ON the 20th of October, 1868, Miss SARAH M. WALKER of Woodbourne, who had previously
urged me to write a history of the Soldiers' Aid Societies of Susquehanna County, sent me a letter
renewing the solicitation, and adding : "Or, what is better, write a history of the county and
include that of the societies."
That she should think to succeed with the greater when she had failed with the less, and that such
a proposition should be made to me—wholly ignorant as I was of the early interests of the
county—caused a hearty laugh, and at the time not a second thought. But, during the following
night, it occurred to me that the necessary research for an historical work would be congenial
employment for my father in his retirement from medical practice, and that I could arrange for
publication such material as he might choose.
Within twenty-four hours afterward, we decided to undertake the task, and made out a list of
topics which would require attention. The same, but slightly altered, is given in the volume now
before the reader. But, owing to the increasing feebleness of my father, the part assumed by him
was very early relinquished.
Those subjects, the investigation of which I had deemed a man's province, have received my
close attention, and, after repeated examination of files of newspapers and official records both at
Wilkes-Barre and Montrose, have been prepared with less aid from individuals than the township
annals, in which I was greatly dependent upon the aged and the descendants of pioneers. Owing
to the failing memory of some, and the fact that others were but partially informed on matters I
wished to understand, their statements were often contradictory. A third version was needed to
furnish a key to the first or second, and, when this was not ob-
iv - PREFACE.
tainable, the disputed points have been omitted or different versions noted.
If any pioneer has failed of mention, it must be distinctly understood that none of his descendants
have given me notice of him. Such material as was furnished me I have had to condense greatly,
especially in revision ; but the main points have been preserved as far as justice to all would
permit. The sketches which were first received, naturally occupy the most space.
In the annals the townships are given in the order of settlement.
Every historical statement made to me I have repeated to the person making it, in order that my
apprehension of it might be understood; then, after reducing it to writing, I have read it aloud in
his or her presence, and, in addition, sent the manuscript to the township interested, for further
criticism. It is believed that accuracy has been obtained as nearly as possible in the thousands of
It is not only expected, but desired, that the public prints will note any important error; still,
should any error of consequence to those only who can readily supply the truth be discovered,
private notice of it will be gratifying, since a complete "Errata" given to the public by myself
would do justice to all, while a succession of trivial corrections by aggrieved parties might
undesignedly cause suspicion of statements which cannot be controverted.
Four years from the day the first prospectus was published, I wrote the last page of the history.
The variety of the cares pressing upon me, added to bereavement and frequent ill health, have
made the writing of even one page, at times, the labor of weeks. Still, through all, I have been
glad I had this work to do.
To place within easy reference official facts and lists of great local value ; to meet the long-felt
want of many persons by condensing voluminous statements respecting former claims to this
section ; but especially, to furnish a record of the pioneers and early interests of the county, as
also of its people in the late great crisis of the nation—this has been a service, the calling to
which might well evoke gratitude. And yet, to make it a gift is as impossible as it would be
insulting to the people whose deeds or whose ancestors it commemorates.
I have had, probably, little conception of what an historian might
PREFACE. - V
deduce from our records ; still, much space has been given to the family, the farm, the
newspaper, and particularly to schools and churches, with the conviction that these have formed
the character and secured the prosperity of the people.
The courtesy and hospitality extended to me during my search for material, in this county, in
Luzerne, and elsewhere, are gratefully remembered. The loan of books and of private diaries not
only informed the head but kindled the enthusiasm necessary for my labor. For twelve or fourteen
days, a horse and wagon were placed at my service. At other times I have had various escort from
place to place as the interests of the work demanded ; and now its completed pages remind me of
scenery enjoyed, of pleasant interviews, and of valued letters, some of which were penned by the
tremulous hand of age.
Nearly seventy persons who contributed material, or otherwise aided me, have since deceased.
Except for them, some points must have remained unsettled.
Many persons have furnished far more than the record of their own families, in which case I have
endeavored to give them credit in due connection, except as they were understood to decline it.
