Duncan Township History
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History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania. (W.W. Munsell & Co., N.Y. : 1883), pp. 159-166.
By John L. Sexton, Jr.
Duncan township was formed from the townships of Delmar, Charleston and Morris, in December 1873. Nearly all the land in Duncan is owned by the Fall Brook Coal Company, and the population is chiefly confined to the village of Antrim, where is the only post-office. Duncan is bounded on the north by the townships of Delmar and Charleston, on the east by Bloss and Morris, on the south by Morris, and on the west by Morris and Delmar. The history of the township is principally confined to that of Antrim.
FIRST INHABITANTS AND ENTERPRISES.
In May 1866 Thomas Farrer and John Smith, employes of the Fall Brook Coal Company at Fall Brook, commenced investigations for coal in the mountain wilderness which then was to be found south and west of Wellsboro. They were men experienced in coal formations, and good woodsmen. They carried their provisions with them, and erected temporary cabins beside old logs or under the trees of the forest. Their examinations continued during the year, and they fixed upon a point where they were quite sure coal could be found in paying quantities. Arrangements were made by Duncan S. Magee and Humphries Brewer for the land, and so well were they satisfied with the reports of Farrer and Smith that they caused Benjamin J. Franklin, assisted by James Hoffman, Wilbur Patrick, John Owen, George Smith and Isaac Bosworth, to build in the wilderness, on the mountain near Wilson creek, a more substantial rendezvous for the explorers, consisting of a rude log house.
In December 1867, Titus Drainsfield and family moved into the house or shanty recently erected for the explorers, and Thomas Gaffney, now mining superintendent at Antrim, located at the foot of the mountain. A rude blacksmith shop had been erected in 1867, where the tools of the explorers were kept in order, and this shop was afterward occupied by Solomon Rosenkrans and wife, the tools having been removed. These where the pioneers in the place. A road was cut out north to the settlements in Charleston township, and the roughest places and swamps corduroyed with poles and logs.
Coal had been found to such an extent during the year 1867, that it was determined to erect other buildings, and a charter having been obtained for the Wellsboro and Lawrenceville Railroad, a preliminary survey was commenced September 23, 1867, by A. Hardt, civil engineer, under the direction of H. Brewer, of Fall Brook.
During the year of 1868, explorations were continued with success by Thomas Farrer and his party. During that year the place was visited by Duncan S. Magee prior to his departure for Europe, accompanied by Hon. Daniel E. Howell, of Bath, N.Y.; General George J. Magee, John Lang and Charles Crawford, of Watkins, N.Y.; Hon. Charles C.B. Walker and A. H. Gorton, of Corning, N.Y.; John Magee jr., S.S. Ellsworth, of Penn Yan; Anton Hardt, John Smith and R.F. Cummings, of Fall Brook. The object of the visit was to mark the progress of explorations and also to christen the new village. The party assembled at one of the many famous springs in the vicinity, and while thus convened Duncan S. Magee dipped a glass of water from the crystal fountain, and pronounced, "ANTRIM--the native land of the Magees." All present responded to the sentiment, and after due ceremonies, usual upon such occasions, the name was duly recorded. Antrim is a county in the northeast of Ireland, where the parents of the late John Magee were born; they emigrated to this State and settled in 1784, at Easton, where the late John Magee was born September 3rd 1794.
Duncan S. Magee died in the spring of 1869, and the business of the Fall Brook Coal Company devolved upon General George J. Magee. Under his direction Mr. Hardt completed the survey and location of the Lawrenceville and Wellsboro Railroad, and Thomas Farrer commenced the erection of a steam saw-mill at Antrim, the contract for building it being let to Ira P. Newhall. The contract for building the railroad was let to General James Ward & Co., of Towanda, Pa., who commenced the work May 12, 1870, under the general supervision of Anton Hardt, chief engineer, who located his office at first at Tioga, and was assisted by Fredrick Wells and Frederick S. Barrows. Thus the construction of the railroad and the building of the town were carried on simultaneously. During 1870, Thomas Gaffney had put in drift No. I at Antrim, but not much progress could be made in the building without the aid of a saw-mill. The mill was completed early in 1871, and was one of the finest in the county, being completed in all of its appliances. The boilers were drawn on sleighs from Tioga, a distance of about thirty miles.
