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

Hop Bottom Borough

Page 692

For a time after his marriage Alfred Judson Tiffany resided in Harford, but in 1851 removed to the old homestead in Brooklyn, where he spent the remainder of his life, a farmer, and where his widow, now Mrs. Gilbert N. Smith, resides in 1887.

He was a man highly respected by all who knew him, had an honest purpose in life's work, of correct habits and high moral sentiment, and, with his wife, members of the Universalist Church, of Brooklyn, to the support of which they contributed. He was officially identified with the township as supervisor and judge of election. Their children are Edson M., born in Harford, January 19, 1841, and Henry J. (May 27,1849-November 10, 1862). After the death of her husband, Mrs. Tiffany married Gilbert N. Smith, of Lathrop. Edson M. Tiffany, only surviving child of Alfred J. Tiffany, was educated at the Montrose Academy under Professor Stoddard, and at Harford Academy under Rev. Lyman Richardson, where he was graduated in the English branches. He subsequently attended Eastman's Business College, at Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and was graduated in the class of 1864. During the late Rebellion he was drafted for the three years' quota, but commuted, remained on the home farm and for seven winter terms was a teacher, five of which were at the home district school. In 1866 he purchased the store of C. B. Hall, at Hopbottom, where he has been engaged in a general mercantile business since, a period of twenty-one years. J. H. Tiffany was his partner until 1873, under the firm-name of E. M. Tiffany & Co. From 1866 to 1873 he was assistant postmaster at Hopbottom, and in 1885 he was commissioned postmaster, which office he now holds, with the post-office located in one corner of his store. He was elected, and served for three years, as the first burgess after the erection of the borough of Hopbottom, has served as judge of elections, and he has been a member of the Town Council since the close of his service as burgess. In the fall of 1884 he was a candidate, and received the nomination, for member of the State Legislature on the Democratic ticket; ran largely ahead of his ticket, but his party being in the minority, he failed of election. Mr. Tiffany and wife are members of the Universalist Church, and for nineteen years, save one, he has been the superintendent of its Sunday-school. He built his fine and spacious residence, situate on the west side of Martin's Creek, in 1881. He married, in 1871, Mary E. Miles, who was born November 2, 1845. Their only child is Grace Pearl Tiffany, who was born January 17, 1875. Mrs. Tiffany was a teacher for twelve terms before her marriage, and was graduated at Maplewood Musical Seminary, East Haddam, Conn., in the class of 1869, under Professor D. S. Babcock, and was an instructor of music for several years.

Her parents are Jasper and Ursula (Black) Miles, of Spring Hill, Bradford County, where she was born. Her father died in 1852, in Dimock, at the age of forty years, was the son of Thomas Miles, of Dimock, whose wife, Polly Vose, was of Scotch origin. Her mother, born in 1819, was a daughter of James Black, of Spring Hill, Bradford County, formerly from Vermont, and resides at Wilcox, Elk County. The children of Jasper and Ursula Miles are Burton E., a farmer at Wilcox; Alonzo W., a clerk for Edson W. Tiffany; Mary E.; and Thomas J. Miles, a druggist in Kansas.

MARTIN LEE TIFFANY, fifth son of Alfred and Fanny Mack) Tiffany, was born on the homestead, near Kingsley's Station, in Brooklyn township, March 23, 1836. His early education was obtained at the home district school and at Harford Academy, from which he was graduated in the class of '53, at the age of seventeen. He at once thereafter went from home, and, with that self-reliance characteristic of those who are successful in life's work determined to carve out a home and competence for himself. For three years he worked in the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company's wood-shops at Scranton, and in the construction of bridges on the road. In July, 1856, he began as brakesman for the same company, and served in that capacity on the first passenger run on the southern division; and from December of that year until 1859 he was a fireman on the main line. Being promoted, he served as engineer, and ran a locomotive on the road for the following six years; was an engineer for the Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad between Ashley and Mountain Top, 1866-67 (one year), and served as engineer for one year for Parrish, Thomas & Co., at Sugar Notch, and from 1868 to 1871 as braker-boss for the same firm. For eight years following 1871 he was superintendent of collieries numbers 6, 8, 9 and 10, at Ashley and Sugar Notch, for the Lehigh and Wilkes-Barre Coal Company. In 1878 he had bought a farm known as the "Blanchard Place," of one hundred acres, situate on Martin's Creek, near Hopbottom, since included in the borough limits, upon which he settled in the fall of 1879. Here he engaged in general farming, and has dealt quite largely in farm products, cream and butter, buying and shipping to Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. His farm is one of the old land-marks in the valley, attractive and productive. He remodeled his residence, and in 1886 built a creamery on his farm for the purpose of facilitating and enlarging his cream and butter business.