All the portraits are gifts to the work, as are also several drawings and other illustrations, which,
with every favor, if space permitted, it would be pleasant to designate.
The kind suggestions of several gentlemen and ladies of best authority in the county were of great
benefit to me during the progress of the work. When it was nearly completed, and found too
voluminous, HENRY D. BIDDLE, Esq., of Philadelphia, offered his assistance in reducing it
within the proper compass ; and his labor has been invaluable. He had previously assumed the
care of the illustrations (three of which are his own contribution), and of the negotiations with
publishers, printers, and binders. Aside from the justice of this particular mention, it is gratifying
to associate with such a service to the county, one who for more than twenty years has been a
non-resident, but who will be recognized as the son of a former and valued citizen of Montrose.
Publication was greatly facilitated by the liberality of Mrs. HENRY DRINKER, supplemented by
that of Mr. Biddle, consequent upon their confidence in the subscribers to the work.
It is regretted that a complete Meteorological Table could not
vi - PREFACE.
be given; but, to be satisfactory, it should cover a long period of time, and such a one is not at
Aside from the difficulty of securing scientific lists of the plants and animals of the county, the
common names are given in the belief that they will prove more acceptable to the general reader.
By the recent schedule of the State liens upon unpatented lands, it is certain that STOKE, one of
the townships of Northumberland County in 1783, and which was annulled by Commissioners of
Pennsylvania in 1785, extended into this section, and was probably covered by the warrants of
1784. It may have been a part of the " Manor of Stoke," which was laid out, in 1769, east of the
Susquehanna River, as the "Manor of Sunbury" was west of it ; but inquiry at Harrisburg has
failed to ascertain its limits.
Hon. J. W. CHAPMAN says :—
" On many of the tracts referred to, the purchase-money was all paid when the warrants were
taken out, though the landholders neglected to take out their patents and pay their fees, which in
such cases the State now demands only $15 for. But in other cases there was more land returned
in the survey than the warrant called for, and the amount of the surplus, and interest thereon, is a
lien on the land, besides the patent fees, for the collection of which, from the present owners of
the land, the Legislature has provided by law."
My obligations are due to Senator FITCH and Representatives TYLER and BEARDSLEE for
various efforts in my behalf.
I can congratulate patient subscribers and canvassers that the History of Susquehanna County is
at last printed; though I may "have had my best days with it," while it was but a dream of
usefulness, and not the football of criticism.
EMILY C. BLACKMAN.
INGLESIDE, MONTROSE PA.,
I. Charters of Connecticut and Pennsylvania
II. Indians once in this section
III. Westmoreland, and the Pennamite Wars
IV. The Intrusion Law and its effects
V. County organization
VI. Officers and Bar of Susquehanna County
TOWNSHIP ANNALS, AS FOLLOWS :
VII. Great Bend. Settled 1787. First township erected. Organized 1793
VIII. Harmony. Settled 1787. Tenth township erected. Organized 1809
IX. Oakland. Settled 1787. Twenty-seventh township erected. Organized 1853
X. Brooklyn. Settled 1787. Sixteenth township erected. Organized 1814
XI. New Milford. Settled 1789. Eighth township erected. Organized 1807
XII. Herrick. Settled 1789. Eighteenth township erected. Organized 1825
XIII. Harford. Settled 1790. Ninth township erected. Organized 1808
XIV. Gibson. Settled 1793. Twelfth township erected. Organized 1813
XV. Rush. Settled 1794. Fifth township erected. Organized 1801
XVI. Dimock. Settled 1796. Nineteenth township erected. Organized 1832
XVII. Lenox. Settled 1796. Second township erected. Organized 1795
XVIII. Auburn. Settled 1797. Fourth township erected. Organized 1799
XIX. Franklin. Settled 1799. Twenty-first township erected. Organized 1835
XX. Liberty. Settled 1799. Third township erected. Organized 1798
XXI. Bridgewater and Montrose. Settled 1799. Seventh township erected. Organized 1806
viii - CONTENTS.
