TIONESTA TOWNSHIP - BOROUGH OF TIONESTA
TIONESTA TOWNSHIP - GENERAL TOPOGRAPHY - AN UNFATHOMIABLE PIT – POPULATION - THE TOWNSHIP'S HISTORIC BEGINNINGS - OFFICERS ELECTED IN 1889.
BOROUGH OF TIONESTA - GENERAL DESCRIPTION -ICE FLOODS, ETC. - DEED TO SHOLASS RANGE - FIRST SETTLERS – BUSINESS, ETC. – IMPROVEMENTS - MUNICIPAL MATTERS – BANKS - NATURAL GAS – HOTELS – MANUFACTURERS – POSTMASTERS – EDUCATIONAL – CHURCHES – SOCIETIES - MISCELLANEOUS.
TIONESTA TOWNSHIP occupies the southwest corner of the county. The Allegheny river enters it below the mouth of Sibbald Run, flows southwest to the mouth of Little Tionesta creek, whence it flows west into Venango county. Hunter's run and three unnamed creeks flow into it from the north. Above the county seat it receives Tubbs run from the northwest; at the county seat, the waters of Tionesta creek enter it, and at the bend, comes in the Little Tionesta, while Hemlock creek drains the southern sections. Several islands lend a peculiar charm to the great river in its course through this county, while the hold plateaus and mountain peaks add to this charm a grand picturesqueness. Of the high summits in the southern part, few rise 1,600 above tide level. They are capped with conglomerate, and within them may be found large beds of the Upper Marshburg coal series, as opened on the Heath lands long ago. In the vicinity of Tionesta borough the conglom and sandstone measure 200 feet in depth; while below the river bed, ninety-five feet of these rocks are round. West of the river the summit is 1,595 feet above tide.
The hill in rear of Hunter's mill is 540 feet higher than the railroad track; the spring, on Dutch Hill road, 315 feet; summit of hill on Proper farm, 560 feet; at Kiser's, 595; at W. B. Heaths, 680, and Tubbs Run hill, on the Cropp road, 610 feet above the railroad level at Tionesta, which is 1,058 feet above tide level. An unfathomable pit, three and one-half miles from the borough, on the Tylersburg road, was noticed by the Press in December, 1867. Warm air issued from this pit, so as to keep the ground warm and green throughout the winter. Dr. Whitley, a resident physician, undertook to clear the mouth of this opening; but the clay sides closed in. Near the town is a spring, the water of which has a local fame. In years long ago a swamp stretched toward the river from the present central hotel. The village spring was in rear of where this building stands today.
Hunter's island is one of the largest, if not the largest, in the upper waters of the Allegheny, that is to say from Warren to Franklin. It was appropriated by Poland Hunter early in the present century as an island, and from him descended by inheritance to his heirs. In those early days before the river rose so high as it does now, this island was inhabited and cultivated, the rich alluviated land producing abundant crops. Poland Hunter appropriated this one upon improvement and settlement, obtaining from the State a patent therefor. He resided on the same up to a short time before his death in 1839, and was buried on the side hill opposite the island over which he had exercised a careful supervision so many years. Of late years the upper end has moved away rapidly, leaving the drive pipe or an oil well drilled in 1863-64, protruding out of the gravel, the soil being washed away; also leaving bare some of the foundation stones of Poland Hunter's cabin, and part of the wall, of what was once a well, exposed. At one time John Range, who owned the land where Tionesta now stands, had a suit with Hunter concerning the island, claiming it was no island at all. To establish his side of the case, Hunter procured as a witness, the celebrated chief, Cornplanter, who testified that he had passed through the back channel with a canoe. This decided the case in favor or Hunter. It was the first land case ever tried in Venango county, between settlers, it is said. One of the chainmen who helped to survey the shore tract for Range, then made an affidavit that it was at the time of the first survey a part of the main land, just a little ditch being cut through, that he could jump at almost any place. So both accounts make the back channel very narrow then. It is now owned by an oil company who purchased it in 1862 or 1863, but used and occupied by George S. Hunter, a descendant of the original owner.
The population of the township in 1880 was 522, and of the borough, 469, or a total of 991. In November, 1888, there were 104 Republican, fifty-five Democratic and two Prohibitionist votes cast in the township, while ninety-six Republican, forty-five Democratic and ten Prohibitionist votes were recorded in the borough, a total of 312, representing 1,560 inhabitants.
The township dates its historic beginnings back to 1795-96, when the frontiers men of Westmoreland county pursued a large band of warriors to a spot above the county seat, and there killed all save one. In the historical sketch prepared by Samuel D. Irwin for the Centennial Fourth, many of the pioneers of this section find mention, while in the reminiscences of Daniel Harrington, their lives and characters are word-painted in the quaint phraseology of that pioneer.
The officers of the township, elected in 1890, are as follows: Judge of elections, J. W. Tyrrel; inspectors of elections, Frank Monday, James Carson; justices of the peace, J. C. Hooveler, J. W. Tyrrel; township treasurer, Wm. Lawrence; constable, Daniel Black; collector of taxes, W. H. Wolf; school directors, B. F. Feitt, Frank Monday; township clerk, Q. Jamieson; road commissioner, Wm. Hepler; township auditor, P. C. Blocher; overseer of the poor, Henry Rhodes.
BOROUGH OF TIONESTA.
This borough, in latitude 41° 29' north, and longitude 3° west of Washington, may be called the ancient saqualinget or place of council. The creek from which it is named has been called Squirrel creek and Wolf creek at various times, while the steep hill at the mouth of Tubbs run was named Mount Ararat by the old surveyors. The elevation of the main street is placed at 1,073 feet, and of School street at 1,120 feet above tide level, so that the town above the flats is secure from high waters in the Allegheny or Tionesta creek. The ice-flow and flood of February 12, 1867, created much damage here, carrying away the trestle-work on the Franklin & Warren Railroad, and flooding several houses in the lower town.
G. S. Hunter’s ferry at Tionesta became a celebrated institution in 1867-68, when, notwithstanding the ice-flow, regular trips were made.
The iron bridge completed in December; 1872, for Hunter, was carried away by ice and water January 17, 1873. The affair resulted in suits being entered by Bell & Breckenridge, the contractors, against Hunter, and by him against them. The matter was compromised by S. D. Irwin and Col. L. D. Rogers, representing Hunter, and the contractors' lawyers in such a way that the rebuilding of the bridge was soon commenced, each party paying one-half the costs of rebuilding. In 1886 high water also damaged property, but on May 31 and June 1, 1889, when a large section of the State suffered heavily from floods, Tionesta escaped with comparatively small loss.
The township and borough take their name from the Tionesta or Wolf creek, and the place was known as Goshgoskunk in 1761 and as Saqualioget in 1797. Tionesta creek was made a public highway in 1825, and the act of June 15, 1847, relating to streams in Warren county, was extended to the Tionesta and tributaries in March, 1849.
