|Introduction||Historical Background||Chronology||Geography||Biography||Technology||Ownership and Financing||General Bibliography|
New Castle was settled in 1651 and incorporated as a city in 1875.
The New Castle Water Works Company was incorporated in 1859 with Andrew C. Gray, Alfred C. Nowland, Mark M. Cleaver, Thomas T. Tasker, Allen V. Lesley, Peter B. Vandever, James Crippen, and George Janvier appointed as commissioners to form the company "for supplying with water the town of New Castle and vicinity, and such individuals residing in said town as may desire it." This company did not build anything.
Another New Castle Water Works Company was incorporated in 1869 with Andrew C. Gray, John Janvier, James G. Shaw, William Herbert, Thomas T. Tasker, Allen V. Lesley, Joseph H. Rogers, Peter B. Vandever and William C. Spruance appointed commissioners to form the company "for supplying with water the town of New Castle and vicinity." This company built a system that pumped water from the Delaware River into an elevated reservoir that began service in the spring of 1873. The quality and quantity of water was deficient by the early 1900s.
The Delaware Water Improvement Company was incorporated in October, 1904, and on November 1st an ordinance was granted by the city giving the company an exclusive 25-year franchise for water and electric lighting. This company built s system using water from an artesian well.
The New Castle Water Works Company went into receivership in 1909 and was sold at auction for $20,000 to the owners of the Delaware Water Improvement Company, who formed a new company named the New Castle Water Company. Both companies went into receivership in 1919 and was sold at auction for $65,000.
The City of New Castle bought the two companies on April 1, 1921 for $75,000 after some period of negotiations and threats to build their own water system.
Water is supplied by the Municipal Services Commission of the City of New Castle.
1859 An act to incorporate the New Castle Water Work Company. February 11, 1859.
1869 A Supplement to an act entitled, ''An Act to enlarge the corporate powers of the Trustees of the New Castle Common," passed January 25, 1792. March 30, 1869.
1869 An act to incorporate the New Castle Water Works Company. April 1, 1869.
1882 "New Castle," from Engineering News, 9:436 (December 23, 1882)
1882 New Castle, from "The Water-Supply of Certain Cities and Towns of the United States," by Walter G. Elliot, C. E., Ph. D.
of Delaware : 1609-1888: Local history, Volume 2, by John
Page 863: The New Castle Water Works Company was incorporated April 1, 1869, by Thomas T. Tasker, Sr., William Herbert, Joseph H. Rogers, John Janvier, Allen V. Lesley, James G. Shaw, Peter B. Vandever, Andrew C. Gray and William C. Spruance. The capital stock was fixed at fifty thousand dollars, with privilege of increase to one hundred thousand dollars. James G. Shaw was chosen president, and is still the executive of the company; Wm. H. Clark, secretary and treasurer; Thomas T. Tasker, Stephen P.M. Tasker, William Herbert, Dr. John J. Black, A.M. Hizar, Ed. Challenger and E.W. Clark are the other directors. Water was introduced by the company in the spring of 1873, the supply being brought from None Such Creek, three miles from New Castle. The water is pumped into a reservoir of one million two hundred and fifty thousand gallons capacity, situated one and a half miles from the city, at an elevation of eighty-seven feet. Five miles of mains have been laid in the streets of New Castle, and forty-five water-plugs erected. Thirty-seven are designed for the use of the Fire Department.
1888 "New Castle," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.
1890 "New Castle," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.
1891 "New Castle," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.
1897 "New Castle," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.
1904 "New Move by Water Company," The Evening Journal (Wilmington, Delaware), August 4, 1904, Page 6.
1904 The Electrical
World and Engineer 44:750 (October 29, 1904)
New Castle, Del.- The Delaware Water Improvement Company has been incorporated to construct water works and an electric light plant in New Castle. Capital $150,000.
