Welcome to the Lindley Presho Genealogical and Historical Society Blog.
Our mission researching and preserving our history and genealogy.
Retired Lindley Town Historian - Catherine "Kitty" Pierce.
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The word "Post" in naming the township is spelled without beginning with a capital letter, thus bringing a memorable, historian mark to a common level of fence posts. The writing of the petition indicates practiced hand, word applied and the spelling is correct except as to the word "applyd". The signatures are clear and most of them are businesslike. Evidentally, these signers had been taught penmanship. The ancient town record, nearly eighty years old is well worth preservation in showing the public spirit of the early settlers, and the earnest effort to secure an important public improvement. In those days much of the travel to the new settlements here came by way of Williamsport, the Block House and the Tioga River. The early settlers encountered great hardships ,and were subjected to much expense in keeping passable the lines of travel. The first road from what is now Blossburg was on the east side of the Tioga River, probably to avoid building bridges over Crooked Creek and the Cowanesque River. The projectfor a new roadindicates that the valley on the west side of the river north of Lawrenceville had become more or less cleared of the forest, and improvement demanded an outlet. The first bridge across the mouth of the Canisteo was not built till about 1833. The early inhabitants in all of these river valleys suffered much inconvenience, often serious peril by the spring and fall freshets that rendered fording impossible.
Notes by Kitty .
The road from Williamsport, Pa was called the Williamson Road after the founder of Bath, NY-- Col. Charles Williamson. It was started in 1792 in Nothumberland, Pa. The Block House is Liberty, Pa today. There is an annual Block House celebration there each summer.
Like most local residents, I was under the impression that the 1792 Roadfollowed the path of old U.S. Rt.15 in Lindley until I read this article. It may explain why the Corning /Blossburg Railroad-1839/40 is on the east side of the Tioga River, also.
Thanks to Ellis Grist -(who grew up on the Koplin farm across the tracks from the present Harris Farm ), there is a copy of the deed of the Koplin/Grist farm ( Now in Town of Lindley Historian files at the Lindley Town Hall. ). The deed mentions a ford in the Tioga River on this property .This would be someplace close to the present Wetlands built during the I 99 highway construction. This FORD would have provided a crossing to the west side to the Tioga River It is interesting to note that the designers of the present Interstate I99 -considered some of the same issues that Col. Williamson, Benjamin Patterson and the German road builders faced back in 1792..
The story of the building of the Williamson Road is a topic for another day. The Joyce Tice website has some of the story..
I have added more explanations in red for those unfamiliar with early local history-Kitty
The old town of Painted Post, then included what is now the territory of six towns,viz. Lindley, Caton , Corning, Hornby, Erwin and Campbell. The above document evidently originated in Lindley where most of the signatures were procured, but to give it force and ensure compliance , the names of prominent farmers or business men residing in the vicinity of the "Painted post" were obtained. John Knox was the founder of Knoxville (now called Corning Northside), Capt.Samuel Erwinwasthe grandfatherof Samuel S. Erwin of Corning and was the son ofCol. Arthur Erwin who purchased the wilderness (in 1789 )-- which is now the township of Erwin. Frank Erwin was the brother of Capt. Erwin . Rufus Gorton was for the series of years the owner of Mill property below where the village (Corning )now stands. (Gorton Cemetery is on Park Ave-Corning ). Henry Mc Cormick resided east where Gibson now lies. Robert T. Bonham was a farmer in vicinity of Painted Post. These signers were not especially interested as the improved road was to the south (of Corning). It says -it was to run to the "Cansateer" which doubtless meant the junction of the Canisteo River with the Tioga six miles south of the "Painted post. " Of the other signers James Ford was Judge Ford of Lawrenceville,Pa, Eleazer Lindsley was the Judge and Postmaster mentioned. Dr. Ezekiel Mulford was the son-in -law of Col.Lindsley, the pioneer, and he was the grandfather of William O. Campbell of Corning, John P.Ryerrs was the owner of the four thousand acre tract east of the Tioga River(-from Erwin town line to Tannery Creek Rd --Tioga River to Caton town line ----purchased from Col.Lindsley in 1792 --- when Col. Lindsey sold the south end of the 6 square mile tract of land that he purchased in 1789 ). Benjamin Patterson was the famous hunter and guide.
It is noticeable that the petitioners are somewhat peremptory in their language, as they not only request but 'enjoin' the Road Commissioners to grant the specified appropriation
. Such a petition now would be regarded as a command, and be for that reason rejected.
Next Part 4 More explanation for the readers.
I-99/U.S 15 2016 West side of Tioga River
Can you image what these men would say if they saw the road 208 years after their 1809 petition ????