Winton Borough as of 1880

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This borough comprises the warantee tracts of Thomas and Benjamin Bell, Herrington, Robert Dana, Sarah Dana, Eliza Rought, William Rowle, R. Lewis, Daniel Lewis and Sternheimer.

Prior to 1848 Judge L.S. Watres, now of Scranton, had a saw-mill at Winton, which was then known as Mount Vernon.

The land in the borough is now owned by coal and railway companies, the Erie Railway, Pierce Mining Company, W.W. Winton and Filer & Livy being the principal owners. The borough contains two small hamlets: Jessup, in the southern part, on the site of the Jessup colliery, is occupied by miners’ families. A number of low saloons, a hotel opened in 188 by W.R. Burke, and a small grocery store comprise its business interests.

Winton contains the colliery store of Filer & Livy and the office and breaker of the Pierce Coal Company and three school-houses, and had 905 inhabitants in 1880.

The borough was incorporated in 1877, the first burgess being W.J. Burke, who served for two years; for justices, Henry T. Howell and James F. Loftus were elected.

The officers for 1880 were: Burgess, P.F. McAndrew; councilmen, J.F. Loftus, James Ward, Michael Howard, Martin Lynch, Martin Walsh, Michael Sweeney; school directors, W.H. O’Connor, W.J. Burke, John Ward, John Walsh, J.E. McDermott, Thomas Gallagher.

Mining History

In the year 1855 Judge Jessup, Michael Meylert, H.S. Pierce, Samuel Meredith and others, under the corporate title of the Lackawanna Railroad Company, commenced building a railroad from Dunmore to Jessup and established extensive coal works and railroad shops. A shaft was sunk by Andrew Nicol, and the shipment of coal commenced in 1857. The enterprise proved a disastrous failure and the financial ruin of several of the proprietors, and caused great loss to creditors, including small tradesmen and employees of the company. The lands have since passed into the hands of the Erie Railway Company. The village built up by the excitement has become an unimportant hamlet.

The Livy breaker, erected in 1880, will employ several hundred men and boys, and bids fair to restore the lost prestige of Jessup.

The Pierce Coal Company’s Breaker was erected by Filer & Livy in 1872, at a cost of about $50,000, and sold to its present owners in 1877 for $22,000, the purchase including eighteen acres. The coal is mined from drifts in Archbald some two miles north of the breaker, the mine being connected with it by a railroad. The workings extend about a mile and a half from the opening, and one shaft has been sunk ninety two feet. The vein worked is the Archbald, nine feet thick. The total number of men and boys employed is 237. Two mine locomotives are in use, and one breaker and two pair of hoisting engines. The capacity of the breaker is 800 tons daily; average production about 500 tons. Operations were commenced in December, 1877, and to January 1st 1880, the total shipments were 170,000 tons. The company bought eleven hundred acres from the heirs of Charles Wirtz, of Philadelphia. It has invested about $90,000 in lands, workings and working plant. The office of the company is at Archbald. Its incorporators were Edward Jones, J. Hosie, H.B. Phelps and H.S. Phelps.

The Filer Breaker — This colliery, on the Elizabeth Rought tract, was erected in 1874. The first coal was shipped in May, 1875. George Filer and Thomas Livy were the builders and are the owners. When working to full capacity about 500 men and boys are employed. The capacity of the breaker is 800 tons daily; production about 600. Five pumps are worked in the mines and three pairs of stationary engines. The veins worked are the Archbald, with an average depth of seven feet, and the Grassy Island, averaging twelve feet. Workings extend through portions of the Jessup tract, owned by the firm; the Bell tract owned by the Hillside Coal Company; the Rought tract, owned by Winton & Dolf, and the Dana tract, owned by W.W. Winton and others. The firm has thirty-five tenant houses and a large store for supplying its men. The outside foreman is F.K. Taylor, the inside foreman R.D. Roberts.

The Lackawanna Paint Works

This establishment was founded by Morton, Stevens & Co., in September, 1878, for making mineral paints from a vein on the David Brown tract. The present proprietors are Morton & Swift. The paints made are umber and sienna, burned and raw. The firm controls the only veins of the kind in this part of the State and makes a staple article cheaply and under very favorable circumstances.

