(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, from the discovery of the Delaware to the present time"

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 



at |http : //books . google . com/ 



Digitized by 



Google 






Digitized by 



Google 



* Digitized by VrrOOQlC 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY 



OF 



BUCKS COUNTY 

- PENNSYLVANIA 



FROM THE DISCOVERY OF THE DELAWARE TO THE PRESENT TIME 

BY 



WILLIAM W^H^bAVlS, A.M. 



Pr«iiideiit of the Bucks Coanty Historical Society. Member of the American Historical Society, the Historical 

Society of Pennsylvania, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, the Western Reserve 

Historical Society: Author of "Bl Gringo, or New Mexico and Her People," " History of 

Gen, John Lacey: " "The Spanish Conquest of New Mexico; " " History of the One 

Hundred and Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment;" ''History of the Hart Family;" 

" Life of Gen. John Davis;" "History of the Doylestown Guards;" "The 

Fries Rebellion; " " History of Doylestown. Old and New;" Etc. 




SECOND EDITION, REVISED AND ENLARGED 

WITH A 

GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY 
Prepared Under the Editorial Supervision of 

WARREN S. ELY 

Genealogist. Member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and Librarian of the Bucks 

County Historical Society, 

AND 

JOHN W. JORDAN, LL.D. 

Of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 



V 



VOLUME I— Illustrated 



X 



NEW YORK CHICAGO 

THE LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY 

1905 



Digitized by 



Google 



f" 



371144 



Entbrkd Accoxdinc to Act of Comgrkss 

IN THB 

Offick of THB Librarian of Congrbss, in thb Ybar 1905. 

BY* 

Thb Ltwis Publishing Company. 



Digitized by 



Google 



r' 



XLbie tDolume 

IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED TO THE 



OF THE LATE 



Donorable Ibcnt^ Cbapman, 

A DESCENDANT OF JOHN CHAPMAN. 
THE FIRST SETTLER NORTH OF NEWTOWN. 



A 



Digitized by 



Google 



I 



Digitized by 



Google 



>i\i 



TO THE READER. 



Soon after the publication of the first edition of the Histor}* of Bucks 
County. 1876, we began collecting material for a second edition should that 
be required. To assist in this work, we had one copy bound in two volumes 
and interleaved to make our additions and corrections in. When the first edi- 
tion was exhausted, 1,200 copies, nearly the whole of them going to subscrib- 
ers, we concluded to publish a second edition and set about the work. The 
subscription price of .the first edition was $5, but sold as high as $16 to non- 
subscribers before it was exhausted. Our second task was less laborious than 
the first, as we had the printed text of the first edition as guide and a founda- 
tion to build upon. Our increased material compels us to issue the new 
edition in two volumes, but the increased price is not in proportion to the addi- 
tional lal)or and expense. We haVe added two new chapters, one, the history 
of "Bridgeton township,** organized since the first edition appeared ; the other 
"Schools and Education," the most valuable chapter in the book to persons 
engaged with, or interested in, the cause of education. The illustrations, his- 
toric and appropriate, add to the value and interest of the work and requiring 
several years to collect, were originally intended for a diflFerent purpose. The 
"Pennsbury House/' the Bucks county home of William Penn, was drawn by 
Addison Hutton, architect, Philadelphia, from a written description of the 
building, after a careful study by the author. It is as close approximation of 
the original building as can be reached after more than a century. At the best 
tlie manor house was a first-class colonial dwelling, and so far as we are aware, 
this is the first attempt to reproduce it. Our thanks are due to a number 
of persons, for the use of family records and other data, and it affords us 
pleasure to make the acknowledgment, and especially to Warren S. Ely. 
Doylestown, who assisted us to unravel more than one knotty point in gen- 
ealogy, besides furnishing valuable information. The catalogue of the Flora 
of Bucks county is from the pen of Dr. C. D. Fretz, Sellersville ; the Birds and 
Mammals by Dr. Joseph Thomas, Quakertown ; and the elaborate table, giving 
the declination or variation of the compass needle, between 1680 and 1910, 
was prepared for this work by the United States Coast Survey and Geodetic 
Office, Washington. D. C, <he 3CCQjjd favor of the kind extended to us. . 

September i, 1904, W. W. H. DAVIS. 

Digitized by VrrOOQlC 



PREFACE OF 1876. 



r^ 



The writing of the History of Bucks county was more a "Labor of Love" 
than of gain. It was undertaken from a desire to preserve interesting facts 
connected with its settlement and history that, in a few years, would have 
been lost forever, and no reasonable compensation would reward us for 
the labor bestowed on it. We labored under many difficulties. Its story had 
never been written, and the material, in a great measure, had to be first gath- 
ered in isolated facts and then woven into the thread of history. This was the 
most difficult part of our task. In most cases individuals and families gave up 
their papers for examination, which proved of great assistance. With the lapse 
of years the material grew upon our hands beyond our anticipation, and we 
could have written a larger book, but are content to give the result of our 
labors in a volume not too large for convenient use. Our greatest difficulty 
■Was ifi collecting matter relating to the settlement and early history of the 
(jemian townships, lx*cause they were less in the habit of preserving farnily 
and personal records. We consulted the most reliable records and authori- 
ties to be reached, and are satisfied it contains as few errors as could reason- 
ably be expected in a work of tli.e kjnd. As a rule, we have given the original 
spelling of the names of IkHIi persons, and places, \yhich, in ipany cases, >v'ill 
be found to difftjr frpm the present spelling, and, in. spme instances, the name 
is spelled in two ways. This was unavoidable.. We acknowledge our obliga- 
tions to many gentlemen, not only for the encouraging interest they took in our 
labor, but for information furnished, often unsolicited. We also acknowledge 
the assistance derived* from tlie siViall wbrf< on the county published twenty 
years ago, b}^ Mr. WilKam J.'Buck; one'of bur'earHest and most laborious local 
historikns. 'Thie friapS ^lid engravJhgs are a pi-oper'accompariimerit of the work 
and no doubt will interest the reader. The "catalogue of the' Flora, Birds and 
Mammals of the Count)- was prepared expressly for our work by Doctors I. S. 
Moy;er. and": J^eph/ Thomas, of Quakertown, and arcj-the r^stilj c).f, v«aTs of 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



PREFACE OF 1876. vii 

careful and laborious research. The infonnation touching the variation of the 
compass needle was furnished at the author's request by Carlile P. Patterson, 
Egr., Superintendent of the United States Coast Survey. The variation of 
the compass needle, as shown by the United States Coast Survey report for 
the year 1855, pages 312, 313, has been determined more frequently at two 
stations in this neighborhood than elsewhere within the limits of the United' 
States. Early observations were unsatisfactory, but being repeated at intervals 
and merged in due time as first parts in a series ending with several accurate 
determinations, the law of variation, during the last two centuries, has been 
deduced for the vicinity of Philadelphia. As applicable also to JUicks county, 
and referable to early periods in the settlement, the value of the article on 
variation in this history will be apparent. 

(Signed) : W. W. H. DAVIS. 

PoYLESTOWN, pA., Sq)tember i, 1876. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



Digitized by 



Google 



\l 



CHAPTKR I. 



DISCOVERY OF THE DELAWARE TO THE ARRIVAL OF ENGLISH IMMI^ 

GRANTS. 



lOOO TO 1078. 



Bucks an original county. — Size and situation. — Hudson's discoveries.— County first 
traversed by Europeans. — Holland plants settlements. — First settlers. — New Albion. 
— The Swedes arrive. — The English appear. — Van Der Donk. — Lindstrom. — Dutch 
drive out Swedes. — The English seize the Delaware. — Government established. — 
William Tom. — Overland communication. — Richard Gorsuch. — Governor Lovelace 
visits Delaware. — George Fox. — Sir Edmund Andros. — William Edmonson. — Wam- 
pum. — Settlers arrive. — First grand jury. — Lands surveyed. — Population. — Burlington 
island. 

Bucks, one of the three original 
counties of Pennsylvania, is bounded 
on the northeast and southeast by the 
Delaware, southwest by Philadelphia 
and Montgomery counties, and, on the 
north, by Lehigh and Northampton. 
The surface is uneven and rolling, the 
soil fertile. It is watered by several 
tributaries of the Delaware, the princi- 
pal being the Xeshaminy, Pennypack, 
Poqucssing, Tohickon, and a branch 
of the Perkiomen emptying into the 
Schuylkill. Limestone, in large quan- 
tities, is found in the central region of 
the county, and valuable deposits of 
iron ore in the northeast. The inhabi- 
tants are almost exclusively employed 
in agricultural pursuits, in 1790 the 
population was 25,401; 1800, 27,496; 
1810, 32,371; 1820, 37,842; 1830, 
45,745; 1840, 43'i07; 1870, 64,336; 
1880, 68,656; 1890, 70,615; 1900, 

71, '90. The length is forty miles and average breadth fifteen, giving it an area 

of too sqtiare miles, equivalent to 380,000 acres. 
1 




HENRY HUDSON. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



This volume will contain the history of Bucks county from the discovery 
of the Delaware to the present time. 

Henry Hudson/ an Englishman in the service of the Dutch East-India 
company, discovered Delaware bay the 28th of August, 1609, but made no 
attempt to ascend the river.*^ Captain Cornelius Jacobson May ascended the 
river some distance, in 1614, and, two years afterward, Captain Hendrickson 
discovered the Schuylkill. For a number of years the history of the country 
watered by the Delaware,^ is a relation of the struggles of Holland, Sweden 
and England for empire on its banks, and will engage little of our attention. 
It was about this period that Bucks county was first traversed by Europeans. 
In 1616 three Dutch traders, setting out from Fort Nassau, now Albany, to 
explore the interior, struck across to the headwaters of the Delaware, and 
traveled down it to the Schuylkill. Here they were made prisoners by the 
Minquas, but rescued by Captain Hendrickson at the mouth of the river. He 
was sent round from Manhattan in the Restless, and, landing. on the west bank 
of the Delaware, above the mouth of the Schuylkill, ransomed the Dutchmen 
by giving in exchange for them ''kettles, beads and other merchandise." As 
the interior of the country was wholly unexplored, it is not probable these 
wanderers would leave the banks of a great river and trust their steps to an 
unknown wilderness. 

We have but a brief record of the success of the Hollanders planting 
settlements on the Delaware. They and the French carried on a profitable 
trade with the Indians as early as 162 1, and no doubt, now and then one of 
them pushed his way into what is now Bucks county to trap and trade. In 
1623*^ the Dutch West- India company erected a fort where Gloucester, New 
Jersey, stands, but affairs were so unpromising on the Delaware it was aban- 
doned, 1630. 

About 1624-25 the West-India company established a trading house on 
a small island, called "VurhulSten island," after William Vurhulst, director 
of New Netherland, near the west shore of the Delaware just below Trenton 
falls, and located upon it three or four families of French Walloons. The post 
was broken up about 1627, and the Walloons returned to New York, but a 
small vessel was retained in the river to keep up the fur trade. This island, 
opposite Morrisville, undoubtedly the same which Gabriel Thomas called 

1 Miss Lizzie Doan, of Carversville, this county, has the sash worn by Henry Hud- 
son on these explorations. 

1^ It is claimed, in DeCosta's "Sailing Orders of Henry Hudson," that Hudson was 
not the first discoverer of the Hudson River, but that its mouth, and bay into which the 
river empties, were seen by Verrazana, who was on this coast, 15 13. It is also claimed that 
Stephanus Gomez was on this coast a few years after Verrazana and discovered a large 
river that was called "Rio de Gomez." De Costa indulges in some argument to prove this 
latter river to be the same as the Hudson. 

2 The Delaware has had a multiplicity of names. The Indians called it Marisqueton, 
Mackeriskitton and Makcrishkiskon, Lenape, Wihittuck, or the stream of the Lenape. 
By the Dutch it was called Zuydt, or South river; Nassau, Prince Hendrick's, and Charles 
river. The Swedes called it New Swedeland stream ; while to the English it was generally 
known as the Delaware, after Lord de-la-War, the supposed discoverer. The Dutcti, 
less frequently, called it New river, and the Indians called it Pautaxat. Heylin, m his 
Cosmography, calls the Delaware, Noos-apa. 

2J4 Sir Dudley Carleton, Engli.sh Ambassador at the Hague. 



Digitized by 



Go/gle 

/ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



^*Stacie's island*' sixty years later, and now known as **Fairview/* is only a 
sand bar, containing about 75 acres — with a fishery upon it. Fifty years ago 
it was used as pasture ground. The settlement on this island was undoubtealy 
the earliest in this county and state. There is no doubt hanging over its loca- 
tion. In March, 1685, Peter Lawrensen stated in a deposition before Governor 
Dongan, New York, that he came into that province a servant of the West- 
India company, 1628; that, 1631, he, with seven others, was sent to the Dela- 
ware, where the company had a trading house,, with ten or twelve servants 
attached to it ; that he saw them settled there. That he also saw the place on 
the island, near the falls, and near the west bank, where the company had a 
trading house three or four years before ; that three or four families of Wal- 
loons were settled there, but had then left.'* A considerable body of Waldenses 
and Huguenots were sent to the Delaware, 1656-1663,* but it is not known what 
became of them. 

If the story of New Albion be other than an historic myth, the English 
were among the earliest adventurers and settlers on the Delaware. Between 
1623 and 1634 — for several dates are mentioned — Charles I granted an exten- 
sive territory to Sir Edmund Plowden, embracing Long Island, all of New 
Jersey, Delaware, and parts of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania, who. 
formed a company of noblemen and gentlemen under the title of "The Albion 
Knights." The Delaware was the chosen ground to settle, and the company 
pledged itself to introduce 3,000 trained men into the colony. Colonists were 
actually introduced and made their home on the Delaware, but neither the 
number nor exact location can be told. Plowden was Lord Proprietor and 
Captain General, while one Beauchamp Plantagenet was made agent of this 
company of knightly settlers. Plowden and Plantagenet were here seven years, 
and became well acquainted with the country and Indian tribes. A govern- 
ment was framed, and the machinery of civil administration put in operation, 
but its duration is unknown. A history of the colony, published 1648, con- 
tained the letter of one "Master Robert Evelin" addressed to Lady Plowden, 
after his return to England. He was four years on the Delaware, and in his 
letter states that "Captain Claybourn, fourteen years there trading," sustains 
what he says of the country. Evelin evidently sailed up the river to the falls, 
for he mentions the streams emptying into it; names of the tribes living 
along it and their strength, with some description of the country and its pro- 
ductions. Six leagues below the falls he speaks of "two fair, woody islands, 
very pleasant and fit for parks, one of i ,000 acres, the other of i ,400, or there- 
abouts." These were probably Burlington and Xewbold's islands. Near the 
falls he says is an isle fit for a city ; all the materials there to build ; and. above, 
the river fair and navigable, as the Indians informed me, for I went but ten 
miles higher." The "isle fit for a city" refers, doubtless, to Moon's island, or 
the one abreast of Morrisville. It is barely possible he fell into the popular 
«rror of some explorers of the period, that the Delaware branched at the falls, 
the two branches forming a large island above. He says that a ship of 140 tons 
could ascend to the falls, and that "ten leagues higher are lead mines in stony 
hills." At the falls he locates the Indian town of Kildorpy, with "clear fields 
to plant and sow and near it are sweet, large meads of clover or honeysuckle." 
The letter speaks of the abundant store of fish in the river ; of water fowl that 
swim upon its surface, and the game, fruit and nuts to be found in the woods 
that line its banks, and of the magnificent forest trees. Evelin must have trav- 

3 Gabriel Thomas. 4 Van Der Donk. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



eled well into the interior and through portions of Bucks county. He speaks 
of the new town of the Susquehannocks as a "rare, healthy and rich place, and 
with a crystal, broad river.'' This must refer to the Susquehanna, and the 
tribe from which it takes its name. 

What became of Plowden's colony would be an interesting inquiry, if we 
had the leisure to pursue, or the data necessary to solve it. The late William 
Rawle, Philadelphia, who gave the subject a careful and intelligent investiga- 
tion, believed that some, who welcomed Penn to the shores of the Delaware, 
were the survivors of the Albion Knights. History offers no Oedipus to solve 
the mystery.*^ 

Down to 1638 the Dutch held undisputed sway on the Delaware, but, for 
the next seventeen years, and until the English displaced them both, they 
enjoyed a joint occupancy with the Swedes. In April, Peter Minuit planted 
a Swedish colony near where Wilmington stands, naming the creek Christina, 
after the youthful Queen of Sweden. They were reinforced, 1640, and again, 
1642, under Lieutenant John Printz, w^ho came with full powers to put the 
machinery of government in operation, and fixed his capital on Tinicum island, 
just below Philadelphia. The Dutch had failed to make a permanent settle- 
ment on the west bank of the Delaware, nor had they purchased a foot of 
ground, except a small tract nearly opposite Gloucester, New Jersey, about the 
mouth of the Schuylkill. Shortly after his arrival, Minuit purchased of the 
Lenni Lenape Indians all the land on the west bank of the Delaware from Cape 
Henlopen to Trenton Falls, extending inland to the Susquehanna, and stakes 
and other marks were set up to designate the boundaries. This was the first 
purchase, by Europeans, of the Indians in the limits of Bucks county. The 
Dutch called this purchase in question, but it was as valid as any of that period. 
The time and place of birth of John Printz, the first to administer justice on 
the west bank of the Delaware, are not known. He was enobled July 20. 1640; 
attained the rank of Colonel in the Thirty-two Years' war, and was arrested, 
tried and dismissed the service for surrendering his post without authority. He 
was appointed governor of New Sweden, 1642; returning home, 1653, he was 
appointed Colonel and Governor of the Jonksping, and died, 1663, without 
male issue. He built the first flour mill in Pennsylvania, at "Karakung," near 
the Blue Bell tavern, Delaware county. It is described as a **fine mill, which 
ground both coarse and fine flour.'*' 

The English, destined to be the governing race on the Delaware, from its 
mouth to its source, did not make their appearance until 1640. In 1639 some par- 
ties, from New Haven, purchased enough land of the Dutch and Swedes for 
^ several fanns'*^^ and colonists were sent out the following year ; but both nations 

5 Sir Edmund Plowden was a great-grandson of Edmund Plowden, the jurist. About 
1610 he married Mabel, daughter of Peter Mariner. In 1632, he petitioned King Charles 
for a grant of land on the Atlantic coast of America, and July 24, same year, an order 
was issued for letters patent to Sir Edmund Plowden for Long Ireland and 40 leagues 
square of the adjacent continent, to be holden '*as of our crown of Ireland," by the name 
of "New Albion." In 1634. Ciptain Young and his nephew, Robert Evelyn, commenced 
to explore the Delaware and other parts of the province of New Albion. He returned to 
England, 1635. Tluy ascended the Delaware in August, 1634, and on the 29th came to 
shoal water below Trenton Falls. He returned to America, 1637. In 1642 Plowden was> 
residing in Virginia and 1648 returned to England via Boston, and the same year pub- 
lished a description of New Albion. His will is dated July 29, 1651, and he died 1655. 

5' S Letters from court at New Haven to the Swedes on the Delaware. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



{ 



HISTORY or BUCKS COUNTY. 



threw every possible obstacle in their way. Several additional families came 
out the following year. These attempts not being successful, failed in giving 
the English a foothold on the river. In 1646, Andreas Hudde, a Dutch Com- 
missioner on a mission to search for minerals, ascended the Delaware to the 
falls, but the Indians would not allow him to go higher. Nevertheless, he drove 
in a stake with the Dutch coat-of-arms upon it, claiming the country for Holland. 
At this time there was not a white settler above the Schuylkill, and, prior to 
1643, there was not a white female west of the Delaware.^ Adrian Van Der- 
Donk, a Dutch traveler, visited the Delaware, 1642, and, on his return to Hol- 
land, published a book about the country. The favorable opinion he entertained 
of New Netherland brought it into notice, and induced many to immigrate. He 
says : **Above the falls, the river divides into two large boatable streams, 
which nm far inland to places unknown to us." On examining his map we find 
how little this early explorer knew of the stream he wrote about. The river 
is made to divide a few miles above Morrisville. The left, or Delaware branch 
proper, trends to the w^est in about its natural course, then inclines to the east' 
and unites with the Hudson in what Van Der Donk calls "Groote Esopus river ;" 
the other branch, which never had an existence except in the imagination of the 
author, runs in a more direct course and unites with the main branch near 
Esopus — the two branches forming a large lake. Campanius, a Swede, who 
came to this country, 1642, wrote an interesting account of the Delaware. 
About the falls he found walnuts, chestnuts, peaches, mulberries, a variety of 
plum trees and grape vines, hemp and hops. The calabash was here first met 
with, and the rattlesnake, "a large and horrible serpent." 

In 1654, Peter Lindstrom, a Swedish engineer, surveyed and mapped the 
Delaware fr6m its mouth to the falls. In his treatise, accompanying the map, 
he speaks of the products of the country: "Maize, or Indian corn, grows of 
various colors — ^white, red, blue, brown, yellow and pied. It is planted in 
hillocks and squares, as the Swedes do hops. In each hillock they sow six 
or seven grains of corn, which grow so high as to rise an ell above a man's 
head. P2ach stalk has six or seven ears, with long, slender and pointed -leaves, 
which are of the sam^ color with the corn. Each ear is one and a half qmrter, 
but mostly half an ell long. In some parts they are as thick as the thickest 
man's arm, in others smaller. They have ten, twelve, nay, fourteen rows of 
grains from the bottom to the top, which, with God's blessing, make a thousand 
fold increase. When these are just ripe, and they are broiled on hot coals, they 
are delightful to eat. Out of the white and yellow maize they make bread, but 
the blue, brown, black and pied are brewed into beer, which is very strong, but 
not remarkably clear." Tobacco grew wild in great quantities, and was also 
cultivated. The map, while not entirely correct, proves the Swedes to have 
.been familiar with the river and the country on both sides a few miles inland. 
The names of the streams, which appear to be a mixture of Indian, French, 
and probably Swedish, can not all be made out. The Poqucssing is called 
Pouefquessingh \ the Pennepack, Pcnickpacka : the falls at Morrisville, La 
Cateract d' Asinpink: the channel between the mainland and an island inst 
below the falls, La Rkner de Schamats, and the island itself, Kcntkatcck, The 
next island below is Mcnahakonck, and the channel on this side /.a Rivici*^ de 
Sanckhickon. What was afterward Welcome creek, on whose bank William 
Penn built his manor house, is La Riricr of Sipacssiiiij^c-Kyi and P»urlington 
island, opposite Bristol, Mcchansio Eyland. The Neshaminy is called the river 



6 Hudde's report. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 



of Inckus. This map enables us to fix the falls at Morrisville as. identical with 
AlummenghJ In September, 1655, in the absence of Governor Printz, the 
Dutch Governor of New York sent a fleet of seven vessels and seven hundred 
men into the Delaware, which reduced the forts and took possession of the 
settlements. This put an end forever to Swedish empire on the river. Although 
it was a bloodless conquest, the captured Swedes were treated with severity. 
The Dutch authorities divided the western bank of the river into two jurisdic- 
tions — the West-India company and tlie City of Amsterdam — the latter extend- 
ing from about Wilmington to the falls, at Trenton. While the Dutch retained 
control immigration was encouraged, and an occasional vessel arrived from 
Amsterdam with settlers. At the time of the conquest the population on the 
river was about 400, mostly Swedes.^ The home government sent out horses 
and cattle in considerable numbers, on condition the settlers were to return them 
in four years with one-half the .increase. 

In taking leave of the Swedes we confess to a kindly feeling toward this 
amiable people. Although few in number, they made their mark upon the 
future of the state, and their descendants are among our most respectable citi- 
zens. They subsisted principally by hunting, fishing and trading with the 
Indians, and lived in the simplest manner in log cabins of a single room, low 
doors, and holes cut in the sides for windows, with sliding boards. The chim- 
ney, of stone, clay and grass, occupied one corner of the room. The men 
dressed in vests and breeches of skins; the women in jackets and petticoats 
of the same material. Their bedding was likewise of the skins of animals. 
They tanned their leather and made their own shoes. Their condition was 
improved after the arrival of the English. We are indebted to the Swedes 
for the introduction of domestic animals and the various European grains. 
They had stables for their cattle before the English came, but, after their 
example, allowed them to run at large all winter. They were the first to lay 
ax to the forest. Gordon says: *'Many improvements were made by this 
industrious and temperate people from Henlopen to the falls." They built the 
earliest church, and introduced Christian worship into the wilderness west of 
the Delaware. The first minister ofTTie gospel on the Delaware was Reverend 
Reorus Torkillus, a Swedish professor from Gottenberg, who died, 1643. 

Jacob Alricks, a trader on the Delaware, was one of the earliest Dutch 
Vice-Directors, commissioned 1657. He was accompanied by his wife, who 
soon died a victim to the climate. His nephew, Peter Alricks, a native of 
Groningen, Holland, who probably came to America with his uncle, was the first 
known landholder in Bucks county, but probably never lived here. He became 
prominent in public affairs. Beginning life as a trader, he was Commissary of 
a fort near Henlopen, 1659; the first bailiflP and magistrate of New Castle and 
settlements on the river, his jurisdiction extending to the falls; Commandant of 
the Colonies under the English, 1673; ^"^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^^ justices commissioned 
by Penn after his arrival ; member of the first Assembly, held at Philadelphia, 
1683. and was repeatedlv a member of the Provincial Council. He lived at 
New Castle, and had a large family of children. He owned an island in the 
Delaware below the mouth of Mill Creek, Bristol, near the western shore, which 
bore his name many years but no longer exists. It was separated from the 
main-land by a narrow channel that drained a swamp extending uo the creek. 
The island was granted to Alricks, by Governor Nicolls, 1667; by Alricks to 



7 "D'Assinpink la place meme s*appellee Alummengh." 

8 Dr. Smith says there were but six able-bodied Dutchmen on the river, 1648. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



1 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 7 

Samuel Borden, 1682, and to Samuel Carpenter, 1688. The last conveyance 
includes two islands on the west side of the Delaware, "about southwest from 
Mattinniconk (Burlington) island" — the largest, once known as "Kipp's island,** 
and by the Indian name of Kaofnenakinckanck, was a mile long by a half mile 
wide ; and the smaller, to the north of the larger, half a mile long by a quarter 
wide. No doubt these islands have both been joined to the main-land by drain- 
ing the swamp, and now form the valuable meadows below Bristol. In 1679 
Alricks' island was occupied by a Dutchman named Barent. Hermanns Alricks, 
Philadelphia, grandson of Peter Alricks, when a young man settled in the 
Cumberland valley, about 1740. When Cumberland county was organized, 
1749-50, he was a member of the first Legislature. He filled the offices of 
Register, Recorder, Clerk of the Courts and justice to his death, about 1775. 
He married a young Scotch-Irish girl named West, whose brother, Francis, 
was the grandfather of the late Chief Justice Gibson. Hennanus Alricks had 
several children, all of them bom in Carlisle, the youngest, James, December, 
1769. The late Hamilton Alricks, Harrisburg, was a descendant of Peter 
Alricks, as probably are all who bear the name in the state. 

On March 12, 1664, Charles II granted to his brother, the Duke of York, 
"all New England from the St. Croix to the Delaware," and directed the Dutch 
to be dispossessed. An expedition sailed from Portsmouth in July, and arrived 
before Manhattan, now New York, the last of August. The town and fort sur* 
rendered Sept. 8, and a bloodless conquest was made of the settlements on the 
Delaware, Oct. i. Among these who took the oath of allegiance to the conqueror, 
were Peter Alricks, a Hollander, and Andries Claesen and Claes Janzen, 
Swedes. There was no violent shock when power passed from the hands of 
the Dutch to the English. Sir Robert Carre was made Commander, with his^ 
seat of government at New Castle, and he was assisted by a temporary council 
of six, of whom Peter Alricks was one. The laws established were substantially 
the same as prevailed in the other English colonies ; the magistrates were con- 
tinued in office on taking the oath of allegiance, and the inhabitants were prom* 
ised liberty of conscience, and protection to person and property. In a few 
cases Carre confiscated the goods of the conquered Dutch, to reward his favorite 
followers. The settlers received new deeds from the authorities at New York, 
but some refused them, preferring to trust to the Indian grant in case their titles 
were called in question. There was but little change in affairs for several years, 
and but few immigrants arrived to swell the population. Colonel Richard 
Nicolls, the first Governor, was a mild ruler, but his successors, Lovelace and 
Andros, were more severe. Lovelace believed **in laying such taxes on the 
people as might not give them liberty to entertain any other thought but how 
to discharge them." He imposed a tax of ten per cent, on all goods imported 
into, or exported from, the Delaware, the first tariff enforced on that river. 
The rent of that day was a bushel of wheat for every hundred acres. The 
mhabitants lived in great quiet and indolence, and there was neither agriculture 
nor trade beyond \vhat was necessary to subsist the sparse population. 

<^A^ William Tom was one of the earliest English officials 

flt'i^XCpfJTt ^^^ exercised authority in Bucks county. He came to 
^ America in the king's service, probably with the troops that 

reduced the Dutch. In 1666 he was appointed Commissary on the Delaware, 
and in 1669, collector of quit-rents, his jurisdiction in both cases extending to 
the falls. The killing of two of his servants, on Burlington island,® by the 

9 Down to a much later period Burlington island was in Bucks county. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Indians, 1668 or 1669, came near producing an Indian war, and was the first 
blood shed by Indians in Bucks county. 



^^/. 




In 1 67 1 Walter Wharton was ap- 
pointed surveyor on the west bank of 
the Delaware. lie married a daugh- 
ter of Governor Printz ; was Judge 
of the court at New Castle, and died, 
1679. He was succeeded by Richard Noble,^'' a settler and land-holder of 
Bensalem township.^^ 

An overland communication from the Delaware to Manhattan, via Tren- 
ton falls, was opened soon after the river was settled. The route was up the 
river in boats, or, more frequently, along the western bank to the falls, where 
the stream was crossed, and thence through the wilderness of New Jersey to 
Elizabeth, and to Manhattan by water. The trip occupied two or three days. 
In 1656 the captain of a Swedish ship came over the route to get permission of 
the Dutch authorities to land passengers and goods in the Delaware. The same 
year, ensign Dirck Smitji came overland with a small party of soldiers to quell 
a disturbance with the Indians ; and April, 1657, Captain Kryger, with a com- 
pany of forty soldiers and a few settlers, crossed at the falls and continued 
down the river to New Amstel. These parties passed down through the woods 
of Bucks county. It was likewise the mail route of the Dutch authorities, anci 
frequent letters were sent across by Indian runners. This overland route was 
continued by the English as their main channel of communication with the 
government at New York. 

By 1670 civil government had become so well established on the Delaware, 
and the country was found to be so attractive, strangers began to come in and 
take up land with a view to permanent settlement. In the next ten years a 
number of immigrants located themselves along the river between the Poquess- 
ing and the falls. In 1670-71 Richard Gorsuch patented a considerable tract in 
the southwest part of Bensalem. and in what is now Phila(lel])hia county, ex- 
tending from the Pennepack across the Poquessing. and north to a creek the 
Indians called Quiatcitunk, believed to have been the Neshaminy. Governor 
Lovelace dispossessed Gorsuch of this tract, for in August, 1672, he ordered 
his Surveyor-General to seat and clear the land for his own use. Lovelace, who 
succeeded Xicolls as Governor, May, 1667, came overland to visit the settle- 
ments on the Delaware, March, 1672, accompanied by an escort and several 
private persons, and Captain John Garland, with three men, was sent ahead 
to make arrangements for their entertainment. He probably struck the river 
at the falls, and followed down the east bank to about Bristol, where he crossed 
to the west bank, and continued down to the lower settlements. During the 
war between England and Holland, which broke out, 1672. New York and the 
Delaware again fell into the hands of the Dutch, which they held about eighteen 
months, but restored possession to the English at the conclusion of peace, 1674. 
One of the earliest English travelers down the Delaware was George Fox, 
the eminent Friend, the fall of 1672, on his way from Long Island to Maryland. 
Starting from Middletown harbor, New Jersey, he traveled through the woods. 



10 Commission dated March 15, 1679. 

11 At this time the settlements on the west 1)ank of the Delaware extended up the 
river sixty miles ahove New Castle, and were mostly of Swedes, Dutch and Finns. — 
(Massachusetts Historical Collection.) 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



piloted by Indians, toward the Delaware. He reached the river the evening of 
September lo; staid all ni^ht nt tin* honj^e of Peter Je^ou, at Leasy Point, and, 
the next' morning, crossed over to Burlington island, and then to the main-land 
just above Bristol. Himself and friends were taken over in Indian canoes, the 
horses swimming. 

Major, afterward Sir Ecfmund, Andros succeeded Lovelace as Governor, 
July II. 1674, and remained in office until William Penn became Proprietary, 
1681. In his proclamation, assuming the duties of his office, he confirmed all 
previous grants of land, and all judicial proceedings. Sir Edmund was born at 
London, September, 1637. His father was master of ceremonies to Charles I, 
and the son was brought up in the royal family. He began his career in arms 
during the exile of the Stuarts, and, at the Restoration, was appointed gentle- 
man in ordinary to Elizabeth Stuart, queen of Bohemia. He bore a distin- 
guished part in the Dutch war that closed, 1667, and, 1672, commanded the- 
English forces at P»arbadoes. At the death of his father, 1674, he succeeded 
to tlie office of bailiff of Guernsey. The same year he was commissioned to 
receive the surrender of Xew^ York from the Dutch, and appointed Governor- 
General of the colony. He remained here until 1681, when he returned to 
England, and was knighted by Charles 11. He wds appointed to the governor- 
ship of Massachusetts, 1686, where he had a stormy and unsuccessful adminis- 
tration, and in 1692, was appointed Governor of \'irginia and Maryland. Sub- 
sequently he held several other posts of trust. He was married three times, and 
died, without children, 1713. Andros introduced reforms in the courts, and we are 
indebted to him for the introduction of English jurisprudence on the Delaware. 
Governor Andros visited the settlements on the river, the first time. May, 1675, 
accompanied by a numerous retinue. He came overland to the falls, where he 
was met bv SheriflF Cant well on the 4th. Here he crossed the river and traveled 
through the woods of Falls, Bristol and Bensalem townships, down to New 
Castle, where he held court on the 20th. During the session of the court it was 
ordered that some convenient way be made passable between town and town, 
the first road law in the state. A ferry was established at the falls, on the west 
side of the river, a horse and man to pay two guilders — twelve pence, cur- 
rency — and a man ten stivers. At this time there was no place of religious 
worship higher up the river than at Tinicum island, and the court ordered a 
church to be built at Wiccacoa, to be paid for by the people of 'T^assyunk and 
so upward," but Penn's arrival prevented this bad precedent. 

In 1675 and 1676 William Edmonson, a traveling Friend from Ireland, 
made a religious visit to the brethren on the Delaware, and his journal gives 
some account of his journey through the county. In it he says: "About nine 
in the morning, by the goodvhand of God, we came to the falls, and. by his 
Providence, found an Indian man. a woman and a boy with a canoe. We hired 
him for sonie wampumpeg to help us over in the canoe : we swam our horses, 
and though the river was broad, yet got well over and. by the directions we 
received from Friends, traveled toward Delaware town"*2 along the west side 
of the river. When we had rode some miles, we baited our horses and refreshed 
ourselves with such provisions as we had. for as yet we were not yet come to 
any inhabitants. Here came to us a Finland man, well horsed, who could speak 
English. He 5oon perceived what we were and gave us an account of several 
Friends. His home was as far as we could go that day; he took us there and 



11% Where was "Delaware town"? 



Digitized by 



Google 



lo HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



lodged us kindly," The next day Mr. Edmonson and party proceeded down 
the river to Upland. The Finn, with whom they tarried over night, probably 
lived in Bristol or Bensalem, and the ^'several Friends," of whom he spoke^ 
lived in that section of the county. 

At the time of the English conquest the circulating medium on the Dela- 
ware included beavers, the government value being fixed at 8 guilders each — 
equal to $3.20 currency. Wampum passed as money almost down to the arrival 
of Penn, at established values. Eight white, or four black wampums were 
worth a stiver, and twenty of them made a guilder, equivalent to 40 cents. The 
first land tax west of the Delaware was laid by the Upland court, November, 
1677. It was called **poll money," and 26 guilders were assessed against each 
taxable person, which could be paid in grain or provisions, at fixed prices. 

The systematic administration of Governor Andros invited immigration 
to the Delaware, and considerable land was taken up while he was in office. 
In 1675, ^he Governor purchased of four Indian chiefs — Mamarackickan, Anrick- 
ton, Sackoquewano, and Nanneckos — for the Duke of York, a tract on the river 
extending from just above Bristol to about Taylorsville, embracing the best lands 
in the townships- of Bristol, Falls, and Lower Makefield. It is described as : 
''Beginning at a creek next to the Cold spring somewhere above Mattinicum 
island, about eight or nine miles below the falls, and as far above said falls 
as the other is below them, or further that way, as may be agreed upon, to some 
remarkable place, for more certain bounds ; as also all the islands in Delaware 
river within the above limits above and below the falls, except only one island 
called Peter Alricks' island." It included what was afterward Penn's manor. 
The deed was executed October 19, and witnessed by twelve white men. As 
nothing further is known of this purchase, it was probably never consummated. 
The next year Ephraim Herman was appointed clerk of Upland court, whither 




: ^?^t^/?^^:s^. 



the few inhabitants of Bucks county resorted for justice, two centuries and a 
quarter ago. In 1679 he married Elizabeth VonRodcnburg, daughter of the 
Governor of Curacoa, an island in the Caribbean sea. He brought his bride over- 
land from New York to the falls, where a boat met him and conveyed them 
down the river. He abandoned her shortly after and joined the Labadists, a 
new religious sect lately sprung up, but rej)ented and returned to his family. 
Herman was one of the commissioners to deliver the province to William Penn, 
and held other places of public trust. He was the son of Augfustus Herman, a 
native of Prague, Bohemia, and came to New Amsterdam 1647, 21s clerk, or 
factor, to the brother Gabri. In 1650 he was one of the selectmen of Manhattan. 



Digitized by 



QjOo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. iv 



He afterward settled in Maryland where his son was born, 1654. The wife of 
Benedict Arnold was a descendant of Herman's daughter, Anna Margaretta^ 
through Vanderhuyden, whom she married, and of Edward Shippen, whom her 
daughter married. Thomas Story, proficient in Greek and mathematics and 
skilled in music and fencing, studied law before coming to Philadelphia and 
marrying a daughter of Edward Shippen. 

We have no record of settlers coming into this county, in 1676, but, the 
following year, there was some addition to our sparse population, and a little 
land tdken up. In the fall of 1677 the court at Upland made the following 
grants of land in this county, which, no doubt, was authorized to be made by 
the authorities at New York: 300 acres, each, to Jan Claesen, and Thomas 
Jacobse, on the east side of the Neshaminy two miles above its mouth, Bristol 
township; 417 acres to James Sanderland, probably the same whose mural tab- 
let stands in Saint Paul's church, Chester, and Lawrence Cock, extending a 
mile along the Delaware above the mouth of Poquessing, and called *Toquessink 
patent;'* 200 acres next above on the river to Henry Hastings, and called 
*'Hastings' Hope ;" 100 acres, to Duncan Williamson,*^ Pelle Dalbo, Lace Cock, 
Thomas Jacobse and William Jeacox, on the south side of the Neshaminy, ia 
Bensalem, and 100 acres to Edmund Draufton and son. Williamson and Drauf- 
ton were members of the jury at Upland court, November term, 1678, the first 
jurymen known to have been drawn from this county. The authorities at New 
York directed the Upland court to purchase a tract reaching two miles along 
the river above the falls, and Governor Andros authorized sheriff Cantwell and 
Ephraim Herman to purchase of the Indians all the land below the falls, in- 
cluding the islands, not already sold, but we hear nothing more of them. No- 
vember 23, 1677, a number of Swedes petitioned the court for permission "to- 
settle together in a town at the west side of the river just below the falls." They 
represented they were natives of the country and brought up on the river and 
parts adjacent, and asked for 100 acres each, with a fit proportion of marsh, 
and a suitable place to lay out a town. What action was taken on the petitiors 
is not known. ^^ Governor Andros made easy terms in the purchase of land. 
Actual settlers, with families, were allowed 50 acres to each member and a 
patent was issued on the certificate of the court, approved by the Governor, 
and quit-rent on all newly seated land was remitted for three years. If the 
land were not settled upon within that time it vitiated the title. The earliest 
lands surveyed in this county extended back a mile from the river. When 
Andros came into authority the whites, who had purchased land of the Indians 
about the falls, were in arrears for purchase money. It was found to amount 
to **five guns, thirty hoes, and one anker of rum," which the Governor ordered 
to be paid, forthwith. The earliest receipts for quit-rent on the Delaware that 
we have seen are— one dated 1669, signed by Governor Lovelace, and another 
by Ephraim Herman, April 27, 1679. O^^o Ernest Cock, who paid quit-rent,. 

12 He was known as Dunk Williams, but the inscription on his tombstone was 
Duncan Williamson. 

13 The following are the names of the petitioners: Lawrence Cock, Israel Helm, 
Moens Cock, Andreas Benckson, Ephraim Herman, Casper Herman, Swen Loon, John 
Dalbo, Jasper Fisk, Hans Moonson, Frederick Roomy, Erick Muelk, Gunner Rambo,. 
Thomas Harwood, Erick Cock, Peter Jockum, Peter Cock, Jr., Jan Stille, Jonas Nielson. 
Oole Swensons, James Sanderling, Mathias Mathias, J. Devos and William Oriam. 



Digitized by 



Google 



i>2 HISTORY OF DUCKS COUNTY. 



1672, was still paying it to James Logan. 1709. Down to the arrival of William 
Penn, every acre of land, whether cultivated or not, paid a quit-rent of one 
and a fifth schepel of wheat. 

The descendants of Duncan Williamson, one of the earliest landowners 
and settlers in the county, claim that he came to America from Scotland, with 
his wife, as early as 1660 or 1661. We first hear of him, 1669, when land was 
granted him on the east side of the Schuylkill from the mouth up. He probably 
settled in Bensalem. 1677. In 1695 h^' bought 100 acres, adjoining his former 
tract, of Thomas Fairman for £11 silver money — part of 400 acres Fairman 
bought of William Stenly and Peter Banton, 1689. Dunk's ferry was named 
after him. He died about 1700, and was buried in the Johnson burying ground, 
Bensalem. Dunck Williams, or Williamson, left two children, sons, WiUiam 
and John. William married Elizabeth Claessen, daughter of Jan Claes- 
sen, an original grantee of 1666, and had five children, all sons, and 

John married Elizabeth . had eleven children, and his will was 

proved September 21, 1761. The will of William is dated December 15, 1721, 
and was proved January 22, 1722. His name is written *' Williamson" in the 
will book, No. I, this county. Of his wife we know nothing. His son William 
left a widow and fivQ sons — Jacob, Abraham, John, William and Peter. Peter, 
the great-grandson of Duncan, was the grandfather, on the mother's side, of 
Robert Crozier, ]\Iorrisville. A sister of Peter Williamson, who married Abra- 
ham Head, died, in Solebury, 1834, aged loi years. The descendants of Dun- 
can Williamson intermarried with the families of Vandygrift, Walton. Burton, 
Crozier, Brewer, Vansant, Thompson and many others. A large number of his 
posterity live in this State and county. Among them was the late Peter Wil- 
liamson, grand treasurer of the Grand ^Masonic Lodge of Pennsylvania, as was 
aJso the late Mahlon Williamson, merchant, Philadelphia. ^^^ 

The population on the Delaware increased very slowly. It had now been 
forty years since the Swedes made the first settlement, and there were 600^* in- 
habitants in all of Upland county, which extended up the river to Trenton falls, 
200 of which resided in what i*^ now Delaware county. W' olves along the Dela- 
ware became so troublesome before 1680, the Upland court authorized forty 
guilders to be paid for each scalp, but becoming worse the court ordered the 
setting of fifty-two "wolf pitts or trap houses." 



13*/^ There has heen much speculation as to the correct Christian name of Duncan 
Williamson, and its derivation. His descendants are at sea about it. His surname has had 
almost as much liherty taken with it, some of his descendants calling themselves "Will- 
iamson," others "Williams." What license there was for this we know not. Owen 
Moon, Jr., Trenton, a descendant, in a letter to the author, thinks "Dunk" or "Dunck" 
a mistaken reading of the word *'Dirck" or "Donck:" At various times he was called 
or written Dirck. Donck. Durck and Dunk. The ferry on the Delaware, called after hini, 
is known to this day as '"Dunk's Ferry," while the name on his tombstone in the Johnson 
burying ground, Bensalem, is "Duncan Williamson " The Christian name of several of 
the settlers of that period was "Dirck." Dirck Albert, Dirck Johnson, Dirck Peter, Dirck 
Jansen and Dirck Keyser. The family of Durck, or Duncan, Williamson were members 
of the Gloria Dei Church. Philadelphia county. The most noted descendant of the first 
settler was the late Isaiah V. Williamson, the millionaire of Philadelphia, a native of 
Palls- township, this county. 

14 Dr. Smith. 



Digitized by 



Google 



9 

J 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUXTV. i^ 



Burlington island, in the Delaware opposite Bristol, came early into notice. 
It was recognized as belonging to the west shore from its discovery, and was 
included in Markham's first purchase. The Indians called it ^lattiniconk, 
which name it generally bore down to Penn's arrival. It is so called on Lind- 
strom's map, 1654. When the English seized the Delaware, 1664, it was in 
the possession of Peter Alricks, but confiscated with the rest of his property 
and restored, 1668, by order of Governor Lovelace. During the confiscation 
it got into the possession of Captain John Carre, *^ probably a brother of Sir 
Robert — and, for a time, was called Carre's island — in consideration of his 
**good conduct in storming and reducing fort Delaware." The earliest public 
use made of the island was the establishment on it of frontier trading and mili- 
tary posts. In a letter of Governor Lovelace to Captain William Tom, who had 
charge of affairs on the Delaware, written October 6, 1671, he recommends *'a 
good work about Mattiniconk house, which, strengthened with a considerable 
guard, would make an admirable frontier." It was here that Alricks' two Dutch 
servants, Peter Velts Cheerder and Christian Samuels, were murdered, 1672. 
The expense of burying the two Dutchmen, 106 guilders, was paid by Jonas 
Nielson, but the Upland court refused to refund it. 

November 14, 1678, Sir Edmund Andros leased the island for seven years 
to Robert Stacy, brother of Mahlon, one of the first to settle West Jersey, and 
Sheriff Cantwell put him in possession two weeks after. Stacy and George 
Hutchinson, who appears to have become associated with him in possession, con- 
veyed the island to the town of Burlington, but he only conveyed his title under 
the lease. The deed could never be found. Danker and Sluyter, who passed 
down the Delaware, 1679, ^^Y ^^ Burlington island: "This island formerly 
belonged to the Dutch Governor, who had made it a pleasure ground, or garden, 
built good houses upon it, and sowed and planted it. He also dyked and culti- 
vated a large piece of meadow or marsh, from which he gathered more grain 
than from any land which had been made from woodland into tillable land. The 
English Governor, at the Manhattons, now held it for himself, and had hired 
it out to some Quakers, who were living upon it, at present. It is the best and 
largest island in the South river." 

Among the earliest acts of Assembly of Pennsylvania after the organiza- 
tion of the Province, was one confirming this island to Burlington, "the proceeds 
to be applied to maintain a free school for the education of youth in said town." 
In 171 1, the legislative council of New Jersey authorized Lewis Morris, agent 
of the West Jersey society, to take up this island for Honorable Robert Hunter, 
the warrant for which was granted, 17 10. It was surveyed by Thomas Gardner, 
and found to contain 400 acres. Hunter purchased it the same year. The 
people of Burlington in olden times resorted to it for recreation. When Gov- 
ernor Burnett, New York, occupied it, 1722, he caused vistas to be cut through 
the timber from a point on it to Burlington, Bristol, and up and down the river. 
In 1729 Peter Bard and James Alexander went to Burlington to examine the 
town's title to the island, and reported it not a good one. The inhabitants of 



15 A record says that Governor Lovelace granted the island to Andrew Carre, and 
Margaret, his wife, in 1669; who assigned it to Arnoldus de la Grange, 1672; in 1684 
they granted it to Christopher Taylor, who sold it to Ralph Fretwell, 1685, who died in 
Barbadoes May 17, 1692. Gilbert Cope says this conveyance refers to Tinicum Island,, 
in Delaware county. 



Digitized by 



Google 



(14 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Burlington ousted Hunter, 1729. When Governor Gooken, Pennsylvania, 
was about obtaining the grant of the islands in the Delaware to this state, it 
is said the Lords of Trade excepted this as not being on a footing with the 
other islands.** 



16 Gilbert Cope wrote the author as follows, touching his reference to Mattiniconk: 
"There appears to be some confusion respecting the island of Matiniconk, and whether 
Burhngton Island was known by that name I have not examined, but your note, pp. ^, ^3 
(first edition), refers to Tinicum island (as since called) in Delaware county, Pennsyl- 
vania. I have* by me the old court record of 1683, giving an account of the suit of 
Arnoldus De La Grange to recover possession from Otto Earnest Cock, who purchased 
from Lady Normgard Prince (Printz), who had sold it to the father of De La Grange, 
but the money not being all paid, she recovered it in a suit against Andrew Carr and wife 
(widow of De.La Grange). The plaintiff, showing he was under age and in Holland 
at the time of the last mentioned suit, obtained a verdict in his favor. Israel Taylor, son 
of Christopher, subsequent owner of the island, styles himself, in his will, "of Multini- 
^unk Island, Cchiurgeon." 



I 

Digitized by VjOOQIC I 



V J 



CHAPTER II. 



ENGLISH IMMIGRANTS CONTINUE TO ARRIVE. 



1670 XO 1G81. 



English settlers arrive. — Samuel Bliss. — Danker and Sluyter. — Lionel Britton. — Samuel 
Clift. — William Warner. — Arrival of English ships direct. — William Dungan. — 
Liquor sold without license. — William Biles. — Settlement of east bank of Delaware. — 
Fort Nassau. — Division of New Jersey. — London and Yorkshire companies. — Settle- 
ment of Burlington. — Chygoe's island. — Arrival of the Shields. — Benjamin Duffield. — 
Thomas Budd.-r-Mahlon Stacy. — His account of the country. — William Trent. — 
Professor Kalm*s account of Trenton. — Early mills. 

The west bank of the Delaware grew more into favor and notice, and immi- 
grants came to it. There were several grants of land by Sir Edmund Andros 
in 1679, among which were 200 acres to Thomas Fairman in Bensalem, below 
Neshaminy, and 309 to William Clark on the same stream. In the summer of 
1679 ^"d spring of 1680, several English settlers took up land on the river bank, 
just below the falls; John Ackerman and son, 309 acres ; Thomas Sebeley, 105 ; 
Robert Scoley, 206 ; Cjilbert Wheeler, a fruiterer of London, who arrived with 
wife, children and servants, in the Jacob and Mary, September 12th, 205, includ- 
ing an island in the river; William Biles, 309, from Dorchester, in County 
Dorcst,* arrived June 12, with wife, seven children and two servants, and died, 
1 7 10. He was a man of talent and influence, and a leader. (Governor Evans 
sued him for slander for saying of him, **//r is but a boy: he is not fit to be our 
Governor; well kiek him out; ur7/ kick him onty and recovered £300 dam- 
ages, but failed to collect them, although he caught Biles in Philadelphia, and 
imprisoned him a month. The Governor said of him, **He very much in- 
fluences that debauched county of Bucks, in which there is now scarce any one 
man of worth left ;'* Samuel Sycle, possibly Sickel of the present generation, 
218; Richard Ridgeway, 218, from Welford in the county of Bucks, who ar- 
rived in the Delaware April 27, 1680, with his wife and two children, and 
Robert Lucas, 145 acres, a farmer of Deverall, Loughbridge, county of Wilts, 
who came with his wife and eight children, in September, 1680. John Wood, 
of Axerclif, county of York, farmer, the only known English settler in this 
coimty, in 1678, arrived in the Shield, with five children, and took up 478 acres 
opposite the falls. These tracts generally joined each other and ran back from 



I Probably a misspelling. 



Digitized by 



Google 



i6 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUXTV, 



the river.- At this date Samuel Bh'ss was the owner of a considerable tract 
in the angle formed by Mill creek and the Delaware, and covering the site of 
Bristol. There was a settler near the mouth of Scott's creek, in Falls — prob- 
ably a squatter — and West Kickels was near the mouth of Scull's creek, north 
side. In the fall of 1679, a Httle real estate changed hands in Bucks county, 
James Sanderling and Lawrence Cock conveying a few acres, in Bensalem, to 
Walter, John and James Forest, and Henry Hastings conveyed "Hastings' 
Hope*' to the same parties. The Forests probably became residents of the 
county about this time, coming from near I'pland. 

Jasper Danker and Peter Sluyter, leading members of the Labidists, of 
Holland, visited the Delaware in the fall of 1679, going down the river in a 
boat to New Castle, their horses following them by land on the west bank. 
At the falls they staid all night with Alahlon Stacy. They describe the houses 
of the English along the river as built of cla[)boards nailed on the outside of 
a frame, but "not usually laid so close together as to prevent you from sticking 
a finger between them." The best people plastered them with clay. They call 
the houses built by the Swedes "block houses," but from the w ay they were con- 
structed, were only the log cabin found on the frontier at the present day. Some 
of the more careful people planked the ceiling, and had a glass window. The 
chimney was in the corner, and the d(X)rs low and wide. Our travelers break- 
fasted with the Friends at Burlington, whom they denominate "the most 
worldly of men in all their deportment and conversation." They went hence 
in a shallop to Upland, stopping at Takany (Tacony), a village of Swedes and 
Fins, w^here they drank good beer. On Tinicum island they saw a "Quaker 
prophetess who traveled the country over in order to quake." On their return 
up the river they stopped over night on Alricks' island, then in charge of 
Barent, a Dutchman, wlio had for housekeeper the Indian wife of an English- 
man of Virginia. One of her children was sick with the small-pox, prevalent 
on the river this year, and now mentioned for the first time. The Dutchman 
consented to pilot them next day to the falls for thirty guilders. Landing them 
from his canoe where Bristol stands, he conducted them by a footpath through 
the woods and across the manor, striking the river at William Biles's planta- 
tion, w^here they rested and were refreshed. In the afternoon he rowed them 
across the river, landing on the site of Bordentown, and thence through the 
woods to Alahlon Stacy's, and on across New Jersey to Manhattan. 

Of the arrivals in the Delaware, 1680, several made their homes in Bucks 
county ; among them were Lyonel Britton, Samuel and William Darke and 
George Brown.^ Britton, a Friend and blacksmith, from Almy, in Bucks, Eng- 
land, the first to arrive, settled on 203 acres in the bend of the river at the upper 
corner of the manor, which William Penn patented to him, 1684. A daughter 
died on the way up the river and was buried at Burlington. Another daughter, 
Mary, born June 13, 1680, was, so far as is known, the first child of English 
parents born in Bucks county, or probably in the state.* Britton's name is 
found on the panel of the first grand jury drawn in Bucks county, June 10, 
1685. He probably left this county and removed to Philadelphia, 1688, con- 

2 Their names are given on the map of Danker and Shiyter, 1680. 

3 It is possible that Brown arrived in 1679, for he was residing about the falls in 
1680, and was a justice of the peace. 

4 The record of Mary Britton's birth is in the Register's office,. Doylcstown, in the 
handwriting of Phineas Pcmbcrton. 



Digitized by 



Google 




HISTORY OF BUCKS COUXTV. 17 



veying his real estate in Falls to Stephen Beakes, for one thousand dollars. He 
is noted, in our early annals, as the first convert to Catholicism in the state. 
He assisted in reading public mass in Philadelphia, 1708, and was a church 
warden the same year. Britton died, 1721, and his widow, 1741.^ Samuel 
Darke, a calendrer, London, arrived in the ship Content, in October, with two 
servants, James and Mary Crafts; He married Ann Knight, 4, 7, 1683, who 
died 8, 13, 1683, and then married Alartha Worrell, 12, 16, 1685. William 
Darke, probably a brother of Samuel, a grocer from Chiping, County of Chester, 
was 58 years old and his wife, Alice, 63. He arrived in the Content June, 
1680, and his wife, August, 1684, with a son of 17. He settled ih the neigh- 
borhood of Fallsington. 

In 1680 Sir Edmund Andros conveyed to Samuel Clift, a Friend living at 
Burlington, a tract of 262 acres, covering the site of Bristol,^^ who probably 
then, or soon after, became a resident of the county. It was bounded by Mill, 
then Bliss's, creek, the Delaware and Griffith Jones's land. When the latter 
came into the county is not known. It was surveyed by Philip Pocock at the 
purchase; but again under a warrant in 1683, when it was found to contain 
274 acres. Clift could not write his name, but made his mark, thus: 
On the first of June Richard Noble, surveyor of Ui)land county, laid 
out 552 acres to Ephraim Herman and Lawrence Cock, at a place called 
Hataorockon, "lying on the west side of the Delaware, and on the south 
side of a creek of the same name." On the 8th of the next March, 25 acres 
of marsh land were granted to each of these parties, and to one Peter 
Van Brug, or \^an Bray, at **Taorackon," **lying in ye Mill creek, 
opposite Burlington, and toward ye head thereof.'' This places the 
grant about Pigeon swamp and to the north of Bristol. There has 
been a question as to the location of this grant, placing it below Bristol > 
probably because the marsh land is on Mill creek. We think there is no doubt 
the main grant was in Penn's manor, on what is now Scott's creek. There is 
no creek between Mill creek and the Neshaminy, nor is one laid down on any 
of the old maps. On Lindstrom, the region afterward Penn's Manor, called 
"Hackazockan/' and ** Hataorockon/' or '*Taorackon," is only a corruption, of 
the Indian name. The course of the creek Hataorackon, its southwest boundary/ 
is nearly identical with that of Scott's creek. This tract was probably never 
seated, and the authority of the Duke of York coming to an end soon after, 
no further mention is made of it. October 28 (1680), Erick Cock was appointed 
an additional constable between the Schuylkill and Neshaminy for one year, 
and John Cock and Lassa Dalbo overseers and viewers of fences and high-' 
ways. 

At this time the deputy-sheriflF of Upland county was William Warner, 
with a jurisdiction to the falls. He was probably the ancestor of the large and 

5 Lionel Britton was the owner of considerable land in Delaware county, as we 
learn from the records. Deed Book O, page 160, New Castle County, contains a deed 
of March 28, 1753 : Philip Bready to Mathew Lowber, with the following recital : 
"William Penn, proprietor, etc., to Robert Betts and John King, 1686, about 600 acres"; 
they in 1704 to Lionel Britton, he with Thomas England, who claimed a right therein, to 
Philip Kearney and Michael Kearney, "sons-in-law of said Lionel Britton," 1718. Philip 
Kearney, son and heir of Michael, conveyed the same to Absalom Morris, 1746, and 
Absalom Morris to Philip Bready. 

sVi What became of Samuel Bliss's title which covered part of Clift's grant is not 
known. 



Digitized by 



Google 



x8 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



respectable family of the name in this county. The time of his arrival, and 
whence he came, are not definitely known. Watson, the annalist,** says he was 
one of the earliest pioneers on the Delaware; that he was a "captain under 
Cromwell, and was obliged to leave England at his death, 1658; that he came 
from Blockley, in Worcestershire, and gave this name to the township in 
which he lived in Philadelphia county." He is known to have been here 
1677, and bought 200 acres in Blockley, and, about the same time, he and 
William Orion bought 1600 acres of the Indians for three hundred and thirty- 
five guilders. In the explanations to Reed's map of 1774, he is denominated 
"old Renter," a term applied to those here before Penn bought the Province. 
}le died in 1706. Thomas Warner, late of Wrightstown, said the William War- 
ner from whom he descended, immigrated with his brother Isaac from Draycott, 
Blockley, where the ancestral homestead is still in the possession of a Warner. 
Hazard does not give credit to the arrival of William Warner at the time 
specified, as he is not mentioned by contemporaneous statements, because of 
the jealousy of the Dutch and Swedes. He may have left England at the 
time mentioned, and not come to the Delaware until after it fell into the 
hands of the English, 1664. After that period there was no occasion "to shield 
his movements from observation.". He was a man of note in his day; a mem- 
ber of the first Assembly of Pennsylvania; justice of the peace; deputy-sheriflf, 
&c., &c. When he was deputy-sheriflf it was the custom of the cotirt to defray 
the charge for "meat and drink" for the justices, probably their only pay, and 
to raise the necessary funds Warner was ordered to collect 2s. 6d. on every 
judgment. 

The first immigrants, who sailed direct for Pennsylvania, left England in 
August, 1681, in the ship John and Sarah, Captain Henry Smith; the Amity, 
Captain Richard Dimon, and the Bristol Factor, Captain Robert Drew. The 
John and Sarah was the first to arrive, and her passengers were called the 
"first landers" by those who followed them. Among them we find the follow- 
ing, with their families, who came into Bucks county : Nathaniel Allen,^ who 
settled in Bensalem, above the mouth of the Xeshaminy ; John Otter, near the 
head of Newtown creek, where he took up 200 acres, and Edmund Lovett, 
Falls. In the same ship came several servants of William Penn. The Amity 
was blown oflf the coast, and did not land her passengers until the next spring ; 
while the Factor, which arrived opposite Chester, December nth, was frozen 
ap that night, and her passengers wintered there. All these brought immi- 
grants for Bucks' county, but it is impossible to give their names. The same 
year arrived Gideon Gambell, from county Wilts, slater, and William Clark; 
and, about the same time came Edward Bennett, who took up 321 acres in 
Northampton township: John Bennett, 50 acres, and William Standard, 274 
acres. All of these settlers purchased land of Sir Edmund Andros, at the 
quit-rent of a bushel of wheat the hundred acres. Their lands were re-sur- 
veyed and confirmed to them by a general warrant of the Proprietary, June 
14, 1683. About this time William Dungan, probably from Rhode Island, and 
of the family of Reverend Thomas Dungan, the Baptist minister at Cold Spring, 
settled in Bristol township. His warrant was elated August 4, 1682, nearly 

6 Watson says he got his information from 'Widow Warner," who died at the age 
of eighty, 1843. and who claimed to be a descendant of William Warner. She lived 
pfi the Lancaster turnpike, a mile west of Market street bridge. 

7 One of Penn's Commissioners. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 19 



two months before Penn's arrival, and the patent July 26, 1684. In the sum- 
mer or early fall, 1682, the Upland court appointed William *'Boyles," William 
Biles, who lived below Morrisville, surveyor and overseer of highways from 
the falls to Poquessing creek, the boundary between Bucks and Philadelphia 
counties. He appears to have been constable at the same time, and informed 
the court against Gilbert Wheeler, for selling liquor to the Indians without 
license, and was fined four pounds. This appointment is said to have been 
the last official act of the court under the Duke of York, and immediately 
before the territory was turned over to the agents of William Penn. 

The history of Bucks county would be incomplete without a notice of the 
settlement of the east bank of the Delaware, peopled by the same race, and 
under similar circumstances as the west bank. Their interests were so closely 
connected in the early days, it is impossible to treat of the one and not the 
other. 

The first colony on the east bank was planted at, or near, Gloucester Point, 
where fort Nassau was built, about 1623. The fort was destroyed by the 
Indians, but repaired and again occupied by the Dutch, 1639. In 1643 the 
Swedes erected fort Elsinborg, four miles below Salem creek. An English 
colony from New Haven, sixty strong, settled near Salem in 1641, but were 
driven away by the Swedes and Dutch, and this race made no further attempt 
to colonize the east bank of the river until New Jersey fell into possession of 
the Duke of York. It was subsequently conveyed to Lord Berkeley and Sir 
<jeorge Carteret, the interest of Berkeley passing into the hands of the assignees 
of Edward Byllinge. It was divided into East and West New Jersey the 
following year, by a line drawn across the country from Little Egg Harhpr 
to the mouth of Lehigh river. The first settlers for West New Jersey arrived 
in the ship Griffith, of London, in 1675, after a long passage, and landed near 
Salem. Among the passengers were John Fenwick, his two daughters and 
several servants; Edward Champness, Edward Wade, Samuel Wade, John 
Smith and wife, Samuel Nicholas, Richard Guy, Richard Noble, who subse- 
quently settled in this county; Richard Hancock, John Pledger, Hipolite 
Lefevre, John Matlock, and others with their families. 

Among those who purchased land on the river were two companies of 
Friends, one from London, the other from Yorkshire.* In the summer, 1677, 
these purchasers sent out John Kinsey, Jojin Pemford, Joseph Helmsley, 
Robert Stacy, Benjamin Scott, Richard Guy and Thomas Foulke, joint Com- 
missioners to satisfy the claims of the Indians. They came in the Kent with 
230 immigrants, landing at New Castle, August i6th. The settlers found 
temporary shelter at Raccoon creek in huts erected by the Swedes ; while the 
Commissioners proceeded to the site of Burlington, and purchased of the 
Indians all the land between the Assanpink and Oldman's creek, for a few 
gims, petticoats, hoes, &c. The Yorkshire Commissioners made choice of the 
upper, and the London of the lower, half of the tract, but they joined in settling 
what is now Burlington, for mutual defense. In laying out the town the main 
street, running back from the river, was made the dividing line between the 
companies, the Yorkshire men being on the east and the Londoners on the 
west side. But one other street was laid out, that along the river front, and 
a market house was located in the middle of the main street. The town plot 
was surv'eyed by Richard Noble. The head lines of the river lots w^ere orig- 
inally run, in 1687, when their courses, respectively, were west and northwest. 
They were again examined and run by John Watson, jr., of this county, Feb- 
ruary ^, 1756, who found the course then west, three degrees northerly, being 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



20 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



a variation of three degrees in sixty-nine years, or one degree in twenty-three 
years exactly. To begin the settlement ten lots, of nine acres each, were laid 
out on the east side of the main street, and, in October, some of the Kent's 
passengers came up and settled there. Among the heads of families, who 
came in the Kent, and settled at Burlington, were Thomas Olive, Daniel Wills, 
William Peachy, William Clayton, John Crips, Thomas Eves, Thomas Hard- 
ing, Thomas Nositer, Thomas Fairnsworth, Morgan Drewet, William Penton, 
Henry Jennings, William Hibes, Samuel Lovett, John Woolston, William 
Woodmanc}-, Christopher Saunders and Robert Powell. Among them was a 
carpenter, named Marshall, who was very useful in building shelter. At first 
they lived in wigwams and had mainly to rely on the Indians for food, who 
supplied them with corn and venison. The first house built was a frame, by 
John Woolston, and Friends' meeting was held under a sail-cloth tent. The 
town was first called New Beverly, then Bridlington, and afterward changed 
to its present name. Although this is the accepted history of the names Bur- 
lington has borne, we doubt its correctness. The original draught, as laid out, 

1678, bears the name of Burlington, and, on the map of Banker's and Sluyter, 

1679, it is called ''^Borlingtowne." This was a year after it was laid out, and 
the misspelling is not to be wondered at in a foreigner. The ^lartha, of Hull, 
arrived October 15, in which came a number of passengers with their 
families, who settled on the Yorkshire purchase; Thomas Wright, William 
Goforth, John Lyman, Edward Season, William Black, Richard Dungworth, 
George Miles, W^illianr Wood, Thomas Schooley, Richard Harrison, Thomas 
Hooten, Samuel Taylor, Marmaduke Horsman, William Oxley, William Ley 
and Nathaniel Luke. In the same ship came the families of Robert Stacy, 
Samuel Odds, and Thomas Ellis and John Batts, servants. The W^illing Mind 
arrived in November, several of her passengers settling at Burlington and others 
at Salem, among the latter being James Nevel, Henry Salter, and George 
Deacon. The following spring the settlers at Burlington began to cultivate 
and provide provisions for their own support, and build better habitations. In 
one of these vessels came John Kinsey, a' youth, son of John Kinsey, one of the 
London Commissioners. His father dying on his arrival, the care of the family 
devolved on the son, who not only discharged the duty, but reached several 
positions of distinction ; his son became Chief Justice of Pennsylvania. 

Burlington was built upon an island now joined to the main-land, and, two 
centuries ago, bore the name of Chygoe.® How early it was settled by 
Europeans we cannot tell, but, before 1666, three Dutchmen, Cornelius Jorris- 
sen, Julian ^larcelis and Jan Claessen had purchased all or part of it, and built 
a house or two on it: They sold to Peter Jegou, who owned 1700 acres in all. 
In a note, appended to the permit. Governor Lovelace gave to Jegou, 1668, it 
is stated certain Dutchmen settled there long before the country fell into the 
hands of the English. Jegou bought part of his land of the Indians. He 
gave the name to the island, "Chygoe" being only a corruption of his own, 
and not that of an Indian chief, as stated by some authorities. In all our research 
no name approaching it has been found. In 1670 Jegou was driven from his 
land by Indians and remained away several years. When the Friends settled 
at Burlington, two of them, Thomas Wright and Godfrey Hancock, entered 
upon Jegou's land and occupied it. They refused to vacate when notified, and 
suit brought in the Upla id Court ; it was tried December, 1679, ^^'^^h a verdict 

8 It was called hy the Indians TSchichopacki, signifying the oldest planted ground. 
The Delawares said their first settlement so far east was on this island. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUXTY, 21 



for Jegou®. He sold out to Thomas Bowman, Bowman to Edward Hunloke, 
Burlington, and Hunloke to John Joosten and John Hammell. The latter sale 
was confirmed by the town council of Burlington. In November, 1678, Jegou 
was a deputy from the Delaware river portion of New Jersey to the Assembly 
at Elizabethtown. 

The point of land made by Assiscunk creek arfd the Delaware on the Bur- 
lington side, was called Leasy's point, at the period of which w^e write. It was 
a noted place on the Delaware. In 1668, Governor Carteret granted permission 
to Peter Jegou to take up land here on condition that he would settle and erect 
a house of entertainment for travelers. This he agreed to do, and at the point 
he opened the first tavern on the river, a famous hostelry in its day. When 
Governor Lovelace visited the Delaware, 1672, it will be remembered that 
Captain Gartand was sent forward to Jegou's house to make arrangements 
for his accommodation, and persons were appointed to meet him there. The 
Governor crossed the river at this- point. George Fox, who visited the Dela- 
ware the same year, likewise crossed at Leasy's point into Pennsylva- 
nia and thence continued on to the lower settlements. The house was subse- 
quently called "Point house,'* to which Governor Burnet opened one of his 
vistas from Burlington island. There is some evidence in favor of Leasy Point 
being on the east side of the creek, but the weight of testimony places it on the 
west. Here the land is firm down to the water's edge, while on the east side 
there is a marsh which prevents access to the point. Some antiquarians have 
fallen into error by locating it on the west side of the Delaware, in the neigh- 
borhood of Bristol, but there is not a particle of evidence to sustain it. 

The favorable accounts written home by the first settlers in West Jersey 
stimulated immigration and soon there was an accession to the population. 
The Shield, of Hull, Captain Towes, arrived November 10, 1678, the first 
English vessel that ascended as high as Burlington. A fresh gale brought 
her up the river, and during the night she was blown in to shore where she made 
fast to a tree. It came on cold, and the next morning the passengers walked 
ashore on* the ice. As the Shield passed the place where Philadelphia stands, 
the passengers remarked what a fine place for a town. Among them were 
IMahlon Stacy,^^ his w^ife, seven daughters, several servants, his cousin Thomas 
Revel, and William Emley,'^ with his wife, two children, and four servants. The 
passengers by the Shield, and other ships, that followed the same year, settled 
at Burlington, Salem, and other points on the river, a few^ finding their way 
into Bucks county. Among those who came with the West Jersey settlers, in 
1678, was Benjamin Dufiield, the ancestor of the Pennsylvania family of that 
name. By the end of 1678 it is estimated that William Penn had been the 

9 The jurisdiction of the courts west of the Delaware was extended into West 
Jersey, on the j2n*ound that the sovereignty of that country did not pass to Carteret and 
Barkley, when they purchased the soil of the Duke of York. 

9H Mahlon Stacy,— son of John of Ballifield and Cinder Green, Yorkshire, and 
Mary, daughter of John and Mary Garland, Fulwood, his wife, — married Rebecca Ely, 
of Mansfield, 29th, 5th mo., 1668. Whether Mahlon Stacy was a Friend is not definitely 
known, but it is supposed he was, from the fact that his marriage was entered of record 
in plain language, and his brother Thomas and sister were converted to Friends' belief 
by George Fox's preaching. The wife of Mahlon Stacy was a sister of Joshua Ely, 
ancestor of the Ely family of Bucks, who died at Trenton, 1702. 

10 Probably Mahlon Stacy's brother-in-law. — Cope. 



Digitized by 



Google 



22 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 



means of sending some eight hundred settlers to this country, mostly Friends. ^^^ 
Of the English settlers who came into the Delaware, 1677, under the 
auspices of the trustees of West New Jersey, we know of but three who settled 
in this county: Dainiel Brinson, Membury, county Devon, England, who ar- 
rived the 28th of September, in the Willing Mind. He married Frances Green- 
land, East Jersey, October 8, 1681. John Pursloir, from Ireland, a farrner, 
arrived in the Phoenix, Captain Mathew Shaw, in August; Joshua Bore, or 
Boar, of Brainfield, Derbyshire, farmer, arrived in the Martha, in September. 
His wife, Margaret, of Horton Bavent, in Wiltshire, came in the Elizabeth 
and Sarah, May 29, 1678. A son was born to them June 29, 1681, and a daugh- 
ter August 31, 1685. Bore owned land in Falls and Middletown, but we are 
unable to say in which township he lived. Penn confirmed his patent May 9, 
1684. At the close of 1678 Governor Andros appointed Peter Pocock surveyor 
on the Delaware, who surveyed considerable land in Bucks county for the 
immigrants, who arrived in 1679. Among those who arrived and settled at 
Burlington, 1678, was Thomas Budd, who became a leading man in the prov- 
ince. He was thrice elected to the Assembly, was one of the chief promoters 
of the erecti9n of the meeting house, and in 1683 he and Francis Collins were 
each awarded one thousand acres "about the falls,'' on the New Jersey side of 
• the river, for building a market and court-house at Burlington. Budd removed 
to Philadelphia in 1685, where he died, 1698. He traveled extensively in New 
Jersey and Pennsylvania, and in 1685 published in London, "A true account 
of the country.*' Among his descendants were Attorney General Bradford and 
Lord Ashburton. 

Mahlon Stacy, said to have descended from Stacy de Bellefield, a French 
officer who accompanied William the Conqueror to England, 1066, a tanner 
from Yorkshire, became interested in West Jersey, 1676, and, with four others,, 
purchased a tenth of the province. He took up eight hundred acres ^^ on the 
Delaware, covering the site of Trenton, and built a log dwelling at South Tren- 
ton, and a log grist-mill, 1680, on the south bank of the Assanpink.*^ About 
the same time Thomas Oliver built a mill on the Rancocas, and, for several 
years, these were the only grain-mills in New Jersey. Stacy's mill, the first 
along the Delaware, ground the grain of the early settlers of r>ucks county, 
and was carried across the river in canoes. He sold the mill to William Trent, 
the founder of Trenton, 1690, who erected a two-storv stone mill on the site. 
This was undermined by the flood, 1843, ^^^ ^^^^ of it carried away. Mahlon 
Stacy made his mark on the Delaware and acquired large wealth. He was 
member of the Assembly, justice of the peace, and an active minister among 
Friends. On meeting days he paddled his canoe across the river, walked 
to Fallsington and united with Friends in worship, and continued it to his 
death, 1704. He left one son, and five daughters — one of whom married Joseph 
Kirkbride, Falls ; and his granddaughter, Rebecca Atkinson, was the ancestress 
of the Budds, of Burlington, in the female line. From the testimony of two 
early travelers^'* on the Delaware, Stacy's dwelling was neither comfortable 

loVi Clarkson. 

11 The 800 acre tract was on both sides of the Assanpink, and embraced the 
territory between Green street and the Delaware, and State and Ferry streets, extending 
into what is now Hamilton township, south of the Assanpink. 

12 The mill had the gable to the street, and stood where McCall's paper-mill stands, 
or stood, if torn down. 

13 Dankers and Sluyter, 1679. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



I 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 23 



nor spacious. They state, in their journal, they staid over night at his house^ 
and, although too tired to eat they were obliged to sit up all night, because there 
was not room enough to lie down. The house was so wretchedly constructed 
that unless they were close enough to the fire to burn, they could not keep 
warm, for the wind blew through it everywhere. 

In 1680 Mr. Stacy wrote a letter to his cousin, Revel Stacy, of England, 
in vindication of the country on the Delaware. He gave a glowing account, 
but no doubt a true picture, of the fertility of the soil, healthfulness of the 
climate, and of the various productions of land and .water. At that early day 
there were apple orchards laden with fruit ; peaches, of the finest flavor, hung 
on the trees '^almost like onions tied on ropes:" forty bushels of wheat were 
harvested for one sown ; "great store'* of wild fruits and berries ; cherries, 
strawberries, etc. ; the river swarmed with fish, and the woods were alive with 
game. There appears to have been nearly everything the heart of man could 
crave. ^* 

14 The following is the text of Mahlon Stacy's letter: "As to the strange reports 
you hear of us and our country, I affirm they are not true, but fear they are spoken in 
envy. It is a country that produces all things for the sustenance of man in a plentiful 
manner, or I should be ashamed of what I have heretofore written; but having truth on 
my side, I can stand before the face of all the evil spies. I have traveled through most of 
the settled places, and some that are not, and find the country very apt to answer the 
expectations of the diligent. I have seen orchards laden with fruit to admiration, planted 
by the Swedes, their very limbs torn to pieces with the weight, and most delicious to 
the taste, and lovely to behold. I have seen an apple tree from a pippin kernel yield a 
barrel of curious cider, and peaches in such plenty that some people took their carts a 
peach-gathering. I could not but smile at the sight of it. They are a very delicate fruit, 
and hang almost like our onions that are tied on ropes. I have seen and known this 
summer forty bushels of bold wheat harvested from one sown. We have from the time 
called May to Michaelmas, great stores of very good wild fruits, as strawberries, cran- 
berries and huckleberries, which are much like bilberries in England, but far sweeter; 
the cranberries much like cherries for color and bigness, which rhay be kept until fruit 
comes in again; an excellent sauce is made of them for venison, turkey and great fowl; 
they are better to make tarts than either cherries or gooseberries ; the Indians bring them 
to our houses in great plenty. My brother Robert had as many cherries this year as 
would have loaded several carts. From what I have observed, it is my judgment that 
fruit trees in this country destroy themselves by the very weight of their fruit. As fof 
venison and fowls we have great plenty; we have brought home to our houses by the 
Indians seven or eight fat bucks of a day, and sometimes put by as many, having no 
occasion for them. My cousin Revel and I, with some of my men, went last Third-month 
(Sth-month, N. S.) into the river to catch herrings, for at that time they came in great 
shoals into the shallows. We had no net, but after the Indian fashion, made a round 
pinfold about two yards over and a foot high, but left a gap for the fish to go in at, and 
made a bush to lay in the gap to keep the fish in. When that was done, we took two. 
long birches and tied their tops together, and went about a stone's cast above our said 
pinfold. Then hauling these birch boughs down the stream, we drove thousands before 
us, and as many got into our traps as it would hold. Then we began to throw them oH 
shore as fast as three or four of us could by two or three at a time. After this manner 
in half an hour we could have filled a three bushel sack with as fine herring as ever I 
saw." After getting through with his fishing party, Mr. Stacy goes on to say: "As to 
beef and pork there is a great plenty of it and cheap ; also good sheep. The common grass 
of the country feeds beef very fat. I have seen last fall in Burlington, killed, eight ot 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



24 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 



William Trent, the founder of Trenton, a successful merchant of Phila- 
delphia, settled on the east bank of the Delaware opposite the falls. He pur- 
chased, of Mahlon Stacy, the younger, his tract of eight hundred acres inherited 
from his father, lying on both sides the Assanpink, 1714. He removed thither 
soon afterward and laid out a town, which increased rapidly and became the 
seat of the Supreme Court, 1724. Before the town was called after its founder 
it was known as ''Little Worth." William Trent died December 29, 1724. 
^is first wife, who was a sister of Colonel Coxe, died in the slate-roof house, 
Philadelphia. The first Presbyterian meeting house was erected in Trenton, 
1712, and the. county of Hunterdon laid out, 1714, reaching from the Assan- 
pink to the northern extremity of the state. In 1694 the Assanpink was made 
the northern boundary of Burlington county. Trenton was constituted a bor- 
ough, 1746, but a post-office was established there as early as 1734. The paper- 
mill on Green street, built 1741, on the site of Mahlon Stacy's log mill of 1680, 
rebuilt by William Trent, of stone, 1690, and converted into a cotton mill eighty 
years ago, was torn down about 1874, and the Assanpink will now flow "un- 
vexed to the sea." The old mill and its surroundings are classic ground, for 
imediately in front of it the tide in Revolutionary affairs took a turn that led 
to victory. 

