Settlers XIV: The Edisons of Hillsgrove: Melvin Lewis and the Lewis Family

Settlers XIV: The Edisons of Hillsgrove: Melvin Lewis and the Lewis Family
With a Sidebar on the Huckell Family

This article is primarily based on material from Cindy Coppock of North Carolina, Melvin's great-granddaughter. Cindy originally sent us material in 2001 and then provided a substantial update with addtional information and pictures in 2007-8, and again in 2016. She can be reached at [email protected]. The Sullivan County Settlers Web Page is grateful to Cindy for her contribution of information and pictures. All pictures are courtesy of Cindy unless otherwise indicated. The additional information on the Huckell family is provided by Betty Weber, a Huckell family descendant. You can also find additional information on the Huckell family ancestry at the bottom of the Crossroads: Sullivan and Lycoming County page, administered by Wes Cross, to whom we are also grateful for this cross-connection.

Main Street, Hillsgrove, PA
Early Twentieth Century
The Community Where Melvin Lewis Lived
An Old Postcard
Source: eBay Auction in June 2005

Historian's Preface:In 1997, Robert Kinagle published The One Best Way, a history of Frederick Winslow Taylor. With his MIT colleague Wilfred Lewis, Taylor was the designer of the modern time-measured work force, the father of "productivity" in manufacturing. The end of the Nineteenth Century was a time of great hope and economic enthusiasm, much like our current Age of the Internet. In those days, the new inventions were the telegraph, light bulb, telephone, radio and, most of all, the modern factory. In Philadelphia and Bethlehem, nearby cities to Sullivan County, Taylor and his supporters designed and tested factories and machines to optimize factory labor. While there is no evidence that Melvin Lewis or his sons ever met Taylor or their unrelated namesake Wilfred Lewis, it would come as no surprise if they had. In any case, the pace of the new century reached even to the remote forests and farms of Hillsgrove. There, a man and his sons, blessed with the Yorkshire work ethic from which they sprang and in the light of the new Industrial Age, became part of the group of inventors and businessmen who for all practical purposes created the world we live in today. --Bob Sweeney, January 2000

Elk Creek Grist Mill
Invitation to Patrons
From Melvin W. Lewis
Hillsgrove, PA
Back of An Old One Cent Postcard
Source: Cindy Coppock

TThe Inventors

MELVIN WILLARD LEWIS was born March 17, 1873 in Hillsgove Township in the western reaches of Sullivan County. He died August 6, 1934 and was buried in the Union Church Cemetery in the same town. Like many of his fellow farmers, Melvin was of English descent. He married, raised a family and lived out his life in the same small rural hamlet. ANNA M. MILLER, his wife and the daughter of SIMON MILLER and MARY ENGLEMIRE (or "Anglemayer" -- see pictures below), was born on May 17, 1874 in Monroe County, PA and died January 20, 1950. She was buried in the same plot at the same cemetery. They were married on January 17, 1899 in Elmira, New York.

Here is a photo of Anna with some of her family and others, taken in 1915.

L to r: Anna (Miller) Lewis, wife of Melvin Lewis; her sons Corbin and Gleanson Lewis; Wallace J. Bennett (1900-1970); Anna's mother, Mary (Englemire) Miller; and "Mrs. Huethan"
Likely Taken at Hillsgrove, PA Homestead
About 1915

Now we have two photos of Anna's mother, Mary Englemire.

Undated Photo of Mary Angelmayer Miller
Venue Not Known

This history might seem uneventful if not for the amazing record of Melvin's achievements as an inventor. Melvin graduated from the Williamsport Commercial College as a Master of Accounts on March 16, 1891. In 1904, he was granted Patent No. 791, 199 for a Traction-Engine. The patent was for the traction engine and also for the vehicle tracks later used on tractors made by the Caterpillar Tractor Company of East Peoria, IL. The picture below shows the engine, but not the tracks.

Thereafter, Melvin operated the Elk Creek Grist Mill above Hillsgrove until 1934 when a hydroelectric power house was built. From early 1916 through December 1919, he also ran the Purity Milling Company at 215 Main Street in South Williamsport, PA. He also purchased the woodlands of the Pennsylvania Lumber Company on Bear Mountain in 1925.

Along with his son CORBIN, they started construction of the hydroelectric power house in 1932. Melvin was killed in a logging accident shortly before it started generating electricity.

Melvin Lewis was a mechanical genius, inventing the first farm tractor engine which he mounted and used on a farm wagon. He sold the patent right to a pioneer maker of farm tractors and later with his son Corbin, graduate of Bliss School of Electricity at Washington, D. C., developed a hydro-electric plant at an old grist mill built in the fifties (author's note: "1850's") by one of the Campbell pioneers. (From: Historic Hodge-Podge, Sullivan County History by Many Authors, May 10, 1955.)

Attached is a photograph of the "traction-engine" for which Melvin filed a patent on October 7, 1904. In a second picture, we see his original handwriting describing the dimensions of the combination truck and tractor. Finally, we see the creation itself on a Hillsgrove farm; the observer on the bank above the machine is unknown.

Let's now turn to the details of the rest of the Lewis family history. You may also want to refer to The Wilbers: A Farm Family from Wheelerville, which deals extensively with the relationships among the Wilber, Lewis, Beaumont, Shaver and Wakeley families.

Descendants of Jonathan LEWIS

Excerpt from The History of Hillsgrove Township: "Jonathan Lewis came from Sickling Hall, Yorkshire, England to America in 1844, locating first in Elkland township, and in 1848 moved to Hillsgrove township. Mr. Lewis purchased the farm now owned by Moses Lewis, near Hillsgrove. ." (George Streby, A History of Sullivan County, Dushore, PA, 1903-5)

Generation No. 1

JONATHAN LEWIS was born 1799 in Sickling Hall, Yorkshire, England, and died May 18, 1875 in Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co., PA. He married ELIZABETH FAWCETT, daughter of HENRY FAWCETT and SARAH GRANGE. She was born in England, and died August 22, 1876 in Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co., PA.

