Sunday, June 26, 2016

Preserving History, Chester's Third Presbyterian Church

Chester's Third Presbyterian Church at 9th and Potter Sts. about 1910, is one of many on going preservation projects in Delaware County.

 NOTE: It is so important to preserve our history, for future generations. Many local historical societies struggle to maintain and preserve historic properties they own. It is not easy and requires money and volunteers etc. So take the time and money to support local historical projects in your community and in Delaware County and VOLUNTEER. Every site and society needs volunteers. I'm always looking for typists and the Delaware County Historical Society is always looking for help.
The Chester Historic Preservation Committee has taken on the enormous project to restore the Third Presbyterian Church at 9th and Potter Streets. Please take the time to visit their site  and take the time to help them with this project
Below at little history of the Third Presbyterian Church

May 27, 1895 – CHESTER TIMES

            THE THIRD CHURCH – A Picture of the Handsome New Edifice

 The Church’s History

– The Happy Realization of Years of Patient Effort by Pastors and People

            The TIMES today prints a picture of the handsome new edifice of the Third Presbyterian Church, as it will appear when completed.  The TIMES is indebted to Isaac F. Pursell, the architect, and the Building Committee, for the handsome perspective view of the church, to Mayor John B. Hinkson for the historical date, and to George D. Howell, C. E., for the description of the structure.

            On September 17, 1875, a preliminary meeting was held for the purpose of organizing a Presbyterian congregation in the northern part of this city.  Those present were:  William V. Black, Adam C. Eckfeldt, J. Frank Black, Theodore Hyatt, Henry B. Black, John C. Lindsay, William Hinkson, Samuel Black, Lewis Ladomus, Stephen Parsons, John R. Sweeney, J. Elwood Black, John B. Hinkson and James Stephens.  On September 20, Adam C. Eckfeldt, Stephen Parsons and Theodore Hyatt were appointed a committee to present to the Presbytery the application for organization.  ON September 30, a petition signed by fifty-three persons, was presented to the Presbytery of Chester, and the prayer of the petitioners was granted.  The Presbytery appointed Reverend Messrs. Bowers, Hodgkins and Lawson a committee to organize the new congregation.
            THE CHURCH ORGANIZED – On October 16th, 1872 the church was organized, the elders being Adam C. Eckfeldt and Stephen Parsons.  On October 31st, the elders were increased to four, H. B. Black and John B. Hinkson being elected.  The number was again increased to six.  The present elders are:  Henry B. Black, John R. Sweeney, Maxwell Ocheltree, B. Frank Beatty, John B. Hinkson and J. Frank Black.  On November 29th a charter was granted to the congregation.
            On February 12th, 1893, at a congregational meeting, at which Rev. James W. Dale, D. D., presided.  Rev. Charles F. Thomas was elected the first pastor.  The pulpit up to that time had been supplied by Rev. E. R. Bowers.  On May 7th, 1873, the first election of trustees was held, when Theodore Hyatt, Adam C. Eckfeldt, John B. Hinkson, James Stephens, J. Frank Black, Lewis Ladomus, Henry B. Black, Samuel Black and William Hinkson, were elected.
            The present trustees are:  William Hinkson, President; John B. Black, Secretary, John C. Hinkson, Treasurer; William R. Murphy, Jr., John B. Hinkson, James E. Cardwell, George D. Howell, H. C. Farson and I. Engle Cochran, Jr.
            THE DEDICATION – On October 5, 1873 the church at Twelfth and Upland Streets was dedicated.  Previous to this the services had been held in Fulton Hall at Broad and Upland Streets. February 28, 1878, Rev. C. F. Thomas resigned and on May 31 of the same year, Rev. Thomas McCauley was called to the pastorate and served until June, 1893.  November 8, 1893, Rev. M. J. McLeod, the present pastor was called and installed the same month.
            The total number of members of the church including those on what is known as the Reserved Roll, is 439.  The number added to the membership during the past year is 87.  The Sabbath schools have always been flourishing, and the number of scholars in both schools is now about 550.  Maxwell Ocheltree is superintendent of the Sabbath schools and Miss Mary H. Volkhardt is teacher of the Infant school; Ridgely G. Hinkson is librarian.

            The congregation now numbers more than 500 which exceeds the comfortable capacity of the building and the Sabbath schools, which are held in the church room, being also cramped for room, it has been decided to erect a new building with appropriate Sabbath school rooms and other apartments on the lot recently purchased on the north side of Broad Street, west of Potter Street.  The land cost $15,000 and has been paid for.  The building with all its appurtenances and fixtures will probably cost $40,000 more.
            THE NEW BUILDING – The contract for the building has been let to William Provost, Jr., and it is now in course of erection.  The Building Committee are William Hinkson, Henry B. Black, J. Frank Black, M. Ocheltree, Geo. D. Howell and I. E. Cochran, Jr.
            In its general style the building is gothic.  The doorways and cloisters surrounding the auditorium, being broken by spires and projections, enhance the effect of the dome issuing out of its classic setting and give dignity and grace to the whole structure.
            The main audience room is octagonal, the supporting roof trusses rise from heavy pillars and meet in the center, high over the heads of the audience.  The chords will be of hardwood, worked into a fine finish and together with the other complimentary parts will give an audience room unsurpassed in our city.
            The pulpit is in the northeast corner in full view of the chapel, classrooms and cloisters, as well as of the main room.  Behind the pulpit will be the pastor’s study, lavatory, etc.  To the left of the pulpit the organ and choir will be ensconced, there being room for a grand organ and fifty singers.  The pews are to be circular, centering on the ascending from the pulpit so that every one of the 700 listeners will have an unobstructed view of the speaker.  Surrounding the main room on the south and west are the vestibules and cloisters.  There are three main entrances and two private ones.  These spaces will accommodate 200 extra sittings.
            SUNDAY SCHOOL ROOMS – The Sunday school rooms are easily connected with the church proper by disappearing doors and when all is thrown into one the speaker in the pulpit will stand in the center of a large chamber capable of comfortably seating eighteen hundred persons.
            The adult and infant school rooms are so arranged that the whole gathering will be under the control of the superintendent.  The ladies have a cozy parlor, kitchen and dining rooms. The building will be of Avondale marble trimmed with Indiana limestone and roofed with Conosers terra cotta tile.  The outside dimensions are 116 feet front by 149 feet deep.  The structure will be set back 20 feet from the new building line of Broad Street.  The front of the church proper is 85 feet, the remaining width being occupied by the Sunday school building and porte cochers.
The aim has been to avoid all unnecessary expense in the shape of heavy ornamentation, but rather to sacrifice everything to the comfort of the audience, and utility for the work in hand.

