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A Wildcat Reminiscence. A Record man succeeded the other day in corralling Councilman 8. H. Lynch at a moment when he was not absorbed in municipal affaire and asked him for some particulars as to an adventure he had many years ago with a wildcat. Mr. Lynch replied that it would give him pleasure to have the story embalmed in the Record and here is how he told it:
In the winterof 1834 two boys were standing on the banks of the Susquehanna at Wilkee-Barre, near what was then the residence of Samuel Raub. One of the boys lived in the house which stood about where W. L. Conyngham's house now stands. The river was covered with ice, which had been crushed by a recent rise in the river and had again frozen np. As they were gazing at the ice they heard a voice from the opposite bank calling "Bring over your dogs, bring ovfr your dogs." There were two dogs attending upon the lads, one called "Mingo" and the other "Major," which had doubtless been seen by the opposite party. The two boys lived but to obey, and without considering the risk of the uncertain loe they immediately plunged down the bank, crossed the river and were received by a hunter with a rifle over his shoulder, who told them that he had chased a wildcat from Ross Hill and had lost it in the trees and bushes at the bend of the river. Here was something worth coming over the ice for; and they, with the dogs, began to beat np the bush, and were not long in starting the cat. Backwards and forwards they tramped, throwing clubs and stones at the animal whenever he appeared in sight, expecting he would tree, but he was too sharp for that. After working through the weeds for an hour or more, tbey lost track of the critter, and while searching in the trees for him a rifle crack rang out on the air some distance west of their position, and rushing forward, they soon got sight of the hunter, and there at the foot of a tree lay trie largest kind of a wildcat. The dogs rushed in, but more speedily rushed out, as the cat, being wounded used his claws with terrible effect, and no urging could induce them to make another charge, and it required another shot through the head before the game was np. The hunter shouldered his rifle and the cat and brought it over to town, and it was said to be the largest wildcat ever seen hereabouts. The hunter was John Myers, father of Lawrenoe Myers, of this city. One of the boys was John Raub. who died a short time since in Virginia, and the other boy was Mr. Lynch himself.
The Half Has Not Been Told. Editor Record: Here is a little piece of history as related to me by J. T. Bennett in a recent letter:
"In the year 1838 and 1829, my father had a contract on the canal below the dam across the river at Nantiooke Falls. I was there with him. They were Yankees and Dutch on that section, and they were all Irish below and above. They broke out like wild tigers and came on with clubs and crow-bars and everything they could get in their hands that would kill a man. My father went to see what was the matter, and they ran after him and he went down a bank twelve feet, and I saw these Irishmen break a rail in two just as his head passed the bank and it was only about four inches off. I ran up the canal and I saw a lot coming towards me and then I ran to the river. It was very high at that time, I saw that it was my only chance for my life and in I went and started for the other side, but it so happened that there had been a small boat there and some had got into it and started to cross the river. I was about a quarter of a mile off and I went to them. My father was in the boat and when we got up to Col. Washington Lee's, we found a man going to town (Wilkes-Barre). His name was Jurdon Womelsdorf. My father sent a letter by him to the sheriff and by midnight there was a good party from town down there. I stopped all night at my uncle's, Thomas Bennett, [he kept a tavern or hotel in Nantiooke]. They killed David Ehrett right by the place where my father was and I ran up the river and swam down and out.—And the half has not been told yet." p
Death of Mrs. Livingston.
At 1 o'clock Monday, April 4, Mrs. Isaao Livingston, wife of our well Known merchant,died at her residence, 84 Public Square, after a lengthy illness. She was born in Bavaria July 9, 1829, and came to this city when a young woman. Her first husband was Louis Reese, who was shot and killed on the Kingston flats. Thirty-two years ago she married Mr. Livingston and their life together was a happy aud prosperous one. She leaves one child by her first marriage, Sarah, wife of A. Reese, of Plymouth. Two sons, Moses and Harry, and three daughters, Mamie, Gussie and Jennie, survive from her second marriage.
For more than 20 years she has snffered from a liver affection that more than once threatened to terminate her life, but medical skill succeeded in averting the crisis. For the past few months, however, it had become evident that the end was not far off. Fifty Yearn of Married Life.