XXII. Middletown. Settled 1799. Fourteenth township erected. Organized 1814
XXIII. Jessup. Settled 1799. Twenty-fourth township erected. Organized 1846
XXIV. Forest Lake. Settled 1799. Twenty-second township erected. Organized 1836
XXV. Clifford. Settled 1799. Sixth township erected. Organized 1806
XXVI. Lathrop. Settled 1799. Twenty-third township erected. Organized 1846
XXVII. Springville. settled 1799. Fifteenth township erected. Organized 1814
XXVIII. Apolacon. Settled 1800. Twenty-fifth township erected. Organized 1846
XXIX. Choconut. Settled 1806. Thirteenth township erected. Organized 1814
XXX. Silver Lake. Settled 1809. Eleventh township erected. Organized 1813
XXXI. Jackson. Settled 1809. Seventeenth township erected. Organized 1815
XXXII. Ararat. Settled 1810. Twenty-sixth township erected. Organized 1852
XXXIII. Thomson. Settled 1820. Twentieth township erected. Organized 1833
XXXIV. Nicholson Lands
XXXV. Geological Formation and Mineral Resources
XXXVI. Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts
XXXVII. Roads and Post Offices
XXXVIII. Changes in Politics
XXXIX. Schools and Churches
XL. Newspapers and Editors
XLI. Authors and Artists
XLII. Physicians and the Medical Society
XLIII. Temperance Societies
XLIV. Secret Societies and the Census
Note on Magnetic Variation (County Line)
Woman's Work for the U. S. Sanitary and Freedmen's Commissions
List of Soldiers
LIST OF MAPS, LITHOGRAPHS, STEEL PLATES, ENGRAVINGS, ETC.
Map of the County . . . to face Title Page
Map Illustrating the New England Charter Claims, west of the Delaware
Map showing the various purchases made from the Indians
Map of Westmoreland, showing the Connecticut Surveys
Map of Old Luzerne County
Engraving—Seal, Court of Quarter Sessions, Susquehanna County, 1812
Diagram—showing official divisions of Susquehanna County, 1790
Diagram—showing " " 1799
Diagram—showing boundaries of township of Rush, 1801
Diagram—showing Election Districts—Susquehanna County, 1801
Diagram—showing divisions of Susquehanna County in 1808
Diagram—showing " " " " in 1810
Diagram—showing " “ " " in 1815
Diagram—showing " " " " in 1872
Diagram of " The Fan," at Great Bend
Engraving—Falls of Cascade Creek
Engraving —The Cascade Bridge
Engraving —The Starucca Viaduct
Portrait of James B. Gregg
Portrait of Col. Frederick Bailey
Engraving—Old Universalist Church, Brooklyn
Portrait of Secku Meylert
Portrait of Christopher L. Ward
Diagram —Site of First Bark Cabin—Beaver Meadow
Diagram —Nine Partners' Purchase
Portrait of Joab Tyler, Esq.
Portrait of Rev. Lyman Richardson
Engraving of Harford Academy, 1844
Portrait of Hon. Galusha A. Grow
Engraving —The Old Post House
Portrait of David Post, Esq.
Engraving —The Old Raynsford House
Diagram —The Sun-dogs, 1807
Portrait of Elder Davis Dimock
Lithograph —The Montrose Green, 1840
Diagram —Successive Borough Limits of Montrose
x - LIST OF MAPS, LITHOGRAPHS, ETC.
Portrait of Hon. Almon H. Read
Portrait of Hon. William Jessup, LL.D.
Portrait of Henry Drinke
Engraving--The Old Presbyterian Church, Montrose
Portrait of Rev. Henry A. Riley
Map of the Connecticut Survey of Manor, Delaware First Purchase
Portrait of Hon. Asa Packer
Engraving-Lakeside-Residence of Mrs. Caleb Carmalt
Lithograph-Silver Lake, 1816
Lithograph-Silver Lake-Residence of the late Robert H. Rose
Engraving-R. C. Chapel of St. Augustine
Portrait of Elder J. B. Worden
Portrait of Hon. Benjamin Parke, LL.D.
