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Centennial History of Susquehanna County
Rhamanthus M. Stocker 1887
Chapter XLVIII

Gibson Township

Page 758

first located where Milton Tingley afterward lived. He built a tavern one-half mile north of Smiley Hollow, on the Newburg turnpike, a short time after he came there. He was a farmer and carpenter, and lived to be one hundred and four years of age.

Of his children, Abigail was the wife of Eben Blanchard, a farmer that lived in the vicinity. Robert built a saw-mill above, on the east branch of the Tunkhannock, where Barnes' mill is now located; he finally moved into Thomson, where he died, aged ninety-six. Collins Gelatt moved to Thomson and was a farmer. Richard Gelatt moved to Iowa. Judge Geo. B. McCrary married one of his daughters. Jonathan Gelatt first lived near Gel att Hollow, but finally moved to Thomson and died there, aged eighty-six; his only son, Collins, lives in Jackson. Charles Pickering was one of the first merchants at Gelatt. Griswold Gelatt has a store there now. George built a grist-mill in Gelatt Hollow about 1846, now owned by Henry Gelatt. Geary John built a carding-machine and woolen factory in 1886 and sold it to Deacon Harrison Pope, who has run it ever since. Gen. Gelatt, Jr., located on the homestead, which is now owned by Silas Gelatt, a greatgrandson of the first settler. Phineas Pickering settled in the vicinity of Gelatt. His sons were Augustus, Joseph and John B. David Lamb built a saw-mill above Gelatt, near the Jackson line. Wm. D. Eymer started a furniture factory there in 1856 and carried on bedstead-making and cabinet work, to which he added undertaking until his death, in 1886. The property is now in the hands of H. D. Pickering and W. W. Pope.

"In 1826 Roswell Barnes bought a saw-mill of Robert Gelatt and located in the extreme northeast corner of Gibson." "Deacon Otis Stearns, a son of Joseph Stearns, who came to Harford in 1792, but located in Mount Pleasant a year or two later, bought two hundred and forty acres of Joseph Potter, and remained on that place three years, keeping tavern, when he removed to the farm, where he spent the rest of his life near the lake that bears his name. Here he built a gristmill in 1819. He died in 1858. His widow, a daughter of Captain Potter, died in Gibson eleven years later, in her eighty-second year. She was born in Saratoga County, N.Y., came with her father to Susquehanna County in 1792, was fifty years a member of the Baptist Church, and lived and died a Christian."

Their son Horace resides on the homestead; another son, Almon, was a Baptist minister; Lucina was the wife of Eli Barnes.

SMILEY HOLLOW AND VICINITY.-Dr. John Denny and John Safford bought lands and improvements of George Gelatt, on the Tunkhannock, afterwards known as Smiley. Safford had a grist-mill, sawmill and carding-machine that were burned in 1822, which so discouraged him that he moved West. Dr. John Denny came there about 1812, and cleared up a farm that Smiley afterwards owned. He was a doctor, tavern-keeper, store-keeper, drover, farmer and weaver. He was a good weaver and wove bird's eye coverlets, where he used thirty-two treadles. His sons were Nathaniel S., Elias, Sylvenus and Samuel. There were seven girls. Tamar, wife of Corbett Pickering, is living, aged eighty-five. Peck Brothers, two crippled tailors, first erected a store on the east side of the Tunkhannock, and engaged in merchandising in connection with their trade.

