York Town Square

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P.H. Glatfelter I to George Glatfelter II: 5 generations of Spring Grove papermakers

The Spring Grove, Pa., Glatfelter paper plant is shown in this drawing. The company, soon to celebrate its 150th anniversary, has grown from one plant in York County to an international papermaker. CEO George Glatfelter, descendant of the company’s founder P.H. Glatfelter, will retire at the end of 2010. Also of interest: A leading York County name: ‘Keeping it in family is the Glatfelter way’ and Private, public interests built Lake Marburg for manufacturing, recreation and P.H. Glatfelter and S. Morgan Smith head list of York County industrial movers and shakers.

George H. Glatfelter II, a fifth generation of the papermaker’s founding family, was feted recently with a York County Chamber of Commerce award at a large gathering at the Valencia.
“During his tenure as CEO and chairman, Mr. Glatfelter led a transformation of the company from a traditional U.S.-based paper manufacturer to a global enterprise focused upon the production of highly specialized papers and advanced fiber-based products serving growing global market niches,” the chamber said in a statement.
Past award recipients include former local Congressman Bill Goodling and George M. Leader, a former Pennsylvania governor and York County native.
Highlights from the papermaker’s past:

Scenes from Spring Grove’s Glatfelter paper plant.
1864 — P.H. Glatfelter I begins operation of Spring Forge paper mill, producing 1,500 pounds of newsprint daily.
1882 — Spring Forge town incorporated as Borough of Spring Grove.
1907 — Glatfelter I dies after 43 years heading the company he founded.

— Company embarks on $40 million expansion plan.
1973 — Employees become members of United Paperworkers International Union.
1998 — The paper maker announces the election of George Glatfelter II, great-great-grandson of the company’s founder, as president and chief executive. He assumes those titles from Thomas C. Norris, the first non-Glatfelter to head the company. Glatfelter II is the fifth generation of his family to head the company.
1999 — The company moves its corporate headquarters to downtown York, 96 S. George St.
2001 — P.H. Glatfelter Co. and Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group settle a 1999 lawsuit concerning the company’s use of the Codorus Creek. The company will fund a $2 million endowment for environmental improvements. The company also will reduce the color of its wastewater by April 2004 by implementing $32 million in upgrades.
2006 — Glatfelter says it will double its work force and annual revenues with the $80 million acquisition of the carbonless and specialty papers business of NewPage Corp. in Dayton, Ohio. The company then announces it has acquired Manchester, England-based J.R. Crompton’s Lydney Mill in Gloucestershire for $65.1 million and says it has agreed to buy the same company’s Simpson Clough Mill in Lancashire for $21.7 million.
2010 — Glatfelter II’s retirement will mean no family members will be active in the business.
Also of interest:
How did Glatfelters get involved in Spring Grove papermaking?
Worker saved key historical surveys from Glatfelter pulping machine.
Fourth-generation member of Glatfelter paper family dies.
Glatfelter, Farquhar, Shipley: Insights from local greats.
Samuel Small tops York, Pa. community contributor list.
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Timeline sources: “Paper, People, Progress: The story of the P.H. Glatfelter Company,” by Mark Lipper; and York Daily Record archives