History of Pike County
Chapter I
Civil History


Civil History - Taxables in 1814 - Erection of the County - Public Buildings - Effort to Remove Seat of Justice to Blooming Grove - Lists of County Officials.

A VERY considerable portion of the history of Pike County is contained in the first section of this volume- the first seven chapters, which apply to the territory herein treated, as a whole, and in Chapter I. of that portion of the work devoted to the history of Wayne County (of which Pike was an integral part from 1798 to 1814). The county was erected by an act approved March 26, 1814, and then included a portion of what is now Monroe, and which was set off in 1836.

There is some early documentary history pertaining to Pike County which is of interest, and has not heretofore been given publicity.

The old township of Upper Smithfield was practically co-extensive with the county as at present constituted, and, therefore, we present the record of the earliest action tending toward the settling of that township, which contains the names of the most prominent residents in 1750.

Petition for township in what afterward became Upper Smithfield.

"To the whorshipful (worshipful) the Judges of the Court of General Sessions, held at Newton, in the County of Bucks, the 4th day Dec., 1750.
The petition of the inhabitants of Minisink and others humbly sheweth, That, whereas, your petitioners in general are the remotest livers from the Honorable Court, and on account of the want of a road, not only the inhabitants, your petitioners, are sufferers, when . . . requires them heard down to or above Andrew Dingman's, to whose place on Delaware there is already a road laid out, distant from the upper inhabitants about 15 miles; and whereas, it is evident that a road, although laid out according to law, is little regarded unless included under a township, your petitioners humbly pray that there (their) case may be taken into consideration; that a road be ordered to be laid out from near Tunis Madock's in* Delaware, to Andrew Dingman's aforesaid, and a township to be bounded by Bushkill on the south, to which creek there is a township, by Delaware (river) on east, and by land belonging to the . . . the N. and W.- and your pets (petitioners).

Cornelius Van Aken
Dan'l Brodhead
J. Swartwoudt
Edwn. Scull
Jno. McMichle
John Pierce
John Van Etten
Teman Middagh
|Herman Rosen Kranz
John Quick
Samuel Dupue
Aaron Dupue
Cornelius Dewitt.
Herman Rosa Kranze
Derrick Bush
Andrew Dingman

"As to the twp. (township), it is ordered that the pets. (petitioners) do exhibit a Plan of the twpt., as they propose it to the next court that the court may be better judge thereof."

As Upper Smithfield appears in the list of townships in 1752, it would appear that it was erected about the same time that Northampton county was.

The following petition for the division of Upper Smithfield township, which then included nearly all of Pike County, appears on the Road Book of Northampton County in 1766:

"Upon the petition of divers Inhabitants of the township of Upper Smithfield, setting forth that the said petitioners labor under great inconveniences upon the account of the largeness of the said township which renders it inconvenient and expensive for the Inhabitants to assemble upon the necessary business of the township: Praying the Court to divide the said township, and for that purpose to appoint proper persons to make such division, whereupon it is considered and ordered by the court that Benjamin Shoemaker, Hanes Van Etten, William Jeans, Andrew Dingman, Emanuel Gonzales and Abraham Westbrook, or any four of them, do view, and if they see occasion, to divide said township according to the prayer of the said petition."

These viewers probably favored the division, as Delaware appears among the townships thereafter.

The following is a list of the taxables in Upper Smithfield and Delaware townships (which then included nearly all of that part of Pike County which was then inhabited) for 1781:


Josephus Cole

John Quick.

Leonard Cole

James Rosencrance.

Cornelius Dewitt

Joseph Reeder.

Jacob Dewitt

John Steward.

Cornelius Dewitt, Jr

Joseph Shobes.

Reiner Dewitt

John Van Auken.

Abraham Dutcher

Levi Van Auken.

Morgan Dushay

James Van Auken.

Henry Decker

John Van Sickle.

James Decker

Simon Westfall.

Casper Edwards

James Wells.

Elias Middagh

James Wells, Jr.

C.H. Middagh

William Wells.

Elisha Middagh

Israel Wells.

William McCarty

John Evans.

James Quick, Jr.

Single Freemen.

Herman Rosencrance

Philip McCarty.

Lewis Conklin

John Van Auken.

James Reeder.


John Brink

John Rosencrance.

Benjamin Brink

Adam Shick.

Daniel Courtright.**

James Swartwood.

Benjamin Courtright

Bernardus Swartwood.

William Castor

Thomas Swartwood.

Henry Courtright

Helmas Chambers.

Henry Courtright, Jr

Ebenezer Taylor.

Samuel Decker

Jeremiah Vandemark.

Andrew Dingman

Isaac Van Campen.

Abraham Derwin

David Van Auken.

Elias Decker

Elias Van Auken.

Cornelius Decker

Alex. Van Gordon.

Ezekiel Decker

Gilbert Van Gordon.

John Decker

James Van Gordon.

Henry Decker

Isaac Van Gordon.

John Emons

John Van Etten.

Emanuel Gonsaulis

John Scott.

Ludwig Hover

Widow Westfall.

James Mulling

Ezekiel Schoonover.

William Nyce.

Single Freemen.

Emanuel Van Etten

Isaac Decker.

Ezekiel Decker

Levi Courtright.

Abraham Decker

Abraham Van Gordon.

Upper Smithfield in 1814- the year that Pike County was organized contained the following taxable inhabitants:

Samuel Anderson

Sanford Clark.(6*)

George Biddis

Thomas Gay.

John Brink

Justice Overton.

