OCCUPATION BY WHITE SETTLERS. .
The first permanent settlement was made under the claim of Connecticut; by Ralph Austin
and a family named Crossley, who tied to Connecticut after the battle of Wyoming. After a
few years the Austin family returned, put up log buildings and otherwise improved the
place, and became farmers and innkeepers. The parents and several children were buried
on the mountain side, .on the place now known as Rockview, where their graves with others
could be seen but a few years since, but now no trace remains. Matthias Hollenback came
into possession of the place under the Pennsylvania claim. The farm, 256 acres, covers
nearly all of the present borough. It afterward passed into possesion of Mrs. Cist, a
daughter of M. Hollenback, who became the wife of Chester Butler; and after her death the
estate was sold by her heirs to the present company, as proprietors of Shickshinny, in 1857.
The names of the company were George W. Search, Lot Search, Nathan B. Crary and
Nathan Garrison; by them the present town was planned and partially built, lots sold and
other improvements commenced. Nathan Garrison, dying in 1862, was succeeded by his
widow, Rachel Garrison, .and heirs. The present proprietors paid $20,000 for the tract.
The tenants of the farm were inn-keepers. They were Ralph Austin, William Bellas, George
Muchler, -Coates, William Hoyt, Headley & Wilson, who had a temperance house kept by
different men until they, in 1850, gave possession to William Koons; B. D. Koons, Edward
Barman, Jacob Laycock, William A. Tubbs and H. J. Yaple, who is the present landlord,
near where the first log hotel was built; William Shoemaker occupies a part of the house
more recently built, in which he still continues the business, but by changing and
straightening streets it is left some distance from the old river road or Main street. After
the opening of the Lackawanna and Bloomsburg railroad Caleb Atherton built a brick
hotel near the depot for the accommodation of business men and railroad employees, which
has been well patronize. It - is owned by Jacob Gould and kept by William Davenport. The
first store house was built by Stephen Vaughn for Mrs. Cist soon after the Pennsylvania
canal was chartered, and a store was kept in it by Vaughn for several years. The old
store-house is now occupied as a dwelling;, owned by heirs of A. Heller. After Vaughn the
Crary Brothers kept the store until 1841; then Miller & Chapin, until Headley & Wilson
leased the property in 1846. William Koons kept' the store from 1850 to 1856. He was
followed by Thomas Davenport, who was the last merchant here, as in planning the present
town the old historic house was left without a street near enough for business purposes, and
was changed into a dwelling house. The first store outside the old store house was started
by Nathan Garrison and Andrew J. Eldon in June, 1857. After a few months Eldon was
intrusted with the money to purchase new Koods, as they were doing a cash business. The
goods came on, but not paid for, and the dishonest partner was soon on his way to China
with about $3,000 of Garrison's money. Nathan Garrison was forced to close business and
sold to the present merchant, Nathan B. Crary. In the shipping disasters Eldon was
reported about two months later as lost in a storm, having so much gold on his person that
he sank while trying to reach a life boat. At present there are five stores or dry goods and
general merchandise kept in the borough, two drug stores, four groceries, two hardware and
tin shops, three millinery stores and one cabinet warehouse, all doing a fair business for the
town and surrounding country. A post- office has been kept at this place many years, as it
was on the stage route along the Susquehanna from Wilkes- Barre south. Within the limits
of the borough the. only buildings were those necessary for the farm, and the store (except
the workmen's shanties during the making of the canal, from 1828 to its completion)
unti11846, when Headley & Wilson teased land and built a charcoal furnace and other
buildings for business and tenement houses. The iron ore and lime were brought in boats
from Columbia' .county, and the charcoal was burned on the neighboring mountains. The
furnace made very good pig iron. Headley & Wilson and their employees built up an active,
progressive business. They sold their lease to William Koons, who carried on the business
from 1850 .until 1856, when the furnace and part of the buildings were moved to Hunlock's
Creek, and most of the people also left the place before the purchase of the property by the
Shickshinny company in 1857.An excellent flouring mill was built in 1865 by George W. and
Lot Search, costing $5,000 and containing four runs of stones. It employs several men .and
does a profitable business. A foundry was built by Jesse Beadle, L. T. Hartman and
Frederick Beach in 1866, a few rods above the rail- road depot and between the railroad and
canal, costing near $3,000. It was run by a steam engine; is now operated by Luther T.
