History of Pike County
Chapter XV
Greene Township



GREENE was taken from Palmyra in 1859. It is the southwestern township of Pike, County and bounded on the north by Palmyra and Blooming Grove, on the east by Porter, on the south by Monroe County and on the west by Wayne County. The Seventeen-Mile Run, Nineteen-Mile Run, Sugar Hill Creek and East Branch all flow southeast into the south branch of the Wallenpaupack. The Big Bushkill takes its rise in the eastern part of the township. There are five ponds, among them the East Branch Pond and Promised Land Pond, which is an artificial or saw-mill pond covering about twelve hundred acres. It was formed by damming up the head-waters of the East Branch, a low, swampy region, covered with spruce, laurel, pine, etc., the lair of bears and wild-cats in former times. That part of Greene which adjoins the Paupack was part of Salem from 1808 until 1814, after which Pike was formed and the Paupack made the dividing line, when Greene was assessed and became part of Palmyra; previous to that it was included in Delaware township. Greene has several large hills. On approaching from Houcktown the first hill is Buck Hill, as it slopes south. It was a favorite resort of deer; hence the name. Panther Hill lies south of the Little Sugar Hill Creek. Big or Carleton Hill lies northeast of Sugar Hill, while Sugar Hill lies southwest of Sugar Hill Creek. The township has been principally settled from the Paupack Valley, and it is not known who first built a cabin on the flats, on the east side of the Paupack. The first settlers on the flats were mere squatters and located their cabins to suit their convenience. It is said that Thomas Dickerson cleared across the Paupack on what is now a part of the Josiah Whittaker place. Aside from these cabins on the flats, and perhaps before any of them were built in Greene, Abram Wissemere or Wismer, built a cabin in the eastern part of the township, hack of Sugar Hill, on the road from Stroudsburg to the flats, known as the Wismer road. James Simons was assessed in 1809 with four hundred acres of land, Abram Simons with two hundred acres, Joseph Simons with two hundred acres- three acres of which is improved - one house and two cows. James and Abram were evidently non-residents at this time; James Simons located about one-half mile east of the Paupack and cleared up a good farm. He built the stone house now occupied by his son Samuel. His son Thomas located on part of the tract about one-half mile north of the homestead. Jabez Simons located north of his brother, on the lot that Benjamin Sheerer had squatted on, having cleared a large farm. James Simons, Jr., located about one and one-half miles southeast of his father. Abram Simons lives on the old Joseph Simons place, which joins the James Simons farm on the southwest. The Simonses live about two miles from Ledgedale. David Hartson Carleton, a chair-maker, came from New England and located at the foot of Big or Carleton Hill, south of Sugar Hill, in the year 1817. He built a log hut and made quite a clearing. His children were David H., Roxanna, Mary, Thomas, Emily, George W., Sally and Betsey. David H. Carleton located about one-half mile northwest of his father, was the first justice of the peace in Greene, and county commissioner at one time. He married Nancy S. Dickerson. Among his children are David Albert Carleton, who married Elizabeth Banks, located on Buck Hill, cleared a farm and built a comfortable dwelling. Carleton school-house is near by. John Carleton, a brother of the foregoing, married Mary Banks and located about three miles from his father. Roxanna married George Miller and lives in Wilkes-Barre. Mary was the wife of John Corey, who located in Greene, about three miles east of the Flats, at a place called Coreyville, in his honor. Thomas D. Carleton located in Dreher. Emily was the wife of Robert Bortree, who lived in Greene, opposite the Robert Bortree mill property. Sally was the wife of Joseph M. Kipp. Jacob Gilner bought the old D.H. Carleton place. Thomas Dickerson settled on Sugar Hill in 1814 or earlier. His son, Thomas J. Dickerson, who married Eliza Beech in 1830, probably obtained an education by reading and study at his humble home. He served with faithfulness as county commissioner for six years, and was justice of the peace for twenty years. He lived to be seventy-five years of age, and often related that he sat at the door of his father's cabin at close of day and heard the howl of the wolf and the screams of the panther and wild cat.

