History of Upper Mount Bethel Township

Our Charter dated  August 16, 1852

This document was retrieved by the Head Archivist of Northampton County.  We asked for a copy, which required that the very thin vellum not be exposed to the harsh light of a copier.  Why did we want it?  A State agency required proof of our existence.
doc03199620190114075050

 

1730 – 1776


 

Old Mount Bethel was one of the oldest settled areas in Northampton County. Included within in its jurisdiction was the Old Hunter Settlement, founded by the Ulster-Scots around 1730. That same year Old Mount Bethel was erected a town. After the walking purchase of 1737 between the Penn family and the Lenape (also known as the Delaware) was completed, Old Mount Bethel was established within the County of Bucks.  In 1752 Bucks County was divided and Northampton County was established, geographically placing Old Mount Bethel within the boundaries of Northampton County.

On June 8, 1746, the inhabitants living on the main branch of the Delaware, embracing the Hunter Settlement, and other immigrants who had settled there  petitioned the Court of Quarter Sessions to lay off into a township a district of the county, with the following boundaries:

From the mouth of Tunami’s Creek, up the north branch of said creek, upon the west side of Jeremiah Bests to the Blue Mountains, and thence, by said mountains, to ye north branch of said river, and thence, and thence by said branch, to the mouth of said Tunami’s Creek again.

The Court ordered the petitioners to produce a draft of the townshp at the next term. This resulted in the creation  of Old Bethel township. After a short passage of time  the original name of Hunter Settlement passed into history.

The petitioners names were:

Peter Senors, Jonathan Miller, Arthur Coveandell, Thomas Ready, Joseph Woodside, George Bogard,  James Anderson, David Allen, James Simpson, Peter Mumbower, Jonathan Garlinghaus, Jonathan Carmichael, Richard Quick, Joseph Funstin,Thomas Silliman, Lawrence Coveandell, Jeremiah Best, Manus Decher, Joseph Jones, Alexander Hunter, James Bownons, Jacob Server, Joseph Coler, James Miller, Joseph Quick, Joseph Ruckman, Thomas McCracken, Thomas Sillman, Collins Quick, Joseph Corson, Edward Moody, Conrad Doll, Thomas Clark, Jonathan Rickey, James Quick, Patrick Vence, and Robert Liles.*


Mt Bethel and the American Revolution**

After the Stp Act of 1764 and the Boston Tea Party, the call for liberty rang across Northampton County. In January of 1775 a Provincial Congress was called into session and the formation of fighting units soon followed. Alexander MIller of Mount Bethel is listed as one of the officers who drilled and prepared companies for battle. 

On June 24, 1776 Northampton County sent delegates to Carpenter Hall in Philadelphia for a conference to establish a fighting force of 10,000 men in the defense of a provincial and separate government.   Northampton County was divided into four Districts for electing representatives to a new government body. 


 

– Excerpted from the minutes of the Conference of the Committees of the Province, Carpenters Hall, Philadelphia, June 18-25, 1776
-History of Northampton County, Illustrated, 1877, Peter Fritz, edited by Davis, translated by Susan Walters 

  *Copyright 2013  Karen Samuels Edited and additional information added July 2016 Rick Fisher, Source: Wikipedia **Mt. Bethel and the American Revolution Written by Rick Fisher, Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved

 
 
 
 
 
 

1776-1900

Establishment of Northampton County “Whereas, a great number of the inhabitants of the upper parts of the county of Bucks, by their petition, have hereby represented to the Governor and the Assembly of this province, the great hardships they lay under, by being so remote from the present seat of judicature and the public offices; that the necessary means to be used for obtaining justice, is attended with so much difficulty and expense, that many forego their right, rather than attempt the recovery of it under such circumstances; while others, sensible of these difficulties commit great villanies with impunity. For remedying whereof, and for the relief of the inhabitants, Be it enacted by the Hon. James Hamilton, Lieutenant-Governor, under the Hon. Thomas Penn and Richard Penn, true and solvent Proprietaries of the province of Pennsylvania, and of the counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, upon Delaware, by and with the advice and consent of the representatives of the freemen of the said province, in General Assembly met, and by authority of the same, that all and singular the lands, lying within the province of Pennsylvania aforesaid, be erected into a county; and the same is hereby erected into a county named, and hereinafter to be called, Northampton; to be divided from the county of Bucks by the upper, or northwestern line of Durham tract, to the upper corner thereof; thence to be run by a straight line southwestwardly to the line dividing the township of Upper and Lower Miford; thence along the said line to the line dividing Philadelphia and Bucks counties; and thence by a line to the extremities of the said province.” -Act of Pennsylvania Legislature, 1752, Hon. James Hamilton Presiding

