Potter County, Chapter 23, Ulysses Township, Lewisville

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





ULYSSES TOWNSHIP (named by Charles Parrish, of Ulysses, N.Y.), with the exception of the southeast and northwest corners, is an open Catskill region, about four miles wide from southwest to northeast. The head waters of Cushing creek, and a few feeders of the Genesee fork of Pine creek, flow southeast; the middle branch of the Genesee river flows due north along the western line, and the leading heads flow northwest from the Lewisville vicinity, while the very head of the Allegheny stretches across the Allegheny town line. Cushing creek forms at Brookland, and flows through the canon already noticed; bringing its waters to the Chesapeake, the Genesee carries the floods of Miller creek into Lake Ontario, and the Allegheny, which really takes shape in Allegheny township, flows into the Mississippi. Catskill red and gray shale and rocks characterize this township; the principal exposure is two miles northeast of Brookland, near the old F.W. Knox farm.

That portion of the township, which was formerly called Jackson, and annexed in 1879, is south and east of the main divide, and in its northwest quarter the waters of Cushing creek unite with Pine creek, while in the southern half the west branch finds six leading tributaries, exclusive of the streams coming down from the Swedish hills. Near the north township line, on Cushing creek, the rocks, familiar to explorers below the coal strata, are to be seen, while coal measures are found east and west of Whitmore run, and up the run three miles a heavy flowing spring rushes through the coal- bed of 40 inches in depth, while opposite is another coal outcrop. About 7,000 feet west of the spring is the great outcrop of Pottsville conglom, while close by, are the two immense detached masses of this rock, one 130 and the other 150 feet in circumference, and each about 25 feet high, both giving succor to a grove of scrub trees. The entire district rests upon a coal- bed, the dimensions of which can only be imagined. The greater part of the township (all except part of Chemung valley) is still as wild as it was when the pioneers of Pike township looked in upon the wilderness, and nothing less than the necessities of the future will ever lead to its improvement.

In Jackson (now, as stated, a part of Ulyssess) John M. Melizet, F.R. Wharton, David Lewis, J.P. Garrische, R. and J. Waln, F. Ravissee, Hannah M. Wharton and Francis R. Wharton paid taxes on unseated lands in 1834. The resident property owners in Jackson township in 1847 were Reuben Harrington (proprietor of saw- mill), Alex. Bane, Wm. and Chauncey Ellsworth, Rufus Thompson, Bradley Orsbeem, Thomas Reant, John P. Losey, Allen Shepherd, C. Lamphier, Wm. Woodard (assessor) and Jacob McFall.

Ulysses township was assessed in 1833 by Rufus A. Freeman, who found the following named residents there: Anson S. Burt, Charles Parrish, Jesse and O.A. Lewis, Lester Miles, Naham Miles, John Hackett, Ashbel Monroe. Clark and Ross L. Crum, Ira Gilbert, Wm. Miles, Hector Atwood, Isom Thompson, Sam. and Hosea Cushing, John Leonard, Anson, Dennis and James Blackman, Wm. W. Wood, Willis Young, Naher H. and Thomas Halock, Ichabod Grover, Edmund Bran, Steve Brace, Peter Haskell and Nancy Goff. In September, 1827, John Hackett, accompanied by Orange A. Lewis, came from Upper Lisle, N.Y., and settled in Harrison township, but in 1828 moved into Ulysses. In 1830 Lewis came hither and settled just south of his former employer's cabin. Hackett took possession of a hunter's shanty on what is now the Charles Monroe farm, and soon had for neighbors Dr. Keeler, Stephen Brace, Peter Haskell; while north in Bingham township the first female child, Ruth Spencer, and the first male child, Alva Carpenter, were added to the settlement, and Lydia, daughter of John Brace, was married to William Miles in 1830, by Benjamin Van Campin, of Bingham township.

The population in 1880 was 638, inclusive of Jackson township, annexed the year before, but exclusive of Lewisville borough. In 1888 the township, exclusive of borough, gave 92 Republican, 73 Democratic and 8 Prohibitionist votes, representing 865 inhabitants. There were 229 tax- payers in 1889, whose property was assessed at $166, 909.

