The History of Homer City Borough
The history of Homer City goes back to the mid 1700's when six Indian nations conveyed to the proprietaries of Pennsylvania all their lands within the province. The land was very attractive- wooded hills , well watered, many meadows with green grass and abundant game. However, the Delawares and Shawnees did not consent to the treaty and were loath to give up their hunting grounds. When settlers came to this locality from Cumberland and Franklin Counties , many were driven away by angered Indians.
After the breaking out of the Revolutionary War in 1775, the Indians became more hostile, and what settlers were left were compelled to flee. Another treaty with the Indians was made in 1784, and in 1788 Andrew Allison, James Simpson and John White
erected a block house on Cherry Run . The settlers continued to be bothered by Indians until after the victory of General Anthony Wayne at Fallen Timbers in 1794.
The village of Homer City was laid out in 1854 by William Wilson, who named it after the ancient Greek poet, Homer. The land the town was situated on was formed from two parcels; one patented in the name of John Allison, and the other John and William Cummins. Soon after securing his land, John Allison built a gristmill on Yellow Creek, near the end of what was Maple Street and now is the Flood way Park. The dam on Yellow Creek that held water to furnish power for this mill was nearer Main Street than other dams erected across the stream since that time.
All houses of this and until a much later period were built oflogs. The stone house on the McGee farm, now owned by John Bonya, was erected in 1823 by John Ross . The first store was established by John Mullen in 1832 and was on the east side of Main Street near Two Lick (now Main and Indiana Streets). The second merchant was Hugh Devers who not long after establishment of the Mullen store proceeded to sell goods and buy country produce which be wagoned to Pittsburgh. His store was on Main Street where the bank now stands.
The first house after the survey ofthe town was built by Isaac Killen, the second blacksmith . Mr. Wilson then built a frame building used as a tavern by Matthew Kerr, the first carpenter. The Indiana Branch if the Pennsylvania Railroad to the village was completed in 1855. The Homer Station was located on the north side of what is now West Elm Street, and David Boyd was the first agent for the company. In 1850, Mr. Boyd built a brick home nearby, now owned by Gordon Clark, which became a "station" of the Underground Railroad system by which slaves were aided on their way to freedom Later, in 1872, Mr. Boyd was elected First Burgess of Homer City.
The first school in the area was built in 1798 on the McMullen farm. Children went to school one or two months a year. The first school in Homer City was built in 1885 along Ridge Avenue, a one-room building to which a second room was soon added.
The Hoodlebug Pedestrian and Bike Trail provides a vital link in a County and regional trail system by intersecting with the Borough's Flood way Park This trail provides a non-motorized alternative transportation corridor to the various businesses and industries located along this trail that once was the old Pennsylvania Railroad route.
Homer City Borough is situated six miles from Indiana and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 40 miles from Greensburg, 25 miles from Johnstown, and about 60 miles from downtown Pittsburgh. Although the population of the Borough is only 1,809(1990 Census), the Borough continues to be a very affordable place to live and to raise a family , with stores that provide the basic goods and services to its residents .