Eddington, Pennsylvania

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

Village in southeastern Bensalem Township, located at the forks of the Frankford and Bristol Turnpike (Route 130) and the old Dunks Ferry Road. A writer ((Hazard’s Register, Vol. 7, p. 29.)) in 1831 describes the village as “a thick settlement commonly called Jugtown.” ((Editor’s Note: The writer in Hazard’s Register actually speaks of the village of Jugtown as separate from Eddington, but nearby.)) A. W. Kennedy marks the village on his map of Bucks County, 1831, Dunksville, in honor of Dunken Williams, founder of Dunks Ferry. Again on the Morris map of Bucks County, 1850, the place is marked Oakgrove. If all these names are to be taken seriously, Eddington as a name for the village must be of recent date, but Eddington is by no means a name new to the locality. Richard Gibbs came from Wiltshire, England, to America in 1746 and taught school in Bensalem. Here he met Lawrence Growden, who gave him a clerkship in his office at Trevose. He was sheriff of Bucks County in 1771-1772. In 1770 he bought a large tract of land on the Bristol Pike, which he called Eddington after a place of the same name in his native county in England, where Alfred the Great defeated the Danes. ((The Bristol Pike, by S. F. Hotchkin, A. M., 1893, p. 319.)) The Eddington estate, from which the village takes its name, passed into the hands of the Rodman family after Gibb’s death in 1798 and now is the site of St. Francis’ Industrial School for orphaned Catholic boys, founded by Mrs. Edward S. Morrell and opened July 19, 1888. Gibbs inherited a fortune by the death of his brother in England, became an ardent friend of the Colonies in the Revolution and loaned a large sum for maintenance of the army, which Congress was unable to refund. He married Margery Harrison of New York in 1753 and was the maternal grandfather of the late Judge John Fox, of Doylestown, Pa. The Vandegrift family, very early settlers in Bensalem, coming from Holland, were influential in Eddington for many years. In 1870, no less than eight families by that name were registered from the village and vicinity. John G. Vandegrift kept a store for fifty years in a building that was very old. His ancestor, John Vandegrift, was licensed in 1744 to keep the ancient Half Way House. Charles S. Vandegrift, Jr., brother of John G. Vandegrift, was a prominent politician of Statewide influence and occupied a seat in the State Senate from 1883 to 1887. On his mother’s side he was a descendant of the Richard Gibbs already mentioned. He was one of a family of twelve children, ten of whom lived to maturity and married. Eddington has two beautiful churches. Christ Episcopal Church, detached from All Saints’ Parish, Lower Dublin Township, Philadelphia, was consecrated by Rt. Rev. H. U. Onderdonk, Bishop of Pennsylvania, March 4, 1844. The rectory, near the church, was designed by Romulo Vazquez, of Holmesburg, Pa. Eddington Presbyterian Church is the outgrowth of the old Bensalem Church. Its architectural distinction is its Gothic tower. The cornerstone was laid in 1886.

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

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