Sunday, August 19, 2018

Delco Baseball Player turns down greatest Offering !!!

Two views of Lansdowne Ave. and Baltimore Pike c.1910 during  "rush hour"

Note: Baseball Player, Eddie Collins, of Lansdowne, considered to be the greatest second baseman of his day turns down "greatest offer" .



 Turns down Offer From Federal League on Three-Year Contract

            Eddie Collins, the worlds’ greatest baseball player and second baseman of the champion Athletics, yesterday morning turned down an offer of $50,000 to play on one of the Federal League clubs for three years.  According to articles of the contract which Collins did not sign, he was to receive a salary of $15,000 a year for a three year contract.  As a guarantee, the money was to be placed in any bank which the famous second sacker might designate, bearing interest, which at the end of the three years would amount to something over $50,000 in real money.
            For some time the officials of the Federal League have been trying to get into communication with Collins for the purpose of finding out just how he stood on a proposition to jump from the White Elephants to an outlaw organization.  Yesterday morning through Abe Einstein the formal offer was made to Collins.  The proposition was thoroughly considered by Collins in all its phases while it was being placed before him by Mr. Einstein, but it took him only a moment to decide between sticking with his former teammates and bolting to another baseball organization which is not recognized in the diamond society.
            WHAT COLLINS SAID – In refusing this offer, which is more than any amount ever offered a baseball player, Collins showed himself to be the high type of man that everyone knows he is, who has been in personal contact with him.  “Of course, that is a great deal of money for three years’ work,” said Collins, “but I will tell you frankly that strange as it may seem, I don’t believe there is any financial offer that would induce me to leave Connie Mack.  He is the man who made me and I wouldn’t under any circumstances leave him after what he has done for me.  I don’t think either, that I would care to go into an outlaw baseball league at all, but I am sure that I would not do so as long as I am a member of the athletic club.”
            SHOWED HIS LOYALTY – This loyalty on the part of Collins simply reflects the spirit of the entire Athletic Club and shows plainly one of the most potent factors in their consistent victories on the diamond.  They are so loyal to Connie Mack and to each other that there is never a time when they do not pull together instead of trying for individual records as members of other clubs do.  Eddie Collins himself is an example of this self-sacrifice on the diamond.  Despite the fact that he is the greatest all-round ball player in the game, he could be even greater if he tried to make records instead of trying to assist his club in winning games.
            For instance, on the bases there is not a better man in the world, not even excepting the terrible Tyrus Raymond Cobb.  Eddie Collins doesn’t steal as many bases as Cobb and Milan of Washington, because he steals only when he ought to.  He isn’t out after any base stealing record or any other record.  He plays all the time to win games and he materially helps in accomplishing that.  One day last summer Collins was instructed by Mack to get a base on balls.  He went to the bat and tried to work the pitcher for the base, but the pitcher had control that day and would not be worked.  The result was the Collin went out on strikes without attempting to hit the ball.  He might have made a base hit had he struck at the flying ball, but he did what he was told to do and therein lies the secret of his success and that of the Athletics.
            NEW YORK WANTED HIM – Naturally after having been made this flattering offer by the moguls of the Federal League, Collins wanted to know on what club he was wanted to perform.  This information was not given him for the simple reason that it had not been definitely decided where he was to play had he signed the contract.  However, it is understood that the New York people were the men who were originally behind the offer, and who wanted to see him play in the metropolis.
            A high official of the Federal League is quoted as saying that it had not been fully decided where the clubs of the league would be placed but Said there was no chance for Collins to play in Philadelphia, as it was practically decided that no club would be put in that city.  Baltimore is one of the cities of the Federal League list, and it might be that they intended Collins to play there.
            The Federal League has made offers to a number of players in both the American and National League.  It is said that the most prominent player thus far to have given his consent to play in the outlaw organization is George Stovall, former leader of the Cleveland Naps and St. Louis Browns.
            Edward Trowbridge Collins, the game’s premier second baseman, was born in Millerton, N. Y., twenty-six years ago.  Though he is a comparative midget in size he is a stocky youngster and shoots the beam up to the 170 mark when he steps on the scales.
            Eddie played practically every game during the 1912 season and still retained his title of “King of Second Basemen.”
            After, Eddie had gone through the elementary schools he entered Columbia College, and became the shining star of the baseball association.
            He started at shortstop and played the position during his college years.  As usual, Connie Mack’s advance agent booked the boy first.  He was brought to Philadelphia and to obviate any trouble with the college faculty, about playing professional baseball.  Collins played on the last western trip of the Athletics that year under the name of “Sullivan.”
            The next year, however, Eddie was barred from baseball, and at the close of college joined the Mackmen.  He was tried in the outfield with a fair measure of success, and when the Athletics went on their southern trip that year, Collins was tried at shortstop.  He failed to show, and Mack converted him into a second sacker, moving Murphy to the outfield.  The rest is history.
            Eddie developed into the best second baseman in the game, hitting and fielding in a wonderful fashion, while his speed on the bases was terrific.  In addition, Collins was an exceptional quarterback while at college, had a penchant to be a journalist, and is devoted to the automobile.  He also has a hobby for shirts, and he owns a chameleon collection.
            Collins finished fifth in the American League batting records last year and led the Athletics in that department of the game.  In 148 games he was at bat 534 times, made 184 hits for a total of 236 bases, and scored 126 runs.  He finished with an average of .345 for the season, just forty-five points below Ty Cobb, who led the league and who played in twenty-six less than Eddie.  In addition to his great batting ability, Collins is generally regarded as one of the best base runners in the game and ranks high as a base stealer.  His fielding has won for him the title of the best second baseman in the game.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Anyone remember the "Fairgrounds"?


