On May 28, 2016 I drove through the rolling landscape of north central Pennsylvania to the New York border. I drifted west over winding backroads until I hit the outskirts of an ancestral home. Along the banks of Cryder Creek, Whitesville contains the memories of pioneering people, including the White and Teater families, from which I am descended.
In the late 1810s, Samuel followed his father-in-law, John Teater, to the farmland that became Independence Township, Allegany County. His wife, Nancy, was a teacher and helpmate to every endeavor that Samuel undertook, which included the raising of seven children and the building of a hamlet’s first hotel in 1827. Samuel was a farmer, cattle dealer, a shop keeper, an innkeeper; he served his community as town clerk, postmaster, and town supervisor. With time the hamlet took on the name Whitesville.
Folks of Independence Township had long believed the oral tradition of how their town got its name. Roger Easton, Independence historian, led the effort to formally attribute the village’s name to Samuel White’s life and legacy. That last Saturday in May several descendants gathered at Lot 50, site of the White Hotel, and unveiled the Legends and Lore highway marker.
Thank you so much, Roger and all the supporters of the Independence Historical Society for your dedicated efforts (and for lunch)!!