TOWNSHIP--SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP--BASTRESS TOWNSHIP--
WOODWARD TOWNSHIP--ANTHONY TOWNSHIP--COGAN HOUSE TOWNSHIP
- -PORTER TOWNSHIP--MIFFLIN TOWNSHIP--PIATT TOWNSHIP--JACKSON
TOWNSHIP--WATSON TOWNSHIP--BROWN TOWNSHIP--CUMMINGS TOWN-
SHIP--PINE TOWNSHIP--McHENRY TOWNSHIP.
Nippenose Township, which lies on the opposite side of the river from Jersey Shore, is one of the oldest in the county, ranking next to Muncy, and has a very interesting history. It is situated in a bend of the West Branch of the Susquehanna commonly called the "Ox Bow" from its resemblance to that important part of an ox team's equipment. It is the twentyeighth in size in Lycoming County, containing 9,820 acres, although at one time it was as large as some states. It adjoins Clinton County on the west and the river divides it from Jersey Shore borough. It was originally a part of Northumberland County and at the May sessions of the court held at Northumberland in 1768, it was erected into a township, being taken from a part of Bald Eagle and Upper Bald Eagle townships in Northumberland County. It comprised a vast scope of territory, out of which several townships in Center, Clinton and Lycoming counties have since been erected.
Settlers were early attracted to this section by reason of the extreme fertility of the soil and the unsurpassed beauty of the surroundings. There is no portion of Lycoming County that is more attractive. The township lies between the base of the mountains on the south and the river on the north and is pierced by a great gorge through which flows Antes Creek. The origin of the name Nippenose is not certainly known. By some it is contended that it is a contraction of the Indian words "Nippe-no-wi," which meant an attractive and delightful location. By others it is asserted that the name was given to it because of the fact that a certain Indian chief lingering too long toward the winter period on one of his hunting expeditions had the misfortune to have his nose badly frostbitten and thenceforth became known to the early settlers as "Nippenose, and it was after this old chief that the township was called. In the absence of any conclusive proof, the former origin of the name is the more likely, as the country is all that the name "Nippe-no-wi" signifies-a warm, genial, summer-like place, surrounded by mountains, peculiarly fitted for human habitation.
The first settlement was made as early as 1769, one Henry Clark being the first to make his permanent abode in the township. He was followed by the Sterretts, who occupied Long Island, in the river opposite Jersey Shore, and which down until the flood of 1889 was one of the most fertile spots in Pennsylvania. Col. John Henry Antes came next and settled in Antes Fort, built the stockade, a grist mill, carding mill, and just before his death erected a large brick house on the river bank, to which his son-in-law, Elias P. Youngman, subsequently removed from Mifflinburg and opened the first public house in the vicinity, known as "Nippenose Inn."
The settlers in that portion of the township known as the "Ox Bow" were Irish Presbyterians and possessed all the virtues of that sturdy old stock which left such a lasting impression on many of the early settlements throughout the state and indeed in the whole country. Among the first of these to come to Nippenose Township was James McMicken, in 1779. He was originally from Bucks County and purchased a large tract which came to be known as the "McMicken Farms." His oldest son, David, who was born in Bucks County, but grew to manhood here, became a very prominent man in the community, having served both as deputy sheriff and sheriff of the county. He was also very active in military affairs, having risen through the various grades of captain, major, lieutenant-colonel and colonel to the rank of brigadier-general.
Among the other early settlers of importance was Charles Stewart, who was born in County Donegal, Ireland. He came to this country when a young man, settling first in what is now Dauphin County and afterwards in Cumberland County. He was attracted by the richness of the lands in the "new purchase," along the banks of the west branch of the Susquehanna, and came hither in 1783, purchasing 700 acres of land in Nippenose Bottom, lying in the great bend of the river nearly opposite Long Island and adjoining Jersey Shore Borough on the west. On this magnificent estate Charles Stewart lived for many years in considerable style, made many improvements on the farm and engaged in nearly all the important industrial enterprises of that day. He owned quite a number of slaves, whom he had brought with him from Cumberland County, and many of the descendants of these slaves are still living in Williamsport, as well as some of the descendants of Charles Stewart himself. The late George W. Youngman, Esq., of Williamsport, was a son of the Elias Youngman above mentioned.
Antes Fort is the only village in Nippenose Township, although Jersey Shore is just across the river. Antes Fort was never incorporated as a borough, although it is laid out with streets and alleys. It was first named Granville, but when the railroad was built through there, the name Jersey Shore station was given to it, and this has continued as the railroad designation of the place to this day. The name Granville soon dropped out of use and the place continued to be known as Jersey Shore station until in recent years the village has assumed the name of Antes Fort, which is also the name of the postoffice.
At the time of the building of the Philadelphia & Erie Railroad great difficulty was experienced at the deep cut just west of Jersey Shore station. This was the heaviest and most expensive piece of work on the line. The cut, which curves through a bench of the mountain, is 60 feet deep at one point, and is 2,200 feet long. Three hundred thousand cubic yards of earth were removed, at a cost of $120,000. Two or three con tractors attempted to do the work, but were compelled to give it up. Finally George Chapman and Sidney Dillon, who afterwards became one of the leading railroad magnates of the United States, undertook the work. They introduced a steam excavator, the first one ever seen in this section, and the work proceeded rapidly for some time. Then, in the winter of 1855, frost penetrated so deeply into the ground that blasting had to be resorted to. Then came the Crimean war and powder became so scarce that it could not be obtained. The contractors stuck to the work, however, in spite of the many discouragements and setbacks, and the work was finally successfully completed in the year 1857. Antes Fort is at present a flourishing little village in the center of one of the richest farming countries in this section of the state and enjoys a large measure of prosperity.
Antes Creek, which flows through the township, is three miles in length and is the outlet of the waters of Nippenose Valley, which sink beneath the limestone rocks underlying the soil. At the head of the valley the waters emerge in a great spring which is the fountain head of Antes Creek. The stream is large enough to drive a large woolen mill and a grist mill.
Nippenose Township has a population of 512.
Volume One, pp. 240-243.
Susquehanna Township.--Early in the year 1801 settlers were attracted to the rich lands lying along the south side of the Susquehanna River opposite what is now the Village of Linden, and Anthony Moore, Thomas and Andrew Miller, Alexander Beatty and others settled there. It is known as the "Upper Bottom," in contradistinction to the "Lower Bottom," on which Williamsport is located. Susquehanna Township is the forty-first in extent in the county, having 3,940 acres. The soil is a rich alluvial and makes very fine farming land, which is almost wholly the occupation of the inhabitants. Samuel Wallis at one time owned almost the entire township. There are no industries of any kind and no streams flow through it. There is one postoffice, at Nisbet, established November 23, 1867, and the first postmaster was James Gibson. The schools are of an excellent character, and there is one church in the township, located at Nisbet. It had a population of 249 in 1920, which is one of the smallest in number in the county.
Volume One, pp. 243-244.
Bastress Township is one of the smallest in the county in point of area and the second smallest in point of population. It is the thirty-eighth in size, has an area of 6,400 acres and a population of 203. It was taken from Susquehanna Township by order of court December 13, 1854, and was named for Solomon Bastress, of Jersey Shore.
Bastress Township is located on the mountain top and slopes of the Bald Eagle range and would seem to give little productivity, but the sturdy Germans who settled promise of in it have been able to wrest a comfortable living from its soil. It was settled in 1838 by a colony led by Rev. Nicholas Steinbacher, a German Catholic priest. In 1840 a church was built in the southern part of the township far up on the mountainside, from which one of the finest views in this section of Pennsylvania may be obtained. The church has a rotto cut out of 9 the solid rock and a statue of the virgin. The congregation is large and prosperous. There are good schools in the township, but no other place of worship.
Volume One, p. 244.
Woodward Township lies directly west of the upper boundary of the City of Williamsport and is the twenty-sixth in size and has an area of 9,600 acres. It lies along the river for its entire length and is included in the stretch known as the "Long Reach," and some of the finest farms in the State of Pennsylvania lie within its borders. The rest of the township, back from the river, is of a rolling character, but some of this land is very fertile. It was erected November 23, 1855, and was named in honor of Associate Judge Apollos Woodward. The stream known as Quenoshogheny runs through it and many fine farms are located along its bottoms.
One of the first settlers in what is now Woodward Township was Bratton Caldwell, a name that is as indissolubly linked with the history of Lycoming County as that of Benjamin Franklin with the state. Caldwell settled on the disputed Indian lands between Lycoming and Pine Creek and became easily the leader in the settlement. He was one of the original "Fair Play Men" and often acted as a commissioner to settle disputes among the pioneers. He was also one of those who participated in the famous "Pine Creek Declaration of Independence," which was adopted under the spreading branches of the noble elm tree still standing on the bank of the stream, on July 4, 1776. Bratton Caldwell had a family of eight children, but all of them removed to the West with the exception of one. Another early settler of the region was John Bennett. He settled at Linden in 1785, and in 1798 opened an inn known as the Bennett House, the sign of the "Buck." It was a relay station in stage coaching days and a gathering place for the militia on military training days. It maintained its reputation for a long number of years as one of the best taverns in this section of the state, and as it was located on the main highway between Williamsport and Lock Haven, it enjoyed a large and lucrative patronage. The Hughes family was another one whose influence was widespread and their members were also included among the "Fair Play Men." 'There were also the Maffets, Griers and Wiers.
