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Centennial History of Susquehanna County
Rhamanthus M. Stocker 1887
Chapter L

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by Zophar Mackey. Owen Morgan rebuilt this mill and for the past twenty years has carried it on. On Cambria Hill, Leyshon & Owens had a small store a few years. At this place the Clifford Cambrian Good Templars' Association put up a hall, which is still owned by that body. The association was chartered October 17, 1870, and had Z. D. Jenkins and others as corporators. For a few years the lodge was vigorous, but the meetings have not been held for some time, and the hall has since been devoted to public gatherings.

Lonsdale is a small but pretty hamlet at the intersection of Lonsdale and Brooklyn turnpike with the Clifford and Carbondale turnpike. The latter was built in 1847 and the former in 1849. From that period dates the history of the hamlet, which, from 1850 for the next few years, was more important than any other place of its size in this part of the county. Peter Rynearson lived here about 1818 and sold his improvements to Geo. Brownell before 1825, who further cleared up what is now the site of the hamlet. He sold part of his land to Henry A. Williams, who named the place in honor of his old home in Rhode Island. The first public building was the hotel put up by Geo. Brownell, Jr., in 1846, and which was kept by him several years, when it was converted into a residence, and is now the J. B. Stephens home. Opposite this building Henry A. Williams put up the present hostelry, in 1849. It is a very large frame building and was erected with a special view to accommodate social parties. Its dancing-hall is thirty by fifty feet and has a floor with a spring of ten inches. On popular occasions as many as two hundred people patronized the balls given by Williams, and his trading patronage was also very large, which gave the place an extended reputation. After the death of Williams this fame diminished and, in later years, the place has been a common tavern. The store in the hamlet was opened by T. J. Wells, in 1851, and has since been kept by him. The post-office bears the name of Royal and was established May 19, 1884, with Robert H. Wells as postmaster. It was given in compliment to the Royal Baking Powder, and the company manufacturing that article favored the hamlet by erecting a very fine pole, one hundred and two feet high, and presenting several flags to wave from the same. Wells has been a wheelwright at this place the past thirty years. A post of the Grand Army of the Republic holds its meetings at Lonsdale.

CLIFFORD VILLAGE is in the beautiful valley bearing the same name, near where it passes into Lackawanna County. The Betsey or Alder Brook bisects the valley, affording a water-power near the township line, which was improved, after 1834, by William W. Wells, to operate carding and saw-mills. They have long since gone down. So also has the tannery put up below the village, in 1850, by David and Burgess Smith, and carried on by them about ten years. Shoes were made in connection and a shop has been carried on ever since by Burgess Smith. In recent years a steam grist-mill, of small capacity, was operated by William Leek, which has been moved to Forest City, leaving the village without any manufactories and strictly a trading point. The early settlers on this site were the Millers, Hardings and Robinsons, the latter living on the county line, on the farm which became the Wells property in 1834. A portion of the Harding farm, which had first been occupied by Adam Miller, passed to the Callender family; James Finn lived near the Baptist Church; George Cram on the Wetherby place; and Jacob G. Cuddeback on the farm above. Along the eastern hill was a road to Wells' fulling-mill, and where it crossed the Dundaff road. Simon Yarrington had a blacksmith-shop, which was the only interest, other than farms, until 1847. That year the Clifford and Carbondale turnpike was built and the village properly founded. Its growth was slow and not very substantial until within the last decade. In this period a number of very fine residences have been put up, some in the modern style of architecture, and other attractive improvements made. All the residences, with one exception, are owned by the occupants. There are three churches, four stores, hotel, a number of shops and one hundred and ninety inhabitants.

