Online Encyclopedia

WEST CHESTER

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 537 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WEST CHESTER, a borough and the county-seat of Chester county, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., about 20 M. W. of Philadelphia. Pop. (189o) 8028; (1900) 9524, of whom 566 were foreign-born and 1777 were negroes; (1910 census) 11,767. West Chester is served directly by the Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia, Baltimore & Washington railways and by an interurban electric line to Philadelphia; electric lines connect with the Philadelphia & Reading at Lenape, 4 M. to the south-west, and at Coatesville, ro m. to the west. The borough lies about 450 ft. above sea-level in an undulating country. At West Chester are the West Chester State Normal School (1871), the Darlington Seminary (non-sectarian; for girls), founded in 1851 by Smedley Darlington (1827–1899; principal of the school in 1851–186r and a representative in Congress in 1887–1891), the Friends' Graded School and the Friends' (Orthodox) Select School. There are fine botanical gardens in Marshall Square. Among the public buildings are a county court house (1847–1848), a county jail and a county hospital (1892–1893), the public library and a large Y.M.C.A. building. The colonial Turk's Head Hotel here has been so called since 1768 and was probably first opened in 1762. West Chester is in a farming country with important market-gardens and dairy farms; among its manufactures are dairy implements, foundry and machine-shop products and carriage and wagon materials. The factory product in 1905 was valued at $2,121,185. There are several large nursery farms here. West Chester was first settled in 1713, succeeded Chester as the county-seat in 1784–1786, and was incorporated as a town in 1788 and as a borough in 1799. During the War of Independence the battle of Brandywine was fought about 7 M. S. of West Chester on the lrth of September 1777, and on the loth General Anthony Wayne, with a small force, was surprised and routed by the British at Paoli, about 8 m. N.E.
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