Monday, January 16, 2017

Towns and Boros named for mills and industries

The Glenolden Mill dam can still be seen at South Ave. and Delmar Dr. in Folcroft. This picture on the Muckinipattus Creek is from 100 years ago.

 
 

COMMUNITIES NAMED FOR MILLS THEY GREW AROUND

Industrial growth spurred the settlement and naming of many Delaware County locations.  Millbourne was named for the Millbourne Mills, Glenolden for the Glenolden Mills, Trainer for the Trainer Mills and Eddystone for the Eddystone Mills.                    
  Among the county towns and village s in this classification are Linwood, Glen Mills, Darlington and Lester.  The former two were named for mills, Darlington for a dairy and Lester for a piano factory.
  The Linwood Mills were built near the Trainer station along Marcus Hook creek in what is now Trainer borough.  It is believed that they were name for the Wood family.
  Originally, Linwood Mills were grist mills but in 1837 they were changed into a cotton factory.  David Trainer was the eventual owner.  Goods manufactured at the mills received special notice at the National Fair in Washington, D.C., in May 1846.
  No definite instance of Linwood’s naming was found.  However, it is probably correctly presumed that it took its name from the mill with the mill getting its name from the founding family, the Woods.
  Glen Mills, in eastern Thornbury, retains the identical name of its namesake. The community, railroad station post office and school have all adopted the name of the first industry in that area, Glen Mills.
  When Glen Mills were established is not recorded but if one report is true, it may have been in the mid-eighteenth century.  One story is that Glen Mills manufactured paper money for use during the Revolutionary War.
  The dairy that gave its name to a county community was the Darlington Dairy operated by Jesse and Jared Darlington.  The post office and railroad station established there both took the names of the dairy men.
  Housewives, who are at present staged by post-OPA butter prices, may be comforted to know that butter from the Darlington dairy sold readily at one dollar per pound, the year round, in both the Philadelphia and New York markets.
  The Lester Piano Company was responsible for the name of Lester, in central Tinicum Township.  The community which grew up around the factory took its name.
  Another community which was named for an industry was the section now adjacent to the Gladstone railroad station on the Philadelphia to West Chester rail line through Lansdowne. This section was formerly known as Kellyville.  The name was derived from D. and C. Kelly.  The Kelly’s operated extensive cotton mills at this location about 1850.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

18th century toll rates, take a ferry!!

 

The Chadds Ford Bridge over Brandywine Creek about 1912. This small road is now Baltimore Pike. The covered bridge was replaced in 1920.

 
 

CHADDS FORD NAMED FOR FERRY SERVICE OPERATOR

 

Chadds Ford, one of Delaware County’s most historic spots, has an equally historic and interesting name origin. 

Chadds Ford made famous by the battle of the Brandywine, which took place there on September 11, 1777 was named for a ferry service operated by John Chadds, son of Francis Chadds or Chadsey, who emigrated from Wiltshire in 1689.  The elder Chadds settled on a tract that included all of the present village of Chadds Ford. 
The ferry service as set up to serve the increasing number of persons who began emigrating westward in the early eighteenth century.  Most of the time the travelers were able to cross the Brandywine Creek on foot. However, in rainy weather and in the springtime, the creek became so swollen that it was practically impossible to ford.
            Therefore, persons solicited John Chadds to set up a ferry service.  The county of Chester made him a loan of 30 pounds to help defray expenses for his “flatt” or “schowe”.  He operated the ferry from 1737 until his death in 1760.  It was then taken over by a Negro woman, Hetty Brown. She kept a small store at the Ford and sold cakes and beer to the travelers.  Chadds “schowe” was long since worn out and she ferried passengers in a boat which she shoved with a pole.
            At the Court of Quarter Sessions, August 30, 1737, rates for Chadds Ford were set.  They were as follows:
                        Horse and rider – four pence. 
Single person on foot – three pence (if more than one person – two pence). 
Ox, cow or heifer – four pence
One sheep – one pence
One hog – three half-pence
Coach, wagon or cart – one shilling and six pence
Empty wagon or cart - nine pence
Every steed – four pence
 
