Collection Title: Heagey Collection

Collection Number: MS Coll 162

Dates of Collection: circa 1861 – 1940

Extent: 3 boxes; 3 linear feet

RepositoryChester County History Center, West Chester, PA

Language: English

Project Archivist: Joseph L. Weber and Richard McKinstry


Henry Fredrick Cronise Heagey was born on February 9, 1857 in Biglerville, Pa., the son of Jacob (1827-1912) and Rebecca Cronise Heagey (1831-1927). Heagey, of German heritage and a sixth generation American, received his early education at Table Rock, north of Gettysburg, Pa., and at a private school in Gettysburg run by Prof. Aaron Sheeley. In 1879, Heagey graduated from the First State Normal School, Millersville, Pa., and taught school for six terms. In 1883, he received his degree from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, and was a practicing physician in Cochranville, Pa. for 66 years.

On September 4, 1883, Heagey married Sara Elizabeth Wenger (1856-1940) and together they had four children: Francis Wenger (1884-1935, also a doctor), Susan Maria (1889-1981), Mary Elizabeth (who died in infancy in 1895), and Anna Rebecca (1895-1956).

Heagey was also an amateur historian, focusing his studies on the families and history of West Fallowfield Township, Pa., particularly Cochranville. In addition, he was a member of the Chester County Historical Society (now Chester County History Center), the Cochranville Fire Company, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Free and Accepted Masons, and Chester County and Pennsylvania medical societies.

Heagey died in his ninety-second year on October 7, 1949 at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Lancaster, Pa., following a six-week illness. He is buried in Groffdale Mennonite Brick Church Cemetery, Leola, Lancaster County, Pa.


The Heagey collection measures 3 linear feet and dates from circa 1860 – 1940.  Found within the collection are genealogy research files and subject/topical files relating primarily to businesses, organizations, and institutions in West Fallowfield Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Collection Scope:

The Heagey collection measures 3 linear feet and dates from circa 1860 – 1940.  Found within the collection are genealogy research files and subject/topical files relating primarily to businesses, organizations, and institutions in and around Cochranville in West Fallowfield Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. While some original 19th century manuscripts are present, most of the items in this collection date from the 20th century when Heagey was conducting his research.

In Series 1, Family Files, folders are arranged alphabetically by surname. Each folder offers information on a single family whose members lived in West Fallowfield Township. Prominent, among others, are the Coates, Cochran, and Gray families. Many manuscripts in the series date from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Some files are entirely notes, presumably in the hand of H. F. C. Heagey. In addition, there are copies of government forms. For example, included in the Woodburn family folder is a death certificate for black resident Amanda Jane Woodburn, identified as a housewife, who died in 1909, at age 55.

In Series 2, Subject Files, folders contain material on diverse topics having to do with West Fallowfield Township, from businesses to agriculture, Native Americans to taxes, transportation to bridges, and etc. Among the most documented topics is the history of the town of Cochranville, where research notes are most likely written by Heagey.  Here, newspaper clippings and handwritten essays predominate.  There is also substantial information on organizations, including the Cochranville Improvement Society; the Free and Accepted Masons, Skerrett Lodge; the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Hebron Lodge; and the Cochranville Patrons of Husbandry. The topic of post offices also includes five folders on the Cochranville post office.

Information For Researchers:

  • Access: Collection is open for research. Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Chester County History Center Library. 
  • Publication Rights/Terms of Use: The Chester County History Center makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational, and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions.  CCHC makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions, and it is the user’s responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce, and publish materials from the collections.
  • Preferred Citation: Heagey Collection, circa 1860 – 1940.  MS Coll 162.  Chester County History Center, West Chester, Pennsylvania. 
  • Acquisition Information: The collection materials were donated by the estate of Dr. Frederick C. Heagey in 1950.
  • Processing History: The collection was preliminarily arranged and an inventory was created by Joseph L. Weber. In 2023, the collection was reprocessed by Richard McKinstry and the finding aid was updated to include more complete biographical and scope and content notes.