William Brink

William Patterson.

Alvin Brown.(3*)

John Paterson.

George Bohannon.(4*)

John Poth.

Francis Burns

Jacob Quick.(7*)

John Biddis

Cornelius Quick.

Arthur Bohannon

Henry Quick.

Ira Belknap

Matthew Ridgway.

John Blockman

Abraham Rockwell.

John Broadhead

Lucius Rockwood.

Benjamin Balie

Jabez Rockwood.

John Brown

charles Rigway.

William Camron

Jonathan Rosencranse

Enos Cook

James Rosencranse.

David Cook

John Rurson.

John Cross

Hugh Ross.

Abraham Cole

Jonathan Seeley.

Peter Curtuto

William Stone.

Benjamin Carpenter

Henry Snoak.

Gabriel Cory

Henry Smith.

James Barton

James Shelby.

David Jennings

Jonas Simons.

Daniel Rowley

Farries A. Smith.

John Walker.(3*)

Abraham Thorn.

Joseph Connor

Robert L. Travers.

William Donnelly

William Watson.

William Landing

John Cox.

Samuel Vangood

William Cox.

Frãm Monroe

Cornelius Cox.

Theodore Norton

Catherine Conselus.

Jobias Hornbeck

Daniel Dimmick.

Garrett Van Auken

Jacob Dewitt, Jr.

John Van Auken

Ann Dewitt.

Solomon Van Auken

Joshua Dewitt.

Joshua Vanzant

Joshua Drake.

Wilh. Van Gordon

Alexander Ernest.

Jacob Van Sickle

John Folk.

Thomas Vansickle

Nehemiah Huntly.

Henry Van Campen

Joseph Jackson.

David Wheeler

Joshua Jackson.

Samuel Whithead

John Johnson.

Amos Wood

Matthew Kerr.

Meckle Wolf

John Maforg.(8*)

John Watson

Joseph McCarty.

Menod Westbrook

Henry C. Middaugh.

George Westfall

Corn. Middaugh, Sr.

Silas Wells

Williamas Middaugh.

Abraham Wells

Samuel Mateer.

Abraham Westfall

James McKeen.

Simeon Westfall

Henry Mestaugh.

David Westfall

Edward Mott, Jr.

Ephliet Wood

James McCarthy.

Joshua Wering

Corn. Middaugh, Jr.

Jacob Westbrook

Phillip Mackly.

John Bogart

James McCarty.

Creser Bull

Wm. McCarty, Sr.

George Hector, Sr

Wm. McCarty, Jr.

George Hector, Jr

John McKeen.

Anthony Hector

Jesse McKean.

Joseph Lord

Joseph Middaugh.

David Mead

Thomas Newman.

Ira Newman.

ERECTION OF THE C0UNTY.- The causes which led to the erection of Pike County have already been set forth (in Chapter I. of Wayne County), and we therefore present here without comment, that it would otherwise need, the act of the Legislature, which brought the county into existence, approved March 26, 1814.

An ACT erecting part of Wayne County into a Separate County.

" SEC. I. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in general Assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the authorities of the same. That all that part of Wayne County lying South and east of a direct line from the lower end of Big Eddy, on Delaware river, to the mouth of Wallenpaupack Creek and thence up the same to the main forks thereof, thence up the South branch to where the most Southern branch, crosses the North and South road, from thence due west to the line of Luzerne County, be and the same is hereby declared to be erected into a county, henceforth to be called Pike.

"SEC. II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the inhabitants of the said county of Pike, from and after the first day of October next, shall be entitled to and at all times thereafter, shall have all and singular, the courts, jurisdictions, offices, rights and privileges to which the inhabitants of the counties of other States are entitled by the constitution and laws of this commonwealth, excepting that there shall be but two Courts of Common Pleas and general quarter sessions held in and for said county of Pike in each year.

"SEC. III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the first Monday of October next the Courts of Common Pleas and general quarter sessions in and for the said county of Pike shall be opened and held at such house as may be designated by the Commissioners of said county to be elected at the next general election in the town of Milford, in the county of Pike, until a Court-House shall be erected in and for said county, as hereinafter directed, and shall then be held at said Court-House.

"SEC. IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no suit or prosecution which has been heretofore commenced, or which shall be commenced at the Courts of the County of Wayne before the first Monday of October next, shall be delayed, discontinued or affected by this act, but the same shall be completed and carried into execution by the Sher1ff and Coroner of Wayne County, as if this act had not been passed.

"SEC. V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all taxes or arrears of taxes laid, or which have become due within the said county of Pike, before the passing of this act, and all sums of money due to this commonwealth for militia fines in the said county of Pike, shall be collected and recorded as if this act had not been passed.

"SEC. VI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall be the duty of the Commissioners of the county of Wayne, on the second Monday of November next, to make out a statement exhibiting the amount of taxes levied before the passage of this act, and not paid in, and the monies in the treasury, collected for taxes levied as aforesaid, and shall deduct from said amount all debts due from said county at this time, and after ascertaining the surplus funds, shall direct their treasurer to pay over to the treasurer of the county of Pike, when appointed, one-half thereof, deducting therefrom the lawful expense of collecting the same: provided always, that if the said surplus shall not all at that time have been received into the treasury, the said treasurer shall make payment as aforesaid, only on such part as has been received, and shall thereafter render to the treasurer of the county of Pike, within one year, a regular statement of all expenses for collecting, and pay over the one-half thereof, as aforesaid.

