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HISTORY LIVES: The Darlington Estate


Henry Townsend Darlington (1832-1878) was born in Chester County in 1832. He moved to Doylestown as a young man and eventually became publisher of the Bucks County Intelligencer from 1855 to 1878 when The Intelligencer building was erected on Monument Square (Court and Main streets). He also built a large Victorian Gothic house for his residence at 29 N. Church St. (State and Court streets) but never had the opportunity to live in it. The house, made of locally quarried brownstone and designed by Thomas Cernea, was not quite finished in November 1878 when Darlington suffered a stroke, collapsing on his walk to the office. He died the next day, aged 46.

His wife put the house up for sale the next year, and it was purchased by Morris Fell, of Philadelphia. Fell was a wealthy merchant from Philadelphia who used the home as his family’s summer retreat from the city for many years. In 1920, the home became the property of Joseph Ruos. Joseph and his younger brother, Henry, were proprietors of the Doylestown Agricultural Company on South Main Street. The Ruos brothers and their families would inhabit “The Darlington Estate” for the next 33 years.

The home was purchased by the First Church of Christ, Scientist in 1953, and local architect Fred Martin designed the conversion to a place of worship.