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K\»A. '\'b 

Piatt. J. C. 

Reminiscences of the earl 
y history of Dark Hollow. 

Slocum Hollow. Harrison. 

Lackawanna Iron Works. S 
crantonia and Scranton, P 
a. : 


f\ OF 

The EARiiY History 



\)\K\ H°^^°^' 3'-°^^M H°^'-°^' |-]aI^I^ISOnI 
IjACf^AVAf^NA jROrJ yORl^S^ 


^cpantonI, Pa. 


AND Science, November 9, 18S6, 

BY J. e. FLATT. 





Ren]ii]isGei]Ges :f the Earlj History 


^^* ^SCRANTON, PA." 

Read Before The Lackawanna Institute of History 
AND Science, Nov. 9, 1886. 

". President^ Ladies and Gentlcynen : 

It is with great diffidence that I have made an 

xort to respond to the request to prepare a paper 

or this Society on " the earl}^ historj^ of Scran- 

011 " — which is herein understood to include only 

territory which formed the borough of Scran- 

j and not the entire cit}^, — for there have been 

\ eady published not less than a dozen histories''' 

^ ..f the Wj^oming and Lackawanna Valleys and 

Scranton, and I have been compelled to repeat 

■ inch matter that has already appeared — a consid- 

; rable portion of which I originally furnished. 

The early histor}^ of this portion of the coal 

*Miner's, Stone, Peck, Chapman's, Pierce, Hollister's 3 edi- 
! \ tions, White's 3 editions, Gallatin. Clarke, Mussell & Co. 

J' 'i 

■i ^ (/i 

^ ^ 



Reminiscences of Early Histoiy 

basin is so closel}^ connected with that of Wyoming, 
that it is difficult to separate them ; and to separate 
the history of the " Iron Works " from that of 
Scranton itself is impossible. 

Connecticut by its charter, (granted in 1662,) 
covered the forty-second degree of latitude and ex- 
tended " from Narragansett river on the east to the 
South sea on the west," excepting such lands as 
were then occupied by prior settlers ; namely. New 
York and New Jersey. 

Nearly nineteen years afterwards Wm. Penn 
obtained a grant of lands on the west side of the 
Delaware river extending northward to the fort}- 
third degree of latitude ; this covered a part of the 
territory embraced in the Connecticut charter. 

Miner's historj' states that in 1762 a considc- 
able number of emigrants had arrived in Wyoniiu i 
Valle}^ from Connecticut and "after sowing graiv 
they returned to their families, with whom, ear 
in the following spring, they came back." 

Pierce's annals state that "the first settlers froi 1 
Connecticut, who came to New York, (coming in 
1762 and 1763,) crossed the Hudsou river at or 
near Newburgh and, proceeding westward, passed 
the Delaware river at its junction with Shohola 
creek. From this point the}', followed an Indian 
path along Roaring Brook to the Lackawanna; 
river, and thence by another Indian path to the 



Scran ton. Pa. 

place of destination. The emigrants of 1769 fol- 
lowed the same route, but being accompanied by 
carts drawn b}^ oxen, they were compelled to use 
the axe ; and from this period we date the first 
wagon road from the Delaware to the north branch 
of the Susquehanna. 

The late Mr. Allen Secor told me some years 
since, that the old road did not run through Dun- 
more corners, but nearly east from where the street 
railwa}/ to Dunmore now passes under the Erie 
and Wyoming Railroad Company's branch from 
Number Six to Scranton. 

It appears to be generally understood that 
about 1786 or 1788, Phillip Abbott from Connecti- 
cut, built a log house near Roaring Brook ( on 
some of the old maps " Gully Creek,") a little be- 
low where the old Red House ( built by Bbenezer 
Slocum ) stood. That not long afterwards he 
built a small grist mil?^- near the old Grist Mill 
dam, which dam was in use until August, 1885, 
when it was carried awa}^ b}^ a freshet and aban- 
doned. Steam power is now used to run the mill. 

'•■Since the above was read before the Institute, I have met 
Rev. J. D. Waller, of Bloomsburg, who says that Ashber Wal- 
ler—a local Methodist preacher who afterwards moved to Ohio— 
" built the first flouring mill on the Lackawanna." 

The father of J. D. W., then living at what is now South 
Wilkes-BArre, helped raise the mill. He came up with an ox 
team and took back pine lumber to use in a house he was then 

Reniiniscences of Early History, 

James Abbott became interested with his 
brother Phillip, in October of the same year, and 
Reuben Taylor in 1789. In 1790 John Howe pur- 
chased the mill of Abbotts & Taylor, and doubt- 
less the land, for Mr. Joseph Slocum ( now residing 
in our midst at the ripe age of 86, with his mind 
as clear as ever ) , says that his father, Bbenezer 
Slocum, purchased his land of John Howe in 1797 
and moved his family here from Wyoming Valley 
in 1798. 

Mr. Joseph Slocum was born in 1800, in 
Wilkes-Barre, when his mother was there on a 

The first name of the place was Dark Hollow, 
Ebenezer Slocum named it Unionville, but it soon 
became known as Slocum Hollow and successively 
Lackawanna Iron Works, Harrison, Scrantonia 
and finally Scranton. 

The " Old Red House, " — which stood about 
seventy-five or one hundred feet west of the west- 
erly corner of the grain mill, built by Scrantons 
& Piatt in 1850, and now standing — was built by 
Ebenezer Slocum in 1S05 and occupied in 1806. 
It was the first frame house built in this neighbor- 
hood and was torn down in May, 1875, to make 
more room for the steel works of the Lackawanna 
Iron & Coal Co. 

What is now the blast furnace dam was first 

Scranton^ Pa. 7 

built by Ebenezer Slocum and James Duwaiii ( or 
Duane), in 1799, for an iron forge which was 
erected near it. The dam was soon carrried out 
by a freshet, which discouraged Mr. Duwain. Mr. 
Slocum's brother, Benjamin, succeeded Mr. Du- 
wain as a partner in the iron business, and in 1800 
the dam was rebuilt. 

In 1828 Joseph Slocum rebuilt the dam and 
with his brother, Samuel, built a saw^ mill which 
was removed by Scrantons, Grant & Co. to make 
room for the first blast furnace built here — " old 
Number One." 

During 1885 and 1886 the L. I.'& C. Co. built 
a solid cut stone dam in the same 'place, which 
will probably withstand all future freshets. 

The partnership of Hbenezer and Benjamin 
Slocum was dissolved in 1826, and the latter re- 
moved to Tunkhannock. 

Mr. Ebenezer Slocum died here July 25th, 
1832, and his brother Benjamin, in Tunkhannock, 
on the 5th of the same month. 

The Slocums commenced distilling whisky 
about the time the forge was built — 1799. 

The old stone house under the hill and near 
the old grist mill, was known as the '' lower dis- 
tillery." This building was taken down in April, 
1854, by the L. I. & C. Co. to build a retaining 
wall where it stood. A wooden building which 

8 Reminiscences of Early History. 

stood where numbers 2 and 3 furnaces are now,, 
was known as the " upper distillery," and Mr. 
Benjamin Slocum lived in the upper part of it. 
This building was taken down by Scrantons & 
Piatt in 1848 to make room for building the above 
furnaces. Both of these buidings were used as 
residences when I moved here in 1846, and until 
they were taken down. 

The last whisky was made in the " upper dis- 
tillery " in 1824, ^1^^ ii^ the lower one in Dec. 1826. 
The last iron was made in the old forge, June 10, 
1822, and Mr. Joseph Slocum has carefully pre- 
served the old hammer that was used to make it. 


The first postoffice in this township was estab- 
lished here* Januarj^ loth, 181 1, under the name 
of " Providence." Its location here is the best of 
evidence that it was then, as now, the business 
centre of this neighborhood, doubtless owing to 
its grist and saw mill, iron forge and distilleries. 

I am indebted to Hon. Joseph A. Scranton for 
a late letter from Third Assistant Postmaster Gen- 
eral, A. D. Hazen, which states that the postoffice 

*It should be noticed that though the name of the postofHee 
was '* Providence" from the first, it was really first located in 
what became Scranton, and was removed to Providence corners 
by Mr. Vaughn, thus leaving the old locality without a local post- 
office for some time prior to the spring of 1850. 


Scrauton^ Pa. 9 

at Unionville was established Jan. 10, 1811, under 
the name of " Providence," and the Hyde Park 
postoffice July 14, 1832, and both continued under 
their respective names until merged into the car- 
rier delivery of Scranton, Oct, 22, 1883. Also that 
the office of " Scrantonia " was established April 
I, 1850, and changed to " Scranton " Jan. 23, 185 1. 

Mr. Calvin Washburn and family moved to 
Hyde Park in 1S20. He purchased half of the 
Bowman estate, 156 acres, for $885, or $5.67 per 
acre. About 1858 he sold the same for $250 an 
acre. His son, Nicholas Washburn, tells me that 
he remembers when the only postoffice in this 
township was at Unionville, and Mr. Benjamin 
Slocum the postmaster; that the mail was car- 
ried on horseback, the route being from Pitts- 
ton up the centre or main road to Hyde Park, 
thence over the onl}^ bridge crossing the Lacka- 
wanna river between Old Forge and Carbondale — 
at the same place where the present one is near 
the gas works — to Unionville (Providence P. O.), 
then back to Hyde Park ; thence via Providence 
village, or Centreville, the "Ten-Mile Tavern" and 
Clifford turnpike to Dundaff". 

Mr, Norval D. Green, now residing on Jeffer- 
son avenue with his son, D. N. Green, says that 
Benjamin Slocum, the postmaster at Unionville, 
resigned his office in favor of Mr. John Vaughn, 

lo Reniiiiisccnces of Early History. 

Jr., who received the appointment and removed 
the office to "Providence Corners," or Razorville or 
Centreville'^', and Mr. Green attended to the mail 
husiness, opening the first mail received there. 

Mr. Edward Merrifield states that his father, the 
late Hon. Wm. Merrifield, was the first postmaster 
at Hyde Park when it was established July 14, 
1832, and held it about a month, when he moved 
out of the place, and his father, Robert Merrifield, 
was appointed to succeed his son. Later Mr. 
Wm. Merrifield returned to Hyde Park, and was 
reappointed June 5, 1834. 

Mr. Oliver P. Clarke, now residing in Hyde 
Park, states he moved there in April, 1846, was 
made postmaster in June of that year, and re- 
moved the office from Judge Wm. Merrifield's 
store, which stood nearly opposite the present brick 
M. E. church on Main street, to the store of 
Clarke & Blackman, on the easterly side of "Fel- 
lows' Corners," where he kept it until 1856, when 
he removed it to his new store on Main, at the 
head of Scranton street. Mr. Clarke was suc- 
ceeded in 1857 ^y Doctors. M. Wheeler. 

In the winter of 1847 ^^^^ 1848 a census was 
taken to show the necessit\^ of a postoffice at this 
place. Mr. O. P. Clarke, postmaster, as stated, at 

*See note on page 8. 

Scran to?i, Pa. ii 

Hyde Park, gave a written statement showing that 
seven-tenths of the mail matter received at his 
office went to Harrison, or the Lackawanna Iron 
Works. The petition asked to have Dr. B. H. 
Throop made postmaster, bnt President Polk's 
Postmaster-General ignored the application. 

Another effort was made during the session of 
Congress for 1849-50, which resulted in the estab- 
lishment of an office under the name of Scran- 
tonia, and the late John W. Moore was made post- 
master. The writer took the first letter and paper 
from the office when it opened, April i, 1850. 

The office was in the front room of Mr. Moore's 
tailor shop, and is now standing, being the first 
building easterly from the Iron Companj^'s old 
store and office — now car and smith shops — near 
the blast furnaces. 

It may be the impression that the Messrs. 
Scranton were instrumental in having the place 
.named after them, but such is not the fact. The 
subject was being discussed by the Rev. J. D. Mitch- 
ell and mj'self, and I suggested to Mr. Mitchell 
that as he was acquainted with the Hon. Chester 
Butler, then membe/of Congress for this district, 
that he should write to him and state that it was 
thought by their friends they were entitled to the 
compliment. There was no objection made, and 
the office was called Scrantonia. At a meeting of 

12 Re7iiiniscences of Early History. 

those interested in the iron works, including gen- 
tlemen from New York and Connecticut, held here 
during the next autumn, a motion was carried 
unanimously that the last two letters of the name 
be cut off, leaving it Scranton. 

riR5T Railroad Project. 

