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C. Morris, James McCrayy. Michael Mixt, John Mill*, Sum.* and Erastus Nichols, Almon* and Justin* Rice, Thomas Robbins*. W. S. Rounds*, Sherman Strong* (on whose land was the Catholic Church ground), Joseph Stull*, Caleb*, Jerome and Abram* B. Stull, S. and John M.* Wright, John Wolcott* and William Wright, Jr. John Morris, the assessor, estimated the total value of seated lands and personal property at $7,484, and of unseated lands at $23,620.
The first shingle-mill was built at Prentiss Vale in 1847, by Strong, who was the only settler there. There was plenty of pine at that time, and he agreed to give Reuben Dennis one-half the shingles, on condition that he would supply the timber. This agreement took effect, and young Dennis, with A. T. Barden and L. L. Dennis, to whom he paid $18 per month, entered the wilderness and began the work of stocking the mill—a work which continued throughout the summer. The following winter R. Dennis hauled the shingles to Portville, where he received 14 shillings per thousand. Close by the mill was Hermann Strong's blacksmith shop, with the earth for a floor, the sky for a roof and the forest for its walls. The proprietor, his partner and the latter's employes worked hard, but withal were always ready for a joke. On one occasion L. L. Dennis was crossing the creek, on the single log which then filled the place of a bridge, carrying dinner for his two friends. Next to him was Barden, carrying the axes, and last was the heavy joker of the camp, Reuben Dennis. When one-half way across, he called out to Barden, '' look out for the log," and the latter, alarmed, caught hold of L. L. Dennis, when both fell into the creek. The men took the affair as a joke, but did not forget the joker. The same year A. T. Barden bought some meadow land opposite Wolcott's mill, and among the men called to aid in hay-making was the joker, Reuben. A party of six crossed the river in a canoe, but on disembarking, Barden, who was second last, leaped forward to the Allegheny's bank, tipping the canoe as he jumped ashore, leaving Reuben Dennis struggling in the water. He had his revenge when he cried out in turn, '' Look out, or you'll fall off that log!"
Eldred in 1846 claimed one store, kept by John Fobes, but no tavern. J. N. Dennis opened in 1847, and in February, 1848, mention is made of bridges being in bad repair. Oscar Jordan and John Fobes were the merchants of Eldred in 1852
Larrabee post-office (usually spelled Larabee) was established in August, 1852, and Ransom Larrabee appointed master. The settlement became a place of importance in the fall of 1874, when the railroad builders gathered round the junction of the McKean & Buffalo, with the Buffalo, New York & Philadelphia and the R. N. & P. Railroads. The hotel was carried on by Ransom Larrabee, a restaurant by E. & T. Mullin, two general stores were opened, a blacksmith shop and Williams' barber shop.
Wainman & Foster's mill, near Larrabee, was destroyed by fire in June,
1876, together with about 700,000 feet of sawed lumber The fire of March,
1885, destroyed the Benton House, the Larrabee Hotel and other property. A telegram to the Chicago Tribune, dated Larrabee, October 21, 1889, gives information relating to the burning of J. J. Newman's saw-mill and 3,000,000 feet of lumber, loss $24,000; J. C. French's store, $6,500; Mrs. Smith's Iwarding house, $800, and two barns and hay, the property of D. C. Young, ?2,000.
In 1878 P. A. Templeton purchased the Annis farm on Mix creek, and had it surveyed into town lots, calling the village Templeton.
• Deceased. t Moved.
Haymaker, a new town, was almost destroyed in August, 1879, when the Weston House and the Gilmore and Haymaker Hotels were burned. The postoffice and store of John E. Coleman barely escaped. A mile north of this village are the producing wells of the Bardens; and round the village are some valuable farms. The E. A. U. of Haymaker was organized in March, 1886, with forty-seven members. The officers selected were W. A. Nott, M. A. Sypher, G. T. Weible, Dr. Cass and A. Sinclair.
In December, 1881, the old Chamberlain mill at State Line was purchased by M. Smith, who introduced new machinery and opened it as a modern mill in July, 1882. The Bullis Brothers, who, in 1875, purchased 552 acres on Two Mile run and established large mills near Port Allegany, bought 947 acres near State Line, and in 1880, 1,200 acres near Turtle Point. Their old mills, with the new mills near State Line, and their large concern at Carrollton, N. Y., gave employment to a large force of men and played an important part in the progress of McKean county during the last fifteen years.
In early days a steam tug-boat was used on the Allegheny, sometimes as far up as Larrabee. In May, 1889, B. Alford's steamboat was completed, and during the flood of May 31 and June 1, was used on the streets of Eldred.
BOROUGH OF ELDRED.
Eldred is the new name of an old settlement. It is the principal town of the northeast part of the county, and the center of a large trade as well as of a rich agricultural and mineral district.
