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History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania
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Blossburg Township.--Arnot History
By John L. Sexton Jr.
The township of Bloss was organized in 1841, being taken from Covington township. Within the past twelve years the borough of Blossburg and the township of Hamilton have been formed from its territory, and pretty nearly all that remains is comprised in the mining village of Arnot and its near surroundings. According to the last census all the inhabitants but 31 lived in Arnot, which had a population of 2,783; the history of Bloss township will therefore necessarily be confined to that of Arnot. Blossburg being the place where settlements were first made in the original township, they will be treated of in the history of that borough.
The township officers in 1881-2 were: Supervisors, William Bowers and John H, Davis; justices, E. T. Evans, D, C. Waters; constable, Robert Esgar; treasurer, Cunningham McIntyre; town clerk, Matthew A. Blair; auditors, George E. Tylee, E. R, Cooley, A. C. Edwards; assessor, Charles S. Logan; collector, Frederick W. Wingrave.
The election for township officers in February 1882 resulted as follows:
Supervisors--John H. Davis, 236; John Robina, 124; William Devine sen., 80. Constable--Robert Esgar, 231; John Rennie, 130. School directors--M. A. Blair, 194; William Alexander, 177; Henry Patterson, 172; William Orr, 172; John Baird, 170; W. R. Logan, 178. Assessor--Robert Baird, 179; James W. Patterson, 178; William Baird, 180. Assistant-assessors--Thomas W. Williamson, 136; David Mitchell, 136; F. Howland, 82; William M. Dunsmore, 77. Treasurer--Richard Smith, 202, Hugh Kerwin, 159. Town clerk--Andrew S. Nelson, 225; B. R. Cooley, 135. Judge of election--John Hill, 180; James Peden, 179. Inspectors of election--Isaac Keagle, 184; John Archibald, 175. Auditors--Thomas Herron, 202; R. E. Purcell, 181; Michael Faul, 180; Elias Phillips, 177; Andrew Bowers, 157; Robert Brownlee, 155.
THE BLOSSBURG COAL COMPANY'S OPERATIONS.
Arnot is situated on Johnson Creek, four miles southwest from the center of Blossbut'g, and is the leading mining town in Tioga county and northern Pennsylvania. By an act of the Legiilature approved April iith x866 Constant Cook, John Arnot, Charles Cook, Henry Sherwood, Franklin N. Drake, Ferral C. Dininy, Henry H, Cook and Lorenzo Webber were incorporated under the title of the Blossburg Coal Company. Financially this was one of the very strongest companies that had been instituted in the coal regions, Constant Cook was a resident of Bath, N.Y., a man of great business capacity and large wealth, whose very name was the synonym of success. John Arnot, of Elmira, was a gentleman of even greater wealth than Mr. Cook, a banker, financier and business man generally. Charles Cook, of Havana, was a man of wealth, a banker, and a sagacious business man. Henry Sherwood, who resided at Corning. was a prominent lawyer, who had carved his way from the humbler walks of life to distinction. Franklin N. Drake was a native of Vermont; a successful lumberman of Liberty, Steuben county, New York, shrewd, active and practical, a man of wealth, who unaided had made his mark. Ferral C. Dininy was a lawyer who, like his as. sociate Henry Sherwood, had by force of talent, energy and ability won success. Henry H. Cook, a son of Constant Cook, had been trained and educated with care by his father in the business affairs of life, and was active and in the prime of his manhood. Lorenzo Webber was a native of Vermont, but in 1828 settled in Schuyler county, N. Y., and was a successful farmer. merchant, lumberman, miller and tanner; a man about fifty years of age, full of enterprise and possessing a knowledge of the practical affairs of life.
At the time of the incorporation of this company, and their purchase of several thousand acres of timbered and coal lands, the Fall Brook Coal Company and the Morris Run Coal Company where in successful operation. The demand for coal and the market price apparently did not warrant the expense of developing new coal fields in the township of Bloss. However, a contract was entered into by the Blossburg Coal Company with Messrs. Sherwood and McLean to build a railroad from the Tioga Railroad at Blossburg to the coal fields on Johnson Creek.
