Organization--Changes of Area--Streams, Soil, and Forest Growth--Population--Early Settlers--The Strawbridge Lands--Business and Manufacturing Enterprises--Schools--Early Physicians and Justice--Churches and Cemeteries--Villages.
The borough of Knoxville was organized in accordance with the provisions of an act of the legislature, approved April 19, 1850, and was named for Archibald and William Knox, sons of the pioneer William Knox, who established themselves in business here between 1815 and 1825—the former as a merchant and the latter as a hotel keeper. The borough area comprises 265 acres and lies in the angle formed by the junction of Troup’s creek and the Cowanesque river, being east of the former and north of the latter stream. The elevation, railroad grade, is 1,245 feet above tide water. The site of the borough is level and possesses natural advantages as a manufacturing and trading point. The Troup’s creek valley renders accessible the rich farming township of Brookfield, while good roads leading up ravines and valleys south of the river reach Chatham township, affording to those living in the northern part of that township and the eastern part of Westfield the means of reaching this desirable market and trading point.
Aside from its numerous handsome residences, situated in the midst of spacious and well-kept grounds, the borough boasts an added attraction to Billings Park. This park, which embraces about an acre of ground on East Main street, was leased to the borough September 10, 1892, by Charles F. Billings for ninety-nine years, to be used only for park purposes and to be kept open to the public. It has since been fenced, laid out with gravel walks and planted with shade trees. A band pavilion has been built, and many other things done towards making the park a popular resort. It is one of the nicest little parks in the county and a credit to Knoxville.
The borough has grown steadily since its incorporation. The population in 1860 was 313; 1870, 400; 1880, 459; 1890, 679.
The land within the Knoxville borough limits forms a part of Survey No. 531, the warrant for which was obtained May 17, 1785, by Thomas Proctor, and the location made June 25, 1786. Proctor served with distinction during the Revolutionary War, taking part in the capture of the Hessians at Trenton, and in the battle of Princeton, Germantown and Brandywine. He commanded the artillery in Sullivan’s Expedition in 1779, and took a prominent part in the battle of Newtown, near Elmira, New York. He resigned his commission as colonel April 9, 1781, and died in Philadelphia March 6, 1806. The general knowledge he obtained of this section of the State, while on the Sullivan Expedition, doubtless, guided him in locating his warrant. He retained but a brief possession, however, selling his warrantee rights, November 22, 1786, to James Strawbridge, "for the consideration of five shillings specie, as well as for other good causes and valuable considerations." The land thus became a part of the Strawbridge tract, to which Strawbridge gave the name of "Delight."
The first white person to settle on the borough site was Simon Rixford, a Revolutionary soldier, who was afflicted with deafness, the result of proximity to artillery fire during battle. He enlisted when fifteen years of age and served seven years. Mr. Rixford settled in 1799, on Troup’s creek, coming from Winchester, Massachusetts. With the assistance of his sons Asahel and David he made a clearing, on which he resided until 1820, when the family removed to Mixtown, in Clymer township, and became pioneers there. Luke Scott, who built the first saw-mill on Troup’s creek, in 1820, came, so his living descendants say, in 1804, and settled on the site of the borough. He afterwards removed to Clymer township. The next settlers were Jonathan, Solomon and Alexander Matteson, who came in 1811 from Herkimer county, New York, bringing with them their aged parents. Jonathan purchased about 100 acres of land, now the central part of the borough, and Solomon and Alexander settled east of him. In 1811 Daniel Cummings came from Pittsfield, Otsego county, New York, and bought a small lot now occupied by the Gilbert drug store. In 1812 George O. Bristol, then seven years of age, came to Knoxville with his widowed mother, who subsequently married Simon Rixford. In 1813 Cornelius Goodspeed settled within the borough. Peter Rushmore, the pioneer tanner, and Aaron Alba, the first postmaster, came in 1818. Silas Billings, the lumberman; Hiram Freeborn, an early distiller, and later a prominent business man, came in 1822, and Elias Horton, a carpenter, in 1823. These were the principal settlers before 1825, when the place began to take on the appearance of a village. There were doubtless a few here, as elsewhere, who made only a temporary stay, and who were soon drawn farther west by the opening up of new lands.
