Chapter XIII - Mount Pleasant and Orange Townships
History of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania
MOUNT PLEASANT TOWNSHIP
Previous to August, 1789, the region at the junction of the two Fishing creeks was included in Wyoming township, Northumberland county; during the succeeding ten years, in Fishingcreek; from 1799 to 1881, in Fishingcreek, Greenwood and Bloom. In January, 1818, the township of Mount Pleasant was erected, a comparatively small area north of Big Fishing creek being received from Bloom, and all that part of the township northward to the Mount Pleasant hills, from Greenwood and Fishingcreek.
It was while the latter township comprehended this whole area that it began to show the results of settlement and improvement. Those features of the region which most favorably impressed the land-buyer were its strong growth of timber and inexhaustible supply of water. The nature and quality of the timber, particularly, was such as to insure a fertile soil and invite improvement and cultivation. Although distinguished at a later period by a strong German element, the population of the region south of the Mount Pleasant hills was originally composed of English people from New Jersey. They werefrom Sussex county, in that state, and followed their neighbors who had located in the vicinity of Jerseytown. Not until the close of the revolution, however, and the establishing of peace and security on the border, did this section received the attention of those who subsequently made it their home. It appears that Peter Eveland and Jacob Force were among the first to permanently locate here, the former near Welliversville, the latter at Kitchen's church, in the north-east part of Mount Pleasant twp. Abram Welliver's land adjoined the farms of both of them, and embraced the site of the village which bears his name. Frederick Miller, a German from Northampton county, was the proprietor of the village of Millerstown, but did not enter the township until a later period. John Mordan, who had lived in the same township of Sussex county, New Jersey, as Eveland and Force, followed them to the Mount Pleasant hills but removed a few years later to Little Fishing creek, where he build the first saw-mill in the present limits of the township. John Kester located on the hill above the village of Mordansville. In 1798 a road was surveyed over the Mount Pleasant hills to the Greenwood valley beyond; from that time until 1856 it was the only highway from north to south in the region. The position of the township near the growing towns of Bloomsburg, Orangeville, and Millville prevented the growth of any important villages on its own territory. Its exclusively agricultural resources and the inconvenience of distributing any products that might be manufactured, have not favored the establishment of industries of this character.
Quiet country villages have, however, clustered round each of the two hotels that formerly received the travelers on the Mount Pleasant road. Welliversville, first known by that name when Thomas Welliver was commissioned postmaster in 1857, comprises several substantial farm-houses, and the shops of two mechanics. At Millerstown, the first post-office in the township was opened in 1831 by Frederick Miller, in the days when every package or letter was receipted to the sender, and the date of its delivery, its destination and the amount of postage paid, reported to the department at Washington. Subsequently the office at this point was discontinued; it was again established in 1873 under the name of Cabby, the year the gallant general of that name was treacherously killed. At this point a dozen houses, a place of worship and a school-building suggest thrift and prosperity.
The last village to make its appearance was Mordansville, the nucleus of which was the saw-mill of John Mordan, built in the early years of the township's settlement. Mordansville woolen-mills, established in 1858 by Joseph E. Sands and Thomas Masher, have made the place a well known point. Mr. Sands became sole proprietor in 1860; on his death, in 1881, Charles S. Sands succeeded to the business. During the first years it was in operation farmers brought wool here to be carded, and after spinning, and weaving the cloth, returned it for the finishing touches of the fulling and pressing machines. Mr. Sands' enterprise and energy did not long submit to a process of manufacture subject to so many delays. He early introduced improved machinery, and was thus enabled to perform every process of the manufacture. The product of these looms found a ready sale in the coal regions of this state, and continues to do so wherever introduced. He established, also, a post-office, known first as Bear Run but subsequently as Mordansville. In addition to these features of the place, it comprises a number of private houses, two saw-mills, and the shops of various mechanics.
The church buildings of Mount Pleasant township, three in number, are located near the old Mount Pleasant road. Two of the congregations are Methodist Episcopal, and one an English Lutheran. The former are known as the While and Kitchen appointments. The Kitchen church-building was erected in 1859, but services for many years previous had been held in the Welliversville school-house, and, previous to its erection, in the house of Haran Kramer. White's church-building was erected in 1875, during the pastorate of Reverend Frank P. Gearhart. The White, Oman, Shipman, Melick and Hilbern families were connected with this organization during its earlier history.
