The man for whom Shaler Township was named after upon its formation in March 1847 was Judge Charles Shaler, although the original intent was to name it Marion Township.
Judge Shaler was a native of Connecticut, born in 1788. He was educated at Yale. His father was a commissioner responsible for laying out the Western Reserve Tract in Ohio. He acquired a large amount of land in the area of Ravenna, Ohio, where a village of Shalersville was named for him.
Charles Shaler lived in Ravenna and looked after his interests in the area. He was admitted to the bar in Ohio in 1809 and became a member of the bar in Pittsburgh in 1813. He served in several judicial capacities and was appointed President Judge in the Fifth District, based in Beaver County, in 1824. He retired from active law practice at the age of 75, after going blind. Judge Shaler died in Newark, NJ on March 5, 1869 at the age of 81.
The following excerpts are taken from the book "A History of Shaler Township" by Malcom C. Smith, Copyright 1953.
Shaler Township originally stretched over the present Borough of Millvale and a part of Ross Township, Etna Borough and the present Shaler Township and adjoining lands.
Shaler Township lost part of its territory in 1868 when Etna Borough was incorporated. That same year, Shaler was further reduced by the incorporation of Millvale Borough. Shaler continued as a second class township until a petition was presented to the courts seeking first class status. In 1900 Shaler was incorporated as a first class township. Shaler's boundaries embraced 6,977 acres or 10.9 square miles.
Early history of Shaler Township reveals that the earliest settlement of the area occurred in two separate sections, Big Pine Creek Valley and Girty Run Valley, both providing colorful stories of rugged adventures. Shaler Township was first composed of small hamlets or communities. On one side of Stewartstown, not Etna, was Sharps Hill; on the other Cabbage Hill. Between Cabbage Hill and the present Millvale Borough was Cherry City. Going out Big Pine Creek, the traveler first encountered Turkeyville, the Cut or Lower Undercliff, then Wittmer in the vicinity of the Glenshaw Glass Company, then Glenshaw or Shaw Mills. Across from the creek was the meadow and along Spencer Lane as Huckleberry Flat followed by Lower Elfinwild. The first community along Butler Plank Road was Reeseville, then Undercliff, Upper Glenshaw and Elfinwild. Moving along Girty's Run, one would come to Bauerstown and the Pfeifer Hill.
The Township was first divided into four wards of one election district each. Five Commissioners were elected, one from each of the four districts and the fifth as a commissioner at large. Periodically, the wards were further subdivided and at present seven commissioners are now elected to handle the Township business. In 1951, the commissioners voted to employ a township manager, J. Wynn Thompson, having been the first to serve.
A copy of Mr. Smith's publication is available at the Shaler North Hills Library.