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Hatboro Borough

Borough municipal offices are located at 414 South York Road, Hatboro PA 19040. Hatboro is part of the Hatboro-Horsham School District.

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Hatboro Borough was incorporated in 1871 on 1.5 square miles of land taken from what was then Moreland Township. The area was settle as early as 1715.

The Borough Municipal Offices are located in the circa 1811 building known as the "Loller Academy." The structure was entered onto the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. A decade later, the building was renovated to be used as the home of boro government.

About Hatboro (written by William Buck, circa 1884) [1]

This borough was incorporated August 26, 1871, and contains an area of about six hundred acres, taken wholly from Moreland township. Its extreme length from north to south is one and a half miles; greatest breadth, three-fourths of a mile; and extends on the Bucks County line nearly half said distance. The main part of the town is situated along the Old York Road, which is now called York Avenue, opened through from Philadelphia to the present Centre Bridge in the fall of 1711. The Hatboro and Warminster turnpike was completed in 1850, and extends from the Willow Grove to the Street road, a distance of four and a half miles. This improvement is laid on the bed of the old York road, which extends through the whole length of the borough, dividing it very nearly into two equal portions. The Northeast Pennsylvania Railroad is a branch of the North Pennsylvania road, and commences at Abington Station and extends to Hartsville, a distance of nearly ten miles. It was commenced in 1872 and opened for travel December 18th of that year to the county line, and in 1875 extended to Hartsville, its present terminus. The Hatboro Station is six and four-fifths miles from Abington, three from Hartsville and sixteen from Philadelphia. Fulmer Station, near its southern extremity, is also within the borough limits. Five passenger trains pass through here daily to Philadelphia.

The place is progressing, and now contains: two hotels; two drug; one boot and shoe; one hardware; one jewelry and clothing; two confectionery; one furniture and; three general stores.

There are, besides: two carriage manufactories; two blacksmith-shops; one wheelwright; two tin-shops; two bakers; one machine-shop; two merchant flour-mills; one livery stable; one lumber; two coal-yards.

According to the census of 1880 contained five hundred and eighty-six inhabitants. The assessment for 1883 returned two hundred and twenty-four taxables and four hundred and sixteen thousand eight hundred and ninety-five dollars as the amount of taxable property. The means for education have not been neglected and in this respect it has enjoyed unusual advantage, for a long time. The library was founded in 1755, and now Contains over ten thousand volumes and has one hundred and forty-six members. The academy was built in 1811-12 from the proceeds of a bequest from Judge Loller. The public schools are held in this building, and for the year ending June 1, 1882, had an average attendance of seventy-nine pupils for ten months. Tho post-office now possesses two daily communications with Philadelphia. The national bank was established here shortly after the incorporation of the borough, with a capital of sixty thousand dollars. Its present officers, are Hon. I. N. Evans, president, Justice Mitchell, vice-president, James Vanhorn, cashier. Three public halls are in the place. Loller Lodge of Independent Order of Odd-Fellows own a three-story stone building, in which they hold their meetings, which was erected in 1851 and dedicated October 9th of said year. The W. K. Bray Lodge of Masons meet in Jones' Hall. The Patriotic Sons of America also possess an organization.

The name of the place is said to be derived from one of the first stone houses built here, which was about 1703, and in which, shortly after, John Dawson followed for many years, his occupation of making hats. This building likewise became a tavern, and had for its sign a crooked billet, suggested by a popular inn then kept in Water street, Philadelphia. It stood near the centre of the present town, on the old York road, where is now the dwelling-house of Oliver Watson, and into which, on being, modernized, its portion was incorporated. We know from records that John Dawson was still residing here in 1734 on a lot of three acres, and that a Daniel Dawson at that time owned four acres. The earliest mention of the name we have found is on Lewis Evans' map of Pennsylvania and the adjoining provinces, published in 1749 where it is called "Hatboro," precisely as it is now written. In an advertisement in Franklin's "Pennsylvania Gazette" of October 12, 1752, it was mentioned as the "Crooked Billet." The library records in 1755 call it "Hatborough," and the meetings are mentioned as being held at the house of "David Reese, at ye Crooked Billet." Our next authority in the order of time is Nicholas Scull's map of Pennsylvania, published in 1759, on which it is "Billet;" the same also on William Scull's map of 1770. Washington, in his letter to Congress from this vicinity, dated August 10, 1777 mentions therein the "Billet tavern." General Lacy, in his correspondence of 1778, calls the place "Crooked Billet," as also Majors Simcoe and Steadman, who were British officers in the skirmish here. Reading Howell, in his township map of 1792, calls it "Hatborough," and also Joseph Scott in his "Gazetteer" of 1795. Now, carefully considering these several authorities, we come to the conclusion that the proper name of the place or village from the beginning was Hatboro, and by the Billet or Crooked Billet was more particularly meant the tavern that had here this sign, which conclusion is sustained by the library records, and Washington's correspondence.

A road was laid out from Byberry to Horsham in 1720 and passes through the central part of Hatboro. That portion east of York Avenue has been called Byberry Avenue, and that extending westward Moreland Avenue. The county line road, leading from the present toll-gate to Graeme Park, was laid out in 1722. As the York road was opened through here still earlier, it would denote that some settlement in and around here must then have been made. David Reese, whom we know kept the tavern here in 1759, had a daughter, Rebecca, married to John Hart, Warminster. Jacob Tomkins kept a store in 1761; the following year the library was removed to his house, and for sometime he performed the duties of librarian, secretary, and treasurer. In 1776 he was taxed for fifty-six acres, which would indicate that he also carried on farming. In the fall of 1786, William Todd purchased Tomkins' share in the library, when it is probable he removed from the neighborhood. Abraham Duffield, in 1784, kept a public-house in the lower part of the village, to which the library was soon after removed, and where it remained for some time. John J. Marple became the proprietor of this inn and kept it at least from 1814 to 1825. He was postmaster in 1816. This office is stated to have been established here about chiefly through the exertions of the Hon. N. B. Boileau. In an advertisement of Mr. Marple's property, in 1825, it is described as containing "a large two-story house, sixty by forty feet," two barns and sixty-one acres of land. In 1813 the polling places of Moreland and Horsham were removed here from Abington, and continued until after 1828. These were at the stand now known as Jones' Hotel.

  1. Bean, Theodor W., ed., History of Montgomery County Pennsylvania, Illustrated, 1884, Everts & Peck, Philadelphia
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