Welcome to Township Tuesday, where each week, we will examine the history of different Lancaster County townships. This week: Leacock and Upper Leacock Townships as recorded in the 1875 Historical Atlas of Lancaster County. Famous cartographer and atlas maker Major L. H. Everts of Geneva, Illinois compiled the 1875 Atlas. Click here to read more about the Atlas and Everts. A few minor edits have been made, mostly for readability, plus adding additional images from sources outside of the 1875 Atlas.
The Leacock Townships
Leacock was one of the original townships, the organization of which was legally ratified on the 9th of June, 1729. The boundaries of the township, as at first fixed, were: Beginning at the mouth of Beaver Creek, thence up the east side of Pequea to Philip Ferre’s lower corner, thence west by Lampeter Township to Conestoga Creek at the upper corner of George Baud’s land, thence up the said creek to Peters’s Road, thence easterly along the said road by Earl Township to David Cowin’s land, thence southerly and westerly by Salisbury, Sadsbury, and Martock Townships to the place of beginning. The boundaries have been altered materially from the above by the formation of other townships. They now stand: North by Earl, east by Salisbury, south by Paradise, west by East Lampeter, and northwest by Upper Leacock.
The principal settlement in the township is the antique and pleasant village of Intercourse. This village was settled prior to the Revolution.
One of the first buildings erected was the old “Cross Keys Tavern,” which was built in 1754, and stood for one hundred and twenty years. It was recently torn down, and the hotel of the same name erected upon the original site.
There are other old buildings here that have stood the winds and storms of a century. Among the early settlers here were the Eabys, Joseph Snavely, Robert Wade, Joseph Harsh, and others. The village is neatly laid out, though never completely surveyed. Its streets are much more regular than some places claiming greater importance. It is a post-town; Jason K. Eaby, Postmaster.
The estimated population of Intercourse is three hundred and twenty-five. Its business is represented by two general stores, two blacksmith shops, two harness shops, one coach manufactory, one tailor store, two tin shops, a town hall, two hotels; two schools, and two churches, one each of the Methodist Episcopal and United Brethren denominations: The village enjoys the reputation of being a good business location, and its citizens that of being industrious and enterprising. Click here to read four theories on how Intercourse got its name.
Leacock Township is a fine farming region; surface rolling, soil rich and fertile; area 11,272 acres. In 1870 the population of the township was 1,906, of which 1,896 were native born and 10 foreign; 1,891 white and 15 colored. According to the assessor’s returns, in 1874, the total number of taxables was 488; total value of real and personal property, $2,177,119. It contains two grist and two saw mills, six hotels, six stores, three churches, ten common schools.
The township is well watered; Mill Creek flows along its northern, and Pequea along its southern, boundary, and several runs and minor streams are found in the interior of it. The Pennsylvania Railroad traverses the township in its northwest extremity, with a depot at Gordonsville, where there is also a post-office. The present Postmaster is Amos Hershey.
Among the most prominent farmers are Joseph Hershey, George Beiler, Isaac Bair, Levi L. Landis, John Rank, Daniel Denlinger, Peter O. Eckert, Jonathan B. Rutter, and many others.
Leacock is in many respects, one of the foremost townships in the County. Her agricultural products are always up to the average, and she enjoys an enviable reputation as being among the best in social, material, and financial worth.
The division of Leacock was effected on the 19th of June, 1843, at which time Upper Len-cock was legally organized as a separate and distinct township. The present boundaries of Upper Leacock are: North by West Earl, east by East Earl, southeast by Leacock, south by East Lampeter, northwest by Manheim. The township is composed of a fine agricultural region. It is extremely well watered, the Conestoga flowing along the northwest and south boundaries. The area of the township is 11,272 acres.
The principal village is Mechanicsburg, a village pleasantly situated on the Lancaster and New Holland turnpike, six miles from Lancaster. It contains two general stores, a machine shop, a foundry, agricultural implement manufactory, three cooper shops, a pottery, a brickyard, shoe shop, three cigar manufactories, two hotels, and several other places of business; also a resident physician and a veterinary surgeon.
The first house in the village was erected by Rev. Samuel Trumbour, and is now used as a dwelling by Daniel Kessler. There are fifty dwellings and about two hundred and fifty inhabitants. It is quite a market for stock; during the season several hundred head are sold. The principal rendezvous for drovers and stock dealers is the Mechanicsburg Hotel, situated about the centre of the village. It is a post-village; the name of the post-office is Leacock; present Postmaster, Grahill G. Wenger.
There is a post-office at Bareville, a thriving and prosperous village located in the northern part of the township; also at Groff’s Store. Monterey and Stumptown are small settlements.
The population of Upper Leacock, according to the census of 1870, was 1961, of which 1907 were native born and 54 foreign; 1,954 white and 7 colored. The number of taxables, as exhibited by the assessor’s returns for 1874, was 559; assessed value of real and personal property, from the same source, $2,187,020. It contains three grist and three saw mills, seven hotels, six stores, five churches, and twelve common schools.
Among the most prominent citizens and best practical farmers are C. R. Landis, Martin Rohrer, Samuel M. Kulp, the Johns, David Beiler, S. and E. Hufford Isaac Leaman, John Musser, John Seigel, Jacob Laby, the Stoltfuses,and others.
Click here to read additional entries from the 1875 Historical Atlas of Lancaster County.
Now you can own beautiful reproduction maps of Leacock Township and Upper Leacock Township.
1864 Map of Leacock Township, Lancaster County, PA$24.99 – $25.99
1864 Map of Upper Leacock Township, Lancaster County, PA$24.99 – $25.99
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Peculiar Names: Intercourse
Lancaster County has several towns with peculiar names. This series examines their curious etymology. Next up: Intercourse. Stop your giggling! It probably doesn’t mean the first thing that comes to mind. Here are four theories behind the name.