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West Burlington township
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West Burlington Township Page
West Burlington Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania
December 11, 1884

Submitted by Pat Raymond


Towanda, Pa., Dec. 11, 1884



The geographical situation of West Burlington is as follows: It is bounded on the north by the townships of Springfield and Smithfield, east by Burlington, south by Franklin and Granville, and west by Troy. Its topography is similar to that of Burlington, of which it was a part until 1855. The principal stream by which it is watered is the Sugar Creek, which passes through the town in an easterly and northeasterly direction, centrally, and has several small tributary creeks, flowing in from the north and south. The soil and its productive capacity is the same as that of the surrounding town, and its many roads offer good facilities for reaching a market. The Sugar Creek Valley which is broadest in this town, is divided into many fine farms, some of which are the handsomest and most extensive in the county.

A very noticeable degree of enterprise is manifest throughout the valley (here,) and the farms are domiciled in fine residences, and have large and well arranged barns. Some of the best blooded stock, including horses, in the county is found in West Burlington. The farmers of this town are wide-awake, practical, and rank high. an excellent class of people inhabit the township, and the churches and schools are supported in a most liberal manner. The affairs of the township are administered through square, competent men, and we will here append the official list for the year 1884: Commissioners, B. L. Rockwell, John Campbell, J. A. Stanton; Town Clerk, Homer Rockwell; Constable, J. A. Phillips; Justices of the Peace, J. C. Rockwell, John V. Price; School Directors, B. Whitehead, N. R. Hicks, O. W. Rockwell, W. D. McKean, D. A. Phillips, James Darrow; Treasurer, Isaac McKean; Assessor, F. L. Stanton; Auditors, John Blackwell, James Ward; J. D. McKean; Judge of Election, L. J. Fanning; Inspectors, T. E. Bronson, O. W. Rockwell.

By the census of 1880 West Burlington contained a population of 916 persons.

The points of most interest in this township are the County Farm and buildings, and the oldest church edifice in the county, both of which we shall fully describe in a subsequent letter.


of the township was fully given in the history of Burlington, the Sugar Creek colonization being common to both townships. The first clearing was made on the Sugar Creek, near the mouth of Mill Creek, in the east part of the town, near Burlington borough; and at the junction of the roads west of that point, the first church on the creek was built.

Many descendants of the old pioneers whose names have been given in the history of Burlington are living in West Burlington, the McKeans, the Ballards, Goddards, Baileys, Beaches, Leonards, etc.


is situated about a mile west of Burlington borough, on the main road between Towanda and Troy, on the "old McKean place," (now the county farm) which comprises an area of 267 acres. The building is a three-story brick edifice, and was designed and built by Avery Frink, of Montrose, who was also the designer and builder of the Bradford County Jail. Mr. Frink having contracted with the Commissioners Daniel Bradford, J. H. Hurst, and M. F. Ransom, he began operations upon the building April 1st, 1880. It consists of three parts--a main building and two large wings. The main building is three stories in height above the basement, ten feet to each story, and is 44x64 feet.

The first wing, which is the woman’s department, runs at a right angle with the main building, and measures 44x87 feet. The other wing, instead of running at right angles with the main building, laps upon it and extends rearways with it, and is in dimensions 44x100 feet. This is the male department; the men and women being in separate departments, which are 44 feet apart.

The McKean house, which is in good condition, and which stood up a short distance from the road when the farm was purchased, has been moved back to the rear of the poor house and a brick addition build on in front. The halls of the county house are hollow on all sides, making it very warm. The building will accommodate 200 persons without going into the upper story, which will abundantly accommodate any extra number that will come. The rooms are all convenient and spacious, and well lighted, the building being abundantly supplied with windows. Great care has been taken in the construction to secure good ventilation. Proper attention has also been given to the means of escape in case of fire, and the water supply has been carefully looked to. Water closets and bath rooms are provided in each department, and the water is carried to the third floor. The house is also provided with an excellent system of sewerage.

The County House is neat within and on the outside is a fine looking building. The sills and caps of all the doors and windows are of the best stone neatly trimmed, and all the mason work in brick and stone is done with care and precision that is satisfactory to the eye of a good workman. Nearly all the stone used in the construction of the building were taken from a quarry that is on the farm.

The county farm is handsomely located on Sugar Creek, is of an excellent soil, and is supplied with all the improved appliances for carrying on farming. A large dairy is kept upon the farm, and the large new barn contained thereon is one of the neatest, best arranged, and most spacious in the county. Surely, both the county house and barns are buildings that any county might well feel proud of.

