Source Detail


Title Person(s) Vol. Page(s) Date 1 Date 2
Chapter VIII. Organization of the County. 64–66


Abbreviation Type Citation
Aldrich 1887 county histories Aldrich, Lewis Cass, ed. History of Clearfield County, Pennsylvania: with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers. Syracuse, N.Y.: D. Mason & Co., 1887.

Summarized Source Data

Type Summary
Text CLEARFIELD county was erected by an act of the Legislature, passed on the 26th day of March, 1804. At the same time, and by the same act, five other counties were created, viz.: Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Tioga, and Cambria. That portion of the act relating to the erection and boundaries of Clearfield county is as follows: 'Sect III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid. That so much of the county of Lycoming, included in the following boundaries, to wit: Beginning where the line dividing Cannon's and Brodhead's district strikes the west branch of the Susquehanna River; thence north along the said district line until a due west course from thence will strike the southeast corner of McKean county; thence west along the southern boundary of McKean county to the line of Jefferson county; thence southwesterly along the line of Jefferson county to where Hunters district line crosses Sandy Lick Creek; thence south along the district line to the Canoe Place on Susquehanna River; thence an easterly course to the southwesterly corner of Centre county, on the heads of Mushanon Creek; thence down the Mushanon Creek, the several courses thereof to its mouth; thence down the west branch of Susquehanna River to the place of beginning, be, and the same is hereby erected into a separate county, to be henceforth called Clearfield county, and the place of holding the courts of justice in and for the said county, shall be fixed by the Legislature at any place which may be most beneficial and convenient for the said county.' There is an undoubted error in the section above quoted, wherein it states that only 'so much of the county of Lycoming, etc.,' shall be erected into a separate county. Lycoming county embraced the territory that lay north and west of the West Branch, while the lands between the Mushanon and the West Branch were, at the time of the enactment, in Huntingdon county. To have been correct, the section should have read, 'That so much of the counties of Lycoming and Huntingdon included without the following boundaries, to wit, etc.' Under section seven of the same act provision was made for the appointment of three commissioners by the governor, to run the line and mark the boundaries of the county. By section eight, 'That as soon as it shall appear by an enumeration of the taxable inhabitants within the counties thus created, that any of them according to the rates which shall then be established for apportioning the representation among the several counties of the Commonwealth, shall be entitled to a separate representation, provision shall be made by law for apportioning the said representation, and enabling such county to be represented separately,and to hold the courts of justice at such place in said county as is, or hereafter may be, fixed for holding the same by the Legislature, and to choose their county officers in like manner as the other counties of this Commonwealth.' The next section provided that the governor be required to appoint three suitable persons for trustees, who shall receive proposals in writing for the grant or conveyance of any lands within the county, or the transfer of any other property, or the payment of any money for the use of said county, for fixing the place of holding courts of justice in the county. Section eleven provides, 'That for the present convenience of the inhabitants of said counties of Clearfield and McKean, and until an enumeration of the taxable inhabitants of the said counties shall be made, and it shall be otherwise directed by law, the said counties of Clearfield and McKean shall be, and the same are hereby annexed to the county of Centre, and the jurisdiction of the several courts of the county of Centre, and the authority of the judges thereof shall extend over, and shall operate and be effectual within said counties of Clearfield and McKean.' The above quotations from the acts of the Legislature are made for the purpose of correcting an erroneous impression that has existed in the minds of many persons that this county was formerly a part of Centre county and for the further purpose of making known just how far and in what manner the interests of this county were identical with those of Centre. A question arose, however, as to whether the jurisdiction of justices of the peace of Centre county were, by the act, intended to extend over Clearfield county. This question was settled by a further act passed March 25, 1805, which declared that the jurisdiction of justices of the peace did not extend over this county in cases of debts or demands. An act supplemental to the act of March 26, 1804, was passed on the 14th day of March, 1805, whereby it was provided that the power and authority of the commissioners and other county officers of Centre county, should extend over and be as full and effectual in this county, as if it were a component part of Centre county ; and that the inhabitants of this county were entitled to exercise and enjoy the same rights and privileges, and to be subject to the same regulations as if this were in fact a part of Centre county. And further, that the commissioners, treasurer, and recorder of deeds of Centre county, should keep separate books of the affairs of this county.

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Event Links

Detail Type Description Successful? Date
View New County Cambria County-Clearfield County-Jefferson County-McKean County-Potter County-Tioga County 1804 Creation yes+ Mar 26, 1804