Documentary History of American Water-works

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Middle Atlantic States Pennsylvania Titusville

Titusville, Pennsylvania

Titusville was incorporated as a borough in 1849 and as a city in 1866.

The Titusville Gas and Water Company was incorporated on February 17, 1865 by E. H. Chase, J. D. Angier, G. W. Angier, William H. Abbott, R. D. Fletcher, R. H. Sargent, A. V. Baldwin, E. P. Hastings and Martin Copp.  This company built a gas system in 1866, but no water works.  The company was later sold to the Titusville Gas Company.

The Titusville Water Company was incorporated on March 21, 1865 by E. H. Chase, J. H. Angier, J. N. Angier, William H.  Abbott, R. D. Fletcher and Fred. Crocker, Martin Copp, E. P. Hastings, R. H. Saergent and A. V. Baldwin.  This company did not build anything.

The Keystone Gas and Water Company in the City of Titusville was incorporated on March 28, 1870 by Alex. R. Williams, E. M. Hidden, M. H. Avery, Geo. B. Easterly and E. L. Pitcher.  This company did not build anything.

The Cold Spring Water Company was incorporated March 29, 1870 and made a great effort to interest the city in promoting the system, but without success.

The city was authorized to borrow money to build water works in 1872, and built a Holly water system that was tested in December, 1873.

Water is provided by the City of Titusville.

1865 An act to incorporate the Titusville Gas and Water Company.  February 17, 1865.

1865 An act to incorporate the Titusville Water Company.  March 21, 1865.

1866 The Titusville Herald, November 14, 1866, Page 3.
The Wooden Water Pipe Company of Rochester, offer to furnish this city 1,000 or 2,000 feet of six-inch pipe for 30 cents per foot.  The water works at Elmira and Oil City, were supplied by the same company.

1869 A supplement to an act to incorporate the Titusville Gas and Water Company, approved February seventeenth, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five.  April 15, 1869.

1870 An act to incorporate the Keystone Gas and Water Company of the city of Titusville.  March 28, 1870.

1870 "The Cold Spring Water Co. of Titusville," The Titusville Herald, July 15, 1870, Page 3.

1871 "A Plea for Water Works," The Titusville Herald, April 12, 1871, Page 3.

1871 "Water Works for Titusville," The Titusville Herald, April 13, 1871, Page 3.
Reply on behalf of the "Cold Spring Water Works Company."

1871 "To the Citizens of Titusville," The Titusville Herald, April 27, 1871, Page 3.
The time has arrived when we should have Water Works in our city.  From the Directors of the Cold Spring Water Company.

1871 "Water Works," The Titusville Herald, June 28, 1871, Page 3.
List of subscribers to the Cold Springs Water Works Company.

1871 "The Necessity of Water Works," The Titusville Herald, September 2, 1871, Page 3.

1872 An act to authorize the city of Titusville, Crawford county, to increase its indebtedness, to elect two additional councilmen in each ward, to issue bonds for the erection of water works, and to amend the manner of issuing sewerage and pavement bonds, et cetera.  March 8, 1872.

1872 "Necessity of Water Works," The Titusville Herald, May 15, 1872, Page 3.
Holly water works discussion.

1872 "A Call for a Public Meeting to Consider the Subject of Water Works," The Titusville Herald, July 12, 1872, Page 3.

1872 "Waterworks Meeting Last Evening," The Titusville Herald, July 13, 1872, Page 3.

1872 "The Waterworks Question," The Titusville Herald, July 13, 1872, Page 3.
Report of the water works committee recommending the Holly water works system.

1872 "Proposals for Water Pipes and Valves," The Titusville Herald, July 18, 1872, Page 2..

1872 "The Holly System of Water Works," The Titusville Herald, September 14, 1872, Page 3.
By G.W. Platt, Civil and Hydraulic Engineer

1873 An act to define the amount and character of certain bonds which may be issued by the city of Titusville to meet its general financial requirements, to authorize an increased amount of bonds for water works, to enable said city to obtain, purchase and hold certain property inside and outside of its corporate limits, and for the repeal of certain other laws or parts of laws relating to said city.  March 10, 1873.

