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opened, several wells drilled for oil, without success, while gas wells, notably Grant's, were successful. In 1870 the Fairwood coal mines were worked by Heylinun & Woodward.
About the time the first settlements were made in Fox township, David Johnson came from Salem, N. J., but when he learned of the Gillis settlement, near Ridgway, in 1821, he moved away. The Gallaghers came about 1825, and the following year a sister of Mrs. Gallagher (Hannah Gilbert) opened a school at Ridgway.
About 1826 James L. Gillis commenced improving Montmorenci for Jacob Ridgway. A road from Marvins via Bunker Hill to Eleven Mile Spring was then in existence, and soon after opened to Ridgway. The Kersey saw-mill, nine miles southeast of Ridgway, was brought into connection with the north country later.
At the first election for Ridgway township, held February 27, 1844. George Dickinson and Samuel Stoneback were chosen justices; Caleb Dill and Squire Carr, supervisors; David Thayer and R. B. Gillis, constables; W. H. Gallagher, assessor; James Crow, George Dickinson, James Gallagher, D. Thayer, John Cobb and Jesse Cady, school directors; Charles Horton, clerk; W. M. Redline and C. Horton, overseers of the poor; Henry Karnes, Thomas Irvin and R. B. Gillis, auditors; Riverius Prindle, judge of election, and Charles Horton and Caleb Dill, inspectors. A. I. Wilcox was chosen justice in 1846; James Gallagher in 1847; George Dickinson and Henry Souther in 1849; L. Luther, in 1850. The election for Ridgway township, in February, 1890, resulted in the choice of O. B. Grant and Jacob Steiss, school directors; John Otth and J. B. Bryant, supervisors; J. B. Bryant, O. of P.; F. C. Ely, auditor; B. F. Ely, treasurer; Peter Gulnack, clerk; Maurice Sherman, collector. The elections in Rolfe election district of February, 1890, resulted in the choice of O. B. Grant and H. B. Edwards for school directors; John Otth and J. B. Bryant, supervisors; F. C. Ely, auditor; B. F. Ely, treasurer; Peter Gulnack, clerk; Maurice Sherman, collector.
The resident tax-payers of Ridgway township, in 1844, were W. J. B. Andrews (who owned two carriages and two patent lever gold watches), William Armstrong (saw-mill), Watts Anderson (saw-mill), the Boston Lumber Company (who carried a mercantile business and large saw-mill), W. S. Brownell, Ephraim Barnes, Dave Beniger*, Pierce T. Brooks, Brooks & Morris, W. J. Baxter, John Cobb*, W. M. Clyde, Job Carr (saw-mill owner), Zenas D. Clark, Squire Carr, Philip M. Carr, Absolom Conrad, Jesse Cady, James Crow, Caleb Dill * (blacksmith), George Dickenson* (who owned a watch and carriage), Adam Ditts, George Dull (saw-mill), Henry Dull, Dennis Eggleston, Fred Ely, Dave Fuller, Ezra W. Foster. Carlos Fuller, James Gillis* (owner of saw-mill and gold watch), Caroline Gillis (owner of a horse and gold watch), Ridgway B. Gillis, James Gallagher, William Gallagher, Silas German, John Given, Dyer Harris, Hughes & Dickinson (saw-mill owners), Chester G. Hays, Arthur Hughes, Peter Hardy, Joseph S. Hyde* (assessed $2,800), Charles Horton*, Nathaniel Ide, Isaac Keefer, Henry Karnes, John Knox, Homer Kendall, Thomas Lynde, John W. Blake, D. B. Mnnger. Jacob Meffert, Robert McIntosh, Edward McQuone, Steve Miner, William My res, Payne & Wat. tersorr s saw- and grist-mill, Chester Payne, Jesse Paulley, Riverius Prindle*, Matthew L. Ross. Willoughby M. Redline, Jacob Reeder. James S. Stratton*. Ephraim Shall, Samuel Stoneback, David Thayer*, Orrin Van Currin, Corne lius Van Orsdell, Genet Robert, Wilmarth & Co., widow Maria Wilcox, Miner Wilcox*, David Worden, Samuel Whisner, A. I. Wilcox, W. P. Weaver, Ebenezer Lee, John C. Johnson, Frances C. Maybury, Alex Beck, Garrett Corwin,
* Owners of lots.