1826 'pi^e Susquehanna and Delaware Canal and 

Railroad Company's charter was approved April 
3, 1826. 

Messrs. Henry W. Drinker, Wm. Henr}^ and 
James N. Porter appear to have been prominent 
members of the commission to open the books. 

The charter authorized subscriptions for 30,000 
shares at $50 each, making a capital of $1,500,- 
000, with authority to increase it if needed ; to 
make a canal or railroad, or part of each, from the 
mouth of the Lackawanna river to a point on the 
Delaware at or near the Water Gap, and to a point 
on the river near to Durham creek, in Bucks 
county ; also a branch railroad or canal to Wilkes- 
Barre, with a proviso that no dam should be erect- 
ed in either the Susquehanna or Delaware rivers. 

Conductors of wagons or vehicles of au}' kind 
were to blow a trumpet or horn one-quarter of a 
mile from the collector's office, to notif}' him to be 
ready to take the toll. The company was author- 

Scraniou^ Pa. 13 

ized to collect, in the aggregate, up to twelve per 
/ centum per annum on the capital. 

It was provided "that said railroad shall, in 
no part of it, rise above an angle of two de- 
grees with the plane of the horizon." (Two de- 
grees is a little over 1S5 feet per mile.) 

The "Liggett's" Gap railroad charter was ap- 1832 
proved April 7, 1832. 

It is very evident that this road, like its prede- 
cessor of 1826, was to be run on the canal method, 
every one using it to furnish his own vehicle 
and power for transportation — presumed to be 

The tolls authorized, were two cents per ton, 
per mile, except on lumber, coal, salt and plaster, 
which were one-half cent per ton less ; the same to 
be paid before the vehicle could proceed further, 
the conductor to be fined :b'»2o for violation of this 

Of the sixteen commissioners named, Messrs. 
Henry W. Drinker, Jeremiah Clarke, Nathaniel 
Cottrell, Thomas Smith and Dr. Andrew Bedford 
— the latter the onl}^ one now living — appear to 
have taken the most interest in the enterprise. If 
my recollection is correct, the only commissioners 
present at the organization of the company at 
Kressleris hotel, January 2, 1850, were Messrs. 
Drinker, Bedford, Clarke and Smith. 

14 Re^nmisccnces of Early History. 

This hotel stood where the north boilers of the 
blast furnaces are now located. 

I have in my possession the original minutes of 
the meeting alluded to above, signed by H. W. 
Drinker, Chairman, and John S. Sherrerd, Secre- 
1836 Somewhere about 1836 Messrs. William Hen- 

ry, of Stroudsburg ; H. W. Drinker, of Drinker's 
Beech ; Edward Armstrong, residing about six 
miles above Newburgh on the west side of the 
Hudson river; and Lord Charles Augustus Mur- 
ray, ( a Scotchman and son of the Earl of Dun- 
more, ) became interested in the question of the 
proposed Susquehanna and Delaware Canal and 
Railroad Company scheme. Their plan was to 
have a canal or slack water navigation from the 
mouth of the Lackawanna to what is now Scran- 
' ton and a railroad from here to Port Colden, N. J,, 
and there connect with the Morris Canal, which 
was open to New York. 

In this wa}?^ they secured the favorable influ- 
ence of Mr. Edward Biddle who had been United 
States Senator, and of Samuel L. Southward, who 
was then President of the Morris Canal. 

Lord Murray was on a visit to see this new 
country and made a number of hunting trips with 
Mr. Armstrong to and over the Moosic mountains 

Scranton^ Pa. 15 

for grouse and other game, and thus became inter- 
ested in the plan and route. 

There are those yet living in this region who 
remember both of these gentlemen and their fine 
hunting dogs. 

During the Scotchman's visit he made the ac- 
quaintance of Miss Wadsworth, of Geneseo, N. Y., 
and afterwards married her. Her grave is in the 
grounds of the Wadsworth Mansion at Geneseo. 

Mr. Drinker was instrumental in having our 
neighboring borough called Dunmore, in compli- 
ment to his friend, Lord Murray. 

The railroad company was organized, and Lord 
Murray was empowered and expected to raise 
$1,500,000 to build it. The projectors were so 
sure the road would be built that a farm was pur- 
chased not far above the Water Gap for railroad 
shops, &c. 

In July, 1840, Mr. Henry commenced negotia- 1840 
tions with Messrs. Wm. Merrifield, Wm. Rickitson 
and Zeno Albro for a 503 acre tract of land " on 
which was a saw mill and two small dwelling 
houses, about 50 acres cleared, balance covered 
with pine, hemlock and oak timber," that formerly 
belonged to Ebenezer Slocum, deceased. Mr. 
Armstrong was to have been interested with Mr. 
Henry in this purchase. 

On the return of Lord Murray to England it 

i6 ■ Reminiscences of Early History. 

was said his cousin, Queen Victoria, prevailed up- 
on him to decline making any investments in 
America, the result being fatal to the railroad 

The Queen afterwards made him her envoj^ to 
Persia and still later her minister to Saxony. 


LACKy\wy\WANNA Iron and Coal Co. 

1840 About the time Mr. Henry had concluded his 

engagement to take the land of the Hyde Park 
gentlemen, Mr. Armstrong was called home by 
the sickness of his two daughters, was taken sick 
himself and died. 

This left the contract for the Scranton land 
resting upon Mr. Henry, who then interested his 
son-in-law, Mr. Selden T. Scranton, who induced 
his brother, George W. Scranton, and Mr. Sanford 
Grant to accompany Mr. Henry and himself to 
"Lackawanna" to see the "promised land," the 
result being that these gentlemen assumed the 
contract August 20, 1840. The deed is dated 
September, 1840, consideration $8,000, or about 
sixteen dollars per acre. 

About three-quarters of Lackawanna avenue is 
on this tract, and the remainder on a tract pur- 

Scranton^ Pa. 17 

chased February 8, 1847, of Messrs. Gillespie 
and Pierce and Barton Mott, on which stood the 
old wood grist mill and its dam. 

At the date of the first purchase, in 1840, there 
were here five dwellings, one school house, one 
cooper shop, one sawmill, one grist mill. 

Somewhat later Mr. Philip H. Mattes, of Haston, 
examined the property and took an interest in the 
■concern, when the firm of Scrantons, Grant & Co. 
was organized with a capital of $20,000, Messrs. 
George W. Scranton, Selden T. Scranton, Sanford 
Grant and Philip H. Mattes being the partners. 

In October, 1840, Mr. Wm. Henry moved from 
Stroudsburg to Hyde Park, occupying a house on 
the north side of Fellows' Corners, and took 
charge of the early operations. 

Mr. Simon Ward says he came here 0:1 Sept. 
8, 1840; that Mr. Henry being absent he looked 
up some tools and commenced work on the nth, 
getting out stone for the first blast furnace, about 
where the east boilers of the blast furnaces now 
stand. He also states that the school house then 
standing at the top of the hill northeasterly from 
the grist mill had just been finished and soon 
opened with seven scholars. Jos. Slocum sent one, 
Samuel Slocum two, Jos. Hornbacker one. Barton 
Mott one, Hbenezer Hitchcock two. 

1 8 Reminiscences of Early History. 



Mr. Will. W. Manness arrived here on the ^iiid 
day of September, 1840, and on the 23d, assisted 
in la3'ing out the fonndations for old No. i furn- 
ace ; and work npon it commenced in October fol- 
lowing It was 35 feet high, and had an 8 ft. bosh. 

I have the first bill of Mr. Samuel Slocuin for 
boarding the workmen from Sept. 8, to Nov. 16^ 
1840. Mr. Manness states that the price was then 
$1.50 per week, including washing, and as the bill 
charges each person with the number of meals, 
eaten, it is evident that 21 meals constituted a 
week's board. Common laborers' wages were then 
$17 per month. Carpenters seventy-five cents per 
day, all boarding themselves or paying for it. 
1 84 1 Thomas P. Harper came in the spring of 1841 

and built the furnace water wheel. 

Mr, C. F. Mattes had been here on a visit in 
1840 but came to reside April 30, 1S41, and has 
since had personal experience in almost every 
branch of the business of the Compain^ 

Mr. George W. Scranton, who had been here 
quite frequently from the commencement of the 
iron works, commenced spending nearly all of his 
time here during the summer of 1841. 

As near as can now be learned, Air. Wm. 

Scran ion ^ Pa. 19 

Henry left the iron works dnring the spring of 
1842, and Mr. Scranton continued here, leaving 
his family in Belvidere, N. J., until succeeded by 
his brother, Selden T., in 1S44, when the former 
moved to Oxford Furnace and took his brother 
Selden's place in charge of their business there. 
Mr. Samuel Templin made the first effort to blow 
in the furnacs in September, 1S41, and another 
later in the year, both being unsuccessful. 

The following account is copied from a jour- 1842 
nal kept at the time: ^^Jannaiy j^ iS^2. Last 
night, at about eleven o'clock, the blast was put 
on the furnace under the superintendence of Mr. 
Henr}-, assisted by a Mr. Clarke, from Stanhope, 
N, J. At about three o'clock the furnace was 
bridged over the hearth. January ^. Hiram and 
Henry Johnson and Radle trying to work the fur- 
nace, but, finding it too hard, the boshes above 
the temp were removed and the coal and ore let 
slide through. January 6. H. and H. Johnson 
and Williams digging salamander out of the fur- 

Three failures in succession to commence with, 
were enough to discourage the most sanguine. 
But these young pioneers must succeed, or finan- 
cial ruin stared them in the face. After short 
naps in their straw bunks, improvised in the cast- 
ing house, and having their meals brought to 

20 Rcminisceiices of Early History. 

them, the}^ went to work getting read}^ for an- 
other effort. 

Mr. Selden T. Scranton, who was here to see 
the furnace put in operation, started for Danville 
to find, if possible, some one who had had some 
experience with making iron with anthracite fuel, 
and returned on January lo, 1842, bringing with 
him the late John F. Davis. 

The necessary repairs having been made, blast 
was put on the furnace on the iSth, " blowing 
about two vv^eeks without making any iron of con- 
sequence. After that the furnace began to work 
fairly and the blast was continued until Febru- 
ary 26, when we blew out in consequence of our 
heating oven being insufficient — making iron, 
tons 75, 10 cwt." 

" i\fter putting in a new hearth and building 
two new heating ovens, in addition to altering the 
old one, we commenced the blast on the 23d i\fa\', 
1842, and continued until 25th September (18 
weeks), when we vrere obliged to blov/ out in con- 
sequence of the blowing apparatus giving wa}', 
being constructed too light in the beginning — 
making, iron 362 and castings about 12 tons; in 
all 374 tons. 

"After repairing bellows (wood blowing C3-lin- 
ders), putting in new pistons, &c., we commenced 
the blast on the nth October (5 o'clock P. .al), and 

Scranton, Pa, 21 

continued until March 12, 1S43 (22 weeks), when 
we were obliged to blow out for want of limestone 
— making iron T, 583 tons 10 cwt., and castings 
about 17 tons ; average per week 27 6.22 tons." 

The quotations of these three successful blasts 
are from a paper by J. W. Sands, the bookkeeper 
of the firm. 

Looking back from the present condition of the 
iron and steel business to the early struggles of 
the Lackawanna Iron Works, the whole operation 
appears insignificant. But it w^as a grand success, 
and enhanced by the fact that it followed three 
failures. It was a time of great anxiety with the 
proprietors, as shown by their desire to have their 
success known in a practical way — not waiting for 
the iron to cool before a pig of it was started by 
wagon for New Jersey b}- Mr. S. T. Scranton, as 
evidence of their success in making it with hard 

Mr. George Crane, of South Wales, states that 
he began the use of anthracite, wnth hot blast, on 
February 7, 1838, in a cupola blast furnace 41 ft. 
high, 10^2 ft. across the boshes ; product, 34 to 36 
tons per week. 

