The Historic Town of Bensalem, PA

History of Bensalem, Pennsylvania

Bensalem is a township found in Bucks County in Pennsylvania, one of the 50 American states.


Bensalem Township’s official seal indicates that the town came into being in 1692, which makes it ten years younger than Pennsylvania, the State having come into being in 1682. This is, however, the easy part of the township’s origin story.

No Consensus

It is almost possible to trace names of many US cities, towns, and urban centers to individual events, personalities or any other such other sources. A similar trend is true to many cities around the world. This, however, is not the case with Bensalem. The origin of the township’s name is a source of a seemingly never-ending debate. There are different versions of stories all trying to explain the name’s source. One traces it to a section of the name, “Salem,” which some of the surveys and grants of land documents between 1692 and 1701 before the “Ben” part got incorporated later.


Even the meaning of the name, Bensalem, is still a topic of heated discussions. Some records say it means “hill of peace,” “peaceful mount” or “son of peace.” The name of one person, Englishman Joseph Growden, features prominently in the meaning of the town’s name. Growden relocated to Pennsylvania from his home in Cornwall Country in England and acquired land measuring about 5,000 acres from William Penn in today’s Bensalem. In honor of Pen, he named estate the “Manor of Bensalem or a “son of peace.”


More immigrants from England arrived in the area around Bensalem after Growden. Others many settlers, including the Dutch and the Swedes followed to contribute to the rising population in the township. The town has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception.
The 2010 census by the US Census Bureau found out that the township had a total population of 60,427 making Bensalem the largest municipality in Bucks County. The population also ranked it ninth among the cities in the State of Pennsylvania after Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Reading, Upper Darby, Scranton, and Bethlehem.


Following a 1987 Bensalem Township’s public vote, an appointed Commission proposed a Mayor-Council form of government. The voters of Bensalem agreed with the Commission on November 4, 1987, leading to the mayoral elections of November of 1989, which gave the township its first mayor, check more facts about Bensalem.


Bensalem enjoys a favorable climate. It receives 48 inches of rain per year compared to the average 39 inches national average. It receives 13 inches of snowfall against the national average of 26 inches of snow per year. The sun shines on the city in 205 days per year with July the hottest month with about 86 degrees and coolest month being January at 25 degrees.


The township is transverse by major United States highways – U.S. Route No. 1 (the Lincoln Highway), Interstate 95, U.S. Route No. 13 (Bristol Pike), and the Eastern Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which makes it one of the most convenient urban areas in the country.

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