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Warren County, Pennsylvania, Genealogy

Columbus Township

Map showing Columbus township in Warren county


Home > Townships > Columbus

Columbus was organized as a separate township on May 25th, 1825.

Boroughs and Villages

  • Baker Hill
  • Bear Lake
  • Columbus
  • Dewey Corners
  • Humphrey Hill
  • Pine Valley
  • Scotts Crossing




Church Records

Early History - Schenck, 1887

Family Histories and Biographies


Photographs and Postcards



Roadsign Welcome
Road sign
Photograph courtesy of Bimmy Urso


The links, below, are to the Columbus Township section in the Schenck History where the individual's name first appears; however, many of these pioneers are mentioned numerous times throughout this site. To find these additional entries, use the Find (Ctrl-F) search feature for this page or the Google search box on the Warren County Genealogy homepage to search the entire site.

Pioneers and those who came later...

Those with a * after the name moved away.
  • AYER, H. S., b. 1828 (see biography)
    • AYER, Ellen (CADY), wife of H.S.
    • AYER, Ruth E., daughter of H.S.
    • AYER, Martha R., daughter of H.S.
    • AYER, Anna L., daughter of H.S.
  • BAKER, Ira, d. 1885
  • BASSETT, Symon
    • BASSETT, Mary (TILLOTSON), wife of Symon
    • BASSETT, Sally, daughter of Symon (see Isaac HOWARD, below)
  • BLAIR, Dewitt C., b. 1824 (see biography)
    • BLAIR, Evaline (WALTON), wife of Dewitt
    • BLAIR, Edith Allene, daughter of Dewitt
  • BLANCHARD, Thomas S., 1813-1879
    • BLANCHARD, Margara (JACQUES), wife of Thomas, b. 1811
    • BLANCHARD, Robert E., son of Thomas
    • BLANCHARD, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas (married J. C. EASTMAN)
    • BLANCHARD, Thomas G., son of Thomas
    • BLANCHARD, William C., son of Thomas, b. 1854 (see biography)
      • BLANCHARD, Ellen M. (AYLSWORTH), wife of Wm.
      • BLANCHARD, Lillie M., daughter of Wm.
      • BLANCHARD, Mary L., daughter of Wm.
  • BRACKEN, William, 1767-1851
    • BRACKEN, Jane (Thompson), wife of William, d. 1821
    • BRACKEN, Thomas, son of Wm
    • BRACKEN, Hannah, daughter of Wm
    • BRACKEN, George W., son of Wm, b. 1816 (see biography)
      • BRACKEN, Angeline (LLOYD), wife of George, d. 1879
      • BRACKEN, George Duane, b. abt 1854
      • BRACKEN, Archie, son of George, b. abt 1856
      • BRACKEN, Nell, daughter of George
      • BRACKEN, Martha, daughter of George
      • BRACKEN, John, son of George
  • BURROUGHS, Dr. Frank R., Sr., d. 1865
    • BURROUGHS, Sarah (MERRIAM), wife of Frank, Sr.
    • BURROUGHS, Dr. Frank R., Jr., 1859-1925 (see biography)
      • BURROUGHS, Julia (CLARK), wife of Frank, Jr., b. 1865
      • BURROUGHS, Ellen L., daughter of Frank, Jr., b. 1884
  • CLARK, Dr. Robert C., b. 1855 (see biography)
    • CLARK, Cora A. (DEAN), wife of Robert
    • CLARK,
  • CURTIS, David
  • DEAN, Benjamin, Sr.
    • DEAN, Hannah (Allen), wife of Benjamin, Sr.
    • DEAN, Benjamin, Jr., son of Benjamin, Sr., b. 1817
      • DEAN, Helen M., wife of Benjamin, d. 1873
      • DEAN, Cora A., daughter of Benjamin (see Dr. Robert CLARK, above)
    • DEAN, Job P., son of Benjamin, Sr.
  • DEAN, Daniel A., b. 1822 (see biography)
    • DEAN, Cordelia (COE), 1st wife of Daniel, d. 1852
      • DEAN, James, son of Daniel
      • DEAN, Mary C., daughter of Daniel
    • DEAN, Mary Jane (HOLMES), 2nd wife of Daniel
      • DEAN, Robert, son of Daniel
      • DEAN, Charles, son of Daniel
      • DEAN, Jesse, son of Daniel
      • DEAN, Clara, daughter of Daniel
  • DEWEY, John, d. 1870
    • DEWEY, Maria (WHITTAKER), wife of John, d. 1860
    • DEWEY, Richard, son of John
    • DEWEY, Daniel A., son of John, b. 1821 (see biography)
      • DEWEY, Maria Louise (LAWRENCE), wife of Daniel
      • DEWEY, Nellis Edgar, son of Daniel, b. 1848
      • DEWEY, Leland, son of Daniel, b. 1851
      • DEWEY, Daniel M., son of Daniel
      • DEWEY, Lola M., daughter of Daniel, b. 1854
      • DEWEY, Lillie M., daughter of Daniel
      • DEWEY, Lottie P., daughter of Daniel
    • DEWEY, William, son of John, b. 1826
    • DEWEY, Melissa M., daughter of John, b. 1829
  • EWER, Asa
    • EWER, Asa, son of Asa, b. 1824 (see biography)
    • EWER, Nancy M. (HOWARD), wife of Asa, b. 1832
    • EWER, Alston De Elmer, son of Asa, 1852-1933, buried David Curtis Cemetery
    • EWER, Isaac Mt. Vernon, son of Asa, b. 1861
    • EWER, Lily Blanche, daughter of Asa, b. 1868
  • FRAMPTON, Nathaniel
  • HOPKINS, James
    • HOPKINS, Nancy E. (Parkhurst), wife of James
    • HOPKINS, Andrew Joseph (see biography)
      • HOPKINS, Efifa J. (ARAIDON), wife of Andrew
  • HOWARD, Isaac, 1795-1881, buried Westlawn Cemetery
    • HOWARD, Charlotte or Sally (BASSETT), wife of Isaac, 1800-1896, buried Westlawn Cemetery
    • HOWARD, Mary E., daughter of Isaac, b. 1820
    • HOWARD, Hiram D., son of Isaac, b. 1822
