History of Bloomfield, Pa.
From: History of Crawford County, Pennsylvania
Published ByWarner, Beers & Co., Chicago 1885
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP - ORGANIZATION - BOUDARIES - FEATURES - LANDS - EARLY SETTLERS - THOMIAS BLOOM FIELD -
RICHARD SHREVE - OTHER SETTLERS - MONEY- SCHOOL - LINCOLNVILLE - CHURCHES - CHAPMANVILLE - BLOOMFIELD - CHEESE
FACTORIES - MILLS
The Lincoinville Baptist Church was organized March 12, 1870, with nine constituent members: Edwin F. Lincoln.
Mrs. Charlotte Welimon, Mrs. Cornelia Nurse, Mrs. Olive Lilly, Mrs. Elizabeth Orcutt, William Lewis, Charles H.
Sturdevant, Mrs. Amanda Sturdevant and Mrs. Catherine C. Thomas. Elder Cyrus Shreve was the first pastor. His successors
have been: Elders J. F. Bradford, J. T. Elwell, D. H. Dennison, Carey Stewart; then J. T. Elwell again, who is
the present pastor. The membership is thirty. Meetings were held in the schoolhouse, located a short distance east
of the village, until 1876. when the building in which the congregation now worships was erected. It is a frame
structure, 30x50 feet in size, and cost about $3,000.
Bloomfield Baptist Church was organized December 24, 1850, with eighteen members, by Rev. B. D. Hays, who was the first pastor. His successors have been: Revs. C. Shreve, W. D. Bradford, George A. Hubbard, M. Marley, J. F. Bradford, J. H. Miller, C. Shreve, J. T. Elwell, L. L. Shearer. Monroe Shearer and Carey Stewart. At present there is a temporary vacancy in the pastorate. The congregation was a part of French Creek Association until the formation of Oil Creek Association in September, 1865. The membership is now eighty-six. The house of worship is a frame edifice, erected in 1854. It stands on Shreve's Ridge, on Tract 112, in the northwest part of the township.
Chapinville Baptist Church was an organization, now defunct, which was an outgrowth of Concord (Erie County) Church, and which was organized in 1845, in the western part of this township. Elder V. Thomas, ordained by this congregation, was the first pastor. Elders B. D. Hays, C. Shreve, C. W. Drake and W. D. Bradford succeeded. The society has been extinct for about ten years.
A Free-Will Baptist Church was organized many years ago on Tract 37, in the eastern part of the township. Truman Potter and wife, Elijah Kilburn and Rev. Jedidiah Smith, were among the earliest members. Meetings were held in the old block schoolhouse. Rev. William Parker, the last pastor, closed his labors about 1880.
A Christian Society formerly flourished in the eastern part of the township. An old schoolhouse, standing in the northeast part, on Lot 29, was converted into a meeting-house, wherein the Christians, the Baptists and the United Brethren worshiped for many years.
A Methodist Society was organized as early as 1840, near the western line. John Chapin, Hiram Drake, Lewis Larkin, Abraham bennett and Asahel Hamilton were among the earliest members. The first meetings were held in a log schoolhouse, in Rockdale Township, close to the line; then in John Chapin's house, this township, until 1858, when meetings were commenced and continued in a schoolhouse until 1868. In that year a frame church, 28x43, was built at a cost of $1,500, on Tract 113, in the northwest part of the township. The lot, the donation of Mark Wilkins, was deeded, in 1868, to John Chapin, Lewis Larkin and W. B. Taylor, Trustees. The society was known as Chapin's, was attached to Mill Village Circuit, and ceased holding services in 1876.
Another defunct society is a Wesleyan Methodist Society, organized in February, 1856, at Mickle Hollow Schoolhouse, in the southwest corner of the township. Its original membership was considerable, including Joseph Smith and wife, Alonzo Smith and wife, Marvin Tuttle and wife, Jesse Sabin and wife, Abram Amy and wife, Elisha Smith and wife, and Mrs. Laura Amy. The organization continued only about four years. Many of the members withdrew to unite with Brown's Hill, Rockdale Township, United Brethren Church.
