History of Warren County, Chapter 25

CHAPTER XXV 

TOWNSHIP ORGANIZATIONS 

Brokenstraw the Original Township of the County - Conewango Organized in 1808 - Spring Creek, Sugar Grove, Pine Grove, Kinzua, and Deerfield in 1821 - Columbus in 1825 - Limestone in 1829 - Elk in 1830 - Sheffield and Freehold in 1833 - Pleasant in 1834 - Southwest in 1838 - Eldred in 1843 - Glade in 1844 - Corydon in 1846 - Mead, Cherry Grove, and Pittsfield in 1847 - Farmington in 1853 - Triumph in 1878 - Watson in 1880 - Borough Incorporations.

THE following account of the formation and organization of the townships of Warren county is the only correct one ever compiled. To prove the truth of this assertion it is only necessary to refer to documents on file in the prothonotary’s office at Meadville, Franklin, and Warren, and to compare this statement with any and all others heretofore published.

Brokenstraw, the original township of the county, was formed and ordered to be at once organized by the Crawford County Court of Quarter Sessions, at October term in 1800. It then embraced all that part of Warren county lying west of the Allegheny River and Conewango Creek.

Some eight years later, or, to be more explicit, during March term in 1808, the Venango County Court of Quarter Sessions ordered that Warren county be divided into two townships - Brokenstraw and Conewango, the first to include the western part and the latter the eastern half of the county. This arrangement continued until March 8, 1821, when, by order of the Warren County Court of Quarter Sessions, these two townships were divided into twelve subdivisions, of which seven were soon after organized, and the remainder attached to the organized townships. The following is a detailed account of the formation, etc., of the twelve townships referred to, as shown by the docket:

"At a court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace of the county of Warren, held at Warren in and for said county, on Monday the sixth day of March, A.D. 1820, before the Hon. Jesse Moore, Esq., President, and his associate judges of the same court.

"Upon the petition of divers of the inhabitants of said county setting forth that they labour under great inconveniences and expense owing to the countys not being set off into suitable and convenient districts, there being but two Townships in said county, and therefore praying the court to appoint three impartial men to enquire into the propriety of granting the prayer of the petitioners, and to lay off the same agreeable to law.

"The court upon due consideration had of the premises, do order and appoint John Andrews, John Brown, and William Arthur, to enquire into the propriety of granting the prayer of the petitioners, and if they or any two of them agree that it is proper to lay off said county into suitable and convenient districts, they shall proceed to lay off the same, and to make a plot or draught of the Townships as aforesaid laid off, and the division line or lines proposed to be made therein (or of the lines proposed to be altered), if the same cannot be fully designated by natural lines or boundaries, all which they or any two of them shall report to the next Court of Quarter Sessions, together with their opinion of the same. BY THE COURT."

"To the Hon. Jesse Moore, President, and his associate Judges of the same Court of Common Pleas of the county of Warren, now composing a Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace in and for said county.

"The report of John Andrews, William Arthur, and John Brown respectfully sheweth that we have maturely considered the order of your Honorable Court, bearing date the sixth day of March last, and hereto annexed that in our opinion it is necessary for the interest and convenience of the inhabitants of this county that the same should be laid off into smaller Townships, and have accordingly marked out and designated them as follows:

"No 1. Township beginning at the northwest corner of the county, thence south along the county line six miles and one hundred and twenty perches, thence east eight miles to the southwest corner of lot number 123 of the Holland Land Company’s lands, thence north along the west line of said lot and lots No. 121, 117, and 114, two miles, three hundred and six perches, thence west along the south line of lot No. 110 one hundred and eighty-two perches, thence north along the west line of said lot two hundred and sixty-one perches, thence east along the north line of the same forty-nine perches, thence north along the west line of lot No. 107 two hundred and seventy-one perches, thence east along the north line of said lot thirty-four perches, thence north along the west line of lot No. 185, one mile and forty perches, thence east along the north line of said lot, thirty-five perches, thence north along the west line of lot No. 186, two hundred perches to the State line at the two hundred and ninth mile stone, a distance of seven miles and one hundred perches, thence west along the State line to the place of beginning, seven miles and two hundred and fifty-six perches.

