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October 7, 1999

History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches

By H. C. Bradsby, 1891

CHAPTER XXVI. Asylum Township



Pages 391-393

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STEPHEN DURELL located at the mouth of the creek since named in his honor-Durell creek-in 1789 or 1790,and built a house and sawmill there. In the fall of 1787, Benjamin Ackl,a Richard Benja-min and Amos Bennett came to what was afterward called Bennett's creek, and built sot-tie log houses. Amos Bennett came to Wyalusing as early, probably, as 1783-84, and lived there some five or six years. He built a little tub-mill at the falls, just below the road on Bennett's creek. The ruins of a sawmill now mark the site. He had a house on the flats below the present residence of William Storrs.

Richard Benjamin lived where H. L. Haight now lives. His children were Jonathan, John, Patty, Polly, Peter, David, Jesse, Sally, Hetty, Betsey, and Joshua, besides two who died in infancy. Jonathan married Leah, daughter of Benjamin Ackla, and lived on the Seeley hill, and died February 1, 1847, aged seventy-seven years. The property is now owned by William Storrs. Deacon Reuben Wells and a Mr. Shaw came to the Gilbert place at an early day, and planted a piece of corn. They lived in a log house near the spring, a few rods below the residence of Richard Gilbert. Samuel Gilbert came about 1790 and lived a year or two at Kingston, and then moved to the farm now occupied by Richard Gilbert. Charles Homet emigrated from France to America in January, 1793, and settled in Asylum in 1796. He was one of the French families who remained in Bradford, and did not return, after the restoration, to his native land. He died December 29, 1838, in the seventieth year of his age. His wife, Theresa (Schillinger), preceded him January 3, 1823, aged sixty-three years. Mr. Homet married, for his second wife, Cynthia Sickler, in 1827, by whom he had one daughter, the wife of E. T. Fox.

Anthony Vander Poel came about 1790, to Bradford county. He was the ancestor of the large family of that name now in Bradford. His first stopping-place was Aquaga, where lie remained a year or two and then came to Durell creek, and from thence moved into the French settlement and engaged in the employ of that colony. He built a small log mill on Fowler creek, and lived there four or five years, but, being despoiled of the title to his land, removed to Wyalusino, and after a short time moved to the hill near -Moody's pond, where he died, aged ninety-nine years, in the spring of 1838, and was buried on Ellis hill. Isaac Wheeler came into Asylum along with Anthony Vander Poel. . Nicholas Johnson, a brother of Isaac Wheeler's wife, came some time between 1797 and 1800, but located at first at Towanda, where he lived for several years, and then settled in Asylum. . About two years after Nicholas Johnson came into tile county his brother Richard also came, but never gained any permanent location, and, with his wife, is buried at Frenchtown. . Richard Wheeler, a brother of Isaac Wheeler, also came about the time the Johnsons did, but returned to New York, and finally came back again, and died here. Ambrose Vincent, who married a sister of Mrs. Isaac Wheeler, came about 1804-6. Henry Cornelius married another sister of Mrs. Wheeler, was a Revolutionary pensioner, and came into the county soon after the Johnsons. He died on the mountain below Towanda, on a little farm he bought there.

Samuel Seeley was a Revolutionary soldier. He came tothe Connecticut grant before the war. After the war he came back to look after his family, but could not find them. Thinking the y were killed or haddlied, he went back to Goshen, N. Y., from whence he originally came, where he married Miss Deborah Benjamin, a sister of Richard Benjamin, and in 1802 came to Wyalusing creek, where lie lived a few years, and then removed to the Herrick place, where be remained some seventeen or eighteen years, then to where Keizer now lives, in 1827. In 1815 he built a sawmill near Myron Frisbies', but ere it was scarcely finished Hollenback served an ejectment on him, and he abandoned the place.

The Chilson family were early settlers in the town. Samuel and Albert were the heads of the family, but Albert, after two or three years, moved west.. Samuel Chilson lived on the Ackla place, and died February, 1846, at the age of eighty-five years. Samuel Chilson (2d), Jehiel and Joel, nephews of the elder Samuel, came to the county about 1811 ; a brother, Asa, coming in 1809. Robert, George, Anson and William were also brothers. Robert came in 1814, and Anson soon after the War of 1812 had closed; he serving therein. Robert lived and died on the farm occupied by his son Benjamin, his death occurring about 1860. William came in 1813; removed to Smithfield, where he died. He lived with his brother Samuel, in Asylum, a number of years. . Nathan Bailey, Harry Ellsworth, John Stringer and Joseph H. Ellis were all among the early settlers.

Macedonia - Solomon Cole was probably the earliest settler in this part of the township of Asylum, and came thereto first before the battle of Wyoming. His son, Samuel, was killed in that massacre, and he himself was also present there. Molly Cole's husband was also killed at the same time. Mr. Cole owned at one time all of the land lying in the bend of the river at this point. A son, Solomon, succeeded to a part of the tract in or about 1796. Philip Fox, who married a sister of Solomon Cole (the second), was residing in this place when his brother-in-law came. Three brothers of Solomon also came: Elisha, Abishai and John. Abishai lived on the Kellum place, John lived near Solomon, and Elisha owned the farm where Warford resides. He subsequently v removed to Towanda creek, a little below Monroeton, where Salisbury Cole now resides. Abishai and John moved out of the State. Solomon died on his farm and was buried in Macedonia. His children were: Samuel, Sally, Daniel, Benjamin, Solomon and John, who grew up to maturity. Samuel died in the town; Sally married a All'. Richards and lives in Warren; Daniel owned the Bishop farms; Benjamin died in Genesee at his grandfather's. Rev. Elisha Cole, of Towanda creek, was a son of Samuel Cole. Moses Warford and Benjamin Coolbaugh were among, the earliest settlers.

Sartile Holden came from Vermont. He had pursued an absconding debtor into the State of New York, and, by taking lumber and staves, had secured his debt. These he attempted to run down the river (Susquehanna), but his raft lodged on Cole's island. He then removed his lumber to the shore, near Mr. Birney's, in Standing Stone, and, being a cooper, worked up his staves into barrels. While engaged on this job he became acquainted with the country, bought the tract on which he afterward lived, and moved his family here in 1802. His family consisted of four sons and three daughters.

Jabez Sill came into the town in 1816, with his son Jabez. He was at the battle of Wyoming, though but fourteen years old, and stood sentry at the fort during the fight He died at his son's house (with whom he had lived since 1830) in July, 1838, aged seventy-five years.

Richard and Charles Townley were early residents of the town. They conveyed their interest in lands to M. de Noailles. A " Macedonian Cry."-The name of Macedonia was given to the Cole settlement by reason of a sermon preached by Amos Akla, in which the words " Macedonia," 11 Macedonian cry," 11 Come over and help us," etc., were used very freely. The boys took up the phrases, is and called the settlement Macedoni , a cognomen which has ever since clung to that part of the town.

Asylum was laid out on the Shoefelt flats nearly opposite Rummerfield, in Asylum township; platted about 1794, and several improvements were placed on it in 1795 ; it contained about 2,000 acres in the bend in the river ; it was intended by the French refugees to found here a city, and at one time there were over fifty houses, a horse- mill, and a stilt ; a cemetery ground was laid out on what is now the Gordon property. Surveyor John A. Biles, of Homet's Ferry, has found among the old records a plot of the old town. The land is all now private property and cultivated.

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