Notes for JONATHAN LEWIS: He may have a different mother than his siblings. Like many of the stalwart original settlers of the Hillsgrove area, Jonathan and his wife ELIZABETH lie buried in the Union Church Cemetery in Hillsgrove, PA. The quiet country church is shown in a picture taken soon after the turn of the century. A picture of Elizabeth, taken late in life by a Canton, PA photographer, is also shown below. This identification is based on comments provided to the editor of this web page in March 2004 by Joyce Sudlow. Her remarks conclusively eliminated Elizabeth Anne (Little) Lewis as a candidate for this picture. Given the style of the clothing and pose, we are drawn to conclude that this picture actually shows Elizabeth (Fawcett) Lewis.

Editor's Note: Cindy Coppock points out that the connections among the Lewis, Grange Bird, and Bedford families are addressed in the Streby History of Forks Township.

Also, at Thanksgiving 2007, Brian Lewis Foust went to the Hillsgrove Cemetery in Hillsgrove, PA and photographed several tombstones of his ancestors interred there. You can view these photos on pages 1 and 2 of his Flickr Photo site at Lewis Marker Photos--Hillsgrove Cemetery. We are thankful to Brian for these photograhic records. The list of individuals for whom Brian has provided photographed markers includes:

Robert Lewis
Miriam Lewis
Melvin Lewis
Martha A. Beaumont Lewis
Maud Lewis
Jonathan Lewis
Elizabeth Lewis
Daisy Lewis
Benjamin Lewis
Anna Lewis
Anna Lewis Dewar
Aaron Lewis

Research in 2009 has, if anything, made the exact relationship of Jonathan Lewis and Elizabeth Fawcett even murkier. Did they ever marry, or were their children born out of wedlock? Is it the case that they traveled back and forth between England and Pennsylvania several times over the course of their lives? Mike Clarke has conducted considerable research on this family and their origins in Yorkshire, which we will post here when he has finished. Meanwhile, here is a timeline for Jonathan and Elizabeth that shows the most accurate state of affairs as they are known in January 2010:

Jonathan and Elizabeth Timeline.

The children of JONATHAN LEWIS and ELIZABETH FAWCETT were: i. AARON LEWIS, b. October 14, 1838, Sickling Hall, Yorkshire, England; d. September 02, 1905, Hillsgrove Twp., Sullivan Co., PA. ii. MIRIAM LEWIS, b. 1844; d. 1923, PA, never married.

More About MIRIAM LEWIS: Burial: Union Church Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co., PA

iii. MOSES LEWIS, b. April 19, 1841, England; d. PA. iv. ROBERT LEWIS, b. 1846; d. 1916, Hillsgrove Twp., Sullivan Co., PA; married MARTHA A. BEAUMONT. You can learn more about the Beuamont family at The Descendants of John Beaumont. v. CYRUS LEWIS, b. Abt. 1848; d. PA, never married. vi. ANNA DEWAR LEWIS, b. September 27, 1852, PA; d. June 12, 1929, PA; m.BENJAMIN LEWIS, her first cousin, son of George Lewis. vii. ELIZABETH LEWIS, b. Abt. 1856; m. SAM WILLIAMS.

In 1874, Jonathan Lewis published the will shown here, in which he divided up his estate on behalf of his successors:

Last Will and Testament of Jonathan Lewis
November 19, 1874
Contributed by Cindy Coppock
Source: Brian Lewis Foust

Here is a translation:

I Jonathan Lewis of the town of Hillsgrove Sullivan County Penna mindful of the uncertainties of human life do make publish and declare this my last will and Testament in manner following.
First, after the payment of my just debts and funeral expenses I give devise and bequeath to my two youngest sons Robert & Cyrus the farm on which I now reside on the south side of the creek including the saw mill and all right of repairing
Second, I give devise and bequeath to my son Moses Lewis the farm on the north side of the creek adjoining aand of the above farm
Third, I give devise and bequeath to my son Aaron Lewis the store farm or Lippincott places on which he now resides
Fourth, I give devise and bequeath to my two daughters Miriam and Elizabeth Lewis the Cape farm so called
Fifth, I give devise and bequeath to my daughter Ann Lewis wife of Benjamin Lewis the sum of three thousand dollars to her use for life or during her life to be held in trust for her children, but the amount of money now due and owing are from the said Benjamin Lewis is to be deducted out of the above Three Thousand Dollars
Sixth, It is my will and desire that my children Aaron Moses Robert Cyrus Mirian and Elizabeth should share alike in the division of my property and to that end I desire them to employ two such [?] upon whom they shall pick or choose to invoice the above described farms and all my personal [missing word] and equalize the same among them, so that they shall share and share alike in valuation.
In witness whereof I have herreunto set my hand and seal this 19th day of November 1874.
Jonathan Lewis

Signed published and declared by the said testator to be his last will and testament in the presence of us who have signed our names at his request as witnesses in his presence and in presence of each other.
H. O. Sprague
Hillsgrove Sull. Co. Pa.
Benjamin Huckell
Hillsgrove Sull. Co. Pa.

Generation No. 2

AARON LEWIS married EMELINE HUCKELL April 15, 1869, daughter of BENJAMIN HUCKELL and MARGARET PLOTTS. She was born November 12, 1843 in Hillsgrove Twp., Sullivan Co., PA, and died July 13, 1884 in Hillsgrove Twp., Sullivan Co., PA. The Huckell family lived generally in Hillsgrove or that immediate area. For example, the 1850 census shows them in Plunketts Creek, just over the county line in Lycoming County to the west. In 1860, however, they are back in Hillsgrove. Benjamin Huckell was the son of Joseph and Margaret (Danley) Huckell.