This road the contractors finished during the surnmer of 1866. A wagon road connecting with the Williamson or Block House road about two miles south of Blossburg was made, for the purpose of transporting materials and supplies, and a steam mill was erected at Draketown (so called in honor of Franklin N. Drake, one of the corporators). A log house was built before this to accommodate the explorers and those engaged in cutting down the timber preparatory to the building of a village. After the mill was completed dwellings and stores were erected in an incredibly short time. A large force of choppers, carpenters and mechanics was employed, and the fame of Draketown spread far and near. During the year 1866 drift No. 1 was put in by James R. Cameron, John Dunsmore and others, James R. Cameron afterward becoming mining superintendent and opening drifts 2, 3, 4 and 5, drift No. 6 being opened by J. J. Davis under the managership of S. B. Elliott. The prospects for a large field of coal were found so good by the explorations of 1867 and 1868 that the company felt warranted in purchasing the Tioga Railroad, extending from Blussburg to Lawrenceville and Morris Run, making with the four miles constructed by the company about 34 miles. The company further made arrangements with the Fall Brook Coal Company to carry coal over its road from Lawrenceville to Corning. It now had railroad facilities for connecting with the Erie road at Corning, and commenced mining coal on an extensive scale. James R. Cameron was then mining superintendent, F, K. Mandeville superintendent of the outside and lumber department, and F. C. Dininy general superintendent.
At this time the owners and corporators desired a post-office, and a permanent name for the town. It had hitherto been known as Draketown. It was determined to christen it Arnot, in honor of John Arnot the venerable banker and financier. We may here appropriately give a brief sketch of this gentleman. .
John Arnot was born in Doun, Scotland, September 25th 1793, When he was about ten years of age his family emigrated to America, locating at Albany, N.Y., for a short time, thence removing to Catskill. Subsequently the family returned to Albany, where the subject of this sketch was employed in mercantile pursuits. A few years later he went to Elmira, then known far and wide as " Newtown," and commenced business on Water street, aided by his friend Egbert Egberts, of Albany. This was in 1819. He continued in business a number of years, gradually increasing his very limited capital and gaining friends among the substantial business men of Elmira and others. In 1824 he was married to Miss Harriet, daughter of the late Stephen Tuttle. So well had he prospered that in 1830 he built a brick store on the corner of Lake and Water streets (the first brick store in Elmira), on the site of the elegant building recently erected by his heirs. In 1829 he built a foundry and machine shop, which occupied the site of the present opera house in that city, and there in 1834 he put up the first steam engine seen in Elmira. In 1833 he became a stockholder in the Chemung Canal Bank, and in 1842 cashier of that institution. He sold his stock of goods and devoted his whole time to the affairs of the bank, and made it one of the most substantial and reliable banking institutions in the State of New York. In company with his life-long friends John Magee, Charles Cook and Constant Cook, he contracted to build the Erie Railroad from Binghamton to Hornellsville, and they successfully executed the contract. This was in 1848-49.
In 1852 he was elected president of the Chemung Canal Bank, with his son John Arnot jr. as cashier, which position he held at the time of his death, November 17th 1873. In 1849 he was largely interested in the construction of the Elmira and Jefferson Railroad, now operated by the Northern Central management. In 1854 he was instrumental in the building of the junction Canal. In fact there was no public enterprise during a period of fifty-four years calculated to benefit the business interests of Elmira and the country at large that did not receive his aid and support. He was a man of uncommon business foresight and sagacity, and universally regarded as one of the safest financiers of the State. Starting in life as a poor boy, by his industry, economy and close application he accumulated a fortune. We knew Mr. Arnot from our earliest boyhood, and during a period of over thirty-five years not even a whisper of anything derogatory to his character was ever uttered to our knowledge; but, on the contrary, everything that was honorable, just and upright was ascribed to his character and name.
The village of Arnot grew rapidly, school-houses and churches were erected, and soon there was a community with all the facilities in this respect that old villages enjoy. In 1867 Franklin N. Drake, for many years president of the company, removed to Blossburg, that he might give the work his personal supervision and attention, He remained at Blossburg a year, and after every portion of the work was arranged in detail and moving on smoothly he went to Corning, N.Y., where he has since resided, giving the coal and coke trade and the business connected therewith his undivided attention. For a history of the coke trade see page 49.
In March 1868 H. J. Landrus went to Arnot in the capacity of cashier in the office. In 1872 he was made manager, and remained in that very responsible position until May 1st 1876, when he resigned and was succeeded by S. B. Elliott, who remained until September 1st 1881. He then resigned and was promoted chief engineer, and Mr. Landrus resumed the manager's diities.
