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Clearfield County PAGenWeb



Lawrence Township History




History of Clearfiled County, Pennsylvania: with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers by Lewis Cass Aldrich Syracuse, N.Y.:  D. Mason, 1887, pp. 590-603. 







THIS township was created upon the petition of divers persons, residents of Chincleclamoose township, averring that they labor under great inconvenience for want of a new township, and praying the appointment of three commissioners to make the necessary division.


This petition was presented to the Court of Quarter Sessions of Centre county at a term thereof held in the month of April, 1813. Upon the petition the court appointed Roland Curtin, Charles Treziyulney and Joseph Miles, viewers, to determine and make the necessary division.


After having viewed the locality, the commissioners determined upon the division and reported to the court the following boundaries for the township of Lawrence. Beginning at a white pine on the west branch of the river Susquehanna, a corner of Clearfield and Lycoming counties, thence north to the north-east corner of Clearfield county; thence along the line of Clearfield county west to the intersection of the old line formerly known as the line between districts Nos. 3 and 4 ; thence along the same south until it strikes the Little Clearfield Creek; thence down the same to the mouth thereof; thence down the Big Clearfield Creek to the mouth ; thence down the West Branch of the Susquehanna to the place of beginning, and to be one township called Lawrence township.


The territory embraced by this township included all the lands of the present townships of Lawrence, Goshen, Girard, Covington, Karthaus, as well as the lands still further north that were subsequently set off to Elk county, and which still later were made into Cameron county.


The remaining part of old Chincleclamousche township was, at the same time formed into a township called Pike. Here ceases all record of the original township of Chincleclamousche, a name that had designated this locality since the French and Indian war.


Although the territory embraced by the formation of Lawrence has been curtailed by subsequent township erections, it still remains one of the largest of the county. It is bounded north by Elk county ; east by Goshen, Bradford, Boggs, and Knox ; south by Bradford and Boggs, and west by Pike, Pine, and Huston.


No more accurate record of its early settlers can be made than by a full statement of the taxable inhabitants made by Samuel Fulton, assessor, under and by virtue of an order of the county commissioners, bearing date the 21st day of February, 1814, and signed by Hugh Jordon, Robert Maxwell and William Tate, commissioners.


The names of the taxables appearing on the roll are as follows : Elinor Ardery, John Andrews, Arthur Bell, Henry Buck, Samuel Beers, Arthur Bell, Robert Collins, George Conoway, Hugh Caldwell, Alexander Dunlap, James Dunlap, Hugh Frazier, John Frazier, Thomas Forcey, Samuel Fulton, William Hanna, Jacob Haney, Martin Hoover, Samuel Hoover, George Hunter, Esther Haney, John Hall, John Hoover, Henry Irwin, Hugh Jordon, Samuel Jordon, Thomas Jordon, Thomas Kirk, Thomas Kirk, jr., John Kline, Nicholas Kline, William Leonard, Rudolph Litch, Lebbeus Luther, David Ligget, Richard Mapes, John Moore, Reuben Mayhew, Adam Myers, Moses Norris, Matthew Ogden, Daniel Ogden, John Owens, William Orr, Joseph Patterson, Robert Patterson, Thomas Reynolds, Alexander Reed, Thomas Reed, Archibald Shaw, Elisha Schofield, John Shaw, Richard Shorter, Mary Shirrey, Robert Shaw, Ignatius Thompson, William Tate, Robert Wrigley, George Welch, Herman Young, Peter Young.


The single freemen were : Andrew Allison, Samuel Ardery, Benjamin Beers, Benjamin Carson, jr., Alexander Dunlap, Christian Eveon, Jacob Hoover, Caesar Potter, John R. Reed, Hugh Reynolds, William Shirrey, Hugh McMullen.


