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Centre County

Centre County was formed on February 13, 1800, from parts of Huntingdon, Lycoming, Mifflin, and Northumberland counties.  Named for its central location in the state, its county seat is Bellefonte.  Located in the center of Pennsylvania, Centre County rests on a striking landscape overlaid with history.  Native Americans thrived during the earliest history of Centre County, planting corn and squash in the valleys, and hunting in the ridges.  County place names reflect this early history:  the legend of Princess Nita-nee has provided the names for Nittany Valley and Nittany Mountain; Chief Bald Eagle’s principal camp was near Milesburg, resulting in the naming of Bald Eagle Creek, Bald Eagle Mountain, and Bald Eagle Valley; and Chief Logan is referenced by Logan Branch of Spring Creek and Logan Gap.

Centre County’s documented history began with the original Pennsylvania law documents conveying William Penn’s domain to private owners.  Penn repurchased the land given him by the King of England from resident tribes.  Penn showed his belief in fairness and initiative, allowing white settlers to choose open pieces of land, obtain warrants, have them surveyed and patented as formerly un-owned, and then record them in the land office as belonging to their new owners.  Of course, this resulted in a jigsaw pattern of warrant boundaries, which can still be seen today in fence lines, property lines, and roads.

The discovery of iron ore in 1784 brought a new wave of industry to the county.  The iron industry provided the foundation for what later became Centre County’s primary twentieth century industry – education – with the establishment of Penn State.  Farmers of the mid-1800s greatly desired an education program that would greatly benefit their agricultural needs by instructing them on how to use new farm machinery and apply new scientific techniques.

By the turn of the 20th century, the glory days for iron smelting and canal transport became mere memories, as did the time of lumbering and of turnpikes.  Education became the county’s big focus as The Pennsylvania State University blossomed into Centre County’s most well-known attraction, bringing students from both in-state and out-of-state to take advantage of its fine educational opportunities.

Pennsylvania lawyers practicing law in Centre County specialize in various niches of the law, including areas like bankruptcy law, employment law, personal injury law, immigration, family law, medical malpractice law, workers compensation law, and even criminal law.  Criminal law involves, logically enough, crimes committed by one party against another and are broken up into two subsets:  felonies and misdemeanors.  Felonies are larger offenses that typically result in harsher punishments.  Misdemeanors are smaller offenses that yield sentences that are not quite as harsh.  It is recommended that defendants retain one of the many experienced Pennsylvania lawyers practicing criminal law to represent them no matter which type of crime they have been accused of committing.

One common area of law for which Pennsylvania residents in Centre County often need the assistance of a good Pennsylvania lawyer is that of accident law.  The laws governing automobile accidents in Pennsylvania can be confusing because they involve a combination of “at fault” and “no fault”.  When it comes to medical expenses and lost wages, the laws follow the “no fault” philosophy in that each insured must submit claims to his or her own insurance carrier no matter who or what caused the accident.  However, whichever party acted negligently and caused the other party’s injuries is responsible for costs associated with pain and suffering, along with other “non-economic” damages.

Those Pennsylvania residents involved in any accidents would truly be best served by seeking out an experienced personal injury attorney from among the many fine Pennsylvania lawyers in order to discuss case specifics.  Reliable Pennsylvania lawyers would certainly be able to guide you through the complexities of accident law in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania law provides for four types of incorporated municipalities:  cities, boroughs, townships, and, rarer cases, towns.  Below are listed the cities, boroughs and townships located in Centre County:


  • Bellefonte
  • Centre Hall
  • Howard
  • Milesburg
  • Millheim
  • Philipsburg
  • Port Matilda
  • Snow Shoe
  • South Philipsburg
  • State College
  • Unionville


  • Benner Township
  • Boggs Township
  • Burnside Township
  • College Township
  • Curtin Township
  • Ferguson Township
  • Gregg Township
  • Haines Township
  • Halfmoon Township
  • Harris Township
  • Howard Township
  • Huston Township
  • Liberty Township
  • Marion Township
  • Miles Township
  • Patton Township
  • Penn Township
  • Rush Township
  • Potter Township
  • Snow Shoe Township
  • Spring Township
  • Taylor Township
  • Union Township
  • Walker Township
  • Worth Township

Census-designated places

Census-designated places are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law, but are compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau in order to compile demographic data.  Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, are sometimes categorized here as well.

  • Aaronsburg
  • Blanchard
  • Boalsburg
  • Clarence
  • Coburn
  • Colyer
  • Houserville
  • Ingleby
  • Julian
  • Lemont
  • Madisonburg
  • Monument
  • North Philipsburg
  • Park Forest Village
  • Pine Glen
  • Pine Grove Mills
  • Pleasant Gap
  • Ramblewood
  • Rebersburg
  • Sandy Ridge
  • Spring Mills
  • Stormstown
  • Woodward
  • Zion

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