Source: 

History of Luzerne, Lackawanna, and Wyoming Counties, Pa: 

With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Their Prominent Men and Pioneers (Google eBook

Timeline of Jessup, PA

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1846 – Winton was a wilderness with a saw mill at Mt. Vernon, operated by Colonel Lewis S. Watres, who later moved to Scranton.

1854 – A hotel was built at 801 Church St. by the Lackawanna R.R. Judge Jessup, president of the newly-formed Lackawanna R.R., signed an agreement with the contracting firm of Michael Meylert, Henry Dolittle and Christopher Ward to build a railroad from Greenville (now the Nay Aug section of Dunmore) to what is now Childs in Carbondale Twp. 40 miner’s houses and the hotel were built in an area known as the Town Plot, which consisted of 250 lots.

1855, Sept. – The Lackawanna R.R. became operative. Coal was hauled from Jessup to Nay Aug, where the coal cars were switched onto the D.L.&W. to N.Y. and N.J. markets.

1857 – The Lackawanna R.R. experienced financial difficulties and sold its rolling stock and the lumber from its buildings. Only the hotel and a few houses near it remained. The area fell into decay. The lumber was used in Olyphant, which was then beginning to boom.

1872 – The Pierce Coal Co. breaker was built by George Filer and Thomas Livy. 237 men and boys were employed here. The average production was 500 tons a day.

1874 – The Winton branch of the D.L.&W. was built. W. Winton was a Scranton banker and ‘prime mover’ in this project. The Filer breaker was built around this time by Pierce Coal Co. This colliery was built in the Elizabeth Rought Tract and employed 500 men and boys when working to full capacity. Production reached 600 tons a day. The firm had 35 houses and a company store.

1875, May – The first coal was shipped from the Filer breaker. Jessup experienced a new spurt of growth.

1876 – St. James was declared a mission church of St. Patrick’s. Mass was read in the home of James Lawler.

1876 – “To the Honorable Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace of the County of Luzerne:

The undersigned inhabitants of the Village of Winton in the Township of Blakely who constitute a majority of the freeholders residing within the limits of said village are desirous of acquiring and enjoying the powers and immunities of a body politic, such as are conferred by the General Borough laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the corporate name, style and title of this Borough shall be the Borough of Winton.” (So reads the court records of the Borough of Winton as presented to Luzerne County Court in Dec. 1876 and finally acted on by the court in March 1877.)

1876, Dec. 18 – On motion of A. H. Winton, Esquire, the court confirmed the judgment of the Grand Jury and decreed that the said town of Winton be incorporated into a borough in conformity with the prayer of the petitioners.
Also, that the annual borough election shall be held at the public school house on Main Street in the borough. The first election in the said borough at the public school house will be on the third Tuesday of February 1877.

1877 – William J. Burke was the first burgess from 1877-79. The first justices were Henry Howell and James Loftus.

1878 – Morton Stevens & Co. established a joint manufacturing plant and worked a vein of mineral paint on the Daniel Brown Tract, said to be the only vein of its kind in this part of the state. It has long since been discontinued.

1878 – Lackawanna County was formed from a part of Luzerne County.

1880 – P.F. McAndrew was the second burgess until 1886. Councilmen elected were J.F. Loftus, James Ward, Michael Howard, Martin Lynch, Martin Walsh and Michael Sweeney. The first school directors were: W.H. O’Connor, W.J. Burke, John Ward, John Walsh, J.E. McDermott and Thomas Gallagher.

1880 – The first school teacher was William Coleman, then came Mr. Moyles, Miss Anne McAndrew, Mary McAndrew of Moscow, Bridget Donnelly [1885], Eva Sweeney, Ella McGurl and Ella Ruane. The first superintendent was John Judge, then came James McCloskey, Martin Loftus and Louis Capareli. Schools went from one in Winton and one in Jessup to four, including Jessup High School. The largest class to graduate from Jessup High School was 127 in 1941.