The first success in smelting iron ore in this 
country with anthracite was with a small experi- 
mental furnace built in 1838 at Weigh Lock, be- 
low Mauch Chunk; hight 21^2 ft.; diameter of 

2 2 Reininiscenccs of Early History. 

boshes, 5^ ft.; hearth, 19 by 21 inches. This 
fuiMa:e iiiai:;, fri^n Jul}' to November, 1839, dur- 
ing three months, two tons per day ol Numbers i, 
2 and 3 grades ; "fuel, anthracite exclusively." 

"In the year 1840 there were only six furnaces 
using anthracite, two of them on the Schuylkill, 
three on the Susquehanna and one on the Lehigh, 
making 30 to 50 tons each.'"*' 

Having novv^ demonstrated that iron could be 
made here with anthracite coal, the question to be 
settled was, could it be done and compete in the 
market with other furnaces. The ore used was 
parth' a carbonate, mined about half wa}" between 
the furnace and where the the old rolling mill is 
located, and the remainder at Briar Brook, some 
three miles distant on the Moosic mountain, and 
hauled in b}^ teams that could bring but two loads 
per day ; the carbonate averaging about 50 per 
cent., and the mountain ore little if any above 
25 per cent, of iron. In December, 1840, to secure 
the iron ore thereon, 3,750 acres of mountain land 
was purchased of the Bank of North America for 

The only way to market at that time, and for 
years later, was to haul the iron by teams to Car- 

*Fuller details can be found in Vol. 3, page 152, of the "Trans- 
actions of tbe A^merican Institute of Mining Engineers," May, 
1874, to February, 1875, and "Pennsylvania Second Geological 
Suivey," page 91. 

Sera n to u^ Pa. 23 

"bondale and ship b}^ the Delaware and Hudson 
Canal Company's railroad to Honesdale, and 
thence by canal to New York, or cart it to 
Port Barnum, some eight miles, and ship it via 
the North Branch canal to Philadelphia or Balti- 
more. It was soon found that so crude a material 
could not bear such an expensive transportation 
and compete with other furnaces located nearer 
the market. 

The natural conclusion was that something 
must be done to increase the value of the crude ar- 
ticle, so that it would bear the expense of trans- 
portation, and the first thing necessary was more 

An effort was made which resulted in the for- 
mation of the limited partnership of Scrantons & 
Grant, September 3, 1843, with the capital in- 
creased from $20,000 to $86,000. Messrs. George 
W. and Selden T. Scranton and Sanford Grant be- 
ing the general partners, and Philip H. Mattes, of 
Easton, Erastus C. and Joseph H. Scranton, of 
Augusta, Ga., and John Rowland, of New York, 
the special partners. 

In Ivlay, 1844, Mr. ]\Ianness contracted with 
the new firm to build the first rolling mill — no ft. 
by 114 ft. — for the sum of $350 ; the firm agreeing 
to furnish all materials, including timber stand- 
ing in the forests. The following November he 

24 Remmisceiices of Early History. 

commenced building a nail factor}^, 50 ft. by 75 ft.. 
The first iron was puddled in April, 1S45, ^^^^ ^^^ 
first nails were made on the following 6th of July.. 
This year Mr. Joseph H, Scranton, during his 
annual visit North, spent some time at the works 
in September, when he purchased Mr. Grant's in- 
terest in the concern, on condition that Mr. Grant 
should continue his services in the store until 
April I, 1846. 

Mr. Scranton then visited Connecticut before 
going south, and his accounts induced me to visit 
" Lackawanna " in November, when I decided to 
take an interest in the iron works and make this 
my residence for ten ^-ears. 

On my way here I obtained my first sight of a 
telegraph line — the first line (consisting of two 
wires only,) between New York and Philadelphia, — 
which had been put up the summer or autumn 

A Trip FRon New York to 5^ranton in 1646. 

In order to show the saving of time in travel 
during the last fort}' years, I propose to give an 
account of our trip in March, 1846, when I 
brought ni}^ small family here to reside. 

There being no railroad, we came by the night 
steamer from New Haven, and arriving in New 

Scran toil ^ Pa. 25 

York the next morning, found the streets so full of 
snow that our carriage could hardly get to the 
Franklin House, on Broadway, corner of Dey street. 
After breakfast it was found impossible to get a 
hack to take us to the ferry, at the foot of Cort- 
landt street, on account of the depth of snow, con- 
sequently we had to walk, and a hand cart took 
our baggage. At that time the Morris and Essex 
railroad only ran between Newark and Morris- 
town. Our car was hauled b}^ the Camden and 
Amboy company over its road to Newark, where 
it was disconnected and drawn by four horses up 
the same heav}^ grade that is now used for steam. 
From this point we were taken by a locomotive with 
one pair of driving wheels to Morristovv-n. At Sum- 
mit Station we found a novel plan for supplying 
the engine with water. A pair of vvdieels on a line 
of shafting were placed beneath the track, the 
upper side of them being in line and level with 
its top. The locomotive was chained with its 
drivers resting on the wheels beneath the track, 
w^hen the engineer put on steam and pumped what 
water he needed. At Morristov/n we took a stage 
and arrived at Oxford about dark: Here we spent 
about a week, owing partly to a heav}^ rain, which 
had so raised the Delaware river that we had to 
cross it by the bridge at Belvidere, and struck the 
river again at what is now Portland. We were 

26 Reniinisceiices of Early History. 

dela3'ed in the Water Gap by ice and logs in the 
road. After covering small bridges with slabs, 
hauled out of the river, we finally reached Tan- 
nersville, aiich- spent the night. The next morn- 
ing, finding good sleighing at Forks, we changed 
our vehicle to runners, and again for wheels at 
Greenville — now Nay-Aug — and arrived at Mr. S. 
T. Scranton's about dark, March 17, 1846, the 
traveling time being one day from New York to 
Oxford, and two more to reach here. At present 
the trip is made over substantially the same route 
in 4^ hours, and from New Haven in 8 hours 
frequentl}^ This route generally took two days 
and a half to or from New York, and was the usual 
one followed. The only way to shorten the time 
was to take the stage at Hyde Park at noon, and, 
riding through the night, reach Middletown, N. 
Y., in the afternoon ; then take the Brie railroad 
to Piermont, and steamer down the Hudson, ar- 
riving in New York about 6 p. m. the next da}^ 
after leaving home. As the Brie road was ex- 
tended to Otisville, Port Jervis and Narrowsburg, 
the time was shortened, and in 185 1, when the 
road was opened to Binghamton and the Lacka- 
wanna and Western to Great Bend, we could reach 
New York in twelve hours. 

April I, 1846, Mr. Sanford Grant retired from 
the concern, and the writer took his place in charge 

Scran ton, Pa. 27 

of the store and as general purchaser for the con- 
cern, and later as real estate agent. 

During his residence in Georgia, Mr. J. H. 
Scranton made the acquaintance of Mr. Fay, of the 
firm of Paddeford & Fay, of Savannah, Georgia, 
but formerly of Boston, Massachusetts. Hearing 
Mr. Scranton's reports of the immense deposits of 
coal ; the comparative nearness to New York city ; 
the success of making iron with anthracite, and 
other advantages of the location, this gentleman 
became quite interested in the iron works here, and 
thought that his eastern friends, being already in 
the manufacturing business, would very likely be 
glad to take a pecuniary interest in the works 
here. He therefore gave Mr. S. letters of intro- 
duction to his friends in Massachusetts, and wrote 
them that Mr. Scranton would call upon them and 
explain his plans. 

In the meantime Mr. Selden T. Scranton had 
been corresponding with Messrs. Bno 8l Phelps, 
the latter being a director in the N. Y. & Brie R. 
R. Co., in reference to supplying that company 
with rails, and its making the concern a loan of 
$50,000 to erect the plant for that purpose. The 
result was a contract for 4,000 tons at $80 per ton, 
delivered at the rolling mill, but the railroad com- 
pany had use, in building its road, for all the 
money it could raise and none to lend. 

28 Re7niniscences of Early History. 

As usual, Mr. J, H. Scranton came north in the 
summer of 1846, when he accompanied Colonel 
George W. Scranton to this place. After a general 
consultation, they left Sej)tember 10, and spent 
the next week in New York, where they had in- 
terviews with Messrs. William E. Dodge, John J. 
Phelps and others. They also met Messrs. Pad- 
deford and Fay there, and then went to Boston, 
where they received a very cordial reception, and 
found many desirous of taking an interest 
in the iron works. Mr. J. H. Scranton wrote from 
there on the 23d : " We were offered a cash ad- 
vance of $100,000 if we could get clear of the con- 
tract with the Erie company, and would make one 
of the same character for 6,000 tons with as good 
a company as there is in New England." 

The Messrs. Scranton having agreed to see the 
New York gentlemen before committing them- 
selves to the Bostonians, returned to New York, 
where Mr. Dodge invited a number of his fricinds 
to meet them, and Messrs. William E. Dodge and 
Benjamin Loder. President of the N. Y. & Erie 
railroad, were appointed a committee to visit 
"Lackawanna" and report. October 4th, Col. 
Scranton wrote from New York that Messrs. Lo- 
der and Dodge would leave for " Lackawanna " on 
the 15th. 

The gentlemen arrived in due time, and al- 

Scraiitou^ Pa. 29 

though there was a weekly paper published at 
Providence, the ubiquitous reporter was not around, 
and they supposed no one outside of the firm of 
Scrantons »& Piatt would know them or suspect 
their errand. They had not been here twenty- 
four hours before Mr, Loder met an old schoolmate 
in the redoubtable anti-corporation lawyer, Charles 
Silkman, and privacy was abandoned. The gen- 
tlemen remained some two or three days and were 
shown through the different departments of the 
iron works, including the iron mines on the moun- 
tain, the coal mines in the valley, and the outcrop- 
ping of coal at a number of places, that they might 
judge for themselves as to its evident bountiful 

On the 7th of November, 1846, the first firm of 
Scrantons & Piatt was duly organized upon the 
basis of October i, to take effect November 15. 
With the retirement of Mr. Grant and change of 
firm name to Scrantons & Piatt, the following gen- 
tlemen composed the partners in the firm : Messrs. 
George W., Joseph H. and Selden T. Scranton, 
and Joseph C. Piatt, as general partners, and 
Messrs, Philip H. Mattes, Edward Mowry and John 
Rowland, as special partners, with an additional 
capital of $29,000, making the total $115,000. 
Four days later — November 11 — Messrs. William 
E. Dodge, Anson G. Phelps, Benjamin Loder, 

30 Rcmimsceuccs of Early History. 

Samuel Marsh, Henry Shelden, John I, Blair, 
James Blair, William B. Skidmore, James Stokes, 
Philip Dater, Daniel S. Miller, John A. Robinson, 
William Henry Shelden and Frederick Griffing, 
put in another $115,000 as special partners, 
1847 ^^ October 2, 1847, some of the specials added 

to their subscriptions enough to make the capital 
^ During the winter of 1846-7 an additional con- 
tract for 8,000 tons of rails was made with the 
Brie company, on a sliding scale as to price, deliv- 
at the mouth of the Lackawaxen river, governed 
by the market, but within a maximum of $75 and 
a minimum of $65. Nearly the whole of the two 
contracts were filled. Soon after this an additional 
contract for 8,ooo tons rails was made with the 
Erie Railroad company, on a sliding scale, to be 
governed by the market prices within a maximum 
of $85 and a minimum of $75. 

As has been stated, Mr. Joseph H. Scranton 
had spent a part of the summers here since 1843. 
In June, 1847, ^^ brought his famih^ with him to 
make this his permanent residence. He came 
none too sodu, for business was crowding and help 

The contracts with the Erie compau}^ made it 
necessary to enlarge the rolling mill and erect 
special niachiner}^, which was so far accomplished 

Scr anion ^ Pa. 31 

that on the 23d of the next month (July) the first 
steam engine between Carbondale and Wilkes- 
Barre was started in it, and two rails made. On 
the 9th of August the mill commenced turning out 
rails regularly for the Erie company, which from 
that date were shipped in every way possible. 
The roads in all directions leading towards the 
railroad were full of teams hauling rails or return- 
ing empty, some days over seventy loads being 
sent off. All available teams were employed, and 
as some drivers to 3k more rails than their teams 
could haul through, a portion was unloaded by 
the roadside, and could be seen b}^ travelers for 
months after the last rail on the contract was de- 
livered from the mill. As late as November, 1850,. 
men were sent to pick up and forward them. On 
June 25, 1850, and from that date on, large num- 
bers of rails were sent over our ore mine railroad 
to its junction with the Pennsylvania Coal Com- 
pany's gravity road, and thence to the Delaware 
and Hudson Canal and distributed at points nearest 
the Erie railroad. 