"SEC. VII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the sheriff coroner and other officers of the county of Wayne, shall continue to exercise the duties of their respective offices within the county of Pike, until similar officers shall be appointed agreeably to law, within said county.

"SEC. IX. And be it further enacted, etc., That John K. Woodward be, and he is hereby authorized and required, to run and mark the division line between the counties of Wayne and Pike, and shall, on the second Monday in September next, commence the said line at the lower end of Big Eddy, on Delaware river, and run thence according to the true intent and meaning of this act, or in case of the death, removal or inability of the said John K. Woodward, then and in such case the vacancy so caused shall be supplied by the Commissioners of the county of Wayne and Pike, for which service he shall be paid at the rate of three dollars per diem, with the necessary expenses, out of the treasury of the county of Wayne.

"SEC. X. And be it further enacted, etc., That when the division line shall divide a township, the part of the township thus divided which shall remain in Wayne county shall be a township, and the part of the township thus divided which shall be in the county of Pike shall, be a township, and each part shall retain its original name until the same shall be altered by the courts of general quarter sessions of the said counties respectively.

"SEC. XI. And be it further enacted, etc., That the several election districts which shall be in the county of Pike, which were erected before the passage of this act, be and the same are hereby erected into election districts for the county of Pike, and that the townships of Salem, Palmyra and Lackawaxen be and they are hereby erected into a separate election district, and the electors thereof shall hold their elections at the house of Ephraim Kimble, in Palmyra township.

"SEC. XII. And be it further enacted, etc., That the inhabitants of the county of Wayne, and of the county of Pike, shall elect members of Congress and members of the legislature of this commonwealth, and shall hold their elections in the same mode, under the same legislations, and make return in the same manner as is directed by the laws of this commonwealth, for conducting and making returns of the elections of the county of Wayne; provided always, that the returns from the several election districts in the county of Wayne shall, instead of being transmitted directly to Easton, as heretofore, be, on the Saturday next after such election, forwarded to the Seat of Justice of the County of Pike, there to be received by a person appointed in the same manner and for the same purposes as is at the time of passing this act provided by law for transmitting election returns for the county of Wayne to the Court-House in the borough of Easton.

"SEC. XIII. And be it further enacted, etc., That the governor be and he is hereby authorized and required, after the first day of June next ensuing, to appoint three discreet and disinterested persons, not resident in the counties of Northampton, Wayne or Lehigh, whose duty it shall be to fix upon a proper and convenient site for a Court-House, prison and county offices, within the aforesaid county of Pike, as near the centre thereof as circumstances will admit, having regard to convenience of roads, territory, population and the accommodation of the people of the said county generally, and said persons, or a majority of them, having viewed the relative advantages of the several situations contemplated by the people, shall, on or before the first day of August next, by a written report under their hands, or a majority of them, certify, describe and limit the site or lot of land which they shall have chosen for the purpose aforesaid, and shall transmit the said report to the governor of this commonwealth, and the persons so, as aforesaid, appointed shall each receive three dollars per diem for their services, out of the treasury of the county of Wayne; provided always, that before the commissioners shall proceed to perform the duties enjoyed on them by this act, they shall take an oath or affirmation, before some judge or justice of the peace, . . . provided also, that if the inhabitants of the town of Milford and others shall, before the first day of June next, subscribe or pay in, or give sufficient surety of the payment thereof to the commissioners of the county of Wayne, a sum not less than fifteen hundred dollars for the use of the county of Pike, in aid of funds for erecting public buildings for the said county, then the centre square in the town of Milford shall be the site for the seat of justice, and in that case the commissioners aforesaid shall not be appointed.

"SEC. XIV. And be it further enacted, etc., That the commissioners of the county of Pike, who shall be elected at the next general election, shall, within thirty days from and after such election, meet and make the necessary arrangements preparatory to the erection of a court-house, and to accommodate the courts until the said court-house can conveniently be erected, the commissioners aforesaid shall immediately provide for that purpose a suitable and convenient house in the said town of Milford, and shall immediately proceed to erect a good and sufficient jail in the said town of Milford, and also provide suitable officers for the safe keeping of the records.

"SEC. XV. And be it further enacted, etc., That in order that the county of Wayne shall, as nearly as may be, bear one-half of the expense of erecting public buildings in the county of Pike equal to those at Bethany, the commissioners of the county of Wayne shall direct their treasurer to pay over to the treasurer of the county of Pike, in four equal quarterly payments, the sum of one thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars.

"SEC. XVI. And be it further enacted, etc., That the judges of the Supreme Court shall have like powers, jurisdictions and authorities within the said county of Pike as by law they are vested with and entitled to have and exercise in other counties of this State, and the said county is hereby annexed to the eastern district of the Supreme Court.

"SEC. XVII. And be it further enacted, etc., That the county of Pike, after the 1st of October next, shall be and is hereby attached to and made a part of the eleventh judicial district, and after the present year the courts of Quarter Sessions and Common Pleas in said district shall be held as follows, to wit.: . . . . in the county of Pike on the third Mondays of January, April, August and November.

"SEC. XVIII. And be it further enacted, etc.,

That all the certioraries directed to, and appeals from the judgment of any justice of the peace of the said county, and all criminal prosecutions which may originate in the said county before test day hereinafter mentioned, shall be proceeded in as heretofore in the courts of Common Pleas and Quarter Sessions of the county of Wayne, and all process to issue from the courts of the said county of Pike, returnable to the first term in said county, shall bear test as of the first Monday in October next.

