THE "Society Lands," comprising nine thousand acres in
central Bucks county (a large portion of which was included in
this township), were surveyed to the Free Society of Traders as
part of their extensive grant from Penn in 1682. The trustees of
that corporation disposed of this land in l726, when that
portion in Warwick, or south of Court street, Doylestown, was
purchased by Jeremiah Langhorne. A considerable tract adjoining
this on the north and west was secured by Joseph Kirkbride, and
thus, in 1726, the site of the town and a large portion of the
township came into possession of these two individuals. This was
a fortunate circumstance in the settlement of the region.
Although the "Society Lands" presented advantages equal to those
of Buckingham valley, the southern part of Warwick, or the
western part of New Britain, they were not open to purchase from
the original owners, and the latter made no attempt to carry out
their plans regarding the "Manor of Franks." The extensive and
fertile area that formed this broad domain seems to have marked
the limit of colonization. But with the dissolution of the
Society and the transfer of its lands to others this obstacle
was removed. It was the obvious intention of Langhorne and
Kirkbride to open the region to settlement, and the first actual
settlers made their appearance during the ten years immediately
following the time of their purchase. Among this number were the
following: Charles Stewart, a Scotchman and a gentleman of
culture, who subsequently became a captain in the French and
Indian war; Benjamin Snodgrass, an emigrant from Ireland, whose
whole family perished on the voyage, except one daughter; James
Meredith, the father of Dr. Hugh Meredith, who removed from
Chester county to Castle valley; Walter Shewell, from
Gloucestershire, England, the founder of Painswick Hall, still
the homestead of his descendants; Edward and William Doyle, the
former of whom purchased land from Kirkbride in 1730, and the
latter emigrated from the north of Ireland five years later.
These persons all arrived prior to 1735. David Thomas, William
Wells, John Marks, Thomas Adams, Thomas Morris, Hugh Edmund,
Clement Doyle, William Beal, Joseph Burges, Nathaniel West,
William Dungan, Solomon McLean, and David Eaton were residents
in 1745. At his death in 1742, Langhorne willed to two of his
negroes, Joe and Cudjoe, a life-interest in certain lands
included in that part of the borough south of Court street and
east of Main.
The principal inducement with the earliest settlers in
locating here was the low price at which lands were for sale as
compared with what was asked for improved tracts nearer the
river or the city of Philadelphia. It is scarcely possible that
any one of them would have predicted the removal of the
county-seat, which occurred three-quarters of a century later,
but long before the possible existence of a town in the midst of
their settlement dawned upon the minds of the most sanguine, the
present site of Doylestown became an objective point, easily
accessible from all directions by two of the much-frequented
highways of the period— the Easton and Swedes’ Ford roads. The
former was opened from Philadelphia to Round Meadows (Willow
Grove), thence to the governor’s residence in Horsham, and
thence, upon petition of inhabitants of Plumstead, it was
extended to Dyer’s mill in 1723. That part of the road from
Coryell’s ferry (New Hope) to Norristown, between the York road
and Simon Butler’s mill (Chalfont), was opened in 1730. These
highways cross as Main and State streets of the borough, and to
the advantages thus conferred the existence and present
importance of the town are directly traceable.
Fifty years after the purchase of 1720, Joseph Kirkbride,
Edward and William Doyle, Joseph and Samuel Flack, William and
Robert Scott owned the site of the town and much of the land
adjacent. The Doyles were the oldest and possibly the only
residents. William opened an inn in 1745, and at that time there
was no other public house within a radius of five miles. He
continued this pioneer hostelry for thirty years, and during all
this period it had no other name than Doyle’s tavern. The
proprietor removed to Plumstead at some time between 1774 and
1776, and from that time to this the family has not been
represented in this community. But the name was already stamped
indelibly upon the locality.*
The site of Doyle’s inn was in Warwick township, probably at
the intersection of Main and State streets. Of subsequent public
houses there have been quite a number. Lenape building occupies
the ground upon which a tavern stood in 1773 and for more than a
hundred years after that. Joseph and Samuel Flack were the
proprietors from 1773 to 1791. The Fountain house was kept as an
inn by Charles Stewart in 1780. Enoch Harvey became proprietor
in 1800. The old mansion house (opposite) was first licensed in
1813. The Clearspring hotel was known as "Bucks County Farmer"
in 1812, and kept by Joseph Overbach in 1815. The Monument house
was known for many years as the Court inn. The Ross mansion,
probably the oldest house in the town at present, was kept as a
hotel in 1812, and known as the "Indian Queen."
Private residences at the beginning of this century were few
and far between. Main street was lined with woods from Broad to
the Cross Keys, and southward from Ashland, Court street, and
the farms east of the village were also heavily timbered. There
was a log school-house on Main below Ashland; a frame building
upon the Lenape lot and another nearly opposite, the residence
of Dr. Meredith; the old stone house of E.M. Armstrong; the
dwelling of the village blacksmith, Mr. Fell, now incorporated
in the Ross mansion; the house of George Stewart, where the
Intelligencer building stands, the frame building removed about
ten years ago by N.C. James, and the predecessor of the Ross
stable. Upon a map supposed to have been prepared in 1810 there
are indicated the locations of twenty houses, viz., Enoch
Harvey, two, his hotel and house adjoining; Shewell, Hugh
Meredith, and Asher Miner, on the west side of Main street
between State and Broad; Seruch Titus lived in the Lyman house,
and worked at his trade as a saddler in a shop that stood in Dr.
James’s yard; S. Wigton lived nearly opposite; H. Robinson and
Elijah Russell across the road from the "Clear Spring" hotel;
Morris where Lenape hall stands, and another of the same name a
little farther down Main street; Magill en the other side of the
street; Daniel and Jonathan McIntosh, who came from Winchester,
Virginia, in 1800, lived where the house of Mrs. Harriet Smith
stands; Josiah Y. Shaw came down from Plumstead in 1808, and
built the house opposite; along the north side of State street
appear the names of G. Hall, about where the spoke-works are
located; Meredith, between Main and Pine, I. hall between Pine
and Broad, U. DuBois at the corner of Broad, and J. Wigton
further on. The academy building completes the number. At the
time when the court-house was built (1813), there were but one
or two buildings from the angle of Main and Court streets to the
borough limits on the latter. The rate of growth at that period
is shown by the fact that only one house, and that of logs, was
built on the east side of Court between Main and the academy in
the next eighteen years. The stone house of Mrs. A.J. Larue, at
Broad and Main, was built by Septimus Evans.
The year 1813, or rather the event in county affairs which
signalized it, the removal of the seat of justice from Newtown
to Doylestown, gave to the latter its individual character among
the towns of Bucks, and also the impetus that has resulted in
its social and political influence.** There was at that time a
population of about two hundred. The most distinguishing feature
of the place was Asher Miner’s newspaper, the "Pennsylvania
Correspondent," established in 1804. The literary prestige thus
gained has never been relinquished, and Doylestown journals rank
with the foremost of the country papers in this state. With the
erection of the court-house there was an immediate accession of
people of wealth and culture. The legal and medical professions
have been represented here by some of their ablest members in
this part of the state. In the literary, religious, and social
activity of the town, and the general interest manifested in
educational matters, there is every reason to believe that its
distinguishing characteristic will continue to be the
intelligence and culture of its people.
