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History of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present online

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needed revenue to keep it going. He failed
in 1843, and soon afterward moved to Daven-
port, Iowa, where he died a few years ago a
highly respected citizen. Judge Patterson,
of Lancaster, is married to his daughter.

The works were started again by some of
the leading employes, among whom were
Messrs. Curran and Connelly, and Dr. Barton
Evan (^now a venerable citizen of Wrightsville,
who at present time is hale, hearty and
vigorous at the advanced age of eighty- two
years,) was associated with them. William
H. Kurtz, John Campbell, James Curran and
Dr. Evans formed a copartnership until 1847.

Israel Gardner and Franklin Wright at one
time owned it, until the property finally
passed into the hands of the present owner,
Mr. Himes, of New Oxford.


First known as Sarah Ann Furnace this was
started by William G. Cornwell, in Chance-
ford Township, about 1830. He did a con-
siderable business, but met with a financial
collapse in 1835. John Herr, a farmer of
Hellam Township, purchased the interests and
manufactured considerable iron, but the bus-
iness again failed. It was afterward run by
other parties, and manj^ years ago (teased


For over a half- century York Furnace has
been one of the most important business places
in the county along the Susquehanna Kiver.
It lies in the northeast part of Lower Chance-
ford Townshij) near the mouth of Otter Creek.
The Charcoal Furnace was built in 1830, by
James Hopkins of Lancaster, a prominent
lawyer and the preceptor of James Buchanan,
president of the United States. Mr. Hopkins
manufactured pig iron, some stone and hollow
ware. It was for a time rented by Henry Y.
and S. Slaymaker, of Margaretta Furnace.
The name, York Furnace, was given to it
because it lay in York County. Mr. Hopkins
owned a similar furnace then, in Lancaster

It was purchased by John Bair, in the year
1850. Soon afterward David Bair, John
Schaffner and Jacob Hoover became partners.
After conducting the business together for
some years with different changes in the firm,
John Bair became sole proprietor. A great
amount of iron for car wheels and cannons was
made here during the civil war.

Some of the ore was obtained in York
County, near Margaretta Furnace, and from
Moser's bank, about four miles from York.
The greater part however came from Lancas-
ter County, and was transported across the
river in flat boats. The Charcoal Furnace is
now in operation.


'H'^HE county commissioner, by a special
_L order, in the year 1783 appointed asses-
sors to take a complete assessment of all tax-
able property in the county for the purpose of
laying a special tax to assist in defraying the
expenses of the government incurred by the
Revolutionary war. These assessors were
also required to take a census of the county.



The continental currency only the year
before had entirely depreciated, consequently
all assessments taken after this for a consider-
able time were on a specie basis.


The United States government began
taking a census of the entire country in
1790. We have here compiled, with great
care, a complete report of the district of
York County since 1820. The census of
1820 in this entire county was taken during
the month of August by Charles Nes and
Penrose Robison. In 1840 it was taken by
Adam Klinefelter, George Maish, and Dr.
Andrew Patterson.


' 803' «'^0 Ti.'*

133 2429 1131' -971 l-|njnij
945109310681204 1-^^1:^:j


Codorus . . .
Delta Borough


Dover Boroiigli

Dover 1810 1874 1926|l918

East Prospect

Pairview 1764 1892 1993 2098

268; 270


Pawn 803 785 8594043130914.57

Praaklintown 82 181

Pranklin 9731003 819 8151014 910

Glen Rock i | 289 .537

Goldsboro 310

Hanover 946 9081100120516301839 2317

Heidelberg 1313 1028 142S 1616 17.58 2266 916

Hellam 2062 1.876 1421 1,5291642 1639 1963

Hopewell 1630 1941 1095 2380 3288 3618 3773

Jackson 14211499, 1836

Jefeer.^on Bor'gh i 110 164

Lewisberry I 220l 243


Lower Chanceford

Lower Windsor 1687:1923


Manchester 1949 2198 2152 2591

Manheim 13054361 1528|l806

Monaghan 11581214 770 990

Newberry 1794 1856 1850

New Freedom . ,

New Salem

North Codorus ,1540

Paradise 1837 1819 3117 23o3|1206

Peach Bottom.... 928 8981074

Railroad Bor'gh.
Red Lion.


Springfield....; ,....1207

256; 320
10oll232ll6372150!>306; 2471
21622429^ 2338
406' 430
26952427 2636
.59 1293
10301028 10.55
2182!2r44 2228


16521 1874 3366

Spring Garden.
Warrington . . .

