Welcome to Township Tuesday, where each week, we will examine the history of different Lancaster County townships. This week: Warwick Township as recorded in the 1875 Historical Atlas of Lancaster County. A few minor edits have been made, mostly for readability, plus adding additional images from sources outside of the Atlas. Note well that the Lititz is written as “Litiz” as it was known at the time. The extra “t” was added by the U.S. Post Office in 1880, five years after the publication of the 1875 Historical Atlas of Lancaster County.
1875 Historical Atlas of Lancaster County
The 1875 Historical Atlas of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, was compiled by the famous cartographer and atlas maker Major L. H. Everts of Geneva, Illinois. Click here to read more about the Atlas and Everts.
The township of Warwick was one of the original townships organized at the erection of the County in 1729. It received its name from Richard Carter, one of the earliest settlers and the first Constable appointed in the township.
The principal settlement in the township is Litiz, a village laid out in 1757, under the auspices of the Moravians, by one of their ministers, the Rev. Nathaniel Seidel, and one John Reuter, who were sent from the settlement of Bethlehem for that purpose. The name was given to it in memory of the Bohemian village of that name, from whence emigrated the forefathers of the United Brethren, or Moravians. The present parsonage was erected in 1761, and the greater part of the upper story was dedicated as a place of worship. It was provided with a small organ, and the walls were beautifully decorated with some of the sacred oil-paintings of Hayd, representing the most characteristic incidents in the life of Christ. In this hall, the congregation worshiped until August 13, 1787, when the present church was consecrated. In 1771 the St. Jacob’s Church was taken down, and removed to the fulling mill below the village, and converted into a dwelling-house for the millers. This house is still standing. The graveyard which belonged to this church is yet in existence and is known by the name of “Warwick Grave-yard.” It is located a short distance southwardly from the village, near the Lancaster road. It possesses much of interest, notably the variety and beauty of the epitaphs on its old tombstones.
The village today presents a clean and tasteful appearance. The square is enclosed with a neat white fence, and around it cluster the institutions of the sect, also the church and parsonage. It is surrounded by an avenue of locust- and cedar trees, while the interior is adorned with linden-, cedar-, and Balm of Gilead-trees, and a great variety of ornamental shrubbery.
The sacred edifice is sixty-six feet in length and fifty feet in depth and built of limestone. The general workmanship and architecture of the church is admirable. It is ornamented with a neat spire, and has a town clock, which strikes the quarter-hours. In 1857 the church, after having stood seventy years, underwent numerous repairs, which entirely modernized both its internal and external appearance.
The first minister who labored in the congregation at Litiz was Count Nicolas Louis de Zinzendorf, who labored here in 1742. The present incumbent is Edward T. Kluge, whose time is greatly occupied in his pastoral ministrations.
The Brothers’ House
In 1759 the Brothers’ House, at Litiz, was built, which, however, is not used for its original intent at present. The structure is of limestone, sixty by thirty-seven feet, and three stories high. The basement story was occupied as a kitchen and dining room; the first story was divided into four rooms, in each of which nine or ten brethren resided; part of the second story consisted of a large hall or chapel, for spiritual purposes, which was provided with a very excellent organ. The remaining part was divided into dwelling rooms, in one of which resided the elder and steward. The duty of the former was to care for the spiritual welfare of those in the house, and those of the latter for the temporal concerns thereof.
One of the rooms in the second story was set apart for the boys between the ages of twelve and eighteen. The greater part of the third story was occupied as a dormitory, where they all slept. Aside of it was a room set apart for such as might get sick, and one of the brethren, who had the office of waiting upon them, resided in this room. In each room where the brethren resided, there was one who was called the overseer, whose duty it was to correct any disorders that might arise, care for fuel, repairs, and cleanliness of the room. In the room where the boys resided, there were generally three overseers, whose duty it was to guard their morals, and to guide them in the path of virtue and religion, go with them to church, and, during the winter season, to devote three evenings in the week to instruct them in useful knowledge. These boys were partly employed in the town, and partly in the Brothers’ House, in learning various mechanical trades. In the rear of the building, there are several houses, which were formerly occupied as shops for cabinet-makers, chair-makers, weavers, etc. The shoemakers and tailors had their shops in the house.
There also belonged a very extensive farm to it, on which a number were employed. Much attention was paid to fattening cattle, and it was nothing unusual to buy whole droves for that purpose, which, when fat, were sold to the Lancaster and Philadelphia butchers. In the year 1817, it was found proper to discontinue the Brothers’ House at Litiz, and, after that period, it was for a time occupied by several families, and at present is used for school purposes. During the Revolutionary war, it was, for a short period, used as a hospital for wounded soldiers, a number of whom died there and were buried a short distance easterly from the village. Click here to read more about Lititz’s role during Revolutionary War.
