History of the counties of McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter, Pennsylvania
By M. A. Leeson, Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1890, 1259  pages

Submitted by: Connie Putnam

 

Extract begins on page 1084 
CHAPTER XIV: HARRISON TOWNSHIP 
EARLY NAMES AND LOCATIONS - FIRST SCHOOL TEACHER
EARLY CHURCHES - BUSINESS HOUSES, HOTELS, MILLS, ETC.
HARRISON VALLEY - BUSINESS CIRCLE - METHODIST AND BAPTIST CHURCHES, SOCIETIES, ETC.
THE VILLAGE OF MILLS - ITS LUMBER AND  OTHER INTERESTS
I.O.O.F.
TOWNSHIP OFFICERS ELECTED IN FEBRUARY, 1890.


   HARRISON TOWNSHIP occupies the northeast corner of the county. 
Here the headwaters of the Cowanesque wander everywhere through Chemung 
valleys, all productive as well as picturesque. The Catskill formation, 
however, covers the greater area, with Pocono just peeping in from the south 
and east. A grit of grindstone outcrops a mile southeast of Harrison valley, 
on the old H. Holcomb tract, distinct layers appearing above the Cowanesque, 
while in the northeast corner a ferruginous limestone exists in the junction 
layers of the Chemung and Catskill, which supplies a good lime for 
agricultural purposes, and may be used for mortar. The old lime-kiln is 
remembered by N. H. Stone for forty-five years; but Mr. Stevens states that 
there was no lime burned there since he arrived. 
   The population in 1880 was 1,162. In 1888 there were 288 Republican, 77 
Democrat, 19 Prohibitionist and one Union Labor votes, representing 1,925 
inhabitants. In 1889 there were 590 taxpayers, while the assessed value was 
$123,693. Thaddeus Stone and William H. Warner came in 1825, settling one 
mile west of White's corners, and immediately after immigration flowed in 
until 1831. There were in the township the following taxpayers: William,
Thomas and Hiram Colvin (moved to Mercer county); Abel (died in Michigan)
and Calvin (died here) Commings; Joe H., Francis and Thomas J. Cornish (all 
dead) ; Peter and Lewis Chamberlin, Joseph Cole (who settled on the old John
White farm). Henry A. Cousens, George Champlin, Silas Billings, S. R.
Barton, George Bowman, Samuel Baker, Leonard Brace, Squire Benjamin, Theo.
Doty (lived in Bingham) and son, Thomas English (died six years ago), George
Doty, Elisha English (died in New York State), John Erway (died many years
ago), John Foy, Alb. Ferris Amasa Finch, William Gleeson (moved away),
Samuel, Owen and George Gardner (Owen Gardner killed his wife by accident),
Samuel Goodrich, Giles Hurlbut (died half a mile below the village), David
Holmes, Samuel Ingersoll, Joseph Johnson, Archibald Knox, Aaron Kelly, Steve
Hall, Charles H. Metcalf, Stephen Outman (died fourteen years ago), Ansel
Purple, Asa Perry (lived on North fork, and hanged himself about forty-
eight years ago), Bazle, Robert and Levi Phelps, James Rose, Dennis Hall,
Dan Rooks (died about 1879); Thaddeus (died in 1885), Rensallaer, Levi K.
and Levi Stone; Horace Streeter, Henry Stebbins, Nathaniel Summers (moved to
Mercer county, Penn.), Zalnathan Smith, Samuel W. Stone (died in 1888),
Joseph Shourgoun, Martin Snyder, Miles Thompson (died on Kettle creek), Eli
and Hiram Taylor (died here in early years), Isaac Thompson (sawmill owner
and Baptist deacon), James Trowbridge, Elijah Tubbs, William H., Samuel and
Nathaniel Warner, Dan Wise, Philander Wise and Charles H. Richman; William
H. Warner (who died west of White's corners about twenty-eight years ago, 
and had an old-time buggy or gig), and Elisha English and Thomas Colven, the
assessors; Zalmon Robinson, who was an old surveyor, resided here, and also 
Samuel Robinson, the Whites, Phil McCutcheon, Jonathan Smith and the
Pearces, one of whom was killed by a tree. 
   The early locations are pointed out as follows: Half a mile southwest of 
the village was Springer's log cabin, in 1849. Deacon Thompson had a frame 
house where the village of Mills now is, also Jerry Thompson, his son; while 
between the settlers named was a deserted house, afterward occupied by B.
