Friday, September 22, 2017

Norwood's Dr. Bullitt WINS!! Part 2 Civil War Weekend at


Looking east on Mohawk Ave. toward Cleveland Ave. from Winona Ave. about 1908.

Note: Part two of the Bullitt Case, a Norwood millionaire wanted to marry a 17 year old. His family wanted him declared insane. The case was appealed all the way to the State Supreme Court and Bullitt won and married his teenage bride. A man after my own heart, Bullitt contended people would think he was insane if he did NOT want to marry a teenage girl. The couple celebrated with a party of over 500 guests!!

 October 15, 1913


 Supreme Court Decision Sustains his Appeal from action of County Tribunal

In an opinion handed down by Justice Brown of the Supreme Court sitting in Pittsburgh, Pa., yesterday.  Dr. John Christian Bullitt of Norwood was sustained in his appeal from a ruling of the Common Pleas Court of Delaware County, which allowed exceptions taken by a brother to the report of a commission which had examined Dr. Bullitt for lunacy.  By the decision, Dr. Bullitt’s sanity is established according to the finding of the commission.  Dr. Bullitt was represented by W. I. Schaffer, and Logan Bullitt and sisters were represented by V. Gilpin Robinson.
            The lengthy litigation in the Bullitt case which has attracted considerable attention from the prominence of the parties concerned, was due to the announcement of the engagement of Dr. Bullitt to Miss Edith Dever, seventeen years old of Philadelphia.  Dr. Bullitt’s brother Logan M. Bullitt, and two sisters, Mrs. Therese L. Coles and Miss Julia Bullitt endeavored to prove that Dr. Bullitt was irresponsible because he was mentally unbalanced.  Dr. Bullitt was then thirty-eight years old.  The case was tried in the courts of this country.
            A lunacy commission was appointed which found, after the testimony of alienist was completed, that Dr. Bullitt was sane.  His brother and sisters took objection to the finding of the commission and were sustained by the judges of the county courts.  Dr. Bullitt, then made an appeal, resulting in the sustaining of his appeal and the establishing of his sanity.
Dr. Bullitt married Miss Dever after a commission declared he was sane.  The brother and sisters filed exceptions to the finding of the commission, and the Delaware County Court dismissed the entire proceedings before the commission.
            In effect, this ruling deprived Dr. Bullitt of the benefit of the finding of the commission that he was of sound mind.  The brother and sisters objected to the admission and rejection of evidence before the commission under the Act of June 10, 1897, which provides that a court may dismiss all proceedings before a commission when sufficient exceptions are sustained.
The cost of the appeal is put upon the brother and sisters, and the lower court is reversed by the Supreme Court.
In reviewing the case, Justice Brown says:  “Dragged into Court on the charge of lunacy, the inquest found that he was sane, but by the court’s decree that finding is swept away.  He was entitled to the benefit of it; and if the appellees were dissatisfied with it and felt aggrieved by it, the stature permitted them to traverse the finding and of going before a jury in the Common Pleas with their charge of lunacy.
“This course they chose not to pursue, but, asserting a right to file exceptions under the Act of 1897, they seek to have their own proceedings dismissed.  I they did not care to further prosecute them, they could have permitted the return of the commission to become absolutely confirmed.
            “Instead of this, after their unsuccessful contest before the inquest, they in effect, asked that the proceedings be set aside.  We are clear that the Act of 1897 was not intended for any such purpose, but solely to enable a Court of Common Pleas to determine, upon a review of the testimony before the inquest, whether there was evidence to sustain a finding of lunacy.  When the finding is against lunacy, the proceedings come to an end automatically, unless the finding is traversed by the petitioner for the commission.
            “It is not to be presumed by implication that the Legislature intended that a petitioner for a commission in lunacy should play fast and loose with his proceedings, to the palpable wrong of the respondent, declared by an inquest to be sound mind.”

