Hampden Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

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Hampden Township, Pennsylvania
The Johannes Eberly House, a historic site in the township
The Johannes Eberly House, a historic site in the township
Motto: Where People Come First
Map of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania highlighting Hampden Township
Map of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania highlighting Hampden Township
Map of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania
Map of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Cumberland
Settled 1731
Incorporated Jan 23, 1845
 • Type Board of Commissioners
 • President Al Bienstock
 • Vice President John Thomas
 • Total 18.0 sq mi (47 km2)
 • Land 17.8 sq mi (46 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 28,044
 • Density 1,558/sq mi (602/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 717
Website Hampden Township

Hampden Township is a township in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 28,044, according to the 2010 census, making it the most populous municipality in the county.


The Johannes Eberly House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.[1]

Hampden Township was formed from East Pennsborough Township in 1845. It is bounded on the north by the mountains which form the dividing line between Cumberland and Perry Counties; on the east by East Pennsborough Township; on the south by Upper and Lower Allen Townships, and on the west by Silver Spring Township. The soil is well adapted for agriculture, and large crops of wheat and other cereals are raised annually. The Conodoguinet Creek here winds with more than its usual serpentine curvatures, from the center, but extending into the southern portion of the township, the land to the south being of the usual limestone formation, while that to the north is black, sandy loam land near the creek, and red slate farther away. Hampden Township lying near the Susquehanna River, was one of the first portions of the north valley into which white settlers began, about 1730 or 1731, to push their way. These were at first Scotch-Irish, and later Germans. They began settling in that portion of the township north of the Conodoguinet, and also south of the creek and west of the road leading from the Conodoguinet to the Yellow Breeches, past "Frieden's Kirche" and immediately below Shiremanstown. The portion east had been reserved as a proprietary manor, and upon it, at this period, the whites were not allowed to take up land. The part west of the above road was called the "barrens," because it was poorly timbered. Among the earliest of the Scotch-Irish settlers were two brothers, John and William Orr, who went from Scotland into Ireland and came from Parish Calade, County Antrim, Ireland, and settled in Hampden Township on the north side of the creek, as early as 1743. The north side was the only side of the creek that then had timber - fine large trees, consisting of hickory, white oak, black oak, walnut, poplar, beech, buttonwood, locust, swamp oak, chestnut and other varieties.* There were plenty of fish in the stream - plenty of shad and a great deal of game on the north side of the creek, because it was woodland, while on the south side it was low, marshy land and brush. There were deer on the south side. As late as 1785 there were plenty of shad, and parties would come to catch them with seines. The Youngs were also early settlers and lived in the next bend above the creek. Other names will be given when we speak of the lots of the Louther (then Paxton) Manor. One of the earliest, evidently, of the German settlers in this township was Jonas Rupp. After having come from the fatherland, and, in order to become a "denizen," taken the prescribed oath - among other things, "of having taken the Lord's Supper within three months before holding of the court." he removed first to Lebanon and then into Cumberland County. The pen picture of that early flitting we prefer to give in the language of one of his descendants: "The time of his removal" says I. D. Rupp in his biographical sketch, "had come. On a bright sunny morning the flitting moved orderly and slowly from the happy home, around which clustered hallowed memories, to be, for a while, cast among strangers beyond the Big River. The first place where they halted was at the newly laid out Fredericktown (Hummelstown), nine miles east from Harris' Ferry, to partake of provisions and to bait the horses and stock. The same day, just before nightfall, they reached Harris' Ferry, so named after John Harris, who settled here about 1718 and 1719. Here they tarried for the night. Early the next morning they forded the broad Susquehanna - for the water of the stream at this season of the year was shallow. Onward they went, five miles westward, when they reached, at high 12, the new home." "Providence Tract" is the original recorded name of the tract or parcel of land which Jonas Rupp purchased from George Thawley. Part of this tract was taken up by William McMeans, Jr., December 10, 1742, and part there of May 13, 1763. McMeans sold, October 4, 1768, 211 acres to George Thawley, who sold the same, in the fall of 1772, to Jonas Rupp, for 400l. "The improvements consisted of a log cabin, a mere apology for a log barn, and fifteen acres of cleared land, principally inclosed with a brush fence and saplings." In the spring of 1773 Rupp erected a house one story and a half high, of hewn logs, close to a well which he had sunk. This house is still standing. In the course of ten years 100 acres were cleared and "his farm," says his descendant, " was soon distinguished from those of his Scotch-Irish neighbors."


