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representing the area in and near Mansfield including Richmond, Sullivan,
Rutland, Covington, Tioga and more
Visit the History Center
on Main Street at 83 North Main Street where our library
resources are housed. We also have a museum location
at 61 North Main Street.
Regular hours are noon to 3 T, W Th or by appointment. Extended Summer
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available, Donations welcome
If you have ancestors in our area, the History Center would like to meet you
and show you what we know about your family and learn what you know that we
don't. Mansfield area people are the core of what we value.
Our genealogy database of nearly 100,000 individuals with local connections may include your ancestors.
We also have filing cabinets full of resources and a thorough knowledge of our
past residents, schools, and businesses. It's worth a visit.
Donations to The History Center will help keep this website available.
Tri-Counties Genealogy &
History by Joyce M. Tice
Diaries & Letters of Tri-Counties
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
|1909 Letter John W. DeWitt to
Joyce's Search Tip - December 2010
||Do You Know that you can search just the
355 pages of our
Diaries and Letters on this site by using the Diaries
button in the Partitioned search engine at the bottom of the Current
What's New Page? But diaries and letters are wonderful sources
to understand the culture of time and place. Read them and enjoy them slowly.
I am attaching the transcript of the
letter from my gggrandfather John W. DeWitt (1850-1918) to his wife's uncle
Paul C. Cudworth who was born in Sullivan Twp in 1834 but living in Manistee
Michigan at the time of this letter (1909). There were a few names that
I struggled with (marked by ?). I am hoping that people more familiar with
the genealogy and vicinity will be able to make them out. It is meant to
inform Paul Cudworth of the changes in the area and property owners since
he was a boy. It is interesting and hopefully informative to some whose
family names are referred to. Don't hesitate to let me know if there is
more I can add.
Barbara HAYMAN Stollsteimer
We go on and we see the old Pomeroy house and bank same as ever,
the Leny(???) House at our right with some improvement. We pass by the
corners and just beyond you will find the building used in your time for
publishing the Troy Gazette but now by two happy go easy fellows who buy
eggs, butter, TC and do some insurance and collect their old store debts.
On our right just across the way we see a nice home and occupied by a DeWitt
and Armstrong. Well we will go on next to DeWitts lives Isaac Clever then
Lyman Oliver then Dell Smith and so on. But we must go on. At the top of
the hill formerly owned by Horace Pomeroy lives Mrs. Henry Sweet formerly
Ester Orvis and her nephew Wm Sweet. They have a creamery and stock farm,
a very nice place. We go a little way on and come to a small house in which
Joel Adams lives with his daughter. He owns the Bill Frisk farm. A short
way on and we come to house and go in and find an old man sitting and smoking
his pipe, reading the newspaper, or he may be napping, or he may be humming
some old song, or he may be plaguing the dog or it might be a small boy
or his neighbors little girl but he is there and enjoys life I believe.
You will also find a happy woman, although at this time she is not very
well. You will also find a man that you could see the Cudworth look and
build very clearly, also two boys (good boys) one of them taller than you
are and full of life and only 14 years old the other quite small but boys
must not step on his toes or down they go! Well we must go on over to the
next house. Here we find just as good a man and woman and two children,
a girl and a boy. And they are bright and full of life. We next come to
the old Reddington home. Ed Reddington lives here but is blind. Next is
the Bill Frisk farm owned by Joel Adams and worked by one of Bill Bixby’s
boys. Next is the Runion (?) farm owned by Orin Ruggles. Next is the old
Jackson farm. One of the boys – rather old men – live there. We will go
down through the woods to Sylvania. It is a nice little town and the old
Waldo store is doing lots of business, they also do a large undertaker
business. We will drive on quite fast now and go up Bailey Hill. Ezra Dann
is yet living. Daniel Bradford is dead. At the top of Bailey Hill we now
see in Old Tioga Co. once more. Coley Smith lives a t the top of the hill.
Dell Ballard lives on the old homestead and raises mules and Guernsey cattle.
The Nathan Palmer property is owned by Pem Rose's wife and is much run
down. Chas. Palmer lives where he always did but has no post office. It
is all R.F.D. now. Alvin Palmer is living but his old shop is about as
near gone down as he is. A nice house is built on the old Dan Bixby farm
and is owned by Ray Palmer. Elmer Strait lives on the old farm yet but
drive faster next is Burt Palmer, Next old Slingerland farm worked by Lester
Early a son in law. Abraham S. and wife are both dead. Next James Lay property
owned by Harry Hulslander one of Charleys boys. Next Sam Rockwell has a
new house. Next Geo Smith farm owned by Bert Squires who also owns the
one next to it. He married Ida Smith. Next George Squires farm. Mrs. Squires
lives there the farm is worked by Al Oby(?) Smith. Next is Joe Strange
just the same as ever. He once told Uncle Jerome in my hearing that he
had two things to be thankful for – one was that he was a democrat the
other was he had no wife. We’ll go on. The Fayette Gray place is owned
by John Strange who married Ed Gray’s daughter. Next is Isaac Squires farm
owned by E.R. Orvis’ wife - and mostly by wife - you remember her. Next
is Geo Robbins ever the same slap and slather though a pretty good fellow.
Next is the spot in Robbins Hill where many guns have been made and lots
of ammunition been wasted and no good thing ever done until the good Lord
or the other fellow come and got Old Bill Robbins – no one lives on the
property. Do you remember the socks that old Jane stole out of our store?
Well I have you in sight of the Burg and I think you can find your way
in so I will have you until some other time and I will take you around
and introduce you to the strangers. We are well and hope you all are. This
is your Christmas Present.
||9 Dec 1909
When I have been on earth about seventy five years and have moved up
towards that pole that Dr. Cook did not find, I believe I should like to
receive a letter from some of my friend who were yet living and traveling
the roads that I did when a boy. So if you will come down to Troy in your
mind and come up on Paynes Hill near the old Academy and start with me
I will take you to Mainesburg the town though old and nearly depopulated
by our living friends yet contains the remains of those that are dear to
us, and looking upon the surrounding hills and down the valleys will bring
to our minds many pleasant relationships. Well I have no auto so you will
have to ride behind a nice brown horse and I know you have not lost your
love for the horse, for this lives forever in the life of a Cudworth or
any one who has any of the blood in him. Well we must start or we will
not get to the Burg for Christmas. We will go down the hill across the
rail road and start up Maine St. and on our right we find a nice brick
building used as a Court House in place of the old Adams Hotel. On our
left instead of the old Payne shops and store we find dwellings and a hotel
called the Williams.
Photo at left - John W. DeWitt
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA