Willistown Township, Pennsylvania

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Willistown Township is a township in Chester County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 10,011 at the 2000 census. In 1860 the recorded census of Willistown was 1,521, and in 1980 it was 8,269.



Originally settled by Lenni Lenape Native Americans, Willistown Township was part of the 50,000 acres (200 km2) Welsh Tract surveyed for William Penn in 1684. The Holmes Map of 1681 is the first reference to Willistown, calling it "Willeston". In 1704, Willistown was organized as a township.

A Native American reservation was located here and is memorialized by a monument.

The first roads in Willistown Township were Native American trails. In 1710, three cowpaths were established here: Goshen, Sugartown, and Boot. Those roads are still in existence, under the same names.

The Paoli Massacre was located in Willistown Township.

The Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad, later to be known as the Pennsylvania Railroad, had its eastern terminus in this township. The terminus was moved to Frazer in 1870.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 18.2 square miles (47.2 km²), all of it land.

Willistown Township borders Easttown Township, Newtown Township, Edgmont Township, Westtown Township, East Goshen Township, East Whiteland Township, Tredyffrin Township, and the Borough of Malvern. Most of Willistown Township's addresses are in ZIP codes 19355 and 19073, with small areas in ZIP codes 19382, 19380, 19301, and 19312.

Willistown Township is a part of the suburban area west of Philadelphia known as the Main Line.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 10,011 people, 3,806 households, and 2,850 families residing in the township. The population density was 549.0 people per square mile (212.0/km²). There were 3,932 housing units at an average density of 215.6/sq mi (83.3/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 95.85% White, 2.14% African American, 0.05% Native American, 1.27% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 0.29% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.81% of the population.

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