The Reverend Mr. David Craft
South Creek Township
SOUTH CREEK TOWNSHIP
This township is in the northern tier of towns, and in the northwestern part of the county. South creek, Buck creek, and Roaring Run are the principal streams. Philo Fassett came to South Creek in 1834. He came from Vermont to Troy, Pa., in 1808, thence to this town, where be died at the age of eighty-one. (His wife was Marion Wheeler - JMT)
Among other early settlers in the town were Asa Gillett, John Morrison, Gideon Andrus, Isaac Baker, and Samuel Pettingill. These all came in prior to 1833, except Mr. Gillett, who settled several years later. Isaac Baker had a grist-mill on South creek.
In the neighborhood of Gillett's, there was an early settler by the name of Ezekiel Baker, one of the very first in that section. He claimed no relationship to Isaac Baker, who was located farther down the creek. Hosea, son of Ezekiel Baker, took an active part in the pioneer development of that section of country.
Jesse Moore was also an earlv comer. It is claimed that he and Mr. Baker were the first to break ground in the township. The bills were at that date covered with a dense and unbroken forest along the streams was heavy pine timber.
George Dunham, though a later comer, deserves mention. He came from Windham, in this county. He cleared up a large amount of land, was an active man and reliable citizen. N. Y. Glines came a few years later. He was a justice of the peace, an active and good citizen, and raised a family of sons and daughters, who lived and died here.
N. P. Fassett, son of the Philo Fassett previously mentioned, says, "We had no trouble about the Connecticut title; that had been disposed of before we came. The lands belonged to the Bingham estate. The Govetts' lands reached to the line dividing Bently from South Creek. The settlers first went and made possession, and then sold from one to another their possessory right or title. There was an 1100-acre tract, on which some of the settlers had been located for thirty years or more, and were making arrangements to purchase the Bingham title ; but a Dr. Seeley 'stole a march' on them, bought the Bingham title, and demanded of the settlers what they deemed an exorbitant price, which they refused to pay. Seeley served writs of ejectment upon them, whereupon the settlers combined to resist his title. Suit was commenced against my father (Philo Fassett), and the cause was tried in the Bradford County court. Elisha Moore, who was former owner of the possession, was a witness in the case. The settlers beat Seeley on the ground of possession. This Mr. Moore was a brother of Jesse. Another brother, Asa, lived just north of us, over the State line. My father bought his possession of Mrs. Andrus, a widow woman.
"Beginning at Asa Moore's south
line (which was just over the New York State line), there were woods for
two miles, without a break, until you came to Gideon Andrus' place; from
there to our place was a half-mile, which was cleared; then came another
half-mile of woods to Thompson's, with nearly a mile of woods to the next
neighbor. Beginning at the State line, the active settlers were Glines,
Fassett, Thompson. and Gillett. These men made the town. Jesse Moore might
be added also; he was a deacon, a quiet, conservative man. My father was
a Whig so also were Mr. Gillett and Mr. Glines. Mr. Thompson was a Democrat,
and the leader of the party in the town."
||The Philo Fassett - Marion Wheeler home was also used as a hotel, and
its remains still stand in the Village of Fassett .
Photo by Joyce M. Tice July 1999 - Sorry for the trees obscuring the view, but the photo I took last fall was lost in a computer disaster.
The stage route from Williamsport to Elmira passed down South Creek, and Gillett's was about the "half-way place" between Elmira and Troy. There were nine public houses between the two last-named points, three of which were in South Creek, and kept respectively by Ezekiel Baker, Hervey Jones, and Mr. Gillett.
Hervey Jones settled at Gillett's about 1830-31, and kept a tavern where John Gillett now lives; he came from Hartford, Conn., died in South Creek, but was buried at Elmira. Rev. Simeon Jones, his father, was one of the pioneer preachers of this section. Jesse Moore came from Orange Co., N. Y., in 1804, and settled the place now occupied by his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Jesse (Jones) Moore. He had to cut a road to get through from Southport, N. Y., when he first came into the country. Jesse Moore died in 1844 - his wife died July 31, 1855, aged nearly eighty years. Jesse Moore, Jr., died April 6, 1872, over seventy years old. His wife was a daughter of David Reeves, of Orange Co., N. Y. Elisha, brother of Jesse Moore, lived on the Fassett place. His daughter, Hannah, married Elder Isaac Like, and is now living near Le Roy. Asa Moore married Mercy Bentley, whose father was a resident contemporary with the Moores.
We record some of Mrs. Jesse Moore's "recollections," as having a bearing upon the early settlement of South Creek: "When my father-in-law came, there was a man by the name of Benjamin Seeley, who had a little clearing about a mile above. They did not have a spear of grass, and had to cut down trees, on which they let their cattle browse. Seeley's descendants live in Wells Township. Solomon Bovier was also an early settler. He lived on the Dr. Smith Place, and was a relative of Seeley, whose land joined his own. Beyond them was a family named Potter, who came early, and took up their farm before any clearing had been made at that point, now known as Snedeckerville. These were all the settlers at that time to the end of the township; from my husband's to the Cross-roads, there was only the Seeley house and clearing for some time.
"Aaron Stiles, father of Stephen was living on the first little clearing below us, where John Gillett now lives. Gillett owns a part of the piece. They were here when we came. The old people died there. Stephen Stiles delighted in lawsuits, and next to having one himself, he desired to have one for some one else. The family have all left the townships"
Ebin Dunning came from Fleming, N. Y., about the year 1837. He bought a mill-seat of Jesse Moore, and has been done.,, an extensive lumber business. A station on the railroad is named in honor of him.
Ephraim, brother of Gideon Andrus, still lives on the hill east of Gillett's.
The Berry settlement, in the south part of the town, was so called from the large family of that name that settled there. In 1834 there was quite a cluster of houses there. Only a little corner of this settlement was, however, included in South Creek township, and none of the Berrys resided in that portion.
Gillett's Station, at the centre, is pleasantly situated in the valley of the South creek, and contains a Baptist church, three stores, a post-office, hotel, some shops, and about eighteen dwellings. It has grown up almost entirely within the past few years.
State Line, or Fassett's, is
a railroad station, and embraces a saw-mill and a few dwellings.