Downingtown was incorporated by decree of court in May of 1859. By an election held at the Swan Hotel on the 28th of that month Captain James Lockhart was chosen first burgess. The borough limits embraced 760 acres, taken from the township of East Caln.

In 1702 surveys were made here in right of purchases made in England for Joseph Cloud and Daniel Smith. Joseph Hickman was perhaps the first resident owner of land, which he sold to Thomas Moore. Thomas Moore died around 1736 and the property was purchased by John Taylor and sold by him to different persons. Thomas Downing bought 561 acres in 1739, it being nearly all that lay north of the Philadelphia road. In 1752 a number of citizens of this vicinity petitioned the commissioners for a bridge over the Brandywine but with what success has not been discovered. In 1784 the place was generally called Milltown, but sometimes Downingtown. July 4, 1876, the citizens of Downingtown celebrated the centennial anniversary of independence by a public meeting at which the history of the locality, prepared by Dr. John P. Edge, was read as a part of the ceremonies.

This page updated on February 28, 2009