In the Republican of November 13, 1889, appears a copy of the deed to Sholass Range, who subsequently deeded the land to St. John Range, of Revolutionary fame, whose remains now rest in the upper cemetery of this place. It conveys the land on which Tionesta now stands, and is likewise quite a curiosity. We give below the contents of the patent which describes the land. "Mount Ararat" is the high bill at the mouth of Tubbs run, and "Squirrel Creek" is Tionesta creek; “Saqualinget” was then the name of Tionesta, and means "place of council," hence the name of Council run, which courses through the borough:
The Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting:
KNOW YE that in consideration of the monies paid by Sholass Range into the Receiver General's Office of this Commonwealth at the granting of the warrant hereinafter mentioned, there is granted by the said Commonwealth unto the said Sholass Range 13. certain tract of land called "Saqualinget," situate on the east side of Allegheny River, including the mouth of Squirrel Creek, in the late purchase, Northumberland County. Beginning at a sugar tree standing on the bank of the above said river; thence by vacant land south twenty-nine degrees east forty-seven perches to a white oak; thence by Mount Ararat south forty-seven degrees, west one hundred and twenty-five perches to a white oak; south two degrees east two hundred and fifty-nine perches to a white oak, and south, one hundred and thirty-nine perches and six-tenths to a white oak; thence by vacant land west thirty-six perches and three-tenths to a white oak, and north sixty-eight degrees west sixty perches to a white walnut tree at the mouth of Squirrel Creek; thence up the Allegheny River by the several courses thereof five hundred and eighty perches to the place of beginning. Containing two hundred and fifty-eight acres and allowance of six per cent for roads, with the appurtenances. (Which said tract was surveyed in pursuance of a Lottery Warrant No. 511, granted to the said Sholass Range, dated the 17th May, 1785). To have and to hold the said tract or parcel of land with the appurtenances, unto the said Sholass Range and his heirs to the use of him the said Sholass Range his heirs and assigns forever, free and clear of all restrictions and reservations as to mines, royalties, quit rents or otherwise, excepting and reserving only the fifth part of all gold and silver ore for the use of this Commonwealth, to be delivered at the pit's mouth clear of all charges. In witness whereof the Honorable Charles Biddle. Esquire, Vice President of the supreme executive council hath hereto set his hand and caused the State seal to be hereunto affixed in council the twenty-first day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-six, and of the Commonwealth the tenth.
CHAS. BIDDLE, Vice Pres't.
Attest-JOHN ARMSTRONG, Sec'y.
The original documents in possession of Benjamin May, of Norristown, Penn., were loaned to Mr. Wenk for the purpose of publication.
When Squire Fleming came to Tionesta in 1826, he found three families here: The Ranges on the town site; Poland Hunter, where George. Hunter resided in 1874, and Noble, who lived over the creek on the William Hood lands of 1874. The Squire and J. G. Dale built the house where J. Grove then resided. The Hilands family settled at the mouth of the Tionesta in 1838 on lands now owned by William Lawrence, but they subsequently erected a sawmill at Braceville. Within a decade the sett1ement grew into a village.
In 1844 a carpenter named McKinley arrived, and was soon engaged by residents to build new homes for them. Among the buildings erected within the succeeding decade were Stowe's dwelling, 1844, now occupied by Dr. Siggins; Presbyterian Church, 1858; Benj. Mays house, burned before the war, built about 1848; a new house owned by John A. Proper occupied the site; Huntington Mays' house, also built about 1848, has been remodeled and is occupied by his widow; Robert McBride's old Tionesta House, built in 1850, was burned about eight years ago. (This stood at the mouth of Tionesta creek). Selden Mays' house, at the north end of Main street, is occupied by E. L. Davis; The Holmes House was built in 1846 for Maj. Hulings (in 1872 it was destroyed by fire; it stood on the east bank of the river, near the bridge); J. G. Dale's house, on Council run, was built in 1844-45, and still forms part of the present dwelling.
During the twenty years succeeding 1852, comparatively few buildings were erected here. Even the fact of the county seat being established at Tionesta failed to exert a beneficial influence on prospective house-builders. Pending the erection of a court-house, a building for the use of the county offices was completed in April, 1867, by Col. Thomas, and, when the present court-house was finished two years later, the old building was rented by Halebroner & Einstine for mercantile purposes. R. O. Stephenson, S. H. Haslet, L. Davis, J. B. Mechling, Sheriff Dale and others, entered on the work of building dwellings in 1867; Proper's addition to the Tionesta House was erected, and Taylor's brick yard established shortly after. George Hunter's store, on Water street, and J. W. Bowman's store, near the depot, were the trading points, and Shriver, Sawyer & Co had converted an old building into a planing-mill. In 1867-68 D. S. Knox's general store and insurance and real estate office were in operation; Chapman's photograph gallery was opened over the post-office; Mrs. :Mary Orr opened millinery rooms in the court-house; M. Rathbun offered lots for sale near Haslet's corners; J. Y. Saul's harness shop, William Killmer's shoe shop, R. O. Stephenson's blacksmith shop, and Prof. Saul's barber shop, all gave evidence of progress, while Conver's Press, "the only paper of its kind published anywhere," held up the little village as a place worthy of admiration. In October, 1867, the Tionesta Savings Bank was opened; W. W. Mason, S. D. Irwin, J. B. Mechling and W. E. Lathy had established their law offices here, and Dr. W. F. Hunter his physician's office.
There were also dogs here. Away back in August, 1868, when Col. Reisinger published The Bee, out of which grew the Forest Republican, he hit, upon the novel idea of publishing a list of owners of dogs, together with the names of the canines at the time resident in the borough, which we here reproduce. It will be observed that a number of the then owners have lost none of their attachment for "man's unselfish friend," for they still keep dogs: S. S. Hulings, 6-Dan, Drive, Major Snow, Sailor and Fannie; S. H. Haslet, 3-Waltz, Jowler and Jack; William Hood, 3-Curley, Watch and Bob; J. N. Tietsworth, 3-Penny, Fido and Trim; Z. T. Shriver, 2-Fred and Spot; E. H. Savage, 2-Gip and Leaf; Geo. S. Hunter, l-Coaley; W. W. Mason, 1-Dick; J. D. Hulings, 1-Snip; D. Andrews, 1-Snow; P. D. Thomas, 1-Watch; D. Black, 1-Cuff; R. C. Stephenson, I-Unknown; L. H. Davis; 1-Trip; Dr. Hunter, 1-Gip; J. B. Agnew, 1-Cony; Samuel Riddle, 1-Muff; J. J. Fisher, 1-Prince; J. Philley, 1-Sport; Mrs. Noble, 1-Watch; J. Wenk, 1-Rover; H. Bloom, 1-Schnitz; J. W. H. Reisinger, 1-Dido; D. S. Knox, l-You Know; J. T. Dimock, 1-Coaley; J. Alsbach, 1-Lady; W. P. Mercilliott, 1-Bet; John A. Dale, 1-Frank; J. G. Dale, 1-Watch; E. L. Davis, 1-General; John Stroup, l-Coaley; W. Roberts, 1-You Know; J. A. Proper, 1-Dick; A. Nellis, 1-Bounce; T. F. Simmons, 1-Gip; Wm. Strong, 1-Fan; James R. Orr, 1-Prince.
