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Knox Borough

Knox Borough Hall, P.O. Box 366, Knox PA 16232; phone: 814-797-1376.

Beginnings [1]

Just about one hundred ten years ago the first settlement was made in what is now known as the town of Knox. The town of Edenburg (as it was then known), situated in Beaver Township, Clarion County, Pennsylvania, has had a great diversity of experiences in these years.

To understand its history it is necessary to give a sketch of some of its leading men before it became a borough.

Mr. J. G. Mendenhall, a Quaker by birth, came here with his young wife, from Chester County, Pennsylvania, in search of a location to make a home for himself and wife. He purchased a tract of land that is known as the Daniel Kiser farm, where Elk City now stands, for the price of seven hundred dollars. He kept this for six years. Due to the mineral value in ore, he sold it at the price of five thousand dollars. He then bought twenty acres, a wooded tract of land now the present site of Edenburg. Later, he made two other purchases of land, making him one hundred eighty-eight acres. After clearing his first purchase, he erected a large home to accommodate strangers, and here many people were entertained by his hospitality. He later purchased two other farms, calling one Egypt and the other Jerusalem. This land proved to be very rich in oil.

In 1834, Mr. Mendenhall, with his few neighbors, felt the need of a post office, Shippenville being the nearest one. Application was made to the Post Office Department and the request was granted. It was called Eden. After some time the office was discontinued. When it was again restored it was called Knox due to the fact that there was another Eden in the state. The next man who came to Knox, was Mr. P. F. Kribbs, a merchant. He and his son, Benton, were in the dry goods and grocery business, supplying the surrounding country.

Another pioneer settler was Mr. Thomas Thompson. His farm lay on the south side of the Emlenton-Shippenville road. This road was the dividing line of two farms. Mr. J. I. Best, the son-in-law of Mr. Thomas Thompson, was the owner of the other farm. In 1895, Mr. Best erected a very lovely residence. Oil production developed so rapidly that he granted many leases and had a large production.

Charity Hill was a point on the Best farm where good water was found. Large tanks were placed which supplied the people with water, also for fire protection. The first house built for a hotel was called the "Edenburg House," which was destroyed by fire before it was completed. Later it was rebuilt.

The first to erect a church were the Winebrinarians. Two years after it was built, the denomination sold it to the Presbyterians. The first Methodist Church was built and dedicated in 1876. In 1877, the church burned. Then a new church and a parsonage were erected. In October, 1878, both the church and the parsonage burned. The third church was dedicated in 1879. In less than seven years the Methodists had built three churches and three parsonages, and purchased one already built.

In the autumn of 1876, the borough of Edenburg was organized and procured a charter. The Mendenhall and the Best farms alone included the borough limits. The charter was procured at the cost of two hundred eighty dollars.

The first daily paper was edited in the year 1876, and was known as the Edenburg Herald.

In 1875, the first bank of Edenburg was organized. It was located on the property of J. A. Travis on Main Street. In 1877, the bank closed, and in 1878, the Clarion County National Bank was started by Mr. Dickey, Mr. Eccles, and Mr. Crawford of Franklin, Pennsylvania.

Edenburg was visited by a great many fires, but after each fire a larger and better building rose in its stead.

The G. A. R. citizens of Edenburg were responsible for providing the grounds for the cemetery in the year 1885. It is now in the hands of an association and is called the Union Cemetery.

In 1909, Main Street was paved at the cost of $15,126.17. Since then, all streets of our town have been improved and marked in streets and avenues.

In 1921, Mrs. D. O. White built and dedicated the White Memorial School, in memory of her husband and son, D. O. White and D. O. White, Jr., at the cost of $150,000. The school also possesses an excellent athletic field which was presented by Mrs. G. M. Cushing, in memory of her husband. The grounds of our school are well kept and made very attractive by walks, hedges and evergreen trees. We are very grateful to these noble women.

In 1833, the borough of Edenburg asked for a change in the name of our town from Edenburg to Knox. This request was granted. In 1934, Emmia Rief willed to the Knox Civic Club her property on Main Street. Any building being erected on this lot, is to be a memorial to the Rief family, who resided in this town for many years.

Knox is the home of the Knox Glass Bottle Company, which gives employment to several hundred men of our community. The U. S. Corrugated Box Company also offers employment to many citizens of Knox. We have many advantages in our little town. We have a fine library, containing about 1300 volumes, sponsored by the Junior Civic Club.

The Civic Club donated to the town, a piece of land, known as Community Park. We have three beautiful churches, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Methodist. We have an up-to-date telephone system, known as the Rural Telephone Company. This company several years ago installed a siren on the Bank building, donating it to the borough.

This town has a Volunteer Fire Company with modern and up-to-date equipment. Then too, Knox has many fraternities. Identified with the march of the local oil and gas industry from the first days of the Clarion County oil excitement, a business enterprise known today as Slicker Pipe and Tool Company, adds much to our community. Enterprises recently completed were: the Knox Theater, the Nehi Bottling Company, the purchase of the Hotaling building by the Masonic lodge, and the erection and completion of the disposal plant.

As to projects pending: A new and modern filtering plant is being erected, the ground has been broken for the erection of the new hotel, to be known as the "Underwood," a contract has been let for a new highway, north from Knox to the Lakes to Sea highway.

The population of Knox, 1940 census, is 1100.

  1. Hugus, Mrs. Edgar, Clarion County Centennial, 1840-1940: August 26 to September 2, Clarion County Centennial Association, 1940.
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