Professor Kalm describes Trenton, 1748, as "a long, narrow town, situate 
some distance from the river Delaware on a sandy plain." It had two churches, 
one Episcopal and the other Presbyterian ; the houses were partly built of stone, 
though most of them were of wood or planks, two stories high, with cellar 
underneath, and "a kitchen under ground close to the cellar." The houses 
stood apart with gardens in the rear. The landlord, with whom Kalm stopped, 
told him that when he first settled there, twenty-two years before, there was 

nine fat oxen and cows on a market day, all very fat." Referring to the fish in the 
Delaware again, he says: "Though I have spoken only of herring (lest any should 
think we have little other sorts), we have great plenty of most sorts of fish that ever I 
saw in England, besides several other sorts that are not known there, as rock, cat-fish, 
shad, sheeps-head and sturgeon; and fowls as plenty, ducks, geese, turkeys, pheasants, 
partridges, and many other sorts. Indeed, the country, take it as a wilderness, is a brave 
country, though no place will please all. There is some barren land, and more wood than 
some would have upon their land, neither will the country produce corn without labor, 
nor is cattle got without something to buy them, nor bread with idleness, else it would 
be a brave country indeed ; I question not, but all then would give it a good word. For 
my part I like it so well I never had the least thought of returning to England except 
on account of trade." Under the same date he wrote to William Cook, of Sheffield, and 
others of his friends at home : "This is a most brave place, whatever envious and evil 
spies may say of it ; I could wish you all here. We have wanted nothing since we came 
hither but the company of our good friends and acquaintances. All our people are very 
well, and in a hopeful way to live much better than ever they did. and not only so, but 
to provide well for their posterity. I know not one among the people that desires to be 
in England again, since settled. I wonder at our Yorkshire people that they had rather 
live in servitude, work hard all the year and not be three pence the better at the year's 
end. than to stir out of the chimney-corner and transport themselves to a place where, 
with the like pains, in two or three years they might know better things. I live as well 
to my content and in as great plenty as ever I did, and in a far more likely way to get 
fin estate. ' (Signed) : "Mahlon St.xcv. 

"From the falls of the Delaware in West Jersey, the 26th of 4th-month, 16S0." 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 25 



' 'hardly more than one house," but at this time there were about one hundred 
houses. Their chief gain consisted in the arrival of numerous passengers pass- 
ing between Philadelphia and New York. At that time this was the 
great thoroughfare for goods between these points, transported to Tren- 
ton on the river by water, and thence across New Jersey by land 
carriage. The price of passengers between Philadelphia and Trenton, 
by water, was a shilling and six-pence Pennsylvania currency, and extra for 
baggage, and passengers provided their own meat and drink. From Trenton 
to New Brunswick the price was two shillings and six-pence, and the baggage 
extra. Trenton, now a handsome and thriving city of 50,000 inhabitants, is 
the capital of the state. 

While there is no question Mahlon Stacy's was the first gristmill on the 
east bank of the Delaware, it is impossible to locate the first mill west of the 
river, in this county. Its building could not have been long after the arrival of 
William Penn, for mills were a prime necessity. It is less difficult to fix the 
first mill built in the state. This was erected by the Swedes in 1643 ^^ 1644 on 
Cobb's creek, near the Blue Bell tavern, Delaware county, but it is not known 
on which side of the stream it stood. It is said to have been a "fine mill, which 
ground both fine and coarse flour, and was gping late and early." It has long 
since passed away, but the spot about where it stood is well known. To it all 
the settlers, who did not care to pound their grain into flour, took their grists 
to be ground. In that early day there was a path through the woods from up 
the Delaware, north of Neshaminy, down to the mill, along which the settlers 
traveled back and forth. The court at Upland, in 1678, decided to have anothep 
mill built, which one Hans Moenses put up shortly on ]\lill creek, 
near the present site of Marylandville. In 1683 Richard Townsend and others 
erected a corn-mill on the site of the Chester Mills, on Chester creek, above 
Upland. He was one of a company, formed in England, of which William 
Penn was a member, in 1682. The mill was erected under the care of Caleb 
Pusey, and the materials brought from England. A mill to grind flour was 
built at Holmesburg in 1679, «^"d we believe it is still standing and in pretty 
good condition. When the British occupied Philadelphia they used it as a 
barrack, but after their evacuation, it was again used as a mill and has been 
ever since. The walls are thick and strong, and it shows very little signs of 
decay. In 1658 permission was given to Joost, Andriansen & Company to 
build a saw and grist mill below "Turtle falls,'' the site for which they obtained 
from the Dutch commissary, but we have no evidence these mills were ever 
"built. The toll to be taken by the corn mills was regulated by law, 1675: In 
1683 Richard Townsend erected a grist-mill on what is now Church lane, Ger- 
mantown, for which he brought the machinery and most of the wood work from 
England. For several years this mill ground the grists of the settlers for many 
miles round. They carried the grain to the mill on their back, except one 
lucky Bucks countian who made use of a tame bull for this purpose. The mill 
changed hands many times, the last owner being a son of Hugh Roberts, who 
bought it, 1835. The Frankford mill, late Duffield's, was used by the Swedes 
as a mill before Penn's arrival. 

Ferris, in a note to his ''Original Settlements on the Delaware,'' says: 
^*There is an account preserved by some of the families descended from Isaac 
^larriott, Bristol, Pennsylvania, that when Friends' yearly meeting was held at 
Burlington, New Jersey, about the year 1684, the family wanting some fine 
flour, Isaac took wheat on horseback to be ground at a mill 26 miles from his 
residence." 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 




WILLIAM PENN, AT THE AGE OF TWENTY-TWO. 

From oriitiDal in possession of Historical Society of 
Pennsylvania. Painted from life in 1666. 



Digitized by 



Google 



CHAPTER III. 



WILLIAM PENN BECOMES PROPRIETARY OF PENNSYLVANIA. 



1673 XO 1682. 



William Penn first appears, — Sketch of life and character. — Grant of Pennsylvania. — 
Why so named. — Penn writes a letter to the inhabitants. — Markham appointed deputy 
governor. — Transfer of government. — Site of Pennsbury chosen. — Commissioners to- 
purchase land. — Silas Crispin and Thomas Holme. — Site for Philadelphia selected. — 
Immigrants of 1682. — Henry Paxson, John Brock, William Yardley, et al. — Races that 
settled Bucks county. — English, Germans, Scotch-Irish, Welsh, Hollanders. — Indian 
occupants. — Lenni Lenape. — Their treatment of children. — Tammany. 

William Penn first appears, in connection with affairs in America in 1673.^ 
West New Jersey was then held by Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, but,, 
in March of that year, Berkeley conveyed his interests to John Fenwick in trust 
for Edward Byllinge; but, some difficulty occurring • between them, William 
Penn was chosen arbitrator. In 1674 he was appointed one of the three trustees^ 
into whose hands the entire management and control of West New Jersey 
passed. Through this agency he became the chief instrument in the settlement 
of that country, which afforded him an excellent opportunity to collect valuable 
information concerning it. No doubt he directed his attention especially to the 
west bank of the Delaware, and we have every reason for believing the favora- 
ble accounts of it induced him to take the necessary steps to plant a colony of 
Friends here. 

The founder of Pennsylvania, the son of Sir William Penn, an Admiral in 
the English navy, was born in London, October 14, 1644. His mother was a 
daughter of John Jasper, a merchant of Rotterdam. He was educated at 
Oxford, a classmate of John Locke, and noted for his talents and diligence in* 
study. While a student he attended a meeting of Friends and listened to a ser- 
mon preached by Thomas Loe, which made a deep impression on his mind. On 
his return home his father tried to persuade him to give up his religious con- 
victions; this he refused and was driven from the house with blows; but his 
father relenting, through the intercession of his mother, he was restored to favor. 
He was now sent abroad with persons of rank, in the hope that gay scenes and* 

I When the territory west of the Delaware came into Penn's possession, 1681, the 
Swedes, Finns and Dutch settled along the river were estimated at 3,006, few in Bucks- 
county, and fewer English. 



Digitized by 



Google 



2& HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



ivordly company would drive religious thoughts from his mind. He spent two 
years in France, where he applied himself to the study of the language and 
theology, and acquired all the polish of that polite nation. On his return to 
England, 1664, he was entered a student of law at Lincoln's Inn. His religious 
<onvictions returning, his father sent him to Ireland, where he spent some time 
at the gay court of the Duke of Onnond, and in managing his father's estates 
there. While thus occupied he had an opportunity of again listening to the 
preaching of Thomas Loe, which inteVested him so deeply he became a con- 
stant attendant at Friends' meeting. In the autumn, 1667, he was arrested, with 
others, at a meeting at Cork, but was released. He now became closely identi- 
fied with the Friends, which, reaching the ears of his father, he was ordered 
home to England. Every persuasion and entreaty wxre used to induce him to 
give up his connection with the despised "Quakers," but in vain. Finally, his 
father begged him, to at least take off his hat in the presence of the king, the 
Duke of York, and himself — ^but he declined to accede to the request as it in- 
volved a principle. He was again driven from home, but his mother, the ever 
faithful friend, remained true to him, and often relieved him in great need. 
Penn now became an open and avowed advocate of the religious doctrine of 
the Friends, and the following year began to preach. He did not immediately 
adopt their plain costume and speech, but, for some time, continued to wear 
his sword and courtly dress. In time these were cast aside, and William Penn 
identified himself, in all things, with the despised sect with which he had cast 
^his lot, and endured with them all the pains and penalties the bigotry of the times 
inflicted. He was only reconciled witli his father at the latter's death-bed, when 
he told William that he had "chosen the better part." 

William Penn was married, 1672, at the age of twenty-eight, to Gulielma 
Maria, daughter of Sir William Springett, who lost his life in the civil wars, 
a woman beautiful in person, and of great merit and sweetness of disposition. 
He now gave himself wholly to the work of the ministry, making several relig- 
ious journeys to different parts of Great Britain and the continent. At his 
father's death he w^as left. with an income of not less than £1,500 a year. 

The appearance and personal character of William Penn are illy under- 
stood by the world. The outlandish painting, by Benjamin West, of the apocry- 
phal Elm-Tree Treaty represents him an old, broad-faced, very fat and clumsy- 
looking man, as if he had been born, and brought up, in an ancestral broad-brim 
and shad-belly. This picture is brought to the attention of Pennsylvania chil- 
dren in their early youth, and never leaves them. \\ illiam Penn was an entire- 
ly different sort of person. He was an accomplished and elegant gentleman; 
polite and refined, and conversant with the usages of the most polished society 
of that time. He was reared amid luxury : surrounded with all the appliances 
of wealth, educated to all the refinement of that polished age. He wore a 
sword like a true cavalier, and his portrait at the age of twenty-three shows 
him to have been a very handsome young man. He is said to have excelled in 
athletic exercises. When he came to Pennsylvania he was only 38, hardly in 
his prime : and, instead of being the dumpy figure West paints him, he was tall 
and elegant in person, with a handsome face and polished manners. Neither 
was he an austere ascetic, but indulged in the innocent pleasures of life, and 
relished all the good things that God placed at his hand. He was, in the truest 
sense, a Christian gentleman and enlightened law-giver, far in advance of his 
day and generation. 

At the death of Admiral Penn the British government was found indebted 
to him, for services rendered and on account of money loaned about £16,000. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 29 



In lieu of the money William Penn proposed to receive land in America north 
of Maryland and west of the Delaware. He presented a petition to Charles 11^ 
in June, 1680, which was laid before the privy council. A long and searching 
course of proceedings was had on the petition, and, after many vexatious de- 
lays, his prayer was granted, and a charter to Penn signed and issued. The 
letters patent are dated !March 4th, 1681. The charter specifies that the grant 
should be bounded by the Delaware on the east, from a point twelve miles north 
of New Castle to the forty-third parallel of latitude, and to extend five degrees 
westward from the river, embracing : — 

"All that tract or part of land in America, with all the islands therein con- 
tained, as the same is bound on the east by Delaware river from twelve miles 
distant northward of New Castle town unto the three and fortieth degree of 
northern latitude, if the said river doth extend so far northward, then by the 
said river so far as it doth extend, and from the head of the said river the east- 
ern bounds are to be determined by a meridian line to be drawn from the head 
of the said river unto the three and fortieth degree, the said lands to extend 
westward five degrees in longitude from the said eastern bounds, and the said 
lands to be bound on the north by the beginning of the three and fortieth de- 
gree of northern latitude." 

Penn and his heirs were constituted the true and absolute Proprietary of 
the country ; and he was empowered to establish laws, appoint officers, and do 
other acts and things necessary to govern the country, including the right to 
erect manors. When it became necessary to give a name to the country covered 
by the grant, Penn chose that of New Wales, but the king objected. Penn then 
suggested "Sylvania," to which the king prefixed the word **Penn," in honor 
of his father, and thus the country was given the name it bears — Pennsylvania,, 
which means the high or head wood-lands. The king's declaration, announcing 
the grant and letters patent, was dated April 2, 1681, and the deed of the Duke 
of York to William Penn was executed August 31.^ 

William Penn's first act, dated April 8, was to write a letter to 
the inhabitants of Pennsylvania, and on the loth he appointed his cousin 
William Markham Deputy Governor and Commander-in-chief of the Province, 
clothing him with full powers to put the machinery of the new government in 
operation. At what time ]Markham sailed for America is not known, but we 
find him in New York, with the king's letter, in June, which, with his com- 
mission, he laid before the Council and Commander in the absence of Governor 
Andros. On the 21st the authorities at New York addressed a letter to the jus- 
tices and other magistrates on the Delaware notifying them of the change of 
— — — — , — — — . 

2 William Penn, under date of 5th of ist mo., 1681, wrote as follows to his friend, 
Robert Turner, concerning the name of the new province (see Hazzard's Annals, 500) : 
VThis day my country was confirmed to me under the great seal of England, with large 
powers and privileges, by the name of Pennsylvania, a name the king would give it in 
honor of my father. I chose New Wales, being as this, a pretty hilly country, but Penn 
being Welsh for a head, as Pennanmoire in Wales, and Penrith in Cumberland, and 
Penn in Buckinghamshire, the highest land in England, called this Pennsylvania, which 
is the high or head woodland; for I proposed, when the secretary, a Wels4iman, refused 
to have it called New Wales, Sylvania, and they added Penn to it; and though I was 
much opposed to it, and went to the king to have it struck out and altered, he said it 
was past and would take it upon him ; nor could twenty guineas move the under secretary 
to vary the name; for I feared lest it should be looked on as a vanity in me, and not 
as a respect in the king, as it truly was, to my father, whom he often mentions with 
praise. 



Digitized by 



Google 



30 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



government. In a few days Colonel Markham repaired thither to enter upon 
his duties, bearing with him Penn's letter to the inhabitants, assuring them 
they should be governed by laws of their own making, and would receive the 
most ample protection to person and property. Markham was authorized to 
call together a Council of nine, which met and organized August 3, from which 
time we may date the establishment of a civil government for Pennsylvania. 
There was very little interference in the established order of things and the 
people found a mild ruler in the Deputy Governor. The seat of government 
was fixed at Upland, the present Chester. The old court closed its session Sep- 
tember 13, and the new Court opened the next day. Among the business trans- 
acted was the appointment of William Biles and Robert Lucas, who lived at 
the falls. Justices of the Peace, and pounds, shillings and pence were declared 
to be the currency of the country. But it was difficult to get rid of the guilders 
after they had been so long in circulation. On November 20, the Deputy Gov- 
ernor sat upon the bench and administered justice for the first time. It does 
not appear that any immigrants accompanied him to Pennsylvania. 

Markham was instructed by William Penn to select a site, and build for 
him a dwelling, and it was probably he who chose the spot whereon Pennsbury 
house was erected in Falls tow-nship. We can imagine him prospecting along 
the west bank of the Delaware for a suitable location for the home of the 
Proprietary that afterward became historical. We have no doubt he came over- 
land from New York, and possibly, as he traveled along the western bank of 
the Delaware, or sailed down its broad bosom from the falls, he was struck 
with the extensive and fertile tract still known as **the manor," then covered 
with a growth of giant timber, and returned thither to fix the site of Pennsbury 
house. To hasten the work on his arrival, he brought the frame with him and 
mechanics to put it together. 

September 30, 1681, William Penn appointed William Crispin, John 
Bergar and Christopher Allen, Commissioners, to go to Pennsylvania with 
power to purchase land of the Indians, and select a site for, and lay* out, a 
great city. About the same time he appointed James Harrison his **lawful 
agent,*' to sell for him any parcel of land in Pennsylvania of not less than 250 
acres. Penn, in a letter of September 4, 168 1, gives the conditions upon which 
land is to be sold, and the quantity, to each purchaser. Settlers were to receive 
fifty acres for each servant they took out, and 50 acres for each child. Those 
too poor to buy could take up land at a rent of one penny an acre, 200 acres to 
each head of a family, and 50 acres to each servant at the same rent. The rent 
of poor servants was afterward reduced to one-half penny per acre. Penn 
agreed to buy the passage of those too poor to pay their own, but they must 
pay double rent. William Penn pledged himself that this rent should never 
be raised, and it was not. 

It is current history that Penn appointed his cousin, William Crispin,' the 
first Surveyor-General of the Colony, but no proof of this has been found, his 
only known commission being for '^Commissioner." It is said the vessel he 
sailed in, was blown off the Cape of Delaware and carried to the West Indies 
where he died. However this may be, Captain Thomas Holme was appointed 



3 Capt. William Crispin married first, 1650, Annie Jasper, daughter of John Jasper, a 
merchant of Rotterdam. Holland, and a sister of Margaret Jasper, the wife of Admiral 
Penn, and mother of William Penn. Some authorities state that John Jasper was a 
native of Rotterdam, and others that he was an Englishman by birth. Had Captain Crispin 
lived Penn intended appointing him Chief Justice. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 31 



liis successor April 18, 1682. He was a native of Waterford, Ireland, and 
when a young man, had served in Admiral Penn's fleet in the West Indies. He 
was accompanied to Pennsylvania, by his two sons and two daughters, Silas 
Crispin, son of his predecessor and John, eldest son of James Claypole. There 
is a dispute as to the time Captain Holme sailed. He resided in Philadelphia 
but owned land in Bristol township, though it is not known he ever lived there. 
His two sons died in his life time. His daughter Esther married Silas Cris- 
pin, who came with him to America, and their daughter, Eleanor, became the 
ancestress of the Harts, of Warminster, the Davises of Southampton, Blackfans, 
Houghs, and other county families in the female line 

Among the earliest acts of Markham and the Commissioners was the 
selection of a site for a great city resulting in the founding of Philadelphia. 
They were instructed by Penn to make careful soundings along the west side 
of the Delaw^are and creeks, to ascertain '*where most ships may best ride, 
of deepest draft of water." It is not known how far up the Delaware was ex- 
amined, but there is a tradition that Pennsbury, at one time, was selected as the 
site for the capital city, but it was finally fixed where it stands, between the 
Delaware and Schuylkill. We are told that within a few months Philadelphia 
contained eighty houses and cottages, and more than three hundred farms were 
laid out and partly cleared. In the summer, 1684, the city contained three 
hundred and fifty-seven houses, many of them large and well-built, with cel- 
lars. In 1685 the houses had increased to six hundred. Within little more than 
two years from its settlement, ninety ships had arrived, bringing seven thousand 
two hundred passengers. Oldmixon says that in 1684 Philadelphia contained 
two. thousand five hundred inhabitants.* 

Before Penn left England, many persons had purchased land in Penn- 
sylvania to whom deeds were given, the surveys to be made after their arrival. 
Markham and the commissioners issued a number of warrants for the survey 
of land, which may be found by consulting the records. The oldest deeds on 
record in Bucks county are those of Penn to Thomas Woolrich, of Shalford, 
county StaflFord, for one thousand acres, dated April i, 1681 ; and from Penn 
to James Hill, of Beckington, county Somerset, shoemaker, dated July 27^ 
1681, for five hundred acres. In each case it is mentioned that the quit-rent 
is -one shilling per one hundred acres, It is not known that either of these pur- 
chasers settled in this county.*^ 

4 The following, on the subject of the location of Philadelphia, is from Watson's 
Annals: "Samuel Preston says of his grandmother, that she said Phineas Pemberton 
surveyed and laid out a town intended to have been Philadelphia up at Pennsbury, and 
that the people who went there were dissatisfied with the change. On my expressing 
doubts of this, thinking she might have confused the case of Chester removal, Mr. Preston 
then further declared, that having nearly forty years ago (about 1786) occasion to hunt 
through the trunks of surveys of John Lukens, Surveyor General of Pennsylvania, he and 
Lukens then saw a ground plat for the city of Philadelphia, signed Phineas Pemberton, 
Surveyor-General, that fully appeared to have been in Pennsbury manor; also another 
for the present town of Bristol, called Buckingham." The theory of Samuel Preston is 
easily overturned by the two facts, that Pemberton did not reach Pennsylvania until after 
Philadelphia was laid out, and that he was never "Surveyor-General." 

. 4^ The deed of John Hart, ancestor of the author, in the female line, is a case in 
point. Penn executed a deed to him for a thousand acres at Worminghurst, England, in 
i68t, and after his arrival, 1682, he located five hundred in Byberry, and the same in 
Warminster township, Bucks county. The author has the deed. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



32 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 



Several immigrants arrived in 1682, previous to William Penn, and settled 
in Bucks county. Among these were Richard Amor, Buckelbury, Berkshire ; 
Henry Paxson, Bycot house, parish of Slow, county of Oxford. He embarked 
with his family, but his wife, son, and brother Thomas died at sea, and his 
daughter Elizabeth only survived to reach her father's new home on the Dela- 
ware. He settled in Middletown, and married ^largery Plumley August 13, 
1684; Luke Brinsley, of Leek, county Stafford, mason, arrived September 28, 
and settled in Falls. He was probably a servant of William Penn, for he was 
in his employ as "ranger;" John Clows, jr., Gosworth, county Chester, with his 
brother Joseph, sister Sarah, who married John Bainbridge, 1685, and servant, 
Henry Lingart, and settled in Lower Makefield. Clows died, 1683, and Lingart 
soon after his arrival. Another immigrant, named Clows, arrived about this 
time bringing three children, Margery, Rebecca and William, and servants 
Joseph Chorley, Daniel Hough and John Richardson. Clows married Mary 
Ackerman, August 2, 1686 ; John Brock, qr Brockman, Stockport, County Ches- 
ter, with two servants, one named Eliza Eaton, and followed by a third in an- 
other vessel, who settled in Lower Makefield. He was possibly the ancestor of 
the Brocks of Doylestown. One authority says he came from Bramall, Chester. 
He had two grants of land, one for one thousand acres, dated ]\larch, 1681, 
and another March 3, 1681, the acres not mentioned; William Venables, Chat- 
hil. County Stafford, came with his wife Elizabeth, and children Joyce and 
Francis, settled in Falls and died December, 1683; George Pownall and Eleanor 
his wife, Laycock, County Chester, farmer, with five children and three ser- 
vants, John Breasly , Robert Saylor and Martha Worral. Pownall was killed 
by the fall of a tree, the first accidental death known in the county, one month 
and two days after his arrival, and a son, George, was born twelve days after- 
ward. These and other immigrants came in the ships Samuel, and Friends' 
Adventure. The servants, who accompanied them, w^ere indentured to serve 
four years, and, at the end of the time, each was to receive his freedom and fifty 
acres of land — the condition of all indentured servants brought from England 
at that period. 

The settlement of new countries is governed by a law as well defined as 
that of commerce or finance. From the time the human family first went abroad 
to found colonies to the present day, civilization has traveled up the valleys of 
rivers and their tributaries, while the wealth, developed by labor and capital, 
has as invariably flowed down these same valleys to the sea-. This law was ob- 
served by our ancestors. Planting themselves upon the Delaware they grad- 
ually extended up its valley and the valleys of the Poquessing, Pennypack and 
Neshaminy and penetrated the interior. At the end of the second year after 
Penn's arrival, we find settlers scattered here and there through the wilderness 
as high up as Wrightstown, Warrington and Upper Makefield. 

Bucks county was settled by three distinctly-marked races, whose peculiari- 
ties are seen in their descendants — the English, the German, and the Scotch- 
Irish. A fourth race, the Welsh, followed the other three, and settled some 
portions of the middle and upper sections of the county, but their descendants 
are not so distinctly marked. They were generally Baptists, and, while they 
did not introduce that worship into the county, they added largely to its com- 
munion and strength. This mixture of peoples gives our population a very 
composite character. The first to arrive were the English, mostly Friends; who 
immediately preceded, came with, or followed William Penn, and settled in the 
lower parts of Chester, Philadelphia and Bucks. They were the fathers and 
founders of the commonw^ealth, and have left their lasting impress upon our 

4 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 33 



society and laws. They were followed by the Germans, who transferred the 
language and customs of the Rhine to the Schuylkill, the upper Delaware and 
the Lehigh. They were of several denominations, the Lutherans, Reformed 
and Mennonites predominating. The Germans came close upon the heels of the 
English Friends, who had hardly seated themselves on the banks of the Dela- 
ware before the language of Luther was heard on the Schuylkill. As early as 
1682-83 a few settled where Germantown stands, and to which they gave the 
name. They were followed by a number of German Friends, from Cresheim,* 
near Worms, 1686, having been convinced by William Ames. They came in 
considerable numbers soon after 1700. In the fall of 1705, two German agents 
came to view the land, and went pretty generally through the country, but re- 
turned without buying. In the winter of 1704-5, Penn writes to James Logan 
that he has an hundred German families preparing to go to Pennsylvania, which 
will buy thirty or forty thousand acres of land. In the summer of 1709 Penn 
announces to Logan the coming of the Palatines (Germans), and charges him 
to use them "with tenderness and care;" says they are "a sober people, divers 
Mennonites, and will neither swear nor fight" — a great recommendation with 
the founder. Tender and considerate William Penn ! — he wants these strangers 
treated with tenderness and care when they come to their new homes in the 
wilderness! Between 1708 and 1720 thousands of Germans arrived from the 
Palatinate. About 171 1 several thousand, who had immigrated to New York, 
left that Province and came to Pennsylvania because they were badly treated. 
After this no Germans would settle there. In 17 17 James Logan deprecates 
the great number of Germans that are coming, which he says "gives the country 
some uneasiness." He writes, in 1714, that Sir William Keith, the governor, 
while at Albany, two years before, invited the New York Germans to come to 
Pennsylvania to increase his political influence; fears they may be willing to 
usurp the country to themselves ; and four years later he is glad the influx of 
strangers will attract the attention of Parliament. There may have been gen- 
uine fear on the part of the authorities, which complained of the Germans as 
bold and indigent, and seized upon the host vacant tracts of land without paying 
for it. To discourage their coming here the Provincial Assembly laid a tax of 
20s. a head on each newly arrived servant. The government had become so 
jealous of the Germans and other immigrants, not English, by this timfe, that 
all attempts at naturalization failed until 1724, under the administration of 
Governor Keith. 

The third race to arrive was the Scotch-Irish, as they are generally called, 
but properly Scotch, and not the offspring of the marriage of Gael and Celt. 
They were almost exclusively Presbyterians, the immigration of the Catholic- 
Irish setting in at a later period. The Scotch-Irish began to arrive about 1716- 
18. Timid James Logan had the same fear of these immigrants he had of the 
Germans. They came in such numbers, about 1729, he said it looked as if 
"Ireland is to send all her inhabitants to this Province," and feared they would 
make themselves masters of it. He charged them of possessing themselves of 
the Conestoga manor "in an audacious and disorderly manner," 1730.' The 20s. 
head-tax laid the year before had no effect in restraining them, and the stream 
flowed on in spite of unfriendly legislation. No wonder* — it was an exodus from 
a land of oppression to one of civil and religious liberty ! 

TOe Scotch-Irish have a history full of interest. In the sixteenth century 
the Province of Ulster, Ireland, which had been nearly depopulated during the 



5 The name "Cresheim" is spelled in two, if not, three, ways. 



8 



Digitized by 



Google 



34 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 

Irish rebellions in the reign of Elizabeth, was peopled by immigrants from Scot- 
land. The offer of land, and other inducements, soon drew a large population, 
distinguished for thrift and industry, Across the narrow strait that separates 
the two countries. They were Presbyterians, and built their first church in 
County Antrim, 1613. The population was largely increased the next fifty 
years under the persecutions of Charles II. and James II., in their effort to 
establish the church of England over Scotland. There has been but little inter- 
marriage between the Irish and these Scotch- Saxons, and the race is nearly as 
distinct as the day it settled in Ireland. In the course of time persecution fol- 
lowed these Scotch-Irish into the land of their exile, and, after bearing it as 
long as it became men of spirit to bear, they resolved to seek new homes in 
America, where they hoped to find a free and open field for their industry and 
skill, and where there would be no interference with their religious belief. 

Their immigration commenced the first quarter of the eighteenth century, 
six thousand arriving in 1729; and it is stated that for several years, prior to 
the middle of the century, twelve thousand came annually. A thousand fam- 
ilies sailed from Belfast in 1736, and it is estimated that twenty-five thousand 
arrived between 1771 and 1773. Nearly the whole of them were Presbyterians, 
and settled in Pennsylvania. Many of them came into Bucks county in quest 
of homes, and, in a few years, we find them scattered over several sections, 
from Neshaminy to the mountains north of the Lehigh. They were the found- 
ers of all the old Presbyterian churches in the county. We had no class of 
immigrants that excelled them in energy, enterprise and intelligence. 

A considerable number of Hollanders settled in the lower section of the 
county in the first quarter of the eighteenth century, principally on the Ne- 
shaminy and its branches, but their descendants have quite lost their character- 
istics of race, in the hotch-potch of many peoples. These several races came to 
the wilds of Pennsylvania for a two- fold object, to better their worldly con- 
dition, and for freedom to worship God. Religious persecution in Europe drove 
to the new world the best immigrants that peopled this county. The Catholic- 
Irish, now found in large numbers ir^ the county, began their migration at a 
much later period, although from the earliest time an occasional Irishman made 
his home in Penn's new Province. 

Before the arrival of Europeans, Bucks county was occupied, and the soil 
owned by Indians known as the Lenni Lenape, or original people, who dwelt 
on both banks of the Delaware from its mouth to its source, and reaching to 
the Susquehanna in the interior. They were divided into a number of minor 
tribes, speaking as many dialects of the same common language. The English 
called them the Delaware Indians because they lived upon that river. The 
greater portion of those who lived within the present limits of the county were 
known as Neshaminies, probably from the name of one of our largest and most 
beautiful streams. The Lenni Lenapes originally came from the valley of the 
Mississippi, whence they were driven by more powerful neighbors, and sought 
a quiet home on the banks of the Delaware. Europeans found them a mild, 
amiable and kindly-disposed people ; and, on their first arrival, the Indians as- 
sisted to feed them, and in some instances, the early settlers would probably 
have starved without the friendly help of their red neighbors. Gabriel Thomas, 
in his early account of Pennsylvania, says of the Indians : — '^ 

"The children are washed in cold water as soon as born, and to harden 
them they are plunged into the river. They walk at about nine months. The 
boys fish until about fifteen when they hunt, and if they have given proof of 
their manhood by a large return of skins, they are allowed to marry, usually at 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



35 



about seventeen or eighteen. The |^irls stay with their mothers and help to hoe 
the gfTound, plant com and bear burdens. They marry at about thirteen or 
fourteen. Their houses are made of mats or the bark of trees set upon pole*' 
not higher than a man, with grass or reeds spread on the ground to lie upon 
They live chiefly on maize or Indian com roasted in the ashes, sometimes beaten 
and boiled with water, called hominy. They also eat beans and peas. The 
woods and river furnish the greater part of their provisions. They eat but 
two meals a day, morning and evening. They mourn a whole year, but it is 
no other than blacking their faces." Proud says: "The Indians along the 
Delaware, and the adjacent parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, so far as 
appears by the best accounts of the early settlement of the provinces, when 
clear of the effects of the pernicious poison of strong liquor, and before they 
had much imbibed, and, to their unnatural depravity, added such European 
vices as before they were strangers to, were naturally, and in general, faithful 
and hospitable." 

Before the settlements along the Delaware fell into the hands of the Eng- 
lish, the Dutch authorities prohibited the selling of powder, shot and strong 
liquors to the Indians, under pain of death. Isaac Still® was a celebrated Indian, 
of good education, and the leader of the last remnant of the Delaware tribe 
adjacent to Philadelphia. His only son, Joshua, was educated at Germantown. 
In 1771 Isaac Still moved up into Buckingham where he collected the scattered 
remains of his tribe, and in 1775, he, with 40 persons, started off to the Wabash. 
These were mostly females, the men having gone before. He is described as a 
fine-looking man,^ wearing a hat ornamented with feathers. The women 
marched off in regular order, bareheaded, each with a large pack on her back 
fastened with large straps across the forehead. 

Among the prominent Indians, natives of the county, were Captain Har- 
rison, born in Buckingham and intended for the Delaware chieftain, and Teedy- 
uscung, a man of superior natural abilities, ^ho spoke English and could read 
and write. The bones of the great Tamany, the affable, are said to repose in 
the valley of the beautiful Neshaminy. Captain Harrison refused to leave his 
aged mother when she was seized with the small-pox, and he fell a victim to it, 
and was buried on the Indian tract. In 1690 there were several settlements of 
Indians in Buckingham and Solebury, on the Fell, Pownall and Streaper tracts. 
They were peaceably inclined and sometimes supplied the settlers with meats 
and vegetables. Their children and those of the whites played together. On 
the farm of the late Henry Beans, Buckingham, is a spring that still bears the 
name of "Indian Spring," from the fact that Indians encamped 'about it many 
years after the country was well settled. Peg Tuckemony, who lived on the 
Street road above Sand's corner, and employed herself making baskets, is said 
to have been the last of her race in Buckingham. She is remembered by the 
present generation, and she made a school basket for the late Simon Meredith, 
Doylestown, when a school-boy. Isaiah, her husband, died about 1830. 



6 In 1679 the following Indian chiefs were living along the Delaware from Cold 
Spring up to about Taylorsville : Mamerakickan, Anrichtan, Sackoquewano, and Nan- 
neckos. 

7 Samuel Preston. 



Digitized by 



Google 



CHAPTER IV. 



PENN SAILS FOR HIS NEW COLONY. 



1682. 



Penn sail" for Pennsylvania. — Arrives at New Castle. — Meets the inhabitants. — Visits 
Philadelphia. — The First Assembly goes to New York. — The Welcome passengers, 
John Rowland, Thomas Fitzwatcr, William Buckman, Nicholas Wain, John Gilbert, 
Joseph Kirkbride. — Condition of the country. — First purchase from the Jndians. — 
Penn buys more land. — Treaty of 1686. — The Walking Purchase. — Tamany. — Lands 
Granted. — The Great Law. — Population on Penn's arrival. — Assembly of 1683. — Seal 
of Bucks county. — House of Correction. — The county court. — Sumptuary Laws. — 
Marking cattle. — Ear marks. — Owners of cattle in Bucks county, 1684. 

William Penn embarked for Pennsylvania in the Welcome, the Quaker 
Mayflower, of 300 tons, Robert Greenway, master, September i, 1683. He was 
accompanied by 100 immigrants, mostly Friends. They had a lorig and tedious 
passage and their suffering was aggravated by the smallpox breaking out, of 
which 30 passengers died. Penn was assiduous in his attention to the sick, 
and greatly endeared himself to all. The vessel entered the Capes of Delaware 
October 24 ; arrived before New Castle the 27th, w^hen Penn received possession 
of the country and submission of the inhabitants. He was at Upland the 29th 
and from there sent word to some of the leading inhabitants to meet him at 
New Castle on November 2, to settle the question of jurisdiction and other mat- 
ters. At this meeting he took occasion to address the people, explaining the 
nature of his grant, etc. He desired them to bring, at the next court, their 
patents, surveys, grants and claims, to have them adjusted and confirmed. On 
November 2, Penn visited Philadelphia, with a number of Friends, to attend 
Quarterly Meeting. Tradition tells us he came up the river in a boat and 
landed at the mouth of Dock creek, near a building then being erected, and 
afterward known as the "Blue Anchor Tavern." He convened an Assembly 
at Upland, the 4th of December, at which were present from Bucks county, 
Christopher Taylor, Griffith Jones and William Yardley. It continued in ses- 
sion four days, passing about one hundred laws of pressing importance, in- 
cluding the act of Union which united the territories of New Castle and Kent 
-to Pennsylvania. An election was ordered for the 20th of February, 1682,* 

r Old style. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 37 



for members of Council and Assembly, to meet at Philadelphia the loth of March 
following. In the proclamation, addressed to "Richard Noble* high sheriff of 
the coimty of Bucks,* he was required to "summon all the freeholders of thy 
bailiwick to meet at the falls upon Delaware river";* when William Biles, 
Christopher Taylor, and James Harrison were elected to the Council, and Wil- 
liam Yardley, Samuel Darke, Robert Lucas, Nicholas Walne, John Wood, John 
Clows, Thomas Fitzwater, Robert Hall, and James Boyden, to the Assembly, 
whose names are signed to the Great Charter.* 

After giving some directions about the building of Philadelphia, we next 
find William Penn making a visit to New York. We know nothing of his jour- 
ney, but no doubt he took the overland route, going up the river in a boat, to 
the falls, stopping on the way at Burlington to visit the Friends' settlement, 
and view the site Markham had already selected, and upon which he was erect- 
ing his manor house, and Ihence on horseback across New Jersey to Elizabeth- 
town Point, where he took boat for New York. This was probably the first 
time the great founder set foot in Bucks county. 

Of tihe one himdred immigrants the Welcome brought to the wilderness 
west of the Delaware, the heads of families were generally persons of standing 
and intelligence. About one-half of all who arrived with Penn settled in this 
county, and their descendants are found here to this day, many of them bearing 
the same names and some living on the ancestral homesteads. Of the Welcome 
passengers who settled in Bucks, we are able to name the following : 

Thomas Rowland, Billinghurst, Sussex, husbandman, with his wife Pris- 
cilla, and servant Hannah Mogeridge, who settled in Falls and died 1705. 
John Rowland, a brother, came at the same time ; 

Thomas Fitzwater, Hanworth, county of Middlesex, near Hampton Court, 
husbandman, with sons Thomas and George, and servants John and Henry. 
His wife and two children died at sea, on the passage. He was a member from 
Bucks, of the first Assembly, and died 1699 ; 

William Buckman, parish of Billingshurst, Sussex, carpenter, with Mary 
his wife, and children Sarah and Mary. He patented three hundred acres in 
the lower part of Northampton township, 1686, which he sold to John Shaw, 
and bought a tract in Newtown, on the Neshaminy, of Rol^ert Webb, 1695, and 
died there. He was the ancestor of the Buckmans still living in Newtown. The 
descendants of William Buckman are supposed to number two thousand souls. 
Jacob Buckman, who died near Moorestown, N. J., 1869, was lineally de- 
scended in the seventh generation ; 

Cuthbert Hayhurst, Easington, Yorkshire, with his wife and four chil- 
dren, w^ho took up a tt-act of five hundred acres near Rocksville, Northampton 
township, the farm of the late Mordecai Carter being part of it. He was a 
Friend and belonged to Middletown meeting, dying March 5, 1683, at the age 
of fifty. He was one of the earliest Friends in his native county, and was im- 
prisoned, 1654-1666, and at other times. His daughter Mary married William 
Carter ; 

2 First sheriff of the county. 

3 By naming this county "Bucks" in the first proclamation William Penn issued 
after his arrival, it would seem he had fixed upon the name, possibly before leaving 
England. 

4 The first election held in the county. 

5 It was drawn by James Harrison and Thomas Fitzwater, both Bucks county men. 



Digitized by 



Google 



38 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 

Richard Ingals, or Ingols, settled in Washington, but we hear nothing 
further of him ; 

Thomas Walmsly, with Elizabeth his wife, Yorkshire, settled in North- 
ampton, where he died soon after his arrival. He had bought land before leav- 
ing England, and brought with him irons, and other articles, to be used in the 
erection of a mill. His widow married John Purslone; and his eldest son, 
Thomas, Mary, daughter of William Paxson, and settled in Bensalem, 1698. 
The youngest son married Mary Searl, 1699, and settled in Southampton ; 

Nicholas Walne, with wife and three children, of Yorkshire, settled in 
Middletown, but owned land in Northampton. He became prominent in our 
history ; was a member of the first and subsequent Assemblies, and died Au- 
gust, 1721. He has numerous descendants in Philadelphia; 

Thomas Wriggleswdrth and wife, Yorkshire. He died, 1686 ; 

Thomas Croasdale, wife and six children, and Thomas Stadchouse and 
wife, Yorkshire, who settled in Middletown, and Ellen Cowgill and children 
from Yorkshire ; 

John Gilbert came, 1682, and is thought to have been a Welcome pas- 
senger, although his name is not on the list examined by the author. He settled 
in Bensalem, but removed shortly to Philadelphia, where he became a prominent 
merchant, and died, 171 1. The name of Thomas Gillett^^ is on the list of Wel- 
come passengers, but it is possible the Bensalem settler should be Thomas in- 
stead of John. James Claypole, a relative of Oliver Cromwell, through his 
daughter, who married Lord General Claypole, purchased land in this county, 
but never lived here. He became a merchant of Philadelphia, and was a part- 
ner in the Free Society of Traders. He was accompanied by his daughter. 

Among the Welcome passengers was Joseph Kirkbride,® a youth of nine- 
teen, son of Mahlon and Magdalene, of the quaint little town of the same name, 
Cumberland. One account says he arrived in the John and Sarah, 1681, leav- 
ing England in August. The family records state that he came in the Wel- 
come. He ran away from his master, and started for the new world with a 
little wallet of clothing and a flail. He was first employed at Pennsbury, but 
soon removed to West. Jersey. He married Phebe, daughter of Randall Black- 
shaw, March 14th, 1688, and at her death, Sarah, daughter of Mahlon Stacy, 
December 17th, 1702; she died in three years, leaving a son, Mahlon, and two 
daughters, who married Abel Janney and Reuben Pownall. Joseph Kirkbride 
lived to become an influential and wealthy man, and leading minister among 
.Friends; was a magistrate and member of Assembly. He went to England, 
1699, returning 1701, visiting his old master in Cumberland and paying him 
for the services he had deprived him of, seventeen years before. He died, 1738, 
at the age of seventy-five. From his son Mahlon have descended all that bear 
his name in this county, and many elsewhere, and a numerous posterity in the 
female line. He married Mary, daughter of John and Mary Sotcher, favorite 
servants of William Penn, at the age of twenty-one, and settled in Lower Make- 
field, where he built a stone mansion that stood until 1855, when torn down 
by a grandson of the same name. Colonel Joseph Kirkbride, who lived opposite 
Borden town, and was prominent in the county during the Revolutionary 
struggle, was a grandson of the first Joseph, and son of the Joseph who 

SVi This name is possibly misspelled. 

6 A Joseph Kirkbride came in the Bristol Factor, landing its passengers in the 
Delaware, 10 mo., 11, 1681. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 39 

married Sarah Fletcher, Abington, 1724. The British feurnt Colonel Kirk- 
bride's mansion, 1778.^ Mahlon Kirkbride, Lower Makefield, had in his pos- 
session, and which came from the Penns through the Scotchers, a brass candle- 
stick, an oaken chest, and the remains of Letitia Penn's cradle, in which most 
of the young Kirkbrides were rocked. Probably other Welcome passengers 
settled in this county, but in the absence of a list entirely correct, it is impos- 
sible to say who they were.^ 

Our readers must not lose sight of the actual condition of the country when 
Penn and his immigrant Friends planted themselves on the Delaware. If we 
except the clearing of an occasional Dutchman, or Swede, or the few English 
settlers who had preceded the founder, what is now a cultivated and pleasing 
landscape, was then an unbroken wilderness. The river swarmed with fish of 




LETITIA PENN'S CRADLE. 

excellent flavor, and the forest was filled with game of various kinds and much 
wild fruit, while the Indians roamed unrestrained. These exiles, from com- 
fortable English homes, sat down in the woods seeking the friendly shelter of 
a tree, a cave, or otherwise as best they could until a rude cabin could be built ; • 
and wild game and native corn, both the gift of the red man, often fed them 
and their family until trees were felled and crops raised. Those who located 
near streams had a never- failing supply of fish. Mills were rare and at a dis- 

7 As early as 1718 the assembly established a ferry at Kirkbride's landing, which 
was afterward known as Bordentown ferry. 

8 The first settlers brought with them certificates of good character from the meet- 
ings they belonged to, which, with the names of their parents, children and servants, 
the vessel they came in, and the time of their arrival, were entered in a book kept for 
the purpose by Phineas Pemberton, clerk of the court. Among the early settlers there 
is observed an almost entire absence of middle names. They had not yet come into use. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



40 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 

tance, and some even carried grain on their back to the Schuylkill.^ The coun- 
try was without roads, and those who traveled followed bridle paths through 
the woods, or in canoes along the streams. Life was a stern, hard struggle, the 
present generation, living in affluence and plenty, cannot realize. At first they 
were without plows, using hoes instead, to break up the ground. In 1687 the 
crops failed on both sides of the river, and the settlers were put to great stress 
for food, some living on herbs until their necessities were relieved by the arrival 
of a vessel with corn from New England. Wild pigeons were in such abun- 
dance they furnished a supply of food, on several occasions, when other sources 
failed. 

William Penn was very favorably impressed with the Swedes he found 
inhabiting the Delaware and its tributaries, and wrote to England flattering 
accounts of their treatment of himself and the English colonists. He says 
they were principally given to husbandry, but had made a little progress in the 
propagation of fruit trees ; they were comely and strong of body ; had fine chil- 
dren and plenty of them ; and he sees "few young men more sober and indus- 
trious." Some have contended there was a "Swede's line," running from Up- 
land through Philadelphia and part of Bucks, half a mile from the Delaware, 
marking the western boundary of land the Duke of York confirmed to the 
Swedes, and which Penn reconfirmed. Penn recognized every grant by the 
Duke of York, but we have not been able to discover any evidence of a con- 
tinuous line that bore this name. Wherever mention is made of the "Swede's 
line," has reference only to the line of the land owned by one of that race, or, 
as we might say, the "Dutchman's line," or the "Englishman's line." It was 
merely local to those places where the Swedes owned land that joined the land 
of other settlers. Holme's map shows no such line, nor have we ever met with 
it except when mentioned in an occasional old deed. 

The virgin Pennsylvania must have impressed William Penn as a most 
charming land when he arrived upon its shores, 1682. Daniel Pastorious writes 
that Penn found the air so perfumed, it seemed to him like an orchard in full 
bloom; that the trees and shrubs were everywhere covered with leaves, and 
filled with birds, which, by their beautiful colors and delightful notes pro- 
claimed the praise of their Creator. A few years later Erik Biork concludes a 
letter by saying the country may justly be called "the land of Canaan." While 
William Penn's impressions of his new Province w6re not so highly wrought, 
they were equally significant. He is particular in his description of the fishes 
in the Delaware, and their excellence and abundance, stating that six thousand 
shad were taken at one draught, and sold at the doors of the settlers for a half 
pence each ; and oysters two shillings per bushel. If to these accounts be added 
that of Gabriel Thomas, who arrived in 168 1, in the first vessel after the pur- 
chase, and the letter of Mahlon Stacy, written 1680, the most credulous will be 
satisfied that Penn's new Province was a most charming country. 

It was William Penn's policy, from the beginning, to extinguish the Indian 
title to his grant of Pennsylvania bv purchase.^*^ The price was insignificant 
when we consider the value of the land, nevertheless it was such as was paid 

9 It is thought had it not been for the Swedes and Hollanders, who preceded 
Wilh'am Penn and his immigrants,* some of whom had considerable farms, it would have 
been difficult for the first comers to subsist at all. The Friends owed much to 'them, 
who were the true pioneers. 

10 Charles P. Keith, in a "Synopsis of Pennsylvania History," published in the 
October, 1900, number of 'The Pennsylvania Magazine of History," says that "Henry Comp- 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 41 



at that day. Although he had no authority, William Markham made the first 
purchase of what is Bucks county, July 15, 1682, three months and«a half be- 
fore Penn's arrival, for which he paid a little wampum, a few blankets, guns, 
kettles, beads, fish-hooks, etc. This tract had the following metes and boimds : 

"Beginning at a white-oak, on the land now in the tenure of John Wood, 
and by him called the Graystohes, over against the falls of Delaware river, and 
from thence up the river side to a comer spruce tree, marked with the letter P. 
at the foot of the mountains, and from the said tree, along by the ledge or foot 
of the mountain west, southwest, to a comer white-oak marked with the letter 
P. standing by the Indian path, that leads to an Indian town called Plawicky,*^ 
and near the head of a creek called Towsissink or Towisinick, and from thence 
westward to the creek called Neshamineh, at the high rocks ; and along by the 
said Neshamineh to the river Delaware, alias Makerickhickon (or Makerish- 
kitton), and so bounded by the said river, to the first-mentioned white-oak, in 
John Wood's land, with the several islands in the river," etc." 

These boundaries are well defined by nature, and easily traced. The place 
of starting was the riverside at Morrisville, where John Wood owned land and 
lived; the tree at "the foot of the mountain," which marked the first corner, 
stood 104 perches above the mouth of Knowle's creek, which runs through 
Upper Makefield and empties into the Delaware below Brownsburg. The 
"mountain" followed in a southwesterly direction was the rocky ridge, now 
called Jericho hill, which extends nearly across Upper Makefield in a general 
southwest direction. When the course leaves the "mountain" it diverges to 
the westward, and mns in nearly a straight line to a comer white oak that 
stood on the land late of Moses Hampton, near the head of a creek about three- 
fourths of a mile northeast of Wrightstown meeting house.** "Towsissink" 
creek is a branch of the Lahaska, crossing the Pineville turnpike a little below 
the Anchor *tavem. From the white oak the line runs west to the high rocks 
on Neshaminy, about half a mile below Chain bridge, crossing the Durham 
road near where it is intersected by the road from Pennsville. This purchase 
included all of the townships of Bristol, Falls, Middletown, Lower, and the 
greater part of Upper Makefield, Newtown, and a small portion of Wrights- 
town, the line running about half a mile from its southern boundary. 

The next purchase of lands in this county was made by Penn in person, the 
23d of June, 1683, when the chiefs Essepenaike, Swampoes, Okkettarickon 
and Wessapoak, for themselves their heirs and assigns, conveyed to him all 
their lands, "lying between Pemmapecka** and Neshamineh creeks, and all 
along upon Neshemineh*'* creeks, and backwards of the same, and to run two 
days journey with a horse up into the country." The same day the chief 
Tamanen** and Metamequan released to Penn and his heirs the same territory, 

ton, Bishop of London, advised Penn to buy the country of the Indians like the Dutch and 
Swedes." 

11 The exact location of the Indian town of "Plawicky" has not been defi- 
nitely fixed. Dr. Smith, in his notes on Wrightstown, says that tradition has located its 
site on the land of Thomas Smith in that township, on the north side of the public road 
near the residence of Isaac Lacy, and above the line of the purchase. Here are two large 
and never-failing springs, and numerous Indian relics found in the neighborhood tend to 
confirm the tradition. 

12 The islands mentioned in this purchase are Mattiniconk, Sapassinck and Oreskows. 

13 Dr. Charles W. Smith. 

14 Pennypack. 15 Neshaminy. 16 St. Tamany. 



Digitized by 



Google 



42 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



orrtitting the two days journey, but July 5, 1697, they confirmed this grant, 
including%the "two days journey." The latter deed was acknowledged in open 
court at Philadelphia. This purchase included the townships of Bensalem, 
North and Southampton, Warminster, Warrington, and all west of the main 
branch of the Neshaminy. The purchase by Thomas Holme, 1685, did not em- 
brace any part of Bucks county, but probably touched us on the southwestern 
border after leaving the Pennypack, up which the line ran from the Delaware. 

It is alleged that a treaty was made with the Indians August 30, 1686, said 
to be the foundation for the "Walking Purchase," but such treaty or deed has 
never been found. By it, it is said the Indians conveyed to Penn : — 

, "All those lands lying and being in the Province of Pennsylvania, begin- 
ning upon a line formerly laid out from a corner spruce tree, by the river 
Delaware, and from thence running along the ledge or the foot of the mountains 
west northwest (west southwest) to a comer white oak marked with the letter 
P. standing by the Indian path that leadeth to an Indian town called Play- 
wikey, and from thence extended westward to Neshaminy creek, from which 
said line, the said tract or tracts thereby granted doth extend itself back into 
the woods, as far as a man can go in one day and a half, and bounded on the 
westerly side with the creek called Neshaminy, or the most westerly branch 
thereof, and from thence by a line to the utmost extent of said creek one day 
and a half's journey to the aforesaid river Delaware, and thence down the sev- 
eral courses of the said river to the first mentioned spruce tree." 

The Walking Purchase treaty was begun at Durham, 1734, where John 
and Thomas Penn met two of the Delaware chiefs, but nothing was done and 
they adjourned to meet at Pennsbury in May, 1735.^^ Here several other Dela- 
ware chiefs met the Proprietaries — \>\xt nothing conclusive was arrived at. 
In August, 1737, the negotiations were resumed at Philadelphia, and on the 
25th and 26th was concluded what is known as the Walking Purchase treaty, 
about which there has been so much controversy, and which, afterward gave 
great dissatisfaction to the Indians. This treaty confirms and ratifies the terms 
of that of August, 1686, and provides for the walk to be made by persons ap- 
pointed for the purpose. The treaty was executed by four chiefs, and witnessed 
by twelve Indians and several whites. The purchases made under these various 
treaties included the present territory of Bucks county, with a greater part of 
that within its ancient limits. One of the signers to the Walking Purchase 
was Lappawinsoe, whose portrait hangs in the room of the Historical Society 
of Pennsylvania, painted in this State in 1737, and presented by Granville John 
Penn. Logan speaks of him, 1741, as "an honest old Indian." He was classed 
among the chiefs at the Forks of the Delaware, and Hackewelder says his 
name means "he is gone away gathering com, nuts or anything eatable." 

The traditional account that Janney gives in his life of Penn, that the 
Proprietary, accompanied by some of his friends, began to walk out a purchase 
that was to extend up the Delaware "as far as a man could walk in three days ;" 
that when they reached a spruce tree in a day and a half, near the mouth of 
Baker's creek, Penn concluded he would want no more land at present, and 
7 — — ^ — ■ ■ 

17 Under date of 26th, 2d mo., 1735, Steel writes to Nathan Watson, "that he was 
disappointed that he had not already bought two fat cattle and some good sheep," for 
the Indians to assemble at the treaty at Pennsbury — and advises that he now sends him, 
by William Smith, "thirty pounds to buy two good midlin' fat cattle, a score of good fat 
wether sheep, and some ewes and lambs," and direct him to send them to Pennsbury 
before the fifth day of next month. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 




HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 43 



ran a line from thence to the Neshaminy ; that they walked leisurely, after the 
Indian manner, sitting down sometimes to smoke their pipes, to eat biscuit and 
cheese, and drink a bottle of wine, is a pure myth, having no foundation in fact. 
We present two autographs of the great 
J^fp Tamanen, or Tamany, which gives us some 
\ ]' idea of the chirography of one of our lead- 
^J ing aboriginal chieftains. The first was 
"^ made in 1683, and is the chief's signature to 
the treaty of June 23, which Penn negotiated 
for the purchase of the land between the Pennypack 
and Neshaminy. The second is attached to the treaty 
of June 15, 1692. In the meantime probably the 
chieftain had changed his writing master, and had 
been taught a more modem signature. 

By virtue of the Royal Charter, Penn and his heirs were the absolute lords 
of the soil, after the Indian title was extinguished, and the officers of the land 
office were his agents. Large quantities of land were disposed of before he 
left England, to be surveyed afterward. One hundred pounds were paid for a 
full share, of five thousand acres, and 50s. quit-rent, which entitled the holder 
to one hundred acres in the city plat. Those who could settle six families were 
to get their land for nothing. In the conditions agreed upon, between Penn and 
the original purchasers, July 11, 1681, it was stipulated "that in clearing the 
ground care should be taken to leave one acre of trees for every five acres 
cleared, especially to preserve mulberry and oak for silk and shipping." Before 
1700 the ustfal method of granting land was by lease and re-lease, and the 
rent, generally, was a penny sterling per acre. The patent was to be issued 
when the purchase money was paid. The price of land increased as the country 
became more settled, and the quit-rents were slightly raised. 

Technically speaking, there were never any manors in Pennsylvania, this 
name being given to the tenths set off for the Proprietary, and other large 
surveys made for his use. There was never any attempt to enforce the customs 
of manorial courts, which would hardly have been tolerated by the court or 
the settlers. 

Penn's Great Law of 1682 abolished the English law of primogeniture, 
and allowed the real estate of an intestate to be divided among all his diildren ; 
and authorized the right of disposing of real estate by will, attested by two wit- 
nesses. But over and above all the other blessings of civil government that 
William Penn established west of the Delaware, was the absolute freedom to 
worship God, which stands out in marked contrast with the policy of the Puri- 
tan fathers. In the Great Law, was the following declaration : "Nor shall he 
or she at any time be compelled to frequent or maintain any religious worship, 
place, or ministry whatsoever, contrary to his or her mind, but shall freely and 
fully enjoy his or her Christian liberty in that respect, without any interruption 
or reflection." 

The population on the Delaware, at Penn's arrival, mostly Dutch and 
Swedes, and a few Finns, was estimated at three thousand. It rapidly increased. 
In all of 1682, twenty-three ships arrived, loaded with immigrants, and before 
the end of the next year, over fifty vessels came freighted with passengers. By 
this time, societies were formed at Frankfort-on-the-Main, Louisberg, Bremen, 
Lubec, and other places in Germany, to open trade and send immigrants to Penn- 
sylvania. The guiding spirit of this movement was Pastorius, of the free city 
of Windsheim,who brought over a number of German immigrants, in October, 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



44 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



1683, and settled them at Germantown. The full fruits of the German move- 
ment will be seen in subsequent chapters. 

The legislative branch of the new government was to consist of two houses, 
both elective by the people, the upper one of three members from each county, 
and the lower of six. Penn said to the settlers, "yc>u shall be governed by laws 
of your own making, and live a free, and, if you will, a sober and industrious 
people." 

At the first provincial assembly held at Philadelphia, in March, 1683, a 
number of acts were passed necessary to put Penn's government in operation. 
The country was divided into three counties, Philadelphia, Bucks and Chester, 
and their boundaries fixed, those of Bucks beginning "at ye river Delaware, at 
Poaquesson creek, and so to take in the Easterly side thereof, together with ye 
townships of Southampton and Warminster, and thence backwards." The 
county was not called Bucks until some time after its boundaries were estab- 
lished. In a letter to the Free Society of Traders, written August 6th, 1683, 
six months after it had been formed, William Penn calls it "Buckingham." 
The name "Bucks" probably gradually grew into use in contradistinction to 
Buckingham. The boundary between Bucks and Philadelphia, which then in- 
cluded Montgomery, was about the same as we now find it. On the 23d of 

March the Council ordered that the seal of Bucks 
County be a "Tree and Vine." A house of correc- 
tion was ordered for each county, 24x16 feet, that 
for Bucks being located at Bristol. The poor, who 
received relief from the county with their families, 
were obliged to wear the letter P. made of red or 
blue cloth, with the first letter of the name of the 
place they inhabited, in a conspicuous place upon 
the shoulder of the right sleeve. In that day, it 
seems the unfortunate poor had no rights the au- 
thorities were bound to respect. At the same ses- 
BucKs COUNTY SEAL ^*^" scvcral sumptukry laws were passed, fore- 

shadowing the desire of the new Commonwealth to 
regulate personal matters between men. The county court was authorized to 
fix a price on linen and woolen cloth; justices were to regulate wages of ser- 
vants and women ; a meal of victuals was fixed at seven pence half-penny, and 
beer at a penny a quart ; the price of flax -was fixed at 8d. per pound, and hemp 
at 5d. By act of 1684, flax, hemp, linen and woolen, the product of the county, 
were received in payment of debts. Each settler of three years was to sow a 
bushel of barley, and persons were to be punished who put water in rum. 

Marking cattle was a subject that early engaged the attention of the new 
law-makers west of the Delaware. Ear marks of cattle were recorded in Upland 
court as early as June, 1681, before the arrival of William Markham. As there 
were but few enclosures, and the cattle were turned loose to graze in the woods, 
it was necessary each owner should have a mark, to distinguish his own from 
his neighbor's. The law obliged every owner to have a distinctive mark, and 
the alteration by another was a punishable oflFence. These marks were entered 
in a book kept for the purpose in the Register's office. In this county Phineas 
Pemberton, the Register, prepared a book^® and entered therein the ear and 
brand marks of the early settlers. The registry was begun in 1684, and all 

18 This curious old record belonging to the Register's office. Doylestown, has been 
deposited in the Pennsylvania Historical Society for safe keeping. 




Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 



45 



are in his hand writing but the last one, and all but a few were entered that 
year. It contains the names of one hundred and five owners of cattle in Bucks 
county. The first entered is that of Mr. Pemberton, and reads, "The marks of 
my cattle P. P. the lo, 6-mo., 1684/' Among others is the entry of the earmarks 
of William Penn's cattle, as follows: 

"William Penn Proprietary and gournr of Pennsilvania And Territorys 
Thereunto belonging/' 



"His Earmarke 
Cropped on both 
Eares." 




"His Brandmarke W F 
on the nearror 
Sholder." p> Q- 



Below there is the following entry : 

"Att the fall of the yeare 1684 there came a long- 
bodyed large young bb cow with this earemarke. She was 
very wild, and, being a stranger, after publication, none 
owning her, James Harrison, att the request of Luke Brind- 
ley, the Rainger, wintered her, and upon the 23d day of the 
7th month, 1685, sd cow was slaughtered and divided, two 
thirds to the Gournr, and one third to the Rainger, after 
James Harrison had had 60 lbs of her beef, for the wintering 
of her att jof." (10 shillings sterling.) In only one in- 
stance is the number of cattle owned by a settler stated in the record, that of 
Phineas Pemberton ; "one heifer, one old mare, one bay mare, one horse some- 
what blind, one gelding, one red cowl" 

We insert the following engravings of earmarks as fair samples of the 
whole number, and belonging to families now well known in the county. 





ANTHONY BURTON. 






WILLIAM YARDLEY. 



HENRY PAXSON. 




THOMAS STACKHOUSE. 



JOHN EASTBOURN. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



46 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 



The following are the names of the owners of cattle in Bucks county, 1684, 
according to the entry in the original record : Phineas Pemberton, John Acker- 
man, Thomas Atkinson, Samuel Allen, William Biles, Nicholas Walne, Thomas 
Brock, G. Wheeler, Joshua Boare, Daniel Brinson, James Boyden, Jeremiah 
Langhome, John Brock, Randall Blackshaw, H. Baker, George Brown, Lyonel 
Britton, Edmund Bennet, Charles Brigham, Job Bunting, Walter Bridgman, 
William Brian, Henry Bircham, William Buckman, Anthony Burton, Stephen 
Beaks, Charles Biles, William Biles, Jr., Abraham Cox, Arth ur C ook, PTiilip 
Conway, Robert Carter, Thomas Coverdell, John Cowgill, John Coates, Ed- 
mund Cutler, William Crosdell, John Crosdell, Edward Doyal, Thomas Dun- 
gan, William Dungan, Samuel Dark, William Dark, Thomas Dickerson, An- 
drew Eliot, Joseph English, John Eastbourn, Joseph Ffarror, Dan. Gardner, 
Joseph Growden, John Green, Joshua Hoops, Thomas Green, Robert Lucas, 
Edmund Lovet, Giles Lucas, John Lee, Richard Lundy, James Moone, Henry 
Margerum, Joseph Milner, Hugh Marsh, Ralph Milner, John Otter, John 
Palmer, Henry Paxson, William Paxson, James Paxson, Ellenor Pownal, John 
Pursland,^* or John Penquoit, Henry Pointer, Richard Ridgway, Francis Ros- 
sell, Thomas Rowland, John Rowland, Thomas Royes or Rogh, Edward Stan- 
ton, William Sanford, Thomas Stakehouse, Henry Siddal, Jonathan Scaife, 
Thomas Stakehouse, Jr., John Smith, Stephen Sands, William Smith, John 
Swift, Thomas Tuneclif, Israel Taylor, John Town, Gilbert Wheeler, Shad- 
rack Walley, John Webster, William Wood, John Wood, Abraham Wharley, 
Peter Worral, Thomas Williams, William Yardley, Richard Wilson, John 
Clark, William Duncan, David Davids, William Penn and John Wharton. 

19 Probably Purslone or Pursland, afterward changed to Purcel and Pursel. 



Digitized by 



Google 



CHAPTER V. 



SOME ACCOUNT OF EARLY SETTLERS. 



1682 TO 1685. 



Holme's map. — Townships seated. — Some account of settlers that followed Penn. — Ann 
Milcomb, John Haycock, Henry Marjorura, William Beaks, Andrew Eliot, Thomas 
Janney, Johp Clow§, George Stone, Richard Hough, Ann Knight, John Palmer, 
William Bennett, John Hough, Randall Blackshaw, Robert Bond, Ellis Jones, Jacob 
Hall, Sarah Charlesworth, Richard Lundy, Edward Cutler, David Davis, James 
Dillworth, Peter Worrell, William Hiscock, Christopher Taylor, George Heathcote, 
John Scarborough, Thomas Langhorne, Thomas Atkinson, William Radcliff, James * 
Harrison, Phineas Pemberton, Joshua Hoops, and Joseph Growden. 

Thomas Holme commenced a survey of the west bank of the Delaware 
soon after his arrival, in 1681, and in i686 or 1687 published his map of the 
Province, in London, giving the land seated, and by whom. Of what is now 
Bucks County this map embraced Bensalem, Bristol, Falls, Middletown, South- 
ampton, Northampton, the two Makefields, Newtown, Wrightstown, Warwick, 
and Warrington. There were more or less settlers in all these townships, and 
their names are g^ven, but the major part were in those bordering the Delaware. 
Some of the names, doubtless, were incorrectly spelled, but cannot now be 
corrected. Among them are found the names of some of the most influential 
and respected families in the county, which have resided here from the arrival 
of their ancestors, now nearly two centuries and a quarter. Several who pur- 
chased land in the county never lived here, others not even in America, which 
a<:counts for their names not appearing on our records. At that early day not 
a single township had been organized, although the map gives lines to some 
nearly identical with their present boundaries. All beyond the townships of 
Xewtown, Wrightstown, Northampton and Warrington were terra incognita. 
olonel Mildway appears to have owned land farther back in the woods, but 
of him we know nothing. The accuracy of Holme's map may be questioned. 
James Logan says when the map was being prepared in London, Holme put 
down the names of several people upon it to oblige them, without survey of 
land before or afterward,, but other parties were permitted to take up the land. 
This accounts for some names of persons being on the map who were never 
known to have owned land in the county. 

More interesting still, than the mere mention of the names of the settlers, 
is a knowledge of whom and what they were, and whence and when they came. 



Digitized by 



Google 




Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 49 



We have already noticed those who preceded William Penn,. and came with 
him in the Welcome, now we notice those who arrived about the same time, or 
soon afterward, and previous to 1684,^ viz. : 

Ann Millcomb, widow, of Armagh, Ireland, arrived in the-Delaware, loth 
month, first, 1682, with her daughter Mary, and servant Francis Sanders, and 
settled in Falls. There was an Ann Milcomb living in the county about this 
time, whose daughter Jane married Mauris Liston, August 8, 1685,* and settled 
in Kent County on Delaware. 

John Haycock, of Shin, county Stafford, farmer, arrived 7th month, 28th, 

1682, with one servant, James Morris, settled in Falls, and died November 19^ 
1683. 

Henry Marjorum, County Wilts, farmer, arrived 12th month, 1682; with 
him, wife, Elizabeth; had a son bom September 11, 1684.^ 

William Beaks, of the parish of Bask will, in Somerset, farmer, came with 
Marjorinn, and settled in Falls. He brought a son, Abraham, who died in 

• 1687. 

Andrew Eliot, Salter, of Smallswards, in Somerset, his wife Ann, and 
John Roberts and Mary Sanders, arrived in the Factor, of Bristol. 

Thomas Janney, of Stial, Cheshire, farmer, and wife Margery, arrived 
7th month, 29th, 1683, and settled in Lower Makefield. He brought children, 
Jacob, Thomas, Abel and Joseph, and servants, John Nield and Hannah Falk- 
ner. He was a preacher among Friends, and returned to England in 1695, 
where he died February 12, 1696, at the age of 63. He was several times in 
prison for his religious belief.'^ 

John Clows, of Gawsworth, Cheshire, yeoman, Margery his wife, and chil- 
dren Sarah, Margery and William, and four servants, arrived with Thomas 
Janney and settled in Lower Makefield. He was a member of Assembly, and 

* died, 1688. 

George Stone, of Frogmore, in Devon, weaver, arrived in Maryland, 9th 
month, 1683, and came to the Delaware the following month, with a servant, 
Thomas Duer. He was Stone's nephew and complained of him in 1700, for not 
fulfilling his agreement. 

Richard Hough, Macclesfield, Cheshire, chapman, arrived 7th month, 29, 

1683, with servants, Hannah Hough, Thomas Woods, and Mary his wife, and 
James Sutton. He settled in Lower Makefield, and married a daughter of John 
Clows the same year. He became a prominent man in the Province; repre- 
sented this County several years in the Assembly, and was drowned in 1705, on 
his way down the river to Philadelphia to take his seat. When William Penn 
heard of it, he wrote to James Logan, "I lament the loss of honest Richard 
Hough. Such men must needs be wanted, where selfishness and forgetful- 
ness of God's mercy so much abound.'* The original name del Hoghe, Norman 
French, was changed to Hough in the sixteenth century. ^^ 

Ann Knight arrived in a ship from Bristol, Captain Thomas Jordan, 6th 
month, 1682, and 4th month 17th, 1683, was married to Samuel Darke. 

1 It must be constantly borne in mind that all these dates are old style, the year 
commencing the 25th of March. 

2 Some account of the Marjorum family may be found in Lower Makefield, where 
they settled, and are still represented in both the male and female lines. 

3.J4 See Janney, Vol. Ill, this work. 
2^ See Hough, Vol. Ill, this work. 



4 



Digitized by 



Google 



so 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



John Palmer, of Yorkshire, farmer, arrived 9th month, loth, 1683, with his 
wife Christian, and settled in Falls. 

William Bennet, of Hammondsworth, in Middlesex, yeoman, and his wife 
Rebecca, arrive^ November, 1683, and settled in Falls. He died March 9th, 
1684. An Edmund Bennet settled in Northampton, and married Elizabeth 
Potts, loth month, 22d, 1685, and his name is also among those who settled in 
Bristol township.' 

John Hough, of Hough, county of Chester, yeoman, Hannah his wife, with 
child John, and servants, George and his wife Isabella, and child George, 
Nathaniel Watmaugh and Thomas Hough arrived 9th month, 1683. What 
connection, if any, there was between him and Richard Hough is not known. 

Randall Blackshaw, of Holinger, in Chester, and wife Alice, arrived in 
Maryland, 4th month, 1682, and came to Pennsylvania with child Phoebe, nth 
month, 15th, 1682. His wife came with the other children, Sarah, Jacob, Mary, 
Nathaniel, and Martha, and arrived 3d month, 9th, 1683. One child, Abraham, 
died at sea, 8th month, 2d, 1682. He brought several servants, some with fam- 
ilies, and settled in Warwick. In the same vessel came Robert Bond, son of 
Thomas, of Wadicar hall, near Garstang, in Lancashire, about sixteen years 
old. He ,came in care of Blackshaw and settled in Lower Makefield ; died at 
James Harrison's, and was buried near William Yardley's. The following 
persons came at the same time in the Submissive: 

Ellis Jones, of county Denbigh, in Wales, with his wife and servants of 
William Penn, Barbara, Dorothy, Mary, and Isaac ; Jane and Margery, daugh- 
ters of Thomas Winn, of Wales, and mother; Hareclif Hodges, a servant; 
Lydia Wharmly, of Bolton ; James Clayton, of Middlewich, in Chester, black- 
smith, and wife Jane, with children, James, Sarah, John, Josiah and Lydia. 

Jacob Hall, of Macclesfield, in Chester, shoemaker, and Mary his wife, 
arrived in Maryland 12th month, 3d, 1684; came afterward to the Delaware, 
where his family arrived 3d month, 28th, 1685. He brought four servants, 
Ephraim Jackson, John Reynolds, Joseph HoUingshead, and Jonathan Evans. 

Sarah Charlesworth, sister-in-law of Jacob Hall, came at the same time, 
with servants, Charles Fowler, Isaac Hill^ Jonathan Jackson, and James Gib- 
son. John Bolshaw and Thomas Ryland, servants of Hall, died in Maryland, 
and were buried at Oxford. Joseph Hull, William Haselhlirst, and Randolph 
Smallwood, servants of Jacob Hall, and Thomas Hudson, who settled in Lower 
Makefield, arrived 3d month, 28th, 1685. Other servants of theirs arrived July 
24th, and still others in September. Among them were William Thomas, 
Daniel Danielson and Van Beck and his wife Eleanor. 

Richard Lundy, of Axminster, in Devon, son of Sylvester, came to the 
Delaware from Boston, 3d month, 19th, 1682. He settled in Falls and called 
his residence '"Glossenberry." He married Elizabeth, daughter of William 
Bennet, August 26, 1684. His wife came from Longford, in the county of 
Middlesex, and arrived in the Delaware, 8th month, 1683. 

Edmund Cutler, of Slateburn, in Yorkshire, webster, with his wife Isabel, 
children Elizabeth, Thomas and William, and servants, Cornelius Netherwood, 
Richard Mather and Ellen Wingreen, arrived 8th month, 31st, 1685. He was 
accompanied by his brother, John Cutler and one servant. William Wardle; 
also James, son of James T^Iolinex, late of Liverpool, about three years of age, 
who was to serve until twenty-one. John Cutler returned to England, on a 
-visit, 1688. 

David Davis; surgeon, probably the first in the county, son of Richard, of 
Welshpool, in Montgomery, arrived 9th month, 14th, 1683, and settled in 



Bigitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 



51 



Middletown. He married Margaret Evans, March 8th, 1686, died the 23d, and 
was buried at Nicholas Walne's burying place. 

James Dillworth, of Thombury, in Lancashire, farmer, arrived 8th month, 
22d, 1682, with his son William and servant Stephen. 

Edward Stanton, son of George, of Worcester, joiner, arrived 8th month, 
iDth, 1685. 

Peter Worrell and Mary, his wife, of Northwich, in Chester, wheelwright, 
arrived in the Delaware 8th month, 7th, 1687. 

William Hiscock settled in Falls before 1685, and the 23d of loth month, 
same year, he was buried at Gilbert Wheeler's burying ground. His will is 
dated the 8th. 

Christopher Taylor, of Yorkshire, arrived in 1682. He was a fine classical 
scholar, and a preacher among the Puritans until 1652, when he joined the 
Friends, and suffered much from persecution. He was of great assistance to 
William Penn, and he and his brother Thomas wrote much in defence of 
Friends in England. He was a member of the first Assembly that met at Ches- 
ter, in December, 1682, and died in 1696. He was the father of Israel Taylor, 
who hanged the first man in Bucks county. He settled in Bristol, but took up 
a tract of five thousand acres in Newtown toward Dolington. He had two 
sons, Joseph and Israel, and one daughter, who married John Buzvy. 

George Heathcote, of Rittilife, in Middlesex, was settled in the bend of the 
Delaware above Borden tOwn before 1684. He was probably the first Friend 
who became a sea-captain, entering the port of New York as early as 1661, and 
refused to strike his colors because he was a Friend. He was imprisoned by 
the governor of New York in 1672 because he did not take off his hat when 
presenting him a letter. He sailed from New York in 1675, and was back 
again the following year. In 1683 he was fined in London for not bearing 
arms. He followed the sea many years, and died in 1710. His will is on file 
in New York city. By it he liberates his three negro slaves, and gave five hun- 
dred acres of land, near Shrewsbury, New Jersey, to Thomas Carlton, to be 
called "Carlton Settlement." He married a daughter of Samuel Groom, of 
New Jersey, and left a daughter, who married Samuel Barber, of London, and 
two sisters. In 1679 Captain Heathcote carried Reverend Charles Wooly home 
to England, who does not give a flattering account of the meat and drink fur- 
nished by the Quaker sea-captain, and says that they had to hold their noses 
when they ate and drank, and but for "a kind of rundlett of Madeira wine'' the 
governor's wife gave, it would have gone worse with him." 

John Scarborough, of London, coachsmith, arrived in 1682, with his son 
John, a youth, and settled in Middletown. He returned to England in 1684, to 
bring his family, leaving his son in charge of a friend. Persecutions against 
the Friends ceasing about this time, and his wife, who was not a member, not 
caring to leave home, he never returned. He gave his possessions in this county 
to his son, with the injunction to be good to the Indians from whom he had 
received many favors. Paul Preston, of Wayne county, has in his possession a 
trunk that John Scarborough probably brought with him from England. On 
the top, in small, round brass-headed nails, are the letters jlnd figures: I. S. 
1671. 

Ellen Pearson, of Kirklydam, county of York, aged fifty-four, arrived in 
1684. 

Ann Peacock, of Kilddale, county of York, arrived in the Shield with John 
Chapman and Ellen Pearson, in 1684. 



Digitized by VrrOOQlC 



52 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Abraham Wharley, an original settler, removed to Jamaica in 1688, and 
died the next year. Nathan Harding also returned to England. 

Thomas Langhorne, of Westmoreland, arrived in 1684. He had been 
frequently imprisoned, and in 1662 was fined £5 for attending Friends' meet- 
ing. He represented this county in the first Assembly ; was the father of Chief 
Justice Jeremiah Langhorne, and died October 6, 1687. Proud styles him "an 
emminent preacher." He settled in Middletown. 
^ Thomas Atkinson, of Newby, in Yorkshire, became a Friend in early life,* 

and was a minister before his marriage, in 1678. He arrived in 1682 with wife 
Jane and three children, William, Isaac and" Samuel, settled in Northampton 
township and died October 31st, 1687. 

James Radcliff probably born in Lancashire, was imprisoned as early as 
his fifteenth year for his religious belief; came to America in 1682, and settled 
in Wrightstown. He was a preacher among Friends, and died about 1690. 

Ruth Buckman, widow, with her sons Edward, Thomas and William, and 
daughter Ruth, arrived in the fall of 1682, and lived until the next spring in 
a cave made by themselves south of the village of Fallsington. The goods they 
brought were packed in boxes, and weighed nearly two thousand pounds. It 
is not known whether her husband was related to William Buckman who settled 
in Newtown. 

Among the immigrants who arrived about the same time, but the exact 
date cannot be given, were William and James Paxson, from the parish of 
March Gibbon in Bucks; Ezra Croasdale, Jonathan Scaife, John Towne, John 
Eastboum, Yorkshire, Thomas Constable and sister Blanche and servant John 
Penquite, Walter Bridgman from county Cornwall, and John Radcliff, of Lan- 
caster. Edward and Sarah Pearson came from Cheshire and Benjamin Pearson 
from Thorn, in Yorkshire. 

James Harrison, shoemaker, and Phineas Pemberton, grocer, Lancashire, 
were among the most prominent immigrants to arrive, 1682. They sailed in 
the ship Submission from Liverpool, 6, 7 mo, and arrived in Maryland 2, gnio. 
being 58^days from port to port. Randall Blackshaw was among the passen- 
gers. Pemberton, son-in-law of Harrison, brought with him his wife Phoebe^ 
and children, Abigail and Joseph, his father, 72, and. his mother 81. Mrs. Har- 
rison accompanied her husband with several servants and a number of friends. 
Leaving their families and goods at the home of William Dickinson at Chop- 
tank, Md., they set out by land for their destination near the falls of Delaware. 
On reaching the site of Philadelphia, where they tarried over night, not being 
able to get accommodation for their horses, they had to turn them out in the 
woods, and not finding them in the morning, the new immigrants had to go up 
to the falls by water. They stopped at William Yardley's, who had alr^t^ady be- 
gun to build a home. Pemberton concluding to settle there, bought three hun- 
dred acres, which he called "Grove Place." They returned to Maryland where 
they passed the winter, and came back to Bucks county with their families in 
May, 1683. Harrison's certificate from the Hartshaw monthly meeting, gives 
him an exalted character, and his wife is called **a mother in Israel." 