Linden is the only village, although there is a small settlement at Level Corner. A postoffice was 'established at Level Corner, April 18, 1832, with James Russell Barr as the first postmaster. It was subsequently removed to the tavern of William Maffet, a short distance further east, and later the name was changed to Linden. There are no better schools in the county than those of Woodward Township, and the church accommodations are ample. In 1920 the township had a population of 763.
Volume One, pp. 244-246.
Anthony Township is an offspring of Old Lycoming and was erected September 7, 1844. It was named in honor of Joseph B. Anthony, then president judge of the county. It is the thirty-third in size and contains 8,640 acres. It lies directly north of Woodward and the character of the terrain is the same as those other townships in the vicinity, both rolling and hilly. It was part of the domain of the "Fair Play Men," and Brattan Caldwell, one of the leaders of that exceptional form of government, lived on Pine Run, which runs through it.
There are no towns in the township, but the schools and churches are of a high order. The population in 1920 was 374.
Volume One, pp. 246.
Cogan House Township is one of the most fertile sections of Lycoming County in the valleys and there are many fine farms and prosperous farmers. It is the sixth in size and contains 39,360 acres. It was organized December 6, 1843, and was named for Daniel Cogan, who was one of the first settlers on Larry's Creek. The surface of the country is rolling, with a small section mountainous. The old state road built in 1799 passes through it.
When Daniel Cogan came to the township he built a log house which became known far and wide as "Cogan's House." Hence the second appellation of the township. Larry's Creek and several tributaries pass through it, so that the region is well watered.
There are but two villages in the township, both of which are postoffices, White Pine and Cogan House. The former was established July 6, 1854, with Harford J. Perkins as first postmaster, and the latter December 21, 1854, with Charles Persun as first postmaster. There were others established during the ascendancy of the lumber industry, but all these have been superseded by the rural free delivery. There are, good schools and sufficient churches in Cogan House Township, as there are in all others in the county. The township had a population of 650 in 1920, from which it is seen that it is about as thickly populated as any farming section of the county.
Volume One, pp. 246-247.
Porter Township is the smallest in the county in point of area, having only 2,880 acres. It is named for David R. Porter, who was governor of the state at the time of its erection, May 6, 1840. It is bounded on the east by the Borough of Jersey Shore, on the west by Pine Creek, and on the south by the river. It is thus almost an island. The surface of the town ship is partly rolling, with steep, precipitous hills along Pine Creek
Porter Township is historic ground and belonged to the "forbidden territory." It was governed in the early days by three "Fair Play Men" who were appointed for that purpose. It was completely depopulated at the time of the "Big Run away," and some of the settlers who left then never returned. William McClure was one of those who did return. He was probably the first settler in what is now the township and was so pleased with the country that he made his way back after the great exodus. Among other early settlers were Thomas Nichols, Mohn McElwane, William and Jeremiah Morrison and Richard Salmon. James G. Ferguson was another prominent man in the early days who also served as an associate judge of the county.
One of the most influential men of the pioneer time was Dr. James Davidson, who lived a little below the mouth of Pine Creek. He was active in all the affairs of the township and served with distinction in the Revolutionary war, having first been assistant surgeon of A New Jersey regiment and afterwards surgeon of the Fifth Pennsylvania Battalion, and was one of those who took the "iron clad" oath of allegiance before Gen. Anthony Wayne on May 5, 1777. He was also in the battle of Eutaw Springs. After the close of the war he settled in Northumberland. He afterwards returned to Porter Township, Lycoming County, and followed the practice of his profession for many years. He also served as an associate judge of the county. He left a numerous progeny, among whom was Asher Davidson, also a leading physician. Dr. James Davidson established the first burial ground in that vicinity along the bank of Pine Creek which has always keen known as the "Davidson Burial Ground" and is one of the oldest cemeteries in the county. Many of the early pioneers and those who took a prominent part in the stirring days before and after the Revolutionary war are buried there. James McMurray, who was a Methodist minister, was also another outstanding figure of the time. He was born in Ireland, came to this country, was converted and devoted the rest of his life to the preaching of the gospel and doing missionary work in the infant settlement, in which he was eminently successful. Porter Township has no industries, it being located too near Jersey Shore, to which most of the business of the township is directed. The burning of lime has been carried on to some extent, but this is all. There are no towns in the township, but Jersey Shore Junction, of the Fall Brook and Beech Creek divisions of the New York Central Railroad, is an important point. There are good schools and educational advantages are of the best. The population of the township in 1920 was 873. Part of the township is included within the limits of Jersey Shore, although not part of the borough organization.