“Concerning the establishment of a permanent of Provincial government, and the election of delegates to the convention for that purpose, the Conference “Resolved, unanimously-That the present government of this province is not competent to the exigencies of our affairs. “On Motion, Resolved -N. C. D. That it, is necessary that a provincial convention he called by this conference for the express purpose of forming a new government in this province, on the authority of the people only. “Resolved- That every person qualified by the laws of this province, to vote for representatives in assembly, shall be admitted to vote, for members of the, intended convention, providing he shall first take the following test, on oath or affirmation, it thereunto required by anyone of the judges or inspector, of the election, who are hereby empowered to administer the, same:

“I do declare that I do not hold myself hound to bear allegiance, to George the Third, king, of Great Britain, &c., and that, I will steadily and firmly at all times, promote the most effectual mean, according to the host of my skill and knowledge, to oppose the tyrannical proceedings of the, king and parliament of Great Britain against the American Colonies and to establish and support a government in this province on the authority of the people only, etc., That I will oppose any measure that shall or way in the, least interfere with or obstruct the religious principles or practices of any of the good people of this province as heretofore enjoyed also.” 

The committee appointed to consider of the proper time, place, and manner of holding an election for members o:he meeting of the persons so chosen, report as followeth: That they appoint Monday, the eighth day of July, next, for electing said members; that the several counties proceed to choose their respective members, at the following places, viz: Northampton county to be divided into four districts. “The First District.-Easton, William, Lower Saucon, Bethlehem, Forks, Mt. Bethel, Plainfield; to be held in Easton.”   The Judges of the Elections for the First District of Northampton County were:  Abraham Berlin, Jesse Jones, Jonas Hartzell

“During these years George LaBar, a grandson of Peter LaBar, one of the region’s first settlers, was a nearby neighbor. At his death in 1874 George had attained the age of 111 years and nine months. 

] George LaBar also described how, as a youth, he had to travel by horseback over Blue Mountain through Tat’s Gap, to mill grain in Stroudsburg. This mill was the only one available for Mount Bethel residents, while those “from the more southern part of the settlement” traveled to Easton for milling. At that time the corn was in most cases, pounded in mortars. It is possible, then, that members of the Pipher family may have made that same trip over Blue Mountain to mill their grain.” 28. -Burrell, Reminiscences, P. 56

29. Ibid.; p. 51.


This township is bounded on the north by Monroe county on the east and south by the Delaware River, separating it from the State
of New Jersey on the south and west by the townships of Lower Mount Bethel
and Washington.

It was erected a township, in 1787, from the territory of old Mount Bethel, which was originally a township of Bucks county, before the erection of Northampton.

This was one of the oldest settled portions of Northampton county, including in its limits the old Hunter settlement, founded by the Ulster-Scots, about 1730; and it was by this name that it was only known for some seventeen years thereafter.

Among the names of the first settler, in Mount Bethel we find that of La bar; three brothers, by the name of Peter, Charles, and Abraham, who immigrated from France to this country, before 1730. Landing at Philadelphia, they at once started out in pursuit of a home.

Making their way up the Delaware, much of the way through dense forests, they finally reached the southern base of the Blue Mountains, where, believing they had penetrated beyond the bounds of civilized man, they located a tract of land, reared a log cabin, and settled on the place now owned by Mr. Samuel Pipher, about half a mile southwest of the present village of Slateford.

Here the three brothers commenced the hardships of a pioneer life, They were the first who cleared land on the Delaware, above the mouth of the Lehigh. They had been in their new home but a short time, when their tawny neighbors began to manifest a friendly feeling, and an inclination to become acquainted. It was not long before amicable relations had been established between the brothers and the curious red men, then numerous at this point, near the Water Gap.

