Nordmont Railroad Bridge
This photo shows the daily Williamsport & North Branch freight train on the bridge. Nordmont is actually located partially in Davidson Township and partially in Laporte Township, both in Sullivan County, PA.
Photo of a framed painting auctioned on eBay in November 2005
Photo Submitted by Carol Brotzman
Davidson Township was established in 1833, by a decree of the Court of Quarter
Sessions of Lycoming County. The territory was taken from Shrewsbury Township and originally
comprised also a portion of what is now LaPorte Township. It was named in honor of Hon. Asher
Davidson, one of the Associate Judges of that court. It is located in the south-eastern section
of Sullivan County, bordering on Luzerne County and Colley Township on the east, Columbia and Lycoming Counties
on the south, Shrewsbury township on the west and LaPorte township on the north.
At the time of its organization, Davidson contained the following 59 resident taxables:
Thomas Bennett, Sr.
Thomas Bennett, Jr.
Joseph Converse, Sr.
Joseph Converse, Jr.
John Keeler, Sr.
John Keeler, Jr.
David L. Sanders
John Strawbridge, Jr.
William Smith, Jr.
Stephen D. Sanders
Davidson was made an election district in the spring of 1834 by an act of the Legislature.
Consequently its first vote was given on the second Tuesday of October following. Lycoming
County at that time contained in addition to its present territory all of Sullivan County and
about half of Clinton County. There was a very warm contest at this election for the office
of Sheriff. In the early part of the campaign, there were eight candidates in the field but
as it progressed the interest centered on two candidates--William Harris, an ex-county commissioner
and treasurer, and Thomas W. Lloyd, also an ex-county treasurer. After the election, the
returns came in very slowly and Lloyd was a few votes in the lead of his opponent, not having heard
from Davidson. When Squire Hiddleson brought in the returns from this district, it was found
that Davidson gave Harris 18 votes and Lloyd none, electing Harris by a majority of 7 votes. It
was proposed by the friends of Lloyd to contest the election of Davidson, as it was thought that
in the new township in the woods it would not be possible to conduct an election according to
law. After a careful examination made by the attorneys, it was found that the voters of
Davidson had fully complied with the election laws, and no errors could be found. William
Smith of Davidson who assisted in holding the election had not been favored with great educational
advantages but was careful to fully comply with the law. The result gave him a reputation for
conducting public business that a few years later secured for him the election to the office
of county commissioner.
Snowmobiles on North Mountain
Sullivan County, PA
Photo of an old postcard submitted by Scott W. Tilden
Original auctioned on eBay in May 2014
SURFACE AND DRAINAGE
Here is some of the most beautiful scenery of Pennsylvania, the rugged mountain sides covered with the primeval
forest and intersected here and there with the foaming torrents rushing toward the more peaceful streams that flow
along its base, the green clad hills with the valleys that lie between, sheltering many a fertile farm and making room
for the pleasant little towns that are found in this district.
Here is found North Mountain, towering above the surrounding hills at an elevation of from 2200 to 2400 feet.
It lies in the center of the township in an almost easterly and westerly direction and forms a watershed between some of
the waters of the West and North Branches of the Susquehanna.
Davidson has three main slopes. The northern slope toward Muncy Creek, the southern slope toward Fishing Creek,
and in the northwestern corner of a southern slope toward Muncy Creek. The eastern portion is drained by the waters of
the East branch of Fishing Creek, the south central by the West branch of Fishing Creek.
These unite in Columbia County and empty into the North Branch of the Susquehanna at Bloomsburg. The northern and western
sections are drained by Muncy Creek and its tributaries. At Sonestown and Muncy Valley, the
outlets of Lewis’s and Hunter’s Lakes, respectively, mingle their waters with those of Muncy
Creek, which in turn becomes a part of the West Branch of the Susquehanna at Muncy.
Along the valleys and foothills, the soil is very fertile, being composed of red shale. It is especially
adapted for grazing and growing cereals. On the top of the mountain, however, only a small portion can be
brought under cultivation, the rock here being of carboniferous formation. The primeval forests still standing
in many parts of this district have kept the hand of man busy for a century, since the time the
pioneer first swung his axe in the wilderness until today when the woods resound with the blows of the lumbermen,
and the tanneries at Jamison City and Muncy Valley keep many busy because of the bark it is the means of furnishing.
Hidden in the hills and mountains lies the future wealth of Davidson Township. In the carboniferous rock of which we have already spoken,
we find outcroppings of coal, while traces of silver and iron are also found. For a long time, it has been known that
copper exists in this district. In 1848, a party of Boston capitalists opened a vein at Beaver Dam, hauling the ore to
Muncy and from there shipping it to tide water and from thence to Boston. Recently, this vein
has been re-opened. It is from 18 to 52 inches, assaying from 10 to 32 1-20 per cent of copper, from 1 to 4 per cent of siiver and
about the same of zinc. A vein has also been opened near Jamison City showing that copper exists throughout Davidson Township.
PRODUCTS AND INDUSTRIES
Agriculture is an important industry, the beautiful farms yielding abundantly the ordinary agricultural products found in
this section, while stock raising is carried on very extensively. Lumbering takes high rank in this district, many of Davidson’s
citizens being engaged in this industry. With its sister industry, tanning, it furnishes the principal exports of the township,
namely, lumber and leather. Among the lesser industries are the acid factory at Emmons, the acid factory at Nordmont, which is partially
in Davidson Township, the washboard factory at Sonestown, and the copper smelter at Beaver Dam.
The Susquehanna and Tioga Turnpike built in 1808, forming the eastern boundary of this
township, furnished an avenue by which early settlers could reach this section. What is known,
the Northumberland road is probably the one that was built by the North Mountain settlers of 1806 and 1808 from their settlement to Columbia County,
at that time a part of Northumberland County. It is thought this road was later extended to
the Shrewsbury and Lewis’ Lake settlements. No road marked the way for the early Elk Lick
pioneers, who cut their path through the woods. Some crossed from the Turnpike near Long Pond,
while others came directly across the mountain from the Fishing Creek settlement in what is
now Columbia County. In 1825 they built a road to connect their settlement with Huntington,
from which place several of the early settlers had come. This road extended from Nordmont to
Central, Columbia County, and is still traversed by those who wish to cross North Mountain.
In 1835, on a petition presented by the citizens of Davidson Township, the Lycoming County
Court granted a decree establishing a road from the Hiddleson, now the Elk Lick schoolhouse,
to intersect with the Northumberland road at Sand Run near where Hon. M.J. Philips now lives.
In 1839, a decree was granted by the Lycoming County Court establishing another road leading
from Buckhorn bridge near the house of Luther Martin near Asa Speary’s to Muncy Creek, by
Charles Glidewell’s, thence along Muncy Creek through what is now Sonestown and Muncy Valley,
at the latter place intersecting with the road leading to Lewis’s Lake.
The inhabitants of Davidson township are largely the scions of the hardy
pioneers of Northumberland, Columbia and Lycoming counties and are mainly the descendants of
the English, German and Scotch settlers, a large number being related to the early English
settlers of Shrewsbury and Eagles Mere of over a century ago. The people are a hospitable,
industrious, patriotic and progressive class of citizens. By the census of 1900, the inhabitants
number 1714 people.
The first settlement made in what is now Davidson Township was about 1806 or 1808, at the base of the western end
of North Mountain. David Richart, Colonel Derr and Nathan Howell, of Columbia County, while on
a hunting expedition, discovered the beautiful and fertile plain at the base of North Mountain. They were very much
pleased with it and returned with their families. Adam Derr was an officer in the Revolutionary War and settled on
lands now owned by Hon. M.J. Philips. David Richart was a stonemason and schoolteacher. He built the stone barn at
Eagles Mere in 1817. Thomas and John Strawbridge came in 1811. David McClintock, Thomas Reed and William McClemmons
came in 1812.
Griffith Philips 1st, came to Davidson Township in 1812 and settled at the base of North Mountain,
clearing up the farm owned by his grandson, Harvey E. Philips. His father, Steven Philips was born in Pembrokshire, Wales.
On coming to this country, he remained for some time at Philadelphia, later removing with his family to Cooper Township,
Montour County. Griffith Philips married Mary Hughes of Danville and came from there to North Mountain in 1812, but his name
was struck off, and his brother David who had accompanied him to his new home, went and was wounded at the battles of Lundy’s Lane,
Chippewa and Stony Creek. Griffith Philips was the father of five sons and two daughters:
Rachel married Samuel Livergood of Hughesville
John, married Susan, a daughter of George Sones
Hannah, married John Robbins and moved to Iowa
Evan H., married Mary Jane Laird
Thomas, married Hannah Low and settled near the Hemlock Grove schoolhouse,
reared a family of 11 children and died in 1902
Griffith 2nd, married Mary Ann Rogers
David J., married Elizabeth Taylor
John Philips, whose wife was the daughter of George Sones, one of the first settlers of
Sonestown, settled at Sugar Grove near Sonestown on the farm now owned by Daniel and John A.
Philips. Unto John and Susan Philips were born:
Thomas A., wounded at Gettysburg, died at Elmira
Rachel, married Isaac Wilson, lives near Sugar Grove
Griffith 3rd, married Mary Sellers, lives at Sonestown
James K.P., died of consumption when a young man
Mary, married Samuel Crist of Sonestown
Edward, died of consumption aged 34 years
Sarah, lives at Central, Columbia County
Daniel S., married Ella Philips
John A., lives with his brother Daniel
Rose, married Watson Speary, lives near Sonestown
Evan H Philips settled on what is known as the John Gowen farm near the Hemlock Grove
schoolhouse. He was justice of the peace when Davidson was still a part of Lycoming County
and was elected the first Sheriff of Sullivan County. He later moved to Lairdsville, Lycoming
County where he died at the age of 87 years.
Griffith Philips 2nd, settled on the farm now owned by his son Hon. M.J.
Philips. He was elected county commissioner of Sullivan County in 1850 and was a member of
the board when the first courthouse was built. He was married to Mary Ann Rogers of Exeter
Township, Luzerne County. She died in 1865, her husband surviving her until 1898, when he
passed away. Unto them were born:
Maynard J. married to Mary C. Pennington
Hughes G. married to Seda Kahler, of Hughesville, lives at Benton
Florence H., married William Yocum, of Benton
McCellan A., married Anna Labaugh, lives at Benton
Hester A., died at the age of 20 years
David J. Philips lived on the farm owned by Griffith Philips, 1st. He was
married to Elizabeth Taylor, a daughter of Robert Taylor 2nd. He died in 1880 and
his widow still lives on the old homestead with their son, Harvey E. Philips.
Robert Taylor 1st, many of whose descendants are residents of Davidson Township,
came to Rock Run, Shrewsbury Township, in 1804. He was the father of 12 children: Frederick,
whose son, Robert 3rd, settled in Davidson, Robert 2nd, who lived at
Muncy Valley, William, James who settled at Muncy Valley, Richard, John, Matthew, George W.,
Mary Ann, Jane, Eliza, and Katharine.
