A little history about Clearfield County…
Clearfield County is located in the center of Pennsylvania with direct access to major markets in the Northeastern United States and the Midwest via US Interstate 80 which runs directly through the center of the county. There are 6 exits off US Interstate 80 in Clearfield County with 5 of the exits having potential economic development properties available near the exits. Recent additions to the Clearfield County business community include the Wal-Mart Distribution Center located in Bradford Township at old Exit 20 of Interstate 80, the newly-constructed Clearfield Campus of Lock Haven University and the State Correctional Institute at Houtzdale. Economic Development opportunities also exist at the new DuBois Industrial Park.
Beautiful Clearfield County was formed by parts of Lycoming and Huntingdon Counties and was organized by the Act of Assembly on March 26, 1804. Governor Thomas McKean, governor of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth during that period in time, approved the Act of Assembly. Clearfield’s name is derived from the clear fields that were found along the Clearfield Creek and in other areas of the county. These clearings were most likely created from the Bison herds that formally roamed that area and from the old corn fields of the Native Americans. The first Clearfield County Commissioners were Roland Curtin, James Fleming, and James Smith; all of which were appointed by Governor McKean. Their first act as County Commissioners was to select a place to construct a county seat. On May 20, 1805, the commissioners arrived at land that was owned by Abraham Witmer (the name in which lower and upper Witmer Parks, located along the West Branch of Susquehanna waterfront in Clearfield Borough, are named). At that time, the town was known as Chincleclamousche, named after the Native American chief of the Cornplanter’s tribe of Senecas.
Clearfield County was not a totally independent entity, however. In 1812, Clearfield County formed its first board of commissioners: Robert Maxwell, Hugh Jordan, Samuel Fulton, and Arthur Bell Sr. This assembly worked for the next ten years to pass a law that fully organized Clearfield County as a fully independent county. This Act of Assembly was passed on January 29, 1822.
Clearfield County’s major industries, during this time, were the lumber yards and coal mining beds that littered the county. Lumber was still being floated down the West Branch of the Susquehanna River until 1917, when the railroads were brought in to the major towns of the county. Coal was, and remains, one of the major industries. The “black diamonds” are still being mined today, though the majority of coal removal is done by strip mining.
The county seat, Clearfield Borough established in 1840, is located in the Appalachian Mountains along Interstate 80, just off Exit 120, previously known as Exit 19