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In 1806 several Philadelphia capitalists constructed the Nescopeck turnpike. The Tioga and Susquehanna turnpike was*opened in 1818, and the first stage line was run to Mauch Chunk by Andrew Shiner. The first stage line between Wilkes-Barre and Northumberland was run by the Horton Brothers, and it antedated the above a number of years.
Evan Owen was squire and settled all disputes. Every bear killed was brought to him and he divided it equally among the citizens. He was succeeded as squire by Samuel Herri n.
Columbia County was taken from Northumberland in 1814; Berwick was incorporated a borough in 1818.
The nearest mill was at Catawissa, 15 miles distant. Later the Rittenhouse mill, a mile or two below town, and the Evans mill, at Evansville, were built. Evan Owen built a mill a long the river intending to supply it with water therefrom, but the scheme proved a failure and was abandoned.
The first church was built by the Quakers, a log building that stood where the brick church now stands, they being the first denomination to have a church; the second was the Methodists, their original church being the second brick structure built in the town; it was abandoned to dwelling purposes, and a new church was constructed in 1845; this was displaced in 1870 by a more modern edifice; the third church was built by the Baptists in 1842, and the fourth by the Presbyterians in 1843, these congregations having worshipped for many years in the Methodist building.
Water was first supplied from Foundryville, and conducted through log pipes a distance of two miles. The present water works were built in 1848, the water being raised a height of about 100 feet to a reservoir by means of a steam pump from a large spring in the Susquehanna. Rev. J. H. Young, Dr. A. B. Wilson, Jesse Bowman and S. F. Headley were the prominent movers in this enterprise.
The mails were carried by post (on horsebaok) and in 1800 Jonathan Hancock rode post from Wilkes-Barre to Berwick. The mail was carried once a week via Nantiooke, Newport and Nescopeck to Berwick, returning via Huntington and Plymouth.
The old academy was built in 1839 by Thomas Connelly, supplanting the market house in location and in its varied uses. A few years ago it was demolished and its space in Market Street given up to street use, which was demanded, while a handsome new school building has taken its place further out Market Street. This change took place in 1873.
Shad were seined by the wagon load and a load could be obtained for a barrel of salt,
so scarce was this commodity. The best shad sold for four cents. One was caught weighing nine pounds. Butter brought six cents a pound and calico from thirty to fifty cents a yard.
The residents did their washing at the river and left their kettles along the shore the yeai round.
The first ohildren born were John and Annie Brown, children of Robert. Annie became the wife of Jesse Bowman. She was the first person married in Berwick.
The Lackawanna & Bloomsbu rg RR. was opened to Berwick in 1858.
The First National Bank was orgauizod in 1864, with M. W. Jackson as president and M. E. Jackson cashier.
The first fire engine was obtained in 1825. A lire in the Jackson & Woodiu works in 1857 destroyed it.
Berwick had its cannon, but little if any thing hns been seen or heard of it since the firing of a salute on the return of the Mexican soldiers, when through a premature discharge Sam. Iddings lOBt an arm.
Drs. A. B. Wilson and Josiah Jackson began the practice of medicine in 1828. The latter had a store connected with his office. Drs. Beebe and Townsend were early practitioners, as also Dr. Langdon, who was rendered incapable to practice by dementia.
The first military company was organized by Charles Snyder. Training days were a great occasion, the battalion drills of infantry,cavalry,ete., making an imposing military display, to witness which the people in all the country roundabout visited the town.
Ground was broken for the North Branch Canal at Berwick, July 4th, 1828. Mr. Pews had the contract for the Berwick section and Nicholas Seybert for the section above. There were fourteen drinking places in the town during the building of the canal, and pure whisky sold at 3 cents a dram. Packet boats named the George Denison and Gertrude were launched by Miller Horton and A. O. Chahoon in 1835.
The accident resulting from the several attempts to navigate the Susquehanna is still r»membered by some of our older residents. The Codorus, a boat built at York, drawing only 8 inches of water, made a successful trip to Wilkes-Barre and as far north as Binghamton in the spring of 1826. A second steamboat,the Susquehanna, built at Baltimore, and drawing 14inches, made the next attempt. It reached the Berwick falls May 3d, 1826. Rich pine wood was piled under the boiler, a full head of steam raised and the effort made to ascend the rapids. But the strain was too great and the boilor burst with sad results. Five persons were killed, two or three of whom are buried in the Berwick Graveyard, and most of the twenty who remained on the boat were more or less injured.
