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.



The Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Jefferson Borough will be hosting a two hour informative session given by Lt. Yonk and Cpl. Ott from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation/Intelligence Division/Domestic Security Section, PA State Police.  The presentation will be held at: Bethlehem United Methodist Church, 47 Hanover Street, Spring Grove (Jefferson-Codorus) PA.  Saturday, April 21, 2018, 8:30 am to 10:30 am.  Public is invited.  Questions may be directed to:
Lloyd Keene 717-225-1367 
Office Hours for Weather Related Conditions
If the weather forecast predicts snow or ice the Borough office may be closed.  I am able to receive emails and will try to address any issues that may arise, but I am not able to receive phone messages if I'm out of the office.
Janny Graham, Secretary