Chapter X
Political Record and Civil List 

Votes Cast for President and Governor at the Different Elections, 1832-1886 -  Names of all Persons Holding Office in the County or Representing the County in the United States Congress or in the State Legislature, 1814-1886 -  Present Officials of the County -  Summary of Acts of the Legislature Passed for Jefferson County.

ALTHOUGH the county of Jefferson was erected in the year 1804, no elections were held within its bounds until an act was passed March 31, 1806, making it a separate election district, and fixing the place for holding the election at the house of Joseph Barnett, on Sandy Lick. The county was still, however, only a "provisional county," and though voting for general officers from the year 1814, no record was kept of the vote as a separate county, but it was counted in with the vote of the district to which it was attached. Previous to that time those who wished to avail themselves of the right of franchise had to go to Indiana to cast their ballots. Whether the first voters of the county went all that distance to avail themselves of this privilege we cannot tell.

The first elections held in Jefferson county for president of the United States, and for governor of the State were held in the year 1832. Below will be found the result of these elections, and all votes cast for president and governor since that time.


1832 -  Andrew Jackson, 175; William Wirt, 105. Democratic majority 70.

1836 -  Martin Van Buren, 244; William H. Harrison, 231. Democratic majority 13.

1840 -  Martin Van Buren, 592; William H. Harrison, 476. Democratic majority 116.

1844 -  James K. Polk, 731; Henry Clay, 591. Democratic majority 140.

1848 -  Zachary Taylor, 887; Lewis Cass, 972; Martin Van Buren, 19. Democratic majority 85.

1852 -  Franklin Pierce, 1,469; Winfield Scott, 1,094. Democratic majority 375.

1856 -  James Buchanan, 1,463; John C. Fremont, 1063; Millard Fillmore, 583. Democratic majority 400.

1860 -  Abraham Lincoln, 1,704; John C. Breckenridge, 1,136; Stephen A. Douglass, 6. Republican majority 562.

1864 -  George B. McClellan, 1,756; Abraham Lincoln, 1,614. Democratic majority 142.

1868 -  Ulysses S. Grant, 2,147; Horatio Seymour, 2,068. Republican majority 79.

1872 -  Ulysses S. Grant, 2,253; Horace Greeley, 1,156. Republican majority 1,097.

1876 -  Rutherford B. Hayes, 2,350; Samuel Tilden, 2,459. Democratic majority 109.

1880 -  James A. Garfield, 2,750; Winfield S. Hancock, 2,635; J.B. Weaver, 137. Republican majority 115.

1884 -  James G. Blaine, 3,418; Grover Cleveland, 2,978; Benjamin F. Butler, 131; St. John, 112. Republican majority 440.


1832 -  George Wolf; 250; Joseph Ritner, 173. Democratic majority 77.

1835 -  George Wolf, 356; Joseph Ritner, 246; H.A. Muhlenberg, 3. Democratic majority 110.

1838 -  David R. Porter, 591; Joseph Ritner, 421. Democratic majority 170.

1841 -  David R. Porter, 678; John Banks, 447. Democratic majority 231.

1844 -  Francis R. Shunk, 727; Joseph Markle, 617. Democratic majority 110.

1847 -  Francis R. Shunk, 709; James Irwin, 454; F.J. Lemoyne, 3. Democratic majority 255.

July 9, 1848 -  Governor Shunk resigned on account of ill health, and William F. Johnson, the speaker of the Senate, was sworn in as acting governor.

1848 -  William F. Johnson, 783; Morris Longstreth, 992. Democratic majority 209.

1851 -  William Bigler, 1,240; William F. Johnston, 1,002. Democratic majority 238.

1854 -  James Pollock, 1,559; William Bigler, 988; Benjamin F. Bradford, 160. Whig majority 401.

1857 -  William F. Packer, 1,268; David Wilmot, 1,125; Isaac Hazlehurst, 54. Democratic majority 143.

1860 -  Andrew G. Curtin, 1886; Henry D. Foster, 1493. Republican majority 393.

1863 -  Andrew G. Curtin, 1,754; George W. Woodward, 1,698. Republican majority 56.

1866 -  John W. Geary, 2,015; Heister Clymer, 1,912. Republican majority 103.

