Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Old Union Hotel in Marcus Hook

 
 
 

The Union Hotel in Marcus Hook right before it was torn down in 1911, Today the site of the hotel would be at 10th and Market Sts. now the Santander Bank at 2 E. 10th St.

Union Hotel In Marcus Hook

Note: this history is from 1911 right after the original hotel was torn down

    The old Union Hotel, at the Marcus Hook cross roads, which was demolished by the proprietor, William J. McClure, Jr., to make way for a more ornate and up-to-date structure, was one of the oldest hotels in the country, and was erected, it is claimed, in the year 1728.  Previous to 1736 little is known of its history, but in that year John Flower, who had kept a tavern at another location in Lower Chichester Township, presented his petition to the court setting forth that “having lived long in this county, and now unable to labor for maintenance of wife and family, hath taken an house lately erected on the main road from Chichester into the back parts of Chester County, where the same crosses the road leading from Philadelphia to New Castle,” and desired to keep a public house thereat, but the court refused to grant the license, although in the following year Flower was given the privilege to open the house.
      He died in 1738 and that year his widow, Mary Flower, was granted the right to continue the business, and that the court extended its indulgence to her the following year is shown by the records of a remonstrance of residents of the township, dated August 29, 1739, against the petition of Elizabeth Bond for hotel license.  The latter, on August 20, 1738, the year previous, had presented a petition in which she informed the court that she “is left a widow with a considerable charge of small children, and having no way to maintain them but by hard labor,” asked that she be permitted “to sell beer and sider.”  Her application was endorsed by a number of the most substantial citizens and the justices acted favorably upon it.  The following year, however, when she asked for a renewal with the statement that “having three small children to maintain, wishes to sell rum and monstrance by the residents, representing that there were already four public houses – Thomas Clayton, Mary Flower, William Weldon, and Thomas Howell – in the township and that no necessity existed for another, whereupon her application was rejected.
  WIDOWS CONDUCT THE PLACE – In 1741, Humphrey Scott, who had married Mrs. Flower, was licensed at the cross roads and conducted the place until 1746, when he died, and the widow again took charge of the hotel.  Three years later she married her third husband, John Rain, and he was granted a license for the hostelry.  He also died while proprietor, and his widow again became landlady in 1756.   In 1759 Richard Flower, a son by the first husband, was granted a license for the inn.  Young Flower died in 1763, and his widow conducted the hotel until 1768, when she married John Wall and the latter assumed control.
   The following year Wall was succeeded by Joseph Gribble, and the latter, in 1772, gave place to Joseph Dunlap, who named the hotel “Ship Princess Amelia,” a very odd name for a public house.  David Ford followed Dunlap, who served the public only a year, and in 1776 John Taylor became landlord.  The title of the tavern was then changed to “King of Prussia.”  Taylor remained in charge until 1778, when he was succeeded by Jacob Coburn.  The record of the hotel is a blank from that year until 1795.  In the later year John Walker became the host and he was succeeded in 1798 by Henry C. Barker.  The name of the hotel was again changed in 1800 to “Sign of the Leopard” by John Selah, the new proprietor.
            NAME CHANGED AGAIN – In 1803 Charles Afflick was granted a license for the Leopard and was followed in 1804 by Henry C. Barker.  The following six years found Jacob D. Barker in charge, to be succeeded in 1870 by Edward Sallard, and he in turn in 1811 by Thomas Noblett, who called the house, “The United States Coat of Arms.”  Jacob D. Barker returned to the cross roads in 1813 and in his petition a few years later again changed its name to “The Union Inn.”
     Barker continued in charge of the hotel until 1824, when he sold out to George Hoskins, who held the license until 1839.  John Harper was the next proprietor and in 1841 William Appleby secured control of the place, remaining in charge until his death in 1850.  His widow continued the business until 1861, when her son William Appleby took charge.  The latter remained as landlord of the ancient hostelry until 1866, when William Wilson became proprietor.  He held the license until 1873, the year of local option.  In 1876 the house was again licensed to his widow, Hannah H. Wilson, and she continued annually to receive the court’s approval until 1884, when the licenses were withheld from all houses in Lower Chichester.
   When the hotel was again licensed, Alfred Triggs was the proprietor and he remained in charge until his death.  Andrew McClure then purchased the hotel and conducted it until he obtained a license for the Buttonwood Hotel, Darby, when he was succeeded by his son, William J. McClure, Jr., the present popular proprietor.
            A LANDMARK IN HISTORY – The old Union Hotel housed under its roof many of the great men of the last generation, and was noted for its hospitality.  The Post Road, on which the building faced, was opened in 1704, and was used extensively.  History tells us that John Quincy Adams, riding along the road to and from Washington always stopped at the hotel that his horses might be watered and he himself refreshed.  In 1814, when the militia of Pennsylvania was called out to repel the threatened invasion by the British army, close to 5,000 troops were encamped near Hook, and many of the officers entertained and were entertained at the old Union Hotel.  Major General Gaines, of the regular army, also had his headquarters near Hook, and he too, was a frequent visitor to the hostelry.
  The Union Hotel, with William Appleby as proprietor, in 1842, housed the principals in the duel fought by Thomas F. Marshall, a prominent member of the Twenty-seventh Congress, and Col. James Watson Webb, editor of the Courier and Enquirer of New York City, which resulted from criticism of Marshall by the paper, and which attracted considerable attention throughout the country.  The duel was arranged in Wilmington, but the authorities of that city prevented the affair taking place on Delaware soil.  The duelers drove to Linwood and as a crowd of one hundred persons followed them  from the Delaware metropolis, they stopped at the Union.  Later as a ruse, Col. Webb was rowed across the Delaware in a small boat, and believing the duel was to be fought in New Jersey, the crowd dispersed.  The wily colonel later returned to the hotel, where Marshall and his friends were comfortably housed.  An hour before daylight the next morning the principals left the hotel and proceeded to a spot just over the State line, where the duel was fought.  Col. Webb was wounded in the knee and after the duel the party returned to the hotel where breakfast was served them and the injured man attended to.
     For some years the hotel has been entirely too small to meet the increasing demands of the fast-growing borough, and although the removal of such a historic place is greatly regretted, a large and more up-to-date structure is needed and such the new hotel will be.
 


