From: "History of the Counties of McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter,
with Biographical Selections", J.H.Beers & Co., Chicago 1890. Page 990
"It is claimed that Thomas Butler, a deserter from the British Army, was the first to settle in the wilds of Potter, but at what date he came or departed is unknown to the writer. The first settlement of which we have any date, and which probably was the first bona fide settlement, was that of a Frenchman by the name of Jaundrie, who, "in 1806, settled on the Oswayo at a point now called Shinglehouse. He built a house on the south bank of Oswayo creek, at the mouth of the run which still bears his name. The house was sided with shingles, put on like roofing, and the butts of the same were rounded to a half circle. From that house the place (Shinglehouse) took and retained its name." [L. H. Kinney, Sharon Township.]"
"SHARON TOWNSHIP is the extreme northwestern thirty-six square miles
of this county. Except a small group of Catskill hills west of Goldsmith
corners or Honeoye, and a small area of that formation in the southeast
corner, the township is occupied by the Chemung lands. Prof. Sherwood,
in speaking of the township, says:
"The Chemung belt, occupying the center of the township, is about five miles wide -- Eleven-mile run bordering it on the south, and Honeoye creek on the north. Butter creek joins the Honeoye at Goldsmith corners, within half a mile of the New York line. mile down Honeoye creek lies the village of East Sharon. At the junction of Honeoye creek, with the Oswayo, lies the village of Shinglehouse. Sharon Center is on the Oswayo, three miles above Shinglehouse; and Millport, on the Oswayo, is two miles above Sharon Center. This unusual number of villages in the township shows the agricultural qualities of the Chemung plain. The Catskill surface is also susceptible of cultivation, so that the whole township may be considered as fit for agriculture."
The Oswayo, rising in Genesee and adjoining townships, receives Eleven-mile creek near Millport, and flows in a fairly direct course northwest into McKean county. Eleven-mile creek rises in the northeast of Oswayo township, flows along the southern border of the Chemung formation in Oswayo to its mouth. Honeoye creek rises in New York State, northeast of Goldsmith Corners, and, flowing southwest, enters the Oswayo northwest of Shinglehouse. Butter and Centre creeks, in the northeast, offer drainage to that section, while a hundred little feeders of the streams named leave no part of the township without water or drainage. The boulders northeast of Sharon Center have been placed there by a freak of nature. Near East Sharon are the gray sandstone and the fossiliferous sandstone flags, while along the Eleven-mile and Honeoye runs may be seen Chemung and Catskill rocks. Near the State line are the white sandstone quarries, also on the Lane farm and in a few other localities. The stone crumbles into fine white sand under the pounder, and is excellent for glass-making and building purposes. There are three peculiar depressions on the Lane farm, two of which are water reservoirs. Evidences of excavation are plenty; but nothing is known of the time or people or purpose of such holes. In the neighborhood arrowheads and stone pipes have been unearthed. Above Shinglehouse a circular ridge is visible, resembling a fort.
O. P. Taylor, who died at Wellsville, N. Y., November 17, 1883, was the pioneer oil operator of the Allegheny field, using the first string of tools, while his neighbors laughed at him. One of the stories related of Taylor's third well at Alma, is that O. P. Taylor had occasion to take the tools to Bradford for repairs; but being without money he sought in vain for friends. On going to his house, his wife told him that she had some money, as she was compelled to sell her watch to purchase necessaries of life, and of the proceeds some remained. This balance she gave her husband, thus enabling him to complete the well and make a fortune.
Some time after the development of the first gas well in Sharon township, and about the year 1880, gas was discovered on the Graham farm. It appears Graham's two boys picked up a flat sandstone on the flats, and, although youths, they discovered the presence of gas. On their father returning in the evening, they reported their discovery, and he at once began the work of controlling the flow. Making a barrel suit the uses of a gas reservoir, he placed a piece of gas pipe in the top, and packed clay round the bottom of this barrel to confine the gas. One of the youths believing the work was complete, took his seat on the top but in a little while the barrel and boy were moved from the spot by the pressure ... In June, 1884 the first producer of the county was struck on the Prince farm, north of Shinglehouse, yielding eighteen barrels in a day This well is still flowing though abandoned long ago . . . . The Standard Oil Company leased a large quantity of land in Sharon and adjoining townships in New York State in 1888, and now have three wells complete at a point northeast of Capt. Kinney's farm, and the work of drilling more wells continues. The reservoir is just south of the line.
Sharon township in 1880, was credited with 1,055 inhabitants, of whom forty-nine resided in Millport, and thirty-five in Sharon Center. In 1888 there were 148 Republican, 80 Democratic 29 Prohibition and 33 Union Labor votes cast, representing 1,450 inhabitants. The number of tax-payers was 424, and value of property assessed, $64,883. Tie seated tax-payers in 1832 were Richard Allen (blacksmith, in Clara), T. W. David and Jonathan Brown (in Clara), Sheldon Bradley, William and George R. Barber, Daniel Benson (near the Hickox mill), Lewis Baldin, G Chappel, Milton and Moses Chappel, Avery Coon, Louis H. D'Aubigney (N. R.), Abel Eastman Harvy Fisk, (farmer above the center), Mary Gilbert, William Lester, Elisha, Ovid and Theo. Mix (lumberers and farmers), Milton Main, Luther Molby, Sheffield Main, Erastus Mulkins (whose grandson is postmaster at Shinglehouse), A. D. Nichols, M. McCord, Bridge & Co. (saw-mill owners on the Honeoye, afterward owned by James H. Wright), Thomas Peabody, George Sherman (now living, voted for Van Buren in 1840), Sam. Stetson, Joseph Stillman, John Scott (went west), Aaron Sturgis, William Shattuck (now residing in Hebron township), Milo Smith, Matt Standish, Joel Woodworth, Bartlet Ward, Ashbel West, Ira A. Wicks, Joseph Rew (saw- and grist-mill owner where T J. Burdic later built a mill now standing at Sharon Center), Joel H. Rose (merchant), John Row, Ira Young, Benjamin Hall (where Capt. Kinney resides), O. G. Perry, N. Daton, Willard M. Toner, John White, James Whiting, Noah Crittenden, and Rufus Cole, assessor, one of whose grandsons is now county commissioner. The old McCord mill was purchased nearly a half century ago by Peleg Burdic, and ultimately became the property of A. A. Newton, about 1866, and is still standing. Abiel Sheldon was here in 1846. Jacob Ridgway, Joseph Rew, Nathaniel White, John M. Milizet, Salmon M. Rose, Richard Gernon, John Gordon, Joseph Brush, John Rew, Rensselaer Wright and Andrew Mann paid taxes on unseated lands in 1834.
In 1827 Joseph Fessenden moved from Madison county, N. Y., and built the first house in Millport. He had seven boys: Charles, James, Nathaniel, William, Rodney, Joel and Edmund. The family moved to the Knowlton place in 1828. In 1829 he took all of his family back to Madison county, with the exception of Joel, who went to Sartwell creek. Joel Fessenden is still living, and recalls the time when the settlers were three months at a time without bread, living mostly upon potatoes. He relates how at one time Benj. Burt took a four-ox team, and, loading his wagon with his neighbors' grists, he started for mill, and that after he had started Isaac Lyman said, with much feeling: "When Burt gets back I will have one good meal of bread." The most of the Fessenden boys came back in succeeding years, and are nearly all living at a hale old age with many descendants. Among the settlers of Sharon* in the "forties" were Capt. L. H. Kinney, A. A. Newton, A. S. Newton and Milo Davis, now in California. Nelson C. Newton came about 1848. At this time Lewis Wood, who preached for the Universalists, resided at Sharon Center; Robbins Brown was the blacksmith, and Ezra Graves the carpenter. In 1835 a vacant frame house occupied the site of Sharon Center, and in it I. W. Jones and family took shelter for a short time. Subsequent to 1832 Samuel Pearsall settled between the Center and Shinglehouse. I. W. Jones came in 1835, and in 1837 he was postmaster at a point east of Shinglehouse. Mrs. A. A. Newton, who came with her parents in 1835, does not remember the Rose store, and states that the family had to go to store at Ceres. Willard Jones came early in the "thirties" and entered on the work of building a saw-mill, where grist-mill now is. On his way home from Ceres he was killed during a wind storm. Arad Jones and I. W. Jones built the mill which was burned up forty years ago, and a second mill erected on the site which now adjoins the gristmill which was built fifteen years ago.