A. D. Munn, of Litchfield, our present Register and Recorder-elect, had charge of the county farm during the first year. On the 18th of April, 1881, the county house was opened for the reception of inmates, and Mr. A. M. Cornell, of Columbia, was appointed to succeed Mr. Munn, who had resigned. In 1883 Mr. Cornell tendered his resignation, and was succeeded by Mr. S. R. Palmer, of Smithfield, who was succeeded by W. W. Moody, of Rome, April 1st, 1884, who is the present Superintendent, and seems the proper person for the place. Mrs. Moody acts her part nobly, and can not be excelled in the capacity in which she acts. At the time of our visit everything was found in perfect order, and we saw nothing to criticize.

William R. Simms has charge of the insane department, and is successor to Frank Espy, who filled that place most commendably for two years.

The following facts which we append, will be found interesting:

Inmates were first admitted April 18, 1881, and during that year 185 were admitted, 26 died, 63 were indentured, or taken away, and one was married. Fifty-eight of the number admitted were over 60 years; 42 over 70 years; 14 over 80; five over 90, and these were respectively 90, 91, 96, 99 and 100 years, Luke Gillespie being the centenarian.

In 1882, 71 were admitted, 12 died, and 19 were indentured. Of this number 12 were over 60; 10 over 70; six over 80; one over 90 (91).

In 1883, 47 were admitted; five died and four were indentured. Of this number 12 were over 60; nine over 70.

Up to July 1st, 1884, 21 were admitted; six died, and four were indentured. Of the number admitted, five were over 60; two over 70.

The whole number of inmates June 1, 1884, was 135; 41 were insane, (19 males, 20 females and two children). Of the entire number, three were black; 132 white; 19 were children; 70 were males; 65 females; 90 were native born; 45 foreign born; four were blind, and one deaf, dumb and blind; nine were idiotic. About a dozen souls have been born at the county house during the three years.


is located on a commanding point of ground one and one-third miles west of Burlington village, on the right hand side of the Sugar Creek road as you are going towards Troy. It is a two story plank building, clap boarded, but has never been painted on the outside or within. It is built of pine lumber throughout, and has been lathed and plastered, but now considerable of the plastering has fallen off. The church is entered by two doors from the south. These open into halls which lead to the main room which, for its time, we would say was well seated and lighted. The seats remain as they were placed, sixty-two years ago, facing the south, where is the antique pulpit which the minister reached by mounting a short flight of stairs. Two stairways lead to the second story, where a gallery extends around the entire building, and is well seated. In front of the church is the old graveyard, where lie many of the pioneers of the township. The building is yet in an excellent state of preservation, and will last for many years. It was erected in 1822, and occupies the very site of the old church and school building (log) erected soon after the first pioneers came to the Sugar Creek valley. In 1798 this house was burned down, and soon after another was built on the same ground which was called the "block house" and stood until 1822 when it was supplanted by the building above described. The Methodist Episcopal society was formed at West Burlington about or before 1796.


the only village in the township, is a quiet little hamlet, situated most pleasantly in the Sugar Creek valley, about six miles from Troy, and comprises a population of about one hundred persons. The following are the points of interest there: a general store is kept by A. C. Blackwell, who succeeded Saddle and McKean in 1882. His store is neatly kept and filled with the choicest goods of all kinds. He has developed a very fine trade, and does a very extensive business in butter and eggs. Mr. Blackwell’s pleasant manners and honorable dealing have made him many friends who enjoy his prosperity. In connection with the store is kept the post office and Mr. Blackwell is the efficient, obliging postmaster. The West Burlington post office was established in 1833 and Luther Goddard was the first postmaster.

The Rockwell mills are here located on Sugar Creek, and were established in 1848. They are quite an important concern, and consist of both a grist and saw mill, the motive power being steam and water. Their business is custom and merchant, and is quite extensive. The grist mill is in charge of Mr. O. W. Mathers, a gentleman of skill in the art of milling. Near the site of these mills Ezra Goddard before 1800 erected a grist and saw mill, the first in the Burlingtons.

H. E. Bailey is engaged in carriage making. He does repairing of all kinds and makes anything in the line of light or heavy wagons, sleighs or cutters. His work is well executed and from the best materials.

L. M. Piatt is the skillful blacksmith, and is successor to Frank Bodine. He can mend or make anything, useful or ornamental, from a needle to a crow-bar; he was born a blacksmith and has but few equals as a workman. A specialty is made of horse-shoeing and wagon ironing.

The village also affords a good church, (Methodist Episcopal) and school building.



Towanda, Pa., Dec. 18, 1884


E. A. Goddard is pleasantly located on the main road between Burlington and Troy, about three-fourths of a mile west of West Burlington village, and occupies a part of the "old Allen McKean farm." Mr. Goddard has a large and fruitful farm, finely improved, with spacious buildings and the improved farming appliances. Mr. Goddard has been a very successful farmer and dairyman, but is now quitting that business on account of declining health and offers his place for sale.

