PAGenWeb McKean County, Pennsylvania

WETMORE TOWNSHIP

History of Wetmore Township
from History of the Counties of McKean,
Elk, Cameron, and Potter, Pennsylvania
J.H. Beers, Chicago, 1890

CHAPTER XXI

WETMORE TOWNSHIP--BOROUGH OF KANE
WETMORE TOWNSHIP--GENERAL TOPOGRAPHY--OIL WELLS AND LANDS--LUMBER COMPANY--OIL FIELDS AND ENTERPRISING--POPULATION--OFFICERS ELECTED IN 1890--GEN. KANE--THE SENECA. HUNTERS--FOREST FIRES--TOWN OF JO-JO--LARGE SALE OF OIL INTERESTS. BOROUGH OF KANE--ORIGIN OF NAME--COL. KANE AND DAVID CORNELIUS--POPULATION--THE PLACE IN 1869-74--ELECTION--SCHOOLS--THE BOARD OF TRADE--NATURAL GAS COMPANIES-- WATER COMPANY--BANK AND INDUSTRIES--HOTELS--CHURCHES--SOCIETIES--MISCELLANEOUS

 

WETMORE TOWNSHIP lies wholly within the sixth bituminous coal basin. It is the birthplace of the East branch of the Tionesta, the headwaters of which--West run and Wind run--rise in the Kane neighborhood, enter the East branch, southwest of Kane, whence the river flows northwest into Hamilton township. A feeder of the south branch of the Kinzua (Hubert run) rises within Kane borough, flows by the Sulphur spring, joins the south branch two miles north, whence this branch flows into Hamilton township. Crane creek rises in the extreme southwest. Wilson run, just south of Kane, receives Dalson’s run three miles southeast and flows by Sargeant village into Elk county. A few tributaries of West Clarion flow southeast across the east township line, while Fife run flows northwest across the northeast corner of the township. The highest point measured is near the Sargeant township line or divide, between Beckwith and Glad runs, being 2,150 feet above this level, and the lowest point on the north line, where the south branch enters Hamilton township, 1,400 feet. The depot at Kane is 2,020 feet, at Sargeant 1,716 and at Wetmore 1,808 feet above ocean level. The average thickness of exposures in the township above water level is 575 feet, of which coal measures and conglomerate show 175, Mauch Chunk and Pocono 325, and red Catskill 75 feet, while the highest stratum is the shale cap near Kane, and the lowest on the Shale cap of the Clermont coal forms the summits, and from the drift covering of this cap the rock used in the cellar of the late Gen. Kane’s house was excavated. Fifteen years after the building of this house a shaft was put down seventy-five feet near by to explore the Clermont deposit; owing to the escape of gas the cautious laborers retired, but in two or three days they were able to resume work, as the flow was exhausted.
On the old Kittaning trail, north of this house, the Indians of long ago used to camp, and to-day there is the fire-clay which formed the rest for beds of Clermont in ages past. Around Kane, however, whatremains of this coal deposit was explored and found wanting, in a commercial sense. The Alton coal was openedon the Howard Hill road and in the Swede settlement southwest of the borough at an elevation of 1,980 feet above the ocean, or forty feet below the level of Kane depot.
The Johnson run sandstone at this point is highly fossiliferous. The cuttings on Clarion summit at Kane show its pink-yellow hue and regular blocks of forty feet depth. The color is derived from the equal distribution of iron through its parts, as shown in the prismoidal blocks used in the Leiper memorial church at Kane. The kindred Kinzua creek sandstone also abounds here. The Olean conglomerate here averages about sixty feet in thickness, but one mile from Wetmore, on the road to Blesses, it is found in detached blocks 1,890 feet above ocean level.
The Ernhout & Taylor well No. 2, in the southeast corner of Warrant 3.215, was drilled to a depth of 1,990 feet between March 12 and May 9, 1878, and subsequently lowered ten feet through a fine, dark, oil-impregnated sand. The record kept by M. M. Schultz shows the opening 1, 780 feet above tide, through forty feet of loam and sand, followed by gray slate, red shale, sand, shells and soft, gray slate, down 1,980 feet, when ten feet of dark, oil-impregnated sand was brought up, and from 1,990 to 2,000 feet, the oil containing coffee grounds. The well was cased down 364 feet, but when it was evident that oil would not yield in commercial quantities this casing was withdrawn, and the phenomena witnessed in the old Wilcox well repeated here by an eleven-minute water-spout, winning for this the title, “Kane Geiser well.” This spout reached various heights, from 75 feet to 138, and in the winter, when the ice king would grasp the stream, ice would form so as to show a high, transparent stand-pipe. The Coburn Dry Hole, one and one-half miles north of Sargeant depot, reached a depth of 2, 263 feet in August, 1879, and casing inserted for 357 feet. At a depth of 148 feet, and again at 212 feet, oil appeared; at 610 feet gas; at 1.953 feet oil;at 2,238 feet Bradford sand; at 2,093 gas, and at 2,263 slate and sand. The Kane Geyser well was stopped by Dr. Crossmire and others, whop day after day made trial to control its wild flow.
