John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

A history of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and its people; (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanA history of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and its people; (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 53)
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Librarian of llic FTistorical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia








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Table of Contents

Iliul.Min's X'oyagc; t!ie West India ('onipaiiy; Swedish Occupation; Dutch
Settlement on the Delaware ; Governor Stuyvesant ; New Amsterdam ;
English Occupation; arrival of Perm; first Courts; Friends' Meet-
ings ; Delaware county ; Churches established ; Revolutionary scenes :
Court-house at Chester ; Delaware County Institute of Science ; Media
the county seat Pages 1-279

Townships and Boroughs — Tinicum, Aston, Bethel, Birmingham, Chester, Up-
land, South Chester, North Chester, Upper Chichester, Lower Chiches-
ter, Marcus Hook, Concord, Darby, Edgmont, Haverford, Marple, Me-
dia — Court-house and jail, Middletown, Newtown, Nether Providence,
Upper Providence, Radnor, Thornbury. Springfield, Ridley, Aldan, Clif-
ton Heights, Collingdale, Colwyn, Eddystone. Glenolden, Landsdowne,.
Milbourne, Morton, Norwood, Prospect Park, Ridley Park, Rutledge,
Sharon Hill, Swarthmore, Yeadon, City of Chester, Historic Houses,
old Chester Hotels, Population'..... . . : ... . !•. :'. ^.\:'l w . . .Pages 280-330

Agriculture, Manufactures in various tcvnsliips, Ravly Transportation, Rail-
roads. River Navigation, Trolley Ciues'^^V'. .•.'.'.". Pages 331-392

•" y, "'•

Churches — Friends' Meetings, Protestant; -Epj-^copa^ Churches, Presbyterian
Churches, Baptist Churches, Methodist Episcopal Churches, Catholic
Churches, Undenominational Churches, Church Statistics. Pages 393-422

Education — Early Schools, Public School System, Schools in the various
Townships, Chester City Schools, Borough Schools, Private Schools,
Haverford College, Swarthmore College, Crozer Theological Seminary,
Pennsylvania Military College, Williamson Free School of Mechanical
Trades, Institute for Colored Youth, Convent of the Holy Child.. .

Pages 423-474

Courts and Lawyers — Early Courts, President Judges, Associate Judges, List
of Lawyers from 1789 to 1913, Eminent Lawyers, New Court
House Pages 475-499

Medical History — Early Physicians, Distinguished Practitioners, Delaware
County Medical Society Pages 500-513

Newspapers Pages 514-517

Members of Congress, Assemblymen, County Officials Pages 518-521

Delaware County in the Civil War Pages 522-555

In the Spanish-American War Pages 555-558

Family and Personal History Pages 561 to end

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It was the consensus of opinion of many native residents of Delaware
county. Pennsylvania.— men deeply interested in its history and proud of the
impress its people have ever made upon the character of the State and Nation—
that the time had come when a comprehensive history of this remarkable region
would jirove an invaluable contribution to the literature not only of the county
itself, but of the commc-.nwealth,' and of the countrv at laree.

With this encouragement, and the assistance of unusually well informed
antiquarians and annalists, the publishers undertook the present work, "A
History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and Its People." This includes a
comprehensive resume of the history of the county, from its colonization down
to the present day. The narrative down to 1862 is based upon the elaborate
history of Dr. George Smith, iniblishcd in that year. While not at all slight-
ing the periods covered by that acc()m])lished historian, due attention has been
given in the present work, to the marvelous development of the county during
the half century which has passed away since the appearance of his publication.

In each generation, and at every stage of progress, the people of Delaware
county have had the ser\ices of men of the loftiest character and highest capa-
bility—in the arts of peace, in statesmanship, in affairs, and in letters. Nor
have their accomi)lishments been bounded by their native field. Crossing the
mountains, her sons have pushed their way into the valleys of the Ohio and
Mississipj)i. and to the Far West, building up new communities, creating new
commonwealths, planting, wherever they went, the institutions of religion and
education, leading into channels of thrift and enterprise all who gathered about
them or into whose midst they came, and proving a power for ideal citizenship
and good government.