E. A. Goddard is a son of Allen Goddard, who was a son of Ezra Goddard, who came to the township with his father and brothers in 1796. That they were men of enterprise and did much to assist in the early development of this vicinity has already been stated.

Ezra Goddard, Sr., was born in Connecticut December 14, 1733, and died from injuries received from a fall May 13, 1813. His children were Theodore, Abagail, Ezra and Luther, all of whom died in Burlington.

Ezra Goddard Jr., was born in Connecticut July 25, 1762, and was killed by the fall of a tree July 16, 1816; Mrs. Goddard was born February 21, 1766, and died May 9, 1841. Their children were Mary, Ezra, Allen, Eley C., Elan W., Anna M., Thomas H., and are now dead.

Allen died March 23, 1884, at almost ninety-one years. He had a family of nine children, only two of whom are living--Jesse and E. A., with the latter Mr. Goddard spent the closing days of his life.

Mary married Daniel Loomis, father of Ezra Loomis, of East Troy. Ezra lived on the place now occupied by his son, George, the original homestead where he died as did his father Ezra, and grandfather Ezra. Eley C., died in Susquehanna County, Pa.; Elan died in Troy township; Anna married William C. Ripley, and died in Tioga County, Pa. The Goddards were of English extraction.

A. P. Rockwell has a most desirable location, and is a skillful and extensive farmer. He is domiciled in an elegant mansion, and has spacious and well arranged barns. His stock is fine, and consists of thoroughbred and grade Durhams. Especial attention is given to young stock and general farming. A. P. Rockwell is a son of Luther Rockwell, who came with his father, Samuel Rockwell and family at the age of ten years, from Vermont, and settled where Long’s mills, in Troy township, now are. Here he lived for some years, then moved to Canton where he died. Luther lived and died on the place now occupied by his son Azor, in Troy township. Luther had eight brothers and a sister. He also had nine sons and a daughter, all of whom are yet living. His sons all began life poor boys, but are now wealthy and respected citizens. Five live in West Burlington--Bingham L., Orlando, Alvord P., J. Marton and John C. Hon. Delos, Hiram and Azor live in Troy, and Martin L. at Canton.

We found Mrs. F. Whitehead a very pleasant and entertaining lady, upon the estate of the late and lamented Frederick Whitehead. Mrs. Whitehead occupies a cosy new mansion, well designed and finely finished. A fine new barn has also recently been added to the place. Mrs. Whitehead is a business lady and the farm is conducted by herself and son Charles. Their place is pleasantly located, well improved and of an excellent soil. Especial attention is given to general farming and Southdown sheep.

Frederick Whitehead came to Burlington in 1840 from the East. At Burlington for several years he followed the business of a tailor. He was a most excellent Christian man, and took a great interest in Sabbath Schools and church matters, and was a very liberal supporter. He was a Superintendent of Sabbath schools for a number of years, and at the time of his death was an Elder in the Presbyterian Church at Troy.

F. Bodine was a faithful soldier in the late war, and comes from a line of heroes. He enlisted in the 207th Regiment in August, 1864, and was connected with the army of the Potomac. He was at the engagements at Fort Steadman, Weldon Railroad, Hatcher’s Run, in and about Petersburg, and the closing scenes at five Forks. He was twice wounded. Mr. Bodine’s great-grandfather, Frank Bodine, came from France, and served through the Revolution. He was several times wounded, and lived to be ninety years old. His grandfather, Jeremiah Robinson, was a soldier in the war of 1812 and the Mexican war. Mr. Bodine engaged in blacksmithing at West Burlington for several years.


DECEMBER 18, 1884


E. B. Montgomery is quite an extensive farmer, and makes a specialty of dairying. He has a dairy of twenty thoroughbred and grade Jerseys. He has the improved appliances for carrying on this industry. He puts butter up in prints and ships to Washington where he gets the highest market prices. During the month of June he made 864 pounds from his dairy, besides what was required for table purposes.

Harrison Adams came to the township about thirty years since from Ontario County, N.Y., and engaged in wagon-making, a trade which he had previously followed, but has now discontinued. In September, 1861, he showed his love of country by enlisting in the Seventh Regiment, P.V.C. He did service in Tennessee. Having become ill, he was taken to the hospital where he was discharged in 1862 for disabilities. His grandfather, Edwin Adams, was a soldier in the war of 1812.

B. L. Rockwell and sons are extensive farmers and stock men. Their barns are many, spacious and well arranged. They make stock raising a specialty, and keep some of the finest stock in the county. The Durhams are their pride. They have a very fine male, for which $500 was paid when he was a calf. They carry several fine teams, and keep two of the finest bred horses in the country. "Ophir" is a very handsome chestnut horse five years old, from a strain of fast-blooded horses, and was bought in Kentucky in the fall of 1883 at a high price. "Vinco," three years old, is also a handsome animal from the best line of blooded stock, and gives promise of great speed.