At the opening of the Lackawanna and West- 
ern railroad, in October, 1851, Mr. Benjamin Lo- 
der, President of the Erie railroad, was one of the 
guf^sts, and in his remarks to the assemblage 
stated that, owing to the location of the iron works 
and the energ}^ of its proprietors, the New York 

32 Reminiscences of Early History. 

and Erie company had not only secured the re- 
lease from the State of New York of all claim to a 
lorn of $3,000,000, but had saved his company 
from bankruptcy, the Legislature of New York 
having offered to release all claim to the loan on 
condition that the road should be opened to Bing- 
hamto?i on or before a certain date, which was ac- 
1848 Having but one blast furnace, and that a small 

one, it could not supply the rolling mill with the 
iron needed. A contract with Messrs. Quick & 
Moore was made for the erection of two, and dur- 
ing the winter the work was commenced. On 
July 23, 1848, Nos. 2 and 3 stone stacks were fin- 
ished. No. 2 was first lighted Monday, September 
24, 1849, and blast put on October 5. Blast was 
first put on No. 3, in November, 1849. 

It appears to be inherent to all manufacturing 
business in this country, that ever\' concern must 
be constantly making improvements to reduce the 
cost, and improve the article manufactured, in or- 
der to meet competition or lose its business. Such 
was the case with the Lackawanna Iron Works, 
and consequentl}' more capital was needed, as be- 

Col. G. W. Scranton and family, moved from 
Oxford to Scranton, June 21, 1848. 

A second re-organization of the firm of Scran- 

Sevan ton ^ Pa. 33 

tons & Piatt was arranged, more capital pnt in by 
new associates, and on November i, 1848, the pa- 
pers were signed, the capital being then $400,000. 

The LA^KAWANNy\ Iron and Coal Coapany. 

During the session of the Legislature for 1S53, 
a special charter was granted to Scrantons & Piatt 
and their associates, under which, on the loth of 
March, 1853, The Lackawanna Iron & Coal Co. 
was organized, more money having been paid in 
and the capital increased from $400,000 to $800,000. 
The original stockholders were as follows : James 
Blair, John I. Blair, Philip Dater, William E. 
Dodge, F. R. Griffin's estate, Lucius Hotchkiss, 
John Rowland, Benjamin Loder, Samuel Marsh, 
P. H. Alattes, D. S. T^Iiller, Edward Mowry, Anson 
G. Phelps, J. C. Piatt, John A. Robinson, Henry 
Sheldon, W. H. Sheldon, E. C. Scranton, G. W. 
Scranton, J. H. Scranton, S. T. Scranton, W. B. 
Skidmore, James Stokes ; total 8,000 shares. Mr. 
John Rowland was by far the largest stockholder. 
Moses Taylor was probably interested in the com- 
panj' at the time of its organization, but does not 
appear as a stockholder until June 27, 1853. '^^^ 
following became stockholders in the order named : 
Theodore Sturges, 1856; Percy R. Pyne, 1861 ; 

Reminiscences of Early History. 

Samuel Sloan, 1864 ; William E. Dodge, jr., 1864 ; 
K. F. Hatfield, 1872 and B. G. Clarke, 1873. Mr. 
S. T. Scranton was made president of the company 
and remained so until he returned to Oxford in 
1858, when he was succeeded by Joseph H. Scran- 
ton, who held the position until his death, June 6, 

The business of the company continuing to in- 
crease, made still more capital necessary. The 
stockholders were again called upon, and the capi- 
tal increased April 30, i860, to $1,200,000, and 
again in 1873-4, when the steel works were built, 
$1,800,000 additional was put in by the stockhold- 
ers, making the capital what it now is, $3,000,000. 

Ore niNE Railroad. 

The railroad to the ore mines on the mountain, 
when built, v/as considered quite an enterprise. 
By act of the Legislature in March, 1848, Scran- 
tons & Piatt and their associates were authorized 
1 to build it. Mr. Seymour, of what has since been 
% called Jessup, surveyed and located the road the 
N same spring. Mr. H. H. Easton, from S^^racuse, 
»N. Y., was the builder — up to August i, $15,000 
- had been expended upon it. On the line of this 
road a vein of limestone was discovered — some- 

Scranton^ Pa. 35 

what of the oolitic order, the grains ranging about 
the size of the end of one's little finger. It was 
hoped it would answer for furnace purposes. On 
December i, a few car loads were brought down on 
the new railroad for that purpose, and the trans- 
portation continued until it was found useless, 
owing to the large admixture of rock with it. The 
road was so far finished June 7, 1849, that a car 
load of ore was run down to the furnace. The 
cars were hauled to the mines — some five ( 5 ) 
miles — by mules and run back by gravit}^ Dur- 
ing this month a party of ladies and gentlemen 
visited the mines, being one hour going out and 
thirty-five minutes returning b}^ loaded cars — the 
speed being as fast as any of the party desired in 
such cars. 


(See page 12 for first project.) 

The year 1849 witnessed the beginning of what 1849 
proved to be developments of great importance,, 
not only to Scranton, but to the entire coal basin ^ 
and its surroundings. Those interested in the* 
iron works soon found it was necsssar}^ to have a# 
more direct, expeditious and economical outlet to^ 
market for their products. The demand for an*- 


36 Reniiniscences of Early History. 

thracite coal was constantly increasing. The New- 
York and Erie Railroad was pushing its wa}^ to 
Dunkirk on Lake Erie. All these things taken 
into consideration, it was believed that with only 
forty-eight miles of railroad to connect with the 
Erie at Great Bend, coal could be delivered in 
western New York markets at pa3dng prices that 
would def\' competition. To insure business for 
the railroad, it was proposed to purchase coal prop- 
erties and open mines, to be operated by the com- 
pany; and, as Col. Scranton put it, " Have a depot 
full of freight all the time, waiting to be taken 
awa3\" The attention of capitalists was called to 
the project, and sundry parties were brought here 
to see for themselves the great abundance of coal, 
and the business the iron works would give the 
road ; to which the almost universal reply was, 
that they would want an interest in the iron works 
also. This was so general that it was found neces- 
sar}- to accept the proposition in order to secure 
the subscriptions necessary to build the railroad. 
Subscriptions were then taken with the agreement 
that they were to carry a pro rata interest in the 
iron works, which the associates were to surrender 
for the same amount in railroad stock. It was on 
this basis that the firm of Scrantons & Piatt built 
the road and turned it over to the proper officers 
in running order, without letting a contract for a 


Sera J I to >i^ Pa. 37 

section on the entire line ; Col. S^ranton having 
general supervision, assisted b}- Air. Peter Jones, 
of New Hampshire. I remember purchasing the 
shovels, steel, sledges and other tools, besides hun- 
dreds of barrels of beef and other provisions, which 
Superintendent W. F. Hallstead and many others 
delivered on the line " where they would do the 
most good." This quotation recalls to mind the 
fact that the shovels were made bj^ O. Ames & 
Sons, who stamped " Scrantons & Piatt " in the 
metal of each one, and the remains of them were 
found along the line of the road for years later. 

x\fter considerable preparatory work for the 
purpose, on March 7, 1849, Messrs. Henr}- W. 
Drinker and Jeremiah Clark, as Commissioners, 
held a meeting at the hotel kept b}^ D. K. Kressler 
and opened books for subscriptions for stock of the 
Liggett's Gap Railroad.'-' Over $250,000 were re- 
ceived, and ten per cent, on the amount paid in. 

The da}' had passed for operating railroads by 
horse power, and providing, under $20 fine, that the 
conductor of a wagon should blow a horn to notify 
the collector to be readv to take to'l, consequently 
Mr. S. T. Scranton started for Harrisburg on the 
9th ( via New York and Philadelphia, as the 

*0n the northwest end of the Washington Avenue car shops 
can still be seen two keystones of iron, bearing the letters ''L. 
G. R. R. 8., 1851." 

38 Reviiniscences of Early History. 

quickest route ) , and was successful in getting 
legislation eiiiblinj th? company to operate the 
road with locomotives, and make such other 
changes necessary to make the enterprise a success. 

Preliminary 5urvey. 

April 25, 1S49, ^^- James Seymour, of Sey- 
mour, since called Jessup, under the general direc- 
tion of Major Morrell, of New York, commenced 
the preliminary survey for the Liggett's Gap Rail- 

The following is copied from the original min- 
utes now in my possession: 

" Pursuant to public notice, a meeting of the 
stockholders in the Liggett's Gap Railroad Co. 
was held at the house of D. K. Kressler, in the 
village of Harrison, Luzerne county. Pa., at 2 
o'clock, on the afternoon of Wednesday, January 
2, 1850. 

" The meeting was organized by the appoint- 
ment of Henry W. Drinker, chairman, and John 
Sherrerd, secretary. 

" On motion of H. W. Drinker, Esq., the meet- 
ing proceeded to the election of officers and mana- 
gers of the company for the present year, or until 
others are elected to iill their places. 

Scranton^ Pa. 39 

" On motion of H. W. Drinker, Esq., it was re- 
solved that the Board of Managers be requested to 
appoint a committee to facilitate the business of 
the company. 

" William H. Tripp and Joseph C. Piatt were 
appointed judges of election. 

" On motion the polls were closed at 4:30 
o'clock, p. M. 

" On an inspection of the votes, the following 
named gentlemen were declared duly elected to 
their respective ofhces, each having received 633 
votes, being the whole number polled, representing 
twenty-nine hundred and sixty-six shares of stock. 

"Ofi&cers: John J. Phelps, President; Selden 
T. Scranton, Treasurer ; Charles F. Mattes, Sec- 

" Managers : John I. Blair, Frederick R. Grif- 
£ng, Daniel S. Miller, Henry W. Drinker, Jere- 
miah Clark, Joseph H. Scranton, Joseph C. Piatt, 
Andrew Bedford, George W. Scranton and Charles 

" On motion it was resolved that the Board of 
Managers do now organize a meeting of that body. 
" Henry W. Drinker, Chairman. 

" Attest : John S. Sherrerd, Secretary." 

April 30, 1850, Mr. Peter Jones arrived bring- 
ing his men and the implements he had used in re- 
building the Cayuga & Susquehanna Railroad 

40 Reminiscences of Early History. 

from Owego to Ithaca — for the Liggett's Gap inter- 
est — which was to connect the Erie R. R. with the 
Erie Canal, via Cayuga Lake, for the transporta- 
tion of Scranton coal. The grading of the Lig- 
gett's Gap Railroad was commenced earl}- in Ma\^, 
but before the month closed there was an Irish 
war in Liggett's Gap between the "Corkonians" 
and "Far-downers," as they called each other. 

1R15H Wy\R— ny\Y, 1650. 

Each side was determined to drive the other 
off the road, Ibut both parties were, if possible, 
more hostile to the Germans, and as determined 
to oust them. The Germans armed themselves 
and continued at their work. A battle w^as fought 
on the 28th, one person being killed instantly and 
a number wounded, all of whom were said to be 
" Corkonians." Two bodies were found in the 
woods near by the following month, bearing marks 
of having been shot. On the 30th the Connaught 
men, to the number of some 200, returned to drive 
the " Corkonians " further. On their way they 
came to the " Dutch Shanty " and demanded the 
fire-arms, but failed to get them. The Irish were 
said to be armed with almost everything that 
could be used in a melee, including guns, pistols,. 

Scran t on ^ Pa. 41 

stones, sticks — one had an iron candlestick and 
another part of a bnck-saw fastened to a shovel 
handle. Neither party succeeded in driving off 
the other. Work was soon resumed. 

During the Legislative session of 1851, author- 1851 
ity was given to change the name from " Liggett' s 
Gap " to the " Lackawanna and Western Rail- 
road Compau}'," and the change was made on the 
14th of the following April. 