The Sisters’ House
The Sisters’ Honse was built A.D. 1758. It is of the same material as the Brothers’ institution. It is ninety by thirty-seven feet. The internal arrangements are similar to those described above. At this time, it is not used for its original purpose, but it is in connection with Linden Hall, and is used as a schoolhouse. There was never any kind of vow of celibacy connected with these institutions; any of the sisters could leave the house if she had any desire to change her situation.
This beautiful spot is located on a rising ground to the south of the village, of which we will give a brief account; there existing, perhaps, no similar arrangement in Lancaster County. After entering the gate, the visitor finds himself in a beautiful avenue of cedar trees, which separates the graves of the males from those of the females, the former being on the right, and the latter on the left, as he passes on. The graves are divided into classes, as also is the congregation. Here is a row of graves, containing none but the married men; opposite, none but those of the married women; further on, those of the single classes; still further, those of little boys and girls under the age of twelve. ‘The graves are all of two sizes; the sides are planted with sod, and the tops are overrun with the Virginia mountain-pink, which, in the month of May, is in full bloom, and renders the appearance of the graves one of the most beautiful imaginable. On each grave, there is a marble tombstone, which, without distinction, lies flat on the grave, verifying the old adage, “Death levels all, both great and small.” The epitaphs contain the name, birth, and departure; to some a few more lines have been added, u number of which are truly edifying, and very striking. Each tombstone is numbered. The first interment was made in 1758.
The Litiz Spring
This spring forms quite an interesting feature in the township, being situated on the land of the society a little west of the village, and it is probably one of the largest springs in the State. There are two fountains from which all the water, forming a considerable stream, is discharged and has water sufficient to supply the motive power for several mills, including some of the largest merchant mills in the County, all within a distance of six miles from its source. The water is a pure calcareous and very fresh and clear. In former times it formed a large pond around which Indians resided, and many relics of the aborigines have been found in its immediate vicinity.
About the year 1780, some of the inhabitants of Litiz began to improve it by enclosing it in a circular wall, and filling up part of the pond, and in later years, the remaining part was filled up, and where was formerly a large body of water is now a park of fine trees. Various improvements have been made from time to time, but at no period has it been in so perfect a state as at present. Around it are a number of seats, and on the hill, at the base of which it has its source, are handsomely laid out gardens, arbors, and ornamental shrubbery. From the spring to the village is an avenue of linden and maple trees winding along the stream, the path being partly covered with gravel, and partly with tan, which renders access to it easy in wet, as well as in dry, weather. Along this avenue, there are a number of sents, under shade trees, for the accommodation of visitors, and also several neat bridges to facilitate crossing the stream.
The population of Litiz is estimated at six hundred. It has been famous in past years for the invention and manufacture, by Mr. Mathias Tschudy, of chip-hats and bonnets. A manufactory was carried on here for many years until the introduction and use of palm-leaf and straw goods superseded them, when the establishment was discontinued. Organs were also built at Litiz in former times, which for excellence of tone and workmanship are justly celebrated. A number of the best organs in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Lancaster, are specimens thereof, notably the large and beautiful organ at the Lutheran Church, Lancaster.
The screw, which now forms one of the principal parts of the auger, was invented and manufactured here by John Henry Rauch, Sr., the original one made in 1776, being now in the possession of E. H. Rauch, of Lancaster, a grandson of the inventor. It was among the relics exhibited at the great Sanitary Fair held at Philadelphia in 1864.
Litiz has, on the whole, formed quite a prominent part in the history of Lancaster County. Part of the village is now owned by parties, not members of the society. This was not the case in former years but is a recent innovation, mutually satisfactory, we believe, to all parties concerned.
The secular portion of the village is in a very flourishing condition. Present Postmaster, F. W. Christ.
There are, beside Litiz, seven other villages in Warwick Township, viz., Warwick, a small settlement on the north side of Litiz Creek, containing the warehouse and depot of the Reading and Columbia Railroad, a large steam grist mill, two planing mills, a store, hotel, sale stables, a blacksmith shop, the whole together forming quite a prosperous little town.
Livingston is located about two miles north of Litiz, and is a place of lesser importance, but contains the usual number of business establishments, hotel, etc.
Brunnerville is a post-town, and contains about one hundred and eighty inhabitants; and is famous as containing the extensive machine shops and foundry of Wiser & Keller, where are manufactured every description of agricultural implements, etc.
Rothsville is also a post-office, about three miles east of Litiz, being pretty thoroughly scattered along the Browntown road. It contains two stores, two hotels, and several other places of business. It is the residence of the Right Rev. Christian Bomberger, one of the oldest bishops of the Dunker denomination.
Rome is a small town adjacent to Litiz, and might be termed a continuation of that village.