Mr. Tiffany is a thrifty, thorough-going business man. He was one of the prime movers in the erection of the borough of Hopbottom, and president of its first council, and he has served as a member of its council since - as assessor one year, as judge of elections, as school director, and is president of the School Board in 1887. During the late Rebellion, in 1864, Mr. Tiffany furnished a substitute for three years, for service in the army, although he himself was not drafted. He married, in 1860, Lucy Ann Roper, who was born in Harford November 25, 1839. They have an adopted daughter, Flora Lathrop Tiffany, born in Franklin May 4, 1874.

Hop Bottom Borough

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Her father, John J. Roper, born in 1813, came from Rutland, Mass., in 1832, with his older brothers, William, of Gibson, and Alvin, of Bridgewater, and until 1837 resided in Gibson, from that time until 1855 in Harford, and since the latter date he has been a resident of Brooklyn. He married first, in 1834, Lucia Cutter Roper (1817-52), a native of Sterling, Mass., who came here with her parents and settled in Gibson, her father being Joseph Roper. Their children are Joseph Fausen, served nine months in the late Rebellion, died in 1866 at the age of twenty-eight, at Hopbottom; Ruth Amelia, wife of Albert Titus, of Hopbottom; Lucy Ann (Mrs. M. L. Tiffany); John Murray, served in the late Civil War nearly three years and a resident of Parker, Dakota; Sarah Helen, wife of Everton B. Potter, of Gibson; Emma Louise, wife of Thomas Cassedy, of Ashley, Luzerne County; and Alvin Everett, of Washington Territory. For his second wife he married, in 1855, Eliza (born in 1819), a daughter of Justice Kent, who settled in Brooklyn in 1811, by whom he had a daughter who died young, and two sons, Albert and Harry Roper. John J. Roper had three other brothers, and one sister, Mrs. Candace Perry, of New Milford.

On the flats above the village lived Dr. Samuel Wright, a botanic physician, as the first medical practitioner in this locality. In 1866 Dr. W. N. Green became a resident physician, dying in the village in 1886. From 1877 until March, 1887, Dr. Rufus Thayre practiced at Hophottom, when he moved to Montrose. Dr. Perry Schoonmaker came in 1884, and Dr. Abner Johnstone in 1886, both continuing in practice.

In 1851 the Case Brothers got in operation a saw-mill on Martin Creek, in the lower part of the village, which became the property of Truman Bell, and has been extensively operated by him ever since. In 1866 another power on the same stream was improved, in the upper part of the village, by W. M. Tingley, who erected a good flouring mill, having three runs of stones, which was set in motion in 1867. The water was conveyed to the mill through a trunk ten rods long, and at first a breast wheel was used. Later a wheel of the turbine pattern has been provided, and the mill has been otherwise improved until it has become a fine property. George Coray became the owner in 1871, and after his death, in 1884, his son, G. E. Coray, operated the mills until January, 1887,

Hop Bottom Borough

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when he sold to O. D. Roberts and Truman Bell, the proprietors in March, 1887.

Below this mill Preston Whiting had a small repair shop, operated by water-power, taken from the bulk-head of the mill, but operated it a short time only.

In the lower part of the village F. P. Conrad and Moses Caldwell erected large mechanic shops, which were burned in 1883, but were rebuilt on a more extensive scale the following year, and a steam engine was supplied to furnish power by the lessees of the shop,-Nash, Grant & Brown. The firm discontinued work after a short period, and the machinery has been removed. In the spring of 1887 the shops were unoccupied. A mile below the village, on Martin Creek, Lyman Kellum built a saw-mill in 1854, which he sold to Elisha Bell in 1856. The latter operated it thirty years, when he sold to Morris Tingley. Nearer the village William Miles operated saw and feed-mills, which have been discontinued, but on the brook beyond the hill Daniel Miles has in operation a small feed mill.

The "Foster Creamery" was built in 1884 by 0. D. Roberts and L. M. Peters, to operate on the cream-gathering system. After one year's operation by this firm, A. W. Kent & Co. became the operators. In 1887 the creamery was sold to the American Dairy Co. It is a well-arranged factory, and has had a large patronage.

In the spring of 1887 M. L. Tiffany erected and equipped a fine creamery on his farm, a short distance above the upper part of the borough, which will also be operated on the cream-gathering system. A large patronage has been assured, and it will prove an important factor in the business of the village. The shipment of flag-stones is an important industry at Hopbottom, which is increasing each year.

