(Wellsville Daily Reporter – Friday, August 12, 1881.)
The Bradford Era of this morning presents a map of the thriving village of Allentown. Accompanying this commendable bit of enterprise is a sketch of the places, which we publish nearly entire:
“What is now generally known as Allentown, formerly bore the name of Knight’s Creek, or “Head of the Plank.” The latter name arose from the fact that a plank road runs from Scio and terminates here. Knight’s Creek is the name of the postoffice and a pretty little babbling stream that passes through the town. There is a story to the effect that in the years gone by residents of Alfred dubbed the hamlet “Slip Away” because of many who settled there nearly all remained but a short time and then folded their tents and silently disappeared. Clinton Allen, father of Riley Allen, the well known pioneer, who, with Mr. O. P. Taylor, was the first to develop the petroleum interests of this county, was among the first, if not the first, to settle here. He commenced life in this place when it was yet a piece of unbroken wilderness. His abode was the characteristic log hut of the bold and hardy pioneer. The date of his arrival cannot be accurately fixed, but information from the most trustworthy sources gives the year as 1798. This small dwelling erected by the Allens formed the nucleus for the present village. Its inhabitants were principally engaged in the lumbering industry. There were two large mills and a shook factory in active operation for a long time until 21 years ago (1860) when the entire town, except one or two dwellings, was swept away by fire. The village seemed destined to be never rebuilt. However, Riley Allen again laid out a village, encouraged persons in the erection of a few substantial structures and the place again began to thrive and gave evidences of a new and more vigorous life.
At the present time, fifty-five buildings grace the gentle slope that now bids fair to become a lively and prominent oil town. The course of developments in the vicinity are of such a character to warrant the belief that Allentown will take rank, if not as the first, at least the second oil town of prominence in the Allegany field. It will be to that region what Duke Center is to the Bradford field. The Morse & Williams well, which is located a short distance south of here, is generally conceded to be one of the most prolific producers in Allegany county. Still closer to the village are located the Duke & Norton wells. Indeed, upon all sides oil has been found and it is but a question of time until a large production will be brought forth in the immediate vicinity of Allentown. District foreman Harry Breckenridge of the U.P. line has his gauger located at this place as the most convenient point to all sections of the field. The post office department established an office here on the 2nd of January, 1879, and appointed C. W. Furnald to take charge of the same. His official career was cut short by death after a brief incumbency of the office. His widow was appointed as his successor. Within the past month arrangements have been perfected to supply the office with a daily service and is heartily appreciated by the residents of the village. The new railroad which passes directly through the village will be completed by the first of September. With this indispensable adjunct to a live town, and easy and swift medium of communication, Allentown must and will grow rapidly in proportions as well as in business importance. Messrs. W.H. and F.B. Kneeland are arranging to supply the place with natural gas both light and fuel. This will be procured from Campbell well No. 3, a reputed gaser located a short distance away. At Coyle Bros. Store a telephone office has been located with connections at Richburg and Scio. Twenty cents is charged for the use of the line. Connections will soon be made with Olean and Bradford and then a toll of twenty-five cents will be charged for a conversation lasting five minutes."
Copyright © 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Ronald G. Taylor All rights reserved.