The settlers living in the Sinnamahoning district were enrolled in a separate list. It will be remembered that the settlement down the river was made into an election district, and the voting place was fixed at the mouth of the Sinnamahoning, at Andrew Overdorf's house. The taxables of this district were : Stephen Barfield, Robert Barr, Daniel Bailey, Jacob Burch, Dwight Cadwell, Thomas Dent, Richard Galat, Joseph Gaugey, Levy Hicks, William T. Hardy, Ralph Johnston, Thew. Johnston, James Jordon, John Jordon, Henry Lorghbaugh, jr., Joseph Mason, Amos Mix, James Mix, William Nanny, John Overdorf, Andrew Overdorf, Andrew Overdorf, jr., Samuel Smith, Charles Swartz, Curran Sweesey, Benjamin Smith, Jacob Miller, Leonard Morey.


The single freemen in the Sinnamahoning district were as follows : James Mix, Joseph Gaugey, James Sweezey, John Ream, John Biss, William Lewis, William Shepherd, George Lorghbaugh, William Calloway, George Derring.


The first reduction of the territorial limits of Lawrence township was made by the formation of Covington and Gibson, in the year 1817, by an order of the Centre County Court of Quarter Sessions. In 1845, at a term of court held February 4, Goshen township was erected from Lawrence, Girard, and part of Jay and Gibson townships.


The early history of this township antedates, by many years, its civil organization. Within its boundaries there was located the old Indian town of Chincleclamousche, the remains of which were discovered by Daniel Ogden, the pioneer, at the time of his settlement, in 1797. Still further back than this we find the country overrun and occupied by a fierce tribe of Indians known to the first white adventurers as the Lenni Lenapes, who made their central station on the river Delaware, and whose descendants occupied this whole region for a hundred years or more. Later on came the Shawnese, a supposed branch of the Algonquins, whose language they spoke. Then again, during the seventeenth century, the confederated nation of Iroquois, or the Five Nations, as they were commonly known, swept over the entire province of Pennsylvania, as well as the country north and south of it, driving out the occupants or completely subjugating them, and making themselves conquerors, and their chiefs and sachms rulers and monarchs of the entire country. During the progress of the French and Indian war this vicinity was occupied by the French with view to erecting a fort, but this scheme seems to have failed. They did, however, assemble at the village of Chincleclamousche and organize an expedition against Fort Augusta, the key to the whole northwestern part of the province.


Here it was that Captain Hambright came with orders to destroy the Indian town, and make battle against the inhabitants, but finding the town deserted returned to the fort with his men. On a subsequent visit the town was found to be destroyed, and the Indians fled to the protection of the French forts on the western frontier.


During the Revolutionary War no record is found concerning specific depredations at this point, but the Indian paths, several of which led through the township, were thoroughfares of travel to and from the points east of the Alleghenies.


Daniel Ogden was the first permanent settler in this township, and made the first improvement therein. The subsequent settlers up and down the river are mentioned in other chapters of this work, which, together with the tax rolls, will inform the reader as to the pioneers in this section.


The chief industry at that time was farming and clearing land, and as new residents followed, each in succession was compelled to make a clearing for a cabin and farming purposes. The necessity of lumber and material for building led to the erection of saw-mills at various places, and as the lands became cleared and crops gathered, grist-mills became a like necessity.


According to the tax-roll made by Samuel Fulton, assessor for Lawrence and Pike townships, in the year 1814, there were several industries already established in the township of Lawrence, some of which can be located with accuracy.


Samuel Beers was assessed as having a tan-yard. Beers lived on Clearfield Creek, and had a small tannery near his house. This factory was so small that it was assessed as nominal only.


Martin Hoover had a saw-mill and was assessed therefor fifty dollars. This amount would scarcely buy a cheap saw at the present day. Hoover's mill was located on Montgomery Creek, near where J. L. McPherson's steam saw-mill is now built. Hoover's mill was built some years prior to 1814, as a water-power mill on a small scale, and the water of the creek was then sufficient to furnish power. The present McPherson mill, having a very much greater capacity, is provided with boiler and engine. This is one of the oldest mill locations in the county.


Esther Haney, widow of Frederick Haney, was assessed this same year for a saw and grist-mill. They were located on Montgomery Creek, near where the Widow Smith now lives. The saw- mill was assessed at fifty dollars, and the grist-mill at thirty dollars.


