Mifflin County History
Bratton Township
"A History of the Juniata Valley and Its People," John W. Jordan, 1913


Bratton township was erected in 1850. The territory comprising it was taken from Oliver township, which was originally a part of Wayne. It is bounded on the north by the Juniata river, which separates it from Oliver township; on the east by the township of Granville; on the south by the Blue ridge, which separates it from Juniata county ; and on the west by Wayne township. It was named for Captain William Bratton, who lived in that part of Cumberland county which is now Mifflin at the time of the Revolutionary war, and who commanded a company in the Seventh Pennsylvania regiment in the Continental army.

Early in 1755 Andrew Bratton and his brother-in-law, Samuel Holliday, came over the mountains for the purpose of founding homes in the Juniata Valley. Bratton selected a tract of land on the south side of the Juniata, and was the first actual settler in what is now Bratton township. The first warrant for land located in the township was issued to Alexander Hamilton on February 10, 1755, for 280 acres on the Juniata, but he did not become an actual resident until several months later. Andrew Bratton's land warrant was dated September 8, 1755. Before that time and the close of the century John, William, George, Jacob, Edward, James and John Bratton, Jr., had all entered lands in what is now Bratton township, and during the next fifteen years members of the family took up over 1,000 acres of land. Other early settlers were George Mitchell, Nathaniel Stanley, John Beatty, who was a native of Ireland, Elijah and Benjamin Criswell, John Beard and John Carlisle.

Andrew Bratton, the original pioneer, built a log meeting-house near his dwelling for the use of the Presbyterians in the vicinity, and Rev. Charles Beatty, the missionary, held services in this house in 1766. This is believed to have been the first regular religious service held in the township. The earliest school house of which there is any record was a small log building on the Bratton farm. It was erected about 1780, and James Jacobs was one of the early teachers. Some time prior to 1800 a log school house was built on John Beard's farm on Shank's run. Glass was a luxury in those days, and this school house had oiled paper for windows. In 1834 a brick school house was built by Andrew Bratton on his farm, and private or "pay" schools were taught in this house until it was purchased by the township authorities in 1851. In that year the township was divided into three the Bratton, Yoder and Humphrey school districts. Subsequently three new districts were added, and in 1912 there were six teachers employed in the public schools.

The Pennsylvania railroad runs along the northern border, following the course of the Juniata river, and there are three stations in the township Longfellow, Horningford and Mattawana the last named being the station for McVeytown, on the opposite side of the river, and is now generally called by that name.



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