Review 45(19):770 (November 5, 1904)
Wilmington, Del.- At a special meeting of the city council a resolution was passed granting to the Delaware Water Improvement Company the exclusive right to the streets of this city for the laying of water mains, erecting electric light poles and stringing wires for electric lighting and heating for a period of twenty-five years.
1904 Ordinance granting a
franchise to the Delaware Water Improvement Company, November 1, 1904.
1904 "Water Rates Will Not Be Reduced," The Evening Journal (Wilmington, Delaware), December 31, 1904, Page 2.
1905 "First Contract is Iron-Clad," The Evening Journal (Wilmington, Delaware), March 9, 1905, Page 2.
1905 Contract between the Delaware Water Improvement Company and the Mayor and Council of New Castle, March 16, 1905
1905 "Water Improvement Co.'s Pumps Given a Test," The News Journal (Wilmington, Delaware), September 18, 1905, Page 8.
1909 "Get $20,000 for Water Plant," The Evening Journal (Wilmington, Delaware), November 4, 1909, Page 2.
Journal and Engineer 27(19):725 (November 10, 1909)
Water Works Consolidation.- Under order of the Court of Chancery, the plant of the New Castle Water Works Company, including a reservoir, was sold at Wilmington, Del., Nov. 4, to George B. Shaefer, H. E. and James E. Ahrens and John Bowman, of Reading, Pa., and William J. Yeager, of Lewistown, Pa. H. E. Ahrens, one of the purchasers, is president of the Delaware Water Improvement Company, a rival concern for supplying the city of New Castle with water, and it is believed the two systems will be consolidated.
Inquirer, February 2, 1910, Page 16.
Dover Del., Feb 1. The New Castle Water Company was incorporated to supply pure drinking water to the city of New Castle and elsewhere. The incorporators are George B. Schaeffer, Howard E. Ahrens of Reading, Pa.; John S. Ahrens and John L. Bowman of Philadelphia; William J. Yeafer, of Reedsville. The capital stock is $20,000.
1911 An act to Authorize “The Mayor and Council of New Castle” to Acquire or Construct, and to Maintain and Operate a System of Water Supply for the use of the City of New Castle and its Inhabitants. March 30, 1911.
1912 Amendment to the 1905 contract dated April 12, 1912.
at Wilmington," Fire and Water Engineering, 61:201
A new well has been drilled for the Delaware Water Improvement Company of Wilmington, Del.
surface and underground water resources of Maryland, including
Delaware and the District of Columbia, by William
Bullock Clark, Edwards B. Mathews, Edward Wilber Berry, Maryland
Page 522: Newcastle.—The reports from Newcastle differ widely. One correspondent states: "The main supply is pumped from a small stream about 2 miles north of the city, and this stream of water cannot be otherwise than polluted on account of cattle wading through and other contaminating influences." The supply is not abundant, and the water shortage, with its consequent increase in fire risks and likelihood of epidemics, is a serious menace to the town's development. The Delaware Water Improvement Company furnishes water to the Pennsylvania Railroad on the Newcastle cut-off north of Newcastle from a standpipe 110 feet high, 20 feet in diameter, and 49 pounds pressure, and the supply is said to be "unlimited."
1919 "Receivers' Sale of Delaware Water Improvement Company," The Evening Journal (Wilmington, Delaware), February 18, 1919, Page 18.
1919 "Sold New Castle Water Co. Property," The Morning News (Wilmington, Delaware), March 7, 1919, Page 12.
Castle Water," The Morning News (Wilmington, Delaware),
January 11, 1921, Page 3.
Owners offer to sell water and lighting properties to city for $75,000 cash.
1921 An act to establish a Board of Water and Light Commissioners for the City of New Castle. March 7, 1921.
Castle Revisited, by Michael Connolly
Page 69: Beginning in 1870, the New Castle Water Works began supplying the town with water drawn from Nonesuch Creek near Newport. After a dispute regarding quality, a second completing company began supplying New Castle with water taken from an artesian well.
© 2017 Morris A. Pierce