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Clearfield County

History of Clearfield County

by

Lewis Cass Aldrich

published 1887

 

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This page was last updated on 23 Apr 2011

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HIST0RY
OF
CLEARFIELD COUNTY
PENNSYLVANIA

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES
OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS

EDITED BY
LEWIS CASS ALDRICH

SYRACUSE, N. Y.
D. MASON & CO., PUBLISHERS
1887
 

 Introduction and Contents

Pages

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Page 3

INTRODUCTION.



     To a person unacquainted with the detail of a history of any county, a very inadequate idea of its scope can be conveyed by the expression, a History of Clearfield County. Were this work to be devoted alone to a narrative of the events of the county, it would occupy a volume much less in size than this; but when we come to consider the vast and varied interests of Clearfield county, and its large area, then we may know that the work is not over-sized. In its compilation great care has been exercised to insure correctness in general and in detail ; nevertheless it would be a surprising fact, a thing unprecedented, should there be found within its covers not a single error. In its preparation the compiler has sought, and had the assistance of a number of the most capable writers of the county, who, by their contributions and efforts, have helped to make this history what it is. And there are others, too, who have freely furnished every information requested of them, and made many valuable suggestions, all of which have materially facilitated the work of the editor.

     Our obligation of thanks is due to many, and among them there may be selected some of whom special mention should be made. To Hon. George R. and Colonel Walter Barrett, for assistance and courtesy uniformly extended, and for the use of a large and excellent library; to Hon. Joseph B. McEnally, for like kindness; to John Franklin Snyder, esq., for a most carefully prepared chapter on Education ; to Daniel W. Moore, for a chapter on the Press; to Dr. Preston Wilson, for the chapter on the Medical Profession ; to the Rev. Abram S. R. Richards, of Osceola Mills, for several valuable chapters; to Peter S. Weber, of Du Bois; A. Judson Smith, of New Millport; Captain James Dowler, of Burnside; Alonzo Potter MacLeod, esq., of Coalport ; R. D. Swoope, esq., of Curwensville, and others, in various portions of the county, for the contribution of valuable and well-written chapters. In addition to these, thanks are

 

 

 

Page 4

INTRODUCTION

 

due to the press of the county; and also to the people, generally, who, by material encouragement and support, have helped to make this work not only a success, but possible.

     The volume now is before the public, and of its merits and imperfections the people of the county are to judge. Possibly some things are omitted that should have been stated, and possibly some things that are stated might better have been omitted. Should there be a fault it cannot be laid at the door of those who have aided the work, or contributed to its pages. Nothing has been said through envy, malice or hatred, but in entire fairness toward all, and with a desire to record the events as they have occurred.

With these thoughts the Memorial History of Clearfield County is placed before the people by the editor, and the publishers.

 

 

 

   

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CONTENTS

Chapter I.
GENERAL GEOGRAPHICAL VIEW.
The Subject-Formation-Geographical and Topographical Mountains-Rivers-
-Natural Characteristics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

CHAPTER II.
INDIAN OCCUPATION.
Indian Occupation -The Leuni Lenapes-Their Origin -Country Occupied by Them -
The Iroquois -Their Clan System -The Five Nations -The Lenapes Conquered -
The Delawares -Other Tribes -Iroquois Successful -The Six Nations -Shawnees . . . . . .17

CHAPTER III.
THE INDIANS IN THE FRENCH WAR.
The French and English War -Disposition of the Indians -Erection of Forts-Fort
Augusta -Events Along the West Branch -Scenes at Chinckeclamousche -Sum-
mary -Close of the War. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

CHAPTER IV.
WARS WITH THE INDIANS.
Pontiacís War -The League -Depredations on the Frontier --Forts Taken -Indians
Driven Back -The Treaty of Peace --Threatenings of an Outbreak-Departure of
the Moravians -Incidents -The Cresap War-Logan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

CHAPTER V.
THE REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD.
The Revolutionary War -Action of the Crown -The Colonies Determined -The Out-
break -The Indians Hostile -Six Nations Divided -Depredations -Defenses -
Struggles-Close of the War.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
 

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CHAPTER VI.
EARLY LAND OPERATIONS.

