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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Persons of Interest

  • A few interesting tidbits about early Wayne County Settlers:
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  • A few interesting tidbits about early Wayne County Settlers:
    John Jackson, born in Preston, Connecticut in 1812, was the son of Thomas and Esther Phillips Jackson. He married Abbie Appley in 1834 and moved to Damascus Township in 1845.
    He was a successful farmer and was a director of the Wayne County Agricultural Society for a number of years. He was the grandson of Thomas Jackson who had emigrated from England just before the start of the Revolutionary War and served in the Continental Army. Thomas Jackson died in Connecticut in 1806.
    Thomas Jackson had achieved considerable fame as an ingenious clock-maker. He cast the wheels and other movements of the clock himself and made the case.
    His grandson John brought one of these clocks with him to Damascus Township.
    Thomas Jackson's name is inscribed on the brass face of the clock which is encased in a finely made cabinet.
    The grandfather clock was donated to the Wayne County Historical Society by descendants of the Jackson family in 1958. It is proudly displayed in the Museum and still keeps time thanks to the weekly winding by Bob and Jet Mermel.
    John Bunting, a Quaker from New Jersey, was one of the earliest settlers in Canaan Township.
    He moved to Bethany in 1802 and is said to have built the first house in Bethany. It was built as a tavern and in 1805 John Bunting was granted a license to operate it as such.
    The drowning of his son, John Bunting, Jr. in May of 1803 was the first death in that recently established village. Lots for burials had been designated but, since the transfer of the county seat from Milford to Bethany had not been completed, legal deeds for these lots could not be issued.
    Because of the immediate need to establish a burying ground an agreement was made between Esquire Bunting and Jason Torrey to use the end of a fifty-foot lot owned by Torrey that was adjacent to the proposed cemetery plot.
    A short time after the death of her son, Mrs. Bunting visited friends in New Jersey and brought back some strawberry plants and planted them on the grave of her son.
    The strawberries flourished and in a few years all the fields within a mile or two were filled with these strawberries. The strawberries were unlike regular strawberries; they were white and without any acidity. When plucked from the plant they completely separated from the hull like a blackberry.
    Gradually, the hardier native red strawberries supplanted the Bunting strawberries although some have been found in fields around Bethany.
    Jabez Rockwell was born October 3, 1761 near the town of Ridgeway, Connecticut.
    Page 2 of 2 - When he was barely fifteen years old he enlisted in the army during the Revolutionary War and was wounded at the battle of Saratoga.
    He was later transferred to a regiment near New York City under General Putnam and later was under the direct command of General George Washington.
    Wounded again at the battle of Monmouth, he lived to be present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. After the war he returned to Connecticut and married Sarah Rundel.
    In 1784 he settled near the present site of Milford in Pike County.
    After the death of his wife, he married for the second time to Elizabeth Mulford in 1799 and moved to Wayne County.
    For three years he served as deputy to his wife's father who was Sheriff of Wayne County.
    In 1824, at the age of 63, he joined two of his fellow Revolutionary War veterans, Samuel Whitehead and Joshua Hutchings, and walked from Milford to New York to see General Lafayette, who greeted them warmly. He moved to Leonardsville in Texas Township in 1837 and died there in January of 1847.
    This distinguished soldier of the Revolutionary War is buried in the Old Honesdale Cemetery.
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