1869 -  John W. Geary, 1,967; Asa Packer, 2,039. Democratic majority 72.

1872 -  John F. Hartranft, 2,407; Charles R. Buckalew, 2,247. Republican majority 160.

1875 -  John F. Hartranft, 1,923; Cyrus L. Pershing, 2,248; R.A. Brown, 458. Democratic majority 325.

1878 -  Henry M. Hoyt, 1,944; A.B. Dill, 2,140; S.R. Mason, 814. Republican majority ---.

1882 -  James A. Beaver, 2,598; Robert Pattison, 2,581; John Stewart, 125; T.A. Armstrong, 165. Republican majority 17.

1886 -  James A. Beaver, 3,038; Chauncy A. Black, 2,713; Charles Wolf, 97; Houston, 40. Republican majority 325.



We give the names of all who have represented the county of Jefferson in Congress, with the counties comprising the different districts to which it has been attached from the year 1816 to the present time.

District composed of the counties of Indiana, Westmoreland, and Jefferson. 1816-18, David Marchand; 1820, George Plummer; 1820 - 24, George Plummer; 1826 - 28, Richard Coulter; 1830, Richard Coulter.

District composed of Jefferson, Armstrong, Butler, and Clearfield. 1832 - 34, Samuel S. Harrison; 1836 - 38, William Beatty; 1840, William Jack*.

District composed of Jefferson, Venango, Erie, Warren, Potter, McKean, and Clearfield. 1843, Charles M. Reed; 1844 - 48, James Thompson; 1850, Carlton B. Curtis.

District composed of Jefferson, Clarion, Venango, Clearfield, Elk, McKean, and Warren. 1852, Carlton B. Curtis; 1854, David Barclay*; 1856, James L. Gillis; 1858, Chapin Hall; 1860, John Patton.

District (known as the Wild Cat district) composed of the counties of Erie, Warren, McKean, Cameron, Elk, Forest, and Jefferson. 1862 to 1870, Glenni W. Scofield; 1872, Carlton B. Curtis. The twenty-fifth district composed of Indiana, Armstrong, Jefferson, Clarion and Forest. 1874, George A. Jenks*; 1876 - 78, Harry White; 1880, James Mosgrove; 1882, John D. Patton; 1884, Alexander C. White*; 1886, James T. Maffett.

Those marked with a star, are the only citizens of Jefferson county who have represented her in the halls of Congress.


In 1814 a Senatorial District was composed of Jefferson, Indiana and Westmoreland. 1815, John Reed; 1819, Henry Alsehouse.

In 1821 the district was composed of the counties of Jefferson, Indiana, Cambria, Armstrong, Venango, and Warren. 1822, Robert Orr, jr.; 1825, Ebon S. Kelly.

In 1828 Jefferson, Indiana, Armstrong, Venango, and Warren, made up the district. 1829, Joseph M. Fox; 1830, William D. Barclay; 1831, Philip Mechling; 1834, Meek Kelly.

In 1835 Jefferson, Venango, Warren, McKean, and Tioga comprised the district. 1838, Samuel Hays.

In 1842 the district was composed of Elk, Jefferson, Potter, McKean, Warren, and Clarion. 1842, William P. Wilcox; 1845, James L. Gillis; 1848, Timothy Ives.

In 1849 the district was composed of Jefferson, Elk, McKean, Potter, Tioga, and Clearfield. 1852, Byron D. Hamlin; 1855, Henry Souther.

In 1856 the district was composed of Jefferson, Elk, Clarion, and Forest. 1857, Kennedy L. Blood*; 1861, Charles L. Lamberton.

In 1863 a district was composed of Jefferson, Indiana, and Cambria counties. 1865 - 68, Harry White; 1871, David McClay; 1874, Reuben C. Winslow*; 1876, Thomas St. Clair*; 1880, William J. McKnight*; 1884, George W. Hood.

Jefferson county has had but three members of the Senate -  Kennedy L. Blood, in 1858; R.C. Winslow, in 1874; and W.J. McKnight, in 1880 -  in the seventy years that she has voted for that office.