The first business houses were erected by Emery Mapes, in 1847, and consisted of a store and tavern, the former standing on the site of the present hotel. The tavern stood on a lot adjoining, and both were kept by Mapes. In a short time C. D. Wilson became the owner, who sold to Baker & Thacher. In 1850 that firm built a store on the corner opposite their old one, and there engaged in trade. This was destroyed by fire in 1851. John Halstead erected a new store on this site in 1854, and occupied it for trading purposes many years, also being the postmaster. H. W. Johnson was a later merchant and Julius Young is the present merchant there. The stand diagonally opposite was built by N. C. Baker after the war, and the adjoining building, now occupied as a store and post-office, by J. M. Robinson, was put up by the Patrons of Husbandry. The upper part formed a hall for their meetings, and is now used for other gatherings. A fourth stand was erected by Dr. P. N. Gardner, in which a large number of persons have traded, and which is now occupied by F. E. Finn. The old hotel was destroyed by fire in September, 1876, and the site has since been vacant. The present hotel was built in 1877 by Aug. Hassler, and since 1878 has been owned by Frank B. Williams. Goodwin Baker was a pioneer undertaker; Arnold Green was later, and B. F. Wells succeeded him in 1869. A. E. Tiffany is the contractor and builder.

Clifford post-office was established February 19, 1851, with John Halstead as postmaster, and the following served as successive appointees: September 24, 1858, Jonathan N. Baker; April 19, 1861, John

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Halstead; July 9, 1866, Peter H. Gardner; January 2, 1888, Julius Young: November 27, 1885, Mile J. Robinson.

J. MONROE CALLENDER.-The first of this family of whom we have any knowledge was Samuel Callender (1757-1830), a native of Virginia, who took part in the Revolutionary War, and is said to have belonged to Washington's body guard. His wife was Martha Slawson (1756-1836), whom he married in 1780, and their children were Sarah, born in 1780; Betsey, 1781; Samuel (1783-1857); Rhoda, born 1785; Nathan (1787-1830) ; Stephen (1789-1821), became the father of Elder Nathan Callender, now of Scott township, Lackawanna County. Sarah married Isaac London, of Lackawanna County. Polly married Silas Horton ; Rhoda married Hiram Horton; Betsey married Samuel Howell--the three latter all of Orange County. The children were born in Orange County, N. Y., where Mr. and Mrs. Callendar settled after their marriage; he, it is said, having been disowned by his parents for taking the patriot side in the war for independence. The eldest son, Samuel Callendar, removed to Pennsylvania. at an early date, and was the founder of Callender's Corners, Lackawanna County, whither his father and part of the family some time afterwards followed him. Nathan Callender served an apprenticeship as a tanner and currier at Middletown, N. Y., and removed to Lackawanna County and worked at his trade near the Corners. In 1810 he married Thirza (1790-1868), the daughter of Abra and Joanna Wetherby, of Greenfield (now Scott) township, Lackawanna County. She was born in Cheshire County, N. H., and came to Pennsylvania with her parents when sixteen years old. Some time after their union they came to Susquehanna County, and in 1818 he was part owner of a saw-mill near Dundaff, also of several others in different parts of Clifford township. He operated a tannery at Dundaff, besides having a distillery near that place. For a year or two he was proprietor of the Dundaff Hotel, after retiring from which he built what was afterwards known as the Upper Hotel, which was destroyed by fire about 1870. He appears to have been an energetic and progressive business man. When Amos Harding moved to the West, about 1820, Mr. Callender purchased from him the large farm which now forms an important part of Clifford Corners, and upon the sudden death of her husband, Mrs. Callender removed to that place with her little ones. Their children were Melissa (1811-43) was the wife of Goodwin Baker, a cabinet maker of this township; Anna Jane, born 1813, the widow of Elias Stevens, a farmer, now living at the Corners; Nancy (1815-53) was the wife of John Baker, a farmer and carpenter; Mary H., married Sheldon Hall, a farmer, and died in Wisconsin; Clarissa. and Caroline, twins: Clarissa (1820-50) was the wife of John M. Wells, who carried on the fulling-mill and saw-mill near Clifford; Caroline (1820-48) was the wife of Joel Stevens, a farmer of this township; J. Monroe; and Martha J., born 1826, now living with her brother Monroe. Of the above, Melissa, Nancy, Clarissa and Caroline lie buried in the Clifford Cemetery, and there also lies Mrs. Thirza Callender, who, in 1845, had married Jeremiah Capwell, of Luzerne County, and after his death, in 1864, returned to Clifford to enjoy the remaining four years of her life. J. Monroe Callender, born January 15, 1824, at Dundaff; had very little opportunity for acquiring an education, having been but six years old when his father died, and being the only boy in the family many matters upon the farm devolved upon him. He grew up to be a sturdy, self-reliant and active man, and still maintains those characteristics. He has always carried on the farm and his labors have been judicious. For about three years subsequent to 1851 he was the proprietor of the Clifford Hotel. His farm is finely located, and at one time contained an orchard of five hundred apple trees, two of which still remain and measure nine feet four inches each, at the height of a foot from the ground, and one of them bore forty-five bushels of fruit in 1881. On this farm is one of the oldest and most substantial barns in the county, the frame of it being thirty-six by forty feet and of solid cherry.

