Historical View of Clinton County, Pennsylvania by "D. S. Maynard"
Chapman Township-Renovo Borough
Chapman township was formed while the territory now contained in Clinton belonged to Lycoming county, since which time its area has been greatly diminished by the successive organization of other townships. A portion was taken off in the formation of Grugan in 1855, and in 1875, the remainder was divided, and the western portion formed into the township of Noyes.
The township is bounded at present as follows: On the east, by Colebrook and Grugan; on the south, by Grugan and Noyes; on the west, by Noyes and Leidy; and on the north by Potter county.
Notwithstanding the diminution that has taken place in its area, Chapman is still a large township, it being eight miles wide and about twelve miles long. Its surface partakes of the uneven character of the other portions of the county, and is covered with a heavy growth of timber-pine, oak, hemlock, &c.
The West Branch flows through the southern part of the township, and in its course receives the waters of several streams, the largest and most important being Young Woman's Creek, which, with its branches, drains nearly the whole township, reaching the river at North Point (Young Womanstown). Various opinions have been expressed in regard to the origin of the name of this creek. In relation to the matter, H. L. Diefenbach, Esq., long a resident of Clinton county, and lately editor of the Bloomsburg Columbian, says:
This creek is said to have received its name from the fact that the dead body of a young woman was found in it, near the point where it enters the river. Others say the Indians scalped and then murdered a young woman there and then threw her body into the creek, hoping it would float off into the river and their act would thus be concealed. A legendary tale is that the Indians there killed a young woman prisoner who could walk no further-that it was a famous and most desirable camping ground-but that ever after this murder, if Indians encamped there at night, her ghost would appear gliding over the surface of the stream, and about the camp and that they were sure to be fired upon by unseen faces if they remained a second night. There are also numerous other legends, but all begin with the statement that the dead body of a young woman was found in the creek. The Indian town at that point, of which many remains were formerly found, and some still are, was called Young Womanstown, but wether it derived its name from the creek, or the creek from the town, is doubtful, and both sides have had champions. It was once a great rallying point for Indians from all points, and perhaps the Indian belles gathered there in large numbers to charm and entrap the young hunters and warriors whose paths led that way, and hence the name. If this answer is not satisfactory to enquirers, they are at liberty to get up a better one.
A. J. Quigley, Esq., an old and prominent citizen of Young Womanstown, published an article in the Renovo Record a few months ago, in which he says:
It is said that a young Indian squaw of rare beauty, the hand of whom had been sought by a young chief of another tribe and whose advances had been forbidden by the father of the young girl, and after all efforts on her part to soften his feelings towards the young chief had proved ineffectual, she deliberately cast herself into the turbid current near the mouth of the stream and was never more heard of.
The stream was ever after called Young Woman's Creek from which the town has taken its name.
Whatever may be the real origin of the name, it is certain that it was conferred by the Indians, for when the region was first visited by the whites, the appellations, "Young Womans Creek," and "Young Womanstown," as applied to the stream, and the vicinity of its mouth, were familiar terms among the natives. The only other streams in the township, worthy of mention are Hiner's Run, said to have been called after a hunter by that name; and Paddy's Run, so called because of an Irish settlement near its mouth. The former empties into the river about three miles below the mouth of Young Womans Creek, and the latter about two miles above, both flowing from the north. Drury's Run empties into the river just above Renovo, and for a short distance forms the boundary between Chapman and Noyes townships. Many of the mountain peaks of this township are grand and lofty, especially those bordering on the river, some of which reach a height of twelve or fourteen hundred feet; the one opposite the mouth of Young Womans Creek towering fourteen hundred and twenty feet. In shaping the hills and mountains along the West Branch of the Susquehanna, nature seems to have modeled after the most symmetrical and pleasing designs, but in no place has she displayed her creative powers in grander attractiveness than in the picturesquely beautiful verdure-covered hills of this region.
With the exception of the river bottoms, Chapman has very little level land; back from the river the country lies high, and though considerably broken is susceptible of improvement and cultivation.