July 12, 1895 – CHESTER TIMES

            THE THIRD’S CHURCH

 The Cornerstone Ceremonies Were Conducted Last Night 

 A Handsome Church Edifice

 The New Building Will be Built on Broad Street near Potter, and the Estimated Cost, Including the Ground, is $45,000

            In the presence of about 500 persons of every denomination represented in this city, the cornerstone of the new Third Presbyterian Church, which will rise on the old Miller property, on Broad Street near Potter, was laid at 6:30 o’clock last evening.  This unusual hour for a service of this kind was chosen to accommodate the public, as it was thought best to avoid the heat of the day, although the latter turned out to be very pleasant for the occasion.
            The exercises were held on the southwestern end of the foundation walls, where the stone was placed, and were of a simple yet interesting character.  A big platform had been erected around this end of the building and on this those who participated stood, including the choir and the visitors who wished to get a glimpse of the stone and the copper box and its contents.
            The service began with a short prayer by Professor J. B. Randell, of Lincoln University who in the absence of the pastor, Rev. J. McLeod is supplying his pulpit.  This was followed by the hymn:  “How Firm a Foundation,” in which the audience joined.  Portions of appropriate Scripture were then read and J. Frank Black, secretary of the session, asked for the reading of the minutes of the meeting at which the authority was given to the trustees to build a new church.  This was read by the secretary of the board, John B. Black.
            In pursuance of this authority Mayor John B. Hinkson stated what the trustees had done in the way of procuring the lot, the giving of the contract, etc., and the prices thereof.
            THE ADDRESSES – Professor Rendell followed with an address in which he referred to the influence of a church and said that eternity alone would reveal it.  He said a cornerstone is significant of unity and support, and is a prophecy of the living stone which is to be built on the sure foundation, even Jesus Christ.
            Rev. Dr. Joseph Vance, of the Second Presbyterian church, brought greetings from that congregation, and in a few remarks referred to the surrounding property as being once the farm of ex-Mayor Larkin.  He outlined the moral and spiritual progress of Chester.
            The next speaker was Rev. Dr. Henry, a returned missionary from China, who told of his work in the Celestial Kingdom, and wished the Third Church great success.  He was followed by Colonel Charles E. Hyatt, who made a most beautiful and eloquent reference to the compatibility of the school and church, and stated that while the students in the one look up to God through art, science and literature, the text book of the church is the Bible.  The hymn “Rock of Ages” was then sung.
            Before the stone was placed in position by Contractor Provost and his workmen, Harry Black read the list of articles which were to be deposited in the box, and placed in a cavity in the stone.  As each of the following articles were named, Captain George D. Howell put them in the box:
            IN THE CORNERSTONE – Copy of the Bible, plans of the church, the Presbyterian and Presbyterian Journal, and the following Chester papers:  Times, News, Issue, Advocate, Republican and Democrat; photograph exterior and interior view of old church, newspapers containing cuts of church, photographs of the three pastors, Revs. M. J. McLeod, Thomas McCauley, D.D. and C. F. Thomas, D.D.; photograph of new building, list of communicants, contributors to the lot and building, list of members of the Session of the board of trustees of the deacons, officers and teachers of the Sunday School and Chinese School; list of the members of choir of the home and foreign missionary society, also of the Dorcas, Mite and Christian Endeavor Societies; charter of church, report of building committee, copy of manual of city councils, list of the city officials and program of exercises.  The whole was covered with the American flag.
            The stone was then lifted by means of rope attached to a device, the mortar was placed beneath it and the stone lowered into place, while Prof. Rendell read the service declaring the stone laid.  Five children from the infant department then advanced and each laid a bouquet of flowers upon the stone.  They were Helen M. Volkhardt, Harriett Wood, Bessie Fields, Jessie Wallraven, and Fannie Maraden.  The dedicatory prayer was offered by Dr. Vance, after which “America” was sung and the benediction pronounced.
            The ground was broken for the new church in the latter part of May, and remarkable progress has been made.  The building committee consists of Captain George D. Howell, J. Frank Black, Maxwell Ocheltree, Harry Black and John B. Black.
            THE NEW CHURCH – In general style the building is gothic.  The doorways and cloisters surrounding the auditorium, being broken by spires and projections, enhance the effect of the done issuing out of its classic setting and give dignity and grace to the whole structure.
            The main audience room is octagonal.  The supporting roof trustees rise from heavy pillars and meet in the center, high over the heads of the audience.  The chords will be of hard wood, worked into a fine finish and together with the other complementary parts, will give an audience room unsurpassed in our city.
            The pulpit is in the northeast corner, in full view of the chapel, classrooms and cloisters as well as the main room.  Behind the pulpit will be the pastor’s study, lavatory, etc.  To the left of the pulpit the organ and choir will be ensconced, there being room for a grand organ and fifty singers.
            The pews are to be circular, centering on and ascending from the pulpit so that every one of the 700 listeners will have an unobstructed view of the speaker.  Surrounding the main room on the south and west are the vestibules and cloisters.  There are three main entrances and two private ones.  These spaces will accommodate 200 extra sittings.
            SUNDAY SCHOOL ROOMS – The Sunday school rooms are connected with the church proper by disappearing doors and when all is thrown into one, the speaker in the pulpit will stand in the center of a large chamber capable of comfortably seating eighteen hundred persons.
            The adult and infant rooms are so arranged that the whole gathering will be under the control of the superintendent.  The ladies have a cozy parlor, kitchen and dining rooms.
            The building will be of Avondale marble trimmed with Indiana limestone and roofed with Conosera terra cotta tile.  The outside dimensions are 116 feet front by 249 feet deep.  The structure will be set back 20 feet from the new building line of Broad Street.  The front of the church proper is 85 feet, the remaining width being occupied by the Sunday school building and porte-cochere.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


The H. K. Mulford Co. was in Glenolden and Folcroft for almost 60 years finally closing in 1956. A business card from about 1915.



