Jump to content

Darby, Pennsylvania

Coordinates: 39°55′06″N 75°15′30″W / 39.91833°N 75.25833°W / 39.91833; -75.25833
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Darby, Pennsylvania
Darby Friends Meeting House, built 1805
Location in Delaware County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Location in Delaware County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Darby is located in Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania
Darby is located in the United States
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 39°55′06″N 75°15′30″W / 39.91833°N 75.25833°W / 39.91833; -75.25833
CountryUnited States
 • MayorDarren R. Burrell
 • Total0.84 sq mi (2.18 km2)
 • Land0.84 sq mi (2.18 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
79 ft (24 m)
 • Total10,715
 • Density12,725.65/sq mi (4,912.05/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area codes610 and 484
FIPS code42-18152

Darby is a borough in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. The borough is located along Darby Creek 5 miles (8.0 km) southwest of Center City Philadelphia. The borough of Darby is distinct from the nearby municipality of Darby Township.


17th century[edit]

Darby was settled in 1682 by seven Quaker families led by abolitionist and fair trade advocate John Blunston. The name Darby is derived from the English city of Derby (pronounced "Darby"), the county town of Derbyshire (pronounced "Darbyshire"), the origin of many early settlers.[3] Incorporated on May 3, 1853,[4] it had 3,429 residents in 1900, 6,305 in 1910, 10,334 in 1940, and 10,687 at the 2010 census.

Darby founder John Blunston immigrated to Pennsylvania in October 1682. He was involved in real estate, agriculture, and goods trading. An early Quaker settler, Blunston was a close associate of William Penn and an active political figure in early Pennsylvania. He first served in the Colonial Assembly from 1683 to 1688. In this early stage of provincial government, Blunston became a strong proponent for the rights of the Assembly. In 1685 Blunston was appointed to a committee that argued against the Provincial Council's practice of enacting laws without legislative approval. In the same year, Blunston led the Assembly in their attempt to impeach Chief Justice Nicholas More. Blunston returned to the Assembly for the 1695 term. During his second period of service in the Assembly, he was elected the 12th Speaker of the Assembly on May 10, 1697. He was re-elected Speaker on May 10, 1699, and again on May 10, 1700. During this time he was instrumental in drafting a new frame of government for the Province. He retired from the Assembly after the 1701 term.

18th century[edit]

In addition to Blunston's service in the Assembly, he served as a Provincial Councilor starting in 1700 and ending in 1723. He served as justice of the peace for Chester County from 1684 to 1693 and again from 1695 to 1703. He was also actively involved with Darby Quaker Meeting House in what was then Chester County (now Delaware County), and was one of the Quakers who fought to cease the slave trade amongst Friends. He called upon purchasers to boycott products made by slaves as stolen products, thus advocating what we would call today a "Fair Trade" policy. He represented the Chester Quarterly Meeting at the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends 17 times between 1688 and 1715.

Darby is home to the fifth-oldest all-volunteer Fire Department and the Darby Free Library, one of the oldest libraries in the United States, founded in 1743.The Darby Friends Burial Ground is the oldest Cemetery in Pennsylvania in continuous use, opened in 1682.

19th century[edit]

The first temperance society in Pennsylvania is documented in a record, "Darby Association for Discouraging the Unnecessary Use of Spirituous Liquors", organized in Delaware County in 1819, at the Darby Friends Meetinghouse.

In 1833, three of the founding fourteen women to create the Pennsylvania Female Anti Slavery Society were members of the Darby Friends Meeting.

20th century[edit]

Violent racial incidents hit all over the country as part of the 1919 Red Summer. The Darby 1919 lynching attempt was the attempted lynching of Samuel Gorman of Darby on July 23, 1919. Samuel Gorman, a 17-year-old black boy, was sent to jail for the alleged murder of William E. Taylor.


Darby has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), all land. It has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) and average monthly temperatures range from 33.6 °F in January to 78.3 °F in July.[5]


Historical population


Darby borough, Pennsylvania – Racial and ethnic composition
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity (NH = Non-Hispanic) Pop 2000[11] Pop 2010[12] Pop 2020[13] % 2000 % 2010 2020
White alone (NH) 3,722 1,706 895 36.14% 15.96% 8.35%
Black or African American alone (NH) 6,143 8,330 8,849 59.65% 77.95% 82.59%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 11 26 25 0.11% 0.24% 0.23%
Asian alone (NH) 84 74 78 0.82% 0.69% 0.73%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 7 3 0 0.07% 0.03% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 29 16 70 0.28% 0.15% 0.65%
Mixed Race or Multi-Racial (NH) 205 304 330 1.99% 2.84% 3.08%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 98 228 468 0.95% 2.13% 4.37%
Total 10,299 10,687 10,715 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%


As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 10,299 people, 3,405 households and 2,393 families residing in the borough. The population density was 12,624.5 inhabitants per square mile (4,874.3/km2). There were 3,999 housing units at an average density of 4,902.0 per square mile (1,892.7/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 36.37% White, 60.00% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.87% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.51% from other races, and 2.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.95% of the population.