In November, 1879, a petition was presented to the postmaster-general to abolish the name of Allegheny Bridge and substitute that of Eldred. In February, 1880, the petition was granted, and the name which the pioneers selected fifty years before was cast aside. In 1830 Nathan Dennis was appointed postmaster, and opened his office in the old log-cabin near the Lattice bridge. The Nathan Dennis post-office and hotel was above the mouth of Knapp's creek on the east side of the river, but later was moved to the site of E. W. Doane's brick building, where it was carried on for twenty-five years, when it was moved to the Eldred House, where is now the St. Elmo. After a period of ten years in that building or a thirty years' term for Mr. Dennis, W. P. Wright was appointed, and established the office in the house now occupied by S. H. Smith. A. T. Barden succeeded in 1872, and had the office opposite where the St. Elmo stands. A. H. Mayo was appointed in 1882, and held the office until A. B. Rowley was commissioned in 1885. On his resignation, C. Y. White was appointed.
In the fall of 1878 the old Eldred House was rebuilt by Ed. Dolan; the Oil Well Supply Company's house was completed; the store buildings for A More, A. Davidson, Dornby, V. P. Carter, Hamlin & Co., W. B. Archibald, Speller and others were projected or being built; the E. W. Doane block, Steele's barn and Methodist church building completed and Ward & Shaner's machine shop erected. A two-story school building marked the days of the oil stampede. Mr. Barden was postmaster and the Eagle and Express were just established. Drs. Guthrie, Wykoff and Winans had located here; the Wright House, R. Dennis of the Central, Anthony's Hotel, L. L. Dennis, White, Moore of the Benton House, the Bennett House and J. S. Hicks of the Prohibition House, represented the hotel interests; the plank road to Duke Centre was completed; Attorney Dunlap's office was opened; Spiller's cottage and other private houses were finished. The planing-mill and factory and the Green & Hooker tank shop were in operation.
In October, 1881, the first brick building was begun for Joseph & Dornberg. The Crandall, L. M. Dennis, W. G. Roberts and E. W. Doane buildings were all in progress, and by December, a number of houses were opened. The Eldred Banking Company opened an office in the Davidson block that month.
Eldred town was incorporated December 22, 1880, on petition of the following named inhabitants: J. S. Hicks, A. Crandall, W. G. Robarts, Patrick Walsh, W. B. Archibald, A. B. Rowley, R. Dennis, A. N. McFall, C. D. Doane, A. Herman, M. E. Royce, H. Mapes, L. A. Halbert, E. Spiller, Wales & Varnum, M. S. Davidson, J. P. Cherry, H. J. Corell, E. L. & W. H. Dodd, George W. Colegrove, A. T. Barden, J. M. Addle, C. Y. White, W. L. Hardison, J. S. Rowley, E. W. Doane, E. E. Moses, V. E. Shaw, P. D. Alquire, Jerome Sabins, Ezra Marsh, A. Ortman, William Lorbeer, A. R. Bower, N. Edson, M. Finnegan, R. Lightfoot, E. Emerson, G. W. Allen, T. C. Wainman, B. F. Cory, A. Cohoon, J. S. Cotton, L. G. Wright, J. T. Sinnette, E. Rumsey, Mrs. Woleott, J. R. Fessenden, A. Hotchkiss, E. McCarty, R. D. Billington, J. A. Casey, C. M. Coleman, F. H. De Costin, E. S. Dennis, C. H. Havens, W. A. Howell, S. M. Turner and G. W. Bradley. The proposition was opposed by Seth Rockwell and others. The first burgess was C. Y. White, who served two years; his successors have been W. H. Dodd, one year; James D. Downing, one year; Dr. J. P. Morgan, two years; L. L. Owens, two years, and L. L. Hill, elected in February, 1889. The first council comprised Dr. W. L. Chrisman, W. H. Dodd, Michael Finnegan, J. S. Hicks, I. G. Lesuer and T. C. Wainman. E. R. Mayo served as secretary up to March, 1888, when A. H. Mayo was chosen. C. C. Moses and C. H. Kaufman were the first borough justices, succeeded by F. F. Brown and A. T. Robbins. In 1883 Messrs. Archibald, R. Dennis, Greenman, Rowley and Sartwell were chosen councilmen. In 1884 Messrs. Joseph Cotton and Douglass were elected. Messrs. Booth and Walsh were chosen in 1885, the latter serving down to the present time.
The officers chosen in February, 1890, were as follows: Burgess, C. C. Moses; council, A. C. Douglass, M. V. Hotchkiss (three years), W. G. Robarts (two years); school directors, T. L. Sartwell, A. N. Squires; constable, H. G. Heath; collector, H. G. Heath; judge of election, A. Ortman; inspectors, G. C. Weidman, F. M. Rockwell; auditor, A. D. Gould.