Robert 2nd married a Miss Bennett and in 1838 moved from Shrewsbury Township to
the valley of Muncy Creek. He was for many years Justice of the Peace and was twice elected
County Commissioner. He was one of the first to offer inducements for establishing tanneries
and upon his lands was erected the Muncy Valley tannery. To him and his wife were born:
George, of Williamsport
Elizabeth married David Philips of Hemlock Grove
Rosetta, married John Hiddleson of Iowa, and after his death, Fletcher Speary
Angeline married Edwin Corson, of Lansing, MI
Carl S., of Danville
Harriet Jane, died when 10 years of age
James Taylor also came to Davidson Township in 1838, settling the farm below his brother,
Robert’s. He was for many years postmaster of the post office then called Muncy Bottom. He
was also the first Treasurer of Sullivan County. He was married to Delia Edkin and to them
Matthew, of Shrewsbury
Alfred, who lived on his father’s homestead
Katharine, married James Stroup
Sarah Jane, died when 10 years old
Margaret Jane, died in 1863.
The first improvements where the village of Sonestown now stands were made by Timothy
Crawley and Peter Anderson in 1818. They kept the bachelor’s hall until Crawley married, then they
sold it to Benjamin Fiester who afterward sold it to George Sones, who together with his son
John for many years owned all the land at the head of the valley and from whom it very
appropriately takes the name of Sonestown.
In 1818 James Glidewell came to this section and in 1820, settled at Sonestown on the land
now owned by Samuel Crist. He came from England in 1801 and first settled in Northumberland
County on land owned by Joseph Priestly. Mr. Glidewell was married to Mary King of Elkland
Township and they were the parents of ten children: Hester, Thomas, Elizabeth, Mary, John,
William, Sarah, Ann and Dinah.
Thomas Glidewell, who settled on lands near his father, married Hester Lacy and to them
were born: James, Josiah, Sarah, Thomas, Ann, Dinah and Charles.
John Glidewell settled above Sonestown on the high plateau which overlooks Muncy Creek,
where he lived past ninety.
William moved to Elkland and settled on the farm now owned by Dr. Chaffee.
In 1822, John Witacre came to Sonestown and settled on lands which had been improved by
John Sones. His son, William, succeeded him and afterward sold it to Peter Armstrong who laid
out the village of Glen Sharon.
The first settlers in the Elk Lick settlement were James Rogers and George Wilson, who came
from Huntingdon, Luzerne County, by way of the Susquehanna and Tioga Turnpike to a point
called Spring Bridge, from there cutting their way to near Thorndale. They came for the
purpose of making maple sugar, their first trip being in the fall that they might make sap
troughs. In the spring, they brought their families with them, James Rogers settling where
John Botsford now lives and George Wilson where William Bostian lives. In 1825, the road
leading from Nordmont to Central was cut out by the citizens of Huntingdon, who wished to
reach this settlement that they might make maple sugar. During the construction of this road,
they had an encounter with a bear, which was finally shot by Christopher Bowman. From this
incident, the little stream on the mountain at this point derives its name. This road has
ever since been a public road.
In 1826, John Keeler came from Fishing Creek to this section. He was married to Elizabeth
Smith of New York state and to them were born three children, James, John and Susannah.
James Keeler married Mary Robbins and their children were: Daniel, Catharine, William,
John, Elizabeth, Susan, James, Ellen and Mary Jane.
John Keeler was married to Sarah Bartleson and they were the parents of the following
Nancy R., married Henry Kopensparger
Eliza Ann, married Daniel Keeler
Susan Jane, married Thomas Mostellar
Emily, married Newell Smith, later John Anders
Susannah married William Robbins and their children were Henderson, Thomas, Leonard,
Joseph and Mary.
John Hiddleson came in April 1826. He was born in Chester County in 1790, and was a
carpenter and joiner by trade. He built a sawmill, cleared a large farm and here resided
until 1865, when his health having failed, he joined his children who had all previously
moved west. He died in Illinois in 1875.
Soon after, Jesse Pennington came and took 300 acres of land. His children who came to
this county were:
Edmond, cleared a farm in Laporte Township
Jesse, resided in Davidson, later moved west
Mary, married Samuel Speary
Martha, married John C. Botsford
Anna, married Thomas L. Little
In 1826, Miles Sperry came from Huntingdon, Luzerne County and took up a tract of 400 acres. He was
the father of seventeen children as follows:
Ann, his oldest child taught the first school in the Elk Lick settlement in 1827
Wooden, remained in Luzerne County
Lucy, married Jacob Good of Luzerne County
Amelia, married a Mr. Tovins
Permelia, married Abraham Ephliam
James L., died at the age of twenty
Samuel, married Mary Pennington, lived in Davidson
Christopher, married Rachel Benscoter of Luzerne
Susan, married Benjamin Beach of Bradford County
Orphia and Miles died in infancy
Sophia, married John Flick
Julia, married John Snook, resided at Williamsport
Asa, married Jane Fiester, lived on the homestead
Mary, married Benivel Horn, lived near the homestead
Joseph Converse came to Elk Lick in 1828. His children by his first wife were:
Martha, married Charles Miller, lived in Davidson
Caroline, married Rufus Hiddleson, lived at Laporte and later in Illinois
Joseph, married Ann Redenhouse, settled near the southern line of the county
Henry, married Martha Worthington, resided for many years in Laporte twp., later in
His second wife was a Mrs. Edgar who came from Huntingdon in 1830 and lived with the
Converse’s. Their children were:
Susan Ann, married Edmond Pennington
Sarah Robinson, married William King of Laporte Twp.
Jane, married Job King, of Elkland Township
Permelia, married Richard Harding, of Lycoming
Abigail married Charles Martin
Mrs. Edgar had two sons by her first husband, Abram, who became a minister of the M.E.
church, and Andrew.
Andrew married a daughter of James Glidewell and always lived near the Converse farm.
Their children were: Esther Ann, Amanda R., Thomas, Rachael, Sarah Jane, James, Joseph,
Andrew and Jeremiah.
In 1833, William Smith came from his Muncy Valley farm to the Elk Lick settlement and
there resided until nearly eighty. He was County Commissioner when Sullivan was still a part
of Lycoming County. He also held the offices of Associate Judge and County Treasurer in
In the year the new township was formed, 1833, the Elk Lick settlers built a house
at the intersection of the Muncy Creek and North Mt. Roads, ever since known as the Corners.
About 1844, Joseph Wilbur and his son Amos C. came to the Elk Lick settlement from New York
state, having been induced to take up a residence here by Rev. Houst, a Methodist clergyman.
They purchased improvements made by Jacob Rogers, the father Joseph living but a few years in
his new home. He had one daughter who married a Mr. Kilmer of Fox Township. Amos C. Wilbur
was a carpenter and millwright by trade, and a man of more than usual intelligence. During
the winters, he taught school. In following his trade in different parts of the county, he
became well acquainted with the people, and received their votes, electing him to the office
of Sheriff in 1854. He moved to Laporte, where he aided materially in the improvements of
the town, the fist tannery being built under his supervision in 1856. He later returned to
Davidson and about 1868 moved to his former home in New York state. He was twice married,
having two children by his first wife, Judson and Sarah, who married a Mr. Howell.
John P. Smith purchased the Wilbur farms. He was the first settler in this neighborhood
from the northern part of Lackawanna County. In 1865, three of his neighbors came to reside
near him. Edward Clark who had lived in Laporte Township purchased the John Hiddleson farm,
but five years later returned to Laporte, selling his farm to his son-in-law, D.C. Gritman.
Two other sons-in laws also located here, Henry Small who purchased the Miller Hiddleson farm,
and Amos Foust who purchased the Daniel Savage farm. A few years later, the adjacent farm,
which had been cleared by Charles Miller, was purchased by Thomas White, also of Lackawanna
In December 1869, Mrs. Stevens and her two sons, E.J. and W.M., and E.J. Brundage, also
came from Lackawanna County, and purchased the Pennington properties. Mr. Brundage engaged
in building and operating saw mills. E.J. Stevens for a time was engaged in the mercantile
business at Nordmont. W.M. Stevens, now a prominent lawyer of Williamsport, owns a portion
of this land and resides here during the summer months.
The first settlements made here have already been mentioned. George Sones, of whom we have
already spoken, built a sawmill here about 1843, and John F. Hazen, a millwright, built a
gristmill here in 1850. On the 17th of March 1842, Jacob Simmons moved here from
Moreland Township, Lycoming County, and built a log house near where Swank’s hotel now
stands. He later moved to what is known as the Morrison place where he lived until after the
close of the Civil War when he moved to the house now occupied by William Hazen. He died
August 9, 1884, aged 79 years. His wife was Jane Sones, a daughter of George Sones, the
first permanent settler of Sonestown. To them were born:
John, Sheriff of Sullivan County in 1863
Isaac N., killed in the Civil War
George W., of Sonestown, a soldier of the Civil War
Simpson S, killed in the Civil War
Thomas S., of Muncy Valley, a soldier of the Civil War, died in 1902
David S, a soldier of the Civil War, lives out West
John Jackson Miller
September 17, 1829 - August 13, 1914
Son of George and Mary (Haymon) Miller
Photo Contributed by Laurie Evans
In 1851, George Miller ** purchased 1700 acres of land in and around Sonestown. Together with
his sons, he did much toward improving the town in its early days. The same year, Jacob Reed
purchased several lots and erected a small tavern, which a few years later he sold to William
Corson, who also ran a stage line from Muncy to Dushore. Corson kept hotel for about ten
years when he sold out to James Taylor and moved west. Later, the hotel was sold to Thomas
S. Magargle, whose widow sold it to Ellis Swank, the present proprietor, in 1898.
I am a descendant of John Jackson Miller. His father was George Miller who was married twice I believe: (1)
Mary Haymon (according to The Hazen family in America) and (2) Sarah ______. I believe George started out
at Montoursville, Lycoming Co., married and had children there, then went to Bloom Twp, Columbia, PA from 1840
through 1850. In 1851, George purchased 1700 acres in and around Sonestown as indicated in The Streby History.
He bought and sold land with Frederick Fleschut, George Sones, and Edkin Corson (1852-1864). Geroge and his wife
were living in Franklin Twp., Lycoming County during this time, according to land sales records. In 1860, George was living in
Eldredsville, Sulivan County; in 1870, Sonestown, Davidson Twp, Sullivan County. His children were William,
John Jackson, Peter, Isaac, and Cyrus B. (who married Catherine Hazen--dau Elisabeth and son Charles). John J. Peter
and Charles are recorded on Civil War lists. John Jackson Miller was married to Lavina Poust at the
Lairdsville Evangelical Church in Franklin Twp, Lycoming Co. He lived adjacent to his father in Davidson Twp from
1864-1873 before locating in Moreland Twp, Lycoming, PA where he spent the remainder of his life. I found the
following related interments at Old Sonestown
Cemetery, Sullivan Co, PA:
** Editor's Note: In March 2010, Laurie Evans, a descendants of George Miller sent us some background information on this family as well as several pictures. A photo of one son, John Jackson
Miller, is shown above. A photo of his wife Lavina Poust (born 1835) is shown below this note. You can see a photo of their
common grave marker in the Moreland Baptist Cemetery, Moreland Township, Lycoming County, PA at this link:
John and Lavina Marker. According to
Miller, George d 2 Nov 1873 age 75 yrs
Miller, Cyrus B d 30 Jul 1894 age 59 yrs
Miller, Oscar W d 4 Jan 1904 38y3m 13 d, s/o C.B. & C
I would love to find Sarah's grave and maiden name and Mary Haymon's grave.
