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The Bradford office of the Singer Manufacturing Company was established with G. F. Anderson, manager.... J. W. Fritts is also a dealer in sewing machines and organs, and Harrington Brothers in pianos and other musical instruments; also H. E. Morrison.
The American Steam Laundry was established in 1878 by H. J. Skinner, who was followed by Godfrey & Hunt, the present owners.
The Pennsylvania Storage Company is an adaptation of the lumber company mentioned in the history of St. Mary's. The yards are located on a tenacre tract donated by the city in 1888, to which the company added ten acres subsequently. F. W. Brooks is general superintendent. The lumber is brought to the yard in the rough, from the different saw mills of the county, most of the proprietors being stockholders. A planing-mill is located on the ground, and the lumber is dressed and matched complete for the market. Particular pains are taken in piling the lumber. As soon as a pile is finished it is roofed, and the number of boards booked. Over 11,000,000 feet of lumber are stored on the grounds at present. Nearly all of it is hemlock. The Star, in noticing this great industry, says: "Perhaps our citizens are not aware of the mammoth amount of lumber handled annually by the lumber dealers of this city. The industry has grown to such an extent that it can be classed next to the oil interests in this county.'' The reason it is called a storage concern is because a mill-owner ships his lumber to this plant, and he is given a certificate of the value of his shipment taken from the inspector's book. It is stored on the grounds until sold, when he receives his price. In addition to the above the business of making wood alcohol is carried on extensively in the vicinity of Bradford, there being no less than four establishments of the kind —commonly called acid works—within a few miles of the city. They are conducted respectively by A. B. Smith & Co., Ph. Nusbaum & Co., the Alton Chemical Works (limited) and the Lewis Run Chemical Company.
The Wagner Opera House was built and opened in 1870. The building is owned by M. W. Wagner and managed in conjunction with the oil region circuit, comprising Erie, Warren and New Castle, in Pennsylvania, and Elmira, Hornellsville and Olean, in New York, by Wagner & Reis, their headquarters being in this city. Three to four performances a week are given in the Wagner during the season. Among the noteworthy attractions that have appeared at the Opera House may be mentioned Sara Bernhardt, Edwin Booth, Mrs. Langtry, Theodore Thomas' Orchestra, Gilmore's Band and the Emma Abbott Opera Company. In addition to the Wagner Opera House there is a variety theatre and numerous halls for concerts and other uses.
The humble beginnings of Bradford have been related, and the gradual advances of the settlement to the position of a city traced. Every feature of the building-up process has been painted in documentary languages, true in every particular. Only a few years have passed since the place was a wilderness. Today it is a busy hive of industry, with many of the vices and all the virtues of a great business center. The pioneers of the Bradford oil field built well indeed, and witnessed the springing up of a great, well-regulated and prosperous community out of the ancient groves of the Tuna Valley. Here is the inventive, enterprising, fearless Yankee; there the Pennsylvanian—man of iron nerves; here the sons of Vermont and New Hampshire, happy among the great hills; there the children of that Maryland—" the only place in the wide, wide world where religious liberty found a home;" here the shrewd Irishman whose faults almost counterbalance his virtues; the ruddy, fair-haired German working steadily to win a competence and hold it; the Englishman, generally transatlantic; the Italian, untrained to labor; the "cannie" Scot, zealously watchful of his interests; the chivalrous Pole, the polite Frenchman, the money-making Jew, the never-tired Swede or Norwegian, and even the Chinaman—all find employment and a home here. In other points the city claims distinctive features, such as natural terraces, variety of landscape and wildwood drives, all retained involuntarily amid the ruin of old-time forests, change of river courses and assaults on the great hills.
FOSTER TOWNSHIP—BOROUGH OF KENDALL—
Foster Township Formation — Census — Fires — Township Officers
Electf.d In 1890—Villages.
Borough Of Kendall Location—Population—Business—Peg-leg LineIncidents—Fires, Etc.— Elections — Schools — Churches — Cemetery-- Societies.
CorydonTownship Topography, Etc.—Population—Seated Tax Payers,
1836-37—Early Mills—Township Officers Elected In 1890.
FOSTER TOWNSHIP formed part of Bradford township until 1880, and today it is practically a part of the old township in its topographical features and business interests. In March, 1880, the vote on setting off Foster township from Bradford was seventy-two for and thirty-one contra. The name was given in honor of Leonard S. Foster, the oldest continuous white resident of the Tuna Valley, who resided at_ Foster Brook since 1824, Bernard Pike, the pioneer, moving away years ago. This township in 1880 had a population of 5,373. In November, 1888, there were 288 Republican, 154 Democratic, 43 Prohibitionist and 46 Labor Unionist votes cast; and a total of 531 multiplied by six gives the population at the time as 3,186.
