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

Lenox Township

Page 704

The land policy, adopted as part of the creed of the Republican party (and which has been zealously advocated in Congress by Mr. Grow), was one of the most potent influences in securing to that party the majority in all the new States and Territories. In all the exciting discussions of public affairs since 1850 he has taken an active and influential part, especially in those relating to the extension or perpetuity of slavery. In 1859 he was mainly instrumental in defeating the attempt of the Senate to increase the rates of postage from three to five and ten cents, and double old rates on printed matter. Mr. Greeley, in an article at the close of that Congress, said:

 
"Mr. Grow, this session, has evinced a fertility of resource, a 
command of parliamentary tactics, a promptitude in seizing an opportunity
a wisdom in act and a brevity of speech, such as have rarely been exhibited
on that floor.  The passage of the Homestead Bill under his leadership would
of itself have sufficed to confer honorable distinction.  So the Senate's 
attempt to force the House to raise the rates of postage was met by Mr.
Grow in a manner and spirit that at once decided the contest.  We 
rejoice that Mr. Grow is to be a member of the next House."

Mr. Grow left Congress March 4, 1863, in feeble health, with a nervous system almost prostrated from the severe labor and long strain of his twelve years' service in congress, during the most exciting and eventful period ion the history of the country. In 1864 and 1865 he was lumbering at Newton, Luzerne County; and in 1866 and 1867 he was in business in the oil region of Venango County. In 1878 he purchased four hundred acres of bituminous coal lands at Brady's Bend, in Clarion County, on the line of the Allegheny Valley Railroad. Mr. Grow has devoted most of his time of late to the development of these lands, and he is now a large producer of bituminous coal for Buffalo and Canada markets.

In order to regain health, he spent the summer of 1871 on the Pacific Coast, in California, Oregon and Washington Territory. In the fall of that year he went to Texas, where he remained as president of the Houston and Great Northern Railroad Company until the spring of 1875. During the four years he was in Texas he neither voted nor took any part in politics, his time being wholly occupied with railroad construction and management. But on his return to his old home in Pennsylvania, he entered actively into the canvass for the election of Hartranft, in the fall of 1875, and for Hayes, in the Presidential election of 1876. In 1878 he was urged for the nomination of Governor by a large and influential portion of the Republican newspaper press of the State, and was the choice of the delegates from a majority of the Republican counties of the State.

In the political canvass of 1879 he entered with all his accustomed zeal and power, beginning in Maine, in August, and continuing almost without interruption, speaking in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, till the election in November. Since then he has taken an active part in the canvass at every State and national election. In 1879 he declined the mission to Russia, tendered by President Hayes. He was a candidate for United States Senator in 1881. Members of the Legislature from twenty-eight of the thirty-nine Republican counties in the State were for him, and the Republican newspaper press was largely in his favor. After a long contest John I. Mitchell was elected as a compromise candidate.

The language of the New York Tribune in 1875, commenting on the representative men of the country, said:

"Mr. Grow represents a class of public men that has almost become
 extinct - men of strong moral sense and convictions, unselfish purposes,
 and a patriotism which overrules all considerations of personal interest
 or partisan expediency. The long struggle between freedom and slavery
 naturally carried him to the front of the Republican party.  And when the
 war brought the controversy to a close he withdrew from the arena of
 active politics (with greatly impaired health), and has ever since devoted
 himself to the care of his private business."
Mr. Grow has always retained his home at Glenwood, in Lenox, and has never cast a vote outside of the county.

A cane recently (1887) came to Montrose, for Mr. Grow, with the following inscription:

    "Galusha A. Grow, Speaker of Congress, 1860-63.
       Grown on the first homestead in the U.S.
       Presented by the firsts Homesteader.
        DANIEL FREEMAN, Beatrice, Neb."