About 1860 he joined the Baptist Church with his wife, and is a consistent member thereof. In 1848 he married Mary S. Gram (1824-61), whose parents were George (1780-1836) and Mary Gram (1785-1853), natives of Somersetshire, England, and early settlers in Clifford. Their children were Thirza. Mary Callender (1849-70); Thomas Clarence (1853-63); Helen Augusta. (1856-63); Carrie Alice and Clara Agnes, twins, born 1861: Carrie Alice died 1862; Clara. Agnes married Eugene Kennedy, of Lackawanna. County, in 1881, a farmer and dealer. For his second wife Mr. Callender married, in 1869, Mrs. Mary A. Decker, who was born in 1837, and had one child, Adelaide, the wife of K. M. Miller, a farmer of Greenfield township, Lackawanna County. Mrs. Decker was the daughter of Deacon J. G. Wetherby, of the Clifford Baptist Church, and his wife, Arminda Vail, both of whom reside near the Corners. She was first married, in 1860, to Edward C. Decker, of Clifford, who died in 1863, aged thirty-two years.

Since 1852 Dr. P. H. Gardner has been the resident physician, succeeding Dr. J. C. Olmstead, who came here a few years earlier and removed to Dundaff. Other physicians were here for short periods, and, since 1882, Dr. E. R. Gardner has been associated with his father as a practitioner.

Clifford Lodge, No. 439, F. A. M., was instituted before 1870, and held its meetings in the Orange Hall until it surrendered its charter, early in 1884. At one time it was very prosperous, but removals and other causes reduced its membership to thirteen, when the meetings were discontinued.

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The Masonic Lodge, instituted in Clifford, January 24, 1811, and of which David Taylor, Jonathan Wilbur, Joseph Potter, Oliver Granger and Abel Kent were officers, held its meetings in the northern part of the old township, in what is now Gibson, and was superseded, in 1816, by North Star Lodge, No. 119, of Gibson.

At Clifford a Good Templar Lodge meets statedly in Grange Hall, and here are also held the bi-weekly meetings of the CLIFFORD Literary Union, which was organized in November, 1816. In April, 1887, there were twenty-five members and a library containing one hundred volumes of standard books.

CRYSTAL LAKE.--this beautiful sheet of water is one mile southeast from Dundaff, and so located that about three-fourths of it is in Lackawanna County. It has an almost elliptical shape, being about one and one-fourth miles long and a. little more than half that wide. The entire area is three hundred and eighty-four acres. The water is remarkably clear and pure, and is supplied by springs at the bottom of the lake. The depth varies from sixty to a hundred feet, the bed presenting a topography of small hills and hollows, not unlike the physical features of the contiguous land. The beach is firm, and is composed of crystal sand, whose clearness blends with the brightness of the water, causing the lake to sparkle like a gem. The shores are not abrupt, but recede gently, tilled fields sweeping down to the edge of the water. On the northeast side a grove of natural trees remain, which has been improved for picnic purposes; and on the lake a small steamboat was placed for the benefit of pleasure-parties. Hundreds of visitors yearly frequent this charming spot, whose attractions in connection with those of the surrounding country have made this one of the most popular resorts in the northeastern part of the State. In 1828 the lake was stocked with pickerel, and fish of many other species abound. The lake was patented to Peter Campbell, who conveyed it to the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company, who use it as a feeder for their mining works in the vicinity of Carbondale, the outlet being deepened for this purpose, to afford a greater flow of water. In its use it serves as an extra reservoir.