Engraving-Old Seal of Susquehanna Academy
Portrait of Edith May
Portrait of Rev. Elisha Mulford, LL.D.
Portrait of Hon. S. B. Chase
Diagram-Joe Smith's Diggings
(Readers are requested to mark the corrections as designated.)
Page 37, line 2d from the bottom, after " Judge," insert and.
" 38, " 21st, for "Warmer" read Warner.
" 39, " 25th, the name of "L. F. Fitch" should be in italics.
" 41, " 30t5, for " David D. Warner" read Davis D. Warner.
" 43, " 32d, for " Simon Stephens" read Simon Stevens.
" 45, " 3d, for " Philander Stevens" read Philander Stephens.
" 46, in 2d foot note, for " now" read since.
" 48, line 46th, for " Lew" read Law.
“ 64, " 13th, for " Thompson" read Thomson.
“ 97, " 16th, after " murdered" insert, as supposed.
“ 204, " 7th, for " 1739" read 1839.
“ 207, " 25th, for " Kinsbury" read Kingsbury.
“ 231, " 5th, after "all he had," read but one.
“ 254, " 16th, for " Merryall's" read Merryall.
“ 254, " 20th, for " relates" read writes.
“ 280, " 3d, for" terrible" read terribly.
“ 288, " 4th, for " now" read late.
" 319, " 2d, for " clear" read cleared
" 335, " 13th, from bottom, after " in consequence," insert during the Revolution.
" 347, " 46th, for " fort" read forks.
" 457, " 29th, omit sentence about Agricultural Society.
" 460, " 9th, after " petition" read against slavery.
" 499, " 21st, for " Boswick" read Bostwick.
" 538, omission of the present number of members of Liberty Bapt. Church, 73.
The following should have been inserted on page 331.
COST OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS.
1818. Fireproof Offices, built by Daniel Lyon
1853. Jail (now engine house), built by Boyd and Smith
1855. Removal of Fireproof Building by the commissioners
1854-55. New Court-house
To architect and drawing contract
Furniture, including bell
1867-8. New Jail.
1870. Repairs on new Court-house
MISS EMILY C. BLACKMAN
In recent years, since the history of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, was compiled and written by
Miss Emily Clarissa Blackman, there has been a growing demand for copies of this book, which is
conceded to be the best history of our county. Published in 1873, the scarcity of available volumes of this
valued and greatly desired work has impelled the Susquehanna County Historical Society to have five
hundred copies reprinted exactly as the original book. There is one great improvement in this reprint
which should be noted. The index has been extensively enlarged. This greater convenience to readers has
been accomplished through the diligence of Mrs. Herbert F. Brewster, Montrose, who recognized the
value of a new index in reference labors.
Miss Blackman in her history modestly avoided reference to her own life and career. Interest and justice
naturally calls for a brief recognition of this noble woman who over a period of four years visited all
sections of the county, driving a horse and riding over the rugged dirt roads in her search for authentic
data on all matters of historic interest. Her talents and accomplishments are shown vividly in this historic
Miss Emily Blackman was born in Gilbertsville, Orange County, New York, on July 15, 1826; her
parents were Emily Danielson and Josiah Blackman, M.D. The family moved to Binghamton, New York,
in 1829, and in 1836 came to Montrose, Pennsylvania. The family home was called "Ingleside" and was
on Church Street. Dr. Blackman had his medical quarters in his home and served the community
faithfully for many years. The family joined the Presbyterian Church in Montrose, November 12, 1836,
in which communion, each member of the family remained until death. Dr. Blackman was ruling elder in
the church for thirty-five years, and a practicing physician for fifty years. He died in Montrose, July 25,
1875, aged 81 years, 2 months and 1 day. Mrs. Blackman died February 1, 1864 in the 70th year of her
age. Some of her family changed their name later from Danielson to Donaldson according to Miss
Blackman's notes on her family history.