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sad News for DCHS

Linda M. Houldin
1948 ~ 2017
It is with very heavy hearts that we inform our members and friends of the sudden death of our beloved Executive Director, Linda M. Houldin, on September 18, 2017. Linda was an amazing woman and an excellent Board Member and Director. Her love of history and the society was always evident in all she did on a daily basis. Linda was always there to fundraise, manage, develop and create events and help “pick up the pieces” no matter what they were. Never afraid to offer suggestions, teach or assist with programs, reach out to potential Board Members, sponsors and EITC businesses, and be there for moral support, Linda was always present at all of our events and was a strong voice for the mission of the society. Not only did Linda serve as President of the Delaware County Historical Society, and most recently as the Executive Director, but also she was a great friend to all of us! Her death came as a shock to the DCHS “family” and we will miss her greatly.…/…/Linda-M.-Houldin-105210806

Obituary for Linda M. Houldin

September 18, 2017
Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
Beloved Wife, Mother and Grandmother

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

" A mans sanity and a womans honor", The Bullitt Millionaire Case of Norwood


When John Cochran started Norwood in May of 1873 he named the new town for the book above by Henry Ward Beecher a best seller of the day.

The Bullitt Marriage Sanity Case

Note; One of the top stories in Delco was the Bullitt Sanity Case. Bullitt a 38 year old millionaire wanted to marry a 17 year old, daughter of one of his care takers. His family thought he was crazy!! Imagine that!!
The result later this week
CHESTER TIMES – June 3, 1910
            LEGAL FIGHT TO PREVENT MARRIAGE OF MILLIONAIRE – Sensations Sprung at Yesterday’s Hearing to Restrain Dr. Bullitt of Norwood from Making Miss Edna Dever His Bride – Preliminary Injunction Continued
            Some surprising developments have arisen in the proceedings to prevent the proposed marriage of Dr. John Christian Bullitt, Jr., a Norwood millionaire, to Edna Dever, the eighteen year-old daughter of his caretaker, John E. Dever, a former police lieutenant in Philadelphia, in which the names of several other women figure.  A hearing in the injunction proceedings was held yesterday in court room No. 2, at Media before Judge Isaac Johnson and after the arguments were presented the Court continued the preliminary injunction until Saturday morning, June 11.  The injunction restrains John E. Dever from assisting in the proposed marriage of his daughter and Miss Dever and Dr. Bullitt from marrying.
            QUESTION OF JURISDICTION – When the hearing began a motion was made by V.G. Robinson, Esq., of Clifton Heights, representing the petitioners, Logan M. Bullitt, Theresa L. Coles and Julin Bullitt Gross, who declare their brother, Dr. Bullitt, is a lunatic, that the preliminary injunction be continued.  This was objected to by William I. Schaffer, Esq. of Chester, with whom is associated John J. Steiser Esq. as counsel for Dr. Bullitt and the Devers.  After offering the objection he filed a demurrer which accompanied an answer to the bill in equity under which the preliminary injunction preventing the marriage was granted.  The contents of the demurrer were read to the Court.  The same attorney also filed a motion to quash the proceedings in lunacy in which his contentions were outlined.
            Attorney Robinson asked that first the question raised as to the jurisdiction of the Court in equity he decided and the argument mainly hinged on this point.  He declared that the proposed marriage is a matter of public policy.  He said that the equity proceedings are supplementary to the petition for a commission in lunacy. 
            “All we need to do at the present time, he said, “is to show the proceedings in lunacy are going on in good faith,” and he also stated to show a basis for the case.
            Judge Johnson suggested that the demurrer be considered before further argument on the part of the attorneys or before the calling of witnesses.  No witnesses were called at the hearing.
            NO PROPERTY RIGHTS INVOLVED – Attorney Schaffer declared that there are no property rights involved.  He asserted that the brothers and sisters of Dr. Bullitt have no right to say that he shall not marry or that the girl shall not marry.  The State, and the State only, he said, has the power to control marriages.  The Court must be satisfied, he said, that this is a proper case for a commission in lunacy.  He declared that the affidavits set forth that Dr. Bullitt is of unsound mind and that the law requires reasons to show this by affidavits or proof.
