From "History of Wayne, Pike and Monroe Counties, Pennsylvania"
by Alfred Mathews,
R.T. Peck & Co., Philadelphia, 1886.
Paradise Township (extracts)
Paradise Township comprises what was formerly a portion of Price township. It is bounded on the north by Barrett township, on the east by Price, on the south by Pocono and on the west by Coolbaugh. Its extent in length, east and west is about seven miles, and its width is about four miles.
The general structure of the township is very uneven, being composed of numerous hills, some of which, in the northern part, are called Pocono Mountains.
Two valleys, nearly parallel, and each about two miles in length and one-half mile in width, lie in the centre. One of the valleys is watered by Long Swamp Creek, which rises in the northwestern part of the township and flows in a southeasterly direction. Timber Hill Creek waters the other valley. The stream rises in the west, flows in an easterly direction and joins Long Swamp Creek. Heller Creek rises in the southern part of the township, flows northeasterly and united its waters with those of Long Swamp and Timber Hills Creeks a short distance below their junction. The confluence of these three streams forms the middle branch of Brodhead Creek, which branch flows easterly until joined by Cranberry Run, when a southeasterly course is taken. Cranberry Run flows through the eastern portion of Paradise township and merged into the middle branch of Brodhead Creek. These streams render the soil fertile, and, abounding with trout, and a source of pleasure and profit to fishermen.
The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad passes in a northerly direction through the eastern portion of the township, and re-entering, winds in a southerly direction through the western part. The railroad affords large facilities for travel and shipments. The grade of the railroad in passing through the township sometimes exceeds, but never is less than ninety feet to the mile.
Nearly one-half of the land in Paradise township is cultivated, the balance being either slightly wooded or barren. The two valleys comprise the most fertile parts and yield well. The soil is loamy and produces the usual fruits, grains and vegetables. Quarrying flag-stones afford employment in different places in Paradise to many men.
The scenery is varied and picturesque, and an abundance of fish and game attracts annually a large number of city people to this region.
The population, as given by the census of 1880, is six hundred and eighty-eight.
Paradise township was erected from Price in the fall of 1848. It originally contained more territory, comprising a part of what is now Barrett township. The first assessment of the township was made by John Roth in 1849. The assessment list, bearing the date 1849, returned by him to the commissioners contains the following names:
Charles Angelmeyer Peter Dornblaser Christian Nauman Peter Angelmeyer Frederick Deubler George Nauman G & W Bailey in Co. David Edinger John J. Price Frederick Bush J & D Edinger in Co. John Pausel Joseph Bush Thomas Franze John Roth Benjamin Bush Levi Franz Samuel Rheal Samuel Buskirk Benjamin Grant Michael Ransberry George Bauman David Heller Jacob Rinehart Samuel Bauman Henry Heller Chris. Sausenbacher Jacob Booram Peter Heller John Stoker John Bauman James Henry Andrew L. Storm George Bird Charles Henry George Smith Joseph Booram Jacob Hilgert John Storm Charles Boyer Charles Hilgert Tobias Setzer Daniel M. Buckley George Hilgert Oliver Smith Henry Bush Joseph Jones George Schleiger Jacob Cranter Geo. W. Kinney Abraham Transue James Cross James Kintz Charles Transue Joseph Courtwright Aaron Koch Adam Utt William Coffman Jacob J. Koerner Charles Utt John Coffman Christian Knoll James Wilson Jonathan Coffman, Sr. George J. Koerner Jacob Warner Jonathan Coffman, Jr. James Kinney Barbara Wagner Jacob Coffman John Learn Samuel Woolbach John Callyhan Robert Labar Charles Woolbach Jeremiah Callyhan Francis Mange Yetter & Houck in Co. Daniel Callyhan Reuben Miller Elijah Deck Simon Marsh
Peter Stocker Jacob Utt Wilmar Eich Jane Hilgert Jacob Stocker Jonathan Coffman George Bailey Charles Woolbach William Bailey James Kintz William Henry Christian Nauman Amos Groner Jacob Bauman Alamieram Utt George Price George Wagner John W. Yetter Simon Marsh
The first settlements in Paradise township were made in the two valleys. These places were doubtless selected on account of the fertility of the soil. In one valley Henry Everhart, Nicholas Bush, George Klecker and John Learn settled, in the other valley George Dornblaser, Abraham Transue, Philip Transue, Peter Wagner, George Hilgert, George Bowman, Michael Nauman and John Setzer. All were farmers, and selected localities favorable for cultivation. On account of abundance of game and fish, there was no difficulty in supplying the table with meat. Stroudsburg was the nearest point at which they could procure the necessaries of life which they did not possess.
