Sunday, December 15, 2013

Street Names of Linglestown

The following post was researched and written by Laura Gifford. Laura is a member of the Linglestown's Sestercentennial Committee.

In preparation for our sestercentennial, research has begun tracing the ownership of the original lots laid out by Thomas Lingle and three extensions of Linglestown using deeds.  This research has led to some interesting discoveries regarding the names of the roads in Linglestown.

Most of the roads have been around for as long as Linglestown has, but their names have changed over time.  Linglestown Road was originally named Market Street by Thomas Lingle.  Then, as now, this road extended well beyond Linglestown and was thus sometimes described as the road to Harrisburg, to the river, or to Fort Hunter. 

Blue Mountain Parkway was variously known as the road to Daniel Reem’s Stillroom or Mountain Alley.  

Linglestown Road and Blue Mountain Parkway *click to enlarge*

North Mountain Rd was called Mountain Street by Thomas Lingle, but was also called Front Street (1863), Main Street(1889), the road to Paxtonia, and confusingly also the road to Harrisburg.  The earliest use of North Mountain Road I’ve found is in 1963.  This road has been a public road since at least 1818; by 1926 it was part of state routes – Route 140 and then by 1941 Route 834. 

North Mountain Road. Note the trolley track on the right.

The western side of LaRue Street is the older part of this road.  It was originally named Walnut Street and the part closest to North Mountain Road was divided into lots in the early 1860s.  
Larue Street, Avis Lane, and Amber Street. *click to enlarge*

Avis Lane was around by then and was originally known as Penn Alley or Avenue.  The name change to Avis Lane appears to have occurred between 1960 and 1965.    

Finally, Amber Street, a street most of us have never encountered has had two other names – Branch Street, beginning by 1863, and Short Avenue.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Linglestown's Famous Past

Many famous people throughout history have lived in Linglestown at one time in their life or they had forefathers who lived here.

The following people can all trace their ancestors back to Linglestown.

Lindley Murray: wrote the first English grammar book in America.

Lindley Murray

William Darby, English geographer and Rev. William Graham: founder of Washington and Lee University.

Major General George Barnett, head of the United States Marines during World War 1 was a descendant of the Barnett family. The Barnett's sold the land on which Linglestown is located, to Thomas Lingle.

James Buchanan, 15th President of the United States (1857-1861), could trace his family back to Rev. James Buchanan and wife.  Rev. Buchanan's wife was born in Linglestown. 

President James Buchanan

Three of President Dwight Eisenhower's ancestors lived in Linglestown, and are buried in Wenrich's cemetery at St Thomas United Church of Christ.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

John Eisenhower was the half brother of the great-great-grandfather of the 34th President.  John's wife, Catherine Planck, is buried next to him.  She is the daughter of Jacob Planck, a signer of the deed to the church property.  St Thomas UCC has a copy of an extensive Eisenhower genealogy.

Old Log House on the Unger Farm west of Linglestown (1967) .
This was the  homestead of the Peter Eisenhower family
who were the ancestors of President Eisenhower.

John Eisenhower's grave
Some of the forefathers of President Woodrow Wilson lived on the outskirts of Linglestown.

President Woodrow Wilson
Archibald Roan, son of Rev. Roan (a pastor at Wenrich's) became the second Governor of Tennessee.

Peter Bonavitz sold his land in Linglestown to Evangelical Brethren Church (now Linglestown Life Church) moved west and later became Governor of Iowa. His son became a senator there.

Archibald Roan

Governor David R. Porter of Pennsylvania (1839 -1845) owned a farm two miles west of Linglestown. 

Governor David R. Porter

Governor John Fisher of Pennsylvania (1927-1931) was related to the Thomas Lingle family.

Governor John Fisher
Henry Horner, former Governor of Illinios (1933-1940) and Alexander Ramsey, former Governor of Minnesota(1879-1881) had forefathers who lived in Linglestown.

Information for this post is from Lower Paxton Township Bi-Centennial Book and St Thomas UCC website.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Schools of Linglestown

In 1720 the first school in town was built in combination with the the first church at Wenrich's, now St. Thomas UCC. It was a one story log building located a half a mile east of Linglestown. The building had a church and school in one half and a home for the minister and teacher in the other half. It was called Wenrich's Parochial School.

