History of Sandy, 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 the Court of Quarter Sessions of Clearfield County at September Sessions 1878. It is bounded on the north by part of the dividing line between Jefferson and Clearfield counties and part of the dividing line between Elk and Clearfield Counties, on the east by Huston and part of Union Townships, on the south by Brady Township, and on the west by part of the dividing line between Jefferson and Clearfield Counties.

The township contains valuable coal deposits, which have been operated for a number of years, also many valuable farms, and is one of the most prosperous townships in the County.

The population, according to the census of 1910 was 5695.

Prior to 1812 John Casper Stoeber had preempted some land in western Pennsylvania, which came in possession of Mr. Stoeber's (laughter, who was married to a Mr. Scheffer, father of Michael, George, and Frederick Scheffer (now all dead), and ancestor of the present generations of Shafers-as they now write it-in Sandy township.

In 1812 the senior Scheffer left Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, with his family, and settled on the pre-empted land of his father-in-law, John Casper Stoeber, which was situated near the present limits of DuBois, then belonging to Centre county. They landed on May 12, 1812, and on the next day erected a "bark shanty," beside a cooling spring. There was no store nearer than "Old Town" as Clearfield was then called. The merchants at the time "wagoned" their goods from Philadelphia. The nearest mill was on the Clarion River, forty miles distant. In 1814, however, a mill was built at Curwensville, on the Susquehanna River, nineteen miles distant. These early settlers subsisted chiefly on deer and bear meat, and other game. They lived here for ten long and lonesome years before they had any neighbors. Soon after this time some Germans commenced to settle about Troutville, which section was long known by the local name of "Germany."

J. P. Taylor and W. N. Prothero were elected the first justices of the peace.

After the incorporation of DuBois, 1879, J. A. Bowersox and J. R. Keel were elected justices; the latter resigned, and John Lankard was appointed until the next municipal election (February, 1884), when William Liddel was elected to fill the regular term. J. A. Bowersox at the expiration of his first term was re-elected in February, i886. Samuel Postlethwait was the first township treasurer, and served four years. He was followed in 1883 by Michael Shaffer, who served four years, and was re-elected in February, 1887. The first constable in the township was Henry Raught. The population in 1880, estimated (including Du Bois), 3,700. (See borough of DuBois in succeeding chapter.)

The first store in Sandy township at "West Liberty," as far as known, was opened by John Hoover, followed by Joseph Cathers, and he by S. Lobough. "Jerry" Heasly established a foundry about this time; John Heberling opened a general store, which he kept for about twenty years, he also was postmaster during this period at West Liberty-post-office name, "Jefferson Line." The post-office was removed in 1885 to the railroad "cut," at the point where the railroad crosses the "Waterford and Erie" pike, there being a regular station of the same name as the post-office, "Jefferson Line."

The first practical mining in this township was commenced in 1874 or '75 by the "Centennial colliery," opened and operated by Messrs. Jones Bros. in 1876. This colliery, being located on disputed land, there was more or less litigation from the start, which culminated in the shooting of Montgomery, a representative claimant, by Peter Jones (of the firm of Jones Bros.) in self-defense, in May 4, 1878. The mines were shortly after abandoned.

In 1876 the Sandy Lick Gas, Coal and Coke Company commenced to ship coal. They employed about one hundred men, and shipped about five hundred tons per day. Mr. Miles B. McHugh was superintendent. This company operated a few years, when trouble arose between it and Messrs. Bell, Lewis & Yates, on the question of royalty due t'he latter, which resulted in the closing of the "drift," when the Sandy Lick Company opened the "Hildrup" mine on the opposite side of Sandy Lick Creek, but it too was finally closed.

The firm of Bell, Lewis & Yates began to develop its property in the year 1876 (eonsisting of about four thousand acres, lying principally in Sandy township), under the management of A. J. McHugh. They shipped their first coal from Rochester mines on March 27, 1877.

The early educational efforts and interests were identical and equally shared with Brady township, from which township the greater portion of Sandy was taken. At the time of the organization of the township in i88i, there were nine schools with two hundred and eightyone pupils, male and female. The number of schools had grown to thirteen in 1887, with five hundred and ninety pupils. The educational interests are in a fair stage of development, and the public school fund in a healthy condition.

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