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Delco Realty News and Media Walking Tour

 
 

The Old Chester High School on W. 9th Street about 1910

 
 NOTE. Beginning about 1908 the Chester Times began a column called Realty News. Originally the column only appeared once in awhile. By early 1912 the column was featured every Saturday and featured all Delco Real Estate news, including new developments. builders, architects, deeds filed for the week etc. The column was a main feature for decades. So if you are looking for information on your house and have a rough idea of the date a look at the Realty News is worth the look. Look at the example below
 
 

CHESTER TIMES – June 29, 1912

            BUILDING AND REALTY NEWS OF THE WEEK – Several New Operations Including $25,000 Haverford Dwelling – In City and County

            The building and realty business throughout the entire county continues to be interesting and the subject of much favorable comment, not only among builders and real estate men, but among various citizens in different parts of the county.  Taken from a building standpoint, Delaware County is rapidly growing.  Development is great throughout all of the boroughs and townships in the county.  While there is considerable building in Chester, there does not seem to be as great an activity in the county’s metropolis as in its suburban district.
            A number of new operations have been reported for the county during the past week.  Nothing new in the building line has occurred in Chester during that time worthy of special mention.  Operations now under way are rapidly being completed. One trouble experienced by builders and especially in the City of Chester, is the storage of bricks.  Sometimes operations are suspended for a half day because of the lack of this important material.
            In the building line the largest new operation reported is probably that of the proposed $25,000 residence to be erected at Haverford.  Bids are also being received for a new school building at East Lansdowne and an addition to the power house of the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company at Folsom.  H.K. Mulford Company of Philadelphia has just completed a big new laboratory at its Glenolden Works.  The Carnegie Library building at Ridley Park has also been completed.
            IN THE CITY – William Hewes of 11032 Highland Avenue, a contractor and builder, has completed two of the four houses he is erecting at Twelfth Street and Highland Avenue.  The other two buildings will soon be ready for the roofs.  All are said to be sold.
            Contractor Hewes has also purchased a lot having a sixty foot frontage on Highland Avenue about West Twelfth Street.  He contemplates the erection of several additional dwellings on this site.  The residences will be of brick, have front porches and be modern in every detail.
            The brick dwellings at 2727 West Third Street which was recently sold by the Misses Bourke to William Hewes, has been sold by the contractor to Thomas H. Quinn, a blacksmith of West Third Street near Highland Avenue.
            William L. Devinney of 2519 West Third Street, a West End contractor, has about completed the three dwellings, which he was erecting on the site of an old blacksmith shop at Third and Booth Streets.  He contemplated the erection of two modern brick dwellings at Fourth and Palmer Streets.
            Francis J. Moore, a builder of Marcus Hook, is erecting two two-story brick dwellings on the North side of West Fourth Streets, west of Palmer Street, is having them plastered.  They will soon be completed.
            Martin J. Dwyer of 1802 West Third Street, a builder and contractor, who is erecting two two-story brick dwellings on the south side of West Second Street, west of Reaney Street, sis progressing nicely with the work.  The floors have been laid in one and the studding set up, while the flooring in the other is being put down.
            Contractor Amos Sheaff, who is erecting the store, residence and candy factory at Third and Lloyd Streets for T. Brooks McBride, is having troubles of his own with the foundations.  He has struck a solid bed of rock and for several weeks past blasting and drilling have been in progress.  The place represents a veritable quarry and when the excavation is completed there will be enough stone to build the foundation walls for a long row of houses.  This unforeseen rock obstruction will delay the progress of the improvement for a long time and it will be late in the fall, it is expected, when the buildings are erected.
            The Penn Steel Casting Company will begin the erection of a brick addition to the plant at the foot of Penn Street at an early day.  This concern is very busy at the present time and all the departments of the plant are working on full time.
            Two of Samuel R. Bell’s new houses of Lloyd Street, below Third, are under roof, two more have reached the second floor and the foundation walls are finished for four additional homes and ready for the bricklayers.  These houses are of brick two stories high, with front porches and provided with modern conveniences for houses of that size.
            The three cozy little homes built by James D. Rostron, on Mary Street, in the rear of his property at Third and Howell Streets, are practically completed and ready for occupancy.  The houses are substantially built, convenient and just suited to small families of moderate means.
            Contractor and Builder George D. Hewes is rushing to completion his row of two-story brick houses on Pusey Street and the brick work is well advanced.
            The plasterers and carpenters are putting the finishing touches to the two brick houses of George Wiegand, at Third and Ulrich Streets and the painters are busy also.  The improvement is a noticeable one and the houses corresponds with those erected by the owner on the opposite side of the street.
            IN THE COUNTY – Plans are in progress for a $25,000 residence to be erected at Haverford for Boyd Lee Spahr of the Land Title Building, Philadelphia.  The architect is Horace Wells Sellers of Philadelphia.  The building is to be of stone and timber and three stories in height.
            The Board of Education of East Lansdowne has received bids for proposed new school building to be erected at that place. The plans and specifications were made by W.W. Cochran of East Lansdowne and call for a two-story building of stone with a shingle roof, electric light and steam heat.
            J.B. Flounders of Philadelphia is taking bids for the new residence of H.K. Broomall to be erected at Media.  It is to be of brick and frame, two and a half stories high, 25 by 50 feet and is to have a shingle roof, electric light, hot water heating, etc.  The plans were prepared by N. Flounders, a Media architect.
            Stewart & son and Page, architects of Philadelphia, have received bids for alterations and additions to be made to the residence at Rosemont, owned by the R.K. Cassatt Estate.  When completed the building will be a three-story structure, with hot air heat and with marble and tile work.
            Additions and alterations will be made to the Armory at Media for which Price and McLanahan of Philadelphia, have prepared plans.  The building, when completed, will be one of terra cotta and stone, two stories in height, and equipped with a slag roof and steam heat.
            A cottage will be built at Highland Park for Frederick Beinhauer of 2235 Chadwick Street, Philadelphia.  Bids were received up until yesterday by the architect, Wallace Eugene Nance of Wilmington, Del.
            Alterations and additions will be made to Founders Hall, Haverford College, Haverford, the extension to be of granite.  The architects, Savery, Scheets, and Savery of Philadelphia are taking bids for a few days on the proposed work.  Several Philadelphia contractors are bidding upon the work.
            Architect N. Flounders of Media was prepared plans for a residence to be erected on Swarthmore Avenue, Swarthmore for H.W. Twaddell of that place.  The buildings is to be of stone and frame 36 by 31 feet, two and a half stories high, with a shingle roof, electric light and hot water heat.  J. B. Flounders of Philadelphia received sub-bids up until Wednesday last on the work.
            A one story brick addition is to be built to the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company’s Power house at Folsom.  It is to be of brick, one story high, and have a slag roof.  The owner is the Philadelphia Electric Company and the architect, J.T. Windrim of Philadelphia.  Several Philadelphia contractors are bidding.  It is understood that some Delaware County men are also figuring on the work.
            SALES IN THE SUBURBS – The recent transactions in real estate at the offices of Swope and Sons, Darby, include the sale of brick dwelling and lot 25 by 100, 304 South Third Street, Colwyn, to George W. Westenberger of Philadelphia for Julius Nelson of Sharon Hill; 310 South Sixth Street, Darby, to Frederick H. Mann of Philadelphia for Alois Muller of Darby; 316 South sixth Street, two-story brick to Harry A. Vossen for Louis P. Albrecht of Philadelphia; the two-story brick dwelling and lot 25 by 120, No. 222 South Fifth Street, Darby to John Sowers of Darby for J. Clinton Boyer of Philadelphia; detached brick dwelling, corner Second and Frances Streets, Colwyn to Ada Miller for W Edward Miller of Colwyn; the two brick dwellings and lots No. 114-116 South Third Street, Colwyn to John Scherff of Darby for George A Drovin, trustee of Philadelphia; lot 29 by 125 on Clifton Avenue above Bartram Avenue, Collingdale to Hugh Cox of Collingdale for Thomas Hetherington of Glenside, Pa.; lot 109 by 139 Chester Pike and Pine Street, Darby to Hugh Cox of Collingdale for Harry Doak of Darby; new dwelling and lot 25 by 109, 306 South Third Street, Colwyn to Matthias Herman of Philadelphia for J. Nelson of Sharon Hill; NO. 444 South Fourth Street, Colwyn to Robert E. Miller for Selina Burns of Ardmore, Pa.; No. 221 South Sixth Street, Darby to Matthias Herman of Ashland, Pa. for Gerald Carroll of New York; brick dwelling, corner Pear and Walnut Streets to Louis J. Brehm of Philadelphia for J.P. Stoope; the brick dwelling and lot 25 by 100, 409 Colwyn for the estate of M. Eaton.
            The same firm reports the following rentals:  440 South Fourth Street to W. Headley of Colwyn; 647 Main Street to Edward Charsha of Philadelphia; 101 South Sixth Street to W.L. Lewis of Darby; 31 South Seventh street to William L. Edgar of Sharon Hill; Hibbard and Jackson Streets, Collingdale to G.H. Barr of Philadelphia; 20 South Sixth Street to Mrs. Powers of Colwyn; 116 Ridley Avenue, Sharon Hill to C.H. Donovan of Virginia; 600 Pine Street to C.A. Cotton of Darby; 2 South Fifth Street to George Waszilycaak of Darby; 30 South Seventh Street to Evelyn Kruger of Philadelphia; 99 Parker Avenue to A.W. Middleton of Philadelphia, 109 North Tenth Street, Darby to F. Schall of Darby; 919 Ridge Avenue to G. Barnett of Philadelphia, 210 South Second Street to P.H. Garretson of Philadelphia and 424 Colwyn Avenue to John Shields of Philadelphia
 



Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mr. Griffith's mail problem? rename the town!! And a new book on the Bergdoll Family a flyer this week

 
 

The original Lansdowne Railroad Station about 1910.

 
LANSDOWNE, COLLINGDALE NAMED FOR RAILROAD STOPS
Name origins of Lansdowne, East Lansdowne and Collingdale borough are deep in the development of railroads. The Lansdowne took their names from Pennsylvania Railroad station, while Collingdale was originally the name of a Baltimore and Ohio Station. 
If it hadn’t been for the fact that a Mr. Griffith had trouble getting his packages delivered – Lansdowne might not have its present name.  But he did have trouble.
Originally Lansdowne station was known as Darby Road – I was one of the first stops on the Philadelphia – West Chester rail line.  It was quite often confused with Darby station on the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Line. (Both of these railways are now parts of the Pennsylvania Railroad).
            This Mr. Griffith (his first name was not available) operated some sort of a business that involved the delivery of many packages.  Very often they would be miss-routed to Darby station.  This provoked him and he decided to complain to the railroad.
He took this matter up with Col. Thomas Scott, who was then, in 1876, president of the railroad.  Col. Scott agreed to change the name of the station
 Together they considered a list of names and on April 1, 1876, finally picked Lansdowne as one of the most appropriate and pleasant sounding.    The station was hereafter known as Lansdowne station and when the borough was incorporated in 1893, it took this name.
The name Lansdowne is presumed to have been taken from an elevated tract of land in England which bears this name.  Lansdowne, England is near Bath in Somerset County.  It is noted for its breed of sheep.  There is a Lansdowne in Australia – a county – which probably derived its name from the English district also.
 East Lansdowne borough was, of course, named for Lansdowne borough which it adjoins. This borough was originally part of Darby Township.
            Collingdale also took its name from a railroad station.  But it was almost named Collingswood.
Originally Collingdale was the location of many large and beautiful estates.  However, when the Baltimore and Ohio railroad was established, it purchased much of the land on which these estates were location and cut many of them in half
            One of the old Biddle estates was located along what is now Clifton Avenue, between Chester Pike and MacDade Boulevard.  This was sold to William Folwell, a linen manufacturer.
 Collingswood Mills was the name of Folwell’s business.  When he sold land to the B & O and they decided to locate a station there, his sale asked that it be named Collingswood station – after the mills.
The railroad approved the name but when an application was made for a post office there, the government turned it down.  It seems they already had a Collingswood post office near Camden.  They did not want another so close. 
However, they agreed to an approximation of the name and thus Collingdale was suggested.  The station was built in 1886 and named Collingdale station.  When the borough was incorporated in 1891 it took its name from the railroad station.
The station, which was located on the northwest corner of Clifton Avenue and the railroad, was torn down some 60 years ago.
 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

May 11, 1903 Media Boro's greatest Day!!

 
 

The Civil War Monument on the lawn of he courthouse,  It was dedicated in 1903.

NOTE The Chester Times called the dedication of Media's Civil War Monument the town's greatest day a look back

Media's Greatest Day!

