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

Lenox Township

Page 700

In 1823 Rial Tower, his wife and father, Nathaniel, came from Vermont and settled south of the Baptist Church. The latter was a Revolutionary pensioner, and died in 1836, aged eighty-eight years. Rial Tower and several of his sons became Baptist ministers. He was a man of strong convictions, and early advocated temperance usages. It is claimed that he raised the first barn without liquor in the township, and that some of his neighbors derisively called it "the one thing lacking". A part of this property now belongs to Gordon S. Chase. he died July 29, 1878, aged seventy-eight years, and lies in the graveyard near his old home. His family consisted of sons, - Warner C., William N. Purlington R. and Charles M., the three last named being ministers. The daughters married: Sarah, Stephen Millard of Lenox; Polly M., Nathan Callender; Emily F., Elias N. Moore; Diantha E., John W. White; Lucy Z., D.C. Oakley, of Lenox.

Below the Tower place improvements were made by Hazard Powers and Luke D. Bennett, sons-in-law of Darius Tingley, of Harford; and their descendants still live in this locality. Joseph T. Bennett, a son of the above, now lives on the Truman Bell place.

West of Tower's, Hubbard N. Smith, a son of Elijah Smith, of Brooklyn, located at a more recent period, the place having been occupied early by Milton Tiffany, who was married to Anna Rynearson. They reared a large family.

ALSON TIFFANY (1806-84) was a grandson of Thomas Tiffany, who, with his wife and family, left Attleboro, Mass., in the fall of 1794, and joined the "Nine Partners" settlement in Nicholson (now Harford), this county. The second son, Thomas, resided about one mile from Kingsley Station, in Harford, where he spent the remainder of his life, and died about 1840, at over sixty-six years of age. His first wife, Chloe, a daughter of Elkanah Tingley, who was a settler in Harford in 1795, from Attleboro, bore him children, - Alson; Priscilla, the widow of Roswell Barnes, of Gibson; and Milton, who settled in Lenox, but subsequently removed to near Tunkhannock, where he died. By a second marriage, to a Miss Truesdell, he had one child, Chloe, who married William Tripp, of Harford, where both died, leaving a son, Alson Tripp, who served in the late Rebellion, and was killed at the battle of Fredericksburg. By his third marriage to Esther Williams, he had children, - Thomas Williams Tiffany, who died on the homestead and Esther, the wife of Alfred Barnard, of Harford, also deceased. The brothers and sisters of Thomas Tiffany were Lorinda and Alfed (older), Peletiah, Tingley, Dalton, Lewis, Preston, Orvill, Betsey, a Mrs. Norris, of Jackson, and Millie wife of Calvin Corse, of Jackson (younger), the first seven of whom, including Thomas, came from Attleboro. Alson, eldest son of Thomas and Chloe (Tingley) Tiffany improved his meagre advantages for an education from books, and learned in boyhood that the pioneer of a newly settled country must couple economy with industry, and be judicious in all matters in order to succeed financially. Upon becoming of age, along with his father and brother, he took up a wilderness tract of land in Lenox, six miles from the homestead, in Harford, erected a cabin and for some two years walked to and from the land while cutting off the timber and preparing its virgin soil for crops. In 1830 he erected the present residence, and the same year married Fanny M. Ely, who was born in Brooklyn, August 8, 1811. Her parents, Silas P. (1783-1865) and Mehitabel Church (1786-1847) Ely, Presbyterians, settled in Brooklyn in the spring of 1810, and had children, - Fanny M.; Orrin C., of Michigan; Teressa, died at twelve; Jared, died at nineteen; Harriet was the wife of Asa Titus, of Lenox, both deceased; George resides on the homestead in Brooklyn; and Sarah, deceased, was the wife of James Peckham, of Brooklyn. Silas P. Ely's father, Gabriel, and uncle, Zelophehad came in 1814, and the former was the postmaster at Brooklyn in 1845 or 1846. The first school in the vicinity was kept in one of the rooms of Mr Tiffany's new house as soon as it was completed, the teacher being Permelia Seely. He spent his life a farmer on this place of one hundred and twenty acres, cleared most of it himself, and erected good out-buildings. He did not obtain the title of his land, which had been claimed by the agent of Dr. Rose, and after his death by the agent of one Collins until 1852, when, in the interest of all the settlers, it was bid off in Philadelphia for fifty cents per acre by one Ward, who gave the deed to each. Soon after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Tiffany united with the Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, where the latter has always remained a member. He believing his field of labor to be in his own neighborhood, united with the Free-Will Baptist Church, at Loomis Lake, where for eighteen years prior to his death, he was the moving spirit in its support and in its religious work. From youth he was a temperance man, was one of the first to abstain from keeping liquor for the beverage of the early settlers at their logging bees, and ever by his words and influence advocated total abstinence. He gave his children the best advantages his means afforded for obtaining an education in the home schools and at Harford Academy, and was always interested in everything that tended to make society better and elevate moral sentiment in the community. He was formerly a Whig and later a Republican, but never sought official place. Upon the breaking out of the Rebellion his heart was fired with patriotism, and although fifty-six years of age, he, on February 21, 1862, enlisted at Glenwood, in Company A, Captain Dorshimer, and went to the front in the One Hundred and Seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry.

