ABBOT AND ALLEGHENY TOWNSHIPS
ABBOT TOWNSHIP- CONFORMATION- FIRST INHABITANTS- SETTLEMENT OF GERMANIA- OLE BULL'S COLONY- HARDSHIPS OF THE PIONEERS- INTERESTING ACCOUNTS- SOME FIRST EVENTS AND THINGS- MISCELLANEOUS.
ALLEGHENY TOWNSHIP- THE SUMMIT TOWNSHIP OF POTTER- TOPOGRAPHY- POPULATION AND ASSESSMENT- EARLY NAMES, CHURCHES, BUSINESS, ETC.
ABBOT TOWNSHIP, adjoining Stewardson on the north, bounded east by Tioga county, is a wilderness in its southeastern sections, along the heads of Kettle creek, while the new Bergen anticlinal through the northwestern sections shows a valley of about four miles in width, watered by the several runs forming the head of Cross forks, which cut through the Catskill formation and expose the upper Chemung rocks. The valley is about eleven miles long by the given width, broken by high and steep hills, and singularly picturesque. All the rock formations common to this section are found here, and even the mysterious boulder is present to entertain the traveler.
There were 58 tax- payers listed in 1853; in 1889 there were 186, with. property valued at $148,426. The population in 1880 was 623, including 101 in Germania village, and in 1888 there were 40 Republicans, 105 Democrats, 14 Prohibitionists, and 1 Union Labor, representing 800 inhabitants. Abbot township was established in 1851, and the assessment made in 1852. The assessment roll gives the names of the following residents: Henry Anderson, clerk, valuation $200; Ole Bull, $549; David, John and William. Conway, Wm. V. Dann (surveyor), Olans Salberg (baker), Geo. Wran, Peter Yochum, Adam. Yoh, Hubbard Starkweather, J. Clausen, and Wirts Seeker, farmers; Otto Raas (teacher), Elling Lawsen (farmer), Andreas Brunker, B.A. and Ole Bergeson, Aug. Amandsen, Peter. Anderson, Brede, Ole and Staver Eversen, S.E. Evenson, Dan. Ericksen, Paul Eahnsen, E. Jacobsen, Hans Halm, Ever Huberget, E. Kulmsee, Petter Lamo, M. and C. Mathiesen, N. Nielsen, seven Olsens, Ole Pedersen, Lars Peytg, Gus. Skoyen, Axel Saxtorph, Toley Tostensen, Tasten Farrensen, ____Wiese and Witte, all day laborers; John Zerbee, W. Mealin, Wm. Mure, Peter and John Dilcamp, R. Dun, Sam. Barks and Sol. Baligh, owners of 100 acre tracts of hills.
In 1855 Germania was settled by a number of Germans under the leadership of Dr. Chas. Meine. Of the early experiences, Dr. Meine writes as follows: "When I came here to Potter county, October, 1855, to begin the German settlement, about eighteen Dane and Norwegian families, the remainder of Ole Bull's settlement, were left here in Abbot, beside the settlement on Yochum Hill, which was started before the Ole Bull settlement. The German Company, Wm. Radde, New York, bought out these Danish and Norwegian settlers, who moved, mostly, to Wisconsin. In November, 1855, we built our first log- house, the starting point of Germania. I helped cut the first tree for fire- logs in front of our bough house, it being so cold that we had to take the ax along to cut the ice if we wanted some water for tea. In January, 1856, we put the roof on this log house. It was so cold that a nail touched by the naked hand was instantly frozen to the fingers. We were four men, and in order to keep us from freezing one had to keep two stoves red hot. We had regular two hours watch in turn; no bedding, two woolen blankets for four men; nothing to eat in five weeks but buckwheat cakes and molasses. I went one Sunday, in 1855, through the whole of Abbot township for bread, and did not find a mouthful- plenty of dry buckwheat cakes though. A poor Norwegian felled a tree on his cow, and had to cut her throat. He reported this, crying, to us, who were overglad to buy the beef. In the spring of 1856 the company had some land cleared off, a saw- mill was erected, and the hotel, a store and dwelling house, by the company. Some families . moved in; I built my house; we had hard times; nearest railroad station forty- two miles off- Tioga village. We commenced to clear lands, build roads, etc. With the motto ‘stick to it,' we have created a nice settlement in the wilderness, with good roads, school- houses and churches. Good farms, and the people are satisfied with their situation."
We are indebted to Conrad M. Miller for the following additional items regarding the settlement of Germania: "In 1856 there were living in the town of Germania Dr. Charles Meine, Mr. Martin, Mr. Heinewitz, Mr. Miller, Isaac Miller, Michael Schwarzenbach and others. Otto Meine, son of Dr. Meine, was the first male child born in Germania. The house of Isaac Miller was used for a school-house, and the pupils were taught by a Mr. Allen." Mr. C.M. Miller, himself, was the second male child born in the settlement, having first seen the light November 6, 1858.
The first store was opened in Germania by Fred T. Sahr and Christian Petersen. The first school- house was built on Yochum Hill, and the first teacher was David Conway. The business circle of today comprises Otto Braum, general store; C.A. Meissner & Son, general store; Charles Hepp, one pool table; Paul Milde, groceries and oysters; S. Theis & Son, general store; John Bodler, boots and shoes. In 1859 the first grist- mill was built in Abbot by the Germania Land Company. In 1867 the first church organization took place in Abbot, at Germania- Lutheran. The first preacher was Rev. Fred. Quensch. The Germania Cemetery Association was organized in September, 1874, with Dr. C. Meine, C. Sandbach, F. Scheinkonig, M. Handwerk and M. Gutzsell, trustees. There were ninety- six members, residents of West Branch and Abbot townships, who subscribed $5 each to the capital stock. A child of John Shawl, a pipe- line inspector of New Bergen and postmaster at that point, was lost in the woods. The affair created much sympathy for the parents, and the people turned out en masse to search; but in vain- not a trace of the little girl was ever found. In February, 1878, two Indians from Salamanca visited Coudersport. They stated they were on a bear hunt, but the people credited their visit to their knowledge of the lead deposits in the Kettle creek and Pine creek neighborhoods. In May, 1889, the Little Kettle Creek Improvement Company, William Dent, Charles Meine, August Schwarzenbach, Ezra Canfield, Emil Peltz and others petitioned for a charter, with the object of clearing, widening, straightening and deepening of Little Kettle creek in Abbot and Stewardson townships, from its confluence with the Main Kettle creek at Oleona, to its source, a distance of less than twenty miles.