Clark Crum, who died in 1887, settled on the farm (occupied by James Nickerson in 1882) within the borough in 1831; Joshua Thompson, on the Willet Lyon farm, two miles north; Willis Young, on the N.T. Jackson farm, two miles west; David Crowell on the Burton Lewis farm, two miles south. The first fanning- mill was made by Philander Hawley for John Hackett, the sieves being thin boards with several holes bored through them L.M. Howard was the first blacksmith. Collins Smith was the first merchant, in 1840, followed the same year by Cushing & Haskins. Dr. Andrew Stout, who in 1844 settled one- fourth of a mile south of his present home, was the only physician of the Ulysses district for years. Prior to his coming the physicians named in the sketches of Harrison and Bingham townships visited the settlements.

The first school- house was erected in 1837, and is known as the Daniels school- house, but as early as 1834 a small school was taught in the south part of Bingham, mostly for the benefit of the children of the Ulysses settlers. It was begun by Emily Lewis, but for some reason she gave up her position as teacher at the end, of four weeks, and the term was finished by Minerva Hackett. James Hawley, with his two sons, Philander and Salmon, built the first grist- mill in Ulysses. The date of the building of this mill is variously given from 1830 to 1836. This mill was burned, and rebuilt in 1840.

The officers of the township, elected in February, 1890, are: Constable, J.S. Hopkins; collector, J.S. Hopkins; judge of election, E.P. Johnson; town clerk, C.M. Stillman; treasurer, A. Carpenter; auditor, E.D. Leet; inspectors of election, O.E. Crandal, M.S. Crum; supervisor, M.W. Gridley; school directors, M.S. Crum, L.W. Cushing, C. Gridley; overseer of the poor, M.W. Gridley.

So early as 1828 the location of the village of Brookland was selected by Dr. Keeler as a site for his proposed saw- mill. The walls of a large log building were erected for this purpose, when the physician changed his mind and scene of labors, moving to the mouth of the East fork of the Sinnemahoning. Hosea Cushing came to this location a year or two after the Crums settled at Lewisville, and a few years later Elder Sheardown preached here.

In 1853 H.H. Dent came from Washington, D.C., and located at Coudersport. He owned extensive tracts of land in Potter county. He bought the square upon which the English Protestant Episcopal Church now stands, and built his residence thereon. In 1862 he moved from Coudersport to Brookland, in Ulysses township, where he built his residence and formed the nucleus of a hamlet. His grounds were laid out with fine taste, and the place is still one of the most attractive in the county. The name Brookland was given to it by Mrs. Timothy Ives, at a picnic, to which Mr. Dent invited the ladies to name his new home. Mr. Dent was a man of ability, and full of public spirit. He took great interest in educational matters, and presented the county with the clock which still remains in the tower of the court- house. William Dent, the only son of the old proprietor of Brookland, lives at the homestead, and is an extensive land owner.

In 1854 a post- office was established here with Hosea Cushing, master. In March, 1857, the name of Cushingville was changed to Brookland. The present office is in T.G. Hull's general store.

In 1871 a Sunday- school class was organized at this point, the Dent family being members. A temporary building for worship was occupied in August, 1875, and in 1878 Rev. Mr. Sterritt was engaged to preach here occasionally. In October, 1880, Rev. William Marshall came, and continued to serve the church here until June, 1889.

All Saints Protestant Episcopal Society of Brookland was incorporated in January, 1885, with Thomas G. Hull, George and Henry Bartlett, H.T. Reynolds, F. Jacobs and William Dent, wardens. In 1888 the present stone church was erected, the stone being quarried in the vicinity, and in the fall of 1889 the rectory was finished. The number of communicants is thirty- eight. Thomas G. Hull is senior warden and treasurer, and John Leach and John Jacobs, members of the vestry, with others named above. The building was dedicated September 19, 1889, by the assistant Protestant Episcopal bishop of Central Pennsylvania, and Rev. W.E. Wright, the rector.