Though a vast amount of timber has been taken from the lands of this township, a large quantity still exists. As is the case generally, in lumber regions, the best quality along and near the streams was taken first, while extensive tracts in the interior remained untouched by the woodsman's axe.
The most extensive lumbering operations in the township have been conducted on Young Womans Creek, Hiner's Run, and Paddy's Run, large quantities of timber however have been cut all along the river and upon the smaller runs. The operations at present are confined almost entirely to the three streams mentioned.
Though coal, iron ore, fire clay. &c., are known to exist in this township, they remain entirely undeveloped, except on Drury's Run, near Renovo, where coal has been mined to some extent.
A thorough geological survey of the township has never been made; therefore it is impossible to say, definitely, what may be the character and extent of its mineral resources. Indications, however, seem to justify the conclusion that coal will yet be found within the township, in workable quantities. The rocks of the region are principally sandstone, with occasional fragments of conglomerate scattered over the surface of the higher lands,
Precisely when the first settlement, in what is now Chapman township, was made, is uncertain. From the most authentic information that can be obtained, it appears that a "clearing" of a few acres was made at the mouth of Young Womans Creek previous to 1780, and occupied by a man by the name of Wm. Reed, who had no title. Reed sold his improvements to Samuel Campbell, he conveyed the same to Thomas Robinson, who obtained a pre-emption warrant dated Oct. 1st, 1795, for "three hundred and seven acres and allowances," described as follows: Situated "on the north side of the West Branch of the Susquehanna, known by the names, 'Young Womanstown,' and William Reed's improvement;' beginning at the upper end of the narrows in the lower ends or sides, and extending up the said river to the head wing of a fish dam, and adjoining John Fleming's improvement." The entire tract, which included nearly all the flat land adjacent to the mouth of Young Womans Creek, was conveyed by Robinson to Andrew Epple, of Philadelphia, by deed dated January 10, 1787.
On April 12, 1787, Epple obtained a patent for the whole tract from the commonwealth, said patent having the signature of Benjamin Franklin, as President of the "Supreme Executive Council."
Andrew Epple, by deed dated August 20, 1799, conveyed the same to Andrew Epple, Jr., who sold to Joseph Reed; the deed of conveyance, dated March 9th, 1802. On June 3d, 1805, Andrew Epple, Jr., conveyed the tract to John Philip De Haas. In May, 1810, De Haas sold the entire tract to John Quigley, by whom it was divided, and conveyed to different persons, his son Michael Quigley coming in possession of the larger portion, which he now holds, the balance of the original tract being principally owned at present by Robert Bridgens, Esc., and Hawley, Matthews & Quigley.
While the "Young Womanstown farm" was in possession of Andrew Epple it was rented for a time by William Bennett who paid for the use thereof five pounds a year. It appears from a letter written in 1798, by Bennett to the owner of the land, that even at that early day there were from thirty to forty acres of the farm under cultivation. The following is a correct copy of the letter:
Young Womans town Jan 19th 1798
Sir I take this opportunity to let you know that I am agoing to Move of your Place in the spring: my sons bein out at French Creek and they have a Mind to Move out their in the spring And I would be glade you would take this place of my hands and send some Man to it a Cording to your one Mind that you could be shoure of paying the rent I can get men a-nauf her that would take it But I would rather you would satisfy you Self I have a very good fall crop in the ground thir is 20 acres of Wheat and 11 of Ry and land fit for a prime Crop corn oats or flax all fit for the plough and they can have all the grane if them and me can agree there is men anof her that would Be glad of it but I would be glad you would Send Some Man to it that would pay you the Rent and give me no more trouble a Bout it Sir please to Send me an ancer By Mr Frances Fargy for I would be glad to know as quick as possabel and so I Remain your Hum Ser't
To Andrew Epple
Soon after Young Womanstown was settled, other settlements were made at the mouth of Hiner's Run, at Paddy's Run, and at other points on each side of the river, and it was but a few years before all of the flat lands along the river were converted into farms.
The pioneers of Chapman had their full share of adventures and narrow escapes.