Volume One, pp. 247-248.
Mifflin Township.--Another of the old original townships is Mifflin, erected in 1803. It was named for Governor Thomas Mifflin. At one time its territory was very extensive, but from time to time portions of it have been taken away to form other townships until now it is the eighth in size, with an area of 30,320 acres.
Mifflin Township has some fine farms, especially along the bottoms of Larry's Creek, which flows through it. Much of it is also mountainous. The territory embraced within the limits of Mifflin Township was originally included in that part of the "Fair Play Men" and was under their jurisdiction.
John Murphy was the first settler who located there before the year 1790. In later years Anthony Pepperman came to the region and built a log house. He also built a sawmill about a mile below Salladasburg. Mifflin Township was well timbered with pine and hemlock, and lumber operations were carried on extensively while the timber lasted. In 1872 a disastrous forest fire swept through a portion of the township and two villages, Gould and Carter, were almost completely wiped out.
The mountains of the township have always been favorite hunting grounds and deer abound in quantities. Of late years many hunting and fishing clubs have been established within its boundaries. The Borough of Salladasburg is located in Mifflin Township and the only other town is Larryville, a few miles below. It is a small settlement, but has a United States postoffice. The population in 1920 was 471.
Volume One, pp. 248-249.
Piatt Township.--Another township which was included in the disputed territory and was governed by the "Fair Play Men" was Piatt, erected April 30, 1858, out of part of Mifflin. It was named in honor of William Piatt, who was then an associate judge of the county. It is the thirty-ninth in size and contains 5,120 acres. The surface of the township is rolling and there are some fine farms, especially along that portion of it known as Level Corner.
The first settler was an Irishman, named Larry Burt, who located near the mouth of the present Larry's Creek, from whom it was named. Others who followed him were Simon Cool and Robert, John and Adam King. Cool was a soldier in the Revolutionary war and was killed by Indians in 1780. The Rings settled near what is, now Level Corner, and Robert was also a soldier in the Revolutionary war. Another early settler at the mouth of Larry's Creek was Peter Duffy. He was an Irishman who had had a varied experience, at one time being attacked by a pack of wolves near his home, and in defending himself with nothing but a stout stick contracted a cold which resulted in his death. The country at this time was wild and the only road was the Indian path up the river, and the task of getting supplies to the homes of the settlers was a difficult one. Peter Duffy's children built a tavern on the east side of Larry's Creek which became a famous place in its day and many noted people were its guests. It had a large portrait of General Jackson on the sign hanging outside, which always attracted a good deal of attention from travelers. The tavern was kept for some years by Mary Ann Duffy, who was a woman of very strong character. She kept a bar, with all kinds of strong drink for sale, and anyone of good repute while stopping with her could get one drink, but no more, and this rule was rigidly adhered to.
Another prominent settler was John Knox, a lineal descendant of the famous reformer of the same name, who came from Ireland. He built a grist mill at the mouth of the creek in 1779. Another prominent family was that of E. H. Russell, at a later day, from whom H. H. Russell, superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad at Williamsport, and his father, the late Maj. Evan Russell, were descended. The Thomas family was also another prominent one, as were the Riddells, who lived at Larry's Creek, and one of whom was sheriff of the county.
The splendid sweep of land lying in the bend of the river and known as Level Corner has had several residents who played an important part in the early history of Piatt Township. Among these was Isaac Smith, who was a leading Presbyterian and an elder in the church and a member of Congress from the district of which Lycoming County was a part. It was also for some time the residence of the famous scout and guide, Robert Covenhoven, who played such a prominent part in the early history of this whole section. There were also the Marshalls and Martins, all of them closely identified with the development of the township.
Larry's Creek runs through the middle of the township and the lands along its bottoms are of a very productive character and are well tilled by a progressive lot of farmers.