16173936 3.550
472 552 600

11603 1907!2393:2809;3010

Manchester. 10'
West Manheim.. .1. .


Winterstown. . .
Wrightsville . . .
York Township.. 12107

12741229 1340 1570 1681 1796


1854 ,
4176 I


The entire population of York County in
1783 was 27,007: we have here given only
the townships now embraced in York



Chanceford : . .











Shrewsbury . . . .
Warrington. . . .


York Township


..! 5

a .3

1,304189 27,975
1,197 139 34,704


i 3 3

■ l'..



1,1 ;o



; 4
11 ..





16 1




9 2

1 m


980jl2,50il2941544 1776
1394!l950i2390,2307 2370
.... 6963 8605 1103|l3979


Under the present United States postal
system, which went into effect in 1790, the
first office established was at York. On Feb
ruary 10, 1790, Andrew Johuston, a former
lieutenant of the Revolutionary war, who was
wounded at the battle of Paoli, was made first
postmaster. The columns of the York papers
frequently contained long lists of advertised
letters belonging to persons living fifteen,
twenty or thirty miles away from York. In
January, 1795, an office was established at
Hanover, and Henry Welsh appointed post
master. An office was opened at Marsh
Creek, Gettysburg, about 1800. In Novem-
ber, 1815, Jacob Kirk became the first post- -
master at Lewisberry, and John Kirk the
same year at Peach Bottom.


On October 2, 1819, proposals were re-
ceived for carrying mails from Lancaster by
York, Berwick," Oxford, Gettysburg to Cham -
bersburg. 77 miles, every day. From York
to McCall's Bridge once a week; from York
by York Haven, New Market to Harrisburg,
three times a week; from Belle Air. Md., by
Lower Chanceford, York, Dover, Rosstown,
Lewisberry, Lisburn, Dillstown and Carlisle.
59 miles, once a week.

In December, 1815, a postal route was es-
tablished, by authority of the postoffice de-


partment, between York and Carlisle. The
mail was conveyed once a week. New offices
were established along the route at Dover,
Rosstown, Lewisberry, Dillsburg and Lis-
burn. The postmasters appointed for these
places were charged to be economical, or
their offices would be discontinued.

posTorncES and postmasters in yoke county
IN 1832.

PosTOFFicES. Postmasters.

Bermudian Gideon Griest

Chanceford Andrew Clarkson

Codorus Martin Sherer

Cross Roads Alexander Gordon

Castle Fin Edward Markland

Day's Landing (New Holland) Peter Dessenberg

Dillsburg G. L. Shearer

Dover E. Melchinger

Fawn Grove Thomas Barton

Franklintown Martin Carl

Farmei-'s William Snodgrass

Guilford (now Stewartstown) Anthony Stewart

Hanover Peter Mueller

Hetricks John Hershner

Lewisberry Samuel Crull

Loganville Samuel Keyser

Lower Chanceford William Cowan*

Manchester J. T. Ubil

Margaretta Furnace S. C. Slaymaker

Newberrytown Thomas Wickersham

Peach Bottom .James McConkey ,

Pidgeon Hill Abraham Bletcher I

Rossville '. .Michael Wollet

Shrewsbury Philip Folkemmer

Siddonsburg James G. Prazer

Windsor William C. Cornwell

Wrightsville James Kerr

AYolfram's Gustavus Wolfram

York Haven D. Winchester, Jr.

York Daniel Small

Mount Royal,

Mount Top,

Mount Wolf,

Muddy Creek Forks,



New Bridgeville,

New Freedom,

New Park,


Peach Bottom,

Plank Road,

Porter's Sideling,

Rail Road,

Red Lion,





Seven Valley,





Slate Hill,
Smith's Station,
Spring Forge,
Star View,
Stony Brook.
West Bangor,
West Manchester,
York Furnace,
York New Salem.
In all 102.

The following is a list of postoffices in
York County during the year 1885, as fur-
nished by the department at Washington:




Bald Eagle,

Black Rock,






Castle Fin,


Clear Spring,




Cross Roads,






East Prospect,

East York,




Fawn Grove,






Glen Rock,





Hanover Junction,




Hopewell Centre,


Jacobs' Mills,






Long Level,

McCall's Ferry,


Menges' Mills,


The following places in York County have
money order offices connected with postoffices,
established at the dates herein given: Yoi-k,
July 1, 1865; Hanover, August 6, 1866; Glen
Rock, July 31, 1871; Shrewsbury, July 31,
1871; West Bangor, July 6, 1876; Wrights-
ville, August 15, 1881; Wellsville, August
7, 1882.

