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Roger Keagle's Complied History of Canton, Bradford County PA
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Page 303
Rocking Chair Fad Stirs Up Memories
Woman Rode from Vermont to Canton in Chair on Sled
Eleanor PARSONS Keagle

Canton – Interest aroused by President Kennedy’s preference for rocking chairs has revived the use of this comfortable article of furniture and the return of fine old specimens from attic oblivion.

One of the best preserved of these relics is owned by Mrs. Gordon Stover of 16 South Minnequa Ave., Canton.  It was brought here by her great-great-grandmother, Mrs. Annes Brown in 1815.

When Solomon Brown decided to migrate “west” from Rutland County, Vermont, he loaded his family, consisting of his wife, Lusanna; son, Orren 3, and daughter Huldah 2, and his 65 year old widowed mother, into a large sled, drawn by a team of oxen, and started on the 400 mile journey in March of that year.  His mother, Mrs. Annes Brown, rode the entire distance seated in the aforementioned rocking chair.

Packed in the sled were all the household necessities the conveyance would hold.  Legend says that Soloman walked much of the way, his wife and Orren, part of the time, and even tiny Huldah took her turn trotting beside the sled.  Part of the way led through wilderness and none was over good roads.

Despite the discomfort, cold and rigors of the journey, Annes Brown lived to be 83 years old, dying September 14, 1833, in East Canton.  She is buried in the East Canton cemetery.

Solomon and his family settled near East Canton, first living in a log house formerly occupied by another couple and later building a new log house on the east portion of the David Lindley farm.  Orren recalled moving into this before the doors and windows were in place, in September, 1816.  The family lived there about 20 years, during which time seven more children were born.

Orren Brown, lived to be nearly 100 years old and kept his keen memory of early events around Canton until the last.  He had three sons, Clark, Rufus and Calvin, all of whom fought in the Civil War.  Their father was too old to enlist.  He saw Canton grow from a dozen inhabitants to a town of more than 2,000.

The First Methodist Church in Western Bradford County was founded in his father’s house when he was a boy, and he was a member of this church for 85 years.  At his death, November 12, 1911, he was the oldest man in Bradford County and third oldest in Pennsylvania.

The rocking chair which travelled from Vermont with Annes Brown as occupant, is handmade, of light colored wood, with a woven rush seat.  Mrs. Stover had it beautifully restored many years ago by Orris Bailey, and it is one of her most prized possessions.

--Elmira Telegram July 30, 1961

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 08 MAY 2008
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: Joyce M. Tice

The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933