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Towanda Borough

Towanda Borough offices are located at 10 Court Street, Towanda PA 18848; phone: 570-265-2696.

Towanda [1], county seat, laid out in 1812; population 4,269; courthouse native sandstone, classic Renaissance, built in 1897; in front is the soldiers' monument, at base are bronze tablets inscribed with names of battles of Bradford County men in war for the Union; Pickett's charge at Gettysburg; and the battle scene at Antietam; dedicated in 1901. Towanda Free Library, French Renaissance, brick, built, 1897, was given and endowed by Francis R. Welles of Paris, France; architects, Barney & Chapman, New York; contains a special set of art books, "L'Art."

In Christ Protestant Episcopal Church, native sandstone, is memorial window to William Ulysses Mercur, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, 1882-87; makers, Cox Sons & Buckley, London. The Methodist Episcopal Church, also, has memorial windows. Historical Society of Bradford County, fireproof building open to the public; contains Indian and Civil War relics, curios, and portraits of pioneer men and women, a reproduction of a pioneer log house, and specimens of all native woods in the county. In Riverside Cemetery is the grave of David Wilmot [2], who made the famous proviso, engraved on his monument, against slavery. There are many borough and township high schools in Bradford County.

David Wilmot [2] of Bradford county, was born in 1814, and educated at an academy. He began the practice of law at Wilkes-Barre but soon afterwards settled in Towanda. He became a prominent Democratic politician and served in Congress from 1845-51. He was the author of the "Wilmot proviso," providing that slavery be excluded from territory to be purchased from Mexico in 1846. It passed the House, but not the Senate. For several years the "Wilmot proviso" was brought up and debated when new territories were to be organized. After serving as president judge in the Bradford district, he became United States Senator in 1861. Two years later, he was made Judge of the United States Court of Claims. He died at Towanda in 1868, and the famous "proviso" is inscribed on his tombstone.

  1. Archambault, A. Margaretta, ed., A Guide Book of Art, Architecture, and Historic Interests in Pennsylvania, John C. Winston Company, Philadelphia, 1924
  2. Shimmel, L. S., A History of Pennsylvania, R. L. Myers & Company, Harrisburg, 1900
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