Dolington, Pennsylvania

How did Dolington, Pennsylvania get it’s name? This page provides a brief history about the naming of Dolington, Pennsylvania, the people who settled it, and the industry rising within it.

Village in southern Upper Makefield near the township line between Lower and Upper Makefield on Route 632. Prior to 1800 Dolington had only three houses, one a log house, built by Peter Dolin, for whom the village was named. The second house was also built by Dolin, and the third, later a hotel, was built in 1800 as a store and so used by William Jackson for 28 years. The village slowly spread out along three roads centering there and became a place of much local importance. A post office was established August 2, 1827. Oliver Hough, the first postmaster, was succeeded in July, 1833, by Timothy Taylor. The village is now on Newtown rural delivery. Prior to the establishment of the post office, the village’s name was Makefield, then Dolinton. When and why the euphonious “g” was added is not known. Another merchandise store, a tailoring business managed by John Headley, the coach and wagon factory of Oliver P. Ely and James Briggs, Seth Davis’ smith shop and a wheelwright shop run by John R. Bitting, who was subsequently postmaster and later elected Prothonotary of the county, formed a group of small industries that made the place a busy community. A school house was built by Makefield Friends in 1830 and this eventually became the center of the far-famed Dolington Lyceum, where several future statesmen made their forensic debut. Like many other villages in the forepart of the nineteenth century, Dolington had a library, established May 5, 1816, under the name Makefield Library. It was managed by a committee chosen from its patrons. After being housed in private dwellings, it became large and important enough to have a building of its own, erected in 1858. It was continued until 1940, outliving almost all similar libraries. In that year the books were bought by Philadelphia dealers and the building and furniture were sold at public sale, netting a fund of $115, which was invested, the interest to be applied to the purchase of books for Dolington public school library.

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

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