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rnn was struck at 1,734 feet... .In August, 1886, S. B. Hughes & Co.'s well in the northeastern part of warrant 3663 made forty barrels the first three days after being shot, while the well of M. J. Feeley & Co., in the northeast corner of 3672, was credited with six barrels a day from an upper sand, which was supposed to correspond with the Clarendon formation. These wells are over three miles apart, and were thought to mark the beginning of two new and distinct oil-producing districts. Armstrong, Boggs & Co. had two wells drilling in this region, one on 2032 and the other on 3655, and several other test wells were started.... In 1871 the old John well was drilled near the Schultz well of 1887. In May, 1887, five wells were completed in Elk county, and there were eighteen producing wells in the field averaging seven barrels each. Mike Murphy's well on warrant 2027 was then a mystery; Clark & Foster's wells on 3663 and 3664 were fair producers: their No. 3 on 2033 was drilling, and No. 4 on same warrant struck sand May 31, while a rig was up on 2020. The Elk Company's well on 3663 was yielding fifteen barrels, and another well was started by them; Porter, Thyng & Co.'s No. 4 on 2033, and No. 6, were doing well; the Highland Oil Company's hole on same warrant was also giving fifteen barrels. The Wilcox Tannery Company's well was finished on 2676 (on Lanigan's run) to a depth of 1,750 feet, and proved a producer. Round it were the National Transit Company's gassers.
In August, 1887, John Markham had his pipe line complete from his Kane wells to the Highland oil field: Porter, Thyng & Co.'s No. 10 on the northeast corner of 2033 was rated at twenty barrels per day; Boggs, Curtis & Co.'s well on 2027 was being drilled; the venture of the Gillis Farm Oil Company was closed down after going over 2,300 feet; the Sill, O'Dell & Barnsdall well on the Crawford lot was drilling, while Clark & Foster found two new producers. The Elk County Oil & Gas Company's well, three miles northwest of Ridgway, was shot in July, 1886, and showed a strong flow of gas. Many oil ventures have been made in the Elk county field, but success seldom rewarded the ventures. Within the last few years the gas reservoirs in the Johnsonburg neighborhood have proven themselves worthy of notice, and gas from these wells is being conducted into the towns and villages of the county, as related in the sketches of such localities.
In February, 1890, the T. F. Barnsdall lands in Elk county, and wells producing 275 barrels per day, were sold to Noyes, Wood and others for $325,000.
The coal deposits of Elk are scattered everywhere, but developed only at a few places—St. Mary's and Dagus mines being the mining centers. In the history of the townships much is given relating to the development of the coal beds.... The paint-ore mine, extending from Eagle Valley to Whistletown, was discovered by D. R. Kline on the lands of J. S. Hyde, in 1887.
Building stone of excellent quality is found outcropping on the summits and hillsides. In 1888-89 the first organized effort to find an outside market for this sandstone succeeded, and quarrying and shipping building stone is to-day an important industry .. .Throughout the county great hemlock tracts still exist, with smaller tracts of pine and hardwood. How long this forest may continue to clothe the hills and valleys may be learned from a review of the great lumber mills scattered here and there, the sketches of which are contained in the pages devoted to local history. The forest fires of centuries seem to have done little injury to the great trees, as only a few sections of the forest disappeared before the flames. In May, 1884, the great fire which swept over parts of Cameron county, damaged property here: The saw-mill of Steinhelfer & Otto, near Swissmont, together with lumber, logs and houses, loss, $8,000; insurance, $4,000. The saw-mill of Joseph Goetz, also near Swissmont, together with 100,000 feet of lumber, 1,000,000 feet of logs, house and household effects, involving a loss of $6,000, upon which there was no insurance. The house of Mr. Tyler and its contents, near by, were also burned. Andrew Saul lost his saw-mill on Spring run, 2,500,000 feet of lumber, over 100,000 feet of logs, boarding house, stables, blacksmith shop, and nearly a mile of plank road; on Wolf run 1,000,000 feet of logs, 300 cords of bark, camps, stables, blacksmith shop, etc., his loss at both places aggregating about $25,000. Mr. Kaul also lost a saw-mill, all his houses and 60,000 feet of lumber at Sterling Run, Cameron county, upon which there was an insurance of $7,500. Near Hemlock station the large Otto mill and a great amount of lumber were destroyed. Will Sykes' mill, at the same place, escaped.