The history of this township is one story of conflagration after conflagration. Red Rock was burned early in 1880, shortly after the destruction of Knox City and of Gillmor.
The New City fire of May 7, 1880, originated on the Shedd farm, sparks from Fisher & Pickett's engine setting fire to their No. 6 well, and resulting in the four-months old town of Rew City being destroyed within two hours. Beginning on the north boundary on the east side of Bordell avenue, there were destroyed as follows: Dan Kelly's feed stable; Moscho's barn and dwelling; Curtis & Hart's building; Seth Jordan's boarding house; Robert Menziers' restaurant; Chandler Bros. ' grocery; J. D. Wolf's building and hardware stock; U. Fox's new boarding house, and Eugene Capron's building and stock. On the north and south sides of Coleville road, west of Bordell avenue, Ireland's machine shop; the pioneer hotel, known as the Summit House, conducted by Ross & Marr; the Rew City House; Hale's drug store; Giles' & Mehany's building; Bradford shoe store; Laydry Davey's boarding house; Central House; Dailey's hardware; Allington's restaurant; Connelly's hotel. Sniggs & Stick
ney's grocery; Wood & Bowens' meat market and bakery; Scanlon's Davenport House; Cook's portable restaurant building; Chandler Bros.' building; G. E. Edmund's livery; Dayton & Jackson's hotel; McGeorge's dwelling; S. S. Francis' dwelling; Sinclair's fruit shop; McDermott's feed store and blacksmith shop; Murray, Morrison & Company's buildings; Thomas' restaurant; Lewis' boarding house; Robinson's building; McNamara's Edinburg House, and C. Webster's tank shop, on the west side of Bordell avenue, south of the Coleville road, were all swept away. D. Rew's farm house and buildings, then occupied by Middaugh, were destroyed, and five buildings on the west side of the street; Whiting's boarding house, Stoddard's hotel, Mrs. Agger's Central House, Dorey's boarding house, Lewis' Cuba House, and a number of small buildings were destroyed. On the Rew farm the McCalmont Company, McKay & Company, Packard & Company, S. D. Karn & Company, Benedict & Whitnal, Dyer & Ford, lost heavily in oil and rigs.
The fire of May 6, 1880, at Kendall Creek, a half mile north of Rew City, originated in the premature explosion of a torpedo in Bradley & Co. 's No. 6 well on the Taylor tract. It appears the torpedo was lowered to a depth of 600 feet, when a sudden flow of oil drove it upward, and, striking the walking beam, it exploded. The rig and a 150-barrel tank were destroyed, and the fire, running to Johnson & Co.'s rig on the Bingham land, destroyed it and the oil in tank, together with their rig on the Mantz farm below the Rew farm.
On the hillside between Lafferty and Sawyer, the rigs at eight producing wells were burned. The property of Munhall & Smithman, O'Dell & Emerson and Van Vleck was burned over, while the Anchor Petroleum Company lost two rigs on the Whipple farm.
The Foster Brook fire of May 6, 1880, originated at Porter, Gilmore & Co.'s No. 7 well, at the foot of the hollow leading to Bell's Camp, and extended southeast over the divide through the C. B. & H. tract, thence through a portion of the Willets tract to the west line of the Borden tract, destroying 101 rigs and a quantity of oil in the Foster brook and Harrisburg run neighborhoods. Tram Hollow lost nineteen rigs, six were burned' on the east branch and fifty-four at Kendall Creek, aggregating 132 rigs destroyed in a few hours. Near Tarport the fire began in the brush near the Cornen purchase, and at once encircled three 250-barrel oil tanks.
