Lancaster, a city and the capital of Lancaster co., Pennsylvania, on the Conestoga river and the Pennsylvania Central railroad, in the midst of a rich agricultural region, 68 m. by rail and 60 m. in a straight line W. of Philadelphia, and 34 m. S. E. of Harrisburg; pop. in 1850, 12,369; in 1860, 17,603; in 1870, 20,233, of whom 3,375 were foreigners. The river from this point to where it enters the Susquehanna, at Safe Harbor, a distance of 19 m., was in 1826 made navigable for small craft by means of dams and locks. By this route, as well as by the railroad to Columbia, 12 m. distant, great quantities of coal and lumber are brought to Lancaster, the trade in these articles forming a considerable portion of the business of the place. The principal part of the town is elevated nearly 100 ft. above the Conestoga, from which the city is supplied with water, which is raised by machinery to two large reservoirs. The streets are generally straight, well paved, and lighted with gas, and cross one another at right angles; the two principal ones, King and Queen, intersect in a wide central plaza, which is generally crowded on market days. In a bend of the river in the S. part of the city is Woodward Hill cemetery, a large and picturesque ground.
Most of the city is substantially built of brick, many of the houses, particularly those erected recently, being elegant and commodious. Among the public buildings, one of the most imposing is the court house, which is 160 ft. long, 70 ft. wide, two stories high, and surmounted by a dome. The county prison, a large castellated building of old red sandstone, contains 80 cells, and is kept on the solitary labor system. Its tower, 102 ft. high, is the first object which strikes the eye of a traveller approaching Lancaster. The old jail, famous as the scene of the murder of the Conestoga Indians in 1763 by the Paxton boys, was taken down in 1851, and Fulton hall, a large and elegant building, used for concerts and as a theatre, now occupies its site. A handsome monument of New Hampshire granite has recently been erected in the central square in memory of the soldiers of Lancaster co. who fell in the civil war. There are several iron founderies and blast furnaces, extensive manufactories of locomotives, rifles, carriages, axes, etc, and three national banks, with an aggregate capital of $890,000. Lancaster is divided into nine wards, and is governed by a mayor with a select council of one and a common council of three from each ward.
The valuation of property for the year ending June 1, 1873, was $4,744,000; expenditures, $91,878; debt, $369,353 96. The public schools are graded, including a boys' and a girls' high school, and are in a flourishing condition. Franklin and Marshall college was established here in 1853 by the consolidation of Franklin college, which had existed for many years as a high school, with Marshall college, which was transferred from Mercersburg. It is under the control of the German Reformed church, and has a collegiate and a preparatory course. In 1873-'4 it had 11 professors (4 in the preparatory department), 84 collegiate and 64 preparatory students, and libraries containing 12,000 volumes. The buildings, which stand on a commanding eminence in the N. W. corner of the city, are neat and substantial. In connection with the college, but under a separate board of trustees, is a theological seminary, organized in 1825, which in 1873-'4 had 3 professors, 34 students, a library of 8,000 volumes, and an endowment of $80,000. Besides those of the college and theological seminary, there are five libraries, viz.: the Lancaster, with 2,000 volumes; Mechanics', 4,200; Athenasum, 2,000; law library association, 3,700; young men's Christian association, 2,500. Three daily and seven weekly (two German) newspapers and seven monthly (one German, and one English and German) periodicals are published, and there are 21 churches. - Lancaster was founded about 1718, and for some years was called Hickory Town. On the organization of the county in 1729, and the removal of the seat of justice from Conestoga in 1730, it took its present name.
In 1742 it was chartered as a borough, and in 1818 made a city. In 1777 congress sat here for a few days. From 1799 to 1812 it was the capital of the state, and from 1750 to 1825 was the largest inland town in the country.
Lancaster, a city and the capital of Fairfield co., Ohio, on Hocking river, the Hocking canal, and the Columbus and Hocking Valley and Cincinnati and Muskingum Valley railroads, 25 m. S. E. of Columbus; pop. in 1870, 4,725. The surrounding country is fertile, and contains many vineyards; the scenery is beautiful. The city is well built, the streets being wide and handsome, and many of the public and other buildings attractive. The court house, of stone, erected at a cost of $150,000, is one of the finest in the country. The state reform school for boys, with 400 inmates and a farm of 1,400 acres mostly devoted to fruit raising, is 6 m. from Lancaster. The principal manufactories are three of agricultural implements and machinery, one of shovels and miners' tools, a woollen mill, two flouring mills, two planing mills, two breweries, a large wine cellar, and railroad machine shops. There are two national banks, six hotels, graded public schools, including a high school, two weekly newspapers, and 11 churches.
Lancaster, a municipal borough and river port of England, capital of Lancashire, on the left bank of the Lune, on the canal from Preston to Kendal, and on the Preston, Lancaster, and Carlisle railway and a branch of the Great Northwestern, 44 m. N.' by E. of Liverpool; pop. in 1871, 17,248. It is built chiefly on the side of a hill, the summit of which is crowned by a church and castle. The older streets are narrow, but many of the houses are handsome, and there are several striking public buildings. The river is here crossed by a bridge of five arches and a magnificent aqueduct for the canal. The town hall, county lunatic asylum, baths, assembly rooms, custom house, churches, and castle are the most interesting edifices. A commodious building, formerly the theatre, contains a music hall and the museum of the natural history society. The castle is remarkable for its size and elegance, and embraces the courts, jail, penitentiary, etc. The principal manufactures are furniture, cotton, sail cloth, and cordage.
The foreign trade is mostly removed to Liverpool, but it has still considerable commerce.