The first locomotive bought for the road was 
the " Pioneer/' from the Cayuga and Susque- 
hanna railroad. It came down the river on an 
ark from Owego to near Pittston. The /first one 
set in operation on the road was the "ppitfire." 
It was of English make and bought of tfie Read- 
ing Railroad company, by Mr. D. S. Dotterer, who 
took some pride in getting his purchase on the 
road first. Both engines came from Port Griffith, 
on the Pennsylvania Coal Company's railroad to 
the junction of the ore mine railroad, and bv the 
latter to the iron rolling mill. Mr. Dotterer ran 
the " Spitfire " its first trip from the rolling mill 
on Friday, Ma}^ 16, 1S51. It being the first loco- 
motive that man 3^ here had seen, it was a great 
curiosity, and when it reached the furnaces was 
covered by men and boys, some of them astride of 
it. The first engine that came down on the road 


42 Reminiscetices of Early History. 

from Great Bend was the "Wyoming," on the 
nth of October, 1851, having two passenger cars. 

On the opening day, October 15, 1851, sixty- 
five ladies and gentlemen, the latter being nearly 
all interested in the railroad and iron works, came 
over the railroad from Great Bend to Scranton in 
2^ honrs. On the next day the first coal train 
was started for Ithaca, N. Y. October 20, a passen- 
ger train commenced regular trips, with Mr. R. 
W. Olmstead as temporary conductor. 

On the 2 2d I made my first all rail trip to New 
York, returning on the 29th, leaving there at 6 
A. M. and reaching home at 6 p. m., duly appreciat- 
ing the great improvement over staging to Nar- 
rowsburg to reach the Erie railroad, or the earlier 
.and longer trips I had made so many times. 

That a railroad to Great Bend was only a part 
of the improvements contemplated by the associates 
interested in the iron works, will be readily admit- 
ted when attention is called to the fact that before 
the road to Great Bend was opened, on October 
15, 185 1, a meeting had been held at the house of 
Jacob Knecht, in Stroudsburg, November 28, 1850, 
bj' the commissioners authorized to receive sub- 
scriptions to the capital stock of the Delaware and 
Cobb's Gap railroad. Eighteen thousand shares 
of $50 each w£re subscribed for by the following 
gentlemen : John I. Blair, T. W. Gale, J. H. 

Scrantou^ Pa. 43 

Scranton, J. C. Piatt, Scrantons & Piatt, F. R. 
Griffing, Samuel ]\Iarsh, Edward Mowry, William 
K. Dodge, John J. Phelps, James Stokes, Daniel 
S. jNIiller, J. S. Sturges, Roswell Sprague, Henry 
Hotchkiss, George Bulkle}^, Anson G. Phelps, 
each 1,000 shares ; S. T. Scranton, 480 ; George 
W. Scranton, 500 ; James M, Porter, Samuel 
Taylor, Philip H. Mattes, and H. W. Nicholson, 
each 5 shares ; on which ten per cent., or $90,000, 
was paid in. A meeting of the subscribers or 
stockholders was held in Stroudsburg, December 
26, 1850, when the following officers wxre elected:* 

Officers — George W. Scranton, President; John 
I. Blair, Treasurer ; Charles F. Mattes, Secretary. 

Directors — John J. Phelps, William E. Dodge, 
T. W. Gale, L. L. Sturges, John I. Blair, S. T. 
Scranton, J. H. Scranton, J. C. Piatt, H. W. Nich- 
olson, James M. Porter, James H. Stroud, and 
Franklin Starbourne. 

Air. John S. Sherrerd wrote in diary : " On 
April 8, 185 1, Mr. E. McNeil commenced an ex-' 
ploration survey for Cobb Gap and Delaware rail- 

March 11, 1853, the Delaware and Cobb's Gap iSs"^ 
was merged with the Lackawanna and Western, 
under the name of Delaware, Lackawanna and 
Western Railroad Compan3\ M^y 27, 1854, the 1854 

44 Reminiscences of Early History. 

first anthracite coal burning locomotive was put 
on the road. 

The passenger depot for the Lackawanna and 
Western railroad was located in the rear of the 
west corner of Lackawanna and Wyoming Ave- 
nues, fronting on Wyoming Avenue, and the 
freight depot fronted on Washington in rear of 
west corner of Lackawanna and Washington Ave- 
nues. In order to get a desirable grade and loca- 
tion for the road to be continued southerl}- towards 
New York, both depots had to 1je moved to and 
near the present location of the passenger depot, 
opposite Franklin Avenue. This removal was 
commenced Februar}^ 17, 1854, by D. H. Dotterer, 
superintendent. They were wooden buildings, 
and afterwards were annexed for an enlarged 
freight depot, when Superintendent Watts Cooke 
erected the brick depot which later has been en- 
' larged and ver}' much improved. 
^^55 January 8, 1855, the track-la3-ers on the South- 

-ern Division crossed the upper end of Lackawanna . 
Avenue, and on May 10, following, the first loco- 
motive ran through the tunnel near the falls of 
Roaring Brook. 

There having been some disagreement between 
the railroad compauA' officials and Malone & Co., 
contractors, as to the amount due, the latter (Ma- 
lone & Co.), on June 5, 1855, a-i'^i^^^^ some of their 

Scran ton ^ Pa. 45 

men and placed them on gnard to prevent the 
company's men laying rails on their section, near 
No. 6 dam of the Penns3'lvania Coal Company. 
The railroad officials tried mild methods until 
August 21, when a train of platform cars, loaded 
with men well armed, having on the forward car 
the old cannon " Sam " mounted on a swivel, and 
charged with missiles, such as old spikes, was 
sent up the road. On arriving at the disputed 
territor}^. President George D. Phelps told the Ma- 
lones that he should take possession of the road-bed, 
and preferred to do it peacefully. After considerable 
talk, including some high words, the contractors 
gave possession. The obstructions were removed, 
possession maintained, and in the afternoon track- 
laj'ing commenced. From this time there was 
nothing to prevent the prosecution of work on the 
road, so that on May 15, 1S56, a single passenger 1S56 
car commenced regular trips to Delaware station, 
from which place stages ran to Belvidere — some 
three miles — from whence there was then railroad 
connections, as now, to New York via New Jerse}' 
Central from Phillipsburg, and Philadelphia I'ia 
Trenton. On the 27th of the same month the 
Southern Division was formall}^ opened by an ex- 
cursion of the officers and proprietors and their 
friends, from New York b}- the Central Railroad 

46 Reniiinscences of Early History. 

of New Jersey to the junction near New Hampton,, 
and thence to Scranton. 

This w^as a proud day for Scranton. Direct 
communication by rail of onl}^ 146 miles from the 
metropolis of the nation, through to the northwest 
as far as any of the larger towns of the country 
possessed such advantages. Time has shown that 
the enterprise as a whole was not only a wise one, 
but was undertaken none too soon for the benefit 
of the entire northern coal basin. 

On the day following — May 28 — a number of 
Scrantonians accompanied the excursionists on 
their return as far as Greenville — now Nay- Aug — 
where our party from Scranton were invited b}^ the 
late Hon. William Jessup, President, to open his 
railroad (the '"Lackawanna") to Jessup, which we 
did, and returned the same way. 

June 9, 1856, a regular passeiiger train com- 
menced running to Clarksville (until a passenger 
station could be built at the Junction). A change 
was here made to the Central of New Jersey, which 
at that time ran to Elizabethport, where connec- 
tion with New York was made by steamboat, via 
Kill von Kull, to Pier No. 2 North River. At a 
later period passengers were taken for awhile via 
Elizabeth, Newark and Jersey City to the foot of 
Cortlandt Street. Still later via the extension of 
the New Jersey Central across the mouth of New- 

Scra7ito7i^ Pa- 

ark Bay to Communipaw and Liberty Street, and 
finally, as at present, via the Morris and Essex 
railroad to Hoboken and B^ircla}^ or Christopher 
Streets in New York. 

Town Plot. 

When ]\Ir. Henry named the place Harrison 
(about the time of the Harrison campaign in 1841), 
he made a '' Plan of Harrison, Providence township, 
Luzerne county, by William Henry," which I now 
hold. The following are the names of the streets 
on it : " Lackawanna," " George," " Selden," 
"Sanford," "Philip," "William," "Mary," and 
" Mott," the second and third being evidently in- 
tended for the Messrs. Scranton, the next for Mr. 
Grant, followed by "Philip" H. Mattes, "William" 
and " Mary " Henry, and lastly Barton " Mott." 
None of these streets were regularly opened for 
travel except " William," which was the old emi- 
grant road from Dunmore to Pittston I'ia the bridge 
over Roaring Brook at the brick grain mill. This 
road was vacated some years since by the court of 
Luzerne count3\ from the top of the hill (northerly 
from the bridge), where the first school house for- 
merly stood, to the intersection of Quinc}^ Avenue 
and Gibson Street. None of these names except 

48 Reminiscences of Early History. 

Lackawanna have been perpetuated on the plot of 
Scranton ; and it will be noticed that not a name 
of an}^ officer or stockholder of the property has 
been used in naming the avenues or streets. The 
cit}' officials have lately used the names of some 
of our citizens in connection with the alleys — a 
questionable compliment. 

In 1850, when the first steps were taken to la}^ 
out the village plot, I felt it a matter of importance 
to start right, and held many consultations with 
Mr. Joel Amsden, the engineer. Mr. Amsden, ap- 
preciating the interest evinced, probably consulted 
me more than the other partners of the firm ; 
consequentl}', being better informed in the details, 
the lot business naturall}- devolved upon me, and 
I had charge of it for Scrantons & Piatt until the 
dissolution of the firm. To Mr. Amsden is due 
the credit of the plan of door 3'ards which is so 
universall}" popular, and which a number are dis- 
posed to abuse by putting small shops thereon, 
which they have no right to do. Mr. Amsden 
made three sketches or plots for selection, and 
was instructed to adopt the one best suited to ex- 
tend the plot up and down the vallej', regardless 
of the side lines of the tracts belonging to the 

As soon as the plot was decided upon, steps 
were taken to build a hotel, as an absolute neces- 

Scranton^ Pa. 49 

sit}', if it was expected to have travelers entertained; 
Mr. Kressler's hotel, which he named the " Scran- 
ton House," being always full without them. 
Notwithstanding some wag envious of Scranton's 
enterprise, nicknamed the W^^oming House the 
" Scranton Folly," time has shown it to have been 
good policy. It was not built for making money, 
or as a speculation, but to have a hotel that would 
be a credit to,;the place and help build it up. The 
building and furnishing, exclusive of the lots, cost 
about $40,000. It was sold to Mr. J. C. Burgess 
after he had run it a few years for $37,500. His 
first guests (three ladies and two gentlemen) were 
entertained July 12, 1S52, but the regular opening 
of the hotel was a few days later. 

On the organization of the Lackawanna Iron 
and Coal Company — June 10, 1S53 — ^ ^'^"^ made 
■ofiiciall}^ Real Estate Agent and Store-keeper. 
On the death of Mr. J. H. Scranton, being made 
Vice-President of the Companj^, I continued at- 
tending to the real estate business until \\\y resig- 
nation, December 31, 1S74. Thus having charge 
of the village plot and extensions made from time 
to time, it devolved upon me to name a large pro- 
portion of the streets. Therefore, upon the sug- 
gestion of one of our citizens, the histor\' of the 
selection of names for some of the avenues and 
streets is here given : Lackawanna and Wyo- 

50 Reminiscences of Early History. 

ming Avenues are the widest streets we have — 
each being lOO ft. between the building lines and 
60 ft. between the curb stones, the others being 
generally 80 ft. and 40 ft. The former was in- 
tended — as it has proved to be — the main business 
thoroughfare. Both were named in compliment 
to the two valleys by general consultation. 
What is now Washington Avenue it was first pro- 
posed to call Church Street. Mr. Selden T. Scran- 
ton proposed that it should be called Washington 
Avenue, which was at once adopted, and the plan 
to call all streets running parallel with it on the 
northerly side of Roaring Brook, avenues. Penn 
and Franklin having been named after the noted 
Pennsylvanians, the name of the first Governor 
of the State — Mifflin — was given to the remaining 
avenue on that side of the plot ; and then of the 
Presidents in succession, including the younger 
Adams in the name of Quincy. Afterwards the 
name of Jackson Avenue was given to a street in 
Petersburg in line with one of ours, and by request 
the name was continued on the plot of Scrantons 
& Piatt. Pittston Avenue was so named thinking 
that probably a bridge would be built across Roar- 
ing Brook near the furnaces, and thus connect it 
with Lackawanna Avenue and make it the main 
thoroughfare to Pittston, and avoid the hills Idv 
the old route via the brick grain mill and the 

Scrantoji^ Pa. 51 

bridge, lower down Rociring Brook to Cedar Street. 
Capoiise Avenue was named for the chief of a tribe 
of Indians, and Monsey Avenue for the tribe itself, 
to perpetuate the aboriginal names of this locality.''' 
Webster, Cla}', Irving, Prescott, Lincoln and Ban- 
croft Avenues were named for those noted Ameri- 

To Mr. Joel Amsden, the engineer of the plot, 
we are indebted for the suggestion to use the 
names of our trees for the streets. The particular 
r names wxre mostly selected and placed by me. I 
bo well remember taking a sign marked " Beech 
'^^ Street," and finding the only tree in line of it was 
5^ a birch, I had another painted to correspond 
with the tree. On returning to put up the sign 
u the tree was gone, but the street retains the name 
^ of Birch. Alder Street ran through a swamp of 
J alders — now filled with ashes from the rolling 
O mill and upon which quite a number of buildings 
"^ are erected. Hickory Street received its name 
2 from a hickory tree on the flats in line with it. 
River Street from its running parallel with the 
Lackawanna river until that part was taken pos- 
session of by the Union railroad, now belonging 
to and operated by the Delaware and Hudson 

" The Monsey or Munsey Indians, the wolf tribe of the Dela- 
wares."— Pierce's History, page 217. " They had a famous chief 
whose name was Capouse." — Page 221. 