Thomas Haney, son of Frederick, had a saw- mill on Moose Creek, about where is now situated the hamlet called Paradise. This mill has long since gone to decay.


Reuben Mayhew was the local shoemaker, and his trade assessed at ten dollars.


To Matthew Ogden attaches the credit of having built the first grist-mill in the county, on Moose Creek, about half a mile above its mouth. Some years later he built a saw-mill further down and moved his grist-mill to that point, near the site now occupied by Shaw's mill. In 1821 Ogden built another gristmill on Clearfield Creek, on lands now owned by John F. Weaver. This was operated for many years, but is now entirely destroyed.


Thomas Reynolds had a tannery in Clearfield town, that was built about the year 1810, but no business of account was done there until some five or six years later. The building was erected near where J. B. McEnally's residence now stands on First street.


Another tannery was built about 1820, just back of the present Boyer residence on Second street, by Jacob Irwin.


There used to stand many years ago, a mill at the mouth of Montgomery Creek, near the site of the Smith place, up the river. It was supposed to be one of the Hanney mills, but by some persons it was supposed to belong to Peter Young. The latter had a mill, but its precise location is uncertain.


In 1814-15, the Elder mills were built on Little Clearfield Creek by James I. Thorn, who came to the county for that purpose. The building consisted of a saw-mill, a fulling or woolen-mill, and a tavern. The woolen-mill was the first of its kind in the county, and the tavern among the first. Elder never resided in the county, but was largely interested in lands at that place. He is remembered as exceedingly kind and generous. He had many cattle at his place, and frequently loaned unbroken cattle to farmers, and allowed them to break and use them for their keeping. The record given above concerning the old mills and other industries of the township has been confined to that portion of the settlement comprising the county about the county seat, those who first held their elections at the house of Benjamin Jordan and afterward at William Bloom's. The whole election district in this locality still retained the name of Chincleclamousche.


In the Sinnamahoning district we have a record of the taxables made in the year 1815, showing a total of forty-one. The roll also mentions two sawmills, one assessed to Thomas Dent and the other to John Jordan.


In 1813, a year after commissioners for the county were authorized to be elected therein, the population had increased sufficiently that a post-office for the county was found necessary, and this was established at the house of Alexander Read, better known as " Red Alex." The neighborhood on the ridge where the Reads were numerous, was known as Readsboro, and the office was designated by that name. It was continued there until about the year 1819. The old State road passed through the place, and it was then the most central point, notwithstanding the fact that the site for the county seat had already been established at the old Indian town some two or three miles distant. Before this office was established all mail matter came from Philipsburg, on the extreme east line of the county, once each week.


At the time the county seat was fixed there was no improvement on the lands of Abraham Witmer, except such as had many years before been made by the Indians. The old cleared fields remained grown up with weeds and buffalo grass. It is said that Daniel Ogden cut this grass and used the lands. This may be so, but Ogden did not own any part of the lands, nor claim to own them. His settlement was nearly a half mile further south, up the river.


When Lawrence was made a township there were but few residents at the county seat proper, that is, Clearfield town. The first conveyances of town lots were made to Matthew Ogden, Robert Collins, and William Tate, in the year 1807. The donation of lands for county building and other purposes was made at the time the county seat was fixed, but the deed was not executed until 1813.


Improvement and settlement in the town were naturally slow. The whole tract embraced by it was plotted and lots were held at prices greater than the average pioneer could afford to pay. At the time the assessment was made in 1814, there appears less than a dozen lots sold, and of these William Tate had three and Thomas Reynolds two.


The court-house was erected by Robert Collins about this time, and purchases became more frequent, the roll of 1816 showing in taxables and erections throughout the entire township.


The township of Lawrence was declared, by an act of the Legislature passed April 2, 1821, to be a seperate election district, and the freemen were directed to hold their elections at the court-house in Clearfield town. This place is yet used for election purposes, although the borough is now, and for about forty years, has been a separate election district, and elects its own officers. Having from this time a distinct and complete organization, settlement became more rapid, and consequent upon such settlement and growth and the development of its resources, this has become one of the leading townships of the county. The surrender of lands for the formation of Covington and other townships, while it reduced its area and population, made it more compact and more readily improved.