Mr. Magee would not build more than was necessary for a lumbering town until he became satisfied that the coal was to be found in sufficient quantities to warrant further outlay. He felt safe in the work of constructing a railroad form Lawrenceville to Wellsboro, for capitalists were ready to take stock in the enterprise, and the freight and passenger receipts would be a guarantee of success. The mill would be a paying investment for lumbering purposes, situated as it was in the midst of a forest of pine, hemlock, cherry and hard wood timber and therefore, the erection of buildings for a time was limited to a lumbering basis. On the first day of January 1871, there were ten dwellings in Antrim, three of them log buildings Thomas Farrer moved his family from Fall Brook to Antrim in April 1871, and John Hinman, also of Fall Brook, followed in November of the same year, located in a building erected for a supply store, and began his duties as paymaster and store agent. In January 1872, David Cooper, master carpenter, came to Antrim and took charge of the erection of tenements and schutes. Isaac S. Marshal, who had acted as chief clerk in the Fall Brook Coal Company's store at Fall Brook, about this time came and relieved Mr. Hinman of the mercantile department, enabling him to devote his time to the duties of paymaster, etc.
In May 1872, the railroad was completed to Wellsboro, and on the 28th day of October of the same year Engine No. 1, Joseph Boyle engineer and John Wilson conductor, made its appearance at Antrim. Mr. Coopers as master mechanic had erected 75 dwellings (explorations for coal having proved satisfactory), and a set of coal shutes, with a shed from the mouth of the drift to them, 900 feet long.
In July 1872, the steam saw-mill was burned. The company immediately ordered one of Blandy Brothers' portable mills, and such diligence was exercised that in less than six weeks from the time of the fire it was in running order, making lumber at the rate of 8,000 feet per day of ten hours. This accident happened, the reader will perceive, before the railroad was completed to Antrim, and consequently the machinery had to be hauled over rough roads from Wellsboro. George Bartlett, then in charge of the lumber department, with the assistance of three ox-teams and twenty men succeeded in getting the machinery to Antrim. During the year 1872, the product of the mines was 11,366 tons.
The first hotel in Antrim was kept by D.D. Holliday and he was succeeded by Andrew K. Fletcher, the present genial landlord.
TOWNSHIP ORGANIZATION AND OFFICERS.
In December 1873, the township of Duncan was organized, and Thomas Gaffney and E.A. Tremain were appointed by the court to hold the first election for township officers. At the election, which was held February 17th 1874, the following officers were chosen: Supervisors, Thomas Gaffney, E.H. Tremain; justices, Isaac S. marshal, J. Shumway; constable, W.W. Lownsberry; assessor, William E. Butts; school directors--David Cooper for six years, A. . Lake six years, Dr. E. George four years, W.P. Thomas tow years, Joseph Murry two years; treasurer, John Hinman three years; town clerk, William W. Forest; judge of election, Jeremiah Austin; inspectors, Charles Prothero, D.D. Holliday.
The officers in 1881-2 were as follows: Supervisors--Thomas Gaffney, James Ketcham; justice of the peace, David W. Jenkins; town clerk, James Gaffney; assessor, Samuel Heron; school directors--Thomas Gaffney, William E. Webster, Patrick Lynch, John Carpenter, William Young, Charles Burgess; judge of election, W.E. Webster; inspectors, John F. Sullivan, David W. Jenkins; auditors, A.K. Fletcher, A.J. Polleck; constable, George English.
The vote for township officers in February 1882, was reported as follows in the Wellsboro Agitator:
Supervisors-Thomas Gaffney, 96; James Ketcham sen., 96. Justice of the peace--James W. Donaldson, 96. Constable--George English, 84; Richard Campbell, 35; Peter Rogers, I. School directors--Thomas Gaffney, 61; I.N. Grinnell, 61. Assessor--Samuel Heron, 96. Assistant assessors--A. Lake, 96; George Makin, 96. Treasurer--William Howel, jr., 96. Town clerk--James Gaffney, 94. Judge of election--William Young, 95. Inspectors of election--I.N. Grinnell, 94; William W. Forrest, 96. Auditors--A.K. Fletcher, 96; A.C. Realigned.
The township of Duncan having not been fully organized until the election in February 1874, no action had been taken for the erection of school-houses in Antrim up to that date; but the company had transformed a tenement house into a temporary school building. Miss Ella Cooper and Miss Mary Hinman had each taught a term or two with marked success. Theodore P. Whiting and wife were employed for several terms with like success; and night schools for the benefit of those who were compelled to work during the day time were also in operation. During the year 1880, a large and commodious school building was erected at Antrim, with three rooms, capable of accommodating about 300 scholars. J.F. Sullivan was the principal teacher, but he has lately resigned, and Miss Addie Reese is now preceptress, assisted by Miss Kate Conway and William Walder. In addition to this large and well planned house there is a school kept six months or more each year north of Antrim (taught by Miss Nancy Little), to accommodate pupils in the locality, so that the township of Duncan is now well provided with common school facilities.