    • HOWARD, William Bassett, son of Isaac, 1824-1901, buried Westlawn Cemetery (see biography)
      • HOWARD, Martha Maria (RAYMOND), wife of Wm., 1827-1881, buried Westlawn Cemetery
      • HOWARD, William Bert, son of Wm, 1868-1932, buried Westlawn Cemetery
      • HOWARD, S. Belle, daughter of Wm, d. 1884 (married Howard ROWE)
    • HOWARD, Nancy M., daughter of Isaac (see Asa EWER, above)
    • HOWARD, Ivory F., b. 1832
    • HOWARD, Simon D., 1824-1850, buried Westlawn Cemetery
  • HOWARD, John G., 1783-1875
    • HOWARD, Sally (WHITFORD), wife of John, 1788-1834
    • HOWARD, Huldah, daughter of John
  • HUMPHREY, Reuben, b. 1812 (see biography)
  • HUMPHREY, Winfield S., b. 1861 (see biography)
  • JONES, S. P., 1799-1877
    • JONES, Hannah (PETERSON), wife of S. P., b. 1806
    • JONES, Caroline, daughter of S. P., married Theo. CHANCE
    • JONES, Augustus, son of S. P., b. 1836 (see biography)
      • JONES, Elizabeth (NOTTINGHAM), wife of Augustus
      • JONES, Paul A., son of Augustus
    • JONES, Eveline, daughter of S. P., married Thomas SAMPLE
    • JONES, Estella, daughter of S. P., married Charles FRITZ
    • JONES, Otto, son of S. P.
    • JONES, Oscar, son of S. P.
    • JONES, Andrew, son of S. P.
    • JONES, Charles, son of S. P.
      • JONES, De Forest, son of Charles
  • JUDSON, John, d. 1878 (see Dewitt BLAIR biography)
  • KENNEDY, Isaac
    • KENNEDY, Catherine (RECTOR), wife of Isaac
    • KENNEDY, Austin I., son of Isaac, 1820-1894 (see biography)
    • KENNEDY, Fidelia (HATCH), wife of Austin, 1823-1871
  • MATHER, Luther, 1785-1842, buried David Curtis Cemetery
  • MUNROE, Joseph
  • MURRAY, Thomas jr., b. 1831 (see biography)
    • MURRAY, Emily (TRUSSLER), wife of Thomas
    • MURRAY, William R., son of Thomas
    • MURRAY, Philip F., son of Thomas
  • PEARCE, Loren, 1815-1880
    • PEARCE, Eliza M. (MATHER), wife of Loren (see biography)
    • PEARCE, Ellen, daughter of Loren, d. 1864
    • PEARCE, Charles R. P., adopted son of Loren
  • RAYMOND, Fitch, 1791-1853 (see son Harry's biography), buried Westlawn Cemetery
    • RAYMOND, Electa (Brown), wife of Fitch, 1800-1859, buried with her husband in Westlawn Cemetery
    • RAYMOND, Harry D., son of Fitch, 1830-1912 (see biography), buried Westlawn Cemetery
      • RAYMOND, Mary E. (SPENCER), wife of Harry, 1826-1898, buried Westlawn Cemetery
      • RAYMOND, Sallie E., daughter of Harry (see Frank Howard, above)
      • RAYMOND, Alice, daughter of Harry
  • RAYMOND, Sears S., d. 1873, buried with his wife in David Curtis Cemetery
    • RAYMOND, Caroline (EAGLES), wife of Sears S., d. 1851, buried David Curtis Cemetery
    • RAYMOND, Sears H., Jr., son of Sears S., 1836-1918 (see biography), buried David Curtis Cemetery
      • RAYMOND, Ellen A. (WOODS), wife of Sears H., Jr., 1844-1926, buried with her husband in David Curtis Cemetery
      • RAYMOND, Bertha, daughter of Sears H., Jr.
      • RAYMOND, Addie, daughter of Sears H., Jr.
  • ROWE, Edmund (see also Freehold township)
    • ROWE, Henry L., son of Edmund, b. 1826 (see biography)
      • ROWE, Maria (MONROE), wife of Henry, b. 1827
      • ROWE, Florence E., daughter of Henry, b. 1852
      • ROWE, Charles E., son of Henry, b. 1856
      • ROWE, Fred M., son of Henry, b. 1861
  • SAMPLE, John
    • SAMPLE, Eleanor, wife of John
    • SAMPLE, Nathaniel, son of John, b. 1804
      • SAMPLE, Hannah (WYNN), wife of Nathaniel, b. 1815
      • SAMPLE, Eleanor, daughter of Nathaniel, b. 1837 (married James SPENCER, see below)
      • SAMPLE, Thomas W., son of Nathaniel
    • SAMPLE, William, son of John
    • SAMPLE, David, son of John
    • SAMPLE, Martha, daughter of John
    • SAMPLE, Hannah, daughter of John
  • SAVKO, Mark, 1871-1939 (see census records)
    • SAVKO, Mary, wife of Mark, 1878-1937
  • SEAVER, Randolph, b. 1806
    • SEAVER, Matilda (FOX), wife of Randolph, b. abt 1816 - d. 1881
    • SEAVER, Ellen, daughter of Randolph, b. abt 1833
    • SEAVER, Julia, daughter of Randolph, b. abt 1835
    • SEAVER, Caroline, daughter of Randolph, b. abt 1836
    • SEAVER, Corydon, son of Randolph, b. abt 1839
    • SEAVER, Minerva "Minnie," daughter of Randolph, b. abt 1841
    • SEAVER, Charles, son of Randolph, b. abt 1843
    • SEAVER, Dr. R. Nelson, son of Randolph, 1847-1905 (see biography)
      • SEAVER, Nellie (BRACKEN), wife of R. N., 1859-1939
  • SHIPPEE, Peter, 1799-1875
    • SHIPPEE, Annis (HUMPHREY), wife of Peter, 1809
    • SHIPPEE, Elijah H., son of Peter, b. 1826
    • SHIPPEE, William, son of Peter, b. 1830
    • SHIPPEE, Charles R., son of Peter, b. 1839
    • SHIPPEE, Cyrus E., son of Peter, b. 1847 (see biography)
      • SHIPPEE, Elva (HUMPHREYS), wife of Cyrus, b. 1850
      • SHIPPEE, Ernest E., son of Cyrus
      • SHIPPEE, Paul G., son of Cyrus
      • SHIPPEE, Lena F., daughter of Cyrus
  • SMITH, Elijah, 1793-1873, buried David Curtis Cemetery
    • SMITH, Achsah (JONES), wife of Elijah, 1792-1869
