Curwensville was founded by John Curwen in 1799 and in 1851 became the second Borough in Clearfield County by an act of the Pennsylvania Legislature. This same year, Samuel Fleming became the first assessor of the Borough and recorded its population at 372. The entire assessment of Curwensville was $15,295 in 1851. Once the Borough was established and local government formed, many improvements were made to this country village, including sidewalks being laid on Filbert, Thompson, and Pine Streets in May of 1855, the first bridge constructed in the borough in 1870, and in 1890 the first water system was established.
Curwensville expanded financially as a result of the lumber trade along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. The leather trade has been and continues to be a large industry in Curwensville, and many other industries, such as cheese processing, ice cream making, and brick making, have been very successful.
In 1812, the first school opened. Several schools were created in Curwensville, including the Patton Building in 1855, Locust Street School in 1908, and the South Side School in 1915. In 1953, ground was broken for the Curwensville Area High School and elementary classrooms were added in 1961 and 1972. The Patton Building closed in 1960, the South Side School in 1961, and Locust Street School in 1972.