Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
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Source: Summer 2006 Volume 43 Number 3, Pages 99–101

Selected Notes from Township Supervisors' Minutes

Compiled by Jolene Buffman,
Administrative Assistant, Tredyffrin Township

Page 99

[The excerpts below are from a book of early Tredyffrin Township minutes in the archives at the Township office. – The Editor]

[The J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope History of Chester County, Pennsylvania with Genealogical and Biographical Sketches published in 1881 tells us (p. 206) that the first Tredyffrin Township position to be filled was that of Constable in 1707 and that it was held by Thomas Davis. The next positions were 2 Overseers of the Poor first filled in 1720. In 1725 the position of Supervisor of Roads was first filled. These were all elected positions. - The Editor]


Tredyffrin Township is the 7th district in Chester County and a general election on October 14, 1828 is held at the house of Joshua Evans, Innkeeper (Paoli Tavern).

A “Committee of Vigilance” is established for the Townships of Tredyffrin, Easttown and Willistown. It is “friendly to the election of General Jackson.”

Illustration from page 99

Paoli Inn. 1886. Photographer, Julius F. Sachse. Courtesy C. Herbert Fry.

Illustration from page 99

Postcard. “Reading Election Returns, Paoli Inn, 1832.” A poster on the wall says “Vote for Old Hickory” and Andrew Jackson is at the right standing in front of a fireplace. The text at the right is “The Paoli, under the management of Joshua Evans, became a power in the community as well as a representative American roadside tavern. For years the Inn was a political center in addition to being the polling place of the township. Volumes could be written on the traditions and customs of the old inns on the Lancaster Roadside, their scenes of life and activity forming an everchanging kaleidoscope. But their day is done and host and guests, the actors, have with few exceptions long since passed away.” The name C. W. Bensinger appears under the image at the bottom left and is thought to be the artist. The date is unknown. From the “Postcards from Paoli” album, courtesy Paoli Public Library.


Isaiah Worrel is elected Supervisor of Tredyffrin Township.

In bidding to build a bridge over Valley Creek near the Samuel Beaver Mill, John M. Davis is the lowest bidder at $335.00.


In a Township election at the house of Charles Thompson on May 5, 1840 “qualified citizens” vote on whether to continue or discontinue the Common School system establishing free public schools; 80 votes are in favor of continuing the schools and 10 are for discontinuing.

Page 100


At a Township election on March 19, 1841 at the house of Charles Thompson the following officers are elected as required by the law for the Township of Tredyffrin:

Judge of ElectionGeorge Bearer, Jr., 93 votes
InspectorsJohn Barber, 93 votes
John Henry, 93 votes
AssessorRobert Neily, 104 votes
AuditorIsaac Richards, 95 votes
Supervisors (of Roads)William Rue, 99 votes
David Christian, 97 votes
School DirectorsStephen Stephens, 161 votes
William Ritter, 91 votes
ConstableJohn Dickinson, 176 votes
Town ClerkHenry Munshower, 90 votes
Benjamin Rapp, 90 votes

In the 1840s Supervisors are paid $1 for attending meetings.

Township auditors meet regularly at the Howellville Tavern (2nd).

Illustration from page 100

The second Howellville Inn was built in 1820 and stood at the southwest corner of today's intersection of Route 252 and Swedesford Road. The photographer was Paul Pritchard and it was taken in the fall of 1922. Courtesy Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society.

The book of minutes used in this compilation also contains various reports of the auditors. An April 12, 1841 report by 3 officials gives 1840 Township expenses:

West end Supervisor of Roads, Jacob Beidler
Amount of “tax laid and collected”$489.89
Expenses for road work$367.32½
East end Supervisor of Roads, David Reese
Amount of “tax laid and collected”$386.07
Expenses for road work$380.24
Cash paid for “crying” a public sale$2.00
Cash for a road report$1.00
Auditors fees for the day of this meeting$3.00
Tavern bill for the day of this meeting$2.00


The Township pays the Supervisors' horse bills.


There are two Supervisors.

There are two Roadmasters, one for the Western End and one for the Eastern End.


There are three Supervisors.

The Township is divided into 3 sections: Western, Middle and Eastern and there are three Roadmasters. Each is paid $3 per day.


“Consent is hereby granted the Phoenixville, Valley Forge and Strafford Electric Railway Company to construct and operate an electric railway through Tredyffrin Township.”


“It is agreed to pay our Road Laborer $1.60/day for 10 hours work.”


Meetings are held at the Paoli National Bank Building. There are 2 Supervisors and a Secretary.


“State Highway Department requested a report on the mileage and character of all roads in Tredyffrin Township. A survey shows 13.47 miles in Eastern District, 23.6 miles in the Western District, and 26 miles in the Middle District, of which 11.4 miles are dirt, 30.1 miles macadam, 16.1 Tarvia Penetration, 3.1 light oil treated, and 2.3 cinder, making a total of 63 miles of road under the care of supervisors exclusive of state roads.”

Page 101


Police salaries are $200 per month.

“A man from the Bituminous Company of West Chester was present to tell about a new way to make roads by the cold process called Asphalt Emulsion.”


“Supervisors reported that they had measured all roads in the Township not taken over by the state with the following statement: 21.35 miles of asphalt, 7.95 miles of macadam, 7.9 miles of dirt. Total 37.2.”


Police salary is reduced to $175 per month.


“Owing to the bitter complaint of the residents of Devon, the Supervisors were authorized to get the County Surveyor to give an estimate on the cost of a sewer line, the bill to be paid by the P.W.A.”


A police cell is purchased, half by Tredyffrin Township and half by Easttown Township. It is to be located in the Berwyn Fire Company.


A Zoning Commission of 5 members is established.

There are 3 Supervisors serving 6 year terms. They are called the “Board of Road Supervisors.”

Clarence Woodward is appointed Chief of Police for a two year term. There is one other officer on the force: Joseph Hohlefelder.

Meetings are held in the Berwyn School.


A Superintendent of Roads position is created and it pays $150 per month.

The Township purchases 5 acres of land bound by Berwyn Baptist Road on the West and Fairfield Road on the East for $300 per acre to house Township equipment.


Supervisors are paid $4 per meeting.

Meetings are moved to Daylesford, at Russell and Conestoga Roads.

2 acres of land on Old Lancaster Road between Daylesford and Berwyn are pur-chased for the Township at $500 per acre.


Driver Education courses are offered at the high school.

A Joint Council of Defence with Easttown and Willistown Townships is established.


A 3rd policeman is hired.


“Radios of all enemy aliens, from which tubes were taken out by Chief of Police during the war, are to be put back in the original condition upon the request of the owners of the radios.”


A 4th policeman is hired.


Radnor Township asks to use a quarry hole near Route 202 at Howellville for dumping trash and offers to pay $200 per year to the owner. Tredyffrin Township is also interested in using it. The owner, Congeno Aquilante, agreed.


The Police Pension Fund is established; 3% of wages are deducted.

I wish to thank Judy DiFilippo, Chair, Tredyffrin Board of Supervisors and Mimi Gleason, Tredyffrin Township Manager, for an opportunity to peek inside this historic book of minutes of early Tredyffrin Township business and to excerpt additional material from it. And also thanks to Mike Bertram for sending the original compilation our way.– The Editor.


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