Lavina (Poust) Miller
Wife of John Jackson Miller
Photo Contributed by Laurie Evans
The first store was built by Edkin Corson, who for a short time engaged in the mercantile
business, and later in lumbering. During the Civil War, Whittick and John Sylvara ran a
store here. In 1867, Edward Lyons purchased the sawmill, timber lands and the Bennett farm
of Edkin Corson and engaged in lumbering. About the same time William and Jacob Lorah and
Thomas Dent commenced to lumber here. Lorah erected a store and engaged in the mercantile
business. He was elected treasurer of Sullivan County 1890. He was a very prominent citizen
of Sonestown, erecting for himself one of the finest residences in the town, and also a
number of cottages to rent. He later moved to Columbia County and died at Bloomsburg.
The first settlement up the Outlet of Lewis’s Lake was made by Isaac Wilson of Columbia
County on lands now occupied by his son, John O. He was a weaver by trade and the father of
6 children: Jacob, Elias, John O., Isaac N., Mary Jane who married John Gower and afterward Edward Sones,
and Catharine who married Charles Glidewell.
In 1861, Ira Steinback, a native of Susquehanna County, came to Sonestown from Laporte
Township. He was justice of the peace and together with his son, Riley, who came a few years
later from Wayne County, became very closely identified with the business interests of the
Among the men who have been very prominent in the past two decades of the history of
Sonestown, Dr. John H. Rothrock has been second to none. He located here many years ago and
practiced medicine. He purchased a farm adjoining the town and built a number of dwelling
houses and took a very active part in the business interests of the town and county. He died
June 26, 1902, at the age of 80 years.
Along the valley of Muncy Creek, where the foaming waters of the Outlet of Lewis’s Lake
come rushing down to join with the larger steam, lies the pretty little village of Sonestown.
In the early days of the town, its principal resource was derived from the Lyon Lumber Co.,
who converted the hemlock and the hardwood, which covered the hills and valleys of the
vicinity, into marketable lumber. In 1885, when the Williamsport & North Branch Railroad
was completed to Sonestown, it brought a new industry to the town, one that has since aided
materially to its development and has been a means of livelihood to many of the citizens.
In 1892, when the Eaglesmere Railroad was completed from this place to the famous summer
resort, another impetus was given to the town. This road is a narrow guage, necessitating a
change of cars at this place, and thereby bringing annually into the town thousands of
visitors. Between twenty-five and thirty of the citizens of the town are employed by these
railroads. They have built here a very pretty little station and other buildings necessary
to the work in this vicinity.
The American Manufacturers’ Association have a washboard factory at this place which
employs about twelve men and boys. W.J. McCartney is at present building a clothespin
factory which will furnish employment for a number of people. C.W. Sones has established a
lumberyard here under the supervision of G.W. Simmons, where a number of men are employed
assorting and piling the lumber shipped from his mills near Eaglesmere.
The clothes pin factory at center was a major industry in Sonestown from 1903 to 1929. This view is looking northwest into town. A local hotel is visible at rear right, while the shop of the Eagles Mere Railroad is in the foreground.
Photo of a framed glass-encased page from an old book, auctioned on eBay in November 2005
Photo Submitted by Carol Brotzman
Two large and commodious hotels are located here, the Swank House under the management of
Ellis Swank, and the Lorah House under the management of J.H. Stackhouse. The town has four
general stores carrying a very well selected line of merchandise. They are owned by C.A.
Starr, J.W. Buck, Mrs. Ida Lorah and A.T. Armstrong, respectively.
C.D. Voorhees, the practicing physician for this vicinity, runs in connection with his
practice a large and commodious drug store.
H.P. Hall is Justice of the Peace and also a collection agent. G.W. Simmons is the
L.K. Freas and Andrew Edgar conduct blacksmith shops at this place.
Sonestown has two very flourishing secret societies, the P.O.S. of A. and the I.O.O.F.
The Methodist Episcopal church has a very large congregation under the guidance of Rev. H.N.
Ash, of Muncy Valley. The United Evangelical church years ago erected a handsome edifice
where they now worship under the pastorate of Rev. J.O. Biggs.
Muncy Valley takes its name from the beautiful valley of Muncy Creek, in which the town is
located. Trout Run, the outlet of Hunter’s Lake, here empties into Muncy Creek. The town is
built almost entirely upon the farmlands of Robert Taylor, who has already been mentioned.
He was very earnest in his efforts to locate a tannery here, offering substantial inducements,
and, in 1867, L.R. Bump built a small tannery with a capacity of 150 sides a day. Mr. Bump
was engaged in tanning about five years when the tannery burnt down. It was sold at
sheriff’s sale to L.R. Robertson. Mr. Robertson owned the tannery about one year and sold
out to D.T. Stevens and son, of Sullivan County, N.Y. Three years later, the plant was again
destroyed by fire. It was greatly enlarged when rebuilt. In 1893, D.T. Stevens & Son
sold out to the United States Leather Company. From a capacity of 150 sides per day, the
plant has been enlarged until the present capacity is 750 sides per day. Between 80 and 100
men are employed with a pay roll of $1800 every two weeks. Sole leather is manufactured
exclusively. J.P. Miller is superintendent. He was first employed when D.T. Stevens &
Son were the proprietors of the plant and has ever since held that position, the various
changes in ownership not having affected him. The tannery has practically built up the town,
which is now a prosperous and growing village. There is also considerable farm trade and the
various businessmen are all prospering finely.
Careful attention is paid to the education of the children, a three grade school being
maintained. The Methodist Episcopal’s own a pretty church here. The pastor. Rev. H.N. Ash,
resides in the neat parsonage that adjoins. Those of this neighborhood who embrace the
Catholic faith are included in the parish of Rev. Fr. Enright, of Mildred.
When the tannery was transferred to the United States Leather Company the store was sold
to W.L. Hoffman, of Hillsgrove, and A.P. Starr who had charge of the store under the Stevens
ownership still conducts the business. He is assisted by two clerks. Frank Magarel conducts a
general mercantile business, E.E. Webb a confectionery and green goods store, Hyman Herr a
clothing store, C.A. Miller a furniture store, and his wife Mrs. Bernice Miller a millinery
store, Taylor Brothers a meat market, Torrence Bender an undertaking business, James E.
Hause a bakery, and G.W. Bigger and C.J. Secules each conduct a blacksmithing business.
John Girton looks after the painting and paper hanging. G.W. Meyers and Dennis Palmatier are
the proprietors of the two hotels. James Magargel barber, Robert Hess life insurance agent, J.E. Gallagher bookkeeper, and
A.P. Miller inside foreman of the tannery are also among the substantial businessmen of the
B. F. Mather General Store
Jamison City, PA
Postmarked Spetember 14, 1908
With Background View of Grand Hotel, formerly the Proctor Hotel, known locally as "The Big Onion"
Note: This general store was previously owned by
Arlington W. Vaughn,
listed in the Directory of Sugarloaf Township, 1901.
The Vaughn name has been scratched over in this photo.
Photo Courtesy of Scott Tilden
Source: An old postcard addressed to Callie Morgenstern, Northumberland, PA
Auctioned on eBay in April 2011
Jamison City is located on the east branch of Fishing creek. Over thirty years ago
Messrs. Phelps and Payne purchased a large body of timberlands along the creek and engaged in
lumbering on a small scale. Later Messrs. Craig and Blanchard also purchased a large tract
of land in this vicinity and spent considerable money in trying to find coal, but all their
efforts proved unsuccessful.
In 1887 the Bloomsburg and Sullivan railroad was completed to this place, and a company
was organized at Williamsport under the management of James Corcoran and Thomas Wheeler.
Two farms were purchased and the town was laid out. It was first called Jameson City after
Col. John Jameson, who was interested in the town lots, but later B.K. Jamison, a Philadelphia
banker, who was also a heavy stockholder in the Bloomsburg and Sullivan railroad, succeeded
in having the name changed by substituting the "i" in his name for the "e"
in the original name, this change being made when the post office was established at that
The tannery was built in 1889 by Corcoran, Richards and Wheeler. In 1890, Thomas E Proctor
bought the tannery and conducted the business until 1893, when he sold to the United Stated
Leather Company, which is running the tannery at present. This tannery has a capacity of 666
sides per day. George W. Lambert is superintendent, and Clayton N. Wilbur, general foreman.
About 75 men are employed. A large sawmill is also operated
The county line divides the town. The tannery and about a dozen dwelling houses are
located in Sullivan County, and the sawmill and business portion of the town consisting of a
hotel and several stores are in Columbia County, giving that county nearly the whole
population of the town, while the timber and bark which supplies the tannery and sawmill
nearly all come from Sullivan County.
Ruins of the Tannery at Jamison City
Jamison City, PA
Source: The Sullivan Review, May 18, 2006
Emmons is located five miles west of Jamison City on the West Branch of Fishing Creek.
The first improvements at this place was made about 60 years ago when George W. Baum erected
a sawmill and engaged in manufacturing lumber; the place was then called Baumtown. In 1850,
a flood destroyed the mill property and the business was abandoned. For over thirty years,
the ruins of this industry were all that marked the location of the place. In 1882,
Parvin Kile, of Elk Grove, became convinced that the lumbering interests in that section
would cause a town to spring up at that place, purchased several acres of land and erected a
hotel. Within the next two years the town began to thrive. The Pentecost Lumbering Company
extended the railroad up the West Branch of Fishing Creek and conducted an extensive
lumbering business, shipping the bark and timber to Jamison City. The present firm,
lumbering in this vicinity, is composed of men belonging to the Tannery Company. G.W. Lillie
conducts a general store and has the contract to peal the bark and stock the logs. He runs
three lumber camps and employs at times as high as three hundred men. An acid factory now
belonging to the acid trust was located here several years ago and adds substantially to the
business interests of the town.
Editor's Note: Apparently at one time there was a school house here, and later the location was used by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) as a camp location. David Kline, a local enthusiast, notes that the granddaughter of the teacher told him that the former Mrs. Perry had 83 students in a one-room school there. She was not the only teacher at Emmons, since the October 6, 1898 Sullivan Review reports that Spncer Starr had recently gone to Emmons to "start his school". As indicated in a brief bio elsewhere on this page, Parvin Kile, the first settler in Emmons, was also a school director for seven years there.
On April 21, 2000, Kline introduced Wilson Ferguson, President of the Sullivan County Historical Society, to speak to the Columbia County "History Buffs", an informal group of people with an interest in local traditions. His topic was the CCC camp north of Elk Grove. Mr Ferguson prefaced his history of the Camp with information about the village of Emmons, also known as "Bombtown", which, of course, is a corruption of "Baumtown", what it was called when George Baum ran his sawmill there. The town, located at the juncture of Painter Run with the West Branch of Fishing Creek, had been abandoned long before the establishment of the CCC Camp. Getting his information from the writings of a one room school teacher in the village, Ferguson, per Kline, gave an excellent and entertaining picture of life in the lumber camp and acid factory town. The factory moved out and the town gradually disappeared as the timber was used up. Emmons Post Office was in service from 1894 to 1910. The first contingent for the CCC. camp left Fort Meade, Maryland on June 5, 1933. They arrived in Benton by train on June 6, 1933 and were transported by truck to the site of the camp. The first night, a heavy wind and rainstorm tore down many of their tents. Eighteen men quit the camp the first night. But after a rough start, Camp Morton, as it was called, grew and prospered. They won several contests with other camps in the state. Their work projects included building roads, bridges and fish dams, stream improvement, fire and truck trails, reforestration, etc. The camp lasted 4 1/2 years. At that time most of their work in the area was accomplished and the draft was calling many of the young men of that age into the army. Ferguson then opened the meeting to anyone who had anything else to offer. Several people offered insight as to how the camp participants fit into the community. Some said these boys were resented by local citizens, but others gave instances where they fit in very well. Bette Hess Grey told how they used the ball diamond in Grassmere Park as their practice and home diamond. There were three former CCC members present, but none who had been based at Camp Morton. There were several people present who had relatives who were employed at the camp as foremen or leaders. After the meeting, many accompanied Ferguson to the site of the camp where they saw what is left of roads and foundations.
