Crawford County, Pennsylvania

1876 ATLAS 1

          The township was early settled.  Henry Marley was the pioneer settler in June, 1793.  William Dean and John Wolford came in 1794; Andrew Gibson and Thomas and Isaac Powell moved in during 1796; Peter Shaw, in April 1797; and John Adams, from Susquehanna County, in 1798; Robert Harvey, in 1803, moved in from Cumberland County, and Walter Evans, several years later, removed thither from Meadville.  Surviving settlers give the name of John Wentworth, as of the very first occupant of the township.  In 1793 he ascended French Creek in a canoe, trapping and hunting, till he reached a point about a mile above Shaw's Landing, where he put up a shelter.  The honor of building the first cabin lies between Wentworth and Marley; both were of rude style and dwarfish extent, but answered for the times.  The first frame was built by John Adams, later, occupied by the Cochrans.  Adams erected a saw- and grist-mill at the mouth of Sugar Creek.  James Harriet was the owner of mills about 1800.  They were bought by Thomas Cochran in 1804 or 1805.  The convenience afforded by these and similar mills cannot be realized at the present day.  The pioneer mills, repeatedly repaired, are still in existence.  A tannery was started in Cochranton in 1836 by two brothers, Dutchmen, who ran it a few years, and then went elsewhere.  The first bridge over French Creek was built by Porter and Cullom in 1825, and bore the name of the Herrington bridge.  Among early marriages was that of John Brooks to Elizabeth Wright; and in 1810, John Luper was married to Mary Allanton, by Judge Brooks.  Alexander Shaw, born in September, 1797, was the first white child native to the township.  James G. Marley was born seven years later.  The first death was of Franklin Forgy, whose leg was broken at the raising of James Herrington's grist-mill, in 1810, and who died after the limb was amputated.  He was buried in the Conneaut grave-yard.  The first burial in East Fairfield was of Mrs. Kightlinger, in a field.  First meetings were held at the cabin of John Wentworth; other early religious assemblages were conducted by Bishop Roberts, at the house of James Herrington.  The first school-house was built upon the creek road, on the place settled by Andrew Gibson, in 1802.  An early settler, and one of the first blacksmiths, was named Hurst, and followed his occupation many years. The first regular tavern was kept in a frame house which stood on the turnpike, about two miles north of Cochranton, by John Whitman, who ran a line of stages, being the successor of John Bennett.  Bennett's first stage was run from Franklin to Meadville, weekly; fare was but half a dollar per trip.  Stitzersville is a hamlet in the eastern part of the township.  Shaw's Landing, on French Creek, five miles north of Cochranton, is a railroad station on the Franklin Branch of the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad. Its name is derived from Peter Shaw, an old settler, and it is the site of an oil refinery.  Cochranton, eleven miles south of Meadville, is a thriving town, of about five hundred inhabitants.  Churches, stores, hotels, and shops have full representation.  The first occupants were James and Joseph Cochran, after whom the place was named.  Owners of a large amount of land, the Cochrans were prominent in advancing the interests of the township.  James Cochran is known as the first Justice of the Peace and the first store-keeper in the township; and Dr. Bates was the first settled physician in the town.  The township was formed from Fairfield, in 1869.  Its area is seven thousand seven hundred and thirty-four acres.  Surface is rolling; soil fertile.  Population was seven hundred and forty-one in 1870.

1 Combination Atlas Map of Crawford County, Pennsylvania, Compiled, Drawn and Published From Personal Examinations and Surveys (Philadephia: Everts, Ensign & Everts, 1876), 25.