Medford is a township in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 23,033, reflecting an increase of 780 (+3.5%) from the 22,253 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,727 (+8.4%) from the 20,526 counted in the 1990 Census.
Medford was incorporated as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 1, 1847, from portions of Evesham Township, based on the results of a referendum held that day. Portions of the township were taken to form Shamong Township (February 19, 1852), Lumberton Township (March 14, 1860) and Medford Lakes (May 17, 1939).
The area known as Medford was sold to Samual Coles in 1670, in all it consisted of 900 acres (3.6 km²). Within the next few years the Braddock, Prickett, Stratton, Branin, and Wilkins families moved to the area (many of whom continue to live in the area today). Upper Evesham, as it was then known, continued to grow from scattered homesteads into a small village. Many of the building and roads built between the sale of the land and the American Revolutionary War are still in existence, which include Oliphant's Mill, Christopher's Mill and the Shamong Trail (now known as Stokes Road).
In 1820, when the Post Office opened, the area was officially called Medford of Upper Evesham, using a name that had been pushed by Mark Reeve, a developer who had recently visited Medford, Massachusetts. On March 1, 1847, Medford Township was "set apart from" Evesham Township by Act of the New Jersey Legislature. The first township meeting was held at the Cross Roads (County Route 541 and Church Road) on March 9, 1847. The seat of township government remained there for several years. Part of Medford Township was taken on February 19, 1852, to form Shamong Township, on March 14, 1860, portions were taken to form Lumberton Township. The borders remained unchanged until May 17, 1939, when Medford Lakes was formed.
A thriving glass making industry developed in Medford as early as 1825 with a glass making furnace making window panes. By 1850, William Porter was operating a glass factory on a triangle of property formed by South Main Street, Mill Street, and Trimble Street. Glass making operating continued on the property throughout the 1880s under company names including Medford Glass Works and Star Glass, which at its peak employed about 250 workers and built up a "company town" of sorts with houses for owners and managers and housing for workers. A company store enabled workers to exchange scrip for food and necessities. Glassmaking operations ended around 1925 and the factory was torn down by the mid-1940s. Today, many of the nearly thirty workers homes are neatly kept homes on Trimble and Mill Streets, as well as the owners' / managers' residence at 126 South Main St. and the company store at 132 South Main St.
Medford's location along the Camden and Atlantic Railroad, increased trade and Medford expanded at a rapid rate in the years after the Civil War. By the 1920s the rail line had been dismantled and the mill industry was in decline, but Medford's proximity to Philadelphia and Camden County allowed the township's growth to continue as many families moved from the city and into a more rural area.