The borough of Yorkana grew up around Kauffelt’s Tavern, which was one of the earliest businesses in what would become Lower Windsor Township. The Kauffelt’s were an important family in the early development of the Yorkana area. A young [Johan] Michael Kauffelt (b. 17 48] used his carpentry skills to help build the first Canadochly log church. There are records of tavern licenses issued to Michael Kauffelt as early as 1780 (and probably even earlier). The following year, his younger brother [Johan] Jacob Kauffelt [b. 1749] took over the tavern, and would eventually pass the business on to his son, Johann Michael (b. 1770). In 1781 Michael Kauffelt was a Captain in the local militia and was in charge of mustering all the eligible men in Windsor Township. Kauffelt’s Tavern was an early important landmark on the Great Road that ran between Dritt’s ferry (at Long Level) and the York. According to Gibson (1886) Kauffelt’s Store was the place for the annual muster and battalion parade of militia days. These parades, like all other militia parades, were enjoyed by large and motley crowds, more intent on frolic and roystering than improvement in military discipline. had been a center of interest and importance in the township for more than a century.
In the early 1800’s, two men, one named Miller and other Jacobs, each decided to start a town here and bought tracts of land, laid out their “towns” and offered the lots for sale by lottery (a very common method of land speculation in the early 19th century). One place was called Millerstown and the other Jacobstown. In October 1818, the Harrisburg Republican advertised fourteen lots in Jacobstown and forty lots and ten lots in Millerstown for sale by lottery. Miller sold more lots and the name Millersville came to be associated with this cluster of homes. The area grew and prospered.
In 1873, Joseph B. Budding (who was born in Wrightsville, but lived with his uncles Levi & George Kauffelt in Yorkana since he was 5) rented a room in his uncle’s Store (Jacob Kauffelt) in Yorkana (the former Kauffelt’s Tavern) to start a mercantile and cigar business. Within a very short period of time his cigar business was booming and he had 10 people working for him and they made over 6 million cigars annually. By 1875 Joseph bought the store from Jacob and formed the business J. B. Budding & Bro. and ran Budding’s Store with his younger brother Jacob. In January 1876 Joseph Budding was appointed Post Master and opened the post office in the general store. His brother Jacob K. was assistant postmaster, However~ by the late 1870’s the name was changed from Millersville to Y or kana in large part because mail addressed to Millersville, York Co, was ending up across the river in Millersville in Lancaster County (which was larger and had a post office since 1820 and since 1859 had been the home of the Millersville State Normal School). The name Y or kana was recommended by Dr. J. W. Barcroft, a wealthy local landowner.
In 1892 Jacob K. Budding was appointed as Post Master in Yorkana. The post Office was operated out of Budding’s General Store until the post office was closed at the end of March 1909.
An 1894 Directory of York has the following description of Budding’s Store:
J. K. Budding – General Store and postmaster
The premises occupied are conveniently arranged, being handsomely fitted in ash and oak finish. The display of goods is large and selected with great care, embracing dry goods and notions, dress goods and trimmings, Parisian goods of suiting and cashmere, silks and satins, clothing, hats and caps. The boot and shoe department being one of the leading features, and having all grades from the heavy brogan to that of the tiniest ladies’ boot. The grocery department being another fine feature, fine table luxuries, canned and bottled goods, choice teas and coffees, unadulterated spices, smoked and dried meats, fruits and vegetables, queensware, wood and willow ware, agate, glass ware and lamp goods, and hollow ware, full line of shelf and heavy hardware. Goods are bought direct from reliable factors and sold at lowest market prices.
Other businesses in Yorkana at this time include:
Alexander Dietz -tobacco dealer
Mr. Dietz established his warehouse 2 years ago. His warehouse being some 30 x 50 feet, two stories in height, and at all times may be found a heavy stock. Buying in large lots, and paying highest cash price. Mr. Dietz is a broker in leaf tobacco and closely watching the state of the market, is ready ay any time to offer bargains in both buying and selling.
H. C. Leiphart – Cigar Manufacturer and Plumber
Having been established for 8 years and employing 15 people, they can make up 8,000 cigars a day, making any desired grade; using the best domestic stock as well as pure Havana leaf and Sumatra stock. Mr. Leiphart is also a dealer in leaf tobacco, as well as agent for the Aeromoter Windmill.
R. F. Strickler– Cigar Manufacturer
Established in busi.’1ess 34 years, his premises are large and he employs 50 people making a specialty of first class domestic cigars, greatly improving its flavor by a thorough curing. The shapes of his cigars, being of the most popular, are put up in attractive boxes. The factory when working at full capacity produces 13,000 cigars a day. Mr. Strickler has an agent in Boston, where he finds a ready sale for his goods.
J. W. Horn – Cigar Manufacturer
He has been established in business for 14 years and employs 30 people, and they make 8,000 cigars a day. Mr. Horn is also a heavy dealer and packer of leaf tobacco.
Amos Hengst was listed as a merchant in 1877
R. A. Paules – merchant- 1877 (could this be Delroy)
Peter Poff – General Store – 1892
The 1876 atlas of York County shows Yorkana as a busy community with Kauffelt’s Store, the Tannery (Beard’s Tannery), a Black smith & Wagon maker, a Shoe Store, the Evangelical Church, a School, and numerous residences. The tannery was first started about 1800 by Daniel Hengst, who sold it to Frederick Burg. It was eventually sold to Joseph Beard, and in 1836 his son John E. Beard established the business and ran it for the next 40 years. The bark used in the tanning process was obtained from the chestnut-oaks in the nearby woods.
Starting in the 1870’s farming and cigar manufacturing where the major businesses. Boyd’s Directory of York County for 1883-84 lists the following farmers in the Yorkana area:
- John W. Barcroft
- J. W. Barcroft, Jr.
- Gerard C. Brown
- Jesse Brown
- Joseph Cook
- Adam Crumbling
- Daniel Daron (?)
- Alexander Dietz
- David Dietz
- Henry Dietz
- Joseph Dietz
- Andrew Ferree
- Henry Fauth
- John Fauth
- Charles Fry
- Christian K. Fry
- Henry F. Gable
- Jacob E. Geesey
- Daniel L. Gehly
- O. P. Gilbert
- John Haines
- George Heim
- John Heindle
- John Kauffman
- W. H. Kauffman
- Jas. Keller
- Joseph Keller
- Amos Leiberknecht
- David. Leiberknecht
- Samuel H. Leibhart
- S. R. Leiphart
- Albert Miller
- George Miller
- Henry T. Miller
- Abraham Mundis
- Milton Myers
- William Schlagg
- William Sechrist
- Samuel Scherer
- John Tschopp
- Isaiah Winters
Two room school in Yorkana
2 cemeteries: Yorkana Malphailgha
The boro was incorporated in 1912. Early council members were E. W. Leik, George Foreman, J.D. Ferree, Grant Strickler, and E. J. Libhart. T. D. Mergenthaler was the first Borough President in 1913; the secretary was J. B. Anstine. In 1914 J. K. Leber was Chief Burgess. In 1923 electricity was brought to residents of Yorkana. Main Street was paved in 1928. In 1956 a garbage tax of $3.50 per household was levied to the borough.
By 1912 the community is spread out along the Mt. Pisgah Rd.