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Freeport Borough


Freeport Borough Hall is located at 414 Market Street, Freeport PA 16229; phone: 724-295-2251.

Beginnings [1]

From undoubted evidences in the shape of mounds, clearings, fortifications and other pre-historic remains there is no doubt that the site of Freeport was once as densely populated as at present, although by strange and unknown races, whose history we can only conjecture.

James McCormick, the second sheriff of this county, settled here, probably in 1797, and opened a hotel and established a ferry. By the act of April 4, 1798, such parts of Allegheny Bounty as were then within Elder's district, being part of Deer township, were made an election district, and the place fixed for holding the elections was "at the house of James McCormick, in the town of Freeport," which was the first house built on Water street. Some time during that year Charles Duffy and his family arrived here from Ireland and stopped at McCormick's, where his daughter Barbara, then in her eleventh year, remained several months. Her father located on the headwaters of one of the western tributaries of Buffalo creek, then in the wilderness. The town was laid out in 1796 by William and David Todd, and was at first called "Toddstown," but from the fact that David Todd insisted that it should always remain a free port for water craft, the name was later changed to its present one.

The first house in Freeport was built beside the old blockhouse by Andrew Patterson.

Among other later arrivals at this place were Jacob Mechling, formerly of Greensburg, and afterward of Butler, and his co-commissioners, Hamilton, Lane, Morton and Weaver. Mechling, in his "journal of proceedings to fix the seats of justice in the counties of Armstrong," etc., notes their arrival at the mouth of Puckety, June 3, 1802, and then "eleven miles to Freeport, where we lodged that night," which is all he noted in his journal respecting this town, in which there were then but a very few log houses, besides McCormick's tavern, where he and the other commissioners probably lodged.

In 1805 there were only eight indifferent houses of hewn logs. The first one was McCormick's tavern; the second one, built by Thomas Johnston, adjoined McCormick's; the third, by one of the Thornburghs on or near Water, above Fifth street; the fourth by Henry A. Weaver, on the north side of Market street; the fifth on the second lot above the last-mentioned one; the sixth, by Alexander Hunter, on Water, between Second and Third streets; the seventh, by David Porterfield, on Water, between Third and Fourth streets ; the eighth, on Water, near Fifth street.

  1. Armstrong County Pennsylvania: Her People Past and Present, Volume I, J. H. Beers & Co., Chicago, 1914
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