Milford Township

HISTORY OF THE TOWNSHIP

Milford, the fourth township of what is now Somerset County was formed out of a part of Turkeyfoot township around 1780 and probably contained several settlers during the time of the revolutionary war. More than a hundred years before the present date (1883), James Wilson executed a cabin on a tract of land about two and one-half miles east of the present town of Rockwood. Quite probably he was the first permanent settler in the township. Wilson had a sawmill on his farm, which was the first manufactory in the township. Among the early settlers of Milford township were John Weimer, who lived on the Peter Putnam farm as early as 1772, Frances Phillippi, John Chorpening, Casper Pike, ---Wable, Frederick Weimer, John Dull, Michael Walter, Adam Flicke and Adam Hoover, all of whom were here before 1782

Other early settlers were: Peter Bowlin, George Enos, U. N. Nicholson, Jacob Snyder, Jacob Weimer and William Critchfield. John Shaff, a native of Switzerland, moved in around 1790. The first township election was held at his house. The first blacksmith in the township was a man named Kitzmiller, whose shop was on the John Weimer (Putnam) farm.

John Long was born in Germany, in 1751 and moved to Milford township, Somerset county in 1797, followed farming and died in 1835. William Critchfield, one of the first settlers of this township, lived upon the farm where Shamrock station now is. His son John Critchfield, born in Milford township in 1791, erected in 1821 on this farm a carding-mill, and the following year he built an oil mill, the only one ever erected in Milford.

The Kooser family came from Berks county very early. It has been said that the first crop of wheat ever raised in Milford township was raised by Mr. Kooser on the farm now owned by George Dumbauld.

As nearly as can be ascertained at this late day, the first industries of the township were as follows: Wilsonís sawmill, already mentioned; Kitzmillerís blacksmithshop, built on the present Peter Putman farm; a gristmill, erected by John Miller on the Bridigum farm about 1783. The first distillery was built by John Shaff prior to 1800. The first carding-machine was set up in George Ankenyís gristmill, where Fiedlerís mill now stands, about 1808. The carding-machine, at that day, was an object of curiosity, and people from far and near came to see it work. An oilmill at the same place was started in 1822. Both it and the gristmill were destroyed by fire in 1862, but the gristmill has since been rebuilt. George Gebhart, the pioneer settler at Gebhartsburg, had the first brick kiln in the township. The first store in the township was opened by Michael Saunders, soon after the settlement began, on land now owned by David Wable. Saunders brought his goods, from the East on packhorses, himself walking all the way. In those days two hundred and fifty pounds was considered a fair load for a horse.

After Middle Creek township had been detached in 1853, Milford was still a large township. But with the division of the township in 1886, when Black township was created, it lost its place as a large township both in area and population.


AREA LORE

The "Tiger" & the Panther


BIOGRAPHIES

Andrew Baker -- Samuel Barclay -- Jacob Barkman -- Nicholas Barron -- Critchfield Family -- George Dumbauld

Jacob Haines -- Adam Humbert -- Adam C. Lepley -- Henry Long -- Thomas Mason -- Daniel Sechler -- John Walter

John Weimer -- George A. Weller -- Hon. A. S. Will


CHURCHES

Milford Township Churches -- New Centerville Churches -- Rockwood Churches


TAX LISTS & CENSUS

1784 -- 1796 -- 1796 (2) -- 1860


TOWNS & VILLAGES

Gebhartsburg -- New Centerville -- Rockwood


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