In 1814 a legislative or assembly district was composed of the counties of Jefferson, Indiana, and Armstrong, and was represented as follows 1816, James M. Kelly, Joshua Lewis; 1817, James M. Kelly, Samuel Houston; 1818, Samuel Houston, Robert Orr, jr.; 1819, Robert Orr, jr.; 1820, Robert Orr, jr., Robert Mitchell; 1821, Robert Mitchell, James Taylor; 1822 - 23, John Taylor, Joseph Rankin; 1824, Joseph Rankin, William Lawson; 1825, William Lawson, Thomas Johnson; 1826, David Lawson, Joseph Rankin; 1827, Robert Mitchell, Joseph Rankin; 1828, Joseph Rankin, David Lawson.

In 1829 Jefferson and Indiana were made into a district, and assigned one member. 1829, Robert Mitchell; 1830 - 31, William Houston; 1832, James M. Stewart; 1833 - 34, William Banks; 1835, James Taylor.

In 1836 the district was composed of Jefferson, Warren, and McKean, with one member. 1836 - 37, Carlton B. Curtis; 1838 - 39, William P. Wilcox; 1840, James L. Gillis*; 1841, Lewis B. Dunham*; 1842, Joseph Y. James.

In 1843 a new district was formed of Jefferson, Clarion, and Venango, with two members. 1843, Joseph R. Snowden, David B. Long; 1844, James Dowling,* Robert Barber; 1845, Robert Barber, Robert Mitchell; 1846 - 47, John Keatly, William Perry; 1848 - 49, John Hastings,* John S. McCalmont.

In 1850 the district was composed of Jefferson, Clarion, and Armstrong, and allowed three members. 1850, Thomas McKee,* Reynolds Laughlin, John S. Rhey; 1851, William W. Wise,* Reynolds Laughlin, John S. Rhey; 1852, J.B. Hutchison,* Thomas Magee, J. Alexander Fulton; 1853, George W. Zeigler,* David Putney, Thomas Magee; 1854, George W. Zeigler,* Philip Clover, Abner W. Lane; 1855, Michael K. Boyer,* Philip Clover, Darwin Phelps; 1856, R.J. Nicholson,* William M. Abrams, John K. Calhoun.

In 1857 the district was composed of Jefferson, Elk, McKean, and Clearfield, with two members. 1857, Joel Spyker,* William P. Wilcox; 1858, William P. Wilcox, T.J. Boyer; 1859, Isaac G. Gordon,* A.M. Benton; 1860, Isaac G. Gordon,* S.M. Lawrence; 1861, George W. Zeigler,* C.R. Earley; 1862, C.R. Earley, T.J. Boyer; 1863, T.J. Boyer, A.M. Benton.

In 1864 the district was composed of Jefferson and Clarion, with one member. 1864 - 65, W.W. Barr; 1866 - 67, W.P. Jenks*; 1868 - 69, R.B. Brown; 1870, Edmund English*; 1871, A.J.Wilcox*; 1872 - 73, D.P. Baird; 1874, R.B. Brown.

In 1874 Jefferson county was made a separate district with one member. 1876, James U. Gillespie; 1878, Robert J. Nicholson; 1880, James E. Long; 1882, Robert J. Nicholson; 1884 - 86, William Altman.


Prothonotary, Register and Recorder, and Clerk of Courts. -  The prothonotary was appointed by the governor until 1839, when the amended constitution made the office elective for a term of three years.

Those appointed were, 1830, James Corbet; 1832, Thos. Hastings; 1835, Thomas Lucas; 1839, Levi G. Clover. Elected, 1839, Levi G. Clover; 1842, John McCrea; 1845, John J.Y. Thompson; 1848, Samuel H. Lucas; 1851, William McCandless; 1854, David C. Gillispie; 1857, Wakefield W. Corbet; 1860, Joseph Henderson; 1863, Henry Brown; 1869 - 72, John M. Steck; 1875 - 78, Joseph B. Henderson; 1881 - 83, Thos. K. Hastings; 1885, Scott McClelland.