The English Lutheran church of Cabby was organized November 18, 1859, in the Millerstown school-house by Reverend E. A. Sharrets, of Espy. The present house of worship was built two years later. The congregation is connected with the Espy charge of the Susquehanna synod.
The early schools of the township, as well as its villages and churches, were formed near the old Mount Pleasant road. Peter Oman, desirous of providing some educational advantages for his children, employed an instructor to teach them at his own house. Children of neighboring families were also received into this school. Subsequently three houses were built, located respectively on lands of Joseph Gilbert, Aaron Kester and Andrew Crouse. The substantial appearance of some of the school-houses of Mount Pleasant, and the taste exhibited in the arrangement and shading of the grounds, evince a progressive spirit among some of its citizens.
Orange is situated in the southern part of the fertile Fishing creek valley. There are two townships westward to the Montour county line; it is also the third township from Luzerne county. Its position in that part of the county of Columbia north of the Susquehanna river is as nearly central as the irregular from and unequal area of the different townships permit. As elsewhere in its course Fishing creek here follows a winding channel, the current in some places splashing and foaming as it widens over a primitive bed of redshale or a sand-bar of its own creation; in others, quietly meandering along the base of wooded hills and in the shade of overhanging trees, whose reflection in the clear depths of the stream below is not distrubed by the slighest ripple on its surface. In this township the volume of the stream is considerably increased by the waters of Green creek, which enter it just above Orangeville, and several miles farther in its course by Stony brook, a smaller tributary stream. At the point of its junction with the former Fishing creek makes a bold curve around the Knob mountain.
This elevaton is an interesting and peculiar feature of the topography. Rising abruptly from the low valley of the stream, the mountain continues in an unbroken trend for miles to the east. It is but a natural surmise that its regular crest formed the division line of the townships at its base; and this indeed it did at the time when Bloom and Fishing creek met each other, and Mount Pleasant adjoined both just across the creek. Now, however, the western extremity of the Knob has ceased to be a boundary, and overlooks on all sides of hills and valleys of the township of Orange. It is only since 1840, however, that this order of things has existed. Previous to that date the part of Orange south of Fishing creek and a line which passed just north of the present limits of the town of Orangeville was embraced in Bloom township; that portion west of Fishing and Green creeks, in Mount Pleasant; and to complete the enumeration of the townships in which Orange was originally included, the part east of Green creek and north of the Knob was within the limits of Fishingcreek. A few years previous, in deference to the wishes of the electors of the locality, about the same area had been formed into the election district of Orange. Previous to this change primary meetings were held at Light Street, while Bloom was the voting place for the whole region. The obvious inconvenience of this arrangement suggested the propriety of the change, and the erection of the new township met with little opposition.
The earlies mention of people living in this part of the Fishing creek valley occurs in connection with Salmon's capture by the Indians in the year 1780. It is said that the same party of savages with whom he journeyed as a prisoner murdered a family who then lived at the foot of Knob mountain on the bank of the creek. The rangers who followed from Sunbury buried the mangled corpses where they were found, on the east bank of the stream. Since then the channel has gradually crossed to the west side of the swamp, whose subsequent drainage has opened for cultivation quite a wide strip of land formerly covered with water. While plowing here a few years since some workmen discovered a human skull, and on further excavation unearthed two complete skeletons, which, however, crumbled to ashes when removed from their rude coffin of decayed logs. The people would fain associate the appearance of these "fearful guest" with the Indian outrages of 1780, and there seems a degree of probability that their view is correct.
Following the course of the stream, the savages camped for the night under a spreading white oak tree on the point of land at the junction of Green and Fishing creeks. The next morning two of their number left the camp, crossed Fishing creek, and after an absence of several hours returned with their blankets filled with a dark-looking substance apparently cut with tomahawks. They proceeded to melt it, upon which it was seen to be lead ore of a very good quality. This has induced the owners of the knob to make investigation concerning the presence of an out-crop of this valuable ore; but no discoveries of any value have as yet rewarded their efforts, although the Indian certainly obtained lead from such a deposit. The occurrence has always existed in the traditions of the locality, and seems fairly probable.
About the year 1785 the region around Knob mountain was again invaded, this time by a party of peaceful immigrants. They journeyed from New Jersey across the Broad mountain to the present site of Berwick, and thence westward to the mouth of Fishing creek. Following its course north-ward they cut their way through the almost impentrable wood from Light Street, then represented by a single house, and the farthest settlement from the river in the valley; pushing farther to a distance of three or four miles they reached their destination, and established their camp under the same tree and on the same ground occupied by hostile savages more than a decade before. The waters of the creeks subsequently washed away the point of land between them; and in a freshet about twenty-five years ago the tree itself was carried away by the resistless current. A sand-bar now occupies the place where it once stood.
