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Mifflin Borough

Juniata County, Pennsylvania

Mifflin Borough Offices are located at 106 Tuscarora Street, Mifflin PA 17058; phone 717‑436‑2200.

Beginnings [1]

The town of Mifflin, originally called Patterson, was laid out in 1849. Prior to its incorporation in 1853, it was a part of Milford and the early schools of that township served the children living in the neighborhood of the present town.

The site of the town of Mifflin is part of a tract warranted to John McClellan, September 8, 1755. When it was surveyed in 1765 it contained five hundred and fifteen acres. On June 23, 1795, McClellan conveyed to his son Joseph one hundred and fifty acres bounded on the south by James Sanderson and on the north by Thomas Gallagher. The McClellans operated the ferry across the Juniata River. Joseph McClellan sold his tract to Captain Noah Abraham of Path Valley and he, and after 1806 his heirs, owned the land and operated the ferry for many years. James Sanderson was a son-in-law of John McClellan and the lower part of the original tract had been conveyed to him before the grant was made to the son, Joseph.

William W. Wilson bought the Joseph McClellan tract from the heirs of Captain Abraham and soon after sold it to William H. Patterson of Mifflintown, from whom it was purchased by John and Christopher Fallon. The Sanderson tract was sold first to Benjamin Law, who later sold it to Gallagher and Parker. In 1848 it was purchased by William B. Foster, first vice-president of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, and afterwards sold by him to William W. Wilson, except a tier of lots.

The town was laid out in 1849 by the Fallon Brothers and named Patterson, by which it was known until changed to Mifflin by judicial decree in 1910. The railroad station has always been Mifflin and this fact led to much confusion until the name of the town was changed. The founders of the town gave to the Railroad company that part of the flat on which the shops were built in 1851 and, subsequently the grounds later used as a yard. For two decades after the road was built, a force of seventy-five men was employed in repairing cars and engines. In 1869 the company removed most of the machinery from the shops to Altoona, and in 1871 the roundhouse was taken down. In the fall of 1926 the shops, store-houses and offices were all removed to Lewistown and in May, 1929, the buildings were razed. This marked the passing of Miffin as a point of importance in operation of the P. R. R.

James North was the first merchant. He opened a store in May, 1850, with a stock of goods valued at two hundred and fifty dollars. Oles and Frank opened a store in 1853. Twenty-five years later the borough had seven dry goods stores, a drug store, a hardware store, three hotels, a shoe store and two coal and lumber yards.

Patterson was incorporated March 17, 1853. John J. Patterson, Joseph Middaugh and James North were directed to comply with the provision of the charter and hold an election for borough officers on May 3rd of that year. It was afterwards discovered that the tax had not been paid on the act of incorporation and the act itself was inoperative and the organization void. On April 13, 1854, an act was passed to legalize the election and the proceedings under it, as if the incorporation act had been in full effect. The first assessment was made in 1856. Prior to that time it was assessed as part of Milford Township.

  1. National Historical Association, Inc., A History of the Juniata Valley in Three Volumes, 1936, Harrisburg