"SEC. XIX. And be it further enacted, etc., That in all cases when it would be lawful for the sheriff, jailor or prison-keeper of the county of Pike to hold in close custody the body of any person in the common jail of the county of Pike, if such jail were at this time erected in and for said county of Pike, all such persons shall be delivered to and kept in close confinement by the sheriff, jailor or prison-keeper of the county of Wayne, . . . and the sheriff of Pike County shall be allowed out of the county stock of said county eight cents per mile as a full compensation for every criminal he may deliver to the jail of Wayne County, by virtue of this act on orders drawn by the commissioners of Pike County on the treasurer thereof.

"SEC. XX. And be it further enacted, etc., That the sheriff or jailor of the county of Wayne shall receive all prisoners as aforesaid, and shall provide for them according to law, and shall be entitled to the fees for keeping them, . . which allowance shall be defrayed and paid by the commissioners of the county of Pike and out of the county stock.

"SEC. XXI. provided that the nineteenth and twentieth sections of the act should be limited in their operation to three years, or until the commissioners of Pike should certify to the sheriff that a jail was in readiness for the reception of prisoners and approved of by the court and grand jury.

"SEC. XXII. enacted that it should be the duty of the commissioners of the county of Wayne to deliver to the commissioners of the county of Pike, when elected, all maps, charts, records and papers which may of right belong to the county of Pike or any office therein."

THE COURTS.- The first court "in and for the county of Pike" was held in the house latterly occupied by Mrs. Lee, in a room of good size up-stairs, and the county offices were crowded into the same house. The earliest entry that can be found upon the oldest book of records in existence is that of a court December 6, 1814, Associate Judges John Coolbaugh and Daniel W. Dingman "being present." The case entered was that of James Wallace against John Barnes. The action was made returnable January 16, 1815. A transcript from a justice's docket was entered, showing judgment for the plaintiff of one hundred and ninety-eight dollars.

At the January Term (1815) the first suit entered upon the docket was that of Samuel B. Stickney against William Halbert. Edward Mott, destined to be for many years a practitioner at the courts of Pike (and of whom a biography is given elsewhere), appeared for the plaintiff, and John Cross for the defendant. The case was continued.

A number of eminent lawyers practiced in the court in after-years, and sketches of them will be found in the succeeding chapter.

The Pike County Court was, in many respects a peculiar one. Judge Daniel W. Dingman sat upon the bench as associate judge for a period of twenty-six years, dating from the erection of the county, and his confrere, Associate Judge John Coolbaugh, held his exalted position nearly as long. The latter was commonly addressed by Dingman, both in private and official capacity, by the slightly undignified nickname of "Bub." Dingman was a very eccentric man, of large native intellect and great force of character, but uneducated. Pike County will never see his like again. He belonged to an era that has passed away. Judge Dingman did not hesitate to appear on the bench in the august courts of Pike in his shirt-sleeves and with bare feet. A volume might be written upon his peculiarities, his humor, his whimsicalities and the exhibition of his strength and shrewdness. Some of his decisions and rulings were, to say the least, unique in the annals of American jurisprudence. His action in the celebrated Smithfield election board prosecution case, which arose in 1836 from the alleged fraudulent return of the vote for the location of Monroe County's seat of justice, was one of the most peculiar and characteristic.(10*) An often-told story, illustrative of his judicial method, which, as it is true, will bear repetition, is that of the sentence which he once imposed upon a vagabond negro, who had been imprisoned in the jail for some time on a charge of petit larceny. When he was brought into the presence of the judiciary, in the old stone temple of justice, the court and bar, after consultation, requested Judge Dingman to dispose of the prisoner. The judge thereupon, looking severely at the culprit, said,-

"Nigger, stand up. You are charged and are guilty of the crime of larceny. You are a bad nigger. I know all about niggers. You ought to be hung, but the sentence of this court is that you be banished from the face of the earth. Go get off the face of the earth."

"Why massa," said the darkey, "how ken I git off de face of dis yere earth?"

"You can go," said Dingman, "to Jersey. The sentence of this court is that you have fifteen minutes to get out of the county of Pike and into the State of New Jersey, and if you ever come back we will hang you."

Thereupon, it is traditionally asserted the offender ran to the bank of the Delaware and swam to the Jersey shore.

EARLY AFFAIRS OF THE COMMISSIONERS.- The county commissioners first elected- Hezekiah Bingham, Cornelius Case and John Lattimore- held their initial meeting November 2, 1814, and after producing and filing their certificates and qualifications according to law, elected John Cross their clerk, at a salary of one hundred and fifty dollars per year, and Francis A. L. Smith, treasurer.

When they came to the consideration of the probable expenses of the county for the ensuing year, the board resolved to levy a tax of half a cent upon the dollar on all taxable property in the county. They then proceeded to the appointment of assessors in those townships, in which none had been elected according to law, viz.: in Palmyra, Moses Killam, Jr., with Erastus Kimble and Simeon Chapman as assistants; in Lackawaxen, John Crissman, with Mordecai Roberts and Jeremiah Barnes, assistants; in Upper Smithfield, Edward Mott, Jr., with Jacob Quick and George Westfall, assistants; in Delaware, Solomon Westbrook Jr., with Cooper Jagger and Everett Hornbeck, assistants; Middle Smithfield, Alexander Biles, with Daniel Jaynes and Andrew Eighlenbergh, as assistants.

At their meeting of November 23, 1814, the commissioners, with the assessors, under the provisions of the act passed by the Assembly April 11, 1799, made the following schedule of valuations for the purposes of taxation:

"First quality of improved land, per acre.


