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The area that is now Mechanicsburg was first settled in 1730 by a group of German Palatines under the leadership of Captain Jacob Stover. The settlement was named after John Harris, Jr., son-in-law to William Penn and founder of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In 1755 during the French and Indian War Fort Augusta (later renamed Fort Granville) was built on top of a hill overlooking both the Susquehanna River and Mill Creek as part of an effort to protect settlers from Native American attacks. Mechanicsburg is located at 40°40′1″N 76°53′2″W / 40.66389°N 76.