Home | Whats New | Site Index | Search

Penn Hall

Gregg Twp, Centre County, PA

Beginnings [1]

This village is located one mile east of Spring Mills. The first house was built by James Cook, while John Petrikin is credited with being the first merchant, and was succeeded by J. Pennington the earliest inn keeper. Within a radius of a half mile the population is about one hundred. Major J. B. Fisher, lately deceased, was the merchant, and Mr. J. C. Condo carries on an extensive business as a blacksmith and wagon maker. A brick school house, formerly used by Dr. Wolf as an academy, accommodates the children for educational purposes. J. C. Condo of Penn Hall, is one of the most industrious and esteemed residents of the valley. He has been engaged for fifteen years in the manufacture and sale of all styles of vehicles.


By the death of Major Jared B. Fisher, Penn's Valley lost its oldest merchant and one of its most esteemed citizens. He was born in Berks County in 1829, and was descended from German stock that settled in America in 1714, hence so far as ancestry is concerned, he is connected with the early history of the country. In 1842 Major Fisher came to Penn Hall with his father from Berks county, and his father opening a store at that place, his son became his assistant. This store came into his sole possession by purchase in 1853, and was conducted by him until his death. The "Major," as he was familiarly known, was one of the most enterprising men in Penn's Valley. Largely to him was indebted the academy at Penn Hall, an institution which for many years was the centre of learning in that part of the county, and he was widely known as a generous patron of education in other places.

He was postmaster at Spring Mills during the administration of Presidents Pierce and Buchanan, and when Penn Hall was given an office, he was placed in possession, and retained it until he died. He owes his title of Major to his long military career. In early manhood he entered the Marion Infantry, and by successive, and rapid steps he arose to the captaincy of that well-known organization. In 1852 he was elected brigade inspector of the Third Division, and held that post for seven successive years, during his administration he was known as a strict disciplinarian. Patriotism characterized his course during the War of the Rebellion, and he rendered effective service to the government, by his zeal in organizing troops, visiting hospitals, and encouraging the men in the ranks, as well as by his liberal contributions in behalf of the cause.

During his lifetime, he steadily refused to accept public trusts, although pressed frequently to do so by his many friends, choosing rather to be ranked as an honest, upright citizen only, attending to his affairs of business, with strict fidelity. The death of this good man took place on Friday, December 27th, 1895, at his home in Penn Hall, and a host of his fellow citizens attended his obsequies, which were held in old Salem Reformed church, to the building of which he had given largely of his means and time when living. He leaves a widow and four children surviving him, and the sorrows of their bereavement are shared by many others, who are wiser by his counsel, richer by his liberality and better by his life. His two sons succeed him in business under the firm name of Jared B. Fisher's Sons.

  1. Illingworth, Ralph W., A Passing Glance at Penn's Valley, Milton, PA: Milton Printing Co., 1896.

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
Kline Road • Penns Valley Road • Shook Hollow Road