The party consisted of Abram Kline, his wife, and a family of grown sons, some of whom were also married and accomppanied by their families. They lived in their wagons and a tent beneath this tree during the first summer until a cabin was built. This first structure erected by them is still standing on the land of Hixson Kitchen, An important article of food was the milk from their cows. They felled "lin-trees," the leaves of which served for both grass and hay. During the second and third summers the united labor of the family had cleared a tract of considerable extent, and some wheat and corn was raised. The nearest mill was at Sunbury, thirty-five miles distant. When the wheat had been threshed and cleaned it was put into sacks, which were securely fastened to the backs of several horses. The man in charge led the foremost horse, while the bridles of those behind were united by a rope to the load of the animal in front. Thus equipped the "caravan" wound slowly through the woods to the river, where the grain was transferred to a batteau or raft, and thus completed its journey. Subsequently a mill was built at Catawissa, and was a great convenience. Matthias, Isaac and George Kline built cabins for their families and farmed the region between the creeks just above their father's homestead. Thus was established what was, at this time, the out-post of civilization in the Fishing creek valley.
It was not until 1796, however, that Abram Kline, being firmly convinced that the region was fertile and the climate healthful, secured a title for his land. By a warrant of April 3, 1769, the tract had originally been surveyed for Hester Barton. This was one of the earliest surveys in the Fishing creek valley. Hester Barton subsequently married Paul Zantzinger, from whom, under date of April 21, 1796, the title passed to Abram Kline. The tract was of considerable extent, and adjoined the lands of Randall Mitchell, Jonathan McClure and Charles Smith in right of William Anderson. Including several tracts on both sides of Green creek, which the Klines secured by patents, their lands comprised an area of six and seven hundred acres.
Abram Kline and his sons did not long remain the only settlers within the present limits of Orange township. The Whites, Parks and Culps followed from New Jersey; George and Frederick Rantz, James VanHorn, the Netenbachs and Weremans came from Berks and Northampton counties. Peter Bland and Andrew Larish came from New Jersey about 1800, and Samuel Staddon about the same time from Lancaster county. Ludwig Herring and the Vance and Patterson families arrived among the last years of what may be called the early history of the township.
To lessen the labor of building houses and barns, Abram Kline, constructed a saw-mill before he had been in the region many years, in all probability prior to the year 1800. The demand for sawed lumber, however, did not reach his expectations, and the mill decayed fom disuse. It was abandoned and nearly all traces of it were obliterated seventy years ago. This mill was situated near the present site of Laurel-Hill cemetery.
A few years afterward two Jews built a grist-mill several miles farther down on the site of a modern building now owned by John Hoffman. This mill was owned for many years by General McDowell of Berwick. Another old mill was built by Henry Geiger, but sold by him to Jacob Seidle in 1822; Wesley Bowman, the present owner, came into possession twnety-two years later.
The road opened by the Klines from Light Street to their homes was soon extended by the settlers who followed them to the settlements farther north in the Fishing creek valley. The trading point for all this region was Bloomsburg, as no town then existed farther up the valley of the creek. But in 1822 Clemuel G. Ricketts, a native of Fairview county, Ohio, conceived the idea of planting a town at the foot of Knob mountain. The advantages of this location for a commerical center first presented themselves to his mind; all the travel from upper Fishing creek passed this point, the base of the mountain and the channel of the stream being but little farther apart than the width necessary for a road-way. There was here a level plot of ground, hemmed in by the mountain, creek and surrounding hills, but amply large enough to accommodate the prospective growth of the town. With a sagacity,a penetration and energy rarely equaled he began the work of laying out his town within a few months after entering Columbia county. He purchased from Henry Dildine and others, heirs of Andrew Dildine, the ground on which the town of Orangeville now stands. This deed was dated March 15, 1822. The tract was included in a much larger one, originally patented to Thomas Minshall. His executors, William Crabbe and John Ewing, by indenture of May 14, 1793, conveyed it to Henry Dildine and John Frutchey, executors of the will of Andrew Dildine; and from his heirs, as above stated, it came into possession of Clemuel G. Ricketts.