The Fox Hill Cemetery Association was incorporated in January, 1886, with sixteen members, of whom W.A. Heath, V.E. Freeman and Charles Turner, of Brookland, were directors.

In 1850 there was a tannery at Kibbeville belonging to a German by the name of Plagueman, who has been dead several years; his widow is still living. Many a youthful swain stood up to be married in boots whose leather was tanned at Kibbeville. No work has been done at this tannery for a number of years. The East fork was made a highway in 1850. Lucas Cushing and M.J.N. Haskins opened a store in Ulysses township at what is now known as Olmsted's corners, in, 1840. In 1881 the residents of Gold village petitioned for a post- office, and suggested the name Raymond; the department gave the office but not the name. The old Gold Tub Factory was moved to Lewisville in February, 1883, but the industry is not now in existence. J.W. Morley & Co.'s general store is located here, and the little hamlet is fast assuming village airs. The Reynolds House is well conducted by E.J. Reynolds. Newfield, on the Moore farm, is the site of W.J. Grover's general store, and is one of the post- offices of the township.


Lewisville, generally called Ulysses, which is the name of the post- office, is located in a depression of the divide between the upper forks or feeders of the Genesee river, in the northeastern quarter of the township.

The population in 1880 was 365. In 1888 there were 86 Republican, 21 Democratic, 36 Prohibitionist and one Union Labor votes, representing a population of 720. Lewisville, in 1889, claimed 206 resident tax- payers, 108 horses, 2 oxen, 79 cows, seated real estate valued at $29,732, while moneys at interest were placed at $35, 653. As stated previously, Hackett settled in the township in 1828, and O.A. Lewis in. 1830. From this last- named pioneer the borough takes the name Lewisville. Clark Crum, a settler of 1831, and one of the early hunters, died in Ulysses township, in February, 1887. His cabin was within the limits of the present town.


Municipal Affairs.- Thefirst election for Lewisville borough was held February 2, 1872, when J.O. Potter was chosen burgess; Alva S. Mintonye, justice of the peace; E.C. Lewis, H.C. Hosley, E.A. Wagner, H.A. Gridley and T.W. Burt, councilmen; S.W. Monroe, O.R. Bassett, J.R. Nickerson and J.O. Potter, school directors; H.C. Hosley, constable and assessor; Austin Whipple and Moses Hackett, overseers of poor, and E.W. Chappel, auditor. George Merrill and C.M. Burt were inspectors, and Andrew Stone judge of this election. The names of burgess, councilmen and school directors elected annually are given as follows:

Burgesses.- William Howe, 1873; W.T. Hosley, 1874- 84; C.M. Allen, 1875; E.W. Chappel, 1876; C.G. Cushing, 1877; H.A. Gridley, 1878; A.S. Mintonye, 1879- 80; Perry Brigham, 1881- 86; T. W. Burt, 1882; G.C. Manion, 1883; George H. Cobb, 1885; William Daniels, 1887; F.M. Bronson, 1888- 89, receiving the full vote cast, or fifty- one votes.

Councilmen.- James Nickerson, 1873- 74- 77- 81- 83; James Gibson, 1873- 75- 88; C.E. Hosley, 1873- 76; W. Burtis, 1874; C.G. Cushing, 1874; E.A. Wagner, 1874; Perry Brigham, 1875; A.D. Corey, 1875- 76- 84; George Bartlett, 1876; E.R. Eddy, 1876- 80; J.O. Potter, 1877; B.L. Easton, 1877- 78- 81; Moses Hackett, 1878; E. Rathbone, 1879- 83; Thomas Bishop, 1879; Fayette Lewis, 1879. (In 1879 the vote against stock running at large was 47, and for, 21). John Lewis, 1880; A. Cady, 1880; G.H., or A.H., Cobb, 1880- 83; D.J. Chappel, 1880; H.A. Gridley, 1881- 84- 88; B.J. Cushing, 1881- 82; C.E. Burt, 1881- 82- 83; Charles Erlbeck, 1881- 82; E.A. Burt, 1882- 87; C.M. Allen, 1883; E. Blackman, 1883; E. Hyde, 1884; H.C. Hosley, 1884- 85- 86- 89; H.K. Lane, 1884; George A. Farnsworth, 1884- 88; G.C. Marion, 1885; A.S. Burt, 1886; W.M. Hosley, 1887; C.W. Bailey, 1889.

