PAGenWeb McKean County, Pennsylvania
History of McKean County
from History of the Counties of McKean,
Elk, Cameron, and Potter, Pennsylvania
J.H. Beers, Chicago, 1890
ELDRED TOWNSHIP - BOROUGH OF ELDRED
ELDRED TOWNSHIP - TOPOGRAPHY - OIL WELLS - POPULATION - OFFICERS OF THE TOWNSHIP, 1890, - FIRST SETTLEMENTS - RESIDENT TAX-PAYERS, 1843-44 - FIRST SHINGLE-MILL - VILLAGES, ETC.
BOROUGH OF ELDRED - ORIGIN OF NAME - EARLY HISTORY - GROWTH OF THE TOWN - INCORPORATION - FIRST COUNCIL - OFFICERS CHOSEN IN 1890 - HURRICANES, FIRES, ETC. - FIRE COMPANY - SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES - SOCIETIES - BANKS - WATER-WORKS - GAS COMPANY - INDUSTRIES - MISCELLANEOUS.
Eldred Township is divided into two ridges by the valley of the Allegheny. The river enters the township near the southeast corner, flows in a tortuous course, generally north, to the bend at the confluence of Indian creek, where it runs east, and thence north, entering New York State near the northeast corner of the township, and seven and one-third miles from the northeast corner of the county, at State Line village. Newell creek enters from the northeast in the southeast corner; Potatoe creek joins the river a mile below Frisbee; Barden creek enters at Eldred, and Knapp's creek a mile below. Several small feeders run down from the high lands: Rice's creek (along which runs the pipe line) courses southeast through the southwest corner, and Indian creek holds a similar position in the northwest corner. The rich valley lands comprise the greater part of the area; but the summits are bold, many attaining a height of about 2,200 feet above the tide level. At State Line the elevation is only 1,440. The outcrop of Kinzua creek sandstone extends for 800 feet to the Chemung conformation, and up to 1879 the oil field was mainly confined to the Indian creek region. The old Littlefield well, drilled in 1878, was the only producer at Eldred for some time prior to 1879, when the Cummings & Dean well was drilled, only to be found dry. In August the old Erie Company's well was shot, and became (it is alleged) a ten-barrel producer. The well on the Benham farm, at the head of Windfall, was abandoned, but became a gasser. The Gas Company's new well is bored on this farm.
In August, 1878, the well on the Welch farm, the Hostetter on the Wolcott farm, the Knott Bros.' well on Mix creek, and the Lee & Halleck well, as well as Parsons & Co.'s , were in existence. Palmer well No. 1, on Carpenter brook, was drilled in the spring of 1880, but proved dry. In March, 1881, the Morse well, on Windfall, gave a new industry to Eldred. The Sartwell well, five miles south of Eldred, was shot in February, 1882, and threw out the oil and salt water in the hole. The Eldred wells in existence in March, 1884, were the Simcox on the Littlefield farm, completed in May, 1877, but, owing to heavier wells being found at Duke Centre and Indian Creek, it was abandoned until the winter of 1883-84, and it is now a producer. The Cummings & Dean well, on the G. T. Dennis farm, was finished August 2, 1879; Barber's well, in January, 1881; Morse & William's, in March, 1881; White & Lloyd's, in April, 1883; Morse & Allen's, on the Winchell farm, in December, 1883; Allen, Morse & Jones', on the Hartson farm, in February, 1884; Morse & Co.'s, on the Jerome Curtiss farm, in February, 1884; Douglass & Co.'s, on the Rixford, March 1, 1884; Riley Allen's, on Will Curtiss', March 3, 1884; Bradley
& Curtiss', on the Dean farm, March 5, 1884, while Douglass & Co. were engaged in drilling. The Bennett well was shot in March, 1886, also the Chrisman, Brown & Baldwin wells, while the Keyes well, on the E. R. Lamphier farm, was drilled to the Kan sand, 1,605 feet, when it was shot and oil taken, and a new well begun at Turtle Point - Alford & Loops' - on the Rixford farm. In June, 1889, Tarbell, Rice & Shafer finished their well No. 1 on the Perham mill lot, eastward of the older wells. They have their rig for No. 1 on the Bennett farm, near Mitchell Bros.' No. 1, and one for their well on the Rice purchase. Throughout the summer of 1889 Steel & Duncan, the Mitchell Bros. And others were engage in drilling. Tarbell, Shafer & Rice's well was shot at the close of July, 1889, and yielded twelve barrels. This was the first well drilled east of the river at Eldred. It shows a difference in the oil-bearing rock. In November the same firm shot No. 2, east of the river, obtaining thirty barrels.