Chadds also opened an inn on the road from Philadelphia to Nottingham.  It was known as the Chadds Ford Tavern”. After his death, the tavern was operated by a man by the name of Joseph Davis.  The community of Chadds Ford therefore took its name from the Chadsey or Chadds family and the ferry service known as Chadds Ford.  There is some difference of opinion as to the spelling of Chadds.
 One historian says that the double D spelling is incorrect.  All agree, however, that the name was originally Chadsey. 
Francis Chadsey, the father of John, originally settled in Chichester.  It is believed that he moved to Birmingham in 1696 when his name first appeared on the list of taxables for the township.  It is presumed that he located on a tract of 500 acres which now includes the village of Chadds Ford.  This land was originally surveyed to Henry Bernard or Barnet early in March 1624.  Later he purchased 111 acres next to his estate, to the southeast, from Edmund Butcher. 
Francis Chadds served as a member of the Assembly from Chester County from 1705 to 1707.  He is believed about this time to have erected the first corn mill in the state along the Brandywine.  The original site was forgotten but in 1860, in making excavations for the foundations of a brick mill built by Caleb Brinton, evidences of the old log building were found.
A short distance west of the Baltimore Central railroad station, a log with an old wrought iron spike was unearthed.  This and other traces started the belief that this was the location of Chad’s or Chadd’s mill.
An old petition, however, produces doubt that Chadds mill was the first in this area. The petition dated May 17, 1689 reads: “Ye Inhabitants of Brandywine River or Creek against ye dam made upon the creek, which hinders ye fish passing up to ye great damage of ye inhabitants.”  This indicates that there was some sort of mill there before Chadds built his.
John Chadds, the ferryman, married Elizabeth Richardson in 1729.  He is believed to have built an old stone house close to a spring near the northern end of Chadd’s Ford, the village.  In 1829 a bridge was erected and the road crossing the Brandywine was rerouted to the south.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Any "Frogponders" out there? Some old Chester place names

 
 

A view of Chester Creek aka River about 5th St. c. 1908

 
 
 

CHESTER’S OLD SECTIONS HAD QUEER PLACE NAMES

                What is Chester today was for the most part Chester 75 years ago.  But it was also Frogpond, Powhattan, Larkintown, Thurlow, Temperanceville, Pigeon Hill, Happy Valley, Forty Acres, and many others.  Within what are now the city limits were these small communities and sections which all had descriptive and picturesque names.
                Frogpond was named for, of all things, a frog pond.  Powhattan was named for old mills, Larkintown for the Larkin family and Thurlow for the Thurlow family.
                The facility around what is now Seventeenth Street, east of Providence Avenue was known as Frogpond.  The name originated because there was a pond populated by frogs located there during the development of North Chester Borough from 1873 until 1877.  A person who lived in that vicinity was known by the dubious title of Frogponder.”
                On Fourteenth Street just south of the Chester Rural cemetery were located the Powhattan Mills.  The mills were operated by the Esrey family.  From the mills’ name this section of the city soon became known as Powhattan.  The name Powhattan is undoubtedly derived from the famous Indian chief of the same name.
                The Larkin family owned much of the land and resided in the section which is now approximately the area between Eighth and Tenth Streets, and Edgmont Avenue and Potter Street.  Thus this section became known as Larkin town.
                At Ninth and Upland Streets was a store operated by N. Larkin.  In the rear there was a small carpenter’s shop.  The property at the corner later was the home of John Larkin, ex-mayor of the city.  St. Paul’s church is now located on this site.
                The Larkin's also owned the whole block between Eighth and Ninth and Madison and Upland Streets and many other properties in this vicinity.  According to a map drawn up in 1870, Charles Larkin owned a property at the corner of Eighth and Potter Streets and there was a woolen factory operated by the Larkins at Seventh and Potter Streets.
                The Larkin family name still is retained in this area by the Larkin Grammar School at Ninth and Crosby Streets.
                The West End section around what is now Thurlow Street was formerly known as Thurlow, named for the John J. Thurlow who owned a large estate here.  His home, known as “Sportsman’s Hall” was located along the river at about the point where the South Chester Tube Company is now located.
                The old home grounds are now bordered approximately by Harwick Street, Highland Avenue, and Second and Third Streets.  It was built about 1840 and taken down in 1869 when Third Street was surveyed and laid out by William B. Broomall.  All of the surrounding section was then known as Thurlow and there was a railroad station on the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore line known as Thurlow station located there.
                There were many other section names for the city.  The section around what is now Twenty-fourth and Chestnut Streets was known as Temperanceville.  Out Providence Road where the Governor Printz Bridge now crosses Ridley Creek were a group of homes known as Shoemakerville.
                The section what is now East Thirteenth Street west of Providence Avenue was known as Pigeon Hill.  The section adjoining the present site of the Aberfoyle Manufacturing Company was called Happy Valley.  The vicinity of Central Avenue and Concord Avenue was known as Forty Acres.
                The area between what are now Third, Seventh, Ulrich and Broomall Streets was at one time known as Perkin’s lawn.  Abraham R. Perkins owned most of the land in this area and thus the name.
                Most of these sections have long since lost their names and become merely a part of the city with no special identity.  However, Chester still retains a few section names.
                There’s Bethel’s Court, between Market, Welsh, Second and Third Streets.  This area was so named because the Bethel Methodist Church was at one time located there.
                Then there’s Holy City, the title given to the long block of West Eighth Street between Sproul Street and Chester River.  This area is said to be so called because of the quietness of the section.  The lack of noise is accentuated by the area’s proximity to the downtown business district.
                Among the city’s newer settlements with old names is Eyre Village.  The new development was named for the Eyre family, Joshua P. Eyre and William Eyre, Jr., being owners of the tract in the mid-nineteenth century.
                One of the city’s most historic spots is the present site of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad station at the junction of Edgmont and Providence Avenues and Twelfth Street.  This was formerly known as Hangman’s Lot.  In early times it was the scene of public executions.  It was also sometimes called Gallows Hill.
 


