Named for the Delaware Indians who lived in the area from about 1794 to 1820, this Indiana county was organized in 1827. It soon developed an economy based around agriculture, which remains important today. The area's first railroad, from Indianapolis to Bellefontaine, Ohio, came to Muncie in 1852. Indiana's first commercial gas well was drilled in Eaton, and many more wells were drilled in the area, which brought glass, metal, and other industries to the county, especially in towns such as Albany, Eaton, and Muncie. After the gas supply failed, automobile components--from gears to batteries--became a thriving industry. During World War II, Delaware County produced goods for the war effort ranging from land mines to submarine interiors. Ball canning jars were the area's most famous product until Jim Davis's Garfield (the cat) came along. In the 1950s and 1960s, Delaware County experienced growth and prosperity with the addition of machine and tool shops and small businesses.
Delaware County is located in New York’s Catskill Mountains, a region well known as a vacation spot for urbanites. Early settlers farmed the hillsides and valleys, while others sought the raw materials in the forests. By 1797, the population had increased, so the region officially became known as Delaware County. By the 1880s, the county comprised 19 towns, the same number as today. It was around that time when dairy farming became the mainstay of the local economy. However, during the last half century, traditional dairying has declined, and a great deal of agricultural land has been bought up by those seeking an escape from the city. New York City residents’ need for fresh water has resulted in the construction of two 20th-century reservoirs within Delaware County’s borders and the inundation of several communities. Meanwhile, the waters and the forests have remained, continuing to enrich the county by providing sustenance and comfort.
Ruling Suburbia chronicles the history of the Republican machine that has dominated the political life of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, since 1875, and of the career of John J. McClure, who controlled the machine from 1907 until 1965.
Carved out of the wilderness in the 1680s, Springfield Township was formed as Quaker families seeking religious freedom settled the area. In a region roughly bounded by Darby Creek to the east and Crum Creek to the west, the early settlers shared forests with the native Lenni Lenape tribe. Just nine miles west of the port of Philadelphia, Springfield harnessed tumbling creeks with mills during the industrial revolution and provided the growing commonwealth with edge tools from Beatty Ax Works and fabric from Victoria Plush Mill. Builders used abundant stone quarries to construct grand homes, including that of the Pennsylvania Railroad's first chief engineer, J. Edgar Thomson, who laid out the famous Horseshoe Curve and Main Line to Pittsburgh. The construction of the Media Shortline Trolley helped Springfield grow, as did the Saxon Avenue Shops and unique developments such as Windsor Circle and Rolling Road. Springfield Township documents the area's transformation into a modern town rich with amenities and community organizations.