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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,
THE VILLAGE OF MILLS - ITS LUMBER AND OTHER INTERESTS
TOWNSHIP OFFICERS ELECTED IN FEBRUARY, 1890.
HARRISON TOWNSHIP occupies the northeast corner of the
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
and east. A grit of grindstone outcrops a mile southeast of Harrison
on the old H. Holcomb tract, distinct layers appearing above
while in the northeast corner a ferruginous limestone exists in the
layers of the Chemung and Catskill, which supplies a good lime for
agricultural purposes, and may be used for mortar. The old lime-kiln
remembered by N. H. Stone for forty-five years; but Mr. Stevens
there was no lime burned there since he arrived.
The population in 1880 was 1,162. In 1888 there were 288
Democrat, 19 Prohibitionist and one Union Labor votes, representing
inhabitants. In 1889 there were 590 taxpayers, while the assessed value
$123,693. Thaddeus Stone and William H. Warner came in 1825,
mile west of White's corners, and immediately after immigration flowed
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,
Barton, George Bowman, Samuel Baker, Leonard Brace, Squire Benjamin,
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
Samuel, Owen and George Gardner (Owen Gardner killed his wife
Samuel Goodrich, Giles Hurlbut (died half a mile below the village),
Holmes, Samuel Ingersoll, Joseph Johnson, Archibald Knox, Aaron Kelly,
Hall, Charles H. Metcalf, Stephen Outman (died fourteen years
Purple, Asa Perry (lived on North fork, and hanged himself about
eight years ago), Bazle, Robert and Levi Phelps, James Rose, Dennis
Dan Rooks (died about 1879); Thaddeus (died in 1885),
Rensallaer, Levi K.
and Levi Stone; Horace Streeter, Henry Stebbins, Nathaniel Summers
Mercer county, Penn.), Zalnathan Smith, Samuel W. Stone (died
Joseph Shourgoun, Martin Snyder, Miles Thompson (died on Kettle
and Hiram Taylor (died here in early years), Isaac Thompson
and Baptist deacon), James Trowbridge, Elijah Tubbs, William H.,
Nathaniel Warner, Dan Wise, Philander Wise and Charles H. Richman;
H. Warner (who died west of White's corners about twenty-eight
and had an old-time buggy or gig), and Elisha English and Thomas
assessors; Zalmon Robinson, who was an old surveyor, resided
here, and also
Samuel Robinson, the Whites, Phil McCutcheon, Jonathan Smith and
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
Stillson; Kenny's log-house was just west of that village, while,
Aaron Webster held the present Hubbard Harrison farm;
the Beebe and Fuller
farms being beyond this. At the foot of the Beebe hill, one
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
while beyond was the log-house of Elijah Ellis, and still farther,
Hunter, then Ephraim Olney, Amos English, - Head, Thomas
and Elisha English,
the Schofields, Thomas Cornish, Willard Pearce, Aaron Marble and
Burtis; Benj. Tubbs (father of Elijah, named above) was one of
settlers; Samuel Haynes was here prior to 1849, when Kelsey
arrived. There were several farms cleared along the valleys, in 1849,
where Harrison Valley now is, only one house, Goodman's, existed then,
was a frame; while below, where Henry Commings' widow resides,
was a double
log-house, built by Harvey Metcalf before the "thirties;" but
Stevens came in 1849, a farmer named Daggett resided there. Thomas
house was half mile below where Rednor now resides, near the tannery
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
the road to White's corners were S. W. Stone, and one-half-mile north
Stevens family arrived they purchased the next farm owned by Abel
who moved to Michigan, next Calvin, Ezra, Henry and Alfred Commings;
Howe, Thaddeus Stone, Henry Hurlbut, Giles Hurlbut, Samuel Robinson;
Samuel Howe and Harvey Metcalf (west of the main road); the Taylors
above Robinson; Samuel Haines (now part of the Erway farm),
Outman; next the Smiths, Aaron Marbles, Dr. White, a pioneer physician
Rich resided here before 1849), the Hunts, and the Warners; John
merchant), Sol Burtis (who held the Tubbs farm), the Lattas,
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
on the road down the creek; the Richmonds, the Wykoffs (where
lived in 1849), and between the Colvins was Sol. S. Robinson. Scattered
throughout the township. in 1849, were Samuel Metcalf, Oliver Potter,
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),
Jacobs and Bazil Phelps. In another district were the Hubbards,
David Kibbe (on the Whistler, owned by H. N. Stone for
the last thirty
years), Phil. McCutcheon, Lewis White (on the Alex. White farm);
Gill has resided on the Whitney farm for the last forty years.
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
farm for forty years; the Steadman farm was occupied by J.