The population of Eldred township in 1880 was 3,243, including 1,165 in Eldred village, 228 in Indian Creek village, 200 in Larrabee village, 200 in State Line and 220 in Haymaker. In 1888 the township recorded 176 Republican, 111 Democratic, 20 Prohibition and 15 Labor Unionist votes, or a total of 322; the respective vote of the township multiplied by five equals 1,610 as the population, and that of the borough multiplied by six gives 1,344, or a total of 2,954.
The officers of the township chosen in February, 1890, are as follows: Supervisors, John Ellis, O. Bell; school directors, Joseph Stull had 213 votes, and R. A. Rice and Mike McAuliff each had 212 votes; collector, Pat McDonald; constable, C. J. Carey; auditor, D. Burnham; judge of election, C. M. Slack; inspectors, G. Kelley, Mike McAuliff; town clerk, J. C. Campbell.
The first settlements were made in 1808 by the Loops and Hookers, in 1810 by Joseph and Jacob Stull, in 1812 by Rensselaer Wright and a man named Hitt, on the farm which Stephen H. Smith occupies, opposite the Coleman & Wright mill. Wright filled the office of sheriff one term, and that of justice for many years. In 1818 Justice Rice and three brothers arrived and settled near what was know as the Benton mill. Jacob Knapp also came that year and located at the mouth of Knapp's creek. Ebenezer Larrabee, father of Ransom, came in 1818; the Dennis family arrived in 1822, and shortly after, Timothy Carpenter. In 1835 came William Lamphier, and 1838 Dr. E. Barden. For some years after settlement bear-hunting was a common sport for the pioneers, and stories are related of Nathan Dennis and his brother-in-law, Larrabee, of adventures in the dense alder-brush below and west of the present village. In 1838 the country was so wild a party of raftsmen were lost in the woods near Knapp's creek.
The resident tax-payers in 1843-44 were Ebenezer* and A. A. Barden*, James Baker+, Val. Bowen*, Nelson, Josiah and I. C. Burnham*, Selden Blackman, S. D. Brown+, A. D. Brainard*, Orrin Cook*, James and Cynthia* Campbell, David Cooper, John Chase*, Cornelius Culp*, Oscar Carpenter*, Timothy Carpenter*, T. T. Carpenter*, Nathan Dennis*, Asa* and Caleb Canfield, Dave Cornelius*, James Drake, John Fobes* (saw-mill, owner and proprietor of a silver watch), Perry and George Frost, Mary Fowler*, Eldredge Goodman+, John D. Green*, Jesse L. Garey*, Phil. Hooker*, Horace Hooker* (saw-mill owner), Martin G. Samuel*, Abijah+, Jacob*, and William Knapp, John* and Norry Loop, Ben. Lumpkin, William*, William Jr.*, and Benjamin Lamphier, Ransom, Ebenezer* and Eben, Jr.*, Larrabee, John Morris*, C.
C. Morris, James McCray+, Michael Mix+, John Mill*, Sam.* and Erastus Nichols, Almon* and Justin* Rice, Thomas Robbins*, W. S. Rounds*, Sherman Strong* (on whose land was the Catholic Church ground), Joseph Stull*, Caleb*, Jerome and Abram* B. Stull, S. and John M.* Wright, John Wolcott* and William Wright, Jr. John Morris, the assessor, estimated the total value of seated lands and personal property at $7,484, and of unseated lands at $23,620.
The first shingle-mill was built at Prentiss Vale in 1847, by Strong, who was the only settler there. There was plenty of pine at that time, and agreed to give Reuben Dennis one-half the shingles, on condition that he would supply the timber. This agreement took effect, and young Dennis, with A. T. Barden and L. L. Dennis, to whom he paid $18 per month, entered the wilderness and began the work of stocking the mill - a work which continued throughout the summer. The following winter R. Dennis hauled the shingles to Portville, where he received 14 shillings per thousand. Close by the mill was Hermann Strong's blacksmith shop, with the earth for a floor, the sky for a roof and the forest for its walls. The proprietor, his partner and the latter's employes worked hard, but withal were always ready for a joke. On one occasion L. L. Dennis was crossing the creek, on the single log which then filled the place of a bridge, carrying dinner for his two friends. Next to him was Barden, carrying the axes, and last was the heavy joker of the camp, Reuben Dennis. When one-half way across, he called out to Barden, "look out for the log," and the latter, alarmed, caught hold of L. L. Dennis, when both fell into the creek. The men took the affair as a joke, but did not forget the joker. The same year A. T. Barden bought some meadow land opposite Wolcott's mill, and among the men called to aid in hay-making was the joker, Reuben. A party of six crossed the river in a canoe, but on disembarking, Barden, who was second last, leaped forward to the Allegheny's bank, tipping the canoe as he jumped ashore, leaving Reuben Dennis struggling in the water. He had his revenge when he cried out in turn, "Look out, or you'll fall off that log!"
