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 Jackson Township History

The Asylum Land Co., a syndicate of land speculators, secured a large tract embracing the whole of Jackson Township and the adjoining portions of Sugarloaf, Greenwood, and Pine, and of Lycoming and Sullivan counties. This discouraged settlement because of the fear of defective titles. In 1800 Jacob Lunger settled in Green Creek. In the autumn of 1805, Abram Whiteman made an improvement at the headwaters of that stream, about four miles from the North Mountain, and the same distance from the southern boundary of the township. Jonathan Robbins, formerly a resident of New Jersey, entered this township about 1810, having settled in Sugarloaf in 1795. In 1811, Paul Hess located north of Waller on a tract of 240 acres. At this time Levi Priest was living southeast of Waller, and George Farver on land bought in 1809 by John Conrad Farver from James Barber. These families comprised the population of the township at this time. Subsequent immigration was drawn principally from Greenwood, although several families came from New Jersey and the lower counties. The familiar names of Yorks, Golder, Waldron, Everhart, Campbell, and Parker may be mentioned among this number.

Abram Golder Sr. had gone into a swamp near the present residence of Daniel Young, for the purpose of cutting hoop poles. His only defensive weapon was a small hatchet, but no danger was expected, although it was known that bears and other wild animals infested the region. He had scarcely begun his work when a panther crossed his path. True to his instinct, Mr. Golder’s dog attacked the animal, while he himself called for a gun. Not waiting for it, however, he seized a large pine-knot, and, when an opportunity was presented, struck the panther’s neck with such force that it fell dead at his feet. The animal measured eight feet from the nose to the tip of its tail.

The first well-constructed road through this section was opened from Unityville, in Lycoming County, to Benton in 1828. The first post office, Polkville, was established on this road in 1848, at the house of John P. Hess near his residence, one-half mile from Waller. Lot Parker succeeded Mr. Hess in 1863 and was succeeded in 1866 by D.L. Everhart. Postal conveniences were extended to the southern part of Jackson in 1878, when the enterprising citizens of that region secured the services of a carrier to bring their mail from Rohrsburg. December 22, 1879, Derr’s post office was established with A.J. Derr as postmaster at his store.

John Denmark was the first teacher, and conducted his vocation in a log dwelling near the location of the Union Church building at Waller. This school was opened in the winter of 1821-22. A school house was built in this vicinity the following year, and here John Keeler and William Yocum continued the work begun by their predecessor. The first school in lower Jackson Township was built in 1825. Cornelius McEwen, Helen Calvin, Joseph Orwig, and Peter Girton taught at this place.

As early as 1819, the township was visited by ministers of the Baptist denomination on their missionary tours through this section. Joel Rodgers and Elias Dodson regularly held monthly services, preaching in houses, barns, in the open air, in the woods, and in the school houses. Subsequent to this, Samuel Chapin, Brookins Potter, and Merrit Harrison made excursions from Huntington, Luzerne County, and maintained the appointments in Jackson for several years. They all labored without compensation. They were plain, earnest men, and supported themselves by farming at their homes. Elders William S. Hall and J. Edminster preached occasionally 1845-49. Waller was called "Hilltown" in 1846.

The first organization of the Evangelical Association was at upper Jackson in 1846. The first class consisted of George Hirleman, Henry Wagner, Michael Remly, David Remly, and Frederick Wile. It was formed by Reverent James Seybert.                 

(Taken from Historical Records, by Kenneth Yocum, compiled from the History of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania, 1887)