Documentary History of American Water-works

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Middle Atlantic States Pennsylvania Palmyra

Palmyra, Pennsylvania

Palmyra was settled in the early 1700's and became part of Lebanon County when it was formed in 1813.

In 1807 the Pennsylvania legislature authorized a lottery to raise not more than $3,000 "for the purpose of procuring and bringing into the said village a sufficient supply of water for the use of the inhabitants thereof."  No further information on the lottery has been found, nor any evidence that a water system was built at this time.

1853 Martin H. Early bought land and ran water pipes into Palmyra.  He claims to have obtained a corporate charter but no evidence of this has been found.

The Londonderry Water Company was incorporated on March 22, 1883 by John S. Bomberger, Abraham L. Kreider, Henry L. Kreider, William L. Kreider, John K. Landis and Henry Wilhelm to supply water in Palmyra for a term of 30 years.  This company bought the Early system in 1903 and was rechartered under the same name on December 2, 1911.  The company was bought by the Pennsylvania State Water Corporation around 1927.  This company was a subsidiary of the Community Water Service Company and was itself acquired by the American Water Works Company in 1936. 

The Gravel Hill Water Supply Company and North Annville Water Supply Company were both incorporated on September 17, 1909, and were merged in 1921 into the North Annville and Gravel Hill Consolidaed Water Company, which was reincorporated under the same name in 1930.  This company was bought by the Pennsylvania State Water Company in 1928 and merged with the Londonderry Water Company to form the Palmyra Water Company around 1930.

Water is provided by the Palmyra Water company, which is owned by the Pennsylvania American Water Company.

[Note:  A separate Londonderry Water Company was incorporated on April 9, 1902 to serve Royalton Borough in Dauphin County.]

1808 An act for the Relief of the Inhabitants of the Village of Palmyra, in the Township of of London Derry, Dauphin County. February 22, 1808

1898 A History and Directory of Palmyra, Pa., also of Campbelltown, Bindnagles, and Gravel Hill Churches, compiled by Martin H. Early
Page 35:  1853 - Martin Early in this year purchased the farm north of the depot for the purpose of bringing water to town. So great was the opposition to this enterprise that he was stopped for tresspassing. Then, in order to accomplish his original plan, he was compelled to purchase land on both sides of the road before he could lay pipes. After securing a grant from the Legislature, he bought lands on both sides of the road and purchased the pipes as well, without pecuniary assistance. After getting as far as the railroad, additional trouble presented itself.  Railroad street at that time resembled a worm fence.  In order to straighten it he. in 1856, purchased twelve acres from Jacob Carmany: also ten lots from Andrew Henry: in 1864. purchased thirty-one acres from John Miller; in 1867, exchanged lands with Peter B. Witmer to square up lots. Three juries reported adversely, a fourth gave the desired permission to have the old road straightened. He then had the lots, alleys and streets surveyed and laid out by Squire Thomas Kramer. The street midway between the railroad and Main street was surveyed and laid out in this war as Center street, the deeds to properties there so state.
Page   : 1883 - Londonderry Water Company was chartered in July.  The first stockholders were: John S. Bomberger, Abraham L. Kreider, Henry L. Kreider, William L. Kreider, John K. Landis and Henry Wilhelm.

1909 Londonderry Water Company, from Fourth Annual Report of the Commissioner of Health of the State of Pennsylvania, Part I, 1911

2015 Morris A. Pierce