From the time that lumbering was first commenced on the river and its tributaries, Lawrence has occupied a position of prominence in the county. The seat of justice, located in the southern central part of the township, became the natural trading and distributing center for the country roundabout. While up to this time coal mining for shipment has not been carried on to any considerable extent, yet there is an abundant supply for that purpose and the local demand as well.


The chief pursuit followed by the people of the township, outside their regular occupation as farmers, was lumbering, and although many of the mills constructed for the manufacture of this commodity have been destroyed or removed, yet some remained and were among the established industries of the township. In making a record of such as are prominently recalled, those of the present borough of Clearfield are omitted from this chapter and included in that relating to the borough, although they may have been established before the borough organization was completed. The same relation may be maintained regarding the several grist-mills of the township, and with the sawmills may be treated upon under a common head.


Among the early mill erections was that built by Hopkins Boone, John and Maxwell Long and William Porter, on Clearfield Creek, about a quarter of a mile above the old Clearfield bridge, in or about the year 1833. The proprietors were considerably involved and the property was sold to Lewis Passmore about ten or twelve years after its erection. The latter sold to John W. Miller, who removed the building and machinery for the erection of a saw and grist-mill on the creek opposite the old Elder mills, and were known as the Miller mills. They went to decay many years ago.


The first erection in the vicinity of that now known as Porter's mill, was made about 1836, by Philip Antes and George Leech, with an interest owned by Christopher Kratzer. The saw-mill on the east side of the river was first built. The property went to James T. Leonard on forced sale, but was afterward deeded to the Antes boys, and by them to William Porter and Philip C. Heisy. Porter bought the Heisy interest. The first grist-mill on the place was erected by William Porter in 1877, at a cost of nearly ten thousand dollars. It burned in 1882. Another mill was immediately erected in its place, larger and of greater capacity, at a cost of about seventeen thousand dollars. Recently the roller process machinery has been introduced into this mill. It has lately been purchased by ex-Sheriff W. R. McPherson.


On the site of the present Ferguson mills in the year 1842, George B. Logan and Thomas Read, built a saw-mill on the south side of the river, and about 1850, built a grist-mill on the north bank. A division of the property was made by which Logan took the grist-mill, and Reed the saw- mill, but subsequently Logan became the owner of the whole property. About 1860 he sold to the Farmers' Company, but that was not a successful organization and the property came back to Logan again. A few years ago it was sold to George E. Ferguson, the present owner and proprietor. The dam across the West Branch was constructed at the time the first mill was built.


On the site formerly occupied by Matthew Ogden's pioneer mill on Moose Creek, there was built by Alexander Irvin, in the year 1830, a substantial gristmill. Irvin sold to Richard Shaw, who operated it until his death, when it went to Richard Shaw, jr., and has since been owned by him. This mill is commonly known as the "Red Mill."


About the year 1842, William Bigler and William Powell built a saw mill in the south part of the township, and afterward christened it the " Doniphan Mill," in honor of Colonel Doniphan of Mexican War fame. After Mr. Bigler's election to the office of governor of the State, the property went to the firm of G. L. Reed & Co. It has also been owned by Weaver and Betts, William Brown, Daniel Mitchell and again by Weaver and Betts, whose property it now remains.


The Ringgold Mill, so named for a distinguished officer of the Mexican War, was built by George R. Barrett and Christopher Kratzer, in the year 1847. It was erected on Clearfield Creek about half a mile from the railroad bridge, the cost thereof being about seven thousand dollars. During the extremely high water on the creek that year, the mill was carried down stream to the river, and thence down to Karthaus bridge, where all trace of it was lost, no part ever being recovered. A new mill was immediately erected on the site of the former structure. Both of these were among the very best in the lumber country, the first being an unsually fine mill. It was a double mill, having two saws, and manufactured a large amount of lumber for that time. The dam built by the owners was very objectionable to raftsmen on account of its height, and many were the rafts and arks that went to pieces in attempting its passage. The property was afterward sold to Wilson Hoover, and burned while he owned it.