Second quality of improved land, per Acre.


All other improved land, per acre.


Unimproved land on seated tracts to be assessed, per acre, at the discretion of the assessors and assistants.

Unseated lands in the 'barrens' to average, per acre.


Unseated lands in the 'beech' to average, per acre.


Houses, grist-mills, saw-mills, distilleries, tan-yards, ferries, manufactories of all kinds to be assessed at the discretion of the respective assessors and assistants.

All negro and mulatto slaves, per head.


All middling horses to be valued each one at.


Oxen, per head, middling.


Cows of milking size, per head.


Judges of the court, each one.


Prothonotary, etc.






Justices of the peace, each one.


Treasurer of the county.


Physicians and surgeons, each one who Practices.


Carpenters and joiners, shoemakers, masons and bricklayers, tailors, blacksmiths, glass-blowers, coopers, gunsmiths, sawyers, weavers, each one at.


Tavern-keepers to be assessed at the discretion of the assessors.

Single men above the age of twenty-one years, each one.


Deputy and other surveyors


The first improvement which there is any record of the commissioners making or causing to be made was the building of a bridge over Vandermark Creek, the contract for which was let August 23, 1816, to Samuel Churchill.

On October 5, 1817, the commissioners- Cornelius Cox, Matthew Winans and William Nyce- met and proceeded to Bethany- the county-seat of Wayne, where they remained until the 10th to settle with the commissioners of that county the affairs growing out of the division in 1814. They reported a balance due Pike by Wayne County of $640.61, "besides the equal half of moneys which may hereafter he collected on what is termed doubtful debts."

It appears that the commissioner's office was for a period during the early days of Pike a resort for those who would indulge in wine and wassail and ungodly glee. In 1821 an attempt was made to correct this abuse, for on January 4th of that year, the same day that Jesse Olmstead was appointed clerk, the commissioners deemed it necessary to pass the following resolution:

"Resolved, That the clerk, for the time being, shall prohibit all Gambling, Drinking (illegible- probably "carousing"), etc., in the commissioners' office, but in all respects to keep the same in good order."

A second resolution gives a hint as to who were the persons in part responsible for the sin that had crept into the office. It reads:

"Resolved, That the said office shall not be kept as an attorney's office, excepting on business for the county."

PUBLIC BUILDINGS.-- As the act creating the county provided that Milford could only be the county-seat on condition of the payment of at least fifteen hundred dollars by her people towards the erection of public, buildings, they went immediately to work and raised that sum.(11*)

The work of erecting the court-house was begun in 1814 and the stone building still standing and used as a jail was completed in 1815. It was substantially constructed of native boulders hewn square on the outer side, and the thoroughness with which its walls were laid puts to shame much more recent workmanship. The contractors were Dan. Dimmick, Jacob Quick and Samuel Anderson. At first there was no bell upon the court-house, and when the judges and lawyers and persons interested were to be summoned, the sheriff mounted the cupola and blew most piercing blasts upon a huge tin horn. This was superseded by a huge triangle, upon which the sheriff or a tipstaff dealt resounding blows that were not unmusical, and this, in turn, gave way in 1844 or 1845 to the bell which for many years announced at proper seasons that justice was about to be judicially administered.

This building served as court-house and jail until 1873, when the present court-house was constructed, and the county offices were within its walls until 1851, when a small brick building was erected in front of the site occupied by the present court-house. This was built under contract by George P. Heller. It served its purpose until after the completion of the courthouse and was sold in 1874 to John Gaillard, who subsequently sold to H.B. Wells. It was then removed.

The present handsome brick court-house, containing all of the county offices and a comnmodious court-room, was built in the years 1872-73, the first action being taken at the February and September Sessions of court in 1871.

The contract for the foundations was let to S.S. Van Auken, but afterwards rescinded and the work was done by the commissioners and sub-contractors.

The contract for building was let March 2, 1872, to A.D. Brown, for $26,096. He was afterwards allowed considerable sums for extra work. The cost of this edifice as completed has been, after careful computation by competent persons, fixed at about $45,0O0.

The people of Milford raised about $1000, purchased two town lots adjoining the public square and donated them to the county as a proper site for the building.

EFFORT TO REMOVE COUNTY-SEAT.- The building of the new court-house was violently opposed in various ways. The project afforded an opportunity for the friends of Blooming Grove to inaugurate a movement in favor of making that place the county-seat, and a bill authorizing an election to be held relative to such a change and the erection of new county buildings was introduced in the Assembly in the session of 1871-72. A petition urging the passage of the act was signed by at least seven hundred residents of the county, though it was alleged many of the signers appended their names under the misapprehension that the purpose of the act was simply to put a stop to the erection of the new court-house. As a matter of general interest, the act is here reproduced:

"AN ACT authorizing an election to be held in the County of Pike relative to a change of the County-seat of said County and the erection of new county buildings:

"Wheras, Great dissatisfaction exists in regard to the present location of the county-seat of Pike County, and

"Whereas, Two successive Grand Juries of said county, at the February and September Sessions, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one, reported in favor of and recommended the erection of a new Court-House, and

"Whereas, New county buildings must necessarily soon be erected and it is desirable to locate the same in a more central and convenient place; therefore.-

"SEC. 1. Be it enacted, &c., That the qualified voters of the County of Pike shall, at their respective places of voting, on the second Tuesday of October in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two, vote for or against the removal of the county-seat from Milford to Blooming Grove, in said County, in the following manner, to wit: All in favor of removal shall vote by a ballot on a written or printed ticket, labelled on the outside

'County-seat,' and on the inside 'for removal;' and those opposed to removal shall vote by ballot with a similar label on the outside, and on the inside 'against removal;' and the tickets thus polled shall be counted out and returned in like manner by the return judge as those for the county officers, and be filed in the office of the Clerk of the Court of Quarter Sessions of the said county, who shall also certify the number of votes polled as aforesaid in the several districts of said county to the County Commissioners, agreeably to the ninth section of the Act of June thirteenth, Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and forty, relating to the election of Assessors and Assistant Assessors.

