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Erie County (PA) Genealogy

Family Histories & Biographies

Lamp Lighters of Springfield

Contributed by Evelyn Baker

Springfield Township coordinator Evelyn Baker has written and submitted the article below. Although it is not specifically a family history, it is being posted to this category due to the number on names included. Any questions or comments concerning this article should be sent directly to Evelyn Baker.

The Ole LamplighterS

R oF x

East Springfield Borough


The romantic time of gas street lamps lasted for a brief 23 years.

This is an account of their history.

Data source:

East Springfield Borough Ledger

Springfield Township Town Hall


He Made The Night a Little Brighter


1897 Dec. 06 - Council met at City Hall & appointed WILLIAM E. PATTERSON

to see about purchasing street lamps and report at the next meeting.

1898 Jan. 03 - He reported the price of $3.10 each for street lamp. Motion carried

that W. E. PATTERSON and JUDD R. MILLER, Town Clerk,

be a committee to buy & install 3 street lamps.

1898 Feb. 07 - East Springfield Borough Council appropriated $12.75 to pay for

street lamps, posts, & setting of same.


Wherever He Would Go

1898 Mar 21 - FINDLEY O. MILLER became the 1st Lamplighter in the

Borough of East Springfield. He was paid 15 per night for

filling, cleaning, & lighting the 3 street lamps.

The Old Lamplighter of Long, Long Ago


1899 Jan. 02 - Council & FINDLEY O. MILLER agreed to a wage of $1.30 per


1899 Oct. 03 - GEORGE R. MOORE was hired to light the street lamps at a

wage of $2.00 per month.

1899 Nov. 06 - W. E. WATERS was the next lamplighter hired at $2 per month.

1900 Feb. 05 - OWEN COFFIN presented a bill to Council for $11 for lighting

the street lamps. Motion carried to pay bill - A. S. STRONG,

Town Clerk.

1900 Mar 06 - F. O. MILLER paid a monthly wage of $15.80 for lamplighter,

City Hall sexton, & care of sidewalks.

1901 Oct. 07 - EASTERBROOKS & Co. order for gas pipe - paid $3.62

1901 Nov. 04 - FRANK CARNEY paid $1.92 for keeping latern lit on bridge.

1906 June 04 - J. MILES HALL appointed to purchase more street lamps.

1908 June 08 - H. S. SHOEMAKER paid 25 for hanging a new latern.

1908 July 06 - EAST SPRINGFIELD HEAT & LIGHT Co. contracted to

lay gas pipes for the transmission of natural & artificial gas for

heating & lighting for a term of 15 years. The company shall

supply all residents of the borough at a minimum rate of 50 per

month. They further agree to supply 4 gas street lamps for free.

J. C. SHERMAN, Burgess


1908 Aug. 03 - Locations suggested for the 4 street lamps:

1 - In front of the T. WEBSTER residence.

2 - In front of MILES O. BRISTOL residence.

3 - In front of WILLIS P. HILLS residence.

4 - In front of ANDREW J. McKEE residence.

1909 Feb. 07 - Council moves to buy 6 large street lamps, so ordered May 3rd,

purchase price $48.00

1909 Aug. 02 - JOHN HUGHES appointed to pick up street lamps from depot.

1909 Sept. 6 - Final location of the street lamps:

1 - BOWER's corner

2 - Presbyterian Church corner

3 - Between MILTON HENRY & EMERETTE FITCH property

4 - Near Presbyterian parsonage

5 - In front of ARKENBURY's Shop, north side of Ridge Road

6 - In front of the Christian parsonage

1909 Oct. 11 - OLIVER J. CROSS and ABRAHAM H. GIBBLE installed the

new street lamps.

The Borough paid GIBBLE 60 - CROSS was paid $33.61 for

street lamp work through November.

1910 Dec. 10 - CROSS notified to move the street lamp that is located in the

culvert hollow to the front of FRANK ELDRIDGE residence.

