The Lower Oxford Township is nestled in the rolling hills of southern Chester County approximately one hour from both Philadelphia and Baltimore. In 1754, Oxford (originally known as Hood’s) was founded after Londonderry Township was divided. It was named after Oxford, England. Then in 1797, the Oxford area was split into Upper and Lower Oxford Townships. Hood’s Crossing was a part of Lower Oxford and a stopover for travelers as stagecoaches from Philadelphia and Baltimore traveled through three times a week. In 1805, a post office was established at Hood’s Tavern to service Lower Oxford Township. Today, Lower Oxford Township consists of 11,738 acres.
There are a total of 84 farms, 74 of which are owned by the Amish. In November 2004, the residents voted to have a .5% earned income tax which is used to buy development rights from farmers. The Township partners with the Chester County Agricultural Land Preservation Board to purchase ag easements and preserve farmland. Lower Oxford Township has 3,555 acres of protected open space. Approximately 5,748 acres are in the Agricultural Security program.
Lower Oxford has fifty-nine miles of roads including State Routes 1 and 10 which cross through the township. The Township’s population is 5,200. In addition to farming, there are several businesses in the township including: cabinet makers, auto repairs, farmers market, furniture outlet, John Deere Dealer, Oxford Commons Shopping Center, gas stations, granary, nursery/greenhouses, composting, banks/credit union, daycare, dental offices, and a Swiss chocolate factory. There is a park, Oxford Produce Auction, and a public golf course.
The Board of Supervisors used to meet in the home of the Secretary until 1973 when they purchased the one room Jackson School House building. In 1999, a new township building was constructed. The new building contains four offices, a lunchroom, meeting room, and a four-bay garage. The Lower Oxford Township Board of Supervisors has three elected members. The Planning Commission has seven appointed members. Both appointed and elected members of the Township work together for the good of the community to promote farming, concentrate businesses in the commercial district, and preserve farmland.
Lincoln University, founded in 1854, was the first institution of higher education for African Americans in this country. It is in the Eastern part of Lower Oxford Township. Many students come from all over the world to study careers in business, education, law, ministry, and medicine. A few well-known graduates of the University are: Langston Hughes, Thurgood Marshall, and Hildrus Poindexter. Several villages are located in Lower Oxford: Hopewell, Mt. Vernon, Lincoln University, Tweedale, Hayesville, Scroggy, Cream, Reedville, and Pine Grove.
Pine Grove Bridge was originally built in 1816 and is jointly owned by Chester and Lancaster Counties. It connects Lower Oxford and Colerain Townships. It is the only double-span, double-arch Bridge still in use.