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

Gibson Township

Page 762

time of its organization, and for many years thereafter. The first class was organized by Rev. Wm. Reddy about 1838, in the first school-house, built by H. P. Miller, and located near his house, on what is now known as the Wilbur Gardner property. The charge at that time embraced Brooklyn, Jackson, Gibson Hill (now Kennedy Hill), and the new appointment at South Gibson. The first class consisted of Fitch Resseguie and wife, Benjamin Snyder and wife, and son James and wife, Asa Howard and wife, Michael Belcher and wife. Michael Belcher was the first class-leader.

It was customary at that time to send two ministers on one circuit. Rev. Mr. Tenny was preacher in charge, and Rev. Wm. Reddy was his assistant at that time. Gibson Hill, in the era of the turnpikes, was the central point for miles around. Rev. Messrs. Tenny and Reddy held a protracted meeting here, which had a far-reaching effect, and gave to South Gibson class its first accession soon after its organization. Among those who joined at this time were Charles Edwards and wife, Jas. Chandler and wife, Wesley Carpenter and wife, Hamilton Bonner and wife, and Miss Mindwell Sparks, afterwards widely known as Mrs. Manzer, the evangelist. The ensuing summer the first quarterly meeting was held in Fitch Resseguie's barn; all points of the charge were represented. Mrs. Manzer, who is now living, speaks of that occasion as follows: "I remember with pleasure the event. The multitude had come on Saturday from Brooklyn and many miles away, to enjoy the Saturday and Sunday morning services, and especially the love feast; and how to dispose of so many for the night, in a neighborhood so sparsely settled, was a question submitted to 'Sister Resseguie,' who, in her Christian benevolence, characteristic always of herself replied, 'O, well! I can keep as many as there are boards in the floor,' and owing to her mathematical genius forty persons wore comfortably lodged and fed under her hospitable roof." Owing to dissensions between the Free-Will Baptists and the Methodists, who occupied the school-house alternately, the Methodists resolved to erect a church edifice, and to that end Jas. Chandler, Asa Howard and Charles Edwards were appointed a building committee, in the spring of 1840. They met with the pastor and Urbane Burrows at Fitch Resseguie's. Mr. Burrows started the subscription with fifty dollars, and enough was pledged to insure the completion of the building, which was located on Fitch Resseguie's land, on the lot now occupied as a burying-ground. The church was dedicated by Rev. Mr. Snyder in January, 1841. No promiscuous seating was allowed in this church. The females sat upon the right, and the males upon the left. The towering pulpit at the extreme rear was enclosed on the women's side, and was reached by a flight of steps on the men's side. The salary at that time was one hundred dollars for single men, and two hundred dollars for a married man and wife, with sixteen dollars extra for every child. Methodist ministers were proverbial for large families as long as this extra inducement lasted. During the subsequent decade several changes were made in the charge. In 1853 South Gibson was severed from Brooklyn and united with Harford, under the pastorate of Rev. Rosman Ingalls and S. W. Weiss, the former aged and infirm, and soon after superannuated; the latter a young man of marked piety and ability, just emerging from his majority and entering upon his first charge. This charge embraced the following preaching-points Harford, Wade's, South Gibson, Kentuck, Burrows' Hollow, East Hill, Smiley, Heine's, Gibson Hill, Jackson Centre, Cargill's, North Jackson, Savory's, Page's Pond and Sweet's. They required eighteen sermons per month. Rev. R. Ingalls resided in his own house at Burrows' Hollow, and the "Boy Preacher," as they called Rev. S. W. Weiss, boarded with Brewster Guile, at Harford. The latter traveled on horseback from place to place, and being a good singer, he often prefaced his sermons with sacred song. He preached without notes and with great power. Social and genial in his pastoral relations, full of power and pathos in prayer, he exerted a good influence. Wesley Carpenter invited the young preacher to go down to the school-house on the corner, near Wade's tavern, in the latter part of October, 1853. A service was held, Mr. Weiss and Mr. Carpenter closed with prayer, being the only professors in the house. Another meeting was requested, and the interest became such that the meetings were continued for six weeks, notwithstanding the opposition of Mr. Wade, who was a member of the School Board, and tried to put them out, but a majority of the board were against him, and he finally gave up his hotel and left the place in disgust. There were one hundred conversions, and "Pentecostal Night," as they called it, will be remembered for generations. Nearly every house in the vicinity became a house of prayer. Michael Belcher was the Peter Cartwright of the South Gibson Church. He frequently stood quartering from the pulpit, with his eye on the minister, nodding his approval, accompanying the same with exclamations suited to his feelings. The following is a specimen of his prayers for his pastor: 0 Lord, bless Brother Weiss, keep him humble. If he ever gets proud, Lord, knock him down." In November, 1870, another revival occurred, in which fourteen heads of families of the best citizens were converted, who since that time have been the main financial support of the church. Rev. A. C. Sperry was preacher in charge at that time. Among others, Rev. J. L. Race, F. A. King and C. M. Surdam have been instrumental in doing great good in this place. The first board of trustees were Fitch Resseguie, Asa Howard and James Chandler. The present church edifice was erected in 1869-70, at a cost of six thousand dollars, and was dedicated in June, 1870, by Rev. B. I. Ives. There have been two women connected