Excerpt from The History of Hillsgrove Township: "Aaron Lewis was a son of Jonathan Lewis. He was born at Sickling Hall, Yorkshire, England October 14, 1838 and came with his parents to America in 1844, Mr. Lewis married Emeline Huckell. She was a daughter of Benjamin and Margaret (Plotts) Huckell, of Hillsgrove. Mr. Lewis located on the property formerly owned by Augustus Lippincott. Mr. Lewis has been very successful in business * and has accumulated considerable property. Mrs. Lewis died July 11, 1884, aged 41 years, 7 months and 21 days. ." (George Streby, A History of Sullivan County, Dushore, PA, 1903-5)

* Editor's NoteAmong his other business talents, Aaron Lewis became a purveyor of patent medicines. particularly those created by Dr. David Jayne of Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Jayne may have been the most successful of all patent medication makers in the middle to late nineteenth century. Thanks to Cindy Coppock, we have four surviving examples of the promotional cards Aaron used to secure clients for these nostrums: They can be dated to roughly 1880. The sample entitlted "The Gypsy Fortune-Teller" has the name of his daughter Leila ("Lelia") in handwriting at the bottom.

"The Gypsy Fortune-Teller"
"The Weak Child"
"He Won't Hurt You"
German Syrup and August Flower

Sullivan Review
Dushore, PA
24 July 1884

Mrs. Aaron LEWIS, of Hillsgrove, who had been an invalid for a number of years, died July 11. A husband and 5 children mourn her death.

More About AARON LEWIS: Burial: Union Church Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co., PA Cause of Death: Appendicitis

More About EMELINE HUCKELL: Burial: Union Church Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co., PA
Brother: We learned recently that Emeline had a brother JOSEPH E. HUCKELL, who marrried ELIZABETH ROBERTS. Apparently, they relocated at some point to Bloomsburg, PA in nearby Columbia County. That is where JESSIE ELLA HUCKELL was born. Jessie grew up and moved to Kansas to teach, and that is where she married THOMAS TAYLOR. The source of this additional information and the pictures below is Betty Weber, the great-grand-daughter of Thomas and Jessie.

Thanks to Larry Pardoe, we also know that Emeline had at least three sisters who grew to adulthood. One of these was Harriett Huckell, born in October 1842, who married Edward Wiseman. They originally lived in Hillsgrove, but moved to Elmira in 1863. Edward became a successful railroad man and prominent citizen. You can read his obituary in Aunt Eliza's Scrapbook. Edward and Harriett had three children: Margaret, Edward and Dwight.

Another older sister, Elizabeth Huckell born about 1829, married Jonathan Rogers, a member of the great Rogers family of Sullivan County, PA. Here is her obituary as posed by Tina Pastusic on the Sullivan County Message Boards:

The Sullivan Review
Dushore, PA
January 14, 1909

Mrs. Elizabeth Rogers, widow of Jonathan Rogers, died at her home at Lincoln Falls on Friday Morning, January 8th at the age of 80 years and 10 days.
The funeral at Lincoln Falls on Monday was largely attended, with interment at Forksville.
Mrs. Rogers was a daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth * Huckell and was born at Hillsgrove, December 29, 1828, and had resided in the same community all her life.
She was the mother of five sons and nine daughters, all of whom survive her except one son who died in infancy and one daughter, Mrs. Marion R. Woodward, who died about a year ago. Two of her sisters also survive her; Mrs. H. B. Wiseman of Elmira and Mrs. H. O. Sprague of Allentown.
She was a true mother in all that implies, and her quiet, kindly life and example will long rest as a benediction upon the community in which she has lived.
*Editor's Note: This is a misnomor and should be Margaret (Plotts) Huckell.

Elizabeth married Jonathan in 1846, the year after her grandfather, Joseph Huckell died [March 4, 1845]. All of the children of Benjamin Huckell and Margaret Plotts are named in Joseph Huckell's will, except Elizabeth, according to Dave Kellogg. We do not know why, but perhaps she eloped at age 17 or was already engaged to Jonathan Rogers and the grandfather either felt the Rogers were a self-sufficient family or for some reason disapproved of the relationship. This is mere speculation.

In the 1880 Federal census for Elkland, not far from Hillsgrove, we find this Rogers family:

Name Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age Birthplace Occupation Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace

Johnathan ROGERS Self M Male W 59 PA Lumberman Farmer ENG ENG
Elizabeth ROGERS Wife M Female W 51 PA Keeping House PA PA
Marrion W. ROGERS Dau S Female W 32 PA School Teacher PA PA
Edward G. ROGERS Son S Male W 30 PA Lumberman PA PA
Sarah U. ROGERS Dau S Female W 28 PA Housekeeper PA PA
Charles S. ROGERS Son S Male W 25 PA Worker In A Saw Mill PA PA
Margaret L. ROGERS Dau S Female W 23 PA House Keeper PA PA
John P. ROGERS Son S Male W 21 PA Farm Labourer PA PA
Serena D. ROGERS Dau S Female W 18 PA At Home PA PA
Harriet C. ROGERS Dau S Female W 16 PA At Home PA PA
Rachael L. ROGERS Dau S Female W 15 PA At Home PA PA
Elizabeth M. ROGERS Dau S Female W 11 PA At Home PA PA
Johnathan H. ROGERS Son S Male W 8 PA At Home PA PA
Benjamin MOLYNEUX Other S Male W 23 PA Farm Labourer PA PA
Lemuel MOLYNEUX Other S Male W 31 PA Farm Labourer PA PA

It may cross the reader's mind to ask how this Rogers family was related to the founder Rogers family in Sullivan County. Specifically, how was Jonathan related to Moses Rogers and his son, Sadler Rogers, who were contemporaries and whose accomplishments are presented in The Rogers and Warren Family Photos. Larry Pardoe, a Sullivan County genealogist, has helped us with the connection:

Jonathan Rogers, husband of Elizabeth HUCKELL was born Februray 10, 1821, and died February 12, 1896. His father was also named Jonathan Rogers (1785-1830); the father was married to Elizabeth SNELL (1783-1830). Samuel "Sadler" Rogers was born September 22, 1831, and died February 25, 1913; his father was Moses Rogers 1806-1879). The Jonathan Rogers who was married to Elizabeth SNELL was an uncle to "Sadler", so the younger Jonathan Rogers married to Elizabeth HUCKELL was a first cousin to Sadler. Their fathers, the elder Jonathan and Moses were brothers. Jonathan was the third of 18 children, Moses the 17th of 18 children, both born to Samuel Rogers, Sr. and Ann Gaunt. By the way, the younger Jonathan Rogers and Elizabeth Huckell had a son also named Jonathan Rogers, with a middle initial "H", presumably for "Huckell", but we don't know for sure. Then, to make things even more complicated, Sadler also had another first cousin, once removed, named Jonathan Horace Rogers, born in 1846, the son of William Snell Rogers and Phoebe Sanders. William Snell Rogers was a son of Jonathan Rogers and Elizabeth Snell. It was a small community!