School Directors.- A.S. Mintonye, 1873- 76; C.G. Cushing, 1873- 76; Seth Lewis, 1874- 77; O.R. Bassett, 1874- 77; James Nickerson, 1878; H.C. Hosley, 1878- 81- 88; J.O. Potter, 1878; Charles Erlbeck, 1880; Perry Brigham, 1880; W.W. Hamswirtt, 1881; C.E. Hosley, 1081- 82; E.U. Eaton, 1882; B.J. Cushing, 1882; F.M. Bronson, 1883- 86- 89; H.A. Gridley, 1883- 85- 86- 89; C.A. Lewis, 1884- 87; C.M. Allen, 1884- 87; George C. Marion, 1884- 88; G.A. Farnsworth, 1885.

The officers elected in February, 1890, are as follows: Burgess, O.A. Nelson; councilmen, William M. Hosley, A.H. Lewis, Lyman Merrill; justice of the peace, F.M. Bronson; constable, E.A. Hovey; collector, E.A. Hovey; high constable, W.E. Turner; auditor, John F. Stone; school directors, D.C. Chase, E.A. Burt; overseer of the poor, I.P. Collins; judge of election, B.S. Easton; inspectors of election, George Nickerson, John L. Bailey.

The Lewisville Water Company was chartered September 30, 1886, with Perry Brigham, Tom Brigham, C.A. Lewis, G.C. Marion and E.U. Eaton, stockholders. The Ulysses Hose Company was organized in May, 1887, with G.C. Marion, chief, and G.A. Farnsworth, I.P. Collins and C.E. Hosley.


Churches.- The Baptist Church is mentioned in the minutes of the Canisteo Association of 1837. At that time Gardner H. Olmsted, the clerk, reported thirty- three members. In 1839 there was no report made, but Harrison township reported through Deacon W.G. Raymond, the successor of John Rooks, as clerk at that point in 1837. The first association meeting held within the Ulysses Church was that of 1871, and the second in 1885. The first Baptist society of Ulysses was incorporated January 6, 1849, with Daniel Olmsted, Leavitt Cushing, Barney Hicks, G.H. Olmsted, Lucas Cushing and Erastus Merrill, trustees. Among the members were Seth C. Parker, Eph. B. Slade, L.L. Robertson, C.F. Parker, Judson Brown and Delos Eason. In 1858 the society completed a church building.

The Methodist Church dates back to 1842- 43, when C. Graham was sent to preach here, holding services in the old school- house, which stood where Lewis Bros. meat market now is. In 1844 or 1845 E. Hudson came, and during his time a parsonage was built on what is now the .H. Young farm. In this house Messrs. W.K. Runner, W. Jones, W. Shaffer, W. Statham and E.P. Huntington, the successive incumbents of the circuit, resided. In 1858 S.P. Guernsey came, and deserted the old house for rooms in the old O.A. Lewis House, within the village. At that time the Baptists had completed their house, and in it the Methodists worshiped on alternate Sundays. H.O. Abbott, J. Easter and F.M. Smith were stationed here successively, while H. Rowland had charge during the last two years of the war.

In September, 1887, an effort to organize a Universalist society and build a house of worship at Lewisville was made. Mrs. Kate Parker, Thomas E. Gridley, John F. Stone, F.M. Wagner and A. S. Burt were chosen trustees.


