The Incorporation of Ephrata 
An application for the incorporation of Ephrata into a borough was presented to Quarter Sessions Court, April 20th, 1891. The application was the outcome of the agitation of the two months prior. Of the 298 property holders of the town, 170 had signed the petition, but of course, as in all progressive movements, a counter petition was originated and circulated, and presented in opposition at Court, with 102 names attached, a number of whom were non-residents. Messrs. Brown and Hensel represented the petitioners, and Messrs. Steinmetz, Malone and Whitson were attorneys for the remonstrants.
During the ten years prior to this move the town had a rate of growth of about 300 per cent. The population at the time of incorporation was about 2200. A bank, four churches and various industries desired the advantages of municipal privileges; a police system was needed; better school facilities, graded streets and suitable pavements.
According to announcement a meeting was held in Mentzer's Hall on Saturday afternoon, February 14th, 1891, to define the boundaries of the new borough of Ephrata. There was a large attendance of property holders and great interest was manifested in the movement. The advantages of having borough regulations were presented and fully explained. The spirit of the meeting was good and the sentiment in favor of the advance movement was almost unanimous, but very few making exceptions to the step. Messrs. George Wise, John R. Messner, J. B. Kellar, J. J. Baer and J. B. Eshleman were appointed a committee to make a draft of the proposed lines. George A. Kemper, of Akron, was the surveyor, and the entire work was performed with promptness and little or no opposition from the property holders along the line surveyed, almost all being anxious to be included in the borough limits.
The petition for the incorporation of our town into a borough having gone through all the preliminary stages, the Court on Saturday afternoon, August 22nd, 1891, made a decree incorporating it into a borough, Judge Patterson issuing the decree.
An editorial from the Ephrata Review, August 28th, 1891, says: "At last the wish of our citizens has been granted and we are an incorporated borough. If we citizens perform our duties conscientiously and with a desire for realizing the best good to the greatest number, we will soon reap the advantages to be derived from incorporation. It is now necessary to elect to the several borough offices, men who will advance the interests of the town. If they are wise and prudent, our streets and sidewalks will soon be in better condition than at present, and at a cost but little advance of our past taxation for road purposes. An economical and wise borough council can soon put into operation plans whereby our streets can be lighted, our schools better regulated, and the town well supplied with water. These are questions of the greatest importance and must be met now and discussed and acted upon."
The first borough election was held at the public house of L. E. Royer in Ephrata, on Tuesday, September 15th, 1891, between the hours of 7 A.M. and 7 P.M. The following officers having been appointed by the Court officiated: Judge; H. C. Gemperling; Inspectors, John H. Spera and A. B. Urich; F. S. Klinger and W. K. Mohler were chosen as Clerks. This special election was to elect officers to serve until the regular election in February following. The total number of votes cast was 443, and was quite large in consideration that the registered voters numbered 536. No party tickets were settled by primary election or caucus, and the election was very quiet, there being no disorder of any kind, though there was considerable electioneering done. The candidates for councilmen were most numerous, as there were seventeen persons who aspired to an office for which six could be elected. The entire list of candidates numbered forty-eight. The successful candidates were as follows: Burgess, G. S. Wise; Council, J. B. Brugger, G. F. Groff, J. J. Baer, J. S. Spangler, Joseph Cooper and A. W. Mentzer; School Directors, C. B. Keller, J. M. Shaeffer, J. Frank Eckert, Samuel R. Hess, Levi S. Landes and Wm. Heilig; Judge of Elections, John A. Heyser; Inspectors, H. H. Stroble and B. F. Emmert; Assessor, Samuel R. Nagel; Assistant Assessors, Edwin Konigmacher and David Kraatz; Tax Collector, Levi B. Snader; Auditor, J. J. Yeager; Constable, H. W. Gier.
On Friday evening, September 18th, following the first borough election, the newly elected Borough Council held a preliminary meeting at the Eagle Hotel for the purpose of organization. S. L. Sharp, resident Justice of the Peace, was in attendance and administered the oath of office. Burgess George S. Wise presided. Hon. J. Hay Brown, Esq., of Lancaster, was elected Borough Solicitor, and promised to explain the duties of Council on Thursday evening, September 24th. S. L. Sharp, Esq., was elected Clerk. Much laborious and disagreeable work was necessarily well performed by the first set of Councilmen, and to them belong much credit for their bold stand in the new enterprise.
The present officers of the borough  are: Burgess, W. K. Mohler; Councilmen, Jacob S. Spangler, George Groff, A. P. Snader, J. B. Brugger, George Mohler and J. J. Baer; Clerk of Council, W. L. Bixler; Justices of the Peace, W. K. Seltzer and S. L. Sharp;High Constable, Wm. Dunn; Constable, H. W. Gier.
The town has enjoyed general prosperity and has made rapid strides of improvement since its organization. The Board of School Directors immediately set to work and built a fine eight-roomed school-house at a cost of over $15,000, and Prof. H. E. Gehman, with an able corps of teachers, was elected principal. He graduated the first class from the Ephrata High School in 1893-94. It consisted of five young men and three young ladies, all of whom were exceptionally bright. The most notable and marvelous change due to incorporation is the educational work, and too much can not be said for all the members of the School Board and the honest, conscientious work of Prof. Gehman and his corps of instructors, as we have officially been ranked at the head of schools in this county. Thus may it ever be, let results prove the system and no one will dare raise his voice against the most glorious of our free institutions.
The town of Ephrata is nicely laid out, though somewhat irregularly, and lies on the north and west of the Ephrata hills, and by the Lancaster papers is often called the "mountain town, " whilst writers in magazines and the daily press have termed it the "quaint and quiet village." Suffice it to say that Ephrata has nicely graded streets, fine pavements, elegant homes, good water, excellent schools, plenty of churches and societies, and is ever hospitable to all repeatable visitors. In fact, there is that warmth of greeting with our people, that all strangers are loath to leave us when once here. It has had a steady growth, such as can withstand the shocks of time and a financial crisis without much distress. We are therefore not of a mushroom growth, but staple, productive, intelligent, progressive, active, energetic, and awake to true citizenship, the highest aim of man after the saving of his soul. Much more might be said as to the general push of the citizens and the unconscious working together of the same forces. When a new venture is proposed, it is generally well discussed and made plain to all before it is adopted, hence the few downright failures in what ever Ephrata has undertook to do.
Nearby Towns: Akron Boro • Clay Twp • Denver Boro • Earl Twp • East Cocalico Twp • Ephrata Twp • New Holland Boro •