Documentary History of American Water-works

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

Pittston, Pennsylvania

Pittston was settled in 1770, incorporated as a borough in 1853, and as a city in 1894.

The Pittston Water Company was incorporated in 1852 with Arlen Damore, Abraham Price, Isaac Everet, Cornelius Stark, Thomas Ford, Abraham Enigh, George Lazarus, Theodore Strong, James McFarlanes, William Ford, Abraham Bird, R. J. Wisner, Stephen B. Jenkins, John Howaith, James Searle, and William H. Alexander appointed as commissioners to sell stock "for conducting or conveying pure water into the village of Pittston, and distributing the same for the use of the inhabitants of the said village, and also for the use of those who live contiguous thereto, as also to provide against the ravages of fire by erecting hydrants or other constructions, in suitable places within the limits of said village."  This company built a system that began operating in 1856 by pumping water from the Susquehanna River using a rotary pump.  This was replaced in 1865 with a direct-acting pump made by Thomas Thatcher of Danville, Pa.

The Pittston Water Company bought the West Pittstown Water Company in 1876 and began serving the borough of West Pittston. 

The People's Water Company was incorporated July 15, 1889 as a subsidiary of the Spring Brook Water Supply Company of Wilkes-Barre.  It bought the Pittston company in 1890 for $200,000.

The Federal Water Service Corporation was incorporated in 1926 by Christopher Chenery.  This firm acquired the Spring Brook Water Supply Company in September, 1927, and renamed it the Scranton-Spring Brook Water Service Company in March 1928 after it bought the Scranton Gas and Water Company..  The Federal Water Service Corporation and a subsidiary Federal Water and Gas Corporation was held to be in violation of the Public Utilities Company Holding Act by the Securities and Exchange Commission and ordered to dispose of its various holdings.  This ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1947 and ownership of the Scranton-Spring Brook Water Company passed to local capitalists, who renamed the company Pennsylvania Gas and Water Company on October 1, 1960.

The Pennsylvania-American Water Company, a subsidiary of American Water Works Company, Inc. acquired the regulated water assets of the Pennsylvania Gas and WAter Company on February 16, 1996 for $409 million.

Water service is provided by Pennsylvania American Water.

1852 An act to authorize the Governor to incorporate the Pittston Water Company.  May 4, 1852.

1855 "The Pittston Water Company," Pittston Gazette, February 9, 1855, Page 2.

1855 A supplement to the act, entitled "An act to authorize the Governor to incorporate the Pittston Water Company."  May 7, 1855.

1856 "Water Works," Pittston Gazette, September 19, 1856, Page 2.

1856 "The Water Works," Pittston Gazette, October 31, 1856, Page 2.

1857 "Water," Pittston Gazette, February 6, 1857, Page 2.
For several weeks most of the pipes leading from the main have been frozen up.

1857 A supplement to an act, entitled "An act to authorize the Governor to incorporate the Pittston Water Company."  March 28, 1857.

1864 Pittston Gazette, August 18, 1864, Page 2.
Thomas Thatcher's Steam Pump.  Several of the machines have been ordered for the coal mines of Luzerne conty, and one of a capacity of about 250 gallons per minutes for the Pittston Water Works.  When the water company gets this machine into operation a few hours pumping each day will keep their reservoir full.

1865 "Water," Pittston Gazette, June 22, 1865, Page 2.

1865 "New Pump," Pittston Gazette, November 23, 1856, Page 2.
Thatcher's Double Acting Steam Pumps, built at Danville, Pa.

1882 Pittston, from Engineering News, 9:122 (April 15, 1882)

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

1885 "Improving Our Water Supply," Evening Gazette (Pittston, Pennsylvania), July 24, 1885, Page 4.

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

1890 The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 20, 1890, Page 1.
Negotiations were completed yesterday between the Pittston Water Company and the Spring Brook Water Company, by which the stock of the former is all transferred to the latter company.  The price paid was $65 per share, or an aggregate of nearly $200,000.

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

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

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

1902 Spring Brook Water Company v. Pittston, Appellant, 203 Pa. 223, April 17, 1902, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

2017 Morris A. Pierce