Land Titles -Pennís Charter -Naming the Province -Treaties with Indians -Acquisi-
tion of Lands to the Proprietaries -Boundaries -The Divesting Act-Surveys -
Owners-The Holland Land Company.. . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . 43

CHAPTER VII.
EARLY SETTLEMENTS.
Early Settlements -Territory Divided -The First Settlers --Difference of Opinion -
The First Mill -First Marriage -First Child Born -The Christening -Other
Settlements-Settlement Down to 1810.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

CHAPTER VIII.
ORGANIZATION OF THE COUNTY.
Erection of the County -Boundaries-An Error -Jurisdiction of Centre County Officers
Extended Over this County-The Governorís Order-Proceedings of the Com-
missioners-County Seat Fixed at Clearfield -Election Districts .-Return of Tax-
ables -The First Townships -Population -Act of 1812 -The Civil Organization
Completed -Subsequent Townships -Erection of Elk County --Townships Taken
from Clearfield County. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64

CHAPTER IX.
PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND COURTS.
Plan of the County Seat-Lots Donated for Public Buildings -The Old Log Jail -The
Jail Built in 1841-2-The Present Jail--Its Cost --The First Court-House -
Description -Important Cases Tried Therein-The New Court-House Built -
Courts in the Old Church--Court-House Remodeled and Additions Built -Some
Leading Causes Recalled. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

CHAPTER X.
FROM 1810 TO 1843.
Pioneer Settlements After 1810 -Population in 1810 -The First Murder -Events of
the War of 1812-15 --Peace-Election Districts Prior to ,1843 -Record of the
Floods on the West Branch-The Pumpkin Flood -Drowning of John and Ellis
Graham-Gorges at the Pee Weeís Nest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

CHAPTER XI.
LUMBER AND ROADS.
The Lumbering Interests -Rafting and Floating -Turnpike and Road Companies -
Railroads of the County. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
 

 

 

 

   

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CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XII.
CLEARFIELD'S MILITARY HISTORY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105

CHAPTER XIII.
GEOLOGY OF CLEARFIELD COUNTY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .203

CHAPTER XIV.
A REVIEW OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COAL INTERESTS OF THE
CELEBRATED HOUTZDALE-OSCEOLA-PHILIPSBURG REGION. . . . . . . . . . . . .215

CHAPTER XV.
History of the Courts-Supreme Court-Common Pleas-Other Courts-The Judiciary
-The Bench and Bar of Clearfield County. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .233


CHAPTER XVI.
THE MEDICAL PROFESSION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .256

CHAPTER XVII.
THE PRESS OF CLEARFIELD COUNTY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267

CHAPTER XVIII.
REVIEW OF THE ORIGIN, GROWTH, AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE EDUCA-
TIONAL INTERESTS AND INSTITUTIONS OF CLEARFIELD COUNTY. . . . . . . . . . 279

CHAPTER XIX.
POLITICAL HISTORY OF CLEARFIELD COUNTY.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313

CHAPTER XX.
CIVIL LIST AND COUNTY ORGANIZATIONS.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 323

CHAPTER XXI.
HISTORY OF THE BOROUGH OF CLEARFIELD, THE SEAT OF JUSTICE OF
CLEARFIELD COUNTY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331

 

 

 

   

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CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXII
HISTORY OF THE BOROUGH OF DU BOIS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .376

CHAPTER XXIII.
HISTORY OF BECCARIA TOWNSHIP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .407

CHAPTER XXIV.
HISTORY OF BELL TOWNSHIP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 414

CHAPTER XXV.
HISTORY OF BIGLER TOWNSHIP.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425

CHAPTER XXVI.
HISTORY OF BLOOM TOWNSHIP.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .428

CHAPTER XXVII.
HISTORY OF BOGGS TOWNSHIP.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .434

CHAPTER XXVIII.
HISTORY OF BRADFORD TOWNSHIP.  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .444

CHAPTER XXIX.
HISTORY OF BRADY TOWNSHIP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 455

CHAPTER XXX.
HISTORY OF BURNSIDE TOWNSHIP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 478

CHAPTER XXXI.
HISTORY OF CHEST TOWNSHIP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .495

CHAPTER XXXII.
HISTORY OF COVINGTON TOWNSHIP.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 501

CHAPTER XXXIII.
HISTORY OF COOPER TOWNSHIP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 509

 

 

 

   

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CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXXIV.
HISTORY OF DECATUR TOWNSHIP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . .511

CHAPTER XXXV.
HISTORY OF FERGUSON TOWNSHIP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 523

CHAPTER XXXVI.
HISTORY OF GEULICH TOWNSHIP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 531

CHAPTER XXXVII.
HISTORY OF GIRARD TOWNSHIP.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 537

CHAPTER XXXVIII.
HISTORY OF GRAHAM TOWNSHIP.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 542

CHAPTER XXXIX.
HISTORY OF GOSHEN TOWNSHIP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 546

CHAPTER XL.
HISTORY OF GREENWOOD TOWNSHIP.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 552

CHAPTER XLI.
HISTORY OF HUSTON TOWNSHIP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 558

CHAPTER XLII.
HISTORY OF JORDAN TOWNSHIP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 566

CHAPTER XLIII.
HISTORY OF KARTHAUS TOWNSHIP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 577

CHAPTER XLIV.
HISTORY OF KNOX TOWNSHIP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 586

CHAPTER XLV.
HISTORY OF LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 591

 

 

 

 

   

 

Page 1O

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XLVI.
HISTORY OF MORRIS TOWNSHIP.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 603.