In December 2007, we were told by David Kline, Emmons is nothing but a parking lot with a few apple trees.
Two miles east of Emmons on the road leading from Emmons to Jamison City is located the
town of Elk Grove. This is a small town engaged in lumbering. It is in Columbia County but
gets the timber used in its mills from the forests of Davidson Township
Nordmont is located on Muncy Creek 6 miles east of Sonestown and lies partially in Davidson
and partially in Laporte Township. The business industries are located in the latter
township and will be described in the history of that township. A number of residences,
however, are located in Davidson Township. *
* Editor's Note: In November 2014, Connie (King) McMichael contributed several pictures of Nordmont from
the 1920s and 1930s from her father's photo album. Her father was
Walter Richard King. The photos are shown at the end of this page where the registered voters of Nordmont are listed.
Strawbridge with its post office and less those a dozen dwellings is located on Muncy
Creek just across the county line in Lycoming County. The sawmill of Robert Taylor is the
only manufacturing industry of the place.
Beaver Dam is the name of a pretty artificial lake covering over 50 acres of land partially
in Lycoming and partially in Sullivan County. The place is noted for its excellent fishing,
the lake being well stocked with fish. A.L. Sones conducts a large hotel at this place. A
copper mining company has been formed and has been making considerable progress toward
developing the copper ore found in the vicinity.
Ice Fishing Permit
Issued May 1958
Splash Pond Dam on State Game Lands
Dam Located Four Miles East of Highway 220
One of Several Such Dams Originally Built
to Control the Flow of Logged
Timber into Muncy Creek
Photo courtesy of Scott W. Tilden
Original Sign auctioned on eBay in January 2015
Editor's Note: The Pennsylvania Game Commission is the wildlife management agency in the State of Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission uses a varfiety of signs made of different materials.. These signs inform the public of rules, regulations
and general information. Over time, the signs often become obsolete or need repairs or replacement. The original signs were often just thrown out or fell
into the hands of collectors, as did the one shown above. State Game Lands Number 13 is located in Sullivan County and is the second largest State Game Lands
in the State Game Lands System. The two emblems in the botton corners are the official emblems of the State of Pennsylvania.
As early as 1872, the Lyons Lumber Company constructed dams on Muncy Creek and conducted a
large lumbering business for about twenty-five years. John Paulhamus, the contractor for
many years and who is well known along the valley of Muncy Creek, is now lumbering in West
Laporte & Hartley Hall Rail Line
Along the Muncy Creek 1912
This image contains a real photo of Muncy Creek and the railroad line that ran alongside.
The postcard was actually postmarked in a Railroad Post Office that ran on these very tracks. The Laporte & Hartley Hall line was part of
the Williamsport & North Branch Railroad and ran for 34 miles from Laporte in Sullivan County to Hartley Hall in Lycoming County. Hartley Hall, named conjointly for Thomas Hartley, the Indian fighter from
Revolutionary War days, and W. Coleman Hall, a prominent local landowner, was a major rail junciton ten miles east of Williamsport, PA. It no longer exists on road maps, but at one
time was part of Pennsdale, a small suburb of Muncy, PA.
Photo courtesy of Scott W. Tilden
Original Postcard auctioned on eBay in December 2012
WILLIAMSPORT & NORTH BRANCH RAILROAD
The Muncy Creek Railroad, as the Williamsport and North Branch was originally called, was
chartered with Michael Meylert, H.R. Mehrling, Robert Taylor, George Bodine and A.J.
Dietrick as members of the corporation. Their purpose was to lay out and construct a road
from Muncy to Laporte, via Muncy Creek. The first officers were: President, Michael Meylert;
Treasurer, Joshua Bowman; Secretary, B. Morris Ellis; Superintendent, H. Mehrling. Muncy
gave the new road very little encouragement and the western terminus was changed to Halls,
and the survey and work of construction begun about 1866. The preliminary survey was made by
Samuel Stevenson assisted by B.L. Cheney. William A. Mason acted as chief engineer. In 1867,
the road was completed to about three miles above Hughesville or nine miles in all, with a
very easy grade and at a proportionally slight-expense, but the deep cuts and immense fills
that would be necessary, before the road could reach Laporte, baffled the company and work
was suspended. In 1872, a new organization was effected but still the road did not pay, and
it was sold in 1881. The new corporation changed the name of the road to the Williamsport
and North Branch Railroad, and made Benjamin G. Welch, general manager. Work on the road was
resumed, and in 1885 had reached six miles into Sullivan County. For a time Sonestown was
made the eastern terminus, and in 1888 the road was completed to Nordmont.
Remains of the Nordmont Railroad Trestle
Source: The Sullivan Review, January 12, 2006
While the terminus was here, John Satterfield and Henry L. Taylor, wealthy capitalists of
Buffalo, secured a controlling interest in the stock. New officers were elected as follows:
President, Hon. H.C. McCormick; Vice-president, John Satterfield; Treasurer, J. Henry Cochran;
Secretary, S.T. McCormick. Benjamin G. Welch was retained as general manager and
preparations made to extend the road. It was completed to Dohm’s Summit near Dushore, and
put in operation in the fall of 1893. The name of Dohm’s Summit was changed to Satterfield
in honor of John Satterfield. The road thus completed formed a natural connection for
through traffic between the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia and Reading railroads. S.D.
Townsend is now general manager.
Davidson Township has always firmly upheld the honor of the flag and has contributed her
quota to its support whenever occasion called. One of the fist band to penetrate her forests
and claim of her a home, Adam Derr, was a colonel in the Revolutionary War. In the days of
1812, when the young republic was struggling with England for an existence, one of the then
few settlers, David Philips, left for the scene of action, fighting gallantly until for the
second time the Briton was driven from our shores.
In the days of ’61 when the very life of the nation was threatened, many responded to
their country’s call and among Davidson’s citizens in the ranks were: G.W. Simmons, J.N.
Simmons, Daniel Philips, A. Biggers, Peter Sones, J.W. Speary, B.C. Speary, T. Edgar,
T. Glidewell, E. Gower, J. Bennett, T.S. Simmons, S. Wilbur, C.W. Larish, D. Larish,
W.F. Larish, Simpson S. Simmons, D.S. Simmons, G.W. Pennington, James Speary, D.M. Speary,
William Arms, G.A. Skinner, D. Taylor, C.S. Taylor, P. Miller, T.A. Dent, William Lorah,
G.T. Philips, William Wilson, J.Gower, E.S. Howell, B.Horn, J.J. Miller, J. Lorah, G..W.
Bigger, S. Swank, C. Martin, J.N. Hazen, Asa Speary, C. Miller, E. Smith, Jacob Wilson,
C. Glidewell, Jackson Philips, J. Biggers, Washington Sheets, Nelson Johnson, and Thomas A
BENJAMIN G. WELCH
He was born in 1839 near Walsal, Staffordshire, England. His parents came to the United States in 1844 and settled in
Philadelphia which has been the home of the family ever since. He was educated in the Public
Schools of that city, graduating from the High School in 1863. His business education was
gained in the hardware establishment of William P. Wilstach & Co. The famous Wilstach Art
Collection is in Memorial Hall, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. In 1862, Mr. Welch moved to
Danville, Pa., where he was connected with the iron works for over ten years. He married
Sarah A. Hancock, daughter of the senior member of the firm. During this time, he spent
nearly two years in Toronto, Canada, in the management of the street railway which had become
indebted to his firm and they were compelled to take over the railway. He finished it, built
at a very comfortable advance on its cost. Later he was connected with an iron mine near
Kingston, Ontario, which was opened out and afterward sold to the Elira Iron & Steel Co.
of New York. While still living at Danville, he was a manager of an anthracite coal mine for
more than a year during the days of the famous "Mollie Maguire" organization.
During the war, he served in one of the emergency regiments called out by Gov. Curtin at the
first raid into Pennsylvania. In 1881, he was appointed Receiver of the Muncy Creek Railroad
which was extended through between Halls and Satterfield under his management. In 1882, he
began to advertise Eaglesmere and work for its development by establishing a stage line which
has since grown into the Eaglesmere Railroad of which he is still one of the owners.
It may fairly be said that he is the father of Eaglesmere and has always worked for its
success. He has probably done more for it than any one else ever connected with it. In 1900,
he agitated a public supply of water and electric light for Eaglesmere with the result that,
in connection with a number of other prominent gentlemen, he constructed a Light Plant run by
the water of Hunters Lake which went into operation on June 1, 1901 and has run continuously
ever since almost without a stop. Mr. Welch is still a citizen of Sullivan County and one of
its active workers and warmest well wishers.
JAMES P. MILLER
The efficient superintendent of the Union Tanning Co., at Muncy Valley, was born at
Standing Stone, Bradford County, in 1847. His father, who was a farmer at Standing Stone,
died when he was quite young. The family moved to Columbia County where he secured his
education in the common schools. He later took a business course in a high school. When a
young man, he taught school a number of years, clerked two years in a store in Williamsport
and spent seven years in the lumber woods. He was teaching school in Davidson Township when,
in 1875, the position of superintendent of the tannery then owned by L.R. Robertson was
tendered to him. He accepted the offer and has ever since held the position, though the
tannery has changed proprietors three times during his connection with it. Mr. Miller, who
has always taken an active part in the political affairs of Davidson Township, is at present
postmaster at Muncy Valley and is also serving his third term as school director. He married
Elizabeth Johnson who was born in Davidson in 1856. To this union have been born nine
children: E. Maud, Mabel M. died in November 1886, Myrtle A., Ernest S. died in October
1886, Blanche, Ralph J. died in November 1892, James R., C. Donald, and Grant.
He was born in Shrewsbury Township in 1835. He was a son of James Taylor and a grandson
of Robert Taylor who was one of the first settlers of Shrewsbury Township. He married Martha
J. Montague, who was born at Tivoli, Lycoming County in 1854. To them were born: William C.,
Charles E, Ellis M., Jessie Grace who married William Moran of Muncy Valley, and Clara Lois.
Mr. Taylor died in 1896 and Mrs. Taylor and her three sons conduct the large farm of 425
acres, near the town of Muncy Valley. They are among the foremost of Davidson Township’s
farmers, taking especial pride in the raising of fine blooded stock.
R. SPENCER STARR
A son of Mr. and Mrs. T. Wilson Starr, he was born at Sonestown in 1877. His father came
here from Muncy about 38 years ago, the family being of German extraction. His mother is a
daughter of T.A. Richart, one of the early settlers of Davidson Township. Mr. Starr received
his education in the common schools of his native town, supplementing it by a course in the
Bloomsburg State Normal and the Commercial College at Williamsport. For a number of years,
he has been engaged in teaching school, at present having charge of the intermediate grade at
Sonestown. He was married in 1902 to Mae Simmons, who was born in 1883, a daughter of
George Simmons of Sonestown.
