West Point, PA
  History  

 

Chapter 3

188 Properties
 

      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 properties and 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.


1893
This map shows that by 1893 Lukens Station is now named "West Point Station."
The names Lukens and Jones are gone. The Lukens property is owned by
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 "Jones Avenue."

 

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 high school.



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 five dollars.

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.

 


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