The proceedings by which Graham township was brought into existence were commenced in the year 1855, upon the presentation of a petition to the May Quarter Sessions, on the part of divers inhabitants of the townships of Bradford and Morris, praying for the erection of a new township, out of parts of each of those named, and the appointment of commissioners to make the necessary division. Upon this petition the court appointed James B. Graham, John L. Cuttle and George Latimer Reed to inquire into the matter, and report according to the act of Assembly in such cases made and provided. There seems to have been a hitch in the proceedings, and the order appointing these commissioners did not become operative until the month of December following.
By their report, the commissioners say: "We, John L. Cuttle, James B. Graham and George L. Reed, appointed commissioners by virtue of the above order issued from the Court of Quarter Sessions of Clearfield county, after being duly sworn according to law, and notifying the inhabitants of the townships of Bradford and Morris, and the commissioners of the county, of our time and place for meeting, for the purpose of inquiring into the propriety of forming a new township out of parts of Bradford and Morris, do report: That we are firmly of the opinion of the propriety of laying out a new township out of the said townships, and deem the same as highly expedient; in pursuace whereof, we do report that the new township be laid out agreeably to the draft annexed, and that the same be called ______; to which (draft) we have also annexed drafts of the old townships, as they will remain after taking out the new township. All of which is respectfully submitted to your honorable court for confirmation; and further, we would suggest to your honorable court, the propriety of appointing commissioners to take into consideration: whether a new township should not be formed out of the southern end of Morris township, as marked on the draft, and parts of Decatur and Boggs adjoining. Witness our hands and seals this 19th day of February, 1856...," G. L. Reed, James B. Graham, John L. Cuttle. On the 22d day of August following, the new township was erected by a decree of the court, and the proceedings confirmed absolutely; and the new township named "Graham," in honor of James B. Graham, an enterprising citizen of the new township; and the court fixes the house now (1856) occupied by Jacob Hubler, as the election house; Jacob Hoover appointed judge, Patrick Curley and John W. Turner inspectors to hold the next election.
Graham township, thus formed, occupies a position in the eastern part of the county. It is bounded on the north, by the river Susquehanna; east by Morris (now Cooper) township; south by Morris, and west by Bradford, and a small part of Boggs townships.
James B. Graham, in whose honor this township was named, came to the county with his parents in the year 1822, but did not become a resident of this locality until some fourteen or fifteen years later. The town of Grahamton was also named for him, he being one of the most enterprising residents and business men. He built both saw and grist-mills there, and engaged extensively in the lumbering business. In 1852 Mr. Graham removed to the borough of Clearfield, and became one of its foremost business men.
Among the first families in Graham were Jacob Hubler and Bassel Crowell, both of whom came here about the year 1827 or 1828. Each raised a large family of children, and cleared up good farms; nevertheless they were subjected to and withstood all the hardships incident to pioneer life. The Hubler farm lay near the center of the township. In those early times one of the methods used in cleaning grain -- for fanning-mills were then unknown -- was to use a common sheet or blanket, and by waving it, clear the grain from chaff. In 1864 Jacob Hubler was arrested for a political offense, and taken to Fort Mifflin, and there held until March, 1865, when he was released. He died in 1868. In the year 1857,the next succeeding that in which the township was erected, there appeared upon the tax-roll the names of the taxable inhabitants as follows: B. F. Ackley, M. D., Moses Boggs, William Burlingame, William Bennett, William Bagley, William Burge, John Cook, William Cole, M. and S. Catherman, David Chollar, Henry Colegrove, David Crowell, Israel Crowell, Basil Crowell, Patrick Curley, James Curley, Benjamin Chance, Frederick Conklin, Francis Colegrove, Samuel Davidson, Thomas Duncason, A. C. Dale, John Dixon, Robert Elder, Moses C. Evans, William English, Valentine Flegal, Thomas H. Forcey, Samuel Flegal, Martin French, James B. Graham, Francis Graham, Ira Green, William Riley Green, French, Hipple & Co., Amos Hubler, Sarah Hunter, Henry Hamlin, George Hoover, Abraham Hoover, Jacob Hoover, John Holt, Jacob Hoover, jr., Michael Fink, Jacob Hubler, William Hall, Levi Hubler, Edward Hill, Obed Hoover, Simon Hauckenbury, Joseph Ishman, John H. Irvin, Edmund Jones, William G. Johnson, Henry Kyler, Conrad W. Kyler, Isaac Kyler, Peter Keppler, John M. Katon, James Katon, Samuel Lonsbury, Benjamin Lonsbury, Abraham Lonsbury, George Luzere, Rev. J. M. Mason, Joseph Montz, Mark McGuire, George Moyer, David McDowell, John Martin, Samuel S. McEwen, Jacob Mack, George Nearhood, Henry Nearhood, Henry Nearhood, jr., J. P. Nelson & Co., William Phenix, Christian Pace, Jacob Peters, Jacob C. Pace, Jonas Powell, Harrison Ross, F. W. Russell, William Rolston, Alexander Rolston, William P. Smeal, John Smeal, George Stever, Samuel Spitler, Benjamin Smeal, jr., Benjamin Spackman, Andrew Smeal, Samuel Smeal, Robert Stewart, William Shimmel, jr., James H. Smeal, Abram Sever, John W. Turner, David Turner, Joseph Thompson, Samuel Ulrich, John Ummerman, John W. Wilhelm, Jacob Wilhelm, William Woolridge, James E. Watson, George W. Wells. The single freemen of the township, as shown by the assessment, were as follows: Richard Dodson, John Nearhood, John Woolslagle, John S. Jury, James McGuire, Luke McGuire, George Davidson, William Davidson, George P. Hall, Amos Bornaman, Henry Evans, Cornelius Crowell, Charles Taylor, William H. McClure, Curtin M. Graham, Jacob Taylor, William W. Mongomery.
