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Landisburg was the first county seat of Perry
County, beginning in 1820 when the county was formed, until 1827 when it was
changed to New Bloomfield.
In 1793, the place known as the Borough of Landisburg was first laid out in lots
by Abraham Landis. Mr. Landis was a resident of Cocalico Township,
Lancaster County. He warranted 116 acres of land along Montour's Run on 25
May 1787, Landisburg was part of this tract. The lots were 60x150; they
were disposed of by lottery. Each lot was subject to a quit-rent of 7
shillings and 6 pence; it was required that a 2-story house was be built within
The earliest known (recorded) deed was to George Wolf, a wheelwright; it was
dated 1 December 1795.
The town was incorporated as a borough on 23 December 1831.
On the town plot of 1793, a lot was set aside for school purposes. A log
schoolhouse was built and was used until 1837, when it was replaced by a stone
building. In 1894 a large frame building was erected as a schoolhouse; it
was destroyed by fire in 1919. Some of the early teachers were: John
McClure, Jonathan Ross, Alexander Roddy, Mr. Anderson and Edward Dromgold.
Lot #20 was purchased by James Diven, upon which he erected a dwelling.
The Diven Tannery was located on lots purchased by J. Scroggs and John Bigler;
Scroggs built it and sold it to the younger James Diven, who died in 1816.
It was rented by the heirs of James Diven until c1840, when it was purchased by
James A. Diven, a son and heir. The tannery was later conveyed to John D.
Diven, then to William W. McClure and to D. Moffitt & Company of New York in
In 1831 another tannery was erected on Lot #1 by James Diven. After his
death in 1840, the tannery passed to Parkinson Hench and Samuel Black. In
1859, William B. Diven, son of the former owner, purchased the tannery. He
sold it to James Murray in 1867, who operated the tannery until 1870.
From 1818-1829, a small tannery was operated by Albert Nesbit on the rear of the
old courthouse lot.
The first tavern, known as the Bigler House, was located at Carlisle & Water
Streets; it was kept by Jacob Bigler. Another tavern was located on High
Street, lot #73; it was conveyed by James Wilson to Christian Bigler in 1807. It
was later purchased by Jacob Fritz, who built a log tavern there and conveyed
the same to Abram Fulweiler. Mr. Fulweiler added an addition and store, which he
kept until 1825. The third tavern was on lot #48, which in 1820 was kept
by John Creigh. A tavern was also in the James L. Diven building, which was sued
by John Wingert as a store. It was first kept by Michael Sypher. In
1821, one tavern was known as "The Spread Eagle".
The building known as Hotel Dempsey, was built by Jacob Fritz. In 1820 it
was kept by John Hackett; over the years it was kept by many proprietors.
On lot #47 there was once a hotel run by James Atchley and on lot #45, a hotel
run by John Hipple.
In 1811, Henry Wingert, hatmaker, built a house on lot #33.
Samuel Anderson was postmaster in 1820. After his death in 1823, the
following persons held the position of postmaster: Henry Fetter, Jonas
Butterfield, John Kibler, Francis Kelly, John Burtnett, William Blaine, Jesse
Hipple, George Shaffer, John Burtnett, Mary Sheibley, Mary Hutchinson, R. H.
Preisler, Nancy Connor, James C. Preisler, Dr. J. F. Wingert, Wm. B. Burtnett;
Katharine Easton; A. H. Billman and Nora Lightner.
In 1821 Joseph H. Kennedy manufactured nail by hand at his nail factory. It was
located on Water Street, in the rear part of a building begun in 1794, but not
completed until c1809. The front part of the said building was made of
stone, while the rear, was built of logs.
Landisburg Presbyterian Church. Before the organization of Perry
County, members of this faith, who resided around Landisburg attended Limestone
Ridge (aka- Sam Fisher's Church/Centre Church). After the formation of the
county in 1820 and with Landisburg as the county seat, it was assumed that the
population of Landisburg would increase and hence, would be a good location for
a church. A new congregation was formed in Landisburg in 1823; some say
that this church/congregation was the successor of Limestone Ridge.
The congregation first worshipped in the building used as a courthouse during
the time when Landisburg was county seat. In c1829, a substantial frame
building was erected on Main Street as their church. The trustees at this
time were: Samuel Linn, Jacob Stambaugh and William Cook. In 1920,
the church property was sold to the school board after its membership ceased to
The Church of God. The earliest record known for this faith was on
10 April, 1821, when (founder) Rev. John Winebrenner preached here. In 1832 the
congregation was organized under the supervision of the East Pennsylvania
Eldership. Up until 1836, services were held in the old log schoolhouse,
where Elder Henry Wingert built a small log bethel that adjoined his residence
on Main Street. In 1832, a lot was purchased on a corner, fronting on
Water Street-- it was here that a brick church was first erected. The
brick church was used until 1873, when it was replaced with a new brick church.
Trinity Reformed Church. Before the organization of a congregation
here, Rev. Jacob Scholl preached here occasionally. The congregation was
organized in 1850, Rev. Charles H. Leinbach becoming pastor. A lot was
purchased on Carlisle Street and a brick church was erected (it was dedicated 17
M. E. Church. Services for this denomination were held in
Landisburg prior to 1831. After an organization was effected and the
Landisburg church was built. After its membership eventually dwindled
away, the church building was sold to the Landisburg school board.