A very pleasant gathering assembled Wednesday, May 4. at the residence of William 8. Wells, on River Street, the occasion being the fiftieth anniversary of the marriage of the host and hostess, which took place in Kingston May 4, 1837. Mr. Wells had recently come to the valley from Massachusetts, Miss Jackson, his bride, being of English parentage. Besides the 21 children and grandchildren.gathered from Mehoopany, Carbondale and this city, old friends and relatives of the family to the number of 50 or more were present to do honor to the interesting event. Miss Edith, danghter of Charles D. Wells, in a neat little speech presented her grandmother with a handsome gold ring. Rev. W. W. Loom is made some happy remarks, recounting his personal knowledge of the long and happy married life of the parties, in which he stated that statistics show that not more than one coaple in every thirteen thousand who enter upon the marriage relation ever live to see the fiftieth anniversary of that, the most important event in their lives. He reminded them that in the natural course of events they must be now nearing the end of the journey they had for so long traveled in friendly company, reminding them that though they may be parted here for a season, yet their souls will soon be joined in happy union in that heaven to wbich we are all hastening, unless the great gulph shall divide us from those we love. In the name, and on behalf of the son and daughters, he then presented Mr. Wells with a valuable gold watch, which was received by Mr. Wells, who called upon Rev. Tuttle to make the response in the name of the recipients, wbich be did in a very happy manner and at some length.
This portion of the ceremonies being now over, a bountiful repast was spread before the guests, to which they did ample justice, a band of music on the front porch enlivening the scene by discoursing some sweet airs during supper. Besides the presents enumerated the handsome parlors were newly furnished with a set of handsome furniture, a present from the son and daughters and their husbands present.
The bride and groom of 50 years ago were in excellent health and spirits; the bride looking bright and cheery, the groom dignified and patriarchal. Long may they live to enjoy the peace and quiet of their lengthened years, the comforts of home and the society of their children and grandchildren.
Wtlkes-Barre in 1837.
Wilkes-babbe, March 28, 1887.—Editor Reoobd: Your notice in this morning's paper of it being 25 years since Mr. H. H. Derr arrived in WilkeB-Barre, and the remarks as to increase in population, modes of travel, etc, reminds me that it is just 60 years since I walked down the mountain and into WilkesBarre. My father bought a "Jersey wagon" (covered) and two horseB in Philadelphia to convey his family to Wyoming Valley, (having there engaged with Mr. Thomas Dow to cultivate his farm "on shares"). We left Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, reached Heller's tavern at the Wind Gap, Blue Mountain, on Saturday evening—rested over Sunday—resumed our journey on Monday, and on Tuesday afternoon arrived in WilkesBarre, April 1, 1827 and took possession of the farm. The bouse (of logs) was about 1)^ miles from the court house, on what is now Hazle Avenue, then Lowrytown Road; this house and another small log house at the corner of Main and Blackman Streets, were the only dwellings on the place. I presume there are now living on the same property, more inhabitants than there were at that time in the borough of Wilkes-Barre. The only house between our house and the homestead of General W. M. Ross, on Main Street, was Judge Rhone's (then McCarragber's) and a small house and distillery on Dana lot, where a small stream crosses the road.
A short time ago yon published a communication in reference to the cold, wet summer of 1816 and asked if any other of your readers could furnish items in relation thereto. I well remember going with my father into the harvest field and seeing him untie the sheaves of wheat and spreading them out to dry, and this on account of frequent showers. The prooess had to be repeated before the grain could be housed or stacked. Owing to the wet weather a large amount of the grain sprouted, and I remember the bread made from it tasted as though sweetened with sugar. B. S.
What is believed to be the original charter of Philadelphia, made in 1691, has been discovered among some old papers of Colonel Alexander Biddle. This document antedates by ten years, the charter of 1701, which is in the museum of Independence Hall.
"A History of the Region of Pennsylvania North of the Ohio and West of the Allegheny River, of the Indian Purchases and of the Running of the Southern, Northern and Western State Boundaries," is the title of a work edited by Hon. Daniel Agnew.
Etymology of "Susquehanna." Heckewelder, in bis "Indian Names of Rivers, Creeks and other Noted Places in Pennsylvania, together with their meaning, Ac, (original MS., Hist. Soo. Pa.), states: "The Indian, (Lenape) distinguish theRiver which we call Susquehanna thus: The North Branch they call Sf'chwewamisipu, or to shorten it Ifchwewormink, from which we have called it Wyoming. The word implies: the River on which are extensive clear Flats. The Six Nations, according to Pyrlseus [Moravian missionary] call it Oahonta, which had the same meaning.