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Delco Garnet Mines

 
Even Feldspar mining was done in Delaware County 100 years ago.
 
 

 

NOTE This article is from a New York newspaper from 1907. We have all been on Garnet Mine Rd. in Upper Chichester Township and at one time Garnet Mining was a big business in Delco. Please read below

 

Delaware Garnet Mining in 1907

Pennsylvania promises to take the lead in garnet mining, according to the rich yields that have already been reported in sections of Delaware County and the discoveries recently made.  The Boothwyn garnet mines were the first to prove financially successfully some five or six years ago.  Before these had become practically exhausted the winding veins of rich garnet had let the miners with their tracks and hand cars a mile or more into the hillsides in various directions.
   Then more profitable garnet was discovered along the Brandywine Creek, beyond Boothwyn, and Lansdowne next reported rich finds and still more recently reports of garnet discoveries promise to attract considerable attention to one of the most picturesque of the historic sections of Delaware County’s beautiful old Sycamore Mills.
   Singularly enough, this is the section of the State where the value of anthracite coal as a fuel was first practically demonstrated, according to an early report of the Pottsville Board of Trade.  At that time the present Sycamore Mills section was known as Bishop’s Mills several mills at that time being dotted along the Ridley Creek in the locality and utilizing its abundant water power.
   A grist mill, a saw mill and an iron mill were in operation at the time of the cost test.  According to the early records, this occurred after Thomas Bishop, the younger had acquired absolute ownership of the property.  His ownership began in 1786, and a frame third story and an overchute were then added to the mill, the eastern end of the latter resting on three stone piers, the public road passing underneath.  It is further recorded that during Thomas Bishop’s ownership of the mill many changes of management took place.  He himself operated the mills until 1802, when Francis Bishop began operating them.  In 1817 Thomas was again conducting the grist mill, while in 1811 he operated the saw mill and Amor Bishop the grist mill.
   Tradition says that the employer, in charge of the furnace of the Delaware County Rolling Mills, when the load of anthracite coal first came to the works late in the afternoon, threw into the fire a considerable quantity of the material with the oft expressed opinion that the “boss had been fooled,” an opinion which became more and more confirmed when the coal refused to ignite, although frequent attempts were made to kindle it.  Late in the evening the fireman gave up in despair and went to bed.  An hour or two later, being restless, he arose and went to the mill, when he found the furnace door red hot, the building intensely heated and the woodwork almost ready to burst into flame.  There had never been such a fire in the mill before.  From then on Enoa Helms was sent to Mauch Chunk with a five-horse team and hauled the fuel for the rolling mill from that place.  The coal cost $2 A TON AT THE MINE.
     MAY BE BETTER PROFITS
   According to recent predictions a profitable industry may be established here if the garnet finds continue.  The garnet which has been discovered here is of excellent quality, on the gem order; but if it should later be mined in paying quantities it will probably be utilized as the other garnet of Eastern Pennsylvania – for the manufacture of a fine grade of sandpaper and the best of emery for polishing purposes.  None of the garnet mines so far discovered in Delaware County have yielded valuable jewels, like those of Cornwall and Bohemia, although some of the deep red stones taken from the Boothwyn and the Lansdowne mines and along the Brandywine are so perfect when cut that they closely resemble the most expensive rubies.
   The mining of garnet in Eastern Pennsylvania is an industry of which little has been heard so far, although large profits have been secured by the owners of the various mines for several years past.
   When a rich vein is struck the big profits are not derived from the so-called gems, but from the superior grade of garnet for the manufacture of the best polishing papers.
   It is true that the workmen in the mines are ever on the lookout for the big flawless stones, and that they preserve the best of the brilliant, glistening specimens as valuables; but the majority of the large stones are shoveled into the buckets with the “garnet dirt” without the slightest ceremony,  and ground up with the inferior ones.
   In preparation of the garnet for commercial purposes, after the heavy buckets of garnet are wheeled from the different caves on hand care, they are lifted from the mines by derricks and swung in the washing troughs, where the worthless soft dirt and the garnet in the mass is then transferred to the grinding machines, where it is ground to the desired degree of fineness.  There is abundant water power at the Sycamore mills for establishing the machinery for utilizing the garnet if it is discovered in paying quantities.
 


