WEST PITTSTON BOROUGH

An elegant suburb of Pittston, or more properly an elegant residence spot of some of Pittston's wealthiest people, where it is a mere step across the river over either of the two elegant bridges spanning the same, and is reached by one of the most inviting residence boroughs in the county. The land is but gently rolling, and the wide streets and straight and shaded avenues that are lined with residences giving every evidence of wealth and refinement. The stranger first visiting the place is delighted to walk and enjoy the natural and artificial beauties of the place. The river just above this breaks through the mountain and as it sweeps past the place is yet practically untainted with the mine drainage that further down so disfigures it. Across is Pittston crowning its many hills and to the north is Campbell's ledge and to the west are the low rising mountains, sweeping away to the west and south and at your feet and further than the ken lies the rich and beautiful Wyoming valley. Commerce and manufactures have practically been kept out of West Pittston. Its entire territory was originally in Exeter township and its first occupation was as that of the "Silent City of the Dead." The Hardings who had been so cruelly massacred July 1, 1778, were buried in the little graveyard that was long known as the Harding-Jenkins graveyard. Judge Jenkins had given ground, and here too he and his good wife (Lydia Gardner) were laid side by side as well as their sons, John, Stephen and Thomas Jenkins, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Capt. Stephen Harding and Judge Jenkins were brothers-in-law. Here were buried Benjamin and Stukely Harding. The recent finding of the bones in digging in the street of West Pittston of one of the massacred Hardings is given on another page.

 

Fort Jenkins was within what is now the borough. This was the most northern of the stockades and of course was the first to feel the coming of the northern invaders. The fort was simply a log house surrounded by a stockade as all these early buildings were at that time. It was situated about fifty yards above the west end of the bridge, but the ground where it stood has since been washed away. An orchard once stood above the West Pittston end of the depot bridge, but gradual encroachments of the river have uprooted nearly all of it.

 

A few old landmarks are still left. The residence of Mr. Carr, corner of Wyoming and Luzerne avenues, is one of the old original farmhouses built when this was a part of Exeter township. J. W. Miller's house, the old ferry house and John S. Jenkin's residence are also points of historic interest.

 

The place was known in early times as Fort Jenkins, and the name was applied to the town until it was incorporated as a borough.

 

West Pittston was incorporated as a borough in the autumn of 1857. The first election was held January 7, 1858, at the Vine street schoolhouse. Samuel Price was appointed judge and Miles C. Orr and Thomas Ford inspectors of the election, which resulted in the choice of Amherst Wisner, burgess; A. J. Griffith, William Apple. Cornelius Stark, Bradley Downing and Theodor Strong, councilmen; Isaac W. Moister, clerk, and Peter Polen, treasurer.

 

Since then the burgesses elected have been: 1859-61, William Apple; 1862, Peter Polen; 1863, A. J. Griffith; 1864, J. H. Jenkins; 1865, R. J. Wisner; 1866-7, David T. Bound; 1868 Ralph D. Lacoe; 1869-70, J. C. F. Rommel; 1871, 1872, B. D. Beyea; 1873, Samuel Price; 1874, Barnard Sharkey; 1875, W. H. Cool; 1876-7, Bradley Downing; 1878, B. D. Beyea; 1879, George Corey; 1880, James Mantayne.

Clerks: 1859-61, Smith Sutherland; 1862 until August 10, 1863, Samuel Price; August 10, 1863, A. J. Loomis appointed; 1864, J. B. Hoyt; 1865, G. M. Richard (acting); 1866-7, Smith Sutherland; 1868-70, October, Charles H. Foster; 1870, October, 1872, R. J. Wisner; 1873-4, William R. Sax; 1875, B. D. Beyea; 1876-7, S. P. Fenn; 1878-80, J. B. Hoyt.

 

Two railroads and the Wyoming Valley Traction street car line all have offices and depots in West Pittston. The streets are lit by the Pittston Electric Light company. Splendid water is abundant from the Spring Brook Water company; the streets are handsomely sidewalked and paved and graveled. The area of the borough contains 323 acres. Present officers:

Burgess, William C. Benton; vice-burgess, S. K. Barber; council: president, burgess; John Struthers, J. S. Jenkins, S. K. Barber, Evan J. Evans, F. B. Sanders, O. C. Foster; assessor, John A. Stone; treasurer, Lewis Jones; collector, Chandler H. Williams; high constable, George W. Walker; street commissioner, William C. Smith; poor directors: John Courtright and P. K. Richards; auditors: Eugene Spencer, John Hughes Blackman and E. W. Stark; attorney, George S. Ferris; chief police, Thomas Williams. West Pittston Hose company No. 1 has hose house 216 Spring Street; president, Thomas B. Mitten; vice-president, George N. Lewis; secretary, Benjamin S. Emory.

 

It has 4 bakers, 5 blacksmiths, Vulcan Iron works, 1 bookbinder, 4 cabinet makers, 6 carpenters, 2 carpet weavers, 1 cigar dealer, 2 confectioners, 4 druggists, 1 fancy goods, 1 fish and oysters, 1 florist, 1 plumber, 2 general stores, 7 grocers, 1 furniture, 1 hay and feed, 1 house furnishing, Luzerne Knitting mills, 1 cracker factory, 1 lime and plaster, 7 meat markets, 4 milk depots, 1 miner supplies, 1 private school, 1 livery stable, 1 stoves and tinware, 3 wagon makers.

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This Town History was donated by Jim Nagle .

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