Jefferson Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, was created 24 November 1842 by a diminishing of Jackson Township. The boundary was modified on 23 November 1844. Jefferson Township‘s area, at establishment, is shown in green. Later, Wayne Township was created from land originally given to Jefferson Township by a vote of the inhabitants taken in 1878.
The following explanation is from William Henry Egle‘s History of the Counties of Dauphin and Lebanon of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, published in Philadelphia in 1883 by Everts and Peck:
In the year 1842 inhabitants of Jackson Township petitioned the Court of Quarter Sessions, asking for a division of said township; whereupon the said court, on 23 April 1842, issued an order to three commissioners to inquire into the propriety of granting the said prayer, who made report that they considered a division of the said township necessary, and had run a dividing line as follows, to wit:
“Beginning at a white-oak on the summit of the dividing ridge, at the Halifax Township line, and between the farms of Abraham Kanports and Lewis Culp; thence north 66 degrees east 250 perches to a post; thence north 42 degrees east 50 perches to a post; thence north 66 degrees east 340 perches to a post; thence north 71 degrees east 160 perches to a post; thence north 66 degrees east 80 perches to a post; thence north 69 degrees east 656 perches to a post; thence 18 degrees east 174 perches to a post; thence north 55 degrees east 28 perches to a post; thence north 39 degrees east 304 perches to a post; thence along Broad Mountain north 13 degrees east 149 perches to a post; thence north 7 degrees west 520 perches to a pine in Deitrich’s Gap, on the summit of Berry’s Mountain, being in length 8 miles and 140 perches.”
This report was confirmed by the court on 24 November 1842. In the year 1844 the inhabitants of Jackson Township petitioned the court complaining of part of the division line as made in 1842, and praying for an alteration. Whereupon the court appointed other commissioners to view and report on the propriety of making such an alteration. These commissioners reported in favor of alteration, and that they agreed upon and run the following line:
“Beginning at a pine on lands of John Shoop Sr., corner of former partition line between said Jackson and Jefferson Townships; thence north 68 degrees east 13 1/2 miles to the Schuylkill County line.”
This report was confirmed by the court 23 November 1844. The township was named for President Jefferson, and as thus established continued until 1879, when the western portion was erected into a separate township and called Wayne [Township]….
The surface of the township is irregular and abrupt, but contains a number of fine productive farms. Powell’s Creek rises in the township, flows westward, emptying into the Susquehanna [River] above Clark’s Station.