Berwick'* newspaper record dates close a pen 1800, Win. Cnruthers made the initial attempt with the Berwick Independent American in 1812, he having started the paper some time previously in Nescopeck; Daniel Bowen issued a paper in 1837, George Mack in 1832, J. T. Davis in 1834, then Wilbur «fc Joslyn, then Tate & Gangewer, then B. F. Gilmore, then D. C. Kitchen, then Pearce <fc Snyder, then J. M. Snyder, then Tate A- Irwin, thea W. H. Hibbs, then A. B. Tate, then J. S. Sanders.
M. W. Jackson and Judge Mack built a foundry in 1840, which was run by horse power. The firm changed to McCurdy & Jackson, then to M. W. Jackson and in 1840 to Jackson <fc Woodin. In 1872 it became the Jackson & SVoodin Manufacturing Co., and this year also the rolling mill addition was made to the plant. The company has done a successful business, making fortunes for the several members, and it continues to be an institution of considerable magnitude.
The Odd Fellows Society is one of the old societies. It owns a handsome building which was erected in 1807, and is a prosperous organization with large membership.
James Pratt, a soldier of the revolution, was one of the early residents.
The oldest tombstone in the grave-yard bears the date 1804. There are buried in the cemetery 2 soldiers of the revolution, 3 of the war of 1812, 2 of the war of Mexico, 11 of the Rebellion.
The first cornet band was organized in 1841 by G. S. Tutton and led by J. M. Snyder.
The telegraph was extended into the town in 1850.
The above contains the main data comprising Berwick's earlier history. No effort has been made to bring the record down to the present, which is manifestly needless when simply the earlier events are intended to be dealt with. No pretension to absolute correctness is assumed, as after the lapse of so many years, it is extremely difficult to fix dates, names and events at all, to say nothing of the almost impossible task of arrangement in chronological order or historic sequence with such material as is at hand and the brief time that could be allotted to the subject. In view of the centennial celebration which takes place on the 10th instant there will doubtless be at least some degree of interest attached to its perusal.
In 1805 the first animal show, an elegant exhibited in Wilkes-Barre, Everybody went to see the "Jumbo" of the time.
In 1823 the first organ in the county was placed in St. Stephen's Church, Wilkes-Barre, and the first tune played was Yankee Doodle.
A Great Outpouring of People—The G.A.It. Veterans Make a Very Creditable Display— Indifference on the Part of the Local Management — Plenty of Pick- pockets.
[Special to Hpcortl.]
Bkkwick, Aug. 10.—When Evan Owens came up from Philadelphia and founded the town of Berwick a hundred years ago he i robably had no conception of the great iiipouring of people there would be on the 10th day of August in this year of our Lord 1886. To-day is a gala occasion for this ancient and wrll-preserved borough, and residences vied with business places in the elaborateness of their decorations. Flags and streamers everywhere, masses of bunting, and at several of the street intersections arches bearing words of welcome. Some of the buildings displayed old portraits and other relics of a by-guue day. Beneath one arch was a painting of Berwick in 1781S. but as it represented not log cabins, but a three-story mill, stone arch bridge, a four-horse coach, and other later accessories of Berwick life it is to be feared the artist was not versed in the antiquity of his town.
The crowds began pouring in at an early hour, special excursion trains being run on L. <fc B. and the Pennsylvania, by the G. A. R. posts of Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and other points. The WilkesBarre and Pittston train consisted of lb crowded coaches. The Scranton excursion, over the L. <fc S. and the Pennsylvania was belated by a cave-in near Moosic and did not reach Berwick until the parade was over. They were headed by Bauer's band and had a very creditable narade of their own, comprising Ezra Griffin Post, Col. Monies Post and another band.
Really the only people who deserve much credit are the members of the Five Counties Veteran Association. They turned out in full force but the local Centennial observance was almost a flat failure. There seems to have been an utter lack of organization. The crowd was here, five thousand visitors, but there was nothing outside of the veterans' display to entertain them—not even a speech.