    • SMITH, David O., 1815-1906, son of Elijah, buried David Curtis Cemetery (see biography)
      • SMITH, Sally (SPENCER), 1st wife of David, d. 1846, buried David Curtis Cemetery
      • SMITH, Emily A. (WALTON), 2nd wife of David, 1827-1900
      • SMITH, Albert J., b. 1849, son of David O. (see biography)
    • SMITH, Jones, b. 1823, son of Elijah (see biography)
      • SMITH, Amy (CURTIS), 1st wife of Jones, d. 1860
      • SMITH, Sarah Jane (KNOWLTON), 2nd wife of Jones, d. 1864
      • SMITH, Julia A. (ELY), 3rd wife of Jones
  • SPENCER, Israel, 1782-1865, buried Westlawn Cemetery (see Harry Raymond biography)
    • SPENCER, Sally (WEBSTER), wife of Israel, d. 1839, buried Westlawn Cemetery
    • SPENCER, Israel, jr., son of Israel
    • SPENCER, Oliver, son of Israel
    • SPENCER, Harriet Tracy, daughter of Israel, b. 1808 (see John WALTON, below)
    • SPENCER, Chauncey, son of Israel, b. 1818 (see biography)
      • SPENCER, Emily (MONROE), 1st wife of Chauncey, d. 1880
      • SPENCER, Fidelia (BOARDMAN), 2nd wife of Chauncey
    • SPENCER, Erastus, son of Israel
    • SPENCER, James, son of Israel, 1824-1886 (see biography)
      • SPENCER, Eleanor (SAMPLE), wife of James, b. 1837
    • SPENCER, Mary E., daughter of Israel, b. 1826 (see Harry RAYMOND, above)
  • SPOON, Peter, 1794-1884
    • SPOON, Sally (HALL), wife of Peter, 1802-1884
    • SPOON, Simon P., son of Peter, b. 1826 (see biography)
      • SPOON, Marion (HALL), wife of Simon
    • SPOON, Nathan, son of Peter
    • SPOON, Joshua, son of Peter, b. 1834 (see biography)
      • SPOON, Ann Eliza (ALDRICH), wife of Joshua
    • SPOON, William, son of Peter
    • SPOON, James, son of Peter, d. 1864
  • STACY, Rev. Nathaniel, 1778-1868
  • TUBBS, Thomas
  • WALTON, Aaron, Sr., thought to be buried in David Curtis Cemetery
    • WALTON, Artimissa (FIELD), wife of Aaron, Sr., d. 1870, buried David Curtis Cemetery
    • WALTON, Aaron, Jr., son of Aaron, Sr., b. 1800 (see biography)
    • WALTON, John, son of Aaron, Sr., 1806-1888, buried Westlawn Cemetery (see biography)
      • WALTON, Harriet Tracy (SPENCER), 1st wife of John, 1808-1871
        • WALTON, Charles Henry, son of John, 1829-1906, buried Westlawn Cemetery (see biography)
          • WALTON, Mary (PARKER), 1st wife of Charles, d. 1867
          • WALTON, Mrs. Johanna (HESLING)(MORGAN) 2nd wife of Charles
        • WALTON, Laura Ann, daughter of John, b. 1831 (married Washington COLEGROVE)
        • WALTON, Lucinda Maria, daughter of John, b. 1833 (married Lawrence COLEGROVE)
        • WALTON, Darius Seth, son of John, b. 1836
        • WALTON, Louisa Jane, daughter of John, (married Albert DEWEY, later Lawrence MADISON)
        • WALTON, Spencer Aaron, son of John, b. 1841 (see biography)
          • WALTON, Louisa (HAMMON), wife of Spencer
          • WALTON, Cassius H., son of Spencer, b. 1866
        • WALTON, Frank Denham, son of John, twin of Franklin, 1845-1906, buried Westlawn Cemetery
          • WALTON, Harriett C. (maiden name unknown), wife of Frank, 1850-1922, buried Westlawn Cemetery
        • WALTON, Franklin Ferdinand, son of John, twin of Frank, 1845-1845
        • WALTON, Lucretia Emma, daughter of John, 1848-1873
      • WALTON, Elizabeth (LACKEY), 2nd wife of John
    • WALTON, Levi, son of Aaron, Sr., b. 1818 (see biography)
      • WALTON, Cynthia A. (WEST), wife of Levi, b. 1818
    • WALTON, Mary, daughter of Aaron, Sr.
  • WEBBER, Kimball
  • WHITE, Mark S., 1794-1878 or 1879, buried David Curtis Cemetery (includes foto and biography)
    • WHITE, Rachel (WALKER), wife of Mark, 1779-1862 or 1864, buried David Curtis Cemetery
    • WHITE, Lovina, daughter of Mark
    • WHITE, Lucius, son of Mark, b. abt 1834, d. 1893 (see biography and his obituary)
      • WHITE, Adalade L. (LOWRY) DOUD, wife of Lucius, b. 1842
    • WHITE, Lyman, son of Mark
    • WHITE, Laura or Lura, daughter of Mark, b. abt 1840 (married first-name-unknown BEARDSLEY)
  • WICKWIRE, Giles, d. 1873
    • WICKWIRE, Lois (CARRIER), wife of Giles, d. 1877
    • WICKWIRE, Morton D., son of Giles, b. 1829 (see biography)
      • WICKWIRE, Sarah (DUTTON) wife of Morton
  • WILLIAMS, John W., b. 1817 (see biography)
    • WILLIAMS, Emma (WHEELER), wife of John
    • WILLIAMS, Earl, son of John
    • WILLIAMS, Frank, son of John
    • WILLIAMS, Ida, daughter of John (married C. A. BLAKESLEE)
  • WOODS, Lester (see Sears H. Raymond Jr. biography)
    • WOODS, Ellen, daughter of Lester (see Sears H. Raymond, Jr., above)
  • WRIGHT, Jacob, 1803-1882
    • WRIGHT, Clarissa (DAVIS), wife of Jacob, b. 1813
    • WRIGHT, Oliver O., b. 1848 (see biography)
      • WRIGHT, Mary Jane (WILLIAMSON), wife of Oliver
      • WRIGHT, Clarissa G., daughter of Oliver
      • WRIGHT, Jacob W., son of Oliver
      • WRIGHT, William C., son of Oliver
  • YATES, George F., b. 1853 (see biography)
    • YATES, Jennie S. (PURCEL), wife of George
    • YATES, G. V. N., son of George
    • YATES, Lucy J., daughter of George


