History of Goshen, 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 court of quarter sessions of Clearfield county, dated May 5, 1845. It is situated in the northern part of the county, being bounded on the north by part of the dividing line between Elk and Clearfield counties, on the east by Girard township, on the south by parts of Bradford and Lawrence townships and west by part of Lawrence township.

Although a large part of the township is a comparative wilderness, containing only a few scattered inhabitants, the southern part is well cultivated and embraces in its limits some of the finest and most fertile land in the county. The people of the township are mostly engaged in farming.

The population, according to the census of 1910, was 514.

The main streams of Goshen township are Lick Run and Trout Run, in the southern half, both of which discharge into the river, and Laurel Run, which drains the northern half, and which discharges into the Sinnamahoning, and finally into the West Branch.

Among the pioneers of the township was the Bomgardner family, who took up lands near the mouth of Trout Run in the year 1820. Joseph Thorndyke, another old settler, located in the same neighborhood two years later. He was a trapper and hunter, without family, and made few or no improvements. John, Henry and James Irwin were sons of Henry Irwin, Sr., who lived at the mouth of Wolf Run, and afterward in Goshen. The sons were natives of the county, but the parents of Irish birth. John Irwin early claimed land in Karthaus township.

William Ross improved land about a mile below the mouth of Trout Run, the place having been formerly owned by William Leonard, father of Abraham Leonard. The latter about 1835 made an improvement on the location subsequently owned by John Sankey.

Another pioneer of the township was Jacob Flegel (brother of Valentine), who made a farm about 1842 or ‘43, not far from the head of Flegel’s Run, in the southwest part of the township. He afterwards built a saw mill on the Run. The Flegels were a numerous family and have many descendants yet living in the township. Other settlers were Isaac and Robert Graham, who later emigrated to the West; Matthew Tate, who bought lands on Jerry Run; Robert C. Shaw, brother of Judge Richard Shaw, and son of Archie Shaw, the pioneer of Mt. Joy Ridges; Joseph Morrison, William L. Shaw, Daniel Lewis, William L. Rishel, Merrick Housler, Horatio Hall, Henry Lewis, William Housler, Nathaniel Brittain, Thompson Read, James A. Read, John Jenton, Matthew Tate, Q. W. Graham, John Barr, Isaac Lewis. The above, with others, owned land or cattle within the township in 1846, at the time the first enumeration of taxables was made, though possibly some of them may not have been actually residents of the township. There was then but one saw mill in the township—that of Bigler, Boynton & Powell, who were residents of Clearfield borough.

Ellis Irwin, a former merchant of Clearfield, moved to Lick Run in 1856, having previously purchased property there. This was the saw-mill erected on the run by Martin Nichols in 1845. Mr. Irwin completed the mill and began lumbering, which business he followed for many years thereafter. In 1847 he bought the uncompleted mill and dam erection below him on the other side of the stream, which hail been started by F. P. Hurxthal and James Irwin, together with adjacent lands, and completed the construction, thus acquiring a valuable water frontage. In 1852 he started a general merchandise store, which he managed in connection with his other extensive business interests. The Lick Run Mills postoffice was established in 1872 and Mr. Irwin appointed postmaster. This office took the place of the previous one at Shawsville, further down the river, which was thereafter discontinued. The latter place was named in honor of Judge Richard Shaw, who built a grist mill here, at the mouth of Trout Run in 1852, on lands purchased from Stewardson, of Philadelphia. At his death the property went to Arnold B. Shaw of Clearfield. In 1886 the machinery for making roller process flour was placed in the mill. A water-power saw-mill was built on Trout Run, above Shawsville, by Morrow and Smith, about 1870, and afterwards became the property of H. H. Morrow. The Shirey saw mill, on the west branch of Trout Run, was built at an early date by William Mapes. It was rebuilt by A. H. Shirey and subsequently became the property of Frederick B. Irwin.

The first school erected after the formation of the township was on the lands of Isaac Graham, and this was the starting point of the educational interests of the township, which are today well looked after, there being an adequate number of good schools and teachers.

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