ceres; Edward Nicholas and Calvin Blood of Shinglehouse were the class leaders. Later H. B. Robarts is named as leader of the Bell's run class, with Elisha B. West local preacher; A. Mallory was recording steward in 1867, while Mrs. F. G. Fuller is now recorder. The pastoral record goes back only to 1879, when A. B. Kelly was appointed. In 1882 Rev. W. Post and Rev. A. I. Blanchard came, and in 1886 Rev. W. H. Farnham. There are now seventy-nine members.

In 1840 Nelson Peabody was commissioned justice of the peace and held the office until elected associate judge in 1861. He was again commissioned and served until six or seven years ago. During the war he was deputy provost marshal for Ceres township. Among the soldiers of the district, many of whom belong to Portville Post, No.85, G. A. R., are the following named: Frank A.Chapman, Twenty-Ninth Ohio Infantry; F. F. Chapman, Eighty-fifth New York; Nat. Hendrix, Company A, Eighty-fifth New York; Henry B. Robarts, Eighty-fifth New York; John Frugan, New York Infantry; William Hyde, William Worden, Eighty-fifth New York; Frank Fuller, Eighty-fifth New York; John B. Gleason, Clark Wells and Edgar Wells, Forty-second Regiment, Pennsylvania Bucktails; Byron Lanphere and Robert Lanphere, Bucktails; Jacob Brock, Eighty-fifth New York; Adam Burdick, Eighty-fifth New York; Daniel and Matthew Burdick, Eighty-fifth New York; Lafayette Maxson, Eighty-fifth New York; James Gobles, Eighty-fifth New York; Martin Stephens, Pennsylvania Infantry; F. Maxson, Eighty-fifth New York; Robert Clark, Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania; Frank Van Wormer, Pennsylvania; A. De North, Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania; Moses Ford, Hiram Grow, Daniel Peabody, James Biggins and Amos Safford, Eighty-fifth New York (drowned in the Oswayo some years ago); Bill North, Bucktails; George North, Fifty.eighth Pennsylvania; George Lanphere, Eighty-fifth New York; James Hobbs, New York Infantry; ---- Carpenter (wounded at Gettysburg), Pennsylvania Infantry; William North, Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania; Volney Mix, Pennsylvania Infantry; Albert Lanphere, Bucktails; Freeman Puller, Bucktails; Philip Haines and Bennie Haines, Pennsylvania Infantry; F. Hawley, Eighty.fifth New York; Lewis Hawley, Eighty-fifth New York; John Hawley, Eighty-fifth New York; Floyd Hawley, Forty-second Pennsylvania; C. Melven, Forty-second Infantry; C. Bridge and West Bridge, Forty-second Pennsylvania Regimient; also Nate Foote, Thomas, John, and Alonzo Cushman, and Nathan Hand.

Charles B. Bailey, who resided in Ceres township before the war, now of Young Hickory, N. Y., was, in June, 1889, granted a back pension of $5,000, and $72 monthly. This large pension vas granted on account ol his total blindness. 

A. B. Luce was the first agent at Ceres of the Bradford, Eldred & Cuba Railroad in October, 1881. W. D. Chase took charge in February, 1882; E. D. Cummings in May, 1882; L. J. White in February, 1883, and in November, 1883, C. H. Gleason, the present agent, took charge. (Between 6,000 and 8,000 cords of bark will be shipped from Ceres this summer.)

In 1877 the White & Van Wormer Mill at Ceres was erected. This is one of the immense lumber industries of the county.

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