Exeter Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania
Exeter Friends Meeting House
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
|• Total||24.6 sq mi (64 km2)|
|• Land||24.4 sq mi (63 km2)|
|• Water||0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)|
|Elevation||279 ft (85 m)|
|• Density||1,000/sq mi (400/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
Exeter Township is a township in Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 25,550 as of the 2010 Census, making it the third most populous municipality in Berks County after the city of Reading and Spring Township. Daniel Boone Homestead is within its borders. Betsy King, the famous female golfer, grew up here. This formerly rural township is now made up of mostly sprawl-oriented developments along U.S. Route 422 (Perkiomen Avenue) and Route 562 (St. Lawerence Avenue/Boyertown Pike.) Its school district also contains the adjacent borough of Saint Lawrence.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 24.6 square miles (64 km2), of which, 24.4 square miles (63 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (0.77%) is water. It is drained by the Schuylkill River which forms its natural southern boundary. While areas closer to the river are low-lying, the NW area of the township is in the South Mountains and exceeds 250 metres (820 feet) at its highest.
Adjacent townships and boroughs
- Lower Alsace Township (west)
- Alsace Township (north)
- Oley Township (northeast)
- Amity Township (east)
- Robeson Township (south)
- Cumru Township (southwest)
422 and 562 are east-to-west routes across the township. Business Route 422 splits off 422 in western Exeter Township, runs NW to St. Lawrence where 562 ends, then turns west for Reading, while 422 becomes the West Shore Expy. Major north-to-south roads include Butter Lane, Daniel Boone Road, East Neversink Road, Limekiln Road, Schoffers Road/Stonetown Road, Shelbourne Road, West Neversink Road, and Route 345, which crosses the river from 422 in Baumstown south to Birdsboro and Chester County. Oley Turnpike heads NE across the township from 562 just east of St. Lawrence.
Unincorporated communities in the township include Baumstown, Five Points (also in Alsace Township,) Jacksonwald, Limekiln (also in Oley Township,) Lorane, Neversink, Pennside (also in Lower Alsace Township,) Reiffton, Stony Creek Mills (also in Lower Alsace Township,) Stonersville, and Stonetown.
The year 1701 is believed to be the year that Berks County was first settled. Swedes, relocating from the Philadelphia and Delaware River areas, settled in what is now Amity Township. In 1712, Isaac DeTurk moved from Esopus, New York to Oley and began a settlement there. It was a mix of French Huguenots, Germans Quakers and Swiss. In 1740, they petitioned Philadelphia County for Oley to become its own Township. Exeter Township was founded December 7, 1741. Previously considered part of Oley Township, the area's residents petitioned Philadelphia County to become a separate Township six months after the establishment of Oley. The petitioners were: James Boone, Benjamin Boone, John Boone, Squire Boone, John Hughes, William Hughes, Francis Yarnell, Peter Yarnell, Michael Warren, Peter Huyett, Peter Higo, Ezekiel Mathias, Roger Rogers, Joseph Brown, Jacob Vetter, and Ellis Hughes. These petitioners represent our Quaker background, and mostly resided in the area around the Quaker Meetinghouse and the Monocacy and Limekiln creeks. The actual name of the Township, "Exeter", is generally credited to the George Boone family. That family was from a town called Bradninch, England, just outside the town of Exeter. Many similarities still exist between the two cities, among them being the geography, soil type, and proximity to a town called St. Lawrence.
Early Residents and Communities
The first community created in Exeter was called Snydersville. It was populated mostly by relatives of Hans Schneider from the Limekiln area. It contained stores, schools, mills, and even a hotel. Some of the other communities that developed early were: Baumstown, Black Bear, Jacksonwald, St. Lawrence, Stonersville, Stonetown, Lorane, and Neversink Station. George Boone and family were one of the most influential families in Exeter. At one time they owned over 1,000 acres (4 km2) of land in the Township and were among the petitioners to form the Township. Of course there's Daniel Boone as well, who we know grew up in Exeter and went on to become famous in his journeys from Kentucky to Missouri. Another important name is Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln's great-great grandfather Mordecai had a homestead that is still standing along Heister's creek.
Through the 19th and 20th centuries, Exeter began to grow due to the need for connections, between the city of Reading, Oley, Boyertown, Birdsboro, and King of Prussia. Trolley lines pushed through the Township, in the Farming Ridge area on its way to Boyertown and in the Reiffton area headed towards Birdsboro. Suburban sprawl got going post WWII to boost Exeter's population and the Route 422 Expy to King of Prussia was completed in the 1980s. All of these things lead us up to what Exeter Township is today, a thriving community of over 25,000 people.
Exeter's school district is made up of three K-4 grades elementary schools: Lorane, Owatin Creek, and Jacksonwald; one 5-6 grades middle school: Reiffton; one 7-8 grades junior high: Exeter Junior High School; and one 9-12 grade senior high: Exeter Township Senior High School.There is a district website: 
|Source: US Census Bureau|
As of the census of 2000, there were 21,161 people, 7,934 households, and 6,061 families residing in the township. The population density was 867.6 people per square mile (335.0/km²). There were 8,208 housing units at an average density of 336.5/sq mi (129.9/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 95.37% White, 2.05% African American, 0.10% Native American, 1.16% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.55% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.77% of the population.
There were 7,934 households out of which 34.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.7% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.6% were non-families. 19.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the township the population was spread out with 25.2% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $56,956, and the median income for a family was $65,061. Males had a median income of $46,067 versus $31,149 for females. The per capita income for the township was $25,071. About 2.3% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.5% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.
Board of supervisors
- Megan Walsh, Chairman
- Gary Lloyd, Vice-chair
- Jeff Bukowski
- Kenneth A. Smith
- Dona Starr
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.