James Harrison was much esteemed by William Penn, who placed great 
reliance on him. Before leaving England Penn granted him five thousand acres 
of land, which he afterward located in Falls, Upper Makefield, Newtown and 
Wrightstown. He was appointed one of the Proprietary's Commissioners of 
property, and the agent to manage his personal affairs. In 1685 he was made 
one of the three Provincial judges, who made their circuit in a boat, rowed by 
a boatman paid by the Province. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 53 



Femberton probably lived with Harrison for a time, but how long is not 
known. He owned the **Bolton farm/' Bristol township, and is supposed to 
have lived in Bristol at one time. He married Phoebe Harrison a few years 
before leaving England, and had nine children in all, but only three left issue : 
Israel, who married Rachel Kirkbride, and Mary Jordan, James who, married 
Hannah Lloyd, Mary Smith and Miss Morton, and Abigail, who married 
Stephen Jenkins. Israel became a leading merchant of Philadelphia, and died 
in 1754. Of ten children, but three survived him: Israel, who died in 1779'/ 
James in 1809, and John in 1794, while in Germany. Phineas Pemberton was 
the first clerk of the Bucks county courts, and served to his death. No doubt 
the Pembertons lived on the fat of the land. His daughter Abigail wrote him 
in 1697, that she had saved twelve barrels of cider for the family, and in their 
letters frequent mention is made of meat and drink. In one he speaks of 
"a goose wrapped up in the cloth, at the head of the little bag of walnuts," 
which he recommends them to "heep a little after it comes, but roast it, get a 
few grapes, and make a pudding in the belly." Phineas Pemberton's wife died 
in 1696, and he March 5th, 1702, and both were buried on the point of land 
opposite Biles' island. James Logan styles him "that pillar of Bucks county," 
and when Penn heard of his death he writes : "I mourn for poor Phineas Pem- 
berton, the ablest, as well as one of the best men in the Province." He lived in 
good style ; had a "sideboard" in his house, and owned land in several townships. 

Phineas Pemberton,^ who settled at first in Makefield, did not remain 
there very long, but removed to Falls township, where he spent his useful life 
of twenty years He was the son of Ralph Pemberton and Margaret, his wife, 
daughter of Thomas Seddon, Warrington, England, and were married June 
7, 1648. She died Sept^rnber 2, 1655. They had issue Phineas, born January 
30, 1650, married first Phebe Harrison, daughter of James Harrison, and by 
her had issue, Ann, born October 22, 1677, died July 3, 1682; Abigail, born 
June 14, 1680, married Stephen Jenkins, November 22, 1750; Joseph, born 
May II, 1682, died November, 1702; Israel, born February 20, 1684, rnarried 
Rachel Reed, died January 14, 1754; Samuel, born February 3, 1686, died 
January 23, 1692; Phebe, born February 26, 1689, died August 30, 1698; Prii- 
cilla, bom April 23, 1692, married Isaac Waterman; Ralph, born September 
20, 1694, died November 18, 1694; Phineas Jennings, bom April 17, 1696, died 
1 701. On the death of Phineas Pemberton's first wife he married Alice Hodg- 
son, Burlington, by whom he had no children. Ralph Pemberton had a second 
son by his wife Margaret Seddon, Joseph, born April 12, 1652, died Aug^ist 3, 
1655. Phineas Pemberton acted a prominent part in the new Colony ; he was 
a member of Assembly from Bucks county for several terms, and chosen 
Speaker, 1698. 

As early as 1675, four brothers, Nathaniel, Thomas, Daniel and William 
Walton, from Byberr\', England, settled in that township, in Philadelphia 
county, which they named after their native town. They came on foot from 
New Castle, and lived in a cave, covered with bark, several months: and two 
of them returned thither for a bushel of seed wheat, fifty miles. The eldest 
brother joined the Keithians, in 1691, but afterward united himself with All 

3 Lower, in his **Patronymica Brittanica" states that the family name of Pemberton 
is derived from the chapelry of that name in the parish of Wigan, in the hundred of West 
Derby, Lancashire, England, and it is certain Pembertons are found at a very early 
period as lords of the manor of Pemberton, in Wigan, within a few miles of Aspul. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



54 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Saints' church. At what time the Waltons came into Bucks county is not 
known, but early, as a son of Nathaniel was teaching school in Falls township, 
where he died in 1759.* 

Joshua Hoops, the ancestor of the family of that name in Chester county, 
of Cleveland, Yorkshire, arrived 9th month, 1683, with his wife Isabel, and 
children Daniel, Margaret and Christian. He settled in Falls, and his wife 
died April 15th, 1684. He took an active part in affairs. His son Daniel re- 
moved to Chester county, in 1690, married Jane Worrilow, settled at Westtown, 
and had seventeen children.*^ 

Like the Waltons, the Knights came into this county through Byberry, 
where Giles with his wife Mary and son Joseph, arrived from Gloucestershire, 
in 1682. They lived in a cave on the Poquessing creek, where he built a house. 
He kept the first store in the township, and died in 1726, at the age of seventy- 
four. Dr. A. W. Knight of Brazil, Indiana, the fifth in descent from Giles, 
owns the gun his ancestor brought from England. They had nineteen children 
in all, Joseph marrying Abigail Antill, in 17 17, and settling in Bensalem. He 
died in 1799, was a man of influence, and filled several public stations, and was 
an elegant and imposing man in appearance when in full dress. A descendant 
of a half-brother of the first Giles was a senator in Congress from Rhode Island. 
There were upwards of twenty of the name of Knight on the Revolutionary 
pension roll.® 

Joseph Growden, the son of Lawrence Growden, of Cornwall, England, 
came to Pennsylvania, 1682, with wife and children, and settled in Bensalem, 
where he took up ten thousand acres for himself and father. His first wife, 
Elizabeth, dying in 1699, he married Ann Buckley, of Philadelphia, in 1704. 
He died in December, 1730, leaving two sons, Joseph and Lawrence, who in- 
herited most of his real estate, and three daughters. He held many places of 
public trust in the infant colony ; was member of the Privy Council ; member of 
Assembly and several years Speaker of that body ; he was frequently upon the 
bench of this county, and appoijited a Supreme Judge in 1705. His son Joseph 
was less distinguished than the father. He was one of the first persons of note, 
in Philadelphia, who allowed himself to be innoculated for the smallpox, :n 
1 73 1. At his death, the landed estate of the Growdens passed to his brother 
Lawrence; who, dying in 1769, left it to his daughters Elizabeth and Grace, 
the latter receiving that in this county as her portion. She married Joseph 
Galloway, of Philadelphia, and Elizabeth, Thomas Nicholson, of Trevose, 
England. 

Notwithstanding the first English settlers of this county began to marry 
soon after they came, our county records show but twenty-three marriages the 
first four years after Penn's arrival. In the books of the Friends' monthly 
meeting there is a much fuller and more reliable record, including births, mar- 
riages and deaths. 

4 Born in Bucks county, 1684. 

5 Gilbert Cope. 

6 Dr. Knight, mentioned above, who was born in Bucks county, September 5, 1807, 
died at Brazil, Indiana, December 5, 1877. He graduated at the Jefferson Medical 
College, Philadelphia; married Achsah Croasdale, March 4, 1832; went to Ohio that 
fall, but removed to Indiana. He became a prominent man and at his death left a 
widow and five children. 



Digitized by 



Google 



CHAPTER VI. 



PENN AND PENNSBURY. 



1682 TO 1690. 



Markham and Harrison select a site for manor house. — The situation. — Description of 
house. — Gardens and lawns. — Written instructions. — Penn's horses. — Furniture of 
house. — Table ware and plate. — Penn did not live there at first visit. — Letter post 
established. — Bucks county a Quaker settlement. — The Meeting was supreme, but 
discipline lax. — Discountenanced the use of strong drinks. — Penn returns to Eng- 
land. — Population. — Schism of George Keith.— Wages. — Farm produce. — Stock. — 
Great rupture. — Dress. — Quit-rents hard to collect. 

Delightful memories linger about Pennsbury, the Bucks county home of 
the founder of Pennsylvania. This was his rural residence, whither he 
retired from the cares of state to spend his time in the bosom of his family, 
and where he intended to fix his permanent home and live and die in the pur- 
suit of agriculture, his favorite occupation ; but Providence interfered with his 
designs, and instead of closing his eyes amid the peaceful shades of Pennsbury, 
he died in England, far away from the home of his affections. As we remarked 
in a previous chapter, William Markham and James Harrison were commis- 
sioned by William Penn, before they left England, to select a site and build him 
a residence. Markham probably selected the site, as he was the first, to arrive, 
but it is possible this was done by William Penn himself after his arrival in 1682.* 
The erection of the dwelling was commenced in 1682-83, and cost from five 
to seven thousand pounds. It stood on a gentle eminence, about fifteen feet 
above high-water and one hundred and fifty from the river bank, while Wel- 
come creek wound its gentle waters closely about it. There is not a vestige of 
the building remaining, and of all its beautiful surroundings there are to be 
seen only a few old cherry trees, Said to have been planted by Penn's own hand, 
standing in the Crozier lane. Penn probably did not live there until his second 
visit, 1699, when he made it his home. 

Unfortunately, no drawing has been preserved of Pennsbury house, if one 
were ever made, nevertheless we are able to approximate its true size, arrange- 

I This location was probably fixed upon, because it was near the flourishing Friends' 
settlement at Burlington, and also contiguous to the falls. 



Digitized by 



Google 




PENNSBURY MANOR. 

ments and surroundings.* The main edifice was sixty feet long by thirty feet 
wide, two stories high and stately in appearance, built of bricks probably burnt 
on the premises,^ as a bricklayer was sent out from England in 1685, and a 
wheelwright in 1686. The dwelling faced the river. There was a handsome 
porch, front and rear, with steps having both ''rails and banisters." On the 
first floor was a wide hall running through the building and opening onto the 
back porch, and in which the Proprietary received distinguished strangers, and 
used on public occasions. There were at least four rooms on this floor. On 
the left was a parlor, separated from the large eating-room of the servants back 
of it by a wainscoted partition, and there was probably a room on the opposite 
side of the hall opening into the drawing-room. There were likewise a small 
hall and a little closet. There were four chambers on the second floor, one 
denominated the *'best chamber," an entry, a nursery, and a closet which seems 
to have been exclusively Mrs. Penn's. In the third story were at least tw^o 
garrets, and the stories were nine feet. The back door of the hall Penn styled 
"two leaved," and, after his return to England, he ordered a new front door 
because "the present one is most ugly and low." The roof was covered with 
tiles from, the Province, and on the top was a leaden reservoir, to the leakage of 
which is mainly charged the destruction of the mansion. ^^ 

2 Considerable light has been thrown on the subject by the researches of the late J. 
Francis Fisher, a close student of local history. 

3 He directed bricks to be used wherever it were possible, and when not, good 
timbers cased with clapboards. 

3^ The engraving of Pennsbury House, accompanying this chapter, was projected 
and drawn under the supervision of Addison Hutton, architect. Philadelphia, from the 
most exact description and measurements that could be obtained, even to the "shutts" 
that were ordered about the time the house was finished. The unsightly reservoir on 
top of the roof, and the cause of the mansion's destruction, was omitted. So far as our 
information extends, there never was any attempt to draw, or otherwise reproduce, 
Pennsbury House in the time of its owner or subsequently, for the reason, doubtless, 

56 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



57 



Near the house were the necessary out-buildings, about which he gave 
directions in a letter to James Harrison, August, 1684. He writes : "I would 
have a kitchen, two larders, a wash-house, a room to iron in, a brew house,* and 
a Milan oven for baking, and a stabling for twelve horses/' The out-buildings 
were to be placed '^uniform and not ascu;" were to be a story and a half high, 
the story eleven feet. The dwelling remained unfinished for several years, and 
in May, 1685, Penn writes to Harrison, **finish what is built as fast as it can be 
done." No doubt there was considerable ornamentation about the building, for, 
in 1686, Penn again writes, "pray don't let the front be common." The brew- 
house was the last to yield to the tooth of time. It had long been in dilapi- 
dated condition, but was not torn down till the fall of 1864. It was twenty by 
thirty-five feet, and eleven feet to the eaves ; chimney and itoundation of brick ; 
the sills and posts were ten inches square; the weather-boarding of planed 
cedar, and the lath split in the woods. The fire-place was the most generous 
kind, and would take in a sixteen-foot backlog. 

Among the mechanics who worked at the building, and the material men, 
the following are mentioned: E. James, who was "to finish the work which 
his men had begun f bricks were furnished by J. Redman, and deal-boards were 
got of John Parsons. Hannah*^ Penn writes to James Logan that her husband 
is dissatisfied with E. James, "he's too much of a gentleman" and "must have 
two servants to such a job of work." Henry Gibbs is called "the governors 
carpenter." 

The house was surrounded by gardens and lawns, and vistas were opened 
through the forest, aflfording a view up and down the river. A broad walk was 




PENNS BREW HOUSE. 



that Friends of that day did not approve of such things. We believe the picture here 
presented to the reader is as near a counterpart of the original as can be produced ; a first- 
class colonial dwelling of the period. 

4 'Gabriel Thomas, 

5 Second wife of the founder, daughter of Thomas Callowhill. 



Digitized by 



Google 



58 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



laid out from the house down to the river, and in the fall of 1685 poplar trees, 
eighteen inches in diameter, were planted on each side of it. The ground in 
front was terraced with steps leading to the grounds below. The surrounding 
woods was laid out in walks at Penn's first visit, and he gave direction to have 
the trees preserved, as he contemplated fencing off the neck for a park, but we 
have no evidence it was ever done. Gravel, for the walks, was taken from the pit, 
near the swamp in the vicinity, as Penn would not allow that from Philadelphia 
to be used because it was red. Steps led down to the boat-landing in front of 
the house, and Welcome creek was bridged in several places. By Penn's direc- 
tions great care was bestowed upon the gardens, and several gardeners were 
sent out to take charge of them, also various kinds of shade and fruit trees, 
shrubbery, and the rarest seeds and roots were planted. In Maryland he pur- 
chased many trees indigenous to that climate, and caused the most beautiful of 
the wild flowers to be transplanted into his gardens'. A well of water supplied 
the several offices, but how the tank on the roof was filled is not known. 

All his letters to his steward prove Penn's great love for rural life, and 
his desire, as he expressed it, to make his children "husbandmen and house- 
wives." He continually looked forward, almost down to his death, to establish 
his permanent home at Pennsbury; and, after his second return to England, 
gave instructions to have the improvements go on.* He directs his fields laid 
out at least twelve acres each. He paid considerable attention to agriculture, 
and took pains to introduce new seeds at Pennsbury. We are probably indebted 
to him for the introduction of clover and other grass seeds into this county. 
He writes to his steward in 1685, "Haydusf from Long Island such as I sowed 
in my court-yard, is best for our fields." Again : "Lay as much down as you 
can with haydust." In the first twenty years there were less than one hundred 
acres of the manor cleared for cultivation.® Penn appears to have located a 
tract of land in the same section for his children, for, in a letter to William 
Markham, in 1689, he writes : "I send to seat my children's plantation that I 
gave them, near Pennsbury, by Edward Blackfan."* 

William Penn was as fond of good stock as of trees and shrubbery. On 
his first visit he brought over three blooded mares, which he rode during his 
sojourn here, a fine white horse, not full blood, and other inferior animals, for 
labor. At his second visit, 1699, he brought the magnificent stallion colt, 
"Tamerlane," by the celebrated Godolphin Barb, from which some of the best 
horses in England have descended. His inquiries about the mares were as 
frequent as about the gardens. In his letters he frequently speaks of his horse 
"Silas," and his "ball nag Tamerlane." It is quite likely these horses were 
kept at Pennsbury from the first. 

The manor house was furnished with all the appliances of comfort and 
convenience known to persons of rank and wealth of that day. The furniture 
was good and substantial, without being extravagant. In "the best chamber," 
in addition to the bed and bedding, with its silk quilt, were "a suit of satin 
curtains," and "four satin cushions." There were six cane chairs, and "two 

6 He writes from England in 1705: "If Pennsbury has cost me one penny, it has 
cost me above £5,000, and it was with an intention to settle there, though God has been 
pleased to order it otherwise. I should have returned to it in 1686, or at farthest, in 1689." 

7 Grass seed, no doubt. 

8 Forty acres were cleared by 1701, and an additional forty acres the following year. 

9 Ancestor of the Bucks county Blackfans. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 59 

with twiggen bottoms/' In the next chamber was a suit of camblet curtains, 
"with white head-cloth and testar," and a locking-glass in each. The nursery 
had "one pallet bedstead" and '*two chairs of Master John's," Penn's little son 
bom at Pennsbury. In the best parlor the entire furniture was "two tables, 
one pair stands, two great cane chairs and four small do., seven cushions, four 
of them satin, the other three green plush ; one pair brasses, brass fire-shovel, 
tongs and fender, one pair bellows, two large maps." In the other parlor was a 
leathern chair, which, no doubt, was occupied by William Penn in person. In 
the great hall was a long table at which public business was transacted, and 
"two forms of chairs" to sit at the table. In Mrs. Penn's closet were four 
chairs with needle-worked cases, and in the little closet below were four flower 
basins. The table furniture was handsome and included damask tablecloths 
and napkins; a suit of tunbridge ware, besides white and blue china. While 
pewter-ware was in common use, the Proprietary's family possessed a consid- 
erable quantity of plate, including silver forks and a tea set. The tables and 
chairs were made of oak or other suitable wood, as mahogany had not then 
come into use. Carpets were little used in Europe, and probably there were 
none at Pennsbury. A tall, old-fashioned, clock stood in the house, which now 
stands in the Philadelphia Library". Penn brought the greater part of the 
furniture from Europe, and our list of articles is made up from the inventory 
left at Pennsbury when the family sailed for England, November, 1701. No 
doubt some of the most valuable articles were taken along. After they sailed 
the goods from the town-house were sent up to Pennsbury. In 1695 Penn 
writes to James Harrison, in charge of the manor house : "Get window shutts 
(shutters) and two or three eating tables to flap down, one less than another, 
as for twelve, eight, five (persons). Get some wooden chairs of walnut, with 
long backs, four inches lower than the 'old ones, because of cushions." 

WilHam Penn did not reside at Pennsbury, durmg his first visit, because 
the mansion was not in condition to live in, but he was frequently there to 
give directions about the work. He probably made his home with some of the 
Friends already settled along the Delaware below the falls, for he is known to 
have been in the county at various times and places, holding court, attending 
meetings, etc. He had not been a year in his new Province, when he established 
a letter post to convey intelligence from one part to another. In July, 1683, he 
ordered a postofiice at "Tekony," and appointed Henry Wady,'^ postmaster. 
Among his other duties he was "to supply passengers with horses, from Phila- 
delphia to New Castle, or the falls." The rates of postage were, letters from 
the falls to Philadelphia, 3d. ; to Chester, 5d. ; to New Castle, yd, ; to Maryland, 
9d. The post went once a week, and the time of starting was to be carefully 
published "on the meeting-house door, and other public places." This post was 
continued until some better arrangement was made. The falls, the starting 
place of the mail, was an important point in the young Province. 

We must not lose sight of the fact that Bucks was a Quaker county, and 
Pennsylvania a Quaker colony. Outside pressure had intensified their religious 
convictions, which they carried into politics and family. Their social and 
domestic government was practically turned over to the church, which enforced 
a discipline that would not be tolerated now. It prescribed the rules for dress, 
and marked out the line of personal behavior. In 1682, male and female, old 
and young, are adznsed against "wearing superfluity of apparel," and, in 1694, 
"to keep out of the world's corrupt language, manners, and vain, heedless 

gYi Probably Waddy. 

Digitized by VrrOOQlC 



6o HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 



things, and fashions in apparel, and immoderate and indecent smoking of 
tobacco." In 1719 they advanced a step further, and advised all who accus- 
tom themselves, or suffer their children, to use **the corrupt and unscriptural 
language of you to a single" person, to be **dealt with." In 1744 it was deemed 
• a "fault" not to take a certificate when removing from one meeting to another. 
The Friends, in some respects, ignored other denominations, and held them- 
selves aloof from colonial gentiles. In 171 1 they were exhorted not to attend 
the funerals of those not in communion with them ; nor to go into any of their 
^Vorship-houses," nor hear their sermons. They were very strict in the matter 
of courtship and marriage. In 1705 the Bucks quarterly ordered those intend- 
ing marriage to acquaint the overseers of monthly meeting before they declare 
their intentions; and the man and woman were not allowed to dwell in the 
same house, from the time they begin to be "concerned in proposals of mar- 
riage" until its consummation.^^ 

In spite of this strict discipline, private morals were far from being 
unexceptionable. A favorite author,^^ writing of the first twenty years of the 
eighteenth century, says, "cases of immoral conduct were common at this 
period," which happened principally among those who "were in the practice 
of mingling with, and following, the fashions and customs of the people of 
the world." The poor colonial gentiles are made the convenient scape-goat. 

In some respects the discipline was lax. The meeting countenanced the 
supplying of liquors at funerals and marriages from the first settlement, no 
doubt a practice brought from England. Nevertheless, when they saw it was 
hurtful, tfiey took steps to correct it. In 1729 the yearly meeting recommended 
that strong liquors be served round but once at funerals, and only to those that 
came from a distance; and in 1735, the same authority declared that "greatex 
provision for eating and drinking are rrtade at marriages and burials than is 
consistent with good order." In 1750 the meeting recommends the appoint- 
ment of overseers "to prevent the unnecessary use of strong drink at burials." 
A Quaker author, writing on this subject, says: "The custom long prevailed 
of converting the solemn burial service at the house of mourning into a noisy 
bacchanalian festival."^^ 

The early Friends were alive to the demands of "melting charity," and, 
from their first appearance on the Delaware, cared for their own poor. Neither 
man nor woman, within the 'folds of the meeting, was allowed to want. As 
late as 1801, the Aliddletown meeting contributed $447.85 to poor Friends in 
Great Britain and Ireland. 

William Penn sailed on his return to England, from his first visit, June 12, 
1684, having been in his new province about twenty-one months. In this brief 
period he succeeded in organizing a great Commonwealth, laying its foundations^ 
of civil and religious liberty so' broad and deep that tyranny, from church or 
state, can not prevail against them. He committed the management of public 
I 

10 A curious marriage custom prevailed in this province at that day, that of widows 
being married en chimese to screen the second from the first husband's debts. Kalm 
says it was a common occurrence when the first husband died in debt. The Friends dis- 
countenanced such marriages, which were performed by ministers of other denominations. 

11 Michener. 

12 In 1683, the grand jury of Philadelphia made presentment, "Of ye great rude- 
ness and wildness of ye youths and children in ye town of Philadelphia, that then daily 
appear up and down ye streets, gaming and playing for money, etc." 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 6i 



affairs, during his absence, to his Lieutenant-Governor and the Council and 
Assembly, while James Harrison, his agent, who resided at Pennsbury, looked 
after his personal interest. At this time the Province and territories annexed 
contained a population of seven thousand. 

The first great trouble that came upon Friends on the Delaware was the 
schism of George Keith, 1690. He was a preacher of g^eat note and influence 
in the Society. Born at Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1638, and fellow student of 
Bishop Burnett, he joined the Friends soon after he left the university. He 
settled in East New Jersey, before Penn's arrival, of which he was Surveyor- 
General, and in 1689 was called to take charge of the first public grammar 
school in Philadelphia. At this time he commenced the agitation that led to 
a division in the Society. They split on the rock of fhe sufficiency of what every 
man has within himself for the purpose of his own salvation. His followers, 
known as Keithian Quakers, numbered about one-half of the Yearly Meeting,, 
including some of its most . considerable men. He established meetings in 
various parts of the Province. Among those who joined him in this county 
were John Swift, Southampton, and John Hart, who moved from Byberry to 
Warminster about this time. A Keithian meeting, the germ of the Southamp- 
ton Baptist church, was held at Swift's house, and he and Hart both became 
Baptist ministers. Thomas Rutter, a Quaker of Philadelphia, who joined 
Keith, married Rebecca Staples, of this county, at Pennsbury, nth month, loth^ 
1685 ; and was baptised at Philadelphia by Rev. Thomas Killingsworth, in 
1697. He began to preach and baptised nine persons, who united in commun- 
ion, June 1 2th, 1698, and appointed Mr. Rutter their minister. The society 
was kept up until about 1707.^^ Keith returned to England about 1695, his 
followers holding together for a few years when most of them joined the 
Baptists or Episcopalians. Among the signers to "the testimony" against 
Keith from this county, were Nicholas 'Walne, William Cooper, William Biles, 
WilHam Yardley and Joseph Kirkbride, and was dated June 12, 1692. 

The rate of wages in this county, and elsewhere in the province, at 
that early day, cannot fail to interest the reader. From the first English set- 
tlement, down to the close of the century, carpenters, bricklayers and masons 
received from five to six shillings a day; journeymen shoemakers two shillings 
per day for making both men's and woman's shoes; tailors twelve shillings 
per week, with board ; cutting pine boards six or seven shillings the hundred ; 
weaving cloth a yard wide, ten or twelve pence a yard ; green hides three half- 
pence, and tanners were paid four pence per hide for dressing; brick at the 
kiln twenty shillings per thousand; wool twelve to fifteen cents per pound; 
plasterers eighteen cents per yard. A good fat cow could be bought for 
about three pounds, and butchers charged five shillings for killing a beef, and 
their board. Laboring men received between eighteen pence and half a 
crown per day, with board ; between three and four shillings during harvest, 
and fourteen or fifteen pounds a year, with board and lodging. Female 
servants received between six and ten pounds a year, and their wages were 
higher in proportion because of their scarcity, usually getting married before 
they were twenty years of age. Gabriel Thomas tells us there were neither 
beggars nor old maids in the county. 

The farmers raised wheat, rye, barley, buckwheat, Indian com, peas, 
beans, hemp, flax, turnips, potatoes and parsnips. Some farmers sowed as 
high as seventy and eighty acres of wheat, besides other grain. A consider- 

13 Rutter baptized Evan Morgan, in 1697. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



62 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUN^^Y. 



able number of cattle was raised, individual farmers having as high as forty 
or sixty head, and an occasional ope from one to three hundred. The country 
was favorable to stock raising, the woods being open, rften covered with grass, 
and the cattle roamed at will. The wheat harvest was finished before the 
middle of July, the yield being from twenty to thirt} bushels to the acre. The 
farmers used harrows with wooden teeth, and the ground was so mellow 
that twice mending plow irons sufficed for a year. The horses commonly 
went unshod. Land had increased considerably in value, and some near 
Philadelphia that could be bought for six or eight pound the hundred acres, 
when the country was first settled, could not be bought under one hundred 
and fifty pounds at the close of the century. This province was a happy 
commonwealth; bread and 'meat, and whatever else to drink, food, and rai- 
ment that man required, were cheaper than in England, and wages were higher. 

Among the notable events along the Delaware, before the close of the 
century, was the '*great land flood and rupture" at the falls in 1687, which was 
followed by great sickness. There was another great flood in the Delaware 
in April^ 1692,^* when the water rose twelve feet above the usual high- water 
mark, and caused great destruction. It reached the second story of some of 
the houses built on the low ground at south Trenton, and the inmates were 
rescued by people from the Bucks county shore, in canoes, and conveyed to this 
side. Several houses were carried away, two persons and a number of cattle 
drowned, and the shore of the river was strewn with household goods. This 
freshet was known as the "great flood at Delaware falls."^'* Phineas Pember- 
ton records, in 1688, that a whale was seen as high as the falls that year. 

At that day people of all classes dressed in plain attire, conforming to 
English fashions, but more subdued in deference to Friends' principles. Even 
among the most exacting the clothing was not reduced to the formal cut of 
the costume of a later period. The wife of Phineas Pemberton, in a reply to 
a letter in which he complains of the want of clothing suited to the season, 
says : "I have sent thee thy leather doublet, and britches, and great stomacher.'' 

In the course of our investigations we have met with several references 
to the difficulty William Penn had in collecting quit-rents in this county and 
elsewhere. In 1702, James Logan wrote him: "of all the rents in Bucks 
county I have secured but one ton and a half of flour.'' He says, *'Philadel- 
phia is the worst, Bucks not much better.'' On another occasion Logan writes: 
"Bucks, exceedingly degenerate of late, pays no taxes, nor will any one in the 
county levy by distress." The county is again mentioned in 1704, as being 
"slow in paying her taxes." 

14 Pemberton says "the rupture*' occurred the 29th of May, and some suppose it 
refers to the separation of the island opposite Morrisville from the main-land. This is 
an error, as the island referred to was Vurhulsten's island, where the Walloon families 
had settled nearly three-quarters of a century before. 

15 When the first settlers, about the falls on the New Jersey side, built their homes 
on the low ground, the Indians told them they were liable to be- damaged by the 
freshets, but they did not heed the advice. 



Digitized by 



Google 



CHAPTER VII, 



THE ORGANIZATION OF TOWNSHIPS. 



FALLS. 1602. 



Organization of townships. — Reservation. — ^Jury Appointed. — Five townships ordered. — 
Falls. — Its early importance. — First Settlers. — ^John Acreman. — Richard Ridgeway. — 
William Biles. — Meeting established. — First marriage. — Meeting house built. — The 
discipline. — Crewcorne. — Pennsbury. — Mary Becket — Thomas Stewardson. — The 
charities of Falls. — Earliest ferry. — The Croziers. — Kirkbrides. — General Jacob 
Brown. — His appointments. — Fox Hunter John Brown. — Anna Lee. — Manor Baptist 
church.-rFalls library. — Old graveyard. — Cooper homestead. — Charles Ellet. — Joseph 
White. — Isaac Ivins. — The swamp. — Indian field. — Roads. — Villages. — Surface of 
township. — Crow scalps. — Population. — Bile's island. 

The organization of the townships, with some account of the pioneers who 
settled them — transformed the native forest into productive farms, opened roads 
and built houses, with a sketch of their gradual expansion and growth in civil- 
ization, are the most interesting portion of a county's history. 

It is stated in one of Penn's biographies, that when he sailed, on his return 
voyage to England, 1684, the Province was divided into 22 townships ; but this 
cannot have reference to Bucks county for her boundaries were not yet fixed, 
nor were townships laid out until eight years after.^ There is evidence that 
William Penn intended to lay out this county, according to a system of town- 
ships, that would have given them much greater symmetry of shape than they 
now possess, and bounded them by right lines like the three rectangular townships 
on the Montgomery border, with an area of about five thousand acres each. In 
1687 he directed that one-tenth in each township, with all the Indian fields,^ 
should be reserved to him ; but this reservation was not observed, and the plan 
of laying out right-angled townships was abandoned. There were no legal 
subdivisions in this county earlier than 1692, although for the convenience of 
collecting taxes, and other municipal purposes, limits and names had already 
been given to many settlements. At December term, 1690, the following per- 
sons were appointed overseers of highways for the districts named: "For 

1 All the information concerning the laying out of townships was obtained from 
Ihe original records in the Quarter Sessions office, Doylestown. 

2 Patches of land cleared by the Indians. 



Digitized by 



QjOo^^ 



64 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



above the falls, Reuben Pownall ; for below the falls, Joseph Chorley ; for the 
lower, part of the river, Richard Wilson ; for the lower part of Neshaminah, 
Derrick Clawson; for the upper part of Neshaminah, William Hayhurst; the 
middle lots,^ John Webster; for the lower end of Neshaminah, on the south 
side, Walter Hough and Samuel Allen ; for above, south side, Thomas Hard- 
ing." Some of the present geographical subdivisions were called townships, 
and by the names they now bear, several years before they were so declared by 
law. Southampton and Warminster were so called as early as 1685, in the 
proceedings of council fixing the line between Bucks and Philadelphia counties. 
Newtown and Wrightstown are first mentioned in 1687. The names of our 
early townships were the creatures of chance, given by force of circumstance 
or location. Falls was called after the falls in the Delaware ; Newtown because 
it was a nexv town or settlement in the woods, and Middletown because it was 
midway between the uppermost inhabitants and those on the river below. 
Others again were named after the places some of the inhabitants came from, 
in England, with which they were acquainted or where their friends lived. 

The first legal steps, toward laying off townships, were taken in 1690, 
when the Provincial Council authorized warrants to be drawn, empowering 
the magistrates and Grand Juries of each county to sub-divide them into hun- 
dreds, or such other divisions as they shall think most convenient in collecting 
taxes and defraying county expenses. Bucks did not take advantage of this 
act until two years later, when the court, at the September term, 1692, appointed 
a jury, consisting of Arthur Cook, who settled in Northampton and was ap- 
pointed a Provincial judge in 1686; Joseph Growden, John Cook, Thomas^. ^ 
Janney, Richard Hough, Henry Baker, Phineas Pemberton, Joshua Hoops, ^"^ 
William Biles, Nicholas Walne, Edmund Lovet, Abraham Cox and James 
Boy den, and directed them to meet at the Neshaminy meeting-house, in Mid- 
dletown, the 27th, to divide the county into townships. They reported, at the 
December term, dividing the settled portions into five townships, viz: Make- 
field, Falls, Buckingham, now Bristol, Salem, now Bensalem, and Middletown, 
giving the metes and bounds. Four other townships are mentioned, but- they 
are not returned as geographical subdivisions. 

The following is the text of the report : *The uppermost township, being 
called Makefield, to begin at the uppermost plantations and along the river to 
the uppermost part of John Wood's land, and by the lands formerly belong- 
ing to the Hawkinses and Joseph Kirkbride and widow Lucas* land, anc) so ^ 
along as near as may be in a straight line to in Joshua Hocip s' lan^. ' ; i" -' "^ 

"The township at the falls being called is to begin at Pennsbury and 

so up the river to the upper side of John Woods' land, and then to take in the 
Hawkins, Joseph Kirkbride and widow Lucas' lands, and so the land along 
that creek, continuing the same until it takes in the land of John Rowland and 
Edward Pearson, and so to continue till it come with Pennsbury upper land, 
then along Pennsbury to the place of beginning. Then Pennsbury as its laid 
out. 

"Below Pennsbury its called Buckingham, and to follow the river from 
Pennsbury to Neshaminah, then up Neshaminah to the upper side of Robert 
Hall's plantation, and to take in the land of Jonathan Town, Edward Lovet, 
Abraham Cox, etc., etc., etc., to Pennsbury, and by the same to the place of 
beginning. 

"The middle township called Middletown to begin at the upper end of 

3. Middletown. 

Digitized by VrrOOQlC 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 65 



Robert HalPs land, and so up Neshaminah to Newtown, and from thence to 
take in the lands of John Hough, Jonathan Scarfe, the Paxsons and Jonathan 
Smith's land, and so to take in the back part of White's land, and by these 
lands to the place of beginning. 

"Newtown and Wrightstown one township. 

*'A11 the lands between Neshaminah and Poquessin, and so to the upper 
side of Joseph Growden's land in one and to be called 'Salem/ 

''Southampton, and the lands about it, with Warminster, one/* 

It was a feature of the townships of Bucks county that they were formed* 
in groups, at shorter or longer intervals and as the wants of the settlers called 
for them. Subsequent groups will be treated, as they present themselves, in 
the chronological order of our work. At present we have only to deal with 
the five townships formed at Neshaminy meeting-house, more than two 
centuries ago. 

Falls, of which we first treat, is, in some respects, the most interesting 
township in the county, and may be justly called the mother township. W'^ithini 
its borders, at '*the falls of Delaware" the first permanent settlement was made, 
and there the banner of English civilization was first raised in Bucks, there 
the great founder had his Pennsylvania home, and there his favorite manor 
spread its fertile acres around Pennsbury house. The feet of many immi- 
grants pressed its soil before they took up their march for the wilderness pE 
Middletown, Newtown and Wrightstown. A few settlers had gathered about 
the falls years before the ships of Penn entered the Capes of Delaware, and the 
title to considerable land can be traced back to Sir Edmund Andros, the Royal' 
Governor of New York. The overland route from the lower Delaware to 
Manhattan lay through this township when it was only traversed by Swedes, 
Hollanders and Finns; and, while neighboring townships were trodden only 
by the feet of Indians, its territory was explored by travelers and traders, and 
an occasional pioneer seeking a home in the woods. For a time its history 
was the history of the county, as found recorded in the interesting records 
of Falls Meeting. 

It will be noticed, that the report of the jury, to lay out these townships, 
leaves the name of Falls, blank, a matter to be determined in the future. But 
the location gave it the name it bears, and for years it was as often called "the 
townshio at the Falls," or '*The Falls township.'* We doubt whether its orig- 
inal limits have been curtailed, and its generous area, fourteen thousand eight 
hundred and thirty-eight acres, is probably the same as when first organized. 

Of the original settlers* in Falls, several of them were there before tbe 
country came into Penn's possession.^ They purchased the land of Sir Ed- 
mund Andros, who represented the Duke of York, and were settled along the 



4 Names of oripinal settlers: Joshua H^twayiH John Palmer, John CoUins. Willinm 
and Charles Biles, William Darke. John Haycock. John Wheeler. Jonathan Witscard, 
John Parsons, Andrew Ellet, William Beaks, William Venables. John Luff, Jeffrey 
Hawkins, Ann Millcomb, James Hill, John and Thomas Rowland, Thomas Atkinson, 
Thomas Wolf, Ralph Smith, John Wood, Daniel Brindsly, John Acreman, Joshua Boarc, 
Robert Lucas, Gilbert Wheeler, Samuel Darke, Daniel Gardner, Lyonel Britton, George 
Brown, James Harrison and George Heathcote. 

5 Of the English settlers who came into the Delaware, 1677, but three are known 
to have settled in Bucks county: Daniel Rrinson, Devon, England, September 28; Johir 
Purslone, Ireland, August; and Joshua Boare, Derbyshire, September. 

5 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



66 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Delaware from the falls down: John Acreman, Richard Ridg^vay, the tailor, 
probably the first in the county, William Biles, Robert Lucas, George Wheeler, 
and George Brown, whose lands bordered on the river. Lucas came from 
Peverall, Lpughbridge, Wiltshire, and arrived 4th mo., 4th, 1679, with William 
Biles in the ship Elizabeth and Sarah from Dorchester. These grants were made 
in 1678 or 1679, that of Biles embracing three hundred and twenty-seven acres, 
for which Penn's warrant is dated 9th, 8th mo., 1684, surveyed 23d, same month 
and patented 31, nth month. William Biles was one of the signers of the cele- 
brated "testimony" against George Keith, and went to England, on a visit, 
1702. Biles became a large landowner. He sold five thousand acres in this 
county, near Neshaminy, to William Lawrence, Samuel and Joseph Thorne, 
John Tallman, and B. Field, but the purchasers could find only two thousand 
acres. In 1718 James Logan issued an order to survey three thousand addi- 
tional acres, not already settled or surveyed. Gilbert Wheeler called his house 
*'Crookhorn," a name long forgotten. In the bend of the river below Bile's 
island, Lyonel Britton* and George Heathcote seated themselves, both Friends ; 
the former an early convert to Catholicism, probably the first in the state, while 
the latter was the first Friend known to be a sea-captain. Thomas Atkinson, 
Thomas Rowland and John Palmer, names yet well known in the county, 
settled in the western part of the township. James Harrison, Penn's agent, 
owned land in Falls, adjoining the manor, and in Lower Makefield. His son- 
in-law, Phineas Pemberton,' who likewise settled in Falls, was called the father 
of Bucks county, and he and Jeremiah Langhonie, of Middletown, and Joseph 
Growden, of Bensalem, were relied upon as the staunchest friends of William 
Penn. For some years the men of the Falls controlled the affairs of the infant 
county. 

We learn from subsequent research, that the little settlement below the 
falls was given the name of *'Crewcorne," probably after the market town and 
parish of Crewkerne, Somersetshire, near the border of Dorset, England. In 
1680 official papers speak of it as **Ye new seated towne," and the first court 
in the county was held there, caMed the "Court of Crewcorne (spelled Creeke- 
home) at the Falls." April 12, 1680, the inhabitants settled about the falls 
addressed the following petition "to ye worthy governor of New York," viz. : 
^'Whereas we ye inhabitants of ye new seated Town neare ye falls of Delaware, 
called Crewcorne, finding ourselves agrieved by the Indians when drunk, in- 
formeth that we be and have been in great danger of our lives, of our homes 
burning, of our goods stealing; and of bur wives and children affrighting, etc." 
and desire that "ye selling of brandy and other strong liquors to ye Indians 
may be wholly suppressed," etc. This petition was signed Wm. Biles, Samuel 
Griffield, Robert Lucas, Thomas Schooly, William Cooper. Rich. Reynerson, 
John Acreman, Robt. Schooly, Darius Brinson and George I>rowne. 

On April 21, Wm. Biles, "member of the new Court at the falls of the 
Delaware," appeared at New York and on that day obtained a warrant to 
summon Gilbert Wheeler **to appear here for selling drink to Ye Indians." 
The same day a petition from ''the inhabitants at the falls," dated the r2th 
and a return from the "Court of Creekhorne at the falls," sending in the names 



6 September 13, 1680, Britlon joined with otliers in petitioning the court at New 
York, charging Gilbert Wheeler with selling rum to Indians. 

7 May, 1685, Pemberton complains to the council that the Indians are killing hogs 
»bout the falls. , 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, ' 67 

of four for magistrates, "according to order" was read before the Governor and 
council, whose names are given in the record of these transactions. September 
13 following,, 1 680, the petition of the "inhabitants of Crewcorne on the Dela- 
ware" was received: They charge Gilbert Wheeler with selling rum to the 
Indians and state they suspect William Biles to sell rum himself. This petition 
Avas signed by Robert Lucas, Geo. Browne, Samuel Griffield, Nancy Acreman, 
Richard Ridgeway, Lyonel Britton and Robert Schooly. The petitioners were 
all residents of Bucks county. As the jurisdiction of New York government 
only extended from the west bank of the Connecticut to the east bank of the 
Delaware, jurisdiction was assumed over all who lived on the west bank, and 
was obeyed because there was no other authority to look to. In truth, at that 
time the settlers in Bucks county lived "nowhere" so far as legal jurisdiction 
-was concerned. 

When we recall to mind the first English settlers, on the Delaware, 
were men and women of strong religious convictions and had left the homes 
of their birth to worship God in peace in the wilderness of the new world, we 
appreciate their early and earnest effort to establish places for religious meet- 
ings. Before Penn's arrival, they crossed the Delaware and united with their 
brethren at Burlington, who met in tents and where yearly meeting was first 
held, 1681. Friends probably met this side the river at each other's houses 
for worship as early as 1680, and attended business meetings at Burlington. 
The first known meeting of Friends, in this county, was held at the house of 
William Biles,^ just below the falls. May 2, 1683, at which were present, be- 
sides Biles, James Harrison, Phineas Pemberton, William Beaks, William Yard- 
ley, William Darke and Lyonel Britton. This was the germ of the Falls Meet- 
ings. The first business transacted was the marriage of Samuel Darke to Ann 
Knight, but as the young folks did not have the "documents.'' they were told 
'*to wait in patience." This they declined doing and got married in a "dis- 
orderly manner" out of meeting. They were probably "dealt with," but to 
what extent has not come down to us. Thomas Atkinson, of Neshaminy® 
asked help to pay for a cow and calf and got it. The first Quarterly Meeting 
Avas held at the house of Thomas Biles, May 7, 1683. The first meeting house, 
l)uilt about where the present one stands, on a lot given by William Penn. 1683, 
was finished April. 1692. The size was 20 by 25 feet, of brick burned by 
Randall Blackshaw. The carpenter work was done by contract and cost £41. 
It had a "gallery below with banisters," and one chimney lined below with 
sawn boards'^. In 1686, Thomas Janney gave an additional lot. "on the slate 
pit hill," 30 yards square. A stable was built and a well digged, 1701. The 
meeting house was partly paid for in wheat, 9s. 3d. per bushel. It was en- 
larged in 1699-1700. by adding a lean-to of stone, and repaired, 1709. A new 
liouse was built, 1728, at a cost of about £1000, and the old meeting house was 

8 It is thought the house of Andrew Crozier, on the river road below Morrisville, 
was built by William Biles, of brick imported from England, and in it was held the first 
Priends' meeting. 

9 Middletown. 

10 A letter from Friends in Pennsylvania to brethren in England, dated March 17, 
1683, says: 'There is one meeting at Falls, one at the governor's home, Pennsbury, and 

■one at Colchester river, all in Bucks county." The author pleads ignorance of the location 
•of "Colchester river" in Bucks county. 



Digitized by 



Google 



68 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



fitted up for a school-house, 1733. In 1758, a dwelling was erected for the 
school-master, a second story added to the meeting house, and an addition to 
the north end, 1765. A **horsing block'* was got for the meeting, 1703.^^ 

The mother meeting of Falls watched over its flock with jealous care, and 
looked after both secular and spiritual affairs. Their discipline was necessarily 
strict. In 1683 Ann Miller was "dealt with'' for keeping a disorderly house, 
and selling strong liquor to English and Indians, and her daughter Mary 
for "disorderly walking," and William Clows, John Brock and William Beaks* 
and their wives, for "being baclcward in coming to meeting;*' William Shall- 
cross for his "extravagant dress and loose conversation ;" William Goforth, 
"who had frequently engaged in privateering;" Isaac Hodson for "loaning 
money at 7 per cent., when the lawful interest was only 6 per cent. ;" Henry 
Baker "for buying a negro;" and William Moon "for marrying his cousin 
Elizabeth Nutt." This strictness in discipline was offset by "melting charity." 
In 1695 the meeting contributed £49 toward repairing the loss of Thomas 
Janney by fire;'^ and, in 1697, £15. 6s. 6d., no mean sum at that day, for dis- 
tressed Friends in New England. When John Chapman, of Wrightstown, 
was "short of corn," in 1693, he applied to the mother meeting, and no doubt 
got it, for it was not their habit to turn the needy away empty handed. The 
first year but one couple was married in Falls meeting — Richard Hough and 
Margery Clows ; and 523 couples in the first century. 

Penn's favorite manor of Pennsbury, containing about eight thousand 
acres, lay in Falls township'^. It is now divided into nearly three hundred 
different tracts, ranging from three hundred and eighty to a few acres ; the land 
is among the most fertile in the county, the farms well kept, and the buildings 
good. Tullytown is the only village on the manor, in the southwest corner, 
near the line of Bristol, and it is cut by the Delaware division canal and the 
Philadelphia and Trenton railroad. In 1733, Ann Brown, of New York^ 
daughter of Colonel William Markham, Penn's Deputy Governor, claimed 
three hundred acres in the manor. The claim was rejected, but, out of regard 
to her, Thomas Penn granted that quantity to her elsewhere. Richard Durdin, 

11 The earliest known title conveying property to Falls monthly meeting bears date 
the 4th of 4th mo., 1690, by deed of Samuel Burgess, for six acres, then supposed to be 
the same now occupied by Falls meeting house and other improvements at F^llsington, 
biit by some unaccountable mistake, the bearings and distances mentioned in the deed 
embraced a plot of ground entirely beyond the eastern boundary of the intended con- 
veyance. This oversight was a source of annoyance for years, and not corrected until 
1724, when Daniel Burgess, who had inherited his father's real estate, conveyed the 
originally intended six acres to the trustees of Falls monthly meeting, subject to the 
yearly quit rent of one grain of Indian corn. — "George W. Brown's Historical Sketches." 

12 The name of the beneficiary and amount were both wrong in the first edition, 
according to the original minute book of Falls monthly meeting, which reads : "At a 
monthly meeting at ye meeting house, ye 5th 12th mo., 1695, Henry Baker reported to the 
meeting ye loss yt Thomas Canby had by his house being burnt by fire, and requested 
ye meeting's assistance, whereupon there was £49 los. collected and paid to Henry Baker 
towards his loss." 

13 Surveyor-General Eastburn surveyed the manor of Pennsbury, for the heirs of 
William Penn, 1733, when it contained 5,832 acres, exclusive of the 6 per cent, reserved 
for roads. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 69 



who owned five hundred acres of the manor land, died about 1792, when it was 
advertised at public sale, July 31, 1793. 

One member of Phineas Pemberton*s household was Mary Becket, a 
young English girl said to have been a descendant of the Percys of Northum- 
berland. When her mother married Becket she was a ward in Chancery, 
and they had to fly to the continent, where he was killed in the religious war 
in Germany. Mary was their only child. Eleanor Becket, whose maiden name 
was Horner, subsequently married Robert Haydock,*^^ a prominent minister 
among Friends of Warrington, Lancastershire. Mary Becket made her appear- 
ance in the Falls, 1684, her name appearing on the passenger list of the ship Vine 
from Liverpool, which arrived at Philadelphia the 17th of 7th month. Her imme- 
diate party consisted of Henry Baker, his wife Margaret, their four daughters, 
two sons and servants. They came from Walton, Lancastershire. Robert 
Haydock, -writing to Phineas Pemberton under dat.e of the 7th of 4th month, 
1684, says: "Along with the bearer hereof cometh daughter Mary, and by 
ye contents of ye enclosed to thy father, which, on purpose I leave unsealed, 
thou may understand. To your care we commit,'' &c, &c. In all her letters 
from Haydock or his wife to Mary Becket she is addressed as "daughter/' and in 
hers to them she calls them "father and mother.''^* She continued to reside 
in Pemberton's family until she was married at Falls meeting, 4th of 8th month, 
1691, to Samuel Bowne, son of John Bowne, Long Island, well known to stud- 
ents of Colonial history, and then went to live with her husband at Flushing. 
She called one of her daughters Eleanor, after her mother.**^^ 

^SVi The following purports to be a copy of one of Samuel Bowne's letters to Mary 
Becket while courting her, sent us by Miss Parsons, Flushing, Long Island: 

"Flushing, 6th mo., 1691. 

"Dear Miss B. — My very dear and constant love salutes thee in yt with which my 
love was at first united to thee even the love of God ; blessed truth in which niy soul 
desires above all things, that we may grow and increase, which will produce our eternal 
comfort. Dear love, these few lines may inform thee that I am lately returned home, 
where we are all well, blessed be the Lord for it. Much exercise about the concern we 
have taken in hand and no, dear heart, my earnest desire it is, yt we may have our eyes 
to the Lord and seek him for counsel that He may direct us in this weighty concern, and 
I am satisfied that if it be his will to accomplish it he in his own time will make way for the 
same, so my desire is yt that ye may be recommended to the will of the Lord ; then may 
we expect the end thereof will redound to his glory and our comfort forevermore. Dear 
heart, I have not heard, certainly, but live in great hope that it hath pleased the Lord ♦ ♦ 
health to our dear friend and elder, brother P. P., to whom with his dear wife remember 
my very kind love, for I often think upon you all with true brotherly love as being children 
of one father ; so dear Mary, it was not in my heart to write large, but to give these few 
lines at present. I do expect my father and I may come about the latter end of this 
month. My dear, I could be very glad to hear from thee, but not willing to press the 
trouble upon thee to write, so I must take leave and bid farewell ; my dear, farewell. 

(Signed) : "Samuel Bowne." 

14 If "^lary Becket were the daughter of her mother's first marriage, it would 
signify nothing that she and her second husband called her "daughter,*' and she called 
them "father" and "mother." 

14}/^ Under date of 1698, William Stout, Lancashire, in his autobiography, p. 50, says : 
"In this year Robert Haydock, Liverpool, freighted a ship for Philadelphia to take in 
such passengers as were disposed to go to settle in Pennsylvania, etc." Was this Robert 



Digitized by 



Google 



/ 



70 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Enough has been said of Mary Becket to show that a web of romance 
is woven around her Hfe. Who can unravel it ? We lay no claim to it. That 
there was an English girl of this name living in the family of Phineas Pember- 
tori, whq married Samuel Bowne, and has numerous descendants in Penn- 
sylvania and New York of the highest respectability is unquestioned, but we 
know little more. If not a descendant of the Percys, who was she? Mr. 
Thomas Stewardson, Chestnut Hill, a descendant of our heroine, wrote us, in 
response to our inquiry : 

"The origin of the curious myth that made a *lady' of the poor mother- 
less child, is, I suspect, to be found in a confusion between her and another 
Mary (Horner, I rather think), many of whose descendants are also descend- 
ants of Mary Becket. This other Mary did possess a considerable estate, 
while the Becket child was penniless. I found that for several generations, 
nobody had ever attributed wealth to M. B., but that some ladies who were 
looking over family letters at the old Bowne home, Flushing, got the two 
names mixed, and wrote to their relatives, in Philadelphia, that Mary Becket 
had been an heiress. The Homers came from Yorkshire, and I once began 
a search for this Mary and her guardian, and did actually find an Eleanor 
Percy, whose period would have fitted well enough with that of Mary Horner 
(I am not sure of the name now), but I tired of the job, and have never taken 
it up since." * 

When the surveyor came to lay out the Manor of Pennsbury, some of 
the grants of the Duke of York interfering with its limit, the owner consented 
to have the lines straightened, and, in consideration, William Penn, Septem- 
ber 30, 1682, ordered a tract of 120 acres to be laid off, for the use of the town- 
ship, near its centre. In 1784, the County Commissioners sold 20 acres of 
this land for taxes. In 1807, the Legislature authorized the inhabitants to 
sell, or lease, the remainder, the proceeds to be applied to the education of 
poor children, and the fund to be managed by six trustees, two elected each 
year. The trustees named in the act were Mahlon Milnor, Charles Brown, 
Daniel' Lovet, John Carlisle and William Warner. "The timber, or common,"" 
as it was called, was divided into 21 lots and leased by public outcry to the 
highest bidder, from twenty-five cents to one dollar per acre.'^ In 1809 
"the Barnes's" brought suit to try the title, which cost the township $146.90 
to defend. When the common school system was organized, the rents were 
paid into the school fund. The legislature, in 1864, authorized the common to 
be sold at public sale, and the proceeds of it now yield about $300 annually. 
Falls has always been liberal in supporting her poor, and ha*^ spent as much 
as $1,200 in a single year for this purpose. She was likewise among the 
earliest to provide for the education of poor children. She has yearly con- 
tributed a considerable sum to the public school fund, over and above that 
raised by. taxation, and the revenue arising from the sale of the common. 
For all public purposes the inhabitants have been liberal givers, and, as long- 
ago as 1801, the duplicate shows that $1,284.79 were raised. for road-tax. 
Among the charities of Falls is a public burying-ground, purchased by sub- 
scription, 1813, of David Brown, for $118.80, containing three-quarters of 
an acre. It was placed in-the care of the trustees of the free school, and ordered 
to be divided into three parts, "for the white inhabitants;" for "the people 

Haydock the same, or any relation to the Robert Haydock who married Mary Becket's 
mother ? 

15 The survey made in 1708, gives the contents 105^ acres. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. yi 

of color," and the third part "for strangers." Andrew Crozier had charge of 
the grounds and digged the graves in 1817. Ten lots were leased in 1826) 
at prices ranging from $1.07 to $2.07 the lot. 

The earliest established ferry in the county was in this township, across 
the Delaware just below where Morrisville stands. After the 'arrival of 
William Penn it was regulated by law, by Pennsylvania and New Jersey. 
In 1726 the Legislature of New Jersey granted the exclusive use of the east- 
em bank, for ferry purposes, to James Trent, two miles above and two 
miles below the falls. The upper ferry was at the foot of Calhoun street, 
and in use to 1857. ^^^ lower ferry was used until the bridge was built, 
in 1804. The large brick ferry house is still standing near the river. About 
1720 a ferry was established at Joseph Kirkbride's landing opposite Borden- 
town. The lower ferry at the falls was called "Blazing Star Ferry." There 
was an effort to establish "Harvey's ferry" across the Delaware, in Falls, 
about 1770, and to have a road opened from the post-road to it, through the 
land of Thomas Harvey, but was probably not successful. The oldest act 
for a ferry at the falls, that we have seen, is dated 1718, but the Upland court 
established a ferry there as early as 1675.^® 

Referring again to the name of Crozier, we find it is spelled Crozier and 
Crozer, but we do not know which is the proper way of spelling it. In the 
Morton lot, St. James graveyard, Bristol, are interred the remains of Andrew 
Crozer, who died, 1776, Mary, his wife, who died, 1783, and their son Samuel 
and his children. They were of the same family as the Croziers mentioned 
above. 

In the spring of 171 2, Joseph Satterthwait and Hannah Albertson sus- 
tained a loss of £500 by a fire and the council gave them license to. ask charity 
of the public to replace it. This was one of the earliest fires recorded in 
the county. 

The Croziers, who came int© the township at a later day than the pioneef 
settlers, are descended from Huguenot ancestors brought up in the Presby- 
terian faith. They immigrated from France to Scotland about 170Q; thence 
to county Antrim, Ireland, and, about 1723, five brothers came to America, 
Andrew, Robert, James, John and Samuel. Andrew, the immediate head of the 
Bucks county family, settled near Columbus, New Jersey, where he married Jane 
Richardson, about 1744. He removed to Falls, in 1758, and settled on a farm on 
the north side of Welcome, now Scotts creek, where he died in 1776, and his 
wife, 1783. They Lad nine children, the eldest, - Robert, inheriting the manor 
farm, whose grandson, William P., became the owner. Robert Crozier, the 
grandson of the first Andrew, made Morrisville his home. The descendants 
have intermarried with a number of Bucks county families. Of the other 
brothers who came to America, Robert settled in Philadelphia, and James, John 
and Samuel in Delaware county, where John P., a grandson of James, died 
in recent years at the age of seventy-five. The family furnished four soldiers 

16 There was a "Hopkinson Ferry" on the Delaware, probably in Falls township, but 
we can not vouch for it. Our attention was directed to it by an extract from a letter, 4th 
month, 6th, 1820, giving account of an accident that happened to a party of four while 
crossing the river on the ice, in a carriage, and breaking through. Two were drowned, 
Esther Collins and Ann Edwards, and Henry Stocker and wife were saved. The lettef 
we speak of was written by the widow of Stocker, and as may be imagined, a very pathetic 
one. This is the first and only time we have heard of a ferry of this name on the 
Delaware. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



jz HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



to the Federal Army in the Civil War ; J. Howard Cox served in the 214th Penn- 
sylvania regiment ; William Morton in ah Illinois regiment ; John B. Bunting, 
34th Ohio, and William C. Crozier in the 104th Pennsylvania. The first An- 
drew left a large number of descendants. 

The Kirkbride family is one of the oldest in the township. As we have 
recorded elsewhere, the first ancestor was Joseph,*^ who came to the county in 
1682 at the age of twenty ; married in 1683, and in 1687 bought five hundred 
acres in Falls of Thomas Atkinson for £35. His wife was a daughter of 
Mahlon Stacy, the proprietor of the site of Trenton. He became a minister 
among Friends ; was an active surveyor and business man, and at his death 
left thirteen thousand four hundred and thirty-nine acres to be divided among 
his children. His wife received twelve hundred acres from the will of her 
brother Mahlon, who died in 173 1. His son Joseph got his three negroes, Isaac, 
Coffee and Tehmacl. The homestead farm in Falls, one hundred and one acres 
and forty-six perches, remained in the family until 1873, when it was sold at 
public sale to Mahlon Moon, for $210 per acre. A small dwelling, with cellar 
tinderneath, used as a tool and wood-house, stands on the tract, a monument 
of "ye olden time," and is said to have been built by the first purchaser of the 
land. 

George Brown, or Browne, as the name was originally spelled, of Leices- 
tershire, England, was an early settler in Falls township, landing at New 
Castle 1679, three years prior to Penn. He purchased of Sir Edmund Andros, 
a tract on the Delaware joining Penn's Manor as is shown by Holme's map, and 
it has remained in possession of the family to the present time. He was ac- 
companied by his intended wife to whom he was married on their arrival. The 
"wife was also from Leicestershire ; both were members of the Church of Eng- 
land, but joined the Society of Friends and became active in Falls Monthly 
Meeting. George Brown, being a man of strong and cultivated mind, wielded 
coosiderable influence in the Colony from the first. He was a Justice of the 
Peace, 1680. He had a family of fourteen children, and died in 1726, 
at the age of 82. His son Samuel married Ann C.lark, 171 7, and died 1769, at 
74. He was a prominent member of tlie Assembly. Samuel's son, George, like- 
wise a member of Assembly, born 1720, was married twice, first to Martha 
Worrall, 1747, who died 1748, and then to Elizabeth Field, born 1725; 
the son John married Ann Field, also in the Assembly, both daughters of Ben- 
jamin Field, of Middletown. John and Ann Brown occupied a large farm near 
the present Tullytown, overlooking the Manor and the Delaware river. He 
was known as "Fox Hunter*' John Brown. He kept a large pack of hounds and 
bunting horses after the custom of Englishmen of that day, and continued 
the practice until late in life. He carried a cane with a head made from a bone 
taken from the head of a favorite horse. He had a large family of children and 
died I mo. 1st., 1802, at 76. His family were also members of the Society of 
Friends, and his son John and grandson David were prominent in Falls Meet- 



17 Dr. Thomas S. Kirkbride, a descendant of the Joseph Kirkbride above, born in 
Falls, July 31. 1809, was connected with the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane upwards 
of forty years, and died there, 1883. He was graduated from the Medical Department of 
the University of Pennsylvania, an 1832, and a month later was appointed a resident 
physician of the Friends' Asylum for the Insane at Frankfort. In 1840, he was elected 
physician in chief and superintendent of Pennsylvania Hospital, just organized. He spent 
his life there and made it useful to humanity. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 




JACOB BROWN. 
^ Commanding Genkital, United Statbs Army. 



Digitized by 



Google 



74 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 

ing. The latter was 27 years treasurer of the ''Bucks County Contribution- 
ship." He was the father of General Jacob Brown, commanding general of the 
United States Army, and removed to Jefferson county, New York, with his 
family. 

General Jacob Brown was born in the house lately occupied by William 
Warner, about three and a half miles below Morrisville on the Delaware, May 
9» I77S» where his father lived until the general was grown, and they removed 
to New York at the close of the century. After the war of 1812-15 had begun, 
and then but a plain citizen, he presented himself to General Armstrong, the 
secretary of war. He said his name wa^ Jacob Brown ; that he was a full-blood 
Bucks county Quaker, but had an inclination to enter the military service, which 
he would do if the secretary would give him the command of a brigade ; that he 
knew nothing of military, but believed he possessed ezfery other requisite for 
a soldier and an oificer. The secretary, without hesitation, offered him the 
command of a regiment, which he declined, saying : 'T will be as good as my 
word; give me a brigade, and you shall not be disgraced; but I will accept 
nothing less." He afterward received the commission of brigadier-general from 
the Governor of New York, and with that, began his military career, rising,, 
step by step, until he becarne commanding general of the United States Army. 
General Brown died at the city of Washington, February 24, 1828, and was 
buried in the Congressional burying ground, where a monument was erected 
to his memory, with the following inscription: 

**Sacred to the memory of General Jacob Brown. He was born in Bucks 
County, Pennsylvania, on the 9th of May, 1775, and died at the City of Wash- 
ington, commanding general of the Army ; 

"Let him who e'er in after days 
Shall view this monument of praise, 
For honor heave the patriot sigh, 
And for his Country learn to die." 

The father of General Brown died at Brownsville, New York, September 
24, 1813. The widow of General Brown was a daughter of ' E. Williams, of 
Williamstown, New York, and died in the spring of 1878, at the age of 93. 
She retained her memory almost to the last. 

About 1773 Anna Lee, with her embryo sect of Shakers, eight or ten 
in number, passed through Falls and stopped at the house of Jonathan Kirk- 
bride, whrie himself and wife were at Yearly Meeting at Philadelphia. The 
children, seeing a number of friendly-looking people ride up, invited them to 
spend the night. Anna took possession of a chamber and the others of the 
kitchen, where they commenced to iron a quantity of clothing from their saddle- 
bags. At a given signal all dropped their work, to the astonishment of their 
young hosts, and, falling into ranks, went round and round the room in meas- 
ured tread, shouting 

As David danced before the Lord, 

So will we, so will we ; 
There was a woman sent from God, 

Her name is Anna Lee. 

This was several times repeated during the evening, resuming their work 
meanwhile. The next morning they quietly rode away in single file. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 75-. 



About 1790, the Reverend Peter Wilson, of Hightstown, New Jersey, or- 
ganized a small Baptist congregation in the Manor, but we do not know at 
what point, nor whether a house was ever erected. He supplied them several 
years. In 1798 the Rev. Alexander Magowan, licensed to preach in 1784, was 
called to the Manor, where he labored seven years and baptized one hundred 
and ten persons. When he left in 1805, the field appears to have been absorbed 
and nothing more is heard of the congregation. It was probably by the First 
Baptist church, of Trenton, which was organized about that time. The society 
owned a lot at Fallsington, but never built upon it. Mr. Magowan w^as killed 
in June, 1814, by the upsetting of his wagon, while on his way to Ohio. 

The Falls Library Company was organized and the constitution adopted, 
November 26, 1800, but it was not incorporated until 1802. The constitution 
is signed by Daniel Trimble, Mahlon Kirkbride, John Mott, John Kirkbride, 
Stephen Comfort, and John Palmer, secretary. The first article of the consti- 
tution prohibits the introduction of any book into the library "which shall have 
been written with an intention to discredit the Christian religion, or bring into 
disrepute any society or denomination thereof.'' Among the earliest patrons^ 
of the library are found the names of Allen, Burton, Brown, Buckman, Carl- 
isle, Comfort, Clymer, Crozier, and Cadwallader. The number of volumes is 
nearly ten thousand. In 1874 Isaiah V. Williamson, a merchant of Philadel- 
phia, gave $5,000 to the library, and it received further assistance from his 
estate. 

In Falls township are three old graveyards, one of which, the Pemberton 
graveyard, has become historic. It is situated near the bank of the Delaware, 
opposite the lower end of Biles's island, and in Penn's time was known as 
"The Point," where Henry Gibbs "the governor's carpenter," was buried ini 
1685. There appears not to have been more than twelve or fifteen persons 
buried there, and of all these only two stones could be found in modern times 
to tell who sleep beneath. They consisted of two pieces of slate, about ten by 
sixteen inches, and half an inch thick. On one were the letters P. P., and on- 
the other Phe. P. The two graves are close together, and we have no doubt 
are the resting places of Phineas Pemberton and his first wife, Phoebe, the 
daughter of James Harrison. Probably his immediate family were all buried 
in this yard. The Watson graveyard, on the road from Langhome to Tully- 
town, about half a mile from Oxford Valley, is on the farm of Joseph H. Satter- 
thwait. It was given by the Watsons, large land-owners^^^ in that neighbor- 
hood in early times, as a public burial place, but no burials have taken place there 
for about half a century. It contains less than half an acre, and is surrounded 
by a strong stone wall. The little yard is nearly filled with graves, mostly 
without stones. The oldest date is 1732. It is held in trust by the Friends, 
who keep it in repair. There was formerly a graveyard two miles from Tully- 
town on the same road, on what is known as the "old Burton dtract/' in which 
slaves were buried. A road has run through it for more than half a century. 

The old Cooper homestead, on the Trenton turnpike, half a mile above 
Tullytown, was built by Thomas, son of Samuel Cooper, of Philadelphia, 1789, 
the timbers being sent up in a sloop to Scott's wharf. He died at the age of 
45, leaving four sons and one daughter. His son Thomas lived 69 years at the 
homestead, and died there, 1866, at the age of 72. He raised eleven children, 
and on the 15th of February, each year, the eight survivors had a reunion at 

17 ^ Thomas Watson owned a tract of three fiundred and fifty-seven acres in Falls,. 
by the re-survey. 



Digitized by 



Google 



76 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 

•their mother's home, Bristol, for many years. During the war of 1812 Thomas 
Cooper^^ hauled his wheat to New Brunswick, and got $3.00 a bushel for it. He 
was the grandfather of John S. Cooper, Philadelphia. This family claim de- 
scent from William Cooper, "Pine Point,'' from whom J. Fenimore Cooper, 
the great novelist, descended. 

A century and half ago a considerable trade in boards, shingles, lime, etc., 
was carried on with Bordentown, through Falls. They were brought down on 
this side from some twenty-five miles above, and crossed over at the Borden- 
town ferry, which was then reached by a private road through the fields from 
the River road. In 1761 it was made a public road on petition of the inhabit- 

.ants. MlVm^^Y 

Falls township was the birthplace of Charles Ellet, Jr., oneVf the most 
distinguished Federal officers in the Civil War. He was born\anuary i, 
1810; adopted the profession of engineer, and went to France at the age of 
•nineteen with a letter to Lafayette. He finished his education in Paris, and 
afterward traveled over Europe on foot, studying bridges, canals and other 
improvements. He constructed several railroads, and the wire-suspension 
bridges at Fainnount, Niagara and Wheeling. He married a daughter of Judge 
Daniels, of Virginia. He was the first to recommend the use of steam-rams 
-on the western waters, and proved their efficiency by destroying the enemy's 
•fleet. May 12, 1862, at the cost of his life. He was buried from Independence 
Hall with civic and military honors. At his death his brother Alfred M. took 
-command, and when he was given the Marine brigade, his nephew, Charles 
Rivers Ellet, succeeded to the Ram fleet. The latter died suddenly, 1863. Three 
-other members of the family served with the Ram fleet, and behaved with con- 
spicuous gallantry, Lieutenant-colonel John A., and Lieutenants Richard and 
Edward C. Ellet. 

Joseph White, a distinguished minister among Friends, was born in this 
township, 1712. He became a minister at 20; traveled extensively and preached 
in this county, and, about 1758, made a religious visit to England. He re- 
moved to Lower Makefield toward the close of his life, and died there, 1777, 
from the eflFects of a paralytic stroke in Falls meeting while preaching on Sun- 
•<iay. Richard Major, equally distinguished in the Baptist denomination, was 
born in Falls, 1722. He was brought up a Presbyterian, but became a Baptist, 
1744. Although without scholastic learning, his vigorous mind rose above all 
impediments, and he became an able and eflFective speaker. He removed to 
Loudon county, V^irginia, 1766, where he labored in the ministry, and died at 
the age of 80. It is related, that on one occasion a man made a violent attack 
on him with a club, when Mr. Major, who possessed great presence of mind, 
said, in a solemn tone of voice, ** Satan, I command thee to come out of the 
Tnan," when the ruffian dropped his club, and became as quiet as a lamb. 

In the first ©letter Penn wrote to Logan, after his return to England, 1701, 
is this paragraph : "There is a swamp between the falls and the meeting- 
house ; I gave the Falls people, formerly, leave to cut the timber in it for their 
own use, which they have almost spoiled, cutting for sale, coopery, etc., which 
now, or in a little time, would be worth some thousands. Phineas Pemberton 
knows this business; let all be forbid to cut there any more, and learn who 
have been the wasters of timber, that hereafter they may help to clear the rub- 
bish parts that may be fit for use, or give me tree for tree, when I or my order 



18 The only Thomas marked on the Pine Point tree was a son of James Cooper, 
"born 1736 and whose wife was Sarah Erwin. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 77 

shall demand it/' What about this swamp at the present day? Is it still a 
swamp, or long since drained? 

Near Pennsbury was the "Indian field/' where Indians dwelt after they 
had generally left the vicinity of the settlements. It was the custom of Indians 
to burn the underbrush, which made it easier to travel through the woods ; and 
no doubt "Indian fields" were only localities where the timber had been burnt 
off. 

Our treatment of roads in a separate chapter under a general head, leaves 
but little for us to say of local roads in the respective townships. They were 
opened as called for by th^ necessities of the inhabitants. In Falls were the 
earliest roads opened, there being a thoroughfare through the township long 
before Penn's arrival, although it was neither well opened nor kept in repair. 
In 1703 the inhabitants of "Middle-Lots/' now Langhorne, petitioned for a 
road from Falls meeting-house to Bristol, via Anthony Burton's. In 1709 a 
road was opened from the main road to the river, below the falls, to enable 
people to cross the river to Mahlon Stacy's mill. The road from the river, 
opposite the falls to Langhorne, then called "Cross lanes," was opened, 1710. 
In 1723, at the instance of Sir William Keith, a road was laid out from the 
ferry below the falls to Sir William's plantation. This was probably the upper 
river road, as it led to Thomas Yardley's mill. In 1744 the inhabitants of Make- 
field and Wrightstown petitioned to have this road re-opened, as it had been 
closed in several places. To the petition was the name of John Beaumont. In 
1752 a lateral road was opened from the Yardley's mill road across to the one 
that ran via Falls meeting-house to Bristol, and, 1769, it was extended across 
to the road from Newtown to the meeting-house. 

Falls township has five villages, none of any size, but all pleasant hamlets. 
Fallsington, in the northern part, is on the road from Kirkbride's ferry to 
Hulmeville, and was first called a village in Scott's Gazetteer, 1795. Tullytown 
is in the southwest corner on the turnpike and close to the Bristol line. It 
was named after one Tully, who ow^ned land here. In 1816 lots were laid out,, 
one being reserved for a church and another for a school-house, and was sub- 
sequently described as "a small town on the 'westermost side of the Manor,, 
near and adjoining Martin's lane end." The population of Fallsington, 1870, 
was 211 and Tullytown, 150, but l>oth have grown meanwhile. Here is a 
famous tavern, the "Black Horse," of which more will be said in the chapter 
on *'01d Taverns." Tyburn, about the middle of the township on the Bristol 
turnpike, was laid out more than three quarters of a century ago and was doubt- 
less called after Tyburn, England, where public execution took place in early 
days. It is thought the first man executed in Bucks county was hanged here, 
hence the name. Oxford Valley, on the road from Fallsington to Lang- 
horne, partly in Middletown, will be noticed in the latter township, and Emilie 
near Fallsington. The latter, formerly called "Centleville," has a church and 
school house, and was in part built on land that belonged to "F'ox Hunter" John 
Brown. In a petition to the court over a century ago, mention is made of a 
"late settlement at Penn's Manor," but what reference this had is not known. 

The surface of the manor portion of the township is level, while the 
residue has a gentle declivity toward the Delaware. The northern part is 
somewhat broken by the Edge Hills, which cross the county from the Delaware 
to the Schuylkill, and in the southwestern part is Turkey hill, a slight elevation 
above the surrounding level country. It is watered by Mill, Scott's, and other 
creeks. Falls township has a river front of ten or twelve miles, which affords 
several valuable fisheries, and, lying on tide-water, has all the facilities given by 



Digitized by 



Google 



78 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



river navigation. No township in the county has a richer or more productive 
soil, or less waste land. Some years ago the farmers turned their attention to 
the cultivation of tobacco, and large crops were raised and sold. Biles's, 
Moon's and Savage's islands belong to Falls. 

In the olden time Falls and the neighboring tovvnsliips must have been 
a good range for crows, judging from the number killed and paid for by the 
county. In 1816 the county treasurer paid out $264.88 for crow-scalps, taken 
in Falls and Lower ^lakefield, which, at the rate of three pence per head, makes 
the number killed 7,946. An article on the subject at that period, concludes: 
*'Those who annually receive considerable sums from the county treasury, are 
in a state of alarm, lest the Breeders should have been all destroyed." 

When Congress had in contemplation the locating of the seat of Govern- 
ment on the west bank of the Delaware at the falls, 1789, the proposed Federal 
district fell mostly in this township, covering the site of Morrisville. The plat 
was surveyed by William Harvey and Isaac Hicks. 

Falls is among the most populous townships in the county, but we are 
not able to give the population earlier than 1784, when it was 908 whites and 
61 blacks, nor can we give it at each decade since that time. In 18 10 it was 
1,649; 1820, 1,880; 1830. 2,266. and 397 taxables; 1840, 2,068;^''^ 1850, 2,271; 
i860, 2,316; 1870, 2,298.^" of which 194 were of foreign birth; 1880, 2,385; 
1890, 2,463; 1900, 1.856; Tullytown Boro, 528. 

But few, if any, agricultural districts in the state have a m«re intelligent 
.and cultivated population than Falls township. The postoffices are Fallsington, 
established. 1849, and James Thompson appointed postmaster; Tullytown, 
1829, and Joseph Hutchinson postmaster; and Oxford Valley, 1849, when John 
•G. Spencer was appointed postmaster, and held the office to his death, March 
31, 1897, at the age of 94. He was born in Northampton township, and re- 
moved to Falls after arriving at manhood. Few postmasters in the county 
have been longer in commission. 

The Ellets were early settlers in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but 
w^e do not know at what time they came into the former colony. Andrew EUet 
was in Bucks county as early as 1706, and on 14th of 2d month, John Hiett 
conveyed to him 220 acres in Lower Makefield, bounded by Richard Hough, 
Acrenian and others. William Ellet. probably lived and died in F'alls, executed 
his will 20th of 12th mo., 1714, and was admitted to probate September 15, 
172 1, leaving his plantation to his son-i^i-law, James Downey, after the death 
of his wife. He had children, Ann Shallcross, Elizabeth Dowdney (probably 
Downey), Mary Hawkings and Sarah Bidgood. Charles Ellet, N. J., married 
Hannah Carpenter (daughter of Samuel Carpenter) born 1743, died 1820, mar- 
ried, 1765, and had six children: John, born 1769. died May 10, 1824, married 
Mary Smith. Salem county. N. J.. Sarah. Charles, William, Rachel Carpenter, 
and Mary, Hannah Carpenter Fillet, daughter of John and Mary Ellet, born No- 
vember, 1793. died April 20. i8f)2; Charles Ellet, son of Charles and Hannah 
Ellet, born 1777. died 1847. niarried, 1801, Mary, daughter of Israel Israel, 
Philadelphia. She was living, 1870. at the age of 91. They had 
four children, and their son Charles, and grandson, Charles Rivers, 
performed signal service on the Mississippi in the Civil War. Charles 
Ellet was the father of the ram system. The President and Congress 



18^ We can not account for this falling off compared with 1830. 

19 In 1870 the census of Tullytown was taken separately from the township. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 79 



refused to listen to his recommendations until driven to it by stern neces- 
sity. The Ellets were potent factors with Admiral Porter in clearing the 
western rivers of the Confederate iron clads. William EUet, only son 
of Charles Ellet, Jr., graduated at an early age, from the University of Virginia, 
went to Germany to complete his education and committed suicide there. The 

civil engineer's daughter married the eldest son of -. Cabell, Nelson 

county, Virginia. 

The Ivins family were later settlers -in Bucks county coming in through 
New Jersey, but we do not know at what time. Isaac Ivins, the immigrant, was 
married three times, his first wife being Sarah Johnson, their marriage certi- 
ficate bearing date 4 mo., 26, 171 1. The name of his second wife was Lydia, 
and the third, Ann. He died, 1768. He mentions all the wives in his will. 
He lived and died in Mansfield township, Burlington county, and was a store- 
keeper by occupation. His children were Ann, Diadema, Moses, Aaron, born 
8, 30, 1736, and died 6, 2, 1799. Isaac, Joseph and Levi. In 1792, Aaron 
Ivins, son of Isaac, Burlington county, but we are not informed whether the 
junior or senior, but as he married Ann Cheshire, 1764, he was prob- 
ably son of Isaac the second, brought his wife, Ann, and chil- 
dren, Samuel, Ann, Mary and Barclay, and settled in Falls, to 
which meeting he brought a certificate. In 1796 he purchased 389 acres of 
Langhorne Biles on the Delaware for £5,835 or $15,560 equivalent to $40 per 
acre. The earlier descendants of Aaron Ivins intermarried with the families 
of Middleton, Cook, Comfort, Buckman, Smith, Taylor, Green and others 
v;e\\ known in the lower end of the county. The late Dr. Horace Fremont 
Ivins, born in Penn's manor, October 30, 1856, and died at Easton, Pennsyl- 
vania, January 8, 1898, was a descendant. He was graduated from the Hahne- 
mann Medical College, Philadelphia, 1879, then spent a year in Europe, the 
greater part of his time in the hospitals of London and Vienna. Upon his re- 
turn he settled down in practice and became prominent in special branches. 
William H. Ivins, Camden, N. J., is a descendant of the Burlington county's 
immigrant. 

Biles's island, in the Delaware, a mile below the falls, containing 300 
acres, was sold to William Biles about 1680, by Orecton, Nannacus, Nenem- 
blahocking and Patelana, free native Indians, in consideration of iio, but was 
not actually conveyed by deed. On March 19, 1729, Lappewins and Captain 
Cumbansh, two Indian ''Sachems,'' heirs and successors of the Indians above 
named, confirmed the island to William Biles, Jr., son of William Biles the 
elder, now deceased, in consideration of £7 in Indian goods. The deed contained 
a warranty against the grantors, their heirs and all other Indians.*^ 



20 In 1723 the island in the Delaware at the upper end of Falls township was called 
"Joseph Wood's island," and contained 31 34 acres. Joseph Wood's tract opposite, in Falls, 
then contained 696 acres, including the island. This was according to Cutler's resurvey, 
1703. 



Digitized by 



Google 




Digitized by 



Google 



CHAPTER VIII. 



MAKEFIELD. 



1692. 



First named in report. — Origin of name. — Macclesfield. — Falls of Deliawiare objective point. 
— Order of settlers on river. — ^William Yardley's tract. — Richard Hough. — Old mar- 
riage certificate. — Briggs family ; Stockton ; Mead. — Friends' meeting. — Old graveyard. 
— Henry !Mar jorum. — Two Makefields one. — Daniel Qark. — Livezey family. — The 
Briggses. — Three brothers Slack. — Reverend Elijah and General James Slack. — The 
Janneys. — Edgewood. — Dolington. — Yardleyville. — First store-house. — Wheat Sheaf.— 
First lock-tender. — Negro killed. — Yardley of today. — Stone quarries. — Oak Grove 
school-house. — Area of township. — Taxes and population. 

Makefield is the first township named in the report of the jury that sub- 
divided the county, 1692. We give it the second place in our work becauses 
Falls is justly entitled to the first. It was the uppermost of the four river town- 
ships, and not only embraced what is now Lower Makefield, but extended to 
the uttermost bounds of civilization. All beyond was then an "undiscovered 
country/' whose exploration and settlement were left to adventurous pioneers. 
Lower Makefield is bounded on the land side, by Falls, Newtown and Upper 
Makefield, and has a frontage of five miles on the Delaware. 