Remember when Chester Creek was considered a "river" ? A view from about 1910


I have been getting several inquiries about the old Chester Fairgrounds. I have no pictures perhaps a reader can help.



New York Concern Secures contract for the Construction of Race Track and buildings

The directors of the Chester Fair Ground Association of this city yesterday let the contract to a New York concern for the building of a race track, new club house, a picture show house, a grand stand, the erection of a fence about the grounds and for all other buildings, walks and places of amusement, for an up-to-date amusement park on the Maddock farm on the Concord Road.
When this project was started over a year ago, those interested met with many rebuffs on account of the depression in business which has followed all through the year, but today the people of Chester and the county are assured of one of the best appointed fair grounds and amusement parks anywhere in the State.  Allentown some years ago, with a plot of ground less favorably situated and a greater distance outside of that city, started a fair ground, selling the stock at $10 per share, and today this stock has a book value of $300 per share.
In addition to having sufficient land to place a first-class fair ground and amusement park in operation, the Chester Fair Ground Association has about thirty acres of land embracing some of the best building lots right at the door of a growing section of the city.  Engle Street and several others run through the property and it can be easily reached by everyone.
WORK FOR MANY MEN – In less than one week more than one hundred men will be employed in putting the grounds in shape for the purposes for which the association was chartered under the laws of this State.  The New York people who have taken the contract to do the work are solid business men.  Their rating is being looked up by the local dealers who will be asked to furnish the lumber and other material.  The surveyors started work yesterday and a force of workmen are putting up the tool houses and making preparations to house the workmen during the progress of the work.  For this purpose for the present the old farm house will be used.
This project is looked upon by those interested as a big thing for the city.  It is the intention to have the place open the greater part of the year and to have something going on at all times.  Of course, the big feature during the year will be the fair, but the other sports and amusements to be given should furnish amusement for thousands of people.  The contract already let embraces $100,000.  Local horsemen, as well as many from the outside, will take an interest in the construction of the track, which the contractor says will be finished sometime early in May.  It is the intention to open the grounds in the early summer with a list of events never before attempted in this city or vicinity.  The stock will be sold as far as possible among the local people, who are interested in getting a good return on their investment and who believe that a place of this kind will be a big thing for the city.
No city in the country has a better situated plot of ground for such purposes.  The trolleys run close by the property and it is but a few minutes’ walk of both the Pennsylvania and B. & O. Railroads.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

When Chester was the county seat, a good read


The Washington House on Edgmont Ave. aka Avenue of the States across from the 1724 Courthouse. The Washington House, a tavern was a main meeting place when Chester was the county seat of Delaware Co.


NOTE: Chester was the county seat of Delaware Co. till 1850 when the seat was moved to Media. In 1920, Albert Dutton was interviewed about what it was like when Chester was the county seat. It is a long article but a good read.



