Chester Knipe

Through much of the 18th century, most of northwestern Hatfield was part of one plantation owned by John Rosenberger.  At the onset of the American Revolution in 1776, a 101-acre tract was granted to John's son-in-law Abraham Allebach that extended along the Cow Path Road (present-day Main Street), included all modern property parcels on Chestnut and Lincoln Avenues, and went back to the borders of the Jenkins Farm (presumed to be along present-day School Road). Abraham was an early casualty of Philadelphia's yellow fever epidemic in October 1794; he was survived by his wife, who died at age 86 in May 1836.

Abraham had nine children: John, Christiana, Abraham Jr., Benjamin, Mary (wife of Jacob Cope), Susanna (wife of David Ruth), Elizabeth "Lizzie" (wife of Benjamin Rosenberger), Barbara (wife of John Wasser), and Catherine (wife of Joshua Detwiler).  Abraham and his wife, along with David and Susanna Ruth and a few other children, are buried at Frick's Meetinghouse on Orvilla Road.

One documented event was noted by son Abraham Jr., a six-year-old child in 1776, when the family farm was swarmed by about 600 of General Washington's Colonists a day following the Battle of Germantown.  It's known that the nearby Natali Farm was used as a field hospital supporting the battle so the troops may have been heading there.

In 1796, Abraham's estate executor sold his 101-acre tract to Isaac Rosenberger, who then sold it to relative Jacob Rosenberger in 1803.  Jacob's estate executor sold the tract to Jacob's son-in-law Dillman Kulp in 1841.  Dillman sold 76 acres of the property to his son Jacob R. Kulp in 1876.  Upon Jacob R.'s death in 1907, the property along Maple Avenue was sold to Chester S. Knipe.

Chester's farm purchase was late in his life, at age 46.  The farm remained under Knipe ownership until after Chester S.'s death, when the property was sold to the Scully Company.  Scully Co. cleared the land and began building apartments in the early 1960s. Below, the property can be seen in the aerial photos from 1938 (left) and 1971 (right):

(Photos courtesy of Penn State University's "Penn Pilot" program)

Today, the Scully Co.'s property is known as the Hatfield Village Apartments.