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Newtown Borough Council records


Held at: Newtown Historic Association [Contact Us]Centre Avenue and Court Street, Newtown, Pennsylvania

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Newtown Historic Association. 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

"After William Penn had laid out Philadelphia, his "great town", in 1682, he traveled north through a vast tract of land he had purchased from the local Indians. Some 28 miles northeast of Philadelphia, in the middle of trees that bordered a creek flowing to the Delaware River, he allegedly announced "This is where I propose to build my 'new town'". No documentation supports this tale but, two years later in 1684, William Penn's surveyor, Thomas Holme, devised a plan for a new settlement initially called New Township. Straddling what is now called Newtown Creek, the site included 640 acres. In time, the name was shortened to Newtown.

"The small village along Newtown Creek became the County Seat of Bucks in 1725 and it remained the center of county government until 1813 when the Court House was moved to Doylestown. The village had been settled as part of Newtown Township until it was incorporated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania General Assembly as a borough on April 16, 1838. Qualified voters accepted the Act of Incorporation and, on May 21, 1838, met at the public house of Oliver Cadwallader to elect by ballot one person for Chief Burgess, one person for Assistant Burgess and nine persons to compose a Town Council, five of whom were to be free-holders. The newly elected officials then met for the inaugural Council session.

"The Borough was enlarged four times since 1838 and its buildings show excellent examples of all major architectural styles. Newtown Borough became one of Bucks County's preeminent communities with the construction of many substantial colonial residences and taverns. The Historic District was established in 1969, enlarged in 1976, again in 1985 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Newtown today still retains the character of this important period of history."


Quoted text from: Borough of Newtown. "History." Accessed January 29, 2013.

This collection contains various records of the Newtown Borough Council, including minute books, ordinances, and financial records.

The minute books in this collection span from the creation of the Borough in 1838 until 1979 (incomplete). Other records include volumes of ordinances and resolutions, 1843-1986; treasurer's reports, 1959-1979; receipt books, 1944-1961; real estate assessment rolls, 1984-1990; a road tax receipt book, 1913; and various brochures and ephemera, circa 1990-2010. The collection also contains a sizeable amount of records from the turn of the 20th century, such as: invoices and receipts for Borough expenses, circa 1890-1910; tax assessments, circa 1892-1900; and other miscellaneous documents, including petitions and reports, circa 1895.

In addition to Borough Council records, this collection contains some materials from other Newtown Borough bodies as well as records from history-related Borough groups: Borough of Newtown Historic Architecture Review Board minutes, 1981-2003; and Newtown Joint Historic Commission minutes (1981-2000), correspondence (circa 1980-2000), house surveys, and demolition information. In addition, there are some files from the Planning and Zoning Commission, 1968-2000.

An item-level inventory for this collection is available in a database on-site.

Accession numbers include: 2005.0034, 1501.0001, 1705.0007, 1703.0001, 1500.0081, 1685.0001, 2005.0056, and 1685.0001.

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.

Detailed, computerized inventories of all of the items in this collection are available on site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Newtown Historic Association directly for more information.

Newtown Historic Association
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.
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