Townships and Boroughs of Potter County
Extracted from Historical Scetches of Potter County

Submitted by Frankie Stonemetz

Eulalia Township was the first township formed (December 5, 1810) which comprised the entire county. It was named in memory of the deceased wife of John Keating. Roulette Township was next organized on January 29, 1816. It included what are now Clara, Pleasant Valley, Roulette and Sharon Townships. It was named for John Sigmund Roulet. Harrison Township was formed from Eulalia on Fehruary 6, 1823. It included part of Bingham, Hector and Ulysses Townships.

On May 3, 1820, Wharton was formed and named for Isaac Wharton. On February 24, 1828, Eulalia was cut in half and 15 townships, each approximately six miles square, were made from the northern half. These were Sharon, Chester, London, Bingham, Harrison, Milton, Ilebron, Denmark, Hector, Ulysses, Roulet, Sweden, Eulalia, Jackson and Pike. At this time Harrison and Roulet were reduced to their presentsize.

Milton embraced what are now Pleasant Valley and Clara. Until organized it was attached to Roulette. In May of 1856 the name was changed to Clara. London Township was changed to Genesee on February 23, 1830. When Sharon Township was organized on December 23, 1828, Chester was detached from Roulette and attached to it. There is no record as to when it became a separate township. The name was changed to Oswayo on February 23, 1830.

Bingham Township was named in honor of William Bingham. It was fully organized on February 23, 1830, and at that time was' detached from Harrison. Hector Township was named for the town of Hector in New York State, the home of an early settler. It was fully organized in September 1830, when it was detached from Harrison.

Pike Township was organized on February 29, 1832. At an unknown date it was detached from Harrison and atached to Sweden, as on January 2, 1832, Pike and Jackson were ordered to be separated from Sweden and conduct business with each other. It was named for John Zebulon Pike, a hero of the War of 1812. Hebron Township was fully organized and detached from Fulalia on December 31, 1832. It was settled by Seventh-day Adventists who gave it the Biblical name. Ulysses Township was also organized December 31, 1832 and at that time divided from Harrison. It was named by Charles Parish for his home in New York State,.

Summit Township was formed in September 1834 and attached to Sweden for purposes of government. No records can be found of its organization.  The line between it and Homer was established on January 1, 1849. West Branch Township was formed from Eulalia in September 1834 and named from the stream which flows through it. A change in township line in 1895 gave Austin Borough and eight square
miles of territory to Portage Township.

When formed, Denmark Township was attached to Harrison, then in 1830 it was attached to Genesee. and took the; name of Allegany from the river which flows through it. It was fully organized and divided from Genesee at the September term of court in 1835. No exact record of the organization of Sweden can be found. Its name was changed to Pine Creek on February 23, 1830, but soon reverted to the original one. Homer Township was formed from Eulalia on March 7, 1843. It was named for a town in New York State; the former home of an early settler.

Portage Township was formed from Wharton and Eulalia. No dates can be found concerning it but a history of the county indicates that it was laid out about 1843 and covered the entire southwestern part of the county. All of the inbabited portion of Portage was included in the area which became a part of Cameron County in 1860. In 1871. a portion of Sylvania along Freeman Run was set off and organized as Portage Township.

Stewardson Township was formed from Eulalia and named for Thomas Stewardson. No exact dates are available, but an Act of Assembly of April 11, 1844, directed that it become a separate election district. Pleasant Valley was carved out of Clara in 1874 for geographical reasons and named for the fertility of the soil. No changes were ever made in its boundaries. Abbott Township was formed from Eulalia and established on January 8, 1852. It was named for Thomas B. Abbott, the first postmaster at Carter Camp.

Keating Township was formed from parts of Portage and Homer and approved by the court on December 10, 1856. Sylyania Township was formed from Homer and Wharton and approved on December 20,1856. The viewers recommended that the township be called "Sinnemahoning" but the court chose the name of "Sylvania." East Fork Road District was formed from Abbott, Eulalia, Stewardson and Wharton and was approved by an Act of Assembly, April 3,1869.

Potter County has six boroughs: Austin, incorporated from Sylvania Township on September 21, 1888, was transferred to Portage Township in 1894. It was founded in 1856 and called Freeman Run. The name was changed to Austin to honor E. A. Austin, owner of the site.  Coudersport was chartered by an Act of the Legislature on February 7, 1848, and designated as the County Seat. Galeton was incorporated from Pike Township on September 7, 1896, when the population was 1800. It was first known as Pike Mills.
The present name is in honor of William Gale and his son, Loring Gale, builders of the Galeton Tannery.

Lewisville Borough was incorporated from Ulysses Township on September 23, 1869, and named in honor of the Lewis family who settled there in 1830. The name was voted by referendum to be changed to Ulysses Borough in 1963.

Oswayo Borough was incorporated from Oswayo Township on January 8, 1901 and named for the township. The settlement was formerly called Brindleville. 

Shinglehouse Borough was incorporated from Sharon Township in March of 1901. It was named for a house covered with shingles built in 1806 by a Frenchman named Jandrie.

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