The Rixford fire of May 9, 1880, originated in Squire Cline's office, and resulted in the destruction of seventy-five buildings, six loaded freight cars, twelve empty flat cars, forty rigs and 70,000 barrels of oil—the total loss being placed at $184,000. The old Rixford dwelling was swept away at this time, but, although the fire surrounded it, John McKeown's well on Main street was left untouched. On the north side, western end of Main street, west of the point of origin, this fire destroyed Cronin's boarding house; Farley's dwelling; the Central House; Cline's office; Mitchell's grocery; the Waterman block; Mrs. Karen' s jewelry store; Tuttle's fruit stand; the Seymour building; the NastBros.' building; A. J. North's; Krohn's clothing house; Steven's bowling alley; Otto's dwelling; Scoville's law office; Blue Front grocery; Baker's dwelling; Edmund's dwelling; Tait's photograph gallery; Wass' restaurant; Garvin's blacksmith shop; Gibney's shoe shop; Dana's billiard hall; Brundage's Bakery Hotel; McIntosh's boarding house; Crandall & Alderman's grocery; Goodenough's Scranton House; Shanbacker's Yeoman House; Tait's grocery; Farrell's boarding house; Ive's shoe store; Holmes', Porter's and Mrs. Barry's dwellings; Drach's laundry, and Curtis & Drake's Titusville House. On Railroad street, extending north from Main, there were destroyed Horan's Hotel; Kane's restaurant; Mrs. Rockwell's Central Hotel; the dwellings of Orooker, August and Dean; Mrs. Robins' saloon; Gorley's Railroad House; railroad depot; Packard & Co.'s office; Youngstown Oil Company's office, and Culbertson's dwelling, while Allen's coal yard, McAndrew's boiler shop and E. S. Crooker's tank shop, west of depot, were destroyed. South of Railroad street TJ. T. No. 429 and No. 452, 25,000-barrel tanks, and McLeod & Morrison's 7,000-barrel tanks burned. On the south side of Main street, beginning on the west, there were destroyed linger's clothing store; Wagner's meat market; the Rolph House; Wagner & Faught's Opera House; the O'Brien building; Karumacher's building; Royer building; John Faught's dwelling; Crandall's dry goods house; Dickenson's post-office building; Neilen's hotel (Bishop House); Fleming's tank shop; Robinson's glycerine office; William O'Brien's residence; Dibble's drug store; the Gleason House; Edward's livery stable; O'Brien's old Rixford House; John McKeowu's office, and O. Fleming's dwelling. The work of rebuilding was begun on May 10 of that year.
The Dallas City oil fire took place August 19, 1880, 50,000 barrels of oil being on fire. At that time the Tidewater Tank No. 6 stood 350 feet distant from the pump station, while up the brook was United Lines Tank No. 410, and in the vicinity other oil reservoirs. At five o'clock that evening lightning struck two of the 25,000-barrel tanks and one 700-barrel tank, and destroyed the telegraph instruments. James Stephens extinguished the fire at the small tank, the property of W. M. Carner & Co., but the large tanks and several rigs were destroyed.
The Rew City fire of October 24, 1881, originated in Bernard's barber shop, on the west side of Bordell street, burning Francis' meat market and dwelling. Googe Bros.' bowling alley, A. J. Dearmont's blacksmith shop on the south side. The fire was checked at Murray's feed store and dwelling, where there was an alley three feet wide. Murray's store was badly scorched and had a narrow escape. On the north side were burned the Tioga House, the building owned by C. C. Violl and occupied by D. E. Miece as a furniture store, being checked at Blakeley Bros.' drug store, where there was an alley about eight feet wide. On the east side of the street the Fox House, used as a hall, and on the north side Woodbury & Campbell's building, occupied by Edney Smith as a saloon and bowling alley, and Dearmont's blacksmith and wagon shop were destroyed. The flames were checked at Cornell's dwelling by an alley about eight feet wide. Water was hauled from the Hopking & Packard lease in a 250-barrel tank. Eight teams were employed and furnished an ample supply. The citizens fought the fire bravely.
The Kansas Branch fire of January 4, 1884, resulted in the burning of the four children of C. N. Garver, an employe of the Keystone Company.
The glycerine explosion at Sawyer City in September, 1881, resulted in the death of William Bunton, Charles Rust, James Thrashier and Charles Krone, and serious injury to four others.
Knox City, which came into existence in 1879, on the Hodge farm (soon after the Sawyer & Boille well was drilled on the the Rew farm), was inaugurated by the opening of Jack Fraser's Knox City House. It was destroyed by fire April 21, 1880. This fire originated in a barber shop, and destroyed Hussey's saloon, Pfunter's furniture shop, M. T. Holahan's buildings, the Oil Exchange Hotel, the Barnes House, Stone Bros.' grocery, and Fraser's Knox City House.
Gillmor, near Bradford, was wiped out by fire in March, 1879, and Hugh Lafferty burned to death. Rebuilt at once, it is to-day one of the busy hamlets of this section. The Knights of Honor and other secret and benevolent organizations are to be found here, including G. A. R. Post No. 589, and the Women's Relief Corps. The old villages were rebuilt after the fashion of