In 1815 Jonathan Matteson and Daniel Cummings built a log distillery in Knoxville. The water used was brought from a spring on the north hill, the whiskey being distilled from corn and rye. Stephen Colvin, a son-in-law of Jonathan Matteson, was the distiller. In 1820 Jonathan Matteson became the sole owner, and carried on the enterprise until 1833. In 1822 Silas Billings and Hiram Freeborn came to Knoxville and in 1823 erected a distillery, and carried on the business of distilling whiskey, under the name of Freeborn & Company. This partnership continued until about 1829, when Mr. Freeborn engaged in the business for himself, continuing for over twenty years. Mr. Billings resumed distilling in 1830, continuing until 1836.
A grist mill was erected by Jonathan Matteson in 1817 on the north bank of the Cowanesque river. It was a one-run water-power mill, and was patronized by the settlers of Deerfield, Brookfield and Westfield townships. James Costley appears to have had one-fourth interest in this mill. It was operated by various owners until about 1865.
Daniel Cummings’ Fulling Mill was established in apportion of Jonathan Matteson’s grist mill, the cloth-dressing department being in charge of Aaron Alba, who came from Massachusetts in 1818, the cloth being woven by hand in looms in dwelling houses. A carding machine was added later and placed in charge of Horace Streeter. This enterprise was successfully conducted for a number of years previous to the establishment of the woolen mill at Academy Corners.
Silas Billings’ Enterprises, in addition to the distillery already mentioned, consisted of a saw-mill, an oil-mill, a grist-mill, an ashery and a tannery. The saw-mill was established by him in 1823. He operated it until 1835. He also erected an ashery and pearling works in 1823, the product of which was hauled to Ithaca, New York, and to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and thence shipped to market. In 1824 he established an oil mill for the manufacture of linseed oil. This he operated until 1840, when he removed to Elmira, New York. The mill, since rebuilt and now known as the "Knoxville Roller Mill," was erected by him in 1825, and is one of the oldest manufacturing enterprises in the county. The gable of the original mill bore the following inscription:
"E Pluribus Unum.
Bilt by John Spicer.
A. D. 1825.
Water power was used until 1854, when steam was substituted. The saw-mill has also been operated in connection with the grist mill, under various owners, to the present time. In 1863 the property was purchased by Joel Johnson. In 1888 the grist mill was rebuilt and the roller process adopted, at a cost of about $20,000. September 13, 1895, the property was sold at a sheriff’s sale, and was purchased by Albert Dearman, who sold it in May, 1896, to Burch & Conklin, the present owners. It is one of the best equipped mills in the county and does a large custom and merchant business.
In 1830 Silas Billings purchased the tannery established in 1822 by Peter Rushmore and operated it until 1844, when it was purchased by Angell & Gilbert, the firm consisting of Daniel Angell and Hiram Gilbert. Angell retired in 1853, but resumed control in 1855, with Butler Pride as partner. In 1859 Angell sold his interest to A. D. Knox, who sold to William R. beard in 1862. In 1868 Daniel and Delos Angell bought the property, which was purchased in 1872 by W. D. Angell, who sold it in 1878 to Thomas Brock, who carried it on until 1893, when it ceased operations.
The Knoxville Foundry was built in 1851, by Gleason, Biles & Robie, of Bath, New York, the business being conducted by John P. Biles until 1876, and then by Solomon Gleason until 1884, when the property was purchased by Clark B. Bailey and owned by him until 1888, when the foundry and machine shop was destroyed by fire.
The Knoxville Sash and Blind Factory and Planing Mill was established in 1852 by Henry Seely. It burned in 1863 and was rebuilt in 1864, and thereafter, until 1880, owned and operated by various parties. In the latter year the property was purchased by Ira M. Edgcomb. In 1884 the firm of Ira M. Edgcomb & Sons was formed. They still carry on the enterprise, doing a large business annually and giving constant employment to fifteen men.