The first post-office, Capt. Kinney thinks, was located at Millport.
Prior to 1843 the old Sharon office, near Shinglehouse, was established,
John Bosworth being then master, succeeding I. W. Jones. At Millport the
Oswayo Lumber Company's headquarters (of which Dr. Alma was first, and
next W. B. Graves, now of Duke Centre, and Joseph Mann were superintendents)
were established, the post-office was there. Shinglehouse was established
as a post-office center with G. W. Mosier master, appointed during Pierce's
administration. East Sharon office was established later, with Nelson Palmeter
master. He held the office many years, in fact up to his removal to Shinglehouse. Orson Sherman is now master. In 1843, when Capt. Kinney came to the township, there were two school buildings -- one above Shinglehouse (Miss Maxon's) and the other at Sharon Center (presided over by Mr. Witter or J. H. Chase). Capt. Kinney was director and examiner. Simon Drake, John Bosworth, William T. Lane, Silas Babbitt and Lorenzo Reynolds were the other directors. In 1843 there was a Universalist society at Sharon Center presided over by Mr. Porter.
One of the peculiar characters of the county who ranged the forests of Potter, and dallied along its trout streams for years, was Lewis Stevens, or the "Wild Boy." which sobriquet he earned by his taste for the solitude of the wildwoods. At one time he lived alone near the headwaters of the East fork, six miles from his nearest neighbor .A small stream emptying into the East fork is still known by the name of the "Wild Boy," from its proximity to the Stevens clearing. Stevens gave up his wild life several years ago. and is now living in Sharon township. For a number of years he preached, and led the life of a traveling thinker. He is said to be an Englishman by birth.
Sharon Center, in the Oswayo Creek valley, stretches along the Shinglehouse road. In 1871 Peleg Burdic's hotel, the Rose store, Graves' carpenter shop and Dodge's yard and shop made up the village.
John M. Dean established the first store on the site of the house now occupied by L. A. Bunker. The store was burned about 1847 and rebuilt in 1848. It is still standing. Jonas Willey, now a resident, worked in this store. Peleg Burdic opened the first hotel, in June, 1861, having begun the erection of this house in 1860. Mr. Dean left before the war, and E. V. Wood carried on the business until after the war, when Allen Glynes took his place; Rose and Dodge followed Glynes; Shear and Simeon Sherwood were also merchants. Contemporary with E. V. Wood, were Newton, Stevens & Nichols, who carried on a store in connection with the saw-mill. Wallace Burdic established his business in 1882, and in 1888 built his large house opposite the hotel.
The Oswayo Lumber Association was organized in Potter county, in 1837, for the purpose of lumbering in that and McKean counties, with the Le Roy brothers, T. H. Newbold, Wm. H. Morris and Joshua Lathrop, members. Mr. Newbold was lost on an ocean steamer, and the company disbanded about 1845.
Peleg Burdic was appointed postmaster in 1862, succeeding Ezra Graves: J. M. Dean was the first postmaster.
A post of the G. A. R. was organized here December 4, 1880, with the following named members: L. H. Bailey, 15th N. Y. Cav.; L. H. Kinney, S. J. White, 85th N. Y.; A. A. Stevens, 184th Penn.; Dana Drake, 13th N. Y., Henry Art, W. D. Carpenter, 184th Penn.; W. R. Hallett, 28th Iowa; J. Failing, 141st N. Y.; J. H. Cole, E. A. Graves, 46th Penn.; Peleg Burdic, Jesse Burdic, Jonas Willie, 15th N. Y. Cav.; Seth Drake, 13th N. Y. Art.; J. S. Pearsall, 210th Penn.; M. S. Hitchcock, 9th N. Y. Cav.; J. O. Blauvelt, 1st Penn. Art.; and Joseph Fessenden, 149th Penn. The position of commander was held by S. J. white, for three years; L. H. Kinney, one year; A. J. Barnes, two years, and Asael Christman, two years. E. A. Graves served the post as adjutant for five years, and J. W. Dickinson, for over three years. Dana Drake has been the general quartermaster for over eight years. The membership in 1889 was sixty-five, and value of property $200 .
Women's Relief Corps, No.130, was organized with the following members: Mesdames Pratt, Nichols, Helen Drake, White, May E. (Dickenson) Barnes, Sarah Graves. Jennette Dickenson, Mary J. Burdic, E. R. J. Hitchcock, Sarah E. Waer, C. A. Lamb, A. Cole, Lina Burdic, Mary E. Cole, M. A. Crocker, M. E. Hallett, M. Livermore, A. V. Torrey, Ann Crandall, M. Christman and Emilen C. Kimball; Misses F. E. Drake, Nellie Drake, Mary Burdic, Ella Terwilliger. Mrs. Mary E. White is president. and Mrs. Dickenson, secretary.
Millport, at the confluence of Oswayo and Eleven-mile creeks, claimed two saw-mills, R. L. Nichols and Colwell & Chase, general stores, Wm. J. Brown's and G. F. Fuller's lumber yards, Ives' blacksmith shop, Staysa's dwelling and the school house, in 187l. Here was made one of the first settlements. as related above. To (lay the little village has its gas line and other conveniences of modern times.
Liberty Hall Association of Millport was organized June 15, 1875, for the purpose of building a hall for religious and amusement purposes at Millport. R. L. Nichols was first president, J. L. Allen, secretary, N. W. Herring, G. T. Fuller and J. Stevens, trustees. This hall was completed at once, and is now in use.
The United Brethren Association of Millport was incorporated April 29, 1886, with L. W. Dibble, P. C. Witter, R. C. Witter, Emma E. Densmore, W. A. Bennett, J. L. Lockwood, Orrin Cook, Estella Witter, George Hatch, H. T. Weaver and J. G. Torry, subscribers; Rev. W. A. Bennett was secretary. They meet for worship in Liberty Hall.
A. J. Barnes, Sons & Co.'s general store, and the saw- and shingle-mills form the principal business of the village, while a good hotel stands on the north bank of the creek.
Shinglehouse is named from the fact of a house sided with shingles having been built there in the long ago. From references made to the location in this chapter, as well as in the history of the pioneers, the reader may learn at once of the antiquity of the village. In 1837 a school-house was erected here by the Jones and other pioneer families, and in it Misses Stillman, Clarissa Leroy, of Clara, Miranda Jones and Huldah Nichols presided as teachers. This was not the first school in the township, for in 1830 Miss Elvira Craig taught in Sharon, her school afterward being presided over by Miss Amarilla Maxon, who married Isaac Phelps.
Rev. Mr. Scott is said by Mrs. A. A. Newton to have been the first preacher who visited Sharon. He preached in the school-house near Shinglehouse. The First Seventh Day Baptist Church of Shinglehouse was incorporated in September, 1883, on petition of Edson Warner, J. J. Kenyon and B. O. Burdick. They completed a house the same year. Since that time the Seventh Day Adventists built a house.
The Methodist Church Society of Shinglehouse was incorporated in November, 1885, with L. C. Perry, Zalmon Barnes, W. T Lane, Mrs. Laura Newton and A. J. Remington, trustees. This society contributed toward the building of the Seventh Day Baptist house. The Horse Run Methodist house was completed in 1886, under the superintendence of Rev. Mr. Nye. Among the members are M. A. Nichols and George Day. The membership is large. The Lane Methodist Church was completed in 1889.
The Jones & Newton store, originally established at Shinglehouse corners by Wiley Humphrey, was sold to Benjamin Jones. On the latter's death the widow married A. S. Newton, and the business is carried on under the title of Jones & Newton. The regular business houses of the village comprise George Hickock, billiard and pool tables; C. D. Voorhees, druggist; L. C. Kinner, general store; A. A. Raymond & Co. , hardware; Jones & Newton, general store; L. A. Nichols, furniture store; George W. Dodge, general store.... A good hotel is carried on here, and a large saw-mill near the iron bridge.... The Sharon Gas Company was incorporated January 16, 1884, with V. P. Carter, Daniel Dodge, C. H. Cole and J. J. Roberts, stockholders. They drilled one well, next purchased the old Pearsall well, and supply Shinglehouse .... The Shinglehouse Gas Company located their first well, May 14, 1887, one mile from the village, near the Carr dwelling, which now supplies part of the gas, while G. W. Dodge's wells supply another part .... The Shinglehouse grist-mill was opened in the fall of 1875..... A local board of the N. S. & L. A. of Rochester was organized at Shinglehouse in December, 1889, with Levi H. Kinney, A. A. Mulkin, A. A. Raymond, C. H. Cole, C. D. Voorhees and F. N. Newton, members.