Lenox Township

Page 701

His age and poor health barred him from much active service, however, and after serving in the hospital until spring, he was honorably discharged in April, 1863, at Camp Convalescent, Va., for disability and returned home. The golden wedding of this worthy couple was celebrated at their home, on the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage, where they were made happy by the greetings of their children and many friends. The widow, a woman devoted to her family and to her church, survives in 1887, and is cared for by her son, Franklin M., who succeeded to the ownership of the homestead on the death of his father. The children are Teressa M, born 1832, first the wife of Warner C. Tower, and after his death married Hubbard N. Smith, of Lenox; Chloe (1834-1879), wife of John M. Hobbs, died at Uniondale; Orrin C., 1837, enlisted at Scranton, March 30, 1864, private Company G, One Hundred and Eighty-seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Provost Guards, was killed instantly by the explosion of a shell near Petersburg, June 18, 1864, ( he was a bright member of society, a church-going young man), and with the heart of a true patriot bid farewell to true friends and hastened to defend his country's rights, saying, as he left his home and friends, "I am no better to die than thousands who have already fallen"; Jennie J., died at nearly twenty-four; Harriet Melissa, 1842, wife of Rev. Nelson J. Hawley, of Florida, a Methodist Episcopal minister, who went into the service of the was from Susquehanna County, commanded a company and remained for three years; Jared M., 1845, superintendent Kingsley Section, Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, resides at Kingsley Station; Cynthia C., 1848 and Ella A., died young; Franklin Monroe, 1853, and Ambrose E. Tiffany, a contractor and builder at Clifford, Pa.

Franklin Monroe Tiffany married, in 1871, Elva A. Jerald, who was born in Abington, Lackawanna County, February 26, 1852, the youngest child of Ray G. Jerald (1803-81) and his wife, Dorcas Remington Jerald (1807-82), who came from Rhode Island to Abington, and thence to Lenox, where they settled and died. Their children are three, - Harry Bernard, Lenna Gertrude and Vanna Belle Tiffany.

Lower down this road Charles Titus, from Connecticut, cleared up a farm and lived there until his death. This place is now the home of his youngest and only surviving son, Albert J. Titus. On the farm occupied by Byron McDonald, his father, Allen McDonald, settled at a later day and reared a large family. In the later years of his life he lived on the D.N.Hardy place, where he set out a fine vineyard, which, unfortunately, has been taken up, thus removing the only industry of the kind in Lenox. On the Alfred Jeffers farm, on the same road, Erastus Ely made a beginning and for a short time had a small store, the first in this part of the township, at the lake which bears his name. Luther Loomis settled, as is elsewhere related; and in the western part, south from the lake, lived Jacob Blake, on a farm on which lived Warren M. Tingley, after 1841, until his removal to Hopbottom, where he still resides. Squire Tingley and his six sons he reared had an average height of six feet two inches. The family descended from the Tingley's of Harford, whose posterity have become very numerous in the county.

Asa Dimock was a pioneer in Herrick, settling in that township in 1807. Eleven years later he and his son Thomas moved to Dundaff, where he resided until 1827, when he moved to a farm on the Tunkhannock, in Lenox, where he died late in 1833. His son Shubael also lived on this place, but removed to Wisconsin; Asa, another son, remained in Herrick. The elder Dimock was one of the first commissioners of the county and was prominent in public affairs, being well adapted for a leader in that period.

"At this time the township was strongly Democratic in politics.   During one
 of the campaigns in which Andrew Jackson was a candidate for the Presidency,
 the Lenox election was held at his home, when he gave notice that he had a 
 keg of whiskey which he would open for those in attendance after the election,
 provided that no vote was cast against Jackson. Either all the voters were
 Democratic, or the temptation was too strong for their principles, for
 Jackson received every vote, and the whiskey was opened. (ref Miss Blackman)
"The township continued strongly Democratic until the excitement occasioned
 by the 'Kansas-Nebraska Bill'.  In the fall of 1856 a majority of votes
 against the Democratic ticket was cast for the first time.  A banner was 
 presented by the ladies of Montrose, as a prize to the township which gave 
 the largest increase of Republican votes at the November election over the
 election of the previous month."