ERNEST A. FULMER
Of Muncy Valley, he was born in 1864 in Shrewsbury Township. He is a son of William
Fulmer of Shrewsbury township, whose father was one of the number who came to Cherry township
when the Susquehanna and Tioga Turnpike was built in 1818, being employed upon its
construction. He is a carpenter by trade and resides on the Meyers homestead. He has held
the offices of school director and supervisor of roads. He married Caroline Meyers, a
daughter of Jacob Meyers of Davidson Township. Mr. Meyers was a native of Germany. To Mr.
and Mrs. Fulmer have been born three children: Bessie F., Anna M. and C. Edwin.
DAVID M. TAYLOR
He was born in 1836, at Muncy Valley on the same farm where he now resides. His father
was Robert Tayor who settled in Shrewsbury in 1804. Previous to the building of the narrow
gauge, Mr. Taylor was proprietor of the stage line between Muncy Valley and Eaglesmere. He
married Mary Grey, a daughter of John Grey, a farmer near Picture Rocks. They are the
parents of five children: Carrie who married C.M. Croll of Dushore, John C., Monroe, R.
Harry who married Iva Bennett, a daughter of Boyd Bennett, and Mabel.
The engineer of the Eaglesmere Railroad was born in Moreland Township, Lycoming County, in
1866. His father, E.M. Converse, of Kansas, was born in Davidson Township; his grandfather,
Joseph Converse, being one of the early settlers. Mr. Converse owns a pretty residence at
Sonestown and is identified with the I.O.O.F. lodge at that place. For a number of years, he
has held the position of chief engineer on the Eaglesmere Railroad. He was married in 1889
to Bertha Cook, a daughter of Ellis Cook, of Athens, PA. Miss Cook was born in Davidson
Township in 1872. To this union have been born six children: Howard Stanley died in 1897
at the age of eight years, Alice, Giles, Lynn, Willard, and LaRue who died in infancy.
One of Sonestown’s merchants, he was born in 1859 in Franklin Township, Lycoming County.
His father Anthony Starr came from Berks County, Pennsylvania. Mr. Starr is the proprietor
of a well equipped general merchandise store. He is a member of the P.O.S. of A. of Sonestown
and is serving his third term as school director of Davidson Township. He was married in
1891 to Clara Magargel of Sonestown. Her father Thomas S. Magargel came from Philadelphia to
Lairdsville where she was born in 1866. In April, 1867, he came to Sullivan County, where
for many years he was proprietor of the Magargel House at Sonestown. He served as county
commissioner in 1872. To Mr. and Mrs. Starr have been born four children: Frank E. who died
when small, two sons who died in infancy, and Fred D.
HARVEY E. PHILIPS
He was born in 1865, on the Philips homestead, the farm where he now resides. His father
was David J. Philips, whose father Griffith Philips, in 1812 cleared the farm that has been
owned by three generations of the Philips family and is now the home of the subject of this
sketch. Mr. Philips is a farmer and at present is president of the Davidson township school
board. He was married in 1887 to Hannah Warburton, a daughter of James Warburton of Lycoming
County. To them have been born: Laura Hazel who died Dec. 13, 1900 aged 13 years, Oscar E.,
Walter Freeman, Jessie May, Bruce Chester and Carl LaRue.
FRANCIS E. ALLEN
A son of Tine Allen, he was born in 1874 in Montour County, Pennsylvania. He is at
present employed at Beaver Lake, where he resides. His wife is Anna, a daughter of Clark
Philips of Davidson Township. She was born in 1875. They are the parents of four children:
Elsie, Edna, Edith and Chester.
A son of Joseph Flick, he was born in 1874 in Shrewsbury Township. His father was a
native of Lycoming County and served as a soldier in the Civil War. He is a farmer and owns
a house and a lot at Hemlock Grove. His wife was Etta Henley, a daughter of Edward S. Henley.
Her grandfather, B.W. Henley, came to Cherry Township when the Susquehanna and Tioga Turnpike
was built and married Sarah Lopez, the only child of John R. Lopez, a contractor, who built a
portion of the turnpike. Mr. and Mrs. Flick have one daughter, Bessie E.
One of the most prominent of Davidson’s citizens, he was born in 1854. His father was
Griffith Philips 2nd, who cleared the farm where his son now lives. His grandfather
was one of the first settlers of Davidson. Mr. Philips has always taken an active part in
the business affairs of Sullivan County. He was elected Associate Judge of the Sullivan
County Courts in 1891. With the affairs of Davidson Township, he has for many years been
closely identified, serving as school director for nine years. He is general agent for
school books and supplies, He married Mary C. Pennington, a daughter of James N. Pennington,
of Fairmount Springs, Luzerne County. She was born in 1862. Four daughters have been born
to bless this union: Murelle G. born in 1889, Mary V. born in 1892, Helen V. born in 1895,
and Eva E. born in 1900.
He was born in Davidson Township in 1849. His grandfather, Solomon Swank, came to this
country from Germany and settled in Sullivan County. His father Christian Swank was a farmer
of Davidson Township. For many years, Mr. Swank followed the trades of carpentering and
blacksmithing, residing at Muncy Valley. In 1879, he was elected constable of Davidson
Township, serving two terms. In 1883, he was elected county auditor and in 1895 was elected
sheriff of Sullivan County. In 1898 he purchased the Magargel House of Mrs. Thomas Magargel,
which he remodeled and where he now conducts a first-class hostelry. He is a member of the
I.O.O.F. of Sonestown. He was married in 1876 to Emma Philips of Davidson township and to
them have been born: Elizabeth J. who died at the age of fourteen years, Ellery E., Thomas C.,
and Martin E. Thomas C. Swank was married in 1902 to Alta Rea, a daughter of George Rea of
Sonestown, and was killed in the fatal railroad wreck at Laporte, Jan. 26, 1903. To them had
been born a daughter who with the wife survives.
AUGUSTUS G. MENCER
He was born at Danville, Pa. in 1868. His father, Theodore Mencer of Jersey Shore, was born in Germany and came to America when 9 years of age and 25 years ago came to Sonestown where he engaged in the mercantile business and also followed the trade of shoemaking. Mr. Mencer owns a pretty home in Sonestown, is identified with the I.O.O.F. of that place and serves as section foreman on the EaglesMere railroad. He was married in 1895 to Clara Gritman, a daughter of the late Dewitt Gritman, of the Elk Lake school district, who was a native of East Benton and came to Davidson Township before the Civil War, being a veteran of that war. Mrs. Mencer was born in 1872, her mother being a daughter of William Low, one of the early settlers of Laporte Township. To Mr. and Mrs. Mencer have been born, Anna Josephine, Herman Dewitt and Vernie Althia.
THORNTON L. WATTS
Of Muncy Valley was born at Iola, Columbia County in 1860. His father was John Watts of
Iola, formerly of Greenwood. He was a native of Columbia Countr, the Watts family being
among the early settlers of that county. Mr. Watts is boss carpenter and machinist of the
Muncy Valley tannery and a member of the P.O.S. of A. He married Amerta Johnson, a daughter
of Jasper Johnson. She was born at Iola in 1870. They are the parents of six children:
Fred B., Joseph L., Edward W., Allether R., George McKinley, and Ella S.
ELMER E. CRAWLEY
He was born in Davidson Township in 1864. He is the son of Morris Crawley of Davidson and
owns a farm in this township where he resides. He was married in 1902 to Maggie Shires, a
daughter of Daniel Shires of Beaver Lake. To them has been born one son, Gaylord LaRue
Of Sonestown, he was born at that place in 1878. His father was Isaac Wilson, who came
from Columbia County about fifty years ago and made the first settlement up the Outlet. Mr.
Wilson is a single young man and resides at Sonestown.
PETER B. HOPFER
He was born Sept 6, 1829, in the town of Northumberland. He came to Muncy Valley with
James Glidewell when seven years of age. He served for many years as constable of Davidson
Township. He was married in 1859 to Barbara Reese of Lycoming County. They are the parents
of eight children: Josiah W. Mrs. Lillie Boyer, Leo, Mrs. Mary Green, Frank E., George H.,
Carrie, and Charles.
A prosperous farmer of Nordmont, he was born at Cherry Mills in 1861. His father, Charles
Sick, settled in Cherry Township in 1839. He came to this country from Baden, Germany. Mr.
Sick owns a fine farm at what is known as the Corners. He was married in 1889 to Dora
Speary, a daughter of D.M. Speary of Nordmont, her ancestors being among the original Elk
Lick settlers. Both Mr. and Mrs. Sick are prominently identified with church and Sunday
school work, taking an active part in the work of the M.E. church, which is situated near
their residence at the Corners. To them have been born three children: Adon, Mary and Dorson.
Of Nordmont, he was born at Cole’s Creek, Columbia County, in 1838. His father, David Lewis,
was a native of New Jersey, and settled at Cole’s Creek where he followed the trade of
blacksmithing. Mr. Lewis came to Sullivan County in 1871 and owns a fine farm near Nordmont.
He was school director for a number of years, supervisor one term and later tax collector of
Davidson Township. He married Catharine Haines in 1863. They have three children: Lizzie,
married A.C. Shaw of Shickshinny, PA, Raymond at home, and Edna, married L.T. Richard.
He was born in Davidson Township in 1877. His father, Amos Foust, an early settler of
Davidson, was born in 1838, in that part of Cherry now comprised within the boundaries of
Laporte Township. His grandfather, Philip Foust, was a native of Germany. Mr. Foust owns a
farm at Nordmont. He was married in 1899 to Lydia Agnes Fritz, a daughter of Gerhart Fritz
of Davidson Township. To them have been born three children: Lee Carlton, Ruth Madeline, and
Of Nordmont, he was born in Laporte Township in 1861. His father Daniel Horn came to
Laporte from Columbia County about 1843. Later he moved to Waller, Columbia County, where
he died aged 82 years. Mr. Horn owns a farm about two miles from Nordmont. He has for many
years been identified with the educational advancement of Davidson Township, having served as
school director for twelve years. He has been engaged for several years as a fire and life
insurance agent. He was married in 1885 to Eunice Foust, a daughter of Amos and Esther Foust,
of Davidson Township. To them have been born two sons: Roland R. and Herbert S.
A farmer near Nordmont, he was born at Fairmount Springs in 1871. He is a son of Hiram
Fritz, and his grandfather, Samuel Fritz, was an early settler of Columbia County. Mr.
Fritz’s father, Hiram Fritz, died in 1882 and his widow, Dorothy Fritz, reared the family and
still resides on the homestead in Davidson Township. Mr. Fritz is a single man and resides
on the homestead.
CHARLES W. LITTLE
Of Nordmont, he was born in Laporte Township in 1859. His father was Thomas Little, a son
of John Little, who came to Sullivan County about 60 years ago. Mr. Little is foreman in the
acid factory at Nordmont. He is a brother of J.P. Little, who was formerly Superintendent of
Schools of Sullivan County. Mr. Little was married in 1880 to Etta Speary and to them have
been born seven children: Anna Jane, Lizzie L., Nora E., Harrison W., Watson W., Hazel and
He was born at Sonestown in 1873. His father, T. Wilson Starr, was born in Lycoming
County and came to Davidson about 38 years ago. Mr. Starr for a number of years has been
conductor on the Eaglemere Railroad passenger train that carries thousands of visitors each
summer to the famous resort. He is a member of the I.O.O.F. of Sonestown and he owns a
pretty residence there. He was married in 1900 to Anna Hazen, a daughter of John F. Hazen,
of Sonestown. To them have been born two sons: Rufus L. and Donald E.
