Documentary History of American Water-works

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Middle Atlantic States Pennsylvania Lewistown

Lewistown, Pennsylvania

Lewistown was first settled in 1790.

The borough of Lewistown was authorized to construct a water works in 1826, and began construction on a system in 1829 but it was never completed.

The Lewistown Water Company was incorporated in 1838, with Francis McClure, Henry Kulp, John R. Wickes, William McCoy, James McCord, Reuben C. Hale, David R. Reynolds, Joseph Milliken, Abraham Blymyer, William Cogshall, James Parker, James McDowell, Daniel Eisenbeise, Alexander C. Wilson, James Wareham, Daniel Bloom, Jacob Mutersbaugh, and William Mark named as commissioners to sell stock and form the company for "the purpose of introducing water into the said borough."  The company constructed a system with a steam engine and reservoir.  The system was rebuilt in 1896 as a gravity works.

The Citizens Water Company of Lewistown was incorporated on March 11, 1901.

The Lewistown-Reedsville Water Company was incorporated in 1908 as a meger of Lewistown Water Co., Granville Water Co., Minehart Run Water Co., Citizens Water Co. of Lewistown, and Reedsville Water Co.

The Municipal Authority of the Borough of Lewistown was formed on March 29, 1944 and acquired the Lewistown-Reedsville Water Company along with the Burnham Water Company, Logan Springs Water Company, and the Milroy Water Company..

Water service is provided by the Municipal Authority of the Borough of Lewistown.

1826 A further supplement to an act, entitled "An act to erect Norristown, in Mongomery county, into a borough, and for other purposes."  April 10, 1826. 

1838 An act to incorporate the Luthersburg and Punxatawny Turnpike Road company, and for other purposes. April 16, 1838.
Sections 16-28.  Lewistown Water company

1843 A supplement the act entitled "An act to incorporate the Luthersburg and Punxatawny Turnpike Road company, and for other purposes," approved the sixteenth day of April, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight. April 12, 1843.

1853 An act incorporating the West Kishacoquillas Valley turnpike road company; to elections in the borough of Lewistown; to the erection of a Lock-up house in the borough of Lewisburg, Union county ; authorizing the school directors of of said borough to sell real estate; to the Lewistown Water company; to the Lewistown Academy; to the real estate of William Barr, deceased; extending chancery powers to the courts of Common Pleas of Lycoming county; and to the Catawissa, Williamsport and Erie railroad company.  April 2, 1853.
Sections 11 & 12.  Lewistown water company.

1860 An act in relation to the Stockholders in certain corporations.  April 2, 1860.

1861 An act authorizing the Auditor General and State Treasurer to settle the accounts for Taxes with the Lewistown Water Company, and the Lewistown and Tuscarora Bridge Company, and strike the balances due the Commonwealth.  March 21, 1861.