Sheriff. -  The first sheriff elected in the county was Thos. McKee, who, dying before his term of office expired, William Jack was appointed to fill his place until the next election. 1830, Thomas McKee; 1833, William Jack; 1836, Joseph Henderson; 1839, John Smith; 1842, Thompson Barr; 1845, Thomas Wilkins; 1848, James St. Clair; 1851, George McLaughlin; 1854, Thomas Mitchell; 1857, James McCracken; 1860, Philip H. Shannon; 1863, Manuel W. Reitz; 1866, Nathan Carrier; 1869, A.D. McPherson; 1872, John S. Barr; 1875, Frederick Crissman; 1878, William P. Steel; 1881, Samuel P. Anderson; 1884, Henry Chamberlain.

Treasurer. -  The first treasurer for Jefferson county appears to have been appointed in 1825. June 20, 1837, Treasurer McKnight died, and Daniel Smith was appointed to fill the vacancy. The appointments were made by the county commissioners until 1841, when the office was made elective for a term of two years.

Those appointed were, 1825, John Matson; 1827, Christopher Barr; 1829, Andrew Barnett; 1831, Jared B. Evans; 1833, William A. Sloan; 1834, J.M. Steadman; 1835, James L. Gillis; 1836, Alexander McKnight; 1838, Daniel Smith; 1839, William Rodgers; 1840, Jesse G. Clark; 1841, Nathaniel Butler.

Elected, 1841, Samuel Craig; 1843, Joseph Henderson; 1845, Samuel Craig; 1847, Benjamin McCreight; 1849, John Gallagher; 1851, Evans R. Brady; 1853, David Harl; 1855, Augustus R. Marlin; 1857, John E. Carroll; 1859, Henry Hoch; 1861, John E. Carroll; 1863, Parker P. Blood; 1865, William H. Newcom; 1867, Christian Miller; 1869, John Mills; 1871, Christian Miller; 1873, Enoch H. Wilson; 1875, Martin V. Shaffer; 1877, Scott McClelland; 1881, Nelson D. Corey; 1884, William D. Kane.

District or Prosecuting Attorney. -  By an act passed May 3, 1850, the office of district or prosecuting attorney was made elective, and the term fixed for three years. Previous to that time the attorney-general appointed; but we find no record of any appointments in Jefferson county. 1850, Richard Arthurs; 1853, James McCahan; 1856, William McKee; 1858 - 61, A. Lewis Gordon; 1864, Lewis A. Grunder; 1867 - 70, A.C. White; 1873, Charles Corbet; 1876, William M. Fairman; 1879, Samuel A. Craig; 1882 - 85, C.C. Benscoter.

Commissioners. -  The first commissioners for Jefferson county were elected in 1824. Thereafter one was elected each year, giving each a term of three years in office, the oldest incumbent’s time being expired when the newly-elected officer took his place. In the spring of 1834 Charles R. Barclay resigned, and John Lattimer was appointed to take his place until the next election. George W. Porter died March 31, 1849, but no appointment was made to fill the vacancy. In December, 1857, Joel Spyker resigned, and at the request of the remaining commissioners, the court appointed Francis Shrauger to fill the vacancy until the next election. 1824, Andrew Barnett, John Lucas, John W. Jenks; 1825, David Postlethwaite; 1826, Frederick Hettrick; 1827, Thomas McKee; 1828, Thomas Lucas; 1829, Elijah Heath; 1830, Robert Andrews; 1831, John B. Henderson; 1832, Charles R. Barclay; 1833, Levi G. Clover; 1834, James Corbet; 1835, James Winslow; 1836, John Philliber; 1837, John Pierce; 1838, Daniel Coder; 1839, Irvin Robinson; 1840, Benjamin McCreight; 1841, Joel Spyker; 1842, John Gallagher; 1843, John Drum; 1844, Enoch Hall; 1845, David Harl; 1846, George W. Porter; 1847, James Wilson; 1848, Alexander McKinstry; 1849, Abram Winsor; 1850, Charles B. Hutchison; 1851, Thomas Hall; 1852, Jacob S. Steck; 1853, David Henry; 1854; C. McCullough; 1855, Benjamin McCreight; 1856, Joel Spyker; 1857, John Boucher; 1858, John Thompson; 1859, Charles R.B. Morris; 1860, Andrew Smith; 1861, Charles B. Hutchison; 1862, Benjamin McCreight: 1863, Darius Carrier; 1864, Charles B. Hutchison; 1865, Joseph P. Lucas; 1866, Andrew J. Monks; 1867, James M. Morris; 1868, Joseph P. Lucas; 1869, Robert Dougherty; 1870, Henry A. Hum; 1871, Martin V. Shaffer; 1872, Robert A. Travis; 1873, Samuel A. Hunter.

