« ZurückWeiter »
struck the barrel of Shreve's rifle, glanced off, and saved Shreve's life. As it was, however, two or three of Shreve's fingers were cut off by the ball from Hiland's gun. In a conversation with Shreve after the fight, he told me that the shot from Hiland's gun smelled just like hot lead poured out of a ladle into a bullet-mold.
One would naturally suppose that both parties would have been satisfied with the fight I have described, but they were not. The next encounter took place in the court at Franklin. Hilands, no doubt, expected that Shreve would go to the penitentiary, but instead of that result, the court sentenced him to pay a small fine and to confinement in the county jail for six months. Hilands thought it would be just as healthy for him in the West as it would be in this country. He went westward, and has never returned. It seems that a higher power than man has been working against human prosperity on the Shreve farm. In a hard break-up of the ice, Shreve's fine house was shoved from its foundation and twisted out of shape. He moved it back to its place, replastered it, and during the oil excitement, sold it. In the spring of 1867 it was burned to the ground. It was on that farm that John Range was shot; it was on that farm that the Shreve family was broken up; it was on that farm that the steam saw-mill of G. W. Dithridge, costing $70,000, was erected and destroyed by fire.
In closing these reminiscences of the pioneer Harrington, his description of a young lady of sixty years ago is appropriate. Writing to the Vindicator a few years since, he says: "While in Tionesta recently I called on a lady friend, Mrs. Helen Thomas. She is perhaps about my own age. She is one of those congenial ladies that never grows old. She is a daughter of the late Hezekiah May, and sister of the late Huntingdon H. May. There are only two of the family left—Benjamin May, of Norristown, Penn., and Mrs. Thomas, of Tionesta. Mrs. Thomas appears to possess an inexhaustible source of vitality time itself cannot eradicate. She was as full of fun as an eggshell was of meat, and in her girlhood she was an accomplished skater, not on roller skates, but on runners, when a skating rink extended all the way from Tionesta to Panther Rock—sixteen miles. Well, Miss Helen May, often ran up there in the forenoon and back home in the afternoon. I might be accused of exaggeration if I were to say that she made the trip before breakfast, in the morning—so to keep the truth on my side I will say that it was a common practice to take breakfast at Tionesta and dinner at Panther Rock. This took place long before the present Tionesta and Panther Rock mail route was established. It was at a time when the skates carried—not the mail — but the female. I never heard that Miss Helen had any races with the wolves, but as the woods were at that day full of those animals, I have no doubt that she often heard their howls."
TRANSACTIONS OF THE COMMISSIONERS.
Survey Of The Lands Of The Holland Company And Some Of The PatEntees—Establishment Of Forest County And Its Boundaries— Commissioners—Acts Of 1851 And 1866—First Court-house—Town or Marienville—Petition For The Building Of A New Court-house— Readjustment Of Township Lines In 1867—Laying Of The Corner-stone Of The New Court-house, 1868.
IN April, 1794, the lands located by the Holland Company were surveyed into 1,000-acre lots. Gen. Harmer, George Meade, Jonathan Mifflin, Pierce Butler and others were among the patentees. At this time Forest county formed part of Northumberland county; next was attached to the new county of Lycoming; later (1800) it formed a part of Venango, and in 1804, of Jefferson.
The joint resolution, approved April 11, 1848, establishing Forest county, detached the territory, within the following described boundaries, from Jefferson county: From termination of a straight line running west on the south side of Elk county; thence due west to intersection of north and south line on west side of Jefferson county; thence along Jefferson county line to its termination; thence east along the line of that county to the line of Elk county, and along the line of Elk county to the place of beginning, or Barnett, Jenks and Howe townships. The commissioners to locate such lines, as well as the county seat, were Joseph Y. James, of Warren county; W. P. Wilcox, of Elk county, and Hiram Payne, of McKean county, who were ordered to report to the commissioners of Jefferson county, to which Forest was to remain attached for judicial and county purposes until organized, and township elections were to be held without reference to county lines until that period. The act approved April 15, 1851, placed the new county in the Eighteenth Judicial District, when organized. In April, 1850, an act of the legislature fixed the southern boundary of Forest county at the north bank of the Clarion river, from a point where the east line of Clarion county crosses that river to the west line of Elk county.
By an act approved April 3, 1851, an election of three commissioners, three auditors and one treasurer was authorized, Cyrus Blood, Edward Shippen and Charles J. Fox being appointed commissioners, and John D. Hunt, treasurer, to serve until the election of their successors. As related in other pages, the above named and others served the little county of 200 square miles until 1856, when a thorough organization was attained, the small frame, two-story building at Marienville being the court-house.