Eldred in 1846 claimed one store, kept by John Fobes, but no tavern. J. N. Dennis opened in 1847, and in February, 1848, mention is made of bridges being in bad repair. Oscar Jordan and John Fobes were the merchants of Eldred in 1852.
Larrabee post-office (usually spelled Larabee) was established in August, 1852, and Ransom Larrabee appointed master. The settlement became a place of importance in the fall of 1874, when the railroad builders gathered round the junction of the McKean & Buffalo, with the Buffalo, New York & Philadelphia and the R. N. & P. Railroads. The hotel was carried on by Ransom Larrabee, a restaurant by E. & T. Mullin, two general stores were opened, a blacksmith shop and Williams' barber shop.
Wainman & Foster's mill, near Larrabee, was destroyed by fire in June, 1876, together with about 700,000 feet of sawed lumber….The fire of March, 1885, destroyed the Benton House, the Larrabee Hotel and other property. A telegram to the Chicago Tribune, dated Larrabee, October 21, 1889, gives information relating to the burning of J. J. Newman's saw-mill and 3,000,000 feet of lumber, loss $24,000; J. C. French's store, $6,500; Mrs. Smith's boarding, $800, and two barns and hay, the property of D. C. Young, $2,000.
In 1878 P. A. Templeton purchased the Annis farm on Mix creek, and had it surveyed into town lots, calling the village Templeton.
Haymaker, a new town, was almost destroyed in August, 1879, when the Weston House and the Gilmore and Haymaker Hotels were burned. The post-office and store of John E. Coleman barely escaped. A mile north of this village are the producing wells of the Bardens; and round the village are some valuable farms. The E. A. U. of Haymaker was organized in March, 1886, with forty-seven members. The officers selected were W. A. Nott, M. A. Sypher, G. T. Weible, Dr. Cass and A. Sinclair.
In December, 1881, the old Chamberlain mill at State Line was purchased by M. Smith, who introduced new machinery and opened it as a modern mill in July, 1882. The Bullis Brothers, who, in 1875, purchased 552 acres on Two Mile run and established large mills near Port Allegany, bought 947 acres near State Line, and in 1880, 1,200 acres near Turtle Point. Their old mills, with the new mills near State Line, and their large concern at Carrollton, N. Y., gave employment to a large force of men and played an important part in the progress of McKean county during the last fifteen years.
In early days a steam tug-boat was used on the Allegheny, sometimes as far up as Larrabee. In May, 1889, B. Alford's steamboat was completed, and during the flood of May 31 and June 1, was used on the streets of Eldred.
BOROUGH OF ELDRED
Eldred is the new name of an old settlement. It is the principal town of the northeast part of the county, and the center of a large trade as well as of a rich agricultural and mineral district.
In November, 1879, a petition was presented to the postmaster-general to abolish the name of Allegheny Bridge and substitute that of Eldred. In February, 1880, the petition was granted, and the name which the pioneers selected fifty years before was cast aside. In 1830 Nathan Dennis was appointed postmaster, and opened his office in the old log-cabin near the Lattice bridge. The Nathan Dennis post-office and hotel was above the mouth of Knapp's creek on the east side of the river, but later was moved to the site of E. W. Doane's brick building, where it was carried on for twenty-five years, when it was moved to the Eldred House, where is now the St. Elmo. After a period of ten years in that building or a thirty years' term for Mr. Dennis, W. P. Wright was appointed, and established the office in the house now occupied by S. H. Smith. A. T. Barden succeeded in 1872, and had the office opposite where the St. Elmo stands. A. H. Mayo was appointed in 1882, and held the office until A. B. Rowley was commissioned in 1885. On his resignation, C. Y. White. Was appointed.
