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White Township Home Page

White Township
Cambria County, PA


[1940 White Township Census]

Map showing location of White Township

From huge stands of pine trees White Township got its pioneer economy - from its Indian legends it got its culture and from an early jurist its name.

White Township, one of the older townships, was formed July 6, 1838, from Clearfield Township - which earlier had been cut from Allegheny, one of Cambria County's original townships.

The new section was named after Judge Thomas White of Indiana, second common pleas judge in Cambria County. The jurist had been appointed for life on December 13, 1836. He served only 10 years, because the state constitution was altered in 1838, changing the term for judges to 10 years.

Judge White presided over Cambria County Courts, then part of the 10th Judicial District.

State forests still cover a large part of this northern tier township - but in those days it was almost primeval. By 1880 the population of the county had grown to 383 - and in 1850 it stood only a little more than 550.

The area is rich in timber and rich in Indian lore. The large state forest preserve nestles in the mountainous regions of the township.

One writer says the first settler in White Township lived on the present Joseph Dishart farm some time prior to 1850. His name was John Burgoon who is said to have been an early "squatter." His nearest neighbor was believed to have lived on Flannigan Run near Patton.

Beaver Dam Run, one of the principal streams in the township, is interesting. The run got its name from the fact that trees found there years ago gave evidence of having been covered with water at an early age. The run formerly was a large dam, built by beavers and covering several acres of land.

Visible from the fork of Slate Lick Creek and Beaver Dam Run is a hill about 2050 feet high. Some historians have tabbed it as a place for Indian worship or council fires.

Others believe it to have been a fort and call it Ft. Hill. Historians say no trace of iron relics ever was found at the site, indicating it was not built by white men. The earthworks of the hill are of circular form about 300 feet in diameter. When first known to the white settlers it was covered by a growth of maple, elm and beech trees, some of them 20 inches in diameter. This interesting historical spot is located on what is now the Ralph Holtz farm.

Some of the first settlers in the township were the Burgoons, the McGoughs, Angles and Gates.

White Township is bounded on the north by Clearfield County, on the east by Reade Township, on the south by Clearfield Township and on the west by Chest Township. Clearfield Creek makes up the eastern boundary of the township.

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