Below are two articles from the Lancaster Inquirer about the Millersville-Lancaster Turnpike Company, you'll note that they are dated about 30 years apart suggesting that this was an ongoing problem. The Millersville Turnpike Company was one of the earliest of these companies in Lancaster County and spawned a number of other turnpike companies, none as successful. It was successful because it collected the tolls but put little money into maintaining the roads. The turnpike ran from Lancaster City, down route 999 to Geroge Street in Millersville, then up George Street to Frederick St. and out Frederick Street to South Duke Street. Down South Duke Street to the Conestoga and a second branch went west on Walnut Hill Road to Safe Harbor. The second branch was never fully operational and the branch from the Conestoga to Walnut Hill Road was taken over by John Shober, who operated a paper mill on the Conestoga in Conestoga Twp. A toll booth sat on the corner of Walnut Hill and South Duke St., on the Funk property, this toll booth is now the Broom Shop on the grounds of the Conestoga Area Historical Society.
This toll road, along with many others, were later brought by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and became the foundation of the state highway system.
The Millersville-Lancaster Turnpike Company was formed in 1839 under the authority of the Lancaster County Commissioners.
The Lancaster Inquirer
July 28, 1888
IT PAYS 20 PER CENT
The Millersville Pike is "a Little Mint" that pays.
A MAN WHO WON'T PAY TOLL
News from Country Districts Sent to our Correspondents
Millersville, July 26 - For years the Manor turnpike has been a prolific source of revenue to the people who own its stock, "a little mint," as one of those people expressed it several years ago. It has paid as high as 20-percent dividend per annum, and its stock, whose par value is 50, is selling to-day (when it can be bought at all) at 155. But there is one determined man among the many who are obliged to use that highway who has made up his mind that it is unfair that a corporation should be able to collect tolls that pay such dividends and that he will block that game, if possible. For weeks the new owners of the Slackwater paper mill have been hauling big loads of materials over the pike, and their bill for tolls has amounted to about $80. This, however, the manager has refused to pay, alleging that the road does not meet the requirements of the law as to width and condition. "I'll close the gate on you." said the gate-keeper. "Lets see you do it" was the reply, "then I'll have my wagon turned round, hitch a chain to the gates and tear them off their hinges. Let our company sue me then, and we'll see what'll come of it. I'm going to fight your road for the benefit of the community." The gates are yet open and the paper-mill wagons go through without paying. The toll-gage must go. Free turnpikes are bound to come.
Otto F. Reese and his son, Charles, are tinners and roofers in this village. They have been working for some time at putting up spouting in Safe Harbor on the houses of the rolling mill company. Last week Charles was up at the top of a 30-foot ladder when that affair concluded to break, and the young man descended with more haste and less gracefulness than he went up, yet, wonderful to say, landed with no bones broken and only a lot of bruises. He probably couldn't do the same thing again if he were to try.
Miss Jane E. Leonard paid the Normal a visit the other day. In 1875 she left her situation there as teacher in history to make a similar situation in the State Normal School at Indiana, Pa., where she has been ever since.
Citizen J. R. Wallick once in a while pauses in his mad career as a teacher or a tobacco farmer to reflect upon his childhood days amid the beloved Chincapin bushes and buckwheat fields of his ancestral hills in York county. When the longing grows too great to be resisted, he throws down the imperial hickory scepter or the bucolic hoe and rushes madly away to the Democratic stronghold where he was born. All the foregoing is simply to explain that Mr. Wallick is now visiting his parents, brothers and sisters in that county.
April 28, 1917
Millersville Pike's a Mint
Stockholders Have Been Getting 40 Per Cent Dividends
An argument in favor of abolishing toll roads, or at least reducing their charges, is given in developments following the Lancaster Automobile Club's attack on the charter of the Lancaster and Millersville turnpike owners.
Last year the club secured an order from the Public Service Commission to have the company place its roadway in first-class condition by November 1. Later a five-month extension was granted. The time has expired and the road is still in bad condition.
The proceedings before the commission developed that the company is restricted to paying 8 percent dividend on the stock, but has been paying an average of 40 percent for years. One year 150 percent was paid, it is alleged.
Recently one-third of the road was sold to the city of Lancaster, and instead of using that money for reducing the outstanding stock; it is alleged that it was divided among the directors.