Stillson; Kenny's log-house was just west of that village, while, beyond, 
Aaron Webster held the present Hubbard Harrison farm; the Beebe and Fuller
farms being beyond this. At the foot of the Beebe hill, one Commings was 
killed during a quarrel, in 1851 or 1852. On the old State road to Genesee 
fork lived Ira Ellis, about half a mile beyond H. N. Stones's present house; 
while beyond was the log-house of Elijah Ellis, and still farther, Arnold
Hunter, then Ephraim Olney, Amos English, - Head, Thomas and Elisha English,
the Schofields, Thomas Cornish, Willard Pearce, Aaron Marble and Solomon
Burtis; Benj. Tubbs (father of Elijah, named above) was one of the oldest 
settlers; Samuel Haynes was here prior to 1849, when Kelsey Stevens' family 
arrived. There were several farms cleared along the valleys, in 1849, but 
where Harrison Valley now is, only one house, Goodman's, existed then, which 
was a frame; while below, where Henry Commings' widow resides, was a double 
log-house, built by Harvey Metcalf before the "thirties;" but when Mr. 
Stevens came in 1849, a farmer named Daggett resided there. Thomas Colvin's
house was half mile below where Rednor now resides, near the tannery in 
which he kept hotel; half a mile farther down was Hiram's house, still 
standing and looking almost as well as it did in 1849; Nathaniel Summers, 
Israel Doge's saw-mill, the Erways, Mr. Courtright (a soldier of 1812), the 
Sacketts, Claus Warner, Scoville and Daniel Rooks (one of the pioneers). On 
the road to White's corners were S. W. Stone, and one-half-mile north the 
Stevens family arrived they purchased the next farm owned by Abel Commings,
who moved to Michigan, next Calvin, Ezra, Henry and Alfred Commings; Samuel
Howe, Thaddeus Stone, Henry Hurlbut, Giles Hurlbut, Samuel Robinson; then
Samuel Howe and Harvey Metcalf (west of the main road); the Taylors lived
above Robinson; Samuel Haines (now part of the Erway farm), then Stephen
Outman; next the Smiths, Aaron Marbles, Dr. White, a pioneer physician (Dr. 
Rich resided here before 1849), the Hunts, and the Warners; John White (the
merchant), Sol Burtis (who held the Tubbs farm), the Lattas, William H.
Warner and sons, and the Dickeys resided on the Rose farm, and so on to the 
three corners where the settlements ended. The following named also resided 
on the road down the creek; the Richmonds, the Wykoffs (where Dan Metcalf
lived in 1849), and between the Colvins was Sol. S. Robinson. Scattered
throughout the township. in 1849, were Samuel Metcalf, Oliver Potter, Theo.
Holcomb (came later), Theo. Metcalf, Charles Gill, Silas Fox (a soldier of 1812, whose widow is now a Pensioner), Charles Gill, Oliver Jacob, Isaac Herbert (where is Fletcher's farm), the
Jacobs and Bazil Phelps. In another district were the Hubbards, the Cottons,
David Kibbe (on the Whistler, owned by H. N. Stone for the last thirty
years), Phil. McCutcheon, Lewis White (on the Alex. White farm); William
Gill has resided on the Whitney farm for the last forty years. East of
White's corners were Morgan Johnson and DeWitt White (who lived on the old
Pearce farm for forty years); Thomas Statham has resided on the Asa Perry
farm for forty years; the Steadman farm was occupied by J. Smith; also Henry Clark's farm, and north, the Statham farms.
   East of the Statham farms, toward the northeast corner of the county, 
were Octavus Steadman and Nelson Gill, while on the Tioga County line were 
Simeon Lewis, the Wilkinsons, Joseph Lilly, Reuben Harris (the peddler and
store-keeper at North Fork, who made potash and black salts), Ezekiel

Hotchkiss (the blacksmith, whose wife used the camp-fire for a kitchen), J.
I. Harris and Samuel Warner (an old gray-haired man in 1849; who traveled on 
his bare feet). 
   David Gardner's water saw-mill was erected near the line-kiln which is in 
running order still. On the cross road running west were Eber and Lyman
Dibble, Thomas J. Kibbe, Joe Cotton; and west from E. Hotchkiss' house were 
James Snyder, Frank Steadman and John Snyder. White's Corners Cemetery, and 
sundry graves on the bank of the river, near the Harrison Valley lumber 
mills, show where many of the early settlers were buried, Mrs. Giles Hurlbu
being among the first adults buried there.
