Thomas Penn, a son of William Penn and a Proprietor of the lands remaining from his father's original grant, was actively involved in plans related to the design of Carlisle. The town, as originally developed, incorporated sixteen square blocks centered on a Square bounded by the cardinal streets: North, South, East and West. A letter from John O'Neal to Governor Hamilton in 1753 described the new community as "handsome, in the center of a valley, with a mountain bounding it on the north and the south, at a distance of seven miles."
On August 21, 1897, The Farmers' Friend and Grange Advocate, a Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, newspaper, carried an advance notice about events at the Interstate Picnic and Exhibition that had been held annually for more than twenty years at Williams Grove on the eastern border of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. On "Suffrage Day" that year, the announcement read:
For twenty years, from 1890 to 1910, Father Henry Ganss served as pastor of Saint Patrick's Catholic Church in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. During that time he produced historical and musical works achieving international appreciation. He has merited entries in two prominent works of reference-The Dictionary of American Biography and The New Catholic Encyclopedia-rare for one whose activities one would assume deserved only parochial notice.
Captain Raphael Cummings Smead, after serving some months with the army in Mexico, was ordered to Carlisle Barracks in 1847. He brought his wife Sarah Radcliff and their family of five children to the town, and enrolled his oldest son, John Radcliff, in the local Dickinson College. But a liberal education appears to have had few attractions for either father or son; a commission in the army or even a job as a surveyor or engineer on one of the railroads under construction in the West promised higher social rank and income.