1886, April – In April 1886, the Commissioners P.M. Walsh, C.W. Brundage, and James J. Lynch, appointed by the Court of Quarter Sessions to inquire into the property of dividing the borough into 2 election districts respectfully reports: that the borough be divided into 2 election districts and we further recommend that the dividing line be the Grassy Island Creek. People north of said creek to vote in the usual place, the school, and south of this creek it is ordered that voters vote in the house of James F. Lawler in said Borough of Winton.

1888 – Dolph Co. Limited built a small chapel near a coal mine called “Dolph” and gave it to the Slovaks for their use. In a few years it was too small so a larger church was built at a new location.

1888 – Another petition was presented to the court that the Borough of Winton be divided into 3 voting districts by reason of its size, containing about 3,000 inhabitants and that these be called wards within the lines and boundaries as follows:
All that portion of Winton Borough lying northeast of the center of Hill Strees, extending to the Lackawanna River on the northwest and to the borough line on the southeast to be known as Ward 1. All that land lying northwest of Second Avenue extending from Hill Street on the northeast to the borough line of the southwest to constitute Ward 2. Another ward to lie blanked off by Hill Street on the northeast and from Second Avenue on the northwest to the Lackawanna River and bounded by the Borough line to be known as Ward 3.

1889 – Rev. E.J. Lafferty became pastor of St.James until 1903. The first church society was the St. James Temperance Club.

1890 – The Jewish settled in Jessup beginning this year. The synagogue on Fourth Avenue was full. The Jewish community included the families of Weiss, Hubshmann, Caplan, Whitman, Goodman, Sherimer, Strassman, Zimmerman, Weintraub, Fishbone, Stambler, Jacobs, Feigenbaum, Neuman, Zweigenbaum, Thier, Waldman, Mandel, Hollander, Needle, Weisberger, Lustig, Swartz, Teitlebaum, Uhran and Holzman.

1893 – The First American Slovanic Presbyterian Church was organized with 18 members. William Winton and Edward Dolph gave a group of Slovak men two lots to build a new church.

1894, Sept. – The First American Slovanic Presbyterian Church (later the First Presbyterian Church) was dedicated.

1895 – Waddell Slope was operated by Doc Rice. It burned in 1963. After the fire, it took the name of the American Silt Co. It was owned by Pete Brojack (Brojack breaker).

1896 – Jessup Hose Co. No. 1 was organized on Jan. 15, 1896 at the Costello Hotel on Church St. Michael Barrett was named president. The company’s first piece of equipment was a hose wagon which cost $300, which was housed in the rear of Costello’s hotel. The first fire chief was M. Mullaney, then Frank Coleman. Presidents were Nate Bettachini, Louis Nicoteri, Anthony Rescigno and Mr. Sebastianelli.

1896 – The first Roman Catholic Slovak Church, St. Michael’s, was built.

1899 – A wooden church building was built called Holy Ghost. Land was purchased along Moosic Lake Road for a cemetery. The church went four years without a pastor because of schism.

1899 – St. James was declared a parish.

? – The Bliss Silk Mill was owned by Bliss Silk Co. and operated by John J. McCarthey. It employed as many women as could take jobs. An addition was built in 1918. The mill was used to prepare silk and weave it into cloth for shipment across the country.

1900 – The Red Man’s Association was formed, with its parade in 1914.

1903 – Rev. John M. Smoulter became pastor of St. James until 1921. Between 1903 and 1921, during Rev. Smoulter’s pastorate, a Corpus Christi celebration was held to observe the feast and counteract the spread of Socialism and Bolshevistic propaganda in the borough during the last few years. 5,000+ people came from four Catholic churches.
Services were held in each church, a parade started at the Italian Assumption in which 4,000 men, women and children participated and an open air service was held in which choirs of the four churches sang. The sermon was preached by Rev. Dr. P.J. Murphy, pastor, St. Pat’s, Olyphant.
At the Italian Assumption Church, Rev. A.S. Cerutti, rector of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Carbondale, delivered the sermon and the parade started.
The parade consisted of Burgess J.J. Conroy, grand marshall; Martin Sobieski, commander of American Legion;
1st Division – St. James TAB Society, St. Michael’s Mens Society, choir of Holy Ghost, children of Holy Ghost and 400 members of Holy Ghost.
2nd Division – Members of St. James and its societies.
3rd Division – Members of Assumption Church, St. Anthony’s Society, its societies.
Music – Jessup band, Mozard band of Carbondale, Black Diamond Band of Archbald and Olyphant band.
The parade ended near St. James Church where an open air service was held.

