Mifflin Township, Columbia County, Pennsylvania (PA)

Mifflin Township

Columbia County, Pennsylvania

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Mifflin Township, P.O. Box 359, Mifflinville PA 18631.
Phone: 570‑752‑4651.

Beginnings [1]

Mifflin Township was erected in 1799, during the last term of Thomas Mifflin, one of the signers of the Constitution of the United States, and governor of Pennsylvania from 1788 to 1799. It was one of the two divisions of the county of Columbia at the date of its formation, and was reduced to its present dimensions by the erection of Main and Beaver Townships in 1844 and 1845. The northern boundary of Mifflin Township is the Susquehanna River, and the crest of Nescopeck Mountain on the south forms a long and complete natural barrier between this and Beaver Township.

The date of the first settlement of this section cannot be accurately determined; there were some families here in 1779, one of which was murdered by the Indians, their more fortunate neighbors fleeing across the river to Fort Jenkins for safety. The last Indian tragedy in this section occurred in 1785, when a family of three was murdered on the "Mifflin flats." Their names have never been ascertained.

Among the first settlers of Mifflin Township was Nicholas Angle (or Engle), who located on Ten-mile run, southwest of the present town of Mifflinville. This run obtained its name from the fact that it marks the ten-mile post on the hill road to Catawissa. Paul Gruver made a settlement at the same time near the base of Nescopeck Mountain, and in the same neighborhood Thomas Aten and Jacob Schweppenheiser also located. The latter built the first sawmill in Mifflin Township on a branch of Ten-mile run. On the ridge above this stream, were the Creasys, the Kirkendalls and John and David Brown. John Brown, in 1793, located in the valley of the creek on a tract of four hundred acres, purchased by his father for $12 an acre. This tract included the site of the present gristmill and the Frymire and Snyder farms. Other old families in this section, who came here some time later, were the Koder, Bowman, Kerji, Hartzell, Mosteller, Zimmerman and Mensinger families, most of whom were from Berks county.

The second oldest gristmill in Columbia County was built soon after the Wyoming massacre by John Brown, great-grandfather of J.C. Brown, postmaster of Bloomsburg from 1902 to 1914. The mill was operated by a long line of Browns — John, Samuel, William, Freas and John. Later, the owner was P.A. Fetterolf.

Another mill was erected on Ten-mile run in 1869 by George Nungesser, who ran it until 1881, when his son William J. took charge. The mill about a mile north of this one, on the same stream, was built about the same time by Peter Yohe, father of J.R. Yohe, who also ran a sawmill for a time. Both of these mills were for buckwheat alone. The Yohe mill was burned some years ago.

On the eastern border of the town stood the tannery and brickyard of Freeze & Smith, which flourished during the period of the town's prosperity. Southeast of town was the large brick plant of the Nanticoke Brick Company, which was built to produce common red brick, but after the discovery of a fine stratum of shale in 1913 the plant was altered to make paving brick. Some of the product has been used on the streets of Bloomsburg and Berwick.

In 1914 the Creasy Brick Company was chartered by Oden R. Lewis, Samuel W. Gillam, James T. Brennan and James L. Reilly, with a capital of $75,000. They began in that year the erection of a large paving brick plant and acquired leases of the B.D. Freas, Robinholt and George S. Miller farms.

In the year 1794 a school was opened by David Jones in a hut among the scrub oak and pine trees below Mifflinville, on the land of Christian Wolf. The alphabet was taught by means of letters inscribed by the teacher on a shingle, there being then no books on school subjects available. Soon after a school building was erected.

The population of Mifflin Township in 1820 was 1,492; in 1830, 1,791; in 1840, 2,143; in 1850, 1,024; in 1860, 1,021; in 1870, 1,043; in 1880, 1,038; in 1890, 1,022; in 1900, 1,043; in 1910, 1,142.

  1. Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties Pennsylvania, Vol. 1, J. H. Beers & Co., 1915.

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