Miss Blackman's education was acquired as a student in the Montrose Academy. She was proficient in
her studies and at the age of fifteen acted as an assistant teacher, although still continuing her
studies. Following graduation she taught in Towanda, Pa., Chester, Pa., and in schools in Illinois and
Wisconsin. After the Civil War, she taught in Freedman's School in Okolona, Mississippi. She was a
teacher all of her life, yet she was always a student. Her great love of music made her an accomplished
musician. Her piano, bought in 1845, was the first piano in a private home in Montrose. She studied
music in New York City and Philadelphia, then taught music classes in Montrose. She was a student in
languages and could read the New Testament in ten different languages. Miss Blackman and her sister,
Mary Ann, planned to open a select school for students desiring higher education, but her sister's
marriage on October 18, 1843 to David Blakely, Jr. of Otsego County, New York, ended Miss
Black-man's ambition to found a school. While she was teaching school in Towanda, Miss Blackman's
hearing became impaired. This physical handicap caused her to give up her intention to become a
Miss Blackman, at the time of her death, had been a member of the Presbyterian Church in Montrose for
over seventy years. She was very active in the Home and Foreign Missionary Societies. During the Civil
War she worked in the Soldiers Aid Society, the Sanitary Commission, and Freedmans Aid. She was a
member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union from its inception. In her will, Miss Blackman
made bequests to some of these organizations, the American Bible Society in New York, and her church.
Miss Blackman travelled extensively, crossed the continent twice, and toured all of Europe in 1878 and
1889. She contributed to the local press articles and letters about the places visited; she was both
interesting and informative. In her later life, she spent much of her time in Florida.
Dr. Blackman had three daughters and an adopted son. The oldest of these daughters died an infant in
1821. Mary Ann Blackman, wife of David Blakely, died in Neonah, Wisconsin, January 12, 1867, aged
43 years. She left four children: Rev. Josiah Blackman Blakely, Clarence R. Blakely, Mary Emily
Blakely Frazier and Clement Danielson Blakely who was drowned in Jones Lake (now Lake Montrose)
June 22, 1872, aged 19 years and 3 months. Clement left his native Wisconsin to become a printer in the
Independent Republican newspaper office in Montrose, in 1867, and lived with Dr. Blackman. He was
swimming across the lake at 8 o'clock on Saturday night, when in the middle of the lake he was seized
with cramps and went down in eighteen feet of water. His friends could not reach him nor recover his
body until midday on Sunday. His death was a great blow to his family and Miss Blackman would never
allow the water from this lake to be piped to her home. She kept copies of the newspapers that Clement
had worked on as long as she lived. The adopted son of Dr. Blackman was Harlan Page Blackman who
was living with his family in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., in 1907.
Miss Blackman's last will and testament on file in Montrose court house, is a very interesting document.
It is a detailed account of her home, furnishings, books, interests, family, friends, church, and her history
of Susquehanna County. She bequeathed two hundred copies of her history to the Commissioners of
Susquehanna County. These books were stored and in 1924 were sold by the Commissioners to the
public at the original price of three dollars per copy. The supply was completely exhausted in a very few
Emily C. Blackman died Friday Morning, August 2d, 1907 in the Home for the Aged in Jacksonville,
Florida. She was 81 years old. Her body arrived in Montrose on the Lehigh Valley Railroad on Monday
afternoon at four o'clock. It was immediately taken to her home "Ingleside" and from there, after
appropriate services, to the family plot in the Montrose Cemetery. All who have had occasion to read or
study her history of Susquehanna County, have nothing but praise for her labor. If she made any errors in
her statements, time has changed the error to fact. All who knew her admired her beautiful character and
personality, her fine talents and accomplishments, and her devotion to her church and the very best
causes of society in her generation. Miss Blackman is most honored among the cultured women of
Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania.
Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association
November 1, 1969