The Founding Story of Jefferson Borough
York Pennsylvania

Frederick Kraft (1776-1838) was the founder of Jefferson. He was a Baltimore native and is listed in the 1808 Baltimore directory as a tavern keeper. In 1812, this piece of land, now known as the town of Jefferson, was nothing more than a crossroads and had been used for half a century for the commercial trade between Baltimore and York. In fact, Codorus whiskey found its way to Baltimore markets by way of this route.

On February 1, 1812, Peter Hamm of Codorus Township sold the 23 acres of land that contained the crossroads to Kraft for $675.00. Kraft quickly established a tavern and store (which is no longer standing). It is assumed that he knew that a tavern, store, and important crossroads were standard ingredients in the founding of a new town. In 1814 Kraft hired John L. Hinkle (1781-1846), a Hanover surveyor, to lay out a town on the crossroads.

Frederick Kraft named the town for Thomas Jefferson because of the strong Democratic ties of the residents. However, in 1866, when the town was incorporated, the name Jefferson was already taken from a town in Greene County near Pittsburgh. So, the residents of the “York County”Jefferson chose “Codorus”, as its postal address, since it is in Codorus Township.

Kraft spent the last 22 years of his life in Jefferson and died in July of 1838.



Jefferson Borough is looking for a responsible person to perform maintenance duties.  The maximum time commitment allowable is 25 hours a month.  Availability for snow plowing service commitment is a must.  Employment Applications are available on our webpage in the Message Board Tab under the Home Page or you may contact the Borough Office, Monday through Wednesday 9:00-3:00 at 48 Baltimore Street, by phone 717-229-0545, or email  The close of application acceptance is September 26, 2014.  
The county has available funding for homeowners and renters to help weatherize your homes.  Contact York County Planning Commission at 717-771-9870 and ask for the Weatherization Program. 
Enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year is now open.  Information is located under Community and then click onto Organizations.