Bimmy Urso was a previous volunteer for Columbus Township. Her roots to this area of Warren County go back to the mid-1800’s when several of her ancestors settled in the township, including Howard, Whitford, Lyons, and Johnson. Many of her descendants still reside in the township. Thank you, Bimmy, for all your assistance!

If you have any Columbus Township genealogy information you wish to share, please email the Warren County coordinator.





Early History

To aid in finding your ancestor, names below are in bold.

Edited by J.S. Schenck, assisted by W.S. Rann; Syracuse, N.Y.; D Mason & Co., Publishers; 1887

The territory now comprising for the most part the township of Columbus
was formed as early as the 8th of March, 1821, by the name of Northwest,
and attached to Spring Creek. It was organized as a separate township
on the 25th day of May, 1825, and from that time was called Columbus. The
first township election was held in the spring of 1826, at the house of
Captain David Curtis. It is bounded north by Chautauqua county, N. Y., east
by Freehold township in this county, south by Spring Creek, and west by Erie
county, Pa. The township is said to have received its name in the following
manner: David Curtis, from Sherburne, N. Y., and Kimball Webber, from
Columbus, N. Y., both wanted to name the town from their former places of
residence, and after much hot debate it was agreed that the person who should
furnish the most whisky at election day should have the privilege of naming
the new township. Webber offered five gallons and named the township. It
cannot be learned at this date what the whole result of the first election was,
but it is known that Joseph Munroe had already been commissioned justice
of the peace by the governor, and officiated in the organization of the election
board; that Edmund Rowe was the first constable; and that not all the
whisky contributed for the first election was then consumed.

Early Settlers.—The earliest settlement of Columbus is not well ascertained,
and at this period in the history of the township the facts are for the most
part irretrievably lost. The first instrument procuring the settlement of
this portion of the State was the Holland Land Company. Their agent for
this territory was William Miles, and it seems probable that soon after the
year 1795, though not before, a few settlers succeeded in building their rude
huts and clearing each a small space for cultivation. But their stay was not
prolonged. Those settling within the present limits of Columbus, so far as
known, were Irvine, Call, Miller, two Vails, Daniel Prosser, Maxwell, and
Davis. All their supplies had to be brought from Pittsburgh. They suffered
privations which can not be adequately described. They struggled on until
the cold season in the years 1805 and 1806, when they became discouraged,
abandoned their settlement, and sought a warmer climate and an older community.
As an example of the effect of those cold seasons, and the consequent
failures in crops, the settlers had to pay three dollars per bushel for
potatoes and transport them from Union, a distance of fifteen miles. On one
of these improvements, as late as 1814, were the remains of a school-house,
with its benches of split logs and desks of slabs, formed with the ax in the
most primitive style, and fastened to the log walls with large wooden pins.
In 1800 and 1801 Nathaniel Frampton, Daniel Horn, Joseph Phillis, and
perhaps one or two others, made settlements here and remained a number
of years, some of them until their death. In the spring of 1804 Daniel Corbett
came from Lancaster county, Pa., and settled on the farm next east of
Sample Flats. He weathered through the cold season, and in 1807 built a
saw-mill on his farm, which enabled him to construct warmer houses for himself
and others, and to make a little money by rafting lumber down the river to
market. His wife was a daughter of Nathaniel Frampton. Corbett remained
on his farm until about 1830, or a little later, when he died. John Sample,
another early settler, was a son-in-law of Nathaniel Frampton, and settled as
early, probably, as 1800, on the tract in the southwestern part of the town,
known at the present day as Sample Flats. Mr. Sample was a good farmer,
increased his landed property here, and performed his duties as a citizen and
a Democrat until his death, not far from twenty years ago. His grandson,
John, lives now in the same neighborhood, and other grandchildren are
residents of this township. John Sample, jr., was a bachelor son of John, sr.,
and owned property adjoining his father's farm. He survived his father a few
years. The Prosser clearing, named after Daniel Prosser, was about in the
center of the township.