 A Noted Trial That Took Place Long Ago – The Witch of Ridley Creek

            Mention is often made of a trial for witchcraft in Pennsylvania, but, except the mere mention of the matter, no further information is given.  The record of the trial is found in Volume 1 of the Colonial Records of Pennsylvania, in which all the proceedings of the Provincial council are recorded.
            The two accused persons, old women, were Swedes, Margaret Mattson, wife of Noel Mattson, and Yeshro Hendrickson, wife of Hendrick Jacobson.  While both persons were called before the Council, the first only seems to have stood a regular trial.  Margaret Mattson lived on a plantation owned by her husband on the Delaware River, on the west side of Crum Creek, in Ridley Township, now Delaware County.  She was long known in local legends as “The Witch of Ridley Creek.”
            She was first brought before the Council on December 7, 1683, no provincial court having yet been organized in the colony, when her trial was set for December 27.  On that day the accused appeared in the city of Philadelphia before William Penn, his Attorney General, a grand jury of twenty-one persons, all English apparently, and a petit jury of twelve persons, one of whom Albertus Hendrickson, was a Swede.  One of the Council Lassse Cock was a Swede.  The grand jury brought in a true bill, reporting in the afternoon.  The indictment was then read to the accused.  She pleaded not guilty, the petit jury was empaneled, the trial held, the Governor charged the jury, which retired, brought in a verdict, the prisoner was discharged, and THE WHILE BUSINESS WAS CONCLUDED THAT SAME AFTERNOON SO FAR AS PENNSYLVANIA WAS CONCERNED, THE VERDICT was as follows:  “GUILTY OF HAVING THE COMMON FAME OF A WITCH, BUT NOT GUILTY IN MANNER AND FORM AS SHE STANDS ENDICTED.”
            Nine years later, 1692, Massachusetts was for a whole year shaken with most horrible trains for this imaginary offense, until no person in that colony was safe from accusation, NINETEEN PERSONS WERE HUNG and one pressed to death under heavy weights, while a great number suffered intolerable imprisonment.  The whole population became infected with a craze concerning “witchcraft,” the shame of which endures there to this day.  In this matter the sober Quaker reached a righteous conclusion much quicker than the hasty Puritan.
            SOME OF THE TESTIMONY – Henry Drystreet, attested, said he was told 20 years ago that the prisoner at the bar was a Witch and that several cows were bewitched by her; also, that James Saunderling’s mother told him that she bewitched her cow, but afterwards said it was a mistake, and that her cow should do well again, fir it was not her cow but another person’s that should die.
            Charles Ashcom attested, said that Anthony’s wife being asked why she sold her cattle, was because her mother had bewitched them having taken the witchcraft of Hendrick’s cattle, and put on their oxen; she might keep but no other cattle, and also that one night the daughter of the prisoner called him up hastily, and when he came she said there was a great light but just before, and an old woman with a knife in her hand at the bad’s feet, and therefore she cried out and desired Jno Symock to take away his calves or else she would send them to hell.
            The accused flatly denied all the allegations.
            ASTROLOGERS AND NECROMANCERS – In 1695 John Roman and his two sons, residing in Chichester, were reported to be students of astrology and other forbidden mysteries.  The public tongue had so discussed the matter that on the tenth of the tenth month, 1695, Concord Monthly Meeting of Friends gravely announced that “the study of these sciences bring a vail over the understanding and that upon the life.”  John Kingsman and William Hughes were ordered to speak to the parties, and have them to attend at the next monthly meeting.  The offenders were seen and stated that if it could be shown wherein it was wrong, they would desist from further investigation in these arts.  For several months the matter was before the Concord Monthly Meeting without resulting in suppressing the evil.
            Extracts from the records of Concord Monthly Meeting commencing September 11, 1695, are interesting:  “Some friends having a concern upon them concerning some young men who came amongst friends to their meetings and following some arts which friends thought not fit for such as profess truth to follow, viz., astrology and other sciences, as Geomancy and Cliorvmancy and Necromancy, etc.  It was debated and the sense of this meeting is that the study of these sciences brings a vail over the understanding and a death upon the life.
            “And in the sense of the same, friends order Philip Roman be spoken too to know whether he have dealt orderly with his two sons concerning the same art; and that his two sons bespoke to come to the next monthly meeting; “friends orders John Kingsman and William Hughes to speak to Philip Roman and his two sons to appear at the next monthly.”
            CONVICTED IN COURT – The ease finally reached a stage through the report of the committee that Robert Roman was arrested, tried at Chester for practicing the black art, was fined five pounds and the following books were seized and burned; Hidon’s Temple of Wisdom, which teaches Geomanycy, and Scott’s Discovery of Witchcraft and Cornelios Agrippos teach Necromancy.”

