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  • **The Stoddart Family | Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township
    a successful businessman in Philadelphia and founder of Stoddartsville John intended to have farmers bring wheat from the Wyoming Valley process it in a grist mill he built there along the Lehigh River and send it down the river system to the cities of the eastern seaboard His dream was thwarted because the canal necessary for the transportation of the flour was never built upstream from White Haven downriver a considerable distance from Stoddartsville Ruins of the gristmill still exist today His brother Leonard settled in Monroe County on the southern side of the Lehigh River very early in the 19th century in what later became Tobyhanna Township John may have given him a large tract of land possibly in payment for a debt This brother built a tavern just beside the Lehigh River and fronting on the Wilkes Barre and Easton Turnpike This toll road was built in the early 19th century by a group of Wyoming Valley businessmen under the leadership of Lord Butler to connect Wilkes Barre with the city of Easton at the confluence of the Lehigh and Delaware rivers The Leonard Stoddart branch of the family sold off some of its land but retained the part on which the tavern stood It remained in family hands until the middle part of the 20th century When Leonard died his son Henry assumed ownership with his two maiden sisters When Henry died operation of the inn went to their nephew Leonard who lived in it with his family One part of the land the Stoddarts sold became the Kerrick farm In later years much of the land was used for summer homes including those of the Butler and Stoddart families Then in the last several decades year around homes have occupied it The village suffered two major blows in fairly quick succession In 1862 a major flood destroyed many of the buildings and in 1875 a massive forest fire consumed much of what was left The family soon rebuilt the tavern and the building survives today though it has not operated as an inn for many years It is a large two story frame building with many nooks and crannies One news article describing the inn states that it was a great place to water the horses from its natural spring It lodged farmers who brought their grain to the mill lumbermen who worked in the thriving timber industry until it died out and transients who used the turnpike One of John Stoddart s sons Joseph Marshall lived six months a year for many years in the country home which he called Monroe Park near the inn He was a successful businessman in the Philadelphia area but was crippled with a stroke somewhere about age 70 He occupied himself though partially handicapped by wood carving There is a stained glass window dedicated to him at the Blakeslee United Methodist Church There were two marriages between the Stoddarts and the Butlers in widely separated generations There was also

    Original URL path: http://www.tobyhannatwphistory.org/families_files/stoddart-family.html (2016-04-30)
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  • The Wagner Family | Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township
    day With work hard to find he got jobs on the Lehigh River preparing and floating rafts of lumber being wet from breast to toe He received 1 50 per raft of 10 000 feet of lumber and by working evenings could clear another dollar a day George also worked in lumbering in the Pocono forests for 6 50 a month In his first two years he did not receive all of his wages thus having to wear cotton jeans and low shoes while working in snow up to 18 inches deep For seven years he labored winter and summer with this strenuous work It is difficult today to realize those working conditions and the low pay In 1851 and 1852 George Wagner took a different job at getting out logs and received 2 50 per thousand With this he was able to get a start in life He bought the land of four hundred plus acres on which his father squatted The cost was 2 50 per acre and he paid 500 down payment He built a house barn and other buildings and cleared 100 acres In the summer he worked the farm and in winters for a dozen years he continued working in the lumber industry In 1877 the first connection with Tobyhanna Township occurred George entered into a contract to cut timber from forest land on 1700 acres of the Newhart tract He moved his family to the tract but returned to their Paradise Township home later He also contracted to cut 10 million feet of lumber around Gouldsboro Among his children was George E Wagner born in 1868 who was the founder of the family Christmas tree nursery business At first like many others in this area he imported evergreen saplings from Canada and the Far East as the local supply was exhausted He then began his own plantation of trees and demonstrated that the business could be feasible and profitable in this area He became a leading conservationist and many state and national conservationists visited his nursery The Wagner s stop was located to the west of Pocono Lake A 1904 schedule shows that only one eastbound and one westbound train stopped there each day The tracks continuted in a northwesterly direction to a station in the vicinity of Thornhurst The Wagner family home is located on Route 940 in the Pocono Lake area where nursery trees are located on both sides of the road George E was also in the coal business At this location was a small freight station of the Wilkes Barre and Eastern Railroad called Wagner s switch A side spur facilitated the loading and unloading of train cars of forestry products coal for distribution and even blueberries He took a prominent part in the civic and business affairs of the area George E and his wife Eva a descendant of one of the earliest resident of the Poconos had two children Sterling and Edna Sterling took over the family business

