Susquehanna Township is located adjacent to the City of Harrisburg in Dauphin
County. The name Susquehanna is probably derived from a tribe of Indians known as
Prior to June 4, 1785, what is now Dauphin County was part of Lancaster County.
After the legislature created Dauphin County it was basically divided into three
Townships: Upper Paxtang, Middle Paxtang and Lower Paxtang. The spelling
"Paxtang" is from the original Indian name "Peshtank,"
which meant "standing water." Today we use the word Paxton instead of
Susquehanna Township was formed on May 1, 1815, and was created out of
"Lower Paxtang Township," which would embrace the areas now
known as Lower Swatara, Swatara, Lower Paxton, Derry and Susquehanna Townships.
The first settlement in what is now know as Susquehanna Township was the
section called Estherton, which was laid out by a Dr. John Cox, Jr. of
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on October 2, 1757, and was first called
"Coxestown." It was subsequently renamed Estherton in honor of his
wife Esther. Historically, Estherton should be remembered as the second oldest
town in Dauphin County, preceded only by Middletown.
Estherton served as a supply base for the armed forces during the French and
Indian War. The second settlement is what is now known as Rockville, which was
settled in 1774 by a Mr. Roberts, and was first known as "Brushy Rock."
Roberts Valley could be assumed to have been named after Mr. Roberts. The only
settlement in the eastern portion of the Township mentioned in the 1815 period
was Progress, by which name it is known today.
Due to annexations by the City of Harrisburg in 1951 the Supervisors petitioned
the Dauphin County Court to become a First Class Township, in place of a Second
Class Township. This petition was acted upon by the Court and on January 2, 1952
Susquehanna became the second First Class Township in Dauphin County. The
population is 24,036 with an area of 17.3 square miles. The housing is 8,656 and
the Township roads total 126.0 miles. The Township has 35 employees and is
serviced by 3 volunteer fire companies and 40 Police Officers.