Always a great time!
Stop and meet one of the great Ladies of Delco History, Angela Hewitt who runs the Leiper House
When in the Course of Human Events – A Fourth of July Celebration and Picnic
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, July 2nd, 3rd and 4th
Time - 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Admission is $10.00 for adults and $8.00 for children (ages 4 to 12). Children under 4 are free.
Enjoy a picnic at the farm and celebrate our nation's birthday by hearing the Declaration of Independence and witnessing the crowds reaction. There is not complete agreement in Chester County but the Patriots are determined to win the crowd by making demonstrations against the king. Activities include house tours, textile demonstrations, long rifle, garden and animal talks. Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic basket lunch or purchase refreshments. Bring a comfortable chair or blanket and enjoy the Fourth as it was celebrated years ago on a true colonial farm in Chester County.
Reading from Paine's "The Crisis" (12:30 and 2:30)
Reading of the Declaration of Independence -( 1:00 and 3:00 with burning of King George) Feel free to pick up a quill pen and sign the declaration yourself.
"Schedule subject to change"

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A rare account of the Underground Railroad in Delco

The Holy Child of Jesus Convent in Sharon Hill c.1910

NOTE John Jackson ran the Sharon Female Academy in what is now Sharon Hill from the 1840's thru the 1860's. It was a well known private girls school. This newspaper account is a rare first hand story of the underground railroad in Delco.


            John Jackson was a fine teacher and a man of very strong convictions on the slavery question.  Elizabeth Lloyd, who now lives at Lansdowne, was a pupil of Sharon.  In her article to the intelligencer, Miss Lloyd says:
            “Situated in close proximity to the Great Southern Post Road aka Chester Pike, formerly known as the King’s Highway leading from Philadelphia through Chester and Wilmington down through the Eastern shore of Maryland and Virginia, it was perfectly natural that a fugitive in his search for freedom should make Sharon one of his points of rest and recuperation, but no record was ever kept for precautionary reasons as our friends, Thomas Garrett and John Hunn, situated on this line, had fully realized, being virtually bankrupted with fines and prosecutions under the Fugititve Slave Law for noting the part of the Good Samaritan, to these poor creatures.
            “On the Southern road near the State line, there was a public house called the ‘Practical Farmer,’ the occupant of which was always on the lookout for fugitives in order to get the reward offered by the masters for their apprehension, but after they had got past this they were generally pretty safe.  In Chester they had a valiant friend in Samuel Smith, a colored Methodist preacher, who almost invariably piloted them to Sharon, where he announced his arrival in the night by dropping pebbles on the roof just below my chamber window.  The most of those who came were men who were safely stored in the haymow until the next evening, and although our family was large, yet until after they had gone very few knew of their presence.  We also had a very efficient helper in William Brown, a colored quarryman, who had lost one leg by a premature explosion.  He walked on a wooden stump, and withal was more active than many men with sound limbs.  Whenever notified he was always on hand to escort passengers to the next stopping place or put them safely on the way and I have no recollection of any who passed through our station who were ever returned to their masters.
            “The travelers were only moved in the night season except when imperatively necessary, as when belated, and their pursuers were close behind them; in which case it was necessary to resort to stratagem to get them to a place of safety.  I call to mind one morning when three men came in just after daybreak.  Their pursuers were seen mounted on horses riding round the farm on the lookout.  It was necessary to be expeditious, and the large Dearborn wagon used by the school was got out and straw placed in the bottom.  The men were told to lie down and bags of apples were placed on each side of them.  They were covered with bags of hay and two flour barrels were placed in the tail of the wagon as though going to mill.  To carry out the deception further I went in my shirt sleeves, the mill not being over a mile distant.  I had hardly got out of the lane before I perceived I was being pursued.  The man rode alongside, gave a hasty glance in the wagon and passed on.  Fearing I might be pursued I quickly turned off the main road and made for a station about five miles distant.  Finding the occupant was not at home I was at a loss how to proceed as there was no other safe point in that direction.  I therefore kept on, nor stopped till near sunset, when I brought up at Attleborough; at the close of Bucks Quarterly Meeting.  Here I parted with my companions and the next day returned home.
            “But the most interesting case that occurs to me was that of Allen Ricketts and family, consisting of a brother and sister, one half-brother and two sisters and a niece.  They were owned by a man near Baltimore and I presume were house servants.  Their owner died insolvent and the administrator thought it necessary to sell the slaves in order to pay their debts.  Their master’s children, with whom they had always been brought up on terms of intimacy, advised them to leave, and they accordingly did so and in the course of time arrived at the home of Daniel Gibbons, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and were sent by him to his sister, Rachel Hunt, of Darby.  Here they found homes and were appreciated by their employers for their integrity and faithfulness.  Allen was taken into the family of John and Rachel Hunt, where he remained for a number of years as gardener and chore boy.  He was sent to Friends’ school with the rest of the family and acquired the rudiments of education – the three R’s of which we hear so much.
            “In this neighborhood they resided quietly for several years until the younger members had grown to man and womanhood.  A man who had known them in the old Maryland home came to reside in the neighborhood obtained work close by and finally married one of the sisters.  He opened a correspondence with the creditors of their former master, one of whom, having obtained a claim to them, came in search of them without making himself known.  He professed to be a drover going west after a drove of horses, and hired Allen to go with him.  When they reached Harrisburg, unknown to Allen they switched off on the road to Baltimore, and as soon as they crossed the State line he slipped handcuffs on Allen and conveyed him to Baltimore, where he sold him to a slave trader named Slatter.  Here he was confined in a jail just back of the Philadelphia depot, on Pratt Street, preparatory to shipping a vessel load to New Orleans.  The slaves’ dwelling was attached to the house and some of those he thought trustworthy were used as house servants.  One of these, a young woman, Allen persuaded to furnish him with pen and paper, and he wrote me of his situation appealing to me for help in his dilemma.  He got the young woman to mail the letter for him and I received it very fortunately on the afternoon of one of the weekly lectures for the neighborhood which were held at the school and a goodly number assembled.  Allen being known to them all, when the news was read to them it created quite a sensation, and it was decided that I should go to Baltimore that evening and see what could be done.
            “Accordingly the next morning at sunrise found me in that city, and after hunting up our valued friend, John Needles, we went to see Slatter and had quite a talk with him, but previously I went into the jail to make sure that Allen was there.  I found him overjoyed to see me and earnest in the hope that some way might be found to help him out of his troubles.  The jail was nothing but a large room, bare of everything but a few benches, and surrounded by a high brick wall enclosing a yard where the inmates shackled and otherwise might exercise under the supervision of the keeper.
            “Slatter, from his talk, did not incline to terms as he expatiated on the price which as a likely slave, Allen would bring in New Orleans – about $1000.  But finally, perhaps as a matter of bluff, he agreed to take $800 for Allen provided the cash was paid not later than that day week, and I returned home not very hopeful of the prospect in view.  After reporting the situation a subscription was started and through the energy and influence of John Jackson $500 was soon raised and the balance was advanced by a wealthy Friend of Philadelphia, so that at the allotted time I was in Baltimore, and with my friend John Needles as witness called on the trader prepared to consummate the bargain.  He appeared to be very much surprised, and so expressed himself, as he did not expect the money in so short a time and rather hesitated about confirming his agreement on the ground that he could get so much more by shipping Allen South.  He then asked me to allow him to see the letter I had received from Allen, stating that he himself used a certain kind of paper, and if any of his servants had been instrumental in communicating with me he would sell them south at once.  Fortunately I had left the jetter at home and could not gratify him.  When we had completed the papers it was nearly train time, and under the laws of Maryland the railroad companies were not allowed to carry colored people unless two residents of the state gave bonds as to their freedom, under heavy damages.  John Needles and I went over to the depot to get the tickets and the bond prepared.  Slatter saying he would come over to sign the same and bring Allen with him, which he accordingly did, though I have it from Allen that before doing so he supplied the lash to make him disclose his aids in getting the letter to me, but without success.  Allen is still living in Darby and has been placed in many positions of trust, enjoying the respect and esteem of his employers.  The rest of the family have passed away in the home of their adoption, no one having ever disturbed them, but the faithless brother-in-law found it too hot in the neighborhood for him and he was obliged to leave.”

