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Newtown Township


Newtown Township municipal offices are located at 209 Bishop Hollow Road, Newtown Square, PA 19703; phone 610-356-0200.

Beginnings [1]

From its extreme western corner to its extreme southern point, Newtown is bordered by Crum Creek, which separates it from Upper Providence and Edgmont townships in Delaware county, and from Willistown township, Chester county. From its western to its northern point, Newtown borders Chester county; from north to east, Radnor township, and from the eastern to the southern corner, Marple forms the boundary line. Darby Creek flows across the northern part of the township from west to east.

The first mention of Newtown as a municipal district was at the court held in January, 1685, when Thomas Norbury and John Humphrey were appointed collectors of the "Levie for the cort house and Prison, for ye Township of Newtowne." At the December court, 1686, Thomas Norbury was appointed constable. Newtown was largely settled by Welshmen, and the township was laid out with a "townstead" in the centre. Lots in the village were distributed among the purchasers of land in the township according to the number of acres bought by each settler. The following is the list of taxables in 1715: Daniel Williamson, Reece Howell, William Bevan, David Thomas, William Phillips, Thomas Reece, John Reece, junior, Lewis Reece, Lewis Lewis, Evan Lewis, William Lewis, John Reece, John Fawkes, Morgan James, Lawrence Pierce, Daniel Williamson, John Williamson, James Price, John Meredith, Edward Thomas, William Thomas. Freemen: — John Goodwin, Adam Treheall.

During the Revolution, Newtown was visited by British foraging parties and much loss incurred thereby. Many of the losers being Friends, no demand was made on the Assembly for compensation by them; other claims, however, to the amount of £86 were presented, but there is no record of their having ever been paid.

On Hunter's Run, in Newtown township, and extending to the Marple line, was a tract of 170 acres owned by Matthias Aspden, who was declared an attainted traitor to the colony by act of March 6, 1778, unless he surrendered himself and submitted to a legal trial for "such his treason." Aspden was one of the wealthy merchants of Philadelphia, fled to England, and the tract in Newtown was seized by the authorities, later being sold to Edward Bartholomew, to whom the state issued letters patent. In April, 1786, Aspden was pardoned by the state, and much of his property returned to him. His will subsequently gave rise to the most extensive litigation ever had under the Confiscation Acts. The claimants numbered over two hundred. The decision, as finally rendered by Judge Grier, awarded an estate of over $500,000, his decision being affirmed by the United States Supreme Court. The principal village in the township is Newtown Square, so named at the establishment of a post office there in 1820. The population now is about 300. Another post office in the township is Wyola. In the eastern part of the township, extending from Newtown Square to the Radnor line is the tract upon which the Pennsylvania Hospital was erected, maintained by the state. At the extreme northern point of the township, old historic St. David's Church is located, the second oldest church edifice in Delaware county. In 1910 the population of Newtown township was 739.

  1. Jordan, John W., LL.D., A History of Delaware County Pennsylvania and It's People, Volume I, 1914, Lewis Historical Publishing, New York
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