There are now upon the pay-roll of the company about 1,400 names, and Arnot to-day has a population of between 3,500 and 4,000. Many of the employes of the company reside at Blossburg, the company not having sufficient number of dwellings to accommodate them.
The shipping office of the Blossburg coal Company is located just over the township line, in the borough of Blossburg. Mart G. Lewis is, and has been for many years, the weighmaster and shipping clerk. The position is a responsible one. All the coal, coke, lumber and bark shipped from Arnot is weighed and billed by Mr. Lewis, and his duties require great rapidity and accuracy.
The work is divided into departments. The principal positions are filled as follows: Manager, Henry J. Landrus; paymaster, Frederic W. Wingrave; mining superintendent, John Dunsmore; drift masters, William Dunsmore, James Smith and John McKay; clerks in paymaster's office, Thomas M. McKay, George Lee, William Dunsmore and Theodore F. Williams; manager of store, J. L. higgins, with W. R. Logan, Richard Smith, Frank Howland, William Reynolds, James Smith, Patrick Ryan, Charles Harding and John Burke as clerks; delivery clerk, Otto Johanson; weighmaster and shipping clerk, Mart G. Lewis; weighmasters at drifts, James Cleary and Cunningham McIntyre; boss dispatchers at drifts, Robert Pendleton, Solomon Pittsley and William Murray; barn boss, James Smetan; foreman of mill, Nicholas Shultz; of little car shop, I. H. Butters; of feed-mill, Charles H. hahn; engineer on mining locomotive "Flash," Zack T. Hall; engineer on bark, lumber and coal train, engine "J. A. Drake," Thomas Llewellyn; telegraph operator, H. A. Mitchell; foreman of lumber department, H. G. Boardman; foreman of mill yard, Michael Clark; superintendent of constructon of new saw mill, R. F. Cummings.
Besides being extensively engaged in mining, and coking coal the company manufacturers lumber in large quantities, and for this purpose owns large tracks of timbered lands. To supply the mines with lumber it was necessary to have saw-mills, and one was built at Arnot and another at blossburg. The timber in and around Arnot is hemlock, beech, maple, birch and cherry. Large quantities of hemlock and beech are used in the mines, for props, cap pieces, rails, bed pieces and doors. By the establishment of a large tannery at Blossburg by A. Rumsey & Co. (now owned by Hoyt Bros. of 72 Gold street, New York), the company was enabled to make sale at a fair rate of its hemlock bark, which otherwise would have been lost, or found a more remote market.
To answer the double purpose of affording transportation for coal from No. 6 drift and hauling timber and bark a narrow gauge railroad was constructed in 1880 from Arnot southwest three miles through the forest to a coal opening. In the summer of 1881 was formed (mainly from the stockholders of the Tioga and elmira State Line Railroad Company) the Arnot and Pine Creek Railroad Company. L. H. Shattuck was chosen president, D. S. Drake secretary and treasurer, and S. B. Elliott, William Hull, A. S. Spicer, J. B. Niles and M. F. Elliott directors. The chief engineer was Ransom Dupoy. The road, from Arnot to Babb's Creek, a distance of about fourteen miles, completed in 1882, is of the standard gauge and built in a substantial manner. It passes through a dense forest for two thirds of the way, and opens up a great coal field and lumber district.
Arnot now contains over 400 dwellings, and is one of the most active and busy mining towns in the State. From its beginning to the present the affairs of the company have been well managed, and in its later years of success much credit is due to Franklin N. Drake, the president, and S. B. Elliott, the manager and civil engineer, and those under them.
Colonel William F. Fox was for several years the paymaster and handled large sums of money; and here we deem it just to remark that the coal companies of Tioga county have been very fortunate in the selection of the men for such work. Not less than $20,000,000 has been entrusted to their paymasters from time to time since the commencement of mining operations, and not one dollar so far as known as ever been appropriated by them to their own use or misapplied. As a general thing the paymasters have reached that position by gradation and long service in the employ of the companies. None of them have ever been wealthy, and their position has been one of trust, no bonds ever being required from them by the companies so far as we can learn. Packages of twenty-five, thirty, and even forty thousand dollars in currency have many times been entrusted to their care for disbursement. Honor, in their cases, has been as good a security as bonds endorsed by millionaires.