Under the new constitution the entire board of commissioners were elected at the same time, to serve for three years. 1875, R.A. Travis, S.A. Hunter, R.A. Summerville; 1878, R.A. Summerville, W.D. Reitz, Oliver Brady; 1881, James B. Jordan, Samuel McDonald. The vote for the third commissioner was a tie between Uriah Matson and G.B. Carrier, and Kennedy L. Blood was appointed by the court. 1884, Edward Barry, James B. Jordan, Thomas H. Wilson.

Auditors. -  The first county auditors were elected in 1825. Jonathan Coon died in the spring of 1828, and Samuel Newcom was appointed to fill the vacancy until the next election.

In 1837 there appears to have been quite a contest over this office, and there were four candidates in the field; C.A. Alexander, Elijah Heath, Daniel Coder and Joseph McGiffin. The Brookville Republican, the only paper published in the county at that time, published the following announcements by two of these candidates.

To the free and independent electors of Jefferson county, who are opposed to petty aristocracies and serving friends out of the public treasury, I offer myself as a candidate for the office of county auditor, and pledge myself, if elected, to pay some regard to the oath of office, and oppose the settlement of any account paid out of the county treasury that is not strictly legal.


Brookville, August 24, 1837

To the Free and Independent Electors of Jefferson County: To all who are opposed to petty aristocracies, to serving friends and pensioners out of the public treasury, and, in short, to all who are opposed to petty monopolies, petty tyrants, and to those who sacrifice honor, truth, and honesty at the shrine of mammon, or in any manner worship the golden calf, at the hazard of the damnation of their souls, 1, on the suggestion, and at the earnest solicitation of many friends, offer myself at the ensuing election as a candidate for the office of county auditor, and I hereby stand pledged, if elected, to pay full and complete regard to the oath of office, and to oppose the settlement of any account, not in good faith strictly honest.


Brookville, Pa., August 31, 1837

It will be seen that Mr. Alexander’s stirring appeal carried the day and he was elected.

In the summer of 1861 A.H. Tracy enlisted in the army and Ira Bronson was appointed to serve as auditor in his place until the next election. The following comprises a full list of the auditors elected in the county: 1825, James Corbet, Alonzo Baldwin, Thomas Robinson; 1826, James Brockway; 1827, Jonathan Coon; 1828, John Christie; 1829, Joseph McCullough; 1830, John Hess; 1831, William Kelso; 1832, David Postlethwait; 1833, John Welsh; 1834, William Ferguson; 1835, J.J.Y. Thompson; 1836, Hance Robinson; 1837, C.A. Alexander; 1838, Jesse Smith; 1839, M. Johnston; 1840, James Gray; 1841, James Perry; 1842, Woodward Reynolds; 1843, John Pifer; 1844, A. McKinstry; 1845, James Perry; 1846, William Davis; 1847, C.R.B. Morris; 1848, J.K. Ormond; 1849, Samuel Milliron; 1850, B.S. Wesson; 1851, Irwin Robinson; 1852, Robert Moorhead; 1853, Robert Gourley; 1854, George W. Andrews; 1855, Joseph B. Graham; 1856, Woodward Reynolds; 1857, Truman London; 1858, Robert R. Means; 1859, A.H. Tracy; 1860, W.W. Reed; 1861, Joel Spyker; 1862, Charles Jacox; 1863, Ninian Cooper; 1864, Miles Vasbinder; 1865, Joseph L. Millen; 1866, J.B. Morris; 1867, R.R. Means; 1868, Eli Coulter; 1869, R.M. Matson; 1870, W.E. Simpson; 1871, M.C. Thompson; 1872, D.S. Orcutt.