"SEC. 2. It shall be the duty of the Sheriff of said county to give notice of said election as is now provided for by law for the election of State and county officers.

"SEC. 3. If the majority of votes polled shall be against removal, then it shall not be lawful for the Commissioners named in this Act to locate the county buildings at Blooming Grove, but the county-seat of Pike County to be and remain at Milford, where it now is, but in case a majority of the votes polled shall be for removal, then the county-seat of said county of Pike shall be located at Blooming Grove, in said county.

"SEC. 4. That in case a majority of the votes polled as aforesaid shall be for removal, John Kipp, Marcus N.B. Kellam and Jacob Klienhans, of said county, be and they are hereby appointed Commissioners to select at Blooming Grove, in the said county of Pike, suitable grounds on which to erect the necessary county buildings and cause a good and valid deed or deeds of conveyance in fee simple for the same, without cost or expense to the said county, to be made and delivered to the County Commissioners for the use of said county whereon to erect a Court-House, jail and necessary county buildings, said deed or deeds to be approved by the President Judge of said county.

"SEC. 5. That as soon as the deed or deeds for said site or plot of ground as provided for in section four of this Act shall be placed in the hands of the County Commissioners after the question of removal shall have been decided, they shall proceed without unnecessary delay to erect all the required county buildings on said site selected as provided for in section four of this Act, said Court-House to be built of brick, with the necessary fire-proof rooms or vaults for the safe keeping of papers and records, and large enough to accommodate the wants of said county, and that immediately after said buildings shall be completed and approved by a Grand Jury of said county and a majority of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of said county, the county-seat of Pike County be and the same is hereby fixed and located at Blooming Grove, and the public records shall be removed by the officers in charge thereof from Milford to the new county buildings at Blooming Grove.

"SEC. 6. That the Commissioners of said county are hereby authorized to borrow not exceeding twenty thousand dollars for building purposes, and they are hereby authorized to issue books for the same in sums not less than one hundred dollars each at a rate of interest not exceeding seven per centum per annum, said bonds to mature in twenty years.

"SEC. 7. That in the event the county-seat is removed to Blooming Grove in accordance with the provisions of this Act, then the County Commissioners of the said county of Pike are hereby authorized, immediately after the removal of the county-seat to Blooming Grove, to sell and convey whatever right, title or interest said county of Pike may have in and to the grounds and county buildings now located in Milford, at public sale to the highest and best bidder, after giving due public notice of said sale, and apply the proceeds thereof to the liquidation of the bonds authorized in section six of this Act.

"SEC. 8. That the County Commissioners of said county are hereby restrained and prohibited from enlarging and improving the old buildings or erecting new buildings at Milford unless a majority of the votes at the election to be held under this Act shall be against removal.

"SEC. 9. That if a majority of the votes as provided for in this act shall be for removal, and the County Commissioners shall fail to have the county buildings to be erected under the provisions of this Act under contract within sixty days after the deed or deeds for the grounds shall have been executed and approved according to the provisions of this Act and delivered to them, then the Commissioners named in section four of this Act to procure and select a location for said county buildings are hereby authorized and required to carry out all provisions of this Act enjoined upon the County Commissioners as fully and effectually as the County Commissioners themselves could have done."

CIVIL LIST OF PIKE COUNTY.- Following are the chief officials of Pike County, and Representatives in the State Assembly, as nearly as they can be discovered:


1861. Henry S. Mott.

1878. Allen Craig.

1872. Geo. H. Rowland.

1882. John D. Biddis.

1875. Chariton Burnett.

1885. Geo. H. Rowland.


1815. John Brodhead.

1858. Chas. D. Brodhead.

1824. Wm. Overfield.

1862. Geo. H. Rowland.

1828. Wm. Overfield.

1863. Richard S. Staples.

1832. John Westbrook.

1864. Wm. M. Nelson.

1836. Oliver S. Dimmick.

1866. Lafay. Westbrook.

1840. John H. Brodhead.

1868. Wm. M. Nelson.

1842. George Bush.

1869. Wm. H. Dimmick.

1846. Pope Bushnell.

1870. David A. Wells.

1849. Thos. E. Grier.

1871. J. Howard Beach.

1850. John D. Morris.

1872. J. Howard Beach.

1852. Henry S. Mott.

1873. Wm. H. Dimmick.

1853. Abraham Edinger.

1874. Edwin B. Eldred.

1856. Lafay. Westbrook.

(Under the provisions of the Constitution of 1874 Pike was constituted a district, and since has been represented by its own citizens)

