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Wilkes-Barre Township

Wilkes-Barrie Township municipal offices are located at 150 Watson Street, Wilkes Barre Township, PA 18702; phone: 570-408-0248.

Beginnings [1]

There is not much to be said of Wilkes-Barre Township outside of what naturally must be said in the story of the city which has absorbed about all there is of it except the coal industry, which is both within the city limits and outside of them.

This was one of the original townships of the Susquehanna company, and was one of the eleven townships into which Luzerne County was formed in 1790. The name is a compound, and, unfortunately, the pundits have concluded to keep up the double capitals and the hyphen in the name, instead of simply spelling it, as a man otherwise would naturally write it without raising the pen, for instance " Wilkeebarre" instead of "Wilkes-Barre." In writing several million of times only think of the waste energy in that hyphen and second capital letter, and then the first way of writing it even looks better than the one fixed upon. The names of John Wilkes and Col. Barre, "distinguished advocates of liberty," is given as the all-sufficient reason for the name.

The first dwellings built in the county were on the flats just below the old borough limits in 1758. These were not for white men, but were built by authority of the proprietaries of Pennsylvania for the use of the Delaware chief and his followers, Teedyuscung.

Fort Durkee stood on the bank of the river, also below the old borough line.

The first massacre occurred in this township in 1763.

In 1782 James Sutton built a gristmill near the mouth of Mill Creek. This was the first within Wilkes-Barre Township. It was built of logs, and on the top was a sentry-box, from which to lookout over the valley and be on guard for the approach of the enemy. The end and finish of this mill was in the great Pumpkin Flood of 1786.

In 1799, including the village of Wilkes-Barre, Covington, Buck and a large portion of Plains and Bear Creek townships, there were 121 taxables and 112 horses. The names of the taxables are as follows:

Charles Abbot, Stephen Abbot, Edward Austin, Christopher Avery, Thomas A. A!km, William Askam, John Alexander, Asa Bennett, Charles Bennett, Wilbur Bennett, Eleazar Blackman, Cain Billings, Timothy Beebe, Clark Beebe, Isaac Bowman, Stephen Barnes, John Carey, Hugh Conner, Arnold Colt, Mathew Covell, Putnam Catlin, Cornelius Courtright, Henry Courtright, John Courtright, James Conlin, Peter Corbit, Nathan Draper, Isaac Decker, Daniel Downing, Daniel Downing, Jr., Reuben Downing, Joseph Davis, Aziel Dana, Anderson Dana, Sylvester Dana, Thomas Duane, James Dixon, William Dixon, Arthur Eiek, Jacob Ely, Jabez Fish, Jesse Fell, Daniel Foster, Daniel Gore, Timothy Green, Willard Green, William Augustus George, Daniel Gridley, Matthias Hollenback, Jonathan Hancock, Godfrey Hitchcock, Oliver Helme, Jacob Hart, Lewis Hartsouff, Solomon Johnson, Jacob Johnson, Jehoida P. Johnson, Christiana Johnson, John Johnson, Jacob Jenong, Luther Jones, Reuben Jones, John Kennedy, Jr., James Kennedy, Daniel Kelly, Joseph Kelly, James Morgan, Richard May bury, Thomas Marshal, Enoch Ogden, Jacob Ossencup, Samuel Pease, Nathan Palmer, Benjamin Perry, Benjamin Potts, John Potts, Mary Philips, John Pooder, David Richards, William Ross, Eleph Ross, John Rosecrans, Jacob Rosecrans, the Widow Rosecrans, Thomas Read, William Russel, John P. Schott, William Slocum, Joseph Slocum, Benjamin Slocum, Ebenezer Slocum, Jonathan Slocum, Eunice Sprague, Polly Stevens, Obadiah Smith, Paul Stark, Henry Stark, William Shoemaker, Joshua Squire, Henry Tilbury, Stephen Tnttle, Benjamin Truesdale, Daniel Truesdale, Elias Vandermark, Nathan Waller, Phineas Waller, Eliad Waller, Andrew Wickeizer, Conrad Wickeizer, Joseph Wright, Thomas Wright, Philip Weekes, Thomas Weekes, Jonathan Wildman, Henry Wilson, James Westbrook, Richard Westbrook, Justice Woolcott, Crandal Wilcox, Isaac Wilcox, William Wright, Rosswell Wells.

  1. Bradsby H.C., History of Luzerne County Pennsylvania, S.B. Nelson & Company, Chicago, 1893.
**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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