1873 Titusville Herald, November 29, 1873, Page 3.
The public teat of the Holly Water Works will take place at three o'clock on Monday afternoon on Main street between Perry and Drake.  This will consist of throwing six streams of water to the height of ono hundred feet.

1873 The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 12, 1873, Page 1.
Titusville's Water Works have been completed, they were tested on Tuesday, and six one-inch streams were thrown 110 feet high at one time, and an one and a half-stream 200 feet.

1878 "The Holly System of Water Supply and Fire Protection for Cities and Villages," Scientific American Supplement, 6(140supp):2219-2234 (September 7, 1878)

1880 "An Oil Fire," The Boston Globe, June 12, 1880, Page 6.
The City of Titusville, Penn., in Flames. Water works, any refineries and houses destroyed.  The Holly water works were utterly destroyed.

1882 Titusville, from Engineering News, 9:84 (March 11, 1882)

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

1885 History of Crawford County, Pennsylvania: Containing a History of the County; Its Townships, Towns, Villages, Schools, Churches, Industries, Etc.; Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men; Biographies; History of Pennsylvania; Statistical and Miscellaneous Matter, Etc., Etc, Volume 1
Page 477:  Water Works.—The city is provided with the Holly automatic system of water-works, owned and maintained by the city. The work of their construction was commenced in 1872, but it was not until 1875 that they were wholly completed, at a cost of $141,000. The engines are located about one mile and a quarter west of the City Hall. The water is pure and clear, and pumped from two wells, twenty-two feet deep and eighteen feet in diameter, directly into the mains, where it is kept at a pressure of forty-five pounds, which can, if necessary, be increased to eighty pounds. The works are supplied with a rotary engine to increase the pressure in case of tire. The capacity of the pumps is 2,000,000 gallons daily. At the present time the department has nine miles of pipe, sixty-nine fire hydrants, and supplies 759 consumers at a cost considerably lower than in the majority of cities, but the income thereby derived is more than sufficient to meet the running expenses of the department.

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

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

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

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

1899 Our Country and Its People: A Historical and Memorial Record of Crawford County, Pennsylvania, by Samuel Penniman Bates
Pages 306-307:  Water Works. The city is supplied with water by the Holly system, which delivers water to consumers directly through the mains, instead of pumping it first into an elevated reservoir, from which the water descends by gravity in mains to consumers. Titusville has never tried the reservoir system, but the citizens of Titusville generally believe that the Holly system is preferable to the other. They urge that water pumped directly from the ground to consumers is likely to be purer for use than water standing in a reservoir, into which impurities, such as the bodies of dead animals, are liable to be — and sometimes are — thrown. They think also that there is less expense of power in the direct delivery than in lifting water to the reservoir, to say nothing of the convenience in general use of receiving water under light pressure, as against the uniformly high pressure in the reservoir system. At any rate the citizens of Titusville are strongly attached to their water plant. The construction of the works was begun in 1872, and finished in the spring of 1874. The pump works are located about a mile and a quarter west of the City Hall. At first two large cisterns, into the sides and bottom of which the water entered, after being filtered by the gravel through which it passed, were sunk from ten to twenty feet below the surface of the ground. The interior of the cisterns was walled with brick, laid without mortar, so as to admit water through the joints. Afterward large artesian wells were sunk to a depth of nearly a hundred feet. Those wells proved to be flowing ones.  At first the water from them was received into the cisterns, and then pumped the same as the filtered water. But now the pumps are connected directly with the flowing wells, so that consumers get water fresh from its source. The works have been owned from the beginning by the municipal corporation. The rates to consumers have always been moderate, but the plant has become an important source of revenue to the city. The management of the water works for many years has been excellent. The First Engineer, John Smith, and George Pastorious, Second Engineer, of the works, have long held their present positions.

© 2019 Morris A. Pierce