Of his children, Benjamin moved to Kansas; Silas J. lives on part of the homestead; Ruth, who married G.H. Bortree, and Esther, who married J. Butler, live on part of the homestead; Augusta, who married A. Hopps, lives on lands adjoining the homestead; Richmond went to Texas; John Wilmer Dickerson was a student, while others were telling bear stories or otherwise passing their time. The writer remembers him as a teacher of East School. He removed to Bedford County, became county superintendent and representative of Bedford and Fulton in the Assembly. He studied law, was admitted, finally became blind, but had some one read the Acts of Assembly to him and continued to plead cases until he died, when but a young man. Thomas T. Dickerson was fatally wounded at Charles City Court-House, Va., June 18, 1864, during the late war.

Isaac I. Kipp came from Philadelphia to Greene April 10, 1820, and settled in what is now known as Kipptown, where his son, John Kipp, now lives. He and Jacob Keene built the first frame house in the township, buying two hundred and thirty-four acres of land of Edward Tilghman. The settlers in the township, before they came, were nearly all squatters. Among them at the time of their advent was Abram Wissemore, who lived about one-half mile from Kipp's, on the southwest. He sold his squatter's right to John Dunning; afterward John Burns bought the land of Cadwalader, and Dunning got nothing for his improvement. Jacob Keene, who came with Kipp, located on the west. Andrew Corey and Jesse Ransberry purchased one hundred and ten acres, northeast of Kipp's, about 1831. They built log houses and cleared a farm. Thomas J. Dickerson purchased one hundred and seventeen acres north of Kipp's in 1835. He built a log house and made a clearing. Jacob Mash purchased one hundred and seventeen acres east of Kipp's in 1846. James Edwards came from Philadelphia and lived on the Jacob Keene place until 1847, when he purchased fifty-eight and one-half acres south of Kipp's, and Charles Batzel secured the other half. James Edwards now lives in Salem, aged eighty-seven. His sons were Joseph B., John and Jacob. Allen Megargel purchased four hundred acres where Ehrgood's mill now is in 1816. He built a saw-mill and grist-mill about 1825. Isaac Megargel, his son, took possession of the property in 1828 and sold it to William Ehrgood in 1830. The first sawmill in Greene was built by John R. Galpin, about 1843. The next was the Joseph Atkinson, Sr., saw-mill at Promised Land, which was so named by Mr. Murray, who assisted in building the mill. The Promised Land Pond covers an almost impenetrable spruce swamp, which is but a continuation of the swamp known as "The Shades of Death," the name being doubt-less given in derision. The title is well established and denotes all that wilderness region of scrub oak, pine and spruce about Atkinson's mill-pond. The Kipp saw-mill was built on the East Branch in 1851. Nathan Houck's mills and stick factory were erected at Houcktown, on the Buck Hill stream, in 1855. Thomas Bartleson purchased land of Megargel about 1828, cleared up fifty acres and built the largest barn in the township.

John K. Brink and George Smith came to Greene about 1842. After the ice freshet in Paupack, which destroyed Brink's cattle, his family, who succeeded in making their escape, came to the Abram Nye place, in Salem, and from thence to Greene. He purchased one hundred and seventeen acres and shortly after sold one-half of it to George Smith, who had a family of twelve children -  George and Lewis R. were twins; Emeline lives with her mother; Lunis lives in Greene; Levi, James R., John and Benjamin live elsewhere.

James Baillie settled, in 1845, about one mile west of East Branch Pond. Augustus Seifert and Adam Hazer also located in that vicinity, on the road from Kipp's mill to Roemerville. The Reichel brothers settled about 1846. Then came Charles Wolf and John Fribilie, and next the Waltz Hotel was built. Henry Roemer settled in Roemerville, which is on Nineteen-Mile Run. The Roemer, or Winooka, Falls at this place are about sixty feet high. Charles Monsette, a Frenchman, had a steam mill. Christian Bletz and John N. Walter located at Roemerville; John Barnhaff settled at Goose Pond. The first school-house was built on Allen Megargel's property; Joseph Simons and Isaac I. Kipp were the first teachers.

