History with Chuck: Two Abington grads running for 100th mayor of Philly, the first had ties to Cheltenham

On Tuesday, November 7, 2023, Philadelphia voters will elect the 100th mayor in the history of Philadelphia.

Two Abington Senior High School graduates are running for the position: Democrat Jeff Brown is a 1982 graduate of Abington High, and fellow Democrat Rebecca Rhynhart graduated in 1992.

The history of the chief executive in the city also has direct ties to the origin of Cheltenham Township. The “first mayor” in Philadelphia city history was Humphrey Morrey* who was also one of the founders of Cheltenham Township in 1682.

Morrey and the other founders chose the name Cheltenham to honor their former home in Cheltenham, England. The wealthy Quaker merchant served as Philadelphia’s mayor for 10 years from 1691 to 1701, and he also owned 250 acres of land in the western part of Cheltenham Township.

Unlike the future 100th mayor of Philadelphia, Humphrey Morrey was not elected mayor, but appointed by William Penn. 

*The feature image includes a portrait of Hiram Montier, a direct descendant of Morrey, from 1841. As far as we know, no images of Humphrey Morrey exist.

Information courtesy of Chuck Langerman, Local Historian