On July 4th.of that year the corner-stone of the court-house was placed with great ceremony, S. D. Irwin reading the memento. On the same day, and in connection with the dual celebration, a festival for the benefit of the proposed Catholic Church building was given, the committee in charge being as follows:
North Pine Grove - A. McDonald, John Dotson, A. Bowstaff, Peter Heffran. Clarington - J. J. Reynolds, Wm. Shields, Thos. Porter.
Cooksburg - F. A. McGee, Andrew Cook.
Jenks Township - Jas. Painter, Esq., Co1. Gaul, I. T. Rose.
Snydersburg - Samuel Walley, Joseph Fogleboher, Joseph Snyder.
Clarion-S. S. Jones, J. T. Hindman, J. Patrick, G. W. Lathy, W. L. Corbett, B. J. Reid.
Irvineton - Mr. Christy, P. Masterson.
Shamburg - M. Furay .
Lickingville - C. Musselman, John G. Seigworth.
Tionesta - Geo. S. Hunter, Capt. Knox, Co1. Thomas, Dr. Hunter, Capt. Thomas, Hall, S. S. Hulings, Co1. Reisinger, P. O. Conver, Daniel Black, John A. Dale, W. E. Lathy, J. B. Mechling, Samuel D. Irwin, W. W. Mason, S. H. Haslet. Dr. Winans, D. Pearson, Thomas F. Simmons, J. G. Dale, John Proper, W. J.Taylor, James Albaugh, Wm. Lawrence, Alex. Holeman, T. B. Maze, J. B. Agnew, A. H. Steele.
Stewart's Run - Patrick Donahan.
Fryburg - Patrick Graham, Ferdnand Deets, Geo. F. Copp.
Pithole City - John Dailey.
President - Michael Henry, C. D. Mabie.
Henry's Bend - James Henrihan.
Tidioute - Thomas Hunt.
Oil City - A. J. Christy, J. B. McAllister; Esq.
Tylersburg - Charles Leper, C. B. Webber, Wm. ·Wilkerson.
St. Mary's - Hon. E. C. Schultz, Dr. Blakely.
Franklin - Gen. A. B. McCalmont, Jeremiah Clancey, John Daley.
Kingsley - L. L. Hackett, Sebastian Hall, A. B. Root, Jas. Flynn, W. Oby.
Hickory - Abraham Bean, H. H. Stowe, J. Siggins, T. D. Collins, John Woodford.
West Hickory and Harmony - Levi Hanna, Wm. T. Neill, Jos. McCaslin, John Carney.
Newtown Mills - Jos. Stewart, Rudolph Rudolph.
Among the advertisements in the Press at this time was one of W. H. Butler, which was headed, Blind Horses made to See. This reads as follows: “Persons having blind horses will find it to their advantage to call on me, for I have restored the sight, and can do it again. Persons living at a distance can obtain the ingredients with full directions for $5, by calling on or addressing W. H. Butler, Tionesta, Pa.”
There were snakes in those days. Conver, in his inimitable style, printed the following locals in June, 1888: "Constable Philley killed a rattlesnake a day or two ago that had so many rattles on he couldn't get them all off. Mr. Stroup killed a black snake on Tubbs run last Sunday. It measured five feet six inches in length."
The improvements of 1872-73 included Hinton's cottage (the first building near Shriver's trout pond), Mrs. Robb's dwelling, P. D. Thomas' brick factory, J. S. Hood's dwelling (on Elm street), S. D. Irwin's. J. W. Stroup's building (then the property of Sheriff Van Geisen) and J. Woodington's cottage. The old Brown House (where the first courts of Forest county were held), on Elm and Helen streets, was remodeled for T. B. Cobb, and Jacob M. Kepler's building, opposite, was erected; also the dwellings of William Hepler, Bill Harlan, Mrs. C. D. Mabie, William Smearbaugh's tenement, the bank building (brick), Bonner & Agnew's frame block, opposite, G. W. Robinson's house, the Lawrence House, Dr. Blaine's residence (opposite the Lawrence House), William Lawrence’s block, the Swaggart meat market, John Reck's dwelling (opposite the brick church), Dan Walter's dwelling (on the site of Judge Dale's former home), additions to the homes of Charles Randall and William Roberts, Capt. Knox's steam-mill, the Dithridge mill (beyond Tionesta creek), the iron bridge over that creek, with the Tietsworth dwelling to the left, Samuel Haslet's dwelling on the hill, Partridge's addition to his home, Eli Holeman's cottage and the new Hunter bridge over the Allegheny river.
In 1872 the old wigwam which stood in front of what is H. Foreman's dwelling, was torn down by Col. Thomas. In 1880-61 it was Watkins Brothers' grocery store. This was built by William Harlan for political purposes, was octagonal in shape, and used by minstrel and other troops.
Municipal Matters - The first election for Tionesta borough was held February 8, 1887 . John A. Dale received 20 and S.S. Hulings 13 votes for burgess; S. H. Haslet 34, P. D. Thomas 33, Sol. Zints 18, Jack Shriver 27, L. H. David 18, D. S. Knox 18 and T. W. Pearson 18 for councilmen; Geo. J. Filley 34 and W. J. Roberts 8 for assessor, and the same vote for constable; D. S. Knox was elected high constable. S. D. Irwin and L. H. Davis, auditors; John A. Dale and P. D. Thomas, overseers of poor; J. G. Dale and S. S. Hulings, assistant assessors, and E. L. Davis, justice of the peace. The school directors elected were W. F. Hunter, Solomon Zents, J. G. Dale and J. Winans. L. H. Davis and T. W. Pearson were also candidates. In 1868 J. Winans was chosen burgess; in 1889, D. S. Knox, who was re-elected in 1870; H. H. May, in 1871, when D. S. Knox was elected justice; J. Winans, 1872; J. G. Dale, 1873-74; John Reck, 1875, when C. A. Randall was elected justice of the peace. The borough officers at .the beginning of Centennial year were, burgess, John Reck; councilmen, G. W. Robinson, S. A. Varner, A. B. Kelly, S. H. Haslet, A. H. Partridge, H. O. Davis; justices of the peace, D. S. Knox, C. A. Randall; constable, H. Swaggart; school directors, D. S. Knox, H. O. Davis, S. J. Wolcott, S. H. Haslet, A. B. Kelly, D. Clark.
