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

KINGSLEY TOWNSHIP may be credited as the birthplace of the classic Tionesta. This river enters the township at the northeast corner, and flows southwest in a tortuous channel to the line of Green township, where it runs south to Nebraska village. Within this township it receives eleven creeks flowing south from the Allegheny divide, and three from the Big Level, including Salmon creek. Each of the fourteen creeks has several feeders, so that with the exception of the southeast plateau, Kingsley is well carved up into hill and valley.

The population of the township in 1880 was 460. In 1888 there were 83 Republican, 56 Democratic and 5 Prohibitionist votes recorded, total 144, indicating about 720 inhabitants.

The officers for 1890 are as follows: Judge, J. E. Berlin; inspectors, John Weller, John Berlin; treasurer, Eli Berlin; clerk, W. F. Jones; school directors; John Osgood, H. A. Zuendel; overseer of poor, Conrad Burhen; auditor, Levi Pierson; constable and collector, W. A. Kribbs; justice of peace, William Richards.

This township is named in honor of one of its pioneers, of whom everything is written in the general chapter. In fact the history of this township belongs to the general history, owing to the character of the pioneers and early industries, which were as well known at the mouth of the Tionesta as among the pine forests up that creek.

Hall and May and the Wheelers were the leading lumbermen in Tionesta county in 1867. There were mills at Buck Mills, Newtown, Balltown and other unnamed spots in the valley In 1870-71 Cobb's mills, four miles above Lacytown, and his mill on Tom's run gave employment to sixty eight teams and 120 men.... In March, 1867, the Pittsburgh & Forest Lumber Company bought the timber lands of F. A. Howe & Co., on Tionesta creek. Edward Dithridge was president of this company, T. A. Wright, secretary; L. L. Hackett, superintendent at Tionesta, and Edward Davison, at Pittsburgh. This steam saw mill was erected on Lamentation creek.... The Crawford saw mill, erected in 1884, on the Tionesta, near Henry's mills, was destroyed in March, 1887.

In 1858, when Percival & Leavens entered business at Newtown, for Stowe & Co., they found the old mill changed into a gang mill; DeWoody was putting in logs at the old school house, and a few one horse train cars were running.

The Salmon creek mill was erected in 1879-80; a road up the Branch opened, and a dam constructed across Salmon creek. At the time of building it was the intention of the owners to manufacture spade, shovel, broom and fork handles here. A blacksmith shop, a large boarding house and seven dwellings were erected at this time, thus creating a little village in the wilderness, four miles up Salmon creek from its confluence with the Tionesta.

A sad accident occurred at Newtown in 1879. A little boy only sixteen months old, son of Mr. Rodolph, strayed from his mother's sight while she was attending her household duties. The mother missed her child in a very few minutes, and went in search of it. It is supposed that the little fellow toddled to the creek, only some thirty feet from the house, fell in and was swept away by the current. Mrs. Rodolph ran down the creek and up again, looking for her lost one with all a mother's anguish, but too late.

The postoffice at the mouth of Ross run was established in 1887, and named Setley, with Daniel Harrington, postmaster.

Kellettville is the name given to the tanning extract village of W. W. Kellett & Co., three miles southwest of Panther Rock. In November, 1884, the works were destroyed by fire. They had been shut down the morning of the fire, and Supt. Andrews was absent looking after repairs on machinery. The fire is supposed to have caught from the arch, and did not confine itself to the building proper, but licked up the out buildings, including a large stock of bark. The total loss was $30,000, of which insurance for $15,000 was carried. Without delay temporary buildings were erected, and within a short time this industry was revived.

Whig Hill is the name given to an old settlement on the route from Tionesta to Beaver valley, in Kingsley township. George Beck, one of the pioneers of the district, settled there about thirty seven years ago, and in the neighborhood Eli Berlin and other early settlers located. The place has not been neglected by the pen of Daniel Harrington, for in 1880 he incorporated in his reminiscences the following story: "About one mile north of Whig Hill school house, on the cross roads leading from Tionesta to Beaver valley, lives George Beck, a prosperous farmer. Mr. Beck is of German origin, and is about sixty five years old. Some time ago he had an attack of palsy, but has recovered the use of his limbs. Mr. Beck tells an astonishing snake story. He says he was out in the woods several years ago, when he came on an enormous rattlesnake den, and commenced killing. He thinks he slaughtered about 600. He could not count them, but that was 'his estimate of the number slain. Some of the snakes were as large in diameter as Mr. Beck's leg, above the knee, and as he is a large man, his legs are not of pipe stem dimensions. He also says, the snakes were about as plentiful when he got tired killing as they were when he began. He thinks that snake den included about twenty five acres of ground. Mr. Beck has lived on the farm he now owns about twenty eight years. The old log house and log barn have given place to large and substantial frame buildings, and everything around them shows industry and thrift."

The Methodist building at Whig Hill was dedicated February 19, 1880.... In December, 1882, the Free Methodist Church building was finished.... Eli Berlin was appointed postmaster at Whig Hill in October, 1885.

The Evangelical Church at Town Line was dedicated November 13, 1887. This is one mile from Whig Hill, on a two acre lot donated by Jacob Beck, and near the old acre donation of 1854.

Braceville is a village eight miles east of East Hickory. In 1882-83 it began to share in the general revival of trade, and in January, 1884, the Century Equitable Aid Union was organized here with thirty two members, the following named being the first officers: Chancellor, Henry Brace; advocate, Sidney Smith; president, Frank Helm, Jr.; vice president, S. S. Waley; auxiliary, Mrs. S. S. Waley; secretary, Frank Hunter; treasurer, L. G. Rounds; accountant, Amry Davis; chaplain, James Smith; warden, W. F. McHean; sentinel, G. W. Albaugh; watchman, W. E. Wetherell; conductor, Ira Barnes; assistant conductor, Mrs. W. C. McHean; examining physician, W. C. Coburn.

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