The money order system went into opera-
tion in the United States in 1864. The pos-
tal note system was put into operation Sep-
3, 1883.

the advanced.

ORDS FROM 1749 TO 1770.

THE first court of Several Quarter Sessions
in York County after its formation from
Lancaster County, was held at York before
John Day, Esq., an English Quaker, and his
associates, commencing on the 31st day of
October, 1749. At this coitrt George Swope,
Patrick Watson and Walter Sharp were qual
ified as county commissioners. John Ab
bot, William Greer, John Blackburn, Baltzer
Spangler. Michael Tanner and Samuel Craw-
ford were qualified as township assessors.

The following is a list of the grand jury
selected for the first court of quarter sessions,
October, 1749 :
Michael McCleary,
William McClelland,
James Agnew,
Hugh Bingham,
James Hall,
William Proctor, ■
William Beatty,
John Pope,
Nathan Dicks.

Thomas Hosack,
Thomas Sillick,
Samuel Moore,
James Smith,
Richard Brown,
Thomas Niely,
Jeremiah Louchbridge,
Richard Proctor.


They all were sworn except three who af-
firmed. The names are all English or Scotch-
Irish. A number of them were Quakers.

The following is a list of the names of
constables appointed for the different town-
ships of York County at the first court :
Newberry, Peter Hughs,

Warrington, Robert Vale,

Manchester, Christian Lowe,

Hellam, John Bishop,

Chanceford, George Farr,

Fawn, James Edgar,

Dover, Caleb Hendricks,

York, George Greybill,

Manheim, Valentine Herr,

Mona^han, William Lan^ley,

Paradise, John Prankelberger,

Shrewsbury, Hugh Low,

Codurus. George Ziegler.

The following named persons were rec-
ommended to the governor as proper persons
to keep public houses of entertainment, at
the same session of court : Michael Swope,
George Mendenhall, John Edwards, Michael
Bardt, George Hoake, Jacob Fakler, Samuel
Hoake, William Sinkler.

There were a number of taverns opened
under the authority of the Lancaster County
Court several years before.

The first case tried was the King vs. Mil-
ler and Smith, overseers of the public high-
ways. An indictment was preferred against
them jointly for neglect of duty. The de-
fendants were discharged upon paying costs.

The second case was the King vs. James
King for assault. This case was settled. The
above two cases were the only ones for trial
at the sitting of the court. The second
court of the quarter sessions was held on
January 30, 1750. Hance Hamilton was
sheriff, and William McClelland, foreman of
the grand jury, which consisted of nineteen
men. At this court the first case attached
was Dominus Res vs. John Morningstern.
George Stevenson, Esq., is recorded as pros-
ecuting attorney for "our Sovereign Lord the
King." John Proby was indicted and plead
guilty to selling liquor by small measures,
without legal authority. He was sentenced
to pay a fine of £5 in English cur-
rency, which George Stevenson, clerk of the
courts received, and was ordered to pay it to
the secretary of the province. George Ross
and David Stout were attorneys for the de-
fendant. In another case at this court a
defendant was found guilty by a jury of
twelve men "of feloniously stealing one linen
shirt and one pair of stockings," and was
sentenced "to immediately receive on his bare
back, at the public whipping post, fifteen
lashes, and to go to the county gaol (jail)
twelve days for the costs of the prosecution,
being unable to pay them." This case illus-

trates how our ancestors put into full force
the English laws. The whipping post was
in common use in England at this date. It
was used quite frequently in this county

: during its early history.

The next court convened on April 24, 1750.
Nineteen men formed the grand jury. Will-
iam Peters, Esq. , was prosecutor for the
king. Several cases were tried. In the
July sessions 1750, two of the grand jurors
who were drawn, presented themselves, but

I refused to be qualified according to the de-

I mands of the coui-t, whereupon they were
fined, and were then allowed to depart in peace

' for their homes. At this session John Law-
rence, Esq., was prosecutor for the king. An
incident occurred which created considerable
confusion — an impetuous Scotch-Irishman,
lost his temper while testifying before the
court as a witness in a somewhat important
case, and itsed violent oaths, whereupon the
court sentenced him to pay a heavy tine
which the records show was promptly paid.