JOHN SMILEY was born in Bloomingburg, Sullivan County, N. Y., February 15, 1809. In 1833 he came to Lanesboro', Susquehanna County, and was employed in a hotel one year, when he and two other young men built a raft and run it to Owego, N.Y., on their journey West. Here they took the stage to Buffalo, thence by boat to Detroit, west into Michigan, near Jackson, where he located one hundred and sixty acres of land. Returning the same summer to Susquehanna County, he hired out to Peck Prothers, who had a small store and tailoring shop on the east side of the Tunkhannock, at what is now Smiley. In 1836 John Smiley, with four hundred dollars, and Gaylord Curtis, with thirty dollars, bought out the Peck Brothers and began business, which they continued successfully until 1852, when the partnership was dissolved. They shipped their goods by way of the Delaware and Hudson Canal to Honesdale thence by teams to Smiley. Money was scarce, and business had to be conducted on the barter system. The store was located on the Newburg turnpike, which was the great thoroughfare then, and the young merchants pushed business with such energy that Smiley became the business centre for miles around. There were stores on Kennedy Hill and at Burrows' Hollow; but north and east, in Jackson, Herrick, Thomson, South Gibson, and even beyond, extending into Wayne County, farmers came to this store to do their trading. Mr. Smiley built the present store on the west side of the creek in 1848, and carried on merchandising until he secured a competence, when he sold out to his son-in-law, David Smiley. Although the railroad had diverted the travel from the old turnpike, the business had received such an impetus and become so firmly entrenched, that David Smiley, as late as 1864, shipped one hundred thousand dollars' worth of butter in one year. In 1837 Mr. Smiley bought the John Pickering farm and erected the present dwelling-house, and carried on farming in connection with his store. In 1833 he married Keziah C., daughter of Dr. Day, of Herrick. Miss Day was a school-teacher, and was teaching at Smiley when he became acquainted with her. She is still living, aged seventy-four, and was a fit companion of the thrifty and energetic young merchant. Dr. Day first commenced at Mt. Pleasant, He was subsequently proprietor of a hotel on the Newburg road, in Herrick township, known far and near as the Day stand. He was a genial man, well calculated for a landlord. He spent the last few years

Gibson Township

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of his life with his son-in-law, where he died at the advanced age of eighty-six. John Smiley was a reliable and honest business man. Industrious, resolute and ambitious, he made a competence, which, at his death, was divided among his children. He never oppressed the poor, and notab]e among his characteristics was his sympathy for those less fortunate than himself. He gave long credit to his debtors, and extended the band of charity to the needy in a quiet, unostentatious way. He was a man of large calculation, good judgment and shrewd management. He was conservative in expression, but firm in conviction. This is illustrated by his sterling Democracy, which he always maintained in the face of an overwhelming opposition. Every election day found him at the polls with tickets, stoutly contesting for his chosen principles; yet he was so democratic in manner, that he was personally popular in a community that was five to one against him politically. He died in 1872, and was buried in the family burying-ground on the old homestead. Of his family, Helen A. was the wife of David Smiley; James B., his only son, died young (Mr. Smiley never recovered from the sorrow produced by the loss of his son); Margaret A., wife of George Milliken, resides on the homestead; Mary K. is the wife of H. N. Nichols, manufacturer and capitalist, of Denver, Colorado; Jennie M., wife of T. J. Foley, stock-raiser and president of the First National Bank, of North Platte, Nebraska. The old Taylor stand, which was near here, was kept by Asahel Norton, N. Webber, Charles Forbes, Lewis Baker, Aaron Green, William Lunnegan, Joel Steenback, George Entrot and Samuel Holmes, who has converted it into a dwelling. Jn the days of staging, when the Newburg turnpike was thronged with travelers and cattle, this was a paying house. Webber took in two hundred dollars one morning. The house would accommodate about forty or fifty persons, but many of the emigrants came in wagons covered with sheeting and partially provided themselves with accommodations. While Forbes had the hotel he run a distillery also. He used to keep forty or fifty hogs on the refuse grain from the distillery. Lewis Baker carried on the distillery after Forbes moved to Honesdale. Goodrich Elton had a carding-machine at Smiley many years. In 1836 William H. Pope began the woolen factory at Gelatt, and a branch of the business was carried on at Smiley in the Elton building. Alanson Day and Jefferson Barnes were blacksmiths at Smiley.

Silas Steenback came to Gibson about 1814, and bought a farm on the Tunkhannock, a short distance below Smiley. He cleared up a farm and bought the Asahel Norton grist-mill, and subsequently the old Taylor stand of Lewis Baker; and later still be built a saw-mill and carried on an extensive milling and farming business. He made a good fortune and sold to Henry Howell about 1857, and moved to Binghamton, where he died thirteen years after, aged nearly eighty. He married one of Dr. Denny's daughters, and had a family of thirteen children. Mrs. Curtis Howell and Esther reside in Gibson. John, Philip and Phebe, wife of Chas. Barrett, reside in Jackson, and Ira in Sullivan County. Levi, brother of James Bennett, lived half a mile west of Smiley. His sons were William, George, John and James.