The narrative, at once heroic and pathetic, is not only a noble heritage, but
an inspiration to those of the present and of the future, giving emphasis to the
pregnant words of Martineau : ''To have had forefathers renowned for hon-
orable deeds, to belong by nature to those who have bravely borne their part
in life, and refreshed the world with mighty thoughts and healthy admiration,
is a privilege which it were mean and self-willed to despise. It is as a security
given for us of old, which it were falsehearted not to redeem ; and in virtues
bred of a noble stock, mellowed as they are by reverence, there is often a
grace and ripeness wanting to self-made and brand-new excellence. Of like
value to a people are heroic traditions, giving them a determinate character to
sustain among the tribes of men, making them familiar with images of great
and strenuous life, and kindling them with faith in glorious possibilities."

History proper, of necessity, is a narrative of what has been accomplished
by people in the mass, and can take little note of individuals Here begins the
mission of the annalist and investigator of the personal lives of those who have
borne the heat and burden of the day, in tracing whence and from whom


they came, in portraying their deeds, showing the spirit by which they were
actuated, and holding up their effort as an example to those who come after-
ward. The story of such achievements is a sacred trust committed to the peo-
ple of the present, upon whom devolves the perpetuation of the record. The
custodian of records who places in preservable and accessible form his knowl-
edge concerning the useful men of preceding generations, and of their descend-
ants who have lived lives of honor and usefulness, performs a public service in
rendering honor to whom honor is due. and thereliy inculcating the most valua-
ble lessons of patriotism and good citizenship. This fact finds recognition in
the warm welcome given in recent years to family and personal histories. Such
are in constant and general demand, and are sought for in the great libraries
by book, magazine and newspaper writers and by lecturers, from foreign lands,
as well as from all portions of our own country. Such a work as the present
one will possess an especial value for those who. out of a laudable pride, seek
to trace their descent from those who battled for the making of the United
States, and aided in bringing the Nation to its present i)rc-eminent position.

The publishers desire to express their special obligations to all who have
aided them in their tmdertaking, and especially Dr. John W. Jordan, T.L.D.,
librarian of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Mr. Benjamin H. Smith,
who furnished the text of the famous Delaware County History of 1862, from
the pen of his revered father. Dr. Cieorge .^mith ; Isaac Sharjiless. S. D..
LL.D., president of Haverford College, for valuable services along educational
lines ; Mr. Morgan I'unting, of the Pennsylvania and Delaware County His-
torical Societies; Mr. \ . (iilpin Robinson, for information as to the iJench and
Bar ; and to Dr. Daniel W. Jefferis for similar service with reference to the
Medical profession.

In order to ensure greatest possible accuracy, all matter for the genealog-
ical and personal pages of this work has been submitted in typewritten manu-
script to the persons most interested, for correction. If in any case a sketch is
incomplete or faulty, the shortcoming is ascribable to the paucity of data obtain-
able, or neglect of the person to whom submittal was made. It is believed
that the ])resent work, in si)itc of the occasional fault which attaches to sucli
undertakings, will prove a real addition to the mass of annals concerning the
people of Delaware county, and that, withcnit it, much valuable information
would be inaccessible to the general reader, or irretrievably lost, owing to the
passing away of custodians of family records, and the consequent disappearance
of material in their possession, THE PUBLISH l^^RS.

NoTK. — The old-time illustrations in the historical volumes are reproduced from
Dr. George Smith's History, of 1862.

History of Delaware County

In giving an account of the first settlement by Europeans of any part of
America, it has been customary with writers to precede their narratives by a
detailed history not only of the events that were then transpiring in the Old
World, but of every event that had occurred for a century or more previously,
having the least possible bearing, upon the settlement in question. As the his-
tory of a district of country so limited in extent as that of Delaware County
must derive its chief value from the number of local facts it may present, the
transatlantic events that led to its settlement in common with that of larger dis-
tricts of our country, will only be briefly adverted to.