Homer Rockwell has charge of the prosperous farm of his father, M. L. Rockwell. It is supplied with large and well arranged buildings and a choice lot of stock from the Durham line. A dairy and young stock are kept, and attention given to general farming, which is conducted in a skillful manner.

J. C. Rockwell has a pleasant home, spacious and conveniently arranged barns, a fruitful farm supplied with the modern labor-saving machinery. He carries a choice dairy of the Durham line, but makes a specialty of young beef cattle. He conducts his farm in a skillful manner, and is one of the notable nine brothers.

J. B. Blackwell is cosily domiciled in a new home, and is a pleasant, enterprising and hospitable gentleman. Mr. Blackwell has followed the occupation of farming and has been very successful as such. His farm is a very large and fruitful one, a good dairy of the Durham line is kept, and considerable young stock. Upon the place we noticed two very fine Hambletonian colts two years old. The spring house upon the place is a model in arrangement. Mr. Blackwell is assisted upon the farm by his son, J. D. Blackwell.

Mr. Blackwell also has three other sons of fine business qualifications--Alfred, merchant at West Burlington; George, merchant at Alba; W.D., merchant at Nelson, Pa.

J. B. Blackwell is a son of John Blackwell, who came to West Burlington in 1829 from Lycoming County, Pa., and located upon the place now owned by his son Thomas, then known as the "Kendall place." Mr. and Mrs. Blackwell were both born in England and came to this country when children with their parents. Mr. Blackwell died upon the place he had purchased in February, 1863, at the age of seventy-four years. The following are his children living: Thomas, John B., Enoch, and Mrs. Stephen Stiles--two daughters being dead. Thomas occupies the homestead; John B. the "McDowell farm; Enoch lives at Mansfield, Pa; and Mrs. Stiles at West Burlington.

T.E. Bronson is a enterprising young farmer, and occupies the place of his great-grandfather, James McKean, which was owned after his time by his sons, William and Jehial; then Norman, the son of Jehial, owned it for some time. Mr. Bronson carries a dairy, but makes a specialty of sheep, keeping the Merinos. Good crops of oats and corn are raised upon the place.


Towanda, Pa., January 19, 1885

NOTE: Name of Paper Changed


W. D. Gamage is a genial, open-hearted gentleman, and one of Burlington’s best citizens and most prosperous farmers. He has a very pleasant home, and his large farm is supplied with spacious and well-arranged buildings with water improvements and farm machinery of all kinds. Mr. Gamage has surrounded himself with all of the conveniences of life and lives as happy and independently as a king. His stock is among the best in the county. His Durham dairy is a very fine one, and his yearlings of that stock are of the very best we have seen. Much attention is given young stock and the breeding of fine blooded horses. At almost any time fine young horses may be found upon the place.

W. D. Gamage is a son of Horatio Gamage, who was a son of John Gamage, who came to West Burlington from Massachusetts, about 1795, and located upon the place now owned and occupied by his grandson. When a lad, young Gamage was forced from home by the inhumanity of a hard-hearted step-mother. He found a welcome place with the family of Beriah Pratt, and lived with him until about the time of his majority, when he started to the new country of the West to begin life for himself. His history in the main has already been given. He, like other pioneers, saw very hard times. On his place he had a hollowed stump and spring pile for smashing corn. After Mr. Gamage came to Burlington, Beriah Pratt also came from the East. Mr. Gamage gave him land and he build a house near his. Here he lived until the close of his life.

Rattlesnakes were very thick in the Sugar Creek valley, and were much dreaded, as children and others were frequently required to go barefooted. Only one person, a boy, was bitten, and his life was saved, as an antidote had been learned of an Indian.

John Gamage married Elizabeth, daughter of Stephen Ballard. The result of their union was three children, whose names have been given. Horatio, father of W.D. was born in 1811, and died in 1855.

Orlando Rockwell is a skillful and extensive farmer, and is pleasantly domiciled in a handsome mansion. The farm is an improved and fruitful one, and is supplied with neat and spacious buildings, and the most improved farm machinery. He has a fine stock of the Durham line. Several fine horses are kept upon the place. Mr. Rockwell is assisted by his sons, Delos and Gamage.

S. H. Stiles is a hard-working gentleman of noble motives, and a neat and prosperous farmer. He is nicely located, and has an elegant new barn, large and convenient. His farm gives yield to some very fine crops. Especial attention is given to sheep, keeping the Cotswolds, which he is crossing with the Southdowns. A good substantial team is found upon the place.

Mr. Stiles came to the township twenty-eight years since from Delaware County, N.Y. His father, Stephen Stiles, was a Baptist clergyman. He had a large family, and his children were all religiously inclined. Miss Sarah L. Stiles, a well known teacher, is a daughter of Mr. Stiles.