Names and Subject Terms:

  • Subjects:
    • Agriculture—Pennsylvania—West Fallowfield (Chester County : Township)
    • Business enterprises—Pennsylvania—West Fallowfield (Chester County : Township)
    • Church buildings—Pennsylvania—West Fallowfield (Chester County : Township)
    • Cochranville (Pa.)—History
    • Cochranville (Pa.)—Genealogy
    • Cochranville Grange (Chester County, Pa.)
    • Freemasons—Skerrett Lodge (Chester County, Pa.)
    • Independent Order of Odd Fellows—Hebron Lodge (Chester County, Pa.)
    • Improved Order of Red Men—Champeola Tribe No. 162 (Chester County, Pa.)
    • Octoraro Farms Club
    • Post office buildings—Pennsylvania—West Fallowfield (Chester County : Township
    • Roads—Pennsylvania—West Fallowfield (Chester County : Township)
    • Underground Railroad—Pennsylvania—West Fallowfield  (Chester County : Township)
    • West Fallowfield (Chester County, Pa. : Township)—History
    • West Fallowfield (Chester County, Pa. : Township)—Genealogy
    • West Fallowfield (Chester County, Pa. : Township)—Social life and customs
  • Names, Personal:
    • Coates family
    • Cochran family
    • Gray family

Collection Arrangement:

The collection is arranged as 2 series:

  • Series 1: Family Files, 1861 – 1940s
  • Series 2: Subject Files, 1862 – 1940s

Related Material:

The Chester County History Center also holds materials relating to West Fallowfield in the Township Ephemera Collection, Churches Collection, and Cemeteries Collection.

Collection Contents:

Box 1

Series 1: Family Files, 1861 – 1940s (Box 1)

Folder 1            Miscellaneous

Folder 2            Alison

Folder 3            Armstrong

Folder 4            Beard

Folder 5            Bell

Folder 6            Blair

Folder 7            Buchanan

Folder 8            Coates

Folder 9            Cochran

Folder 10          Davis

Folder 11          Dell

Folder 12          Evans

Folder 13          Fitzpatrick

Folder 14          Fredd

Folder 15          Gorley

Folder 16          Gray

Folder 17          Grill

Folder 18          Haig

Folder 19          Halton

Folder 20          Hamill

Folder 21          Hartshorne

Folder 22          Haslet

Folder 23          Heagey

Folder 24          Hughes

Folder 25          Hunter

Folder 26          Kelleher

Folder 27          McCauley

Folder 28          McClellan

Folder 29          McCordle

Folder 30          MacKey

Folder 31          McNeil

Folder 32          Moore

Folder 33          Morrison

Folder 34          Noble

Folder 35          Orr

Folder 36          Polk

Folder 37          Ramsey

Folder 38          Roussell

Folder 39          Rowan

Folder 40          Sanderson

Folder 41          Slouch

Folder 42          Smith

Folder 43          Taylor

Folder 44          Underwood

Folder 45          Valentine

Folder 46          Wenger

Folder 47          Windle

Folder 48          Woodburn

Folder 49          Woodrow

Series 2: Subject Files, 1862 – 1940s (Box 1 – Box 3)

Folder 50          Agriculture

Folder 51          Boundaries

Folder 52          Bridges

Folder 53          Business Houses

Folder 54          Business houses – Cochran Creamery

Folder 55          Business houses – Physicians

Folder 57          Business houses – Taverns, Hotels, Inns

Folder 58          Cemeteries

Folder 59          Churches

Folder 60          Churches – Methodist – Cochranville

Folder 61          Fragments File

Folder 62-69    History

Folder 70-75    History – Cochranville

Box 2

Folders 1-10    History – Cochranville            

Folder 11          History – Faggs Manor

Folder 12          History – Glenville

Folder 13          History – Lancaster County

Folder 14          History – Pennsylvania

Folder 15          History – Phoenixville

Folder 16          History – Steelville

Folder 17          Indexes

Folder 18          Indians

Folder 19-24    Lands

Folder 25-26    Lands – James Light Property

Folder 27-28    Military

Box 3

Folder 1            Organizations – Cochranville Improvement Society

Folder 2-5        Organizations – Free and Accepted Masons, Skerrett Lodge

Folder 6-10      Organizations – Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Hebron Lodge

Folder 11          Organizations – Independent Order of Red Men, Champeola Tribe

Folder 12          Organizations – Octoraro Farmers Club

Folder 13          Organizations – Patrons of Husbandry – Cochranville Grange

Folder 14          Photos and Printed Material

Folder 15          Politics – Election Districts

Folder 16          Post Offices

Folder 17-21     Post Offices – Cochranville

Folder 22          Public and Private Schools

Folder 23          Public Offices

Folder 24          Public Schools

Folder 25-26     Roads

Folder 27          Slavery – Underground Railroad

Folder 28          Taxes

Folder 29          Transportation

Folder 30          Transportation and Communication