Westtown Township History
Westtown township is the second oldest of Chester County’s 57 townships. First incorporated as a township in 1685, Westtown evolved as a community of small farms and a few schools and ships. Comprising a large number of Quakers, the first settlers to this area, the Westtown Friends School was established in 1799. Westtown’s population grew slowly and somewhat erratically. The 1810 township population was listed as 790 and by 1910 it dropped to 663, after reaching a high of 848 in l880. Home building began to replace farm land in 1950, and the population has arisen dramatically over recent years.
This beautifully wooded township is characterized by rolling hills and well watered valleys. Its many streams and tributaries provided ample water for agriculture and milling. Unique to this area has been the outcrop of serpentine stone, the primary building materials for early houses and barns. Manufacturing also thrived during the 19th century with production of pottery, clothing, a sawmill and a gristmill. Some Westtown farmers experienced deprivations from the British during the revolutionary war and Camp Elder was established as a holding center for union parolees after the battle of Gettysburg. As the 20th century emerged, numerous stores, a post office and the Westtown township railroad station brought commerce and population to Westtown Township. Public and private education has always been priorities in Westtown, and many existed over the past two centuries. The Center School House was a school built in 1855 for the African Americans living in Westtown. It existed until destroyed by fire in 1922. All of the public schools were conso0lidated into the West Chester Area School System in 1949.
Today, Westtown Township continues the best of rural and commercial living. As the Daily Local News reported: “The conservation and preservation of open spaces, of keeping flood plains free from houses and of retaining wooded hillsides can immeasurably help to keep Westtown, despite its rapidly expanding population, as “A Good Place To Live.”
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 8.8 square miles (23 km2), of which 8.7 square miles (23 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2), or 0.23%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,352 people, 3,705 households, and 2,949 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,185.5 people per square mile (457.8/km²). There were 3,795 housing units at an average density of 434.6/sq mi (167.8/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 93.97% White, 2.59% African American, 0.07% Native American, 2.42% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.13% of the population.
There were 3,705 households out of which 38.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.6% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.4% were non-families. 16.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.14.
In the township the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 28.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $85,049, and the median income for a family was $96,318. Males had a median income of $66,675 versus $43,482 for females. The per capita income for the township was $36,894. About 2.1% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.7% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over.
Westtown Township is in the 7th District of the U.S. House, represented by the 26th District of the PA State Senate, represented by ; and the 168th District of the PA House, represented by
Westtown Township is governed by a Board of Supervisors. Under the supervision of the board the township has many arms of government, including the Township Planning Commission, the Zoning Hearing Board, and the Park Advisory group, to name a few.
Township Board of Supervisors members:
West Chester Area School District serves the township.
Other schools in the township include Westtown School, an independent school for grades pre-K through 12; the St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish School, a Catholic school for grades pre-K through 8; and the Concept School, a private school for grades 5 through 12. Sts. Simon & Jude, intersection of 352 and 3; and Advent Luthern across from the Valley Market on 352. We will have a separate page devoted to School Board matters.