In 1866, and under the act of October 31, five townships were detached from Venango, and Jacob Zeigler (of Butler), James A. Leach (of Mercer) and Cornelius Fulkerson (of Venango) were named county seat commissioners. They placed the county seat at Tionesta. The townships of Tionesta. Kingsley, Green, Hickory and Harmony were added under this act, thus increasing the area to 445 square miles. A part, at least, of Tionesta township was in Allegheny county up to June, 1825; Hickory was established in 1848; Harmony detached from it in 1852; Green was formed from parts of Tionesta and Hickory in February, 1872; Barnett was formed in January, 1854; Howe formed under the name Tionesta in 1852, changed to Howe in 1869, and Jenks township was established in January, 1852. In December, 1858, John M. Lisle and Bennett Dobbs entered into an agreement with the commissioners to donate twelve lots in the town of Marienville, and expend $6,000 in erecting a court-house thereon, and also to donate 208 lots in Dobbs' addition. On March 29, 1859, Dobbs and Lisle made the deeds in accordance with this agreement. These proceedings led the way to law suits, which ended in the loss of building and lots to the old county, as shown in the following abstract of documents pertaining to this time.
The oldest record of transactions of commissioners in possession of County Clerk J. T. Brennan, is dated Marienville, April 11, 1859. In May of that year Aaron B. Koot, with William Patterson and A. Dewoodey were appointed assessors of Tionesta township, John Conrad being then clerk. During the fall and winter, then passed, Bennett Dobbs urged the commissioners to contract with him for building a court-house. They at first refused, but on January 4, 1859, a petition signed by eighty citizens was presented, urging them to accept Dobbs' offer, which petition changed their purpose in the matter. The signers of this document were W. R. Coon, E. C. Mayo, William Titus, S. Kinkead, C. Baker, James D. Flick, W. Bish, Sam. Johnston, J. W. Mays, J. G. Brandon, G. H. Reynolds, William Reynolds, F. O. Updike, George Agnew, S. H. Horton, A. Campbell, J. Richard, W. J. Myers, M. E. Porter, T. E. Henry, W. A. Baker, A. Coventry, S. S. Bish, George Mays, D. L. Swartz, J. A. H Grant, J. Saxton, H. Wing, J. Neese, Eli Smith, R. Wallace, J. YV. Hellsill, C. Martin, R. Black, Peter Nugent, J. J. Reynolds, James Whitelock, J. Ferry, D. Wingard, G. Little, Sam. Hutcheson, William Cook, H. F. S. Shotts, J. Wagoner, J. W. Dobbs, Jonathan Hays, J. Painter, W. H. Brockway, Thomas O'Donnell, Steve Buffum, J. Mercelliott, J. Boyd, D. Altman, J. F. Black, James Irwin, J. M. Irwin, Levi Shauer, W. H. Lock hart, J. Dodge, J. A. Steele, E. Wing, F. Kennedy, S. Wagoner, R. W. Stockten, John Dobson, Sam. Beer, John Beer, Abram Wiles, J. Harshman, Patrick O'Donnell, George Painter, J. P. Hays, T. B. Little, Eph. Lyon, A. Black, C. Kuhns, Jacob Zints, E. Cook and John Fitzgerald. An opinion by L. D. Rogers showed Dobbs' addition to Marienville was as much a part of the town as the original plat, and that the agreement between the Bloods and the commissioners of July 15, 1857, was of no binding value. Other opinions followed, and so closely were the commissioners pressed that the court in May, 1860, enjoined them from, observing the contract of 1858. In September,
1860, however, an agreement was made with C. M. Robinson to complete the court-house at Marienville for $190. This was simply to repair the little old court-house.
S. F. Rohrer succeeded Conrad in 1859 as commissioners' clerk. In July,
1861, the commissioners and associate judges met at Clarion as a board of relief for families of soldiers; but only three families were granted relief during the month. In September the rate of aid was made, being seventy-five cents per week for wife, thirty-three cents for each child under seven years, and fifty cents for each child between seven and fourteen. In March, 1864, John F. Gaul was appointed agent to ascertain the number of Forest county men in the army. In November, 1867, J. B. Mechling was appointed commissioner's clerk and counsel, and in January, 1870, M. W. Tate succeeded him. On the latter's resignation being accepted in August, 1870, D. W. Clark was appointed and served until January 12, 1876, when J. T. Brennan, the present clerk of the county, was appointed. In October, 1875, the commissioners voted their thanks to the State Historical Society for the engraving, representing Zeisberger among the Indians of Forest county in 1767.
The passage of the act of 1866 is largely due to the brothers Dale, who used every legitimate means to urge the extension of the county. The proposition to extend the boundaries westward was unfavorably received by many residents of the old county of Forest, and opposed by their friends in the legislature with such force as to defeat the bill. Friends of the measure placed the desperate case before the Dales, and they, proceeding to Harrisburg, with a well-filled pocket-book, had the bill reconsidered, when it was rushed through the house and senate. In February, 1867, S. D. Irwin, George S. Hunter, and Jacob I. Range were appointed a committee by the district court to readjust the township lines in accordance with this act. In March a bill for the repeal of the enlarging act was defeated, and the question of the legality of fixing Tionesta as the seat of justice was taken to the supreme court, where it met the fate of the repeal bill.
