Norristown - Encyclopedia




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NORRISTOWN, a borough and the county-seat of Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., on the Schuylkill river, at the mouth of Stony Creek, opposite Bridgeport, and about 18 m. N.W. of Philadelphia. Pop. (1910 census) 27,875. Norristown is served by the Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia & Reading and the Stony Creek railways, by interurban electric railway to Philadelphia and Reading, and by the Schuylkill canal, and is connected by bridge with the borough of Bridgeport (pop. in 1900, 3095), where woollen and cotton goods are manufactured. Norristown is a residential suburb of Philadelphia, and commands fine views of the Schuylkill Valley. It has a State Hospital for the Insane (opened 1880), a fine County Court House, a general hospital, a Friends' Home, a home for aged women, St Joseph's Protectory (Roman Catholic) for girls, and the Norristown and McCann public libraries; in Montgomery cemetery are the tombs of General Winfield Scott Hancock and General John Frederick Hartranft (1830-1889), a distinguished Federal officer in the Civil War and governor of Pennsylvania in 1873-1879. Valley Forge is less than 6 m. distant to the W. The borough has a large trade with the surrounding country, which is well adapted to agriculture and abounds in limestone. Among Norristown's manufactures are hosiery and woollen goods; in 1905 its total factory product was valued at $5,925,243, an increase of 44.3% over the value in 1900. Norristown was founded in 1785, and was named in honour of Isaac Norris (c. 1671-1735), a friend of William Penn and a member of the Pennsylvania legislature, who had owned the land on which the borough is built. Norristown was incorporated as a borough in 1812, and its boundaries were extended in 1853.

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