Potter County, Chapter 11, Bingham Township

Created: Tuesday, 21 October 2008 Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 February 2014 Written by Nathan Zipfel




BINGHAM is the second in the northern tier of townships. The Catskill claims this township almost totally, surrendering a small space in the northwest and southwest to the Pocono, and at the mouth of Turner's creek to the Chemung. The Genesee river, Turner's creek and small streams, with Marsh brook and other heads of the Cowanesque, drain this territory. Near the southwest corner on the middle branch of the Genesee, at the old Lyon, Pooler & Whitney saw- mill, and on the Genesee line, there is an exposure of about fifty feet of greenish- gray sandstone, light gray sandstone, reddish sandstone, red shale and greenish shale; the latter containing fish remains and the light gray or green sandstone, fucoidal impressions. Fish remains are also visible in the reddish sandstone of this section, some of which show a distinct false bedding. Plant stems and the traces of ferns are visible in the greenish shales; and the dip of the whole exposure is decidedly toward the southeast; that is, toward the Coudersport synclinal axis. Red soil and red rock are common with some sandy loam and some dark, loose, gravelly loam; while near Bingham Centre weathered, boulders and sandstone blocks may be seen. The tornado of 1837 tore down a large area of the forest. In July, 1883, a heavy wind storm did much damage to houses, farms, orchards and cattle, Deacon Raymond being among the heavy sufferers.

The population in 1880 was 832; the number of voters in 1888 was 202 (or 139 Republican, 41 Democrat, 20 Prohibition and 2 Union Labor), representing 1,010 inhabitants. The number of taxables in 1889 was 264, and the assessed value, $89,301. The resident tax-payers in 1831- 32 were Theodore Doty, Jr. and Sr. (the father died about forty- seven years ago), William P. Doty, Daniel Rooks, Sr. (died fifty years ago), Phineas Miller, Francis Wilber, Adlum Muarn, Dr. Benjamin Van Campin (an herb doctor, died about fifty- five years ago; he set out roots, which grow on the Raymond farm) Jeremiah Chapman, Levi Andrews (father of the Andrews Settlement, settled on the Asahel Howe place; died at Post Town, N.Y.), Peter Covenhoven, Truman Stevens, William Kibbe, Levi Kibbe, Alanson Andrews, John M. Rider, Lesley Lawrence, William Howe (killed by his horse forty- eight years ago), Alvin Spenser, Mary Jones, William M. Jones, E.P. Bouges, Abel P. Russell, Mattison, David Lanbartin, Hezekiah Kibbe (died on the Colston farm), I. Howe (died here), Henry McCarn (a carpenter), William Carpenter (moved away forty years ago), Amasa Finch, Theo. Carpenter, Moses Minick, Hiram and Ezra Niles (lived near Bingham Centre), Seth Warner, James, Daniel and Salmon Hawley, John Brown, David Tanner, Cornelius Ives (a brother of Timothy Ives and son of Timothy, who was crazy for a number of. years), George W. Rose, Joshua Thompson, John H. Rose (shot himself about fifty- one years ago), Ashbel Monroe (the leading farmer of olden days), Jacob Graham (who died of heart disease), Ephraim Wright, John Kile, Joseph Gahan, George W. Daniels (the Adventist, who bought a wagon from Joel Raymond on condition that should Christ come the note would be settled), Oliver Warner, J.W. Jones, Benjamin Milkes (a shoemaker), William Kibbe, David and Lewis Turner, Lisander Smead and William S. Kibbe. Cornelius Ives was assessor and Theo. Carpenter collector. William Howe's saw- mill was assessed $150, the Binghams giving him fifty acres of land as bonus. The mill is gone, and the lands are grown over. The first farm was opened by Theodore Doty at the northeast corner of the township, on the State road. Daniel Rooks had the next farm, followed by John S. Rooks, Dr. Van Campin, Jeremiah Chapman (or Chatham), Levi Andrus, Truman Stevens and William Howe. They were all farmers except Chapman, who owned twenty- five acres, and attended to postal, blacksmith and other affairs rather than to his small tract. Alva Carpenter was the first male child born in Bingham, in 1826. His father, Theodore, came with his wife and son George in 1825. Abigail Kibbe was the first girl in the settlement to be married, William Howe being the happy man on the occasion. He built the first frame house in the township. The first person buried in the beautiful cemetery at North Bingham was Mrs. Sarah Ives, in 1834. Dr. Van Campin was the next. In June, 1889, a petition for the incorporation of the cemetery was presented by Attorney N.J. Feck, representing P.W. Lawrence, J.L. Raymond, G.W. Colvin, D.T. Hauber, W.W. Ensworth, Lyman Rooks and others.

In February, 1829, Ashabel Monroe settled on a farm in Bingham township, where he lived and died. This farm is still known as the Ashbel Monroe place. And about this time Joshua Thompson moved in a more northern portion of Bingham. C.H. Grover came with his father, David, in 1834; David died in 1859, while C.H. Grover resides on the Ulysses and Spring Mills road, near Ira Carpenter's. Benjamin Atwood settled between the Ira Carpenter and C.H. Grover farms. He came about the time that the Thompsons and other families arrived. When Ira Carpenter was moving to his present farm in 1839, he saw the Isaac Jones barn, north. Ora Millard, at whose log- house the first elections were held, resided where P.W. Lawrence's blacksmith shop now stands. Ben Van Campin was the first, and Gideon Turner was the second justice, serving until 1836. David Grover was elected under the new constitution, and was also town clerk.