There has been some discussion as to the origin of the name "Makefield," 
which the jury gave to this township, and which it bore until Upper Makefield 
was organized many years afterward. There is no name like it in England of 
town, parish, or hundred. When John Fothergill, minister among Friends, 
London, visited the township, 1721, he wrote the name "Macclesfield'' in his 
journal. It is just possible that Makefield is a corruption of Macclesfield, or 
that the latter was pronounced Makefield by the early English settlers, and th^ 
spelling made to accord with the pronunciation. In the will of Henry Mar- 
jorum, an early settler, the name of the township is written "Maxfield," but 
one remove from Macclesfield.^ But all this is mere conjecture, in face of the 

I In the manuscript book of arrivals, library Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 
Macclesfield is written "Maxfield," and all historians of Cheshire state this fact. Tysons 
says: "The chapelry of Macclesfield" is frequently called in ancient records "Maxfield," 
p. 734. Richard Hough came from "Maxfield" and being one of the principal men 
appointed to lay out the township, it is possible it was called Maxfield, or Macclesfield, out 
of deference to him. At Macclesfield, England, is a quaint old church, the oldest part 
6 81 



Digitized by 



Google 



82 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



fact that the jury, which laid off the township, spelled the word, plain enough, 
Wakefield. 

The "falls of Delaware*' was an objective point to Penn's first immigrants, 
for a little colony of English settlers had gathered there several years before, 
whither many directed their footsteps upon landing, whence they spread out 
into the wilderness beyond. Several settlers' pushed their way into the woods 
of Makefield as early as 1682. Richard Hough, in his will made about 1704, 
gives the following as the order of the land-owners along the river from the 
falls up: John Palmer, Richard Hough, Thomas Janney, Richard Vickers, 
Samuel Overton, John Brock, one thousand acres; John Clows, one thousand 
acres ; William Yardley, five hundred acres ; Eleanor Pownall, Thomas Bond, 
James Harrison, Thomas Hudson, Daniel Milnor, two hundred and fifty acres; 
Joseph Milnor, two hundred and fifty acres ; Henry Bond and Richard Hough, 
five hundred acres, warrant dated September 20th, 1685, patent July 30th, 1687. 
Harrison owned in all five thousand acres here and elsewhere, and Bond was a 
considerable proprietor. The usual quantity held by settlers was from two hun- 
dred and fifty to one thousand acres. ^ The parties named held nearly all the 
land in the township in 1704. The tract of William Yardley covered the site of 
Yardley, and, after his death, his son Thomas established a ferry there, 
called " Yardley *s ferry," which the Assembly confirmed to him in 1722. This 
soon after became an important point, and, later in the century, when the three 
great roads leading to Philadelphia, via the Falls, Four Lanes end, now Lang- 
horne, and Newtown terminated there, the ferry became a thoroughfare of travel 
and traffic for a large section of East Jersey. 

Richard Hough, from Macclesfield, county Chester, England, arrived in 
the ship Endeavor, of London, 7th mo. 29th, 1683, with four servants, or de- 
pendants. He settled on the river front, Bucks county, taking up two tracts of 
land, one two miles below the site of Yardley, the other joining Penn's manor of 
Highlands ; the upper having a width of half a mile on the river, and running 
back a mile and three quarters, the lower extending inland nearly three miles, 
with a width of a quarter of a mile. Richard Hough married Marger>' 
daughter of John Clows, ist mo., 17, 1683-4, in the presence of many friends. 
This was one of the earliest marriages among the English settlers, and. William 
Yardley and Thomas Janney were appointed to see that it was "orderly done 
and performed." Five children were born of this marriage : Mary, Sarah, Rich- 
ard, John and Joseph, who intermarried with the families of Bainbridge, Shall- 
cross. Brown, Gumbly, Taylor and West, and left many descendants. Dr. 
Silas Hough, son of Isaac Hough and Edith Hart, was a great-grandson of 
Richard Hough, the immigrant and his wife, a descendant of John Hart, a 
minister among Friends from Witney, Oxfordshire, England, who settled in 
Byberry, Philadelphia county, 1682. John Hough, Cheshire, England, who 
arrived the same year as Richard Hough, with his wife Hannah, was probably 
a cousin. 

Richard Hough early became prominent in the new colony in political, so- 
cial and religious affairs. He was a leading member in Falls meeting, and be- 



dating back to the thirteenth centur>% and contains some curious tombs of the Savage 
family. The curfew is still rung at 8 p. m. 

2 The following were the land-owners in Makefield in 1684: Richard *Hough, Henry 
Baker, Joseph Milnor, Daniel Milnor, Thomas Hudson, James Harrison, Thomas Bond, 
Henry Sidwell, Edward Luffe, Eleanor Pownall, William Pownall, John Clows, John 
Prock, Samuel Overton, Thomas Janney, Richard Vickers. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 83 

fore the meeting house was built, 1690, his house was one of the meeting places 
of the Bucks county quarterly meeting. He was one of the jury that laid out 
the original townships of the county, 1692 ; represented the county in the Provin- 
cial Assembly of 1684, 1688, 1690, 1697, 1699, ^7^^* i703» i704» and was a 
member of the Provincial Council, 1693, and 1700. He was active in both 
bodies, and left his impress on the early legislation of the Province. He held 
other public offices, including that of justice of the county, and, 1700, William 
Penn appointed Richard Hough, Phineas Pemberton and William Biles, a 
court of inquiry to investigate the state of his (Penn's) affairs in the Province. 
While in the meridian of his usefulness, Richard Hough met an untimely death, 
being drowned in the Delaware, March 25, 1705, on his way from his home to 
Philadelphia. His will is dated May i, 1704. Among the old marriage certi- 
ficates that have fallen into our hands, is that of ''Robert Smith, Makefield town- 
ship. Carpenter," and Phoebe, daughter of Thomas Canby, Solebury, married at 
Buckingham Meeting, September 30, 17 19. It was formally drawn on parch- 
ment, and the signature well executed. It bears the names of Bye, Pearson, 
Eastbum, Fell, Paxson, and many others, whose descendants still worship at 
the meeting. 

The Yardleys are supposed to have come into England with William the 
Conqueror, but the name is not met with until 1215, when William Yardley 
appears as a witness at the signing of Magna Charta. From that date all 
trace of the name is lost until 1400, and after that, the trace is complete. The 
first immigrant of the name to come to America was William Yardley, of 
Lansclough, Staffordshire, who, with wife Jane, sons Enoch, William and 
Thomas, and servant Andrew Heath,^ arrived at the Falls, Bucks county, 
September 28, 1682. He located 500 acres on the west bank of the Delaware 
<:overing the site of Yardley, Lower Makefield township. The homestead was 
called "Prospect Farm," a name it still retains, and is in possession of a member 
of the family.* The warrant was date'd October 6, 1682, and the patent Janu- 
ary 23, 1687. William Yardley, born 1632, and a minister among Friends at 
twenty-five, was several times imprisoned. From the first he took a prominent 
part in the affairs of the infant colony. He signed the Great Charter, repre- 
sented Bucks county in the first Assembly, and was a member of the Executive 
Council. He was an uncle of Phineas Pemberton, one of Penn's most trusted 
friends and counselors, but in the midst of his usefulness, William Yardley 
died, 1693, and his wife and children soon followed him. Thomas Janney 
wrote of him, about the time of his death : *'He was a man of sound mind and 
good understanding." William Yardley and his family being dead, his prop- 
erty in America reverted to his heirs in England, his brother Thomas and 
nephews, Thomas and Samuel, sons of Thomas. In 1694, Thomas, the younger 
son, came over with power of attorney to settle the estate. "Prospect Farm" 
tecame his property by purchase, and he settled in Lower Makefield, spending 
his life here, 12 month, 1706. Thomas Yardley married Ann. daughter of 
William Biles, the wedding taking place at Pennsbury, and they had issue 
ten children : Mary, Jane, Rebecca, Sarah, Joyce, William, Hannah, Thomas, 
Samuel, and Samuel second. Thus Thomas Yardley became the ancestor oi 



3 They came in the ship ''Friend's Adventure," and Andrew Heath married the 
-widow of William Venables. 

4 Dr. Buckman gives it as his opinion that the original house of William Yardley 
ivas on the Dolington road, a mile from the village of Yardley. 



Digitized by 



Google 



84 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



all that bear the name in Bucks county and many in other parts of the country, 
with a numerous posterity in the female line. There is another Yardley family 
in Bucks descended from a Richard Yardley of Solebury township, supposed to 
be of the same ancestry as the Lower Makefield Yardleys, but it has not yet 
been established. Samuel Yardley, Doylestown, who married Mary Hough, 
belonged to the Solebury family. 

Of the old Makefield families, the Briggses trace their descent, on the pa- 
ternal side, back nearly two centuries, through the Briggses, Storys, Croasdales, 
Cutlers and Hardings, to Ezra Croasdale, who married Ann Peacock, 1687. 
On the maternal side the line runs back through the Taylors, Yardleys, etc. to 
John Town, who married Deborah Booth, 1691. Barclay Knight's male line 
on the paternal side, in so far as the Makefield family is concerned, runs back 
three generations to Jonathan Knight, who married Grace Croasdale, 1748, 
while his mother's ancestry, on the paternal side, runs back to Job Bunting, who 
married Rachel, daughter of Henry Baker, 1689, and on the maternal to William 
and Margaret Cooper, through the Idens, Walnes, the Stogdales and Wool- 
stons. The Stocktons, more recent in the township, are a collateral branch 
of the Princeton family. The first in this county was John Stockton, bora 
June 15, 1768, who was the son of John, a New Jersey judge, a nephew of Rich- 
ard Stockton, the Signer. The latter descended from Richard, a Friend, who- 
came to America between 1660 and 1670, first settled on Long Island and after- 
ward purchased a large tract of land near Princeton. John's father and broth- 
ers, owning large landed estates, remained loyal to the crown in the Revolu- 
tionary struggle, aod lost their lives in the war and their property by confisca- 
tion. John Stockton settled near Yardleyville, in Lower Makefield, and married 
Mary Vansant, in 1794, who died August 19, 1844. They had ten children, 
Ann, Joseph, Sarah, Eliza, Mary Ann, John B., Charity, Isaiah and Eleanor, 
who intermarried with the Hibbses, Leedoms, Derbyshires, Browns, Palmers 
and Houghs. The descendants are numerous in the lower end of the county, and 
among them was the late Doctor John Stockton Hough, of Philadelphia. He was- 
a son of the late Eleanor, who married William Aspy Hough, of Ewing, New 
Jersey. The Meads were in Makefield as early as 1744, when Andrew EUet 
conveyed to William Mead two hundred and twenty acres on the Delaware, 
adjoining Richard Hough. He sold his land to Hezekiah Anderson in 1747, 
and left the township. Ellet was also an early settler, and his patent is dated 
September 26, 1701. 

^^lakefield had been settled near three-quarters of a century before the 
Friends had a meeting house to worship in — in all those long years going down 
to Falls. In 1719 the *'upper parts" of Makefield asked permission of Falls to 
have a meeting on first-days, for the winter season, at Samuel Baker's, John 
Baldwin's and Thomas Atkinson's which was allowed. In 1750, the Falls 
monthly gave leave to the Makefield Friends to hold a meeting for worship 
every other Sunday, at the houses of Benjamin Taylor and Benjamin Gilbert,, 
because of the difficulty of going down there. A meeting-house was built, in 
1752, twenty-five by thirty feet, one story high, which was enlarged in 1764^ 
by extending the north end twenty feet, at a cost of £120. 

The township presents us a relic of her early days, in an ancient buriaF 
place, called the "old stone graveyard," half a mile below Yardleyville.' The 

5 One account says the deed was executed i mo., 7, 1686, to William Yardley and 
others, in trust. It was then called "Slate Pit Hill." Down to 1800 it was the principal! 
burying ground for Friends in the township. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 85 



ground was given, June 4, 1690, to the Falls Monthly Meeting, by Thomas 
Janney, before his return to England, where he died. There is but one stone 
standing, or was a few years ago, to mark the last resting place of one of the 
"rude forefathers'' of the township, a brown sandstone, twenty-seven inches 
high, eighteen wide and six thick, the part out of the ground being dressed. 
On the face, near the top, are the figures "1692," and the following inscription 
below : "Here lies the body of Joseph Sharp, the son of Christopher Sharp." 
for upward of a half century the two Makefields were included in one town- 
ship organization, and known by the name of Makefield. They were still one, 
1742, but for the convenience of municipal purposes they were divided into 
two divisions, and called "upper'* and "lower'' division. 

Adam Hoops, of Falls, owned three hundred and twenty acres along the 
river, in Lower Makefield. He probably died 1771, as his will is dated the 7th 
of June of that year. His daughter, Jane, married Daniel Clark, the uncle of 
Daniel Clark, jr., first husband of Mrs. Gaines.® The heirs of Adam Hoops 
sold the plantation to Clark, who disposed of it by sale in 1774, when he prob- 
ably left the county. David V. Feaster, a captain in the Third Pennsylvania 
Reserves, Civil War, 1861-65, spent the latter years of his life on this farm, * 
Lower Makefield, dying there December 6, 1894. 

The Livezey family, of Lower Makefield and Solebury, of which the late 
Doctor Abraham Livezey, of Yardley, was a member, came to Bucks county at 
an early day. Jonathan, the immigrant, settled in Solebury soon after Penn's 
second visit, where he took up a tract of land that included the old Stephen 
Townsend farm — on which was built a one-story stone house, 1732, and torn 
down, 1848 — ^and the farms of Armitage, Paxson and William Kitchen. He 
married Esther Eastburn, and had children Jonathan, Nathan, Benjamin and 
Joseph, and was the great-great-grandfather of •Robert Livezey, father of the 
present generation. The great-grandfather married a Friend named Thomas ; 
the grandfather, Daniel Livezey, married Margery Croasdale, whose eldest 
son, Robert, born February 22, 1780, married Sarah Paxson, who died at the 
age of ninety- three. Robert Livezey lived with one wife the whole of his mar- 
ried life of sixty years on the old Stephen Townsend farm. His children are" 
Cyrus, Elizabeth, Ann, Albert, Allen, Elias, Abraham, and Samuel, who died 
in 1863. Previous to Samuel's death this family exhibited the rehiarkable fact 
that both parents, at the ages of eighty-three and eighty-four, and the entire 
family of eight children, living, the youngest being aged forty. Robert Livezey 
died, 1864, at the age of eighty-four. He was a Friend, and many years filled 
the oifice of justice of the peace. 

Henry Marjorum (present form Margerum) and wife Elizabeth, county 
Wilt. England, arrived in the Delaware, i mo. 2, 168^, and settled on a 350-acre 
tract two miles below Yardley. He then bought 281 acres in Falls. They had 
two children, Sarah born 7, 17, 1685, and Henry born 12, 7. 1683. On the death 
of his wife, 8, 2, 1693, ^^ married Jane Riggs, a widow, the first marriage in Bur- 
lington outside the meeting; we do not know when he died, but his will was 
recorded 1727. The name of Henry IMarjorum appears as the owner of cat- 
tle, 1684, and the ear mark given ; and one of the same name, son or grandson, 
was one of the first directors of the Newtown Library, 1760. The same 
year, he, or another Henry, went on a "voiage" to South Carolina with a certi- 
ficate from Falls Monthly. Meeting ; but there being no monthly meeting near 

6 On the authority of Gilbert Cope, Mrs. Gaines is thought to have been the daugh- 
ter of Daniel Clark^-Jr., and that her first husband was W. W. Whitney, New York. 



Digitized by 



Google 



86 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



where he was he "could not deliver his certificate nor get an endorsement of 
his behavior." In 1765 John Margerum "was much overtaken and disordered 
with strong drink in a public manner;" and 1766, a committee was appointed 
to treat with Henry Margerum, who was accused of "unlawful conversation" 
with a young woman. Both were dismissed from meeting because they were in 
"an indiflFerent and unconcerned"* frame of mind. They needed disciplining^^ 
and got it. The homestead was occupied by William Margerum, who died 
there October 9, 1830. His wife's name was Elizabeth, and their son, Enos, 
bom June 30, 1782, married Rachel VansaJit, whose brother Johh was an 
Ensign in the Pennsylvania Line of the Revolution. The latter had three 
sons, Reading, a second son, born February 18, 181 1, died December 20, 1897,^ 
and Garret, born January 22, 1813, went south in his youth, led an active busi- 
ness life and was killed at Memphis, Tennessee, 1891. The Rev. William 
Allibone Margerum, Ocean Grove, N. J., a prominent Methodist Episcopal 
minister, is a descendant of the pioneer, and his youngest son, Winfield L., bom 
1861, is engaged in business in Philadelphia. Several members of the family 
served on the side of the colonies in the Revolution, Joseph and William in 
Capt. Stillwell's company. Colonel Keller's regiment, Bucks county mili- 
tia. The names of Benjamin and Jonathan Margerum were on the rolls at 
different period^. 

The Slack family of Makefield are descendants of John and Abraham 
Slack, grandsons of Hendrick Cornelisse Slecht, who emigrated from Hol- 
land in 1652 and settled on Long Island. Abraham, born 1722, 
settled in Lower Makefield. He first occupied the farm in the northeast 
corner of the township, on the Delaware, subsequently owned by William Pfaff , 
deceased, but afterward moved to the farm immediately north and adjoining, 
recently owned by a Smith. Ha lived there many years and died, 1802. Slack's 
island, in the Delaware, was named after him'. He probably married soon after 
his arrival, and his children were Abraham, Cornelius, James and Sarah, all of 
whom married and left descendants. Abraham, the elder son, left but three chil- 
dren, who are deceased, and their descendants live in Philadelphia. The second 
son, Cornelius, died, 1828, leaving a number of children, some recently living, 
among them Mrs. James Larue, Lower Makefield, Mrs. Charles Young, Edge- 
wood, and Mrs. Balderston, Newtown. James, the third son, born in 1756, 
died on his farm, 1832, at the age of seventy-six, leaving one daughter, Alice, 
and three sons, Abraham, Elijah and James. Sarah, the daughter of Abraham 
the elder, married Moses Kelley, whose descendants are to be found in New- 
town, Fallsington and Philadelphia. The late Mrs. Jane Harvey, wife of Jo- 
seph Harvey, of Newtown, and Doctor Lippincott, Philadelphia, husband of 
Grace Greenwood, were two of her descendants. Abraham, the elder son of 
James, died, 1835, leaving a large family of children, several of whom reside 
in Rucks countv. Among them are Samuel M. Slack, L>per Makefield, John 
Slack Keith, Newtown, and Elijah T. Slack, Philadelphia. Abraham's de- 
scendants married into the families of Rich, Stevens, Torbert, Emery, McNair, 
etc. Elijah Slack, second son of James, graduated at Princeton, studied divin- 
fty, was licensed as a Presbyterian minister, and removed to Cincinnati, 1817, 
where he died, 1868, leaving a large family of children, most of whom live in 
the southern states. The daughter Alice married David McNair, Newtown 
township, and died 1830, leaving six children, a number of whose descendants 
live in the county. James, the youngest son of Abraham the second, familiarly 
known in the lower end of the county as Captain Slack, resided on the farm 
where his father died until 1837, when he immigrated to Indiana, and settled 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. Sf 



on White river, Delaware county, where his wife died in 1845, ^^^ ^^ ^" 1847, 
He left six sons and three daughters, of whom but three survive: Doctor 
George W. Slack, of Delaware county, Indiana, Anthony T. Slack, Independ- 
ence, Missouri, and James R. Slack, Indiana. The latter went to Huntingdon, 
Indiana, 1840, with his license as an attorney in his pocket, and began life in 
the wilderness. In turn he was schoolmaster, clerk in the county-clerk's office, 
county auditor, and State Senator. On the breaking out of the Civil War, he 
espoused the cause of the Union, raised the forty-seventh Indiana regiment, of 
which he was appointed Colonel. He participated in most of the campaigns 
and battles in the West, from Island No. 10, in March, 1862, to the surrender 
of Mobile, April, 1865. He was appointed brigadier-general, 1864, and brevet 
major-general, March, 1865, ^^r gallantry in the field. In October, 1873, he 
was elected judge of the Twenty-eighth Judicial district by eight hundred ma- 
jority, in a district in which the Republican candidate for President had one 
thousand two hundred majority, in 1872.' / 

The Janneys, Bucks county and elsewhere, are descended from Thomas 
Janney, and Elizabeth his wife, Cheshire, England, where he was bom, i633> 
and died 12 mo., 17, 1677. His son Thomas joined the Society of Friends^ 
shortly after it was organized, and was frequently punished for attending meet- 
ing. He became a minister about 1654. In 9th mo., 24, f66o, Thomas Janney 
was married to Margery Heath, of Horton, at the home of James Harrison, his 
brother-in-law. They came to Pennsylvania in the Endeavor, with four chil- 
dren, landing at Philadelphia 7 mo., 29, 1683.' Jacob, Thomas, Abel and Jo- 
seph settled in Lower Makefield on the river below Yardley. He located a 
five hundred acre patent here, and another of one thousand acres near the 
Newtown line. He was a member of the Provincial Council and returning to 
England, 1695, died there, 1696, at the age of sixty-one. He has numerous 
descendants in this county. Stephen T. Janney, who died in Newtown town- 
ship, November 12, 1898, at the age of eighty-one, was the son of Jacob and 
Francenia Janney, and the fifth in descent from the immigrant. His father 
had ten children and there was no death among them for the period of fifty 
years. In 1842 Stephen T. Janney married Harriet P. Johnson, daughter of 
William H. and Mary (Paxson) Johnson, and is survived by five children. This 
branch of the family made their home in Newtown township, and the home- 
stead farm is still in their possession. 

There are but two villages in Lower Makefield — Edgewood, on the roa^ 
from Yardley to Attleborough, consisting of a store, postoffice, established 
1858, and Samuel Tomlinson appointed postmaster, and a dwelling ; and Yard- 
leyville on the Delaware, at the site of Thomas Yardley's ferry, of 
ye olden time, now incorporated into a borough named Yardley. 
Dolington, on the line between Lower and Upper Makefield, will be noticed 
in our account of the latter township. Yardleyville began to develop into what 
Americans call a village about 1807. An old map of the place of that date 
shows a number of building lots, and streets laid out above the mouth of the 
creek, and running back from the river, and on the south side were several lots at 
the intersection of the Newtown and Upper River roads. The only buildings 

7 General Slack died at Chicago, suddenly, July 28, 1881, from a stroke of paralysis. 
He was buried at Huntingdon, his home, the following Sunday, July 31, followed to the 
grave by a very large concourse of mourning relatives and friends. Distinguished men 
we're present from all parts of the state and the sermon and eulogies pronounced over his 
remains bespeak the high esteem in which General Slack was held. 



Digitized by 



Google 



88 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



there were the old tavern near the river bank, and the dwellings of Brown, Pid- 
cock, Eastbum and Depue. At this time the ferry was half-a-mile below the 
bridge, and boats landed opposite the farm house of Jolly Longshore. One Howell 
kept the ferry on the New Jersey side, and it was as often called Howell's as 
Yardley's ferry. The first store house in the place was built by the widow of 
Thomas ^Yardley. An old tavern stood at this side of the ferry, kept by John 
Jones, and subsequently, Benjamin Flemming. When the ferry was moved 
up to the site of the bridge, a tavern, now the ''White Swan,'* was built there, 
and first kept by one Grear. The house was refused license, 1892, and since 
then has been kept as a summer boarding house, and a "Cyclers" roadhouse. 
Neill Vansant bought the old Yardley mansion, with mills and some two hun- 
dred acres of land, which then included the whole of the village. The mansion 
and the mills were subsequently owned by Richard Mitchell, Atlee and Mahlon 
Dungan. The latter sold the property to William Yardley, whose heirs still 
own it. Among the earliest houses in the place, were the small frame tenement 
on John Blackfan^s land near the creek, the three-story stone house called the 
"Wheat Sheaf," because there was a sheaf of wheat cast in the iron railing in 
front of the second story, and a small frame and stone house east of the canal 
above Bridge street. Charles Shoemaker was the first lock-tender on the 
canal at Yardleyville, appointed in 1831. In 1893, a county bridge was built 
across the canal at the foot of College avenue. The third store was kept by 
Aaron LaRue in the "Canal storehouse." He joined church, emptied his liquor 
into the canal and set it on fire. His son, James G. LaRue, killed a negro in this 
storehouse for abusing his mother and the grand jury ignored the bill. A gen- 
eral store was once kept in this house by the late Josiah B. Smith of Newtown, 
but was burned down in 1891. The great freshet of 1841 carried the bridge 
away. The Yardley of today is a much more pretentious village than its 
ancestor of seventy-five years ago, and the word "ville" has been knocked off 
its name by the age of improvement. It now contains several industrial estab- 
lishments, made up of a steam spoke and handle factory, steam sawmill, pJate 
and plaster mills, steam felloe works, two merchant flour mills, several dry 
goods stores and groceries, coal and lumber yards, four public houses, a graded 
school, three churches and Friends meeting house, and a Catholic congrega- 
tion worship in the Odd Fellows Hall. The Bound Brook railroad from Phila- 
delphia to New York crosses the Delaware just south of the village. A post- 
office was established in 1828, and Mahlon Dungan appointed postmaster. 

In the immediate vicinity of Yardley are two valuable stone quarries, 
from which many valuable building stones are quarried and shipped to various 
parts of the country. In a letter written by James Logan to Phineas Pember- 
ton, about 1700, he mentions that William Penn "had ordered a memorandum 
entered in the office that ye great quarry in R. Hough s and Abel Janney's 
lands be reserved when they come to be confirmed, being for ye public good of 
ye county." What about "ye gregi quarry," and who knows about it now? 
'Does it refer to the quarries at Yardley? In the same letter Logan asks Pem- 
berton where he can get "three of four hundred acres of good land and pro- 
portionable meadow, in your innocent county." In olden times, the children 
from the vicinity of Yardley went to school at the Oxford school house ; bujt 
in the course of time, an eccentric man. one Brelsford, a famous deer hunter of 
that section, built an eight-square on the site of the present Oak Grove school 
house on the lot left by Thomas Yardley for school purposes. At one time a 
general store was kept in this house by Josiah B. Smith of Newtown, and was 
burned down in 189 1. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 89 



In 1897, the "Oak Grove Improvement Company*' was orgaViized for the 
purpose of planting ornamental shade trees on the school lot, about one hun- 
■dred dollars being raised and expended by a few persons, resulting in a well 
shaded, cool and convenient park of three acres, and frequently used for relig- 
ious, political and other public meetings. Other desirable improvements, are a 
public road along the Bound Brook railroad just south of the borough, and 
the formation of "Hampton Lake*' covering ten acres, by damming a small 
creek and usmg the water for the engines of the trains stopping at Yardley 
station. It is convenient for boating, fishing and getting ice. Besides the im- 
provements mentioned, others have been made at Yardley in recent years, no 
less important. In 1876 a new Episcopal church, St. Andrews, was erected on 
the site of the old one built 1837 and used as a free church. The following year 
the Rev. John W. Stephenson, colored, collected funds and built an African 
^lethodist Episcopal church, the corner stone being laid September 9, and dedi- 
<:ated November 4. In 1889-90 the Yardley National Bank was organized and 
built ; and opened for business with a capital of $50,000, January 20, of the lat- 
ter year. The comptroller's certificate was dated January 13, 1890. The bank 
"building is a tasteful structure in the center of the village. Buckmanville, a 
Tiamlet of a few dwellings, a store and post office, is on the road from Pine- 
ville to Dolington. The population of Yardley was 820 by the census of 1880, 
"but at the present time is about a thousand. 

Yardleyville's name was changed to Yardley about the time of its incor- 
poration as a borough, 1895, t>"t we do not know the date. The same year the 
public lighting of its streets was introduced, first by naphtha lamps, which were 
replaced the following year by an electric light plant, which supplies Morris- 
ville with a four mile current. The borough is connected with Doylestown, 
Newtown, Bristol, Trenton and other points by trolley. In 1897 the Yardley 
Delaware Bridge was repaired and strengthened, and the Philadelphia and 
Reading Railroad filled up the great tressel of the Bound Brook railroad across 
the Delaware from the canal to the river, on the Pennsylvania side, requiring 
one hundred twenty-two millions, three hundred sixty-two thousand cubic feet 
of earth. The gap to be filled was twenty-two hundred and thirty-five feet 
long, fifty-five feet high, thirty feet wide at the top and three hundred at the 
bottom. The late George Yardley of the William and Thomas branch, had a 
"handsome place called "Linden" below the village in the long past, but its 
remains are overthrown and ruined by the embankment of the Reading rail- 
road approach. 

The surface of Lower Makefield is gently rolling, with scarce a hill that 
deserv^es the name. The eastern end of Edge Hill, reaching from the Schuyl- 
kill to the Delaware, runs along the southern line of the township, and marks 
the northern limit of the primary formation. Here the surface is somewhat 
"broken. It is not so well watered as most of the townships, and has but few 
creeks. The largest is Brock's creek, named after John Brock, an original 
settler, whose land lay along it, and empties into the Delaware at Yardley. Core- 
creek rises in the northwest corner of the township, but soon enters Newtown, 
thence flows through Middletown to Neshaminy. Rock run, which flows 
through Falls and empties into the Delaware below Pennsbury, rises in the 
southern part. The township is traversed by numerous local roads, which ren- 
der all points accessible to the inhabitants. The soil is fertile and <well-culti- 
vated, and the population is almost exclusively employed in agriculture. The 
area is nine thousand nine hundred and forty-seven acres, with but little waste 
land. 



Digitized by 



Google 



90 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



In 1693, the next year after the township was organized, the assessed 
taxes of Makefield amounted to in. 14s. 3d. In 1742, sixty years after its 
settlement, it had seventy-six taxable inhabitants, among whom were eleven 
single men. The next year there were only fifty-seven, but had increased to 
ninety- four in 1764, In 1742 the poor-rate was three pence per pound, and nine 
shillings on single men. Thomas Yardley, the heaviest tax-payer, was assessed 
at iioo. In 1784 the population was 748, of which twenty-six were blacks,^ 
and one hundred and one dwellings; 1,089, 1810; 1,204, 1820; 1,346, 1830, with 
taxables; 1,550, 1840; 1,741, 1850; 1,958, i860; and 2,066, of which two 
hundred and twenty-seven were foreign-born, in 1870. In 1786 the joint com- 
missioners of Pennsylvania and New Jersey confirmed to Lower Makefield 
Dunn's, Harvey's lower, and Slack's three islands in the Delaware. 

The first loss by fire in the township of which we have any record, was 
1736, when John Schofield had his dwelling burned. Collections, to cover the 
loss, were taken up in the .monthly meetings. 



Digitized by 



Google 



CHAPTER IX. 



BRISTOL TOWNSHIP. 



1692. 



Interesting township. — Only seaport in county. — Original name. — Present name appears. — 
• Richard Noble. — Reverend Thomas Dungan. — Cold Spring. — Elias Keach. — His- 
History. — ^Thomas Dungan's descendants. — Samuel Carpenter. — Bristol mill. — Bristol 
island meadows. — Fairview and Belle meadow farms. — Captaip John Clark. — Ferry- 
to Burlington. — Act to improve navigation of Neshaminy. — Bessonett's rope ferry. — 
Line of stages. — Christopher Taylor. — Captain Partridge. — ^The Dilworths. — The 
Taylor family. — Anthony Taylor. — Anthony Newbold. — Bristol College. — Captain 
John Green.— China Retreat. — ^Van Broom Houckgeest. — Bath Springs. — Pigeon 
swamp. — The **Mystic well." — Daniel Boone. — William Stewart, his schoolmate. — 
Bolton farm. — Landredth^ seed-farm. — Hellings's fruit establishment. — Newportville. 
— Bela Badger. — Surface, area, population. 

Bristol, next to Falls, is the most interesting township in the county. It 
played a leading part in the settlement of the Province, and here was located' 
the first county seat, and justice administered for forty years. Being the only 
seaport in the county, many of the early immigrants landed here, either coming" 
up the river in boats or crossing over from Burlington, where some of the ships 
discharged their living cargoes. As there was sufficient depth of water, possi- 
bly some of the smaller vessels landed on the bank at Bristol. 

In the report of the jury, fixing the boundaries of the five townships laid 
out, 1692, Bristol iff located below Pennsbury, and was *'to follow the river to 
Neshaminah, then up Neshaminah to the upper side of Robert Hall's planta-^ 
tion, and to take in the land of Jonathan Town, Edmund Lovet, Abraham Cox, 
etc., to Pennsbury, and by the same to the place of beginning." The name given 
to it was "Buckingham," no doubt after the parish of that name in England, 
and was so called in the court records as late as 1697, and "New Buckingham" 
in the Meeting records as late as 1705. Its present name first appears 1702, 
when a constable was appointed for "Bristol." The reason for dropping the 
original name and assuming one less pleasant to the ear, is not known, probably 
because the township gradually came to be called by the name of the borough 
growing up within its borders. If we except the few "old renters" from the* 
time of Andros, and still a few others who came when the Swedes and Dutch' 



Digitized by 



Google 



^2 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



held rule on the Delaware, the original settlers of Bristol township were English 
Friends.^ 

Our knowledge of the first English settlers is not extensive, and possibly 
not always accurate. Thomas Holme, Penn's surveyor-general, owned land in 
this and other townships, but he never lived in the county. His 
occupation enabled him to pick up tracts worth having, and he appears 
to have availed himself of the opportunity. Richard Noble, the first 
sheriff, appointed in 1682, ow^ned an extensive tract on the Neshaminy, above 
its mouth. William White, Richard Noble and Samuel Allen owned tracts on 
that stream in the order jthey are named, aftd eight .proprietors owned all the 
land bordering on the Neshaminy, from its mouth up to the Middletown line, 
Thomas Holme being the largest owner, five hundred and forty-seven acres, 
whose land lay on the stream but a short distance, and then ran along the Mid- 
dletown line nearly to Falls. John Clark, husband of Ann Clark, received his 
:grant from Governor Andros, May 12, 1679, embracing three hundred and nine 
acres, and dying, 1683, left it to his widow. The court took charge of Clark's 
estate at his death, and sold one hundred acres to Richard Noble, which Penn 
confirmed to him in 1689. Samuel Allen's daughter, Martha, was married to 
Daniel Pegg, of Philadelphia, at her father's house, Bristol township, April 
22, 1686. Her husband gave the name to Pegg's run, and a street in Phila- 
delphia. 

The Dungans came from Rhode Island, and some of them were in Bristol 
before Penn arrived. William, who was probably the eldest son of the Rev- 
•erend Thomas, who came in advance to the Quaker colony where there was 
neither let nor hindrance in freedom to worship God, had two hundred acres 
granted him in Bristol, by William ^larkham, 4th of 6th month, 1682, and con- 
firmed by Penn the 5th of 5th month, 1684. He is denominated an "old renter." 
About the same time there came a small colony of Welsh Baptists, from Rhode 
Island, who settled near Cold Spring. This spring, one of the finest in the 
county, is near the river bank three miles above Bristol, and covers an area of 
about fifty feet square. It is surrounded by a stone wall, is well shaded and 
constantly discharges about one hundred and fifty gallons per minute. In 1684 
the Welsh immigrants w^ere followed by the Reverend Thomas Dungan and 
his family, who settled in the immediate vicinity. He soon gathered a congre- , 
gation about him and organized a Baptist church, which was kept together until 
1702. But little is known of its history. If a church building were ever erected 
it has entirely disappeared, but the graveyard, overgrown with briars and trees 
and a few dilapidated tombstones, remains. It is fiftv feet square, and near the 
turnpike. The land was probably given by Thomas Stanaland, who died March 
16, 1753, and was buried in it. Thomas Dungan, the pastor, died in 1688, and 
was buried in the yard, but several years afterward a handsome stone was 
erected to his memory at Southampton.^^ Two pastors at Pennypack w^ere 

I Names of original settlers : Thomas Holme, John Spencer, John Boyden, Samuel 
Allen, John Swart, Jacob Pelisson, Richard Noble, Ann Clark, Samuel Gift, William 
Dungan, Mordecai Bowden, John Tully, Thomas Dungan, Clement Dungan, iflchard 
Lundy, Thomas Bowman, Thomas Rudeyard, William Hauge, Christopher Taylor, Francis 
Richardson, Griffith Jones and Edward Bennet. 

116 The Rev. Thomas Dungan was born in London, England, about 1632, and in 
1637 came with his mother and step-father. Jeremiah Clarck, to New England, settling at 
viewport, R. I., where young Dungan doubtless spent his boyhood and youth. He probably 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 93; 



buried in this old graveyard, the Reverend Samuel Jones, who died December 
16, 1722, and Joseph Wood, September 15, 1747. 

The Reverend Elias Keach, the first pastor at Pennypack, was ordained 
by Mr. Dungan. The history of this able minister of the gospel is full of in- 
terest. He came from London, 1686, representing himself as a minister and. 
was asked to preach at Pennypack. Many flocked to hear the young London 
divine. In^the midst of his sennon he suddenly stopped as if attacked by sick- 
ness, burst into tears and confessed that he was an impostor. He dated his 
conversion from that moment. He now retired to Cold Spring to seek counsel, 
and advice of Mr. Dungan, where he remained a considerable time. He prob- 
ably studied divinity with Mr. Dungan, who baptised him. He became the pas- 
tor at Pennypack, 1687, but returned to England, 1692, where he preached 
with success until his death, 1699. He married a daughter of Judge More, 
after whom Moreland township was named. His only daughter, Hannah,, 
married Revitt Harrison, of England, whose son, John Elias Keach Harrison^ 
came to America about 1734, settled at the Crooked Billet, now Hatboro, and 
was a member of the Southampton Baptist church. The Reverend Thomas 
Dungan left five sons and three daughters, but divided his real estate betweea 
Thomas, Jeremiah and John, after the death of their mother, they paying their 
sisters, Mary, Rebecca and Sarah, five pounds each. The sons and daughters 
married into the families of Wing, Drake, West, Richards, Doyle and Car- 
rell.^ William, the eldest son, married in Rhode Island, probably befoie he 
emigrated to Pennsylvania. We have the authority of Morgan Edwards for 
saying that by 1770 the descendants of Reverend Thomas Dungan numbered 
between six and seven hundred. The 2nd of April, 1698, Clement, Thomas, 
Jeremiah and John Dungan conveyed two hundred acres, above Bristol near 
the- Delaware, to Walter Plumpluey. They probably left Bristol at that time, 
and removed to Northampton township, where the descendants of the family 
still reside. In March, 1774, the Cold Spring farm was sold at public sale by 
Thomas Stanaland. Samuel Clift was an **old renter,'* of whom more in 
another place. 

Samuel Carpenter, bom in Surry, England, who came to the province from 
the island of Barbadoes, in 1683, and now a wealthy shipping merchant of 
Philadelphia, was the largest land-holder in Bristol township at the close of 

received part of his education at Roger Williams' celebrated school. He became a freeman 
of the colony, 1656. Having embraced the Baptist faith, he entered the piinistry, and, 
shortly after Monmouth county. New Jersey, was settled by the English, Mr. Dungan 
took up land there, but sold it, 1674. After Penn received the grant of Pennsylvania he 
removed to the Delaware and settled at Cold Spring, founded the first Baptist church- 
in the colony and died, 1688. Penn granted 400 acres to Thomas Dungan and son Clement. 
The Rev. Thomas Dungan married Elizabeth Weaver, of Rhode Island, and she died, 
1690. They had issue: William, born about 1658, married Deborah Wing, died 1713; 
Clement, died in Northampton township, 1732; Elizabeth, married Nathaniel West, New- 
port, Rhode Island; Thomas, born about 1670, married Mary Drake, died June 23, 17591 
Rebecca, married Edward Doyle; he died 1703, and, in his will, names wife, Rebecca, and 
sons Clement and Edward, both of New Britain; Jeremiah, born about 1673, married" 
Deborah Drake, died April 6, 1761 ; Mary, married a Richards, and had issue : John, died" 
unmarried and without issue, and S^rah married James Carrell and had issue. 

2 The Doyle and Carrell the Dungan daughters married, were members of the 
families of the same name living in Warminster and Doylestown, respectively. 



Digitized by 



Google 



94 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Ihe century. He purchased some two thousand acres contiguous to Bristol 
including the site of the borough. Among the tracts he bought were those 
of John Otter, Samuel Clift, Edward Bennet and Griffith Jones, running down 
the Delaware nearly to the mouth of Neshaminy, and afterward that of Thomas 
Holme, running back almost to the Middletown line, about one thousand four 
hundred acres. He likewise owned two islands in the river. He probably 
built the Bristol mills which stood on what is now Mill creek, a quarter of a 
jnile from the river, and up to whose doors small vessels came to load and 
unload freight. The saw-mill was seventy feet long by thirty-two wide, and 
able to cut about fifteen-hundred feet in twelve hours, while the flour-mill 
had four run of stone with an undershot wheel. We do not know at what 
time Mr. Carpenter built the mills, but, in 1705, he speakes of them as being 
"newly built.'* They earned a clear profit of £400 a year. The mill-pond then 
covered between 200 and 300 acres. The pine timber sawed at the mill was 
brought from Timber creek. New Jersey, and the oak cut from his own land 
near by. At that day the mills had about fifteen feet head and fall, and there 
was water enough to run about eight months in the year. About 1710-12, 
Mr. Carpenter .removed to Bristol, making his summer residence on Burlington 
island, his dwelling standing as late as 1828. He was the richest man in the 
province, 1701, but lost heavily by the French and Indian war of 1703; 
and, 1705, he offered to sell his Bristol property to his friend Jonathan Dickin- 
son, island of Jamaica.^ He rnarried Hannah Hardman, an immigrant from 
Wales, 1684, and died at Philadelphia, 1714. His wife died, 1728. His son 
.Samuel married a daughter of Samuel Preston, and granddaughter of Thomas 
Lloyd. Samuel Carpenter was largely interested in public affairs ; was a mem- 
ber of the Council and Assembly, and Treasurer of the Province. He is 
spoken of in high terms by all his contemporaries.* The EUets, who dis- 
tinguished themselves in the late Civil war, were descendants of Samuel Carpen- 
ter through the intermarriage of the youngest daughter of his son Samuel with 
Charles EUet. 

The Bristol island meadows, on the Delaware below Bristol, forming a 
tract of rich meadow land, were patented to Samuel Carpenter. They were 
then called Burden's island, said to contain eight hundred and fifteen and a 
quarter acres, and were described as lying between Mill creek and Hog run. 
In 17 16 Hannah Carpenter and sons conveyed the island to a purchaser. In 
1774 an island near this, containing about forty acres, called Lesser island, 
was conveyed by John Clark to John Kidd. In 1807 Bela Badger bought the 
Fairview and Belle meadow farms, lying south of Bristol, and afterward Bristol 

3 At one time Mr. Carpenter offered to sell his Bristol mills to his friend William 
Penn. 

4 Samuel Carpenter had a brother, Joshua, who probably came to America with him. 
His wife's name was Elizabeth, and their first child was Samuel, born August 14, 1686, 
and married Mary Yates, who was born at Chester, 1700, daughter of Jasper Yates. Their 
children were: Joshua, born February 12, 1720; Elizabeth, born November 15, 1725; 
Samuel, born May 16, 1728 (on Carpenter's Island) ; Mary, bom April 2, 1730; Catharine, 
born July 10, 1732 (on Carpenter's Island) ; Jasper, born October 14, 1734, married and 
had one daughter, Elizabeth, born August 27, 1763, who married Abraham Cook^ January, 
1790; Joshua Carpenter, first born of Joshua and Elizabeth, married and had one child, 
born July 22, 1753, and married Mary Roan. — Letter from Jasper Carpenter Cook, Phila- 
delphia, May 24, 1877 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 95 



island, then called Yonkin's and subsequently Badger's island. The tide ebbed 
and flowed between the island and mainland. Mr. Badger, at great expense, 
banked in about three hundred and fifty acres of the meadow, making one of 
the most productive islands in the Delaware. The portion not banked in is 
covered with water at ever>' high tide. A small part of the meadow adjoining 
Bristol was wharfed in to form the basin of the Delaware Division Canal..' Be- 
fore the Revolution, Captain John Clark, of the British army, came to America 
for his health, and lived on the Fairview farm, where Badger died. When a 
party of British horse came from Philadelphia to Bristol, 1778, to burn the 
grist-mill, word was sent to Captain Clark, who rode into the village and for- 
bade the distruction of property, on the ground that he was a British officer and 
part owner. The mill was not burned, and he soon atterward resigned his com- 
mission. He was the worshipful-master of the Bristol lodge of Masons, and 
remained a member to his death. 

A ferry across the Delaware, from Bristol to Burlington, was first estab- 
lished by the Provincial Council, 1709. A petition from the county-magis- 
trates was presented by John Sotcher, who then owned the land on this side of 
the" river,. and on which the landing was to be. In 1714, an act of similar 
import was passed by the New Jersey assembly, which fixed the rate for 
ferrying over, and prohibited all but the licensed ferryman acting, under a 
fine of twenty shillings. Of course people crossed the river between these two 
points many years before it was a recognized ferry. It is not known that 
the landing of the original ferry was on the spot of the present one. About 
1729 Samson Carey petitioned to be granted the ferry from Burlington tor 
Bristol. 

Christopher Taylor, mentioned elsewhere — one of the early pioneer set- 
tlers of Bristol township, is supposed to have been bom near Skipton, York- 
shire, England. There he officiated as a Puritan preacher until he joined 
the Quakers, 1652. He taught a classical school at various places; came to 
America, 1682, and obtained the grant of 5,000 acres in this county. He 
represented Bristol in the first Assembly ; — was a member of the first Execut- 
ive Council, after Penn*s arrival, and was also Register-General of the 
Province. At one time he taught a classical school at Philadelphia. His 
son Israel was sheriff of Bucks county, and his daughter married Jona Sander- 
lands, Chester county, 1693. At the time of his death he was a resident 
of Tinecum island in the Delaware, and practiced surgery. He died 1696. 

An act of Assembly was passed in 1771, to improve the navigation of 
Neshaminy creek, which bounds Bristol township on the southwest. The 
stream was declared a public highway as far 'up as Barnsley's ford, now 
Newportville, but the navigation was not much improved. At certain stages 
of the water vessels of light draught can come up to that point. In olden 
times there was a floating bridge and rope ferry across Neshaminy about 
a hundred yards above the turnpike bridge at Schenck's station, the foundation 
of which can still be seen. They were owned by Charles Bessonett,' who then 

1 — — — — — — ■ — ■ 

5 Possibly these island meadows are the same as Aldricks' island of two centuries and 
a half ago. Next to William Penn, Samuel Carpenter was the richest man in the Province. 
He owned the **Slate Roof House," Philadelphia, in which Penn resided, 1700. Watson 
says Samuel Carpenter was the Stephen Girard of his period, in wealth. 

6 The Bessonetts were in Bensalem as early as 1729, and on January 6, that year, 
John Rodman made a conveyancg to John Bessonett. His will was executed March 4, 



Digitized by 



Google 



96 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 

ran a line of stages from Philadelphia to New York, and kept tavern in BristoL 
In 1785 he and Gersham Johnson were authorized to lay out a road, from the 
sixteenth mile-stone, on what is now the Philadelphia and Trenton turnpike,, 
through the lands of J. Vandegrift and William Allen, to and across Nesham- 
iny; thence through land of John Edgar and Joseph Tomlinson, and on to the 
nineteenth mile-stone, and to build a bridge and establish a ferry. These were 
the floating bridge and rope ferry. As early as 1700 the Grand Jury pre- 
sented the necessity of a bridge over this stream, and William Moore was 
appointed to view and select a site, the expense to the county was not to^ 
exceed i8o. Whether it was built, and if so, where, the author is not informed. 
An early act of Assembly sought to open lock navigation from tide-water ta 
Bridgetown, but nothing came of it. The bill provided for the incorporation 
of the "Nashaminy Lock & Navigation Company." 

On the bank of the Delaware, three miles below Bristol, stands \<rhat is 
known as "China Retreat*' and Bristol College.^ About 1787 the farm be- 
longed to one Benger, an Irish sporting gentleman, who imported the famous 
horse "Messenger," he purchased of a brother of the Duke of York. It was 
then called "Benger's Mount." He sold it to one Andre Everade Van 
Braam Houckgeest, governor of an East India island, who retired to this 
county, and erected an elegant mansion, calling it "China Retreat." The mar- 
ble used in its construction was brought up the river by Samuel Hibbs, Ben- 
salem, in a shallop. He sold the property, 1798, 361 acres and 3 perches, to- 
Captain Walter Sims, for £10,706, whose son-in-law, Capt. John Green, was 
the first sea captain to carry our flag to China. He made the round trip in 
about a year, going through the Straits of Sunda. He was the first to import 
a full set of China-ware direct from China into the colonies 1772, and 
Shanghai chickens from a cross which makes our celebrated "Bucks County 
chickens." Captain Green died September 24, 1796, at the age of 60, and was 
buried in St. James church yard, Bristol. 

Andre Everade Van Braam Houcksjeest, builder of China Retreat, has an 
interesting history. He was born in HoUand, 1739, and after serving in the 
Dutch Navy, in which two of his brothers were Admirals, he took service in 
the Dutch East India Company, in China. Amassing a fortune, he came to* 
America and settled near Charleston, S. C, bought a nice plantation and be- 
came naturalized. Losing four of his five children and much of his fortune he 
again accepted service in the Dutch East India Company, and returned to 
Canton as Chief Director. He gained the confidence and esteem of the 
Emperor, and, by study and travel, became a recognized authority on Chinese 
manners and customs. He wrote an interesting book, dedicating it to Wash- 
ington. He returned to America at the end of nine years, and to his surviving 
daughter, who, meanwhile, had married Major Richard Brooke Roberts, U. S. 

1774, and proved October 26, 1778. His children were: Daniel, John, Charles; Catharine, 
Anne, Martha and Elizabeth. Charles, who lived and died in Bristol, was deputy post- 
master, 1776. A settlement of his estate was filed, October 27, 1807, but was not finally 
settled until 1812. Charles Bessonett, probably the innkeeper at Bristol, was the son of 
Charles. 

7 Prior to this, the property belonged to Thomas CliflFord, and was known as "Rocky 
Point," from the reef of rock in the river still visible at low tide. After Clifford's death it 

passed to the descendants of his daughter, Smith, and then to the Phillips family. 

Authority of Israel Pemberton; see also "Miss Eves' Journal," Pcnna. Magazine, 1881. 



Digitized by 



Google 



'^AJ^^K— 


kw .. 


^■&. 


. *„* • "• 


|FTtx..^\- 






jgKj^BU^ti^^ ^^^ Ct JP5 


r T^H.^- 




i 


#IflR^^^^^K\' ^ilk^^4i^^^^ 


r* 


•M 


^^ w 


T ^^r^^^^^^^^^mM ^^^K m^^^El 


r ' ^^^li^M^^^'.. 


/ ^ 




*ii jp^^^^^S^ 




-1 


IN^ 


^^mJt yTBli ' g.^K 1*^^ 


ifer' '^* 




1 ^ ■ ^ 


Ifel 


C**'^ 
^f^,. 




Jt® 


-^^ 


1 V 




.itjjffi 


i 5 riE 


3l 


b'r 


■^r \l 


^ 1 


wi: 




■.J 




1 *v ii. 


MSti^ 




Hh-^ 


-« ^pi^B^^^^^^^I 


ii 


r 



CHINA RETREAT. 1790. 



A., upon landing at Philadelphia, April 24, 1796; bringing with him a great col- 
lection of Chinese curiosities, including a Chinese coachman and footman. He 
now bought the "Benger Mound" farm near Bristol on which he erected a 
princely dwelling, in the prevailing colonial style, surmounted by a pagoda from 
which were suspended silver bells. ' The rooms were large and elegantly furn- 
ished ; the music room fqr his daughter was the width of the house, with vaulted 
roof, gilded and frescoed, and was noted for its fine acoustic qualities. Here 
Van Braam dispensed a generous hospitality, numbering among his distin- 
guished guests Washington, Lafayette and Prince Tallyrand, then in exile, the 
latter spending much of his time at China Retreat. On a festive occasion, it is 
said, Washington and Lafayette planted the two pine trees that stand in front of 
the house. Being a man of education and scientific attainments, he became a 
member of the Philadelphia Philosophical Society, and of the leading societies 
of Europe. His wife was a daughter of Baron Van Reede Van Oudtshorn, 
Governor of the Cape of Good Hope. His daughter on the death of Major 
Roberts, her first husband, married Capt. Staats Morris, son of Lewis Morris, 
signer of the Declaration of Independence. The oldest son of Major 
Roberts was named Lucius Quintius Cincinnatus, after the Society of the 
Cincinnati, of which his father was an original member. After the death of 
Major Roberts, and the death of his widow. Van Braam sold ^ China Retreat 
and returned to Holland, his fine collection of Chinese curiosities being lost at 
sea. The family of the distinguished Hollander keeps up its connection with 
Bucks county by the great grandson, Erasmus Roberts, marrying, 1892, Helen 
Chambers, daughter of Major Thomas Chambers, Newtown, and grand- 
daughter of the late John Barnsley. 



17 



Digitized by 



Google 



98 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



China Retreat was next occupied as a seat of learning under the name of 
"Bristol College/' in charge of the "Episcopal Education Society of Pennsyl- 
vania." The leaders in the enterprise were Rev. G. W. Ridgeway and Drs. 
Twyng and Bedell. The farm of 380 acres, with improvements, was purchased 
in March, 1833, for $20,000, and $15,000 additional were raised by subscrip- 
tion, the subscribers contributing $75 a year per scholarship as a loan to 
students. The buildings were only sufficient to accommodate 15 or 20 stud- 
ents, but the College was opened 1834, the Rev. Chauncey Colton, D. D., the 
first and only president the institution had, delivering an address. The motto 
on the seal was "Pray ye the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into 
the harvest." The board of trustees was composed of the Rev. James Milnor, 
D. D., N. Y., Rev. Dr. Smith, afterward Bishop of Kentucky, Dr. Henshaw, 
later Bishop of R. I., Rev. Levi Bull, Chester Co., Pa., Francis S. Key, author 
of the Star Spangled Banner, Rev. S. H. Twyng, Jr., D. D., PJiiladelphia, Rev. 
John S. Stone, D. D., Rev. James May, John C. Pechin and John Farr, Esq. 
Lambert Day was Secretary, Edward C. Thurston, Actuary and Superintend- 
ent of Manual Labor, and Jacob Lex, Treasurer. The President of the board 
was Dr. Bedell. 

As China Retreat (or Hall) did not furnish proper accommodations, a brick 
building was erected facing the Delaware, four stories, with two wings, 
at a cost of $80,000. The main building was called White Hall, in honor of 
Bishop White, and the two wings Pennsylvania and Clifton Halls, respectively. 
Its capacity was from 100 to 125 students, and, in the near future, there were 
about 100 in the college and preparatory schools from various parts of the 
country, all boarding in the building. There were only a few day scholars. 
The faculty was composed, in part, of the following: Dr. A. R. Packard, 
Professor of Chemistry and Natural History ; Dr. G. S. Pattison, lecturer and 
teacher of Languages ; William S. Serell and T. Alexander Todd, assistants, 
and Robert Rose, Alexander F. Dobb and James Hulme, tutors. The Rev. C. 
S. Henry w'as on the staff in some capacity. For the support of the institu- 
tion a system of private subscription was organized and considerable money 
raised. The Bible was the text, and labor in the shop, garden and on the farm 
ihe key note of the curriculum. In 1834, Francis S. Key delivered an address 




BRISTOL COLLEGE. 1838. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 




BATH SPRING NEAR BRISTOL. 

before the Philogean Society on the "Power of Literature." The attendance 
fluctuated; one catalogue contained the names of 120 students, another 156, 
including preparatory pupils. The names of several clergymen are on the 
catalogue. The students established Sunday School at several points, includ- 
ing Eddington and Hulmeville, the latter being the germ of Grace Episcopal 
church at the place. Bristol College came to the end of its career, 1839, many 
of the students going to Trinity College, Hartford. The president was after- 
w^ard a professor at Gambier Theological Seminary, Ohio. After the college 
closed, tutor Alex. F. Dobb, who had formerly conducted a school at Lang- 
home, opened a boarding school there the same year, calling it **St. James 
Hall." The farm was cut up and sold by the sheriff. 

In 1843 Captain Alden Partridge, a graduate and one of the earliest Super- 
intendents of West Point, opened a military school in the China Retreat build- 
xng. At a meeting at the Tremont House, Philadelphia, May 23, 1843, the pro- 
priety of establishing a "Literary, Scientific Military Institute" there, was fully 
•considered and favorably acted upon and a committee, of which General John 
Davis was chairman, was appointed to see the wishes of the meeting carried 
out. The school was put in charge of Prof. Henry Villiers IMorris, a graduate 
of Norwich University, and a professor there. He was a civil engineer by 
profession, and subsequently assisted in laying out and building some of the 
leading railroads of the west. He was an officer in the Civil War, and breveted 
for meritorious services. He was born at Amherst county, Virginia, April 7, 
1819, and died at St. Louis, ?^Iay, 1898. The school was closed in three years 
and removed to Harrisburg. The buildings were used for a hospital during 
the Civil War. and subsequently for a state school for the education of chil- 
dren of colored soldiers.® 

The Bath Springs, known from the earliest settlement of the county, and 
for years a fashionable watering place, are situated on the edge of the borough 
of Bristol. The waters are chalybeate and had celebrity as early as 1720, when 
they were a summer resort. In 1773 the distinguished Doctor Rush read a 



8 The author is indebted to the Rev. S. t*. Hotchkin for information relative to 
Bristol College. 



99 



Digitized by 



Google 



371144 



100 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



paper on the mineral waters of Bristol before the Philadelphia Philosophical 
Society and the following year a Philadelphia newspaper says, "the Bristol 
baths and chalybeate wells are completed in the most commodious manner." 
Before buildings were erected the visitors boarded in Bristol, most of the fam- 
ilies taking^ boarders, and walked out to drink the waters. General Mifflin and 
family were among those who frequented the springs, and visitors even came 
from Europe. The present buildings were erected in 1810 by Doctor Minnick,**^ 
who laid out a race-course on the western part of the tract. More fashionable 
and attractive summer resorts have turned the tide of visitors in other di- 
rections.**^* 

There were, originally, three swamps in Bristol township, covering more 
than a thousand acres of her territory. The most considerable of these is 
"Pigeon*' swamp, probably named after Joseph Pidgeon, Falls, who died, 1728, 
extending from the head of Mill pond to within two miles of Morrisville. It 
is three hundred yards wide, and contains about eight hundred acres. As it 
cannot be drained and made productive, without heavy outlay of money, it is 
kept in bushes and used as a pasture ground. It is crossed by several country 
roads. In 1772 the Legislature chartered "The Pigeon Swamp Company, "^ 
when some effort was made to drain it. Hugh Hartshorne and Joseph Hall, 
Bristol, were appointed to view and survey the swamp, and Christian Minnick,, 
Aaron Wright and William Bidgood, managers for the owners. At this time 
it appears that one hundred and fifty-two acres and one hundred and eight 
perches were divided among the owners of contiguous lands, of which Thomas 
Middleton received forty-six acres, Benjamin Swain, seventeen acres, William 
Bidgood, thirty-two acres and seventy-two perches, Aaron Wright, sixteen 
acres and twenty-seven perches. Christian Minnick, thirteen acres and one 
hundred and thirty perches, Thomas Stanaland, four acres and sixty-one 
perches, Israel Pemberton, sixteen acres and fifty-nine perches, and William 
Bidgood, Jr., six acres and seventy-three perches. The other two swamps 
were Biding's,® two miles northwest of Bristol, and Green's, three miles south- 
west, which have been drained and cleared, and are now good farm land. In 
1809 ^ ^*^^d w^s opened across Pigeon swamp, and as early as 1723 a road was 
laid out from Green's swamp to Bristol. On the edge of Pigeon swamp, near 
the Mill pond, is what is known as the "Mystic well/* whose discovery, it is 
claimed, was brought about by spiritual influence. It is related that Daniel . 
B. Taylor, Lower Makefield, was directed by the spirits to purchase a farm 
owned by Malachi White, on which he would find a spring of wonderful 
medicinal properties, by digging down at a certain spot, just one hundred and 
one feet six inches. The farm was bought, some obstructions cleared away, 
the digging commenced in September and completed the following December. 
They dug sixty feet through loam, gravel and sand, and bored forty-one feet 
nine inches through a hard blue rock, when water, chalybeate in character, was 
reached. The well was tubed with an eight-inch iron pipe to the rock. Mr. 

8}/2 Probably the son of Christian Minnick, owner of the ferry on the Delaware, of that 
name, who died 1787. 

8fi The "Bath Springs" have been closed many years, the house torn down and none 
built to replace the old buildings. A street has been opened between the site of the house 
and springs, the springs filled up, and the mill pond not used since 1888. The property^ 
belongs to a private estate. The mill site is one of the oldest in the county. 

9 This spelling is probably not. correct 



Digitized by 



Google 



\ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. loi 



Taylor built a boarding-house near by, at a cost of $13,000 and, for a time, 
there was some demand for the water, at fifty cents per bottle, and a few 
visitors came to the well. In 1869 the water was subjected to chemical analy- 
sis by Doctor Gaunt, of Philadelphia, and one gallon was found to contain the 
following : Carbonate of the protoxide of iron, 3.60, sulphate of the protoxide 
of iron, .25, carbonate of lime, 1.40, sulphate of lime, .75, carbonate of mag- 
nesia, .57, sulphate of magnesia, .51, sulphate of potassia, .46, hydrated silica, 
.86, organic matter, a trace ; total 8.40. Several parties certified that the water 
had benefited them, and one old lady went so far as to say that it seemed to 
be "both meat and drink" to her. 

The Dilworths were early settlers in Bristol township, where James Dil- \ 
worth died, 1699. He came from Thornby, Yorkshire, with his wife Anna, 
a sister of Nicholas Wain. Some of the descendants drifted over to Chester 
county and gave name to Dilworthtown. 

The Taylors, of Bristol township, are descended from Samuel Taylor, 
husbandman, of the parish of Dore, count}' Derbyshire, England. In the sum- 
mer of 1677 he immigrated to America, and landed where Burlington, New 
Jersey, now stands. He was one of the proprietors of West New Jersey, and 
owned one thirty-second of seven undivided ninetieth parts. In the spring of 
1678 he settled upon twelve hundred acres in Chesterfield township, Burlington 
county, the whcJe of which remains in the family. To his second son, Robert, 
he gave five hundred acres of the tract, now known as Brookdale. From him 
it came to his son Anthony, an ardent patriot during the Revolution, who dicd^ 
1785, and from Anthony to his eldest son, Michael. Our Taylors are. immedi- 
ately descended from Anthony, the third son of Anthony, who was born at 
Brookdale farm, 1772. In 1789 he was apprenticed to John Thompson, an 
extensive shipping-merchant, Philadelphia, and 1793, entered into the same 
business with Thomas Newbold, under the firm name of Taylor & Newbold. 
In 1802 he married Mary, daughter and tenth child of Caleb Newbold, Spring- 
field, New Jersey. He retired from business. 1810, to Sunbur}' farm, Bristol 
township, which he had purchased, 1808, where he resided to his death, 1837. 
The family from Samuel Taylor down have been Friends. He took great 
interest in farming, and was the largest land-ow;ner in the county. Upon the 
failure of the Farmers' bank of Bucks county, Hulmeville, he, with others, 
restored its capital and caused its removal to Bristol. He was elected president, 
and continued such to his death. Anthony Taylor had eleven children, all 
of whom grew up, nine surviving him : Robert, Sarah, William, Fdward L., 
Michael. Caleb N., Thornas N., Emma L., and Franklin. Caleb N. Taylor, 
the sixth son of his father, was bom at Sunbury, where he resided nearly all 
his life. He was an active politician of the Whig and Republican schools, 
and elected to Congress, 1866 and 1868, having been defeatecl^*^ at three prev- 
ious elections. He w?is succeeded as president of the Bristol bank by his 
nephews Benjamin F. Taylor. Michael Newbold, the ancestor of Caleb New- 
bold, whose daughter Anthony Taylor married, and likewise an English Friend, 
immigrated from Newbold manor, county Derbyshire, 1680. He settled near 
the Taylors, Springfield township, Burlington county, where he bought a 
thousand acres of land, still held by the family. Thomas N., the sixth son, died 
in Philadelphia. 



10 Caleb N. Taylor labored hard, for years, to divide Bucks county, and tbe question 
was sometime in doubt, but his efforts were finally defeated, 1855, when he seemed on the 
point of success. This ended the fight. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



I02 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



About 1830-31, Anthony Morris, Philadelphia, founded an agricultural 
school at the Bolton farm, on the road from Oxford Valley to Tullytown, 3^ 
mile and a half from the former place. It was placed under the superintend- 
ency of F. A. Ismar, a pupil of the celebrated school of Hofwyl, Prussia, to be 
conducted on the Fellenberg system. The school did Hot prove a success and 
was soon abandoned. On the same farm is the "Morris graveyard," a round 
plat of ground, surrounded by a stone wall and shaded by a grove of fine trees. 
Several of the Morris and Pemberton families have been buried in the old 
yard. This farm was originally the Pemberjton homestead, and is yet in the 
family. The farm adjoining is called Wigan, and both that and Bolton were 
named by the original proprietors, after towns of the same names they came 
from in Lancashire, England.^^ 

Bela Badger, for thirty years a prominent citizen of Bristol, came from 
Connecticut, 1807. He bought the Hewson farm in the township, just over 
the borough line, the Island farm, opposite Burlington, and the Marsh farm 
adjoining. He owned eight hundred acres, in all, fronting on the Delaware. 
He spent several thousand dollars in banking out the river from part 
of his land, and recovered three hundred and fifty acres of very fine 
meadow-land, and also spent a large sum to improve his fishery, known as 
the Badger fishery, which he made one of the best on the river. Mr. Badger 
was a breeder of blooded horses, and dealt largely in fast stock. He made the 
first match against Eclipse with Sir Walter, and was beaten. He was con- 
nected with Colonel William R. Johnson, Virginia, in the famous match of 
Henry against Eclipse, for $20,000 a side, run on Long Island, in May, 1823,. 
and others of equal note. He was the owner of Hickory, the sire of some of 
the finest colts since Messenger's day. He imported the celebrated horse 
Valentine, and was interested in the ownership of some of the best blooded 
horses of that day. ^Ir. Badger stood high in the sporting-world, and was 
considered by all as a man of integrity. He was a brother of Samuel Badger, 
of Philadelphia, and died, 1835, without family. 

The only village in the township, except the incorporated borough of 
Bristol, is Newportville, a mile ^nd a half below Hulmeville where the Dur- 
ham road strikes the Xeshaminy. The creek is spanned by a wooden bridge, 
one hundred and ninety feet long, resting on three stone piers. The site of 
the village was laid off into town-lots as early as 1808, but it has not grown 
to great proportions. It was called "Newport" at first, but somebody, with 
tl?e American genius for naming places, added the syllable "ville,'' and the post- 
office, when established, 1836, was given this name, which it bears to this day 
and is likely to bear to the end of time. There is properly an upper and lower 
town, a portion of the houses being built along the creek, and others on the 
high ground above. It has a large saw and grist-mill, extensive carriage- 
works, a hall that will seat about three hundred persons, a public library, fire 
company, two stores, and a tavern. The population is about two hundred. 
In the early days of the county, the crossing of Neshaminy at this place was 
known as Barnsley's ford. A little cluster of houses, in the south-east corner 
of Middletown, on a road running from the Delaware to Newtown, lying partly 
in Bristol township, is called Centerville. 

Bristol, like all the lower townships, has little broken land, neither is it 
level, but has the gentle undulating surface, after you leave the river bottom, 

II Bolton farm is still in the family, belonging to Effingham B. Morris, Philadelphia, 
to whom it came by inheritance. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 105 

best suited to farming. It is watered by a few small tributaries of the Nesham- 
iny, and Mill creek and its branches, the main stream taking its rise at the base 
of the primary formation in Middletown. The farmers of the lower part of 
Bristol turned their attention to raising tobacco, and there and in Falls a large 
crop was produced yearly. According to the government return, made in 
187 1, Bucks county had within its limits four hundred and seventy manufac- 
tories of cigars and one snuff-mill, the latter being at Bristol. These factor- 
ies employed from thirty to fifty hands each and paid a duty of $180,000 a 
year to the government. Since that period the cultivation of tobacco has been 
very much reduced. For a number of years, and until one was established 
in tihe borough of Bristol, the Friends of this township went to the Falls meet- 
ing, which many of them still attend. 

So far as we have been able to learn, the area of Bristol township has 
neither been enlarged nor decreased since its organization, in 1692, and con- 
tains now, as then, nine thousand four hundred and fifty-nine acres. The 
earliest enumeration of taxables, we have met with, was 1742, when they num- 
bered eighty-three, of whom fifteen were single men. By 1763, a period of 
twenty-one years, they had increased to one hundred and four. At the same 
time the heaviest assessment against any one man was that of Lawrence 
Growden, who was taxed on £130. The average valuation was from five to 
ten pounds, evidence there was but little wealth in the township. In 1784 
Bristol had a population of seven hundred and sixteen whites and forty-one 
blacks, and one hundred and fourteen dwellings. In 1810 it was 1,008; 1820^ 
1,667^*^; 1830, 1,532, and two hundred and two taxables; 1840, 1,450; 1850^ 
1,810 ; i860, 2,187 ; 1870, ^,040, of which two hundred and four were of foreign 
birth, and one hundred and twenty-seven colored ; the population of B,ristof 
borough has largely increased of late years, and extensive manufactories 
erected. 

Bristol township, Bloomsdale farm, has one of the most valuable shad^ 
fisheries in the county, that known as the Badger fishery. It was established 
as early as 1790, and was rented for a number of years at $1,800 for the season. 
As high as seventeen hundred shad and twenty thousand herring, beside a 
laige number of smaller fish, have been caught in one day. On one or two 
occasions sharks, of the shovel-nosed species, have been caught. The rent for 
some years past has not exceeded $800. Anthony Burton's fishery has rented 
for $1,000 the season, but of late years, for not over $400. Cash Point fishery, 
later Doctor Sallman's, adjoining Burton's rents for $300 a year, Barclay 
Ivins's, in Falls, $500, Betty's Point, owned by C. Ellis, $300, Birch fishery, 
S. Collins, $300, John Thompson's, $200. David Moon's fishery, where the 
largest shad have been taken, is known to have been caught in the Delaware^ 
weighing fourteen pounds, rents for $400.^^ 

JII/2 Probably an error. 

12 Probably the oldest ash tree in the county, a venerable many-ringed patriarch of 
the forest, was on the Andrew SchaflFer farm, Bristol township, and recently cut down. 
Many historic memories clustered about its ancient bows, and its age is known to have 
been over one hundred years. Just before the company of Bristol Reserves marched to 
the battle field of the Civil war, a picnic and banquet, a good-bye offering, was held in its 
shade, but only four of the one hundred composing the company lived to see the old 
patriarch laid low. It was twenty feet in circumference and six feet in diameter. The tree 
produced ten cords of wood. 



Digitized by 



Google 



t04 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



No sketch of Bristol township would be complete without proper mention 
oi Bloomsdale Farm, the seed-growing plant of David Landreth and Sons, one 
of the mo?t extensive industries of its kinds in the world. The reputation is 
international. It is on the Delaware, a short distance above Bristol, stretching 
nearly two miles along the river. The tract, originally containing i,ooo acres, 
was conveyed to Andrew Robinson, 1685, by Penn's Commissioners of Prop- 
erty. In 1752 it belonged to Colonel Alexander Graydon, father of Captain 
Alexander Graydon, who erected the Bloomsdale house that year at the north 
end of the tract. The son was an officer in Colonel Shea's continental regi- 
ment, and was made prisoner at the fall of Fort Washington, 1776. A sub- 
sequent owner was Leopold Notnagle, son of the head forester of the King of 
Bavaria, who, taking part as an officer in one of the German Revolutions, 

was compelled to 
flee the country 
and settled on the 
Delaware. In 1807 
he erected a stone 
barn on the prem- 
ises, one of the 
largest in the 
State, and still in 
good preserva- 
tion. Stephen 
Girard was in- 
terested in the 
settlement of his 
estate. In the 
thirties, during 
the Moms Multi- 
caulns craze, the 
farm was largely 
planted with mul- 
berry trees, the 

big stone barn turned into a cocoonery, and some silk produced, but to no profit. 
When the' Merino sheep fad struck Bucks county, the owner went into that spec- 
ulation. 

David Landreth, the 2d, purchased the Bloomsdale Farm, 1847, ^"^ began 
the seed raising industry. He was brought up amid the plantations of the 
Landreth nursery, established 178a. and was well equipped by taste and 
knowledge for the business. He improved the estate in every particular. 
He planted an arborctnni that was not excelled in variety and developement 
of its rare conifera and deciduous trees, the most noted being the gigantic 
growth of Rhododendrons, Kalmias and Azaleas. The system of culture for 
vegetable crops for seed production was interesting, the area broad, the expanse 
great ; while the trial grounds, for tlie annual testing of 6.000 to 7,000 samples 
of seed of vegetables, and grasses, to detemiine their relative purity and merit, 
afforded an interesting school of botanical and physiological research. In 1872, 
steam plowing, by direct traction, was inaugurated at Bloomsdale, and steam 
digcfing and steam cho])ping experimented with in 1888, but were not found 
profitable. 

In 1889-92 interesting experiments were conducted in the cultivation of 
ihe Chinese fibre plant,. Ramie, but without success. David Landreth died at 




BLOOMSDALE FARM. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 105 



Bloomsdale, February 22, 1880, having passed a long life in developing and 
improving one of the most useful branches of practical agriculture. He was 
the son of an Englishman, who settled at Philadelphia, near the close of the 
eighteenth century, and was bom there, 1802. At the father's death, 1836, 
the son succeeded to the business and made it his life-long occupation. Since 
David Landreth's death his sons have conducted the .extensive business with 
success, and are recognized among the most extensive seed producers in the 
worfd. Burnet Landreth, one of the surviving sons, makes his home in the 
Bloomsdale homestead. He served as a captain in the civil war, and has re- 
ceived many recognitions from foreign societies, for his services to Agricul- 
ture, Horticulture and Forestry, and possesses several diplomas and decora- 
tions. 

Bloomsdale farm has interesting historic associations apart from its in- 
dustrial repute. On December 25, the day previous to Washington's attack 
on the Hessians at Trenton, General Cadwallader made an attempt to cross 
the river with his division, probably at the Bloomsdale farm, but was obliged 
to abandon the design by reason of the floating ice. That evening about 
8 o'clock all the troops in and about Bristol marched down to Dunk's ferry 
three miles bel6w.*^ On May 9, 1778, while the British occupied Philadelphia, 
their flotilla returned from an attack on Bordentown, fired several shot at 
Bloomsdale house, but without injuring it. On July 4, 1804, Aaron Burr, 
who had recently killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel, crossed the Delaware at 
the ferry on the Bloomsdale farm to avoid arrest. Joseph Bonaparte made 
two attempts to buy this estate, before purchasing at Bordentown, the first 
in t8i6. The ferry here was one of the earliest on the river above Philadelphia, 
and wagons and horses were set across in flat boats, propelled by poles and oars, 
signaling between the two shores by a system of flags.^* 

On the banks of the Delaware, below Bloomsdale, are extensive estab- 
lishments* for the preservation of fruits, recently owned by Nathan Hellings. 
The main building, 50x80 feet, with thick walls, is so constructed as to avoid 
outside change of temperature, and is maintained at from. 30 degrees to 60 
degrees within, while a current of dry air oasses constantly through the build- 
ing to prevent moisture. A large ice bed, under the center of the building, 
cool<5 the atmosphere in summer. Here great quantities of foreign and domes- 
tic fruits, in season, are stored for preservation. The storage capacity of the 
establishment is 10,000 barrels. 

13 There is some uncertainty as to the military operations at the Bloomsdale farm 
at this eventful period in our Revolutionary history. Our reference in the text is from 
"General Stryker's exhaustive history of the "Battles of Trenton and Princeton," excellent 
authority in such case. Another authority, which we have forgotten, says "Cadwallader's 
division here (Bloomsdale ferry) crossed the Delaware into New Jersey, December 27, 
1776, and being ignorant of Washington's reaching there that evening, marched his force 
to Burlington, reaching there that evening. Here he received a letter from Washington, 
informing him of his victory at Trenton on the 26th," Burnet Landreth, writing to the 
author on the subject, says "General Cadwallader's crossing was the ferry one mile above 
Bristol, called 'Minnick's ferry,' " and cited letter of Colonel Rodney, aid to Cadwallader. 

14 The Bloomsdale ferry, over a century ago, was called Minnick's ferry, after 
Christian Minnick, its owner, and the name was changed, 1795. Christian Minnick was 
a member of the Bucks County Committee of Safety, 1774-75-76, and the ferry was prob- 
ably named after him. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



CHAPTBR X. 



BENSALEM. 



1692. 



Bensalem the fourth township. — Origin of name. — Bacon's fiction. — "Manor of Ben- 
salem." — Original land-owners. — "Tatham's House." — Growden's tract. — Joseph Grow- 
den. — Trevose. — Grace Growden. — Nathaniel Allen. — Samuel Allen. — The Vande- 
grifts. — Old graveyard. — The Vanhornes, Vansants, et al. — The Tomlinsons. — The 
Rodmans. — Rodmanda. — Large tree. — ^Joseph Galloway. — Joined the British army. — 
Confiscation of estate, etc. — Richard Gibbs. — ^James Benezet. — The Willetts. — Richard 
Bache. — The Sickel family. — Nicholas Biddle. — Dunk's ferry. — Slave Alice. — Town- 
ship tax. — Presbyterian church. — Methodist and other churches. — The Kings. — Major 
Barnsley. — Bridgewater. — Andalusia college. — Death of Doctor Chapman. — Roads. — 
Oldest taverns. — Population. — Fisheries. 

Bensalem; the fourth township of the group of 1692, and the last that 
bordered the Delaware, was to include "all the lands between Neshaminah and* 
Poquessin, and so to the upper side of Joseph Growden*s land." On three 
sides these boundaries have never been disturbed, and the line with Southamp- 
ton is doubtless the same as when the township was erected. 

The origin of the name this township bears has given rise to some dis- 
cussion, but, like such questions generally, remains unsettled. Some profess 
to find the solution in Lord Bacon's ingenious fiction of the New Atlantis, 
wherein he calls an imaginary island in the ocean by the name of "Bensalem,"" 
and the word itself is said to be a Hebrew compound, but as there is no such 
Hebrew compound, the Baconian origin of the name is, doubtless, without 
foundation. It will be remembered that the jury that laid it out said, in their 
report, the name of this township was "Salem,'* meaning peace, or peaceful. . 
The word Bensalem is found in our county records as early as November 9, 
1686,^ six years before the township was laid off, and in 1688 the Growdens 
called their five thousand acres the "manor of Bensalem."* From this it would 
appear the name was first applied to the manor and not to the township, and 
that when the township was erected it was called "Salem" instead of Bensa- 

1 George Martin to Joseph Growden. 

2 Deed of Joseph Growden to Stephen Noll, for two hundred and two acres, "part 
of the Manor of Bensalem," February 12, 1688. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 107 



lem. We are, therefore, left much to conjecture as to the origin of the name,, 
but there is no question the township borrowed it from the manor. Joseph 
Growden fixed the site of his homestead near the northwest line of his manor 
and the township, whence he could overlook a wide scope of wilderness country 
falling to the Delaware and Neshaminy. Being a Friend and prone to peace, 
the word Bensalem fitly expressed his thoughts and feelings. We believe the 
name* was first applied to the spot he had chosen for his residence — the Hill of 
Peace, or Peaceful Mount — and then to the manor ; and when, in the course of 
time, it was given to the township, he changed the name of his homestead to 
Trevose, which it bears to this day. It was an easy matter for this cultivated 
Friend, by the union of a Gaelic with a Hebrew word, to form a new word that 
conveyed to mind the delightful tranquility he enjoyed in his new home in 
the wilderness along the Neshaminy. After all, this is only a theory, but is 
quite as plausible as the one that borrows the name from Bacon's fiction, and 
invents a Hebrew compound. "Be^* /^> H^r^.MkA)ij 6'>.7; Sf> n/s-. ^o^lo m^^-h 

There were twelve original land-owners in the township, according to f 
the map of Thomas Holme, 1684,* of whom one, at least, Lawrence Growden, 
was never an inhabitant of the county. The Growdens owned nearly one-half 
the township and Gray or Tatham was the next largest land-owner. On or near 
the Neshaminy, above Rodman's creek, then called Mill creek, was 
"Tatham's house," the residence of Tatham, a dwelling of some preten- 
sion, no doubt. He owned a large tract running from the Neshaminy 
back to the center of the township.*^ W^alter Forest owned the point 
between the Poquessing and the Delaware, and John Bowen the point formed 
by Neshaminy and the river. The Growden tract embraced all the upper part of 
the township to the Southampton boundary, above a line drawn across it from 
Newportville to the Poquessing. Joseph Growden also owned a considerable 
tract extending across from the river to the Poquessing, above and adjoining^ 
Walter Forest. 