"No. 2. Township beginning on the county line at the southwest corner of Township No. 1, thence south along said line eight miles, thence east to the southwest corner of lot No. 168 of the Holland Company’s land eight miles and two hundred and fifty perches, thence north along the west line of lots No. 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, and 176, to the south line of lot No. 129, six miles and two hundred and eighty perches, thence east along the said line to the southwest corner of lot No. 177, seventy perches, thence north along the west line of said lot and lots No. 178, to the southeast corner of lot No. 123 one mile and forty perches, in all eight miles and seventy perches, thence west along the south line of lot No. 123 to the southeast corner of Township No. 1, one mile, thence west along the south line of Township No. 1 eight miles to the place of beginning, in all nine miles.

"No. 3. Township beginning at the northeast corner of Township No. 1, thence along the east line of said township No. 1, to the southeast corner of the same, thence east along the south line of lots No. 123, 179, 203, 234, 253, 282, 303, and 308 of the Holland Company’s land to the southeast corner of lot No. 308, eight miles and ninety-six perches, thence along the east line of lots No. 308, 309, 310, and 311, to the northeast corner of 311, three miles, thence east one hundred and sixty perches, thence north three miles and one hundred and twenty perches to the two hundredth mile stone on the State line, six miles and two hundred and eighty perches, thence west along the State line to the place of beginning nine miles.

"No. 4. Township beginning at the southeast corner of Township No. 3, thence west along the south line of said township to the northeast corner of Township No. 2, seven miles and ninety-six perches, thence along the east line of Township No. 2 to the southeast corner of said township, thence east along the south line of lots of the Holland Company’s land No. 168, 214, 223, 264, and 271, five miles, thence east to the Allegheny River two miles and seventy perches, in all seven miles and seventy perches, thence up said river to the southeast corner of a tract of land claimed by John Irwin above the mouth of Brokenstraw Creek, four miles, thence north forty-one degrees west to the northeast corner of the same westerly by the line of the same tract to Irwin’s Run, up said run three miles, thence north twenty degrees west to the southeast corner of lot of the Holland Company’s land No. 306, one mile and one hundred and sixty perches to the place of beginning.

"No. 5. Township beginning at the northeast corner of Township No. 4, thence east along the south line of lots of the Holland Company’s land No. 315, 320, 327, three miles and fifty perches, thence east to the Conewango Creek, three miles and two hundred and seventy perches, thence over and up said creek to the northwest corner of lot No. 7, claimed by Hobly and Leeper forty perches, thence east along the north line of said tract to the south line of tract No. 5969 to the southeast corner of the same three miles and eighty perches, together ten miles and one hundred and thirty perches, thence south along the west line of lots of Thomas Clifford, numbered 5533, 5534, 5535, 5536, and 3537 to the Allegheny River, five miles and one hundred and sixty perches, thence down said river to the line of Township No. 4, thence along said line to the place of beginning.

"No. 6. Township beginning at the northwest corner of Township No. 5, thence east along the north line of said township to the northeast corner, thence north along the west line of lots of Thomas Clifford, numbered 5533, 5532, 5531, 5530, 5529, 5528, and 5569 to the Stateline six miles and eighty perches, thence west along the State line to the northeast corner of Township No. 3, nine miles and two hundred and forty perches, thence along the east line of said township to the place of beginning.

"No. 7. Township beginning at the northeast corner of Township No. 6, thence east along the State line to the northeast corner of the county six miles, thence down the county line till it leaves the Allegheny River on the east side, thence down said river to the southeast corner of Township No. 5, thence by the east line of Townships No. 5 and 6 to the State line at the place of beginning.

"No. 8. Township beginning on the county line where the line of Township No. 7 leaves said line, thence along the same to the southeast corner of the county, thence west along the south line of the county to the southwest corner of lot No. 3198 of the Lancaster Land Company’s land, eight miles, thence north along the west line of said lot and lots of the same company’s land No. 3235, 3240, 3241, 4800, 4804, and 4810 to the northwest corner of lot No. 4811, thirteen miles, thence north to the Allegheny River one hundred and sixty perches, thence up said river to the place of beginning.