The Methodist Episcopal Church building of Honeoye was dedicated March 2, 1890. The building is 26x44, with a tower 8x8 and 50 feet in height. The total cost was $1,462. The first post-office at Shinglehouse was established with Moser, postmaster; Ballard succeeded Moser, and after him Reckhow, was appointed. John Vorhees was appointed postmaster in 1870, and held the office until tile appointment of Mr. Mulkins. Henry Edwards was postmaster toward the close of the war, with John Vorhees deputy.
Miscellaneous. ---S. B. Fosler's store at Honeoye, J. A. Kibbe's on the Pennsylvania side of Alma, and Shay & Kinney's at Bell's run, on the line of McKean county, are other business centers. At the latter place Ransom Monger has a pool and billiard room Mr. Lane resides at Alma, four miles above Shinglehouse, in New York State, and has his store there.
The officers of the township, elected in February, 1890, are: Constable, C. A. Wolcott; collector, C. A. Wolcott; treasurer, Wallace Burdic supervisor, N. C. Newton; town clerk, Horace Pratt; auditor, A. J. Barnes; overseer of the poor, John Henly; school directors, O. Wells, George Drake; judge of election, A. A. Raymond; inspectors of election, W. J. Brown, E. F. McDowell."
* "Dr. Mattison states that H. Leory opened the first store in the township; Lewis R. Sutherland the first blacksmith shop and Ellsha Mix the first saw-mill - erected on the Honeoye."
Shingle House Had Two Original Sites
According to an early history of Shingle House, written by Miss Mollie Terwilliger, published in the 50th anniversary issue of The Oswayo Valley Mail, May 7, 1936, The Shingle House was built below town on the Horse Run Road, but the first settlement of any size was above town, near the present Assembly Park.
Her mother, Mrs. Fendora Terwilliger, was born here in 1843 and before her death in ___ was the oldest living person born within the present confines of the Borough of Shingle House.
Mrs. Terwilliger's uncle, Willard Jones, came to Shingle House in 1835 and built a home and saw mill a little above Assembly Park, about two miles east of the Shingle House. Lending further strength to the belief that the community started east of the original site, is the fact that a school house was built in 1837 about where the new Maple Grove Cemetery now stands.
When the Honeoye Valley was later inhabited it was only natural that the town would grow and prosper where the two valleys met in a "crossroads" and Shingle House adopted its present site half way between the two original settlements.
Miss Terwilliger's early history of Shingle House as printed 20 years ago in The Mail, is reprinted in part here:
All authorities agree that Shinglehouse takes its name (which we may note is the only Post Office of that name in the U. S. Post Office Directory) from the cabin erected in 1806 by one M. Generet, sometimes called Jaundrie, we believe erroneously.
This cabin was built of course of logs and covered top and sides with wooden "shakes" riven, not shaved, and tradition has it, rounded at the ends. This house stood, not as it is generally claimed, on the site afterward occupied by a larger building, also shingled, which stood on the south bank of the Oswayo, nearly opposite the mouth of the Horse Run Creek.
This house was used as a hotel, also as a boarding house for the lumber and river men, who made up three rafts in a pool below this building.
The business of lumbering and running the so called rafts down the Allegheny to Pittsburgh and on some times to Cincinnati deserves considerable space in the telling.
The original white pine forests of the Oswayo and Honeoye Valleys were of the best in the county, possibly of the State, and explains why the northern half of the county was more thickly settled at first than the southernmost.
Many of us can remember the old stump fences, made of white pine stumps, roots and all, which in clearing up the land offered a heap and convenient way of building fences and were practically indestructible, yielding only to fire. They offered a safe harbor for weeds, however, and most farmers hastened to get rid of them, when financially able, by burning.
To resume. The Generet house, according to testimony of "older inhabitants" stood further toward the present sire of Shinglehouse, nearly back of the Haynes' house. Jander Run takes its name therefrom.
The shingled hotel must have been standing well into the seventies, possibly later, as many now living can remember it.
The land warrant on which Shingle House was built was owned by Louis d'Orbigny and this name appears in many old deeds.
The first white settler after Generet was, according to most accounts, a man named Mix, whether Amos or not, we are not sure. He came some time between 1806 and 1812, and was located a considerable way up the Honeoye and had a mill there.
Willard Jones came early in the thirties and built a mill not on the site of the Perkins' mill, as some say, but further up the stream, above the Assembly Park, where the present bed of the creek makes a sharp turn.
Mrs. Fendora Terwilliger was born in 1843 in the house that stood adjacent to the Jones' mill and probably built at about the same time. Mrs. Terwilliger is probably the oldest person now living in Shinglehouse who was born within the borough.
Near the site of this mill, but nearer the highway as it is now located, was plainly visible within the memory of those now living a circular ridge or embankment of Indian origin, possibly a camping place, maybe a fort.
The late Amos Newton said he remembered large trees growing both within and upon the walls, indicative of its age. Many arrowheads and stone utensils have been unearthed there as in other parts of Sharon Township.
The first school house was built about 1837 by the Jones', assisted by other pioneer families. A Miss Stillman was probably the first teacher. Among other teachers were Amarilla Maxson, Clarissa Leroy, Miranda Jones and Huldah Nichols.
Probably the Jones families, the Pearsalls, the Nichols, came some time between 1832 and 1836.
Isaac Jones was the first Post Master at the Post Office situated just east of the present boro line and near the aforesaid mill and school house, but the Post Office was known as the Sharon and not Shinglehouse until in Pierce's administration, with G. W. Mosier as Post Master.
An amusing incident is told by Miss Newton. It seems in the late forties Miss Newton's mother, who was born Dollie Jones, received a proposal of marriage by mail, to which she never replied.
When the suggestion was made that the gentleman in question must
have had a somewhat nerve-racking wait she replied with some spirit
that "it cost 25 cents to send a letter and that time she was teaching
school for 50 cents a week."
Building of Big Glass Plant Boomed Shingle House 1901-1902
Erection of Huge Glass Plant Buildings Was Tremendous Job.
It is hard to realize today what might have happened to Shingle House over a half century ago had Hiram Palmer & Son decided to locate their glass plant at some place other than here.
In reading old newspaper files prior to 1900 it seems that Shingle House was destined to be a somnolent little village crossroads town of less than 500 persons.
Then the news broke that Shingle House was to get the big glass plant, which would employ nearly as many males as then resided in the area. The town boomed, almost overnight, just as it would today should such an opportunity again present itself. For a vivid description of the feeling of the people here at that time, and a description of the immense buildings, we quote from the issue of The Oswayo Valley Mail dated Thursday, September 12, 1901, as follows:
Shingle House gives promise of having one of the largest business booms of any town of its size in this section during the next few years. Situated at the junction of the Honeoye and Oswayo creeks, in the extreme northern end of Potter county, where, but a few years ago property could hardly be given away, has suddenly become a mecca of excitement which was beyond the hope of many residents.
A few years ago the prevailing sentiment was to the effect that Shingle House, like many other lumber towns, "had seen better days," and would eventually drop into obscurity, so to speak.
But little thought was given to the many opportunities that remained undeveloped. Shingle House residents being an energetic, progressive class of people were soon awake to the needs of the hour.
They were unanimous in their belief that inducements enough could be offered to secure the location of some manufacturing industries here that would insure the future of the town.
It was at once apparent that an almost inexhaustible supply of glass sand was within easy access to Shingle House and the one and only topic of conversation was to secure the location of the glass plant. Negotiations were at once opened with several promoters of glass factories and after a year's delay their hopes were realized, and, today, a plant that will give employment to over 300 men is under construction.
