John Pritiskutch Reproductions

History of Berks County - Cumru Township

The following is reproduced from the 1876 Atlas of Berks County, Pennsylvania

The earlier settlers of Cumru were the Welsh. The township has been much reduced in size since its organization, by the formation of Spring. Like many other townships, it has great facilities for trade with the different sections of the country. The inhabitants can bring the fruits of the soil to Reading, and exchange them for the finished productions of the cities. The fertility of the soil, with its favorable situation, makes Cumru a most desirable place of residence. It furnishes the people with a quiet retreat from the noise and tumult of a city, while, at the same time, a short ride will bring one to a place where he can engage in active business or enjoy the facilities for becoming acquainted with what is transpiring in the world.

Cumru in 1870 had a population of 2,573 inhabitants.

The township has only one small village called Shillingsville. The inhabitants are distributed over the extent of the land, engaged principally in tilling the soil.

The County Poor House is situated in this township, upon the land formerly owned by Governor Thomas Mifflin, about three miles from Reading.

There are three churches in Cumru. Two are what are known as Union Churches, and one is occupied by the Methodists. The township is divided into thirteen school districts, well supplied with buildings. The township supports four hotels. The Cumru Band is composed of members from the different parts of the township. Under the efficient guidance of their leader, they are making a good reputation for themselves as a company of musicians. The Union Canal skirts along the edge of Cumru, separating it from the Schuylkill River. The Wyomissing creek empties into the canal opposite the lower part of Reading.