Forty Fort Borough

Was carved from the territory of Kingston township. It is one of the beautiful suburban towns supplied by two railroads, having each a station, and by electric street cars, passing entirely through the place and on to Pittston and Scranton. But a few years ago this was all a rich and prosperous farming section. Forty fort, built by the first "forty" of the Connecticut settlers, was their place of safety and defence from the marauds of the savages and the invasions of the more terrible white enemies. Here was the central hub, around which revolved tremendous events of the colonial days. From this old historic fort the patriots went out to the slaughter upon the fatal field of Wyoming. There is nothing now to mark the spot of the old historic fort; the ground has been plowed and now it is a part of the street in the borough.
Fort Fort was organized a borough in 1887; bounded by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western railroad on the west, by Wyoming borough on the north, the Susquehanna river on the east and Dorranceton on the south. First officers: Burgess, Abram Live; council: George Shoemaker, president; Crandall Major, secretary; L.A. Barber, treasurer; J. Shook, Adam Heisz and A.C. Stout; second burgess, David Culver; third, W.J. Stroh, the present incumbent. Present officers: W.J. Stroh, burgess; council: George Shoemaker, president; Fred L. Space, secretary; Culver Perrin, Joseph C. Tyrrel, John Clark and John Donachie; treasurer, A.D. Thomas; superiniendent of streets, John S. Pettebone.
The borough is supplied with elegant water, brought from Spring brook, above Pittston, by the Spring Brook Water company. The mains were extended to this place in 1891. The result is no town in this section is more fortunate in its water supply. There are no coal breakers within the borough, while there are many in the near vicinity, but little of the coal has been mined under the town. It has a population of 1,000 and is rapidly increasing. The elegant suburban residences are being added to by others still more expensive.
One of the first merchants, if not the first in what is now the borough, was Robert Shoemaker. His store building stood where is now the corner of River and Wyoming streets. The old building was taken away and the ground is now the newly added part of the cemetery grounds. The next merchant following Shoemaker was Samuel Pugh, whose store and trading place was on the river bank, a little below the cemetery. Here the river-men made a stopping point, tied up their floating crafts and received freight and took in supplies. The little old house he used is still standing and is the residence of his son. The next was Crandall Major, who was a successful merchant many years. In the borough at this time are five general stores and one drug store. NO licensed tavern in the place and no liquor sold.
Henry Stroh was an early settler in Luzerne borough. Years ago he removed to Forty Fort and bought and ran the old Forty Fort tavern, the noted old hotel of the place that stood on the river bank. It was familiar place to the old-time river men. Burgess, W.J. Stroh is his descendant.
Tuttlestown was a settlement made by a family of that name. An old schoolhouse was known for years by that name. Among the old settlers who were farmers here is recalled: R. McD. Shoemaker, Isaac Tripp, Col. Denison, Jr. James Hughes, Hiram Boothe, Adam Heisz, Berdon Shook and Noah Pettebone.
Soon after the first settlers built Forty fort the fort at Wilkes-Barre was ??? In time this became Montgomery county, Conn., and then sprang up a terrible rivalry between the two places for the county seat. The people on the two sides of the river carried on the rivalry sometime with considerable spirit, notwithstanding that for year there was hardly ad day that all were not expecting an attack from the common outside enemy, when all division would instantly vanish and all would huddle in the fort for mutual protection. When the alarm gun would fire then every one fled to the nearest fort. Had there been in the days of settling the county question only the piping times of peace, what a county seat contention there would have been. The people had no time for serious controversy with each other over minor matters, and, judging from recent experiences in the Wst, this had its advantages and the question was decide in favor of Wilkes-Barre, and if there was ill blood generated in the rivalry it soon had gone and left no trace behind.
The Forty Fort Foundry. The Cauldwell Iron works that are being moved from Owego, N.Y., to this place will be a great addition to this part of the country. The work on the buildings was commenced in July, 1892. The main building is to be 40x180 feet with an L 20x60 feet. The surrounding shops will be one-story - all of brick and all modern improvements in machinery. The works will start running about the 1st of December, 1892. And now the iron industry has a foothold here and such are the advantages in fuel and water and in cheapness in living of employes that there is every probability that in a few years the iron and coal industries of Luzerne county may be running in parallel lines. The officers of the Forty Fort Iron works were elected in July, 1892, as follows: George Shoemaker, president; H.A. Jacoby, secretary and treasurer; J.A. Cauldwell, manager; George Shoemaker, Dr. D.A. Thomas, Clavin Perrin, Liddon Flick, H.A. Jacoby, J.A. Cauldwell and H.H. Welles, Jr., directors.
The new works will manufacture engines, boilers, castings and mill work generally, but they make a specialty of steel and boiler-iron jail cells. Several county jails have been built by them already, among them being the following in New York state: Tioga county, Grange county, Delaware county, Cayuga county, Livingstone county, and Pike county in this state.
They will also manufacture Cauldwell's patent iron boot and shoe lasts, which are already marketable all over the world, over ten tons of them having been shipped to Brazil last year. Mr. Cauldwell, who is to have charge of the works, is a practical worker in iron and steel and an inventory of no mean ability. He will live with his family on Maple street in Kingston.
This page was donated by Jeanne
Information is from Bradsby's "History of Luzerne County"

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