"No. 9. Township beginning on the Allegheny River at the northwest corner of Township No. 8, thence south along the west line of said township to the county line, thence west along the county line six miles, thence north to the southwest corner of lot of the Lancaster Land Company’s land No. 3193, thence north on the west line of said lot and lots No. 3014, 3010, 4839, 4838, 4819, and 4817, thirteen miles, thence west along the north line of lot No. 4818 to the northwest corner of the same, thence south sixty perches to the northeast corner of lot No. 4828, thence west along the north line of the same to the Allegheny River, three miles, thence up said river to the place of beginning.

"No. 10. Township beginning on the Allegheny River at the northwest corner of Township No. 9, thence along the boundary of said township to the southwest corner of the same on the county line, thence west along the county line to the Allegheny River eight miles and eighty perches, thence up said river to the place of beginning.

"No. 11. Township beginning on the Allegheny River at the southeast corner of Township No. 4, thence west along the south side of said township and Township No. 2, ten miles and seventy perches, thence south to the county line, eleven miles and two hundred perches, thence east along the county line to the Allegheny River four miles and three hundred and ten perches, thence up said river to the place of beginning.

"No. 12. Township beginning at the northwest corner of Township No. 11, thence south along the west line of the same to the county line, thence west along the county line to the southwest corner of the same, five miles and two hundred and fifty perches, thence north along the west line of the county eleven miles and two hundred perches, to the southwest corner of Township No. 2, thence east along the south line of said township to the place of beginning, five miles and two hundred and fifty perches.

"All of which may be more readily seen by inspection of the annexed map.

"JOHN ANDREWS.

"JOHN BROWN.

"WILLIAM ARTHUR.

"Which report being read the first time at December Sessions, 1820, and the second time on the 8th day of March, 1821, the court do approve of and confirm the same and order and direct that the same be entered of record, and that the Townships be laid off agreeably to said report, and that the same be organized and known by the following names, to wit: Number six (seventy-eight taxables) organized and called ‘Pine Grove’; number eight organized and called ‘Kenzue’; number seven at present to be attached to Kenzue but not organized and called ‘Elk’; number five organized and called ‘Conewango’; number nine to be attached to Conewango, but not organized and called ‘Tionestia’; number eleven organized and called ‘Deerfield’; number ten at present to be attached to Deerfield but not organized and called ‘Limestone’; number twelve at present to be attached to Deerfield but not organized and called ‘Southwest’; number four organized and called ‘Brokenstraw’; number two organized and called ‘Spring Creek’; number one at present attached to Spring Creek but not organized and called ‘Northwest’; number three organized and called ‘Sugar Grove.’ By the Court,

"L. WETMORE, Cl’k Sessions."

On the 25th of May, 1825, it was ordered that the name of Northwest township be changed to Columbus, and the latter organized as a separate township. The election in 1826 was held at the house of David Curtis.

At December Sessions in 1825 the line between Sugar Grove and Pine Grove was changed to run as follows: "From the southwest corner of lot No. 315 due east to the southeast corner of said lot, thence north along the west line of lots No. 320, 321, 322, and 323, to the south line of lot No. 298, thence west along the said line to the southwest corner of the same, thence north along the west line of said lot to the northwest corner of the same, thence east along the north line of said lot to the southwest corner of lot No. 297, thence north along the west line of lots No. 297, 295, 294, and 293 to the one hundred and ninety-ninth mile stone on the State line."

Limestone was organized from the "provisional townships" of Tionesta and Limestone, at August Sessions in 1829. Its boundaries, as described by the commissioners, John Andrews, William Hodges, and William Pier, were as follows: "Beginning on the Allegheny River on the south bounds of the county, and running thence east on the county line to the southwest corner of the township of Kinzua, thence north on the west line of said township, according to the present boundary, to the Allegheny River, thence west and south along the Allegheny River as it winds and turns to the place of beginning."

Elk was organized May 3, 1830, from that part of Kinzua township lying west of the Allegheny River. Its boundaries at the time of organization were as follows: "Beginning at the Allegheny River on the line of Conewango and Pine Grove townships, thence north to the State line, thence east along the said line to the east bank of the Allegheny River and joining McKean county, thence down by the line of said McKean county to where the same joins the river going south, then to continue down by the low water or main channel in said river to the place of beginning."

