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Callensburg Borough

Callensburg Borough Hall, P.O. Box 24, Callensburg PA 16213; phone: 814-358-2433.

Beginnings [1]

Callensburg borough was laid out in 1826 by Hugh Callen, who conceived the idea of founding a town on his farm. The first house was erected by Hon. L. Reed, in 1826, on land now owned by the H. C. Heeter heirs. It was all woodland with the exception of three log cabins, build by Reed, McCallenter, and Thomas Getins. A quarter of a century elapsed from the laying out of the town and its incorporation as a borough in 1851, at which time officers were elected on March 21, 1851. The first store was owned by Henry Alexander. The second house built had a tannery in the basement. Then, too, there was a buggy shop and a blacksmith shop in the early days.

Callensburg Academy was incorporated in 1858, and was considered one of the best institutions of learning of the time. The first principal was Orr Lawson. Many pupils from nearby towns attended, walking a number of miles. The building crumbled and fell a number of years ago. The lot is used as a ball park at the present time and is owned by the town.

Previous to laying out the town in 1825, Hugh Callen reserved three acres to build a Presbyterian Church. This included a cemetery. The first sermon was preached in the grove where the Presbyterian Church now stands. The first church was started in 1831, and was completed in 1838. A Methodist class was established in the Public School house. A church was built in 1852 in the west end of town.

A few months previous to the laying out of Callensburg, a survey was made up the Clarion River, then called Stump Creek, sometimes Toby Creek, the names of two Indian trappers. These trappers went up the river every winter in a canoe, returning in the spring, laden with furs. The survey was made to locate the Pennsylvania Canal which afterwards was located along the Kiskiminetas.

  1. Rhea, Mrs. D. B., Clarion County Centennial, 1840-1940: August 26 to September 2, Clarion County Centennial Association, 1940.
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