Wilkin's United Brethren Society has held services in Chapin's Methodist Episcopal Church since its erection. and for a few years previous had meetings in the adjoining schoolhouse. C. C. Marsh, Dr. J. S. Wilson, Rev. O. A. Chapin. and Henry Wilkins were prominent early members. The class now numbers about twenty, and forms a part of French Creek Circuit.
Maple Grove United Brethren Society, also a portion of French Creek Circuit, which includes Maple Grove, Wilkin's, Brown's Hill, Kellogg's (Rock.. dale Township), and Little Cooley, was organized as early as 1858. Early services were conducted in a schoolhouse in the southern part of the township, and in 1872 a substantial and well furnished edifice was constructed on Tract 1,570, at a cost of $1,460. The membership is about twenty-five. Seth Pound, George Loomis, Henry King and William Mays were early members.
Near the west line of the township is Chapiuville Postoffice, established many years ago. William Porter, a farmer, is Postmaster, and has been the sole incumbent.
Bloomfield Postoffice is located on the railroad a short distance above the lake. It was formerly kept at Tillotson's Corners, one and a half miles farther east.
Tillotson's Corners is a little hamlet, containing a store, blacksmith shop, wagon-shop and a half dozen dwellings. A steam saw-mill and a hotel were formerly a part of the business interests of this locality.
At Shreve's Ridge, on Tract 112, in the western part of the township, is a store, a blacksmith shop, a Bapt.ist Church, and near by a cheese factory, which, however, is now abandoned.
A cheese factory, known as the West Bloomfield, is located on Tract 113, It was built about 1874 by Brown, Obert, Kane & Marsh, and at one time consumed about 15,000 pounds of milk per day, being one of the heaviest factories in the county. It is now owned by Hubbard and the heirs of Farrington, and is the only factory now in operation. Several others were erected, but have since suspended business.
Much of the land of Bloomfield is yet uncleared, and several steam sawmills find ample business. Batchelder's and Wise's are in the eastern part. Woodward's, formerly a water and now a steam-mill, is on Mosevieh Run, Tract 112. It was built by Woodward & Blade about 1851. Glover's water saw-mill is on Tract 1557, in the western part of the township.
BOROUGH OF RICEVILLE.
Riceville was incorporated at the August term of Sessions, 1859, and a special election for first officers was
held December 13, 1859, when the following were chosen: Joseph Knight, Burgess; A. H. Eby, Eli Farrington, Daniel
Conner. R.. B. Westgate and F. G. King, Council; Stephen Bloomfield and R. B. Westgate, Justices of the Peace;
John Himebaugh, Constable; Myron Staring, Auditor; George Metier, Judge of Election; Clark Rice and F. G. King,
Inspectors; H. E. Hendryx, Thomas Ferry, Hiram Oles, T. W. Winsor, D. D. Walker and A. J. Rice, School Directors.
Subsequent Burgesses have been: Daniel Conner, 1860; Charles Irons, 1861; Nelson Waters, 1862; T. W. White, 1863;
Moses Adams, 1864; Eli Griffith, 1865; U. W. Bloomfield, 1866, B. F. Buggies, 1867; W. R. Lindsey, 1868; Eli Griffith,
1869-70; Henry Thurston, 1871; W. R. Lindsey, 1872; C. N. Smith, 1873-74; M. D. Rice, 1875; George Markham, 1876;
E. M. Farrington. 1877; Eli Griffith, 1878; C. N. Smith, 1879; L. D. Davenport, 1880; A. M. Scranton, 1881; J.
W. Rhodes, 1882; A. H. Langworthy, 1883; A. M. Scranton, 1884.
Samuel Rice, the first settler, about 1831 came to the unbroken forest here and erected a cabin where the Cummings Hotel now stands. He at once erected a saw-mill on Oil Creek, at the site of Davenport's present mill, and for many years was its proprietor. Mr. Rice, about 1834, started the first store in a building now part of the hotel. He soon after sold it to Adonijah Fuller. Simon Smith was an early settler. He was a carpenter and joiner, and years afterward removed to Indiana. Russell Bidwell came about 1832, and for twenty years engaged in farming in the northern part of the borough, then moved to Athens Township, where he died. Newton Graves started the first blacksmith-shop. In 1847 about ten families resided here, including Benjamin Westgate, who operated a sash factory, Moses Adams, a shoemaker, and Barnett B. Cummings, the hotel proprietor.