Sheffield was formed from Kinzua, and organized by order of court during June Sessions, 1833, particular day not stated. Its boundaries were then described as follows: "Beginning on the west line of the said township (Kinzua) at the northwest corner of lot No. 560, thence running due east along the line of lots to the northeast corner of lot No. 172 on the county line. That part of the said township, Kinzua, lying south of the said line bounded on the east by McKean county, on the south by the county of Jefferson and on the west by the township of Limestone to be a new township named Sheffield."

Freehold. - This township was erected from portions of Columbus and Sugar Grove. The report of the commissioners was confirmed absolutely September 3, 1833, and the following lines and courses designated as its boundaries: "Beginning at the northeast corner of lot No. 392 in Columbus township on the State line, thence east on said line to the northeast corner of lot No. 192 in Sugar Grove township, thence south along the line of said tract to lot No. 194, thence east to the northeast corner of said tract, thence south to the southeast corner of said tract, thence west to the northeast corner of lot No. 196, thence south to the southeast corner of the same, thence east to the northeast corner of lot No. 199, thence south to the southeast corner of the same, thence west to the northeast corner of lot No. 200, thence south along the lines of lots No. 200, 201, 202, and 203 to the south line of Sugar Grove township, thence west along the township lines to the southwest corner of lot No. 120 in Columbus township, thence north along the lines of lots No. 120, 119, 116, 383, and 385, to the southeast corner of lot No. 386, thence west to the southwest corner of the same, thence north to the northwest corner of the same, thence north across lot No. 388 to the south line of lot No. 393, thence west to the southwest corner of the same, thence north to the northwest corner of the same, thence to the southeast corner of lot No. 392, then north to the State line at the place of beginning."

Pleasant. - This township was formed from Limestone, by an order of court confirmed absolutely during March Sessions, 1834. The old township was divided by a line running as follows: "Beginning on the Allegheny River at the northwest corner of lot No. 4826, thence running east to lot No 512, thence south on line of said lot No. 512 to the southwest corner of said lot, thence east to the northwest corner of lot No. 519, thence south to the county line." It was proposed by the inhabitants and was so recommended by the commissioners to call the new township Mount Pleasant, but the court deemed it best to shorten the title and name it Pleasant.

Change of Line between Sheffield and Pleasant Townships. - On the 5th day of November, 1836, Lansing Wetmore, Alson Rogers, Nathaniel Sill, commissioners appointed by the court for that purpose, reported that they had surveyed a line running as follows: "Beginning at the southwest corner of lot No. 577 on the north and south line between Limestone and Pleasant, thence due east on a line of lots three miles and two hundred and twenty perches to the southeast corner of lot No. 584 on the north and south line between Sheffield and Pleasant, and set off that part of the present township of Pleasant lying south of said east line and between Sheffield and Limestone and the county line to the said township of Sheffield, comprising thirteen and a fourth tier of lots north and south and eight tier of lots east and west."

Southwest. - This township was set off from Deerfield as a separate organization by an order of court declared absolute during March Sessions 1838. The line between the two townships (which had been surveyed by Commissioners James A. Alexander, Stephen Littlefield, and Nathan Whitney) ran as follows: "Beginning on Venango county line at the southeast corner of tract No. 228, thence by the line of said tract to the southeast corner of lot No. 229, thence north to the south line of tract No. 235, a distance of four miles and two hundred and six perches (as per original survey and plot), thence east to the southeast corner of said tract No. 235, thence north to the northwest corner of tract No. 328 and northeast corner of tract No. 327, to a pine tree, the southwest corner of tract No. 154, on Spring Creek township line, being a further distance of seven miles (as per original survey and measurements)."

Change of Line between Various Townships. - During June Sessions in 1838 the court confirmed the report of Commissioners Andrew H. Ludlow, Hewlet Lott, and Samuel Magee concerning the change in township lines between Spring Creek, Deerfield, and Brokenstraw, also between Spring Creek and Columbus.

Alteration of Line between Columbus and Freehold Townships. - Lot No. 392 was detached from Columbus and annexed to Freehold by an order of court dated June 5, 1843.