Quite a large proportion of the early inhabitants of Arnot were from Blossburg, Morris Run and Fall Brook; they had been at work at those places, and when Arnot "started up" they accepted positions and places under the new company, as it was then called. The Camerons, Dunsmores, Sullivans, Ryans, Dugans, Herons, Joneses, Davises, Eddings, Coles, Ellisons, Allens, Clearys, Harises and Logans had all worked at Fall Brook and Morris Run, while the ranks were filled by immigration from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Sweden, Germany and Poland, as in other mining regions of the county. To-day it is hard to find a miner who has been in this country twenty years who has not worked in the mines of Tioga, Bradford, Lycoming, Clearfield, Cambria, Blair, Westmoreland, Fayette and Allegheny counties, and in the hard coal region of Luzerne and Schuylkill. They are very fond of social and church organizations, and as a class are good musicians.
In Arnot resides a Scotchman, a miner and a poet, who is a native of Cumbernauld, Scotland, a descendant of Robert Ferguson, the Scottish poet, and a relative of "Clauders," a famous satirist of the last century. His name is Nicol Ferguson, and we subjoin one of his random effusions, written upon the supposed death of a friend of his, John Dryberry, a native of Dumberline, Scotland, who was known as "Jock the Piper." The rumor of "Jock's" death provided unfounded.
You Scotchmen a', where'er you dwell,
List to me, 'tis truth I tell.
I'll mak you a' as wae's mysel'
When you hear o' Jock the Piper.
For sure as aught blithe Jock is dead,
An' in his grave they have him laid.
His last tune here on earth is played.
Wae's me for Jock the Piper.
He was a Scotchman true frae Fife,
An' where he gaed he stirred up life;
For lad an' lass an' man an' wife
Hae danced to Jock the Piper.
When he put on the hose and kilt,
An' the clear dirk hung frae his belt,
lik ane they took him for a Celt,
For buirdly was our piper.
An' when o' the pipes they'd weary grow
He'd tak' the fiddle an' the bow,
An' play a string. Few but Neil Gow
Would match wi' Jock the Piper.
But a' oor mirth is past and gane,
For noo he lies beneath a stane,
His pipes and fiddle hing alane,
An' seem wae 'boot Jock the Piper.
And mair than them is loss noo feels,
He's left among us waefu' chiels,
For nae Yankee he can lilt Scotch reels
Tae us like Jock the Piper.
But where'er he's gane I wish him weel,
For 0! he was a canty chiel,
Could win the hearts o'saint or deil,
Blithe, merry Jock the Piper.
Through the generosity of F. N. Drake, president of the Blossburg Coal Company, the employes of that company were given a free ride over the Tioga and Elmira State Line Railroad from Arnot to Elmira and back on Saturday August 23d 1879. About fifteen hundred persons accepted the invitation of Mr. Drake, and had one of the pleasantest excursions of the season. Work was on that day suspended at the mines. The Arnot cornet band discoursed sweet music on the trip. The excursion train was divided into two sections, and consisted of 21 cars, the band accompanying the first section. At Blossburg both sections tarried a few minutes to take on employes who resided there, the band in the mean time playing right merrily. The ride over the mountain to Elmira from the Tioga Valley was grand. The excursionists arrived at Elmira a few minutes after nine, having made the trip in a little over two hours from Blossburg. There they were conducted to Fallihee Park, headed by their band. During the day they visited various portions of the city. Few incidents occurred to mar, the pleasure of the day. Little delay was had on the trip home, the party arriving at about 7 o'clock in the evening.
In the hard coal region of Pennsylvania shafts are sunk to reach the coal, some of them to a very great depth. In the Blossburg coal region the plan is different; the coal, lying nearly horizontal in the mountains in seams or veins, is reached by means of drifts. In opening and putting in a drift the first thing necessary to determine is the inclination of the seam or vein to be worked. This is found either by sinking shafts until the coal is reached, and then taking levels from two known points, or by drifting. Both depend upon the face of the land. In many instances a drift can be put in cheaper than a shaft can be sunk, After having determined the inclination, "dip " or "pitch " of the seam, a tunnel, drift or gangway (all synonymous terms) is driven into the mountain until the outcrop of the coal is reached. The coal in what is known as the Bloss vein lies upon a stratum of fireclay and slate, and below sand rock. The vein of coal is from 2 ½ to 7 ½ feet thick.