At the dedication of the new school-house at Antrim, in the summer of 1880, addresses were made by Rev. Dr. Breck, of Wellsboro, Miss Sarah I. Lewis, county superintendent of schools, William Howell jr., Thomas Gaffney, D.W. Jenkins and professor J.F. Sullivan. The school board at the time of the erection of this building consisted of Patrick Lynch (president), Thomas Gaffney (secretary), William Howell jr. (treasurer), D.W. Jenkins, Cornelius Deneen and John Mallin.
THE ANTRIM CHURCHES.
Trinity Church.--Service was held in the school-house at Antrim July 24th 1872, by the Rev. Charles Breck D.D., rector of St. Paul's church, Wellsoro. Persons favorable to the organization of an Episcopal church in Antrim were invited to remain after the service for a business meeting. Dr. Breck called the meeting to order and John Hinman was elected secretary. It was resolved to organize a church and its name was determined upon. The number of vestrymen was limited to seven, and the following named gentlemen were elected: John Hinman, David Cooper, Thomas Gaffney, Joseph Jackson, James Nugent, Jerry Austin, and Benjamin Dobbs. The Rev. Dr. Breck, John Hinman and Thomas Gaffney were appointed a committee to draft a charter of incorporation and submit it to the court of common pleas of the county for approval. Lay reading was kept up by John Hinman, and sermons were read by Isaac S. Marshal and Dr. E. George for quite a time, the services being held in the paymaster's office. On the 26th of April 1873, John Magee jr. Died, and in his will it was directed that the sum of $50,000 be expended by his executors in erecting five episcopal churches. In consonance with his wishes, in July 1880, the corner stone of Trinity church, Antrim, was laid, and the edifices was completed during the summer of 1881. It was built of the Antrim sandstone, at a cost of about $13,000, and is one of the most substantial church edifices in northern Pennsylvania. It is of fine architectural design, and is a monument to the generosity and Christian benevolence of John Magee jr. Connected with the church is a Sunday-school with 90 scholars and 10 teachers, and a library of 100 volumes. The rector is Rev. Charles Breck, of Wellsboro; wardens, William Howell jr. And Thomas Gaffney; vestrymen, Dr. E.G. Drake, Samuel Heron, Joseph Lodge and D.M. Edwards.
A Baptist church was organized at Antrim February 20, 1873. The pastor was Rev. G.P. Watrous; deacon, Ira N. Grinnell; clerk, George W. Rice. The pastor had been a missionary six years in Burmah, and was next located at Canton, Pa. On the 4th of June 1873, the church was recognized, and on the 20th of August of the same year admitted to the Tioga County Baptist Association. At the meeting for its recognition Rev. E.L. Millis, of Blossburg, was moderator, and Professor A.C. Winters, of Wellsboro, clerk. The charge to the pastor was delivered by Rev. N. L. Reynolds, of Wellsboro. Rev. Roger Thomas is now the pastor. The membership is 31. The deacons are Ira Grinnell and David Jenkins; church clerk, Ira Grinnell.
The church hold its services in the school-house, in a room fitted up for the purpose, and is raising funds to erect a church edifice.
Connected with the church is a Sunday-school with 65 scholars, under the charge of William Walker.
Methodist Episcopal Church.--A class of about twenty was organized in April 1874, and Edward Finch was chosen leader. Occasional services were held for a time in school-house No. 2 at Antrim. The society has no church edifice.
Catholic Church.--In the early history of Antrim monthly meetings wee held by Fathers Wynne and McDermott, of Blossburg, which finally resulted in the erection of a church edifice in 1877, David Cooper doing the work. Services are held there regularly by Rev. J.C. McDermott, of Wellsboro. Connected with the church is a Sunday-school. There is also a branch of the C.T. A.S. which maintains a good temperance influence at the Antrim. This society was organized 1874.