A third sister of Emeline Huckell was identified as Mrs. H. O. Sprague of Allentown, PA, at the time of the death of her sister Elizabeth in 1909. We don't have any additional information on her at this time [2007], but we do know that her husband was living in Hillsgrove in 1874 when he, along with Benjamin Huckell, attested to the will of Jonathan Lewis [see above].

Elizabeth Roberts Huckell (Born 09/061836)
At Age 18
Contributed by Betty Weber, 603 Joan Court, Bonne Terre, MO 63628

Elizabeth Roberts Huckell
Later in Life
Contributed by Betty Weber 603 Joan Court, Bonne Terre, MO 63628

Family of Thomas Taylor and Jessie Ella (Huckell) Taylor
San Marcos, Texas About 1908
Front Row: L to R: Leroy, Thomas (father), Xavier, Jessie (mother) and Peyton
Back Row: L to R: Walter, Katie, Oscar, Willard and Emma
Contributed by Betty Weber, 603 Joan Court, Bonne Terre, MO 63628

Thomas Taylor
Husband of Jessie Ella Huckell
Contributed by Betty Weber 603 Joan Court, Bonne Terre, MO 63628

Jessie Ella Huckell
Wife of Thomas Taylor
Contributed by Betty Weber 603 Joan Court, Bonne Terre, MO 63628

The children of AARON LEWIS and EMELINE HUCKELL were:

i. UNNAMED INFANT LEWIS, b. February 26, 1870; died in infancy. ii. LELIA ADA LEWIS, b. August 18, 1871, Hillsgrove Twp., Sullivan Co. PA; d. March 28, 1960. iii. MELVIN WILLARD LEWIS, b. March 17, 1873, Hillsgrove Twp., Sullivan Co. PA; d. August 06, 1934, Hillsgrove Twp., Sullivan Co. PA. iv. MARGARET ELIZABETH LEWIS, b. December 14, 1874, Hillsgrove Twp., Sullivan Co. PA; d. December 03, 1958, Harrisburg, PA. v. JOSEPHINE "JOSIE" BLANCH LEWIS, b. May 21, 1881, Hillsgrove Twp., Sullivan Co. PA; d. December 24, 1941, never married. vi. BERTHA FRANKFORD LEWIS, b. May 11, 1883, Hillsgrove Twp., Sullivan Co., PA; d. September 15, 1973, never married.

More About BERTHA FRANKFORD LEWIS: Burial: Rolling Green Memorial Park, Camp Hill,PA. Graduation: 1907, Harrisburg Hospital School of Nursing.The Evening News of Harrisburg, PA for January 15, 1934 reported that "Miss Frankford Lewis" was the winner of the annual prize-winning essay contest sponsored by the Medical Society of the State of Pennsylvania for her essay on Reduction of Cancer Mortality.

Melvin Lewis, the "Inventor", and his sisters are shown in a family picture taken about 1913.

Here is another photo taken at State College, PA, in 1941, after Melvin had passed away. It shows three of Mevlin's sisters--Bertha ("Frankford"), Josie and Margaret Elizabeth. Also shown are Margaret's husband, Ezra Wager ("Wagar") and Melvin's oldest son Gleason, nephew to the three sisters.


MOSES LEWIS was born April 19, 1841 in England, and died in PA. He married AMELIA ?. Their children were:

i. JOHN LEWIS, b. April 08, 1890; d. December 25, 1978, Hillsgrove Twp. ii. MAUD A. LEWIS, b. 1872 and died 1947; m. JAMES DAVIS. Here is her personal Calling Card, courtesy of Cindy Coppock.

ROBERT LEWIS was born 1846, and died 1916 in Hillsgrove; he married MARTHA A. BEAUMONT.

Burial: Union Church Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co., PA

His son was PERRY LEWIS, b. 1888; d. 1973. Never married. He lived on a farm 3 miles below Hillsgrove, located along Route 87 on the creek side.

Burial: Union Church Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Plot 03-O-02-C.

ANNA LEWIS was born September 27, 1852 in PA, and died June 12, 1929 in PA. She married BENJAMIN LEWIS, son of GEORGE GIDEON LEWIS and SARAH SMITH. He was born September 22, 1842 in Wetherby, Yorkshire, England, and died October 21, 1891 in Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co., PA. George Lewis was a brother of Jonathan Lewis, the original Lewis settler in the Hillsgrove area. So, we have first cousins marrying each other in this case. *

Burial: Union Church Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co., PA Plot 08-O-02-C.

Census: 1870, Hillsgrove Twp., Sullivan Co., PA

* Editor's Note: In December 2009 and then in February 2010, Cindy Coppock sent us the following photographs of Glebe House, Sicklinghall, Yorkshire. It was the home of George Gideon Lewis, brother of Jonathan Lewis, and his family. The house remained in the family until the early 1960's. Two daughters of George lived there until their deaths in 1959 and 1960, respectively. All three are buried in the Sicklinghall Cemetery in unmarked graves.