Monday, December 26, 2016

Tiny Town, Ridley Park aka Stony Brook

 
The entrance to Stony Brook about 1912. That is Morton Ave, in the background and Chester Pike is running left to right.
 
 
 
 
 
Tiny Town - Full Documentary - YouTube In the small town of Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, an urban legend has endured for years. It’s said that, tucked away beyond the woods, there exists a community...youtube.com
 I was interviewed last month by some Temple students who did a class project on "Tiny Town" aka "Midgetville" aka Stony Brook. They made a video of their research and the link os above. Please take a look.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Early Criminal Trials In Penna. AKA today's Delco

 
 
 
 
The Rosedale Inn stood in Governor Printz Park and was a popular spot 100 years ago.
 
 
 
FIRST CRIMINAL TRIAL –The first criminal trial which occurs in our annals was at Tinicum, and arose from circumstances which happened in the winter of 1645-6.  It was a charge of arson.  The inhabitants of the Swedish Colony, over which Col. John Printz acted as governor at that time did not in all number two hundred souls.  On the evening of November 25, 1645, between the hours of 10 and 11 o’clock, Fort Guttenburg was discovered to be on fire.  The flames spread so rapidly that the sleeping garrison and the people gathered within that structure of “groaner” logs, which Governor Printz had completed only two years before, had barely time to escape “naked and destitute” from the conflagration, which consumed everything in the form of buildings connected with the fort, excepting the dairy.  The winter had set in early with unusual severity, the cold was intense and the streams were frozen, while the drifting ice in the river prevented all communication with the main land by boats.
            The situation of these people, who were planting the seeds of empire on the Delaware was most distressing, for the report of Governor Printz informs us that “the sharpness of the winter lasted until the middle of March, so that if some rye and corn had not been unthrashed, I, myself, and all the people with e on the island, would have starved to death.  But God maintained us with small quantities of provisions until the next harvest.”
            No wonder was it that the public mind was highly inflamed against Swen Wass, the gunner, who had set fire to the fort, although the act was accidental and the result of intoxication on the part of the accused.  He was tried for the crime, but the nature of the tribunal before which he was arraigned is unknown as is also the procedure that was used on that occasion.  We have no further information as to the case save that which appears in Governor Printz’s report dated February 20, 1647, and that day forward by the Golden Shark to Sweden.  He states that “the above mentioned incendiary, Swen Wass, I have caused to be brought to court and to be tried and sentenced; so I have sent him home in irons with the vessel, accompanied by the whole record concerning him, submissively committing and referring the execution of the verdict to the pleasure of Her Royal Majesty and Right Honorable Company.”
            UNDER HOLLAND’S RULE – When the next important criminal trial, which has been presented to us in official documents, presents itself, the flag of Sweden had been supplanted by the standard of their High Mightiness of Holland and while the case did not in its incidents come within the present commonwealth of Pennsylvania, yet the criminal proceedings were held within the territory which was subsequently known as Pena’s three lower counties.
            In 1661 Alexander D’Hinojassa was acting governor of that portion of the present state of Delaware extending from the southern bank of the Cristiana River to Cape Henlopen, he asserting that the City of Amsterdam, by reason of its purchase from the Dutch West Indies Company, had acquired absolute jurisdiction over the territory before designated, hence he stoutly refused to recognize the authority of Governor Stuyvesant in anywise within those boundaries.  D’Hinojassa was a rash, impetuous, headstrong man and in would brook no interference on the part of any one with his prerogatives, the particular case to which I am now referring are unusually interesting.  A vessel had been wrecked on the coast near the present breakwater and one of the sailors, a Turk, reached the shore where he was taken prisoner by a party of Indians, who sold their captive to Peter Alrichs.  Peter among other things was a slave dealer and was chiefly instrumental in fitting out the ship Glide which brought the first cargo of slaves from Africa to the shores of the Delaware.
            The unfortunate Turk was sold by Peter to an English planter in Maryland.  Subsequently the Turk and four other slaves escaped to Delaware, but, were pursued and captured.  While they were being conveyed in a boat to New Castle, when near Bombay Hook, the Turk made a desperate fight for Liberty and during the struggle and before he could be subdued he wounded two Englishmen seriously and a third slightly. 