1903 – Father Theodore Ladomersky was named pastor of Holy Ghost. He only stayed nine months, then was transferred to Ohio.

1904 – Rev. Clement Cavalletti arrived and settled on Third Ave., where four or five homes were situated. He read Mass at St. James and later in St. Michaels and began to administer sacraments to people of Italian extraction. Through the kindness of some families, he was able to purchase land in 1905 where St. Mary’s stands now.

1904 – Rev. Emil Artimovitch named pastor of Holy Ghost.

1906, July – The cornerstone was laid for St. Mary’s Assumption Church. Attending were Italians from Archbald, Olyphant, Eynon, Riverside, Peckville and Moosic Mountain.

1907 – Rev. Michael Lingyel was named pastor of Holy Ghost.

1908 – Father Ladomersky returned to be pastor of Holy Ghost until 1914.

1908 – A five room rectory was built for St. Mary’s Assumption. Previously, Rev. Cavalletti lived with the Jerome, John Pacini and Shell families.

1909 – Sterrick Creek breaker was built at the expensive price of $150,000. It was torn down in 1938. It was one of the first all-steel breakers in the Mid-Valley area.

1909, Oct – John Favini opened his first movie theater in Jessup.

1909, Dec. 3 – The First National Bank of Jessup was founded. P.F. Cusic was president; M.J. Barrett and Peter Basalyga and Fortunato Tiscar, vice presidents; and C.M. Carr, cashier.

1914, May 22 – St. Ubaldo’s Day parade and race of the saints began and ran until 1952.

1918 – St. Nicholas Club was organized and chartered by Rev. Andrew Ivan, pastor of Holy Ghost Byzantine Church, for the benefit of the youth. The first officers were Rev. Ivan, spiritual director; John Geeza, president; Prof. Michael Pauley, vice president; Paul Wassel, secretary; and Leo Andersen, treasurer.

1919 – The American Legion was formed. The first elected officers were Martin Soblieski, commander; Gene Bisignani, adjutant; Michael Hizney, asst. adjutant; and Jack Reminesky, treasurer.

1921, Jan. – Jessup Hose Co. No. 2 was organized by Joseph “Buzz” Pitoniak at the request of Borough Counci president Harry Giombetti.
Pitoniak and several of the town’s young men held meetings on the curb at the corner of Church St. and Second Ave. for a few weeks until they had 25 men. Then John Skovira gave permission to meet in his place of business, Skovira’s Sweet Shop, on Hand St. and Second Ave.
The first officials were: John Skovira, president; John Gavenda, vice president; John Luchansky, recording secretary; Joseph Hiznay, finance secretary; Joseph Pitoniak, treasurer; Jerry Geeza, fire chief; Andrew Marcinek, first asst. chief; Charles Soblesky, second asst. chief; Dominick Mancinelli, Michael Hiznay and Andrew Maceyko, trustees.

1921 – Rev. Stephen H. O’Boyle became pastor of St. James. He was followed by Rev. Matthew Boland, Rev. Thomas Needham, Rev. Thomas Gildea and Rev. Arthur McAndrews.

1922 – A cave damaged St. Mary’s Assumption Church. It was repaired. The church was heated by a coal stove through 1927.

1923, Dec. 18 – Mines of Mt. Jessup Coal Co. No. 1 shaft caved in and five men were entombed: Evan Jones, Peckville, mine foreman, who went back to warn the other four; Michael Neville, Jessup, miner; Michael Selszock, Jessup, laborer; Joseph Kohut, Jessup, miner; and Frank Shezoriak, Jessup, laborer. E.H. Ford, general manager, William X. Jones, general superintendent; John Sweeney, another official; and Lewis Jones, inside foreman, were all on the scene. William Brennan, organizer of Miners Union; and John Boylan, district board member, conferred with local officials about the cause. Chief of police Joseph J. Sewack and patrolman Angelo Giombetti were on duty.