"The West Branch they call (Juenischachaehgekhanne, bnt to shorten it they say Quenischachachki. The word implies: the River which has the long reaches or straight courses in it.
"From the forks, where now the town Northumberland stands, downwards, they have a name (this word I have lost) whioh implies: the Great Bay River. The word Susquehanna, properly Sisquehanne, from Sisku for mud, and hanne. a stream, was probably at an early time of the settling of this country, overheard by some white person while the Indians were at the time of a flood or freshet remarking: Juh! Achsis quehanne or Sisquehanna which is: hoiv muddy the stream u, and therefore taken as the proper name of the River. Any stream that has become muddy, will at the time it is so, be called Sisquehanna."—Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography for April.
An Interesting Historical Worn, Daniel Kulp Oassel, of 4133 Germantown Kvenue, Philadelphia, has secured the copyright of a work upon whioh he has been engaged for several years past, embracing the history of the Mennonites. The work is of more than local interest, for while it gives a very complete and authentic genealogical record of the early cottiers, it likewise embraces within its pages, facts gleaned from all parts of the world bearing upon the history of this Christian sect. The work will, when published, a few months hence, be a volume of about three hundred pages. Among the topics treated might be mentioned the following: Baptism in the early centuries; the Mennonite meetings in Germantown from 1683 down; the names of the subscribers to the building'of the first Mennonite Church in 1708, and also those who subscribed for the rebuilding of the edifice in 1770; sketches of old meeting houses; history ol the Mennonites of Virginia, Missouri and adjacent States and Territories, and genealogical matters connected with many of the families of Germantown and vicinity, inoluding the Kolbs. (now Kalp) Rittenhooses, Keysers, Cassels and
others. While the copy is almost ready for the printers' hands, Mr. Cassel is still prepared to add any additional matter of an appropriate character, and any person in the possession of information bearing on the subject is cordially invited to correspond with him.—Nicetown Signal.
Mr. CasBel, the author of the above stated work, is a relative of Geo. B. Kulp, Esq., of this oity.
Could Not Read His Own Writing. Niaoaba Falls, April 14, 1887.—Editob Recobd: I am reminded by the wrapper enclosing the Recobd this morning, that my subscription for the year, expires May 1st, and as I desire to have it continued, I write thus early that not a day may be lost of the satisfaction I take in perusing its oontents. I am always interested in everything relating in the Valley of Wyoming, the home of my youth. By this last sentence, I am forcibly reminded that on Saturday last, (the 9th,) I passed my 75th, anniversary, well and active as a boy. At my office regularly and ready at all times to attend to business affairs as they may be presented from day to day, for action. I am reminded of an anecdote of many years ago during the life time of Judge Dyer, the borough justioe of Wilkes Barre, a man well known there in his day, and noted for his unintelligible hand writing. He once put a warrant in the hands of "old Michael," the then high constable of the borough, for the arrest of a man for some trivial offence. The man was brought before the justice, and the attorney for the defendant took the warrant from the constable, but could not read it, and handed it over to the judge to interpret it, but he soon handed it back saying, "If you expect me to read my own hand writing you must let me see it before it gets cold," much to the amusement of those present. And I find even in this age of progress, some of the letters received require the shrewdness of two or three Philadelphia lawyers to interpret them, and should impress upon all letter writers and correspondents the importance of writing a plain hand. S. Pettebonk.
The Historical Record is on file in the library of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, as are also the Proceedings and Collections of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society.
Dr. B. H. Throop's historical notes, which have been running in the Scranton Argus tor some weeks have been neatly reprinted in pamphlet form for the Lackawanna Institute of History and Science.