Of Sonestown, he was born in 1848 in Jordan Township, Lycoming County. His father, James
Stackhouse, was born in Columbia County and was a son of Thomas Stackhouse. The Stackhouses
were among the first settlers of Pennsylvania. They came to America from Yorkshire, England,
sailing in the ship Welcome with William Penn. The family is very numerous in
Pennsylvania and Ohio, though members may be found in every state in the Union. A number
were engaged in the Revolutionary War and the family has always been closely identified with
State and National affairs. Mr. Stackhouse came to Sullivan County in 1883 and lived near
Eaglesmere until 1903. In 1903, he took charge of the Lorah House at Sonestown. He was
married in 1871 to Cynthia Bigger, who died Feb. 11, 1874, leaving one daughter, Olive B.,
who married Solomon Steiner of Lycoming County. He was again married in December 1874 to
Redocia Philips, a daughter of David Philips of Davidson Township. To them have been
born: Harvey C., Monroe E., Myrtle L., Mazie L., Emma Lula, Maynard J., Carrie E., Eva S.,
D.S. and JOHN A. PHILIPS
They are the sons of John Philips who 50 years ago settled on the farm where they now
reside. D.S. Philips was born in 1847. He has been a member of the Davidson school board
for six terms or eighteen years. He was married in 1901 to Ella Philips, a daughter of
Robert Philips of Lairdsville. One child, Leona Gertrude, blesses this union. John A.
Philips was born in 1856. He is a single man and resides with his brother, D.S. Philips.
The brothers have been engaged for a number of years in the raising of stock.
ALBERT T. MEYERS
He was born in Davidson Township in 1865. His father Jacob Meyers came from Germany to
Lancaster County about 45 years ago, rearing a family of thirteen children, ten sons and
three daughters. The subject of this sketch married Ida Enler of Franklin Township, and to
them have been born four children: Elliston, David Stanley, Ethel O., and Bruce.
Mr. Meyers is a blacksmith who has a shop at Sand Run, Davidson Township where he also owns a
farm on which he resides.
He was born in 1835 in Wurtenburg, Germany. He emigrated to America in 1854, going to
Philadelphia. Later he went to Williamsport where he joined the Union army in 1861, serving
two years during the Civil war. In 1879 he came to Sullivan County. He has been extensively
engaged in lumbering and owns a large farm near Sonestown. He was married in 1858 to Mary
Hamann, a native of Wurtenburg, Germany. To them have born nine children: John, married
Jane Glidewell; Joseph G., married Alice Neuber; Katharine, married John Koch; Caroline,
married Pierce Gray; Lizzie, married William Stackhouse; Mary, married Charles Wing, of
Laporte; William, married Mrs. Dora Cook, a daughter of Griffith Philips of Sonestown;
Harry, and Christian who lives in Pittsburgh.
He was born in Cherry Township. His father was James Gallagher a farmer of Cherry
Township. Mr. Gallagher received his education in the public schools of Cherry Township, the
Mansfield State Normal School, and the Rochester Business University. He taught school in
Sullivan County for seven years and served three years as Commissioners’ Clerk. Since 1896,
he has been in the employ of the Union Tanning Company at Muncy Valley as book keeper. In
1890, he was married to Kate Kennedy of Laporte. To them have been born five children:
James, Thomas, Margaret, John and Anna.
ROBERT W. SIMMONS
He was born at Sonestown, April 10, 1868. His father, G.W. Simmons, was born in Lycoming
County and moved to Sonestown in 1842. Mr. Simmons is a blacksmith and railroad engineer on
the Williamsport and North Branch Railroad. He owns a house and lot at Sonestown where he
resides. He was married in 1891 to Lizzie J. Keeler, a daughter of F.R. Keeler of Nordmont.
Her father’s family was among the early settlers of the Elk Lick district.
He was born in Sugarloaf Township, Columbia County in 1841. He came to Muncy Valley 18
years ago. He served as constable four years and is at present engaged in the insurance
business. He was married to Elizabeth Brittain in 1869. To them have been born five
children: George P., C.W., Benjamin F., Oliver P. and Eva, who married William F. Snyder.
Of Muncy Valley, he was born at Sonestown in 1876, a son of Thomas Magargel. He was
educated in the common schools of Sonestown. He entered into partnership with his brother,
J.B. Magargel, and opened a store at Sonestown in 1891. In 1896, they sold their store to
Z.E. and R.E. Botsford. In the spring of 1897, he purchased the store of A.T. Armstrong at
Muncy Valley where he has since been engaged in the mercantile business. In 1894, he was
appointed County Auditor, serving two years. At present, he is serving his second term as
township auditor. He was married in 1897 to Cora E. Crawley, one child, Pauline L., having
been born to this union.
MRS. CATHARINE H. STROUP
She is a daughter of James Taylor, of Davidson Township, and a granddaughter of Robert Taylor,
one of the first settlers of Shrewsbury Township. Her mother was Delia Edkin whose family
were among the early settlers of Shrewsbury Township. She was married in 1866 to James F.
Stroup, who died about 15 years ago. To them have been born five children: Maggie,
married George Crowley; Johanna who died at the age of six months; Taylor; Delia who died in
1882, and Curtis who married Laura Brink, of Eaglesmere in 1895 and who lives on the
homestead and conducts the farm.
A native of Shrewsbury Township, he was born in 1831 and is a son of Fredrick Taylor,
of Shrewsbury, whose father was Robert Taylor, an early settler of that section. Mr. Taylor
purchased and settled on the farm on Muncy Creek, where he now lives, in 1857. He was
married to Sarah Sellers of Pine Summit, Columbia County, in 1867. To this union were born
three children: Mrs. Ocie Armstrong of Sonestown, Harry, and Edna who both live at home.
Mr. Taylor owns 550 acres of land and operates a sawmill on Muncy Creek. He was elected
Associate Judge in 1886
REV. J. GULDIN
He was born near Reading, Pa., Feb. 22, 1848. His father is Joel L. Guldin, who moved to
White Deer Valley, Lycoming County, in the fall of 1857. Here he has since resided with the
exception of three years spent in Winchester, VA. His family consisted of three sons and
three daughters of which the subject of this sketch is the eldest. Mr. Guldin spent his
earlier years in his father’s gristmill, later attending Dickinson Seminary at Williamsport,
from which he graduated in June, 1872. In the spring of 1873, he entered the ministry,
joining the Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Episcopal church. He has held
the pastorate of the M.E. charges at Gettysburg, Mont Alto, Shrewsbury, Elysburg, Catawissa
circuit, Melroy, South Heberton, Washingtonville, Trevorton, Liberty Valley, Cogan Valley,
Penfield, Muncy Valley. and, in the spring of 1903, he was transferred to Fairview where he
is at present located. He was married June 9, 1880 to Jeanette A. Clarkson, of Ashland,
Schuylkill County. To them have been born two daughters: Helen Clare and Mary Francis,
both of whom are dead, and one son Jess E., who is at present attending Williamsport
EDMUND E. WEBB
Of Muncy Valley, he was born at Muncy, Lycoming County, in 1838, a son of William Webb.
By trade Mr. Webb is a tanner. In 1861, he enlisted in the three months service in Co. G.
11th P.V.I. He re-enlisted Aug. 12, 1862, as First Sergeant in Co. F. 106 P.V.I.
in 1864. He again re-enlisted in Co. 1 189 P.V.I. and was honorably discharged Jan 28,
1865. He is a member of William Bryan Post and is at present engaged in the mercantile
business at Muncy Valley. In 1864, he was married to Elizabeth Casselberry, who died Aug.
12, 1881. He was again married to Susan A. Smith in Nov. 1881. Their only child, Elsie,
GEORGE W. BIGGER
County Commissioner of Sullivan County, he was born in Franklin Township, Lycoming County,
the Biggers family being among the early settlers of the Muncy Creek Valley. He came to
Sullivan County in 1849 with his father who settled in Davidson near where Hon. M.J. Philips
now resides. He learned the blacksmith trade and was a sawyer for 23 years. In 1863, he
enlisted in Co. H. 43rd. Reg. P.I. and re-enlisted in 1864 in Co. E. 209 Reg.
P.V.I. being honorably discharged in 1865. Since the war, he has been engaged in lumbering
and is now conducting a blacksmith ship at Muncy Valley. He has been school director and
held other minor offices and in 1902 was elected County Commissioner. He married Ida
Worthington of Lycoming County and they are the parents of one daughter, Mrs. T.J. Schug,
and six sons: Charles E., Ulysses E., James B., Hurley D., Harold P. and Oliver R.
CHARLES JEFFERSON * SECULES
He was born in Lycoming County in 1860 and is a son of Ex-county Commissioner Philip
Secules of Shrewsbury Township. He learned the blacksmithing trade and has conducted a
blacksmith shop in Muncy Valley since the spring of 1895. He is a member of the Valley since
the spring of 1895. He is a member of the I.O.O.F. at Sonestown. In 1889, he married Ada
Gower, who died in 1900. In the fall of 1901 he married Susan Crist. ** He is the father of
three children, Walter, Harry and Alice.
* Editor's Note: In November 2012 and again in July 2015, we heard from Jim Hunter as follows:
I am Charles Jefferson Secules' great grandson, James Hunter. My mother was
Catherine Secules, born 1920 in Philadelphia, Pa., daughter of Walter F. Secules, born Oct.1, 1890,
and Mary Cavanaugh. Walter in turn was the son of Charles Jefferson Secules, a blacksmith of Muncy
Valley, born in Fribly, Lycoming County, Pa. around 1866.
His first wife was Ada Gower of Sonestown.
Charles Jefferson Secules was the son of Phillip Secules. I have been researching the Secules Family origins and have come upon
the fact that the name was changed sometime in the 1870's for some unknown reason. There was also a disconnect from Philip Secules'
mother's family the Snyders, after his mother Hettie moved with Philip's sister Barbara to marry into another Columbia County (Pennsylvania)
family by the name of Hartman. It appears that the original family name was "Suszholz" one family of the followers of Caspar Schwenkfeld,
known as the the Schwenkfelder families. THis was a repressed sect in Silesia and Germany that came to Philadelphia in 1733. The general
Americanization of the name change was "Seasholtz" for most of the family. I think Philip Secules tried to use a close spelling of the name
in the 1870 census:
> 1870 United States Federal Census > Pennsylvania > Lycoming >
> Shrewsbury Enunerated 12 Jul 1870
> Name: Philip Susuth (correction Susultz/ Secules) Estimated Birth Year: abt 1840
Age in 1870: 30
> Birthplace: Pennsylvania
> Race: White
> Gender: Male
> Occupation: keeps hotel
> Others in home: Sarah, age 30; Charles J, age 9, attending school; Sarah J, age 7, attending school;
> Mary C, age 6; Samuel E, age 2; Nathan L, age 9/12, born Sept.
> Philfmore Dickerman, age 16. All born in PA Post Office: Livola
> (correction to Tivola)
> Roll: M593_1371; Page: 353
> From Philips family bible and his death certificate, I know that he
> was born in Columbia County, PA and that his father's name was John (or
You may be interested to know that John David Rockefeller's mother was a Seasholtz. David Kipp Conover Jr. has connected the Secules family to his lineage, as shown on the
the Conover Genealogical Site/. Here you will find that your aunt Ella Seculess brother
Lewis married into a family that includes the Roosevelt, the Walkers and the Bushes, the Cheney's, Willie Nelson and, yes, even President Obama through
their connection to the Swift Family!
