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Warminster Township

Warminster Township municipal offices are located at 401 Gibson Ave Warminster, PA 18974; phone: 215-43-5414.

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The land today known as Warminster Township was first occupied by the Turtle Tribe of the Lenni Lenape Native American nation. On July 23, 1683, William Penn purchased from the Lenni Lenapes the land "...lying between the Pennepack and Neshomamic Creeks and all upon the Neshomamic creeks and backward, of the same, and to run two days journey with a horse into the country." Warminster Township was in this area. By 1684, most of the land was parceled out to Dutch and English settlers who had begun to arrive in the area. The name Warminster appears in records dating from 1685 but the Township was officially established in 1711.

Agriculture was the economic base of Warminster and the adjoining areas for 250 years. Most of the roads in the area led to Philadelphia and are more than 200 years old. Roads were used to send food supplies to Philadelphia, as its population continue to grow and its need for food increased.

Education and religious activity seem to have been important to the settlers, as a Friends meeting was held in 1868 and was soon followed by congregations of Baptists, Dutch Reformed, and Presbyterians. The settlers founded many privately owned schools, mostly church related. One of the most famous of these schools was the Log College, founded by the Reverend William Tennent, which reportedly educated the founders of Princeton University. Another famous resident of this area was John Fitch, who built and tested a model steamboat in Warminster in 1785.

Warminster is identified with the American Revolution. Washington's army passed through Warminster in 1777. The Battle of Crooked Billet started in Hatboro and ended in Warminster, with many local citizens taking part in the war.

In 1878, the railroad came to neighboring Southampton, resulting in a period of growth in the area. Improvements in transportation and accessibility to Philadelphia allowed industry to flourish, and the early part of the twentieth century saw a period of development, although most of the area remained agrarian until after World War I.

Source: Township of Warminster

John Fitch, inventor of the steamboat, although a native of Connecticut, spent a number of years in Warminster after the Revolution. Here he did his first test in a pond on land belonging to David Longstreth. While "inventing," Fitch sustained himself by repairing clocks and watches.

  1. MacReynolds, George, Place Names in Bucks County, 1942, Bucks County Historical Society, Doylestown, PA.
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