Joseph Foulke is a much respected citizen of his township, and is a prosperous farmer. Having discontinued the dairy business, he now makes a specialty of sheep, keeping the Spanish Merinos. Some fine young horses are kept upon the place. Mr. Foulke has spent days of diligent toil in clearing and improving his lands. For some years he gave considerable attention to lumbering. Mr. Foulke is a native of the State of New York.


February 19, 1885


H. E. Bailey enlisted in the 27th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers, August 1862, but shortly after his enlistment was taken sick, sent back and discharged. He is a son of A. S. Bailey, of Springfield.

G. M. Ballard is a genial, hospitable gentleman, and a skillful and prosperous farmer. He is pleasantly domiciled in a neat mansion. Through unremitting toil Mr. Ballard has made his farm "a thing of beauty," and to produce most bountifully. In addition to general farming he carries a choice dairy, consisting of thoroughbred and grade Jerseys. A very fine male, three years old, is kept and also a good line of horses.

In August, 1864, Mr. Ballard enlisted in the First New York Veteran Cavalry, and was connected with Sheridan’s army. He did service mainly in West Virginia--guard and sentry duty, and remained until the stars and stripes fluttered proudly and freely over Dixie’s bloody and desolate soil. Mr. Ballard is a son of our venerable friend, Ira Ballard of East Troy.

E. C. Dickinson is a gentleman of stirring habits, with a pleasant word for all whom he may chance to meet. He lives as cosily as a king in a fine new mansion and upon a large and prosperous farm. He carries a fine dairy of Jersey line, and has a most excellent record in the quality and quantity of butter produced. Corn and oats are made the leading crops upon the place. Good horses are kept, and a superior young team for general purposes. In addition to farming, Mr. Dickinson also carries on lumbering, having a mill upon his premises. About thirty years ago E. S. Dickinson (E. C.’s father) who had been a ship carpenter and merchant in Connecticut, came to the township, bought a large tract of timberland, put in a mill and began lumbering, and continued to do so until the close of his life in 1870. He has been succeeded by his son, E. C. Dickinson.

James Darrow is a hard-working enterprising farmer, with an open heart. He makes wheat and oats his leading crops, and keeps a good line of stock upon the place. Twenty-two years ago he and his father, Amos Darrow, came upon the place before any improvements had been made, but the appearance is indeed quite different to-day. Amos Darrow came from Connecticut when a young man, and has lived in Burlington ever since. he has several sons, who are inhabitants of the township.


March 5, 1885


N. R. Hicks is an open-hearted, wide-awake young farmer and has a most sightly place overlooking the Sugar Creek valley. He gives attention to promiscous farming, dairying and stock raising. His cattle are of the Jersey line, and a choice dairy is kept. Fine blooded young horses are kept. In addition to his farming interests Mr. h. also gives some attention to lumbering. Mr. Hicks is a useful citizen and has always taken a great interest in church and educational matters. For some time he has been chorister, steward etc., of the West Burlington church society and is at present Secretary of the school board of his town. He married a daughter of Joseph Stanton, a cousin of Edward M. Stanton, Secretary of War under Lincoln.

"Uncle Jesse McKean" is pleasantly located on a prosperous farm in the southern part of the township. It is much improved and has been settled since 1817. J. D. McKean has charge of the farm and it is conducted in a skillful manner. Attention is given to dairying, stock and sheep raising. The dairy is a fine one and consists of graded Jerseys and Durhams. The Cooley Creamer is used and the following is the record of eleven cows for three weeks in June: first week 100 lbs., second week 103 lbs., third week 113 lbs. a fine flock of Merino sheep is kept. Spring and winter wheat is made a specialty and is growing very successfully upon the place. In 1817 Samuel Bullard came upon Mr. McKean’s place and began making improvements. Then for years it was occupied by the Pratts. In 1839 Mr. McKean secured the title and has occupied it ever since. Mr. McKean is from a family of pioneers that has a history. J. B. McKean is a son of James McKean and a grandson of James McKean, who came from Maryland to West Burlington in 1791. He located on the present County Farm, and built his cabin beside an oak sapling, which is now a good sized oak tree, and stands about thirty yards from the County House. Mr. McKean came in by the way of "Johnny Cake Hollow" from Juniata, Pa., where he had lived during the Revolutionary War. It is supposed that Mr. McKean and his brother were in the battle of Wyoming, and that John was killed then. The McKean’s were natives of Scotland, moved to the north of Ireland, thence to America about 1760 settling in Maryland, where they lived for some years, then removing to Pennsylvania. Of James McKean Sr’s. family, Allen lived with his father until a young man, then went to the lake country, where he died. William never came to this county. James lived on the place now occupied by Thomas Bronson. He was killed by the fall of a tree in 1822. Andrew, a Methodist clergyman, died at Mechanicsville, during the war. John settled on the place now occupied by Campbell brothers, where he died. Robert lived on the place of E. A. Gooding, and died there. Gen. Samuel McKean lived on what is the County Farm and died there in 1860. He held many civil offices, and he and David Wilmot, were the only men ever elected in the office of U. S. Senator from Bradford county. Of James McKean Jr.’s family only Jesse and a sister Rebecca are living.