David M. Fields (owner of a silver watch), Thomas Irvine, Alvin Rawley (hunter), Charles Knapp* (sawyer), Henry Thayer, P. J. Berlin, David Reed, James James, Edward Derby (owner of a saw-mill, buggy and silver watch), John J. Ridgway's grist-mill, Dave Luther's saw-mill, Libbins Luther, Silas Blake (saw-mill). Greenfield Blake, Hervey Gross, Peter Hufftailing, Thomas Schraiu. Reuben McBride, Thomas Reilly, Michael White, Fred Marving, Jerry Carr. Andrew Shaul, William Evans, John Knobsnyder, William Payne, Washington Park, Joseph Christie, Martin Campbell. David B. Sabins, Zachariah H. Eddy*. Levi G. Clover*. John Grant, John Lukins, Noble P. Booth, Fred Keefer. Charles B. Gillis (owner of a silver watch, and money lender).
In 1850 J. S. Hyde & Co., Dickinson & Co. and Job Cobb, were dealers in Ridgway township, and David Thayer and P. T. Brooks kept hotels. J. C. Chapin and Henry Souther were the attorneys; Caleb Dill, postmaster. There were forty dwellings, forty families. 241 inhabitants, seven farms and eleven mills in the township. In 1855 Jerome Powell purchased the Whitney & Horton interests in the store. The old store, now the office of W. H. Hyde, was erected in 1852-53, and occupied as a store until 1876, when the Opera House building was opened. There are twelve hands employed directly in this store, and the stock carried is about $50,000. The management of this large store is left to C. F. Burleigh.
The hotels in Ridgway township at present are as follows: At Johnson burg, the Johnsonburg House, kept by John Foley; Central House, by J. N. Brown and the Haley House, by Mrs. Annie Haley. At Daguscahonda, the McGovern House, by James McGovern.
The population in 1880 was 1,480. exclusive of the borough. In Nbvem ber, 1888, the votes cast were 111 Republican, 107 Democratic and one Prohibitionist, representing a population of 1,095. The great industries at John sonburg, however, employ a number of Swedes and others, who are not voters, so that the number of inhabitants may be placed at 1,500. In 1850 there were forty families of 241 persons in the township, forty dwellings, seven cultivated farms, and eleven saw-mills.
Johnsonburg (or Quay) dates its settlement back to the first decade of this century, when the peculiar character described in the chapter on poineers came hither to make a home. On the approach of civilized man, he fled, leaving the wilderness without a white inhabitant for years. In 1882 one of the greatest leather manufacturing industries in the world was established here by Stephen Kistler's Sons, with Samuel Lowry as superintendent. The buildings were completed that year, and the men in this busy hive, together with the hands required to get out 12,000 cords of bark annually, transformed the place into an industrial center of no small importance. This tannery turns out 2.720 hides per week, and the value of annual product is placed at $665,900. The present firm, Wilson, Kistler & Co., own 125 acres, the site of their works, but through them an immense area of hemlock is stripped annually. A correspondent of the Erie Observer, visiting this place in September, 1887, tells the story of its modern progress. He writes: "Perhaps the finest mountain scenery in the State, and certainly the least known to tourists, is found in the Elk mountain region near Johnsonburg. To see the grandest part of the Elk mountains, one should take a carriage or horse from the Johnsonburg hotel and follow the excellent driveway to Rolfe. one mile, and continue to Wilcox, six miles distant. Striking peaks, sharp and glittering as the Matterhorn, surround one on all sides. Crystal streams flow through every valley, and the fair Clarion river supplies immense water-power for in
• Owners of lots.
numerable manufacturing plants. No lover of the grand or beautiful in nature should fail to take a drive through and around Johnsonburg. What is known as the Rocks is a wonderful piece of God's masonry. Solid ice may be broken off from these rocks in July and August. Besides being picturesque, Johnsonburg promises to become the emporium of a great business mart some day. L. C. Horton is the leading merchant and business man of this place. One of the largest tanneries in the United States, and owned by Wilson, Kistler & Co., is situated at Johnsonburg Junction. The monster planing-mill of Henry, Bayard & Co. employs a large number of men. There are several fine hotels. The Johnsonburg hotel, kept by L. C. Horton [now by John Foley), is a favorite place for summer tourists and business people. New buildings are going up daily, and the latest is the Park Opera House and billiard hall, built by Mr. A. Parks, one of our rising business men. Johnsonburg produces her own gas, and her churches and schools are all lighted and heated by gas. There is more freight handled here than in most towns of twice its size."