 

Gibson Township

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with this church whose lives and services Will be long remembered-Mrs. Mary Tewksbury Resseguie and Mrs. Mindwell Manzer. Of the former, Rev. Mr. Weiss writes, "Whose praise was in all the church; she was a lady of great intelligence, of refined manners, of spotless purity and of an extended influence. She was always at her post of duty and ever helpful. No circumstances could change her faith or sour her spirit." Her calm spirits, sympathizing words and gentle ministries won all hearts and led scores of souls to the Saviour. Perhaps more than any one else, not excepting ministers, she was the means of the growth and stability of the church of which she was an honored member. Mrs. Manzer has preached nearly one hundred and fifty funeral sermons since she was licensed to exhort by the Methodist Episcopal Church. She is now a licensed evangelist, and is remarkable in prayer and exhortation, haviug the confidence and esteem of her neighbors and friends who respect her for her Christian character. The following persons have been class-leaders Michael Belcher, Asa Howard, Charles Edwards, Hamilton Bonner, James Snyder, Wesley Carpenter, Chas. Bennett, Geo. C. Brundage and Elisha Keech. Geo. C. Brundage has been the regular leader for thirty years. The first Sunday-school superintendent was Charles Edwards. The first Sunday-school concerts were instituted by Miss Alice Snyder and Mrs. A. M. Resseguie. Mrs. E. H. Bennett was superintendent of the school for many years, and continued it throughout the entire year. Prior to her time it had been closed in the winter, B. D. Reynolds has been superintendent for the last seven years. June 4, 1855, a ladies' aid society was first organized, with Lucy A. Brundage, president ; Julia Howell, treasurer; A. M. Resseguie, secretary.

Music.-Silas Torrey was the first teacher of vocal music. He taught in the days of buckwheat notes. Dr. A. B. Woodward and his brother, Cyrus B. Woodward, were early teachers of vocal music. The latter was a fine tenor singer and chorister in the Free-Will Baptist Church. After that disbanded he acted in the same capacity for the Methodist Church. His successors have been Joseph Brundage and Freeman Brundage. Miss Alice Snyder was the first organist. Miss Gertrude Resseguie succeeded her.

GEORGE WOODWARD.-Deacon Israel Woodward (1707-97), a man eminent for his piety, and a Presbyterian, resided at Lebanon, Windham County, Conn. He united with the church there in 1736, and was officiating as deacon in 1752. His will, written by himself, was made in 1792, November 23d. His son, Israel Woodward, Jr., born in 1739, married, in 1767, Anna Dunham, who was born in 1745, and had children who grew to mature years,-Anna, 1768; Josiah (1772-93); Esther, died in Bradford, Pa. Jerome (1777-1852), settled in Harford, this county, where he died; and Artemas Woodward (1780-1858), a native of Columbia, the same county, in Connecticut. Israel Woodward, Jr., served in the Revolutionary War, and was a resident of Columbia. The youngest son, Artemas, was a hatter by trade, and worked some as a mason. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church of Columbia, and reared his children under the instruction of its teachings. His first wife (married in 1800), Marcella Merifield (1778-1810), of the same place, bore him children,-George, born March 14, 1801; Eliza (1804-29) was the wife of James Johnson, both dying in Gibson; Emeline (1807-20); Marcella, 1810, widow of Daniel Gray, of Enfield, Conn., has children James P. and Henry W. His second wife (married in 1811), Betsey Collins (1780-1862), had children,-Artemas Russel (1811-40), died in Clifford leaving children: Edwin, Marcella and Louisa; Cyrus Bissel (1813-83) resided most of his life in Gibson, and died in Iowa, leaving children: Nathan, Truman and Marinda Angeline (Mrs. C. W. Resseguie,of Gibson); Lovisa Collins (1815-70), wife of Henry P. Miller, resided in Gibson, died in Lenox, leaving children, Cyrus B. and Marilla B.; Betsey Lovina, 1818, first the wife of Palmer Card, of Gibson, and second the wife of Alvin Roper, of Bridgewater, has children, Asahel Card and Bird Roper; and Dr. Albert Bezaleel, 1824, a physician and druggist of Tunkhannock.