Decatur Pepper has a pleasant home and is located on a fruitful farm. He carries a good dairy consisting of grade Durhams and Alderneys. A fine two-year-old male Durham, was noticed at the time of our visit. Mr. P.’s farming is promiscuous, and is conducted successfully. In Sept. 1864, Mr. Pepper responded to his country’s call enlisting in the 2d N. Y. Cavalry, under Sheridan, serving in Custer’s division. He was at Cedar Creek, and the minor engagements in and around Petersburg, remaining until Lee’s surrender.

J. E. Spencer has a desirable location and cosy new home in the southern part of the township. He gives attention to general farming, and is an enterprising hard-working gentleman. A small dairy is kept and attention given to young stock and sheep. A very fine young horse of Colonel Walter stock was noticed upon the place.

J. N. Darrow is an earnest farmer, and makes a specialty in growing grain, oats and buckwheat, and the raising of sheep keeping both the coarse and fine wools. He keeps fine young horses from an excellent line of stock. In the spring of 1861, Mr. Darrow enlisted in the 8th Reg. P. V., served for a short time, came home and immediately re-enlisted in the 52d Reg. P. V. and served until the close of the war. He served through the Peninsular campaign with McClellan after which he was sent with his company to Morris Island, where he did service for a year and a half. He was here during the siege of Charleston and the time of its evacuation by the rebels. For eight months previous to the close of the war he was sick in the hospital.

W. N. Rockwell is an enterprising young farmer, and carries on industry of his choice, largely and successfully. He has a pleasant new home, and convenient and spacious out-buildings. Grain growing is made a specialty and oats and buckwheat are made the leading crops. Especial attention is also given to sheep a cross of Merinos and Southdowns being kept. Fine blooded young horses are kept. He occupies the farm known as the "Shattuck place."


March 12, 1885


We found D. M. Campbell at his pleasant home north of Burlington village, and as usual in his happy mood. "Deck" is an enterprising gentleman, keeps everything about him in perfect order, and enjoys himself independently in a cosy little home. He is a successful farmer, but has a special pride in his fine Jersey dairy. Though the most of his cows are young, they gave him an average last year of $43 each. Some young stock are carried and good horses kept.

A. M. Haines is a clever, hard-working young man, just beginning life. He has charge of one of Job Morley’s farms and conducts it in a very satisfactory manner. Unlike many tenants his ambition is to satisfy his lord.

Lewis Hiney is an enterprising tenant on one of Morley’s large farms, and the best criterion we have, that he has proven a success, is that he has been retained for a number of years. On this place a large dairy is carried and attention given to general farming.

C. E. Brigham is a young man of perfect habits and energy. He is an economist, and is "getting along in the world" nicely. He has a pleasant home at Bourne’s Mills, and runs a fruitful little farm which he has well improved. He has supplied his place with all the improved machinery and keeps a good team.

P. and J. W. Campbell are open hearted gentleman, and run a large and productive farm. They also carry a good dairy and give attention to fine blooded young horses. They are pleasantly located on the main road between Burlington and Smithfield. They are sons of Alanson Campbell, an aged gentleman, yet living with his sons and grandsons of William Campbell, and great-grandsons of James Campbell, one of the first settlers in the township.

Alanson Campbell came upon the place which his sons now occupy over a half a century ago, before the first improvement had been made, but quite different is the aspect today.

Josephus Campbell, a son, showed his faith to the Northern cause, and fell at the battle of the Wilderness.

P. Campbell has proven himself a friend of the REPORTER, having taken it since he was fifteen years of age.

George and Freeman Campbell are enterprising farms, and have a most fruitful place which is handsomely located. They grow the general cereals, and carry a good dairy together with young stock. A fine young team is kept upon the place. The Campbell brothers occupy the place settled by their grandfather, William Campbell, in 1819, and children live upon it. Mr. Campbell was one of the first settlers in that vicinity, and died upon the place where he spent the most of his life. His son, William, Jr., who succeeded him, also died upon the place. For a time William Campbell, Sr., lived in Towanda township, on the place now owned by Benjamin Davison. This was in an early day, and the house that he lived in one summer had but one side covered. The Campbells are of Scotch descent, and moved to this county from Vermont.

Mrs. A. M. Henry has charge of the place of her lately deceased husband, and is entitled to much credit for the business like manner in which she conducts it. She has a pleasant new home.

