History of Bradford, Pa.
From: Clearfield County, Pennsylvania and Representative Citizens
By: Roland D. Swoope, Jr.
Published By Richmond-Arnold Publishing Co., Chicago


This township was erected by a decree of the court of Centre County made at August Sessions, 1807, Clearfield County being at that time attached to Centre County for judicial purposes.

The township was named Bradford in honor of former surveyor-general, William Bradford of Pennsylvania. The township is bounded on the north by parts of Goshen Township and Girard Township, east by Graham Township, south by Boggs Township and west by Lawrence Township and part of Goshen Township.

Many of the people of Bradford Township are employed in the fire brick works at Woodland and Mineral Spring, and in addition to this industry, the principal business is farming.

The population of the township, according to the census of 1910, was 2250.

The course of the West Branch of the Susquehanna river, which separates this township on the north from Goshen and Girard townships, is very tortuous and winding. Clearfield Creek passes on the west side, just touching the township and dividing it at that point from Lawrence. The largest stream having its course within the township is Roaring Run, which drains the whole southern and southwest portion and has several tributaries, namely Fork Valley Run and Forcey's Run, on the north, and Jake's Run on the south. The streams discharging their waters directly into the river are Abe's Run, Devil's Run, Millstone Run, Bear Run and Moravian Run, the last mentioned, however, running but a short distance through the township. Graffius's Run is a tributary of Moravian Run.

The surface of the, land generally is very hilly, but not mountainous, some of the best producing lands being classed as "hill farms."

The population of the township, as originally laid out, did not exceed, in all probability, 175 persons. There were 34 taxable inhabitants in 1809, besides three single freemen. At that time there was neither saw nor grist mill in the entire township. The year 1812 showed a slight decrease in the number of taxables. Many whose names appeared on the early rolls resided in that part of Bradford, which was subsequently erected into the townships of Decatur, Morris and Boggs, among them being Robert Ross, formerly of Huntingdon county, who settled about 1812 on the river, above the mouth of Trout Run. Many of his descendants are still living in this and other townships.

Matthew Forcey came to Bradford from old Chincleclamousche township, settling south of Clearfield town in the year 1804, and in Bradford about 1813 or 1814. His descendants have been numerous and some have been very prominent in the business life of the county.

Among other early settlers were Robert Graham, who came in 1811 from Lawrence township; Jacob Hoover, who settled in the eastern part of the township; two by the name of Samuel Turner, one coming in 1812 and the other in 1824; the Hurd family, who settled early in the eastern part of the township; John Dale, a hatter, who subsequently lived on the Hurd place; John Kyler, who located on the Susquehanna pike, between Wallaceton and Bigler; Absalom Pierce, who was the assessor of the township in 1812 and who lived in the vicinity of Bigler station; John Woolridge, a native of England, who located on the Clearfield road, about two and a half miles from Woodland; John Shirey, who settled in the Graham neighborhood; Richard Shaw, a pioneer of the Mt. Joy Ridges; David Wilson, who owned a farm adjoining Graham's; Archie Campbell, John Stewart, the Graffiusses, Mayhews, the Burges and others.

Owing to the numerous streams and the growth of the lumber industry, Bradford township lands were taken up very rapidly about and subsequent to 1820. Numerous saw-mills appeared and the locality of Grahamton became thickly settled and manufactories were built there, largely through the enterprise of the Graham family. The construction also of the Tyrone and Clearfield Railroad gave rise to the towns of Woodland and Bigler, in the former of which places the Woodland Fire Brick Company established an extensive plant.

The township is well provided with churches and schools, the Methodists, Presbyterians and United Brethren being especially represented among the religious population.

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