With such a small overall population, the odds of being from Clarion County, Pennsylvania are small, but they aren’t zero. Over the long history of the small county, there have been several people that have gone on to national or even global fame. Out of the many residents that have been born and/or raised in Clarion County, these five stand out as the most well-known thus far.
5. Ernest M. Skinner
There was a time when pipe organs were a must-have in the music world, and Ernest M. Skinner was one of the most, well, instrumental people around. Skinner was born in Clarion with his parents being singers at the time. Skinner headed to Massachusetts at a young age and began developing his own organs at the turn of the 20th century.
The Skinner Organ Company would end up being a big success in its first few years, but had waned in popularity during the late 1920s. By 1936, Skinner had sold his company and went into writing, maintaining his position as a prominent name in music for years. Skinner lived well into his 90s, passing away in November 1960.
4. Ossee Schreckengost
The early days of Major League Baseball had some truly great names, and among those was Ossee Schreckengost, with a lot of people simply referring to him as Shreck, long before the animated ogre came around. Schreckengost began his professional career in 1897 with the Louisville Colonels and played for seven different franchises between then and 1908.
Schreckengost wasn’t a power hitter, hitting just nine home runs throughout his career. However, he was able to have a solid .271 batting average and knocked in 338 runs. Sadly, Schreckengost was just 39 years old when he passed away in Philadelphia on July 9, 1914 due to uremia.
3. Jane Wolfe
There aren’t too many actors that have come from Clarion County, but among them is Jane Wolfe, who was also known for being one of the most important figures in the magick movement in the United States. Wolfe was born in St. Petersburg and moved to New York City to pursue theater, eventually becoming a silent film actress.
Wolfe appeared in films that include “The Wild Goose Chase”, “The Plow Girl” and “Less Than Kin”, with dozens of credits in total. She was also a friend of Aleister Crowley and helped to found the Agape Lodge in California as part of the Ordo Templi Orientis. Wolfe lived to be 83 years old, passing away in March 1958.
2. Chris Kirkpatrick
If you were around during the boy band craze of the late 1990s and early 2000s, you definitely know the name Chris Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick was born in Clarion and spent time in several different towns around the United States without much money. It wasn’t until Kirkpatrick and his family moved to Orlando, Florida that he found big-time success and was performing in a local group when he caught wind of producer Lou Pearlman forming a boy band.
The boy band would become known as NSYNC, and Kirkpatrick was actually the first member. He was the one that recruited Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, and Lance Bass. The quintet would become one of the hottest groups in the world, churning out smash hits during their brief run.
1. Jim Kelly
Perhaps the most famous person from Clarion County made their fame by playing football. Jim Kelly played quarterback at East Brady, which holds a population of just around 800 people. He went to the University of Miami down in Florida where he became a highly touted NFL prospect and was selected 14th overall lin the 1983 Draft by the Buffalo Bills.
After starting off his professional career with the Houston Gamblers of the USFL, Kelly finally joined the Bills and played his entire NFL career in Buffalo. Kelly was a two-time All-Pro and was considered among the best of his generation. He finished with 35,467 passing yards and 237 touchdowns and was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.