   Mrs. Rensallaer Stone, now a  resident of Hector. was one of the first school teachers in Harrison. 
   The post-offices in Harrison township are as follows: Elmer, Harrison Valley, Mills, North Fork and White's Corners. 
   The Baptist Church of Harrison Valley was incorporated September 22, 
1855, on petition of J. C. Thompson, Isaac Thompson, J. B. Watrous, Thomas
A. Watrous, Kelsey Stevens, O. Watt, B. W. Stillson, Lewis S. Robertson, P.
W. Griffin, S. S. Rasco, S. K. Stevens and George Hurlbut, the trustees, and 
other members, but prior to this the Baptists of the district were Lewis
Manning, William Gill and Elder Thomas. In 1837 John Rooks, the clerk of the 
society here, reported thirty-five members. In 1850 the society was received 
into the Canisteo Association, and in 1862 the association assembled at 
Harrison Valley. The Methodist Church of Harrison township was incorporated 
in December, 1855, with Thomas Statham, Edwin Statham, Henry Clark, Merrill
Sackett and Nelson Gill, trustees. A church house was built by the society 
at North Fork, which is still in use. White's Corners Cemetery Association 
was organized December 15, 1874, with W. J. Latta, James Ladd, W. L. Warner,
Lewis White and E. Statham, trustees. The cemetery is about as well kept as 
that at Ulysses. The general stores of W. H. Warner and H. O. Chapin are 
located in this old Settlement. At North Fork is the O. H. Snyder store, and
at Elmer is that of Manning & Dodge
   The township officers elected in February, 1890, are: Justice of the 
peace, A. A. Swetland; supervisor, Frank Steadman; constable, Fred Harrison;
town clerk, L. G. Stevens; treasurer, George White; auditor, C. Van Debo;
overseer of the poor, H. N. Stone; judge of election, J. O. Potter;
inspectors of election, G. E. Havens, E. Outman.

HARRISON VALLEY.;
   The first post-office Mr. Stone remembers at Harrison Valley was at Col- 
***************continued on Page 1089 
vin's , and Bennett, who lived there in 1849, was postmaster. Among the old 
postmasters were Henry Commings, Widow Fletcher, Hamilton White (who 
resigned and left the settlement without an office), Norman Buck (appointed 
about 1865), Jason W. Stevens (appointed in 1869, and served until succeeded 
by Hamilton White in 1885). In April, 1889, C. H. Doud was appointed. The 
first store at Harrison Valley was that of Richard Goodman, who was in 
business here about 1844. Henry Commings opened a grocery and notion store 
some time later. Lewis Stone opened a stock in 1852-53. In 1860 Simon Wilcox
built a store-house, which is now the rear of the Opera House. Norman Buck
followed Wilcox, and continued business from 1863 to 1870; Morris Kizer
followed in 1870-71, when Brown & Noble rented the store from Buck, while S. 
K. and J. W. Stevens purchased Kizer's stock. The pioneer store was 
continued by Widow Goodman from about 1855 (the time of her husband's death) 
to 1867, when G. W. and S. K. Stevens rented the building and purchased the 
stock, which, next year, was sold to L. S. Robertson & Son, who in 1869 sold 
to J. W. Stevens, who carried on business in the old house until 1876, when 
he erected his present store-house. In 1878 Mrs. Goodman resumed business in 
the old house, and continued two years, after which the house was variously 
occupied. In 1884 G. W. Stevens & Son built their present store adjoining 
the old building. 
   The first hotel, other than Colvin's, which stood where the Harrison 
Valley House now stands, was an old log-house, built about sixty years ago 
by one Stratton, and the hill, where H. N. Stone's house is, was called 
Stratton Hill. Purple followed about 1835, and he was followed by Hiram
Colvin, next by his widow, then by Richard Goodman, next  by Sam. Goodell or 
Bartholomew, Jed. Thompson, G. W. Stevens, and H. N. Stone; the latter 
bought Stevens' interests and sold to Isaac Hurlbut twenty-one years ago. 
