Old Bedford County was erected from Cumberland County, in 1771, with Robert
McCrea, William Miller and Robert Moore as appointed commissioners. The
area of this county was immense for it held within its limits twenty present
counties, or at least parts of twenty counties. These subdivisions will be
The town of Bedford dates back at least as early as 1751 when a man named
Rea settled on the bank of the Juniata River. There was a fort or defense
of some kind in the locality before 1758 when Forbes came through engaged in
cutting the military road through to Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh). The place was
first called Raystown, but about this time it changed to Fort Bedford, or
just Bedford. A colorful description of this outpost can be found in Hervey
Allen's historical novel, "Bedford Village." The turnpike from Philadelphia
to Pittsburgh passed through the village. Washington's Headquarters used
during the Whiskey Rebellion (1794) is still standing on the main street.
Morrison's Cove is often mentioned as a landmark in early wills and records
of importance. It is a fertile valley eight miles wide and 12 miles long,
and extends into present Blair and Centre Counties. Wills Creek Valley and
Friend's Cove are also in this section of the state, and were well known to
the early settlers.
But, here's what happened to "Old Bedford." It's townships were thus
Ayr was created before 1761--all in Fulton County now.
1767--Dublin Twp. formed--bounded by Ayr and Fannet Twps. on one side,
Colerain and Barre on the other. Dublin is all in Fulton Co. today (1850).
1767--Cumberland Twp. formed--now is Cumberland Valley, Bedford Co.
1767--Bedford Twp., still in Bedford Co.
1767--Barree Twp.--now part of Huntingdon Co.
1771--Brother's Valley Twp.--first township west of the Alleghenies--now
1771--Fairfield Twp.--now Westmoreland Co.
1771--Mt. Pleasant Twp.--now Westmoreland Co.
1771--Hempfield Twp.--Westmoreland Co.
1771--Pitt Twp.--now large portions of Allegheny, Beaver and Washington
1771--Tyrone Twp.--now portions of Westmoreland and Fayette.
1771--Spring Hill--all of Greene Co., part of Washington and nearly all of
1771--Ross Straver--now parts of Allegheny and Westmoreland,
Armstrong--called Rostraver Twp.
1771--Armstrong Twp.--now portions of Cambria, Westmoreland, Amstrong,
Indiana and Clearfield Counties
1771--Tullileague Twp.--parts of Blair, Centre, Clearfied and Cambria
1773--Bethel Twp.--now in Fulton Co.
1773--Turkey-Foot Twp.--from Brother's valley (Somerset)
1773--Hopewell Twp.--from Barree (Huntingdon)
1775--Quemahoning Twp.--from Brother's Valley (Somerset)
1775--Frankstown Twp.--parts of Bedford and Barree Townships--now in Blair
1780--Providence Twp.--now East and West Providence--still in Bedford Co.
1780--Huntingdon and Shirley--now Huntingdon Co.
1780--Milford Twp.--now in Somerset Co.
1785--Elk Lick Twp.--part of Somerset Co.
1785--Londonderry Twp.--still in Bedford Co.
1785--Belfast Twp.--now in Fulton Co.
1785--Woodberry Twp.--part in Bedford and part in Blair Co.
1786--Tyrone Twp.--Blair Co.
1792--Stoney Creek Twp.--Somerset Co.
1794--St. Clair Twp.--now East and West St. Clair--still in Bedford
Westmoreland County was taken from Bedford in 1773.
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