The Welsh Congregational Church was organized in 1876, with about 18 members. In the fall of 1877, the building committee, consisting of Richard Howell, John W. Williams, David R. Evans, David Jones and John Jenkins, commenced the erection of a church edifice. It was completed in 1878 and cost $1,104.46, of which the Fall Brook Coal Company donated half. The society has no stated minister at present. Rev. F.T. Evans, of Blossburg, occasionally officiates. There is a Sunday-school connected with the church, with Richard Howell superintendent.
The Workingmen's Benevolent Association is about the same in its operations and management as the Friendly society of Arnot and Fall Brook. It was organized in June 1876, with Thomas Gaffney president, William Logan vice-president, Titus Drainsfield treasurer, Charles Turner secretary, and Caffa Blaise and Nicholas John visiting committee. The society has paid quite large sums to its sick members and is commendable organization, managed with care and fidelity. It now has about $225 in the treasury. Its present officers are: George Coumbs, president; George English, vice-president; Joseph Lapoint, Treasurer; William Maundar, secretary; visiting committee, Phillip Gilbert, John Western and James Western.
Duncan Lodge, No. 968, I.O.O.F. was instituted December 23rd 1879, with Thomas Gaffney N.G., Isaac Cook V.G., George Makin recording secretary, David Nicol assistant secretary, and William Young treasurer. The lodge room is in the new hall, and is neatly furnished. July 4th 1880, the order had a celebration and a procession. D.D.G.M. George T. Losey delivered an address upon the occasion. In august 1881, the hall was dedicated by Grand Master Wright, and a public address was made by past Grand Sire J.B. Nicholson. The lodge is in a prosperous condition, numbering 80 members.
The past grands are William young, Thomas Gaffney, John E. Evans, Isaac Cook, George Combe and George Makin.
The present officers are: James Brownlee, N.G.; James Gaffney, V.G.; William Young, recording secretary; Richard James, assistant secretary; Thomas Gaffney, treasurer.
Antrim Coronet Band.--Like all of the mining towns Antrim has had several band organizations, which have from time to time been reorganized. The present band consists of E.G. Drake (president), W.W. Forrest (secretary), R.W. Jones (leader), J.W. Evans, Robert Evans, James Lloyd, David Turnbull, C.J. Sullivan, F.E. Wheeler, Simon Keating, Thomas Keating, and E.A. Owens. This organization was formed during the year 1881, and many of its members are old musicians and belonged to a former band. They have room for practice, and their music and instruments are good.
Antrim Lyceum.--A lyceum was organized in December 1879, and fine rooms were assigned it in the new hall. Its first officers were; Thomas Gaffney, president; Francis Floyd, vice-president; directors, William Howell jr., Dr. E.G. Drake, A.K. Fletcher; treasurer, Samuel Heron; secretary, John F. Sullivan. It is at present not in active operation, but is expected to revive its work.
ANTRIM PRESENT BUSINESS STATUS.
Antrim is the youngest mining town in Tioga county, yet the capacity of the mines is 1,500 tons per day of ten hours. It is not, however, altogether in this capacity of production that Antrim has won the name of the model mining town, but on account of the facilities for mining, stores, churches, halls, school-houses, markets, hotels, offices, etc. It is laid out regularly in streets encircling the brow of the mountain, and a large number of the dwellings and stores, offices, halls, school-houses and churches are looking new and fresh, and in fine contrast with the surrounding forest. It has the appearance of having been made to order by some skillful artist or architect, and placed in the mountain retreat prepared for its reception. For a child of only about twelve years of age it presents a remarkably matured and perfect look. It is annually visited by thousands from along the line of the Corning, Cowanesque and Antrim, and Syracuse, Geneva and Corning railroads, who are attracted by the scenery along these roads. The view of the lake from Geneva to Watkins, the wonderful and romantic glen at Watkins, the ride over the mountains to Corning, the valley of the Tioga and Crooked Creek to Wellsboro, the ascent through Delmar and Charleston to the summit, 1,853 feet above tide, and the descent to Antrim are features in one of the most interesting days' travel that those in search of recreation can take.
The first store was a portion of the building now occupied as a station. In the year 1873, the company commenced the erection of one of the largest stores in northern Pennsylvania, four stories high, with a salesroom of 25 by 80 feet, with fine bay windows are glass front; the building also containing four store rooms, furnace room and coal cellar, tailor shop, clothing room, shoemaker's shop, sleeping rooms for clerks, etc., etc. It is supplied with registers and elevators, and on the whole is a model of convenience and taste. Mr. Marshal remained as store agent for the company until September 1880, when O. Pattison, of Watkins, who had been int he employ of the company (with a vacancy of only a few years) since 1859, succeeded him; he is the present manager of the mercantile department, assisted by William Forrest, A. J. pollock, John Curran, A.C. Roland, Daniel J. Kennedy, John Lynch, and Patrick Curran. Among the early clerks in the store were W.W. Forrest, Henry Reimer, Andrew K. Fletcher, John Heron and Charles G. Hinman.
