Main content

Joseph Heacock Company records


Held at: Lower Makefield Historical Society [Contact Us]P.O. Box 228, Yardley, PA, 19067

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Lower Makefield Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The Joseph Heacock Company, located in Edgewood Village (also known as Roelofs) in Lower Makefield Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, served as one of the area's largest employers during the first half of the 20th century. Growers of palms, roses, orchids, and carnations, the company gained international fame, particularly for its roses.

Joseph Heacock, Jr. (1846-1918), who served as a Pennsylvania State Senator from 1910-1914, came from an old Quaker farming family from Montgomery and Bucks counties. Reared on his father's farm in Wyncote, Pa., Heacock became interested in improving the science of agriculture. After paying off debts from an unsuccessful farming venture, Heacock rented his father's farm in 1875 and began truck farming. Later, he began to erect heated greenhouses where he specialized in roses, carnations and palms. To furnish fertilizer for his flowers he had roughly 200 cows, which produced about 1600 quarts of milk daily.

As his farming business in Wyncote became fruitful, Heacock established the Joseph Heacock Company in Lower Makefield, and in doing so, turned Edgewood Village into a company town. He purchased many of the homes in the area to rent to his employees as well as several surrounding farms for the company's operation. Heacock's farm spanned 40 acres.

Heacock's nursery became one of the largest growers of roses in the country. Like his farm in Wyncote, in conjunction with the farm's glass greenhouses, Heacock established a dairy farm with 200 to 300 cows. Milked by hand and processed on site, the Heacock Company's dairy production serviced the Bucks County area as well as organizations in Philadelphia, such as Girard College. The manure collected from the cow barns and the beef corrals was used to fertilize the greenhouses, which covered six acres. The cow barns burned to the ground in 1927 and were never rebuilt.

Joseph's son, James Walker Heacock (b. 1879), took over as the company's president after Joseph's death in 1918. The Joseph Heacock Company closed its doors in 1974, selling all of the tenant houses that once housed its employees.


"Joseph Heacock Company: Growers of Palms, Roses, Orchids, and Carnations". The Makefield Monograph 14 no. 3 (May 2013).

Roberts, Clarence Vernon and Warren Smedley Ely. Early Friends Families of Upper Bucks, with Some Account of Their Descendants: Historical and Genealogical Information about the Early Settlers in Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1925. (Page 265) Accessed September 4, 2013.

This collection primarily consists of financial ledgers (12 volumes) as well as a few other items including a deed, ephemera, and bylaws. The following is a full inventory: Receipts and Expenses, January 1891-June 1897 (also includes lists of coal used 1896-1897) Account book, 1911- 1914 Cash book, 1911-1919 Bills payable, 1917-1918 Expense Book, 1893-1902 Expense Book, 1894-1895 Expense Book, 1911-1914 Expense Book, 1911-1914 Expense Book, 1915-1918 Insurance Records Receipts and Expenses of Greenhouses, 1893-1902 Payment and Construction Costs notebook, 1887 George Doan to David Cook deed, April 8, 1887 (Heacock Property?) Philadelphia Flower Show First Prize certificate, 1930 Joseph Heacock By-laws 1917

Gift of Margaret (Moy) Heacock Shoen.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Lower Makefield Historical Society directly for more information.

Lower Makefield Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Access Restrictions

Contact Lower Makefield Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

Print, Suggest