Glebe House
Ancestral Home of George Gideon Lewis and Family
Sicklinghall, Yorkshire, England
Contributed by Cindy Coppock

BENJAMIN LEWIS "was a prominent farmer of Hillsgrove Township, Sullivan County, PA., and resided on a fine farm of onehundred eighty-four acres on the Loyalsock Creek, three miles from the village of Hillsgrove...Mr. Lewis was the youngest son in a family of fourteen children and was reared and educated in England. At the age of twenty-two years he came to America, obtaining employment as a farmhand on the farm of Jonathan Lewis...It was while serving in that capacity that he met Anna Lewis, a daughter of his employer, whom he subsequently married. They located on her father's farm, which is still in the possession of Mrs. Lewis and there he followed farming during the remainder of his life, becoming one of the most progressive and substantial citizens of the community. There he built a new house, a modern home in every particular, and also greatly improved the land. In private life he was greatly esteemed by his fellow citizens and he had a large circle of friends. He was called to his final rest Oct. 21, 1891. *
* Editor's Note: Benjamin drowned in the Fishing Creek as a result of a logging accident on this body of water. You can read the details in this Death Notice published in the local Sullivan Review on October 29, 1891.

His union with Anna Lewis resulted in the birth of seven children as follows: ALBERT LESLIE (LEWIS) *, a stone mason of Towanda, Bradford County, who first married (1) MINNIE JENNINGS by whom he had one son ROBERT (LEWIS); EMMA LILLIAN (LEWIS), born in 1870, married CHARLES G. HEWITT (1874-1938) ; MAUDE ANTIONETTE (LEWIS); SARAH EVELINE (LEWIS), whose union with JAMES GRADY of Binghamton, NY, was blessed with two children, ANNA MAY (GRADY) and AMY HELENA GRADY--Mr. and Mrs. Grady reside in Jamison City, Columbia County, Pa.; HATTIE MAY (LEWIS); DAISY ELIZABETH (LEWIS), who died at the age of three months; and a son who also died in infancy. Politically Mr. Lewis was a staunch Republican. In religious attachments he was a member of the Methodist Church."
* Editor's Note:According to Phillip Enriquez, grandson of Albert Leslie Lewis, Benjamin was accompanied by his son Albert Leslie when he was killed in an accident "on the river" in 1891. After Minnie died, Albert Leslie Leiws married (2) FRANCIS ZOE JENNINGS, sister of Minnie Jennings, by whom he had two children: Albert Leslie Lewis, Jr. and Vivian Lewis, Phillip's mother. Vivian is the source of this anecdote about the accident.

Adapted from:

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens of 17th Congressional District, 1899

Burial: Union Church Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co., PA, plot 08-O-02A

Death: Killed in a logging accident near Jamison City. "Lewis Falls" is probably named after him.

Source: Dwight Lewis, great-nephew of ANNA LEWIS

The children of ANNA LEWIS and BENJAMIN LEWIS were:

ALBERT LESLIE LEWIS, b. Oct 12, 1867 in Hillsgrove PA, d Sept 27, 1936 in St. Louis MO. The dates for his wives are as follows:

Minnie May Jennings Lewis, b Oct 5, 1867 in Towanda PA, d Oct 14, 1914 in St. Louis MO
Frances Zoe Jennings Lewis, b Aug 22, 1878 in Towanda PA, d June 22, 1949 in St. Louis MO
Editor's Note: All three are interred in Lot 13, section I at Oak Hill Cemetery in Towanda, Bradford County, PA.


MAUD ANTOINETTE LEWIS, 1872 (d. 1947), never married



DAISY E. LEWIS, October 28, 1880, Hillsgrove Twp., d. January 18, 1881

Burial: Union Church Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co., PA

INFANT LEWIS, b. January 18, 1885, Hillsgrove Twp.; d. soon after birth, Hillsgrove Twp.)

Let us now return to the other children of AARON LEWIS and EMELINE HUCKELL.

LELIA ADA LEWIS was born August 18, 1871 in Hillsgrove Twp. and died March 28, 1960. She first married MAURICE SHANAHAN (1872-1959),then FRED S. DARBY, born January 12, 1892, son of GEORGE DARBY.

The children of LELIA ADA LEWIS and MAURICE SHANAHAN were:

LELAND ROY SHANAHAN, b. December 1909 in California; died 1982; married Alice E. Sanford [see obituary below]

STANLEY MICHAEL SHANAHAN, b. October 03, 1911, in Los Angeles. He married Catherine Simmons. Their daughter, Lois Jean Shanahan, b. Sept. 12, 1939, married Donald Albert Sanford, the brother of Alice E. Sanford. Donald was b. Aug. 14., 1933 in Santa Barbara, CA and d. Jan. 15, 2002 in Desert Hot Springs, CA.

Las Vegas, NV
August 30, 2009


Our beloved Alice E. Shanahan, 91, of Boulder City, was welcomed into her Heavenly home Aug. 27, 2009. She was born April 18, 1918, in Oceano, Calif., and was a 66-year resident of Boulder City.
Alice loved classical music and played the violin since the age of seven. She played with a variety of string quartets over the years, as well as the Las Vegas Symphony Orchestra and the Henderson Civic Symphony. She used her music to minister to shut-ins at the care center.
Alice was preceded in death by her husband, Leland R. Shanahan; and daughter, Carol Roberts.
She is survived by her daughter, Patricia L. Sainsbury of Las Vegas; grandchildren, Dena Kemple of Shawnee, Kan., and Danny Marshall of Las Vegas; and great-grandchildren, Briana Kemple of Phoenix, and Matt and Brett Kemple, both of Shawnee.
Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, at Bethany Baptist Church, 210 Wyoming St., in Boulder City.

The child of LELIA ADA LEWIS and FRED S. DARBY was:

JEAN E. DARBY, b. 1893 in Pennsylvania.

Next, we meet the children of MELVIN LEWIS and ANNA MILLER:

GLEASON AARON LEWIS, b. January 23, 1900, Hillsgrove Twp., d. September 15, 1963, Hillsgrove Twp.

Gleason Aaron Lewis About 1902

THEO CORBIN LEWIS, b. August 11, 1907, Hillsgrove, d. June 07, 1993, Sayre, Bradford Co., PA.

We can see the two boys as chldren in the family photo below

MELVIN apparently had a close relationship with his sister MARGARET ELIZABETH LEWIS. She was born December 14, 1874 in Hillsgrove Twp., and died December 03, 1958 in Harrisburg, PA.

She married EZRA WAGER and they had the following children:

LOIS THELMA WAGER; she never married.