Joseph Growden, a Friend, was not only the most influential man who* 
settled in the township, but one of the first men in the county and Province. 
He wielded a large influence, and filled several important positions. Soon 
after his arrival he built himself a beautiful residence on the northern part of 
his manor in Bensalem, near the Neshaminy, and opposite Hulmeville, which 

3 The word is composed of Ben, Gaelic, meaning a head, a hill, and Salem,« Hebrew, 
peace. ^ ^.v. Ai .. '-r :-" -. . O/j .v. /., .^ - . ^ ^/ 

4 Lawrence and Joseph Growden, Jdhn Gilbert, Walter Forest, John Bowen, Na- 
thaniel Allen, Duncan Williamson, Nathaniel Hardin, Samuel Allen, Samuel Walker, 
Claus Jonson, and John Gray, alias Tatham. 

5 Subsequent investigation satisfies us John Gray, spelled "Grey" in the meeting 
records, and "Als Tatham" were one and the same person, "Als," a prefix to Tatham's 
name, as given on Holme's map, 1684, being an abbreviation of the word "alias." An 
entry in the Middletown Meeting records, 7, 4 mo. 1688, mentions a controversie between 
John Grey (alias Tatham) and Joseph Growden. Both were called before the meeting; 
Growden declined to respond because he belonged to another meeting. Gray afterward 
removed to New Jersey and appears as John Tatham, living at Burlington, in what the- 
early records term a "lordly and princely style." William Penn, in a letter written 
to his commissioners, 1687, throws light on his character by instructing them "to put a stop- 
to ye irregular grants made to John Gray, alias Tatham, now discovered to be a Bene- 
dictine Monk of St. James Convent, as they call it, commanded over by ye King." 



Digitized by 



Google 



«o8 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



lie named Trevose, after the homestead, in England. It was rather baronial- 
looking for a country dwelling of that period. An engraving of 1687 represents 
a large two-story stone house, with attic, divided by a hall through the middle, 
portico at the front door, pointed stone, pitch roof, and nine windows and 
door in front. At either end was a wing containing dining-room, kitchen, 
servant's quarters, office, etc. The lawn in front was adorned with a few trees 
of large growth, while the background appears to have been an unbroken forest. 
A small fireproof office to the right contained the public records of the county 
for many years, and its iron door still bears marks of British bullets fired by 
a plundering party, in 1778. The walls of the main building remain, but it has 
been gjeatly changed by its recent owners. The interior has been remodeled by 
removing the heavy banisters, wainscoting, corner-cupboards, etc., while the out- 



IM 






^^^ ^ hP^^^H^^^^^^^^^^I 


s^^^^B bII 


;yi]T^M 




■■ui 



GROWDEN MANSION, BENSALEM: REAR VIEW. 

•side has been covered with a coat of plaster, and a story added. The noble trees 
forming an avenue that led to the mansion have nearly all disappeared. Gabriel 
Thomas speaks of the Grovvden residence, in 1696, as '*a very noble and fine 
house, very pleasantly situated, and likewise a famous orchard, wherein art 
contained above a thousand apple trees." In 1708 Oldmixon bears testimony to 
the worth of Joseph Growden, and his great services in planting this county 
with English colonists. Dying in 1730, his son Lawrence took his place. He 
-was a man of ability and attainments ; was a member of Assembly, and Speaker, 
in 1739; and a Commissioner, with Benjamin Eastburn and Richard Peters, to 
run the line between Pennsylvania and Maryland. At his death, in 1770, his 
real estate descended to his daughter Grace, the wife of Joseph Galloway. 

Joseph Growden's" daughter Grace married David Lloyd, a Friend and 
leading man in the Province. He was born in Wales in 1656, and came to 



6 The elder. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, , 109. 



Pennsylvania, 1686. He lost a promising little son, seven or eight years old,, 
under painful circumstances. A relative, in whose care he was left, in thti 
absence of his mother, put him into a closet in the cellar for a trivial offensc,^ 
which frightened him into fits, of which he died. William Penn, who was ia 
the province at the time, writes to a friend, **ppor Grace has borne her affliction 
to admiration/* She is spoken of as **a very fine woman, of great piety, good 
sense, excellent conduct, and engaging manners,'' a good endorsement of a 
Bucks county woman of the early day. Her husband died in 1 73 1, but she 
survived him many years, and was buried beside him in Friends' graveyard, 
near Chester.^ 

An old diary, giving an insight into colonial life at Trevose, says : "The 
Galloway family lived in great style and were looked upon as 'great folks' by 
the neighborhood. Grace and her daughter Elizabeth would ride out in her 
coach and four horses and pay their visits, which were select. Jane Collison, 
Grace Kirkbride, Mary Richardson, and her daughters, Mary and Ruth, were 
the only persons in the neighborhood they visited, and them but once a year. 
They would stay and take tea ; the horses must not be taken from the coach, 
but stand before the door, and the driver stands by and mind them until they 
were ready to go home. Harry W. Watson, Langhorne, in a paper read before 
the Bucks County Literary Society, January 19, 1899, says of the old home and 
its guests in colonial days : "The mansion is as solid as when built, 200 years 
ago. There has been but slight change to alter the outside appearance. This 
old house, in its day, saw many a distinguished guest. Here Penn held council,, 
and laws were formed for the better government of the colony ; here Franklin- 
discussed the laws of electricity, whereby he brought from the heavens the power 
that moves the mechanical world ; here the eminent but erratic Galloway lived,, 
who opposed the separating of the colonies, and whose influence was so strong- 
with congress that the members who favored independence recognized his 
force and took urgent measures against him. This old mansion is worthy of 
consideration by those interested in historic research." 

Nathaniel Allen arrived from Bristol, England, December, 1681, with wife 
Eleanor, and children Neheihiah, Eleanor and Lydia, landing at Robert Wade's, 
Chester creek. He was one of the three Commissioners Penn joined with 
Governor Markham, to confer with the Indians about the purchase of land. He 
held the office of Crown Inspector of wooden measures, and had to attest their 
capacity as fixed by law, and affix a stamp before they could be sold. He took 
up a tract of land on Neshaminy, extending to the Delaware, and adjoining that 
of Joseph Growden, ^^, dying there in 1692. The blood of these early pioneers 
of Bucks county mingled in the fourth generation. In a previous chapter we 
have taken notice of Duncan Williamson, one of the pioneer settlers of Bensa- 
lem. Samuel Allen, also from near Bristol, England, with Mary, his wife, and' 
children Priscilla, Martha, Ann, Sarah and Samuel, arrived at Chester in the 
Bristol Factor, December 11, 1681. In the spring he took up a tract of land on 

7 The Growden homestead is now owned and occupied by the sons of Charles W. 
Taylor. 

7j4 Growden was a man of large wealth for the time and the inventory of his property 
is in the Register's office, Doylestown. Among others $12,000 was in bonds and notes; 
$9^000 in stock, farm implements, and furniture; 20 head of cattle, a chariot, three car- 
riages, two sleighs, an ox wagon, and ten ploughs. His mowing was done with nine 
sickels. His home was filled with fine furniture, and wines, rum and other drinkables were 
stored in his cellars. 



Digitized by 



Google 



no HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



ithe west bank of the Neshaminy, in Bensalem, where he died 20th of 9th 
:jnonth, 1702, and was buried on the homestead farm. The place was afterward 
used as a family burying-ground. The homestead was occupied by Samuel 
Allen Stackhouse in recent years. The first Samuel Allen conveyed, in his 
lifetime, a considerable portion of his real estate to his children, his son Samuel 
getting the homestead and two hundred and sixty acres, and two hundred acres 
additional near John Swift's mill on the Neshaminy. In 1696 three hundred 
acres on the east side of tlie Neshaminy were conveyed to his son-in-law, John 
Baldwin. The following year he procured an act of Assembly establishing a 
ferry over Neshaminy at what is now Schenck's station, and was called Bald- 
win's ferry. The second Samuel Allen died in 1735, leaving his land to his sons, 
Samuel and William, and legacies to his other children. The one hundred and 
sixty acres of Samuel lay on the north side of the **King's highway," and re- 
.mained in the family through six generations, and until 1871. Two generations 
of Pauls owned the tract. The homestead property is situated near Bridge- 
water. 

Among those who settled in Bensalem, at a later day than the first English 
colonists, were the Vandegrifts,** V^ansants, \"anhornes, Tomlinsons, Rodmans, 
'Galloways, Gibbses, Benezets, Kingstons, Jameses, Willets and others. Some 
-of these names became prominent in public aflfairs, and were of the highest re- 
spectability, and some of the families retain a leading position in the township.*^ 

In 1697 four brothers \'andegrift, Nicholas, Leonard, Johannes and 
Frederick, came to Bucks county and settled in Bensalem. The first of July 
they purchased of Joseph Growden,* respectively, two hundred and fourteen, 
one hundred and thirty, one hundred and six and one hundred and six acres 
of land lying on the Neshaminy. Johannes died March, 1745. On the Bristol 
turnpike, just above Andalusia College, is the X'andegrift graveyard, where 
rest the remains of many members of the family. The ground, half an acre, 
was given by Fulkard Vandegrift, 1775, and is part of the two hundred acres 
that Joseph Growden conveyed to Nicholas \'andegrift, in 1697.®^ Among 
others are stones to the memory of Abraham Vandegrift, who. died February 
20, 1781, aged eighty-three years, and his wife. Charity, July 6, 1786, aged 
eighty-five years and six months, and John Vandegrift, the husband of Ann^ 



8 Abraham Vandegrift was constable, 1777. 

8J/2 The date of arrival of the Vandegrift brothers is in doubt. In the first edition 
it was 1679, but was changed to 1697. In the Lanipen family, which intermarried into the 
Vandegrifts, is an heirloom in the shape of a glass flask brought from Holland by the 
brothers, bearing a date of which the first three figures are clear and distinct, the fourth 
no longer legible. They are 167 — but whether they stand for date of sailing, or the bottles 
manufacture, the family cannot positively say, but was always supposed to be the latter. 

8^ The following bit of romance is told of the wife of William Vandegrift, son of 
Cornelius, and probably a descendant of Nicholas Vandegrift. one of the immigrants. 
He married Lucy Wilgus, Dutchess county, N. Y., daughter of a rich father. She lived 
at home until seventeen, when she and a girl friend, wishing to "see the world" went down 
the Hudson to New York on a raft, and thence across the country to the Delaware. 
Growing tired of wandering, and ashamed to return home, they settled down near New- 
portville, and supported themselves by spinning and dressmaking. Here Lucy Wilgus 
became Mrs. Vandegrift: June 29, 1797, and the mother of (wt children. The husband 
was born January, 1765, died June 17, 1834; the wife born March, 1773, died March 24, 
1843. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. m 



who died August 27, 1765, aged severity-eight years. No doubt these were 
children of the first comers of the name, and John was born before the family 
settled in the county. Among other tenants of this old graveyard is Edward 
Peter Aublay, a name now extinct in the township, born June 8, 1767, and died 
May 30, 1796. The Vansants came about the same time as the Vandegrifts. 
February 12, 1698, Joseph Growden conveyed one hundred and fifty acres to 
Garrett Vansant,* and the same quantity to his son Cornelius, on the Neshaminy. 
The will of Johannes Vansant, of Bensalem, is dated October 30, 1714, and he 
probably died the following December. The Garrett Vansant, who died in 
Wrightstown in 1746, where he owned real estate, was probably son of the 
Bensalem Garrett.*^ The Vanhornes came into the township at a little later 
period, but after they had already been settled in the county. April 20, 1722, 
John Baker, of Bensalem, conveyed one hundred and seven acres and fifty-two 
perches in this township to Johannes Vanhorne, of Warminster, and on the 6th 
of May, same year, Bernard Christian, of Bergen, New Jersey, conveyed two 
hundred and nine acres to Abraham Vanhorne, and, June 7, one hundred and 
seventy-six acres to Isaac Vanhorne, both of this county, which land probably 
lay in Bensalem or Southampton. John Vanhorne died in Bensalem, February 
15, 1758, at the age of sixty-six years.*^ These families came from Long 
Island, a great storehouse of Dutch immigrants in the early days of Penn- 
sylvania.^* 

The Tomlinsons were probably in the township the first quarter of the 
eighteenth century. John died in Bensalem, where he had lived most of his life, 
in 1800. at the age of seventy-nine. He kept a journal, for half a century, in 
which he recorded many common-place events, and a few of interest. Among 
other things, we learn there was a slight shock of an earthquake felt there 
October 30, 1763, and a very white frost the nth of June, 1768. He had a 
good deal to say in his journal during the Revolutionary war, calls the Ameri- 
cans rebels, which does not speak well for his patriotism, heard the cannonading 
at Trenton, and mentions frequent depredations by both armies. The summer 
of 1780 was a remarkably dry one, and crops suffered for want of rain. He 
records two shocks of an earthquake in Bensalem the 29th of November, the 
same year. 

9 Then spelled Vansand and Van Zandt. See Vansant, Vol. III. 

10 Harman Vansant died November 8th, 181 5, aged eighty years. 

11 The Van Homes arrived at New Amsterdam, 1650, and John, son of Peter, was 
one of the earliest of the name to settle in Bucks, 1708-10; he was a farmer, as were 
most of the race, and a member of the Bensalem Church, and afterward a vestryman of St. 
James Episcopal, Bristol. 

12 Nathaniel Vansant, a Captain in the Continental Army, lived and died on the home- 
otead in Bensalem, near the village of Brownsville. He was tall and sinewy and excelled 
in rough and tumble exercises of the day, stich as running, jumping, etc. When the 
Rcvolvition broke out he raised a company for Colonel Magaw's regiment and was captain 
at Fort Washington on the Hudson. He was kept a prisoner a long time, but served 
again after his exchange. Some of his war papers are in the Bucks County Historical 
Society. He built the bridge over the Poquessing, 1805, on the Attleborough and Bustleton 
road, subsequently piked. Captain Vansant died August 8, 1825, aged eighty and was 
buried at the Bensalem churchyard. His wife, Hannah Brtttan, died August 9, 1818. 
Among the descendants are the La Rues, Vahartsdalens, Dungans, Rhoads, Hogelands, 
Knights, Randalls, Shoemakers, et al. 



Digitized by 



Google 



112 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



The first of the Rodmans, who owned land in this county, was Doctor John, 
the grandson of John who immigrated from England to Barbadoes, West 
Indies, and died there in 1686. Doctor John Rodman settled at Burlington, 
New Jersey, where he practiced medicine, to his death, 1756. He was an active 
Friend. He and Thomas Richardson owned a large tract of land in Warwick 
township as early as 171 2. Doctor Rodman purchased land in Bensalem, on 
the Neshaminy, about the same time, on which he erected a dwelling, 1715. 
On this tract his son William, born on Long Island, May 5, 1720, and married 
Mary Reeve, of Burlington, subsequently settled. He inherited it from his 
father and resided there until his death in 1794. The plantation was at first 
called Rodmanda, but the name was changed to Flushing, his birthplace.^* 
This is one of the most notable homesteads in the county, and the old dwelling 
that had weathered the sto^yns of one hundred and forty-six years, was torn 
down, 1861, to make room for a more modern structure. William Rodman 
held several places of public trust. In 1768 he was appointed one of five com- 
missioners to treat with the Indians at Ft. Pitt, but declined on account of 
ill-health. He was in the Assembly several years, and in 1774 was a member 
of the Committee on Correspondence. His son William, born in Bensalem, 
October 7, 1757, and married to Esther West, in 1785, was a man of mark in 
his day. He was an earnest and active patriot in the Revolution, voluntarily 
taking the oath of allegiance in 1778, for which he was disowned by the Middle- 
town meeting, and served under General Lacey and in the militia in 1781. He 
was a justice of the peace for several years, member of the State Senate, com- 
manded a troop of horse in the "Fries Rebellion" hi 1799,^* and was elected 
to Congress in 181 2. His children married into the families of Ruan, Mcll- 
vaine. Olden and Jones. All the Rodmans were friends of the struggling colo- 
nies, and Gilbert, father of the late Mrs. John Fox, of Doylestown, elder 
brother of William, was disowned by meeting for serving as Major in the 
second Bucks county battalion in the Amboy campaign of 1776. John Rodman 
owned nine hundred and sixty-seven acres in Amwell township, Hunterdon 
county. New Jersey, within three-fourths of a mile of the Delaware. By his 
will, dated June 3, 1756, he left this tract to his son William; and the latter, 
by his will, December i, 1789, left it to his sons William and Gilbert. On a 
re-survey, 1751, the tract was found to contain an overplus of five hundred and 
fifty^five acres, which was secured to John Rodman, by virtue of the "rights of 
propriety," purchased by him. The land was originally conveyed to him by 
lease and re-lease, June 17 and 18, 1735.^" 

Bensalem is noted for its large trees, probably two of them the largest in 

13 Tradition says that in a log cabin at Flushing, lived and died Jean Francois, 
a soldier of Napoleon's "Old Guard," who was with the Emperor at Moscow and Waterloo, 
and became an exile in America when the Emperor was sent to St. Helena. He was long 
a gardener in the Taylor family, and after his death, was buried in Beechwood Cemetery, 
Hulmeville. 

14 William Rodman was ist Lieutenant of the troop, but the Captain resigning 
about the time it was ordered into service, he took command and retained it until the 
trouble was over. 

15 Rutly's History of the Quakers in Ireland; p. 366, published 1751, says: '*In 
the year 1655, for wearing his hat in the Assize in New Ross, was John Rodman com- 
mitted to goal by Judge Louder, kept a prisoner three months, and then banished that 
country." This was doubtless the ancestor of the Bucks county Rodmans and was sent 
to Barbadoes. New Ross is a seaport of County Kilkenny. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 113 



the county, and among the largest east of the Rocky Mountains. About one 
hundred and sixty years ago, William Rodman, mentioned in a previous para- 
graph, on his return from a horseback ride, stuck his buttonwood riding switch 
in the ground by the side of a fine spring near the dwelling. It commenced to 
grow and continued, and, in the more than a century and a half intervening, 
its roots have absorbed the waters of the spring and the tree become a giant. 
The plantation is still known as "Flushing." It was owned many years by 
A. Murry Mcllvain, but is now the property of E. W. Patton, member of the 
city council and superintendent of Fairmount Park. The tree is measured once 
a year, May i, and, at the last measurement, the circumference was 29 feet 10 
inches four and one-half feet from the ground. In the same vicinity, a mile 
from the buttonwood, on the farm of the late Walter Johnson, on the road 
leading from Newportville to Beechwood cemetery, near Hulmeville, but there 
is no record of its age, is a famous chestnut, whose measurement is 25 feet 6 
inches four and one-half feet from the ground. Both of these trees are healthy. 
The Galloways came from Maryland, where Joseph was born, of respecta- 
ble parentage, about 1730. He removed to Philadelphia in early life and estab- 
lished himself in the practice of the law, but, marrying Grace Growden, fixed 
his country home at Trevose, in Bensalem. He was much in public life, and was 
many years member of the Assembly, and Speaker. He was active in all the 
colonial measures against the British crown, was a member of the first Ameri- 
can Congress, 1774, signed the "non-importation," "non-consumption," and 
"oon-exportation" acts, and, at that time,. no man in the Province stood in 
greater favor. In 1776 he abandoned the Whig cause, joined the British army at 
New York, went to England, 1778, and was examined before a committe of par- 
liament, 1779. He now became very bitter toward his native country, and during 
the war, wrote much in defense of the crown. His estate, valued at £40,000, 
was confiscated,** but as it came through his wife, it was restored to his only 
daughter Elizabeth, a beautiful girl who was quite the toast, as "Betsy Gal- 
loway." She married William Roberts, an Englishman, but the match was 
an unhappy one. They separated, and she gave her husband i2,ooo for the 
privilege of retaining their only child Grace Ann, who was allowed to see her 
father in the presence of a third person. The daughter married Benjamin 
Burton, of the British army, and died in England, 1837, leaving several chil- 
dren, her youngest son, Adolphus Desart Burton, taking the Durham estates 
under his mother's will. The real estate in this county, principally in Bensalem 
and Durham townships, was sold, 1848. That in Bensalem, containing one 
thousand two hundred and ninety-five acres, was divided into eight tracts: 
Trevose, the old family seat, east Trevose, south Trevose, Belmont, mentioned 



16 The act of Assembly forfeiting Galloway's estate, was passed March 6, 1778. 
Smith's Laws, 451. The persons named, and whose estates were forfeited were: Joseph 
Galloway, member U. S. Congress, John Allen, member of Committee of Inspection and 
Observation for the city of Philadelphia, Andrew Allen, member of Congress, William 
Allen, the younger, captain, afterward Lient. Col. of a regiment of foot in the U. S. 
service, James Rankin, Yeoman, York county (his heirs tried to have this Act of Forfeiture 
removed by the Pennsylvania Legislature, session of 1879. See Allen Craig's speech 
against it), James Duchc, Chaplain of Congress and Rector of Christ Church, Philadel- 
phia, Christian Fouts, Lient. Col. of Militia, Lancaster county, Gilbert Hicks, Yeoman, 
Bucks county, Nathaniel Vernon, sheriff of Chester county, and Samuel Shoemaker, alder- 
man, Philadelphia. He died in England. Thd case of the restoration of the Galloway 
estate to his daughter, is reported in i Binney, page i, Lessee of Pemberton, et al vs 
Hicks. 



8 

Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



114 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



as early as 1700, west Belmont, Richelieu, south Richelieu, west Richelieu, and 
Richelieu forest. These tracts lay in the northeastern part of the township, 
four of them bordering the Neshaminy. A ridge, called Belmont, crossed the 
estate, running from the Bristol road to the Neshaminy, and down that stream. 
After Mr. Galloway had deserted to the British, his office at Trevose was 
broken open and the documents and records scattered about. The late Abraham 
Chapman bought a number of his law books. He was a man of great talent, 
and a politician by nature. After his defection he became a mark for the shafts 
of wit and anger of the period, and Trumbull lampoons him in his McFingal. 
Just before his escape a trunk was sent to him, which, on* being opened, con- 
tained only a halter to hang himself. His path in life was filled with troubles 
and vexations.**'*'^ 

Richard Gibbs, sheriff of the county before the Revolution, and otherwise 
prominent in public affairs, lived and died in Bensalem. He was bom in Wilt- 
shire, England, 1723, of a good family, and received a good education. Being 
a younger son he was destined for a maritime life, which he did not like, and, 
arriving at Philadelphia about 1746, left his ship. Falling in with Mr. Stevens, 
a farmer of Bensalem, he accompanied him home in his market wagon on the 
promise of a school to teach. While teaching he became acquainted with Law- 
rence Growden, county clerk, who gave him a clerkship in the office at Trevose, 
which he held several years. He was afterward elected sheriff. In 1770 he 
purchased a farm on the Bristol turnpike which he called Eddington, after a 
place of that name in his native county, in England, where Alfred the Great de- 
feated the Danes. He inherited a handsome estate by the decease of his elder 
brother. He was a warm friend of the colonies in the Revolutionary struggle, 
exhibiting his zeal in many ways, at one time loaning a large sum of money 
which Congress was not able to refund. The British troops frequently visited 
his house, and he was obliged to seek refuge in the upper end of the county 
while they occupied Philadelphia. He was marr^ed at Bristol, in 1753, to Miss 
Margery Harrison, of New York, and had several children. He resided at 
Eddington until his death, in 1798. Mr. Gibbs was the maternal grandfather 
of the late Mrs. John Fox, of Doylestown. There is a family burying ground 
on the Eddington farm. 

James Benezet was the eldest of the three sons of John Stephen Benezet, 
a Protestant refugee from France, who came to Philadelphia in 1731, and 
settled in Bensalem, prior to the Revolution, where he died. He was proth- 
onotary and clerk of the quarter sessions, while the seat of justice was at 
Newtown. His son Samuel was a Continental Major in the Revolutionary 
army, and afterward a justice of the {)eace and prothonotary of the county. 
Anthony, the youngest son of John Stephen Benezet, became a philanthropist of 
world wide renown. Of the Kingstones, who were in the township early in the 
last century, Abel was a w^orthy minister among Friends, and died, 1749, leaving 
several daughters. George James, a tailor who followed his trade at the Kings- 
tone homestead, married Sarah Townsend for his second wife, in 1738. 

The Willetts, an old family in Bensalem, are descended from Dutch an- 
cestry of Long Island. Samuel Willett, great-grandfather of the late Charles 
Willett, deceased, purchased part of the Growden tract in the northwest part 
of the township. His wife was Elizabeth LawTcnce. His son, Augustin 
Willett, was a man of note in his days, and married Elizabeth, daughter of 

i6'/J Joseoh Galloway died at Watford. Coiintv Hertford. Ensrland, August 29, 1803. 
his will being dated June 29th. He was seventy-three years of age. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 115 



Gilbert Hicks, of Four Lanes End. At the outbreak of the Revolution he took 
the oath of allegiance, raised a company at his own expense and joined the 
army. He is said to have been at the battles of White Plains, Trenton, Ger- 
mantovvn, Brandywine and Monmouth. He became prominent in military 
affairs after peace; was lieutenant of the county, 1791, captain of the Bucks 
County Dragoons, 1793, was several years Brigade Inspector, Brigade Ma- 
jor of General Murray's brigade, Pennsylvania militia, in the whiskey insur- 
rection, 1794, and commissioned Brigadier General, 1800. In 1797 he com- 
manded the troops which received Washington on crossing the Delaware, 
on his return South, and escorted him to the Phladelphia county line. Gen- 
eral Willett was born, 1751, died 1824, and buried at Friends* burying ground,- 
Attleborough. His grandson, Charles Willett, lived and died on a portion of 
the homestead tract. One or more of the descendants of Samuel Willett sett- 
tied in Southampton, Obadiah' living and dying on the handsome farm on the 
road between the Buck tavern and Langhorne. 

W^e do not know at what time the Sickel family came into the township, 
but they were residents here many years ago. They are also descendants of 
Holland ancestors who settled at New York while it was New Amsterdam, 
whence a portion of them went into New Jersey. At the Revolution they were 
found on the side of their country. Philip Sickel came into Pennsylvania and 
settled in Philadelphia before the middle of the eighteenth century, and his son 
John was born, in Bensalem, in 1753. His son John, grandson of Philip, whose 
-date of birth we do not know, married Elizabeth Vandegrift. Jheir son Ho- 
ratio G. Sickel, born 18 17, was the most prominent member of the family. In 
his early youth he learned the blacksmith trade, and carried it on at Davisville 
and Quakertown, but having great fondness for military affairs, commanded 
one or more volunteer companies. The Civil war found him engaged in busi- 
ness in Philadelphia. He raised a company to serve three years and joined the 
Third Pennsylvania Reserves, of which he was elected and commissioned 
colonel. On the expiration of this term of service, he raised the One Hundred 
and Ninety-eighth regiment, serving with it to the close of the war, on all 
occasions proving himself a courageous and reliable officer, and was breveted 
a brigadier, and major-general, for meritorious service. For several years he 
filled the office of Pension Agent, Philadelphia. In 1842 General Sickel married 
!Eliza Vansant, of Warminster township, and was the father of several children. 
In 1794 Richard Bache,( son-in-law "^ of Doctor Franklin, and grandfather 
of William Duane, bought a plantation in Bensalem of Bartholomy Corvaisier, 
containing two hundred and sixty-eight acres and seventy-eight perches, which 
he called Settle, after the town, Yorkshire, England, whence the family came. 
It lay along the Delaware about the third of a mile, nearly opposite Beverly, 
extending back to the Bristol turnpike. It is said the land was bought with 
money received from Robert Morris, the last he paid before his failure. At 
the death of Mr. Bache, in 181 1, the plantation fell into the hands of his young- 
est son, Lewis, who sold it to Charles Marquedant, and died at Bristol in 1819. 
The mansion, with a few acres, belonged to John Mathew Hummell twenty 
years ago, and the remainder of the tract was owned by Jonathan Thomas. 
Richard Bache, who carried Franklin's silver bull's eye watch, mislaid it in 
Philadelphia, and it turned up twenty years later in the possession of a Lewis 
Groff, of Lancaster county, who had obtained it by purchase.^^ 

17 The Bristol turnpike was the western boundary of Mr. Bache's plantation, and 
one day while walking in that direction he saw a woman pulling down his fence for fire- 



Digitized by 



Google 




NICHOLAS BIDDLE. 



On the bank of the Delaware, three miles above Poquessing creek, is sit- 
uated Andalusia, the home of the late Nicholas Biddle, and is still owned by his 
descendants. The Biddies have long been settled in Pennsylvania. The first 
ancestor, William Biddle, one of the original proprietors of West Jersey, came 
from London in 1681. His grandson, William, settled in Pennsylvania and mar- 
ried the daughter of Nicholas Scull, Surveyor-General of the Province. The 
children of this marriage all became distinguished in the annals of our country. 
James, the eldest, was a judge ; Edward served as a Captain in the War of 1756, 
and was subsequently a member of Assembly and elected to the first Continental 
Congress ; Nicholas was a Captain in the navy and perished with his vessel, the 
frigate Randolph, of thirty-two guns, in a battle with the British ship Yarmouth, 
of sixty-four guns ; and Charles, the father of Nicholas, was Vice-President of 
the State while Benjamin Franklin was President. The Bensalem property was 
purchased, 1795, by John Craig, one of Philadelphia's old merchants, who, in 



wood. Naturally objecting to this liberty he expostulated with her when she replied. 
"There's no friendship without freedom. Poor man! What will you do when you die? 
You'll not be able to take your fence with you to heaven." The author received this 
little anecdote from Mr. Duane in a letter dated November 23, 1879. 

1:6 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



117 



memory of his successful ventures to Spain and her colonies, called his country- 
home Andalusia. In 181 1 Nicholas Biddle married the eldest daughter of this 
gentleman, and henceforth spent much of his time there. He removed to 
Andalusia, permanently, 182 1, determined to devote his time to agricultural 
pursuits. At his marriage he was a member of the Legislature, to which he 
was returned for a number of years. In 1823 he was made president of the 
United States bank, which he held until its charter expired, 1830. On the 
bank being re-chartered by the Legislature, he was again elected its president, 
but retired in 1839. The bank failed, 1841, and his own fortune, then very 
large, went in the general wreck. He died at Andalusia, February 26, 1844. 
Mr. Biddle" was an accomplished scholar, and of refined tastes. He 
courted the muse, and his "Ode to Bogle," the great Philadelphia waiter and 
undertaker, lives to the present day, having been republished again and again. 
As a farmer he was the first to introduce Alderney cattle, and the cultivation 
of the grape, while to his efforts the country is indebted for one of the most 
beautiful structures of modern times, the Girard college. It was a saying of 
his, there were but two truths in the world, "the ^ible, and Greek architec- 
ture/' and his influence was generally exerted in favor of that order for public 
buildings. vVhen it became necessary to enlarge his house at Andalusia, he 
added to it the beautiful Doric portico that now adorns it. The late Governor 
William F. Packer wrote : "Whatever may be said of Nicholas Biddle as a 
politician, or a .financier, all agree that on questions of internal improvement 
and commerce he was one of the most sagacious and far seeing statesmen of 
the Union. His fault was, if fault it be, that he was twenty years in advance 
of the age in which he lived. "^® 




ANDALUSIA. RESIDENCE OF THE LATE NICHOLAS BIDDLE. 

18 Judge Craig Biddle, Philadelphia, and the late Charles Biddle, a captain in the 
Mexican War, were sons of Nicholas Biddle. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Ii8 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Early in the settlement of the colony, a number of persons in Philadelphia 
made their home in Bensalem, and spent a part or rhore of their lives in the 
township. Some of these homesteads not mentioned elsewhere, are still in 
existence, most of them much improved or wholly rebuilt. Several are in 
the Valley of Neshaminy. The "Farley" estate, the . ancestral home of the 
Shippen family, is northwest of Bridgewater, and now owned by James Moore, 
The old mansion was destroyed by fire, but the present owner has built a hand- 
some modern residence on the site. In the old cemetery many members of the 
family were buried. Margaret Shippen, who married Benedict Arnold, while 
he was yet a patriot, spent much of her young life there, was possibly bom in 
the old house, and whose sad fate was so deplored. On a Kluff to the east, is 
the handsome residence of Henry L. Gaw, a banker of Philadelphia ; not far 
removed is Lansdowne, the country home of the Johnson family, the late Law- 
rence Johnson being the founder of the great type foundry that bore his name^ 
and which intermarried with the Winders, Taylors, Morrises and other well- 
known familes. In the same neighborhood is the Grundy estate, the first 
owner an Englishman, who married Miss Hulme, Hulmeville; one of whose 
sons. Joseph, read law with Benjamin Harris Brewster, the same who was-Attor- 
ncy-General, United States, and another Joseph, grandson of the first, is the 
owner of the Bristol Woolen Mills. The Rodman homestead, of which more 
is said in another place, was famous in its day, but is now cut up into several 
farms. The present owner is Edward Palton, member of Select Council, Phila- 
delphia. The "Sunbury Farm," on the north side of Neshaminy, for three 
generations the home of the Taylors, is now occupied by a daughter of Captain 
Anthony Taylor and wife of Bromly Wharton. He is a descendant of Joseph 
Wharton, Philadelphia, on whose plantation below the city, the officers of the 
British army, 1778, held their famous Mischianza, of which Major Andre 
was the chief promoter. At other points in various parts of Bensalem wealth 
and a cultivated taste have built elegant homes. Among these is the hand- 
some residence of the late Dr. Schenck, now occupied by his son, near the 
Pennsylvania Railroad crossing of Neshaminy. It commands a fine view of the 
Delaware and the neighboring towns that line the New Jersey shore. 

Four miles below Bristol is Dunk's ferry, a notable crossing of the Dela- 
ware. It was established by Duncan Williamson, one of the earliest settlers, 
and retains a corruption of his christian name. It was called the same on the 
New Jersey side until Beverly was founded, 1848. His son, William William- 
son, died in Bensalem, 1721, leaving by will six hundred acres lying on the 
Delaware. Claus Jonson, who died, 1723, owned seven h^undred acres. Daniel 
Bankson, an early settler, died 1727. At that day upland along the river was 
called "fast land." 

Alice, a slave woman, who spent nearly the whole of her life in Bensalem, 
died there, 1802, at the age of one hundred and sixteen years. She was bom 
at Philadelphia, of parents who came from Barbadoes, but removed with her 
master to near Dunk's ferry at the age of ten. At the age of ninety-five 
she rode on horseback to church ; her sight failed her at one hundred and two, 
and just before her death her hair turned white, and the teeth dropped out of 
her head, perfectly sound. She remembered seeing William Penn, at his second 
visit, and those who aided him in founding the Commonwealth, and would 
often interest her hearers by talking of them. 

The township records go back only to 1769, when Peter Johnston and 
Francis Titus were supervisors, and the road-tax was £30. 3s. 8d. The town- 
ship auditors were William Rodman, Thomas Barnsly, Henry Tomlinson and 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 119 



John Vandegrift.^® In 1776 the amount of road-tax on the duplicate was 
£57, 1 8s. In 1780, while the continental currency was at its gjeatest depression, 
the amount on the duplicate was ^2,537. 17s 6d, but it fell to £45 the following 
year. The duplicate shows the following amount of road-tax, respectively, in 
the years mentioned : 1790, £35 ; 1800, $451 ; 1810, $865 ; 1820, $704.29 ; 1830, 
$776.52; 1840, $519-21; 1850, $75843; i860, $93474; 1869, $3,681.56. In 
one hundred years the road-tax increased forty-fold. 

The Bensalem Presbyterian church is probably the oldest religious organ- 
ization in the County, if we except the society of Friends. Its germ was 
planted by the Swedes before the close of the 17th century. In 1697 the Swed- 
ish settlers south of Neshaminy were included in the bounds of the congrega- 
tion at Wicacoa,^** Philadelphia, while Reverend Andrew Rudman was the 
pastor, and he probably visited that section occasionally to minister to the spirit- 
ual wants of the people. In 1698 Reverend Jedediah Andrews, a Presbyterian 
minister from New England, rode from Philadelphia up to Bensalem to preach 
and baptise. In' 1705 the "upper inhabitants," those living between the Schuyl- 
kill and Neshaminy, made application for occasional service in their neighbor- 
hoods in the winter season, because they were so far from the church at Wica- 
coa, and no doubt their wish was gratified. 

It is impossible to tell the exact time a church organization was effected, 
but between 1705 and 1710. The church was opened for worship May 2, 1710, 
and Paulus Van Vleck was chosen the pastor on the 30th, who preached there 
the same day. The elders at Bensalem at this time were Hendrick Van Dyk, 
Leonard Van der Grift, now Vandegrift, Stoffel Vanzandt, and Nicholas Van 
der Grift. This was probably the first church built, but, before that time, 
services were held in private houses.^^ The church was now Dutch Reformed. 
Van Vleck was a native of Holland, and nephew of Jacob Phoenix, New York. 
He was in that city, June, 1709, when he was ordered to be examined and or- 
dained, so as to accompany the expedition to Canada, but the Dutch ministers 
declined for want of power. 

While Van Vleck was probably the first settled pastor at Bensalem, other 
ministers preached there at irregular periods. In 1710 Jan Banch, a Swedish 
missionary from Stockholm, came to this country and preached at various 
places. He was at Bensalem, January 21, 17 10, where he baptised several, 
among them the names of Vansandt, Van Dyk, Van der Grift, Larue, and 
others, whose descendants are living in the township. Johan Blacker, a 
Dutch minister, preached there about the same time. A record in his hand, 
made January 10, 1710, declares that Sophia Grieson and Catrytje Browswef 
are members of "Sammany'* church.^^ In December, 1710, there were nine- 
teen members at Bensalem : Hendrick Van Dyk and his wife, Lambert Van de 
Grift, Cristoffel Van Zand, Nicholas Van de Grift, Herman Van Zand, Johan- 
nis Van de Grift, Gerret Van Zand, Jacob Elfenstyn, Jonas Van Zand, Janette 



19 A member of the same Vandegrift family was one of the township auditors, 
1869, just a century from the time the .first had served in the same capacity. 

20 An Indian word, from IVickUng, dwelling, and Chao, a fir tree. See Clay's 
History of Swedes. 

21 There are records of births and marriages before the church was built. 

22 Was near the Buck, in Southampton, and now known as the North and South- 
ampton Reformed church, with one place if worship at Churchville and another at Rich- 
borough. 



Digitized by 



Google 



I20 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Remierse, Trintje Remierse,. Geertje Gybert, Lea Groesbeck, and Catelyntje 
Van Densen. Win Vleck was likewise pastor at Sammany and Six Mile Run, 
>J»> 'A4 / a locality not now known.*' September 21, 1710, a committee was appointed by 
/s , 7i' 7 the Philadelphia Presbytery to inqqire into Mr. Morgan's and Paulus Van 
Vleck's affair, and prepare it for the Presbytery. In the afternoon the commit- 
tee reported on Mr. Morgan, and after some debate he was admitted. The 
case of Van Vleck gave them greater trouble and was more serious, for there 
"was serious debating" before he was received. In 171 1 Van Vleck was rep- 
resented in the Presbytery by his elder, Leonard Vandegrift, of the Bensalem 
church, but he fell under a cloud and left, in 171 2, and was not heard of after- 
ward. As himself and wife were witnesses to a baptism that took place at 
Sammany, January i, 1712, he. must have left after that time. His wife was 
Janet Van Dycke, daughter of Hendrick, above mentioned, and their daughter 
Susanna married Henry Van Horn, and has numerous descendants in the 
county. We find Jan Andriese, of Philadelphia, pastor at Bensalem, Sep- 
tember II, 171 1 ; but the exact time of his advent is not known, nor the 
reason of it. It is possible Van Vleck was dismissed about this time, or that 
he resigned at Bensalem to devote all his time to Sammany and Six Mile Run. 
It is not known how long Mr. Andriese continued pastor, but probably until 
the calling of Reverend Maligns Sims, who was there April, 1719, when the 
church had but twelve members. 

Mr. Sims was probably succeeded by Reverend William Tennent, who 
took charge of the Bensalem church about 1721, The latter is said to have 
remained until he w^s called to the Neshaminy church, in Warwick township, 
1726, but he must have left before that time, for we learn, from the churdi 
records, that Reverend Robert Lenig was the pastor at Bensalem in 1724. At 
a session, held July 12, that year, it was ordered that a book be kept for names 
of communicants, marriages, and christenings. The fee for marriages at the 
minister's quarters was fixed at ten shillings, and partes were to be published 
on four previous Sabbaths. The clerk was to receive two shillings for each 
marriage, and nine shillipgs for each child baptised. As there are no church 
records from 1726 to 1772, the names of the pastors who officiated during that 
period are not known. The latter year Reverend James Boyd was called, who 
preached there and at Newtown, until 1817. He left no record of his labors. 
In the next forty-five years there were but eleven, of pastoral labors, the church 
relying mainly on supplies. The Reverend Michael Burdett, D. D., was called, 
and installed, January, 1871. During his pastorate the church was in a pros- 
perous condition, a chapel built, and the church building repaired. Doctor 
Burdett preached in the new church below Schenck's station, Sunday after- 
noons. The church lot was the gift of Thomas Stevenson, August 24, 171 1, 
and was conveyed in a deed of trust to Johannes Vandygrift, Herman Van- 
zandt, Johannes Vanzandt,^* and Jacob Weston, the first trustees. The old 
building was torn down about three quarters of a century ago. 

2^ The church at this place was finished November 15th,* 1710, and the wardens 
elected were: Adrian Bennet, Charles Fontyn, Barent de Wit, and Abraham Bcnnet. 
When the missionary, Jan Banch, visited the church in August, 1712, it had twenty-seven 
members, and among them are found the names of Bennet, Van Dyk, Densen, Peterson, 
De Hart, Klein, etc. 

24 We have spelled the names of these early settlers as they are written in the 
records, varying somewhat from present spelling; and they were spelled differently at 
different periods. 



Digitized by 



Goo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 121 



The Bensalem Methodist Episcopal church is a flourishing organization. 
When the congregation y^as first organized we do not know, but down to 1810 
the meetings were held at private houses. For several years previous they 
held an annual camp-meeting in one of the pleasant groves of the township, 
holding it in Jacob Hellings' woods, 1804. The congregation was strong enough 
by 1810 to erect a church, and a house was built that year on a lot given by 
Joseph Rodman. The timber for the frame was the gift of General Willett, 
cut fronl his woods. At that early day there was no settled minister over the 
church and congregation, but the Reverends James Fisher and Richard Sneith, 
in charge of a circuit six hundred miles in extent, preached there at stated 
periods. Since then the church has been altered and repaired more than once. 
It is situated in about the middle of the township, on the Milford road. 

Besides the churches named, Bensalem has two other places of religious 
worship, Christ Church, Eddington, and the chapel of the Redeemer, Anda- 
lusia, both Protestant Episcopal. The former is the elder of the two. A lot 
was purchased, 1842, and the following year, a neat stone chapel erected and 
consecrated by Bishop Onderdonk, March 7, 1844. For a time service was held 
every Sunday afternoon by the rector at Holmesburg. In 1845 ^ parsonage 
was built; enlarged and improved, 1852, and a Sunday-school room fitted up 
in the basement. A new church building was erected, 1854-55, at a cost of 
$13,000, the congregation occupying it May 29. About the same period a new 
Sunday-school building was erected. A belfry was added to the church, 1880, 
and the bell first rung on Christmas day. After almost forty years of mission 
work, Christ chapel was constituted a parish, and from that time, has had 
its own rector, the first being the Rev. Edwin I. Hirmes, followed by Rev. 
George A. Hunt, now in charge. The chapel of the Redeemer was founded, 
1861, and a stone building 51x25 erected, mainly by efforts of Mrs. Jane S. 
Biddle and her two sisters, $1,400 being the receipts from a fair, and $2,000 
by individual subscriptions. The deed for the lot was executed to All Saints' 
Church. A parish school-house was built, 1867, 2i"d 1877 Dr. Charles R. 
King, at his own expense, enlarged and handsomely decorated the chapel.. It 
was dedicated by Bishop Stevens, September 29, and given the name it bears. 
Dr. H. T. Wells, in charge of an Episcopal school at Andalusia, for some time, 
gave his services gratis to the chapel, and was followed as pastors, by the Revs. 
Thomas W. Martin, William M. Morsell, J. B. Bunck and others. Connected 
with the chapel is the "King Library,*' the gift of Dr. King.'* The building 
is 30x40 feet, built of fire-proof brick with red sand stone trimmings and faces 

25 The King family, rq)resented by Dr. Charles R. King, almost 50 years a resident 
of Bensalem, is distinguished in the country's annals. They settled in New England, but 
subsequendy made New York their home. Rufus King, the grandfather, born 1755, was 
a conspicuous figure in the Revolutionary period and' subsequently. He took his seat 
in the Continental Congress, 1784, was member of the convention that formed the Federal 
Constitution, 1787; twice minister to England, the first appointment by Washington; 
served three terms in the United States Senate, and was candidate for President against 
Mr. Monroe. He died, 1826. John A. King, his son, and father of Dr. Qiarles R., born 
1788, died 1867, educated in England while his father was American minister there, was 
member of Congress and the first Governor of New York elected by the Republican party, 
1856. Dr. King took deep interest in the public schools and the church, giving his 
leisure to literary pursuits, having recently written and published the "Life and Corre- 
spondence of Rufus King," his grandfather, covering a period from 1784 to 1826. Dr. 
King died April 5, 1901. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



122 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



the Bristol turnpke. The interior is a single room rising to the roof. It was 
opened December 28, 1886, with appropriate services by Bishop Stevens. It 
contains 3,000 volumes, and is free to all. 

The only collections of dwellings in the township that deserve the name 
of villages, are: Bridgewater, on the Neshaminy, at the crossing of the 
Bristol turnpike, Eddington, on the Philadelphia and Trenton raikoad, Oak- 
ford, in the northeast corner of the township, and Andalusia, a straggling 
hamlet, on the turnpike, all post-villages. They contain but few dwellings 
each. Richelieu and Centreville are ambitious to reach the village state, and 
Brownsville is a small hamlet on the Southampton line, with a majority of the 
dwellings in that township. Anthony Taylor built a fulling-mill at Flushing, 
on the Neshaminy, and the following spring it was occupied by James Wilson. 
There is now a steam saw-mill at this place.^' 

The murder of Dr. Chapman, Bensalem, by his wife and a vagabond 
Spaniard, by poison, created a profound sensation. This occurred in the sum- 
mer of 183 1. He was taken in for the night, but the wife, becoming infatuated 
with him, had him remain and murder was the result. The trial, conviction 
and execution of the Spaniard attracted great attention at the time. Chapman 
w^as an Englishman, and his wife a Winslow, of New England. The following 
concerning the family of this woman from Hereditary Descent, published by 
O. S. Fowler, 1848, will no doubt interest the readers: The Barre (Mass.) 
Patriot says that a box containing one hundred and twenty-five dollars in coun- 
terfeit bills was discovered in the cellar wall of Thomas Winslow of that town, 
who was ordered to find bail in the sum of one thousand dollars. He had for 
many years been suspected of dealing in counterfeit money, and had been once 
or twice arrested for the oflFense, but escaped for want of .sufficient evidence. 
The family with which he is connected is not a little notorious in the annals 
of crime. His brother, Mark Winslow, was a noted counterfeiter, and prob- 
ably the most ingenious one known in the state. About twelve years ago he 
was sentenced to the state prison for life, and, on the eve of removal, committed 
suicide by cutting. his throat. Edward, another brother, was also a counterfeiter 
and for that and other oflfenses has been an inmate of the state prison, and of 
nearly half the jails of the state. Lucretia, sister, was connected with the 
same gang and signed the bills. She was wonderfully expert with the pen, 
and skillful in imitating signatures. She married a man by the name of 
Chapman, who was murdered in Pennsylvania some yfears since. She lived 
as the wife of a noted imposter, Mina, and they were both arrested and tried 
for the murder. Mina was hung, but she was acquitted, although not without 
very strong.evidence of having prompted or connived at the death of Chapman. 
She subsequently wandered through the South, connected with a strolling 
threatrical company, and died a few years since. One of her children is now 
in Barre. She was a woman of great talent, if it had been honestly applied, 
and of singularly winning manners. Another sister of the Winslows married 
Robert Green, and still another married Jesse H. Jones, and both Green and 
Jones were connected with the gang of counterfeiters that used to hifest that 
region." We have been told by good authority that at the time of her arrest 
for poisoning her husband, Mrs. Chapman was under the surveillance of the 
police, and would soon have been arrested for her connection with this gang 
of counterfeiters and forgers. 



26 These villages and hamlets have felt the spirit of improvement the past twenty- 
five years and kept pace with their respective neighborhoods. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 123 



About 1859, Rev. H. T. Wells, of the Protestant Episcopal church, bought 
the Dr. Chapman property, Andalusia, where Dr. C. formerly kept a "stam- 
mering school,*' made some improvements and opened a boys' boarding school. 
A charter, authorizing the conferring of degrees, was obtained and the school 
called "Andalusia College." A new building called "Potter Hall" was subse- 
quently erected, in which a preparatory school was opened. At Dr. Wells' 
death, 1871, A. H. FetteroU, head master at Andalusia, now president of Girard 
College, reopened the school, but gave it up after a time. The property was 
then sold and a number of cottages built on part of it, the old school building 
being turned to other purposes. 

In Betnsalem, on Neshaminy, opposite Newportville, stands a colonial 
mansion, the ancestral home of the Barnsley family. It was built by Major 
Thomas Barnsley, an officer of the British army, who came from England 
with Lord Loudon, 1756, and served with him in the French and Indian war. 
At the close of the war, 1760, he resigned his commission and settled at Phila- 
delphia. In 1763 he purchased the estate of James Coulter, five hundred and 
thirty-seven acres, and built the mansion, importing the brick and other mate- 
rial from England. The house is still in a good state of preservation. Major 
Barnsley died, 1771, and was buried in the aisle of St. James Episcopal church, 
Bristol. He adopted his nephew, John Barnsley, who, after his uncle's death, 
sold the estate and removed to Newtown, then the county seat. He married 
Elizabeth Van Court, purchased land adjoining the town, and built the house 
which, since that time, has been owned and continuously occupied by the 
Barnsley family, a period of nearly a century and a quarter. It was the home 
of the late John Barnsley, who died, 1880, and is owned by his children. John 
Barnsley married Mary, youngest child of Benjamin and Hannah Simpson 
Hough, Warrington township. The deed for the property, on record at Doyles- 
town, calls for six hundred and fifty-two acres, and is spoken of as the 
"Tatham Plantation," but Major Barnsley called it "Croydon," probably after 
his birth place. The original dwelling is said to have been erected by the 
Tremain family, but when we are not informed. Elegant grounds surrounded 
the house, and boats and barges plied upon the water. Tradition says that 
Major Barnsley had a retinue of servants and followers, kept open house, 
dressed in scarlet coat, buff breeches, gold knee buckles, and wore a cocked hat 
and dress sword, all in keeping with retired army officers of the period. 

The proximity of Bensalem to Philadelphia induced the British troops to 
make several incursions into the township while they held that city, 1777-78, and 
durirgf the war the inhabitants suffered from the depredations of both armies. 

Of the roads through the township, that from the Poquessing creek, 
crossing the Street road below the Trap tavern, the Neshaminy above Hulme- 
ville and thence to Bristol, was laid out by order of Council, 1697. John 
Baldwin was appointed to keep the ferry over the Neshaminy on giving 
security. When the Hulmeville dam was built the ferry was discontinued, 
and a new road laid out, leaving the old one at right-angles near Trevose, and 
crossing the Neshaminy at Newportville. About the time this road was laid 
out Bu'^ks ?v'^ Phibdelphia counties built a bridge over the Poquessing, prob- 
ably where the pike crosses. A second bridge was built there, 1757, and a 
third, 1794. The road from the Bristol pike at Scott's corner to Townsend's 
mill, on the Ponuessing, was opened. 1767, and from the pike to "White Sheet 
bay," 1769. As early as 1697 a petition was presented to the court to lay out 
a road from Growden's plantation to Dunk's ferry, but we do not know that 
it was granted. In 1700 a road was opened from Growden's to the King's 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



124 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



highway leading to the falls. This highway at that time was probably the 
road from Poquessing, crossing tlie Neshaminy about HulmeviUe, and which, 
at one time, was a thoroughfare from the falls to Philadelphia. Galloway's 
ford is on Neshaminy above HulmeviUe, and was destroyed when the dam was 
built, because it backed up the water so it could not be crossed. At April 
term, 1703, the court directed a jury to lay out a road "from the uppermost 
inhabitants adjacent to Southhampton to the landing commonly called John 
Gilbert's landing/'^? 




RED LION INN. BENSALEM. 

The two oldest taverns in the township are the Red Lion, on the turnpike, 
at the crossing of the Poquessing, and the Trappe, on the Street road, a mile 
above where the old King's highway crosses it on its way to the falls. The 
former is of some historical interest, and will be mentioned in a future chapter. 

Across the Poquessing, Philadelphia county, is the old Byberry meeting 
grave yard, near the present one, and which the Keitliians retained on the 
separation, 1690. In it are two marble gravestones, one "To the memory of 
James Rush, who departed this life March ye 6, 1726-7, aged forty-eight 
years and ten months, grandfather of Dr. Benjamin Rush, the Signer"; the 
other to Crispin Collett, who died September 3, 1753, aged thirty-seven years. 
All the other stones in the yard are the common field stone. Daniel Long- 
streth, Warminster, who visited this grave yard, 1843, accompanied by his 
wife, remarked in his diary: "J^^^ Hart, the noted Quaker preacher, who 
joined George Keith at the time of the separation, lived where Caleb Knight 
now resides, the next farm but one above the grave yard. It was the son of 
John Hart, the preacher, that settled on the five hundred-acre tract to the 
north of my residence in Warminster. The family joined the Baptists in 

27 John Gilbert was one of the earliest settlers in Bensalem, but the place of his 
landing is not known to the present generation. 



Digitized by 



Google . 



X HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 125 

Southampton meeting." Mr. Longstreth, on the same or a subsequent visit 
to Byberry, was told by Charles Walmsley that his uncle had a cart 
whose hubs were used in a vehicle that hauled baggage for Braddock's army 
in the French and Indian war, 1755-57. They were then in good condition 
and in use. The vehicle they belonged to, at the time, were pressed into service 
for the use of the army. 

Mary Newman Brister, nee Fry, born at the Trappe, June 8, .1780, was liv- 
ing at Washington, Pa., 1880, in good health, and had never been sick until the 
year previous. She was married to George Brister, in Philadelphia, who 
died in Washington, 1850. He was in the war with England, 1812, and fought 
at New Orleans. George Fry, Mrs. Brister's father, was born in Bucks county, 
1730, and died, 1833. He served in the Braddock campaign, 1755; and, at 
the age of 103, walked from Philadelphia to Cincinnati, Ohio, but was never 
heard of afterward. 

In 1892, the order of the "Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament," for Indians 
and colored people, established the "Mother House" in Bensalem, near Corn- 
well, on the line of the Pennsylvania railroad. The order is known as "St 
Elizabeth's Convent and the Holy Providence Home." The sisterhood was 
founded under the auspices of Miss Catherine M. Drexel, who took the veil 
as a nun of the Roman Catholic church, under the name of Mother M. 
Kathruie. The organization was effected, 1891. In the chapter on "School 
and Education," the scope and purposes of this institution are set forth. 

Bensalem is a rich and fertile township, with little waste land, and the 
surface has a gradual slope from its northwest boundary to the Delaware. It 
is bounded on three sides by water, the Delaware river, Neshaminy, and 
Poquessing, and it is well-watered by numerous tributaries. The nearness of 
this township to Philadelphia, and the facility with which it can be reached 
by rail and boat, have induced many of her rich citizens to make their homes 
within its limits. In consequence numerous elegant dwellings line its main 
highways and the banks of the Delaware, and large wealth is found among 
the inhabitants. The Pennsylvania railroad, formerly Philadelphia and 
Trenton railroad, runs across the township a short distance from the river, with 
stations at a number of points, and passing trains take up and set down 
passengers every few minutes, while the through line of the North Pennsyl- 
vania railroad to New York crosses it near the Southampton line. 

The township contains an area of eleven thousand six hundred and fifty- 
six acres, and its boundaries have not been disturbed since its organization, 
1692. In 1742, sixty years after its settlement by the English, it had but 
seventy-eight taxable inhabitants, and the highest valuation of any one person 
was £50. In 1744 the taxables had fallen off to seventy-two, but they had in- 
creased to ninety in 1755, and to ninety-eight in 1765. In 1784 the popula- 
tion of the township was 653 whites, 175 blacks, arid 131 dwellings. In 1810 
it was 1,434; 1820, 1,667; 1830, 1,811, and 345 taxables; 1840, 1,731; 1850, 
^2,239; i860, 2,336; 1870, 2,353, of which 296 were foreign-born, and 169 
)lack; 1880, 2,217; 1890, 2,385; 1900, 2,829. The township has two shad- 
^sheries, one known as Vandegrift's, the other as "Frogtown," and now the 
pfc-operty of Doctor Markley. The fisheries we have mentioned in the river 
to^^nships are all shore fisheries and have been long established. In former 

Pthe catch of shad and herring was much greater than of late years. The 
)f these two fisheries, for a number of years, has not exceeded $500 a year. 
5t-ofBce was established at Andalusia, 1816, and Thomas Morgan appointed • 
laster. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



CHAPTER XI. 



MIDDLETOWN. 



1692. 



Original name. — Nicholas Walne. — Richard Amor. — ^John Cutler, Thomas Stackhouse. — 
John Eastburn. — Thomas Janney. — Simon Gillam. — Great mixture of blood. — William 
Huddleston. — Abraham and Christopher Vanhorne. — John Richardson. — The Jenks 
family. — Middletown meeting. — Story of Lady Jenks. — Jeremiah Langhorne. — The 
Mitchells. — Charles Plumley. — Langhorne. — Four Lanes End. — ^Joshua Richardson. — 
The High School.— The Hulme family.— The Cawleys.— Dr. White.— Hulmeville.— 
Memorial trees. — John Hulme. — Josiah Quincy. — Extract from daughter's memoirs. — 
Mill built. — Industrial establishments. — Oxford Valley. — Origin of name Eden. — Early 
mills. — Trolley roads. — Early roads. — Peter Peterson Vanhorne. — ^Taxables. — Popula- 
tion. — Death of Robert Skirm and wife. — Farley. — The inhabitant farmers. — Gallo- 
way's and Baldwin's fords. — Dr. Longshore. 

Middletown is the last of the original townships. In the report of the 
jury that laid it out, it is designated *'the middle township" of the group, 
but was frequently called ''middle lots'' down to 1703, and "middle township" 
as late as 1724. Gradually it came to be called by the name it bears. 

A few of the original settlers came in the Welcome with William Penn, 
while others preceded or followed him. By 1684 the land was generally 
taken up, a good deal of it in large tracts, and some by non-residents.^ Some 
of these settlers purchased land of the Proprietary before leaving England. 
Nicholas Walne, Yorkshire, came in the Welcome, and took up a large tract 
between Langhorne and Neshaminy. He was a distinguished minister among 
friends, and held a leading part in the politics of the county, which he repre- 
sented several years in the Assembly. His son died, 1744. Nicholas Walne, 
his descendant, probably grandson, was born at Fair Hill, Philadelphia, 1742; 
studied law at the Temple, London, returned and practiced seven years in this 
county and elsewhere. Janney says that after he had been engaged in a real ' 



I Land-owners in Middletown in 1684: Walter Bridgeman, Thomas Constable, Widow 
Croasdale, Robert Holdgate, .Alexander Biles, Widow Bond, Robert Heaton, Thomas 
Stackhouse, Jr., Thomas Stackhouse, James Dilworth, Widow Hurst, Richard Tha^her, 
John Scarborow (Scarborough), Nicholas Walne, Jonathan Towne, Joshua Boar, Tho^jas 
Marie. William Paxson, James Paxson, Jonathan Fleckne, William Brian, Robert Cart<^ 
P'rancis Dove, Henry Paxson, Wjlliam Wiggin and Edward Samway. 



Digitized by 



Google 



/ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 127 



estate case at Newtown, Mr. Walne was asked, by a Friend, on his return to 
the city, how it was decided. He repHed: *1 did the best I could for my 
client; gained the case for him, and thereby defrauded an honest man of his 
dues." He then relinquished the law, on the ground that its practice is incon- 
sistent with the principles of Christianity, settled up his business, and returned 
the fees of unfinished cases. He now became a devout attendant on religious 
meeting, and afterward a minister among Friends. 

Richard Amor,^ Berkshire, located two hundred and fifty acres on 

Neshaminy, below Hulmeville, but died a few months after his arrival. He 

brought with him a servant, Stephen S ands, who married Jane Cowgij l, 1685, 

and left children. Henry Paxson, from Bycothouse, Oxfordshire, who located five 

hundred acres on the Neshaminy, above Hulmeville, lost his wife, two >sons, 

and a brother at sea, by disease, and married the widow of Charles Plumley, 

Northampton, 1684. He was a man of influence and a member of Assembly. 

James Dilworth, of Thornley, Lancashire, arrived with son William and a 

servant, October, 1682, and settled on a thousand acres on Neshaminy, below 

Attleborough, the present Langhorne. Richard Davis came from Wales, in 

November, 1683, with his son David, who married Margaret Evans, in March, 

1686, and died fifteen days after his arrival. He is supposed to have been the 

first surgeon in the county.' The land taken up by John Scarborough in 

Middletown came to the possession of his son John, by his father returning to 

England to fetch his family, but failed to come back.* Thomas Stackhouse 

and his son Thomas were the proprietors of a large tract in the lower part 

of the township. Richard Thatcher took up one thousand acres, and Ralph 

Ward and Ralph Alford one thousand and twenty-five acres each. Robert 

Hall, whose name is not on Holme's map, but was one of the earliest settlers, 

owned a tract that joined Bristol township. Robert Heaton, one of the earliest 

settlers and a land owner on Holme's map, but built the first mill in the township. 

Its exact situation is not known, but was probably on the Neshaminy, about 

where Comfort's mill stands. He died, 1716.'* William Paxson's tract 

extended from near the present Langhorne, back of Oxford. He was a 

member of Assembly, 1701. Among others, who were original settlers and 

land owners, were George and John White, Francis Andrews and Alexander 

Giles. Thomas Constable owned a considerable tract in the upper part of the 

township, bordering on Newtown. John Atkinson embarked, 1699, with a 

certificate from Lancaster monthly meeting, but died at sea; also his w^ife, 

Susannah, leaving children, William, Mary and John. Thomas Atkinson was 

also an early settler, but probably not until after Holme's map was made. 

Before 1700, Thomas Musgrove owned five hundred acres in the township, 

patented to Hannah Price, and after came into possession of Thomas Jenks. 

The Cutlers were early settlers in Bucks county, John and Edward, from 

Yorkshire, England, landing at Philadelphia from the Rebecka, James Skinner, 

master, 8th month, 31st, 1685. John, who probably arrived single, 1703, married 

Margery, daughter of Cuthbert Hayhurst, Northampton, and had children, 

J __ — , 

2 His name is not on Holme's map. 

3 There was a "barber," as surgeons were then called, on the Delaware as early as 
1638, but it is not known that he lived in the county, or that his practice even extended 
into it. 

4 A further account of John Scarborough will be found in another chapter. 

5 He had one hundred and eighty-eight acres surveyed to him in Middletown. 



Digitized by 



Google 



128 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Elizabeth, Mary and Benjamin. The two brothers brought with them inden- 
tured servants, Cornelius Nettlcwcod, Richard Mather, Ellen Wingreen, 
William Wardle, James Moliner, son of James Moliner, late of Liverpool 
John Cutler settled in Middletown; was county surveyor, 1702-3, and made 
the resurvey of the coimty, laid out Bristol borough, 1713, was coroner, 1719, 
and died, 1720. Edmund Cutler, brother of John, was married before leaving 
England from the date of his children's birth, who were Elizabeth, born 14th, 
7th month, 1680; Thomas, i6th, 9th month, 1681, and William, born i6th, 
loth month, 1682. Edmund Cutler's wife, whose name is given both as Jane 
and Isabel, died 4th month, 1715. Edmund Cutler probably settled in South- 
ampton, and his son John was a school teacher in Middletown, 1705, and 
coroner of the county, 1718-19. Lawrence Cutler, a descendant of one .of 
the brothers, married Naomi Brown, Penn's Manor, and another a Stackhouse. 
Both brothers were surveyors, and John is understood to have been in Penn's 
employ before leaving England. Edmund was a farmer. 

Among the earliest settlers were Nicholas and Jane Walne, Thomas and 
Agnes Croasdale, who came with six children; Robert and Elizabeth Hall, 
two; James and Ann Dilworth, one; William and Mary Paxson. one; James 
and Jane Paxson, two; James and Mary Radcliflf, four; Jonathan and Anne 
Scaife, two; Robert and Alice Heaton, five, and Martin and Anne Wildman, 
six. John Eastbum came from the parish of Bingley, county York, with a 
certificate from Bradley meeting, dated July 31, 1684. Johannes Searl was in 
Middletown prior to 1725, from whose house a road leading to Bristol was laid 
out that year. Before 1700, Thomas Musgrove owned five hundred acres 
in the township, patented to Hannah Price, aad afterward came into the posses- 
sion of Thomas Jenks. 

We are able to trace the descent of several of the present families of long 
standing in Middletown with considerable minuteness, but not as much so as we 
would desire. The Buntings were among the earliest settlers. In 1689, Job 
Bunting married Rachel Baker, and starting from this couple the descent is 
traced, in the male line, through Samuel, born 1692, and married Priscilla 
Burgess, 1716; Samuel, seccmd, born 1718, married 1740; William, born, 
1745, married Margery Woolston, 1771 ; William, married Mary W. Blakey, 
1824, parents of Blakey Bunting. Jonathan Bunting, from a collateral 
branch, is the sixth in descent from the first Job Bunting. In the maternal 
line they descend from John Sotcher and Mary Lofty, maternal ancestor of 
the Taylors and Blakeys. Thomas Yardley, who married Susan Brown, 1785, 
had the Sotcher and Lofty blood from both lines, through the Kirkbrides and 
Stacys in the paternal, and the Clarks, the Worrells and Browns in the ma- 
ternal. 

One branch of the Croasdales are descended from Ezra and Ann (Peacock) 
Croasdale, who married, 1687, through Jeremiah, Robert and Robert second, 
on the paternal side, and on the maternal, from William, son of James and 
Jane Paxson ; bom 1633, came to America, 1682, and married Mary Packing- 
ham. Robert M. Croasdale, deceased, in the female line, was descended 
through the Watsons, Richardsons, Prestpns, etc. 

The maternal ancestors of Isaiah Watson trace their descent back to 
William and Margaret Cooper. Blakey, the family name of the maternal side, 
first appear in William Blakey about 1703; and about the same period the 
Watsons come upon the stage in the person of Thomas Watson, the progenitor 
of those who bear that name in Middletown. 

Thomas Janney is the sixth in descent from the first Thomas and his wife. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 129 



Margaret, who came from Cheshire, England, 1683, through the families of 
Hough, Mitchell, Briggs, Penquite, Harding, Carr, Croasdale and Buckman. 

Simon Gillam, the great-grandson of Lucas Gillam (who was a grandson 
of Anna Paxson, and descended from James and Jane Paxson), who married 
Ann Dungan, 1748. On the maternal side the male line runs back through 
five generations of Woolstons, to John, who married Hannah Cooper, 1681. 
Jonathan Woolston married Sarah Pearson, Burlington, New Jersey, 1712, 
and is thought to have been the first of the name who came to Middletown. 
Joshua Woolston, so well known in the lower and middle sections of the 
county, was the fifth in descent from John and Hannah. His mother, a Rich- 
ardson, married Joshua Woolston, in 1786, who could trace his descent back to 
William and Mary P^son, the common progenitors of many families of this 
county.* 

In tracing the descent of families in the lower end of the county we find 
great commingling of blood. Several of them start from a common ancestor, 
on one side or the other and sometimes both, and, when one or two generations 
removed they commenced to intermarry and continued it. Thus we find John 
and Mary Sotcher, and William and Margaret Cooper, the common ancestors 
of the families of Bunting, Blakey, Taylor, Yardley, Croasdale, Knowles, Swain, 
Buzby, Watson, Knight, Wills, Dennis, Burton, Warner, Stapler, Gillam, 
Kirkbride, Palmer, Jenks, Woolston, Griscom, Satterthwaite, Gummere, Pax- 
son, and Deacon. These families have extensively intermarried, and Pierson 
Mitchell came of the blood of the Piersons, the Stackhouses, the Walnes and 
Hestons, and was the fifth in descent from Henry Mitchell. 

William Huddleston was an early settler where Langhorne stands, his 
land extending north of the village. He was a shoemaker by trade and lived 
in a log house back from the road on the lot lately owned by Absalom 
Michener. The house was on the side of a hill near a spring. In moderate 
weather he worked with the south door open to give him light, as he had no 
glass in the windows, but bits of parchment instead. Doctor Huddleston, of 
Norristown, was his descendant, but the family has run out in this county.'^ 

Abraham and Christian Vanhome, Hollanders, took up land on the south 
side of the Buck road, part of it within the limits •f Langhorne, but the time 
is not known, and lived in a small log house in the middle of their tract. It 
is told of one of the brothers, that, on one occasion, while he was gone to mill, 
his family went to bed leaving a candle burning upon the bureau, and, on his 
return, found his dwelling in flames. Gilbert Hicks came from Long Island, 
bought forty acres of land at Four Lanes End, and built the hou«e owned by 
James Flowers, at the southeast comer of the cross-roads, 1763. He was a 
'loyalist*' in the Revolution, and fled to the British army.® 

Joseph Richardson, great-grandfather of the late Joshua Richardson, 
settled at Langhorne. 1730, and, six years later, bought the land of the Van- 
hornes. At his death he paid quit-rent to Penn's agent for over twelve 

6 Among them are the families of Jenks, Croasdale, Palmer, Briggs, Knight, Wills, 
Stackhouse, and Carr. besides those already mentioned. Mahlon Stacy, the pioneer miller 
of West Jersey, was ancestor to the Bucks county families of Taylor, Yardley, Croasdale, 
Stapler, Eastburn and Warner. 

7 Possibly he ^Vas the William Huddleston who married a daughter of William 
Cooper, of Buckingham, before 1709. 

8 A further account of Gilbert Hicks will be found elsewhere. 

9 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 




130 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 

hundred acres in Middletown, North and Southampton, only two hundred 
of which remained in the family at the death of Joshua, the homestead tract 
at the former Attleborough. He married a daughter of William Paxson, 1732, 
and had six children: Joshua, born November 22, 1733; Mary, July 25, 1735; 
William, October 3, 1737; kachel. May 29, 1739; Rebecca, March 27, 1742, 
and Ruth, October 31, 1748. 

The Jenkses are Welsh, and the genealogy of the 

^^La^C^^ family can be traced from the year 900 down to 1669, when 

\^^ it becomes obscure. The arms, which have long been in 
possesision of the family at Wolverton, England, descend- 
ants of Sir George, to whom they were confirmed by Queen 
Elizabeth, 1582, are supposed to have been granted soon 
after the time of William the Conqueror, for bravery on 
the field of battle.*^ The first progenitor of the family in 
America was Thomas, son of Thomas Jenks, born in Wales, 
December or January, 1699. When a child he came to 
Pennsylvania with his mother, Susan Jenks, who married 
Benjamin Wiggins,^® Buckingham, by whom she had a 
son, born, 1709. She died while he was young, and was 
buried at Wrightstown meeting. Thomas Jenks, brought 

. up a farmer, joined the Friends, 1723, married Mercy 

(JjJ^J^K^ Wildman, Middletown, in 1731, and afterwards removed 

JENKS COAT OF ARMS. (o that towuship, whcrc he spent his life. He bought six 
hundred acres southeast of Newtown, on which he erected his homestead, 
which he called Jenks' Hall, and built a fulling-mill on Core creek, running 
through the premises, several years before 1742. He led an active business life, 
lived respected, and died May 4, 1797, at the good old age of ninety-seven. He 
was small in staftire. but sprightly, temperate in his habits and of great physical 
vigor. At the age of ninety he walked fifty miles in a week, and, at ninety-two, 
his eyesight and hearing were both remarkably good. He had lived to see the 
wilderness and haunts of wild beasts become the seats of polished life. 

Thomas Jenks left three sons and three daughters : Mary, Elizabeth, Ann, 
John, Thomas and Joseph, who married into the families of Weir, Richardson, 
Pierson, Twining and Watson. His son Thomas, a man of ability and com- 
manding person, became prominent. He had a taste for politics, was a member 
of the Constitutional Convention, 1790, and afterward elected to the Senate, 
of which he was a member at his death. The descendants of Thomas Jenks, 
the elder, are, very numerous and found in various parts, in and out of the state, 
although few of the name are now in Bucks county. We have not the space 
nor time to trace them, for they are very numerous. Among the families of 
the present and past generations, with >Yhich they have allied themselves by 
marriage, in addition to those already named, are Kennedy, New York, Story, 
Carlisle, Fell, Dixson, Watson, Trimble, Murray, Snyder (governor of Penn- 
sylvania), Gillingham, Hutchinson, Justice, Collins, of New York, Kirkbride, 
Stockton, of New Jersey, Canby, Brown, Elsegood, Davis, Yardley, Newbold, 

9 The confirmation in the patent describes them as "Argent, three Boars Heades 
Coupee, and Cheefe indented sables, with this crest or cognizance, a Lione rampant, 
•with a Boar's Heade in his pawes," as copied from the records in the college of arms, 
London, 1832. 

10 The Wigginses came from New England. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 131 



Morris, Earl, Handy, Robbins, Ramsey (former governor of Minnesota), 
Martin, Randolph, etc. Doctor Phineas Jenks and Michael H. Jenks, Newtown, 
deceased, were descendants of Thomas the elder. 

The story of *'Lady Jenks," as written in Watson's Annals, has been too 
closely associated with the family of that name in Middletown to be passed 
in silence. The allegation of Watson is, that when Thomas Penn came to this 
country he was accompanied by *'a person of show and display called Lady 
Jenks," who passed her time in the then wilds of Bucks county ; that her beauty 
and accomplishments gave her notoriety ; that she rode with him at fox hunt- 
ing and at the famous "Indian walk" of 1737, and that it was well under- 
stood she was the mother of Thomas Jenks, Middletown. Watson gives "old 
Samuel Preston" as authority for this story, but adds that it was afterward 
confirmed by others. This piece of Watson's gossip and scandal must stand 
upon its own merits, if it stands" at all. Let the voice of History be heard in the 
case. Susan Jenks, a widow, came to America with her young son, Thomas 
(born 1700), married Benjamin Wiggins, of Buckingham, 1708 or 1709, died a 
few years afterward and was buried at Wrightstown. Thomas Penn was born, 
1703 or 1704, about the time Susan Jenks came to this country, which would 
make him three or four years younger than his reputed son. As Penn did not 
come to America until 1732, several years after Susan Jenks was dead, he 
could not have brought her with him ; and as he was not at the "Indian walk," 
1 737, she could not have accompanied him, living or dead. These simple facts, 
-which are susceptible of proof from family and church records, are sufficient 
to disprove the romantic story of Watson. A story so idle is not worthy of 
investigation. "Lady Jenks" may be set down as an historic myth, made out 
of the whole cloth. The only foundation for a story of this kind is the alleged 
liaison of William Penn, Jr., with a young lady of Bucks county, when here, 
1703. Of this James Logan writes : " Tis a pity his wife came not with him, 
for her presence would have confined him within bounds he was not too regular 
in observing." 

The Mitchells, early se'ttlers of Middletown, were descendants of Henry 
Mitchell, Marsden Lane, Lancashire, England, carpenter by trade, who married 
Elizabeth Foulds, 3d month, 6th, 1675. Both were members of the Society 
oi Friends and he was imprisoned for his religious conviction, 1685. On 12th 
month, i6th, 1699, Marsden monthly meeting gave a certificate to Henry 
Mitchell, wife and four children; they embarked in the Britannica for Penn- 
sylvania, and arrived in the Delaware August 25, after a voyage of fourteen 
weeks. The vessel was overcrowded and there was great sickness on board, 
fifty-six dying at sea and twenty after landing, among them being Henry 
Mitchell and one son. The widow and three children settled near the head of 
tide water on Neshaminy, and Middletown has been considered the home of the 
family. Of the children, Richard built and run the first grist mill in Wrights- 
town, and became a prominent man ; the daughter Margaret married Stephen 
Twining; Henry remained at the Middletown homestead, and married Sarah, 
a daughter of Richard Gove, London. Elizabeth Mitchell, widow of Henry, 
the immigrant, died in Middletown, where her death is recorded in the Meeting 
record. Pierson, son of John, married Rebecca Allen, daughter of John Allen, 
and also remained, at the homestead. In 1804, Gove Mitchell, son of Pierson, 
bought a farm in Moorland, Montgomery county, at the intersection of the York 
road and county line, half a mile above Hatboro. He studied medicine and 
spent his life here practicing his profession. At his death the farm passed to 
his eldest son, George Justice Mitchell, and from him to his son, J. Howard 



Digitized by 



Google 



13^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Mitchell, who lives there with his children and grand children. The late Pierson 
Mitchell, I\lidcJlt*town, was a descendant of Henry Mitchell. 

The Carters trace their descent to William Carter, who settled in Phila- 
delphia, but located six hundred acres in this county, east of the Neshaminy, 
near Hulmeville, on a deed given to him by Penn before leaving England. Carter 
was an alderman of the city, and elected mayor, 1711. On the expiration of 
his term of office he removed to his tract, Middletow^n, where he spent the 
remainder of his days. He has numerous descendants in this county and 
in Byberry. The family is in possession of an old clock that has belonged to it 
since 1711.^* 




MIDDLETOWN MEETING HOUSE. MAPLE AVENUE. LANGHORNE. 

Erected 1T89 and the third gn the same site. 

The Middletown meeting, next to Falls, is the oldest in the county. Meet- 
ings for worship were first held at the houses of Nicholas Walne, John Otter and 
Robert Hall, 1682. . The first monthly meeting was held at Walne's, December 
I, 1684, and the next at Hall's, where Friends were to bring the dates of their 
births and marriages. They met sometimes at widow Hayhurst's, who lived 
across Neshaminy in Northampton. Nicholas Walne and Thomas Atkinson wxre 
the first delegates chosen from Middletown to the yearly meeting, September 2, 
1684. It was called Neshaminy fleeting until 1706. The first meeting-house 
was built by Thomas Stackhouse, 1690, at a cost of £26 19s 5d, and f 10 
additional for a stable. One light of glass was put in each lower window, 1698, 



II William Carter, Philadelphia, probably never lived in Bucks county, and does not 
appear to have left descendants. In his will he mentions his relatives, Robert Carter, 
Bucks county, deceased. A Carter died prior to 1688, leaving children, Edward, Joan,. 
Margaret, John and Jane, all minors. Gilbert Cope. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 133 



muslin or oiled paper being probably used in the others. Martin Wildman was 
appointed to clean the house and make the fires at an annual salary of 20 
shUlings for the first year, and six shillings additional for the next. The first 
marriage recorded was that of Henry Paxson, whose wife died at sea, to 
Margery Plumley, August 13, 1684. There were only forty-seven marriages 
at Middletown from 1684 to 1700, less than three a year.^^ Evidently the battle 
of life was too hard to allow much indulgence in matrimony. In the first 
fifty years there were three hundred and fifty-nine births in the bounds of the 
meeting, the earliest being a son of James and Jane Paxson, born July, 1683, 
and thirty deaths to 173 1. The sixth person buried at Middletown was 
Susannah, daughter of John and Jane Naylor, who died September 27, 1699. 
The quarterly meetings at Falls^and Middletown were the only ones in the 
county, and held alternately at each place until 1722, when a third was held at 
Wrightstown. The Friends at Middletown brought certificates from the 
monthly meeting of Settle, Coleshill, Bucks and Lancaster, Westminster, 
Brighouse, in York, etc. 

Charles Plumley, Somersetshire, England, married Margery Page, 12, 
II, 1665, settled in Middletown, 1682, with wife and sons, William, James, 
Charles, John and George ; and purchased land on the Neshaminy. He died in 
1683. His widow married Henry Paxson, 6, 13, 1684. Of the sons, William 
born 10, 7, 1666, married Elizabeth Thompson, 1688 ; James, born 6, 22, 1668, 
married Mary Budd, settled in Southampton, and died 1702; Charles, born 12, 
9, 1674, married Rose Budd, and died in Philadelphia, 1708; John, bom 7, 8, 
1677, married Mary Bainbridge, daughter of John and Sarah of N. J., 1708, 
settled in Middletown, and died 1732; George, born 4, 14, 1680, married Sarah, 

• , died at Philadelphia, 1754, and his widow, 1759, without issue. The 

later Plumleys were descended from Charles and John, sons of Rose (Budd) 
Plumley. 

