History of West Chester Pennsylvania

West Chester Buildings

West Chester PA History

The beginnings of West Chester, Pennsylvania, started in the year 1762 when a tavern was first built in this area. After the tavern, the population started to grow, and in 1799 this borough was incorporated.

In 1832, as this borough continued to grow among the first railway tracks in the country were also built in this area. At the same time, an interesting courthouse was constructed, which was finally finished in 1847 after immense conflict.

West Chester is steeped in intriguing history, where the initial biography of Abraham Lincoln was published. During World War II, this borough also produced the highest amount of penicillin compared to any other area in the United States.

In the 18th century, Native Americans camped in this area, where discoveries later confirmed eight campsites in the area. In 1701, William Penn was ceded land, and soon after, the Haines family also developed a tract of this land, which included a part of the present-day borough.

The first settlement expanded to include four farms later, but it was not until Eachus built a tavern that things in this area started growing. The pub seemed to serve as a type of crossroads, and it was from there that this borough began to thrive.

Just a few miles from this inn, the Battle of Brandywine was fought. During this time, the inn’s name was Turks Head, while the village that surrounded it was named Turk’s Head Village. The schoolhouse in the town was turned into a hospital to treat the injured Colonial soldiers. This schoolhouse is now the headquarters for the West Chester PA Painting Firm in Chester County.

In 1784, permission was granted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly to construct a new courthouse and prison in the area. However, a saloonkeeper from Chester named John Harper was not happy with the news or with the split of Chester from Delaware County.

Harper was responsible for leading a militia to this courthouse with plans to destroy the building before it was completed. The militia had muskets, whiskey, and a cannon and they were prepared to fight. But they met up with resistance and were stopped by a group led by Hannum. In 1786, this courthouse finally opened officially and turned into Chester County’s Seat of Justice.

In 1791, a post office was officially opened, followed by Hannum renaming Turk’s Head to West Chester. According to the 1800 census, the West Chester population was 374. By 1830, the population grew to 1244.

By 1832, the railroad was finally completed, which helped to make the trips faster between West Chester, Philadelphia, and Malvern. Finally, in 1858, another railroad was completed, transporting goods to Media.

In 1903, Darlington and the Hoopes Brothers incorporated where they started selling shares to different investors. At this time, they were the third-largest manufacturer of wheels in the world. When automobiles began gaining popularity, they introduced wheels for automobiles, which they added to their catalog.

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MJK Mechanical HVAC of West Chester
633 James Dr
West Chester, PA 19382
(610) 955-8997

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