GRISWOLD ORSMON LOOMIS, of Lenox, Pa., is a lineal descendant in the eighth generation from the progenitor of the family in New England, Joseph Loomis (1590-1658), who was a woolen-draper in Braintree, Essex County, England, sailed from London in 1638, in the ships "Susan and Ellen", and arrived Boston July 17th the same year. He had with him his wife, five sons and three daughters. He settled in Windsor, Conn., in 1639, and his house was situated near the mouth of the Farmington River, on the "Island". One son, John (1622-88), resided at Farmington, and later at Windsor; was deacon of the church there, and deputy of the general court in 1666-67, also from 1675 to '87. Deacon John's second son, Thomas (1653-88), resided at Hatfield, Mass., and Thomas' eldest son, Ensign John (1681-1755), resided at Windsor and Lebanon. Timothy (1718-85), third son of ensign John, resided at Lebanon, and Elisha (1748-20), second son of Timothy, first resided in Lebanon, but subsequently settled in Coventry. His wife was Rebecca Terry, by whom he had children,- Joseph (1771-1841) died in Bridgewater, N.Y.; Medad (1778-1857); Eldad (1785-1829); and Luther (1792-1857) Loomis, who settled in Lenox, from Coventry, about 1826, near the lake that bears his name, the outlet of which is Millard's Brook.

Lenox Township

Page 705

Eldad, the third son of Elisha and Rebecca (Terry) Loomis, married in 1807, Fanny (1790-1882), a daughter of Nathaniel and Eunice (Fowler) Jeffers, who came from Coventry and settled in Harford in 1822. He was drafted, near the close of the War of 1812, and went as far as New London. He resided in Coventry and managed his farm, tannery and shoe-shop until 1824, when, with his family, he came to this county and settled on a tract of woodland about one mile west of Harford village, and at once began clearing off the forest and completing a comfortable home for his family.

Engraving

He died five years afterwards, and his eldest son, Dr. Elisha N., succeeded him in the ownership of the property, which is, in 1887, owned by the latter's heirs. The widowed mother continued her residence three the remainder of her life, and received from the government a pension for her husband's service in the war. She survived her husband fifty-three years, and lived to see many of her great-grandchildren. Eldad Loomis and his wife were people upholding high moral sentiment, and reared their children to principles of integrity and honesty of purpose in life's work. Dr. Elisha N. (1809-74) practiced as an eclectic physician in Harford and vicinity during his active life, and was a man highly respected, both in his profession and in social life. Griswold Orsmon, born in Coventry, October 14, 1812; Emily E. (1815-1872) was the wife of Alanson Aldrich, of Harford; and Lucy E., born in 1818, first wife of Alfred Judson Tiffany, of Brooklyn, and after his death, in 1876, married Gilbert N. Smith, and resides on the Tiffany homestead, near Kingsley Station, in Brooklyn.

Griswold O. Loomis, during his boyhood, resided with his uncle Luther, in Coventry, and had the usual opportunities for obtaining an education, which he well improved. He did not accompany the family to this county in 1824, but two years later, then a boy of fourteen, came with his father, who had visited the old home in Connecticut that year. Upon reaching their new home in Harford he at once applied himself to the farm-work, and did his part in paying the indebtedness of the family. The premature death of his father, when Griswold was only seventeen years old, left him to depend entirely upon himself for a start in life, for his elder brother, Dr. Elisha, had chosen to remain on the homestead and take care of the family. About 1830 he took up a woodland tract of land in Lenox, on the line between that township and Harford; built a shanty, and, as he had leisure from other work, cleared many acres, walking to and from the home in Harford, a distance of four miles.

Lenox Township

Page 706

After work in this way for some two years, he resolved to build him a house, and during a part of the years 1832, '33 and '34, in order to save money for that purpose, he worked for Elkanah Tingley, of Harford, for eight months, at ten dollars per month; for one Weston in a sawmill, at Dundaff, for a time, and earned thirty dollars; took a job of David Compton, below Honesdale, sawing timber at fifty cents per thousand feet, earning one hundred dollars; worked for Captain Asahel Sweet one summer, and for Compton again in the winter of 1834, earning two hundred dollars. In the spring and summer of the latter year he returned to his farm, now ninety-one acres, and built his present residence, a fine structure, for the time it was erected, which some thirty years ago he remodeled. In that same year (1834) he married Alzina Titus (1814-52), a daughter of Leonard Titus, of Harford. This Leonard Titus was the son of Ezekial Titus, one of the nine partners who first came to Harford in the spring of 1790.