In 1813 there were but twenty houses in Lenox, and only three hundred and forty acres of improved land. In 1833 the houses numbered eighty, and the acres of improved land had been increased to one thousand.

In 1834 Mrs. Elizabeth Grow and some of the members of her family were added to the population of Lenox. She came from Windham County, Conn., with other immigrants, bringing with her the oldest son, Edwin, Galusha A. (at that time ten years old) and the youngest of her family of six children, a daughter. The oldest child, a married daughter, accompanied her mother to meet her husband, who had bought a farm near Dundaff, in Luzerne County. In a few years Frederick and Samuel, the other two children, came to join their mother. The children had been scattered among relatives after the death of their father, until Mrs. Grow's residence at Lenox; but here they were all eventually gathered in one family, and remained such for years after attaining their majority and engaging in business. The mother died in 1864, and is remembered by her neighbors as a woman of uncommon worth, and deserving of more than an ordinary tribute.

Lenox Township

Page 702

She bought the Solomon Millard farm of four hundred and forty acres for one thousand three hundred dollars, as the land was in a poor state of cultivation, but, with the assistance of her sons, she soon increased its fertility, until it was as productive as any in the township. The first season her stock consisted of a cow and a yoke of oxen, which were used by Edwin and Galusha to put in a field of oats and a few acres of corn.

"The pigeons that year rested on Elk Hill,( ref - "The Volunteer of
 that season had a paragraph respecting the eastern part of the county: 
    'Nine miles in length and two in width, every foot of which, and almost 
    every tree and branch of which, are occupied by pigeons'")
 and were very destructive to the farmers' oats and corn. As Galusha was then 
 too young to work, he was assigned a post on the ridge of a barn, which then
 stood between the corn-field and the oats, that he might, with two small
 sticks, rattle on the roof and scare off the pigeons.  So he spent the days,
 after the corn came up, till it was too large for the pigeons to disturb.
 He was obliged to be up early in the morning, and to carry his dinner with
 him, as the pigeons were so numerous they would destroy a whole field in a
 very short time.  Imagination sees the embryo Speaker of Congress perched
 on that barn-roof no less happy and no less dignified - since his post was
 one of essential service - than in the palmy days when he occupied the third
 seat in the nation".

She soon after opened a country store which she placed in the charge of her sons, and the business established is still carried on by her grandson, Fred F. Grow. The oldest son, Edwin, still remains in the township; Frederick has deceased; Samuel removed to Binghamton; and of Galusha A., who became distinguished both in the State and the nation, a special sketch is here given -

Galusha A. Grow
was born in Ashford (now Eastford), Windham County, Conn., May, 1834. During the winter of 1836, '37 and '38 Galusha was at school in the old school-house, which has since been converted into a neat chapel for the use of Mrs. F.P.Grow's Sabbath-school. Here, when he was not yet fourteen years old, he took an active part in the debating society, for which he prepared himself on his walks twice a day to and from foddering cattle, about one mile for the house. Assisting his brother in the small country store originally established by Mrs. Grow's energy, on the present site of the Glenwood post-office, and accompanying him in the spring in rafting lumber down the Susquehanna to Port Deposit, Md., Galusha found occupation for seasons when not in school until he entered Franklin Academy, at Harford, in the spring of 1838. He and his younger sister Elizabeth (afterwards the wife of Hon. J. Everett Streeter) then had rooms a mile from the academy, at Mrs. Farrar's, where they boarded themselves; but the winter following, his sister not being with him, he roomed at the institution, and boarded, as one of a club, with Mrs. Walker, mother of the late Governor of Virginia. Preston Richardson was then principal, but at his death, soon after the Rev. Willard Richardson succeeded him, as was Mr. Grow's teacher until he left in 1840, for Amherst College. His first political speech was made in his senior year at Amherst, in 1844. He graduated with high honors in his class, and with the reputation of being a ready debater and a fine extemporaneous speaker. He commenced studying law with Hon. F.B. Streeter in the winter of 1845, and was admitted to the bar of Susquehanna County April 19, 1847. He was law partner of Hon. David Wilmot at Towanda, 1848-49; but his health then demanding a resort to out-door pursuits, he spent some time in surveying, peeling bark, working on the farm,etc. In the fall of 1850 he received the unanimous nomination for the State Legislature by the Democratic Convention of the county, which he declined.