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Wawa Dairies Modern Methods and wide Fame in 1905!!!! AND a Doll Tea and Talk this Saturday at DCHS please come


A rare picture of the Wawa Dairy Farm in Middletown about 1907. Same location as today.



  HOW Modern Methods Mark Easy Process at the Great Wood Farm


            Situated in Middletown Township in close proximity to the Wawa station on the Central Division of the Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington Railroad, is one of the most interesting beehives of industry in pretty Delaware County.  It is the Wawa Dairy Farms, owned and operated by George Wood of the Pennsylvania Railroad.  The products from this farm, which are considered the best in the country, are cream produced from these farms is of world-wide in fame.  The milk and such a high class and considered so absolutely pure, that families of means not only use it at their homes in this country, but have it on shipboard while traveling in foreign lands.  Recently one family used it on a trip to Italy, the supply running out in the two weeks it required to reach their destination.  The milk is not treated in any manner, but its qualities are made up in the fine high bred class of cows used in the production and the great care used in keeping the milk and cream from every substance which would in any way lessen its quality or take from it strength as it comes from the animal.
            Through the courtesy of Manager R. L. Smith, accompanied by State Treasurer William L. Mathues, a Times man had the pleasure yesterday of being shown over the entire plant, and witness with what care the milk is taken from the cows and what care is taken to preserve it from all substances other than those which pure milk should contain.
            THE MANAGER – Mr. Smith is thorough in every department of the business.  He came in the Wawa Farms two years ago, and by his strict attention to business and his affable manners and courteous treatment of everyone who not only works about the place, but pays a visit there, he has won a host of friends.  While it is not pertinent to this article, it is said that he will shortly take unto himself a wife.  Mr. Wood has a fine house in course of construction, which will be occupied by Mr. Smith after his wedding.
    This genial manager of these dairies comes from Elgin, Ill.  He was brought up on a dairy station, and later took a course in agriculture at the University of Wisconsin, which makes him one of the best qualified men for the business in this section of the country.  His knowledge, gained at college and his practical experience on the farm, given him advantages possessed by but few.
            A BUSY PLACE – The farm of this dairy, which take in a pretty part of the county, contain 500 acres.  Thirty hands are employed constantly, most of whom live in the tenant houses on the place.  In all, taking in the families there are upwards of one hundred men, women and children in this what may be properly termed a busy section.  The capacity of the farm is from 1,200 to 1,500 quarts of milk and cream per day.  This milk is sold in Philadelphia at present for 12 cents per quart and at Atlantic City for 16 cents per quart.  After November 1 the milk will be 14 cents per quart in Philadelphia.
            The products are what is known as “Certified” milk and cream.  There are two grades of each.  The cream which is sold for infants contain 16 per cent, butter fat while that for adults contains 25 per cent butter fat.  The milk for infants contains 4 per cent butter fat and for adults 6 per cent butter fat.
            At present there are one hundred and fifty cows in the hard.  Of this number one-third are pure Guernsey, and the others are graded cattle, all producing rich milk.  These cows are cared for as good as many human beings.  They are quartered in one of the cleanest buildings it is possible to find at an institution of this kind.  Each cow is groomed every day, and the elders of all the cows are washed each day before milking time.  Shavings are used as bedding and when asked for an explanation of this, Mr. Smith said it was done from the fact that other materials used for bedding contain dust and the savings do not.  Over the stall of each cow hangs a card encased in a frame and kept free from the dirt.  This has the number of the cow, and each day it indicates to the man who feeds the herd just what allowance to give each animal.  This is regulated by the herdsman, who is guided by the amount of milk the cow gives and her condition.  Sometimes this is changed each day.
            Most of the cattle are kept in a long building, the perfection of cleanliness, particularly the walls, which are kept healthy and white by liberal application of lime.  The offal is taken out of the stable by means of overhead trolley, and in this manner everything is kept free from dirt and odor.
            AT MILKING TIME – It was milking time when the visitors happened through this building.  Eight men, dressed in white overalls and jumpers were hard at work.  It will be interesting at this period to let the readers know how the dispose of the milk.  Just as soon as one of the men finishes milking he goes to the far end of the building and enters a little room, giving to the man in charge the number of the cow which he has just milked.  The product is weighed and a record taken for the purpose of ascertaining just what amount of milk and the quality each cow is producing.  While the milk is being weighed the man who did the milking is preparing to go to the next cow.  The first thing he does after delivering his bucket is to wash his hands in a disinfectant and drying them with spotless white napkins which are kept on a table nearby the scales.  This process is gone through by each one of the milkers.
            As the milk is received by the weigher he pours it into a large can and then ships it by means of an overhead trolley to the dairy house proper, which is a well-kept stone building some distance away.
            SOME REGISTERED STOCK – In addition to the stock already mentioned in the first building visited, there are 14 advanced registered cows and 9 in test in another separate building is short distance away.  These are the most valuable cows of the herd and are beauties.  Close by are kept four very fine registered thoroughbred bulls.  The registration test is conducted by the state Experiment Station.
            The milk is certified by the Philadelphia Pediatric Society, samples being sent to the Quaker City each day for chemical and bacteriological examination.  Certificates are issued to the dairy each month, and in this way the milk is kept up to its high standard.
            The milk, upon reaching the third story of the dairy house, is handled by a man who is dressed in the immaculate white.  He pours it from the cans into a cotton filter and from there it is carried down to the next floor, passing over a cooler refrigerated with brine to 40 degrees.  It is then placed in the bottles.  Thus, in fifteen minutes after the milk has been taken from the cow, it has been cooled and put in the bottles ready for shipment.  Eight jars are filled at one time.
            “No one is permitted in this room,” said Mr. Smith, “where the cooling and bottling is done.”
            You can see the operations from a window in the room which separates the washroom from the engine room.  All jars and cans used are sterilized under fifteen pound steam pressure for twenty minutes.
            A LARGE SALE – The milk, which is shipped to Philadelphia, reaches there almost twenty-four houses before any other production in this section.  The milk for Philadelphia leaves the dairy a few hours after it has been bottled, and that which goes to Atlantic City, where the milk finds a large sale leaves Philadelphia on the 3 o’clock train each morning.
            “Our milk is not treated in any way.” Said Mr. Smith.  “All we do is keep it clean, and cool it as soon as possible after taking it from the cow.”
            The stock, as a general rule, is fed largely on corn silage.  This is kept in two large brick silos, with a capacity of 150 tons each.  All the feed which enters the place is put in the third store of the large building and is transported to the feed boxes for the cows by means of overhead trolleys.
            Two large boilers and two engines supply the motive power, the plant having its own electric light station, with a capacity of 150 lights.
            Visitors are welcome every day except Sunday.  The attaches take great pleasure to showing persons through this most modern and up-to-date plant.
            Manager Smith and his stenographer can be found at the office building near the entrance to the plant. 
 Still Lots of time to come and register, it is a great exhibit!!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