The parade was quite a creditable one and was mad** up of veterans, Sons of Veterans, Sons of America, fire companies and a band of hostiles—from Shickshinny. The day was a perfect one, though hot for the marchers, particularly the older men, and the streets, well, they were shoe deep with dust. The chief marshal's duties were skillfully performed by Col. A. D. Seely. The line was headed by a trim company of well dressed and well drilled boys, the Berwick Guards,
commanded by the voteran,Capt.Hoft. In the the first carriages Francis Evans, a descendant of the original settler, and his gnests, Gen. Edwin S. Osborne, Col. A. Wilson Norris and Dr. C. H. Wilson. In the other carriages were Col. Laycock, Major John B. Smith, Capt. Harry Gordon, Dr. W. R. Longshore, Capt. Wren, Major McKune, Hon. Lewis Pnghe and others. Ely Post and Keith Post, of Wilkes-Barre, were in strong force aocompanied by the excellent juvenile dram corps. There was also Capt. Asher Gaylord Post, of Plymouth, Lape Post, of Nantiooke and representatives from other posts. There was also a numerous company of survivors of Southern prisons. The expected 9th, 13d and 13th Regiments, N. G. P., did not oome. Shamokin, Harveyville and Berwiok were represented by camps of Sons of Veterans, Nantiooke and Seybertsville by Sons of America, and Berwick by Odd Fellows. Danville, Bloomsburg and Berwick had some well equipped fire companies, and Shickshinny sent a tribe of "Mocanaqua Indians," who took a prisoner, tortured him and held up his reeking scalp before the horrified multitude. Women who fainted could be restored only upon learning that the Indians were only make-believes, that the "prisoner" was a bald-headed man, that the scalp was only ahvig.and that the hemorrhage oame from a bladder of blood under the wig. The Mooanaquas are not really so bloodthirsty as they seemed.
The parade terminated at the fair grounds, where the visiting organizations were regaled with barrels of coffee, huge boxes of sandwiches and gallons of pickles, dispensed from the several buildings. The grounds were alive with devices for fleecing the unwary, and hundreds of dollars found their way into the pockets of the traveling sharps. By this time, 1 and 2 o'clock, it was boiling hot, and the crowds eagerly sought the cover of the grand stands and whatever other shade could be found. The populace were disappointed at not hearing some addresses, Neither Gen. Osborne nor Col. Norris were brought out, as both were Republicans, and there were no Democrats to offset them. Both Hon. Charles R. Buckalew and Col. R. B. Ricketts had been invited, but were not present, so Osborne and Norris were not called from their carriage. The Veterans' Association held its annual meeting in the judges' stand and elected officers. For president, Capt. Harry M. Gordon, of Plymouth, was succeeded by James R. Ehret, of Pittston; Dr. C. H. Wilson, of Plymouth, as secretary, by Col. C. K. Campbell, of Pittston and John Y. Wren, of Plymouth, as treasurer, by Thomas English, of Pittston. The new vice presidents elected were Major Post, of Shickshinny,
and C. B. Metzger, of Wilkos-Barro. Brief addresses were made by Mayor McKune, Capt. De Lacy, Capt. Gordon and Chaplain Stall. The veterans were mostly from the First Army Corps, in which Col. Norris has figured so prominently of late, and most of them were from the 149th (Gen. Osborne's regiment) and the 143d. A very pleasant informal reception was given Gen. Osborne at his carriage, which was near the judges' stand, by his comrades in arms. Several other corps were also represented. The next annual meeting will be held in Pittston.
The addresses were much interfered with by a game of ball a few yards away, contested by the Berwick and Hazleton clubs.
A Stranger Stumble* Over His Mother's Forgotten Grave—Sketch of the AntlSlavery Democrat Who Studied Law In Wilkes-Barre. A gravestone has been set up over a longforgotten grave in the old Bethany burying ground, in Wayne County. The existence of the grave was discovered some time ago by a man who was walking through the brier-choked burial place. He struck his foot againBt something in the weeds, and on investigating found a weather-stained headstone lying flat on the ground. He rained it up and, scraping off the moss that had grown upon it, he deciphered the following inscription.
In Memory of MARY, Wife of Randall Wilraot, Died Nov. 19, 1830, Aged 38 Years.
Randall Wilmot was the father and Mary Wilmot the mother of David Wilmot, of "Wilmot Proviso" fame. Randall Wilmot kept a tavern at Bethany in 1814, and David Wilmot was born in the house on Jan. 30 of that year. The tavern is stiy standing. Randall Wilmot moved to the West in 1833, after marrying a second wife. He and his second wife are buried in Cortland, Ohio. David Wilmot is buried at Towanda, Bradford county. Citizens of Bethany have replaced the old tombstone at the head of his mother's long-unknown grave, and will build an enclosure around it.—Honesdale Iivleiyendent.
