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Madison Twp, Columbia County, PA

Beginnings [1]

The village of Jerseytown, the only one in Madison Township, was developed by the traffic on the stage roads from Danville and Bloomsburg to Muncy. The first store was opened in 1791 by John Funston, and around it the village grew up. It was founded in a somewhat singular manner. Funston and his neighbors were in the habit of sending their wheat and other products to Reading yearly by the former's son, and in return obtaining there a supply of goods for the season. On one trip Tommy bought six wool hats, and they found such ready sale in the vicinity that the father embarked in the business of supplying the neighbors with goods and thus originated the first store. Conrad Kreamer was his successor, and the first postmaster of the village.

Evan Thomas, son of Evan the pioneer, opened the first blacksmith shop.and later the first hotel, which was afterward run by Andrew Hazlett and A. K. Smith. James N. Miller, late sheriff of Montour County, was successively storekeeper, tanner and hotel proprietor in Jerseytown, before 1867.

Later the hotel was operated by S.D. Rimby, who took charge in 1886, and obtained his license in 1893.

The tannery here was opened in 1827 by Jacob McCollum; his son Hugh succeeded him in 1856, and twenty years later E.W. McCollum became proprietor. The last to operate it was Warren McCollum, who sold out in 1903 to the Millville Tanning Company.

In 1868 Jerseytown consisted of the tannery, two stores, forty houses, a church and a schoolhouse. It had scarcely gained in size by 1915. Stores were kept by William E. Kreamer and Harvey L. Gingles, the latter being also the postmaster. The Susquehanna, Bloomsburg & Berwick railroad, later the Pennsylvania, ran through the town, but had not seemingly increased the population to any appreciable extent.

The gristmill at Jerseytown was built by Samuel Farnsworth in 1877, and sold to R.G. Greenly in later years. Mrs. R.G. Greenly, widow of the late operator, leased the mill to Rohm Brothers. The mill was three stories high, 45 by 55 feet, operated by steam, and could produce forty barrels of wheat flour and thirty barrels of buckwheat flour a day.

Mathias Appleman for a time ran a distillery in Jerseytown, the only one in Madison Township, but it soon passed into the realm of forgotten things.

One of the early industries in Madison Township, outside of Jerseytown, was the sawmill, chopmill and fulling mill of James Masters, later operated by his son, David Masters, built in 1791 on the upper part of Spruce Run. For a time this was the only carding and fulling mill north of Danville. The sawmill here was operated as late as 1880.

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

Street Names
Danville Road • Jerseytown Road • Washingtonville Road • White Hall Road