To admit a mule or engine into these gangways or tunnels the top is blasted down. The gangway is usually about nine feet wide for a single track, but where switches and turnouts are required it is made wider aad dropped in the center. The gangway is driven in a straight line, and from it at right angles are driven other gangways, which are termed "headings." An inside view of the mines would present a diagram similar to a checker board, with one row of squares taken out of the center, representing the main gangway; alternate sections are worked at first, and when the final workings are completed all the squares left as pillars at first are withdrawn and the mountain suffered to fall down to the extent of the height of the coal, The main gangway is driven to the outcrop, and sometimes clear through the mountain, as at Morris Run and Fall Brook.
An air passage, which is a narrow gangway, is driven parallel with the main gangway, and fresh air is forced into the mines through this passage, by a furnace and shaft located near the entrance to the mines. As fast as new headings are opened this air course is extended.
The cars are drawn into the mines by mules or engines and distributed properly to the miners in the different headings. Filled wagons are found ready to be pushed out on the crossings and are soon made up into trains and a return trip made to the schutes. There is a train dispatcher stationed at the mouth of the drift, who regulates the arrival and departure of trains with the same precision as is practiced on our first class railways. To prevent the current of air passing into the gangway alone doors are placed upon it, and boys stand there for the double purpose of opening and closing them after the passage of each train, and for signals. By these means the dispatcher can determine the locality of each driver in a very short time. Collisions and accidents rarely occur. This department is intrusted to the most careful and competent workman, who is known by the appellation of "boss mule driver." The title is not very high sounding, but the place is one that requires skill, judgment and constant attention to duty. The props used by miners to hold up the roof while they are mining the coal are made of sound timber, usually beech, birch or maple, but sometimes of hemlock, sawed two inches shorter than the thickness of the vein of coal being worked, and are stood upright and wedged, If two veins are worked, one above the other, these props are usually placed three feet apart; if only one vein, four feet apart. The item of props is a large one in the cost of mining. To mine a hundred thousand tons of coal would require forty thousand props, and eighty thousand cap pieces, or wedges. The tracks in the main gangways and principal headings are of iron. There are miles of this narrow gauge track in the mines of Tioga county. Gangs of men in each mine are busily employed keeping the road in order. The mining wigons are of several grades of capacity, ranging from 1,050 to 2,300 pounds. We have said that from the main gangway others are driven at right angles. Pillars of coal 33 feet wide are left in mining, in addition to the props we have alluded to, between the breasts and gangways, the breasts or chambers are worked usually 54 feet wide and 180 feet long . Between each two breasts is a pillar 45 feet wide and 180 feet long. This will apply to drifts where two veins are worked one above the other. Where only one vein is worked the chambers are larger and the pillars smaller, the miner depending more on the props spoken of for safety. When these chambers have been worked to the out crop a retrograde movement is taken; the pillars are "drawn," as it is termed, the work commencing at the out crop and proceeding toward the mouth or entrance of the drift. If there is only one vein worked the mountain is allowed to settle as fast as the coal is taken out. Sometimes the slate and rock covering is so firm that too large an area is gone over before it falls, which has the effect when it does fall of creating a miniature hurricane. This however is not often the case. Scarcely any waste of coal occurs if the plan we have described is followed.
The picked used in mining in the Blossburg coal region weights from 2 ½ to 3 ½ pounds with the handle. It is pointed with the best of steel and drawn down as small at the point as a first-class hay fork. His lamp is made like a miniature coffee pot without the handle, and will hold about half a gill of oil. There is a hook to it by which the miner is enabled to attach the lamp to the front of his cap or hat. The lamp answers a double purpose, affording light and computing time. An experienced miner can keep track of the hours while at work by the number of lamps of oil used. Whale oil or lard oil is generaly used by the miner in his lamp. If he is working in a "heading" he requires drills, sledges, needles and powder. Powder and wedges are sometimes used in breasts or chambers. Coal is much lighter than gravel or earth, and a No. 6 shovel is used. It makes no difference with him if the seam is six feet thick and he can stand upright in the chamber, he is obliged to lie down on his side and undermine the vein at the bottom. Here is where the hard work of a miner commences. His position is not an easy one. To lie on a hard fire-clay floor, on his side, and undermine a "fall" is no easy task. Short props, ten or fifteen inches in length, are placed under the coal to keep it up until he shall have undermined a sufficient quantity to complete his day's work. When this is done the props are knocked out and the coal is permitted to fall. If it does not fall readily he either takes a wedge and drives in between the coal and the rock top or puts in a small squib of powder and blasts it down. When the "fall" has been made, either by wedgin gor powder, he breaks the coal up into a suitable size for loading with a shovel or by hand into the mining wagon, and it is drawn by the mules out to the schutes.
