Springfield Township


There are few communities in this great country of ours that have such an interesting and historic background as that of Springfield. Situated in one of the most beautiful and fertile parts of Delaware County, the area has been the scene of home life for nearly three centuries. The first established white settlement was made by the hardy Quaker pioneers who arrived with William Penn at Chester in 1682. Some of them secured land grants in the Springfield territory as early as 1681 but it was several years later before actual residence was made. Listings of the family names on the land grants issued prior to the year 1700 show the nationality background of the newcomers. They were mostly English and Welsh, with an admixture of Scotch-Irish, Dutch, Swedish and German surnames. Prominent among them were Coppock, Taylor, Lownes, Lester or Leicester, Maddock, Kennerly, Edge, Bonsal, James, Yarnall, Thomas, Powel, Maris, Stidman, Levis, Simcock, Smith, Wood, Elliott, Clews, Cartledge, and Foulke. Slightly later the names of Hall, Evans, Pennock, Davis, Ogden, Pancoast, Gleaves, Worrall or Worrell, and many others whose descendants still reside in the township, appeared on the tax lists.

Springfield is first mentioned as a governmental entity in 1686. In that year Peter Lester was named as constable by the court at Chester. In the same year George Maris, Samuel Levis, and Bartholomew Coppock, all prominent citizens of the frontier community were appointed commissioners to the first Court of Equity. Even at this early period, the inhabitants were eager to assume their civic responsibilities - a clarion call to service that Springfield citizens today never fail to heed. Farming and the grazing of cattle were the principal occupations of the inhabitants of the township. Each cattle owner had his own brand and the strays that wandered off into the virgin forest were usually returned unless destroyed by wolves. These predatory beasts became so numerous that in 1687 a bounty by the authorities for their destruction.