Originally home to the Unami (Delaware) branch of the Lenni Lenape peoples, historians have dated the founding of Middletown Township to 1686. Residents made their livelihood through agriculture, animal husbandry, and milling. Throughout the 19th century, manufacturing, retail, and professional services increased. Middletown has been home to many prominent citizens, including Jacob and Minshall Painter, whose systematic planting of thousands of varieties of trees and shrubs survives today as the Tyler Arboretum. Samuel D. Riddle was best known for breeding legendary racehorses. His community legacy lives on through the donation of his estate and farm to create Riddle Memorial Hospital. Middletown Township has grown to a thriving community, and today most of the farms and open fields have been replaced with retail and residential developments.
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