The first erection on the site now occupied by the Diamond Mill, was made by Richard Shaw in 1847, who built a saw-mill at that place. He gave the property to Archie Shaw, who built the Diamond grist-mill near the saw- mill. The property is now owned by the widow of Richard Shaw.


Israel Nichols built a saw-mill on Moose Creek not far from where the water company's dam is built, about the year 1847. He owned and operated it up to about 1868, when it was sold to G. L. Reed and A. L. Ogden, the present owners.


Martin Nichols had a saw-mill near the site now occupied by George Orr's blacksmith shop. It was built about fifty years ago, but was torn down many years ago.


Lawrence township can to-day boast of but two church edifices. The borough of Clearfield being centrally located in the township, the convenience of the people is as well suited to attend church there, as to have edifices erected through the various localities of the township. The " Center Church," so called, of the Methodist Episcopal Society, was built about the year 1827, on lands donated by Philip Antes, about three miles south and west from Clearfield town. Among the early members of the society there can be recalled the families of Philip Antes, Moses Boggs, Elisha Scofield, Isaiah Goodfellow, Alexander Caldwell, Mrs. John Fullerton, Moses Norris and others. Services were conducted there about the time of the erection of the building by Rev. Allen Britton and Rev. John Anderson, and other ministers as the conference provided. Regular services were held once each month, provided the ministers in charge could reach the place in time. The circuit points which they were compelled to visit on their regular trips were Karthaus, Girard, Centre and other posts along the river, and frequently they would be delayed. In 1860 the old church was torn down, and on the site was built a more substantial edifice, having an audience- room with a basement below; built plainly, yet in a substantial manner. Services are held twice each month, by the pastor in charge of the M. E. Church at West Clearfield borough


The house for religious worship located in the northwest part of the township, and known as the Church of God, or Disciple Christian Church, was built in the year 1870. The original intention was that it should be a union church, to be used in common by members of various denominations, but, owing to some misunderstanding, the plan was not fully carried out. The persons interested in the building failed to pay for its erection and material used, whereupon it was sold to enforce the lien. It was subsequently purchased by a member of the Disciple Society not a resident of this county. The first service was held here in 1870, when the church was dedicated by Rev. Mr. Plowman. He was succeeded by Rev. Linn. The present pastor in charge is Rev. Thomas Young, who conducts services once in two weeks.


Although Lawrence is one of the pioneer townships of the county, and in all matters of county progress and advancement, she is not entitled to first honor in matters of education so far as the first school erected is concerned, but from the best authority obtainable, the second school- house was built in the township in the year 1806. This was located north and east from Clayville town nearly opposite the mouth of Clearfield Creek. Here the redoubtable Samuel Fulton taught, and was afterward followed by Miss Davis and Miss Goon. An old school was built about twenty rods above the covered bridge at Clearfield town, on the west side of the river within the limits of the present borough of West Clearfield. The exact date of its erection is unknown. Among the early teachers there can be remembered the names of John Campbell, Miss Brockway and Benjamin Merrell.


One of the first school-houses on the "ridges" was built about 1823 or 1824, about eighty rods from the present Pine Grove school. Daniel Spackman and George Catlette were among the first teachers there. About two miles above on the farm of Ignatius Thompson, a log school was built in 1826 or 1827. Mr. Thompson and Jonathan R. Ames were the first teachers there. On the lower end of Thompson's place another school was built about 1832. Patrick Hagerty taught there two or three winters. In 1831 the first school was built on the site of the present Pine Grove school building. The first teacher was John Hoover, the second James Cathcart. At the mouth of Wolf stood a log house built for a dwelling, but was used for school purposes.


