Founded in 1682 by William Penn, Bucks County has had a long and
distinguished history. Penn named the county after Buckinghamshire,
the Penn family home in England.
The county seat was at Bristol from 1705 to 1726 when it was moved
10 miles north, to Newtown, which served as the county seat for
87 years. In 1752 the county, which originally extended to the New
York Colony line, was reduced to its present boundaries. As settlement
crept northward, agitation began for changing the county seat to
a more central location. In 1810, Governor Simon Snyder signed an
Act appointing a commission to select a new site. The hilltop tract
they chose has continued to serve as the seat of Bucks County for
almost 200 years. Since 1812, three
successive courthouses have occupied the site.
Currently, Bucks County is comprised of roughly 608 square miles
of land and 15.8 square miles of water. There are approximately 620,000
people within 23 boroughs and 31 townships.
Bucks County is famous nationwide for its historic sites, including
the Mercer Museum, Washington Crossing Historic Park, Pennsbury Manor,
and Pearl S. Buck House.
Three commissioners, who are elected at-large every four years and
represent both major political parties, govern the county. Other
elected officials include Clerk of Courts, Controller, Coroner, District
Attorney, Jury Commissioners, Prothonotary, Recorder of Deeds, Register
of Wills, Sheriff and Treasurer.
Mission of Bucks County
Serve the public effectively and efficiently by:
- Being responsive to the changing health and welfare, safety and
informational needs of Bucks County taxpayers and public
- Delivering quality service and administering county, state and
federal programs in a people sensitive and professional manner
- Managing and targeting our available resources based on the prioritizing
needs of the county
- Conducting county business with focus on integrity and fiscal
- Coordinating the efforts of the county divisions and departments,
and working together for the common good
Each of us is committed to achieving this mission.
The Seal of Bucks County
In March, 1683, William Penn's Council ordered "That the seal of
the County of Bucks be a tree and a vine." Penn had written that
in Bucks County "the woods yield us plums, grapes, peaches, strawberries
and chestnuts in abundance." The shield came from the Penn family
crest. Used to certify official documents until the American Revolution,
the seal was eventually supplanted by one with the official device
of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The old insignia is still used
on County stationary and vehicles to denote Bucks County's rich heritage.
Large replicas of it in tile, made by Dr. Henry Chapman Mercer, may
be seen at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown and the State Capitol
The Flag of Bucks County
The Bucks County flag incorporates the county seal that was inspired
by William Penn. With blue and gold adopted as the official county
colors in 1962, the Bucks County Commissioners designed the flag
as a "Gold Emblem on Field of Blue." The green band around the seal
represents the natural beauty that continues to inspire people who
come to Bucks County. The field of blue is standard flag proportion-2
units vertically to 3 units horizontally. The gold emblem is centered
and takes roughly the center third (width-wise) of the Flag. The
flag is trimmed in standard gold color fringe.
The following symbols were dedicated 28 years ago by third to ninth
graders in 13 school districts throughout Bucks County, and are now
considered the official county symbols:
- The county Flower is the Violet
- The county Bird is the Cardinal
- The county Mammal is the Cotton Tail Rabbit
- The county Tree is the Dogwood
- The county Fish is the Catfish
- The county Rock is the Diabase