BY Albert Dutton

                During these days when there is so much talk about rebuilding and remodeling the Old Town Hall, at Chester, a few facts about the square that reaches from Fourth to Fifth Streets might not go amiss.  In the days when the old county jail was in vogue, the Court House and the Prothonotary's office were the center of attraction.  There was much business concentrated about these cardinal points from which radiated most of the county’s activities.
                Court week in Old Chester was as important and, for we boys, just as much fun as an English Derby or a boat race on the Thames, at Hanley, between the Oxford and Cambridge picked crews, for when court was in session everybody was in town many farmers to have their cases tried or to have their papers adjusted at the Prothonotary's office.  They came in dear borns, on horseback, in sulkies, many walked, when they had use for the horses on the farm, and the distance was not too great.  They would follow the roads, cut across the fields, cross the railroad covered bridge, coning from Concord Way, Chichester and Aston Townships.  Paul B. Carter usually walked in from Cartertown, invariably carrying his green bag.  I am sure Alexander Wright walked, so did Walter and Samuel Little.
                They would cross the railroad bridge right under the sign which said $5.00 penalty for crossing this bridge, always looking in the opposite direction so they could say they did not see it.  Sometimes Gilliad Carter came with his tall hat cocked on one side dandy like, and browned on the side next the sun, and bob McCoy would bluster in hitting everybody a tap with his cane, and commanding the small boy to keep out of his way.
                Then from the north side of the town came Spencer McIlvain, very gentlemanly, and Jacob Hewes, looking neither to the right or the left, for it was Fourth Day and he was on his way to Friends Meeting.  He walked in from Leiperville, carrying his familiar cane, never looking, but never failing to see all that went on about him, exceedingly proper in deportment, but always sternly polite gracious without smiling to Frederick J. Hinkson, Job Hulon and to William Booth, a dignified nod.
                Occasionally Henry Effinger would come to the Delaware County Bank to look after his deposit of $40,000 it was said he kept there.  He was a bachelor and lived in the first house over Ridley Creek Bridge, just this side of the toll gate.  He owned a large property there, a piece of woodland of hickory trees, the tops of which were filled with the nests of cranes, and we boys would slip up the railroad track, climb those rough-barked trees to get the eggs.  He owned all of the John L. Crosby field, beginning at the corner of Free and Crosby Streets to the Ridley Creek Railroad Bridge bounded on the east by the Delaware River, and Green Bank the home of Commodore Porter.
                Most of the county folks that came to court brought their lunch, and during dinner hour would go to their dear borns, fish out from under some blankets and sit in the shed and eat.  They often brought great hunks of bread and meat and would worry away at it, then go to the pump and wash it down.  They would do this rather than pay at the Washington House a “levy” for a good square meal.  They would bring a feed of oats and give the hostler a “tip” for watering their horses.  The court through, they would hurry back home in time to do the milking or other chores.  This would be the routine until court week was over, the cases all through.
                The county buildings consisted of a jail, a Court House and the Prothonotary's office, and extended from Free Street, Fourth to Work Street (Fourth).  The jail building was a three-story structure, the sheriff, and family living in the front part, and separated from the jail by an iron lattice door opened by a huge key with a course, forbidding noise.
                It was situated fifty feet back from the Market Street curb and cobbled pavement.  There was a wooden fence 12 feet high running parallel with the curb until the engine house was reached, the only piece of fire apparatus, worked by hand, the Tigre, owned by the town.  Then came the Court House, which extends further out or to within twelve feet from the curb, then the high fence continued until the Prothonotary office was reached.  The sidewalk was of brick, laid in the herringbone style, set off with two rows of beautiful Linden trees whose round leaves and thick branches afforded a delightful shade.
                The fence was capped with a molding and as it came within a short distance from the pavement the marbles of the boys ran under much to their annoyance, the balls would bounce over, which also displeased them and I think my brother and I were often blamed.  Marble playing was indulged in to a great extent and the rolling of hoops was another pastime.  Bill Heacock and I excelled, our hoops were four feet in diameter, half an inch thick and made by Jim Evans, the blacksmith.
                Al Taylor had a fine hoop also, as had other boys.  We would stand our hoops against the fence while we engaged in a game of marbles.  A lot of badgering and the usual quibbling was indulged in common among boys, but as a rule we got along without many blows.  Juju paste, licorice root, were freely invested in also.  Whitman’s French mixtures, Iceland Moss paste and certain days a few of we chaps could buy molasses candy from Tommy Clyde, who dipped it out with a spoon in the back corner of the barroom, placing it in a piece of paper made of straw for butchers use.
                On one occasion a tout man by the name of McCoy, a drover, came into the Hotel yard, drove under the shed, hitched his horse, went directly to the barroom where he had a drink.  He was then quite over the day.  Another boy and myself looked in his wagon and found a bag of money.  I knew McCoy to be a good souled fellow.  We took the bag and hid it under a low cot in the stable office covered with blankets and buffalo robes until morning when he had sobered up, looked wise and made inquiries for his money, we took him to where he could find it.  He was very glad, gave us each a “levy” and said thank you boys, there was $600 in that bay.  He admitted it was careless, “but you are good boys,” which pleased us and made us feel fine, and the money he gave us looked as big as a cartwheel to us.
