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Additional notes from William Darlington's
1857 West Chester Borough Directory

compiled by Jim Jones

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This page contains additional notes from the Directory of the Borough of West Chester, for 1857: containing a complete history of the borough from its first settlement to the present time ... by William Darlington (West Chester, PA: Wood & James, Publishers, E.F. James, printer, 1857), 63-93. Copies of the book are available in the West Chester University Special Collections and at the Chester County Historical Society library.

The First Burgesses of West Chester (page 20)
  Name Year(s)
1 William Sharpless 1799
2 Jacob Ehrenzeller 1800
3 Philip Derrick 1801
4 Jacob Ehrenzeller 1802
5 Richard M. Hannum 1803
6 Joshua Weaver 1804-1805
7 William Bennett 1806
8 William Sharpless 1807
9 Emmor Bradley 1808
10 George Worth 1809
11 Joshua Weaver 1810
12 William Sharpless 1811
13 Jacob Ehrenzeller 1812-1813
14 Joseph M'Clellan 1814
15 Daniel Hiester 1815-1817
16 Jacob Ehrenzeller 1818-1824
17 Ziba Pyle 1825
18 Jacob Ehrenzeller 1826
19 Ziba Pyle 1827-1830
20 Thomas S. Bell 1831-1832
21 William Williamson 1834-1835
22 William Everhart 1836-1837
23 Thomas S. Bell 1838
23 Joseph J. Lewis 1839-1843
24 William Williamson 1844
25 Uriah V. Pennypacker 1845-1846
26 William Darlington 1847
27 Uriah V. Pennypacker 1848-1849
28 Francis James 1850
29 James H. Bull 1851
30 Townsend Eachus 1852-1854
31 Joseph P. Wilson 1855-1857

West Chester's fire companies were the West Chester Fire Company, founded 1799; the Good Will Fire company founded 1833; and the Fame Fire Company founded 1838. (page 21)

West Chester's population (page 22)
Year Population Note
1800 374  
1810 471  
1820 553  
1830 1244  
1840 2152  
1850 3172 451 blacks
1857 4357 1823 white males, 2091 white females, 190 black males, 253 black females

West Chester's First Criminal Executions (page 23)
Name Race Date
Hannah Miller black 1805
Edward Williams black 1830
Charles Bowman black 1834
Jabez Boyd white 1845
George Pharaoh white 1851

In the 1780s, the nearest Quaker meeting houses to West Chester were at Bradford, Birmingham and Goshen. (page 25)


The Bank of West Chester was founded in 1814 on High Street almost directly across from the court house. (page 28)

Starting Date Bank President Head Cashier
Sep. 9, 1814 Joseph M'Clellan Daniel Hiester
Nov. 25, 1816 James M. Gibbons Daniel Hiester
Oct. 1, 1817 James M. Gibbons David Townsend
Nov. 24, 1817 Joseph M'Clellan David Townsend
Nov. 22 1819 Richard Thomas Jr. David Townsend
Feb. 23, 1830 Dr. William Darlington David Townsend
Apr. 10, 1847 Dr. William Darlington Washington Townsend

West Chester received its first sidewalks in 1823. They were made of brick. The first MacAdam streets were laid in 1829-1830. (page 28)


The West Chester Railroad was the first and only railroad in the state that was completed on time and in advance of the deadline. (page 37)

Completion of the West Chester Railroad led to the construction of Price's Boarding School in 1831, and the Mansion House Hotel in 1832. (page 37)

In 1857, the author refered to Media as "the new seat of justice" in Delaware County. (page 38)

The founders of the "direct road" (West Chester & Philadelphia Railroad) believed that they would exert a good influence on Philadlephia. The author added "In this age of Progress and annexation, we all go incontinently for the annihilation of time and the monopoly of space." (page 38)

Other Consequences of the West Chester Railroad: the town obtained a "town clock" in 1835, built by Isaiah Lukens of Philadelphia. New schools opened including Joshua Hoopes' Boarding and Day School (1834), Townsend Eachus' Young Ladies' Boarding School (1837-1838) (later Anthony Bolamr's Young Gentlemen's Boarding School in 1840). Also a county prison (1838) at NE corner of New and Market Streets. (page 39)

In 1838, the town added several tracts of land in order to expand: the Matlack farm on the north, the Patton land on the east, and the John Rutter estate on the northwest. (page 40)

The town received water service in 1841 from the old "Bath Spring" on the north side of town. Additional water service was acquired in 1854 from a plant on the Chester Creek. (page 40)

From August 1825 to spring 1827, a group of "worthy Burghers" tried to drill an Artesian well through solid rock at a point on the west side of Church Street, a few yards south of Gay Street. After spending more than $700, they finally gave up. (page 40)

A large public school house was erected in 1841 on the south side of Barnard Street between High and Church (Denney Tag). (page 41)


In 1846, the Chester County Horticultural Society was formed. It got its first building on High Street in 1848, only the second horticultural hall in the USA. (page 41)

Paschall Morris, John Rutter and Josiah Hoopes all founded nurseries, as did J. L. Darlington & Co., who expanded the Morris Nursery. (page 41)

A large agricultural warehouse was built in 1851 at the southeast corner of High and Chestnut Streets. In 1856, the Chester County Agricultural Society built its fairgrounds on the south side of the Borough. In 1848, Marshall Square was designated on the north side of the Borough, and dedicated on March 13, 1848. (page 42)

In 1853, a first attempt was made to remove the burial ground from the square bordered by Union, Barnard, New and Wayne Streets. The plan was to call it Wayne Square, but some of the churches objected and the plan was shelved. The author called for the preservation of Everhart's Grove as a park within the Borough. (page 44-45)

