Hulmeville, Pennsylvania

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

Borough on Neshaminy Creek, erected from southwestern Middletown Township in 1872. Its first name was Milford, then Hulmeville. The Hulme family, from which Hulmeville took its name, is of Norman origin, dating from William the Conqueror. The name originally was DeHoulme. Members of the family first settled in Lancashire, England, a branch moving later to Cheshire, and the American family came from this branch. George Hulme, Sr., and his son, George, Jr., arrived in this country about 1700 from Tilston, Cheshire, and settled in Middletown Township, where they bought land, some of the family later removing to Buckingham. John Hulme, Jr., a great-grandson of the immigrant, after his marriage in 1770 to Rebecca Milnor, daughter of William Milnor, of Fallsington, removed with his father from Buckingham to Fallsington. There they carried on a large weaving business until 1796, when John Hulme, Jr., purchased land on Neshaminy Creek covering most of the site of the present borough of Hulmeville, which he called Milford (mill at the ford). At that time there was but one dwelling house on the property.

John Hulme was energetic and a man of much business capacity. Within a few years his village comprised thirty houses and several valuable mills and workshops. His five sons all engaged in useful employments, one as a miller, one a storekeeper, another a tanner, the fourth a storekeeper and the fifth a farmer, all residing in the neighborhood and working together for the advancement of the little town. There was no public house in Hulmeville for a number of years, and John Hulme frequently threw open his doors to entertain travelers. He was greatly pleased when, on an autumn day in 1809, Josiah Quincy and his wife stopped with him for the night on their way from Boston to Washington. John Hulme served a term in the assembly and was instrumental in establishing a post office at Milford, of which his son Isaac was the first postmaster, appointed October 1, 1809. It then became necessary to find a new name for the office and it was called Hulmeville. The town itself may not have been so called until 1814, the year in which the first bank in Bucks County was organized there.

John Hulme, who was instrumental in founding the bank, was its first president, and “the Assembly of Pennsylvania,” it is claimed, “paid him the compliment of changing the name of the town to Hulmeville in his honor.” The bank was removed to Bristol in 1830 and subsequently became the Farmers’ National Bank, which on January 9, 1940, celebrated the 125th year of its existence. The present president is former U.S. Senator Joseph R. Grundy, who is a lineal descendant of John Hulme, the first president. The Harrisons intermarried with the Hulmes and have long been prominent residents of Hulmeville.

The following obituary notice is copied from the issue of the Doylestown Democrat of October 29, 1833:

“At the house of her son, George Harrison, in Hulmeville, on the 23rd of September, RACHEL HARRISON, at the advanced age of 84 years. She retained her mental faculties to the last, in a remarkable degree, and as late as one week before her death, recognized a gentleman whom she had not seen for thirty-five years—he had been an ensign under her husband in the Revolutionary War, and when conversing together, reminded him of many events that had occurred in those perilous times.”

Doylestown Democrat of October 29, 1833

Hulmeville has been more or less an industrial center from John Hulme’s time down to the present, and was especially active along such lines in its early days, when it ranked first in that respect in the county.

Neshaminy Methodist Church of Hulmeville, one of the oldest of that denomination in the county, celebrated its 100th anniversary from September 30 to October 13, 1940.

The following advertisements from the Pennsylvania Correspondent, issue of August 5, 1811, gives a good picture of the woolen industry of those days:


THE subscribers return their thanks to the public for past favors, and acquaint them that they are establishing a Woolen & Worsted Manufactory at Hulmeville (formerly called Milford) Bucks county, Pennsylvania: where they are now ready for the reception of either fine or coarse Wool, to manufacture into Cloth of any quality that the Wool shall be susceptible of making. As they have procured excellent workmen and machinery, the work shall be warranted well and expeditiously done, for the following prices:-To receive the Wool after being well assorted, with all the dead ends and burrs taken off and picked-they will find oil, card, spin, and weave Cloth of usual width, for 44 cents per yard, of yarn 12 cuts to the lb. on coarse for blanketing, (say 8 cuts yard) at 36 cents per yard, and from that to any fineness in the same proportion. They will have an excellent set of fulling apparatus ready early in the season, which will enable them to dye and dress Cloth of any color, in the best manner, at very short notice, and at the customary prices. ALSO, will be kept for sale an assortment of
Worsted and Woolen Yarn.

WOOL, carded and spun for customers as usual, at the customary prices.


N. B. All kinds of Machinery made on the most improved plans and at short notice, for picking, carding and spinning Wool, by

James Beers.

Hulmeville, July 25, 1811.

Pennsylvania Correspondent of August 5, 1811


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

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