Edgely, Pennsylvania

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

Village in northeast Bristol Township, with a station of the same name on the New York Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Its first name was Cold Spring, probably given to it by the very first white settler, because of two large springs there, which are still a source of water supply for the neighborhood. The spot is sacred to the Baptist denomination as the site of their first church in Pennsylvania. Rev, Thomas Dungan, pioneer Baptist minister in the Province, came to Bucks County in 1684 from Newport, Rhode Island, where the second Baptist Church in America had been founded in 1644 and where the minister had held several offices, including that of Assistant Deputy Governor of Rhode Island. He was the son of William Dungan, of St. Martin’s in the Fields, Middlesex, England, and Frances Latham. daughter of Lewis Latham, falconer to King Charles I, Frances at the time of her marriage to William Dungan being the widow of Lord Watson. Rev. Thomas’ son William had come to Cold Spring in 1683, and the father followed him the next year and settled on a 200-acre grant of land received from William Penn. It was then almost a wilderness, but the minister gathered a small congregation about him and labored among his people for four years, when he died (in 1688) and was buried in the graveyard he had laid out. The graveyard is all that remains to show that the Dungans, Gardners, Woods and Doyles comprised most of his congregation. Whether or not a church was built is not known, but it is quite likely that a log cabin served that purpose. After the death of their pastor the congregation held together four years longer, when (in 1702) it was broken up and most of its members joined with their brethren of the Pennypack Church in Lower Dublin Township, Philadelphia, organized in January, 1688. Rev. Thomas Dungan had nine children. The eighth child, Rebecca, married Edward Doyle and came with her husband and father from Rhode Island to Cold Spring. The Doyles did not join with the rest of the congregation in the move to Pennypack, but bought land on the Delaware River, and after the death of Edward, his sons Edward and Clement came to the vicinity of what is now Doylestown about 1730 and founded the town that today bears their name. Rev. John Watts, said to have been the finest pulpit orator of all the early English Baptists who came to America, is buried in the Cold Spring graveyard. He was pastor of Pennypack Church from 1690 to 1702. “Edgely” was the name given to the estate of Mrs. Anna M. Brown, adjoining the station, and may have been suggested by the fact that one edge of the long narrow property borders the river Delaware. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company changed the name of Cold Spring Station to Edgely on September 1, 1891.

“Cold Spring Farm” of 90 acres adjoins the Brown property and was once owned by Dr. Edward Morwitz, noted publisher and inventor. The great Bloomsdale Farm of the D. Landreth Seed Company, the oldest institution of its kind in the United States, established in 1784, is beautifully seated on 540 acres of the river bank from Bristol to Edgely. One of the earliest ferries on the Delaware River, established as Minnicks Ferry, later Bloomsdale Ferry, was located on this farm near Edgely.

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

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