Every old soldier in Delaware County has reason to feel proud of the success which attended the unveiling of the monument at Media on Saturday.  It is estimated that twelve thousand persons were present, the greatest number ever in the borough at one time.  People living in the pretty town were liberal to a fault in their decorations and this added much to the success of the occasion.  Frequent comments were passed by the visitors about the beautiful display of flags and bunting which graced the buildings.  The program which was published in Saturday’s Times was carried out without a hitch.
            Every organization in the parade which preceded the unveiling ceremonies, looked well. The boys in blue marched as they did in ’61 and as Colonel Henry Clay Cochrane said in making his address on behalf of the Navy, that the men who fought so valiantly for the unity of the country had to be told that they are getting old, and that their ranks are fast becoming depleted.  They showed no evidence of being old in the line of march on Saturday and stepped to the strains of the music with heads erect and looked every bit the soldier.
            Much praise is due the committee, which had charge of the arrangements for the occasion.  Had it not been for the late arrival of some of the Philadelphia G.A.R. Posts, everything would have gone off on time.  As it was the parade was delayed over a half hour, but the crowd was good natured, and were liberal in their applause along the route of march.
            THE FIRE FIGHTERS – The Media Fire Company with over one hundred men in line looked and marched well.  The hose carriage drawn by the two white horses belonging to the undertaker William C. Rigby was much admired, as was the new ambulance of the Clifton Heights Fire Protective Association.  The music was the best which could be secured in this section.  In this connection those who arrived in the borough before 1 o’clock received a great musical treat.  The First and Second Brigade Bands of Philadelphia both arrived on the same train and at the suggestion of the members of the organization played from the station to the Borough Hall.  There were eighty pieces and the music was of a high order.
            Although the parade was set down to take place at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.  Hundreds of persons came to the borough on the early morning trains and trolleys.  The restaurants were taxed to feed the hungry crowd, and the trolley companies gave excellent service.  Thousands of visitors came in teams, many in large wagons with and without springs.
            VIEWING THE MONUMENT – The inscriptions on the monument were scanned by hundreds before the parade started.  The inscriptions are as follows:
            East panel – “In grateful remembrance of the soldiers and sailors of Delaware County who fought for the unity of this republic this monument is dedicated that future generations may cherish the principles of civil and religious liberty.”
            South panel – “Our country will ever remember and cherish their deeds of valor.” 
            West panel – “We honor the memory of the noble and patriotic women who aided the defenders of our country.”
            North panel – “Heroes they were from the men who fell in Baltimore to those who stood victorious at Appomattox.”
            EXERCISES AT THE MONUMENT – The scene at the monument was inspiring.  It was a surging mass of humanity which was crowded about the shaft and the stand where the exercises took place.  There was one drawback to this part of the program.  It was nearly 4 o’clock when the head of the procession reached the monument, and Thomas J. Dolphin, chairman of the committee and chief marshal of the parade, started the exercises.  The bands at the heads of the various organizations were arriving and playing all the time, and few except those right near the stand could hear that several of the speakers said.  Added to this during the time that O.B. Dickinson, Esq., was speaking.  Post 51, of Philadelphia, was firing off its cannon nearby the monument, and it was with difficulty that the learned gentleman could make himself heard by those in the stand.
            John Grim, who received the monument on behalf of the soldiers and the citizens, stopped in the middle of his speech and waited until one of the hands got through playing “Old Hundred.”  “I cannot talk against the band,” said he.
            The exercises opened with a selection by the First Brigade Band of Philadelphia after which Rev. David Tully, pastor emeritus of the First Presbyterian Church of Media, offered prayer and asked God to bless the monument.
            THE WELCOME ADDRESS – Owing to the length of the program Burgess A.G.C. Smith of Media, spoke but five minutes welcoming the soldiers and sailors, and the guests of the day to the beautiful county seat town.  He said, “Mr. Chairman, Soldiers and Sailors, Ladies and Gentlemen:  We have assembled this afternoon to perform a long neglected duty which might have appropriately been conceived in the minds of the children, now grown to manhood, of those who sacrificed so much for our greatly beloved country. 
            It has been the custom for many centuries to erect monuments to the distinguished dead and to mark important historic events and places.  The ancient Druids had their cairns, the Arabian his mastaba and the Egyptian erected the obelisk and pyramid to the memory of the Pharaohs.
            The deeds of brave men have been recorded in the earliest history of mankind and literature is full of interesting examples.  The early tendency to pay tribute to the lives of great men and hand down to prosperity accounts of their great deeds is shown by the ancient Greek and Latin writers in their mythological productions as illustrated in Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid.  It is also illustrated in the legendary story of William Tell.  Tennyson’s “Charge of the Light Brigade” and Longfellow’s “Evangeline” relate touching incidents of bravery and sacrifice.  Caesar Rodney’s Ride and Paul Revere’s Ride of Colonial days and Sheridan’s Ride of the Civil War are recited from many public platforms.  The Star Spangled Banner, inspired at the bombardment of Fort McHenry, thrills every American heart when sung and what old soldier will not raise his voice in song when he hears “Marching through Georgia?”  These are a few of the monuments erected in literature, history and song to keep fresh in our memories the men and events of nations.
            Many men of wealth today are erecting monuments to their own memory in establishing great institutions of learning, large libraries, hospitals and like institutions and by endowing those already established.  This is a grand work and many will rise up to call them blessed for the help they have received from their generous gifts.
            I believe that the soldiers and sailors of the Civil War have unconsciously erected to their own memories, monuments more enduring than those of granite, literature and institutions to which I have referred.  Many of us can recall the father’s affectionate leaved taking with his family, receiving with the parting kiss of his devoted wife her “God bless you,” of the son’s farewell with a like benediction and the lovers’ equally tender separation.  How anxiously each looked for the morning mails and newspapers to learn of the safety of their dear ones and how many hearts were saddened by each day’s news.
            Monuments of love and affection for the brave deeds and self-sacrifice of the defenders of the Republic have been erected in the hearts of the American people and at the firesides and in the public schools, the greatest institution of which the nation can boats, the foundations of these monuments shall continue to be laid strong and deep by the parents and our faithful teachers, that they may never crumble or decay.  As one evidence of it, listen today to the patriotic enthusiasm with which these children will sing our national airs.
