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


This township was erected from parts of Bell, Ferguson and Penn townships, by a decree of court of quarter sessions of Clearfield county, dated the 19th day of March, 1875. The township is bounded on the north by Penn township, on the east by Ferguson township, and on the south by Chest township, and on the west by Bell township. Agriculture is the principal occupation of the people of this township.

The population, according to the census of 1910, was 590.

The taxables embraced in the new township at the time of its formation were as follows: From Bell township, R. C. Thompson, E. B. Thompson, Charles Hullihan, John Mills, J. N. McCracken, D. W. McCracken, Eli Campbell, Jacob Fryer, J. Q. A. Johnson, G. W. Dickey, Jacob Uber, John W. Bell, Henry Sharp, Marion Sharp, William Bell, James Wiley, Nelson Young, Eli Passmore, J. N. Kester, William Kester, Frampton Bell, Samuel Hullihan, James Frampton, G. M. Passmore, John Cunningham, William D. Beck, Thompson McLaughlin, G. D. McCracken, Thomas Thompson, C. A. Rorabaugh, H. D. Rowles, Frank Sawyer, A. T. Goldthread, John Robbins, William T. Thorpe, Charles Thorpe, David Mitchell, A. B. Tate, David McCracken, R. C. McCracken, William Tunblin, John W. Haslet, James K. Henry, Immanuel Hoover.

From Ferguson township: Hon. John P. Hoyt, S. H. Vanhorn, George Ross, Wesley Ross, John F. Wiley, D. D. Wiley, John A. Rowles, William Rowles, Balser Hullihan, Matthias Hullihan, Conrad Hullihan, Thomas Tubbs.

From Penn township: W. C. Hoover, Elah Johnson, William Smith, Albert Smith, James Johnson, John L. Johnson, David Johnson, Matthew W. Johnson, Wesley Horn, James Newcomer, Patrick Rafferty, Aaron Newcomer, Josiah Newcomer, Job Curry, Jesse Kester, Frank Kester.

The first election for township officers was directed to be held on the 11th day of May, 1875, at the public house of Samuel Hullihan. The first officers elected were as follows: Justices of the peace, Isaac Kester and John W. Bell; constable, Aaron H. Newcomer; assessor, David Bell; supervisors, G. D. McCracken and Conrad Hullihan; overseers, George M. Passmore and Joseph Newcomer; auditors, Frampton Bell, three years, Z. L. Hoover, two years, Nelson Young, one year; school directors, T. J. Thompson and John S. Johnson, for three years; John A. Rowles and John P. Hoyt, for two years; James Stevenson and J. Q. A. Johnson, for one year; treasurer, Wilson McCracken; judge of election, David Lee.

The Susquehanna River crosses Greenwood township in a general course from southwest to northeast, but its course is exceedingly tortuous and winding. The principal streams tributary to the river on the north are Haslet's Run, Curry's Run, and Bell's Run; on the south side are several rivulets of no mentionable size. The country generally throughout the township is very hilly and mountainous, but along the valley of the river is much productive farming land.

Among the first families to settle in this locality was that of Greenwood Bell, a son of Squire Bell, who was one of the very first settlers of the county. In honor of Squire Bell and his son, Greenwood, Bell township was so named. The son, Greenwood, in the erection of this township, comes before the court and public for still further honor, in the formation of this township, it being named in his honor. Mr. Bell lived on the river near the location of Belleville, one of the small towns of the township. Here he cleared a farm and built a saw and grist-mill, they being among the first industries in this part of the county. The descendants of Arthur Bell are numerous in this section, and are recognized as being among the substantial men of the county. Greenwood Bell married Elizabeth Roll, by whom he had ten children: Arthur, Mary, Delilah, John, William, David, Julia Ann, Harvey, Grier, and Frampton. He was a man highly respected in the county, and took an active part in every enterprise of public we!fare. In 1820-1 he held the office of county commissioner. In 1822 he was appointed sheriff of the county, being the first incumbent of the office. He was again chosen in 1823, and served until 1826.

The pioneer worker of Greenwood township, he who took the burden of the labor in its erection, was Dr. John P. Hoyt. In the year 1846, then having had a residence in the county of nearly thirty years, Dr. Hoyt moved to a place on the Susquehanna River, about three miles above Lumber City, and in the extreme eastern part of the territory that, in 1875, was erected into Greenwood township. Here he lived, and here he died at an advanced age, surrounded by family and friends, and in the enjoyment of the comforts earned by a life of toil and perseverance. Dr. Hoyt was married, in 1820, to Mary, daughter of Thomas McClure, a pioneer of Pike township, From 1852 until 1857, Dr. Hoyt acted with Richard Shaw, as associate judges of Clearfield county.

Another of the pioneers of this locality was William Haslet, who came here with his family, from what is now Clinton county, in the year 1828. He settled on lands later owned by William McCracken, the first farm west from the hamlet of Bower. He was a substantial resident of Greenwood, or the territory that was formed into that township, for twenty-five years. He died in the year 1853.

The McClures were represented in pioneer days in this vicinity. "Squire" Thomas McClure first came to the county in the year 1799, from Cumberland county, but did not bring his family until the succeeding year.

The McCrackens, who are to be numbered among the pioneers of the county, came to the then unsettled river country about the beginfling of the present century, soon after the advent of Squire Arthur Bell, to whom they were related. The pioneer of the McCracken family was James. He is remembered as having been a man of great physical strength and activity, a trait that was transmitted to his sons, and of which they made frequent use in all athletic sports. James, Thomas and John McCracken were Sons of the pioneer James. The descendants of this family are numbered among the substantial residents of Greenwood township.

Among the many familiar names of pioneer families, whose descendants now help to make the population of the township, are to be found some representing various localities or sections of the river country. There are Thompsons, Johnsons, Young, Passmore, Kester, Hullihan, McLaughlin, Rowles, Robbins, Thorpe, Mitchell, Tate, Henry, Hoover, Ross, Wiley, Smith, Newcomer, Curry, Kester, and perhaps others whose names have been lost.

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