Wenrich's Parochial School

Wenrich's Parochial School was used until 1790 when the students were then moved to the The Town of St. Thomas Log School. The Log School was twenty feet wide and twenty feet long and stood on the eastern part of town. On the north side of the building were two windows and the desks for the male students. The door, teacher's desk and window were on the east side of the classroom. On the south end was one window, and log seats and desks for the female students.  The west end had two windows, a long bench against the wall, and bench and desk for the big boys. A ten plate stove was in the center of the room and a small space up front for a blackboard. The windows were chin high so that the pupils couldn't look out. The students attended the log school until 1843.

The log school was built before the days of the free schools as we know them. The teacher was paid a penny a day for each pupil by the parents. If the parents could not pay then it was paid by the poor house. School attendance was not compulsory in those days.

In 1843 the students moved to a new school on the northern hill above Linglestown. Because of its location it was named the Hill School. The building was forty feet long and thirty feet wide. At one time it had one hundred students. Mr. Charles Mytinger was the teacher and was paid twenty dollars a month for four months of teaching each year. This school was also used for church purposes. 

The Hill School became so crowded in 1851 a duplicate school building was constructed east of the town on the Joseph Meese farm. The school had two names: The Locust Hill School or Meese School. The students who lived in the east end of town went to the Locust Hill School and those who lived in the west part of town went to the Hill School. 

An incident happened at the Locust Hill School.  When a teacher demanded that a girl student, who was much heavier and larger than he was, do a certain lesson, she refused. He was going to force her to do it so she took her small slate board and hit him over the head with it. The slate broke and the frame of the slate hung around the teacher's neck. The girl left school and ran home, never to return.

In 1879, when the Locust Hill School closed, the Mt. Zion School opened.  The school was located on the Meese farm, directly south of the Locust Hill School. It was thirty feet long and twenty feet wide. The school had all new furniture, desks for two with drop lids and folding seats, plaster blackboards all around the room, and two clothes closets. The school cost $727.00 to build and furnish.

Mt Zion School

After the Hill School was closed in 1859, the students were transferred to a new brick school which had been recently built. One of the teachers there,  Mr. Joseph Eichelhart, was especially liked by the children and their parents. When he came to Linglestown to teach, he brought wooden handled jumping ropes for the girls and was the first to introduce the game of football to Linglestown.

In 1876, construction began on the Linglestown High School building. It was built at the west end of Linglestown. There were three sections taught at this school: primary, intermediate and secondary education. The secondary school was established in 1910, composed of a two year course. The first graduating class in 1912 had six members. The brick building was used until 1931 when it became the location of the Linglestown Fire Company.

Lillie Pitman was the teacher at Linglestown High School
in 1921.  The pump was just outside the door and it was a
student's chore to bring in a pale of water each day for
watering the plants and washing the slate chalk boards.

One of the earlier graduating classes of the Linglestown High
School.  Seated: Bertha Rabrich, Ella Good, Sarah Schreiner,
standing: Irene Hershey, Boyd Good, Eva Daniel, Professor
William Weills and Dorothy Frese.

Teacher's Contract

Many times, when a teacher offered his services, he would draw up a contract to be agreed upon by the parents of the children he was to teach. Here is an example of a contract used by a teacher:

"George W. DuMars proposed to teach a regular English School three months at Light's School, consisting of the following branches: spelling, reading, writing and arithmetic if necessary. We, the subscribers, promise to pay the said, G.W. DuMars, for the above services, two dollars per scholar, annexed to our name, with fire wood and school house, for said term. None subscribers will be required to pay three cents per day. School will commence on the first Monday of December, next." Subscription dated, October 12, 1832. About thirty persons signed this pledge.

In 1922 the Lower Paxton Township Public School was opened. For many years all the students in the Township went to this school. In later years, the elementary and senior high school students went to newly constructed schools.

Merit System

Teaching and the running of the classroom was different in many ways than the way it is done today.  The merit system was used in the Mt. Zion School. Reciting was very important then and the "move to the head of the class system" was used. The more correct answers a student had in a row, the closer he/she came to the front of the class. If he/she made a mistake,  he went to the rear to begin again. The person who was at the head of the class at the end of each week would receive a merit card recognizing this fact.


The Boys wore homemade boots and the girls wore homemade cow hide shoes, greased with hot tallow. The girls also had hand warmers, heavy long underwear and long, woolen stockings in the winter.