Among the early settlers in Middletown were the Cawleys, who probably 
came sometime in the first quarter of the eighteenth century. The first of the 
name we have met with was Thomas Cawley, who was married at Christ 
church, Philadelphia, July i, 1720, to Mary Moggrage. In 1721, Thomas 
Cav/ley was a witness to the will of Evan Thomas, Philadelphia county, yeomaa 
John Cawley, of Yate House Green, Middlewich, county Chester, England, was 
in Middletown, Bucks county, in March, 1729, and on the 28th bought real 
estate in Great Egg Harbor, N. J. He was probably the same John Cawley 
who died in Middletown, 1761, at a very great age. He was twice married, first 
to Elinor Earle, Burlington, N. J., April 12, 1729, and the name of his second 
wife was Margaret, as we learn from a deed executed May i, 1754, to which 
it was attached as a witness. In one place he is spoken of as a "tanner," in 
another "yeoman." He had a son John, in England, when he made his will, 
1765, but was at home in Middletown, April 22, 1768, when he executed a power 
of attorney to Thomas Cawley. John Cawley, the elder, had also a daughter, 
Elizabeth Pratt, a grand-daughter, Sarah Cawley, and grandson, John Cawley, 
the younger, who lived and died in Northampton township, whose will was 

12 Among the earliest marriages in Middletown were : Henry Baker to Mary ' 
Radcliff, 1st mo. 7th, 1692, Edmund Bennett to Elizabeth Potts, ist mo. 8th, 1685, Walter 
Bridgman to Blanch Constable, ist mo. 5th, 1686, John Otter to Mary Blinston, 2nd mo. 
7th, 1686, Abraham Wharley to Damarias Walley. 6th mo. 8th, 1687, Thomas Stack- 
house to Grace Heaton, 5th mo. 5th, 1688, William Croasdale to Elizabeth Hayhurst, 
6th mo. 1 2th, 1689. 



Digitized by 



Google 



134 HISTORY OF BbCKS COUNTY. 



made August 23, 1768. His widow, Sarah Cawley, was malried to Joshua 
Dungan, April 3, 1773, and another Sarah Cawley, probably his sister or 
daughter, married John Fen ton, Northampton township, June 20, 1773, at the 
Southampton Baptist church. From the data at hand it is impossible to trace 
the descendants of father or son. A Thomas Cawley settled in Northampton 
county, and died there August 5, 1806. John R. Cawley, born 181 1, lived at 
Allentown in recent years, and Dr. James I. Cawley is now living at Spring- 
town, Bucks county. Alfred C. Willit, a descendant of John Cawley, the elder, 
lives at Holmesburg, Philadelphia county. 

Thomas Langhorne, a minister among Friends, came from Westmoreland, 
England, with a certificate from Kendall monthly meeting, and settled in Mid- 
dletovvn, 1684. He took up a large tract below what is now Langhorne, running 
to Neshaminy, and died in 1687. His son Jeremiah, who became Chief Justice 




MANSION OF JEREMIAH LANGHORNE. 

of the Province, was a man of mark and note, and died October 11, 1742.^* 
He was a large land owner, his homestead tract on the Durham road and con- 
taining eight hundred acres, being known as Langhorne Park. He owned two 
thousand acres in Warwick and New Britain, purchased of the Free Society of 
Traders, two thousand at Perkasie, and a large tract on the Monococy, now in 
Lehigh county, then in Bucks. In his will, dated May 16, 1742, he made liberal 
provision for his negroes, of whom he owned a number. Those who had 
reached twenty-four years of age were manumitted, others to be set free on 
arriving at that age. A few received special mark of favor. Joe, Cud jo and 
London were to live at the Park until his nephew, Thomas Biles, to whom it 
was left, came of age, with the use of the necessary stock, at a rent of £30 per 
annum, and were to support all the women and children on the place. Joe and 
Cudjo were given life estates in certain lands in Warwick township after they 

13 Jeremiah Langhorne was commissioned a justice of the peace, May 20, 1715, and 
again September 17, 1717; was a commissioner to erect a new jail and court house at 
Newtown, 1724; was speaker of the Colonial Council; succeeded Robert Ashcton, third 
justice of the Supreme court, September 15, 1726; was appointed second justice, April 8, 
1731, and chief justice, August 9, 1739, which he held to his death. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 135 



left the Park. Langhorne directed houses to be built for some of his negroes, 
with fifty acres and stock allotted to each, during their lives. He was careful 
to specify that the negroes should work for their support. 

The Langhorne mansion stood on the site of the dwelling late of Charles 
Osborn, two miles above Hulmeville. The old road from Philadelphia ta 
Trenton, crossing Neshaminy just above Hulmeville, made a sweep round by the 
Langhorne house, and thence on to Trenton. The part of the road from 
Neshaminy to Langhorne was probably vacated when the Durham road was 
opened down to Bristol. The Park embraced farms of the late Charles Osmond, 
George Ambler, Caleb N. Taylor and probably others. The mansion was built 
with two wings. The furniture in the parlor in the west end, in the chamber 
overhead, and in the closet adjoining, was not to be removed, but pass with the 
real estate a^ an heirloom. The Park was advertised in the Pennsylvania 
Packet, Philadelphia, May 3, 1788, to be sold at private sale, and a full descrip- 
tion of the property given. "It contains nine hundred and twenty-nine acres 
of excellent land, arable and meadow, abounding with several streams of water, 
anu remarkably fine springs. The mansion house, kitchen and out offices, suit- 
able to accommodate a large and genteel family; the prospect delightful and 
capable of the first improvements ; nineteen miles from the city of Philadelphia, 
and five from Newtown, the county seat." The buildings were sold with four 
hundred aiTd fifty-two and one-half acres, to a committee of the Philadelphia 
meeting of Friends, Henry Drinker, Samuel Smith and Thomas Fisher, for the 
purpose of establishing there a Friends' Boarding and Day School, but, not being 
pleased with the situation, the property at Westtown, Chester, county, was se- 
lected for this purpose, 1794. The Langhorne property was subsequently sold 
by the meeting at public sale to Andrew Kennedy for a low price. The part 
unsold was the portion, forty-seven acres, called "Guinea." About 150 acres in 
the southwest comer of the tract, were enclosed by a stone wall, long since 
removed to build stone fences. On the top the stones were set on edge. 
"Fiddler Bill," the last of the Langhorne slaves, lived some time among the ruins 
of an old house on the premises, but was finally taken to the poor house, where 
he died. 

The villages of Middletown are Langhorne, formerly Attleborough, Hulme- 
ville, Langhorne Manor, Oxford Valley and Eden, all post villages. Langhorne, 
the oldest and largest, is at the intersection of the Durham, Philadelphia, and 
Trenton roads, four miles southeast of Newtown, and seven from Bristol. The 
latter road branches just south of the village, one branch leading to Philadel- 
phia via Feasterville, the other crossing the Neshaminy at Oregon, runs via the 
Trappe tavern to meet the Bustleton pike. A third important road, that from 
Yardley, falling into the Durham road at the upper end of the village, afforded 
the earliest outlet ior the settlers of Lower Makefield to reach Philadelphia.^^^ 
Langhorne, located at the intersection of these roads, was an important point 
in the lower section of the county at an early day. It was called "Four Lanes 
End," for many years, because four roads ended there. It is not known when 
the name "Attleborough" was given to it. In old documents, where the name 
is met with, it is written "Attlebury," which we believe to be the correct 
spelling. It is built on a broad plain from which there is a fine view on all sides, 
and is approached on the east and south and west up a considerable rise.^* The 

13 J^ Opened 172 1. 

14 Three of these boroughs, Langhorne Manor, Langhorne and Eden are within 
less than two miles of each other. 



Digitized by 



Google 



136 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Philadelphia & Bound Brook railroad runs at the foot of langhorne hill, less 
than a mile east of the village, and at the foot of the hill to the west, is a public 
drinking fountain dedicated to "Faith, Hope and Charity." Langhome is con- 
nected by trolley with Newtown and Bristol, while the Pennsylvania Cut-Oflf 
road connects it with Trenton and Norristown. 

While the Hulme family, Middletown, are of undoubted English ancestry, 
their descent from the Seignor de Hulme, who came over with William the 
Conqueror, and their birth place in England, are not so clear. The first of the 
family to settle in Bucks County was George Hulme and his son George Hulme, 
Jr., who took up 200 acres in this township and were members of Falls Meet- 
ing. George Hulme, Jr. was twice married, first to Naomi Palmer, 10 2, 1708, 
and then to her sister Ruth Palmer, 10 mo., 1710, the first wife dying 1709. 
The Falls Meeting, objecting to the second marriage, it was referred to the 
Quarterly Meeting which reported against it, but they married in spite of this. 
George Hulme, the elder, died 1714, and George, Jr., 1729, whose will was exe- 
cuted June 9, and proved January 8, 1730. The children of George Hulme, 
Jr., by his second wife, were Eleanor, Naomi, John, who first married Mary 
Pearson, daughter of Enoch Pearson and Margaret Smith, and for second 
wife,' Elizabeth Cutler, daughter of John Cutler, 1796; and Hannah, who mar- 
ried John Merrick. Ruth, widow of George Hulme, married William Shall- 
cross, 1732, and was "dealt with for frivolous dress." The children of John 
and Mary Pearson Hulme were, Rachel, born 10, 15, 1745, John, Elizabeth, 
George and Hannah. John Hulme, Jr., married Rebecca Milnor, daughter of 
William Milnor, Falls township, and lived for a time on his father-in-law's 
farm on the northern boundary of Pennsbury Manor, but subsequently purchased 
a part of Israel Pemberton's tract near Fallsington, upon which he lived until 
1796, when he exchanged the farm with Joshua Woolston for the Milford 
mills, and sixty-eight and three-fourths acres of land belonging thereto and 
removed there. He afterward acquired other considerable tracts adjoining the 
mill property in the growing village of Milford, which was soon called Hulme- 
ville. At his death, 1818, he and his sons, George, Isaac, Samuel, Joseph and 
sons-in-law, Joshua Canby and George Harrison, practically owned the whole 
town, but his son Joseph, who was the storekeeper, failed, 1839, and ruined his 
brother who was the miller. William, eldest son of John Hulme, died 1809, 
leaving a son, Joseph R. and two daughters. He was commissioned justice of 
the peace, January i, 1806. His father, John Hulme, was commissioned justice 
of the peace, September i, 1789, for seven years. John Hulme was one of the 
most prominent, wealthy and influential men of his time in Bucks county. 

Thomas Stackhouse and wife Margery arrived in the Welcome, 1682, and 
settled on three hundred and twelve acres on the Neshaminy, where Langhome 
stands. He was born at Stackhouse, Yorkshire, 1635. His wife, a Heahurst, 
dying II mo. 15, 1682, 1ie married Margaret, Christopher Atkinson's widow, 
I mo. 1702, and removed to Bensalem where he died 1706, without descendants. 
The Stackhouses of Bucks are descended from Thomas and John, nephews of 
the Welcome immigrant, who came over prior to 1685. Thomas married Grace 
Heaton, daughter of Robert and Alice, of Middletown Meeting, 7 mo. 27, 1688 ; 

second wife Ann, widow of Edward Mayos, i mo. i, and third wife Dorothy, 

widow of Zebulon Heston, Wrightstown. Thomas Stackhouse was the father 
of fourteen children and died 4 mo. 26, 1744. John Stackhouse married Eliza- 
beth Pearson or Pierson, 7 mo. 1702, and had nine children. She died 1743 and 
he, 1757, and both were buried at Middletown. The children of Thomas and 
John Stackhouse, in the first generation intermarried with the families of Clark, 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 137 



Stone, Wilson, Longshore, Copeland, Gilbert, Watson, Plumley, Gary, Haring, 
Janney, Mitchell, Stephenson, Tomlinson and others and their descendants are 
almost legion. The Baileys of Buckingham, are descended from Jacob, second, 
son of Thomas Stackhouse, and Ann Mayos, bom 8 mo. 25, 171 3, married 3 
mo. 25, 1742. Hannah Watson, daughter of Amos and Mary (Hillbom) 
Watson, had four children. 

As we have already remarked, Ghristian and Abraham Vanhorne and Will- 
iam Huddleston were among the earliest settlers in the township about where 
Langhorne stands. About 1730-35 Joseph Richardson opened a store in the 
west end of the building now the tavern, then a small hipped-roof brick and 
stone house, where he kept until 1738. He then erected the stone house on the 
southwest 'corner, where the late Joshua Richardson lived and died, where he 
opened a store in the southeast room. The goods were brought by boat to 
Bristol, and then hauled up the Durham road. This store commanded a large 
country trade. The new dwelling was a costly and fine house in its day. It is 
related that when partly finished Mr. R. took a friend to look at it. As he was 
about to go away without saying anything, Mr. R. ventured to remark : "Thee 
does not say what thee thinks about it;" to which the friend replied, "all I 
have to say is, take care thee does not get to the bottom of thy purse, before 
thee gets to the top of thy house." Mr. Richardson died, 1772, the owner of a 
large landed estate. The brick house, on the southeast corner, was built by 
Gilbert Hicks, 1763. After his flight it was sold, with the forty acres of land 
attached, to William Goforth. During the Revolutions*^ the house was used as 
an hospital, and about one hundred and fifty dead bodies were burifed in the lot 
>^pposite Joseph Stackhouse*s, then a common. The ground was frozen so 
hard the graves could not be dug the proper depth, and when spring opened the 
stench was so great the lot had to be filled up. In 1783 a tract on the east side 
of the village was laid off in building lots, one hundred in all, and streets 
projected through it. It was called "Washington Village," and lots were do- 
nated to the three denominations of Baptist, Episcopalian, and Presbyterian. 
Among the streets were Lamb, Montgomery, Macpherson, MacDougall and 
Willett, with a few alleys.^*^ The hopes of the projectors were never realized 
and "Washington Village" is now principally occupied by negroes. 

The Newtown, Langhorne and Bristol trolley railway was chartered, 1895, 
and a section built the following spring from the upper end of Langhorne to 
the Bound Brook railroad, about a mile. The cars began to run April 15, 1896, 
and the track was shortly extended to Hulmeville and Bristol. In 1897 Lang- 
home was connected with Newtown, and in the spring of 1900 the road was 
finished and opened to Ddylestown and the connection is now completed between 
the county seat and Bristol, and the travel increases. In 1898 considerable 
industrial improvement set in at Langhorne. Frederick Rumpf, formerly of 
Philadelphia, erected a linen factory, 402 by 40, a portion of it three stories 
high. Several kinds of goods are manufactured, and employment given to a 
number of hands. Mr. Rumpf has also built houses for his employes, and 
dwellings of a most costly style. 

While Langhorne was known as Attleborough, about sixty years ago, a 
flourishing high school was opened. It had its birth in the "Middletown Board- 

1454 Probably in the winter of 1776-77. 

14^ On the map made of this projected addition to "Four Lanes End," it is called 
''Washington Village in Attlebury," and Goforth, its originator, styled himself "Pro- 
prietor and Layer Out." See deed book, pp. 329, 331. 



Digitized by 



Google 



138 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 



ing School Association," the first recorded meeting being held July 10, 1834, 
when steps were taken to erect suitable buildings. Lots were bought in August, of 
Henry Atherton, Walter M. Bateman and C. L. Richardson, at a cost of $450 
and contracts made. The carpenter work was done by Thomas Baker and 
Thomas Blakey, Attleborough, the mason work by Evan Groom and Hazel 
Scott, Southampton, for sixty-two and one-half cents a perch, and the brick 
work by Gillingham & Small, Bristol, for three dollars per thousand. The di- 
mensions of the building were 70x50 feet, three stories high. The view from 
the top is very fine, over a beautifully variegated and highly cultivated country. 
The school was incorporated, 1835. In 1837 an eflfort was made to get an ap- 
propriation of two thousand dollars from the State for the "trustees of the 
Middletown School Association" but failed because, in former •years, the 
Newtown Academy had received .four thousand dollars. Before 1862 the school 
was known as the "Attleborough Academy," although called "Minerva Semin- 
ary" on the books. The property was sold by the sheriff, 1846, and bought by 
four of the stockholders, who had claims of three thousand dollars against it. 
They sold it to Israel J. Graham, 1862, who re-established the school and called 
it "Bellevue Institute." William T. Seal bought it, 1867, and maintained a 
school there several years. The building, now owned by Winfield Scull-, Phila- 
delphia, is occupied as a summer boarding house. Among the pupils educated 
at this school, in early years, were John Price Wetherill, Dr. Samuel Wetherill 
and the late Hon. Samuel J. Randall. The building was mainly erected through 
the exertion of Dr. Thomas Allen, Arnold Myers and Aaron Tomlinson, all 
of Middletown, at a cost of six thousand dollars, and was first opened for a 
school 1836 by the Rev. Alexander T. Dobbs, who was succeeded by the Rev. 
William Mann and James Anderson. Langhorne has a flourishing Friends' 
school, established about 1792, in charge of a committee of Middletown Pre- 
parative meeting. The village, also, has a public graded school in a two story 
brick, erected for the purpose. Few county towns of the size are supplied with 
better schools.^*^ 

Attleborough was incorporated into a borough and before the name was 
changed, December 7, 1874; John Wildman was elected the first Chief Burgess^ 
and Harvey G. Wells, James W. Newbold, Joseph K. Harding, Dr. James B. 
Canby, Joseph R. Hibbs and Edward C. Nield, councilmen. After the Bound 
Brook railroad was opened for travel, June 15, 1876, the station was called 
"Langhorne," and the name of the village changed to the same shortly after- 
ward. The borough has an estimated population of 1,500; contains a number of 
handsome private dwellings, two Friends' meeting houses, Hicksites and Ortho- 
dox, three churches, Methodist built 1829, and rebuilt 1852 ; Presbyterian, 1893, 
and African ; a flourishing library ; a public inn ; several stores ; newspaper; Odd 
Fellows Hall, with lodge rooms; public hall, etc. The library was organized 
1800, and incorporated 1802, to which Miss Williamson has given an income 
from four thousand dollars for the purchase of books. A post office was opened, 
1805, and Robert Croasdale was appointed postmaster. 

Hulmeville, on the left bank of Neshaminy where the road from Trenton 
to Philadelphia intersects that from Newtown to Bristol, takes its name from 

15 Anna E. Dickenson, who achieved distinction as platform orator and teacher, 
taught her first school in Middletown at Wildman's Corner. She was examined by 
County Superintendent Wm. H. Johnson, for teacher's certificate at Laurel Hill, Bristol 
township, April, i860; and made her first eflFort as a public speaker by lecturing at New- 
town and Yardley in November same year. Miss Dickenson was then but 17 years old. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 139 



John Hulme. He settled there about the close of the eighteenth century, pur- 
chasing a tract of land with water privileges, taking possession, 1792. The place 
was then called Milford and had only one house. The town site was laid out 
1796-99, a post office opened with a weekly mail, and the name of the place 
changed to that of the new owner* It was called Hulmeville Landing, 1812, by 
many. Additions were made to the corn and grist mills ; fulling mill, merchant 
flour and saw mills erected, followed by a machine shop. In a few years the 
village had grown into a place of thirty dwellings with stores, work shops, 
etc., etc., and a stone- bridge was built over Neshaminy. As Mr. Hulme's 
sons grew up he taught them practical business habits and mechanical pursuits,^ 
gave them an interest in all that was carried on and settled them around him. 
For several years Mr. Hulme would not allow a pubUc house to be 
opened, entertaining travelers at his own dwelling, but when the growth 
of the village forced him to change his policy, he built a tavern but 
prohibited a bar. After the war with England, 1812-15, a crash came, and dis- 
aster overtook the sons. The population of Hulmeville was 376, 1880, and 418 
1890. A new iron bridge was erected here, 1899, the spans making 430 feet. 

The author is indebted to Edmund G. Harrison^* for the following incident 
connected with Hulmeville,. his birthplace. About 1834, two little girls, of six 
and seven years, respectively, lived in the village — one, Martha Crealy, an or- 
phan child, adopted by Mary Canby, widow of Joshua Canby, who lived in the 
dwelling lately owned and occupied by Elisha Praul ; the other, Mary Parsons,, 
who lived with her aunt, Mary Nelson, on the site of William Tilton's residence. 
The girls played in the yard, around the house, at toss and catch with acorns ; 
both died before they reached ten years, leaving monuments to their memory 
without knowing it. In each yard a little oak sprang up and in the years that 
have intervened, developed into splendid specimens of trees ; that in Mr. Til- 
ton's yard being a red oak, twelve feet eight inches in circumference and ninety 
feet high ; the one in Elisha Praul's a Spanish oak, ten feet three inches in cir- 
cumference and ninety-six feet high, measured four and one-half feet above 
ground. The trees are seventy feet apart, and the lower limbs intertwine, 
forming an arch over Neshaminy street, the Doylestown and Bristol trolley 
running under it. What more beautiful and suggestive memorial ? The trees 
are named Martha and Mary, respectively. 

In the autumn, 1809, when Josiah Quincy, Boston, with his family, was on 
his way to Washington to attend Congress, he stopped over night at Hulme- 
ville, and was entertained by Mr. Hulme. Mrs. Quincy made a flattering notice 
of Mr. Hulme in her journal, and afterward spoke of him a3 one of the most 
practical philosophers she had ever met, and that "his virtues proved him truly 
wise." Mr. Hulme rose from poverty to wealth ^and influence by the force of 

16 Edmund G. Harrison, son of George Harrison, was born at Hulmeville, May 2, 
1828, and his mother a daughter of John Hulme, who established industrial work on the 
Neshaminy one hundred years ago. The father of Edmund G. was a prominent man, 
and twice elected to the Assembly. The son spent several years at Asbury Park, on the 
Jersey Coast, and from there went to Washington to take charge of the Roads Division 
of the Agricultural Department, where he died February 6, 1901. In the summer of 1900 
he put down a specimen road from Doylestown to the Farm School. Mr. Harrison 
founded the Delaware Valley Advance, 1877; was deputy collector of Internal Revenue, 
and during the Civil War served a tour of duty in Capt. Burnett Landreth's state militia. 
His first public honor was a seat in the legislature, to which he was elected, 1854, at the 
age of twenty-six. 



Digitized by 



Google 



I40 ^HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



his own character. He became one of the most respected men in the county, 
was several times elected to the Legislature, first president of the Farmers' 
bank of Bucks county, and held other positions of honor and trust. He died, 
1817. 

The following extract from the "Memoir of the Life of Eliza S. Quincy," 
Boston, daughter of Josiali Quincy, tells of the visit- to Hulmeville. "In the 
autumn of 1809, Mr. and Mrs. Quincy left Boston for the City of Washington, 
with two of their children and three servants. They traveled in their carriage 
with four horses and in passing through New Jersey (Pennsylvania) they 
stopped 9ver night at Hulmeville, a town situated on the Neshaminy, four miles 
from the Delaware. In the evening Mr. Hulme, the proprietor of the place, a 
venerable man in the Quaker dress, visited them, attended by two of his sons. 
He informed Mr. Quincy that he had often read his speeches in Congress, and 
came to thank him for the views and principles he supported. In reply to in- 
quiries, Mr. Hulme said ; *When I purchased the site of this village, fourteen 
years ago, there was only one dwelling house upon it; now there are thirty, 
besides stores and workshops, a valuable set of mills, and a stone bridge over 
the Neshaminy. Here I have established a numerous family. I might have 
educated one of my sons as a lawyer, or set one up as a merchant, but I had 
not property enough to give them all such advantages ; and I wished to make 
them equally attached to each other, and useful members of society; one of 
them is a miller, another a storekeeper, a blacksmith, a tanner, a farmer, a 
coachmaker, all masters of their respective employments and they all assist one 
another. I have been rewarded by their good conduct and grateful affection. 
No one envies another. I have never heard an expression of discontent. We 
live like one family and my children and grandchildren are the comforts of my 
old age.' 

"The next morning Mr. Hulme attended Mr. and Mrs. Quincy to see his 
mills and improvements. They were delighted with his arrangement, and when 
the hour of parting came, took a reluctant leave of their new friend, who had 
highly excited their admiration and respect." 

The descendants of Mr. Hulme kept up a correspondence with Josiah 
Quincy and family for many years, numerous letters passing between them. 

According to Holme's map, the site of Hulmeville was covered by Penn's 
g^nt to Henry Paulin, Henry Paxson, and William Carter. The original name 
was Milford, derived from "mill-ford," the mill at the ford across the Neshaminy, 
the first erected on that stream and driven by its waters. The mill, of stone, built 
prior to 1725, stood just below the wing-wall of the present bridge."^ A plaster- 
mill was connected with it, and subsequently a woolen-mill. The erection of the 
dam across the stream prevented shad running up which greatly offended 
the Holland settlers of North and Southampton who made several attempts 
to tear it away. The town site was first laid out into building lots in 1799, and 



16V2 Probably the oldest mills on the lower Neshaminy, erected at Hulmeville about 
1720, both grist and saw. The old foundations were exposed many years ago, when Silas 
Barkley made excavations for a new mill. The old mills were burned down, 1829, flour 
and plaster mills and woolen factory. The saw mill ceased running, 1834. In digging for 
the foundations of the new mill the water wheel of the old one was found. The present 
bridge over the Neshaminy at Hulmeville replaces the last of the structures, built 1865, 
after the great flood. Henry Mitchell was one of the original owners of Milford mills, 
in partnership with Jeremiah Langhorne, Stoffell Vansant, John Plumley and Bartholo- 
mew Jacobs, and assisted in building them. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 141 



again in 1803. Its incorporation into a borough, in 1872, gave it an impetus 
forward, and since then the improvements have been quite rapid. Among the 
industrial establishments of Hulmeville are a cotton factory, erected 1831, two 
years after the old woolen factory and grist and merchant-mills were burned^ 
where one thousand pounds of cotton yarn were turned out daily, a grist-mill, 
and large weaving shop and coverlet factory, and the customary mechanics. 
In the village there are two churches, the Episcopal, founded 183 1, and Method- 
ist, 1844, a public and a private school, lodges of Odd Fellows, Knights of 
Pythias, and Good Templars, Young Men's Christian Association, two build- 
ing associations. Fire Insurance company, organized, 1842, a manufacturing 
company, etc. Johnson's building contains a handsome hall that will seat three 
hundred and fifty persons, with stage, drop curtain, etc. The bridge across 
Neshaminy, four hundred and twenty-five feet long, rebuilt after the freshet of 
1865, is said to have been the highest bridge spanning the stream. Stage and 
trolley connect with the Philadelphia and Trenton, and Philadelphia and Bound 
Brook railroad. Beechwood cemetery, a handsomely laid out burial place, is lo- 
cated on the brow of the hill on the south bank of Neshaminy. 

Grace Episcopal church, Hulmeville, was formerly a mission station of 
St. James* church, Bristol. A Sunday-school was organized about 1826, and 
occasional service held in the old school-house. A subscription, to raise funds 
for "an Episcopal church edifice," was started July 18, 1831, naming George 
Harrison, G. W. Rue, and William Johnson trustees. The principal subscribers 
were Reverend Greenbury W. Ridgeley, who studied law with Henry Clay, 
George Harrison, Elizabeth and Hannah Gill, and Esther Rodman, each one 
hundred dollars, besides many others of fifty dollars, and less. The building 
was commenced September 16, 1831, finished Oct. 21, a plain stone structure 60 
by 40 feet, and consecrated July 3, 1837. In 1866 the church was remodeled 
and enlarged, a two-story Sunday school-room erected in the rear, and a tower 
added to the church the following year. The cost of improvements was about 
four thousand dollars. Mr. Ridgeway was the first rector. A post-ofiice was 
established at: Hulmeville, 1809, and Isaac Hulme appointed postmaster. A 
public library was organized the winter of 1877. 

The third village of Middletown, Oxford Valley, a place of twenty-five 
families, is situated at the intersection of the roads leading from Bristol to Dol- 
ington, and from Langhorne to Trenton^ on the south side of Edgehill. It was 
originally settled by the Watsons, who owned a large tract of land around it, 
but all except one of the name have disappeared and their broad acres fallen 
into other hands. The ancient name was Oxford, supposed to have been so 
called from a primitive-looking ox on the tavern sign, and a bad ford over the 
creek that runs through the place. When the post-ofiice was established, 1844, 
the hamlet was called Oxford Valley. Of late years there has been considerable 
improvement, and a number of new buildings erected. Two of the old houses, 
one hundred and fifty years old, are still standing. Among the buildings are 
a school-house, church, public hall and a mill. This locality, or near it, was 
probably "Honey hill," the original home of the Watsons. 

The excellent water privileges along Neshaminy led to the early erection 
of mills. There was a mill in the township as early as about 1703, but its loca- 
tion is unknown, although it is probably the ruins of the mill on the farm of 
Moses Knight, a mile below Langhorne, are the remains of it. Heaton's was 
one of the earliest mills on this stream, and supposed to have stood on or about 
the site of Vansant's mill. Timothy Roberts owned a flour mill on Neshaminy 
some years before the middle of the eighteenth century, and 1749 belonged to 



Digitized by 



Google 



142 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Stephen Williams. Williams had a wharf and store-house at Margaret John- 
son's landing on the creek, whither he hauled flour to be shipped in boats or 
flats. In dry times the people of Bristol hauled their corn to this m'ill to be 
ground.^^ Mitchell's mill, on Neshaminy opposite Oregon, then called Com- 
fort's ford, was an early one, and rebuilt, 1795. William Rodman rebuilt Grow- 
den's mill,^^ 1764. Jesse Comfort's mill at Bridgetown, between Newtown and 
Langhorne, ranks among the old mills in the lower end of the county, having 
been built about 1731 or 1732. 

Samuel Stockton White, born in Hulmeville, 1822, became a distinguished 
dentist and manufacturer of dentists' supplies. He began life poor, worked 
his way to distinction and died worth a million. He learned his trade with his 
uncle J. Wesley Stockton, on Vine street, and carried on business in Phila- 
delphia. He died December 30, 1899. 

At the settlement of the county, two important fords were opened across 
Neshaminy, and in use for many years, Galloway's ford and Baldwin's. The 
former and upper one led across the stream from the Growden place, Bensalem, 
to the Langhorne Manor House, Middletown; the latter lower down near the 
head of tidewater below Newportville, near Flushing, where the Bristol road 
crossed extending through eastern and northern Bensalem, thence northwest 
parallel to the Montgomery Co. Line and Street road. At an early day a stage 
road crossed Galloway's ford, from Philadelphia to Trenton via Bustleton, Four 
1-anes End, Oxford to Rirkbride's ferry on the Delaware. The Galloway 
ford road was vacated forty years ago, but shortly reopened for the purpose of 
bridging the stream, but this was never done. In the course of time these 
fords and others in the county were superceded by bridges. One of tlie earliest 
Acts of Congress declared Neshaminy a navigable river from its mouth to 
Baldwin's ferry. 

Middletown was well provided with local roads at an early day, and in- 
creased according to the wants of her inhabitants. In 171 2 a road was laid out 
from John Wildman's to the Durham road. The King's highway, from Lang- 
horne to Scott's ford on Poquessing, was widened to fifty feet, 1753. There was 
a jury on it, December, 1748, probably to relay and straighten it. In 1795 the 
court was asked to straighten it fcom the falls to the Neshaminy via Lang- 
horne. A road from Yardley's ferry to the bridge over Neshaminy, was laid 
out, 1767, but probably it was only the relaying and straightening of the road 
already running between these points. The old road, Philadelphia to New York 
via Kirkbride's ferry on the Delaware, passed through Hulmeville, crossing 
the Neshaminy at Galloway's ford, and by Langhorne and Oxford Valley. In 
1749 a road fifty feet wide, and used as a stage road, was laid out from the 
Chicken's-foot, half a mile above Fallsington, through Hulmeville and across 
Neshaminy to the Bristol pike at Andalusia, shortening the road between 
Philadelphia and New York about four miles. What is now Main street, Hulme- 
ville, was laid out, 1799. The bridge across Neshaminy was built soon after the 
road was laid out from Chicken's-foot, 1794. Several roads concentrated at 
Hulmeville in early times. On the eastern edge of the borough, near the Meth- 
odist church, was a deposit of iron ore quite extensively worked a hundred years 
ago by a Philadelphia company, whither it was shipped and smelted. In 1792 



17 Neither the location of the mill, nor the wharf and landing, are known. Gallo- 
way's ford was between Oregon and Hulmeville. 

18 On Neshaminy. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 143 



John Hulme had a direct road laid out from Kirkbride's ferry on the Delaware 
via Hulmeville, to the King's Highway, now the Frankford and Bristol turn- 
pike. This became the short line stage road from Philadelphia to New York 
via Trenton and New Brunswick. 

Among the natives of this township, who gained prominence in the world, 
was Peter Peterson Vanhome, a son of one of the two Hollanders of that name 
who settled near Langhorne, becoming a noted Baptist minister. He was bom 
August 24, 1 7 19, bred and educated a Lutheran, but embracing the principles 
of the Baptists, was baptised September 6, 1741, ordained pastor at Pennypack 
June 18, 1747, removed to .Pemberton, New Jersey, 1763, and to Cape May, 
1776. He returned twice to Pennypack, and was pastor at Dividing Ridge and 
baiem, 1789. He married Margaret Marshall, and had eight children. His 
eldest son, William, was pastor at Southampton, and chaplain in the Continental 
army. 

In 1825 Arnold Myers, a gentleman from London, bought the old Simon 
Gillam farm, Middletown, and settled there. He was a cultivated, scholarly man. 
lie was engaged in mercantile pursuits at Naples and Trieste, where he was 
**agent for Lloyds" several years, married in Antwerp, and, after residing there 
a considerable time, came to the United States. His son, Leonard Myers, several 
years member of Congress from Philadelphia, was born in Middletown. Mar- 
don Wilson, born in Byberry, 1789, and died near Wilmington, Delaware, 
1874, spent the greater part of his life in Middletown, carrying on milling at 
Neshaminy crossing, on the road from Langhorne to the Buck tavern. He was 
a man of ability, integrity and energy, and an advocate of all the reforms of the 
day. 

Among other prominent sons of Middletown, who live in history, Joseph 
S. Longshore, born 1809 and died 1879-80, is entitled to a niche. He lost the 
partial use of one leg when a boy and was lamed for life. Turning his atten- 
tion to the medical profession he graduated in medicine from the University of 
Pennsylvania at the age of twenty-four, and practiced for several years at Attle- 
borough. In 1850 he established a medical college in Philadelphia for women, 
the first of its kind in the world. He was also' an ardent advocate of total 
abstinence, and an active Abolitionist, at a period when it required no little 
courage to declare oneself. 

In 1742 there were about one hundred taxables in the township, of whom 
seventeen were single men. William Paxson and John Praul were overseers 
of the poor, the poor-rate being two pence per pound, and six shillings a head 
for single men. The amount of poor tax collected that year was £21. 2s. 6d. 
In 1760 the taxables had increased to 131, and there were 122 in 1762, a slight 
falling oflF. In 1784 the population of Middletown was 698 whites and 43 
blacks, and 124 dwellings. It was 1,663 i" 1810; 1,891 in 1820; 2,178 in 1830; 
and 424 taxables; 2,124 i" 1840; 2,223 in 1850; 2,265 ^" i860, and 2,360 in 
1870. of whom 122 were foreign-born; 2,360 in 1880; 2,028 in 1890; 2,214 in 
1900. 

Among the accidents recorded in this township was that which happened 
to Robert Skirm and wife, in April, 1809, on their way to Philadelphia. In 
crossing Mitchell's bridge over Neshaminy, the horse leaped over the railing, 
killing Mr. Skirm and badly injuring his wife. Among the deaths of aged per- 
sons in the past century, in Middletown, was Sarah Carey, relict of Samuel 
Carey, June 7, 1808, in her ninetieth year. Among the real estate at "Four 
Lanes End," belonginie: to Gilbert Hicks at the outbreak of the Revolution, and 
was confiscated for his opposition to the cause of the colonies, was a tavern 



Digitized by 



Google 



144 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



property. In the advertisement of its sale, it was described as "an old and ac- 
customed inn" but nothing more. It was purchased by Gershon Johnson, who 
applied for license at September term, 1780. The location of this tavern docs 
not seem to be known. 

On rising ground near Neshaminy, and on the farm formerly the property 
of Doctor Shippen, and now called Farley, is the old WilUamson burying- 
ground, where lie many of the descendants of ancient Duncan Williamson, who 
settled in Bensalem years before William Penn landed on the Delaware. 

Middletown, like the other townships of the group of 1692, is devoted to 
agriculture, and her intelligent farmers live in independence on their well-culti- 
vated farms. The Neshaminy and its tributaries water her fertile acres, which 
slope gradually to receive the warm rays of the southern sun.^* 

19 In Middletown township, January, 1805, a negro man, named "Jack," the property 
of Colonel William Chambers, died at the age of one hundred and sixteen. He was 
born, 1699, at the time William Penn was making his second visit to his infant colony, 
and as he did not return to England until November, 1701, the negro, while a child, may 
have looked upon the founder, and there are a very few people, in Bucks county, old 
enough to have seen negro "Jack," 7vho may have actually seen William Penn. 



Digitized by 



Google 



CHAPTER XII. 



PENN RETURNS TO PENNSYLVANIA AND LIVES IN BUCKS ^COUNTY.— 

RE-SURVEY. 



1690 TO 1702. 



Penn sails for Pennsylvania. — James Logan. — Penn and family live at Pennsbury.^ 
Expenses moderate. — Butter from Rhode Island. — Ale, beer, wine. — Tea and coffee. — 
The Swedes furnish pork and shad. — Servants employed. — John Sotcher, Mary Lofty, 
Ralph, Nicholas, et al. — Method of traveling. — His barge. — Articles of dress. — Do- 
mestic life. — Marriages at Pennsbury. — Arrangements to return to England. — Gredt 
Indian council. — Indians explain their idea of God. — Penn and family sail for London. 
— Pennsbury left in charge of John Sotcher and wife. — Their descendants. — Lord 
Cornbury. — William Penn, Jr. — Pennsbury house. — Unhealthy* years. — Cutler's re- 
surveys. 

William Penn, accompanied by his wife, daughter Letitia and James Logan, 
private secretary, sailed from England on his second visit to Pennsylvania, 
September 3, 1699. The vessel reached Philadelphia September 10, and after 
stopping there a few days they proceeded to Falls township, though Pennsbury 
house was not yet finished. Penn and his family made this their home during 
their stay in the colony, while James Logan remained at Philadelphia to attend 
to public aflfairs and look after the interests of the Proprietary. 

James Logati, who was destined to play an important part in the early his- 
tory of the Province, was the son of Patrick Logan, Lurgan, Ireland, and de- 
scended of Scotch ancestry. His father was educated for the church, but, 
joining the Friends, his son followed his footsteps. He was a good Latin, 
Greek and Hebrew scholar at thirteen, instructed himself in matheritatics at 
sixteen, and, at nineteen, was familiar with French, Italian and Spanish. He 
was pre-eminent as a man of learning, and his leisure time was devoted to the 
sciences. He was a friend to the Indians, a true patriot and a benefactor to 
Pennsylvania. He held several public offices, including Chief Justice, and he 
managed the affairs of the Province with great fidelity and good judgment. 
His gift of eight hundred acres of land in this county to the Loganian library 
company, of Philadelphia, was more valuable at that day than Astor's to New 
York. He died at Stenton, near Germantown, October 31, 175 1, in his seventy- 
seventh year. 

While the Proprietary and his family lived at Pennsbury, they were weH 
supplied with the good things of life. There was good cheer at the manorial 
10 



Digitized by 



Google 



^4^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 




^^RMS OF PENN. 



mansion for all comers. The steward bought 
flour by the ton, molasses by the hogshead^ 
sherry and canary wines by the dozen, cran- 
berries by the bushel and cider and olives by 
the barrel. The candles came from Boston, 
and butter from Rhode Island. The cellar was- 
stocked with several kinds of spirituous and 
malt liquors — beer, cider, sherry, Madeira, Ca- 
nary and claret. In 1861, the year before his 
first visit to Pennsylvania, he wrote to James 
Harrison : "By East goes some wine and strong 
beer. Let the beer be sold ; of the wine, some 
may be kept for me, especially sack or such 
like, which will be better for age/' He bought 
a little brandy or rurfi for the Indians, 
on the occasion of a treaty or official 
visit. Small-beer was brewed at Penns- 
bury, and now and then a "runnell of 
'ale'' was fetched from Philadelphia. There was an orchard on the premises, and 
^xler was made for family use. Penn was temperate in all his habits. He was 
the especial enemy of tobacco, and we know of his expending but ten pence for 
"the weed while at Pennsbury, probably for an Indian visitor. His expenditures 
Were not extravagant for a gentleman of his rank, his whole expenses for two 
jears he lived there being but £2,049, Pennsylvania currency. While he lived 
in elegance, he maintained his own maxim that "extravagance destroys hos- 
jntality and wrongs the poor.'* He practiced a wise economy in all things. 

While tea and coffee were not in general use at the beginning of the seven- 
teenth century, the family at the manor indulge'd in these luxuries, sometimes 
sending to New York to get them. "The Swedes at Philadelphia supplied Penn 
with smoked venison, pork, shad, and beef, and the beef at Pennsbury was 
loasted in a "dog-wheel,''^ at least so wrote good Hannah Penn. August 6, 
1700, William Penn writes James Logan to send "a flitch of our bacon, choco- 
Isfte, a cask of middling flour, and some coffee berries, four pounds. Some flat 
•amd deep eartheni pans for milk and bacon, a cask of Indian meal. Search for 
;an ordinary side saddle and pillion, and some coarse linen for towels." In Sep- 
tember he again writes : *'We want rum here, having not a quarter of a pint 
in tbe house among so many workmen ; best, in bottles sealed down, or it may 
be drawn and mixed." The great founder knew how to prevent interlopers 
poaching on the contents of his bottles. Hannah Penn wants "Betty Webb/* 
who appears to have had charge of the town house, to send her "two mops to 
>9rash House with, four silver salts, and die two handle porringer,*' besides "tl e 
Ipiece of dried beef." The leaden tank at the top of the house and the pipes 
Ifave great trouble, and Penn writes to Logan, "to send up Cornelius Empson's 
'Tfian speedily if he has tools to mend them, for the house suffers in great rains." 
A number of servants were employed at Pennsburv to keep up the stat6 
'the Proprietary foiird it neressary to maintain, but we have only been able to 
JcaTTi the names of a few of them. James Harrison was the chief steward, and 
"trusted friend of Penn, from 1682 to his death, in 1687. At the close of 1684, 
T^ertn sent from EnHpnd four servants, a gardener and three carpenters, one 
*«>! the latter probably being Henry Gibbs, who was buried at the "Point." 



X A wheel in a box, turned by a dog. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, . 147 



November 9, 1685. Next in importance to Harrison was John Sotcher, who 
filled his place after Penn's death, and Mary Lofty, the housekeeper. The 
gardener was Ralph Smith, who died in 1685, and was succeeded by Nicholas, 
but his place was afterward filled by another sent out from England, who re- 
ceived his passage and £30 in money, and sixty acres of land at the end of three 
years. He was to train a man and a boy. At the same time came out a Dutch 
joiner and a carpenter. Among the gardeners was a Scotchman, recommended 
as "a rare artist," and Hugh Sharp, who received thirty shillings a week while 
Penn was at Pennsbury. Penn directed that the Scotchman should have three 
men under him, and that if he cannot agree with the old gardener, Ralph, he is' 
to leave to the latter's charge the upper gardens ^nd court yards, and to take 
charge of the lower grounds himself. In 1700 Penn's coachman was a negro 
named John. Among other employes of the manor house were Ann Nichols, 
the cook, Robert Beekman, man-servant, Dorathy Mullers, a German maid, 
Dorcas, a negrine, Howman, a ranger, who, 1688, was complained of **for 
killing ye said Luke Watson's hogg's," James Reed, servant, Ellis Jones and 
wife Jane, with children Barbara, Dorothy, Mary and Jane, who came from 
Wales, 1682, and took up a tract of land near the present village of Bridge- 
water, Jack, a negro, probably a cook, whose wife, Parthena, was sold to Bar- 
badoes because Hannah Penn doubted her honesty, otherwise she would have 
her up at Pennsbury "to help about washing." There was a "Captain Hans," 
with whom Penn had a difficulty, which had been "adjusted" and he "stays." 

In the fall, 1701, Penn got a new hand, and writes Logan that he can 
"neither plow nor mow," is good-natured, but swears — a heinous oflFense with 
the great founder. Hugh was steward while John Sotcher was in England 
1702, and Peter was assistant gardener, at £30 per annum. Between Penn's 
first and second visits some negroes had been purchased for him, and placed at 
Pennsbury as laborers. "Old Sam" was a favorite negro, and "Sue" was prob- 
ably his wife. In April, 1703, Penn purchased two servants in England of 
l^andall Janney, one a carpenter, the other a husbandman and sent them to 
Pennsbury. About the same time he sent over YaflF, "to be free after four years 
faithful service." and Joshua Cheeseman, an indentured apprentice for two 
years. Penn loved him because he was "a sober, steady young man, and will 
-not trifle away his time," and, had he returned to Pennsylvania, Joshua was 
to have been made house steward. Logan was advised that he should "be kept 
close to Pennsbury." We learn that old Peter died in August, 1702, and Hugh 
was married that fall and left as soon as his place could be filled, that one W. 
Goot left in the summer, and Barnes "was good for nothing." The "distemper" 
prevailed that fall, and Logan writes Penn they were short of hands. One. 
named Charles, left before his time was up.'' Stephen Gould, whose mother was 

2 The Gentleman's Magazine, of a forgotten date, contains the following: "Died at 
Philadelphia in 1809, in her one hundred and ninth year, Susannah Warden, formerly 
wife of Virgil Warden, one of the house servants of the great William Penn. This aged 
woman was born in William Penn's house, at Pennsbury manor, March, 1701, and has 
of late been supported by the Penn family." We doubt the correctness of part of this 
statement. In 1733 Thomas Penn purchased, of J. Warder, of Bucks county, a negro, 
afterwarcla known as Virgil. He was then twenty years of age, having been born in 
1713, and was very old when he died. He and his wife lived in the kitchen at Springetts- 
"bury. The death referred to, in the Gentleman's Magazine, was no doubt the wife of 
:this old negro. Virgil could not have been a house servant of William Penn, for he was 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



148 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



a Penn, was clerk to the Governor, and is spoken of as **an ingenious lad, a good 
scholar, and something of a lawyer." 

From the correspondence of James Logan with Hannah Penn we learn 
something of the history of William Penn's servants after his death. In a letter 
to her, dated May ii, 1721, he says : **Sam died soon after your departure hence 
(1701), and his brother James very lately. Chevalier, by a written order from 
his master, had his liberty several years ago, so there are none left but Sue, 
whom Letitia claims, or did claim as given to her when you went to England. 
She has several children. There are, besides, two old negroes quite worn out, 
the remainder of those which I recovered near eighteen years ago, of E. Gil- 
bert's estate." He concludes his letter by asking for some orders about the house 
"which is very ruinous." 

When William Penn and his family had occasion to g6 abroad, they trav- 
eled in a style benefitting their station. He was a lover of good horses, and 
kept a number of them in his stables. He had a coach in the city, a cumbersome 
affair, but he probably never used it at Pennsbury on account of the badness of 
the roads. He drove about the county, from one meeting to another, and to 
visit friends, in a calash which a pamphlet of the times styles "a rattling leathern- 
conveniency." In August, 1700, he writes James Logan to urge the justices to 
make the bridges at Pennepecka and Poquessin passable for carriages, or he 
cannot go to town. In his visits to the neighboring provinces and among the 
Indians, he traveled on horseback, and as three side-saddles are inventoried 
among the goods at Pennsbury, no doubt his wife and' daughter accompanied 
him sometimes. The cash-book tells us of the expense of himself ancj family- 
going to fairs, and Indian canticoes, probably gotten up to amuse the Proprie- 
tary. His favorite mode of travel was by water, and at Pennsbury he kept a 
.barge for his own use, boats for the use of the plantation, and smaller boats 
used probably for hunting and fishing along the river. The barge was new in 
1700; it had one mast and sail, and six oars, with officers and crew, among- 
whom were George Markham, boatswain, and Michael Larzilere cockswain. It. 
had an awning to protect the passengers from the sun, and no doubt a pennant 
with the Penn arms, or some other device on it. After he returned to England 
it was preserved with great care, and Logan had a house built over it at the 
landing. It was only used once again before the arrival of William Penn, Jr., 
1703. 

William Penn generally made his trips between Pennsbury and Philadel- 
.phia in his barge, and he frequently stopped on the way to visit his friend 
Governor Jennings, at Burlington. It is related in Janney's life of Penn, that, 
on one occasion, Jennings and some of his friends were enjoying their pipes, 
a practice which Penn disliked. On hearing that Penn's barge was in sight, 
they put away their pipes that their friend might not be annoyed, and en- 
deavored to conceal from him what they had been about. He came upon them, 
however, unawares, and pleasantly remarked that he was glad they had sufficient 
sense of propriety to be ashamed of the practice. Jennings, who was rarely at 
a loss for an answer, rejoined that they were not ashamed, but desired "to avoid 
hurting a weak brother." 

It would be interesting to know how William Penn dressed while he re- 
sided at Pennsbury, a quiet citizen of Bucks county, but we have little light on 
this subject. The cash-book mentions but few articles purchased for the 

only five years old when the Proprietary died in England. His wife may have been born» 
at Pennsbury. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 149 



Proprietary's personal use, but among them are enumerated, "a pair of stock- 
ings,'* at eight shillings, and a pair of "gambodies,'' or leathern overalls, at 
£3. 2s. He incurred the expense of periwigs at four pounds each, and there 
is a charge "for dressing the governor's hat." The cut of his coat is not given, 
but we are warranted in saying that it was not "shad belly." 

The heart and hand of William Penn were both open as the day, and he 
was noted for his deeds of charity. He distributed considerable sums to those 
who were needy, and several poor persons were a constant charge on his gen- 
erosity. At the manor he kept open house, and entertained much company. 
His guests were distinguished strangers who visited Pennsylvania, the leading 
families of the Province, and frequent delegations of Indian chiefs. In July, 
1700, Penn was visited by the governors of Maryland and Virginia, whom he 
entertained with great hospitality. Logan was directed to prepare for their 
arrival, and to notify the sheriffs and other officers of the counties through 
which they would pass, to receive them in state. They were probably enter- 
tained both in the city and at Pennsbury. Among the visitors at Pennsbury was 
Deputy-Governor Hamilton and Judge Guest. In August, 1700, the daughter 
of Edwin Shippen was a visitor at the manor, returning to Philadelphia in a 
boat with John Sotcher. 

The contemporaries of Penn have left but little record of domestic life at 
the manor. Isaac Norris says, in a letter written while the Penns resided at 
Pennsbury: "The Governor's wife and daughter are well; their little son is a 
lovely babe; his wife is extremely well-beloved here, exemplary in her station, 
and of an excellent spirit, which adds lustre to her character, and she has a 
great place in the hearts of good people." And again: "Their little son has 
much of his father's grace and air, and hope he will not want a good portion of 
his mother's sweetness." The "lovely babe" was John Penn, the eldest son of 
the founder, by his second wife, and was called "the American," because he 
was born in this country, at the manor house, the 31st of nth month, 1699. 
Mrs. Deborah Logan says : "A traditionary account, heard in my youth from 
an aged woman, an inhabitant of Bucks county, has just now occurred to my 
memory. She went, when a gid, with a basket containing a rural present to 
the Proprietary's mansion, and saw his wife, a delicate and pretty woman, sit- 
ting beside the cradle of her infant." In the summer of 1700 the Provincial 
■council met at the manor house; Penn had hurt his leg and could not go to 
them, hence he caused them to be met with a boat at Burlington, and brought 
to him. His wife wrote Logan to get "a little more oil from Ann Parsons," to 
apply to the injured limb of the Governor. This was probably the occasion of 
an Indian treaty, as he orders rum and match coats to be bought for it. There 
is a tradition, that when the Indians came to visit at Pennsbury, William Penn 
joined them in their sports and games, and ate hominy, venison and roasted 
acorns with them. He is said to have matched them in strength and agility, and 
no less than nineteen Indian treaties were concluded, and conferences held at 
Pennsbury. When William Penn, jr., was there, 1703, a large deputation of 
chiefs came to see him. Thomas and John Penn had several conferences with 
them at the manor house before the treaty at Durham, 1734, and in May, 1735, 
they again met the Indians there to consider the terms of the "Walking Pur- 
chase." 

We have record of several marriages at Pennsbury. The first was that of 
William Berry, Kent county, Delaware, to Naomy Wally, the daughter of Shad- 
rack Wally, Newtown, the 9th of September, 1686; the second was that of John 
Sotcher to Mary Lofty, 1701, and the third and last of which we have account 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



150 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



was the marriage of Clement-Plumstead, Philadelphia, to Sarah Righton^ 
formerly Riddle, March, 1704. The latter was attended by William Penn, jr., 
and Judge Mompesson. About the ist of September, 1700, William Penn sent 
a couple of young tame foxes to John Askew, a merchant of London. No doubt 
Chey were Bucks county foxes, and possibly their descendants yet contribute 
to the sport of England'^s nobility and gentry. In the summer, 1701, Penn visited 
the Susquehanna to confer with the Indians, no doubt passing up through the 
county and crossing the Lehigh between its mouth and Bethlehem or in that 
region. He returned by way of Conestoga. The manor was not free from the 
depredations of horse thieves, and while Penn resided there one John Walsh 
drove off his roan mare and colt and a brown gelding, which gave him occasion 
to write to John Moore, to get the thief indicted, for "it is too much a practice 
to think it no fault to cheat the Governor." 

William Penn was much interested in agriculture, and loved a rural life* 
He designed the island ndghboring to Pennsbury, now Newbold's or Biddle's 
island, for feeding young cattle and a stud of mares. In the conveyance of an 
island to Thomas Fairman, it was stipulated that Penn should mow it for his 
own use, and keep hogs on it until it was drained and improved. 

The presence of the Proprietary was now required in England, and he 
made his arrangements to return in the fall of 1701, and John Sotcher was ta 
bring him from Philadelphia, among other things, "his hair trunk, leather 
stockings and twelve bottles of Madeira wine." He thought at first of leaving 
his wife and daughter behind, but they protested and he took them with him. 
"Previous to embarking for England, William Penn assembled a large, com- 
pany of Indians at Pennsbury, to review the covenants they had made with him. 
The council was held in the great hall of the manor house. The Indians declared 
they had never broken a covenant, which they made in their hearts and not in 
their heads. After the business had been transacted Penn made them presents 
of match coats and other articles, and afterward the Indians went out into the 
courtyard to perform their worship. John Richardson, a distinguished English 
Friend, who was traveling in Pennsylvania, spent two or three days at the 
manor house and witnessed the council, etc., and thus described their worship : 

"First they made a small fire, and then the men without the women sat 
down about it in a ring, and whatever object they severally fixed their eyes on, 
I did not see them move them in all that part of their worship, while they sang- 
a very melodious hymn, which affected and tendered the hearts of many who 
were spectators. When they had thus done they began to beat upon the ground 
with little sticks, or make some motion with something in their hands, and pause 
a little, till one of the elder sort sets forth his hymn, followed by the company 
for a few minutes, and then a pause ; and the like was done by another, and so 
by a third, and followed by the company as at the first, which seemed exceed- 
ingly to affect them and others. Having done, they rose up and danced a little' 
about the fire, and partaking witli some shouting, like triumph or rejoicing.'' 
When asked what they understood by eternity or a future state, they explained, 
through the interpreter, that those who had been guilty of theft, swearing, 
lying, murder, etc., went into a very cold country, where they had neither good 
fat venison, nor match coats, but those who died innocent of these offenses went 
into a fine warm country where they had good fat venison, and good match 
coats. They explained their idea of God by making several circles on the 
ground, each succeeding one being smaller, when they placed Penn in the mid- 
dle circle so that he could see over all the others. He was made to represent the 
Almighty overlooking all the earth. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 151 



When William Penn was making his arrangements to return to England; 
he proposed leaving Pennsbury in charge of John Sotcher and Mary Lofty> 
John came to America with Penn, 1701, and stood to him in the double relation^ 
of servant and friend. He and Mary equally enjoyed the confidence and, 
respect of the g^eat founder, and Penn wrote him repeatedly with directions for 
the management of the estate. He said they are '*as good servants as any in 
America." At Falls meeting, September 4, 1701, John announced his intention, 
of taking Mary to wife, and Joseph Kirkbride and Mary Sirket were appointed^ 
to examine the matter and report at the next meeting. William Penn, present 
at the meeting, stated that as he proposed leaving his affairs at Pennsbury in 
their hands, and, as the season hurried his departure, he desired to see the mar- 
riage accomplished before he left the country. The meeting was adjourned one ■ 
week to g^ve the committee time to examine the case and report, and Phineas 
Pemberton, Joseph Kirkbride, Richard Hough and Samuel Dark were ap- 
pointed to draw the certificate. The committee making a favorable report, and 
a certificate from Penn and his wife being read, the monthly meeting, held the 
8th of October, gave its consent to the marriage. The certificate bears date; 
October 16, and is witnessed by sorpe of the leading men of the Province, includ-^ 
the Governor, wife and daughter.* The marriage took place at Pennsbur^v and; 
is the only one William Penn is known to have attended in this county.^ Letilia 
made the bride a present of a chest of drawers that cost £7. Penn and his wife 
took a certificate from Falls meeting, while their daughter Letitia took hers . 
from Philadelphia. The latter set forth, that to the best of their knowledge- 
"she is not under any marriage engagement." 

John and Mary Sotcher® had four children, Hannah, Mary, Ann and: 
Robert. Hannah married Joseph Kirkbride, 1720, Mary, Mahlon Kirkbride^ 
1724, Ann married Mark Watson, 1728, and Robert married Mercy Brown out 
of meeting, 1731, and was dealt with. They were the great-grandparents of the 
mother of the late Anthony Burton, Bristol, who had preserved the marriage 
certificate. The wife of the late Doctor Cernea, Buckingham, was a descendant 
through the Kirkbrides. John Sotcher went to England, 1702, to receive a 
legacy left him by his brother, leaving his-wife in charge of Pennsbury. He waSs 
a member of Assembly, 1722, and died, 1729. He was in Penn's service about 
ten years, and on leaving, 1709, probably moved onto a plantation near by iii> 

3 This name is found written Lofty, Loftie, and Loftus, but Lofty is probably th^ 
correct spelling. 

4 In addition to the Penns were the following signatures: Samuel Jennings, Phrr>- 
eas Pemberton, Joseph Kirkbride, Joseph Langdale, Richard Gore, Joseph Shippen, Solo- 
mon Warder, William Hackett, Richard Cocks, Richard Hough, James Logan, Peter 
Worrell, Job Bunting, Samuel Burges, John Burges, and several women. 

5 Watson, in his "Annals of Philadelphia," says that Amor Preston, the ancestor ot 
the Prestons of Bucks county, married his wife at or near Pennsbury, in the presence of^ 
William Penn and many Indians, and gives her statement of his appearance and behavior^ 
This account has been accepted, but on investigation I find it not true. In December^ 
1710, Amor Preston married Esther Large, on authority granted by Falls meeting, and aa 
Penn had then been nine years in England, he could not have been present at the ceremony^ 
As the marriage is on record in the meeting, the date no doubt is correct. The error in. 
this statement throws doubt on all Mr. Watson says about Mrs. Preston. We shall 
have more to say on this subject in a future chapter. 

6 She probably came from Bristol, England, where she had a brother settled in trade^ 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



tS2 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 

tended for John Penn, Jr. When Sotcher and Logan had theii first settlement, 
1705, there was due the fomier £65, Pennsylvania currency. 

William Penn took passage in the ship Dolmahoy, for London, November, 
1701, after a residence of nearly two years at Pennsbury manor house. He 
engaged the whole of the cabin for himself and family, at fifty guineas. They 
went down the river in a yacht to New Castle, where the ship lay, accompanied 
by James Logan and other friends. They were safe on board the 3d, whence 
Penn addressed his parting instructions to his faithful secretary. Logan was 
charged to send all the goods at the town house up to Pennsbury, except enough 
to fwrnish a room for himself ; and he was requested *'to give a small treat" in 
the Proprietary's name to the gentlemen of Philadelphia for a beginning to a 
better understanding. His lovely seat on the Delaware was in the thoughts 
of William Penn to the last, for at the foot of these instructions he writes: 
"Remember J. Sotcher and Pennsbury.'* Had he realized at that moment that 
he had left his home in Bucks county forever, sadder yet would have been his 
thoughts as he sailed down the Delaware. The Dolmahoy had a safe passage, 
reaching Portsmouth in thirty days. Among the bills Penn left unpaid, for 
Logan to settle, were the butcher's i6o and the baker's. £80, so much was he 
straitened for money. Among the articles Penn left at Pennsbury, were two 
pipes of Madeira wine, and, in a letter to Logan, dated September 7, 1705, he 
wants one of them sent to him in England. 

Among the distinguished persons who visited Pennsbury after Penn had 
left was Lord Combury, Governor of New York, June, 1702, who came to 
Burlington to proclaim Queen Anne. Governor Hamilton and party met him at 
Crosswicks, and invited him to visit Pennsylvania. Logan, who was up at 
Pennsbury, hastened down to Philadelphia to provide for his entertainment, 
and a dinner, "equal to anything he had seen in America," was prepared for 
him and his retinue. He lodged at Edward Shippen's, and the next day he 
dined there with his company. On his return up the river from Burlington to 
tlie falls, on the 24th, he paid a visit to Pennsbury. Logan sent up wine and 
"what could be got," and was there to receive his guest. Lord Cornbury was 
attended up the river by four boats besides his own, including the Governor's 
barge, and arrived about ten in the morning with a suite of fifty persons. James 
Logan, in a letter to Penn, says of the dinner : "With Mary's^ great diligence 
arid all our care, we got really a handsome country entertainment, which, though 
much inferior to those at Philadelphia for cost, etc., yet, for decency and good 
order, gave no less satisfaction." In September, 1704, Lord Combury again 
visited Pennsbury accompanied by his wife, when they were entertained by 
William Penn, jr. At this period the manor was noted for its apple orchard, 
and the quality of its "pearmains and golden pippins." Within recent years 
the owner exhibited "Pennsbury pippins" at our agricultural fairs. 

In 1703, William Penn sent his son William, a wild youth, to Pennsylvania, 
hoping the associates of the father would have a good influence over him. He 
came commended to the care of James Logan, to whom Penn wrote: "Take 
him immediately away to Pennsbury. and there give him a true state of things, 
and weigh down his levities, as well as temper, his resentments, and form his 
understanding since- all depends upon it, as well for his future happiness, as in 
measure the* poor country. Watch him, outwit him, and honestly over-reach 
him for his own good. Fishing', little journeys (as to see the Indians, etc.), 
will divert him; no rambling to New York, nor mongrel correspondence." 

7 Mary Sotcher, the housekeeper. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



153 



Logan carried out the instructions, and young I*enn was soon under the peace- 
ful roof at Pennsbury. He brought two or three couple of choice hounds, "for 
deer, foxes and w^olves,'' and his father wrote to have John Sotcher quarter 
them about "as w^ith young Biles, etc/' Young Penn received the congratula- 
tions of his father's friends ; and, when the Indians heard the young Proprietary 
had arrived, they sent a deputation of an hundred warriors, with nine kings to 
Pennsbury, to tender their welcome. They presented him some belts of wam- 
pum in proof of their good will. He must have made a favorable impression, 
for Samuel Preston wrote Jonathan Dickinson, *'our young landlord, in my 
judgment, discovers himself his father's eldest son; his person, his sweetness 
of temper and elegance of speech are no small demonstrations of it." He spent 
most of his time in Philadelphia, where he played some wild capers. Neither 
the devotion of Logan, the interest of his father's friends in his welfare, nor the 
pure atmosphere of Pennsbury, had the desired eflfect. He fell again into evil 
habits, and returning to England in the fall, 1704, died in disgrace in France, 
a few years later. The waywardness of this favorite son almost broke his 
father's heart. 

After Penn's return to England, Pennsbury was an ever abiding presence in 
his mind, and for years he looked forward to his return and making it his per- 
manent residence. It was evidently the home of his aflfections. It was the text 
of much of his correspondence with Logan. He wrote him, June 4, 1702: 
'Tennsbury ! I would be glad to hear how things are there ; the family, fruit, 
corn and improvements." He wants Logan to keep up things at Pennsbury, 
and orders fruit and other trees planted in the fields, at the distance of forty 
or fifty feet apart, so as not to hurt the grass nor corn. He continued to send 
out shrubs and trees and gave directions how to plant them. In 1705 he writes 
to Logan, *'not so much neglect the gardens at Pennsbury as to let them run to 
ruin ;" and again, not to let him be put to any more expense on account of 
Pennsbury, but only "to keep it in repair and that, its produce may maintain it." 
The manor could not 
have been very profit- 
able as a farm, for, 1705, 
John Sotcher could not 
make his own wages out 
of it, though Log^n 
wrote Penn that with 
that exception it cleared 
itself. Penn evidently 
expected to return as late 
as 1708, when he wrote 
to James Logan, "let 
William Walton, that 
xromes from Bristol, keep 
all in order till we 
•come." 

Penn did not live to re- 
turn to his beloved Penn- 
sylvania, for which he 
longed for yenrs, but 
spent the remainder of 
his days in England, surrounded 
tions. He died between two and 




PENNS BURIAL PLACE. 



by a 
tliree 



sea of 
o'clock 



troubles and vexa- 
on the morning of 



Digitized by 



Google 



154 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 



30th of July, 1 7 18, and his body was brought from Rushbe to 
Jordan's, in Bucks, on 5th of August, and there buried in the presence of a large 
concourse of spectators. His grave is marked by a stone with his name and 
date of death. His second wife, Hannah Callowhill, was buried in the same 
grave. In close proximity are ten other tombstones marking the resting places 
of his family and friends, with them Isaac Pennington, the son of a Lord-Mayor 
of London, and Thomas Ellwood, who rcud to Milton in the cottage at Chalfont, 
after he was struck with blindness, and who suggested to him the writing of 
"Paradise Regained." It has been thought their persecutions while in life 
induced these Friends to select this quiet place for burial. 

Pennsbury house was kept up several years after Penn went to England, 
1701, waiting his return to spend the remainder of his days there. The furniture 
was long preserved,* but was finally sold and distributed through Bucks county 
and elsewhere. But few pieces can be traced at this late day. Samuel Coats, 
Philadelphia, purchased William Penn's secretary of John Penn, but we do 
not know what became of it. After the death of James Logan many of the 
goods at Pennsbury were sold at public sale by an agent of the family. A 
gold-headed cane that belonged to the Proprietary was bought by a farmer of 
Bucks county. The clock that marked the time in the great hall at Pennsbury 
stands in the Philadelphia Library, while Penn's chair is at the Pennsylvania 
Hospital. Mrs. Alfred Blaker, Newtown, has one of the parlor chairs, elab- 
orately carved, with a high, straight back, and a venerable look. One chamber, 
in particular, was kept handsomely furnished and hung with tapestry, for the 
accommodation of the family descendants should any of them return. This 
room came to be looked upon with curiosity and suspicion, and was called "a 
haunted chamber." It became musty from non-use, and the rich hangings 
covered with dust and cobwebs. Another room was kept furnished for the 
agent of the family when he visited the estate, and the beds and linen are 
described as having been excellent. Visitors generally carried away some relic 
of the place, and bits of curtains and bed covers may yet be found in the collec-^ 
tions of the curious. Mrs. Deborah Logan® remembered visiting the house on 
one occasion, with her mother, and bringing away a piece of old bed-spread of 
holland, closely wrought with the needle in green silk, and said to have been 
the work of Penn's daughter Letitia. For many years Pennsbury was a place 
of resort for strangers who wished to view the home of the founder of Penn- 
sylvania, who spread their refresliments under tlie large walnut trees that had 
shaded Penn and his family. The building fell into premature decay from injury^ 
received from leakage of the leaden reservoir on the roof. It was pulled down: 
to rebuild just before the Revolution, but the war prevented it. 

When John Sotcher left Pennsylvania, 1709, James Logan entered into an 
agreement to lease it to Colonel Quarry, an officer of the customs, Philadelphia. 
The term was for seven years, at £40 a year, and he to keep the buildings in 
repair with the condition that in case William Penn should return. Colonel 
Quarry was to have six months' notice to leave. He was to buy the stock and 
hire the negroes, if he and Logan could agree upon terms. The lease fell 

8 Under date of May ti. 1721, Logan' writes to Hannah Penn, **I have lately sent 
for the books hither, but the goods, after about twenty years age added to them, thou 
may assure thyself are not much improved." 

9 Daughter of Charles Norris, whose first wife was Margaret, daughter of Doctor 
Rodman, of Bucks county. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 155 



through on account of Penn's controversy with the Fords, who claimed the fee. 
to the territory. The place at this time was somewhat out of repair, if we may 
judge by what was to be done before Colonel Quarry moved in. Logan was ''to- 
repair the windows and make new door to the lower chamber at the foot of 
the stairs, and to lay the upper floor of the outhouse, and run one partition : to- 
repair the garden fence, and to build up the wall before the front at the 
descending steps." The falling down of the wall in front of the house had 
allowed the rains to wash away the earth hauled to raise the yard. 

The years 1702 and 1703 were unhealthy. In the winter the small-pox^® 
prevailed with severity in Bucks county, and the following summer a "dis- 
temper"" broke out, which carried off a number of the inhabitants. The sum- 
mer, 1704, was the hottest and dry est since the Province was settled, yet there 
were good crops. The previous winter is noted for deep snows and cold 
weather, unknown to the oldest inhabitants. 

Within a few years, after the settlement of the Province, great trouble and 
inconvenience were found in the transfer of real estate, by reason of the dis- 
crepancy between the quantity called for in the warrant, and that returned in 
the survey. To remedy the difficulty, the Commissioners of Property ordered 
a re-survey of all the lands taken up, and a warrant was issued to John Cutlcr,^^ 
surveyor of Bucks county, August 11, 1702. In the warrant he was directed 
to re-survey only the lands of Bristol and Falls township, but, by this and sub- 
sequent warrants, he re-surveyed all the seated lands in the county. We have 
not been able to find a complete record of this work, and what we give below 
is only a partial return of all the townships except Bristol, one of the twa 
mentioned in the warrant of August 11. The **land adjacent*' to Wrightstown 
embraced the territory now Buckingham and Solebury, and those "adjacent'' to 
Southampton and Warminster were Northampton, Warwick and Warrington, 
none of them yet organized into townships. The surveyors were ordered to make 
their surveys according to the lines by which the lands were granted by the 
Proprietary. A number of new surveys were reported without the names of 
the townships being mentioned, which we suppose were made in territory not 
yet organized. The following were the surveys made by Cutler : 

Falls, Jeffrey Hawkins 555, Joseph Wood 590, and Robert Lucas 322 
acres; Makefield, Miller's heirs 1,108, Thomas Janney, 4450* Henry Marjarum 
350, John Snowden 421, Peter Worrel 232, Enoch Yardley 518, and Thomas 
Ashton 236 acres; Middletown, John Stackhouse 312, Thomas Stackhouse 507,. 
Robert Heaton 1,088, and Thomas Musgrave 440 acres; Newtown, Thomas 
Hillbome 968, Jonathan Eldridge 289, Margaret Hayworth 278, Shadrick 
Walley 1,548, and Ezra Croasdale 530 acres ; Wrightstown and lands adjacent, 
Samuel Baker 438, William Parlet 144, William Dirrick 148, John Pidcock 505, 
and John Chapman 480 acres; Bensalem, Samuel Allen 262, Tobias Dymock 
302, and Joseph Kirle 400 acres ; Southampton, Warminster and lands adjacent,. 
Isabella Cutler 325, William Wait 103, Joseph Kirle 543, John Morris, 572, 
George Willard 447, John Eastborne 305, Johii Swift 580, Abel Noble 697,^ 
Jasper Lawrence 460, William Garret 225, Christopher Wetherill 236, Ralph 
Dracot 250, John Scarborough 504, John Large 107, and William Say 107 
acres ; re-survey by general warrant, Anthony Burton 142, William Buckman 

10 Three of the Yardleys died of smallpox. 

11 Supposed to have been the yellow fever. 

12 His commission was dated March 10, 1702. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



«56 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



550, Stephen Twining 550, Samuel Carpenter 547, Henry Paxson (Tinker's 
Point) 300, William Gregory 225, Jonathan Coiiper 355, John Baldwin 139, 
Ezra Croasdale 220, Robert Heaton 925, John and Gyles Lucas 216, John Nay- 
lor 445, William Hammer 100, Daniel Jackson 390, Thomas Constable 550, 
Walter Bridgeman 220, William Croasdale 151, Thomas Coleman 248, Joseph 
Janney 347, and Robert Heaton, jr., 152 acres; new surveys, Daniel Jackson 
500, Richard Hough 475, widow Musgrave (two warrants) 980, George 
Howard /^ go. jF.dward Hartley 300, Paul Woolfe 300, Jedediah Allen 230, 
Thomas Cams 450, Randall Blackshaw 500, Martin Zeale 100, Thomas Bye 
(two warrants) 438, William Croasdale 250, Samuel Beaks 350, Ezra Croas- 
dale 200, Randall Speakman 500, Thomas Bye 600, Henry Paxson 100, Robert 
Heath (two warrants) 1,000, George Brown 200, Francis White 250, Jeremiah 
Langhorne 250, Randall Speakman 500, Henry Child (two warrants) 984, 
Francis Plumstead (four warrants) 2,500, Elizabeth Sands 500, Joseph Paul 
492, Tobias Dymock 220, and Joseph Pike (two tracts) 1,000 acres. 

A number of these new surveys were in Buckingham, Solebury, and some 
in Plumstead, which were then filling up with settlers, but had not yet been 
•organized into townships.^® James Logan says they were well supplied with 
surveyors in Bucks county, and he wrote in the spring, 1703, that the surveys 
"are in a good state of forwardness," and hope to have them finished in the 
summer. Among the tracts surveyed in Wrightstown was one of five hundred 
and seventy-five acres to Benjamin Clark, joining the town square on the south- 
east side. It will be noticed that many of the names mentioned in the surveys 
are no longer to be found in the county. 

13 Buckingham and Solebury were organized about that time. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



CHAPTER XIII. 



SOUTHAMPTON. 



1703. 



Second group of townships. — Pickets of civilization. — Southampton first named. — Sepa- 
rated from Warminster. — Original settlers. — ^John Swift. — Meeting granted. — Addi- 
tional settlers. — Thomas Callowhill a land-owner. — Town plat. — Holland settlers. — 
Krewson, Vanartsdalen, Hogeland et al. — Still later settlers. — ^John Purdy. — Curious 
dreams. — The Watts family. — The Duffields, Fpl wells, Beanses, Searches, McNairs. — 
Ralph Dracot. — The Davises. — Moravian church. — ^John Perkins. — Taxables and. 
population. — Southampton Baptist church. — Old school house. — Quaint inscription.— 
Davisville church.— Dutch Reformed. — Its early name. — Paulus Van Vleck officiates. 
— Portius the pastor. — Schlatter settles trouble.— Jacob Larzelere. — Location of South- 
ampton. — ^Roads. — ^Villages. — Turnpikes. 

Our second group of townships is composed of Southampton/ Warminster,. 
Newtown, Wrightstown, Buckingham and Solebury. They were settled about 
the same time, and immediately after the townships of the first group, and we 
purpose to tell the story of their settlement in detail. The territorial limits of 
this group reach to the central section of the county, and throughout it much 
land was taken up prior to 1700. Among the pickets of civilization, which early 
pushed their way up through the woods from the Delaware, in advance of the 
tidal wave, may be mentioned John Chapman, John and Thomas Bye, William 
Cooper, George Pownall, and Edward and Roger Hartly. For several years 
the supplies for a part of this region were drawn from Falls and Middletown, 
and transported through the forests on horseback or on the shoulders of those 
who did not own horses. When Gwins mill was built on the Penn5rpack, their 
bread supply was drawn from a more convenient point untu mills were erected 
nearer home. 

In the proceedings of the Provincial Council, 1685, fixing the boundary 
line between Bucks and Philadelphia counties, Southampton and Warminster 
are called by their present names. At that early day these townships were not 
organized subdivisions, but only settlements with English names.^ The report 

1 Southampton is a parliamentary municipal borough and seaport of England, 
county Hampshire, at the mouth of the Itchen, 71 miles southwest of liondon. 

2 As Holme's map, 1684, gives the boundaries of Southampton and Warminster as 
they now exist, it is barely possible these two townships were already laid out and named^ 
but there is no direct testimony to support it. 



Digitized by 



Google 



~ J.T._rji J 2. ' J-- . 





Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 159 



of the jury laying out the group of townships, 1692, concludes : "Southampton 
and the lands about it, with Warminster, one,"^ which means that these two 
townships, with the unorganized lands adjoining Northampton and probably 
Warwick should be considered one township. For several years South- 
ampton and Warminster were one for all municipal purposes, and it was 
not until 1703 that the court recognized Southampton as a township, and 
authorized it to elect its own supervisor of highways. We take this date as the 
time of its organization, but it does not appear from the records that the two 
townships were entirely separated until a later period. At its March term, 
171 1, the inhabitants of Southampton petitioned court to be separated from War- 
minster in the county assessments and collection of taxes ; whereupon it was 
ordered that the said petitioners and the lands of James Carter, Ralph Dracot, 
and Joseph Tomlinson may be in future, one township and have a constable ap- 
pointed to serve therein. It is stated, in the court records, that the inhabitants 
of Southampton petitioned at March term, 171 2, to be allowed to remain a 
township by themselves. Among the names signed to the petition are Edward 
Bolton, John Morris, Ralph Dunn, John Naylor, Thomas Harding, Daniel 
Robinson, Mary Poynter, Richard Lather, and William Beans. 

When Thomas Holme made his map of the Province, 1684, there were 
thirteen* land owners in what is now Southampton ; probably the greater part 
were settlers and some of them had purchased land before leaving England. 
Of these early settlers John Swift,*^ one of Penn's pioneers, owned five hundred 
acres that lay near Feasterville between the Street road and county line. He was 
a Friend, but went off with Keith, 1692, and ultimately became a Baptist min- 
ister. He was called to the ministry, 1702, and, although never ordained, 
preached nine years in Philadelphia as an assistant. For some unknown cause 
he was excommunicated, 1730, and died, 1732. He represented Bucks county 
in the Assembly, 1701 and 1707. The lands of John Martin, Robert Pressmore 
and John Luffe were situated in the upper part of the township touching War- 
minster and extending to* the county line. Robert Bresmal was a settler in 
Southampton as early as 1683, in which year he married Mary Webber, "of 
John Hart's family." 

Soon after the settlement of the township, the Friends of Southampton 
requested to have a meeting settled among them, which was granted April i, 
1686, and a general meeting for worship, once a week, was ordered at the house 
of James Dilworth. Previous to that Friends had met at each others houses 
for worship, and as they have never been strong enough in the township to 
warrant the erection of a meeting-house, they attend meetings elsewhere, gen- 
■erally at Middletown and Byberry. 

As the location and soil were inviting, settlers flocked in rapidly, and by 
1709, we find the additional names of Stephen Sands, John Vansant, Thomas 
Cutler, James Carter, John Naylor, Joseph Webb, John Frost, John Shaw, 

3 John Gilbert, Thomas Hould, Thomas Groom, Joseph Jones, Robert Marsh, John 
-Swift, Enoch Flowers, Jonathan Jones, Mark Betris, Richard Wood, John Luffe, -John 
Martin, and Robert Pressmore. 

4 The will of Robert Marsh. "South Hampton," Bucks county, was dated July 25, 
i68g, and proved, at Philadelphia, 17, 3 mo., May, 1689. As this was fourteen years before 
the township was organized, it is additional evidence, if that were needed, that the locality 
was given its present name before organization. 

5 In 1708 John Swift paid his quit-rent **in goods and chattels,'* to Lawrence Johnson 
:and Charles Heafte, at Pennshury. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



i6o HISTORY OF BUCKS COUXTV. 



Clement Dungan, Jeremiah Dungan, James Carrell, John Morris, Thomas 
Dungan, John Clark, David Griffith, Christopher Day, Nathaniel West; 
William Gregory and Samuel Selers. The Dungans were sons of Reverend 
Thomas Dungan, who emigrated from Rhode Island, and organized the Baptist 
church at Cold Spring, near Bristol, 1684. Joseph Dungan, grandson of the 
Reverend Thomas, died August 25, 1785, in his 78th year, and was buried at 
Southampton. We find no further mention of Thomas Cutler, but William,, 
who was an early settler there, died in 17 14. They were probably brothers of 
John Cutler, who made the re-survey of the county, 1702-3. James Carter died,. 
1 7 14. John Morris bought five hundred and eighty-two acres of James Plumley, 
1698, which lay in the upper part of the township, between the Street road and 
county line, and a considerable part, if not all, north of the Middle road. When 
the re-survej was made, 1702, Thomas Harding was one of the largest land 
owners in the township, his acres numbering six hundred and eighteen. Joseph 
Tomlinson was there early, and died, 1723. April 20, 1705, four hundred and 
seventeen acres were surveyed by warrant to Thomas Callowhill, the father-in- 
law of William Penn, situated in the upper part of the township, and bounded 
by the Street road and Warminster line. It covered the site of Davisville. 
John, Thomas, and Richard Penn inherited this tract from their grandfather,. 
Callowhill, and January 20, 1734, they conveyed one hundred and forty-nine 
acres by patent to Stephen Watts. The land of John Morris bounded this tract 
on the southwest. 