The West Branch Magazine. The initial number of the Historical Journal, a monthly record devoted principally to preserving the local history in the West Branch Valley of the Susquehanna and Northeastern Pennsylvania in general, has made its appearance. It comprises 32 pages, is edited by John F. Meginness, of the \\ ill iamsport Gazette and Bulletin. Some 30 years ago Mr. Meginntss wrote a history of the West Branch region under the title of "Otzinachson." He now contemplates a new edition, but has a large amount of material that is more suited to a magazine than to a local history, consequently he has undertaken the publication in question. It will be made up of fragments of history that would otherwise be lost—reminiscences of pioneers, Indian remains, neorology, longevity, and a host of other interesting features. Among the contained matter are articles on Rev. John Bryson, a pioneer Presbyterian divine, stature of Revolutionary soldiers, meteoric shower of 1833, early Methodism in Centre County, latitude of Wilkes-Barre (reprinted from the Record) and numerous other articles and short items of statistics and manufactures also receive some interesting attention. The subscription price is $2 per annum.
An Instance of Indian Prohibition.
Hon. John Blair Linn, of Bellefonte, says in the Historical Journal that the oonntry about the mouth of Lycoming Creek was in 1753 the domain of French Margaret, a Canadian, and niece of Madame Montour. Williamsport now occupies the site of her village, which was noted on Scull's map of 1759 as -'French Margaret's Town." She was visited in 1753 by J. Martin Mack, the well-known Moravian missionary among the Indians, who writes thus in his journal:
In the course of conversation, for she was very communicative, she stated that her son and son-in-law had been killed in the winter while on a maraud against the Creeks. On asking permission to deposit our packs with her, until onr return from the Delaware town of Quenisohachsohooheny, (Linden,) 'Oh,' said she, 'the Indians there have been drinking hard the past week, and you will likely fiud them all drunk!' 'On our return she gave us a refreshing draught of milk and entertained us with the family news, speaking of Andrew and of her husband, Peter Quebec, who she said had not drank rum within six years. She has prohibited its use in her town, and yet although she has initiated other reformatory measures within her little realm, Bhe enjoys the reBpect and confidence of her subjects.
Where the Levan Letter Came From. In the last issue of the Record appeared two hitherto unpublished letters, one of them relative to the provisioning of Fort Allen (now Allentown) 131 years ago, the writer being Jacob Levan. We are informed by Rev. F. K. Levan, of this city, who is a diligent student of the early history of Northeastern Pennsylvania, that the Mr. Levan who wrote the letter is the ancestor of the Maxatawny branch of the family. The original letter was in the possession of the late Mr. Miokley, the well known Philadelphia antiquarian, and probably has passed into the possession of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The letter published in the Record Is a fre« translation from the original Gorman, made for our contributor, Mr. C. F. Hill, b> Rev. Mr. Levan, who haa possession of a v. rbatim copy of the letter, made by Mr. Miokley himself. The copy is in the possession of Mr. Levan. He laid great store by the original and offered Mr. Mickley a handsome amount for it, but itpossessor declined to part with it. We would be pleased to learn the exact whereabouts of the original.
Scheussel's large canvass, "Zeieberger Preaching to the Indians," painted in 1858, at the solicitation of John Jordan, Jr., and Mr. Skirving, of Philadelphia, and Mr. Rufus Orider, of Bethlehem, which attracted considerable attention at the Centennial, was shipped recently to London, England, to be placed among che American exhibits in the exhibition. John Jordan, Jr., who was the owner of the painting, presented it to the Moravian Society for the promotion of the gospel among the heathen, and it has been kept for some years in the archive room of the church at Bethlehem. The painting, whioh is considered Scheussel's masterpiece, is valued at $5,000, and has been reproduced as a steel engraving. It was loaned at the earnest solicitation of the directors of the exhibition, some of them having seen it at the Centennial.
Pennsylvania is an immense State, yet it doesn't seem large enough to contain more than one Revolutionary pensioner, a Mrs. Betz, for whose benefit a bill was introduced in the Senate some weeks ngo, the object of which is to increase the meagre stipend she at present receives from the StateTreasury. Mrs. Betz, who has been a resident of Harrisbnrg ever since her husband died, thirtyfour yeare ago, was the second wife of Peter Betz, a drummer boy in the Revolutionary war, to whom she was married in 1814, she being then only 16 years of age, while her husband was 55. The venerable dame is now 89 years old, bat for all that is reported to be quite vivacious and likely to "hold the fort" for some years to come as Pennsylvania's only Revolutionary pensioner.— Exchange.
DKATB OF CHARLES STUKDJS V ANT.