            The petition, Attorney Schaffer declared, does not contain facts on which the Court can primarily conclude that Dr. Bullitt is of unsound mind.  No committee in lunacy ought to be issued, he said.  He then referred to Dr. Bullitt’s standing as a member of Norwood Borough Council for three years and as a Justice of the Peace.  He is a man of property properly conserved under his father’s will under trustees appointed, he declared.  These trustees are H. Gordon McCoach and Joseph L. Doran.  “A man’s sanity is just like a woman’s honor,” he said, in declaring that no commission be appointed, saying it would be an everlasting reflection on Dr. Bullitt.
            PROOFS OF PREVIOUS MARRIAGE – Attorney Robinson presented a copy of the proceedings in the New Jersey Court which on March 13, 1909, annulled the marriage of Dr. Bullitt to Miss Josephine Zinque, nurse in the private hospital in Trenton at which he was a patient.  In that action Dr. Bullitt himself testified that he was of unsound mind.  “We want to prevent the same sort of proceedings as occurred in the New Jersey Court,” he declared.  He then stated as facts that John E. Dever, the caretaker for Dr. Bullitt and father of his betrothed, actually claims to own the roof that covers him, he residing at “The Homestead, Dr. Bullitt’s home at Norwood.  He also stated that Dr. Bullitt’s yearly income is $10,000 and that he receives about $60 a week.  He declared that the proposed marriage is even against the desire of Miss Dever, who is being forced into it.  He also claimed that the brothers and sisters of Dr. Bullitt are denied access to him.  He said that Dever alleges that the property of Dr. Bullitt belongs to him.  He also asserted that Dr. Bullitt has hallucinations and that he evidently believes that a former policeman would be able to protect him.  He said that Dr. Bullitt having an income of $10,000 a year there must be property rights involved which would justify equity proceedings.  He insisted that it would be a wrong to the community to permit the marriage.
            HIS RIGHT TO MARRY – If Dr. Bullitt is not locked up behind the bars, his attorney declared, he can marry Miss Dever, committee or no committee, inquisition or no inquisition, and the committee could not invalidate the marriage.  He argued that the Court cannot prevent the marriage but could afterwards annul it if it found proper under the law.
            Judge Johnson stated that the question at stake was whether or not the Court had the authority to halt this contract, and he asked the attorneys to submit paper books on the subject containing their arguments.  If the Court does not have the power the proceedings will consequently fail.
            In the demurrer to the injunction proceedings it was set forth:
            1.  The parties’ plaintiff in the said bill of complaint have no equitable right to file such a bill of complaint against the defendant.
            2.  The parties’ plaintiff are without equity to maintain their said bill of complaint, as appears by the inspection thereof.
            3.  The Court is without jurisdiction to entertain the bill of complaint against the defendants or to grant any relief therefrom.
            4.  The matters set forth in the plaintiff’s bill of complaint are not cognizable in a court of equity and a court of equity is without jurisdiction under the bill filed by the complainants to grant any relief against the defendant.
            Accompanying this demurrer is the answer to the bill in equity containing a denial of the allegations.
            The answer to the petition for a commission in lunacy is in the form of a motion to quash.  It sets forth:
            1.  The petition is not supported by any affidavits showing the mental state of the respondent or establishing that he is of unsound mind.
            2.  The petition sets forth no facts which warrant the conclusion that the respondent is of unsound mind.
            3.  The petition is not supported by the affidavits of any persons versed in mental diseases setting forth that the respondent is of unsound mind.
            “The petition is otherwise informal and incomplete and avers conclusions instead of facts.”
            The bill of equity under which the injunction was granted restraining the marriage sets forth that Dr. Bullitt is of unsound mind, and altogether unfit to govern himself or to manage his affairs.  The next of kin are given as Theresa L. Coles, William C. Bullitt, Julia Bullitt Gross, Logan M. Bullitt, James F. Bullitt and Helen B. Furness.