            In the confusion which followed, he sprang overboard and succeeded in reaching the shore but he was shortly recaptured and taken to New Castle where he was heavily ironed and imprisoned.  D’Hinojassa refused when the application was made to him to deliver the prisoner to the English claimant but declared that as the Turk had committed a crime within the jurisdiction of the City Colony, he must be held on that charge.  He thereupon ordered him to be arraigned before Van Sweeringham, who sat as the judge at the trial.
            The prisoner, practically ignorant of the language in which he was called to make his defense was convicted of having resisted and wounded his captors.  Although the laws of Holland applicable to the colonies provided that in criminal cases where the punishment was capital five judges must actually preside at the trial, the miserable Turk notwithstanding that violation of law was sentenced to be hanged.
            On Sunday, October 19, 1662, the sentence was carried into execution.  The Turk was hanged at Lewes, his head being afterwards “cut off and placed on a post or stake at Hare Mill.”  This incident is also memorable because it is the first case of capital punishment in the Delaware River settlements. 
            THE LONG FINN – The next case to which I shall call attention is that of the “Long Finn.”  At that time the red crossed banner of St. George had supplanted the colors of Holland, as the symbol of souvoirenty in the Delaware River colonies.  This was a charge of treason against the government of His Majesty – King Charles II of England, and the chief actor was Marcus Jacobson, alias John Brinckson, etc., but better known as the “Long Finn,” because of his lofty stature.
            The arrogance of the Englishmen in authority, had aroused a spirit of restlessness among the Swedish settlers, hence when the “Long Finn” toward the middle of the year 1669 began to whisper among those people, a project looking to the overthrow of English authority in the colony, he found little difficulty in imposing on the credulity of his hearers.  By birth he was a Swede, who had found his way to England, where, for some crime committed by him there, he had been convicted and sentenced to transportation to the Maryland plantations, where he was sold for a term of years.
            Escaping from servitude he made his way, it is believed to Upland, now Chester, and located in the town or its neighborhood.  Here he represented himself as the son of Count Konnigsmack, a noted general of Sweden, and in interviews with the Swedish settlers, he informed them that a fleet of Swedish vessels of war had already been dispatched to the Delaware and were actually then lying in the bay, under instructions at the proper time to wrest the province from the British crown.  He had, he also told them, been commissioned to go among the Swedish people and encourage them to aid in the effort to shake off the foreign yoke, to rise in arms and stay the hated English as soon as the Swedish armed vessels made their appearance in the river.
            PLOTTING A REBELLION – Among those he enlisted to his proposed rebellion was Henry Coleman, a wealthy Finn, who it is conjectured, resided in the neighborhood of Marcus Hook.  He also persuaded Armgard Papagoya, the daughter of Governor Printz, who then resided at Printzdorp, facing Chester Creek and the river, an estate she subsequently sold to Robert Wade, in whose house Penn made his first stop in this Province of Pennsylvania, to look with approval on his project.  Rev. Lawrence Lack the former Swedish chaplain, then resided in the old house which his heirs subsequently sold to David Lloyd.  The original building was destroyed by fire on a first day, while Lloyd and his wife were in attendance at meeting, compelling the Chief Justice to erect, in 1721, the dwelling known to us a the Porter mansion, which was destroyed by an explosion on Friday, February 17, 1882, accompanied with a frightful loss of life.  The Rev. Lack was the ancient document tells us, designated to play, “the trumpeter to the disorder.”
            Powder, shot and other munitions of war were procured for the outbreak and then a supper was announced to which most of the Swedes within reach were invited.  After the guests had eaten their fill and liquor had done its part, the “long Finn” made an address to the men recalling the injustices that had been practiced upon them by the English; how partly by force and partly by fraud large tracts of land had been illegally taken from the Swedish owners, ending finally by demanding whether under those conditions, their allegiance was due to the Swedish or the English crown.
            Peter Kock, who subsequently figured prominently in our annals, saw through the design of the demagogue and declared that inasmuch as the King of Sweden had surrendered the province to the English monarch he proposed to hold allegiance to the latter’s rule.  Thereupon Kock hurriedly opened the door of the house, there seems to have been only one, went out, and closed it, holding it firmly shut, while he called for assistance to arrest the Long Finn.  The latter from within vainly strove to pull or push the door open and succeeded in forcing his hand between the door and the jamb.  Knock, knowing that the strength of his opponent would succeed ultimately, unless he was made to let go his hold, with his knife hacked the fingers of the Long Finn until the latter was compelled to relinquish his grip.  A moment after, however, with a sudden burst the Long Finn forced the door open and succeeded in making his escape for the time being.  Subsequently he was apprehended and by order of Governor Lovelace he has heavily ironed and imprisoned at New Castle.