Hurlbut sold to Phillips, who rebuilt the house, and sold to Mrs. Rosalind
Hurlbut. Early in the "seventies" the village was made up of Hurlbut's hotel 
at the cross roads; N. Buck's store, opposite; Kruser's grist-mill and 
blacksmith shop, on the northwest corner; the Baptist Church, northeast of 
the hotel,; J. W. Stevens' store; Justice Beebe's office; J. P. Simmons'
general store; E. H. Robinson, blacksmith and wagon shops; Drs. H. R.
Kendall's office, and the dwellings of the persons named, with those of J.
Dunham, J. K. Burton, Charles Doud, McKinney Erway, J. Jennings, Mrs.
Commings and Mrs. Goodman. The Erway House was built in 1876 by McKinney 
Erway
, who has since conducted the house. J. Bottom & Co., grain dealers, 
1883, were the first railroad agents here and at Nelson (they erected a 
grain warehouse); then Dewitt Baxter, who was succeeded in December, 1888, 
by W. A. Ellison. The depot was built in 1883. 
   In 1860 Thompson & Wilson built a grist-mill between where the G. W.
Stevens' store and residence now stand. The concern was burned in 1870. 
Evans & Vandeusen's grist-mill on Main street, near the bridge, was built in 
1885, and continued in operation until destroyed by fire in February, 1889. 
N. Brown has been identified with the milling industry for years. The Davis 
& Co. planing mill and sash, door and blind factory was organized in April, 
1889, at a meeting over which H. N. Stone presided. G. B. Davis was chosen 
president; Lesley Stevens, secretary and treasurer; G. W. Stevens, W. L.
Haskell, G. E. Stone, W. Calkins, T. A. English, A. E. Martin, and the 
president, directors. The capital stock is $10,000. In June the buildings 
were completed and machinery introduced, and, later, the railroad was 
extended up the Cowanesque to this new industry. The Harrison Valley Tannery 
was erected for Walter Horton & Co. in the fall of 1881, while near the line 
of  Tioga county, are the acid works of Parkhurst & Co.   The tannery is a large 
concern of the character of those in Elk and McKean counties, giving 
employment to 55 hands, and producing over 100,000 sides of sole leather, 
annually, and using over 8,000 cords of bark. There are 21 tenement houses 
and a large boardinghouse, in connection with the tannery. The Parkhurst
Chemical Works were established on the Judd farm in 1880. 
   The business circle comprises the general stores of J. W. Stevens, built
in 1876; W. L. Haskell
, in 1885; B. F. Begell and C. N. Church; the clothing 
stores of G. W. Stevens & Son and Geo. Kettle; the drug-store of W. B.
Stevens, built by Phillips, in 1877; the hardware stores of G. A. Sheldon
built by Phillips, in 1879, and Chapin & Hubbard, built in 1885; the 
furniture store of F. L. Harrison, and the older store and undertaking 
establishment of C. H. Doud, partly built in 1860 and additions in 1887; 
Mrs. Chrisman's, Mrs. Erways and Miss Mulligan's millinery stores; Leonard &
Erway's livery; Jenning's shoe store; Miller's and Kent's barber shops; Geo.
Coykendall's meat-market; Heath's and Ross' blacksmith shops; the Harrison 
Valley House, and the Erway House. W. M. Manley's store is located near the 
tannery. The professions claim W. B. Brightman, an attorney; W. L. Colwell,
a dentist, and the physicians named in the general chapter, among whom is 
Dr. M. R. Pritchard.
   The Methodist Church of the township, noticed hitherto, embraced the 
members residing in the village. The society here was incorporated March 14, 
1881, with N. W. Hubbard, James Predmore, H. Harrison, C. Rawson, D. B.
Whitney and W. B. Fox, trustees. Among other names on the petition were 
Burt. Richardson, Jacob Burtis, C. Predmore, Amos King and D. D. Chapin.
From this time until the completion of the house of worship, in the summer 
of 1883, services were held in the Baptist Church. The Baptist Church was 
built about 1859-60, during the pastorate of L. S. Robinson, at a cost of 
$1,500, Nelson & Sylvanus Gardner being the contractors. This was the first 
church building here. Elder Ben. Thomas, who came to Harrison Valley, is 
named after a soldier who was wounded at Cold Harbor, and died at 
Washington. It was organized in Mary, 1889, with the following named 
members: 
J. W. Stevens, 53d P. V.  A. E. Holcomb, 53d P. V.
L. J. Knight, 86th N. Y. V.  L. A. Dorland.
M. R. Swetland, 189th N. Y. V. Fred Graham.
W. B. Fox, 53d P. V.   Burr Robinson.
C. L. Stone, 189th N. Y. V.   R. S. Wright.
Stephen Edwards.    S. K. Stevens, 189th N. Y.
