Main Births etc
West Chester
Official name: Borough of West Chester
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Chester
Elevation 446 ft (136 m)
Coordinates 39°57′31″N 75°36′18″W / 39.95861, -75.605
Area 1.8 sq mi (5 km²)
 - land 1.8 sq mi (5 km²)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km²)
Population 18,461 (2010)
Density 10,256.1 / sq mi (3,960 / km²)
Mayor Carolyn Comitta
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Codes 19380-19383, 19388
Area code 484, 610
Location of West Chester in Pennsylvania
Locator Red.svg
Location of West Chester in Pennsylvania

Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States


The Borough of West Chester is the county seat of Chester County, Pennsylvania,[1] United States. The population was 18,461 at the 2010 census.[2]

West Chester University of Pennsylvania is located in the borough. Valley Forge, the Brandywine Battlefield, Longwood Gardens, Marsh Creek State Park, and other historical attractions are nearby.


The area was originally known as Turk's Head — after the inn of the same name located in what is now the center of the borough.[3] West Chester has been the seat of government in Chester County since 1786, and the borough incorporated in 1799.[4] In the heart of town is its courthouse, a classical revival building designed in the 1840s by Thomas U. Walter, one of the architects for the Capitol in Washington, D.C. [5] In the eighteenth century West Chester was a center of clockmaking. In the late nineteenth century the Hoopes, Bro. and Darlington company became a major wheelworks, first for wagons and later automobiles.[6][7] In the early twentieth, an important industry was the Sharples cream separator company.[8] In the late twentieth the pioneer in microcomputers Commodore International, giving its headquarters as West Chester, was located approximately a mile northeast of the borough.

Geography and climate[]

West Chester is located at 39°57′31″N 75°36′18″W / 39.95861, -75.605 (39.958678, -75.605052).[9] It is located 25 miles (40 km) west of Philadelphia and 17 miles (27 km) north of Wilmington, Delaware.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.8 square miles (5 km2), all of it land.

Annual high temperatures average between 38.1 °F (3.4 °C) and 85.7 °F (29.8 °C), annual low temperatures average between 19.3 °F (−7.1 °C) and 63.3 °F (17.4 °C), with the record high being 105 °F (41 °C), and record low being −16 °F (−26.7 °C).[10]

Annual precipitation averages 45 inches (110 cm), and annual snowfall averages 19.6 inches (50 cm). [10]

Adjacent municipalities[]

  • West Goshen Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania - north, south, and east
  • East Bradford Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania - west


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1900 9,524
1910 11,767 23.6%
1920 11,717 −0.4%
1930 12,325 5.2%
1940 13,289 7.8%
1950 15,168 14.1%
1960 15,705 3.5%
1970 19,301 22.9%
1980 17,435 −9.7%
1990 18,041 3.5%
2000 17,861 −1.0%
2010 18,461 3.4%

Old Chester County Courthouse. The new Chester County Justice Center is located at West Market St. and North Darlington St

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 17,861 people, 6,265 households, and 2,662 families residing in the borough. The population density was 9,703.3 people per square mile (3,747.9/km²). There were 6,541 housing units at an average density of 3,553.5 per square mile (1,372.6/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 75.44% White, 17.08% Black, 3.64% from other races, 1.46% Asian, 0.31% Native American, 0.07% Pacific Islander, and 2.00% from two or more races.Hispanic or Latino of any race was 8.94%.

There were 6,265 households, 19.1% of which had children under the age of 18 living in them, 26.8% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 57.5% were non-families. 35.3% 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 2.31 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the borough the population was spread out with 13.4% under the age of 18, 37.7% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 13.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females there were 88.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.7 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $37,803, and the median income for a family was $51,018. Males had a median income of $35,540, versus $30,819 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $19,073. About 9.8% of families and 21.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.5% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people[]

  • Samuel Barber, musical composer
  • Dave Barry, newspaper columnist
  • Nick Berg, murdered hostage
  • Tom Bostelle, painter and sculptor
  • Norman Braman, former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles football team
  • Smedley Butler, Medal of Honor recipient and anti-war activist
  • Buffalo Bill Cody, showman
  • William Darlington, botanist and United States House of Representatives member
  • Jim Furyk, professional golfer
  • Kyle Gallner, actor
  • Bruce Haack, electronic musician and composer
  • Cole Hamels, Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Joseph Hemphill, United States House of Representatives member
  • Joseph Hergesheimer, novelist
  • Anna Jarvis, founder of the Mother's Day holiday in the United States
  • Bruce Larkin, children's book author
  • Sebastien Le Toux, professional soccer player

Boyhood home of Samuel Barber in West Chester, Pennsylvania

  • John Lilley, guitarist
  • Bam Margera, professional skateboarder and actor
  • Jess Margera, drummer
  • Ryan Dunn, actor
  • Brandon DiCamillo, actor and stuntman
  • Matisyahu, reggae musician
  • Jon Matlack, Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Charlie McDermott, actor
  • Muffet McGraw, women's basketball coach
  • Matthew McGrory, actor
  • Kyle Nakazawa, professional soccer player
  • Sean O'Hair, Professional golfer
  • Kevin Orie, Major League Baseball player
  • Glen Osbourne, professional wrestler
  • Horace Pippin, painter
  • Claude Rains, actor
  • David M. Rodriguez, General, U.S. Army Forces Command
  • Asher Roth, rap artist
  • Joseph Rothrock, botanist and environmentalist
  • Bayard Rustin, civil rights activist
  • Matt Schaub, National Football League quarterback
  • Bud Sharpe, Major League Baseball player
  • Acey Slade, punk rock musician
  • Kerr Smith, actor
  • Noel Jan Tyl, opera singer and astrologer
  • Theobald Wolfe Tone, Irish Republican
  • Washington Townsend, United States House of Representatives member
  • Geralyn Wolf, Episcopal Bishop
  • Richard Zobel, actor


West Chester is home to the West Chester Transportation Center, which serves as a parking garage for the Chester County Justice Center and a bus terminal, which is located on the lower level of the facility.