    Original URL path: http://www.tobyhannatwphistory.org/families_files/wagner-family.html (2016-04-30)
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  • The Wildrick Family | Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township
    lot of construction work in our area Ruth is the great grandmother of the author of this history Eugne Kerrick An amusing sidelight is that one child of Harmon and Ruth Herd wanted to marry the school teacher in Buck Township but the teacher objected to his last name as referring to a group of cows He therefore changed the spelling to a u instead of an e The Hurds have been an important family in Buck Township Luzerne County Another notable child of Samuel Jr and Mary was Henry Wildrick 1828 1916 He married Mary Jane Adams a girl living across the Wilkes Barre Easton Turnpike Route 115 from him They then lived in the approximate area where Interstate 80 now intersects with that road Henry served late in the Civil War as a private in the 214th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers Company K from March 11 1865 being mustered out with his Company on March 21 1866 Henry and Mary Jane Wildrick had 14 children some of whom settled in the area Prominent among them was Johnson Jacob better known as Jack Wildrick Like Howard Kerrick Jack Wildrick constructed many of the structures around us Henry and Mary Jane Wildrick are the great grandparents of June Kerrick still active in today s community Jack and his wife Emma Starner bore 13 children Two children are now nonagenarians and continue to live in Tobyhanna Township One of them like the children of Jack and Emma have numerous descendants many still living in this vicinity It is interesting to note that Henry Wildrick is buried in the Blakeslee Methodist Church Cemetery while his wife Mary Jane is interred in the Stoddartsville burial ground The Blakeslee cemetery was not opened until 1903 when one of Jack Wildrick s children was the first person buried there Samuel Wildrick Jr s second wife was Mary Everitt Apparently after having their first seven children she died in giving birth to Elizabeth in1860 Elizabeth survived to the age 105 She married Jeremiah Jerry Wood and had three children After Jerry Wood s death Elizabeth married a much younger Charles Harrison Blakeslee 1880 1952 in 1900 At the age of 43 in 1903 she gave birth to Joseph Thurston Blakeslee a well known resident of Tobyhanna Township She made the remark that if she knew she would give birth again she would not have married the second time Thurston built and owned a gas station circa 1927 1928 with a very small grocery store attached located next to the Blakeslee United Methodist Church He also had a small farm cut and sold mine props and for 35 accident free years Thurston drove school bus for the Tobyhanna Township school district and its Pocono Mountain successor His mother lived with him in her later years Thurston died in 1975 and is buried in the Blakeslee Methodist Church cemetery along with his wife Anna Melinda Hamill and his mother and father A special note here is that not many

    Original URL path: http://www.tobyhannatwphistory.org/families_files/wildrick-family.html (2016-04-30)
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  • **The Winter Family | Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township
    and 1830 census After 1830 the entire family is counted in Monroe County and apparently was involved in the logging industry except for son George who was known as a temperance inn keeper Ira Winter was listed on the tax rolls as a carpenter although it is not clear if this refers to Ira or Ira Jr Ira lived the remainder of his life in the Tobyhanna Township area By the 1840 census Ira had died and Phoebe was listed in the 50 to 60 age column In the 1850 census Phoebe was living with son John and his family listed as age 71 One of the rewarding aspects of doing research of local families is to see their marriages between families The local population of Tobyhanna Township was quite small by 1860 still only 518 residents One can see the result by examining the children of the first Winter A granddaughter or Ira and Phoebe Clarissa daughter of John Winter married Jacob Blakeslee a prosperous farmer and citizen whose father had also moved from Connecticut The town of Blakeslee is named for him as he was the first postmaster Clarissa Winter s married name is on a stained glass window in the Blakeslee United Methodist Church There is also one for Jacob Many of their descendants have remained in the township and have played and are playing prominent roles in the community The 1850 census shows all of Ira s six sons and one daughter living within a small area of the township This also can be seen by viewing an 1860 area map of what is now Route 115 but was then known as the Wilkes Barre Easton Turnpike Between the Lehigh River and the Tobyhanna Creek the properties of John Ira Burton Jude A and Washington Winter can be located on this map A check of the 1870 census and map shows that almost all the family had left the area At age 26 son Ira Jr married Elizabeth Hayes in September 1841 Elizabeth was a daughter of Ezra Hayes who moved to our township in 1800 from Ohio Until relatively recently descendants of this marriage also lived in Tobyhanna Township and were prominent in their service to the community One example is the former postmaster of Blakeslee Glenmore B Sprux Hayes Another important wedding occurred between Thomas Winter and Lydia Hessler We are now in the third generation of the Winter family Thomas was the grandson of the original Ira born circa 1840 Lydia Hessler was the granddaughter of Lewis Stull who came from Philadelphia to Buck Township in Luzerne County just across the Lehigh River from Tobyhanna Township Her uncle bought the land in Stoddartsville bordering the river and for many years was postmaster His daughter succeeded him in the job That land was subsequently owned by John Lord Butler Jr who has built an historic center there and was instrumental in having Stoddartsville named on the National Register of Historic Places Adjoining the museum