The managers and paymaster's office is a fine building, of wood, containing burglar and fire-proof vaults, for the preservation of valuable books and papers. It was erected in 1873. The first paymaster was John Hinman, assisted by Charles G. Hinman and Richard McNair. The present paymaster is William Howell jr., assisted by Samuel Heron and James W. Donaldson. The manager, Thomas Farrer, also has an office in the same building.
The first weighmaster was Charles Hoff. The weighmasters now are D.M. Edwards and Frank Burgess.
The officials in and about the mines are: Thomas Farrer, manager; James Ketcham, outside foreman, assisted by W.E. Webster; Thomas Gaffney, mining superintendent; drift masters, James Gaffney and Charles Burgess.
The resident engineer was Graham Macfarlane, afterward manager for the Buffalo Coal Company at Clermont, McKean county, in which the estate of John Magee was largely interested.
The station agent and telegraph operator is Uri Buckley. L.J. Stothoff was the first station agent and William E. Butts the first telegraph operator. Mr. Stothoff was accidentally killed by the cars between Antrim and Wellsboro February 15th 1877. He had been down to Wellsboro, and on the return, in assisting the train men in coupling cars, was thrown upon the track and run over. He was a young man of good business qualifications, and his death was sincerely mourned by a large circle of friends. He was about 22 years of age and unmarried. He was a brother-in-law of General George Magee.
The company has recently removed its tin shop from Fall Brook to Antrim, and Noah F. Marvin is in charge of it.
The market is in charge of M.L. Klock. Among others who have kept it were Bailey & Dumeaux and J.M. Bailey.
The blacksmiths are Elijah Dimmock, S.P. Dimmock, Samuel Strong, John Kane and Edward Strong; master carpenter, Max Lehberg; at the car shops, James Heatley and Richard James; John Barber engineer and George Dickson fireman of locomotive No. II; conductor, John Wilson; train men, S.D. Moore, Dewitt Van Order, Hudson Peer, S.E. Moore and John Brew; engineer of mine locomotive "Scotia," F.E. Wheeler; of the "Hibernia," Oliver White; resident physician, Dr. E.G. Drake.
GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANTS.
Many of the employes of the Fall Brook Coal Company at Antrim and on the line of the railroad have been working for the company from ten to twenty years or more, and their lives form an important item in the history of the place.
Anton Hardt, general superintendent for the Fall Brook Coal Company, was born in Vienna, Austria, March 27th 1839, and graduated from the I.R. Polytechnic Institute in that city and the I.R. School of Mines in Leoben, Styria. He was appointed by the Austrian government assistant teacher at the school in 1860, where he remained two years, when he resigned to fill the more practical position of mining engineer at the coal mines of Prevali, Carintia. In 1863, he was offered and accepted the position of mining engineer and superintendent at the extensive coal mines of Sagor, Carniola. This he resigned in June 1865. A great financial crisis which swept over Austria in 1865, made it difficult for him to obtain a suitable position in his own country, and not wishing to remain idle he decided to emigrate to the United States. He landed in New York September 29th 1865, and soon found employment on the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad at Williamsport, under John A. Wilson, chief engineer. December 2nd 1866, he married Miss Alvina Koch, of Williamsport. He remained in the employ of the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad Company until September 1867, when H. Brewer, manager for the Fall Brook Coal Company, engaged him to take charge of the survey for the Wellsboro and Lawrenceville Railroad. After Mr. Brewer's death Mr. Hardt succeeded him as mining engineer at Fall Brook, and was chief engineer of the Wellsboro and Lawrenceville Railroad. The construction of the railroad he superintended from 1870 to 1873, at the same time doing all the engineering work at Fall Brook and Antrim, especially planning and laying out schutes and tram roads, making the necessary surveys in the mines, etc. January 1st 1873, he was appointed superintendent of the mines at Fall Brook and Antrim. In the fall of 1875, he was elected chief engineer of the Syracuse, Geneva and Corning railroad, which was completed under his supervision in November 1877. He is now chief engineer of all the railroads owned and operated by the Fall Brook Coal Company and general superintendent of their mines; also a director of the Morris Run Coal Mining Company. He has published numerous articles on geology and civil and mining engineering in German journals, in the Scientific American, Railroad Gazette and other papers. He resides at Wellsboro.