Along the winding courses of the Conodoguinet Creek there are a number of flour and grist mills in the township. The first is Bryson's, situated in the extreme western portion of the township. It is on the south side of the creek and is supplied with water by the Silver Spring, which here empties into the Conodoguinet. It occupies the site of what was formerly known as "Briggs' mill." Further down, almost in the center of the township, on the north side and at the beginning of the great bend of the creek, is the Good Hope mill, now owned by J. B. Lindeman. It was built by Jonas Rupp about 1820. Across the creek from this mill John Whisler built a woolen factory, which is still standing, and which was once connected with an oil-mill. At an early date it seems to have been the habit of every householder living in the country to raise a patch North of flax, and oil seems to have been one of the early products of this section. Three bridges across the Conodoguinet Creek in this township; one at Eberly's (build about 1842), one at Lindeman's (built 1823), and one in the southern section of the second bend, built, principally, by James Orr in 1834 and 1835. This latter is known as Orr's Bridge.


The Indians had a number of villages in this lower portion of the county. They had a number of wigwams on the banks of the Conodoguinet Creek, north of the turnpike three miles from the Susquehanna, on lands now owned, or lately owned by Albright, Rupp, Merkel, John Shoop and others. There were also several cabins half a mile north of Frieden's Kirche, in Hampden Township. "An aged aunt" says Rupp "late of Hampden Township, she remembered well the evacuated Indian huts north of Frieden's Kirch, and those at Ruby's" The Indians had a path, crossing the Conodoguinet, near those wigwams toward Yellow Breeches.


A small portion of the manor of Paxton was embraced in Hampden Township. This, extending from the road past Frieden's Kirche, and between the two creeks to the Susquehanna, was reserved by the Proprietary government as a special reservation for the Indians, and consequently was not so soon settled by the whites as the adjoining lands. Of the twenty-eight lots or parcels of lots into which it was divided, some few fell in Hampden Township. These were: Lot No. 23, called Westmoreland, containing 282 acres, 36 perches and allowance, a warrant for which was issued to Edmund Physick dated December 10, 1767; patent August 15, 1768; afterward owned in whole or parts by Hershberger, Funk, Nichols, Bollinger, Rupp, Ruby, Shopp, and lately by Albright, Rupp, Meckel, Shopp and others. The Indians wigwams "three miles from the Susquehanna," above alluded to, were on this tract. Lot No. 24, 287 acres: Rev. William Thompson, Daniel Sherbahn, John Sherbahn; lately William Stephen, Samuel Eberly and others. The cabins "half a mile north of Frieden's Kirche," above alluded to, were on this tract. Lot No. 25, 150 acres: Alexander Young, Robert Young, late Dr. Robert G. Young. Lot No. 26, 209 ® acres: for this tract, called "Manington," a warrant dated 17th of May, 1767, was granted to Jonas Seely, who conveyed, in December, the same year, to Conrad Maneschmidt, to whom a patent was issued August 15, 1774. Maneschmidt and wife conveyed, September 20, 1774, a portion of this tract to Ulrich Shopp, and it is still owned by his descendants. Outside of the portion of the township which was embraced in this manor, John Wisler owned a large tract on the south side and within the first bend of the creek. About half a mile farther down and on the north bank was the residence of Daniel Basehore, who settled there about 1791, on what was then known as the Rye Gate Tract. It was while attempting to rob Mr. Basehore's house that Lewis, the robber, was taken prisoner, and lodged in the Carlisle jail. South of this Rye Gate tract there was another tract called "Steyning," containing 187 acres which was surveyed to James McConnell by warrant January 15, 1763 - for which a patent deed was issued January 16, 1803, to Jonas Rupp, which was afterward owned by David Rupp, Sherbahn, Early, and (now) the Erbs.