Artemas Woodward came from Columbia, Conn, to Gibson in 1819, and removed with his family in 1820, and first located in Kentuck settlement, but after one year he took up ninety acres of woodland one-half mile from South Gibson, built his log house and in 1834 a frame one. Here he spent the remainder of his days, and with the assistance of his family made a home for himself and children. He united with the Free-Will Baptist Church at South Gibson, where also his second wife belonged. He belonged to the old Whig party. Not having a legal title to his land, his eldest son, George, who came here in 1820, bought the right of soil of the homestead from Thomas Meredith in 1834. He had bought, about 1824, a tract adjoining of one hundred and eighty-four acres, upon which he lived for many years, and built the present residence on it, now owned by Peter Decker. George built a saw-mill thereon in 1831, cleared a large part of the farm and brought it into a good state of cultivation. He sold much of it at different times, and the balance of the homestead in 1883, now making four farms, and removed to South Gibson.

During his earlier years in Connecticut he worked on the Connecticut River and at Warehouse Point in a distillery, and for six years after coming here he worked at the same business in Gibson and Harford, and conducted the business for one year in the latter place for himself. He is, in 1887, one of the oldest men in the township, and has been a man of persevering industry and strict integrity in all his business relations. He was for over seventeen years an official of the township, and served as one of the first school

 

Gibson Township

Page 764

directors, as assessor, supervisor and poormaster. He has been until a few years ago a member of the Freewill Baptist Church at South Gibson since 1824, and served the church as deacon for many years. He formerly belonged to the Whig party, and was a Republican upon the organization of the party in 1856. In 1824 he assisted in raising an independent company of infantry, served as musician, in 1828 was commissioned first lieutenant, and in 1829 captain by Governor Shulze. The company was attached to the One Hundred and Thirty-sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Militia.

George Woodward belongs to that class of sturdy pioneers who came to this new country in its early history, cleared off its forests, started schools, organized churches, improved farms and roads, and hewed out a competence and home for their children, and the engravings of such men will he handed down on the pages of this history, adding increasing value as time goes on. He married, in 1828, Mary Ann Galloway (1803-1884)a daughter of George and Abigail Galloway, who came from Orange County, N. Y., and were among the earliest settlers of Gibson, said to have been here as early as 1791. Her nephew, Gilbert G. Walker, was at one time Governor of Virginia. The children of George and Mary Ann Woodward are George G., 1833, farmer in Gibson, and Abigail M., 1836, wife of A. J. Wickwire, of South Gibson.

LAWRENCE MANZER bought about two hundred acres on the Tunkhannock, about one mile above South Gibson, which included the John Collar improvement. He had built a good log house and a barn, that is now standing. He had planted a large orchard, which was destroyed by a whirlwind after Manzer came there. Mr. Manzer made extensive improvements; he cleared land, built comfortable houses and erected a saw-mill in 1843. He died in 1869, aged eighty-three; nine of his family were then living. T. J. Manzer kept the homestead, which he has improved and augmented by purchase, until be owns some three hundred acres of land, and is able to keep nearly one hundred head of cattle. His barns are well arranged and his farm is well watered, making him one of the first farmers in the county. Henry Manzer resides in Lenox. His wife, who was Mindwell Sparks, is a preacher of some local fame, and is often called upon to preach funeral sermons. Polly was the wife of Alonzo Kinne. John Williams and Arnold Walker were old settlers on the Tunkhannock above Manzer's. Richard Denny bought Walker's

 

Gibson Township

Page 765

improvement in 1817, and he removed to East Mountain. Denny made improvements and was one of the best farmers in the place. He married Sarah Steenback. They had ten children,-Maria J., Betsey Ann, Joel, Asenath, Thomas, Louisa, Lorinda, Jeremiah, John, Sally Ann. All settled in the vicinity. Maria is the wife of Loren Bennett; Joel was the owner of several houses in South Gibson. Amos Taylor was an early settler on the Tunkhannock, and was succeeded in the possession of the homestead by his son William. David and Mercy Taylor, his parents, came later, about 1800, and settled near Smiley, where he built a hotel on the Newburg turnpike, now standing east of the creek. He had other sons, William and Thomas. About 1814 he removed to Great Bend township, and became the founder of Taylortown. (See Lanesboro' and Oakland histories for further history of the Taylors. )

BURIAL-PLACES.-Burrows' Hollow Burylng-ground. -Elias Van Winkle's child, aged ahout fifteen, was the first person buried in the yard. Mr. Skyrin agreed to give ground for a burial-place. He gave eight rods on the road and as far back as it was suitable to bury, which is about fifteen rods. In 1842, when it was fenced, Mr. Roper, who then owned adjoining, gave three rods more; after that Urbane Burrows set off more laud for the same purpose. There are many buries in the yard-four Revolutionary soldiers- Robert Chandler, Nathaniel Claflin, Consider Fuller and Elias Van Winkle; War of 1812-Jason Fargo, John Guard and Moses Chamberlain.

