• Mon. Apr 15th, 2024


…bringing our past into the future

History of Delaware County Pennsylvania – Chapter 32


Apr 13, 2011



In 1644 the present site of Chester, east of the creek of that name, was a tobacco plantation, occupied by farm servants in the employment of the Swedish company. About that time many of the colonists began to seek grants of the broad acres on the main land, and the ground between Ridley and Chester Creeks was selected by Joran Keen, and to him the Swedish government granted a patent for a tract of land one and a half miles inland, following the right bank of Chester Creek above its mouth, and reaching along the Delaware eastward as far as Ridley Creek. The plot at its northwestern limit, at the present Crozer Theological Seminary, was a half-mile in breadth, and a diagonal line ran thence eastwardly to Ridley Creek. Joran Keen, or Kyn (as his name was written by the Swedes, and also from his peculiar complexion known as “snohuitt” or “snow white”), was one of the earliest European residents upon the Delaware River within the boundaries of the present State of Pennsylvania, and for more than a quarter of a century was the chief proprietor of lands at Upland, afterwards Chester. He was born in Sweden about 1620, and came to America, in company with Governor Printz, in the ship “Fama,” and resided at Tinicum. He was a soldier, whose duty was to attend daily upon the Governor, and travel with that dignitary wherever he might go, as one of his Excellency’s body-guard. As before stated, Keen received the grant of a royal tract of ground, and it is believed that when Printz left the colony to return to Sweden, Keen resigned his military position and gave his undivided attention to agriculture.*

The land on the west bank of Chester Creek, extending along the river as far as Marcus Hook, Queen Christina, of Sweden, granted to Capt. John Ammundson Besk, “his wife and heirs,” by patent dated Aug. 20, 1653, in consideration of faithful services he had rendered to the State. Besk, who is believed to have been a man of large means, never entered into possession of this vast tract of ground, and it seems to have been held and claimed by Armgart Pappegoya, the daughter of the first Swedish Governor, Printz. In a letter from the Dutch vice-director, Beekman, under date of Sept. 14, 1662, he writes, “I inquired into the situation of a certain lot of land on the Southwest side of Upland Kill, and was informed by the Swedish Commissaries and other ancient inhabitants of said nation, that the aforesaid is called Printz’s village, which has always been in possession during 16 years of the Swedish Governor, John Printz, and his daughter who owns it.”

Chester, in 1645, was a place of such insignificance that Andreas Hudde, an agent of the Dutch, who had been sent by Governor Kieft to learn the number, condition, armament, and military force of the Swedes, made no mention of it in his report. It is even doubtful whether, at that time Joran Keen had erected a house on his land, inasmuch as in the “Rulla,” dated by Printz at “Kihrstina” (Christiana), June 20, 1644, the statement appears that Upland was a tobacco plantation, as already mentioned. Between the years 1646 and 1648 a considerable settlement must have been made at this point, for in Hudde’s interview with the Passyunk Indians, in that year, they spoke of Upland, among other places, in the possession of the Swedes, and charge the latter with having stolen the land from them, while in Caimpanius’ account of New Sweden, “Mecoponacka,” or Upland, is mentioned in the year 1648 (the date of the elder Campanius’ return to Sweden) “as an unfortified place, but some houses were built there. It was situated between Fort Christina (near Wilmington) and New Gottenburg (Tinicum), but nearer the latter. There was a fort built there some time after its settlement. It is good even land along the river shore.”**

The Indian name of the site of the present city of Chester was Mecoponacka; the Swedish, Upland; the Dutch, Oplandt; and the English, Chester and Upland indifferently until the former entirely absorbed the latter in designating the borough about the middle of the last century. The proper Indian name of Chester Creek was Meechoppenackhan, according to Heckewelder, in his “Indian Names,” which signifies “the large potato stream,” or “the stream along which large potatoes grow.” This was corrupted into Macopanachan, Macopanackhan, and finally into Mecopanacka. The Indian tribe which owned the land whereon Chester stands, according to John Hill Martin, was the Okehockings, and were subsequently removed by the order of William Penn, in 1702, to “the tract in Chester county, formerly laid out to Griffy Jones, but now vacant.”

The story of Penn coming to Upland, the change of the name of the hamlet and the county to Chester, the meeting of the first Assembly, the courts held therein have already been narrated in the general history, and it is unnecessary to recapitulate those incidents here. During the winter of 1682-83, Penn resided in the Boar Head Inn, an ancient building which stood until March 21, 1850, when it was destroyed by fire. The noted hostelry stood on the line of the present street, on the footway approaching it having ascent to the building. It was one story and a half high, with peaked roof; the gable end standing toward Third Street, and from it, just below the eaves, projected the crane from which the old sign of a boar’s head was suspended. The house was constructed of heavy frame timber, filled in with brick, and outside as well as inside the laths, which were interlaced in a kind of basket pattern, were covered with plaster made of oyster-shell lime and mud, while, in place of hair, swamp-grass was employed to hold the composition together. The doors were peculiar in the manner in which they were hung; a peg or projection from the door above and below fitted into holes made in the frames, and on these they swung instead of hinges. The windows, with the exception of the one in the kitchen, were small; the glasses, four by three in size, were set in lead. The roof was of split-shingles, the kitchen floor was laid in flagging, some of which were as large as six by eight feet, and under these was a body of eighteen inches of sand on which they rested. In the kitchen, on the side opening to the west, was a large double door, through which a cart-load of wood could be drawn if desired. The chimney was an enormous affair, nearly sixteen feet in width, and the wide-mouthed old fireplace was spacious enough to hold entire cord-wood sticks on great iron dogs, while on either side in the fireplace were benches, where, on excessively cold days, the chilled inmates of the house could rest themselves while enjoying the blazing fire on the hearth. The cellar was of dressed stone, the joints true, every stone set square, and as carefully laid as the masonry of the City Hall.

Penn, shortly after his arrival at Chester, sent for James Sandelands, the elder, to confer with him, for it was “talkt among the people” of that day “that it was Intent to have built a City (at Upland), but that he and Sanderlin could not agree.” The conclusion of this interview was that Penn had to look elsewhere for a site for the future metropolis of Pennsylvania, if it be true that Penn at that time proposed building a “great town” there. The refusal of the chief owner of land, at Chester, to accede to Penn’s desires was disastrous in its results, and was discovered when too late to avoid its consequences, although an attempt was made to correct it, in a measure, on Nov. 19, 1700, when the petition of James Sandelands, the younger, was presented to Governor William Penn, on his second visit to the colonies, and his Council, in session at New Castle, setting forth that the royal patent to the proprietary gave him “absolute power to… erect and incorporate Towns, Hundreds and Counties and to incorporate Towns in Boroughs, & Boroughs into Cities & to make & constitute Fairs & Markets herein, with all other convenient privileges & Immunities according to the merits of the Inhabitants & fitness of ye places… And whereas ye Petitioner is possessed of a certain spot of land lying in sd Countie of Chester, verie fitt & naturally commodious for a Town & to that end lately caused ye sd spot of Land to be divided & Laid out into Lotts, Streets & Market place, a Draft & Model whereof (the generallie desired & Leiked of by ye sd Inhabitants of sd Countie) is notwithstanding herewith presented & submitted to your honors for your approbation and consent.” The same day it was ordered, after the heirs of James Sandelands, the elder, had appeared before Council, that “the Proprietary & Governor & Council having approved of the within Petition & of the design thereof & Looking upon the place within proposed to be fitt for a Town did not onlie approve of ye within & annexed model, but also did erect & do hereby erect the said spot of Land so modelled & Laid outt Into a Town provided the same do not encroach upon other men’s Land without their express consent under their Hands and Seals, and saving to the Proprietor & Governor & everie one their right.”***

The first street laid out by authority was ordered by the grand jury, Eighth month 2, 1686, which body reports that they “doe lay out a street and a landing upon the creek to the corner lot far as over against the north west corner of the Court House fifty foote in breadth and from thence up the said Chester town for a street 30 foote in breadthe.” This highway was at first called Chester Street, then Front Street, that runs along the creek, and now Edgmont Street or Avenue. In 1689 the grand jury continued the street from the present Second Street to low-water mark on the Delaware River, and from the northwestern corner of the then court-house, to low-water mark on the creek. This latter short street seems to have been closed at a later date, perhaps before the year 1690, for David Lloyd had the Governor and Council about that time to lay out a street thirty-eight feet wide on the line of the present Second Street, from Chester Creek to the plantation he had purchased from Neeles Laerson’s heirs in 1689. The plot of the town approved by Penn, Nov. 19, 1700, as shown by many ancient deeds, is almost exactly the plan of the old parts of this city as now laid out on the official map. In November, 1699, William Penn came a second time to his colony, and during that visit to the province he chartered the borough of Chester. The document is of interest, and we therefore give it entire, since many have no knowledge whatever of this old charter:
     “Preamble: William Penn, true and absolute Proprietary and Governor-in-Chief of the Province of Pennsylvania and Territories thereunto belonging: To all to whom these shall come, Sends Greeting. Whereas in my first Regulation and Division of the Counties of this Province I thought fit to order. That the Townsted or Village then having the Name of Upland should be called Chester, which I thereupon constituted the Shire-town of the County of Chester and ordered and appointed all my courts of judicature, for the Affairs of that county to be there held and kept and the County goal or Prison to be and remain there forever. AND whereas about the same Time, or soon after, for the Encouragement of the said Town, I was pleased to grant unto my ancient Friend John Simcock in Behalf of himself and others the Inhabitants of the said Place the Privilege of a Market to be there weekly held and kept. After which the said Inhabitants of the said Place, the Privilege of a Market to be thus weekly held and kept. After which the said Inhabitants, upon their special Instance, did also obtain from my late Lieutenant Governor and Council a Grant for two Fairs to be held in the said Town yearly. All which the inhabitants of the said Town, and of the adjacent Parts of the said County of Chester, having humbly besought me to confirm unto them, together with such additional Privileges an Francises as I might think fit or requisite for the better Encouragement of the Settlers, and Regulation of Trade therein.
     “Now Know Ye, That I, favouring the just and reasonable Request of said Inhabitants, have of my own free Will erected, and do, by these Presents for me, my Heirs, and successors, erect the said Town into a Borough, which Town and Borough shall extend from the River Delaware two miles backwards into the Woods, and shall be bounded Eastward with the west side of Ridley Creek, and westward with the East side of Chester Creek to the said extent of two miles backwards from the River and shall ever hereafter be called Chester. And I further will that the Streets, Landings and Market-place in the said Town shall for ever hereafter be, continue and remain, as they are already and have lately been laid out and modelled and approved of by me and my council, then setting at New Castle. And I do hereby name and constitute Jasper Yeates, Ralph Fishbourn, Paul Saunders and Robert Barber, to be present Burgesses and James Lounes, High-Constables of the said Borough, who shall so continue until the tenth Day of the first Month next. On that Day, as also as the same day in the same month yearly afterwards for ever, it shall and may be lawful to and for the Freeholders and Housekeepers of the said Town and Borough publickly to meet in some convenient Place within the said Town, to be by them appointed for that Purpose, and then and there nominate, elect and chose by the Ballot of the inhabitants of the said Town, fit and able men to be Burgesses and High constables, with such other Officers as by the Burgesses and Freemen shall be judged needful for assisting and serving the Burgesses in managing the affairs of the said Borough, and Keeping of the Peace therein from time to time, And the Burgess first chosen in the said Election shall be called the Chief Burgess of the said Town.
     “And I will and ordain. That all the said Burgesses for the Time being shall be, and are hereby impowered and authorized to be Conservators of the Peace within the said Borough; and shall have Power by themselves and upon their own view, without any Law proceedings, to remove all Nuisances and Incroachments out of the said Streets as they shall see Occasion: With Power also to arrest, imprison, and punish Rioters and Breakers of the Peace, and to bind them and all other offenders and Persons of evil Fame to the Peace or good Behaviour, as fully and effectually as any of the Justices of the Peace in the said County can do, and return or bring the Recognizances by them to be taken to the Court of Qwarter-Sessions for the said County. And that the said Chief Burgess from time to time shall, by Virtue of these Presents, without any further or other commission, be one of the Justices of the Peace, and one of the Justices of the County-Court and Qwarter Sessions, Oyer and Terminer and Goal-delivery, in and for the said County of Chester. And shall have full Power and Authority with the rest of the said County Justices, or a Qworum of them or by himself, where the laws of this Province, &c., direct one Justice to award Process and bold Pleas cognizable, by and before the Justices of the said County of Chester from time to time.
     “And I do hereby grant and appoint. That the Sheriff and Clerk of the Courts of the said County of Chester for the Time being, if not Residents in the said Borough shall appoint and constitute sufficient Deputies, who shall from time to time reside or constantly attend in the said Town of Chester, to perform the Duties of their respective offices. But before any of the said Burgesses, Constables, or other Officer, shall take upon them the execution of their respective Offices they shall subscribe the Declaration and Profession of their Christian Belief, according to the late Act of Parliament, made in the first Year of the Reign of King William, and the late Queen Mary, intitled ‘An act for exempting their Majesties’ Protestant Subjects, dissenting from the Church of England, from the Penalties of Certain Laws.’ And they that are to be newly elected for Burgesses, Constables and other Officers from time to time shall be attested for the due Execution of their respective Offices and shall subscribe the said Declarations and Profession of Belief before the old Burgesses, or such of them as go off and are not again chosen in the New Elections: But in case the old Burgesses are all chosen by the new Elections, then they shall have Power, and are hereby impowered and qualified to act upon their former Attests and Qualifications. And I do further grant and ordain, that the High-Constables of the said Borough for the Time being shall be Clerk of the Market, who shall and may have Assize of Bread, Wine, Beer, Wood and other Things; and to do, execute and perform, all Things belonging to the Office of Clerk of the Market within the said Town and Borough of Chester.
     “And I do for me, my Heirs and Assigns, grant unto the said Burgesses and their Successors, That if any of the Inhabitants of the said Town and Borough shall be hereafter elected to the Office of Burgess or Constable as aforesaid, and, having notice of his or their Election, shall refuse to undertake and execute their Office to which he is chosen, it shall be lawful for the Burgess or Burgesses then acting to impose moderate Fines upon the Refusers, so as the Burgess’s Fine exceed not Ten Pound, and the Constable’s Five Pounds; to be levied by Distress and Sale, by Warrant under the Hand & Seal of one or more of the Burgesses, or by other lawful Ways, to the Use of the said Town being to summon and assemble Town-meetings, from time to time, as often as they shall find Occasion: At which Meetings they may make such Ordinances and Rules (not repugnant to or inconsistent with the Laws of this Province) as to the greater Part of the Town-meeting shall seem necessary and convenient for the good Government of the said Town. And the same Rules and Ordinances to put in Execution, and the same to revoke, alter and make anew, as Occasion shall require. And also impose such Mulcts and Amerciaments upon Breakers of the said Ordinances as to the Makers thereof shall be thought reasonable; to be levied as is directed in Case of Fines, to the Use of the Town, without rendering any Account thereof to me, my Heirs or Assigns: With Power also to the said Meetings to mitigate or release the said Fines and Mulcts, upon the submission of the Parties.
     “And I do further grant to the said Burgesses and Inhabitants of the aforesaid Town and Borough of Chester, That they and their successors shall and may, for ever hereafter, hold and keep within the said Town in every Week of the Year one market on the fifth Day of the Week called Thursday: And also two Fairs there in every Year, the first of them to begin the fifth Day of the third Month, called May, and to continue that Day and two Days after; and the other of the said Fairs to begin the fifth Day of October and to continue till the seventh Day of the same Month in such Place and Places in the said Town as the Burgesses from time to time shall order and appoint.
     “And I do further grant, That neither I, nor my Heirs or Assigns, shall or will seize any of the Liberties or Franchizes hereby granted, nor take any Advantage against the said Borough for the non-using or waving the present Execution of any of the Powers or Privileges hereby granted.
     “In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and caused my Great Seal to be affixed. Dated the One-and-thirtieth Day of October, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and One, 1701.
     “Recorded Pat. Book Vol. 2, p. 138.”(4*)

The borough grew slowly, for Oldmixon refers to it in 1708 as containing “one hundred houses.” Bampfylde Moore Carew, in 1739, stated that it “contains about a hundred houses, and a very good road for shipping.” In 1758, Acrelius said, “it had 120 houses, which gives endorsement to the assertion of Lewis Evans, in a letter written in 1753,(5*) that “Chester, Bristol, and Newtown have been long at a stand.” Peter Kalm, the Swedish naturalist, in the fall of 1748, journeying from Wilmington to Philadelphia, mentions in his journal “Chester, a little market town which lies on the Delaware. The houses stand dispersed. Most of them are built of stone and two or three stories high; some are, however, made of wood.” The Delaware County Republican of July 1, 1836, states, Chester “has about 140 dwellings.”

In 1713 the inhabitants of Chester County petitioned Governor Goodkin and Council “that ye Borough of the Town of Chester, in this Province, may be made a free Port.” The petition was referred to William Penn, who took no action in the matter. Over a century thereafter, in March, 1838, the inhabitants of the borough of Chester petitioned the Councils of Philadelphia to have Chester made a port of entry, promising, if that was done, to build a railway from the piers to intersect with the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad. The project was so flattering to the hopes of the people of the place that, on March 7, 1840, an act of Assembly was obtained empowering the authorities to lay such track in the streets, but nothing ever came of the scheme.

In 1739 the noted clergyman, George Whitefield, preached in Chester, and so great was his fame and the excitement throughout the colony, occasioned by his eloquence, that about seven thousand persons gathered here to listen to his sermon. It is said that a cavalcade of one hundred and fifty horsemen accompanied the noted divine hither. It was during this year that Bampfylde Moore Carew, heretofore mentioned, passed through Chester, and he relates how the people for many miles around flocked to the places where Whitefield was to preach. Carew came here on Sunday, “stayed all night, and the next morning he inquired of one Mrs. Turner, a Quakeress, who formerly lived at Embercomb, by Minehead, in Somersetshire. From her he got a bill (money) and a recommendation to some Quakers at Darby, about five miles further.” This Mrs. Turner lived at the northeast corner of Third Street and Concord Avenue, the property of the late Mrs. Shaw.

The story of Chester in its stationary condition is so interwoven with that of the county that it cannot be separated the one from the other. And it is unnecessary to refer to it here, since it is told in the general history heretofore given. On several occasions enterprising men have endeavored to give business impetus to the old borough. Jasper Yeates, in 1698, erected extensive granaries on the creek, and established a large bakery. It was located at Second and Edgmont Streets. The eastern abutment of the bridge there is built partly on the site of the old granary. The second story of the building was used for the storage of grain, while the lower was the biscuit-bakery. The enterprise failed to satisfy, for in a letter from James Logan to Penn 5th First month, 1708/9, it is set forth:
     “The Country people of this Province having of late generally fallen upon the practice of bolting their own wheat and selling or shipping the flour, Jasper Yeates, a man of a working brain for his own interest, found his trade at Chester to fall under a very discouraging decay. Upon this he has frequently discoursed of removing to New Castle, where he is possessed of a large tract of land close to the town.”

The old granary was substantially built of stone and brick, the walls being nearly three feet wide. The lime and mortar had so cemented the materials together that when it was demolished in April, 1853, by Mr. Pusey, of Chester County, to erect on its site a large flouring-mill, it almost defied the efforts of the workmen to pull it down. During the Revolution Joseph Ashbridge baked much of the “hard tack” for the American army, and in 1812 it was used for a like purpose for the United States. The archway of the building, which led from Edgmont Street to the creek, was a place of dread to the children in the olden times, for it was stated a woman had been murdered there and her uneasy spirit lingered about the place of her untimely “taking off.”

Between 1761 and 1770, Francis Richardson, to whom Grace Lloyd devised the greater part of her large estate, built extensive warehouses and two piers, known as Richardson’s Upper and Lower Wharf (in 1816 conveyed to the State, and in 1823 conveyed by the commonwealth to the United States), believing that Chester could be made a rival of Philadelphia as a shipping-point for grain and produce, but the difficulties with the mother-country totally ruined him. In 1732, Joseph Howell was a tanner in Chester, and continued in that occupation at the old tan-yard (now Frederick J. Hinkson’s) on Edgmont Street, near Third, until 1764, when Isaac Eyre purchased the property and carried on the business. In 1799, John Birchall had the tannery there, and William Brobson followed him until 1863. The latter dying, the business was continued by Hon. Frederick J. Hinkson and J.S. Bell; later by I.J. & C. Hinkson, Sons of Judge Hinkson, and more recently by the Chester Morocco Company.

In 1782, Jonathan Pennell, a blacksmith, had a shop on Edgmont Avenue, near Front, and William Spear in the same trade, in 1799, where Ladomus’ block now stands. John Baggs was employed in one of these shops or with Jonathan Morris, who had a shop at that time on the southwest corner of Fifth and Welsh Streets. William Hawken was then the village wheelwright. About 1800, William Ford was a shipwright at Chester. I do not know how long he had been in business as such, but we do know that on July 1, 1778, Col. Jehu Eyre was placed in charge of the department for building boats for the State, having four separate sets of ship-carpenters at work at different locations, with one at Chester, under charge of Capt. William Bowers.(6*) Samuel Lytle sawed ship-plank for their vessels. It is stated a gunboat was built in the woods upon the creek since known as “Ship Creek,” so that it might be hidden from the view of any English man-of-war ascending the river; and after it was launched it was discovered that it was a foot or so wider than the passageway between the abutments at Third Street bridge, and could not make its way to the Delaware. The stream still retains the name, but the circumstance from which it derived that title has generally been forgotten.

The first description of Chester after the Revolution which I have found describes the town thus:(7*)
     “Chester, borough of, a post-town of Pennsylvania, and capital of Chester County (Delaware County). It is situated on the northwest side of Delaware River, between Ridgely (Ridley) and Chester Creek, fifteen miles southwest of Philadelphia. It contains about sixty dwellings, built on a regular plan, a court-house, and jail. Courts of Common Pleas and General Quarter Sessions of the peace are held here the third Monday in February, May, August, and November. This town is remarkable for being the place where the first Colonial Assembly was convened, which was on the 4th of December, 1682. As it affords an agreeable morning’s ride, and having genteel accommodations, it is the resort of much company from Philadelphia in the summer season. It was incorporated by an act of Assembly December (March), 1795, and is governed by two burgesses, one high constable, one town clerk, and three assistants. The powers of the corporation are much limited; they are wholly confined to the preservation of peace and order among the inhabitants of the borough.”

Almost all the inhabitants of the venerable borough believed that the removal of the county-seat to Media would be a fatal blow to the prosperity of the town; that it would rapidly sink in population and as a business point. Few persons comprehended that the hour for its advancement had come. The purchase by John P. Crozer of the old Chester mill-site to the northwest of the borough, the erection at that place of a cotton-mill, and the location of James Campbell at Leiperville, to the northeast, where he built up a large business in manufacturing cotton goods, had directed the attention of a few thoughtful men to the possibilities and advantages of Chester as a manufacturing centre.

To properly appreciate the condition of Chester at that time, it is necessary to present a brief picture of the borough, which, after the Revolution, was incorporated with all the rights and privileges of a shire-town by act of Assembly of March 5, 1795. It had, however, remained almost stationary in respect to population and business enterprises. In 1840 the population of the borough was seven hundred and forty persons of all ages and sexes. The town occupied, in a scattered manner, the space extending from the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad to the river, and from Welsh Street to Chester Creek. But a small part was built upon, and in the area given, most of the houses, many of them dilapidated, had been erected in the preceding century, and the place showed all the features of a finished town. The change which has since that time so developed the little fishing village, for Chester was scarcely more than that, first began to show itself about 1842. A few properties then changed owners at fair prices.

The great difficulty in the way of Chester was that it was surrounded by large farms held by persons in easy circumstances, who would not sell a foot of ground at any price, and who looked upon those who proposed to build a city here as visionary men, who would run themselves in debt and ultimately fail. Time, however, brought these farms into the market. Death and debt have no respect for conservatism, and by degrees these agencies worked in behalf of the change that was dawning. The first of these tracts of land which came into the hands of the progressive spirits who were guiding the new order of things was that of William Kerlin, a fifty-acre plot, the Essex House tract, lying between the post-road and the river, on the west bank of Chester Creek.

John M. Broomall, then residing in Upper Chichester, supposed that he had bought the farm in 1846, atone hundred and fifty dollars an acre, but the agent, Charles D. Manley, though authorized to sell at that price, was, to his great mortification, unable to get his principal to execute the deed and the sale fell through. In the early part of 1849, Mr. Broomall, who had in the mean while removed to Chester, purchased the farm again of Mr. Kerlin himself after considerable negotiation, at two hundred dollars an acre. A time was fixed for executing the contract of sale, but before the day came, Mr. Kerlin again changed his mind. In December following, John Edward Clyde, who was quite anxious that a sale should be effected, meeting Mr. Kerlin on the street, agreed to purchase the farm, and insisted that the former should go at once to the office of Mr. Broomall. The latter declined to enter into a negotiation except upon the condition that the deed should be forthwith executed and the sale consummated, if a price could be agreed upon. The condition was accepted; Hon. Edward Darlington was sent for as counsel for Mr. Kerlin, and in half an hour the deed was executed, the price paid being two hundred and fifty dollars an acre. During the negotiations, in the early part of 1849, Mr. Broomall had offered to John P. Crozer and John Larkin, Jr., each an equal interest with himself in the farm he then believed he had purchased from Mr. Kerlin. The attention of both of these gentlemen had been attracted to Chester as the site of a future city if it could only get room to grow, and they had been looking at the Kerlin farm as a possible outlet. Before the actual purchase took place, Mr. Larkin bought a large part of the farm of John Cochran to the north of the town, now forming a considerable portion of the North Ward. He declined to accept Mr. Broomall’s proposal, and the Kerlin farm was bought by Mr. Crozer and Mr. Broomall in equal shares.

On Jan. 5, 1850, John Larkin, Jr., purchased eighty-three acres of land, which had formerly been a racecourse, from John Cochran. This tract had been included in the estate of David Lloyd, and the greater part of it was embraced in the purchase, May 1, 1741, made by Joseph Hoskins from Grace Lloyd, and which he devised to his nephew, John Hoskins, of Burlington, N.J. The latter sold the property to his son, Raper Hoskins, March 22, 1791, and he dying seized of the property, his widow, Eleanor, administered to the estate, and sold it, April 27, 1799, to Thomas Laycock. The latter dying, and his heirs making default in payment, the property was sold by John Odenheimer, sheriff, Oct. 26, 1806, to Anthony Morris, who in turn sold it to Maj. William Anderson, and the latter conveyed it to John Cochran, May 26, 1823, who dying intestate, the estate was conveyed by the heirs to John Cochran, the younger, who sold it to John Larkin, Jr., at the time already stated. The entire tract was in one inclosure; the only improvement, so far as buildings were concerned, was the small stone house, still standing, with its gable end to Edgmont Avenue, below Twelfth Street, and a frame stable. The land, after it ceased to be a race-course, had been used as a grazing lot for cattle.

Both tracts were laid out in streets and squares, and almost immediately signs of improvement began to manifest themselves in the present North and South Wards. Many of the old residents looked on in amazement, and often the quiet remark went round, “These men will lose every dollar they have in this business.” The enterprising men, however, paid little attention to these prognostications of misfortune. Dwelling-houses were erected, streets laid out and graded, and capital was invited to locate in this vicinity. Early in the year 1850, James Campbell, of Ridley, purchased the lot and bowling-alley formerly belonging to the Delaware County Hotel, which lot was located on the north side of Fourth Street, where part of the market-house now stands. This building he altered to receive looms, and in March, 1850, within three months of the purchase of the Kerlin and Cochran farms, for the first time the noise of the shuttle was heard in the borough. When the public buildings were sold, Mr. Campbell bought the prison and workhouse, and at much expanse he changed the ancient structure into a cotton-mill, thus making the first permanent establishment in which textile fabrics were woven within the bounds of the present city of Chester.

In 1856, John P. Crozer conveyed his interest in the joint property to Mr. Broomall, for the cost and legal interest thereon, reserving only the half-square of ground on Penn and Second Streets, where the Baptist Church now stands. This was Mr. Crozer’s own proposition, and on being reminded that more than enough land had been sold to pay the entire costs, leaving four-fifths of it as clear profit, he replied that he had gone into the enterprise not to make money, but to aid in the development of Chester, and he was quite content that the profits should go to Mr. Broomall, who had done the chief part of the work; that his assistance was no longer necessary, but that he would let his capital remain, to be repaid by Mr. Broomall, with interest, at his own time and convenience. Of course this offer was gratefully accepted.

In the present North Ward, Mr. Larkin, in spite of great opposition, carried out his designs fully. It is related that although he laid out the streets in that part of the town, and dedicated them to the public, the borough authorities refused to keep the highways in repair, and at his own expense he maintained a force of men at work upon them. On one occasion, when a member of the Town Council complained that the streets in the old part of the borough were neglected, contrasting them with those of Larkintown, which were neat and well kept, and declaring that the public moneys should not all be expended in one locality, another member informed the speaker that Chester had never contributed a dollar for that purpose, and that Mr. Larkin had personally paid for all the highways made, as well as maintaining them in repair. Not only did he do this, but he constantly built houses, stores, foundries, shops, and mills, in conformity with a rule he had adopted at the beginning of his enterprise that every dollar he received from the sale of lands or buildings should be expended in further improvements, and hence, for any person desiring to start in business, he would erect the required structure, and lease it to him or them, with the privilege of purchasing the property at its cost price within ten years. Mr. Larkin has built over five hundred houses and places of business, several being large cotton-mills. In 1881 he sold the last vacant building-lot remaining out of the original eighty-three acres he had bought as an unimproved tract, thirty-one years before. More than thirty years Mr. Larkin spent industriously and earnestly in making the North Ward what it is, and only during the last ten years did he receive much assistance, from the labor of others to the same end, in dotting it all over with dwellings and industrial establishments.

To return to the river front: Mr. Broomall, in conjunction with William Ward, in 1862, purchased the farms of Edward Pennell and James Laws, which were brought into the market, and were soon dotted over with houses and manufacturing establishments.

On March 5, 1795, the borough of Chester,(8*) which had been governed under the charter granted by Penn in 1701, was incorporated by an act of Assembly, and from time to time thereafter powers and privileges were procured from the State authorities. On April 6, 1850, a new charter was granted by the General Assembly. In 1866 the ancient borough had so grown in population and industries that the act of Feb. 14, 1866, was obtained, by which Chester was incorporated as a city, since which date, until the Constitution of 1874 interdicted special legislation, several supplemental and amendatory acts were had explanatory of the statute of 1866.(9*) The story of the progress of the city, its industries, historical buildings, institutions of learning, and other topics which demand consideration in a work such as this will be presented under appropriate headings.

The following is a list of chief burgesses and the civil officers of the city of Chester:

1703. Jasper Yeates. 1832. Samuel Edwards.
1730. Nicholas Pyle. 1833. William Martin.
1731. Thomas Cummings. 1835. George W. Bartram.
1733. Caleb Cowpland. 1847. Robert R. Dutton.
1738. Joseph Parker. 1848. William Brobson.
1741. Charles Grantham. 1849. Charles D. Manley.
1745. Joseph Parker. 1851. George W. Bartram.
1749. William Read. 1852. Alexander McKeever.
1751. Mordecai James. 1853. Henry L. Powell.
1752. Samuel Howell. 1854. Job Rulon.
1753. Thomas Morgan. 1855. Samuel Starr.
1757. Joseph Hoskins. 1856-57. John Edward Clyde.
1759. Jonathan Cowpland. 1858. Stephen Cloud, Jr.
1762. Edward Brinton. 1859. Robert Gartside.
1763. Dr. Paul Jackson. 1860. George Baker.
1779. David Cowpland. 1861. N. Walter Fairlamb.
1789. Dr. William Martin. 1862. George Baker.
1794. William Graham. 1863. Jeremiah W. Flickwir.
1798. Isaac Eyre. 1864-65. George Baker.
1866. John Larkin, Jr.(10*) 1881. James Barton, Jr.
1872. Dr. Jonathan Larkin Forwood.(11*) 1884. Dr. J.L. Forwood.


William H. Dickinson, March 21, 1878.

David Garrett, March 10, 1881; died in office Aug. 16, 1881.

I. Newton Shanafeldt, March 10, 1882, re-elected and commissioned April 5, 1883.


1866. William Ward, who was elected annually thereafter until October, 1872, when he resigned, and same month Orlando Harvey was elected annually thereafter until 1881, when the term was increased to three years, and in April, 1884, he was re-elected for three years.

1866. William Ward. 1878. Robert Anderson.
1869. William A. Todd. 1879. John A. Wallace.
1873. Y.S. Walter. 1880. Robert Anderson.
1875. Amos Gartside. 1881. Henry B. Black (present incumbent).
1877. Dr. Theodore S. Christ.
1866. Henry L. Donaldson. 1875. Mordecai Lewis (the present clerk).
1868. Dr. John M. Allen.
1873. Charles H. Allen.


1866 – North Ward, James Stephens, Charles F. Kenworthy, John Hinkson, N. Walter Fairlamb, Charles A. Weidner; Middle Ward, Samuel A. Dyer, Ellis Smedley, George Flood, Crosby P. Morton, Stephen Cloud, Jr.; South Ward, William Ward, William B. Reaney, William A. Todd, James Scott, Amos Gartside.

1867 –  North Ward, J. Wesley Ottey; Middle Ward, Dr. J.L. Forwood, William C. Gray; South Ward, William G. Price.

1868 –  North Ward, I. Engle Hinkson, John O. Deshong, Jr.; Middle Ward, Y.S. Walter;(12*) South Ward, George Derbyshire.

1869 –  North Ward, Percipher Baker, Edmund Esrey; Middle Ward, William Appleby, David S. Bunting, David W. Morrison; South Ward, William Ward, William A. Todd, Amos Gartside.

1870 –  North Ward, James Ledward; South Ward, William G. Price.(13*)

1871 –  North Ward, N. Walter Fairlamb; Middle Ward, Dr. J.L. Forwood, J. Frank Black; South Ward, Joseph R.T. Coates, James A. Williamson.

1872 –  North Ward, Jonathan Kershew, James Ledward, John O. Deshong, Jr.; Middle Ward, Henry Hinkson, George Goeltz, William Appleby; South Ward, George Robinson, George Derbyshire.(14*)

1873 –  North Ward, James Ledward; Middle Ward, Jonathan Pennell, Y.S. Walter; South Ward, James Barton, Jr., Thomas I. Leiper, George Weigand.

1874 –  North Ward, J. Humphrey Fairlamb, William Armstrong; Middle Ward, William Hinkson; South Ward, Frederick J. Hinkson, Jr.

1875 –  North Ward, Daniel Robinson, John O. Deshong, Jr.; Middle Ward, George Goeltz, Dr. Theodore S. Christ; South Ward, Amos Gartside, George Weigand.

1876 –  North Ward, Samuel Danfield; Middle Ward, John B. Hinkson, Henry Hinkson; South Ward, Robert Anderson, Daniel Brown.(15*)

1877 –  North Ward, Samuel Greenwood, Thomas Clough; Middle Ward, Frank S. Baker; South Ward, John A. Wallace, Robert Chadwick.

1878 –  North Ward, John Young, Samuel R. Palmer; Middle Ward, Henry B. Black, Paul Klotz; South Ward, William F. Cutter.(16*)

1879 –  North Ward, Frank S. Baker; Middle Ward, George McCall; South Ward, William Fennell.(17*)

1880 –  North Ward, Abraham Blakeley, Samuel Oglesby; Middle Ward, Isaiah H. Mirkil; South Ward, John A. Wallace.(18*)

1881 –  North Ward, Thomas Clough, Richard Miller; Middle Ward, Henry B. Black; South Ward, Henry Palmer, David M. Johnson, George G. Jones.(19*)

1882 –  North Ward, Frank S. Baker; Middle Ward, Perry M. Washabaugh, William J. Oglesby; South Ward, William B. Broomall, Joseph McAlden.(20*)

1883 –  North Ward, Samuel Black, John B. Hannum; Middle Ward, Robert Smith, Jr., J. Frank Black; South Ward, Thomas J. Houston.(21*)

1884 –  North Ward, Richard Miller, Samuel Oglesby; Middle Ward, J. Frank Black, Henry B. Black; South Ward, Dr. Robert P. Mercer.(22*)


Joseph Taylor, Alfred Owens, William H. Flaville, Edward Roberts,


John Crosby, Joel Willis, April 30, 1791; Davis Bevan, Aug. 19, 1794; Miles Macarty, April 13, 1796; Elisha Price, April 15, 1796; William Martin, Aug. 9, 1797; Isaac Eyre, Oct. 12, 1798; Nicholas Fairlamb, Dec. 6, 1798; Aaron Morton, May 3, 1799; Joseph Marshall, Thomas Hinkson, May 20, 1800; John Pearson, June 21, 1802; James Wuthey, July 4, 1806; Jacob Edwards, Jan. 1, 1807; John Caldwell, Nov. 15, 1814; Joseph Walker, Feb. 3, 1820; Samuel Smith, March 12, 1822; David Marshall, Dec. 3, 1824; George W. Bartram, June 3, 1824; Benjamin F. Johnson, Oct. 25, 1825; Abraham Kerlin, June 7, 183O; Samuel T. Walker, Nov. 11, 1831; John Afflick, June 6, 1834; Samuel Shaw, Nov. 18, 1835; William Martin, June 10, 1836; William Eyre, Dec. 21, 1838; George W. Bartram, Sept. 23, 1839.


George W. Bartram, Abraham Kerlin, April 14, 1840; Samuel Anderson, April 14, 1846; John Larkin, Jr., Frederick Fairlamb, April 9, 1850; Henry J. Powell, April 13, 1852; Frederick Fairlamb, April 10, 1855.

South Ward –  Samuel Ulrich, June 4, 1856, June 25, 1861, May 8, 1866, and May 8, 1871; Joseph Entwisle, May 1, 1872; Benjamin F. Welser, March 15, 1876; Samuel L. Armour, March 15, 1880, April 9, 1881.

Middle Ward –  Robert Gartside, April 10, 1860; John H. Baker, April 15, 1861; Jeremiah W. Fleckner, April 28, 1865, and April 30, 1866; Henry M. Hinkson, April 25, 1867; I. Edward Clyde, May 1, 1872; John M. Allen, March 28, 1878, and May 7, 1883.

North Ward –  Joseph Holt, April 10, 1860, May 17, 1865, May 8, 1871, May 8, 1876; Daniel B. Thomson, Aug. 25, 1881, and May 8, 1882.

Places of Worship – Friends’ Meeting-House –  The first recorded meeting of the society of Friends in the province of Pennsylvania was that mentioned as being held at the house of Robert Wade, at Upland, in 1675, when William Edmundson, an eminent minister, then on a religious visit to the American colonies, was present. Previous to the coming of Penn, at a monthly meeting held 11th of Seventh month (September), 1681, it was agreed “Yt a meeting shall be held for ye service and worship of God every First Day at ye Court House at Upland.” On the 6th of the First month, 1687, Joran Kyn sold a lot of land, sixty feet in front and width, between parallel lines to the creek, adjoining his garden, on the west side of the present Edgmont Street, above Second, to John Simcock, Thomas Brasey, John Bristow, Caleb Pusey, Randal Vernon, Thomas Vernon, Joshua Hastings, Mordecai Maddock, Thomas Martin, Richard Few, Walter Fawset, and Edward Carter, “to the use and behoof of the said Chester – the people of God Called Quakers and their successors forever.” Although the laud was purchased it was several years before the building was erected, the evidence apparent establishing that six years elapsed before the meeting-house was finished.

The first direct notice of such a movement was at the meeting at Walter Faucet’s “ye 6th of ye 4th month, 1687,” when it was “Agreed that Bartholomew Copock and James Kinerly Randall Vernon and Caleb Pusey do agree and Contract wth such workman or men as they shall se meet to build a meeting house att Chester 24 foot Sqwar and 10 ft. high in the Walls & that the above sd persons do Come themselves and the workman or men if they do agree & Give accompt thereof to the next Mo: meeting.” The project languished, so far as the records show, until the “13th of ye 8th mo. 1690,” when Chester meeting appointed a committee “to take the subscriptions of Middletown, Edgmont, Springfield, Upper & Nether providence and Marple of what these friends are free to Give towards the building a meeting house in Chester. Vizt for Upper providence Randall Malin, for Middletown John Worrall, David Ogden, for Edgmont, Thomas Worrelle, James Swaffer, for Springfield, George Morris, Junr, & Mordica Maddock, for Marple Thomas Person and Josiah Taylor.”

The committee appear to have worked diligently, for on the minutes of Chester meeting, but without date, appears the following:

  £ s. d.
Thomas Powell 2 0 0
Thomas Brassey 3 10 0
Randall Vernon 3 00 00
Thomas Vernon 1 00 00
John Sharpless 1 10 00
Walter ffaucet 1 10 00
John Hoghkins (Hoskins) 1 10 00
Caleb Pusey 1 00 00
Robert Barber 1 00 00
Joshua Hastings 1 00 00
John Baldwin 0 05 00
John Broomall 0 05 00
John Bristow 5 00 00
John Simcocke 5 00 00
William Woodmansee 0 07 00
Jacob Simcock 0 10 00
James Sharpless 0 5 00
Andrew Job 01 00 00
James Whittacree 00 05 00
Mord. Maddock 03 0O 00
John Simcock, juner 00 10 00
Robert Taylor 00 06 00
Edward Walter 10 06 00
Edward Carter 2 00 00
John Beall 00 06 00
Charles Brookes 00 06 00
William Browne 00 10 00
Thomas Vernon, young 01 00 00
Francis Worly 00 10 00
Whillm Caborne 01 00 00
Joseph Caborne 01 00 00
John Edge 01 00 00
John Crosby 01 00 00
John Parker 00 10 00
John Martin 01 00 0O
Tho Martin 01 00 00
Nat. Evans 01 00 00
John Churchman 00 00 00
Henry Churchman 00 10 00
Thomas Calbourne 3 00 00
John Worall 01 00 00
Randall Maillen 00 10 00
robert Vernon 0l 00 00
tho Minshall 1 00 00
peter tailler 00 06 00
Joseph Vernon & Jacob Vernon 01 00 00
John hoskins Jonut 10 10 00
James Swaford 00 04 00
William Swaford 00 06 00
henry Worley 00 10 00
John Powell 01 00 00
thomas Joans 00 06 00
Laraunce rooth 00 10 00
  11 12 00
George Churchman 11 00 00″

It does not, as stated, appear when this subscription was collected, but we know that nothing was done towards erecting the meeting until the 6th of “ye 2d mo., 1691,” when, at the house of Walter Faucit, we find that “Its agreed by this meeting that John Bristow & Caleb Pusey do forthwith agree wth and Inploy workmen in the Building the meeting house ats Chester (wth stone) on the place that was formerly bought for that purpose the situateing of wch as also the manner of Building the sayme is Left to their Discretion and that this meeting do Defray the Charges of the saime so that it exceed not above one Hundred pounds and that there bee one Convenient Chimney att Least and that the sd John Bristow and Caleb Pusey do Give account of what they have done at ye next month meeting.” On the 12th of Eighth month, 1691, the meeting appointed Walter Faucit and Randall Vernon to “Goe to those yt subscribed to the Building the meeting house that they forthwith bring their pay unto Calebs Mill and make report at ye next month meeting.” Some of the subscribers seem to have regretted their liberality, for on 11th of Second month, 1692, it was ordered that “Randall Vernon and Randall Malin Goe to Thomas Powell and Return him the two pounds tenn shillings that hee saith hee lent toward building the meeting house and paying for the Ground it Stands on att Chester and make Returne of their proceeding to the next mo. meeting.” There was doubtless some dispute respecting the payment of these moneys to Powell, for on the 1st of the Eleventh month, 1693, “a memorandum” was entered of record in which Randall Malin, Robert Vernon, and Peter Taylor certify that they were at Powell’s house and the money had been paid to him in their presence. On the 5th of First month, 1693/4, John Simcock, Randall Vernon, Walter Faucit, Robert Baker, and Robert Carter were directed to meet John Bristow and Caleb Pusey “in order to make up the accompts wth them concerning the meeting house att Chester and also to Receve the Deed of the Land the sd house stands upon.” At a meeting held at Robert Vernon’s, 2d of Second month, 1694, John Bristow brought the deed and the account of disbursement in erecting the building. The deed was given to John Simcock for safe keeping, and Walter Faucit, Caleb Pusey, and Robert Barber were directed to “Inspect into and Cast up the sd accompts wth him” (Bristow).

The impression which so long held undisputed sway that the first Assembly in the province sat in this old meeting-house has ceased to be a disputed topic among historians, but the question which part of the ancient building was first erected was long in dispute. The records of Chester Meeting, which are explicit, leave even that no longer a debatable point. The building being of stone, that part of it which faced on Edgmont Street was the original structure, and the brick addition towards the creek was placed there after Friends had worship in there for several years. As late as 1848, when the building was inspected by a critical observer, these facts were established by the house itself. Whitehead tells us, “The brick part bore evidence of having been subsequently added as a kitchen, having an oven built within and forming part of the original wall. The timbers, too, were in a better state of preservation.” Indeed, it may be asserted without fear of contradiction that the latter part was not erected until after 1701, for Lydia Wade bequeathed thirty pounds – a large sum in those days – to Chester Meeting, twenty of which were “towards the Inlarging and finishing the meeting-house of Friends in the towne of Chester,” the remaining ten pounds were to be expended by the women’s meeting, to be “disposed of as they shall think fitt for the servis of Truth.” This sum was received from the executor of Lydia Wade’s will, for on the 24th of Ninth month, 1701, Caleb Pusey paid that amount to the meeting, which payment is acknowledged by the records.

When the meeting-house was first built, it seems some of the neighbors had encroached on the lot, for on Eighth month 4, 1797, “John Simcock’s on behalf of the meeting required Henry Hollingsworth to remove his shop from off the land belonging to the Meeting House, who promised so to do.”

In the old structure Penn frequently spoke, and many pleasant memories clustered about this first meeting of Friends, and therein services were held for forty-three years, until, in 1736, the society found it necessary to erect a larger building to a6commodate its increasing membership, and the house on Edgmont Street was sold to Edward Russell, who added a garret-story to the front building, and possibly erected the back part. In recent years the house was used by Samuel Long as a cooper-shop, and was sold in 1844 to Joshua and William P. Eyre, when partition was made of Long’s estate.

On April 18, 1736, Caleb Coupland conveyed the southern part of the lot on Market Street, south of Third Street, on which the meeting-house now stands, to Jacob Howell, Thomas Cummings, John Owen, Samuel Lightfoot, John Salkeld, Jr., and John Sharpless, and the latter the same day executed a declaration in trust setting forth that they held the land as trustees and for the use of the members of Chester Meeting. As the society waxed stronger they required more land, the meeting-house having been located toward the northern line of the lot, hence, April 29, 1762, they purchased from Jesse Maris, who had acquired the property by descent from his father, George Maris, subject to a yearly rent of six pounds to the heirs of James Sandelands. The trustees, Jonas Preston, John Fairlamb, Caleb Hanison, and James Barton, to whom it was conveyed by Jesse Maris, May 1, 1762, executed a declaration of trust to Chester Meeting.

The discussion which had prevailed in the society of Friends during the early part of this century respecting certain doctrinal points, culminated in an open rupture in 1827, when a division of Friends took place, those members who sustained Elias Hicks in his opinions retaining their connection with Chester Meeting being in the majority, the structure on Market Street became the house of worship of the Hicksite branch of the society. In 1883 the building was thoroughly repaired and modernized internally.

The Friends’ graveyard on the west side of Edgmont Avenue, I had thought, was the first burial-place of the society in Chester, but recent examination has caused me to change that opinion. The first reference to a Friends’ graveyard at that town was at a meeting on 1st of Fourth month, 1682, when it was agreed that “Thomas Cobourn, Randal Vernon, & William Clayton do view or see that pece of Ground wch is ordered for a Buriall place also to see about the fencing of itt wth a Laating fence and if there bee stones neare and convenient.” The site selected seems not to have met the approval of the whole meeting. Indeed the location of the lot was not then definitely fixed upon, for on the 5th of Twelfth month, 1682/3, John Hastings, Robert Wade, Richard Few, and Thomas Cobourn were instructed to “view the Buriall place to Consider what Quantity may be meet also what Way or how it may be Best fenced about.” A report from this committee appears never to have been made. Therefore on the 11th of Fourth month, 1683, the same persons, excepting that Thomas Brasey was substituted for Richard Few, were directed to “View and Look out a piece of Land for a Buriall place and bring in their Accompt thereof to the next monthly meeting.” A burial-place was accepted, for on the 5th of Ninth month, 1683, John Hastings and Thomas Vernon were directed to “fence the burial grounds as soon as may bee.” Where this graveyard was is not absolutely known, but I believe that it was on the east side of Edgmont Avenue, south of Seventh Street, the present steam grist-mill of L.L. Luken & Co. being located partly thereon. In April, 1880, when excavations were made for the foundations of the mill, a number of human bones were unearthed, which had been deposited in a row. At that time no person seemed to be aware that Friends had ever but two graveyards, one at the present location, and the other on Edgmont Avenue above Twelfth Street, a burial-place for the negroes, owned by members of Chester Meeting; but the evidence is now conclusive that there was a graveyard previous to the one now walled in with heavy masonry adjoining the Beal house-lot on the north. On the 31st of the Sixth month, 1702, at a meeting held at Chichester, it appears that “Chester meeting proposeth theer intentions of purchasing a burying place in the town, which this meeting approves of, provided they preserve and keep in Good order the Old Burying Place.” The graveyard purchased about this date was not inclosed with a stone wall as we now see it many years previous to the Revolution. Grace Lloyd, by her will, 6th of Fourth month, 1760, directed her executors to “pay £10 towards walling in the front part of the graveyard belonging to the people called Quakers in Chester with brick or stone.” And nearly ten years later, 31st of Twelfth month, 1769, Joseph Hoskins, by will, bequeathed £10 “for the use of enclosing or fencing the burying ground belonging to the Friends of Chester meetings in such manner as their Preparative Meeting of Chester shall direct and appoint.” The extracts from these wills clearly prove that as late as the first of the year 1770 no wall had been erected around the grounds wherein the bodies of many of the noted personages of the ancient borough lie. David Lloyd and Grace, his wife, Caleb and David Coupland, Henry Hale Graham, Davis Bevan, John Salkeld, John Mather, and others of the early settlers and leading men of the last century in the province are interred in that God’s acre, now in the heart of a busy city, while the remains of a number of persons who fled to this province to escape persecution in Europe lie there forgotten because the prohibition by the society of stones to mark the graves of those who slumber within the burial-grounds belonging to their meetings.

The graveyard for negroes above mentioned was on Edgmont road, above Twelfth, and was used for the interment of slaves by the sufferance of the then owner of the land. The latter, Grace Lloyd, in her will, dated 6th of Fourth month, 1760, made the following bequest:
     “And it is my mind and will, and I do hereby order and direct that the piece of burying ground, being forty feet, fronting Edgmont Road, in said borough, thence seventy feet back and forty feet in breadth, shall at all times hereafter, forever, be used for and as a burying place for negroes, that is to say, for such as shall have belonged to my late husband or myself, and such as do or hereafter may belong to Friends of Chester Meeting, and such as in their life-time desire to be buried there, but not for any that are executed, or lay violent hands upon themselves, and that none be buried there without the consent of the Overseers of Friends’ Meeting at Chester.”

The lot thus set apart was surrounded by a tall, thick-set hedge, but after the execution of several persons at the intersection of Edgmont and Providence roads (the colonial law then requiring the burial of the body of the culprit near the gallows) rendered the locality a place of dread, and the superstitious negroes soon began to regard it as a spot to be avoided when living and shunned as a place of interment. In time even that the lot had been ever used as a graveyard was forgotten until the clause in Lydia Wade’s will directed attention to it. In 1868, John and James C. Shedwick erected the row of houses on the east side of Edgmont Avenue, above Twelfth, and while the excavations for the cellars were being made a number of human bones were exposed. At that time’ they were thought to be the remains of Indians, the fact that it was the site of an old graveyard being unknown to the public.

St. Paul’s Church and Burial-Ground –  A tract of ground was donated to the Swedish Church by Armgard Pappegoya for glebe or church land in Upland early in the history of the settlement. The plot of land on the south side of Third Street, east of Market Square, where the old burial-ground now is, and where the first St. Paul’s Church building was erected, was, previous to that structure being placed there, a burying-place for the dead of the Swedish colonists at Upland. This fact is established by the report of Mr. Ross to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts in 1714, wherein he distinctly makes this declaration. He also states, they (the Swedes) “had likewise a Church endowed with a valuable Glebe not far from the place of burial, but of this building there remains no sign at this day.” John Hill Martin thinks this reference is to the block-house, or House of Defense, which was torn down by order of the court in 1703, an opinion which is doubtless correct. Acrelius tells us that the Swedes held religious services usually in the forts and houses of defense. The fact is satisfactorily established that the Swedes were obliged to have sentinels regularly posted during public worship to apprise the congregation within of any attempted attack by the Indians, of which the early settlers seemed to be constantly apprehensive. Every student of our early annals is aware that after the cargo of the “Black Cat,” which had been ladened with articles of merchandise for the Indians, became exhausted, and the Swedish settlers’ capacity for making presents had ceased, the savages seriously considered in council whether the Europeans should be exterminated or permitted to remain. An old Indian succeeded in preventing a breach between the two races by assuring the young braves that courageous and vigilant men, armed with swords and muskets, would be difficult to subdue. The clergymen were particularly obnoxious to the savages, because the latter believed that during divine services the minister – he alone speaking and all the rest remaining silent – was exhorting the congregation against the Indians. Acrelius also tells us that a block-house answered the purpose very well (as a church):
     “The Indians were not always to be depended upon that they would not make an incursion, fall upon the Christians, and capture their whole flock. It was, therefore, necessary for them to have the religious houses as a place of defense for the body as well as the soul. The churches were so built that after a suitable elevation, like any other house, a projection was made some courses higher, out of which they could shoot; so that if the heathen fell upon them, which could not be done without their coming up to the house, the Swedes could shoot down upon them continually, and the heathen, who used only bows and arrows, could do them but little injury.”(23*)

In 1700, Rev. Mr. Evans was sent to Pennsylvania by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and located in Philadelphia. He is frequently mentioned in the history of the society as going to Chester, Chichester, Concord, and Radnor, each about twenty miles distant from Philadelphia, and while constant allusion is made to a church edifice existing in that city, no intimation is given of any such building in either of the other places designated. I am aware that in taking down the old St. Paul’s Church building, in July, 1850, after it had stood one hundred and forty-eight years, two bricks, burned exceedingly hard and considerably larger in size than those in use at the present day, closely cemented together, and with the figures 1642 cut upon them, were found. These numerals must have been made upon them many years subsequent to that date, for in 1644 there was not a house standing in the present limits of Chester. Independently of that fact, we have documentary record of the exact date of the building, so circumstantially set forth that there is no room remaining for doubt.

In an account of the building of St. Paul’s Church, Chester, furnished to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, Mr. Ross, the then missionary of the society, in his report, June 25, 1714, says
     “In the Swedish Dormitory – the old Swedish burial ground – James Sandelands, of Chester, (or as it was first called, Upland,) Merchant, a man of good reputation in the country, was on account of affinity interred to keep up the memory of this founder of a growing family; twas agreed amongst his relations that his grave, as also that of his kindred and family, who were or might be buried there should be distinguished & set apart from the rest of the burying ground by an enclosure or wall of stone. This design was no sooner formed & noised abroad, but it was happily suggested by a projecting fellow in Town, that, if it seemed good to Mr. Sandelands’ relations, the intended stone wall about the place of the interment might be with somewhat more changes carried up and formed into a small chapel or church. This new motion was well liked by ye sd relations and encouraged by everybody in the neighborhood that wished well to the church of England, but they who put life into this proposal & prosperously brought it to pass were Joseph Yeates, merchant in Chester, and James Sandelands, son to the above named Mr. Sandelands, the latter of which two gentlemen, besides other gifts, gave some land to enlarge the church yard, but the former, to wit: Mr. Yeates, a zealous asserter of our constitution in church and State, must be allowed to have been the main promoter of the founding of St. Paul’s upon Delaware.”

The report further alludes to other persons “parishers, who were chief helpers to carry on the work,” Jeremy Collett, John Hannum, Henry Pierce, Ralph Pyle, and Thomas Barnsly, but especially does he commend Thomas Powell for the gift of a valuable piece of land “for a minister’s house, garden, and other conveniences.” He also applauds Hon. Col. Francis Nicholson, of whom he says, “We may safely say no man parted more freely with his money to promote the interest of the church in these parts, nor contributed so universally towards ye erection of Christian synagogues in different and distant plantations in America.”

The small but compact fabric of brick thus erected, and said to be one of the neatest on this continent, was forty-nine feet in length by twenty-six feet in breadth, and was well and substantially finished inside. The main entrance, which was wide and spacious, closed by double doors, was at the north side of the church, and the access to the building was from Market Street, through the yard.

The old church must have had a sun dial, perhaps over its main door, such as is still to be seen at the court-house of Somerset County, Md., for, in 1704, the wardens claim credit for “cash pd ye ferymen for Bringing Down ye Dyal, 1s. 8d.; ac of nayles for setting up ye Dyall, 1s. 2d.; money spent and pd ye men for setting It up, 4s.”

The inside of the church was divided into four parts by two aisles, one extending from the double doors, and the other from the pulpit to the extreme western part of the church. The roof was oak, and the rafters white-oak, hewed with a broad axe. The chancel was spacious and paved with brick, as were also the aisles. In the west end of the church, and directly opposite the pulpit, built into the wall, was the well-known slab of gray sandstone, six feet in length by three in breadth, now in the Sunday-school room of the new church edifice, erected to the memory of James Sandelands, the elder. Along the borders of the old slab, in large capital letters, are the words:

“Here lies interred the bodie of
James Sandelands, Merchant
in Upland, in Pensilvania,
who departed this mortal life
Aprile te 12, 1692, aged 56 years,
and his wife,
Ann Sandelands.”

Its face is divided into two parts, the upper bearing in cipher the initials “J.S.” and “A.S.,” the arms of the Sandelands family argent, a band azure. On the border, dividing the upper from the lower part, are the words, “Vive Memor Lethi FFugit Hora.” The lower half contains many emblems of mortality,  the tolling bell, the passing bell, the skull and cross-bones, the hour-glass, an upright coffin bearing on its side the words, “Memento Mori,” “Time Deum,” and in either corner, crossed, a sceptre and mattock, and a mattock and spade.

Queen Anne, whom Horace Walpole dubbed “the wet-nurse of the church,” presented to the parish a handsome pulpit, a communion-table “well rail’d in and set out with a rich cloth, and a neat chalice;” the two former articles were located at the east end of the edifice. This chalice and salver, the queen’s gift, as well as a similar chalice, presented to the congregation by Sir Jefferey Jeffries, are still in possession of the church wardens, and employed in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to the present time; but the pulpit and communion-table have long since been removed. The chalices and their salvers are of hammered and very pure silver. The one presented by the queen has engraved upon it the words “Annae Reginae.” The gift from Sir Jefferey Jeffries was made in March, 1715, and consisted of a small bell, “a rich cloth, and a neat chalice.” In time the bell was replaced by a larger one.

At a meeting of the vestry, March 30, 1741, twenty-three members of the congregation subscribed funds to “& for in consideration of purchasing a bell for said church,” and at a meeting of the same body, April 15, 1745, a bell-tower or turret, to hang the bell, was ordered “to be built of stone in the foundation from out to out, Twelve by Fourteen foot.” The belfry, built according to these directions, was to the west of and entirely detached from the church. The bell, which was made in England, and had cast on it the words “Roger Rice, Chester, 1743,” was paid for in advance, in 1742, by a bill of exchange for thirty pounds, and, as the sum obtained by subscription amounted to only half that amount, John Mather donated the remaining fifteen pounds.

