Cambria County, Pennsylvania
Annals Of Jackson Township
By Mrs. Betty Burkhart
To get a clearer picture of our own community it is well to refresh our minds with facts of the country at large, pertinent to this township.
"Pennsylvania," as we know, means "forest lands," and most authorities agree that it was named for Penn's father, Sir William Perm who was a famous English Admiral. On March 14, 1861 when King Charles of England had signed the paper that gave a grant of land consisting of some 300 miles to William Perm, the latter wrote to a friend stating that the land was given the name "Pennsylvania" in honor of his father. "New Wales" was the name first suggested, "it being a hilly country," and large groups of Welsh immigrants were settling here.
Following Penn's famous treaty with the Indians there was peace between the two races for seventy years, but during the latter part of that period the Indians had brooded a lot about what they considered unfair treatment at the hands of some of the first settlers, and felt that their land had been obtained by unfair means. Then followed several years of Indian warfare, but finally on November 5, 1768, the six Indian tribes were represented at a meeting at Fort Stanwix, New York, at which time the white man was given "all that land lying south of the Kittanning trail" in southwestern Pennsylvania. Thus, Jackson Township is part of the Fort Stanwix tract. At the end of the first 100 years of the state's existence there were still only 12 counties, the other 55 all being created during the second century.
On February 26, 1773, Westmoreland county was formed by taking part of Bedford county. It was described as "beginning at the point where the great range of the Youghiogheny river crossed the Maryland line, thence down the easterly side of the branch of that river to the Laurel Hill, thus along the ridge of said hill to the Continental Divide between the waters of the Susquehanna and Allegheny rivers and along the Continental Divide to the purchase line, west to the limit of the province and by the same limits to the place of the beginning." (History of Cambria County)
On March 30, 1803, Indiana county was formed out of parts of Westmoreland and Lycoming counties within the following boundaries: Beginning at the corner of Kiskiminetas river to the Conemaugh river, up said river to the line of Somerset county, then in a staight line to Canoe Place (now Cherry Tree) on to the west branch of the Susquehanna, north and east to the place of beginning.
Here is the interesting part for Jackson township residents: The land between the top of Laurel Hill mountain and the "straight line to Canoe Place" left a large area of land still remaining in Westmoreland county Part of which is Jackson township. Cambria county was formed March 26, 1804, and was taken from Huntingdon and Somerset counties, and does not mention that piece of land remaining in Westmoreland county, mentioned above. Cambria county is described as "beginning at the Conemaugh river at the southeast corner of Indiana county, thence on a straight line to Canoe Place on the west branch of the Susquehanna, thence along the line to Clearfield, south along the Allegheny Mountain to Somerset and Bedford counties, then due west until it intersects the line of Somerset and Westmoreland counties, thence north to the place of beginning.
we will notice, there is a bend in the line of the Laurel Hill mountain
range and the line dividing the two counties is described as a straight
one, thus historians have failed to give Westmoreland county credit for
its contribution to Cambria county areas. Originally Cambria county had
townships: Allegheny, Cambria and Conemaugh townships.
To Be Continued Next Week