Franklin County is proud to be named for Benjamin Franklin, American founding father, writer, printer, diplomat, activist, and scientist. But, to date, proof of a visit from Mr. Franklin to the county has not been found. Yet, besides the name, there is a connection between Benjamin Franklin and Franklin County. The connection is with Benjamin Chambers, who selected Franklin’s Philadelphia Gazette to advertise sale of lots in the town he was prepared to establish.
Public Notice of Land by Benjamin Chambers Advertised in Benjamin Franklin’s Philadelphia Gazette
Notice is hereby given to the Public, that there is a town is laid out on Conegogig Creek, on both sides of the Great Falling Spring, where is falls into said creek, by Benjamin Chambers, of Cumberland County. Lots may be had on reasonable terms and Firm Deeds granted for them by said Chambers: the day appointed for drawing of said lots is the 28th day of June inst.. which is a Thursday [1764} . The situation of this town is very good for water and stone, both free and marble, and sand all handy to the spot, and a well timbered part of the country adjoining it; within said town is a good Gristmill, Sawmill, and Grindstones going by water. The articles of the Town shall be read on the day appointed for the drawing of the Lots, and the terms of the sale published by me.
Franklin County was the 14th county of Pennsylvania. As the colony of PA grew, the original PA counties of Bucks, Chester, and Philadelphia Counties were divided into more counties. Lancaster grew out of Chester, Cumberland grew out of Lancaster, and Franklin grew out of Cumberland. Franklin County came into being on September 9, 1784, and the town laid out on “Conegogig Creek” (Conococheague Creek) was named the county seat in the legislation, forming Franklin County.