1911 June 05 - W. E. PATTERSON charged with care of the street lamps. He

hires JAY SHAFER for $2.55, to repair street lamps.

1912 Jan. 05 - East Springfield Heat & Light Co. paid $47.30 for the period of

Nov. 1, 1910 to Jan. 1, 1912

1912 July 05 - W. E. PATTERSON charged with moving a street lamp.

1912 Sept. 2 - FRANCIS BROUGHTON tending street lamps, paid 75

JAMES IRWIN paid $8.70 for work completed on street lamps.

1912 Nov. 02 - J. E. GOLDEN replaced 7 gas mantels, paid $3.40

1912 Dec. 02 - Council notifies Gas Co. to fix a good substancial cover over a

regulator located on roadside near the J. R. MILLER residence.

1913 Jan. 06 - JAMES EVERETT GOLDEN replaced a burner on street lamps,

paid $1.75

1913 Feb. 03 - M. O. BRISTOL replaced gas mantel on street lamps, paid $12.

1913 Nov. 03 - JOHN C. HUGHES, Town Clerk ordered 4 new globes for winter.

1914 Jan. 05 - JAMES IRWIN paid $5.40 for 4 globes plus frieght.

C. S. WARD paid $2.81 for gas mantels and a spike.

1914 Aug. 03 - Autos begin to damage the street lamps.

1914 Nov. 07 - W. M. CULBERTSON paid $10.20 for smashing a

street lamp back in 1912.

1915 Jan. 04 - MILES O. BRISTOL buys new gas mantels for the street lamps.

1915 June 07 - Council orders a complete new street lamp.

1915 Aug. 02 - J. E. GOLDEN tending street lamps from June 23, 1913

to August 2, 1915. Installed a complete new street lamp & repaired

a burner.

1916 Jan. 05 - East Springfield Heat & Light Co. notified to remove their drilling

rig from the public highway.

1916 July 03 - The 1st reading of the electric franchise on agenda.

1916 Sept. 04 - MILES O. BRISTOL buys new mantels for the gas lamps.

1916 Sept. 11 - J. M. HALL read a new franchise regarding electric lights to the

East Springfield Council.

1916 Oct. 02 - Electrical contractors were present at the Council meeting held in

the town hall.

1916 Oct. 09 - Council sets a public meeting to be held in the I.O.O.F. Hall on

October 23rd at 8 o'clock in regard to lighting the streets of the

borough with electric lights. JOHN C. HUGHES, Town Clerk

1916 Oct. 23 - Rev. B. D. HALTER, Burgess, presided over the meeting. After

a number of remarks by the citizens of East Springfield Borough,

a vote was taken in favor of installing 25 new electric lights on the

streets of the borough.

1916 Nov. 06 - East Springfield Borough Council moved to accept the contract of

the electric light company.

Voting for the motion: FRANCIS E. BROUGHTON


Voting against motion: WILLIAM E. PATTERSON



Motion lost.

1919 Feb. 03 - ROY O. THOMPSON paid $4.60 for lighting latern on hill and

road work.

1919 June 17 - CLAYTON JOHNSON of Fairview, Pa. notified to take care of

his gas line through the East Springfield Borough, as the road is

to be paved by the state.

1921 June 06 - Council moves to accept the Northwestern Electric Light Service

Co. franchise on the condition that they have it completed by

January 1, 1922. Motion for an application for street lights was

carried. Council present were: J. M. HALL, ALEX TUEDHOPE,


1923 Feb. 5 - Northwestern Electric Service Co. schedule for electric street lights

was read at Council meeting & accepted.

1923 April 2 - Council notified Northwestern Electric that only 24 lights were

received - one missing.

1923 May 07 - The first payment to the Northwestern Electric Co. was $63.25

for service in East Springfield Borough.


Thus ended an nostalgic era of the quaint old street lamps.


Remembering The Days That Used To Be

This page was last updated on  Monday, April 19, 2004 .

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