At the present day there are in Lawrence township fourteen schools located respectively: Driftwood, in the southwest part of the township on the river; Hazel Green, in south part near Dougherty's ; Pine Grove, at the forks of the road above Amos Read's; Clover Hill, near Clearfield Creek, near the Tate Settlement ; Mount Carmel, near Morgan's in the south part of the township on the ridges ; Centre, on the west side of the river below Porter's mill ; Montgomery, one mile from Clearfield on road to McPherson's; Mount Zion, in Orr neighborhood in west part of the township ; Paradise, on Penfield road; Pleasant Dale, in north part of township ; Mount Joy, in north part near cemetery ; Waterford, near railroad bridge over Clearfield Creek, in the east part of the township on the Waterford turnpike ; Wolf Run, so named from the stream on which it is situate ; Hillsdale, at a small hamlet east of Clearfield borough.


Lawrence Grange No. 533 of the Patrons of Husbandry, was organized May 12, 1875, by O. S. Cary, of Punxsutawney, Jefferson county. The charter members were J. R. Read, W. P. Read, Miles Read, Alexander Read, Geo. L. Read, W. S. Read, Alexander Read, jr., M. J. Owens, W. T. Spackman, James Spackman, R. S. Spackman, Mary W. Read, Mary M. Read, Ellen A. Read, Sally E. Read, Rebecca M. Read. Mary C. Read, J. Blair Read, Maggie Owens, J. Alice Read, Mary E. Spackman.


From the time of its organization to the present, the following persons have officiated in the capacity of master, the presiding officer of the society : 1876, W. P. Read; 1877, James Spackman ; 1878, J. A. Read ; 1879, W. S. Read; 1880, Miles Read; 1881, J. B. Read; 1882-83, W. A. Porter; 1884, H. L. Dunlap ; 1885, Leander Denning; 1886, J. R. Caldwell. The officers for the year 1887 are as follows : master, W. K. Henderson ; overseer, H. L. Dunlap ; lecturer. Miss L. R. Read ; steward. W. P. Read ; asst. steward, L. E. Spackman; chaplain. Miss S. J. Blair; secretary. Miss S. E. Read; gate-keeper. Miles Read ; lady asst. steward. Miss J. M. Read ; Pomona. Mrs. M. W. Read ; Ceres, Mrs. Ellen Read ; Flora, Mrs. M. E. Spackman. Lawrence Grange has at the present time a membership of fifty-three.


Mount Joy Grange, No. 584, P. of H. was organized August 10, 1885, with the following charter members : J. B. Shaw, W. B. Owens, Abraham Humphrey, Joseph Owens, R. J. Conklin, M. V. Owens, J. B. Ogden, J. Conklin, William Lansberry, L. C. Shaffner, Thompson Read, G. W. Ogden, Matthew Ogden, George Shaw, F. Bumgardner, Clara E. Shaw, Sarah A. Shaw, Rachel Shaw, Anna B. Read, Mary Conklin, Anna G. Shaffner, Mary L. Ogden, M. J. Ogden, M. E, Owens, Martha J. Owens. The first officers elected were: J. B. Shaw, master; Matthew Ogden, overseer; J. B. Ogden, secretary. From the date of organization to the present time the succession of masters has been as follows : M. J. Owens, Matthew Ogden, William Lansberry, John Shaw, Jackson Conklin, M. V. Owens, Zach Ogden, G. W. Ogden. Mount Joy Grange is one of the substantial and progressive subordinate grange orders in the county. The home of the order is in the north part of Lawrence township, and in its membership is found the best and most thrifty farmers in that locality. From an original number of twenty-five members, there has been such an interest felt in its welfare and such benefits derived from the order, that within two years the membership has increased to ninety. The present officers of Mount Joy Grange are: Master, R. J. Conklin; overseer, Henry Ogden ; lecturer, J. W. Wallace ; steward, W. H. Moore ; assistant steward, W. B. Owens ; chaplain, Jackson Conklin ; secretary, M. J. Owens; treasurer, Oliver Conklin; gate keeper, G. W. Ogden ; Ceres, Annie M. Conklin ; Pomona, M. E. Owens ; Flora, Lizzie Butler ; lady assistant steward, Delia Conklin.