SOCIETIES.-The village has had a number of societies, which flourished for a period, then declined and all have passed out of existence. The oldest of these was Lathrop Lodge, No.555, I. 0. G. T., which was organized March 9, 1868, and which disbanded April 28, 1877. In this period there was an aggregate membership of four hundred and sixteen, and at the time the meetings were discontinued it had thirty- eight members in good standing, most of whom belonged to the Wright, Tiffany and Bell families. The meetings were held in Good Templars' Hall, which had been prepared for the lodge by Elisha Bell, and were occasions of great interest. Another effort to promote the cause of temperance was made Jan.13, 1880, when the Hopbottom Temperance Union was organized in Dr. Thorpe's private school-room, when the following officers were chosen: N.M. Finn, president; G. W. Tiffany, financial secretary; 0. D. Roberts, treasurer; and J. S. Wright, secretary. More than sixty members were enrolled, and the organization was kept up about two years.

Valley Council, No.286, O. U. A. M., was organized at Hopbottom in 1872, and continued its meetings about six years. More than sixty members belonged, but it ceased to prosper, and it was decided to close up its affairs and surrender the charter.

THE INCORPORATION.-Hopbottom became a borough April 8, 1881, with the following bounds: Beginning at a stake on the northeast corner, thence along the Lenox line south 14 1/2(degree) east 220 rods south 20 1/2 (degree) west 167 rods to an oak tree south 59 (degree) east 152 rods, on the west 7 (degree) east 282 rods to a stone, on the north 85 (degree) east 160 rods to the place of beginning. Within these bounds were three miles 249 perches of streets and two hundred and fifty-two inhabitants. There were lands, not surveyed into lots, owned by M. L. Tiffany, Elisha Bell, Truman Bell and H. G. Wright. May 23,1881, E. Carpenter was appointed street commissioner, and the streets were named as follows: From M. L. Tiffany's to the line near the Universalist Church as River Street; from the bridge, over the creek to the railroad, as Main Street; from the bridge, over the creek, above H. Quick's, as High Street; from grist-mill to line beyond Mrs. Cantlin as Centre Street; from near E. Carpenter's to line above Truman Bell as Forest Street; from D. Wilmarth to line above W. B. Adams as Front Street; from Truman Bell to 0. D. Roberts' as Prospect Street; from below the railroad station as Railroad Street.

The first officers of the borough were: Burgess, E. M. Tiffany; Councilmen, Truman Bell, William B. Adams, M. L. Tiffany, I. T. Wilmarth, James Bisbee, 0. D Roberts, who qualified April 28, 1881.

J. P. A. Tingley was appointed clerk and was re-elected each year until 1885. E. M. Tiffany was elected burgess in 1882 and 1883. In the former year J. P. A. Tingley was elected justice of the peace for five years, and in 1884 A. W. Miles elected justice. The same year Truman Bell was elected burgess and has been re-elected to the present time, with the exception of 1886, when G. E. Coray became the burgess, and W. M. Tingley, clerk.

In 1887 the officers were as follows: Burgess, Truman Bell; Councilmen, E. M. Tiffany (president), B. A. Gardner, G. W. Strupler, Charles H. Kellum, M. L. Tiffany. A. J. Chamberlain; Justices, W. M. Tingley, George W. Tiffany; Clerk, .W. M. Tingley; Assessor. Truman Bell; Constable, C. Carpenter; Collector, Charles Fish; Judge of Election, D. S. Quick; Inspectors, J. C. Merrill, W. H. Sayre; Overseer of the Poor, H. S. Quick.

Since the incorporation of the village the streets have been improved and other benefits have been derived which are directly traceable to these corporate privileges. The ordinances were drafted by Wm. B. Adams and I. T. Wilmarth.

SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES.-The first school-house in the borough stood on the hillside southwest of the Methodist Church, and was built in 1858. It was used until the present fine edifice took its place, in 1879.

Hop Bottom Borough

Page 695

It is a two-room frame, but when first used had but one school, of which George Gere was teacher. In 1880 S.S. Thomas became the principal of the two schools, now opened, and continued until 1884. The following year R. T. Trible became principal, but in the fall of 1886 S. S. Thomas was again called to assume charge of the schools, being the present principal. The schools have more than ninety pupils enrolled, giving an average attendance of eighty pupils. Of these, twenty pupils attend from Lathrop, their tuition being paid by the township board, and ten are from outside sources. Eight months of school per year are maintained.

In 1887 the School Board was composed of M. Tiffany, W. S. Saxon, J. C. Merrill, H. S. Quick, J. S. Hettes, N.M. Finn and B. A. Gardner, the two last named having received an equal number of votes.