The Kane Blade of February, 1880, notices the purchase of 250 acres of oil land on Warrants 3,760 and 3,786 by H. O. Ellithorpe; the drilling of the Clemeager & Hunt well, on the James Brothers’ land, and the Winsor purchase of 150 acres on 3,760.
Wilcox well No. 1 on Warrant 2,723, six miles east of Kane, and one mile north of the line of Elk county, was drilled to a depth of 1,943 feet in June, 1881, and filled to a depth of fifty feet with oil in one night. The Adams well, on Warrant 2,676,was put down in this neighborhood in 1865. The Wilcox company comprised A. I. Wilcox, D. A. Wray, H. W. Williams and others.
In November, 1883, the Ridgeway Lumber Company purchased 2,500 acres of land near Kane for $58,000. The tract was estimated to contain from six to eight millions feet of cherry, with other varieties of hardwood and hemlock.
In January, 1886, the Kane oil field, or New Black Sand field, appeared so worn out that the oil map, hanging in the Thompson house, was turned by the scouts wallwards, and many operators deserted the field. On January 28, however, the foresight of the scouts was rendered unreliable, for on that day the Kane Company’s well touched sand at a depth of 2,207 feet, and, penetrating it for six feet, found a 125-barrel well. This well was drilled on Lot 426, a little less than three months after the Craig & Cappean well was drilled (November 11, 1885), 400 rods south by east. The wells reported finished on February 11, 1886, numbered fifteen. Mr. Murphy’s, the Associated Producers’. and Chapman & Ficken’s wells were dry. Kane Oil Company’s well No. 1, on Lot 11, of Griffith’s, produced gas, and their well No. 2 seventy-five barrels of oil; P. T. Kennedy’s well, on Lot 12, yielded forty-five barrels per day; Simpson & McMullen’s, on Lot 19, did notproduce; Bayne, Fuller & Co.’s well, on Lot 20, gave 15 barrels; The Associated Producers’ wells No. 1 and 2, 77 barrels; Craig & Csappeau’s Nos. 1 and 2, 114 barrels; Roy, Archer & Clemenger’s wells yielded gas, also Tennent & Co.’s, while the new well referred to above gave 125 barrels per day, and gave new life to the district, leading to an increase of ten, by February 11, from the twenty-six wells in existence January 28. By April 10, the Kane Oil Company had six wells in the field. No. producing 225 barrels, and No. 1, 145 barrels. The Union Oil Company had seven of from 70 to 197 barrels per day; Coast & Thyng’s No. 1 yielded 242 barrels, while Shirley and Gochstetler, Andrews & Co., and Reed & Brown wells, were all producers.
In January, 1889, the firms of West & Co., and Davis & Co., drilled for oil on Warrant 3,131, in Wetmore, two and one-half miles north of Kane. At 1,778 feet they tapped the oil sand, but not satisfied with the promise of a ten-barrel well, they continued the boring to 1,956 feet, when they struck the heaviest flow of gas known in the Kane region.
The first gas well in the Kane area was struck in the fall of 1884. To-day the pressure varies gtom 200 to 1,200 pounds to the square inch. On November 11, 1885, this field yielded its first oil.
Wetmore township, in 1880, had a population of 1,438. In 1888 there were 184 Republican votes, sixty-one Democratic, eighteen Prohibitionist and three Labor-Unionist, or a total of 266, on which figures the population is estimated to be 1,330. A number of unnaturalized residents, however, (Swedes, Italians, Germans), place the true population far above this.
The township officers elected in February, 1890, are as follows: Supervisors, Charles Hedman, Peter Nelson; school directors, P. A. Carlquist, E. W. Campbell; constable, G. N. Jackson; auditor, John Selin; town clerk, C. L. O’Kerlind; justic of the peace, Eric Erikson; collector, William Wilkins; judge of election, J. O. Liddell; inspectors, John McNall, Neil C. McEwen.
In 1855 Gen. Kane came to the upper Clarion with a number of friends, where his father and the widow of Mr. Leiper owned lands. The party took up their quarters in Williamsville, on the Elk county side of the Wilcox farm. In 1856 Mrs, Kane accompanied her husband into the wilderness, and that year the General instructed Erastus Burlingame in geology, and had him join the explorations of that year. In 1859 he selected the country around Kane for his home, and in 1860 begin the building of the present Kane home. On the opening of hostilities the place was deserted, and the cut stone, which was intended for the building, was stolen and used in filling the railroadembankment. In 1864, however, the work of building was resumed, but the pioneer saw-mill, built in 1864, burned in 1867, and delayed progress.
Evidences of prehistoric occupation are not wanting. There are three earthworks or forts, each from two to four feet high, and about one mile apart. They resemble each other, being all of a true circle and about fifty paces across the center, and are evidently of great age, as large trees have grown up their embankments. One contains from eight to ten small mounds with a deep hole in the center, and all are situated on high land far from water. Two cannon balls or shells were found at Kane when excavating for a round-house. They are supposed to be reminders of the soldiers of the Revolution.