Leonard Titus' wife was the daughter of Nathan Maxon, who settled in Harford in 1800 from Rhode Island. She lived to a great age, and was a woman of remarkable ambition. The other children of Leonard Titus were Sylvenus (died in Lenox), Charles, Huldah, Sarah and Anna, all reside on the Titus homestead in Harford. By this marriage Mr. Loomis had children - Sidney E., born 1835, married Miria West, and after her death, Emma Oakley, and resides in Lenox; Polly E., 1838, wife of Otis J. Bailey, of Harford; Ellen Louisa, 1842, married first Orange P. Whitney, who served in the late Rebellion and died in Salisbury prison, N.C.; and second Jeremiah B. Avery, of Springville; Sarah Catherine died young; Isabell E. (1850-64); and Edith A., 1852, wife of John Howell, of Harford. About 1848 a new and perplexing arose with Mr. Loomis in common with a large number of the settlers of Lenox. Dr. Rose claimed the ownership of their lands. Wm. Jessup acting as his agent, come on to survey them; but his right to do this was disputed by the settlers, and while this matter was under consideration Dr. Rose died. A new claimant, in the person of one Collins, represented by Agent Moss, opened the subject with the settlers, but died before the matter was adjusted. Finally the lands were advertised to be sold in Philadelphia, and by arrangement with the settlers, being surveyed by Hon. G.A. Grow, they were bid off by a Mr. Ward, and Mr. Loomis obtained his title in February, 1854, paying therefor fifty cents an acre. He had cleared a large part of his farm, fenced it well, and at different times erected good out-buildings. Everything about his place shows the work of an industrious and thrifty farmer. He recites that deer and wolves were plentiful in the vicinity when he first settled on his place, and that he saw at one time as many as seven deer. Mr. Loomis has never sought official place, yet has served his township for thirty-three years as supervisor and poormaster, and for one term as school director and auditor. He is possessed of a strong physique, 'and has enjoyed a robust constitution. His life-work has been to make a home for himself and family, and his aim has been to live honestly with his neighbors, and be just with all with whom he deals. His integrity, stability and good judgment are impressive characteristics of his nature. His life-work is a striking example of the result of toil and economy, and in great contrast with the opportunities now offerred the young man without means.

In 1853 he married for his second wife, Mary L. West, who was born at North Madison, Conn., March 8, 1824. Their children by this union are Edward Grow, died young; Nelson Griswold (1861-1879); and Laura Eveline, born in 1864, the wife of Elmer E. Tower, on the homestead, the son of Warner Tower, who was the son of Elder Rial Tower, a native of Vermont, who settled in Lenox in 1825. The late Elder Wm. N. Tower, a Baptist minister, and Rev. P. R. Tower, a Methodist clergyman of Osborn Holland, N.Y., and Elder Charles Tower, a Baptist minister at North Hector, N.Y., are sons of Rial Tower.

The parents of Mary L. West were Samuel B.C. and Harriet (Bailey) West, who settled in Lenox in 1839. Their children are Amy, wife of Silas Ellis, of Carbondale; Levi, of Factoryville; Mary L.; Sussanah, deceased; Thomas, of Brooklyn; Maria, wife of Sidney E. Loomis, of Lenox; Samuel of Travis City , Mich.; William F., of Middletown, Conn,; Elvira, wife of William F. Coney, of Ware, Mass.; Harriet, wife of H.H. Burns, of Travis City, Mich.; Ella, first the wife of Ward York, and second the wife of Stephen York, of Lenox; Marco Basarius, of Travis City, Mich. Of these sons, William F., served in the late Rebellion for nine months, and Samuel was in Sherman's army in its March to the Sea. The parents lived and died in Lenox. The grandfather was Elder Samuel West, a Baptist minister in Connecticut.

