By Peter Becker
HAWLEY - One of many local general stores in Hawley's history sat at the end of Church Street by the Eddy Bridge. Serving the public for generations, the store, as well as the bridge, became victim to the enormous flood in May of 1942.
The store appears in several photographs, as part of the overall scene and taken from several directions. The Eddy has long been viewed as a picturesque part of town, and hails as the site of the original settlement of Paupack Eddy (as Hawley was originally known).
The store's early history is intertwined with a Hawley merchant by the name of Joseph Solliday.
He was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania on September 5, 1824, son of Samuel and Mary (Fretz) Solliday. His paternal grandparents were from Germany.
At the age of 18, in about 1842, Joseph Solliday moved to Honesdale, Wayne County, where he was hired by Charles Weiss as a clerk at the Wayne County House (site of the Hotel Wayne). After two years he came to Paupack Eddy (Hawley) and became a clerk in William C. Conklin's store. Whether this is the same building as the one Solliday later would own is not clear.
In 1847 he went into partnership with Charles V. Taft, operating their own store. about two years later, he bought out Taft's interest.
A few years after buying out Taft, he took in another business partner- apparently by the name of Cromwell.
The 1860 map of Hawley marks the store as belonging to J. Solliday. Then in 1872, a Hawley street map lists the business as Cromwell's and Solliday Store. Dry goods and groceries were sold here.
An earlier story in this series told that James Millham, Hawley's first mayor, worked as a clerk in Solliday's store.
Millham bought out Solliday with J.T. and William Cromwell; he then sold his interest and stayed as a salesman.
Another reference states that Solliday later bought out his partner and subsequently joined with another, to whom Solliday than sold the store. Solliday retired from the business due to his health.
In 1881, however, Solliday opened "another store in Hawley" (where is not mentioned), and in about a year sold it to the Hawley Glass Company and kept working there. In about four years it was sold to J. Millham & Co. Solliday retired again, but afterwards returned to work at the store.
The glass company's store, however, appears to be the building Solliday operated for years, leaving the above reference unclear.
An 1885 Sanborn fire insurance map of Hawley lists the store by the bridge as "The Hawley Glass Company General Store." Scales sat next to it. The glass works were located on the west end of the current flood plain behind Barker Street, where Glass Row (baseball) Field is today.
Baisden's Wagon Shop was right across the street on the other side of the bridge. Eddy Hotel was diagonally across. Just down Erie Avenue (as Welwood Street was called then) there was a drug store and general store in the first floor of what is today a large apartment building with stucco finish.
The 1892 map just labels Solliday's store as a general store.
The 1912 Hawley directory lists Atkinson & Quinney general store at this location, one of seven in Hawley.
Asher Atkinson ran the store in the 1920's.
It must have been a good location for business. It sat next to the Eddy Bridge and was a short walk from the Erie railroad depot and diagonally across from the Eddy Hotel and next to the Park View Hotel.
On February 17, 1846 he wed Anna C. Atkinson (born 1822 or 1823), daughter of Joseph and Anna (Kimble) Atkinson (Sr.). Joseph Atkinson Sr. was an early settler of Paupack Eddy and a prosperous lumberman.
Her mother died when Anna was an infant, her father died May 1853, age 66.
The Sollidays had four children, Eunice, who died as a baby; Lucy, who married Charles Weiss of Oil City, PA; John; Ephraim and George.
In 1849, Joseph Solliday purchased a lot on what is now 836 Church Street, from Joseph Atkinson. On this lot Solliday would eventually build a home for he and his wife Anna. He paid $100 for the lot.
The Atkinson heirs did not gave him clear title until 1866. The house was finally constructed in 1870. A deed dated 1876 transferred the property from Joseph and Anna Solliday to her brother John S. Atkinson. The same year, the property was transferred back to Anna Solliday.
For two terms, Joseph Solliday served as Auditor, and was an earnest Republican. He served as an elder and a trustee of the 1st Presbyterian Church in Hawley. In 1890, the church moved from Prospect Street to its present location, across from the Solliday home on Church Street.
Joseph Solliday died in 1913.
Anna Solliday died Jan. 7, 1922 at close to 100 years of age. That year her niece Delphine Daniel acquired the property from Anna's heirs through Harry J. Atkinson, administrator.
The Sollidays were laid to rest at the old Eddy (Walnut Grove) Cemetery in Hawley.
[Next week: Residents remember the old store, and its terrible fate.]