There were 3,405 households, out of which 41.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.1% were married couples living together, 30.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.45.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 33.4% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 17.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.3 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $26,938, and the median income for a family was $30,065. Males had a median income of $35,507 versus $22,451 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $16,990. About 35.5% of families and 20.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.6% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those age 65 or over.

Darby is a relatively urban place, with almost twice the population density of nearby Darby Township. The Pennsylvania State Police reported[14] that the crime rate (per capita)in 2011 compared to the per-capita rate for Delaware County as a whole was six times for violent crimes (murder, robbery and assault, not including sex crimes), 24 times for property crimes (including arson), but only two times for drug offenses (not including alcohol offenses).[15]


William Penn School District serves Darby.[16] The district was created in 1972; prior to that year, Darby was in the Darby-Colwyn School District.[17]

  • Park Lane Elementary School (K-6)
  • Walnut Street Elementary School (K-6)
  • Penn Wood Middle School (7-8)
  • Penn Wood High School, Cypress Street Campus-Freshnman Academy (9) (Yeadon)
  • Penn Wood High School, Green Avenue Campus (10-12) (Lansdowne)

The city is also home to Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM), a parochial school affiliated with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia.


Highways and roads[edit]

US 13 northbound in Darby

As of 2018, there were 14.14 miles (22.76 km) of public roads in Darby, of which 2.19 miles (3.52 km) were maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and 11.95 miles (19.23 km) were maintained by the borough.[18]

U.S. Route 13 is the only numbered highway serving Darby. It follows a southwest-to-northeast alignment along MacDade Boulevard through the center of the borough.


Darby is served by the SEPTA Subway–Surface Trolley Lines number 11 and 13 at the Darby Transportation Center and the SEPTA Wilmington/Newark Line at the Darby station.

Darby once had three other railroad stations. Two, owned by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (now the Philadelphia Subdivision of CSX), one at Main and 6th Streets,[19] where the SEPTA Route 11 trolley crosses today, and the other, Boone Station, at Poplar Street and Lawrence Avenue The other, owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad, stood where the current station stands, and later across the tracks.[19]


Darby Borough is in Pennsylvania's 5th Congressional district, currently represented by Democrat Mary Gay Scanlon. In the Pennsylvania legislature, Darby is represented by Democrat Joanna E. McClinton in the 191st House District. Darby is in the 8th Pennsylvania Senate District, represented by Democrat Anthony H. Williams.

In local politics, Democrats hold an absolute majority of the borough's council seats, and the mayorship is held by Democrat Darren R. Burrell.

Office Ward Holder Party
Councilwoman 3rd Ward Jennifer Parks Democratic
Councilman 1st Ward Darlene Hill Democratic
Councilwoman (Vice-President) 1st Ward Tracey Holmes Williams Democratic
Councilwoman 1st Ward Rozeta Johnston Democratic
Councilwoman 3rd Ward Lucille Pratt Democratic
Councilman 2nd Ward Alfred Robinson, Jr Democratic
Councilwoman 2nd Ward Janice Davis Democratic
Councilman (President) 2nd Ward Rudolph Taylor III Democratic
Councilman 3rd Ward Omar Thompson Democratic

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Census Population API". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Oct 12, 2022.
  3. ^ Gannett 1905, p. 100.
  4. ^ Ashmeade & Hungerford 1884, p. 516.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  8. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Census 2020".
  11. ^ "P004 Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2000: DEC Summary File 1 – Darby borough, Pennsylvania". United States Census Bureau.
  12. ^ "P2 Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Darby borough, Pennsylvania". United States Census Bureau.
  13. ^ "P2 Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Darby borough, Pennsylvania". United States Census Bureau.
  14. ^ "Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting System". Archived from the original on 2013-06-19.
  15. ^ 483 vs 4168, 881 vs 19521 and 101 vs 2442, reported crimes respectively, for borough population of 10,687 and county population of 558,979 as given in their report.
  16. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Delaware County, PA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  17. ^ Hilferty, John (1972-11-05). "East Lansdowne's Heart Big". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia. pp. 1 N-W, N–W. - Clipping of first and of second page at Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "Darby Borough map" (PDF). PennDOT. Retrieved March 12, 2023.
  19. ^ a b Existing Railroad Stations in Delaware County, Pennsylvania
  20. ^ "Experience America's first botanic garden". Archived from the original on 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2012-04-19.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Bordering communities
of Philadelphia
Succeeded by