Lenox Township

Page 703

The same season the Hon. David Wilmot withdrew as a candidate for Congress in the Twelfth District, with the understanding that the Free-soil party would support Mr. Grow, just one week after his nomination, by a majority of twelve hundred and sixty-four over the Republican candidate, John C. Adams, of Bradford. He took his seat December, 1851, at the time but twenty-six years old - the youngest member of Congress. In 1852 his majority was seven thousand five hundred, and at the next election the vote was unanimous, owing to his opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. From the date of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise Mr. Grow severed his connection with the Democratic party; still he continued to represent the Wilmot District until the 4th of March, 1863. His defeat at the election the previous fall was owing to the Congressional apportionment which united Susquehanna County with Luzerne, thus giving a preponderating Democratic vote.

The entry of Galusha A. Grow into political life was at an eventful period in the history of the country. Grave questions of half a country's agitation had culminated and demanded conclusive settlement; new industrial questions had assumed prominence, all of which finally disrupted the old political parties. Mr. Grow took his stand from the first on the side of freedom and the interests of the laboring classes, and adhered to it steadfastly to the end. His unwavering devotion throughout his whole Congressional career to the passage of the Homestead Bill has endeared his name to the hearts of the people everywhere. "Land for the landless" was not with him a political catchword with which to win votes. It was a deep, well-settled conviction, and he followed it with an earnestness worthy both of him and it, until he saw it adopted as one of the principles of a national party. And finally, under the sanction of that party, he saw this, his early conviction, become a fixed fact established by law, and bearing his own signature as Speaker of the House of Representatives. His opposition to human bondage was a natural sequence to his devotion to free homesteads. He has always remembered the people, the great masses, who are most deeply interested in wise legislation and in sound, wholesome government. Always a ready champion of justice and humanity, with a sympathy deep as human suffering, a courage that hurled defiance in the face of Southern bravados, and an eloquence that charmed the nation, in the entire record of his public career there cannot be found a blot or stain. In all his public and official acts he manifested and lived up to the same rule of purity, honor and honesty that characterized his private life. His name will be recorded in history among those who have zealously struggled to benefit and improve the condition of all races of men.

Mr. Grow's "maiden speech" in Congress was made on the Homestead Bill, and was reported as among the ablest speeches in its behalf - a measure he persistently brought forward every Congress for ten years, when he had at last the satisfaction of signing the law as Speaker of the House of Representatives. For ten years, early and late, during every session, he was its steady, consistent and unyielding champion. He made five set speeches in the House in its advocacy. Under his leadership four bills at four different sessions of Congress passed the House, before it was finally adopted by both Houses so as to become law. To the fact of his long continuance in Congress, to his parliamentary skill and knowledge, to his persistent and unyielding devotion to all questions upon which he holds well-matured opinions, is the country to a great degree, if not wholly, indebted for the final success of the homestead policy in the legislation of the country, and the Republican party for one of its fundamental doctrines. His passage-at-arms with Keith, of South Carolina (a timely and appropriate answer to former Southern insolence) during the attempt in Congress to admit Kansas as a slave State, is yet fresh in the minds of many. He exhibited equal, if not greater, courage in his letter of reply to a challenge of L.O.B. Branch, member of Congress from North Carolina for words spoken in debate in the House, on the proposition of the Senate for increasing the rates of postage.

July 4, 1861, he was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, and at the close of his term received a unanimous vote of thanks, which was the first unanimous vote given to any Speaker in many years. In 1868 he was chairman of the State Central Republican Committee during the campaign which resulted in the election of General Grant. No man of Susquehanna County has ever been so widely known to statesmen at home and abroad.

Early in Mr. Grow's Congressional career the New York Evening Post, referring to him, said:

  "Mr. Grow is a young man, enthusiastic in his attachment to principle, bold 
   in giving utterance to truth in presence of its friends or foes, felicitous 
   in address, possessed of a clear, logical mind, a vivid imagination and that 
   sympathy which Wirt describes as the requisite of every true orator."

His twelve years of Congressional service extended through a most important period of the republic. The repeal of the Missouri Compromise, election of Banks Speaker, the Kansas troubles, Lecompton Bill, the Homestead Bill, the Pacific Railroad, etc., as well as the Fremont and Lincoln campaigns, and the first two years of the rebellion. He served on the Committee on Indian Affairs and on Territories, and was chairman of the latter when the Republicans had a majority in the House, during the Speakership of Banks and Pennington, which embraced the period of all the Kansas troubles. Through his whole Congressional service he opposed strongly and persistently any and all proposition of the public lands, except in homesteads for actual settlers. He introduced and advocated a proposition to prevent any sales of the public lands, which was defeated by Democratic votes. Had it been adopted, it would have prevented non-residents acquiring title to any of the public lands.


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