On Holme's map is laid off, in about the middle of the township, a plat one 
mile square, similar to that in Newtown and Wrightstown. As in those town- 
ships it was, no doubt, intended for a park, or town plat, and to have been 
divided among the land owners in the township outside of it, in the proportion 
of one to ten. But as we have not met with it in any of the Southampton con- 
veyances, it probably had no other existence than on the map. 

At an early day, and following the English Friends, there was a consid- 
erable influx of Hollanders into the township, and the large and influential 
families of Krewson, Vanartsdalen, Vandeventer, Hogeland, Barcalow, Van- 
home, Leff erts, Vansant and Vandeveer descend from this sturdy stock. Other 
families, which started out with but one Holland ancestor, have become of 
almost pure blood by intermarriage. The descendant^ of Dutch parentage in 
this and adjoining townships have thus become very numerous, but both the 
spelling of the names, and their pronunciation, have been considerably changed 
since their ancestors settled in the township. 

Derrick Krewson* was a land-holder, if not a settler, in Soutnampton as 
early as 1684, for the nth of September, 1717, he paid to James Steele, receiver 
of the Proprietary quit-rents, £g, iis. 4d. for thirty-three years' interest due on 
five hundred and eighty acres of land in this township. In March, 1756, Henry 
Krewson paid sixteen years' quit-rent to E. Physic on two hundred and thirty 
acres in Southampton.^ The will of Derrick Krewson was executed January 
4, 1729, but the time of his death is not known. He probably came from Long 
Island, the starting point of most of the Hollanders who settled in Bucks 
county.* 



6 Original spelling Kroesen. 

7 Down to 1756 the Proprietary quit-rents were paid at Pennsbury, but we do not 
know how much later. 

8 Helena Temple, Ghurchville, who died, February, 1884, would have been one 
hundred years old had she lived to June 10. She was of Low Dutch stock, daughter of 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. i6l 



The Vanartsdalens of Southampton and Northampton are descended from 
Simon, son of John Von Arsdalen, from Ars Dale, in Holland, who immigrated 
to America, 1653, ^^^ settled at Flatbush, Long Island. He married a daughter 
of Peter Wykoflf, and had two sons, Cornelius Simonse and John. The former 
became the husband of three Dutch spouses,® the latter of two. Our Bucks 
county family comes mediately from Nicholas and Abraham, sons of John, who 
settled in Southampton. Nicholas married Jane Vansant and had seven 
children, and John Vanartsdalen, Richborough, was a grandson. Simon, the 
eldest son, died, 1770, and a daughter, Ann, married Garret Stevens. The Van- 
deventers,^^ Vanhornes, Vandeveers and Vansants,^^ are descended from 
Jacobus Van de Venter, Rutgert Vanhome, Cornelius Vandeveer, and William 
Van Zandt, who came from Netherland, 1660. There are but few of the Van- 
deventers, and Vandeveers in the township, but the Vanhornes and Vansatits 
are numerous. 

Dirck Hanse Hogeland,^^ the first of the name who came to America, com- 
manded the vessel that brought him from Holland to New Amsterdam, 1655. 
He settled at Flatbush, and, 1662, married Anne Bergen, widow of Jan Clerq, 
by whom he had six children. He built the first brick house on Manhattan 
island. His grandson, Dirck, son of William, born 1698, and married Mariah 
Slot, New York, with others of the descendants, had settled in Southampton 
before 1729. They had a family of ten children, from whom have descended 
a numerous progeny. As a rule both sons and daughters married into Holland 
families, and the blood to this time has been kept comparatively pure. The 
distinguishing features of tlie Hogelands are large families of children, 
longevity and stalwart sons.^^ The youngest son of Dirck, Derrick K., was long 
a justice of the peace in Southampton, but resigned about 1820, on account of 
age. He was the grandfather of Elias Hogeland, late sheriff of this county. 
Some of the family have wandered to Kentucky, where the members occupy 
positions of honor. 

In the spring, 1662, William Hanse Von Barkeloo** and his brother, Har- 

Garrct Krewsen, Southampton, a patriot of the Revolution, who died, 1852. She was 
baptized September 22, 1784, by the Rev. Simeon Van Arsdalen, who had been dead 
ninety-eight years when she died, and the pastor of her middle life, Jacob Larzelere, had 
been deceased fifty years. She lived to see three generations born, live and die. At ninety- 
six she walked to church. At ninety-nine and within a week of her death, she kept her 
own house and table, and was busy with home duties." In her long life she was sick in 
bed but a single day. She was a fair example of the sturdiness of the Holland settlers in 
Bucks county. 

9 Tjelletzi Reiners Wizzlepennig, Ailtie Willems Konwenhoven, and Marytzi Dirks. 

10 The correct name is Van de Venter. 11 Van Zandt. 

12 Hogeland, or Hoogland, is the Dutch for highlands. In 1746 Indians living among 
the highlands on the Hudson were called the Hogeland Indians. 

13 The will of Dirck Hogeland is dated December 7, 1775, and proved August i, 
1778- He left his six daughters £220 each, a considerable^ sum in that day, and a large 
landed estate to them and his sons. Four hundred acres are specified in the will, and other 
lands not described. His youngest son, Dirck, afterward called Derrick, got two hundred 
and fifty acres. 

14 This name has been variously spelled, Borculo, Barckelloo, Burkiloo and Barke- 
loo, by different branches of the family. The family came from Borkelo in the earldom 
of Zutphen, and province of Guilderland, Holland. 

11 



Digitized by 



Google 



i62 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



man Jansen Von Barkeloo, with wife and two children landed at New York, 
where Harman died prior to December, 1671. William married Elizabeth Jane 
Claessen, 1666, and died, 1683, leaving eight children. His son Dirck married 
Jamelia Von Ars Dale September 17, 1709, and settled at Freehold, New Jersey. 
Conrad, born December 4, 1680, died 1754, settled on the Raritan, and married 
a daughter of Jacob Laes, Monmouth. It was their son, Conrad, who settled 
in this county, and was the immediate ancestor of the Barcalows, Southampton. 
Conrad's son. Garret, married Elizabeth, daughter of the first Dirck Hogeland 
and had a family of nine children, who intermarried with the Finneys, Cornells, 
Mitchells, Baneses, Stevenses, and McMasters. The descendants of Garret 
Barcalow are numerous in Southarnpton. 

The Stevenses are English on the male side, the ancestor, Abraham, coming 
to this county shortly after William Penn. His son John married Sarah Stoot- 
holf, and their son Ann Vanartsdalen, a daughter of Nicholas, one of the two 
brothers of the name who first settled in Southampton. The Benjamin Stevens, 
who married Elizabeth Barcalow, was a son of Abraham Stevens and Mary 
Hogeland, daughter- of Daniel, who was brother of the Dirck who settled in 
this county before 1720. The mother of the late Benjamin Stevens was a sister 
of Abraham, Isaac and William Hogeland, and Garret B. Stevens of the Berks 
county bar is a son of Benjainin. 

The ancestor of the Leflferts family, Leflfert Pieterse, immigrated from 
North Brabant, Holland, 1660, and settled at Flatbush, Long Island. His 
grandson, Leffert Leffert, the son of Peter Leflfertze*^ and Ida Suydam, came 
into the county, 1738, with' the Cornells, on a prospecting tour. He returned 
the following year and settled in Northampton township, on a four hundred 
acre tract,*® bought of Isaac Pennington, being part of six hundred and fifty- 
one acres that William Penn granted to Edmund Pennington, his father. The 
deed is dated June 7, 1739, the consideration, £492. His will was executed 
October 6, 1773, and he probably died soon after. His wife's name was Ann. 
He left five sons and two daughters, but the greater part of his estate went to 
his sons. The late venerable John Lefferts, Southampton, who died at about 
ninety-five, was the grandson of Leflfert Leffert. 

The Vanhornes came into the township early, but the time is not known. 
On May 6 and 7, 1722, Bernard Christian, Bergen, New Jersey, conveyed two 
hundred and ninety acres to his son Abraham Vanhorne, by deed of lease and re- 
lease, which was probably situated in Southampton. Other Holland families set- 
tled in this and the adjoining township of Northampton about the same period, 
among whom we find the names of Staates, now of Bensalem, Bennet, Rhodes, 
Johnson, Fenton, Wright, etc. They were generally large slaveholders, while 
the "institution" existed in this state. They were universally patriotic and 
loyal during the Revolution, and often the slaves accompanied their masters 
to the field. These old Holland families have a tradition that at one time Wash- 
ington passed through Southampton and stopped at the houses of some of their 
patriotic ancestors, and their descendants still cherish the tables he ate at, the 
mugs he drank from, and the chairs he sat, upon. These families have become 
so thoroughly Anglicized, no trace is left of their ancestry. 

15 The family on Long Island retain the name "Leffertze," but the first generation 
born in this county dropped the "z" and final "e." and substituted "s." 

16 It was bounded by lands of Bernard Vanhorne, Isaac Vanhorne, Adrian G)rnell, 
Henry Krewson. Isaac Bennet, John Shaw, and Jcreniali Dungan. He owned a planta- 
lion in Newtown. 



Digitized by 

/ 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 163 



At a still later period the families of Purdy, Watts, Folwell, Search, ]\liles, 
X)uffield, Davis, and others, well-known, settled in Southampton, of some of 
which we have been able to collect information. 

John Purdy,^^ an immigrant from Ireland, in 1742, settled on the Penny- 
pack, Moreland township, married Grace Dunlap, and died, 1752, leaving a 
son, William, and three daughters. The son married Mary Roney, whose, fa- 
ther came from Ireland, 1735, and served in the Continental army. In 1797 the 
family removed to western. New York, except the son, William, who married a 
daughter of Thomas Folwell, of Southampton, whither he removed and where 
he spent his life. He became a prominent man, commanded a company of 
^volunteer riflemen in the war of 181 2-1 5; was several times elected to the As- 




old SAWMILL AT DAVISVILLE. 

sembly, and subsequently Prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas. His 
son, Thomas, was elected Sheriff of the county, 1842, and his grandson, 
John, was elected to the same office, 1872. The family that bear the name 
no longer reside in the county or township with the exception of John, 
the son of Thomas. The family records relate singular dreams of the first 
John and their remarkable fulfillment. He dreamed one night that while going 
to Philadelphia on a large white horse, as he passed through Abington the 
animal turned into the graveyard and rolled, and about the same time his wife 
dreamed "a large white horse came and pulled down half her house." The ful- 
fillment quickly followed, for, a few days after, while the husband was attend- 
ing the election at Newtown, where they were running horses down the main 
street, he was run against by a large white horse and killed, and the accident 
was equivalent to pulling down half the wife's house. 

Among the new comers into Southampton township, about 1730, was 

17 . The name is Anglo-Irish, and thought to be a modification of Pardew, Pardee, 
•or Pardoe, and is more common irt England and Scotland than Ireland. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



i64 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Stephen Watts from Lower Dublin, Philadelphia county, who purchased one 
hundred and fifty acres from Thomas Callowhill. It covered part of the site of 
Davisville and ran across the township line into Warminster. The deed bears 
date of 1733. He improved the premises and made it the home of his lifetime. 
It embraced what is known as the *'sawmiH" property, long in the possession 
of the late General John Davis. 

Stephen Watts was a descendant of the Reverend John Watts, second pas- 
tor of the Lower Dublin Baptist church, Philadelphia County, who was a son 
of Henry and Elizabeth Watts and grandson of Gregory Watts, born at Leeds, 
county Kent, England, November 3, 1661, immigrated to Pennsylvania about 
1686, baptized in the Baptist faith November 21, 1686, the following year 
connected himself with the Pennepek or Pennypack church, and married Sarah 
Eaton (bom 1655) ^^ 1687-88. He entered the ministry, 1688, became the 
pastor of the church, 1690, and had charge to his death, August 27, 1702.^® 
The following were the children of the Reverend John and Sarah Eaton Watts : 
Elizabeth Watts, born April 15, 1689, died October 11, 1756; John Watts, born 
December 3, 1693, died 1771 ; Sarah Watts, bom December 8, 1693, Mary 
Watts, twin of Sarah, December 8, 1693; Deborah Watts, born February 6, 
169s; Silas Watts, bom March 7, 1697, died August 16, 1737; Stephen Watts,, 
born February 6, 1700, died 1784. 

Stephen Watts, the youngest son of the Reverend John Watts, and the* 
fourth in descent from Gregory, married Elizabeth Melchior, bom 1707, and 
died March 16, 1794. Mr. Watts was an influential man in the community and 
prominent in the Southampton Baptist church, of which he was a ruling, 
elder for many years. The farm Stephen Watts purchased of Thomas Callow- 
hill, in 1733, is still in the family, being held by Rodney A. Mercer, Esq.^ 
through his mother, a gjeat-great-granddaughter of the said Stephen Watts. 
The following were the children of Stephen and Elizabeth (Melchior) Watts:. 

Hannah Watts married, June 14, 1750, James Smith, of Philadelphia, 
Arthur Watts," born October 29, 1733, died October 9, 1809, married Sarah 
Folwell; Rachel Watts, bom June 29, 1736, died November 11, 1765, married 
as first wife, her cousin John Watts; Elizabeth Watts, bom August 23, 1738,. 
died August 22^ 1824, married, May 29, 1764, Thomas Folwell, of Southamp- 
ton, Bucks county, born October 7, 1737, died September 13, 1813, son of Will^ 
iam Folwell by his wife Anne Potts; Stephen Watts, born February 5, 1741^ 
died in 1788, married Francis Assheton; Sarah Watts, married Shaw. 

Several of the Watts family, by descent and intermarriage were prominent 
in their day and generation. John Watts, son of Stephen, the elder, was a cele- 

18 John Watts is spoken of as a man of good understanding, and a fine speaker. 
Morgan Edwards said he was an English scholar. He was active against the Keithian 
movement, and held a public discussion with one of their preachers, coming off the victor. 

19 Arthur Watts was the father of two children, by his first wife, William, bom 
September 8, 1765, and died, 1838, and Ann, born October 5, 1759, married Josiah Hart, 
January 11, 1776, and died at Doylestown, March 2, 1815, of typhus fever. The son attained*, 
some prominence, was major in a rifle regiment, war of 1812-15, Associate Judge and 
clerk of the court. He inherited the Watts homestead. In the advertisement for the 
sale of this farm, 1833, it was stated that "the same head and tail races were made several 
years ago, with a view of building a grist mill, which was not done owing to the death of 
the then owner." It is claimed that on this dam John Fitch made a- tidal of his steamboat: 
models. 



Digitized by 



Google 




i. 

i 



,>•! 






111: ' 'I 






fl'l ' 

1 '■" 



I 



mi 



fill'' j-M^im 



II 



V 



Digitized by 



Google 



i66 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



brated surveyor and conveyancer, and wrote a work on surveying, 1765. His 
brother Silas was also a practical surveyor. Arthur Watts, son of Stephen the 
elder, was a private in Captain John Folwell's company of Associators in 1775- 
76, a delegate to the Lancaster convention, July 4, 1776, to choose two Brigadier 
Generals to command the Pennsylvania militia in the Revolutiqn, and also a 
member of the Bucks County Committee of Safety and the Committee of 
Correspondence. William Watts, the son of Arthur, was one of the Associate 
Judges of Bucks county, and the clerk of the courts, and second Major of Col- 
onel Humphrey's regiment of riflemen, in the war of 181 2- 15 with England. 
Josiah Hart, husband of Anne Watts, daughter of Arthur Watts, was a colonel 
of militia in the Revolution. Stephen Watts, the younger, son of Stephen 
Watts, the elder, bom February 5, 1741, was graduated at the college of Phila- 
delphia, now the University of Pennsylvania, in 1762, and was a tutor there for 
a time. In 1766 he was the author of an *'Essay on Reciprocal Advantages" of a 
perfect union between Great Britain and her American colonies ; he read law, 
was admitted to the Bar and practiced for years. About 1770, he moved to 
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he became Master in Chancery, recorder of 
deeds for the English on the Mississippi, and King's Attorney for Baton Rouge,. 
dying in Louisiana, 1788. His daughter, Margaret Cyrilla Watts, married 
Manuel Gayaso de Lamos, Brigadier-General arid Governor of the Spanish 
colony at Natchez, until 1797, when he succeeded the Baron de Carondelet as 
Governor of Louisiana. Stephen Watts, March 10, 1767, married Frances,, 
daughter of Ralph Assheton, of Philadelphia, and granddaughter of Robert 
Assheton, bodi members of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania and kins- 
men of William Penn. 

It is not known when the Folwells came into the township, but shortly 
after the middle of the eighteenth century, possibly before. A branch of the 
family lived in Philadelphia county, now Montgomery. The brothers, Thomas 
and John Folwell, owned farms in Southampton, the former that of the late 
Cornell Hobensack, the latter the Roberts farm on the road to Southampton 
church a few hundred yards from Davisville. Thomas Folw^ell, whose wife 
was a daughter of Stephen Watts, had five children, a son, William Watts 
Folwell, born January 13, 1768, who graduated w^th honor from the University 
of Pennsylvania, and subsequently a tutor in the institution, and four daughters. 
The son married Jane Dungan, born September 9, 1776, removed to Seneca 
county, N. Y., 1807, and died there leaving numerous descendants. Of the 
daughters of Thomas Folwell, Ann married Joseph Hart, of Warminster, Mary 
married William Purdy, Elizabeth married Joshua Jones, both of Southampton, 
and Rachel married William Reeder, of Mercer county. New Jersey. Their 
daughters were famous for their beauty, and domestic and womanly virtues. 
On the date stone of the old Folwell mansion when taken down, 1874, to make 
way for a new dwelHng, were the letters and figures **A. AL M. 1719.'' 

The Duffields^'* can be traced back to the reign of Edward IF, when Richard 
Duffield was baiHflf of York, 1535. The first of the name is said to 
have come to England with William the Conqueror. The Pennsylvania. Duf- 
fields arc descended from Benjamin, the son of Robert and Bridget, born 1661, 
who landed at Ijurlington, N. J., 1679, and is said to have been one of a dele- 



20 The name is probably Ncrman French and is variously spelled — Du Fielde, De 
Duffeld, DufFcId and Dnfiield. It s found amonj? the records of Ripon Cathedral, where 
the name is DufTeld. nuffeildc. Duffycld and Duffield. VV^illiim Duffield was Arch Deacorr 
of Cleveland, 1435, and died 1452. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 167 



gation who came across the river to welcome William Penn on his arrival. He 
afterward settled in Lower Dublin, married a daughter of Arthur Watts, and 
was the father of thirteen children. He died at Philadelphia and was buried at 
Christ church. The late Alfred T. Duffield, Southampton, was the fifth in 
descent from Benjamin, and the son of Jacob, who died at Sackett's Harbor, 
1815, while in the military service of the country. Edward Duffield,^^ the 
grandson of Benjamin, was distinguished for his scientific acquirements, the 
associate and friend of Rittenhouse and one of the executors of Franklin. 
Benjamin Duffield has a numerous posterity 

The Beans or Banes family, Buckingham, Southampton and Warminster, 
were descendants of Mathew Baines, of Wyersdale, Lancashire, England, who 
married Margaret, daughter of William Hatton, of Bradley, 10 mo., 22, 1672, 
and had issue : 

Thomas, born 11 mo., 11, 1675, rnarried 4 mo., 21, 1718, Elizabeth Ellison; 
Elinor, born 8 mo., 22, 1677, married (at Falls) 7 mo., 26, 1694, Thomas Duer; 
Timothy, born i mo., 1678, married 1710, Hannah Low ; William, born 5, 14, 

1681, married 1707, Elizabeth ; Deborah, born i, i, 1683, married, 1708 

(at Falls), Thomas Ashton. 

In 1686 Mathew Baines, with children, Elinor and William, left England 
for Pennsylvania, the father dying at sea. When the children landed, they were 
taken charge of by Friends of Chester monthly meeting. The father's dying 
request, as shown by a letter of Phineas Pemberton to John Walker, 1688, was 
that his children should be placed in care of James Harrison, but Harrison hav- 
ing died before their arrival, his son-in-law, Pemberton, went to Chester to 
look after them, and finding them in good hands they were allowed to remain. 
As the record of the times puts it : "The boy was put with one Joseph Stidman 
and the girl with one John Simcock, and hath 40 or 50s wages per annum, 
the boy to be with said Stidman, who is said to be a very honest man, until 
he comes to ye age of 20 years, which is ye customary way of putting forth 
orphans in these parts." 

When the children of Mathew Baines came of age they settled in Bucks 
county, married, raised families and died here. Elinor was married at Falls 
Meeting, 7 mo. 26, 1694, to Thomas Duer, and became the ancestors of the Duers 
of Makefield. The name of William's wife is not known, but he settled in 
Southampton near the line of Warminster, where he died, 1729, leaving a 
widow, Elizabeth and nine children, Joseph, Mathew, James, Thomas, Eliza- 
beth, Timothy, William, Jacob and Elinor. They married and settled in Bucks 
county, except Elinor, who died single. Three of them, James, Thomas and 
Elizabeth, allied themselves with the Sands family. Four removed to Buck- 
ingham and took up land there, Mathew and Timothy marrying Paxsons, and 
Jacob, a Hartley. Timothy lived for a time in Solebury and Tinicum, then re- 
moved to Fairfax, Virginia, and some of his descendants are said to have sub- 
sequently removed to Cuba. The other three Beans brothers, of Buckingham, 
lived to a good old age, and raised large families of children, whose descendants 
are found in several states. The only child of Timothy, that remained in Bucks 
county, married Daniel Doan, Jr. 

Joseph, the eldest son of William and Elizabeth, married, 3 mo., 17, 1733, 
Esther Evan and died in Southampton, 1771, only a few months after his 



21 It is said the first consultation held by Jefferson and others on the subject of 
independence was at the house of Edward Duffield, northwest corner of Fifth and Market 
streets, Philadelphia. 



Digitized by 



Google 



i68 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



mother, leaving four sons, John, Joseph, Mathew and Seth. James, the third 
son of WilHam and Elizabeth, was a blacksmith and died 1749. His widow, 
Elizabeth, married a Roberts, and had three children, Phebe, Jesse and Eliza- 
beth, who survived him. Thomas, the fourth son, who married Jane Sands, had 
five children, Nathan, Isaac, Thomas, Stephen and James, the latter marrying 
Griffith Miles, the elder. On the death of his- first wife he married Elizabeth 
Holljnghead who survived him. Isaac, the second son of Thomas and Jane, 
married Christine Johnson, a descendant of the old New Amsterdam "J^^^sens,** 
was the ancestor of J. Johnson Beans, Doylestown. William Baines, the an- 
cestor, marrying out of meeting, his family became associated with the South- 
ampton and Pennypack churches. The Buckingham Beanses of later years were 
descendants of William Beans, sixth son of William and Elizabeth Beans, among 
which was the late Joshua Beans of Doylestown. The late Colonel Charles 
Banes, Philadelphia, was one of the most prominent members of the family, al- 
though it produced several in the past.^^ 

Charles Search, the first of this family to settle in Bucks county, came 
from England about 1 750, but it is not known where he settled ; we have die 
names of but two of his children, Christopher and Lott. The former settled on 
a farm he purchased on the Street road half a mile below Davisville, where he 
died. He was married twice, his first wife being a Torbert, and his second 
wife being a Corson. Lott Search married Sarah Davis, and owned and 
lived several years on the farm now the property of J. Davis Duf- 
field, on the Warminster township line road, just above Dayisville. 
About 1830, himself and family removed to Avon, ^yestern New York, where 
he and his wife died, leaving sons Lott and William, and probably 
other children. They are both deceased. A son of William lived at Batavia, New 
York.*^ Theodore C. Search, son of Jacob, and grandson of Christopher, 
Search, is a successful business man of Philadelphia and founder of the "Tex- 
tile School of Art," a very prosperous institution with eight hundred pupils. 
He has achieved distinction on other lines. 

John McNair, son of Samuel McNair, Horsham, Montgomery county, set- 
tled in Southampton, 1794, living in the hip-roof house on the Buck road below 
churrhill, where he died, 1833. He followed milling. He was a man of some 
prominence, holding the offices of justice of the peace, county treasurer,' county 
commissioner, and member of Assembly. While commissioner 1811-13, the new 
public buildings were erected at Doylestown, and it is related that while the 
Court house was being built, one of the workmen enlisted for war with England, 
which so enraged the others, they were on the point of tearing down the re- 
cruiting office, but Commissioner McNair appeased them. His son Samuel 



22 It is difficult to account for the change of the name to Beans, which is peculiar to 
Bii'-Is county. Of the seven sons of William and Elizabeth, only two, Joseph and James, 
reti'incfl the name of Banes, though some of the descendants of Thomas returned to the 
name in the third and fourth generations. As nothing is known of Deborah Banes' arrival 
in .\!iierica. she probably died in England prior to the husband sailing with the children. 

23 Lott Search was living in Southampton, 1805, where he conveyed twenty acres 
to William Barnesley. in Newtown. His wife's nr.me was then Sarah, evidence that he 
had married Sarah Davis prior to that time. He was then* a "cooper." In 181 5 he was 
in Warminster, and on April 3, himself and wife, Sarah, conveyed twenty-four acres to 
Isaac Warner. He was still in Warminster, 1825, when Isaac Longstreth, John Long- 
streth and Samuel Miles conveyed three lots of land to him, forty-seven acres. The author 
remembers when he lived on the Warminster farm. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS' COUNTY. 



169 



^vas living at Davisville, 1877, at the age of seventy-seven, but we do not know 
the date of his death. Another son, John, settled at Norristown, at one time 
kept a flourishing boarding school, then read law and practiced, and subse- 
quently represented ^lontgomery county in Congress, prior to 1850. His son, 
F. V. McNair, an officer of the United States Navy, served with distinction 
under Farragut on the Mississippi, in the Civil war ; more recently he was super- 
intendent of the Naval Academy, Annapolis, but was relieved on account of ill 
health. He was subsequently promoted to Rear Admiral and died suddenly 
at Washington. 

The Davis family of Southampton, of which the late General John Davis 
was long the head and representative member, are descended from William 
Davis, a Welsh immigrant, wlio settled in Solebury, or Upper Makefield, Bucks 
county, about 1740, and married Sarah Burley, daughter of John Hurley, Upper 
Makefield, 1756. He died near the close of the century, his widow surviving 
him until May 15, 1819, at the age of eighty-four. They had born to them seven 
children ; Jemima, December 25, 1758, married John Pitner ; John, born Septem- 
ber 6, 1760, married Ann Simpson, June 26, 1783, died January 22, 1832 ; Sarah, 
Tx)rn October i, 1763, married Lott Search: William, born September 9, 1766; 
Joshua, born July 6, 1769; Mary, bom October 3, 1771, and Joseph, born March 
I, 1774. A sister of Sarah Burley married James Torbert, Upper Makefield, 
and other members of the family connected themselves by marriages with the 
Slacks, McNairs, Searches, Simpsons, Houghs, Harts and other well known 
-county families. 

John Davis, the eldest son of William 
Davis and Sarah Burley, almost sixteen 
when the war lor Independence broke 
out, immediately took up arms in defense 
of the colonies, his first service being in 
the Amboy expedition 1776, as a private 
in tlie company of Captain William Hart. 
In January, 1777, he enlisted in Captain 
Thomas Butler's company, Third regi- 
ment, Pennsylvania Line, and in turn, 
served in the Second, Third, Eighth 
and Ninth Pennsylvania regiments, the 
change of commands being caused by 
consolidation and reorganization as the 
service required. He also served in Cap- 
tain Joseph McClellan's company of 
Light Infantry corps, commanded by La- 
fayette, in all about five years, from 
1778 to 1 78 1. He was. at Brandy wine, 
'Germantown, Paoli, Monmouth, passed 
the winter at \'alley Forge, was wounded 
at the Block House on the Hudson, as- 
sisted to carry Lafayette to a place of 
safety at Brandywine when w^ounded, 
and was one of the guard at the gal- 
lows when ]\Iajor Andre was hanged, the storming of Stony Point and at 
Yorktown. 

If further evidence were wanting to prove the Revolutionary service of 
John Davis, the elder, it is found in the following declaration under oath, made 




GEN. JOHN DAVIS. 



\ 



Digitized by 



Google 



lyo HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



September i, 1829, three years before his death, in his application for a pension 
under the laws of Pennsylvania : 

"I John Davis, do, on my oath, testify and declare that I enlisted in the army 
of the Revolution in i777> i" Captain Butler's Company, Colonel Butler's regi- 
ment, Pennsylvania Line ; afterward was transferred into Captain McClellan s 
company of Light Infantry; that I served in the Line until sometime in 178 1,. 
when I was honorably discharged, which discharge is lost. I further testify 
that I was wounded in my foot while in service at a block house near Fort 
Lee, on the Hudson river, from which I was and continue to be, much disabled," 
etc. (Signed.) John Davis." 

After John Davis was discharged from the Continental army, he was ap- 
pointed and commissioned an ensign in the second battalion, Bucks county 
militia, and with it was called into service on two occasions. This commission 
is in possession of the author ; also the certificate of John Chapman, w^ho admin- 
istered the oath of allegiance to John Davis, the i8th day of October, 1779. 
Under the act of Assembly of Pennsylvania of Marqh 24, 1785, alloting land 
to those who had served in the Revolution, John Davis drew lot No. 1,167, ^^^ 
the sixth donation district, 200 acres, for which the patent was issued to him^ 
September 29, 1787. It was located in Crawford county. 

Peace having been declared, John Davis, the Revolutionary veteran, 
returned to his father's home and took up the laboring oar which he had laid 
down seven years before. As he had been brought up on a farm, he resolved 
to resume that occupation, but before doing so, took unto himself a wife, in 
the person of Ann Simpson, daughter of William Simpson, of Buckingham 
township, to whom he was married June 26, 1783. They had issue, Sarah, born 
October 12, 1784, William, born August 22, 1786, John, bom August 7, 1788, 
died April i, 1878, Ann, bom, November 6, 1790, Joshua, born June 27, 1796, 
Samuel, born September, 1798, Joseph, bom January 27, 1803, and Elizabeth, 
born November 18, 1805. John Davis continued farming in Solebury until 
1795, when he removed to Montgomery county, Maryland, settling near Rock 
Creek Meeting House, some twelve miles from Washins^ton. In 1816 he made 
a second removal, this time to Ohio, locating on the east bank of the Sciota river,, 
ten miles above Columbus, the capital, where he spent the balance of his life. 

In the meantime John Davis' second son and third child of the foregoing, 
having married Amy Hart, daughter of Jovsiah Hart, and niece of William 
Watts, of Southampton, March 13, 1813, settled at what became Davisville, 
where he spent his life, farming, store-keeping and saw-milling, dying within 
four months of ninety. He was a central figure in that community, and took 
an interest in politics and military matters, representing the district in Congress, 
filling the office of surveyor of the port of Philadelphia for four years, and hold- 
ing commissions from ensign to major-general in the volunteer militia. In the 
war of 1812-15 he served a tour of duty as lieutenant in Colonel Humphrey's 
rifle regiment. John and Amy Davis had a family of seven children, one dying 
in infancy, the remainder marrying into the families of Erwin, Duffield, Car- 
penter, Mercur and Sells, the husband of the daughter Sarah, Ulysses Mercur,. 
becoming chief justice of the State Supreme Court. 

The Moravians made a lodgment in Southampton about 1740, purchased 
a lot and erected a meeting house, where the intinerants Owen Rice, John 
Okely and others of Bethlehem, preached in English until 1747." The site of 
this early Moravian church was probably on the lot of Gimlettown school 

24 Rev. William C. Retchel, of Bethlehem. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 17J 



house, where the remains of an old foundation wall can be traced, and this lo- 
cation is sustauied by the tradition of the neighborhood. The lot is on the 
Bristol road and the title is traced back to Thomas Phillips, before 1687. 

Among the early families in the township, we omitted to mention that of 
Dracot, or Dracket, probably of French descent. Ralph Dracket was there 
before 171 2. About 1750, one of this name, who lived on the Newtown road 
below the Buck, discovered black lead on the farm of John Naylor.^"* He kept 
the secret to himself for some time, quietly extracting the lead, which he sold 
in Philadelphia, and when the owner found it out, generously allowed him to get 
what he w^anted. Dracket died in 1780. The mine was worked in the memory 
of the author, but has been long abandoned. The lead was said to be of a good 
quality. 

One of the most remarkable persons that lived in Southampton in the past,. 
was John Perkins, who died August 8, 1838, at the age of eighty-four. He was 
blind for more than seventy years, but was enabled by his industry, to earn a 
living and lay enough up to support him in his old age. His principal occupa- 
tions were threshing grain with a flail and dressing flax, and he was so well ac- 
quainted with the roads, he could travel alone in all directions. He was a 
member of the Southampton Baptist Church for about sixty years and a regular 
attendant in all kinds of weather. 

The earliest record of taxables we have met in Southampton, is 1742, when 
they numbered forty-three, the largest paying ten shillings on a valuation of 
£60. The rate was two pence per pound, and nine shillings for single men. By 
1762 the taxables had increased to eighty-five. In 1784 the population was five 
hundred and sixty-eight, of whom thirty were negroes, and there were eighty- 
four dwellings. The peculation 1810 was 739; 1820, 907; 1830, 1,228, of which 
234 were taxables; 1840, 1,256; 1850, 1,407; i860, 1,356; 1870, 1,303, of which 
fifty-eight were of foreign birth, and in 1900, the population was 1.637. ^^ these 
figures be correct the township gained but one hundred and sixty-five in popu- 
lation in forty years, and the population was fourteen less in 1870 than in 1850. 
The area is 8,119 acres. 

In Southampton there are three churches, the Southampton Baptist church, 
the Davisville Baptist, the Low Dutch Reformed. 

The first named is on the Middle Road half a mile below Springville, and 
was founded in 173 1. It was the seventh in the Province. It had its origin in 
a small band of Keithian Friends, which commenced their meetings at the house 
of John Swift, forty years before. The first pastor was the Reverend Joshua 
Potts, since whose time eleven other pastors have ministered at its desk,^* and 
several generations of the inhabitants of the surrounding country lie buried in 
■its graveyard. In the rear of the church is the grave of the Rev. John Watts,^^ 

25 Was owned by the estate of Isaac Hogeland, a few years ago. 

26 A more extended account of the Southampton Baptist Church will be found 
in the Chapter on "Historic Churches." 

27 There is some conflict concerning John Watts, both in life and death. The 
inscription, on his tomb-stone, argues that he was buried there, but, it is positively as- 
serted, that he was buried at Cold Spring near Bristol, this county. This we believe 
to have been the case, for at that period, there was neither church nor graveyard at 
Southampton. It is also asserted, in the old record, that he was both for and against 
the Keithian movement, but we cannot stop to unravel it. We were told in the long ago^ 
that the gravestones were only erected at Southampton to mark the respect that the 
church had for his memory. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



^y2 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 

•one of the preachers to the Keithian band, on whose tombstone is the following 
inscription : 

"Intered here I be 

O that you could now see, 

How unto Jesus for to flee 

Not in sin still to be. 

Warning in time pray take 

And peace by Jesus make 

Then at the last when you awake 

Sure on his right hand you'l partake." 

Among the pastors there have been some able and eminent men and in its 
time, the Southampton Baptist church was one of the most influential of that 
body. ; 4 j 

The Davisville Baptist church, an offshoot of Southampton church, was 
organized March 31, 1849, at the house of Jesse L. Booz, in that village. It 
began with thirty-three members, who left the mother church because of a want 
of harmony. The seceders were accompanied by the pastor, Alfred Earle, who 
became the first pastor of the new organization, with John Potts and Bernard 
Vanhorne as. deacons. A meeting-house thirty-six by forty-five feet was erected 
at an expense of $1,500, and was first occupied January i, 1850. The pastors 
from that time to the present have been the Reverends Messrs. F. Kent, Charles 
Cox, James H. Appleton, and William H. Conrad, who was installed Sep- 
tember 1st, 1862, with eighty-four members, and thirty-five children in the Sun- 
day school, followed by the Reverend S. V. Marsh, Philip Berry and D. W. 
Sheppard, the present pastor. Since then the church building has been much 
enlarged and improved, and a handsome parsonage erected. There are now 
about two hundred and fifty members, with nearly as many scholars in the Sun- 
day school. The money collections, 1873, for all purposes, were $1436.22. The 
church is one of the most flourishing of the denomination in the county, and 
exercises a wide influence for good in the surrounding neighborhood. 

The Low Dutch Reformed^^^ congregation of North and Southampton 
whose place of worship is at Churchville on the Bristol road, is probably the 
third, if not the second, oldest denominational organization in the county. It was 
originally called Neshaminy church, or, as it was written in the old Dutch rec- 
ords, "Sammany," and "Shammony.'* It is not known just when, nor where, 
the first church was built, but no doubt near the creek that gave its name, and, 
at an early date, churches were erected on the Street road, Southampton, at 
what is now Feasterville, and at Richborough, Northampton. These churches 
were necessary to accommodate the Holland settlers in these two townships. 
Reverend Paulus Van Vleck,^^ who was chosen pastor at Bensalem, May 30, 



27^/2 This denomination was formerly known as the "Reformed Protestant Dutch 
Church in North America," but the name was changed in recent years to "The Re- 
formed Church in America." It is Presbyterian in government and Calvinistic in 
doctrine. It is the oldest branch of the Presbyterian church in America by nearly a 
hundred years, being planted on these shores in 1610, when the Hollanders settled at 
Manhattan. In the petition for the organization of Northampton township, December, 
1722, this church is called the "Neshaminy meeting-house." 

28 Paulus Van VIeck, the probable founder of the Low Dutch Church, North and 
-Southampton, about 1710, was a schoolmaster and presenter at Kinderhook, N. Y.; then 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 173-, 



1710, officiated at *'Shammony" until he left his charge in 1712. Jan Banch,. 
a* Swedish missionary from Stockholm, visited this church, January, July, No- 
vember and December, 1710, and was there again in April, 171 1, and January, 
1 7 12. At his second visit he baptised a child of Jacob and Catalinda Welf en- 
stein, the witnesses being Van Vleck, the pastor, his wife Janett, Rachael Coar- 
son, and Stoffel Van Sand, a deacon. 

, Samuel Hesselius, one of the pastors at Wicacoa, officiated there in 17 19 
and 1720, and afterward preached there in connection with Kalkonhook^^^ and 
Matson's ford on the Schuylkill. He was there in 1721, but how much longer 
is not known. This congregation and Bensalem were probably branches of 
Wicacoa at first, and the people of "Shammony'' had the privilege of burying 
on the north side of the Wicacoa graveyard. At what time it was given the 
name of the church of North and Southampton is not known, but probably when: 
a church was erected in each township. 

After Mr. HesseHus, there is an interregnum of several years until the pas- 
torate of Reverend Peter Henry Dortius,^® who came about 1730.*** He preached- 
in Dutch and German, and frequently traveled a considerable distance to preach 
to destitute German congregations. In September, 1740, he baptised several 
children of the Egypt church, north of AUentown, in Lehigh county. He was 
called "Herr Inspector," and probably had a commission to inspect the German 
churches and report their condition to the authorities in Europe. In the latter 
year of his pastorate he was involved in troubles with his congregation on ac- 
count of his falling into dissipated habits. The Reverend Michael Schlatter,'* 
the ruling-elder of the Reformed churches m America, was called upon by the 
pastor to settle the trouble between him and his congregation. He made sev- 
eral visits to "Northampton, in Schameny-," as he calls the place, to allay the 
strife but was not successful. Dortius left about 1748, and is supposed to have 



a chaplain of the Dutch troops under Colonel Nicholson, in the French and Indian wars. 
For eighteen years after Van Vleck's departure, 1712, the Rev'd Frelinghuysen of N. J. 
supplied the church. Feeling at need, the congregation called a supply from Lcyden,. 
and Rotterdam, Netherland, in 1730, through the consistory, and we suppose got one. 
The official document read: "Done in our Congregational meeting, May 3, 1730, by us, 
your Revd. humble servants. Elders and Deacons of the above named church in Bucks, 
counfy." The salary was fixed at £60 "proclamation tnoney," to be counted from his- 
first sermon, with "free dwelling and firewood and free ship's passage." 
2854 Darby creek. 

29. His wife was Jane, daughter of Dirck Hogeland ; they had three children. 

30. An authority states that Mr. Dortius was called January ist, 1744, to receive: 
£40 a year salary in "gold money," house, land, fire-wood, and saddle horse, to preach 
twice on Sunday in summer and once in winter. Abraham Van de Grift, and Garret 
Wynkoop were then elders. The year is wrong, probably because the entry was not 
made until that year. He was pastor there as early as March, 1739, and no doubt the 
date given in the text is correct. 

31. A native of St. Gall, Switzerland, where he was born July 14th, 1716, and came- 
to America in 1746 to inspect the Reformed churches. At one time he was chaplain in 
the British army, and was imprisoned because he was a patriot in the Revolution. He 
died between October 22d and November 23d, 1790. Schlatter says that when he landed 
in New York he received especial proofs of friendship from Father DuBois, who had 
labored in the ministry with great success more than fifty years. 



Digitized by 



Google 



tt74 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 







returned to Holland. During the vacancy Mr. Schlatter preached to the con- 
gregation once a month on a week day. 

The Reverend Jonathan DuBois^^ was called to succeed Mr. Dortius, on 
recommendation of Mr. Schlatter, November ii, 1752, and installed the next 
<lay. He was to receive £50 a year, a house and seventeen acres in Byberry, a 
saddle horse, and eight Sundays in each year to himself. In the call the elders 
and deacons style him "your honor.'' ,He was to serve the church in each town- 
ship on Sunday when the days were long. It is stated in the Hfe of the Rever- 
•end Henry M. Muhlenberg, that he visited the remnant of Dutch Lutherans, at 
Neshaminy, twenty miles from Philadelphia, in 1754. They had been served 
some time by Mr. Van Doran, who preached to them in a barn. Mr. Muhlen- 
berg visited them every six weeks in the summer, and preached three sermons 
-each Sunday, in Dutch, German and English. He says the Dutch Reformed 
had a church. The Lutherans were scattered by death, removals, etc. In the 
-distribution of charities from the classes of Amsterdam, April, 1755, "Mr. Du- 
Bois, of Northampton," received £21. 5s., and Mr. Dortius £5. 8s. In 1759 
£20 were given to Mr. DuBois. In 1760 the congregation maintained a school 
of sixty boys. Mr. DuBois officiated for this congregation until his death, De- 
cember 16, 1772, a period of nearly twenty-two years. 

There is no record of a successor to Mr. DuBois, until 1777, when he was 
succeeded by Reverend William Schenck, who was driven out of New Jersey 
by the British. He was bom in Monmouth county, October 13, 1740, graduated 
at Princeton, 1767, married 1768, and studied theology with Mr. Tennent. He 
•was chaplain in the army for a time. He came to Southampton March 3, 1777, 
and moved to the parsonage, then the farm recently owned by Stephen Rhoads 
on the road to Churchville, a quarter of a mile from Buck tavern, the 24th of 
April. It is not known how long he staid, but he was at Pittsgrove in 1783, and 
probably left Southampton that year or the year before. Mr. Schenck died at 
Franklin, Ohio, September ist 1827," where he had settled in 1817. After- 
ward, in succession, were Reverends Mathias Leydt, who died November 24, 
1783. aged twenty-nine years, Peter Stryker, in 1788, who resigned in 1790, 
Jacob Larzelere, who came October 13, 1798, and resigned in 1828, on account 
of declining years, A. O. Halsey, 1829 to f867, an able man and minister, who 

32. Jonathan DuBois was the son of Barnct DuBois, and both he and his cousin 
John, son of Louis, were educated for the niinstry by voluntary subscription, the father 
of Jonathan carrying round the subscription paper, which was drawn by David Evans, 
pastor of the Pillsgrove church, Salem county, New Jersey. John died in New London, 
in 1745, while pursuing his studies with Doctor Allison. The wife of Jonathan DuBois 
is said to have been Amy, sister of Reverend Ncheniiah Greenman. 

},Z' The Schencks trace their ancestry back to Colve DeWitte, the founder of the 
"house, a Hollander who was killed in battle with the Danes, in 828. Christian, the 
first of the name, butler to the Count of Gulic, called by him Schenck in 1225, was a 
younger son of one of the lords of Tontenburg. The name means cup-bearer, butler, 
or wine server. We have seen a copy of the hangman's bill of expenses attending the 
execution of Sir Martin Schenck. in Holland, about 1589. He had some sort of "on- 
plcasantness" with the powers ih?t be, and to prevent further trouble he was turned 
-over to the public executioner. The cost of putting him and three of his faithful 
soldiers out of the way was twenty-five guilders and fifteen stivers. It is a quaint old 
document. The Reverend William descends from Peter Schenck, who came to Long 
Island in 1650. While Mr. Schenck was at Southampton his son John Noble was bom, 
January 28, 1778. 



Digitized by 



QjOo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 175 



left his mark on the community, William H. DeHart, 1868 to 1870, and H. M. 
X'orhees, October, 1871, followed by B. C. Lippencott, Samuel Streng and H. 
P. Craig. 

The church was chartered by the legislature September 20, 1782, the con- 
sistory being then composed of Mr. Leydt, president, Gilliam Cornell and Henry 
Wynkoop, elders, and William Bennet, Arthur Lefferts and Daniel Hogeland, 
deacons. The first parsonage was in Byberry, Philadelphia county, but in 1775 
the assembly authorized the trustees, Henry Krewson, Gilliam Cornell, John 
Krewson and William Bennet, to sell it and buy a new one. They bought one 
hundred and twenty acres** of the estate of Thomas Harding, deceased, South- 
ampton, for £805. i6s. '^ 

During the pastorate of Mr. Larzelere, the church buildings at the ex- 
treme ends of the parish, Richborough and Feasterville, being out of repair, a 
new church- was built at a central pointy A lot of three acres was bought of 
John McXair, Churchville,'* and the c'omer-stone laid June 16, 1814. The 
original building has been much enlarged and improved within recent years. 
The old church at Feasterville stood in the graveyard about on a line with the 
front wall, was small, old-fashioned, of stone, and was torn down soon after 
the new edifice was erected. That at Richborough stood just outside the grave- 
yard, about on the site of the present school-house. In the front wall of the 
old graveyard in Southampton we find, among others, the following inscrip- 
tions : "G. K. 1738,"'* "D. K.," 1738." The oldest gravestone that gives an ac- 
count of itself bears the inscription, "A. S. 1760,'' Abraham Staates. One 
stone records that Garret Krewson died in 1767, aged eighty-two years. There 
is a large number of stones that tell no story of those who sleep beneath. Three- 
quarters of a century ago the minister preached in Dutch and English, Sunday 
about. The congregation generally spoke Dutch, and the late venerable John 
Lefferts remembers when he learned to speak English of the black cook in the 
kitchen. The people went to church in ox teams, and the girls without 
stockings in warm weather. On the Street road, a short distance above the site 
of the old church, is a burial-ground, free to all, and known as Harding's grave- 
yard. The flourishing Reformed Dutch church at Richborough is the child of 
the old church of North and Southampton. 

Probably the oldest school house in the township, and possibly in the coun- 
ty, when it rendered its final account, was at the Southampton Baptist church, 
a mile east of Davisville; and was thought to have been built as early as 1750. 
A school house was there in 1765, and doubtless a log one, when Thomas Fol- 
well leased the lot to Gilliam Cornell. Joseph Beans and Richard Leedom, "in 
tjust for the people of the neighborhood, for the use of a school, and no other 
use whatever, so long as said house shall remain tenantable with small repairs.*' 
The house then on the lot was an old one or one was to be built on it. In 
. 1771, Thomas Folwell and Elizabeth, doubtless his wife, and son William, con- 
veyed an acre to the Baptist church, including the school lot of twelve square 
perches, "on which the new school house stands." This is evidence a previous 
school house had been taken down. As the first church was erected, 1732, no 
doubt a school house soon followed. These lots were part of one hundred and 
sixty acres Thomas Folwell granted to his son William, 1762. The school was 

34. Farm of Stephen Rhoads on Churchville road, near the Buck tavern. 

35. Then called Smoketown. 

36. Garret Krewson. 

37. Derrick Krewson. 



Digitized by 



Google 



176 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



classical and mathematical. We know the name of but two of the early teachers^ 
Rev. Isaac Eaton and Jesse Moore, a brother of Dr. Moore, who was subse- 
quently a tutor in the University of Pennsylvania, then read law and became 
a judge in one of our western counties. He taught Latin at Southampton. 
At a later day Robert Lewis taught there, eighty years ago, and was paid four 
dollars per quarter for each pupil. Among Moore's pupils were Doctors Wil- 
son, Ramsey, Hough, Rev. Oliver Hart, a distinguished Baptist minister, and 
Joseph Gales, one of the proprietors of the National Intelligencer, Wash- 
ington.'^^ 

Southampton lies in the southwest part of the county, adjoining Phila- 
delphia and Montgomery, is six miles long, two wide, and in the shape of a 
parallelogram, except a ragged corner next to Middletown and Northampton. 
The upper part is quite level with occasional gentle swells, but more broken 
and rolling in the middle and lower end. Edge Hill crosses the township, about 
its middle. It is well watered by the Pennypack, Poquessing, Neshaminy and 
numerous smaller streams ; the soil is fertile and well cultivated, with little waste 
land. The township is well provided with roads. The Street road runs through 
the middle its entire length; the Montgomery county line bounds it on the 
southwest, the Bristol road on the northeast, while a number of cross roads cut 
them at nearly right-angles. In 1700 the inhabitants stated to the court they 
had no public roads to market, mill or church. In March, same year, they peti- 
tioned for a road "from the Queen's road in Southampton down to Joseph Grow- 
den's mill,"** and in September ask the Court to open a road "towards the new 
mill'® on the Pennypack, which is likely to be our chief market." As late as 
1722, the inhabitants complained they had no regularly established roads, and 
as early as 1699 a road was laid out from the King's highway to Peter Webster's 
new dwelling.*^ The Buck road to the Philadelphia county line was relaid fifty 
feet wide, 1790, and the old. road vacated, 1797; the road from the Buck** 
to Churchville was laid out, 1795, and that from Davisville to Southampton 
Baptist church, 1814. The oldest inhabitants of Southampton, we have any 
account of, was a colored woman, named Heston, who died November 15, 1821, 
in her one hundred and fifth year, which carried her birth back to 17 16- 17. 
Sarah Bolton, daughter of Isaac, of Southampton, 150 years ago, became a 
minister among Friends and preached in Byberry, 1752. 

This" township was the birthplace of Dr. John Wilson, who became one of 
the most distinguished physicians of the county. He was born in the vicinity of 
Feasterville, sent to the classical school at Southampton Baptist church, grad- 
uated at the Philadelphia Medical School, and spent the greater part of his 
professional life in Buckingham, where he died. He was accomplished and ele- 
gant in manner. The township is crossed by three railroads, built in the past 
twenty-five years. The first was that from Philadelphia to Newtown, intending 

^71/2 The author learned his A, B, Cs in this old school house, stone pointed 16-16 
feet, and has a distinct recollection of attending a school commencement there when a 
child. That and the stone shed and quaint sexton's home were torn down nearly seventy 
years ago. 

38 Old Buck Road. 

39 Probably Gwin's mill, below Hatboro. 

40 The location of Webster's dwelling is not known. 

41 The "Buck" was so named from the head of the animal that graces its sign 
board. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 177 



to be continued to New York, but never finished. It crossed the Street road 
at Southampton, which it has been the means of greatly improving and was 
finished in the early spring of 1878. The Bound Brook road from Philadelphia 
to New* York, shortly followed, forming connection at Bound Brook, and thence 
running over the New Jersey Central tracks to Jersey City. It leaves the 
North Penn, track at Jenkintown, crossing the Street road at the township line. 
The third is the ''Pennsylvania Cut-Oflf," from the Schuylkill below Norristown 
to the Delaware at Morrisvilie, and is used by heavy through freight. It, too, 
crosses the Street road half a mile above Feasterville. The township has like- 
wise two turnpikes crossing it from northeast to southwest, one on the bed of 
the Middle or Oxford road, giving a continuous pike from Philadelphia to New 
Hope, via Centerville; the other from Richborough via the Buck, Somerton^ 
etc., to Philadelphia. These roads were early arteries of trade and travel, the 
latter one the first pike in the county. A branch turnpike a mile long runs from 
the Fox Chase, Richborough pike to Davisville. There are five post offices 
in the township, Davisville, established 1827, Feasterville, 1831, Church ville, 
1872, Southampton and Cornell of more recent date. 

Southampton has six villages, in former times all ending in villej the 
American weakness. Davisville, the oldest in name, at the Warminster line; 
Feasterville, four miles below, also on the Street road ; Brownsville, two miles 
below that ; Churchville on the Bristol road ; Cornell on the same road, a mile 
above it, and Southampton, the youngest and largest, named after the township. 
Davisville was named after the late General John Davis, and we may say was 
founded by him, 1827, when he erected a store house and dwelling at the cross 
roads, and the post office was moved down from Joseph Warner's over the line 
in Warminster, the head waters of one branch of the Penriypack, taking its 
rise in the meadows a few hundred yards above. It was the seat of a sawmill 
for nearly a century, and in former years the center of very considerable busi- 
ness. A county bridge built 1843, spans the old sawmill dam, now almost filled 
with mud. Here five public roads meet, and the village contains twenty dwell- 
ings, with a store and some minor industries.*^ A school house was erected 
fifty-five years ago, and dedicated to public use with the following inscription, 
cut on a marble slab in the gable, by the late Daniel Longstreth, 1 1 mo., 1843 • 
"Davisville Seminary, built by voluntary contribution ; lot the gift of Richard 
Benson. The building committee were, David Marple, James M. Boileau, 
Thomas Montanye, Samuel Naylor, and Jesse Edwards." A day school was 
kept in it until the township accepted the school law, when it was turned over 
to the public school board and occupied until recently. The first schoel in Davis- 
ville was a select school for girls, opened by Miss Isabella McCarren, 1834, 
and kept there several years. She subsequently married and spent many years in 
Philadelphia, but now lives at Southampton, a mile below, in her ninety-second 
year. Her mind is good and she takes an interest in current events. 

The village of Southampton, a mile below Davisville at the junction of 
the Street and Middle road, contains one hundred dwellings with the usual 
complement of stores, mechanics, etc. In 1841 there were but three houses here 

42 Seventy-five years ago there were but four dwellings in the immediate vicinity 
of Davisville: the Watts homestead, Josiah Hart*s dwelling and sawmill property, John 
Folwell's house, recently Roberts', and the John White dwelling on the Duffield farm. 
For a number of years, especially during the active life of the late General John Davis^ 
the village was a political and military center. The volunteer system was in its prime, 
politics warm and spicy, and the leaders of both made frequent visits hither for orders. 
12 



Digitized by 



Google 



178 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 

f 

' — Elijah Banes, Edward Boileau, and the store with dwelling attached. The 
store house was built by Thomas Banes for his son William, 1793, and prob- 
ably occupied by him until his death, 1803, being, accidentally killed in Phila- 
delphia. He was bom, 1770, and married Nancy Miles. Thomas Banes died, 
1828. The storehouse was left to his daughter, Lydia Lukens, who sold it to 
Dr. Joshua Jones, 1827, and since that time, it has had a number of owners and 
occupants. A sn^thy^and wheelwright shop was located here early in the 
century. In the early day this place was called the "Lower Corner," in con- 
tradistinction to the **Upper Corner," now Johnsville, a- mile above Davisville, 
and later took the name of the storekeeper for the time being, as "Hicks' Comer,'* 
**Fetter's Comer," etc. Among th*e occupants of the store in the past sixty years 
were Watts Jones, 1841 ; James Hicks, 1845 1 Casper Fetter, 1853 ; George W. 
Boileau, 1868; Alfred Boileau, 1874; John Woodington, William Sharp, Frank 
Buckius, Jacob Buckman, George Wolf and others. Woodington removed to 
Kansas some years ago. In the field at the northeast corner of the two roads, 
Capt. William Purdy's rifle company assembled, Sept., 1814, previous to set- 
ting oflf for Camp Dupont, Delaware, the Rev. Thomas B. Montanye preaching 
an appropriate sermon. A Baptist camp meeting held in a wood near here, 
1835, on the Baptist parsonage farm, gave birth to the Hatboro Baptist church. 
Feasterville, a hamlet of a few houses on the turnpike leading from Rich- 
borough to Philadelphia, is in the midst of a highly cultivated country. Here is 
the only tavern in the township, the historic "Buck," and on the tumpike, a mile 
from Churchville, the only flour mill. In the old hip-roofed house near by the 
late James Carter, By berry, was bom, 1778. Springville, a hamlet of about the 
same number of dwellings and two or three farm houses, with a post office 
called "Cornell," a smithy and a store at the intersection of the Bristol and 
Middle road, make up the complement of Southampton's villages. Tradition 
tells us that in the "long ago," whereof the memory of man "mnneth not to 
the contrary," Springville had a tavem called "The Blue Bell," on the site of 
the store on the Bristol road, but of its history we know nothing. 



Digitized by 



QjOo^^ 



CHAPTER XIV 



WARMINSTER. 



1T03. 



Warminster the twin of Southampton. — One of the earliest settled. — ^John Rush. — ^John 
Hart. — Bartholomew Longstreth. — ^Henry Comly. — The Nobles. — Their family mansion 
— Noble burying ground. — The Cravens. — The Ycrkes family. — Rev. Thomas B. Mon- 
tayne. — John Fitch. — Comes to Bucks county. — Mends clocks. — Goes west and re- 
turns. — Builds model of steamboat and tries it on Southampton creek. — Cobe Scout. — 
A notable character.-^The Vansant graveyard. — Dr. William Bachelor.— The Log 
College.— Johnsville.— Hart's school-house. — Hartsville.— Schools.— Public inn.— Horse 
racing. — No gristmills. — Roads. — African and Indian school. — Earliest enumeration of 
'inhabitants. — Present population. — First postoffice. — Hatboro. — ^John Dawson. — David 
Reese.— Battle of Crooked Billet. 

Warminster,^ the twin township of Southampton, lies immediately north- 
-west and adjoining. The two elected but one constable and overseer for several 
jears, and were not entirely separated in their municipal administration until 
about 1 712. On the other three sides it is bounded by Northampton, Warwick 
and Warrington townships, and Montgomery county, from which it is separ- 
ated by public roads. Its boundaries are the same as when laid out and its area 
is 6,099 acres. 

Warminster was one of the earliest townships settled, and judging from 
Holme's map, the greater part of the land was taken up in .1684, generally in 
large tracks.* Some of these land-owners were not residents of the township 
at this time nor afterward. Of these was John Rush, connected with the early 
Harts by marriage, who settled in Byberry, where he lived and died. He was 
the ancestor of all bearing this name in Pennsylvania. He commanded a troop 
of horse in Cromwell's army, and, after the war, married Susannah Lucas, of 
Oxfordshire, 1648. In 1660 he embraced the principles of the Friends, and, 

1 The name is probably a compound of war and minster, both of Saxon origin, the 
first meaning a fortress, the latter the church of a monastery. Warminster is a market 
town and parish in England, County Wilts, at the western extremity of Salisbury Plain, 
on the Willey, 21 miles W. N. W. of Salisbury. Population, 1851, 4,220. 

2 Landholders in 1684: William and Mary Bingley, John Rush, Sr., John Hart, 
T^athaniel Allen, George Randall, James Potter, John Jones, Henry Comly, Sarah Wool- 
man, Henry English and Abel Noble. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



i8o HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



1682, immigratej to Pennsylvania with his wife and children. Himself and 
family became Keithians, 1691, and, in 1697, they joined the Baptists. John 
Rush died in 1699. He owned five hundred acres in By berry, and the same 
quantity in Warminster. 

Jjohn Hart and John Rush were probably neighbors in England, both com- 
ing from Oxfordshire, where Mr. Hart was bom at the town of Witney, Novem- 
ber 16, 1651. Witney is situated on the Windrush river, five miles above its 
junction with the Isis, twenty-nine miles from Oxford. There was a town there 
at the time of the ancient Br i tains, and the population is now 3,000. The church 
dates back to the twelfth century, and is one of the handsomest of its class in 
England. For several centuries it was the seat of extensive blanket manufac- 
tories. Mr.' Hart came to Pennsylvania in the latter part of the summer, or 
early fall of 1682, preceding William Penn a couple of months. The nth of 
October, 1681, he purchased one thousand acres of the Proprietary for the con- 
sideration of i20\ and, on his arrival, he located five hundred acres in Byberry 
and the same quantit}- in Warminster.* He settled on the banks of the Poquess- 
ing, in Byberry, Philadelphia county, and, 1683, married Susannah, the daugliter 
of his friend, John Rush.* Mr. Hart was a distinguished minister among 
Friends, but went oflf wnth George Keith, and subsequently became a Baptist. 
He preached to a small congregation at John Swift's, in Southampton, where he 
laid the foundation of the Southampton Baptist church. About 1695, Mr. Hart 
removed from Byberry to his tract in Warminster between the Bristol and 
Street roads, adjoining Johnsville, where he Hved the rest of his life, dying* 
there, 17 14. Proud says he was a man "of rank, character and reputation, and 
a great preacher.** His eldest son, John Hart, married Eleanor Crispin, By- 
berry, 1708. On the maternal side she was the granddaughter of Thomas 
Holme, surveyor-general of the Province, while her paternal grandfather was 
William Crispin, a captain under Cromwell, and an officer in the fleet of 
Admiral Penn, his brother-in-law, and would have been the first chief justice 
had he lived to arrive. John Hart*s wife was a descendant, on the maternal 
side, of a sister of William Penn's mother, who was Margaret Jasper, daughter 
of a Rotterdam merchant. John and Eleanor Hart had a family of ten 
children, whose descendants number thousands, and are found in all the 
states south and west of Pennsylvania^ Two of their sons reached positions of 
distinction; Oliver, who studied theology with William Tennent at Freehold, 
New Jersey, and became a distinguished Baptist minister in South Carolina, 
and Joseph, of Warminster, this county, who was a colonel in the army of the 
Revolution, and filled many prominent places in civil life. The South Carolina 

3 The author has the deed of William Penn to John Hart, executed 1681, at Worm- 
inghurst, conveying 1,000 acres to him. 

4 Return of survey is dated May 2, 1709. 

5 There has been some confusion as to John Hart's wife, whether she was the daugh- 
ter of AVUliaak^ John Rush. That' he married Susannah Rush there is no question. As. 
John Rush was not married until 1648, he could hardly have a son old enough to have a 
daughter of marriageable age in 1683. The Rushes, father, son William and wife Aurelia, 
with three children, came over, 1682, doubtless at the same time as John Hart and may- 
have come in the same ship, as they Hved neighbors in Oxfordshire, and it is possible he 
may have courted his future wife on the voyage. Joseph C. Martindale, in his "History of 
Byberry and Moreland." speaks of John Rush as "an elderly Friend." As there is no 
evidence he brought a wife with him, she may have been dead. We get our information 
from the Hart family papers and believe it ta be correct. 



Digitized by 



Google 



r-- 




HART HOMESTEAD. WARMINSTER; BUILT 1760. 



Committee of Safety appointed Oliver Hart, in conjunction with Hon. William 
Drayton, to visit the western part of that state to reconcile the inhabitants to 
the new order of things in the Revolution. A descendant of John Hart, Samuel 
Preston Moore, Richmond, Virginia, was surveyor-general of the Confederate 
army during the civil war, and his brother, Stephen West Moore, a graduate 
of West Point, was inspector-general of Louisiana, and both were officers of 
the United States army prior to the war. The Hart homestead in Warminster 
remained in the family one hundred and seventy years, descending from father 
to son. John Hart, the elder, was one of the first men in the state to write and 
publish a book. While living in Byberry, 1692, he and Thomas Budd published 
an "Essay on the Subject of Oaths." We have never seen a copy and do not 
know that one is in existence. The Hart tract, in recent years, in Warminster, 
was owned by the families of Wynkoop, Twining, Kirk, Hobensack and others. 
The Bingley tract lay in the southeast corner of the township, adjoining John 
Hart's five hundred acres, and probably extended southwest of the Street road. 
The village of Ivyland is built on the Hart tract. The Hart mansion, the 
second on the site, built by John Hart the second, 1750, is still standing and in 
good condition. On the west end is a date stone of the following shape and 
inscription. The initials stand for John and Eleanor Hart, and h^ undoubtedly 



built it, as he was there m 
until 1763. It was wainscoted 
tration shows the present 
was built it was probably the 
hood. The mansion was 
Hart, son of Colonel Joseph 
ory, and was built, 181 7, on 
not owned by any member of 
April 9, 1787, died June 18, 1840. 



1750 



actual life, and did not die 
inside and the half-tone illus- 
appearance. At the time it 
best house in the neighbor- 
the home of Colonel John 
Hart of Revolutionary mem- 
the homestead tract, but is 
the familv. He was bom 



He was a prominent man, v/as a member of As- 
sembly, and served an enlistment in the war of 1812-15. Two of his sons served 
in the civil war ; James H., a major in the First New Jersey Cavalry, was killed, 
and Thompson D., lientenant-colonel of the One Hundred and Fourth Penn- 
sylvania. 

The following are the first three generations of the Hart family of War- 
minster, including the first two after their arrival in Pennsylvania : Christopher 



Digitized by 



Google 




i82 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



and Mary Hart, of Witney, Oxfordshire, England, had issue, John, bom No- 
vember i6, 1651, died September, 1714; Robert, born August i, 1655, Mary^ 
born April i, 1658, Joseph, bom October 24, 1661. 

John Hart, eldest son of Christopher and Mary Hart, married Susannah 
Rush, and had issue: 

John, bom July 16, 1684, died March 23, 1763; Thomas; Joseph, died 
1714; Josiah; Mary, died 1721. 

John Hart, eldest son of John and Susannah, and Eleanor, his wife, had 
issue : 

John, bom September 10, 1709, died June 11, 1743; Susannah, bom April 
20, 171 1, died March 30, 1733; William, bom Mardi 7, 1713, died October 6, 
i7i4j^oseph, bom September i, 1715, died February 25, 1788; Silas, bom 
5, 1718, died October 29, 1795 ; Lucretia, bom July 22, 1720, died Decem- 
€r 15, 1760; Oliver, born July 5, 1723, died December 31, 1795; Edith, bom 
May 4, 1727, died March 27, 1805; Seth, bom June 11, 1731, died October 31^ 
1740; Olive, born July 3, 1734, died August 13, 1734. 

Joseph Todd, one of the early settlers of Warminster, took up a tract of 
two hundred and twenty- four acres, and was conveyed to him by patent, I70i» 
It lay on the Street road where the York road intersects it. The consideration 
was £30 IDS. We know nothing of Joseph Todd, whence he came or whither he 
went, but his descendants are probably in the county. Since then the prop- 
erty has changed hands several times, and been considerably reduced in acreage. 
It was in the Todd family for sixty-eight years, they building a stone house on 
it 1 7 19, two of the rooms remaining in good condition, with the date stone* 
The subsequent owners were Samuel Lloyd, 1769, consideration £955 ; th^ Wal- 
tons, the Reverend John Magoffin, Thomas Dixey, $6,500, and after passing 
through several additional hands to J. Johnson Beans, who sold it, 1897, to 
Edward W. Adams, of New York. The latter sold the property, 1900, ta 
Richard H. Chapman, of Chestnut Hill. Mr. Chapman has entirely remodeled 
the old homestead, skilled architects converting it into an elegant, modem man- 
sion. The original building was erected, 1719, but by whom is not known. 
While owned by Mr. Magoffin, seventy-five years ago, he made some alterations,, 
while the present owner has preserved some of the old walls and timbers. There 
are few superior dwellings in the county. 

Bartholomew Longstreth,'^ a Friend and a son of Christopher Longstreth,. 
was born at Longstreth Dale, Yorkshire, England, August 24, 1679, ^uid im- 
migrated to Pennsylvania, 1698. He purchased three hundred acres on Edge 
Hill, which he began to improve, but soon sold it with the intention of return- 
ing to England. Changing his mind he bought five hundred acres of Thomas 
Fairman, in Warminster, for £175, and came into the township, 1710. This 
tract lay in the square bounded by the Bristol, Street, Southern line, the town- 
ship and Johnsville roads. He added to his acres, and at his death, owned a 
little over one thousand. He immediately built a log home, and subsequently a 
stone one, the second in the neighborhood, the joist being sawed out on the 
premises with a whip saw. In 1727 he married Ann Dawson, Hatboro, then 
the Crodced Billet, his age forty-nine, she twenty-three, and after spending a 
useful, active life, died suddenly August 8, 1749, and was buried at Horsham. 

S% It is said that Bartholomew Longstreth opened the road from the County Line 
across to the Street road, thence by his own land to the Bristol road. Subsequently, and 
while supervisor of Warminster, he opened the York road from the County Line to 
Hartville and down to Hatboro. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 183 



His widow married Robert Thompkins, Warrington. She died 1785. 
Bartholomew Longstreth had eleven children, and at his death, left 
the homestead farm to Daniel, the eldest son living, bom 1732. 
He occupied the father's place in society and was twice married, 
the first time to Grace Michener, the second to Martha Bye, Buckingham, 2d 
month, 28th, 1779. He had nine children by his first wife» and died, 1803. 
Rachel, daughter of Daniel Longstreth, married Thomas Ross, son of John 
Ross and Mary Duer, Solebury, and grandson of Thomas Ross, the Quaker 
preacher. Thomas Ross was a distinguished lawyer and was usually called 
"Lawyer Tom." He settled in West Chester, but practiced extensively through- 
out the eastern circuit. By his first ^wife, Rachel Longstreth, he had a daughter, 
Rachel, born 3d month, 23d, 1782, died 7th month, 6th, 1875, who married 




LONGSTRETH HOMESTEAD. 

Richard Maris. The late George G. Maris, Buckingham, was a son of this mar- 
riage. Lawyer Thomas Ross' second wife was Mary Thomas. They had sev- 
eral children. 

His son Joseph, born 1765, inherited the homestead, but, learning the hat- 
making business, followed it several years at the Crooked Billet. He married 
Sarah Thomas, 1797, had six children, and died in the house wherein he was 
bom, 1840. Daniel, the eldest son of Joseph Longstreth, bom 1800, and died 
1846, was a man of culture and intelligence and a useful citizen. He was twice 
married, first to Elizabeth Lancaster, Philadelphia, 1827, and then to Hannah 
Townsend, 1832, and was the father of nine children. In 1840 he opened a 
boarding school in his own dwelling, which he conducted several years success- 
fully. A majority of his pupils were from adjoining counties, among them 
David M. Zook, Montgomery, brother of General Samuel Kosciusco Zook, who 
fell at the battle of Gettysburg. Daniel Longstreth's sister Anna, who subse- 
quently married Charles Rabb, kept a school for boys and girls in the homestead 
about the close of the 20's, and the author was one of her pupils. Daniel Long- 
streth, who devoted much of his time to surveying and conveyancing, had a good 



Digitized by 



Google 



i84 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



knowledge of the sciences, wrote considerably for the county press, and died in 
the home of his ancestors March 30, 1846.'*^ Daniel Longstreth was quite a 
mechanic and methodical in his habits. He recorded, in a book kept for the 
purpose, the deaths of the neighborhood from 1818 to his own, 1,035 *" ^^^• 
Among them were Reverend Thomas B. Montanye, September 27, 1829, aged 
sixty; Thomas Purdy, Esquire, sheriff, November 10, 1844, aged forty-four; 
Dr. Isaac Chapman, February 17, 1837, aged seventy-seven; Dr. John Wilson, 
Buckingham, October 16, 1835, aged sixty-three : Reverend Jacob Larzelere, 
July 19, 1834, aged seventy; Enos Morris, Esquire, Newtown, February 18, 
1831 ; Dr. John H. Hill, Hatboro, January 3, 1831. The Longstreths were ad- 
vanced farmers, Joseph using the first hay rake in the county, 1812-1;^. Daniel, 
the elder, used lime on his land about 1775, and Daniel's uncle, John, and great 
uncle, Joseph, were among the first to sow clover seed and plaster on it. , Of 
his five children four, John, Samuel, Edward L. and Anna, live in Philadelphia.* 
The old homestead, owned by five generations of Longstreths, passed out of the 
family many years ago. It was built at three periods: the middle part by 
Bartholomew, 1713, the east end by his son Daniel, 1750, and the west end by 
the same, 1766, by Philadelphia workmen, and when finished was considered 
the finest home in that section of country. The farm was sold to Isaac Rush 
Kirk, 1850, and was owned for several years by his widow. In 1873 she had 
the middle and eastern parts taken down, and erected a new dwelling on their 
site. The Longstreth family retain the metal-moulds in which Bartholomew 
run his pewter spoons like other farmers of the day, and also the iron old John 
Dawson used to smooth beaver hats. Bartholomew Longstreth was a man of 
influence in his generation. The Longstreths owned land in other townships. 
The land located by John Rush was probably not confirmed to him, or he 
may have sold it to Bingley, to whom it was patented, for the tract of the latter 
covered what is in Rush's name on Holme's map. Henry Comly, who came 
with wife and son from Bristol, England, 1682, located five hundred acres 
in the northwest comer of the township, between the county line and Street 
road, and adjoining Warrington. The grant was made to him by William Penn 
before leaving England. Comly died, 1684, and his wife, who re-married, 1685, 
died 1689. His son Henry married Agnes Heaton, 1695, and soon after pur- 
chased five hundred acres in Moreland, near Smithfield, where he died, 1727, 
leaving eleven children. He is thought to have been the ancestor of all who bear 
the name of Comly in this state. Sarah Woolman's tract of two hundred and 
fifty acres joined that of Henry Comly, but we do not know when she came into 

5^ In a commonplace book, among the Longstreths' manuscripts, we find the fol- 
lowing stanza, one of several verses written after Daniel Longstreth's death, by Elizabeth 
Hutchinson, his wife's sister: 

And dearest Daniel, art thou gone 
To travel o'er the spangled lawn, 

With pleasure and delight; 
Where one perpetual blaze of day 
Shines forth with undiminished ray 

Nor sees the fall of night. 

6 Departed this life in Philadelphia, on the evening of the 7th of 3d month. 1833, 
Margaret Longstreth, at the advanced age of 97 years, 3 months and 14 days, having 
outlived the most of her contemporaries. She was the widow of Daniel Longstreth, War- 
minster, Bucks county. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. i8: 



the township, but prior to 1684. Nathaniel Allen was also a large land-owner 
in Bristol township, but probably never lived in Warminster. 

The Nobles were among the very earliest settlers in Bucks county. We 
find Richard Noble®^ on the Delaware, 1675, where he held a local office under 
the Duke of York. He settled in Bristol township, and took up a tract of land 
on the river above the mouth of Neshaminy and was a surveyor. His son Abel 
was an original purchaser in Warminster, where he owned six hundred and 
ninety-five acres at the resurvey, 1702.*^ The original Noble tract lay on both 
sides of the York road, that on the upper side running up the county line, not 
reaching the Street road, and that on the lower side extending down it to within 
half a mile of Johnsville. In 1743 Abel Noble conveyed one hundred and sixty- 
five acres to his son Joseph, who, in turn, sold it and a few acres more, 1763, 
to Harman Yerkes, the first of that family in Warminster. Abel and Job Noble, 
sons of the first purchaser, were owners of considerable of the ancestral tract 
at that time. Job was a man of many peculiarities. He left the grain tmgath- 
ered in the corners of his fields for the birds. At the family mansion, huilt in 
English style with hip-roof, on the site of the dwelling of the late Andrew 
Yerkes on the York road, fie built a stone apiary with the back to the road, and 
intended to have cut upon it the ten commandments, but it was never done. The 
story is told of one of his Irish servants, who, discovering a tortoise in the field, 
ran breathless to the house and reported that he had found "a snake in a box," 
nor would he return to his work until some one went to "demolish the craiture.'' 
Noble died, 1775, leaving two daughters, one marrying a Gilbert, the other a 
Moland. A daughter of the Molands married a Wood, and their daughter was 
the wife of Barzilla Gregg, Doylestown, who was a well-known school teacher. 
Descendants of the Gilberts live in Philadelphia. Job Noble's father joined 
George Keith and became a Seventh Day Baptist. The remains of the Noble 
family burying-ground are below the York road, near the county line, on the 
Justice Mitchell farm on a knoll that overlooks a meadow in front. Half a 
dozen graves, with a few feet of the old wall, are all that mark the final resting 
place of these Warminster pioneers. The Nobles were related to the Long- 
streths. 

John and Isaac Cadwallader were in the township quite early, and John 
bought two hundred and fifty acres on the county line. Isaac died, 1739. War- 
minster had a sprinkling of Hollanders at an early day, who probably came 
from Long or Staten Island instead of direct from Holland. Among them we 
find the Cravens, Vansants, Garrisons, Corsons and other families. The Cravens 
probably came first, and James was a owner of land in the township as early 
as 1685, for we find that the 9th of April, 1740, he paid 10 James Steel, receiver 

6% He came from England in the Joseph and Mary, Captain Mathew Payne, the 
first vessel that landed passengers at Salem, New Jersey, May 13, 1675. 

61/2 Abel Noble was a son of William and Frances Noble, of Bristol, England, 
In 1752 he owned 700 acres in Warminster the tract being cut by the York road and 
-extending from the county line to the Street road. In 1750 Herman Yerkes bought land 
<)f the Nobles. Abel Noble married Mary Garrett, daughter of William and Ann Kirke 
Garrett. William Garrett lived at Harby, County Leicester, England, 1672-1684. In 
1684-88 Abel Noble had land surveyed to him between Second ?n<f Third streets, Philadel- 
phia. He landed at Salem, N. J., 1675, May 13, and was the owner of lands in Bristol, 
near the confluence of Neshaminy and the Delaware. Mrs. Anna Longstreth Tilney. 

Abel Noble's only daughter, Anna, married David Thomas, a blacksmith from 
Wales, who settled at Darby, Delaware county, and removed to Providence. 



Digitized by 



Google 



i86 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



of taxes for the Proprietaries, "four pounds, two shillings, and six-pence, in 
full for fifty-five years'* quit-rent due on one hundred and fifty acres of land in 
Warrriinster. The Cravens were living in the township, 171 2, and James and 
Thomas were there, 1730 and 1737.^ In 1726 one of the name came into War- 
minster from Richmond county, Staten Island. In January, 1725, he bought a 
farm of one hundred and fifty acres of William Stockdell, adjoining lands of 
Peter Chamberlain and Bartholomew Longstreth, for £290. Possession was 
given the ist of June, 1726. The Corsons came from Long Island, the first of 
the name being Benjamin, whose receipt of July i, 1723, states that he had re- 
ceived £7 6s. of one Wessells, "on account of Jacob Kraven." Harman Van 
sant was Brigadier-Inspector, 1821, afterward Brigadier-General, and died 
September 13, 1823, aged sixty-six years. 

The Yerkes* family made their first appearance in Bucks county about 
one hundred and fifty years ago, settling in Warminster, where Herman, or 
Harman, bought one hundred and eighty-one acres of the Noble tract on the 
Street road. 

About 1700, Anthony Yerkes, with wife Margaret, and- sons Herman, 
Adolphus and John, came from Germany and settled on the Schuylkill. He 
was one of the Burgesses of Germantown, 1703 and 1709, bought of John 
Holme three hundred acres at Shelmire's mills on the Pennypack, in the manor 
of Moreland, Philadelphia county, now Montgomery. After the death of his 
first wife, Anthony Yerkes married Sarah Eaton, widow of Rev. John Watts, 
who died June 27, 1725. Anthony Yerkes had three children, Herman, bom 
1689, died 1750-1, Adolphus, living, 1744, and John who probably died un- 
married. Herman, who doubtless came with his father from Germany, married 
Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. John Watts, February 11, 171 1, becoming the 
son-in-law of his step-mother. They had ten children, and at the father's 
death, he divided eight hundred acres on the Pennypack among them. Silas 
sixth child, born February 15, 1725, died September 25, 1795, married Hannah, 
daughter of Thomas Dungan, Warminster, and for a time lived there. They 
had ten children, from one of which, the late William L. Elkins, of Philadelphia, 
was descended, and was buried at Southampton. His brother Herman bom 
January 18, 1720, and died about 1800, was tiie first Yerkes to settle in Bucks 
county, about 1750. He married Mary Stroud, daughter of Edward Stroud, 
Whitemarsh, Montgomery county, March 26, 1750, who died in Warminster, 
1770. All his children were by her. For his second wife, he married Mary 
Houghton, widow of Richard Clayton, New Britain, September 30, 1773, who 
died January, 1785. In her will she left money to build a wall around the 
Southampton graveyard which is still standing. For his third wife he married 
Elizabeth Ball, widow of John Tompkins, and died 1819. Herman had eight 
children, Elizabeth, Catharine, Edward, Sarah, Stephen, Mary, Harman and 
William. Elizabeth married John Hufdale, April 14, 1770, and has descendants 
in Western Pennsylvania. Catharine, bom June 19, 1755, married Reading 
Howell, March 28, 1782, who was born in Hunterdon county. New Jersey, 
1743, and died November 26, 1827, in Warminster. He was a noted engineer, 

7 In Warminster, May 11, 1835, Isaac Cravens, aged 76. He was bom on the prem- 
ises where he died and was a soldier of the Revolution. He was probably bom and died 
on the farm, on the county line, where the British burned General Lace/s wounded, at 
the battle of the Crooked Billet. 