In addition to these the roll further shows the names of residents of the township who were then subject to military duty. They were Patrick Curley, William R. Green, George P. Hall, William Shimmel, Amos Bornaman, Jacob Mock, Christian Pace, Andrew Smeal, Benjamin Chance, Benjamin Lonsbury, jr., George Hoover, William English, Henry Evans, Henry Hamlin, William H. McClure, James E. Watson, John Discorn, Samuel Smeal, John H. Smeal, Benjamin H. Smeal, jr., John W. Turner, David Turner, Samuel Flegal, David Crowell, Robert Stewart, Frederick Conklin, Cornelius Crowell, John H. Irvin, Andrew Hunter, William G. Johnson, William Davidson, Jonas Mons, Peter Kepple, Amos Hubler, Isaac Kyler, Henry Nearhood, George Nearhood, John Nearhood, John Woolslagle, Martin Cathaman, Simon Cathaman, David Chollar, James McGuire, William P. Smeal, George Davidson, John S. Jury, Richard Dodson, George Lozier, James P. Nelson, William Burge, Alexander Ralston.
This will serve to show who were the pioneers of Graham township, although it represents, in the main, only the descendants of the heads of families who endured the hardships incident to pioneer life. The old residents, with buy few exceptions, are dead, but there remained at the date of this assessment, and there still remains in the township, many substantial sons and grandsons bearing the family names: Hubler,
descendants of Jacob Hubler; Kyler, descendants from Conrad Kyler, one of the early settlers in this locality, and one of the most respected residents; then there were the families of Samuel Turner, the Monos, Williams, the Hitchins, the Kepples, the Smeals, the Flegals, and others, who are variously mentioned in this work.
Graham township never acquired any special prominence in the affairs of the county, yet it has produced some of the most enterprising and successful business men anywhere to be found within its boundaries. Of these men there may be named James B. Graham and Thomas H. Forcey, both of whom were advanced to positions of trust and responsibility, both in county and business affairs.
Conrad W. Kyler commence here in 1843. He cleared and made a fine farm. He was made county commissioner in 1875, and faithfully performed the duties of that office. For a period of ten years he was justice of the peace of Graham township.
The chief pursuit of the inhabitants of this locality in the past has been lumbering; and there has been, perhaps, none of the townships of the county that, in proportion to area, that have produced a better quality of lumber and timber of all grades than this; but as this branch of business has declined, the people have turned their attention to agriculture, and, be it said to their credit, there are in Graham some of the best and most desirable farming lands in the entire county. The township, too, is known to have an underlying bed of workable coal, but lying, as it does, out of the regular basins, and at a distance from any railroad, this interest has not been developed to any considerable extent. No coal has been shipped to market, but such as is taken from the several openings is used in supplying the home demand.
The village of Grahamton is the trading center of the township, and occupies a position in the extreme western part, near the line of Bradford township. The leading business here is owned by Thomas H. Forcey, of Clearfield, but formerly a resident of the place. He succeeded Mr. Graham here, and greatly enlarged upon business which he then acquired. The management of these extensive interests is left to persons employed by the owner. The town has not yet sufficient population to entitle it to the distinction of a borough corporation, and, in this locality, such proceeding is deemed unnecessary.
The spiritual welfare of the people of the township is guarded by religious societies of two denominations -- the United Brethren and the Methodist Episcopal--each of which denominations has two houses of worship. The former are located, one at Fairview and the other at Summit Hill. The churches of the Methodist Episcopal society are located, one at Center Hill and the other at Palestine.
The schools of the township are five in number, known and designated as follows: Fairview, Palestine, Center Hill, Black Oak, and the Johnston school.
During the early years of this locality, Graham was an almost solid Democratic township, but through some disaffection in the party a large number seceded and united with the short-lived Greenback party leaving the Democrats in the township as scarce as Republicans hither to had been, numbering only some eight to ten votes. These gradually drifted back into the party camp forming a still solid rank of Democrats of about one hundred and twenty five votes, opposed to which are from twenty-five to thirty Republicans.
Source: Pages 542-546, History of Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1887.
Transcribed May 1999 by Myrna Livingston Hewitt for the Clearfield County Aldrich Project
Contributed for use by the Clearfield County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/~clearfield/)
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