19073 Newtown Square

Newtown Township, also commonly referred to as Newtown Square, is a township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States (prior to 1789 it was part of Chester County). Newtown Township is the oldest township in Delaware County. The population was 11,700 as of the 2000 census.

Newtown Township was settled in 1681 and incorporated as a Township in 1684.[1] In 1681, William Penn planned the "first inland town west of Philadelphia" at the intersection of Goshen Road (laid out in 1687) and Newtown Street Road (laid out in 1683). The Township was laid out around a center square, or "townstead" of approximately one square mile surrounded by farmland. Original purchasers of land in the Township received 1-acre (4,000 m2) in the townstead for every ten acres of surrounding farm land. Penn has planned New Town while still in England and was able to sell a considerable number of tracts before leaving England. However, many of these people "...never lived on the land," the properties changed hands many times, and thus, early growth of the Township was slow.
Newtown was organized as the Townstead with the majority of early settlers being Welshman. These Welsh "Friends" (Quakers) needed a road to facilitate their journey to meeting, the only established road at the time being Newtown Street Road, which ran north and south. As such, in 1687, an east-west road was laid out (Goshen Road) so the Friends could attend either Goshen or Haverford Meeting. By 1696, these friends had become numerous enough to hold their own meeting in Newtown and continued to meet in a private home until the completion of the Newtown Friends Meetinghouse in 1711. In the 18th century, Newtown was basically a farming community. Blacksmith and wheelwright shops emerged on the main arteries to service horse and buggy travelers. Taverns and inns were also opened to accommodate local patrons as well as drovers taking their livestock to the markets in Philadelphia.


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