In 1695, Thomas Powell, a Quaker, bought the land now known as Bethpage from Native Americans, according to the Bethpage school district website. He paid 140 pounds sterling. Powell called his land Bethpage, because there was a place in the Bible in between Jericho and Jerusalem named Bethphage. His land was situated between the settlement of Jericho and what had previously been referred to as Jerusalem (now Wantagh). newsday.com/bethpage Sign up for community newsletters.