More than a century had elapsed, from the time of the discovery of the
Western Continent by the Cabots, before the noble river that forms the south-
eastern boundary of our county, became known to Europeans. The first set-
tlement of Virginia was commenced at Jamestown in 1607. Two years later,
the celebrated English navigator Henry Hudson, after having made two un-
successful voyages in the employ of London merchants, in search of a north-
ern passage to the East Indies, entered the service of the Dutch East India
Company, and, with the same object in view, made his celebrated voyage that
resulted in the discovery of the great New York river, that most justly bears
his name. Sailing from Amsterdam April 4th, 1609, in the "Half-Moon," he
doubled North Cape with the object of reaching Nova Zembla. In this he was
foiled by reason of the dense fogs and the large bodies of ice he encountered,
when, changing his original plan, he directed his course with the view of dis-
covering a north-west passage to China. He arrived off the banks of New-
foundland in July, and continuing his course westwardly, after some delay on
account of dense fogs, entered Penobscot bay on the coast of Maine. Here
Captain Hudson had friendly intercourse with the natives of the country, and
after having repaired the damage his little vessel had sustained, he pursued his
course southerly in search, it is said, of a passage to the Western Pacific ocean,
which he had formerly learned from his friend. Captain John Smith, had an
existence, "south of Virginia." Halting a second time at Cape Cod, he ob-
served in possession of the Indians, who treated him kindly, "green tobacco
and pipes, the bowls of which were made of clay, and the stems of red copper."

The voyage of the "Half-Moon" was again continued southwest along the
coast until August 18, she arrived at the mouth of Chesapeake bay. If there
was any truth in the rather improbable story that Hudson pursued this south-
west course in search of a passage to the Pacific, south of Virginia, he cer-
tainly abandoned his plan; for, without much delay, he reversed his course.


making a more particular examination of the coast as he passed along. On
August 28, 1609, in latitude 39° 5' north, Hudson discovered "a great bay,"
which, after having made a very careful examination of the shoals and sound-
ings at its mouth, he entered ; but soon came to the over-cautious conclusion
that "he that will thoroughly discover this great bay must have a small pinnace
that must draw but four or five feet of water, to sound before him."" To this
great bay the name of Delaware has been given in honor of Lord De-la-\Vare,
who is said to have entered it one year subsequently to the visit of Hudson.

The examination of the Delaware bay by Hudson was more after the man-
ner of a careful navigator than that of a bold explorer in search of new lands,
and scarcely extended beyond its mouth. It must have been very slight in-
deed, as we find that in further retracing his steps, he had described the high
lands of Navesink on September 2d, four days after his entrance into the Dela-
ware bay; and on the 4th of that month, after having rounded a low "Sandy
Hook," he discovered "The Great North River of New Netherland"" — a dis-
covery that will transmit his name to the latest posterity.

Though an Englishman, Hudson was in the employ of the Dutch, and his
visit to the Delaware is rendered important from the fact that on it principally
if not wholly rested the claim of that government to the bay and river, so far
as it was based on the ground of prior discovery. This claim is now fully con-
ceded ; for although the bay was known in Virginia by its present name as
early 1612, no evidence exists of its discovery by Lord Delaware or any other
Englishman prior to 1610, when it is said that navigator "touched at Delaware
bay on his passage to \'irginia."

An official Dutch document drawn up in 1644 claims that New Nether-
land "was visited by inhabitants of that country in 1598," and that "two little
forts were built on the South and North rivers." Better authority is needed to
support this claim, than the assertion of an interested party made nearly half a
century subsequent to the event.

Though reasonable doubts may exist in respect to the visit of I^rd Dela-
ware to the Delaware bay, that bay in 1610 did actually receive a transient visit
from Captain Samuel Argall, who probably was the first European that en-
tered its waters after its discovery by Hudson.

The various names by which the Delaware river and bay have been known,
are enumerated in Hazard's "Annals of Pennsylvania." By the Indians it was
called, Pautaxat, ]\Iariskitton and Makerish-kisken, Lenape Whittuck ; by the
Dutch, Zuyt or South river, Nassau river. Prince Hendrick river, and Charles
river; by the Swedes, New Swedeland stream; by the English, Delaware.
Heylin in his "Cosmography" calls its Arasapha. The bay has also been known
as New Port May and Godyn's bay.

