Meet The Beavers
by Denver Walton
Milestones Vol 18 No 4 Winter 1993
Why is South Beaver Township so named and why is it northwest of Beaver? If there is a Big Beaver, where is Little Beaver? And what about North Beaver and New Beaver?
It all started when Beaver County was formed in 1800 with six townships. Of those north of the Ohio, South Beaver included land west of the Beaver River, Sewickley Township was east of the Beaver River, and North Beaver was on both sides of the Beaver River, but further north.
South Beaver Township divided several times as county population grew. Big and Little Beaver Townships in 1802, then Borough Township (now Vanport) in 1804.
In 1805, OhioTownship was created, then Chippewa in 1816. These changes left the remnant of South Beaver Township at its present size and location.
What about Big and Little Beaver Townships? Well, a strip of land was taken from Beaver County to help form Lawrence County in 1849. The dividing line went through Big Beaver Township, leaving a township of that name in each county. It went through Little Beaver Township, too, but only a narrow strip of that township was left in Beaver County, and it was annexed to Darling Township, formed two years earlier.
Lawrence County's Little Beaver is still there, but their Big Beaver Township became New Beaver Borough shortly after Beaver County's Big Beaver Township become Big Beaver Borough in 1960. And North Beaver? It's still there, much smaller in size but still north of all the other Beavers.