Thomas Farrer, a native of England and manager for the Fall Brook Coal Company at Antrim, is about 66 years of age, and has been consecutively employed by Duncan S. Magee and the Fall Brook Coal Company for about 28 years. He was employed by Mr. Magee during his coal operation at Blossburg and on the exploring expedition to Fall Brook, and continued in that capacity until 1866, when he was sent to explore the lands whereon Antrim now stands. Mr. Farrer by study and observation has become a good geologist, particularly in that branch which treats of the coal measures.
O. Pattison, the manager of the store, entered the service of the Fall Brook Coal Company about 21 years ago as a clerk in the store at Fall Brook, and was subsequently promoted bookkeeper in the cashier's office at Fall Brook, and in 1862, transferred to the main office at Watkins, where he remained a number of years as chief bookkeeper. His business called him to Lock Haven, Clinton county, Pa., where he remained a few years. He then returned to Watkins, and was employed on the office as before until September 1880, when he was transferred to Antrim to take charge of the mercantile department of the Fall Brook Coal Company at that place. Mr. Pattison is a thorough and accurate business man, about 42 years of age.
William Howell jr. is a native of Bath, Seuben county, N.Y. he entered the office of the Fall Brook Coal Company at Corning a number of years ago, as bookkeeper, where he remained until about eight years ago, when he was transferred to Antrim and made paymaster for the company at that place, which very responsible position he still retains. Mr. Howell is a thorough scholar, a gentleman of fine business qualifications and an exemplary churchman. He is a young man in the prime of life.
Samuel Heron, son of the late James Heron, manager at Fall Brook, is a young man about 26 years of age. He was educated in Mansfield and Fall Brook. About nine years ago he was employed in the office of the Fall Brook Coal Company at Fall Brook, and the next year was transferred to the company's office at Antrim, where he still remains, a careful, accurate and reliable accountant.
James W. Donaldson is a native of Wellsboro and a son of John F. Donaldson, deceased, who for nearly 38 years was prothonotary of Tioga county. Mr. Donaldson was for a number of years employed in the office with his father, and was subsequently clerk to the county commissioners. About three years ago he was employed by the Fall Brook Coal Company at Antrim, and he is now in the paymaster's office. Mr. Donaldson is a ready and neat penman and a good bookkeeper.
William W. Forrest, clerk in the Fall Brook Coal Company's store at Antrim, was first employed in the store at Fall Brook, about 13 years ago, and was transferred to Antrim to assist John Hinman in 1871. He has since been employed in the store, and is the senior clerk.
Andrew J. Pollock, a clerk in the store at Antrim, commenced working in the mines at Fall Brook in 18862. In 1865, he was employed as a clerk in the store at Fall Brook, and remained there in the capacity until transferred to Antrim about three years ago. Mr. Pollock has therefore, been in the employ of the company twenty consecutive years, and is esteemed as one of the "old hands."
John Curran, a clerk in the store, has been in the employ of the company in various capacities for the past ten years.
A.C. Roland has been a clerk in the store about two years. He is a competent young man.
Thomas Gaffney, a superintendent of the mines at Antrim for the Fall Brook Coal Company, was born in the county of Surrey, England, in May 1829, and educated in the common schools of the county. In 1849, he came to America and was employed by the Pennsylvania Coal Company at Pittston, Luzerne county, in this State. He remained with the company two years, and then was employed at Pittsburgh for a time by the Ormsby Coal Company. Subsequently he was employed by the Monitor Iron Works Company at Danville, engaged in the mining of iron ore. He remained at Danville nine years. September 16, 1862, twenty yeas ago, he went to work for the Fall Brook Coal Company at Fall Brook, working in the exploration corps. He remained at Fall Brook, continuously working for the company, and when explorations were commenced in 1867, at Antrim was transferred to that place, moving his family there on the 22nd of December of that year. Mr. Gaffney had the immediate charge of the mining operations, and has since performed that service. During the twenty years he had been employed by the Fall Brook Coal Company he had discharged every duty with fidelity and care. He is an intelligent and active member of society, filling honorable civil positions. He was appointed bye the court of common pleas of Tioga county one of the first supervisors of the township of Duncan when it was organized, and also a commissioner to hold the first election and poll the first vote. He has been supervisor since the township was organized. For many years he was an honored member of Morris run Lodge of Odd Fellows, and he was one of the charter members of Duncan Lodge, No. 986, located at Antrim, and was its first noble grand. He was married May 13th 1852, to Miss Sarah Sperring, of Pittston, Pa.; they have raised a respectable family of children, giving them good facilities for acquiring an English and musical education. Mr. Gaffney is a genial, social and companionable gentleman, and well versed in the practical duties of his position.