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

1886 History of that Part of the Susquehanna and Juniata Valleys: Embraced in the Counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Snyder, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Volume 1, by Franklin Ellis and Austin N. Hungerford
Page 503-504 : LEWISTOWN WATER-WORKS. - In the supplement to "An act to erect Norristown, in Montgomery County, into a Borough, and for other purposes," passed April 10, 1826, it was provided "that the corporations of the Borough of Norristown and the Borough of Lewistown be, and they are hereby authorized and empowered to introduce into said borough a sufficient supply of Schuylkill, Kishacoquillas or other wholesome water, for the use of said Boroughs, at the expense of said Boroughs;" also "authorized to convey such supply by means of pipes, trunks or aqueducts, and to provide cisterns or reservoirs for the reception thereof." The borough was authorized to borrow not exceeding eight thousand dollars for the purpose, and to apply such part of taxes as was necessary for the payment of interest; work to be commenced and water introduced within five years from the passage of the act. It appears, by the papers of the time, that work was commenced by the borough authorities January 1, 1829, and continued until the summer of 1830, but no record is found giving the location of the water supply.
On the 16th of April, 1838, the Lewistown Water Company was incorporated, with seven hundred and fifty shares of stock, at twenty dollars per share. The company was organized and work began on the reservoir June 7, 1839, under the superintendence of Jacob Bearly. In the act, authority was given the company to purchase springs, streams of water or water-power for their purposes. A lease of springs half a mile west of the town, on the Ridge, was obtained, and work was continued upon the reservoir and ditches until August 12, 1839, when it was abandoned.
Subscriptions to the capital stock began in 1839 and were continued until 1843, when, by an act of Legislature, five hundred additional shares were allowed.
On the 1st of May, 1846, a committee, appointed by the company, purchased of David W. Hulings twelve acres of land, including the springs. Prior to this time water was introduced into the borough from springs below this tract, and in 1843 the first fire-plugs (six in number) were erected on the main streets of the town. The reservoir begun in 1839 was completed, and was fifty-three feet square at the bottom, eighty-five square at the top and sixteen feet in depth. The waters of the Hulings or Upper Spring were added to the supply by resolution of the board April 21, 1852. The contract for furnishing and laying the pipe was given to A. B. Long. By authority of an act of Legislature, April 6, 1839, the county subscribed for sixty shares of stock and the borough one hundred and eighty shares
.On the 2d of April, 1853, the borough was authorized, by act, to elect from the citizens of the town one who should represent their interests in the board of management of the Water Company. The borough retained the stock until authorized to sell, April 9, 1864. The reservoir is located two thousand one hundred and thirteen feet below the Upper Spring. Several springs are led to the main and add to the supply.
In July, 1865, there was reported as laid thirteen thousand eight hundred and fifty-two feet of pipe. Since that time Chestnut, Logan and several shorter streets have been laid with pipe. August 5, 1872, it was resolved to issue additional stock to the amount of five thousand dollars, or as much as was necessary to procure an abundant supply of water. Prior to the 12th a lot on the Kishacoquillas Creek, adjoining the first railroad bridge of the Sunbury and Lewistown Railroad, was bought for three hundred dollars from D. M. Kline. A building upon the lot was fitted for an engine-house. An engine was purchased and pipes laid to conduct water from the Kline lot to the terminus of the water-pipes, at the end of Valley Street. The water is pumped from the Kishacoquillas Creek and conducted in a six-inch pipe to a receiver on the Kline tract. In 1880 a proposal was made to procure a supply of water from the Juniata River, as the water in the springs was decreasing and pumping from the Kishacoquillas on the increase. This plan has not yet been adopted and the supply of water is at present largely drawn from the Kishacoquillas.
The officers of the company are Colonel R. H. Lee, of Logan, president ; William Russell, treasurer; and General T. F. McCoy, secretary.

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

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

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

1896 Harrisburg Telegraph, November 19, 1896, Page 4.
The Italians who have been working on the grading at Cove Mountain have nearly all gone to Lewistown to work on a reservoir.

1896 Harrisburg Patriot, November 28, 1896, Page 1.
Foreigners Not Wanted.
Workmen on the Lewistown Water Works Kick on Italians.
Lewistown, Nov 27.--The dissatisfaction and ill feeling among the working employed on the new water works today culminated in a strike of the hundred or more men on account of an order reducing their wages.  The employees also demanded that all foreign laborers be discharged.
To show that they are in earnest the working drove an Italian foreman from the works and insist that he shall remain away.  Contractor Key has not indicated what he will do in the matter.  Meanwhile a patient community will have to wait for a new water supply.

1896 Harrisburg Telegraph, December 5, 1896, Page 1.
Tried to Blow up a House.  Lewistown, Pa., Dec 5.--Unknown persons exploded dynamite under a house occupied by Italian laborers last night.  The explosion tore up the floor and otherwise damaged the building, but fortunately injured none of the occupants.

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

1913 A History of the Juniata Valley and Its People, Volume 1 by John Woolf Jordan
Page 136:  By the act of April 10, 1826, the borough of Lewistown was authorized to establish a system of water-works and to borrow, not to exceed $8,000, for the purpose, the work of construction to be commenced within five years. Work was commenced early in 1829 and continued for some time, but the supply of water was never delivered to the people of the town. The Lewistown Water Company was incorporated on April 16, 1838, with a capital stock of $15,000 and power "to purchase springs, streams of water or water-power for their purposes." Work was begun on the reservoir in June, 1839, and it was completed in 1843, when the first hydrants were placed on the streets. The first water came from half a mile west of the borough limits, where some springs along Minehart's run were leased by the company. The capital stock was increased $10,000 in 1843, and in 1846 twelve acres of land, including the springs, were purchased of David W. Hulings. In 1865 there were about two and a half miles of pipe laid. Since then the lines have been extended and the capital stock increased from time to time until the company now supplies Lewistown, Burnham, Yeagertown, Reedsville and Milroy. Besides the old source of supply at Minehart's run, new sources have been developed at Cooper's gap, north of Lewistown, Laurel run and Treaster's run, also north of the city. The five distributing reservoirs established at convenient points have a capacity of 15,000,000 gallons, and the quality of the water is unsurpassed, as shown by analyses.

2016 Morris A. Pierce