            Another monument to the brave deeds of the men who served our country on land and on sea is this great nation.  “My own, my native land” preserved intact, bought by them at the sacrifice of business, great hardship and thousands of lives – a nation whose industrial development is scarcely equaled by any other nation in the world, whose mineral resources are among the richest, whose educational institutions are liberal and efficient and best of all, a  national heart beating strong for peace and overflowing with sympathy for the suffering and oppressed, and a longing desire for the diffusion of all those principles which shall bring enlightenment to the nations of the world.
            But I am reminded by a letter from the chairman of the committee or invitation that the program must conclude at a fixed hour and I must not trespass upon your time.  We are delighted to have with us today these representatives of the brave boys in blue and their many friends.  As representing the citizens of Media, and I may say Delaware County.  I extend to you a most cordial welcome to this beautiful spot and congratulate you upon what promises to be one of the most interesting events that has ever taken place in the county.
            May God bless you all.
            Following this several hundred school children of the Media public schools, under the leadership of Miss Henrietta Smedley sang a patriotic song.  Catherine Gorman, a little girl, assisted with the cornet.  With the band playing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”  Captain Caleb Hoopes, the oldest living veteran in Delaware County, pulled the rope which held the veiling and the shaft stood forth in all its glory.  The audience sang, “The Star Spangled Banner,” while hundreds of little flags wafted through the air from the top of the monument.  These were eagerly sought by those about the shaft.  Captain Hoopes wore his regalia and was as young as any about, notwithstanding he is past 87 years of age.  It was a
Proud moment in his life when he pulled the string which presented to view for the first time to many of those present this fine testimonial to the valor of the soldiers and sailors.
            O.B. Dickinson, Esq., who presented the monument to the people of the county on behalf of the G.A.R. committee who had charge of its erection, spoke as follows:
            THE DICKINSON’S SPEECH – The moralist would doubtless be very much surprised and in an equal degree chagrined to learn how many even of the very best of human actions are prompted by the instinct of selfishness.  He would surely condemn the teaching which would ascribe every good deed to the promptings of selfish interest and yet he could scarcely deny the fact that the essential difference between a good and bad man, is often only the difference between what each believes and deems to be for its own best interests.  We are here today to land the sentiment of patriotism and yet patriotism is the outcome if self-interest.  It is our flag, our country and our homes that we love.  That land has ceased to be the abode of a genuine patriotism whose confines are so enlarged that the whole land does not feel the thrill of a common joy or the throb of sympathy in a common misfortune.
            If we would cultivate true patriotism we must weld our people together in a common interest and make them truly one.  The sentiment of patriotism though a selfish sentiment is a selfishness so purified and ennobled, sanctified and hallowed that our interests are list in the common weal and our feelings absorbed by the common concern.  There comes a time in the history of every people when the call goes forth for the best brawn and brain and blood which the nation can produce.
            Well is it when the call is heard by a people in whom the sentiment of patriotism is unchecked by the feeling that it is only the fool who responds to his country’s needs.  The man who loves his country only when it pays to do so is a traitor already at heart, but that man is no less a patriot whose patriotism is rewarded by the plaudits of his grateful countrymen.  It is the part of wisdom in us to hold out the highest rewards for those who strive successfully for their country’s good and that people who makes it pay to be patriotic will not lack for patriots.
            The desire for posthumous fame, the feeling that to our deeds our children and our children’s children may point with swelling emotions of pride as a reward to which the best of men aspire and the least ambitious of men responds.  We have divine sanction for according praise “to them that do well.”  The “storied urn and animated bust,” the marble shaft and the figure of bronze have a hard-hearted value beyond their material cost.  The statue of Nelson in Trafalgar Square; the tall shaft of the Washington Monument and the marble which now gleams white on the battlefields of Antietam and of Gettysburg express not merely the grateful sentiments of a gratified people, but they are investments which will pay handsome and ample dividends in future deeds of heroism.
            Believing in the wisdom as well as the justice of paying this tribute to the heroes of the great Rebellion the public authorities have authorized the expenditure of the taxpayers’ money in the erection of this monument.
            The time which has been allotted to me in these ceremonies is about exhausted but I cannot close without speaking one word of caution and sounding one note of warning.  No one knows better than the veterans of a great war and particularly of a civil war that nothing so shocks the fervor of patriotism as the manifestation of that spirit of sordid commercialism by which too many are actuated.
            Believing that those who did the real work of the war not only in the camp and on the march, and against their foes on the open battlefields, but who fought no less vigorously against the rascally contractor and the traitorous politician and would wring a selfish gain from the agonies of a nation, will fight the same sordid spirit whenever it seeks to gain a profit from the nation’s gratitude. I am commissioned on behalf of the public to commit this monument, erected and dedicated to those who loved and made sacrifices for their country to the loving care and custody of the Associated Veterans of the War of the Army and Navy.
            RECEIVING THE MONUMENT – The monument was received by John L. Grim of Post 21 of Philadelphia, who related the hardships of the men who fought in defense of their country.  After singing by the school children, Prof. John Russell Hayes of Swarthmore College, read the ode, which he composed and dedicated to the monument:
            COLONEL COCHRANE TALKS – The children sang “The Old Flag Shall Never Drag the Ground.”  The chairman announced that the speech of Judge Isaac Johnson on behalf of the navy.  He said that the navy offers great opportunities today.
            “You can enter the bridal door and reach the cabin, if you have the ability, for the first time in the history of our navy.”
            Speaking of the war, the Colonel said that no matter to what risks the naval man is put, he is always sure of a bed to sleep upon at night, a luxury which was not enjoyed by the men who fought so valiantly in the war of ’61 to ’65.
            Col. Cochrane referred to Dewey Schley, Sampson and other great naval men and said that this country always has men for all emergencies.  He said that the young men should be taught to take the places of their forefathers.  The Colonel was heartily applauded.
            THE CLOSING EXERCISES – The exercises were brought to a close by all present singing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” after which Department Chaplain Rev. John W. Sayers, pastor of Trinity M.E. church, Chester, pronounced the benediction.
            Many of the visitors remained over for the camp fire in the evening in the courthouse.
 