Margaret Wilmoth plead guilty " to felo
niously taking a silk handkerchief," and was
sentenced by the court to receive immedi-

! ately on her back fifteen lashes. By this

! sentence it shows that the women, as well as
the men, were sentenced to the unmerciful
whipping post, by our provincial justices.
It does not speak well for the gallantry of
the court of those historic days, but illus-
trates that the modes of punishment, as well

, as customs of those days, were imported. At
the same sitting of the court all the tavern-
keepers of the county were required to give
bonds "to not suffer any drunkenness, un-
lawful gaming, or any other disorder, or
sell any intoxicating drinks to the Indians to
debauch or hurt them." This being the year
1750, a few years before the French and In-
dian war, there were a considerable number
of Indians within the county. Many of them
had great inclination to partake of ardent
spirits, or '"fire-waters," as they were wont
to call them. The provision of the court,
forbidding the sale of such liquors to them
by the whites, was wise and beneficial. In
early colonial days, many homes were de-
stroyed by the intoxicated red man.

At the October sessions, 1750, Hance Ham-
ilton, sheriff, remonstrated to the court in
writing, setting forth that by reason of
tumultuous behavior of sundry persons, at the
last election, he could not make such return
as by the act of assembly was required."

: The court ordered that the commissioners
and assessors who served the previous year,

I continue in office during the ensuing year,
or until a new election be held. All the


voting for county officers at that time was
done in the county seat; voters from the re-
mote places of the county, were compelled to
come to York to cast their ballot for county
and provincial offices. A bitter contest took
place at the election for sheriff between
Hance Hamilton and Richard McAllister.
The latter was declared elected, but on ac-
count of fraud in the voting, and violence at
the polls, the provincial authorities afterward
decided in favor of Hance Hamilton. This
will explain the cause of his statement to the
court in relation to the election. This was
the second election for sheriff.

On the death of Walter Sharp, one of the
county commissioners, the vacancy was filled
by a vote of the surviving commissioners,
and the assessors electing William McClel-
land, for the current year. The commis-
sioners then were George Swope, Patrick
Watson and William McClelland. Alexander
Love produced a commission under the seal
of "Hon. Jsmes Hamilton, Esq, lieutenant
governor of the Province of Pennsylvania,
and counties of New Castle, Kent and Sus-
sex on the Deleware," dated October 9, 1750,
declaring him coroner of the county of York.
His qualifications, professional requirements
and Christian belief, enjoined by law, and
ability to faithfully discharge his duties,
were certified to in his commission.

The next court of quarter sessions, 1751,
was held by Patrick Watson, Esq., and
his associates. It will be here observed, that
he was the second presiding justice of the
court. A commission from his majesty
King George II, of England, dated April
25, 1751, assigning Patrick Watson, John
Day, John Wright, Hance Hamilton, George
Stevenson, John Withrow, Walter Buchanan,
John Blackburn, John Pope, William Grif-
fith and Herman Updegraff, justices of the
peace under the king of England, and also
empowered to be justices of the court of
common pleas, was read in open court and
published. Patrick Watson, John Day and
Herman Updegraff, subscribed the oath and
took their seats for this court. Their first
business transacted was the admission to
practice before their court of Edward 1
Shippen, Jr., who already was a mem-
ber of the honorable society of the Middle
Temple bar of London, John Matthew, Jr.,
was admitted as an attorney at the same time.

At the July term of court Samuel Morris '
and Joseph Galloway were admitted as at-
torneys; Alexander McDonald and Felix
Gallagher were granted peddler's license; ■
Bartholomew Maul was elected commissioner
at what was termed the "anniversary elec-

tion," and was qualified October 29. He was
the village schoolmaster of York. Hugh
Bray was admitted as a practicing attorney
January 28, 1752.

At this court the Grand Inquest made com-
plaint that "John Proby forced open the door
of the Chamber and treated them in an inso-
lent and indecent manner. " The Court or-
dered him to pay a fine of 20s. "It was paid
the same day to Richard Ferguson, whose
house was burned." Proby was a notorious
criminal. He was twice tried at the Lancas-
ter court, and a dozen times before in York
court. Charles Crim, a grand juror, at this
session, "for breaking the peace and casting
a glass of wine in another juror's face," was
fined 20s.


