Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Yes this really is Chester Creek in Glen Riddle about 110 years ago, from a old post card.
NOTE: Before Samuel Riddle Jr. got involved in horses, aka Man of War, he and his family were important mill owners in Delaware County.
The Riddle Mills and Other Industries of the Place
Glen Riddle, the seat of the great cotton and woolen mills of the Messrs. Samuel Riddle & Sons, is a beautiful little village nestled in the embrace of rafted hills, and as seen from the railroad presents a group of shining white houses, many of them stone and substantially built. The place gives a decidedly European air about it and reminds one of some of the busy manufacturing towns in South England. The place was called Pennsgrove until 1845 when it took its name from the proprietor and principal owner, for the last forty-five years of the large mills at this place.
There are over one hundred houses in Glen Riddle, the majority of which are owned by the Messrs. Riddle. The waters of Chester Creek flow almost at its doors and two railroads, one on each side, and both less than a hundred yards distant, run past the place, carrying people and freight to and from the big city daily.
The mills at Glen Riddle have a history extending back nearly a hundred years, and were established in 1790 by Nathan Sharpless, who conducted a grist and saw mill here for a number of years. It was first exchanged into a mill for spinning cotton in 1822 and operated by Charles Kelly, and afterwards passed through the hands of Peter Hill, James Houghton and Eli D. Peirce, being sold by the latter owner in 1843 to Samuel Riddle, through whose enterprise and indomitable pluck and energy they have grown to the present large proportions, and is the most extensive plant of the kind in Delaware County, and one of the largest in the State.
Samuel Riddle had hardly come into possession of the property in 1843 when the great flood of that year washed the dam breast away, but this bee quickly rebuilt and the mill property at this time consisted of one three-story cotton factory, 96x42 feet, and one two-story mill, 50x45 feet, with a machine shop, stone drying house, a half dozen tenement houses and the home mansion.
Today after repeated additions and rebuilding the Glen Riddle mills consist of five large mill buildings, which with the dye houses, engine house, drying house and all the different out buildings make up the finest plant of the kind in this section of the country.
The two stone mills which were on the property in 1843 still stand, though in 1845 Mr. Riddle made extensive additions to them and added many improvements. In 1872 he erected the large stone mill now on the premises, which is three stones in height with basement, 65x112 feet. In 1881 he built the new brick mill, 62x135 feet and four stories in height, and stocked it with machinery of the most modern construction.
The works are operated by both steam and water power, an engine of one hundred and fifty horse power and three new Leffel wheels of about one hundred horse power each, being used. The mills are lighted by gas made on the promises and also supplied with water from a series of springs carried by iron pipes, about one mile distant. A large reservoir has recently been erected at the crest of the hill for supplying the works with water.
The reader may gain some idea of the extent of these mills when it is stated that at present they contain about fourteen thousand cotton spindles, twenty-four hundred woolen spindles, three hundred and eighty looms, and gives steady employment to about four hundred hands. The goods manufactured here are tickings, cheviots and doeskins, which are distributed to the retail trade by the agents’ representatives in Philadelphia and New York. The goods are the best of their kind made and command a ready sale in all our large cities.
Samuel Riddle is one of the oldest manufacturers in Delaware County, and prior to purchasing the mills at Glen Riddle conducted a mill at Parkmount, a short distance above, for a number of years. He was born in Belfast, Ireland in the year 1800, and emigrated to this country in 1821. He came on a sailing vessel and after being shipwrecked and suffering many hardships finally arrived in New York after a voyage of several months. Shortly after this he settled in Delaware County and at once laid the foundation for his successful career. He has established several other mills throughout the county, and which are still in operation before locating permanently at Glen Riddle. His life has been a most active one, and for many years he supervised personally his extensive business and it is only recently that he ceased his daily visits to and from his wholesale house in the city. He is a man wonderfully preserved for his years, and still takes a deep interest in everything that is going on about the mills, though for some time past the directing of the business has been in charge of Henry Riddle, his eldest son, who was admitted to a partnership in 1872. Later, Samuel D. Riddle, a younger son, was given an interest and the firm name assumed its present style of Samuel Riddle & Sons.