            Henry Coleman, the wealthy Finn, who appears to have contributed largely to the proposed rebellion, when he learned that a warrant had been issued for his arrest, abandoned all his holdings on the Delaware and fled for protection to the Indiana, with whom he was very friendly and influential and was never heard from more.
            Governor Lovelace appointed commissioners to try the case, who sat at New Castle, December 6, 1669, and, as expected, the jury rendered a verdict of guilty as against Jacobson the Long Finn.  The sentence, which was prepared by Governor Lovelace before the case was brought to trial reads as follows:
            THE FINN’S SENTENCE – ‘Long Finn deserves to die for the same, yet in regard that many involved be in the same premunitee, if the vigor of the law should be extended, and amongst them divers simple and ignorant people it is thought fit and ordered that the said Long Finn shall be publicly and severely whipped and stigmatized or branded in the face with the letter R. with an inscription written in great letters and put upon his breast; that he receive the punishment for attempted rebellion, after which he be secured until he can be sent and sold to the Barbados or some other remote plantations.”
            On January 25, 1670, the Long Finn was put on board the ship Fort Albany for transportation to the West Indies after which all record of him, so far as we now have information, ceased.  His accomplices were sentenced to forfeit to the king one-half of all their goods and chattels, while a small fine was imposed on those of lesser note who had taken active part in the proposed insurrection.  The case of the Long Finn will always be of interest for therein is the first recorded trial of a criminal charge under English procedure on the Delaware, in which a prisoner was formally indicted, arraigned and a jury of twelve men empaneled, subject to challenge by the prisoner, and charged to render a verdict in accordance with the evidence.
            SANDELAND’S DOUBLE HOUSE – In the early part of the eighteenth century on the west side of Edgmont Avenue below Third Street, in the city of Chester, could be seen the foundations of an old building which is the period associated with Penn, was known as James Sandeland’s double house.  It was the most imposing building in Upland and therein Penn convened the first General Assembly that ever sat in the province of Pennsylvania.  The house had been built with mortar made of oyster shell line, which proved so utterly worthless, notably because of defective burning that in the course of twenty odd years the structure showed such signs of decay that it became untestable, full late ruins and gradually the materials made in its construction were received.  Shortly after 1800, even the foundations were buried in the accumulation of evil that has taken place during a century.  In time its very existence was forgotten, hence tradition for many gave credit to the Friends’ old House, which stood on the adjoining lot, as the place where the first Assembly met.
            In August 1892, while excavations were being made for the row of commission stores, the foundations of Sandeland’s double house were unearthed.  An accurate survey of them was made by Walter Wood, assistant City Engineer, giving the precise order of the old structure and the distance from the intersection of Third and Edgmont Streets.  William B. Broomall, Esq., had Mr. Nyemetz take a photograph of the unearthed walls for which act he will receive the thanks of coming generations.
            In the double house in its pristine glory James Sandelands kept tavern, for the pretentious word, hotel, had not then found its way in the English language.  Early in 1675, Sandelands, in ejecting a drunken Indian from his premises, had used such violence that the savage died shortly after, and it was asserted his death was caused by the injuries he had received on that occasion.  The incident it appears, aroused such feeling among the Indians that there were fears of an outbreak on their part, hence, Captain Cantwel, the Deputy Governor on the Delaware, wrote to Governor Andross at New York, respecting the case and in answer was instructed to take such action that Sandelands, if guilty, should be punished for the deed.
            THE INDIAN CASE – The preliminary proceedings were followed by a special court which convened at New Castle on May 13, 1685, at which Governor Sir Edmund Andross presided in person, assisted by three commissioners especially appointed to hear the case.  The bench, the old record relates, was “called over and placed on the Governor’s left hand; Governor Philip Carteret of New Jersey, on the right with Mr. Daniel Edsall, Mrs. James Wandall, Mr. Joseph Smith, Mr. John Jackson, Mr. William Osborne.”  Distinguished visitors, it would seem in those days, were accorded seats on the judge’s platform as was done within recent years in England during the Baccarat trial While the Duke of York’s laws were not then applicable to the Delaware settlements, for it was not until September 25, 1676, that Governor Andross, extended the operation of that code to this territory, the jury, in Sandeland’s case consisted of seven freemen in accordance with the Duke’s laws in criminal trials.
