Founder of West Chester’s Iconic Farmer in the Dell Dies at 88

Image of Scott Wilson, left, and Chris Wilson via Bill Rettew, Digital First Media.

Edward Wilson, the founder of the iconic Farmer in the Dell eatery just outside West Chester, has died at the age of 88, writes Bill Rettew for the Daily Times.

From its opening in 1962 to its sale in the early 1980s, Wilson’s eatery was a long-time favorite for many locals. Its hand-carved roast beef and ham sandwiches and New England clam chowder were served by staffers wearing red-and-white checkered shirts.

The bar was surrounded with milk stools, and the wagon wheels tables were covered with plexiglass. Authenticity ruled at the Farmer in the Dell.

Wilson was ahead of his time in many ways. He installed one of Chester County’s first drive-through windows and its first salad bar.

According to his sons, Chris and Scott, everybody in West Chester knew their father and their father knew everybody.

“You couldn’t even go into town for 10 steps without someone talking for 10 to 15 minutes,” Scott Wilson said.

“He always found a way to help people in need.”

Read more about Edward Wilson in the Daily Times here.

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