Bethel Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Entering Bethel Township on Pennsylvania Route 261
|Elevation||444 ft (135.3 m)|
|Area||5.44 sq mi (14.1 km2)|
|- land||5.44 sq mi (14 km2)|
|- water||0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%|
|Density||1,616.0 / sq mi (623.9 / km2)|
|- summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
Bethel Township was the smallest of all the original townships of Chester County, Pennsylvania. The township is mentioned as early as 1683, and means "House of God". In 1683, Edward Beazer and Edward Brown had 500 acres surveyed to them in the northeasterly end of the township. On this tract, Bethel hamlet, afterwards known as Corner Ketch, and the present village of Chelsea, is located. In 1686 the grand jury reported the laying out of the road from Bethel to Chichester.
The settlers of Bethel Township were among the earliest settlers of the Pennsylvania Colony, and many were members of the Religious Society of Friends, or "Quakers". The list of taxables for Bethel township in 1693, shows nine tax payers: John Gibbons, Ralph Pyle, John Bushel, Nicholas Pyle, Edward Beaner, Robert Eyre, Thomas Garrett, John Howard, Thomas Cooper. In 1715, the list had doubled to include: Robert Pyle, John Grist, Robert Booth, Edward Beazer, John Canady, Benjamin Moulder, Joseph Pyle, John Hickman, Edward Griffith, John Hopton, John Gibbons, and Thomas Durnell. Robert Pyle, a leader of the Society of Friends, was almost continuously a member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly from 1688 until 1705.
On September 26, 1789, Delaware County was established by separating from the eastern portion of Chester County.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 5.7 square miles (15 km2), all of it land.
As of the 2010 census, the township was 88.6% White non-Hispanic, 1.8% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 6.1% Asian, and 1.0% were two or more races. 2.2% of the population was of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,421 people, 1,984 households, and 1,732 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,132.3 people per square mile (437.2/km²). There were 2,017 housing units at an average density of 355.7/sq mi (137.3/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 94.44% White, 2.18% African American, 0.03% Native American, 2.41% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.93% of the population.
There were 1,984 households out of which 50.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 78.3% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 12.7% were non-families. 9.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.16 and the average family size was 3.40.
In the township the population was spread out with 31.5% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 34.7% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 99.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.7 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $84,661, and the median income for a family was $87,248. Males had a median income of $60,496 versus $36,272 for females. The per capita income for the township was $29,349. About 1.0% of families and 2.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.4% of those under age 18 and 4.4% of those age 65 or over.
- Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, by Samuel T. Wiley
- A History of Delaware County, Published By Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York 1914
- Colonial And Revolutionary Families Of Pennsylvania, by John W. Jordan
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- The township's web site has a wealth of information on the history of Bethel reproduced, with the author's permission, from the book "Bethel Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Thru Three Centuries. A historical account of an early Pennsylvania Community" by George Walter Goodley.
- Bethel Township at DelawareCountyPA.com
- Early history of Bethel Township, Pennsylvania