In April, 1867, the temporary county office was completed by Col. Thomas, and opened by Prothonotary Mercelliott April 25. This building stood on the east bank of the river below the bridge. The court-house contract was sold to Thomas F. Simmons in November, 1867, and the location graded, but the work of erecting this first brick building in Forest county was not begun until the spring of 1868, and on June 20, the Forest Press advertized the ceremony of placing the corner-stone as follows:
JULY 4th, 1868.
NEW COURT HOUSE!
The Corner Stone of the New Court House will be laid with Masonic and Odd Fellows' Ceremonies. Eminent and able Speakers have been invited, and will be here. The citizens of the county, and elsewhere, are respectfully invited to attend. By order of Commissioners of Forest County.
T. B. MAZE, )
J. F. GAUL, } Com'rs.
A. B. ROOT, I
P. D. Thomas, John A. Dale, J. B. Agnew, T. F. Simmons, Rev. E. D. McCreary, S. S. Hulings, J. Winans, J. A. Proper, S. H. Haslet, S. D. Irwin, J. R. Thomas, W. B. Harlan, J. B. Mechling, W. E. Lathy, D. Black, G. W. Popp, J. W. H. Reisinger, P. O. Conver, D. S. Knox, George S. Hunter, L. H. Davis, A. H. Steele, J. G. Dale, John Reck, William Lawrence, John Shriver, George Sawyer, William Hood.
COURTS AND BAR.
First Court Held In Forest County, 1857—Proceedings From 1857 To i860— First Court Held At Tionesta, 1867—Admissions To The Bar From 1857 To 1889—Forest Bar Association—Important Civil And Criminal Cases —desperadoes.
THE first court of Forest county was held at the school-house, Marienville, on the third Monday in December, 1857, Judge John S. McCalmont presiding, with Cyrus Blood and Milton Courtright, associate judges. W. P. Jenks, Lorenzo D. Rogers and B. F. Lucas were admitted to the bar, Thomas B. Mays was appointed crier, and William Walton, tipstaff. On December 21 the rules of the Jefferson county court were adopted, and court adjourned until February, 1858. Tavern licenses were granted to William Shields, Rachel Murray and C. M. Robinson, and later to Peter G. Reed. Very few transactions were recorded in 1859, but in May, 1860, commissioners Andrew Cook, Thomas Porter and A. L. Seigworth were enjoined against executing the contract of December 22, 1858, with B. Dobbs and J. M. Lyle for the erection of county buildings outside the town of Marienville.
The first session of court held at Tionesta was opened February 25, 1867, by Judge James Campbell with W. R. Coon and John G. Brandon, associate judges. A number of the attorneys named in the following list were admitted at this term.
The lawyers admitted to the bar of Forest county, from December, 1857, to May, 1889, are named as follows:
William P. Jenks, L. D. Rogers, B. F. Lucas, Dec, 1857; A. A. McKnight, Feb., 1858; John Conrad, May, 1858; E. A. Brooke, Sept., 1858: Richard Arthurs, C. Heydrick, F. B. Guthrie, J. R. Clark, May, 1859; B. J. Reid, Sept., 1859; W. W. Wise, Dec, 1860; W. W. Barr, Jan., 1861; C. L. Lamberton, Jackson Hodges, May, 1861; A. L. Gordon, James Craig, Sept., 1861; George W. Andrews, Dec., 1861; Isaac G. Gordon, George A. Jenks, Amos Myers, May, 1862; William H. Fetzer, May, 1863; George W. Lathy, David Lansing, Sept., 1863; William L. Corbett, May, 1865; J. H. Patrick, Dec, 1865; Charles Dinsmore, W. E. Lathy, Sept., 1866; J. R. Mechling, Sam. D. Irwin, C. E. Taylor, A. B. McCalmont, William McNair, W. V. Perrine, William G. Grange, H. C. Johns, Isaac Ash, Arch. Blakeley, John Dailey, E. L. Keenan, J. D. McJunkin, Feb., 1867; F. D. Kinnear. J. D. Hancock, A. W. Barry, Darius Titus, Sam. Plumer, J. B. McAllister, S. B. Myers, J. W. Osborn, Hugh C. Graham, William J. Galbraith, R. Brown, May, 1867; S. C. T. Dodd, John L. McCalmont, W. W. Mason, S. P. McCallmont, T. C. Spencer, Joseph Shippen, Roger Sherman, T. S. Zuver, J. K. Hallock, J. A. Neill, C. W. Stone, O. O. Trantnm, James M. Bredin, Sept., 1867; J. G. Elliott, J. H. Osmer, H. B. Plummer, Dec, 1867; J. S. Myers, C. W. Gilfinnan, William R. Dickenson, Samuel T. Neil, May, 1868; Miles W. Tate, J.W.White, Sept., 1868; Nelson B. Smiley, G. B. McCalmont, J. W. Lee, David Barclay, May, 1869; John M. Thompson, F. D. Reeves, Julius Byers,