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

GIRARD TOWNSHIP

The records of the quarter sessions court of Clearfield county do not show when this township was legally erected, but it is believed to have been about the month of September, 1832, because at the term of court held in Septeniber, 1832, it appears to have been recognized as a township in the returns made by the constables.

The township is situated in the northern part of the county, and it is bounded on the north by part of the dividing line between Elk and Clearfield counties, on the east by Coyington township, on the south by parts of Graham and Bradford townships and west by Graham township. The occupation of the people is mostly agriculture. The township had a population, according to the census of 1910, of 606.

The surface north of the river is generally rough,’ hilly, and in some parts quite mountainous. In the western part, at what is known as “The Knobs,” the hills reach a height of 2,230 to 2,280 feet. The township is drained by the waters of Surveyor’s Run, Bald Hill Run, Deer Creek, Buck Run, Sandy Creek, Mosquito Creek and sonic smaller streams.

Girard township was first settled by Peter and Mordecai Livergood, brothers, who came from Chester county in 1818, Peter making an improvement near the river, a mile east from the mouth of Surveyor’s Run, not far from the old Indian path. Mordecai Livergood commenced a farm near the mouth of Surveyor’s Run, which stream was named from the fact that a party of surveyors encamped at an early date on its banks.

John Irwin made the next settlement, in 1821, a few miles east from Peter Livergood’s clearing. Irwin, who was a native of Ireland, afterward moved to Wolf Creek, east of Clearfield.

In 1821 came also John Murray from Huntingdon county, accompanied by his family. He died in the winter of 1824, leaving his widow with a number of small children to provide for.

About 1824 John Spackman and Thomas Leonard, with their families, located in Girard, and about the same time came William Irwin. Soon after came Peter Lamrn, from Northumberland county. He was a millwright and built a mill at the mouth of Deer Creek. This mill was afterwards made into a combination saw and grist mill. It ground no wheat flour, however, hut only feed for cattle and a small quantity of corn meal.

Other early settlers were Abraham Jury, a potter from Dauphin county, who supplied the residents with earthenware; Zacheus Mead, who started a farm about 1826, and among the French settlers who overflowed into the township from Covington about 1838 were Alphonso and Augustus Leconte, Francis Grossanit, Francis Coudriet and Stephen Hugueny. Their lands lay in the vicinity of the Leconte Mills settlement, as it was called. Francis Grossaint built a saw mill in 1844, and Francis Coudriet built one in 1846. The first steam mill was erected on the lands of Phelps and Dodge, who were extensive lumbermen, both here in the township and elsewhere. The second steam saw mill was built by Irwin & Sons, on Bald Hill Run, about 1867 or 1868. The third, known as the Burgett mill, was built on Deer Creek.

Though it was not until nearly 1860 that regular religious services were held in the township, occasional meetings were held as early as 1827, when Rev. William McDowell, of the Methodist Society, preached, at the house of the widow of John Murray. George P. Geulich would sometimes hold services at different houses. The French residents are principally of the Catholic faith and attend their own church at Frenchville. Through the efforts of John McCorkle, a Presbyterian church was erected in 1873.

The first school in the township was taught by Cornelia Kincade. It was in the locality afterward known as Congress Hill. The hamlet of Lecontes Mills owes its origin to the efforts of Augustus and Aiphonso Leconte, who built a mill and residence at the confluence of Deer Creek and Buck Run. A postoffice was afterward established there, of which Augustus Leconte was postmaster until 1872, when he was succeeded by Charles Mignot, who was followed by other incumbents.


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