York Town Square

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York’s first mayor Daniel K. Noell named one of his sons, well, ‘York’

Daniel K. Noell served as York’s first mayor. While gaffe-prone, he loved the city. Background posts: Once pulled down, York’s market sheds won’t go back up and York community leader: ‘We didn’t have equal opportunity to achieve’ and Pastors denounce first Sunday newspaper publication.

York City’s first mayor, Daniel K. Noell, was no war hero, in the mold of York borough’s first chief burgess, Henry Miller.
He was not a member of York’s ruling family in the 1800s, in the mold of Civil War-era chief burgess David Small.
And after he took over as mayor in 1887, he bumbled and fumbled.
He came under fire for his role in tearing down York’s Centre Square market sheds.
The former printer backed York’s first Sunday newspaper, whose Sabbath publication was denounced by many York-area pastors.
But Daniel K. Noell loved York, a quality the successful candidate in today’s primary election must emulate… .

On Noell’s deathbed in June 1898, he named six members of the York Police Department to serve as his pallbearers, according to York Daily Record columnist Jim Hubley.
And early in life, he named a son York Noell.
He was a man destined to be mayor of York, as Hubley wrote in a Nov. 5, 2005, column, excerpted here:

York’s first mayor, Daniel K. Noell, set the pace for future York mayors by falling and remaining in love with the city despite a somber tale of adversity and hardships which forced him to leave York.
He was born in 1820, one of seven children sired by an ailing veteran of the War of 1812.
When the father passed away, this widow was forced to take the usual procedure of “farming” out children to other persons.
Young Noell’s luck was not too great. His patron demanded much, worked him long hours during his growing stage for 12 years.
The growing Noell finally ran away and found a family which accepted him as a human and treated him kindly. More important, he had access to a huge library and educated himself by reading. He never attended a school one day in his life.
Despite that background, he managed to get a job as a school teacher, continued in the profession and eventually became superintendent of Cumberland County schools. In 1870, he retired, 40 years after leaving York, a spot he never forgot and still loved, then returned.
He lost no time getting into things in the York community, which was fighting to gain recognition from the state as a city.
Noell hopped into the fray immediately by winning a place on the York City School Board. Incidentally, he held that membership until his death on June 2, 1898.
His interest in schools was great and with good reason. He had married and with his wife raised six children.
Perhaps the greatest proof of his love for York can be found in the fact he named one of his sons York Noell.
As a Democrat, Noell entered the first contest for mayor of York following his help in making York a city. He won the primary round, then defeated his Republican rival to become York’s first mayor.
There was a delay when the time came to take his oath of office at the Vigilant Fire Hall. He became impatient of waiting, suddenly strolled to the front of the room, requested a minor official to find a Bible and swear him in. He served two three-year terms, the limit by law at that time, the first mayor of York.
Don’t forget to vote Tuesday, but don’t look for a candidate who named a son York. Just select one who did, still does, and always will love York.

Background posts: Once pulled down, York’s market sheds won’t go back up and York community leader: ‘We didn’t have equal opportunity to achieve’ and Pastors denounce first Sunday newspaper publication.
Other York Town Square posts drawing from Jim Hubley or his work:
‘We would ‘hex’ them if they ignored us’
Giving news, sports junkies their fix
Bury’s burgers: ‘That was it — no slaw, no relish, no pickles’.
‘That’s a stupid question;’ Brooksie played second base.
Butch Wynegar ranks bright among York’s sports stars.
York County, Pa.’s Cameron Mitchell agonized over career choice
Playland plays nostalgic note for York countians
Photo courtesy of York County Heritage Trust