The inhabitants of the new county town were not slow to
appreciate the importance which this dignity conferred, and also
to experience the serious disadvantages of being situated as
they were upon the extreme portions of two different townships;
for Court street was then the boundary between Warwick and New
Britain. The local supervisors were remiss in their attentions
to the public roads that formed the streets of the village, and
although in its incipiency people did not realize the
inconvenience of this absence of the power to regulate their own
affairs as they must have done at a later period, it was,
nevertheless, apparent that the growing importance of the place
warranted such changes as would render it a separate and
distinct political division. Accordingly, at the September term,
1817, a petition from a number of public-spirited citizens of
the vicinity was presented to the court of quarter sessions,
stating "that they reside on tile extremity of the townships of
Buckingham, Warwick, New Britain, and Plumstead, and that it
would be to the interest and advantage of the said petitioners
to have a new township laid off from the said townships, making
the court-house the center thereof or as nearly so as may be
convenient." William Long, Samuel Abernathy, and John Ruckman,
commissioners appointed to lay off the proposed territory,
submitted their report December 3, 1817, and produced a draft of
the township in question with boundaries nearly identical with
those subsequently adopted, except that the Street road in
Buckingham and Plumstead was made the eastern limit. This report
was not confirmed, for the reason that the draft did not show
the shape of the original townships as affected by the change
suggested, nor were there any landmarks, natural or artificial,
in explanation of the many different courses described. The
matter was not allowed to lapse, however; anti at the August
term, 1818, a new commission, consisting of Thomas G. Kennedy,
Thomas Yardley, and Thomas Story, was appointed to consider the
propriety of granting the petition first presented eleven months
before. Their report was "confirmed nisi," November 30, 1818;
and, after the usual delays for argument and appeal, "confirmed
absolutely" March 4, 1819. Plumstead territory was entirely
excluded, and the area otherwise reduced from that proposed in
the first instance. Five thousand three hundred and fifty acres
were taken from New Britain, one thousand one hundred and
eighty-five from Buckingham, and three thousand five hundred and
fifteen from Warwick. And thus, in the year 1819, after a
persistent agitation of nearly two years on the part of those
favorable to the project, the township of Doylestown was
erected. The map of Bucks county has not been materially changed
since that time. The formation of a new subdivision by uniting
the contiguous portions of older organized territory was a
procedure without precedent in the previous history of the
Township organization was beneficial in many ways, but the
growth of the village was thought by public-spirited citizens to
justify a further concentration of political powers. A second
period of nineteen years from the beginning of the century
elapsed before the agitation on this subject was brought to a
favorable issue. Legislative action was secured in 1838,
providing for the incorporation of Doylestown as a borough and
its government as such, upon the acceptance of the provisions of
the act by popular vote. Thursday, May 17, 1838, the election
was held, and the charter was adopted by the practically
unanimous vote of fifty-four to four; and on the following
Monday, Nay 21, the first election for officers under the new
régime was held at the public house of William Field. The
results on this and subsequent occasions of a similar character
appear at the close of this chapter. The chief executive
officers are a chief burgess, assistant burgess, and high
constable, all of whom are elected annually. The legislative
powers are vested in a common council, the members of which,
nine in number, were also elected every year until 1867, when
the act of incorporation was so amended as to make the time of
service three years.
Among the first official acts of the council was "an
ordinance naming the streets," of which twelve were then
recognized, viz., Main, Green, York, State, East, West, Court,
Church, Broad, Pine, Mechanic, and Garden alley. Main and State
streets were the oldest; Broad was opened in 1811; and Pine—
from State to Main— prior to 1812; Broad was extended from Court
to State in 1818. The last end of this street is worse than the
first; after passing through surroundings indicative of a high
order of development in education, finance, and jurisprudence,
it descends to the valley below, where it is known by the less
dignified name of "Dutch lane." In like manner Main street
became "Germany." Of later streets, Clinton, Center, Franklin,
Decatur, Union, and Pine, with Lacey, Linden, and Afton avenues,
were recognized by council in 1870; Church, Pine, North, Stover,
Cottage, and Cemetery avenues in 1871; Donaldson and Hamilton in
1872; Lafayette and Washington are beyond the borough limits,
which have never been extended, but comprise the same area as in
1838 (about four hundred and fifty acres), and there is yet
considerable territory not occupied by buildings. The increase
in the population is shown from the following statistics: The
number of inhabitants in 1840 was nine hundred and six; in 1850,
one thousand and two; in 1860, one thousand four hundred and
sixteen; in 1870, one thousand six hundred and one; in 1880, two
thousand and seventy.
No public enterprise reflects greater credit upon the
citizens of Doylestown than its system of waterworks, first
projected about the year 1849. The property then owned by
Sandham Stewart in its numerous springs and water-power
presented advantages not to be found elsewhere in the vicinity.
Lest the opportunity of securing it for the borough might be
lost, Messrs. Samuel Hart, W.T. Rogers, Lewis Apple, Elijah
Lewis, George Hart, and R. Thornton purchased the Stewart estate
from his administrators on their own responsibility with the
view of transferring it to the town. At their request, the
burgesses called a public meeting to consider the matter, and on
the evening of the last day of the year of 1850 a general town
meeting was held at which Samuel Keichleine presided. The
representative of the purchasers informed the meeting that the
entire property had been secured for six thousand dollars; that
that part of it which included the springs, mill-site, and
valuable franchises would be disposed of for about half that
sum, and that any other arrangement which might be suggested
would be considered. The chairman appointed a committee of
fifteen, viz: George Lear, H.J. Taylor, C.E. Wright, Joseph
Harvey, C.E. DuBois, C.H. Mann, Samuel Green, W.L. Hendrie, J.C.
Mangle, A.D. Bennett, James Gilkyson, S.J. Paxson, Edward Fox,
Josiah hart, and William Carr, to collect information and
formulate a plan for waterworks. January 15, 1851, they
presented a report containing all the information necessary in
forming an intelligent conclusion regarding the proposed new
departure. The cost of the works was estimated at nine thousand
five hundred dollars; and it was recommended that the borough
purchase the property in question and undertake the work rather
than an incorporated company. Messrs. W.T. Rogers, George Lear,
Josiah Hart, James Gilkyson, H.J. Taylor, S.J. Paxson, and J.S.
Brower were constituted a committee to make further inquiry into
the ways and means of constructing the works, the expense likely
to be incurred, and the comparative advantages to the citizens
in placing the enterprise in the hands of a company or under the
supervision of the borough. After some further discussion, the
question was apparently settled at a special election on Friday,
March 21, 1851, when, by a vote of one hundred and nine to
fifty-seven, it was decided that the borough authorities should
undertake the work. The purchase of the mill property was
concluded June 17 following, the administrator of the Stewart
estate also transferring to the borough certain rights and
privileges in certain lands not included in the purchase.
Arrangements were also made with the trustees of the cemetery
for a lot of ground as a location for the reservoir, the
construction of which was begun. At this point further
operations were summarily suspended. A new council representing
tile element of opposition was elected in 1852. Men learned in
the law expressed grave doubts as to the right of the borough to
acquire property, the right of the cemetery trustees to dispose
of land, the right of any individual or corporation to take
water from the creek to the disadvantage of riparian owners
farther down its course; and whether right or wrong, the work
was stopped and not resumed for nearly twenty years, during all
of which time Doylestown enjoyed the distinction of being the
only municipality in the world which owned and operated a
grist-mill. Committees were regularly appointed to superintend
its affairs; and in the almost utter absence of other subjects
for local legislation, the seemingly ill-advised action in
acquiring the property assumed a fruitful topic of discussion
which sometimes attained the dignity of a local "campaign
issue." Through all these years the unfinished reservoir on the
cemetery hill was a continual reminder of what might have been;
and, to the more sanguine, an earnest of what was yet to be. In
March, 1867, an act was passed by the legislature conferring
upon the borough the authority to construct and maintain
water-works at the public expense, and to issue bonds as
security to an amount not exceeding thirty-five thousand
dollars. The question again became a matter of public interest,
and those who favored the project, finding themselves a majority
of the common council in 1869, began to consider measures for
the completion of the work begun in 1851. May 6, 1869, a loan of
twenty-five thousand dollars for ten years at six per cent. was
authorized. William E. Morris, a civil engineer, was employed to
prepare plans, estimates, and specifications. It had no sooner
become apparent that the council was energetically prosecuting
the enterprise than the reactionary elements of the community
again manifested strong opposition. Several public meetings were
held in the court-house, and the action of council was condemned
in unmeasured terms. In an assembly of this character, June 16,
1869, the council attended in a body. W.W.H. Davis, J.L. DuBois,
and William E. Morris spoke in explanation of the plans of the
council. The details became better understood and the advantages
more fully appreciated, and from this time hostility gradually
subsided. There were still those who went so far as to question
the constitutionality of the act of 1867, and others who feared
that legal complications might result from the use of so much of
the water from the creek as would result in damage to mills of
riparian owners. The last-named objection was disposed of in a
summary manner. Counsel for a mill-owner at "The Turk" having
filed application for a temporary injunction restraining the
borough authorities from further excavations, Honorable Henry
Chapman, president judge, after giving the case an extended
hearing, dismissed it with this significant expression, "De
minimis lex non curat." The work was continued with such energy
that September 21, 1869, it had so nearly reached completion as
to permit a trial of the Worthington pumps for the first time.