Eldred. - This township was erected from the northern part of Southwest township by an order of court confirmed absolutely September 8, 1843. The commissioners, viz., James A. Alexander, Jonathan Hamilton, and William B. Mead, said in their report: "We have diligently inquired into the propriety of granting the prayer of the petitioners, and we are of the opinion that the said township of South West ought to be divided as follows: Beginning at the northeast corner of lot No. 235 and the southeast corner of lot No. 236, thence west along the south line of lots No. 195, 188, 147, 140, 99 and 92, to the Crawford county line. That portion on the north side of said division line to be called Fairfield, a plot or draft of which is hereunto annexed."

Glade. - This township was erected from Conewango and Elk, March 8, 1844, the report of Commissioners Andrew H. Ludlow, Shubal D. Chappell, and Thomas Clemons, then having been read a second time and confirmed absolutely. Its original boundaries were described as follows: "Beginning at the northeast corner of the Borough of Warren, thence east across the Conewango Creek, thence up the east side of said creek to the south line of Pine Grove township and northwest corner of tract No. 5488, thence east with the north line of said lot No. 5488, and the south line of lot No. 5969 to the west line of No. 5533, in Elk township, thence south with the west line of said lot to the northwest corner of No. 5534, thence east with the north lines of No. 5534, 5544, 5553, and 5562, to the Allegheny River, thence down said river to the confluence of the Conewango Creek at the Borough of Warren, thence up the north and west bank of said creek to the place of beginning. Taking from Conewango township that part lying east of the Conewango Creek and north of the Allegheny River, and that part of Elk township lying south of the south lines of lots No. 5333, 5343, 5552, and 5561, and forming said new township, which we would propose to call Point township, a draft of plot whereof is hereunto annexed."

Corydon. - This township was erected by order of court confirmed absolutely March 20, 1846, from territory then recently set off from McKean county. The report of the commissioners - i.e., Andrew H. Ludlow, Benjamin Marsh, and James Cargill - was as follows: "We, the undersigned, appointed by the annexed order of court commissioners to enquire into the propriety of forming a new township out of that part of Corydon township formerly McKean county and establishing the line between Kinzua township and McKean county, do report, that in pursuance of said order having been respectively sworn or affirmed according to law, we have examined the premises, and are of opinion that all that part of McKean county lately set off to Warren county being part of Corydon township and part of Hamilton township, be erected into a new township to be called Corydon township."

Mead. - This township was erected from parts of Sheffield, Kinzua, and Pleasant by an order of court confirmed absolutely June 7, 1847. The commissioners, Andrew H. Ludlow, Lansing Wetmore, and James H. Eddy, described its original boundaries as follows: "Beginning at the Allegheny River at the northeast corner of Tract No. 2921, thence south with the east line of said tract to the southeast corner of the same, thence with the south line of said tract west to the northeast corner of tract No. 2837, thence south with the east line of said tract No. 2837 to the southeast corner of the same and northeast corner of Tract No. 38, thence with the east line of Tracts No. 38, 51, 58, 75, 82, 103, 110, 159, 166, and 199 south to the southeast corner of Tract No. 199, thence west with the south lines of tracts No. 199, 200, 201, 202, 586, 585, 584, 583, 582, and 581, to the southwest corner of said tract No. 581; thence north with the west lines of tracts No. 581, 564, 553, 534, 523, 502, 491, 470, and 459, to the northwest corner of said tract No. 459, thence with the north lines of tracts No. 459 and 460 east to the southwest corner of tract of land known as the J. Benson tract, thence with the west line of said Benson tract and the west line of the R. Arthur tract north to the Allegheny River, thence along the south bank of said river to the place of beginning."

Cherry Grove. - This township was erected from Sheffield by an order of court confirming report of commissioners, ni si, June 7, 1847, and absolutely Dec. 7, 1847. The commissioners, Andrew H. Ludlow, Lansing Wetmore, and James H. Eddy, described its boundaries as follows: "Beginning at the northeast corner of tract No. 587, thence with the lines of the tracts south to the county line in the east line of tract No. 756, thence with the county line west to the west line of tract No. 3142, thence with the lines of the tracts north to the northwest corner of tract No. 598, thence with the lines of the tracts east to the place of beginning."