    Original URL path: http://www.tobyhannatwphistory.org/families_files/winter-family.html (2016-04-30)
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  • Poconos history expert tells of early years of schools | Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township
    was not compulsory for children in Pennsylvania ages 8 to 13 until 1895 One of the earliest schools in what is now Monroe County was the church school at Christ Hamilton Church with instruction in German to teach children the scriptures Noted fraktur artist Johan Adam Eyer Oyer 1755 1837 was schoolmaster there in the early 1800s Janet Mishkin adjunct professor of History at East Stroudsburg University and director and curator of Quiet Valley Living Farm presented a program on Jan 13 of early education in Pennsylvania to a combined meeting of the Sullivan Trail Questers and the Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township at the Clymer library in Pocono Pines Mishkin stated that free education became more structured starting with the School Act of 1834 Voluntary at first subscription schools charging a fee per student opened their doors by funding poor children s attendance But agricultural communities church schools and industrial owners not wishing to lose their child labor challenged the law Local taxation evolved eventually providing for free education of all children By 1854 local ward township and borough schools were organized under a county superintendent to help provide consistent quality of education But Mishkin said that it was the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1873 that established a mandatory system of free schools and the Uniform Curriculum Act of 1893 strengthened educational objectives By 1895 compulsory attendance for children ages 8 to 13 was enacted through Pennsylvania law Because of the large population and influence of a German population the state allowed for instruction to be given in both English and German languages to encourage attendance and support of the schools Mishkin reported that even by 1900 students attended school in Monroe County for only seven months This allowed for scheduling of additional labor for the spring planting and fall

    Original URL path: http://www.tobyhannatwphistory.org/news_files/2015_0113_poconos-history-early-schools.html (2016-04-30)
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  • HATT and Clymer Library collaborate | Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township
    Comfort Ice Harvest News Links Resources Passport to History About HATT Membership Bylaws Minutes Officers Contact Us Hide Menu HATT and Clymer Library collaborate August 12 2014 Local History Department volunteers view a recently acquired publication at the Clymer Library In a joint effort for the community The Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township HATT and the Clymer Library recently established a new Local History department within the library Over the past several months representatives came together to work on this initiative Volunteers from HATT Clymer Library Sullivan Trail Questers and the Stoddartsville Preservation Society are working together on this project Their goal is to establish and expand a dedicated department within the library where books and documents of local history are held together in one physical section As HATT has experienced an upsurge in membership and attendance the community has also demonstrated a hunger for reading and research of our written history Having books and documents located together in one location within the library not only makes it easier to locate historical accounts but to experience a wider array of resources The committee of volunteers will now turn their attention to the continued growth of the Local History department It seeks contributions to grow this department As so many people have these already read books at home not being used it asks for these to be donated so the entire community can enjoy local history for years to come Also established is a wish list of publications that must be purchased For that HATT will appreciate monetary donations so acquisition through purchases can grow the collection For donations of publications email HATT phone 570 646 7235 or contact the director of the Clymer Library at 115 Firehouse Road Pocono Pines PA 18350 or phone 570 646 0826 Monetary donations can