Not long afterward, water was introduced into private houses,
John L. DuBois and W.W.H. Davis being the first to receive it.
The mains have been extended at various times, and now reach
every part of the town. A Holly automatic pump has been
introduced, and greatly increases the efficiency of the system.
The necessity of a fire department is effectually obviated; and
although none is in existence, insurance underwriters have
expressed the opinion that there is no town of equal size in the
state so adequately protected. The enterprise has proven a
financial success. Rates are much lower than in towns of the
same population where valuable franchises have been placed under
control of private corporations, and a sum of money is annually
applied to liquidate the indebtedness incurred in the
construction and equipment of the works.
Gas was introduced in 1858, and a movement to supersede it by
electric light is now under consideration.
Travelling facilities have done much to advance the interests
of Doylestown. On the 29th day of April, 1792, John Nicholaus
established a stage line from Easton to Philadelphia by way of
Doylestown, which, under successive proprietors, was continued
until 1854, when the Belvidere railroad was opened. During this
time there were a number of lines established from this place to
the city. Staging finally ceased in 1856, when the North
Pennsylvania railroad was opened, October 9th of that year. It
is much to be regretted that the Doylestown branch was not
extended to New Hope; but, considering things as they exist, no
one would deny that the facilities for travel thus afforded have
proven a decided advantage. Business and manufacturing interests
have not been advanced to any extent, however. The railroad
permits easy access to the great stores of Philadelphia, without
any compensating advantages to local trade. The usual lines of
business are well represented, Main street being the principal
thoroughfare. Prominent among its attractions is the Lenape
building, erected in 1874—75 by the Doylestown Improvement
Company. It comprises on the first floor a market-house, the
post-office, and a number of store-rooms; on the second are
found the public library and club-rooms, besides a public hall,
well equipped with stage fixtures and a seating capacity for six
hundred persons; and on the third the three bodies of Odd
Fellows here represented meet regularly in a commodious and
well-furnished apartment. This building, in point of size,
appointments, and appearance, is unequalled by any other of a
similar character in the county. Of moneyed institutions, the
Doylestown National Bank, the private bank of J. Hart & Co., and
the Bucks County Trust Company render the county-seat a
financial center of growing importance. Prior to the year 1832
there was neither bank nor banking-house in the town, the
disadvantage of which was seriously felt by the business portion
of the community. The initial effort in obviating this
inconvenience was taken November 26th of that year, when a
meeting of citizens favorable to the project was held at the
public house of David Weirman. An organization was effected with
a board of directors, consisting of Abraham Chapman, John
Roberts, E.T. McDowell, Timothy Smith, Samuel Yardley, Christian
Clemens, Samuel Kachline, Benjamin Hough, Elias Ely, William
Stokes, John P. Neely, Mahlon K. Yardley, and John Blackfan. It
was also decided that the capital stock should be sixty thousand
dollars. The board organized with Abraham Chapman president, and
at its second meeting, December 3, 1832, elected Daniel Byrnes
cashier. The property of Mary Shaw on State street was rented
for business purposes, and there the bank was opened. It enjoyed
the confidence of the community from the beginning, and has been
successful throughout its long career. In view of the large
increase of business within the first few months, it was thought
advisable to secure a more eligible building and location, and
at a meeting of the board of directors, February 20, 1833, this
matter was favorably considered. The purchase of the present
site from Stephen Brock and the estate of Enoch Harvey was
consummated March 6, 1833. May 22d following Samuel Kachline
entered into a contract for the erection of a new banking-house.
On the first day of January, 1834, the board of directors dined
in the recently completed building. Its occupation for business
purposes was deferred until February 22d, the one hundred and
second anniversary of Washington’s birth, possibly in deference
to the patriotic feelings of those concerned. This structure was
remodelled in 1870, and as thus enlarged has been called the
best constructed building, architecturally, in the town. The
management has experienced some changes, although comparatively
few have marked its history for more than half a century. In
November, 1847, after an incumbency of fifteen years, Abraham
Chapman resigned his position as president, and Charles E.
DuBois was elected his successor. Upon the death of the latter,
Honorable George Lear was elected president, March 22, 1865, and
continued in that office until his death, in May, 1884, when
Henry Lear succeeded him. He is the present incumbent. Daniel
Byrnes, the first cashier, resigned December 8, 1847. Josiah
Hart was his immediate successor. John J. Brock, the present
cashier, was elected November 10, 1857. The capital is one
hundred and five thousand dollars; surplus, one hundred thousand
About the year 1855, Josiah Hart, George Hart, Richard
Watson, William M. Large, and Jonas Fretz formed a
co-partnership for the transaction of private banking business
under the name and style of J. Hart & Co., by which the house is
still known. Messrs. Watson, Large, and Fretz withdrew in 1862,
and George Hart in 1875, when Josiah and John Hart succeeded to
the business. The former died in 1885, and as at present
constituted the members of the firm are John and Frank Hart.
The Bucks County Trust Company has existed as a corporation
since February 23, 1886. Its original and present organization
is constituted as follows:
president, Richard Watson; vice-president, John S. Williams;
treasurer, T.O. Atkinson; directors, Richard Watson, J.K.
Miller, Louis H. James, George Ross, J. Monroe Shellenberger,
Hugh B. Eastburn, Robert M. Yardley, Samuel Steckel, James B.
Doyle, Aaron Fretz, Joseph S. Atkinson, Philip H. Fretz, John S.
Williams, B.F. Gilkeson, Joseph Thomas. The authorized capital
is two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. This corporation
insures persons interested in real estate from loss by reason of
defective titles, and acts as agent in the purchase and transfer
of property of all kinds, the settlement of estates, and the
execution of trusts of every description. The advantages of thus
transacting a business of this character are the complete
security afforded by the capital stock, the permanency of the
corporation, and its enlarged facilities. The operations of the
company so far have been eminently satisfactory. Its business is
transacted in a building owned by the company at the corner of
Broad and Court streets. No precaution has been spared to render
the vault absolutely impregnable. A solid granite wall, thirty
inches thick, forms its exterior, while the vault proper
consists of a heavy metal lining. The door is of massive
proportions, and is secured by a system of locks, complex,
ingenious, and intricate. The general aspect of the building and
its appointments is such as to impress confidence in the methods
of the corporation of which it is the visible exponent.
Manufactures have never developed beyond the limits of local
consumption. Of those at present in operation the most extensive
are the agricultural implement and repair shops of Daniel
Hulshizer, established in 1848—49 by the present proprietor and
Christopher F. Melic, who were then conducting a similar
business at New Village, New Jersey, thirty miles distant.