A post-office was established at Smiley, February 8, 1854, and Goodrich Elton was the first postmaster. He was succeeded by David M. Smiley, in 1866; George Smiley, 1869; George B. Milliken, 1873; George H. Williams, 1876. The office was discontinued at Smiley, May 27,1879, and by a singular coincidence the name of the pioneer settler was restored when Gelatt post-office was established, a short distance above Smiley, May 7, 1878, with George S. Smiley as first postmaster. Martha Smiley was appointed in 1879, aud Griswold Gelatt in 1885.

EAST GIBSON BAPTIST CHURCH.-This church was constituted at Smiley Hollow. Elder J. W. Parker labored here as early as 1852, preaching one-fourth of the time for two years. They were then constituted a branch of the Gibson and Jackson Church, which relation continued two years, during which time they were supplied with preaching by J. B. Worden and A. O. Stearns. April 30, 1856, they were recognized as an independent church, with Elder B. G. Lamb as their pastor. Wm. P. Gardner was ordained deacon and chosen as church clerk. The little band struggled on for four years, then changed their place of meeting to Barnes' Hill, where they continued until the final dissolution of the church. The church was constituted with eighteen members, and fifteen were afterward received by baptism and several by letter. Elders Parker, Lamb and Stearns officiated until their house of worship became so dilapidated that they concluded to disband and unite with other churches.

AN OLD-SCHOOL BAPTIST CHURCH was organized about 1824, near Gelatt. Alonzo Kinney and wife, Theron Washburn and wife, Lawrence Manzer and wife, Calvin Morse and wife, Samuel Washburn and wife and Frank and wife were the principal members. Elder Pitcher was their preacher. The little church is used for a shop. The members are nearly all dead. Alonzo Kinney lives on East Mountain.


William Abel, James Bonnet, Levi Bennet, Elias Bell, John Belcher, John Bonnet,. Benajab Burgess, William Belcher, John Belcher, Jr., Benjamin Ball, Sterling Bell, Joel Barnes, Ehenezer Bailey, Warren Bailey, John Brundage, Sylvenus Campbell, Wright Chamberlain, Milo Chamberlain, Moses Chamberlain, James Chamberlain, John Collar, Truman Clinton, Robert Chandler, Charles Chandler, Nathaniel Claffin, Moses Chamberlin, Jr., Levi Chamberlin, David Carpenter, Daniel Clow, Cyrel Carpenter, James Chandler, Simeon S. Chamberlin, Wright Chamberlin, Jr., Asa Dimock, Nathan Daniels, John Doyle (Ararat), Erastus Day, John Denny, Daniel Denison, Walter Dickey, Eliab Farrer, Solomon Giddings, James Giddings, Collins Gelatt, George Gelatt, Jr., George Galloway, Asahel Gregory, George Gelatt, Jonathan Gelatt, Nathan Guile, John Green, Elisha Harding, William Holmes, David Holmes, Stephen Harding, David

Gibson Township

Page 760

Hains, Rufus Horton, Carleton Kent (Herrick), John Kent (Herrick), Walter Lyon (Herrick), Lyman Lewis (Clifford), Ichabod Lott (Clifford) Phebe Low, Joel Lamb, Nathan Maxson, Sarah Mumford, William Michael, Ezra Newton, Ashel Rerton, Thadeus Newton, William Parmenter, Joseph Potter, Moses Parsons, John Potter, Noah Potter, John Pickering, John Pierce, Sylvester Powers, Phineas Pickering, Hazard Powers, Oliver Payne, Joab Roberts, Samuel Resseguie, Philip S. Stewart, Oney Sweet, John Skyron, Frederick Stad, Joseph Sweet, David Smith, Jonathan Smith, Silas Steenback, David Spoor (Herrick), Otis Stearns, John Safford, Benjamin Tingley, Amos Taylor, Elkanah Tingley, John Tyler (Ararat), Jabez Tyler (Ararat), Arunah Tiffany, Noah Tiffany, William Tripp, Cady Walker, Ezra Walker, Joseph Washburn, Walter Watson, Walter Washburn, Ebenezer Wither, Silas Young, Ebenezer Washburn, George Williams, William Wost, Edward Weymar, Samuel Wasburn, Henry Wills, Arnold Walker."