"Dave" Wilmot achieved a national reputation by reason of his battle for human rights, and the document which grew of it, the famous "Wilmot Proviso." Wilmot studied law in Wilkes-Barre, and at the age of 30 received the unanimous nomination of the Democracy in the Congressional district embracing Bradford, Tioga and Susquehanna Counties. He was elected and took his seat at the opening of the 29th Congress in December, 1845. The annexation of Texas, which Mr. YVilmot, in unison with the Democratic party of the North, had supported, •as consummated in 1845 and was speedily followed by war with Mexico. The Wilniot Proviso provided that in any territory acqnired from Mexico, neither slavery nor involuntary servitude should ever exist except for crime. The following year he was unanimously nominated and elected and was again nominated in 1850. At this juncture the pro-slavery Democrats set about to defeat him. Mr. Wilmot at once offered to give way to any person who would represent the principle for which he was contending. Hon. Galusha A. Grow was named by Mr. Wilmot as an acceptable candidate and he was thereupon elected, Mr. Wilmot being elected president judge, a position held by him from 1851 to 1857. He resigned in the latter year, and his anti-slavery principles having rendered the Democracy distasteful to him, he embraced the principles of the opposition and became the Republican candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania though he was defeated by Wm. F. Packer, it was claimed, through the treachery of the KnowNothings. He was restored to the bench by appointment and again by election. In 1861 he was elected to the United States Senate to fill a vacancy created by the selection of Gen. Simon Cameron, as Secretary of War under President Lincoln. He served two years in the Senate and was succeeded by Hon. Charles K. Buckalew. President Lincoln appointed him a Judge of the Court of Claims which office he held up to the time of his death, at Towanda. March 16, 1868.
An exhaustive sketch of this distinguished Pennaylvaman appears in Mr. C. F. Heverly's History of Towanda. recently published by the Reporter-Journal, giving the early history of the settlement and sketches of the eminent meu who have resided there.
In the Shickshinny Echo for Aug. 13 is concluded the series of historical articles on Huntington Township, Luzerne Co., by Mrs. M. L. T. Hurtman. It is the purpose of the author to enlarge and re arrange the matter for publication in book form. Mrs. Hartmau has rendered her section of the county a favor that might wel1 find imitators in every other township. Her work has been painstaking nnd thorough and the volume as a monument to her will be more enduring than marble.
In 1708 Wilkes-Barre was the post office for the whole county.
SOMETHING ABOUT BRICKS.
How Much Easier They are Made Now Thau Id a Generation or Two Ago— A Wilkes-Harre Yard Turns Them Out in Larger Quantities. Sixty years is not a very long time, counting in the life of a nation, and yet when we consider the advancement made in all branches of art and science, as well as the commoner affairs of life within this period of time, we can but wonder how oar fathers managed to exist in times of primitive simplicity. The industry, for we cannot cnll it art, of brickmaking, we know from history was practiced almost from the dawn of man's first advancement from mere animal existence. The Egyptians at the time of the Israelitish captivity made bricks by mixing straw with the clay, bnt we presume they were of the adobe type as made in Mexico at the present time merely snn dried masses of a foot wide and two feet in length, which serve the purpose very well in a dry climate like Egypt or Mexico. Fine burned bricks are found in the ruins of ancient Babyton, yet few of the houses are constructed of so costly a material.
The art of brick-making in this country has advanced very materially within the memory of some of our older inhabitants. It is still remembered by a few among us, the time when it was a pretty serious undertaking to make and burn a kiln of bricks. The clay had to be dug out and heaped up all winter subject to the freezing process, in order to properly disintegrate the clay; it was then placed in a circular pit to the depth of a couple of feet, and in the spring two or three pairs of oxen were turned inland driven round and round like horses in a circus ring, until the clay was reduced to the proper consistence and fineness for moulding in a double or single mould.