In coal seams where there is a stratam of "bony" or rock dividing the vein, the mode is varied somewhat from the one above indicated. When this occurs in mining it is more difficult and expensive. The average miner in a clean four-feet vein of coal will mine from 4 ½ to 6 tons per day. If there is bony, or much slate, the amount will be less.
The clothing of the miner while at work is composed chiefly of woolen stuff. A heavy woolen shirt and drawers, made from a class of flannel known as miners' flannel, overalls of twilled duck or sail cloth, long and heavy woolen stockings, a strong pair of cowhide mining shoes, well nailed, and a cap with a stiff forepiece constitute the working dress. Their vests and coats, which are worn to and from the mines, are also of heavy woolen material. When they leave the mines after performing their day's work they are so blackened by coal dust that persons seeing them going into the mines in the morning, with faces clean, can scarcely identify them at night, unless familiar with the mining regions and having experience in these matters. On their return home they take a bath in warm water, washing the entire person, change their clothes, and come forth as fresh and clean as any gentleman in the land.
There are three public roads leading out of Arnot--one to Blossburg, one to Liberty and one to Maple Hill and so on to Charleston. These are kept in good condition.
There is an old path in the township which has become obsolete (a stage road having taken its place) that might with propriety be alluded to here. We refer to the "Yankee path." What old riverman of the upper waters of the Susquehanna, the Chemung, Conhocton, Cowanesque or Tioga does not know of the Yankee path? Until the railroad was built from Williamsport to Ralston those who had gone down on rafts were compelled on their return to go by the way of Trout Run to Liberty or the Block-House, thence down the Williamson road near where Arnot is located, passing the memorable welling of Mother Bellman. This house was located about two miles east of Arnot, and was a great halting place for the weary raftsmen, and the incidents that transpired there would require a volume to relate; most of it would be rather inelegant reading, so we pass it by.
About forty-two years ago a new path was cut across the mountains from the Lycoming to the Tioga, terminating in the township of Bloss. Alfred Jackson, of Union, was one of the projectors of this scheme, and was aided and encouraged by hotel keepers of Blossburg, as well as by his own townsmen, The path left the Lycoming near the mouth of Mill Creek, proceeded westward near the residence of Mr. Jackson, and, continuing, ascended the mountain and descended to the Tioga River. This new route was eagerly sought by raftsmen, for it was an easier and much shorter way, In the spring during rafting times hundreds of rivermen frorn the Tioga, Cowanesque, Canisteo, Conhocton and Chemung would throng this path. To meet them on their return from down the river would remind one of an army of militia which had been routed and was retreating in a regular skedaddle--some having their coats on their arms, others with bundles and packages for their wives or sweethearts, some wearing red shirts, others hickory ones, some footsore, some drunk, some sober, some singing at the top of their voices, others as silent as the grave, all hastening to Blossburg to take the cars for points along the route to Corning, Addison, Painted Post, Big Flats and Bath. The highest point they had to cross on the Yankee path was over 2,000 feet above tide. To stand aside in the wild surroundings and see this promiscuous crowd pass by, and listen to their shouts, was a novel experience. The march of improvement has conspired to divert travel from the Yankee path, and substitute a more easy mode of traveling than the rough and rugged road of forty years ago. All traces of it have now passed away; the remembrance of the scenes enacted along its route still lives in the memories of the old settler, but in a few years, were it not for such record as this, its history would be forgotten,
November 28th 1880 a fire destroyed the coal washer and crusher at Arnot, involving a loss of many thousand dollars. A fire or two had occurred at the mill and other places about town, which led the company to purchase a steamer in the spring of 1881, and place it in a house near the railroad track for the protection of the property at Arnot and elsewhere along the line of the road where it should be needed. To afford a water supply for the engine at Arnot the company constructed a dam across the creek, which furnishes plenty of water for the steamer to use in the central portion of the town. Since purchasing it the owners have had occasion to use it in putting out forest fires. The miners and other employes turned out nobly at the fire at which the coal washer was burned and at other times; and if a fire should take place there now they are fully prepared to quench it at the first alarm. They have one of the strongest volunteer companies in the State, composed of seven or eight hundred members ready to aid at any moment.