Soon after the county was settled, a tavern was opened at Crystal Lake by James Coil, Jr., and which was kept, in 1827, by Benjah P. Millard, of Lenox. Peter Campbell became the owner, and in 1834 Charles Barstow began keeping the house. Benjamin Ayres succeeded him, and during his residence the house was burned. Peter Campbell built apart of the present house, on the site of the old one, but it has been enlarged and improved to accommodate forty guests, affording them a pleasant summer home. For many years the house and grounds, comprising about five hundred acres of land, have been the property of the Simpson Brothers, and for fourteen years the hotel was kept by O. P. Phinny. Since the spring of 1886 the proprietor has been John W. Barnes.

"Overlook Cottage," on the hill commanding the lake, is a pleasant summer house, kept by S. H. Johnson.

FOREST CITY.--This new and rapidly-growing town is on the west side of the Lackawanna River, in the southeastern part of the township, and is also a station on the Jefferson Branch of the Erie Railway. The main part of the town is built on a bend of the hill bordering the narrow valley, about eighty feet above the level of the river. Along this is built the railroad, and the five streets of the town have a nearly parallel course, almost north and south, each street being elevated about thirty feet above the other. No grades have been established, and Main street is the only one which has had the stones and stumps cleared from its course. The appearance of the other streets and the contiguous lots truly indicate the building of a city in a forest. The country is wild and mountainous and the place is easily accessible only through the valley, over long and difficult roads, which were constructed to carry away the lumber which was cut at the mills along the Lackawanna thirty years ago and later. Aside from the small clearing made on the Barrett farm, all this section was a comparative wilderness until after the completion of the railroad, in 1871, when a few more persons came to work at the mills, as their product could now be increased. Yet, in spite of these disadvantages of location, a town has been built here within the space of a few years, which had, in April, 1887, a settled population of two thousand souls, about one-half of which had been added in the course of a few months, with a transient population running into the hundreds. There were more than a dozen stores, two hotels, a Methodist Church and a good school-house, with a number of the adjuncts of an old place, many of them brought into existence within the last year. Many of the public and private buildings are attractive and substantial, and the town, though fairly in a transition state, has less of the crude and unfinished appearance than most towns of a like nature. This wonderful development has been brought about mainly by the discovery and mining of anthracite coal, all prior interests being confined to lumbering.

The existence of coal in this section was long suspected, but no systematic effort to develop it was made until after the completion of the railroad. A cut in the track revealed the out-cropping of coal, and bore-holes made with the diamond drill also indicated the presence of that mineral, but the dip of the rocks made it doubtful whether it existed in paying quantities. A further test confirmed the belief of sanguine prospectors, and led the Hillside Coal and Iron Company to purchase large tracts of land for mining purposes. It thus secured the James Barrett farm of nearly one hundred acres and other holdings, in 1873. The following year Z. Kreger & Bros. began opening a mine for the company, and

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struck a paying vein of coal within seventy feet. In 1874 a small breaker was put up, hewed timbers being used in its construction, and in 1875 the shipment of coal in a small way was begun. This mine was worked until 1883, the screen being operated by mule power, and the output amounting to about three thousand tons per month. In 1885 this breaker burned down, but in the fall of 1886 the foundations for a larger breaker were laid, thirty rods north of the old one. While this vein was worked a mining hamlet sprang up, not exceeding a dozen buildings in all, in 1881, most of them being owned by the Hillside Coal and Iron Company. Meantime a new shaft was being sunk by the company lower down the valley, and a breaker erected in connection, employing steam-power, which was fairly gotten in operation in 1884. The coal found was a very pure anthracite, lying in veins of such thickness that it confirmed the hopes of those interested that mining would here become a permanent business. Coal was also found on the lands of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, on the east side of the river, with prospects of its early development. An unusual interest in the future of the place was awakened, and from early in 1884 may be dated the real growth of the town. Houses were rapidly erected on lots leased from the Hillside Company, and in the spring of 1886 the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company sold lots outright from its tract on the west side of the creek, which had the effect of still further stimulating the building boom. In the fall of that year the work of mining was commenced in the second shaft of the Hillside Company, at a depth of nearly one hundred and forty feet, or about double that of the shaft near at hand. In this mine the vein is nearly seven feet thick.

The breaker was also enlarged to double its former capacity and, in March, 1887, over eleven thousand tons of coal were mined. About three hundred men and boys, most of them Welsh, are employed under the direction of Benjamin Mamey, mine boss, and J. D. Carl, outside boss. The superintendent of the company is W. A. May, of Scranton. Other mine bosses were David McDonald and Alexander Mackay. For several years A. L. Reed had charge of the outside affairs of the company.