No Communisits or Socialists in Rose Vallley!! and Museum opening this week in Concord


Rose Valley Mill ruins from about 1905


Rose Valley Plans

Note. Rose Valley founder, William Price was interviewed twice about his plans for his art community, These two articles are from the Chester Times in the Spring of 1901

    William L. Price, of Philadelphia, who has purchased the old Osborne Mills and tenement houses at Rose Valley, is discussing as to what uses the property will be put to said: “The plans for the community suggested by me for the advancement of all forms of fine art are as yet in such an undeveloped state I would rather not speak in detail upon the subject.  “It will be in a general way both a social and an industrial reform, but we are in no way connected with socialists, or communists, we are rather an answer to them, although we agree on several points.  “There is nothing whatever in the charity line about the enterprise.  The capital should pay interest and many of the colonies will make their homes there permanently; the idea of the large dining room, where all may dine together, is merely a suggestion offered to simplify housekeeping.  “The property purchased by me is nothing more or less than old ruins and will require a great deal of time and money to fix up.  “Our occupation will be anything that will promote all forms of fine art, but for goodness’ sake don’t say we are going to manufacture antique furniture, as that is exactly what we are not going to do.”    In about six months, Mr. Price said, the community would be probably in working order.
 Settlement for the Advancement of All Forms of Art – Not Collection of Socialists
                The plans of the purchasers of the Rose Valley tract are gradually being perfected.  The idea of the purchasers is to establish a community which will work for the advancement of all forms of fine art.   It will be in a general way a social and industrial community, but will be connected with no Socialists or Communists.  Nor will it be charitable in design; the capital will pay interest, and many of the stockholders will make their permanent homes there.
                A CHARTER SOUGHT – An application for a charter has been made in the name of the Rose Valley Association.  It will be granted in a short time, and then more specific details will be made public.    These Philadelphians compose the central committee, acting for the association:  John O. Gilmore, president of the Colonial Trust Company, president; Edward W. Bok, editor of the Ladies’ Home Journal; William L. Price, architect; M. Hawley McLanahan of the firm of Whiteside & McLanahan, real estate, and Howard Stratton, instructor in the Industrial Art School, Frank Pritchard is legal advisor.   Mr. Price and Mr. McLanahan contemplate homes on the property which is admirably qualified to supply all needs.  Carl McMell, who recently married Miss Mary Price, is living in Rose Valley, and the residence there of Francis Day is nearing completion.  The character of the country is rolling, and two mills with accessories are included in the purchase.  Sufficient water is available.
                NEW SITE FOR ART SCHOOL – The association has made it possible for Mr. Stratton to remove his summer art school from its quarters at Fort Washington to one of the old mills at Rose Valley.  The third floor of the mill has been fitted with three north skylights, many windows and all the necessary appurtenances for a summer studio.  Applied art will be taught in this studio.  Later, it is intended to make furniture of the substantial hand out variety on the second floor, while the basement will be devoted to the art of pottery making.   Of the twenty-one students already established there, seventeen reside at the Guest House, a structure resembling an old English inn.
     The housekeeping in this inn is superintended by Miss Suzanna Price, who boards students at $5 a week.  Large wooden benches made from a design of Mr. Pierce’s embellish each side of the many doorways.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Ivy Mills in Concord and Concord History and Education Center to open soon!!!

