The Borough of Throop has a fascinating history. First attempts to have Throop cut off from Dickson City Borough and made into a separate subdivision failed. A petition circulated in 1888 and intended to be presented in court asking that what was then called the village of Throop be made a borough, was pigeonholed so Benjamin H. Throop, after whom the Borough was named, declared on request by W.R. Storrs, general manager of the coal department of the DL&W Railroad Co.
In April 1893, the grand jury recommended that the petition for a borough be granted. Judge R.W. Archbald, the following November, set the report aside. A new petition signed by all but eight residents of the village and section was presented to court within a few months and on April 16, 1894, court confirmed the report of the grand jury and handed down a decree of incorporation.
Citizens of the new borough staged a big celebration the following day in honor of the occasion of the severance of bonds of union which connected them with the apron strings of Dickson City for the past quarter of a century.
Dr. Throop, after whom the borough was named had come into the county in the fall of 1840. He located first in the Providence section, later moved into the central part of the city. He became an active figure in the community. Sensing that a big city was destined to arise on what was then only an experimental iron mill and mining town, he early began to invest in real estate.
He developed the Hyde Park section, selling off big tracts west of Main Avenue. He bought land with coal rights in Dickson City and Throop at little cost. One farm of 58 acres in Dickson City was purchased by him for $65.00 an acre. During the period of the Civil War he was land poor and it is even said he enlisted as a surgeon to take advantage of the moratorium granted to men in the service and that way retained his holding which eventually made him immensely rich. Dr. Throop was the founder of the Lackawanna, now the State Hospital, and the author of “Half a Century in Scranton”, a book of reminiscences.
Mining had been the principal industry of Throop. It is understood that the first anthracite mined in Lackawanna County was taken from the old Anderson farm in Throop by William Wurts in 1814. In Hollister’s history, it is related that Wurts bought or secured land, including the region where Carbondale and Archbald are located, with a portion intervening; and and a small section in Providence on the Anderson farm above Cobb’s gap, where in 1814 he opened the seven and nine foot veins of coal to obtain specimens for exhibition in Philadelphia, New York and other sections of the country.
This coal was carried to Dunmore and thence to Jones’ Creek near the headwaters of the Paupack to be floated to the Lackawaxen and the Delaware and thence to Philadelphia. In another part of the Hollister’s referring to the floating of coal in arks it is mentioned being eight or nine miles only from the coal mines opened in Providence, this creek from its convenient proximity was selected as one of ample capacity, after removal of ordinary obstructions to carry light rafts and a small quantity of anthracite down the Paupack.
On May 1, following incorporation of the borough, a special election was held and the following elected: Burgess, John Sykes; Councilmen, John H. Law, Thomas Monahan, John E. Evans, William Collier, Owen McCormick and Luke Kelly; school directors, C.D. Sanderson, H.W. Bellman, John B. Walker, John Lavin, John Brown and Edward McNealis.
When incorporated Throop had a population of 1,639. There were originally 277 registered voters. Dr. Throop in his account of the formation of the borough says at the time of incorporation there were 266 dwellings, nine hotels, eight stores, two storehouses, two churches, one graded school, with four teachers and a small one-room school, a butcher shop and a colliery, the later the Pancoast.
Throop was made a post office in 1882 with C.D. Sanderson as postmaster. The Throop Hose Co. 1, named in honor of Dr. George S. Throop, son of the founder of the borough, was organized April 26, 1894. The Borough Building was completed in 1895. The site was donated by Price, Pancoast and Dr. Throop. Eli K. Price and Dr. Pancoast were Philadelphians asssociated with Dr. Throop in his land ventures in West Scranton, Dickson City and Throop.
Throop, on the morning of April 7, 1911, was the scene of the most appaling mine disaster in the history of the northern anthracite coal fields. A fire which originated in the engine room of one of the main gangways of the Pancoast mine suffocated 72 mine workers employed in that section of the mine. Joseph Evans of the government rescue force also lost his life attempting to penetrate into the part of the mine where the workers were trapped behind a wall of fire and smoke. All the bodies were recovered. A relief fund of $70,000 was subscribed by the people of the Valley. This fund, administered by the Anthracity Trust Company of Scranton, made it possible for the families of many of the victims to remain together and not become charges of the community.
Throop has a mixed population, principally of Irish, German, English, Poles and Magyar. In the very early times people of the borough went to Dickson City, Olyphant or Dunmore to worship. Magyar Catholics erected a church in 1894. This is now known as St. Mary’s. St. Anthony’s Polish Catholic Church was established in 1911. The Methodist Church was established in 1892 and St. Bridget’s Church, attended by English speaking Catholics, was built in 1910.