In 1880 Amos
Jones inherited 82 acres of land from his father of the same
name. Just two years later in 1882 he sold it. He
divided his property into 188 lots of varying sizes and
then sold 188 lottery tickets at fifty dollars apiece for each
of the lots. When all the tickets were sold the lottery was held
and each ticket holder was awarded a lot. The grand prize was
the Jonesí 23 acre farm, which was won by Samuel Kriebelís
wife. More important, the lottery determined the number of
eventual population of the village.
It was afterward declared that this method
of sale was not legal, but the results were allowed to stand.
Because of the way the land was divided and because some of the
smaller pieces of land were never claimed, today the yards around many of the homes
in West Point are of different sizes,
and some of the addresses do not run consecutively.
By 1884 West Point was the largest village in Gwynedd Township,
with 30 houses and a dozen businesses, including a brick yard
which manufactured 500,000 bricks a year. The saw mill was
producing 10,000 feet of lumber a week, and Kriebel's engines
were known throughout America. During the summer and fall of
that year a one and a half mile turnpike was built connecting
Sumneytown Pike to Morris Road.
The turnpike incorporated the main
street through the village, and was named West Point
Pike. Allen Thomas, owner of the "West Point Steam Saw
Mill," was president of the West Point Turnpike Company.
This map shows that by 1893 Lukens Station is now named
"West Point Station."
The names Lukens and Jones are gone. The Lukens property
Allen Thomas, and the Jones farm is owned by J.
Supplee. The two black squares
over the words "Machine Shop" are the farmhouse and
barn. The dashed lines
represent "Jones Road," not to be confused with today's
A group of denizens in front of the West
Point Hotel in 1902.
In 1895 Allen Thomas added 18 acres to the saw mill property,
purchased from George W. Dannehower. In 1903 he sold the mill to
Emma Cassel, wife of George Cassel, for $3150.
By 1911 there were 55 dwellings in the village. A trolley
line ran along West Point Pike, turning northwest past Zieber's
Park on its route from Norristown to Lansdale. The car barn for
the trolley was on West Point Pike, which had ceased being a
turnpike about 10 years prior. In addition to the train station,
post office, general store, tavern, hotel, Zieber's Park, flour
mill, engine company and coal and feed houses, there were now a
brick yard, church, lumber mill, a public grade school and a
Note to above: Heebner Street runs between Garfield Avenue and
Park Road. Lots # 5 and 13 are on Park Road between 2nd and 3rd.
Lot # 33 is on Park Road between 3rd and 4th. Lot # 183 is the
second to the last lot on Jones Avenue, where that street ends.
I have a deed for Lot # 3, at the corner of 2nd
Street and Park Road, dated July 13, 1889. Lot # 5 in the above
advertisement adjoins Lot # 3. On the deed it states that
Algernon S. Jenkins, Administrator of Amos Jones, conveyed the
lot to Amos Jones, Linford Shepherd
and Emily his wife, Rufus Stetler and Electra his wife, and
Elizabeth H. Jones and Abraham S. Jones. The deed shows the lot
being sold to William B. Thomas of Philadelphia for the sum of
It is known that Linford Shepherd lived at the corner of 2nd and
Garfield on Lot # 2, which, like Lot #5, also adjoins Lot #3. He
was a painter and paper hanger. The house, now a "twin,"
straddles Lots # 2 and #4. Linford had a daughter named
Elizabeth who resided in the house on Lot # 2 until 1996.
It seems the Shepherds owned Lots # 2, 3, and 4.
The Lizzie Shepherd in the above advertisement is not the
Elizabeth Shepherd who lived on Lot # 2. There was another
Linford Shepherd who lived on Jones Avenue and was a plumber. He
was married to a woman also named Elizabeth. Their children's
names were Linford, Eugene, Lizzie and Hettie. Lizzie and Eugene
are the Shepherds in the advertisement. (Eugene died in October
of 1915, seven months after the ad was placed.)
There were two Linford and Elizabeth Shepherds living a block
apart from each other. The explanation is probably simple:
Linford and Elizabeth on Jones Avenue had a son named Linford,
who grew up and bought the property at 2nd and Garfield. He
married a woman named Emily and they named their daughter after
his mother, Elizabeth.