                The Court House was the most noted structure in town was built in early Colonial times (1724).  It was entered by two doors, facing a large bay window, twenty-five feet long, by about eight feet deep.  Here was where the judges sat, on an elevation of any three feet high, entered by two small flights of steps both right and left all painted white.  Two or three windows at the rear of the bay, lighted at eight by candles hung on brackets of tip on the wall.  A railing separated the lawyers and witnesses and criers chair from the audience.  The walls were two feet thick built of stone, with windows on the street side and I recall seeing John M. Broomall sitting in one of these windows with legs drawn up intently reading some document.  It seemed a strange place for a lawyer.
                Venetian blinds and inside shutters prevented the direct rays of the sun.  A flight of stairs led to the second story where Joseph Taylor kept school.  Chester had been the seat of justice since the time of the Swedes, and to give it up was a great grief. The people fell as though the very bottom had fallen out of the town.  There was no direct way to get to Media and many people would not go there anyway.  This property which extended the entire square was sold for less than eight thousand dollars, quite a contrast to values today.  There was a bell in the cupule which told when Court was in session.  I was quite a small boy.  My father was sheriff.  We lived in the jail and I knew much that was going on out with handcuffs.  I was aware something was to be done.
                The murder of Stringer McKim at the Round Pond Hotel created considerable excitement, and when the Black Bear from the steamboat Hotel was tied to Robert Hannum’s office door there was much savory comment.
                Sometime prior to my time a trick was played upon a poor fellow by throwing cayenne pepper in his eyes and he walked off the end of the pier to his death.  This matter seemed to have been shut up, for when I came to Chester little was said about it, but the place where this dastardly bit of business was said to have taken place was pointed out to us boys.
                The Rivera and Darius Circus, with their forty horses to the chariot, and the passage of Dupont powder wagon with mounted dragons created much wonder and amazement among the small boys of the town.  We were a pretty lively lot of boys.  Little went on without our knowledge. I knew most everybody in town from Shoemakerville to the foot of Market Street pier in that direction and from Leiperville to Marcus Hook in the other.  There were less than two thousand people in Chester at that time and it was our business to be posted.
                To cite some of the happenings while we lived at the jail, a Mrs. McCarty, who lived opposite the jail on Work Street, had a lot of ducks that all the time were quacking and hunting things to eat, a prisoner on the third floor put some string together, to which he fastened a bended pin on which he put some sort of bait.  Along came Mr. Duck and gobbled up bait, hook and all.  The prisoner noticed the bait had been taken, hauled up the line.  Mrs. McCarty, seeing her duck going up the wall, cried out:  “your man has got my duck;” to which the prisoner replied:  “If the strings breaks it’s yours, if it holds, it’s my duck.”
                Several prisoners were handy with their knives, one of them carved for one of my sisters a three-foot chain with a heart on each end.  Another made a tomahawk and still another carved from a solid piece of wood a cage with a bird suspended.  One day, while my sisters, Emily and Caroline, were coming up Free Street with a small pail of water from a spring near the railroad bridge in D. S. Bunting’s lumber yard, met two escaped prisoners who spoke pleasantly to them.  They were surprised and told of it when they arrived home.  The prothonotary’s office was a busy place.  It was built of brick with a door in the middle of the building, it was beautifully furnished in mahogany.  My father bought one of the large desks when the contents were sold. I well recall how neatly this desk was fitted.  There were such fine sheets of beautifully ruled paper – sand boxes, wafers and quills in quantity, and the clerks carried their quills over their ears.  I went almost daily to learn the time, for clocks were few in town. One day I was rolling my hoop, stopped opposite the office.  I saw standing on the steps a notable lot of men talking about the removal of the courts to Media.  They were very much in earnest.  There were Judge Samuel Edwards, Charles DeHaven Manley, Paul B. Carter, Y. S. Walter, Robert E. Hannum John M. Broomall, John Hinkson, Judge Leiper, Frederick J. Hinkson, and a Philadelphia lawyer by the named of Tillingham, a fine body of representative men.
                On returning down street with my hoop I met Samuel A. Price swinging his cane.  He had a florid countenance with an enlargement of the nose, which had the appearance of his having three noses, and we boys called him “Three Nose Sammy.”  He was a pleasant talkative gentleman and said to me:  “Well, bud, how do you feel today?  You’re the sheriff boy are you not?”  I said, “Pretty well, I thank you.”  Then he called to ‘Squire Fairlamb, across the street and I went on.
                At Monday’s Run, near Chester town
                Where students knocked a peddler down
                And robbed him of his jewelry.
                The only students I knew of at the time I learned this bit of poetry, and I went to Monday’s Run to have the fact well-established in my mind were John C. Price, Joseph R. T. Coates, Isaac Coates, John O. Deshong, Jr., Billy Broomall and John B. Hinkson, and I felt sure they were not one of them for these chaps went off to school, and came back to town periodically and had little in common with other boys at the time.  Monday’s Run had its source in one of the two springheads under the hill near Abraham Blakeley’s or Spencer McIlvain’s places and flowed on down to Ridley Creek.
