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Greenwood Township

Greenwood Township, 90 Shed Road, Millville PA 17846; phone: 570-458-0212.

Beginnings [1]

Greenwood Township, Columbia County, is one of the oldest and first settled. Originally included in Wyoming and then Fishingcreek Townships, it was formed as early as 1799.

Benjamin Chew, a prominent Quaker of Philadelphia, became possessed of two thousand acres of land in the region around Millville at various dates previous to the coming of actual settlers. He had the largest holdings by one person in this county. The site of the town of Millville was warranted to William and Elizabeth McMean in 1769. Their tracts and others adjoining passed into the hands of Reuben Haines, a brewer of Philadelphia, and from him to John Eves in 1774.

He bought 1,200 acres for the sum of £145, and in 1769 left his home at Mill Creek Hundred, Newcastle County, Delaware, followed the Susquehanna River to Sunbury, and from there proceeded overland to his destination. He viewed the land, returned home, and the following summer came back with his son Thomas, and they built a cabin on the west bank of Little Fishing Creek. The following spring he brought his entire family to the wilderness and settled down to the task of reclaiming it. The settlers, being members of the Society of Friends, were never molested by the Indians, although many west of them suffered from raids.

This peace was rudely shattered in 1778 by the warning given them by a friendly Indian of the terrible Wyoming massacre. The family at once loaded wagons and fled by way of Washingtonville, where a stockade was standing, and thence returned to their former home in Delaware. They did not return until 1785, and then found their home in ashes and fields overgrown with bushes. They at once built two log houses and a gristmill, the latter standing for almost a hundred years thereafter.

Soon after the arrival of the Eves many others came to the site of Greenwood, among them being the Lemon, Lundy, Link, Battin, Oliver, Mather, Robiins, Patterson and McMichael families. Jacob Link, in 1797, opened the first tavern in Greenwood Township.

Until 1798 the Indian trail from Berwick to the West Branch was the only highway of the settlers, but in that year a road was surveyed across the Mount Pleasant hills to the river. This road and the creeks during flood stage afforded the means of transporting the lumber and other raw products to the settlements farther down the Susquehanna River. In 1820 an effort was made to build an additional road through Greenwood, but it was not till 1856 that the State laid out and completed the road from Bloomsburg to Laporte, in Sullivan County.

The population of Greenwood Township in 1820 was 1,078; in 1830, 1,110; in 1840, 1,217; in 1850, 1,260; in 1860, 1,470; in 1870, 1,585; in 1880, 1,710; in 1890, 1,876; in 1900, 1,307; in 1910, 1,221.

  1. Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties Pennsylvania, Vol. 1, J. H. Beers & Co., 1915.
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