Iron Hill in Pennsylvania

How did Iron Hill in Pennsylvania get its name? This page provides a brief history about Iron Hill in Pennsylvania, the people who settled on it, and the industry rising around it.

A portion of the ridge forming the watershed between Pine Run and North Branch of Neshaminy Creek, almost wholly in New Britain Township. Only the lowermost part of the southeastern slope crosses the line into Doylestown Township. The ridge is divided by a shallow depression into two parts. The northeastern part near New Galena has an elevation of 500 feet. The southwestern part, Iron Hill proper, about a mile and a quarter northwest of New Britain Borough, has an elevation of 440 feet. This hill was the home of the celebrated Wigtons, a Scotch-Irish family. Samuel Whigdon, the pioneer (name subsequently changed to Wigton), settled in New Britain between the years 1735 and 1740. Samuel’s brother, John, ancestor of the Bucks County branch of the family, was owner of 175 acres of land in two tracts on Iron Hill, purchased respectively in 1744 and 1791. One of John’s sons, Captain James Wigton, was killed in the Battle of Wyoming, July 3, 1778. The same day all his family was massacred by Indians except a daughter, Isabel, who escaped and was brought on horseback to Bucks County by her uncle, Lieutenant Samuel Wigton, son of John. Lieutenant Wigton served in the Fourth Battalion, Bucks County Militia, and was in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth. Wigtons also distinguished themselves in the Second War with Great Britain and in the Civil War. The rectangular brick mansion on Iron Hill, a landmark for a century and a half, was probably built by Lieutenant Samuel Wigton about 1791. It is quite likely the name Iron Hill was given to the mansion and hill by Samuel Wigton, a son of Lieutenant Wigton and an early ironmaster of western Pennsylvania before his death in 1828. So far as known, there is no record of the finding of iron ore in sufficient quantity in this hill to have given it its name.


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

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