History

Cresson was the first village in Northampton Township. It was located one & one-half miles northwest of the present Palco. During the years of 1877, several men from Pennsylvania arrived via Inion Pacific R.R. who were dubbed "The Pennsylvania Colony". They named the village after a town in Cambria County, Pennsylvania near Esbenburg, the county seat where they came from.

These men who arrived here were: Wm. McLaughlin, merchant and postmaster; David Lewis, carpenter; John Edelbute, cigar maker; Robert Edelbute; George Bugger; George Harris, widower; Jacob Harris; David Hannah; and Michael Walsh. The last names were listed as farmers. If there were others, it is not known.

The first thing on the agenda was to build homes and other essentials buildings on their homesteads. The following year, after the homes were built, these first settlers sent for their families, women and children. Others in this group were; Wm. Edelbute and family; Mary Edulbute, widow; Mary Boyer, widow; Catherine McLaughlin, widow; John Wm. Clement, shoemaker and son David, a blacksmith and two daughters, Claudia and Mary, of David Lewis who started a millerny and a dressmaking shop in Cresson.

The Post office was officially established here, February 12, 1879, with Wm. McLaughlin as the postmaster. A few months later, July 7, 1879 Northampton Township was organized. In 1885 it was divided with the north half being called Richmond.

The first school was organized in 1879, District No. 68 which was located on the Wm. P. Jones homestead. Male teachers were paid $25.00 monthly while females were paid $15.00.

In 1883, the first church in Cresson was the 7-Day Advent Church. This church was established by Lewis C. Coddington. By 1885 there were three more churches: Christian Church, Presbyterian, and Free Methodist.

According to the Atlas of 1885, the population of Cresson and surrounding areas had reached 200 inhabitants.

Rumors spread throughout Cresson in regards that a new railroad was being built by the Union Pacific Railroad Co. Rumors were that the railroad was going to bypass Cresson so the people decided to relocate where they thought the line would be constructed in the near future. They called their new town "New Cresson". By 1886 some of the business men pulled out of Cresson and moved to New Cresson. Just when the new community was steadily growing, a rude awakening happened, of which they had not expected. The railroad tracks veered off to the northwest by passing them a mile or more. As it turned out the railroad went near the previous town Cresson. Had people disregarded the rumors, there would possibly still be a Cresson.

With this latest development, it meant another move for the enterprising businessmen taking the belongings, families and even buildings to the railroad site in the fall of 1888. The new Village was named "PALCO". It was decided to use the first letters of the last names of the two railroad officials, Mr. Palmer and Mr. Cole. Thus "Pal" and "Co" resulting in "Palco".

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Created by Kim Eichman, updated August 2005

E-mail: Becky Keller:palcolib@ruraltel.net