Hartman. The planing-mill between the depot and foundry was built by Amos Hess in 1874
36 by 60 feet in area and costing $6,000. The Mountain Echo was first issued in 1873 by C.
A.. Boone and M. E. Walker, and transferred in 1875 to the present editor and proprietor,
R. M. Tubbs, who has improved it in tone and literary merit; claiming neutrality in politics it
is free to censure all parties and administrations. There are three blacksmith shops, two of
which are connected with wheelwright establishments, owned and operated respectively by
Miner Brown and Henry Wagner.
MINES AND MINING
Coal was first found on Rocky. mountain about 1830, on land owned by Nathan Beach, by
Humphrey Davenport, who was employed by Beach to prospect for it. Veins were struck in
several places and small amounts mined by Davenport. The coal "Was hauled off the
mountain with teams for several years. In 1840 Darwin Crary, a grandson of Nathan Beach,
commenced improve- ments by which the coal might be brought to the canal.at less cost; a
chute was constructed, through which the coal was run for several months. In 1842 James A.
Gordon built the first plane for Beach & Crary, which did good service for several years.
Afterward the mines were operated by Truman H. Clark and other lessees several years. In
1865 John M. Stackhouse and Matthew Wier bought the mines and made improvements.
In 1866 Cyrus Stackhouse bought Wier's stock, and assisted his brother in the management
until 1869, when it passed into the hands of the Pa x ton Coal Company, who built breakers,
etc. In 1873 the present firm, known as the .Salem Coal Company," was formed. The yearly
production averages 65,000 tons, employing near two hundred men and boys. In the
Newport mountain, on the opposite side of the Susquehanna, are rich deposits of superior
coal, which was mined several years successfully.
In 1857 a company was formed for the purpose of mining in the Newport mountain and
building roads and bridges to connect with the Lackawanna & Bloomsburg railroad. The
company's works were managed by Jedediah Irish, Jesse Hart, Henry C. Carey and other
active, enterprising men, who opened mines, built roads, and a bridge over the river. The
superstructure was built by Luther and William H Trescott, and opened for travel in 1859.
March 17th, 1865, a fllood swept off the superstructure except one reach, and the works
passed soon afterward into the bands of the Mocanaqua Company- A new bridge was built,
but was worn out and went down. Travel is now accommodated by a ferry, managed by a
company of stockholders. Shickshinny creek is crossed on Main street by a good iron
bridge, built partly by the county commissioners. Main street was long known as the river
road, and was a stage and mail route until superseded by the railroad. A turnpike from
Shickshinny to places back of the mountain is chartered and partly constructed.
MORAL AND RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES
. A Sunday-school was maintained by employees of the furnace company from 1846 until
1856. When the population, which had been quite numerous although necessarily transient,
was scattered, schools, Sunday-schools and churches or associations for worship were
nearly all discontinued. John McCauly, the superintendent of the furnace, was also a local
preacher of the M. E. church. Thomas Care, a class leader, and other zealous and efficient
members of that church soon organized societies and meetings for religious services were
regularly attended during their stay at Shickshinny. Samuel F. Headley, one of the
proprietors, was a strict prohibitionist, and a very popular temperance lecturer; he kept
watch on every grogshop started, and drunkenness and dissipation were discountenanced
and kept under tight rein.. -After the exit of the furnace population and the advent of the
present proprietors, Rosaline Gordon, wife of Lot Search, started a union Sunday-school in
the schoolhouse. This opened the way for preaching, by different denominations, in the
school-house. The first church was built by the Methodist Protestants and Presbyterians, in
1860, at a cost of $800, shared equally by those. two denominations. The trustees were
Peter Masters, A. C. Nicely, Henry Baer, George W. Search and Lot Search. It was used
by all denominations for several years, and is now by the Methodist Protestants.