In the fall of 1878 the old Eldred House was rebuilt by Ed. Dolan; the Oil Well Supply Company's house was completed; the store buildings for A. More, A. Davidson, Dornby, V. P. Carter, Hamlin & Co., W. B. Archibald, Speller and others were projected or being built; the E. W. Doane block, Steele's barn and Methodist church building completed and Ward & Shaner's machine shop erected. A two-story school building marked the days of the oil stampede. Mr. Barden was postmaster and the Eagle and Express were just established. Drs. Guthrie, Wykoff and Winans had located here; the Wright House, R. Dennis of the Central, Anthony's Hotel, L. L. Dennis, White, Moore of the Benton House, the Bennett House and J. S. Hicks of the Prohibition House, represented the hotel interests; the plank road to Duke Centre was completed; Attorney Dunlap's office was opened; Spiller's cottage and other private houses were finished. The planing-mill and factory and the Green & Hooker tank shop were in operation.
In October, 1881, the first brick building was begun for Joseph & Dornberg.
The Crandall, L. M. Dennis, W. G. Robarts and E. W. Doane buildings were all in progress, and by December a number of houses were opened. The Eldred Banking Company opened an office in the Davidson block that month.
Eldred town was incorporated December 22, 1880, on petition of the following named inhabitants: J. S. Hicks, A. Crandall, W. G. Robarts, Patrick Walsh, W. B. Archibald, A. B. Rowley, R. Dennis, A. N. McFall, C. D. Doane, A. Herman, M. E. Royce, H. Mapes, L. A. Halbert, E. Spiller, Wales & Varnum, M. S. Davidson, J. P. Cherry, H. J. Corell, E. L. & W. H. Dodd, George W. Colegrove, A. T. Barden, J. M. Addle, C. Y. White, W. L. Hardison, J. S. Rowley, W. W. Doane, E. E. Moses, V. E. Shaw, P. D. Alquire, Jerome Sabins, Ezra Marsh, A. Ortman, William Lorbeer, A. R. Bower, N. Edson, M. Finnegan, R. Lightfoot, E. Emerson, G. W. Allen, T. C. Wainman, B. F. Cory, A. Cohoon, J. S. Cotton, L. G. Wright, J. T. Sinnette, E. Rumsey, Mrs. Wolcott, J. R. Fessenden, A. Hotchkiss, E. McCarty, R. D. Billington, J. A. Casey, C. M. Coleman, F. H. De Costin, E. S. Dennis, C. H. Havens, W. A. Howell, S. M. Turner and G. W. Bradley. The proposition was opposed by Seth Rockwell and others. The first burgess was C. Y. White, who served two years; his successors have been W. H. Dodd, one year; James D. Downing, one year; Dr. J. P. Morgan, two years; L. L. Owens, two years, and L. L. Hill, elected in February, 1889. The first council comprised Dr. W. L. Chrisman, W. H. Dodd, Michael Finnegan, J. S. Hicks, I. G. Lesuer and T. C. Wainman. E. R. Mayo served as secretary up to March, 1888 when A. H. Mayo was chosen. C. C. Moses and C. H. Kaufman were the first borough justices, succeeded by F. F. Brown and A. T. Robbins. In 1883 Messrs. Archibald, R. Dennis, Greenman, Rowley and Sartwell were chosen councilmen. In 1884 Messrs. Joseph Cotton and Douglass were elected. Messrs. Booth and Walsh were chosen in 1885, the latter serving down to the present time.
The officers chosen in February, 1890, were as follows: Burgess, C. C. Moses; council, A. C. Douglass, M. V. Hotchkiss (three years), W. G. Robarts (two years); school directors, T. L. Sartwell, A. N. Squires; constable, H. G. Heath; collector, H. G. Heath; judge of election, A. Ortman; inspectors, G. C. Weidman, F. M. Rockwell; auditor, A. D. Gould.
The hurricane of May, 1860, did some damage throughout Eldred township, carrying away bodily the Lattice bridge below the Half-Way House, and overturning a small house; large trees were twisted or uprooted…The burning of Bunker's steam saw and grist-mill, at the mouth of Knapp's creek, too place November 25, 1870, entailing a loss of about $8,000…The Eldred fire of June 7, 1876, destroyed the saw-mill of Wainman & Foster, and 600,000 feet of lumber. There was no insurance…The Eldred fire of October 7, 1878, originated in the new Hamlin block, which it destroyed, together with Barden and Robarts' block. The latter lost property valued at $15,000, the former $12,000; the Eagle job-room was wrecked; Dr. Balfour lost his books and instruments, and several buildings in the neighborhood were scorched. In April, 1879, fire destroyed Seth Rockwell's house…The J. N. Williams planing-mill was burned in May, 1879…In June, 1879, a locomotive and thirteen cars were wrecked on the Buffalo, New York & Philadelphia Railroad, two and one-half miles north of Eldred. Engineer Ed. Squibb was killed. Four oil cars burst and a tank close by caught fire. Amy May was killed by lightning a few days before…The wreck of March, 1880, two and one-half miles north of Eldred, at the scene of the former catastrophe resulted in the burning of the locomotive and two oil cars.