During the first year this was merely a branch office for the
sale of their products. Mr. Hulshizer removed to Doylestown in
1849, and brought with him such machinery as was necessary to
perform the finishing of woodwork, while iron castings and
shafting for the implements they made were hauled by wagon from
New Village. This arrangement continued for five years, when,
having established a larger trade at Doylestown, Mr. Huishizer
returned to New Village, leaving his interests here in the hands
of Messrs. Martin & Wetherill. He returned in 1866, and in the
following year built the large and commodious factory now
occupied. The main building is eighty-three by thirty-six feet,
three stories high. An addition was erected in 1882, thus
enlarging the facilities fully one-half. Twenty-five men are
employed. Different persons have been associated with Mr.
Hulshizer at various times, but he is now sole proprietor. and
has witnessed the growth of a prosperous industry from a
comparatively small beginning.
The East Pennsylvania Spoke and Bending Works, Worstall &
Carl proprietors, were established in 1858 by Samuel Green at
their present location, Court and State streets, in a stone
building erected in 1851 and used as a carriage-shop. The
business was successively conducted by Coheen & Evans, Coheen &
Jarrett, M.P. Jarrett, M.P. Jarrett & Co., and the present
management, which assumed control in 1886. The product is used
in the manufacture of carriages. The sash and planing mills of
Louis J. Buckman & Co., Wallace Dungan’s hide and tallow
factory, with other establishments of lesser note, complete the
industrial representation of the town. Considering the fact that
Doylestown is but the terminal point of a branch railroad, the
prospect of further growth in this respect is not promising.
Until within recent years there does not appear to have been a
disposition favorable to manufacturing enterprises. In January,
1887, the borough council passed a resolution exempting, under
certain conditions, the plant of factories from taxation for a
term of years. If other circumstances were equally favorable,
there might be a change in the condition of affairs in this
respect. This action of the council is the first encouragement
capital has yet received, and indicates more than might be
inferred from direct results.
A full complement of secret societies is represented.
Doylestown Lodge, No. 245, F. & A. M., was constituted August
27, 1850. Original officers:
John W. Fry, W.M., Josiah Rich, S.W., Caleb E. Wright, J.W.,
Stephen Brock, T., William Carr, S., John S. Bryan, S.D., Jonas
Ott, J.D., John McIntosh, Tyler. The hall owned by this body was
purchased in 1857, and after undergoing extensive alterations,
dedicated to masonry on Thursday, October 28, 1858.
Doylestown Lodge, No. 94, I.O.O.F., was granted a charter
March 11, 1844 which became defaced to such an extent that it
was surrendered, and in lieu of this the present charter was
issued January 22, 1847, to David H. Goucher, N.G., R. Thornton,
V.G., John G. Michener, S., William Limeburner, T. Present
membership, about one hundred.
Doylestown Encampment, No. 35, I.O.O.F., was instituted June
22, 1846, with John G. Michener, C.P., C.E. Wright, H.P., R.
Thornton, S.W., Hiram Lukens, J.W., Samuel Darragh, S., Joseph
Young, T., E.K. Sherer, and John White, with others,
Aquetong Lodge, No. 193, I.O.O.F., was instituted June 30,
1846, with George H. Michener, N.G., William Keichleine, V.G.,
Isaac Lippincott, S., John G. Michener, T. The three bodies last
named meet in a commodious and well-furnished apartment in the
Doylestown Council, No. 166, O.U.A.M., was organized
September 2, 1868, with the following members and officers: T.N.
Myers, C., Joseph A. Martin, V.C., A.W. Heany, R.S., David
Firman, A.S., James H. Clark, F. S., T.P. Harvey, Treas., Lewis
Heller, H.S. Siegenfuss, William Fluck, E.R. J. Ughworth,
William Lightcap, John P. Kinney, Wilson D. James, A.C. Large,
D.S. Williams, A.B. Rickerd, O.H. Smith. Present membership,
Excelsior Grand Lodge, No. 379, P.H., was organized November
10, 1874, with twenty-nine members, of whom Samuel S. Fries was
secretary and James M. Cathers treasurer. Its charter was
granted March 10, 1575. The present membership is eighteen.
General Robert L. Bodine Post, No. 306, G.A.R., organized
January 23, 1883, with the following members: Charles A. Cuffel,
Richard Watson, Thomas B. Miller, Jacob Clemens, F.
Swartzlander, Samuel Silvey, Joseph S. Hawk, Mills Williams,
John Townsend, John Hargrave, Isaiah I. Sellers, J.T. Atkinson,
Robert Conrad, James Gilkyson, C.H. Magill, Andrew Conrad,
D.W.C. Callender, C.K. Frankenfield, Evan Stower, James M.
Fulton, James Garis, Lewis K. Bryan, Samuel L. Ely, William T.
Radcliffe, John Flack, Patrick Harford, James Bissey, Rudolf
George T. Harvey Camp, No. 164, S. of V., was mustered
December 13, 1886, with the following members: John Yardley, K.
Ochersperger, Howard J. Fries, Frank Livezey, Kirk Atler, Nelson
V. Naylor, Charles Mcintyre, Frank B. Atler, J. Harrison Wilson,
C.H. Kolbe, Jr., George Watson, Charles M. Williams, William A.
Franklin Lodge, No. 44, O.S. of P., was instituted September
6, 1886, with twenty-three members, viz., J.M. Schellenberger,
Henry S. Murfit, John R. Bigell, Edward Carl, Thaddeus Boeck,
Evan J. Morris, Fred. Constantine, F.F. Bechlin, Lycurgus Bryan,
Gilbert R. Fisher, Ernest Werner, George Schroth, Samuel Z.
Freed, J.M, Meglathery, Lewis K. Bryan, E. Edwin Scheetz, John
Yardley, Frank Livezey, M.B. Dill, George Peelser, William Sell,
J. Evan Zorns, Warner Worstall. This was the first lodge of the
order outside of Philadelphia.
Sciota Tribe, No. 214, Imp. O.R.M., organized December 10,
1886, with fifty-eight members, of whom the following were
elected officers: Andrew F. Bertles. C.S.; Thomas H. Walton, P.;
Joseph H. Wilson, S.S; Edwin Smith, J.S.; William Lightcap, K.
of W.; George Skelton, C. of R. The present membership is
St. Tammany Castle, No. 173, K.G.E., was instituted April 25,
1887, with Frank Zorns, P.C. Irvin N. James, N.C.; Charles H.
Heist, V.C.; J. Wilmot Harvey, H.P.; Harvey Scheetz, V.H.; M. of
R., John D. James; C. of E., Frank Stover K. of E., William
The German Aid Society of Doylestown was organized in June,
1866, with Fred. Constantine, president; George Kraft,
vice-president; Dominic Bauman, secretary; John Bauer,
treasurer: and three other members. This number increased to
thirteen the second year, fifteen the third, and twenty-one the
fourth. Its membership at present is sixty-five. The society was
incorporated May 3, 1867. It is of a purely beneficial
The Doylestown Maennerchor was organized July 1, 1884. The
officers at that time were Edward Carl, president; Augustus
Zeigler, leader; George W. Schrooth, vice-president; F.F.
Bechlin, secretary, and Charles L. Zeigler, treasurer. The
membership of fourteen at that time has since increased to
fifty-eight. The purpose in view at first was solely social and
musical culture. A beneficial feature was added November 1,
1885. The society was incorporated March 14, 1887.
The Doylestown Library Company was incorporated March 31,
1856, upon petition of the following persons: S.M. Andrews,
George Hart, W.W. Grier, Henry T. Darlington, Enos Prizer,
Richard Watson, M. Yardley, C.E. DuBois, George Lear, Edwin
Fretz, John S. Brown, James Gilkyson, Henry Chapman. John S.