My father was Francis P. Hunter, born 1917, son of John Dougherty Hunter, born 1885, and Gertrude Hasson.
John was the son of William F. Hunter, born 1860 in Philadelphia. William Hunter attended Girard College in 1870 and became an engineer.
Attending Girrard means he was an orphan at that time and I know from the census that his
father and mother were immigrants from Ireland in 1860. I am trying to find out how he died. Family
rumors say that he was an officer in the military.
** Editor's Note: Both spouses and their respective marriage dates are listed on Selected Sullivan County Marriages.
DR. C.D. VOORHEES
He was born at Shingle House, Potter County, in 1856, and is a son of John Voorhees, one
of the early settlers of that county. He graduated from the University Medical College of
New York in 1889, and practiced medicine and engaged in the drug business at Instanter, Elk
County for some time. In 1895, he located at Laporte and practiced medicine. In 1900, he
moved to Sonestown where he at present practices medicine and is the proprietor of a fine
drug store. He is a member of the P.O.S. of A. and is married to Fre Fulmer of Muncy Valley,
a daughter of William Fulmer one of the early settlers of Cherry Township.
CHARLES H. WARREN
Principal of the Sonestown schools, he was born at Shunk, Sullivan County in 1868. Frank
B. Warren, his father, came to Sullivan County from Tioga County in 1865. He was educated in
the common schools of PA and Salsbury Academy of MO. He owns a fine farm at Shunk and has
been engaged in teaching fourteen years, spending seven years in Missouri and Montana. At
present, he is principal of the graded school at Sonestown. In 1902, he was a candidate for
the office of County Superintendent of Schools. In 1892, he married Anna Jessamine Haughey,
of Utich, Missouri. To them have been born two sons: William W. and Lee D.
THOMAS A. STARR
Of Sonestown, he was born at Lairdsville, Lycoming County in 1866. He is the son of
Thomas F. Starr of Lairdsville. He was married to Belle Margargel in 1891 and to them has
been born one son. Walter E.
REV. J.O. BIGGS
Pastor of the United Evangelical church at Sonestown, he was born at Fredericktown,
Maryland. He received his education at the Central Pennsylvania College at New Berlin,
Pennsylvania, and entered the ministry of the United Evangelical church in 1896. In 1902,
he was placed on the Sonestown charge, preaching at Sonestown, Nordmont, North Mountain, and
at Fribly, Lycoming County. In 1895, he married Lizzie Smith and they are the parents of
two children, a daughter Ruth and a son Myron S.
He was born in Fishing Creek Township, Columbia County. He is the son of Elias P. Bender
who also was a native of Fishing Creek Township. In the fall of 1899, he came to Muncy Valley
and engaged in the undertaking business. He is secretary of the I.O.O.F. of Sonestown. He
was married in 1890 to Belle O’Brien, a niece of Lewis Holmes of Cherry and also of Hon.
Russell Karns, of Benton, formerly of Laporte. To them have been born three sons: Earl,
Harold and Carl.
He was born at Gilboa, N.Y., in 1859. In 1888, he married Bernice Bennett, a daughter of
G.W. Bennett, of Shrewsbury Township whose father was Joseph Bennett one of the early
settlers of Shrewsbury. Two daughters, Beulah and Ruth, bless this union. Mr. Miller
settled at Muncy Valley in 1892 where he now owns a handsome store and residence. He
conducts a furniture store and Mrs. Miller is engaged in the millinery business.
He was born in Wayne County in 1867. He is a son of Aaron Lillie, a farmer of Wayne
County. In 1892 he came to Sullivan County, locating at Emmons where he is extensively
engaged in lumbering. He runs three lumber camps on North Mountain and employs at times as
high as 150 men. He also conducts a general store and is the postmaster at that place. In
1885, he married Elizabeth Keesler.
He was born in Lycoming County in 1860. Daniel Rider, his father, was engaged in
farming. Mr. Rider was married in 1884 to Ida Eldora Temple of Lycoming County. They are
the parents of ten children: Lucy A. married William Camp, Susan R. died July 4, Sarah E,
Stanford R., Freman J., Ocie W., Freddie O., Ollie M., Leroy and Stanford, twins who died in
Of Emmons, he was born in Lycoming County in 1869. His father was William Babb, a farmer
of that county. Mr. Babb came to Sullivan County in 1900 and is employed in the acid factory
at Emmons. He has served as assistant assessor. In 1890, he married Jennie L. Sones, a
daughter of John H. Sones of Lairdsville, Lycoming County. They are the parents of five
children: John W., Clara Alice, Raymond, who died in 1898, Walter E., Pearl L. and Edna G.
He was born at Milanville, Wayne County, in 1856. In 1872, he accompanied his father, S.W.
Lovelace to Sonestown. His grandfather James Lovelace was born in Berlin, Germany and came
to America in 1812, where he lived to be 108 years old. Mr. Lovelace is a carpenter and a
farmer and owns a fine farm near Nordmont. He is a member of the P.O.S. of A. and the
I.O.O.F. He married Priscilla Haskins, a daughter of Thomas Haskins, of Owego, N.Y.
Of Nordmont, he was born in Columbia County in 1865. He is a son of Edward Keeler, a
harness maker of White Hall, Columbia County. In 1882, he came to Sullivan County. He is a
stone mason and owns a fine farm near Nordmont. In 1891, he married Susie Peterman of
Nordmont. To them have been born seven children: Sarah Jane, Lizzie M., George F., Edward G.,
Minnie A., Helen R., and Dollie P.
J. DEAN COLE
He was born at Sugar Loaf Township, Columbia County in 1848. His father was Montgomery
Cole and his grandfather William Cole one of the original settlers of Benton Township,
Columbia County. Mr. Cole has lived at Jamison City 13 years, being employed in the
tannery. He married Cordilla A. Dils, of Sugar Loaf Township, in 1871. To them have been
born five children: Lillian May, who died in infancy, Lawrence R., Walter L., Cora N.,
and Minnie E.
Of Emmons, he was born in Columbia County in 1852. He is a son of Nehemiah Kile and a
grandson of William Kile, one of the early settlers of Columbia County. In the political
affairs of the township, Mr. Kile is always interested and, besides holding various minor
offices, has held the position of school director seven years. Mr. Kile was the first
settler at Emmons, where he built a hotel in 1882. In 1885, he married Charlotte Moss of
Mossdale, Montour County, and they are the parents of two children: Lula and Walter.
He was born at Light Street, Columbia County, in 1856 and is a son of Jacob Young, a
farmer of that county. Mr. Young is a stationary engineer and came to Emmons, where he is
employed in the acid factory as foreman, in 1892. He is a Justice of the Peace in
Davidson. In 1878, he was married to Caroline Klingler, a daughter of Paul Klingler of
Jackson Township, Columbia County. To them have been born seven children: Edith R.,
Christian J., May, Katie, William C., Max G., and Fay.
Of Nordmont, he was born in 1850 on the farm where he now resides. His father, Mathias
Bostian, was an early settler and his grandfather, John Hiddleson, one of the first settlers
of the Elk Lick District. In 1876, he married Jennie Stevens and they have one son,
Walter B., a graduate of Williamsport Business College.
Postcard Addressed to D.C. Bostian
Postmarked at Dushore on Janaury 29, 1918
From Gazette and Herald, George Streby, Publisher
Photo contributed by Carol Brotzman
Posted on eBay in October 2002
WILLIAM F. BOATMAN
Of Sonestown, he was born in 1852 in Lycoming County. He came from that county to
Sonestown in 1888, where he follows the trade of carpenter. He married Savilla Danley, of
Lycoming, who was born in 1856. They are the parents of five children: George O., Howard L.,
Clarence C., Linda V., and Frank E.
** Editor's Note: William Fleming Boatman was the son of Claudius and Mae Jane
(Clark) Boatman. Here is additional family information provided by Joyce Ingerson in July 2007:
There were actually nine children born to Claudius and Mae "Jane" Boatman:
William Fleming Boatman
Sarah Elizabeth Boatman
Agnes Anna Boatman
Mary Emma Boatman
James Clark Boatman
Henry Cornelius Boatman
Margarite Jane Boatman
Claudius Edward Boatman
John M Boatman
Willian and Savilla (Danley) Boatman appear in the 1900 Federal census for Davidson Township. One of their children was
Linda Viola Boatman. Geraldine "Gerry" Burk Miller, wife of Brady Larue "Reuben" Miller, was a daughter of Cyril
Leondis Burk and Linda Viola Boatman.
I have a great interest in this Claudius Boatman family since my great uncle Cyril Burk was first married
to Linda Viola Boatman, d/o William Fleming Boatman, before Cyril married my grandmother's sister- widowed
Bertha Herriman Sanders.
I can vividly recall when Great Aunt Bertha and Great Uncle Cyril were married on 01 May 1953. I was not quite
age 11. Cyril's daughter, Geraldine Burk Miller, known as Gerry, came to Rochester, NY and spent about 10 days with
me before she died in 1989. Gerry gave me some data on her mother's lines, since I was researching some of
the other families in Picture Rocks as well as Sonestown where her mother Linda Viola Boatman grew up. Gerry
matured in Picture Rocks and died there after her husband Brady Larue Miller died in 1979. Gerry
was a wonderful cook and great talker. She also enjoyed attending local church socials, even though she
had difficulties with Type 2 diabetes.
I would meet Gerry at my father's sister home in Unityville, PA on Sunday afternoons when my father and mother
would visit coming from the New York State area. Gerry would frequently bring homemade jello salads or
delicious whipped puddings to eat for dessert. She enjoyed relaxing in the old chairs on that spacious front
porch at North Mountain, spinning stories after supper. Gerry had a happy disposition. She made my father laugh with her colorful tales.
Here are some specific demographic details on these individuals:
Social Security Death Index
Name: Geraldine C. Miller
Last Residence: 17737 Hughesville, Lycoming, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Born: 8 Mar 1916
Died: Jun 1989
State (Year) SSN issued: Pennsylvania (Before 1951 )
Source Citation: Number: 210-16-3209;Issue State: Pennsylvania;Issue Date: Before 1951
Social Security Death Index
Name: Brady Miller
Last Residence: 17737 Hughesville, Lycoming, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Born: 24 Sep 1909
Died: Aug 1979
State (Year) SSN issued: Pennsylvania (Before 1951 )
Source Citation: Number: 205-03-4110;Issue State: Pennsylvania;Issue Date: Before 1951
B Larue Miller ( s/o John Houghton Miller & Laura May VanBuskirk)
married 10 Mar 1933
Geraldine C Miller
Huntersville United Methodist Church
Mill Creek, Lycoming, Pennsylvania
Lycoming County Genealogical Society Cemetery Books
Volume 6, page 143, copyright 1998
Linda V Burk (maiden name Boatman)
Picture Rocks Cemetery
Picture Rocks Boro, Lycoming, Pennsylvania
Lycoming County Genealogical Society Cemetery Books
Volume 7, page 52, copyright 1998
Burk, Cyril L.