1924, Aug. – St. Stanislaus Polish Church was organized at 310 Third Ave. Rev. P.P. Niebrzydowski was the first pastor from 1924-26. The first baby baptized was Joseph John Opiekun. The first marriage was George Safadago and Sophia Plizga.

1924 – St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Slovak Church was destroyed by fire.

1924 – A final petition was placed before the court asking that districts be made because of the size of the wards and the following places were chosen:

First Ward:
First District in the building of Joseph Sewack, 127 Hill Street.
Second District on premises of R.E. Bell, Railroad Street.
Second Ward:
First District in Building leased by M. O’Connor, Bridge Street.
Second District in building of Frank Cherry, Fourth Avenue.
Third Ward:
First District in High School building, Lane Street.
Second District in building of Sebastianelli Giombetti.
Third District in building of Joseph Marcinek, 318 Dolph Street.
To this day they remain the same except for replacements of places no longer accessible.”

1925 – One of the largest fundraising events was held in Jessup called Old Home Week, sponsored by both fire companies. There were dances, picnics and minstrels.

1925 – A new St. Michael’s Church and school were built.

1928 – A cemetery at Montdale was purchased by St. Mary’s Assumption Church.

1930s – During this time, people were unemployed, mines were abandoned and breakers were torn down.

1934 – Msgr. Salvatore Florey became the second pastor of St. Mary’s Assumption. He made an effort to arrange all records.

1938, Sept. – Rev. William P. Boyd became the third pastor at St. Mary’s.

1939, Sept. – The entire town was shocked by the death in a dog-hole mine of three young men, one a sophomore at Jessup High School. The accident happened in a “bootleg” working one-quarter mile from Moosic Lake Road near Marshwood. Dead were John Wasilchak, 21, 208 Hand St.; Louis Szymanski, 14, 203 Hand St.; and Myron Ladomirak, 17, 201 Hand St. Harry Giombetti, secretary treasurer of the Green Top Coal Co., was summoned and said the mine belonged to De Loma Coal Co. and had been idle for 18 months. It was being run by a local man who was trying to get coal for sale without permission.

1940 – A new St. James Church was built in the 500 block of Church St.

1941-45 – Jessup had four of the six regional men released from Japanese prison camps. PFC Donald Loftus, 305 Clarkson Ave., served in the Army Air Corps. Pvt. Paul Nagurney, 619 Fourth Ave.; Cpl. John Goldovitch, 123 Hudson St., member of Coast Artillery Corps; and Cpl. John Sholtis, 617 Fourth Ave.

1944, Mar. – Jessup Carbino Club was organized to support the youth through sponsorship of athletic programs. Original organizers were Mike Kato, Steve Kato, Leonard Kato, Anthony Marra (now Rev. Marra), John Mickles, John Sobleski, Joe Stoffey, John Zelinka and Ed Ruscavage.

1947, Feb. 13 – Fire destroyed Waddell Coal Co. building containing a garage and a loading platform.

1947, May 16 – St. Ubaldo Day. Ubaldo Rosetti, general chairman, was assisted by Larry Vispi, Gus Coccodrilli and Anthony Picotti.

1963 – A fast-spreading fire destroyed Waddell Coal Co. Inc. breaker.

1969, July – Jessup schools were consolidated and became part of the Valley View School system with Blakely and Archbald.

(This information has been compiled from the book Jessup Centennial, 1876-1976, designed and published by Donald R. Vispi and Edward P. Williams.)

Jessup, Pennsylvania

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“Jessup, PA” is a catch-all blog for any and everything related to the town of Jessup, Pennsylvania, between about 1850 and 1970. The purpose behind the blog is genealogy-related. All four of my grandparents and their families lived in this small town; I myself was born there. Any information submitted by readers will be approved before being posted mainly to filter out spam. Photos, newspaper articles and stories are all welcome as long as they mention or are a part of the history of Jessup.