Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania

Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania

Geobox Township
name = Cheltenham Township
native_name =
other_name =
other_name1 =
category = Township

image_size =
image_caption =

flag_size =
symbol =
symbol_size =
nickname =
motto =
country = United States
state = Pennsylvania
region = Montgomery
region_type = County
district =
area_imperial = 9.0
area_land_imperial = 9.0
area_water_imperial = 0.0
area_water_percentage = auto
area_percentage_round = 2
area_round = 1
location =
lat_d = 40
lat_m = 04
lat_s = 00
lat_NS = N
long_d = 75
long_m = 06
long_s = 59
long_EW = W
elevation_imperial = 157
elevation_round = 1
population_as_of = 2000
population = 36875
population_density_imperial = 4083.1
population_density_round = 1
established_type = Founded
established = 1682
mayor =
timezone = EST
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
postal_code =
postal_code_type =
area_code = 215
area_code_type =
code2_type =
code2 =
free_type =
free =
free1_type =
free1 =

map_caption = Location of Cheltenham Township in Montgomery County
map1 = Pennsylvania Locator Map.png map1_size =
map1_caption = Location of Cheltenham Township in Pennsylvania
map1_locator = Pennsylvania
map2 = Map of USA PA.svg
map2_caption = Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
website =

Cheltenham Township is a township bordering Philadelphia in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 36,875 at the 2000 census.


Cheltenham was established in 1682 by 15 Quakers from Cheltenham, England, including Richard Wall and Tobias Leech, who purchased 4,070 acres of land from William Penn. [Jones, Arthur Hosking. Cheltenham Township. A Sociological Analysis of a Residential Suburb. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 1940. 173 pages.] [Anonymous. A Brief History of Cheltenham Township. [] . Accessed 1/7/06.]

The La Mott section of the township was the site of Camp William Penn, the training grounds of the first African-American troops ever enlisted into the United States Army during the American Civil War. These soldiers were at General Lee's surrender, helped hunt down John Wilkes Booth and were the only African-American soldiers to carry President Lincoln's casket.Fact|date=July 2007

The USCT (United States Colored Troops) 3rd Regiment were the first to be trained at Camp William Penn. It is tradition that soldiers have a grand parade before leaving for war, but Philadelphia was partially a racist community at that time and the government believed that a parade might cause a riot, so it was cancelled. The leader of the Camp (Colonel Louis Wagner) was furious and made sure the next regiment to come through "would" have a parade.

Cheltenham became a township of the first class in 1900.


Cheltenham is a residential township in Montgomery County, southeastern Pennsylvania. It borders Philadelphia and is 16 km (10 mi) northeast of the city's center. It also borders Abington Township on the north side and Springfield Township on the west side.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 9.0 square miles (23.4 km²). The area consists of rolling hills and also has a few streams running through it, most notably the Tookany Creek. It includes the census-designated places of Cheltenham, Elkins Park, Wyncote, Glenside, Melrose Park, La Mott and Laverock.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 36,875 people, 14,346 households, and 9,640 families residing in the township. The population density was 4,083.1 people per square mile (1,576.7/km²). There were 14,897 housing units at an average density of 1,649.5/sq mi (637.0/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 66.45% White, 24.61% African American, 0.12% Native American, 6.44% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.79% from other races, and 1.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.99% of the population.

30.4% of the townships households have children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.4% are headed by married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the township the population was spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 86.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.0 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $61,713, and the median income for a family was $76,792. Males had a median income of $50,564 versus $36,439 for females. The per capita income for the township was $31,424. About 3.0% of families and 5.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.5% of those under age 18 and 3.2% of those age 65 or over.

Politics and government

Cheltenham Township does not have a mayor. Rather it is governed by a Board of Commissioners, who are elected one from each of the township's seven wards. A President of the Board is rotated between these commissioners, and serves as the head of government. Mike Swavola is the current Commissioner President. A school board, lead by Tina Viletto, is in charge of the school district.