The only village in the township is Larry's Creek, at the mouth of Larry's Creek, and a station on the New York Central Railroad. It was established as a postoffice in March, 1858, and James M. Blackwell was appointed the first postmaster. Religious meetings were held in the township as early as 1791 and there are now good churches and schoolhouses located at convenient places. Piatt Township has a population of 392.
Volume One, pp. 249-251.
Jackson Township.--In the extreme northern part of the county, adjoining that of Tioga, lies the Township of Jackson, which was erected in 1824, being taken from Lycoming, which then included all of the northern part of the county. It is the fourteenth in size in the county and has an area of 21,120 acres. It is well watered, several streams running both east and west into Lycoming and Little Pine creeks.
The surface of the township is generally rolling, but there are some good farming sections on the high ground in the north. The southern part is mountainous.
Peter Sechrist was the first settler in 1811 and he was followed soon after by Jacob Beek, Daniel Beek and George Miller.
Education has not been neglected and good schools and ample church accommodations are found in the township. There is only one village, Buttonwood, a United States postoffice, established August 29, 1872, with Henry Weaver, Jr., as its first postmaster. The township has a population of 363.
Volume One, p. 251.
Watson Township lies at the western end of the county and is adjoined by Clinton County. It was taken from a part of Cummings in January, 1845, and was named for Oliver Watson, a leading attorney of his day and for many years president of the West Branch National Bank. It is the twenty-fourth in Size in the county and contains 10,880 acres.
Pine Creek runs along one side of it and the Fall Brook branch of the New York Central Railroad passes through it. There are some fine farms along the creek, but the rest of the surface is hilly and mountainous.
The Tomb family is well represented in the township to this day and are descendants of Henry Tomb, the first settler of the section, who was a man of high character and left an indelible impress on the history of that portion of the Pine Creek Valley. Other early settlers were James Armstrong and James Mills.
An iron furnace was built some distance east of Pine Creek in 1817 and for many years the business of smelting ore, found in the immediate vicinity, was carried on. The ore was of an inferior quality, but by mixing it with a better grade a fairly good quality of iron was produced. The furnace passed through many hands and was operated for more than a score of years with varying success. One of the later owners of this furnace was Robert Kelton, whose son, John Cunningham Kelton, was for a long time adjutant general of the United States army.
Several United States postoffices were established in the township at various times, but these have since been abandoned and the people are now served by the rural routes out of Jersey Shore. Watson Township is well supplied with schools and churches and the educational and religious advantages are excellent. In 1920 it had a population of 180, the smallest number in the county.
Volume One, pp. 251-252.
Brown Township lies in the extreme northwestern part of the county and, in point of area, is one of the largest. It is the fifth in size and contains 41,560 acres. It was named for General Brown, who served with distinction in Canada during the Revolutionary war. It is almost a perfect rectangle in shape and lies 2,000 feet above sea level. The face of the country is wild and rugged, with towering mountains on each side of Pine Creek, which divides it into two almost equal parts. The Fall Brook division of the New York Central Railroad traverses its entire length.
Jacob Lamb is credited with being the first settler, and he was followed by William Blackwell,, Andrew Gamble, John Morrison and Jacob Warren. The Tomb family also settled in what is now Brown Township. It was set off from Mifflin May 3, 1815, and is therefore one of the oldest of the townships which were erected after Lycoming became a separate county. In the early days the region of what is now Brown Township was a marvelous hunting and fishing section, and indeed it is to this day. It was also one of the centers of the lumber industry, as the mountains were covered with a magnificent growth of pine and hemlock. Numerous sawmills were erected in the township at various points and a great quantity of logs was floated down to the boom at Williamsport. There is very little farming land in the township, all of it being along the bottoms of Pine Creek and a little on the mountain plateaus. In the early days it was also a famous place for rattlesnakes. Indeed, they were so numerous that upon one occasion a party going up the stream found them in such quantities that they were compelled to spend the night in their canoe because no place could be found on the ground that was free from them. Daniel Callahan was another early settler, and he and his sons, became famous hunters, as were also many others of the original pioneers.
Several thrifty villages have grown up in Brown Township, notably Cedar Run and Slate Run, both of wh ich are United States postoffices, the former being opened December 13, 1853, with Lucius Truman as the first postmaster, and the latter January 13, 1885, with Rosa C. Tome as the first postmaster. The schools and churches of the township are ample for the accommodation of the people and all of them are of a high character. The population in 1920 was only 275, most of it located in the villages along Pine Creek.
Volume One, pp. 252-253.