Geo. Coykendall, 53d P. V.   John Smith, 10th N. Y.
A. A. Swetland, 189th N. Y. V.   G. W. Parker.
H. O. Chapin.    Ambrose D. Erway, 189th N. Y.
Isaac Hurlbut 82d P. V  C. H. Hubbard, 85th N. Y.
H. N. Stone, 189th N. Y. V.   Jason Haskins, 149th P. V.
E. Tadder.   J. M. Baxter, 149th P. V.
Jerome Stetson, 9th N. Y. V.  C. H. Doud, 53d P. V.
Geo. Whitman, 53d P. V.   T. F. Holcomb, 136th P. V.
C. G. Tripp.
   The Harrison Valley Aid Union, No. 522, was organized January 18, 1887. 
In 1889 the following named persons were members: George Smith, C. H. Doud,
C. L. Donaldson, Eugene Pickett, Irvin Wright, A. E. Holcomb, R. S. Wright,
Mrs. Wright, Mrs. George Smith, Mrs. Carr, C. R. Judd, Dr. Webster, Dell
Doud, Roy Gustin, John White, Mrs. Jane Mattison, Mrs. Jane White, Miss
Gettie Mattison, Mrs. Mosher, Mrs. Hunt, Mrs. Webster, Miss Edda Hunt, J. H.
Harrison, Mrs. J. H. Harrison, Mrs. Kennedy, H. Gustin, Mrs. Pickett, Zengerin Markson, John A. Robbins, George B. Mosher, Mrs. George B. Mosher, Mr. Kennedy, Mrs. Kennedy, Mrs. Webster, Mrs. Pickett
   Harrison Valley Cornet Band was organized in June, 1886, with R. W.
Swetland, president and leader; W. Denson, secretary and treasurer; Frank
Stevens, Dell J. Stone, Geo. E. Stone, Henry Swetland, C. Stevens, J. M.
Baker, G. C. Metcalf, W. Dildine, C. E. Burt, John Schwitzer and Roy Gustin
The instruments were purchased for about $150. 

 VILLAGE OF MILLS. 
   The lumber manufacturing village of Mills, two miles west of Harrison 
Valley, was established by William Lawrence about fifteen years ago. The 
mills have been operated by a few different firms, each of whom made an 
improvement, until now the old mill has disappeared in the surrounding 
buildings of Stanton & Shaff. Swetland & Walters' mill was established about 
thirteen years ago, and has been subjected to several improvements. George 
Walters
was killed by accident while at work in this mill, Mary 21, 1889. 
The Fallbrook Railroad Company have extended their road to Mills. 
   The old Hemlock House was erected by Swetland and Walters prior to the 
building of the mills, and is still conducted by Abner Carey .... The stores 
of Stanton & Shaff, F. P. Badgero and B. W. Harrison are at this point .... 
In June, 1888, Widow Commings' house, on the road between Mills and Harrison 
Valley, was blown up. It appears her son, Ray, placed some dynamite 
cartridges in the oven to dry, and the destruction of the house and narrow 
escape of his mother resulted. 
   Potter Lodge, I. O. O. F., No. 799, was organized at Mills, May 2, 1889, 
with twenty members, viz.: B. W. Harrison, P. G. : L. T. VanWie, N. G. ; A.
C. King, V. G. ; Henry Clark, Sec.; G. A. Walter, Treas.; P. E. Crow, Chap.;
H. H. Swetland, Asst. Sec.; J. E. Leonard, warden; George Kettle, O. G. ; W.
A. Stickley, I. G. ; C. A. Swetland, S. B. ; E. Havens, S. B. ; A. Coe, R.
S. ; F. P. Badgero, L. S. ; H. G. Howe, R. S. ; W. L. Howe, L. S. ; H. L.
Grover, Con.; and G. A. Sheldon, L. A. Elliott and James Brown, unofficial 
members. The number now belonging is seventy, with property valued at $400. 
The names of George A. Walter, who was killed May 21, 1889, and George
Kettle, of the original members, are the only ones on the death roll. 
 

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