History of Harmony Township, Forest County, Pa.
From: History of the Counties of
McKean, Elk and Forest, Pennsylvania
J. H. Beers & Co., Publishers.
Chicago 1890

HARMONY TOWNSHIP is a trans Allegheny region of plateau and valley. From this western plateau numerous streams run southeast into the Allegheny, of which the principal is West Hickory creek, flowing almost south. The other streams are short runs, flowing from depressions in the western table land. Pithole creek rises in the extreme northwest corner above Neillsburg, and Hickory rises in the north center above Hickory centre. The summits are not so high as those on the east side, the highest point being the hill southwest of Copeland's farm, 1,680 feet, but like the east side, conglomerate and sandstone rock abound, both rocks, between Neillsburg and Fagundus being cemented pebbles of various forms. In the first chapter the history of oil wells in this township is given. Fagundus City became a very prominent business center, and continued so until destroyed by the fire of May, 1874. Forty five business houses were devoured in two hours, the loss being estimated at from $60,000 to $90,000.

The population of this township in 1880 was 344. In 1888 there were 96 Republican, 66 Democratic and 5 Prohibitionist votes recorded, showing a population of 835.

The officers elected in February, 1890, are named as follows: School director, James Mooney; road commissioner, John A Dawson; clerk, F. E. Metcalf; treasurer, R. O. Carson; auditor, George L. King; overseer of poor, James McIntyre; constable and collector, E. B. Head; judge, John Thomson; inspectors, James Elliott, C. E. Landers.

Neillsburg is one of the very old settlements of this county. A Presbyterian society was organized here so early as 1855, by Capt. W. T. Neill and others, and here, twenty three years later, the Grange movement was formed .... Harmony Grange, No. 527, was organized January 19, 1878, with R. B. Woodcock and wife, Sye Neill, J. P. Kelly, M. Woodcock, Mrs. S. S. Pratt, S. S. Pratt, Mrs. Mary and Miss Kate Woodcock, Miss Lou Neill, Mrs. W. Y. Siggins, Mrs. Joseph McCaslin and Spear Kelly, officials.

William McCaslin, a life long resident of Neillsburg, died at his home in that village on Friday, February 7, 1890, aged fifty eight years. He was the son of James McCaslin, and was born near the spot where he passed from earth. Joseph Grove, born in Union county, Penn., in 1815, died at West Hickory, in January, 1890.

West Hickory with its standard and narrow gauge railroads, big bridge, large tannery and heavy lumber shipments, is a modern village, although a postoffice existed there almost thirty years ago. One family at least of all the pioneers - the Siggins family and others - named in the pioneer chapter settied in the vicinity early in this century .... The postmasters who administered the old office, as nearly in order as the memory of W. P. Siggins can place them, were Isaac Siggins; Hanna, who filled the office during the war, and W. P. Siggins, who resigned in favor of J. A. Turner. In 1889 W. C. Allan succeeded Mr. Turner, who is now filling that position. The fire of February 2, 1870, destroyed the railroad depot at this place.

In 1880 Mason Thatcher opened a store here; about the days of the Civil war J. D. Glenn had a gunsmith's shop here, and in 1867 carried a large stock of guns and revolvers. During this year also the oil fever struck the place, as shown in the history of the Forest oil field, but the stampede was short lived .... The West Hickory Farm Oil Company fell into disfavor in 1867, by their rough usage of house builders on lands purchased from them. One man was prosecuted for taking windows from a house which he erected there.

In May, 1886, Orion Siggins donated five acres of land for the proposed tannery, and in May of that year the work of building was progressing. The same year Hardenburg & Allen's large mercantile house was erected, and steps taken to build a Methodist church and parsonage, Mr. Siggins encouraging the enterprise. The Evangelical Church building was dedicated April 17, 1887, M. V. Devaux the pastor.

The enterprise of Wheeler & Dusenbury contributes all to the life of this village. Heavy freight trains on the main line always leave this point with leather or lumber for the markets of the world, while the narrow gauge loco comes across the great wooden bridge, bringing a wealth of new lumber from the firm's mills, or bark from their thousands of forest acres.

Trunkeyville became prominent in October, 1870, when Vandergrift & Foreman's 15,000 barrel tank was erected, and the Nestle & Peterson store building and the Venture Hotel were opened. About ten years ago the postoffice was established here, with Mr. Peterson master. He was succeeded over two years ago by Mr. Bloomfield. There is no business house here now.

Hickory Centre is near the head of West Hickory creek, in a most productive valley. Like Neillsburg it is an old settlement.

The postoffices in Harmony township are at present as follows. Perry, Stewart's Run, Trunkeyville and West Hickory.

Return to [ PA History ] [ History at Rays Place ] [ Rays Place ]


--
All pages copyright 2003-2012. All items on this site are copyrighted by their author(s). These pages may be linked to but not used on another web site. Anyone may copy and use the information provided here freely for personal use only. Privacy Policy