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

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COVINGTON TOWNSHIP

This township was erected by a decree of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Centre County, to which Clearfield County was at that time attached for judicial purposes, at April Sessions 1817. The Township is situated in the Northeastern part of the County and is bounded on the north by part of the dividing line between the counties of Cambria and Clearfield, east by Karthaus Township, south by Cooper and Graham Townships and west by Girard Township.

This township was largely settled by people of French descent, the principal occupation of its people has been agriculture and the township contains some of the finest farms in Clearfield County.

Its population, according to the census of 1910 was 649.

The surface of Covington township is hilly, broken and irregular. The township is well watered and drained,—on the south by the West Branch and its tributaries, Sandy Creek, Mowry’s Run and Rock Run. Sandy is a stream of considerable size and has Bigleman Run as its main tributary, besides a number of smaller ones. Mosquito Run forms the drainage system for the whole northern part of the township, and has been an important factor in the lumbering trade of the upper region. Along the banks of Sandy Run are many fine farms. This stream has also been utilized for water purposes by many saw-mills.

In 1817 Covington township had not over 80 inhabitants. The list of its taxable inhabitants in that year shows but seventeen names, and of these two were single freemen. They were as follows: Jonathan Deckion, Frederick Geisenhainer, John Hanson, Jacob Michael, John Peters, Andrew Peters, Hugh Rider, William Russell, John Rider, Frederick Rider, Michael Rider, George Rider, J. F. W. Schnars, John Troutman, Harmon Young, the single freemen being John Neff and Michael Rider. Some of the above mentioned were residents of that part of Covington which was set off to the formation of Karthaus township in 1841.

While the earliest settlements in the town. ship were made by the above mentioned persons, no active steps were taken towards im provements, and no material growth in population was accomplished until some twelve or fifteen years later, at which time the French settlements were begun.

One John Keating owned an extensive tract of land both in Clearfield and Clinton counties, which he offered for sale. The first persons to locate on this land, as near as can be ascertained, were Nicholas Roussey and Irene Plubel, who took up lands in the year 1830. They were followed in this vicinity by Francis Courdriet, in 1831, and also by Claude F. Renaud in the same year. Coudriet became a prominent person in the township and acquired a large estate. Soon after came many other French settlers, among them Peter Mulson, Hyacinthe Mignot, Francis Hugueney, Stephen Hugueney, Peter Brenool, Augustus Gaulin, John B. Fournier, P. Bergey, Alphonso Leconte, and others. These French immigrants were, of course, unable to speak English, but were accompanied by an agent, Jacon weiskopf. The central point of settlement was in the neighborhood of Frenchville, by which name the locality has always since been distinguished. Since the date of the French settle ment many other immigrants have arrived— French, German and American.

Among the early lumber men were Bigler & Powell of Clearfield, Leon M. Coudriet, Augustus and Aiphonso Leconte. Francis LaMotte built a saw-mill on the Keating lands on Sandy Creek about 1837, and afterwards erected a grist-mill a short distance further down the creek. As help was scarce at that time, his daughters went to work in the mills, and, it is said, turned out both excellent lumber and flour. The property afterwards passed into the hands of the Coudriets.

Francis Coudriet built a grist-mill on Sandy about the year 1864. It was supplied with two run of French burr stones of fine quality. The property was purchased by Leon Coudriet at the time of his father’s death. Another saw-mill was built on Sandy by Claude Barmont about 1845 and afterwards became the property of F. F. Coudriet. The Picard mill, one of the pioneer industries of the township, was built on Sandy Creek by John J. Picard, and was subsequently sold to Leon M. Coudriet. The firm of L. M. Coudriet & Co. also had another saw-mill built on Sandy, on tract No. 1891, and above this stood the saw-mill of Liegiey & Beauseigneur. In 1839 Alphonso Leconte built a sawmill on tract 1892, it subsequently becoming the property of Augustus Leconte.

Another pioneer industry of the township was the Flood mill, at the mouth of Sandy Creek, which was built when lumbering was in its infancy. One Lutz had an early interest in it, but it afterwards passed into the hands of Lawrence Flood.

One of the first merchants of Covington was Mr. Alexander, who established a store near Frenchville about 1837. He was succeeded by the Maurers, who were in turn succeeded by Levi Lutz and others.

A schoolhouse was established near Frenchyule about 1838, and it was followed by others at Mulsonbutg, Fairmount, Mignot, Union and other places. The French settlers have always shown a disposition to educate themselves in English, rather than in their mother tongue, though French has been occasionally taught in the parochial school. The Rev. Father Leavey was the first priest in the township and said mass at the house of Irene Plubel. He was followed by other missionary priests, Father Oriack coming in 1841-42. About this time or soon after a log church was erected, which subsequently gave place to a more commodious structure — a substantial stone edifice, a few rods north of the ClearfIeld and Karthaus road. The Evangelical Lutheran church was built at Keewaydin in 1869, during the pastorate of Rev. Samuel Croft, a substantial parsonage being also built. This was an offshoot from the Lutheran Church Society, whose house of worship was erected on Karthaus Hill.

Other interests of the township may be found mentioned under their respective headings in other parts of this volume.

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