In May, 1880, the Seneca hunters, with their women and children, camped below Kane in the great pigeon roosts. Their object was to feed on young pigeons, which they intended to capture and kill chicken fashion, but owing to some miscalculation, they arrived at the wrong time, and so had to evacuate the location in the face of starvation, as they had no arms to bring down the hitherto despised old birds.
The forest fires around Kane in May, 1888, originated near Wetmore, destroying three houses at Swamp Lodge, the Clinton Oil Company’s stock and property; The Boston Oil Company’s rigs and tanks; Treat & Mallory’s rigs and tanks, while much of the country between Kane and Mount Jewett was burned over. The clothes-pin factory of Howells, Moffitt & Co., of West Kane was destroyed that month.
The town of Jo Jo, which sprang into existence in the winter of 1885-86, was practically deserted in April of the latter year. In October, 1889, the name of the place was changed to Joville, and a post-office established there, with Thomas J. McCann, master. The Kane Oil Field Railroad, built in 1886, had the tracks removed, and the James Brothers’ milling interest, or Weaver’s mill, was moved to Alton.
About the heaviest deal that has been made here for some time was made between J. T. and W. Griffith and parties who owned a large oil interest near the western limit of Kane. This interest consists of twenty-two producing wells, and was purchsed by the Griffiths for $80,000.

BOROUGH OF KANE

The town was named in honor of Thomas L. Kane. He and David Cornelius were the first of the white men to settle here, and Mr. Kane was also the first in Pennsylvania to volunteer his services tothe government at the commencement of the civil war, he having been colonel of the famous Bucktail Regiment, dying on Christmas Day, 1883. His sons are Elisha, Evan O. and Thomas L., and with creditable zeal they are carrying out the public spirited policy adopted by their father, the honorable and distinguished founder of the place, doing their utmost to advance the community in all that is possible for man to accomplish.
Kane borough, which was included in Wetmore township in 1880, gave, in 1888, 163 Republican, 117 Democratic, 37 Prohibition and three Labor Unionist votes, or a total of 320. The figures multiplied by six give an approximate of the present number of residents as 1,920, but local authorities place it much higher. In January, 1890, Robert Campbell, city assessor, reported a population of 1,925.
In December, 1869, a large hotel (164x122 feet, four stories) was completed; the railroad restaurant was carried on by the Nicholses; the McKean and Elk Land and Improvement Company’s park of 600 acres was laid out; the Catholic church building, 40x60 feet, was completed prior to this time by Father Voisard. Rev. Goodrich preached to the Methodists in a log house, the school building was completed, while the Swedes held religious meetings on Fraley street. In 1871 O, D. Coleman, Leonard & Meese, and Robert Lafferty, were the leading merchants. The large saw-mill (Kane’s) was burned in July, 1867, entailing a loss of $75,000. The commercial interests of Kane in 1871 were represented by F. W. Meese, J. Davis, O. D. Coleman and M. W. Burk, merchants; R. E. Looker and P. Burns, grocers; D. T. Hall, of the Kane House; J. D. Leonard, postmaster; J. D. Barnes, foreman of steam saw-mill; William Bartholomew, butcher; M. Crotty, shoemaker; James Hyde, machinist; and William Gannon, locomotive engineer. The railroad buildings at Kane were destroyed by fire May 10, 1874.
Election.--The charter election of Kane borough was held February 15, 1887, when W. B. Smith received 235 votes for burgess (being the total vote cast). George Griffith, J. McDade, O. D. Coleman, J. C. Myers, H. H. Corson and R. W. Smith were elected members of council; J. H. Grady, O. B. Lay, P. J. Daly, M. W. Moffitt, J. Davis and R. M. Campbell received each a full vote for school directors; C. V. Gillis was chosen justice; Robert Campbell, assessor; Henry McConnell, collector; F. A. Vanorsdall, auditor; Dan Matthews, constable; John Wegley, high constable; William Turby, judge and A. Peterson, inspector of elections. W. B. Smith was elected burgess in 1885. In February, 1889, Joshua Davis and E. H. Long received each 126 votes. The matter was decided by the court declaring the office vacant and appointing M. W. Moffitt, burgess. A. Y. Jones was chosen justice, receiving 130 votes, while D. T. Hall received only 117.
The following is the vote cast in the borough in February, 1890:
Water Tax--For, 190; against, 44.
Burgess--M. W. Moffitt, R., 107; George Kinnear, D., 81; N. M. Orr, I., 85.
Council--W. B. Smith, R., 172; C. E. Brown, R. & P., 128; T. H. Ryan, R., 99; P. McHale, D., 98; William O’Connor, D., 81; James Cochran, D., 81; Dr. W. J. Armstrong, I., 39; Webb Evans, I., 34; G. W. Neuls, I., 37; O. B. Lay, P., 38; D. Staples, P., 22.
School Directors--T. S. James, R. & P., 150; Albert Peterson, R. & P., 139; Dr. J. L. Wright, D., 102; Edward Brooder, D., 88; William Hubard, I., 35.
Constable--R. E. Looker, R., 160; James F. Wood, D. 59; Davis Smiley, P. & I., 49.
High Constable--H. N. Cummings, R., 121; John McDonough, D., 80;D. M. Longshore, P. & I., 64.
