HUMMELSTOWN. This borough, which now has a population of 2,654, was plotted by
Frederick Hummel in 1762. It was called Frederickstown until after the death of Hummel,
when its names was changed to that which it bears at present. The town was incorporated as
a borough August 26, 1874.
The site upon which Hummelstown was erected, was warranted to Valentine Gloninger in
1738. The tract contained about one hundred and fifty acres. The right to this land was
purchased by John Campbell in 1761, and was sold the following year to Hummel, who then
plotted the tract. The first lot was sold to Anthony Doebler, in January 1763. During the
period of the Revolution very few people settled in the town and nearly all o f the
"single men" and "freeholders" were absent serving the county in the
War of Independence.
During the later years of the war there were a number of gunsmiths living in the town.
These men were engaged in making and repairing arms for the soldiers in the army of
Hummelstown was settled almost entirely by German people, as the names in the early tax
lists reveal. Nearly all of the names, with the exception of a few which are Scotch-Irish
are German. There can be now doubt as to the race of the men having such names as Reigart,
Wetherhild, Baum, Weiser, etc. All of the earliest churches which were organized belonged
to the Reformed (1762), Evangelical Lutheran (1765), and United Brethren (1842). The
people of this historic old town have always been a church going and religious people to a
A library was organized in 1863, under the title, "The Hummelstown Library
Association", of which Daniel S. Early was the first President. The first school
house was erected in 1764, upon land donated by Frederick Hummel. This house was sold in
1790, after which time the school was held in the Lutheran Church until its destruction by
fire in 1819. In 1820 a school house was erected. The free school system came into
operation in 1837.
Hummelstown, which is connected with Harrisburg by the Harrisburg Railways and the
splendid highway, in addition to the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, is one of the
most prosperous towns in Dauphin County. With all of its modern improvements, it still
retains much of the simplicity and the atmosphere of its early days. The entire country
about Hummelstown is covered with the well kept farms of this part of the rich and fertile
Lebanon Valley, and the occupants of these farms are a happy, contented and prosperous