Daniel Call settled previous to 1800 on a farm about two miles northwest
from what is now the borough of Columbus, the place being still recognized
as Call Hill. He went away during the cold season of 1805-6.

Daniel Horn lived as late as 1806 about one mile east of the site of Columbus
borough, on the farm now occupied by Elmer Crosby. In 1866 he
removed to Spring Creek, where his children still reside. Nathaniel Frampton
was living in this township with his son-in-law, John Sample, until as late
as 1825.

Michael and James Hare were settlers, previous to 1806, about a mile south
of the site of Columbus borough. Others of the same surname lived near the
site of Corry, but they had all gone away before 1806.

Luther Chase settled between 1806 and 1816 in this township, near the
line of Spring Creek. Not far from 1830, it is stated, he removed to Titusville.
He was not able to accumulate much property, for he had a large family,
and when he settled here he was well along in years. He was not a public
man in any sense of the word.

James Phillis lived near the Corbett farm for a time, and after that moved
around considerably. He married a daughter of James Irvin, near Wrightsville.
He was something of a lumberman, but much more of a hunter. A number
of years after 1825 he went West. He has a number of descendants in
the county now.

Thomas Tubbs was reared by Daniel Corbett. He was born in Lancaster
county, Pa., on the 1 ith of August, 1793, and while a small lad was bound out
to Daniel Corbett for a term of twelve years. He has written and published
a pamphlet memoir of his life, and describes Corbett as cruel, tyrannical,
accustomed to steal and lie. Tubbs died but a few years ago near Titusville.

These first settlers obtained their property rights by settlement and residence.
About the year 1822 Captain David Curtis, as agent for H. J. Huydekopper,
the successor of the Holland Land Company, proposed to exchange
wild lands in the " Brokenstraw country " for improved lands in Central New
York, and being a practical surveyor, he came here with some others from
Chenango county, N. Y. Soon after this time he sent Jabez Johnson to this
township from Chenango county, who settled at what is now the Center.
There he built a house and for some time boarded others who had come, while
they were erecting houses of their own. Johnson was born on the 18th of
November, 1798; was the first Yankee settler in Columbus, and became well
known here before he died, on the 12th of February, 1841. He was a shoemaker
by trade and engaged in that occupation after his settlement until his
death. About 1823 Captain Curtis, who was probably the wealthiest of the
settlers, came here with his family and took the Johnson farm, upon which he
passed the rest of his life. He was born on the 18th of August, 1786, and
died July 27, 1832. His wife, Delilah, was born September 5, 1791, and died
February 10, 1872.

In 1823 others came also, most of them under the influence of Captain Curtis.
Among them were Aaron Walton, Porter K. Webber, Edmund Rowe,
Julius Merriam, and Levi Boardman, all of them single young men engaged
in chopping and clearing. The next year Kimball Webber, Matthias Spencer,
Aaron Walton, sr., John Dewey, Luther Mather, and probably
William Z. Bush, moved their families from New York State and became permanent
settlers. From that time on the settlements became rapidly thicker and more
modern. When Aaron Walton, sr., came here he found no store in the township
except a small affair kept by Porter Webber at his house about a mile
east of the present borough limits. By the summer of 1825 the lumber trade
had not become a very prominent industry, though it was in full tide farther
down the river. The little saw-mill which Daniel Corbett had built on his farm
had nearly gone to decay, and there was no other in town except the one then
in process of construction by Luther Mather, at the falls, in what is now the
borough. Mather was also building a grist-mill — the first in the township — on the
site of the mill now owned by Aaron Francis. Mather lived then in a
little sixteen by sixteen plank house on the west side of the Brokenstraw, on
land now forming a part of the mill property—then the only house within the
area of the present borough. The site of Columbus village was covered with
an almost unbroken growth of forest; there was no bridge across the creek,
only a rough log thrown over. There was no post-office, the little mail that
was obtained being brought from Warren. There was no physician here,
though Mrs. Aaron Walton had quite a practice in attending families at the
birth of children.

Caption: Dam at Columbus, Pa.
Postcard caption: Dam at Columbus, PA
Postcard from the collection of Bimmy Urso

Luther Mather, who took so active a part in the improvement of the township,
especially of the village, was a son of Stephen Mather, and was born in
Bennington, Vt, on the 24th of June, 1785. He came to Columbus in March, 1825,
from Jefferson county, N. Y., where he had been living for a number of
years. Immediately upon arriving here he became the first settler in, and
the founder of, the village of Columbus. He built a part of a saw-mill with a
little lumber that he had brought with him, and from that sawed out the rest
of his building material. Soon after his brother Daniel and Dr. M. F. C. Fitch
bought near him, and in a settlement with J. H. Huydekopper for his services
as surveyor, Captain Curtis became possessed of lands opposite and also
included in the site of the borough. Daniel Mather and M. F. C. Fitch each
donated lands for a public square on the west side of the creek, and Dr. Fitch
surveyed and plotted that portion of the borough. David Curtis donated a
public square and cemetery on the east side of the creek, and surveyed and
plotted that part of the borough.

