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

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KNOX TOWNSHIP

This township was erected by a decree of the court dated the 19th day of May, 1854, and was named in honor of Judge Knox, one of the first judges, who presided over the courts of Clearfield county. The township is bounded on the north by Pike and Lawrence townships, on the east by Woodward and Bigler townships, south by Beccaria township and west by Jordan and Ferguson townships.

The principal business of the people of the township is agriculture, although there are some coal deposits that are now being operated. The population, according to the census of 1910, was 1,064.

The first settlement in Knox township, and one of the first in the county, was made by James Rea, in 1806, who came here from Huntingdon county.

The nearest grist-mill at that time was between Tyrone and Birmingham. Some time after a mill was erected at Moose Creek, and thither Mr. Rea transported his grist on the back of an ox.

In a short time James Hegarty, who was murdered soon after, settled what is now the William Witherow farm. Thomas McKee improved the land later owned by Robert Witherow’s heirs, and Thomas Jordan located where Thomas Witherow subsequently lived. John Carson, also one of the first settlers, procured the premises made vacant by the death of James Hegarty.

In 1824, Peter Erhard, who lived by the Susquehanna River, near Curwensville, was drowned while crossing the river on horseback. About six or eight years previous to this time he had located some land in what is now Knox township. By the aid of his four sons this land was improved, and shortly after the death of the father the sons moved to this land, and in connection with it bought the tract upon which grew up the village of New Millport. The three eldest sons, Christian, David, and Philip, were interested in the latter purchase, and soon erected a saw-mill, probably the first improvement on Little Clearfield Creek. This first mill was built sometime between 1820 and 1825, and after it had served its purpose and time, another was built near the grist-mill.

Saw-mills did not pay the operators in that early day, for although surrounded by thousands of acres of immense pine forests, the facilities for transportation were so poor and the demand so limited, that lumber was scarce worth the cutting, and millions of feet that would now be worth forty to sixty dollars per thousand feet, were rolled into heaps and burned.

George, a younger son of Peter Erhard, improved a farm; was county commissioner from 1857 to 1860.

The first dwelling-house in New Miliport village was built by David Erhard, Sr., about 1834, near the mill-race. The town was of slow growth, but the building of the Beech Creek Railroad through it in 1885, gave it a new impetus.

The first industries being mills, suggested the name—Miliport, and the word New, was added when the postoffice was established here, to distinguish it from Millport, in Potter county, Pa. The first postmaster was D. E. Mokel, appointed in 1855 or 1856.

The first schoolhouse in Knox township was located across the run from the residence of David Erhard. It was built in 1842. The first teacher was Benjamin Roberts, who afterwards became a citizen of the township, and improved the farm later owned by Robert Patterson. The township is now well supplied with good schools and teachers; also churches.


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