In 1873 the new constitution provided for the election of the three auditors at the same election to serve for three years. 1875, James F. Hawthorn, M.H. Williams, Eli Coulter; 1878, James F. Hawthorn, Henry A. Smith, Samuel McDonald; 1881, W.A. Andrews, W.C. Smith, Robert Dougherty; 1884, Thomas R. Harris, W.A. Andrews, Frank M. Woods.

County Surveyor. -  By an act passed and approved April 9, 1850, the county surveyor was elected for a term of three years. Previous to said act they were appointed by the surveyor-general. There does not appear to have been any appointments made for Jefferson county. 1850, Cyrus Blood; 1853, Joel Spyker; 1856, John J.Y. Thompson; 1859 - 1862, James Caldwell; 1865, James W. Drum; 1868 - 1871, James Caldwell; 1874, William J. Drum; 1877, Eli Coulter; 1880 - 1883, Abner Spyker; 1886, James B. Caldwell.

Coroner. -  The first coroner was elected in 1830 for the term of three years. 1830, John Lucas; 1833, J. Christie; 1836, Joseph Sharp; 1838, John Earheart; 1839, John Lucas; 1842, Henry Freas; 1845, James K. Hoffman; 1847, Jacob Shaffer; 1848, John W. Jenks; 1851, D.C. Gillespie; 1854, Martin R. Cooley; 1856, A.M. Clarke; 1857 - 1867, none elected; 1867, Hugh Dowling; 1874, M. Rodgers; 1875, J.T. Bennett; 1881, Martin J. Sarvey; 1884, Wm. M. Rockey.

Jury Commissioners. -  Prior to 1867, when the first jury commissioners were elected, the different juries were drawn by the sheriff and county commissioners. 1867, M.H. Shannon, Joel Spyker; 1870, I.M. Temple, J.P. George; 1873, J.B. Morris, Alexander McConnell; 1876, Paul Fiscus, J.H. Lewis; 1879, R.A. Gourley, P.S. Crate; 1882, James McGhee, A.G. Dougherty; 1885, William Campbell, P.S. Crate.

Judiciary. -  Hon. Isaac G. Gordon, of Brookville, elected to the supreme bench, 1873, for a term of fifteen years.

President Judges. -  By an act of the Legislature, passed April 2, 1830, Jefferson county was attached to the Eighteenth judicial District, and to the Western District of the Supreme Court, and by an act of April 15, 1835, the time of holding court fixed for the second Mondays of February, May, September, and December, one week. By an act of March, 1855, the different terms of court were continued two weeks if necessary.

The following named gentlemen have served as president judge in the district, either by appointment or election, since 1830:

1830, Thomas Burnside, resigned; 1835, Nathaniel B. Eldred, resigned; 1839, Alexander McCalmont; 1849, Joseph Buffington.

Under the amended constitution the president judge was elected for a term of ten, and the associate judges for five years.

1851, John C. Knox was elected but resigned, in the spring of 1853, on account of being appointed to the supreme bench, and John S. McCalmont was appointed to fill the vacancy.

1853, John S. McCalmont was elected, but in June, 1861, resigned to accept a colonelcy in the army, and G.W. Scofield was appointed to fill the vacancy until the ensuing election.

1861, James Campbell; 1871, W.P. Jenks;* 1881, James B. Knox. Judge Knox, died while holding court at Brookville in December, 1884, and William L. Corbet, esq., of Clarion, was appointed by Governor Pattison to fill the vacancy until the next election, when, in 1885, Theodore S. Wilson was elected.

Associate Judges. -  The associate judges appointed and elected in the county are as follows: Appointed, 1830, John W. Jenks, Elijah Heath; 1835, William Jack, vice Heath, resigned; 1837, Andrew Barnett, vice Jack, resigned; 1841, James Winslow; 1843, James L. Gillis. In 1843 Judge Gillis resigned on account of living within the bounds of Elk county, which had just been formed, and Levi G. Clover was appointed in his stead. 1846, Thomas Hastings; 1847, John W. Jenks, vice Clover, resigned. In December, 1850, Judge Jenks died, and J.B. Evans was appointed to fill the vacancy. 1851, Robert P. Barr. Elected, 1851, Robert P. Barr, J.B. Evans; 1855, James H. Bell, appointed in place of Barr, resigned, and elected at ensuing election; 1856, Joseph Henderson was elected, but resigned on account of receiving the nomination for prothonotary, and Samuel M. Moore was appointed to take his place until next election; 1860, James Torrance; 1861, John J.V. Thompson. Judge Thompson resigned in May, 1865, and C. Fogle was appointed in his place. At the election in 1865 two associate judges were elected for a term of five years, Philip Taylor and James St. Clair. 1870, William Altman, Robert R. Means; 1875, James E. Mitchell, John B. Wilson; 1880, John Thompson, Stephen Oaks; 1885, Henry Truman, J.W. Foust.

