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Franklin Township

Franklin Township municipal offices are located at 313 Mt. Zion Road, Catawissa PA 17820; phone: 570-394-8610.

Beginnings [1]

Franklin Township was formed in 1843 from Catawissa Township, and included the township of Mayberry, in Montour County, at the time. When that county was separated from Columbia in 1850 Franklin Township was taken along, but in 1853 a division was made which left the present area within Columbia County, and gave to Montour the part now called Mayberry Township.

This section was settled after the Catawissa Valley was populated. In 1783 Jesse Cleaver, a Quaker, came here from Chester County to visit friends, and liking the site bought a tract on the hills west of Roaring Creek, near the Susquehanna River. He had intended to buy land on the north side of the river, but the great floods of that year deterred him. He brought his family here the following year. The Claytons, another Quaker family, also soon came to this section. Frederick Knittle, of Berks County, settled on the Esther Furnace Road, and in 1795 Daniel Knittle bought the adjoining tract. John Mensch and Peter Mensch settled near the river, north of Roaring Creek, Michael Hoover on the hill road to Danville, and Christian Hartley (or Artley) near the site of the present village of Willowvale.

The only industries in Franklin Township were the gristmills on Roaring Creek, near the edge of Cleveland Township. One of these mills was built by Washington Parr about 1860, almost on the edge of the line. Later is was owned by Rider Brothers. The other mill was built later by Mendenhall Brothers, about a mile below Parr's, and successively owned by Francis Pensyl, R. S. McHenry and the Rider brothers.

  1. Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties Pennsylvania, Vol. 1, J. H. Beers & Co., 1915.
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