 




 


May 11, 1903 Media Boro's greatest Day!!

 
 

The Civil War Monument on the lawn of he courthouse,  It was dedicated in 1903.

NOTE The Chester Times called the dedication of Media's Civil War Monument the town's greatest day a look back

Media's Greatest Day!

Every old soldier in Delaware County has reason to feel proud of the success which attended the unveiling of the monument at Media on Saturday.  It is estimated that twelve thousand persons were present, the greatest number ever in the borough at one time.  People living in the pretty town were liberal to a fault in their decorations and this added much to the success of the occasion.  Frequent comments were passed by the visitors about the beautiful display of flags and bunting which graced the buildings.  The program which was published in Saturday’s Times was carried out without a hitch.
            Every organization in the parade which preceded the unveiling ceremonies, looked well. The boys in blue marched as they did in ’61 and as Colonel Henry Clay Cochrane said in making his address on behalf of the Navy, that the men who fought so valiantly for the unity of the country had to be told that they are getting old, and that their ranks are fast becoming depleted.  They showed no evidence of being old in the line of march on Saturday and stepped to the strains of the music with heads erect and looked every bit the soldier.
            Much praise is due the committee, which had charge of the arrangements for the occasion.  Had it not been for the late arrival of some of the Philadelphia G.A.R. Posts, everything would have gone off on time.  As it was the parade was delayed over a half hour, but the crowd was good natured, and were liberal in their applause along the route of march.
            THE FIRE FIGHTERS – The Media Fire Company with over one hundred men in line looked and marched well.  The hose carriage drawn by the two white horses belonging to the undertaker William C. Rigby was much admired, as was the new ambulance of the Clifton Heights Fire Protective Association.  The music was the best which could be secured in this section.  In this connection those who arrived in the borough before 1 o’clock received a great musical treat.  The First and Second Brigade Bands of Philadelphia both arrived on the same train and at the suggestion of the members of the organization played from the station to the Borough Hall.  There were eighty pieces and the music was of a high order.
            Although the parade was set down to take place at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.  Hundreds of persons came to the borough on the early morning trains and trolleys.  The restaurants were taxed to feed the hungry crowd, and the trolley companies gave excellent service.  Thousands of visitors came in teams, many in large wagons with and without springs.
            VIEWING THE MONUMENT – The inscriptions on the monument were scanned by hundreds before the parade started.  The inscriptions are as follows:
            East panel – “In grateful remembrance of the soldiers and sailors of Delaware County who fought for the unity of this republic this monument is dedicated that future generations may cherish the principles of civil and religious liberty.”
            South panel – “Our country will ever remember and cherish their deeds of valor.” 
            West panel – “We honor the memory of the noble and patriotic women who aided the defenders of our country.”
            North panel – “Heroes they were from the men who fell in Baltimore to those who stood victorious at Appomattox.”
            EXERCISES AT THE MONUMENT – The scene at the monument was inspiring.  It was a surging mass of humanity which was crowded about the shaft and the stand where the exercises took place.  There was one drawback to this part of the program.  It was nearly 4 o’clock when the head of the procession reached the monument, and Thomas J. Dolphin, chairman of the committee and chief marshal of the parade, started the exercises.  The bands at the heads of the various organizations were arriving and playing all the time, and few except those right near the stand could hear that several of the speakers said.  Added to this during the time that O.B. Dickinson, Esq., was speaking.  Post 51, of Philadelphia, was firing off its cannon nearby the monument, and it was with difficulty that the learned gentleman could make himself heard by those in the stand.
            John Grim, who received the monument on behalf of the soldiers and the citizens, stopped in the middle of his speech and waited until one of the hands got through playing “Old Hundred.”  “I cannot talk against the band,” said he.
            The exercises opened with a selection by the First Brigade Band of Philadelphia after which Rev. David Tully, pastor emeritus of the First Presbyterian Church of Media, offered prayer and asked God to bless the monument.
            THE WELCOME ADDRESS – Owing to the length of the program Burgess A.G.C. Smith of Media, spoke but five minutes welcoming the soldiers and sailors, and the guests of the day to the beautiful county seat town.  He said, “Mr. Chairman, Soldiers and Sailors, Ladies and Gentlemen:  We have assembled this afternoon to perform a long neglected duty which might have appropriately been conceived in the minds of the children, now grown to manhood, of those who sacrificed so much for our greatly beloved country. 
            It has been the custom for many centuries to erect monuments to the distinguished dead and to mark important historic events and places.  The ancient Druids had their cairns, the Arabian his mastaba and the Egyptian erected the obelisk and pyramid to the memory of the Pharaohs.
            The deeds of brave men have been recorded in the earliest history of mankind and literature is full of interesting examples.  The early tendency to pay tribute to the lives of great men and hand down to prosperity accounts of their great deeds is shown by the ancient Greek and Latin writers in their mythological productions as illustrated in Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid.  It is also illustrated in the legendary story of William Tell.  Tennyson’s “Charge of the Light Brigade” and Longfellow’s “Evangeline” relate touching incidents of bravery and sacrifice.  Caesar Rodney’s Ride and Paul Revere’s Ride of Colonial days and Sheridan’s Ride of the Civil War are recited from many public platforms.  The Star Spangled Banner, inspired at the bombardment of Fort McHenry, thrills every American heart when sung and what old soldier will not raise his voice in song when he hears “Marching through Georgia?”  These are a few of the monuments erected in literature, history and song to keep fresh in our memories the men and events of nations.
            Many men of wealth today are erecting monuments to their own memory in establishing great institutions of learning, large libraries, hospitals and like institutions and by endowing those already established.  This is a grand work and many will rise up to call them blessed for the help they have received from their generous gifts.
            I believe that the soldiers and sailors of the Civil War have unconsciously erected to their own memories, monuments more enduring than those of granite, literature and institutions to which I have referred.  Many of us can recall the father’s affectionate leaved taking with his family, receiving with the parting kiss of his devoted wife her “God bless you,” of the son’s farewell with a like benediction and the lovers’ equally tender separation.  How anxiously each looked for the morning mails and newspapers to learn of the safety of their dear ones and how many hearts were saddened by each day’s news.
            Monuments of love and affection for the brave deeds and self-sacrifice of the defenders of the Republic have been erected in the hearts of the American people and at the firesides and in the public schools, the greatest institution of which the nation can boats, the foundations of these monuments shall continue to be laid strong and deep by the parents and our faithful teachers, that they may never crumble or decay.  As one evidence of it, listen today to the patriotic enthusiasm with which these children will sing our national airs.