            HIS MENTAL FACULTY – The bill, which was previously impounded, set forth that for four years John Dever and his family and daughter, Edna, have resided at Dr. Bullitt’s residence.  It sets forth that the petitioners are informed and believe that Dr. John Christian Bullitt, Jr., is seeking to bring about his marriage with Miss Eda Dever and that Dr. Bullitt is incapacitated, mentally and physically from entering into the marriage contract.  The brother and sisters making the petition allege in their bill in equity that John E. Dever is attempting to procure the marriage by fraud, force or coercion.  They looked for the preliminary injunction, which was granted, restraining John E. Dever from procuring or attempting to procure the marriage and restraining Dr. Bullitt from entering into the contract of marriage.
            Accompanying the request for the injunction was the affidavit of Clement H. Congdon of Philadelphia, who set forth that he was employed by the plaintiffs to ascertain the mental condition of Dr. Bullitt and the likelihood of a marriage between him and Miss Dever, and whether this was voluntary on the part of Dr. Bullitt and Miss Dever whether it was being procured by fraud, force or coercion.  The affidavit process.
            “That in pursuance of said employment he had made inquiry of sundry and various persons residing in Norwood and who are familiar with all the circumstances surrounding the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., and the condition of his health, and from these investigations your deponent believes:
            “That said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., for a period of over ten years has been of unsound mind, possessed of hallucinations and unable and unfit to care for his person or his affairs; that he is under duress by John E. Dever, the father of Edna Dever, who is endeavoring to force a marriage between the said Edna Dever and the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr.; that the said John E. Dever has caused the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., to employ counsel to prevent the next of kin of the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., from seeing him and that unless an injunction is issued restraining the said marriage that the said John E. Dever will through fraud, force and coercion cause a marriage ceremony to be performed between the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., and Edna Dever against the will of both contracting parties.
            OTHER WOMEN NAMED – “That the investigation thus far made has disclosed the fact that the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., while of unsound mind and understanding did marry in the State of New Jersey a woman by the name of Zink; that he represented and declared that he had married a lady resident in the State of Missouri named Neideringhaus and that he repeatedly declared and represented to his near friends that a young woman visiting in Norwood with whom he had but a speaking acquaintance set about and intended to entrap him into an undesired marriage; that he repeatedly endeavored to have his attending physician act as his agent in an effort to induce Miss Anna Duffy, a resident of Norwood, to marry him and that he believed and understood that the said John E. Dever intended to force him to marry his elder daughter, Lula Applegate, nee Dever, now a resident of Wilmington, Del.:
            In connection with the request for the injunction, an affidavit was taken by Logan M. Bullitt, a brother of Dr. Bullitt, and one of the plaintiffs.  It is as follows:
            “John C. Bullitt, Jr., is a resident of the borough of Norwood, in said county of Delaware, and is at the present time and for a space of more than two years last past has been of unsound mind and has been so far deprived of his reason and understanding that he is rendered altogether unfit and unable to govern himself or to manage his affairs.  That said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., has been of unsound mind since his early childhood and during the past twelve years, he, on three different occasions had to be physically restrained on account of outbreaks of violent lunacy.  From time to time he is possessed with hallucinations that people are trying to kill him and to do him great bodily harm.  