"The following comments on tbe foregoing assessment by George Woodward, now eighty-six years old, will be read with interest;

"When my father and Urbane Burrows came from Connecticut, in 1819, my father, Artemas Woodward, settled on the bill in Kentuck, in Ebenezer Bailey's log house, in 1821. He went into the woods and made improvements, and the landowners were going to drive him off when I paid for the place. William Abel was one of our nearest neighbors. Levi Bennett lived on East Mountain, and James Bennett on Toad Hill (now Union Hill). Elias Bell lived here before we came and moved West. John Belcher lived on Union Hill, and sold to Abijah Wells. Benajah Burgess lived near the centre of the township then and shortly afterwards moved away. Benjamin Ball lived on the road from South Gibson to Union Hill. Sterling Bell lived near Union Hill. Joel Barnes was a Revolutionary soldier, and lived in the northeast part of the township. He left a large family of children. Ebenezer Bailey and Warren Bailey were early settlers; the former died at Lanesboro'. Ebenezer, Laura and Aurilla were their children. John Brondage lived on the hill east of South Gibson; his sons were John, Daniel, George, William and Joseph. Wright, Milo, Hoses and James Chamberlain were old settlers. John Collar lived north of here, and was a great hunter. David Carpenter and Jas. Chandler lived in Keutuck. The family of the latter are all dead. Simeon S. Chamberlain lived on Union Hill. Asa Dimock settled in Lenox. John Doyle lived to Ararat, Erastus Day in Herrick, and John Denny at Smiley. Walter Dickey was a farmer in Gibson, and Eliab Farrar moved to Harford. Solomon and Jas. Giddings lived in Herrick. Collins Gelatt lived in Gelatt Hollow. Nathan Guile and John Green lived in Burrows' (then Gibson) Hollow. William, David and Thomas Holmes were brothers and the first two lived on Kennedy Hill. David Hines lived in Harford. Carlton and John Kent lived in the Kent settlement in Herrick. Walter Lyon lived in Herrick. Joel Lamb lived near the line of Jackson, Nathan Maxon moved from Gibson to Clifford. William Michael was a Welshman, and lived in the edge of Clifford. William Parmenter lived in Gibson. Ezra Newton lived on East Mountain. Asahel Norton lived where Samuel Holmes kept tavern. He moved to the Lake Country. John Pickering lived near John Denny's. Sylvester end Hazard Powers lived in Kentuck. Oliver Payne lived in Kentuck. David and Jonathan Smith lived on the road to Burrows' Hollow in Kentuck. Silas Steenback lived in Smiley Hollow, end owned the grist-mill that Asahel Norton built. Captain Potter was one of the first settlers in the township. Otis Stearns built the first grist-mill, with one run of native stone. John Safford built a grist and saw-mill at Smiley, which were burned down. Benjamin Tingley lived in the edge of Jackson, and finally moved to Dundaff. Elkanah Tingley lived in Harford. Charles Tingley, one of his sons. was associate judge of Susquehanna County. Arunab and Noah Tiffany lived in Kentuck. Milton and Darius Tingley lived in the edge of Jackson. William Tripp lived user Kennedy Hill. Cady, Marshall and Arnold Walker lived here. Joseph, Ebenezer and Waller Washburn lived near together on Kennedy Hill. George Galloway settled on Union Hill in 1796, and cleared up a farm, which he sold when his neighbor, John Belcher, sold. There was not a house on the Tunkhannock from John Collar's to Corbett Pickering's excepting Samuel Resseguie's little bark-covered cabin in a briar patch, at that time. All the valley and side hill wee a dense wilderness. The people were poor and had to struggle hard for a living. I went into a cabin one day and stumbled over something. I looked down end saw a child in a sap trough for a cradle."

