Piatt Township was formed from part of Mifflin Township by the Pennsylvania General Assembly on April 30, 1857. The new township encompassed what was the southernmost part of Mifflin Township. Piatt Township is named for William Piatt who was an associate judge in Lycoming County when the township was created. When colonial settlers first arrived in what is now Piatt Township, they were outside the western boundary of what was then the Province of Pennsylvania. These settlers were not under the jurisdiction or protection of any type from any of the thirteen colonies. They became knows as the Fair Play Men. These men established their own form of government, known as the “Fair Play System”, with three elected commissioners who ruled on land claims and other issues for the group. The Fair Play Men made their own Declaration of Independence from Britain on July 4, 1776 beneath the “Tiadagton Elm” on the banks of Pine Creek.
Larrys Creek, which bisects Piatt Township, is names for Larry Burt, the first settler in the area, who lived near the mouth of the creek near what is now the hamlet of Larry’s Creek. Other settlers soon followed Larry Burt to what is now Piatt Township. They settled along the banks of Larry’s Creek near where it flows into the West Branch Susquehanna River. Peter Duffy was one of the most promient of the early settlers. He settled with his family at the mouth of Larry’s Creek in August 1784. Duffy’s journey from Ireland, was a long and difficult struggle. Duffy and his family landed in Philadelphia in 1775 and then settled in Piatt Township. Peter Duffy opened an inn that soon became an important stopping point for pioneers.
John Knox was a lineal descendant of John Knox the Reformer. He was born in Ireland in 1769 and came to America when he was 10 years old. After living a short time in Philadelphia and in Carroll County, Maryland, he learned the trade of a millwright and settled in Cumberland County. He then followed his Scotch-Irish friends to the West Branch where he was engaged at his trade for several years. About 1799 he built a grist mill on Pine Creek, which was destroyed by the great flood of 1889.
Photo of the John Knox Farm today located on Route 287 in Piatt Township
Piatt Township is bordered by Mifflin to the north, Woodward Township to the east, the West Branch Susquehanna River to the south and Porter Township to the west. Lycoming County is about 130 miles northwest of Philadelphia and 165 miles east-northeast of Pittsburgh. The township has a total area of 10.1 square miles. Population of 1,259 people.
The surface of Piatt Township is rolling with valuable bottom lands located along the river, in the great bend known a Level Corners.