Quay post-office was established at Johnsonburg in January, 1888, with John Foley, postmaster. At this time the place did not have oil wells, but gas abounded. This, coupled with the unexcelled shipping facilities, brought the paper-mill, which in its turn built up the town, and has increased the business so fast that the post-office shows the receipts for the quarter ending August 1, 1889, to be upward of $335. It is now probable that before the post-office is three years old it will be a presidential office, and before twenty-five years old it will be a first class office with free delivery. Isaiah Cobb is the present postmaster.
The Clarion Pulp and Paper Company was incorporated November 26, 1888, for the purpose of manufacturing paper at Johnsonburg. The stockholders were M. M. Armstrong, L. D. Armstrong, W. S. Blakeley, Richard and Robert Wetherill and G. B. Lindsey. The buildings were completed at once, and another great industry brought forth among the hills.
On July 18, 1889, the Breeze was established, as related in the chapter on the press, and with this new exponent of her resources abroad in the land, the village bounded forward with gigantic strides.
In 1884 religious affairs were represented by a small Sunday-school and a society, the Willing Workers, of which the officers were: president, Miss Annie Golly; vice-president, Miss Mabel Reese; secretary, Miss Hattie Duncan; treasurer, Miss Alice Paxton.
The Catholic Church was first attended, about six years ago, by Rev. Bernard Klocker, and in 1888 Rev. G. Winkler began to build the new frame church, which was dedicated October 6, 1889. The cost was $2,000. There are thirty families belonging to the congregation.
The Methodist Society, of which Rev. J. E. Brown was pastor, worshiped in the school-house, or attendod the Union Church at Rolfe.
The Johnsonburg House is now presided over by John Foley, and the St. Charles by James McCloskey. B. Searles carries on a restaurant. Mrs. Wheeler conducts the Wheeler House, J. N. Brown the Central House, and other hotels are being erected. Store buildings are also multiplying, and on hill and in valley dwelling-houses of every character are being erected.
On the night of February 28, 1890, two Swedes were burned up in a small building at Johnsonburg. The burning men were in full view of the onlookers.
The Clarion Breeze of January, 1890, refers to the Armstrong Brothers' Pulp and Paper-mills, work on which commenced in November, 1888. It was opened in July, 1889, and now gives employment to 130 men. C. H. Glover is superintendent and E. Emeigh paper-maker. The Armstrong Brothers' three gas wells supply fuel and light to the mills as well as to their forty tenant houses. The Union Tannery, across the river, gives employment to l00 men. In one year the village grew from three hotels, one store and three or four dwellings to a town of forty-six business houses and a number of dwellings.
Rolfe is a neighbor of Johnsonburg, just across the Clarion. Here is the great tannery of Wilson, Kistler & Co., referred to in the history of Johnsonburg. Here also is the 12,000,000-foot-lumber mill of Henry, Bayard & Co.. now operated by W. L. Devine. Henry, Bayard & Co. own several other mills in this vicinity, and many thousand acres of timber, which will supply these mills for many years. Their store is under the management of C. J. Johnson. Rolfe had, perhaps, more dwellings than Johnsonburg, in August, 1889, but not very many business places. A fine union church and a graded school building Inot completed) are ornaments of usefulness that Johnsonburg then was wanting in. This Union Church association was organized in April, 1888, on petition of G. W. Willan, W. W. Gore, J. M. English, Samuel Lowry, C. J. Johnson, H. J. Baird and C. E. Danber. The Rolfe fire, of March 1, 1887, originated in Henry, Bayard & Co's. store, and swept it away, with the old store building of White & Co., Devine's ice-house and the Philadelphia & Erie depot .
Daguscahonda (or "The True Water"), a name suggested by Henry Souther (an act not yet forgiven), contained thirty buildings in 1884, including a school-house, a store, a large boarding-house, and a hotel not opened until early in 1885. The extract works of Jackson S. Schultz and the large saw-mill of Henry, Bayard & Co., are the manufacturing industries. H. H. Eaton was superintendent of the extract works, which have a capacity of thirty-five barrels of ten-pound extract per day. Here is the junction of the Earley branch with the Philadelphia & Erie Railroad, but, apart from the industries named, the glory of the place has departed, and there is nothing pretentious about it to day, unless it be the strangely euphonious (?) name. In January, 1884, the house of Simon Hanes, at Daguscahonda, was burned, and with it one of his children. L. N. Eggleston dashed into the fire and rescued the second child and its grandmother.
The large saw-mill, owned by J. S. Shultz, is operated by William Locke, for Hall, Kaul & Co. The extract works, built almost seven years ago, are owned by J. S. Schultz and Nial T. Childs. John Klingel is foreman over fifteen workmen, while William Benson has charge of the office. The main building is 250x34 feet, and the other building proportionately large. The capacity is from forty to fifty barrels of ten-pound extract per day. B. E. Taylor is general merchant and postmaster; A. P. Larson, meat dealer, and
James McGovern, proprietor of the hotel The gas plant at Daguscahonda
was completed in January, 1890.
