Warren Township History
The information gathered for the purposes of writing this History was obtained primarily from History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania (1770- 1878) by the Rev. Mr. David Craft (1878, Reprint 1992); History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania by H. C. Bradsby (1891); and other sources listed at the end of each section and/or contained in the text below. We wish to extend our sincere appreciation to all those individuals who provided information, photos, church histories, etc. In addition, we wish to specifically thank: Sheldon Gosline for his initial compilation of materials; Russell Dewing for his legwork in compiling cemetery information; Ruth Dewing for her tireless efforts in proofreading the many versions; and John Hayes for preparing the final compilation.
Our past history plays a vital role in the preparation of The Warren Township Comprehensive Plan. It lays out a path that has been taken by our township and allows us to consider future options more clearly. By considering our history, Warren Township and its residents can better choose to continue along past directions or divert to pursue other opportunities that may be more conducive to the ever changing local environment and landscape. Most importantly, we need to understand our past so that we do not repeat mistakes that may be avoided in the future through proper planning.
From geography and pre-history we learn that Warren Township has always been distinct from the rest of Bradford County. The surface of the landscape is uneven and ill suited for large-scale commercial farming operations. The timber is principally hemlock, birch, beech, and maple with some basswood, pine, cherry, and ash. The soil is gravel and loam. In the past, crops consisted of wheat, rye, oats, barley, corn, potatoes, grass, and flax. Potatoes used to be the main crop, but now a much smaller percentage of the land is under cultivation.
While the Susquehanna River valley was inhabited by Native American tribes since remote prehistory, our mountainous region was a wooded backland, used primarily for hunting and fishing. With a large state game land and many acres of private woodlands, marshes and lakes, Warren Township is still well suited today for these same purposes.
The economic and social focus of our township has always been to the east and north, while never directly being involved with the activities in the Susquehanna Valley, to our west. In addition to the natural mountainous barrier between the lands claimed by the Iroquois (later Susquehanna Company) and the Delaware (later Delaware Company), there were no connecting trails between Warren Township and the rest of Bradford County. No major Iroquois trails traversed Warren Township, however one north-south trail, roughly following modern day Route 187 from Nichols, New York to Wysox (Shawanese Town) and Towanda (Towandaemunk), Pennsylvania skirted near the western border of the township. Towanda (Dawantaa) probably was a derogative Iroquois word for "fretful" or "tedious" while the older name Towandaemunk meant "burial place". The Minisink Path, which ran eastward from Athens (Diahoca) and Milan (Queen Esther) and past the areas of modern day Rome and Leraysville, ran slightly south of Warren Township. The area of Warren Township was linked to Owego, New York and Montrose, Pennsylvania by a Delaware trail, later known as the Montrose Turnpike.