Chester Wells’ Furniture Factory was established in 1869 and carried on for nearly twenty years, the business being confined to the sale and manufacture of household furniture.
D. L. Freeborn’s Foundry and Machine Shop was established in 1884. It gives employment to six men, and besides doing a general foundry and machine-repairing business, is devoted to the manufacture of wood-mills and steel land-rollers.
Scarce & Wing were the pioneer merchants of Knoxville. They began business in 1815, took lumber in payment for goods, and soon quit, losing heavily. Harvey Hemingway succeeded them, but only remained for a short time. Archibald Knox began business in 1818 and continued for many years. Silas Billings engaged in merchandising in 1823 and at once took the lead in trade. O. P. and Nehemiah Beach began business in 1836 and continued several years. Albert Dearman, a carpenter, came to Knoxville in 1844, began as a clerk for O. P. Beach, and in 1845 became a partner, the firm becoming Beach & Dearman. In 1849 the firm dissolved and was succeeded by A. & J. Dearman, Justus Dearman, a brother of Albert, becoming his partner. In 1862 Albert withdrew and embarked in business for himself. In 1871 Justus Dearman’s store was destroyed by fire, and was rebuilt in 1873. He died December 14, 1880, leaving his brother, Albert Dearman, the senior merchant of the borough. In 1826 Victor Case began selling goods as a clerk for Silas Billings, and about 1836 went into business for himself, continuing until 1872, when he was succeeded by his son, Linden Case. Levi Reynolds opened a store in 1845 and continued in business with but a brief interruption till 1876. Jones & Young began selling tinware in 1852, and in 1853 Giles Roberts, still in business, bought them out. He has had several partners in the meantime. These were the principal business enterprises established here up to 1853. since then each year has witnessed a new undertaking, some to remain a short time while others have established themselves in public favor and are permanent and prosperous.
INNS AND HOTELS.
The traveling public was entertained as early as 1815 at the house of Daniel Cummings, who also owned an interest in a distillery and supplied his patrons with "liquid refreshments." His house stood on Main street, west of the present brick hotel. In 1822 Stephen Colvin built a frame hotel near the site of the Gilbert drug store. His successors were Charles Ryon, 1844, and A. J. Monroe, 1845. This hotel was demolished in 1851 and Olmstead P. Beach erected a new one on its site, carrying it on until 1860, when the unfinished building, known as the "Ark," was completed for use as stores. A log hotel, called the Rixford House, was built in 1824, by William Knox, and kept open as a hotel till 1829. A large building was erected by Silas Billings in 1826, on East Main street, opened as a hotel, and conducted by him till 1832. It had many landlords and was known as the "Knoxville House," "Weaver House," Eagle," etc. In 1883 it was destroyed by fire, Capt. B. A. Signor being the landlord at the time. The large brick building, now known as the Adams House, was remodeled in 1871 for hotel purposes by Jeremiah Stoddard. The landlords here have been Jeremiah Stoddard, A. D. Bryan, A. B. Graves, S. B. Lovelace, H. G. Short and John S. Adams. The hotel is now owned and carried on by Mrs. J. S. Adams, widow of the last-named landlord. What is known as the Seely Hotel, near the Edgcomb planning mill, was erected in 1884 by J. O’Harrigan, and kept for several years by himself and his son. The present landlord is Nat Seely. About 1886 Andrew Stevens erected what is now known as the Dunham House, near the Fall Brook depot. Since his death the house has been kept by Mrs. W. W. Dunham, Mrs. Stevens’ mother. It is now run as a temperance house.
