The History of Manheim Township as recorded in the ‘1875 Historical Atlas of Lancaster County’

Township Tuesday

Welcome to Township Tuesday, where each week, we will examine the history of different Lancaster County townships. This week: Manheim 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 1875 Atlas. 

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.

Manheim Township

1864 Map of Manheim Township

Manheim was one of the original townships organized in 1729. The boundaries, as at first defined, were: Beginning by Peter’s Road, at a corner of Donegal and Warwick Townships, near the head of Little Conestoga; thence along the said road, by Warwick Township, to Conestoga Creek; thence down the said creek to the Old Doctor’s Ford; thence westerly by Lancaster Township, on a direct line, to Little Conestoga, at the upper side of Peter Bomgard-ner’s land; thence up the said creek to the place of beginning.

Among the old settlers in Manheim Township, whose names constitute a portion of its history, were: the Brubackers, Landises, Schreiner, Dietrichs, Rudisils, Shirks, Garver, Rudys, Benjamin Long, Binkley, and others.

Binkley’s Bridge

To Christian Binkley is due the credit of building the first stone arched bridge in the County. This structure was erected over the Conestoga Creek in the year 1789. Mombert says, ” His expenditure having straightened his circumstancs, his neighbors proposed that he should transfer the bridge to the public, in consideration of one thousand pounds, in gold and silver coin, current lawful money of the State of Pennsylvania.” Acceding to this proposal, the amount was raised by voluntary subscription in the vicinity. “This bridge stood, as originally erected, until the summer of 1867, when one of the piers gave way, necessitating the rebuilding of the same, which was completed late in the fall of 1868.”

Binkley’s Bridge next to an old grist mill.

In 1868, the entire structure was torn away, and in 1869, the present fine wooden bridge was built by the County Commissioners. It is quite presumable that Mombert, in his allusion, means that the whole bridge was demolished in 1868, and the present one substituted. Such is the fact. Click here to read more about Binkley’s Bridge.

There is a post-office and store in the vicinity of the bridge, which is situated on the Lancaster and Lititz Turnpike, about five miles northeast of Lancaster City. The old grist mill adjoining the bridge was also built by Christian Binkley, and afterwards purchased by a Mr. Garver. It was converted, in 1866, into the well known ” Printer’s Paper Mill.”


Neffsville, PA

The principal village in Manheim Township is Neffsville, a thriving and prosperous village on the Lancaster and Lititz Pike, about four miles from Lancaster. It was laid out and named after a Mr. Neff, who built the first dwelling here about 1800. The Neffsville Hotel, a prominent building, was erected here in 1812, and is still in a good state of preservation. Leonard Fiddler built the same. The Longs were also early settlers bere. The village now contains two hotels, one general store, a boot and shoe store, forty-nine dwellings, and about two hundred and fifty inhabitants. There is a resident physician, one Dunkard meetinghouse, and a common school. A graded school is contemplated, and will doubtless be erected during the ensuing summer (1875). A. C. Ilyus is Justice of the Peace and one of the most prominent citizens of the place. Neffsville is a post-village, and also the polling place for the township.


1864 map of Manheim Township highlighting the settlement of Eden.

Eden is a pleasant village and settlement, situated on the Lancaster and New Holland Turnpike, about four miles from Lancaster. It was started by Israel Groff about the year 1840. The hotel was erected by Samuel W. Beecher in 1850. The place contains two general stores, a hotel, a foundry, a grist mill, machine shops, wagon manufactory, cigar making establishment, and a blacksmith shop. There are about twenty dwellings, and an estimated population of one hundred souls. Post-office at Binkley’s Bridge. Lands Valley, Oregon, and Manheim, are post-offices and small settlements. Roseville, Dillerville, and Fruitville are villages.

Manheim is a thickly-settled township. It contains some of the finest and best cultivated forms in the County, and its inhabitants are of an industrious and thrifty class that invariably constitutes a prosperous community. The area of the township is 16,666 acres. The surface is rolling, soil a rich calcareous and clay. In 1870 its population was 2,603, of which number 2,460 were native born, and 143 foreign, 2,594 white, and 9 colored. The number of taxables, according to the assessor’s returns for 1874, was 789; value of real and personal property, from the same authority, $2,984,735.

It contains seven grist and five sawmills, one paper mill, two distilleries, eleven hotels, four stores, six churches, and thirteen common schools. The Little Conestoga Creek flows in a southerly course along the western, and the Conestoga in a southwesterly direction along the eastern boundaries of the township. The Pennsylvania Railroad crosses the southernmost extremity, and, after passing through Lancaster City, traverses the southwest portion of the township, forming a junction with the Reading and Columbia Railroad at Dillerville.

Among the most prominent and best practical farmers of Manheim are: the Landises, Jacob Hiestand, the Brubackers, J. Rudy, the Schreiners, the Eshenshades, R. Grayhill, the Hostetters, the Shenks, and D. O. Shirk.

The farms in Manheim, especially in the neighborhood of Lancaster City, are very valuable. On the whole, it is one of the wealthiest and most prosperous townships in the County.

Click here to see additional entries from the 1875 Historical Atlas of Lancaster County.


Now you can own a beautiful reproduction map of Manheim Township.

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River Guide: The Bridge Club – Binkley’s

Learn more about Binkley’s Bridge over the Conestoga River at Eden in Manheim Township. Click here.

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