When, in 1822, he bought the site of the town, a log building occupied the site of the house owned by the late John Covanhoan. This was a farm house and was occupied by Abraham Eveland. Another was farther down, along Spring run, just where the stable of the Orangeville hotel has since been built. The lower timbers of this house were so rotten that is was necessary to support the corner with a stout prop. The former tenant, Harman Labour, having vacated it, the proprietor of the town took possessiosn and occupied it with his family until a more substantial habitation could be erected. In the meantime, however, the course of the road, which here made a curve round the foot of the mountain, was so changed as to be exactly straight; and, on either side, lots of convenient size were laid off and offered for sale. Two of these, situated where Spring run crosses the road, a short distance from the hosue occupied by Ricketts, were bought by Elisha Boon, who at once erected a dwelling house and tannery, thus beginning a manufacturing industry when the town as yet hardly had an existence except in the mind of the proprietor. He pushed his new house to completion as rapidly as possible, and in the same year (1822), having purchased the stock of goods of an Espy merchant, he removed them to his house and opened the first store in Orangeville. Ludwig Herring was employed to bring a wagon load of goods from Philadelphia, and in the following year repeated the journey quite frequently.
Daniel Melick built the third new house, which was at once occupied by Philip Snyder and Solomon Siegfried, from Northampton county. The house is still standing, and is now owned by Mrs. Hayman. On the corner now owned by Alexander B. Stewart, Clemuel G. Ricketts built the next house, in which David Fausey opened the first hotel. Just opposite, the proprietor now completed a brick residence known at present as the Orangeville hotel. John Unger removed to the village in 1824, and built many of the first houses.
Some interesting stories are related of the experiences of the people with bears and wolves. It appears that the fastnesses of the Knob mountain were the favorite haunts of these animals. Occasionally a black bear would come down from the mountain, walk through the "town" with the most perfect unconcern and self-possession, and break into the swamp below; for at this time between the road and creek there was a dense growth of underbrush, with the mire below. On one occasion the little daughter of a farmer who lived just above the store was sent to bring the cows. She ran down the road a short distance and returned with the news that she had seen something big and black which was not a cow. The first traveler over the road in the morning reported having seen the tracks of a bear. For weeks afterward the mothers could not repress a feeling of uneasiness when their children were out of sight. It does not appear, however, that any loss of life resulted from the depredations of these fierce brutes.
The number of houses in the town having increased to five or six, the establishment of a post-office was agitated. This involved the choice of a name as a necessary preliminary. The sages of the village having, as usual, congregated in the store, the question was freely discussed. Knobtown was suggested as significant to the locality; Rickettsville, as a deserved complement to the founder, and "The Trap" in consideration of his foresight in locating the town where it intercepted all the travel from the region above. Mr. Ricketts observed that some of the old residents might enjoy hearing the familiar names of their former homes, and it appeared that some of these farther up the creek had come from Orange county, New York, and others from Orange, New Jersey. Thomas Mills, his clerk, thereupon suggested the name Orangeville, which was at once adopted, and has clung to the place ever since.
Elisha Boon continued his tannery for many years. A distillery was once in operation on the same ground now occupied by the Methodist church-building. Benajah Hayhurst began the manufacture of farming inplements (sic) soon after. William Schuyler succeeded to the business in 1853, and continued it for twenty years. After passing through various hands and experiencing successive reverse and prosperity, the manufacturing industry is now conducted by White and Connor. The Orangeville plows and grain-threshers have a high reputation wherever introduced. Alfred Howell in 1853 opened an undertaking establishment. In 1855 James B. Harmon became proprietor and extended the business in various directions. He introduced the first hearse ever used in the region, and manufactured furniture for many years. The town at present comprises more than a hundred substantial homes, numerous stores and three church-edifices.
All the latter were preceded in the time of their erection by the old McHenry church-building. It was situated about two miles west of Orangeville. Andrew Larish gave land for the church site soon after he entered the region in 1800; the church-building was erected about 1810, and was used as a house of worship by the Reformed, Lutheran and Presbyterian congregations for more than a quarter of a century. Among those who preached here were Reverends Dieffenbach of the Reformed church; Baughey and Benninger of the Lutheran, and Patterson and Hudson, Presbyterians. In 1818 Harman Fausey fenced off a part of his farm for a burial ground. It had however been a place of interment five years previous. Edward McHenry came into possession of the farm in 1828, and increased the size of the grave-yard. The place took its name from him. Among those buried there are Enzius Vance, Archibald Patterson, Frederick Rantz, Andrew Dildine and others of the first settlers of the region.