The flood of August 12 and 13, 1885, deluged Johnsonburg, threatening the Bayard mills at Whistletown; carried away 400,000 feet of logs from the Hyde mills at Eagle Valley; carried away the Dickinson Brothers' boom lower down, and at Portland did more damage. At Ridgway the water was two feet deep on Main street, near the R. & C. depot, and the water entered the Bogert House and the Congregational Church. The high waters of May and June. 1889, also caused damage.
When the pioneers arrived, they found wild fruit in abundance. Mr. Brooks states that native grapes from the size of the Delaware to the Fox grape, grew as large as crabapples, yielding fifty bushels from one vine. Native plum trees grew on the river bottom lands by hundreds and thousands, the fruit of which were large, juicy and luscious, delicious as nectar, fit food for the gods. Peach, pear and apple trees were planted by the immigrants, and in a few years peaches were so abundant that thousands of bushels of the fruit fell to the ground and became food for the swine. About 1832-33 the severity of the winters killed many of the peach trees, and since that time, there has been comparative scarcity. Game, like fruit, were offered to the pioneers. Elk were found in the Flag swamp neighborhood as late as 1850, and in 1867 the last elk in the State was killed on Bennett's branch. In the fall of 188() the presence of one was reported. The deer, bear, wolf and fox are regular inhabitants down to this day. A story of a bear hunt is chronicled under date, December 19, 1876. It is unlike a pioneer bear story in the roundabout way taken by the hunter to capture brain. It appears that on the date mentioned, Ralph Johnson of Dry saw-mill, while in the woods about one mile from his house, stopped by the side of a large standing hemlock, when he heard, as he supposed, the breaking of ice, caused by his own weight, but a visual ray of about seven feet of his height proved to him that some thing with its head poked out of a small hole was grating its teeth within six inches of his boot. From the size of the hole, as it appeared from the outside of the tree, he thought it an animal of some description, of inferior size, and blocked up the hole. Next morning, in company with John and Will Wainwright, with two axes and a single-barrel rifle (the old family gun) carried by Will, went to capture the prize, and to their surprise found a hollow larger than a flour barrel, which evidently had been lately vacated by old bruin; following the trail about one mile, they found him under a flat rock. Ralph, Will and the dog stood guard until John went and returned with John Johnson, commonly known as "Old Farmer," with two more rifles, a double and single barrel. But one shot from the gun nianu factured in our fathers' day gave him such a headache that a shot from the other single-barrel gun, piercing a second hole in his forehead, laid out a bear weighing about 260 pounds by the "Farmer's" scales.
In 1885 a Daguscahonda chicken walked out of the shell on four perfect legs, and was indeed one of Nature's strange freaks. Had it been cuffed and kicked about like the common brood, it would still have lived, but it was petted to death. Though having unusual facilities for walking, it only played the pilgrim for a few days.
While the unthinking hunter has been for years industriously engaged in killing the deer, it is a relief to think that two citizens, at least, have succeeded in saving a number of them. The Trout Run Park, the private property of Andrew Kaul and J. K. P. Hall, containing 600 acres, is located between St. Mary's and Benezette, in the heart of the wilderness. This park is enclosed by a fence eight to ten feet in height, erected at a cost of $2,500. The park was enclosed in 1887, and stocked with twelve deer. A mountain stream flows through this park, and outside, in the course of this stream are a series of fish ponds and hatching houses, for the cultivation of brook trout and carp. The wire in the fence is connected with an electric apparatus in the game-keeper's house; close by is the club house. The total cost of this park may be placed at $7,000. The Williamsport Republican, referring to this great game preserve, says: "It is six miles square, and was arranged as it now is about four and one-half years ago. The work of making such an immense place was a tremendous one, but it was accomplished with apparent ease. All around the place a fence made of trees stands, from ten to fifteen feet in height, inside which the brush and trees are so thick, that people are easily lost there. Approaches to the park are so arranged that the deer coming up find but little difficulty in gaining an entrance, but once inside there is no possible means of getting out. Inside the fence the ground slopes so much that the most expert jumper in the deer tribe, would not attempt to get out. It is thought now that there are not less than one hundred and fifty deer within the park."
INDIANS AND PIONEERS.