John A. Dale was elected burgess in 1878, when D. S. Knox was elected·justice; G. W. Robinson, 1877; W. R. Dunn, 1878, and J. N. Tietsworth justice; N. S. Foreman, 1879-80, with D. S. Knox, justice; S. J. Wolcott, 1881; Geo. Morgan, 1882; S. D. Irwin. 1883; R. B. Crawford, 1884, with D. S. Knox, justice; Eli Holeman, 1885; John Reck, 1886; H. O. Davis, 1887; D. S. Knox, 1888-89, and S. J. Setley elected justice in 1889. The officers for 1889 were: Burgess, D. S. Knox; councilmen (North ward), R. M. Herman, H. M. Foreman, S. D. Irwin, (South ward) J. C. Scowden, G. Y. Robinson, J. F. Proper; justices of the peace, D. S. Knox, T. B. Cobb; constable and collector, S. S. Canfield; school directors, G. W. Robinson, A. B. Kelly, E. L. Davis, D. S. Knox, D. S. Clark, J. T. Brennan. The officers elected in February, 1890, are as follows: Burgess, J. B. Siggins; council, Patrick Joyce (three years), R. M. Herman (two years), S. H. Haslet (three years), Eli Holeman (two years); high constable, H. H. Shoemaker; justices of the peace, S. J. Setley, J. F. Proper; constable, S. S. Canfield; collector, S. S. Canfield; overseer of the poor, J. T. Carson; school directors, G. W. Robinson, A. B. Kelly; auditor, Charles Davis; judge of elections, R. B. Crawford; inspector of elections, J. R. Chadwick, J. J. Landers.
Banks - The Tionesta Savings Bank was opened October 15, 1867, with John A. Dale, president; John A. Proper, vice-president, and A. H. Steele cashier. This money institution ceased to exist, mainly owing to purchase of unproductive lands and the issue of certificates.
May, Park & Co.'s Bank was established in June, 1873, with H. H. May, president, and A. B. Kelly, cashier. The former died in 1882, and his interests are in the hands of his heirs, while the latter is still cashier, with James Kelly, acting cashier. This banking house is firmly fixed in the estimation or the people of Forest county, and is not unknown to the larger concerns in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.
A local board of the National Saving and Loan Association of Rochester, N. Y., was organized in August, 1889, with the following named officers: President, J. W. Morrow; vice-president, Edward J. Fitzpatrick; secretary, C. M. Arnel; treasurer, Solomon Fitzgerald; attorney, S. D. Irwin.
Natural Gas - In 1886 natural gas was introduced in Tionesta by a company over which D. W. Clark presided with E. L. Davis, secretary, and H. W. Tew, treasurer. In December there were three wells in operation on the 1,200 acre tract, six and one-half miles from the borough. Look back ye citizens to the dim fish-oil burner, the modest tallow candle, and the primitive pine-log. What changes has this Pennsylvania oil field wrought! Look back only a few years to the age of the coal and wood stoves. It now pains like a toothache to even think of them. Gas, as natural as the oil, now takes their places, and there is no hauling of the dusky diamonds or of the barbarous ash and cinder. The house-keeper today is rendered by this significant change as capable of being superbly grand in the midst of her noble duty as the child of wealthy indolence who waits in idleness to receive her flatterers, while the husband, good man, dreaming of hideous old days of the coal scuttle and the wood pile, seems happy for evermore.
Hotels - The town is well supplied with hotels. In the pages devoted to pioneer history, many references are made to the old-time taverns where Mose McCallum and his kind got drinks at wholesale prices. The Holmes House, built by McKinley for Major Hulings about 1846, was burned in 1872. The Tionesta House dates back over thirty years. Mary J. (Thompson) McBride, who died in 1888, came to Tionesta in 1839, where her husband, Robert, built and opened the Tionesta House in 1849-50, and conducted it until 1859. In 1876 Andrew Weller was proprietor, but on May 9, 1879, when fire wiped out the hotel, T. C. Jackson was lessee and Judge Proper owner of the building. The Lawrence House, of which William Lawrence is owner may also be enumerated with the old first-class hotels and the Forest House, opposite the county buildings, has a good reputation. In Centennial year S. A. Varner was proprietor, and in 1884 T. C. Jackson.
The Central Hotel was established in the Bonner & Agnew Building in February, 1874, by W. A. Hilands, Leonard Agnew was proprietor in 1810. James McKay erected the greater part of this large house, and here kept the post-office, but owing to the location being just one· fourth mile from the depot, he moved it to the south end so as to be over the constitutional quarter mile. In September, 1884, O.C. Brownell, of Sheffield, purchased the Central house, and I. C. Jackson, the old proprietor, became host at the Forest House.
Manufactures - The old saw-mills of this vicinity are all noticed in the chapter devoted to pioneers and old settlers. The large mills near the Tionesta bridge form today one of the leading manufacturing industries. Over twenty years ago Shriver & Sawyer's planing-mill was an industry here, and in the fall of 1874 a barrel factory was established; subsequently the buildings became the property of A. B. Kelly and now form a portion of G. W. Robinson's saw and planing-mill. In 1875 the Dithridge mill was burned, a casualty common to the tract whereon it stood….In 1884 the Cobb Stave mills were built opposite Tionesta, near the depot. A carriage and wagon factory is carried on here, which gives employment to a small number of the best mechanics.
Postmasters - In 1853 S. H. Haslet was commissioned postmaster, and held the office until July, 18th, when Joseph G. Dale succeeded him. Thomas Pearson came after Dale, then David Hays, William Neill, J. M. McKay, who served three full terms, C. M. Abner, commissioned in 1883. In October, 1880, Mr. Haslet was reappointed, and held the office until July, 1889, when D.S. Knox was commissioned.
Educational - The first school-house was erected in 1837 or 1839, and opened by Moss Fleming. In June, 1884, the contract for building the present brick school-house was awarded to May & Osborne, of Franklin, for $7,800. In January, 1885, their work was completed and received by the directors. This building stands on the plateau above the town, a most beautiful location. The first teachers' institute of Forest county was held December 24, 1867, under call of S. F. Rohrer, superintendent. The teachers present at the institute in December, 1868, were Messrs. J. T. Porter, D. Hays and J. Sallade, Misses Lizzie Callahan, Clara and Winnie Hunter, Mary Harrington, Eva White, Lizzie M. Kerr, E. J. Eakin, M. Pownell, Alice Weed, Clara Nickum, C. F. Wandell, Mary E. Mays, J. E. Copeland, Stella Sutton, Rosie Rapp, F. Copeland, Alice Dimond, Flora Philley and Mesdames A. DeWoody and Law.
Churches - The Methodist Church is contemporary with the Middleton settlement, although this pioneer did not call his neighbors to worship for some years after, when meetings were held in the old Red House on Jamison Flats. In 1827 steps were taken to build a union house at Tionesta. On October 13, 1829, John and Anne Range deeded to George Siggins, Jesse Dale, James· Wollaston, Asa C. Brown, John Middleton, James Dustin, David Hunter, George Gates and James Dawson, trustees of the Methodist society, one acre near Dr. Marvin Webster's grounds, being part of the Saqualinget tract patented to Sholass Range February 2, 1786, and conveyed to John Range in 1806. This deed was acknowledged September 2, 1830, before Alexander Holeman, a justice of the peace of Venango county, and recorded May 11, 1843. The work at building the old frame house which stood in the old burial ground, was at once commenced, but not until 1835 was it completed. It was continued in use until February 19, 1871, when the present brick church-house was dedicated by Rev. S. S. Burton, the pastor; O. L. Mead, presiding elder, and other preachers. The house stands on the old Methodist lot. Its total cost was $3.000, of which $700 were due at this date, and of this balance, $568.25, were subscribed that day. There are 156 members enrolled, and 170 baptisms have been recorded since 1881.