In 1837 the roof of the church-bulding collapsed beneath the weight of a heavy snow. The ruins of the building were removed shortly afterward to make place for a school-house. But the ravages of time cannot destroy the good that has resulted from the services of worship held in this rude log church.
During the succeeding year there was considerable discussion as to where the new church-building should be located. The influence of Clemuel G. Ricketts resulted in the choice of Orangeville. The three denominations who had worshiped at McHenry's again united their means and in 1839 erected the union church building, at a cost of one-thousand six-hundred dollars. The churches had now increased in membership, and from this point may be considered separately.
The Presbyterian appointment was at this time a preaching station of the old Briarcreek charge. Occasional services in the Orangeville school-house were held by pastors on their way to McHendry's. Reverend David J. Waller, Sr., of Bloomsburg, became pastor in 1838, and from that time services were held with a greater degree of regularity than formerly. The church was formally organized in 1842, with Samuel White, John B. Patterson and John B. Edgar, elders. The other original members were their wives Sarah White, Ann Charity Patterson and Elizabeth Edgar. Issac Kline and Mary Kline, John White and Lucy White, Ann Kline, Ruth Dildine and Mary Welsh complete the list of the original members. Mary Welsh is the only one still in connection with the church. It was Isaac Kline, the father of Colonel Hiram R. Kline, who raised the subscription for the building. Reverend Charles Williamson became pastor in 1843, and Reverend George W. Newell four years later. The latter still lives at an advance age in Nebraska. He was succeeded in 1858 by Reverend W. P. Teitsworth. In 1861 Reverend Nathaniel Spear settled here, preaching also at Rohrsburg and in Benton township. In 1876 Reverend David J. Waller, Jr., was called to the pastorate. He remained for a year and a half, when he resigned to take charge of the Bloomsburg State Normal School. He was followed in 1877 by Reverend C. K. Canfield, the present pastor. Since that time the membership has increased from forth-eight to one-hundred. The present handsome church edifice was built in 1885 and dedicate during the following year.
The Reformed congregation at Orangeville was formerly part of the Bloomsburg charge. When the Reverend William Goodrich resigned his position as its pastor in 1865, the Orangeville charge was formed; it embraced the congregations at Orangeville, St James and Mount Zion. April 1, 1866, Reverend E. B. Wilson was called to this pastorate at a salary of five-hundred dollars a year; he served until his death, in May, 1868. He is buried in the cemetery at Arentdsville, Adams County. Though not an educated man, his rare ability made him peculiarly useful at a time when the charge needed a strong guiding-hand. For three years the charge was without a pastor; the removal of many prominent members created discouragement. In August, 1869, Reverend A. Houtz, the present incumbent, became pastor; since then its condition has materially improved, its membership has increased, and the contributions to benevolence made more systematic and regular.
The Orangeville Lutheran charge was organized by Reverend P. Bergstresser; he arrived at the place in September, 1857. As directed by the Susquehanna Conference (since grown to the Susquehanna Synod) he organized a charge consisting of the congregations at Orangeville, Rohrsburg, Zion's and Briarcreek.
The Orangeville Methoodist Episcopal church was formerly embraced in the Bloomsburg Circuit. In 1852 the Orangeville circuit was formed, with Reverend Albert Hartman as first preacher in charge. Twenty-three years previous, however, in 1829, Reverend J. W. Dunahay preached the first sermon ever delivered in Orangeville, from the twenty-first verse of the third chapter of Revelations. Religious services were held in the school-house until 1843, when a brick church building was erected opposite Snyder's mill. The growth of the church in numbers and wealth rendered the bulding of a new house of worship a feasible, as well as a necessary, undertaking. At a meeting of the trustees January 10, 1880, it was decided to begin the enterprise. The present location at the corner of Pine and Mill streets was selected two weeks later. On Sunday, April 10, 1881, the corner-stone was laid; Setpebmer 11 of the same year the new structure was dedicated; Reverends T. O. Clees, Elial M. Chilcoat and A. B. Hooven have been pastors since that time.
During the same pastorate Reverend T. O. Clees built a tasteful frame structure at the McHenry appointment; it is now the place of worship of a growing congregation.
Mountin Lodge, I. O. O. F., No. 264, of Orangeville, has an existence nearly as old as any of its church buldings. It was instituted September 17, 1847, with Abraham Covel, N. G.; George W. Lott, V. W.; Joseph E. Sands, secretary; and Elijah G. Ricketts, treasurer.
