Documentary History of American Water-works

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

Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Johnstown was settled in 1770, incorporated as a borough in 1800 and as a city in 1889.

The Johnstown Water and Gas Company was incorporated in 1856 with P. F. Gibbons, Cyrus L. Pershing, Charles P. Murray, John Flanagan and Dr. John Lowman appointed as agents to sell stock for "introducing into the borough of Johnstown, the adjoining borough of Conemaugh and Kernsville, a sufficient supply of pure water and gas."

The Johnstown Water Company was incorporated in 1866 with Daniel J. Morrell, John Lowman, Cyrus L. Pershing, John Dibert, Lewis Plitt, Conrad Suppes, A. Kopelin, John P Linton, Daniel MíLanghlin, David Dibert, C. P. Frazer, John Geis, William H. Rose, Howard J. Roberts, Charles Unversacht, Jacob M. Campbell, George Fritz, Alexander Hamilton, James Potts, James P. MíConaughy, John Campbell, Samuel J. Boyer, John Crouse, George S. King, John F. Barnes, H. D. Woodruff, James M. Swank, David Hamilton, Albert Brindle, George MíLane, Charles B. Ellis, Wesley J. Rose, John P. Pringle, Evan Roberts, Joseph Layton, C. Sheridan, L. B. Cohick, Hugh Bradley, Jacob Fronheiser, John Benton, Jacob Horner, Jacob Levergood, George W. Easly, William Caldwell, John Parke, William MíPherson, Henry Walters, Thomas Gore, John J. Murphy, George W. Osborn, A. J. Hawes, John S. Buchanan, James Morley, F. W. Hay, Joseph Menser, John Ryan, A. M. Gregg, Evan Lewis, Stephen Conwell, B. L. Agnew, C. H. Jackson, M. W. Keim, Adam Fockler, William Byram, Ebenezer James, David Davis, R. S. David, M. Davis, W. B. Bonacker, Jared Williams, John W. Wehn, James Purse, Jacob Fend, Andrew Yeagley, Cyrus Elder, William 0. Lewis, P. M. Garvey, William Flattery, John Cox, R. H. Canan, R. A. Fink, and A. J. Hartsock appoined as commissioners to sell stock "for the purpose of introducing, from some convenient source, a sufficient supply of pure and whole some water, into the boroughs of Johnstown, Conemaugh, Millville, Prospect, Cambria and the vicinity."

This company built a gravity system and on July 4th, 1868 a fire hydrant was opened at that intersection and the first public water supply for Johnstown and the other boroughs was inaugurated.  The Johnstown Water Company's records were destroyed in the great flood of May 3, 1889, but the system itself was not damaged severely.  The company acquired several other nearby water companies, and in 1929 control was acquired by the Bethlehem Steel Company.

The Greater Johnstown Water Authority was formed in 1965 by the City of Johnstown and Boroughs of Westmont and Southmont as a joint Municipal Authority to provide potable water to the residents of the Greater Johnstown area.  The authority bought the Johnstown Water Company and the Saltlick Water Company.

Water service is provided by the Greater Johnstown Water Authority, which purchases some water from the Cambria Somerset Authority.

1856 An act to incorporate the Johnstown Water and Gas Company.  April 15, 1856.

1857 Supplement to an act to incorporate the Johnstown Water and Gas Company, April 15, 1857.

1866 An act to incorporate the Johnstown Water Company, April 11, 1866.

1883 Johnstown, from Engineering News, 10:171 (April 14, 1883)

1882 Johnstown, from "The Water-Supply of Certain Cities and Towns of the United States," by Walter G. Elliot, C. E., Ph. D.

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

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

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

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

1926 "Johnstown's Water Supply," History of Cambria County, Pennsylvania, by John E. Gable

1996 History of the Greater Johnstown Water Authority has a lot of good information.

© 2017 Morris A. Pierce