John Forrest was born in Airdrie, Scotland, in 1807, and was educated in the common schools of the country. For many years he was employed in a clerical capacity by William Baird & Co. At their iron works at Gartsherrie, Scotland. He came to America in 1846, and was employed for two years in the rolling-mill of Murdock, Leavitt & Co., Wilkes-Barre, Pa. In 1848, he went to New York, and was foreman for D.W. Wemore. He remained in new York and Brooklyn until 1864, when he went to Fall Brook and was employed by the company as a weighmaster as drift No. 2 and subsequently as drift No. 3, which position he held for thirteen consecutive years. In 1877, he was transferred to Antrim to perform a like duty, in which position he remained until a few months since. He manipulated the weights and registered the amount about seventeen years for the Fall Brook Coal Company and its first cashier at Clermont, McKean county, but now a promising member of the Fall Brook Coal Company's, making millions of Scotland to Miss Ann Wright in 1844, by whom he has four children--Sarah, wife of Ralph Street, of New York; Janet, wife of R.F. Cummings; John, for many years bookkeeper for the Fall Brook Coal Company and its first cashier at Clermont, McKean county, but now a promising member of the McKean county bar; and William W., senior clerk in the Fall Brook Coal Company's store at Antrim. Mr. Forrest is an old gentleman of varied and extensive information, and possesses a rare taste for polite and scientific literature. He has a vein of Scotch humor in his composition, and few men have a keener perception that he. He is in his 75th year and is enjoying a needed rest from his long life of industry.
David J. Davis was born in Swansea, South Wales, October 5th 1820, and was educated at a school four miles from his native town. He was early apprenticed t a butcher by the name of William Morgan, with whom he remained seven years. He came to America in 1851, and, after working in various places, in 1860 went to work for the company in old drift No. 1, Fall Brook. In 1863, he was appointed assistant to William Griffiths in Drift No. 3, in which position he remained nearly ten years, discharging his duties with promptness and accuracy. He remained at Fall Brook, pursuing various vocations for the company, until 1878, when he was transferred to Antrim to assume the duties of general watchman at the schutes, office, store, mil and elsewhere where valuable property is located. He was married September 21st 1846, to Miss Catharine Davis, daughter of William Edward Davis, keeper of the "Lord Nelson Inn," Merthyr Tydvil, South Wales. During his 22 years of consecutive service for the Fall Brook Coal Company he has never betrayed the trust confided to him. Among the thousands that have been employed by the company during those years we believe no one has been more faithful and conscientious than he. Of an unassuming nature, none but his most intimate friends are aware of the extent of his useful and practical knowledge. He is a great reader, a close observer and a man of refined and cultivated tastes.
Thomas McMahon, one of the "old hands," was born in Ireland, in 1830, came to America in 1859, and went to work for the Fall Brook Coal Company on the construction of the railroad from Blossburg to Fall Brook. He has since been continuously in the company's employ, a period of nearly 23 years. He is sometimes called "Rush" McMahon, on account of the word rushing the work on the schutes in dumping coal. He has not always taken the best care of himself; but his endurance, willingness and ability to work have been remarkable. He assisted in the construction of the Y near Horseheads, N.Y., for the Fall Brook Coal Company, and helped lay the iron on the trestle at Watkins, N.Y. For many years he was foreman of the gang of dumpers at Fall Brook, and remained there until he was transferred to Antrim a few years since. He is a genial and witty son of the Emerald Isle, and bids fair to live long to "rush" the work.
Charles Prothero, another of the "old hands," was born in Monmouthshire, Wales, in August 1819, and engaged in mining in the country at a very early age. He came to America in 1848, and located at Danville, Pa. In 1856, he went to Blossburg and was employed by Duncan S. Magee, and afterward worked for the Magees at Fall Brook. For a time he worked in Morris Run, and in 1872, returned to the "old company," as he styles it, at Antrim. Mr. Prothero has been twice married, first in 1845, in his native town to Sarah Cook, by whom he had one child. She dying, he was married in 1855, to Ann Maria England, by whom he has six children. Mr. Prothero has always been regarded as one of the most steady and reliable miners, and his quiet and genial manners have always made him friends. He was a charter member of Morris Run Lodge of Odd fellows, and for many years had been an honored member of that fraternity.