The picture below shows MARGARET, with "THELMA" and LOTHAR, in the company of MELVIN and his family about 1913. According to Kim Euker, great granddaughter of Lothar and Thelma, in an April 2010 message:

I was absolutely and pleasantly STUNNED to find a picture of my grandfather and my Great Aunt on your website. My Grandfather's real name was Gail Lothar. He went by Lothar. I have only ever seen one or two pictures of my grandfather. I have almost none of them. I never knew my grandfather as he died before I was born. I did know my Aunt Thelma. She died sometime about 1970 of throat cancer. She was living and working in Connecticut at the time. I also knew my maiden Great Aunts (the Lewis sisters--"Josie" Blanch and Bertha "Frankford"). I remember often visiting my Aunt Frankford at the Blue Ridge Haven East nursing home in Harrisburg where she was before she passed away!

Here are two more photos of Lothar provided by Kim Euker:

Gail "Lothar" Wager as a Boy

Gail "Lothar" Wager as a Young Man

Finally, here is a photo taken about 1914 in Harrisburg, PA of children of Melvin Lewis and his sistar Margaret (Lewis) Wager. They are all first cousins:

L to r: Gleason Aaron Lewis, Gail "Lothar" Wager, Lois "Thelma" Wager and Theo "Corbin" Lewis
Harrisburg, PA About 1914

Returning to the children of MOSES and AMEALLIA (?) LEWIS, their son JOHN was born April 08, 1890, and died December 25, 1978 in Hillsgrove Twp. He married, but it who we do not know. He is buried in the Twin Oaks Cemetery, Fairfield Twp., Lycoming Co., PA. Children of JOHN LEWIS and his unknown spouse are:




There is also some additional information known about the children and grandchildren of BENJAMIN and ANA LEWIS.

The children of EMMA LEWIS and CHARLES HEWITT were:

ELIZABETH HEWITT, b. March 28, 1906, PA; d. March 30, 1906, PA

PAUL HEWITT, b. 1909; d. 1982. He is buried in Union Church Cemetery, Hillsgrove Plot 03-N-08D 15

LEWIS HEWITT, married ALBERTA BEDFORD. Their children were:


The children of SARAH LEWIS and JAMES GRADY were:



The sons of MELVIN WILLARD LEWIS and ANNA M. MILLER were also remarkable in their own right.. The boys, as previously mentioned, were named GLEASON AARON LEWIS and THEO CORBIN LEWIS.

GLEASON was born on January 23, 1900, probably at the homestead with the big white pillars below Hillsgrove, according to an interview given by his brother "Corbin" in 1986. He died September 15, 1963 in Hillsgrove but was buried at the Fairmont Cemetery in nearby Forksville, PA. He did military service in World War 1. GLEASON married NELLIE AGNES LITTLE, on March 07, 1923, daughter of ULYSSES LITTLE and LILLIAN OSLER. Nellie was born November 07, 1904, and died October 13, 1957 in Plains Twp., Luzerne Co., PA. She also was buried in Forksville at the same cemetery as GLEASON. In fact, NELLIE LITTLE was the great-great-granddaughter of Theophilus and Mary (Polhemus) Little, via Theophilus, Jr. (gr-grandfather), Daniel (grandfather) and Ulysses (father) Little. You can learn more about the Little heritage at Settlers Page XXV on this site: The Little Family--An American Odyssey. Here is a picture of Gleason, his wife Nellie, and others, including our contributor, Cindy Kay Coppock, taken in 1952 in Hillsgrove:

Gleason Lewis, Cindy Kay Coppock, Kay Lewis Coppock [Cindy's mother],
Lillian Osler Little and Nellie Little Lewis
Hillsgrove, PA
About 1952

Later in life, GLEASON married S. JOSEPHINE RANDALL, daughter of J. MILO RANDALL. She was born January 06, 1915.

The children of GLEASON AND NELLIE were:


CHARLOTTE LEWIS, b. December 26, 1924, in Hillsgrove; d. April 15, 1962, Penndel, PA

KAY LEWIS, b. March 18, 1926, in Hillsgrove.

THEO CORBIN LEWIS was born August 11, 1907 in Hillsgrove. He married ELIZABETH ANNE LITTLE December 22, 1928, daughter of DANIEL LITTLE and MAUDE BRYAN. ELIZABETH was born September 02, 1908 in Picture Rocks, Lycoming Co., PA, and died November 20, 1985 in Philadelphia where she is buried in the Greenmount Cemetery. "CORBIN", as he was called, also married HILDA CARMEN MCCLINTOCK in 1939, daughter of CORSON MCCLINTOCK and JENNIE HOUSEKNECT. Here is a picture of Elizabeth (Little) Lewis:

CORBIN's education was suggestive of his later professional activities. He graduated from the Elkland Township High School in 1925 with nine classmates, then from the Picture Rocks Vocational High School on May 26, 1927. He then attended and graduated from the Bliss Electrical School in Washington, D.C. on June 6, 1928. CORBIN worked for the Bell Telephone Company in Philadelphia for a number of years before moving back to Hillsgrove to work with his father MELVIN, the first Inventor.

MELVIN and CORBIN started construction of a turbine driven hydroelectric station in 1932 at the grist mill above Hillsgrove and the son completed it after his father's death in a logging accident. The station first generated electricity on Election Day, 1934, and construction was finished in 1935. This 100-kilowatt power plant supplied power to all of Hillsgrove before other commercial power lines were brought in. The plant was still operating in 1988 and its indicate that it generated nearly 700, 000 kwh of power in 1986 and 1987. CORBIN sold the station and his home in Hillsgrove to Jeff and Donna Long in 1988 and moved in to a nearby house that he had built himself.

In 1933, the First Bank of Dushore sponsored a publication to celebrate the accomplishments and talents of the most prominent and interesting citizens of Sullivan County. Here is a description of the Lewis Power Project, as well as a picture of part of the plant itself and one of Corbin and Melvin together taken the year before Melvin died in 1934, all taken from this publication.