Books and Equipment

There was different equipment used in the schools.  Raubs Reader, Mitchell's Geography, Buckwalter's Speller and different arithmetic and grammar books were used. Many large wall maps, charts on tripods and globes were used.


Many games were played at recess, most of which have now been forgotten. Paddleball, sock about, rabbit, old sow, kick the wicket, carley over, whip cracker, hind-most-three, see-saw, fox in the morning, rolling whoops, shooting marbles, building snowman, and snowball battles are an example.


Many different types of punishments were used in the schools. Some examples of these are spanking, staying in at recess and standing on a round stick in a corner, with one hand held high.

Schools of Higher Education

There were two institutions of higher education in early Lower Paxton Township. The first was called the Log College and was located a mile south of Paxtonia. The second one was located in Linglestown at the eastern end.  It was called St. Thomas Institute, a three-story building. The institute was opened in 1856 by Professor John Focht, for a term of six weeks. Students were charged three dollars for each term. The school operated for a number of years, graduating many future professional people. The students came from many surrounding counties. The building is now a home and can be seen at 6073 Linglestown Rd.

Information for this post is from the Lower Paxton Twp. Bi-Centennial book.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

How the Lingles Settled the West

This post is from Monika Farmer. Monika is a direct descendant of Thomas Lingle and lives in the Linglestown area. This story was handed down from her great uncle.

Originally, the name, “Lingle”, was recorded as “LENGEL” when the family first arrived in the New World back in September of 1737.  Paulus Lingle, born around 1708-09 in Palatine (Germany or Bavaria, along the Rhine River), brought his young family including his wife, Catharine, and their three sons, John (born 1732), Fredrich (born 1734), and Jacob (born 1736).  They arrived on the shores of, what is now, the United States of America aboard the sailship, “St. Anthony’s Galley”. The family made their way to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on or about September 27th or 28th, 1737.  After swearing allegiance to the King of England, George II, they moved “into the wilderness” to settle on land in present¬–day Tulpehocken Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania.  Paulus’ brother, Johannes, joined his brother in Pennsylvania in 1738.
The family grew as Paulus and Catharine had more children:
Martin, born 1738
Nicholas, born 1740
Thomas, born 1742
Anna Mary, born 1744
Conrad, born 1746
Stephen, born 1748
Simon, born 1750
Casper, born 1753

A total of 11 children were born to this branch of the Lingles.  As the family grew older they settled along the Blue Mountains in what are now Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon, and Schuylkill counties of Pennsylvania.
Thomas Lingle was the founder of The Town of St. Thomas now known as Linglestown, Pennsylvania in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County.  He married Anna Marie Fagan in The Town of St. Thomas, now known as Linglestown.  They had 11 children, the oldest of whom was Paul, born January 24, 1775.

Thomas Lingle's homestead on Blue Mountain Parkway

Thomas Lingle's home today

Paul Lingle married Mary Spohn, and they moved to Maitland, Mifflin County, PA.  They later moved to Center County prior to 1830.  Both Paul and Mary are buried in Center County, PA.  They had 14 children.  Their 8th child was David Lingle, born December 18, 1812.
David Lingle married his first wife (name unknown), and they had three children—John, William, and Nancy. He moved the family to Ohio around 1850, after marrying his second wife, Mary Jane Twyford. Emanuel Lingle was David and Mary Jane’s first–born son, born January 11, 1848 in Edgerton, Williams County, Ohio.  In addition to Emanuel, David and Mary Jane had three more sons—Jacob, Jack, and Harmon.

The Early Years in the Lives of Emanuel and Ann Lingle

These were the days never to be forgotten in the lives of Emanuel and Ann Lingle and their families.
Emanuel Lingle married Annie McNeil on November 28, 1871 in Blairstown, Burton County, Iowa.  Over the years they had seven children:
Mary Lingle (born 1872, died 1892), married Barney (Ben) Sassen.  They had one son, Andrew, who was about six months old when his mother died.  From that point, Andrew’s grandparents, Emanuel and Ann, raised him.

David Russel Lingle (born 1874, died 1943) married Edith Higgs. They had one son. George Washington Lingle (born 1877, died 1943) married Sarah Kelly, in Missouri.  They had five daughters and five sons.  Three of the sons passed away in infancy.
Clara Ella Lingle (born 1880, died 1913) married George Morris, Sr. They had five children, however one of their sons also passed away as a small child.