At the election held in 1872 to elect delegates to the Constitutional Convention from the district composed of the counties of Jefferson, Armstrong, Clarion, and Forest, George W. Andrews, esq., and John McMurray, esq., of Jefferson, and Hon. John Gilpin, of Armstrong, were elected.

At the election held December 16, 1873, on the adoption of the new constitution, the vote in Jefferson county was as follows: For the new constitution, 1,396; against it, 912.


The present county officials are: Associate judges, Henry Truman, J.W. Foust; prothonotary, register, and recorder, Scott McClelland; sheriff, Henry Chamberlain; treasurer, William D. Kane; district-attorney, C.C. Benscoter; commissioners, Ed. Barry, J.B. Jordan, T.H. Wilson; auditors, Thomas R. Harris, W. A. Andrews, Frank M. Woods; coroner, W.M. Rockey; clerk to prothonotary, H.W. Mundorff; clerk to commissioners, W.A. Neal; janitor, Alexander Fullerton.


For the convenience of those who may have occasion to consult the different acts passed by the Legislature relative to Jefferson county, we give a brief summary of such acts, with date and where they may be found:

Act erecting Jefferson county out of parts of Lycoming county; boundaries defined; Legislature to fix a place for holding courts, at any place not more than seven miles from the center of said county, etc. Act of 26th of March, 1804, sec. 1. -  Smith’s Laws, vol. IV, page 176.

Powers of the commissioners and other county officials of Westmoreland county extended over Jefferson county. Act of February 3, 1806, secs. 1, 2, and 3. -  Smith’s Laws, vol. IV, pages 269 - 270.

The county district of Jefferson annexed to the county of Indiana. Act of March 18, 1806, sec. 9. -  Smith’s Laws, vol. IV, page 291.

Jefferson county made a separate election district, the electors thereof to hold their general elections at the house of Joseph Barnett, on Sandy Lick. Act of 31st of March, 1806, sec. 9. -  Smith’s Laws, vol. IV, page 349.

Jefferson county divided into separate districts, not to exceed six, for the appointment of justices of the peace. Act of 14th March, 1814, secs. 1 - 4. -  Smith’s Laws, vol. V1, page 124.

Treasurers of Indiana and Jefferson counties authorized to sell unseated lands for taxes. Act of 23d Dec., 1822. -  Smith’s Laws, vol. VI11, page 5.

The provisional county of Jefferson to elect three county commissioners and three county auditors, etc. Act of 21st Jan., 1824, secs. 1 - 4. -  Smith’s Laws, vol. VI11, page 185.

Appointment of commissioners to fix upon a proper site for the seat of justice in Jefferson county; to take assurances by bond, deed, or otherwise, of any lands, lots, money, or other property, which hath been or may be offered for the use and benefit of the said county, either for the use and benefit of said county, either for the purpose of erecting public buildings, or for the support of an academy, or other public use. Act of 8th April, 1829, secs. 1 - 2. -  Smith’s Laws, vol. X, page 396.

Provisional county of Jefferson organized for judicial purposes; attached to the Fourth Judicial District and to the Western District of the Supreme Court; election of sheriffs and other officers; time of holding courts fixed; transfer of suits originally commenced in Indiana county; erection of court-house; seat of justice established at Brookville; Brookville to be laid out. Act of 2d April, 1830, secs. 1 - 10. -  P.L., pages 161 - 164.

Boundary line between Venango and Jefferson county established. Act of 7th Feb., 1832, secs. 1 - 2. -  P.L., page 53.

