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Bucks County Pennsylvania




Photo:
Historic Home on Brownsburg Road, Upper Makefield Township

The Bucks County Courthouse is located at 55 East Court St., Doylestown PA 18901; phone: 215-348-6000.

Beginnings

One of the three original counties created by William Penn in November 1682. Bucks is named for Buckinghamshire in England, where the Penns had lived for generations. Doylestown replaced Newtown as the county seat in 1812 and was incorporated as a borough on April 16, 1838. It was named for William Doyle, an innkeeper.

Most original settlers were Quakers, and William Penn's estate was at Pennsbury Manor. During the religious Great Awakening the log college at Neshaminy educated clergymen. In 1776-1777, Washington used Newtown and Keiths as bases for his Trenton and Princeton campaigns, crossing the Delaware River on Christmas at McConkey's Ferry and in 1778 his army camped at Doylestown.

Bristol was the first county seat, succeeded by Newtown and then Doylestown. Fries' Rebellion occurred in 1798 in opposition to a federal tax on windows. Bucks has a long tradition of high quality farming, including selling seeds used across the nation. Dairying became strong toward the end of the nineteenth century. Wealthy estates have acquired much of the farming area; less than 20 percent of the land is currently farmland. Textiles, pottery, and decorative tile making flourished. The U. S. Steel Company built a plant after World War II, and then the population increased sharply. Many found homes in the new housing complex of Levittown. Explorer Zebulon Pike, writer Pearl Buck, and War of 1812 general Jacob Brown were all from Bucks. There were Underground Railroad stations in four towns. – Pennsylvania State Archives

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