Lost and Found features brief profiles of historic landmarks and structures, one lost and one saved.


In 1845, less than five years after entering politics, William Bigler (1814-1880) built a handsome Italianate-style residence in Clearfield. Before settling in the Clearfield County seat, he apprenticed with his brother John at The Centre De­mocrat, published in Bellefonte, Centre County. In Clearfield, he amassed a fortune in the lumber business. He served in the state senate from 1841 to 1847, and was elected governor in 1851. (His term coincided with that of his brother John, elected governor of California!) Bigler encouraged the development of railroads and, after losing his bid for reelection, became president, in 1855, of the Philadelphia and Lake Erie Railroad. From 1856 to 1861, he served as U.S. Senator. His house was demolished in 1979, several years after it was deemed historic.



James A. Beaver (1837-1914)was one of several governors who resided in Bellefonte, earning distinction for the Centre County seat as “the home of Pennsylvania governors.” He was admitted to the Centre County Bar in 1859 and became a partner with prominent attorney Hugh N. McAllister. Beaver served in the Civil War, during which he lost a leg. He returned to Bellefonte to resume his law practice, and in 1865 married McAllister’s daughter Mary. Upon McAllister’s death in 1873, the couple inherited the commodious stone house he had built in 1850. Beaver served as governor from 1887 to 1891 and managed the property during his term in office. The house was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.