            The court being in session, James Sandelands was “brought to answer a presentment by the sheriff for suspicion of being the cause of the death of an Indian.”  After the presentment was read the prisoner entered a plea of not guilty.  Sandelands, the accused, was the first witness called to the stand and he related “the whole story of the Indian being at his house and him putting him out of doors.”  The aboriginal witnesses who were then called did not agree in their testimony.  One stated that the man died five days after his fall, while others made the interval of life after the ejection from the tavern six and eight weeks.  A peculiar fact which appears on record is that while the Indians were giving their testimony, Sandelands, by leave of the court, went “and had a talk with them.”  The jury, after being charged by the court, withdrew and finally returned a verdict that appears on record, thus:  “They found the prisoner not to be guilty.  He is ordered to be cleared by proclamation.”
            IN THE PENN REGIME – I will allude only to one case that was tried after William Penn had acquired actual possession of the province.  The proceedings were to recover damage on a suit for defamation and the trial took place at Chester on the 7th day of the second month, which would be May 1, 1685.  The space that is accorded to this trial I the old docket at West Chester, indicates the intense public interest which the details excited among the people of this section of that day.
            Henry Reynolds who settled at Marcus Hook in 1680, where he kept a tavern in which he sold liquor with license when he secured the approval of the court and without when the justices withheld their approbation, brought suit against Justa Anderson for an alleged slander.  Reynolds was a man of quick temper and in the heat of his anger was swift to strike those who had offended him.  From the meager records preserved to us it appears that towards the end of the preceding year, 1684, he had bound servant girls in his household, whom, in his rage, he would whip severely.  After one of these beatings the girl died.
            The defendant, Anderson, spoke openly of the occurrence and public opinion was unusually excited that James Kennelly, the first Coroner in the history of Chester County disinterred the body and held an inquest thereon.  When the suit, instituted by Reynolds, was tried, the plaintiff showed by James Sandelands, James Brown and William Hawkes, that Anderson had stated in their hearing “that he (the plaintiff) beat and kicked his maid and that he (the defendant) saw her alive no more.”  In justification of his words, Anderson called Thomas Pearson to the stand, called Thomas Pearson to the stand, who testified that he was at Reynolds's house when the latter picked up the tongs and threatened to strike the girl “for not eating such things as were provided for her.”
            SOME OF THE TESTIMONY – Wooley Rosen, who then lived just below Naaman’s creek in Delaware, stated that he was at Reynolds's Inn and the maid had asked her master for some milk, whereupon in a rage he struck her “one blow with a broom staff, asking her whether there was not victuals enough in the house.”  William Connell, who was also witness to the act said he saw Reynolds “beat his maid with a broom staff and afterwards kicked her as she was by the fire.”
            William Moulder appears to have seen the girl subsequent to Connell for he testified that “he saw the mail sleeping by the fireside and afterwards she went to bed, after which a revelation came to him that the maid would die that night.”  She did die, but like the modern prophets, Moulder told no one of his prophetic vision until after the happening of the event he seemed to have foretold.  The plaintiff, in rebuttal produced his mother-in-law, Prudence Clayton, who had been sent for to lay out the corpse and she testified that she “did not remember that she did see any manner of hurt about her.”
            The jury, however, found in favor of the defendant.  The matter did not end immediately.  Coroner Kennelly had before the trial on the third day of first month, obtained an order of court directing that “execution be granted against Henry Reynolds for the Cronnor’s fees, charges of inquest and taking up the said Reynolds's maid, with all other charges whatsoever thereunto belonging.”  The sheriff on this execution had levied on an ox, and Reynolds at the next court had to pay 4, 10 shillings when “the court ordered him his ox again.”
            I have merely touched hastily the rich mine of interesting local facts that lies within the covers of the old court dockets of Chester County, before the setting off of our district from the mother municipality so far as the name is concerned.  This remark applies only to the last case cited, for the others I have spoken of antedate Penn’s ownership of the province.
 


