Bears the name of the immortal old "Hickory"--the hero and statesman--the man of brains and both physical and moral courage. The township was formed in 1844; is fifteen square miles in area, and was taken from the original township of Plymouth. It once had only game and a grand old forest, that thirty or forty years ago gave employment to its nine sawmills cutting it into lumber; then there were three gristmills, and in the entire township was but one old-time country tavern. Its oak, hemlock and pine forests have faded away before the strokes of the woodmen's axes, and the people sought out ever spot to make farms and homes. It lies in the hills, much of it broken and rough, and everywhere the sweet waters of the mountain springs suggested dairying to the thrifty inhabitants, and the township at one time bid fair to lead all others in the county in this respect.
The first white man to make this a permanent home was Palmer RANSOM in 1795; leading the way for the soon coming of John LEMEREAUX, Jesse BROWN, Maj. B. FULLER, and a few others. The increase for fifty years was very slow, the permanent settlements uncertain, in 1850 it contained a population of 592; in 1880, 661; in 1890, 657; forty years showing a total increase of 69, and the last decade a loss of 4.
A pretty complete list of the early settlers is the following in addition to the above first comers:
Samuel and David ALLEN, William BAKER, Jared R. BALDWIN, Jude BALDWIN, Asahel DRAKE, Rufus DRAKE, Jehiel FULLER, Thomas LAMOREAUX , Edon RUGGLES, Joseph REYNOLDS and Mathias VAN LOON, these were settlers in the other century. Griflin LEWIS came in 1800; Thomas CASE, Joseph REYNOLDS and Levi BRONSON came in 1804; Anson CARSKADDEN, 1806; Jared R. BALDWIN, 1819; Joseph HOWARD, 1821. In the western part of the township the first settler was Henry CEASE, 1831.
In 1795 Asahel DRAKE and Rufus DRAKE built the first sawmill on the J.M. NESBITT place; three different mills were built and worn out on this site. Soon after Jared and Jude BALDWIN built their mill at Huntsville; FULLER near the same time built his near BALDWIN's. ZIEGLER & WILCOX's mill was on the BALDWIN site; George P. RANSOM built his mill, 1815; worn out, and in 1840 torn down, and his son Chester built a new mill.
In 1823 John LAMOREAUX and Daniel DAVENPORT built their sawmill on Bidlack's creek. In 1830 Henry CEASE built his on the old site of the Josiah CEASE's mill on Harvey creek; Sandford PARSONS built at Huntsville in 1847; this afterward was Harvey FULLER's. Jeremiah FULLER and Truman ATHERTON added a gristmill to their sawmill at Huntsville in 1805--the first food mill in the township. Henry CEASE built the Gregory mill on Harvey creek in 1830. Harvey rebuilt and added a gristmill to his Huntsville property in 1863. The saw and gristmill of Ziegler & Wilcox was built by Truman and Green ATHERTON and Egbert BOGARDUS--a saw and gristmill with one water power. Albert LEWIS is now the lumber man of this section. His mills at the lake are rapidly clearing up the remaining lumber of this section.
There are two hamlets and two postoffices in the township--Huntsville and Cease's Mills. At the latter is a gristmill. Huntsville is near the water reservoir, where is gathered the water with head to supply all the country south and southwest of Shickshinny. Below the reservoir about two miles is a second dam, and near this is now by far the most important improvement in the township--Mr. CONYNGHAM's farm and summer residence. He has made expensive improvements and in the way of fancy farming and stockraising it has become famous blooded dairy cattle and fine horses are the leading purpose. As an "outing" summer home this gentleman has all that heart could wish.Back to Town Histories
This Town History was donated by Sharon Freeman.
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