Cummings Township is the third in size in the county and contains 41,600 acres. It was erected in 1832 from portions of Mifflin and Brown and was named for John Cummings, who was at that time an associate judge of the county. It is for the most part rugged and mountainous, although there are some good farms along the creek bottoms.
John English was probably the first settler. He and his brother, James, had served in the Revolutionary war and shortly after its close they came to Lycoming County. At that time what is now Cummings Township was an unbroken wilderness. Both these pioneers raised large families and left many descendants, some of whom still live in the township. The hills and mountains were covered with pine and hemlock at an early day and for many years lumbering was the only industry, although there are some fairly good flagstones to be found along Pine Creek, which runs through it, and iron ore was worked at one time to a considerable extent.
Waterville, at the junction of Big and Little Pine creeks, is a flourishing village on the line of the Fall Brook division of the New York Central Railroad. It is a United States postoffice and was established February 23, 1849. It is the only one in the township, although at one time there were two others, one at Ramseyville and one at English Mills, but these places are now served by the rural free delivery. Michael Wolf settled at what is now Waterville in 1817 and left a numerous progeny, the descendants of whom have been prominent in the history of the county. There are good church and school facilities and in 1920 the township had a population of 215, a small number for so large a territory, but most of the township is too mountainous for habitation.
Volume One, p. 254.
Pine Township.--January 27, 1857, Pine Township was organized from portions of Brown, Cummings and Cogan House. It was given the name of Pine on account of the heavy growth of pine timber on the mountains within its limits. It is the largest township in the county in point of area and contains 48,640 acres, most of it mountainous, but there is some rolling country in the northern part which is well adapted to farming. There are some copper and iron ore desposits, but not in sufficient quantities to make their working profitable. There are also some good coal veins in the neighborhood of English Centre, but they have not been worked extensively owing to the lack of transportation facilities. The coal is of the bituminous variety and of good quality. The township is well watered, Little Pine Creek traversing it from north to south, with numerous tributaries.
The first settlement was made by John Norris, who located about twenty miles above the mouth of Little Pine Creek. Norris was a man of education and so was his wife. They established a young ladies' seminary in the wilderness and it was eminently successful. Many young women of the community who afterwards married well were educated at this institution. Among them were: Maria Davidson, daughter of Dr. James Davidson of Jersey Shore, the Revolutionary war surgeon; Elizabeth Burrows, of Montoursville, daughter of Gen. John Burrows, who afterwards married Tunison Coryell, of Williamsport; and Jane and Priscilla Morrison, both of whom married well. Pine Township was also the location of the "English Settlement," sponsored by Rev. John Hey, of Philadelphia, and which proved such a dismal failure. Other early settlers were the Moore and English families. A state road from Newberry to Painted Post passed through the township and for many years was a much-traveled highway. The Norris Seminary was located near it.
Oregon Hill, in the northern part of the township, is a flourishing village and is surrounded by a fine farming country high up on the mountain plateau. English Centre is the largest village in the township and was the home of the English family from whom it took its name and some of the descendants of the original settlers are still li'ving there. It is a United States postoffice and was established October 25, 1844. John M. English was the first postmaster. Pine Township is supplied with a number of churches and the school facilities are sufficient for all purposes. In 1920 the township had a population of 300.
Volume One, pp. 254-256.
McHenry Township is one of the later townships to be erected and was taken from a part of Cummings and Porter. It was organized August 21, 1861, and was named for Alexander McHenry, of Jersey Shore, a well known surveyor of his day. It is third in size in the county and has an area of 42,920 acres. There are some good farming lands along the bottom of Pine Creek, which runs through it, but most of the land is mountainous.
Notwithstanding the wildness of the region, it was settled early by such men as Claudius Boatman, Comfort Wanzer, Abraham Harris and others. Boatman came from the Buffalo Valley,, where his daughter, Rebecca, was scalped by the Indians, but under the careful nursing of her mother she recovered. Boatman's wife was very useful in the settlement, as she was both a nurse and a physician.
Lumbering was the principal industry of the township until the timber became exhausted and a number of sawmills were operated along Pine Creek. There are no other business enterprises within the limits of the township. There are two small villages, Jersey Mills and Cammal, the latter a contraction of the name Campbell, and both are United States postoffices. Jersey Mills was established January 19, 1855, with Levi Gisk as first postmaster, and Cammal September 16, 1884, with James Lamison as the first incumbent. There are both good schools and churches in the township and the population in 1920 was 268.
Volume One, p. 256.
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