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Armstrong Township
Armstrong Township History
  • Armstrong Township was incorporated 1784.
  • On September 1, 1875 Mutual Fire Insurance Co. was established for protection of Township residents. It merged with South Bend Mutual Insurance Co. in the early 1970's.
  • Mail service, until the late 1930's, was delivered by horse and buggy. Roads were impassable many times and farmers' fields and lanes were used in lieu of the roadway. A trip to Indiana many times took half a day. Train service was quicker by way of Creekside. The local train station is now being used as a church. The old Indiana & Kittanning roadway, abandoned in the 1930's, followed Benjamin Franklin Road to the Thomas Covered Bridge and across Chestnut Flats to Gastown.
  • Old federal Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) were located all over the country during the Great Depression. Indiana County had three, located in Shelocta, Home and Homer City. Young men lived in these camps and built parks, dams, roads, and performed reforestation. When World War II started, these young men traded in their green uniforms and many were the first elements of the Army and Navy.
  • There is a total of  97.61 road miles in the Township; 65.85 maintained by the Township, 31.76 by the State.
  • Prior to the jointure with Indiana Area School District in the 1950's, there were approximately fifteen schools in Armstrong Township located approximately two miles apart. The idea was that no student should have to walk more than one mile to school. However, road miles were usually twice as far.
  • There were several homesteads within Armstrong Township that were used as underground railroad stops.
  • Shelocta Borough was incorporated on May 15, 1835.
  • In 1986, the Indiana County Planning Commission completed an historic sites survey of Armstrong Township. Of the fifteen structures surveyed within Armstrong Township, eight appear to be eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

  • The most important stimulus for the development of Armstrong Township in the 19th Century was the farming industry. The Township experienced its first permanent white settlement as early as 1727. These settlers arrived by way of the Kittanning-Frankstown Trail (present day State Route 422). This trail was once a major transportation route for native americans and traders and was utilized by Colonel Armstrong in his 1756 march on Kittaning.
  • Located along Township Road 414 is the Thomas Covered Bridge, one of three Town truss covered bridges located in Indiana County. Only 20 covered bridges of this type are found in the State of Pennsylvania. This bridge is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • After experiencing a decrease in population from 1885 to 1900, the Township's population began to increase at the turn of the 20th Century. The growth of the coal mining industry in Indiana County spurred the construction of numerous ralroad lines, including the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh's Ridge Branch which runs through Armstrong Township.

  • Currently, there is extensive coal mining in Armstrong Township to supply the Keystone Generating Plant. The Christmas Tree industry is another strong asset to the Township. With many professionals, retailers and services available in our Township, Armstrong Township is one of the few that has seen growth in the past census.
This web site was last updated on 01/31/2016
Webmaster:  Lloyd Onyett, Onyett Computer Services