M. W. Lewis, of Hillsgrove, is developing a hydro-electric power plant in the Upper Loyalsock Valley. With him is associated his son, Corbin T. Lewis, a graduate of the Bliss Electrical School in Washington, D. C., who was with the Bell Telephone Company in Philadelphia for three years.

Water for the power plant will be diverted by a dam built nearly a century and replaced by a concrete structure ten years ago. Concrete foundations for the wheel pit, a concrete retaining wall 210 feet long and 14 feet high, and other foundations have been constructed. The race will be excavated for 1, 200 feet, to provide an 18-foot head of water. Equipment will include a turbine water wheel for driving the electric generators, which will have a capacity of 200 horsepower. An auxiliary plant with an oil engine for emergency use also will be installed.

Mr. Lewis owns two miles of creek frontage, affording many cottage sites. He first planned to supply electric current for manufacturing purposes and to cabins along the creek. With the project nearing completion he is being urged to extend the service to Hillsgrove, Estella and Forksville.
--Excerpt from Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, Endless Mountains, H. G. Sallan Publisher, Grit Publishing Co., Williamsport, PA, 1933

Wheel Pit and Concrete Work
Lewis Power Plant Project
About 1933

After 1934, CORBIN continued to operate the sawmill and cider press near the grist mill but did not continue to run the grist mill. He helped the Sullivan County Telephone Company to take over the bankrupt local telephone compnay serving most of southwest Sullivan County, then served as its president and manager until it was sold in 1980 to Commonwealth Telephone Company. During that time, he installed the most modern equipment, progressing from hand cranked magneto phones to dial phones, then to direct-dialed long distance and automatic toll ticketing. Cables replaced most of the open wires and then electric carrier equipment supplemented the cable. Starting with fewer than 100 customers, the company had grownto 738 customers and 1024 telephones by 1980. CORBIN was a life member of the Independent Telephone Pioneer Association.

The list of CORBIN's accomplishments and awards would suffice to satisfy half a dozen normal men, and they only serve to reinforce the reputation of the Hillsgrove LEWIS families as the "Edisons" of Sullivan County. As a teenager, CORBIN developed his own photographs, operated the motion picture projector at the Hillsgrove movie house, and built a radio. He wired many local homes, farms and sawmills for electrical power as it became available, and sold and serviced electrical appliances until about 1965. He rewound motors and generally could "fix anything that needed fixing". When lightning damaged the steeple on the Union Church in Hillsgrove, he remade the ornamental weather vane from stainless steel, even hand hammering sheets of metal into the two halves of a sphere and joining them with silver solder. He wanted to be sure the new one lasted as long as the one it replaced.

Under contract to Sullivan County, CORBIN restored the wooden covered bridge above Hillsgrove in 1968. Then, he restored the Forksville covered bridge in 1970 for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, for which he received a letter of appreciation from the State Secretary of Transportation. CORBIN also restored a television tower on Bear Mountain and ran a cable to his home and about 20 of his neighbors. For several years, he also had a television cable in Estella. CORBIN always conducted business as simpley "T.C. Lewis, Hillsgrove". The Pennsylvania Department of labor and Industry presented his company with a Certificate of Honor in 1940 for a perfect safety record.

CORBIN served on the Hillsgrove School Board for a number of yers, was elected Supervisor for Hillsgrove Township in 1961, served on the Board of the Hillsgrove Union Church, was a Director of the Hillsgrove Cemetery Association, was a member of the Hillsgrove Voluntary Fire Department, and served on the Sullivan County Planning Commission. He was a Mason, belonging to the Scottish Rite in Williamsport, Eureka Lodge No. 335 in Montoursville, and Irem Temple Shrine in Wilkes-Barre.

THEO CORBIN LEWIS died June 7, 1993 at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA following surgery to replace a heart valve. He is buried in the Union Church Cemetery in his beloved Hillsgrove.


MARGARET JEAN LEWIS, b. February 05, 1931, Philadelphia

DOROTHY ANNE LEWIS, b. February 22, 1933

The daughters of GLEASON AARON LEWIS and NELLIE LITTLE, as mentioned above, were named CHARLOTTE MARIE and KAY. The former, CHARLOTTE, married KEN TRAHAN and later remarried to PAUL MUCKLOW. PAUL was born June 24, 1925, and died August 21, 1989. CHARLOTTE MARIE had one son with KEN TRAHAN named KEENAN TRAHAN MUCKLOW, born March 10, 1946 and one by PAUL MUCKLOW named GARY PAUL MUCKLOW. Gary was born May 4, 1951 and died January 4, 2015. He served in the US Navy in Vietnam. He is interred at Washington Cross National Cemetery, Newtown, Bucks County, PA.

The other daughter KAY married ROBERT EUGENE COPPOCK February 22, 1948 in Honolulu, HI. He was the son of CLAUDE COPPOCK and MABEL KESSLER. ROBERT was born December 22, 1924 in Tipton, Tipton Co., IN, and died December 14, 1984 in Orlando, FL. He is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA. The children of KAY LEWIS and ROBERT COPPOCK are:

CINDY KAY COPPOCK, b. May 16, 1950, Staten Island, NY.
KELVIN ROBERT COPPOCK, b. August 26, 1952, Williamsport, PA *

* Editor's Note: In January 2016, Cindy Coppock sent us the following photo of the twin daughters of Kent Aaron Coppock and Alicia Renee Waterman. Kevin is the son of Kelvin and Deborah Schultz. So, these baby girls are the great great granddaughters of Gleason Lewis!

Kaycee and Kaydence Coppock
Born January 22 and 23, 2016
Photo Courtesy of Cindy Coppock

As we have seen, THEO CORBIN LEWIS and ELIZABETH LITTLE also had two daughters. MARGARET JEAN and DOROTHY ANNE. The former, MARGARET JEAN "PEG" LEWIS, was born February 05, 1931 in Hillsgrove, PA, and died September 27, 2007 in Front Royal, VA. She married FRANK HOWARD SUDLOW * on November 03, 1951 in Hillsgrove. He was born 11/27/1925 in Philadelphia and died 09/26/1999 in Berryville, VA. They are both buried in Augusta, WV. Their children were all born in Abington, PA except for David, who was born in San Jose, CA. The children are:
* Editor's Note: This information on the Sudlow family was updated in February 2010 by Jennifer (Sudlow) Richard.

