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Oxford, Pennsylvania
Oxford PA Hotel.jpg
Oxford Hotel
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Chester
Elevation 535 ft (163.1 m)
Coordinates 39°47′02″N 75°58′42″W / 39.78389°N 75.97833°W / 39.78389; -75.97833
Area 2.0 sq mi (5.2 km²)
 - land 2.0 sq mi (5 km²)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km²), 0%
Population 5,077 (2010)
Density 2,590.3 /sq mi (1,000.1 /km²)
Incorporated 1833
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Code 19363
Area code 610 and 484

Oxford is a borough in Chester County, Pennsylvania, United States. Oxford is the closest town to Lincoln University. The population was 5,077 at the 2010 census.


The borough was once called Oxford Crossing and Oxford Village.

Oxford is located near the half-way point on the main road from Philadelphia to Baltimore. The owner of the stage between the two cities purchased Hood's Tavern and renamed it Oxford Hotel. It became the stopping point on the two-day trip between the two cities.

In 1833, Oxford was officially incorporated as a borough. Its first burgess (now called the mayor) was Thomas Alexander, who operated a general store thought to be the oldest building in Oxford.

The northern half of Oxford was owned by the Dickey family in the 19th century. The Dickeys included the local Presbyterian minister, the Mr O'Malley of the local bank, a state Representative, and local businessmen. Reverend John Miller Dickey and his wife Sarah Emlen Cresson founded Ashmun Institute in 1854, and which later became Lincoln University. The family played a major role in re-routing the new Philadelphia and Baltimore Central Railroad (P&BC) through Oxford. Track was laid in the 1850s. The railroad reached Oxford in 1860 and later connected to Philadelphia and Baltimore. By the time of the Civil War, Oxford was a bustling community. The business district on Third Street was entirely re-built at this time, including the Oxford Hotel (1858) and Oxford Hall (1862). Oxford became known for its confectionery and candy businesses and was the location of many manufacturing facilities. A second railroad, the Peach Bottom Railway, was built in the 1870s from Oxford to Peach Bottom. It carried farm products and passengers but was not profitable. It struggled through three bankruptcies and reorganized as the Lancaster, Oxford and Southern Railway, finally closing permanently in 1918.

The Pennsylvania Railroad took control of the P&BC on the eve of World War I. Passenger train service on the line ended in 1935. In the late 20th century, transportation changes resulted in Oxford being located off the main roads. A bypass was constructed for U.S. Route 1 in the late 1960s, but the major change was the 1963 opening of Interstate 95, which shifted the bulk of the Philadelphia-Baltimore traffic away from Oxford. The former Pennsylvania Railroad Station is now the local police station.

The Oxford Historic District and Oxford Hotel are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Oxford PA train station town hall
Borough Hall in the old train station


According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 186
1860 482 159.1%
1870 1,151 138.8%
1880 1,502 30.5%
1890 1,711 13.9%
1900 2,032 18.8%
1910 2,390 17.6%
1920 2,093 −12.4%
1930 2,606 24.5%
1940 2,723 4.5%
1950 3,091 13.5%
1960 3,376 9.2%
1970 3,658 8.4%
1980 3,633 −0.7%
1990 3,769 3.7%
2000 4,315 14.5%
2010 5,077 17.7%
Est. 2015 5,385 6.1%

At the 2010 census, the borough was 59.9% non-Hispanic White, 9.0% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 4.0% were two or more races. 28.8% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.

As of the census of 2000, there were 4,315 people, 1,703 households, and 1,047 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,254.6 people per square mile (872.3/km²). There were 1,825 housing units at an average density of 953.6/sq mi (368.9/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 77.75% White, 11.87% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.63% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 7.39% from other races, and 2.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.15% of the population.

There were 1,703 households, out of which 30.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.5% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 25.6% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 19.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 85.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.0 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $34,966, and the median income for a family was $41,172. Males had a median income of $35,398 versus $23,015 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $16,579. About 10.0% of families and 11.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.3% of those under age 18 and 12.9% of those age 65 or over.

Points of interest

Oxford Historic District bank PA
Town clock on the BB&C Bank

The Oxford Town Clock, on the National Penn bank on South Third Street, was restored in May 2001. The Fire House located right off of Market Street was originally the Dickey Building, but was renovated and named the Union Fire Company No. 1. They are still in this location today.

The Oxford Presbyterian Church, one of the oldest buildings in town, was destroyed by fire in 1989 after the steeple (which it was known for and can be seen for miles) was struck by lightning. It has been rebuilt and is still in use today.

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