The following incidents are taken from the article previously referred to, written by A. J. Quigley, Esq.:
We knew of an instance in which two of our citizens, engaged in subduing the forest, wounded a large bear, but not mortally; they were afterward pursued so closely as to only escape by the miraculous intervention of a fallen tree, the roots of which enabled them to jump behind and elude pursuit, the bear passing on, being blinded by rage and pain.
On another occasion, a citizen who once owned the lands on which Renovo now stands, was attacked by a large buck and would have been killed by the thrusts of the buck's horns, but for their being so wide between the beams as to admit his body between the prongs, he holding himself fast to the beams so as to not allow the prongs to enter his body, until he was relieved by the timely arrival of another hunter who dispatched the buck and thus rescued him from certain death.
Another incident of a similar character occurred not far above where the North Point depot now stands. The dogs had closed in upon a buck, but not being able to master him, a workman on the farm undertook to assist the dogs, when he received such a thrust from the buck as to produce a wound in his hand that disabled him for work for several weeks.
On another occasion, that can be proven by one of the oldest and most respectable inhabitants of this county, a bear of almost fabulous size was seen to attack and kill a very large cow, and when the citizen attempted to drive the monster away, he also made an attempt to attack him, and should have succeeded only for his athletic agility on foot.
On one occasion in the early settlement of this country, a large bear came in the night and took a fat hog from the pen and carried it for a considerable distance and only let it down when pursued by the owner with his dogs so closely as to be compelled to do so; after which this citizen continued the pursuit for several miles until the bear was safely treed on a large oak. The above incident, the father of our mighty Nimrod, Jacob Hammersley, if he were yet living, could testify to, and that it occurred on a cold, frosty morning in November.
On another occasion the writer knew of an ox having been killed and devoured by a panther, and recently, in constructing the present State road from this place to Germania the bones of a man were found who no doubt had been killed and devoured by these wild inhabitants of the forest.
In 1857, a man by the name of Samuel Snyder, in the employ of Joseph Beidler, while hunting deer one day on what is usually termed by hunters a good tracking snow, came across what he judged to be the track of a large panther, and having long desired to capture one of those formidable inhabitants of the forest, with two trusty dogs that he had with him, took the trail. After following the track about two miles, which seemed to be very fresh, he espied a fox lying dead in his trail and upon examination found that the fox had been following in the walk of the panther, instinctively expecting to participate in whatever booty the panther might obtain. But the panther no doubt thinking his proximity might jeopardize his success, and, like the calculating McDonald, allowed his shadow to approach near enough to dispatch him with one backhanded stroke of his paw.
Snyder, continuing the pursuit, had not gone very far until he came upon the remains of a deer that had just been killed by the panther; the distance from where the last tracks of the panther were to be seen in the snow to where the deer was laying, was just 23 feet.
Just at this instant, he heard a fierce barking a little over the declivity and evident indications that a contest was raging. Arriving at the brow of the hill, he perceived some distance down from him a very large animal that he presumed to be a panther-the dogs had closed in upon him, and to escape their annoyance he had sprung upon the trunk of a leaning tree. Approaching as near as he thought it practicable under the circumstances, he leveled his trusty rifle at his head, but the shot on account of the distance fell below the mark and wounded him in the neck. He then leaped to the ground and the dogs closed upon him, when one of them received such a severe blow from the panther as to disable him from renewing the attack-in the meanwhile Snyder reloaded, the other keeping up the attack, when he discharged another load with like effect. By this time he was within about 25 feet of the monster, and getting a favorable opportunity took deadly aim at the animal's head which brought him to the ground. The writer has often heard Snyder say that had he not dispatched him at the last shot, the panther would have attacked him, and dogs and all would have been compelled to succumb to his immense power. The length of the panther from tip of nose to end of tail was 9 feet and 2 inches. This measurement was made by your correspondent, and had any one told him that so formidable an animal inhabited our woods he would not have believed it.
Snyder was a man of great physical endurance and knew nothing of fear, but he said that after this huge monster lay prostrate at his feet, he could not help but tremble at the thought of his imminent peril, and thank God for his deliverance.