Auditor--Dennie Davis, R., 134; E. H. Long, D., 88; W. O. Marvin, P., 20; Willis Jackson, I., 32.
Tax Collector--R. E. Looker, R., 96; James F. Wood, D., 38; Davis Smiley, P. & I., 34; C. V. Gillis, I., 103.
Judge of Election--F. W. Meese, Sr., R., 133; D. T. Hall, D., 86; William Blew, P. & I., 55.
Inspector of Election--W. H. Davis, R., 137; Richard Kerwin, D., 85; Milton Craven, P., 24.
Schools--The Kane school building was erected in 1883 at a cost of about $12,000. In 1885 W. P. Eckles was principal, with Misses Jones and Hodges, assistants. R. Campbell is president of the school board, O. B. Lay, secretary, W. J. Armstrong, treasurer, and Charles Roos, Grady and McKnight unofficial members. The schools are presided over by C. D. Higby. The teachers are KateRyan, Irene Davis, Florence Olmsted and May Norris. The Convent school-building was erected in 1882, and has been attended by three sisters of the Benedictine Convent. The enrollment is over 150.
The Board ofTrade--Of this organization Joshua Davis is president; J. T. Griffith and Eugene J. Miller, vice-presidents; U. M. Orr, secretary, E. Davis, treasurer. This organization gave authority to the treasurer to offer the following inducements: Free building sites. Sites in desirable locations will be sold outright for manufacturing purposes at one-half the current prices of adjacent lots, or, will be furnished on lease, rent free in any year when twenty men (daily average) are employed about the works. Free gas. Ijn cases of manufactures where the number of hands employed is large in proportion to the quantity of fuel consumed, the gas companies will furnish gas free for one or more years, according to the number of hands employed. Free lumber. Rough lumber for factory buildings will be donated in special cases.
Natural Gas Companies--In October, 1883, Elisha K. Kane commenced the construction of a system of natural gas supply for Kane, and in December, 1883, Kane Gas Company (limited), consisting of J. K. Snow, Henry McSweeney and Charles P. Byron, all of Bradford, and E. K. Kane, of Kane, filed articles of association at the county seat. In August, 1884, the limited partnership was succeeded by the Kane Gas Light and Heating Company, a chartered corporation of the state (capital $10,000--100 shares). In September, 1884, Messers. Byron, McSweeney and Snow successively sold their interests, and J. D. Brooder, Elizabeth D. Kane and Joshua Davis succeeded them. September 29, 1885, the company reorganized under the natural gas act. At first the company purchased its gas from the National Transit Company, but in May, 1884, they drilled a well at the north end of Fraley street, and obtained an abundant supply of gas at the depth of 2,488 feet. Before means could be devised for confining the gas, the roar of its escape could be plainly heard at a distance of eight miles, and the company were threatened with suits for damage on account of loss of sleep by the neighbors. To avoid interruptions of supply during repairs of well, a second gas well half a mile south of Kane was drilled in 1885. The excellent sand and evidence of oil found in these two wells encouraged Mr. Clemenger to try another “wild-cat,” and the discovery of the Kane oil field. The company’s mains have been extended with the growth of the town, and now (in August 1889) they are laid in every street of Kane, and branches extend to the three villages of West Kane, North Kane and East Kane, while the value of the entire plant is estimated at $40,000.
In 1887 the Citizens’ Gas Company (capital $5,000) was chartered as a competing line. James McDade, president; J. T. Griffith, vice-president; and W. A. Holgate, originated the project and pushed it to success. Mains were laid on the four principal streets of Kane, and a branch to East Kane was constructed. A well was drilled on Fraley street and another on sub. 343, but the latter has since been disposed of. The plant is worth about $12,000, the principal stockholders having procured loans to the company for the excess over the capital. The immediate result of the competition was a reduction in price of gas from $2per stove, monthly, to 90 cents and $1 per stove.
Water Company.--Spring Water Company of Kane (capital $40,000) was incorporated in 1887, the principal stockholders being Elizabeth D. Kane, Elisha K. Kane, Joshua Davis, H. J. James and M. W. Moffitt, all of Kane. Water is obtained from Hubert run, one mile north of the town, the entire valley being preserved in timber for its protection. It is propelled by natural gas itroduced in lieu of steam into the cylinders of a Worthington duplex pump, through a six-inch cast iron main in two 600-barrel wooden tanks, elevated twenty feet above the highest point of ground in the borough. From this reservoir distributing mains are laid on all the principal streets east of the Philadelphia & Erie Railroad. The value of the plant is (August, 1889) about $20,000, paid in by stockholders, the remaining $20,000 of the capital remaining in the treasury for future extensions.
Bank and Industries.--In the Kane Bank, conducted by McDade, Davis & Co., the town has a monetary interest of which it is justly proud. It was founded April 27, 1886. James McDade, Joshua Davis, W. P. Weston and G. H.Preston are the individual proprietors, and they are all men ofinfluence and enterprise. The office is in the modern McDade building, completed in 1886.