Brown, the editor of the "Intelligencer" at that time, was first
treasurer. John B. Pugh succeeded him in 1864, and Elias Carver
in the next year. The affairs of the company are managed by a
board of directors, three in number: Henry Lear, Alfred
Paschall, and Thomas W. Goucher constitute the present board
(1886). The library was opened in an apartment in the old
court-house in 1856. It was then removed to a room in Honorable
Richard Watson’s residence, and, since 1875, has occupied a room
in the Lenape building. The number of volumes is about three
The educational interests of the borough are well sustained.
Four distinct efforts have been made to establish schools of
advanced standing, the earliest of which resulted in the
Doylestown academy, the building for which was erected in 1804,
and is still standing at the corner of Broad and Court streets.
The necessary funds were provided principally by subscriptions,
although a lottery scheme was projected, and sanctioned by the
legislature in 1805, for the purpose of realizing three thousand
dollars. Sixteen thousand tickets were to be sold, of which four
thousand six hundred and thirty-five were to draw prizes. The
lottery was conducted by seven commissioners, Andrew Dunlap,
Christian Clemens, John Hough, Thomas Stewart, Hugh Meredith,
Nathaniel Shewell, and Josiah Y. Shaw, with Shaw and Asher Miner
agents. The income from this source was still insufficient, and
for several years an annual appropriation was received from the
state. The first principal was the Reverend Uriah DuBois, who
was also pastor of the Presbyterian congregation at Deep Run.
After his death, in 1821, there was not a regular succession of
teachers. Ebenezer Smith had charge of the classical department
from 1821 to 1828. Reverend Samuel Aaron, one of the most
eloquent public speakers in the state, and Silas M. Andrews,
D.D., subsequently conducted the school. The building is now
used for public school purposes. The second educational
enterprise was Ingham Female Seminary, incorporated by the
legislature in 1838, and sustained for several years by state
appropriations. C. Soule Carter was principal, but after his
departure the institution collapsed. This occurred in 1843.
Eventually, the building and grounds, at the corner of Broad and
Mechanic streets, became the site of Linden Female seminary,
founded under a charter from the county court in 1872. It grew
out of a school for girls opened by Reverend L.C. Sheip in the
spring of 1870, in Masonic Hall. The principals were Henry A.
Hough and Rev. L.C. Sheip. The school attained an enviable
reputation in this and adjoining states, and promised a career
of great usefulness. But two similar enterprises had failed
under more favorable conditions, and the third seemed
irresistibly drawn toward the same conclusion. Mr. Sheip was
well calculated to make the school a success, and it is to be
regretted that adverse circumstances deprived the town of the
advantages which must have inured from its continuance.
The Doylestown seminary of the present was incorporated May
29, 1877, but had been in operation fully ten years prior to
that time, it was established in 1867 by Benjamin Smith. The
main building was erected in 1869—70, and when the school opened
the following term one hundred and seventy-nine pupils were in
attendance, a larger number than has since been enrolled. In
1876 the property came into possession of a board of trustees in
lieu of the obligations of the former proprietor, and Reverend
---- Hafford was placed in charge as principal. M.E. Scheibner
succeeded him in 1877. The property once more came into
possession of an individual owner in 1880, when Augustus C.
Winters purchased it. It has been continued as a proprietary
school, and is now owned and conducted by John Gosman, Ph.D.,
who assumed the management in 1882. For the first time in its
checkered career the school is prosperous financially. More than
one hundred pupils are in attendance, many of whom reside at a
distance from the town. The school enjoys in a marked degree the
confidence of the immediate community, and it is to be hoped
that it will experience a future as successful as its past has
Since the reduction in size of New Britain in 1819 there is
no more forcible reminder of its former extension southeast than
the New Britain Baptist Church, the extension of which under its
present name beyond the limits of that township is the only
circumstance apparent to the casual observer to indicate that
the latter division once embraced part of Doylestown. The burial
ground and church edifices are located in the extreme western
portion of Doylestown township, about four miles west of the
county-seat and thirty from Philadelphia, on an elevation
between two branches of the Neshaminy. The cemetery comprises
two acres, and its tenants number several thousand, the oldest
inscription being that of John Riale, under date of August 14,
1748. The burial-ground is intersected by a public road. It was
enlarged in 1843, and is inclosed by a stone wall of venerable
appearance. An additional acre comprises the site of the church
edifice and chapel, and in one corner there is a never failing
spring of water over which the baptistry is built. The present
church edifice, built in 1815, is sixty-five feet long,
forty-six feet wide, and twenty-three feet high, with seating
capacity of six hundred. It is a stone building. The interior
has been much improved in appearance in recent years, and
combines the ideas of threescore years ago with those of the
present. There are galleries around three sides and two rows of
windows, rather small in proportion to the dimensions of the
exterior wall. The first meeting-house was built in 1744, and
was known for many years as the "Society meeting house," from
its location about the center of the lands owned by the "Penn
Society of Traders." The site was donated by Joseph Growden. It
is thus described in 1770: "The house is of stone, forty feet by
thirty, erected in 1744 on a lot of two acres, partly the gift
of Judge Growden and partly the gift of the congregation,
whereon are stables, a school-house, and a fine grove. It is a
rising ground formed into an angle by the crossing of two
highroads. The house is accommodated with seats, galleries, and
a stove." The chapel, built in 1885, is a substantial structure
fifty-six feet long and thirty-three feet wide. It is arranged
for the various purposes of Sunday-school room, sociables and
church receptions, etc. Beside these buildings there are a
number of sheds on the premises for horses and carriages. The
general aspect of the buildings and grounds is such as to convey
an idea of strength, liberality, and pro. gressiveness on the
part of the congregation.
The organization of the New Britain church was effected under
difficulties. The emigration of Welsh Baptists to Pennsylvania
began in 1683, and in 1719 they had become sufficiently numerous
in Montgomery to organize at that place one of the first
churches of this denomination in the province. It subsequently
included among its membership much of the Welsh element in New
Britain. A dissension arose about the year 1735 regarding
certain doctrinal points, Simon Butler, of New Britain, being
one of the chief disputants; his neighbors adhered generally to
his views, which were not acceptable to the Montgomery people.
The matter was taken before the association and an amicable
settlement attempted, but without success. The New Britain
people were desirous of becoming a separate church, and improved
this opportunity for action in that direction. Twenty-two of
their number— Isaac Evans, David Stephens, Evan Stephens, John
Williams, Walter Shewell, Joshua Jones, William George, Clement
Doyle, William Dungan, John James, David Morgan, Thomas James,
David Stephens, Jr., Thomas Humphreys, Mary James, Mary Shewell,
Margaret Phillips, Elizabeth Stephens, Jane James, Catharine
Evans, Margaret Doyle— associated themselves together November
28, 1754, and became the original constituent members of the New
Britain Baptist church by attaching their signatures to a
written instrument setting forth their belief and the objects of
thus organizing. The leaders in this movement were Benjamin
Griffith, William Davis, Isaac Eaton, and John Thomas. An
arrangement was made by which the Montgomery church dismissed
the new organization, and in 1755 the latter was received into
the Philadelphia association. And thus the ninth Baptist church
in the state, with respect to seniority, came into existence.
Frequent pastoral changes have marked the course of its
history. Reverend Joseph Eaton, the first pastor, preached in
the old meeting-house before the organization of the church. He
was born in Wales August 25, 1679, immigrated to America in
1686, was called to the ministry in 1722, ordained October 24,
1727, and died April 1, 1749. He is mentioned by his
contemporaries with uniform respect and regard. His colleague
during the latter years of his life was Reverend William Davis,
also a native Welshman, who succeeded to the pastorate in 1749.