SOUTH GIBSON and vicinity.-John Collar came up the Tunkhannock probably about 1792, and made a clearing and planted a large apple orchard one mile above South Gibson, where T. J. Manzer now resides. He was a trapper and hunter, and was successful in catching bear in Bear Swamp. He also had a wolf pen in the swamp, so arranged that wolves would get in at the top and be unable to get out. He died, and was buried on the knoll, now chartered as the South Gibson Cemetery. "Between 1798 and 1800 the first settler of South Gibson moved in, but died soon after, and was buried at the foot of the hill which bears his name."

In 1800 Samuel McIntosh and Benjamin Woodruff made a beginning on the place afterwards owned by Samuel Resseguie. The first permanent settler who made improvements at South Gibson was SAMUEL RESSEGUIE, son of William Resseguie, of Fishkill, who came May 8, 1813, and brought his family with him. He bought a quit-claim for four hundred acres, of Mr. Taylor, for forty dollars, and erected a log cabin, having bark shingles held down with poles, near the northwest line of C. W. Resseguie's farm. This humble habitation, surrounded by briars, was the only cabin on the Tunkhannock, from John Collar's to the south line of the township, where Corbett Pickering commenced some years later.

Mr. Resseguie finding that his quit-claim title was not good, purchased, of Enos and his son, George Walker, agents for William Poyntell, one hundred and twenty acres, at two dollars per acre, which his son Fitch paid for in work for Walker. Samuel Resseguie subsequently erected a frame house, where he died in 1858, aged eighty-two. His wife was Freelove Disgrow, of Connecticut. Samuel Resseguie had cleared up a good farm on the river flats, which he left to his children,-Fitch, Lewis, Aaron, William, Harrison, Nelson, Betsey, Cynthia and Sally, who all married and settled in the vicinity. Fitch, the oldest son, was eight years of age when his father came here; he is now past eighty, and has witnessed the development of the Tunkhannock Valley from a wilderness to well-cultivated farms and pleasant homes. He married Mary Tewksbury, of Brooklyn, a noble woman, whose Christian life had a marked influence on her home and was potent for good in the community. Fitch Resseguie was very hospitable, and opened his house and barn for church services; those coming from a distance were often entertained by him, while his house was a preacher's home for pioneer Methodist preachers. Of his children, Charles W. married Angeline M. Woodward, and resides on the old Samuel Resseguie farm. He is the largest grower of strawberries in Northeastern Pennsylvania, having sent seven hundred bushels to market in two years. He was eighteen years school director, and was mainly instrumental in securing the erection of the graded school building at South Gibson. George and Gertrude are his children. Of Fitch Resseguie's other children, George resides in Harford, and was a