A branch of the Security Building & Loan Association was organized January 30, 1890, with the following named officers: President, Andrew Larson, ten shares; treasurer, D. B. Keelor, ten shares; secretary, Carl Egelin, five shares; board of advisors, Andrew Skoog, ten shares; Albert Peterson,ten shares; Andrew Skogland, five shares.
In the James Brothers, of whom there are seven, although not all of them are residents of Kane, the town has substantial pillars. Their principal business is the manufacture of lumber, their mills being situated about nine miles south of Kane, in Elk county. There they cut 12,000,000 feet of hemlock, cherry and poplar annually, and have suffiecient timber standing to keepthem busy for ten years. They cut mostly yard sizes, and are jsut now completing a lath mill. At Hinton, W. Va., where J. C. James, assisted by his brother, D. W., islocated, they have a mill and other interests, the style of the firm being William James & Sons, the father, now deceased, having founded the business in 1865, taking his son into partnership two years later. They cut yearly 2,000,000 feet of pine, poplar and oak, and from both there and Elk county they make shipments to all parts of Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The business in Kane is in charge of H. J. and T. S. James.
The Griffith mills were established in 1866, by Thomas Griffith, who conducted them until 1884, when J. T. Griffith leased two of them. A year later he and his brother, Webb, purchased the three mills, which produced 7,000,000 feet of lumber last year. In 1883 the Griffith Brothers established their large store at Kane. and in 1889 invested $80,000 in local oil lands. They carry almost a half interest in the Citizens’ Gas Company, and employ from forty to a hundred men.
Probaly the largest industry in Kane is the brush-block factory, founded here some four years ago by the Holgate Brothers, the oldest and most widely-known firm in this line in the whole country, the business having been handed down to the present generation from a hundred years back. In February, 1888, Joshua Davis, his son, W. H. and G. W. Neuls, became the sole proprietors, retaining the old title, but adding to it the word company. Mr. Neuls, who gives every detail of the business his personal attention, was with the Holgates fifteen yearsago, becoming thoroughly versed in the manufacture of every article made in the factory, including brush heads, brush handles, and white wash, paste, dust, stove and scrub blocks. They make the finest goods, and their productive capacity is 500,000 to 800,000 gross per annum, the variety of handles made being over 50,000.
The Kane clothes-pin factories are operated by David Howells, M. W. Moffitt and Joshua Davis. The works at West Kane were first opened in the fall of 1889. The process of making these is an interesting one. It is done in just six motions. The first one cuts a four-foot chunk off the log, the second saws a board from the chunk, the third saws the board into square strips, the fourth cutsthe strips into clothes-pin lengths, the fifth turns the pin, and the sixth cuts the slot into it. This is done very rapidly, and they are then dried and polished in revolving cylinders, after which they are at once boxed and shipped. The capacity is 300 boxes of 720 pins each per day, or twenty-nine miles in length. In February, 1890, the West & Britton clothes-pin factory was purchased by Howells, Moffitt & Co.
The Carbon Manufacturing Company’s Gas-black factory was established in February, 1889, by A. R. Blood and James McDade. The works give employment to three hands and produce $25,000 worth ofgas-black annually. W. S. Haskin’s is foreman.
The Sergeant Chemical Works dates back to 1886, when the Chemical Company was incorporated with L. M. Otto, president; N. B. Bubb, secretary and treasurer; J. B. Coryell, H. C. Bubb, J. F. Tyler, and C. H. Heim (superintendant) members. The works were erected that year and now employ thirty-five hands. The annual product is valued at $75,000. Natural gas is used in this factory as in nearly all others; part of the product goes to Europe.
The La Mont Chemical Works Company, of which J. C. James is president, J. James, treasurer; Joshua Davis, secretary, and J. B. Finch, superintendant, manufactureacetate of lime, charcoal and naphtha, operating what is known as a twelve retort plant and consuming 3,000 cords of beech, maple and birch woods annually, using natural gas fuel. The works are located three miles south of Kane, have been running seven years, and their products are shipped to Philadelphia and Boston markets.
The Brooder Wall-Catching Packer was patented by Mr. Brooder August 1886 and May 17, 1887. In the use of the Brooder packer no anchor is required, as a screw purchase, instead ofthe weight of the tubing, is imployed in compressing the rubber, causing it to expand, shutting off the flow of gas or oil outside the packer, forcing the same up through the packer and tubing instead. With this invention Mr. Brooder guarantees the shutting-in of any oil, no matter how strong the pressure or at what depth it is to be shut off. The Brooder packers are also used with success in packing off salt water where it is necessary to pull the casing, the packer sustaining the weight of water and the tubing while the casing is being drawn. In January, 1890, John P. Harrell,of the Butler Co-Operative Glass Works, which was burned to the ground the previous spring, recently made Kane a visit to consult withher citizens in regard to bringing the works here. Flattering offers were made to him which were in substance as follows: Ground rent, free; gas from the Gas Light and Heating Company, at exceedingly low rates; and water from the Spring Water Company free. For the site of the works he preferred the land at the “y” formed by the P. & W. and P. & E. Railroads. The gentleman has visited the gas fields in the West and he found noplace which pleased him better than Kane.