The destruction of the old Central Hotel by fire occurred August 14, 1880. The building was completed in July, 1878, and was one of the finest hotels in this section of the State. Mr. Dennis began the work of rebuilding in September. Barton's steam flouring-mill was burned in November, 1880…The fire of September 30, 1881, destroyed five acres of the business center of Eldred, and entailed a loss of $100,000. The fire originated in the old Opera House, in which was Robarts' store, and destroyed the following buildings and business places: Welsh's blacksmith shop, the Bennett House, Dodd Bros.' New building, the Opera House, J. S. Hicks' building, Sartwell's building, the U. B. Church building, Walsh & McGavis' building, McDonald & Co.'s bottling works, Parks' meat store, I. G. Leseur's building, W. A. Young's, H. J. Corell's, Miss Langdon's, E. Spiller's, L. M. Dennis', A. B. Rowley's, Dr. Chrisman's, Bennett Block and Soule's Hotel, Joseph & Dornberg's, E. W. Doane's (2), Miss Varnum's, W. B. Archibald's (2), and E. O. Titus'. In each building was stock or household goods, all of which were swept away in one hour and five minutes…The St. Elmo was burned September 17, 1884 - Mr. Rice, the owner, losing about $11,000. In the summer of 1885 the present St. Elmo was erected…Ben Perham's steam grist- and saw-mill was destroyed by fire April 1, 1886. There were 40,000 feet of lumber also consumed…The fire of April, 1889, destroyed Coleman's hotel on Railroad street.
The Eldred Hook, Ladder and Bucket Company was organized in April, 1879, with C. C. Moses, president; C. B. Jackson, vice-president; W. G. Robarts, secretary; John Reedy, engineer; William Geist and F. Parsons, foremen; A. T. Barden, C. B. Jackson, E. W. Doane, A. D. Gould and E. R. Mayo, managing committee. In June another company, of which C. M. Wagner was engineer, was organized, and in May, 1883, the Hook and Ladder Company was re-organized in modern form.
When the Lamphiers came in 1835, there was no church building and but one school-house in the township. The first teacher remembered by Mr. Lamphier, was Martha, daughter of Rens. Wright. Mr. Pratt succeeded her in 1835, presiding in a frame building twenty feet square, opposite the present school-house at Eldred. Often seventy-five pupils were gathered there. The contract for the new school-building was sold to J. S. Cotton, June 3, 1889, for $7,150. Work was begun in September, 1889, by Contractor Cotton. It was dedicated November 30, 1889. P. R. Cotter delivered the address. This building is 66x73 feet. Prof. George is principal; Anna Siebert, Jessie Canfield, Minnie Cotton, Angie Dunhaver and Maud Baldwin are the teachers in the new school-house.
The first church building in the village was the Union, of 1869, by Baptists and Methodists, Samuel Dexter Morris being a leader in the enterprise. Prior to this, meetings were held in the school-house. The old Union church was refitted in 1889, and dedicated to the uses of Baptist worship in October, that year. During the week of dedication, $3,000 were subscribed by Eldred citizens to aid the two churches. The re-dedication of the Methodist Episcopal church of Eldred took place October 26, 1889, Rev. E. M. Snodgrass, presiding. The First Evangelical Church of Eldred township was dedicated April 3, 1872.
The question of building a Methodist church on First street was approved in August, 1878. R. Dennis donated the ground and Dr. Chrisman $2,000; work was begun by J. D. Chrisman, the contractor, and December 22 the house was opened. Prior to this services were held for years in the old Union church. The First Methodist Church of Eldred was incorporated in
April, 1879, with the following named subscribers: J. C. and D. A. Whiteside, J. T. Shute and wife, Reuben, L. L. and Tirzah Dennis, C. P. and J. W. Leyde, Ira G. Leseur, E. S. Riddell, A. H. and E. R. Mayo, M. B. Archibald, E. E. Brown, R. A. Pinney, T. M. Bunker, J. S. Cotton, Dr. and Mary E. Chrisman, M. E. Royce, Henry Mapes, A. R. Fowler and J. J. Thompson.