It is one of the largest window glass plants in the United States and is being erected by the Palmer Window Glass Company. It is expected that the plant will be in running order by the middle of November.
The factory is located at the east end of the town, overlooking a fine stretch of country along the picturesque Honeoye and Oswayo valleys.
The building are massive affairs, covering nearly nine acres of ground. The construction work is in charge of Fred and Charles Baker, who are experts in this line. The buildings rest on stone abutments and very heavy timbers. Over a million feet of Hemlock lumber will be used in the construction of the plant.
The plant will be known as a sixty-pot plant and will manufacture a fine grade of window glass. Two wells have been drilled to the depth of 50 feet, which will supply the factory with water. A reservoir 30 feet in diameter is being erected on the hill above the factory. Water will be pumped from the wells to the reservoir which will be filled all the time.
A line has been laid from the reservoir to the factory which will give them ample fire protection as the elevation will insure them a heavy pressure.
The batch house is 120x40 feet and is the building where the sand rock is prepared for the tanks. There are two tank houses each 120 feet square. Here the glass is prepared by the blowers and is then transferred to the flattening building which is 500x40 feet.
A portion of one end of this building is reserved for storage. In this department the glass is cut into various sizes and is prepared for shipment. The box mill, where the boxes are made for shipping the glass is 120x40 feet.
Most of the mason work at the plant is in charge of Kernel Brothers, who have had much experience in that line. The overhead stringers in the buildings are held together by strong iron rod. Most of the roofing will be done with felt roofing with a covering of small pebbles. All of the buildings will be weather boarded and painted. When completed the buildings will present an attractive appearance in their bright coat of red paint.
When the work on constructing the plant was commenced in July the hotel accommodations were not sufficient to care for the army of laborers to be employed and many private houses were converted into boarding houses.
Some of the laborers are now comfortably quartered in tents in the grove along the road leading to Sharon Center. Every available room is occupied and today the town presents the appearance of a mining or oil town.
The tents being only temporary quarters, it is evident that immediate action should be taken to provide permanent quarters in which to house the influx of people.
Much idle capital that has been stored away for years in this town in now being utilized in erecting dwelling houses and the investors will be handsomely rewarded for their efforts.
Being located in the heart of the gas territory with good shipping facilities, and excellent supply of good water, the town bids fair to triple her population during the next year. Over 100 men are now employed in the construction of the new glass plant, many of whom will locate here permanently. Over 50 new houses will be constructed during the next few months.
When the glass plant is in full operation the weekly payroll will reach many thousands of dollars. Recently, the N.Y.&Pa. R. R. has extended its line to Shingle House and at the present is grading the extension of its line to Ceres, a distance of five miles. This move will give the people of this town through railroad connections with Olean, one of the best shipping points in Western New York.
The Sharon Gas Company, which is composed of Shingle House residents is entitled to much credit. It is principally through their efforts that a glass plant was induced to locate here.
This company owns a number of good gas wells in this vicinity, besides a vast amount of rich, undeveloped territory, and were in a position to offer big concessions for a glass plant.
Cheap rate of gas is one of the principle inducements for a plant of this kind. But, nevertheless, many other citizens of this town are entitled to their share of praise.
PALMER PLANT BEGINS OPERATION
The plant began operation on Thursday evening, January 2, 1902, and was reported in The Oswayo Valley Mail as follows:
Amid scenes of excitement and congratulations the Palmer Window Glass Company commenced operations on tank No. 1, Thursday evening. The occasion was ushered in by sounding of the big triple whistle at the plant and the blowers and their excellent coterie of assistants were ready for business at exactly midnight.
Although the night was stormy, a fair sized crowd was in attendance to witness the making of the first window glass. After viewing the various sights and asking questions which were quickly and politely answered by the employees of the plant, the crowd began to diminish, congratulating the Palmer Window Glass Company for locating the plant here and the citizens of Shingle House who were instrumental in securing it.
The following names of Glass-Workers were picked at random from a column of Glass Plant News published in the Oswayo Valley Mail when the plant first started operation.
John Conn, Adolph Siegwertz, John Lunn, John Giraud, Peter and Fred Schmidt, William Carney, Ernest Barton, Daniel Cummings, Edward Cheesman, Paul McKinney, Frank Tearnet, J. Lawley, G. S. Anderson, Thomas Moffat,
John Agam, J. H. Parish, Leo Parish, Fred Barnes, W. E. Affligate, J. M. St. Peter, J. J. Beebe, Julius Thiebert, William Myers, Henry Robertson, George Dunham, James McDonald, Tom Flannigan, Joe Smith, John Ault, John Liddon, Tom Seacourt, Adam Moulter, Earl Bowser,
John Hanna, F. H. Rietz and K. P., Tom Miller, Henry Robinson, George Welley, Charles Higgins, William Harrington, Charles Mayence, William Davis, Casper Copp, Thomas Faul, Skimmer Miller, Joe Eberle, E. S. McKillip.
The Post Office Changed Name of Shingle House
Just 50 years ago, in May 1906, the spelling of "Shingle House" was changed to one word, Shinglehouse, as it is today.
For years we have been wondering how, when and why the spelling of the name of our town was changed. However, we also had faith that some day we would run across it in our files. And we did.
In the issue of the Oswayo Valley Mail, dated May 30, 1906, the following paragraph was recorded:
"It may be that some of our citizens do not know it, but the post office department some time ago officially changed the spelling of Shingle House so that it is now only one word, Shinglehouse."
But for 100 years Shingle House was spelled in the old form as two words. We are not as modern in our spelling as one would think.
Major Fires That Changed Picture in Business Section
While fires are not the best approach to the history of the business section of a town, they do supply vital information as to who owned and occupied the various places at the time of the fires.
The first major fire to visit Shingle House came on Thursday morning, April 2, 1903, and wiped out a row of ten business places on Honeoye street at the Oswayo street intersection.
According to a report in The Oswayo Valley Mail of the same date, published as a extra from the Breeze office in Bolivar, the fire started after midnight in the poolroom of Ernest Eicher following a poker game.
A scuffle resulted at the end of the game and it is believed that gas pipe connections were loosened and the fire resulted. The loss was estimated at $30,000.
Buildings standing on Honeoye street and destroyed at the time were as follows:
On the bank of the Oswayo creek, Hotel Atherton livery barn was saved by a bucket brigade.
Hotel Atherton, two stories and basement valued at $3500. Portion
of furniture and liquor
stock saved. Owned by W. W. Atherton who purchased from Rance Munger about nine months previous.
Ernest Eicher's poolroom where fire started, owned by Dodge & Cole. Second floor occupied by John Hixenbaugh. Total loss $2,000.
One story structure owned by John Cole and occupied by Mrs. Lucy Carpenter as a millinery store. Total loss $1,300.
Next building was also owned by John Cole and occupied as a dwelling by Frank Thomas. Loss $800.
Large dwelling owned by George W. Dodge, formerly the Central House. First floor occupied by Harry Merrick and second by Charles Ferguson. Loss $2,000.
Large general store building owned by Dana Drake and operated by L. C. Kinner. Loss $12,000.
Two story building owned by C. A. Harrick. First floor used as a drug store by Fred Rhodes and second floor housed The Oswayo Valley Mail. Total loss $3,700.
Dan Fox Restaurant, owned by John McNamire. Fixtures saved. Loss $200.
Two story clothing store owned and operated by Abe Soloman. Total loss $7,500.
Two story structure owned by Charles Warner. Housed cigar factory and pool room of Charles Parmenter. T. F. Pierce lived alone in the basement. Loss $1,500.
Interesting comments on the fire taken from the Fire Extra of The Mail include the following Notes:
The fire was discovered by the coughing of the children of Mrs. Hixenbaugh when smoke from the poolroom seeped up through the floor.
There was no fire protection except the Oswayo Creek and the Town Pump located in the triangle at the junction of Honeoye and Oswayo streets.
The old wooden buildings burned like straw and all ten were a smoldering mass in less than two hours.
The Nichols & MacGregor store (present Red & White store) caught fire from the intense heat but was saved by a bucket brigade.
Two months previous Shingle House had voted in favor of a water works but, because of the time of the year, work had not even commenced on the project.
"Main" Street moves to Oswayo.
