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History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches

By H. C. Bradsby, 1891

CHAPTER XXXV. LeRoy Township
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Page 465 - 466

G. OAKLEY is reported to have settled in LeRoy about the year 1800, on Towanda creek, at what is called LeRoy corners. He is regarded as the first settler, though this is not very positive. The brothers Hugh and Sterling Holcomb it is known came about the same time, and some say they were before Oakley ; they came from old Sheshequin, as Ulster was then called, and also settled near the corners on what has always been known as the " Holcomb farms."

in 1850, the following is authentically given as the settlements in LeRoy: At the east end of the township, William Cole, Isaac and David Wooster, Isaac Chaapel and Seeley Crofut, George Head, Jesse Morse, Hugh Holcomb, Sterling Holcomb, Stephen Wilcox, Mr. Granger, Joseph Wallis, Daniel Ingrain, William Hinman, William Hays, Mr. Cobb, Mr. Knight ' Mr. Segar and David Andrus. This constitutes a full list of the first settlers, and the particular locations of the original arrivals can be generally fixed by the residences of their descendants.

It is said the first school was taught in the house of Sterling Holcomb, but just who the first teacher was is not known.

Elder Thomas Smiley was chiefly instrumental in organizing the first church. lie lived near where is now the Baptist Church. Elder Smiley soon after left the county; he was a vigorous Baptist preacher. Among other names associated with this church are those of Elder N. H. Ripley and Levi Baldwin.

LeRoy was set off from Canton and Franklin townships, and first elections were at LeRoy Corners, embracing about eight miles in length; the division line ran near Davis VanDyke's.

In 1812 Hugh Holcomb built the first sawmill on the small stream at LeRoy Corners. About 1840 the same man built a grist and saw mill on the main stream.

In 1840 the Disciple Church was organized at the Corners by members of the church from Granville Centre, and in 1851 they erected their house of worship, naming it " Christian Church," and in the course of time put a bell on it. In 1855 the Baptists built their church at LeRoy Corners, and shortly after this the Methodists built their church in the western part of the township. Soon after this a publichouse for the sale of liquor was opened at LeRoy Corners by P. Morse. The first store was by Samuel Bailey, and thus the Corners became the leading and most active village or hamlet rather, in the township.

1867 "Gazeteer " writing to the Northern Tier-Gazette, of Troy, says : "It has become a matter of notoriety that mountainous western Bradford has become noted for its quantity and quality of butter, as well as the productions of its soil, and our hills and valleys are being prospected by men having ample means." It is needless to say, at this day., that this industry is still prosperous, and Bradford county butter has wide and merited reputation.

In 1818 a settlement was commenced on the south side of Towanda creek, and among the settlers were Alpheus Holcomb, Buckley Chaapel, Eli Holcomb, Isaac Parkhurst, Ansel Tillotson Samuel Hoagland, Benjamin Stone, Orison Royce, Thomas Harris, Isaac Wilcox, Amos -Bennett and Esau Bagley.

In 1823 a road was opened, commencing near Nathan Tabor's in Canton township; and running on the south side of Towanda creek to W. B. Spalding's, in Franklin township. It was surveyed by Howard Scalding of Troy. On this road, nearly opposite LeRoy Corners, Eli Holcomb built a log gristmill, in 1823, on a small stream having its head in a large swamp of about forty acres on Towanda mountain. He built a. dam at the outlet of. this lake, about sixteen feet high. This log building was torn away, and he built a frame in its place with two run of stone.

In the year 1848 the Millerites had preached the sure coming of the end of the world ; some believed, some shrugged their shoulders, while others laughed outright at the nonsense. -But one dark and dismal night, after it bad rained and rained for days, and the sun had quit shining, and at the hour of night when graveyards are -wont to yawn, the inhabitants in the vicinity of the mill were startled from their slumbers by an awful rumbling roaring and quaking-the bravest said " hurricane! " some said "earthquake! " and others said, " put on your ascension robes." Some got up and hurriedly dressed, others fled to their storm cellars, and others thought just as well to die in bed. But after matters had q uieted a little, the boldest ventured to see what was up, and they found the (lam had given way, and the waters were pouring down the mountain side, carrying all before them; great rocks and trees were carried headlong in the awful rush of waters. The foundations of the mill were washed out, the building swung around, and was whelmed in the stream, some cattle and property were lost, but no human lives. The mill and dam were rebuilt. . . . In 1856 Mr. Mott built his tannery near the mill.

LeRoy is the principal village in the township, and has two large country stores, two small concerns, and a church. It is on the Towanda and Canton road.

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