POPULAR SPORTS--A CONGRESS OF NATIONS.
During the rage for the national game, baseball, Arnot always had a good club, of hardy and athletic young men who had any amount of endurance, and at their matches with other clubs were quite successful. Other amusements have been introduced. The bicycle now. takes the precedence, and one of the young men from Arnot last fall carried off the golden prize at the "Mansfield agricultural, industrial and mechanical fair. Quoit-pitching is practiced by many, and some of the most expert pitchers of quoits in the county are found at Arnot. Dances are quite frequent, and should one wish to learn various old country dances, such as are practiced by the English, Scotch, Welsh, Irish, Germans, French, Swedes or Poles, arnot is the place to go. Or does a person wish to affiliate with any particular church or sect, he can find them there, from the orthodox Presbyterian, Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist or Baptist down to the most liberal free thinkers. Or did one wish to acquire a knowledge of foreign languags, such as the German, French, Welsh, Swedish or Polish, the mining regions would be the place where they could be learned cheaply from nativs of those countries, with the proper modulation and inflection. It is not to be inferred that there are no native citizens employed at Arnot. There are, but their numbers are comparatively few when taken in relation to the aggregate. It is more, however, like a congress of many nations, and dull must be the man or woman who has not profited by such an association. Many come here from their native land learned in its literature, customs and habits, the modes of living, the fashion of dress, the manner of cultivating the soil, the mechanical appliances, the metallurgy of iron and steel, the appliances for mining--in fact everything which pertains to their countries; and we repeat that the American or other citizen who does not learn or profit by the contact is indeed thoughtless or stupid. He need not copy these habits and customs, except so.far as they are better than his own, or adopt the foreigners' theories if they conflict with reason or common sense; but if they have a better way of doing a certain piece of work, or know of better appliances, that can be used to his benefit or the benefit of this country, certainly then he is not to stand like an embodiment of wisdom and claim that all knowledge beneath the sun is his, wrap the cloak of egotism about himself, and reject knowledge because it comes from the mouth or hand of an Irishman, Englishman, Scotchman, Welshman, Swede or Pole.
GENERAL BUSINESS INSTITUTIONS.
The people at Arnot are accommodated with dry goods, groceries, meats and provisions by stores and markets at the place, and farm products are brought in by farmers of Liberty, Union, Covington and Charleston. The establishment of the mining town of Arnot has proved highly advantageous to those townships, by affording a ready cash market for every thing that a farm produces. There is so much competition among the farmers that the inhabitants of Arnot are enabled to make purchases of fresh articles at a fair rate, and in the matter of merchandise, if they are not suited with the stores at Arnot, it is but four miles to Blossburg (fare ten cents), where they certainly can find what they desire. Merchants of Blossburg also deliver, goods of any amount to purchasers in Arnot upon, their orders, without even the buyers having to leave home.
Millinery and dress-making are carried on by Mrs. Sarah Murray, and shoe shops by Hugh Kerwin and Fred F. Passmore. J. L. Higgins is postmaster; his deputy is Mrs. F. Howland. The only post-office in the township of Bloss is Arnot.
The resident physicians are D. C. Waters and C. C. Winsor.
Charles Fish is hotel proprietor, and L. H. Drake saloon proprietor. Seeley Phillips has a barber shop.
L. H. Drake is proprietor of a meat market and drug, clothing and grocery store. A large building was erected in 1873 by the Blossburg Coal Company, and was leased to H. S. Drake for general mercantile purposes. He died in December of the same year, and the management of the business was given into the hands of J. K. Tillotson, of Elmira, who was succeeded by the present proprietor. This is a separate store from that of the company. Mr. Drake is now assisted in the business by Andrew Bowers and George E. Tylee.
The store of the company is a large two-story wooden building, standing on the opposite side of the street, convenient to the railroad platform, where goods can be unloaded from the cars into it. All the lower portion, with a very large cellar, is used by the company for the storage and sale of dry gods, groceries, boots and shoes, flour, feed and other commodities. A portion of the upper floor is used for the same purpose, and the rest as an office for the manager and paymaster.