Formation of Eighteenth Judicial District, composed of Potter, McKean, Warren, and Jefferson counties, and time of holding courts fixed. Act of 8th April, 1833, secs. 8. -  P.L., page 315.

Time of holding courts in the Eighteenth Judicial District altered, those of Jefferson county fixed for second Mondays of February, May, September, and December. Act of 15th April, 1835, secs. 2. -  P.L., page 374.

For the better ascertaining and establishing the boundary line between the counties of Jefferson, Warren, McKean, and Clearfield. Act of 17th March, 1840, secs. 1. -  P.L., page 146.

Time of holding township elections in Jefferson county changed to second Tuesday in February of each year. Act of 5th March, 1841, sec. 29. -  P.L., page 71.

Commissioners of Jefferson county authorized to subscribe five hundred dollars to the Brookville Academy, and to have trustees elected, etc. Act of 29th May, 1841, sec. 22. - P.L., page 411.

Deeds made by commissioners of Jefferson county for divers tracts of unseated lands, and lots in the borough of Brookville legalized. Act of 8th April, 1846. -  P.L., page 273.

The Eighteenth Judicial District to consist of the counties of Venango, Clarion, Jefferson, Elk, and Forest. Courts to be holden in Jefferson county on second Mondays in May, September, December, and February one week. Act of 5th April, 1849, secs. 1 - 4. -  P.L., page 367 - 8.

Certain acts relative to premium on fox and wild cat scalps, and to hunting of elk or deer, extended to Jefferson county. Act of 10th of April, 1849, secs. 1 - 2. -  P.L., page 631.

Act for transfer of records from Indiana to Jefferson county. Act of 21st April, 1852, P.L., page 389.

Chancery powers and jurisdiction vested in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia county, extended to Jefferson and the counties composing the Eighteenth Judiciary District. Act of 21st April, 1854. -  P.L., page 462.

Commissioners of Jefferson county authorized to borrow sum of money, not exceeding five thousand dollars, for building jail. Act of 5th April, 1855, sec. 182. -  P.L., page 165.

Continuing terms of court in Jefferson county to two weeks, when necessary. Act of 9th March, 1855. -  P.L., page 69.

Fixing time for holding township and borough elections in Jefferson county to the first Monday in February in each year. Act of 16th April, 1858. -  P.L., page 328.

The time of redemption of all lands purchased by the counties of Jefferson and Potter, at treasurer’s sale, fixed at two years. Act of 8th April, 1862. -  P.L., page 17.

Commissioners authorized to have assessments of real and personal estates in the several townships and boroughs of Jefferson county made prior to the year 1860, transcribed, etc. Act of 6th of March, 1863. -  P.L., page 110.

Commissioners of Jefferson county authorized to levy additional tax for purpose of building a court-house, and borrow money and issue bonds for the same. Act of 18th of April, 1864. -  P.L., page 461.

To enable soldiers in the service to vote at borough and township elections in county of Jefferson and other counties. Act of 10th of March, 1865, secs. 1 - 9. -  P.L., pages 309 - 311.

Commissioners of Jefferson county authorized to appropriate unexpended relief fund of said county to building of new court-house. Act of 16th of March, 1866. -  P.L., page 236.

Commissioners of Jefferson county authorized to borrow money for building of court-house, not exceeding $50,000, and to issue bonds therefor, to bear interest not exceeding eight per cent. Act of 2d of February, 1867. -  P.L., page 134.

A part of Fox township, Clearfield county, annexed to Jefferson county, and made part of Snyder township. Act of 4th of April 1868. -  P.L., pages 651 - 652.

Commissioners of Jefferson county authorized to borrow money, not exceeding $45,000, and to issue bonds therefor, at rate of interest not exceeding eight per cent., to be appropriated to the payment of certain articles of settlement and compromise made by and between the county of Jefferson and the Allegheny Valley Railroad Company. Act of 19th of February, 1870. -  P.L., page 212.

 Judge Jenks is the only citizen of Jefferson county who has held the office of president judge in the district.


Source:  Page(s) 78-90, History of Jefferson County by Kate M. Scott. Syracuse, N.Y., D. Mason & Co., 1888.

Contributed by Nathan Zipfel for use by the Jefferson County Genealogy Project (

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