Clarion County was the 54th county in the state to be formed, officially incorporated in 1841.

Three citizens, James Thompson, John Gilmore, and Samuel L. Carpenter, were tasked with setting up the town.

Courthouse Troubles

The first courthouse was bid to the firm of Derby & Clover of Ridgewood, Pa and Levi G. Clover of Clarion, PA. Mr. Derby was the superintending partner of the firm.

About 9:00 am on the morning of March 10, 1859 smoke and flames broke through the roof near the cupola. The Presbyerian Church was used as a courtroom until the completion of the second courthouse. All other county offices were occupied in the Arnold block of Clarion.

The second courthouse was built by Daniel and Edmond English of Brockville, PA and was completed in 1863.

About 1:00 am on the morning of September 12, 1882, fire which had been smoldering in the loft, burst through the roof. Between the destruction of the old and the completion of the new courthouse the Methodist Church was used for holding court and the residence part of the jail was used for the other county offices.

The present courthouse built in 1883 was awarded after 16 bidders placed contracts for the new building.


Application was made to the legislature and the governor by act of March 14, 1839 to authorize the appointment of three citizens; namely, James Thompson, John Gilmore and Samuel L. Carpenter, who were empowered to take deeds of trust from persons donating land, to lay out the town in lots, to see the same, and to make contracts for the public buildings.

Shortly afterwards, Mr. Thompson resigned, and by the act of June 25th, John P. Davis, of Crawford County was appointed to fill the vacancy.

When the site for the seat of justice was selected the lands belonged to General Levi G. Clover, James P. Hoover, Peter Clover, Jr (heirs of Phillip Clover) and Hon. C. Myers, who donated the towns site to the county, on condition of receiving half the proceeds from the sale of lots.

The public sale of the lots began October 30, 1839 and continued for three days. The highest price for a lot was $757.50 and the next in value was sold for $560.00.

The Governor appoint George B. Hamilton, Lindsey C. Pritner and Robert Potter commissioners, who were empowered to take deeds of trust from persons donating lands, to lay out the town in lots, to sell the same, and to make contracts for the public buildings.

On April 6, 1841, the village of Clarion was incorporated into a borough.

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