There is a hotel here, kept by Dr. John Bender, the well-known veterinary surgeon. It has a small steam mill, a school, and the only distillery in the township is located here. Close by is the dairy farm of John Gibble, that supplies Litiz with its daily quantum of the lacteal fluid.
Millport is on the sunny side of Rothsville, or Kissel Hill Ridge, and contains about fifty dwellings and two hundred inhabitants. It is a quiet inland village, not much given to unnecessary display. Here is a very fine vineyard, and market-garden and nursery; and also nearby the large nursery farm of Levi S. Reist.
New Haven is also a flourishing village, one mile from Litiz.
Warwick contained in 1870 a population of 3,345, of which 3262 were native-born, and 83 foreign; 3,333 white, and 12 colored. According to the assessor’s returns for 1874, it contained 978 taxables; the total valuation of real and personal property was $2,755,190, which shows an increase over 1860 of $1,670,246. The area of the township is 11,670 acres, surface rolling, soil rich calcareous, intermixed with clay and gravel. Principal products wheat, corn, oats, potatoes, and hay. Tobacco is becoming a very popular and lucrative production and is being extensively cultivated in the township.
Among the most prominent and best practical farmers in the township are Levi S. Reist, Abraham Ballinger, Peter B. Longennocker, David R. Buch, Jacob Bomberger, Benjamin Ritter, Hiram Kline, Henry Frank, John Gibble, and Johnson Miller. The last mentioned is the President of the Lancaster County Agricultural and Horticultural Society, and, considering that he is comparatively a young man, holds quite a prominent position in society generally.
He is a son of Mr. Martin Miller, now residing at Litiz, and was born September 23, 1847. When quite young, he showed more than ordinary precocity and talent, which subsequent education received at the academy at Litiz, more fully developed. Combined with his intellectual acquirements, he possessed extraordinary mechanical ability, which he has made practical use of in later years.
He has also acquired a knowledge of civil engineering. In 1868 he married and then commenced farming on his own account. In politics, he is Republican, and has held many offices of honor and trust in his township. In January. 1874, he was elected President of the Lancaster County Agricultural and Horticultural Society after having taken a lively interest in the same for some time previous. He has filled this position with marked ability and mutual satisfaction. Mr. Miller evinces a decided interest in literary and social matters in general and has a library containing upwards of one thousand volumes. He manages his large farm with scientific regularity and hence derives large pecuniary advantages therefrom. On the whole, Mr. Miller is a representative young man, and will doubtless still further make his mark in the County and attain a high position in its future history.
Now you can own a beautiful reproduction of Warwick Township and Lititz.
Meet Hannah Hetherley, the ‘pow-wowing’ witch doctor known as the ‘Sorceress of Lititz’
In 1879, a rag-tag group of Christmas day-born treasure hunters led by the “Sorceress of Lititz” Hannah Hetherley set out to find buried riches hidden near downtown Lititz. Legend holds, they found it, but the magic protecting the cache was too powerful to allow its removal. Can you break the spell? Click here to read more.
Lititz answers the call of freedom; becomes a hospital town for Revolutionary War wounded
For eight months in 1778, the town of Lititz served as a hospital caring for hundreds of men. Unfortunately, typhus plagued the facility killing 120 soldiers of the nearly 1,000 men who stayed there.
For eight months beginning in December 1777, the town of Lititz, by order of George Washington, served as a military hospital. Unfortunately, typhus ravaged the facility killing 120 of the nearly 1,000 men who stayed there. The Moravian community also paid a heavy toll for their kindness when the disease killed many of its residents. Click the link to learn how Lititz answered the call of freedom.
The Lion Sleeps Tonight in Lititz Spring Park
Have you visited the napping lion of Lititz Spring Park? The granite statue inspired by the world-famous “Lion of Lucerne” in Switzerland has a storied past involving unrealized dreams and a destructive vandal. Click the link to learn more.
Lititz Historical Foundation’s “Walking Tour of Main Street”
For an even deeper dive into the communities’ surprisingly older-than-expected history, check out the Historic Lititz Walking Tours. I recently took the trip back in time and thoroughly enjoyed it. Your tour guide will come dressed in a period costume. Below is a selfie with walking tour guide Kristin Wenger from my recent Main Street of Lititz tour. Fun Fact: Her blue ribbon isn’t a simple fashion accessory. Lititz was a strict Moravian church community until the mid-1800s. All women wore a colored ribbon in their hair to signify which “choir” they were in. Not church choir but stage of life (for example, young girl, single woman, married, or widow). Kristin’s blue strip of fabric indicates that she is married.
The 45-minute expedition down Main Street discusses 25 historical structures as well as the people and fascinating stories behind them. Admission is $10 per person. To book your tour, call 717-627-4636 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to learn more at their website.