All the old settlers took possession of the land without deeds. George Dornblaser, George Bowman, Abraham Transue, Philip Transue, Peter Wagner and George Hilgert settled on a tract of land called the "James Morris tract." The land was conveyed by one Morris to one Mussie, by Mussie to John Boys and to Boys to the several settlers. Robert Wescott obtained a patent for the land on which John Learn settled. This land was transferred by Robert Wescott to Charles Coxe. Charles Coxe conveyed it to Jacob Learn, the present owner. Michael Nauman settled in Paradise township in 1822. He had eleven children, viz: Michael, Joseph, Christian, George, Samuel, Susan, Sarah, Hannah, Mary, Elizabeth and Catharine.
Paradise Valley is the name of the oldest settlement in the township. It is located in one of the valleys near the centre, and marks the place where some of the earliest settlers erected their rude log houses. These have been removed, and, in their stead, neat new frame dwellings have been built. In this village are a store, a boarding-house, a post office, a grist mill, a wheelwright shop, a blacksmith shop, a school house and about twenty dwellings.
The longevity of the people in this region is somewhat remarkable. Of the six hundred and eighty-eight inhabitants, there are, at least, twenty-five persons who have attained the age of seventy years. Five couples - viz.: Jacob Biesecker and wife, Andrew Storm and wife, Charles Hilgert and wife, John Bowman and wife and Francis Keller and wife - have lived in wedded bliss for more than half a century.
In 1825, a few years after the first settlers arrived, steps were taken for the erection of a church. Previous to this religious meetings were held at the residences of several settlers. The work of constructing a log church was commenced under the supervision of Henry Bush. He had, as assistant carpenters, John Bush, Jacob Bush, Henry Detrick and David Acterdy. The work was completed and the church dedicated in the fall of 1826, the services being conducted by Revs. Huffenditz and Rupert. The first members of this church were George Hilgert, Peter Wagner, Philip Transue, Abraham Transue, John Cougher, Aaron Koch, George Bowman, George Dornblaser, Jacob Hudle, John Greek, Jacob K. Koerner, George Crotzer, John Shiffer, Henry Anglemeyer, Peter Anglemeyer, John Learn, Peter Neuhart and John Arnold. The first trustees were George Bowman and George Hilgert, and the first steward was Jacob Koerner. Until 1852 this was the only church in the region, and was attended by persons from all the surrounding country. In the rear of the church is a cemetery, now protected by a stone wall, in which all the old settlers are buried.
In 1838 the first Evangelical meeting was held in Paradise township. So favorable an impression was made by the doctrines of this denomination that regular meetings have been held even since. In 1851 it was decided to erect a church. Land was donated to them for this purpose by George Dornblaser. The building was completed in 1852. It is a neat, one story building, thirty-four by twenty-four, and cost about four hundred dollars. The dedication sermon was preached by Revs. Frederick Krecker and Ephraim Ely. The first trustees were P.P. Dornblaser, Joseph Boorem and Christian Nauman. Abraham Transue was the first class leader, and Peter P. Dornblaser the first exhorter. There are at present about forty members of this church. A flourishing Sunday school is connected with the church. A burying ground is attached to the church.
Paradise Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery, Paradise Valley
Keokee Chapel Cemetery, Paradise Valley
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