Isaac I. Kipp married Susan Vaughn. His children were Mary (wife of James Cross) and John (who married Hannah Correll). John's Sons are Isaac M. (a blacksmith), Horace E. (a wagon-maker), Benjamin F. (who has the sawmill), George W. (who was once commissioner of Wayne County and is now a lumberman in Bradford County) and John A. (superintendent of Pike County schools). His daughters are Mary (wife of Sylvanus Van Gorder), Susan (wife of Thomas H. Gilpin, who built a store near the saw-mill in 1866, the first store in Greene; he has a stick factory in connection with his saw-mill), Margaret (is the wife of Horatio Simons), Betsey (is the wife of George Banks) and Helen W. (is unmarried).

Joseph Kipp lived where Peter Mash how resides for a number of years, finally sold his place and moved to Vineland, N.J.

Robert G. Croft settled on the Allen Megargel property. David Robinson came to Greene with Allen Megargel in 1816. He was a squatter in Greene for a number of years, built several houses, but never owned any real estate. His son Wesley has property about one mile from Ledgedale. George N. Schwepenheiser -  which is the old way of spelling the name- came to Greene in 1860, and bought the James Edwards place. His son, George A. Swepeniser, lives with him. He took the census in 1880, when there were eleven hundred and sixty-seven inhabitants. On the township's erection, in 1829, there were but seventeen votes polled and about one hundred inhabitants. The names of the schools are Maple Grove, Kipptown, Sugar Cabin, Sugar Hill, Coreyville, Jones, Carleton's, German Valley, Roemerville. The Promised Land property, of several thousand acres, belongs to the Shakers. It contains a saw-mill and a small farm.

Peter Heberling came to Newfoundland in 1835. His son Peter bought a tract of land west of Sugar Hill, and cleared a farm. Old Peter Straub, the last of the old German settlers, lives with him, aged ninety-four. William Hebberling, John Kindt, Frederick Klein, Charles Augenstein, Anthony Roemer and a number of other Germans and Frenchmen have helped to clear and improve Greene township. William Banks came from England to Greene in 1843, and settled on the Howe & Elliott tract, near Sugar Hill. His children were William, James and Samuel, who assisted their father in clearing the farm. They dug a pit, and with one man in the pit and another above, sawed sufficient lumber by hand to build a plank house. Mr. Banks and his sons were ingenious and rendered themselves very comfortable.

The Hemlock Grove Church was built in 1875. The first class in Greene was organized by Rev. J.F. Williams. Lewis Robacker led the first class, consisting of Lewis Robacker and wife, Samuel Banks and wife, Horace Kipp and wife, Mrs. Hannah Kipp, Mrs. Shiffler, Mrs. John Corey, Mrs. Hoover and Mrs. Lavinia Kipp. William Banks was a local Methodist preacher.

When Henry Roemer went to the head of Sugar Hill Creek, where he settled, there were no neighbors within a distance of seven miles. He built a log cabin in 1840, covered it with bark, and logged up a field without any team. He lived to be eighty-three. His children were Matilda, Anthony and Adolphus. His first neighbors were John Walter, whose place is now occupied by Frank Miller; Felix Ollsommer, John Morro and some other Frenchmen. Alfred Jolen built a road in to Hicks' Pond, and Charles Low has a saw-mill located there.

HOUCKTOWN -  Christopher Betchler built a a saw-mill at Coreyville in 1850. Richard D. Jones and H.A. Lancaster purchased this mill in 1882 and erected a large stick-factory, employing twenty-five hands. This property was bid in for the creditors by George G. Waller, Esq., and is now operated by George H. Lancaster.

H.A. and George H. Lancaster built an umbrella-stick factory at German Valley in 1878, and in 1881 George H. Lancaster sold his interest in this factory and the one at Coreyville to R.D. Jones, who employed about forty hands. The German Valley factory burned down March 15, 1886.