1876. Lafay. Westbrook.

1882. George Geyer.

1878. Carlton A. Smith.

1884. Milton D. Mott.

1880. Wm. Westfall.


1814. David Scott.

1853. Geo. R. Barrett.

1838. Wm. Jessup.

1870. Samuel S. Dreher.

1849. Nath. B. Eldred.

1875. Chas. P. Waller.

1853. James M. Porter.

1883. Henry M. Seely.


1814. D.W. Dingman.John Coolbaugh.

1856. John H. Brodhead.John Heller.

1836. Wm. Brodhead. D.W. Dingman.

1861. Thos. J. Ridgway. John Shouse.

1840. Oliver S. Dimmick. Wm. Brodhead.

1865. George P. Heller. Wm. Westfall.

1843. John H. Brodhead. Oliver S. Dimmick.

1871. George P. Heller. F.R. Olmstead.

1845. Harvey Roys. John H. Brodhead.

1876. George P. Heller. Wm. Cromwell.

1847 Henry M. Labar. John H. Brodhead.

1880. Edwin J. Baker.(13*) Wm. Cromwell.

1851 Henry M. Labar. Wm. H. Nyce.

1881. Everett Hornbeck. Edwin J. Baker.


1814. William Overfield,

1853. James S. Smith.

1817. John Westbrook.

1856. John Cornelius.

1820. F.A.L. Smith.

1859. F.R. Olmstead.

1823. Sol. Westbrook.

1862. John Cornelius.

1826. Chas. B. Seaman.

1865. Chas. R. Biddis.

1829. James Watson.

1868. John Cornelius.

1832. Jeffrey Wells.

1871. C.W. Dimmick.

1835. James Watson.

1874. C.A. Smith.

1838. Jno. M. Heller.

1877. W.K. Ridgway.

1841. James Watson.

1880. J.W. Van Gordon.

1844. Lewis Rockwell.

1883. J.M. Williamson (present incumbent).

1847. Jacob Kimble.

1850. James Watson.


1815. F.A.L. Smith.

1851. Daniel Decker.

1817. John Nye.

1853. J.H. Broadhead.

1819. Jacob Westbrook.

1855. Warren Kimble.

1821. Daniel Jayne.

1857. Wm. Westfall.

1823. James Wallace.

1859. Horace L. West.

1825. Jacob Hornbeck.

1861. William Peace.

1827. D.M. Brodhead.

1863. Wm. Westfall.

1829. Oliver S. Dimmick.

1865. Jeffrey Wells.

1831. Jacob Shoemaker.

1867. J.W. Van Gordon.

1833. Samuel Dimmick.

1869. Chas. R. Biddis.

1835. Lewis Cornelius.

1871. James W. Quick.

1837. Jno. J. Linderman.

1873. L. Rowland.

1839. M.W. Dingman.

1875. James W. Quick.(14*)

1841. Otto Kimble.

1878. Chas. R. Biddis.

1843. Thos. J. Ridgway.

1881. J.M. Van Aken.

1845. Stephen Drake.

1884. Chas. R. Biddis (present incumbent).

1847. John Heller.

1849. John M. Heller.


1814. Daniel Dimmick.

1842. Henry S. Mott

1818. Daniel Jayne.

1845. J.C. Westbrook.

1821. Rich. Brodhead, prothonotary.

1848. J.C. Westbrook.

1821. John Brink, register and recorder.

1851. James E. Eldred.

1823. Samuel Depuy.

1854. James E. Eldred.

1826. Samuel Depuy.

1857. Oscar H. Mott.

1830. Chas. B. Seaman, prothonotary.

1860. Oscar H. Mott.

1830. Samuel Depuy, recorder.

1863. J.C. Westbrook.

1833. J. H. Brodhead.

1866. J.C. Westbrook.

1836. Daniel E. Labar

1869. W.K. Ridgway.

1836. Dan. W. Dingman, Jr., recorder.

1872. W.K. Ridgway.

1839. Henry S. Mott.

1875. J.C. Westbrook.(15*)


1814-15. H. Bingham. Cornelius Cox. J. Lattimore.

1827-28. John Place. M. Dimmick. F.A.L. Smith.

1815-16. H. Bingham. Cornelius Cox. Wm. Nyce.

1828-29. J. Wallace. M. Dimmick. John Place.

1816-17. Cornelius Cox. M. Winans. Wm. Nyce.

1829-30. R. Bingham. J. Wallace. John Place.

1817-18. H. Bingham. Wm. Nyce. M. Winans.

1830-31. J. Swartwood. J. Wallace. R. Bingham.

1818-19. G. Bowhannan. M. Winans. H. Bingham.

1831-32. Harvey Roys. J. Swartwood. R. Bingham.

1819-20. John Turn. G. Bowhannan. H. Bingham.

1832-33. Jacob Bunnell. Harvey Roys. J. Swartwood.

1820-21. M. Roberts. G. Bowhannan. H. Bingham.

1833-34. Benj. Hanna. Harvey Roys. Jacob Bunnell.

1821-22. R. Smith. G. Bowhannan. M. Roberts

1834-35. R. Brodhead. Benj. Hanna. Jacob Bunnell.

1822-23. S.S. Thrall. M. Roberts. R. Smith.

1835-36. Benj. Holbert. R. Brodhead. Benj. Hanna.

1823-24. M. Gunsales. R. Smith. S.S. Thrall.

1836-37. J.T. Quick. R. Brodhead. Benj. Holbert.

1824-25. E. Kimble. M. Gunsales. Samuel S. Thrall.

1837-38. M. Bingham. J.T. Quick. Benj. Holbert.

1825-26. S.S. Thrall. Erastus Kimble. F.A.L. Smith.

1838-39. A.B. Decker. J.T. Quick. M. Bingham.

1826-27. M. Dimmick. F.A.L. Smith. Erastus Smith.