This, of course,was a slow process, and to make even 50.000 bricks was something of an undertaking. Upon visiting the brickyards of Messrs. Dickover & Son on North Washington street, a few days ago, we could not help comparing their way of making bricks with the old one, very much to the advantage of the new. Now the clay may be reposing jn its bed where it has lain for countless ages, in sheets like the leaves of a book. Two stout Hnns spade it out and shovel it into a cart, after which it is dumped at the mixing machine run by a powerful stam engine. Two men here shovel it into a hopoer, from which it falls between two iron rolls running close together when it is crushed partially, and if there happeus to be any atones in it, as is often the ca*e, they are tossed out by an iron wheel standing at a right angle with the rollers and having projecting teeth in its external periphery. As the crushed clay passes the rollers it falls on an inclined conveyor, having jnst enongli water falling from an iron pipe to moisten it to the proper consistency. The conveyor carries it to the head of the grinder, where, after a severe churning, it reaches a receptacle at the bottom. A man stands in front with a lot of eight-compartment moulds, one of which he parses under the clay, grasps a lever and gives a pull downward. The clay is forced down on the open mould by a plunger attached to the engine. The mould slides out with eight well-formed bricks and is immediately seized by a workman and placed upon a truck, which, when loaded, is trundled off and dumped upon a sanded floor to dry. It requires the work of two laborers to carryaway the work of one moulder. By this process 20,000 bricks are moulded each day when the weather will serve for drying and the time required in its passage between the clay pit and the drying floor is not above five minutes. In the burning of the bricks, too, there is now a decided advantage over the old process of wood burning. On our visit there we saw a 240.000 kiln fairly aglow with the heat from a number of small furnaces of anthracite coal beneath the arches. The burning was pretty nearly completed, and upon climbing to the ton of the kiln and looking down into the cracks, we saw the whole mass as read as a cherry and pretty nearly ready for having the tire extinguished. It requires thirty tons of No. 3 coal to burn such a kiln, and when we consider the price of coal at the scbutes less than $2, the cost per thousand for fnel is not great. The senior member of the firm is an old time bricklayer, who fifty years ago handled the trowel here in Wilkee-Barre, and he takes pride in showing his old friends over the yard whenever they may choose to give him a call. w. J.
The Bucks County Intelligencer for Aug. 14 contains an account of the Uolcombe reunion and historical meetinsat Mount Airy, Hunterdon County, N. J. Representatives were present from several New England and Eastern States, at least 700 connections of the Holcombe family. Judson Uolcombe, of Bradford County, editor of (he Bradford Republican, Towanda, was one of the speakers. He said he belonged to the Yankee Holcombe stock which settled in Ulster.Branfrod County,on the NewYork line.in 178T). The ancestors of his line came with their children to Pennsylvania, six sons and two daughters, all of whom settled in Bradford, with the exception of one boy, who settled in Herkimer Conuty, New York. There were now residing in Bradford Connty,
besides those who had emigrated to different sections of the country, some 300 Holcombes and their connections. In Bradford they are scattered over 15 townships. The speaker's father, Hugh Holcombe, was a son of Eli, who came to Ulster in about 1785, at the age of 18. He left his father to cut his way through a dense wilderness. He and his brother took up about 300 acres of land under what was known as the Connecticut title, for $1.50 an acre. Finally there came Pennsylvania claimants and they had to pay for the land a second time, so that ultimately their land cost them S3 per acre originally. He then presented to the audience Alfred Holcombe, the oldest Holcombe of Bradford County, now 84 years of age. He lived on the old property, the ground where the pioneer settlers of Bradford of the Holcombe name in Bradford located.
The Doylestown Intelligencer of Aug. 14, contains a paper on the Aboriginal Remains in Durham and Vicinity, read by John A. Ruth at the July meetiugof the Bucks County Historical Society. A most interesting account is given of the several finds. Mention is made of an ancient jasper quarry from which material was obtained for the manufacture of stone implements. Among them are found the stone hammers, which are cobble stones with battered edges. The author has 3,000 specimens of Indian implements. About 60 per cent, are made of jasper, 30 per cent, of shale and the remainder of quartz, ohalcedony. etc. The articles comprise spear points, arrowheads, axes, plummits, sinkers, amulets, hoes, pipes, wedges. Among the collectors are Dr. J. S. Johnson and Benj. Pnrcell, Kintnersville; C. E. Hiudenach, Durham; S. F. Wolf, Riogelsville. Articles are constantly being found. The Media American. Chairman Thomas V. Cooper's paper, publishes a series of most interesting sketches on local history, over trie signature of "Steele Penne." The article in the issue of July 28 was an account of a Media paper of 1820, then the Upland Union and contains many happy references to village life GO years ago. As usual with papers of that day there was not a single item of local news in the Union. The feature of local uews was reserved for a later generation.
The Doylestown Intelligencer for Aug. 10, contains the paper on American Archaeology, read before the Bucks County Historical Society at its July1 meeting by Rev. Dr. John P. Lundy, of Philadelphia. The subject is one of great interest and is treated in a most scholarly manner, though not applying locally to Pennsylvania.
In 1709 Anthracite coal was successfully used by (>bidiah Gore.
In 1752 there was not a white man's cabin in the Wyoming Forest.