Pittsfield. - This township was formed from Brokenstraw and Spring Creek townships in 1847. In response to numerous petitioners the court on the 9th day of September, 1846, issued an order naming Andrew H. Ludlow, Carter V. Kinnear and Stephen Littlefield as commissioners to inquire into the propriety of granting the prayer of the petitioners, to make survey, report, etc. These commissioners rendered their report June 5, 1847, but the order of court confirming the same does not appear on record. The boundaries of the township, as described by the commissioners in 1847, were as follows: "Beginning at the northwest corner of tract No. 125 in Spring Creek township and in the south line of Freehold township, thence running south with the west lines of tracts No. 125, 128, 131, 134, 137, 140, 143, 146, 149, 152, and 155, to the southwest corner of tract No. 155, and to the north line of Deerfield township, thence east along the north line of said Deerfield township and the south line of tract No. 155, 156, 168, 214, and 223, thence north along the east line of tract No. 223 to the northeast corner of the same, thence east along the south line of tract No. 224 to the southeast corner of tract No. 224, thence north along the east line of tracts No. 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, and 233 to the northeast corner of No. 233, and the south line of Sugar Grove township, thence west along the north line of tracts No, 233, 204, 178, 126, and 125 to the place of beginning."

Change of Township Lines. - On the 7th of June, 1847, a change in the line dividing Conewango and Pine Grove townships resulted in increasing the area of the first-named division by a few hundred acres.

On the 23d of October, 1851, it was ordered by court that two tier of tracts in Deerfield township, commencing at the northwest corner of Deerfield township and running thence east as far as the east line of Pittsfield township, be set off from Deerfield and attached to Pittsfield.

Farmington. - This township was formed from Pine Grove by an order of court confirmed absolutely October 7, 1853. Its original boundaries were described by the commissioners as follows: "Being the western part of said township (Pine Grove) and commencing at the New York State line at the northeast corner of the Holland Land Company’s lands at the northeast corner of tract No. 359, thence by said company’s line, to the line of Conewango township at the southeast corner of tract No. 351, thence by said Conewango township line to Sugar Grove township at the southwest corner of tract No. 321, thence by Sugar Grove township line to the New York State line aforesaid at the northwest corner of tract No. 293, thence by said State line to the place of beginning."

Change of Township Lines. - During December Sessions, 1854, part of lot No. 233 was taken from Pittsfield and attached to Brokenstraw. During the same term, also, a small part of Freehold was annexed to Sugar Grove.

At January adjourned term in 1855 tracts No. 5528, 5529, 5530, 5531, 5532, 5533, and part of 5569 were detached from Elk township and annexed to Pine Grove.

On the 9th of January, 1856, lots No. 5544, 5553, and 5562 were taken from Glade and added to Elk.

Triumph. - This township was formed from Deerfield by an order of court dated March 7, 1878, confirming report of commissioners, and in accordance with the wishes of a majority of the voters of Deerfield, as shown at an election held February 19, 1878. The boundaries of the township as then formed were described as follows: "Beginning on the northern boundary of the Tidioute Creek road at the northern boundary line of Tidioute Borough; thence along the north boundary of said Tidioute Creek road two miles, to the west line of the J. and C. Lovig lands; thence north on said line of land three hundred and ten rods; thence continue north two hundred and sixty-four rods to the south line of tract No. 265 Holland Land Survey; thence west on the Holland Land Survey two and one-half miles to the township of Eldred, thence south along the eastern boundary of Eldred and South West townships eight and one-fourth miles to the Forest county line, thence east on said line four and three-fourth miles to the Allegheny River, thence up the Allegheny River and by the meanderings of the Borough line of Tidioute about five and one-fourth miles to the place of beginning."

Watson. - This township was erected from Limestone by an order of court dated March 4, 1880, thus confirming the report of the commissioners, and in conformity with the wishes of a majority of the voters of Limestone township, as expressed at an election held on the 17th day of February, 1880, it being the northerly portion of the old township of Limestone. A map of the new township showing its boundaries, etc., can be found on page 541 Road Docket No. 3, court records of Warren county.

Boroughs. - Warren borough was incorporated by an act of the State Legislature approved April 3, 1832, its original area being three hundred acres, or in other words the inlots of the town as laid out in 1795. Youngsville was incorporated September 4, 1849; Columbus, March 19, 1853; Tidioute, June 7, 1862, and Clarendon, early in 1882. 

SOURCE: Page(s) 259-269, History of Warren County, J.S. Schenck & W.S. Rann, Syracuse, New York: D. Mason, 1887