Whistletoum.—Cobb, Gallagher & Fisher established a saw-mi ll at Whir tletown in 1846, and it was run by water-power. Early in 1848 they sold to Palmeter & Phelps, who operated the mill one year, when W. H. Post bought Phelps' interest, W. H. Schram contracting to manufacture the lumber. In 1849 Mr. Schram superintended the rafting of the lumber, and after marketing it, ceased connection with the establishment. The mill was sold to B. F. Ely & Co., who disposed of it after some years, when Isaac Horton, Jr., became owner. G. T. Wheeler subsequently had an interest in the concern for some time, but ultimately it became the property of Dr. Earley. In later years Henry, Bayard & Co. became owners of this old water-mill in its modern form. The name Whistletown was given to it, owing to W. H. Gallagher's penchant for whistling. In 1876 the first school-house was erected there, and Miss Lizzie Miller was appointed teacher. Previously teacher and pupils assembled in a barn loft.
Miscellaneous.—The Crescent mills, built in 1851, by E. Derby, for the Portland Land Company, sixteen miles below Ridgway, were in operation in 1851. The saw-mill had a capacity of 40,000 feet, while the grist-mill was simply built for small custom work.... At Wilmarth a school building erected years ago gave place to a new house in 1875, which was opened by J. E. Hewitt... . The school at Gulnack's was opened in 1876, by Rev. I. Brenneman, and Eber Card opened another new school building at Gardner's—the old one having been cut up by the male pupils. At Laurel Hill, school was held in a dwelling-house for years, but abandoned in 1876, when the new school-house at Boot Jack was erected.
In March, 1878, the Island Run colony scheme was extensively advertised. The owners of lands on warrants 4268-69 and 4376-77, five miles from Ridgway, were Hyde, Bradley & Co., and Earley, Brickie and Hite. Their idea was to donate to each of one hundred settlers there twenty acres of land, reserving minerals and merchantable lumber. The Allentown Weltbote pictured the beauties of the place, and, as a result, inquiries flowed in from all sides. The owners issued a circular of warning, telling intending settlers to wait until spring and not to come without money.
BOROUGH OF RIDGWAY.
Ridgway is beautifully located in Eagle Valley, near the junction of Elk creek with the Clarion, in longitude 1° 45' west and latitude 41° 26' north. The population in 1880 was 1,100. In 1888 there were 161 Democratic, 158 Republican and 12 Prohibitionist votes cast, a total of 331, representing 1,655 inhabitants. The name is derived from that of Jacob Ridgway and John J. Ridgway, the latter of whom died at Paris, France, in November, 1885. He was the only son of Jacob Ridgway, who, in 1817, purchased 80,000 acres in McKean county, and 40,000 in Elk. The old proprietor died in 1844. The early agents were Jonathan Colegrove, Paul E. Scull and James L. Gillis, all deceased. In 1852 W. J. Colegrove succeeded his father as agent. All of them favored this location for the county seat, and to them particularly the citizens of the town are indebted for having the seat of justice fixed here.
Joseph Willis Taylor, who, in 1820, came to this county with his father, Libni Taylor, died May 1, 1885. He aided in clearing the Montmorenci farm, and it is said cut the first tree on the site of Ridgway, before James Gallagher's arrival in 1825. Henry Souther, in a letter on the subject of James Gallagher's settlement, states that this pioneer preceded his family to the site of the present town, and built a small house, which stood back on the old Gallagher farm, when he purchased the property. Mr. Souther had the timbers of this house used in a wash-house, and in recent years this building stood on Main street, opposite the court-house. It was 16x20, one story, and used successively for various businesses. When Mrs. Gallagher and her sister, Hannah Gilbert, arrived, the house referred to was completed.
Ridgway was laid out in 1833, when seven families resided here—the Aylesworths and Caleb Dill, west of the creek; Enos Gillis, J. W. Gallagher, H. Karnes, Tom Barber and Joab Doblen on the east side. In 1834 the first bridge across the Clarion at Ridgway was built, and also one over the north fork at Bridgetown.
Mr. Gillis, with Mr. Dickinson, Arthur Hughes and Lyman Wilmarth. owned the land north and west of the Clarion, in what is now known as West Ridgway, and engaged in the business of lumbering, under the firm name of