52 Reininiscences of Early History. 

Canal compan3\ Orchard Street started in the 
old orchard, three trees of which were standing 
when the street was laid ont. Hemlock Street, 
from there being man}- of them in the neighbor- 
hood and hemlock shanties built of it. Aloosic 
Street, on account of its being the most direct to 
that mountain. Cliff Street, for the reason that it 
crossed one. Anthou}' Street, from the fact that 
the writer had sold three of the four or five lots on 
the street to men of that name before naming it. 
Brook Street, because it crossed Pine brook. 
Bank Street was cut into a side hill or bank to 
make it. Ridge Row was so named by S. T. 
Scranton before the town plot was laid out, when 
Mr. J. H. Scranton built the frame dwelling on 
the ridge where he lived so long, and near where 
the stone mansion now stands, but the street was 
not opened until after the Southern Division of the 
D., L. & W. R. R. was built. It v.-as mostl}' 
blasted out of solid rock from near the present 
front gate of Mrs. Scranton's residence to the 
westerl}^ end of the wall in front of my own resi- 
dence, and the material used to ballast the railroad 
track. Prospect Street, from its vnew of the village 
north of Roaring Brook. Stone Avenue will be 
found very appropriate, having been so named be- 
cause it lies on a ridge of rocks. Vale Street, 
from having commenced in a vale (valle}-). Crown 

Scrauton^ Pa. 53 

Street started on the crown of the hill where it is 

riR5T BoROucjH Election y\ND Orcjanization 
AND Charter of the City. 

At the first election of Scranton borough there 1856 
were 371 votes polled. Joseph Slocuni received 
367 for Burgess. 

Town Council — James Harrington, 245 ; J. C. 
Piatt, 366 ; John Nincehalser, 366 ; David K. Kress- 
ler, 216; William Ward, 213. 

Assessor — William P. Carling, 367. 

Auditors — Joseph Chase, 243 ; Richard Drink- 
er, 220; Henr}' L. Alarion, 363. 

Constable — James McKinney, 359. 

School Directors — W^illiam P. Jenks, 218 ; John 
Grier, 219; G. W. Brock, 245; A. L. Horn, 219; 
C. E. Lathrop, 218. 

Poor Directors — Charles Fuller, 348 ; David 
Kenimon, 233. 

The borough was organized after the election 
by the above town council under a s^eneral law. 

The city of Scranton, composed of three bor- 
oughs of Scranton, Providence and Hyde Park, 
was chartered in 1S66. 

54 Reminiscences of Early Histoiy 


The first paper published between Carbondale 
and Wilkes-Barre was called the TJie Country 
Mirror and Lackawannian^ a weekly. It had been 
published as the Carbondale Gazette ; Mr. Frank 
B. Woodward brought it to Providence in 1845 or 
very early in 1S46. The writer has a copy of its 
last issue of March 10, 1847, containing Mr. 
Woodward's valedictory, in which he states his in- 
tention to regain his health and spirits in tilling 
the soil with his venerable father. The editorial 
has a heading " Henry Clay Our First Choice and 
the Repeal of the British Tariff of 1846." 

The first paper published in Scranton was the 
Lackaivanna Herald^ a weekly, by Mr. Charles E. 
Lathrop, now residing in Carbondale. The first 
number was issued March i, 185^. He sold out 
in L856 to H. B. Chase. Mr. Lathrop has a full 
file of the Herald for the time he published it. 

A second importation from Carbondale was the 
Spirit of the I alley, a weekly. First number, Jan- 
uary 25, 1855, by Messrs. J. B. Adams and T. J. 
Alleger, who continued its publication for a year 
or so. February i, 1855, the first number of the 
Tri-Weekly Experiment was issued by F. Dilley. 

In 1856 Mr. E. B. Chase purchased the Lacka- 


Scraiiton^ Pa. 55 

wanua Herald and the Spirit of the Valley. He 
published them as the Herald of the Unio)i until 
1859, when he sold to Doctor Davis and J. B. 
Adams. The latter sold out to Doctor Wheeler. 
In 1 85 6 Mr. Theodore Smith came here from 
Montrose and commenced the publication of the 
Scranton Republican. In 1858 it was purchased by 
Mr. F. A. McCartney, who in 1863 sold it to Mr., 
Thomas F. Alleger. In March, 1866, Mr. V. A. 
Crandall purchased a half interest and finall}' be- 
came its sole proprietor. During this year Mr. 
Crandall sold a half interest to Mr. R. N. Eddy, 
of Cazenovia, N. Y. In September, 1867, Mr. J. 
A. Scranton purchased Mr. Eddy's interest, and 
on the ist of November following. The Morning ^ 
Republic., a daily, was published. In March, 1869, 
Mr. Scranton purchased the interest of Mr. Cran- 
dall and has continued the publication of both daily 
and weekly to this time. >^ 


The first census of this country was provided 
for b\' the Constitution and was taken in 1 790. It 
gives enumerations of no territory less than coun- 
ties. Luzerne count}^ then included the greater 
part of Bradford, all of Susquehanna, Wyoming, 

56 Reminiscences of Early History. 

and L-ackawanna counties, the population being- 
4,904. The next was in 1800, when Providence — 
one of the seventeen townships of Luzerne — had 
a population of 579; in iSio, 589; 1820 (inclu- 
ding one colored man ), 861 ; 1830 ( including one 
colored man, no aliens), 976; 1840 (including 
one colored man, no aliens ), 1,169. 

The era of the prosperity of Scranton and vicin- 
ity dates from this time, and undoubtedly was 
owing to the impetus given to business by the 
commencement of the iron business by Messrs. 
Scrantons, Grant & Co. — tlie details of which are 
given in the account of the Lackawanna Iron 

During the winter of 1847-8, a census was 
taken of the territory which afterwards became the 
borough of Scranton, giving the names of the 
heads of families and number of each sex, the ob- 
ject being to get a postof&ce. ]\Ir. O. P. Clark, 
postmaster of Hj^de Park, certifies that seven- 
tenths of the mail received at his office came to 
Harrison — as the place was then called, or the 
Lackawanna Iron Works. This census shows 
there were then 205 families, S73 males and 523 
females or 1,396, or 227 more than the whole 
township contained in 1840. The United States 
census for 1850 is : 

Scranton^ Pa. 57 

Scranton, the same territory, 2,230 

Providence borough 446 

Providence township, including (4) colored . 4,467 

Total for the township .". 7,143 

In 1S54 a census was taken by Mr. E. G. Cour- 1854. 
sen, assisted by Mr. Charles Fuller, both being 
in the employ of the Lackav/anna Iron and Coal 
Co. This shows the names of heads of families, 
occupation, nationality, and is summed up by Mr. 
Fuller as follows : 

Males, 2,478; Females, 1,768 4,241 

353 Irish families 1,795 

154 German " 795 

81 Welsh " 415 

16 English " ........ 85 

175 American " 1,151 

779 4,241 

Single men included 585 — and he adds " should 
be 800." 

Irish servant girls 49 

German " " 10 

American " " 2 

Total 61 

Of these the hotels emplo}^ 23. At the iron 
ore mines on the mountains there were : 

58 Reminiscences of Early History 

2 Welsh families, 4 males, 4 females 
2 Irish " 7 " 9 " 

14 American " 47 " 32 " 

58 45—103 

i860 The United States censns for i860 was : 

Providence borongh Ij4io 

" township 4)097 

Hyde Park " 3,360— 8,867 

Scran ton borongh 9^223 

Total for the entire township 18,090 

1870 In 1870, Scranton city ( inclnding Providence 

and H^^de Park boronghs ) 35,092 

Dnnmore borongh 4,3 u 

Total for township 39,403 

1880 In 1880, Scranton city 45,850 

Dnnmore borough 5,151 

Total for township 51,001 

An increase in 40 3^ears of 49,832. 
1886 • The Directory of 1886, states : " The Censns 

and Directory for 1880 gave 45';3 individuals to the 
Directory names," The number of names in this 
Directory approximates 20,000, which, computing 
on the basis of 4^ persons to a name, would place 
the population of Scranton at 86,666. 

Scran 1 011^ Pa. 59 

Odd Tellowj' Hall. 

The Odd Fellows' Hall played quite a conspic- 
uous part in the early da^'S of Scranton. It occu- 
pied a part of the triangle in front of the L. I. & 
C. Co.'s offices, formed by the junction of Lacka- 
wanna and Jefferson Avenues and Ridge Row. It 
stood on a ridge of rocks some fifteen feet above 
the present grade of the streets. The second stor}^ 
was used exclusively by societies of various kinds ; 
the first for religious and other public exercises, 
schools, &c., being the only public hall in the 
place. It was built in 1847-8, and w^as taken 
down in 1868 to make make room for the Lacka- 
wanna Iron and Coal Co.'s stores and offices, and 
re-erected where it now stands — on the hill north- 
erly from the old iron rolling mill, and converted 
into four dwelling houses. The building was first 
used March i, 1848, by the Union Sunday school. 
It was used by five societies of Odd Fellows, four 
Temperance societies and three Masonic. The 
First Presbyterian, Penn Avenue Baptist, St. 
Luke's Episcopal, German Presbyterian and Ger- 
man Lutheran churches, all used it for worship, 
and nearlv, if not all, were organized in it. The 
UiAiversalists held four services in it. It was 
also used by the Union, Welsh, and Presb3'terian 

6o Rejiiinisccnccs of Early History. 

