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Dillsburg Borough

Dillsburg Borough Hall is located at 151 South Baltimore Street, Dillsburg PA 17019; phone: 717-432-9969.

Beginnings [1]

Incorporated from Carroll Township, April 9, 1833, and named for Matthew Dill, the most prominent Scotch-Irish pioneer settler of that region. The town was laid out by one of his descendants in 1800. For a half century before the town was laid out, the Dill homestead and the Presbyterian Church, nearby, were the centers of interest to the "Monaghan Settlement." The first religious services were held here as early as 1737, in the original church edifice, which was a log structure. The inhabitants were terror stricken at the time of the defeat of the English troops at McCord's Fort, and the church was stockaded as a place of refuge. Rev. George Duffield was the first pastor. The post office was established January 8, 1816, when the nearest-post offices were those at Carlisle, York and Harrisburg. The most noted early military character was Edward Cavenaugh, who served in Captain Matthew Smith's company of Thompson's rifle battalion during the Revolutionary War, and marched with Arnold's ill-fated expedition to Quebec. It was Private Cavenaugh, called "Honest Ned," who saved the life of John Joseph Henry, his comrade, who afterward became president judge of Lancaster County. He also saved the life of Captain, afterward General, Michael Simpson. The two attempted to swim Dead River, became exhausted, and were both rescued by Cavenaugh, who himself was taken prisoner by the British in front of Quebec. Cavenaugh died in 1843 at an advanced age.

Colonel Matthew Dill, son of the first settler, served in the Revolution, commander of the Fifth Battalion of York County; he was one of the framers of the first Constitution of the Commonwealth; he was an ancestor of United States Senator Matthew Stanley Quay, who was born in Dillsburg in 1833. Population in 1940 was 1054. [Population 2008, approximately 2,400.]

  1. Godcharles, Frederic A., Litt.D., Chronicles of Central Pennsylvania, 1944, Lewis Historical Publishing, Inc., New York
**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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