John Pritiskutch Reproductions

History of Berks County - Douglass Township

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

Douglass township, bounded on the north by Colebrookdale ; on the east by Montgomery county, on the south by the Schuylkill river, and on the west by Amity and Earl, comprises a small territory, whose area is about seven thousand acres. The surface is undulating, and the soil is of a medium quality, being superior to that of some of the neighboring townships, but inferior to the soil in some other parts of the county. The township is well watered, the Manatawny creek passing through the southern part, and the Iron Stone creek dividing the northern portion nearly equally, till it empties into the Manatawny. These streams afford excellent mill-privileges. The facilities for reaching markets are ample, the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, and Philadelphia & Reading Turnpike, both passing through the northern part of it.

There is a small village in the township called Greshville ; and the fine Iron Works, on the Manatawny, is an extensive manufactory. Like many of the surrounding townships, Douglass has but a small population, it being less than in 1830 and 1840. According to the census of 1870 it contained but 1,072 inhabitants.

The settlement of this township was at an early date. In 1740 it contained fifty-eight taxables. The first inhabitants were nearly all Palatines, as the names on the records give abundant evidence. They were subjected to the hardships of pioneer life, not the least of which were frequent alarms from the predatory Indians. But these troubles soon passed away. The Indians disappeared and the Industry of the people has long patiently envoked from the soil enough to give them a comfortable livelihood.