H. Tuttle is head sawyear at Stanton Mills, and owns a farm in Northern Burlington. He has had almost a life’s experience in the milling business.

The Stanton Mills do a general business, and are one of the oldest establishments in that section. They were originally established by Hubbard, Russell and Dickinson, under the firm of E. S. Dickinson & Co.

I. J. Fanning is one of the most successful and enterprising farmers of the township, and has been favored with "the golden touch." His farm is a model in neatness, and he lives as happily as a prince in his fine new mansion. His cellar beneath it is not excelled in the county.

Mr. Fanning came upon the place in 1861, and has made most valuable improvements since that time. A fine dairy of the Durham line is kept and attention given to young stock. Mr. Fanning is a son of Elisha Fanning, mentioned in connection with the history of Springfield.

Horace Spencer is an enterprising and extensive farmer, and a gentleman with whom we spent a visit in a most edifying manner. He is well located, and is domiciled in a fine new home. General farming and dairying is carried on, and fine wooled sheep made a specialty. Some attention is also given to young horses. For several winters past Mr. Spencer has conducted singing schools. In August, 1862, he joined the 141st Regiment, P. V., and remained with it until the close of the war. After the first year he was detailed as a musician and acted in that capacity until he came home.

Thomas J. Griffth well knows how to entertain his guests, and he that stops at his house must enjoy his overflowing hospitality. Mr. Griffith is a skilled farmer, and has resided in the township but a short time, having moved hither from Lancaster County, Pa. He occupies the large and fruitful farm of H. B. McKean, and makes young stock and sheep a specialty. Mrs. Griffith is a lady of refinement, and has become quite famous as a writer.

C. W. Thacker is a good farmer and highly respected citizen, and has a fine new residence. Through diligence and economy, he has fully prepared for old age, and now enjoys his closing years. A dairy is carried on, and some attention given to young stock, and the raising of young horses. Mr. Thacker came to the township in 1851 from Dutchess County, NY.

J. V. Rice is an agreeable gentleman, and runs a small place. He is Justice of the Peace, and held the same office in Burlington borough for two terms.

G. R. Darrow is a diligent, careful farmer. He carries a small dairy, and gives attention to Merino sheep. In November, 1861, Mr. Darrow, like a true man, shouldered his musket and fought for our pride and our glory--the stripes and the stars. He was a member of the Fifty-Second Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. During the first year’s service he was with General Foster in the Southern Department and the balance of the time with the Army of the Potomac. He remained until the fall of 1864.

John H. Harris is a very hard-working man, and is entitled to much credit for the many valuable improvements he has been making upon the place. He came upon the place when it was completely run down, but now in an excellent state of cultivation, with good fences, etc. Mr. Harris has some good stock of the Alderney line.

In the spring of 1864, Mr. Harris entered in the Forty-Fifth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, and did duty in and about Petersburg until the close of the war.


March 19, 1885


HICKORY GROVE is a quiet, enterprising farming locality inhabited by a godly people. They have a fine new church (M.E.) which was erected in 1881. They have a good class, and at the time of our visit the spiritual wants of the community were administered by Rev. W. H. Cobley.

Samuel Whitehead is a highly respected citizen of West Burlington, and successful husbandman. He is by trade a carpenter and has followed that business for some years. He carries a choice dairy with young stock. Mr. Whitehead is a native of Connecticut, and came to this county thirty-five years since.

S. A. Swingle is located upon the ancestral estate of his father, David Swingle, and is an earnest tiller of the soil. Attention is given to general farming and dairying and young stock is carried. David Swingle was an excellent man, and was a local minister of the Methodist Protestant denomination for many years.

D. D. Selleck is one of those good natured beings, whose look is a burst of sunshine. He is a careful farmer, and has a neat and fruitful place. In September 1864, Mr. Selleck heard his country’s call and gallantly took his place with the Two Hundred and Seventh Regiment, P. V. He served with the Nineth Army Corps, and did service in front of Petersburg, remaining until the close of the war.

A. D. Spencer is one of the town’s most highly respected citizens, and we took advantage of his kindness as we passed through the neighborhood, and can now bear evidence to the skillful and toothsome manner in which Mrs. Spencer prepares her table. Mr. Spencer has a pleasant home and fruitful farm, to which he has added valuable improvements through manly diligence. A choice dairy of grade Durhams and Alderneys is kept, and attention given to the breeding of blooded horses. A specialty is made in raising and breaking young ox-teams, and a supply is always on hand. Mr. Spencer takes great pride in the raising of calves. Mr. Spencer is a son of Horace Spencer, a native of New York, who settled in Wyoming County, this State, thence to Granville township where he died.