The first school in Knoxville was erected in 1817, and was built of plank, dove-tailed and dowel-pinned to the frame. In 1834 a better house was built, on the south side of Main street, and farther east. Between 1855 and 1860 the school district rented the Quaker meeting house, owing to a dispute, involving possession of the school house, with John Goodspeed, who nailed up the building, "illegally using it," as the directors set forth in their proceeding, "for a store room." Being unable to dispossess him, except by violence, they "left the house in his possession." A law suit and finally a settlement followed. In 1858 a lot was bought of Julius G. Seely and a school building erected, which has since been enlarged and improved, and a graded school system adopted. The school has always been well conducted and the course of study such as to give pupils a good English education. Among the early teachers were Sophia Hale, who taught in 1818; Gaylord Griswold Colvin, 1821; Anson Rowley, 1822; Abbey Goodspeed, 1828; Madison Darling, 1832; Rhoda Horton, 1835; H. G. Olmstead, 1837; Victor Case, 1838, and Hiram K. Hill, 1839.
BOROUGH ORGANIZATION AND OFFICIALS.
The borough of Knoxville was organized, as previously stated, April 19, 1850. The first council meeting was held February 28, 1851, and Butler B. Strang elected clerk. At a meeting held May 6, 1851, A. J. Monroe and George A. Mead were elected street commissioners; Daniel Angell, treasurer, and Archibald D. Knox, poundmaster. The following are the names of the burgesses elected since the organization of the borough: Herman Temple, 1851; Hiram Freeborn, 1852-53; David T. Billings, 1854; Daniel Angell, 1855-56; Julius Morgan, 1857; John P. Biles, 1858; Augustus Alba, 1859; Charles O. Bowman, 1860; Charles H. Goldsmith, 1861; Justus Dearman, 1862-64; Giles Roberts, 1865-66; Julius G. Seelye, 1867; William Markham, 1868; William Morse, 1869; Augustus Alba, 1870; John M. Christie, 1871; Giles Roberts, 1872; William Morse, 1873; Lucius Matteson, 1874; John M. Christie, 1875-76; Charles Boom, 1877; Albert Dearman, 1878-80; John F. Boom, 1880-81; Albert Dearman, 1882; H. G. Short, 1883; John Goodspeed, 1884; Giles Roberts, 1885; John T. Gear, 1886-87; Albert Dearman, 1888-96, and I. M. Edgcomb, elected in 1897.
The following named persons have been elected justices of the peace for the borough: Andrew Beers and Cornelius Van Dyck, 1851; W. B. Dimmick, 1853; John E. White, 1854; re-elected in 1857, 1864, 1869, 1874 and 1879; J. W. Bellews, 1855; Nathan Comstock, 1858; Victor Case, 1861; Nelson G. Ray, 1862; John P. Biles, 1862; Giles Roberts, 1867; re-elected in 1872; James C. Goodspeed, 1882; F. G. Babcock, 1884; W. D. Angell, 1889; re-elected 1894; James R. Butler, 1892; Giles Roberts, 1894, and A. B. Hitchcock, 1897.
The Knoxville postoffice was established November 20, 1822, with Aaron Alba postmaster. He was commissioned in December, 1822, and held the office until January 23, 1830, when he was succeeded by Colton Knox, who held until October 3, 1831, when Mr. Alba was again appointed. August 12, 1841, Victor Case took the office, and held it until March 15, 1843, when Mr. Alba once more became postmaster, and was succeeded October 9, 1847, by Daniel Angell. January 30, 1849, Victor Case was again appointed, and was succeeded March 2, 1851, by Samuel May, Jr. Hiram Freeborn became postmaster July 26, 1853; Levi B. Reynolds, May 13, 1861, and Victor Case again April 29, 1869. Linden Case was appointed January 6, 1873. His successor was Jerome W. Hathaway, who held until October 30, 1889, when Frank L. Gilbert succeeded him and served four years. H. A. Ashton, the present incumbent, was appointed October 30, 1893.
PHYSICIANS AND LAWYERS.
