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Montgomery Township


Montgomery Township Municipal Building is located at 1001 Stump Road, Montgomeryville, PA 18936 (corner of Stump and Horsham (route 463); phone: 215-393-6900.

Montgomery Township as described in 1884 [1]

Montgomery Township is regular in form, being nearly square, and is bounded on the northeast by Bucks County, southwest by Gwynedd, southeast by Horsham, and northwest by Hatfield and west by the Borough of Lansdale. Its length is about three and a half miles and width three, with an area of seven thousand one hundred and seventy acres. Its surface is elevated and slightly rolling. The soil is composed of loam and red shale, with the rock near the surface, and it consequently is not well adapted to the growth of wheat and corn. It is drained by the Wissahickon, which has its source near Montgomeryville and the west branch of Neshaminy Creek. The former stream flows south to the Schuylkill River and the latter towards the coast, and near the Horsham line propels a grist and saw mill.

The villages are Montgomeryville and Montgomery Square. There is a post office at the latter place and another, called Eureka, in the east corner, on the county line, but better known as Pleasantville. The population of the township in 1800 was 546 in 1840 it attained to 1009, and has since gradually decreased to 876 in 1880. What is remarkably strange in connection with this subject, is that its boundaries have not been lessened since its organization, like its neighbors, through borough incorporation while several railroads are almost contiguous for a distance of nearly four miles, with no less than three stations thereon in this distance. The real estate, for taxable purposes in 1883 was valued at $713,280, including the personal property $768,705, with 247 taxables, of whom 137 are reported subject to military duty. The average per head taxable is $3150, making it the ninth in order of wealth, and thus all but the equal per capita of Lower Merion, in which it is $3212. It contains three public schools, open eight months, with an average attendance of eighty-four scholars for the year ending June 1, 1882, one hundred being the reported number in 1856 in four schools for five months. One hotel and three stores are returned for 1883. The census of 1850 exhibits 163 houses, 179 families and 112 farms. In 1785, it had one inn, one saw-mill and two tanneries. Three churches are within its limits, the old Montgomery Baptist Church, organized in 1719, a Methodist Episcopal Church and a Catholic Church, built in 1876 on half an acre of ground, near the Lansdale borough line, mention of which is made in the borough. Montgomery has now decidedly the smallest population of any township in the county, the next approaching it being Marlborough, with twelve hundred and twelve inhabitants in 1880.

As a name, Montgomery has been taken from a county in North Wales. It originated from Roger de Montgomery, a Norman knight who, in 1067, was made Earl of Arundel, Sussex and Shrewsbury, and built a castle which was destroyed by the Welsh in 1095, but afterwards rebuilt by Henry III., who granted it the privileges of a borough. From this came the name of this township through its early Welsh settlers, and fully three-quarters of a century later it was applied to our present county. The earliest mention we have found of the name here is in a letter from the Rev. Evan Evans to the Bishop of London, in 1707, wherein he mentions a "Welsh settlement called Montgomery, in the county of Philadelphia, twenty miles distant from the city, where there are considerable numbers of Welsh people." From what has been stated we may justly conclude that it was called by its present name quite early and we know from the records the township was so-called in March, 1717, and may have been thus organized several years before, though the population must have been sparse.

  1. William S. Buck, Montgomery Township, in Theodore W. Bean, History of Montgomery County Pennsylvania, Illustrated, 1884, Everts & Peck, Philadelphia, 1884.

**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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