The Hopbottom M. E. Church is the outgrowth an early Methodist appointment at Anthony Wright's on Martin Creek, a mile above the village. Here meetings were statedly held, in connection with other appointments on Brooklyn Circuit, and this relation has since been sustained, Hopbottom Church being a part of Brooklyn Circuit. In 1849 a Methodist Sunday-school was organized in the kitchen of Anthony Wright, which was superintended by Mrs. Sarah B., the wife of Dr. Samuel Wright, and which created such an interest that it was determined to make it permanent. Accordingly, Anthony Wright set aside an acre of ground, in the spring of 1850, on which a small frame building was moved, which was fitted up as a place of worship, and more especially as a place where those desiring to attend the Sabbath-school might find room. The ground was also consecrated to the dead, and now forms a part of the Lathrop cemetery. In this building the Martin Creek Sabbath-school was held about twenty years, and was attended by scholars living many miles around, the enrollment some seasons being sixty or more. Joseph Lines, Jr., came from Brooklyn and superintended the school several years. Henry Caswell was also one of the superintendents, in the old building. After the completion of the Methodist Church at Hopbottom, the Sabbath-school was transferred to that place, and has since been there continued, among the superintendents being T. J. Miles and the present, Mrs. Emma Titus. The school is continued the year around, and has fifty attendants.

The church edifice at Hopbottom was erected in the summer and fall of 1870, under the direction of a building committee composed of William P Crandall, Emanuel Carpenter and Dr. Samuel Wright. The house is an attractive frame, thirty-five by fifty feet, with a belfry, in which is a five hundred pound bell, costing thirty-two hundred dollars.

"On the day of dedication. December 15, 1870, eighteen hundred dollars were to be provided for, after the infant society had done all it felt able to do, but under the benign influence of the occasion, the entire sum was pledged and the new church auspiciously began its history."

The church was built by contract by Anson Merrill and Loomis Wright, and while the latter was working on the belfry he fell from the building, but fortunately sustained no serious injury.

On the 17th of August, 1871, the church became an incorporated body, on the petition of Samuel Wright, P. H. Whitney, Cyrus M. Jackson, Wm. Squiers, Wm. P. Crandall, Stephen S. Gavitt, H. G. Wright, Abraham Severson, W. K. Reynolds, C. W. Wright, Emanuel Carpenter and J. S. Wright.

In 1886 the church had a season of reviving influence, which greatly augmented its membership. The number belonging in March, 1887, was fifty-five, forming a class led by Dr. P. Schoonmaker and A. W. Miles.

The First Universalist Church of Hopbottom was organized February 27, 1870, with thirty-two members, of whom the following sustained an official relation : Elders Freeman T. Powers, I. D. Bell, Gilbert N. Smith, Deacons A. B. Merrill, Lyman W. Kellum, Clerk H. B. Wood and Steward Albert Titus. August 19, 1870, the church became an incorporated body, with the above officers and E. K. Howe as incorporators. On the 28th of December, 1870 the fine church edifice erected the preceding fall, at a cost of five thousand six hundred dollars, was dedicated by the Susquehanna Association of Universalists, which held its meeting at this place at that time. It is a frame structure, thirty-six by fifty-six feet, with slated roof, and has a spire nearly one hundred feet high. In this is a bell of eight hundred pounds weight. The windows have lately been supplied with stained glass, and the church building throughout is very inviting. Prior to its occupancy the meetings were held in the school-house and in Good Templars' Hall, and the Rev. A. 0. Warren, of Montrose, was the minister, continuing to preach until after the church was built. In 1871 the Rev. H. Boughton became the minister, serving two years, and was succeeded by the Rev. A. 0. Warren, who was the minister until 1878. The Rev. J. M. Getchell came next for one year, followed by the Rev. M. L. Hewitt, for two years, and the Rev. J. M. Clark, for one year. For a period of several years there was no regular minister, but occasional preaching was supplied by the ministers of the Brooklyn and Montrose churches. Since 1884 the minister has been the Rev. 0. R. Beardsley, who also serves the Nicholson Church. In 1886 the church received an addition to its membership of more than thirty persons, twenty-five joining on one occasion. In 1887 the church book contained the names of ninety-one persons, and the officers were: Elders, Elisha Bell, 0. D. Roberts, Luther Bell; Deacons, James Merrill, Albert Titus; Clerk and Steward, Truman Bell.

A vigorous Sabbath-school is maintained in the church.

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It has an average membership of sixty, and has had E. M. Tiffany as its superintendent since the organization of the society, with the exception of one year. It is one of the largest in the association.

The Lathrop Cemetery is the place of interment for the people of Hopbottom and the surrounding country. It is a well-located tract of land of a little more than two acres on Martin Creek, on the Brooklyn township line. It first comprised one acre, which was donated for burial purposes by Anthony Wright in November, 1850, and by him placed in charge of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Brooklyn, which held it in Trust until it passed under the control of the Lathrop Cemetery Association, organized in June, 1886. This association elected as its first trustees S.S. Underhill, J. S. Wright, Orlando Wright, Jonathan Squiers and Dr. S. Wright. The cemetery has since been enlarged and inclosed with a substantial stone wall, and several neat monuments have been erected. It is becoming more attractive each year. In 1887 the board controlling it in behalf of the association was composed of W. P. Crandall, M. J. Titus, G. W. Tiffany, Charles Brewster and Jonathan Squiers.



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