His death occurred October 3, 1768. Reverend Joshua Jones became
his assistant in 1761, and assumed pastoral charge in 1768,
continuing in that capacity until 1793, a period of twenty-five
years, including the revolutionary interval and a remarkable
schism in the church caused by David Evans, a man of vigorous
mind and fair education, who became a Universalist, and
constrained many of the membership to adopt his views. He built
a small house for worship in 1801, and there expounded his
doctrines to such as cared to hear them; but the congregation
did not survive the death of its founder, which occurred in
1824. Reverend William White was pastor from 1795 to 1804, and
Silas Hough, M.D., from the latter year to 1818. The incumbency
of the former was remarkable for the number of accessions, as
was also that of Reverend John C. Murphy, who succeeded Hough in
1819, and closed a five years’ pastorate April 18, 1824. The
next in order was Reverend James McLaughlin, who was elected
October 20, 1825. The next was Reverend Samuel Aaron, the most
talented and brilliant man who ever occupied the pulpit at New
Britain, noted for his invectives against intemperance and
slavery. During the administration of his immediate successors,
Reverends T.T. Cutcheon and Samuel Nightingale, the condition of
the church was far from prosperous. It received an upward
tendency from the next incumbent, Heman Lincoln, D.D., under
whom the membership was largely increased and the general
interests of the church advanced. Reverend William Wilder, Levi
G. Beck, A.C. Wheat, William Whitehead, Lewis Munger, and N.C.
Fetter complete the pastoral record. The charges above noted may
be thus summarized: Joseph Eaton, 1743—49; William Davis,
1749—68; Joshua Jones, 1768—93; William White, 1795—1804; Silas
Hough, 1804—1818; John C. Murphy, 1819—24; James McLaughlin,
1825—27; Samuel Aaron, 1830—31; T.T. Cutcheon, 1836—88; Samuel
Nightingale, 1838—45; Heman Lincoln, 1845—50; William Wilder,
1851—54; Levi G. Beck, 1855—59; A.C. Wheat, 1860—65; William
Whitehead, 1867—71; Lewis Munger, 1872—79; N.C. Fetter,
In Doylestown township, a mile from the borough, stands a
Mennonite meeting-house, said to be the oldest church edifice in
middle Bucks county. It is known to have been built prior to
1810. In the burial-ground adjoining many of the old German
families of the vicinity are represented in several generations.
The Doylestown Presbyterian church is the oldest
denominational organization in that borough. It originated in
the labors of Reverend Uriah Du Bois, during his residence at
Doylestown as principal of the academy in the beginning of this
century. He was ordained and installed at Deep Run in 1798, and,
after the completion of the academy building (1804), began to
preach occasionally in an apartment therein which the trustees
placed at the disposal of all Christian denominations. He
preached also at Tinicum until 1808; and when that appointment
was relinquished, regular services were conducted at Doylestown
alternately with Deep Run. The removal of the county-seat in
1812, and the fact that there was then no church building in the
town, rendered it necessary that adequate accommodations for
worship should be provided. The Presbyterian congregation
undertook this work, and in 1813 building operations were begun.
August 14, 1815, it had so far approached completion as to be
dedicated, Reverends Jacob J. Janeway, Robert B. Belville, and
U. DuBois performing that ceremony. This structure was
fifty-five feet long by forty-five in width, with four ranges of
pews and side galleries. It was enlarged and remodelled in 1850.
On the last Sunday in May, 1871, the congregation assembled here
for a final service, and within a few weeks the building was
demolished. On the 16th day of the same month in the following
year the present church edifice was occupied for the first time.
It is a stone building, sixty feet wide by ninety feet long,
with tower one hundred and forty-six feet surmounted with a
belfry; chapel, Sunday-school rooms, and audience-room with a
seating capacity of one thousand persons. The aggregate cost was
fully thirty thousand dollars. A memorial tablet in the chancel
is inscribed to the memory of Reverend Silas M. Andrews, D.D.,
who was pastor from November 16, 1831, until his death, March 7,
1881— a few months less than fifty years. In the interval of ten
years between the death of Mr. DuBois (September 10, 1821) and
his installation (November 16, 1831) there were a number of
supplies, among others, Messrs. Tustin, Beatty, and Charles
Hyde. The latter was ordained and installed as pastor November
18, 1823, and resigned May 11, 1829. Reverend Henry Hotchkiss
became stated supply in 1830. He was the immediate predecessor
of Dr. Andrews; and Reverend W.A. Patton, the present pastor,
who was installed May 3, 1881, succeeded upon the death of the
latter. The congregation numbers about six hundred. Seven
Sunday-schools are connected with the church, numbering nearly a
thousand scholars. The following persons were ruling elders from
1796 to 1876: Thomas Stewart, James Ferguson, Andrew Dunlap,
John Mann, John C. Ernst, Jonas Newton, John Beatty, W.S.
Hendric, James McNeely, Samuel Godshalk, Nathan Lewis, John
Widdifield, John H. Anderson, Samuel Hall, John Greer, Silas H.
Thompson, John G. Mann, Benjamin S. Rich, and John G. Harris.
In the year 1834 several Friends residing in and near the
village of Doylestown made application to Buckingham monthly
meeting for permission to hold an indulged meeting on first
days. The meeting appointed a committee to inquire into the
matter, and when the request had been favorably reported, the
proposed meeting was authorized, It was held for a time in a
room rented for the purpose, until, in the following year, a
meeting-house was erected, which cost, with improvements, one
thousand six hundred and fifty-four dollars and fifty cents.
Methodism was introduced into Doylestown in 1837. The first
sermon was preached in the Presbyterian church by Reverend James
Hand, who was then in charge of Attleborough circuit. His
predecessors had previously preached occasionally in the
vicinity, but it is not known that regular services were ever
held in the town. Mr. Hand’s text was "Fear not, little flock,"
etc. He was a good mechanic as well as preacher, and personally
engaged in the work of building a church. This efforts were ably
seconded by the liberal men of the town. A neat and commodious
stone church edifice was completed in 1838. It is sixty feet
long and forty feet wide, with a seating capacity of four
hundred and fifty. The present membership is one hundred and
three. Reverend H.R. Robinson has been pastor two years past.
This pulpit has been occupied by some of the brightest
intellects of the Philadelphia conference.
The parish of St, Paul’s Protestant Episcopal church,
Doylestown, was organized April 26, 1846, at the residence of
Andrew Donaldson on State street. The vestry, as then
constituted, consisted of Andrew Donaldson, Henry J.C. Taylor,
William Limeburner, Richard M. Donaldson, James Kempton,
Benjamin Jackson, and Charles H. Mann. William Limeburner and
Charles H. Mann were elected wardens. At a subsequent meeting of
the vestry, May 15, Bishop Potter presiding, George Blight and
Dr. Charles Treichel, of Germantown, were elected additional
members; the latter, instead of Benjamin Jackson, resigned. The
parish was admitted into union with the diocese in 1848, and a
charter of incorporation granted by the civil court February 8,
1848. The moving spirit of these developments was Reverend
George P. Hopkins, then a resident of Germantown. He held his
first service at Masonic hall, Doylestown, on Sunday morning,
May 18, 1845. At this time there was only one member of the
Episcopal church in the place— Mrs. Thomas Ross. Mr. Hopkins was
elected rector at the first meeting of the vestry, and continued
in that capacity until his resignation, March 19, 1853, deriving
his support mainly from the "Society of the Protestant Episcopal
church for the advancement of Christianity in Pennsylvania." The
building of a church edifice was the principal event of his
administration. Formal action was taken by the vestry May 15,
1846, in the appointment of Henry J.C. Taylor, William
Limeburner, and Andrew Donaldson as a building committee, with
Hon. Thomas Ross as treasurer of the building fund. Ground was
broken for the proposed building, July 20, 1846; the
corner-stone was laid by Bishop Potter September 16 of the same
year, and the first service in the new building was held April
23, 1848. It was consecrated by Bishop Potter, May 30, 1850. At
that time the building consisted merely of the nave; the new
chancel and bell-gable were added in 1870, and the Sunday-school
and lecture-room furnished in 1854. Reverend Rees C. Evans was
pastor from March 11, 1854, to July 7, 1855; William R. Gries,
from November 12, 1855, to October 15, 1861, when he resigned to
accept the chaplainship of the one hundred and fourth regiment
of Pennsylvania Volunteers; John Tetlow from October 1, 1862, to
March 31, 1864; Byron McGann from August 1, 1864, to August 18,
1868; Hurley Baldy from October 1, 1868, to November 1, 1873;
Thomas R. Coleman, from April 26, 1874, to January 15, 1875; V.