            Another monument to the brave deeds of the men who served our country on land and on sea is this great nation.  “My own, my native land” preserved intact, bought by them at the sacrifice of business, great hardship and thousands of lives – a nation whose industrial development is scarcely equaled by any other nation in the world, whose mineral resources are among the richest, whose educational institutions are liberal and efficient and best of all, a  national heart beating strong for peace and overflowing with sympathy for the suffering and oppressed, and a longing desire for the diffusion of all those principles which shall bring enlightenment to the nations of the world.
            But I am reminded by a letter from the chairman of the committee or invitation that the program must conclude at a fixed hour and I must not trespass upon your time.  We are delighted to have with us today these representatives of the brave boys in blue and their many friends.  As representing the citizens of Media, and I may say Delaware County.  I extend to you a most cordial welcome to this beautiful spot and congratulate you upon what promises to be one of the most interesting events that has ever taken place in the county.
            May God bless you all.
            Following this several hundred school children of the Media public schools, under the leadership of Miss Henrietta Smedley sang a patriotic song.  Catherine Gorman, a little girl, assisted with the cornet.  With the band playing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”  Captain Caleb Hoopes, the oldest living veteran in Delaware County, pulled the rope which held the veiling and the shaft stood forth in all its glory.  The audience sang, “The Star Spangled Banner,” while hundreds of little flags wafted through the air from the top of the monument.  These were eagerly sought by those about the shaft.  Captain Hoopes wore his regalia and was as young as any about, notwithstanding he is past 87 years of age.  It was a
Proud moment in his life when he pulled the string which presented to view for the first time to many of those present this fine testimonial to the valor of the soldiers and sailors.
            O.B. Dickinson, Esq., who presented the monument to the people of the county on behalf of the G.A.R. committee who had charge of its erection, spoke as follows:
            THE DICKINSON’S SPEECH – The moralist would doubtless be very much surprised and in an equal degree chagrined to learn how many even of the very best of human actions are prompted by the instinct of selfishness.  He would surely condemn the teaching which would ascribe every good deed to the promptings of selfish interest and yet he could scarcely deny the fact that the essential difference between a good and bad man, is often only the difference between what each believes and deems to be for its own best interests.  We are here today to land the sentiment of patriotism and yet patriotism is the outcome if self-interest.  It is our flag, our country and our homes that we love.  That land has ceased to be the abode of a genuine patriotism whose confines are so enlarged that the whole land does not feel the thrill of a common joy or the throb of sympathy in a common misfortune.
            If we would cultivate true patriotism we must weld our people together in a common interest and make them truly one.  The sentiment of patriotism though a selfish sentiment is a selfishness so purified and ennobled, sanctified and hallowed that our interests are list in the common weal and our feelings absorbed by the common concern.  There comes a time in the history of every people when the call goes forth for the best brawn and brain and blood which the nation can produce.
            Well is it when the call is heard by a people in whom the sentiment of patriotism is unchecked by the feeling that it is only the fool who responds to his country’s needs.  The man who loves his country only when it pays to do so is a traitor already at heart, but that man is no less a patriot whose patriotism is rewarded by the plaudits of his grateful countrymen.  It is the part of wisdom in us to hold out the highest rewards for those who strive successfully for their country’s good and that people who makes it pay to be patriotic will not lack for patriots.
            The desire for posthumous fame, the feeling that to our deeds our children and our children’s children may point with swelling emotions of pride as a reward to which the best of men aspire and the least ambitious of men responds.  We have divine sanction for according praise “to them that do well.”  The “storied urn and animated bust,” the marble shaft and the figure of bronze have a hard-hearted value beyond their material cost.  The statue of Nelson in Trafalgar Square; the tall shaft of the Washington Monument and the marble which now gleams white on the battlefields of Antietam and of Gettysburg express not merely the grateful sentiments of a gratified people, but they are investments which will pay handsome and ample dividends in future deeds of heroism.
            Believing in the wisdom as well as the justice of paying this tribute to the heroes of the great Rebellion the public authorities have authorized the expenditure of the taxpayers’ money in the erection of this monument.
            The time which has been allotted to me in these ceremonies is about exhausted but I cannot close without speaking one word of caution and sounding one note of warning.  No one knows better than the veterans of a great war and particularly of a civil war that nothing so shocks the fervor of patriotism as the manifestation of that spirit of sordid commercialism by which too many are actuated.
            Believing that those who did the real work of the war not only in the camp and on the march, and against their foes on the open battlefields, but who fought no less vigorously against the rascally contractor and the traitorous politician and would wring a selfish gain from the agonies of a nation, will fight the same sordid spirit whenever it seeks to gain a profit from the nation’s gratitude. I am commissioned on behalf of the public to commit this monument, erected and dedicated to those who loved and made sacrifices for their country to the loving care and custody of the Associated Veterans of the War of the Army and Navy.
            RECEIVING THE MONUMENT – The monument was received by John L. Grim of Post 21 of Philadelphia, who related the hardships of the men who fought in defense of their country.  After singing by the school children, Prof. John Russell Hayes of Swarthmore College, read the ode, which he composed and dedicated to the monument:
            COLONEL COCHRANE TALKS – The children sang “The Old Flag Shall Never Drag the Ground.”  The chairman announced that the speech of Judge Isaac Johnson on behalf of the navy.  He said that the navy offers great opportunities today.
            “You can enter the bridal door and reach the cabin, if you have the ability, for the first time in the history of our navy.”
            Speaking of the war, the Colonel said that no matter to what risks the naval man is put, he is always sure of a bed to sleep upon at night, a luxury which was not enjoyed by the men who fought so valiantly in the war of ’61 to ’65.
            Col. Cochrane referred to Dewey Schley, Sampson and other great naval men and said that this country always has men for all emergencies.  He said that the young men should be taught to take the places of their forefathers.  The Colonel was heartily applauded.
            THE CLOSING EXERCISES – The exercises were brought to a close by all present singing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” after which Department Chaplain Rev. John W. Sayers, pastor of Trinity M.E. church, Chester, pronounced the benediction.
            Many of the visitors remained over for the camp fire in the evening in the courthouse.
 
