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WESTTOWN School Project

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  • Eli Kirk Price (1797 - 1884)
    The Price family as documented in this collection begins with Eli Kirk Price (1797-1884), a Philadelphia lawyer who was active in many civic and social organizations. The son of Quaker parents, Philip ...
  • John W Townsend (1789 - 1874)
    Townsend, John (Student, Boarding School, 1803) East Bradford, Pennsylvania (Male) Westtown Boarding School. A brief history of Westtown Boarding School (Philadelphia, 1884) Page 109.
  • Eusebius Townsend (1787 - 1863)
  • Chalkey Thorn (1817 - d.)
    Thorn, Chalkley N. (Student, Boarding School, 1830) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Male) Westtown Boarding School. A brief history of Westtown Boarding School (Philadelphia, 1884) Page 138.
  • Richard T. James (1914 - 1974)
    Thompson James (1914–1974), born January 1, 1914, was a naval engineer. He invented a spring toy, named Slinky by his wife Betty, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the early to mid-1940s.EducationRichar...

The Earlier Students Only

Westtown Boarding School > to 1884 ; location: 975 Westtown Rd, West Chester, PA
"Westtown School first opened on May 6, 1799. It was founded by Philadelphia Quakers who raised the money to build a boarding school and purchased land a full day's carriage ride from Philadelphia—where they could provide a “guarded education in a healthy environment" away from the secular influences of the city. For many years, Westtown was nearly self-sufficient, with the campus providing raw materials used in the construction of its buildings and food for the people who lived and worked at the school." < However, a close examination of the student body shows that most students came from rural areas.

A brief history of Westtown Boarding School (Philadelphia, 1884)

a linking project of descendants of Quaker families who came to the Province of Pennsylvania and West Jersey. Some of their the descendants attended this school.

Focus is upon

Those in the cited book

copyrighted access icn_favorite.gif This is where you click to see the master list to do research of the 19th century attendees.

Surname list

(must be among said Quakers) IN PROGRESS/INCOMPLETE > These are surnames that have been sampled so far. The process is that as soon as one example of a surname is added, it goes on the list.


Meeting House Representation

(note both founding and construction dates for clues)
~* in Pennsylvania
~• in New Jersey
~• meeting houses in 1776:



  • I find it interesting that when researching many of these students, their later spouse surname is very often a surname listed among others at Westtown during this era.
  • For those of us are descendants of PA Quakers, it is quite frequent, if not entirely pervasive, that a host of these Westtown students are within the 9th cousin range in pedigree.

fun facts

"Of special note is the school’s collection of Flexible Flyers, the sled patented by former Westtown student, Samuel L. Allen (1841-1918). The archives also holds half of the coil that inspired the invention of the Slinky® by Richard T. James, Westtown class of 1935."