PAGenWeb McKean County, Pennsylvania
from History of the Counties of McKean,
Elk, Cameron, and Potter, Pennsylvania
J.H. Beers, Chicago, 1890
Foster Township Biographical Sketches
PHILO ACKLEY, farmer and oil producer, Kendall Creek, was born in Cayuga county, N.Y., in 1821, a son of Ahiel and Clarissa (Olmstead) Ackley, natives of Connecticut, and farmers by occupation. At the age of six years Philo was sent to Prattsburg, Steuben Co., N.Y., to live with his uncle and aunt. He remained there three years and attended the district schools. In October, 1830, he came to McKean county, Penn., with his uncle, James DeGolier. They drove cattle and hogs from Steuben county, and located on what is now known as the Jewett farm, in Bradford township. Philo remained with them for nearly five years after coming to this county, and then hired to his cousin, with whom he worked from March till August, for which he received $2.50. With this amount of money he started on foot for Cortland county, N.Y., and arrived there in due course of time. He remained there about eight years, and added to his education by attending the winter schools. In 1844 he started on his return to McKean county, walking from Elmira to Bradford, where he obtained his living by day's work for some time. In 1846 he erected a blacksmith shop, and conducted a general blacksmithing business until 1879, having his shop in Kendall Creek for three years during that time. At the breaking out of the oil excitement, he leased 400 acres of land in Toad Hollow at $1 per acre for ten years. This lease ran out without being operated on. He afterward leased other land and succeeded in getting several good wells. In 1882 he purchased the Hollenbeck farm of 182 acres, at Sawyer City, on which he has produced a number of good wells. In 1846 Mr. Ackley was united in marriage with Miss Clarissa, daughter of Alvin Owens, of Smethport, Penn., and six children have been born to their union, two of whom are living: Charles L., of Bradford, married to Miss Alice, daughter of William R. Fisher, and has two children, Clara and Maud; and Luella R., married to Charles Bailey, who died leaving one child, Lulu, and she afterward married Bradley H. Barr, and is now living with her parents. Mr. Ackley has always been an active supporter of the Democratic party. In 1869 he was elected justice of the peace in Bradford, and served ten years. He also filled that office in Kendall Creek ten years, and the office of burgess also ten years. In 1874 he was elected supervisor of Bradford township, serving four terms, and for eleven years was constable of Bradford.