1839-40. Benj. Drake. A.B. Decker. M. Bingham.

1840-41. James Nyce. Benj. Drake. A.B. Decker.

1859-60. W. Brodhead. A. Van Auken. Wm. Smith.

1841-42. Moses Brink. Benj. Drake. James Nyce.

1860-61. T.J. Dickinson. Wm. Brodhead. Wm. Smith.

1842-43. P. Burrell. Moses Brink. James Nyce.

1861-62. J.W. Van Gorden. T.J. Dickenson. W. Brodhead.

1843-44. James Simons. Moses Brink. Daniel Burrell.

1862-63. Wm. Finger. W. Brodhead. J.W. Van Gorden.

1844-45. Benj. Frazier. Daniel Burrell. James Simons.

1863-64. George Hess. J.W. Van Gorden. T.J. Dickenson.

1845-46. W. Kimble. James Simons. Benj. Frazier.

1864-65. S.D. Van Etten. George Hess. T.J. Dickenson.

1846-47. Jacob Bensley. Benj. Frazier. W. Kimble.

1865-66. W. Brodhead. S.D. Van Etten. T.J. Dickenson.

1847-48. S. Westfall. Jacob Bensley. W. Kimble.

1866-67. J. Hornbeck. W. Brodhead. S.D. Van Etten.

1848-49. J.W. Hunt. S. Westfall. Jacob Bensley.

1867-68. H.M. Kimble. W. Brodhead. J. Hornbeck.

1849-50. P. McCarty. J.W. Hunt. S. Westfall.

1868-69. W. Brodhead. J. Hornbeck. H.N. Kimble.

1850-51. H. Lattimore P. McCarty. J.W. Hunt.

1869-70. R.W. Hoffman. H.N. Kimble. W. Brodhead.

1851-52. S. Westfall. H. Lattimore. P. McCarty.

1870-71. A. Griswold. R.W. Hoffman. W. Brodhead.

1852-53. J. Hornbeck, Jr. H. Lattimore. S. Westfall.

1871-72. L.J. Van Gorden. R.W. Hoffman. A. Griswold.

1853-54. Ira Crissman. J. Hornbeck, Jr. S. Westfall.

1872-73. Ira B. Rosecrance. L.J. Van Gorden. A. Griswold.

1854-55. D.H. Carlton. J. Hornbeck, Jr. Ira Crissman.

1873-74. S.W. Drake. S.J. Van Gorden. I.B. Rosencrance.

1855-56. W.T. Wilson. Ira Crissman. D.H. Carlton.

1875. George Geyer. S.D. Drake. I.B. Rosencrance.

1856-57. S. Dimmick. Ira Crissman. Wm. T. Wilson.

1876. George Geyer. E.B. Quick. Oliver Cressman.

1857-58. A. Van Auken. S. Dimmick Wm. T. Wilson.

1879. Henry De Witt. George Geyer. Oliver Cressman.

1858-59. Wm. Smith. S. Dimmick. A. Van Auken.

1885. James Gale. Henry De Witt. J.M. Bensley.

1882. J.H. Newman. J.M. Bensley. Henry De Witt.


1814. John T. Cross.

1853. Horace L. West.

1820. Richard Eldred.

1860. M.D. Newman.

1821. Jesse Olmsted.

1861. B. Halsey Cox.

1823. John B. Rockwell.

1862. David A. Wells.

1828. Samuel Dimmick.

1863. H.L. West.

1829. Edward Mott.

1872. Charles R. Biddis.

1832. John Brink.

1875. H.L. West.

1834. William Brodhead.

1876. Charles R. Biddis.

1837. Horace L. West.

1879. George Slauson.

1852. Edgar Pinchot.

1882. George Dauman.


1841. Wm. H. Dimmick.

1861. Oliver S. Dimmick.

1850. Edwin B. Eldred.

1865. Lucian F. Barnes.

1852. William Smith.

1867-76. John P. Biddis.

1855. D.M. Van Auken.

1879. John W. Nyce.

1858. John H. Vincent.

1881-83. C.A. Newman.


1845. George Biddis.

1865. Gregorie Loreaux.

1847. David W. Hagerty.

1867. Chas. C. Campbell.

1850. Gregorie Loreaux.

1870. L.M. Van Gorden.

1852. Solomon Dunning.

1871. George Geyor.

1855. Wm. Cornelius.

1874. H.C. Knealing.

1858. J.M. Williamson.

1877. Ralph. B. Thrall.

1859. Jacob C. Westfall.

1880. James Hutchinson.

1862. James W. Decker.

1883. Wm. M. Watson.

* Undoubtedly "in" should here be read "on."

** Spelled Curtwright.

*** Shoemaker.

(4*) Inn-keeper.

(5*) Gunsmith.

(6*) Attorney.

(7*) Justice of peace.

(8*) Merchant.

(9*) The other counties of the old eleventh district were Luzerne, Wayne, Susquehanna, Bradford and Tioga.

(10*) It will be found in the Monroe County division of this work.

(11*) See the chapter on Civil History of Wayne County.

(12*) For a fuller account of this matter and the part borne by Wayne, see
chapter on Civil History of that county.

(13*) Elected to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Judge George P.

(14*) Elected for three years, under the new Constitution.

(15*) Twice since re-elected, and the present incumbent of the office.

Page(s) 830-840; History of Wayne, Pike and Monroe counties, Pennsylvania, Mathews, Alfred, Philadelphia, R. T. Peck & Co., 1886