FOUR BUILDINGS LEVELED BY FIRE IN SHINGLEHOUSE
Fire which started on the second floor of the W. A. Nichols store building on Oswayo street at 7:30 o'clock Tuesday evening, March 30, 1909 in one hour wiped out four buildings, entailing a loss of about $23,000.
The buildings were the W. A. Nichols & Son block, the C. C. VanDeBoe building, the G. C. Hawley residence and the E. T. McDowell building.
The first floor of the Nichols block was occupied by the W. A. Nichols & Son general store, the M. A. Presher meat market, and the R. C. Baker barber ship. The second floor was divided into three sets of living rooms, one occupied by B. F. Nichols sand wife, one by Mrs. Dell Humphrey, the other by Mrs. Carrie Atkins.
The VanDeBoe building, one story was occupied by Miss Mabel Humphrey's news room.
The Hawley residence was occupied by two families, G. C. Hawley, the owner, and David Rounds and family.
The McDowell building one story, was occupied by C. A. Herrick's newspaper and printing Plant.
The losses are as follows: W. A. Nichols & Son building $5,000, stock of merchandise, $10,000. B. F. Nichols, household goods, $1,000. Mrs. Dell Humphrey, household goods, $500. Mrs. Carrie Atkins, household goods, $400. M. A. Presher, meat market, $200. R. C. Baker, barber tools, $25. C. C. VanDeBoe, building, $900. Mabel Humphrey, stock, $50. G. C. Hawley, dwelling $2,500, household goods $150. E. T. McDowell building, $800. C. A. Herrick, printing plant, $2,000. E. T. McDowell store across the street damage to front, $150.
The fire is believed to have started in the living rooms occupied by Mrs. Humphrey, likely from a gas jet. It was a cloth and papered building on the second floor and once the fire started it spread with great rapidity. Mrs. Humphrey was not in her rooms when the fire started and Mr. and Mrs. Nichols were obliged to hurry to the front porch and reach the ground on a ladder.
The pressure on the water lines was so weak when the fire started that the hose company could do nothing. There was a gate valve closed somewhere. Word was sent to the Palmer Window Glass factory and their pumps turned on.
As soon as the pressure arrived the firemen did splendid work, saving the Commercial Hotel, just west of the VanDeBoe building, the Dodge barn, and prevented the fire from crossing the street. Had the pressure been normal when the fire started it would have been held in the Nichols & Son block.
The fire burning so swiftly made it impossible to save scarcely anything from the wooden building. Nichols & Son saved few hundred dollars worth of goods; M. A. Presher saved some of his market stock and tools; R. C. Baker saved most of his barber tools; Miss Mabel Humphrey saved most of her news room stock; G. C. Hawley saved most of his household goods; David Rounds saved all his household goods; C. A. Herrick saved his office desk, the newspaper forms, mailing list and files. Nothing was saved from the three suites of living rooms on the second floor.
The mud was five inches deep on Oswayo street and it was no fun working as a fireman.
It is just seven years ago tonight that the big fire wiped out the long row of wooden buildings on Honeoye street, entailing a heavy loss. Twice in seven years is enough for this newspaper to be burned out.
THE FRIZZ FIRE
The Fritz building was discovered on fire at about half past two o'clock this Wednesday morning, January 5, 1910, and the alarm sounded, but the strong wind that was blowing gave the fire such a start that that building and the W. W. Martin drug store, which was within three feet of it, were burned to the ground within an hour.
The hose company boys who were early on the scene did good work in confining the fire to the building. The wind was from the rear end of the Hawks and Hyde livery barns and away from the buildings across the street.
The stores of G. W. Lyon and Fred Gibson got pretty well warmed up, but didn't catch fire.
Some of the household goods and stock in the Martin building were carried out. Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Fritz had just moved into the living rooms over the bakery, and just had time to get out Themselves.
Mr. Fritz's loss was about $3,000 with some insurance on the building, but none on his household goods, or stock.
THE ARLINGTON FIRE
Shinglehouse was again visited by fire early Monday morning, March 5, 1910, when the Arlington Hotel was damaged to the extent of about $25,000. At fifteen minutes past one o'clock the citizens of this Boro were aroused by the whistle of the window glass and heading factories and the WN&P locomotive blowing the alarm of fire. It took only a few minutes to locate the fire as it was blazing up through the roof of the big Arlington hotel, the tallest building in Town.
The hose cart from the Elk Flint Bottle Company's factory and the hose from the window glass factory were all brought into action soon after the alarm was sounded. But the fire had gained considerable headway and the fire streams that played on the burning structure seemed to have little effect at first, but the boys who handled the hose, began to get the upper hand and at about 2:30 a. m. they had the fire under control. They did well to keep the fire from spreading to adjoining buildings. The thunder storm of the evening before helped wonderfully in keeping the roofs of other buildings from catching fire. It was a most difficult fire to fight as it had such a wide surface.
There were 30 boarders in the hotel an the landlord, J. H. Whitton, and family and the hired help all made their escape from the building without accident, although some of them were quite thinly clad. The fire started in the attic, and its origin is a mystery. It was discovered by a young man named Joy who was in the street.
Landlord Whitton purchased this property five and a half years ago and has conducted it ever since.
It was a well built building and one of the largest in town. The fire and water damaged the structure and contents to the amount of about $25,000 so the owner told a Mail reporter Monday. There was an insurance of $19,400 on the property, the Mandeville agency of Olean carrying the largest part of it.
To rebuild the hotel at once is the intention of Landlord Whitton. The barbershop of Ken Trask, located on the north side of the hotel was slightly damaged.
AN $85,000 FIRE
The largest and most disastrous fire that ever visited Shinglehouse since the writer came here in 1901, was that of yesterday morning, March 2, 1926, when the Dodge Hardware Company's big store and the First National Bank block were totally destroyed by fire, entailing a loss around $85,000. Four families are homeless and without household goods.
The fire was discovered by Mrs. William Evans, who was taking care of Mrs. Frank Freeborn, who was ill and who lives just across from the Dodge store where the fire originated.
The fire was first seen about 1:00 o'clock in the back end of the Dodge store and before the alarm could be given and the volunteer fire fighters get on the ground with their three lines of hose connected up, the store building was a mass of flames and burning like tinder.
The store was of wooden construction and with an immense stock of paints, oils and varnishes, it went up in smoke like a tank of crude oil.
The fire fighters very quickly saw that there was no use trying to put the fire out, and not being able to get close to the building on account of the intense heat they turned their attention to the Keir dwelling east of the Dodge store and also the Model Bakery and the Babcock grocery store on the opposite side of the street, all three of which were either on fire or ready for the flames to break out.
About this time the brick bank building which stood within two feet of the Dodge building on the west caught on fire at the rear and on the roof and soon ate its way into the building.
In the mean time Olean, Bolivar and Richburg were called to rush their fire engines to the scene and Bolivar and Richburg were on the scene with their engines within a short time and a few minutes after two o'clock had three streams of water on the bank building and the Keir building, and thus the banking rooms on the first floor of the bank building were saved although badly soaked with water.
The entire upper story was burned away and Reed & Gross hardware and the K. E. Newton drug store on the ground floor were destroyed. The front part of the Keir building was saved but the back party, where Mrs. Susie Keir and daughter, Miss Lulu, lived, was a total wreck and most of the goods destroyed.
There was not much wind stirring during the fire or nothing could have saved a dozen other buildings on the street from being destroyed.
Although Shinglehouse has no regular organized hose company, it has a bunch of real fire fighteers and no mistake -- they never give up fighting no matter how big or how hot a fire they are up against.
The Dodge Hardware Company's building was 50x70 feet in size, two stories with basement, and a large store house at the rear, filled with the best assortment of hardware in the county and one of the oldest establishments in the boro. Their loss was about $30,000 with an insurance of $10,000.
On the second floor was the Masonic lodge and club rooms and their furnishings, records and regalia were all destroyed, entailing a loss of $1,000 which was fully insured.
In the Bank Block was the Reed & Gross hardware store, whose loss was around $8,000, partially covered by insurance. The K. E. Newton drug store loss on stock, fixtures, furnishings and a fine library was about $8,000, which was partially insured. The Bank's loss on their building by water and smoke will be around $30,000, which was partially covered by insurance.