The records of the Methodist Episcopal Church date back only to November 8, 1880, although the class organization dates to 1829. The pastor in 1880 was Rev. J. B. Hill, who attended at Nebraska, Whig Hill, Beaver Valley, Hill's school-house and Red Brush. At this time the Hill school-house class was set off in charge of Mr. Hicks. In January, 1881, Rev. J. F. Hill tendered his first quarterly report. J. Peate was presiding elder, and T. B. Cobb, secretary. In 1882 Rev. J. P. Hicks was pastor, and Miles W. Tate, clerk. The parsonage was built in 1883. In December of that year J. M. Bray was presiding elder, and in the fall of 1884 Rev. F. M. Small took the place of Mr. Hicks as pastor, who was succeeded in 1887 by Rev. C. C. Ramberger. In February, 1888, Rev. Milton Smith presided over Conference as elder, and, in July, P. M. Clark was elected recording steward. During this year the appointments of Whig Hill and Balltown were transferred to the Fagundus circuit. Daniel Harrington, in his reminiscences, reports the troubles of 1844 as follows:
In 1844 there occurred a little unpleasantness in the Methodist Church at Tionesta, out of which grew a lawsuit which was tried at Franklin under the administration of Judge Gaylord Church. A preacher named Luce, with two assistants, was holding a protracted meeting. It was very cold weather, the snow deep, and the sleighing good. The house was filled every night. Some young men went there to see and to be seen, and, of course took their girls with them. Mr. Luce was a man not calculated to make friends by his speaking. At the opening of his discourse, and before he announced his text he would tell the audience what he would do to any who should behave improperly. The young men seemed to take these remarks as a sort of direct invitation to misbehave. Luce was a man of large proportions, and very arbitrary. On the trial it was shown that every time there had been a disturbance in his meeting Luce was the aggressor. At the wind-up of the services on this particular occasion somebody put some drug on the hot stove. Some thought it was assafoetida, while others thought it was brimstone. The crowd in the house immediately began to hunt for fresh air. The escaping capacity of the door not being sufficient, many went out by the windows. It was roll out, tumble out, any way to get out. The wicked said that the deacon of the church put the brimstone on the stove in order to give the people a foretaste of what they might expect in the future. I never heard how many converts were made at that meeting. Three or four young men were indicted for the disturbance, and gave bail for their appearance at court. The ablest attorneys in the county were employed on both sides. One of the young men indicted, named Tisdale, lived in the city of New York and was visiting some friends at Tionesta at the time of the occurrence. He came all the way from New York to stand his trial. The case occupied the time of the court, three days. The verdict of the jury was, not guilty, and that the prosecutor, Rev. Luce, and his assistant should pay the costs. Whether the costs were ever paid or not I don't know. Preachers, as a general rule, are not flush of money. Perhaps the congregation contributed to settle the bill. I felt sorry for Luce's assistant. He got into trouble, like Poor Tray, by being found in bad company. There is a right way and a wrong way to do everything. Mr. Luce took the wrong way to convert the people to his doctrine.
The Methodist Episcopal Conference appointed the following preachers: W. H. Farout, Marienville; C. C. Rumberger, Tionesta; C. R. Thompson, East Hickory.
The Presbyterian Church* was organized December 10, 1853, the day after the present building was dedicated. In July, 1852, James Hilands surveyed a lot 50 x 100 feet, originally owned by G. G. Sickles, and donated by Margaret, Benjamin and S. T. May that year. In the list of contributors to the building fund, H. Stowe & Co. are credited with $700, B. H. and S. T. May $175 each, C. W. Holmes, $100, Adaline and Charlotte Holmes, $80 each. The meeting to organize was presided over by Rev. Mr. Hampson, with William Bailey, secretary, and the name adopted was the New School or Constitutional Presbyterian Church. Hamilton Stowe and James Hilands were chosen elders, and they, with Herman Bloom, Benj. May, William McKinley, S. T. May and M. K. Riddle formed the male section of membership, while Margaret May, Helen S. May, Elizabeth May, Francis A. May, Mary A. Lamb, Mary McKinley, Lucy Selden, Mary Riddle and Ann S. May were the female members. The pastors, who have preached here since the church was organized, are named as follows: Rev. Berrege, November, 1854; Elliott preached four times prior to April, 1855; G. W. Hammer, November, 1855, to March, 1858; R. C. Allison, February, 1861 to 1863; Andrew Virtue, 1869 to 1872; William Elliott, January, 1875, to January, 1880; James Hickling, May, 1880, to May, 1888; J. V. McAninch, June 1, 1889. In 1857 the Misses Holmes presented a communion service; G. G. Butterfield, the present clerk, has filled that position since 1879, and is now engaged in editing the old record book of this church. There have been 123 members enrolled since December 10, 1853 of whom thirty-eight remain on the roll. Mrs. Francis A. May and Helen S. (May) Thomas remain of the first members. The roll of Sunday school pupils contains about ninety names. Mr. A. B. Kelly has served as superintendent since 1878.
*A costume concert was given February 15 and 16, 1869, under the management of Mrs. De Woody, president of the Sangerbund, for the benefit of the ministry of the Presbyterian Church.
The Free Methodist Church, established in this county some years ago, is still in active existence. The pastors of the Free Methodist Church, appointed in September, 1889, are S. Sager, with William Richards, supply, Hickory, and A. D. Gaines Tionesta and Newmanville. The church house at Tionesta was built in 1880, and opened for worship that year.
The Universalist Church was organized February 1, 1860, Rev. O. B. Clark being the first regular pastor, and Andrew Fleming, clerk. The Universalists of Tionesta, however, built a house of worship in 1858-59. Rev. Mr. Stacy, or Warren county, preached here at intervals prior to the latter date, and when the society was organized here it was attached to the Stacy association. The members were Jacob and Margaret Shriver, John A. and Elizabeth Dale, Andrew Fleming. J. G. Dale, James H. and Ella Dale. A. Pollock, Anna Shriver, Mary Hiner, R. E. Ashley, Eleanor Hunter, Thara and Mary Savage, Moses Pierson, Matthew and Rhoda Elder, Ruth Fleming, William Pierson, Laura Walters, Mary M. Walters, James Hulings, John Noble, Lafayette Patton. Nancy H., Ellen A. and H. W. Towner, Jacob Shriver. Jr., Sarah and W. A. Ryner, Daniel Stroup, Anna D. and Lucy Purdy, Harriet Shriver, Moses Walters, James Solley, Robert Hiner, Amaza Purdy, R. P. Rinet and A. J. Ryner; of the above named, twenty-three are deceased. In 1875 J. T. Dale was elected clerk, and the record closed with a notice of adjournment to the first Monday in January, 1876. In 1868 the Universalists rented their building to the Catholic congregation, who refitted it and worshiped there for two years when the Free Methodists rented it. Next it was occupied as a district school-house. This building is about to be conveyed to the State Universalist Association by J. G. Dale. D. W. Clark and John T. Dale, who have been trustees since 1876 Judge Galbraith is credited with being one of the first workers here, and Maj. James Hulings was also connected with this church.