This friendship greatly promoted the safety of the brothers, and enabled them to obtain from the Indians a supply of corn, which, in those days, must be pounded in a mortar, by hand for there was no grist-mill. At this time, the young pioneers were progressing favorably, and they began to look about them. They soon found that they were not the only whites, in this region, for just north of the Blue Mountain they found Nicholas Depui, who was then quite an old man, and settled at a place called Shawanese, on the Minisink lands, one of the first settlements made in the State.

Not long after, they found another small settlement; probably that part of the Hunter Settlement planted at Williamsburg.  During this brief period, the three pioneers had obtained considerable knowledge of the Forks region; and the friendly relationship they had established with the Indians, had enabled them to learn considerable of the Indian language. While at this place, the La Bar brother, married; and soon afterwards removed north of the Blue Mountain, into what is now Monroe county, where they permanently settled.

A few year, subsequently, a son of Peter, by the name of George, moved south of the mountain, and settled near the original La Bar cabin, where he raised a large family. He lived to the age of one hundred and six years, and his son-also named George-died in 1874, at the age of one hundred and eleven, years and nine months. There are now many of the La Bar descendents living in Mount Bethel township, and in the lower part of Monroe county.

The first elections of the settlers in the Mount Bethel region were held at Easton, but, as new settlers were added to the sparsely populated township, Richmond, since in Lower Mount Bethel, and now in Washington township, became the voting place.

This remained the voting place until the division of the old township, March 17th, 1787. Williamburgs then became the voting place for Upper Mount Bethel township, and there the elections were held until 1874, when the township was divided into two voting districts, namely, Williamsburg and Delpsburg, at which places the elections have since been held.
-Karen Samuels
Lehigh Valley History

 

1730 - 1776

1730 – 1776


 

Old Mount Bethel was one of the oldest settled areas in Northampton County. Included within in its jurisdiction was the Old Hunter Settlement, founded by the Ulster-Scots around 1730. That same year Old Mount Bethel was erected a town. After the walking purchase of 1737 between the Penn family and the Lenape (also known as the Delaware) was completed, Old Mount Bethel was established within the County of Bucks.  In 1752 Bucks County was divided and Northampton County was established, geographically placing Old Mount Bethel within the boundaries of Northampton County.

On June 8, 1746, the inhabitants living on the main branch of the Delaware, embracing the Hunter Settlement, and other immigrants who had settled there  petitioned the Court of Quarter Sessions to lay off into a township a district of the county, with the following boundaries:

From the mouth of Tunami’s Creek, up the north branch of said creek, upon the west side of Jeremiah Bests to the Blue Mountains, and thence, by said mountains, to ye north branch of said river, and thence, and thence by said branch, to the mouth of said Tunami’s Creek again.

The Court ordered the petitioners to produce a draft of the townshp at the next term. This resulted in the creation  of Old Bethel township. After a short passage of time  the original name of Hunter Settlement passed into history.

The petitioners names were:

Peter Senors, Jonathan Miller, Arthur Coveandell, Thomas Ready, Joseph Woodside, George Bogard,  James Anderson, David Allen, James Simpson, Peter Mumbower, Jonathan Garlinghaus, Jonathan Carmichael, Richard Quick, Joseph Funstin,Thomas Silliman, Lawrence Coveandell, Jeremiah Best, Manus Decher, Joseph Jones, Alexander Hunter, James Bownons, Jacob Server, Joseph Coler, James Miller, Joseph Quick, Joseph Ruckman, Thomas McCracken, Thomas Sillman, Collins Quick, Joseph Corson, Edward Moody, Conrad Doll, Thomas Clark, Jonathan Rickey, James Quick, Patrick Vence, and Robert Liles.*


Mt Bethel and the American Revolution**

After the Stp Act of 1764 and the Boston Tea Party, the call for liberty rang across Northampton County. In January of 1775 a Provincial Congress was called into session and the formation of fighting units soon followed. Alexander MIller of Mount Bethel is listed as one of the officers who drilled and prepared companies for battle. 

On June 24, 1776 Northampton County sent delegates to Carpenter Hall in Philadelphia for a conference to establish a fighting force of 10,000 men in the defense of a provincial and separate government.   Northampton County was divided into four Districts for electing representatives to a new government body. 


 

 

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