On the second floor of the Bank building three families resided, and also the law and real estate offices of C. C. VanDeBoe. Very little was saved from any of them.
John Conner's loss was $1,400 with $250 insurance. Mrs. Fendora Terwilliger and daughter, Miss Mollie, suffered a loss of about $2,000 with an insurance of only $600. Roy Lunn and family's loss on household goods was around $1000 with not a cent of insurance. VanDeBoe's loss on his furniture and fixtures, law library, etc., was around $3,500 and was partially insured.
The loss on Mrs. Keir's building and goods was around $3,000, with a small insurance policy in the Grange.
The Model Bakery, the Babcock grocery and the R. J. Clark buildings had their glass fronts broken and the paint badly scorched on the front of the structures.
The small shoe repair shop of Alex McClure was also destroyed entailing a loss of $200 to $300.
Oswayo Valley Mail Began 70 Years of Service in Shinglehouse on May 4, 1886
In the spring of 1886, John P. Herrick had just completed a term of school in the Brownlee school house, located between Austin and Costello, when he was notified by his brother-in-law, Herbert L. Pearsall, then county superintendent of schools of Cameron county, that his brother A. A. Pearsall, a lawyer, had a newspaper plant for sale at Shingle House and urged John to accompany him to that place to examine it.
They arrived on April 1st and found Shingle House to be a farming and lumbering community of about 300 population. The plant was located on the second floor of the present Masonic building on Oswayo Street where a weekly newspaper, "The Palladium," had ceased the previous year.
Prior to that another publisher had failed to make a financial success of the business. The equipment consisted of a Cottage Army Press, with hand roller for each impression and was just large enough to print one page of a seven column newspaper. There was a small job press, an assortment of worn type, case and stands.
John P. Herrick made an offer which was refused and he returned home to continue his preparations to leave for Edinboro State Normal School on the following Monday, in company with O. A. Kilbourn who was superintendent of the Potter county schools 1899 - 1908.
On Saturday previous to their departure, Mr. Herrick received a letter from A. A. Pearsall accepting his offer for the newspaper plant. This offer changed his plans completely and he left on Monday for Shingle House to begin the management and editorship of "The Palladium".
John P. Herrick was only 18 years of age and had no newspaper experience. His first step was to employ Robert L. Earl, and experienced and competent printer and country editor. With a total capital of $300 above the purchase price of the plant, he placed orders for new stock and equipment. The first issue appeared on May 4th under the name of "The Sharon Leader".
A few weeks of experience in this work brought the realization that Shingle House was too small to support a weekly newspaper, and plans were made to include the village of Ceres in its publication. It had the advantage of two narrow gauge railroads as well as two saw mills, two hotels an opera house, and a number of stores.
On October 15, 1873, Jerry Barker began the publication of "The Ceres News" a small weekly newspaper, but it had long since ceased to exist. The merchants and business men of Ceres expressed themselves as being anxious to have a local newspaper and pledged their co-operation in its support.
Frank A. Chapman, proprietor of the Oswayo House, a pioneer hotel in the Oswayo Valley, offered to lease an empty store room in the opera house for a printing office at four dollars a month and to arrange for the publisher to board at the hotel at a reasonable rate.
Late in July the plant was moved to Ceres and set up in the well lighted opera house block. Two cases of type remained at Shingle House and there on Mondays and Tuesdays Mr. Herrick jotted down the local news, set the type by hand, read proof, and corrected errors.
On Wednesday mornings the galleys of type were carried by stage to Ceres for use in the "Sharon Leader" which was printed on Thursday mornings.
The papers were folded, addressed, and shipped by stage to Shingle House for mailing. The "Leader" was entered as second class matter and enjoyed free circulation in Potter County.
Mr. Herrick usually walked the five miles from Ceres to Shingle House on Sunday afternoons to be at work early on Monday mornings. The stage ran only on week days and he had no other means of transportation.
Robert Earl had agreed to remain as an employee for only three months. Before leaving he arranged for Harry D. Caskey, a competent printer, of Randolph, N. Y., to take his place. He had served an apprenticeship on a Randolph newspaper and had a flair for turning out artistic printing and advertising.
He remained about a year before entering the employ of A. J. Hughes who was establishing the Austin Autograph. Mr. Caskey later became the owner and publisher of the paper. The Austin flood of 1911 destroyed his newspaper plant and he moved to California where he resided until his death.
The name selected for the new weekly in Ceres was "The Ceres Courant." It consisted of four pages of seven columns. Two pages were ready print and two pages were printed in Ceres. The first number was issued on Thursday, August 5. 1886, and carried more than seven columns of local advertising.
In the spring of 1888, John P. Herrick realized that two newspapers were barely paying expenses. It was then that he conceived the idea of changing the name to the "Oswayo Valley Mail," to cover the entire Oswayo Valley, and increasing the size from seven to eight columns to the page.
This change required a larger press and new office equipment. He learned that George W. Fries of the Friendship Register, had a second hand Washington hand press for sale at $150.
Being unable to borrow the money Mr. Herrick adopted the method of saving every dime that came into his possession. When he had saved $60 he induced Mr. Fries to accept the dimes as first payment on the press and to spread the balance over a period of time. This proved to be a turning point in his financial affairs.
The old Army press was traded for a new display type and larger column rules. The first issue of the "Oswayo Valley Mail" was an improvement in appearance and was favorably received.
Mr. Herrick next visited all subscribers and convinced them that the newspaper was on a solid foundation and was there to stay. He also suggested that payment in advance might be helpful and many did so.
On Christmas Day, he had no debts and had more than $1,000 to his credit in the bank. "Nothing succeeds like success" and people like to do business with a winner. Mr. Herrick learned by experience the truth of the saying by Benjamin Franklin, "If you wish to learn the value of a dollar, try to borrow one."
Mr. Herrick next purchased a lot in Ceres from Mrs. Caroline Smith on which to erect an office for the "Oswayo Valley Mail." The building, 20x30 feet, was opposite the Oswayo House and was built by Benjamin Treat and Joel Price whose wages were $2.50 per day. The rough lumber cost about eight dollars per thousand and the glass front came from an abandoned store building in Richburg.
In April, 1890, he purchased the Valentine C. Smith house on the New York side of Ceres and came into possession of a permanent home for his mother, sister, and four brothers who had joined him in Ceres nearly two years before.
Charles A. Herrick, brother of John P. Herrick, was employed in the office of the "Mail" for several years. In February, 1898, he purchased the paper and became its editor and publisher. In 1901, Hiram Palmer and Sons, of Kane, sold their window glass plant in that place and in July began the erection of another at Shingle House.
Realizing the advantages which this industry would bring to that village, Charles A. Herrick purchased a building on Honeoye street in which he installed his newspaper plant on the first day of the following September. This proved to be a most advantageous change for within a year the population of Shinglehouse had increased from about 400 to 1,500 persons.
The paper was printed on the Washington hand press, afterward on a cylinder press with a gas engine for power. The type was all set by hand until a linotype was purchased in 1925. Later a newspaper folder, a mat casting outfit, and mailer were added to the equipment. Electric power and lights were installed in 1928.
On Thursday night, April 2, 1903, the two story building occupied by the "Oswayo Valley Mail" was destroyed by fire and also nine other buildings on Honeoye street. There was no fire protection and the building was reduced to ashes in less than two hours.
A four page extra edition of the Mail was printed early Friday morning in the office of the Bolivar Breeze, edited and published by John P. Herrick. The Mail continued to be printed there until Charles A. Herrick bought and installed new equipment in the McDowell building on Oswayo street.
On the evening of March 31, 1909, fire broke out in the second floor of the store building of the W. A. Nichols and Son on Oswayo street, and consumed the Nichols building, the C. C. VanDeBoe building, George C. Hawley's residence and the E. T. McDowell building in which The Mail office was located.
The paper was nearly ready for publication and while the building was burning Mr. Herrick and his employee, Seymour Osincup, filled in the remaining empty columns and carried the forms to safety.
Again, as before, they drove to Bolivar where with the assistance of John P. Herrick and his office force the paper was soon printed with full account of the fire and was only a few hours late.