The Methodist Episcopal congregation built a brick church in 1870, costing $11,000, which
is large and commodious, with a basement, containing rooms for Sunday- school and class
meetings, also a very good library, costing $5°°. . The pastors of this M. E. church have
been E. H. Yocum, George W. Miller, John A. Gere, Joseph King, Aaron Kester, John
Morehead and George Warren. The present membership is 180; Sunday-school pupils, 200.
The trustees were John M. Stackhouse, Cyrus Stackhouse, M. W. Millard, George Rustay,
Thomas Senior, John Thomas, W. F. Kline, N. B. Crary, James Post and Daniel Baer.
The Presbyterians built a very neat church of wood, with a basement of stone, costing
$4,700. In 1874 the basement was finished and dedicated, and it was used for all. Deeded
purposes until March 7th, 1878, when the audience room, nicely finished and furnished, was
dedicated. The church in its earlier stages was ministered to by James Ferguson, William J.
Day and others, who lived at a distance and could only give a small part of their time and
service. From May, 1871, Rev. W. B. Darrach was pastor until 1878, when the present
pastor, Arthur Johnson, was installed November 6th. The membership numbers about 100,
and the Sunday- school 130. The elders are G. W. Search, Charles A. Boone, Miner Brown
and Dr. M. B. Hughes. Trustees -John R Bertels, Thomas Montgomery, Lot Search, C. A.
Boone, Dr. M. B. Hughes and G. W. Search. A good library is kept up for the benefit of its
members. The Evangelical of German Methodists have quite a numerous society and
Sunday-school, with a stationed minister and regular services, held in a room rented for the
purpose, but have not yet built a church. .In 1876 Rev'. W. M. Croman, then serving
Berwick mission, made an appointment in Shickshinny, and at the close of the year 1877 the
communicants numbered 80. In 1878 Rev. Mr. Hernberger succeeded him, and at the
conference session of 1879 Shickshinny, with 75 members, was added to Luzerne circuit,
Rev. J. M. Price pastor. The Methodist Protestant church has 45 members and 75 in the
Sunday-school. Rev, J. Farrah is the pastor. During the ten years of the occupation of the
place by the furnace company good .schools were kept in different places, no house for the
purpose being built until 1858, when Union township built the brown school-house now used
for the primary school, on Main street. A few years later a house containing two large
school-rooms was built on Ch1lrch street, in which are taught the higher and intermediate
grades, under the care of carefully selected teachers. The present principal is Professor
Ned Ross. The moral status of Shickshinny is above the average of towns of its size; the
borough having been favored in all the institutions of society with the influence of many
excellent women residing there, including Mrs. Rachael Garrison, Mrs. Rosaline and
Elizabeth Search, Mrs. Anna Beadle, Mrs. Lucinda Sleppy, Mrs. I. F. and Elizabeth Nicely,
Miss Emily V. Gordon, Miss Elizabeth Gordon and others.
The first resident physician, L. C. White, practiced several years from 1846. Since 1847 his
brother-in-law, Charles Parker, has resided in the borough. Others, as Drs. D. Crary, J. B.
Culver and E. A. Santee, were here short periods. Since 1862 William D. Hamilton, M. D.,
formlerly of Baltimore, has been in practice here. Since 1869 M. B. Hughes, M. D., has
practiced here. Soon afterward Jacob Briggs, M. D., opened an office. He also keeps a drug
store, assisted by Dr. Harding, a brother-in-law.. .
The Shickshinny Cornet Band was organized November, 1865, with William J. J. Sleppy as
leader. In 1863 it reorganized, with Chester B. Clark as leader. In September, 1878, J. W.
Shoemaker was chosen leader. The members meet for practice Monday, Wednesday and
Friday evenings. T. Wetheri1l and D. Brooks are the teachers.
Shickshinny Lodge, No. 180,.I, 0. of 0. F. was organized April 22nd, 1846. The first officers
were: Samuel F. Headly, N. G.; Hiram Wilson, V. G.; James S. Campbell, secretary; E. A.
Leclere, A.S.; Jacob Sorber, treasurer. The officers for 1879 were: H. C. Kinger, N. G.; R.
M. Tubbs, V. G.; F. A. Seabert, secretary; Daniel Shoemaker; A, S.; James Post, treasurer.
The lodge meets each Saturday evening. A Josephine Rebecca degree lodge was organized
June 29th,. 1869, with the following officers: F. A. Seabert, N. G.; Carrie B. Post, V. G.; B.
