Holicong, Pennsylvania

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

Village in central northwestern Buckingham Township between Buckingham and Lahaska and at the intersection of Old York Road (Route 202) and the road leading from Holicong Station on the Northeast Pennsylvania Railroad to the Durham Road (Route 656). Its first known name was Grintown. It must have been so called for some time prior to 1800. In an advertisement1 dated December 24, 1800, William Michener offers to sell at private sale “a valuable lot of land, containing between 20 and 30 acres, with a good stone house and shop adjoining said house… the lot situated in Grintown, near Dr. John Wilson’s.” Several fanciful explanations of the origin of this name include that of an eccentric village character with a continual grin on his face, and also that of a similar individual who made everybody laugh as he passed through the village, whereupon he exclaimed, “This must be Grintown.” Its next name was Greenville, but when the transition occurred does not appear. A correspondent2 suggests it may have been named Greenville for General Nathaniel Greene, a familiar figure in the neighborhood for some time during the Revolutionary War. It was Greenville until June 2, 1881, when it was made a post office, with Edwin J. Kirk as the first postmaster, and it then became Holicong. This was a common name in Buckingham and a corruption of the word “Hollekonk.” The village was long an educational center. The famed Martha Hampton School for Girls was opened by two sisters, Martha Hampton and Hannah Lloyd, about 1824 in the long white house still standing in the northwest crossroads corner. “Elm Grove,” the beautiful old homestead of the Johnson, Wilson, and Paxson families, “on the spring stream where it crosses the Old York Road and is lost in the bright green meadows,” marks the northeastern limit of the village.


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

  1. The Farmers’ Weekly Journal, Doyltown, Pa., issue of December 30, 1800. []
  2. Joseph E. Sandford, Brooklyn, N. Y. []

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