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Palmer Township

 

Palmer Township is a township in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. Palmer Township is located in the Lehigh Valley region of the state.

 

The population of Palmer Township was 16,809 at the 2000 census.

HISTORY

For many years the Penn family governed Pennsylvania and were known as the "proprietors of the land". The descendants of William Penn sold portions of their land but retained possession of two large tracts between Bethlehem and Easton. These "proprietaries" were unsuccessful in keeping settlers from occupying these tracts and by 1752 the tract, which included the area now Palmer Township, became entirely occupied. The settlers cleared the land, built cabins, and tilled the soil.

In 1759 the squatters petitioned Richard Peters, Secretary of the Province, for permission to continue to live on the "dry lands about six miles from Easton" and indicated a willingness to pay any price for the land Peters thought to be "fit and reasonable". Although their request was denied, they did not move out and other settlers continued to come in.

Action was finally started to eject the settlers but on June 5, 1795, an agreement was reached whereby the Penns agreed to give the settlers the deed for their land within the period of 12 months for the sum of 65 pounds, 10 shillings for each one hundred acres of land. Originally part of Forks Township, Palmer became an independent community by court order issued in May, 1857. The house, which appears at the top of this page, was built in 1805 with the original portion built in circa 1760.

Who is this Palmer person? The province of Pennsylvania was granted to William Penn by Charles II in 1680. It was not until 1774 that the northern boundary was finally determined and George Palmer, for whom Palmer Township was named, was a member of the Commission to make that determination. Palmer was born in Montgomery County. He was appointed deputy surveyor of Northampton County in 1773, a position he held for about 51 years. His land office was in Bath.

In addition to being a surveyor for the state, Palmer served for a number of years as coroner of the County and was also employed by the Penn family as their surveyor. The Penn family considered Mr. Palmer a "man of conscience" and noted his knowledge of their manors in Northampton County.

George Palmer died in March, 1831, at the age of 83 years. He is buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery near Weaversville.

Because of their accuracy, the records of Mr. Palmer are still consulted in settling disputed boundary lines and to trace titles of properties.

The township seal was adopted as the official seal of Palmer Township by the Board of Supervisors in 1970.

In colonial times this area was commonly known as the "dry lands" and served as hunting grounds for the Penn family. The high grasses, birds and hunters are a major part of the seal.

Palmer Township was part of the land deeded to the Penn family by Charles II of England in recognition of their exceptional service to the crown. The Penn Family Crest, in the upper center portion of the seal, can be seen on the doors of the museum building in Harrisburg or on other state owned properties. For more information on the history of Palmer Township we refer you to the book History of Palmer authored by Mr. James A. Wright and published by the Palmer Township Historical Society in 1984.

Palmer Township is a community of approximately 18,500 people located near Easton, on the eastern end of the greater Lehigh Valley. Palmer prides itself in being a planned community for the last 52 years, and as a result, we have a mixture of home types, industrial centers and shopping facilities that meet most of the needs of our residents.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 16,809 people, 6,716 households, and 4,895 families residing in the township. The population density was 606.5/km² (1,570.4/mi²). There were 6,865 housing units at an average density of 247.7/km² (641.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the township was 94.32% White, 2.14% African American, 0.06% Native American, 1.83% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.34% of the population.

There were 6,716 households out of which 28.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.5% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.1% were non-families. 23.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the township the population was spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 25.6% from 45 to 64, and 20.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 93.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.1 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $55,419, and the median income for a family was $65,017. Males had a median income of $44,014 versus $30,675 for females. The per capita income for the township was $25,722. About 2.6% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.

Public education

The Township is served by the Easton Area School District.

Sources: Wikipedia, Palmer Township web site

 

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