The primitive settlers of a community have experiences which never fall to the lot of succeeding generations, and it is difficult for those living in long-established communities to realize just how their ancestors did live. It is generally supposed that "first settlers" are of necessity scantily supplied with the "necessaries of life; "such is not the case as far as eating is concerned, for as a rule they have an abundance of substantial and wholesome, though plain food. At all seasons of the year wild game and fish form a large share of the table supplies. With this kind of fare the pioneers of Chapman were especially favored, as there was no region of the country that afforded a greater abundance of all kinds of game. As to the products of the soil, a mere "patch" of a few acres, which was frequently all that the settlers had cleared, was capable of producing sufficient wheat, rye, corn, potatoes, &c., for the support of a large family, and the land first settled upon along the West Branch was especially adapted to the growth of those crops. In a new country the raising of live stock is attended with less trouble and expense than might be supposed; for a great part of the year, like the deer, cattle maintain themselves by "browsing" upon the wild herbage of the forest, and swine have been known to live and thrive the year round on "mast," which is generally abundant among beech, oak, and chestnut timber. So, really, actual and absolute want is not necessarily attendant upon pioneer life. People living in newly settled districts, remote from stores experience considerable inconvenience in obtaining supplies of groceries, dry goods, &c., but generally trips are made to the nearest town or "place of business" at certain seasons, when sufficient merchandise is procured to last till the next trip. In the case of tea, coffee or any other "luxury" should "run out," the family "managed" to get along without it till an opportunity was offered to lay in a stock. In converting his grain into flour, the hardy pioneer was generally equal to the emergency, and if at too great a distance from a mill, he constructed one for himself and his neighbors. Fifty or seventy five years ago it was no unusual thing to see what was called a "tub mill" in nearly every neighborhood in the West Branch region. The mill was of very simple construction, having but a single run of stone and very little machinery, and was driven by water power. During the time Wm. Bennett occupied the "Young Womanstown farm" he built a tub mill at the mouth of Young Woman's Creek, for which, with other improvements he made on the property, he was allowed thirty-three pounds, which amount was deducted from his rent bill. A few years later a mill of the same kind was built at the mouth of Hiner's Run, on the site of the mill now owned by Lemuel Farwell, and also one at the mouth of Paddy's Run. These, with a mill of similar construction at the mouth of Tangascootac Creek, were the first and for a long time the only "manufacturing establishments" on the West Branch above the "Big Island."
About sixty years ago a man by the name of Boggs, bored a salt well on the south side of the river above the mouth of Bogg's Run, which flows into the river near Paddy's Island. He sank it to the depth of ninety feet, when water strongly impregnated with salt was found, but for some reason nothing was done in the way of manufacturing salt.
The first buildings of the settlers were of course constructed of logs, and were long since in ruins; in many instances not a vestige remains to mark their locations. As improvements advanced and the settlers became more prosperous, they very naturally desired to "put on style" and live in frame houses, which necessitated the building of mills for sawing their lumber. The first ones used in Chapman township, like the "tub mills," were small affairs, but admirably served the purpose for which they were intended. In the course of time, however, they gave way to larger and more substantial structures, which, though run by water power, were supplied with many improvements. As the demand for lumber increased, these in turn yielded to the steam mills now in use.
About the year 1830, a modern water power saw mill was built on Hiner's Run, about two miles above the mouth, by Leonard and Michael Bradney, and after passing through the ownership of several different parties, was finally purchased in 1852, by T. B. Loveland and Isaac Shaffer, who operated it till 1855, when they sold out to Hansel and Brother. In 1862, the Hansels built another mill about one-half mile further down the run, and soon after sold their property to Kolter, Hoshour & Co., of York county, the present proprietors, who now own in all about 5,000 acres of timber land lying upon Hiner's Run. In 1872 this firm built a steam mill in connection with the original or upper mill, since which time the lower one has stood idle. The sawing capacity of the mill now operated is about 5,000,000 per year. The supply of logs is brought down the run from a distance of four or five miles.
