top of page


A Community is Born ...


Pictured above is Col. Alexander Kelly McClure.


     In July, 1871, Mr. Stuck deeded a lot containing one acre and 129 perches to the Railroad Company on the site where the station was located, just off the West side of Brown Street, and midway between Walker and Railroad Streets. Soon after this, Mr. Stuck sold his farm to Galen F. Holshue of Shamokin for $10,000, who in August of 1871 employed A. K. Gift to lay out a town plot.  The name Stuckton was dropped and the name McClure was accepted according to the story below and 209 lots were laid out.  Mrs. Carrie Wert, a daughter of Abraham Holshue, and was one of the oldest women in McClure at the time, often heard her father tell why the name was changed.  Before the turn of the century, when Abraham Holshue was working as telegraph operator for the Railroad, Colonel Alexander McClure, who had an interest in the railroad from the very beginning, arrived in Stuckton and asked: “What is the name of this town?” “Stuckton” he was told. “That’s not a very nice name he said, “Call it McClure and I’ll send all the residents my paper for a year.” Mr. Holshue spoke to others in the town who agreed that McClure would be a nice name, and thus the name was changed. In addition, some of the residents received the paper as promised.


~ Wrote a historian in 1886.

     It was not always true, at one time; this area was Wilderness, the forest primeval, where the howl of the wolf and the scream of the panther were commonplace in the up "McClure is well located, and is accessible from all points by good roads," wrote the historian in 1886. It was not always true, at one time; this area was Wilderness, the forest primeval, where the howl of the wolf and the scream of the panther were commonplace in the upper reaches of the Middlecreek Valley. William Laub, an earlier settler, spoke of seeing a panther. He described the animal as being nine feet long, from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail.

     The Red Men used the Mahanoy Path (Mahanoy was an early name for Middlecreek), an Indian trail that lay to the North of here, extending from Selinsgrove Westward through the forest and main part of the valley to Lewistown.  In 1754, the land was bought from the Iroquois Indians by William Penn’s sons.   In 1755-1785, McClure was part of Cumberland County, in 1772 was part of Northumberland County, in 1813 was in Union County, in 1843 – West Beaver Township was created and in 1855 became part of Snyder County.  In 1768, Thomas and Richard Penn purchased a very large piece of real estate from the Six Nations.  The way was now opened for settlement, and several families came here following the pioneer trail: the Krick’s, the Wagner’s, the Kahley’s, the Kline’s and Baker’s to name a few.  These were rugged and stouthearted people filled with the spirit of adventure.  Basic requirements were a strong right arm and inventiveness. To paraphrase a familiar saying, “they beat iron into plowshares and other necessary items.”  It is interesting to note that the area to the North was more heavily populated.  This is understandable for it is the main part of the valley and the stage coach route was in that section.  It ran directly through the village of Bannerville.

      Henry Aurand and Isaac Fees carried the U.S. Mail and transported passengers from Lewistown to Northumberland and return in the old style coaches.  It is also interesting to note that a small pocket in the Southwest corner of the Upper Valley lay dormant as though asleep.  It was in this section that George Stuck and his wife Sophia purchased the Jacob Smith farm of 130 acres for $4,500.  It included much of what is now built up McClure.  (Their house is pictured to the left.) Mr. and Mrs. Stuck lived in the stone house built in 1840.  It is the oldest known structure in the present day borough.  This house is located on the South side of East Specht Street, near the Eastern approach to town, it is now owned by Mrs. Verna Bilger (1967).  It was constructed out of native mountain stone.  An incline was constructed for wheeling the stones to the second story.

       Unfortunately, nothing is known or recorded of George Stuck’s background, except that it is believed he was born in this area.  His wife Sophia Kline, daughter of John Kline and wife, was born on the Ner B. Middleswarth farm, one mile east of McClure, died at the age 68 years.  Samuel Kline of McClure, and David Kline, Michigan, were also brothers.  Catherine Weiand and Rebecca Kline were sisters.  In her younger years, Mrs. Stuck cut grain with a sickle, pitched hay, handled the double-bitted axe, milked a dozen or more cows, and rode to church or horseback.  At the age of 95, her health was very good, and at the time, 1916, she had ridden the train three times.  She could read German very fluently while her sight was good, having had only four months of schooling.  She smoked her pipe as she had done since sixteen years of age.  Mrs. Stuck was respected and affectionately called the “Mother of McClure.”


      In the 1870’s Mr. Stuck left McClure for Michigan where had three sons living.  He died before he could return, and is buried in Three Rivers, Michigan.  Mrs. Stuck then went to live with her daughter, Jane on Walker Street, in the house in which her great-granddaughter, Mrs. Edna Young, now lives (1967).  After Jane’s death, she went to live with Mr. and Mrs. John Krick, at the South end of Brown Street, where Mr. and Mrs. Claude Hawk now reside (1967).  When the Krick’s moved to the Wagner house, which was situated in what is now Pal Coleman’s Orchard, the late James Krick transported his great-grandmother, and Mrs. Stuck was about 93 at the time. 

     She died October 14, 1917 at the age of 95 years, 10 months and 28 days.  She is buried in the South Eastern corner of McClure Cemetery, in a plot reserved for the family of Samuel Kline, her brother, who gave the ground for the cemetery in the first place. Mr. and Mrs. George Stuck were parents of seven children, three daughter and four sons:  Emma, Lavina, Jennie, Henry, George, John and Jacob.  In this Centennial year (1967) there were three grandchildren living:  Carrie Stuck, McClure; John E. Wagner, R.D. 2, Selinsgrove, and Lloyd S. Marks, Devitt Home, R.D. 1, Allenwood, Pa.  Great-grandchildren living in McClure were Mrs. Elder S. Wagner, Mrs. Charles Goss, Mrs. Edna Young, Rudolph Wagner, Charles Krick, and Mrs. Albert Romig.

    In the year 1867, when it was certain that the Middlecreek Valley railroad would be located practically through the center of the Stuck Farm, George Stuck staked out a section of his farm, laid out a few lots and named the place “STUCKTON.”  Thus a town was born, but without houses, except an old rotted log hut.  It remained as such for the next four years.  No one seemed interested in buying lots or building a home.

bottom of page