Hotels.--The Thompson Home was leased by R. M. N. Taylor in 1876, when the house was first regularly opened for hotel purposes. In 1877 he was succeeded by C. H. Kemp, formerly of the Washington Hotel, Philadelphia, who gave place in 1880 to George W. Jackson. On the removal of the latter, Mr. Kemp leased the house and conducted it from 1884 to 1887, when Martin O’Brien leased it. In the spring of 1888 Mr. Kemp resumed the conduct of the house, being the only successful leasee. The house is part of the Kane estate. There are eighty bed-rooms, together with large parlors, etv. There are thirty hands generally employed. A. Y. Jones is the genial clerk.
The Hotel La Mont is conducted by Rick Donovan, who is one of the most popular hosts in the field. The Fleming House is a favorite hostelry. and claims an extensive patronage, while the Kane House is admirably conducted and consequently very popular. There are smaller hotels and boarding houses in the city, which are all doing a fair trade. The St. Elmo was purchased in November, 1889, by John O’Shea.
Churches.--The Kane Methodist Episcopal Church was formerly connected with the Sheffield work; while a circuit its first pastor was Rev. George F. Reeser. Then followed A. S. Goodrich, S. Holland and Wilder (Rev. Wilder being the one who preached to Gen. Grant when he visited Kane), M. Colgrove, L. F. Merritt, M. V. Stone, H. P. Hicks, S. S. Burton, C. Clark, A. H. Bowers, M. Fording, L. A. Chapin, L. F. Merritt, D. M. Carpenter. L. O. Mead, Fa. A. Mills, W. A. Merriam, J. A. Parsons, C. W. Foulk and J. Bell Neff. Under J. A. Parsons it was made a station. At present the pastor, J. Bell Neff, is putting up a new brick church, which will cost $12,000. The Society was organized in 1864 with the following members: Neil McEwen, Lydia McEwen, Maggie McEwen, Katie McEwen, Mary A. Repine, Joseph Wegley, Eve Wegley, William Hubbard, Charles Everson, Elizabeth Everson, John A. Mell, Hettie Mell, Theodosia Mell, Robert Campbell, Sarah Campbell, Elizabeth S. James, Mary A. Blew, Laura Campbell, Lucetta Lafferty, Hanna Davis, Ebenezer Edwards, Helen Fisher, Orpha Campbell, Almysa Jane Cummings. The first Methodist Episcopal building was dedicated in December, 1872, and the second February 28, 1875. Rev. John Hicks was pastor in 1872.
The Catholic Church dates back to 1866. Rev. G. A. Voisard signed the records of the Catholic Church in 1866, when the work of the church building was begun. The house was completed in 1867, at a cost of $686. In 1869 Rev. Mr. Mullowney presided here; in 1871, Rev. De la Rocque; in 1878, Rev. B. Klocker, followed by Rev. Rev. Hugh Mullen in 1887. Rev. George Winkler, the present pastor, came in 1888. In 1885 the old church was burned and the people worshiped in Temperance Hall until October 13, when the new church was dedicated by Bishop Mullen, of Erie. Rev. George Winkler, immediately upon taking charge of his mission, began the building of the new church; it is of gothic style, 50x100 feet, with a large and handsome foundation to hold the brick work, which is also solid. The spire from foundation wall to peak of the cross has a height of 131 feet. It will, without the furniture, cost $14,000. The number of families attending this church is eighty. The building, if erected under ordinary contract forms, would cost about $32,000. Under the close supervision of Father Winkler the large church, with great high altar, stained-glass windows, modern pews, etc., has been provided for the people at less than half the cost of the highest bid tendered for the work.
The Presbyterian Church of Kane was organized November 15, 1874, by Rev. J. L. Landis. Robert Field and William Hubbard were installed elders. Pending the erection of a building, services were held in the Thomson House, with Rev. J. M. Gillette, pastor. Mrs. Thomas, aunt of Gen. Kane, may be said to be the donor of the church at Kane to the Presbyterian society. It appears that she was anxious that Gen. Kane’s children should be educated in Presbyterian religious ideas, and this, in connection with her desire to build a memorial to her father, Mr. Leiper, suggested this building. The stone was taken from A. A. Clay’s quarry, with his permission, and with this exception must be considered her grant to the society here. In building, Henry L. Taylor was architect; the layer of the stone, Gen. Kane; all Masons, and Mrs. Thomas were the leaders in the ceremony of corner-stone laying; and the latter being the principal and an anti-Mason in sentiment, varied from the Masonic ritual in one instance and used the words of the church ritual.
The Congregational Church was organized December 29, 1887, with Joshua Davis, David Howells, A. Y. Jones, John T. Griffith, R. T. Starsmeare, O. D. Coleman, W. A. Holgate and their families members. Rev. George Belsey is pastor, and A. Y. Jones, clerk. The church building, which was completed and dedicated December 9, 1888, cost $13,000. Lemuel Davis and E. B. James are named among the trustees in act of incorporation of April, 1888.