That for the past two weeks he has been in a state terror and collapse which produced in him complete physical prostration as well as great mental anguish, and that the complainants in this case, in consequence of the mental state of John Christian Bullitt, Jr., have filed in this court a petition for the appointment of a commission to inquire into the lunacy of the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr.  That for more than four years last past the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., has been living at Norwood aforesaid and has employed one John E. Dever as his personal caretaker.  That said John E. Dever together with his wife and daughter, Edna Dever, have been residents of the house occupied by the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., during the whole of said period.  That the said John E. Dever was selected to care for the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., for the reason that inasmuch as he was constantly suffering from or possessed of hallucinations that people were trying to kill him, the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., had great confidence in the ability of the said John E. Dever to protect him from bodily harm and injury for the reason that the said John E. Dever had been on the police force in the city of Philadelphia.  That the said John E. Dever by reason of his association with the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., under the circumstances aforesaid, has acquired great power and influence in a way that the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., has been cut off from intercourse with his family and as deponent is led to believe from conversation he had with the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., he has been prevented from making trips which he desired to make and which the said John E. Dever did not wish him to make for fear he (Dever) would lose his influence over the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr.
            ANNOUNCES THE ENGAGEMENT – ‘That recently the said John E. Dever caused to be announced in the newspapers that the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., was engaged to be married to his daughter, Edna Dever, who is a girl as your deponent is informed and belies of her than 18 years of age, while the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., is past 33 years of age.
            “The said John E. Dever has well known that the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., is of unsound mind and incapable of entering into a marriage contract or to care for his person or his affairs.
            “Your deponent is informed and believes and expects to be able to prove that the said John E. Dever if not restrained by your Honorable Court will by force and fraud, threats any coercion induce and procure a marriage between the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr, and the said Edna Dever, although he will knows that the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., is not of sound mind, and not capable of entering into the said marriage contract and your deponent is informed and believes that coercion will be exercised by said John E. Dever on his said daughter, Edna Dever, to force her to consent to such marriage.  Your deponent is informed and believes that neither said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., nor said Edna Dever desire to enter into said marriage, but that said Edna Dever is too young to resist the coercion used by his father, the said John E. Dever, and the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., is of such unsound mind that he cannot resist the force and coercion employed by said John E. Dever to get him to enter into such marriage.
            “Deponent further says that within 48 hours after said John E. Dever caused the announcement of said proposed marriage to be made public said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., was taken violently ill with an extreme collapse, that his pulse went down to 46 and his respiration to 14.  The physicians attending the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., have informed your deponent that they did not know the cause of this as said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., was suffering from the physical ailment or disease.  That this was on the sixth day of May, 1910, and since that time the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., has been so confined to his bed in a dangerous state of health and without reason admission has been refused to members of the family of the said John Christian Bullitt, Jr., who have endeavored to see him, all of which deponent believes to be at the instance of the said John E. Dever.”