The general assembly of Pennsylvania,
considering that inn-holders, etc., exacted
excessive rates for their wines, provender,
etc., made a law on the 31st of May, 1718, by
which the justices of the peace, in their quar-
ter sessions, should set such reasonable prices
as they should see fit. The justices of York
County, on the 28th of January, 1752, estab-
lished the following rates and prices; we give
them from an extract taken word for word
from the records of the court of quarter seg-

£ .?. d.
One quart sangaree made with one pint

of good Madeira wine and with loaf

sugar 1 j6

A bowl of punch made with one quart

water with loaf sugar and good Ja-
maica spirits 1 6

One pint good Madeira wine 1 3

One pint good Vidonia wine 10

One pint good Port wine 1 ,0

One quart of mimbo made with West

India rum and loaf sugar 1,0

One quart of mimbo made with New

England rum and loaf sugar

One gill of good West India rum 4

One gill of good New England rum. . .. ;3

One gill of good whisliy 3

One quart of good beer , D li

One quart of good cider. 4

One man's breakfast 6

One man's dinner 8

One man's supper 6

One horse at hay twenty-four hours.. .. 10

One horse at hay one night 8

Half a gallon of good oats .?

"The above rates were settled by the court
and proclaimed by the crier in open court of
general quarter sessions, in pursuance of ap
act of general assembly of this province ijj
such case made and provided."

The above continued for some years to be
the tavern rates within the county of York.
But the statutes requiring them have long
since been repealed.

A certain defendant at same court was con.-


victed of an assault to commit a rape. He
was sentenced to pay a fine of £5 to the gov-
ernment, be publicly whipped on his bare
back twenty one lashes, on the 28th day of
May, 1752; after first punishment, he was
placed for one hour in the pillory. This
was one of the most severe punishments that
could be imposed. The use of the whipping
post seems severe, but the pain in the pillory
was excrutiating. The pillory, an ancient
instrument of punishment, consisted of a
frame of wood erected on posts, with mova-
ble boards and holes through which the
head and hands of a criminal were placed
to punish him. The punishment was a pain-
ful strangulation. The pillory was used in
England until 1837. At the January term
1753, John Adlum was qualified as the second
high sheriff of York County, having been
elected to fill the position vacated by Hance
Hamilton. Thomas Otway and William Pan-
were admitted to practice law in York County.
Twenty -nine persons were recommended to
the governor of the province as proper per-
sons to keep public houses of entertainment
in the county of York.

On October 30, 1753, James Agnew was
qualified as county commissioner. Edward
Shippen, Jr., was prosecuting attorney.

Thomas McCartney was sworn in as com-
missioner, and Samuel Johnston admitted to
practice October 28, 1755 . The courts until
this year were held in private houses. The
court house was completed in 1755. Among
the records of 1758 is found the petition of
Francis Whistle, a prisoner in the county
jail, being a runaway servant of John Oliver,
of Maiyland, to whom notice was sent to
come and pay the prison fees and other
charges due, amounting to £3 Is. 6d. The
petition set forth that Francis Whistle had
no money to pay said fees and asked that
he might be adjudged to serve a reason-
able time, in satisfaction of costs and ex-
pense, whereupon the court ordered that the
said Francis Whistle be sold to some proper
person by the jailer to serve for one year.
The purchaser or master to furnish him suffi-
cient meat, drink, apparel and lodging dur-
ing said term. Whistle was what was then
termed a "redemptioner."

The session held during the month of Octo-
ber, 1760, was presided over by Thomas Ar
mor, Esq., a man of considerable ability as
a jurist. He filled several important positions
during the Revolution. In 1761 there were
forty-four public houses in York County eigh-
teen being in the town of Tork. During this
year, Edward Shippen, Jr., prosecuting attor-
ney or attorney for the king, was succeeded

by John Mather. At the January sessions 1763
Robert McPherson was sheriif of the county,
and Robert Magaw attorney for the king. He
was succeeded by George Ross. This year
there were fifty-nine persons licensed to keep
tavern in the county. At the October session
of 17G3, John Morris, Jr., of the city of
Philadelphia, became prosecuting attorney for
York County. The entry on the record is as

"John Morris, Jr., of the city of Philadel-
phia, attorney at law for our sovereign Lord
the King in this court by virtue of a deputa-
tion from Benjamin Chew, Esq., attorney
general of the Province of Pennsylvania."

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 101 of 218)