                It was the last line of retreat from the Leiperville boys who invariably stoned the Chester boys when their territory was invaded.  They raced use back to Ridley Creek Bridge, when we drove them from there, but they came on again to the gate at the crown on the road, but when Monday’s Run was reached, the limit, the ad finem, for here we had hid a quantity of selected stones which just fit the hand, and with renewal courage we gave it to them in good shape.  We had not forgotten how they worried us.  After the fire at the mill, when we were all tired out, we filled our pockets, our shirts, and went for the nail and tooth.  We chased them up the road through the fields, over the stone wall. We banged them and bruised them.  They were out of ammunition, they cried, held their heads, their backs were bruised, they were struck on the legs and hips – they were completely defeated.  We gave them something that would last a generation.  Theodore Roosevelt – his father’s name was James – had a livery stable, was our leader, a one-armed fellow about two years older than I, brave and courageous held his head high and said:  “Now come on, fellows, let’s drive them,” and we did.
                In the language of Eugene Fields –
                I am looking for my playmates
                I wonder where they are
                POST OFFICE – Right under the high wall of the jail on Work Street is the two story building.  The present mistress was Charlotte Doyle, mother of Lidia Riddle, Louis Doyle and Jack Doyle, who afterwards kept a millinery shop in a brick building on Market Street.  You entered the post office by going up three steps into a passage way on the right side of which was a nest of ten or twelve boxes, six or eight inches square; not padded for letters and newspapers.
                The all was limited in quantity.  A few letters, with no postage stamps thereon, the amount of the postage was written on the right hand corner and the postage collected from the person addressed. I have such a letter written by my grandmother Hartram to my mother, dated December, 1852.  The letter was so folded was held together by a wafer.  There were few papers.  The Delaware County Republican, The Practical farmer, Gleeson’s Pictorial, Gody’s Lady Book and New England Gazetteer.  When the mail arrived the carrier threw the bags over his shoulder at the railroad, and with long strides started for the post office, followed by a crowd of boys and old men curious to know if there was anything in those bags for them or neighbors.
                CALATHUMPIAN BAND – I will now undertake a description of a Calathumplan Band.  I never saw one or even heard of one anywhere outside of Old Chester for what the Chester boys could not think up was not worth a passing thought.
                Halloween was their opportunity.  Such acrobatic pranks could not be excelled by any other body of men and boys at any other place.  Song and dance in costumes galore were indulged in all for fun and a good time.  Gates were unhinged and swapped, running gears taken from the smithy and mounted on the top of the Welsh Street schoolhouse, fences made of corn fodder across the roads and cabbage stalks used to bank the doors and stovepipe hats filled with stones for the unwary to kick masqueraders, Indians, clowns, country jays, ballet girls, with and without fancy umbrellas, with all sorts and kinds of makeup.  Horses with false faces, in men’s breeches with grotesque and striped tabs, with the most laughable and curious Major Dromos astride, with tooting fish horns and burlesque and fancy Indian snake dancers as a prelude.
                Then came the band itself starting at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church above Market Square was composed of the most outlandish conglomeration and heterogeneous and handageneous outfit imaginable.  The horns, sleigh bells, coal-hood choruses; the Devil’s Hornpipe, which consisted of a chord run through the bottom of a tin can well rosined.  When given a centrifugal motion as you put the cord through the handle made a most horrid noise.  Then came the Devil’s Fiddle.  This singular instrument consisted of a dry goods box three feet square, open to the top, a piece of scantling, three by four inches and sixteen feet long, thoroughly coated with rosin, was drawn over the open case by six or eight stalwart men.  This produced the hideous sound, with moans groans, frightful yawns, pathetic murmurings mortal ears ever heard.  This placed in the middle of the street a procession of tin horns, sleigh bells, tin pans, great triangles and small with other monstrosities began to move round in a circle, singing some outlandish mixture of old time ditties and other nocturnal sounds of more or less discordant nature.  There was a generous sprinkle of torchlights left from some political campaigns.
                There are those who recall a bride and groom who were thus serenaded to whom the father of the bride passed 50 cents to the leader as an inducement for the band to move on.  Among those who took part in this performance were Wade Price, Josh Dyer, Jack Boyle, Bill Trout, Jule Dutton, Elwood Black, Harry Hinkson, Charlie Hinkson, Ed McKeever, Malachi Walraven, William Taylor, Josh Eyre, Press Wilson, Ned Taylor Jack Kerlin, Al Dutton and Samuel Dyer – each did his part and did that part well.  We did up the entire town, which extended from Market Square, one turn around the market house, up Market Street to the railroad crossing, stopping now and then to display the beauties of the magic circle.
                Then turning at Jim Burn’s corner down Edgmont Avenue to Third and James, where it was disbanded and the Devil’s Fiddle given to Harry Abbott, the hostler at George Wilson’s Hotel for firewood.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Some early Upland School History and Chadds Ford Historical Society is 50 years old

