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The city of Williamsport, Pennsylvania is the seat of Lycoming County. It was laid out in 1795. In 1806, it was incorporated as a borough, and in 1866 as a city. It was founded by William Hepburn and Michael Ross. Ross came from Scotland to Philadelphia with his mother when he was a young teen, and they both became indentured servants to Samuel Wallis, who was known as “the Land King.” Wallis had young Michael trained as a surveyor’s assistant, and eventually Wallis gave him 109 acres of land as well as a letter of recommendation. Michael Ross became a successful farmer and surveyor, and bought nearly 300 more acres of land with his profits. He called the land “Virginia.” Hepburn immigrated from County Donegal, Ireland in 1774 and joined the local militia early on. During the American Revolution, he helped to defend the valley from both Indian and Loyalist attacks. He rose to Colonel and was the commanding officer at Fort Muncy, which was Samuel Wallis’s fortified home. He bought 300 acres of land just west of Michael Ross’s land, and he called his land “Deer Park.” Eventually, the two parcels were combined and became Williamsport. During the 19th century, Williamsport produced 350 million board feet of lumber a day during peak production, a record in the lumber industry, and in 1882, the national newspaper “Grit” was first published in Williamsport, and in 1939, it was home of Little League Baseball, and the first Little League Baseball game was played on a sandlot in town.

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