Mr. Henry Riddle, the active working member of the firm, has been carefully schooled in the business and possess all the energy and push that characterized his father in the early days of his career. All the departments of the large concern are under his direction and he supervises them with the precision of a general.
The Messrs. Riddle always consider the interest of their employees and furnish them comfortable homes and as good pay as is offered by any similar house in the county. A number of the employees have been with them for upwards of thirty and forty years, and could not be induced to work elsewhere at the same wages.
Beside the mill property, Mr. Riddle also owns a large farm here of over 200 acres, most of it very productive and containing fine pasture lands on the portions bordering on Chester Creek. Samuel D. Riddle takes much interest in the farm and the raising of stock and in horses has some of the finest thoroughbreds in the State, including the well-known Witchcraft, the stallion Frost, and the splendid mare, Virginia, with foal by her side.
The large Riddle mansion, located but a short distance from Glen Riddle station is the home of the senior member of the firm. It is a fine home, surrounded with all the luxuries that wealth and good taste can provide, and is presided over by Mrs. Riddle in the style of a queen. Here the head of the firm, still active for his years, and in apparent good health, lives in quiet surroundings. He began life without a penny and is today a millionaire.
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
The Marcus Hook Fire Company on 10th St. about 1920. The fire company started in 1903.
Note: Over 100 years ago, all the local fire companies began receiving motor driven fire trucks and it was front page news!! With the exception of the Chester City Fire Cos. and Radnor who were horse drawn, all other local fire companies were pulled by hand. If you have seen a picture of a local fire company over 100 years ago, at a parade being horse drawn, it was common for local businesses to lend their horses to the fire companies for special occasions. Getting a motor driven fire truck was a big deal. Of course it also caused problems. The small trucks could only carry a small portion of any local fire companies membership and only senior members usually got to ride while other members ran along side and behind.
MARCUS HOOK FIREMEN HAPPY
New $8500 Motor-Driven Fire Engine Arrives From New York and Attracts Attention
The handsome new motor-driven triple combination fire engine ordered from the American-LaFrance Fire Engine Company, Elmira, N. Y., by the Marcus Hook Fire Company arrived in the borough on the Pennsylvania Railroad yesterday and was greeted by not only the members of the company, but also by a large crowd of the residents.
The engine was run under its power from the Pennsylvania Railroad yard to the Fire Company’s building on Market Street, and its appearance was hailed with shouts and cheers. It appeared as if the entire borough had turned out to welcome this new machine, while a number of automobiles followed in its wake from Market Street.
With clanging bell and siren whistle sounding the engine drew up in front of the fire headquarters and was backed in where it underwent an inspection by hundreds who admired its beauty.
The engine is painted white with colored trimmings. The metal work is silvered over. This combination gives the machine a fine appearance.
The engine is guaranteed to pump seven hundred and fifty gallons of water a minute and carries twelve hundred feet of hose, also a twenty-four feet extension ladder and a twelve-foot roof ladder.
The agent of the American-LaFrance Company is B. C. Street; the demonstrator is William Bell. Mr. Bell will remain with the engine until whoever the Fire Company appoints as driver is qualified to manage the machine.
The amount of money paid for the engine was $8,500, and not only the members of the Fire Company, but the greater majority of the residents as well, consider the money well invested.
The American-LaFrance Company has a high reputation for manufacturing first-class fire engines, and this new acquisition of the local Fire Company is not an exception to this high standing. It is considered one of the best ever turned out by the American-LaFrance Company.
A thorough test of the engine will be given the latter part of this week, the time of which will be printed in the Marcus Hook column, then all can see what superior work the new engine is capable of doing.
Thursday, July 5, 2018
The Morton Public School built in 1876 on School St. in Morton about 1900. Originally both black and white students went here, later it was called the Phyllis Wheatley School.
Note: All but forgotten today, the lawsuit against the Morton Boro School was a major case 101 years ago. Take a read!!
MORTON CASE IN CIVIL COURT
Testimony of the School District of Morton relative to the suit instituted against the borough by Edward J. Mayo, a colored resident of the borough, opposing the action of the board in separating the white children from the colored pupils, was taken up this morning in Judge Johnson’s court.