The United Brethren Church was begun in August, 1878, under the supervision of Elder Bennett, who donated the building to the society. It was completed and dedicated February 9, 1879, but destroyed in the great fire of 1880, and never rebuilt, the little society worshiping in the Methodist and Baptist houses. Elder Bennett received $1,000 insurance and sold the lot to the Opera House company.
In August, 1878, the purchase of grounds on First street for the Catholic church building was made. In May, 1884, definite steps to build the church were taken, when Father Patterson was chosen president; James Biggins, treasurer; J. C. Walsh, secretary; J. J. Ivers, P. McDonald and P. Ivers, building committee. On September 1, the contractor began work. The building was dedicated October 18, 1885, by Bishop Mullin, of Erie, assisted by Fathers Patterson, Galligan, Madigan and Smith. The late pastor, Father Patterson, died December 21, 1889, and was succeeded by Father Cosgrove.
Eldred Lodge, No. 560, A. F. & A. M., was chartered June 8, 1882, and constituted September 6. The past masters of this lodge are W. Dunbar, William A. Young, C. H. Kaufman, P. O. Heasley, A. B. Rowley, A. H. Mayo. The officers elected for 1890 are: W. A. Young, W. M.; R. A. Mackie, S. W; C. W. Dorrion, J. W.; C. C. Moses, Treas.; F. D. Wheeler, Sec. Eldred Masonic Hall, in the third story of the Alford or Davidson building, is said to be one of the most complete in this section of the State.
In June, 1886, S. N. Johnson, Frank Parker, S. Brumberg, D. C. Holcomb, B. F. Hopewell, W. A. Hopewell, W. H. Bradley and Henry Templeton inaugurated a movement for the establishment of the Odd Fellows' lodge. In August Brumberg was elected N. G.; R. W. Snyder, F. S.; H. G. Heath, Sec., and William Duringer, Treas.
Rebecca Lodge of Eldred was instituted in January, 1890, with H. G. Heath, N. G.; Mrs. George Gridley, V. G.; Mrs. Heath, Sec.; Frank Havens, Asst. Sec.; Mrs. J. W. King, Treas., with Luella Havens, Mrs. Arnot, Mrs. Doerr, Mrs. J. H. Douglass, Dena Dornberg, Susie Gridley, Mrs. J. Dennis, Robert Templeton and W. N. Llewelyn filling the other offices.
A tent of the K.O.T.M. was organized at Eldred in August, 1884, with G. B. Booth, F. H. Carter, T. C. Cole, M. V. Hotchkiss, R. A. Mackie, J. M. Addle, W. H. Perdoma, A. A. Fisher, S. R. Hays, William Duringer, M. L. App, S. R. A. Hays and E. O. Hotchkiss, officers, in the order of rank. The officers elected for 1890: Edmund Smith, Com.; G. C. Wiedman, R. K.; M. V. Hotchkiss, F. K.; and George E. Smith, Lt.-Com.
The Knights of Labor established their lodge at Eldred in 1885, with thirty-three members and the following named officers: J. McFrazier, A. A. Fisher, J. E. Lawrence, L. Wilson, J. B. Leo, A. Donnelly, N. Browner, S. A. Smith, S. A. Irwin, J. S. Dalton, H. S. Patton, F. Woodmansee, P. Nitrower, H. M. Dale and Jacob Martin.
The Equitable Aid Union was organized at Eldred, September 23, 1880, with A. W. Nelson, president; Mrs. E. A. Spiller, vice-president; J. P. Morgan, secretary, and Dr. Morris, medical examiner.
The Mutual Protective Association was organized in June, 1879, with C. B. Jackson, E. R. Howden, F. C. Stillman and O. E. Rowley, principal officers.
Northern Council, American Legion of Honor, was organized June 6, 1879,
With W. H. Hoffman, W. H. Kline, W. P. Russell, E. J. McCurdy, J. E. K. Morris, J. McCurdy, J. W. Yard, B. G. Spiller, J. A. Uncopher, J. W. Churchill and Dr. Guthrie, officials.
