The History of West Chester, Pennsylvania

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West Chester, Pennsylvania’s beginnings can be considered to start back in the year 1762, when the first tavern was built in the area. From the tavern, a population grew up, and in 1799 the borough officially became incorporated.

The borough continued to grow as, in 1832, one of the country’s earliest railway tracks was built in the area. It also saw the construction of a unique courthouse, which was eventually finished, after much conflict, in 1847.

West Chester has a lot of interesting history. The very first biography of Abraham Lincoln was published there, and, during World War II, the borough produced more penicillin than anywhere else in the united states – which is quite an achievement.

During the 18th century, Native Americans camped in the area, and there have been eight campsites discovered there. The land was deeded to William Penn in 1701, and the Haines family produced a tract of land not long after, which encompassed a portion of what is now the borough. The initial settlement grew to include four farms, but it wasn’t until Eachus built his tavern that things started to grow. The tavern served as a sort of crossroads, and from there the borough started to thrive. The Battle of Brandywine has fought just a few miles away from the inn. At the time, the inn was called the Turks Head, and the village around it was called Turk’s Head Village. The schoolhouse in the village served as a hospital for injured Colonial soldiers.  The schoolhouse is now the headquarters for a West Chester PA painting firm in Chester County.

In 1784, the Pennsylvania General Assembly authorized the construction of a new prison and courthouse in the village. John Harper, a saloonkeeper from Chester, was unhappy with this news and with the splitting of Delaware County from Chester. He led a militia to the courthouse, with the intent of destroying it before construction could be completed. The militia had a cannon, whiskey, and muskets, and they were ready to fight, but they met resistance, and in 1986, the courthouse officially opened and became Chester County’s seat of justice. In 1791, the post office officially opened and not long after this, Hannum renamed Turk’s Head to West Chester. As of the 1800 census, the population of West Chester was 374.

The marketplace was made in 1802, but it did not see much use until several years later. The first foot pavements were made in 1809, but again they took a long time to become widespread. By 1830, the population had grown to 1244.

The railroad that was completed in 1832 helped to speed up trips between West Chester, Malvern, and Philadelphia, and in 1858, a second railroad was completed, taking goods to Media.

In 1903, the Hoopes Brothers and Darlington both incorporated and they sold shares to investors. They were, at the time, the third largest manufacturers of wheels in the whole world. When automobiles became popular, they decided to add automobile wheels to their catalogs.

For more info on our West Chester company, please visit our website.

West Chester Painting

Sharp Stream Power Washing & Painting
26 S. Church Street
West Chester, PA 19382