The Baptist Church was organized November 25, 1887,with the following named members: Charles Roos, Mrs. Ella Roos, Emory Davis, Mrs. Margaret Mentice, Mrs. Sarah Ware, Mrs. C. R. Dickey, Mrs. Parkhurst, Mrs. Dora Norline, Mrs. Martha Young, P. C. West, Mrs. M. E. West. It was incorporated in May, 1888, the subscribers being C. Roos, P. C. West, E. R. Briton, Emery Davis, Norman Thomas, and their wives, A. D. Clark, A. J. Donschi, O. A. Thomas, Madams Lida Mitchell, Margaret Mentrice, Martha Young, Sarah Ware, Parkhurst, Gillis, Dickie, and Agnes Hanna. Rev. O. R. Thomas is pastor, and Emery Davis, clerk. There are twenty-nine members, with property valued at $6,000.
The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Society of Kane was incorporated September 4, 1888, on a petition signed by August Torstenson, J. A. Carlson, O. Hanson, J. P. Larson and A. Peterson.
The Free Lutheran Evangelical Church of Wetmore township was incorporated October 27, 1885, on petition of H. Norlin, A. Norman, G. Oberg and C. F. Karlson.
The Kanasholm Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church of Augustoria Synod was organized in June, 1876, with John Alfred Berling and others, trustees.
The Kanasholm Cemetery of Wetmore township was incorporated as the last resting-place of deceased Swedes in September 1876.
St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Mission Church dates its beginning December 1, 1888, when Mr. and Mrs. Flynn and daughter, Mrs. Eugene Miller, Mrs. Thomas McCleelan, Miss Ella Herrick, Mrs. O’Brien, A. Louisa Long and Mrs. Wilkinson, signed the roll of membership. N. M. Long was the first secretary and J. Elmer Fluke is the present secretary. The membership numbers ten persons, with Rev. A. W. Ryan, pastor.
Societies.--Kane Lodge, No. 566, F. & A. M.,was organized October 28, 1886, with the following named charter members: Claudius V. Gillis, Thomas H. Ryan, Alexander Y. Jones, Joshua Davis, Richard W. Smith, John T. Griffith, David Howells, Edward W. Long, William Turbey, Randolph M. Campbell, Walter B. Smith, James Campbell, Francis A. Lyte, William A. Holgate, Ogden B. Lay, Charles W. Stone, William Hearst, Joseph Manzella, Frank W. Brayton, John J. Stenstrom, Richard T. Starsmeare, Arthur H. Holgate, William E. Blew, J. Frank Tyler, Jacob M. Mock. The three first named have served as masters and F. A. Lyte in 1889; R. W. Smith as secretary, and Joshua Davis as treasurer, with W. B. Smith, master. There are forty-five members with property valued at $1,500.
Lodge 209, K. of P., was instituted July 27, 1888, with the following named officers: C. C., M. A. Bingham; V. C., William B. Beamer; P. A., J. Kingsley; M. at A., R. E. Looker; K. of R. & S., A. E. Myers; M. of F., A. B. Thomas; M. of E.,John Fleming; I. G., George N. Jackson; O. G., John Shaner. The names of past and present C. Cs areM. A. Bingham, A. A. Truxel and William B. Beamer; W. O. Delph was C. C. in February, 1890; John Shaner, A. E. Myers and A. B. Thomas are past chancellors. The names of secretaries are A. D. Swick and A. E. Myers. The present number of members is sixty-four and the value of property is $600.
Kane Lodge No. 412, I. O. O. F., is presided over by L. Davis, N. G. and Willis Jackson, Sec. This lodge has a well-equipped hall, and is one of the most prosperous of the Kane societies.
Charles R. Riddle Post, 238, G. A. R., was mustered in March 27, 1888, with R. E. Looker, Com.; George Griffith, S. V. C.; Michael Gavin, J. V. C.; B. F. Burgess, Q. M.; Joshua Davis, Surg.; David Howells, Chap.; D. R. Matthews, O.of D.; R. M. Campbell, O. of G.; A. Y. Jones, Adjt.; Michael McEvoy, S. M.; H. McConnell, Q. M. S.; E. J. Collins and T. H. Ryan, trustees. The membership at date of muster included the above named with S. P. Bray, William Brennan, Adam Brodt, Omit Brestle, M. A. Bingham, S. W. Brewer, Murty Dowd, C. H. Franklin, G. N. Jackson, J. R. London, James Landragan, L. N. Mosier, W. H. H. Parker, Philip Quigley, F. W. Patch, William Rose, Sebastian Searles, Peter C. Tripp and Thomas H. Ryan.
Col. Charles J. Biddle, Women’s Relief Corps, No. 100, was organized March 27, 1888, with Mrs. Jennie Griffith, president; Mrs. Joshua Davis, vice-president; Mrs. O. Brestle, junior vice-president; Mrs. George Griffiths, treasurer; Mrs. W. J. Arney, chaplain; Mrs. Ed H. Long, secretary; Mrs. D. R. Matthews, conductor; Mrs. C. E. Brown, assistant conductor; Mrs. R. E. Looker, guard, and Mrs. James Landragan, assistant guard. The charter members included the above named with Madams Rose Brennan, Martha Blood, T. Crosson, M. Dowd, Hannah Davis, Elizabeth Frazier, Mary Galvin, F. E. Griffith, Mattie Griffith, Jennie Griffith, Ann Howells, E. Landragan, Mary Looker, Margaret Long, J. Matthews, H. McConnell, Mary E. Mock, Abbie Maher, Ellen Quigley, Harriet Ryan, Maggie Sherry, Rosa Smith, S. E. Stewart, L. Thomas, Misses L. Brestle and Mary Long. The Women’s Relief Corps is presided over by Mrs. Harriet M. Ryan, with Mrs. Ella Kelts, secretary.
