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Elizabeth Miller
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Radnor Township

 

Radnor History

    In 1800, Dr. Samuel Jones of Philadelphia, PA received a land warrant for 4,000 acres in the United States Military lands in payment for his service in the American Revolution.  Dr. Jones died before he could allot all of his land.  David Pugh purchased the remaining 3,505 acres for $2,650.00, or about $.75 an acre.  He christened the area Radnor after his home county in Wales.

    Welsh settlers came to this country for three reasons: First, they wanted to own their own land, second, they wanted to support and worship in the church of their choice and third, they wanted an education for their children.

    The first settlers were the Perry family in 1803.  The first death in 1807 required a burial ground.  It was later set out like those in Wales with a hedge fence (since removed) with a more elaborate Lynch Gate added in 1911.

    Radnor Township had nine one-room schools.  At one time Radnor had five churches: Baptist, Congregational, Methodist, Presbyterian and Episcopal.  Of the three early structures still standing, the Baptist building having been burned and replaced, only the Congregational building is still used as a church.

    Pugh had designated a plot for a village named New Baltimore.  It never materialized.  In 1833, Edward Evans laid out his own village called Delhi.  The other residents chose to go by that name also until the late 1870’s when, at the request of the railroad, the people decided to name the village Radnor, the same as the township.

    More interesting Radnor history through artifacts and pictures is housed in the Radnor Historic Museum, 4425 State Route 203 under the auspices of the Radnor Heritage Society, founded in 1989.  The museum is open 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM the first and third Sundays of April through October.  Admission is free and it is handicapped accessible.