HISTORY OF COOPER TOWNSHIP

             Cooper Township has a total land area of --- square miles and a population of 2,704 residents (as of the last federal census in 2010). It is one of 1,457 Townships of the Second Class in the Commonwealth and one of -- municipalities in Clearfield County.

Townships are the oldest political subdivisions of Pennsylvania. William Penn's 1681 Charter authorized him to divide counties into subdivisions ie. townships.

As soon as the first counties were created in 1682, they were subdivided into districts for various governmental purposes. As settlement moved westward, townships were often formed in frontier areas before there was sufficient population to justify a separate county, so in most cases the oldest subdivisions are townships, antedating even the county governments.

History of Cooper Township

         Cooper Township was bought into existence by a proceeding that was commenced in the September Quarter Sessions on the 27th day of September, in the year 1882, and, after having been subjected to the various delays known only to the law, was completed and confirmed by a decree of the court dated the 18th day of January, 1884. It is therefore one of the youngest of the county's townships. The proceeding by which it was created was instituted by J. M. Holt, John Leavy, and others; and upon the presentation of their petition the court did appoint S. F. McClosky, John L. Pearce and David Gearhart, commissioners, to view the territory sought to be divided, and to report thereon their opinion as to the advisability of the division contemplated.

         For the erection of the new township, only Morris township was called upon to surrender its territory, and this by a line running from west to east from the southeast part of Graham township, on the line between two tracts in the name o Michael and Jacob Gratz, thence through Jacob Gratz (now O. Pardee's), south six degrees west, sixty perches to a point in the township road leading from Morrisdale to Kylertown; thence along another township road south one-half degree west, sixty-five perches to the line between Jacob Gratz's tract and Christian Wirtz; thence along the line between said tracts, and between said Pardee and Miles Johnson, south eighty-six degrees east, thirty-three perches to a post; thence by the same northeast two perches to a post; thence south eighty-eight degrees east, thirty perches to a dead white pine, a corner of tracts in the name of Christian Wirtz and Joseph Turner; thence between said tracts, lands now owned by Miles Johnson and Adam Moyer on the west, and O. L. Schoonover on the east, south three and one-half degrees west three hundred and thirty-three perches to a post, a corner of tracts in the name of Philip Wagoner and George Habaker; thence through the Joseph Turner survey south eighty-six and one-half degrees east, twenty-four perches to a post by a marked white oak on the west bank of Moshannon Creek."

         On the 4th day of April, 1883, the report was confirmed absolutely, and an election was ordered to be held July 10th, following, at which time the question should be submitted to the determination of the electors of the township, as to whether or not the division should be made. This election resulted in the polling of ninety-four votes for, and twenty-two against the proposition, and upon a proper return being made by the officers of that election, the court, by its decree, dated January 8, 1884, erected the township of Cooper.

         The only line necessary to be run in creating the township of Cooper, was that of which the description has been given, the other boundaries that divided the land in Morris that lay north of its remaining the same. Cooper township, by this proceeding, took from Morris a large part of its most valuable land, both in point of surface production and in mineral deposits.

         The township was so named in honor of the Cooper family, the pioneer of which was Daniel Cooper. He came to the locality in the year 1828, and settled within a short distance of Kylertown.

         The early history and settlement of Cooper township, and its progress and development prior to its erection, were made while it formed a part of Morris, from which it was taken, and for its history the reader will refer to the chapter on Morris township. Since its organization, Cooper has acquired but little history, yet, by reference to the tax-rolls of the township, there appears a noticeable growth in point of population at least. In the year 1885, there were by two hundred and thirty-nine taxables in the entire township, while on the roll for the year 1887, there appears a total of three hundred and seventy-five, showing an increase in two years of one hundred and thirty-six taxables, or an increase in population in that time of something over five hundred. This is accounted for, in a measure, by the development of its mineral and coal interests, particularly in the vicinity of the village of Peale.

         This little town is situate in the extreme east part of the township, and has become the center of an extensive coal region. Its existence is due to the building of the Beech Creek Railroad, and although the town is considerable distance from the station, yet it would be of little consequence without the road, which furnishes transportation for the immense quantities of coal and lumber produced in the vicinity.

         The only other hamlet or village worthy of note in connection with this chapter is Kylertown, so named from an old and highly respected family, named Kyler, that settled in the locality many years ago, and although the older stock are now dead, the township and village is well supplied with substantial representatives of the name and family.

 

 

Source: Pages 509-510, History of Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1887.

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