It has been stated that lumbering was the first business interest carried on in this section. At an early day the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company secured large tracts of timber land in this region and put up mills on the Lackawanna to cut up the same. Such a mill was put up at the outlet of the "Stillwater," which was operated until it became useless. A steam-mill of larger capacity is now in that neighborhood. Below Forest City, Hosea Carpenter had an upright mill which he sold to Brennan & Woodman. In 1864 the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company erected a new mill, also with upright saws, which was carried on successfully, a number of years, by William Pentecost. The present is the third mill at this site, and has circular saws, giving it increased capacity. James Johns is the present operator. Higher up the stream the Hillside Company put up a mill, in 1882, which was burned. It was rebuilt and again burned in the fall of 1886. A new mill on its site has just been gotten in operation. The motive power is steam.

Martin Barrett sold the first goods in the place, beginning to trade in April, 1875. Since 1880 he has occupied his present stand. In the spring of the latter year W. H. Bates began merchandising in part of the store he has since occupied, and which has been enlarged to accommodate his increasing trade. He is the oldest general merchant. In the fall of 1883 Arnett Bennett opened the third store, lower down Main Street, where he traded three years, selling to Brown Brothers in the fall of 1886. Early in the spring of 1884 W. J. Davis opened the first clothing-store, occupying his present stand since the fall of 1886. The same year Thomas J. Pentecost opened a good store and, since the summer of 1886, has been at his present commodious stand. In the fall of 1884 W. J. Gilchrist opened the sixth store, which he sold to Henry Box in 1886, the latter continuing as a general merchant. In November, 1885, the first drug-store was opened by J. J. Janswick, in a building which had been enlarged and which is still occupied by him. A furniture-store was opened in the spring of 1885 by W. L. Bates, which is continued by him. In 1886 stores were opened by W. R. Hankins, on the central part of Main Street; John Lynch, on the lower part of the same street; E. Margan, on the same street, nearer the centre, and by R. C. Bodie, on Higgins Alley. In August of the same year H. F. Aldrich opened the first hardware store.

Among the business pieces opened in the early part of 1887 were a notion-store by Charlotte Maddens, meat markets by Stephen Brownson and W. H. Leek, and a cigar factory by Martin Bliss. In 1886 was opened the first hotel--the Fleming House, a three-story frame building, a part of which had served as a skating rink--which had John McLaughlan as proprietor, in 1887. The Bennett House, also a three story building, on the lower part of Main Street, was opened in April, 1887, by Bennett & Son. Pool-rooms and restaurants were opened in the spring of 1886 by C. L. Avery and in the fall by Z. C. Bell.

The first bakery was opened in January, 1887, by W. H. G. E. Wedeman; and since the fall of 1885 Michael McGrath has been the barber of the town.

As builders and mechanics, Forest City had, in 1887, Rogers & Alexander, wheelwrights; Tripp Woodmansee, M. Cramer, L. P. Wedeman, and W. H. Higgins, contractors and builders; M. H. Davis and John Brown, shoemakers; and George Curtis, Mill-owner, since the spring of 1886.

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S. C. J. Thayer became a citizen of Forest City May 6, 1881, and has been the justice of the peace since May, 1886.

Dr. J. C. Seco located here as a physician in November, 1885, and remained about a year. Dr. P. G. Griffin was here next, about five months; and since November, 1886, Dr. W. Saint C. Gibbs has been the practitioner.

The post-office at this place was established December 16, 1879, with the name of Pentecost and David R. Lumley, postmaster. The subsequent appointees have been: November 28, 1881, John W. Goon; April 8, 1884, William Pentecost; April 30, 1886, James R. Fleming. The name was changed to Forest City September 8, 1886, and Mr. Fleming continues as postmaster. Forest City became an election precinct in 1886.

