History of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania

No county of interior Pennsylvania possesses a greater degree of historic interest than Northumberland. Shamokin, one of the most important Indian towns in the State, was situated within its present limits, and here, at the coufluence of the North and West Branches of the Susquehanna. Fort Augusta was erected for the defense of the Province in the French and Indian war. This region was constantly harassed by hostile savages during the Revolutionary period; no part of the Pennsylvania frontier suffered more from their incursions, as "The Great Runaway." the fall of Fort Freeland. and numerous lesser calamities abundantly testify. Organized in 1772, the county once extended from the Lehigh river to the Allegheny, with the New York line as its northern boundary, embracing more than one third the area of the State, and with eminent propriety it has been called "The Mother of Counties."

The physical features of the county its aboriginal history, and the contest for possession of its soil the military movements upon its territory in the Colonial and Revolutionary- periods the gradual progress of its early settlement, with the customs and characteristics of pioneer life its civil organization and administration its material resources in soil and mineral treasures, and industrial activity in the past and present the part taken by its citizens in the Revolution, the war of 1812. and the civil war the educational and religious interests of the community, with biographical mention of many of its citizens, are included in the plan of this work, and have been treated with such fairness as its comprehensive character would permit.

Herbert C. Bell, of Leitersburg, Maryland, is the author of the general history (Chapters X and XI excepted). The editorial supervision of the work was intrusted to Mr. Bell, whose thoroughness and accuracy in historical research and narration have been acquired by a varied experience in this department of literary effort. In this responsible position he received the assistance and co-operation of the publishers, whose long connection with the business has made them familiar with all the details of local historical work.

The Shamokin coal field and its development (Chapters X and XI) have been treated by Dr. J.J. John, of Shamokin. In these chapters the history of the mining industry in Northiunberland county is presented to the public in a connected narrative for the first time. Doctor John's long residence in the coal region and intimate acquaintance with the subject of which he writes are ample guaranty of the thorough execution of his work.

An important feature of the publication is its several chapters of personal and family biography, the data for which were obtained from those to whom they relate or their descendants; and in order to insure accuracy, the matter was afterward submitted to them for correction.

It would be impossible to mention here every one who has rendered valuable aid in the preparation of this volume. The assistance given by Dr. E. H. Awl, John B. Packer, W.I. Greenough, S.P. Wolverton, and H.B. Masser, of Sunbury, Dr. J.J. John, of Shamokin, and the late John F. Wolfinger, of Milton, is, however, worthy of special notice. Appropriate acknowledgments are due and gladly tendered to the public press of the county for access to newspaper files, and words of encouragement; to county and borough officials for courtesies shown: to the descendants of the pioneers in every locality for information furnished; to attorneys, physicians, and other professional men; to the pastors of churches; to the leading spirits in various societies; to the owners and managers of manufacturing and other business establishments; to those enterprising citizens who gave us their patronage, and without whose support we could not have succeeded; and in general to every one who has contributed in any manner to the success of the work.

Neither time nor money nor labor has been spared to make this volume an authentic and reliable source of information concerning the early history and material development of the county, and the various commercial, social, and religious activities of its people. We take pride in the knowledge that we have redeemed our promises, and furnished our patrons a work which every intelligent citizen can justly appreciate.

 

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I.
THE COLONIAL PERIOD... 17-42

CHAPTER II.
THE COLONIAL PERIOD (Concluded)... 42-98

CHAPTER III.
THE REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD... 99-142

CHAPTER IV.
ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION... 142-198

CHAPTER V.
THE BENCH AXD BAR... 201-260

CHAPTER VI.
THE MEDICAL PROFESSION... 261-273

CHAPTER VII.
THE PRESS... 173-296

CHAPTER VIII.
INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS... 297-328

CHAPTER IX.
AGRICULTURE... 329-346

CHAPTER X.
THE SHAMOKIN COAL FIELD... 347-357

CHAPTER XI.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE SHAMOKIN COAL FIELD... 358-396

CHAPTER XII.
WAR OF 1812... 391-396

CHAPTER XIII.
THE CIVIL WAR... 396-444

CHAPTER XIV.
SUNBURY... 444-514

CHAPTER XV.
NORTHUMBERLAND... 515-545

CHAPTER XVI.
MILTON... 545-591

CHAPTER XVII.
SHAMOKIN... 591-655

CHAPTER XVIII.
MT. CARMEL... 655-676

CHAPTER XIX.
WATSONTOWN... 677-692

CHAPTER XX.
TURBUT TOWNSHIP... 692-697

CHAPTER XXI.
UPPER AUGUSTA TOWNSHIPS... 698-705

CHAPTER XXII.
LOWER AUGUSTA TOWNSHIP... 705-707

CHAPTER XXIII.
UPPER MAHANOY TOWNSHIP... 708-710

CHAPTER XXIV.
LOWER MAHANOY TOWNSHIP... 711-714

CHAPTER XXV.
POINT TOWNSHIP... 714-716

CHAPTER XXVI.
CHILLISQUAQUE TOWNSHIP... 716-726

CHAPTER XXVII.
SHAMOKIN TOWNSHIP...726-734

CHAPTER XXVIII.
LITTLE MAHANOY TOWNSHIP... 734-736

CHAPTER XXIX.
RUSH TOWNSHIP... 737-742

CHAPTER XXX.
JACKSON TOWNSHIP... 743-748

CHAPTER XXXI.
COAL TOWNSHIP... 749-751

CHAPTER XXXII.
DELAWARE TOWNSHIP... 752-764

CHAPTER XXXIII.
LEWIS TOWNSHIP... 765-769

CHAPTER XXXIV.
CAMERON TOWNSHIP... 769-772

CHAPTER XXXV.
JORDAN TOWNSHIP... 772-777

CHAPTER XXXVI.
ZERBE TOWNSHIP... 777-783

CHAPTER XXXVII.
MT. CARMEL TOWNSHIP... 784-786

CHAPTER XXXVIII.
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP... 786-790

CHAPTER XXXIX.
ROCKEFELLER TOWNSHIP... 790-795

CHAPTER XL.
RALPHO TOWNSHIP... 796-800

CHAPTER XLI.
GEARHART TOWNSHIP... 800-803

CHAPTER XLII.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES... 804-86O

CHAPTER XLIII.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES... 860-967

CHAPTER XLIV.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES... 967-1013

CHAPTER XLV.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES... 1013-1067

CHAPTER XLVI.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES... 1068-1092

CHAPTER XLVII.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES... 1093-1106

CHAPTER XLVIII.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES... 1106-1141

CHAPTER XLIX.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES... 1141-1160

CHAPTER L.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES... 1160-1175

CHAPTER LI.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES... 1175-1217

CHAPTER LII.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES... 1217-1239

INDEX... 1241-1250

 

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A comprehensive survey of the topography of Pennsylvania distinguishes three general divisions. The southeastern section of the State, a region of wide, fertile valleys and irregular hills, forms part of the Atlantic coast plain: on the west and northwest is a plateau of moderate elevation, deeply indented by numerous watercourses; while a section of the great Appalachian mountain system, averaging about fifty miles in breadth with a maximum length of two hundred thirty miles, comprises the intervening territory.