In 1854, R. K. Hawley & Co. erected a saw mill on Young Woman's Creek, about one-fourth of a mile from its mouth. At present it is owned in part and operated by J. A. Quigley.
About three-fourths of a mile further up the creek, Messrs. Mensch & Lowenstein, of Wilkesbarre, built a large steam saw mill in 1872. In 1875 Mensch retired from the firm, and the business at present is conducted soley by Mr. Lowenstein. This mill has a capacity of 6,000,000 feet per year, the logs being brought to the mill from the tract on which they are cut, a distance of four or five miles, on a narrow gauge railroad constructed for the purpose. The property connected with this mill, consists of 6,600 acres of land, a large portion of it well timbered, and eight or ten houses for employees.
In 1863, Joseph and George Parsons and Henry Clark constructed a large steam saw mill at the mouth of Paddy's Run. This firm sold out to Wm. Parsons and James Clark, by whom the mill was operated till 1868 or '69, when Clark sold his interest to Lawshe; then Parsons & Lawshe sold to Gamble, White & Co., the present owners.
The history of North Point, the pleasant little village at the mouth of Young Woman's Creek, is identical with that of "Young Womanstown farm," upon which it is built. Facts in relation to the first settlement of the locality having already been given, it is now in place to speak of its more recent history and present condition.
The nucleus of a village or town is generally formed by the establishment of a post office, the erection of a school house, store, &c. In 1827, a building which served the two-fold purpose of church and school house was built at the mouth of Young Woman's Creek, under the supervision of the Rev. Daniel Barber, who at that time was stationed at the place by the Northumberland Presbytery.
Though the name "Young Womanstown" was applied to the place at a very early day, even before it was occupied by the whites, and letters, legal and other papers were dated "Young Womanstown," from the period of its first settlement, it is believed that no regularly authorized post office was established there till about the year 1830, when John Quigley was commissioned postmaster. About the same time or soon after, his son Michael, a young man twenty years of age, was appointed Justice of the Peace, which office he has held ever since, with the exception of one year. He was the first commissioned "'Squire" on the West Branch, west of Lock Haven. During this long term of service, he has married one hundred and twenty-five couples, and always made it a point to kiss the bride.
He also, in 1844, started the first store in the place, there being no other at the time nearer than Lock Haven. In 1859, a new Presbyterian church was built, in which religious services are now held every alternate week, by the Presbyterian and Methodist denominations. This is the only church at present in the place.
The following episode in the history of North Point was furnished by A. J. Quigley, Esq., of that place:
In 1837, at the gubernatorial election, every effort was made to re-elect Joseph Ritner. Thaddeus Stevens had designed the Gettysburg tape worm, and put in course of construction the West Branch division of the Pennsylvania canal. The workmen on the canal were anxious to have the work continue; and nothing but his re-election would in any event continue the work. The Democratic party, headed by David R. Porter, was opposed to internal improvements by the State, believing that all such enterprises could be managed safer by private corporations. Many believed that the site of a canal to Erie was a stake of rather questionable policy. But the country being in the midst of a financial crash and hard times, the working men were looking to their own interest. And Thaddeus Stevens, a wily politician, seized the opportunity to take advantage of the manifest will of the laborers on the canal, and came up to Young Womanstown and devised a plan with the workmen, to "vote early and often." The election board was manipulated to make the oath easy and bear lightly; and Young Womanstown, hitherto unknown in history, only for its Indian tradition, became the notorious birth-place of ballot box stuffing, carried on to the present day in Philadelphia and other cities of the union.
Chapman township, which at that time had about fifty legal voters, polled over seven hundred votes for Joseph Ritner. The return Judge, who is still living and almost a centenarian, in carrying the returns to Williamsport, (this being then Lycoming county), and who also was an untiring friend of Ritner, showed the open returns so often that they became sadly defaced; after which, to satisfy his many inquiring friends, he opened the sealed report, which act forfeited the legality of the report, and the board of return judges rejected it, and so saved Young Womanstown the first and last illegal returns ever sent from that stronghold of Democracy.