West Chester received its first telegraph connection in 1851 and the gas company (for lighting) was founded in 1852. (page 45)

The Oaklands Cemetery was founded in 1852. It contained about 23 acres and was located about 1.5 miles north of the village of West Chester. It was dedicated on December 10, 1853 at a ceremony on Chapel Hill, the highest point in the cemetery. (page 45)

Statistics (page 59)
Year 1856 1850 1857
Taxpayers   596 1014
Value of Real Estate $1,110,173 x x
Value of Personal Property $1,019,774 x x

In 1857, the borough debt was $72,785, of which $20,000 was incurred in 1854 when the Borough bought shares in the West Chester & Philadelphia Railroad. The rest was due to street improvements and the installation of the water system. (page 59)

Directory of people who lived in West Chester Names ending in A-L and Names ending in M-Z. (pages 63-93)

There were two Friends Meetings in West Chester. One met at North High Street and Lafayette under pastors Stephen Paschall, Ann Jackson and Sarah Hooper. The other met at Chestnut Street between High and Church under Ministers John Wood and Hannah Gibbons. (page 99)


Directors of West Chester Public Schools: Henry Sharples, Jesse C. Green, R. Maris Frame, Benjamin Bates, Washington Townsend, Minshall B. Broomhall (page 101)

Other West Chester Schools (pages 101-102)
Name Address Students Teachers
Bolmar's Institute for Young Gentlemen Boot Road 90 12
Miss Barclay's Select School 96 W. Miner St. 17 ?
Miss Emma Dennis' Primary School 64 W. Gay St. 30 ?
Miss Hannah Embree's Primary School northeast corner Church & Barnard Sts. 18 ?
Miss Mary C. Pratt's Day School for Young Ladies rear of Chester County Cabinet 45 2
Private Boarding School for Boys,
Thomas B. Jacobs proprietor
102-104 W. Miner St. 15 1
Miss E. W. Richards Young Ladies' Boarding School 96 E. Gay St. 25 3
Isabella B. Butler & Sarah hughes' Student's Home northeast corner Market & High Sts. 19 2
The Misses Evans' West Chester Female Seminary W. Union St. between High & Church Sts. 30 boarders & 35 day 4 male & 3 female
West Chester Academy W. Gay St. above Darlington St. 81 6
Friends School N. Church St. between Chestnut & Washington Sts. 16 1

The trustees of the West Chester Academy included Joseph J. Lewis, Dr. William Darlington, John W. Townsend, Dr. Isaac Thomas, Dr. Wilmer Worthington, John Marshall, Washington Townsend, Joseph Hemphill, Joseph P. Wilson. (page 102)


Libraries: Chester County Atheneum (45 E. Gay), Working Mans' Institute (2nd floor of Townsend's Building at 30 E. Gay. Incorporated September 25, 1855. 600 volumes, 50 cents/year membership). Officers of the Working Mens' Institute include President L. W. H. Kervey, VP Daniel Nields, Sec. Cyrus P. Painter, Treasurer R. Maris Frame, Librarian Paul F. Whitehead, Managers Lewis Marshall, William Shields, Jos. B. Gray, D. clinton Lewis, & Joseph Kift. (page 102)


Chief Burgess Joseph P. Wilson, 2nd Burgess William B. Waddell, Assistant burgess (Wm. Ingram, George Brinton, Lewis W. Shields, Robert Mercer, Samuel S. Heed), treasurer William s. Kirk, Superintendant of Water Pipes William Apple, Street Commissioner Paschall Cope, Water Committee (Wm. B. Waddell, George Brinton, William Ingram), Street Committee (William Ingram, Lewis Shields, Robert Mercer), Gas Committee (Lewis Shields, Samuel S. Heed), Committee on Mill Property (George Brinton, Robert Mercer, William B. Waddell), Borough Constable and Clerk of Market G. A. Macartney, Lamp Lighters (William Lynch, Andrew Ferrell) (page 103)

Bank of Chester County: President Dr. William Darlington, Cashier William W. Jefferis, Assistant Cashier & Paying Teller John W. Torrey, Receiving Teller William S. Kirk. Directors: Dr. William Darlington, Smith Sharpless, Richard M. Thomas, Dr. Isaac Thomas, Jacob B. Morgan, Dr. Wilmer Worthington, George Brinton, John Marshall, William Darlington Esq., William Windle, Joel Hawley, Joseph Dowdall, Joseph P. Wilson (page 103)

West Chester's postmaster was William A. Moore. (page 104)

Horticultural Society officers: President Jonathon C. Baldwin, VP Pierce Hoopes, Recording Secretary Joseph B. Gray, Corresponding Secretary Josiah Hoopes, Executive Committee (J. B. Wood, Wm. S. Kirk, J. C. Baldwin, James Powell, Alexander Marshall). (page 194)


West Chester Railroad, depot at 47 E. Gay Street. Departures at 7h30 and 15h00. Fare 75 cents. President Joseph J. Lewis, Esq., Secretary and Treasurer S. M. Painter, Superintendant Philip P. Sharpless. (page 105)

The Reading Stage was owned by John G. Dunwoody, $2.00 fare, three times a week. The Cochranville Stage was owned by Francis Conway, $1.00 fare, three times a week. The New Holland Stage was owned by R. Fox, $1.875 fare, three times a week. The Wilmington Stage was owned by George Court, $1.00 fare, three times a week. The Philadelphia Stage was owned by Stackhouse & Co., $0.625 cents daily. The West Chester & City Express was owned by John Roe and operated three times a week. (page 105)


Josiah Hoopes had a market stall (nÝ57) at the West Chester Market. He was a resident of W. Goshen. (page 114)

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Find names ending in A-L or M-Z.

Copyright 2010 by Dr. James A. Jones