Sunday schools, a number of beneficial societies, 
clubs, a brass band, lyceuni, nine private schools, 
a union league, and lastly but not the least, for a 
United States military hospital, in charge of Capt. 
Mattison, October 26 to December 31, 1S63. At the 
same time the building now belonging to Messrs. 
Clark & Snover was used as United States bar- 

Rev. N. G. Parke, of Pittston, in his historical 
discourse of October, 25, 1879, says: "The Mo- 
ravians must be regarded as the pioneer mission- 
aries in this Susquehanna region. Count Zinzin- 
dorf, as earl}- as 1742, while connected with the 
Moravian Mission in Bethlehem, visited the valley 
and preached along the Susquehanna and up the 
Lackawanna as far as Capouse meadows north of 
Scranton." He also states that, " after the resig- 
nation of the Rev. Ard Hoyt, in Wilkes-Barre, in 
18 1 7, the church was without a pastor until the 
settlement of the Rev. Cyrus Gildersleeve in 182 1. 
Up to this time preaching in the Lackawa-.:na val- 
ley had been onl}^ occasional. From the settle- 
ment of Mr. Gildersleeve over the cliurch in 
Wilkes-Barre, preaching in the Lackawanna val- 
ley became stated and regular. He regarded it as 

Scranton^ Pa. 


part of his parish." I\Ir. E. A. Atherton, our 
present Register of the county, states that in 
1826-7, Mr. William Wood " was the junior pastor 
of the First Presbyterian church at Wilkes-Barre, 
while the Rev. C3'rus Gildersleeve was the senior. 
That the field occupied by the Wilkes-Barre 
church extended from Hanover on the south, 
Kingston and Northmoreland on the west, and 
Providence on the north. The congregations met 
in winter in private houses and in summer in 
barns. Many of the people came several miles in 
rude lumber wagons, sometimes drawn b}' oxen." 
A description of one of the congregations as 
the}^ were seated in a barn might not be amiss in 
these days of costly churches and splendid equi- 
page. The preacher had a stand before him on 
which lay a Bible and hymn book, and a chair was 
behind him. Board seats arrang-ed on the threshing: 
floor were occupied b}- the older men and women 
including the children, while the j^ounger men 
and boys mounted the first tier of girths with 
their feet dangling in mid-air, mostly without 
r>hoes. How would this suit the 3'oungters of the 
present day ? Mr. Wood was aided in his labors 
by Mr. Zebulon Butler, a brother of the Hon. 
Chester Butler. Quoting again from IMr. Parke's 
discourse: ''The people were poor and scattered 
and the religious societies only partialh' organized ; 

62 Remimsccnccs of Early History. 

still the tardiness of the early settlers in both val- 
leys in moving to erect houses of worship is a no- 
ticeable fact ; this is especially true in Lackawanna 
valley. Assuming that the Baptists organized a 
church here in 1776, they were for more than lifty 
years without a sanctuary or a settled ministry ; 
and any preaching that was done by Congrega- 
^ionalists, up to 1820, was in school houses, barns 
and private houses, and without charge to th ^ 
people. The old settlers were not ' Gospel hai 
ened,' for they did not have much of it ; but so 
as appears they did not care to build churches «. 
sustain the ministr3\ This indifference had not 
all subsided in 1S40, when the foundations of 
Scranton were laid, as those living can testif}', nor 
in 1844 when I was commissioned to labor \\€t^ aj 
a missionary." 

" Rev. John Dorrance, D. D., who in 1833 suc- 
ceeded Doctor Nicholas Murray in the pastorate of 
the Wilkes-Barre church, had labored in the Lack- 
awanna valley while a theological student, in ccn- 
nection with Zebulon Butler, Thomas Janeway, 
William Wood and others — he gave special atten- 
tion to the Lackawanna field. Unable himself to 
keep up the meetings, he procured missionaries to 
do the work. Among those who labored in the 
valley under his direction, previously to 184 1, 
were the Rev. Thomas Owen, Rev. John Turbot, 

Scr anion ^ Pa. 


Rev. Owen Brown and Rev. William Tod. The 
Rev. T. F. Hunt did good service for the cause of 
Christ in this field, and largely at his own charges. 
The labors of Mr. Hunt in the neighborhood of 
Providence and Scranton, before there were any 
sanctuaries for God in that region, are still bearing 
fruit. The Rev. Charles Evans was the last mis- 
sionar}' ( Presb3'terian ) in the field previous to my 
niing here. He left in the spring of 1844 to 
ept a call from the church of Northmoreland." 
As above stated, Mr. Parke was in 1844 commis- 
iied as a missionary for the territory included 
.1 the townships of Providence, Lackawanna and 
Pittston, and did good service therein — preaching 
his farewell sermon here June 17, 1849, ^^^^ '^'^^ 
nee devoted himself to his church and congrega- 
Du at Pittston. Mr. Parke quotes the testimony 
. an old settler, now over four score years old, as 
-O the character of the population of Lackawanna 
valley during the first twenty years of its settle- 
ment. He says : " Notwithstanding the heteroge- 
neous material of which this community was com- 
osed, there was a strong religious element pervad- 
iig the minds and the hearts of the whole com- 
munity, making a law-abiding people, and present- 
ing to the devoted missionar}^ of the Cross an 
ample field read}^ for harvesting." Hence the 
earlv success of the Methodists under William 

64 Reminisce ?ices of Early History. 

Butler and his successors. Elder John Miller, ( a 
Baptist uiiiiister of Abington), as earlj^ as 1806, 
had made a lodgment in the valley, and had cap- 
tured a goodly number of the old Congregational- 
ists, and even some of the " new-fledged Metho- 
dists." So far as can be learned, the first church 
organization in the township of Providence — cer- 
tainly in Scranton proper — was Presb3'terian. 
Rev. N. G. Parke gives the records of Susque- 
hanna Presbj'tery as authority, that on Febru- 
ary 25, 1 84 2, a Presbyterian church was organ- 
ized " in the school house in the village of Har- 
rison." This school house stood at the top of the 
hill near the present blast furnaces, and in the forks 
of the Providence and Dunmore roads as then 
used, and was first used in September, 1S40, open- 
ing with seven scholars. Mr. J. W. Sands, one of 
the twentv-eight persons who joined in the organ- 
ization, made the following entr}^ in a journal he 
was keeping at that time : " Friday, 25th Febru- 
ary, 1S42, at 11:30 o'clock, a meeting commenced 
in the school house conducted by the Rev. Messrs. 
Dorrance, Hunt and Browm. At 2 o'clock a church 
was organized, to be under the direction or a 
branch of the Presb^'terian church of the United 
States. Messrs. Couch and Atherton elected 
elders ; Air. H. B. Daily, deacon." This was 
known as the " Lackawanna Presbj'terian Church," 

Scranton^ Pa. 65 

and intended to cover the territory before stated. 
Mr. Parke's church at Pittston is a continuance of 
the same organization. 

Church Edifices. 

An article in the Scraiiton Republican of May 
18, 1884, states that the first church edifice in 
Hj'de Park was Unitarian and stood on " Main 
Avenue " where Joseph K. Mears then resided, but 
gave no date of its erection. This edifice, and the 
Methodist or " Village Chapel " in Scranton — as 
it was called at first — were the only church edi- 
fices for some years after 1846, between Carbon- 
dale and Wilkes-Barre, except the old Baptist 
church in Blakely, now standing near the forks of 
the road leading to Peckville. The earliest record 
of this " Village Chapel "to be found, is on the 
books of Scranton, Grant & Co., Jul}^ 23, 1841, 
when the following names were charged with sub- 
^icriptions they had made and the chapel credited 
with the total amount : 

William Henry $10.00 

Daniel Dodge 3.50 

S. W. Nolton 2.50 

George Whitman 2.50 

Jacon Gerstle 2.00' 

66 Reminiscences of Early History. 

Henry R. Manness $ 2.00 

Ferdinand Dnlot i.oo 

Caleb Robins i.oo 

Patrick Hart i.oo 

S. W. Colckglasser i.oo 

John Snyder .50 

John Iv. Travis .50 

Simon Ward ( September 3) . . . i.oo 

Total $28.50 

Angust 10, 1853, Mr. William Henry wrote 
Mr. Charles Fuller in reference to the " Village 
Chapel": "We commenced in 1841 and finished it 
early in 1842. While this house was to be under 
the supervision of the Methodists of this vicinity, 
other evangelical denominations were not excluded 
from using it as a house of worship." This 
"Chapel" stood on a lot 70x155, given by Scran- 
ton, Grant & Co., partly in what is now Adams 
avenue at its junction with Lackawanna avenue on 
a bluff some ten feet high, which has been re- 
moved in grading the avenues. The corner of the 
" Chapel " was almost exactly where the corner of 
Messrs. Jifkins meat market is, but not in line 
with the avenue. The city plot was laid out in 
1 850- 1, and in order that the two avenues named 
could be opened where they are now, Scrantons & 
Piatt, in 1 85 5-6, gave the three lots now occupied 

Scraiiton^ Pa. 67 

by the Methodist church and parsonage near by, 
on Adams avenue, and two thousand dollars in 
building materials in exchange for the old lot one 
hundred feet front by one hundred and twelve 
deep. It being then impossible to move the 
" Chapel " through either Adams, Washington, 
Wyoming or Penn aven.ues owing to the swamp or 
Lily pond crossing them, the building was taken 
down August 20, 1856, and re-erected on the south 
corner of Adams avenue and Vine street, where it 
can now be seen on the allc}' on the rear of the lot. 
The only change in its exterior is that it has 
an octagon instead of a scjuare cupola or tower. 
The " Chapel '' was generally used on alternate 
Sabbaths b\' the Presbyterians and Methodists, the 
only real change being in the preachers and not 
in the audiences. 

The second church edifice erected here was the 
Roman Catholic, a wooden building, situated on 
what is now the west corner of Stone and Hem- 
lock streets. It was raised on Saturda}^, June 24, 

The third church building here was the Welsh 
Calvinistic Methodist. It was a small wooden 
building, originally standing on the westerly end 
of Rome street in the old Slocuni orchard, south 
of Roaring Brook. When the plot of 1S5C-1 was 
laid out this street was abolished, and later the 

68 Reminiscences of Early History. 

building was moved to front on River street. The 
lot it occupied here was purchased by the German 
Catholics and is now occupied by the school con- 
nected with their church. The building was pur- 
chased by the Baptists and moved to block 80 on 
Pittston avenue. This building was first used 
March 18, 1849, and w^s dedicated July 8, 

The next organization in order of date is be- 
lieved to be what is now the " First Presbyterian 
Church of Scranton, Pa.," on Washington avenue. 
Early in the summer of 1848 a meeting of those 
interested in the Presbyterian form of worship was 
held, of which Mr. Nathaniel B. Hutchison — for- 
merly of Belvidere, New Jersey — was made chair- 
man, and J. C. Piatt, secretary. At this meeting 
the chairman and Mr. Charles Fuller, both ruling 
elders in the churches to w^hich the}' belonged, 
were made a committee " to examine the charters 
and b}^ all other available means obtain knowledge 
which enable the people to decide whether Lacka- 
wanna church is here or at Pittston." "Ji^ily 10, 
1848, a meeting was held in the Odd Fellows' Hall, 
of Presbyterians with their adherents, to hear the 
report of the committee appointed to learn the 
truth as the locus uhi oi the church of Lackawanna. 
A letter was read from the pastor at this meeting, 
in which he stated his conviction that the Harrison, 

Scranton^ Pa. 69 

Lackawanna and Pittston churches were all one, 
and that Harrison must be considered the head of 
the church although it was called Lackawanna. At 
this meeting, after ' deliberation and consultation,' 
as the record states, it was unanimousl}^ agreed 
that the interests of the church required a separate 
organization at this point. Air. Charles Fuller 
was accordingU^ appointed as a committee to secure 
from the Presbytery such an organization, to be 
called the church of Harrison. Another com- 
mittee was authorized to rent the Odd Fellows' 
Hall at $12 a \"ear for purposes of worship. Of 
this meeting Joseph H. Scranton was secretary, 
and, as it would seem, was one of the chief actors.'"^' 
The committee circulated a petition, and in due 
time, presented it to the Presbytery of Luzerne, 
asking for a church organization. This petition 
was signed by eighteen communicants and a num- 
ber of citizens who proposed to identify themselves 
with the congregation, though not professing 
Christians. In answer to this petition, a com- 
mittee of the Presb3'ter3' — consisting of Rev. John 
Dorrance, D. D. and Rev. N. G. Parke — called the 
people together on the 14th day of October, 1848, 
and, after a sermon b3^ Mr. Dorrance, proceeded to 
the organization of a church according to the 

*Dr. S. C. Logan's sermon, November 16, 1873. 

yo Reminiscences of Early History 

order and discipline of the Presbyterian Confes- 
sion. They received and enrolled in this organi- 
zation seventeen persons — eight men and nine 
women. Its name was afterwards changed to the 
" First Presbyterian Church of Scranton, Pa." 
The Rev. J. Delville Mitchell first preached here 
August 1 8, 1848, and occasionally afterwards. 
Thursday evening, August 2, 1849, ^^ ^ general 
meeting of the citizens, it was decided to give him 
a call to accept the pastorate of the Presbyterian 
church. There were thirt3^-two persons present, 
twenty-eight of them made voluntary subscriptions 
amounting to four hundred and thirt3'-eight dol- 
lars, which was increased to five hundred and one 
within an hour. This was then thought to be a 
ver}^ liberal support when compared with previous 
subscriptions, which had never exceeded one hund- 
red dollars per annum for Presbyterian preaching, 
besides the missionary's stipend. On the 27th of 
the same month a subscription was started to build 
a Presbyterian church edifice. The first place 
selected was on ground partl}^ covered by the 
writer's residence on Ridge Row, and grading was 
commenced under the superintendence of the late 
John W. Moore. Upon further consideration it 
was decided to locate the building where it now 
stands, on Washington avenue between Lacka- 
wanna avenue and Spruce street. 