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Chester Titanic sinking story and lots going on this weekend!!

 Chester Creek over 100 years ago, boating anyone??

Note While doing some research on another project, I came across this local story of a Titanic survivor, a good read, Keith

CHESTER TIMES – April 20, 1912


Well-Known Chester Woman, Declares Titanic’s Equipment Poor – Graphic Description

            Graphic descriptions of the wreck of the white Star Liner Titanic ware given by Mrs. Emma Ward Bucknell for many years a resident of Seventeenth and Walnut Streets, this city, who was a passenger on the ill-fated ship.  Mrs. Bucknell is the widow of the late William Bucknell, founder of Bucknell College, and a sister-in-law of Garnett Pendleton, president of the Cambridge Trust Company, Fifth and Market Streets, this city.
            Mrs. Bucknell was seen at the home of her son-in-law, Samuel Wetherill, Twenty-third and Spruce streets.  She told her story in a collected fashion, but with an occasional nervous movement of her hands across her eyes as though trying to blot from her vision some of the terrible scenes through which she passed.
            She was one of the first to get into a lifeboat and leave the doomed Titanic and one of the last to be drawn aboard the Carpathia.  She and her companions had rowed over a wind-tossed sea in freezing air for hours and were ten miles away from the spot where the liner sank before the Carpathia was sighted.
            “I was asleep in my cabin when the crash came,” said Mrs. Bucknell.   “I cannot explain just what the noise was like, except that it was horrible and sounded like a mixture of thunder and explosions.
            “In a moment there was a roaring sound and I knew that something serious was the matter.   The corridors filled rapidly with frightened passengers and then the stewards and officers came, reassuring us with the announcement that everything was all right and that ‘only a small hole had been stove in the bow.’
            “As I stepped out of my stateroom I saw lying before me on the floor a number of fragments of ice as big as my fists.  More was crumbled about the porthole, and it flashed over me at once just what had happened.
            “We have hit an iceberg,” I said to my maid, “get dressed at once.”
            We hurried into our clothes and I took the precaution to get fully dressed.  So did my maid.  I even thought to wrap myself in my warm fur coat, for even then I felt sure we would have to take to the lifeboats.  Something told me the damage was greater than we had been told.”
            “My fears were realized a few minutes later when a steward walked briskly down the corridor, calling to the passengers who had retired again to hurry into their clothes and get on deck at once.  I could see by this man’s drawn and haggard face that something dreadful had happened.
            COWARDS DRIVEN BACK – “There was very little confusion on the deck.  Once a group of men shouted that they would not be separated from their wives if it became necessary to take to lifeboats and made a rush to find accommodations for themselves.  The captain seemed to straighten out his shoulders and his face was set with determination.
            “Get back there, you cowards,” he roared.  “Behave yourselves like men.  Look at these women.  Can you not be as brave as they?”
            “The men fell back and from that moment there seemed to be a spirit of resignation all over the ship.  Husbands and wives clasped each other and burst into tears.  Then a few minutes later came the order for the women and children to take to the boats.
            “I did not hear an outcry from the women or men.  Wives left their husbands’ sides and without a word were led to the boats.  One little Spanish girl, a bride, was the only exception.  She wept bitterly and it was almost necessary to drag her into the boat.  Her husband went down with the ship.
            “Right here I want to say something about the utter unpreparedness of the Titanic for a shipwreck.  The lifeboats were so bunglingly fastened to the davits in the first place that it was hard work to get them free.  Half the collapsible boats were so stiff that they could not be opened and were useless.  Those that were not already opened and ready for use were unavailable also for none on board seemed to understand how they worked.
            “Hundreds more could have been saved if these collapsible boats had worked properly.
            “One of the lifeboats had a big hole in the bottom.  A plug had fallen out, I believe.  When it was loaded and lowered over the side into the sea, it began to fill at once.  AT this point the fifth officer proved himself a hero.  Women in the leaking boat were screaming with fright and tearing off their clothing in wild and fruitless efforts to plug up the hole.
            “The boat filled to the gunwales before any were saved.  The brave fifth officer to my knowledge rescued 19 of the women in this boat, some of whom had fallen over the side into the sea.  It was finally hauled alongside and re-plugged, loaded and relaunched.
            “Nothing impressed me more about the whole terrible affair than the absolute absence of panic.  They tell me that something of a panic ensured after our boat had pulled away, but I do not know anything about it.
            “We rowed all night.  I took an oar and sat beside the Countess De Rothe.  Her maid had an oar and so did mine.  The air was freezing cold, and it was not long before the only man that appeared to know anything about rowing commenced to complain that his hands were freezing.  A woman back of him handed him a shawl from about her shoulders.
            “I took it, sat beside him and wrapped my hands with his, and we pulled together.
            SAW THE TITANIC SINK – ‘As we rowed we looked back at the lights of the Titanic.  There was not a sound from her, only the lights began to get lower and lower, and finally she sank.  Then we heard a muffled explosion and a dull roar caused by the great suction of water.
            “As we passed over the spot where the Titanic had gone down we saw nothing but a sheet of yellow scum and a solitary log.  There was not a body, not a thing to indicate that there had been a wreck.  The sun was shining brightly then and we were near to the Carpathia.”

