Butter Creek in Pennsylvania

How did Butter Creek in Pennsylvania get it’s name? This page provides a brief history about Butter Creek in Pennsylvania, the people who settled on it, and the industry rising around it.

Small stream rising in the southern part of Richland Township. After it crosses the township line into West Rockhill, its course changes to almost due west. It then enters Milford Township, where, a mile north of Finland, it empties into Unami Creek, a tributary, of the Perkiomen. Thomas Roberts, pioneer settler on the bank of this stream about 1710.1715, named it Butter Creek because of a luxuriant growth of grass in meadows through which it flows. He was much impressed with these fine grassy meadows because they reminded him of the dairy countryside in Wales, whence he came. The tradition is that, when Thomas Roberts and his wife Alice arrived in Philadelphia, they purchased a horse and cart there and with their meager belongings set forth through the wilderness for an unknown destination. When they arrived at Butter Creek they camped for a night along its bank. Next morning they were so entranced by the beautiful site they decided to settle there, bought the land and built a very small log house, which they abandoned after completing a stone house in 1740-1742. Clarence V. Roberts, of Germantown, Pa., author of Early Friends Families in Upper Bucks, in which he describes Butter Creek, says he personally remembers seeing in 1872 the stone house of 1740 in dilapidated condition. There is also a reference to Butter Creek in Old Families of Richland, by Ellwood Roberts.


MacReynolds, George. Place Names in Bucks County Pennsylvania, 2nd Edition. Doylestown, PA: The Bucks County Historical Society, 1955.

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