General Information

Penn Township is a second-class township in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the United States. A five member, elected Board of Supervisors, governs the township. Chester County is one of the original three counties established by William Penn in 1682 on land purchased from the Native Americans. It is bordered by West Grove Borough, London Grove Township, New London Township, Upper Oxford Township, and Londonderry Township. Officially organized in 1817, Penn Township is the hub of commercial activity regionally and the home to numerous educational, health, and commercial facilities as well as five top notch senior living communities including Jenner’s Pond, Ovations, Villages of Penn Ridge, Luther House, and the Village of Rose View.

In the heart of Penn Township’s village lies Jennersville, which is home to the Jennersville YMCA, the Jennersville Hospital, the Shoppes of Jenner’s Village, Star Roses, and Dansko World Headquarters. Jennersville was named after Dr. Edward Jenner who discovered vaccinations.

Penn Township is located in the Avon Grove School District. The Chester County Technical College High School – Pennock’s Bridge is within its borders, as is a branch of the Delaware County Community College.

The township is served by four post offices: Cochranville, Kelton, Lincoln University, and West Grove. The West Grove Fire Company provides fire and ambulance service to Penn Township. Southern Chester County Emergency Medical Services (Medic 94) provides advance life support service.

Penn Township spans an area of 9.6 square miles. Penn Township is a part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and is home to the Big Elk Creek and a tributary of the White Clay Creek. Penn Township is called the Nursery Capital of Pennsylvania and, formerly, was the site of Sunset Park, one of country music’s most popular venues.

Penn Township is home to the Red Rose Inn. Recently, the township purchased the Red Rose Inn.

History

According to Futhey and Cope in their 1881 book History of Chester County Pennsylvania, with Genealogical and Biographical Sketches, the following excerpt describes how Penn Township came to be:

”Penn twp was formed by a division of Londonderry, in 1817. The greater part of it was originally included in Fagg’s Manor, and the settlers were largely from the north of Ireland. Among those who originally took up lands were John McKee, Daniel McClane, George Miller, Henry Charlton, Samuel Fleming, Hugh Luckey, Robert Brown, James Strawbridge, John McGrew, Matthew Harbeson, Richard Carson, Thomas Province, John Hayes, William Young, William Finney and William Graham.
“The southern line of Penn twp, separating it from New London, was the southern line of Fagg’s Manor. In 1875 the line between Penn and Londonderry twps was partly altered, so as to include in Londonderry a small portion of Penn. This was done for the accommodation of the school districts.” [1]

Fagg’s Manor

“About the year 1702 some surveys were made to the west of the London tract, as Londongrove was then called, for Letitia Penn and her brother Wm. This land, however, was so far beyond the regular settlements that nothing could be done towards selling it to actual settlers, and so it remained for many years. There were 2 tracts of 5000 acres each, although there is some evidence that Leticia’s, which lay nearest to the London tract contained at first 7125 acres. Her tract was called Fagg’s Manor, in honor of Sir John Fagg, and the name has been handed down to the present time, being more particularly kept alive by the Presbyterian church, which is situated near the NW corner of the manor. After a time the land became exposed to the encroachments of irresponsible squatters, who destroyed the timber in order to raise a little grain, but made no great improvements” (this is noted in contemporary papers and letters.)

“The manor was resurveyed by warrant dated 5th April, 1737 and a patent for the same signed by Thomas Penn the following May.

“The land in Fagg’s Manor was divided among the settlers into many tracts, and the divisions numbered on a plan of the whole, but with a few exceptions, the settlers did not pay for the land or get deeds for the same for several years after, and in the meanwhile the improvements passed from one owner to another, so that the deeds in many cases were not granted to the original settlers, owing to the very great irregularity in shape of the surveys, and the uncertainty in regard to the township lines, it would be difficult to give with any certainty the exact locations of the early settlers.” [1]

Reference

1. Futhey, J. Smith and Gilbert Cope, History of Chester County, Pennsylvania, with Genealogical and Biographical Sketches, Philadelphia, Louis H. Everts, 1881

Demographics

Historical population

Census

Pop.

1930

537

1940

588

9.5%

1950

705

19.9%

1960

1,097

55.6%

1970

989

−9.8%

1980

1,888

90.9%

1990

2,257

19.5%

2000

2,812

24.6%

2010

5,364

90.8%

http://www.dvrpc.org/data/databull/rdb/db82/appedixa.xls.

At the 2010 census, township population was 5,364. The township was 86.3% non-Hispanic White, 2.9% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and 1.1% were two or more races. 8.1% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry [1].

Chester County, PA is ranked as the county in Pennsylvania with the highest per capita income, median household income, and median per capita income. In Penn Township, the median income for a household in the township was $57,949, and the median income for a family was $68,938. Males had a median income of $46,298 versus $30,880 for females.

The per capita income for the township was $26,346. About 3.0% of families and 6.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.9% of those under age 18 and 11.9% of those age 65 or over.