 The Penn House aka Caleb Pusey house in Upland is the second oldest house in Penna. The Morton Mortonson log cabin in Prospect Park is the oldest. I have no pictures of one room school houses in Upland, perhaps a reader can help.

NOTE: I have done a lot of research on one room schools in Delco and one of the things that drove me crazy was school buildings and school #s. Almost all schools were numbered 1 to etc. and I would have 3 school buildings and 4 schools mentioned, I just assumed the school district rented buildings as they needed them. What I found out later was if there were two teachers in one school building that was considered to be 2 schools. The article below is from 1900.


 Facts Pertaining to Their Organization, Directors and Principals and a List of the Graduates

            There is probably no more important institution of any kind in a city or borough than the public school, and it can be said in all truth that there is not a city, borough or town in this State which has a better class of schools as far as the studies extend than Upland.  Under the rule of a most competent principal and a corps of the best teachers procurable all subject to the dictation of an efficient Board of Directors, these schools have perfected a system that makes them stand clear and clean, a shining example to many others.  A little book has just been issued by the School Board, giving a complete history of the school from the time the borough was first incorporated until the present.
            A petition for the incorporation of the borough was presented to the Court of Delaware County on the twenty-second day of February, A.D., 1869.  The petitioners were:  Samuel A. Crozer, T. William Lewis, T.N.F. Barker, Isaac Henvis, Lewis Crozer, George K. Crozer, Robert H. Crozer, Samuel Bell, F.T. Griffith, James McCowen, and Samuel A. Crozer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Crozer Theological Seminary.
            And it is to the permanent credit and honor of these gentlemen, who in their wisdom selected a name for this municipality that is truly historic and appropriate.
            The borough has an area of three hundred and thirty-five acres, and the boundary lines were established in January 1869, by Joseph Taylor, Surveyor of the City of Chester.
            The charter was granted by the Court on the twenty-fourth day of May, 1869 and certified by the same on June fourteenth of the same year, and recorded in Deed Book, No. 2, Page 224.
            The first election was held on June 21, 1869 when the School Board of the Borough was elected, which organized on the 21st day of June, 1869, and consisted of the following members:  Benjamin Crowther, president; Agur Cartle, secretary; Benjamin F. Pretty, treasurer; John Daniel, James Semple, William L. Gregg.
            There were two school buildings of two rooms each, at that time.  In these two buildings there were three schools, which number was increased to four in 1872, to five in 1877, to six in 1880; to seven in 1885, to eight in 1894, and to nine in 1901.  The Sixth Street building was built in 1858 an enlarged by the addition of two more rooms in 1876.  The grounds were enlarged by purchasing the ground and dwelling on Fifth Street in November 1896.
            The Hill Street School was built in 1863 and enlarged by the addition of two more rooms in 1884.  The ground on Mulberry Street and the school grounds were enlarged in September 1894.
            Nearly all of the old men who formed the first School Board are dead and gone and their places have been taken from time to time since by the younger ones and we give a list of those who have followed up until the year 1907:  Benjamin Crowther, Agur Castle, Benjamin F. Pretty, John McDaniel James Semple, William L. Clegg, George D.B. Pepper, D.D., James Pendleton, D.D., George Vanzant William Band, D.G. Compton, John Gilston, Morris P. Hannum Calvert Cardwell, Joseph Dalton, Mark W. Allen, James West, Joseph W. Carroll, Lewis J. Smith, John White, J. Parry Lukens, Garnett Pendleton, Esq., T. Henry Flounders, John W. Ward, Holmes S. Seamen, George W. Smith, John Greaves, John Greenaway, John MacMurray, George Watson, Isaac Crowther, James H. Forsyth, James Ross, William Dalton, L.M. Bullock, M.D., Henry Ogden Robert Turner, Thomas W. Entwistle, James Shaw, J.W. Parsons, Jesse Gore, Elisha Moore, W.K. Evans. M.D. Cunningham Campbell, David E. Lord, Thomas M. Seth, Samuel Taylor, L. Haines Crothers, M.C. Milton P. Carroll, J. Howard Hanby, James F. Carroll, Hugh B. Hayes.
            The different grades of the schools were given out on February 1874, and the Director had the issuing of the certificates of promotion.  The first class graduated from the high school in 1882, and from that year to June 1907, one hundred and thirty have been granted diplomas.  The official records show that from 1869 to 2907 the following held office; directors, 52; presidents, 14; secretaries, 17; principals, 15; teachers, 56; graduates, 130.
            Space will not permit us to print all of the other officers of the school boards, but the list of principals and teachers are given below:
            Principals:  Etta S. Cope to ’74; Alonzo B. Cortise, to ’75; James B. Good heart to ’79; Harvey B. Houck to ’80; John W. Parsons to ’84; Linda F. Sullivan to ’89; Henry S. Borneman to ’91; W.L. Phillips to ’93; Samuel D. Knapp to ’94 Georg L. McCracken to ’98; J. Fred Parsons to 1901; Harvey Parsons to 1902; Harriet A. Castle to 1904; A.L. Krieble to 1905; A.F.K. Krout, Ph.D. to the present.
            The teachers from 1869 to the present include the following Elia S. Cope, Emily Roebuck, Ruth Gould, Mrs. H.J. Noon, Mary E. Roebuck, Mrs. Pearce, M.J. Buchanan, Annie E. Bentley, Mrs. Adams, A.B. Corless, Lizzie Brown, R.S. Thomas, James A. Good heart, Nellie Schofield, Ada M. Kershaw, Carrie L. Hale, Lillian P. Hart, E.A. Obelholzer, Irene S. Compton, Harvey B. Houck, Hannah Castle, Hough, M. Lillian Ross, Mary Coe, George L. McCracken, Ada M. Pilling, Harvey B. Parsons, Priscilla S. Carroll, John W. Parsons, Milo Goodheardt, Mary Grinrod, Harriet A. Castle, Sallie Castle, Ella A. Rodeback, Ida B. Crowther, Anna Band, Barbara Davis, Henry S. Borneman, Ella Eves, Maggie Edwards, Estelle J. Conrad, Helen Osbourne, Walter L. Phillips, Louise Stern, Alice B. Moore, Alice B. Hosteter, Alice Jacobs, Samuel D. Knapp, Janette Hall, J. Fred Parsons, Nellie E. Pretty, Janet Dawson, Mabel G. White, Jennie L. Hammond, Alvin C. Kriebel, A.F.K. Krout.

Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania 

 We want you to get fired up for The Cannon Ball, our 50th anniversary celebration of the Chadds Ford Historical Society, with a night of delicious food, entertainment, and revelry! We will be honoring the founding members of the organization and recognizing the accomplishments of the Society over the years.
In 1968, the c. 1725 Chads House was up for sale. Local residents that were aware of the house’s significance, but concerned about it’s possible demolition, rallied to raise funds to purchase and restore the house. In the process, the Chadds Ford Historical Society was born. The following year, the Society purchased the Barns-Brinton House on Baltimore Pike. Restoration on it was completed by 1978, and the house opened for tours. In 2018, both houses are still open to the public for educational programs and tours, and remain an integral part of Chadds Ford’s community culture. The Cannon Ball will take place on Friday, August 24th from 7 to 11 p.m. in the historic restaurant, The Gables at Chadds Ford, and will feature chef stations and local libations. DJ Dan J. Breslin will keep the atmosphere charged with music the entire night. To support another 50 years of the CFHS, this celebration also serves to raise operational funds, and will have a specially curated silent auction. It’s going to be a blast! Tickets to The Cannon Ball are $85 for Chadds Ford Historical Society and Chadds Ford Business Association members and $95 for non-members. Tickets can be purchased by visiting our website, About: The Chadds Ford Historical Society is a non-profit organization based out of Chadds Ford Pennsylvania. Our mission is to preserve the properties, records, and artifacts; to interpret the history; to educate the public concerning the way of life in the Chadds Ford area with emphasis on the eighteenth century. Our vision is to be the finest community historical society, preserving the history and interpreting the life and times of the Chadds Ford area. The Society aspires to be known for providing excellent educational opportunities to visitors, schools and residents, as well as being an active supporter of and a focal point for community activities. We operate three historic buildings, the John Chads House, the Barns-Britons House, and The Chads Springhouse as well as the Barn Visitors Center. Proceeds from our events help support the Society’s educational programs and our ongoing research projects on the history of the Chadds Ford area.


Sunday, July 29, 2018

Brookhaven Corn Growers Association

Edgmont Ave. in Brookhaven Boro over 100 years ago. Brookhaven was a Delco corn growing center in 1916 and had it's own association.



