Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
Middle Atlantic States Pennsylvania Bradford

Bradford, Pennsylvania

Bradford was incorporated as a borough in 1873 and as a city in 1879.

The Bradford Water Works Company was incorporated on March 29, 1877 and built a system that began operating that year.

The company was sold to the city in 1882 for $19,400.

The Bradford City Water Authority was incorporated on December 21, 1953 and initially leased the city's water works, but in 1986 acquired the system.

Water is provided by the Bradford City Water Authority, which has a history page.

1881 "Bradford's Water Supply," The Cincinnati Enquirer, July 28, 1881, Page 1.
Bradford, Penn., July 27. The City Council to-night bought the Bradford Water-Works Company property and franchise of the Company in fee, paying $19,400 therefor. 

1881 Engineering News, 8:513 (December 17, 1881)
The Youghiogheny Water Works Company at Bradford, Pa., is now in operation.  These works now furnish water for the following coke works.

1882 Bradford, from Engineering News 9:143: (May 6, 1882)

1888 "Bradford," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 History of the counties of McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter, Pennsylvania, by M. A. Leeson
Page 174:  Bonds issued December 1, 1881, to purchase old water-works, due December 1. 1891, $3,500;
Pages 176-177:  Water- Works. The Bradford Water- Works Company was incorporated in June, 1877, with C. S. Whitney, president; T. J. Melvin, treasurer; T. A. Hylands, secretary; A. W. Newell, Lewis Emery, Jr., Thomas Bradley and H. J. Pemberton, directors. The capital stock was placed at $7,000, which was owned by fifty stockholders. In October, 1879, Fuller, Bayne & Whitney, representing the Water-Works Company, proposed to sell to the city for $17,951.66, if the annual rental would not be increased to $4,600, but a proposition by the city was accepted. As told in the pages devoted to the organization of the city, Bradford owns the present water-works system.

1890 "Bradford," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 "Bradford," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

1897 "Bradford," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.

1897 The book of Bradford, compiled and published by F.M. McDonnell
Page 14:  BRADFORD'S WATER SUPPLY. The Bradford Water Works Company was originally organized in 1877. In 1879 the company sold the plant to the city of Bradford The success of the city as a manager in this department is undisputable. At the present time we have a source of supply from six artesian wells and water sheds of 12.000 acres. The capacity of the reservoirs is thirty-five million gallons, situated five miles west of the city, and at a height of two hundred and thirty-five feet" above the city. The mode of supplying the mains is by gravity. The average pressure is ninety pounds.

1901 Illustrated history of Bradford, McKean County, Pa. by Vernelle A. Hatch
Page 36:  One of the important questions that early claimed the attention of the  councilmen was the now frequently agitated question of municipal ownership. It appears the city was at that time supplied with water from a private plant, owned by the Bradford Water Works Company, and on October 8, 1879, a petition signed by numerous citizens was presented, asking that Councils purchase these water works. Negotiations were prolonged for over a year. There were committees and special committees, investigations and counter investigations and at last on December. 1, 1881, the city voted to issue bonds to make the much desired purchase. The sale was consummated in 1883, the original price being $19,400, to which was quickly added the cost of construction of a new plant in 1884 and other and further improvements year by year up to the present date, which brings the present cost of the plant close to an even $300,000. Of this sum, however, nearly $200,000 has been paid in water rentals and on the whole municipal ownership of water works has apparently proved satisfactory to the people.

1953 "Here's Text of Connelly Report on Water," The Bradford Era, February 26, 1953, Page 5.

2019 Morris A. Pierce