Charles B. Bishop, the first witness, who is a member of the board declared that the separation was arranged on a basis of average of the pupils. Four white children were assigned to the old school with the colored children who were held for backward pupils and when it was discovered that a great majority of the attendants were colored the School Board consulted Prof. Hill, principal of the Cheney Institute, who advised the changes, recommending the appointment of two colored teachers.
The colored people of Morton declare that on September 7, 1915, when the school year opened, the school board directed that all colored children go to the old school building and the white children attend the new structure which had just been completed. There arose considerable dissention at the time, but most of the children, after a time, began to attend the old school building. Some few continued to oppose the school board and from time to time hearings have been had. Yesterday the suit brought by Mayo, one of the most violent opponents of the separation, was called for trial, and an hour or more was spent in an effort to settle the trouble. The conferences failed, however, and the case was placed on trial.
MORTON SCHOOL DISTRICT WINS
Verdict Returned in Court Today against Edward J. Mayo
A verdict for the school district of Morton was returned this morning in the case of Edward J. Mayo, a Morton colored man, who instituted proceedings against the board to compel the school district to allow his children to go to school with the white children. The jury also sustained the action of the school district in making a separation of the students.
The case was heard on Wednesday and yesterday and went to the jury late in the afternoon. The jury had not agreed early last evening and were instructed to return a sealed verdict. ON Wednesday the evidence of the colored people, who are behind Mayo in the suit, was heard. Yesterday the directors of the school told their story.
Charles B. Bishop, the first witness, who is a member of the board, declared that the separation was arranged on a basis of average of the pupils. Four white children were assigned to the old school with the colored children which was held for backward pupils and when it was discovered that a great majority of the attendants were colored the School Board consulted Prof. Hill, principal of the Cheney Industrial, who advised the change, recommending the appointment of two colored teachers.
This advice was followed, Mr. Bishop said. Other directors and the principal of the school were called to the stand, the last mentioned being examined as to the method of dividing the scholars.
Saturday, June 30, 2018
The Media Hospital about 1950. The hospital was originally built as an inn in the 1830's. Dr. Charles Schoff founded the hospital in 1909, it closed in the late 1950's. It stood at Providence Rd. and Baltimore Pike about where the new Wawa is today.
Note: It was common for local newspapers to refer to Media residents as "Medes" 100 years ago.
MEDES INTERESTED IN DR. SCHOFF’S HOSPITAL
Institution Established Early Last Summer and Has Been Doing a Good Work – Public Aid Solicited
Dr. Charles H. Schoff opened his hospital Sunday, June 17, 1909, and fifty patients have been treated at the institution up to the present tie. Dr. Schoff was fortunate in obtaining Miss Elizabeth Dorothea Steward Worthington Chisholm, as head nurse. She is a graduate of St. Thomas’ Hospital, London, England, the Rotunda Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, and the Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia. She has had a broad experience and is adapted admirably for her work. She is of a cheery disposition and is exceedingly courteous. Miss Chisholm has as her assistants Miss Smith, a Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia. She has had a broad experience and is adapted admirably for her work. She is of a cheery disposition and is exceedingly courteous. Miss Chisholm has as her assistants Miss Smith, a Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia, graduate, and Miss Finley, a practical nurse.
Mrs. Rupp furnished the operating room and it contains all of the latest improved devices used in such places. Private rooms have been furnished by Mrs. J. Edward Farnum of “The Acres;” Mrs. Martin, wife of Dr. Edward Martin of Beatty Road, near Media, and the Misses Gibbons of Swarthmore. The free ward, which has recently been opened, was furnished by guests of the Idlewild Hotel.
Dr. Schoff is an energetic man and believes in progress in all lines. Media people have an opportunity of contributing money, articles of furniture or anything that can be used in the sick room and particularly old muslin, which is always in demand at hospitals. The hospital is a worthy place and every person at the county seat should feel proud that an institution of this kind has been established in the borough. Visitors are welcome and will be taken through the building at any time.
Wednesday, June 27, 2018