Honoring the Bicentennial of Lebanon County, Pennsylvaniaby Representative Charles W. Dent
Posted on 2013-02-01
in the house of representatives
Friday, February 1, 2013
Mr. DENT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today, along with my colleague,
Representative Jim Gerlach (PA-6), to honor the County of Lebanon,
Pennsylvania which we jointly represent. The citizens of Lebanon County
are celebrating the County's Bicentennial this month.
The first German-speaking settlers came to the Lebanon Valley area in the early 1720's. Purchased from Native Americans by the Penn Family in 1732, the area that would become Lebanon County quickly drew the interest of both German and English immigrants seeking rich and inexpensive farmland. Those initial settlers would be proud to know 200 years later that the land they settled is still being used productively in agriculture. To this day, Lebanon County ranks in the top ten of most categories of crop and livestock production in Pennsylvania.
By 1810, the Lebanon Valley area had more than 16,000 inhabitants and they were a civic-minded people. Shortly after the American Revolution the six townships that would become Lebanon County--Annville, Bethel, East Hanover, Londonderry, Heidelberg and Lebanon Townships--felt too removed from the distant seat of government in Harrisburg and sought greater control over their own local affairs. They began petitioning the General Assembly for recognition as a county. On February 16, 1813, Lebanon was granted county status by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Two hundred years later, those men and women would be astounded to know that the 2010 census indicated that 133,568 people are living within the County's nearly 363 square miles.
They would be proud to know that Lebanon Valley College, founded in 1866, has consistently provided quality liberal arts education to thousands of students.
The people of the Lebanon Valley region were great patriots and supporters of the American Revolution. The area served as a supply depot for American forces during the War. During the Civil War, the people of Lebanon County raised the 93rd Regiment to support the Union's cause.
They would be proud to know of the role that Ft. Indiantown Gap plays in the role of supporting the Pennsylvania National Guard and the United States Army.
Mr. Speaker, Congressman Jim Gerlach and I are honored to represent Lebanon County in the House of Representatives. We congratulate the people of Lebanon County on their proud heritage and on their numerous contributions to the history and culture of not only the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but of the United States as well.
With the blessings of Providence, may it be that another Congressman from Pennsylvania stands in the Capitol one hundred years from today enjoying the privilege of honoring the people of Lebanon on their Tercentennial.