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Middletown Township


Middletown Township municipal offices are located at 27 N. Pennell Road, Lima, PA 19037; phone: 610-565-2700.

Beginnings [1]

The name of this municipal district is believed to have been bestowed because of the position the territory was at that time thought to occupy the middle or central point of Chester County. Although the early settlers were mistaken in that respect when the name was adopted, the present township approaches very nearly the centre of Delaware County, and is one of the largest townships in the county. Ridley Creek is its eastern and Chester Creek its western boundary. Edgmont and part of Thornbury Township lie on the north and Chester Township to the south. It was probably established as a township in 1686, but it is first mentioned in 1687, when John Martin was appointed constable for Middletown.

On Oct. 11-12, 1681, three hundred acres of land were surveyed to John March, part of one thousand acres which he had purchased in England. It is not known whether he ever settled on this tract, but seventy-three acres along Chester Creek, just above Chester township line, on March 1, 1685, was conveyed to Thomas Martin, and doubtless Martin, who emigrated from Bedwin Magna, in Wiltshire, England, accompanied by his wife, Margery, and four daughters, in that year settled on that small plot of ground now belonging to Jonathan Dutton. The seventy-three acres, as also one hundred and four acres adjoining, subsequently became the property of Joseph Coburn, while that part of the March tract lying east of the Edgmont road, on Jan. 7, 1713, was purchased by Caleb Harrison. Above the March tract, and extending east and west across the township, was a plot of three hundred and fifty acres, surveyed to John Martin Dec. 10, 1682. The northern boundary of John Martin's estate was the road to Knowlton, where that highway enters the great Edgmont road, thence due east and west across the township to the creeks forming the eastern and western boundary. Knowlton is located on this tract. John Martin, who came from Edgcott, in Berkshire, England, settled on the land, and at his death, in 1719, it passed to Thomas Martin, probably his son. Above this tract, going northward along Chester Creek, three hundred and eighty acres of ground were surveyed to Richard Crosby, Nov. 20, 1685. Crosby was from Cheshire (Chestershire), England, and came to the province subsequently to 1683. The following year he was in Chester, and was appointed by the court (1684) one of the collectors to gather the levy for that township. After this tract was taken up by him he settled thereon, and in 1686 was presented by the grand jury "for keeping an unlawful fence to the great damage of John Martin, in his swine," for which ill-doing on his part Crosby was fined thirty shillings at the next court. Crosby figured considerably in the early court records. In his cups he seemed ever to run into quarrels, and if threatened the strong arm of the law he was not chary in his remarks or the expression of his opinion of the sage big-wigs who dispensed justice in the old court-house on Edgmont Street, Chester. On Nov. 29, 1703, Richard Crosby, who had then removed to Ridley, conveyed this property to Nicholas and Katherine Fairlamb. His daughter had married Fairlamb, who was a merchant in Chester.

  1. Ashmead, Henry Graham. History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: L. H. Everts&Co., 1884.
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