Smith; also Henry Clark's farm, and north, the Statham
East of the Statham farms, toward the northeast corner
of the county,
were Octavus Steadman and Nelson Gill, while on the Tioga County
Simeon Lewis, the Wilkinsons, Joseph Lilly, Reuben Harris (the peddler
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
Dibble, Thomas J. Kibbe, Joe Cotton; and west from E. Hotchkiss'
James Snyder, Frank Steadman and John Snyder. White's Corners
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
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
1855, on petition of J. C. Thompson, Isaac Thompson, J. B. Watrous,
A. Watrous, Kelsey Stevens, O. Watt, B. W. Stillson, Lewis S. Robertson,
W. Griffin, S. S. Rasco, S. K. Stevens and George Hurlbut, the
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
into the Canisteo Association, and in 1862 the association assembled
Harrison Valley. The Methodist Church of Harrison township was incorporated
in December, 1855, with Thomas Statham, Edwin Statham, Henry Clark,
Sackett and Nelson Gill, trustees. A church house was built by
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.
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
located in this old Settlement. At North Fork is the O. H. Snyder
at Elmer is that of Manning & Dodge.
The township officers elected in February, 1890, are: Justice
peace, A. A. Swetland; supervisor, Frank Steadman; constable,
town clerk, L. G. Stevens; treasurer, George White; auditor,
C. Van Debo;
overseer of the poor, H. N. Stone; judge of election, J. O.
inspectors of election, G. E. Havens, E. Outman.
The first post-office Mr. Stone remembers at Harrison Valley
was at Col-
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vin's , and Bennett, who lived there in 1849, was postmaster. Among
postmasters were Henry Commings, Widow Fletcher, Hamilton White (who
resigned and left the settlement without an office), Norman Buck
about 1865), Jason W. Stevens (appointed in 1869, and served
by Hamilton White in 1885). In April, 1889, C. H. Doud was appointed.
first store at Harrison Valley was that of Richard Goodman, who
business here about 1844. Henry Commings opened a grocery and
some time later. Lewis Stone opened a stock in 1852-53. In 1860
built a store-house, which is now the rear of the Opera House. Norman
followed Wilcox, and continued business from 1863 to 1870; Morris
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
continued by Widow Goodman from about 1855 (the time of her husband's
to 1867, when G. W. and S. K. Stevens rented the building and
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
he erected his present store-house. In 1878 Mrs. Goodman resumed business
the old house, and continued two years, after which the house was variously
occupied. In 1884 G. W. Stevens & Son built their present
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
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
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
bought Stevens' interests and sold to Isaac Hurlbut twenty-one
Hurlbut sold to Phillips, who rebuilt the house, and sold
to Mrs. Rosalind
Hurlbut. Early in the "seventies" the village was made up of
at the cross roads; N. Buck's store, opposite; Kruser's
blacksmith shop, on the northwest corner; the Baptist Church, northeast
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,
Commings and Mrs. Goodman. The Erway House was built in 1876
Erway, who has since conducted the house. J. Bottom & Co., grain
1883, were the first railroad agents here and at Nelson (they erected
grain warehouse); then Dewitt Baxter, who was succeeded in December,
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
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,
N. Brown has been identified with the milling industry for years.
& Co. planing mill and sash, door and blind factory was organized
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
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
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
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;
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
furniture store of F. L. Harrison, and the older store and undertaking
establishment of C. H. Doud, partly built in 1860 and additions
Mrs. Chrisman's, Mrs. Erways and Miss Mulligan's millinery stores;
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
tannery. The professions claim W. B. Brightman, an attorney;
W. L. Colwell,
a dentist, and the physicians named in the general chapter, among whom
Dr. M. R. Pritchard.
The Methodist Church of the township, noticed hitherto,
members residing in the village. The society here was incorporated March
1881, with N. W. Hubbard, James Predmore, H. Harrison, C. Rawson,
Whitney and W. B. Fox, trustees. Among other names on the petition
Burt. Richardson, Jacob Burtis, C. Predmore, Amos King and D. D.
From this time until the completion of the house of worship, in the
of 1883, services were held in the Baptist Church. The Baptist Church
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
named after a soldier who was wounded at Cold Harbor, and died at
Washington. It was organized in Mary, 1889, with the following named
J. W. Stevens, 53d P. V. A. E. Holcomb, 53d P.
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
In 1889 the following named persons were members: George Smith, C.
C. L. Donaldson, Eugene Pickett, Irvin Wright, A. E. Holcomb, R.
Mrs. Wright, Mrs. George Smith, Mrs. Carr, C. R. Judd, Dr. Webster,
Doud, Roy Gustin, John White, Mrs. Jane Mattison, Mrs. Jane White,
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
Stevens, Dell J. Stone, Geo. E. Stone, Henry Swetland, C. Stevens,
Baker, G. C. Metcalf, W. Dildine, C. E. Burt, John Schwitzer and
The instruments were purchased for about $150.
VILLAGE OF MILLS.
The lumber manufacturing village of Mills, two miles west
Valley, was established by William Lawrence about fifteen years
mills have been operated by a few different firms, each of whom made
improvement, until now the old mill has disappeared in the surrounding
buildings of Stanton & Shaff. Swetland & Walters' mill was
thirteen years ago, and has been subjected to several improvements.
Walters was killed by accident while at work in this mill, Mary
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
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
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,
members. The number now belonging is seventy, with property valued
The names of George A. Walter, who was killed May 21, 1889,
Kettle, of the original members, are the only ones on the death