    Original URL path: http://www.tobyhannatwphistory.org/news_files/2014_0812_hatt-clymer-library-local-history.html (2016-04-30)
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  • Pocono Lake soldier honored at Arlington Cemetery | Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township
    he was the great grandnephew of the soldier who was felled by measles before he ever saw combat On Tuesday local residents veterans and media from across the country watched as Jim Christman placed a wreath on the grave of his long lost relative at a ceremony commemorating the 150th anniversary of Arlington and William Henry Christman s burial We never knew he said Our family had no inkling that we had a relative named William who served in the Civil War let alone that he was the first soldier buried in Arlington Driving force About 50 area residents veterans members of the Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township and Christman family members traveled to Washington for the occasion To kick off a five week commemoration of the anniversary members of the 3rd Regiment Old Guard best known for guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier held a silent ceremony and placed their own wreath on the grave Then the locals stayed for their own ceremony where Christman placed a wreath Christman said the day would not have been possible without the Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township and its president Rick Bodenschatz The author of a just released book on William Henry Christman Bodenschatz has been the driving force in recognizing the local roots of this famous soldier That guy is amazing all of the work he put in to research everything on William Jim Christman said Tobyhanna is lucky to have him Signing bonus Bodenschatz has retraced Christman s life who was born in Lehigh County In 1862 while the family lived in Pocono Lake Christman became the second in his family to enlist his brother Barnabus was killed in battle in 1862 Christman was set to be drafted anyway so he enlisted so he could give the 300 signing

    Original URL path: http://www.tobyhannatwphistory.org/news_files/2014_0516_pocono-lake-solider-honored-arlington.html (2016-04-30)
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  • Arlington Cemetery celebrates 150, honoring first soldier buried | Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township
    great grand niece and Barbara Christman Page great grand niece honored their ancestor with a wreath A stone from outside Christman s home which still stands today was placed on top of his marker by Rick Bodenschatz a representative from the Tobyhanna Township Historical Association On March 25 at the age of 20 Christman enlisted in the 67th Pennsylvania Infantry Less than two months later he died of measles Christman s brother Barnabas was killed during the Battle of Glendale which took place June 30 1862 in Henrico County Va That s what spurred William to join said Page He also wanted to help out his family by joining as he was a laborer and didn t make a lot of money Page who spoke to reporters after the ceremony said her father served in the Army and was in the Battle of the Bulge We re so honored to be here she said It s just amazing and overwhelming and there are not many of us left It feels great that a family member answered the call said James Christman who also spoke following the ceremony Unfortunately his time in the Army was short But it s nice that the Army didn t forget him It s also nice that his marker is the same as everyone else s and not special because he was first said James Christman pointing out the other plain and diminutive markers including one to the immediate right of Christman s marker that of Pvt William B Blatt Blatt was the first battle casualty of the Civil War to be buried in Arlington National Cemeter just a day after Christman His marker bears the number 18 designating its location After Christman s burial marked by a simple wood marker that was the custom at the time more than 15 000 other Civil War veterans including several hundred Confederate troops were buried in the cemetery Tens of thousands of other veterans followed from subsequent conflicts and periods of peacetime In the latter part of the 19th century the wood markers were replaced by stone markers including Christman s The 19 on his marker designates its location in Section 27 on a small hill within sight of the Netherlands Carillon near the U S Marine Corps War Memorial Although Christman was the first to be buried at Arlington not including members of the original estate before it became a national cemetery several dozen Soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 are also buried in the cemetery albeit at a date later than Christman Last year five Civil War veterans were interred with full honors two Soldiers who were brothers and three Sailors from the iron clad ship the USS Monitor Following the ceremony Dr Stephen Carney Arlington National Cemetery command historian gave a lecture about the history of the cemetery at the Women In Military Service for America Memorial He pointed out that the Custis family owned the 1 100 acre estate

    Original URL path: http://www.tobyhannatwphistory.org/news_files/2014_0513_arlington-celebrates-150-first-soldier.html (2016-04-30)
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