After Pike County was separated from Wayne a portion of Salem west of the Paupack River was assessed as Salem, in Pike County, in 1815. Thomas Dickerson, assessor, returns himself with three acres of improved land; Gabriel Davis, whose residence was on the other side of the river, with three-fourths acre; Abram Wissemore, six acres; Jacob Smith, nine acres; Henry Wissemore, single man, on eighteen and three-fourths acres improved land in Greene in 1815.

Greene township has been greatly improved within the last forty years, and is one of the best agricultural townships in Pike County. The hills of Greene were once covered with hemlock and hard-wood forests. The southern part of Greene, about Sugar Hill, Buck Hill and the vicinity of Houcktown, were grown with maple and beech. The maple-groves, in particular, were large and densely wooded. These woods were formerly the home of the deer and the streams' were celebrated for trout.

NATHAN HOUCK -  Very little is known of his ancestry beyond the fact that his paternal grandfather was Peter, who lived a long and useful life in Lehigh County, Pa. He was the first sheriff there, and an active member of the Lutheran Church. His maternal grandfather was Abraham Harp, who spent his life in Berks County, Pa. Peter Houck, son of Peter, and father of the subject of this notice, was born in Allentown June 25, 1777. He married his wife, Elizabeth Harp, in Berks County, Pa., May 10, 1801, and the majority of his years thereafter was spent in the vicinity of Boyertown. He was a carpenter and joiner, and in politics an active Democrat. He died December 30, 1854, and the death of his wife occurred February 19, 1875. Nathan Houck, son of Peter and Elizabeth (Harp) Houck, was born March 24, 1818, at Boyertown, Berks County, Pa. He served his father until about twenty-one years of age, and in the meantime acquired such an education as his opportunities at that time afforded. The next sixteen years of his life were divided between Philadelphia, Montgomeryville and Spruce Grove, during which time he was engaged in cabinet-making, lumbering, etc. In 1855 he purchased of John Torrey about three hundred acres of land in Greene township, Pike County, Pa., where he immediately settled with his family and has since resided. This tract of land was at that time an unbroken wilderness, and Mr. Houck cut the road through, leading the first team that entered there. He at once began the erection of a temporary residence, the material used in its construction being peeled bark. The first and only beds they had for some time on which to rest their weary bodies, consisted of boughs or brush. Here presented an opportunity for Mr. Houck to put into practical use the knowledge he had gained from lumbering. He lost no time in making a beginning, and for a number of years he applied himself with that will and determination which has characterized his whole life, and by careful management and economy became the possessor at one time of over two thousand acres of land, and now, at the close of the year 1885, he has many acres under a good state of cultivation, and has, besides, made extensive and valuable improvements thereon. During the War of the late Rebellion he furnished the government immense quantities of tent poles or sticks, and at about that time conceived the idea of umbrella and parasol sticks, also clothes-pins, toys, etc., and for that purpose erected a factory in 1872, and has since added to it until it is now one of the largest in the country of its kind. It employs one hundred and ten horse-power. Capacity per day, for umbrella and parasol sticks, two hundred gross; clothes-pins, two hundred boxes of five gross each; tops and balls, one hundred and fifty gross; and when in full operation their works give employment to seventy-five men, including those engaged in the woods preparing timber for the purposes above mentioned.

Nathan Houck was married, April 14, 1841, to Laanna, daughter of Abraham and Elizabeth (Berger) Deetz, of Bucks County, Pa. They have children -  John D., born September 28, 1842; Charles, born January 1, 1845; Franklin, born May 29, 1847 (died in infancy); Elizabeth, born March 17, 1849, wife of Dr.

Fletcher Gilpin; Amanda, born September 6, 1851, wife of Emory Gilpin; Emma, born February 10, 1854, wife of Frank Nicholson; Anna M., born June 9, 1856, died October 5, 1864; Carrie M., born Nov. 26, 1860, wife of Dr. Arthur Simons. Mr. and Mrs. Houck are both members of the church, and in politics, he is an active Democrat. John D. and Charles Houck have recently succeeded to the business their father established, and, with the inheritance of his good name, success must surely await them.

Page(s) 977-981; History of Wayne, Pike and Monroe counties, Pennsylvania, Mathews, Alfred, Philadelphia, R. T. Peck & Co., 1886