Clarion County, Pennsylvania

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Clarion County Courthouse is located at 401 Main Street, Clarion PA 16214; phone: 814‑226‑4000.


Beginnings [1]

Formed March 11, 1839; named from Clarion River. The scenery is beautiful and diversified; at the highest point, over 1600 feet above sea level, a flagstaff has been erected; from here, on a clear day, may be seen the bridge at East Brady and four villages in the far distance. Hills and valleys are dotted here and there with oil and gas wells. There are beautiful views along the Clarion and Allegheny rivers and Redbank Creek; the scenery at East Brady is notable on account of the precipitous hills and winding streams. First white settler was Captain Samuel Brady of Revolutionary fame; his parents having been killed by Indians, he swore vengeance against them. He conducted an expedition in 1779 under General Brodhead, who had started with a large force from Fort Pitt. The Indians had become troublesome along the Allegheny River; Brady, in advance with scouts, discovered them on a flat rock at a place which is now East Brady; he took possession of a narrow pass, and when the Indians arrived, he opened fire, with the main army in the rear; escape was impossible, and nearly all were killed or taken prisoners.

Origin of the Name Clarion [2]

The origin of the name Clarion was long a mystery, but has finally been cleared up. In 1817, the legislature appropriated $200.00, to improve the navigation of Toby Creek, and $100.00, for the same purpose on Redbank Creek. The river was then called Toby Creek, and also called by many Stump Creek.

In 1817, the legislature passed an Act, authorizing the survey of a state road from Indiana to Franklin. The surveyors selected were David Lawson and Daniel Stannard. While lying in their tent one night, along Toby Creek, which was heavily fringed by a wall of close and massive timber, they noticed this wall condensed and reflected the murmur of the stream, giving it a silvery mellowness. Stannard remarked, "The water sounds like a distant clarion." '"Why not call this stream the Clarion River?" replied Mr. Lawson. Their survey was filed in Armstrong County and gave the stream the name of Stump Creek, but the name Clarion gained favor a n d w a s finally officially adopted. These men deserve the gratitude of the county for the refreshing change from Toby or Stump Creek to the Clarion River. The town of Clarion and the county were named for the river.

The county has been blessed by an abundance of names. The Indians called it "Tobeco," the French "Rivere au Fiel," the pioneers "Toby" and "Stump," and finally its present name, the Clarion.

  1. Archambault, A. Margaretta, ed., A Guide Book of Art, Architecture, and Historic Interests in Pennsylvania, John C. Winston Company, Philadelphia, 1924
  2. >Clarion County D.A.R. Landmarks Committee, Clarion County Centennial, 1840-1940: August 26 to September 2, Clarion County Centennial Association, 1940.

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