DAVID HOWARD SUDLOW, b. October 13, 1952, San Jose, CA; married NITA VAN GIJZEN, b. 08/08/1961, The Hague, Netherlands. The children of David and Nita are:

Rebekah Nita Sudlow, b September 21, 1989 in Star Tannery, Virginia
David Simon Sudlow, b March 27, 1991 in Star Tannery, Virginia
Joanna Elisabeth Sudlow, b October 1992 in Geldermalsen, Netherlands
Steven Andrew Sudlow, b. June 20, 1994 in Star Tannery, Virginia
Paul Abraham Sudlow, b April 11, 1996 in Star Tannery, Virginia
Andrew Joshua Sudlow, b March 23, 1998 in Harrisonburg, Virginia
Michael Joseph Sudlow, b May 11, 2001 in Winchester, Virginia
Maria Rachel Sudlow, b April 28, 2003 in Winchester, Virginia
Miriam Lydia Sudlow, b May 3, 2005 in Winchester, Virginia
Susanna Louisa Sudlow, b July 26, 2008 in Winchester, Virginia

RICHARD PRINCE SUDLOW, b. September 08, 1954 in Abington, PA.

FRANK KEITH SUDLOW, b. September 04, 1955

PHILIP CHARLES SUDLOW, b. January 05, 1959; d. 11/25/2009 in Arlington, VA

BRUCE NELSON SUDLOW, b. October 21, 1962, m. Nghia QUay Pham, b. 09/05/1979 in Vietnam. Their child is:

Jaspher Pham Sudlow, b July 14, 2006 in Abington, PA

Here is a picture of four of the sones of Frank and Peg Sudlow:

Peg (Lewis) Sudlow and Sons
L to r: Richard, "Keith" (Frank), Bruce and David
Photo courtesy of Joyce Sudlow

Here is a picture of several of the children of David Howard and Nita (Van Gijzen) Sudlow and Richard Prince and Joyce (Greenwoood) Sudlow, respectively:

Sudlow Cousins
Back, l to r: Denise and Laura Sudlow; Rebecca, Joanna and David Sudlow
Front, l to r: Paul, Andrew and Steven Sudlow
The first two girls in the back are children of Richard and Joyce Sudlow. The remaining children are those of David and Nita Sudlow. Not shown are Michael and Maria Sudlow, also children of David and Nita.
Photo courtesy of Joyce Sudlow

Here is a picture of Peg (Lewis) Sudlow with David and Nita's family:

The David Sudlow Family
Back, l to r: David Sudlow, holding son Michael; and Joanna
Middle, l to r: Steven, David and Rebecca
Front, l to r: Andrew, Peg, Nita, holding Maria; and Paul
Photo courtesy of Joyce Sudlow

Here is a picture of Bruce Sudlow with his mother, Peg Sudlow, and his bride, Nghia Que Phem. They were married on Saturday July 24, 2004 in Philadelphia, PA. Nghia (pronounced "knee-Ahhh") was born on September 5, 1979 in Vietnam. According to Joyce Sudlow, it was a great day and greatly enjoyed. The women in the party were all decked out in Vietnamese dresses.

Bruce and Nghia Que Phem Sudlow
Wedding Picture Taken with Margaret "Peg" Sudlow
Photo courtesy of Joyce Sudlow

The other daughter, DOROTHY ANNE LEWIS, married MILO HAROLD FREY July 04, 1953 in Union Church, Hillsgrove. He is the son of MILO FREY and FERN MAY and was born June 21, 1931 in Pennsdale, Muncy Twp., Lycoming Co., PA. The children of DOROTHY LEWIS and "MILO FREY" are:

MICHAEL HAROLD FREY, b. September 13, 1956, Portsmouth, VA

KATHERINE ANNE FREY, b. January 15, 1958, Williamsport, PA, graduate of the Delaware College of Science and Argiculture, Doylestown, PA.

The latest generation of LEWIS descendants go by a variety of names: Mucklow, Coppock, Sudlow and Frey. As we list their names for the record, is it difficult to imagine that within their ranks another "Melvin" or "Corbin" is waiting in the wings?!



KELVIN ROBERT COPPOCK married DEBORAH SCHULTZ June 07, 1974 in Colorado Springs, CO, the daughter of ERVIN SCHULTZ and DONEITTA STRADER. She was born May 28, 1951 in Milwaukee, WI. KELVIN was a 1974 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. The children of KELVIN and DEBORAH are:

KENT AARON COPPOCK, b. January 20, 1982, Omaha, NE
KATE ANNA COPPOCK, b. February 09, 1984, Omaha, NE.

RICHARD PRINCE "RICK" SUDLOW married JOYCE GREENWOOD. She was born March 21, 1956 in Bristol, PA. They were married May 8, 1976 in Philadelphia. Their children are:

JENNIFER LYNN SUDLOW, b. August 12, 1978, Bristol, PA, m. DANIEL RICHARD on 11/05/2005 in FOrt Ashby, WV. He was b. June 15, 1980 in Newport, RI. They have two children: Ara Nicole Richard, b 07/31/2006, and Kerin Grace Richard, b 11/26/2007
LAURA ELIZABETH SUDLOW, b. September 06, 1989, Bristol, PA
DENISE MARIE SUDLOW, b. June 08, 1992, Cumberland, MD

The Richard Sudlow Family
Seated: Peg and Rick
Standing: Denise, holding Duchess, the family dog; Laura, and Joyce
Not shown: Jennifer
Photo courtesy of Joyce Sudlow

MICHAEL HAROLD FREY married APRIL MARR LEACH May 29, 1976 in Muncy, PA. Their children are:

ANDREA ELIZABETH FREY, b. January 07, 1982, Philadelphia
ALEXANDER MICHAEL FREY, b. July 30, 1984, Zurich, Switzerland
BRADLEY CORBIN FREY, b. November 17, 1989, Portsmouth, NH.

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