As there was no vacant building in Shinglehouse The Mail was published in the Breeze office until Mr. McDowell erected a new building on the same site which in July 1909, was again occupied by the Oswayo Valley Mail with entirely new equipment.
Collins Herrick, son of Charles A. Herrick, began work in the printing office at the age of nine, when he would climb upon a high stool, augmented in height by a large book, and "stick" type after school and on Saturdays. After graduation from high school in 1926 he learned to operate the linotype and to do some writing.
Joe Herrick, a younger son, came into the office in 1930. Six years later he was sports editor and supervisor of the job department.
In July, 1941, almost 40 years after moving the Oswayo Valley Mail to Shinglehouse Charles A. Herrick turned the keys to the office over to his two sons and retired from active newspaper work.
On January 1, 1942, Collins and Joe Herrick purchased The Potter County Journal in Coudersport of Mrs. Laura K. Barton and moved The Mail equipment to the county seat where they consolidated the two plants under the name of Herrick Newspapers. The two papers are still published separately.
In April, 1944, Joe Herrick retired from the firm and Mrs. Grayce V. Herrick became a partner in Herrick Newspapers. The Oswayo Valley Mail on May 3, 1956, completed its 70th year of service to the residents of the Oswayo Valley.
When renewing her subscription to The Oswayo Valley Mail recently, Mrs. L. V. Bridge wrote:
"I want you to know that I appreciate your CLEAN news sheet. I note there is no liquor advertisements. Here is wishing you every success and that you may be able to continue the Oswayo Valley Mail. It is the first newspaper I read -- then it was the Ceres Mail."
Bottle Plant Was Thriving Industry for 15 Years
The citizens of Shinglehouse were well pleased in 1904 when their efforts to secure a bottle plant here were rewarded with word that the Elk Flint Bottle Company would operate here.
It had taken several months of good hard work to raise the necessary money, secure a low gas rate and get a site for the plant.
Five acres of land on the C. R. Nichols farm near the NYP railroad was donated for the factory site. $3,000 in cash was raised for the company on completion of the building, and local people went security for a $5,000 loan at the local bank.
A gas rate was secured from the local National Gas Co., as follows: first two years 7c a thousand, third year 8c and fourth and fifth year 10c per thousand.
The factory was known as an 8-ring tank, employing 32 blowers. There were 14 shops with three men to a shop, working two nine-hour shifts.
A total of about 200 men and boys was employed in and around the factory.
The tank house was 56x64 feet in size, lehr and packing house 40x90 feet, engine and moult room 24x36 feet, material room 40x60 feet and box shop 20x40 feet.
U. S. Bartmess was the first manager. The payroll was about $1500 every two weeks. The industry flourished for about 15 years, having changed hands several times and was dismantled in October, 1919, and the Oswayo Valley Silk Company's big brick building erected in its place.
Bank Opens Year After Town Booms
On Monday, June 8, 1903, The First National Bank of Shingle House will open for the transaction of general banking business in temporary quarters in the building now occupied by J. W. Cole.
For a long time the people of Shingle House and surrounding territory have felt the need of prompt and courteous banking facilities at home. A few months ago a movement was made toward such and institution and met with general favor from all classes.
Few country banks have succeeded in making so strong an institution as The First National Bank of Shingle House.
Mr. L. C. Kinner, who for nearly twenty years has conducted a prosperous and honorable business at Shingle House, a man who enjoys in a high degree the confidence and esteem of all, will be the president and will be at the bank in person to meet patrons and direct the business.
Mr. Charles A. Wolcott, vice president, has for years made his home at Shingle House and has been a successful farmer and dealer in livestock and lumber.
Mr. G. B. Scott, the cashier, has for years been an assistant in the Union National Bank of Franklinville, N. Y., and is a young man of energy and thoroughly experienced in every form of banking. The support given him by his home people is the best evidence of his ability.
Among the directors are the leading citizens of this section and also other gentlemen connected with strong banking institutions.
The Colonial Trust Company of Pittsburgh, one of the strongest and largest in the city, is a large share holder in the bank, while individual interests connected with the Coudersport Trust Company of Coudersport, and the Union National Bank of Franklinville are associated with the bank.
Your attention is called to the long and strong list of shareholders given herewith and which shows at a glance the success of the organization.
We solicit the business of Shingle House and vicinity, promising to be in all things prompt, attentive and exact. Furthermore, the depositors of this bank may be assured in advance that all their relations with the Bank will be kept in absolute secrecy, and strict confidence in business matters will be the policy of the Bank.
The bank will pay three per cent per annum on certificates of deposits for money left six months or longer.
Statements of accounts will be rendered and pass books balanced each month.
All checks will be taken at face value from those frequenting the bank and no charges for exchange will be made for such. New York exchange will also be furnished to those keeping balances with the bank, free of charge, and currency will be shipped upon order of any customer of the bank. Money will be loaned at 6 per cent, and good loans are solicited.
The management invites you to call on their opening day, inspect their safe and learn of what they intend to do.
List of Shareholders
L. C. Kinner, C. A. Wolcott, G. B. Scott, J. C. Gadsby, A. Solomon, W. A. Nichols. C. R. Nichols, James M. Tyler, T. L. Knapp, F. H. Failing, G. W. Barnes, W. W. Martin, A. L. Cole, J. W. Cole, J. S. Hickok, F. A. Nichols, G. C. Russell, C. A. Herrick, E. F. McDowell, all of Shingle House, Pa.;
Ira W. Bixby, Frank R. Bixby, H. C. Pratt, Sharon Center, Pa.; Fred C. Leonard, A. F. Smith, John F. Stone, Coudersport, Pa.; R. S. Litchfield, Thomas Davis, M. H. Chapman, D. L. Spring, E. Chamberlin, A. W. Kingsley, E. G. Kingsley, Franklinville, N. Y.;
Fred Cline, Ischua, N. Y.; C. S. Persons, Delevan, N. Y.; Dr. W. M. Litchfield, Cuba, N. Y.; G. E. DeGolia, Salamanca, N. Y.; the Colonial Trust Co., of Pittsburgh, Pa.
L. C. Kinner, C. A. Wolcott, J. C. Gadsby, A. Solomon, Fred C. Leonard, A. F. Smith, R. S. Litchfield.
In April 1886, John P. Herrick, age 18, came to Shinglehouse, a town of 300 inhabitants, purchased the plant of the Palladium which had ceased publication the year previous, and on May 4th established a newspaper called the Sharon Leader. The next July Mr. Herrick opened a branch office in Ceres, Pa., a town of 300 population and established the Ceres Courant August 5th, often walking the five miles to Shinglehouse where he still published the Sharon Leader. In 1888 he consolidated the two newspapers under the name of Oswayo Valley Mail.
On the night of August 30, 1891, fire destroyed the printing office at Ceres, one day after Mr. Herrick had established the Bolivar Breeze. A new printing office was built and the paper published under a new title, The Ceres Mail. In February 1898, a brother of the editor, Charles A. Herrick, who had' been employed in the office, purchased the Ceres Mail. About three years later, a window glass plant at Shinglehouse had increased the population and the plant was moved there to publish the paper again as the Oswayo Valley Mail.
Upon the retirement of their father on June 3, 1941, Collins and Joe
Herrick, associates in the business, became owners and
publishers. They purchased the Potter County Journal and began the publication of both newspapers in Coudersport on January 8, 1942. Beginning April 20, 1944, they were officially called the Herrick Newspapers, Collins and Grayce V. Herrick, owners and publishers.
There was a big fire at Shinglehouse on March 2, 1926. The following
were the principal losses: First National Bank and living rooms overhead,
Dodge hardware, Reed and Gross hardware, Mrs. Susie Keir, Kate Newton's
drug store, McClure's shoe shop; about $120,000 in all. Shinglehouse had
then no fire department. Help was called from Bolivar, Richburg, and Olean,
arriving in half an hour. Without this aid, the whole town would have burned.
All the buildings destroyed were of wood, except the bank.