Ivy Mills in Concord Township about 1860

Ivy Mills in Concord

      These mills, situated on a branch of the Chester Creek, about perhaps eighteen miles from Philadelphia, and long known as the “Ivy Mills,” were abandoned more than a generation ago, after an industrial existence for considerably more than a century.  Next to the Rittenhouse Mill and the Dewees Mill in and about Germantown, the original structure is believed to have been the first paper mill in Pennsylvania, and probably outside of those, no other or certainly no other of equal importance, precede it in what is now the United States.
    The name “Ivy Mills” is suggestive at once of the relation which Benjamin Franklin bore to it and to its founder.  The walls of the first structure appear to have been covered with ivy vines in its early days by Thomas Wilcox, who had come from England, and who built it a little before the time when Franklin, as a young printer, branched out in business in this city as the publisher of the “Pennsylvania Gazette.”  An ivy leaf, which at a later time in his life he designed for a daughter of Wilcox, is now preserved as a relic of her embroidery.  The friendship which existed between him and her family doubtless grew out of Franklin’s purchase at the mill of the paper on which he printed the “Gazette,” and continued up to the time of the death of the mill owner, nearly half a century afterward, when the statesman was in France.  Franklin is known to have been often a visitor at the Ivy Mills, to have corresponded with Wilcox, and apparently to have used his influence in procuring business for him.  The probably included the furnishing of paper on which the bills of the Pennsylvania provincial money were printed.  The account books of Franklin, now in possession of the American Philosophical Society, show conclusively that he made his first paper purchase at the Ivy Mills and that he continued to make purchases there until he retired from the active control of the “Gazette.”
    In the course of the Revolution Thomas Wilcox died, but some time before the war broke out, it was supposed that he had withdrawn from the management of the mills, having turned the business over to his son Mark.  It was by him that paper for the first issue of Continental currency authorized by the Congress in Philadelphia, was made more than a year before the adoption of the Declaration.  At this time, too, paper of all kinds began to be scarce; subsequently, most of the people had to be severely economical in the use of it, and Nathan Sellers, who made the molds for the process of paper manufacture at the Wilcox Mill, long afterward narrated to one of his descendants how fly leaves were torn from printed books and bank leaves from account books in order to obtain material for writing letters.  While the British were in occupation of Philadelphia the scarcity was so much felt by the fugitive government of Pennsylvania, then at Lancaster, that a secret order was issued to one of the officers of the army to seize the stock in the mill on Chester Creek.  The officer was directed, too, to make particular inquiry as to the conduct of those who were carrying on the manufacture inasmuch as it had been “hinted’ that they were unfriendly to the American cause.  The subsequent career of the proprietor, of course, does not justify this suspicion, and the fact that the officer was instructed to certify the quantity of the seized paper because of the intention that he should have a reasonable price, indicates that strong credence could not have been given to the “hint.”  Indeed, it seems that while the British were in Philadelphia, Wilcox was arrested by them on the charge of obstructing their officers in obtaining supplies in the country, that he was carried to this city as a prisoner, and that he was afterwards released by General Howe at the solicitation of some of his neighbors who were members of the Society of Friends.  He held at various times not a few public offices, including a seat as Associate or lay Judge of Delaware County.
    Throughout the Revolution, Wilcox furnished large quantities of paper for the Continental money, and when Robert Morris and his associates, of whom the papermaker was one, in the establishment of the Bank of North America, wanted paper for the printing of their notes, they placed their order with him.  The reputation which the mill thus gained, led in the course of time, to its development as a special source of supply of the various paper used by not only banks in Philadelphia, and all over the country, but by governments.   During the entire period of the old State bank system, it turned out vast quantities of paper for bank notes.  The Bank of the United State, too, was its customer, and Nicholas Biddle, when he was president of that institution, took particular pains that the paper for it should be difficult for counterfeiters to imitate.  Several of the South American governments were patrons of the mill, and on one occasion its proprietor entered into a contract with the financial authorities of Greece.  Indeed, Mr. Ashmead, the historian of Delaware County, is authority for the statement that for “a long period not only were the banks of the United States supplied with their paper from this mil, but its lofts were, at times, piled with peculiar-looking papers of various tints, bearing the ingrained watermarks of most of the governments of South America.  Nearly the whole of the western continent drew its supply of bank paper from the mill.”
    It was not only in the Revolution that the mil was a dependency to the Treasury of the national authorities, but also in the War of 1812.  At that time, it is stated, a distinctive paper with colored silk woven through it, was made for the government’s use, and that the mill was guarded by the government to prevent the paper from falling into unlawful hands.  Again, under Tyler’s administration and it was then that the making of bank paper had come, for some time previous, to be almost exclusively the chief operation of the mill, it supplied the Federal government with the sheets for the printing of its bond issues and also during the Mexican War.  When the Civil War broke out it was once more in requisition; Secretary Chase repeatedly made contracts with its owners for the paper on which demand notes, bonds, legal tender notes, certificates and other monetary issues were printed; and it was difficult to produce the material as fast as it was wanted at Washington on some occasions.  The late Jay Cooke, when the war was at an end, bore testimony to the value of these services and Chase’s appreciation of them.  He stated, moreover, that when peace came, the government concluded that it would itself make the paper for its notes, its bonds and the notes of the national banks, but that the experiment was then unsuccessful and that the authorities were obliged to renew their contract with the men who had through generations of experience in the manufacture of that class of paper.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Old time Punishment in Delaware County and a Mill Talk this week


The intersection of 7th and Edgmont now Avenue of the States is where early hangings took place. This was outside the city till the 1850's.


