Allentown
At loci municipiis
Allentown - From City of Allentown Website

Allentown was originally named Northamptontown by its founder, Chief Justice of
Colonial Pennsylvania's Supreme Court, William Allen. Allen, also a former Mayor of
Philadelphia and successful businessman, drew up plans for the rural village in
1762. Despite its formal name, from the beginning, nearly everyone called it
"Allen's town". Allen hoped Northamptontown would turn into a commercial center
because of its location along the Lehigh River. The low water level most of the
year, however, made river trade impractical. Sometime in the early 1770s, William
Allen apparently gave the property to his son, James, who built a country home
called Trout Hall after his father's hunting and fishing lodge. Even by the time of
the American Revolution, Allentown remained little more than a small village of
Pennsylvania Dutch, more properly German, farmers and tradesmen, but continued
its development as a center of marketing for local farmers from the post
revolutionary years into the 1920s. The U.S. Census of 1810 placed it at the heart of
the largest grain producing regions in the country.

In 1838, the city officially adopted the name Allentown which was not the only
change in store for this town on the Lehigh. By the 1830s and 1840s, America's
industrial revolution, which was born in the Lehigh Valley, was entering its take-off
stage, and the arrival of the Lehigh Canal and later the railroad, opened up
Allentown in a way that would have been beyond William Allen's wildest dreams.

The 1850s and 1860s saw the rise of a strong local iron industry. The nation's
growing railroad network soaked up all the iron Allentown could produce. By the
post Civil War era, a large influx of German and Irish workers had created a
mini-Pittsburgh along the banks of the Lehigh. But all of this prosperity fell apart
with the collapse of the railroad boom in the Panic of 1873. Big and small iron
furnaces closed one by one and sent the industry into a tail-spin from which it
never recovered.

By the dawn of the 20th century, the community had fully recovered from the
economic disasters of the 19th century. Silk mills had taken over from the dying
iron trade, but they were not alone. Allentown's diverse economy produced
everything from parlor furniture to beer and cigars.

Since World War II and particularly since the 1960s, Allentown has undergone yet
another transition. Faced with the decline of manufacturing and the rise of the
service economy, the city is once again dealing with change. City officials are
currently trying to attract business to the downtown district, primarily as a way to
find new uses for existing structures. The City's infrastructure offers
state-of-the-art technology, including a fiber optic loop and uninterrupted
electrical service, which plays a role in attracting businesses to the downtown
district.
Allentown
Ward Map
Peter Rhoads ---- First Burgess of Allentown

Peter Rhoads came to town  during the first year of its existence, and built a good sized stone
residence which once stood at 107 North Seventh Street.  The residence still standing at the time of
Allentown's bicentennial, the structure was torn down sometime later to make way for a parking
lot.  A storekeeper and tailor by trade, Rhoads was also active in the emerging community having
association with the Allen's and serving their interests. During the Revolutionary War, Rhoads was
a solid supporter of the Rebel cause. In fact, in 1776 he was sent to Pennsylvania's first
Constitutional Convention. After the war period Rhoads continued to be active in the community,
serving as a Judge of the local courts in Northampton County. Then he became the President
Judge of the newly formed county court when Lehigh County was organized as a new jurisdiction.
Additionally, served as the first Burgess of the Bourough of Allentown in 1811. He died in 1814.

Peter Rhoads married Sabina Kohler November 23, 1762 and had four children that reached
maturity: George, Peter, John and Catharine ... Sabina Kohler died August 8, 1785 ... Where upon
Rhoads married a second Kohler daughther, Eva Catharine Kohler in 1789 who died in Allentown
in the Old Rhoads  homestead August 26, 1825. At first Eva Catharine Kohler married John Miller,
but he died September 18, 1788 leaving a son, Peter and a daughter, Barbara who married Leonard
Weiss.

