Eastchester is a town in southern Westchester County, New York, United States. The population was 32,363 at the 2010 census. There are two villages within the town: Bronxville and Tuckahoe. The town contains a census-designated place also named Eastchester.
The town that is now called Eastchester began settlement in 1664 when ten families migrated from Fairfield, Connecticut. Thomas Pell, who at that time also owned the territory that is now New Rochelle and Pelham, granted a deed to the group to "settle down at Hutchinsons'," where the home of Anne Hutchinson had stood some twenty years before. The ten original families were shortly joined by another 26.
Laws for the region were established the following year, in 1665, under an agreement called the "Eastchester Covenant". The covenant was a rare document for this period. It contained 26 provisions, including such items as education of children, disposition and upkeep of property, and support of a minister.
Confirmation of their 1664 land patent was granted by Governor Richard Nicolls in 1666 after the occupation of the area by the English. A controversy arose in 1700 when the settlers signed a deed with the Native Americans. The tract of land involved was known as "Long Reach" because of its odd geographical makeup. The sites included are the present Bronxville, Tuckahoe, and a section of northwest Mount Vernon. The dispute over the ownership of the land involved the towns of New Rochelle, Westchester and the Pell family. When a decision was reached in favor of Eastchester, England's Queen Anne granted a second patent in 1708.
Eastchester was a farming community at the outbreak of the American Revolution. Although no major battles were fought here, as the heart of the Neutral Ground it saw constant fighting for over 13 years, being harassed by both sides as well as by the cowboys and skinners (the guerrillas of the day). Eastchester's rural makeup began to change with the coming of the railroad in the 1840s. An area of of land was incorporated as the village of Mount Vernon in 1853 by a group of New York businessmen; the village of Bronxville was incorporated in 1898; and the village of Tuckahoe in 1903. Today, Eastchester is bounded by Scarsdale on the north, New Rochelle on the east, Yonkers on the west, and Mount Vernon on the south. The town covers approximately five square miles, including Bronxville and Tuckahoe.
Babe Ruth was a member of Leewood Country Club.
[Memorial Park]on White Plains Rd was dedicated by President Richard Nixon. Four Medal of Honor recipients are honored at the Park. Congressional Medal of Honor recipients in the memorial: WWI veteran Richard William O’Neil, Vietnam veteran Robert Murray and WWII veteran Major Ralph Cheli. WWI "Flying Ace" Eddie Rickenbacker.
O'NEILL, RICHARD W. •Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company D, 165th Infantry, 42d Division •Place and date: On the Ourcq River, France, 30 July 1918 •Entered service at: New York, N.Y. •G.O. No.: 30, W.D., 1921
Citation: In advance of an assaulting line, he attacked a detachment of about 25 of the enemy. In the ensuing hand-to-hand encounter he sustained pistol wounds, but heroically continued in the advance, during which he received additional wounds: but, with great physical effort, he remained in active command of his detachment. Being again wounded, he was forced by weakness and loss of blood to be evacuated, but insisted upon being taken first to the battalion commander in order to transmit to him valuable information relative to enemy positions and the disposition of our men.
RICKENBACKER, EDWARD V. (Air Mission) •Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 94th Aero Squadron, Air Service •Place and date: Near Billy, France, 25 September 1918 •Entered service at: Columbus, Ohio. •G.O. No.: 2, W.D., 1931
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy near Billy, France, 25 September 1918. While on a voluntary patrol over the lines, 1st Lt. Rickenbacker attacked 7 enemy planes (5 type Fokker, protecting two type Halberstadt). Disregarding the odds against him, he dived on them and shot down one of the Fokkers out of control. He then attacked one of the Halberstadts and sent it down also.
•Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army Air Corps. •Place and date: Near Wewak, New Guinea, 18 August 1943 •Entered service at: Brooklyn, N.Y. •G.O. No.: 72, 28 October 1943
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy. While Maj. Cheli was leading his squadron in a dive to attack the heavily defended Dagua Airdrome, intercepting enemy aircraft centered their fire on his plane, causing it to burst into flames while still 2 miles from the objective. His speed would have enabled him to gain necessary altitude to parachute to safety, but this action would have resulted in his formation becoming disorganized and exposed to the enemy. Although a crash was inevitable, he courageously elected to continue leading the attack in his blazing plane. From a minimum altitude, the squadron made a devastating bombing and strafing attack on the target. The mission completed, Maj. Cheli instructed his wingman to lead the formation and crashed into the sea.
•Rank and Organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry, 196th Infantry Brigade, 23d Infantry Division •Place and Date: Near the village of Hiep Duc, Republic of Vietnam, 7 June 1970
Citation: S/Sgt. Murray distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader with Company B. S/Sgt. Murray's squad was searching for an enemy mortar that had been threatening friendly positions when a member of the squad tripped an enemy grenade rigged as a booby trap. Realizing that he had activated the enemy booby trap, the soldier shouted for everybody to take cover. Instantly assessing the danger to the men of his squad, S/Sgt. Murray unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own safety, threw himself on the grenade absorbing the full and fatal impact of the explosion. By his gallant action and self sacrifice, he prevented the death or injury of the other members of his squad. S/Sgt. Murray's extraordinary courage and gallantry, at the cost of his life above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army. Congressional Medal of Honor Society »
The Wilmot School near the comer of White Plains Road and Wilmot Road was a K-8 school that serviced the north end of town after 1909. When the Greenvale elementary school was erected in 1936, the Wilmot School was put to use as Eastchester's Town Hall. In 1964, the clubhouse of the Oak Ridge Country Club was converted into the present Town Hall, and the Wilmot School was torn down. The Cooper School, located in the northern end of town, was an elementary school built in the 1920s. It was demolished in 1980 and the land sold to a private housing developer. The original schoolyard lives on as Cooper Field, leased to the town of Eastchester at the rate of one dollar per year>. The park is also referred to as Vaccaro Park, as it was originally donated by Carmela Vaccaro the matriarch of one of the largest and longest standing families in Eastchester. The Anne Hutchinson School, another elementary school, was built in 1953, and additional classrooms constructed several years later. A primary wing was built at the Greenvale School in the 1950s.