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Media Club Opens 112 years ago

The Media Club at South and Baltimore Aves c.1908 was originally a club for Media's well to do

The Media Club Opens

    The Media Club, composed of many of the prominent business and professional men of the borough, gave a brilliant reception and housewarming last evening at its new clubhouse.
            The rooms were beautifully decorated with flowers and plants and brilliantly lighted by electricity.
            Oglesby’s Orchestra furnished music for dancing, which was indulged in from 10 to 13 o’clock.
            The building, which is located at the corner of South Avenue and Washington Street, with the lot upon which it stands, cost about $20,000.  It is nicely terraced in front and presents a very imposing appearance.      On the first floor is the parlor, reading room, card room and billiard room, and on the second floor is a large assembly room, retiring rooms and the culinary department of the club.
            There are no sideboards, neither are intoxicants allowed in the place, for the club believes in sociability without wine. It is also strictly non-partisan, its object being the social intercourse of the gentlemen of Media and vicinity.
            Since its organization, some five years ago, it has raised annually a relief fund which is regularly placed in the hands of the charitable ladies of Media, who place help where most needed.
            The initiation fee is $20, and the annual dues is $20.
            The dresses worn last evening were magnificent, some of them being imported direct from Paris for the occasion.  White was the predominating color.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Rose Valley Mills a look back, and lots going on this month


These houses still stand on Rose Valley Road just north of Brookhaven Rd. They were originally built as mill worker housing



LOCATED ON Ridley Creek in Nether Providence, are worthy of prominent mention among the recent improvements of our county.  The mill is in charge of Antrim Osborne & Son, the father being the proprietor and financial partner, the son the general partner.  All the buildings of Rose Valley have been erected since 1862.  In that year the mill was erected on the site of Park Shea’s old paper mill.  It is a stone house 30 by 40 feet, with dry, dye, and other houses attached.  It runs 60 looms, and turns off from 50,000 to 55,000 yards per month of a light and good grade of cotton jeans.  Two boilers are used, one a tubular, the other plain, with a 30 horse power capacity; these do the dyeing of and heat the mill.  The entire machinery is now run by a new double acting turbine wheel, made by James Leffell & Company, of Springfield, Ohio.  This wheel is 40 inches in diameter; the waterfall is about 12 feet, the wheel using about half the creek.  It gives much better speed and greater regularity than the overshot wheel it displaced, has been running about two weeks, and is considered a complete success.  It was put in by Eber Rigby, the carpenter regularly employed by the firm.  Everything in and about the mill is in the best of order, and we believe that in cleanliness it will compare favorably with any in the county or state.  Between fifty and sixty operatives and workmen are employed.  The machinery was all newly put up in 1862, but the last year displaced about one-third of it with yet later improvements.  It was all made by Jenks, of Bridesburg, well known to our manufacturers.  The firm is about to add a new dry house, 25 by 40 feet, two stories high; and contemplate the erection of twelve new houses for the use of the operatives, next spring and summer.  The homestead dwelling is of stone, upon a high hill near the mill, 38 feet front by 33 feet deep with kitchen, 28 by 16 feet.  In front is a fine lawn planted with ornamental trees and shrubbery.  Water is forced to it by a wheel, a distance of 500 feet from a spring of CHALYBEATE – water impregnated with particles of iron – healthy and excellent taste.  The barn is a very fine structure 56 by 50 feet; with a wagon shed and carriage house attached 51 feet long – ice house underneath.  On the opposite hill has just been completed a handsome frame dwelling, the property of William H. Osborne, and, we presume, to be occupied by him, when ‘in the dim distant future,’ he persuades the companionship of the one of the gentler six.  Rose Valley can boast over a dozen buildings beside the mill, all erected during and since the year 1862 by Antrim Osborn, the entire work being under the charge of Eber Rigby, a carpenter and mechanic of the first class.  It is said of him that in all this work, as well as in the erection and repair of the mill, mansion, &c., he has yet to make the first mistake.  His is a record that any man should be proud of.  The Valley and its surroundings will someday be picturesque and beautiful.  The Osborne’s have only fairly ‘broke ground’ in the way of improvement and a few years continuance in the way they have begun will make it as fine a spot as any of which our county can boast.  The hill bordering the eastern side of the valley was only recently a thick wood; it is now a clearing, and will doubtless soon bear the same marks of thrift and improvement as the one opposite, containing the homestead, &c.  Four years have done much for Rose Valley under the direction of men who take pride in their work, and who seem to be winning the success which their skill and enterprise deserve.