The Aborigines—Gen. Wade—Early Reminiscences Of Judge Kyler— Pioneer Settlers—Judge J. L. Gillis And Others—Irishtown—First Declarations Of Citizenship—The German Union Bond Society—Some First Things In the County—Reminiscences Of John Brooks.
THIS section of Pennsylvania was the hunting-ground of the aborigines up to the close of the first decade of this century, when the first faint gleams of civilization darted through the forest, chasing, as it were, the shadows of the savages. Who the aborigines were, so far as history tells, is shown in the pages devoted to the Indian history of McKean county.
Gen. Wade and family, with a friend named Slade, came to the headwaters of the Little Toby, in 1798, and settled temporarily at what is now Little Toby, on the Rochester & Pittsburgh Railroad. In 1803 the party ret urned east, but the same year came hither and built a log house at the mouth of the Little Toby on the east bank. In 1806, while Wade and Slade were hunting round what is now Blue Rock, they saw an Indian girl watching them. Approaching her, the General enticed her to follow him to his home, and there introduced her to Mrs. Wade. In 1809 this semi-captive married Slade, the ceremony being performed by Chief Tamsqua. A few years later Slade moved to what is now Portland, established a trading house there, and when the white settlers came into the No Man's Greek neighborhood, Wade and Tamsqua presented to them the pipe of peace. Judge Kyler, writing to Dr. Earley, of Ridg way, in 1874, gives valuable reminiscences of early years. He states: "A large body of land containing about 100,000 acres lying in what is now Benzinger, Fox, Horton and Houston townships, the latter in Clearfield county, was patented to Samuel M. Fox (deceased), and was offered for sale and settlement by his heirs. Their agent, William Kersey, opened a road from the State road (now Bellefonte and Erie turnpike), to what is called the Burned Mill. These lands lay in what was then Jefferson, McKean and Clearfield counties, most of it in the latter, which at that time could not poll over 160 or 170 votes, and was attached to Centre county. It had but one township, called Chineleclamoose; that was the name of the township here then. A man named Amos Davis was the first actual settler. He resided, prior to 1810, some two or three years on the tract north of me, where the steam saw-mill stands. In the spring of the above year, my father, John Kyler, who lived in Centre county, came to see the country, and located his place at Kyler's Corners on Little Toby Creek. That year and the summer following he packed his provisions on a horse to do him while clearing some land and putting up a cabin, and the last of May or first of June, 1812, moved his family to this country. Elijah Meredith had moved in a few days before, and Jacob Wilson and Samuel Miller at the time we did. Miller located at Earley, and the year following Jonah Griffith located at the farm where Centreville now is. Miller and Griffith both left the following year. The grist-mill erected by Kersey was a small affair, built of peeled hemlock logs—had one run country stones, and no bolting cloth for a couple of years. Flour of all kinds had to be sifted. William Fisher, of Centre county, who succeeded Kersey as agent, put in a bolting cloth. Soon after David Meredith and Jacob Wilson went there to grind, for every man was his own miller. There was no fire-place, but a few stones for a back wall in one corner, and in the night, while asleep, the mill caught fire; they, having nothing but their shoes to carry water, were unable to put it out, and the mill burned down. Then for more than a year what grain was raised had to be taken to Maxwell's mill, on Anderson's creek, to be ground, some forty miles. If grain had to be bought it could not be got, frequently, short of Centre or Indiana counties. Clearfield was divided into two townships—one Lawrence, for Capt. Lawrence of the Chesapeake, who met his death in his battle with the Shannon; the other Pike, for a general of that name killed in Canada. Our township was the latter, and Chincleclamoose became extinct. Soon after we moved to the country, father and I went to the mill to grind some grain he had raised the year before, and beat out with a stick on a quilt. Just as we were leaving for home we heard a yell, and saw a man come bustling along clad in a blanket coat. Father said 'there comes an Indian.' He, however, proved to be a Welshman named David Roberts; he had no family; he had taken a place at Instanter; had cleared also a potato patch at Johnsonburg, near Wilmarth; said he had heard there were people living in these parts, and come to see if he could find them; said he could furnish seed potatoes. Two of the settlers, each with a bag and horse, went after them, Roberts being guide, and got some, but had much difficulty getting through the woods. He paid us several visits, and when winter came went to a place called Beaulah to spend the winter with his own kind of people, and married there. In these days house floors were either split puncheon or logs hewed on one side and matched at the edges; barn