Rev. E. S. Schenk is the pastor of the Presbyterian church. This church has a considerable membership and a large Sunday-school. Of the latter George Forsythe and Alexander Logan have been superintendents.
The "Christian " church has no pastor. Andrew Watson and Richard Grant are elders. Rev. John Daisley, of Blossburg, preaches occasionally.
The Primitive Methodist church enjoys the ministrations of Rev. James Lee, of Morris Run.
Rev. P. J. Murphy, of Blossburg, officiates at the Catholic church.
Arnot now contains five church edifices and seven church organizations. The church organizations owning edifices are the Presbyterian, Evangelical, Methodist, Catholic, "Christian" and Welsh Baptist. The other organizations are the Primitive Methodist and Swedish Lutheran. The latter uses the Evangelical Methodist church, and the former the school-house.
There are four school-houses. Among the early teachers were Mr. Rockwell, of Troy, Pa., who taught first in a dwelling; R. E. Howland and wife, who taught a number of years; Mrs. David McIntyre, and S. A. Gaskell.
The present teachers are Frederick L. Gray, principal; Mrs. Cruttenden, preceptress; Miss Cynthia Packer, Miss Emma Neil, Miss Laura Brown and Miss Armetta Morris. The school board consists of Samuel Heron, Andrew Watson, M. H. Pierce, John Hughes and John Burke.
LODGES AND ASSOCIATIONS.
Friendly Society.--This society has a large membership, composed of all nationalities at Arnot. It is not a secret organization. If a member keeps up his dues, which are fixed at a certain sum per month, he is in case of sickness or death in his family entitled to benefits. In sickness he is allowed a certain amount per week, and in case of death a certain amount is paid toward the funeral expenses. This is one of the best institutions in the mining region. The society's regulations guard it against any member who might feign sickness or bring it upon himself by imprudent and immoral conduct.
Musical Organizations.--There have been several brass bands, with various leaders, in existence sinc Arnot was settled. The present very efficient band is under the leadership of Thomas Heron, an accomplished musician, with Solomon Pittsley major.
The Arnot band was engaged by the citizens of Elmira to play during the ceremonies at the Sullivan centennial, August 26th 1879.
The Choral Union is an excellent musical society, composed of a large number of fine singers. Their concerns are highly appreciated. George Forsythe is the leader.
Arnot Reading Room.--For several years there was a reading room kept open in a small hall next door to the shoe shop of Hugh Kerwin. Among the members of the association maintaining it were Samuel Heron, John McKay, William Fleming, Eugene Lynch, John Hill, Adam Wilson, W. B. Wilson, W. S. Wilson, Hugh Kerwin, Thomas Williamson, Alexander Williamson, Robert Pendleton, Michael W. Ryan and Thomas Cox. It was provided with periodicals and was the source of much information. The association has recently disbanded.
The Ivorites is a Welsh beneficial society organized in 1875. The first officers were: President, David T. Evans; vice-president, David Harris; secretary, Albert Lewis; treasurer, Jacob Thomas. The meetings are held semi-monthly in the Welsh Baptist church. There are now about 35 members. The grand lodge is in Scranton.
Temperance Societies.--The Catholic Total Abstinence Society was organized in June 1874, with Michael W. Ryan president, who held the office about nine months and was succeeded by James Cleary, who has annually been re-elected since. The present officers are: James Cleary, president; P. F. Ryan, recording secretary; Michael McCarthy, financial secretary; Hugh Kerwin, treasurer. It numbers about 40 members, and has connected with it a cadet association of about 35 members. The association occupies furnished rooms and is a source of much good.
There are also at Arnot bodies of Good Templars and Patrons of Temperance.
Catholic Knights of America.--Father Matthew Branch, No. 196, was organized November 3d 1881. It is a benevolent and social institution. The family of a deceased member receives $2,000.
The dispensation to work was granted to Michael F. McCarty, Thomas M. McCarty, Edward Ryan, Daniel Collins, James McCreddie, Cornelius Sullivan, Timothy Donahue, Denis Keough, Charles Gallagher and Garret Brown.
The present officers are: James McCreddie, president; Michael McCarty, financial secretary; Thomas McCarty, recording secretary; Garret Brown, treasurer. The meetings are held in the same room with those of the C. T. A. society.
Knights of Pythias.--There is a lodge of this order at Arnot, with a large membership. We have not been able to obtain any data in relation to its organization and officers.