The stone-work, twenty-five feet in height, was surmounted by a frame structure in which the bell hung. The tower, including the wooden addition, was over fifty feet. The belfry was entered by a door on the south side. The frame superstructure was square until it reached the plate on which the rafters rested, and the roof faced four ways, receding to a point, which was ornamented with a weather-vane. In each side of the frame-work was a slatted window, so that the sound of the bell would not be obstructed any more than necessary. Within the interior was a rough ladder, which the sexton had to climb when he tolled the bell, although for church services it was rung by a long rope, which descended to within a few feet of the ground floor.

The foundation of the ancient structure was laid July, 1702, and on Sunday, Jan. 24, 1703 (new style), St. Paul’s day, the edifice was opened to public worship, Rev. John Talbot preaching the first sermon in the church. The general impression is that Rev. George Keith was the first clergyman to hold divine services in St. Paul’s, but in that gentleman’s “Journal and Travels,” published in London, 1706, occurs this passage: “Sunday, Jan. 24 1702,” (1703 N.S.) “I preached at Philadelphia, on Matthew v. 17, both in the forenoon and afternoon, Mr. Evans, the minister, having that day been at Chester, in Pennsylvania, to accompany Mr. Talbot, who was to preach the first sermon in the church after it was, built.” Mr. Keith did preach here on February 7th and August 3d of that year, and records: “We were kindly entertained at the house of Jasper Yeats there,” and on “Sunday, April 9, 1704, I preached at Chester, on John iv. 24, being my last sermon there.” In 1704, Rev. Henry Nichols was appointed missionary to St. Paul’s parish, by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and reported that the people were well inclined to the Church of England, although they had previous to that time no “fixed minister till now,” and that the congregation had made a subscription of sixty pounds a year towards the support of their rector.

In 1718, Rev. John Humphrey, who was in charge of the parish, reported to the society that he could not get a house in Chester to live in, and therefore had to buy a plantation of a thousand acres, about three miles distant. He was not altogether acceptable to parishioners, and, on April 5, 1717, they petitioned the society to appoint another person, which was done, and Samuel Hesselius was substituted in his stead.

Thirty-four years after Mr. Humphreys had complained of the absence of a parsonage, in 1752, the Rev. Thomas Thompson writes to the society: “I found no church wardens or vestry, no house for the minister to live in, nay, not a fit house to hire.” Mr. Thompson, it seems, formed no better opinion of the people than the people did of the rector, for in “Rev. Dr. Perry’s papers relating to the history of the church in Pennsylvania, 1780 to 1778,” Rev. Thomas Thompson is referred to as a man of bad character.

The congregation, however, failed to provide for the missionaries as the rules of the society required, and in 1762 a notice was given them, that if they did not procure better accommodations for their clergyman, and “maintain a glebe, a dwelling-house, and their church and burying-grounds in decent order and repair,” the society would withdraw its mission from them. To accomplish these ends the congregation issued a scheme in January of that year to raise £562 lOs. by a lottery. The advertisement, after setting forth these facts, states: “They,” the congregation, “find themselves under the disagreeable necessity to apply to the publick by way of a Lottery, not doubting that it will meet with all suitable encouragement from the well-disposed of every denomination, as it is intended for the Glory of God, and consequently for the good of the Province.” There were 1733 prizes and 3267 blanks, making 5000 tickets in all. The drawing was to take place either in Chester or Philadelphia, on March 1, 1762, and continue until all the tickets were drawn. The managers add this addenda to their advertisement:
     “N.B – As the above sum will fall vastly short of completing everything as could be wished, it is hoped that if any are scrupulous as to the method of raising money, yet wish well to the Design, and are willing to promote the same, if such Persons will deliver their Liberality into the hands of Mr. Charles Thomson, Merchant in Philadelphia, or to any of the Managers aforesaid, it will be gratefully acknowledged and carefully applied accordingly.”

There is little of interest connected with the church for more than twenty years following the lottery.

In 1835, the old church proving too small for the accommodation of the congregation, extensive repairs were made to the ancient edifice. The old pews were increased in number, each of the large square ones were made into two small ones, the high backs lowered, the double doors walled up, a gallery built across the western end, and under it the main entrance to the church was made. The old pulpit with the sounding-board was not removed, and the great oriel window to the east, in the rear of the clergyman’s desk, was not disturbed. These changes made it necessary to remove the old Sandelands tablet. It was placed in the wall on the outside of the building; and during the spring, when the stonework was being whitewashed, it was repeatedly treated to a coat of that abominable compound by the sexton’s wife, who did all chores of that character about the Church. The ancient bell-tower was torn down, and a small belfry built in the roof at the western end of the building. The bell, which with such difficulty had been procured from England more than a century before, had become damaged by long service, and it was determined to have it recast. George W. Piper and J. Gifford Johnson took the bell in a wagon to Philadelphia, to Wiltbank’s foundry, for that purpose. Before this bell was recast the foundry was destroyed by fire, and the heat was so great that tons of metal were fused into a mass. Wiltbank, however, furnished a bell; but it is more than probable that not an ounce of the material in the old one cast by Roger Rice entered into the composition of the one which hangs in the belfry of the present church. No doubt but that the good people of that day believed they were doing a wise act in disturbing the antiquated appearance of the ancient structure and decking it out in modern toggery, just as their successors fifteen years afterwards were actuated by the same idea when they razed the entire building to the ground, and that, too, without getting enough stones from the ruins to lay a third of the basement of the new edifice. Matters drifted on with the parish until 1850, when the change in the current set in, and Chester, after slumbering a century and a half, started into activity. St. Paul’s Church awakened with the rest, and began to make provisions for the new order of things. But the error of that day, and it was a serious one, consisted in destroying absolutely the old sanctuary.

The new church structure, which was erected on the north side of Third Street, was built after a plan prepared by T.U. Walter, architect, of Philadelphia, and the cost, it was believed, would not exceed five thousand dollars, although it ultimately cost nearly double that sum. The corner-stone was laid July 25, 1859. Rt. Rev. Alfred Lee, D.D., Bishop of Delaware, and Rev. Charles W. Quick delivered addresses. The building, forty-four by forty-six, was of pointed stone, in the Gothic style, the spire one hundred and twenty-four feet from the ground. The main door was approached by a flight of stone steps, one of which was the slab which had formerly covered the remains of Robert French, one of the descendants of Joran Kyn, the founder of Chester, and to-day is one of the flagging in the sidewalk to the Sunday-school, on the east side of the church.

The church was opened Sunday, May 4, 1851, Rev. Mr. Balch officiating. But it appears not to have been consecrated by Bishop Potter until Tuesday, Dec. 23, 1851. Bishop Lee preached the consecration sermon. Drs. Suddards and Balch, and Revs. Messrs. Bean, Ridgely, Huntington, Micheson, Hawes, and Hand were present and officiated on that occasion. The constant growth of our busy city, and the increase in the number of the worshipers, soon began to tax the seating capacity of the new structure, and for several years after the close of the war it became evident that additional room must be provided to meet this want. In 1872 the demand was so imperative that the congregation determined that the church building must be remodeled, and steps were taken promptly to carry out that end. On Sunday, June 14, 1872, services were held in the sanctuary for the last time previous to the changes being made, and for ten months the edifice was closed during the alterations. The south end of the church was demolished, and a new addition, considerably increasing the seating capacity, a handsome Gothic front of Ridley granite, serpentine, and Cleveland stone combined, which approaches closely to the sidewalk, and a towering steeple and belfry erected. On Sunday, April 13, 1873, the congregation renewed religious services in St. Paul’s, and Rev. Henry Brown, the rector, preached a historical sermon.

During a heavy thunder-storm, on Sunday, June 3, 1877, the lightning struck the rod on the steeple, and in its descent the electric fluid unloosened the water-pipe where it was attached to the wall, below the eaves, and making a round hole through the mortar of the solid masonry, it entered the church, ran along the gas-pipe, tore a hole in the plaster, and again forced its way between the joints of the stone wall, to the outside of the building, and thence to the ground.

In 1883 the church was thoroughly repaired, handsomely frescoed and decorated. On Sunday afternoon, March 9, 1884, it caught fire from a defective flue. The damage on that occasion exceeded two thousand dollars.

John Hill Martin, in his “History of Chester,” gives the following list of ministers of St. Paul’s from 1702 to the present time: Revs. Evan Evans, 1702-4; Henry Nichols, 1704-8; George Ross, 1708-14; John Humphreys, 1714-26; Samuel Hesselius, 1726-28; Richard Backhouse, 1728-49; Thomas Thompson, 1751; Israel Acrelius, 1756; George Craig, 1758-81; James Conner, 1788-91; Joseph Turner, 1791-93; Levi Heath, 1796-98; Joshua Reece, 1803-5; William Pryce, 1815-18; Jacob Morgan Douglass, 1818-22; Richard Umstead Morgan, 1822-31; John Baker Clemson, D.D., 1831-35; Richard D. Hall, 1735-37; Mortimer Richmond Talbot, 1837-41; Greenberry W. Ridgely, 1842-43; Anson B. Hard (associate rector), 1844-48; Charles W. Quick, 1849-50; Lewis P.W. Balch, D.D., 1850-53 (resigned, and removed to Virginia); Nicholas Sayre Harris, 1852-55 (Mr. Harris was a graduate of West Point); Daniel Kendig, 1855-59; M. Richard Talbot, 1859-61; J. Pinckney Hammond, 1861-63; Henry Brown, 1863.

In the wall of the Bible-class room, in the basement of the church, is the Sandelands tablet. The stone is disintegrating, and in a few years will crumble away.

James Sandelands, the elder, was a Scotchman, and there is some reason to believe that his father was Capt. Jacob Everson Sandelyn (the name perhaps incorrectly spelled by the early annalists), who, as master of the ship “Scotch Dutchman,” visited the Swedish settlements on the Delaware in the year 1646, and sold to the Governor “duffel-cloth and other goods” to the value of two thousand five hundred guilders. His mother, we know, lived here in February, 1683, for she is mentioned in the trial of Margaret Mattson, of Ridley, for witchcraft. The first allusion to James Sandelands is in the patent of Aug. 6, 1665, “for two lots of land in Upland at Delaware, upon the North side of the creek or kill.” On June 13, 1670, patents were granted to him for two other lots similarly situated, adjoining the property of his father-in-law, Joran Keen.

In a deed in 1680 he is designated as “merchant,” but there is no evidence to show what particular goods he dealt in, excepting a record that having purchased tobacco in Maryland, which was not delivered according to agreement, “a Certayne great Boate or Siallop,” belonging to the delinquent consignor, was attached and “publicqly sould.” The records of the early courts show that he frequently appeared as attorney for the suitors before that tribunal. In 1677 he is mentioned as the only person on the Delaware River, from Upland northwardly, who owned a slave, and is recorded as one of the “responsible housekeepers” at this place. He was appointed by Col. William Markham one of the Deputy Governor’s Council in 1681, and was constituted one of the justices of the newly-organized Upland court. From 1688 to 1690 he was a member of the General Assembly of the province of Pennsylvania. James Sandelands died April 12, 1692, aged fifty-six years. I have given a brief notice of this early colonist because St. Paul’s was a memorial church, erected to keep him in the recollection of the inhabitants of Chester, wherein he had passed a busy and enterprising life.

His wife, Ann, after a brief widowhood, married Peter Baynton, who subsequently abandoned her and returned to England, leaving her in such destitute circumstances that the Provincial Council, May 19, 1698, ordered the residue of his property in Chester should be appropriated to her support. He returned subsequently, and apparently was repentant for his misdeeds. Ann died, and Oct. 5, 1704, was buried by the side of her first husband, James Sandelands. As her name appears on the old tablet in St. Paul’s Church, it proves that the stone was not set up by the descendants of Sandelands until after that date.

In a closet in the Sunday-school, some time ago, was deposited, for safe keeping, the noted tombstone which for many years attracted the attention of all strangers visiting the old churchyard, because of its antiquity, the manner in which the sculptor had performed his work, and the singularity of the inscription. The stone was cracked and in bad condition. The inscription reads, 

who died August
the 19, 1704
Aged 50 years.

In Barbarian bondage
And cruel tyranny
For ten years together
I served in Slavery
After this Mercy brought me
To my country fair
And last I drowned was
In River Delaware.”

Martin states that Francis Brooks was a negro. The inscription would seem to indicate that Brooks was a native of the American colonies, and as his age at death precludes the idea of his birth in Upland, the chances are that he was a New Englander or Virginian.

The most noted monument in St. Paul’s ground, at least within recent years,  for, strange as it may appear, neither Trego, in his “Geography and Historical Accounts of Pennsylvania,” nor Burrowes, in, his “State Book of Pennsylvania,” both published within the last forty years, make any mention of John Morton,  is that of the signer of the Declaration of Independence, whose remains lie beneath a plain Egyptian obelisk of marble, eleven feet in height, its four sides forming precisely the four cardinal points of the compass. The inscription on the west side of the monolith is as follows:

“Dedicated to the memory of
John Morton,
A member of the First American Congress from the State of Penn-
sylvania, Assembled in New York in 1765, and of the next
Congress, assembled in Philadelphia in 1774.
Born A.D., 1724 – Died April 1777.”

On the east side of the shaft is as follows:
     “In voting by States upon the question of the Independence of the American Colonies, there was a tie until the vote of Pennsylvania was given, two members of which voted in the affirmative, and two in the negative. The tie continued until the vote of the last member, John Morton, decided the promulgation of the Glorious Diploma of American Freedom.”

On the south side of the stone is cut the statement:
     “In 1775, while speaker of the Assembly of Pennsylvania, John Morton was elected a Member of Congress, and in the ever memorable session of 1776, he attended that august body for the last time, establishing his name in the grateful remembrance of the American People by signing the Declaration of Independence.”

On the north side of the shaft is inscribed the following sentence:
     “John Morton being censured by his friends for his boldness in giving his casting vote for the Declaration of Independence, his prophetic spirit dictated from his death bed the following message to them: “Tell them they shall live to see the hour when they shall acknowledge it to have been the most glorious service I ever rendered to my country.”

This monument to John Morton was erected Oct. 9, 1845, sixty-eight years after his death. A regard for the truth of history compels me to state that there is not a particle of evidence to establish the assertion engraved on the stone that John Morton gave the casting vote for the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Indeed, the little information we have bearing on that point absolutely negatives the inscription on the monument in St. Paul’s graveyard.

St. Luke’s Protestant Episcopal Church –  The church organization was effected on Nov. 28, 1868, when the court of Delaware County incorporated the rector, church wardens, and vestrymen of St. Paul’s Protestant Episcopal Church. The corner-stone of the neat little Gothic stone sanctuary at the southeast corner of Third and Broomall Streets, South Ward, was laid on Monday morning, Feb. 1, 1869, Right Rev. William Bacon Stevens, Bishop of Pennsylvania, officiating, assisted by Revs. Messrs. Brown, of Chester, Reed, of Linwood, Clemson and Potcken, of Delaware, Morrell, of New York, Stone, of Montgomery County, and Long, of Scranton. In order that Bishop Stevens should be in Philadelphia as early as possible on important business, Superintendent Kenney ordered the New York express train to stop at Lamokin and receive the distinguished divine. St. Luke’s was then included in St. Paul’s parish, and Rev. Henry Brown, the rector, had charge of the chapel, for such in the beginning it was designed to be during its erection. The funds of the building committee having become exhausted before the church was completed, the congregation for a time worshiped in the edifice, which was then without pews, settees being used in their places, and the unplastered walls presenting a rough and uninviting appearance. After Sunday, May 8, 1870, services were held there in the morning and evening, Thomas R. List, a student at the Divinity School of Philadelphia, being employed as lay reader, which duties he discharged until June 19, 1873, when he became rector of the parish. The church, now firmly established, was due largely to the efforts of John Burrows McKeever, William Ward, Samuel Archbold, Samuel Eccles, Jr., William H. Green, William A. Todd, Maj. Joseph R.T. Coates, and their wives and other ladies of St. Paul’s Church, South Ward; and South Chester. Edward A. Price and wife presented the parish with a handsome communion service – silver tankard, paten, chalices, and plates for alms, while F. Stanhope Hill and Mrs. Hannah Depue gave the pulpit Bible. On May 19, 1874, St. Luke’s Church was admitted into the Diocesan Convention, Samuel Archbold and William Ward being the first lay deputies. In 1874, John Burrows McKeever, who was an ardent friend of the new parish, died, and through the efforts of Rev. Mr. List a memorial font was placed in the church in whose behalf he labored so zealously. In September, 1875, Rev. Mr. List, having received a call to a church in Philadelphia, resigned the rectorship. In October of the same year, Rev. George Clifford Moore, the present rector, was called, and almost immediately after his installation he began the advocacy of the abolition of pew-rents, substituting therefor voluntary contributions. In 1876, Charles Kenworthy bequeathed three hundred and fifty dollars to the parish, which sum was applied towards liquidating the mortgage, and the following year, Elizabeth Kerlin, by will, gave one hundred and fifty dollars, which was used in like manner until, in 1880, the entire debt was extinguished. The parish, at present, is in a flourishing condition.

St. Michael the Archangel –  The imposing Catholic Church of St. Michael’s is the second sanctuary erected on the site, the first having been razed, in 1874, to make room for the present edifice. The church organization extends backward in the history of our city over forty years. In 1842 a number of Catholics employed in this neighborhood – the nearest church being located nine miles distant – determined to establish one of that denomination in the borough. Application was made to Rt. Rev. Francis Patrick Kendrick, Bishop of Philadelphia, for permission to organize a congregation and erect a church in Chester. In response to the request the bishop assigned Rev. Philip Sheridan to the parish, and earnestly did he labor to accomplish the end in view. July 12, 1842, a lot was purchased on Edgmont road, and Thursday, September 29th, of the same year the corner-stone was laid by Bishop Kendrick. June 25th of the year following the church was dedicated to Almighty God under the patronage of St. Michael the Archangel, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Moriarty preaching the dedicatory sermon. Rev. Messrs. Sourin and Sheridan, accompanied by a large number of ladies and gentlemen, came from Philadelphia on the steamer “Bolivar,” Capt. Whilldin. The first church building was of stone, in Gothic architecture, seventy-five by forty-two feet, the tower in front rising one hundred and five feet above the level of the street. For many years St. Michael’s Church was the most noticeable building in Chester, and so conspicuous was it that the gilded cross, surmounting the lofty spire, could be seen glittering many miles away as the town was approached in any direction. On Sunday, Aug. 9, 1846, a violent storm of rain and wind occurred, which loosened some of the masonry, and a stone hurled by the fury of the blast, falling on the roof, crushed through it into the aisle below, breaking the pews and the floor of the main apartment. For nearly seven years no regular pastor was assigned to the parish. Occasional visits were made by Fathers Sheridan, Lane, Sourin, Walsh, Amat, and Dr. O’Hara until July 12, 1850, when Rev. Arthur P. Haviland, who had been ordained a priest in Philadelphia, June 29th of the same year, was appointed to the charge of St. Michael’s parish. So faithfully did he labor that in a short time the building became too small to accommodate the worshipers, and for many years the parish struggled under that difficulty.

In 1854 the parsonage adjoining the sanctuary was built, and the same year Father Haviland was assigned an assistant, Rev. Patrick McEnroe. On Sept. 20, 1858, a bell, the present one, weighing one thousand pounds, was raised to its designated place in the tower, and for almost a quarter of a century its well-known tones have daily been heard in the thriving city of Chester. On the occasion of raising the bell to its allotted place a large concourse of people was present, the services being conducted by Archbishop Wood. In 1867, Father Haviland went to Europe, and during his absence the parish was in charge of his assistant, Rev. Edward McKee, Father McEnroe having been removed to Mauch Chunk. On the return of Father Haviland, Father McKee was assigned to Catasauqua, and Rev. Father Shankey became his assistant for a brief period, to be followed in succession by Revs. Fathers William F. Cook, Thomas McGlynn, Hugh McGlynn, James Timmins, and Patrick J. Mackin.

Early in 1873, notwithstanding the parish had been divided, and the Church of the Immaculate Heart erected in the South Ward, it became evident that the old edifice was insufficient to accommodate the congregation, and it was resolved to erect a new sanctuary. Before the plans to this end could be fully matured the financial disturbances in the fall of that year so paralyzed business that it was deemed inexpedient to begin the demolition of the old and the erection of the new edifice until the industrial dejection had in a measure abated. In the summer of the following year permission was granted by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Wood to demolish the old structure and rear in its stead a larger and more attractive building. To that end, on July 29, 1874, the pews were taken out of the church, and the parochial school-house, which had been erected in 1866, was prepared for use as a temporary chapel. August 11th following the excavations for the foundation of the new edifice were made, and on the 31st of the same month the old building was leveled to the earth. The corner-stone of the new church was laid Sunday, Nov. 1, 1874, by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Wood. The new structure is one hundred and seventy-eight feet in length, and the facade forty-two feet. Its height from the pavement to the eaves is sixty-eight feet, while from the centre of the facade rises a tower of ninety-two feet in height. The cost of the sanctuary approximated one hundred thousand dollars.

The structure is built of Leiperville granite, with polished granite trimmings and columns from Maine. Externally and internally the edifice is artistically and handsomely finished. The ceiling of the central aisle rises to the altitude of fifty-five feet above the floor, supported by graceful columns, while the altar (thirty-eight feet in height, with side altars for the Virgin and St. Joseph) and furniture are elaborate and beautiful, making as a whole the most imposing building in the county. Two large frescos, one a copy of Murillo’s Conception, the other a St. Joseph, the latter an original by Baraldi, are admirable specimens of art. Sunday, Nov. 5, 1882, the church was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies by Rt. Rev. Bishop Shanahan, of Harrisburg. On Sunday, Oct. 3, 1880, the ceremony of blessing the cross which surmounts the centre tower of the church was performed by Archbishop Wood, over two thousand persons being present on the occasion.

Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary –  In the spring of 1873, the parish of St. Michael’s having become densely populated, and the congregation attending the old sanctuary having grown so large, it was deemed expedient to institute a new Catholic Church in South Ward, and a committee waited on Rt. Rev. Bishop Wood to that end. After several interviews with the committee the bishop consented to the division, and July, 1873, he appointed Rev. John B. Kelley pastor in charge of the parish, which was named the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Two days after his appointment Father Kelley was drowned while bathing at Atlantic City, and Rev. Thomas J. McGlynn was assigned to the pastorate. The parishioners immediately erected a frame chapel on Second Street near Broomall, and the congregation was organized therein. Prompt steps were taken towards the building of a permanent church edifice, and the following fall, Sept. 23, 1874, the corner-stone of the brick Gothic church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, at the northwest corner of Second and Norris Streets, was laid by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Wood. On Wednesday, Feb. 23, 1876, the frame chapel was totally destroyed by fire, and so rapidly did the flames spread that only a few benches were saved, the organ, church furniture, and vestments of Father McGlynn being consumed, involving a loss of four thousand dollars.

The work on the new church edifice was pressed earnestly forward, and it was dedicated on Rosary Sunday, Oct. 1, 1876. The ceremonies were conducted by the Most Rev. James F. Wood, D.D., Archbishop of Philadelphia, assisted by Rev. A.J. McConomy, chancellor of the archdiocese, and attended by Revs. E.F. Pendercese, Francis P. O’Neill, A.J. Gallagher, T.J. Barry, James Timmins, and Thomas J. McGlynn.

The church is of brick. It is lighted by fourteen stained-glass windows on either side, and the rear of the sanctuary is adorned by a large painting of the Transfiguration. The altar is chaste and ecclesiastical in aspect.

In 1883 the parish began the erection of a three-story brick parochial school-house, conforming in its exterior architecture with that of the church edifice, which was completed in 1883.

Rev. Father McGlynn has been in charge of the parish ever since it was organized, and under his immediate supervision all the permanent improvements have been made.

First Baptist Church –  The Kerlin farm was purchased in 1850 by John M. Broomall and the late John P. Crozer in equal shares, and after a large part of the real estate had been sold so as to repay the original outlay, Mr. Crozer, in 1856, conveyed his interest in all the land remaining to Mr. Broomall, reserving, however, the absolute title in the half-square of ground on Penn and Second Streets. Mr. Crozer stated at the time of the conveyance that he designed that locality as a site for a Baptist Church. This intention was doubtless due to the fact that previous to the autumn of 1854 occasional religious exercises by Baptist clergymen had been held in Chester, but it was not until the fall of the year mentioned that any regularly stated services were had, when Rev. William Wilder, of the Upland Baptist Church, established worship in the court-house, and it was continued under Mr. Wilder’s supervision for four years. In the spring of 1858, Mr. Crozer donated the ground at the northwest corner of Second and Penn Streets, seventy feet on the first and one hundred and twenty-seven on the latter, for a church. During the summer of the same year Benjamin Gartside, at his personal cost, built a chapel twenty-three by forty feet, which building, now standing in the rear of the church, was completed during the, month of August, and worship was held there every Sunday afternoon. Rev. Miller Jones, then stationed at Marcus Hook, and Rev. William Wilder conducted the services. In the spring of 1863 an effort was made to erect a building and to have the congregation recognized as a church, but the public excitement consequent on the battle of Gettysburg postponed definite action until Sept. 24, 1863, when the chapel, built by Mr. Gartside, was dedicated as the First Baptist Church of Chester, and Rev. Levi G. Beck was, May 24, 1864, ordained its first pastor.

The same year a sufficient sum was pledged to the building fund to justify the building of a sanctuary. The corner-stone was laid July 2, 1864, and in the fall the edifice was so far advanced that the lecture-room could be used for religious services. The work on the church was continued, and in the fall of the following year all had been completed; but as it had been decided that the main apartment should not be used until the debt of the building committee, amounting in all to sixteen thousand dollars, had been discharged, it required several weeks to gather the fund. This was done, and Dec. 28, 1865; the church was dedicated, Rev. J. Wheaton Smith, D.D., officiating on that occasion. After two years’ pastorate, Rev. Mr. Beck was elected secretary of the Baptist General Association of Pennsylvania, which office he accepted, and resigned his charge of the church in April, 1866. On Feb. 22, 1866, the First Baptist Church of Chester was incorporated by the court of Delaware County. For several months after Mr. Beck’s resignation went into effect the congregation was without a regular minister, until November, 1866, when Rev. Andrew Fuller Shanafelt was called, and assumed the duties of the pastorate in December of the same year. During his ministry James Irving presented the lot on Second Street, immediately adjoining the church, for a parsonage, and Benjamin Gartside erected the present building at his personal cost. In 1874, Mr. Shanafelt’s health was so much impaired that he was granted a vacation to travel in Europe and the Holy Land. He returned in the fall apparently much improved, but his application to duty brought on a return of his physical weakness, causing his death March, 1875. The following July Rev. Z.T. Dowen became the pastor, and for two years remained in charge, when he resigned August, 1877, and returned to England. In November of the same year Rev. A.G. Thomas, the present pastor, was called, and began his ministerial work in the following December.

Madison Street Methodist Episcopal Church –  The name “Chester” appears in the minutes of the Philadelphia Conference in the list of appointments of preachers as early as the year 1774, when Daniel Ruff and J. Yearby were assigned to that circuit. Subsequent to that date the following appointments were made by Conference to that circuit:

1775, Richard Webster; 1776, preacher’s name omitted; 1777, Robert Lindsay; 1779, James Cromwell; 1780, name omitted; 1783, R. Ellis, J. Hagerty, Thomas Haskins; 1788, R. Cann, J. Milburn; 1789, William Dougherty, James Campbell; 1790, Sylvester Dougherty, J. Cooper; 1791, J. McClaskey, J. Robinson, S. Miller; 1792, James Lovell, J. Wheelwright; 1793, Robert Cloud, William Hunter; 1794, William Early, James Smith; 1795, J. Jarrell, T.F. Sargeant, J. Robinson; 1796, Thomas Bell, Samuel Welsh; 1797, William Colbert; 1798, William P. Chandler, Daniel Higby; 1799, W. Colbert, J. Herron, E. Larkin, R. Bonhan; 1800, R. Sneath, S. Tenison, T. Jones; 1801, William Hunter, S. Timmons, R. McCoy; 1802, William Hunter, John Bechtel; 1803, Anning Owen, William Brandon; 1804, William Hunter, J. Osborn, J. Stephens; 1805, William Hunter, D. James, J. Moore; 1806, John Walker, William Early; 1807, Daniel Ireland, Peter Beaver; 1809, appointment not recorded; 1810, Richard Sneath, John Fox; 1811, Richard Sneath, James Laws; 1812, Thomas Dunn, William S. Fisher; 1813, W.S. Fisher, J. Fernon, Joseph Samson; 1814, George Sheets, Thomas Miller, S.P. Levis; 1815, Asa Smith, Joseph Samson; 1816, William Torbert, Charles Reed; 1817, William Hunter, William Torbert.

Notwithstanding these appointments, it is very doubtful whether, at those times, there were any Methodists in the ancient borough of Chester, the name being given to a circuit extending in territory from the river Delaware nearly to the Susquehanna, and from Philadelphia County to the Maryland line.

The first absolute knowledge we have of a meeting of that denomination is in 1818, when John Kelley and his wife, Esther, moved to this place. Mr. Kelley had been a local preacher in St. George’s Church, Philadelphia, and shortly after locating in Chester held services in his own house, where he organized a class. The circuit preacher soon afterwards established a regular appointment for preaching, and on Sundays religious services were held in the courthouse for many years. In that structure the noted Bishop Asbury, it is said, preached on several occasions. The denomination grew gradually, and several attempts were made to raise funds sufficient to build a house to meet in, but all efforts failed to that end, until in 1830, sufficient means had been obtained to justify the congregation in erecting, not without considerable difficulty, a stone church on Second Street, at the corner of Bevan’s Court, which building was greatly due to the energy and efforts of the late David Abbott, and was named in honor of the bishop, “Asbury Chapel.” The society was still largely dependent on the circuit minister, although more frequently the services were conducted entirely by the local preachers. The congregation attending the church had grown so large in 1845 that Chester was made a station, and Rev. Isaac R. Merrill was appointed pastor in that year.

Although the following clergymen appear by the records of Conference to have been appointed to Chester Circuit, many names therein were at no time, so far as can be ascertained, stationed in Chester, yet the list is worthy of preservation, and is therefore inserted in this work: 1818, John Goforth, Samuel Budd; 1819, John Robertson, Phineas Price; 1820, William Leonard, Thomas Davis; 1821, David Bartine, Thomas Davis; 1822, David Bartine, John Tally; 1823, Thomas Miller, William Allen; 1824, Henry Boehm, John Woolson; 1825, Henry Boehm, Levin Prettyman; 1826, Jacob Gruber, S. Grace, J. Tally; 1827, Jacob Gruber; 1828, T. Miller, E. Reed; 1831, William Ryder, N. Chew, J. Tally; 1832, William Ryder, J.B. Ayres, J. Tally; 1833, J.B. Ayres, J. Edwards, R.E. Morrison, J. Tally; 1834, William Ryder, R. Anderson; 1835, William Ryder, R. Anson, J. Tally; 1836, R.E. Kemp, J. Tally; 1838, William Torbert, G. Orem, J. Tally; 1839, J. Edwards, G. Orem, J. Talley; 1840, I.T. Cooper, J. Edwards, J. Tally; 1842, D. Daily, Thomas Sumption, J. Tally; 1843, D. Daily, H.G. King, J. Tally; 1844, H.G. King, J.B. Ayres, J. Tally; 1845, J.B. Ayres, J.W. Arthur; 1846, J. Humphries, J. Henries, I.R. Merrill; 1847, S. Townsend, J. Henry, L. Storks, J. Tally; 1848, S. Townsend, W.K. Goentner, J. Shields, J. Tally.

During Mr. Merrill’s pastorate, at May term of court, 1846, the church was incorporated, and thereupon the congregation immediately began the erection of the second stone meeting-house on Fifth Street below Market Street, the corner-stone being laid Aug. 11, 1846. Rev. Dr. Hodgson, of Philadelphia, and Rev. Dr. Kennedy, of Wilmington, were present and assisted the pastor, Rev. Isaac R. Merrill, in the services on that occasion. In 1850, the church edifice being insufficient, an addition of twenty feet was made to the building, a gallery erected, and the outside of the structure rough-casted.

In 1847, Mr. Merrill was succeeded by Rev. Levi Storks,*(24*) who, in 1848, was followed by Rev. John Shields. In 1849, Rev. Newton Heston*(24*) was appointed, and continued until 1851. In 1850, the year when Chester began to develop rapidly, the church had three hundred and two members. Rev. Samuel G. Hare*(24*) was appointed in 1851, and was followed the succeeding year by Rev. John B. Maddux,*(24*) who continued pastor until 1854, when Rev. William Mullin was appointed in his stead, and in 1856 was followed by Rev. John W. Arthur.*(24*) Rev. Allen Johns*(24*) was appointed pastor in 1858, and the following year was succeeded by Rev. John Ruth.*(24*) During the latter’s pastorate, in 1860, the membership had grown to three hundred and twenty-two. Rev. William Urie*(24*) was assigned to the charge of the church in 1861, and was succeeded in 1863 by Rev. James E. Meredith,*(24*) who, after he ceased to be its pastor, became a clergyman of the Episcopal Church, and at the time of his death was in Texas as rector of a parish of that denomination. Mr. Meredith was followed, in 1866, by Rev. Henry E. Gilroy, and in 1869, Rev. James Cunningham was appointed to succeed him. The old meeting-house on Fifth Street was now unable to accommodate the number of worshipers, and it was determined to erect a new edifice. To that end a lot on the northeast Corner of Seventh and Madison Streets was purchased, and the cornerstone of the new church building laid Wednesday, July 17, 1872, Rev. Henry Brown, rector of St. Paul’s, and Rev. A.W. Sproull, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, assisting Rev. James Cunningham in the ceremonial and religious services on that occasion. The new church, which is built of green serpentine stone, with granite trimmings and corner blocks, and finished very tastefully and at much expense, was dedicated May 3, 1874. The old church building on Fifth Street, in 1873, was sold to Tuscarora Tribe of Red Men, No. 29, who changed it into a hall for public amusements. The enterprise, however, failed of success, and the property was sold to Robert H. Crozer, who, in March, 1879, in consideration of six thousand dollars, conveyed it to the German Lutheran congregation of St. Paul’s Church, and is at the present time devoted to the purposes for which it was originally built,  a house of worship. During the greater part of the time the building of the edifice was being carried on Rev. John B. Maddux*(24*) was the minister, having succeeded Mr. Cunningham in the fall of 1872. In 1875, Rev. Joseph Welsh was appointed pastor, and was succeeded in 1878 by Rev. William C. Robinson. In 1881, Rev. Dr. William J. Paxson was appointed, and was succeeded in 1884 by the present pastor, Rev. Theodore Stevens. The church is in a most flourishing condition, its membership in 1880 being six hundred and twenty-six, and it has largely increased in that respect since that time.

Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church –  In 1865 the membership and congregation of the Fifth Street Methodist Church had so increased that it was deemed proper by the Quarterly Conference to effect a church organization in South Ward, and to that end thirty members held regular religious worship in the Crozer Academy, on Second Street, west of Franklin.

On June: 26, 1865, Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church of Chester was incorporated by the court of Delaware County, and on August 25th of the same year an amended charter was granted by the same authority. In the summer of the same year the congregation began the building at the corner of Third and Parker Streets, known as Trinity Church, Rev. Mr. Twiggs, now of Wilmington Conference, being then pastor in charge. The edifice had been roofed in, when, in October, 1865, a terrific northeast storm utterly demolished the building, heaping it into the cellar a mass of ruins. There the debris remained until 1866, when the congregation, under the direction of Rev. William McCombs as pastor, erected a frame chapel on the ground to the west, now used by D.H. Burns as a marble-yard, and the same year built what is now the Sunday-school. The main structure during the same year was recommenced and pushed forward until it was roofed in. The debt of the congregation amounted to twenty thousand dollars. In the fall of the year the chapel was completed and dedicated, on which occasion a sum of five thousand dollars was raised, and to that amount the debt was extinguished. In the spring of 1867, Rev. Isaac Mast was appointed, and continued in charge for two years, during which period five thousand dollars additional of the debt was paid off, the floors of the main church laid, and the membership largely increased. In 1869, Rev. George W.F. Graff became the pastor, and continued in that relationship three years. During his ministry the church proper was completed, and dedicated by Bishop Simpson. It had cost six thousand dollars additional, but of that sum five thousand dollars was subscribed on dedication day. The congregation during that period built what is now known as the South Chester Methodist Episcopal Church, then styled the mission chapel. Independent of the sums mentioned, the congregation raised ten thousand dollars and applied it towards liquidating the indebtedness of the church. In the spring of 1872, Rev. Samuel Pancoast was assigned to the pastorate, and during his term of three years the entire debt was discharged. In 1875, Rev. Samuel W. Kurts was appointed, and was followed, in 1878, by Rev. John F. Crouch, during whose pastorate many important improvements were made to the church. In 1880, Rev. Noble Frame was assigned to the church, and in the spring of 1882, Rev. Thomas Kelley, the present pastor, was appointed.

Union African Methodist Episcopal Church –  Early in the century Robert Morris, who was then a slave in the lower part of the State of Delaware and a favorite with his master, was told by the latter that a judgment had been obtained against him, and the sheriff was about to make a levy on his property. He was anxious that Morris should not be seized to satisfy the debt, and told him to make his way to Chester, and, if possible, to get some one there to buy him. The slave acted as his master suggested, made his way safely to Delaware County, and finally succeeded in inducing Charles Lloyd, the then landlord of the “Blue Bell” Tavern on Cobb’s Creek, in Kingsessing, to purchase him from his master for three hundred dollars,  a stipulation in the bill of sale that the slave should be free when he attained the age of thirty years. Morris faithfully served his new master, who ever regarded the money he had paid as simply a loan which the colored man could discharge by his labor. After Morris was free he came to Chester, and, being ardently religious, he organized a church of his race in that borough. At first only four persons could be induced to attend the meetings, which were held in a house then occupied by a colored man named Williams, on Third Street, west of Concord Avenue; by degrees the movement spread until, about 1831, sufficient means had been collected to purchase a lot on West Street, south of Third Street, from Matthew J. Bevan, on which a frame church was erected, which is still standing (now altered into a dwelling). In 1832, Rev. Samuel Smith was appointed local preacher, and continued in charge of the church until 1837; but his pastorate was financially unsuccessful, the expenses of the organization finally resulting in creating a burdensome debt, and Robert Morris again came to Chester to the assistance of the congregation. Rev. Benjamin Jefferson was assigned to the pastorate of the church, in which capacity he continued until 1874, nearly forty years’ continuous service. The latter strove energetically to liquidate the encumbrance, and succeeded in clearing the church of debt. In 1860 the frame building had been removed and a stone structure erected, the fund being collected and applied to the building so as not to again plunge the congregation into financial troubles. In 1875, Rev. Lorenzo D. Blackston became the pastor, and the following year he was succeeded by Rev. Henry Modo. Again, in 1877, Rev. Benjamin Jefferson was assigned to the charge of the church. It was during his second pastorate, which continued until 1880, that the sanctuary was rebuilt as it is at the present time. In 1880, Rev. Lewis J. Jones was in charge of the church; in 1881, Rev. Francis H. Norton; and in 1883, Rev. Lewis J. Jones.

Union Church has established a mission church in Media, which is now a flourishing body, while the membership of the parent church has largely increased.

Asbury African Methodist Episcopal Church –  This religious body was organized by Rev. Stephen Smith, of Philadelphia, Oct. 26, 1845. The same year the congregation purchased the church property on Second Street, east of Market, for seven hundred dollars, at which location they have continued to worship for nearly forty years. At first, as with all Methodist churches in this city, the body was supplied at times by circuit preachers, but generally the services were conducted by local clergymen. In 1849, Rev. Henry Davis was appointed the first regular pastor, and was succeeded, in 1850, by Rev. H.G. Young, who, in turn, was followed, in 1853, by Rev. J.G. Bulah. In May, 1854, Rev. James Holland was assigned to the church, and was succeeded, in 1856, by Rev. Adam Driver, who was followed, in 1858, by Rev. J.G. Bulab. In 1860, Rev. J.G. Garrish was appointed, and in 1861, Rev. G.W. Johnson became pastor. The next year Rev. W.D.N. Schureman was assigned to the church, and in 1863, Rev. Jeremiah Young was appointed pastor, and during his ministry the church was rebuilt. On Nov. 25, 1867, the Asbury African Methodist Episcopal Church was incorporated by the court of Delaware County. He was followed, in 1869, by Rev. G. Boyer, and in 1871, Rev. G.T. Waters became pastor. He was followed, in 1874, by Rev. L.C. Chambers, and in 1877, Rev. T. Gould succeeded him. In 1879, Rev. J.S. Thompson was assigned to the church, and in 1881 the present pastor, Rev. C.C. Felts, was appointed, and during his ministry the congregation purchased a parsonage, on Madison Street, above Sixth. The church has also sent out its mission body in the William Murphy Church, on Eagle Street, below Second, in South Chester. In 1883, Rev.

M.F. Slubey was pastor, and in 1884, Rev. Leonard Patterson was assigned to the charge of the church.

First Presbyterian Church –  The Presbyterian residents of Chester, previous to 1850, often attended divine services at Leiper’s Church, in Ridley, but more frequently the Episcopal or Methodist Churches, both of which denominations had “a local habitation and a name” in the ancient borough. In the fall of the year stated the late Rev. James W. Dale, every Sunday afternoon, conducted religious exercises in the court-house according to the Presbyterian formula, and continued to preach therein for more than a year. In 1851, I.E. Cochran, Sr., gave the lot, part of the land taken by him in partition of his father’s (John Cochran, the elder) estate, at the southeast corner of Fourth and Welsh Streets, on which they built a Presbyterian Church, and he, together with the late Joseph H. Hinkson, contributed largely of their means towards the erection of the present edifice. On Sunday, July 18, 1851, the dedicatory service was preached by Rev. Joseph H. Jones, of Philadelphia. Nearly a thousand dollars were collected during the day in aid of the church. The congregation was organized with seventeen communicants. Mrs. Henrietta Mifflin Clyde, who died Sept. 28, 1874, aged eighty-two years, was the last survivor of that number. Robert Benedict was ordained as the first ruling elder. In the sanctuary, since it was renovated, enlarged, and adorned about eight years ago, the handsome stained-glass memorial windows then placed in the church in most cases bear the names of persons who were among its original founders. After it was organized, for two years Rev. James O. Stedman supplied the pulpit every Sunday, conducting services for the first time on Oct. 31, 1852. He was followed, in 1854, by Rev. George Van Wyck until 1856, when Rev. Alexander W. Sproull was called, and installed as the first regular pastor there. On Dec. 11, 1873, the present pastor, Rev. Philip H. Mowry, was called, and installed December 11th of that year.

Chester City Presbyterian Church –  The influx of population west of the Third Street bridge was particularly noticeable after the establishment of Reaney’s ship-yard just previous to the breaking out of the rebellion, and efforts were made by several gentlemen to organize a Sunday-school for religious instruction of the many children in that neighborhood. To that end a school was begun Dec. 14, 1862, in the Academy building, now the Second Street Grammar-School, with John L. Entwisle, superintendent; Joseph Hinkson, assistant; and Abram R. Perkins, treasurer. The school thus founded grew speedily, and those instrumental in its beginning soon determined to establish the Chester City Presbyterian Church, to be located in the South Ward. The great difficulty was in obtaining a suitable building, which impediment was overcome by the gift of a lot at the southeast corner of Third and Ulrich Streets, by Reaney, Son & Archbold, upon which Thomas Reaney, who was warmly interested in the undertaking, built the present edifice at his personal cost. The church was begun in the summer of 1865, and completed the following year. The furnishing and upholstering of the sanctuary was principally done at the joint expense of Mr. Perkins and Mr. Reaney. While the congregation was worshiping in the lecture-room, the church proper being unfinished, an application was made to the Presbytery of Philadelphia for organization, and on Feb. 15, 1866, the congregation elected John X. Miller and Peter G. Rambo elders, who were thereupon ordained in those offices by a committee appointed by Presbytery. Feb. 25, 1866, the congregation called Rev. Martin P. Jones as pastor, at a salary of one thousand dollars, and the committee was empowered, at their discretion, to advance the sum to twelve hundred dollars a year. He accepted the call, and was ordained April 12, 1866. He remained in charge of the church until Jan. 1, 1869, he having tendered his resignation several months before. The Church was without a minister from that date until June 22d of the same year, when Rev. Augustus T. Dobson, who had been called the 25th of the previous March, at a salary of fifteen hundred dollars, was installed. The subsequent failure of the firm of Reaney, Son & Archbold crippled the church greatly, but the earnest efforts of the congregation, in conjunction with the pastor, relieved it from its embarrassment. John Henry Askin contributed five hundred dollars, and Abraham R. Perkins one hundred and fifty dollars. The congregation notified the pastor that, under the circumstances, his salary must be reduced to one thousand dollars a year, and at that sum it continued until he resigned, in October, 1881. Rev. Thomas J. Aikin, the present pastor, was called Dec. 6, 1881, and installed April 12, 1882.

Third Presbyterian Church –  This memorial church – it was built to commemorate the reunion of the Old and New School Churches – is located at the southwest corner of Twelfth and Upland Streets. The lot was purchased in 1871, and the building, which is of brick, with pilasters, Gothic windows, and high, pitched roof, was erected as a mission Sunday-school by the First Presbyterian Church, but when the division in that congregation took place, those who withdrew accepted the Sunday-school building in unfinished condition, determining to constitute therein a Third Presbyterian Church, which was fully consummated Oct. 16, 1872, with forty-two persons enrolled as members. The congregation, after it was organized, worshiped in the chapel until July of the following year, when the western end of the building was removed, twenty-five feet added to its length, and a recess pulpit constructed. The lot and building cost nearly fifteen thousand dollars. The church was reopened and dedicated Oct. 5, 1873. After the organization of the church, Rev. Dr. Edwin W. Bower, of Lincoln University, officiated as temporary minister until Feb. 13, 1873, when Rev. Charles F. Thomas was unanimously elected to the pastorate. He was installed April 16, 1873, at a salary of sixteen hundred dollars, which was subsequently increased to eighteen hundred dollars, but his health failing, he resigned Feb. 20, 1878. Rev. Dr. Bower was called April 3, 1878, but he declined, and the congregation, May 31st of the same year, called Rev. Thomas McCauley, the present pastor, at the same salary received by Mr. Thomas. Mr. McCauley accepted Oct. 1, 1878, and was installed the 10th of the same month.

St. Paul’s German Lutheran Church,  In August, 1878, a church organization was effected with twelve members, under the charge of Rev. J.T. Boyer, and on Feb. 3, 1879, the society was chartered. In May, 1879, the meeting-house formerly used by the Methodists, on Fifth Street, was purchased for six thousand dollars from George H. Crozer. On Sunday, May 18, 1879, the church was consecrated, Revs. Dr. C. Shaeffer, president of the Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania, A.T. Geissenheiner, of Philadelphia, and J. Lewberger, of New Jersey, conducting the services. The building internally was remodeled, and on July 10, 1879, was dedicated by the pastor, Rev. J.T. Boyer. The latter remained in charge of the church until the last of September, 1880, when he was succeeded, October 3d of the same year, by Rev. E.H. Gerhart, who served as the pastor until September, 1882, when he resigned, since which time the pulpit was supplied by students from the Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia, until June, 1884, when the Rev. E.H. Pohle, pastor of a church in Philadelphia, assumed charge of St. Paul’s at Chester. The church has a membership of twelve, and a Sunday-school connected with it of forty pupils. The services are wholly conducted in the German language.

Public Schools –  The information which has descended to the present time respecting the primitive schools in colonial days is more inferential than positive. From the constant reference to the schooling of children in the early records, the conclusion is reached that considerable attention was given to the education of the young among the English settlers after Penn had obtained possession of the colony. The instruction of youths in reading and writing was part of the duties enjoined on the clergymen in charge of the Church of England parishes maintained under the auspices of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and I seriously question whether, until the school-house of 1770 was built, any other teachers were employed in Chester to instruct children. I am aware it is asserted that in 1741 a petition was presented to the Bishop of London, emanating from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Chester, complaining of Friends who, as is stated, when asked to contribute to the support of the parish schoolmaster, “did what none but Quakers dare do in a country under the government of a Protestant king; that is, they engaged a rigid, virulent Papist to set up school in the Town of Chester.” Of this school under the auspices of St. Paul’s Church Charles Fortescue is said to have been the master.(25*) On Aug. 6, 1731, Aubry Bevan, John Salkeld, Jacob Howell, Thomas Cummings, and Thomas Morgan made a declaration of trust respecting a lot at the southeast corner of Fourth and Edgmont Streets, which had been conveyed to them “with the intent that a school-house should be erected and built upon the said lott… with all convenient speed, at the public charge of the people called Quakers, who shall cause a fair well-built school-house to be erected upon the said lott… which shall be for the use and service of the people called Quakers in Chester, and others in the said township forever… The nomination of a schoolmaster, from time to time, and at all times hereafter, is to be in the Members of the Preparative Meeting at Chester, and that no other person presume to teach in said school-house without such nomination and appointment.” We know beyond question that no school building was ever erected on that lot, and that no person other than the Episcopal clergyman taught in Chester, seems incidentally established from the fact that John Baldwin, who did not die until after Nov. 11, 1731, by his will directs that his two grandsons, John and Joshua Baldwin, “shall be kept to school till they be fitt to go to trades, and then to be put to good trades.” In the account filed by Peter Dick, one of the executors, he is allowed credit for the schooling of Joshua for “2 quarters,” and that “Richard Backhouse was paid 19 shillings” for his tuition. Backhouse was the clergyman in charge of St. Paul’s Church, and continued as the rector until his death, in November, 1749. Indeed, we know that the first movement among Friends looking to the establishment of schools was at the Yearly Meeting in 1746, when that body advised the several Monthly Meetings “to encourage and to assist one another in the settlement and support of schools.”

It maybe assumed, at least so far as we have evidence, that no school other than that connected with St. Paul’s parish was maintained in the borough of Chester previous to 1770. Joseph Hoskins, in his will bearing date the 31st day of the Twelfth month, 1769, made this important public devise:
     “Item. I give and devise unto my friends Henry Hale Graham and William Swaffer, a certain lot of ground situate in the Borough of Chester, beginning at the intersection of Welsh or Back street and the King’s road, and to extend along the said King’s road one hundred feet, and from thence parallel with the said Welsh or Back Street one hundred feet, and from thence parallel with the said King’s road one hundred feet to the said Welsh or Back Street, and thence by the same street one hundred feet to the place of beginning. To hold to them the said Henry Hale Graham and William Swaffer and their heirs forever upon special trust and confidence nevertheless and to and for the uses, intents and purposes hereinafter mentioned, expressed and declared, and none other; that is to say, for the use, benefit and behoof of all and every the inhabitants of the said Borough and township of Chester for the building and erecting a school house or school houses or other edifices for the teaching and instructing and educating of youths therein, and my will is that the Trustees aforesaid enter into and be in quiet and peaceable possession of the said lot of ground immediately after some part of the materials are got ready for erecting a school house thereon.”

Joseph Hoskins did not die until 1773, and his will was not probated until the 21st of July of that year, but so unbounded was the confidence of his neighbors in his integrity, that in 1770 they built a school-house on the lot thus by will subsequent vested in the trustees, although their then title was simply the statement of Hoskins, that he had made such testamentary disposition of his real estate. We have every assurance to believe that he gave liberally of his income towards the building itself. Not only did he give this land, but in his will he also directed thirty pounds (a large sum in those days) to, be paid by his executors to John Eyre and James Barton, to be applied “for the schooling and educating of such poor children belonging to the inhabitants of the Borough and township of Chester as the said Preparative Meeting for the time being shall think fit to order and direct.”

This school-house was built of brick laid in headers and stretchers, the ends of the headers being burnt black, a mark of architectural beauty in that day. It was two stories in height, and the bricks were said to have been imported from England,  which, of course, is the merest fancy,  and in the south gable the large numerals 1770 were inserted in the wall, being formed by the black ends of the headers. Small as the building was, it was more than sufficient for the use to which it was dedicated. As the structure was erected near the east end of the lot, Hoskins permitted more land to be taken than he actually gave by his will, so that ample space for a playground could be had. This was the starting-point of our present system of free public instruction, and it was a most praiseworthy act in the board of school directors of the city of Chester that, in the year 1882, when putting up a new building at Fifth and Welsh Streets for the use of the superintendent, with school-rooms on the second floor, they recognized the noble act of Joseph Hoskins, who, almost forgotten, had slumbered for more than a century in Friends’ graveyard, by designating the new structure “Joseph Hoskins’ School.”

Among the rules prescribed by the trustees on Jan. 9, 1796, the following appears:
     “8th. It shall be the duty of the Trustees to see yt no book containing the tenets or doctrines of any sect in religion be taught in the school, or any that may convey improper political principles to the children of Republicans, since no others ought to be admitted but such as teach the pure principles of religion, as contained in the Holy Writings of the Prophets and Evangelists – of morality and love of virtue; such as teach us the love of liberty and our country – obedience to her laws – detestation of tyranny and oppression, and hatred of anarchy and licentiousness.”

In the lapse of years the names of the first pedagogues who swayed the birch – the emblem of authority – have been forgotten; but from 1806 to 1818, Samuel Lytle, an Irishman, was the teacher there, and among the pupils that came under his care was the future Admiral Farragut, then living in the family of Commodore Porter. Here the great seaman received the rudiments of his education. From 1824 to 1830, William Neal was in charge of the school, at which time it was known as the Chester Academy.

The first private school (for that at Fifth and Welsh Streets was classified under the head Charity School, after the passage of the law of 1802) of which we have knowledge was established on Third Street, west of the bridge, about 1822, by Mrs. Irvin, and was restricted to primary pupils. The following years Miss Eliza Finch kept a school in the old Logan house on Second Street near Edgmont. Among her pupils was the present Admiral David D. Porter, and his brothers, William, Theodore, and Hamilton, and under her tuition they received their elementary education. She continued here until 1830, when she abandoned its cares and opened a store in its stead. About the time Miss Finch retired Caleb Pierce assumed the duties of instructing the youths of Chester whose parents would not permit them to attend the old school at Fifth and Welsh Streets, establishing his select school in a summer-house, which had been built by Major Anderson nearly forty years before that date, in the rear of the Columbia House. In 1834, James Campbell, a graduate of Union College, New York, taught the Chester Academy, succeeding Mr. Neal, and the same year a Mr. Jones was principal of “the Chester High School,” which was established in “a commodious building,” the site of which I cannot locate. In 1840 the public-school system having been generally accepted, Caleb Pierce discontinued his select school and accepted the position of teacher at the old school-house on Welsh Street, but in 1843, when the building was enlarged by an addition at the north end almost as large as the original structure, James Riddle was chosen principal, and four lady assistants appointed. In the same year Mrs. Frances Biddle established a day-school for young ladies in the Sunday-school room – a frame building – attached to St. Paul’s Church. In 1845, James Dawson had a select school in one of the rooms of the school building, the public demand not requiring the use of all the apartments there. In 1850, when Chester began to enlarge its population, the school-room was so taxed that in 1853 the directors purchased a lot on Franklin Street, South Ward, and erected the building known as the Franklin Street school, and the growth of North Ward compelled the erection of the Eleventh Street school in 1858. Notwithstanding the increase of school-houses, the population so outran the accommodation afforded that in 1864 schools were established in the Crozer Academy, on Second Street, and in 1867 primary schools were opened in the Baptist Chapel, on Penn Street, and in the basement of the African Methodist Church, on Second Street, the latter for the accommodation of colored children. At that date a colored school for advanced pupils was also maintained by the directors in a frame house On Welsh Street. The demand still keeping in advance of the buildings, in 1867 the present high school was erected, although it was not completed ready for occupancy until the following summer. In 1870 it was necessary to afford better facilities in North Ward, and in that year the Morton Avenue building was erected, and in 1871 the Patterson Street school-house was built and set apart as a colored school. In 1874 the Eleventh Street school was enlarged and remodeled. In 1875 the old school building on Welsh Street was taken down and a large brick school-house built; and in 1878 the Howell Street school-house was erected. In 1882 the Joseph Hoskins school building was built, and in 1883 the lot at Eleventh and Madison, formerly occupied by the Larkintown Sunday-school, was purchased by the directors, and will be built upon in 1885.

The corps of teachers are excellent, the examination of applicants for position as instructors is very thorough, and a general average of education imparted to the pupil will compare favorably with that of any city in the country. The graduates of the Chester High School are as carefully taught as in most academies in the land, the universities excepted, and the system of opening the higher branches of education to both the sexes has resulted most advantageously. The present faculty of the high school is, Principal, Emma J. Hahn; Assistants, Jennie McLaren and Frederica E. Gladwin. The superintendents of the public schools of Chester, since that office was established by the Legislature when the city was separated from the county of Delaware, and authorized to maintain and govern the schools in the municipal district without reference to those in the county, have been as follows: 1868, A.A. Meader; 1875, A. Robinett; 1878, Charles F. Foster, the present incumbent.

The following list presents the names of the directors of the public schools for the borough and present city of Chester, so far as the same remain of record. Under the act of 1834, the court in that year appointed as school inspectors Archibald T. Dick and Jesse J. Maris:

1840, John H. Denning, Samuel Weaver; 1841, Samuel Little, Edward Darlington, John H. Denning, Samuel Weaver, Humphrey Johnson, and Jacob G. Kitts composed the full board of school directors; 1842, John Hinkson, Alexander McKeever; 1843, Jeremiah W. Flickner; 1844, Joseph H. Hinkson, Isaac S. Williams; 1845, Joseph Taylor, Frederick J. Hinkson; 1846, Edward Darlington, Spencer McIlvain; 1847, William Weaver, Abram Cobourn; 1848, Peter W. Green, Isaac S. Williams; 1849, John Larkin, Jr., Charles D. Manley; 1850, Samuel Crozer, Jesse Young; 1851, Rev. Anson B. Hard, William Trout, George W. Bartram, John McClimate, Alexander McKeever, Robert R. Dutton; 1852, Robert E. Hannum, George W. Moore; 1853, James Campbell, Davis B. Stacey, Isaac Engle Cochran; 1854, Alexander M. Wright, Lewis Thatcher; 1855, E.S. Hewes, Frederick S. Hinkson; 1856, James J. Porter, William L. Grubb; 1857, Alexander M. Wright, Samuel Shaw; 1858, Dr. Charles J. Morton, William Hinkson; 1859, Frederick J. Hinkson, Stephen Clowd; 1860 (North Ward),  – -, (Middle Ward),  – -, (South Ward), Benjamin Gartside; 1861 (North), William McDevitt, (Middle), William Hinkson, (South),  – -; 1862 (North), John M. Larkin, (Middle), Edward R. Minshall, (South),  – -; 1863 (North), Alexander M. Wright, (Middle),  – -, (South), Benjamin Gartside; 1864 (North), John O. Deshong, Jr., (Middle), Dr. Ellwood Harvey, (South), Charles W. Deans; 1865 (North),  – -, (Middle), Caleb Emlin, (South), Abram R. Perkins; 1866 (North), Henry L. Donaldson, (Middle),  – -, (South), Samuel Eccles, Jr.; 1867 (North),  – -, (Middle), Stephen C. Hall, (South) Alfred Taylor, resigned, and William B. Burmace elected to vacant seat; 1868 (North),  – -, (Middle), Thomas Appleby, (South), John H. Barton; 1869 (North), Joseph Kenworthy, Simeon Cotton, (Middle),  – -,  – -, (South), John C. Price,  – -; 1870 (North), Henry L. Donaldson, (Middle), Samuel H. Leeds, (South), Dr. Ellwood Harvey; 1871 (North), Simeon Cotton, (Middle), Henry B. Taylor, (South), John Fountain; 1872 (North), Dr. F. Ridgley Graham, (Middle), Samuel H. Leeds, (South), Jonathan Grant; 1873 (North), Dr. William B. Ulrich, (Middle),  – -, (South),  – -, 1874 (North), William J. Harvey, (Middle), Mrs. S.M. Springer, (South), John Fountain; 1875 (North), William H. Dickinson, (Middle), Stephen C. Hall, (South), Jonathan Grant; 1876 (North), Dr. F. Ridgley Graham, (Middle), Charles Roberts, (South), John C. Price; 1877 (North) H.L. Donaldson, (Middle), William Hinkson, (South), J. Harry Thompson; 1878 (North), Jonathan Johnson, (Middle), Samuel H. Leeds, (South), Jonathan Grant; 1879 (North), Daniel Robinson, (Middle), William Hinkson, (South), John C. Price; 1880 (North), H.L. Donaldson, (Middle), Levi G. James, (South), J.H. Thompson; 1881 (North), Jonathan R. Johnson, (Middle), Stephen Clowd, Jr., (South), Jonathan Grant; 1882 (North), Daniel Robinson, (Middle), Samuel H. Leeds, (South), John C. Price; 1883 (North), H.L. Donaldson, (Middle), Dr. Samuel Starr, (South), Josiah C. Ross; 1884 (North), Jonathan R. Johnson, (Middle), Samuel Clowd, Jr., (South), Jonathan Grant.

