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
Judge White presided over Cambria County Courts, then part of the 10th
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
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.
Copyright © 2000-2001 Kenneth W. Stallard