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Stillwater Borough

Stillwater Borough Hall is located at 63 McHenry Street, Stillwater PA 17828; phone: 570-925-6766

Beginnings [1]

Stillwater was the home of many members of the McHenry family. The first store in Stillwater was opened by Daniel and James McHenry in 1847. Moses McHenry ran it next and was succeeded by M. McHenry, who had his son in partnership with him. Daniel McHenry was appointed postmaster in 1854 and continued in office until 1886. He has had but two successors, his nephew John V. McHenry and the present postmistress, Mrs. Mirandy B. Hess.

The industries of Stillwater were few, most of them having been dependent on the supply of timber in the past. The planing mill established by T. H. Edgar in 1877 was abandoned in 1912.

West of Stillwater was the sawmill of Peter Appleman, built in 1832 and operated first by waterpower and later by steam. From 1836 to 1890 it was operated by P. & M. Appleman.

B. Frank Edgar built a distillery at Van Camp in 1874, in 1886 moved it to Stillwater, ran it until 1898 and then sold it to his son, Alfred H. Edgar, and Clem. G. Beishline. It never was a paying proposition here and was finally closed.

The village of Stillwater was cut off from Fishingcreek Township and became a borough Sept. 25, 1899. The first election held in November resulted in the installation of these officials: Daniel McHenry, burgess; Charles Wesley, B. F. Pealer, W. L. McHenry, Moses McHenry, T. H. Edgar, J. B. Karns, J. N. McHenry, councilmen; Charles Wesley, I. W. Edgar, T. H. Edgar, E. P. Bender, A. B. McHenry, E. E. Wagner, school directors; M. M. McHenry, E. B. Beishline, justices; W. Girton, D. W. McHenry, overseers of the poor.

In this small municipality there were two churches, a schoolhouse, a large store, some shops, a-planing mill and some handsome and well kept residences.

Stillwater has been the home of a number of the prominent and valuable citizens of Columbia County, among them being Daniel McHenry, in 1863 county treasurer, a man of sterling worth; E. J. McHenry, who represented the county in the Legislature, from 1874 to 1878; Cyrus B. McHenry, an associate judge; Moses McHenry, probably the oldest merchant in the county conducting a store in the town; and O. D. McHenry, an extensive lumber dealer and prominent in the affairs of the borough. Miss May McHenry, a daughter of Daniel McHenry, lived in her father's old home with her widowed mother and brother, O. D., and had more than local fame for her literary ability.

A gristmill was built at the mouth of Raven Creek, just below Stillwater, by one of the Pattersons about 1865, and was successfully operated by E. J. McHenry, Andrew Aikman and Andrew McHenry in turn. It was then converted into a paper mill, using rye and oat straw for the manufacture of wrapping paper, the first to make paper being C.B. McHenry. It was then bought by C.A. and Perry D. Wesley and operated frorn 1894 to 1908. After that C.O. Stauffer ran it for two years, turning it back to the Wesleys after that time. From 1910 to 1912 the Impervious Paper Company of Scranton operated the works for the production of a fine grade of cartridge paper, after which the factory reverted to the ownership of the Wesleys. During the busy days of the paper mill quite a large settlement arose around the works, but after its closing down these homes were abandoned.

The Stillwater Inn was managed by George B. Dresher. W. J. Smith was a veterinary surgeon resident in the town.

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