The Pennsylvania Military Academy –  By act of Assembly, April 8, 1862, the Pennsylvania Military Academy was incorporated as a university under the title Chester County Military Academy. This title the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, on application for the board of trustees, changed immediately to its present name. It was then organized and located at West Chester, with Col. Theodore Wyatt as its president, where it soon became noted as an institution of learning. Founded during the Rebellion, it made a special feature of military instruction, and to the forces of the United States in the civil war it contributed many officers from its roll of students. When Lee’s army invaded the State the battery of the academy, manned by cadets of the institution and citizens of West Chester, was in service for two months, and was commanded by the authorities. After the close of the war the Crozer Normal School building, at Chester, Delaware Co., which had been used by the government as a hospital, was vacated by the United States, and, as it furnished accommodations superior to those the school then had, these premises were leased, and the institution was moved here in December, 1865. The Pennsylvania Military Academy at its new location grew rapidly in public favor, and so large did the number of students become that it was decided to secure its present site and erect and equip buildings adapted to its wants. In 1867 the institution conferred its first degrees on its graduates, and in September, 1868, the building having been completed in the mean while, the academy occupied its new quarters, to the northeast of the city,  a landmark presenting a prominent appearance when viewed from the north or east in approaching Chester, and especially from the Delaware River. In its new building the academy, in September, 1868, accommodated one hundred and fifty cadets and officers.

On the afternoon of Feb. 16, 1882, the main edifice was entirely destroyed by fire, the origin of which is unknown, although the flames were first discovered in the laboratory, then located in the upper story.

After the destruction of the academy, in twenty days subsequently the term was resumed temporarily at Ridley Park. As soon as the losses were adjusted by the insurance companies, the erection of a new building upon an improved and enlarged plan was commenced. The main structure is two hundred and seventeen feet long, fifty feet in depth, four stories in height, surmounted with a dome, which towers many feet above all, presenting a view therefrom unequaled in the county. The building, which was completed, ready for occupancy, Sept. 13, 1882, is divided by fire-walls, and is believed to be as nearly fireproof as it is possible to render it, while in a sanitary point, as well as in respect to the accommodation to secure the comfort and convenience of its inmates, the new academy structure is most admirably planned. A laboratory, at some distance from the main edifice, is an ornate and well-arranged building, sufficiently removed to render it improbable that any fire which might occur therein could seriously endanger the Military Academy proper. The drill-hall and gymnasium, one hundred and thirty and sixty feet respectively, are admirably adapted to the uses for which they were designed.

The present academic staff is composed as follows: Col. Theodore Hyatt, president and professor of Greek; Capt. Charles E. Hyatt, vice-president, professor of Rhetoric and Elocution; Capt. R. Kelso Carter, professor of Mathematics and Civil Engineering; Lieut. William W. Galbraith, United States army, professor of Military Science and Mathematics; Lieut. Emile L. Feffer, professor of French, German, Spanish, Latin, and Greek; Capt. Benjamin F. Morley, professor of Chemistry, Physics, and Tactics; Dr. Joseph S. Burns, professor of Latin, Greek, and English Literature; Dr. John R. Sweney, professor of Music; Charles S. Fahnestock, professor of Penmanship, Drawing, and English Branches; William B. Ulrich, M.D., lecturer on Hygiene; Frederick E. Powell, adjunct professor of Mathematics and English Branches; Edgar P. Hershey, adjunct professor of Rhetoric; Silas P. Comfort, instructor in Mathematics and Technical Drawing.

Chester Academy –  This institution of learning, located at the southwest corner of Broad and Potter Streets, was founded, in 1862, by Charles W. Deans, who had just previous to that date been superintendent of the public schools of Delaware County. It was then known as the Chester Academy and Normal School. In 1865, Professor George Gilbert, then of Philadelphia, purchased Mr. Deans’ interest in the academy, including the school furniture, and at once reorganized the institution, enlarged the accommodations, thoroughly revised and advanced the course of study, and employed additional teachers. The reputation of the academy steadily advanced, and in 1871, six years after he became principal of the institution, Professor Gilbert purchased both the school building and the residence to the east. The school-rooms have all been recently enlarged to nearly double their original capacity and thoroughly refitted. The aim of the school is to afford facilities for students preparing for college, for teaching, or for general business, and to direct them in the course of study necessary to successfully qualify them for the occupations in life which they may select. The present faculty of the academy comprises George Gilbert, principal, instructor in Latin, Greek, and the Higher Mathematics; M. Louisa Clancy, Music, French, and Literature; Mrs. T.M. Gilbert, Writing, Drawing, and History; H. Jennie Cornell, Primary Department; Addie H. Pyle, Hannah R. Lenderman, and Jennie McCoy, English Branches. The pupilage is about one hundred and twenty.

Piers at Chester –  The present public wharves at Chester, one a short distance east of the foot of Market Street, and the other at the foot of Edgmont Avenue, are comparatively of recent construction. Between the years 1760 and 1770, Francis Richardson, to whom the land on which these piers abut had been devised by his aunt, Grace Lloyd, erected a pier at end of Edgmont Avenue, and another to the eastward of the present Market Street pier, the latter remained until after 1826, but they were of crude construction, lacking the stability of those now in use. During the war of 1812 it became apparent that some protection was absolutely demanded at this point for vessels navigating the river in winter, for when the Delaware at the Horseshoe was frozen, it prevented all communication by water with Philadelphia. The commerce of the latter city at that time greatly exceeded that of any port in the United States, and so frequent was the loss of vessels by drifting ice that on March 11, 1816, an appropriation of $10,935.32 was made by the General Assembly, “to be employed for the erection of piers for the river Delaware at the Borough of Chester.” David Porter, Joseph Engle, and William Graham being appointed commissioners, who should “cause to be erected, placed, and sunk in the said river Delaware at the Borough of Chester, two or more good and sufficient piers, for the security of vessels navigating the said river, and shall also cause to be built and constructed good and sufficient wharves, to be so connected with the said piers as to afford a safe and easy landing for vessels coming to at the same; and for this purpose they shall have power to employ suitable workmen, and obtain cessions to the Commonwealth of ground within the said Borough of Chester, necessary for the erection and construction of such wharves and piers, Provided, That the said cessions be obtained without any consideration from the Commonwealth.” The act also provided that while the commissioners were to give bonds for the faithful performance of their duties, they were not to receive any compensation for their labor. The work was also required to be begun within one year, and completed within five years from the date of the passage of the act.

By the act of March 24, 1817, an additional sum of eight thousand dollars was appropriated, one-half of which amount was to be paid to the commissioners when work was resumed on the wharves at Chester, and the remainder on the 1st of June, 1818, “or so soon thereafter as the said work shall be completed,” and by the same act William Anderson was substituted for Commodore David Porter. The work was to be proceeded with within one year, and completed within three years after the passage of the act.

Previous to the date of the law the owners of the land on which the piers abutted ceded their interest in the wharves to the State. The deed conveying the upper pier is as follows:
     “THIS INDENTURE, made the 20th day of June, 1816, between Davis Bevan, of the Borough of Chester, in the county of Delaware, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, gentlemen, of the one part, and the said Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of the other part Whereas, by an Act making an appropriation for the erection of piers in the river Delaware, at the Borough of Chester, in Delaware County, David Porter, Joseph Engle and William Graham, Esq., are authorized to obtain cessions to the Commonwealth of ground within the said Borough of Chester, necessary the erection and construction of the wharves and piers provided the said cessions be obtained without any consideration from this commonwealth, and whereas the wharf lying on the North east side of High Street, in the said Borough of Chester, commonly called ‘Richardson’s wharf,’ has by good and sufficient assurances in the law became vested in fee simple in the said Davis Bevan, who is desirous to aid the public interest by ceding his title thereto to the Commonwealth, for the purpose aforesaid: Now this indenture witnesseth, that the said Davis Bevan in consideration of the premises and also in consideration of the local advantages which will arise from the contemplated work, hath granted, bargained, sold, ceded, surrendered and confirmed, and by these presents doth grant, bargain, sell, cede, surrender and confirm unto the said Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, all that the above mentioned wharf, situated, lying and being in the said Borough of Chester, on the North east side of High Street and extending from low water mark on the river Delaware to the fast land, being in breadth from low water mark to a button wood tree Standing on the North east side of said wharf about twenty-one feet, and thence to the fast land opposite the north end of a stone stable of the breadth of twenty feet, measuring from the South-west side of said wharf, as the foundations now exist. Together with all and singular the logs and bolts, stone and other material belonging to and connected with said wharf, to have and to hold the same for the purposes aforesaid with the appurtenances to the said Commonwealth of Pennsylvania forever; provided always nevertheless, that unless the said Commonwealth shall proceed to carry on the contemplated work within the period mentioned in the aforesaid recited law, then this Indenture and the estate: hereby granted and ceded shall cease and become void. And the said Davis Bevan doth reserve to himself and to his heirs the right liberty and privilege to pass to, upon and from the said wharf, with free ingress egress and regress, to and for him and his heirs and his and their servants and workmen, with horses, carts and carriages at all times and seasons for the loading and hauling of goods and merchandise or other property, and for shipping and sending away the same.”

The lower pier, at the foot of Edgmont Avenue, was sold by the sheriff of Chester County after Richardson’s failure to William O’Neal, and he, on Nov. 4, 1797, conveyed it with other real estate to Ephraim Pearson. The latter ceded that wharf to the State of Pennsylvania by the following instrument, dated May 6, 1816:
     “To all people to whom these Presents shall Come. I Ephraim Pearson of Chester, Delaware County, send greeting and whereas by an Act making an appropriation for the erection of piers in the river Delaware, at the Borough of Chester in Delaware County, David Porter, Joseph Engle and William Graham, Esq., are authorized to obtain cessions to the Commonwealth of ground within the said Borough of Chester, necessary for the erection and construction of the Wharves and piers provided the said cessions be obtained without any consideration from this Commonwealth. Now know ye that I, the said Ephraim Pearson, do hereby grant, transfer and cede to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania all that piece of ground known by the name of ‘Richardson’s Lower Wharf,’ lying on the river Delaware, between the month of Chester creek and Front Street continued and extended from high water mark to low water mark, being in the Borough of Chester, aforesaid. To have and to hold the same, to the said Commonwelth forever, for the purpose of erecting and constructing wharves and piers, and for no other purpose; provided that if the said Commissioners shall not make use thereof for the purpose aforesaid, within the time limited by the above recited Act for finishing their work, then the cession to be void.”

The State of Pennsylvania completed the piers at Chester, but constant repairs had to be made to them, until the commonwealth sorely repented accepting the wharves, which, even after the State had reconstructed them, were indifferent structures. Chester being the residence of Commodore Porter, and many of the noted men of the navy being often there, the town acquired reputation in that branch of the public service, hence government vessels frequently wintered in the space between the piers, riding at anchor where now is solid ground. The State, desirous of being relieved from the charge of this white elephant, intimated that if the government of the United States would stipulate to keep the piers at Chester in good condition and repair, the commonwealth would cede to the former their title to the piers. The influence of navy officers was used. The United States accepted the proposition, and on April 11, 1825, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania formally ceded the piers at Chester to the national government.

The Logan House (Second Street, near Edgmont Avenue) –  This dwelling was built by Jasper Yeates in the year 1700, on ground purchased from David Lloyd, Dec. 11, 1699, and formerly a stone on which was cut the initials “J. & C.Y.,” with the date 1700 underneath, similar in appearance to the date-stone of the old Porter house, was set in one of the gables. These initials stood for the names Jasper and Catharine Yeates. It was two stories in height, with a tent-like roof forming an attic within, with steep sides. Over the first-story windows was a pent-roof similar to that remaining on the old City Hall, and a porch at the front door, with seats at each side of the door, at right angles to the building. A wide door-way gave access to the spacious hail, many small diamond-shaped panes of glass set in lead, in the large window-sashes, gave light to the several apartments, and casements at the head of the stair landing furnished the same to the wainscoted hall-way. All the rooms were wainscoted also, and the panels were painted or stained in imitation of mahogany. Large closets were on each side of the wide chimney-places, lighted by windows in the outer walls. Under the high wooden mantel-pieces in the parlor and the room opposite, across the hall, the fireplaces were lined with illuminated tiles, delineating incidents of Scriptural history. Large buttresses were built against the gables for strength, and smaller ones to guard the brick walls on each side of the main building. These buttresses were subsequently removed.

Jasper Yeates, of Philadelphia, a native of Yorkshire, England, married Catharine, daughter of James Sandelands, the elder, and in 1697 purchased mills and a tract of ground at the mouth of Naaman’s Creek. The next year he built a goodly-sized structure between Chester Creek and Edgmont Avenue for a granary or store-house for grain on the second floor, and established a bakery in the lower room. It should be recollected that two hundred years ago Chester Creek, at that point, was considerably to the westward of the present stream. He was a prominent man of his day. He was appointed by Penn, when the proprietary created the borough of Chester, Oct. 13, 1701, one of its four burgesses. In 1703 he was chosen chief burgess of the borough, and is believed to have been the first person holding that office. He was one of the justices of Chester County, afterwards one of the justices of the Supreme Court of the province; a member of the Provincial Council, and a member of the General Assembly. He and his brother-in-law, James Sandelands, the younger, were the principal promoters of the building of St. Paul’s Church. He died previously to May 2, 1720, for his will was probated at New Castle, Del., at the date last given. He left six children surviving him,  four Sons and two daughters.

John Yeates, the third son of Jasper and Catharine Yeates, was born at Chester, March 1, 1705. He inherited from his father the “dwelling house” at Chester, with the “boulting” wharf, gardens and lots near the same town, “bought of Jonas Sandelands and Edward Henneston.” He was a shipping merchant, and resided for a time in the island of Barbadoes, and afterwards in Philadelphia, where he acquired considerable real estate. Later in life he sustained large pecuniary losses in business ventures, and through the influence of friends, in 1764, was appointed comptroller of customs at Pocomoke, Md. He died there the following year. Under date of Sept. 4, 1733, John Yeates and Elizabeth (Sidbotham), his wife, conveyed the mansion-house and lot, of which I am speaking, to Joseph Parker, as well as other lands in Chester.

Joseph Parker was a nephew of the noted and eccentric Quaker preacher, John Salkeld. He was a native of Cumberland, England, and in 1714, at the age of twenty-five, came to the province and settled at Chester to be near his uncle. He entered the office of David Lloyd, and after Lloyd’s death he succeeded him as register and recorder of Chester County. In 1724 he was prothonotary of the courts, and in 1738 he was commissioned a justice of the peace, a position of much dignity in colonial days. In 1730 he married Mary, daughter of James Ladd, of Gloucester County, N.J. His wife died the following year, leaving one child, a daughter, Mary. Joseph Parker died May 21, 1766.

Mary Parker, born April 21, 1731, at Chester, to whom the Logan house descended, was married to Charles Norris, of Philadelphia, in the old Quaker meeting-house, Sixth month 21, 1759. Her husband died Jan. 15, 1766, and she returned to Chester and resided in the parental mansion until her death, Dec. 4, 1799. She was the mother of three sons and one daughter, Deborah, to whom by will she devised the Logan house.

Deborah Norris was born in Philadelphia, Oct. 19, 1761, and was a small child when her widowed mother returned to Chester. She was married to Dr. George Logan, a grandson of James Logan, Sept. 6, 1781, and removed to the Logan family seat, Stenton, where she resided until her death, Feb. 2, 1839. Deborah Logan was a woman of much literary ability, and a historian of great attainments. Indeed, her remarkable store of antiquarian information justly entitled her to the appellation of “The Female Historian of the Colonial Times.” She had mingled freely with the leading spirits of the Revolutionary period, and her cousin, Charles Thomson, the first and long confidential secretary of the Continental Congress, was through life an intimate visitor at her house, and from him she learned much of the inner history of those times. In 1814, Mrs. Logan believing the correspondence of William Penn and James Logan contained much valuable information respecting the early history of the commonwealth, she began the task of collating, deciphering, and copying the manuscripts in her possession, many of the documents being much decayed and difficult to read; but she industriously worked, rising in the winter-time before sunrise and at daylight in the summer, for a period of several years. Her manuscripts made eleven large quarto volumes, and formed two clever-sized octavo volumes when published by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. John F. Watson, the annalist, obtained many of the interesting items in his popular work from Mrs. Logan. The old dwelling is now owned by Mrs. Rebecca Ross.

The Old Hoskins (Graham) House (Edgmont Avenue below Third Street) –  John Simcock, of Ridley, received a patent from the Duke of York for sixteen yards, fronting upon Chester Creek and running back into the land of Neeles Laerson, bounded on the north by lands of Joran Keen, and on the south by land of Neeles Laerson. On the 5th day of Sixth month, 1684, Simcock sold to John Hoskins (then spelled Hodgkins) the tract of land, and the latter, in the year 1688, built the house now standing at the southeast corner of Edgmont Avenue and Graham Street.

The house thus erected was used by him as an inn, and was a substantial structure, as is evidenced even in its present declination by an inspection of the building. It is two stories in height, with attics; the steps and porch, which were located before the street-line was definitely fixed, extend a goodly distance into the sidewalk. A hall-way runs through the centre of the building; a wide, easily-ascended staircase rises from the rear of the entry at the south side to the apartments above. The balustrade is fashioned of hard wood and is very massive, while the steps of ash in many places show marks of worms, who have eaten deep grooves in the solid planking. The windows in the lower rooms are deeply recessed within the apartments, and old-time seats constructed therein. The heavy beams supporting the upper floors stand prominently out from the ceiling. In the rooms on the first and second floors on the north side of the house the high, old-fashioned wooden mantels over the large fireplaces are flanked by enormous closets, which are lighted by small windows in the outer walls; those in the southern end have been walled up. The floors are laid in hard wood, and the flooring-boards are wide,  almost the entire width of the trees from which they were cut. The ceilings are lofty for the time when the building was erected, and the house is divided into numerous sleeping apartments intended to accommodate many guests. The steep roof externally would indicate that the attics were so low that they would be uncomfortable to the inmates, whereas the contrary is the fact. The kitchen, which is built in an L on the northeastern end of the house, is large; the fireplace comprising almost the entire eastern end,  now inclosed as a closet,  is of that ample size, usual among our ancestors, that the benumbed wayfarers could seat themselves at either side of the chimney, on benches provided for that purpose, and enjoy the warmth of the roaring fire of huge logs, formerly the only way employed to heat that part of the building. In the days of its ancient grandeur there was a portico or veranda in the rear of the main building extending ten or twelve feet outward, which was inclosed with lattice-work, where, in the summer-time, the hospitable table was spread. An old oven, long since torn down, was attached to the house on the north side of the kitchen, and a well of good water, now abandoned, was located in the rear and at some distance from the portico.

John Hoskins and Mary, his wife, were natives of Cheshire, England, and came to this country in the year 1682. In August, 1684, he purchased from John Simcock the property whereon he afterwards built the house and he had purchased Ninth month 21, 1681, from Penn, before leaving England, two hundred and fifty acres of land, which was laid out to him in Middletown township, between the lands of Richard Crosby and David Ogden, Fourth month 27, 1684. He was a member of the General Assembly which sat March 12, 1683. His will, dated Eleventh month 2, 1694/5, and probated Aug. 15, 1698, in Philadelphia, is signed John Hodgskins, but the renunciation of the executors named therein, dated 12th of Sixth month, 1698, speaks of him as John Hoskins. He left two children, John and Hannah, and his widow, who although aged, married in 1700, George Woodier, of Chester. His daughter, Hannah, married, in 1698, Charles Whitaker. His estate was a large one for those times, the appraisement amounting to £450 12s. 2d., and the different articles set forth therein, as contained in the various rooms of the house wherein he died, answer to the number in the present Graham house.

His son, John Hoskins, married in 1698, Ruth Atkinson, and in 1700, when only twenty-three years of age, was elected sheriff of the county, an office the duties of which he discharged so successfully that for fifteen years in succession, excepting during the year 1708, he was continued in that office. To him the old homestead descended, and here he lived until his death, Oct. 26, 1716. He was the father of four sons and one daughter, Mary, who married John Mather. One of the sons, I suppose, died before their mother, for in the will of Ruth Hoskins, dated July 3, 1739, she mentions only her sons Stephen and Joseph Hoskins,  although John was still living,  and devised to her son-in-law, Mather, a house and lot. Stephen Hoskins was born in Chester, Twelfth month 18, 1701/2, and Joseph was born in the same place, Fourth month 30, 1705.

Stephen Hoskins married, in 1727, Sarah Warner, of Maryland, and moved into that province, but returned to Chester, 1730, and was elected coroner of Chester County. About 1743 he removed to Philadelphia, and it was to his son, John, of Burlington, that Joseph Hoskins, of the Porter house, devised the real estate of which he died seized. This Joseph Hoskins, to whom more particular reference will be made in account of the Porter house, purchased the homestead from his brother, John, to whom it was awarded in partition of John Hoskins’, the elder, estate, and on June 4, 1762, Joseph sold the house and lot to Henry Hale Graham. A brief notice of Judge Graham has been given herein, as also an account of William Graham, his son, to whom the property descended. The house and lot was sold by the heirs of William Graham to John G. Dyer in 1857, by whose estate it is now owned.

The Old Porter (Lloyd) House –  It is doubtful whether any building in the United States, whose history extends over more than a century and a half, has had connected in the title to the property so many distinguished owners as will be found in that of the old Porter house in this city, whose record was closed in that appalling tragedy, in 1882, which enshrouded our city in mourning for a season.

By patent dated April 9, 1669, Francis Lovelace, Governor-General under the Duke of York, granted unto Neeles Laerson, alias Friend, a large tract of ground comprising one hundred and fifty acres, but which by subsequent survey proved to include in the boundary lines one hundred and eighty-three acres. The patent reserved a yearly rent of one and a half bushels of winter wheat, payable to the king. Laerson entered into possession of the land thus allotted him, built upon and improved the premises. By will, dated Dec. 17, 1686 (he died the following year), Laerson gave authority to his wife to sell the real estate in her discretion. In exercise of this power, Ann Friend (the family had by this time assumed the English alias as their family name, and had abandoned the Swedish patronymic absolutely), the widow, Andrew Friend, son and heir of Laerson and Johannes Friend, the second son, by deed dated May. 27, 1689, conveyed the estate to David Lloyd. Lloyd, however, after he built the house whose history I am writing, seemed to have had some doubts of the sufficiency of the title, and therefore, thirty-four years subsequently, July 13, 1723, he had Ann Friend (then one hundred and five years old), and Gabriel Friend and Laurence Friend, the younger sons of Neeles Laerson and Ann, his wife, execute a deed conveying the premises he had purchased in 1686. Parts of the estate thus acquired were sold by Lloyd to Joseph Richardson, and to Rodger Jackson, but he subsequently repurchased the land thus conveyed, and in addition acquired from Jonas Sandelands a considerable tract, until the estate had increased to about five hundred acres.

David Lloyd, a sketch of whose eventful, useful life is given in the chapter on the bench and bar, was twice married. His second wife was Grace Growden, whom he married after the year 1703, for several deeds of that year are executed by him alone, indicating that at that time he was a widower. By his first marriage he was childless; by his second, he was the father of one son, who, at an early age, was killed by an accident. He died “6th day of ye 2d month” (May), 1731, aged seventy-eight years, for such is the inscription on his tombstone in Friends’ graveyard here. If it be a fact that he was seventy-eight years old when he died, David Lloyd could not have been born in 1656, and yet all the authorities agree in giving the latter date as that of his birth. By his will, dated March 24, 1724, after a few bequests, the remainder of his estate is devised to his wife, Grace, who was twenty-seven years younger than her husband.

The old mansion was built in 1721, and the slab on which was engraved the letters “L.L.D. & G., 1721,” which was formerly in the western gable of the dwelling. The house was of stone, massively built, and was one of the best specimens of colonial grandeur which had descended to our time. It received many additions to it after it passed into the possession of Commodore Porter, such as the building of the cupola on the roof, the walling up of the open corner chimney-place and substituting therefor the grates and marble mantels which were seen there when the ruins were visited by thousands of people after the explosion. Lloyd lived sumptuously in the old mansion, then, as before stated, one of the most imposing dwellings in the New World, entertaining largely and keeping a retinue of servants. He was one of the eight gentlemen of means in the province, including the Governor, who, in the year 1725, are recorded as owning four-wheeled carriages drawn by two horses.

Grace Lloyd, in her widowhood, was attended faithfully by her friend, Jane Fenn, a noted minister of Friends, until the latter married, and in turn became the mistress of the old dwelling. Jane Fenn was born in 1693, in London, and when very young was strongly impressed with the belief that it was her duty to go to Pennsylvania, and after several years had elapsed, in which she struggled against the impression, she sailed in 1712, in company with a Welshman, Robert Davis, who with his family were emigrating to Pennsylvania. Davis had paid her passage, and she had obligated herself to return the outlay out o the first money she could earn; but when he insisted that she should bind herself as a servant for four years to repay him the money, she resisted, as she had not come as a redemptioner. Davis had her arrested for debt. She was thrown into prison, but was relieved therefrom by some Friends, who paid the claim and employed her in their families as a teacher of their children. At this time she was not a Quaker, but the kindness of these people attracted her towards them, and finally she united with the society and became ultimately one of its most efficient ministers. It is recorded that at a meeting at Haverford, David and Grace Lloyd came in, and immediately Jane Fenn, who was present, was impressed with the conviction that “these were the people with whom she must go and settle,” while David and Grace Lloyd were in their turn impressed with Jane, “and it was fixed in their minds to take her for the Lord’s service.” She lived with them until 1727, when she visited England and Ireland on a religious mission; and returned to Chester in 1730, a short time previous to David Lloyd’s death. She remained with his widow until her (Jane Fenn’s) marriage to Joseph Hoskins, Eighth month 26, 1738, at Chester Meeting.

On May 1, 1741, Grace Lloyd conveyed the mansion and most of the real estate she acquired under her husband’s will to Joseph Hoskins, reserving two acres of ground, and “also the room in the southwest corner of the mansion-house, called the dining-room, the room on the northeast corner of said house, called the parlor, with a closet and milk-house adjoining, the chamber over the said dining-room, the chamber over the said parlor, one-half part of the garret, the front part of the cellar, the old kitchen and chamber over it, the chaise-house, the use of the pump, cider-mill and cider-press to make her own cider, and part of the garden, with free liberty of ingress, egress and regress into and out of all and every the premises for the term of her natural life without impeachment of waste.” Grace Lloyd died in 1760.

Joseph Hoskins was one of the most useful citizens Chester has ever numbered among its residents. He was an enterprising, public-spirited man, doing good and asking no mere gratification of his personal vanity by coupling his gift with conditions that the donor’s name should be made conspicuous and held in remembrance because of these works by which others should be benefited. He gave because his heart prompted the act in the love he bore his fellows. Joseph Hoskins was born in Chester, June 30, 1705, and seems to have been an active man of business. When twenty-six years of age he made a voyage to the island of Barbadoes, but returned after a short absence, and in 1739, after his marriage, he went to Boston on business. In the early days of our country a journey such as this was a remarkable event in a man’s life, and at this time more persons can be found in Chester, in proportion to its population, who have visited Japan than, at the period I am alluding to, who had made a voyage to Boston. He was made chief burgess of Chester and one of his majesty’s justices of the peace in 1758. By his will, dated Twelfth month, 1769, he devised certain lands in the borough of Chester for school purposes, more fully mentioned under that heading, and also gave ten pounds towards inclosing Friends’ graveyard, on Edgmont Avenue, with a brick or stone wall. Being childless, the residue of his estate, after a few bequests to relatives and friends, he devised to his nephew, John Hoskins, of Burlington, N.J. This John Hoskins, in 1750, had married Mary, a daughter of Joshua and Sarah Raper, of Burlington, and their son, Raper Hoskins, who came to Chester in charge of his father’s property there, on May 2, 1781, married Eleanor, daughter of Henry Hale Graham, while Joseph Hoskins, Raper Hoskins’ brother, married, June 12, 1793, Mary, a younger daughter of Henry Hale Graham. John Hoskins, to whom the estate descended under Joseph Hoskins’ will, after holding the title to the premises for eighteen years, on March 22, 1791, made a deed conveying a large tract of land, comprising that whereon the old mansion-house stood, to Raper Hoskins. The latter having died in the fall of the year 1798, a victim of the yellow-fever scourge in Chester, his widow, Eleanor Hoskins, was granted letters on his estate, and in discharge of her duties sold the property, April 28, 1799, to Thomas Laycock. The estate subsequently was purchased by Maj. William Anderson. Evelina Anderson, the daughter of the major, having intermarried with David Porter, in that year the newly-wedded couple made their home at the old mansion, excepting during the times when Porter was located at naval stations in charge of the government yards. Feb. 24, 1816, William Anderson and Elizabeth, his wife, “in consideration of the natural love and affection which they have and bear for their son-in-law, the said David Porter, as well for and in consideration of one dollar,” conveyed to David Porter, in fee, the house, improvements, and a trifle over three acres and a half of land.

David Porter was born in Boston, Feb. 1, 1780, and was appointed midshipman April 3, 1793. He was a lieutenant on board the “Constellation” when that frigate captured the French vessel of war, “L’Iusurgent,” in February, 1799, and was promoted for his bravery on that occasion. In 1800 he was wounded in an engagement with pirates off Santo Domingo, and was promoted to the command of the “Enterprise.” While commanding that vessel he captured a Tripolitan corsair. He had charge of the expedition which destroyed several feluccas, ladened with wheat, under the batteries at Tripoli, in which engagement he was again wounded. In 1803 he was captured in the frigate “Philadelphia,” when that vessel grounded in the harbor of Tripoli, was taken prisoner, and for eighteen months was held as a slave. In 1806 he commanded the “Enterprise,” and fought and severely handled twelve Spanish gunboats near Gibraltar. In 1812 he was commissioned captain, and placed in command of the “Essex,” which vessel he rendered famous in our country’s annals, although he finally lost the ship in one of the most noted naval combats of history with two British vessels of war off Valparaiso. In 1815 to 1816 he was one of the naval commissioners and in the latter year made a successful cruise against the pirates that then infested the Gulf of Mexico. In consequence of some infraction of naval law he was suspended for six months; in 1826 he resigned his commission and entered the Mexican navy as its commander-in-chief, an office which he soon resigned. In 1829 he was appointed United States consul at Algiers, and when that country was conquered by the French he was made United States charge d’affairs at Constantinople, and while discharging the duties of that office he negotiated several important treaties with that government. He died at Pera, near Constantinople, March 3, 1843, and his remains were brought to this country and interred in Woodland Cemetery, Philadelphia. Mrs. Evelina Porter survived her husband twenty-eight years, dying Oct. 1, 1871, in her eightieth year.

David Porter left five sons and two daughters. The eldest daughter, Evelina, married Capt. Harris Heap, and the youngest, Imogene, married Mr. Harris.

William David Porter, the eldest son, born in New Orleans in 1810, entered the navy in his eighteenth year. During the early part of the Rebellion his loyalty was unjustly suspected when he was in command of the sloop-of-war “St. Mary,” on the Pacific station. He was, however, assigned to duty on the Mississippi River, where he fitted out the gunboat fleet, and was placed in command of the “Essex,” which took part in the attack on Forts Henry and Donelson, in which latter engagement a ball from the fort plunged through the boiler of his vessel, and the escaping steam so severely scalded Porter that he ultimately died from its effects, May 1, 1864. Notwithstanding his feeble health, he ran the batteries between Cairo and New Orleans, took part in the attack on Vicksburg, destroyed the rebel ram “Arkansas” near Baton Rouge, and assisted in the attack on Port Hudson. He had by this time become so ill that he was ordered to New York to recruit his shattered health, and died there at the date stated.

David D. Porter, the present admiral, is said to have been born in Philadelphia in 1813, although in his letter to the Hanley Hose Company respecting the date-stone of the Porter house he speaks of Chester as his native place. When a mere lad at school in this city, one Saturday afternoon he and the late George W. Piper provided themselves with several pounds of powder, and made what the boys call a squib. The match seeming to have gone out, David Porter and his companion got down on their knees and blew the flame. The squib exploded, and Porter and Piper were blown over the fence, near the old mansion. The hair on their heads was burned off as well as their eyebrows, and the skin of their faces and hands was blistered badly. This was the future admiral’s “baptism of fire.” He entered the navy as midshipman in 1829, and from 1836 to 1840 was attached to the coast survey. He took part in the Mexican war, and in 1861 joined the Gulf Squadron, in command of the “Powhatan.” He was in command of the mortar-boats in the attack on the forts below New Orleans, in 1862, and did important duties on the Mississippi and Red Rivers in 1863 -64. He was conspicuous in the siege of Vicksburg, for which he was made rear-admiral. In 1864 he was in command of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and rendered efficient services in the capture of Fort Fisher, in January, 1865. In 1866 he was made vice-admiral, and in 1876 admiral of the United States. He is the present owner of the old Porter property in this city.

Theodoric Porter, the third son, entered the regular army in 1838 as lieutenant in the Seventh United States Infantry, and was killed in a skirmish with the Mexicans, April 18, 1846, during Gen. Taylor’s advance previous to the battle of Palo Alto. It is stated by army officers that he stayed out of camp the night before the battle, and his body was found the next morning with several dead Mexicans lying around his corpse.

Fifty-two years ago, when David D. Porter and his younger brother, Theodoric, were living at the old mansion, the winter was very severe and the river Delaware was frozen over. The two venturesome men announced their determination to sleigh to Philadelphia. Many of the residents of Chester tried to dissuade them from the attempt, but at nine o’clock in the morning they started from the foot of Welsh Street, David driving. The mouths of the creeks were piled with ice several feet in height, and they were compelled to take the inside channel. A goodly part of their journey was performed on enormous cakes of ice which were entirely loose from the shore. At noon they reached the navy-yard, and, returning, left that place at three o’clock. The cold had become so intense that the two men were compelled to stop and build a fire on the ice to warm themselves. Resuming their journey, they reached Chester at nine o’clock at night. They had traveled thirty miles on the frozen surface of the river, a feat never attempted before, or, if it had been, no record thereof has been made.

Henry Ogden Porter (or “Budd,” as he was familiarly called), the fourth son, named for his uncle, Capt. Henry Ogden, was in the navy, and afterwards in the revenue service. During the Rebellion he was an acting lieutenant in the navy, and fought his vessel – the gunboat “Hatteras” – off Mobile, in an engagement with the “Alabama,” until she sunk, her flag still flying proudly as she disappeared beneath the water. He died, about seventeen years ago, near Washington.

Hamilton Porter, the next brother, was a lieutenant in the navy (on the “Flirt”), and while in the service died of yellow fever, Aug. 10, 1844.

The old house, after Commodore Porter’s family ceased to use it as a residence, was leased to a number of tenants, until at last the location of the gas-works in that neighborhood rendered it no longer a desirable dwelling, and it was leased, in 1862, to Professor Jackson, of Philadelphia, for a pyrotechnic manufactory. On Friday morning, Feb. 17, 1882, shortly after seven o’clock, fire was discovered in the kitchen of the old structure, and the alarm was responded to promptly by the fire department, although the entire force had been out late the preceding night battling with the flames which had laid the Pennsylvania Military Academy in ruins. The crowd which had gathered about the Porter house kept back because of the report which had been spread among them that gunpowder was stored in the establishment, but when they saw the chief of the fire department and the members of the various fire companies approaching near to the structure, they drew closer to the scene. Flames at this time were observed coming out of the windows on the west side, and in half an hour after the firemen had arrived and had gone into service a slight explosion occurred, which occasioned no injury. The men who had fled in alarm when this explosion took place, being assured that all danger was past, returned to the work of saving the building from absolute destruction. Hardly had the firemen again mounted the ladders and resumed their labors, when a second explosion took place, which leveled the walls of the old kitchen to the ground and tore huge gaps in the northern and southern walls of the main building. The air was filled with stones, which were hurled to great distances, killing in all eighteen persons and wounding fifty-seven, many of the latter still bearing upon their persons the disfiguring marks of their narrow escape from death. The houses in the neighborhood were in many instances damaged, and window-glasses were shattered at considerable distances from the scene of the explosion. Never before in our city’s history was there such wide-spread horror and dismay as on that fatal morning.

Business was entirely suspended, and each person sought to learn if any of their family, friends, or acquaintances were among those who had been killed or injured. Every effort was immediately made to alleviate the sufferings of the wounded, and for the relief of those families wherein death from explosion had occurred. To that end a fund amounting to about ten thousand dollars was subscribed within a few weeks and distributed by a committee appointed for that purpose. The occurrence of this frightful calamity is too recent to require more than this brief mention now, but it will pass into our history as one of the most appalling events which has ever happened in Chester, and for many years to come will be narrated by those who witnessed it to succeeding generations in all the vivid details that memory always lends to such an incident.

The Huertine House –  The brick building on the south side of Third Street, more than midway in the block toward Edgmont Avenue, which is now occupied by Browning & Co. as a clothing-house, was built by William Huertine subsequent to 1712; for August 12th of that year John Musgrove and Mary, his wife, sold to William Huertine the ground on which the house was afterwards erected, subject to a yearly quit-rent of two shillings to the heirs of James Sandelands, the younger, and the same day Jonas Sandelands and Mary, his wife, confirmed the grant, reserving to the heirs of the grantor, a yearly quit-rent of two silver shillings. William Huertine, who was a silversmith, erected the house, but subsequently removed to New York, where he died. His widow, Elizabeth, and his children and heirs, March 2, 1724, conveyed the house and grounds – a larger tract of land – to Ruth Hoskins, who in her will, dated July 3, 1739, devised the house and lots to her son-in-law, John Mather, he paying fifty pounds to John, Ruth, and Mary Hoskins, the grandchildren of the testators, and children of her son, Stephen Hoskins.

It was generally believed by our local historian that John Mather was the landlord of the present City Hotel, which after the Revolution was known as the “Ship George Washington.” A full investigation of the records establishes the fact that Mather never was a publican, but a practicing attorney of the courts of Chester County. He resided in this house, and by his will, June 28, 1768, devised it to his grandson, John Mather Jackson, who, on March 26, 1783, sold the premises to Edward Vernon. The latter had rented the dwelling in 1780, and had obtained license for the house, which he purchased at the date mentioned. In 1784, Vernon sold the property to Frederick Engle, who devised it to his daughter, Sarah, wife of Thomas Killie, and in 1804 the latter sold it to Preston Eyre. In the fall of the year 1814 the Bank of Delaware County was established in this dwelling,  the home of the cashier, Preston Eyre. In 1844 the latter conveyed the premises to his son-in-law, Hon. Edward Darlington, who resided there until 1858, when he in turn sold it to Mrs. Jane Flavill. On March 25, 1863, Thomas Moore purchased the house and lot, and carried on therein a hardware-store with success. Mr. Moore retired from active business several years ago, since which time he has devoted himself to scientific studies, and to him more than all others the city is indebted for the establishment of the Chester Institute of Science and Mechanic Arts.

The Old Lloyd House (Second and Edgmont Avenue) –  David Lloyd obtained title for the green, or the church land lying between the creek and Welsh Street, and south of Neeles Laerson’s tract of ground to the river Delaware, Dec. 28, 1693, by deed from the church wardens to the Swedish congregation “at Wiccocoe,” which act on his part is criticised severely by Rev. Mr. Ross in his letter, June 21, 1714, to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. “Ye Glebe lands,” he said, alluding to this tract, “was irreligiously sold by some Swedes under ye name of church-wardens, to a powerful Quaker, who now plows and sows it, and disposes of it at his pleasure, but ‘tis hoped his precarious title will be one day inquired into, and the Church restored to her rights again.” This tract, which had been given to the Swedes’ church by Armgard Pappegoya, could not be wrenched out of the strong grasp of David Lloyd, and notwithstanding the determined opposition of Jasper Yeates, he succeeded in having the land confirmed to him by the proprietary government.

That the house at the southeast corner of Edgmont Avenue and Second Street was built by David Lloyd seems absolutely certain, since in his deed to William Pickles, May 4, 1703, it is specifically set out in the indenture that the house was at that time erected. Its appearance supports the statement, for its architecture marks it as contemporaneous with the Logan and Hoskins houses. The executors of the estate of William Pickles sold the premises to John Baldwin, and the estate passing to Baldwin’s grandchildren, John Baldwin and John Pierce, they sold the house to Jonas Preston. The latter built a wharf on the creek, part of the stone placed there for that purpose being removed when the present Second Street bridge was erected. Adjoining the wharf by the creek-side he erected a stone store-house, which stood until after the middle of this century, when it had degenerated into a place to keep swine. After the death of Jonas Preston the premises were purchased by John Wall, a merchant of Philadelphia, who had married Hannah Grubb, widow of Richard Flower, of Chichester. The purchaser never lived in the house, but after May 16, 1777, John Flower (Wall’s step-son), on his marriage to Elizabeth Beethom, at the Chester Meeting, resided in the old building. It is traditionally stated that Elizabeth Flower was so alarmed when the battle of Brandywine was fought – the noise of the distant cannonading could be heard in Chester – that she was taken ill, and so serious were the effects of her fright that she lingered a long time on the eve of dissolution, and died in October of the following year. In 1782, John Wall sold the property to William Siddons, who kept a tavern there in 1778-79.

A short time prior to the Revolutionary war Siddons was charged with the murder of a peddler of jewelry, who was found with his throat cut near Munday’s Run, and the body robbed of all the money the dead man was supposed to have about him at the time of the homicide. When the crime was perpetrated, and Siddons was under suspicion, a rhymster of rude verse of that day composed a ballad, beginning, .

“At Munday’s Run, near Chester town,
Old Siddons knocked the peddler down,
And robbed him of his golden store,
And left him weltering in his gore.”

Siddons was arrested, indicted, and tried, but on the hearing of the case he was enabled to prove a complete and uncontradicted alibi, while the prosecution was predicated purely on circumstantial evidence, which failed to connect the accused in any direct way with the commission of the crime. The fact that he was charged by some of his neighbors with a felony of such hideous character embittered his entire after-life. William Siddons died June 22, 1820.

The dwelling subsequently was purchased by Lewis Ladomus, and in 1869 was occupied by John Hanley, a well-known citizen of Chester, from whom the Hanley Fire Company derived its name. “Jack” Hanley, in the latter ten years of his life, was totally blind. He died in 1874. The old Lloyd house is now owned by Jonathan Pennell.

The Barber House –  David Lloyd, under date of June 14, 1699, conveyed a lot on the northeast corner of Second Street and Edgmont Avenue to Robert Barber, and he it was who erected the dwelling adjoining the present Edgmont House to the east. The house was an imposing one in its day. The pent-roof over the second-story window still remains, although the porch, which formerly projected out some distance on the sidewalk, has been removed. It has two doors: the eastern one leading into the parlor, and the western door into the hall-way, a room of the same size as the one on the opposite side, and in this apartment the staircase ascended to the rooms above. Back of this was the sitting-room, while in the rear of the parlor was a dining-room. The fireplaces and hearths in the hall-room and the parlor were laid in blue tiles, presenting scenes from scriptural history, and in the chambers above, on each side of the fireplaces, were large closets, similar to those in most dwellings built at that period.

John C. Beatty, of this city, states that in this house, in the northwest room on the first floor, the wound of Gen. Lafayette, after the battle of Brandy-wine, was dressed by Mrs. Mary (Gorman) Lyons.(26*) In support of this statement he narrates the following incident, which he recalls as having occurred when Lafayette was in Chester in 1824. Mr. Beatty’s grandfather, John Caldwell, who did good service for the Continental cause, took him (Beatty) to see the “national guest,” and when his grandfather had shaken hands with Lafayette he said, “You don’t remember me, general?” “Yes, I do,” replied the Frenchman; “you’re John Caldwell; I remember you very well; you stood by me when my wounded foot was dressed.” That day Caldwell walked with his grandson to this house, and the former showed him (Beatty) where the table stood in the room on which Lafayette laid while his injuries were cared for. During the Revolution, Elisha Price owned and lived in this house. The house is now owned by Isaiah H. Mirkil.

The Delaware County Republican for Jan. 10, 1845, says that the citizens of Delaware County “tended upon and dressed the wounds of the beloved Lafayette, when he lay wounded in the Friends’ Quaker meeting-house at Chester.” John Hill Martin states,(27*) “Gen. Lafayette rode on horseback to Chester from the battle-field at Brandywine, where he was wounded, but remained there only one night, in the old ‘Ladomus House,’ at the southeast corner of Third Street and Edgmont, now occupied by Bawer’s clothing-store.” At present a public-house – the Lafayette Hotel – is kept there.

The Morgan (Terrill) House (Market below Fourth Street) –  The old building standing on the east side of Market Street, the second structure south of Fourth Street, was built by Evan Morgan. The land was part of the twenty acres patented May 31, 1686, to James Sandelands, the elder, and was conveyed by John Crosby and wife, Jan. 20, 1723, to Thomas Griffing, subject to a yearly quit-rent of one shilling. This John Crosby was a son of Richard, the first of that name who came to Pennsylvania after Penn acquired title to the province. Griffing sold the house and lot to Evan Morgan in 1725, and his son, John Morgan, in 1783, conveyed the premises to Jemima Dasey, widow of the Baptist clergyman at Marcus Hook, and her sister, Mary Linard. Mrs. Dasey and her maiden sister carried on a dry-goods and trimming-store there until October, 1809, when the house and lot was sold to Dr. Job H. Terrill. Some of the old people of Chester can recall Mary Linard as an elderly woman, lame, and hobbling along, leaning on a cane when walking. The property is now owned by Mrs. Emeline Deshong, to whom it descended from her father, Dr. Terrill.

The Caldwell Mansion –  The handsome dwelling on the west side of Edgmont Avenue, north of Twelfth Street, since it was modernized by Col. Samuel A. Dyer during his ownership of the property, is nevertheless an ancient building. The ground upon which it stands is part of a tract of one hundred and twenty acres which was patented April 2, 1688, to Eusta Anderson. June 21st of the same year Anderson conveyed it to Charles Pickering, who, on Oct. 13, 1688, conveyed the property to David Lloyd, and he in turn sold twenty acres of it, subject to a yearly rent of one silver shilling, to John Hoskins, the elder, who, dying seized of the estate, it passed by descent to his son, John Hoskins, the younger. The latter dying intestate, his widow, Ruth, and his son, Stephen Hoskins, and his daughter, Mary Hoskins, and her husband, John Mather, in 1733, released their interest in the premises to Joseph Hoskins, another son of John Hoskins, the younger, and he in turn, April 9, 1741, conveyed the land to Stephen Cole. This latter deed, in 1744, and under a power of sale in his will, his executors, April 17-18, 1746, conveyed the premises to John Caldwell, who, shortly after he acquired possession of the estate, built the mansion-house still standing. He was a native of Dublin, and is said to have been the son of an Irish nobleman. He came to this country early in the last century, and seems to have acquired considerable property. He died subsequent to June 5, 1772, and in his will, which bears that date, he devised his real estate to his two sons,  two shares to the eldest, and the other share to the youngest. After the death of their father John purchased the one-third interest of his brother, George, in the homestead. John, known to the last generation as Squire Caldwell, was a carpenter and builder by trade, and was born and died in the old dwelling. He is said to have been a private in the Continental army during the Revolutionary war, and the musket he carried – one captured from the Hessians at Trenton – is now owned by James Black. He is also said to have been a lieutenant in the American service, and fought against the Indians on the frontier, who were waging war on the colonists in the interest of the crown. When the royal forces were in possession of Philadelphia, and the English squadron lay off Chester, the squire was much troubled with foraging parties from the fleet. John Caldwell stood it for a time, but every fresh visit from the enemy aroused his indignation until he could remain quiet no longer, and in a small boat he rowed out to the flag-ship, demanding an interview with the admiral, Earl Richard Howe. He was kindly received, and in the conference he informed the English commander that his men had taken from him all his pork, provisions, milk, and butter, until his family had been left in want of the necessaries of life. The admiral listened attentively, said that he would prevent any more depredations on the squire’s property, and asked the latter to make out a bill for articles already taken, which was done, and the paymaster was ordered to discharge his claim immediately. John Caldwell returned to his home, the unaccustomed clinking of broad gold pieces in his pocket making his heart lighter, and mitigating his angry feelings until he almost wished the foraging parties would visit his farm once more, that a like cure for his injuries could be again prescribed by the British officer.

Squire Caldwell acquired considerable estate. He purchased and added to the homestead plot the triangular lot at the intersection of Edgmont and Providence Avenues, which was known in early times as “Hangman’s Lot,” because public executions had there formerly taken place. The culprits were suspended from a wild cherry-tree, on one of the lower branches, which extended some distance almost at right angles to the trunk, and it is traditionally related in the Caldwell family that on one occasion from the windows of the mansion across the street the inmates of the old dwelling saw pendent from that fatal branch a man who was executed for stealing a lady’s work-box, which stood temporarily on the sill of an open window, so that he could filch it without difficulty. John Caldwell died Nov. 24, 1834, intestate, and on Feb. 23, 1835, Thomas Caldwell, his eldest son, elected to take the homestead at the valuation placed on it in proceedings in partition. The latter was owner of the old house only for a brief season, for he died Aug. 20, 1835, and the estate was held in common by his heirs until May 22, 1864, when it was purchased by Henry B. Edwards. In the spring of 1870, Col. Samuel A. Dyer became the owner of the property, and the ancient dwelling was modernized. In November, 1872, Col. Dyer sold the property to A.L. Bonaffon. It is now owned by Godfrey Keebler, of Philadelphia, and occupied by Rev. Thomas McCauley, pastor of the Third Presbyterian Church.

The Ashbridge House –  The ancient dwelling standing on the east side of Edgmont Avenue, between Second and Graham Streets, is partly built on the site of the House of Defense. The ground on which it stands was part of the estate of Jasper Yeates, who devised it to certain of his heirs, for July 13, 1728, George McCall and Ann, his wife (Jasper’s eldest daughter), and John Yeates, by release, granted this house and other lots to George Ashbridge. The latter was a Friend, who as early as 1688 emigrated, as a young man, to Pennsylvania and settled near Chester. Who it was built the house I fail to learn, but in all probability George McCall or John Yeates did, for the title to the ground was in these parties fully eight years after the death of Jasper Yeates, before they parted with the premises. Ashbridge, by his will, March 1, 1747/8, devised the estate to his second son, George, who seems to have been an adroit politician, for, elected to the General Assembly in 1743, he managed to maintain the confidence of Friends (he being one of the society) until 1773. How for thirty consecutive years he contrived to avoid committing himself on many of the votes taken during the long French war, which appropriated men and money to carry on that struggle, is incomprehensible, but in the latter year the society “report they have taken an oppty with one of the representatives in Assembly and that he do not apprehend culpable.” That he was active in the Assembly, and must have been a man of more than the general average out of which representatives are made, is evidenced by the perusal of the journal of Samuel Foulke.(28*) On the death of the second George Ashbridge the premises passed to his eldest son, George Ashbridge, the third of that name in the chain of title, who sold it, May 5, 1797, to Dorothy Smith and Zedekiah Wyatt Graham, sister and brother of Henry Hale Graham, as joint tenants. Dorothy, who had married John Smith, of Lower Chichester, Twelfth month 4, 1783, was a widow at this time. Zedekiah Graham was a wealthy bachelor, and the brother and sister lived together in this house. Of the brother, Deborah Logan writes: “He was a man of such integrity and worth that I have heard him characterized as an Israelite, indeed, in whom there was no guile.” The affection between them was so marked that in his will he gave to her the income of his whole estate during life, while she devised to her brother one-third of her property absolutely. Zedekiah Graham died of yellow fever in 1798, and his sister, who nursed him in his illness, was attacked by the scourge, and sent for her nephew, William Graham, who had abandoned his home and fled to the country to escape the pestilence. It is related that the latter sat on his horse in the street while the nurse from the second-story window informed him as to the disposition his aunt wished to make of her estate; thus the will was written, attached to a string, and drawn up to the chamber of the dying woman, who refused to permit any of her kin to visit her, and thereby encounter the risk of infection. By her will, Nov. 17, 1798 (the whole title to the house having vested in her by survivorship), she devised it to her nephew and four nieces in equal parts. Three of the nieces and the nephew conveyed their interests to Catharine G., the fourth niece, and wife of Capt. Thomas Robinson, in October, 1812.

Thomas Robinson was a captain in the merchant service, but during the Tripolitan war a lieutenant under Commodore Preble when that officer, in command of the American squadron, bombarded Tripoli, June 21, 1804. Robinson was in charge of one of the bombards – vessels carrying mortars – on that occasion; the shrouds of his vessel were shot away, and her hull so shattered that it was with the utmost difficulty she could be kept above water. During the war of 1812 he was a volunteer lieutenant in the navy, and was on board the frigate “President” when the latter vessel was captured. As will be remembered, Commodore Decatur, in command of the “President,” went to sea from New York, Jan. 14, 1815, and at daylight the following morning the American officer discovered that the English squadron, comprising the seventy-gun ship “Majestic,” the fifty-gun frigates “Endymion,” “Pomona,” and “Tenedos,” were in chase of the vessel. By noon Decatur found that he was outsailing all of the enemy’s ships except the “Endymion,” which vessel had steadily gained on him, until, at five o’clock in the evening, that frigate had obtained a position on his starboard quarter, and opened a destructive fire on the sails and rigging of his vessel. Decatur was compelled to bear up and engage the enemy, in the hope of disabling her before the remaining vessels could arrive to her assistance. A warm action of two hours and a half followed, which resulted in the British frigate dropping astern, her guns silenced, and her masts gone by the board. During the latter part of the battle with the “Endymion” Robinson had charge of the trumpet. It is stated that the first, fourth, and fifth lieutenants on the “President” were killed or wounded, and Decatur called for Lieut. Gallagher to take the trumpet, but Robinson, “hearing the hail, came up from the gun-deck,” whereupon Decatur said, “Take the trumpet, sir;” and Robinson took command of the deck. The American frigate made sail and attempted to escape, but the English squadron had come within gunshot of the “President” while that vessel was engaged in the encounter with the “Endymion,” and being crippled by the heavy fire she had sustained, Decatur was compelled to strike his flag to the British frigates “Tenedos” and “Pomona.”

Capt. Robinson, after his discharge as a prisoner of war (for the naval action was fought after the treaty of peace had been signed), returned to the merchant service, but the news of the loss of the American packet-ship “Albion” on the coast of Ireland, April 21, 1822, as well as the explosion of the steamboat “Etna,” in New York harbor, May 15, 1824, under his command, and the frightful loss of life on those occasions, so impressed Robinson with the responsibility appertaining to the office of captain of a vessel that he refused ever again to take command of a ship.

Catharine G. Robinson, his wife, died Jan. 24, 1836, and by her will, Feb. 27, 1834, devised the house to her daughter, Sarah P. Coombe. The latter lived in the old house for many years, and vacating it, she rented the Coombe property. At her death, March 5, 1865, the estate became vested in her heirs, who still retain the ancient dwelling.

Lamokin Hall,  The original Salkeld house, built about 1708 by John Salkeld, Sr., as it now stands in the way of Norris Street, between Third Street and the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, must shortly be removed to make room for improvements on that thoroughfare. During the last half-century it was used as the tenant-house on the Kenilworth estate after John W. Ashmead built the large mansion in 1838 (since torn down), and also by Dr. William Young, who purchased the estate in 1849. The Perkins house, or, as it was known to a past generation, “Lamokin Hall,” was erected many years afterwards by John Salkeld, a son of the noted original emigrant of that name.

John Bristow, to whom a large tract of land was granted by patent from the proprietary, died seized of the estate, and his son, John, an edge-tool maker, Feb. 25, 1702/3, conveyed to Henry Wooley a goodly number of these acres. The latter in turn, Jan. 27, 1706/7, conveyed the premises to John Salkeld, a man of means and education, whose ready wit and quickness in repartee made him noted in his generation, and many of his telling rejoinders are recounted even to this day. Salkeld visited this country in 1700, before he settled permanently here, and on the 9th of Seventh month, 1705, he and his wife, Agnes (Powley), sailed for Philadelphia. In the following year he purchased the property mentioned and came to this vicinity to reside. He was an effective preacher, and made many religious visits to neighboring meetings in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, and several times to New England, Long Island, and on one occasion to Great Britain and the West Indies. He, as I have already stated, was a natural humorist, and a few of the stories which have descended to our own time will repay narrating.

One day Salkeld was wearing a new hat that had a button and loop, then quite fashionable, and he was remonstrated with by a Friend for adhering to the usages and customs of the world. John tore off the offending part of his apparel, remarking, “If my friend’s religion consists of a button and a loop I would not give a button and a loop for it.” On another occasion, when at a meeting of Friends, the speaker who was addressing the audience being so tedious that many in the assembly were almost asleep, Salkeld sprang to his feet, exclaiming, “Fire! fire!: Every one was awake immediately, and many put the query, “Where?” “In hell!” responded John, “to burn up the drowsy and unconverted.” After he returned from a religious journey to New Jersey, he said, “I have breakfasted with the Ladds, dined with the Lords, and slept with the Hoggs,” the names of the families that entertained him. One time as he walked from his corn-field, a Friend by the name of Cloud passing by, said, “John, thee will have a good crop of corn.” Salkeld afterwards relating the circumstance, stated that he heard a voice coming out of a Cloud, saying, “John, thee will have a good crop of corn.” He rode at one time a horse with a blaze in its face, and a neighbor who thought to be merry with him, said, “John, thy horse looks pale in the face.” “Yes, he does,” he replied; “and if thee had looked as long through a halter as he has, thee would look pale in the face too.”

He was personally about medium size, but his wife, Agnes, was very tall and muscular, hence her descendants, who are all noticeably tall, inherit this characteristic from her. John Salkeld died Sept. 20, 1739, and by will devised the farm of one hundred acres, on which the house stood, to his son, David Salkeld, and left the plot of ground whereon Lamokin Hall was subsequently built to his wife, Agnes, and she, by will Seventh month 11, 1748, devised the estate to John Salkeld, the younger. The latter, in 1731, had married Elizabeth Worrall, who became the mother of thirteen children. John Salkeld, the younger, by will Dec. 13, 1776, devised his real estate to his eight children (the others had died in childhood) in equal parts, his whole estate, however, being charged with his wife’s support. In the distribution of the property the land under consideration was allotted to his son, Peter, who built the western end of Lamokin Hall. Dec. 7, 1789, he sold the property to Jacob Peterson. The latter conveyed it to James Withey, who made the addition to the eastern end of the old house about 1796.