Services of the Catholic Church were held at William Taylor's house, January 25, 1868, and later in the Universalist Church, which the congregation painted and refitted for services, Father Dunn being the missionary priest. The subscription toward the church building, reported in May, 1868, show Daniel Black subscribing $150, Patrick Cline and Patrick Russell $50 each, John Carney, James Albaugh, William Taylor, D. S. Knox, S. S. Hulings and T. F. Simmons $25 each, S. H. Haslet, T. Dimmock, J. B. Agnew and David Kelly, $10 each, M. Ryan, C. Myers, J. A. Dale, J. A. Proper, J. G. Philley, Mrs. Mary Nellis, Capt. J. B. Mechling, J. G. Dale, A. H. Steele, W. W. Mason and James Carroll, $5 each, Mrs. Julia Flinn, Pierce McAvoy, Con. Luhen, Patrick G. Leason and Allan Taylor, smaller sums, the total being $503. On July 4, a great festival yielded more money for this purpose; but the building project was postponed, and not until July 20, 1886, was a building for Catholic worship dedicated. Bishop Mullen, with Fathers Lavery, Dunn and De La Roque, performed the ceremony. This house was first erected at Pithole, where it was used until that town collapsed, when it was taken down with care and rebuilt here.
The Lutheran Mount Zion Congregation have their church on German Hill, Rev. R. J. Graetz presiding.
Societies - Tionesta Lodge, No. 369, I. O. O. F., was instituted June 21, 1850, with James Solley, N. G.; W. W. Hulings, V. G.; .Alex. Hilands, S.; H. H. May, A. S.; and W. W. May, T. After installation James Gordon, D. P. Bailey, W. Whitley, W. McKinley and T. O. Morgan were admitted by card from Venango Lodge, No. 255; J. M. Hilands, Charles Holeman, A. B. Root, Joseph G. Dale and R. Gilmore were nominated for membership. On June 22, T. O. Morgan was appointed secretary. In December, W. W. Hulings was chosen N. G. and Joseph G. Dale secretary with A. Purdy, J. Gordon and J. N. Hilands, trustees. The deaths of W. G. Connelly and W. W. May were reported. In June, 1851, T. O. Morgan was elected N. G., and J. A. Bowman, secretary, and in December James Gordon and James Solley were elected to fill the respective offices. In June, 1852, J. A. Bowman was chosen N. G., and M. K. Riddle, secretary, but in October the last named was succeeded by William M. Richardson. In February, 1853, R. McBride, S. T. May and M. K. Riddle were appointed a building committee to act in connection with the committee of school district, and in March Joseph G. Dale was elected N. G., and M. K. Riddle, secretary. In May they were re-elected; but S. H. Haslet was acting secretary for a time until J. A. Bowman was appointed in August. In October M. K. Riddle was elected N. G.; in December James Solly was chosen secretary, and in .April, 1854, was N. G. with Joseph G. Dale, secretary. In September S. H. Haslet succeeded Dale. A. B. Root was elected N. G. in April, 1855, with M. Milford secretary, but the latter failing to serve, S. H. Haslet filled the office until T. O. Morgan qualified in August, 1855. In September, 1855, S. H. Haslet was chosen N. G., and Joseph G. Dale, secretary, and they were re-elected in March, 1856; but in June, following, M. K. Riddle took the former's place. In July a number of members were suspended, and adjournments, owing to non-attendance of officers, were common. In September another batch was suspended; J. G. Dale was elected N. G. in October, with S. H. Haslet, secretary, and in December the question of selling the hall and discontinuing work was presented. In January, 1857, a vote in favor of continuance was recorded; but the lodge hall was ordered to be sold for $425. In March another lot of members was suspended, and on April 25 the committee on sale of hall reported their dealings with the schoolboard, showing the bid of $300, payable in annual installments of $75 with interest. Rules for refunding to members proceeds of sale were adopted, and on May 16, 1857, the lodge closed unceremoniously, and, later, surrendered the charter and records.
Tionesta Lodge, No. 369, I. O. O. F. was instituted under restored charter and records September 20, 1872, with seventeen members. J. G. Dale was appointed P. G., M. Ittel elected N. G., James Woodington, V. G.; W. R. Dunn, secretary; S. H. Haslet assistant secretary; John A. Proper, treasurer; Daniel Harrington, warden; Samuel D. Irwin, Con.; G. K. M. Crawford, S. S., and William Hood, G. Admissions were very numerous during the year, among which was G. W. Sawyer, who holds the old records. In March, 1873, S. H. Haslet was elected N. G., and J. T. Dale, secretary. The chair of N. G. has been filled since that time as follows: James Woodington, 1874; W. R. Dunn, 1874; J. T. Dale, 1875; A. B. Kelly, 1875; G. W. Sawyer, 1876; C. A. Randall, 1876; T. J. Van Geisen, 1877; S .. T. Setley, 1877; W. Y. Siggins, 1878; J. E. Blaine, 1878; S. D. Irwin, 1879; J. T. Brennan, 1879; E. E. McCray, 1880; D. W. Clark, 1880; J. H. Fones, 1881; P. M. Clark, 1881; J. H. Dingman, 1882; J. D. Dawson, 1882; Q. Jamieson, 1883; Eli Holeman, 1883; R. Z. Gillespie, 1884; S. C. Johnson, 1884; J. P. Huling, 1885; R. L. Haslet, 1885; G. W. Kerr, 1886; C. M. Shawkey, 1886; H. C. Whittekin, 1887; G. B. Armstrong, 1887; E. S. Hoyt, 1888; F. R. Lanson, 1889; G. W. Kemble, 1889; C. F. Thompson. 1890. The position of secretary has been held by the following named members since 1874: A. B. Kelly, G. W. Sawyer, 1874; G. T. Latimer, C. A. Randall, 1875; S. H. Haslet, 1876; D. W. Clark, 1877; and G. W. Sawyer, since 1878. J. H. Fones is now secretary. The property of the lodge is valued at about $7,000, and the membership is placed at eighty.
Leonora Lodge, No. 198, Daughters of Rebekah was chartered February 25, 1889, with S. H. Haslet, N. G.; Mrs. T. F. Ritchey, V. G.; G. W. Sawyer, Sec.; Mrs. S. D. Irwin, Asst. Sec., and Mrs. S. H. Haslet, Treas. On Mrs. Ritchey's removal to Oil City, Mrs. J. G. Dale was appointed to fill her position in the lodge. Among the female members at date of charter were the ladies named above, with Mesdames F. R; Lanson, G. F. Watson, I. W. Tomes, L. Agnew, C. A. Randall and G. W. Sawyer. The male members were H. C. Whittekin, I. W. Jones, Q. Jamieson, G. W. Kimball, F. R. Lanson, I. D. Swales, S. W. Haslet, R. L. Haslet, William Wood, John W. Wood, Charles F. Thompson, G. W. Sawyer, I. G. Dale, Eli Holeman, G. B. Armstrong, I. D. Dawson, F. F. Ritchey, S. D. Irwin, L. Agnew, Charles Winter, E. S. Hoyt, R. Z. Gillespie, A. M. Doutt, Solomon Fitzgerald, A. J. Gilfillan, E. L. De Woody, J. W. Dingman, G. W. Caw, C. A. Randall and J. P. Willing.