J. B. STEPHENS, the eldest son of John Stephens, born in Lenox township, Susquehanna County, on December 6, 1812, and his wife, Mary A. Brownell (1811-86), was born August 1, 1834. His grandparents were Jacob and Ann (Baker) Stephens, of Wyoming County, farmers. Mrs. John Stephens was born in Rhode Island and came to Pennsylvania with her parents when a child. They shortly after marriage came to Susquehanna County. The children of John and Mary Ann Stephens are Jacob B.; George H., born 1835, a business man of the township; Martha A. W., born 1836, married Andrew Simpson (of Jones & Simpson), of Archibald, Pa; Mary A., born 1839, the wife of James C. Decker, a farmer of this township, who was a lieutenant in the One Hundred and Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania. Regiment during the Rebellion; Hannah L., born 1842, married Charles M. Hunter, a jeweler, of Clifford, who also served during the late war; John, born 1847, enlisted in the United States regular army in 1865, and for four years following he was out in the Western Territories fighting Indians. After another four years spent at home he returned to the West, and for ten years past has been interested in mining operations in Montana. The father of these children was a carpenter and farmer, and for a couple of years kept the Dundaff Hotel at an early day. He now makes a home with his son J. B., at Royal. Jacob B. Stephens learned the trade of a carpenter and joiner of his father, and acquired habits of diligence and errascitude, which have stood him in good stead during his business career. They carried on business together until 1875, and erected many of the more substantial and handsome buildings in this neighbor hood, including three school-houses. After the great fire at Carbondale, in 1867, Mr. Stephens opened operations there, rebuilding that city, and employed a large force of workmen. The Moffatt residence and block and many other prominent buildings were put up by him. Since 1876, as manager for his father and himself, be has operated the steam saw-mill which Lee & James had built in 1872 on lands owned by Mr. Stephens, on the Milford and Oswego turnpike. He was one of the ten originators of the Clifford Valley Cemetery, and retains a large interest therein. In politics he is a Democrat. During the two terms his services were given the township as supervisor (being elected by a handsome majority, although his party is in the minority) three iron bridges were built and a good record made. For some years past he has been interested in the cause of temperance. He was one of the charter members of Clifford Lodge, F. and A. M., and is a Past Master in the order. He also holds membership in Eureka Chapter, No. 179, R. A. M., and Palestine Commandery, No. 14, K. T., at Carbondale. He married, on Christmas Day, 1862, Soluna Johnson, and has had three children - Harry, born 1865, now in the United States Postal Service; Archie, born 1869, died 1873; and Freddie, born 1870. William W. Johnson, son of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, a native of Orange County, N. Y., was a carpenter by trade, and married Rosetta Young, of Michigan. Their children were Soluna, now Mrs. J. B. Stephens; Nettle married Charles Wilson, of Nicholson; Eventine F., a merchant at Nicholson; Constantine, & carpenter and builder, located at Seattle, Washington Territory; Julius, also a carpenter and builder at Scranton; and Amanda, who died in youth. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson moved from Orange County to Pennsylvania, and for some time lived in Lackawanna County. In 1844 they located in Clifford township, and now live at Nicholson, Pa.

The school-house was erected in 1885. It is a neat frame, thirty by fifty feet, and two stories high. Two schools are maintained.

Forest City M.. E. Church became an incorporated body January 17, 1885, with W. J. Gilchrist, Wm. Pentecost, Benjamin Maxey, Robert H. Dunn and George Johnson as the first board of trustees. Under their direction a. nest church edifice was built on contract by L. P. Wedeman, which was dedicated November 17, 18R6. It is a frame, with a small spire, and has sittings for two hundred persons. Prior to the completion of this building meetings were held in the schoolhouse, the preaching services being first regularly held by the Rev. Q. P. Christopher, preacher in charge of the Uniondale Circuit. Among the members of that period (1884) were R. H. Dunn, W. J. Gilchrist, Eleazer Monroe and their wives, Mrs. Benjamin Mamey, and a few others. In April, 1887, there were twenty-three members, and the Rev. J. Madison as pastor, succeeding the. Rev. Thomas. In 1884 was also organized the first Sunday-school, with W. J. Gilchrist as the superintendent. The membership has been increased to sixty, and the school is doing much good in producing an interest in religious matters.

The First Regular Baptist Church of Clifford.--As early as the fall of 1802 the Rev. John Miller, of Abington, preached occasionally in that part of the "Elk Woods" settlement now known as Clifford


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