James Withey having become insolvent the property was sold by Sheriff Fairlamb, April 12, 1819, to Charles Justice and William Graham. The purchasers interchanged deeds, dated Feb. 27, 1821, by which Charles Justice acquired absolute title to the land south of the Post road, and William Graham that north of the same highway. The latter having trust-money belonging to his sisters in his hands at the time of his death, Lamokin Hall was in the distribution of his estate transferred to his sister, Henrietta, who had married Richard Flower.

John W. Ashmead, who had built the, house on the farm adjoining, after the death of his father-in-law, Mr. Flower, purchased the estate June 3, 1844, from the Hon. Edward Darlington, trustee to sell the property, for the purpose solely of adding a trifle over an acre to the lawn of his dwelling, so that his house should be located in the centre of the lawn. After thoroughly repairing Lamokin Hall he sold it Sept. 5, 1846, to Abram R. Perkins for six thousand dollars. The latter had been a successful merchant in Philadelphia, but his purchase of the property at that price, thirty-six years ago, was, perhaps, in the shaping of events, one of the most fortunate transactions in his business career, for the premises in that period have so increased in value that it alone has made his estate worth thirty times what it originally cost him.

Charles Justice, on his portion of the old Withey estate, which extended from about the present Ulrich Street on the east to Lamokin Run on the west, and from the Post road to the river, built (in 1828) the large brick dwelling, still standing, on Second Street east of Pennell Street, the brick used being made on the farm, and burned in a damp kiln. The property was subsequently purchased by Edmund Pennell, and the dwelling is still called the Pennell house.

The Thomas Barton House –  John Wade, of Essex House, on July 27-28, 1736, conveyed to Thomas Barton a tract of land, which, from the peculiar bend in Chester Creek, its eastern boundary was known as the “Horseshoe.” The plot contained a trifle over seventy-one acres, and was sold subject to the payment of ten shillings annually forever towards the support of a free school in Philadelphia. In September of the same year John Wade conveyed twenty-one and a half acres to Thomas Barton, in addition to those already purchased, subject to two shillings yearly forever, for the like purpose, which charge on the land had been created by the will of Robert Wade. Subsequently the trustees of the school in Philadelphia accepted a ground-rent on Arch Street in that city, and discharged the Wade estate from the payment of the annual rent mentioned.

Thomas Barton, who was an Irishman, is said to have been a sea captain, and, retiring from that avocation, he settled in Chester, where he married, and became the ancestor of the Barton family of Delaware County. He had, however, between the date of the purchase of this land and the conveyance of the estate to Jonas Preston, been engaged in coach-making, for in the deed to the latter, Feb. 19, 1759, the grantors are described as “Thomas Barton, coach-maker, and Susanna, his wife,” and in referring to the Wade deeds, it is stated “the said Thomas Barton has since (1736) erected a brick messuage or tenement thereon.” This house is still standing in the rear of Joshua P. Eyre’s mansion on Seventh Street.

The Sandelands House –  The ancient dwelling standing on the west side of Edgmont Avenue, interposing itself directly in the way of the extension of Fourth Street to Chester Creek, was built by Jonas Sandelands, the second son of James Sandelands, the elder, previous to Aug. 21, 1732, for at that date Arthur Shields and Mary, his wife, as the administrators of Sandelands’ estate (his widow, Mary, having married Shields) conveyed the premises as a messuage and lot to Jacob Howell, a tanner by occupation, who, on May 1, 1733, conveyed the messuage and a portion of the land to John Wharton, a saddler, of Chester, who subsequently removed to Philadelphia, having first sold, July 20, 1749, the premises to William Pennell. The latter, by will, Twelfth month 20, 1756, devised the property to his three sons,  James, Robert, and William. Robert and William Pennell, Dec. 20, 1762, transferred their interests to their brother, James. The latter, by will, Dec. 22, 1763, devised it to his son, Thomas, who died unmarried and without issue, and his title vested in his four brothers,  William, James, Nathan, and Jonathan. The three first named, April 9, 1782, conveyed their interests to Jonathan Pennell, the grandfather of the present owner.

Jonathan Pennell was a blacksmith, and at the time he purchased his brothers’ interest did not reside in the house, which had been used as a hospital and barracks by the American troops during the Revolutionary war, and was then in a dilapidated condition.

It is related that when he first proposed to locate here and purchase from the other heirs the entire interest in the property, he called on Henry Hale Graham, and desired his opinion as to his prospects of success in his avocation at Chester. The latter, in response, stated that he could not answer with any degree of certainty; he simply knew that all blacksmiths in the town, theretofore, had grown so desperately poor by crooking their little fingers that in a short time they could not keep iron cold. In other words, that intemperance had so reduced them that they could keep no stock in their shops, but were compelled to part with it to satisfy the cravings of their appetites. However, Pennell must have impressed Graham favorably, for he loaned him two hundred and fifty pounds, and stipulated that he would receive the principal at any time in sums of ten pounds. So industriously and energetically did Pennell labor that he succeeded far beyond his expectations. He soon began making payments as designated, and so often did he present himself with the stipulated amount of ten pounds in liquidation of the gross sum that one day, when he came on that errand, Graham, after he receipted for the money, said, “Good gracious, man, where do you get all this money?” “I hammer it out of cold iron,” was the reply of Pennell, who had not forgotten his first interview with the judge. He ultimately acquired considerable means, and became the owner of much real estate. Jonathan Pennell devised the house and lot to his son, Edmund, and the latter, Feb. 3, 1877, conveyed it to his son, Jonathan Pennell, who resides therein.

Licensed Houses in Chester –  The Boar’s Head Inn, heretofore mentioned as the noted public-house where Penn spent the winter of 1682-83, was early in the eighteenth century kept by Jonathan Ogden, until 1727, when James Trego made application for the license, and David Lloyd, chief justice of the province, recommended him in a letter to the justice by a remonstrance against another applicant. “It is my opinion,” he says, “that one will be sufficient on that side of the Creek to answer the true end of Inn-keeping, And If we had less on this side (the east) the Creek It would be much better.” On Aug. 30, 1732, William Robinson had the license, but at the August court, 1734, it was denied to him because he then “Stands Indicted at New Castle for an Assault.” On the 28th of the same month he boldly states that “being informed the justices would not allow him a recommendation as usual… understand he is accused of some misdemeanor, but wishes to be heard face to face by his accuser,” but without success. William Weaver, on May 27, 1735, informed the court that he “hath Taken to ffarm the house, with the appurtenances, Commonly Called and known by the name of the Spread Eagle Tavern, where William Robinson lately Dwelt, in the Township of Chester,” which indicates that the old house had changed its name. In 1738, Abraham Taylor was the landlord, and in 1741-42 the petition of William Hays states that for some years past he had license at the “Spread Eagle,” after which date the old inn passes out of the public records.

The Black Bear Inn –  The hipped-roof house at the northeast corner of Third and Penn Streets was erected early in the last century, for in the will of John Salkeld, Sr., Feb. 17, 1733/4, five years before his death, he devised the premises to his son, Thomas, and designated it as “the house and lot wherein my son-in-law, Anthony Shaw, now dwells.” How long Shaw lived there after the date mentioned I have not learned, but John Salkeld, Jr., on Aug. 30, 1737, on “Westerly side of Chester Creek, on great road to New Castle,” presented his petition to court stating that he wished to keep “a publick house,” and being a maltster by trade, desired license to sell “Beer and Syder.” In 1746 it was kept as a public-house by John Salkeld, the younger, for in that year he, among other innkeepers, presented a petition to the Legislature, asking compensation for the “diet of Capt. Shannon’s company of soldiers,” quartered here during the early part of the French war. At this time he was a tenant of his brother, Thomas, for the latter in his will, June 21, 1749, after making specific devises of other lands, gave the residue of his estate to his brother, John Salkeld. The latter by his will, Dec. 14, 1775, gave an eighth part of his estate, which was large, to his daughter Sarah. He died early in 1776, for his will was probated January 29th of the same year. In the distribution of her father’s estate, the Black Bear Inn became her portion. Sarah Salkeld had married George Gill, an Englishman, several years before her father’s death, for in the latter’s will he leaves ten pounds to his grandson, John Gill, and in all probability she was then landlady. George Gill was an outspoken Tory in the Revolutionary struggle, and so ardent was he in the defense of the English army and ministry that after the battle of Brandywine, at the time the residents of Chester were smarting under the outrages perpetrated on them by the royal troops, he was compelled to leave this neighborhood when the enemy abandoned Philadelphia, and was proclaimed a traitor to the colonies. When the British forces evacuated New York, at the close of the war, Gill followed them to Halifax. Subsequently he returned to Chester, was arrested, and thrown into prison, but was discharged therefrom by the act of Assembly, which, under certain conditions, allowed free pardon to proclaimed traitors to the united colonies. The public-house was kept from 1785 to 1789 by William Hazelwood, and known as “The Ship in Distress.” The dwelling subsequently became the property of Hon. Frederick J. Hinkson, and is now owned by his sons,  Henry and Frederick J. Hinkson, Jr.

The Blue Ball Inn –  The old dwelling at the northeast corner of Second and Market Streets was erected by Francis Richardson between the years 1765 and 1770. The land whereon it stands was devised to him in 1760 by Grace Lloyd. At the time he began the erection of this house Richardson believed he was on the high road to great business prosperity, but before he had finished it he became financially embarrassed, owing to mistaken efforts to advance Chester to the front rank as a commercial rival of Philadelphia. There were holes still in the brick walls until 1883, when the dwelling was repaired and modernized, where, when the house was building, the timbers were inserted on which rested the boards of the scaffolding. It is said by Martin that in the days before the Mechanics’ Lien law, when masons were not paid for their work, these holes were always left in the wall to indicate to their fellow-craftsmen that default had been made in that respect, and no mason would fill them in until the builders’ claims had been discharged.

When the house was first built it was a noted inn, and from its peculiar sign – a blue ball suspended from the end of a pole or staff, which projected from a hole in the wall, in the gable-end on Market Street – it was known as “The Blue Ball Inn.” Its then landlord was Samuel Fairlamb, who had married Hannah, the daughter of Francis Richardson. It was one of the dwellings struck by the balls from the English vessel of war which opened fire on the town in 1777, as narrated elsewhere, and the shot is said to have passed directly through one of the rooms in the second story.

The City Hotel –  On the 10th of December, 1700, James Sandelands, the younger, conveyed the land on the northwest corner of Third Street and Edgmont Avenue, on which this building was afterwards erected, to David Roberts, and on May 26, 1714, Jonas Sandelands, the brother of James, and Mary, his wife, confirmed the tract of ground to Roberts, reserving, however, a yearly ground-rent of three shillings to his heirs. I believe the building was erected by David Roberts shortly after his purchase from James Sandelands. He received license there in 1717. In 1728, David Roberts sold the property to Ruth Hoskins, widow of Sheriff John Hoskins. On March 5-6, 1738, Ruth Hoskins conveyed the property to her son-in-law, John Mather. He was a prominent citizen, an attorney with a large practice, and a justice of the peace, an important dignitary in those days. John Mather leased the premises to James Mather, perhaps his brother, since John Mather named his only son, James, probably for the person mentioned. That James Mather kept the tavern here in 1746 we know, for he was one of the number of innkeepers who petitioned the Legislature for payment of certain claims, more fully referred to in the account of the Black Bear Inn, and in the journal of William Black, who was the notary of the commissioners appointed by Governor Gooch, of Virginia, to unite with those from the colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland to treat with the Iroquois or Six Nations of Indians in reference to the land west of the Alleghany Mountains. In describing the journey of the commissioners from Virginia and Maryland to Philadelphia, under date of Saturday, May 25, 1744, he records,
     “Nine miles from Wilmington, and at the line dividing New Castle and Chester counties, were waiting the High Sheriff, Coroner and under Sheriff of Chester county, who conducted us to Chester Town, six miles further, where we arrived a few minutes before nine at night, and put up at Mr. James Mathew, (Mather) the most considerable house in the town; most of the company being very much fatigued with the day’s ride being very warm, they inclin’d for beds soon after they alighted, and tho’ for my part I was not very much tir’d, yet I agreed to hug the pillow with the rest.”

The next entry in his journal, doubtless after refreshing slumber, is headed “Chester in Pennsylvania, Sunday, the 26,” and he records his doings in, and impression of, Chester, of that day, thus:
     “This morning, by the time the sun return’d to Enlighten My Bed Chamber, I got up with a Design to take a view of the town. It is not so large as Wilmington; neither are the Buildings so large in General, the Town stands on a Mouth of a Creek of the same name, running out the Delaware and has a very large wooden Bridge over it, in the middle of the Town, the Delaware is reckon’d three miles over at this place, and is a very good Road for Shipping; the Court House and Prison is two tolerable large Buildings of Stone, there are in the Town a Church dedicated to St. Paul, the Congregation are after the manner of the Church of England; A Quaker Meeting and a Sweed’s ‘(?)’ Church; about 10 of the Clock, forenoon, Comm’rs and us of their Leeve went to St. Paul’s; where we heard a Sermon Preach’d by the Reverend Mr. Backhouse, on the 16th Chapt. of St. Luke, 30 & 31st Verses, from this some of us paid a Visit to the Friends’ who were then in Meeting, but as it happened to be a Silent One, after we had sat about 15 min., they Shook hands and we parted, from this Return’d to our Inn, where we had a very good Dinner, and about 4 in the Evening Set out for Philadelphia, Accompanied by the Shffs, Coroner, and several Gentlemen of the Town, past thro’ Darby a Town 7 miles from Chester, Standing on a creek of the same name and at a Stone Bridge about half a mile further, was met by the Sheriff, Coroner, and Sub-Sheriff of Philadelphia County. Here the Company from Chester took their leave of Us and return’d.”(29*)

James Mather subsequently purchased the lot on which National Hall was erected, and there in an old stone house for many years kept a public-house. It is so described in the deed from Mary Morris to Jonas Eyre.

Mary Hoskins, who had married John Mather, was a most admirable wife and mother. Her careful training of her daughters is evidenced by the fact that both of them became the wives of distinguished men, and are alluded to by writers of acknowledged position on several occasions for their personal excellence and womanly worth. Ruth Mather, to whom the property was devised by her grandmother, married Charles Thomson, one of the most noted men in our national annals. He was a native of Ireland, and during all the difficulties with the mother-country was an ardent Whig. He was the first secretary of the Continental Congress of 1774, and continued in that office during the long struggle of the Revolution. In recognition of the faithful discharge of his duties, he was chosen to bear to Washington the intelligence of the latter’s nomination to the Presidency of the United States. Of him John Adams, in his diary, writes, “Charles Thomson is the Sam Adams of Philadelphia, the life of the cause of liberty.” He retired from public office, and during his latter days translated the Septuagint, which was published in four volumes in 1808. He died in Lower Merion, Montgomery Co., in 1824, in his ninety-fifth year.

Ruth Thomson died without children surviving her. John Mather, by his will, dated May 26, 1768, devised the premises to his daughter, Ruth, and his son-in-law, Charles Thomson; and in the event of the death of Ruth without children, then to his granddaughter, Mary Jackson. Jane Jackson and Ruth Thomson were named as executors. Jane alone took out letters testamentary. Charles Thomson, after the death of Ruth, his wife, without children, March 5, 1785, released to Mary Jackson all his right and title in the premises.

A description of the old tavern is furnished in the following advertisement, which was published in the Pennsylvania Gazette in the early part of that year:
     “TO BE SOLD –  A COMMODIOUS TAVERN IN THE BOROUGH of Chester, now in the tenure of Mr. Peter Salkend; the house is three stories high, has four rooms on each fLoor,  large kitchen adjoining, and a well of excellent water at the kitchen door; the stabling is good, can contain upwards of forty horses, and has room above for six tons of hay; there are a large yard and garden belonging to the house, also five acres of highly improved pastures. This house has been a well accustomed Inn for upwards of forty years past. For terms apply to the subscriber in Philadelphia.
     “January 19, 1785.

“N.B –  Depreciation certificates of the officers and soldiers of the Pennsylvania line, as also final settlements of the said line, at their current value, will be taken in part payment for the above premises.”

On March 5, 1785, Mary Jackson conveyed the hotel to Maj. John Harper, who gave it the name of “The Ship George Washington.” Harper was the landlord of this tavern when the removal of the county-seat to West Chester was the important topic of consideration in Chester County, and the part he took in that struggle has already been mentioned in this work. Harper having removed to West Chester, he made default in the payment of the interest on the mortgage. Suit was brought by the executor of Mary Jackson, deceased, and on Aug. 1, 1788, Ezekiel Leonard, sheriff, deeded the tavern and lot to her executor, Dr. David Jackson, of Philadelphia; and the latter conveyed it, Jan. 14, 1793, to Matthias Kerlin, Jr., of Trenton, N.J., who was the brother of William Kerlin, the owner and host of Washington House, and subsequently returned to Delaware County to reside.

On March 30th of the same year, Kerlin sold the tavern to William Pierce, of Lower Chichester, who devised the estate to his widow, Mary. She married David Coates, of Philadelphia, and the latter and his wife conveyed the property, Feb. 27, 1802, to Abraham Lee, of Saint George’s Hundred, Del., and he, in turn, March 22, 1803, sold the property to Edward Engle, who kept the hotel until he died (about 1810), and his widow, Mary Engle, continued the business until 1833, when she retired and leased the premises to John J. Thurlow. The ancient hostelry under Mrs. Engle’s supervision was the fashionable and popular hotel of the borough. In 1824, when Gen. Lafayette was the guest of Chester, the First City Troop of Philadelphia was quartered at her house, then known as the Eagle Tavern; for in a description of a journey from old Ireland to Chester, written in verse by Philip Sexton, then living at Squire Eyre’s, on Edgmont Avenue, during the early part of this century, he referred to this hotel thus:

“If you stand on the bridge
And look to the east,
You’ll there see an eagle,
As big as a beast.

“Call at this tavern
Without any dread;
You’ll there get chicken,
Good mutton, and bread.”

Mrs. Engle was the mother of the late Rear Admiral Frederick Engle, who died in 1866, and of Capt. Isaac E. Engle, of the merchant service, who died in 1844. Her daughter, Mary, married the late Hon. Samuel Edwards, a member of the bar and representative in Congress from this district from 1819-21, and again from 1825-27, who died, leaving surviving him his son, Henry B. Edwards, Esq., a member of the bar, a leading citizen of Chester, and a daughter, Mary Engle Edwards, who intermarried with Edward Fitzgerald Beale, at that time lieutenant in the navy, and noted for his celebrated ride across Mexico with dispatches from Commodore Stockton during our war with that country, subsequently prominent as superintendent of Indian affairs and in exploring expeditions, constructing public highways, and in surveys for projected railroads. In 1860 he was appointed surveyor-general of California, and under Gen. Grant’s second administration was United States Minister to Austria. Gen. Beale is one of the largest land-owners in the world, his estate in California comprising two hundred thousand acres of land.

Mary Engle’s daughter, Abby, married John Kerlin, Esq., a member of the Delaware County bar, and for many years president of the Bank of Delaware County. Her son, Frederick E. Kerlin, died in California more than twenty years ago, and the other son, Capt. Charles Kerlin, a well-known merchant captain, now retired, from service, lives in New Jersey. The latter in May, 1853, brought to Chester the first Chinese ever known to have been in that town. His strange dress, and “tail” three feet in length, drew a large crowd of boys together, who followed him whenever he appeared in the streets.

Mrs. Engle was succeeded in business by John J. Thurlow, about 1828. I quote from John Hill Martin the following graphic description of the old hotel in its palmiest days as a stopping-place for one of the lines of stages which then passed through Chester for Baltimore, Washington, and the South. He says,
     “How well I remember ‘Thurlow’s,’ in the days of its busy greatness! well I remember how, when I was a boy, I lingered near its hospitable doors to see the handsome horses of the Reeside, Stockton & Stokes, Murdeck & Sharp, and Janvier’s rival lines of stage coaches changed; the smoking steeds detached by active hostlers, and the new relay of well-groomed horses substituted, and saw the ‘Stage driver,’ an important man in those days, with his great coat of many capes and long whip; the well dressed travelers sauntering about talking and smoking after their meal, waiting for the stage. Oft I have peeped into the small, clean bar-room, in the centre of which stood a large coal stove (in winter) in a large sand box, that served as a huge spittoon. In one corner of the room stood a semi-circular bar, with its red railings reaching to the ceiling, into whose diminutive precincts the jolly landlady could scarcely get her buxom person, while her husband with his velveteen shooting coat, with its large buttons and its many pockets, excited my intense admiration. At his heels there were always two or three handsome setter dogs, of the finest breed and well trained. Sometimes I got a glimpse of the south-west room. This was the parlor; back of it was a room where travelers wrote their letters; and back of the bar was a cozy little room, mine hostess’ sanctum, into which only special friends were admitted. All, these are now one large American bar-room.

“In reading accounts of the old English inns of coaching days, my mind involuntarily reverts to ‘Thurlow’s,’ for there on the walls were hanging the quaint old coaching and hunting prints imported from England, and around the house was ‘Boots,’ and the ‘Hostler,’ and ‘the pretty waiting-maid with rosy cheeks,’ all from old England. The horses are all hitched, the passengers are ‘all aboard,’ the driver has taken his seat (the guard is blowing his horn, having taken one inside), is gathering up his many reins; now he feels for his whip, flourishes it over his four-in-hand, making a graceful curve with its lash, taking care not to touch his horses; but does it with a report like a rifle-shot, the hostlers jump aside, and with a bound and a rush, the coach is off for Washington or Philadelphia, carrying perchance within it Clay, Webster, or Calhoun. And of a winter’s evening when I have stolen out from home, I have passed the ‘Tavern,’ and seen seated around its cheerful fire the magnates of the town, telling stories of other days (as I now could tell their names). And sometimes peeping through the green blinds, I have seen a quiet game of whist going on; perchance it was ‘all fours,’ or else a game of checkers or dominoes.”(30*)

Mr. Thurlow retired from business about 1840, and was succeeded by Maurice W. Deshong, who kept the house for a few years, and was followed by Maj. Samuel A. Price, who continued the business until 1853, when the late George Wilson became the host. After a few years Mr. Wilson retired, and was in turn succeeded by Lewis A. Sweetwood. The death of Mrs. Mary Engle, in 1870, at the advanced age of ninety-four years, compelled a sale of the hotel and other property, by order of Orphans’ Court, to settle her estate, and in that year William Ward, as trustee to make the sale, conveyed the hotel property to Jonathan Pennell, who, in turn, the same year, sold the premises to Paul Klotz, the present owner. The latter has made important additions and improvements to the eastern end of the ancient building.

The Washington House –  This ancient hostelry was erected on a part of the twenty acres which by patent dated May 31, 1686, the commissioner for William Penn conveyed to James Sandelands. In 1720, Sandelands sold the land to John Wright, he in turn conveyed it to William Pennell, he to James Trego, who died the owner of the ground. In 1746, Aubrey Bevan purchased the lot, which had been used to pasture cattle, from the widow and son of Trego. In the following year Aubrey Bevan erected the present hotel building and gave it the title “Pennsylvania Arms,” as will be seen by an inspection of his will. He was an active and leading citizen of Chester, and the structure, considering the time when it was built, evidences fully the progressive spirit which controlled his efforts. Aubrey Bevan died in 1761, and by will devised this property to his daughter, Mary; she, together with her husband, William Forbes, by deed dated April 1, 1772, conveyed the estate to William Kerlin, a wealthy man, as wealth was then regarded, and a fervent Whig during the Revolutionary struggle.

After the evacuation of Philadelphia by the British army, Kerlin named his hostelry “The Washington House,” a name it has been continuously known by to this day. Gen. Washington often, in passing through Chester on his way to and from Mount Vernon to the seat of government in New York and Philadelphia,- stopped at this hotel, and on those occasions a certain room, the best in the house, was assigned to his use. The ancient mahogany chairs which stood in the room occupied by the first President during these visits are still preserved among the descendants of William Kerlin. He took an active part in the discussion from 1780 to 1786 respecting the proposed removal of the county-seat to West Chester, and after the county-seat had been finally removed from Chester he labored energetically to bring about the formation of the present county of Delaware. Kerlin did not remain mine host of the Washington House until his death, for by his will, proved April 29, 1805, he alluded, in his devise to his daughter, Sarah Piper, to “the tavern house” being at that time “in the tenure of Isaac Tucker.”

Maj. Joseph Piper, who held a position in the Philadelphia custom-house, under Gen. Steele, the then collector, after the death of his father-in-law resigned his office, removed to Chester, and kept the Washington House, owned by his wife, until his death, in 1827. It is related that Maj. Piper, being in Chester, saw Sarah Odenheimer,  formerly Sarah Kerlin,  a well-formed, blooming widow, on horseback, and was so impressed with her appearance that he wooed, won, and wedded her for his wife. After his death his widow continued the business at the hotel for several years, but ultimately becoming weary of it, she leased the premises to Evan S. Way, who had formerly kept a tavern in Nether Providence. He was a conspicuous man in the military affairs of the county a half-century ago, an officer in the Delaware County troop, and kept the hotel until he was elected sheriff, in 1837. The house was then rented to Maj. Samuel A. Price. He was a genial gentleman, who is yet remembered by many of our old residents, an earnest politician, and in 1834 was elected sheriff of the county. In early life he was noted for his manly beauty. An interesting item respecting the old hostelry during Maj. Price’s occupancy was related in The Delaware County Advocate several years ago. The article stated that Gen. Harrison, in 1840, after he had received the Whig nomination for the Presidency, was returning from Washington, accompanied by a number of gentlemen from New York, stopped for dinner at the Washington House, and while there received the congratulations of the citizens of Chester. After dinner had been served the cloth was drawn, wine, as usual on such occasions, was placed on the table, and several toasts were drunk. It was observed that Harrison drank water, and being thereupon pressed to take wine, he rose and said, “Gentlemen, I have refused twice to partake of the wine cup; that should have been sufficient; though you press the cup to my lips, not a drop shall pass their portals. I made a resolve when I started in life that I would avoid strong drink, and I have never broken it. I am one of a class of seventeen young men who graduated, and the other sixteen fill drunkards’ graves, all through the habit of social wine-drinking. I owe all my health, happiness, and prosperity to that resolution. Will you urge me now?”

The circumstance and remarks made by Harrison were related by one of the gentlemen present nearly forty years afterwards, hence the language used on that occasion may not be accurately reported, although the substance is doubtless correctly rendered.

Sarah Piper, by her will, proved Sept. 13, 1841, directed that “the tavern-house and thereto belonging, be sold within one year after my decease.” In compliance with that request, although there was a longer interval than one year, her executors sold, April 2, 1844, the premises to Henry L. Powell, who in turn, October 11th of the same year, conveyed it to Edward E. Flavill. Mr. Flavill conducted the hotel as a temperance house, and Samuel West, an earnest temperance advocate, employed Edward Hicks, a Quaker artist, to paint a swinging sign,  one side presenting a delineation of Penn’s landing at Chester, and the other Penn’s treaty (?) with the Indians,  which he presented to the landlord. This old sign, still in good preservation, is owned by the present proprietor of the Washington House, Henry Abbott. The business proving unremunerative, Flavill sold the property, Jan. 1, 1849, to Thomas Clyde. Mr. Clyde had formerly kept an extensive country store at the northeast corner of Market Square, the building now owned and occupied by John C. Williams, and the eating-house of Mr. Dixon, adjoining, having been erected by him for his dwelling and store. He was also largely interested in quarries on Ridley Creek. Mr. Clyde continued the hotel as a temperance house with indifferent success for over nine years, when he conveyed the property, April 12, 1856, to John G. Dyer. Mr. Dyer had formerly been a clerk in the store of the late Joshua P. Eyre, and subsequently had carried on the dry-goods and grocery business in Philadelphia, Chester, and Rockdale, was customs-officer at the Lazaretto, and was connected with the late James Campbell in the manufacture of I cotton goods at Leiperville. He was a man of fine conversational powers, possessing a ready, copious vocabulary and pleasing address, which particularly fitted him for the business of keeping a hotel. He died Oct. 26, 1881. In 1868, John G. Dyer conveyed the estate to Samuel A. Dyer, and he, June 1, 1871, sold it to Henry Abbott, who still owns the property, and is the popular host of the Washington House at this time. In 1883, Henry Abbott, Jr., at an outlay of many thousand dollars modernized the old structure internally, and made extensive additions in the rear of the building, preserving, however, its time-honored appearance on Market Street.

The Columbia House –  The land on which this ancient building stands was included in the patent dated May 31, 1686, whereby the commissioners of William Penn conveyed to James Sandelands, the elder, in fee, twenty acres of ground in Chester. The land descended to Jonas Sandelands in the distribution of his father’s estate. Jonas Sandelands died subsequent to 1721, for at that time he held the office of coroner of Chester County, and his widow, Mary, married before 1731, Arthur Shields. Aug. 31, 1732, Arthur Shields and Mary, his wife, the administrators of Jonas Sandelands’ estate, conveyed a tract of land containing over two acres to William Trehorn, subject to a yearly ground-rent of five shillings, to be paid to the heirs of Jonas Sandelands. Trehorn and Catharine, his wife, sold the land Nov. 14, 1733, to Richard Barry, who built the present building previous to Dec. 7, 1736, and lived therein, for at the last-mentioned date he mortgaged the premises, and it is stated in that instrument that he had “erected a new brick messuage upon the lot.” “Barry made Considerable preparation to follow the Employment of a Distiller of Liquors.” In February, 1738-39, he asked the court for a license at this house, but he failed to obtain the assent of the justices. In 1746, John Hanly, who had purchased the estate, procured the judges’ favor, and continued annually to receive it until 1770, when he died, although after the year 1764 he had removed to the house he owned at the northwest corner of Market and Fifth Streets, which then stood on part of the ground where Dr. Grey’s residence was in recent years. The Columbia House (in 1764) was rented by John Withy, a retired English army officer, and he having died in 1765, the following year his widow, Mary, procured the license. Mrs. Withy was a pensioner of the British government for sixty pounds per annum. On July 18, 1771, she purchased the property, and during the time she was hostess the inn was reported to be the best-kept tavern in America, and as such is frequently referred to in publications of that day. This reputation brought to her house numbers of prominent personages when journeying between the seat of government and points south of Chester. Mrs. Withy subsequent to the Revolution retired from the business and removed to Lamokin farm. Her son, Samuel, maintained the most aristocratic notions, and became very unpopular with the mechanics and workmen by declaring that people in their condition should be restricted from dressing in the same fabrics as used by their more pecuniarily fortunate neighbors, so that the wealthy and the laboring citizens could be designated by their apparel.

In this hotel tradition asserts the wounds of Lafayette were dressed by Mary (Gorman) Lyons, but that incident is claimed as having happened at three other houses in the town of Chester. On Sept. 1, 1796, Mary Withy sold the premises to Maj. William Anderson, who at the date of his purchase had been landlord of the hotel for two years, for it is stated that he had built a frame summer house and an ice house while the property was in his possession as tenant. Maj. Anderson was a member of Congress and associate judge of the courts of Delaware County. A brief sketch of his life is given in the chapter relating to the bench and bar, hence there is no reason to repeat it now. In 1803 he built the Anderson mansion, still standing at the northwest corner of Welsh and Fifth Streets, and after that time until he relinquished the hotel, his family resided in that dwelling. On March 2, 1814, Maj. Anderson sold the hotel to Nimrod Maxwell, of Huntingdon, who carried on the business there for several years, when he leased the house to John J. Thurlow, who remained until 1828, when he removed to the National Hotel, at Edgmont Avenue and Third Street, and James Paist, Jr., kept the Columbia House. Maxwell having died insolvent, suit was brought against his executors, and April 12, 1830, Jehu Broomhall, sheriff, sold the estate to the Delaware County Bank, which corporation held the title for several years, during which time Samuel Lamplugh was landlord. March 13, 1833, the bank conveyed the property to Thomas Ewing and Eliza, his wife. During the latter ownership, the hotel was kept by John Richards, the late prothonotary, and he was succeeded by Frank Lloyd, who, still living near Darby, loves to recount the pranks and sports of the olden time, when woe awaited a stranger at the hands of the madcap roysterers of the ancient borough. Thomas Ewing and wife conveyed the estate, Jan. 17, 1839, to Capt. Elisha S. Howes. He was a veritable “salt,” who had earned his title as master of merchant ships, and he kept it for several years, until he relinquished it to embark in the grocery business, and March 27, 1848, sold it to James Campbell, who, after making extensive repairs to the building, conveyed it, March 13, 1854, to John Harrison Hill, who had kept the tavern at Leiperville. The property being sold by the sheriff, was purchased May 27, 1856, by Mark B. Hannum, who conveyed it, April 1, 1857, to Mrs. Elizabeth Appleby, who now owns it. Under the able management of the present landlord, Thomas Appleby, the old hostelry has become almost as noted as it was a century ago.

The Blue Anchor Tavern and the Stacey House –  The story of the old building at the southwest corner of Market and Fount Streets begins on Aug. 29, 1732, when James Trego presented his petition, stating “that your Petitioner (has) Built a new House on the Green, near the Court-House, for that purpose,” and desires a license “at ye said house as usually he had in the said Town heretofore,” which was allowed him. On May 29, 1733, John West, the father of Benjamin West, “Humbly showeth that your Petitioner has taken to ffarm the house, with the Appurtenances, where James Trego Lately Dwelt on the Green, near the Court-House,” and was accorded the desired license. David Coupland, on Feb. 23, 1741/2, had leased the house where John Hanly dwelt in Chester,  “the Blue Anchor,” received license, and Hanly removed to the Columbia House. Coupland kept the house in 1746, for in that year he, with other innkeepers of Chester, petitioned the Legislature for payment of the “diet furnished to Captain Shannon’s company,” which troop was part of the forces enlisted during the old French war.

David Coupland was born in Yorkshire, England, and came to the colony with his parents in 1723, his brother Caleb having preceded him nearly nine years. In 1730 he married Isabella Bell, and from that time seems to have taken an active part in the movements of the day. Although by birthright a Friend, we find that in 1758, when Brig.-Gen. John Forbes commanded the expedition which resulted in the capture of Fort Du Quesne (now Pittsburgh), David Coupland enlisted as a private in the company of Capt. John Singleton, and during that campaign, he, with Benjamin Davis and John Hanby (Hanly), agreed to pay Hugh Wilson, of Lancaster County, five pounds as a bounty, for entering one wagon in the expedition, to be credited to the borough of Chester.

When the misunderstanding between the colonies and England began David Coupland immediately took sides with the former, and was earnest in his efforts to sustain the cause of the Whigs. At the assembling of the people of Chester County in the old court-house in this city, Dec. 20, 1774, for the purpose of choosing a committee “to carry into execution the Association of the late Continental Congress,” David Coupland was one of the committee chosen, and when the body adjourned it was agreed that it should meet on Jan. 9, 1775, at the house of David Coupland, and from time to time it held its sessions at his tavern. He was taken prisoner in 1778, in the night-time, by a boat’s crew from a British man-of-war lying in the river off Chester, as heretofore related, and, as he was an aged man, he died in consequence of the harsh treatment to which he had been subjected. Who immediately succeeded Coupland I have not learned, but in 1790 Enoch Green was the landlord; in 1796, Rebecca Serrell. In 1801, Jesse Maddux received the license. It is related that he had a number of ducks of rare species, which, with pardonable pride, he would frequently show his guests. On one occasion a prisoner in the jail opposite threaded a strong cord through a number of grains of corn, and dropped the bait into the street, the other end being fastened to one of the iron bars in his cell-window. A plump drake, seeing the tempting morsel, bolted it, and the man began to draw in his catch. The squeaking of the duck apprised mine hostess that something out of the usual way had happened, and she hastened to the door. When she beheld the extraordinary rise in poultry, she exclaimed, “You rascal, you! that duck’s mine!” “That,” replied the prisoner, coolly, “depends on whether this string breaks or not.”

In 1806 the license was granted to Rose Maddux, and the following year to Jesse Agnew, who appears to have named the tavern the “Hope Anchor.” In 1817, Susan Dutton was the landlady of the Fountain Inn, and in 1818, Elizabeth Pennell had license for the “Hope Anchor.” The following year John Irwin leased the tavern. In 1824, having purchased the inn building, he changed the name to the “Swan,” and removed the old sign, and replaced it with one representing a white swan swimming in blue water, which creaked on gusty days as it swung in the frame at the top of a heavy pole planted near the curbstone at the intersection of the streets. Old Chester Lodge, No. 69, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, met in the third story of the building until it surrendered its charter, in 1836, and after that date the lodge-room was used by the Odd-Fellows. In 1854, Irwin died, and his widow continued the business until 1844, when Maurice W. Deshong leased it and changed the name to the Delaware County House. In 1852, John Cochran purchased the property, and converted the ancient inn into two stores and dwellings. The corner store is now owned by the heirs of Edward R. Minshall, and in 1879 was licensed as a hotel, at present kept by Edward Kelly. The adjoining store and dwelling is now the property of Joseph Ladomus, in which he carries on the jewelry business.

The Stacey House, immediately adjoining the hotel to the south, which was never used as an inn, was devised by David Coupland to his daughter, Sarah, who, in 1783, married Benjamin Bartholomew. The latter was a member of the Assembly from Chester County, and when that body, June 30, 1775, appointed a Committee of Safety, consisting of twenty-five members, Bartholomew was one named from this district. He was very active and efficient in discharging the duties of the position. He died in 1784, and his wife, who survived her husband many years, resided in the house until near her death, and by will devised the premises to her niece, Tacey Ann (Bevan), who had married George Stacey. The house is now owned by the heirs of Sarah Van Dyke Stacey, wife of David B. Stacey, a well-known, highly-respected, and accomplished gentleman, whose memory is still cherished by those who were so fortunate as to have numbered him among their acquaintances.

The Steamboat Hotel –  Grace Lloyd, by her will, dated the 6th day of Fourth month, 1760, devised unto her cousin, Francis Richardson, of Philadelphia, after certain specific devises of lands and bequests of personal property to other parties named therein, “all the rest, residue, and remainder of my lands, plantations, lots of ground, rents, tenements, hereditaments, and real estate whatsoever and wheresoever.” This Francis Richardson entered into possession of the real estate thus devised to him, and began very extensive improvements. He erected between the years 1761 and 1770, the substantial building at the northeast corner of Market and Front Streets, now the Steamboat Hotel, as a dwelling for his family, built extensive warehouses and a wharf at the site of the present upper government pier, which wharf stood until the year 1816, and was known as “Richardson’s wharf,” and prepared for a large business as a shipper of grain. While he was making these improvements he was remonstrated with by many of his friends for his outlay of money in the undertaking, and he was much incensed at their short-sightedness. Unfortunately for his enterprise, the brewing troubles with the mother-country worked disastrously for his speculations, and resulted in entirely ruining him. His daughter, Deborah, was married at Chester, June 10, 1773, to Joseph Mifflin, and the same year Deborah, Hannah, and John, together with their father, became members of Chester Friends’ Meeting. Hannah married Samuel Fairlamb, Grace married Isaac Potts, and Frances married Clement Biddle. The four daughters of Francis Richardson were much admired for their beauty, and the exquisite transparency of their complexion was so remarkable that the gallants of those days reported that, when they drank a glass of wine, “it might be seen trickling down their fair throats.” An elder son, who was born in Philadelphia, and named after his father, Francis, we are told by the annalist, Watson, “was a person of great personal beauty,” a statement Mrs. Deborah Logan fully corroborates. About 1770 this son went to London, having formed a passionate longing for military life from associating with the British officers in Philadelphia, and secured a commission in the King’s Life Guard, of which crack regiment he subsequently became colonel.(31*) His brother John, who was a Friend when the Revolutionary war broke out, was quite active in military movements, and for that cause was disowned by Chester Meeting in 1775. Francis Richardson died subsequently to the year 1779, for in April of that year he was the lessee of a frame store-house on the east side of Market, south of Fourth Street, which afterwards became the property of Dr. Job Terrill, and now of Mrs. John O. Deshong. He died insolvent, and his real estate, dwelling, and warehouses were sold after his death by Ezekiel Leonard, high sheriff, July 2, 1787, to Robert Eaglesfield Griffith, a lawyer of Philadelphia, who, on May 4, 1789, conveyed the estate to Davis Bevan.

This Davis Bevan was of Welsh descent, and was one of the most conspicuous characters in our city’s annals. He was married to Agnes Coupland, daughter of David Coupland, and was thirty-seven years of age when the battles of Lexington and Concord were fought. He is stated to have been an officer in the Continental army, and Martin (32*) relates the following incident in his career as a soldier:
     “He was with Washington at the battle of Brandywine, in 1777, and after the defeat of the American forces he carried dispatches from General Washington to the President of the Continental Congress, then sitting in Philadelphia, announcing the result of the engagement. A gentleman by the name of Sharp accompanied Capt. Bevan. Proceeding some distance from the army they observed they were pursued by a party of British light horse. Mr. Sharp was not so well mounted as Captain Bevan, who had a thoroughbred mare of great action and endurance. Finding that the light horse were gaining on them constantly, and that Mr. Sharp would persist in urging his nag up the hills in spite of his advice to the contrary, Capt. Bevan said, ‘Sharp, if we keep together our capture is certain, therefore I think you had better take the next cross-road that we come to, and I will continue on. They will follow me, but I am confident they cannot capture me.’ This proposal was agreed to, and as soon as Mr. Sharp had turned off, Capt. Bevan gave the rein to his mare, and his pursuers soon finding themselves distanced gave up the chase. When Capt. Bevan reached the Schuylkill during the night, he found, owing to a heavy freshet, the ferry-boat was either unable to run, or had been carried down the river. A boatman, however, rowed him over while his mare swam by the side of the boat. He landed safely on the Philadelphia shore, and replacing his saddle, he hastened to deliver his dispatches. This officer had various adventures, and often ran great risks while the American army was at Valley Forge. On one occasion he went to visit his wife at the house of a Mr. Vernon, where she had come from Philadelphia, for the purpose of seeing him. Mr. Vernon’s house was but a short distance from the British lines, and it was therefore necessary that considerable caution should be exercised to prevent capture by the numerous parties of British foragers scouring the country. Mr. Vernon’s sons were posted around the house at convenient points for observation to give warning of the approach of enemies, and Capt. Bevan went to bed. About the middle of the night one of the boys came to his room, and informed him that a mounted party were approaching the house and he had better prepare to take his departure. Being rather an obstinate man he did not seem to believe the report, but presently another picket came in and told him that he would certainly be captured if he remained any longer. He sprang out of bed, hurried on his regimentals, and reached the back door just as the British party knocked at the front. He got to the stable, where he found his mare already saddled, and leading her out, and mounting, he leaped the farm-yard inclosure, and, being perfectly familiar with the country, he had no difficulty in evading his enemies.”

During the Revolutionary war the house, whose southern gable-end, as we know, stood near the river, which at that time was a bold, gravelly shore, was a conspicuous mark; and when the British frigate “Augusta,” in 1777, sailed up the Delaware to be sunk afterwards in the attack on Fort Mifflin, her commander, in sheer wantonness, opened fire on the defenseless town. One of the shot shattered the wall in the gable-end towards the river, and the owner repaired the breach by placing a circular window in the opening thus made. It still remains there.

The house for many years was unproductive; various tenants occupied it, but because of the tradition that shortly after the Revolution a negro named Laban had been killed in the dwelling, being struck on the head with an axe, whose blood was said to have made an indelible stain behind the door where he fell, and whose spirit wandered around the place of his untimely death, they were of a class that could not afford to pay remunerative rent for the premises.

After the death of David Bevan, his son, Matthew Lawler Bevan, sold the property to John Ford, who petitioned, in 1827, for license for “the Steamboat Hotel” stating that having lately purchased that certain large brick messuage, situated on Market Street, at the upper pier, he is “desirous to keep the same as a public house of entertainment for the accommodation of watermen passing up and down the river Delaware, and also of travelers.” This petition was accompanied by a recommendation from the masters, pilots, etc., of vessels of the port of Philadelphia, in which they “certify that if license was granted to keep a public house, situate at the Upper Pier in Chester, it would be a great convenience and accommodation to watermen passing up and down the river Delaware, more especially in the winter season, during the time of ice, etc.” The business seems not to have been successful, for in June, 1831, Jehu Broomhall sold the property to Samuel Smith, who leased it to Henry T. Reese, who was succeeded the next year by Welcome D. Niles, for at the August court, 1833, the court directed that a rule should be entered against Niles, to appear on the first day of the November Court of Quarter Sessions to show cause “why the license hereinbefore granted to him should not be forfeited, on account of his suffering disorderly riots, and improper conduct” in the house. In 1835, Nelson Wade was the landlord. He was followed by Crossman Lyons, a well-known citizen of Chester, the son of a Revolutionary soldier, who, when a young man, had joined Washington’s army in its retreat through New Jersey, had followed the fortunes of the Continental troops through the war until its close, when he settled in Chester, and married Mary Gorman, a woman of extraordinary nerve, whose busy hands dressed many of those wounded at the battle of Brandywine, who were brought to this city for attention. She it was who waited on and dressed the wounds of Marquis de Lafayette, on the evening of that disastrous day. Crossman Lyons, Oct. 12, 1844, purchased the property, and a few years subsequent he leased it to Howard Roberts, who, after keeping the hotel for about three years, declined to continue the business longer, and Mr. Lyons resumed the post of “mine host” until Nov. 12, 1851, when John Goff, who had been the landlord the year previous, purchased the property. After his death, in 1857, his widow continued the hotel, and she having died in 1883, the old hostelry is presided over by her son, John Goff.

The Lafayette House –  The house at the southwest corner of Third Street and Edgmont Avenue is one of the oldest buildings in our city, and in a deed from James Sandelands, the younger, Sept. 10, 1700, to Stephen Jackson, the property is described as a house and lot, thus showing that the structure antedates that instrument. Stephen Jackson, on June 17th of the following year, transferred the property to John Worrilow, and he in turn conveyed it, Aug. 29, 1704, to Philip Yarnall. The latter, after retaining title to the estate for twenty-nine years, sold the dwelling and lot to John Mather, Sept. 26, 1733, who in his will, May 28, 1768, devised it to his daughter, Jane. She first married Dr. Paul Jackson, who dying in 1767, the following year she married Dr. David Jackson. The latter and his wife, Feb. 27, 1775, conveyed the property to James Sparks, a merchant of Philadelphia. The probabilities are that Dr. David Jackson had lived in this dwelling, for in 1769 he was a resident of Chester. In 1784, William Kerlin owned and resided there until his death, in 1804, when the property descended to his son, John, subject to his mother’s life estate. John dying in 1817, his executors sold the house to James Chadwick, who devised it to his son, John. The latter, while owning the property, purchased two frame buildings at Marcus Hook, and placing them on scows, had them floated up to Chester, where he erected them on the eastern end of his property on Third Street. Both of these houses are now owned by the estate of Henry Abbott, Sr., deceased. This was considered a marvelous feat in those days.

The dwelling, in 1830, became the property of Charles Alexander Ledomus, whose heirs still own it. In 1875 it was leased to Caleb P. Clayton, who obtained license for the old house and gave it the name Lafayette House, tradition having credited the dressing of the wounds of the French general in that building.

Schanlan’s Tavern –  In the historical introduction to William Whitehead’s “Directory of the Borough of Chester,” for the years 1859-60, it is stated, “In the second house from the corner of Work Street (now Fourth) on the east side of Market, was a hotel kept by John Scantling, an Irishman, and the resort of all the sons of the Emerald Isle.” That the house in which John Brooke now carries on the manufacture of harness was at one time an inn, the records of the old county of Chester before the erection of Delaware County fully establish. At that time only the dwelling, afterwards the residence of Dr. Terrill, was on the same square to the north of John Brooke’s store. It was in the store-building Schanlan – for that was his name, not Scantling – kept public-house. It was erected by Thomas Morgan previous to 1756, for the building was there when it was sold in that year to William Eyre, of Bethel. The latter rented the premises to Davis Bevan, who kept tavern there from 1765 to 1771, when he was succeeded by John Schanlan. At first the court turned away from Schanlan, but he obtained the judicial favor and continued to receive it until 1783, when Dennis McCartney had the license there. The following year (1784) Davis Bevan purchased it, and therein engaged in a general store, as mentioned elsewhere. The business was continued in this house by Isabella Bevan after the death of her father. It was subsequently occupied as a hat store and factory by Maj. Samuel A. Price, and while it was owned by Henry L. Powell, he had a boot and shoe store there. In 1846, Joseph Entwisle owned the property, and thereon he had the first bakery established in Chester for custom business, the old granary of Jasper Yeates being restricted to the manufacture of “hard tack” for ships’ stores. When Entwisle built a bleaching-mill in South Ward, in 1851, he sold the house and lot to John Brooke, who has continued in one occupation and in one locality for a greater number of years than any person at present in Chester, and has gathered during that period a large business and a competency.

The Goeltz House (Edgmont Avenue above Third Street) –  The frame structure on the east side of Edgmont Avenue, south of Fourth Street, is not an ancient building. In all probability it was built about seventy years ago. It was formerly a stable, attached to the house which was subsequently erected on the lands donated previous to 1704, by Thomas Powell, to the parish of St. Paul, for the gift is mentioned in Rev. Mr. Nichol’s letter to the London Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and in 1718, Rev. John Humphreys, under date of October 24th, alludes to it as containing the foundation of a parsonage (the front on Third Street) which the congregation started to build, “but were not able to accomplish in & it remains as it has been these 3 years, just about 4 feet above the ground as a reproach to them and an infamous mark of their Poverty.” The parish did erect a building on the premises many years afterwards, certainly subsequently to 1762, which they leased previous to 1830, to William Kelley, as well as the stable on Edgmont Avenue. Kelley resided in the house on Third Street, wherein he kept a restaurant, and in the stable he had a bottling establishment, the first business of that kind ever in Chester. The church wardens, however, were instructed to sell the premises on ground-rent, and in compliance with that order George B. Lownes and Pierce Crosby, May 5, 1831, conveyed the premises to William McCafferty, subject to a ground-rent of ninety-seven dollars yearly. The latter, in 1839, sold the lot on Edgmont Avenue, on which was the stable, to Ehrenreich Goeltz. Goeltz changed the stable into a house, and on the rear of the lot erected a soap factory and chandlery, which business he carried on until his death. In the distribution of the latter’s estate, the house and factory became the property of his son, George Goeltz, the present owner.

A peculiar circumstance connected with this building is that, several years ago when the alterations were being made in the cellar, in excavating, at the depth of three feet below the then bottom, a perfect rubble pavement, similar to those in the roadway of many of our streets, was found, respecting which no person had the slightest information as to the reason why it was there, when it was laid, or by whom.

The Old Johnson Tavern (on the west side of Edgmont Avenue) –  Adjoining the lumber and coal-yard of Jonathan Pennell, to the north, is an ancient building which is believed to have been built by Jacob Howell, subsequent to 1732, when he acquired title to a tract of land, on part of which the dwelling was erected previous to Dec. 10, 1748, at which date Isaac Howell, a son of Jacob, conveyed the lot and “messuage” to William Pennell. In 1784, Samuel Johnson purchased the property and kept it as a public-house, but becoming involved, it was sold by Sheriff Ezekiel Leonard, July 5, 1787, to Robert Pennell. A brother of the then owner, James Pennell, kept it as an inn; and as an attraction for the public had a tame tiger, which he had taught to perform a number of tricks. Pennell, when he removed to the Black Horse Hotel, in Middletown, took the animal thither, and one day, when angry, it attacked and killed its master. The building, after it ceased to be a public-house, had several owners, and is now part of the estate of Frederick J. Hinkscn, Sr., deceased.

The Brown Hotel,  In 1875, Benjamin Morris, who had been landlord of a popular public-house – now Genther’s Hotel – on Market Street above Third, purchased the old Cole House on Third Street below Market Square, where, about the beginning of this century, Jane Davis had an apothecary-shop, the first in Chester, and in more recent years the residence of Dr. J.L. Forwood. Morris removed the old structure, and erected in its stead the present spacious hotel building. The property having been purchased by George W. Weaver, deceased, whose estate still owns it, Morris leased the Beale House, the old Samuel Edward mansion, at Sixth and Market Streets, and removed thither. After several tenants had occupied the Morris House, Maj. Daniel Brown leased it, and is the present landlord of the hotel, now known by his name.

Banks and Bankers –  The Delaware County National Bank was chartered under the act of March 21, 1814, then popularly known as the “Omnibus Bank Act,” which was passed by the Legislature over the veto of Governor Simon Snyder, and with the exception of but one other similar institution incorporated by the same law, has been the most successful bank created by that act, for although a number of corporations started under its provisions, the great majority of them failed within a few years. On Aug. 27, 1614, the meeting of the first board of directors was held, that body consisting of Jonas Eyre, Pierce Crosby, Joseph Engle, Preston Eyre, George G. Leiper, Peter Deshong, Samuel Anderson, Enos Sharpless, Charles Rogers, John G. Hoskins, and Jonas Preston. Thomas Robinson and John Newbold, who were members, did not attend. At this meeting John Newbold was elected president pro tempore, and a committee, consisting of Engle, Hoskins, and Sharpless was appointed to ascertain what would be necessary, and the probable cost “of making Jonas Sharpless’ house fit for the use of the bank and for the family of the cashier,” and Hoskins and Eyre were appointed on behalf of the bank to enter into a contract for the purchase of Sharpless’ house at a price not exceeding three thousand dollars. This house was located on one of the corners of Market Square. On Sept. 5, 1814, Preston Eyre, who at the time owned the house and kept a general country store in the building now the property of Thomas Moore, on Third Street, at present occupied by Browning & Co. as a clothing store, was elected cashier pro tempore. The committee appointed to purchase Sharpless’ house on October 3d reported that a defect had been discovered in the title of that property, and they were instructed to ascertain whether such blur could be removed, but on the 31st of the same month they reported that “the defect in title cannot be remedied.” Hence, on November 7th, it was ascertained that a dwelling and lot near the market-house, belonging to Elizabeth Pedrick, could be bought for eighteen hundred dollars, and a committee was appointed to contract for the purchase of the property and to have the title examined.

This house occupied the site of the present bank building. It was a frame structure, which stood on an eminence, steps leading up to the porch, and where the Chester National Bank stands a large gate opened to the lot, through which cattle were driven to pasture in the field surrounding the house. At that time the dwelling was occupied by two aged spinsters, named Springer, who kept a cake- and candy-shop there. In the mean while Preston Eyre, who had been elected, on November 28th, permanent cashier, at a salary of six hundred dollars per annum, agreed to allow the use of the front room of his house on Third Street to the bank, he being paid one hundred and fifty dollars a year as rent for that apartment and a small frame building adjoining it. The contract, however, stipulated that Eyre should find the fuel and candles for the bank without further compensation and “with liberty given to the directors to leave the contract when they see proper.” Joseph Engle and Peter Deshong were at the same meeting instructed to make such alterations to the house, of the cashier “as will accommodate this bank for a temporary purpose.”

On Nov. 28, 1814, the first regular board of directors was elected, consisting of John Newbold, Jonas Eyre, Samuel Anderson, Peter Deshong, John G. Hoskins, Thomas Robinson, George G. Leiper, Jonas Preston, Charles Rogers, Joseph Engle, Pierce Crosby, John Cowgill, and Nimrod Maxwell. The same day John Newbold was chosen president of the bank. On the 26th of December the agreement to purchase the lot of Elizabeth Pedrick was entered into, and the bank not having perfected its plans for a building, determined, as a precautionary measure, to rent the property for the time being, and it was rented by Capt. Robinson. On March 10, 1815, the committee to prepare plans submitted their report, in which they stated that the banking-house, which would be of brick, ought to be located in that part of the lot which fronted on Market Street and the public square. The suggestions were accepted, and Pierce Crosby, Joseph Engle, Jonas Eyre, John G. Hoskins, and George G. Leiper appointed the building committee. On March 16, 1815, they were instructed, if they could get possession of the property rented to Robinson,  who in the mean while had resigned from the board,  to take the house down and use the materials in it to the best advantage.

At this time the position of president was purely one of honor, no salary being attached to the office, but the board of directors at the conclusion of the year would appropriate such sum as they thought the services were worth, and liberality was certainly not strikingly displayed in the amount tendered. On May 1, 1815, at the close of the first six months, a dividend of five per cent. was declared, and on November 6th of the same year a similar amount was payable to the stockholders,  that being the showing of the first year of business. During that year John Cowgill and John Newbold resigned as directors, and Jonathan Pennell and John McIlvain took their places in the board. In the mean while the bank building had progressed so that on Nov. 20, 1815, business was for the first time conducted in that structure, and on the 27th of the same month the dwelling was ready for occupancy by the cashier. On that day the latter’s salary was increased to nine hundred dollars; he was also instructed to occupy the dwelling part of the bank rent free, and was, in addition, allowed forty dollars per annum “for supplying hickory wood for the bank.” The building, torn down in 1882, appears to have cost, inclusive of the land, $10,354.34. Early in that year William Graham had been elected solicitor of the bank at an annual salary of fifty dollars.

The business of the institution had so increased that on Feb. 19, 1816, Peter Hill was appointed book-keeper, “it having become necessary for an officer to be appointed to keep the books of the bank and in other respects to assist the cashier in performing the ordinary duties of banking,” at an annual salary of seven hundred dollars. It seems that in the early part of this century the banks were obliged to keep open on holidays, for on Monday, Dec. 25, 1820, it was recorded, “Being Christmas, no business was done in the bank,” and during the terrible depression of 1821 the general uncertainty of business is shown by the following statement, under date of September 21st: “No notes discounted this day nor money loaned.” On Feb. 17, 1823, the first watchman, John Kelley, was employed at the rate of one hundred dollars per annum, “to commence on 1st day of March next.”

So successful had the institution proved that other parties at the session of 1832-33 made an effort to obtain a charter for another bank, and the act incorporating “The Farmers’ and Manufacturers’ Bank of Delaware County” passed both Houses, but was vetoed by Governor George Wolf. In the fall of 1834 it was ascertained that a large amount of redeemed notes of the bank had gotten into circulation, and would have to be again paid. It is traditionally asserted that quite a number of these notes had been thrown into the open fireplace, and the draught was so strong that many of them, borne upward in the chimney, were scattered in the street, were gathered by parties unknown, who circulated them in Philadelphia, and they were again presented to the bank for payment. Be that as it may, the dividend was passed several times between 1834 and 1837, and the earnings of the bank were appropriated to make up the deficiency found to exist in the capital of the institution.

The bank soon recuperated, and for years conducted a steadily-increasing and profitable business, ranking in credit second to no other in the State of a like character. When the civil war came, and all was excitement, even the staid directors seem to have imbibed something of the war spirit, for on April 22, 1861, the president was instructed to subscribe two hundred dollars towards the purchase of “two hundred muskets to be kept by the town to be used for the defense of the people and property of the place.” On May 5, 1864, the bank made a donation of five hundred dollars to the Great Central Fair, held in Philadelphia for the United States Sanitary Commission.

During the invasion of the State by the rebel army under Gen. Lee, in June, 1863, on the 29th of that month, the directors instructed the president and cashier to make arrangements for the safe depository of the money and other valuables of the bank, if in their discretion such removal was deemed necessary. On Wednesday, July 1st of that year, Caleb Emlen and Jonathan R. Johnson were dispatched in a wagon to Philadelphia with the money and valuables, starting from Chester at a very early hour in the morning. The sum intrusted to these messengers – clerks in the bank – was several hundred thousand dollars, and although they were well armed, their responsibility was so great – fearing lest they might be attacked by parties who had learned of the proposed transfer – that when they placed the specie and other valuables in the custody of the Bank of North America, Philadelphia, to be forwarded to New York with that of the latter bank, should occasion demand it, they breathed freely once more under the sense of relief it brought them.

