History of Wayne County, Pennsylvania

In the year 1873, Hon. Geo. W. Woodward announced his purpose to write a history of Wayne county, and came hither to gather up materials for his work. Being a native of the county, reared and educated therein, and acquainted with many of the original settlers, also, having been a member of the conventions that framed the Constitutions of the State in 1838 and 1873, and a member of Congress, and judge of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, his position, legal attainments, and extensive knowledge peculiarly fitted him to write a popular history of his native county. In the summer of 1874 he told me that the task of compiling his history world take more time than he had at first anticipated; that he had written only a few pages, but that he intended to have it published by the commencement of the Centennial year. I never saw him afterwards, although I continued, at his request, to collect materials for his proposed work. He sailed for Europe, from Philadelphia, October 22d, 1874, and died at Home, May lOth, 1875, of pneumonia, complicated with Roman fever. Some months after the death of the Judge, his son, Hon. Stanley Woodward, of Wilkesbarre, generously returned to me all the manuscripts and material that I had collected for the construction of his father's history, He had written eleven pages. How large a hook he designed to write, and in what manner he would have arranged its contents, I know not. He strongly assured me of his wish that in case he should be unable to finish his work, that I should undertake the task of completing it. But it may be asked, is such a history needed? If it contained nothing but the truth, would it be valuable and interesting? Whatever the answers may be to these questions, it must be conceded that an important part of our knowledge is derived from history. Therefrom we learn the rise and progress of our country through darkness and sunshine, war and peace, to its present eminence among the nations of the earth. We respect and admire the Hebrew people who, although scattered abroad among all civilized nations, have preserved a history which, throughout Christendom, is believed to be commensurate with the morning of the world.

Almost every important county in Pennsylvania has published a history of its early settlement, the nationality of its people, their struggles, privations, and peculiar modes of living. Should the economy, industry, honesty, and self-denial of the primitive settlers be practiced for ten years to come, by all our inhabitants, the complaint of hard times would be heard no more in the land. There was little diversity in the hard experience of the pioneer settlers of Northern Pennsylvania. Many of them had been soldiers in the Revolutionary war, or were the children of those who had been impoverished thereby. Is there nothing in the history of such a people worthy of preservation?

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil, Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile. The short and simple annals of the poor.

Judge Woodward regretted that he had not begun at an earlier day to collect materials for his history, which might have been obtained from the old settlers themselves. But those old settlers are now all gone, and but very few of their children survive. If their history is ever written it must be done soon. Already some of it is fragmentary and uncertain; but such as it is, I have concluded, after much hesitation, to present what I have collected; not for fame, but as a tribute of respect to the people of my native county.

My main object will be to preserve a history of the primitive settlers, and of events which occurred in early times, not neglecting to give a cursory exhibit of the progress of the county from its erection to the present time.

As Pike county was formerly a part of Wayne, some of its history is so intermingled with ours, that it cannot, with propriety, be separated from it. The history of Palmyra in Pike county is so full of interest, and has been so well preserved, that I cannot forego the pleasure of giving it in detail, much of which I learned from the settlers themselves.

Those who have furnished sketches about the early settlers of their townships, will please accept the thanks of the writer. Want of space has force me to condense their contributions, hut the pith of them has been retained.

 

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I.
Woodward's Commencement 1

CHAPTER II.
The Indians 12

CHAPTER III.
Wayne County 32

CHAPTER IV.
Quadrupeds 42

CHAPTER V.
Birds 62

CHAPTER VI.
Fish 91

CHAPTER VII.
Reptiles 94

CHAPTER VIII.
Insects 95

CHAPTER IX.
Land-Titles and Surveys 97

CHAPTER X.
Judiciary 108

CHAPTER XI.
Townships Damascus 117

CHAPTER XII.
Townships Lebanon 140

CHAPTER XIII.
Townships Palmyra 156

CHAPTER XIV.
Townships Paupack 165

CHAPTER XV.
Townships Canaan 170

CHAPTER XVI.
Townships Mount Pleasant 186

CHAPTER XVII.
Townships Buckingham 215

CHAPTER XVIII.
Townships Manchester 224

CHAPTER XIX.
Townships Scott 236

CHAPTER XX.
Townships Preston 239

CHAPTER XXI.
Townships Salem 260

CHAPTER XXII.
Townships Sterling and Dreher 279

CHAPTER XXIII.
Townships Cherry Ridge 286

CHAPTER XXIV.
Townships - Dyberry 292

CHAPTER XXV.
Borough of Bethany 303

CHAPTER XXVI.
Townships Clinton 322

CHAPTER XXVII.
Borough of Prompton 330
CHAPTER XXVIII.
Townships Berlin 332

CHAPTER XXIX.
Townships Oregon 338

CHAPTER XXX.
Townships Texas 342

CHAPTER XXXI.
Borough of Honesdale 354

CHAPTER XXXII.
Palmyra, Pike County 381

CHAPTER XXXIII.
Miscellaneous 387

CHAPTER XXXIV.
Pike County 406

 

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The territory which constitutes the counties of Wayne and Pike, in the State of Pennsylvania, was set off from the county of Northampton, in pursuance of an act of Legislature, passed on the 21st of March, 1798. "All that part of Northampton county," said the act, "lying, and being to the northward of a line to be drawn, and beginning at the west end of George Michael's farm, on the river Delaware, in Middle Smithfield township, and from thence a straight line to the mouth of Trout Creek, on the Lehigh, adjoining Luzerne county, shall be and the same is hereby erected into a county henceforth to be called Wayne." This line of excision separated from Northampton not only the territory of the present counties of Wayne and Pike, but also two townships, subsequently taken from Pike and incorporated with other townships of Northampton, to form the present county of Monroe.