Lenox Taxables, 1847

Calvin Ball, Ira Bell, Rollin Bell, Stephen Bell, Truman Bell, Nathan W. Bell,
Elisha Bell, Worthy Bell, Luke Bennett, Benjamin Bennett, John Buck, Jr.,
Hamilton Bonner, Michael Belcher, Richard W. Benjamin, Jonathan W. Baker,
Joshua Baker, Reuben Baker, Orrin Baker, Samuel Benjamin, James S. Benjamin,
Jesse Benjamin, Jacob Blake, John Brown, Charles Chandler (estate), Riley Case,
Orson Case, Elias Cannon, Benedict R. Carr, Amos Carpenter, Othnelio Carpenter, 
Hiram Carpenter, Washington Carpenter, John Conrad, William Conrad, Levi 
Chamberlain, Rufus D. Clark, John Caden, Isaac M. Doud, John Doud, John 
Doud, Jr., Daniel Doud, Levi Davis, John Decker, Benjamin Decker, Shubael Dimock,
Asaph Fuller, Elisha P. Farnham, Gideon Foot, Nathan B. Foot, Simeon Foot, 
Jacob Felton, George Felton, Jasopn Fargo, Grow Brothers, Galusha A. Grow,
Orlando Griggs, William Gorman, Edward Gardner, William Gardner, William Grant,
Levi Gleason, Orlando Glover, Eliab Gilbert, Ezekiel Glover, Peleg C. Hopkins,
James Halstead, William Halstead, Jr., Elisha Halstead, Hannah Halstead, 
Samuel Halstead, Samuel L. Halstead, Abijah Hinkley, Benjamin Hinkley, John
Hoppe, Chapman Harding, Harvey Hale, George Howell, Thomas Harkins, William 
Hartley, Mark Hartley, Samuel Hartley, William Hartley (2nd), James Hartley,
John Howard, James Howard, Lucius Hartshorn, James Ireland, Bunnell Johnson,
Obediah Johnson, Alfred Jeffres, Daniel Kentner,

Lenox Township

Page 707

Lenox Taxables, 1847

William Knapp (estate), Isaac R. Knapp, Herbert Leach, William C. Lake, 
Griswold O. Loomis, Luterh Loomis, Solomon Lott, Peter Lott, E. McNamara, 
Lewis McNamara, Stephen masters, John T. Millard, Andrew Millard, Stephen S.
Millard, Abiathar Millard, John Millard, Sterling B. Maxon, Henry Manzer,
Ashbel Munson, Adam Miller, Henry S. Millard, John Marcy, George Nixon, 
Martin Newman, George Newbury, William Odle, William Payne, Daniel Payne,
William Price, Warren price, William Price, Jr., George Price, Charles C. 
Potter, John D. Pickering, Nathaniel Pickering, Phineas Pease, Harry Pease,
Hazard Powers, James Robinson, James S. Robinson, Daniel Robinson, Aaron
Rynearson, Isaac Rynearson, Cornelius Rynearson, Okey Rynearson, Sarah Roberts,
Clinton Roberts, William Reese, John Reese, Jonathan A. Rose, Orville Ranson, 
Elijah Scott, Alva Scott,  Otis C. Severance, Asa Smead, Nelson Smead, 
Francis Sherdon, George Sweet, George Snyder, James Snyder, William Stevens,
Hiram Stevens,  Jenks Sprague, Elihu Sprague, Leonard Searle, Zerah Scott, 
Joseph S. Scott, Chauncey Scott, Nathaniel smith, Naaman Tingley, John 
Truesdell, Samuel Truesdell, Milton Tiffany, Rial Tower, Seneca F. Tanner, 
Isaac Truesdell, William Thomas, Sylvenus Titus, Noah Titus, Charles B. Titus,
Baker Titus, Asa Titus, Benjamin C. Tourgee, Alfred Tourgee, W.B. Tourgee, 
John A. Tourgee, Lewis Tourgee, Lucius Utley, Joseph Wilson, Jason S. Wilson, 
Frederick Wilson, Charles Wilson, John B. Wescott, Asahel Wescott, Daniel H. 
Wade, S.O. Willaims, Samuel Wright, Loren Wright, David Whitney, Reuben Whitney,
Samuel West, Levi West, Jonathan H. Weyner, Matthew Wilsey, Isaac Woodruff,
Samuel Woodruff, Ira Wilbur, Gilbert Wickwire, Russell Wickwire, Jehiel 
Wickwire, Josiah Whiting, Alfred Whiting, John T. Whiting, George Wood,
John Yarns, Nathan Yarns