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Page 761

member of the Legislature in 1884; Emory resides on his father's place; Mary D. is the wife of Jesse Holmes. George Conrad, son of William Conrad, purchased about one hundred acres on the Tunkhannock, above Samuel Resseguie's, in 1818, and built a log house. Elisha Williams bought four hundred acres of land next adjoining, and, assisted by David L. Hine, erected a grist-mill in 1837, which was the first frame house in South Gibson village. They erected a saw-mill about the same time. Lewis Resseguie had a frame house below the village then. George A. Hogaboom had the first frame dwelling-house in the village; Chancy Davis the first blacksmith-shop. Henry H. Harris erected a house, and occupied it for a dwelling and cabinet-shop. Elisha Williams and Asa Howard started the first store. David Mapes, Sabinas Walker, George W. Walker, W. W. Williams, Abner Walker, Horace Tiffany, Manly Walker, D. E. Holmes, B. D. Reynolds, James Fuller, Evan Jenkins, H. D. Bennett and others have been merchants here. The present merchants are D. E. Holmes (since 1861); William B. Maxey (member of the State Legislature in 1887), J. M. Manning and T. C. Manzer. The grist-mill is owned by David Tobias. C. Pickering had a saw-mill on the Tunkhannock, and George Woodward had another on Bell Creek. D. T. Lawrence had a cabinet-shop where J. Evans now has a carding-machine. Spencer Coon built the first wagons here, and N. T. Woodward had the second shop. Eli Conrad erected a frame building, which was rented by Thomas Harkins for a tavern. Alden Pickering has the hotel which Preston Walker built, about 1857. Besides the four stores, the village contains two millinery-shops, a Methodist Church, graded school and about one hundred and fifty inhabitants. The village is protected from the winds by the high hills that rise on either side of the Tunkhannock. A post-office was established in "Kentuck" March 14, 1832, and called Kentuckyville. Stephen P. Chandler was the first postmaster. This office was discontinued May 1, 1849, and re-established March 14, 1850, with the same postmaster. December 27, 1853, the name was changed to South Gibson, and the office was moved into the valley. James C. Edwards was appointed postmaster. He was succeeded, in 1854, by Asa Howard. The office was discontinued June 5, 1855, and re-established January 10, 1856, with Adon P. Miller postmaster. His successors have been George W. Walker, 1861; David E. Holmes, 1862; Asa Howard, 1866; William W. Williams, 1867 ; D. B. Holmes, 1868; John J. Manning, 1885. A daily mail runs from Hopbottom through Lenox, thence up the Tunkhannock through South Gibson, Gelatt and Jackson, thence to Susquehanna. John Snow was the first mail-carrier to the Kentuckyville post-office. He traveled on horseback once a week. He started at Kennedy Hill, on the Newburg road, thence through Kentuckyville (Five Partners' settlement), Rynearson's Corners in Lenox, which was on the Milford and Owego route. Vander Guile next carried the mail. H. P. Miller was a cabinet-maker and undertaker in the vllage some thirty years. He also worked at the turning lathe. This was before the day of coffin factories, and he often worked all night in connection with the undertaking business. John W. Carpenter and Jacob Steele were among the early shoemakers. John Lynch and Jason Fargo were millers for Elisha Williams many years.

A Good Templars' lodge was organized at South Gibson, by Mr. Roberts, the State lecturer, in 1867, with forty charter members. The first officers were G. C. Brundage, W. C. T.; Mrs. Mary Resseguie, W. V. T.; H. D. Bennett, W. S.; Thomas E. Jenkins, W. T. This lodge was in successful operation for several years, and at its acme contained four hundred members, and was styled the "Banner Lodge of Susquehanna County." From this lodge three others were instituted,-Cambrian at Clifford, one at Lenoxville and another at South Harford. This movement created a public sentiment against the liquor traffic which still exists.

SOUTH GIBSON FREE WILL BAPTIST CHURCH- On the 24th ofNovember, 1887, the first Free-Will Baptist Church was organized in South Gibson, at the house of Lewis Resseguie, by Eber John Webster, of Franklin, Pa.; Elder Jos. Bryant, of Jackson; and Elder Alson Hams, of South Gibson. There were ten constituent members. There was no Methodist Church here at that time. Wm. Robinson, of Greenfield, was the first preacher, followed by Elders Chase, Asa Dodge and his brother. George Woodward and Arnold Walker were the first deacons. The people never built a church, but worshipped in school-houses. The first quarterly meeting was held in George Woodward's barn in 1838. It was a large gathering and was the first quarterly meeting ever held in South Gibson. Owing to dissensions the organization went down.

SUNDAY SCHOOL. - George Woodward, David Carpenter and Elisha WHuams were appointed to organize a Sunday-school, April 3, 1833. From the minutes, Kentuckyville, April 8, 1833: "The members of the Columbian district convened at the Columbian school-house agreeable to notice. Geo. Woodward was called to the chair, S. P. Chandler was appointed secretary. The object of the meeting being stated by the chairman, on motion Geo. Woodward, A. W. Tickner and Chester Carpenter were appointed a committee to get the books and conduct the school." There were sixty-one scholars the first year. The Sunday-school was afterwards moved to South Gibson, and was finally discontinued.

SOUTH GIBSON METHODIST CHURCH.- Mrs James Bennett, who lived on Union Hill, was the first Methodist in Gibson township; and Mrs. Fitch Resseguie was the leading spirit in the South Gibson class at the

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