The coaling interests and deposits of Lawrence township are as yet undeveloped, but sufficient quantities are known to exist, and in veins of sufficient depth to warrant mining for the markets. The local demand is readily supplied from numerous banks throughout the township, and a company has been formed for extensive operations near Mitchell Station, on Little Clearfield Creek. The company comprises the following well known residents of Clearfield borough : John F. Weaver, William. W. Betts, William D. Bigler, A. Bowman Weaver, and James Kerr, the last named, Mr. Kerr, being general manager of the works. The vein of coal, which has proved to be of excellent quality, is four feet in thickness, and topped by an eight inch vein of cannel coal, a superior quality and very valuable. The O'Shanter Coal Company, for such is the name of the company, are preparing for active operations. A branch track, seventy-five hundred feet in length, is being built to connect with the Beech Creek Railroad. This discovery and development will stimulate further operations by other parties and in other localities, and by so doing add materially to the prosperity and welfare of the township. The coal exists, and its full development is now simply a question of time.


In the west part of the township, near J. L McPherson's, has been found a superior quality of glass-sand, and in quantities sufficient to interest some prominent persons. An analysis has shown it to compare favorably with the best glass-sand found or used in this country. Negotiations are now pending which, if consummated, will develop an industry hitherto unknown to the county, and of great value to the parties interested.


West Clearfield Borough.


At the June Sessions of the year 1883, a petition was presented to the Court, signed by forty-four residents of that part of Lawrence township lying on the west side of the West Branch, opposite the borough of Clearfield, praying that the town be incorporated as a borough. The petition was referred to the grand jury for such action as they deemed proper.


On the 5th of June the grand jury, after a full consideration of the matter, reported favorably, and recommended that the prayer of the petitioners be granted, whereupon the court, on the 24th day of September, 1883, confirmed the judgment and report of the grand jury, and appointed the place for holding elections at the school-house in the borough, and declared West Clearfield borough to be a separate election district.


A petition was subsequently presented requesting that the limits be changed, and the farm and woodlands be excluded, which request was refused. Upon this a rule was granted whereby the burgess and council were required to show cause why the borough limits should not be so amended, and its territory reduced. The question was revived and argued several times, and not yet finally disposed of.


At the first election for borough officers, the following were chosen : Burgess, Aaron G. Kramer; councilmen, O. B. Merrell, Samuel I. Burge, J. A. Miller, Reuben Hackman, James H. Dale, and Philip Reece ; clerk, O. B. Merrell; justices of the peace, J. C. Barclay and Ashley Thorn ; constable, J. H. Larrimer.


In 1884 Aaron G. Kramer was elected burgess, and school directors as follows : Henry Markle, James H. Kelley, George W. Orr, Aaron G. Kramer, S. P. Shank, and James H. Dale. In 1885 Ashley Thorn was elected burgess, and O. B. Merrell, clerk.


The present officers are : Burgess, J. C. Barclay, appointed in place of A. J. Grier, resigned ; clerk, O. B. Merrell, in place of Aaron G. Kramer, resigned ; councilmen, O. B. Merrell, S. I. Burge, Philip Reese, Patrick J. Ducet, Charles Wheeler, and James H. Dale; justices, J. C. Barclay and J. N. McCullough ; constable, J. H. Larrimer ; high constable, A. J. Gearhart ; assessor, Reuben Hackman ; treasurer, S. E. Kramer ; auditors, C. H. Geulich, Newton Nichols, and W. T. Humphrey ; overseers, J. I. McBride and M. J. Fetzer.


The borough has two schools, the latter built in 1885 and not yet entirely completed. The old school not being large enough to accommodate the scholars, the new became a necessity.


The Methodist Episcopal church was organized about fifteen years ago. The society was composed mainly of residents in the vicinity of West Clearfield town, who desired a place of worship nearer their homes than the Clearfield Methodist Episcopal church. The society, although burdened with a considerable debt during the early years of its existence, is now in a prosperous condition under the pastoral charge of Rev. G. P. Sarvice.


