In the fall and winter of 1844 - '45 John G. Hewes laid out the village now known as Palo Alto. The land was formerly the property of Benjamin Richards and William H. Warden, of Philadelphia. It extends along the base of the Sharp Mountain on the south side, and the Schuylkill River, on the north, for a distance of about two miles.
During the Mexican War, one of the important battles was won by General Zachary Taylor over the Mexican General Mariano Arista, at Palo Alto in the disputed territory between the Neueces and Rio Grande Rivers. Hence it seemed only fitting that the new town should be named Palo Alto. The name means Tall Mountains, and as the Sharp Mountains rose' behind the town, the name was doubly appropriate.
In 1854 the borough was incorporated and Walter S. Chilson was elected first chief burgess, and William M. Stillwagon, the first secretary. At the time of its incorporation, an extensive rolling mill was established by William Harris, near the present site of the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company building. Later, in 1863, Benjamin Haywood, who had become the owner, built another and the two were combined and known as the Palo Alto Rolling Mills. He operated them until his death in 1879, with no other purpose than the benevolent one of giving employment to men.
Palo Alto grew rapidly and soon became a busy industrial community. The impetus which contributed to its rapid growth was the fact that at the time of its founding it was the northern terminus of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad and the Schuylkill Navigation Canal.
History book is available by calling (570) 622-8666 and leaving a message. Price is $10.00