November 12, 1870, Oriental Lodge, No. 460, F. & A. M. of Orangeville was instituted. The original members were James B. Harman, Miles A. Williams, Frederick Laubach, John F. Brown, Alick H. Megargall, Jeremiah Comstock, Hiram C. Eves, Jacob M. Harman, Nathaniel Spear, John Heacock, Orville A. Megargall and Peter Laubach. It was chartered December 7, 1869. Both these societies hold their meetings in the Odd Fellows' hall.
The early school history of Orange township, as well as its early settlement, is associated with the Kline family; for it was on the farm of Hiram R. Kline that the first school was taught. Among these early teachers were Daniel Rake, Philip Doder and Jonathaan Colley. George Vance opened a school in a log building which stood below Orangeville, at a later period. Among those who subsequently taught here was Clemuel G. Ricketts. The first school house in Orangeville was built in the year 1824, and stood at the intersection of Mill and Pine streets. It was a place for the holding of religious services as well. Among the first teachers were Abraham Kline and Ira Daniels.
The growth of a population of more than ordinary intelligence and enterprise has resulted in the establishment of Orangeville of an institution of learing far superior to the average village high-school. The Orangeville Male and Female Academy was incorporated by act of assembly dated March 11, 1858. Pursuant to the directions of the charter a board of trustees was elected. This first board consisted of George W. Lott, Samuel Achenbach, Michael C. Vance, James S. Woods, Wesley Bowman, Hiram R. Kline, and Edward Lazarus. They appointed Reverend Peter Bergstresser first principal. He prepared a course of study contemplating a period of three years for its completion. On May 1, 1860, the Orangeville Male and Female Academy was opened in the public school building with thirty-two students. Reverend Bergstresser continued as principal two terms, when the conflicting duties of his pastorate and school-room compelled him to relinquish the latter. At his recommendation John A. Shank, a graduate of Wittenberg College, Springfield, Ohio, was elected as his successors.
The trustees, meanwhile, had formed a stock company for the purpose of obtaining funds for the erecton of a school bulding. This was completed and occupied by Professor Shank and his school in the autumn of 1861. The attendance was large, and the school enjoyed a fair degree of prosperity in every way. At the beginning of the next year, 1862, Reverend H. D. Walker, a Baptist clergyman, was placed in charge. Two years later, in 1864, he was called upon to take charge of a number of soldiers' orphans. He rented the academy building and grounds from the trustees, and transformed the institution into a "Soldier's Orphan School." He also erected a building on a lot adjoining the academy grounds for the occupation of the children. Prior to its completion they were received into private families, and every provision for their comfort made by the citizens of the town. The "Home" was occupied in the spring of 1866. Under the efficient government of the principaal and matrons, Mrs. Charles Walker and Priscilla Snyder, the appearance of the school children was always neat and cleanly. The general management of the school and its results compared favorably with the reports from other schools of a like character in the state. But the supervisor of orphas' schools, Colonel John F. MacFarland, in consequence of untrue reports to which he gave a too-ready belief, ordered the removal of the children and suspension of the school. The summary execution of his directions caused quite an excitement in the village. Nor did it end here. Reverend Walker carried his case before the bar of the state senate, and secured from that body an appropriation of ten-thousand dollars to remunerate him for the pecuniary loss he suffered from the unwarranted action of the supervisor. There was nothing in the record of this orphan school of which the village of Orangeville need feel ashamed.
In 1870 Professor Issac E. Schoonover became principal of the academy, which had now been virtually suspended six years. He remained in charge four years and a half. In 1875 Reverend Alfred Houtz, the present Reformed pastor, succeeded him; John Aikman and Francis Herring taught the yearly term of 1876 and 1877. Reverend Charles R. Canfield was principal from 1877 to 1882; Professor Francis Heck from 1882 to 1844; Professor James F. Harkens, of Juniata county, is the present principal.
The school has had a checkered career, but in the main has done good work. It has ceased to be governed by a board of trustees, and the property is now owned by Silas A. Conner, a public spirited citizen who has materially improved its appearance. Although its patronage is confined to a comparatively limited area, in moulding individual character and elevating the tastes and social life of the immediate communtiy, it has done a work the importance of which can hardly be estimated.
Source: Page(s) 245-256. History of Columbia and
Montour Counties. Battle, J.H., Chicago: A. Warner, 1887. Transcribed by Rosanna Whitenight.