Isaac Wickson and Daniel Rooks were Revolutionary soldiers; Marshall Bobbins, William Kibbe, Timothy Howe, Owen Gardner and Levi Madison, soldiers of the war of 1812, while the soldiers of the Civil war are named in the military chapter. Jeremiah Chapman was the first postmaster. Joel Raymond succeeded him in 1841, and held the office, east of Chapman's, for twelve years, when it was moved to Jones' Corners (North Bingham), and James Jones appointed master. N.L. Dike was appointed later, under whom the office ceased after the war, the people having to go to Spring Mills. On the re- establishment of the office, William G. Raymond was appointed in 1878, and has held the office down to the present. In 1828 Isaac Wickson sold goods in Bingham, on the farm of Gideon Turner, northwest of North Bingham. This was the first thing in the way of a store in the Bingham settlement. Today there are stores at West Bingham, Bingham Centre and North Bingham, conducted, respectively, by O.A. Buckley, B.H. Howe and J.L. Raymond. Before the present Hawley mill existed, James and Philander Hawley built a log grist- mill below the present mill, which was burned in 1839. The present Hawley mill was erected in 1840. Truman Stevens built a saw- mill above Howe's mill, early in the "thirties." David Turner had also a mill near Bingham Centre. Harry Crittenden built a water saw- mill in Ludington, or Steam- mill Hollow, in 1830- 31. Ludington & Pearce built a steam saw- mill in the "fifties," which was used until the pine was exhausted, when the machinery was moved.

The first school- house was erected between 1826 and 1830, on the State road, which was opened by Mr. Sanders. Prior to this, one year before- it is said in 1826- Delila Kibbe presided over a small class in a barn belonging to Truman. Stevens. The mother asked Delila what a fortification was, when she answered: "Why, mother, its two twentyfications." After her marriage to J.L. Rooks, the great frost occurred, and, in speaking of it, she said that "it killed everything in the garden except the cabbage and turnip." Benjamin S. Grover followed Delila, then C.B. Ball, Tracy Scott, Charles Newland and W.H. Rogers, all identified as teachers with the pioneer schools. In 1839, when Ira Carpenter came, there was a school- house on the State road, on the State line, opposite the cemetery. The Brown school- house was on the Gideon Turner farm, presided over by B.L. Grover, while another house stood on the old John Kile farm (now owned by S.S. Carpenter), presided over by Squire Grover; a fourth in the south center, on the George W. Daniels farm, kept by L.S. bag; and a fifth, the Lancaster, was where Abel Bishop's farm now is. The Turner school- house, at West Bingham, was built in 1850, Ira Carpenter being one of the builders.

The first religious services were held in a log school- house, a little west of the North Bingham Cemetery, in 1833, by the Baptists. In 1836 a Baptist society existed at North Bingham, the Kibbes, John Rooks, Cornelius Ives, Deacon J.H. Lee, William G. Raymond, Joel Raymond and others, holding meetings in the school- houses. Messrs. Chase, Newlon and Scott were early preachers. Benjamin Capron preached about thirty- one years ago. The first church- house in the township was completed in June, 1881, on land donated by N.W. Lewis. The building committee comprised Joel Raymond, N.W. Lewis, David T. Hauber, A.N. Clark, P.W. Lawrence and John H. Chase. The cost was about $2,000. Prior to this time meetings were held in school buildings, but since 1881, Baptists and Methodists have worshiped in the union house. In 1837 Deacon Raymond joined this church, was with it when it disbanded in 1853, and, on its re- organization in 1857, was ordained deacon.

In 1836 a Methodist class, of which Marshal Robbins was leader, existed, and meetings held with some regularity. Mr. Crandall was preacher in 1839, Hiram Nibs' house being the place of meeting. Mr. Crandall got into some social difficulty, which broke up the society here, but recently some members of this denomination formed a class and worshiped in the union church. In 1889 there were only three persons living in the township who were heads of families when Ira B. Carpenter came, in 1839- the Widow Bethiah Lewis, of Bingham Centre, and Amasa Bobbins and wife, of Perryville. North Bingham, West Bingham and Bingham Centre are the post- offices of this township.

The officers for Bingham township, elected in February, 1890, are the following named: Justice of the peace, I.B. Carpenter; constable, F.T. Ransom; collector, F.T. Ransom; supervisor, Charles Allen; town clerk, J.H. Holbert; treasurer, R.S. Carpenter; school directors, James Patterson, J.H. Holbert; overseer of the poor, Charles Allen; judge of election, Chester Grover; inspectors of election, Clint McElroy, R.N. Howe.

Source: Page(s) 1073-1078 History of Counties of McKean, Elk and Forest, Pennsylvania. Chicago, J.H. Beers & Co., 1890.
Transcribed March 2006 by Mary Bryant, Published 2006 by PA-Roots