Delaware County early Hangings

The list of hangings within the territory now Delaware County, shows that Friday has not been, as a rule, the day designated for the infliction of the death penalty.  Those cases included in the list were those on which the day and date of execution could be definitely ascertained from the records.  Yet by and over sight one case where that could be done was omitted from the list.  Elizabeth Murphy, together with her husband, Edward Murphy, were tried August 27, 1723, for murder.  The jury acquitted the man and convicted the woman.  She was executed Thursday, August 13, 1724.  The costs in that case were 1b2 6s 6d, or about eight dollars, for it was in Colonial money, in which a pound was only a little more than half the value of the pound sterling.
            There are three other cases of the infliction of the death penalty at Chester in Colonial times, which were not included in the list published in the Times, because the exact date of execution has not been ascertained.  The first was in 1722, when William Batten, who had “been convicted of Divers horrid, complicated crimes,” was on August 3 of that year, ordered by the Provincial Council to “be executed and hung in chains in the most public place at such time as the Governor shall appoint, and that the warrant for the execution be issued before the Governor set out for Albany.”  I cannot fix the exact date when execution was made.  This is the only instance in the criminal history of Chester and Delaware Counties when after execution, the body of the convict was gibbeted – that is, suspended in any iron frame work until the elements slowly destroyed the body.
            At the court held September 27, 1728, William Davis was convicted of murdering his master, William Cloud, and was sentenced to be hanged “and his body at ye Disposal of ye Governor.”   I cannot fix the date when Davis was executed.
            At a special court held for the trial of negroes under the act of 1706, Phoebe, the slave of Joseph Richardson, was on March 2, 1764, convicted of burglary in entering the house of Thomas Barnard – that adjoining to the north Jonathan Pennell’s dwelling on Edgmont Avenue, facing Fourth Street.  John Morton presided at the trial.  Richardson her master, lived in his then new residence – the present Steamboat Hotel – and the Colonial treasury paid to him fifty-five pounds, the sum at which Phoebe was appraised, for the act of assembly providing that when a slave was executed the province must make good the loss to the owner of the Negro.
            FIRST HOMICIDE TRIAL – The first homicide in our county was in the consequences which followed the execution, the most momentous in the history of the Colony and State.  Hugh Pugh, a wheelwright, and Lazarus Thomas, a laborer, were hanged in Chester, Friday, May 9, 1718, for the murder of Jonathan Hayes, a resident of Marple Township and one of the judges of the county court.  The crime was committed three years prior to the execution of the culprits.
            The case was one which excited the public to that extent that in October, 1715, the Court instructed Henry Worley, Robert Carter and James Sandelands, the younger, to procure a place “more Convenient than the Court House for holding the Supreme Court for ye Tryail of these persons ye are holden in ye Jail of ye County on Suspition of murder.”  We learn from the minutes of the Provincial County that for some reason the accused parties had been admitted to bail, “and through the indolence of a former administration,” that of Governor Charles Godin, the men were not brought to trial until April 17, 1718, when Chief Justice Lloyd and the four associate justices of the Supreme Court were present as was Governor Sir William Keith, who occupied a place on the bench.
            It seems that the prisoners were leaders of a “Lawless Gang of Loose fellows, Common Distrurbers of the public peace,” and “were so hardened and became so audacious as still to continue in their publick Rioting, Caballing and fighting.” Boasting openly that it was not within the power of the Government to try any capitol case, according to the common and statute laws of England, which the prisoners claimed as a right, they being English subjects.
            On May 8, the day previous to the time set for the hanging, Hugh Pugh and Lazarus Thomas petitioned Sir William Keith for a stay of execution, until the pleasure of the King could be ascertained and at the same time formerly lodged with the Governor and council their appeal to George, the lst, in which they assigned three reasons rendering their conviction illegal.  First, because seventeen of the Grand Jury and eight of the Petit Jury were Quakers, who had not been sworn.  The Act of Assembly permitting affirmations by Governors and witnesses was enacted in violation of the Act of Parliament, passed in the first year of his majesty’s reign; second, because the Act of Assembly permitting affirmation to be made in all legal proceedings, was not enacted until “after said murder was supposed to be committed,” hence was expost facto and not applicable to their case, and third, because the Act of Assembly was repugnant to reason and in conflict with the laws and statutes of England, and therefore void.
            The Governor and council refused to reprieve the prisoners and Sheriff Nicholas Fairlamb was instructed to execute the two men according to the death warrant, which, signed, by Chie justice Lloyd and the associate Justices of the supreme Court, had already been placed in his hands.  The men were hanged and the public excitement ceased.
            It was then the authorities began to question the legality of the execution, for the appeal to the King had not been forwarded, although it accompanied the petition for a stay of execution, or reprieve, and just at that time the King and his ministry regarded with no favor the mild criminal code framed by Penn which was then recognized in the province, and had repeatedly urged the colony to adopt that of the mother country.  Only a few days elapsed when the legal reason which were urged by the hanged men to set aside their conviction, aroused such alarm among the leading class in the providence, as to the legality of the trial and subsequent execution of judgment, that in twenty-two days after May 31, 1718, the Assembly passed the act which substituted the fierce criminal code of England, which its then seventy odd offense punishable with death, in the colony, simply in exchange for the right to use affirmations in place of corporal oaths, the Legislature feeling assured that the little matter of illegally executing two “bad men,” would not weigh with the King if it accomplished his policy of substituting a rigorous system of punishment for crimes in Pennsylvania.  The King approved and confirmed the Act of the Assembly early in 1719.  The legal points raised by the accused in their petition was never made the subject of judicial consideration and decision, but the effect of their petition was to wholly change the criminal code of the province, and today the consequences of that trial, to a large extent obtain in our penal laws.
            THE CASE OF SHIRTLIFFE – In the case of John McDonough, convicted of rape and executed Saturday, June 17, 1786, at Gallows Hill, was indicted jointly with Richard Shirtliffe and sentenced to be hanged at the same time and place with McDonough.  A few days after the death warrant was delivered to Sheriff Gibbons, the supreme Executive Counsel, with a refinement of cruelty difficult to understand, considering the high character of the individuals then composing that body, ordered Richard Shirtliffe reprieved, but directed the Sheriff not to notify the man of the fact until he had been taken under the gallows and the rope placed under his neck.  What became of Shirtliffe afterwards, how long he was detained in prison or formally pardoned, I do not know, but certain it is he was not hanged.
            Thirty persons have paid the death penalty in Delaware County, four of whom were women.