Saturday, June 23, 2007

History of Yoe Borough

History of Yoe

Originally called Snyderstown, Yoe Borough encompasses 136 square acres and was built upon what was once part of two farms in York Township, one belonging to Jacob Snyder, which was bought in 1815, and the other farm, which belonged to Henry Taylor.

In 1871 Aaron Snyder, a son-in-law to Jacob Snyder, moved back to the family farm which was then owned by Henry Taylor’s son Zacharia, and set up a sawmill operation, thus establishing the first business in what was to become Yoe Borough.

In 1880 Moses Snyder, a son of Aaron’s bought another tract of land from the Taylor family farm and built a house and a building which housed a store and cigar factory, thus establishing the first cigar manufacturing shop not only in the borough but also in York County. The business of cigar manufacturing not only would make the town prosper, but also the entire county would son be recognized for. Soon afterward, W.H. Taylor, a son of Zacharia’s, would begin another small cigar factory and in 1883 Jacob Taylor would take another part of the Taylor farm and divide it into 15 building lots for the use of the workers in the cigar shops and thus the settlement of Snyderstown was established.

Snyderstown began to flourish, a school was built in 1880 and the first church was built, also in 1880. More businesses were set up. The railroad established a station and the Adams Express Co. opened an office.

In 1888, the people of Snyderstown applied for a permit for a post office, but were turned down because there was already a town bearing that name in PA with a post office. So, Moses Snyder suggested the name of “Yohe” in honor of this mother and Aaron Snyder’s first wife Catherine Yohe. So as not to offend the second wife of Aaron, Moses suggested dropping the “H” out of the name, and thus the spelling of “Yoe” came to be. The settlement of Yoe continued to flourish, and on August 23rd 1893, was incorporated into a borough and thus Yoe Borough was born.

By 1900, the cigar industry gave growth to the town and according to the 1900 census 525 inhabitants lived in the borough. By 1907, there were an estimated fifty cigar factories in Yoe, giving steady employment to all the citizens of the borough and the vicinity. An estimated 100,000 cigars were being made daily in the borough and a sum of $325.00 dollars paid daily in taxes, by the owners of the numerous cigar companies, a very large sum those day’s standards. There were other businesses as well. A coal company and quarry were established in 1899, and provided foundation stones for most of the homes being built in the town and surrounding area. Two stores that did general merchandising and the Yoe Printing Co., established in 1896 which engaged in the printing of calendars, novelties, and advertising. The Yoe Water Co. was established in 1894, and there was even a hotel called the Belmont House that prospered, located in town close to M&P Railroad Station.

Today, Yoe has changed. The population has almost doubled since the 1900 census to 1022 according to the 2000 census. The cigar industry, which mad Yoe prosperous, can still be found at the House of Windsor Cigar Co., which even though situated in York Township, carries a Yoe address. The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad, which helped the businesses in the borough to flourish has since dug up their tracks and in 1979 razed their old railroad station in the center of town. The borough still maintains a combined total of 8 acres of public parks and recreation facilities, through the park and ball diamond located on High Street, and the Victor Herbert Park located off Philadelphia Street and Park Alley. The borough, though still entertaining a variety of small businesses, has changed from a industrial type of town to a residential community comprised of many single homes, apartment buildings, and townhouses, thereby still offering it’s residents a quiet place to live 100 years later….

The borough’s organization has also changed since incorporation in 1893. The borough originally started with nothing more than a Chief Burgess and a borough council consisting of seven members. Today, the council structure remains the same, but the office of Chief Burgess has been replaced by the office of the Mayor. There has also been added, since incorporation, some governmental authorities to assist in the everyday business of the borough.

A Water Authority was established in 1933 to take the place of the Yoe Water Co. This authority has since been combined with Dallastown Borough in order to form the Dallastown/Yoe Water Authority. A Planning Commission and Zoning Hearing Board was established to provide reasonable care that any new construction done in the best interest of the community, and according to all applicable state and federal laws. A Sewer Authority was established in 1972 for the proper overseeing of construction, maintenance, billing, and enforcement of the sewer system that was installed in the borough in 1973.

So you can see the rich heritage of Yoe Borough, so while in York County, stop by and pay us a visit!