Eddy Howland, Dr. Simeon Power and Jonathan Bonney, all of whom are mentioned in the chapter on Deerfield township, were the pioneer physicians. Allen Frazer, though residing at Academy Corners, included Knoxville in his practice. He came in 1825. Ephraim Fuller located in 1830 and Pliny Power in 1831. Each remained about a year. Thaddeus Phelps came in 1832 and left in 1834. Richard I. Jones came in 1837 and remained until 1840. Herman Temple, a student of Allen Frazer, practiced from 1840 till his death in 1852. William B. Rich located in Knoxville in 1843 and practiced thirty years. Jerome Knapp began practice in Knoxville in 1851. He died in 1854. Dr. Ira W. Bellews came in 1854 and practiced until 1870. Dr. H. A. Phillips, was in practice here a short time previous to 1881, when he removed to Rathboneville, New York. Dr. Charles Albert Reese, a native of Somerset county, Pennsylvania, began practice in Knoxville in 1875, and is still a resident physician of the borough. Walter R. Francis, a native of Wellsboro, practiced in Knoxville from 1878 to 1891, when he removed to Marion, Indiana. Alonzo Kibbe, a native of Potter county, located in Knoxville in April, 1891, and has since pursued the practice of his profession with success. Dr. Charles Trexler became a resident physician of the borough in January, 1897.
A. J. Monroe began the practice of law in Knoxville in 1851. In 1859 he removed to Monticello, Iowa. Charles O. Bowman practiced in Knoxville from 1852 to 1865, when he removed to Erie county, Pennsylvania. Charles L. Peck, a native of Farmington, studied law under Hon. M. F. Elliott, and practiced in Knoxville from 1872 to 1876. John Ormerod came from Coudersport, Potter county, in 1877, and practiced in Knoxville until 1881. John T. Gear, a native of Pittsford, Monroe county, New York, was admitted to the Potter county bar in June, 1881, and December 1, of that year, opened an office in Knoxville, where he has since resided and successfully practiced his profession. H. A. Ashton, the present postmaster of Knoxville, was admitted to the Tioga county bar in December, 1887, and immediately located in Knoxville. He has since built up a fair practice.
The Knoxville Courier was established November 1, 1882, as a six-column quarto, by A. H. Owens. In 1884 the firm became Owens & Culver, who ran it as a Republican paper. In 1885 La Mont Brothers became proprietors, and in 1886 it was conducted by Edward E. la Mont. In 1889 Frank G. Babcock became proprietor and changed it to a folio, and ran it as independent in politics. November 1, 1889, it was purchased by Charles E. Brugler, the present proprietor. It is all home print, independent in politics, and devoted to local interests. Mr. Brugler has conducted it with ability, and it is recognized as one of the best local papers in the county. It has a paying and growing subscription list. A well equipped job office is run in connection with it.
A Quaker Society was organized about 1812 and a meeting house erected. Among the early members were Ebenezer and Mehitabel Seelye, Julius and Joanna Seelye, Joseph and Ruth Colvin, Emmer and Huldah Bowen, Jesse Lapham and wife, George Martin and wife, and Martin and Freelove Bowen. This society maintained its organization and held meetings for many years. The children and grandchildren of the original and early members drifted into other denominations, and the society finally passed out of existence. The old meeting house is now occupied as a dwelling.