We have heard it said that it was dangerous to get to the window unless you could exhibit a ticket with the name of Joseph Ritner. Patrick O'Flaherty would vote and then go away and take a drink, and return to the window with other tickets and vote the name of John Dougherty without a question from the board, except a significant nod from the "boss," who stood at the window indicating that all was right, and so they continued repeating all day.
In 1866, an act was passed by the Legislature, authorizing the construction of a State road from North Point up Young Womans Creek to Germania, in Potter county, a distance of twenty-six and a-half miles. By a supplement to the act passed in 1867, Joseph Schwartzenbach, Joseph H. Bailey, John White, and A. J. Quigley, were appointed Commissioners to lay out and open the road, which was accomplished in 1874, and the road is now in good condition.
In 1868, an act was passed incorporating the Clinton & Potter county Navigation Company, the object of which was to improve and clear Young Womans Creek for running down logs.
The Post office at North Point still retains the name of "Young Womanstown," owing to the fact that there is another "North Point" in the State. The railroad company adopted the name the village now bears, when they located a station there. It was suggested by Messrs. A. J. Quigley and W. T. Lesher, as it is the most northerly point on the West Branch.
North Point is the centre of a community of about forty families, and the place where the elections for Chapman township are held. At this time it has three stores, one kept by H. H. Lowell, one by Warren Summerson, and one by H. Lowenstein. It has a good hotel, built in 1872. It is owned by Mrs. T. J. Black, and leased by H. C. Stoner. There is also a shoe shop and blacksmith shop in the place.
The railroad company has a good passenger and freight depot, and telegraph office. Good schools are in operation eight months in the year, and the inhabitants show evidences of intelligence beyond that possessed by people of many country places. Near the place resides Robert Bridgens, who was one of the first three commissioners of Clinton county. He is now seventy-six years old. Several fine residences have been built in the place within the past few years. Among them are those of 'Squire Quigley, Robert Bridgens, J. H. Bailey & Co., J. W. Crawford and A. J. Quigley.
The village of Hiner, at the mouth of Hiner's Run, dates its origin back to quite an early period. As nearly as can be ascertained the place was first settled about the year 1800.
A school house was built at an early day, and a Methodist church erected in 1845. Hiner contains thirty or forty families including all those living within a mile or so of the post office.
At present there is but one store in the place, that of Hon. Coleman Grugan, one of the associate judges of Clinton county. He also has charge of the post office. The flouring mill of Lemuel Farwell, occupies the site as before stated, of the original "tub mill" of the neighborhood. There are several fine residences in the place; among them those of Judge Grugan, Thew Johnson, Michael Bradney, Lemuel Farwell, Cline Farwell and Jas. A. McCloskey, are the best.
The name of the post office of the place is spelled Hiner, by the Post Office Department, while the name of the railroad station is spelled Hyner, by the railroad company.
Withal the place is a peaceable and prosperous village, and will compare favorably with other communities in the intelligence and morality. Religious services are held every Sabbath by the resident Methodist clergyman, the Rev. J. B. Akers, A.M., and a good school is generally in progress a large portion of the year.
The population of Chapman, including the recently formed township of Noyes, in 1850, was 541; in 1860, 731; in 1870, 1301.
The borough of Renovo is situated within the limits of Chapman township, on the right bank of the Susquehanna. 28 miles from Lock Haven. The land on which the town is built was first settled about the year 1806, by a "squatter" named Price. About the year 1825, his sons Thomas and Augustus, sold the tract, containing 106 acres, to William Baird, who moved upon it, from his birth place just below the "Big Island." During the years 1821 and 1822, John Stout, whose daughter Baird afterward married, lived upon this farm as tenant.
By subsequent purchase Mr. Baird acquired possession of several hundred acres of mountain land adjoining his river farm.
In October, 1862, he sold his flats and twelve hundred acres of mountain land to Edward Miller, President of the Philadelphia and Erie Land Company. This company transferred to the Philadelphia & Erie Railroad Company sufficient land for the erection of car shops and other necessary railroad buildings. In 1863, the building of the extensive shops was commenced, and soon completed. About the same time the railroad company erected a large and elegant brick hotel, the Renovo House, and begun the passenger depot, a fine brick structure 112 feet long by 75 feet wide, which was completed in 1865.