Scranton^ Pa. 71 

Sunda}' evening, November 25, 1849, Rev. 
John Dorrance, of Wilkes-Barre, presiding, a reg- 
ular call was unanimousl}' made out for the Rev. 
Delville Mitchell to accept the pastorate of the 
Presbyterian church. Mr. ]\Iitchell having accepted 
the call, Wednesda}^ evening April 17, 1850, "the 
pastoral relation between Rev. J. D. IMitchell and 
the Presb3'terian church in this place was consti- 
tuted by the Presb3'ter3^ of Luzerne. The Rev. 
P. E. Stevenson, of Wyoming, preached from John 
iii : 33 ; Rev. John Dorrance, of Wilkes-Barre, pre- 
sided, proposed the constitutional questions and 
gave the charge to the congregation. Rev. T. P. 
Hunt, of Wj^oming, gave the charge to the pastor. 
A large congregation attended upon the solemn 
services, which were held in the Odd Fellows' Hall. 
On April 29, 1851, Mr. W. W. Manness com- 
menced raising the First Presb3^terian church edi- 
fice ; on September 30 the steeple, and on Novem- 
ber 26 put the bell in its place, it being the first 
bell put up between Carbondale and Wilkes-Barre. 
On November 27, it was first used for assembling 
a congregation to worship, it being Thanksgiving 
Day, and the services were held in the Odd Fel- 
lows' Hall. From that day to this the sound of 
"the church-going bell " has been heard here regu- 
larly on Sunda}'. The church edifice was dedica- 
ted by the pastor, September 19, 1852. The cost 

72 Reminiscences of Early History. 

of this church, for the main body and steeple, was^ 
about $15,000. The firm of Scrantons & Piatt 
gave the lot, 155 feet front by 150 feet deep. The 
general and special partners contributed person- 
ally $3,200.00, and their non-resident friends 
S335-00. Scrantons & Piatt deducted from the 
indebtedness of the church to the firm $5,128.62. 


Total cost of church ......... $15,000.00 

General and special contribu- 
tions, personally . . . $3,200.00 
Their non-resident friends . 335.00 
Scrantons & Piatt .... 5,128.62 — 8,663.62 

Balance paid by congregation and locally, $6,336.38 
Since then the congregation has built the par- 
sonage, added the wings to the church in Decem- 
ber, 1859, built the lecture room, and put in the 

The Methodists, doubtless, like the Presby- 
terians and Baptists, had for many j-ears con- 
sidered this as one of their missionary fields or 
outposts. The}' had the " Village Chapel '' — here- 
tofore referred to — and irregular preaching in it, 
which the writer attended from November, 1845, 
to the organization of the First Presbyterian 
Church, October 14, 1848. The following is from 
Bishop Simpson's Cyclopedia of Methodism : 

Scrantou^ Pa. 75. 

" Scranton — The first Methodist Society was or- 
ganized in 1840 in connection with Pittston cir- 
cnit and a chnrch edifice erected in 1842 ; in 1854 
it was organized as a station," by which it would 
appear that Scranton was considered as a part of 
the parish of Pittston, as the Presbyterians 3'ears 
before considered it a part of the parish of Wilkes- 
Barre. After many inquiries of Methodists and 
others, it appears b}^ their minutes and records, 
that the first steps taken towards the organization 
of a Methodist church in Scranton, was on August 
2, 1854, when a meeting of the "male members of 
the M. E. Church" — of what place or places is not 
stated — was held. The following persons were 
elected Trustees, were directed to obtain a charter : 
John Major, John M, Washington, Thomas Bies- 
ecker, John R. Soucks, F. M. Etting, John H. 
Coleman, Barton Mott, Erastus Smith and W'il- 
liam Silkman. A. H. Schoonmaker was the 
secretary. These Trustees were all Scrantoni- 
ans, except Erastus Smith who lived in Lacka- 
wanna, and William Silkman who lived in Provi- 
dence. A. H. Schoonmaker was their clerg\'man. 
The charter was signed August 9, 1854, the Trus- 
tees elected on the 2nd inst. being named in the 
charter for that purpose. 

The two following are copied from the Confer- 
ence minutes : 

74 Remmiscences of Early History. 

" Scranton, 1854, First Quarterly Conference 
for Scranton and Hyde Park Mission met, Doctor 
George Peck presided. John M. Washington was 
chosen secretar}^" That with quotation marks is 
the first entr}' and all there is of the minutes of 
the meeting. 

"Scranton, October 28, 1854, Second Quarterly 
Conference for Scranton and Hyde Park Mission 
met, Rev. George Peck presiding. A. L. Horn 
was chosen secretary. Members present — A. H. 
Schoonmaker, pastor ; local preachers, Noah 
Davis and A. L. Horn ; leaders, N. Davis and A. 
L. Horn ; stewards, N. Davis, John Coleman, J. 
M. Washington, Thomas Pearce, William Varnes 
and A. L. Horn." 

April 18, 1 85 5. At a meeting of this date, the 
pastor, A. H. Schoonmaker, also secretary- /;y; tciu.^ 
stated that the Lackawanna Iron and Coal Co. had 
proposed to take the " Village Chapel " lot, 100 
feet front by 112 feet deep, and give three lots 
fronting on Adams, no feet front b}^ 150 feet deep 
and pay the church $1,700; the companj^ to have 
the old chapel. A committee was appointed, J. M. 
Washington, David Kemmerer and Noah Davis, 
" with the instruction to obtain, if possible, a bet- 
ter bid for them and retain the old church, at least 
until the basement of the new one is read}- for 
use." April 25, 1855. At a meeting held this date, 

Scraufoji^ Pa. 75 

it was voted that '' we accept the offer made by the 
Iron Co., on condition that the}^ pa}' us $2,000 dif- 
ference between the lots, and also that we be per- 
mitted to occupy the old church at least six months 
or until we get the basement of the new one fin- 
ished." The present M. H. Church edifice on 
Adams avenue near Lackawanna, was begun be- 
tween the 6th and i6th of September, 1S55. 

January 8, 1855, the churches here this date 
were : First Presb^-terian, on Washington avenue ; 
St. Luke's Protestant Episcopal, on Penn avenue ; 
■*' Village Chapel, " Lackawanna and Adams ave- 
nues ; Welsh Calvinistic Methodist — Rome street 
— west end, later moved to River street. ( Entr}' 
April I, 1855): The First Roman Catholic, easter- 
ly end of Rome street, not then used for church 
purposes ; The Second Roman Catholic Church, 
on the corner of Franklin avenue and Spruce 


Mr. Edward L. Bailey in his "History of the 
Abington Baptist Association " states, that as early 
as 1794, Rev. William Bishop, a Baptist, lived in 
Hyde Park and that he was pastor of the Pittston 
•church, and " a Baptist church, however, was re- 
organized at Pittston in the autumn of 1833. Wil- 

76 Remmiscenccs of Early History. 

liam K. Mott, pastor of this church, preached 
occasionalh^ at Hyde Park and baptized a number 
of converts into the fellowship of the Pittston 
church." He further states that " the brethren 
and sisters living at Hyde Park and vicinit\^ how- 
ever, finally decided to organize as an independent 
church. The council of recognition was convened 
at that place, September 12, 1849 5 Rev. John Mil- 
ler acted as moderator and Rev. Silas Finn acting 
as clerk. Twenty three persons from their respec- 
tive churches received fellowship at the Hyde Park 
Baptist church. Rev. William K. Mott was one 
of the constituent members and pastor of the 
church. Messrs. E. A. Atherton and J. C. Dunn 
were chosen deacons of the church." 

The Welsh Baptists purchased lot 5 in block 
34 on Mifflin avenue, January i, 1855, and on 
December 23, of the same j^ear, dedicated a brick 
edifice they had erected thereon as a house of wor 
ship. This building now belongs to and is used 
by the German L-utherans, who have latel}' added 
a steeple and made other improvements to it. 
Elder William K. Mott, of Hyde Park, occupied 
Odd Fellows' Hall for Baptist services a few times 
between ]\Iay 30, 1858, and ]\Iarch, 1859. He had 
formerl}^ preached occasionally in the " Village 
Chapel." Mr. Bailey states : " The public recogni- 
tion of this church ( Scranton ) took place in the 

S want 011^ Pa. JJ 

Odd Fellows' Hall. Twenty-five brethren and sis- 
ters had on the preceding week, August i8th, at 
the house of Nathaniel Halstead, organized them- 
selves into a church by a unanimous resolution, 
and by adopting articles of faith and a church cov- 
enant." The writer was treasurer of the Odd Fel- 
lows' Hall and rented it to the Baptists and all 
others using it, from its erection until taken down. 

This church with its Sunday school occupied 
the Odd Fellows' Hall from August i, 1859, to 
March i, 1861, and afterwards Washington Hall 
on Penn avenue. On May 13, 1864, lots 12, i^ 
and 14 in block 64, on Penn avenue, were purchased 
and a brick church built thereon which has since 
been enlarged and very much improved both inside 
and out. Basement first used for a festival, June 
20, 1865 — the upper part not ready to use. 

The Welsh Congregationalists bought lot 2 in 
block 28, on Mifflin avenue, July 31, 1854, and 
built a wooden church upon it in the same year, 
which they used a few years and then sold. It is 
now used for dwellings. 

The German Presbyterian Church on Hickory 
street, occupying lots 17 and 19, block i, wor- 
shipped in the Odd Fellows' Hall from 1852 to 
January i, 1858. The organization by the Pres- 
bytery took place in the hall, June 25, 1856. Dur- 
ing this year the Lackawanna Iron and Coal Co. 

jd) Reminiscences of Early History. 

presented the congregation with one lot and the 
members purchased the other. The corner stone 
of the edifice was laid September 5, 1857, and it 
was dedicated November 6, 1859. The late Will- 
liam H. Dodge, of New York, presented the bell 
to the congregation. The attendance has so in- 
creased that it has been found necessary to pur- 
chase the adjoining lot to which it is proposed to 
remove the church building for temporary use, and 
on the present site build a much larger stone edi- 
fice, and when finished use the old building for 
Sunday school and other church purposes. 

The first Protestant Episcopal Church service 
in Scranton of which I have any knowledge, was held 
August 29, 1848, in the " Village Chapel." It was ^<i 
conducted by Bishop Potter, who w^as brought here r-^ 
from Salem by Judge Pettebone. The next day 
Mr. John S. Dewey, a bookkeeper of Scrantons & 
Piatt, took him to Wilkes-Barre. 

St. Luke's Church and congregation occupied 
the Odd Fellows' Hall from October 24, 1852, to 
July 24, 1853. The church was organized August 
5, 185 1, at the residence of Mr. Charles Swift, for- 
merly of Easton, Pa. Rev. John Long, rector ; 
E. Hitchcock and J. C. Burgess, wardens ; B. H. 
Throop, M. D., Charles Swift, L. N. Clarke, E. S. 
AI. Hill and J. Kirlin, vestr3nnen. The firm of 
Scrantons & Piatt gave the church authorities lots. 

Scraiitou^ Pa. 79^ 

26 and 27 in block 30, on Penn avenue — the Lack- 
awanna Iron and Coal Co., which was organized 
soon after, made the deed for them, Tlie corner 
stone of the church building was laid April 19, 
1863, '■ with ceremonies appropriate to the occa- 
sion." The services were conducted by Rev. John 
Long, the rector, assisted by Messrs. Miles, of 
Wilkes-Barre ; Skinner, of New Milford, and Men- 
delhall, of Salem. Ten other clergymen of the 
Episcopal Church being present. The church was 
consecrated by Bishop Potter, November 13, 1853. 
Doctor Thropp presented the church with a bell 
which was first used May 22, 1859. 

Mr. Piatt intended to enlarge these notes but 
was prevented from doing so by the illness and 
death of his wife, who died July 4, 1887. Shortly 
after he was stricken with paralysis and died 
November 15, 1887. At the request of friends 
they are now published as he left them, b}- his 

Joseph C, Ella J. and Frank E. Platt. 
Scranton^ Pa., October. 1880. /^m 



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