The township is in the Second Congressional District (represented by Rep. Chaka Fattah), and Pennsylvania's 154th Representative District (represented by Rep. Lawrence Curry). Prior to the 2000 census, it was in the 13th congressional district with the rest of Montgomery County. It is also in Pennsylvania's 4th Senatorial District


The Cheltenham School District is one of the top ranked school districts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.Fact|date=May 2007 There are seven public schools and a number of private schools. Public schools include Cheltenham Elementary School (k-4), Myers Elementary School (k-4), Glenside Elementary School (k-4), Wyncote Elementary School (k-4), Elkins Park School (5-6), Cedarbrook Middle School (7-8), and Cheltenham High School (9-12). The largest private high school in Cheltenham Township is Bishop McDevitt High School (9-12) which is under the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Elkins Park is the home of Tyler School of Art, a visual arts school that is part of Temple University. Cheltenham is also home to Arcadia University (formerly known as Beaver College), Gratz College and Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, the only seminary affiliated with Reconstructionist Judaism.


Cheltenham Township has four libraries which are the East Cheltenham Free Library, Elkins Park Free Library, La Mott Free Library, and the Glenside Free library.

Public transit

Three SEPTA Regional Rail line stations are located wholly within the township. The stations carry the names of the neighboorhoods in which they are located: Elkins Park; Glenside; and Melrose Park. Two additional stations, (Jenkintown-Wyncote and Cheltenham), straddle the township's border.

Beginning on January 31, 2005, Cheltenham Township partnered with Abington Township to launch a shared transit service. The Cheltenham Transit Service will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays according to the same route and timetable as the current schedule. A new bus will be used for the service since Laidlaw Transit Service will be the new contractor. All other policies and procedures will remain the same. The bus runs in Abington Township on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

The addition of Saturday to the Cheltenham Transit Service schedule offers riders new flexibility in their weekend travels. Although the change will result in a net reduction in service, Township officials consider this option preferable to eliminating the transit bus altogether.

Famous current or former residents

*Michael Brecker (saxophonist)
*Randy Brecker (jazz, rock, and R&B trumpeter)
*Jay Cooke (financier - had his 'country estate' in Chelten Hills)
*Bill Cosby (comedian)
*Cyrus H.K. Curtis (founder of the Curtis Publishing Company, which published "The Saturday Evening Post" and "Ladies Home Journal"
*Reggie Jackson (Hall of Fame baseball player, Actor - grew up in township)
*Paul Westhead (NBA championship-winning coach, taught English at Cheltenham High School in 1960's)
*George Horace Lorimer (longtime editor of "The Saturday Evening Post")
*Edgar Lee Masters (Lawyer and author of the Spoon River Anthology -- spent final years and died in Elkins Park.)
*Mark Levin (conservative talk radio host)
*Lucretia Coffin Mott (prominent feminist, abolitionist, and Quaker)
*Benjamin Netanyahu (former Israeli prime minister - lived in township during high school)
*Yonatan Netanyahu (Israeli war hero who died saving Jewish hostages in Operation Entebbe)
*Ezra Pound (poet - grew up in township)
*David Uosikkinen (drummer for rock band The Hooters)
*John Wanamaker (businessman sometimes called the father of the department store - had a second home in the township)
*George Dunton Widener (a Philadelphia businessman who died in the sinking of the Titanic)


*Cheltenham has its own public access cable TV channel, Channel 42 (Cheltenham School District Broadcasting) on Comcast Cablevision.
*Cheltenham is twinned with - and named after - Cheltenham, United Kingdom.
*The Fox sitcom "Till Death" is set in Cheltenham. Fact|date=May 2008

Points of interest

* Curtis Hall Arboretum
* Grey Towers Castle - a National Historic Landmark designed by Horace Trumbauer and home to Arcadia University
* Beth Sholom Synagogue - a National Historic Landmark designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
* Wall House


External links

* [ Cheltenham Township]
* [ School District of Cheltenham Township]
* [ Xanthus Russell Smith (1839-1929) "Mather's Cottage", at Cheltenham (Montgomery County), 1880]

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