Emma Dora Lingle (born 1886, died 1971) married Robert Coleman.  They had eight sons and one daughter.  Their son, Thomas, died at 1 ½ years.
Thomas Jefferson Lingle (born 1888, died 1943) married Dolly Beatrice Thompson.  They had two sons and six daughters.
Earl Leroy Lingle (born 1889, died 1966) married Ruth Thompson. They had one son and six daughters.

Emanuel, Ann, their children, and other members of both families, including Ann’s brother, Dave McNeil, and Emanuel’s three brothers and their families (namely Harmon, Andrew Jackson (Jack), and Jacob (Jake), left Iowa by covered wagons and trekked across the country, getting into Missouri sometime after 1890. After they had arrived in Missouri, Harmon married Nancy Morris, and George Morris Sr., married Clara Ella Lingle. They soon continued their journey west, which brought them to the Kalispell, Montana area about 1897 or 1898.  From there they went on to Mount View, Canada, a Mormon Settlement, about 16 miles from Cardston, Alberta.  The families only stayed in Mount View a short time before moving on to Lethbridge and Sterling, in Alberta, Canada.

The winter of 1903-04 found the Lingles in North Dakota, where they took up homesteads in Good Luck and Orthell Townships.  During their stay in the Dakotas Emanuel, along with his son (Russel), Russel’s wife (Edith), Emanuel’s brother (Jack), and another couple tried his luck at show biz—specifically, vaudeville—in the early 1900s.  Jack went on ahead to the towns throughout North Dakota to spread the word, reserve rooms, and set up for each show.  In Williston, North Dakota, Emanuel, acting as both manager and magician, opened the act with a trick knife, with which he could make the staunchest disbeliever think he had stabbed through his own wrist. He also employed a few tricks with strings and coins to get the crowd’s attention before moving on to the stage play.  The actors were Russel, Edith, and the unnamed couple in their company.  Russel, a villain, was out to get the other fellow who was making love to his wife.  On stage he would crack his whip, and the whip and his tongue spoke the same language.  Their show was hooted out of town in some places.
While in this same geographical area, many of the children attended school at the “Little Green School” and the “Lingle School”.

Due to hard times and a scarcity of money, the Lingles once more got the urge to move on, so once again, they uprooted around 1910 and traveled into Montana.  There they settled, temporarily, in the Lambert Area, where Earl found a job herding sheep.  Wherever Emanuel went, the entire family went, including children, parents, brothers, sisters, and all of their families.

When the Lingles gathered in North Dakota for the move to Montana, George and Clara Ella Morris and their group moved back to Missouri.  Clara had contracted Tuberculosis and was advised to seek a warmer climate.  It was then that they joined George Lingle and his family in Missouri.

Back in Montana, word was received that Clara Ella was very sick, so she sent for her father, Emanuel, to come get her small children, as she didn’t have long to live.  Emanuel went, and after the funeral of his daughter, brought his four grandchildren back to Montana. He raised them there until the older girl, Florence, married and took care of the children herself until they either married or became old enough to be responsible for themselves.

As the years moved along, so did Emanuel and his family.  All the children married and had families of their own.  Throughout the years, Emanuel and Ann kept their families together—from Iowa, to Missouri, the Dakotas, Montana, to Canada and back again.  Emanuel and Ann lived near Lambert and Frazier until 1940 when they moved to Great Falls and lived with their daughter, Emma, until their deaths.
Emanuel passed away in June 1944 (at age 96) and Ann passed away in February 1943 (at age 96).  

The family continues …
Thomas Jefferson Lingle was born the sixth child of Emanuel and Ann Lingle on January 13, 1887 in Plymouth County, Iowa.  Thomas married Dolly Beatrice Thompson on February 24, 1915 in Glasgow, Montana.  They had eight children:
Melvin Gilmore Lingle, born March 7, 1916
Nina Mildren Lingle, born October 15, 1918
Anna Louise Lingle, born June 6, 1921
Evan Lloyd Lingle, born January 1, 1926
Doris Jean Lingle, born October 15, 1927
Carol Elaine Lingle, born July 15, 1933
Mavis Ardell Lingle, born November 27, 1935
Marion Ardis Lingle, born November 27, 1935

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Willow Grove Cemetery

The Willow Grove Cemetery is located on North Mountain Road about one-half mile south of Linglestown Square.

The Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, incorporated Willow Grove Cemetery in 1868. It is owned by an association and is not church affiliated. The cemetery is run by a board of trustees consisting of several interested citizens.

There are no records of who was buried there before 1947, which is when they started keeping records. 

The lots were owned by individuals, which they bought and maintained on their own, with no perpetual care. In the 1940s, Jonas Cassel was the one who started mowing and caring for the cemetery. Until he took it over, it was almost all overgrown with high grass and weed. Some lot owners were taking care of their spaces, but many were not. He died in 1972 and is buried in Willow Grove.

Jim Gardner has been the caretaker since 1972. If a stone is leaning, he will put in a new foundation by taking off the stone, digging a deep hole, pouring in the concrete and reseting the stone.
Maintenance costs about $4000 a year.

Hundreds of thousands of Northern men went off to fight in the Civil War. Thirty-nine of these men who never returned home alive hailed from the general Harrisburg PA area., specifically from East Hanover, West Hanover, Lower Paxton and Susquehanna Townships. In 1868, citizens of these townships, led by an influential local physician, Dr. W.C. Smith, banded together to build a Civil War monument, one of the earliest in the nation.  

The monument is in Willow Grove Cemetery and towers over 25 feet. It is made of marble with a majestic eagle on top.

The 39 Civil War veterans names and regiments are found on the four sides of the monument, one for each township. Along with the soldiers dates of deaths, sculptors also inscribed the fatal battle or campaign in which they fought and many of how they died, mostly of starvation.

After many years, time and weather had taken its toll on the monument. Most of the mortar had disappeared from between the stones, resulting in the field stone foundation being exposed to years of freezing and thawing.

Picture Courtesy Debi Santopietro

Former Lower Paxton Twp. supervisor Jay Purdy and a committee of interested persons started a campaign to raise the needed funds to move the monument to a new foundation in the cemetery, at a cost of $20,000. Because of the work and efforts of three people: Debi Santopietro, Jim Gardner, and Jay Purdy, along with the community, the monument was safely moved to the newly built foundation and dedicated on Veteran’s Day 2001.

Picture Courtesy Debi Santopietro

Picture Courtesy Debi Santopietro

Picture Courtesy Debi Santopietro

Picture Courtesy Debi Santopietro

Dr. W.C. Smith, who had originally spearheaded the movement to get  the monument built, is buried in Willow Grove near the monument.

Dr. Smith's Grave

Pete Koons is also buried there.  He is the man who donated land to the Linglestown Fire Co., which eventually became Koons Park; and also the land on which is located the Lutheran Church.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church

By the 1940’s, the Lutheran congregation in the Linglestown area had grown to the point that consideration was given to having a church of their own. At a meeting of the congregation of Wenrich's church in August, 1946 a ways and means committee was selected to plan for relocation and construction of their building. 

A building fund was started at a church picnic, Rev. Kleinfelter donated the first $5. Mr & Mrs H.S. Koons offered a tract of land along Mountain Road, formerly known as the Crums Farm. Their generous offer was accepted at a meeting on November 13, 1949. The name, Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, was decided upon at the same meeting. 

Ground breaking ceremonies for the main building, which included a basement and kitchen, took place June 17, 1951.

Construction of the church took place during the Korean War, which meant metal for casting a bell was unavailable.  The problem was solved with help from the American Legion Post of Linglestown.  

The Robert H Hoke American Legion Post 272 acquired and remodeled the Union Chapel, removing the steeple and stowing the bell away in the attic. By the end of World War II,  the Legion's chapel was no longer used for religious services.

When the Post Commander heard of the church's bell problem, the post members offered the bell as a memorial to veterans of all wars. They stipulated that each Memorial Day, when the flag is lowered from the flagpole, the bell should be tolled once for each year the American Legion has existed beginning with 1919. That was done for years until the bell was replaced with an electronic version.

Services were held in the basement of the main building for the first three years. The sanctuary was completed and dedication services were held July 24, 1955.

A second section consisting of educational rooms, church offices, library and youth rooms were completed in 1957.  And a third section was started May 28, 1967, creating a courtyard surrounded on three sides by buildings that house Sunday school classes on two levels.  The completed buildings were dedicated on Nov. 11, 1967

For years after, the original churches of Linglestown got together for a Sunday School Union Picnic. Here is the list of contests and prizes for the one held at HersheyPark in 1950.