Six years now intervene before we have any further accounts of discov-
eries in "New Netherland," a country which, in the estimation of Their High
Mightinesses, The States General of Holland, embraced the Delaware bay and
river. On March 27, 1614, a general charter was granted securing the exclu-
sive privilege of trade during four voyages, with "any neAv courses, havens,


countries or places," to the discoverer, and subjecting any persons who should
act in violation thereof, to a forfeiture of their vessel, in addition to a heavy-
pecuniary penalty. Stimulated by this edict of the States General, the mer-
chants of Amsterdam fitted out five vessels to engage in voyages, in pursuance
of its provisions. Among them was the "Fortune," belonging to the city of
Hoorn, commanded by Captain Cornelis Jacobson Mey. Captain Adrian Block
commanded another vessel, which was unfortunately burnt upon his arrival at
the mouth of the "Manhattan river." To repair this misfortune, Captain
Block immediately engaged in the construction of a new vessel — a yacht, 44^
feet long, and 11^ feet wide. This craft was of but 16 tons burden, and was
named the "Unrust" (Restless.) She was the first vessel built by Europeans in
this country, and her construction, under the circumstance, savors more of a
Yankee proceeding than any event in the history of New Netherland.

The "Fortune," commanded by Skipper Mey, alone proceeded southerly.
The coast, with its numerous inlets and islands, was examined and mapped as
he went along, until he reached the mouth of the Delaware bay, to the two
proper capes of which he appropriated two of his names ; calling the one Cor-
nelis, the other Mey. To a cape still further south he gave the name of Hind-
lopen, after a town of Friesland. All the vessels except the "Restless" now re-
turned to Holland, to make report of their discoveries, and to claim the exclu-
sive privileges of trade, to which, under the general charter granted by the
States General, their owners would be entitled. By an edict dated October 14,
1614, this monopoly of trade was granted to the united company of merchants
of the cities of Amsterdam and Hoorn, by whose mearis the expedition had
been fitted out. It was limited, however, to "newly discovered lands, situate
in America, between New France and Virginia, whereof the sea coasts lie be-
tween the fortieth and forty-fifth degrees of latitude, now named New Neth-
erland," and was to extend to four voyages, to be made within three years
from January ist. It will be seen that the Delaware bay is not included in this
grant, a circumstance that would suggest that the discoveries in that quarter by
Skipper Mey, had not been appreciated.

Captain Cornelis Hendrickson, who had been left in command of the Amer-
ican built vessel "Restless," now proceeded to make further explorations, and
especially on the Delaware bay. It has even been said that this expedition ex-
plored the river as high up as the mouth of the Schuylkill, the discovery of
which is credited to Captain Hendrickson. If this be correct, the crew of the
"Restless" were the first civilized men who visited the territory now embraced
within the limits of Delaware county.

It cannot be fairly inferred that the Schuylkill was one of the three rivers
discoverer by Captain Hendrickson, and the original "Carte Figurative" found
attached to the memorial of his employers, presented on the day before the re-
port was made, furnishes almost conclusive evidence that the voyage of the
"Restless" did not extend even to the mouth of the Delaware river. The re-
fusal of the States General to grant the trading privileges to these applicants,
which in justice could not be withheld from the discoverers of "any new


courses, havens, countries or places," furnishes additional proof that the dis-
coveries made in the "Restless" did not go much beyond what had been pre-
viously made. If any knowledge of the Delaware or Schuylkill rivers was ac-
quired on this occasion, it was probably obtained from the three persons be-
longing to the company, purchased from the Indians, or from the Indians

In anticipation of the formation of a Dutch West India Company, exclu-
sive trading privileges were not again granted under the general charter of
1614, except in a few instances and to a very limited extent. The trade to
New Netherland, regarded by the Dutch as extending beyond the Delaware,
was thrown open, in a measure, to individual competition. This did not last
long, for on June 3, 1621, the West India Company was incorporated. It did
not, however, go into operation until 1623.

