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Tatamy Borough

Tatamy Borough Hall is located at 423 Broad Street, Tatamy, PA 18085; phone: 610-252-7123.

Beginnings [1]

On a map of Friedensthal, a settlement of the Moravian Economy made in 1758, appears near to the settlement, Tatamy's Land. The question naturally arises, who was Tatamy. He was for many years a chief of the Delaware Indians, a native of New Jersey, and in his youth removed to about fifteen miles below Phillipsburg, New Jersey. He became useful to the whites as interpreter in the business between the Indians and the whites. In recognition of these services he was given as a gift three hundred acres of land. He built a house near what is now the borough of Stockertown, where he lived, engaged in agricultural pursuits. He married for his wife a white woman, and sent his children to school with the neighbors' children.

Tatamy was a red man of persuasive powers, and by his native eloquence he controlled the warlike spirit of his people. He was converted to the Christian religion by David Brainerd, and was baptized in 1747, receiving the name of Moses Tatamy Funday. The grant of land to Tatamy was conferred on him by the Penns, and was on the cast side of the west branch, from the present borough of Tatamy northward to the northern limits of the present Stockertown. At the time of the banishment of the Indians from the Forks, at a council held at Philadelphia, November 20, 1742, Tatamy was present and informed the governor he was in lawful possession of his three hundred acres of land, and that he was desirous of continuing to live there in peace and friendship with the English. The governor, after considering his request, nil account of his good behavior towards the English, consented to his demands if he could obtain permission from the Six Nations. He was successful in obtaining their approval, and remained upon his grant to the end of his days. Tatamy was present at the treaty conference at Philadelphia in 1760, after which his name disappears from history. He had two sons, William and Nicholas; the former was fatally shot near the Irish settlement by a youth of fifteen years; his father bore the loss with Christian resignation. Nicholas inherited his father's property and lived with his wife and one son, Moses, at the homestead until about 1790, when he went West with his son.

Time rolled away, the white settlers became concentrated in that portion of Forks township, and in 1893 in the furtherance of the desires of the inhabitants, the borough of Tatamy was incorporated, it then being a part of the township of Palmer. The original area embraced in the borough limits was the property of Samuel S. Messinger, who had established a foundry and grist mill on the banks of Bushkill creek. The first meeting of the borough government was July 27, 1893 The first resident was Samuel S. Messinger, and members of the council were: G. Frank Messinger, Charles S. Messinger, Samuel S. Lerch, James S. Stecher, Martin Werkheiser, and Abraham Sloyer. The secretary of the board was J. A. Happel. The following have filled the office of president: Charles S. Messinger, G. Frank Messinger, J. A. Happel. T. M. Stecher, D. S. Andrews, Howard Yeisley, and the present incumbent. Edwin Bapx. Mr. Happel was succeeded in 1900 as clerk of the board by Edwin Bapx, and in 1903 D. S. Andrews was the latter's successor. In 1906 E. W. Echart filled the position.

Tatamy is five miles from Easton, on the Bushkill creek, a station on the Easton & Northern railroad, operated by the Lehigh Valley railroad. The borough consists of two parallel streets, commencing at the trolley junction and running to the creek, on which are attractive dwelling houses surrounded by well-kept lawns. Within its confines is a general store, a grocery, two churches, and a brick schoolhouse accommodating one hundred and fifty pupils taught by three teachers. The Messinger Manufacturing plant, already mentioned, and the Soluble Cofl'ee Company, who manufacture coffee products, give employment to about twenty wage earners. This plant was totally destroyed by fire, January 6. T919, but has been rebuilt. The estimated population of the borough is seven hundred.

St. Peter's Reformed Church was organized in 1904. and a brick house of worship was soon afterwards erected. The first pastor was Rev. Mr. Freeman. He was succeeded by Rev. David Klein, who gave way to Rev. F. R. Schaeffer. The first meeting for the organization of St. John's Lutheran Church took place August 28, 1903. The following year the Rev. L. D. Lazarus was settled over the congregation. The first action towards building a church edifice was taken in August, 1905. The following year the present stone church was completed, and the organization in February, 1906, was duly incorporated. The second pastor was Rev. S. M. Winrich, was succeeded by Rev. Victor J. Bauer.

  1. William J. Heller, History of Northampton County Pennsylvania and The Grand Valley of the Lehigh, Volume II, The American Historical Society, Boston, 1920.
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