On March 14, 1864, the old Delaware County Bank ceased as an active State institution, but it had merely changed front, and was chartered by the United States as the Delaware County National Bank. During the transition state the board of directors seem to have acted in settling the affairs of the old institution until Nov. 11, 1864, when the following board was elected (the last under the old State charter): Edmund Pennell, Joshua P. Eyre, William W. Maddock, William Hannum, Edwin Hannum, Jacob Smedley, Joseph Engle, Frederick Fairlamb, William Booth, David Trainer, James Irving, Samuel Starr, and John H. Baker. On March 6, 1865, after the amount of money necessary was deposited in the United States Treasury to secure the charter, the surplus funds of the old bank were divided among the stockholders, paying a dividend of seven dollars per share, and on Dec. 28, 1868, a further dividend of two dollars and fifty cents was declared, which finally settled all the outstanding business of the old bank.

The institution under the national charter throve and prospered, the remarkable financial abilities of the late John O. Deshong being conspicuous in the conduct of its affairs. It was everywhere known as a strong and well-managed institution, usually carrying large sums of money in its vaults. Hence it is not to be wondered that efforts were made to rob it. On the night of Jan. 12, 1872, such an attempt was made, the burglars striving to effect an entrance by boring six holes with an auger through a back window-shutter, which, however, failed to penetrate the iron lining. The watchman heard the noise and gave the alarm, but the robbers fled before pursuit could be made.

In 1882 the old structure, built in 1815, was demolished, the business being removed into an adjoining building on Third Street, and the present fine banking-house erected in its stead. In all its appointments it is a model building, and reflects credit on the institution and on the architect, P. Welsh, and besides is an ornament to our city. It seems hardly credible that a structure such as it is could have been erected for fifty thousand dollars, and yet the building proper cost thirty-five thousand dollars, while the vault and fixtures aggregated fifteen thousand dollars additional. This was certainly a necessary and judicious expenditure. The new building was opened for business Jan. 29, 1884.

Following is a list of the presidents of the Delaware County Bank: John Newbold, Nov. 28, 1814, to March 23, 1815; Dr. Jonas Preston, March 30, 1815, to Nov. 20, 1815; Pierce Crosby, Nov. 27, 1816, to Nov. 15, 1834; John Kerlin, Nov. 15, 1834, to November, 1841; Jesse J. Maris, Nov. 22, 1841, to December, 1860; Frederick J. Hinkson, Dec. 12, 1860, to Feb. 8, 1864; Edmund Pennell, Feb. 15, 1864, to Dec. 25, 1868.

Presidents of the Delaware County National Bank: Samuel A. Crozer, March 14, 1864, to Jan. 16, 1865; Edmund Pennell, Jan. 16, 1865, to Jan. 19, 1874; David Trainer, Jan. 26, 1874, to Jan. 25, 1875; Robert H. Crozer, Jan. 25, 1875, to March 5, 1877; Ellwood Tyson, March 12, 1877, present incumbent.

Cashiers of the Delaware County Bank: Preston Eyre,(33*) Nov. 28, 1814, to Dec. 11, 1834; Charles S. Folwell, December, 1832, to March 3, 1836;(34*) Frederick J. Hinkson, March 10, 1836, to July 25, 1853; James G. McCollin, Aug. 10, 1853, to Aug. 13, 1860; William Taylor, Sept. 6, 1860, to March 17, 1864; Caleb Emlen, March 24, 1864, to Nov. 11, 1864.

Cashiers of the Delaware County National Bank: Caleb Emlen, May 14, 1864, to February, 1874; J. Howard Roop, Feb. 19, 1874, present incumbent.

Present board of directors: Ellwood Tyson, Joshua P. Eyre, David Trainer, Robert McCall, D. Reese Esrey, William S. Blakeley, Thomas Appleby, Thomas Scattergood, John O. Deshong, Jr.

Every successful business enterprise is largely the result of the individual efforts of those men who have controlled, directed, and shaped its course. Naturally it is the exponent of the tact and forethought of those persons on whom the responsibility of its management has been cast. John O. Deshong, Frederick J. Hinkson, and Edmund Pennell were conspicuous in their connection with the Delaware County National Bank. Hence it is eminently proper that their biographical sketches should accompany this history of the bank they did so much to place in the high position it now holds in business circles.

John Odenheimer Deshong was born in Delaware bounty, Pa., Sept. 6, 1807, his parents being Peter Deshong and Mary Odenheimer Deshong. He was the eldest of three children, the others being Maurice W. and S. Louisa. His education was received in private schools in Chester, Pa., and immediately upon attaining manhood he engaged in general merchandising at the corner of Fourth and Market Streets, Chester, in which he was quite successful. In 1843 he engaged in the lumber business in Chester, and being prosperous was able to retire from active business in 1849. He soon after turned his attention to financial affairs, using his capital as a dealer in commercial paper, in which he became a large and successful operator, and continued it until his death. He avoided all financial speculations of uncertain success, and his pecuniary losses were surprisingly small in comparison with the large amount of capital used in his business.

From 1845 until his decease he was almost continuously a director of the Bank of Delaware County, of which institution his father was one of the original directors. He was also for many years a director of the Chester Gas Company, and on his decease the board of directors passed unanimously, and recorded among the minutes, a series of resolutions, a part of which is here quoted as an expression of the opinion and feelings of those who knew him intimately:
     “That his intercourse with his colleagues was marked by uniform kindness and courtesy, and his counsels were always for justice and fair dealing as well to the community as to the stockholders.” The directors of the Delaware County National Bank, into which the Bank of Delaware County had been merged, also recorded resolutions expressive of the great loss that had been sustained: “In the decease of one whose well-known business qualifications, sterling integrity, and excellent judgment entitled him to the respect and grateful remembrance of stockholders and directors.”

Mr. Deshong was a Republican in politics, but would never for a moment seriously consider any proposition to become a candidate for any office, though he wielded a large influence on local public affairs by unobtrusive advice and timely suggestions. His counsel, to friends with reference to their own affairs was always valuable, and frequently given to those in whom he felt an interest. He was decided, prompt, and self-reliant, with strong and lasting affection for those he loved. A reader of standard works, with a retentive memory, his mind was well stored with useful knowledge, but conspicuous above all other intellectual traits was his clear insight into the motives and capacities of others. His foresight in business matters was marvelous, his grasp of comprehension embracing not only his own, but the affairs of others to an extent that was often astonishing.

In social intercourse Mr. Deshong was genial and sprightly, fond of pleasantries and friendly jokes, always meeting his friends with a cheerful smile and a pleasant word.

On Dec. 6, 1826, he was married to Emmeline L., daughter of Dr. J.H. Terrill, of Chester, by which union were seven children, of whom Alfred O., John O., Jr., Louise (wife of J.E. Woodbridge), and Clarence survive. Mr. Deshong died on May 28, 1881, in his seventy-fourth year.

The Hinkson family came from the county of Cavan, in the North of Ireland. The oldest members of the family there say that three brothers emigrated in the seventeenth century from Hanover, in the North of Germany, to Ireland.

In the burial-ground of the family, in Belturbet churchyard, many of the Hinksons are buried. The Hinksons of this country are descended from John Hinkson and Jane, his wife, who, with one son, came to this country from Ireland, and settled in Upper Providence township, Delaware Co. They had eight children, four sons and four daughters, viz.: John (who married Abigail Engle), George (who married Catharine Fairlamb), Thomas (who married Mary Worrilow), James (who married Elizabeth Crossley), Jane (who married Thomas D. Weaver), Mary (who was unmarried), Sarah (who married William Hawkins), and Nancy (who married Joseph Dickerson). The descendants live in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Maryland. The parents of Frederick James Hinkson were John Hinkson, Jr., of Lower Providence township, and Abigail, a daughter of Frederick Engle, formerly of the borough of Chester. They were married in 1784. Their children (besides F.J. Hinkson) who reached maturity were: Jane (who married Ambrose Smedley, a farmer of Middletown township; she died in 1873, in her eighty-ninth year), Ann (who married David Baker, of Middletown township,  he was a carpenter and builder), John (whose business was that of a farmer. His first wife was Jemima, a daughter of Joseph Worrall, of Upper Providence; his second, who is now living in Chester, is Orpha, a daughter of Joseph Naide, of Chester township. John held the position of steward of the House of Employment of this county, was sheriff, a member of the State Legislature, and a recorder of deeds and register of wills), Mary (who married Abraham Hamor, formerly of Middletown, and afterwards of Hamorton, in Chester County), Joseph (who was a carpenter and builder. He married Ann, a daughter of Samuel Black, of Marple), Orpha (who married Jacob Evans, of Upper Providence, afterwards of Chester township), and Edward Engle Hinkson (who married Sarah, a daughter of Samuel Slanter, of Chester township. He was a carpenter and builder. He was the first building inspector of the city of Chester; held the office for several years, and until his death). All of the children of John Hinkson, Jr., are deceased.

Frederick J. Hinkson was born Nov. 8, 1803, in the township of Upper Providence. When he was quite young his parents moved into Middletown township. Soon after his father’s decease (which happened when he was fifteen years old) he entered the store of Abraham Hamor, of that township. Mr. Hamor, in connection with his store, carried on tailoring. Mr. Hinkson having learned his trade, that of a tailor, went to school. He subsequently taught school at Upper Providence meeting-house, at Village Green, then at Columbia, in Lancaster Co., and again at Village Green. While teaching at the last-named place he was elected a clerk in the Bank of Delaware County, at Chester, in which institution, in the capacity of clerk, cashier, and president, he remained for over thirty years. He entered the bank in 1828, and resigned in 1864, for the benefit of his health.

For many years the Bank of Delaware County (now “The Delaware County National Bank”) was the only one in the county. Mr. Hinkson drove occasionally from Chester to the Black Horse Tavern (a noted cattle market), in Middletown township, and sat there to cash checks, and to do other banking business with the drovers. Although he at times took with him and brought back large sums of money, he was never molested. Before leaving the bank he engaged in the tanning business at the old yard, on Edgmont Avenue, in Chester, which his father-in-law, William Brobson, had carried on for many years. During a part of the time he had as a partner James S. Bell. He (Mr. Hinkson) sold out, in 1865, to his sons, Charles and F.J. Hinkson, Jr., who continued the same business until the decease of Charles, in 1872, when the tanning business was discontinued. Since then F.J. Hinkson, Jr., has kept a store at the old stand for the sale of leather and findings. The old tannery, after more than a century of continued usefulness in tanning and finishing leather, such as slaughter, belt, loom, harness, bridle, skirting, welt, wax-upper, and calf-skins, which helped to drive the machinery of industrial establishments, to harness the horses and to shoe the people, is a thing of the past.

Mr. Hinkson was for twenty years treasurer of the borough of Chester. He was also the treasurer of the first building association started in Chester. It was called the Chester Building Association. John M. Broomall was the first president. F.J. Hinkson filled the same position subsequently. It was organized in January, 1850. There have been many associations since, which have rendered great help in building up Chester.

In 1856, Mr. Hinkson was elected one of the associate judges of the county. He resigned before his time expired. He was also elected a director of the poor and a jury commissioner, and was a treasurer of the Farmers’ Market Company of Chester. He served often as an executor and guardian, and performed his duty with conscientious fidelity.

The firing on Fort Sumter, April 12, 1861, aroused the loyal North to intense excitement. The people of Delaware County felt the patriotic impulse, and immediately took action to stand by the government. The Delaware County Republican, in its issue of April 26, 1861, said, “Capt. Edward’s company, the Union Blues, received marching orders on Saturday morning last, at nine o’clock. At six o’clock the volunteers were mustered in front of the Washington House, where they were addressed from the piazza by Judge Hinkson, who informed them that the citizens of the borough had pledged themselves that the wives and children of the soldiers should be properly cared for in their absence. The speaker paid a high compliment to the men who were about to enter the service of their country. The Rev. Mr. Talbot, of St. Paul’s Episcopal, and the Rev. Mr. Sproull, of the First Presbyterian Church, also made patriotic speeches. The company left that night for Harrisburg. Measures were soon taken to form relief committees, to raise money to maintain the families of those who might be in the service of their country. A county meeting was held at Media, April 23, 1861 (of which Hon. H. Jones Brooke was chairman), which divided the county into seven districts, each district to have a committee of three, with power to increase to twelve. Each district was to have a treasurer, and collecting and distributing committees. The district treasurer was to return the funds collected to the county treasurer appointed by the meeting. The money was to be distributed pro rata among the districts, the amount given to each family to be regulated by the income made by the soldier while at home. The first district consisted of the borough of Chester and of the townships of Chester, Ridley, and Tinicum. The members of the committee were F.J. Hinkson, Samuel A. Crozer, and Thomas A. Gesner.

The county committees appointed by the county meeting of April 23, 1861, met at Media, April 29th. F.J. Hinkson was chosen president; Jackson Lyons, of Haverford, vice-president; Henry Green, of Edgmont, corresponding secretary; Dr. G.B. Hotchkin, of Media, recording secretary. Auditors, Thomas Pratt, of Middletown; James Cloud, of Concord; and Washington James, of Nether Providence; Hon. Charles R. Williamson, of Media, was appointed treasurer for the county. These committees, and others that were formed, did a noble and patriotic work, second only in value to that of the brave men from Delaware County who on land and water upheld the cause of the imperiled Union.

In September, 1862, the Governor made a call for fifty thousand men to defend the State. On Tuesday, September 16th, Capt. Thatcher had a full company. On the 17th Capt. Kershaw’s company was organized. The Town Council made an appropriation of fifteen hundred dollars, which was judiciously expended by John Larkin, Jr., Benjamin Gartside, and F.J. Hinkson.

In 1874, F.J. Hinkson was a candidate for the State Legislature by a popular call, and so great was the vote cast for him that, although there were three tickets in the field (he being named as an Independent), he was only defeated by a trifling plurality. He was not a member of any religious denomination. He believed in the principles of the society of Friends, and attended meeting. The only time when he deviated from the peaceable teachings of that society was during the late war, when he actively and outspokenly stood by the government.

In 1837 he married Hannah H., the only daughter of William and Rebecca Brobson. She was born June 9, 1814, and died Jan. 9, 1844. F.J. Hinkson died Sept. 10, 1879. They are buried in the Friends’ burying-ground in Chester. Their children were William B., born Nov. 22, 1838; he died in 1871, unmarried; Henry, born April 14, 1840; he married Lucy, a daughter of David F. Craig, of Wilmington, Del.; Charles, born Nov. 21, 1841; he married Arabella, a daughter of R.R. Dutton, of Chester; he died in 1872, and is buried in the Chester Rural Cemetery; and F.J. Hinkson, Jr., born Oct. 4, 1843.

Henry was for years a member of the late firm of Hinkson & Smedley, who were engaged in the dry-goods and grocery business in Chester. Henry and F.J. Hinkson, Jr., are both ex-members of the Council of Chester.

On the 4th of July, 1876, F.J. Hinkson, Jr., delivered the Centennial address at the celebration at Upland. Samuel A. Crozer read the Declaration of Independence.

The ancestors of Edmund Pennell were members of the Penn colony, and settled in Rockdale, Aston township, where they were owners of one thousand acres of valuable land. His grandfather was probably William, whose children were William, James, Nathan, Thomas, Jonathan, and several daughters. The last-named son was born in Edgmont township, and in early life apprenticed to his brother-in-law as a blacksmith. He, in 1786, removed to Chester, and there followed his trade for many years. He married Sarah Hibberd, of Upper Darby township, whose children were two sons,  James and Henry Hale. By a second marriage to Ann Delaney, of Chester, were born children,  Edmund, and Jonathan who died in 1798, Sarah Ann, Edmund (2d), Sydney, Jonathan (2d), Nathan, and several who died in early life. Edmund, the subject of this biography, was born April 22, 1802, in Chester, which has been his lifetime residence. After receiving such advantages of education as the schools of the day afforded he entered the shop of his father as an assistant, though not with a view to perfecting himself in the trade. Much of his attention was also given to the cultivation of a farm in the suburbs of the borough. During the year 1835 he purchased a tract of lane now embraced within the limits of the South Ward of Chester, and was for many years actively engaged as a farmer. On selling this land, in 1863, he made the city his permanent residence. Mr. Pennell was, in December, 1830, married to Miss Elizabeth J., daughter of John and Elizabeth Price. Their children are Jonathan, Anna Elizabeth (Mrs. Charles C. Larkin), Charles D., Martha S. (Mrs. Joshua P. Eyre), William, Mary C., ,and Edmund and Sally deceased. Mr. Pennell has been a leading spirit in the business development of Chester, as also in its growth and improvement. His father, who was an early director of the Delaware County Bank, was, at his death, succeeded by his son, Edmund, who, on the adoption of the national system, became its first president, and filled the office of director for more than thirty years. He was early in his political career a Whig, and subsequently a Republican, having been, in 1846, elected county commissioner. During his official term of three years the county-seat was removed to Media, which was surveyed and plotted under his auspices. He has also served as a member of the borough council. Both Mr. and Mrs. Pennell are Orthodox Friends in their religious faith. In the winter of 1880 this venerable couple celebrated their golden wedding, which was the occasion of congratulations from a numerous assemblage of children, grandchildren, and friends.

The First National Bank –  After the national banking law went into effect, and as one of the sections of the act required that all funds received by revenue officers and other collecting agents of the United States should be deposited in the First National Bank in the towns, cities, and districts wherein such officers were authorized to act, it became an important matter to secure the first charter for a national bank in Chester, where, by reason of its manufacturing interests, the United States revenue tax amounted to many thousands of dollars. Hence, on Feb. 25, 1863, Samuel M. Felton, Thomas Reaney, Samuel Archbold, Benjamin Gartside, Amos Gartside, Abraham R. Perkins, L.T. Rutter, Samuel Eccles, Jr., Jacob Sinex, John Gartside, and William Ward signed articles of association for a national bank, to be located in Chester, and William Ward was dispatched to Washington to secure the charter. The bank was not regularly organized until May 15, 1864, when Abraham R. Perkins was elected president, William Taylor cashier, and a board of directors chosen, consisting of Abraham R. Perkins, Samuel M. Felton, Thomas Reaney, Benjamin Gartside, Samuel Archbold, Samuel Eccles, Jr., and William Ward. The seal of the bank had been agreed upon at a previous informal meeting, when it was decided it should represent a steam-engine and power-loom, the distinctive industries of the city. On March 24, 1864, the bank purchased a house and lot at the southwest corner of Second and Penn Streets for thirty-four hundred dollars, and there, at the date already given, the First National Bank opened its doors to receive deposits and to conduct a general banking business. The location of the building was on a side street, away from the centre of trade, hence it was determined to remove to another and better situation when opportunity should offer. To that end, on Oct. 10, 1870, the present banking-house, immediately south of the town hall, on Market Street, was purchased from George Baker, the front removed, a serpentine-stone front substituted, and internally the structure was arranged to meet the requirements of a banking institution. On Jan. 18, 1871, the First National Bank began business at its new location, and the following day, January 19th, Abraham R. Perkins, having removed from Chester, and because of failing health resigned the presidency, to which position John Larkin, Jr., was elected on the 23d of the same month. The old banking-house on Penn Street was purchased by George Baker, and later sold to Orlando Harvey, who converted it into a dwelling-house. On May 26, 1884, Frank R. Palmer was elected cashier, William Taylor having resigned that office, which he had held since the incorporation of the bank. The present board of directors is as follows: John Larkin, Jr., Benjamin Gartside, John Gartside, Mortimer H. Bickley, James Irving, William B. Broomall, and William Hannum.

John Larkin, Jr., the president of the First National Bank, is one of four men to whom Chester is indebted for much of its present prosperity, the other three being John P. Crozer, James Campbell, and John M. Broomall.

John Larkin, the great-grandfather of the subject of this biographical sketch, emigrated from England, and was one of the earliest settlers in Delaware County. He had among his children a son, Joseph, whose son, John, married Martha Thomas, whose ancestors were of Welsh descent. Their son, John, was born Oct. 3, 1804, in Concord township, Delaware Co., and after limited advantages of the country schools, was employed until twenty-one years of age upon his father’s farm. He engaged in mercantile pursuits for one year at Chichester, and later for three years at Marcus Hook. He in 1832 purchased a freight-vessel and established a packet-line between Marcus Hook and Philadelphia, which was continued until 1839, when he sold the vessel, wharf, and business interest. He was elected sheriff of Delaware County in 1840, and on the expiration of his term removed to a farm of one hundred and fifty-five acres in Lower Chichester, upon which he had erected new and commodious buildings. During the years 1845 and 1846, he represented his district in the State Legislature. Mr. Larkin, in 1848, made Chester his home, and the same year built two vessels and established a daily line of packets between that city and Philadelphia, the boats having previously run but twice a week. He in 1849 formed a copartnership with William Booth, under the firm-name of Booth & Larkin, for the purpose of running packets daily from Chester to Philadelphia in the interest of the coal and lumber business. The firm enjoyed a prosperous career until 1852, when the partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Larkin’s attention was directed to real-estate operations consequent upon the exchange, in 1850, of his farm for eighty-three acres in the North Ward of Chester, formerly used as a race-course. This property was at once laid out in streets and the lots sold for building purposes. In 1854 he entered into a contract to erect for Abram Blakeley a cotton-mill of any dimensions, which contract was completed before the specified time, and adequately illustrates the energy and business capacity of the subject of this sketch. He also erected, the same year, twenty-two dwellings, and by the large sale of lots was enabled to carry out to the fullest extent the various beneficent enterprises he had projected. This movement, which gave a decided impetus to Chester and its manufacturing interests, was followed by the erection of a total of one hundred and forty-six dwellings and thirteen manufacturing establishments of various kinds. Mr. Larkin, in 1881, sold the last unimproved building-lot, and thus disposed of the eighty-three acres he originally acquired. In 1870 he purchased a tract of land at Marcus Hook, containing twenty-three acres, which was at once laid out in streets and building-lots. On this he erected sixty dwellings, two machine-shops, two foundries, and a large hosiery-mill. He has been actively identified with the municipal interests of Chester, was for eleven years a member of the Borough Council, and for six years president of that body. On its incorporation as a city, in 1866, he was chosen, its first mayor, and held the office for six consecutive years, refusing to receive a salary for his services. He was one of the originators of the Chester Rural Cemetery, and for years president of the association. He was also one of the founders of the Chester Mutual Insurance Company, and has been its president since the beginning of its business operations. He has also been, since 1871, president of the First National Bank of Chester. Mr. Larkin was in 1827 married to Miss Charlotte, daughter of Capt. Erasmus Morton, to whom were born children, Charles C., Caroline (Mrs. John M. Broomall), John M. (deceased), Lewis M., Nathan, Francis, Henry, Mary (Mrs. Thomas Gilbert). Mrs. Larkin died in 1847, and he was again married to Miss Mary A., daughter of William Baggs, whose children are Clarence and Ella (Mrs. Richard Wetherill). Mrs. Larkin’s death occurred in 1877.

The Chester National Bank –  This institution, under the above title, was chartered as a national bank March 1, 1884, and began business as such on the 1st day of April thereafter. Samuel A. Dyer was chosen president; Samuel H. Leeds, cashier; and a board of directors elected, consisting of J. Frank Black, Robert Wetherill, Hugh Shaw, Charles B. Houston, William Appleby, George B. Lindsay, Jonathan Pennell, H.B. Black, and Samuel A. Dyer. Its career has been one of marked success, its business being largely in excess of that which its founders anticipated. The banking-house is located on West Third Street near Market Square, a handsome granite building, which was erected in 1873 by Samuel A. Dyer and William Appleby for a private banking office, to which afterwards large additions and improvements were made. In 1875, William Appleby retired from the firm, and the business was continued by Col. Dyer until it was finally merged into the Chester National Bank.

The Chester Library –  By the record of the old Library Company of Chester, it appears, “a number of the most considerable inhabitants of the borough having from time to time had in consideration the good consequences that would result from the erection of a public library in the said borough for the promotion of useful knowledge, did at length proceed to enter into articles for the forming themselves into a company for that purpose, agreeable to which articles they met on the tenth day of May, Anno Domini, 1769, in order to pay in the sum of money proposed to be advanced by each member, and to elect and chuse proper officers for the more effectual carrying their design into execution. At which time were chose: Directors – Henry Hale Graham, Elisha Price, David Jackson, Nicholas Fairlamb, Thomas Moore; Treasurer, Thomas Sharpless; Secretary, Peter Steele.”

Previous to this meeting preliminary affairs had been adjusted, for on the 14th day of February, 1769, an explicit agreement, entitled “Articles of the Library Company of Chester,” had been adopted, signed and sealed, the latter marks with a scrawl of a pen, but the first sixteen names had attached to each a veritable wax seal, stamped with the armorial bearings of Henry Hale Graham, “That for distinction sake,” the old agreement declares, “the subscribers in company, now and hereafter at all Times, are and shall be called the Library Company of Chester.” The subscribers obligated themselves each to pay thirty shillings to raise a fund for the purchase of books. At no time should the number of subscribers exceed one hundred, and no one could be a shareholder unless he had subscribed to the articles of association. Each and every subscriber was required yearly to pay seven shillings and sixpence, a neglect to do so being punishable with a fine, and at the end of two years, if such shareholder was still in default, he should “therefrom forever after be excluded from the said partnership,” and his share forfeited. The association was to continue “for and during the space of one hundred years,” and the books and effects of the company should remain “the indistinguishable property of all the members.”

The books in the library were loaned to subscribers for designated periods, according to the size of the volume, and a note was required to be given conditioned for the payment of twice the value of the book in case of its loss. On the 6th of September, 1769, the directors and officers of the company met “at Joseph Ogden’s, in Philadelphia, to purchase books,” which was done. The library was kept in Francis Ruth’s house, and he was directed “to make a press of dimensions at least sufficient to contain the said books,” for which he was to be paid forty shillings. On Aug. 10, 1770, it was ordered after “the next purchase of books a set of compleat catalogues shall be printed at the expense of the Company, and each member shall be entitled to one for his own use.” On Nov. 10, 1770, Henry Hale Graham, Elisha Price, and Hugh Lloyd were instructed to buy books “with what money is in bank.” At that date Ruth had not furnished the “press,” and he was fined for his neglect, and informed that if it was not done in three weeks he would be fined seven shillings and sixpence. He finished it, and on May 25, 1771, complained that the price for which he had agreed to make it was too low, whereupon the directors allowed him three pounds, out of which, however, they deducted his fines, and the cost of a book, “The Husband,” which he could not account for. The treasurer paid him one pound thirteen shillings and ten pence. Prior to May 15, 1775, the library was removed to the old schoolhouse at Fifth and Welsh Streets, and a board partition separated the place where the books were kept from the other part of the room. During the Revolution there appear to have been but few business meetings of the company, the last one held May 20, 1775, and the next occurring May 10, 1780. Interest had been lost in the association, and on Aug. 1, 1789, it was discussed whether the company should not disband and the books and other property be distributed among the members, but it was decided that no such action could be had without an act of the Legislature. The company dragged thereafter. On Aug. 22, 1835, the books had been removed to the town hall, a frame structure covering half of the market-house, which stood in Market Square, comprising one room about twenty feet square. The old frame town hall is now owned by J. Edward Clyde, having been removed to Fifth Street east of Market when the market-house was torn down, in 1857, and is now a Chinese laundry. When the building was demolished the library was temporarily placed in a room in the old court-house, remaining there until 1866, when it was removed to the office of Joseph Taylor, in National Hall. In 1840 the title of the association was changed to “The Chester Library Company” by act of Assembly, but the ancient “partnership” had become so enfeebled by its weight of years that it could not be recuperated, so that when in January, 1871, it was removed to a room in the second story of the Farmers’ Market, on Fourth Street, it was laid away to accumulate dust on its unused volumes, and that such an association exists in this city has been almost forgotten.

Holly Tree Hall, on the north side of Seventh Street west of Edgmont Avenue, is a brick building containing on the upper floor a large audience-room capable of seating over six hundred persons, handsomely fitted and arranged for lectures and public entertainments, while on the lower floor is a commodious library and reading-room, and a large apartment specially furnished for the use of Miss Laura J. Hard’s Bible-class. In the front there are two rooms leased for store purposes. Holly Tree Hall is the outgrowth of an attempt of Miss Hard to provide a resort where workingmen and females might assemble in the evening for conversation and reading. To this end she labored diligently, succeeding in enlisting the public in the enterprise. Money and books were donated, and in January, 1873, three rooms were leased over H.B. Taylor’s hardware store, on Third Street near Market Square, and the “Mechanics’ Reading-Room” opened to the public. The apartments soon became too small to meet the demand made upon them, and it was determined to erect a building adapted to the purposes intended. A charter was obtained from the court, stock was issued, and in May, 1877, the present building was built. There are nearly two thousand volumes on the shelves of the institution, the books being free to all who may visit the library, but can only be taken therefrom by stockholders, and the reading-room is well supplied with daily newspapers of Philadelphia, the local press, and current standard American periodicals. The officers of the association are Hugh Shaw, president; George B. Lindsay, secretary; and Miss Laura Hard, treasurer.

Chester Institute of Science –  A call for a meeting of citizens to consider the advisability of forming an Institute of Science was issued on Feb. 26, 1882, by Thomas Moore, Adam C. Eckfeldt, and Dr. F.R. Graham. Mr. Moore had long been interested in the matter, and it was through his efforts that the first steps towards a formal organization were taken. On Thursday, March 2, 1882, the following gentlemen assembled at the office of D.M. Johnson, Esq.: Thomas Moore, Adam C. Eckfeldt, Dr. F.R Graham, George Gilbert, Felix de Lannoy, Ward R. Bliss, Henry B. Taylor, Dr. R.H. Milner, D.M. Johnson, Dr. C.W. Perkins, Henry Palmer, Dr. C.W. de Lannoy, and B.F. Morley. Adam C. Eckfeldt was called to the chair, and Dr. De Lannoy was made secretary. Great interest was shown in the matter, and, after some general discussion of the subject, a committee, consisting of Ward R. Bliss, Thomas Moore, and Dr. De Lannoy, was appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws.

A second meeting was held at the Armory, on Friday, March 10th. George Gilbert was called to the chair, and Capt. B.F. Morley appointed secretary. A constitution was adopted, and under it an election was held, April 14th, and the following permanent officers were chosen: President, George Gilbert; Vice-Presidents, Adam C. Eckfeldt, Professor F. de Lannoy; Secretary, Thomas W. Scott; Treasurer, Thomas Moore; Librarian, Henry B. Taylor; Managers, Dr. Ellwood Harvey, Henry Greenwood, M. Louise Clancy, Dr. R.H. Milner, and Dr. C.W. de Lannoy.

Thomas W. Scott, secretary, resigned November 10th, and John Miller was elected in his stead. Upon the removal of the latter from the State, Charles St. J. McKee was made secretary on Feb. 9, 1883. Owing to business engagements Mr. McKee resigned, and Frank R. Gilbert became secretary on the 9th of November.

At the first stated meeting, on April 14, 1882, D.M. Johnson, Esq., Hon. Y.S. Walter, and Thomas Lees were appointed a committee to procure a charter; and on June 5th the society was incorporated by the Court under the title of the “Chester Institute of Science and Mechanic Arts.” The members named as corporators in the charter are as follows:

George Gilbert, Ellwood Harvey, Y.S. Walter, Thomas Moore, F. de Lannoy, H.B. Taylor, Thomas Lees, D.M. Johnson, Thomas W. Scott, Charles F. Foster, Thomas B. Robinson, Benjamin D. Johnson, Reuben Yarnall, J.L. Forwood, J.T. DeSilver, Clarence Larkin, Benjamin F. Baker, M.L. Clancy, Ward R. Bliss, and H.G. Ashmead.

The objects of the society are “to promote the diffusion of general and scientific knowledge among the members and the community at large, and the establishment and maintenance of a Library, Historical Record, and a Museum.”

A library of two or three hundred volumes is already collected. The museum, of several thousand specimens, has already reached such proportions as to command much attention from visitors. The departments of mineralogy, antiquities, entomology, numismatics, etc., are well represented, and rapidly increasing in interest.

Early in the fall of 1882 it was deemed best to supplement the work of the monthly meetings by a series of weekly lectures and discussions. Under this arrangement there have been given before the institute, since its organization, over one hundred lectures and addresses by distinguished gentlemen from abroad or by its own members. Great interest has been shown in the meetings, and the constant donations and continued applications for membership show that the society has a strong hold upon the people.

The regular meetings of the institute are held at Fourth and Market Streets on the second Friday of each month, except July and August, but through the fall, winter, and early spring meetings are held on every Friday evening. All meetings are open to the public.

It is, perhaps, worthy of record that the first successful course of lectures in Chester was held under the direction of the institute during 1883 -84. Sixteen lectures were given, all of a high order of merit, by some of the most distinguished talent in the country.

The institute is only two years old, but it has a membership of over one hundred and fifty. It is in a sound financial condition, and its most active promoters include the ablest scientific and literary people of Chester. The society is a necessity, and it will therefore live and flourish.

Jefferson Library Association –  A number of persons living near the ship-yards of John Roach being desirous of having a library and reading-room in that section of the city, gathered together about the 1st of January, 1881, and organized an association with the above name. Arrangements were made to fit up the present room on Third Street below Kerlin, in the block belonging to the Fennel estate. About the 1st of March in that year, John Roach, Jr., donated to the association a number of very valuable books and several valuable pictures. Other donations followed, and as funds accumulated purchases of books, and at present the library has about five hundred volumes. The tables are also supplied with the papers and magazines of the day.

The rooms are opened every evening, and the membership is eighty-five.

The present officers are John B. Saunders, president; James Barroclough, secretary; James Salter, librarian; James P. Barr, treasurer.

The Post-Boy and Upland Union –  The history of the press in this city is a notable one, and perhaps no town in Pennsylvania of the same population has been the birthplace of as many newspaper enterprises as Chester. Its earliest publication was the Post-Boy, a weekly folio, fifteen and a half by nine and a half inches, owned and edited by Steuben Butler and Eliphalet B. Worthington, the editorial rooms and printing-office being located in the Colbourn house, on Third Street, directly opposite Brown’s Hotel, which is now being removed to erect on its site a large drugstore and dwelling. The first number was issued Monday, Nov. 8, 1817, and bore the motto, “Intelligence is the life of liberty.” The paper was edited, printed, and distributed through the county by post-riders; which was done by Worthington and William W. Doyle, then a small lad, who had entered the office as an apprentice. The second issue of the paper was changed to Friday. Little attention was paid to passing events, and save only a few advertisements of local interest it might have been published in Boston or New York. During the first months a solitary local item presented itself to the readers of the Post-Boy, and, as it is the first local incident recorded in a newspaper distinctively published in Delaware County, we reproduce it:
     “A LIVE EEL –  An eel was caught in Chester Creek a few days since by Messrs. Sutton and Burk, which weighed six pounds, and was upwards of two feet and six inches in length.”

In the latter part of the year 1824, Butler sold his interest to Worthington, who continued to issue it until 1826, when he sold it to Joseph M.C. Lescure, who changed the name to the Upland Union, and increased the size of the paper. Lescure had his office on Market Street, nearly opposite to the court-house, and in addition sold “blank-books, stationery, spelling- and copy-books, slates, dictionaries, Testaments, etc.,” which branch of business he seems to have discontinued after he removed his printing-office to the north side of Fifth Street below Market. Mr. Lescure continued the Upland Union with indifferent success until 1838, when he sold the paper to Joseph Williams and Charles F. Coates. Of the latter we have no information other than given. Williams we know was a lawyer of attainments, a good political speaker, who could “sing a wine-song or a hymn, preach a sermon or deliver a temperance lecture, besides being a clever amateur performer on several musical instruments.”(35*) He was one of the assistant secretaries of the convention which amended the Constitution of Pennsylvania in 1837. The newspaper was edited by Mr. Williams only for a short time, when it was sold to Alexander Nesbit. Williams was appointed by President Polk a judge in Iowa. During the Mexican war a volunteer company paraded in front of the hotel where the judge was lodging, and the captain told the former he had marching orders. Judge Williams offered himself as a volunteer. “The company is full,” was the reply. “Perhaps you want a musician?” said the judge. “We want a fifer,” responded the captain. “I’m your man!” exclaimed the judge, and he at once donned the uniform and marched away, playing “Yankee Doodle” like a regular. The quota being filled, the company was not forwarded to the front. After the Territory became a State, Mr. Williams was made chief justice.

Alexander Nesbit in turn sold the Upland Union to Alexander McKeever, an active Democrat, who continued its publication until March 30, 1852, when he discontinued it.

Samuel Anderson McKeever, a son of the editor of the Upland Union, born in Chester, died in March, 1880, at Pilatka, Fla. The young man had been connected with the press of the city of New York, and in 1874, in connection with James B. Mix, published “The New York Tombs,” an interesting, but in several instances inaccurate, story of that noted prison and the conspicuous prisoners who had been confined therein. In 1858 an attempt was made to revive the Upland Union, and it “languished, and, languishing, did live,” under the editorial control of Mr. Brimner, who at the same time edited the Pennsylvanian in Philadelphia, and William Cooper Talley, of Delaware County; but it finally suspended Feb. 19, 1861, the last-named person having removed to Norristown.

During the Presidential contest of 1828, William Russell began the publication of the Weekly Visitor, and Strange N. Palmer was employed to edit it in the interest of the opponents of the Democratic party, to which political organization the Upland Union gave earnest support. The owner and editor of the new organ disagreed in their views, which difficulty terminated by a sale of the establishment to thirty gentlemen, warm advocates of John Quincy Adams, Palmer being still retained to edit the paper. The fact being noised abroad, the Upland Union dubbed its opponent “The Son of Many Fathers,” and predicted its early demise. In that prognostication it was right, for at the close of the campaign it was sold to Thomas Eastman, who continued it, and it languished until 1832, when it died. Palmer, after he severed his connection with the Visitor, removed to Schuylkill County, where he subsequently became a judge.

The Delaware County Republican –  In the summer of 1833 the material and press of the Weekly Visitor were purchased by Y.S. Walter, who removed them to the village of Darby, and published the first number of the Delaware County Republican, on August 31st of that year. The Upland Union, shortly after the Republican made its appearance in the county, stated that “the first person who Walter consulted was an old Tory of the Revolution, a partisan of King George, who conducted Lord Howe into Philadelphia, and escaped hanging for treason only by burying himself for several weeks in the neighboring woods of Darby.” The allusion has lost its point in lapse of years, but the whole story is doubtless false, editorial unpleasantness in those days being carried on, and statements made without regard to fairness or truth. On Oct. 25, 1841, Walter removed his printing-office to Chester, locating on the northeast corner of Market Square, thence, in March, 1845, to the brick building on Third Street, now occupied by William Lamb as a hat-store. In 1851 the paper was again removed to Penn Buildings, and in 1876 to the new and commodious office erected by Walter at Market and Graham Streets. During the fifty years the Republican was edited by Walter it grew steadily in size until, at the time of his death, it was four times as large a sheet as when first issued at Chester. On Sept. 1, 1882, the’ Delaware County Republican was purchased by Ward R. Bliss, under whose able management the oldest paper in the county has been compelled to enlarge its size to accommodate the increasing advertising demands on its columns.

Young S. Walter was born in Philadelphia, Feb. 14, 1812. His father, Capt. Peter P. Walter, was of Scotch descent, and owner of a line of vessels trading to the West Indies. He died when his son was quite young, leaving him in charge of his grandfather at Bedford, Pa., where he was educated in the common district schools. He left school in 1826, and was apprenticed to the printing business with Thomas R. Gettys, of the same place, remaining with him until 1829, when he began life on his own account as a journeyman in Philadelphia and New York, continuing that occupation until 1833. He then removed to Darby, and on August 4th, of the same year, established the Delaware County Republican, which he continued to publish in that place until November, 1841. In that year he removed to Chester, where he still published the paper on Whig and Republican principles. One of the most noteworthy features of his journal was the strong and emphatic opposition he made to slavery, being one of the earliest advocates of its entire abolition in this country, and the articles which frequently appeared on this subject had so much weight, and were so ably and forcibly written, that they materially increased the sale of his paper, which had a larger circulation than any in the county. He sent forth from his office many apprentices who obtained eminent positions in the country, among whom may be mentioned William Ward, the first lawyer in Chester; John W. Forney, Jr., of the Philadelphia Press; Henry T. Crosby, chief clerk of the War Department at Washington, D.C.; and many others. Mr. Walter was inspector of customs at Marcus Hook from 1842 to 1844, and postmaster at Chester during President Lincoln’s first term of administration. He was also at different times member of the Council of the borough and city of Chester, as also president of that body. He was prominent as an originator of the Farmers’ Market of Philadelphia, and of the corresponding one at Chester. He was also president of the Chester Library Company, organized in 1769, and influentially connected with many other enterprises and institutions of a local and general character. Mr. Walter was married, in 1833, to Laetitia, daughter of Jesse Warne, of Philadelphia. Throughout his long course of editorial and journalistic life he uniformly maintained a high character for ability and integrity, and contributed largely by his personal influence and by his pen towards the spread of that high tone of morality which ever marked his own career. The death of Mr. Walter occurred May 22, 1882, in his seventy-first year.

Delaware County Democrat –  In 1835, Caleb Pierce established a weekly newspaper under the above title in advocacy of Henry A. Muhlenberg’s candidacy as Governor, but it was short-lived. In October, 1856, John G. Michelon began the publication of a weekly, called the Upland Union and Delaware County Democrat, and its life was also but a span. Oct. 5, 1867, the Delaware County Democrat was established by D.B. Overholt, whose interest was shortly afterwards purchased by Dr. J.L. Forwood, who continued the publication of the paper until the fall of 1871, when he sold it to Col. William Cooper Talley. Early in 1876 John B. McCay purchased it, but shortly afterwards sold it to William Orr, who at the time was publishing the Democratic Pilot, a paper which had been started in 1872, and had died and been resurrected several times. The two papers were merged into one, and were sold by the sheriff, on an execution against Orr, to Dr. Forwood, in 1877, who, in turn, sold it to William A. Gwynne. The latter, in August, 1879, disposed of his interest to Edw. J. Frysinger, whose father, H. Frysinger, then became publisher, and issued the first paper under his editorial charge, Sept. 4, 1879. At the time Mr. Frysinger purchased the Democrat it had less than one hundred and seventy-five bona-fide subscribers, and only a nominal advertising patronage. It was purchased for the estimated value of the printing materials belonging to the office, the good will being considered valueless. The energy, enterprise, and talent which Mr. Frysinger devoted to his paper has made it a remunerative and valuable property, and its circulation has very largely increased. Being the only Democratic newspaper in the county, the field for extending its circulation is yet both broad and inviting.

On the 11th of February, 1884, H. & Ed. J. Fry-singer issued the first number of the Daily Herald, as an independent journal with “Democratic tendencies.” This newspaper venture was designed originally merely for the spring election, and more especially the mayoralty campaign; but before the first issue appeared it had been determined to establish it permanently.

The Delaware County Advocate –  John Spencer, who had a printing-office in the second story of the old City Hall building, and Richard Miller, on June 6, 1868, issued the Chester Advocate, a weekly newspaper; size, fifteen by twenty inches, four columns to the page. It was distributed gratuitously at first. The paper was so well conducted and its reading matter so well selected that it soon met with public favor. The proprietorship continued as above until May, 1869, when Mr. Miller withdrew, and Mr. Spencer took sole charge. The paper was enlarged from time to time, and soon a subscription of fifty cents per year was charged. The popularity of the Advocate spread beyond the limits of Chester City, and in September, 1874, Mr. Spencer changed its title to The Delaware County Advocate, and raised its subscription price to one dollar per year. It is now a nine-column folio, thirty-one by forty-four inches, has an extensive circulation throughout the county, and is regarded as one of the most valuable newspaper properties in the neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Chester Evening News –  Saturday, June 1, 1872, the first number of the Evening News was issued by F. Stanhope Hill, as editor and proprietor. It was a folio sheet, eighteen by twenty-five. The title of the paper was changed June 17th of the same year to Chester Evening News. The first month of its publication the venture was regarded by the inhabitants of the city in no kindly spirit, and many were the prognostications of ultimate failure, but by degrees it won its way to public favor. Mr. Hill, Oct. 1, 1872, sold his interest to William A. Todd, and the latter continued its publication until his death, Aug. 18, 1879, when it was purchased by William H. Bowen, Oliver Troth, and Charles D. Williamson. During Mr. Todd’s ownership the circulation had so increased that he was compelled to twice enlarge the presses to meet the growing popular demand. The new owners assumed the conduct of the paper September 29th of the same year, and immediately after enlarged it by an addition of two inches to the columns. Mr. Williamson did not take an active part in editing the paper until nearly a year subsequent to its purchase, and in less than twelve months after he began work in the office as city editor he died, and his interest was purchased by the surviving partners. Nov. 4, 1880, the News was again enlarged by an addition of another column to each page, and to meet its steadily-increasing circulation its proprietors have twice been compelled to add new presses of increased capacity and speed. In 1883, for the third time the size of the paper was enlarged. The Chester Evening News, although strongly Republican in tone, is never offensive in its presentation of its political preferences.

Chester Daily Times –  Maj. John Hodgson, who had established the Jeffersonian in West Chester, having sold that paper to the present proprietor, came to Chester in the summer of 1876, and in September of that year issued the first number of the Chester Daily Times, the second daily afternoon paper published in Chester. Mr. Hodgson continued as its editor until his failing health compelled him to dispose of it, March 7, 1877, to J. Craig, Jr., who had been on the editorial staff since its first issue. He managed it quite successfully, displaying considerable ability and enterprise in its conduct. On October 20th, of the same year, Mr. Craig sold the Times to John Spencer, the proprietor of The Delaware County Advocate. The owner enlarged the paper from five to six columns and otherwise improved it. He continued its publication until April 15, 1882, when he sold it to the Times Publishing Company, its present owner. The latter had purchased The Delaware County Gazette, which, under the title of The Delaware County Paper, had been established, in 1876, by Col. William C. Gray, and subsequently passed into the ownership of John McFeeters, then Maj. D.R.B. Nevin, who changed its name to the Gazette, and finally of A. Donath. The Times, under its new management, has shown great energy, and to keep pace with the increase of circulation and advertising patronage has been enlarged three times, until now it is one of the largest daily papers published in the State, excepting those in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. It is ultra Republican in tone and well edited.

The Weekly Reporter, an octavo publication, advertising legal notices, and reporting in full the opinions of the courts of Delaware County, was established March 31, 1881, by Ward R. Bliss, Esq. Mr. Bliss has continued The Weekly Reporter with marked ability. Recently the opinions which have appeared in the Reporter have been published in a handsome volume, entitled “Delaware County Reports.”

In 1882, The Chester Business Mirror, a monthly advertising paper, was published by Edward Frysinger, and is now well established.

In August, 1842, Edward E. Flavill and Mr. Jackson published The Chariot, an advocate of the cause of temperance. The paper was printed in Philadelphia, but after a few numbers had been issued it was discontinued.

Occasionally, in 1848, a small folio, The Owl, was published in Chester and circulated at night. It was very personal in its articles, and although many of its gibes and hits are pointless now, at the time of its publication it caused much excitement in the ancient town.

In April, 1850, S.E. Cohen, a new agent in the borough, began the publication of the Chester Herald, issuing it monthly, subsequently changing it to a weekly sheet, and finally discontinued it at the end of twelve months.

In 1857, The Evening Star, a literary paper, made its appearance under the auspices of the Washington Literary Association, being at that time edited by Edward A. Price and Miss Kate Taylor, but, as with many similar publications, interest in it abated, and it was abandoned.

On Oct. 27, 1866, the Chester Advertiser, a weekly advertising sheet for gratuitous circulation, was issued by John Spencer and Dr. William Taylor. April, 1867, Mr. Spencer ceased to be a partner in the enterprise, and Dr. Taylor continued its publication until the following October, when it suspended.

In 1869, H.Y. Arnold and Wilmer W. James began the publication of a weekly advertising sheet,  The Independent. Arnold soon after withdrew, and James associated J.J. Shields with him in the enterprise, until 1871, when the latter retired, and James continued the paper until 1874, when it was discontinued.

The Delaware County Mail was established Nov. 27, 1872, by Joseph T. DeSilver & Co. Nov. 27, 1876, it was sold to the proprietors of The Delaware County Paper, and merged into the latter publication.

The Public Press was issued May 3, 1876, by Thomas Higgins and Robert Simpson, but its publication was suspended during the same year.

The Commercial Advertiser, a Democratic paper, was published by J.M. Stowe & Co. in February, 1878, but after a few issues the publishers abandoned the enterprise.

In 1877, during a revival of the temperance movement, Andrew J. Bowen began the publication of The Temperance World, and after several issues changed the title to The Chester World. In a few months interest in the paper ceased, and it finally was discontinued.

In October, 1883, the first number of The Brotherhood, a monthly journal devoted to the interests of the Brotherhood of the Union (H.F.), was issued by the Brotherhood Publication Company, Charles K. Melville, editor. The paper is printed by Melville & Hass, and is the official organ of the order in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

The County Bridges –  The first bridge erected over Chester Creek, where the King’s road (the present Third Street) crosses that stream, was a draw-bridge. In 1686 the court ordered the building of a horse-bridge over the creek, near Chester, as the King’s road at that time did not pass through the borough, but to the north bf the town, through the present borough of Upland, where a horse-bridge had been erected shortly after Penn’s arrival, for at court held 6th day of First month, 1687, “Nathinl Evins, Supervisor of ye King’s wayes for Chester, presented Caleb Pusey & Jno Hodskins (Hoskins) for not laying ye planks on ye bridge over Chester creek.” There is no evidence that the order of the court as respected that bridge was ever carried into effect; indeed, the contrary seems to be negatively established, for at the December court, 1699, Ralph Fishbourne presented a petition “for a convenient road from the west side of Chester creek, where the ferry is kept for to lead to the now King’s road.” The court thereupon appointed six viewers to lay out “the said roadway in the most convenient place they can for the convenience of the inhabitants.”

In 1700, the inconvenience arising from the roundabout way became such an annoyance to the traveling public and the inhabitants of the borough of Chester that a determined and successful effort was made to change the route of the King’s highway, so that it should pass through the town and nearer the river. To avoid interrupting the free navigation of the stream, it was determined that the creek be spanned by a draw-bridge. Accordingly, in that year, an act of the Colonial Assembly was procured, which authorized the erection of a bridge over the creek at Chester, and ordered the justices of the County Court “to lay out a road from the King’s Road that leads to New Castle and Maryland to the intended place for a bridge over Chester creek.” The act required that the bridge should have a draw to it, provided for the employment of a man to attend to it, and specified what his duties were,  to draw it up when necessary to let sloops and shallops pass to and from the mills situated on the creek, and also designated that a space of twenty feet should be left clear between the timbers or stonework for “the conveniency” of rafts and logs passing to said mills.

As early as the 4th day of the Fourth month, 1690, a public highway had been laid out from Chester Creek to Chichester Creek, but it was along the bank in front of the Essex House, as the report filed shows:
     “Wee of the Grand Jury doe Lay out A foot way of Six foot Wid att the Lest, begining att Chester Creek over against the Comon Landing place, from thence upon a Strait Line over the Swamp of Robert Wades to the Corner of Robert Wades’ pales, and so a long by the said pales and fence to a popeler and White Wallnot Standing by the said Robert Wades fence, and so to Remain a Longe the Syde way Accordingly, as it is already Marked and Cutt out unto Chichester.”

The Queen’s highway, which runs from Darby to Chester bridge, at Third Street, was not laid out until 1706, and it is stated that the bend in the road from the Lincoln Mills to Fifth Street, and then continued the highway direct along Market Street to Third, was due to the influence of Jasper Yeates, the course chosen bringing the road along part of his property and that belonging to the estate of his father-in-law, James Sandelands. The people of that day declared that “God and Nature intended the road to cross directly across the creek, but the Devil and Jasper Yeates took it where it was located.”

The bridge was in course of construction late in the fall of 1708, for at the court held November 24th of that year, it was ordered “that 24 foot of Chester bridge at the east end and 42 foot at the west end be filled with wood and earth with all expedition.” The county treasurer was directed to supply Henry Worley and Henry Hollingsworth with money “out of the county stock” to pay for the work. “And it is further ordered, that James Hendrickson is to perform and finish all the carpenter work relating to taking up the planks and new railing the whole Bridge, and laying the planks where it wants as soon as the work is fit for it, for which he is to have five shillings per day, and his man, Richd Weaver, four shillings per day, finding themselves.”

The bridge thus made must have been indifferently constructed, for on Jan. 7, 1709, the following agreement was made and spread at large on the record of the court:
     “It is agreed on by the justices and Jasper Yeates aforesaid, in manner following, viz.: That the bridge over Chester Creek, in the Town of Chester, be sufficiently and completely repaired in manner following, to wit: that the planks at the westerly end of said bridge be taken up 24 feet in length and the place be filed with earth, and those of the planks that are sound and fit to be used to be to repair some other parts of the said bridge, and what new planks may be wanting for repairing said bridge be procured two inches and a half thick, and good oak posts and rails and braces affixed on each side of said bridge, only making use of so many of the old rails that are good, which used to be placed at one end of the said bridge, and that it be so repaired as aforesaid, or what more the men hereafter appointed overseers of the said work may think necessary to be done, be wholly completed and finished before the 15th day of April next.
     “And the justices and Grand Jury aforesaid have and hereby do order and appoint Robt. Hodgson and Jos. Coburn to be overseers of the said work, and for to agree with some workmen to do the same within the time limited for which said work, when finished, do also for the said Robt. Hodgson and Jos. Cobourn’s trouble in the premises, they are to be paid out of the county stock, and that the dangerous places in the said bridge, by reason of the holes and rotten planks, &c., be forthwith repaired for the present security.”

At the court held Oct. 3, 1710, the following further reference to this bridge appears of record:
     “Jasper Yeates, to prevent further debate with the county, allows the county two ditches on each side the causeway, on the Westerly side of Chester Creek to enlarge the Road in breadth, making it 40, with which the Justices, Grand Jury, and Assessors, are satisfied and that is to determine all farther dispute.
     “It is further agreed on by the Justice, Grand Jury, and Assessors that Jos. Coburn do forthwith, as speedily as may be, repair the bridge and causeway at Chester creek, and remove the causeway on the East side of the creek straight with the street called James Street (now Third) and fraime it and make it wharf-like at the end of the bridge near low water-mark, and twenty feet wide and thirty feet along the street, and make the causeway from the said wharf as far further as will make it good and easy passing and repassing for carts, etc., and he is to make the wharf and causeway of wood and fill in with good sound wood, and lay it over the top with gravel and earth, and that he keep an account of how many cords of wood he makes use of, all other charges which he may be at about the said work, and bring in his account when he has done his work in order to be left to the judgmt of two men mutually chosen between the said Jos. Coburn, and the Justices, and so much money as the said two men so as aforesaid chosen shall allow him for the work that be his price, and also that he repair the causeway on the Westerly side the said Creek, and bring in his account to be allowed as aforesaid.”

In the preamble to the act of Assembly, approved Aug. 14, 1725, which was intended to prevent the obstruction of the navigation of Chester Creek, it is set forth that the draw-bridge which had been erected “is now gone to decay, and requires it to be rebuilt or repaired,” and the act “direct the County Commissioners to repair the bridge within a period of twelve months.”

In a letter from Maj. John Clark, written at Mr. Davis’ house in Darby, Nov. 17, 1777,(36*) to Gen. Washington, the writer says, “The bridge at Chester, on the west side the creek, has caved in, it may be made passable for a few foot; individuals now cross it.”

In the act of Sept. 3, 1778, it is stated that the drawbridge, which had been built in 1700(37*) and repaired in 1725, “is decayed and ruined, and that public necessity, as well as the convenience of travellers on the highroad, requires that a good, safe bridge over Chester Creek should always be maintained and kept in repair; that the draw or engine to raise and lower the same is of no public utility and is attended with extraordinary expense and inconvenience to the public.” In view of these facts the act declares “that the commissioners and assessors, with the concurrence of the magistrates of the county of Chester, shall, as soon as may be, cause a new bridge to be built at the place where the old bridge formerly stood, leaving at least twenty feet clear between the timber or stonework, and not less than eighteen feet in breadth, and eight feet headway at high water, for the easy passage for rafts, floats, shallops, and other crafts, and the said bridge be made fast and close continued from one side of the creek to the other, without any draw or opening for a mast.”

The bridge erected in obedience to this act was a wooden structure, which was supported by heavy wrought-iron chains passing over iron columns located on either abutment. Each link of the chain, Martin says, was about two feet in length, and at either side of the bridge was a large plank cut to resemble an arch. Over each arch was a sign, the body color white, and bearing the following notification in black letters:
     “Walk your horses and drive not more than fifteen head of cattle over this bridge, under a penalty of no less than $30.”(38*)

This structure was carried off its abutments by the water during the noted flood of Aug. 5, 1843, and swept by the torrent against Eyre’s wharf, where it remained, held fast by one of the chains which did not part, on the eastward side of the creek. Isaiah H. Mirkil and Jerry Stevenson for more than two months ferried horses, cattle, wagons, carriages, and pedestrians across the creek in a scow. The county commissioners raised the old superstructure to its former position, in the fall of 1843, at a cost of two thousand one hundred and fifty dollars. One of the links or staples to which the chain was attached is still to be seen standing in the roadway, at the northeast side of the present bridge, in front of the store now occupied by F.C. Torpey, in Ladomus’ block.

In 1850 Chester began rapid strides in material improvements. The old bridge being deemed insufficient to meet the public demand, early in 1853 John Edward Clyde prepared a petition for a new structure, and Isaiah H. Mirkil circulated the paper for signatures. The petition was met with a remonstrance by several citizens of the town, who desired that the structure should be a draw-bridge, if a new one was built, and so energetically was the matter pushed on each side that the good people of Chester were soon divided into new bridge and anti-new bridge advocates. It was a contest which in that day agitated the newly-awakened borough from centre to circumference. The struggle eventuated in the erection of the present iron structure in 1853. On the southeast end of the bridge, on the main stanchion (cast in the iron), is a shield, which informs the reader that the superstructure was built by F. Quickley, of Wilmington, Del., in the year above stated, and that the county commissioners during whose term in office the work was completed were A. Newlin, J. Barton, and W.H. Grubb. The bridge originally was without sidewalks, which were added, in 1868, to accommodate the public, who up to that time had been compelled to walk in the present roadway of the bridge in passing from one ward to another. In 1872 the county commissioners made some repairs to the bridge,  relaid the planking, which was worn and decayed in many places,  but so enormous is the demand now made on this bridge by the public that no repairs can for any length of time keep it in good condition.

The Seventh Street bridge, over Chester Creek, was built in 1870, being opened for public travel December 27th of that year. The superstructure is of iron, but the traveling public have ever regarded this bridge with doubts as to its stability, hence it is seldom used by vehicles carrying heavy freight.

The Ninth Street bridge, over Ridley Creek, is a substantial structure, which was erected in 1880 -81, being opened to public use on June 27, 1881.

At the December court, 1880, a lengthy petition, signed by almost all the manufacturers and owners of industrial works in the South and Middle Wards, was presented to court asking for the appointment of a jury of view for a bridge at Second Street, which was done, and almost a year subsequently to that date (Dec. 12, 1881) the Court of Quarter Sessions confirmed the action of the jury of view, which previously had been approved of by two grand juries. The bridge which was built across Second Street during the year 1883 is the most substantial structure erected by the public in the county of Delaware.

The untiring perseverance of Isaiah H. Mirkil, after many years, culminated in securing a patient hearing, and resulted in the erection of the Second Street bridge. In recognition of his public service, on the eastern abutment, on the southerly side of the bridge, William B. Broomall had the words, “Isaiah H. Mirkil, Pontifex Maximus,” in large letters, cut deep in the solid granite coping.

Ship-Building –  During the colonial days a number of small coasting vessels were built at Chester, and after the English army evacuated Philadelphia, in 1778, a regular station for building gunboats for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania was established at that place. Samuel Lyttle, whose descendants are still residents of the neighborhood, was employed by the State authorities in sawing planks for vessels, and received his pay in Continental money, which depreciated greatly before he could dispose of it.