The hurricane of May, 1860, did some damage throughout Eldred township, carrying away bodily the Lattice bridge below the Half-Way House, and overturning a small house; large trees were twisted or uprooted.... The burning of Bunker's steam saw and grist-mill, at the mouth of Knapp's creek, took
place November 25, 1870, entailing a loss of about $8,000 The Eldred
fire of June 7, 1876, destroyed the saw-mill of Wainman & Foster, and 600,000 feet of lumber. There was no insurance.... The Eldred fire of October 7, 1878, originated in the new Hamlin block, which it destroyed, together with Barden and Robarts' block. The latter lost property valued at $15,000, the former $12,000; the Eagle job-room was wrecked; Dr. Balfour lost his books and instruments, and several buildings in the neighborhood were scorched. In April, 1879, fire destroyed Seth Rockwell's house.. . .The J. N. Williams planing-mill was burned in May, 1879... .In June, 1879, a locomotive and thirteen cars were wrecked on the Buffalo, New York & Philadelphia Railroad, two and one-half miles north of Eldred. Engineer Ed. Squibb was killed. Four oil cars burst and a tank close by caught fire. Amy May was killed by lightning a few days before. .. .The wreck of March, 1880, two and one-half miles north of Eldred, at the scene of the former catastrophe, resulted in the burning of the locomotive and two oil cars.
The destruction of the old Central Hotel by fire occurred August 14. 1880. The building was completed in July, 1878, and was one of the finest hotels in this section of the State. Mr. Dennis began the work of rebuilding in September. Barton's steam flouring-mill was burned in November, 1880.. .. The fire of September 30, 1881, destroyed five acres of the business center of Eldred, and entailed a loss of $100,000. The fire originated in the old Opera House, in which was Robarts' store, and destroyed the following buildings and business places: Welsh's blacksmith shop, the Bennett House, Dodd Bros.' new building, the Opera House, J. S. Hicks' building. Sartwell's building, the U. B. Church building, Walsh & McGavis' building, McDonald & Co.'s bottling works, Parks' meat store, I. G. Leseur's building, W. A. Young's, H. J. Corell's, Miss Langdon's, E. Spiller's, L. M. Dennis', A. B. Rowley's, Dr. Chrisman's, Bennett Block and Soule's Hotel, Joseph & Dora- berg's, E. W. Doane's (2), Miss Varnum's, W. B. Archibald's (2), and E. O. Titus'. In each building was stock or household goods, all of which were swept away in one hour and five minutes.... The St. Elmo was burned September 17, 1884—Mr. Rice, the owner, losing about $11,000. In the summer of 1885 the present St. Elmo was erected ... .Ben Perham's steam grist- and saw-mill was destroyed by fire April 1, 1886. There were 40,000 feet of lumber also consumed .. .The fire of April, 1889, destroyed Coleman's hotel on Railroad street.
The Eldred Hook, Ladder and Bucket Company was organized in April, 1879, with C. C. Moses, president; C. B. Jackson, vice-president; W. G. Roberts, secretary; John Reedy, engineer; William Geist and F. Parsons, foremen; A. T. Barden, C. B. Jackson, E. W. Doane, A. D. Gould and E. R. Mayo, managing committee. In June another company, of which C. M. Wagner was engineer, was organized, and in May, 1883, the Hook and Ladder Company was re-organized in modern form.
When the Lamphiers came in 1835, there was no church building and but one school-house in the township. The first teacher remembered by Mr. Lamphier, was Martha, daughter of Rens. Wright. Mr. Pratt succeeded her in 1835, presiding in a frame building twenty feet square, opposite the present schoolhouse at Eldred. Often seventy-five pupils were gathered there. The contract for the new school-building was sold to J. S. Cotton, June 3, 1889, for $7,150. Work was begun in September, 1889, by Contractor Cotton. It was dedicated November 30, 1889. P. R. Cotter delivered the address. This building is 66x73 feet. Prof. George is principal; Anna Siebert, Jessie Canfield, Minnie Cotton, Angie Dunhaver and Maud Baldwin are the teachers in the new school-house.
The first church building in the village was the Union, of 1869, by Baptists and Methodists, Samuel Dexter Morris being a leader in the enterprise. Prior to this, meetings were held in the school-house. The old Union church was refitted in 1889, and dedicated to the uses of Baptist worship in October, that year. During the week of dedication, $3,000 were subscribed by Eldred citizens to aid the two churches. The re-dedication of the Methodist Episcopal church of Eldred took place October 26, 1889, Rev. E. M. Snodgrass, presiding. The First Evangelical Church of Eldred township was dedicated April 3, 1872.
The question of building a Methodist church on First street was approved in August, 1878. R. Dennis donated the ground and Dr. Chrisman $2,000; work was begun by J. D. Chrisman, the contractor, and December 22 the house was opened. Prior to this, services were held for years in the old Union church. The First Methodist Church of Eldred was incorporated in