Millville, Pennsylvania

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Millville is a borough in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is part of the BloomsburgBerwick Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

John Eves, a native of Ireland living in Mill Creek Hundred, Delaware, is thought to have been one of the first white men to visit the Greenwood Valley and Little Fishing Creek area in 1770. (One account of this visit indicates that he purchased a sizeable portion of the land he explored in the area from the Indians who had served as his guides on this trek.) Although he returned to Delaware after this initial visit, he returned the following year with his son Thomas and built a log cabin on the property. The entire Eves family arrived the next year, in 1772, and began tilling the fields adjacent to the cabin as soon as they could be cleared.

In 1774, the Eves family received a deed for their 1,203-acre (4.87 km2) property in the Valley’ the largest land holding at the time in what would later become Columbia County. Title for the land, originally obtained by William and Elizabeth McMean in 1769, was passed to Reuben Haines, and then to John Eves.

An Indian uprising, the Battle of Wyoming, in mid-summer of 1778, caused the Eves family to flee their home in the Valley and take refuge at a stockade near Washingtonville. Upon their return in 1785, they found their cabin burned and their fields overgrown, but immediately set about to recreate their homestead.

When the Eves family returned in the mid 1780’s, they were determined to make the settlement permanent. They were accompanied or were soon followed by several other families, including Masters, Kisner, Battin, Parker, Lundy, Lemon, Oliver, and Rich. With 17 children and 104 grandchildren, John Eves looked after the building of homes for the family, a grist mill that was to stand for 100 years, and later a sawmill and several other essential structures.

Growth of the community was slow because it was not located along a main traveled route or major waterway. Until 1798, Indian trails, which crossed at Millville, were the only accessways to the Valley area. In that year, a road was surveyed across the Mount Pleasant hills to the Susquehanna River. It was 1856 through before the road from Bloomsburg to Laporte was laid out through Millville.

Early residents were almost entirely self-sufficient. Thomas Eves succeeded his father in ownership of the grist mill and built the first house in what is now Millville Borough. And, according to an early historian, David and Andrew Eves opened the first store in the area in 1827. David Eves was also commissioned the first postmaster in 1831, followed by his brother Andrew some years later.

While the early population was scattered, provision was made for both worship and education. In the early years of the community, services and classes were held in the homes, but in 1785, a school was started in Millville and a two-room Meeting House was erected in 1795.

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