How did Fretz Valley in Pennsylvania get it’s name? This page provides a brief history about Fretz Valley in Pennsylvania, the people who settled on it, and the industry rising around it.
The well-established name of a beautiful valley in southwestern Doylestown Township, extending over the township line into Warrington. It lies east of the old Philadelphia and Easton Stage Road (Route 611). The Almshouse Road crosses the lower part of the valley. Fretz Valley was named for John Fretz, grandson of the immigrant, John Fretz. He was a son of Christian (son of John, the immigrant) and was born in Bedminster Township May 24, 1758. He purchased 800 acres of the Rodman tract in Doylestown Township (formerly Warwick) in 1792. He was a soldier in Captain William McHenry’s Company during the Revolution and at his death owned 800 acres of land in the valley. His son Christian inherited the homestead at his father’s death. Christian was also a large landowner and established the inn at the cross roads, directly opposite the County Home. From the figure of a wheat sheaf on its sign board it was known as Wheat Sheaf Inn. Philip Kratz Fretz, son of Christian, inherited the homestead and inn, but owned the inn only four years, when he disposed of it to engage in the contracting business with his brother-in-law, John Farren. They were successful in business, building the “horseshoe curve” on the Pennsylvania Railroad over the Alleghenies. Philip Kratz Fretz died in 1868 aboard ship off the Carolina coast while on a journey to visit his brothers, Ralph and John, in California. A number of Philip K.’s descendants became prominent in business and professional life. John Stover Fretz, his son, was owner of part of the homestead tract and built a saw mill in the valley. This property remained in possession of his widow, Mrs. Mary W. Long Fretz, for a number of years until her death December 11, 1940. A post office was established at Fretz Valley May, 1832, with Colonel Christopher Bloom as postmaster. Colonel Bloom, who had been landlord of the Turk’s Head Hotel, had just rented Wheat Sheaf Inn from Christopher Fretz and he installed the post office in the inn. In an adjoining building he conducted the saddlery business. Later, and after it ceased to be a hotel, the inn property was owned by Charles A. Fretz, a brother of John Stover Fretz. A portion of the valley was also owned by the Farren family for many years.
Source: MacReynolds, George. Place Names in Bucks County Pennsylvania, 2nd Edition. Doylestown, PA: The Bucks County Historical Society, 1955.
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Thank you for this. I currently live on a section of the property once owned by the Fretz family. I was looking through historic maps of Doylestown and was curious if there was more about the name on the parcel. Thank you for posting this.