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History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches

By H. C. Bradsby, 1891

CHAPTER XLIII. Sheshequin Township
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Pages 485 - 487

The name of this township is derived from the Indian, and is said to signify "the place a rattled." It is one of the loveliest valleys in Bradford County, extending along the Susquehanna River a distance of seven miles, beautiful and fertile. It was taken from old Ulster. The first settlement was May 30, 1783, the colonists being preceded by General Simon Spalding, who came up the from the Wyoming. The party consisted of General Spalding and his wife Ruth, their children, John, Ruth, Rebecca, Mary, Anna and George. Their son Chester Pierce Spalding was born in Sheshequin in 1784; the others were Joseph Kinney and wife, Sarah Spalding, Benjamin Cole, Colonel Fordham, Thomas Baldwin and Stephen Fuller. General Spalding came from Connecticut in 1774, first locating at Standing Stone in 1775. He was in command of a company in Sullivan's expedition in 1779, and in passing through Sheshequin Valley he beheld the beautiful land, and resolved to make it his future home.

Colonel John Spalding was the son of General Simon, and was a fifer in his father's company at 14 years of age; was also in the Sullivan expedition. Joseph Kinney was also a Revolutionary soldier; was wounded at Long Island, and for a period was in the Jersey prisonship. His first child, Simon Kinney, was the first white child born in Sheshequin.

Vine Baldwin, son of Thomas, is said to have been the first white child born in Sheshequin Valley after the war. In 1784 Obadiah, Samuel Gore and Arnold Franklin came from Wyoming. The old homestead of Obadiah Gore is described in the old records as a tract of land called "Indela Mooking. " situated on the east side of the northeast branch of the Susquehanna River, opposite an Indian settlement called "The Sheshequamung."

Judge Obadiah Gore was the son of Obadiah and Hannah (Park) Gore. He was commissioned judge at the organization of Luzerne county; removed to Ulster in 1783, and to Sheshequin in the next year; opened a store in the later place (the first in this section) in 1796, and continued it until 1803. He built a gristmill on the river opposite where is now "Valley House," and in 1807, the first gristmill in the township. He also built the first frame house in the township, in 1787, and also the first distillery; was appointed the first justice, in 1782. On his record the first marriage is that of Mathias Hollenback and Miss Sarah Hibbard - April 20,1782. Arnold Franklin was a member of one of the distinguished Franklin families of the Commonwealth. Seven of the Franklins were killed at the Wyoming battle, and John, Jonathan, Roswell and Jethiel were these seven brothers. Arnold, the settler mentioned above, was a son of Jonathan Franklin. Arnold was captured at Wyoming, but after three months captivity escaped on the Genesee, and made his way back to his brother, Uncle Roswell Franklin, at Kingston, where he and his cousin, Roswell, Junior, when about twenty years of age, were captured by the Indians and taken to Canada, where they were kept three years.

Moses Park came to Sheshequin about 1785, and taught, probably, the first school in the township. In 1786 Jeremiah Shaw, an old Revolutionary soldier, came to Sheshequin, with his son, Ebenezer, then a lad; this was the Shaw that lived to be over hundred years old. . Peter Snyder came in 1798. . Daniel Brink came in 1790; his father, Benjamin Brink, a Revolutionary soldier, improved the David Horton place. . Abel Newell, who married a daughter of Ethan Wilcox, was an early pioneer. . Colonel Joseph Kingsbury came in 1793, when aged nineteen; was a surveyor, and he married a daughter of General Spalding. Colonel Kingsbury was for many years one of the most distinguished men in the county. . Ichabod Blackman, and three sons, Franklin, Elishu and David S., were prominent among the early pioneers.

Hugh Rippiths, and Irishman, an early comer, improved the Patterson Farm at the lower end of Breakneck. He married Hulda Franklin.

Elishu Horton came to Sheshequin about 1794, and resided on the Ed. Brigham farm; his sons, who came with him, were William, Joshua, Elishu Jr. , Stephen and Gilbert; his son Richard came two years afterward, and purchased Arnold Franklin's improvement. The Hortons were a strong and splendid race of sturdy pioneers. Elishu Horton Sr., give a family party in 1850, at which eighty grandchildren were present.

Joshua Tuttle first settled in Ulster, but passed over to Sheshequin in 1798, and purchase of Josiah Newell. Jesse Smith came in 1802.

Captain Jabez Fish came in 1809. Zebulon Butler and Harry Spalding at that time had a small store near William Snyder's place.

Captain Fish is a prominent figure in the history of Wyoming. Living near him in Sheshequin was the old comrades in arms and suffering, Captain Stephen Fuller. The two men were prisoners in Wyoming.

Elishu Towner and sons - Enoch and John - improved the Cyrus Wheeler farm. Daniel Moore was a soldier in the War of 1818. . Christopher Avery was a brother of Judge Gore's wife.

Other early settlers were the Kennedys, Peter Bernard, James Bidlack, Timothy and Samuel Bartlett, Henry Boise, the Brokaw family, Lodowick Carter, Silas Carner, Henry Cleveland, John Dettrich, Christian Forbes, Dr. Zadaz Gillette, Jerome Gilbert, Freeman Gillette, William Preshier, Edward Griffin, Samuel Hoytt, Isaac S. Low, Samuel Thomas, Josiah B. Marshall, Mathew Rodgers, and David E. Weed.

Sheshequin, a village across the river from Ulster, as a large gristmill, a hotel and four stores. . Ghent is a post office in the eastern part of the township. . Black is a village south of Ghent. . Hornbrook is a post office in the southern part of the township.

Franklin Blue Stone Companies are located about four miles north of Towanda, having one of the best and finest quarries is in this portion of the State. The headquarters of this concern are in Philadelphia, and operations were actively commenced in August, 1889. The quarry was worked first extensively in 1874 by the Philadelphia Blue Stone Company, which failed, and the property passed to the present owners. Thirty-five men are employed, with all latest improved machinery for cutting and handling the stone by the company. It is a strip-mine, and the product is used in all parts of the country--south as far as the Gulf. The output of this plant is about $25,000 annually. Among other excellencies of the stone is the facility with which it splits, as well as its beauty and durability.

J. D. Morris' quarry, in Sheshequin Township, in what is called a "Quarry Glen," is a great blue stone quarry, where are employed twenty-five men; it has an annual output of about 200,000 tons, marketed largely in Philadelphia.

The first steam gristmill in Sheshequin Township was built by F. S. Ayer in 1870. . O. F. Ayer built this sawmill in 1868. 

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