Union Hill Burying-ground is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, in the township. Here many of the old pioneers and their descendants sleep.

Resseguie Burying-ground.- William Resseguie, son of Samuel Resseguie, was the first person buried in the Resseguie burying-ground; that was about 1840. Since then a great many have been buried there, and the acre of ground from Fitch Resseguie's farm that was originally set apart for that purpose is nearly all occupied. The old Methodist Church stood on this ground. Among the old settlers buried there we notice the following: Samuel Resseguie, died 1858, aged eighty-two; Corbett Pickering, died 1878, aged eighty; Solona Pickering, died 1881, aged seventy-three; Esther, wife of John Denny, died 1853, aged seventy-six; Cyrus B. Woodward, died 1883, aged sixty-nine; Artemas Woodward, died 1878, aged seventy-eight; Benj. Snyder, died 1863, aged eighty-two; Elizabeth, his wife, died 1870, aged eighty-one; Nathan S. Tiffany, died 1828, aged forty-three; Nancy Carpenter, died 1856, aged sixty-eight. The grounds are well fenced and in charge of Emory Resseguie.

South Gibson Cemetery, or Manzer burying-ground, is beautifully located on a flat sand-knoll, about twenty feet above the Tunkhannock. The flowing waters in days gone by raised a natural embankment well adapted for a burial-place. John Collar, who was the pioneer on the Manzer place, and two or three others were buried there many years ago, and Lawrence Manzer deeded one-half acre to the Manzer family for a burying-place, but the neighbors continued to want lots there until T. J. Manzer proposed to give two acres and one-half more, and he, with twenty-eight others, had the cemetery incorporated in 1870. T. J. Manzer is secretary of the company. Among the old settlers buried there we notice Isaac V. Maxon, died 1869, aged seventy-five; Israel Howell, died 1872, aged seventy-six; Benj. Coon, died 1881, aged eighty.

There are two small burial-places at Smiley Hollow and another at Gelatt.

EAST MOUNTAIN District.-Alanson Belcher settled where his son Edgar now resides. John Washburn settled where Richard Owens lives. Willard and Warren Walker, Benjamin Snyder and Daniel Tuttle, who was killed by a falling tree, were early settlers on East Mountain. David Holmes, son of William Holmes, of Kentuck, located where his son George now lives. His children were David E., merchant in South Gibson; William, resident of Jackson; Charles, who died in the army; Jesse, Samuel, George and Sarah, wife of Richard Owens.

James Bennett, son of Levi Bennett, came to East Mountain and bought an improvement, including a log house, of Abner Walker in 1837. William Taylor and his son Amos took up the place where Josiah Taylor now lives. James Kelly resided where his son Thomas afterwards resided. William Gardiner where John Reese lives. Isaac Maxon was also another old settler here; his widow, aged eighty-six, resides on the place with her son Elisha. Alonzo P. Kinney has been a resident forty years. William Owens has the Willard and Warren Walker farms. Owen and Wm. Williams, two bachelor brothers, own the Shepherdson place. There are not so many inhabitants on East Mountain as formerly. Many of the later settlers are Welsh, who have purchased two farms in some cases and joined them together in one farm. There has been a school in the settlement for fifty-five years or since 1832. There was a log school-house near where Belcher lives. Harriet Taylor was one of the first teachers. The school-house is now near Pickering's. Elder Fish organized a Free-Will Baptist Church, which was maintained for many years, but the little flock has been decimated by removals and death, until the organization has been given up.

Willard and Warren Walker and wives, Arnold Walker and wife, Sylvester Coon and wife, Orvis Lewis and wife, Alanson Belcher and wife, Thos. Chandler and wife, Ellen Tiffany, James Bennett and wife and others were members. The organization never had any church building, but worshipped in the schoolhouse. Jas. Bennett superintended the Sunday-school. East Mountain was originally timbered with beech, maple and hemlock. The land receives the wash of the mountains and is very fertile.

Job Tripp lived and died on the East Mountain,


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