These three mills began as the Harbord Silk Company, afterwards coming under the proprietorship of John Dunlop's Sons, Inc., and their business was spinning only, doing no weaving. The Coudersport mill ran quite steadily with only short intervals of idleness till June, 1931. Since then it has been shut down. The Galeton mill had about the same period of operation. During the season of 1932, the mill was bought by local capitalists, to whom it was offered at junk prices, and again put in operation. At the present writing, it is running and bids fair to continue. The Shinglehouse mill ran only a short time. But in January, 1923, the Oswayo Valley Silk Company was chartered in Shinglehouse, composed mostly of local capitalists. A building was erected on the site of the old bottle plant, and the factory started in December, 1924. Unlike the mills previously built in Potter County, this factory was engaged in weaving. It barely paid operating expenses the first year, but continued to run till 1929, when the company became bankrupt.
H. D. Kent was appointed trustee and B. L. Langworthy and Earl Gibson appraisers. The mill has not run since.
Another silk weaving mill was established in Shinglehouse by the Shinglehouse
Silk Company and started in August, 1927. The company was composed of four
men from New Jersey, assisted by local capitalists. The building of the
John Dunlop's Sons silk mill was rented, this company having shut down
their mill in Shinglehouse some time before and removed most of their machinery.
The new mill ran by electric power from a long distance line that had just
been brought into the town. This mill was still running in April, 1930.
The heading mill at Oswayo closed in December, 1916, removing the last
industry from the town. The plant of the Gaffney Wood Products Company
at Walton, after several busy years, shut down and the works were dismantled
in 1924. The company's plant at Lyman Run had already been taken up some
time before. Their remaining maple timber was sold to Seeger, Prindle,
& Company of Belvidere, N. Y., and the rest of their timber went to
the chemical works at Genesee. This plant is still running, also the chemical
plant at Coneville, which was built in 1901. These factories, as well as
that of the Gray Chemical Company at Roulet, have suffered lately from
the dull market for wood alcohol, but at present it would seem that they
have a fair chance to weather the storm. Another wood-using plant of the
present period is the Wells & Fuller shoe-last and mangle roller mill
The Puritan glass works at Shinglehouse were junked in 1919. By the summer of 1922, the last industry in the town was idle, and the window glass factory was dismantled in 1924. No glass factory has been operated in Potter County since.
In September, 1911, the Potter Gas Company bought out the Wolcott Gas
Company in Shinglehouse, which gave the
purchasers a monopoly in that town, and the rate was raised to 27c. They were obliged by the terms of the sale, however, to
exempt the Elk Flint Bottle Company from the regular rate. The rate was again advanced to 30c in April, 1912. Drilling was
constantly going on, and new producers are frequently recorded in the newspapers of these times.
In April, 1909, the plant of the Palmer Window Glass Company at Shinglehouse,
which had been running since its opening in
1901, had become involved in financial difficulties. Disagreement with the employees led the factory to shut down. The plant
went into the hands of a receiver in June, Owen G. Metzger being appointed to that place, as trustee of the creditors.
Ill-advised investments in gas properties, dull times in the glass business, and mistakes in management, had brought on the
crisis. it was arranged to sell the plant at public sale, with little hope that enough could be realized to pay more than the first
mortgage bonds, leaving the holders of the second mortgages to lose their money. The sale took place August 25, and the
property was bid in by F. L. Bartlett, representing the holders of first mortgage bonds. The plant was at once resold to William
Barnsdall of Bradford for about $130,000, which as had been expected, left little for the holders of second mortgage bonds.
The factory started soon afterwards. The proprietors were now the Empire Window Glass Company, and Thomas Camp was
the manager. There was some trouble arising from shortage of gas, but in 1914 new wells were drilled in the company's gas
fields, so that this difficulty was overcome for the time. At the close of the period we are now considering. this plant was in
operation, as well as that of the Elk Flint Bottle Company, which had been running steadily since its opening in 1904. The
Wolcott gasoline factory was started in Shinglehouse in 1911, making gasoline from natural gas. It thus appears that, despite
some setbacks, the town of Shinglehouse held its own up to 1915 to a greater degree than most other towns in the county.
The trolley line from Shinglehouse to Bolivar and Olean had been opened
in 1902. An attempt was made in 1904 to build a
trolley line from Olean to Coudersport. The boro council of Coudersport granted a franchise, but difficulties in Port Allegany
and elsewhere defeated this enterprise. Subsequent events have proved that, even if this project had been carried out, it would
long ago have followed the Shinglehouse and Bolivar trolley lines to the realm of the past. The Shinglehouse trolley line is the
only electric railroad that ever actually entered Potter County.
The business of the N. Y. & P. railroad decreased in volume with
the decline of the lumber industry, and finally ceased to pay
operating expenses, but service was maintained, with two passenger trains each day, down to the close of this period, though
the resources of the road did not admit of keeping it in very good shape. An amusing incident occurred at Shinglehouse in June,
1905, when the Olean and Shinglehouse trolley line attempted to put in a crossing over the tracks of the N. Y. & P. on
Academy Street. The officials of the railroad sent an engine to stand on the site of the proposed crossing and hold the ground.
But the people of Shinglehouse were favorable to the trolley company, and a number of men appeared on the scene, with
teams and equipment. A hose was turned on the engine, drenching the engineer and fireman, and then was effectively used to
extinguish the fires in the locomotive. Teams were then hitched on, and the engine hauled off the disputed ground. Stones and
lumps of coal flew, but no one was seriously injured. Before any new move could be made by the railroad company, the rails
had been cut and the crossing put in. An injunction was served on the trolley company, which caused a few days delay, but the
victory was theirs. The crossing was not used for several years preceding the abandonment of the trolley line. The N. Y. & P.
railroad lost their founder and chief promoter, Joseph B. Rumsey of Oswayo, near the close of this period. He died in 1915.
(in Pottter Co.)
Two glass factories lit their fires in the fall of 1904, and a third, the Elk Flint Bottle Company, had already begun blowing
bottles at Shinglehouse.
... Mr. Newton tells me that the first settler he knows of in this neighborhood
was the Frenchman, M. Generet, whose shingled
cabin, from which the town of Shinglehouse takes its name, stood just across the line in McKean County. The shingles with
which it was covered were what used to be called "shakes, riven, but not shaved, and were pinned with wooden pins to the
squared pine timber of which the house was built, nails being scarce and difficult to obtain at that time. This was in 1806. The
land warrant on which the town of Shinglehouse is built was owned by another Frenchman, Louis D'Orbigny, but he never
settled there. The oldest settler on the Potter County side of the line was Captain Mix, who lived some distance up the
Honeoye, and had a sawmill there. Mr. Newton does not know his given name. but it seems quite likely that Amos Mix, whom
Almeron Nelson names as one of t he viewers of the road from Coudersport to Ceres in 1812, was the same man, which
would place the date of his settlement somewhere from 1806 to 1812. He was already an old settler when Amos A. Newton
came in 1844. At the earliest date of which Mr. Newton has any knowledge, the settlers on the Oswayo on the road to
Coudersport were as follows, beginning just above Shinglehouse: O. C. Warner, Anthony Jones (sold to Amos A. Newton),
Benjamin F. Nichols, Amos D. Nichols. John S. Pearsall lived near the Sunnyside bridge, just above the present site of the
picnic grove. Isaac and Arad Jones, who came from the North Bingham settlement, which I shall mention later, built a mill on
the present site of Shinglehouse in early times, and a man named Hopkins had a blacksmith shop there. Wiley Humphrey built
the first store on the present town site, earlier stores having been located farther down stream, near the county line. Tom
Nichols and Eleazar Albee were early settlers on the Honeoye. Most of the early settlers in this neighborhood were attracted
by the splendid white pine timber, which could be conveniently rafted down the Oswayo and the Allegheny, and practically all
of them were engaged in lumbering. Mr. Newton says that there were probably fifty mills on the Oswayo and its branches
above Ceres in his youth, and that nearly all of them ran by water-power. The Nichols family, some years before their
settlement on the Oswayo, were employed in building the old Holland road in the western part of McKean County, one of the
first roads opened in Northwestern Pennsylvania.
The Palmer window glass factory at Shinglehouse was built during the
season of 1901. It employed 300 men, thus being
considerably larger than the glass factories at Coudersport and Roulet. The population of the town was considerably increased,
creating a demand for new houses. Thirty tenant houses were built by the owners of the factory, besides some by other land
owners. The Palmer Window Glass Company invested considerable capital in gas leases, and their aim was to control their
own fuel supply, independently of the gas companies.