Branch Township is located in Schuylkill County, PA, approximately (5) miles south of Pottsville, the county seat.  It was formed out of a portion of Norwegian Township in 1836.  One of its boundaries is the West Branch of the River Schuylkill thus it derived its name “Branch Township”. The northern part of the township is undulating and hilly but most of it is arable. The southern part of the township is mountainous, the Sharp Mountain and the Second Mountain run through it east and west.  The summit of the Second Mountain forms the southern boundary. The township is drained by several creeks, the West Branch of the Schuylkill being the principal one, Indian Run flows between the mountains, and Muddy Branch a stream flowing through the northwest portion.

Settlement was begun in Branch prior to 1750.  Evidences were found of previous occupation of the township by Indians and it was common to find arrow heads while plowing.    Philip and George Clauser located on the Muddy Branch with the Adams family, Andrew Steitzel and a man named Fox as neighbors.  On the site of Llewellyn, Jacob Hime is claimed to have been the first settler. He was engaged in farming and lumbering and operated a primitive saw-mill. Llewellyn was named in honor of David Llewellyn, a Welsh coal miner.  Other comparatively early settlers in the township were George Hafer, Peter Starr, Johann Cockill, John and Jacob Weaver, and John and Peter Zerbey.

Branch Township is located in the heart of the anthracite coal region.  The first mining enterprise of any prominence in Branch was started in 1831 on a tract of land half a mile south of Llewellyn by Samuel Brook and John Miller.  Several collieries were built and operated in the 1830’s and 1840’s including West Wood Colliery, Phoenix Park Colliery, and Black Mine Colliery.  The first powder mill in the township was built by Mr. Allison at Indian Run.  It exploded in April, 1868, killing Albert Leopold and William Kreider who were employed there.  John Rogers began the manufacture of bricks at the edge of Llewellyn.  Joseph Kauffman carried on the business extensively and successfully for several years.

The first church building in Branch was a log structure erected by the united congregations of the German Reformed and Lutheran denominations on (8) acres of land donated by Lewis Reese.  A brick church known as Clauser’s church was built a hundred yards north of the little log church.  A cemetery known as Clauser’s cemetery, attached to the Reformed and Lutheran church, was laid out in 1819.  This beautiful church still stands.  It is located on Church Road and is known as Frieden’s Lutheren Church.

At present, Branch Township made up of (5) communities: the Village of
Llewellyn, the Village of Phoenix Park, Dowdentown, West West Terrace, and Stein’s Mill.