Rhoads brother-in-law Peter Kohler, was the eldest son of Jacob Kohler Sr who was the first settler
in the vicinity of Egypt PA, probably locating there as early as 1728 0r 1730. Here Jacob Kohler
cultivated his land, clearing it of timber, year by year , until in 1768 he had 115 acres of cultivated
land, and 215 acres 0f uncultivated land. In 1755 he built the first grist-mill in the vicinity. He had
become one of the overseers of the poor in 1753, as is shown by a small scrap of paper still in
existence. Peter Kohler was born in Eqypt April 2, 1735. He assisted his father on his farm and at
the mill and in 1762 opened a hotel at Egypt to which he added a store in 1764. He continued to
conduct the mill and became one of the leading citizens of the township. At the beginning of the
Revolution he was chosen a member of the County Committee of observation. On November 8,
1777, he was appointed a commissioner to collect clothing for the American troops and December
16, 1777, he was appointed by the PA Assembly to take subscriptions for the continental loan in
the County. He was commissioned one of the justices of the County on May 29, 1779, and was
elected to the PA Assembly in 1780, 1781 and 1782. He died September 27, 1793 at the age of fifty
eight. He married Julianna Margaret Guth. John Peter Kohler, was the only child of that union to
live until maturity. Peter Kohler was a member of the Egypt Reformed congregation and was on the
building committee that erected the second church in 1785, to which he was the one of the largest
contributors, giving 29 pound stirling.
Ray O'Connell
Mayor
The Allentown City Council consists of seven members.

Darryl Hendricks (D) - President
Julio Guridy  (D) - Vice President
Candice Affa (D)
Ce Ce Gerlach (D)
Cynthia Mota (D)
Josh Siegel (D)
Ed Zucal (D)
Jeff Glazier
Controller
Allentown
School District
At loci municipiis
Schools of the Allentown School District

William Allen High School
Louis E. Dieruff High School
Building 21 Allentown
Francis D. Raub Middle School
Harrison-Morton Middle School
South Mountain Middle School
Trexler Middle School
Central Elementary School (1925)
Cleveland Elementary School (1955) ***
Hiram Dodd Elementary School (1956)
Jefferson Elementary School (1910)
Lehigh Parkway Elementary School (1949)
Luis A. Ramos Elementary School (2010)
McKinley Elementary School (1886) ***
Mosser Elementary School (1917)
Muhlenberg Elementary School (1928)
Ritter Elementary School (1925)
Roosevelt Elementary School (1910)
Sheridan Elementary School (1870, new building
1985)
Union Terrace Elementary School (1955)
Washington Elementary School (1884, new
building 1981)
Lincoln Early Childhood Center (1900, new
building 1960)
Newcomer Academy (1947, re-purposed, 2011)
Allentown School District Virtual Academy (2014)


Public charter schools

Allentown School Board must approve and
supervise local public charter schools which
operate within its attendance area. The Board
has approved several charter schools including:
Roberto Clemente Charter School and Lincoln
Leadership Academy Charter School (approved
2012, renewed 2012). In the fall of 2013, several
entities applied to the Board for approval to
operate charter schools in the Allentown School
District, including: Executive Education Academy
Charter School, Arts Academy Elementary
Charter School, Computer Aid Inc. Learning
Academy Charter School and LVenture Charter
School.

In Pennsylvania students may also choose to
attend a public, cyber charter school. These
cyber charter schools are supervised by the
Pennsylvania Department of Education and are
open to all students in the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania

Alternative Programs for Disruptive Youth:
Grades 6-12

Middle School AEDY Programs at William Penn
Building

High School AEDY Programs at William Penn
Building

VISTA I
VISTA II
Board of School
Directors

Sara J. Brace
President

Audrey Mathison
Vice-President

Lisa A. Conover
Phoebe D. Harris
Cheryl L. Johnson-Watts
Nicholas Miller
Charles F. Thiel
Linda Vega
Nancy Wilt
Thomas Parker
Superintendant of
Schools
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