Hummel Berghaus, P.A. Widdemeyer, J.F. Taunt, and George N.
Eastman from 1875 to the present.
The church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, built in 1856, and
dedicated November 23 of that year by Bishop Neumann, is third
among the places of worship of this denomination (Roman
Catholic) established in this county. Father George, its
founder, was pastor at the time at Haycock, and upon the
completion of the church edifice was placed in charge of the
parish thus formed, which position he occupied nearly a score of
years. He was stationed elsewhere by the archbishop in 1875,
when Reverend James I. McDermott was appointed his successor. He
remained but four months. December 1, 1875, the present pastor,
Reverend Henry Stommel, assumed charge; he, like Father George,
was the rector of Haycock immediately previous to his removal
here. Under his administration a number of neighboring parishes
have been formed, and the numerical strength of this one at
Doylestown increased to about six hundred souls. The church
edifice is a solid stone structure, one hundred feet long by
forty wide, with tower one hundred and thirty-five feet high, a
peal of bells, and pipe-organ. The pastoral residence attached
is thirty-one by forty-six feet in dimensions, and three stories
high, and a corresponding wing to the north of the main building
is occupied by the sisters who conduct the parish school. In the
rear of the church there is a beautiful cemetery, comprising
In 1860 Reverend W.R. Yearick was commissioned by the Board
of Domestic Missions of the Synod of the Reformed church in the
United States to labor among the scattered members of the
denomination in and around Doylestown. A congregation of twenty
members was organized March 17, 1861, with William Ruth and
David Fleck, elders; L.S. Gearhart, Israel Frantz, and John
Davis, deacons. It was incorporated as "Salem Reformed Church of
Doylestown, Pa.," at the September court, 1864. October 16 of
that year the corner-stone of the present church edifice was
laid, and in due course of time it was completed. After serving
this congregation in connection with the Hilltown church eight
years, Mr. Yearick resigned, whereupon Reverend W.H. Heilman was
appointed to succeed him. At the end of eight months a vacancy
again existed, upon which Reverend L.C. Sheip was appointed, and
entered upon his duties December, 1868. He is the present (1887)
pastor. The church was repaired, reseated, and otherwise
improved in 1877. Owing to a lack of material, the membership
has not increased rapidly.
St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran church was incorporated May
17, 1870, with Reverend A.T. Geisenhainer, pastor; Jacob
Schaeffer, Frederick Constantine, and Adam Daubert, elders; John
Keller, Levi Nace, and Ludwig Ebert, deacons. Its membership was
originally connected with the Hilltown church, and was first
ministered unto by Reverend G. Heilig in 1862. He preached in
the Reformed church, and resigned in 1865. Reverend W.R. Buehler
was pastor from 1870 to 1871, R.S. Wagner from 1872 to 1874,
J.H. Fritz from 1874 to 1879, A.R. Horne (regular supply) from
1879 to 1885, and E.L. Miller since his installation, July 19,
1885. The church edifice was dedicated in 1868, and re-dedicated
on Ascension Day, May 13, 1875.
The First Baptist church of Doylestown was organized on the
evening of Thursday, December 3, 1867, with the election of
Reverend W.S. Wood as pastor, and two deacons— Robert Johnson
and James D. Scott. There were more than fifty constituent
members, a majority of whom had formerly been connected with the
New Britain church. It was recognized as a regularly constituted
organization January 16, 1868, by a council composed of
representatives of seven different Baptist churches, Dr. George
Dana Boardman delivering the sermon on the occasion; and at the
next meeting of the North Philadelphia Association this church
was formally admitted into the body. The initial step in
building a church was taken January 12, 1867, when a committee
was appointed to purchase a suitable site. Within two years from
that date the proposed building was under roof; but owing to
financial stringency it was not dedicated until January, 1877.
It is a substantial structure, eligibly located, commodious,
well furnished, and involved an aggregate expenditure of
twenty-three thousand dollars. The successors of Mr. Wood as
pastor were: Reverend H.A. Hastings, John Miller, and T.R.
Howlett. The membership numbers one hundred and seventy-five at
Buckingham Valley Baptist church, at Bushington, was
organized in August, 1880, by Reverend George A. Larrison, M.D.,
then pastor of Solebury Baptist church. The first services were
held during the months of February and March of that year in
private houses and at the school-house in Bushington, when
thirty-six persons were converted. Reverends Larrison, Frame,
Harte, and Huffnagle have been pastors, but Mr. Larrison was
most active, and to his efforts the church owes its existence.
The church edifice, a substantial frame structure, was built in
1886. This church is connected with the Reading Baptist
A list of the principal officers of Doylestown borough since
its incorporation is herewith submitted:-
Burgesses: 1838—1848, Abraham Chapman; 1849—52, Samuel
Keichleine; 1853—54, Charles E. DuBois; 1855—56, James Gilkyson;
1857, John B. Pugh; 1858, Samuel P. Hamilton; 1859, John Fretz;
1860—62, Charles E. DuBois; 1863, James Gilkyson; 1864, N.C.
James; 1865, John Fretz; 1866, John L. DuBois; 1867—68, Joshua
Beans; 1869—70, Harman Yerkes; 1871, Joshua Beans; 1872—73,
Samuel Cuthbert; 1874, James M. Wilkinson; 1875, A.J. Lame;
1876, Henry C. Michener; 1877, John M. Purdy; 1878, Josiah
Frantz; 1879, Barney McGinty; 1880, A.H. Heist; 1881—82, John
Donnelly; 1883, William Hargrave; 1884, James M. Wilkinson;
1885, George T. Harvey; 1886—87, John R. Bitting.
High Constables: 1838, Thomas Dungan; 1839, Asher Cox; 1840,
Smith Price; 1841—43, Nathaniel Hubbard; 1844, Aaron Fell;
1845—47, Preston Price; 1848—52, Nathaniel Hubbard; 1853—56,
James McCoy; 1857—84, John K. Tomlinson; 1885—86, Andrew Conrad;
1887, Joshua Tomlinson.
Councilmen: 1838. Samuel A. Smith, Nathaniel Hubbard, John B.
Pugh, A.D. Bennett, Nathan Cornell, B. Vanluvanee, William
Stokes, Moses Armstrong, Caleb E. Wright.
1839. Caleb E. Wright, John Seitzinger, John Potts, Thomas
Wambold, William Maxwell, John B. Pugh, Samuel A. Smith, A.D.
Bennett, Moses Armstrong.
1840. Josiah V. Shaw, Robert Armstrong, C.F. Yardley, William
Maxwell, W. Limeburner, Stephen Brock, William Stokes, Thomas
Wambold, John Seitzinger.
1841. Robert Armstrong, John Lenzler, W. Limeburner, Samuel
Solliday, Charles Wigton, Thomas Hays, Samuel Yardley, William
Stokes, Lester Rich.
1842. F.T. McDonald, Moses Armstrong, Abel M. Griffith,
Charles E. DuBois, John B. Pugh, E.H. Sherer, C.H. Mathews, J.
McIntosh, Charles Wigton.