New Bergen, or Carter Camp, and Germania, are the principal post- office centers of this township.
The officers of the township elected in February, 1890, are as follows: Justice of the peace, Henry Theis; constable, Peter Zepp; collector, Peter Zepp; assessor, Peter Zepp; supervisor, Louis Gnau; treasurer, John Zengerlee; town clerk, Fred Woelfel; auditor, Paul Milde; school directors, William Tomke and Henry Gressel; overseer of the poor, George Schultheis; judge of election, Emanuel Schwarzenbach; inspectors of election, Conrad Henser and John C. Hay.
Allegheny township, formerly called Denmark until the change of name in 1830, is undoubtedly the summit township of Potter. Near its center are the heads of the Allegheny, the Oswayo, and of the west branch of the Genesee, while Miller's branch of that river rises near Raymond's, and south of Raymond's is the head stream of Cushing creek, thus connecting the springs of this township with the north and south Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. Rose lake, in the northwest quarter is a reservoir cut in the Chemung rock by nature. Red soil, red rock and slate prevail, while in the Cobb settlement, near the village of Raymond's the wonderful loafing conglom boulder claims the attention.
The population in 1880 was 672; the tax- payers in 1889, 190; the votes in 1888, Republican 100, Democrat 50, representing a population of at least 750. The assessed value in 1889 was $80,255.
The township was assessed along with Genesee prior to 1837. In that year Chester Andrews, assessor, found here Levi Andrews, John Abby, George Bence, Robert Butler, Thomas Chatterton, Cornelius Canon, Simeon N. Canon, Daniel Corwin, Daniel Clark, John Dwight, Consider Ellis, John Erwin, Comfort D. Felt, Lemuel V. Lowell, Oliver, William and John Lowell, Henry Nelson, Timothy Ives, Jr., John Pye, Isaac Quick, Cyrenus and Henry Lynch, Sam. Newell, Sam. Hunt, Dan. Raymond, Truman Burr, Henry King, Jonathan Biam, Marion and Levi T. Moore, John Jacobs, D. and C. Reynolds, George Judd, and Eli and Elisha Chamberlain; Robert Blackwell, William Bingham and T.M. Welling were the owners of inseated lands at this time. Harry Lent, a native of Bradford county, Penn., came in about fifty- six years ago, but his name does not appear on the tax list.
On May 15, 1867, the Presbyterian Church of Raymond was opened, J.L. Swain being principal in urging the building. The house stands on a lot donated by Mr. Cobb. Prior to this time the old school- house was used by all Protestant denominations for worship. Since 1867 they have been permitted to use the church building, but in May,, 1887, the question of joint ownership was raised.
The Union Church society of Allegheny was incorporated in 1888, with B.F. Bishop, C.E. Tucker and W.A. Gardner, managers. The object was to build a house of worship for the use of the Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists and Universalists of Andrews Settlement, to be controlled by the Methodists. There were fifteen members at organization in March, 1888. The building was dedicated January 24, 1889, B.F. Bishop, C.E. Tucker and W.A. Gardner being the managing committee. Andrews Settlement Cemetery Association was incorporated in February, 1888, with B.F. Bishop, Charles Coats, D.W. Rogers, R.A. Andrews, B. Ellis and E.H. Estes directors. At Raymond is the general store of Conable Bros. (W.E. Freeman kept the general store here in the seventies), at Colesburg is A. Veley's general store, and at Andrews Settlement is the store of W.H. Matteson. John C. Cavenaugh, one of the old settlers who has been for thirty- five years a tipstaff of the court, and is now living with his son, James Cavenaugh, in Coudersport, came into the county in 1836. He settled in this township on the farm now occupied by Warren Gardner. At this time there were not more than twelve or fourteen voters in the township. The elections were held at the house of Levi Andrews, the only dwelling house at the time where now stands Andrews Settlement. The elections were held at that time for Allegheny and Genesee townships together. There was a log school- house at Andrews Settlement. The school was taught by a Mr. Cannon.
In July, 1889, the Sons of Temperance of Andrews Settlement elected the following named officers: Lena Andrews, Clara Scoville, Almond Scoville, Charles Bishop, Ella James, Allen Gardner, John Bishop, W. Simons, Mrs. Hall, Lewis Dwight and Lulu Burch.
The officers of this township elected in 1890 are the following named: Supervisor, R.A. Andrews; constable, W.E. Weaver; collector, W.E. Weaver; town clerk, E.A. Haskell; auditor, D.L. Raymond; treasurer, W.B. Perkins; overseer of the poor, B.F. Bishop; school directors, E. Miller and H. Stebbins; judge of election, M.A. Veley; inspectors of election, M. Hattenstein, F.P. Leet, and for the Woodville independent district the following named, school directors were chosen: James Bird and Philo Stonemets.
Source: Page(s) 1070-1073 History of Counties of McKean, Elk and Forest, Pennsylvania. Chicago, J.H. Beers & Co., 1890.
Transcribed March 2006 by Mary Bryant, Published 2006 by PA-Roots