Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
Middle Atlantic States Pennsylvania Downingtown

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Downingtown was incorporated as a borough in 1859.

The Downingtown Gas and Water Company was incorporated in 1867 and started building works in 1871, which were completed in 1874.  The company was sold at a sheriff's sale in 1878 and reincorporated as the Gas and Water Company of Downingtown.

The borough was not satisfied with the system, and decided to build its own water works, which began service on April 1, 1895.  The company sued the borough on the grounds that it had an exclusive franchise.  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed with the company and the borough ended up leasing and operating the company's system.

The Downingtown Borough Council formed the Downingtown Municipal Water Authority on July 20, 1987. 

Water is provided by the Downingtown Municipal Water Authority


References
1867 An act to incorporate the Downingtown Gas and Water Company.  March 22, 1867.

1878 Chester Daily Times, April 16, 1878, Page 3.
The Downingtown Gas and Water works have been sold at Sheriff's Sale.

1882 Downingtown, from Engineering News, 9:158 (May 20, 1882)

1882 Downingtown from "The Water-Supply of Certain Cities and Towns of the United States," by Walter G. Elliot, C. E., Ph. D.

1888 "Downingtown," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "Downingtown," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 "Downingtown," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

1896 "Water Works Litigation," by Geo. R. Harlow, Proceedings of the Annual Convention of the American Water Works Association 16:191-194 (May, 1896)
The Gas and Water Company of Downingtown vs. the Corporation of the Borough of Dowingtown

1896 Gas & Water Company of Downingtown vs. the Corporation of the Borough of Dowingtown 175 Pa. 341, May 11, 1896, Pennsylvania Supreme Court

1897 "Downingtown," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.

1899 Gas and Water Company of Downingtown v. Borough of Downingtown, 193 Pa. 255, October 9, 1899, Pennsylvania Supreme Court

1900 The Commercial and Financial Chronicle 71:184 (July 26, 1900)
Gas & Water Co. of Downington, Pa.- Lease. All the capital stock of this company is now owned by Dr. Thomas E. Parke, Joseph R. Downing, George Francis Fox, Charles T. Thomas and Edward Kerr, and the property is to be leased to the Borough of Downington, which will operate the maintain the works, paying a fixed rental annually therefor.

1909 History of Downingtown, Chester County, Pa., by Charles H. Pennypacker | also here |
Pages 138-139: WATER. The first mention made of the introduction of water pipes is on November 7, 1870, when a petition was presented by sundry citizens asking for the insertion of (ire plugs. The Water Company being a private corporation (another one of Joshua Karnes' enterprises), April 11, 1873, a resolution was passed earnestly requesting the Governor to veto an act of the Legislature authorizing the Burgess and Town Council to borrow the sum of fifty thousand dollars to purchase water works, as the act was passed without their knowledge or consent. Trouble now commences with the Gas and Water Company, who, by virtue of their charter, as decided by the Borough Solicitor, have the right to go where they please, doing as little injury as possible, and the Burgess, on July 7, 1873, was directed to notify John Webster, secretary of the Gas and Water Company, to fill up ditches within one week, or Council will proceed to do the same without delay. December 8, 1873, Council wished to be heard by the Governor on the Kames water bill enacted by the Legislature, but not as yet signed by the Governor.




2019 Morris A. Pierce