1843. C.H. Mathews, John B. Pugh, Benjamin Morris, E.T.
McDonald, Charles Wigton, Charles E. DuBois, J. McIntosh, A.M.
Griffith, Alfred Magill.
1844. C.H. Mathews, J. McIntosh, E.T. McDonald, John B. Pugh,
Charles E. Du Bois, A.M. Magill, Benjamin Morris, Joseph Harvey,
1845. C.H. Mathews, J. McIntosh, A.M. Magill, John B. Pugh,
Samuel Yardley, Standham Stewart, W. Limeburner, E. Lewis,
1846. W.J. Hendric, J. McIntosh, George Lear, Levi Johnson,
T.T. Kinsey, James Bleiler, John Clemens, E. Lewis, Alfred
1847. W.J. Hendric, L.L. Roberts, John Cox, Joel Vasey,
Samuel Darrah, E. Lewis, John Clemens, William Addis, T.T.
1848. A.D. Bennett, J.S. Brown, Joseph Harvey, Preston Jones,
George Lear, A.M. Magill, Thomas Scotland, J.B. Smith, Samuel
1849. A.D. Bennett, George Kick, Charles Rotzell, Samuel
Solliday, John Weikel, William Carr, Enos Kulp, Thomas Scotland,
1850. (No return of the result of this year’s election
appears upon the records of the council or the court of quarter
1851. Levi Johnson, Enos Kulp, George T. Harvey, John T.
Brooks, George Hart, George McIntosh, James Gilkyson, I.W.
Cornell, T.L. Cressman.
1852. J.L. Bean, Thomas Doyle, Isaac Riale, Samuel Hall, G.H.
Michener, A.M. Magill, C. Sherer, A. Howe, B. Vanluvanee.
1853. Joseph Harvey, George H. Michener, Isaac Riale, Amos
Stone, Thomas Hays, R.F. Scheetz, Samuel Hall, Thomas Dyer, A.M.
1854. Jesse Armstrong, R.F. Scheetz, S.T. Roberts, J.S.
Bryan, Thomas Dyer, A.M. Magill, James Bleiler, Geoge Michener,
1855. William Beck, John Clemens, A.C. Vanluvanee, George
McIntosh, William T. Eisenhart, M. Yardley, S.H. Thompson, T.W.
Goucher, George Lear.
1856. John Clemens, Thomas Goucher, C. Vanluvanee, G. McCoy,
M. Yardley, Charles Wigton, John Brooks, George McIntosh, H.S.
1857. G.R. McCoy, R. Thornton, John J. Brock, Richard Watson,
B. Vanluvanee, S.P. Hamilton, Enos Kulp, James Gilkyson, Charles
1859. John Beatty, F. Constantine, A.D. Hartzell, W.E.
Warford, N.P. Brown, John Hargrave, C.J. Shade, H.F.
Druckenmiller, John J. Brock.
1860. John J. Brock, A.H. Barber, Francis Adelman, J.L. Ely,
R. Thornton, Robert Thompson, H.F. Druckenmiller, Samuel Hall,
1861. Jesse Armstrong, Joseph Harvey, N.C. James, Thomas
Adelman, Enos Kulp, W.T. Rogers, Samuel Hall, Robert Lewis, R.F.
1862. Jesse Armstrong, John J. Brock, William I. Rogers,
Joseph Harvey, James Gilkyson, N.C. James, Robert Lewis, T.N.
Goucher, W. Constantine.
1863. Jesse Armstrong, John J. Brock, John S. Brown, W.
Constantine, P.W. Goucher, Joseph Harvey, Robert Lewis, William
T. Rogers, S.H. Smith.
1864. Jesse Armstrong, John J. Brock, Joseph Harvey, T.W.
Goucher, S.M. Andrews, James Gilkyson, N.P. Brower, A.J. Riale,
1865. A.J. Riale, John J. Brock, James Gilkyson, Henry
Livezey, S.H. Aaron, Enos Kulp, Francis Adelman, Joseph Harvey,
1866. John J. Brock, A.H. Barber, M.O. Kulp, N.P. Brower,
W.S. Brunner, H.T. Darlington, Joseph J. Greer, G.E. Donaldson,
1867. For one year: John L. DuBois, Charles Wigton, Morgan
Rufe; for two years: Joseph J. Greer, L.B. Thompson, A.H.
Barber; for three years: Charles Rotzel, Samuel Hall, H.S.
1868. John L. DuBois, Eugene James, Henry T. Darlington,
1869. N.P. Brower, A.J. Carrel, George Deemer.
1870. James Biglan, George Lear, G.R. McCoy.
1871. William Thompson, L.P. Worthington, James Rickert.
1872. W.W.H. Davis, J. La Rue, Thomas Hays.
1873. Charles Hamilton, Samuel Trumbower, Jonas Knight.
1874. John G. Randall, Isaiah Frantz, H.D. Livezey.
1875. Evan J. Morris, D.E. Brower, T.P. Harvey.
1876. H.H. Hough, Charles Hamilton, Levi Fluck.
1877. O.P. James, M.D., Augustus Zeigler, M. Dungan.
1878. T.P. Harvey, John L. Kramer, Edward McIntosh.
1879. John J. Brock, I.W. Closson, William Lightcap.
1880. O.P. James, M.D., Augustus Zeigler, Charles Hamilton,
1881. Samuel Steckel, James Barrett, John L. Kramer, Charles
1882. John J. Brock, I.W. Closson, Thomas W. Henry.
1883. O.P. James, M.D., Samuel Steckel, Dr. R.B. Knight.
1884. James Barrett, Martin Evans, Henry Long.
1885. John L. Kramer, Andrew P. Rickert, Levi Huck.
1886. O.P. James, M.D., Thomas Biglan, William H. Robbins.
1887. John Yardley, James W. Bartlett, Martin Evans.
* March 1, 1778, General John Lacey, in directing the
movements of his brigade, mentions "Doylestown" as the
destination of our detachment. In other instances he spelled the
name Doyle Town," and the original orthography of the family
name was Doyl. On a map of Philadelphia and its vicinity,
prepared by British engineers in 1777—78, the town is first
located topographically, and thus, in the trouble and turmoil of
sanguinary conflict, the cross-roads hamlet first received its
The following, with regard to an encampment subsequent to
General Lacey’s, appeared in the Intelliqencer in 1833: "The
most particular event winch signalized the history of Doylestown
at that period was the encampment of the American army a few
nights previous to the memorable battle of Monmouth, which took
place on the 28th of June, 1778. The army was divided into three
encampments: the first of which was stationed in the rear of a
row of cherry trees that extended westward from the last-named
building (a low, log structure, the predecessor of Mrs. Magill’s
mansion house), which was occupied during the night as
headquarters, and which bore the imposing insignia, ‘Cakes and
Beer;’ the second was placed near where the Presbyterian church
stands; and the third on the farm of Mr. Callendar about a half
a mile from the village on the New Hope road. The next morning
was occupied until near noon before the army and baggage, wagons
were completely under way." It may be stated in this connection
that the most recent visit of a military body occurred May
28—30, 1887, when a detachment of artillery, en route from New
York to Wilmington, Delaware, encamped in a vacant lot on Maple
** The most formidable competitor for metropolitan honors at
that time was Houqhville, otherwise known as "The Turk," the
geographical center of the county. In 1808, "The Sign of the
Grand Turk" was occupied by Septimus Hough, who laid off a town
and offered a lot of ground for the court-house, but without
avail. At this time a grist- and oil-mill were situated here.
Bridge Point and Bushington, known as post-offices under the
respective names of Edison and Furlong, have existed quite as
long as "The Turk" without manifesting any symptoms of
remarkable growth. Furlong’s early name was "The Green Tree,"
afterward "The Bush," from which Bushington was derived. A
Baptist church is located here, and a Presbyterian chapel at