In 1844, Archibald McArthur was a shipwright in Chester, and built in that year the schooner “Richard Powell,” which,  framed of Delaware Count oak,  when inspected thirty years afterwards, was found to be as solid and sound as when launched. In May, 1849, Jacob Sinex, who had been a shipwright in Marcus Hook, removed to Chester, and in connection with Mr. Hargis, established a boat-yard in the ancient borough. On Dec. 8, 1852, this firm launched the schooner “Mary Pickup,” of two hundred and sixty tons, the largest vessel ever built up to that date at Chester. In 1856, William B. Fortner had located as a ship-builder at Chester. The first steamboat shaft ever forged in the borough was made for the steamboat “Young America,” in June, 1859, at the foundry of Chester A. Weidner & Co.

Roach’s Ship-Yard –  In 1859, Thomas Reaney, who had been a member of the firm of Reaney & Neafie, in Philadelphia, removed to Chester, he having purchased the lot of ground on the Delaware River, where the Pennsylvania Oil-Works had been located in 1855, and had been destroyed by fire several years subsequent to that date. There he established an extensive ship-yard in connection with William B. Reaney and Samuel Archbold, the firm being Reaney, Son & Archbold, the industry itself being known as the Pennsylvania Iron-Works. Here a large business was done, which required the erection of costly buildings, wharfing, and filling in of the river-front, together with an outlay of many thousands of dollars in the purchase of machinery. At these works during the civil war the United States war vessels, the double-enders “Wateree,” “Suwanee,” and “Shamokin” were built, hull and engines complete, ready to go to sea, as were also the monitors “Sagamon” and “Lehigh,” and the light-draught monitor “Tunxis;” two powerful tug-boats for the United States, the “Pinta” and “Nina,” were constructed at these works. Among the list of other vessels built by Reaney, Son & Archbold, was the fleet river-steamer “Samuel M. Felton.” In 1871 the firm made an assignment, and the yard and machinery was purchased by John Roach, who established “The Delaware River Iron Ship-Building and Engine Company” thereat, which since that time has become so familiar to the people of the United States. In the year 1873 -74, at these works, were built for the Pacific Mail Steamship Company the “City of Peking” and the “City of Tokio,” each being four hundred and twenty-three feet in length, with a capacity of five thousand and seventy-nine tons,  the largest vessels built in this country. The “City of Para” was launched April 6, 1878, in the presence of the President of the United States, and hundreds of distinguished guests from all parts of the country and thousands of spectators. The following-named vessels have been built since for the same company: “City of San Francisco,” “City of New York,” and “City of Sydney,” each three thousand and twenty tons; “San Jose,” “San Juan,” and “San Blas,” each two thousand and eighty tons; the “City of Panama” and the “City of Guatemala,” each fourteen hundred and ninety tons.

In the year 1873 the iron-clad sloops-of-war “Alert” and “Alliance” were built for the United States government. The name of the latter was later changed to “Huron.” It was wrecked and lost off the coast of Virginia.

In 1875 the United States monitor “Miantonomah,” iron-clad, double-turret, was built, and is now at Hampton Roads. There are at present in process of construction for the government the “Boston,” “Atlanta,” and “Chicago” (still on the stocks), the “Puritan,” a monitor, double-turret, with a capacity of two thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight tons, and the dispatch-boat “Dolphin,” the last two lying at the docks.

The following United States monitors have been refitted at the yards: “Wyandotte,” “Nahant,” “Jason,” “Passaic,” “Nausett,” “Niobe,” “Cohoes,” “Modoc,” and “Napa.”

In 1875 the “Graciosa” was built as a dispatch boat for the Spanish government.

On Tuesday morning, May 22, 1877, the steamship “Saratoga,” which was on the ways, after it had been blocked up to be launched on the high tide, was observed to be pulling, and the order was passed down along the side of the ways to “stand clear.” A number of men under the vessel ran from beneath it, and after a few moments, no others appearing, the order was given to cut the shoes which held the vessel, for it was straining hard to tear itself loose. As the ship started swiftly to the river, those who witnessed it greeted her movements with cheers, which in a moment after were hushed, when a cry of terror went up from those nearest the ways that a number of the workmen, who had not gotten from under the “Saratoga” when the shoes were cut, had been caught in the packing, which had been carried down with the vessel (a mass of timbers and block at the point where the ways are nearest the ground on the margin of the river), and had been killed or were so injured that death must ensue. The news spread with marvelous rapidity. The workmen in the yard were from all sections in the city and South Chester, and the anxiety to learn whether among the killed and wounded were relatives and friends caused a general suspension of business. The streets leading to the ship-yard were soon thronged with people hastening thither, and a crowd of men, women, and children besieged the outer gates clamorous for admission. The physicians – for every medical man in the city had been summoned to the works – had directed that to avoid confusion and excitement the public should not be admitted to the office where the dead and dying had been carried. All that medical skill could do was done, but with the exception of three men who were slightly injured, all those who were under the “Saratoga” at the time the vessel was launched were killed or died in a few hours thereafter. The following is a list of the dead: Edward Burke, Charles Wright, Sr., Edward Fawley, John J. Crewe, John Neilson, George Woof, and Bernard Cannon.

In the year 1877 there was built at the yards for the United States government a sectional dry-dock in four sections, having a total length of one hundred and sixty-eight feet and one hundred and eighteen feet in width. After completion it was shipped to Pensacola, Fla., where it was placed.

Vessels have been built for the Oregon Steamship Company of San Francisco, Old Dominion Steamship Company of New York, Ocean Steamship Company of Savannah, Brazilian Mail Steamship Company, Cromwell Line of New York, C.H. Mallory & Co. of New York, J.E. Ward & Co. of New York. Since 1871 ninety vessels have been built at these yards.

There is used annually at these works about sixteen million pounds of iron, and about fifteen hundred men are employed. The yards embrace about thirty-two acres, with a frontage on the river of twelve hundred feet. The buildings include a brick three-story structure forty-three by forty-four feet, occupied as offices and draughting-rooms; foundry, one hundred and eleven by one hundred feet, blacksmith-shops, boiler-shops, machine-shops, and many other buildings. Fifty comfortable dwellings are adjacent to the yards for the use of employes.

John Roach, Sr., proprietor of the celebrated iron ship-yard at Chester, and of the Morgan Iron-Works in New York City, is one of the most remarkable self-made men of the country. Few life-stories can equal his in incident and interest. None can furnish more striking illustration of what may be accomplished by purpose, perseverance, and pluck, backed by a will which no difficulties could daunt, and by a heroism of moral character which no test or trouble could overcome.

Mr. Roach was born in County Cork, Ireland, Dec. 25, 1816. In his veins flows that Irish blood which has produced so many eminent names in Parliamentary and military history, of the purest and sturdiest to be found in Great Britain’s isles. His family were highly respectable and well-to-do trades-people. Until he was thirteen he had such schooling as his native neighborhood afforded, this, however, consisting rather more in the application of birch than of useful instruction on the teacher’s part, and in devotion to sport rather than to study on the part of the scholars. The school-days, such as they were, were cut short by money embarrassments at home, Mr. Roach’s father having become involved by indorsements to such extent as to cause his financial ruin, and finally his death from grief.

Inspired with the indomitable resolution which has been the marked characteristic of his career, the boy determined to seek his fortunes in America. The previous emigration of an uncle was one inducement to this step, and, in the expectation of finding this uncle in New York, at the age of sixteen he crossed the ocean, and landed a stranger, alone and almost penniless, in the metropolis. There he learned, to his dismay, that his uncle was in Texas. Left thus to face the fact that he had no one to whom he could turn for help, and that his small supply of money must soon be gone, he resolved to work at anything he could find to do to earn his passage back to Ireland. Bethinking himself of a man who had once worked for his father, and who was now settled in New Jersey, he made inquiries, and at length found him in Monmouth (now Ocean) County, N.J. Here he received a welcome, but aid was beyond the poor man’s ability. Near by was a brick-yard, however, and he got work as a hand with the wheelbarrow. That was the beginning of a self-earned fortune. But the toil was very severe for one so young, and he was treated more like a slave and brute than a human being. A month at this brought him seven dollars. Then he went to the place where Mr. James P. Allaire, of New York, was building the Howell Iron-Works, and applied for work. As he could get nothing better, he hired out as attendant on the masons. He worked till he had saved fifty dollars. When it is recalled how low the wages were for such labor, it will be seen with what perseverance these hard-earned dollars were made and laid aside. Always before him was the purpose to rise to something higher. In this spirit he boldly went to the foreman of the department where iron hollow-ware was made, and offered his fifty dollars as meeting the requirement for apprenticeship to the trade. The foreman laughed at his pretensions, and refused to receive him. Not to be put down thus, he applied to Mr. Allaire himself, and by his intelligent remarks, bright face, and worthy ambition so impressed the proprietor that he gave orders to have the young man admitted to the foundry. Here he had many obstacles to contend with, but made steady progress notwithstanding. His associates were ignorant, rough men, with no idea of bettering their condition. A barrel of whiskey was kept for general use, contributions for this purpose being exacted from each person. Young Roach contributed, but refused to partake of the liquor. At the end of the first year he had five hundred dollars due him, and at the end of the second one thousand dollars more. The conditions on which the fifty dollars were paid to learn this trade were that a certain class of articles moulded and cast from the melted iron should be paid for by the piece. The more and faster the person worked the more he made, and while many with the same chance as himself made nothing, by his skill and his indefatigable industry, working over-hours, and wasting none of his energies, he succeeded in saving this handsome sum. It was from the start his firm conviction that no man could rise in the world who could not lay by something in whatever position he might be.

By this time he had married. Planning for the welfare of his family, he concluded to go into the new West and buy land with a view to settlement on a farm. Drawing five hundred dollars of his money, and traveling west by canal and stage and other slow methods of those days, he at length reached what is now the site of Peoria, Ill., and bought three hundred acres of land in the neighborhood, paying his five hundred dollars as security. It seemed settled that John Roach was to become an Illinois farmer. But there was a different course of life mapped out for him, with more telling work for his country. By one of those providences which some wrongly consider to be chance, just at this time Mr. Allaire failed. That ended the Illinois farming. Mr. Roach, not being able to get his thousand dollars, could not make the further payments, forfeited what he had already paid, and found himself far from home, without money enough to get back, and in a land where a day’s wages was not money, but as much corn as a man could carry on his back. That would not pay fare, since there was no market where it could be turned into cash.

But there was no such idea as “give up” in his head. Within twenty-four hours after learning of his loss, he was working his way homeward on the canals; and in some four months after his departure from New York, with high hopes of success in the great West, he was back again, richer in experience, but poorer in pocket, with nothing to do but begin over. He had, however, the capital of a thoroughly-mastered trade, a powerful constitution, and an indomitable will.

Mr. Allaire, who had resumed business, was glad to regain so skillful a workman. Mr. Roach, however, was not satisfied with his old trade, and learned that of making castings for machinery. Here again a foreman opposed him, but Mr. Allaire knew his valuable qualities, and insisted that he should be taken into the foundry. He rose rapidly, and subsequently was offered the place of the very foreman who had opposed him, but refused to take it from him. He worked himself ill by his over-hours and his intense application, and for a long time it was thought he would die of consumption; but the strong constitution stood him in good stead, and he recovered.

When he got two hundred dollars ahead again,  and it was slower work saving now with a family to support,  he determined that he must be something more than a workman in a foundry if his children were to be properly cared for and educated. He finally hit upon the scheme of starting out for himself by buying a small foundry in Goerck Street, New York City,  the Etna Iron-Works,  then in the hands of a receiver, and for sale. The property consisted of only two lots of ground, forty by one hundred feet; but before he left for yet larger works it was enlarged, so as to cover fifty city lots. Nothing ever grew smaller under his hands. Finding three other mechanics, each having two hundred dollars, who were willing to join in the enterprise, the property was bought for four thousand seven hundred dollars, with a small cash payment, which left an equally small cash capital with which to begin business. The firm became Roach & Johnson, and the subsequently famous Etna Iron-Works sought public patronage,  that is, Mr. Roach sought it. The responsibility of the purchase was taken by him, and his partners left the management of everything to him. Where he was bound to succeed, they were doubtful; where he was resolute, they were holding back; where he was enterprising, they were timid. Those days showed the man. He scoured the city for work. He was unknown, without cash capital, credit, or influential friends; but his pluck shone in his face and inspired confidence. The first work he got, after long search, was to make some grate-bars for a Brooklyn distillery. When this was done there was not a dollar left of the cash capital, and he himself took the bars to the distillery, and asked for immediate payment, frankly stating that money with him was scarce, and he would willingly make a reduction for cash. His struggles for success in this foundry were such as few men go through. The partners early became discouraged, and he promptly bought their interest, giving them his note for three hundred dollars and a mortgage as collateral, and keeping them in his employ. Not one of them rose afterwards to a proprietor’s place. He made frank statements to the iron merchants of his condition and prospects. His work was always satisfactory, both in price and character; his contracts were always kept to the letter; and his known probity of character gradually obtained for him a limited credit. Often during this period he had to obtain credit in order to support his family, because it took all the money he had to pay his workmen on Saturday night. During all his more than forty years of proprietorship and employment of thousands of work-men, never once did his men fail to receive their weekly wages when they were due.

Mr. Roach’s first decided rise was when he was fortunate enough to get a contract for an iron building, and made eight thousand dollars in six months. This work was so satisfactory that his business and credit were increased largely. He took contracts which were beyond the capacity of his works, but tore down the old buildings, and in forty days had new and adequate works in operation, and carried out the contracts. That was characteristic of the man. Any work he could get to do he was sure he could provide the necessary capacity to do.

Business was now fairly prosperous with him when, in 1846, by the explosion of the boiler, his works were mostly destroyed by fire, and what was far more grievous, with accompanying loss of life. No insurance was recovered, and again he found himself nearly ruined. But he had an enlarged experience, an established business, and a sound though not large credit, being so much the richer by his hard toiling years. To go on with his contracts without loss of time he laid pipes and carried steam from a boiler in a factory over two hundred feet away to his own engine, which in the general wreck had singularly escaped destruction. By so doing, in forty-eight hours work was resumed. By extraordinary exertions he overcame the most distressing discouragements and re-established the foundry. There came out once more the indomitable spirit of the man. Business men generally recognized the fact that nothing could crush John Roach, and from that time his credit was good anywhere, and his word was as good as his bond. Pluck and patience and persistency will powerfully tell. All men honor the man who makes himself the master of misfortunes.

With the profits of the business in eight years Mr. Roach built an establishment having facilities to construct larger marine-engines than any yet built in this country. He was bound that nothing in his line should be done anywhere in the world that he could not do. He sent an agent to Europe to examine the greatest establishments there, and thus was able to avail himself of all the advantages in selection and arrangement of machinery. Some of the tools introduced were the largest in the country. Where other works were unimproved he was constantly making advance in facilities. He stimulated the inventive genius of his workmen, and was quick to adopt a good thing when he found it. Having gone through every branch of his business, and understanding every detail, his eye was swift to see and his judgment was rarely at fault. Nothing escaped his personal attention. His capacity for work was wonderful. His pay-lists enrolled from nine hundred to fifteen hundred men. Two immense engines were built by him in these works for the iron-clad “Dunderberg,” and the engines for the double-end gunboat “Winooski,” the steam frigate “Neshaming,” the great sound steamers “Bristol” and “Providence,” and other large vessels. No work was too great or too difficult for him to do, and do at its best, and no unsatisfactory work went out of his establishment. His superior facilities enabled him to do work in shortest time and at lowest price. In 1858 he took into partnership one of his sons, and the firm became, as at present, John Roach & Son.

But Mr. Roach’s ambition was not yet satisfied. The Etna Works, large and complete as they were, lay distant from the river-front and lacked other advantages. In 1867 he bought the Morgan Iron-Works, an immense establishment at the foot of Ninth Street, on the East River. These works were built in 1838 by T.F. Secor & Co., and in 1850 were bought by George W. Quintard, who conducted them until 1867. The engines for a large number of first-class merchant and war vessels were constructed in them. They consist of various buildings,  foundries and shops,  occupying six city blocks, giving a water-front of three hundred feet. Great alterations were made and the establishment was brought to the highest point of capacity and perfection. For the construction of marine-engines of the old style there was no superior plant in the world.

But when the works were brought to this condition another discouraging train of circumstances came on which threatened to make establishment and experience useless and the property of little value, except as real estate.

During the civil war our shipping was driven from the sea, and England embraced the opportunity to get possession of the carrying trade formerly ours. For years a revolution had been going on in ship-building, in the change not only from wood to iron, from sail to steam, but from the wooden side-wheeler to the iron propeller, and from the ordinary to the compound engine. No compound engine had at that time been built in this country. Our iron interest had not been developed. And at this time, when England was in possession of the carrying trade, and when everything that entered into the construction of a ship was taxed, the free-ship cry was raised in Congress. This utterly discouraged capital invested in the iron business, and nearly all the great iron-works in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston were closed up. Mr. Roach held on. He looked over the whole subject,  saw the need of this great country for ships and its danger without the power to build them,  and had faith to believe that the people would demand a revival of the American carrying trade. He proved his faith by investing all he had in the ship-yard and engine-works at Chester, an establishment which covers some twenty-five acres and thirty branches of skilled labor, and has in many respects no equal in the world, and where a finished ship, from the ore up, can be produced. Over three thousand men are in his employ, and nowhere are to be found superior facilities or superior ships. Nearly one hundred splendid iron steamships have been launched by him, and no unsatisfactory work has he ever done. It is a remarkable fact that in his business career of over forty years Mr. Roach has never been sued, nor has he ever brought suit against any man with whom he has had dealings. His ability to manage men is as marked as his executive powers. Strikes have been markedly absent from his work-shops, and his men have ever been treated with kindness and consideration. He is a model employer.

By his persistency in advocating an American policy of protection not only for American ships, but for all American industries, Mr. Roach has done more than any other one man to stem the tide of foreign influence in favor of free trade, which means the pauperization of American labor in favor of foreign labor. By his powerful arguments before Congressional committees, arguments which proved unanswerable, he has, year after year, fought and defeated the bills for free ships and free trade introduced into Congress; his opponents have conceded that they owe defeat to him alone. This will secure him high honor at the hands of the American people when our history shall be written, and when, free from prejudice, men shall be able to see how much the country and its industries owe to the firm stand taken and maintained with consummate ability by Mr. Roach.

He is a man of genial disposition, a fluent and persuasive speaker, overflowing with broad and sound ideas on all subjects. He has aided many a young man and influenced him to make something of himself. The rules which he has followed and which he would recommend to all are these:

1. Keep your promises and appointments.

2. Never let a customer go away dissatisfied, if you can possibly help it.

3. Never lend a friend your note, rather loan him the money, if you can spare it. Never indorse another man’s note as an accommodation.

4. Do no business with a man who is troublesome, and whom you know you cannot satisfy.

5. Pay your bills and workmen promptly when pay is due.

6. Be honest and honorable in all things, and kind to all men.

The rules are characteristic of a man whose life cannot be studied by young men without advantage, and who is worthy of the honors that have been conferred upon him by those who know his worth.

Sauville Spar-Yard –  In 1865 John Sauville established a spar-yard at the foot of Parker Street. The masts and spars used at Roach’s ship-yard are here hewn from the large timbers which are brought from Clearfield City, in this State, and the spruce logs are brought from Maine.

The Frick’s Boat-Yard –  In 1860, William Frick and William Wilson, formerly of the firm of Frick, Slifer & Co., of Louisburg, Pa., came to Chester and purchased a large tract of land on the river, adjoining the yard of Reaney, Son & Archbold. Here they erected piers, which extended nearly seven hundred feet from the fast land into the water, and expended thousands of dollars in filling in the low and marshy ground so that it might be utilized for the purposes of a boat-yard. The firm made a specialty of building canal-boats, and had established a large business, giving employment to nearly a hundred hands, when the civil war unsettled value and so advanced the costs of materials that it was very precarious to enter into heavy contracts to be carried out in the future. Frick & Co. had undertaken to build a large number of canal-boats at a designated price, which at the period the contract was entered into, and the cost of material at that time, promised to yield a large profit to the builder, but the inflation came, lumber and iron advanced threefold in value. The parties for whom the boats were to be built demanded that the firm should carry out its contract, although to do so would entail the loss of many thousands of dollars. Finding that the strict letter of the agreement would be required, Frick & Co. strove to carry out their obligation in good faith, but the losses entailed embarrassed them, and culminated ultimately in financial failure. The boats were delivered, but the builders were ruined, and that in a contract which when made promised a large margin of profit.

Besides the yards already mentioned, Charles A. Weidner, at the Chester Iron-Works, on Second Street, between Edgmont and Market Streets, built several river steamboats and other vessels. In 1873 the United States revenue marine steamer “Manhattan” was built at this establishment, and at the time was pronounced by the government inspectors the best vessel ever constructed for that service in the country. In 1876 Nathan Pennell and George Robinson had a ship-yard in South Ward, near Essex Street, and that year the tug “Mary Ann” was built at this yard. The depression of 1877 caused the proprietors to abandon and retire from the business, which was at that time very unpromising.

Court-Houses and Prisons –  At the session of Upland Court, Nov. 14, 1676, an order was made providing that Neeles Laerson be paid “for his charges for keeping the Court last year.” Neeles Laerson was a tavern-keeper, and his inn is believed to have been on Edgmont Avenue, north of the present Second Street. He was the owner of one hundred and eighty-one acres of land in Chester, covering a large part of the present thickly built-up portion of the city to which I am now referring. Neeles Laerson was a quarrelsome neighbor, as will be seen by an examination of the records. In 1678, James Sandelands, on behalf of the inhabitants of Upland, called the attention of the court to the fact that Laerson had built a fence closing the old and usual way to the meadow, which obstruction the court ordered the latter to remove. On the same day the church wardens complained that in taking possession of two lots in Chester, which he had bought from Dominie Lasse Carolus, he had included some of the church or glebe lands. The court ordered that he should be allowed that which he had bought, but if it was found that he had taken more than was by right his, it should be annexed to the church lots.

The first court of which we have information was, as shown, held at Learson’s inn, but the justice ordered, Nov. 13, 1677, that Capt. Hans Jargin, who had been occupying the building as a barracks for his company, should “fit up” the House of Defense, or block house, and furnish it “fitt for the Court to sitt in against ye next Court.” Although there is no positive record showing that the House of Defense was used by the court for its sessions, it is now generally conceded that the evidence fully establishes the fact that it was so occupied. This building, which was constructed of logs, stood on the east side of Edgmont Avenue, about eighty-four feet from the present Second Street, was rectangular in shape, and was fourteen by fifteen feet in dimensions. It was erected at an angle to Second Street, and extended into the roadway of Edgmont Avenue. Neeles Laerson, March 13, 1678, was ordered by the court “to make or leave a lane or street from Upland creek to ye House of Defence or County House” between that time and the next court, and in default to be fined at the discretion of the judges. As the early settlers traveled almost wholly by water, it was very essential that there should be free access from the creek to the public buildings, and this means of communication the pugnacious Laerson seems to have interrupted until the strong arm of the law dealt summarily with him. It appears that the court-house was then a place where articles were exposed by the public for sale. The court, on 3d day of First month, 1684, determined that a revenue might be derived from this source; hence the old record shows this strange entry:
     “Ordered that all people that shall make use of the Court House for sellerage of any goods shall for every Tonne pay after ye rate of three Shillings fourpence a Tonne for any time not exceeding a week, And for what time it shall continue afterwards half so much.”

How long the House of Defense was used as the public buildings of the county is not known, but in 1703, after two other buildings in succession had been occupied by the court, the grand jury presented the old block-house “as being a nuisance, and dangerous of taking fire, and so would endanger the town.” “The Court,” – so runs the old entry on the docket,  “in deliberate consideration, ordered the said house to be pulled down, and that Jasper Yeates, Chief Burgess of the Borough of Chester, shall see the order performed.” Previous to 1683 – there seems to have been no place for the detention of prisoners in Chester for two years before that date – “John Ward for sundry Felons, committed to the custody of the Sheriff, and made his escape with irons upon him.”

The third court-house, or the third building wherein court was held, was built in 1684-85. Dr. Smith says, “A jail was erected at the same time, but there is reason to believe that it was built near the creek, and that there was a street laid out between the two buildings.” Henry Hollingsworth, who was a Friend, “for cutting the eaves of the new prison,” was dealt with by meeting the same year. This court-house Dr. Smith located on the east side of Edgmont Street, which John Hill Martin thinks is an error, and that it was on the west side of that highway, an opinion which meets the approval of the present writers. The student of our ancient annals will find more confusion in the authorities respecting the sites of the several court-houses than in any other details of the early days of the colony. This last building, after it was no longer used for county purposes, was ordered by the court, at the March session, 1701, “to be set on sale the 6th day of the Third month next, papers to be set up to give notice that it is to be sold at Vandew.”

Whether the sale was had according to this order does not appear, but the property must have passed to Ralph Fishbourn, of Chester, gentleman, for in the latter part of the year 1705 the Legislature passed an act “to assure, grant, and convey unto Ralph Fishbourn one messuage, cottage-house, or tenement, and lot of ground thereunto belonging, situated in Chester, in the county of Chester, formerly known by the name of the ‘Old Court-House.’”

The fourth court-house, so far as its foundation is concerned, is still standing on the west side of Edgmont Avenue nearly opposite the House of Defense, its precise location being two hundred and fifty-six feet six inches from the southwest corner of Edgmont Avenue and Third Street. It was built by John Hoskins in 1695, and he conveyed the lot to the county the same year. The old building, now owned by Jonathan Pennell, has a part of the wall of this court-house standing in the northern gable of the present structure, between the two end windows, and extending up nearly to the second story. The old part of the wall, and that which was added after it ceased to be the county building, is still easily discernible. The jail was in the cellar, and the iron rods which formerly barred the prisoners’ escape from confinement, while admitting fresh air to the cells, still remain in the weather-stained frames in the foundation walls. The court-rooms and jury-rooms were in the first and second stories.

At the same court, March, 1701, at which the sale of the old court-house erected in 1684 was ordered, the prison being found inadequate to retain the culprits, Jasper Yeates, Ralph Fishbourn, Joseph Cobourn, and Andrew Jobe were appointed supervisors to build a new prison on the grounds of James Sandelands, the younger, and were instructed that the erection should be twenty-five feet in length by eighteen feet in width in the clear. This structure, so far as the prison was concerned, was built, for the old draft of Chester, now owned by William B. Broomall, Esq., locates this building as south of the court-house built by Hoskins in 1695, and Sandelands, by his attorney, David Lloyd, in open court, delivered a deed for the land to the commissioners of the county.

We have serious doubt whether the court-house alluded to in the report of the grand jury of the 24th of February, 1701, was ever built. The grand inquest on that occasion called the attention of the court to “the necessity of a Court Hous and prison hous,” but stated also that “there is little money in the bank, and that many have not paid their moiety 1/2 rate of the last assessment, desire that such may be forced.” They also recommended the speedy gathering of the county tax remaining unpaid, and requested the justices to issue warrants therefor, and end their report with the declaration that in their opinion “Law and Justice cannot have its perfect courc without such housis for their distribution as aforesaid.” We know that at the December court, 1701, the justices ordered repairs to be made “to the court and prison hous,” and appointed Walter Martin, John Hoskins, and Henry Worley to be supervisors and oversee the work, with power to provide materials, employ workmen, and to finish the repairs as speedily as possible. The supervisors were also instructed to provide a pair of stocks and a whipping-post. Whether the expense of the building of the new court-house, as desired by the grand jury, in 1701-2, was greater than the county could undertake, cannot now be determined, but there is no documentary evidence to show that such a structure was ever erected, and we indorse the opinion of Dr. Smith and John Hill Martin that the next court-house in chronological order was the old building on Market Street, known to us of the present day as the City Hall.

The fifth court-house, including the tavern of Neeles Laerson in the number, was the massive stone structure still standing on the west side of Market Street, which was built in 1724, the date-stone being in the south wall, but covered with the dull brownish preparation which still defaces the ancient edifice, and hides the numerals from sight. The building has the pent-roof projections over the first-story windows, as was the style of architecture of that day, and as originally constructed was surmounted with a small belfry rising from the centre of the roof in which formerly hung a bell, with the words “Chester, 1729” cast in the metal. The bay or semi-circular projection at the north side, in the rear of the judges’ bench, was added at a later date. The jury-rooms were in the second story of the building. Dr. Smith tells us that tradition has handed down an incident “as having happened during the building of the court-house, or some other public building in Chester,” which he relates as follows:
     “During the progress of the work a young lady was observed to pass and repass the building daily, dressed in very gay attire. After the promenade had been continued for some time, one of the workmen, less mannerly than his associates, upon the appearance of the lady, called out, 
     “In silk and scarlet walks many a harlot.’

“The young lady, feeling indignant at the insult, promptly replied,
     “‘By line and rule works many a fool.’”

Unfortunately for the tradition connecting this incident with Chester, the same story is told respecting the erection of an edifice in York, England, which building antedates the discovery of America by the Genoese mariner, and the anecdote is related of several localities in Great Britain years before we have knowledge that any European had settled at Upland.

When the new court-house was finished an act of Assembly was procured “to enable the trustee to sell the old Court House and prison belonging to the borough and county of Chester,” and in 1725 the building mentioned, the one built in 1695, and part of the wall of which stands in the house now owned by Jonathan Pennell, on Edgmont Avenue, was sold to William Preston, of Philadelphia, mariner, for twenty-seven pounds.

The presumption is that the old jail, which stood at the northwest corner of Fourth and Market Streets, was built previous to the date of the erection of the courthouse on the same street. The act of Feb. 22, 1718, required “that within the space of three years after the 25th day of March, 1718, a house of correction, or work-house, shall be built… in Chester, at the charge of the county of Chester.” The old work-house stood directly in the rear of the prison, and the fact that it was located on the thoroughfare leading from Market Street to Edgmont gave the name of Work Street to the highway for more than a century. The prothonotary’s office, which still stands back from the present building-line of Market Street, and now owned by James Hampson, was not erected in that year, for at “the private session” of the court, held at the house of John Hannum, in Concord, Dec. 15, 1724, Joseph Parker petitioned the court, “setting forth ye great danger ye records of ye county lay in, as well as by casualties of fire, as other accidents;” the court “allows ye petition to be reasonable, and orders ye clerk to present ye same before ye commissioners and assessors of ye same county, in order that they may fit a room in ye new Court House for keeping ye said records in; and when prepared order ye old clerk to transmit all ye said records to ye place so appropriated accordingly, and not to be removed without ye Court’s direction.” Twelve years after this order Joseph Paken, in his petition dated Jan. 24, 1737, gives a woeful description of the then condition of the court-house. He says,
     “Which said Court house was at the Public Expense Furnished with Tables, Chairs, fire shovels, Tongs, Doggs, fenders, as many as Reasonably adjudged Necessary… But whoever the Person charge the same was Committed to It is Apparent to Every Person that will make use of his Eyes that the Doors are most Commonly Left Open for Horses and Cattle to go in and out at Pleasure, the Furniture broke and Exceedingly Deminished, and the place made a Common Stage whereby Rude people break the windows, Treads down Ceiling and Commits many Disorders, which, if not timely Prevented must end in the Ruin thereof, As the great Danger which proceed by the person Intrusted by you with the Care thereof In making the same a Dwelling house and Keeping Fires therein for some months Together.”

The court-house appears to have been much out of order, for on March 1, 1737/8, the commissioners and assessors agreed with John Owens to repair it as follows:
     “The Lower floor and the Bar and to provide Convenient Seats for the Petty Jury to sitt on when in Court and to repair the windows and shutters below stairs and above the Chimney case in the Grand Jury room and to repair the Three Tables belonging to the several rooms above stairs, and the Benches and to fix a Turn’d Column or Pillar to support the Ceiling where the Bell rope comes thro’ and to cause the Ceiling to be Repaired, and to Provide as many Boards as may lay a ffloor over the sd Ceiling and to make & put up shutters for the Belfry (or place where the Bell hangs) and Likewise to make a window in the Gable End in the Garret or Upper Room and glaze the same, and to Endeavor to procure (with the help of Joseph Parker) the chairs that is wanted belonging to the Court House as also the Tongs and fire Shovels.”

These repairs were made, for some of the improvements designated, particularly the setting up of a turned column to support the upper floor, was in the apartment and removed after the building had passed into the ownership of the city of Chester, when the upper apartments were altered into the present Council chamber.

As stated, the date of the erection of the prothonotary’s office is well known, and I doubt whether the building antedates the Revolution, for, on July 28, 1777, the records of the county were in the possession of the late prothonotary, and at his residence, for on that date the Executive Council authorized Caleb Davis,  Benjamin Jacobs not having qualified,  who was appointed in Jacobs’ stead, to “enter the dwelling and out-houses of H.H. Graham, take possession of the books and papers of the county, and remove them to a place of safety.” Joseph Parker had kept the records in an office alongside his dwelling-house,  the old Logan house on Second Street,  and Henry Hale Graham had after that deposited the records in his office, the one-story building on Edgmont Avenue, north of Graham Street, now belonging to the estate of Henry Abbott, deceased. It seems that in the growth of the business before the County Court, the rooms in the second story of the court-house were necessary for the use of the grand and petit juries, and hence the order of the court of Dec. 15, 1774, had to be disregarded. The prothonotary’s office, I am of opinion, must necessarily have been erected subsequent to the battle of Brandywine, for it was the dread of the threatened British attack on Philadelphia which occasioned the alarm of Council as to the safety of the county records, and called forth the order to Caleb Davis.

The old county prison and work-house, as before stated, were built previous to or about the same time as the court-house. The jail was two stories high, built of square cut stone, and extended westwardly along Fourth Street. In the front part of the building was the sheriff’s house. This was a structure two stories and an attic in height, presenting in the front to the street the general style of the court-house. Back of the prison, and extending along Fourth Street, was the work-house, also of stone. In 1741 the courthouse and jail were repaired and painted, and a well dug in the court-house yard. The old pump, with a heavy iron handle, stood within the memory of many of our older residents a nuisance in winter, because of the drippings therefrom forming ice and rendering its locality a dangerous one to pedestrians. Many years ago the trunk was taken out and the well filled in. Part of the old brickwork of the well is under the front foundation of the store No. 404 Market Street. During the year just mentioned the commissioners paid Nathan Worley £10 for planks used in flooring the two dungeons on the east side of the prison, and Thomas Morgan was paid £5 11s. 6d. for one hundred and fifty pounds of spikes used in laying the dungeon floors. In front of the gaol and extending to the court-house doors was a double row of Lombardy poplars which afforded a pleasant shady walk in the summer, and frequently during periods of political excitement here the orator of the day held forth and saved the nation by his noisy mouthings. The old trees at length grew so unsightly, many of their branches having died, that over half a century ago the poplars were cut down and a double row of lindens were planted to replace the ancient trees under whose towering branches our Revolutionary sires discussed the Boston Port Bill and other measures preceding the actual outbreak of hostilities between the colonies and the mother-country, and within the venerable structure proceedings were had to raise the quota of the Continental troops required from Chester County, as in after-years similar meetings were held to provide soldiers during the rebellion.

On the removal of the county-seat to West Chester, the old court-house and public buildings in Chester were sold, on the 18th of March, 1788, to William Kerlin, for £415. After the passage of the act of Sept. 26, 1789, creating the county of Delaware, Kerlin sold the property Nov. 3, 1789, to the county for £693 3s. 8d. As long as Chester remained the seat of justice of Delaware County courts continued to be held in the old building, and at times it must have been exceeding unpleasant to those who were compelled to attend, particularly in rainy weather, when, as is stated by a county newspaper in 1843, the mud on the floor was nearly an inch in depth. It was certainly not in this condition on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 1824, when Gen. Lafayette was the guest of Chester. He was accompanied by Governor Shulze and staff, Gen. Cadwalader and staff, and many of the dignitaries of Philadelphia. The steamboat did not reach the landing until eleven o’clock at night, but a line of boys, each bearing a lighted candle, was formed, extending, it is said, from the wharf to the Washington House. Most of the houses in the town were brilliantly lighted, and the windows decorated with transparencies and designs. At one o’clock in the morning the general and friends were “regaled with a sumptuous entertainment” at the court-house, which had been prepared by the ladies of Chester. Lafayette remained in the ancient borough during Wednesday, when he reviewed the volunteers of Delaware amid Chester Counties, and on Thursday, at seven o’clock in the morning, he started in a coach and four for Wilmington, accompanied by a suitable escort.

The old jail, during the last ten years it was used as a place for the detention of prisoners, was “a miserable old rattle-trap, nearly all the bars of the windows rusted off and the ceilings and windows anything but secure.” This is the description given of the jail building in 1841 by the editor of the Delaware County Republican. In truth it could only retain those inmates who were too indolent to make an effort to escape.

In 1824, when Joseph Weaver was sheriff, a convict named Tom Low succeeded in making his escape from confinement. He had been in the jail-yard, as was usual, at a certain time of the day, and, being forgotten, he managed to get possession of a spade, with which he burrowed under the yard-wall, coming out about fifteen feet from the court-house. He was never recaptured. In the latter part of May, 1844, Henry Johnson escaped from the jail by scaling the wall. His sentence would have expired the next day, but, learning that a commitment had been lodged against him in Philadelphia, and that he would be taken there for trial for another offense as soon as discharged, he declined to serve out the full term of his imprisonment. Indeed, the old jail had no terrors for the professional cracksman, for on the night of Jan. 20, 1844, the dwelling in the front, then occupied by Sheriff Hibberd, was entered by burglars, who decamped with the wearing apparel of the family and other articles of value. On Sept. 6, 1847, two prisoners attempted to escape by making ropes of their blankets, but a passer-by, noticing the head of one of the men just above the wall, gave the alarm, and they were prevented from making a general jail delivery. George Harris, a colored man, by the same means escaped on July 9, 1847, and was not recaptured, while another of his race (Brown), who had four times before left the jail without the consent of the county authorities, on July 4, 1848, took the privileges of the day and regained his freedom, shaking off the dust of the old prison for the fifth time. After the county buildings at Media were being constructed Arthur Goodwin, a prisoner in the jail at Chester, on Sunday, Dec. 1, 1850, dug through the walls. But as the convict returned to his own house the sheriff had little difficulty in recapturing him. This is the last prisoner who defied the bolts and bars of the old jail, for on Dec. 9, 1850, the property in the borough was offered at public sale by the county commissioners. The courthouse and two lots were sold to the borough authorities for two thousand six hundred and one dollars, the prothonotary’s office and lot, adjoining it on the north, to James Hampson for fifteen hundred and twenty-five dollars, and the jail and lots adjoining to James Campbell for three thousand five hundred and twenty dollars.

A large frame building which stood in the rear of the jail and work-house was bought by Campbell previous to his purchase of the old prison, and here he began alterations for the reception of looms. In the Delaware County Republican of Feb. 1, 1850, the following reference is made to the change then being made,  the dawning of Chester’s prosperity:

Improvements in Chester –  Appearances indicate that in the spring our borough will take a start in the march of improvement. Our friend, James Campbell, of Leiperville, has made arrangements for manufacturing of cotton goods in the building back of the jail. He will start with fifty power looms, driven by a ten horse-power steam engine, and will soon increase the number to one hundred. In this mill will be the first looms ever set in motion on the spot first occupied as the capital of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Campbell will be the Columbus in manufacturing in Chester.”

In the issue of the same journal for April 5, 1850, appeared the following local:
     “PIONEER FACTORY –  The new manufacturing establishment projected in the borough by Mr. James Campbell, of Ridley, was put in partial operation last week, and the puffing of the steam-engine and the music of the shuttle are daily heard in our midst, causing us increased wonder why a town possessing so many and rare advantages as our own was not years ago converted into a great manufacturing mart. Mr. Campbell is about to extend his buildings, and in a short time will have one hundred looms in active operation. The machinery used is handsomely finished and of a superior kind. We have examined a specimen of the goods made by it, and predict that they will find a ready sale in whatever market they may be offered.”

As before stated, the factory mentioned in the Republican was the old bowling-alley, which stood on the north side of Fourth Street, where part of the market-house is now located. The Republican failed to record an incident which happened when the first loom was started in the Pioneer Mills by the late James Ledward, then in Campbell’s employ. A number of citizens of Chester were present when the machinery first began to move, and as they saw it in motion, all present broke into a cheer, and afterwards they one and all sang “Hail Columbia.” Many who were then employed in the first manufacture of textile goods in Chester will recall this incident to memory. After Mr. Campbell purchased the jail and workhouse, he tore down the northern wall of the old structure and built out in that direction, so that his mills, retaining the name “Pioneer Mills,” extended over to and included the prison-yard walls. In the new addition he kept the Jacquard looms, and thereon were woven quilts and fabrics of a like character. The great difficulty he had to contend with was the scarcity of water, and to meet this want he expended thousands of dollars in sinking wells in the yard. The new enterprise, which had required a large outlay of means, was getting well established when the panic of 1857 came upon the country, spreading ruin in all directions, and crushing down industrial establishments by the thousands Mr. Campbell at that time became financially embarrassed, and in 1858 the “Pioneer Mills” passed into the ownership of the late Gen. Robert E. Patterson.

After Campbell had erected the Pioneer Mills, the heirs of William Kerlin brought an action in ejectment against him, alleging that the land and buildings which Kerlin had conveyed to the county of Delaware in 1789 was conditioned on the use of the premises as a court-house and jail, and that inasmuch as the buildings had ceased to be used for the purposes intended, the title reverted to the heirs-at-law of Kerlin. The court below decided that the deed from Kerlin to the county was absolute and for a valuable consideration, with power of alienation in the county; and an appeal being taken to the Supreme Court, this opinion was sustained.

James Campbell, to whom Chester owes so much for its present manufacturing prominence, was born in Stockport, England, on Aug. 12, 1805, where at an early age he entered a mill, learning thoroughly the trade of cotton-weaving. Energetic and self-reliant, he came to this country in his early manhood, determining to make his way in this world. He sought employment at the factory of Mr. Philips, at Rockdale, and subsequently became the manager of the mills at Pennsgrove, then owned by James Houghton, now by Samuel Riddle, continuing there until 1837, when his employer removed to Groveville, N.J., to which place James Campbell declined to go, although he was urged to do so by Houghton, who was loath to part with him. At that time John Garsed, whose eldest daughter (Angelina) Campbell had married, had a machine-shop at Pennsgrove, and he offered to his son-in-law six cotton-looms, which he had made for parties who had failed in business and could not take the machines. Campbell accepted the offer, and placed the looms in a vacant building at Pennsgrove, and began his career as a manufacturer. Industrious and progressive, he soon established a reputation in business, and in the following year Hon. George G. Leiper proposed to erect an additional story to the bark-mill, at Leiperville, so as to afford sufficient room for the machinery required in a cotton-factory, if Campbell would agree to lease the property after the change was made. The offer was accepted, and in that locality Campbell was very successful, accumulating considerable capital, which he subsequently lost in his effort to develop the borough of Chester into a manufacturing town. His object was attained, hundreds have profited by his endeavors, but in the panic of 1857, when many of the commission-houses with whom he dealt suspended, it embarrassed him, and finally caused his failure. So great had been his struggles to prevent this result that his health broke under the strain, and after several years of almost unintermitting illness, during which his indomitable energy never forsook him, he died, May 14, 1862.

The mill, after Campbell’s failure, was occupied by James Stevens until about 1863, when Messrs. Roberts, Wilson & Willey carried on the manufacturing business therein. In 1865, Gen. Patterson sold the Market Street front to James Chadwick, who, in 1866, tore down the old building and erected Lincoln Hall. While taking down the tall flag-pole which stood on the sidewalk at Fourth and Market Streets, where it had been erected during the excitement occasioned by the news of the bombardment of Fort Sumter, the halyards were drawn through the block, and Charles Martine clambered up to make a rope fast so that the pole, lower and topmast, might be pulled over into the street. After he had reached some distance the pole, which had rotted where it entered the ground, broke off level with the sidewalk and fell, fatally crushing Martine beneath it. The rear part of the old prison passed into the ownership of John Cochran, and on part of the lot the market-house now stands. Chadwick sold the property to Messrs. Gartside & Sons, and they in turn conveyed it to Chester Lodge, No. 236, F.A.M., who now own it.

When the present mayor’s office was being built, in 1866, in digging the cellar, the southeast end wall of the old prothonotary’s office fell, and a three-months’ old infant of Michael Biggans, the then occupant of the dwelling, who was asleep in a bed against the wall in the second story, was thrown into the cellar among the debris, a distance of twenty feet, without sustaining any harm, while a child a few years older, sleeping in the same room, was buried in the broken bricks and plaster without receiving any serious injuries.

After the borough authorities acquired title to the old court-house they made many changes, provided a commodious hall in the second story for the use of the Council, which is to-day used by their successors, the Council of the city of Chester; they also removed the old belfry and built a steeple, in which was placed a four-dialed clock and a new bell. The old one, which had called together judges, lawyers, jurors, and suitors for nearly a century and a quarter, was removed to the ancient school-house at Fifth and Welsh Streets.

Broad Street Mills –  The buildings at Broad and Crosby Streets, owned by James Stevens, and used for the manufacture of bed-ticking, warps, and cops, were originally built for a sash-factory and machine-shop, the first on Broad Street, the second on Crosby Street. In 1856 they were used by James Campbell for the manufacture of cotton goods, and at his death, in 1862, passed into the hands of Gen. Patterson, under the charge of James Stevens. They were purchased by Mr. Stevens in March, 1882. Since Mr. Campbell’s time the buildings have been much enlarged and improved, and the old machinery replaced with new. The main mill on Broad Street is two hundred and six by twenty-eight feet, three stories high, and on Crosby Street two hundred and twenty-two by thirty-six feet. The latter is two stories high, with the exception of sixty feet, which is one story. In this part is the dye- and finishing-house, sixty by sixty feet, provided with a small engine, and a pump for forcing water over the building in case of fire. The machinery consists of eighty-five looms, nine thousand and forty-eight spindles, and sixteen cards, driven by two engines, with two sets of boilers.

The Keokuk Mills were established in 1852, by Benjamin Gartside. Land was purchased at the foot of Fulton Street, and the original structure, ninety by thirty-eight feet, four stories, was built. On the 11th of August, 1852, a bricklayer employed in building the chimney of the engine-house of the factory fell from the scaffold to the ground, a distance of sixty feet; he was severely but not seriously injured. In 1858-59 land adjoining to the north was bought, and additional buildings erected. On the 1st of January, 1857, James and Amos Gartside, sons of Benjamin, were admitted as partners, the firm-name becoming B. Gartside & Sons, and has continued as such to this time. The works occupy over two acres of ground, comprising the square between Front Street and the Delaware River and Parker and Fulton Streets. The mill is supplied with four sets of cards, eighty looms, and the necessary machinery for the manufacture of woolen jeans. The power is supplied by a seventy horse-power engine. Three thousand pounds of raw material are used per week, and fourteen thousand yards of goods are manufactured per month. Seventy hands are employed.

Benjamin Gartside was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, England, May 26, 1794. After a limited education in his native country he learned the trade of hand-loom weaving, and continued it until his emigration to the United States in 1831. Coming at once to Philadelphia, he found employment at the Blockley Mills, and remained until 1833, when Manayunk became his home and Joseph Ripka his employer. In 1838 he engaged in business on his own account, first using but one hand-loom, but as business increased, introducing four power-looms. In 1840 he rented a mill on the Wissahickon Creek, fitted it with appropriate machinery and power-looms, and conducted the business until 1843, when he removed to Cardington, Delaware Co., and there leased a mill for nine years. Here he introduced a new and complete set of machinery, making it in every way suitable to the business he proposed conducting. He was very successful during his residence at the latter place, which he left on removing to Chester to continue the business in a factory which he built in 1852. This was at the time one of the most complete establishments in the country, and was subsequently increased in dimensions by the purchase of additional lands and the erection of other buildings. A full description of the business and its various ramifications having been given elsewhere, renders repetition here unnecessary. Mr. Gartside, by a technical knowledge of the business, together with great industry and strict integrity, has enjoyed a career of remarkable prosperity. On the 1st of January, 1857, he admitted his sons, Amos and James, into partnership, the firm becoming Benjamin Gartside & Sons. Since his residence in Chester, Mr. Gartside has been actively identified with its growth and prosperity. He was in politics early an Old-Line Whig, and later became a Republican. He was for many years a councilman of the borough, and filled various other positions of trust. He was the originator of the First National Bank of Chester, and has also been director of the Chester Mutual Insurance Company. He was also prominent in the projection of the Chester Rural Cemetery, and has, by his public spirit and liberality, ever been a promoter of all measures tending to the development of the city of his adoption. In religion he is a Baptist, and one of the oldest deacons in period of service in the church of which he is a member. Mr. Gartside was married in 1815 to Miss Elizabeth Kershaw, of Rochdale, England. Their children are Enoch, Robert, Mary (Mrs. John Kershaw), John, James, Ann (Mrs. Jonathan Grant), Amos, and Joseph.

Amos Gartside, son of Benjamin and Elizabeth Kershaw Gartside, was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, England, Oct. 23, 1829, and with his parents became a resident of the United States in 1831. His primary education was chiefly obtained at the common schools, though supplemented by a course at the Germantown Academy. Having finished his studies, at the age of eighteen he entered his father’s factory for the purpose of becoming proficient in the art of woolen-weaving. Here he became thoroughly acquainted with the business in all its details. When his father left Cardington, Delaware Co., and established mills at Chester, his son accompanied him and remained in his employment until 1857, at which time he was, together with his brother, James, admitted to a partnership. He was the same year married to Miss Emma, daughter of James Pierce, of Chester, whose children are Elizabeth (Mrs. H.G. Pennell), Mary Ann, and Amy Alberta, who survive; and John, Georgie, and Katie, deceased. Mr. Gartside has manifested an active interest in public affairs, and done much to advance the growth of the city of Chester. He was for sixteen years a member of the City Council, and president of that body. He was formerly a Whig in politics, and more recently became a Republican. He has been active in advocating the principles of his party, and represented the Sixth Pennsylvania District as a delegate to the National Convention, held in Chicago in 1880. He has been for eight years a member of the Board of Port Wardens. Mr. Gartside has also been largely identified with business enterprises as director of the &eel Casting Company, of the Eureka Steel Casting Company, and of the Chester Mutual Insurance Company. He is the originator of many public works in the city of Chester, and has filled the office of president of the Chester Water-Works since its organization. He was also a director of the Chester Improvement Company, and of the McCaffry Direct Street Carting Company. He is furthermore a director of the Delaware River Railroad, and was largely instrumental in securing the terminus of the Chester Railroad at Chester. His business qualities are characterized by a remarkable degree of judgment and general ability, which gives him an influential position in the commercial world.

James Gartside, son of Benjamin and Elizabeth K. Gartside, was born in Rochdale, England, on the 20th of October, 1823, and emigrated with his father to America in 1831. He enjoyed but limited advantages of education, and at the early age of eight years entered the mill of his uncle, James Kershaw, where he acquired the trade of a spinner upon throstles. He subsequently removed to Manayunk, and found employment with Joseph Ripley. His father having started a milling interest at Blockley, his son continued with him at that point, as also at Roxbury and elsewhere. The mills established by Benjamin Gartside at Chester, in 1852, were successful; his son having been admitted to the firm in 1857, which partnership is still retained by him. He was on the 17th of August, 1851, married to Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph T. and Susannah Smith, of Blockley (now the Twenty-fourth Ward of Philadelphia). Mr. Gartside joined the emergency recruits during the late war, in defense of Gettysburg, and on the expiration of his period of service resumed his business. In politics he is a Republican, but not active as a politician. In religion he is a supporter of the Baptist Church.

Arasapha Mills,  Abraham Blakeley, the senior partner of the firm of A. Blakeley & Sons, began manufacturing cotton goods at Knowlton, Jan. 1, 1847, with Phineas Lownes. In the fall of 1853, Blakeley disposed of his interest to J. William Lewis, and removed to Chester, where, in September, 1854, he commenced the manufacture of tickings, denims, and stripes in the three-story brick building, one hundred by forty-five feet, erected by John Larkin in that year, at Eleventh and Walnut Streets. On the 1st of January, 1860, his son, Benjamin W. Blakeley, became associated in the business, under the firm-name of A. Blakeley & Son.. In 1873 the firm erected a three-story building, one hundred and two by fifty-five feet, a finishing-room, forty by thirty feet, offices, and other buildings. On the 1st of January, 1874, the present firm was constituted by the admission of William S. Blakeley, another son of Abraham Blakeley. The mills, in 1873, were refitted with new and improved machinery. Additions were made to the buildings in 1874 and in 1877. The main building is at present two hundred and seventy-six by fifty feet; dye-house, one hundred by forty feet, with storage-sheds for six hundred bales of cotton.

The mills contain 276 looms, 35 sets of cards, and 8500 spindles. The power is supplied by a Corliss engine, with three sets of boilers; 33 bales of cotton are used, and 80,000 yards are manufactured per week; 200 persons are employed.

Abraham Blakeley, who is of English descent, and the son of Abraham and Nanny Turner Blakeley, was born July 5, 1806, in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, England, where he remained until twenty years of age. After very limited advantages of education he became an employe of a cotton-factory at Staley Bridge, Lancashire, and remained thus occupied until 1828, when, having determined to emigrate to the United States, he sailed in April of the same year, and on the 29th of the following month landed in Philadelphia. During the succeeding eighteen months he was engaged as a weaver of woolen goods by Messrs. Bullock & Davis, of Germantown. In the fall of 1829 he removed to Pottsville, and made it his residence until 1833, when he entered the factory of John P. Crozer, of Delaware County, as foreman of the weaving department. At the close of the year 1846 he formed a copartnership with Phineas Lownes, as Lownes & Blakeley, and the firm embarked in manufacturing at Knowlton in 1847. Disposing of his interest in the autumn of 1853 he removed to Chester, and embarked in his present extensive enterprise, the manufacture of cotton goods.

Having purchased the interest of a special partner in 1857, he operated the factory alone until the admission of his son, Benjamin W., who now assumes as partner its active management, Mr. Blakeley still remaining the financial head of the firm. He was married in 1836 to Miss Betsey Walker, a lady of Irish extraction, to whom was born one son, Benjamin W. Mrs. Blakeley died in January, 1837, and he was again married Aug. 2, 1838, to Miss Maria A., daughter of James P. and Sarah Miles. Their children are Sarah (deceased), Eliza (Mrs. Henry E. Gilroy), Sophia (Mrs. John N. Wilson), Sarah E., Mary E. (Mrs. John P. Graham), Anna M. (deceased, Mrs. William Lister), William S., Alice M. (deceased), and Henry G. Mr. Blakeley has since his residence in Chester been among its most enterprising and public-spirited citizens, and has contributed largely to the building up of its trade and its importance as a manufacturing centre. He was formerly an Old-Line Whig, and later became a Republican. He is not active as a politician, but has served as member of both branches of the Borough and City Councils. He is a member of the Madison Street Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he is both trustee and steward, and has been one of its most active workers.

Phoenix Colton- and Woolen-Mils –  These mills were built by Spencer McIlvaine at the corner of Ninth and McIlvaine Streets, and operated by John Green as the Continental Mills. In May, 1871, they were sold to J. Blazedell, Jr., of Chicopee, Mass. The same year they came into possession of John Maxon, by whom they were operated till 1882, when they were sold to Ashforth & Downey, of Philadelphia, who now own and operate them under the management of John Maxon. The mills contain one hundred looms, twenty-one hundred and sixty spindles, and four sets of cards. The mills were partially destroyed by fire in January, 1878, and again in November, 1879.

Mohawk Mills –  The building now occupied by this mill was originally built by John M. Broomall for T. Bickum Price as a machine-shop, and for a short time that business was conducted there by Price & Mulford. In 1856, Samuel Eccles, Jr., purchased the building and changed it into a cotton-mill. In 1868 he removed to Baltimore, and the mill passed through several hands till May 13, 1871, when the property was purchased by Robert Hall, who, on the 1st of January, 1872, admitted his son as a partner in the business. The original building was twenty-five by fifty feet, and two and a half stories in height, and later a building fifty by thirty-seven feet, and two stories high, was erected. Mr. Hall, in 1872, increased the capacity of the works by the erection of a two-story building twenty-five by thirty-seven feet, two stories in height. The mill contains two sets of cards forty-eight inches, two self-acting mules, three hundred and thirty spindles each, and forty-four looms. Forty-four hands are employed, to whom three hundred and twenty-five dollars per week are paid. Twenty-seven hundred pounds of raw cotton and wool are used, and ten thousand two hundred yards of goods are manufactured weekly.

Irving and Leiper Manufacturing Company –  James Irving erected, in the year 1853, a mill one hundred and twenty by forty-six feet, three stories in height, between Front Street and the Delaware River, at the corner of Franklin Street. It was not put into operation till 1859, when a partnership was formed between James and David Irving and Thomas I. Leiper under the firm-name of Irving & Leiper. The death of David Irving occurred in 1862, and the business was continued by James Irving and Thomas I. Leiper until 1878, when the Irving & Leiper Manufacturing Company was incorporated, with James Irving, president; Thomas I. Leiper, treasurer; and Charles H. Worthington, secretary. The main building at present is two hundred and thirty by fifty feet, three stories in height. Engine-room forty feet square picker-room forty by sixty feet, warehouse thirty by seventy feet. There are seventy-six sets of cards and twelve thousand spindles, driven by a four hundred horse-power engine. Three thousand bales of cotton are used in a year, from which are produced weekly twenty-two thousand pounds of yarn. A force of one hundred and seven hands is employed.

Victoria Mill –  This mill was established by John Gartside, who in 1860 erected a building four stories in height, sixty-five by thirty-three feet, and in 1873 erected an addition fifty by thirty-three feet. Al present there are two buildings, one, one hundred and twenty by forty, the other one hundred and twenty by thirty. There are four sets of cards, twenty-four broad looms, two thousand one hundred spindles, and all the machinery requisite to manufacture the best qualities of woolen cassimere and cloakings. Three thousand four hundred pounds of wool is used per week, from which is manufactured eighteen hundred yards of double-width goods. Fifty-four hands are employed.

John Gartside, son of Benjamin and Elizabeth Kershaw Gartside, was born on the 25th of October, 1821, in Rochdale, Lancashire, England. After a brief period at school he became an apprentice to the “piecing” business, and in 1831 removed to the United States with his parents. Finding employment at once in the Blockley Mills, Philadelphia, he remained until 1835, and then accompanied his father to Manayunk, and when the latter embarked in manufacturing, in 1838, became an employe of his mills. He continued thus employed until 1850, when on his removal to Chester he formed a copartnership with Samuel Cliff; under the firm-name of Cliff & Gartside, and conducted a dyeing business until 1852. His father having erected the Keokuk Mills, he then rented a room in the building for the prosecution of his legitimate trade. During the rebellion he served as one of the emergency recruits during the Gettysburg campaign, resuming business on his return. He is now the exclusive proprietor of an extensive woolen mill in the city of Chester. He has been for many years a director of the First National Bank of Chester, and identified with the active business interests of the city. Mr. Gartside was married in 1846 to Miss Margaret, daughter of Joseph Smith, of Blockley. Their children are Enoch (deceased), Benjamin, Eliza (deceased), Laura, and Joseph.

Chester Dock Mills –  The business of this firm was established, in 1853, by Phineas Lownes and J. William Lewis at Knowlton, Middletown township, where they remained until 1864, when the three-story stone building two hundred and fifty-one feet by fifty-three feet, and other necessary buildings, were erected at Third and Garfield Streets, Chester, and the business was removed to the new location. The members of the firm at present are J. William Lewis and Albert A. Roop. Employment is given to two hundred and fifty persons, to whom six thousand eight hundred and fifty dollars is paid monthly. Nine hundred and fifty thousand pounds of cotton is used yearly in the manufacture of plaids, Osnaburgs, ginghams, checks, and stripes. Ninety thousand yards of cloth and fifteen thousand pounds of yarn are produced weekly. Thomas Clough, Sr., is superintendent.

