USGenWeb Archives - Pennsylvania




History of Sullivan County Pennsylvania


by Thomas J. Ingham


The Lewis Publishing Company


Chicago: 1899


A Project of the Sullivan County PA USGenWeb Archives




This is a history of about two-thirds of the first century of the settlements and improvements in what is now Sullivan county. I have not attempted a narrative of events within the memory of the present generation, but some recent events have been naturally drawn into the narrative.

Those who read this history will feel that the conclusion has not been rounded up, but left with jagged ends. This seems unavoidable, for events which make history are constantly transpiring, and the historian can only stop at the most convenient point.

When I first passed through Sullivan county, in 1850, the most of it was a primeval forest; but old settlements, like islands in a sea of woods, were scattered through it. Around the Forks, and in Elkland, Fox and Hillsgrove were old farms, free from stumps, with stone fences and old buildings. In Shrewsbury, separated by miles of dense woods from the Forks, was a settlement which seemed to have been finished forty years before. A thread of small farms along Muncy creek and some old farms along North Mountain and at Elk Lick constituted Davidson; while far away from these settlements, and separated from them by lonely wildernesses, was the township of Cherry. The new county seat, Laporte, was a mere stumpy clearing, with a few small buildings, surrounded by miles of dark woods.

The peculiarities of these old settlements excited my curiosity and led me to inquire from the older settlers what brought them into such a wilderness at such an early day. I made memorandums of information thus received. After I had accumulated considerable information of this kind, I published in the Press and Standard a series of articles relating to each township, which attracted some attention and brought criticisms, corrections and new facts.

In 1876 I condensed the most striking facts in relation to the history of the county into an address which I delivered at Laporte on the Fourth of July. I did not publish this, because I felt that it was incomplete and I desired to add more to it. In 1894 I delivered a historical address at the Forksville fair, in which I used the material of my former address with additions and corrections. This I declined to have published for reasons already expressed. An address on the Molyneux, Bird and Warren families, which had been prepared with great research by George M. Pardoe, Esq., was read at the same fair and published in newspaper and pamphlet form. About this time Mr. William Meylert was employed by the state librarian to write a series of articles on the history of Sullivan county, and I placed my two addresses and all of my manuscripts at his disposal. He made such use of them as he desired, and made extensive researches of his own, which he combined in a number of articles published in a Harrisburg newspaper, and which I believe are preserved in the state library in scrap-book form. Mr. Meylert has preserved them in the same form, and has given me free use of his scrap-book, for which I here tender him my thanks. I also tender thanks to Mr. Pardoe for the copy of his address which he furnished to me and which I have used freely. I am indebted to Ulysses Bird, Esq., for facts collected by him and published in a newspaper several years ago, and also for his kindness in loaning me the docket of Edward A. Eldred, Esq., and other old and valuable manuscripts.

I cannot begin to name all of the persons who from time to time have given me information in personal interviews and by letters; and to name a part would seem invidious. Many of them are deceased; to those living I tender my thanks. I have not made use of nearly all of the information collected, because the publishers did not desire a lengthy history, but I have used that which seems most interesting. I am indebted to my brother, J. W. Ingham, of Sugar Run, for his assistance in collating the material and in writing the history. Without his efficient aid I could not have completed the work at the present time. Having given just credit to so many others about the only credit I can claim for myself is perseverance in collecting and preserving facts. This I may call a labor of love, for it has been done without any compensation. When I came into this county, nearly fifty years ago, I was treated with the greatest of kindness by the people then living, and from time to time as occasion has offered, I have experienced many favors from the rapidly increasing population, which I fully appreciate. My heartiest wish now is that the people who continue to inhabit these picturesque uplands and delightful valleys may be prosperous and happy.





History - Part I

History - Part II





Contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by Joy Fisher


Sullivan County PA USGenWeb Archives


USGenWeb Archives Project: Pennsylvania


USGenWeb Archives


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