Thus far, trade, and new discoveries for the purpose of extending trade,
appear to have wholly engrossed the attention of the Dutch. This year a
proposition is made by the Directors of the New Netherland trading company,
for the emigration to America of "a certain English preacher, versed in the
Dutch language," then residing in Leyden, together with over four hundred
families both out of Holland and England, whom he assured the petitioners,
he had the means of inducing to accompany him thither. The petitioners also
asked that two ships of war might be provisionally dispatched "for the preser-
vation of the country's rights, and that the aforesaid minister and the four
hundred families, might be taken under the protection of the government ; al-
ledging that his Majesty of Great Britain would be disposed to people the
aforesaid lands with the English nation." After considerable delay this peti-
tion was rejected.

On September 28 of this year, and during the time that elapsed between the
incorporation of the Dutch West India Company and the time it commenced
its commercial operations, the States General granted certain parties permis-
ion to dispatch "two ships with all sorts of permitted merchandise, the one tCK
the aforesaid New Netherland, and the other to the aforesaid New river, ly-
ing in latitude between eight and thirty and forty degrees, and to the small
rivers thereon depending, to trade away and dispose of their old stock, which
ihey have there, and afterwards bring back into this country their goods, car-
goes, clerks and seamen, on condition that they must be home before July i,
1622." The New river mentioned was undoubtedly the Delaware ; and it might
be inferred from the permission asked in respect to the old stock, &c., that a
trading post had been established by the Dutch on the Delaware prior to this
date. There are many facts to show that such a conclusion would be erron-
eous, and that the Dutch had no trading establishment on that river at this

At the instance of the British Government, Sir Dudley Carleton, their am-
bassador at the Hague, entered upon an investigation of certain charges made
against the Hollanders of having left "a Colonic" at, and of "giving new
names to several ports appertaining to that part of the countrie north of Vir~


ginia" called by them "New England." This preacher was the Rev. Mr. Rob-
inson. Some of the families alluded to embarked at Delft in the "Mayflow-
er" and "Speedwell," July 16, 1620, and though they were destined for the
Hudson, they landed at Plymouth, and became the renowned Colony of Pil-

In the prosecution of this investigation, which was rather of a private
and informal character, the ambassador could not make "any more of the mat-
ter but that about fower or five years since, two particular companies of Am-
sterdam merchants began a trade into these parts between 40 and 45 de-
grees, to w'='' after their manner they gave their own names New Netherlands,
a South and a North sea, a Texel, a blieland and the like; whither they have
ever since continued to send shipps of 30 and 40 lasts, at the most to fetch
furres, w'^^ is all their trade ; for the providing of w*^** they have certain factors
there continually residents trading, w^^ savages, and at this present there is a
ship at Amsterdam, bound for those parts, but I cannot learn of anie Colonic
eyther already planted there by these people, or so much as intended." The
letter of the ambassador communicating this information to the British gov-
ernment, is dated February' 5, 1621. Sir Dudley gives as an additional reason
why he arrived at the conclusion that the Dutch had not as yet planted a col-
ony, that divers inhabitants of this country (Holland,) had been suiters to him
to procure them "a place of habitation amongst his Ma*'^^ subjects in those
parts," suggesting the improbability of these people desiring to mingle among
strangers, and to be under their government, if they had settlements of their
own. He did not fail, however, to present to the States General, on behalf of
his government, a remonstrance against further commerce by the Dutch with
the country in question, and to lay before their High Mightinesses the British
claim thereto by right of first occupation, (jurae primae occupationis.)

This proceeding of the British government was intended to prevent their
rights from being lost, rather than to enforce any immediate claim. It was
so regarded by the Dutch government, and particularly so by the West India
Company, which now, after having secured an amplification of their privileges
and completed their preliminary arrangements, proceeded at once to carry out
the very measures that had been so recently protested against by the British
ambassador. They extended the commerce of the country by building up es-
tablishments with the view of securing its title to their government and its
trade to themselves — the latter being always a paramount consideration with
the company.

The West India Company having by virtue of their charter taken posses-
sion of the country, they dispatched the ship New Netherland with a number
of people thereto, under the direction of Captains Cornelis Jacobson Mey and

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanA history of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and its people; (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 53)