Patterson Mils,  The main building, three hundred and thirty-five feet long, eighty feet wide, and two and three stories in height, was erected by Gen. Robert Patterson in 1866, fitted with machinery and put into operation in August, 1867. It is situated on a four-acre tract of land, between Fifth Street and Baltimore Railroad, and between Penn Street and Chester Creek. The machinery consists of three hundred looms, sixty-five sets of cards, and about fourteen thousand spindles, which are operated by a Corliss engine with eight boilers. Twenty thousand pounds of cotton are used, from which is manufactured sixty-seven thousand yards of cotton goods per week. Two hundred and ten hands are employed, whose wages are five thousand dollars monthly. The mills are now owned by the estate of Gen. Robert Patterson, and are in charge of James D. Davis.

Sunnyside Mills,  The buildings at the corner of Morton Avenue and Ledward Street, fifty by one hundred feet, and two stories in height, were erected, in 1865, by Henry McIlvaine and John Hinkson, who leased the property to Lenny & Burk for a factory. They were not put in operation, but on the 26th of July, 1866, James Ledward, who had been foreman in the mills of John P. Crozer & Son from 1847 to 1851, purchased the property and fitted the mills with improved machinery, and commenced the manufacture of cottonades, cassimeres, doeskins, etc., with a force of fifty hands. Additions were made to the buildings from time to time. July 1, 1871, John I. Ledward, a son of the proprietor, was admitted to partnership. On the 4th of January, 1873, the warehouse was destroyed by fire, and in the March following the picker-house, warping- and weaving-rooms were also destroyed. The buildings were rebuilt and enlarged, and on the 1st of January, 1874, they were running with one hundred and four hands, seventy-two looms, four sets of cards, two self-acting mules of six hundred spindles each, and other necessary machinery.

They were operated by John Ledward until 1882, when they were totally destroyed by fire, and again rebuilt. On the 1st of January, 1884, the buildings were rented to the Joseph Turner & Son Manufacturing Company, of Kent, Portage Co., Ohio, who put in the necessary machinery for manufacturing worsteds, and operated them for five months, when they removed the business to Ohio, since which time the buildings have remained vacant.

Algodon Mills –  On the 1st of January, 1866, James Barton, Jr., and Simeon Cotton associated together for the purpose of manufacturing tickings, stripes, and denims. They purchased of Henry McIlvaine and John Hinkson, who were builders, a mill, one hundred by fifty feet, three stories high, with a two-story addition sixty-six by thirty feet, and fitted the mill with ninety looms and five thousand spindles. The power was supplied by an eighty horse-power Corliss engine. Simeon Cotton sold his interest to James Barton, Jr., in the spring of 1876. Barton continued the business for several years, and discontinued it in 1881, since which time the mills have been closed.

Yeadon Mils,  The buildings were erected in 1867 by McCrea & Co., of Philadelphia, for the manufacture of denims and tickings, and were known as the Fulton Mills. They were operated by John Brewster. Early in May, 1870, the mills were entirely destroyed by fire. The grounds were purchased, the mills rebuilt by William Bullock, and the name changed to Yeadon Mills. In 1866, Denis, Anderson & Co. established a business in Conshohocken for the manufacture of fancy cassimeres, and in 1870, G.P. Denis removed to Chester, purchased these mills, and operated them. In 1880 additions were made to the buildings and machinery. At present the main building – stone and brick -is one hundred and thirty feet in width by two hundred feet in length. The mills contain thirty-eight broad Knowles & Crompton looms, two thousand two hundred and eighty spindles, four sets Engle sixty-inch cards, and other machinery, which is driven by a one hundred and twenty horse-power Corliss engine. About one hundred and twenty hands are employed, twenty-six thousand pounds of raw material are used weekly in the manufacture of three thousand two hundred and fifty yards of fancy cassimeres.

Lilley & Son’s Manufacturing Company –  On the 1st of August, 1873, John Lilley & Son established the business of manufacturing cotton and woolen, cloth and cotton yarn. A mill was erected on Front Street, one hundred by fifty-four feet, and in the rear a building one hundred and twenty-two by forty feet; these buildings were connected by one eighty by thirty-six feet. The machinery consists of one hundred and eleven looms, three thousand two hundred and fifty-two spindles, twenty-five cards; one hundred persons are employed, twelve thousand pounds of raw material are used weekly, from which is produced twenty-five thousand yards of cloth. On the 3d of January, 1880, the company was incorporated under the name of Lilley Manufacturing Company. John Lilley, Jr., is superintendent.

Chester City Mills –  These mills were established in 1877 by Branagan & Lamb, who erected a building forty by forty feet, with the necessary structures adjacent, at the corner of Front and Parker Streets, for the purpose of manufacturing woolen yarns and woolen and cotton jeans. The mills were supplied with ninety looms, seventeen hundred spindles, five sets of cards, which are driven by a sixty horse-power engine. Four thousand pounds of raw material are used per week, from which is produced seventeen thousand yards of goods. Seventy hands are employed, forty of whom are women.

S.A. Crozer & Son’s Chester Mills –  In 1837, Jacob G. Kitts established the first foundry in Delaware County, on the lot where Crozer’s new cotton-mill partly stands, on Edgmont Avenue, above the present post-office. In his advertisement in the Delaware County Republican, Sept. 29, 1837, he states, 
     “The subscriber, having established an iron-foundry at Chester, is now ready and prepared to receive orders for iron castings of all kinds and descriptions, such as mill-gearing and machinery for flour- and paper-mills, horse-power for thrashing-machines, wheels for railroad cars, axles, etc. All of which will be made and fitted up to order.”

In 1837, Kitts & Kerlin carried on the business, and erected the first stationary-engine and steam-boiler ever started in Chester, “and its advent produced,” wrote John M. Broomall, “more sensation among the simple villagers than did the fall of the French monarchy.” In 1840 the firm made the second engine and boiler used in Chester, for the tannery of William Brobson. In 1841 “brass- and bell-foundry” was added to the title of the works, In 1844, Kitts, who had resumed entire control of the, “Chester Iron-Foundry and Machine-Shops,” failed, and was succeeded the same year by Charles Cornog, Cadwallader Evans, and Ferdinand Cornog, which firm carried on an extensive business in 1845, building a twenty-five horse-power engine for David Trainer, and casting a pinion-wheel, weighing two thousand four hundred pounds, for William T. Crook’s factory. In 1851 they built a boiler for Samuel Riddle’s mill, forty feet in length, thirty-six inches diameter, and weighing eight thousand pounds. In those early days of Chester manufacturing establishments, this was regarded as remarkable work. In the year 1880, S.A. Crozer & Son erected near Chester Creek, north of the post-office, on Edgmont Avenue, a brick building, two stories in height, one hundred and forty by sixty feet, with picker-room twenty-four by sixty feet. Six thousand three hundred and thirty-six spindles and forty-eight sets of cards were placed in the mill. The power is supplied from a Corliss engine with three boilers. Work was commenced in June, 1881. Fifteen men, forty-five women and girls, and twenty boys are employed, whose monthly wages are nineteen hundred dollars. Fifty thousand pounds of cotton per month is used, from which is produced weekly twelve thousand pounds of warp-yarn. The mills are under the charge of William D. Howard.

Lincoln Manufacturing Company –  In 1881 a stock company was organized in Chester, with a capital of one hundred thousand dollars, for the purpose of manufacturing cotton yarns. Land was purchased on Morton Avenue, and a brick structure, seventy feet in width by one hundred and ninety feet in length, two stories high, was erected, and fitted with modern machinery. An engine- and boiler-house, fifty by sixty feet, was built, supplied with a two hundred horse-power engine. The machinery consists of six thousand eight hundred and forty spindles and thirty-four Foss-Pevey cards. Thirty-three bales of cotton are used weekly, from which twelve thousand pounds of yarn are produced. About sixty-five hands are employed.

The directors are, S. Emlen Meigs, of Philadelphia, president; Chalmers Dale, of New York, A. Blakeley, Richard Wetherill, and W.S. Blakeley, of Chester, treasurer.

The Stotesbury Mill –  The building on the corner of Fourteenth Street and Edgmont Avenue was erected in 1874 by J. Lewis Crozer, and in that year the manufacture of cotton yarn was then established by James M. Stotesbury. The building is of stone, one hundred and sixty-five by sixty-two feet, and one story in height. The machinery consists of twelve sets of cards, and three thousand five hundred and twenty spindles. Twenty-eight thousand pounds of yarn was spun monthly, using thirty-two thousand pounds of raw cotton. The works were operated by Mr. Stotesbury till 1883, when they were closed, and have not since been operated.

Bower’s Mill –  In 1873, James Bower & Son began business in Waterville, in the old Sharpless cotton-mill, as a manufacturer of shoddy. At the corner of Sixth and Madison Streets a building had been erected about 1860 by Hinkson & McIlvaine, as a planing-mill, sash- and blind-factory. It later passed to Fairlamb Brothers, who continued the business till 1877, when Bower & Son came into possession, and removed their machinery from Waterville to this place. Improvements had been made from time to time, and in the spring of 1884 a new building of brick and stone was erected on the lot which they now occupy. The material used is assorted waste, which is manufactured into wool.

Morton & Black’s Saw-Mill and Sash-Factory –  The business was established in 1865, at the foot of Morton Avenue, by Crosby P. Morton and J. Frank Black. In the next year Henry B. Black became a member of the firm, and continued till 1879, when he retired. The main building is one hundred and fifty feet long, forty feet wide, and two stories high, with a fire-proof engine-house thirty by sixty feet, and offices adjacent. Three hundred thousand feet of lumber per month are used in the construction of doors, sash, blinds, and all kinds of wood-work necessary for the construction of buildings. Fifty men are employed, whose wages are fifteen hundred dollars per month. The works are under the charge of William Hinkson, Jr. A lumber yard is connected with the factory, and all the lumber used at the mill is from the yard.

Cocoa Mat and Matting-Works –  This building, occupied by the works, was erected in 1851, by Joseph Entwistle and Henry L. Powell, who commenced therein the bleaching and finishing of cotton goods. Later, Mr. Powell sold his interest to Entwistle, who continued till 1860, when John Hall became associated with him, and in 1865, John Longbottom became a partner. At this time the firm commenced the manufacture of shoddy. About 1868, Mr. Entwistle retired from the firm, which continued in business for a short time, when the mill was burned. The building was rebuilt. In 1871, Charles Roberts leased it, and therein began the spinning of cotton yarn, and continued there till 1875, when John Thompson & Son purchased the business. The latter continued to operate the mill until 1882, when the building was leased by Edward S. Worrell, for the manufacture of cocoa mat and mattings. Prior to 1878, J. Frank Black established the business in it building which stood on the corner of Second Street and Edgmont Avenue. Mr. Worrel soon afterwards became associated with Mr. Black, who later sold his interest to Mr. Worrel. The latter continued the business until May, 1882, when part of the ground on which the building stood was required in the construction of the Second Street bridge. The present building owned by the water-works was rented, and in September, 1882, the building was ready for occupancy, having been thoroughly fitted with improved machinery. There are sixteen hand-looms and two power-looms, which are operated by thirty-five employes. Two thousand five hundred dozen of mats and one thousand rolls of matting are made per annum.

Chester Edge-Tool Works –  John C. Beatty, son of William Beatty, who established the business over seventy-five years ago, removed his works from Springfield to the city of Chester in the year 1871. He erected a frame building, two stories in height, and two hundred and seventy feet in length. These works were operated by Beatty until April, 1875, when they were purchased by H.B. Black, his son-in-law, who made additions to the works. Early in April, 1880, the main building was destroyed by fire, and rebuilt the same year. The works comprise tool-mills, grinding- and polishing-mills, forge-shops, and other buildings necessary to carry on the business successfully. The goods marked “Beatty” are known in every market for the excellency of the material used and the superior quality of the articles made.

Samuel Black, the grandfather of Henry B. Black, was of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and an early resident of Marple township, in Delaware County. He was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Van Leer, and had children,  Joseph, Samuel, William V., Ann, Catherine V., and John. William V. was born in Marple township, Aug. 22, 1796, and died Nov. 24, 1883, in his eighty-eighth year, having been during his active life both a farmer and a merchant. He married Miss Maria, daughter of Isaac Cochran, of Delaware County, and had children,  Catherine (Mrs. J.C. Lindsey), Isaac C., Samuel G., Elizabeth Jane, William, Hannah Maria, Susannah, Henry B., and J. Frank, four of whom survive. Henry B. was born May 9, 1837, in Upper Darby township, Delaware Co., from whence, on attaining his eighth year, he removed with his parents to Haverford township. His education was principally derived from public schools, with the advantage of one year’s instruction under more favorable circumstances. On completing his studies, he became interested as a clerk with his father in Media, and managed the business until 1859, when he was admitted to a partnership in a general country store. Here he remained until 1867 (meanwhile becoming a partner with his brother in the same business), when in the spring of the latter year he sought a more extended field in Chester, and became a member of the firm of Morton, Black & Bro., who were engaged in lumber and coal traffic, steam saw- and planing-mills, sash and blind manufacturing, and controlled the Chester dock. He retained his connection with this firm until 1879, having in 1875 purchased the Chester Edge-Tool Works of John C. Beatty, to which since the latter year he has devoted his exclusive attention. Mr. Black was married on the 24th of October, 1860, to Miss Lydia Ann, daughter of John C. Beatty, of Media, and has children,  John B., William V. (deceased), Lillian M. (deceased), Ada J., Bessie S., and Maria C. Mr. Black is in politics an active Republican, has been for three successive terms a member of the City Council, and its president during a large portion of the time. He is identified with the Chester National Bank as one of its directors. He is in religion a Presbyterian, an elder of the Third Presbyterian Church of Chester, and has been for some years superintendent of its Sabbath-school. He is also active in the cause of temperance, as also in all Christian and philanthropic enterprises.

The Riverside Dye-Wood Mills –  In 1835 a business was established at Waterville, by Smith & Hartshorne, that later developed into the present Riverside Dye-Wood Mills. Later the works came into possession of John M. Sharpless, by whom they were conducted till his death, in 1875. In 1878 the firm of John M. Sharpless & Co. purchased the old site of Frick, Wilson & Co.’s boat-yard, west of Roach’s yard, embracing twelve acres, having a frontage of two hundred and twelve feet on the Delaware River. On the 1st of April, 1879, the foundations of buildings were laid, and buildings erected during that year. The dimensions of the main building are one hundred and thirteen feet front by sixty feet deep, the redwood-mill forty-seven by fifty-four feet, and the extract buildings fifty-two by fifty feet, in front of which is about one hundred and eighty feet of wharfage, where there is a depth of fifteen feet of water at low tide. The main and extract buildings are four stories in height, and the adjoining mill two and a half stories. About sixty hands are employed. The firm-name, John M. Sharpless & Co., is retained. The present members are Thomas Scattergood, Richard Chambers, and John W. Pepper.

Combination Steel and Iron Company –  The main building, two hundred and eighty by eighty feet, with wing eighty by seventy feet, was erected in 1880, and operations commenced March 1, 1881. John Roach is president; George E. Weed, secretary and treasurer; and C.A. Weed, general manager. The works contain eight heating-furnaces, a rail-mill with a capacity of producing thirty thousand tons of iron per annum, a twelve-inch bar-mill with capacity of producing six thousand tons per annum, and a twenty-inch mill for angle-iron of ten thousand tons’ capacity per annum. One hundred and seventy-five men are employed.

Eureka Cast-Steel Company –  The works of this company are located on the corner of Broomall and Sixth Streets, South Ward, and were erected in 1877, and commenced operations in September of that year. The area of the works is embraced in the limits of two hundred and two feet on Broomall Street, and two hundred and eighty-five feet on the line of the railroad. The building is of L shape, has a frontage on Broomall Street of one hundred and thirty-two feet, and to the same extent is parallel with the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, and in the narrowest part fifty feet wide. As it is divided, we may specify the main building as one-storied, forty-one feet over all in height; the machine-shop, eighty feet long and, twenty-five feet wide, comprising the pattern-shop and pattern-safe. In the main building there are five furnaces,  four for annealing purposes, and one for heating. These are, on an average, eleven by eleven feet in dimensions. The cupola, where the metal is heated, is forty-three feet in height, five feet in diameter, with a melting capacity of sixteen tons of iron. The planing-machine, used in the finishing of the casts, is the best adapted to the purpose yet invented. The vertical engine that supplies the power needed was built by Jacob Naylor, of Philadelphia, is of twenty-five horse-power, and is perfect and noiseless in its operations. It supplies the blast-works, the planing-machine, drill-press, rumblers, emery-wheels, grindstones, elevator, etc. The smokestack, connected with the annealing and heating furnaces, is eighty-five feet in height, five feet in diameter, and on the north side of the building. Steel castings are manufactured solely. One hundred and twenty tons of raw material are used per month, and one hundred persons are employed. The officers of the company are John A. Emrick, president; W.H. Dickson, secretary and treasurer; Frederick Baldt, superintendent.

Robert Wetherill & Co –  This firm originated in a copartnership of Robert and Richard Wetherill, Jan. 1, 1872. The property bounded by Sixth, Upland, and Seventh Streets, two hundred and seventy by one, hundred feet, was purchased and large buildings were erected. The machine-shop is two stories in height and forty by eighty feet, with foundry attached one hundred by fifty feet, a boiler-shop one hundred by forty feet, with pattern loft one hundred by fifty feet. They have at present seven large buildings, covering a square of ground. One hundred and fifty tons of pig-iron, seventy-five tons of plate, and twenty tons of wrought iron are monthly used in the manufacture of Corliss engines, boilers, shafting, and gearing. Two hundred and fifty men are employed, and monthly receive ten thousand dollars in wages. The works comprise machine-shops, smith-shop, foundry, boiler-shop, casting-house, pattern-shop, pattern store-house, store-rooms, and offices.

Chester Steel Casting Company –  This company was organized in 1870, and in 1871 erected at Sixth and Norris Streets a foundry two hundred feet in length by fifty feet in width, and other buildings covering an area of two hundred and fifty square feet. The machinery consists of two engines with three boilers, a heating-furnace, and seven annealing furnaces. The works were at first under the charge of Samuel Archbold, president of the company, assisted by Mr. McHaffy, a native of Glasgow, who was the patentee of a process of making steel, which this company are using. At present one hundred hands are employed under the charge of John J. Deemer.

The Phoenix Iron Works were established by James Massey, in 1867, at the corner of Seventh and Potter Streets. The main building is one hundred by fifty feet, two stories high, the foundry one hundred and ten by thirty feet. The goods manufactured are finishing machinery, fulling-mills, washing machines, tentering machines, stock-dryers, dyeing and sizing machines, broad looms, and gigs. The works are now owned by Thomas S. Hall.

The Chester Sugar-House –  In 1867, James Baker & Co. purchased five acres of land at the foot of Market Street, owned by Thomas I. Leiper, on which there were no buildings. Much of the land was a marsh, overgrown with reeds, which it was necessary to fill up a distance of twelve feet before it could be made practically useful.

Prior to the erection of the large building, piles had to be driven to secure a solid foundation for the structure. This was followed by the building of an extensive pier, and the dredging of the river to allow vessels of heavy draft to approach the wharf to unload their cargoes. After the erection of the first building additions were made thereto; all kinds of the best and most approved machinery were purchased, and the refinery was in every respect well equipped, the outlay, exclusive of the cost of the real estate, being over four hundred thousand dollars. In the summer of 1872 the firm suspended, and the refinery passed into other hands. John H. Barton and Stephen C. Hall leased the works, and for a time manufactured low-grade sugars, but ultimately abandoned the enterprise. The real estate is now owned by Mr. Folsom, of Philadelphia, and has been idle for several years.

Color-Works –  The Delaware County Iron-Works were established in 1850 by William Trout & Co. Land was purchased on Second Street below Market, by John M. Sharpless, and large buildings were erected in which the firm mentioned carried on a foundry and machine-shop for a time, when the property passed to other hands. On the 1st of February, 1881, it came into possession of H.C. Eyre & Co., who conducted the same business till the spring of 1884, when the works were leased to parties in Philadelphia, who are now refitting the buildings for the preparation and manufacture of pigment colors, printing varnishes, and refined oils.

The Chester Chemical Works were established about 1860 by Mr. McIntyre, and are now owned by George S. Coyne. Large buildings were erected at the foot of Market Street for the manufacture of muriatic, nitric, and pyroligneous acids, ammonia, oxymuriate of antimony, muriate and oxymuriate of tin, and muriate of iron. The stills for muriatic acid have a capacity of five thousand pounds per week, for nitric acid of one thousand pounds per week, for ammonia of two hundred pounds per day. Seven hundred barrels of Glauber salts are made annually from the residue left in the muriatic acid stills. Robert Lidstone is superintendent.

Taylor’s Carriage-Works –  The business was established by Enos Taylor, grandfather of the present partners, early in this century. At that time chaises, gigs, riding-chairs, and sulkies were the principal manufacture. About 1830, Enos Taylor built a sulky for a naval officer, who took it to South America as a present to a person there to whom he was under obligations. The vehicle was so highly esteemed among the wealthy residents of Valparaiso that Taylor received orders for a number of similar carriages, which were shipped thither. Joseph Taylor, his son, succeeded him in 1832, continuing the business many years, and was succeeded by his sons, William and Edward C. Taylor, who still conduct it. It was first located at Fifth and Welsh Streets, later at Sixth and Pine Streets, and in 1874 removed to the corner of Twelfth and Edgmont Avenue, where they still are located.

Stark’s Carriage-Works –  In 1871, I.P. Branin, who established carriage-works in Philadelphia in 1854, removed his business to Chester, at shops on the corner of Fifth and Welsh Streets, and in May, 1876, removed to Sixth and Pine Streets, where buildings, eighty by eighty-four feet, with an addition of forty by eighty feet, were built. Mr. Branin remained in business at this place till April, 1883, when he returned to Philadelphia.

In May, 1879, Davis & Stark established a carriage-factory at the corner of Fifth and Welsh. On the lst of October in that year, Mr. Davis withdrew from the firm, and Mr. Stark continued the business at the same place until April 1, 1883, when he removed to the shops of I.P. Branin, corner of Sixth and Pine Streets, where he now is.

Ocheltree’s Carriage-Works –  The works of Mr. Ocheltree were established on Edgmont Avenue below its present site, in 1877. The increase of business demanded greater facilities, and land was purchased in 1879, and the present building, one hundred and twenty by forty feet, two stories in height, erected on Edgmont Avenue above the post-office, and supplied with the best machinery for the manufacture of fine carriages.

Lukens’ Grist-Mill –  L.L. Lukens & Co. began business on Sixth Street in 1877, and in June, 1879, removed to Seventh Street, below Edgmont Avenue. The mill is operated by a thirty horse-power engine. An elevator for unloading grain is in use. The mill has a capacity of thirty thousand bushels per annum.

Stroud & Co.’s Planing-Mill –  In 1871, John H. Stroud and Robert Booth established the sash-factory on the south side of Front Street and Concord Avenue. The machinery consists of one engine and boiler. Fourteen men and two boys are employed at a monthly pay of six hundred dollars. Two hundred thousand feet of lumber is used per year. In 1876 the mill was destroyed by fire, and the firm then moved to their present location, corner Front and Concord Avenue. The main building is of brick, forty-five by forty feet, three stories, with a two-story engine-room, twenty-five by twenty feet, and a commodious office. The mill contains all the latest improved machinery.

Penn Street Planing-Mill –  In 1875, Henry M. Hinkson erected on Fourth and Penn Streets a two-story brick building, one hundred by forty feet, as a planing-mill and sash- and blind-factory, and rented it to Miller Cox, who began business Sept. 1, 1876, continuing it until May, 1881, when Mr. Hinkson established the present business at this mill. Eleven hands are employed, and one hundred thousand feet of lumber is used annually in the manufacture of sash, blinds, doors, and other building material.

Miller Cox’s Sash-Mill –  The business was established by Miller Cox, Sept. 1, 1876, at the Penn Street Planing-Mill, and in April, 1881, he removed to the new mill at Seventh and Penn Streets. Fifteen men are employed, and one hundred and fifty thousand feet of lumber is used annually in the construction of sash, doors, blinds, and other building material.

Hamilton’s Box Factory –  A brick building, thirty by sixty, at the corner of Front and Franklin Streets was fitted with machinery for the manufacture of boxes, and supplied with power from the Lilley Manufacturing Company adjoining. About fifty thousand feet of lumber is used per month. The factory is occupied by John Hamilton.

Price’s Brick-Yard –  In 1854, John C. and William G. Price established a brick-yard on the site of the Yeadon Mills at the corner of Tenth and Upland Streets. About 1864, seven acres of land at Fifth and Parker Streets were purchased of William and Joshua P. Eyre. In 1879, while the firm were having clay dug on the lot at the northeast corner of Concord Avenue and Sixth Street, they uncovered the bottom of an old kiln, respecting which the oldest resident could give no information. The idea which prevails among many of our people that bricks in old dwellings in this city were of English make is entirely erroneous, for not two years after Penn’s first coming, in a lease made by Robert Wade, of the Essex House, to Robert Goforth, dated March 12, 1684, part of the property leased is described as abutting on an old brick kiln, near Chester Creek. A careful examination of the locality shows that the old kiln unearthed was the one mentioned in the lease, and without doubt the Hoskin-Graham house, Logan house, and others here, were built of brick from this yard. At the Price yard, at the present time, are manufactured thirty thousand machine-made bricks per day. Three kilns are in use, and twenty men are employed.

The Delaware County Insurance Company –  In the winter of 1834-35, four gentlemen were accustomed to meet in a small frame store kept by Jonathan P. Newlin, on the west side of Ridley Creek, north of the Queen’s highway, on the lands owned by Spencer McIlvain. William Martin, Spencer McIlvain, John L. Crosby, and Jonathan P. Newlin were the four men who discussed at this meeting the need of a local insurance company, and finally they by the act of April 10, 1858, with others, were named commissioners to receive subscriptions for a company, which by the charter thus granted was termed “The Delaware County Insurance Company.” Subscription-books were opened at the public-house of Isaac Hall in Nether Providence, and so eager were the substantial citizens of the county to invest in the enterprise that on the day the subscriptions were received the crowd was so large that many persons “absolutely fought their way into the commissioner’s rooms in their anxiety to obtain the stock.”(39*)

On July 27, 1835, the first board of directors, consisting of John P. Crozer, Joshua P. Eyre, John L. Crosby, Archibald T. Dick, Samuel M. Leiper, Charles Kelly, David Trainer, George Serrill, and John Bancroft, met and elected George Serrill president and William Martin secretary. In the fall of this year the company began business, its office being in the double house at the northeast corner of Market Square, Chester, where it continued until 1837, when it was removed to the present “Stacey Mansion,” on Market Street, south of Fourth. Here it continued until 1843, when it was determined to enlarge the business of the company and to remove its office to Philadelphia. To that end the act of Assembly, March 17, 1843, was procured, changing the title of the corporation to “The Delaware Mutual Safety Insurance Company,” under which name, in Philadelphia, it became one of the most successful insurance institutions in the United States. The list of the presiding officers of the company indicates that residents of the county of Delaware have always held a prominent place in its management. George Serrill, the first president, was elected July 27, 1835; William Eyre, Jr., Sept. 5, 1842; William Martin, Jan. 3, 1844; Thomas C. Hand, Oct. 30, 1862. The latter is the only one in the list who was not from Delaware County. In the present board of directors, Hon. Edward Darlington, who was elected Sept. 5, 1842, still retains that office, and Spencer McIlvain, the only one of the four gentlemen who organized the movement in the country store in Ridley a half-century ago, is now living; has been a director since Jan. 5, 1846.

The grandfather of Spencer McIlvain, who was of Scotch descent, resided in Ridley township, where he was an extensive and successful farmer. He married Lydia Bernard, of Chester County, and had children,  John, Jeremiah, Richard, Hugh, James, Lydia, Judith, and Margaret. Jeremiah, the father of the subject of this biographical sketch, was born in Ridley township, on the 29th of June, 1767, and married Elizabeth Spencer, of Bucks County, whose birth occurred Sept. 30, 1770. Their children were Lydia (Mrs. Edward H. Bonsell), Elizabeth (Mrs. Jacob Hewes), Spencer, John S., Jeremiah, Ann (Mrs. Levis Miller), Samuel, and several who died in childhood. Spencer, of this number, was born March 27, 1803, on the homestead in Ridley township. After such advantages of education as the vicinity afforded, he became a pupil of a school at Burlington, N.J., and on his return engaged with his father in various business enterprises. The saw-mill, the farm, and the tannery each received a share of his attention, though the former interest absorbed much of his time. In 1828, the year succeeding the death of his father, Mr. McIlvain married Miss Sarah Crosby, daughter of John and Sarah Crosby, of Ridley township. Their children are Henry, who married Miss Sally C. Pierson, of Philadelphia, and has two sons,  Edwin and Henry,  and Ann E. (Mrs. Edward C. Diehl), of Philadelphia, whose children are Sallie M.D., Ella F., and Mary. Mr. McIlvain has spent much of his active life cultivating his farm, fattening cattle for the Philadelphia market, and working his stone-quarries. On the sale of his landed property, in 1872, he removed to his present residence in Chester, which has since been his home. Here he has been identified with various business interests, as director of the Delaware County National Bank, and the Delaware Mutual Insurance Company, and in the erection of various mills and dwellings, giving an impetus to the growth of the city. Mr. McIlvain was in early life a Whig, and on the organization of the Republican party joined its ranks. He has not sought office at its hands, though for a term was commissioner of the county. He was educated in the religious faith of the society of Friends.

The Chester Mutual Insurance Company was incorporated by the court of Delaware County, Feb. 26, 1874. The organization of an insurance company in Chester had been considered prior to this date, and as early as February, 1869, the charter for a stock company had been obtained, but became void by reason of non-user before Jan. 1, 1874. After that date the projectors of the stock company, together with other persons desiring the organization of an underwriting association on the mutual plan, formed the Chester Mutual Insurance Company, the original subscribers being John M. Broomall, William Booth, John Larkin, Jr., William Ward, John O. Deshong, George Broomall, David Trainer & Sons, Samuel Montgomery, Mortimer H. Bickley, George Baker, William B. Broomall, Benjamin F. Baker, Perciphor Baker, Lewis & Parker, Lewis M. Larkin, B. Gartside & Sons, David S. Bunting, James Irving, Jonathan and Charles D. Pennell, George M. Booth, Henry L. Donaldson, George M. Pardoe, Abraham Blakeley, and Morton & Black. The first meeting of the subscribers was held March 5, 1874, when a board of directors was elected, consisting of John Larkin, Jr., George Broomall, William Ward, J. Newlin Trainer, Mortimer H. Bickley, William Booth, Perciphor Baker, William B. Broomall, James Irving, George M. Pardoe, Benjamin Gartside, and William D.H. Serrill. John Larkin, Jr., was elected president, Mortimer H. Bicklev, vice-president, and George M. Booth secretary and treasurer. The board of directors from that date to the present has been changed as follows: In 1877, John Sharpless was substituted in room of William Booth, who declined re-election; in 1878, Frederick J. Hinkson in place of William Ward, who desired to retire from the board, and in the same year Jonathan Pennell succeeded to the place formerly held by George M. Pardoe; 1880, Benjamin F. Baker was chosen to the seat made vacant by the death of Judge Hinkson; 1881, Samuel A. Dyer was elected in the room of Perciphor Baker, deceased; in 1884, John Larkin, Jr., declined reelection, and Henry L. Donaldson was chosen in his stead, and the same year, Amos Gartside was elected in place of Benjamin Gartside, resigned. On Jan. 1, 1884, John Larkin, Jr., declined to continue to act as president, a position he had held since the organization of the company, and Jonathan Pennell was elected to that office. At the first regular meeting of the directors, in 1874, it was decided that the company should effect insurance to the amount of one hundred and forty-six thousand dollars, and on April 1, 1874, the first policy was issued. A singular circumstance was that the first policy issued by the Chester Mutual Insurance Company was to John M. Broomall, Jr., on stock in the building at the northwest corner of Market Square, Chester, and the building was insured by his father, George Broomall, in the Delaware County Mutual Insurance Company, the policy being the first issued by the latter corporation in 1835. The business of the Chester Mutual has been almost exclusively confined to Delaware County, the risks judiciously distributed, and the amounts limited, desiring to transact a safe rather than a large business. This policy gave the company credit in the beginning, and not only enabled it to accumulate a surplus fund sufficient to meet any ordinary demand but placed the Chester Mutual in good standing with the best similar insurance companies in the State. When the company was organized it occupied a part of the law office of Ward & Broomall, but in October, 1875, it leased the back part of the building at the southeast corner of Market Square, where it continued until June, 1881, when it was removed to more spacious rooms in the front of the same building.

Chester Gas Company –  The project of lighting the city with gas had been agitated early in the year 1855, but for some reason the scheme failed to enlist the approval of capitalists at its inception. The constant references in the newspapers to the advantages which must follow the use of a better means than oil-lamps for furnishing light to the large manufacturing establishments which were then located in the borough, directed public opinion so favorably to the scheme that on April 4, 1856, the Chester Gas Company was incorporated, and William Bucknell, of Philadelphia, assumed the responsibility of erecting the works on the east side of Welsh Street, and laying the pipes in the streets. So rapidly was the enterprise carried forward that on Sept. 19, 1856, for the first time gas was used in the town of Chester. This statement, however, applied to that furnished by a company for general consumption, for several years before that date John M. Broomall had used private gas-works to light his dwelling on Penn and Second Streets. The officers of the company from the date of incorporation have been as follows:

Presidents –  1856, John M. Broomall; 1858, John Larkin, Jr.; 1859, Frederick Fairlamb; 1870, Jonathan R. Johnson.

Secretaries –  1856, Frederick Fairlamb, until 1859, when the offices of secretary and treasurer were consolidated, one person being elected to discharge their duties.

Treasures –  1856, William Eyre, Jr.; 1857, John Larkin, Jr.; 1858-59, John H. Baker; 1865, John O. Deshong, Jr., who resigned on June 5, 1882, and J. Howard Roop was elected treasurer and secretary.

Within recent years the works have been largely increased by the erection of additional gasometers, and many miles of service-pipe have been laid. The mills, many dwellings, and stores in Upland are supplied with gas from these works.

Farmers’ Market Company -About the middle of the last century -for in 1745 an ancient deed mentions “the proposed market-place” -the old market-house in the square at the intersection of Market and Third Streets was built. It stood on a brick platform about fifty feet in length, extending along Market Street, and thirty in breadth, surrounded by curb-stones. The roof was supported by seven brick pillars on each side, and between the third and fourth columns, on the east and west side, were small arches, while the ceiling was arched, plastered, and covered with a shingle roof. About 1830 a frame structure was erected over the market-house, which was used as a town hall, and was reached by a wooden stairway on the east side of the building. In the spring of 1857 the old building was taken down, and in May of the same year Joshua P. and William Eyre, Jr., built a market-house back of National Hall, on Edgmont Avenue. As the city grew the demand for a commodious market-place became so pressing that in the spring of 1868 an association was formed under the title of “Farmers’ Market Company of Chester.” A lot extending from Fourth to Fifth Street, in the rear of the old prison and court-house, was purchased from John Cochran, stock to the amount of eighteen thousand dollars subscribed for, and the present market building, erected, which was opened for the sale of provisions on Dec. 11, 1868. The cost of the lot and building amounted to twenty-six thousand dollars. The first officers of the company were John G. Dyer, president; Benjamin F. Baker, secretary; and Frederick J. Hinkson, Sr., treasurer. The present officers are as follows: President, Lewis Palmer; Secretary and Treasurer, Edmund Jones; Superintendent, Edward Jones; Directors, Lewis Palmer, George Trimble, H.L. Paschall, William Sharpless, Samuel H. Wells.

The Water-Works –  Very early in the history of the awakening of Chester from its lethargy of a century and a half the need of an abundant water-supply in the town became apparent. James Campbell, in his efforts to develop the ancient borough into a manufacturing centre, encountered the greatest difficulties in securing sufficient water to supply the boilers of his mills with steam, and in the effort to avoid the cost and labor of carting water from Chester Creek he spent thousands of dollars in sinking wells in the yards of the Pioneer factory and the Henry Clay Mills, on Broad and Mechanic Streets. To overcome the difficulty an effort was made, in 1853, to establish a private water company in Chester, but the project failed, several persons only would subscribe for the stock, and the amount pledged reached but a few thousand dollars. The necessity for the introduction of water became constantly more pressing as the town improved,  the safety of property, the demands of large business enterprises, the public craving for a better water than generally found in the wells in Chester (which was distasteful to many Persons by reason of its peculiar flavor), the delayed wash-days (when the cisterns and rain-barrels were empty), all combined to awaken public demand for the erection of water-works. Particularly was this the case in the South Ward, where many of the mills were erected at points removed from the creek. In April, 1866, an act of Assembly was obtained empowering the city of Chester to build water-works, should a majority of the property-holders vote in favor of ratifying the provisions of the act. An election was held which resulted in the Middle and North Wards refusing to ratify the act, while the South Ward adopted it. But the want still existed; and as the city extended, and became more compactly built, the danger from fire increased and rendered it imperative that some action should be taken at once.

The act of March 2, 1867, authorizing the councilmen of the South Ward of the city of Chester, their successors, etc., to erect water-works, was accepted April 15th of that year, and the board of directors formed, consisting of Amos Gartside, William Ward, William A. Todd, William B. Reaney, and William G. Price. Amos Gartside was elected president; William Ward, treasurer; William A. Todd, secretary. It was decided to use the water of the river Delaware as the surest source from which to draw the supplies for the city. Isaac S. Cassin, who had been chief engineer of Philadelphia, was selected to prepare plans and specifications and to supervise the construction of the works. Joseph R.T. Coates and Robert Gartside received the contract for the building of the works, and water was pumped into the basin of the reservoir for the first time on the evening of July 1, 1868. The contract was completed in the month of October following, and the works, after a professional inspection by Chief Engineer Graeff, accepted by the board.

The original capacity of the pumps was eight hundred thousand gallons per day. In 1878 additional compound pumping-machinery was placed in the works, at the foot of Franklin Street, with a capacity of two million five hundred thousand gallons every twenty-four hours. In the fall of 1882 a thirty-inch flexible-joint pipe was extended into the channel of the Delaware River six hundred feet from shore and three hundred and ten feet from end of pier. Previous to that time the water was taken from near the shore, and was frequently muddy, an objection which is now removed. There are sixty-five fire-hydrants in the city, and water is supplied to twelve hundred consumers. Robert Anderson is superintendent of the works.

The Chester Street Railway Company –  In 1870 the recognized need of a public means of passenger transportation from one section of the city to the other was attempted to be filled by the establishment of an omnibus line, the route extending from the Pennsylvania Military Academy, in North Ward, to Third Street and Highland Avenue, in the borough of South Chester. The project failed after a few months’ trial, and those who purchased stock in the enterprise derived considerable experience from the investment, even if the assets of the company were insufficient to discharge its outstanding obligations. In the spring of 1882 the question of street-railways began to be discussed among a number of the capitalists of Chester and South Chester, the only public means of communication between the remote limits of these places, several miles apart, being a line of rickety, uncomfortable stages. Upland, a mile and a half beyond the city line to the northwest, was then considered impracticable of access by reason of the steep hills on the road. Several attempts to establish a street railway in Chester had, prior to this time, been made by capitalists in Philadelphia and elsewhere, but all of them had failed before work of laying the road had commenced.

The capital required to build and equip the road was subscribed almost exclusively by citizens of Chester and South Chester, and the stock was distributed among a large number of holders. On June 27, 1882, the first meeting of the subscribers was held at the office of George B. Lindsay, Esq., in Chester, when the name “The Chester Street Railway Company” was adopted, and officers elected. Richard Peters, Jr., was chosen president; Hugh Shaw, vice-president; William Appleby, treasurer; George B. Lindsay, secretary and solicitor. The board of directors was as follows: Richard Peters, Jr., Hugh Shaw, William Appleby, George B. Lindsay, J. Frank Black, Samuel H. Dyer, F. Washington Thomas, William S. Blakeley, Thomas J. Houston, J. Newlin Trainer, and Robert Wetherill. The capital stock of the company was fixed at fifty thousand dollars, to be divided into one thousand shares of the par value of fifty dollars each, which sum was required to be paid in full on every share taken. A charter was obtained from the commonwealth and ordinances adopted by the city of Chester and borough of South Chester, that of the city being approved by the mayor July 26, 1882. On Oct. 17, 1882, the building of the road was begun, and completed the middle of January following. The route of the road extends from Clayton Street, the southern limits of South Chester, along Third Street to Market Square, in the city of Chester; thence up Market Street to Edgmont Avenue to Thirteenth Street, where the stables, car-house, and office are located, the length of the road being about three miles. On Feb. 1, 1883, the company began regularly to operate, the road, with forty horses and five cars. The schedule of time was every half-hour from an early hour in the morning to a late hour at night, and the fare established at five cents. The amount of travel from the first day exceeded all expectations, and a few weeks later additional cars and horses were put on the road, and the time of the starting of the cars changed to every fifteen minutes. E. Mitchell Cornell, formerly secretary and treasurer of the Second and Third Streets Railway of Philadelphia, was appointed superintendent, and elected secretary of the company. In compliance with a general desire, the company determined to extend the road to Upland, on condition that the borough authorities should reduce the grades on the hills. This was done, and on July 14, 1883, the road was completed to that borough, thus increasing the length of the road to four miles. Cars began running on that date from Upland to Market Square every half hour. The working stock has been increased to sixty-seven horses and mules and twelve cars. Each car, which is in charge of the driver, is drawn by two horses. No conductors are employed, the fares being deposited by the passengers in Slawson patent boxes. The traffic on the road averages two thousand passengers per day. The enterprise is in a prosperous condition, has no debt, and has paid from the beginning a small semi-annual dividend.

The Union League –  On March 23, 1863, a meeting of prominent citizens of the borough and immediate neighborhood of Chester assembled in National Hall for the purpose of forming a Union League, and organized by electing Henry B. Edwards president; John Larkin, Jr., William H. Flavill, John H. Baker, James Cochran, John Gartside, Samuel Eccles, Jr., James Irving, Samuel A. Crozer, David Trainer, and Thomas H. Maddock, vice-presidents; Frederick J. Hinkson, treasurer; Walter J. Arnold and William Hinkson, recording secretaries; William Ward, corresponding secretary; the Executive Committee, Abraham R. Perkins, Amos Gartside, William B. Reaney, Joseph Entwisle, Alexander M. Wright, William Sharpless, Thomas Appleby, Stephen Cloud, Jr., Joseph H. Hinkson, George Wilson, Thomas Moore, John E. Shaw, William A. Menshall, Thomas H. Mirkil, Frederick Fairlamb, Perciphor Baker, Abraham Blakeley, William Frick, Dr. F. Ridgley Graham, Frank Field, Eliakim T. Robb, Charles J. Kenworthy, Henry L. Donaldson, Thomas Clough, James Kirkman, John J. Thurlow, Jacob Perry, Abraham T. Patterson. The membership consisted of persons entertaining all shades of political opinions, the constitution of the organization requiring that every person who should become a member of the League should sign the roll, which sets forth:
     “We the undersigned citizens of the United States; hereby pledge our earnest endeavors to put down the existing rebellion against the rights and liberties of the people; and to spare no efforts to suppress all sentiments and acts calculated to oppose or bring our government into disrepute.”

The League leased the large double frame house at the southwest corner of Fourth and Welsh Streets, which was handsomely furnished, and rooms set apart for entertainment of guests, as well as apartments for chess and other amusements. Here the League continued until 1865, when it removed to National Ball. On June 15, 1865, the members of the organization decided to dissolve the League. At that date the following persons were its officers: President, Henry B. Edward; Vice-presidents, William Frick, Samuel Archbold; Treasurer, Thomas Appleby; Secretary, L.T. Rutter; Executive Committee, Joshua P. Eyre, William H. Morton, Thomas H. Mirkil, George Wilson, Y.S. Walter.

Chester Republican League –  In the beginning of the political campaign which resulted in the election of President Garfield in November, 1880, an organization called the “Veteran Republican Club” was formed by some of the older citizens of the party, for the purpose of frequent consultations upon the political interests of the city, the dissemination of campaign documents, procuring speakers, holding public meetings, and perfecting the details of securing a full vote at the election. The officers of the club were George B. Lindsay, president; James M. Peoples, secretary; Stephen C. Hall, treasurer. The club held its meetings in Edgmont Hall, and did valuable service for the Republican ticket. The efficiency of the club was recognized after the election was over by an increased membership and a general desire that it should be re-established in a permanent form, with literary and social, as well as political purposes. Accordingly a charter was obtained, and the club was erected into a corporation under the name of “Chester Republican League.” The officers were G.P. Denis, president; Amos Gartside and J.P. Crozer, vice-presidents; Ward R. Bliss, secretary; George B. Lindsay, treasurer; and a board of directors consisting of Ward R. Bliss, George B. Lindsay, W.B. Broomall, John J. Ledward, Thomas H. Mirkil, Jonathan Pennell, F.W. Thomas, John Maxson, Jr., and Edward J. Worrell. Rooms in the Cochrane building, on Market Street below the railroad, were temporarily occupied. Steps were at once taken to secure a permanent location, and resulted in the purchase, in June, 1881, of the Joshua P. Eyre property at Fifth and Edgmont Streets, Chester, by a syndicate composed of members of the club. The cost of the property was sixteen thousand dollars. The house and grounds were at once improved to suit the needs of the club. A portion of the upper stories was devoted to apartments for the use of such members as desired to make their home there, and the remainder of the premises was fitted up for parlors, reading-rooms, chess- and other game-rooms. A large apartment in the basement was fitted and furnished as a billiard-room. No liquors whatever are furnished on the premises. The care of the house and grounds, subject to a house committee, was given to a janitor and his wife, who reside in the building. The club has been remarkably successful. Its membership numbers about two hundred, and includes a large number of the prominent Republican politicians and business men of the city and county. Its initiation fee is ten dollars, and its annual assessment is the same. The club gives an annual reception at Christmas, which is participated in by the members and their friends.

Young Men’s Christian Association – The first Young Men’s Association formed in Chester was organized in 1860, with Samuel A. Crozer as president. Meetings were held in Penn building on Market Square. The breaking out of the civil war the next year distracted the attention of the young men, and the association lingered until 1863, when it suspended. No attempt was made to revive it until 1870, when a second organization took place, having for its president George K. Crozer. This association also met for a time in Penn building, and afterwards removed to the City Hall, where in 1874 it again suspended. Mr. George Derbyshire and Charles C. Larkin had acted as president of the association.

In November of 1875, an association was again formed, mainly through the exertions of Dr. W.S. Ridgely, who became its first president. The officers were chosen from the different church organizations of the city. Rooms were fitted up in the Ward building near the railroad depot. The aim and end of the association was to bring young men under religious influence.

After continuing for some time in the Ward building, arrangements were made to remove to a room in Holly Tree Hall, which was done, and the association remained till 1880, when rooms were obtained over the post-office, and a reading-room opened. For some reason this was not successful, and the association returned to Holly Tree Hall, where they remained till March, 1884. The association was not accomplishing much good work by the methods employed, and it was determined to reorganize and adopt the plans and methods now used by other associations. In accordance with this decision the association was suspended, Nov. 14, 1883, and a new board of managers elected, who held their first meeting on the 5th of December. Ward Bliss was chosen president; T.W. Stone, vice-president; B. Frank Beatty, secretary; B.F. Hall, treasurer. At the meeting in November, the Rev. S.A. Taggert, secretary of the State Association, explained new methods of working now in use. At that meeting a committee was appointed to select a room suitable for the association. This committee reported, Jan. 4, 1884, that rooms could be had in Samuel Black’s building on Market Street. On the 15th of January they were authorized to secure the rooms and fit them for use. The room on the first floor in front is an office, where are directories, time-tables, and the office of the general secretary. In the rear is a reading-room, which is supplied with the magazines, papers, secular and religious. The second story is fitted as a conversation-room, connected by folding doors, with a well-furnished parlor. These rooms can be thrown into one, and are used for public talks, lectures, and religious meetings. The building was dedicated March 2, 1884, with appropriate services. Addresses were delivered by the Rev. Thomas McCauley, Rev. Henry Brown, Rev. Dr. P.H. Mowry, and Dr. John F. Van Leer.

The association is controlled by a board of managers composed of fifteen persons, who form the executive, finance, and lecture committees.

The other work of the association is delegated to seven committees, chosen from the members, as follows: Membership, Reception, Christian Work, Employment and Boarding-house, Work for Boys, Visiting, and Invitation.

The membership at the last annual report was sixty-seven.

The present officers are Ward R. Bliss, president; T.W. Stone, vice-president; B. Frank Beatty, secretary; Theodore Hampson, general secretary; B.F. Hall, treasurer.

The presidents who served the association from its organization, in 1875, to November, 1883, were Dr. W.S. Ridgely, Thomas W. Stone, Charles C. Larkin, Col. Theodore Hyatt, Charles C. Larkin, and Dr. John F. Van Leer.

Building Associations –  Chester is eminently a city which has been benefited largely by the establishment of loan associations, by which means men of limited incomes were enabled to build or purchase homes. It is not extravagant to say that one-fourth of the present improvements in Chester have been made by the opportunity offered to industrious toiling mechanics by these associations. In 1850 the Chester Building Association, the first incorporated in the borough, was formed; John M. Broomall being the president and Joseph Taylor the secretary. It continued ten years and ten months, during which time it loaned sixty-two thousand dollars to its members. In 1852 the Penn Building Association was formed, William Hinkson being the secretary. In eleven years it ran its course, during which time it had loaned many thousands of dollars to its stockholders. In 1853 the South Ward Association was organized, and in August, 1854, the Washington Building Association was founded, and both of these organizations settled their affairs and were disbanded. The Second Chester was instituted Nov. 24, 1860, and the William Penn on April 1, 1865. In November of the same year the North Ward Building Association was founded, H.L. Donaldson secretary. On March 9, 1867, the City Association was instituted, and in July, 1869, the Delaware County was founded, and has issued a new series every year thereafter; the first series expired in 1879. The present officers are William Dolton, president; D.M. Johnson, treasurer; Orlando Harvey, secretary and solicitor. The Mechanics Building Association was established in 1873,  President, Benjamin F. Baker; Solicitor, John B. Hannum; Treasurer, Charles Roberts; Secretary, H.L. Donaldson. In October, 1873, the Chester and Upland Association was founded, with Daniel V. Hoffman, president; David Garrett, secretary; Amos Gartside, treasurer; and D.M. Johnson, solicitor. In May, 1874, the Third Chester Building Association was organized, with Benjamin F. Baker, president; Jonathan Jennell, treasurer; Edmund Jones, solicitor; and George M. Booth, secretary. The Excelsior Building and Loan Association was instituted in 1876, of which D.M. Johnson is president; P.M. Washabaugh, secretary; Jonathan R. Johnson, treasurer; and Orlando Harvey, solicitor. On June 12, 1879, the Fidelity Association was established,  Jonathan Pennell, president; H.L. Donaldson, secretary; Jonathan R. Johnson, treasurer; and John B. Hannum, solicitor; and in November, 1879, the Iron-Workers Building Association was organized, with David Houston, president, and George B. Lindsay solicitor. The Home Building and Loan Association was organized in February, 1881, with Jonathan Pennell, president; P. Bradley, secretary; J. Howard Roop, treasurer; Ward R. Bliss, solicitor. The Keystone Building Association was organized May, 1882,  President, John Spencer; Secretary, O.B. Dickinson; Treasurer, Thomas Lees; Solicitor, D.M. Johnson. The People’s Building and Loan Association was formed May, 1883,  President, Amos Gartside; Treasurer, D.M. Johnson; Secretary, H.L. Donaldson; Solicitor, John B. Hannum. The Provident Building and Loan Association was organized October, 1883,  President, Joseph F. Brewster; Secretary, Garrett Pendleton; Treasurer, Oliver Troth; Solicitor, Patrick Bradley. The Industrial Building and Loan Association was established June, 1884,  President, Josiah C. Ross; Treasurer, D.M. Johnson; Secretary, Oliver Troth; Solicitor, Edmund Jones.

The Military –  Since the conclusion of the civil war there have been several military organizations in Chester under State regulations, but owing to the defective feature of the law, the companies, until the recent revision of the statutes governing those bodies, were usually short-lived. The present effective management of the National Guard of Pennsylvania gives promise of more thoroughness in the militia, and hence it may reasonably be expected that Company B, of the Sixth Regiment, will have a longer existence than any organization which has preceded it.

The first company of soldiers in Chester, after the time mentioned, was the Chester City Safeguards, a colored company of militia, organized in 1870, and commanded in succession by Andrew Johnson, Isaac B. Colwell, and Isaac Emory, until the fall of 1872, when it was disbanded.

On Sept. 12, 1872, Company A, of the Gartside Rifle Battalion, was organized, with Capt. Daniel Brown commanding. Capt. Brown subsequently was appointed major, and George F. Springer was elected captain of Company A in his stead. Company B, of the same regiment, was organized March 19, 1873, Capt. David S. Gwynn commanding; but he resigned, and the company elected William A. Todd as captain. The organization finally disbanded. In July, 1875, the Morton Rifles, so called in honor of John Morton, the signer of the Declaration of Independence, was organized, with James Barton, Jr., as captain, and in August, 1875, was mustered into the Eleventh Regiment, National Guard of Pennsylvania. Capt. Barton was subsequently promoted aid to Gen. Dobson, and Charles A. Story, Jr., was elected to the captaincy. Subsequently Capt. Story resigned, and John M. Householder was chosen to succeed him. During the riots of July, 1877, the company was ordered to Pittsburgh, where it did good service, but was the next year mustered out. The Hartranft Rifles were organized January, 1876, by Capt. Perry M. Washabaugh, and April 20, 1876, were mustered into service as Company B, Eleventh Regiment, and subsequently, after the appointment of Capt. Washabaugh to the staff of the brigadier-general commanding the division, he was succeeded by Robert H. Wood, and followed by William H. Williams. This company was also called into active duty during the Pittsburgh riots, and was finally mustered out of service.

Company A, Eleventh Regiment, National Guard of Pennsylvania, was mustered into service March 30, 1881, with B.F. Morley, captain; Frank G. Sweeney, first lieutenant; and John J. Hare, second lieutenant. The company soon showed such efficiency in drill that, when the State authorities consolidated the military force of the commonwealth,  although the youngest company in the State,  by general order No. 11, July 8, 1881, the title of the company was changed to B, Sixth Regiment, First Brigade, National Guard of Pennsylvania. In the summer of the same year a scheme was broached by Lieut.-Col. Washabaugh towards erecting an armory, and to that end a charter was obtained, stock was taken by several prominent citizens, a lot, sixty feet in front by one hundred and twenty feet in depth, was purchased, and an armory, after a design by P.A. Welsh, was built. The structure, begun Aug. 4, 1881, costing, including land, about fifteen thousand dollars, is too recent to require fuller description here. Sufficient it is to say that it is the home of one of the best, if not the best-drilled company in the service of the State, and is an ornament and a credit to our city. The building, located on the south side of Fifth Street, east of Crosby Street, was opened on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 1881, with a fair which lasted ten days, and yielded several thousand dollars towards the liquidation of the debt of the armory company.

The roll of Company B at the present time is as follows:

Capt. Frank G. Sweeney was a military instructor at Pennsylvania Military Academy from September, 1877, to June, 1879; elected 1st lieut. co. A, 11th Regt., March 30, 1881 (changed to Co. B, 6th Regt., July 8, 1881); elected capt. Co. B, 6th Regt., Dec. 4, 1882.

First Lieutenant James A. Campbell enl. as a private in Co. A, 11th Regt., March 30, 1881; app. 2d sergt. June 6, 1881 (changed to Co. B, 6th Regt., July 8, 1881); pro. to 1st sergt. July 29, 1881; elected 1st lieut. Jan. 8, 1883.

Second Lieutenant George C. de Lannoy enl. as a private in Co. A, 11th Regt., March 30, 1881; app. 4th sergt. June 6, 1881 (changed to Co. B, 6th Regt., July 8, 1881); pro. to 3d sergt. July 29, 1881; pro. to 2d sergt. Oct. 19, 1882; pro. to 1st sergt. Nov. 17, 1882; elected 2d lieut. Feb. 5, 1883.

Sergeants, T. Edward Clyde, J. Frank Fairlamb, Horace F. Larkin, Harwell A. Cloud, J. Engle Baker.

Corporals, William J. Morgan, Charles B. Ross, J. Alexander Cochrane, Milton M. Allen, Robinson McCurdy, George C. Worrell, Samuel A. Price, Frank L. Brown.

Privates, James H. Birtwell, Theodore Blakeley, Charles B. Catling, Radcliffe Chadwick, William G. Clyde, William R. Carson, William H. Derbyshire, Dean J. Deakyne, Edward Dougherty, Jackson B. Fields, Arthur Grant, U.S. Grant, N. Clarence Grove, Emil O. Haas, Alfred Hinkson, Lewis E. Hinkson, John A. Ladomus, Edward Miles, Frank B. Eddy, George C. Johnson, R. Bruce Mowry, Alvin G. Mills, Theodore Mooney, Charlton McCurdy, Edwin P. McIlvain, Harry S. McIlvain, Edward A. Price, Arthur G. Rose, Matthew F. Ross, R. Wilson Roberts, D. Elmer Reasin, William S. Ranier, Hilyard B. Sweeney, Charles R. Sweeney, Garrett G. Slawter, George B. Smedley, William N. Sparks, Horace F. Temple, David M. Unangst, J.M.B. Ward, S. Ulrich Ward, Robert P. Wilson.

The Fire Department –  As early in our history as October, 1696, an act was passed by the Colonial Assembly designed “for preventing of accidents that may happen by fire in the towns of Philadelphia and New Castle,” and as the provisions of this law were made in 1700 operative in Chester also, it is interesting to learn the safeguards which by legal enactments our ancestors attempted to establish in the infant settlements to avoid destructive fires. The act prescribed that ten days after the publication of the law any person “who should set on fire their chimneys to cleanse them, or shall suffer them to be foul, that they shall take fire so as to flame out at the top,” on conviction, should be fined forty shillings. By the same enactment, within twenty days after its promulgation, “every owner of every dwelling-house within the towns aforesaid, shall provide and keep in or by his or her house a swab twelve or fourteen foot long, and a Bucket or pail, to be always ready agt such accidents of fire.” The act of Aug. 26, 1721, repealed that part of the old law which required swabs and buckets to be kept in every house under a penalty, but the advantage of having such articles was so apparent that it became the rule to have leather fire-buckets in every house in the village, which were suspended from the ceilings in the hallway, so that in the event of an alarm they were easily obtained by opening the front door. At a fire it was the recognized duty of every able-bodied man to fall into the line, which extended from the burning building to the most available point where water could be had, and along this line full buckets would be passed to those persons who had taken post near the flames, to throw the water upon them, and the empty buckets would be returned the same way to be refilled. Persons who refused to fall into line and pass buckets were usually doused with water as a punishment by their indignant neighbors. After the fire had been subdued, or it had ceased because it had totally destroyed the building, it was rare sport for the boys to gather the leather fire-buckets and return them to their several owners, for every man’s name was painted on his bucket.

I do not know when the first fire company was established in Chester, but seven months ago I found among a quantity of old paper in a waste store a torn leaf from a book which was the record of a fire company from the scrap which has fallen into my possession, it seems evident that the organization was similar in character to that of Darby borough. On July 8, 1808, is given a list of members as follows: William Graham, John Caldwell, James Withy, John Odenheimer, James Birchall, William Anderson, Jonathan Morris, Ephraim Pearson, Isaac Eyre, Jonathan Pennell, Joseph Engle, Daniel Broomall, William Siddons, Jonas Eyre, Samuel Anderson, Joseph Piper, and Jonas Sharpless. From the report of the various committees appointed, we learn that in that time the buckets and ladders are up and in good order, but that “the engine and hose want oiling.” Whitehead, in his historical introduction to the “Directory of Chester for 1850-60,” says, “A beer-house, called the Globe, was once kept upon James Street, below Market, by a man named Scott, but abandoned as a public-house for nearly fifty years. It was burned down in 1830, and the site is now occupied by the Upland buildings owned by Samuel A. Price.” This building was brick, with a curb-roof. It had been a tavern in 1796, kept by William Harrison, and was known as “The Indian Queen.” Harrison’s widow, Elizabeth, followed her husband in the business until 1805, when Samuel Price had the house, when it was known as “The Ship.” After that date it ceased to be an inn, but became an eating-house, the first ever established in Chester. Martin(40*) says Scott sold eatables and table-beer, and that the fire occurred in 1835 or 1836, not in 1830, as stated by Whitehead.