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Delco Schools 125 years ago



This school still stands in Chester Heights Boro and is a day care center today in the 200 block of Llewellyn Rd.

Note: Below it says Delaware County has 236 schools, a school in the 1890's was a room with a teacher. For example a two room school house with 2 teachers was considered 2 schools.
 
SOME SCHOOL FIGURES.
What It Costs to Teach the Young Idea How to Shoot.
                There are 31 school districts in Delaware County and 236 schools.  They are taught by 18 Male and 226 female teachers, for which an average salary of $6,087 is paid to the males and $4,319 to the females.  Last year the total receipts of the districts, including $18,655.54 as State appropriation, was $276,445.34, of which $258,090.60 were expended.  Of this amount the teachers received $100,215.78, new buildings and improvements cost $64,070.14, and fuel, collectors’ fees and other expenses cost $93,780.67.  The number of boys enrolled last year was 6,067; girls, 5,987, or 12,054 pupils in all, with an average attendance of 7,708.  The cost per scholar per month was $1.17.
                Chester City has 65 schools, 2 male teachers and 63 female teachers.  The number boys enrolled is 1,583; girls, 1,735, of a total of 2,260, with an average attendance of 90 per cent.  The total receipts last year were $64,457.69 (of which $6,036.02 was from the State) and the expenditures $64,029.17.  The amount paid for teachers’ salaries was $27,420.50.
                South Chester expended $8,143.50 for the salaries, or a total of $24,037.86 for the expense of maintaining the district.  The State appropriation was $1,268.28 and the receipts from other sources, $23,863.98.  The enrollment is 482 boys and 465 girls, with an average attendance of 82 per cent.   
      The cost per scholar per month in Chester is 96 cents, and in South Chester $1.17 per pupil.  The tax in Chester is 5 mills and in South Chester 7 mills.
 
 
 
 
 
TEACHERS ELECTED
Todmorden School District Changes Its Name.
NOW RIDLEY FALLS
Teachers Appointed at Radnor, Ridley Falls and Ridley Park.
                The following are the teachers of the Radnor Township schools for this year: Anna Sensenig, No. 1 school; S. Ella Stern, No. 2 school; George H. Wilson, Principal Wayne Grammar School’ Roberta S. Clark, B. Grammar; Ella P. Gilbert, Intermediate; Lucy Macfarlane, Secondary; Anna M. Eisenberger, Primary; Barbara Davis, Radnor Station school; Mevine S. Mayer, Principal Garrett Hill Grammar school; Elizabeth M. Faulk, Intermediate; Mary S. Hall, Secondary; Mary E. Murtagh, Primary; Anna M. Harshberger, Lewis’ Mills school.
                They all taught in the district last year, except Miss Sensenig, who taught two years very successfully in Lancaster County, and last June graduated from the West Chester Normal School.  She takes the place of Miss Margaret A. Harbaugh, who very successfully taught the school about ten years, but who declined a re-election this year in order to secure a position a little nearer her home.
                The term in Radnor is nine and one half months at $50 per month.  The principal of the Wayne schools receives $105.26 per month, and the one at Garrett Hill $40 per month.                Todmorden independent school district changed its name to Ridley Falls during the last year and the directors have employed Miss Bertha E. Hannum to teach their school at $30 per month for a term of nine months.  Miss Hannum taught here last year also.
                The directors of Ridley Park have elected the following teachers for the ensuing school term:  Edwin Brown, principal, at a salary of $75 per month; Miss Anna R. Lilly, grammar school; Miss Martha D. Conley, secondary school, and Miss Emma E. Stamy, primary school.    After the principal each teacher receives $55 per month.  The teaching force is the same as last year except in the case of Miss Lilly, who comes well recommended and as a graduate of the West Chester Normal School, class of 1893.  The schools are kept open ten months.