A Representative of a Pioneer Family Pasae8 Fiom Life—His Mother was in the Battle of Wyomlufr.
Charles Sturdevant died at his residence on Hanover Street, April 13, 1887, aged about 75 years, having been born in Braintrim Township, Luzerne County, now Wyoming County, Nov. 12, 1812. With but a -iug'e exception (that of an elder sister) he was the last of a large family of brothers and sisters. His brothers were Major John Sturdevant, Gen. E.W. Sturdevant and L. D. Sturdevant, who all died within the last few years, aged respectively 83, 78 and 8a years.
His father, Samuel Sturdevant, emigrated from Connecticut in 1792 and settled upon the banks of the Susquehanna River some 40 miles above the Wyoming Valley, where he became a prominent business man.
The man to whose memory we devote a few passing moments was a merchant in Braintrim until the year 1856, when he removed to this city, where he entered into business in the old Sidney Tracy building, corner of Franklin and Market Streets, where now stands the Wyoming National Bank.
In 1862 he entered the army, serving in the Excelsior Brigade, under Maj. Gen. Sickles and with the 2d Army Corps, under Maj. Gen. Hancock until the close of the war. Since that time he has lived upon the farm in South Wilkes-Barre where he passed peacefully away. He was a silent man among men, but the grand old forest trees had a language for him, and the wild bird on hill had no fear at his coming. He was a man full of affection and was loved most by those that knew him best. His wife, a daughter of the late Maj. I. H. Ross, and four daughters survive. One daughter is the wife of Nathan Bennett, Esq. Another the widow of the late Allan Brotherhood. Another is the widow of the late Ziba Faser, and a fourth, Miss Sallie, has occupied a responsible position tor several years in the postoffice. in charge of the money order and registered letter dep irl/nent.
Deceased comes from a highly respected family who figured prominently in the early history of the W:yomiug region. His parents were Connecticut people, and it may not be generally known that his mother was in the Wyoming fort at the time of the massacre of 1778. She was Elizabeth, dnn^hter of John N. Skinner, and her grandfather was one of the aged men in charge of the fort as
protectors of the women and children. Her father was in the fight. Elizabeth, then a child, and her parents went on foot, with the women and children spared by the Indians, through the wildernesss called the "Shades of Death," to the Delaware River and thence to Connecticut. The grandfather of deceased, Rev. Samuel Sturdevant, was a Baptist minister and preached the first sermon known to have been preached by a white man in Abington. Previous to his ministerial life he served throughout the Revolutionary war as an orderly sergeant and captain. After the war he emigrated to Black Walnut, now Wyoming County, where he engaged in farming, and continued to reside until his death in 1828. The maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch was Ebenezer Skinner, who located in 177U at the north of the Tuscarora Creek, 12 miles below Wyalusing, on lands adjourning the purchase of Rev. Mr. Sturdevant. At the advance of the Indians down the valley in 1778, he and his family went to Forty Fort, by canoe down the Susquehanna River, that being then and for many years the only means of travel up and down the river.
Death of Mrs. Perry.
About noon May 5 Mrs. Ann Perry, relict of the late Richard Perry, and mother of our townsman, J. R. Perry, died at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Susan Stern, 350 North Main Street, aged 92 years. She had resided in this community many years and was generally known and highly respected. She is survived by nine children, six sons and three daughters. Six of her children are now living in this city, J. R., H. C. and S. R. Perry, Mrs. Stern, Mrs. Mary Neiman and Mrs. Margaret Kraut/., the latter two residing on Kulp Avenue. The funeral took place Saturday at 4 pm. with interment in Hollenback cemetery.
Death of a Forty Fort Lady.
Miss Matilda Ann Adams, sister of Mrs. Rev. E. H. Snowden, of Forty Fort, died at the residence of the latter Thursday, April 14, aged 81 years. About a month ago Miss Adams met with an accident by which she broke one of her arms and sustained internal injuries. For a while she seemed to improve, put her extreme age seemed to be against her ultimate recovery and in the beginning of the week a change for the worse was noticeable. Deceased was a lady universally respected and her friends were legion. Services were held at the House Sunday, at 4 pm., Rev. Dr. Hodge officiating. On Monday the remains were conveyed to Newborg, N. Y., and interred in the family vault.