 




 


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

With Veterans Day coming this Friday, a look back to 97 years ago. A ribbon, welcoming home the Middletown and Aston Township soldiers from September, 1919.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Some Park names in Delco and Colonial Plantation Fundraiser and on line auction

 

The second Moore/Prospect Park Station built in 1911. Land owner James Moore gave the railroad the right-of-way across his land in 1868, as long as they built a station and named it after him.

 

Some Delaware County Park Names

 
 
First signs of organized real estate developments are evident in the naming and planning of three county boroughs – Parkside, Ridley Park and Prospect Park. 
All residential areas – the boroughs took their names from names given by real estate companies that planned the developments.  These names mark, perhaps the beginning of a trend now very much apparent throughout the county.
New home development names all have something in common.  The titles are given with commercial ulterior motives and are therefore pleasant and residential sounding.  A builder is not so concerned with historical nicknames for areas – he wants to sell houses.  Buyers in a strictly residential r\area will be attracted more readily to a name like Willowdale Estates than Jones’ Junction.
   With this business idea probably in mind, the Parkside Real Estate Improvement Company named their home sites Parkside when they developed this area north of Chester.  The name Parkside was picked appropriately because the property was adjacent to Chester Park – on the side of the Park – Parkside.
   Likewise, the Ridley Park Building Association was formed on May 26, 1871 for the purpose of developing a residential area on land purchased in Ridley Township.  The name Ridley was obviously taken from the township (Ridley Township was named for early settler John Simcock’s home – Ridley – in Cheshire, England.)  The “Park” was added to indicate a residential development.
  R. Morris Copeland drew up the original plans for Ridley Park.  The development’s location was perhaps most influenced by the improvement of the Pennsylvania, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad.  The new line brought the railroad through this area and like so many other county developments – Ridley Park grew up around the railroad station. 
Prospect Park was originally known as Moores.  This name is still evident – the Prospect Park railroad station is still called Moore.  There’s an interesting story behind this.
  James L. Moore owned most of the land over which the railroad tracks are laid.  In deeding this land to the railroad on May 5, 1873, he specified that the station and the buildings built there should be known as Moore.  The railroad is still bound by this deed.
  Prospect Park was planned in 1874 by John Cochran and Sons.  The borough was probably named for Prospect Hill – where the name is evidenced by the Prospect Hill Cemetery which has gravestones dated as early as 1811 and the Prospect Hill Baptist Church, built in 1832.