Olive Lodge, No. 557, F. &. A. M. was constituted September 15, 1881, with the following members: Thomas F. Ritchey, W. M.; Daniel W. Clark, S. W.; John T. Dale, --; Archie B. Kelly, Sec.; Ephraim L. Davis, J. W., and Thomas J. Payne. In December, 1881, D. W. Clark was elected W. M.; E. L. Davis, S. W.; A. B. Kelly, J. W., and Benjamin W. May, Sec. The respective offices were filled in 1883 by the following named members: E. L. Davis, A. B. Kelly, C. A. Randall and Thomas F. Ritchey; in 1884 by T. F. Ritchey, A. B. Kelly, C. A. Randall and E. L. Davis; in 1885 by C. A. Randall, H. C. Whittekin, J. T. Dale and T. F. Ritchey; H. C. Whittekin, W. A. Grove, T. J. Payne and C. .A.. Randall; in 1887 by W. A. Grove, T. J. Payne, T. W. Corah, and H. C. Whittekin, and in 1888 by W. A. Grove, C. A. Randall, O. F. Griffin, H. C. Whittekin. The officers elected in December, 1888, to serve during 1889 were Thomas J. Payne, W. M.; Charles F. Griffin, S. W.; Frank S. Hunter, J. W.; T. B. Cobb. Sec., and W. A. Grove, Treas. There are thirty -four members now on the roll.
Post No. 147, G. A. R., was formally organized in August, 1868, with Co1. J. W. H. Reisinger, commander, J. B. Agnew, S. V. C., Capt. D. S. Knox, adjutant, and about thirty members. On January 17, 1869, J. B. Agnew was elected commander; Sylvester Setley, adjutant; ,V. R. Dunn, S. V. C.; J. P. Siggins, J. V. C.; W. Clark, chaplain; D. W. Clark, quartermaster; C. McCray, surgeon; C. McCray, sergeant-major, and J. W. H. Reisinger, quartermaster-sergeant. This old post claimed about sixty members, when the charter was surrendered
Capt. George Stowe Post, No. 274, G. A. R., was mustered in August 9, 1882, with the following named charter members: *J. C. Pettigrew, *James Swales, T. J. Van Geisen, *Jonathan Albaugh, S. C. Johnson, John Matha, *Chris. Zuendel, William Albaugh, Capt. D. S. Knox, *C. A. Hill, J. G. Root, J. H. Wentworth, G. S. Hindman, Nicholas Weyant, James Hunter, James Johnson and W. P. Siggins of the Eighty-third Regiment; A. H. Southworth, of the Eighty-fifth; J. J. Greenewalt and Dan. Black, Tenth Reserve Corps; *S. N. Flowers, A. H. Downing and *R. B. Crawford, Fourth Cavalry; D. F. Sutton, Seventh New Jersey; *±N. Thompson, One Hundred and Twenty-first Pennsylvania; Samuel D. Irwin, Twelfth Kansas Infantry; *±Ab. Kenney, and *S. J. Setley, Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania; J. W. Morrow, Fifth Pennsylvania Artillery; C. W. Clark, Forty-eighth Pennsylvania; *W. R. Small, One Hundred and Third Pennsylvania; G. W. Bovard, One Hundred and Thirty-seventh Pennsylvania; *George Carr, One Hundred and Thirteenth; Henry Rhodes, One Hundred and Fifth; J. C. Heviler, One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Pennsylvania; S. S. Canfield, One Hundredth New York Infantry; *J. N. Tyrrell, One Hundred and Twenty-first Pennsylvania; Jonas Shunk, Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania, and H. W. Ledebur, Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry. In September of this year there were enrolled, *J. J. Parsons, One Hundred and Fifth; John H. White, One Hundred and Third; John Anderson and *±J. S. Range, Eighty-third Pennsylvania; Oliver Bierley, Seventy-fourth New York Infantry, and Robert Slagle, First Nebraska Cavalry. In February, 1883, and subsequently, the names enrolled are John Blauasen, One Hundred and Fifth; Henry Foy and D. Saltzqua, One Hundred and Sixty-ninth; Leonard Agnew, One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Pennsylvania; Peter C. Blocher, One Hundred and Second New York; Henry Brace, One Hundred and Eleventh Pennsylvania; David E. Erfley, One Hundred and Sixty-eighth; Ira Burns, Eighty-third ; Josiah Morehead, Sixty -second; George Keefer and David Stakeley, One Hundred and Fifty-fifth; S. C. Whitman, Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania; H. H. Hanna, Seventy-fourth New York Infantry; J. B. Eden, Ninth Pennsylvania; I. N. Shinip, Twenty-first; Samuel Agnew and J. B. Agnew, Thirty-ninth; John S. Wilson, One Hundred and Twenty-first; Jacob Lackey, One Hundred and Third; R. W. Stocklin* in Sheridan's charge, Fourth Cavalry; D. B. Emminger, Thirty-ninth Infantry; John A. Hart, Fifth Cavalry; John H. Berlin,* Eighty-third Infantry; Alex. Mealy, One Hundred and Fifty-fifth; A. Wisner, Fourth Cavalry; Thomas Cooper, Two Hundred and Eleventh Infantry; D. Rustler, Eighty-third; W. A. Burns,* Eighty-seventh; J. E. Staighton,* Fourteenth Cavalry; O. C. Brownell, Ninth New York Infantry; B. F. Feitt, Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania; F. J. Kiser, One Hundred and Thirty-ninth; G. W. Huddleson, Eighty-third; Solomon Fitzgerald, Eleventh Pennsylvania Reserve Corps; J. R. Landis, One Hundred and Third; O. S. Smith,* Sixty-second; Daniel W. Clark, Eighty-third; A. H. Weingard, Eighty-second; George W. Robinson, One Hundred and Thirty-ninth; Moses Mealy, Eighty-second; William E. Witherill, One Hundred and Fifty-fourth New York Infantry; R. Ralle, One Hundred and Fourth Pennsylvania; John Rhodes, --; P. Copeland, --George Albaugh, Nineteenth United States Infantry; Daniel Walters, Andrew McCray, W. Briggs. D. S. Knox was elected first commander, and he appointed T. J. Van Geisen, adjutant. The latter was succeeded by Samuel D. Irvine in 1883, and the former by G. W.Bovard in January, 1884. A year later J.B. Agnew succeeded Bovard as commander. J. W. Morrow was elected in December, 1885, and D. S. Knox, in December, 1886, who appointed J. W. Morrow, adjutant vice Irwin. Samuel D. Irwin was elected commander in December, 1887, and D. W. Clark was appointed adjutant, who served until August, 1888, when R. Ralle was appointed. Leonard Agnew, commander in 1889, appointed S. J. Setley, adjutant.
*Wounded in battle ±Died since 1882
Camp 28, Sons of Veterans, was organized in January, 1888, with C. M.
