Pioneer Settlers, Tioga County

Created: Thursday, 18 February 2016 Last Updated: Thursday, 18 February 2016 Written by Nathan Zipfel Print Email

Pioneer Settlers

I have read the sketches of the early settlement of Tioga County lately published in The Agitator, and naturally feel much interest in such reminiscences; having lived in Northern Pennsylvania since February 1804, part of the time in Bradford and the remainder in Tioga County. I glen from McMaster's history of Steuben County that Samuel Baker, from Connecticut, built a cabin between the Tioga and Cowanesque rivers, a few rods South of the State line. His entire movables consisted of a cow, and such things as he could carry on his back. His nearest neighbor was a Mr. Harris, and Indian trader at the Painted Post, the next below Elmira. During the summer Mr. Stone, from Massachusetts, who had been engaged in the Shays' Rebellion, and fled to the wilderness to escape arrest. In the fall, Mr. Barker left Stone in care of his cabin and cow while he went east to get his family, with whom he returned the next spring. Here he lived until 1793, six years. Not being satisfied with the title to his Pennsylvania farm he was induced by Col. Williamson (who had visited him the previous while exploring the road from Lycoming County) to remove to Steuben County, at the head of Crooked Lake, where he lived until 1842, and died at the age of 80 years. His was an eventful life, having been a soldier at 15, taken prisoner by the British army, and held in captivity until the surrender of Burgoyne. He then rejoined the American army and served through the war. He became one of the foremost men in Steuben county, holding at one time the office of Judge, and at various times offices of trust.

In 1792, Benjamin, overseer of the men who were cutting out the Williamson Road, found coal while hunting near where Blossburg now stands. It was then known as "Peter's Camp," from the name of the baker who built an over there, probably the first building ever put up in that region. A few days later the same Company made an improvement at Canoe Camp Creek, while Patterson was away at Painted Post. His men made a few canoes, and cleared about two acres of land. This seems to have been the second clearing made in Tioga County.

SOURCE: The Agitator, Wellsboro, Penna, June 5, 1867