The main east-west road to West Chester is West Chester Pike, which begins in Upper Darby, Delaware County just outside of Philadelphia and is part of PA Route 3.

The main north-south road in West Chester is High Street. To the north of town, the road is known as Pottstown Pike, which connects to PA Route 100 in Exton. To the south of town, the road is known as Wilmington-West Chester Pike (US Route 202 and US Route 322).

Until September 1986, West Chester was served by SEPTA's Media/Elwyn Line commuter rail line. Service on the line was discontinued due to poor track conditions west of the Elwyn station. At the time, SEPTA had limited funds for the necessary repairs, and offered Chester County the option of either improving the rail line or expanding parking availability at the nearby Exton station on SEPTA's Paoli/Thorndale Line. The county opted for the latter and service on the line was cut back to its current terminus of Elwyn. The rail line into West Chester is used by the West Chester Railroad, a heritage railroad.


Corporate headquarters include:

  • Commodore Business Machines (CBM), the operational headquarters of Commodore International (now defunct)
  • VWR International (Lab and Scientific supplies distributor)
  • Synthes (Medical company)
  • Sonobond Ultrasonics Ultrasonic Welding Company. Received first U.S. Patent for ultrasonic metal welding.
  • CTDI - Communications Test Design Inc.
  • Schramm Inc.
  • Lasko Products Inc.
  •, part of Moody's Analytics

QVC has its headquarters in West Goshen Township,[12][13] near West Chester. Electronics Boutique, when it existed as an independent company, had its headquarters in West Goshen Township,[14][15] in proximity to West Chester.[13][16]

West Chester in media[]

  • Many of the skits on the MTV television series Jackass, and later Jackass: The Movie, were filmed in and around the borough, primarily ones featuring Bam Margera and the CKY Crew. The spin-off show Viva La Bam was filmed almost entirely in the area, as was the movie Haggard and the CKY videos.
  • A documentary, Our Lady Of Victory, later released as "The Mighty Macs", filmed many scenes in and around West Chester, including Jimmy Johns, and the Armory Building. It portrays the Immaculata University women's basketball team's road to the first ever womans NCAA Championship, when they beat West Chester University.
  • Marley & Me, starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, filmed scenes in West Chester in 2008.[17]
  • Chester County author Bruce Mowday has written two books about the borough: West Chester: Six Walking Tours and West Chester


The borough is governed by the town council form of government. Led by the Borough Manager, there are seven Council Members each representing one of the seven voting wards. The council controls all departments except the Police Department (the Mayor directs Police Department activities through the Chief of Police). The mayor and council members are directly elected by borough voters. In January of 2010, Carolyn Comitta took office as the borough's 58th Mayor. In succeeding the term-limited incumbent, Republican Dick Yoder,[18] Comitta became West Chester's first ever female Mayor, and the first Democrat to hold the office since 1992.[19]


West Chester Area School District manages the area's public school system, which includes three high schools: Henderson High School, West Chester East High School, and Rustin High School. West Chester University is located in the borough, south of the commercial and retail center.


Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "West Chester, Pennsylvania". 2001-07-26. Retrieved 2012-08-12. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Enter your Company or Top-Level Office (2011-01-19). "Chester County: Courthouse History". Retrieved 2012-08-12. 
  6. ^ West Chester, past and present: centennial souvenir with celebration proceedings. Daily Local News, West Chester, PA. 1899. p. 125. 
  7. ^ "Keeping the wheels turning in West Chester". Daily Local News. Retrieved 14 feb 2012. 
  8. ^ "Cream Separators Page 2". Retrieved 2012-08-12. 
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  10. ^ a b "West Chester, Pennsylvania Travel Weather Averages". Weatherbase. Retrieved 2012-08-12. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ "Directions to QVC Studio Park." QVC. Retrieved on August 11, 2010.
  13. ^ a b "West Goshen township, Chester County, Pennsylvania." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on August 11, 2010.
  14. ^ Moran, Sarah E. "County jobless rate worsens." Daily Local News. Tuesday November 1, 2005. Retrieved on August 11, 2010.
  15. ^ "Contact." Electronic Boutique. June 11, 2004. Retrieved on August 11, 2010. "931 South Matlack St. West Chester, PA 19382."
  16. ^ "Corporate Office Positions." Electronic Boutique. June 9, 2001. Retrieved on August 11, 2010.
  17. ^ "Marley & Me Filming in West Chester". Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  18. ^ Kristie, Dan (11 January 2010). "For Yoder, being mayor was 'a thrill'". The Daily Local News. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  19. ^ Showalter, Connor (January 5, 2010). "Comitta becomes borough's 1st female mayor". The Daily Local News. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 

External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at West Chester, Pennsylvania. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.