Societies and Associations.- Lewisville Lodge, No. 556, F. & A.M., was organized May 12, 1881, under charter granted December 6, 1880, with George Marion, W.M.; H.T. Reynolds, S.W.; Frank Bronson, J.W.; Seth Lewis, secretary, and Ira Carpenter, treasurer. The list of past masters includes Geo. C. Marion, Frank M. Bronson, Dr. E.U. Eaton, Fayette Lewis and E.A. Burt. The master, in 1889, was P.A. McDonald. He is listed as past master from his service at Wellsville, N.Y., and at Port Allegany. The following are the officers for 1890: P.A. McDonald, P.M.; E.A. Burt, W.M.; I.P. Collins, S.W.; S.E. Chrisman, J.W.; H.K. Lane, treasurer, Seth Lewis, secretary; L.G. Goodenough, S.D.; D.R. Shiners, J.D., with P.H. Miller, J.J. Downey, H.U. Herritt, E.A. Hovey and H.A. Gridley filling the junior offices.

Ulysses Chapter, No. 269, R.A.M., was chartered November 9, 1888, with the following members: P.A. McDonald, H.P.; Geo. C. Marion, K.; E.U. Eaton, scribe; and H.T. Reynolds, H.K. Lane, Fayette Lewis, John V. Miller, Byron G. Miller and George Sutton. P.A. McDonald was H.P. in 1889, with Homer K. Lane, secretary. In 1890 G.C. Marion resides, with Seth Lewis, secretary.

O.A. Lewis Post, No. 279, G.A.R., was organized August 3, 1882, with Wm. Daniels, C.; A.A. Johnson, S.V.C.; H.T. Reynolds, J.V.C.; J.O. Potter, O. of D.; M.G. Wheaton, O. of G.; A.D. Corey, chaplain; A.H. Cobb, surgeon; T.V. Barker, adjutant; A.H. Owen, S.M.; D.J. Chappel, Q.M., and Edson Hyde, Q.M.S.A.D. Corey was commander in 1883; A.A. Johnson, 1883- 85- 88; A.E. Wright, 1886- 87, and E.M. Stewart, 1889, with Judge Reynolds, adjutant. The officers for 1890 are J.W. Smith, C.; H.R. Drake, S.V.C.; Wm. O'Neill, J.V.C.; F.M. Brown, Q.; John. Barnes, S.; E.M. Stewart, O.D.; Geo. W. Rogers, O.G.; H.T. Reynolds, Adjt.; J.T. Hovey, S.M.; Lyman Merrill, Q.M.S.; S.N. Vanover, Chap.; W.H. Mericle, J.S.; P.M. Jacobus, O.S. Whipple Post, No. 2, S. of V., is a recent organization, of which D.J. Whipple is adjutant.

Equitable Aid Union, No. 212, was presided over in 1883 by W.H. Millard, and in 1881- 82- 86 by Henry Hosley. J.W. Lewis was president in 1889, with Mary A. Blackman, secretary. E.M. Stewart is the present presiding officer, with Mary A. Drake, secretary.

K. of H. Lodge, No. 2025, was presided over by F.M. Bronson in 1881- 83- 85; by E.A. Burt in 1886. In May, 1889, an attempt to find the records was unrewarded.

Ulysses Lodge, No. 818, I.O.O.F., is presided over by A.O. Lewis, with Charles M. Brigham. secretary.

Ulysses Branch of the National Order of Independent Iron Clads of North America was incorporated January 11, 1886, with A.D. Corey, W.T. Hosley, E.A. Corey, G.W. Merrill, Geo. C. Marion and E.M. Stewart, directors. The object was to further the cause of temperance and kindred virtues.

In February, 1887, the C.L.S.C. of Lewisville elected F.F. Cutler, president, Seth Lewis, vice- president, and Minnie Cushing, secretary.