J. M. Booth has a snug little farm located on a pleasant street, neat and fruitful. When Mr. Booth came upon his place a third of a century ago the vicinity was a wild expanse, but the alchemy of time and the diligent hand of man has wrought wonderful changes. For several years Mr. Booth followed the trade of carpenter, but of late has only farmed. Mr. Booth is an aunt of our historian friend, Rev. D. Craft. Two sons enlisted in the late contest when mere boys, and two sons-in-law lost their lives there. Elijah Booth, father of J. M. was a soldier in the war of 1819.

A. J. Close has a pleasant location, and carries promiscuous farming. Mr. Close resides with his aged mother. Though now eighty-four years of age she is strong for one of her years, and enjoys a fair memory. She recites with accuracy interesting events of her younger days. She remembers distinctly when the war of 1812 was in progress, etc. She was born at Stillwater, Saratoga County, N. Y. Her father, Joseph Newland, was living there at the time of the Revolution, and served in the American army. He lived to the advanced age of ninety-three years. Nathaniel Cole, father of A. J., was a soldier in the war of 1812.

Levi Wilber has a beautiful little farm, upon which he is making valuable improvements. He has a pleasant home and other new buildings.

S. Smith carries on farming on a small scale, and has a pleasant little home. In September, 1863, he enlisted in the Forty-Ninth Regiment, P. V., and participated in the battles of Cold Harbor, Spottsylvania Court House, Winchester, Cedar Creek, etc. Though injured, he remained in the service until the close of the war.

D. A. Estell is a diligent man, and though he has met with many set-backs in life, he yet paddles on manfully. He conducts his little farm carefully, and occasionally expounds "the good word." For a number of years Mr. Estell was a preacher of the gospel of the Methodist Protestant denomination. He came to Burlington with his father, A. K. Estell, from Wyoming County, in 1844.

D. D. Cary has been engaged as farmer and lumberman in the township for twenty-four years. He was a member of the One Hundred and Eighty-Seventh Regiment, P. V., and entered in March, 1864. He remained until the close of the conflict.

J. G. Carey entered the service when but fourteen years of age. He was a member of the One Hundred and Sixth Regiment, P. V., and entered in March, 1864. He was in several sharp engagements, and lost his right leg at Hanover Court House.

D. H. Phillips is prince of a fruitful and well located farm, which he conducts in a careful manner. a specialty is made in Southdown and Shropshire-down sheep, and some of the finest we have yet seen are owned by him.

In august, 1864, Mr. Phillips enlisted in the Two Hundred and Seventh Regiment, P. V., and did service in and about Petersburg, remaining until Lee’s surrender. Mr. Phillips came with his father’s family (C. P. Phillips) from Dutchess County, N. Y., and located on the place now occupied by Thomas Griffith when that vicinity was a dense woodland.

G. W. Davidson enlisted in Fiftieth Regiment, P. V., August 1861. He was connected with Sherman’s army for one year, then with Burnside’s. He participated in some of the severest engagements of the rebellion. He was wounded in his left arm at Weldon Railroad, which was the last battle he was in.

We found J. H. Thurston an entertaining and well read gentleman from whom we gathered much useful knowledge. He is a son of Lyman Thurston, who was the first man to locate in the vicinity of Hickory Grove. He came from Luzerne County, this State, to Towanda township, in 1832, and located at Bowman Corners. Fifteen years later he came to Burlington township and located on the place now held by his son, J. F., and there resided until the close of his life. The country in that section was then unbroken, and his nearest neighbor was one and one-half miles distant. In September, 1861, Mr. Thurston enlisted in the Fifty-Second Regiment, P. V., and served his country faithfully for three years. He was through the Peninsular Campaign, thence was transferred to North Carolina, thence again to Hilton Head, South Carolina, and afterwards to Morris Island, and was there at the time of the siege of Charleston, and was under constant fire for two hundred and ten days. Near the close of the war his regiment was sent to assist General Schofield, in North Carolina, and he discharged for disabilities. Mr. Thurston is now an invalid, having lost his health in the service.

Burlington has given some eminent characters--among whom may be mentioned General Samuel McKean, a member of the State Legislature from 1815 to 1819; a member of Congress from 1822 to 1824; United States Senator from 1835 to 1839. He was also appointed Secretary of the Commonwealth in 1829.

Addison McKean, Prothonotary of the county from 1845 to 1848.

Allen McKean, Prothonotary from 1848 to 1857.

John F. Long and John McKean, Associate Judges.

C. F. Nichols, member of the State Legislature.

The following were County Auditors--A. McKean, Jeremiah Travis, C. F. Nichols, I D. Soper, Danverse Bourne, Job Morley.

Joseph Foulke, Jury Commissioner.

Frank Phelps, "the showman," was a Burlington boy, and Devastus Miller, who made the lucky strike in Australia at the depth of one hundred and eighty feet, another.

J. V. Daniels was at one time a merchant and Justice of the Peace at Burlington; he went to Minnesota and was sent to the State Senate.