Luther Mather married November 7, 1811, Gabrielle B. Balmat, then of
Jefferson county, N. Y., but a native of Paris, France. She died at Columbus
in January, 1881, at the age of nearly ninety years. Her husband had gone
before her on the 9th of June, 1842. They had six children, of whom five
live — Harriet M., widow of Erastus Pearce, in Crawford county; Jedediah P.,
now of Council Grove, Kan.; Joseph V., now of Bear Lake, in this county;
Eliza M., widow of Loren Pearce, now in Columbus, and Arvilla A., now wife
of H. A. Baker, and residing in Corry, Pa.

Among the settlers who came to Columbus during that flood-tide of immigration
preceding 1830 was Solomon Dutton. He was born in New Hampshire
in 1804, of Richard and Sarah (Grant) Dutton, grew to manhood in Columbus,
Chenango county, N. Y., and in 1829 married Rebecca Rice and removed
to this township, where he died in 1857, and was followed by his widow
in 1876. They had a family of four children — Sarah E., Adelia A., Hiram R.,
who died in infancy, and Richard D.. After he came to this place he taught
two terms of school in a log building in the district now called the center school
district. He was an acting justice of the peace for more than twenty-one years,
school director several years, and has held the office of assessor. It is said
that he officiated at the marriage of more than fifty couples. By occupation
he was a farmer.

L. C. Baker, who lives here now, came to Columbus in 1837, from
Cattaraugus county, N. Y., though originally from Chenango county, with his
father, Ira, who settled in the southern portion of the township and there died in 1885.
D. C. Blair came with his step-father, John Judson, in 1841, and settled in the
village, first on the east and soon after on the west side of the creek. Judson
died in 1878. He was for years a prominent merchant of the town, associate
judge of the county, and in other respects a well-known public man and a lifelong
Democrat. Although he came here from Bradford county, Pa., he was
originally from Madison county, N. Y. Ira Baker was a farmer of large property
and was also a very active man. Messrs. Baker and Blair have furnished
the following information concerning the growth of business interests in the
village and townships since their recollection, and from tradition: "As before
stated, the first store in town was kept by Porter Webber. Perhaps the first
in the village was kept by William Jackman, on the site now occupied by the
store of Baker & Co. He moved to Illinois in 1846 and died there. For a
year or two, about 1843-44 and 1845, a peculiar industry was carried on here,
viz., the manufacture of fanning-mills by John Smith, Charles Anderson, and
one or two others; but it never became very flourishing. Anderson was a
great inventor, and only a few years previous to this had invented a new steam
engine for propelling boats. He built a steamer here and took it down the
river to Beaver for the machinery, but his invention there failed. By 1840 the
village had become at least as large as it now is. At this time Judson & King
were the principal merchants in the village and township, their store standing
just west of the grist-mill. Besides dealing in general merchandise they bought
and sold lumber and shingles, which were then practically a legal tender.
About 1848 they sold out to Enfield Leach and Alfred Willoughby. Leach
kept the store five or six years and was succeeded by Willoughby.
Morillo Woodworth became then a partner of Willoughby, and this firm kept
up the business until about 1861.

About 1850 Davis Jones and Charles Hewitt opened a store on the site of
Yates & Smith's present store, and after some three years were succeeded
byDyer Elderkin and William Walker. They wound up the business in two or
three years. The present building was erected by D. A. Dewey in 1871.
About 1876 he was followed by Cyrus Blakeslee, who in turn sold out to
George F. Yates.

D. C. & G. Blair, brothers, opened a store in a building still standing just
west of the hotel about 1851, and traded in it for nineteen years. Upon the
retirement at that time of George Blair, D. C. Blair took his son-in-law,
E. S. Royce, into partnership with him, which continued some three years.
Royce then purchased the business and property and engaged in it for four years,
when he sold out also to Mr. Yates. For about the fifteen years following 1850,
the other part of the building occupied, as last stated, was occupied
successively by D. A. Dewey, Richard Dewey, A. J. Atherly, G. V. N. Yates,
Muzzy, Horn & Cady, and Muzzy, Ploward & Mallett, the last-named firm
finally closing out. In 1867 D. A. Dewey and D. H. Cady started a store
"on the bridge" on the west side of the creek, and kept it about two years,
after which Dewey continued it alone until 1871.

The saw-mill which Luther Mather built in 1825 stood on the east side of
the creek until about 1840, when it was rebuilt on the west side, above the
grist-mill. The grist-mill has been many times rebuilt. About 1830, or a
little later, Mather moved about a mile down the creek, and there erected a
saw-mill on the site of the present mill of Russell Clark, and remained there
until his death. Meantime William Jackman had succeeded him in the ownership
and possession of the grist and saw-mill, and kept them in operation until
about 1842 or 1843, when he failed, and the property went into the hands of
Judson & Hutchins, of Waterford, Pa. Daniel Walton then bought them and
operated them until 1864, at the same time doing a general mercantile and
lumbering business. Stephen Stewart then had the property, and sold the
mills to D. C. & G. Blair, who, after running them a few months, sold them to
Henry Stevens, also in 1864. In one year they sold to James Smith and
John Eason, who operated them five years; Smith, Eason & Walton,
Walton & Eason, A. W. Francis and M. E. Skinner, and finally A. W. Francis
alone had charge of the property. Mr. Francis is the present proprietor.
The second mill that Mather erected, he and his son, J. D. Mather, operated
until 1842, when the latter continued it until 1857. It was then sold by
the sheriff to George Cady, Ethan Skinner, and Asa Walton. After several
years they sold to George Vermilya, who transferred the property to the
present owner, Russell Clark, about fifteen years ago.

Captain David Curtis built a saw-mill before 1830 in the village, a little
down stream from Mather's first mill, and near the mouth of Coffee Creek,
which passed through many hands, and was burned in 1863. Soon after
D. A. Dewey built a steam mill on the site, which was abandoned in a few
years. As early as 1830 Elijah Smith built a saw-mill about half a mile east
of the village, and connected with it a small grist-mill. Smith & Hull operated
the two mills for several years. It was afterward successively operated by
Mr. Pinney, of Pittsburgh, and M. P. Osborne, until the decline of the lumber
trade, when it was abandoned.