The W.C.T.U. was chartered June 20, 1884, the following named ladies being members: Mesdames Ann Gerona Wagner, Sarah E. Lewis, Marcella Eaton, Kate L. Stone, Clara Burt, Chloe Leet, Kate E. Lewis, Nettie M. Allen, Louisa A. Hosley, Estella Robbins, Mary Lewis, Charlotte Marion, Martha Drake, Elizabeth Lewis, Stella T. Baker, Charlotte Millen, Aggie Hosley, Clarissa Bennett, Emma Farnsworth, Lucy Lewis, Celia R. Cobb, Emma Millard, Caroline Burt, Flora Bailey, Kate Burt and Mary Bronson, and the Misses Carrie Stillman, Clara Hosley, Jessie Lewis and Mary A. Gridley. Mrs. Elizabeth Lewis is first president, Mesdames A.G. Wagner and Charlotte Marion, vice- presidents, and Miss M.A. Gridley and Mrs. K.L. Stone, secretaries, and Mrs. Kate E. Lewis, treasurer.

The Ulysses Cemetery Association was organized February 14, 1874, for the purpose of establishing a burial ground in the borough of Lewisville. There were fifty-two members, of whom O.R. Bassett, James Nickerson, E.C. Lewis, J.O. Potter, E.W. Chappel and Willet Lyon were trustees.

The Ulysses Driving Park Association was incorporated August 28, 1886, with E.U. Eaton, Geo. H. Cobb, John F. Stone, F.M. Wagner and J.N. Crowell, directors. There were thirty- seven members who subscribed for forty- three and a half $25 shares.


Hotels. - The Lyman House was built about thirty years ago by C. Lyman. This hotel was conducted by several persons for the last twenty years, until it became the property of Perry Brigham, whose residence it now is. The old Lewisville House ceased years ago, and like the Lyman is used as a residence. The Hosley House was built by William Hosley in 1883, and carried on by C.E. Hosley until June, 1888, when the building and furniture were sold to D.A. Corey, the present owner. There are twenty- three rooms, well furnished.


General Business. - A decade ago the general merchants were Chappel Bros., Abram Bennett, Burtis & Potter, S.W. Monroe and A. Burtis; Edson Hyde was a watchmaker, J.C. Davidson, a blacksmith and iron- founder; B. Lewis, a hotel owner; Seth Lewis, an attorney; A. Stout and E.U. Eaton, physicians, and E. Hackett, a mill owner. The academy and common-school buildings were here. Today the business houses are, in part, G.C. Marion & Co., hardware; Stone, Raymond & Co., clothing; D.J. Chappel & Son, general store; C.A. Lewis & Co.; general store; Drake Bros., furniture; A.S. Mintonye, boots and shoes; Homer K. Lane, drugs and books; Cobb & White, general store; C.M. Allen, jewelry and crockery; A.D. Corey, pool and billiard tables; S.G. Burtis, groceries. The professions are represented by Seth Lewis and I.P. Collins, attorneys; E.U. Eaton, physician, and S.A. Phillips, dentist. H.K. Lane established the first regular drug store at Lewisville, in 1879, in the Chappel Block, and in 1886 he erected his present building on Main street near North. The Sentinel, noticed in the press chapter, is a good local journal.


Miscellaneous.- Thefire of April 28, 1887, destroyed A.L. Hyde's building and stock, and the law office of Edson Hyde. The present Hyde building was completed in August, 1887; the G.A.R. hail and a billiard room were destroyed. In November, 1887, the Perry Brigham steam- saw and gristmill was destroyed, with 20,000 feet of lumber and 200 bushels of grain. The storm of May 28, 1888, destroyed orchards, fences and homes. Among the losers in Lewisville and neighborhood were A.F. Raymond, J.H. Hosley, of Gold; Alva Carpenter, George W. Carpenter; of Newfield; J.A. Brown, Cale Gridley and G.H. Cady, of Lewisville, who had their barns unroofed; D. Francis' barn was moved; A. Hawk's barn in Harrison township was partly carried away; J.W. Neal, of Harrison, had his wagon- shed blown down and wagons broken; F.A. Crowell, and others on the Cowanesque, lost property by this tornado.

Source: Page(s) 1135-1141 History of Counties of McKean, Elk and Forest, Pennsylvania. Chicago, J.H. Beers & Co., 1890.
Transcribed October 2006 by Nathan Zipfel, Published 2006 by PA-Roots