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

Hickory township is bounded west by the Allegheny river. Its northern sections are drained by Hickory creek, with its north and south forks Otter and Beaver creeks and feeder, Prather run. Centre and Sibbald creeks drain its southern valleys, leaving a flat plateau in the center. The elevation of ridge north of N. P. Wheeler's dwelling was found to be 1,645 feet. It is arched with blocks of conglom from forty to fifty feet square, and twenty five to thirty feet in height. On the weather surface of those huge stone monuments the iron impregnated lines resist atmospheric extremes. Along the river, near Hickory depot, iron stained shale is exposed for a depth of twenty five feet.

The population in 1880 was 831. In 1888 there were 106 Republican, 73 Democratic and 17 Prohibitionist votes cast, or a total of 196, representing a population of 980.

The officers of the township, elected in February, 1890, are as follows: Judge, W. L. Anderson; inspectors, M. W. Gorman, Jonathan Albaugh; treasurer, T. J. Bowman; constable and collector, W. A. Connelly; auditor, Samuel Mervin; clerk, M. E. Abbott; school directors, Wilbur Decker, Joseph Pettigrew.

The oil excitement may be said, to date back to 1864; but lumbering has been carried on here since the days of the pioneers. The Wheeler & Dusenbury band mills, built by J. W. Poland and operated by him, and, southward, their gang mills, operated by F. Witherall, are very prominent industries.

Near the county line are the mills of Root & Watson. Their lath mill is also at this point. The Strite saw mill and small concerns are also in this vicinity. East Hickory, immortalized in Daniel Harrington's prose, is an old and pretty river village.... P. D. Thomas, who died February 7, 1878, came to Forest county in 1863, and in 1864 was manager of the Mercantile Oil Company's business at East Hickory. He also drilled wells there for the National Oil Company.... The work of building the Methodist Church at East Hickory was begun in December, 1868. This building was repaired in 1889, and was re-opened the first Sunday in September, that year, Rev. C. R. Thompson officiating.

East Hickory postoffice was presided over in 1884 by T. J. Bowman, who was also general merchant; N. G. Ball carried on the grist mill; A. Davidson, H. Brace, S. W. Brace, Swalley & Powers, J. W. Polen and Wheeler & Dusenbury operated the saw mills; Perry Hill had the blacksmith shop; George Siggins, the carpenter shop, and John Nuss, the shoe shop.... The Clark House at East Hickory was destroyed in April, 1888.

In June, 1888, a tract of 437 acres on "Hickory town Flats" was sold by order of the United States solicitor of the treasury, C. S. Cary. This land was required by the United States in payment of bank debt by deed from Sheriff Gray, of Venango county, in February, 1867.

Joseph Fleming was killed by his colt three miles northeast of East Hickory in December, 1867.... In December, 1875, the body of the hunter, George Albaugh, was found on Queen creek. A part of the face and one shoulder were eaten by some animal, which the finders concluded must have been a panther.... Austin F. Ball, who was murdered at Louisville, Ky., in a "raft shanty," on the night of June 5, 1884, was born at East Hickory, Forest Co., Penn., May 29, 1858. He experienced religion here about 1875, and was in full membership in the Free Methodist Church until May, 1883, when it was alleged that a charge was to be made against him for working on the Sabbath, "cooking for ungodly men," while on a raft along the Ohio river. Thinking the offense so trivial, and that it pointed toward persecution, he quietly withdrew his name from the church record.... During the flood of February, 1886, the Buffalo, New York & Philadelphia Railroad trestle at Hickory was washed away, and the track covered for a considerable distance with ice and driftwood. Transportation was made in wagons for a time; but a large force of men got the road in order so that trains were run as usual within thirty hours. On the west side the water backed up and flooded the flats, causing many to leave their homes in a rather precipitate manner.

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