D, Koons, secretary; Lucinda" Sleppy, A. S.; Sallie Briggs, treasurer. The meetings were
held in Odd Fellows' Hall, on Thursday evenings. The lodge is not in working order.
Sylvania Lodge, No.354, A. Y. M. was instituted June 29th, 1865, with the following officers:
Jedediah Irish, W. M.; John F. Nicely, S. W;; A. B. Weil, J. W.; G. W. Search, secretary; A.
C. Nicely, treasurer. The officers for 1879 were: Joseeh Wandel, W. M.; M. B. Crary, S.
W.; Joseph M. Turner. J. W.; C. A. Boone. "secretary; G. W. Search. treasurer; and
Monday evening, on or before full moon, is the time of meeting.
Quindara Lodge. No.483, I. 0. of G.T. was organized December 29th. 1867. The first
officers were: Dr. James L. Killgore, W. C. T.; Fannie Millard. W. V. T.; John Thomas, W.
C.; Elizabeth E. Gordon, W. S.; W. D. Garrison, W. F,S.; C. A. Boone, treasurer; Emily V.
Gordon, W. M.; R. B. Nicely, G.; Winfield Scott, S. The officers for 1879 were: Rev.
George Warren, ,W. C. T.; Hattie Arnold, W. V. T.; J. R. Bidleman, W. C.; R. M..Tubbs,
W. S.; J. M. Stackhouse, W. T.; J. W. Miller. W. F. S.; May Winans, W. M.; Lottie
Sunderland, W. G.; Charles W. Laycock, S.
Shickshinny Counci1, No.115. 0. U. A. M. was instituted May 17th, 1869. The first officers
were: A. H. McWayne, C.; J. W. Romich, V. C.; G. W. Briggs, R. S.; J. M. Snyder, A. S. ;
N. B. Allegar, F. S. ; Aaron Briggs, E.; J. H. Rhone, 0.; J. L.Winner, treasurer. The present
officers are: George. W. Youells. C.; N. C. Laning, v. c.; John S. Prince, R. S.; W. W. Smith,
A. S.; .A. M. Everhart, F. S.; V. E. Chap1n, E.; S. A. Welsh, 0.; P. Weiss, treasurer. The
council meets weekly at Mechanics' Hall, East Union street.
Knapp Lodge. NO.209, K. of P. was organized December 10th, 1869. The first officers were:
B. D. Koons P. C.; A. McDowell, C. C.; E. W. Stiles, V. C.; John F. Caslon, K. R. S.; H. M.
Briggs, M. E.; M. J. Sdyder, M. F.; C; A. Boone, M. A.; J. H. Rhone, I. G.; G; C.
McWayne, 0. G. The officers for 1879 were: B. D. Koons, P. C.; John F. Caslon, C. C.;
Edward S: Hartman, V. C.; J. S. Sunderland, P.; W. Miller, M. E.; Luther T. Hartman, M.
G.; M. B. Hughes, K. R. S.; Hiram Dietrick, M. A.; C. W. Dietrick, I. G.; P. M. Koons, 0.
G. The lodge meets weekly at Mechanics' Hall, Monday evenings.
CIVIL W AR TIMES
During the efforts to suppress the Rebellion Shickshinny was a general rallying point and
recruiting station. At the first call for volunteers, Henry M. Gordon, Charles B. Post,* John
Minich, Emanuel Dietrich and J. C. Turner responded, and joined the first company raised
in the county in April, 1861. Afterward their noble example was followed by James Post. W.
A. Tubbs,* Thomas Davenport, Frank A. Seabert, James McNeal,* William J McNeal.
Martin McNeal, I. & W. Scott.* George Wildoner, Conrad Jumper. H. S. Clark, W. F.
Kline, Levi Arnold, William Weatherwax,* Moses Springer, J. L. Winner, Joshua McAffee,
Elijah Dietrick,*.Hiram Dietrick, William Wright.* George Youells, Andrew H. McWayne,*
N. B. Fitzgerald, Isaac B. Titus, Bowman Garrison, -Garrison.
*-.Died in the service.