Tag Archives: McKean County (PA)

1892 Kane Directory

One of the neatest things I discovered a few years back in the Kane, PA library was a series of city directories. At the time I was exploring my wife’s ancestors with the last names of BURROWS, CLARK, DIPPO, HOKE, and HOUSLER. Here are my notes on people with those last names that I discovered in the 1892 Kane Directory. Information appears in this order:

page #, last name, first name, occupation, address

p. 79, Clark, A.D.,  bank cashier, 216 Greeves

p. 79, Clark, Mrs. A.D., 216 Greeves

p. 79, Clark, Harold, 216 Greeves

p. 79, Clark, Mrs. M., 216 Greeves

p. 79, Clark, Evelyn, bds, 415 Haines

p. 79, Clark, D.S., bookkeeper, 77 Fraley


There were no entries for Burrows, Dippo, Hoke, or Housler.


Posted by on December 16, 2016 in 1892, Uncategorized


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Harry Whittemore

Yesterday, my son and I attended a reunion of the WHITTEMORE family in Duke Center, PA. Everyone’s closest common ancestor was Harry Orman Whittemore and his wife Mabel Evelyn (Bennett) Whittemore. Today I want to share some of the basic info I have on Harry. (Unless noted differently, my info comes from a family record collected by my wife from her grandmother Beryl (Whittemore) Howell Perez in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.)

Harry was born 24 Oct. 1888 in Coryville, McKean County, PA and died 6 Mar. 1952. He was buried in Eldred, McKean County, PA. His occupation was being a carpenter. He was an adopted child, and Grandma Beryl remembered someone once told her that his birth name might have been Paul Hayes (or Hays?).WHITTEMORE Harry young

He was adopted by Christopher F. Whittemore and Josephine (Duryea) Whittemore.

Yesterday, I heard one of Harry’s granddaughters say she remembered that there had been a children’s home in Coryville once upon a time, but I cannot verify that (at least not since yesterday!).

Here is the picture I showed yesterday of Harry as a young man…


…and here is the link of a G.A.R. picture that included Harry and his father Crit (Christopher Whittemore).

And here are two others I came across today of Harry & Mabel as young adults…

WHITTEMORE Mabel + Harry + horses WHITTEMORE Jo Mab Harr Crit


Posted by on August 24, 2014 in 1888, 1952, Uncategorized


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BEERS, Bennetts, and Smethport

About a decade ago I helped research the Bennett family using J.H. Beers & Co.’s 1890 book: History of the Counties of McKean, Elk, Cameron, and Potter, Pennsylvania. Here are the references from the McKean County section dealing with BEERS 1890 Coverthe Smethport and Keating Township area. By the way, italics are my explanatory notes.

p. 254              included in the list of resident taxpayers of Keating Township in 1836-37: “… Levi Bennett (who sold the site for the poor farm to Col. Wilcox)…” as well as D.R. & O.R. Bennett

p. 254              Keating Township 1846: O.R. Bennett had one of five general stores, one of two taverns. (The other was the tavern of “Richmond & Bennett.”)  ALSO NOTED:Elijah Bennett had a store in December.”

p. 257              O.R. Bennett listed as merchant in Keating Township in 1852, as well as also being a “liquor dealer.”

p. 257              The Citizen, no. 1, vol. VI, Sept. 3, 1859 includes a hotel advertisement for “the Bennett House, by D.R. Bennett.”

p. 257              Bordell area (Coleville post-office): “In November [1880], thirty-five buildings were reduced to ashes, the Bennett House, the leading hotel, conducted by T.P. Hill, being among the number.”

p. 259              According to assessment of Smethport borough in 1856-57, the resident property owners included “… D.R. Bennett, O.R. Bennett (hotel keeper)…”

p. 260              O.R. Bennett elected assessor for Smethport borough Feb 11, 1853

p. 269              Smethport, Feb. 1, 1890: William Bennett installed as officer (first guard) in the newly formed Keystone encampment No. 77, Knights of St. John and Malta.

p. 273              “Some short time after [the first hotel, 1822] came Squire Crow from the Sinnemahoning country to compete with the Willard Hotel. The house which he erected occupied the site of the Bennett House. This last named hotel was erected in 1851 by O.R. Bennett. This house, and the Haskell store, built in 1857 by B.D. and Henry Hamlin, were destroyed by fire in May, 1862.”

p. 273              “In January, 1847, O.R. Bennett petitioned the court to open an inn at his house in Smethport. This petition was signed by Edward Hartnett, O.A. Holmes, B.D. Hamlin, Ferd. Hamilton, W.F. Ormsby, O.R. Bennett, Nathan Barrett, J.B. Taylor, Gideon Irons, Adam Brockham, W.F. Young and N.W. Goodrich.”

p. 273              “Gen. Hammer, of the Bennett House, leased [the newly built Grand Central Hotel] soon after [its completion in 1881] and after two years H.S. Sartwell conducted the house.”

p. 274              “The Smethport fire of May, 1882, originated in the Bennett House, destroying Haskell’s large store-building on the other side of the street, the banking office of Henry Hamlin in that building, the Bennett House and Sterrett & Rose law office.”