West Clearfield is a small borough of about four hundred inhabitants. There are no manufacturing industries within its borough limits, but a short distance north stands the red mill and Primpton's foundry and repair shops, both being in Lawrence township.


The grounds of the Clearfield Agricultural Park Association, comprising about twenty-eight acres of land, lie within the limits of the borough.


Three or four small stores and a blacksmith shop comprise the business interests of the place.


The Municipal District Called Pine.


The territory embraced within this district was erected into a qualified township under and by virtue of an act of the Legislature, passed and approved the 10th day of April, 1873, for the purposes therein named. It has no history save the act by which it was created. There are but one or two squatter families living in the district. A clearing of a few acres in extent was made on the turnpike road leading to Penfield, and a log house was built thereon and occupied by L. J. Smith. The act referred to is as follows :


"Section 1. Be it enacted Et cetera, That all of the provisions of the act of this general assembly, approved February 14, 1863, entitled ' An act to lay out and make a state road in the county of Clearfield,' which authorizes the appointment of commissioners to take charge of said road, and appropriate certain taxes on lands therein named, to the improvement of said road, and which give authority to said commissioners to assess taxes on said lands, and collect the same, be and the same are hereby repealed, to take effect forthwith, and in the room and stead thereof, the lands named in the said act are in part erected into a new township, under the control and government of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Clearfield county, as hereinafter provided, and all of the said lands not included in the said township shall be and they are hereby restored to the jurisdiction and control of the municipal authorities to which they respectively belong, except that tracts numbers 3586, 3595, 3606, and 3586 be and they are hereby annexed to Union township for all purposes.


"Section 2. That all that part of the township of Pike and Huston, in the county of Clearfield, composed in part of the lands named in the act described in the first section of this act, beginning at the southeast corner of the township of Union, thence through tracts numbered 4252, 4251, and by the west lines of tracts numbers 4258, 4257, 4256, and 4254, north to the northwest corner of tract number 4254; thence east by the north line of number 4254, to the west line of tract number 5670; thence by said west line of number 5670 north to the northwest corner of said tract number 5670 ; thence by the north line of said tract and tract 4265, east to the east line of Lawrence township ; thence south to the southeast corner of tract 5783 ; thence west by the south lines of tracts 5783, 5784, 4253, and 4252, to the southeast corner of Union township, and place of beginning, shall be and is hereby separated from the said townships and created into municipal district, to be called Pine, which, when it shall have twenty qualified resident electors therein, may be, on their petition, or that of a majority of them, declared a township by the Court of Quarter Sessions of Clearfield county without proceedings by view.


"Section 3. That the said unseated district shall be and it is hereby annexed to and made a part of the township of Lawrence for all purposes, until erected into a township, except as hereafter provided. "


"Section 4. There shall be annually appointed by the Court of Quarter Sessions of Clearfield county, three commissioners to take charge of the roads within the said district, who shall have all the power and be subject to all the liabilities imposed upon and possessed by supervisors of highways in the assessment and collection of road taxes on the lands and property in said district, and in the repair of all roads now in existence therein ; and the said commissioners shall have power to assess school taxes on all property in said district, not exceeding the rates now allowed by law, and may collect the same by return thereof as unseated taxes to the commissioners of said county, and by their warrant ; and the said taxes shall be by them paid into the treasury of the county of Clearfield, to the credit of said unseated district of Pine.


"Section 5. The said commissioners shall be appointed annually at the January term of court of said county, and for the remainder of this year the said court may appoint them at the June term ; and the said court may fix the amount of surety and approve the security, and shall have control of and general authority to compel obedience to their duties by any process of said courts ; and the county auditors of said county shall annually settle the accounts of said commissioners at the regular county settlement."



                                             Glen Richey circa 1911



Communities in Lawrence Township


Bailey's Crossing
Baney Settlement
Glen Richey
Golden Rod Farms
Moose Creek
Mount Hope
Mount Joy
Mount Zion
Pine Grove
Susquehanna Bridge
Wolf Run



Boroughs in Lawrence Township


Clearfield Borough
West Clearfield Borough (now a part of Clearfield Borough)

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