Agnew, captain; John T. Carson, lieutenant; John D. Swailes, second-lieutenant; James Clark, Andrew Carr and F. W. Law, council; John N. Heath, chaplain; L. J. Hopkins, sergeant; S. Q. Clark, quartermaster; C. E. Morgan, S. of G.; B. Fitzgerald, C. of G.; Roy Brownell, C. G.; O. R. Bascom, S., and C. Bovard, P. G.
Forest Lodge, No. 184, A. O. U. W., was organized in 1881, but not until 1884 was the record of elections published. The lodge was then presided over by Dr. W. C. Coburn, with J. E. Wenk, secretary; S. S. Canfield, foreman; G. C. Brown, 0.; J. R. Clark, receiver; G. W. Sawyer, F.; J. B. Eden, G.; W. Smearbaugh, I. W.; A. Carr, O. W.; M. B. Cook and W. C. Coburn, physicians, and G. W. Bovard, representative. S. S. Canfield presided in 1885; H. C. Whittekin in 1886; L. Fulton and L. Agnew, 1887; L. Fulton, 1888; C. M. Arnet, 1889, when J. R. Clark succeeded J. E. Wenk as recorder. C. M. Arner was elected P. M. W.; J. E. Wenk,· M. W.; and J. K. Clark, recorder, in December, 1889.
The W. C. T. U. is a powerful organization in this county. The County Union is presided over by Mrs. Derickson, with Mrs. W. J. Roberts, secretary. At the convention held at Marienville in August, 1888, the societies at Tionesta, Gilfoyle, Greenwood, Hickory and Marienville were represented. Mrs. T. S. Roberts, born in Chautauqua county, N. Y., in 1825, died October 28, 1889. She was a leading worker in the W. C. T. U.
The lodge of I. O. G. T. was organized at Tionesta in November, 1867, with W. E. Lathy, Clara Nickham, Mrs. C. R. Taylor, Nellie May, Oapt. K. Brett, Lou E. Winans, E. T. Simmons, Rev. E. T. McCreary, W. E. Clark, W. J. Roberts, Lizzie Heath, Mrs. C. M. Heath, Ettie Winans and C. S. Miller, officials in order of rank. The I. O. G. T. hall was dedicated December 30, 1868, for Lodge No. 477. This was in the old G. W. Bovard building, over his present store, where the I. O. O. F. hall was also.
The Tionesta Cemetery Association was organized July 11, 1868. H. H. May was president; Joseph G. Dale, P. D. Thomas and Jacob Wenk, trustees; Samuel D. Irwin, secretary, and D. S. Knox, treasurer. Rev. H. May established this cemetery in 1843, where he was buried July 5, that year, on the acre which he donated.
Tionesta Temple of Honor was organized March 9, 1871, with W. R. Dunn, M. W. Tate, J.T. Dale, S. J. Wolcott, J. Grove, W. Reck, W. Stroup, M. Clark and Alex. Henage holding the offices in order of rank.
The White Pines, the first regularly organized baseball club of Tionesta, was formed in April, 1872, with J. T. Dale, president; E. M. Sutton, secretary; Jacob E. Wenk, treasurer, and H. W. Roberts, captain of first nine.
The Tionesta Union Sunday-school was organized in April, 1874, with M. W. Tate and W. R. Dunn, superintendents; P. M. Clark, secretary; G. W. Robinson, treasurer; S. D. Irwin and Samuel Riddle, librarians.
Tionesta Council, No. 342, O. U. A. M., was organized with eighteen members in July, 1874. Dr. J. E. Blaine was counselor, James Fones and H. Swaggart, recorders; G. W. Sawyer, F. S.; T. J. Van Geisen, T.; J. T. Dale, V. C.; while S. Campbell, R. B. Crawford, L. J. Johnson and A. Cooper filled the minor offices.
Tionesta Grange was organized May 5, 1874, with J. M. Kepler, M.; P. D. Thomas, O.; S. D. Irwin. L.; P. O. Conver, S.; J. A. Proper, T.; S. H. Haslet, steward; Dr. J. E. Blaine, A. S.; Jacob Hood, G. K.; M. W. Tate, Chap.; Mrs. J. E. Blaine, Ceres; Mrs. Conver, Pomona, Mrs. S. D. Irwin, Flora, and Mrs. S. H. Haslet, stewardess. J. D. Agnew, a charter member, aided in completing the constitution.
Sylvan Council of the Mutual Protection Association was organized at Tionesta in September, 1879, with Dr. J. E. Blaine, A. B. Kelly, Mrs. A. E. Fones, Mrs. C. M. Heath, G. W. Dithridge, G. W. Bovard and wife, Mrs. J. Paup and C. A. Randall, officers in order of rank.
The Equitable Aid Union was organized in December, 1883, with fifty-four members, of whom the following named were elected officers: Chancellor, ·W. C. Coburn; advocate, S. C. Johnson; president, T. F. Ritchey; vice-president, Mrs. T. F. Ritchey; auxiliary, Mrs. W. C. Coburn; secretary, J. P. Huling; treasurer, Eli Holeman; accountant, J. H. Dingman; chaplain, Jennie Partridge; warden, W. A. Eagles; sentinel, Miss Alice Holeman; watchman, J. H. Dewees; conductor, Mrs .. J. H. Dewees; assistant conductor, Mrs. Sallie Jackson; trustee, Eli Holeman; examining physician, W. C. Coburn, M. D.
The P. O. S. of A., Camp Washington, No. 420, was organized March 28, 1889, with J. R. Chadwick, P. P.; E. L. Davis, P.; J. C. Scowden, V. P.; H. H. Shoemaker, M. F. and C.; S. S. Canfield, conductor; A. M. Doutt, F. S.; T. B. Cobb, R. S.; A. H. Dale, A. R. S.; J. F. Proper, T.; J. J. Landers, O. G.; Pritner Agnew, I. G.; John Hunter, R. L., and Frank Thomson, L. L.
Miscellaneous - In 1865 the first destructive fire visited the village, and on December 10, 1872, the second fire occurred, sweeping away the old Holmes House; in 1875 Dithridge's mill was burned; in 1877 his house near the mouth of the Tionesta was destroyed by fire; on May 9, 1879, the Tionesta House went up in smoke; Jacob Kepler's .first residence, opposite the courthouse, was burned in October, 1878; in January, 1879, Derickson's saw-mill was reduced to ashes; in November, 1884, the building owned by G. S. Hunter, just north of the depot was burned; Judge Proper's building on Main street was burned February 3, 1888, and the dwellings of Daniel Walters and Judge Reck damaged.
D. W. Agnew was killed in April, 1888, in the Blue Narrows, opposite William Walter's house, where his team carried him over the steep embankment. He was born in Jefferson county, Penn., March 2, 1850. He was one of a family of twelve children, eight of whom-seven brothers and one sister-survive him. He came to Tionesta about eighteen years before, where, in 1878, he married Sallie Craig.
Source: Page(s) 886-900, History of Counties of McKean, Elk and Forest, Pennsylvania.
Chicago, J.H. Beers & Co., 1890.
Transcribed November 2005 by Nathan Zipfel for the Forest County Genealogy Project
Published 2005 by the Forest County Pennsylvania Genealogy Project"
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