The Delaware County Historic Preservation Network

 The DCHPN, the organization supports the 80+ groups & sites that preserve the rich history of Delaware Co., educate our citizens, and pay it forward to future generations. We are a volunteer group that exists to provide an email distribution list (listserv) for facilitating discussion about events, issues relevant to history and preservation in and around Delaware County, a comprehensive listing of related events and happenings and a directory of all organizations and historic sites in Delaware County. To join the listserve follow this link:

Saturday, September 2, 2017

"Bitter Creek" Hollywood in Upland 102 years ago, Keith walk & talk this week plus!!!


This is the Upland Bridge at Race St. over Chester Creek that was blown up for a movie in February of  1915.



Wooden structure in Chester Township Made the Scene of a Climax in a Thrilling Moving Picture Play

The old covered bridge, which for years has furnished a crossing over Chester River, between Upland Borough and Chester Township, is to be the settling for a thrilling moving picture photo play.  According to the plans of the Lubin syndicate of Philadelphia, the climax of the story, which has been woven about the scene, requires the actual blowing up of the structure, which will be accomplished, it is expected on Saturday, by the use of dynamite.
Under the supervision of Edgar Jones, leading man and general manager, two camera men were busy yesterday taking preliminary views, and this morning seventy-five people were brought to Chester to take the various parts of the play that it to be enacted.  They went to the bridge shortly after 9 o’clock, directly from the Imperial Hotel, in auto cars.  In the party are actors who have appeared in hundreds of reels on the market today.  Two young women are in the cast.
The Lubin management heard but a few days ago that a new concrete structure is to be erected across Chester River, and at once arranged with Frazer Brothers, contractor for the work, for the privilege of taking views, and gave them the contract to do the dynamiting.  A picture of the old structure was taken and sent to the company’s scenario writer, who in about three hours had woven a pretty little love story around the old crossing.  The author is Emmett Campbell Hall of Glen Echo, Md., and the title is:  “On Bitter Creek.”  The story will involve also the new structure that is to be erected.
UNUSUAL OPPORTUNITY – Mr. Jones, the chief in charge, told a Times man this morning that it is not often that an opportunity is offered where the syndicate can come across such an old discarded structure.  “If we wanted such a story, however, we would build a bridge for the purpose and blow it up.
“The work today,” he continued, “will involve some of the love scenes, but a real Kentucky feudal battle will take place on the bridge this afternoon.  We shall be here Friday and Saturday, making scenes, but I do not think the bridge will be blown until Saturday as that is the climax of the story.”
Before leaving the hotel those who were to take the parts in the plan, “made up” in their costumes at the hotel.  They attracted widespread attention, and scores of people were attracted to the old covered bridge that is seldom used in winter except by the farmers and those having necessary business through that section.
STORY OF THE PICTURE – “On Bitter Creek,” opens with the somewhat well-to-do Youse family and the less fortunate Kirby clan residing on either side of the river.  The Youse’s built the bridge and opened it free to the public.  A sister of the head of the former household falls in love with one of the Kirbys; they meet at the bridge, in a dignified manner of the olden time and exchange notes, by placing them in the love box hidden in the bridge.  The two become engaged.  Youse demands a kiss to seal the bargain, when the girl discovers her brother has heard the entire conversation.  He demands an explanation.  A feud ensues shots are exchanged, men and women are wounded.  After the Youse’s erect a toll gate and declare that the toll thereafter shall be a kiss from any of the Kirbys who desire to pass over the structure.  The grand finale comes when some of the opponents of the Yauses are crossing and the bridge is destroyed by dynamite.  Twenty years later the two principals meet in college and are married later, and return home to old scenes and find a modern structure erected on the site of the wooden viaduct.
David Wills and A. L. Lewis of Philadelphia are the two official camera men.