At one time, about 1840, Pine Valley, in the northeastern part of the
township, was quite a settlement. There were three mills, owned and operated
respectively by Justin Danforth, Ezra Beals, and Thomas Barker and his father.
About 1860 the decline of the lumber business brought this smiling village to
dust. The steam mill of D. H. Parker is the only industry there now. About
one and a half miles north from Pine Valley, on what is called the "Sulphur
Spring" property, is the steam saw mill of Clemens, Huffman & Jamieson,
which was built in 1885, and is now doing a large business. Chauncey Marble
also has a saw-mill in the north part of the township, about four miles from
Columbus borough, which he built in 1885, and which is doing a good business.
The height of prosperity of this borough, Columbus, was during the
greatest period of activity of the lumber traffic and manufacture between 1850
and 1861. The oil business and the junction of railroads then conspired to
enlarge Corry at the expense of Columbus, and with the growth of that place
has been a corresponding decline of prosperity in Columbus. The borough
was chartered in 1853, and on the 29th of March of that year an election was
held in the school-house on the west side. Nathaniel Stacy was chosen judge,
Charles Hewitt and G. W. Bracken, inspectors, and E. C. Stacy and
Jones Smith, clerks. The officers elected at this time were Ozro A. Smith, burgess;
W. L. Weed, William Byington, William Walker, Alexander Barris, and
D. W. Elderkin, common council; O. A. Smith and D. W. Elderkin, justices;
G. W. Bracken, constable; A. Barris, F. R. Burroughs, and D. W. Mason,
school directors; John Judson and M. S. White, path-masters; M. S. White, judge;
W. C. Howard and Asa Walton, inspectors of elections; Lucius Spencer,
assessor; D. C. Blair, D. A. Dewey, and Hollis King, auditors. There being some
irregularity in this election, another was afterward held with the same result,
except that G. V. N. Yates was chosen justice.

Present Business Interests.—Of the four stores now open in Columbus
borough, the one of longest standing is that of George F. Yates and
Albert J. Smith, who deal in general merchandise under the firm name of
Yates & Smith. The firm was formed on the 12th of February, 1883, succeeding
George F. Yates. The previous history of this store has already been related.
Their present stock is valued at about $5,000.

The firm of Rhodes & Rowe Brothers, consisting of W. R. Rhodes,
C. E. Rowe, and F. M. Rowe, was formed more than two years ago, and deal
in stock containing, among other things, drugs and medicines. They estimate
their stock to be worth about $7,000. The firm of A. Baker & Co. was formed
about two years ago. F. M. Rowe had a store in this building before it was
occupied by this firm. H. L. Zimmerman, dealer in stoves, general hardware,
lime, cement, phosphate, coal, etc., began in Columbus township and borough
in September, 1885, succeeding F. C. Smith, who had been here for several

Hotels.—The first tavern or hotel built and kept in the township was that
erected in 1826 by Porter K. Webber, which is in part the same building now
owned and occupied by H. L. Gordon, on the east side of the creek. In 1844
George Cady succeeded Webber, and remained until 1860, since when it has
passed through many hands. The property came into the hands of Mr. Gordon
in the spring of 1885.

As early as 1830 Dr. M. F. C. Fitch built the other hotel on the west side
of the creek, and after a short time was succeeded by Daniel Walton, who kept
it until 1849, and was followed by William L. Weed. From that time for years
it kept changing hands, until H. P. Stevens bought it. He was the last one
who kept the house open for guests, and he left in 1884. The house is not
now used for hotel purposes.

Undated postcard of a hotel in the village of Columbus

Postcard of a hotel, Columbus

Postcard image courtesy of Warren County Historical Society, Warren, Pa.

In the lower left corner: C.O. Babbitt & Son, Publishers

There have not been many hotels outside of the village of Columbus in the
township. At Pine Valley Lyman Calkins kept tavern about the year 1840,
which was afterward in the hands of Anson Quimby, George Shannon, and
others, and was closed before 1860. It was noticeable for its sign, which read,
"Call and See," and the House was designated as the "Call-and-see House."
A mile east of the village S. W. Webber had a hotel between 1850 and 1860,
but discontinued it previous to the latter date. The building was destroyed
by fire about 1872 or 1873. About three miles east of the village the Kansas
House was opened in 1856 by Seth and Delos Wilber. After the lapse of
three or four years it was converted into a private house, which it still remains.

The Tannery.—As early as 1840 Porter Damon built the first tannery in
town, on the site of the present one. It was then but a small "pocket" affair.
He was followed by Horace English as early is 1847, who kept it in operation
about ten years in connection with the manufacture of boots and shoes, and
sold out to Hollis King and Asa Walton. They ran it until about 1864 under
the name of King & Walton, and were succeeded by Rose & Hewitt. The
senior member of the new firm soon went out, and William Hewitt continued
the business for a year or two, and was followed by Nathaniel Pearson. The
next proprietor was Byron Pearson, from about 1868 to 1870, when
John Williams acquired the property. His son, Frank Williams, is the present
owner and proprietor.