The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Knoxville, incorporated December 5, 1867, dates the beginning of its history to meetings held previous to 1815 by William Knox, a local preacher and exhorter. The first pastor was Rev. Samuel Conant, who began his ministrations about 1815. In 1826 a parsonage was built in the western part of the borough, Zadoc Bowen making a free gift of the land. It has been a matter of difficulty to secure the names of the pastors in the order of their service. The following, however, is an approximately complete list: Between 1820 and 1830—Revs. John Copeland, mr. Bell, Mr. Carey, Asa Orcutt, Caleb Kendall, and I. J. B. McKinney. Between 1830 and 1840—Revs. Bell, Mr. Dewey, Nathan Fellows and Ralph D. Brooks. Between 1840 and 1850—Revs. Francis W. Conable, Milo Scott, Samuel Nichols, J. L. S. Grandin, Mr. Turk and A. D. Edgar. Between 1850 and 1860—Revs. Davison, James Duncan, Samuel Nichols, R. L. Stillwell, Samuel P. Guernsey and Elisha Sweet. Cornelius Dillenbeck, 1862-63; C. L. F. Howe, O. B. Weaver, 1865-68; Isaac Everitt, 1868-71; John H. Blades, 1871-72; Charles Weeks, 1873-74; J. V. Lowell, 1875-77; W. W. Hunt, 1877; J. W. Barnett, 1878; J. O. Jarman, 1879-80; John Knapp, 1881-82; G. S. Spencer, 1883-85; John Irons, 1885; C. M. Gardner, 1886-89; H. J. Owens, 1890-94, and S. C. Farnham, who came in October, 1894. In 1871 a frame church building was erected at a cost of $3,000. In 1877 the old parsonage was exchanged for the residence of Clark B. Bailey, a difference of $1,400 being paid. The church at present consists of 117 members. There are 110 pupils in the Sunday-school, of which H. M. Cleveland is the superintendent.
The Knoxville Free Church Association, incorporated February 6, 1867, was organized October 24, 1851, for the purpose of providing a house of public worship in the borough of Knoxville, for the use of the different Christian denominations desiring to hold services in it. Stock was sold at $10 a share, each member having one vote for each share owned by him. The stock was taken by nearly all the leading citizens of Knoxville, many of the subscribers being members of no denomination. Hiram Freeborn, Henry Freeborn, Daniel Angell, David T. Billings and John Goodspeed gave $100 each to the enterprise. A lot was purchased of Jonathan Matteson for $50, which he donated. Until 1869 this was the only church building in Knoxville. In 1866 a bell was purchased, and in 1867 a "time table" was made out and agreed to by Methodists, "Christians" and Universalists. The building is now used as a house of worship by the "Christian" church, which was organized October 15, 1865.
The Christian Church of Knoxville, incorporated October 2, 1893, was organized October 15, 1865, by Rev. Chester D. Kinney, of Osceola; Rev. Mr. White, of Watkins, New York; Rev. J. W. K. Stewart, of Lawrenceville, and Rev. W. D. Rutherford, of Knoxville. The church has now fifty members, with forty-five pupils in the Sunday-school, of which the pastor is superintendent. The names of the ministers who have served this church as pastors are as follows: Revs. W. D. Rutherford, 1865; H. R. Kendall, 1866; Chester D. Kinney, 1868; A. T. Abbott, 1876; Walter T. Mills, 1878; J. E. Hayes, 1880; Elias Jones, 1886; R. B. Elbridge, 1886; Oscar Brann, 1887; J. L. Box, 1888; T. V. Moore, 1889; J. W. Wilson, 1890; L. A. Dykeman, 1891, and Ira L. Peck, who came April 1, 1894. The society worships in the Free Church building.
The First Evangelical Congregational Church of Knoxville, incorporated June 18, 1870, was organized April 28, 1867, by Rev. l. Smith Holbert, with seven members, viz: Joel and Caroline Johnson and daughter Frances, Elias Horton, jr., and Adah, his wife, J. P. Biles and Miss Emily Goodspeed. The names of the pastors are as follows: Revs. J. A. Farrer, 1868; John Cairns, 1870; W. H. Segston, 1872, and A. C. Palmer, 1875. The society began the erection of a brick church building in 1869, which was completed and dedicated February 2, 1871. The building of this edifice involved the society in debt and it was sold in 1888, and is now owned and used by the Presbyterian church, organized May 9, 1888, into which the Congregational society merged.