The first school within the borough was taught about 1835 by Dorcas Taylor, daughter of Dr. Silas Taylor, of Athens Township. It was held in a deserted cabin, which stood about a fourth of a mile northwest from the depot and which had been built and occupied by Mr. Gunsley. who had contracted to clear forty acres of land for Mr. Rice. The usual price for clearing land was $5 per acre, including sawing into sixteen-foot logs. Miss Harriet Humphrey and Austin Mosier were early teachers in a plank house which had been erected for the accommodation of the mill laborers. Sidney Tracy taught in an abandoned log, cabin east of the creek, and in 1847 the first schoolhouse, a frame, was built on the hill east of the creek. It was known as the red schoolhouse, and used until the present two-story frame structure was reared about 1872.
Barnett B. Cummings became the first Postmaster in 1847, receiving the mail once a week from Meadville. The village grew gradually, and reached a population of 301 in 1870 and 314 in 1880. It now contains three general stores, one hardware and drug store, two millinery stores, one meat market, a gristmill, one water and one steam saw-mill, a planing-mill, a handle factory, a shingle-mill, one hotel, two physicians, two churches, three blacksmith-shops, one cabinet shop and furniture store, one harness shop, one cooper shop and one wagon and carriage shop. The Union & Titusville Railroad passes through the village.
The earliest religious services in the village were conducted by the Christians, Elder Fish of that denomination preaching as early as 1838. The Presbyterians also conducted early services, but congregations of neither were organized here.
The Riceville Nethodist Episcopal Church was organized by Rev. Forest, in 1849, with four members: J. W. Gray and wife, Myrom S. Staring and Mrs. Lorena Austin. Meetings were held for about five years in the old red schoolhouse, then in a hall and afterward in the Congregational Church, until the present church edifice was erected in 1874. It is a handsome frame structure and cost about $4,500. The membership of the church is about forty-five. Riceville Circuit was formed in 1851 and appointments were made up to 1872, as follows: W. R. Johnson, 1851; J. Abbott, 1852; J. N. Henry, 1853; C. Irons, 1854; G. M. Eberman, 1855; A. Barns and F. W. Smith, 1856; W. Hayes and W. Bush, 1860; J. K. Mendenhall, 1861; E. Hull, 1862; A. L. Miller, 1863; J. Allen and U. W. Patterson, 1864; J. Crum, 1865; A. if. Bowers and E. Chace, 1866; A. H. Bowers, 1867-68; E. Chace, 1869; G. M. Eberman, 1870-71; L. F. Merritt, 1872. Since the last named date Riceville has been attached to Centrevjlle Circuit.
The First Congregational Church of Riceville was organized March 27, 1858, with the following members: R. B. Westgate, Lorin Marsh, H. C. Conner, Thomas Ferry, V. F. Hale, William Mallery, D. D. Walker, C. N. Smith and G. M. Anderson. Rev. U. T. Chamberlain was the first pastor. He has been followed by Revs. J. B. Davidson, J. D. Sammons and B. Morgan. The last is now in charge. The church building was erected at a cost of $1,800 in 1859 and dedicated free of debt in 1863. It is 42x42 in size, and was remodeled and repaired in 1875 at an expense of $2,000. The membership of the congregation is about forty.
Charity Lodge, No. 489, K. of H., was instituted February 28, 1875, with thirty-three members. It has met with prosperity and now numbers fifty-three members. Meetings are held on the first and third Saturday evenings of each month.
John Fisher Post, No. 337, U. A. R., was organized May 29, 1883, with nineteen members. The first officers were: Matthew Merchant, Commander; C. W. Todd, V. C.; T. Zahniser, J. V. C.; T. L. Dobbins, Adj.; S. M. Lindsey, Q. M.; Franklin Davis, Chaplain; D. B. Winton, Sergeant-Major; D. Shreve, Q. M. Serg't. The membership is now twenty-eight, and meetings are held on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month.
Riceville Union, No. 304, B. A. U. was instituted April 23, 1883, with twenty-two members. Of the first officers, E. S. Beardsley was President; Joshua Bruner, Vice-President; A. B. Jaques, Secretary; C. N. Smith, Treasurer; M. S. Staring, Accountant. Meetings are held the first Friday of each month, and the membership is now eighteen.
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