Hamlets and Business Interests

The oldest business point in the present township of Lenox was at Rynearson's, or what is now known as Cameron's Corners, in the northeastern part of the township, where the Oswego and Great Bend Turnpikes cross each other. These circumstances, and its location in the oldest settlement, gave the place an importance, fifty years ago, which has not been continued to the present. The post-office is the only remaining evidence of its former business. This was established September 29, 1826, with the name of Lenox, and Peter Rynearson was appointed postmaster. The following year he was succeeded by William Jackson, who opened a store in a building Rynearson had put up, on the northeast corner, and which also served as a tavern. This store was continued several years, but upon the removal of Jackson, in 1830, Okey Rynearson became the postmaster, and kept it in his tavern, where it was continued a number of years. In 1836 Freeman P. Clinton became the postmaster; in 1838, Daniel Payne; and on the 7th of March, 1844, Charles Smith. He kept it but a short time, being succeeded April 29, 1844, by Orville Tiffany, who kept the office at his house, where is now Centreville, but was succeeded June 24, 1844, by Charles W. Conrad, who again kept the office at the Corners. Since that time the changes have been as follows: 1845, Daniel H. Wade; 1854, Daniel Payne; 1863, Isaac Halstead; 1864, John Cameron; 1866, Hiram White. Discontinued April 24, 1867, and re-established May 19, 1874, John Halstead, postmaster; 1875, George W. Mapes. Discontinued June 23, 1; and re- established September 14th, the same year, with George W. Mapes postmaster. Since 1881 the office has been kept by Thomas Cameron. At present a daily mail is supplied.

After Okey Rynearson there came, as tavern-keepers, Charles and William Smith nd in the best days of staging, Daniel H. Wade. At this time, from 1845 on, until the building of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, this house had a large patronage, and the little hamlet bore a busy appearance. When the decline came, Wade sought to dispose of his property, but, not being able to make a profitable sale, put it up in a lottery, selling, it is said, four thousand dollars' worth of tickets. The property passed into hands of relatives, named Williams, and the tavern was kept for some time by a man named Stephens, but was finally purchased by John Cameron, an Irishman, who last kept the public-house at this place. The original building was burned down, as was also the one which was put up on its site; and this once famous landmark has altogether disappeared, except for the foundation walls, which have been left standing. Other fires have removed the buildings of the hamlet until but a few houses and shops remain, and no business of note is done. For many years Dan Payne had a shoemaker's shop, and Alonzo Payne was the blacksmith. That trade was also carried on by C.W. Conrad and Benjamin Bennett.

Below the Corners, on the Tunkhannock, William Hartly had an early saw-mill, which was swept away by a freshet, when owned by Solomon Taylor. It was rebuilt by George Belcher, and long operated by him; but has ceased to be useful. On the same stream, above the Corners, and near the township line, Corbett Pickering had a lumber-mill, which is still operated as the property of Erastus Holmes. In the northeastern part of the township, on Harford Brook, was the mill of the McNamara family, which has gone down. East from this, on the Bonner farm, were found surface indications of coal, which led to the prospecting for that mineral, with unsuccessful results. A drift was worked by Almon Clinton, Ira Carpenter and Levi Peck; but, after digging about eighty feet, the project was abandoned.

Lenoxville is a pleasantly-located hamlet on the East Branch, in the southeastern part of the township. It has several dozen buildings, a church, three stores, mills and shops. The first improvement of a business nature was made here as early as 1806, when Isaac Doud built a small grist-mill, the first in these parts, and which proved a great convenience to Lenox and Clifford. After 1820 John Doud was the owner. The completion of the Brooklyn and Lonsdale turnpike through this place, in 1849, first directed attention to the locality as a business centre and, in 1851, Skidmore D. and Adney C. Tompkins built the framework of the present large mill, to accom/commodate this increasing business. Before it was completed a freshet swept away the dam and demolished one corner of the mill. From these owners the property passed to Decker Brothers, Decker & Lee, Decker & Halstead (who supplied the mill with new machinery and made extensive repairs, building also the present saw mill), Morse & Richmond, and, since 1884, Silas B. Hartley has been the owner.


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