The land company laid out the balance of the Baird farm into streets and lots. The latter 25 by 125 feet in size, were rapidly sold off at prices ranging from $100 to $1500 each, and it was not long before a town with a population of over two thousand sprang into existence. Very few towns in the country have had so rapid a growth; which is owing to the location of the railroad shops at that point.
The streets of Renovo are broad, straight and pleasant; the ones running parallel with the river are, beginning at the railroad, Erie, Huston, and Ontario Avenues. These are crossed at right angles by seventeen others which are numbered in regular order from west to east, the course which the river flows in passing the town. The land upon which Renovo is built is nearly level, and lies mostly above the high water mark.
About the time the shops were built, Newton Wells and Z. M. P. Baird started a store-the first in the place. It stood on the river bank just below where the Renovo House now stands. Soon numerous other business places were started.
In 1864 Jacob Werich built the United States Hotel. It occupied the site of the present hotel of that name.
In 1865 the Presbyterian and Methodist denominations each built a temporary building in which to hold worship. These, in the course of a year or two were supplanted by good substantial brick structures. In 1868 the Catholic church was built.
The first drug store in the place was established in 1865, by E. T. Swain, who built the first brick store room and residence. The first and only bank was established in 1871, by R. B. Caldwell & Co.
In 1872 John U. Shaffer established the Renovo Record, a six column independent newspaper.
Renovo was incorporated as a borough in 1866. Jas. S. Hall was the first Burgess.
The first commissioned postmaster was Z. M. P. Baird.
In 1873 extensive works were constructed for supplying the town with water, which is brought from the opposite side of the river, a distance of three-fourths of a mile.
Two efficient fire companies, the Renovo Hose Company No 1, and West Branch Hose Company No 2, were organized in the spring of 1874. They are both fully equipped, and each has a good hose carriage and house.
There are two large brick school houses in the place, in which the public schools are kept open seven months in the year.
The principal business establishments of Renovo are as follows:
Dry goods-Murphy & Co., Lewis Putt, Shindler & Co., P. O. Hagan & Son, and John Reilley; Groceries-Wm. Dwyer, Thomas Farrell, George Seibert; Drugs-E. T. Swain, W. E. Hall, James Huston, S. Caldwell; Furniture-E. A. Beck; Meat-Dean & Son, John H. Thomas, Henry Keller, Myers & Boden, Anders Pierson; Ready-made Clothing-Murphy & Co., John Weil; Hardware-A. N. Stevenson; Boots and Shoes-A. C. Pierce, John Kilgus; Tinware &c.-I. P. Mason, Keller & Martin; Photographing-J. B. Bergstresser; Tailoring-V. Crouse, B. Wilmes; Jewelry-W. H. Habgood; Millinery-Miss Hitchcock, Mrs. Considline, Mrs. Martin; Sewing Machine Agents-J. H. Scribner for Elias Howe, Mrs. Martin for Grover & Baker, &c.
The principal hotels are the Renovo House, Exchange and the United States. There are also a number of saloons and restaurants.
The secret societies and beneficial organizations are: St. Joseph's Beneficial Society; Dexter Encampment, No. 163; Clinton Lodge No. 114, K. of P.; Otzinachson Council, No. 256, O. U. A. M.; North Star Circle No. 76, B. U. (H. F.) C. of A.; Renovo Jewell Lodge, No. 249; Renovo Lodge No. 495, A. Y. M.; Renovo Lodge, No. 595, I. O. O. F.; Tangascootac Tribe, No. 215, Improved Order of Red Men; Washington Camp, No. 88, P. O. S. of A.
Renovo has five physicians, Drs. J. P. Ashcom, D. J. Reese, A. P. Malloy, W. E. Hall and S. Caldwell; one lawyer, W. C. Holahau.
The present Burgess is Frank Harvey; Justices of the Peace, John Smith and John Reilley; Post Master, Newton Wells.
According to the last census report Renovo had a population of 1940.