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Posted by on August 19, 2014 in 1822, 1836, 1837, 1846, 1847, 1851, 1853, 1856, 1857, 1859, 1862, 1881, 1882, 1890


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BEERS, Bennetts, and Bradford

About a decade ago I helped research the Bennett family using J.H. Beers & Co.’s 1890 book:  History of the Counties of McKean, Elk, Cameron, and Potter, Pennsylvania. Here are the references from the McKean County section dealing with BEERS 1890 Coverthe city of Bradford. By the way, italics are my explanatory notes.

p. 63                description of oil fields in Bradford area. “Olmsted, of Tidioute, finished his well into slush oil below the old Bennett farm, on the Crooks farm, one mile north of the well on the Kennedy farm, about July, 1875.”

p. 66                listing of “pioneer” oil wells prior to 1880. Under the heading of “TUNA VALLEY (producing)” were two Bennett references:

Bennett, Hale & Carll (2)

Bennett, Foster           (1)

(The first reference seems to be a geographic notation, second reference seems to be the oil “company” or partnership owning the well, the numeric reference seems to be to the number of oil wells.)

p. 67                listing of “pioneer” oil wells prior to 1880. Under the heading of “TUNA VALLEY (dry)”

Bennett, unknown (1)

p. 68                listing of “pioneer” oil wells prior to 1880. Under the heading of “CLARK, BABCOCK, & HULINGS TRACT”

Fitzsimmons & Bennett (2)

p. 78                listing of “pioneer” oil wells prior to 1880. Under the heading of “COLE CREEK (producing)”

Bingham lot 404, Bennet & Quick (1)

Bingham lot 407, Bennett & Quick (7)

 p. 81                listing of “pioneer” oil wells prior to 1880. Under the heading of “TRAM HOLLOW (producing)”

Borden, Austin & Bennett (3)

 p. 84                listing of “pioneer” oil wells prior to 1880. Under the heading of “MIX CREEK (dry)”

Annis, Brown & Bennett (1)

 p. 98                In an historical overview by Henry Hamlin in the mid 1800s, it states: “1823-24 (about), Bradford first settled by Dr. William M. Bennett, the Farrs, Scotts, Fosters and others…”

p. 104              July 4th celebration in McKean County (1828),O.R. Bennett or John E. Niles read the Declaration [of Independence]…”

p. 107              “In 1831-32, Colegrove, Bennett, and Fobes were commissioners.”

p. 113              February 1830 term of the court, Levi Bennett, was listed as the “crier.”

p. 114              January 1852, court met “with Sherriff Bennett present.”

p. 122              Election of 1844: Oshea R. Bennett (Democrat) was chosen coroner.

p. 122              Election of 1851: David R. Bennett (Democrat) was elected sherriff.

p. 157              first freight from the first train to make it to the county seat “was received by Ed. Schenk of the Bennett House.”

p. 167              overview history of the city of Bradford. “From 1823-1827, the pioneers of a new race appeared on the scene. Dr. William M. Bennett, after whom Bennett’s branch is named, the Pikes, Farrs, Scotts, Fosters, Beardsleys, Harts, Dollops and Fishers came into the beautiful wilderness.”

p. 167              BACKGROUND NOTE: Bradford wasn’t actually surveyed until 1838 and was named “Littleton.” In 1851 the first faint beginnings of settlement were starting when “a large tract” of the 250,000 acre holdings of the United States Land Company were sold to Daniel Kingsbury. In 1858 a major drive ensued by the new landowner/developer to begin building up the village and the name “Bradford” adopted. That’s when a newspaper, several churches, mercantiles, etc. really started up. In 1873, with oil starting to be a successful endeavor, finally there were enough people to move for the establishment of a borough government for Bradford. It would be 1880 before the Riddell House and seven other large brick buildings (along with 500 wood frame houses) would be built, the swamp reclaimed and new streets laid out.

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Posted by on August 16, 2014 in 1823, 1824, 1828, 1830, 1844, 1851, 1852, 1873, 1880


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Crit and fish

crit & fishPHOTO: Crit after fishing

Today’s tidbit is an old picture from my wife’s family.
The writing on the back of this picture says:
“Mr. (and) Mrs. C.T. Whittemore from Mr. (and) Mrs. J.A. Winsor those fish weighed 30 lbs. apiece”
Christopher Whittemore, my wife’s great-great grandfather, was born 31 March 1844 and lived in Eldred (McKean County), PA at the time of this picture. Known as “Crit” by most folks, he married Josephine Duryea. At this point, I do not know which one was Crit, nor who the others are. I believe one of the ladies is Jo. (I do have other pictures of them where they are identified, but they are much older than here.)
BY THE WAY, I don’t know that they were IN Eldred when they caught these fish!

Posted by on May 8, 2013 in 1800s, 1844


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Letters From Ceres PA

Today, I wanted to highlight an item of interest being auctioned on most who follow my MixedGenes.

The seller has 3 handwritten letters addressed to John King (of King’s Run fame in Ceres Township, McKean County, Pennsylvania). As an historian I would LOVE to read these!

The seller (who has NOT paid me anything to highlight this, nor do I know him/her) has researched a bit into the 1840’s in the Ceres area and includes that info into the auction’s description.

As already stated all three of the letters are addressed to John King: they were written by John Keating, George Stewardson, and one from Robert Rove. The letters are dates 1842, 1845, and 1848. They address land concerns and financial transactions.

The price is already above what I can bid on, but for others studying the McKean and Potter County histories, these might be something you would find interesting. I have just one request: If you do bid on them, and win, please let me read a copy or a scan. THANKS!KING 01


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Four Narrowly Escape Death in Fire 1924

Today’s genealogical item is from November 1924, although I do not know which newspaper ran the stories. One of the men identified, John Mix, was my great-great grandfather.

(Clicking on the article should let you see a bigger version.)

MIX JE fire


Posted by on January 2, 2013 in 1924, Mix, Newspaper, WILD CARD WEDNESDAYS


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