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Founder Benjamin Chew Jr. - Chewton PA

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Benjamin Chew Sr. (1722-1810), of Philadelphia, was a prominent lawyer and statesman whose legal expertise help guide this nation at its birth. Chew, a good friend of George Washington, was also a land speculator who purchased (and then sold) over 30,000 acres in western Pennsylvania. He was married twice and had fourteen children. (c1780)

Benjamin Chew Jr. (1758-1844), a lawyer who worked closely with his father, inherited a fortune upon the latter’s death in 1810. He once owned as many as 9,200 acres in Shenango and Slippery Rock Townships known as the “Chew Tract.” In 1830 he laid out the village of Chewton and named its streets after his siblings and children. His death in 1844 resulted in a protracted legal battle among his heirs. (c1790)

Cliveden, a mansion also referred to as the Chew House, was built north of Philadelphia in the 1760’s as a summer home for Benjamin Chew Sr. It was the scene of intense fighting during the Battle of Germantown in October 1877. Seven generations of Chew’s subsequently resided here until 1972. (c1790) Full Size

In 1966 the mansion was designated a National Historic Landmark. It 1972 the family transferred the property to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The mansion is now home to a museum which preserves its rich history. (c2005) Full Size

The streets of Chewton are generally named for the siblings and children of Benjamin Chew Jr. Eliza Street is likely named for his daughter Elizabeth Margaretta (Chew) Mason (1798-1874) – also known as Eliza. (Mar 2016)

Katherine Street refers to Katherine (Banning) Chew (1770-1855) – the wife of Benjamin Chew Jr. William Street is named for their son William White Chew (1803-1851). (Mar 2016)


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