John Pritiskutch Reproductions

History of Lebanon County - Jackson

The following is reproduced from the 1875 Atlas of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania

Jackson township was one of the very first settled in the present county of Lebanon. Of the exact time when these settlements were made we cannot exactly tell, but the writer is inclined to believe it was prior to 1700, and that it was the first settlement in the county. Many place the date a great deal later-about 1720-but Mr. Ezra Spangler, south of Myerstown, lives in a house which, according to the inscription over the door, was built in the year 1700, and the substantial manner in which it was built, would indicate that it could scarcely have been the first building of a new settlement. It is probable that there was no extensive settlements until after 1700, but that, owing to the then friendly relations with the Indians, who still occupied villages on the Tulpehocken Creek, individuals more daring than the rest, had pushed forward into the wilderness, and made several small settlements in what is now Jackson and Heidelberg. Some claim that the German Jews, who settled Heidelberg, had settlements in what is now the southern part of Jackson, and many facts tend to give probability to their statements. That in 1707 the settlement of Tulpehocken had attained considerable importance, there can be no doubt, and one cannot avoid regretting that more attention had not in the past been paid to the records of those early times. During the trying years, from 1750 to 1760, this section suffered severely from the depredations of the savages. There were many forts erected to afford protection, one of which was situated a short distance east of where Myerstown now stands, and several lives were lost on both sides, during the skirmishes which took place in its vicinity.

The house of one Benjamin Spycker, near the village of Stouchstown, was a common place of gathering to resist the Indians. It was at this place that 200 men met, under charge of the celebrated Conrad Weiser, to drive the Indians from the more western settlements. During these years many murders were committed, and the people suffered trials and privations, of which their descendants have but a faint idea. The residence of C. Sherk was built in 1769, and although 106 years old, is still substantial, being built of stone. A short distance from this building is a very fine spring, said to be the largest in the county, the source of the Tulpehocken Creek.

The farm now owned and occupied by Mr. Jacob L. Bowman near Myerstown, was settled by one Ramler, about the year 1734. The original house, a stone structure, was torn down a few years ago, and in its stead, near the old site, a very handsome mansion erected, from, which a fine view of the surrounding country is to be had. The old house was a fair specimen of ancient, as the new is of modern architecture.

Jackson formed a part of Bethel and Heidelberg until 1813, when it was made a separate organization. It does not cover so many acres as other townships in the county, but has a larger population than any other. Myerstown, the chief village, is a beautiful and flourishing own. It was laid out by Isaac Myers, about the year 1768.

The Harrisburg and Reading Turnpike, the Lebanon Valley Railroad, and the Union Canal, all pass this place; while the South Mountain Railroad will pass only six miles north of it. West Myerstown is a beautiful little village, west of Myerstown.

The Palatinate College, located at Myerstown, attracts much attention from all who pass, by turnpike or railroad, from the beauty of its design, finish and location. The mercantile business of the town is considerable, and steadily increasing. Stoner & Son, Donges Bros., Carmany & Immill, and others, are enterprising and pushing firms, who are doing large trades.

In 1870, Jackson had 347 inhabitants.