Sunday, November 15, 2020

Chester 160 years ago


This is an unknown picture of a Chester Mansion in my collection. Looking for a location, owner, etc.
Thanks Keith

Chester 160 years ago

Note: One of the rarest books in my collection is the 1859/1860 Directory of Chester. It is the first one done. Nearly half of the book is devoted to a history of the borough, and there follows a list of streets, a directory of the people, facts about the churches, public schools, mails, trains, boats, secret societies, with the last twenty pages or more devoted to the advertisements of the business men of the town. At this time, Chester was just a small country town with a population of 4000.

                The population of Chester at that time is given as follows:  White males, 1865; white females, 1927; colored males, 142; colored females, 173; total, 4,107.

                THE BOROUGH GOVERNMENT – The Burgess at that time was Robert Gartside, John Brooks was the treasurer, James Riddle was Town Clerk and the following members were in the Borough Council; James Campbell, Joseph Ladomus, James Bell, John Larkin, Jr., Abram Blakeley, Dr. William Young, Benjamin Gartside, William Lear, Robert R. Dutton.  Council held its meeting on the first Monday in the month.  The tax duplicate for 1859 was $3,594.64 and the debt is $13,000.

                George Weaver was the postmaster in the days of  1859 and the office was open from 7 in the morning until 7 in the evening.  The office was then on James (Third) Street below Market and two mails were received daily from points outside of the county.

                There was one banking house – the Bank of Delaware County, now the Delaware County National Bank and the paid in capital was $200,000.

                The means of travel on the river was good in those days, as there were three steamers to Philadelphia and Wilmington daily in the summer season, two in the fall and spring and one in the winter.  Boats left the wharf at 7:30, 12 and 4.

                The accommodations by railroad were not much to speak of, though the Chesterians thought they were being magnificently served.  Four trains a day each way were all that were needed for the passenger business of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad in those days.

                There were three building associations in the town – the Chester, Penn and the Washington, of which Fred J. Hinkson, Persifor Baker and Samuel H. Stevenson were the respective presidents.

                SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS – The secret societies comprised the following:  Chester Lodge, No. 236, Ancient York Masons; Chester Lodge, No. 92, Upland Lodge No. 253, Leiperville Lodge, No. 263, and Chester Encampment, No. 89, of the Order of Odd Fellows; Tuscarora Tribe, No. 29, Improved Order of Red Men; Washington Camp, No. 20, Junior Sons of America.

                The pastors of the churches at that time were:  St. Paul’s Episcopal, Rev. Mr. Talbot, supplying the pulpit; Methodist, Rev. John Ruth; St. Michael’s Catholic, Rev. Father Havilland; Fist Presbyterian, Rev. A.W. Sproul.

                The school teachers were:  High School, J.R. Omensetter, teacher of the boys; Miss Thomas, teacher of the girls.  Primary school, Miss C. Boner, Mrs. Harris, Miss Greig, Miss Ulrich; colored school, Nathan S. White.  The number of pupils in all the schools was 641.  The members of the School Board was Fred J. Hinkson, Stephen Cloud, Alexander W. Wright, Dr. John S. Morton, Samuel Shaw, and William Hinkson.

                The Chester Female Seminary was conducted on Broad [now 9th] Street above Upland Street by Rev. George Hood.

                THE BUSINESS MEN – In the advertising pages of the Directory are found these names:  J. Greig, books and stationery; Lewis M. Larkin, dry goods and groceries; John Cochran, real estate agent; J. & C. D. Pennell, coal and lumber; Lewis Miller, machinist; Washington House, J. G. Dyer, proprietor; Ellis Smedley, dry goods and groceries; W.C. Gray, dry goods and groceries; John Brooks, saddle and harness manufacturer; Mrs. Jane Flaville, millinery; Adaline Martin, tin and sheet iron ware; B.F. Dubots, watches and jewelry; John Atkinson, draper and tailor; George Wunderlich, provisions and meats; Stephen Cloud, Jr., shoes; Hinkson & Baker, coal and lumber; George Baker & Company, dry goods and groceries; Edward R. Minshall, groceries and provisions; Thomas W. Bowker, plumber; J. C. & W. G. Price, brick makers; William McDevitt, marble dealer; William R. Flaville, surveyor; Frederick Balduff, confectioner; Dr. W. H. Monroe, dentist; William A. Minhall, undertaker; Israel Oakes, shoes; Christian Krauch, hotel keeper; S. C. & N. Larkin, sash makers; Richard Miller, clothing; Joseph C. Cummings, bookseller; Robert Gartside, gas and steam fitter; John M. Larkin, druggist; J. Wade Price, wall paper; John Hawley, proprietor of the Robin Hood and Little John’s restaurant; William M. Schureman, tin and stove dealer; Mortimer H. Bickley, druggist; Y.S. Walter, publisher of the Republican; N. Parker, photographer.

Anyone up for a dance?? See below




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