The Equitable Aid Union of America, which has carried the name of
Columbus to all parts of the United States, describes the purpose of its institution
in its title. It was chartered on the 22d of March, 1879, under the laws
of Pennsylvania, the headquarters of the company being at Columbus. The
incorporators were D. A. Dewey, R. Nell Seaver, H. S. Ayer, W. H. Muzzy,
and W. B. Howard, all of Columbus. D. A. Dewey was president of the association
until March, 1886, when he was succeeded by R. N. Seaver, who had
been vice-president all the time previous. Mr. Seaver has also been supreme
medical examiner during the history of the union. Since its organization, also,
H. S. Ayer has held the office of accountant, and W. H. Muzzy of secretary.
In addition to the five incorporators, two representatives from New York and
two more from Pennsylvania came in in September, 1884, and since that time
there have been added one from each State. The organization was introduced
for the benefit of persons everywhere who were not able to enter other more
expensive or less liberal associations in other respects similar to this one. It is
not introduced as a competitor to any similar order heretofore existing, but
solely with a view to extend social and financial benefits to a very large and
worthy class of our fellow-citizens entirely cut off and, as the incorporators
justly think, unrighteously ignored by other organizations of a similar nature.
They started with only the one society at Columbus, but at this writing they
have 560 different societies in sixteen States and Territories from Dakota to
Massachusetts. They have about 18,000 insurable members in all, besides
about 2,000 non-beneficiary members. In November, 1886, they had paid
687 death policies, involving $1,269,705.45 in money.

The Post-office.—The first postmaster in this township was Captain David Curtis,
who was appointed as early as 1829, and probably earlier. His successors
in the office have been about as follows: Robert Campbell, William Jackman,
Mark White, who was appointed about 1845 and served several years,
E. C. Stacy, Davis Jones, F. R. Burroughs, Lewis Crosby, W. H. Muzzy,
Lewis Crosby, James Hopkins, Lewis Crosby, S. L. Skiff, O. A. Smith, and
the present incumbent, Frank O. Howard, who was appointed on the 12th of
April, 1886. The office was named Coffee Creek post-office until about 1840,
when the present name was adopted.

Schools and Churches.—The first school held in the township was at the
house of Kimball Webber, in 1824, and was taught by his daughter Sophronia,
for thirteen weeks at one dollar per week. There are now in the borough two
school buildings, with three departments, and an attendance of more than one
hundred pupils. Outside of the borough are twelve schools.

A history of the religious movements in this township would be incomplete
without somewhat extended mention of the most prominent clergyman
and theologian in the town. Rev. Nathaniel Stacy was born on the 2d of
December, 1778, in New Salem, Mass. His father, Rufus Stacy, was a fisherman,
during the seasons, on the banks of Newfoundland, and, like his mother,
was a native of Gloucester, Mass. They were probably of Scotch or Irish descent.
The subject of this notice studied theology under the tuition of Rev. Hosea Ballou,
of Massachusetts, and did his first preaching near New Salem.
He was always of diminutive stature, being five feet and one inch in height, and
weighing for years but ninety-nine pounds. His heaviest weight was 105
pounds. He was active in movement and rapid and nervous in speech, but at
the same time was of a very calm and even-tempered disposition. He lived
his religion. In the fall of 1798 he went to Bridgewater, Vt, where, for his
health, he tried blacksmithing and several other manual occupations. He soon
returned to Massachusetts. Then he went to Hamilton, Madison county, N. Y.,
in April, 1808, after itinerating through Massachusetts, Vermont, and
New York, and remained there during a period of twenty-two years. On the 30th
of January, 1806, he married Susan, daughter of Perez Clark. In 1830 he
came to Columbus, Pa. In his Memoirs (page 359) he says of this country
then: "Although the country was mostly in a state of nature, and the roads
intolerable, still I was pleased with it. It evidently possessed great strength
of soil, with the heaviest growth and the greatest variety of timber I had
ever seen, or have since seen, thrown together in any one place." At that
time there were here the houses of Luther Mather and Captain Curtis, a
building erected for a public house, another for a store, shops for blacksmithing,
shoemaking, wagon-making, and other mechanical employments. After five
years he removed to Ann Arbor, Mich., where he remained about five years,
and then came back to Columbus, where he spent the remainder of his life,
preaching, as he says, until spiritualism "broke out," about 1851 or 1852, and
his meetings were interrupted. From that time he engaged in only occasional
preaching. He died April 7, 1868, and was followed by his widow exactly
oneyear and six months afterward. They had eight children, of whom only
three, Judge Edwin C. Stacy, now of Albert Lee, Minn., Clara, wife of
John D. Anderson, of Washington, Iowa, and Charlotte, wife of O. A. Smith,
of this township, survive. The house now occupied by O. A. Smith in Columbus
borough was built by Rev. Stacy in 1832. He was the first Universalist
preacher, and the organizer of the Universalist Church, in Columbus. He
came at the solicitation of Peter C. Howard, Ezra Dutton, Solomon Dutton,
Captain Curtis, Isaac Crosby, and others of that denomination. The house of
worship was erected under Mr. Stacy's direction in 1847, and is now a union
church. While Mr. Stacy was in Ann Arbor, the spiritual needs of the church
were placed in the care of Rev. L. Payne. Since the death of Mr. Stacy the
Universalist society has not flourished. Indeed, it is said that all the churches
have felt the inroads of spiritualism severely.

In 1830 the majority of the settlers were inclined to Methodism in religion,
among the early members of that persuasion being James Sears and wife,
Samuel H. Ayer, Joseph Sheffield and wife, A. Soggs, David York and wife,
Mrs. Eli Crosby, Mr. and Mrs. Henderson, Mr. and Mrs. Marsh, Lloyd Smith,
Mr. Brightman, William Jackman and wife, and Watson Miller and wife.
Joseph O. Rich, the first preacher, was here about 1830 or 1832. The most
prosperous period in the history of the church was about 1840. The house of
worship was erected in 1839. The present pastor is Rev. George Hummason.
The membership now is about twenty.

The only church in the township outside the borough is that of the United
Brethren, who have had a church organization in Pine Valley about twenty five
years, and built their church edifice as many as twenty years ago.

Pages 483-492




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