Frieden's Kirche. - The history of the old stone church known as "Frieden's Kirche" is as follows: A German Reformed congregation had been organized in the lower part of the county, and, in 1797, they agreed to build the house (now occupied exclusively as a schoolhouse) for the purpose of holding their religious meetings, and for school purposes until another structure should be built. This house was built of logs, with one portion designed for the teacher's residence. In this same year (May 26, 1797), the congregation purchased land connected with the schoolhouses from Henry Snively and Nicholas Kreutzer; and, in 1798, the stone church was erected under the supervision of a building committee, consisting of Frederick Lang, Jonas Rupp, Leonard Swartz, and Rev. Anthony Hautz, then stationed at Carlisle and Trindle Spring. Martin Rupp and Thomas Anderson were the builders. A Lutheran and German Reformed Congregation had been organized in 1787 or 1788, who had a log house for public worship in Louther Manor, several miles northeast of Frieden's Kirche, known as "Poplar Church," so called because it stood in a grove of lofty poplar trees. In May, 1806, this congregation, on the payment of 405l 17s 3d. (being one-half of the cost of Frieden's Kirche, land, building of schoolhouse, and inclosing the grave-yard), became consolidated with the German Reformed congregation of Frieden's Kirche. At this time the following persons constituted the vestry of the congregations: German Reformed - Frederick Lang, Jonas Rupp, Frederick Schweitzer, Christian Swiler, Henry Manessmith and Martin Rupp; Lutheran - Nicholas Kreutzer, John Wormley, Christoph Eichelberger, Andrew Shuely, Christofel Gramlig and Daniel Scherban. April 20, 1812, the joint congregations purchased five acres more on which the present dwelling house, contiguous to the church stands. In 1830 another small parcel of ground was purchased to enlarge the grave-yard. In 1864 about two more acres were purchased from Thomas Oyster for the same purpose. St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church. - In 1865 the Lutherans purchased from the German Reformed congregation their interest in a portion of ground near the old church, and commenced the erection of a new brick building, which, under the name of "St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church," was completed and dedicated July 2, 1866. June 23, of this year, the German Reformed congregation held their last communion service in the old church, which still stands, after having withstood the storms of nearly ninety years, in a good state of preservation. It is used for a Sunday-school, and occasionally for funeral services, but it is now chiefly valuable as an antique relic of the past. The other churches in the township are the Salem Church; Methodist, on the turnpike, about two and one-half miles north of Mechanicsburg, erected in 1825; the Good Hope Church (Church of God denomination), erected in 1843; and the Mount Zion Church, on the State road leading from the river to Sterritt's Gap, about four miles from West Fairview, which is a large frame building erected and dedicated in 1857.


There are two small places in the township. One is called Good Hope, which consists of a few dwelling houses, a wagon and blacksmith shop, a store, which has been kept there for sixty years, and a postoffice -the only one in the township - established about thirty-three years ago. Sporting Hill is a cluster of less than a dozen houses, one of which was formerly a store, and another a hotel. It is about five and a half miles west of Harrisburg, on the turnpike road leading to Carlisle. "During the French and Indian war," says Rupp, "a man was shot by the Indians near this place. Several persons met on public business at Mr. Wood's, late John Everly's; one of the company went down toward McMean's (Kreutzer's) spring, where he was shot and scalped."


According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 18.0 square miles (47 km2), of which, 17.8 square miles (46 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (1.00%) is water. It is drained by the Susquehanna River mostly via the Conodoguinet Creek and Blue Mountain separates it in the north from Perry County. Its villages include Brennemans Mill, Good Hope, Mount Zion, and Sporting Hill.

Adjacent municipalities[edit]


As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 28,044 people, 11,470 households, and 7,993 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,558 people per square mile (524.4/km²). There were 12,261 housing units at an average density of 681.1/sq mi (217.1/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 88.9% White, 1.7% African American, 0.1% Native American, 7.1% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 0.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0% of the population.

There were 11,470 households out of which 29.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.7% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.3% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the township the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 31.2% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.6 years. For every 100 females there were 93.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.4 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $85,284, and the median income for a family was $105,121. Males had a median income of $62,566 versus $51,473 for females. The per capita income for the township was $42,955. About 1.2% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.6% of those under age 18 and 3.1% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Hampden Township became a first class township on Jan 1, 1960.

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has its headquarters in the township.[3][4]


Hampden Township is served by the Cumberland Valley School District. The township is home to four public elementary schools and one public middle school.

Parks and recreation[edit]

Hampden township maintains over 100 acres (0.40 km2) of parkland and recreation facilities.

  • Hampden Pool and Park
  • Creekview Recreation Area
  • Salem Community Park
  • Conodoguinet Youth Park
  • Indian Creek Park
  • Pinebrook Neighborhood Park

The township also manages Armitage Golf Club, a 70-par course located along Orrs Bridge Road.


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Contact Us." Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Retrieved on October 5, 2012. "Central Office: 1920 Technology Parkway, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050"
  4. ^ "Street Map." (Archive) Hampden Township. Retrieved on October 5, 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°14′00″N 76°57′59″W / 40.23333°N 76.96639°W / 40.23333; -76.96639