For almost a century, Clarion County has been known as the home of the Anti-Horse Thief Association. Although there is no record of a horse’s being stolen for several decades, the Association holds an annual dinner each year, alternating between Leatherwood and Oak Grove Presbyterian churches. It still costs $1.00 to become a life member, and such memberships are held by Dwight D. Eisenhower and Arthur Godfrey.
According to the rules, on receipt of the alarm that a member’s horse had been stolen, all members were required to proceed immediately along predetermined routes in search of the horse and thief.
Members were required to travel 30 miles at their own expense. If there was a promising lead after 30 miles, it was their duty to follow at the Association’s expense.
If a horse was recovered, there was a reward of $20. Recovery of the horse and thief meant a $30 reward; and, if only the thief were captured, the reward was $15.
As a result of the initial meeting, 72 members were recorded on the rolls by February of that year.
The organization had a president with six vice presidents and a secretary. Branding irons were immediately ordered, and the horses of all members were required to be branded under the mane.
The location was later changed to a brand near the hoof.
The Leatherwood Anti-Horse Thief Association, was formed in the Jacks (Oak Hall) School building on January 28, 1868, as a branch of the Curllsville Anti-Horse Thief Association. As a result, a number of citizens of Porter Township and the surrounding territory met to organize and form a company. This was meant protect themselves from the horse thieves who were plaguing the area.
It is decided that mules should have the same protection as horses.
The first woman member was admitted on December 31, 1887, when Mrs. John Smith was admitted in place of her husband, who had died.