On April 6, 1789, some seventy-two inhabitants of the Borough of Carlisle met to organize a fire company. The figure is to be deduced from the fact that seventy persons signed the articles of agreement at the organizing session.
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A 30-foot stone sculpture of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is now open to the public on the Mall in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the sacrifice for freedom that defined Dr. King's life. The monument showing Dr. King emerging from stone is surrounded by walls with inspirational quotations from his speeches and writings.
The following article is adapted from a speech given as part of the commemoration of the role of the Union Fire Company of Carlisle, Pennsylvania in the American Civil War, read before the Union Fire Company on April 21, 2011. Much of the material is derived from research for an upcoming book, "The Union Legacy," that will be published for the 225th anniversary of the company.
The early years of the twentieth century were marked by a tremendous shift in population from the farm and small community to the city. Extreme hardships befell many families trying to obtain work and establish new roots. Social work was in its infancy and was provided primarily by charitable institutions and private foundations.
On April 12, 1973, ten residents of Upper Allen Township gathered in the municipal building in response to a call by the Commissioners for people interested in planning for the nation's bicentennial celebration. Several weeks later, on May 7, these same residents, along with two new recruits, formed the Upper Allen Heritage Committee, having as its stated purpose the preservation of the "natural and historical heritage of Upper Allen Township."
A collection of correspondence and memorabilia belonging to Vance Criswell McCormick rests in the archives of the Historical Society of Dauphin County. A part of the sixth generation of a Cumberland County family, he was born in Silver Spring Township in 1872. His family had settled along the Conodoguinet Creek before 1736. He wintered in Harrisburg and summered first at Rose Garden, Upper Allen Township, and later until his death in 1945 at the home of his wife, "Cedar Cliff," in Lower Allen Township.
On 14 September 1906 William Trickett, dean of the Dickinson School of Law, wrote a letter offering a faculty position to a young lawyer then living in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trickett proposed that the young man—Walter Harrison Hitchler—teach courses in criminal law and equity. "I think you will like the work," wrote Trickett. "It will be useful to you, and may be the initiation into a career as professor of law, that may be lifelong and honorable."
As a source of manpower, leadership, and vital supplies, Carlisle and its vicinity played a significant role in the Revolutionary War effort. Nevertheless, and notwithstanding the fact that much of its present population has roots reaching well into the era of America's struggle for independence, the eastern region of Cumberland County has not until recently had its own chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. Instead, interested and eligible residents affiliated with groups centered on Harrisburg, York, Gettysburg or Shippensburg.
Editorial Introduction. Mary Jane (Rippey) Heistand was born in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, in 1856 of a family long settled in that town and part of the county. In 1878 she married Lieutenant Henry O.S. Heistand, who had graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in that same year. She accompanied him to the West, where he was stationed at the Poplar Creek Indian Agency in Montana Territory and at Forts Abraham Lincoln and Yates in Dakota Territory.
Since Cumberland County was first settled, the Cumberland Valley has been a stopping-place for many people on the way to somewhere else, whether it was on down the Valley to Virginia and Kentucky, or, later, into the Ohio Country. In the decades before the Civil War, migration was continuous. As some people moved in, others moved out. Place names like New Carlisle, Ohio and Mechanicsburg, Indiana bear witness to the Cumberland Valley origins of many of the first settlers of the fertile prairies of the Midwest.