The History of Franklintown Borough

By Alan Rosenberger

Early in the nineteenth century, William Butts and Jacob Schultz owned a store and tavern on the site of the town. In 1813, a tract of land was surveyed and laid out in streets and 186 lots. In order to sell the lots rapidly, the founders of the town instituted a lottery and sold tickets for $30.00 a lot. 

In the year 1826, Martin Carl succeeded Butts & Schultz in the mercantile business and secured the establishment of a post office. 

In 1849, Captain John Klugh purchased a number of vacant lots. He built some homes, sold some lots and encouraged people to start building. 

Franklintown was incorporated as a borough in 1869. Daniel Hershey was the first Chief Burgess. The Borough was resurveyed and the streets were graded and paved in the same year.  The population in 1900 was approximately 250.00

The United Brethren Church was built in 1849 and the Evangelical Lutheran Church was built in 1884.

The Franklintown Guard was the name of a uniformed military company of approximately fifty volunteer members. It existed for fifteen years. During the Civil War, Captain John Klugh recruited a company from the Franklintown area that entered the Two Hundred and Ninth (209th) Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers in Company 1. They participated in battles in Hatcher’s Run, Fort Steadman, Nottoway and the Siege of Petersburg, all in Virginia. 

Around the turn of the century, a grade school was adopted for Franklintown. An annual appropriation of sixty-five (65) dollars was received from the state. The Borough had to hire a teacher and maintain the building for that amount of money. 

In the early 1920’s, Franklintown had many businesses. There were cigar, wagon wheel, coffin and hat factories; as well as many privately owner stores, garages and taverns. Around the 1950’s Franklintown started losing businesses. Only a few privately-owned stores and garages were still operating. Not much has changed since then. Franklintown has remained a small proud town, with only a few privately-owned businesses.