CHAPTER XLVII.
HISTORY OF PENN TOWNSHIP AND THE BOROUGHS OF LUMBER CITY
AND PENNVILLE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 615

CHAPTER XLVIII.
HISTORY OF PIKE TOWNSHIP AND THE BOROUGH OF CURWENSVILLE. . . . . . .628.

CHAPTER XLIX.
HISTORY OF SANDY TOWNSHIP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 645

CHAPTER L.
HISTORY OF UNION TOWNSHIP.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651.

CHAPTER LI.
HISTORY OF WOODWARD TOWNSHIP.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 658

CHAPTER LII.
BIOGRAPHICAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 674

 

 

 

   

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CONTENTS.

BIOGRAPHICAL

Barrett, George Rodden. . . . . . . . . .676
Betts, Rev. Frederick G. . . . . . . . . 691
Betts, William W. . . . . . . . . . . . .692
Bigler, William . . . . . . . . . . . . .709
Boynton, Jonathan . . . . . . . . . . . .700
Chase, John Mitchell . . . . . . . . . . 695
Coudriet, Leon M. . . . . . . . . . . . .703
Dill, William H. . . . . . . . . . . . . 690
Du Bois, John . . . . . . . . . . . . . .719
Forcey, Thomas H. . . . . . . . . . . . .702
Goodlander, George Breon . . . . . . . . 698
Hoyt, Hon. John P. . . . . . . . . . . . 689
Irvin, Hon. Alexander. . . . . . . . . . 682
Irvin, Col. E. A. . . . . . . . . . . . .674
Irvin, Col. John . . . . . . . . . . . . 701
Irvin, William . . . . . . . . . . . . . 684
Irwin, Ellis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 681
McClosky, Isaac Crosby . . . . . . . . . 675
McEnally, Hon. Joseph Benson . . . . . . 696
Mahaffey, James . . . . . . . . . . . . .704
Maxwell, James Andrew, M. D. . . . . . . 682
Murray, Alexander . . . . . . . . . . . .687
Murray, Thomas H. . . . . . . . . . . . .706
Patchin, Aaron W. . . . . . . . . . . . .683
Patton, Hon. John . . . . . . . . . . . .679
Porter, William . . . . . . . . . . . . .697
Potter, Dr. Johnson W. . . . . . . . . . 688
Shaw, Richard . . . . . . . . . . . . . .685
Shaw, Richard Henry . . . . . . . . . . .692
Shaw, William M. . . . . . . . . . . . . 694
Stewart, Robert Shaw . . . . . . . . . . 678
Wilson, R. V. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .705



ILLUSTRATIONS.

Barrett, George Rodden . . . . . .facing 242
Betts, William W. . . . . . . . . facing 334
Bigler, William . . . . . . . . . facing 314
Boynton, Jonathan . . . . . . . . facing 700
Chase, John Mitchell . . . . . . .facing 658
Coudriet, Leon M . . . . . . . . .facing 538
Dill, William H. . . . . . . . . .facing 356
Du Bois, John.. . . . . . . . . .facing 376
 

 

 

 

   

Page 12
CONTENTS.

Flynn, James . . . . . . . . . . .facing 412
Forcey, Thomas H. . . . . . . . . facing 702
Goodlander, George Breon . . . . .facing 358
Hoyt, Hon. John P. . . . . . . . .facing 688
Irvin, Hon. Alexander . . . . . . facing 338
Irvin, Col. E. A. . . . . . . . . facing 120
Irvin, Col. John . . . . . . . . .facing 184
Irvin, William . . . . . . . . . .facing 684
Irwin, Ellis . . . . . . . . . . .facing 548
McClosky, Isaac Crosby . . . . . .facing 580
McEnally, Hon. Jos. Benson . . . .facing 240
Maxwell, Jas. Andrew, M.D. . . . .facing 632
Murray, Alexander. . . . . . . . .facing 540
Murray, Thomas H. . . . . . . . . facing 250
Patchin, Aaron W. . . . . . . . . facing 490
Patton, Hon John . . . . . . . . .facing 680
Porter, William . . . . . . . . . facing 344
Potter, Dr. Johnson W. . . . . . .facing 504
Shaw, Richard . . . . . . . . . . facing 596
Shaw, Richard Henry . . . . . . . facing 692
Shaw, William M. . . . . . . . . .facing 360
Stewart, Robert Shaw . . . . . . .facing 544
Wallace, William A. . . . . . . . facing 318
Wilson, R. V. . . . . . . . . . . facing 258
Windsor House, View of . . . . . .facing 705

 

 

 

 

   

 

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