Cherry Grove Cemetery
Nordmont, Sullivan, Pennsylvania
The children of Cyril Burk and Linda Viola Boatman were:
1. Viola Burk
2. Geraldine C Burk
3. Myron Burk, married Helen L Secules ( d/o Grover Leroy Secules & Myra Marie Phillips)
Social Security Death Index
Name: Myron L. Burk
Last Residence: 17737 Hughesville, Lycoming, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Born: 13 Dec 1919
Died: 20 Jun 2003
State (Year) SSN issued: Pennsylvania (Before 1951 )
Source Citation: Number: 187-05-6571;Issue State: Pennsylvania;Issue Date: Before 1951
4. Edith M Burk
Edith M Burk
d/o CL & LV
Picture Rocks Cemetery
Picture Rocks Boro, Lycoming, Pennsylvania
Lycoming County Genealogical Society Cemetery Books
Volume 7, page 52, copyright 1998
U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 Record
Name: Cyril Leondis Burk
Birth Date: 15 Oct 1891
Residence: Lycoming, Pennsylvania
Birth: Sullivan, Pennsylvania
Next of Kin: Myron Burk, 145 N Main Street, Hughesville
Employer: Mellon Furniture Mfg, Muncy, PA
1930 US Census Pennsylvania, Lycoming, Picture Rocks
Enumerated 10 Apr 1930
Name: Cyril L Burk
Age: 38, married age 22
Estimated birth year: abt 1892
Father's birthplace: PA
Mother's birthplace: PA
Occupation: machinist for RR shop
Spouse's Name: Linda V, age 34, married age 18
Father's birthplace: PA
Mother's birthplace: PA
Others in home:
Viola, daughter, age 14, born in PA;
Geraldine, daughter, age 14, born in PA;
Myron L, son, age 10, born in PA;
William F Boatman, father in law, age 77, married age 34
Father's birthplace: PA
Mother's birthplace: PA
Roll: 2075; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 45
World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 Record
Name: Cyril Leondas Burk
City: Picture Rocks
Birthplace: Pennsylvania;United States of America
Birth Date: 15 Oct 1891
Occupation: laborer for Burrows Brothers
Nearest Relative: wife and 2 children
Color of Eyes/Hair: Brown/ Black
Signature: 5 Jun 1917, Cyril L Burk
Bertha Herriman Sanders Burk never had any children.
E Bertha Sanders lived on Academy Street, Hughesville, PA
She was CHILDLESS.
01 May 1953, Hughesville, Lycoming, Pennsylvania Bertha married
Cyril Leondis Burk, records of sister Mary Herriman Rider Crossley
E( Emma) Bertha Burk
d 12 Apr 1973
Pleasant Hill Cemetery
Wolf, Lycoming, Pennsylvania
Residence Hughesville, Lycoming, PA
Lycoming County Genealogical Society Cemetery Books
Pleasant Hill, Page 28
Lot 22- no stone
Franklin Bethel or Stone Heap Cemetery
Franklin, Lycoming, Pennsylvania
Actually Bertha was buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery
personal first hand knowledge, Joyce Ingerson
Notes for Emma Bertha Herriman Sanders Burk:
1900 United States Federal Census > Pennsylvania > Lycoming > Franklin > District 44
Enumerated 2 Jun 1900
Estimated birth year: 1856 , born Nov 1856, married 17 years
Occupation: Farmer, owns farm
Spouse: Mahala J, born Aug 1858, age 41, married 17 years, 3 children, 3 alive;
Others in home:
Bertha E, born Jun 1885, age 14, born in PA;
Susan M, born Jun 1888, age 11, born in PA; ;
Mary A, born Nov 1894, age 5, born in PA;
Roll: T623 1437; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 44.
6 Jun 1909- Oscar Sanders and Bertha Herriman-
Marriage License Vol. 25, P 13032, Lycoming County Court House, Williamsport, PA.
1910 United States Federal Census Pennsylvania Lycoming Penn
Enumerated 4 +5 May 1910
Age in 1910: 32
Estimated birth year: abt 1878
Others in home: Bertha, age 24
Race: White ;
Series: T624 ;Roll: 1372;Part: 2 ;Page: 151A
Gazette and Bulletin
1911 December 13
Muncy Valley, RD #1
By Special Correspondence
Muncy Valley, RFD #1, Dec 12
The following spent Sunday with Mrs AW Phillips;
Mrs Maria Sanders and Bertha Sanders, Mrs Charles
Rishel and Mr and Mrs Ziva Sanders.
Gazette and Bulletin
1914 July 1
By special corresponance
Muncy, June 30
The following were Sunday visitors at the home of NB Herriman, of Muncy RD No 6;
Mr and Mrs Bill Herriman, of Lairdsville; Mr and Mrs PK Shaffer, of Hughesville, Mr
and Mrs Wheeler Sanders, of Beaver Lake; Mrs Milton Ryder and Miss Marie Sanders,
of Hughesville, and Clara Herriman, Harriet Herriman, Ethel Rider and Wood Herriman,
of Muncy Valley.
1920 United States Federal Census > Pennsylvania > Lycoming > Penn > District 66
Name: Wheeler O Sanders
Age: 42 years, married v
Estimated birth year: abt 1878
Spouse:: Bertha Emma, age 35, wife;
Others in home:
Sarah M, age 69, mother, widowed;
Foster C Robbins, age 15, cousin;
George H, age 48, brother, divorced
Roll: T625_1599; Page: 6A
1930 US Census Pennsylvania, Lycoming, Hughesville
Enumerated 11 Apr 1930
O Wheeler Sanders v
Age: 52 , married at age 29
Estimated birth year: abt 1878
Occupation: Day laborer
Others in home:
Bertha, age 45 , married at age 25
Roll: 2074; Enumeration District: 85
PA Death certificate:
Oscar Wheeler Sanders
Died 02 May 1939, Hughesville, Lycoming, PA
Cause of death: Influenza with myocarditis
JOHN W. BUCK
A merchant of Sonestown, he was born in 1853 at Strawbridge, Lycoming County, just across
the Sullivan County line. His father was born in Montour County, the family originally
coming from Berks County. He settled at Strawbridge in 1842. His son, the subject of this
sketch, worked at carpentering when a young man and taught school for a number of years.
In 1885, he came to Sonestown where he is at present engaged in the mercantile business.
In 1887, he married Jennie Gavitt who was born in Susquehanna County in 1863. Her father,
Peter Gavitt, came from that county about 34 years ago and settled in Laporte Township. The
Gavitts came from Connecticut and settled in Susquehanna County at an early date. To Mr. and
Mrs. Buck have been born five children: Lela, Vera, Mildred, Stanford, who died at the age of
seven months, and Grant.
Of Muncy Valley, he was born in 1856 at North Mountain. His father, a wheelwright by
trade, came from Columbia County nearly fifty years ago and settled at North Mountain on the
Biggart farm. Mr. Johnson has been employed in the tannery at Muncy Valley for nine years.
In 1885, he married Clara Hunter, who was born in Millville in 1859 and is a daughter of
William Hunter of that place, the Hunter family being among the early settlers of that
section. To Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have been born five children: Bertha who clerks in W.L.
Hoffman’s store, Boyd, Celia, Anna, and Howard.
Of Muncy Valley, he was born in 1870 in Shrewsbury Township. He is a son of Washington
Bennett of Shrewsbury, a descendant of the Bennetts who came from New Jersey and were among
the early settlers of Shrewsbury Township. Mr. Bennett is employed as night watchman at the
tannery. In 1896, he married Martha Fiester, a daughter of John Fiester of Shrewsbury
Township. She died in 1898, aged 21 years. In 1901, he married Eva Jarrett, who was born at
Hughesville in 1880, a daughter of Daniel Jarrett, of that place. To this union has been
born one daughter, Dollie F.
ALVIN P. MILLER
He was born in 1859 in Schoharie County, New York, a son of Hiram and Malinda (Bailey)
Miller. He is inside foreman of the Muncy Valley tannery, coming to that place when the
Stevens tannery was moved from New York to Muncy Valley. He owns a farm just outside the
town where he has erected a handsome residence. He married Libbie Bennett, a daughter of
George W. Bennett, and to them have been born three children: Arthur O, George B. and
Edna M. Mr. Miller and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Of Muncy Valley, he was born at Dushore in 1852. His father, Joseph Gansel, was born in
Columbia County in 1818. He came to Dushore in 1847, and was elected Sheriff of Sullivan County
in 1871. At present, he lives with his son at Muncy Valley. He has always been an active
worker in the Methodist Episcopal church. Joseph Gansel married a daughter of John Auman of
Cherry. J.R. Gansel married Julia A Keller, a daughter of William Keller of Unityville,
Lycoming County, in 1892. To them have been born three children: Stanton M., Willa , and
;Judge of Election—J.C. Starr
;Inspectors—Fred Keeler, Samuel Smith
;Justices of the Peace—J.J. Young, H.P. Hall
;Supervisors—Chars. Crawley, Charles Cox
;School Directors—J.P. Miller, Charles A. Starr, D.S. Philips, M.D. Horn, Parvin Kile, Harvey E. Philips.
;Town Clerk—Morgan Gavitt
;Tax Collector—C.W. Speary
;Auditors—Frank Magargel, R. Spencer Starr, M.D. Sweeney.
Mosteller, Edward Mosteller, George
Camp, George B.
Kinney, Thomas E.
Lambert, George H.
Bigger, George W
Crawley, Elmer E.
Fowler, Benjamin F.
Gansel, John R.
Gallagher, John E.
Hopfer, William G.
Long, James H.
Miller, Charles A.
Myers, George A.
Moran, J. William
Moran, James Sr.
Moran, James Jr.
Philips, Joseph W.
Philips, Harvey E.
Robbins, William V
Secules, Samuel E
Simmons, Jason B.
Smith, Emery G.
Snyder, Charles E.
Starr, Anson P.
Swank, Peter G.
Swank, Thomas D.
Taylor, David M.
Editor's Note: The following photos of Nordmont were contributed in November 2014 by Connie (King) McMichael. They come from the photo album of her father, Walter Richard King, and can be dated to the
late 1920s or early 1930s.
Late 1920s or Early 1930s
These photos show the
town, including the hotel owned and operated by Philip Peterman.
The photo of the railroad trestle shows a train on the Williamsport & North Branch
Compare this photo to the one at the top of this page. The trestle no longer exists.
Keeler, John S.
King, Ralph W.
Small, Harry F.
Speary, Benjamin J.
Speary, J. Wesley
Armes, Harry B.
Biggs, Rev. J.O.
Boatman, Jas. C.
Boatman, John M.
Boatman, William F.
Buck, L. Harvey
Converse, John M.
Darling, Charles H.
Donovan, William F.
Gavitt, Morgan P.
Hazen, John N.
Hazen, W. Bert
Herring, William M.
Houseknecht, Ed. L.
Houseknecht, Thomas R.
Laird, Jerome W.
Philips, E. Newton
Philips, Harry E.
Philips, John A.
Rea, George E.
Richart, John S.
Sheets, George E.
Sheets, William Sr.
Simmons, George T.
Simmons, George W
Simmons, Robert W.
Smith, Ernest A
Speary, Benjamin C.
Speary, C. Watson
Starr, Charles A.
Starr, T. Wilson
Starr, R. Spencer
Warren, Charles H.
Watson, John H.
Wilson, Edw. J
Wilson, Geo, A
Wilson, Isaac N.
Wilson, John E.
Wilson, Robert E.
Worthington, Benjamin S
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