The Baptist Church of Knoxville was organized March 7, 1868, with seven members, as follows: E. P. Masterson, P. J. Masterson, Miss Frank Masterson, Mrs. Elizabeth Short, William R. Simpson and Mrs. Clara Plaisted. For a number of years this society worshiped in the Congregational church building. In 1886 this society united with the First Baptist church of Deerfield. On February 28, 1888, a new church building costing $2,000 was dedicated. The names of the pastors of this church from the organization to 1886 are as follows: Revs. W. P. Omans, 1868; Stephen H. Murdock, 1871; C. K. Bunnell, 1873; C. a. Diffin, 1876; Philander Reynolds, 1878; S. L. Bouvier, 1882; Abner Morrill, 1883; R. K. Hammond, 1884. Since the union the pastors have been the same as those given in the history of the First Baptist church of Deerfield, in the chapter on Deerfield township.
The First Presbyterian Association of Knoxville was organized May 9, and incorporated September 3, 1888. There were thirteen original members, as follows: Dr. George W. and Mary Northrop, Joel Johnson, Dr. Ira W. Bellews, Mary A. Bellews, Marion Sturnock, Lucy Boom, Lavantia W. Reynolds, Charles L. Hoyt, Mariette Gilbert, Elizabeth D. Howland and Clement D. Northrop. Rev. S. H. Moon, D. D., Ph. D., was the pastor of this church from its organization until January, 1897, having charge also of the churches in Osceola and Elkland. In January, 1897, Rev. J. B. Woodward, the present pastor, took charge. The society now numbers thirty members. In 1888 this society acquired the Congregational church building, which it still owns and in which it worships. There are thirty pupils in the Sunday-school, of which C. L. Hoyt is the superintendent.
The Old Quaker Burying Ground is situated on the south side of Main street, in the eastern part of the borough. Owing to the fact that the strict members of the Society of Friends erected no tombstones or monuments over their dead, the early graves in this inclosure are unmarked. Here rest, however, the remains of members of the Howland, Handy, Seelye, Bowen, Clark, Pease and other well-known families. Over the graves of those dying in later years suitable monuments have been reared. In this graveyard lies the remains of Rev. Elisha Sweet, a member of the East Genesee Conference, who died September 7, 1869, aged fifty-nine.
The Free Church Cemetery adjoins that edifice on the south. Here, about 1832, were re-buried the remains of the occupants of the graves of the first burying ground in the borough, which was on main street, not far east of Troup’s creek. Members of the Knox, Alba, Colvin, Matteson, White, Gilbert, Billings, Beach, Goodspeed and other early families lie buried here. The last interment here was in January, 1884, when the remains of John E. White were buried.
The Riverside Cemetery Association was incorporated August 26, 1887, the incorporators being J. C. Goodspeed, Sidney Beach, J. T. Gear, Ira M. Edgcomb and W. H. Edgcomb. The grounds of this association are located south of the river on the old John Goodspeed farm. Since the prohibition by the borough council of further burials in either of the cemeteries within the borough limits, interments have been made in this cemetery.
During the past fifty years a number of secret, social and benevolent
societies have been organized in Knoxville. The pioneer society was Cowanesque
Lodge, No. 232, I. O. O. F. It was organized March 21, 1849. In 1867 it
was removed to Mansfield. June 11, 1872, Deerfield Lodge, No. 800, I. O.
O. F., was organized. It passed out of existence in 1883, the records being
transferred to Jemison Lodge, No. 332, Westfield. Cowanesque Division,
No. 359, Sons of Temperance, was organized June 14, 1849, and continued
in existence about ten years. Cowanesque Lodge, No. 351, F. & A. M.,
was organized December 5, 1864, and now numbers thirty-eight members. A.
& G. Seely Post, No. 44, G. A. R., was organized July 10, 1875. It
surrendered its charter in 1879. Its members meet with James Howland Post,
No. 508, at Academy Corners. Knoxville Lodge, No. 760, K. of H., was organized
October 5, 1877, and now numbers sixty members. Knoxville Union, No. 271,
E. A. U., organized March 22, 1881, is in a flourishing condition. Knoxville
Tent, No. 163, K. O. T. M., was organized April 20, 1893. It now numbers
forty members and is rapidly growing, new members being added at almost