The doggerel lines, which bring back the names of residents of Chester about 1790, are said to have been written shortly after a fire which consumed an old shed on the property of John O. Deshong, in North Ward. The lines, so far as they remain to this day, are as follows:

“Fire! Fire! cried Anthony Guyer,
Where? where? said Squire Eyre,
It’s up street, said Parson Heath.
It’s down town, said Dr. Brown.
It’s here! it’s here! cried Charlie Lear.
It’s in Anderson’s Hall, said Capt. Paul.
You are all wrong! cried Peter Deshong.
It’s up in the shed, said Morris’ Deb.(41*)
You lie! you lie! cried Kerlin’s Sie.(41*)
I’ll go to it, said Mrs. Hewitt.
You sha’n’t! you sha’n’t! said John Denant.
It’s time you’re startin’! said Dr. Martin.
You’d better be quick, said Thomas Dick.
I’ll be there in an hour, said Richard Flower.
Here’s my bucket, said Jonathan Duckett.
Put on the water, said Martin Carter.
They’re all too lazy, said Mrs. Daisy.
The roof is rotten, said Johnny Shotten.
Keep off my toes, said Odenheimer’s Rose.(41*)
I’ll make them whiz, said Odenheimer’s Liz.”(41*)

The fire-engine was known as the “Liberty,” and was housed in a one-story frame building, still standing, between the City Hall and tile First National Bank, now used as a coal-house and a place of deposit for all the trash which accumulates in the mayor’s and other offices in the hall. Samuel Edwards was president of the company in 1832. Some time after 1844 a new hand-engine was purchased, the “Friendship,” which was more generally known as the “Pickle Tub,” from the fact that in 1850, at the fire at Market Square, some of the active firemen of that day emptied the contents of a tub, in which a lady had been greening pickles, into the engine, and it began squirting pickles at the fire, until an unusually large one got fastened in the nozzle, and effectually stopped the flow. After the introduction of water into the city, the old fire-engine became useless, and steps were taken to organize an efficient fire department.

The Franklin Fire Company was instituted Nov. 30, 1867, and incorporated Feb. 22, 1869. During that year the lot on Concord Avenue was bought, and a two-story brick hose-house, fifty by twenty-two feet, was erected. For over ten years this house served the purpose for which it had been built, although, after the company had purchased, in 1874, the steam fire-engine “Franklin,” at a cost of four thousand dollars, the organization was much cramped for room. At first the handsome Silsby steamer was drawn by hand, but the company purchased a pair of horses, and it became necessary to enlarge the building. This was done in 1882; the old structure was removed, and a new building, three stories in height, erected, on which was located a look-out station, and a large bell suspended therein. The cost of this improvement was three thousand dollars. In October, 1882, the building was dedicated. On the roll of the Franklin Fire Company at this date (July, 1884) are seventy-eight active members. Samuel Phillips is president; Benjamin D. Ayers, Jr., secretary; and Thomas Brooks, chief engineer.

The Hanley Hose Company derives its name from John Hanley, “Old Blind Jack,” as he was called, who, though sightless, was earnest and active in effecting the organization of the company. The Hanley Hose Company, No. 1, of Chester, was instituted Jan. 12, 1869, and was incorporated by the court of Delaware County February 22d of the same year. At first a hose-carriage was alone the apparatus used; afterwards a hand-engine was purchased, and on April 8, 1874, the city authorities, at a cost of five thousand dollars, procured a large steam fire-engine from R.J. Gould, manufacturer, of Newark, N.J., which, by ordinance, July 21, 1874, was assigned to the custody of the Hanley Hose Company, No. 1, the city, however, retaining title to the steamer. Prior to 1871 the company was located in a frame building, which had formerly been a blacksmith-shop, at the northeast corner of Fifth and Welsh Streets, but in that year the lot now owned by them was purchased from John O. Deshong, and the present three-story building erected, to which improvements and additions have been made from time to time. After the steamer “City of Chester” had been placed in their care the company purchased a pair of large bay horses, known as Ben and Bill, which continued to draw the engine until 1873, when the present team of dapple grays superseded them. On the roll of the Hanley are fifty-two active members. William Gillson is president, and John Mackanaugh chief engineer.

On Aug. 23, 1869, the Good Will Steam Fire-Engine Company, No. 2, of the city of Chester, was incorporated, but no further steps were taken to organize an active company under this charter.

The Moyamensing Hook-and-Ladder Company, No. 1, of Chester was incorporated by the court of Delaware County Feb. 28, 1870, and at first was located in a frame building at the southeast corner of Mechanic and Broad Streets; the truck and hose-carriage being the gift of the Moyamensing Company of Philadelphia, for whom that of Chester had been named. On July 26, 1875, the corner-stone of the two-story building on Broad Street, west of Upland, was laid. The following year the house was finished and occupied by the company. In 1883 a lookout-station and bell was placed on the building. The expenses of maintaining the organization have largely exceeded the annual appropriation from the city, and the members are discussing whether, under the circumstances, the company should not disband to avoid the personal cost which annually is entailed on them for the support of the organization.

Parades and Public Demonstrations –  It is not the purpose under this title to narrate the political demonstrations which have occurred in Chester, for if that was the intention, a bulky volume would be required to relate the story of the numerous instances which could be gathered, but it is designed herein to record those public ceremonies which have made a lasting impress on the annals of the city. Washington, when on his way to be inaugurated President, was received by the good people of Chester at that day, and Dr. William Martin delivered an address, the manuscript of which is in the possession of his grandson, John Hill Martin. On April 29, 1841, a mock funeral was held in the ancient borough on the occasion of the death of President Harrison, in which the Sunday-school, literary, temperance, beneficial and secret societies took part. Maj. Samuel A. Price was chief marshal, with Spencer McIlvain, John G. Dyer, Robert McCay, Jr., Jonathan Vernon, and J. Gifford Johnson as assistants. A funeral oration was delivered by Rev. M.R. Talbot. On Nov. 8, 1851, the Pennsylvania Historical Society celebrated the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth Anniversary of the Landing of William Penn at Chester. William Rawle acted as president. The ceremonies were held in the Methodist Church on Fifth Street, and an address was made by William Armstrong; after which the meeting adjourned, and in procession went to the foot of Penn Street, where were planted several pine-trees near the site of the venerable ones, the last of which was blown down in a gale in October, 1846. On this occasion John F. Watson, the annalist, states that the “holly tree” standing at the foot of Penn Street was there prior to the landing of Penn. At midnight, Friday, Jan. 1, 1876, the streets of Chester were thronged with the population of the city who had determined to welcome the birth of the centennial year with an enthusiastic, popular demonstration. The hotels, lodge-rooms, newspaper-offices, public, buildings, and private dwellings were decorated with American flags, and the windows brilliant with lights, while rows of Chinese lanterns spanned the streets and were pendent from almost every building. At an earlier hour in the evening a public meeting was held in the City Hall at which addresses were made by Mayor Forwood, Col. William C. Talley, William Ward, and John P. Gartside. About ten o’clock Maj. Daniel Brown, marshal, ordered the procession to move, and the long line -consisting of all the military, fire, and most of the civic societies in Chester and outlying boroughs -traversed the principal streets of the city, greeted with the shouts of the populace and the glare of rockets and noise of firearms and crackers which added to the general hubbub. At half-past eleven o’clock the colonial salute of thirteen guns was fired by the artillery detachment of Post Wilde on Seventh Street. When the hands of the dial of the illuminated clock in the tower of the City Hall marked the hour of twelve, the bells of the city rang out a joyous peal, while the music from the various bands, the cheers of the crowd, the discharge of firearms and cannon made a din such as Chester never before knew, and the scene will never be forgotten by those who witnessed the tribute to 1876 as that year showed itself upon the dial of time. The parade on the 4th of July, 1876, was one of the most imposing pageants ever witnessed in Chester; the various organizations, under the direction of Chief Marshal Dr. Stoever, traversed most of the streets in the city. The literary exercises, under the direction of Col. W.C. Gray, were conducted on the Beale House lawn; noticeably will be remembered the historical sketch of Chester, written by William Ward, and the oration of Dr. F.T. Coates, subsequently published in a volume. On April 6, 1878, when the steamship “City of Para” was launched at Roach’s ship-yard, Chester was visited by President Hayes, members of his cabinet, Governor Hartranft, State Treasurer Rawle, Col. Quay, together with many Congressmen and politicians who for the time being were conspicuous, but have now faded entirely out of public remembrance. The President, suite, and friends, in a special train, were brought to the railway station, where, received by the city authority, they were conducted in carriages and with military escort to the ship-yard, the streets leading thither being crowded with people, who greeted the President with cheers and other demonstrations of welcome.

In the early spring of 1882 the idea of properly celebrating the bi-centennial anniversary of the landing of William Penn at Chester was discussed, but no definite steps were taken until June 5, 1882, when James Barton, Jr., mayor, and H.B. Black, president of Council, D.M. Johnson, Frank S. Baker, Isaiah H. Mirkil, and Richard Miller, a committee of that body, issued an address to the citizens of Chester and Delaware County, calling a general meeting on the 15th of that month, to effect an organization to carry out the object. At the meeting then held the following officers of the General Committee were elected: Hon. James Barton, Jr., chairman; George E. Darlington, vice-chairman; J. Craig, Jr., recording secretary; H.G. Ashmead, corresponding secretary; H.B. Black, treasurer; Col. W.C. Gray, chief marshal.

“The day fixed for the celebration of the bi-centenary of the landing of William Penn in Chester,” said William Shaler Johnson, “was ushered in soon after midnight by the ringing of all the bells in the city, each bell giving two hundred strokes. The morning was cloudy and threatening, but as the day advanced the weather changed for the better. The city put on its gala dress at an early hour, the houses being handsomely decorated, and flags flying from every available point. The Historical Committee had designated all the important historical sites with banners, on which the name and date of construction were plainly marked, while at the landing-place a staff, eighty feet high, carried the American colors, and it was evident from the beginning that the citizens had given themselves up heartily to the enjoyment of the great anniversary. All the mills and industrial establishments in the city and many of those in the county were closed, and, as a consequence, people had little else to do than to participate in the exercises of the day. Residents of the city and county, and hundreds of visitors, who had arrived on Saturday to spend the bi-centennial season with friends, thronged the streets long before the hour for the celebration to begin, and each incoming train from the north and south brought thousands to the city.”

The ceremonial landing of Penn was had at half-past nine o’clock in the morning of Oct. 23, 1882, at the foot of Penn Street, as near to the exact spot where Penn actually landed as could be, considering the changes that have been made in the river-bank in two centuries. Penn was represented by John J. Hare, of Chester, and the other characters were supported by members of the Chester Dramatic Association and the organizations of Red Men. The landing was made from a large old-fashioned yawl-boat, and a dialogue, which had been written by W.S. Johnson, gave dramatic features to the scene. After these inauguration ceremonies the crowd gathered at a lot on the corner of Concord Avenue and Second Street, where the exercises were held. On the grand stand were a number of prominent citizens, including the invited guests from Philadelphia and elsewhere, and the civic dignitaries from surrounding cities. Among these were Governor Hoyt, Col. A. Wilson Norris, Adjt.-Gen. James W. Latta, Col. D. Stanley Hassinger, Col. Campbell Tucker, Chief Engineer Samuel L. Smedley, the Executive Committee of the Bi-Centennial Association, Capt. Dean, U.S.R.M., Col. M. Richards Muckle, Maj. Charles K. Ide, President John McDonald, of the Produce Exchange, Frederick Lovejoy, Charles Lain, Carl Edelhein, and S.J. Linch, Hugh J. Hamill, Galloway C. Morris, John E. Ford, Lewis Wiener and Alexander Barrows, of Baltimore; Mayor Barton, ex-Mayors Larkin and Forwood, Messrs. G.P. Denis and D.F. Houston, Hons. William Ward and Robert Chadwick, Cols. W.C. Gray and P.M. Washabaugh, of Chester; George E. Darlington, of Media; Hon. W.B. Waddell and Robert E. Monaghan, of West Chester; William Simpson, Benjamin Gartside, Samuel Riddle, Daniel C. Abrams, Samuel Lewis, Hon. John M. Broomall, George Broomall, David S. Bunting, Charles Roberts, Hugh Shaw, John B. Roach, Abram Blakeley, Richard Miller, H.B. Black, Orlando Harvey, Revs. Thos. J. McCauley, William J. Paxson, Henry Brown, and others. The number of people assembled in the square and streets near by must have exceeded ten thousand. The exercises consisted of an introductory address by Mayor Barton, followed by a prayer by Rev. Henry Brown. Rev. Samuel Pancost read a bi-centennial poem, and Hon. John M. Broomall delivered an able oration appropriate to the occasion. The ceremonies at the stand closed with the children of the public schools of Chester singing the Bi-Centennial Hymn, the words composed by Professor Charles F. Foster, superintendent of the public schools, and set to music by Professor John R. Sweeney, followed by a prayer by Rev. Thomas Macauley. In the afternoon the exercises of the day were continued by a parade under the direction of Col. W.C. Gray. The parade was the largest ever witnessed in Delaware County. Over six thousand men were in line, and several of the industrial establishments -for all the manufacturing interests were represented -presented designs that were novel and interesting. The fifth division, restricted to the various trades, was one of the most noticeable in the parade. In the evening a display of fireworks took place at the corner of Ninth and Parker Streets.

On Thursday, Nov. 9, 1882, a number of gentlemen connected with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the Penn Club, having determined to celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of the landing of William Penn by placing a memorial stone at the actual spot where the lauding occurred in Chester (then Upland), came to Chester in a special train, and were received by the mayor, members of Council, and a number of prominent citizens, and escorted to the ground, foot of Penn Street, in front of the residence of Mayor J.L. Forwood.

The memorial stone had been erected on the 8th of November, the preceding day, and was covered with the national flag. Permission had been previously obtained from the city authorities and the owners of the adjacent property to place the stone on and within the curb line, on the northerly side of Front Street, which would bring it within a few feet of the actual place where William Penn landed. The stone was of granite, about five feet high and three feet by two feet at the base, weighing over two tons. On the northern or inner face was a marble tablet, on which was cut the coat-of-arms of Penn and the words, “This Stone marks the spot where William Penn landed October 28-29, 1682.” The stone, which was designed by John Struthers, of Philadelphia, was set upon a foundation of solid masonry, five feet square and three feet deep, the whole resting upon two thicknesses of heavy planks, laid transversely.

Charles S. Keyser, who acted as director of the ceremonies, made a brief address, after which Rev. Henry Brown offered a prayer. Charles J. Stille, LL.D., in behalf of the donors, presented the memorial stone to the city, which was received by James Barton, Jr., the then mayor of Chester. Addresses followed by William Ward, Lloyd P. Smith, Justice Cox, Jr., Samuel Chew, George M. Conarroe, who in his address read a letter from John G. Whittier to Col. Frank Etting, regretting his inability to be present. The ceremonies were closed by a few remarks by Dr. James J. Levick. The party from Philadelphia, under the guidance of the Chester committee, examined some of the historical buildings in the city. The site of the Essex house and the old well, the Boar’s Head Inn, the old court-house and prison, site of the House of Defense, Graham (Hoskins) house, Logan house, Richardson house, tomb of John Morton, Friends’ meeting-house, site of Sandelands’ double house, and other places of interest were among the points visited. About noon the Philadelphians took the special train for Codnor Farm, Col. Frank M. Etting’s place, in Concord, to which they had been invited. The party was accompanied by a number of gentlemen from Chester and Delaware County. Letters of regret were received by Col. Etting from Maj.-Gen. W.S. Hancock, Benson J. Lossing, and others.

Chester Lodge, No. 69, A.Y.M –  The warrant for this lodge which was granted June 24, 1796, was signed by William Moore Smith, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the State of Pennsylvania; Gavin Hamilton, District Grand Master; Thomas Town, Senior Grand Warden; John Poor, Junior Grand Warden; Thomas Armstrong, Grand Secretary; John J. McElwee, Grand Treasurer. The warrant is directed to William Martin, Worshipful Master; James Bernard, Senior Warden; William Pennell, Junior Warden; John Odenheimer, Master Mason; Matthias Kerlin, Master Mason; William Hill, Past Master; and Robert Smith, Master Mason. The first meeting was held August 30th of the same year, in the third story of a building on the corner of Fourth and Market Streets, at which time it was the “Hope’s Anchor” Tavern, now kept as the “Farmer’s Market Hotel” by Edward Kelly. The device of the seal of the lodge was, at the top the all-seeing eye, the square and compass, enclosing two clasped hands expressive of friendship, and the motto “United and Free.” At the first communication of the lodge, September 27th of the same year, the first degrees were conferred on Preston Eyre and Daniel Harmony. From that time to 1836, when the lodge surrendered its charter, one hundred and eighty-six Masons had been made or demitted from other lodges and united with this lodge. The following are the names of a few of the Past Masters: 1797, James Bernard; 1799, William Anderson; 1800, Preston Eyre; 1801, Joseph Engle; 1810, John Mackey; 1811, Joseph T. Johns; 1812, Job Terrill; 1814, William Hill; 1815, Joseph Engle. The property whereon the market-house now stands was owned by Lodge No. 69 prior to 1815; mention is made of it in the minutes as late as 1819, when all reference to it ceases.

In the Delaware County Republican of Aug. 24, 1847, appeared the following notice:
     “ANCIENT YORK MASONS –  The Brethren of Lodge No. 69, of Ancient York Masons, meet to day at the residence of Mrs. Jane Irwin for the purpose of applying for a new charter.”

This meeting-place was the lodge-room of the society at Fourth and Market. At this gathering a petition was prepared to request the Grand Lodge to recharter Chester Lodge, No. 69. The request was not acceded to, but a charter was granted as Chester Lodge, No. 236. This warrant was dated Dec. 4, 1848, and the lodge was instituted on the 23d of February, 1849, by the installation of George W. Bartram, Worshipful Master, Joseph Weaver, Senior Warden, and Alexander M. Wright as Junior Warden. In addition to the officers mentioned, the following were charter members: Samuel R. Lamplugh, James Campbell, Isaac S. Williams, Ezekiel Norman, Thomas Baker, Joseph Baker, John Martin, and others. At a stated meeting of Lodge No. 236, held March 8, 1849, the members of Lodge No. 69 were requested to meet for the purpose of uniting with the members of Lodge No. 236, which was done, in Penn Building, Market Square. About 1856 the lodge-room was removed to the hall over George Baker’s store, the present Chester Evening News building. In 1870, Lincoln Hall was purchased by Chester Lodge, who at once began arranging and decorating the room appropriately for their uses, at a large outlay of money. The following persons have been the Worshipful Masters since the recharter: 1848, George W. Bartram; 1851, Joseph Weaver; 1852, John Larkin, Jr.; 1853, Charles D. Manley; 1854, Joseph R. Morris; 1855, Persifer Baker; 1856, Thad. K. Martin; 1857, James Wilkey; 1858, Samuel Cliff; 1859, James Holmes; 1860, Daniel B. Thomson; 1862, George Baker; 1863, John M. Greig; 1864, Dr. J.L. Forwood; 1865, Col. Thomas J. Leiper; 1866, Dr. John M. Allen; 1867, John Fountain; 1868, George Robinson; 1869, Dr. Jacob Boon; 1870, William H. Flaville; 1871, Robert S. Taylor; 1872, Lewis W. Govett; 1873, Thomas Mould; 1874, James Gartside; 1875, Robert Singleton; 1876, Moses H. Green; 1877, Charles Roberts; 1878, Martin L. Taylor; 1879, Edward S. Worrell; 1880, Robert Chadwick; 1881, William S. Ranier; 1882, William P. Thompson; 1883, Charles F. Foster, present incumbent.

The lodge has a membership by the last annual report of one hundred and ninety-one. In August, 1871, George Caldwell, the last surviving member of old Chester Lodge, No. 69, died in Chester township. The present officers are Charles F. Foster, Worshipful Master; Henry Greenwood, Senior Warden; William B. Broomall, Junior Warden; Thomas I. Leiper, Treasurer; Robert S. Taylor, Jr., Secretary.

L.H. Scott Lodge, No. 352, F. and A.M –  This lodge was chartered Dec. 27, 1864. The warrant was issued to John P.M. Greig, George Baker, Henry B. Taylor, George E. Darlington, Esq., James Barton, Jr., Stephen C. Hall, Charles D. Pennell, Alfred Taylor, Rev. John R. Quigg, William D. Pennell, S.H. Stevenson, John H. Barton, George Wilson, Samuel A. Dyer, S.F. Baker, and Charles J. Andrews. The lodge was instituted March 16, 1865, in the rooms of the parent lodge, No. 236. The following officers were installed: J.P.M. Greig, Worshipful Master; Henry B. Taylor, Senior Warden; George E. Darlington, Junior Warden; George Baker, Treasurer; and James Barton, Jr., Secretary. The following are the names of the Past Masters: John P.M.M. Gregg, Henry B. Taylor, James Barton, Jr., William N. Pennell, George E. Darlington, John H. Barton, William Taylor, Caleb Emlen, Hiram Hathaway, Charles A. Story, William S. Lamb, Charles L. Leiper, Dr. Robert P. Mercer, Stephen C. Hall, Henry Abbott, Jr., James A. Heargan, George W. Beatty, J. Newton Shanafelt, and James B. Rutter.

Chester Royal Arch Chapter, No. 258 –  In 1823 a Chester Mark Lodge was in this city, as on 20th of December in that year Matthias Richards Sayres, as recorder, issued a call in the Post-Boy for a meeting of the Chester Mark Lodge. Beyond that fact no other information has been obtained respecting this lodge. Fifty-four years thereafter, in the fall of 1877, the Chester Royal Arch Chapter, No. 258, was instituted, with Charles Roberts, Most Excellent Priest; Edward S. Worrell, King; James Barton, Jr., Scribe; William H. Flaville, Treasurer; Theodore W. Stone, Secretary.

The present High Priest, is Henry W. Cullis, and Theodore Stone, Secretary.

A Masonic Relief Association was chartered May 25, 1868, with George E. Darlington, President; Thomas E. Leiper, Vice-president; Col. William C. Gray, Treasurer; Samuel Anderson, Secretary; James Barton, Jr., George Robinson, and Charles D. Manley, Trustees.

The object of the association, as set forth in the charter, is to provide for the widows and orphans of deceased members, and for this purpose a liberal fund is set apart by contributions, donations, etc.

Delaware County Lodge, No. 13, Knights of Birmingham –  This lodge was instituted in Chester on the evening of Oct. 8, 1879. The order is confined to the members of the Masonic fraternity, and was largely attended on the installation of officers by many from abroad. Ceremonies were held at Masonic Hall, and the following were the officers: Sir Chief, Henry Abbott; Sir Knight, George W. Beatty; Sir Herald, Robert Chadwick; Secretary, Theodore S. Stone; Treasurer, William S. Rainer; Trustees, Thomas Lees and Edgar C. Lyons. The meetings of this society are held in Dyer’s Hall.

Mount Tabor Lodge, No. 51, A.Y.M –  This lodge was established many years ago, and meetings were held in the hall at Fourth and Market Square, and about 1870 was abandoned. In that year Mount Vernon Lodge was chartered as No. 58. This also was abandoned, and the Franklin Lodge, No. 58, was chartered with the number of Mount Vernon Lodge. This society still retains its existence, and has about forty-two members, Thomas Handy being Worshipful Master. Meetings are held at the hall on Fourth and Market Streets.

Rising Sun Chapter, No. 12, A.Y.M –  This chapter contains at present twenty-three members, and is presided over by Johnson Pernsley, High Priest. Meetings are held in the hall at the corner of Fourth and Market Streets.

Radiant Star Lodge, No. 1063, Grand United Order of Odd-Fellows –  This lodge was instituted about thirty years ago, and at present has a membership of forty-five, with James H. Waters, Noble Grand, and William T. Jenkins, Past Grand. Meetings are held over the mayor’s office.

Chester Lodge, No. 92, I.O. of O.F –  This lodge was the first organized in the county, and received its charter Dec. 8, 1843. The meetings were held in the frame building on the corner of Third and Market Streets, now owned by George Wonderlich. They subsequently removed to a third-story room of White Swan Hotel, Fourth and Market, and later to and are at present in Dickinson Hall. James Hampson, Thomas Liversidge, Thomas B. Donaldson, Thomas McBride, and James Campbell were members of this lodge, and withdrew to form Leiperville Lodge, No. 263, which was chartered Aug. 16, 1847. Chester Lodge continued for several years, when it dissolved. Its charter was restored on the 6th of December, 1873, with five charter members named, and with John A. Wallace as Noble Grand. The meetings of the society are now held in Dickinson Hall.

The Delaware County Encampment of I.O. of O.F. was instituted in Chester April 15, 1846. It is not now in existence.

Upland Lodge, No. 253, I.O. of O.F –  This lodge was the second in the county, and was chartered June 21, 1847, about two months prior to the organization of Leiperville Lodge. Among the active members of the society in the county at that time were Edward E. Flaville, William Gray, M.D., John Sitzenberg, and John Burk. A lodge-room was fitted up over a double dwelling-house in Shoemakerville, where meetings were held for several years. The charter members for Upland Lodge were Cadwalader Evans, N.G.; J.M. Allen, V.G.; John H. Baker, Sec.; John S. Weaver, Asst. Sec. The society many years ago rented and fitted up a hall in the third story of the Penn Building, fronting on Third Street, which they have since occupied. The present officers are Thomas B. Robinson, N.G.; D.R. Esrey, V.G.; B.F. Bucha, Sec.; James Z. Taylor, Treas. The lodge has two hundred and nineteen members.

Chester Encampment, No. 99, I.O. of O.F –  This society is a degree of the Upland Lodge, No. 253, and was chartered April 17, 1850, with the following officers: James Jones, C.P.; James Kelly, H.P.; James Hampson, S.W.; John Booth, J.W.; Archibald McArthur, Sec.; Isaac S. Williams, Treas.; Thomas Liversidge, G. Later its charter was surrendered, and petition was made for restoration May 15, 1865. Meetings are held in Odd-Fellows’ Hall, Penn Building. The present officers are Hugh Crook, C.P.; D.R. Esrey, Jr., S.W.; Robert Smith, Jr., J.W.; Robert Singleton, Treas.; Robert Taylor, Jr., Scribe. The encampment numbers ninety-one members.

Leiperville Lodge, No. 263, I.O. of O.F –  Effort was made about 1845 to establish a lodge at Leiperville, which resulted in the granting of a charter by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, bearing date Aug. 16, 1847, and the name and number was designated as Leiperville Lodge, No. 263, I.O. of O.F. The officers named in the charter were James Hampson, N.G.; Thomas Liversidge, V.G.; Thomas B. Donaldson, Sec.; and James Campbell, Treas. Other charter members were Thomas McBride, James McCormick, and George Crossley. The lodge was instituted by Samuel Turner, D.D., Grand Master, on the evening of the 11th day of September, 1847, in the garret of the Leiperville Hotel, then kept by John Harrison Hill. On the night the lodge was instituted there were initiated by dispensation James Jordan, F. Derbyshire, T. Bradley, Jonathan Taylor, A. Trimble, William Liversidge, and James Morton. The humble room of the society was kept by them till a change in the business affairs of Leiperville by the withdrawal of the manufacturing interests there rendered it advisable to remove the lodge to Chester. In the summer of 1852 a lot was purchased of John Larkin, Jr., on the northwest corner of Broad and Crosby Streets, for the sum of eight hundred and fifty dollars, and preparation made for the erection of a building. The cornerstone was laid May 26, 1853, with appropriate services, the Avondale Brass Band being present. A metallic case was deposited in the stone containing minutes of the Grand Lodge of the United States and Grand Lodge of the State of Pennsylvania for the year 1850, Odd-Fellows’ Register, constitution and by-laws of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, those of Chester Encampment and Leiperville Lodge, Bible, and issues of the newspapers of Delaware County. The hall is seventy-six by thirty-two feet, three stories in height. The first and second stories are fitted up for dwelling and stores, and the lodge-room is sixty-six by thirty-two feet, with anteroom. The contract price was five thousand three hundred dollars. The building was completed in the fall of that year, and dedicated on the 17th of October, 1853. It has been used by the lodge since that time, and other societies also hold their regular meetings therein. The property is worth at present fifteen or twenty thousand dollars, and is unincumbered.

The present Noble Grand is H.W. Fairlamb, and the membership is two hundred and four.

Since the organization of the lodge about twenty thousand dollars have been paid out for relief to members in distress. This amount was mostly disbursed by Robert Smith, who was treasurer for seventeen years, retiring from that office in 1881.

Post Wilde, No. 25, G.A.R –  This post was chartered Jan. 9, 1867, and named in honor of Isaac Henry Wilde, second lieutenant One Hundred and Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania Regiment, who died in service July 26, 1864. It was instituted July 27th, in the same year, with James Cliff Post Commander. The Past Post Commanders have been James Cliff, Ewing W. Tibballs, William C. Paiste, William H. Martin, Joseph F. Brewster, Thomas Lees, Joseph P. Chadwick, George G. Buck, James McDude, Edward Blains, Marshall Miller, Edward H. Lilley, Theodore A. Vansant, Ebenezer Birtwell, Edward L. Morgan, James Cheetham, Gasoway O. Yarnall, William Band, Samuel Martin, William Raniers, James Hollingsworth, and James Morgan. The present Post Commander is Samuel Oglesby. The post is large, active, and in a prosperous condition. Meetings are held in the Ward Building.

Old John Brown Post, No. 194, G.A.R –  This post was organized in September, 1880, with twenty-seven members. Its meetings are held in Edgmont Hall, on Edgmont Avenue. The Past Post Commanders have been Daniel J. Russell, Robert B. Auter, and Samuel Lohman. The present Post Commander is Robert B. Auter. The membership is forty-five.

Tuscarora Tribe, No. 29, I.O. of R.M –  A few young men in Chester, desirous of forming themselves into a society, met to discuss the merits of different orders. Two of the number, James E. Golden and N.N. Worrilow, were members of the Improved Order of Red Men, and by their arguments and representations prevailed upon the others to form a tribe of Red Men, and it was decided to call a meeting and obtain signatures of those who were willing to become members of the tribe. Meeting was called, and thirty persons affixed their signatures to the petition to the Great Chiefs at Philadelphia for a charter, which was granted. On the 22d Sleep Flower Moon, G.S.D. 363 (l854), the Great Chiefs assembled at Chester with the “Brothers and Palefaces,” and twenty-seven persons took the obligation and were adopted into the new Tuscarora Tribe, No. 29, of the Improved Order of Red Men. The following officers were installed: Sachem, James E. Golden; Senior Sagamore, N.N. Worrilow; Junior Sagamore, Charles Sinex; Chief of Records, David M. Smiley; Keeper of Wampum, James Wilkie; Prophet, Jesse Gibson; First Sannap, William Kelly; Second Sannap, George Morris; Guard of Wigwam, Alfred Hoff; Guard of Forest, William Lambson; First Warrior, James P. Hunt; Second Warrior, Jesse Baker, Third Warrior, John S. Robinson; Fourth Warrior, James Younker.

The meeting of the new tribe was on the 29th Sleep, Flower Moon. The tribe grew in numbers slowly for a time, then declined, and a dissolution was seriously discussed. It finally was decided to put forth renewed energy and zeal in the cause, which was done, and resulted in an addition of thirty-six members in the next thirteen months. Since that time the tribe has increased in numbers, strength, and wealth, and at present has a membership of two hundred and fifteen. Meetings are held in their own wigwam, Tuscarora Hall, Penn Building.

Mocoponaco Tribe, No. 149, I.O. of R.M –  This tribe was chartered on the 19th of the Buck Moon, G.S.D. 380, and was instituted in April, 1871, on which occasion members of the order were present from Philadelphia, Tuscarora Tribe, Lenni Tribe, and from Media and other places. Twenty members were initiated, and the following-named persons were chosen officers for the year: Grand Sachem, George Wigham; Senior Sagamore, Abraham Mattis; Junior Sagamore, Abner Coppock; Keeper of Wampum, Enos F. Cloud; Keeper of Records, Frank Bucha. A lodge-room was handsomely fitted up in Cutler’s Hall, at the corner of Third and Kerlin Streets. The society subsequently removed to Odd-Fellows’ Hall, in the Penn Building, where they now are.

Mocoponaco Haymakers Association, No. 149-1/2, I.O. of R.M –  This society is a degree of the Mocoponaco Tribe, No. 149, and holds its meetings in OddFellows’ Hall, Penn Building.

Chester Lodge, No. 76, K. of P –  On Friday evening, April 17, 1868, George Schureman, Lacy H. Nicholson, E. Pennell, Jr., William L. Walker, John Bell, James McNelly, Thomas Keen, Jr., W.G. Seth, and Thomas Johnson went to Philadelphia to Ragau Lodge, No. 28, K. of P., which met at the northeast corner of Tenth and Chestnut Streets, to be initiated into the order of Knights of Pythias for the purpose of establishing a lodge in Chester. It was after twelve o’clock when the ceremony was over, and, as there were no cars running at that time, they had to walk home through a snow-storm, arriving in Chester about five o’clock Saturday morning. Steps were immediately taken to constitute a lodge in Chester, and on the evening of April 23d a preliminary meeting was held, at which the following officers were elected for the ensuing term: V.P., George Schureman; W.C., William L. Walker; V.C., Thomas Keen, Jr.; G., John Bell; I.S., James McNelly; O.S., Lacy H. Nicholson; N.S., W.G. Seth; F.S., Thomas Johnson; Banker, E. Pennell, Jr. The officers of the Grand Lodge on April 30th installed the persons named as officers of Chester Lodge, No. 76, K. of P. George Schureman was elected the first representative to the Grand Lodge, and John Bell trustee for eighteen months, Abram Mattin trustee for twelve months, and William L. Walker trustee for six months on June 25, 1868.

The following are the names of the presiding officers from July, 1868, to July, 1884: Thomas Keen, Jr., John H. Williams, James McNelly, William B. Pierce, Henry Ogden, Joshua Long, Thomas W. Mould, Mark W. Allen, Theodore J. Bell, Samuel B. Logan, Jefferson W. Chalfant; Thomas D. Nelling, John W. Pennell, William Stillwell, John P. Smith, Samuel Martin, Daniel W. Flenner, John B. Allen, George W. Jenkins, Watson R. McClure, William H. Philips, John Young, John H. Johnson, Harry Sigel, Mordecai Lewis, David H. McCray, Robert P. Mackey, John Dunkerly, William P. Wood, Robert McMillen, James A. Stillwell, William H. Dawson. The following-named persons have acted as treasurer of the lodge: E. Pennell, Jr., from April 30, 1868, to January, 1870; W.B. McBride, January, 1870, to January, 1871; Mordecai Lewis, January, 1871, to February, 1875; William Dotten, February, 1875, to July, 1877; and George W. Wilson, from 1877 to present time, and still remaining as such.

Larkin Lodge, No. 78, K. of P –  This lodge was chartered on the 4th of May, 1868, with nine charter members, and was named in honor of the then mayor of Chester, John Larkin, Jr. Delegations from Crystal Fount, Excelsior, Damon, Ragau, and other lodges of Philadelphia were present. It has at present one hundred and thirty-five members, and is presided over by Gideon Herbert, Chancellor Commander. Meetings are held in Dyer’s Hall, over the office of the Evening News.

Larkin Circle, No.66, Brotherhood of the Union –  A society of this order was organized at Marcus Hook about 1845, and later one at Chester. The circle was chartered March 2, 1872, and now has one hundred and sixty-five members, and is at present presided over by Dean J. Deakyne, Chief Washington. Meetings are held in Cutler’s Hall, Third and Kerlin Streets.

Good Intent Circle, No. 75, Brotherhood of the Union –  This circle was organized several years ago and dissolved, and on the 10th of May, 1882, was reorganized. It has at present ninety members. The present officers are: E.W., William Irwin; C.W., Andrew Corson; Treas., C.G. Hiorth; Scr., Charles Nothnagle; Reg., Jacob Titus. Meetings are held in M.O.U.A. Hall.

Lamokin Circle, No. 80, Brotherhood of the Union, was also organized several years ago, and was reorganized in May, 1884. It has a membership of thirty-six. Meetings are held in Riley’s Hall, Third and Edward Streets.

Chester Council, No. 36, J.O.U A.M –  This council was instituted in 1868, with fifteen charter members. A hall was fitted up by the society in the upper story of the Penn Building, which is still used.

Friendship Home Communion, No. 21, H.C. (H.F.) -This society was instituted Nov. 1, 1872, with twelve charter members, and at present has fifty members. Meetings were first held in Cutler’s Hall, Third and Kerlin Streets, and later the hall of the J.O.U.A.M. was rented and is still used.

Washington Camp, No. 20, Junior Sons of America, was organized Dec. 19, 1854, and after a few years was discontinued. A camp of the same name, No. 43, of the Patriotic Order of the Sons of America, was chartered with fifty-eight members on the 17th of January, 1882. Meetings are held in the Junior Order of United American Mechanics’ Hall, on Market Street.

Chester Council, No. 553, Royal Arcanum, an assessment insurance fraternity, was organized in Chester by Capt. H.C. Cochrane, Jan. 17, 1881, with twenty-three charter members. It has been very successful, numbering now upon its roll one hundred and sixteen members. Regent, Edward Barton; Secretary, J.M. Peoples; Treasurer, J. Craig, Jr.; Collector, Samuel Lyons. Meets in Dickinson Hall, first and third Wednesday evenings in each month.

Penn Conclave, No. 59, Improved Order Heptasophs, was organized March 28, 1883, with twenty-three charter members. The conclave meets in Dickinson Hall every second and fourth Wednesday evening. Archon, Julius Gottschalk; Secretary, J. Craig, Jr.; Treasurer, Oliver Troth; Collector, S.L. Armour.

Excelsior Lodge, No. 9, Independent Order of Mechanics –  This lodge was chartered April 23, 1884, in the Odd-Fellows’ Hall, Broad and Mechanic Streets, where their meetings are still held.

Trinity Council, No. 23, Sons and Daughters of America, meet at Edgmont Hall.

German Beneficial Society, No. 1, hold meetings at Cutler’s Hall, Third and Kerlin Streets.

Christian Home, No. 1369, I.O. of G.T –  This home was instituted in Fulton Hall, corner of Broad and Upland Streets, where meetings were held for a time. Later the society removed to No. 603 Green Street, near Morton Avenue, North Ward, where they are at present.

Ark of the Covenant Lodge, No. 86, American Protestant Association –  This lodge was chartered Aug. 27, 1869, with six charter members. Andrew

McClure is the present Worthy Master. Meetings are held in, Dyer’s Hall.

Nelson Lodge, No. 19, of the Sons of St. George –  This lodge was chartered Feb. 26, 1875, and organized in the Odd-Fellows’ Hall, corner of Broad and Mechanic Streets, where their meetings are still held.

Chester City Association of the Order of Philozatheans –  This order was instituted at Chester on the 17th of October, 1867, with twenty-five ladies as charter members. The society has at present fifty-seven members. The officers are Mrs. Alice Kline, Recorder; Mrs. Emma Winterbottom, Financial Recorder; Mrs. M.E. Taylor, Treasurer. Meetings are held in Odd-Fellows’ Hall, Penn Building.

Ark of the Covenant Lodge, No. 4, of the American Protestant Ladies Association –  This lodge was chartered on the 11th of October, 1871. Meetings are held in the hall of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics, on Market Street. The lodge has fifty-five members, and is presided over by Miss Jennie Donaldson, Worthy Mistress.

Pride of Chester, No. 6858, American Order of Foresters –  This society was chartered April 26, 1882, with three charter members. Meetings were first held at Odd-Fellows’ Hall, Broad and Mechanic Streets, and at present at Dickinson Hall. John Coombs is the Chief Ranger.

Chester Purple Star, No. 86, Loyal Orange Lodge of the United States of Ainerica –  The charter of this lodge was granted Sept. 8, 1883. Its first Master was John Ballantine. Meetings are held in Dickinson Hall.

Mount Lebanon Lodge, No. 17, Masonic Ladies –  This society was instituted Nov. 21, 1866, with fifteen ladies as charter members. It has a membership of one hundred and sixty, and is presided over by Mrs. Lizzie Coppock, L.H.P. Meetings are held in Odd-Fellows’ Hall, Penn Building.

Crystal Fount Division, No. 20, Sons of Temperance –  The division meets at Dickinson Hall, No. 504 Market Street.

Nonpareil Lodge, No. 30, Sons of Progress –  This lodge was instituted on the 17th of July, 1883. It has for its president David R. Worrilow, and has a membership of twenty-five. Meetings are held in Cutler’s Hall, Third and Kerlin Streets.

The Post-Office –  When the postal service was first instituted under the Federal government, an office was established at Chester. Particularly at that time the town was in a measure headquarters for naval officers, and a place where captains of ships would send ashore to get advices from the merchants in Philadelphia, if anything had been overlooked when the vessel sailed from the latter place. Early in the century the post-office was located at Fourth and Market Streets, where M.H. Bickley’s drug-store is now. Mrs. Mary Deshong was postmistress. Caleb Pierce followed Mrs. Deshong, and the office was removed to Market Street, in a building (now removed), adjoining the Central Restaurant. William Doyle superseded Pierce, and the migratory office was on the east side of Market Street, in an old house torn down by James Gardener when building the present stores on its site. In a short time it was removed by Doyle to a frame house, where Beaver’s tin-store now is, on Third Street, adjoining Penn Buildings. Mrs. Doyle was appointed postmistress, and removed to Fourth Street, near where the Farmers’ Market now is. In 1857, George W. Weaver became postmaster, the office being in the old building which stood on the site of Brown’s Hotel. Y.S. Walter, in 1861, was appointed, and the office again changed its locality, being in a small store in the angle of Penn Buildings, on Market Square. Maj. Joseph R.T. Coates, in 1864, followed Walter, when, in 1866, the office was removed to the city building, and under the mayor’s office. While located there William G. Price was postmaster, and was followed by William H. Martin, the latter holding the position for eight years. During 1880, Levi G. James erected the present post-office, on Edgmont Avenue, above Fifth Street, under an agreement with the United States that they would lease the lower floor for a term of five years. In 1881, John A. Wallace, the present incumbent, was appointed postmaster.

The First Jewelry-Store in Chester –  The frame building recently removed by Henry Borden, to erect on its site the present commodious cigar-store and manufactory, was occupied sixty years ago by Charles Alexander Ladomus, who located in a room in the Steamboat Hotel, then vacant, where he repaired clocks and watches. So marked was his success that he removed to the frame house on the west side of Market, above Third, where he added jewelry to his business of repairing time-pieces. Ladomus had an eventful history. He was a Frenchman by birth, and at the outbreak of the Revolution of 1793, his mother (being of an aristocratic family) was compelled to flee in the night-time to Germany with her children. Charles was at that time a lad of ten years. All the family remained in the land of refuge, and after the battle of Jena, Oct. 14, 1805, Charles A. Ladomus was in Berlin when the defeated Prussian army fled through that city. When the French occupied it, he acted as an interpreter for Napoleon. He subsequently made a tour of Europe on foot, which, as he practiced his occupation as a watchmaker in the mean time, consumed twelve years. In 1824 he came to the United States, married Catharine Schey, a widow, and settled in Chester, where he followed the business of a jeweler and watchmaker until within a few years of his death, which took place Dec. 30, 1859.

Old Settlers –  On August 8, 1834, William Long died in Chester, at the advanced age of ninety-one years and six months. It was worthy of note, for the newspapers of that day assert that at the date of his death his descendants numbered nine children, thirty-five grandchildren, fifty-five great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. Dr. Smith states that on Sept. 14, 1678, Rebecca Pedrick was born at Marcus Hook, “the earliest well-authenticated birth within the limits of Pennsylvania, where both parents were natives of England,” that had come under his notice.(42*) The Pennsylvania Gazette, issue for “June 28th to July 5, 1729,” contains the following item:
     “On the 30th of May past the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of Richard Buffington, Senior, to the number of one hundred and fifteen, met together at his house in Chester County, as also his nine sons- and daughters-in-law, and twelve great-grandchildren-in-law. The old man is from Great Marle, upon the Thames, in Buckinghamshire, in Old England, aged about eighty-five, and is still hearty, active, and of perfect memory. His eldest son, now in the sixtieth year of his age, was the first born of English descent in the Province.”

The fact that Rebecca Pedrick’s birth antedates that of Buffington is established by Mr. Smith’s researches, and hence “the first child of English parentage born in Pennsylvania” was not a male, but a female, and the place of birth removed from Chester to Marcus Hook.

General Items –  Chester in the first half of this century had ceased to show almost all evidence of enterprise. In the summer and fall of the year sports-men came hither to shoot rail- and reed-birds in the marshes of islands and flats, and it was the resort on Sundays of persons who drove from Philadelphia for recreation. Among such visitors were many turbulent spirits, and the village authorities were powerless to preserve order. So widely known was this immunity from arrest of Sabbath-breakers from other places that the Philadelphia Herald, in 1834, stated that a young lad who had spent a summer in the borough, on his return to his home, exclaimed, “Oh, ma, how I do love Chester!” “Why, my dear?” was the inquiry. “Because there is no Sunday there,” was the boy’s reply.

Business was confined to a few stores and small industrial establishments. The even tenor of daily life was almost stereotyped in its character. Hence it was an incident of rare occurrence that even a fire changed the current of events, and the quiet borough must have been astounded on March 24, 1818, when one Spear, who kept a grocery store in the old stone building on Market Street, where John M. Broomall’s dry-goods store is now located, in passing behind his counter with a lighted candle, by accident dropped it into an open keg of powder, occasioning an explosion which killed Spear instantly and damaged the building.

In July, 1829, it is stated Aaron Denman had in operation at Chester machinery for manufacturing paper from straw, which was “especially valuable for packing.”(43*) I have been unable to locate the site of this paper-mill, which was one of the first in the United States in which straw paper was made.



William Ward, of Chester, was born at Philadelphia, Pa., Jan. 1, 1837; was educated at Girard College, Philadelphia; learned the art of printing in the office of The Delaware County Republican; at Chester, serving there four years; studied law; was admitted to the bar in August, 1859, and engaged in the practice of law in connection with operations in land enterprises and public improvements in Chester and vicinity, to which was added the business of banking in 1868. In 1873 he retired from the banking firm of Ward & Baker, and devoted himself exclusively to the other branches. He has held a number of positions of public trust, such as president and member of the City Council for a number of years, city solicitor, secretary and treasurer of the Chester Improvement Qompany, director of the First National Bank, treasurer of the South Ward Water Board, secretary of the Chester Creek Railroad Company, and secretary and treasurer of the Chester and Delaware River Railroad Company. He never held a purely political office until 1876, when he was elected a member of the Forty-fifth Congress, from the Sixth District of Pennsylvania, and successively to the Forty-sixth and Forty-seventh Congresses. Upon the expiration of his term in March, 1883, he returned to Chester, and has since been actively and exclusively engaged in the practice of the legal profession.


Aaron Palmer, the father of Samuel, was born April 13, 1792, and married Susannah Denny Nov. 24, 1811. Their children were Samuel, Thomas, John, Pamela, Mary Jane, Caroline, and two who died in infancy. Samuel, the eldest, was born Dec. 28, 1813, in Frankford, Pa., and resided until his sixteenth year in New York, after which he removed to Philadelphia. He learned the trade of a shell-comb maker, but not finding this pursuit a congenial one, fitted himself for the vocation of a teacher. Finding this sedentary life not conducive to health he resumed his trade, and finally engaged in the business of brick-making, having previously been connected in a clerical capacity with various public offices in the city of Philadelphia. On removing to Chester he rented a brick-yard, and for several years conducted the business successfully.

He was married to Margaret, daughter of William and Catherine Morrison News, of Philadelphia. Their children are Eleanor (Mrs. Henry Goodman), Caroline (Mrs. Michael Cash), Kate (Mrs. James Dougherty), Susan (Mrs. John Moore), Margaret, John, Thomas, Samuel, Lizzie, and four who are deceased,  Susan, William, Ann Eliza, and an infant. Mr. Palmer was in politics a Democrat, though not a worker in the political field. He was an active member of the Masonic fraternity, and much interested in the advancement of the order. He was not during his lifetime identified with any religious denomination, but died in the faith of the Catholic Church. Mrs. Palmer and her sons have since conducted the business with marked success.


Mr. Taylor was of English descent. Israel Taylor, his father, a farmer in Aston township, Delaware Co., married Ann Malin, of Upper Providence township, and had children,  Joseph, William, Anna (Mrs. David Garrett), Bowman, and Gideon. Their son, Joseph, was born April 6, 1802, in Upper Providence, and when an infant removed with his parents to Aston township, where he resided upon the ancestral home until 1844. He received his education in the public schools of Delaware County, and, early evincing a fondness for mathematics, made surveying the business of his life. He was in his political predilections an Old-Line Whig, and, as the candidate of that party, was, in 1844, elected prothonotary of the county, which necessitated his removal to Chester, where the sessions of the court were then held. On the expiration of his official term he resumed his profession, was for a number of years county surveyor, and, later, surveyor for the city of Chester, both of which positions were filled with much ability. He was also surveyor of Darby borough and exercised his skill in the laying out of Chester Rural Cemetery, of which he was one of the projectors. Mr. Taylor was regarded as a man of undoubted skill in his profession and possessing a thorough knowledge of the county to which his labors were chiefly confined. He evinced qualities which won the respect and affection of all who knew him, and was no less regarded for his unquestioned integrity and probity than for his generous instincts and warm sympathies. Having been reared in the Quaker faith his inclinations were for the Society of Friends, though a frequent worshiper with other denominations and a profound listener to an earnest discourse. Mr. Taylor married Miss Hannah Berdett Taylor, daughter of Joseph Taylor, of Upper Providence township, a soldier of the Revolution, who was taken prisoner and held as a hostage at St. John’s, New Brunswick, until the close of the war. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor are Henry B., John H., Annie W. (Mrs. Richard Stevenson), of Atchison, Kan.; William, cashier of the First National Bank of Chester; Catherine R. (Mrs. H.M. Hinkson), and Alfred. John H. joined the Pennsylvania Reserves during the late war as lieutenant of Company C, First Regiment, and fell at the battle of South Mountain. The death of Mr. Taylor occurred on the 27th of February, 1884, in his eighty-second year.

* Penna. Mag. of Hist., vol. ii. p. 325.

** Campanius, p. 79.

*** Martin’s “History of Chester,” p. 89.

(4*) Hazard’s Register, vol. iii. p. 264.

(5*) Martin’s “History of Chester,” p 62.

(6*) Penna. Mag. of Hist., vol. iii. p. 423.

(7*) Joseph Scott’s “U.S. Gazetteer” (Philadelphia, 1795, first “Gazetteer” of the United States published), title “Borough of Chester.”

(8*) In “Gordon’s Gazetteer,” published in 1832, is presented the following description of the old borough a half-century ago:
     “Chester, Post-town, Borough and seat of justice of Delaware County, 121 miles N. of Washington City, and 96 miles S.E. of Harrisburg, on the river Delaware, 15 miles S.W. of Philadelphia. This is the most ancient town of Pennsylvania. There were several dwellings and a Quaker meeting here before the grant to William Penn of 1681. It was then known as ‘Upland,’ but the name of Chester was substituted by the Proprietary, at and before the granting of the Borough charter, on the 31st of Oct., 1701. The first adventurers, under Penn, landed here on the 11th of Dec., 1681, and were compelled to remain the winter, the river having been frozen over the night of their arrival. On the 4th of Dec., 1682, the first Provincial Assembly was holden here, memorable for having enacted, in a session of three days, seventy laws, comprising an efficient code for the government of a political society. There are still standing in this ancient town some old houses, among which is the church. Perhaps few places in the country have improved less. There is a water-power near it, but it is not great, and the business of the surrounding country lies in Philadelphia. It may contain at present about 134 dwellings, chiefly of stone and brick. A substantial and neat Court-House of stone, surmounted by a cupola and bell, brick offices, and a stone prison, 5 taverns, 4 stores, an Athenaeum, the Delaware County Bank, a Church, and Quaker meeting-house. A manufactory of straw paper has lately been established near the town. For the accommodation of the trade of the Delaware there are some piers sunk in the river opposite the town, which have been lately repaired by the U.S. Population in 1830, only 848. There are here six practicing Attorneys and two Physicians.”

(9*) Bliss’ “Digest of Delaware County,” title, “Municipal Corporations -Chester,” p. 375.

(10*) Re-elected in 1869.

(11*) Re-elected in 1875 and also in 1878.

(12*) Mr. Walter was elected by Council to fill the place made vacant by the death of George Flood.

(13*) David W. Morrison resigned, and July 18, 1870, Ellis Smedley elected by Council to take his place; I. Engle Hinkson died October, 1870, and Council elected John Hinkson in his stead.

(14*) James A. Williamson resigned, and George Robinson elected in his stead. William G. Price resigned, and Gideon Speakman elected by Council. Jonathan Kershaw resigned, and James Stephens elected by Council. George Derbyshire died June, 1872, and Thomas I. Leiper elected by Council. William A. Todd resigned, and William B. Broomall elected by Council to fill vacancy.

(15*) On May 1, 1876, Frederick J. Hinkson, Jr., resigned, and Thomas I. Leiper was elected by Council to fill the unexpired term until the ensuing charter election.

(16*) Daniel Brown resigned Dec. 2, 1878, and Dr. Robert P. Mercer was elected by Council in his stead. February, 1879, Samuel R. Palmer died, and February, 1879, George M. Booth elected by Council in his stead.

(17*) John Young died February, 1880, and Samuel Greenwood elected by Council in his stead.

(18*) Robert Chadwick resigned Nov. 15, 1880, and William G. Price elected by Council in his place. March 7, 1881, Robert Anderson resigned, and Henry Palmer elected by Council in his stead.

(19*) John A. Wallace resigned Jan. 3, 1882, William B. Broomall elected by Council in his stead.

(20*) Oct. 16, 1882, Perry M. Washabaugh resigned, and B.F. Baker elected by Council in his stead.

(21*) Henry Palmer resigned May 16, 1883, Dr. Robert P. Mercer was elected by Council in his stead.

(22*) William B. Broomall resigned, and James Fryer was elected by Council in his place.

(23*) History of New Sweden, p. 176.

(24*) Those marked with an asterisk (*) are deceased.

(25*) “History of Colonial American Catholic Church,” p. 220. No reference can be found in the records of St. Paul’s Church respecting this statement; but it should be added that those records were abominably kept at that date; nor, yet can anything be found on the minutes of Chester Friends’ Meeting, which, on the other hand, are exhaustive records, the most trivial matters being noted. In fact, Friends’ records negative, by the absence of any reference to the matter, the idea that at any time a school was maintained by the society in Chester.

(26*) A letter written by Joseph Weaver, Jr., in 1843, alludes to the house where Lafayette’s wound was dressed. The letter is as follows:

     “Dear Sir: -I take the freedom of recommending to your attention Mr. Crossman Lyons, of this place, as a suitable person for the situation of Collector of Customs at Marcus Hook. From a long acquaintance with Mr. Lyons I feel warranted in representing him as a man that will well and efficiently execute his duties.
     “It may not be improper to add that Mr. Lyons is a son of a Revolutionary character who served his country during the whole of that War, in sustaining our Independence, and his mother was the lady who waited upon and dressed the wounds of Lafayette, at Mrs. Withey’s Tavern (now the Columbia House) in Chester, after the battle of Brandywine.
     “I am very respectfully yours truly,

(27*) History of Chester, p. 254.

(28*) Penna. Mag. of Hist., vol. v. pp. 64, 65, 68, 71.

(29*) Penna. Mag. of Hist., vol. i. p. 240. I have stated in “Historical Sketch of Chester” that James Mather was landlord of the Lafayette House. This, I find, from examination of authorities of which I had then no knowledge, is an error.

(30*) History of Chester, p. 262.

(31*) It is related that Sir William Draper made a tour of the American colonies a short time after his newspaper encounter with “Junius.” “During his stay in Philadelphia no one was so assiduous in his attentions to him as Mr. Richardson, better known at that time by the name of Frank Richardson, then from Europe, on a visit to his friends. This gentleman was one of the most singular and successful of American adventurers. The son of one of our plainest Quakers, he gave early indications of that cast of character which raised him to his present station, that of a colonel in the British guards. At a time when such attainments formed no part of education in Pennsylvania, he sedulously employed himself in acquiring skill in the use of the small sword and the pistol, as if to shine as a duelist had been the first object of his ambition. Either from a contempt for the dull pursuits of the ‘home keeping youth’ of this day, or from the singularity of his propensities repelling association, he was solitary and rarely with companions. Fair and delicate to effeminancy, he paid great attention to his person, which be had the courage to invest in scarlet, in defiance of the society to which he belonged, in whose mind’s eye, perhaps, as to that of the blind man of Luke, this color from their marked aversion to it, resembles the sound of a trumpet; and no less in defiance of the plain manners of the city, in which, except on the back of a soldier, a red coat was a phenomenon, and always indicated a Creole, or Carolinian, or a dancing master. With these qualifications, and these alone, perhaps, Mr. Richardson at an early age shipped himself for England, where soon having the good fortune to establish a reputation for the theatre, he was received into the best company, and thence laid the foundation of his preferment. Such, at least, was the generally received account of his rise. But whether accurate or not, his intimate footing with Sir William is au evidence of the style of his company whilst abroad, as well as the propriety of his conclusion that his native land was not his sphere. As the story went, on Mr. Richardson’s first going to England, he happened to be in the same lodgings with Foote, the comedian, with whom he became intimate. One day upon his coming out of his chamber, ‘Richardson,’ said Foote to him, ‘a person has just been asking for you, who expressed a strong desire to see you, and pretended to be an old Philadelphia acquaintance. But I knew better, for he was a d—-d ill-looking fellow, and I have no doubt the rascal was a bailiff; so I told him you were not at home.’ But here either Foote’s sagacity had been at fault or he had been playing off a stroke of his humor, the visitor having really been no other than Mr. —-, a respectable merchant of Philadelphia, though not a figure the most debonair to be sure.” -“Reminiscences,” Hazard’s Register, vol. vi. p. 167.

(32*) History of Chester, pp. 42, 43.

(33*) Preston Eyre died in Dubuque, Iowa, April 18, 1859, aged eighty-seven years.

(34*) Resigned to accept a position in the Bank of the United States, and died in Germantown, Dec. 28, 1875, aged eighty years.

(35*) Philadelphia Spirit of the Times, 1846.

(36*) Bulletin Hist. Soc. of Penna., vol. v. (March, 1847) p. 11.

(37*) Clearly an error in date, the petition for the highway through Chester being first presented to the Provincial Council March 19, 1705/6, and the survey was not made until 1706. Besides, the extracts from the court records show that no bridge was built at Chester previous to the fall of 1708, and that the bridge was not then finished.

(38*) History of Chester, p. 58.

(39*) Martin’s “History of Chester,” p. 359.

(40*) History of Chester, p. 277.

(41*) Slaves of the families whose names are given.

(42*) History of Delaware County, p. 491, notice of Roger Pedrick.

(43*) Hazard’s Register, vol. iv. p. 12.

Source: Page(s) 327-424, History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, by Henry Graham Ashmead, Philadelphia: L.H. Everts & Co. 1884

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