 Show of the Brookhaven Association in Media a Successful One

The corn show of the Brookhaven Corn Growers’ Association of Delaware County closed Saturday evening and was a most successful affair.  A great many people from all parts of the county attended, and the 150 or so exhibits were carefully scrutinized and compared.  Professor D. A. Cromwell of Humbolt College, Iowa, who acted as judge of the exhibits, said that this critical comparison by the farmers and others is the greatest improvement over the other show held, when those who attended were too modest to get much food from it.
Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Delaware County, was paid a great compliment by the professor in response to a question as to whether this section can grow as good corn as Kansas.  He said “Southeastern Pennsylvania, and this section, can grow better corn than any place in the world.”  He said that “Chester loam,” so called because the first government soil survey found it in and around Chester, is the best soil in the country, and will grow anything well that is suited to the climate.  The farmers here, he said, should be the most prosperous in the country.
He said that the exhibits were very much better than those at the last show here, and gave a small group of farmers who gathered around him, a talk on corn growing, together with kindred subjects, that lasted nearly an hour.  In this crowd was one man who said that he had been selecting seen corn for sixty years, beginning when he was ten years old, yet he admitted that he had habitually picking the wrong kind of ears and would know better in the future.
It is noticeable that the winners of the various prizes in many cases got more than one prize, a comparatively small group of the exhibitors getting anything.  In all of the contests except those which will be noted, the exhibits consisted of ten dollars.  The prizes consisted of $5 to the first; $3 to the second; and a ribbon to the third.  The winners were as follows:
Southeastern Pennsylvania corn – Howard Mendenhall, first; H. G. Warnall, second; W. C. Conrad, third.
White Cap Dent – Howard Cloud, first; Howard Mendenhall, second; Howard Cloud, third.
Leaming Corn – Benjamin F. Fields, first; Williamson School, second; Benjamin F. fields, third
Yellow Dent Corn – E. Edwin Cheyney, first; Howard Mendenhall, second; Isaiah Worrell, third
Red Corn – W. H. Baker, first; H. G. Yarnall, second; T. H. Wittkorn, third
White Corn – T. H. Wittkorn, first; Samuel Goodley, second; R. E. Evans, third
Pop Corn – T. H. Wittkorn, first and second; T. B. Palmer, third
Flint Corn – Willis Marshall, first; W. H. Baker, second; T. H. Wittkorn, third
Sweet corn – One exhibit, Thomas J. Yarnall
Miscellaneous – J. H. Mendenhall, first; Samuel Goodley, second; Thomas J. Yarnall, third
Thirty ear contest – Benjamin F. Fields, Leaming Corn, first; T. H. Wittkorn, white corn, second; Samuel Goodley, Leaming corn, third.  Mr. Feld also won the thirty-ear contest with his exhibit at the Chester County show last week.
The contest for the best shelling corn resulted in a tie between the exhibits of Edwin Cheyney and Howard Cloud.  Thirty-five pounds of cob corn were entered, and these two exhibits gave thirty pounds of shelled corn each.  There were eleven entries, and of these all but one shelled out over 29 pounds.  The other one shelled out twenty-seven and one-half pounds.
There were two grange exhibits, one from Brookhaven winning first prize and the second prize going to village Grange.
The prize for the best corn display went to T. H. Wittkorn, whose exhibit had no competitor.  W. H. Baker, Isaiah Worrell and William Armstrong, were respectively first, second, and third in the contest with displays of farm products.  The best ten ears in the show were those shown by Thomas Wittkorn, and the best ear was that shown by Benjamin F. Fields.

Friday, July 20, 2018

A new Book on Chester about WW2 in the city

The city of Chester, Pennsylvania, is pulsing with activity during World War Two, grinding out ships, planes, and helicopters at record rates to fuel the fight against Hitler and Hirohito.  Its winding streets are a patchwork quilt of ethnic neighborhoods, and families display stars in their windows to show they have sons or fathers off serving their country.


     There are five stars in the window of young David’s house, representing four of his seven brothers and the husband of one of his two sisters.  While he prays for their safe return, David peddles newspapers to the shift-workers at the war plants, dodges the local traffic cop who wants to shut down his shoeshine business, hookies school to hear Louis Armstrong in Philly, and does his best to negotiate adolescence on the home front. 


Born in Chester, Pennsylvania, in the early days of the Great Depression and coming of age during World War II, David Komarnicki was number eight in a line-up of ten kids. His father’s earnings didn’t stretch far, and the kids added needed income to the family coffers as soon as they were old enough to venture into the larger world.  David’s contribution came from peddling newspapers to workers at the wartime plants and selling scrap to the local junk dealer.
   The steadily expanding family moved six times before David entered grammar school, but they always stayed in the patchwork quilt of ethnic neighborhoods that made up Chester at the time.  After graduating from Chester High School in 1948, David went on to attend Philadelphia Bible College, the Kings College, and Reformed Episcopal Seminary.      In 1958, David followed his older brother George out to Southern California, where he earned a teaching credential from Long Beach State and became a public schoolteacher in South Los Angeles.  He was teaching in this area when the Watts Riots broke out in 1965, and one of his students was the first among 34 people to die.
  After the riots, David shifted to teaching at the federally funded Watts Skills Center.  He later transitioned to the corporate world, joining Equity Funding Corporation as a regional trainer.  In this role, he used his teaching experience to prepare sales agents for required certification examinations on both a state and federal level.   
  He later formed his own training company, Financial Schools of America.  In partnership with his wife, Leslie, he provided training for insurance agents as well as all levels of securities personnel, preparing them for examinations given by the New York Stock Exchange, the National Association of Securities Dealers, and the commodities exchanges.
   In 1986, David sold Financial Schools of America to the Longman Financial Group and returned to Pennsylvania with Leslie and their two young daughters.  There he pursued various occupations, including the teaching of memoir writing for a few semesters at Neumann University.
  Since the return to Pennsylvania, David has sought to reconnect with the elusive ghosts of his childhood, and the book FIVE STARS IN THE WINDOW is the result of rendezvousing with some of them. 

The Book can be purchased on Amazon