History of Rimersburg Borough
*The following information has been taken from History of Clarion Co. Pennsylvania With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Edited by A.J. Davis. Published by D. Mason & Co., Publishers. Syracuse, N.Y. 1887
Previous to 1829 the site of the town of Rimersburg was a barren (defined as level or slightly rolling land, usually with a sandy soil and few trees, and relatively infertile), covered with dense brush. In 1829, John Rimer built a cabin on a lot of land known at the time as the Henry Crick property, and before long he had a popular tavern that would serve rye whiskey to thirsty pioneers.
In 1839 Mr. Rimer and several land owners laid out a number of town lots to be sold. Each time a lot was sold the seller, buyer, and each by-stander would have a drink of whiskey. Doubtless if the number of lots sold was at all considerable, the company must have been in a hilarious state by the time the auction was ended.
James Pinks was the first person to build a house located at the intersection of Lawsonham St. and Main St. Mr. Pinks kept a little store and it’s claimed by some that his was the first store in Clarion County. The town was originally named Pinksville after James.
In 1853, Rimersburg was incorporated as a borough with James Pinks being one of the first councilmen. Originally, the southern part of the village was known as Pinksville and the northern end as Rimersburg, but upon incorporation one name was chosen for the whole town. Accounts vary as to how the name was chosen, with one popular version being that consumers of Rimer’s old rye whiskey were more numerous and influential than the customers of James Pink’s store.
There were two school-houses in early times: Benn’s school house and another known as Jackson’s School house which was built in 1835.
The Clarion Collegiate Institute was established in 1859 with its first catalogue showing 106 students in attendance. There were four religious denominations represented in the town in the early days: Associate Presbyterians, Reformed, Methodist Episcopal, and Presbyterian. Other organizations that existed: The Women’s Missionary Society (in existence over 50 years by 1887), The Independent Order of Odd Fellows – Their lodge was known as Iron County Lodge No. 485, and the Rimersburg Anti-Horsethief Association.
Rimersburg has been home to general merchandise stores that have handled groceries, hardware, farming implements, medicines, a millinery (a place that sells women’s hats and accessories), a bank, a Western Union Telegraph office, tanneries, blacksmiths, a steam grist-mill, furniture manufacturers, a foundry, and nearby mines.