Norristown, borough (1990 pop. 30,749), seat of Montgomery co., SE Pa., on the Schuylkill River; settled c.1712, laid out 1784, inc. 1812. Among its manufactures are textiles, medical equipment, machinery, metal and petroleum products, explosives, furniture, foods, consumer goods, and windows and doors. The borough is named for Isaac Norris (1671–1735), a Quaker merchant and a mayor of Philadelphia, who in 1704 bought a large tract of land there from his friend William Penn. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock, a commander during the Civil War and Democratic candidate for president in 1880, was born in Norristown and is buried there. The County Historical Society is noted for its collection of local folk art. Nearby is Valley Forge.
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