Crawford County, Pennsylvania
History & Biography
"GAZETTEER OF TOWNSHIPS."
EAST FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP
EAST FAIRFIELD was formed from Fairfield in
1869. It is an interior township, lying south of the center of the
county and on the east branch of French Creek, by which it is
separated from Fairfield. It covers an area of 7,734 square
acres. The surface is rolling and drained by French Creek and
its tributaries, the principal of which is Sugar Creek, which
crosses the north-east corner of the township. The soil is very
productive and is chiefly devoted to grain culture, though dairying
is beginning to engage the attention of the people.
The old French Creek Canal crosses the north-west corner of
the township, and the Franklin branch of the Atlantic & Great
Western R. R., passes through the township along the valley of
French Creek, crossing the canal within the limits of the township.
The population of the township in 1870 was 741, all of whom
were white, 661 native and 80, foreign.
During the year ending June 3, 1872, it contained five schools
and employed ten teachers. The number of scholars was 220;
the average number attending school, 158; and the amount
expended for school purposes, $877.28.
COCHRANTON (p. v.) is pleasantly situated on French Creek,
in the south angle of the township, and is the principal station
on the Franklin branch of the A. & G. W. R. R., by which it
is distant eleven miles south of Meadville. It is surrounded by
a rich agricultural country, and is the depot for a vast amount
of farm produce which seeks a market by the railroad. From
the country in its immediate vicinity large quantities of ties
are brought in for use on the A. & G. W. R. R. It contains
three churches, (M. E., Presbyterian and United Presbyterian,)
three hotels, twelve stores, a tannery, grist mill, oil barrel manufactory,
three blacksmith shops, a shoe shop and had in 1870
a population of 459. It was organized as a borough April 16,
1855, and derives its name from Joseph and James Cochran,
who were early settlers, bought large tracts of land and inaugurated
the first substantial improvements in this locality. The
present population is about 475.
SHAWS LANDING (p. o.) is situated on French Creek, five *52
miles above Cochranton, and on the Franklin branch of the
A. & G. W. R. R. It derives its name from Peter Shaw, an old
settler, and contains a hotel, store and oil refinery.
STITZERVILLE (Pettis p. o.) is located in the eastern part of the township and contains a store, saw mill and cider mill.
The first settlement, so far as we have been able to learn, was
made by Henry Marley, who came from Ireland to New York in
1790, and to this township in June, 1793. He built the first
house erected in the township. It was constructed of logs and
was located on the Creek road. His son James J. Marley, our
informant, was born in the township in 1804 and still resides
here. Wm. Dean, from Westmoreland county, and John Wolford
from Somerset county, came here in 1794. Dean came on
horseback from Pittsburgh and arrived in April of that year.
Thos. Powell, from Allegheny county, settled here in 1796;
Peter Shaw, from the same county, in April, 1797; and John
Adams, from Susquehanna county, in 1798. Adams located at
Cochranton and commenced that village by the erection of a
saw mill, in 1807. Four years from the latter settlementin
1802the first school house was built on the Creek road, on
the place settled by Andrew Gibson. In 1803, Robert Harvey
came here from Cumberland county. Walter Evans, from Lancaster
county, settled in Meadville in 1810, and removed thence
to this township.
The M. E. Church, at Cochranton, was organized with twelve members, in January, 1839, by Rev. Wm. Patterson, the first pastor. The church
edifice was erected in 1843 and remodeled in 1870. Its original cost was
$900. It will seat about 400 persons. There are seventy-five members,
who are under the pastoral care of Rev. John Abbott. The Church property
is valued at $2500.[Information furnished by Mr. E. P. Slocum.
The Presbyterian Church, at Cochranton, was organized in 1870, by Rev. David Patton, the first pastor. Their house of worship, which will seat
400 persons, was erected in 1850, at a cost of $1,500, one-half the present
value of Church property. The Society is without a pastor, the pulpit
being filled by supplies.[Information furnished by Mr. John Bell.
1 Hamilton Child, comp., Gazetteer and Business Directory of Crawford County, Pa., for 1874 (Syracuse, N.Y.: By the comp., 1874), pp. 118-19.