J. R. Jones Post, G. A. R., No. 156, was mustered in February 3, 1880, with C. C. Moses, B. G. Spiller, F. M. Adams, W. H. Richmond, W. A. Howell, L. D. Dennis, James Marshall, J. S. Hicks, W. H. Hoffman, James Biggins of Second United States Sharp Shooters, Lewis Ralph, George Newland, A. J. Duryea, George W. Colegrove, G. T. Dennis, E. H. Nichols and Ellis Coder. J. S. Hicks, of Eleventh United States Regiment, was first commander, and G. T. Dennis, of the Eighty-fifth New York Volunteers, adjutant, succeeded in 1882 by A. J. Duryea, Two Hundred and Seventh Pennsylvania Infantry, who served until succeeded, January 8, 1886, by Adjt. William S. Hazen, of Sturgess' Rifle Regiment. F. M. Adams, of Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry, served as commander in 1883; J. S. Hicks in 1884; A. H. Mayo, of the United States Engineer Corps, in 1885; C. C. Moses, in 1886; A. C. Douglass, 1887; A. H. Mayo, 1888, with L. D. Hill, of the One Hundred and Eighty-seventh New York Infantry, adjutant, who was re-elected for 1889, when Patrick McDonald, of the Twenty-seventh New York Infantry, was elected commander. There were 153 members enrolled, of whom about 100 remain in the post, although at date of last report there were only seventy-two members reported. The officers for 1890, in order of rank, are: P. McDonald, Com.; M. M. Dalton, S.V.C.; Ezra Marsh, J.V.C.; A. H. Mayo, S.M.; G. T. Dennis, Chap.; Norman Wright, Serg.; Frank Adams, O. of D.; W. Wilmarth, O. of G.; A. C. Douglass, I.G.; Frank Hibbard, O. G.
Eldred Woman's Relief Corps was instituted November 19, 1886, with Madams B. E. Marsh, L. A. Douglass, F. M. Squires, C. J. Hazen, C. M. Wolcott, A. Keyes, J. Sterling and S. Howell, officers in the order of rank. Mrs. Chase is president for 1890; Mrs. Mary Cotton, S.V.P.; Libbie Moses, J.V.P; Mrs. A. J. Clark, Sec.; Mrs. Havens, Treas.; Mrs. T. A. Douglass, Chap., with Mrs. Howell, Mrs. King, Mrs. Pepper and Mrs. Ellis, filling the other offices.
Nichols Camp, Sons of Veterans, was organized in January, 1887, with C. M. Slack, captain; N. Zeak, lieutenant, and John Learn, second lieutenant.
Eldred Lodge, No. 278, K. of P., was organized October 13, 1889, with the following named members: I. N. Stickle, P.C.; H. A. Johnston, A. M. Palmer, A. N. Squires, W. G. Robarts, E. S. Rogers, K. of R. and S.; W. B. Rogers, C. W. Franklin, C. Y. White, F. M. Rockwell, H. E. Rockwell, W. W. Grove, C. G. Richardson, W. A. Young, C. H. Kaufman, W. D. Russell, Fred Julien, C.C.; A. H. Mayo, C. W. Dorrion, F. P. Beamer, E. W. Doane, J. Lemmler, A. D. Gould, Lewis Balfour, F. Simon, R. Doerr, W. F. Burr and F. A. Carter. The officers for 1890 are: Robert Templeton, C.C.; W. B. Rogers, V.C.; A. M. Palmer, M.A.; L. Balfour, Prelate; R. Doerr, M. of E.; H. A. Johnston, K.R.S.; H. E. Rockwell, Trustee.
The Chess Club, organized in February, 1890, elected H. G. Heath, Pres.; F. F. Brown, V.P.; C. W. Franklin, Sec.; Allen Morse, Treas.; A. H. Mayo and L. D. Hill, Trustees.
The Young Men's Catholic Association was organized in 1889…The officers of the Library Association, chosen in March, 1890, are: Mrs. W. B. Archibald, Pres.; Mrs. T. L. Sartwell, V.P.; Mrs. A. T. Barden, Treas.; Miss Jennie Wolcott, Sec.
The Eldred Board of Trade was organized in July, 1887, with A. B. Rowley, president; E. C. Wolcott, vice-president; E. R. Mayo, secretary; E. S. Rogers, treasurer; P. O. Heasley, W. A. Young, W. B. Archibald, F. Simon and R. H. Owens, directors.
