History of Haverford Township, Pa.
From: A History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Edited By: John W. Jordan, LL. D.
Published By Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York 1914


Haverford Township.- This township, bordering Montgomery county joins south and west Upper Darby, Marple and Radnor townships, and lies wholly within, the limits of the original "Welsh Tract." It was the second township settled by the Welsh in this tract, Merion in Montgomery bcing the first. Under a warrant from Penn, the Welsh Friends contemplated having their settlements together, intending them to constitute one municipal district, allowing them to manage their public affairs in their own way. Consequently, when the division line was run between Philadelphia and Chester counties, directly through the "Welsh Tract," thus separating the settlements of Haverford and Radnor from Merion, great dissatisfaction arose. No notice was taken of their complaint to Penn, but they steadfastly continued their refusal to recognize a division, and in the Provincial Council and in the courts of Chester county, unsuccessfully battled for their rights. At the June court of 1689 the commission of William Howell, of Haverford. as a justice, was read and published, and "he did afterwards subscribe to the solemn declaration prepared by the 57th chapter of the great law of this province." At the same court, William Jenkins, of Haverford, served as a juror, and at the December court John Jerman was attested constable for Radnor. This was the first official recognition by the inhabitants of these townships that they were subject to the jurisdiction of Chester county, both of which later became part of the county of Delaware. The original lists of taxables in Haverlord in the year 1693 is preserved, containing the names of John Bevan, William Howell, Morris Llewellin, Thomas Rees, William Lewis, John Richard, Humphrey Ellis, Ellis Ellis, Ralph Lewis, William Jenkins, Daniell Humphrey, David Lawrence, Lewis David, John Lewis, Henry Lewis, John Lewis, Junior, Richard Hayes, Benjamin Humphrey, William Howell for Tho. Owen, Richard Hayes for David Lewis, John Bevan for Evan Williams.

Haverford Street or road was laid out in 1683, the Haverford and Darby road in 1687, and other roads later, as needed. The men who controlled the township in early days were the most prominent in the Tract and county, and are thus eulogized by Dr. George Smith:

"It is even still more wonderful to see the large amounts that were appropriated to charitable purposes. This was particuarly the case among Welsh Friends. Every reasonable want was attended to. If a newly arrived immigrant or a 'poor friend,' stood in need of a house, it was built for him; of a plow or cow, he was provided with one. The fields of the sick and the weak were not allowed to remain uncultivated and their pecuniary wants and other necessities were liberally supplied. Nor was their care in these respects confined to their own little communities. Wherever suffering humanity was found, our Quaker ancestors were ever ready to contribute liberally to its relief."

The religious obligations of the Friends, composing the greater part of the population of the township, forbidding taking part in the war, did not prevent their actively aiding in the care of the sick and wounded soldiers or in performing many acts of kindness to the soldiers, and in some cases the saint was sunk in the patriot, and the term "fighting Quaker" was often correctly applied. In each succeeding year the population showed a goodly increase; improvement continued its steady march, the township ever maintaining a leading position in all departments of civil, business, religious and educational life. The population in 1910 is given as 3989, living in the many beautiful villages and on the fertile farms of the townships. Haverford College, founded, erected and controlled by Friends, is of special mention elsewhere. The principal post villages and stations of the township are: Llanerch, Beechwood Park, Grassland, Haverford, Ardmore Junction, Brookthorpe, Coopertown and Manoa. Steam and electric railroads traverse the township, bringing the rural population within easy and frequent communication with Philadelphia, a fact that has caused a wonderful increase in population and land values. In the southern corner of the township the grounds of the Delaware County Country Club are located. The churches, schools and manufacturing of Haverford will be found in the chapters treating these subjects.

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