banner search whats new site index home

Hatfield Township


Hatfield Township Administration Building, 1950 School Rd, Hatfield, PA 19440; 215-855-0900.

The township is served by the North Penn School District.

A Brief History [1]

[Hatfield Township] ... is located on the line of Bucks County, and adjoins Montgomery on the east, Towamencin on the southwest, Franconia on the northwest and the borough of Lansdale on the south. It is three and three- quarters miles long and three miles wide, with an area of eleven square miles, or seven thousand and forty acres. The area was reduced by the incorporation of Lansdale as a borough, in 1872, a considerable portion of the borough being taken from this township. The township is located on what is sometimes called the "divide," or highest point between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. Streams of water rising and flowing in and through this township empty into both rivers. The head-waters of the Neshaminy rise in this township, also of the Skippack, or rather the tributaries of that stream. The surface is rolling, and has an easy drainage into the creeks named; the prevailing soil is red clay, with surface loam, the productive character of which has been greatly improved by the enterprising farmers within the last quarter of a century.

The name of this township is thought by Wm. J. Buck to have been derived from a town and parish in Hertfordshire. He also says that a John Hatfield resided in Norriton Township as early as 1734; there are circumstances that point to the possible derivation of the name from a family long known to have been residents of the county. The following places of business were among the assessed property for 1785: two grist-mills, one saw-mill, one tannery; there was one hotel licensed in the township for the same year.

We are unable to state the date when the township was decreed by the Court of Quart Sessions of Philadelphia County. It did not exist prior to 1741, and was known to exist at the close of the Revolution, as it appears that damages were assessed to Jacob Reed, forty-five pounds, and Isaac Wisler, twenty-five pounds, both of Hatfield, resulting from incursions of the enemy; this country was open to the foraging-parties of Lord Howe while wintering his army in Philadelphia, in 1777-78, and the scattered farmers doubtless suffered more or less loss in consequence. John Fries, of "Fries' Rebellion" notoriety, was born in this township about 1750. Fries removed to Bucks County and entered the military service with the patriots. He resisted the "House and Window Tax Law," and subsequently, by his contempt for the authorities authorized to collect it, made himself so obnoxious that he was arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to be hung, April, 1799. The event was of great local interest at the time, and by the interposition of kind and influential friends, he was pardoned by President John Adams. Mr. Fries died about 1820.

The villages in the townships are Line Lexington, situated on the county line, and partly in Bucks County; Hatfield, Colmar, Hockertown.

The North Pennsylvania Railroad passes in an almost direct line through the centre of this township, in a northwestern direction. The Doylestown Branch of the same railroad, leaving Lansdale, passes through the northeast portion of the township, with a station at Colmar. These public improvements have been of great advantage to the inhabitants and land-owners, affording improved facilities for the transportation of farm products, and also convenient depots for the shipment of hay, feed, lime, manure, lumber and all those commodities dealt in by an enterprising agricultural community. The township is well provided with public highways intersecting every part of it, all of which are kept in good order, with substantial bridges over the streams crossing them.

  1. Bean, Theodor W., ed., History of Montgomery County Pennsylvania, Illustrated, 1884, Everts & Peck, Philadelphia
Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. • Privacy
Copyright © 1997-2014 • The Gombach Group • www.gombach.com • 10334