Gen. Thomas L. Kane Camp, S. of V., No. 237, claims J. L. Mitchell as captain, and Claude B. Gillis, first sergeant.
Patriotic Order Sons of America, was organized November 12, 1888, with the following named officials: Willis Jackson, George W. Neuls, John T. Campbell, J. H. Gillis, John E. Fluke, W. H. Morgester, Charles Davis, George Smith, Dennis Davis, F. O. Peterson, G. H. Preston, Webb Evans, Webb Griffith, John W. Griffith. The presidents have been J. T. Campbell and Willis Jackson, while George W. Neuls was serving in 1889. W. H. Morgester, the first secretary, was succeeded in August, 1889, by John W. Griffith. The lodge claims thirty-five members. W. H. Davis was president, and Dennis Davis, secretary, in February, 1890.
In August, 1872, a military company was organized at Kane, with Joseph D. Barnes, captain; Thomas Crosson, lieutenant, and Charles Everson, second lieutenant. The membership was about fifty.
The Columbian League was organized at Kane in April, 1888, with A. A. Traxel, P. C.; T. Diffenderfer, C.; Arthur Morris, V. C.; W. W. Morrison, A. C.; George Wyviel, Sec.; Dr. J. L. Wright, Treas.; R. R. Hughes, Col.; J. McChessney, Chap.; A. N. Russell, Mar.; A. Clemenger and J. G. King, Trustees. The society was organized for mutual benefit, and offered a cheap method of life insurance.
TheLoyal Legion claims the following officers: President, Bessie Staples; vice-president, Bessie McDade; recording secretary, Anna Campbell; corresponding secretary, Minnie Parsons; treasurer, Flora Lay; organist, Myrtle Vantassel.
The Kane Catholic Total Abstinence Society was organized in 1873, with John H. Butler, president;-----McKean, treasurer, and James Landragan, marshal.
Kane E. A. U. was organized August 4, 1885, with W. M. Bartlett, chancellor; R. L. Earl, advocate; M. W. Moffitt, president; Mrs. S. B. Thomas, vice-president; Mrs. L. M. Meese, auxiliary; Thomas J. Malone, secretary, and W. H. Davis, treasurer.
Encampment of Knights of Malta at Kane was named in honor of J. T. Griffith. F. B. Booth is E. C., and G. A. Robinson, C.
Branch No. 13, C. M. B. A., was organized in November, 1889, with thirty-eight members. The officers installed were: President, Peter J. Daly; first vice-president, James T. Kelly; second vice-president, Thomas Dwyer; recording secretary, Thomas J. Dolphin; assistant recording secretary, P. J. Sullivan; financial secretary, M. J. Daly; marshal, Patrick Curran; guard, Peter J. Crosson; trustees, John H. Garry, M. O’Shea, James P. Remond, P. Curran, B. Crowley.
Miscellaneous.--J. D. Leonard was postmaster at Kane until the appointment of O. G. Kelts in 1886.
In the fall of 1889 a number of citizens met in O. B. Lay’s office and organized what is known as the Kane Cemetery Association. At the meeting a committee consisting of Messrs. Joshua Davis, C. H. Kemp and M. W. Moffitt was appointed and instructed to procure the ground. This committee at once commenced work and purchased six acres of Erick Erickson at $100 per acre. Mrs. E. D. Kane donated four acres, making in all ten acres. This land has been fenced in. The services of Alson Rogers, of Warren, were secured, who did the work reasonable, and did it well. A part of the ground has been laid out in lots, and the committee are now ready to dispose of them. The cemetery is situated about half a mile south of the borough, and a graded road leads to and through the grounds.
The location of the town in the wilderness, near where the pioneers of Williamsville settled long ago, is excellent. When Gen. Kane came in later years and looked up from the valley of the Clarion he pictured the tree-covered hills, partially cleared of the forest, and in the openings a thousand happy farm homes. In after years, when the railroad sought a way outof the valley and its builders determined to cross the high divide, he selected the summit for a town site and dreamed great things of its future, seeing in fancy the porticoed houses of a happy peopleextending over the plateau and stretching away to the valleys. The pioneer dream has been practically fulfilled. Omitting its poetic features the location is all he pictured, and more than that, for conveniences of life which were notknown a decade ago are found here, and great industries, which provide work for the industrious, take the place of fancy castles. The town is an example of what enterprise may accomplish in a short space of time. It is very young, but very precocious, and the marker of its progress has work daily, for every day adds either a small or large contingent to the mercantile or manufacturing circle and many persons to the community. What history may say of this progressive town at the close of this century depends much on its residents of the present time.

contributed by Joyce Anthony
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