The Bank of Eldred was opened in February, 1879, in the Dolan House, with P. McGough, president, and S. M. McGough, cashier. In April the office was removed, owing to the owners being engaged in wider fields. The Eldred Bank, chartered in the fall of 1881, completed the present building in 1882. The officers at the time were W. L. Hardison, president; D. D. Moriarty, vice-president; P. O. Heasley, cashier; J. D. Downing, Dr. W. L. Chrisman, M. Finnegan, W. A. Young, J. V. Ritts, and the president and vice-president, directors. The Eldred Bank robbery was perpetrated September 11, 1884. It appears that Cashier Heasley and Clerk Sloan were placing the cash in the safe, preparatory to closing; a bearded burglar appeared, and covering the officials named with a revolver, gathered up $2,500 and disappeared.
The Eldred Savings and Loan Association was organized in May, 1889, with D. L. Robbins, president; B. F. Greenman, vice-president; A. D. Gould, secretary; W. B. Archibald, treasurer; F. F. Brown, attorney; J. C. Welch, B. T. Hopewell and the officials named, directors.
In May, 1879, W. L. Chrisman and Reuben Dennis constructed a system of water-works, the latter agreeing to connect the dwelling houses with the main pipe and supply water for $1 per month…The Eldred Water-Works, the enterprise of E. A. Barden, date back only to November, 1889. The water is obtained from the springs southeast of the town, where a reservoir of 3,000 barrels capacity was constructed. Up to March, 1890, pipes were laid on Mechanic street.
The Eldred Gas Company was organized in January, 1884, with Sam. M. Jones, Joseph R. Morse, Daniel E. Jones, James D. Downing and W. L. Hardison, members.
The Eldred Oil Company was organized in November, 1879, with A. B. Rowley, president; M. Finnegan, vice-president; A. D. Gould, secretary, and T. C. Wainman, treasurer. The executive committee comprised A. T. Barden, W. B. Archibald, A. Lemex, W. L. Chrisman, J. Uncopher, J. I. McCarthy, W. G. Robarts, T. H. Ford, B. Alford, H. H. Mullin, E. R. Mayo and B. E. Cutler. In January, 1880, drilling was commenced on the Stull farm…In October, 1883, White & Leaven's lamp-black factory on Indian creek was established…The Windfall glycerine factory, owned by George H. Dana, of Duke Centre, was blown to atoms in January, 1885; James Simmons and a boy named Charles Thompson were killed. A large hemlock tree forty feet to the east, and the magazine equidistant on the south, were lifted up bodily.
G. T. Dennis, manufacturer of the Dennis Botanic Remedies, came to what is now Eldred in 1822 with his parents; in later years traveled extensively as far west as Illinois, and in 1873 established the "Great American Panacea," a medicine which was received with much favor. In later years he has introduced a number of medicines and extracts, all of which are accorded an excellent reputation by his neighbors of McKean county.
Dr. Bates' Medicine Company was formed in 1886, with Dr. Morgan and A. D. Gould members. The medicines are prepared at Eldred and are advertised by a regular traveling company.
The Carriage Leather Manufactory of James N. Duffy was established in July, 1887. The location of the works is on the old Stull farm, near the junction of the Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad and the Narrow Gauge, on the right bank of the Allegheny river, below the town of Eldred. Mr. Duffy has been connected with this business since 1846, beginning at Newark, N. J., and gives his great industry at this point personal supervision. In 1889 additions to the original works were made, and the facilities for tanning and finishing all kinds of leather used in the construction of
carriages, and all kinds of patent and enameled leather used by saddlers and harness-makers, are ample.
The Wolcott Opera House was completed in August, 1884, for E. C. Wolcott, A. T. Barden, Miles Loop, W. B. Archibald and A. B. Rowley.
In 1865 there was high water, which came up in the road where Main street is now made, but that memorable flood was placed in the back-ground by that of May 31, 1889, which passed the water-mark of 1865, on the old Barden house at Eldred, by twelve inches. From Archibald's to the St. Elmo, on the west side, not a place escaped a thorough wetting, and from Welch's to Barden's on the east side, the bank, Sartwell's, Owens Brothers' and Hill's were the only places high enough to escape. Carter's furniture store, above the St. Elmo, received its share of wetting. Sidewalks were either afloat or turned up on edge, boats flitted about the streets, through yards and in stores, while a horse and wagon became an object of curiosity. It was a picture of Venice with the rough side out, and was especially brilliant when at night the large open gas lights shown upon the water, and pleasure parties enjoyed a boat ride through the streets.
contributed by Julie Randolph