David M. Edwards, weighmaster at Antrim, was born in Caermarthenshire, South wales, in January 1843. He was educated in his native town and in the city of London, and served several yeas in an attorney's office in London. He came to America in 1870. After remaining in Canada two years he came to Antrim early in 1873, and was employed in the exploring corps. Thence he was transferred to the schutes, and in February 1876, was promoted to be weighmaster, which position he now fills. In March 1875, he was married to Miss Margaret Brophy, of London, Ont. Mr. Edwards is attentive to his duty, and gives general satisfaction in the very delicate and responsible position he occupies.
Andrew K. Fletcher is a native of Bradford county, Pa. In 1861, he went to work for the Fall Brook coal Company at Fall Brook, under the immediate supervision of the late Charles N. Cranmer. He was then about 17 years of age. The war coming on he enlisted in the 50th N.Y. regiment (engineers), and served till the close of the war, when he returned to Fall Brook and was again employed by the company. When Antrim was founded he went there and engaged in various pursuits, being weighmaster, clerk in the store, and finally proprietor of the Antrim Hotel. It is twenty years or more since he commenced work for the company, and he has been about the mines at Fall Brook and Antrim ever since, excepting the time spent in the army.
Thomas Burton was born in Kilbourne, Yorkshire, England, August 20th 1836. He was educated in the schools of his native town and was raised as a farmer. He came to America in 1863 and went to work for the Fall Brook Coal Company at Fall Brook, doing general work until six years ago, when he was selected as boss dispatcher at the mines. He was transferred to Antrim in 1877. He has continuously been in the employ of the Fall Brook Coal Company since 1863, excepting eight months spent in visiting friends in England. He was a member of the Fall brook Lodge of Odd Fellows a number of years, and a charter member of Duncan Lodge, Antrim. By industry and economy he has gained a considerable property.
John Wilson, conductor on the Corning, Cowanesque and Antrim Railroad from Antrim to Wellsboro, has been consecutively employed by the Fall Brook Coal Company for the past 20 years. He commenced on trains running from Corning to Somerville, three miles above Blossburg, in 1862. He has also run on the Erie and Northern central Railroads, and ran the first train over the road from Wellsboro to Antrim, October 28th 1872. He is a careful and painstaking railroad man, obliging and courteous, and faithful in the performance of his duty. His wife was the daughter of the late Captain Thomas Murray, of Corning.
John Barber, engineer on locomotive No. II, running from Wellsboro to Antrim, is an old employe of the company, having been in their service about 20 years.
James Ketcham, the outside foreman of the lumber and team department, is a gentleman well fitted for the position. He has had a long experience in the lumber business, and is a careful, energetic and thorough foreman. He is practically acquainted with all the details of the work under his charge. He is 60 years of age, but active and of good judgment, and is a careful overseer.
Joseph Lodge was born in England, December 2nd 1835, and was brought up on a farm. He came to America in 1863, and worked for the Fall Brook Coal Company at Fall Brook two years, and then at Morris Run several years. From Morris Run he went to the Arnot mines, and then to Liberty. In 1870, he went to Antrim, and remained there for some time; returned to Arnot for six months, and then came back to Antrim, where he has since remained. After his return to Antrim he worked in the mines about a month, and was transferred to the schutes as inspector of coal. He was married in England, in 1858, to Miss Ann Parkin, of Yorkshire. He has been an Odd Fellow in good standing since 1856. He is an honest and conscientious man, and discharges his duties impartially.
Ira N. Grinnell has been a resident of Antrim since 1872. He was born in Harpersfield, Delaware county, N.Y., May 31st 1838; learned the trade of a carpenter and pursued that calling until the fall of 1873, when he went to work in the mines and was promoted to the position of foreman of drift No. 2. He has been twice married. He is a member of Duncan Lodge of Odd Fellows, and consistent member of the Baptist church and deacon of the same.
Charles Burgess was born in Troy, Bradford county, Pa.,
July 15th 1854, and attended the Troy academy. January 1st 1873, he went
to work for the Fall Brook Coal Company at Antrim. In the fall of 1876,
he was put in charge of the new schutes.