8 The name is of German origin and has been variously spelled, Jerghes, Jerghas, 
Gerkes, Gerghes, Gergehas, Gerkes, Yerkas. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 187 



and served in the Revolution as quartermaster of the Second Regiment, Hunter- 
don county militia. He was prominent in several walks of life; a commis- 
sioner to survey the Delaware and Lehigh rivers, projected the map of Penn- 
sylvania bears his name, 1792, surveyor of Philadelphia, 1804, to his death, 
and built the first railroad in the United States, 1809, from Leiper's quarries 
to Ridley Creek, Delaware county. Reading Howell and his wife Catharine 
Yerkes were the parents of eight children, of whom the youngest, Catharine 
Augusta, bom August, 1800, married Brigadier General Thomas Floumey, 
United States Army, War 1812-15, of Augusta, Georgia, and died in Phila- 
delphia, November 21, 1900, aged over one hundred years, the last of the family 
of that generation. 

Stephen Yerkes, son of the Warminster Herman, bom October 20, 1762^ 
and died 1823, spent his life in this township, and married his cousin Alice 
Watson, granddaughter of John Yerkes, son of the first Herman. She was bom 
November 17, 1787, and died November 17, 1859, on her seventy-second birth- 
day. Their children, bom in Warminster, all became prominent ; Edward, died 
1825, major in a Bucks county regiment. War 1812, with Samuel D. Ingham, 
was a man of wide influence. He married Mary Shelmire, who became the 
wife of Moore Stevens. John W. Yerkes, born December 22, 181 1, died Jan- 
uary 24, 1884, was a miller and in 1875 was elected Prothonotary of Mont- 
gomery county, serving two terms. Mary Yerkes daughter of Stephen, bom 
September 27, 1815, and died July 15, 1896, married John McNair, bom June 
8, 1800, died at Aquia Creek, Virginia, August 12, 1861. At one time he was 
principal of a famous school for boys in Montgomery county ; then read law, 
was admitted to the bar and subsequently practiced at Norristown. He was 
elected to Congress in the Montgomery district and served two terms, 1851-55. 
His son, F. V. McNair, bom January 15, 1839, a graduate of the Annapolis 
Naval Academy, served with g^eat distinction through the Civil War, 1861-65, 
a portion of the time on Admiral Farragut's flag ship in the Mississippi, became 
the senior Rear Admiral of the U. S. Navy, and died at Washington, D. C, Ne- 
vember 28, 1900. He is credited with having prepared the Asiatic fleet for the 
naval victory Admiral Dewey achieved at Manila Bay, which he turned over to 
his successor shortly before the Spanish-American war. The remaining child 
of Stephen Yerkes, the Rev. Stephen Yerkes, bom June 27, 1817, died March 
28, 1896, was educated at Yale, became a Presbyterian clergyman, removed to 
Kentucky, where he acquired distinction as Professor of Greek in the* Transyl- 
vania University, and occupied the chair of Hebrew and Oriental languages in 
the Theological Seminary for forty years. His son, John W. Yerkes, was the 
Republican candidate for Governor of Kentucky, 1900, and was recently ap- 
pointed by the President, commissioner of Internal Revenue. Harman Yerkes, 
son of the third Harman, bom July 25, 1767, died Febmary 12, 1857, married, 
1790, Margaret,'bom January 8, 1771, died March 4, 1849, daughter of Capt. 
Andrew Long, second son of Andrew and Mary Long, bom about 1730, and 
died in Warrington township, November 4, 1812. He served in Colonel Samuel 
Miles's regiment, Continental Army, and in 1779 ^^^ appointed a justice of 
the Bucks county court, serving several years. 

Of the ten children of Harman and Margaret Long Yerkes, William, born 
July 8, 1792, married Penelope, daughter of Giles McDowell, a noted school 
teacher of ye olden time. Their daughter married William H. Force. Andrew 
L. Yerkes, bom August 25, 1795,* died July 14, 1862, a soldier in the war of 
1812, married Eliza Everhart, 1800. They had seven children, one of whom. 
Dr. H. P. Yerkes, lives in Doylestown. Elizabeth Yerkes, bom May 26, 1800, 



Digitized by 



Google 



i8S HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 



died May 24, 1875, married John C. Beans, and were the parents of nine chil- 
dren, mostly living in Warminster township. Their son, J. Johnson, was elected 
sheriff 1890, and served one term. Clarissa Yerkes, born October 12, 1802, 
died December 12, 1875, married Samuel Montanye and had six children, Ed- 
win H. Yerkes, born November 26, 1804, died June 26, 1864, married Catharine 
Williamson, and died without children. Harman Yerkes, born March 9, 1807, 
died 1889, married Rebecca Valentine and had eleven children. Stephen Yerkes, 
youngest son of Harman and Margaret Long, bom in Warminster, May 19, 
1809. died July 25, 1865, married January 13, 183 1, Amy Hart Montanye, daugh- 
ter of Rev. Thomas B. Montayne, of Southampton. She was born October 23, 
1811, died March 22, i860, and was the mother of Judge Harman Yerkes, 
Doylestown. Another son of the third, or Warmister settler, Herman Yerkes, 
was William, born in Warminster, June 29, 1769, and died there 1823. He 
married January 2, 1795, Letitia Esther, daughter of Captain Andrew Long 
and sister of Margaret, the wife of his brother Harman. Of their sons, Harman 
died in Washington, D. C, i860, aged sixty-five. Joseph Ball Yerkes, 
born April 29, 1797, and died at Hatboro, was the father of Judge William H. 
Yerkes. Philadelphia, major of 199th Pennsylvania regiment. Civil war, died 
October 10, 1885, and of Rev. David J. Yerkes, a distinguished Baptist divine. 
Andrew Long Yerkes, son of William, died in Cecil county, Maryland, 1889. 
The daughter of William married John Thornton, and their son is a prominent 
journalist in Illinois. He learned the printing trade in the office of the Doyles- 
town (Pa.) Democrat. 

The Yerkes family furnished several soldiers to the Revolution, and on the 
rolls are found the names of John, Silas, Herman, Elias, George, Anthony, 
Jonathan and Stephen, of Philadelphia, and Harman, Henry and Edward of 
Bucks. A son of Stephen married Sarah Purdy, descended from the common 
ancestor of the family of this name of Bucks and Montgomery counties. In 
1799 several of the descendants of Stephen Yerkes, son of the first Herman, 
and some of the Purdys, removed to Seneca county. New York, and thence to 
Michigan. 

The celebrated John Fitch, to whom justly belongs the honor of inventing 
the method of propelling boats by steam, spent several years of his life in War- 
minster, and was his home until he took up his residence in Kentucky. Fitch 

was bom in Connecticut, January 
21, 1743, inherited a fondness for 
reading and study from his father, 
who had a genius for astron- 
omy, mathematics and natural 
AUTOGRAPH. history. He learned clock mak- 

ing after marrying a woman older 
than himself at twenty-four, whom he deserted, 1769, and came to Trenton, 
New Jersey, where he established himself as a silversmith. On the breaking out 
of the Revolution he turned his talents to gunsmithing. The British destroyed 
his tools and other property, valued at £3,000, when they took possession of 
Trenton, December, 1776. He afterward made his home in Bucks county, fol- 
lowing the trade of a silversmith, frequently traveling through the country. He 
was a patriot and an officer of the first company raised at Trenton ; he held the 
same rank in the army at Valley Forge, and was afterwards a sutler in .the army 
in the west. At one time he served as armourer or gunsmith. He led an un- 
settled life. He went to Kentucky in 1780, to survey public lands and located a 
large tract, but afterward lost the title to it and was captured by the Indians in 




Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 189 



1782, while preparing to make a trip to New Orleans with flour. He visited 
London in 1793, and died in Nelson county, Kentucky, about 1798. In person 
Fitch was tall, six feet two inches, straight and spare, with tawny complexion, 
black hair and piercing eyes. His countenance was pleasing, and his temper 
quick. He was a man of good morals, and truthful and honorable in all his 
dealings. He was the father of two children, a son and daughter ; the former, 
Shaler Fitch, died in Trumbull county, Ohio, 1842, and the latter, Lucy, mar- 
ried Colonel James Kilbourne, Franklin county, Ohio. 

When John Fitch was driven from Trenton by the British, 1776, he came 
into Bucks county, first to the house of John Mitchell, Four Lanes End, now 
Langhome, and afterward to Charles Garrison's, Warminster, half a mile west 
of Davisville. During his sojourn in this township he earned a livelihood by 
repairing clocks and silversmithing, making his home at Garrison's or in the 
neighborhood. He was recognized as a man of genius and associated with the 
most intelligent people. He was on intimate terms with Reverend Mr. Irwin, 
pastor at Nesahminy, who took great interest^ in his mechanical contrivances 
and encouraged him. Fitch frequently walked four miles to hear him preach. • 
One of his intimates was Cobe Scout, a man as eccentric as himself, a wheel- 
wright, gunsmith and silversmith, who was 

"Everything by turn. 
But nothing long." 

It was at Scout*s shop Fitch suddenly appeared one rainy Saturday afternoon, 
on his return from his captivity among the Indians. After a glance of recogni- 
tion they rushed into each others arms in tears, and the next day went together 
to the Southampton Baptist church, where pul^lic thanks were returned for 
Fitch's safe delivery by the Rev. David Jones, former chaplain in the Continental 
army. While living at Charles Garrison's, Fitch engraved a map of the 
** Northwestern part of the United States" in Cobe Scout's shop and printed it 
on Garrison's cider press. 

The first model of a steamboat, that ever floated, was made by John Fitch 
in Warminster in a log shop where Sutphin McDowell carried on weaving on 
the farm lately owned by Mitchell Wood, four hundred yards east of the Mont- 
gomery County line. He said the idea of a steamboat first occurred to him as 
he and James Ogilbee were walking home from Neshaminy church on a Sunday 
and were passed by a Mr. Sinton and wife in a riding chair at the intersection 
of the York and Street roads.® After pondering the matter a few days he 
made a model and submitted it to his friend Daniel Longstreth, the Rev. Na- 
thaniel Irwin and others.**^. When completed the machinery was of brass, the 
paddle wheels of wood made by the late N. B. Boileau,*^ who lived on the county 
line road near by, a student at Princeton college, but at home at that time. The 
late Abraham McDowell, of Warminster, who claimed to have witnessed the 

9 In April, 1902, the Bucks County Historical Society erected a granite monument 
to mark the spot where John Fitch conceived the idea of propelling boats, in the water 
by steam. The monument stands at the southwest corner of the York and Street roads, 
Warminster township. 

95/^ The late Daniel Longstreth, Jr., thinks this was in April, 1785. 

ID John L. Longstreth, son of Daniel, Jr., told the author in recent years that, on 
one occasion, when a boy, walking with his father, they met Nathaniel B. Boileau, then 
living at Hatboro, who said he made the paddle wheels for Fitch's niodcl. 



Digitized by 



Google 




FITCH'S STEAMBOAT. 

trial trip of the model, said it took place on a pond, or dam, below the present 
Davisville, in Southampton township, and that the .party consisted of Fitch, 
Cobe Scout, Abraham Sutphin, Anthony Scout, John McDowell, William Van- 
sant and Charles Garrison. A couple of hours were spent in the experiment ; at 
the end of the time the little boat was declared a success, when the witnesses to 
the trial returned home. Since that time the application of steam to the pro- 
pulsion of vessels has revolutionized commerce and naval warfare. In 1786-7 
Fitch built a steamboat that made several successful trips on the Delaware, be- 
tween Philadelphia and , Burlington. This was done with the assistance of a 
number of public-spirited citizens who subscribed to the enterprise. The 
"Indenture of Agreement," after being executed was deposited in the archives 
of the Philadelphia Philosophical Society, where the author saw it recently. It 
is dated the ninth of February, 1787, and to it are signed the names of the fol- 
lowing subscribers for stock with the number of shares each one took, although 
the value of the share is not given: Samuel Vaughan, one share; Richard 
Wells, one share; Benjamin W. Morris, one share; Rich. Stockton, three 
shares; J. Morris, one share; Joseph Budd, one shar^; Benjamin Say» two 
shares; J. H. Hart, one share; Mags. Miller, one share; Isaac W. Morris, one 
share ; G. Hill Wells, one share ; Thomas Hutchins, one share ; Richard Wells, 
one share ; Richard Stockton, for John Stockton, one .share ; Israel Israel, one 
share ; William Rubel, one share ; Edward Brooks, Harvey Voight, five shares ; 
Henry Toland, one share; Tho. Palmer, one share. 

In the proceedings of the Philosophical Society of the date of September 27, 
1785, Tuesday, a "special occasion,'' at, which Benjamin Franklin and eighteen 
other members were present, we find the following entry : 

"The model, with a drawing and description, of ,a machine for working a 
boat against the stream by means of a steam .engine, was laid before the society 
by Mr. John Fitch." This was probably the model that is still there. 

Daniel Longstreth writes in his diary, under date of 2 mo., 18, 1845 • "I 
visited uncle Isaac Longstreth, who told me that Robert Fulton was apprenticed 
to the person that built John Fitch's large steamboat, and was then in his 
twentieth year." 

IPO 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 191 



While there is no dispute as to whom conceived and built a model of and 
made a successful experimental trip with it, there is a difference of opinion as 
to the exact spot where the model was first tried, and although it is not important 
whether the boat was first tried here or there, we give it consideration by ex- 
amining the question. The witnesses all agree the trial was not made in War- 
minster, but on the creek known as Southampton run, in the vicinity of the 
present Davisville. The Longstreth manuscript and the articles written by 
Daniel Longstreth, the younger, for the Bucks County Intelligencer of February, 
12, 1845, 'agree in sayihg that "It was first tried in Southampton run a short dis- 
tance east from Cobe Scout's wheelwright shop were it was built." When the 
author of "Watson's Annals'* made inquiry of Mr. Longstreth for information 
on the subject, he made the same statement. In a letter John L. Longstreth 
wrote the author, he claims the initial experiment was made in "Southampton 
Run about half a mile below Davisville in Joseph Longstreth's meadow. Mr. 
Longstreth was living in Southampton township as late as 1792. His farm of 
two hundred and sixty-seven and one-half acres fronted the County Line and 
the road to Davisville, and subsequently belonged to the Rev. Thomas B. Mon- 
tanye." On the other side, Abraham McDowell, a boy of about eight years, 
claimed that he accompanied the party, and the trial experiment was made in 
a dam, then on the Watts farm, fed by the Southampton Run, and a few hun- 
dred yards nearer Davisville. We repeat, it makes no difference where, in that 
same creek the first and successful trial was made of Fitch's model of a steam- 
boat. It was made thereabouts and was a success, and all who furthered its in- 
terests are equally honored. But for the encouragement Fitch received from the 
Longstreth family, we doubt if his invention had proved a success. 

Mr. Longstreth, Daniel the elder, says the Fitch family came originally 
from Saxony, crossed the channel into England, and settled in Essex, where it 
was respectable, if not noble, each branch having a coat of arms. He gives the 
arms of John Fitch as follows : "A chev between three leopards heads, or, crest 
a leopard's head embossed or, in his mouth a sword proper hilt or." In a letter 
written by Mr. Longstreth about this period, 10 mo., 11, 1791, he says : "I have 
paid John Fitch for the surveying instrurnents and maps, about iio, or ii2. 
15s." One of these maps is said to have been worked off on Charles Garrison's 
cider press, in Warminster township, and is in the Pennsylvania Historical 
Society. 

The Longstreth manuscript throws additional light on the personal history 
of John Fitch. Mr. Longstreth was on intimate terms with the family and 
whatever he says of this remarkable man may be relied on implicitly. As we 
have already remarked, Fitch came into Bucks county after the British took 
possession of Trenton, and made his home in Warminster until he went West. 
After the British occupied Philadelphia, Fitch buried his gold and silver under 
a large chestnut tree on Charles Garrison's farm at night. He was watched by 
a neg^o, who dug up the treasure and divided it with the son of a respectable 
farmer.. After the British had left, Fitch went to get his money, but was sur- 
prised to find it had been stolen. The young man's father agreed to refund 
part of it which Fitch accepted on condition the rogue should leave and never 
return. While the Continental army lay at Valley Forge, the winter of 1777-78, 
Fitch assisted to keep it supplied with provisions, receiving his pay in continental 
money, which he kept until S/i,ooo were only worth $100 in specie. After the 
armies had left this section, Fitch returned to Trenton, gathered up the, tools he 
had left there, brought them over to Cobe Scout's shop at Charles Garrison's 



Digitized by 



Google 



192 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



where he carried on business until the spring of 1780, when he went West." 
The Longstreth manuscript describes the personal appearance of John Fitch as 
follows : "He had a piercing eye, tall ana thin, six feet in his stockings, could 
outwalk a horse a long or short distance, had a shining face, of tawny complex- 
ion, very black short hair, walked with a g^eat swing, pitched forward, was a 
smiling, not a grum man, quick tempered, but soon over, honest in his dealings 
and free from falsehood/' While at Charles Garrison's Fitch joined the Masonic 
Lodge at Trenton/' 

"Cobe'' Scout, mentioned in connection with Fitch, his friend and intimate 
companion, was an eccentric character in Warminster, made his home part 
of the time with Charles Garrison, who Hved on the road from Davisville 
to the Montgomery county line in the first house on the west side. Fitch taught 
Scout the art of silversmithing to which he added gunmaking. Occasionally a 
few of his silverspoons, or one of his long rifles, turn up in some old hornestead. 
Three quarters of a century ago the good housewives of Warminster and South- 
, ampton held Scout's silver spoons in higher estimation than any other make, and 
a few have been handed down from mother to daughter as precious heirlooms. 
His rifles were equally celebrated, one of which he carried in the Revolution. 
While the American army lay on the west bank of the Delaware, 1776, and the 
enemy occupied Trenton, Scout shot a Hessian dead across the river, in punish- 
ment for some insulting gesture, and John Davis, grandfather of the author, 
witnessed it. This added greatly to Scout's reputation. He died 1829, at the 
age of ninety-three, and was buried in the Vansant graveyard, Warminster, and 
many years after the late Josiah Hart, Doylestown, erected tomb stones at the 
grave. Scout's Christian name was James, or Jacobus. 

The first steamboats on the Delaware after John Fitch's experiment of 
1788, carrying passengers between Philadelphia and Trenton, were the Phoenix 
and Philadelphia. The Phoenix, built at Hoboken, N. J., by John C. Stevens, 
1807, made her first trip to Bristol, Sunday, July 30, 1809. She was commanded 
by Captain Davis, or Davidson, and the engineer, Robert Stevens, son of the 
builder. She was the first steam vessel to navigate the ocean between New York 
and Philadelphia. Her speed on the river was eight miles an hour with the 
tides. After running a few years her machinery gave out, and was taken out of 
her. She was laid up and finally rotted down on the Kensington flats. Hundreds 
of people at Bristol went down to witness the first arrival, among them the late 
William Kinsy. The Philadelphia, familiarly called "Old Sal," also built by 
Stevens, commenced running between the same points, 181 5. She was com- 
manded by Abisha Jenkins, leaving Trenton at 7 a. m. and Philadelphia on her 
return trip at 2 p. m. Her speed, with the tides, was ten miles an hour, and on 
her arrival at Bristol and Burlington, she fired a small brass cannon mounted on 
her forward deck. It burst on one occasion, killing one of the hands, and after 
that, a g^n was dispensed with. Burlington and Bristol were the only stopping 
places, and passengers were received and landed in small boats by signals from 
the shore. Many people believed there would never be a boat built that could 

II Bartholomew L. Fussell, nephew of Daniel Longstreth, the elder, and John Fitch, 
made brass wire from old kettles belonging to Joseph Longstreth, as wire could not be 
bought during the Revolutionary war. They used it for making buttons. They also made 
wooden buttons at Joseph Longstreth's. Fussell, in conversation with Daniel Longstreth, 
the younger, who died, 1846, stated that he turned out, polished and shanked a gross of 
buttons one morning by 11 o'clock. This "points a moral and adorns a tale," in evidence 
of the deprivations our fathers had to endure in the times that "tried men's souls." 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 193 



make better time. The Philadelphia was followed in the early thirties by a 
boat called the "New Philadelphia/' which had the same run. 

Many efforts have been made to rob John Fitch of the honor of inventing 
or discovering the art of propelling boats on water by steam, but they have 
signally failed. Recent investigations show that John Fitch made a successful 
experiment of propelling a model boat by steam, on Collect Pond, New York 
city, in 1796^ It was called the Perseverance and the experiment was 
witnessed by Robert Fulton and Robert Livingston. In 1846, John Hutchings, 
who was present, made an affidavit of the facts attending this experiment. This 
was six years before Fulton made his experiment on the river Seine, and ten 
years before he put his boat, the Clermont, on the Hudson. A model of Fitch's 
boat was recently found in the New York Historical Society, New York City. 
It is to the credit of Robert Fulton that he never claimed the discovery of steam 
propulsion, but only made use of it for commercial purposes. 

There is a private graveyard near Johnsville, on the farm lately owned by 
Eliza Vansant, deceased, to whose family it had belonged. In it lie the remains 
of '*the rude forefathers,'' the early Holland settlers of that section, the Van- 
sants, Garrisons, Cravens, Sutphins, McDowells, Vandykes, and others, rela- 
tions or immediate friends. The oldest stone marks the grave of Harman Van- 
sant, who died, 1769, in his 84th year, and Giles Craven, September 8, 1798, in 
his 8oth year. A handsome marble slab is erected to the memory of Dr. William 
Bachelor, a native of Massachusetts, and surgeon in the army of General Gates, 
who died September 14, 1823, at the age of seventy-five. His wife was a daugh- 
ter of Silas Hart, Warminster. He lived and died at Hatboro and had a large 
practice. It is related of him that, on one occasion, when called to visit a man 
whose leg was badly hurt, he wanted rum to bathe the injured limb and a quart 
was sent for. After the wound had been dressed, the patient, who was fond of 
a "drop," was told by the doctor he might take a little internally, whereupon he 
smiled his blandest smile, remarking: "Doctor, I always did admire your judg- 
ment." 

The famous "Log College" was in W^arminster township, on the York road, 
half a mile below Hartsville, on a fifty acre tract given by James Logan to his 
cousin, William Tennent, 1728. When Mr. Tennent first went there, Logan 
sent him provisions from 
Philadelphia, evidence the 
congregation provided him 
a slim living. He occupied 
the property lately Corne- 
lius Carrell's, and the col- 
lege was on the George 
Hanna lots." In the fire- 
place of the old Carrell 
house is the fire crane used 
by Mr. Tennent, and part 
of the old wall, two feet 
thick, runs across the end log college, itm. 

of the kitchen. Three Eng- 
lish pennies bearing dates from 1710 to 1719, were found on the 
premises some years ago. Mr. Tennent, who died May 6, 1746, 
left all his personal property to his wife, Kathren, and at her 

12 More recently owned by J. W. Gwyn. 
18 




Digitized by 



Google 



Jt94 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



death, the real estate was to be sold, and the proceeds divided among his heirs. 
On September 5, 1889, the founding of the Log College was celebrated cm the 
farm that formerly belonged to it, under the auspices of the "Presbytery of 
-Philadelphia, North." The presiding officer was the Reverend Thomas 
Murphy, D. D., and the exercises consisted of sacred music, reading of the 
^Scripture, prayer and addresses, followed by a lunch. Among the speakers 
^as Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States, and Postmaster-Gen- 
eral Wanamaker. The audience was large.*' 

The most famous school of the period, next to the Log College, was kept 
at "Hart's School House," Warminster, on the road from the Street to the 
Bristol road, half mile from Johnsville. Three buildings stooid on, or near, 
the same site, and took its name from an influential family living near, and 
active in establishing it. The first house was erected 'early in the eighteenth 
cehtury, probably of logs. It was an old building in 1756, for, at a meeting of 
the patrons, held September 13, it was resolved to build a new school house, as 
the one "in which James Stirling doath now teach, as it is too small, dark and 
otherwise insufficient to accommodate the scholars that do at present attend 
the same, so as to answer the purpose intended (to-wit) the learning olLating, 
<jrreek, etc., as well as English." It was to be 33 by 18 feet, one story high, wi3i 
a good partition through the same, a good fire-place in one end, and a stove in 
the other, Joseph Hart and Daniel Longstreth being appointed "sole managers." 
The house was probably built on a new site, as a lot was bought of Longstreth. 
"ihe deed was executed May 2, 1757, and acknowledged before Simon Butler 
August II, 1758, and the house erected that fall. The conveyance was made 
to William Folwell, Southampton, John Dungan, Northampton, Anthony Scout, 
Warminster, and John Vanosdale (Vanartsdalen), Northampton. A third 
school house was erected there, 183 1, at a cost of $320.28. This was torn down, 
1860-61, when three new houses were erected for the public schools, at a cost 
of $1,315-65, on the Street road. James Stirling, the first teacher we know of, 
probably quit teaching in the spring of 1765, when a new contract was made 
with Thomas D. Handcock for the ensuing year, from June 4, for £63 
($173-33) • Elijah Beans and William Maddock, who taught several years in 
the 183 1 school house, were not new teachers. The subscriptions for building 
the 1757 school house were as follows: Joseph Hart £8, John Dungan £3, 
Derick Kroesson £3, James Stirling £2, William Ramsey £1, and James Spencer 
£2. "Hart's School House" was the centre of a good deal of the mental 
activity of the township in the eighteenth and part of the nineteenth centuries. 
In 1793-94, and how long continued we know not, the '* Moral Society" met 
there for debate. Fourteen names are signed to the constitution, including 
those of Longstreth, Eyre, Rees and Matlack. Spectators were not admitted 
and each member was obliged to deliver "one sheet of paper, one candle or one 
penny, for the use of the society." In 1811-13 a new society sprung up in the 
liands of new men. It likewise met for debate, the que'tions taking a pretty 
ivide range, and, among the members, we find the well-known names of Hart, 
Longstreth, Miles, Craven, Ramsey, Prior, Vansant, Crawford, Daniel, Long, 
Yerkes, Shelmire and Brady.** 



13 A full account of the Log College and its distinguished graduates will be found 
in Chapter on Historic Churches. 

14 In addition to the schools already mentioned in Warminster, there was a log 
school-house on the Street road a few hundred yards above the York road, and another 
«n the York road half a mile below the Warminster tavern at John C. Beans' gate. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 195 

Warminster has three villages, Johnsville, at the junction of the Newtown 
and Street roads, a mile from the lower line of the township, Hartsville, on the 
York road, where it crosses the Warwick line, and Ivyland, on the Northeast 
Pennsylvania railroad, half a mile south of the Bristol road. The foundation 
of Johnsville was laid, 1814, when James Craven built a store house for his son 
John on the only comer of the cross roads not covered with timber, and a store 
has been kept there from that time to the present. The village contains twenty 
dwellings. Almost fifty years ago Robert Beans, son of Stephen Beans, War- 
minster, established^ an agricultural implement factory there, and carried it on 
successfully until burned down and not rebuilt. The greater part of Hartsville 
is in Warminster, the store and tavern being on opposite sides of the township 
line. The old name was "Cross Roads," and occasionally an old-fashioned 
citizen still calls it by this name. It was only called Hartsville in the last fifty 
years, after the Hart family lived there. The tavern, in Warwick township, 
was kept for many years, at the close of the eighteenth and beginning of the 
nineteenth century, by William Hart, and a human heart was painted on the 
sign board. In 1818 it was known as the "Sign of the Heart,'' and owned by 
Joseph Carr. William Hart died, 1831, at the age of eighty-four. The post 
office was established, 1826. The old stone bridge, half a mile above, spanning 
the Neshaminy where it crosses the York road, was built 1793, and had a heart 
cut on the date stone. Ivyland, the youngest village of Warminster, was 
founded by Edwin Lacey, 1873, and he built the first dwelling. Several shortly 
followed, streets were opened, named and lighted ; station and freight houses 
were built and the first train stopped there March 29, 1891. The population 
has increased to over two hundred and fifty. The 25th anniversary of its found- 
ing was observed August 12, 1898. Among Ivy land's improvements and organ- 
izations are a Presbyterian chapel, Christian Endeavor Society, two lodges, 
and truck and ladder company. Breadyville, at the crossing of the Bristol 
Toad by the Northeast Pennsylvania railroad, is a hamlet of half a dozen dwell- 
ings, tavern, store and station. 

Hartsville has played a more important part in the social, religious and 
educational world than any village of its size in the county. The Hartsville 
Presbyterian church is known as the "Neshaminy Church of Warminster," and 
the constituent members originally belonged to the "Neshaminy Church in War- 
wick." In consequence of the choice of Reverend James P. Wilson, as pastor, 
by a small majority of the congregation in November, 1838, one hundred mem- 
bers withdrew in a body, Saturday, February 10, 1839, and held service, for a 
time, in the school house in the graveyard, claiming to be "the Nesaminy Church 
and Congregation." On that day Reverend Mr. Howard preached for them as 
a supply. They worshiped for a time in private houses, and then, in a tem- 
porary frame structure called the "Tabernacle," erected in the woods at the top 
of Long's hill on the Bristol road. The question of title to the original church 
property was tried i<i the court of Bucks county, but finally decided by a com- 
promise in the winter of 1841-42. It was sold and bought by the congregation 
then worshiping there. The pastors, in their order, have been Reverends 
Thomas B. Bradford, installed April 29, 1839, resigned March 9, 1841 ; Henry 
R. Wilson, from 1842 to his death in 1849; Jacob Belville, from 1850 to i860; 
Alexander M. Woods, i860 to 1870; Gersham H. Nimmo, 1870 to 189 1, when 
he was called to the Torresdale church, where he died, 1898. Mr. Wood went 
from Hartsville to Mahanoy City, where he died. The present pastor is the 
Reverend W. R. Preston. The building was erected, 1842, and the congrega- 
tion is large. The most pleasant feature, in connection with these congrega- 



Digitized by 



Google 



196 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



tions, mother and daughter, is that there is entire harmony between them, and 
the bitterness cf sixty years ago has been buried deeper than plummit ever 
sounded. 

Hartsville and vicinity was an educational centre almost from the time of 
the Log College. The schools of the Reverend James R. Wilson, Robert Bel- 
ville, Jacob Belville, D. K. Turner, and the Messrs. Long and others, gave 
it a wide reputation, and partially or wholly, educated many prominent and use- 
ful men. Samuel Long, principal of a classical school, met a sad end, being 
killed by the limb of a tree falling on him while giving directions to some wood 
choppers, killing him instantly. This occurred in December, 1835. A Friends' 
meeting house was erected nearly fifty years ago on the Street road hali a mile 
above Johnsville. Gideon Pryor, who died in Warminster, February 14, 1854, 
was one of the last Revolutionary soldiers to die in the county. He was born 
in Connecticut, August 5, 1764, served in Rochambeau's army at the siege of 
Yorktown, 1781, and witnessed Cornwallis' surrender. After the war he fin- 
ished his education by graduating at Dartmouth College. He started south on 
foot, but was taken sick near Hartsville, and spent his life there. He lived and 
died in the first stone house, north side of the Street road below the York road. 
One son, Azariah, became a minister of the gospel, and died at Pottsville. 
Gideon Pryor was a very fine scholar. 

In so far as we have any means of knowing there had been but two taverns 
in Warwick since its settlement, until in recent years, a third one was licensed. 
The oldest was probably on the site of the present one, known as the ** War- 
minster tavern," on the York road just below where the Street road crosses it. 
As early as 1730 Thomas Linton petitioned the court for a recommendation for 
license '*to keep a house of entertainment for man and horse.*' In the petition 
he states that he is an inhabitant of Warminster, "County de Bucks," and owns 
a house and good plantation on the York road near the cross roads. In 1732^ 
Thomas Davids, Northampton, attorney in fact for Thomas Linton, sold his 
farm of one hundred acres to David Howell, Philadelphia, whereupon Linton 
removed to New York. This old hostelry became much more noted and popular 
in later years. In the twenties of the last century a Masonic Lodge was insti- 
tuted and held its sessions in the attic of this famous old inn, where such well- 
known Masons as Dr. John H. Hill and John Kerr officiated. It was forced tc^ 
the wall by the anti-Masonic crusade growing out of the Morgan aflFair. Its 
existence had been almost forgotten until a few years ago, when the Masonic 
Lodge at Hatboro was instituted, the late William Williamson, of Davisville,. 
appeared and presented to the new lodge the jewels and habiliments of the old 
one. He had cherished them carefully for over half a century. Three quarters 
of a century ago, when horse racing was much more common than now, this 
tavern was frequented by those who indulged in racing. It wa§ then kept by 
Thomas Beans,^** a famous horseman. At elections and militia training a half 
mile track was cleared on the Street road, where favorite nags were put on their 
speed. Mr. Beans had a fine circular half mile track laid out on his farm back 
of the buildings. The death of a rider at one of the races down the Street road 
did much to break up the practice, which was wholly discontinued many years 
ago. Warmister is the only township in the county without a grist mill, nor is 
it known that it ever had one. This comes from its surface being level ; there 
IS no stream of sufficient size and fall to drive a mill wheel. Many years ago 

15 In 1769 Thomas Beans owned 200 acres on the north side of the Street road,, 
extending from Johnsville upward. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 197 



Robert Darrah built a saw mill on his farm near Hartsville, which is still in 
use, the present owner being John M. Darrah. The west branch of Neshaminy 
cuts across its northwest corner, near the Warrington line, and affords a good 
mill site in the latter township, where a mill was built near a century ago. 

Warminster is well provided with roads, having one on each of its four 
rectilineal sides, three of them, the Bristol and Street roads and the Montgom- 
ery county line, being part of Penn's system of great highways laid out on 
ttorthwest lines. These are intersected by lateral roads laid out and opened as 
they were required. Of these cross roads that between Warminster and War- 
rington was opened about 1785, by one of the Longs who had lately built a grist 
mill, and was then building a saw mill where this road crosses Neshaminy. The 
road that crosses the township half a mile above Johnsville, and at that time 
the line of travel between Horsham and Wrightstown, was opened in 1723, 
and the one on the Southampton township line in 1769.^** As early as 1709 a 
road was viewed and laid out to allow the inhabitants of Warminster to reach 
the new mill on the Pennypack. The road across by Johnsville was probably 
opened about 1724. 

An institution for the education of male orphan children of African and 
Indian descent was located in Warminster on a farm of one hundred acres on 
the Street road, a mile below the Warrington line. It was known as the "Emlen 
Institute," and was founded about fifty years ago by Samuel Emlen, Burling- 
ton, New Jersey, who gave $20,000 to trustees for this charity. The institution 
was first organized in Ohio, soon after the founder*s death, but removed to a 
farm of fifty-five acres in Solebury. In 1872 it was again removed to Warmin- 
ster. By careful management the original fund had been increased to $30,000, 
several thousand of which have been expended on the present property, improv- 
ing the buildings, etc. The pupils are instructed in the mechanic arts, and other 
useful pursuits. The income was sufficient to maintain and educate about 
twenty pupils.*^ 

The earliest return of the inhabitants of Warminster that has met our 
notice was made over a century and a quarter ago, but the exact date is not 
g^ven. It comprises a list of housekeepers and single men, with the quantity 
of land owned by each, the acres in with corn, with the cattle, sheep, etc. There 
were then but fifty-eight housekeepers and twelve sinefle men in the township. 
Joseph Hart Was the largest land-owner, four hundied and thirty-five acres, 
with three hundred acres cleared and sixty in with corn. He owned twenty- 
four cattle, eight horses and thirty-five sheep. Daniel Longstreth was the next, 
who owned four hundred and ten acres, two hundred cleared and forty-four in 
with com. He was the owner of thirteen cattle, three horses and twenty-three 
sheep. This return gives two thousand, eight hundred and one acres of cleared 
land, of which six hundred and seven were planted with corn. The whole num- 

16 This road was resurveyed, and the direction probably somewhat changed, Decem- 
her 10, 1816, the following being the new line : Beginning in the Street road at the corner 
between Harman Yerkes and William Craven, thence between their land south 39 degrees 
west 160 perches, thence thro' Henry Puff's land, south 44 degrees, west no perches, and 
the same course thro' Isaac Cravens' land to the county line, 59 perches. The jury was 
composed of Samuel Gillingham, John Watson, Andrew Dunlap, Thomas Hutchinson, 
Josiah Shaw and Aaron Eastburn. John Watson was the surveyor. 

17 The Institute was closed 1892, and the property sold to James Keith, Newtown; 
then to a Mr. Gartenlaub, and he to a syndicate of Episcopalians, Philadelphia, who in 
1897 established on it a charity known as "St. Stephens' Orphanage." 



Digitized by 



Google 



198 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



ber of domestic animals was two hundred and thirty-six cattle, sixty-five horses, 
sixty-seven mares, and two hundred and seventy^eight sheep. There were but 
eleven negro slaves in the township. In 1784 the township contained 368 white 
inhabitants and 28 blacks, with 66 dwellings. The population at stated periods, 
since 1784, was as follows: 1810, 564; 1820, 695; 1830, 709, and 155 taxables; 
1840, 934; 1850, 970; i860, 987; 1870, 840, of which thirty-two were foreign 
birth; 1880, 1,061 ; 1891, 969; 1.900, 973. 

The first postoffice in the township was established in 1823, and Joseph 
Warner, who lived on the Street road just above Davisville, was appointed post- 
master. The office was removed to Davisville about 1827. Among the aged peo- 
ple who have deceased in Warminster during the last half century, may be men- 
tioned Mary, the widow of Andrew Long, who died January 17, 1821, aged 
ninety-five years, and John Harvey, who died the 31st of the same month, at 
the age of eighty-seven. Warminster is the middle of the three rectangular 

townships bordering the Montgomery 
line, and is four miles long by two wide. 
After rising from the valley where some 
of the headwaters of the Pennypack 
have their source, the surface of the town- 
ship is generally level, with but little 
L,:^ ^^V.flK'^ '^^I^^^^^H broken or untillable land. There is not 

^LbiJUflHT w^^^^^^^m better land in the county than the plains 

of Warminster, which extend eastward 
to the hills of Neshaminy, and the inhab- 
itants are employed in agricultural pur- 
suits. It can boast of good roads, rich 
and well-cultivated farms and an intelli- 
gent, happy population. 

Just over the southwest border of 
Warminster, in Moreland township, 
Montgomery county, is the flourishing 
village of Hatboro, lately incorporated 
into a borough, with a bank, weekly 
newspaper, an academy, two churches, a 
valuable library^* and a population of one 
thousand. It is thought to have been 
first settled by John Dawson, of London, who, with his wife Dorothy, daughter 
Ann, then five years old, and possibly two sons, immigrated to Pennsylvania 




LOLLER ACADEMY. 



18 The library was organized, 1755, and some of the most active men in the work 
were of Warminster, including Joseph Hart and Daniel Longstreth. During the Revolu- 
tion the books, for safety, were stored in the Longstreth garret. This is said to have been 
the first country district library established in North America. 

The library building was erected in 181 1, on a bequest for that purpose, in the 
will of Robert Loller, was named "Loller Academy," after him, and is still standing. In 
it a classical school was kept many years, and became quite famous. The first teacher 
was George Murray, the same who subsequently kept a boarding school in Doylestown. 
Rev. Robert Belville, many years pastor at Neshaminy, and father of Rev. Jacob Belville, 
taught at Loller Academy, 1819. The building was used for public debates, and some 
distinguished men have measured political and polemic swords there. In 1844, during the 
Polk and Clay campaign, General John Davis and Hon. Josiah Randall discoursed in the 
past. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 199 



in 1710. He was a hatter, a Friend, and carried on his trade there several years^ 
The place was then called *'Crooked Billet," from a crooked stick of wood, 
painted on the tavern sign where he kept at one time. He erected a stone house,, 
his daughter Ann carrying the stone and mortar for him in her apron. It is 
said she was engaged in this occupation when Bartholomew Longstreth decided 
to marry her. He had more courage than the modem swain is credited with, 
possessing. She rode to Horsham meeting on a pillion behind her father, and 
after the marriage rode behind her husband to his house in Warminster. Ben- 
jamin, the youngest child, established the iron works at Phoenixville, and died^ 
1798, of yellow fever. John Dawson had seven children. In 1742 Dawsoa 
lived at the southwest comer of Second street and Church alley, Philadelphia,, 
in the first house erected on that site. The present name, Hatboro, is said to 
have been given to the village out of regard to the occupation of the earliest, 
inhabitant. On the evidence of William J. Buck, the earliest name given to the 
place, when hardly a hamlet, was "Hatboro," and is found on Lewis Evans^ 
"Map of the Middle Colonies," published at Philadelphia, 1749. Doubtless the 
village took the name of "Crooked Billet" from the sign that swung at the 
tavern door, a crooked billet of wood. John Dawson, a maker of hats, was there 
soon after 1700, and his occupation had something to do with the name. Both 
names were probably applied to it at the same tir^e. In 1759 the public house 
was kept by David Reese, whose daughter, Rebecca, born 1746, married John 
Hart, of Warminster. The village was the scene of a spirited contest between 
American militia, under General Lacey, and a detachment of British troops, on 
May I, 1778. The retreating militiamen were pursued across Warmister to 
the Bristol road, killed and wounded, on both sides, marking their route.^* 
The descendants of John and Dorothy Dawson number about two hundred per- 
sons. The Dawson family is an old one in England. The first of the name,. 
Sir Archibald D'Ossone, afterward changed to Dawson, was a Norman noble- 
man, who accompanied William the Conqueror to England, 1066, and received 
tiie grant of an estate for services rendered in battle. It is not known that John 
Dawson was descended from him, and probably was not. 

The Longstreth manuscripts give additional information on the Crooked 
Billet fight of an interesting character. John Tompkins' tavern on the York 
road was British headquarters. This was in the stone house, still standing, on 
the west side of the road about three hundred yards below the county line as 
we enter the village. We believe it is used as a dwelling. It is the tradition 
that Robert Iredell piloted the enemy, and that Isaac Dillon and a "Colonel'^ 
William Pean had something to do with it. They were probably Tories. Captain 
Isaac Longstreth commanded a company of militia and Abraham Sutphin stood 
guard on the bridge at the lower part of the village the night prior to the mom- 
ing of the attack on Lacey. Lacey and his aid-de-camp quartered at the house of 
John Guilbert, a stone dwelling recently taken down on the west side of the turn- 
pike, about half way from the county line to where the monument stands, and 
occupied an end room next the road. The night was moonlight and Mrs. Guil- 
bert, not being able to sleep, got up and on looking out one of the back windows,, 
saw British soldiers in the apple trees. She dressed, went down and awakened 
Lacey and his aide, who got their horses and rode to camp. The refugees were 
cmel and gave rio quarter. An English officer had his thigh broken near the 
Longstreth gate, and two soldiers were sent for a blanket to sling him between 

19 William Carnahan, a Revolutionary soldier, died in Warminster township, 1839^ 
aged ninety-four, possibly a survivor of the Crooked Billet fight. 



Digitized by 



Google 



200 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



horses. The soldiers began to plunder and an officer who was sent after them 
took Daniel Longstreth up the lane to point out his goods. A refugee demanded 
his silver shoe buckles, and dismounted to take them off, threatening to run him 
through unless he gave them up, but Longstreth appealed to the soldier's two 
comrades, who shamed him and he rode away. 

Safety Maghee, of Northampton township, at the age of ninety-three, 
related to the author, 1858, what he knew of the battle of the Crooked Billet. 
He said: "In 1778 I was living with my uncle, Thomas Folwell, in South- 
ampton, where Cornell Hobensack lives, on the road from Davisville to South- 
ampton church. On the morning of the battle I heard the firing very distinctly, 
and a black man named Harry and myself concluded we would go and see 
what was going on. I was then about thirteen years old. We started from the 
house and I went directly toward where the firing was. When we came near 
to where Johnsville now stands we heard a heavy volley there, which brought 
us to a halt. The firing was in the woods. The British were in pursuit of our 
militia and charged them from Johnsville to the Bristol road, and also through 
the fields from the Street road to the Bristol road. They overtook the militia in 
the woods at the corner of the Street road and the one that leads across to the 
Bristol road. When the firing had ceased we continued on to the woods, where 
we found three wounded militiamen near the road. They appeared to have 
been wounded by the sword, and were much cut and hacked. When we got to 
them they were groaning greatly. They died in a little while, and, I understand, 
were buried on the spot. They appeared to be Germans. We then passed on, 
and, in a field near by, we saw two horses lying dead. They were British. One 
of them had been shot in the head and the gun put so cloge the hair was 
scorched. While we were in the field, Harry picked up a cartouch box, that 
had been dropped or torn oflf the wearer. Shortly after we met some of the 
militia returning, and, when they saw the black fellow with the cartouch box, 
they became very indignant, and accused him of robbing the dead, and took 
it away from him. Three dead horses were on the farm of Colonel Joseph Hart. 
Soon after this we returned home. The last man was killed on the Bristol road 
at the end of the road that comes across from Johnsville." 

The first Sunday-school at Hatboro was opened September 5, 1824, in 
Loller Academy. At that time there was no church there. The Baptist church, 
the first to be organized, grew out of a woods meeting held in the summer of 
1835, in a grove half a mile below Southampton; and a mile from that church. 
During the meeting, the Rev. L. Fletcher, one of the officiating ministers, 
preached one evening in the Hatboro Academy. Several converts having been 
made at the woods meeting, and the Southampton Baptist church not being 
in sympathy, a question arose as to what was to be done with the new converts. 
Mrs. Yerkes, wife of the late Joseph B. Yerkes, who had recently come to Hat- 
boro, solved the problem by suggesting that a church be organized. The sug- 
gestion was accepted and, out of this movement, the prosperous church at Hat- 
boro grew. 



Digitized by 



Google 



CHAPTBR XV. 



NEWTOWN. 



1T03. 



Main stream of settlement. — Called Newtown, 1687. — Lands taken up, 1684. — Christopher 
Taylor. — John Martindale. — Thomas Hillborn. — The Lintons. — ^William Buckman. — 
Map of 1703. — Townstead. — The common. — ^Joseph Briggs. — Durham and other roads. 
— ^John Harris. — ^James Hanna. — Charles Stewart. — First site of church. — Area of 
township. — Population. — Tradition of borough's name. — What called in 1795. — 
Newtown in 1725. — Laid out in 1733. — Tamer Carey. — Samuel H inkle. — Newtown in 
1805. — ^James Raguet. — Newtown library. — Academy. — Brick hotel. — ^Joseph Archam- 
bault. — Romantic career. — Death of Mrs. Kennedy. — Edward Plummer. — Doctor 
Jenks. — The Hickses. — Isaac Eyre. — Oliver Erwin. — General Francis Murray. — Pres- 
byterian church. — Episcopal. — Methodist, and Friends' meeting. — Newtown of to-day. 
— incorporated. — Population. — Paxson Memorial Home. — First temperance society. 

It will be found, on investigation, that the main stream of English settle- 
ment flowed up the peninsula formed by the Delaware and Neshaminy. For 
the first forty years, after the county was settled, the great majority of the immi- 
grants settled between these streams. West of the Neshaminy the territory is 
more circumscribed, and the current of English Friends not reaching above War- 
minster. The pioneers, attracted by the fine rolling lands and fertile valleys of 
Newtown, Wrightstown, and Buckingham, early pushed their way thither, 
leaving wide stretches of unsettled wilderness behind. Newtown lay in the track 
of this upward current east of the Neshaminy, and the smoke of the English 
settler was hardly seen on the Delaware before the sound of his ax was heard 
in the forest north of Middletown. 

It is not known when Newtown township was laid out, or the name first 
given to it, but it is possible it was so. known arid called some years before the 
date given to it at the head of this chapter. It was probably surveyed by 
Thomas Holme, and on his map, 1684, its boundaries are nearly identical with 
those of the present day. This district of country was called "Newtown" as 
early as 1687, in the inventory of Michael Hough, near which he had two 
hundred and fifty acres of land, valued at £15. Samuel Paxson was appointed 
"overseer of highways" for Newtown, 1691. In the early day it was called 
"New township," a new township laid out in the woods, and no doubt the origin 
of its name, and it is probable the syllable "ship* was dropped for convenience, 
leaving it "Newtown" as we now have it. 



Digitized by 



Google 



202 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



In 1684 its lands were pretty well apportioned among proprietors, some to 
actual settlers, and others to non-residents. Richard Price owned a tract that 
ran the whole length of the Middletown line. Thomas and John Rowland and 
Edward Braber (probably a misspelling) along Neshaminy, Thomas Revel,. 
Christopher Taylor, and William Bennet, on the Wrightstown border, Arthur 
Cook, John Otter, Jonathan Eldrey, Abraham Wharley, Benjamin Roberts, 
Shadrack Walley, William Sneed, Israel Taylor, and a tract laid out to the 
"governor,*' along what is now Upper Makefield. All these several tracts 
abutted on the townstead. Some of the parties had land located for them before 
their arrival. Of these early proprietors we know but little. William Bennet,. 
of Middlesex, England, came with his wife Rebecca, November, 1685, but he 
died before the year was out, and she was left a widow in the woods of New- 
town. On the 9th of September, 1686, Naomi, daughter of Shadrack Walley,. 
was married at Pennsbury to William Berry, of Kent county, Maryland. In 
1709 Walley owned twelve hundred acres in the township, probably the extent 
of his original purchase. . 

Christopher Taylor was an early settler, coming sometime in the '8o*s, and 
owned five thousand acres in the county in several townships, a considerable 
tract in Newtown near Dolington. He died on the estate leaving two sons and 
one daughter, Israel, Joseph and Mary. In 1692, two hundred and fifty acres 
were patented to Israel Taylor, doubtless the son of Christopher, on the south- 
east side of Newtown borough. This he sold to James Yates, who, dying, 1730,. 
the land went to his heirs, and soon after 1736, Samuel Cary became the owner 
of the greater part of the tract. Cary built a stone house on the premises, 1741^ 
and called the place "Retirement." He died there, 1766, leaving the homestead 
to his son Samuel, who sold it to Nathaniel, father of Nathaniel P. Burrows, 
1 80 1, for $5,860. It then contained one hundred and forty-six and one-half 
acres. It was next owned by Thomas Porter, and a school kept there, known as 
"Porter's Academy." The next owner was David Roberts, father of the late 
Stokes L. Roberts, and there the son was born. The daughters of the family 
were remarkably handsome women, Eliza being often spoken of as the "hand- 
somest woman in Bucks county." She married Colonel Peter Ihrie, Easton. 
Twenty years ago the farm belonged to John B. Tomlinson, who pulled down 
the old house, built 1741, and erected a new one, 1878. He called the place 
the "Fountain Farm." The James Yeates who owned this farm after Israel 
Taylor, is said to have walked the Indian purchase of 1684, and it was subse- 
quently owned by his son, James, who was one of the walkers in the "Walking 
Purchase," 1737, but gave out the morning of the second day and lived but 
three days. These facts make the place of historic interest. 

The five hundred acre tract of Thomas Rowland, extending from New- 
town creek to Neshaminy, probably included the ground the Presbyterian 
church stands upon. It was owned by H^nry Baker, 1691, who conveyed twa 
hundred and forty-eight acres to Job Bunting, June, 1692, and, October, 1697,. 
the remainder, two hundred and fifty-two acres, to Stephen Wilson. In 1695 
Bunting conveyed his acres to Stephen Twining, and 1698 Wilson did the 
same, and Twining now owned Thomas Rowland's whole tract. In 1757 part 
or the whole of this land was in the possession of Benjamin Twining. In 1702- 
Stephen Twining owned six hundred and ninety acres in Newtown, which John 
Cutler surveyed March 10. 

Twining, a common name in Great Britain, of Anglo Saxon origin, one 
authority says is composed of Saxon words meaning "two meadows." The name 
of John Twining, an Abbot, of Winchcomb, Gloucestershire, makes its appear- 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



203 



ance the middle of the fifteenth century. WiUiam Twining was a freeholder at 
Yarmouth, Cape Cod, Mass., 1643, ^^^ ^^^ son William, with his family settled 
in Newtown, 1695, dying there Nov. 4, 1703, and his wife Elizabeth Dean, 
daughter of Stephen, December 28, 1708. From that time Newtown has been 
considered the home township of the family, from which the members have 
gone forth to make their way in the world. Stephen, son of William Twining, 
born February, 1659, married Abigail, daughter of John and Abigail Young, 
and had eleven children, and died Feb. 18, 1720. The first of the Twining 
family to be born and live in Bucks county were the children of Stephen, fifth 
son of Stephen 3d, born December 30, 1684, married Margaret Mitchell, Octo- 
ber, 1709, and died at Newtown, June 28, 1772. TJhe wife died July 9, 1784, 
in her ninety-ninth year. Their issue was : William ; Elizabeth, bom April 30, 
1712, married Isaac Kirk; Abigail, born December 24, 1714, married Samuel 
Hillbom; Stephen, born February 20, 1719, married Sarah Janney; Mary, 
married John Chapman, October 8, 1738; William, born April 7, 1723; Mar- 
garet, married Thomas Hamilton, and had a large family. 

John Martindale, born in England, 1676, settled in Newtown before 1700, 
and married Mary Bridgeman,. daughter of Walter Bridgeman and Blanch Con- 
stable, Middletown. She died, in 1726, leaving six children, from whom have 
descended a numerous family. Of these descendants we can trace John, of the 
second generation, born in 17 19, and married Mary Strickland, Amos, of the 
third, bom 1761, married Martha Merrick, Charles, of the fourth, born, 1801, 
married Phoebe Comly, and Doctor Joseph C, the fifth in descent from the 
progenitor, bom 1833, in Philadelphia county. The latter achieved considerable 
distinction. Without the advantages of early education he took a respectable 
position in the walks of literature and science. His active life was spent in 
teaching and practicing medicine. In his hours of leisure he wrote, A History 
'of the United States, for schools, of which seventy thousand were sold in the 
first six years ; History of Byberry and Moreland, A Series of Spelling Books, 
First Lessons in Natural Philosophy, and a volume on Anatomy, Physiology 
and Hygiene. He left unpublished, at his death, 1872, ''A Catalogue of the 
Birds, Animals and Plants" found in the vicinity of Philadelphia. Doctor 
Martindale was a man of great industry and accomplished much under adverse 
circumstances. 

A map of Newtown township, as surveyed and laid out by John Cutler, 
1702, gives us the 
names of the land 
owners at that 
time* They had 
changed since 
1684, with some 
new-comers; Ste- 
phen Twining, al- 
readv mentioned, 
Wilfiam Buck- 
man, who died in 
17 16, Michael and 
Samuel Hough, 
Ezra Croasdale, 
Henry Paxson, 
Israel Morris, 
Thomas Hillbom, 




YATES HOUSE. NEWTOWN. 



Digitized by 



Google 



204 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



who died in 1723, James Eldridge, Mary Hay worth, and James 
Yeates. By this time Shadrack Walley, who had become the largest 
landowner in the township, owning one thousand three hundred and 
ninety-seven acres, had absorbed most of the land that Richard Price 
owned on the Middletown line, 1684. A small portion of Price's land 
was now owned by Yeates. Israel Morris was the smallest land-owner in the 
township, one hundred and seventy-eight acres, if we except Edward Cowgill, 
who owned a few acres adjoining the north-west comer of the town common. 
James Yeates died in 1730, and was probably the father of the James Yeates 
who took part in the Great Walk of 1737. John Frost, who gave the name to 
Frost lane, on the northern edge of the borough, was there in 171 1, and died in 
1716. There were either Germans or Hollanders settled in the township as 
early as 1724, for in the survey of the road from Newtown to Falls meeting- 
house, of that year, there is mention made of "the Dutchman's plantation." 

Thomas Hillbom, ancestor of the Bucks county family bearing this name, 
was an English Friend, who came to Newtown from Shrewsbury, N. J., in the 
spring of 1702. The year previous he had purchased seven hundred and fifty 
acres adjoining Makefield, including twenty-five acres in the Newtown town- 
stead. August 20, 1702, he purchased one hundred and thirty acres additional, 
making in all, per Cutler's resurvey, nine hundred and eighty acres. On De- 
cember 12, i6i88, Thomas Hillborn married, at her mother's house, Shrewsbury, 
Elizabeth Hutton, at an appointed meeting of Friends. Twelve children were 
bom of this marriage, the first six at Shrewsbury, the rest at Newtown, viz : 
Samuel, born 8 mo. 20, 1689; Robert, born 5 mo. 31, 1692; Mary, born 10 mo. 
7, 1694; Elizabeth, bom ist mo,, 2, 1697-98; Katharine, born i mo., 30, 1699; 
Deborah, bom 3 mo, 25, 1701, died 1703; Thomas, born 1703; John, bom 
1705; Joseph, born 1708, died 1731, unmarried; Amos, bom 1710, died 1710; 
Rachel, bom 171 1 ; Hannah, born 1714, died 1714. 

Thomas Hillborn died at Newtown, 1723, leaving a will dated 17 19, his 
wife surviving him several years. Her will, dated 1728, now in possession of 
one of her descendants at Omaha, Nebraska, does not seem to have been pro- 
bated. Elizabeth Hillbom, widow of Thomas, had purchased of Richard Sun- 
ly, a farm in Wrightstown, and by the above will, she devised it to her son, Jo- 
seph, subject to his maintenance of her aged mother Elizabeth Hutton, but she 
subsequently sold the farm. Thomas Hillborn, Sr., in his lifetime, conveyed 
two hundred and twenty-nine acres to his grandson, Samuel Hillborn (son of 
Samuel, deceased) 6 mo. 7, 1717, which Samuel conveyed to Thomas, 1739, 
Thomas to his son Robert, 1779, and Robert to his son Amos, by will, 1793. 
On October 22, 1717, Thomas Hillborn, Sr., conveyed two hundred and fifty 
acres to his son Robert, and Robert dying 1720, devised it to his son Thomas, 
who, in 1741, having removed to Burlington, N. J., sold the whole tract to 
Peter Taylor. The balance of the tract was devised to his son Thomas and to 
the widow Elizabeth, and they conveyed the same, separately, to John Hillborn, 
1726 and 1737, respectively. 

Samuel Hillborn, eldest son of Thomas and Elizabeth married, 1711, Mar- 
garet, daughter of Christopher and Margaret Atkinson, who came here from 
Yorkshire, England, Christopher dying on the passage, or soon after his arrival. 
Samuel Hillborn died, 1714, leaving an only son, Samuel, who married Abigail, 
daughter of Stephen Twining, and had by her eight children : Samuel, who re- 
moved to Durham township ; Joseph, who married Ann Wilkinson, and settled 
in Smithfield, Philadelphia county; Mary; Elizabeth; John, said to have been 
captured by Indians, 1775, and carried to Canada, but returned to Pennsyl- 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 205 



vania; Thomas, married Sarah Brummage, removed to Canada, 1806-7, his 
son, Eli H. Hillborn, living at Toronto ; William and David, died without issue ; 
Mary, married James Paxson; Elizabeth married Thomas Millard. Robert, 
second son of Thomas and EHzabeth, married Mary, daughter of Thomas 
Harding, 171 5, died 1720, leaving two children, Thomas and Mary, the former 
removed to Burlington, New Jersey, i738-39» where he was living, 1741 (see 
deed of record Bucks county), and later removed to Lower Dublin township, 
and was a member of Byberry meeting, and died about 1770. Robert, his eldest 
son, born 2 mo., 6, 1740, in New Jersey, removed to Portland, Maine, 1775-76, 
where he enlisted in United States service, married and settled and has numer- 
ous descendants in New England. In an affidavit made in '94 to establish his 
claim to a pension, he said he was born in New Jersey. The other children of 
Thomas and Mary Hillborn were Thomas, born 10 mo., 23, 1741 ; Mary bom 
9 mo., 10, 1744; Joseph, born 2 mo. 12, 1743; Benjamin, born 8 mo. 30, 1746, 
and Elizabeth. 

Mary Hillborn, eldest daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth, married Amos 
Watson; Elizabeth married Abraham Darlington, Chester county; Katharine 
Hillborn was unmarried, 1728; Deborah, born 1701, died, 1703; Thomas, born 
1703, married 1726, Ann Ash ton, daughter of Thomas and Deborah Baines 
Ashton, had sons Robert and Samuel ; Robert died at Newtowri, 1793, leaving 
sons, Amos, Thomas, Robert and John; daughters, Rachel Beans, Elizabeth 
Saylor, Fanny and Mercy. Of these, Thomas^ who married Rachel Hayhurst, 
was the father of Isaac Hillborn, Philadelphia; John Hillborn born 1705, 
married 3 mo., 1730, Rachel Strickland, and removed to Philadelphia and died 
there, 1747, leaving five children, Amos, Miles, Joseph, Elizabeth and Frances. 
When the township was laid out there was reserved and surveyed, at 
about the middle of it, a *'townstead'' of six hundred and forty acres on which 
the borough of Newtown stands. To encourage purchasers, Penn allowed each 
one to locate a lot in the townstead equal to ten per cent, of the quantity he took 
up in the township. There was left of this reservation, lying on both sides of 
Newtown creek and nearly one half within the present borough limits, a vacant 
strip containing forty acres, andlcnown as the "common." The i6th of August, 
1716, this piece of land was patented to Shadrack Walley, William Buckman 
and John Frost, for the use of themselves and other inhabitants of the township.^ 
These parties died without perfecting their title, and the vacant strip of land 
lay as common until the close of the century. The ist of April, 1796, the in- 
habitants authorized William Buckman, Francis Murray, James Hanna, Thomas 
Story, William Linton and John Dormer Murray to prpcure the title to this 
property from the state, with authority to sell or lease, and the proceeds to be 
equally divided between the academy, a free school in the village, and schools 
in the township, in such manner as the trustees might direct. The patent was 
issued July 8, 1796, and the consideration was of £79. 6s., with a reservation of 
one-sixth of all the gold and silver found on it. The following were the metes 
and bounds of the cornmon: '^Beginning at a stone, an original corner, etc., 
thence grossing Newtown creek, along lands of Aaron Phillips, formerly James 
Yeates, south eighty-three and one half degrees east thirty-five perches to a 
stone in Bristol road, in line of Joseph Worstall's lot, thence along the same 
and sundry lots of said town, of lands originally of Shadrack Walley, Mary 
Hayworth and Jonathan Eldridge, north eight and a quarter degrees, east two 

I It was conveyed to the inhabitants of Newtown township "for the convenience of 
roads, passages to ye water, and other benefits to ye said township." 



Digitized by 



Google 




Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 207 



hundred and eleven and four-tenths perches to a stone set as a corner of Samuel 
Carey, originally Thomas Hillborn, and a corner of the seven acres belonging to 
and surveyed to Francis Murray, thence by the same, re-crossing the creek, north 
eighty degrees west twenty-nine eight-tenths perches to a stone, now set as 
another comer thereof, on the westerly side of Taylor's ferry road, at its inter- 
section of the Durham road about the comer of Moses Kelly, originally Ezra 
Croasdale, and Jacob Buckman, originally Samuel Hough's, thence by said 
Buckman, James Hanna, Esq., Thomas Buckman and Jesse Leedom, and others, 
originally Michael Hough's, William Buckman and Stephen Twining, south 
nine degrees thirty-eight minutes west two hundred and thirteen and four- 
tenths perches to the place of beginning, containing forty acres and ninety-seven 
perches." The common was two hundred and twelve and three-tenths perches 
and two hundred and twelve and five-tenths perches on the east and west lines, 
respectively, and twenty-nine and nine-tenths perches and thirty-five and five- 
tenths perches on the north and south lines. It was divided into fifty-five lots, 
of vmequal size, thirty-seven, fifty-five and one hundred and thirty feet front, 
and from one hundred and sixty-eight to two hundred and forty-two feet in 
depth, which were put up at public sale August i, 1796, and most of them sold. 
Those numbered from one to twelve, inclusive, were sold in fee-simple, and the 
remainder on ground-rent, payable on the ist of August, forever, with the right 
of redemption. Those sold in fee brought from £$2 to £104, while those on 
ground-rent ran from £5. 12s. 6d. down to i8s. 6d. The common embraced all 
that portion of the present borough of Newtown lying between M^in street on 
the east and Sycamore on the west, and Frost lane on the north down to a line 
a little below Penn street on the south, and the titles are held under the several 
acts of Assembly relating thereto. As many of the purchasers under the act of 
1796 did not comply with the conditions of sale, and the old trustees being dead, 
with no persons capable of acting in their stead, the legislature cured the defect 
in 18 18. By this act Enos Morris, Thomas G. Kennedy, Jacob Janney, Phineas 
Jenks, Joseph Worstall, Jr., and Thomas Buckman were made **trustees of the 
Newtown common." They had power to sell and lease, previous titles were 
confirmed, and the same disposition was to be made of the proceeds as under 
the act of 1796.* When the common lots were sold Main street was left open, 
but in 1798 a jury laid it out along the east side of the common sixty-six feet 
wide,and likewise Bridge and another cross street forty-nine and one-half feet 
wide. In 1795 ^^ common was called "graveyard field." Main street was de- 
clared a public road in 1785. 

The Lintons were early settlers in Bucks county, but we have not the date 
of the family's coming. They were here before the middle of the eighteenth 
century. William Linton, one of the trustees for selling the New- 
town Common, was the son of John and Elizabeth Hayhurst Linton, of 
Wrightstown, and bom 1742. He married, first, 1766, Sarah Penquite, daugh- 
ter of Samuel, Wrightstown ; second, 1788, Mary Janney, daughter of Thomas 
Janney, Newtown township, a descendant of Thomas Janney, Provincial Coun- 
cillor ; third, Letitia (Harvey) Ellicott, widow of Nathaniel Ellicott, Bucking- 
ham. He had two children by his first wife, John and Elizabeth, none by his other 
wives. William Linton bought for himself at the trustees sale, lot No. 8, and 
shortly erected on it facing Main street, one of the finest mansions then in the 
town, and which is still (1901) standing. The property is shown on the map 

2 In 1 716 ten acres v/ere granted to Thomas Mayberry, out of the "vacant land in 
the townstead of Newton, .n the county of Bucks," for a settlement to carry on his trade. 



Digitized by 



Google 



2o8 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



of 1812 in his name, adjoining the north Hnes of the county property and the 
Academy lot. These two lots, being mostly open ground, gave Linton's house a 
fine uninterrupted view, and with its central location in the town and the court 
house nearly opposite, made it a most desirable situation for a residence. Mr. 
Linton Uved in this house, in colonial style befitting his position, until his death, 
1802, and his widow maintained an establishment of some pretention until her 
decease, 1817. They both belonged to wealthy and prominent families for the 
time. The property was inherited by William Linton's daughter Elizabeth, wife 
of Joseph Buckman, 1819, who sold it to Maria H. Wirtz, and she conveyed it 
to Dr. Reading Beatty,^'^ 1823. Dr. Beatty lived here until his death and left 
it to his son. Dr. Charles C. Beatty, who, 1832, sold it to Joseph P. Norris, Jr., 
Philadelphia, trustee for Anna Maria, wife of Morris Buckman. In 1842, after 
twenty-three years of outside ownership, this house came back into the Linton 
connection, and on March 7, after two transfers, the property was conveyed to 
Joseph Briggs, in whose family it has remained. At this time Mr. Briggs lived 
in the old Court Inn, which we have mentioned elsewhere. Modern improve- 
ments and the encroachment of business have shut off the pleasant outlook from 
this semi-colonial mansion. 

Down to 1723 the Durham road appears to have been the only traveled 
highway by which the inhabitants of the township could reach the outside world. 
Necessity was now felt for wagon communication with their neighbors east and 
west. The road to Taylorsville, via Dolington, was opened in 1723, and that 
from Newtown to Fallsington via Summerville, 1724. At the June term, 1730, 
the court was petitioned for a road "from Thomas Yardley's mill and the ferry 
at the said Yardley's landing."' This road was opened, 1734,* and that to Ad- 
disville about the same period.® In 1760 a road was laid out from McKonkey*s 
ferry* to Newtown. In 1748 several of the inhabitants of Newtown and Make- 
field petitioned for a road "from William Croasdale's lot'' along the line of 
John Croasdale and others into what is now the Durham road. This road prob- 
ably started about Dolington, or in that vicinity. The road to the Buck tavern 
was laid out in 1809, and ordered forty-five feet wide. 

John Harris came to Newtown and settled at the townstead, probably as 
early as 1750. Seven years later he was keeping store there, when he purchased 
sixty acres of Benjamin Twining, part of the Thomas Rowland tract on the west 
side of the creek, which cost him £320. September 21, 1767, he purchased of 
Nelson Jolly what was called his "upper farm," on the west side of the common. 
The Presbyterian church stands on the south-west corner. The greater part 

2^2 Dr. Reading Beatty, born Dec. 23, 1757, son of Rev. Charles Beatty by his wife 
Ann, daughter of Governor John Reading, New Jersey. He was a student of medicine at 
the outbreak of the Revolution, but went into service as ensign in Captain John Richard- 
son's Company, Colonel Magaw's battalion, 5th Pennsylvania; prisoner of war, 1776-1778; 
May, 1778, appointed ensign, 6th Pennsylvania regiment, Continental line; May i, 1780, 
surgeon i6th Pennsylvania regiment. Continental line; September, 1781, transferred to 
Proctor's Artillery and served till end of war. He afterward settled in Bucks county and 
practiced medicine, his residence, after 1821, being the Linton house, Newtown, where 
he died October 29, 1831. He married April 20, 1786, Christiana, daughter of Judge Henry 
Wynkoop. 

3 Now Yardley. 

4 It was re-laid in 1795 two poles wide. 

5 Relaid thirty-three feet wide in 1787. 

6 Formerly called Baker's ferry. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



209* 



of this tract is now owned by Alexander German, and the old yellow house, 
known as the ^'Washington headquarters," was the homestead of Harris; 
Gradually John Harris became a considerable land-owner, owning ov€f five 
hundred acres in all. Two hundred and fifty-seven acres lay in Newtown, and 
as much in Upper Makefield, part of which was bought of the trustees of the 
London company, the remainder from the manor of Highland. He grew tO' 
be a man of note among his fellows and before 1770, was written "John Harris, 
merchant" and "John Harris,^ Esqr." He died August 13, 1773, in his fifty- 
sixth year, and his widow administered on his estate. 

John Harris married Hannah, daughter of Oiarles Stewart, Upper Make- 
field, and had seven children : John, Ann, Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary, Rachel, and 
Hannah. Of the children of this marriage, Ann, sometimes written Anne, was 
married twice, the first time to Dr. Hugh Shiell, Philadelphia. He was a native 
of Ireland, took his degree in medicine at Edinburgh, settled in Philadelphia at 




the beginning of the Revolution, was a personal friend of Robert Morris, ancf 
subscribed £5,000 sterling to establish the bank of North America. Dr. Shielf 
first met Miss Harris at Mr. Morris's house. The mother opposed the match, 
but the young people went to church and settled the matter for themselves. 
He was a man of fine education, good manners and full of humor. They had 
but one child, Catharine Harris Shiell, born August 19, 1785, who married arid 
died at Lexington, Kentucky, June 24, 1841, and her husband, June 11, 1833, of 
cholera. At the death of Dr. Shiell, his widow married Judge Harry Innes, 
Kentucky.^^ Their child, Maria Knox, first married her cousin. Judge 

7 John Harris was a tanner as well as a merchant, and fifty years after his death, 
in digging the foundation for a milk-house on the German farm, they came to an old 
wall, vats, bark, and other remains of the tannery. The oldest inhabitant could tell nothings 
about them. 

7J/^ In the "Journal of a Journey Through the United States, I795~96," by Thomas 

Chapman, Esq., an Englishman, we find the following reference to the Innesses while at 

Frankfort, Ky. : "On Wednesday evening. December 2. I went out and slept at Judge 

Innes's, who has got a plantation about five miles from Frankfort, where I staid all night 

14 



Digitized by 



Google 



210 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Harris. Todd, and at his death became the second wife of Hon. John J^ 
Crittenden.* 

Sarah Harris married Captain Charles Smith, of Wayne's army ; EHzabeth, 
Juclge Thomas Todd, United States Supreme Court, whose second son, Charles 
Stewart Todd, was aid-de-camp to General Harrison, war of 1812-15, ancj 
rg)reseiited the government at St. Petersburg and Colombia, South America. 
Mairy Harris married James Hanna, a lawyer of Newtown, and had four chil-: 
dreh! Commodore Spotts, of the navy, was a grandson. Jack Harris married 
Jane Hunt, New Jersey. His son William, a commander in the Navy, was 
drowiied off Vera Cruz during the Mexican War, trying to save the life of a 
brother officer.* After the death of Charles Stewart, Mrs. Stewart with her 
daughters, Mrs. Hunter, Mrs. Harris, and Mrs. Shiell, a daughter of Mrs. Har- 
ris, all, widows, with their children emigrated to Kentucky, where their de- 
scendants are among the most distinguished people of the state. Charles Stew- 
art, the father of Mrs. Harris, had other children ; Robert, who died unmarried 
at Trough Springs, Kentucky; William, a schoolmate of Daniel Boone, who 
accompanied him on his second visit to Kentucky, and was killed at the battle 
of Blue Lick; Mary, who married James Hunter, and Charles, who died at 
Newtown, 1773, at the age of thirty-seven. Charles Stewart, the father, died 
September 16, 1794, aged seventy-five, and was buried in the Presbyterian 
church yard. He was bom in Scotland, 1709. His wife was Sarah Lawell, 
widow of David, bom 1709, and died in Kentucky, 1800. When Charles 
Stewart came to America is not known. In 1787, Hannah Harris went to 
"Kaintuckee," to get her share of her brother William's estate. The following 
is a memoranda of her disbursements and expenses : "Trip from Newtown, 
Bucks county, Pennsylvania to Danville. Kentucky, £70; boat to ascend the 
Ohio river £18 ; supplies for myself and family for two years and expenseis of 
return to Newtown, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, £350; expenses of a negro 
man in Kentucky, and going and coming, £36. 5s. lod ; Thomas Lowrie, service 
in Kentucky and on my return, £45, 14s. 3d. ; loss sustained in horses in my 
journey to, stay at, and return from Kentucky, £80; making a total of £610. id." 

John Burrows, the grandfather of Charles P. Burrows, of Pineville, came 
to Bucks county from New Jersey. He settled about Morrisville, where he 
liyed in a cave, and, on selling his property to Robert Morris, removed to Newr 
town township, on the road to Yardleyville. When the Revolutionary war 
broke out, John Burrows carried the mail from Philadelphia, but the mail 
carrier from Princeton to New York siding with the British, Burfows was 
i^ppointed to carry the mail through to New York. Great difficulty was ex- 
perienced, and sometimes his son carried the mail in a little bag around his neck, 
frequently swimming the Delaware, and creeping through the grass to escape 
epemies. Burrows was elected either door-keeper or Sergeant-at-Arms of 
Congress, when it sat at Philadelphia. He accompanied it to Washington^ 

and >vas highly entertained by the polite and affable behavior of the Judge and his lady. 
Mr. Innes is a Federal Judge with a salary of 1,000 dollars per annum." 

8 Mrs. Innes, the mother of Mrs. Crittenden, was visited at her home near Frank- 
fort. Ky., June, 1840, by the Rev. Robert D. Morris, who was instrumental in her conver- 
sion and baptized her. He also baptized Mrs. Crittenden's early friend, Mrs. Hapcnny, 
at the age of seventy-five. She was a daughter of Amos Strickland, who built the old end 
of the trick tavern, Newtown. 

9 .Hannah, and Rachel Harris died unmarried. The Hannas lived near Newtown^ 
belonged to the Presbyterian church and likewise removed to Kentucky. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 211 



where he died at the age of ninety-six, after many years service. His son, Na- 
thaniel Burrows, was bom at Newark, in 1756, and came to the county with his 
father. He married Ann, daughter of Lamb Torbert, Newtown township, and 
died, 1840, at the age of eighty-four. He was a soldier in the Revolution, and 
he and his father both drew pensions to their death. Nathaniel Burrows had 
•eight children, Samuel, William, John, Joseph, George, Margaretta, Charles 
and Mary. Charles and one sister are still living. The wife of Nathaniel Bur- 
rows died, 1838, at the age of seventy-nine, and she and her husband were both 
buried in the Presbyterian graveyard, Newtown. 

The original Presbyterian church of Newtown stood on the "old Swamp 
road" a mile west of the village on the farm owned by Alexander German, and 
was probably founded before 1740. A new church was erected near the borough 
limits, in 1769, on a lot given by John Harris, when the old frame building was 
abandoned. It was afterward sold and converted into a wagon house at the 
John Thompson farm near the Chain bridge, in Northampton. A number of 
tombstones are still in the old grave yard, bearing dates from 1741 to 1756, 
some of them of quite elaborate workmanship. There is a tradition that a 
wicked sinner, named Kelley, hired a negro to fetch him a marble slab from 
the old g^ave yard to use for a paint stone, and that when his act of vandalism 
became known, public opinion drove him from the neighborhood. About 1750 
5ixty acres of land on the west bank of the Neshaminy, below Newtown, with 
a dwelling upon it, were given to the Presbyterian church for a parsonage. It 
was sold about the breaking out of the Revolutionary war, and the proceeds 
invested in six per cent, state warrants. These were stolen from the house of 
John Thompson, the treasurer, and lost to the church. Many years ago the fol- 
lowing lines on the "old grave yard," were suggested by a remark of the late 
Doctor Phineas Jenks, in a lecture before the Newtown Lyceum, and published 
in the Newtown Journal : 

Overgrown and neglected, deserted, forlorn, 

A thicket of dogwood, of briar and thorn. 

Is that home of the dead, that last place of rest 

For the mouldering clay of the good and the blest. 

Where once, up to heaven, upon the still air, 
Rose the music of praise and the murmur of prayer J 
Where crowds came to worship, from valley and hill. 
Rests a silence like death, 'tis so quiet and still. 

Not a vestige remains of the temple, whose roof 
Echoed oft to the loud earnest preachings of truth — 
Time's pinions have swept every fragment away, 
And the people who listened, oh where now are they? 

The stones which affection once placed o'er the dead, 
Their names to preserve, and their virtues to spread; 
Displaced and disfigured, the eye should, to see. 
Have the aid of thy chisel, "Old Mortality." 

Soon the plough will o'erturn the root and the blade 
Of the sod once upheaved by the mattock and spade; 
And the place, once so sacred, will then be forgot. 
With the beings who wept and rejoiced on this spot. 



Digitized by 



Google 



212 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Among the inhabitants of Newtown township, of a past generation, was 
one who attempted to shuffle off this mortal coil by jumping down a well forty 
feet deep when a little deranged in his mind. He repented the act when he. 
reached the bottom, cried lustily for help and was fortunate enough to be drawn 
out alive. Some people were uncharitable enough to say that his insanity was 
a dispensation of Providence in punishment for driving off his neighbor*s cattle 
to the British during the Revolutionary war. 

Newtown township is bounded by the Neshaminy on the west, which sep- 
arates it from Northampton, north by Wrightstown, east by the two Make- 
fields and south by Middletown. The area is six thousand two hundred and 
forty-six acres, a trifle more than ten times the quantity in the original townstead. 
We believe the boundaries to be the same as when it was first laid out. The 
surface slopes to the south, and the soil is productive. It is watered by Nesh- 
aminy and its tributaries, Newtown creek running the entire length of the town- 
ship, and Core creek flowing through its southeast comer into Lower Make- 
field. On the Neshaminy is a valuable quarry of brown stone, used extensively 
for ornamental building purposes. The main industry is farming. Jenks*s 
t tailing-mill, two miles southeast of Newtown, is probably the oldest mill of its 
tG^ass in the county, and was raided by the British during their occupancy of 
Philadelphia in the Revolution. 

The first enumeration of inhabitants of Newtown that we have seen, is that 
of 1742, when there were forty-three taxables and nine single men. The tax 
raised was £12, 18. gd., and Samuel Carey the heaviest payer, was taxed ten 
shillings. In 1754 the taxables were 59 ; 80 in 1761, and 82 in 1762. In 1784 it 
contained 497 whites, 28 blacks, and 84 dwellings. The population, in 1800 was 
781 ; 1810, 982; 1820, 1,060; 1830, 1,344, and 233 taxables; 1840, 1,440; 1850, 
765 whites, "^j blacks ; i860, 933 whites, 67 blacks, and in 1870 the number of 
the whites was the same, of whom 95 were foreign-bom, and 50 blacks ; 1880, 
970; 1890, 759; 1900, 715. The apparent falling off in the population after 
1840 was caused by the incorporation of the village of Newtown into a borough,, 
and the separate enumeration of its inhabitants. 

The borough of Newtown has possibly borne its present name longer than 
any other village in the county. The exact time of its founding, and the origin 
of its name, are both involved in doubt. Tradition tells us that, on one occasion, 
as William Penn, with a party of friends, was riding through the woods where 
the village stands, he remarked to those about him, "this is the place proposed 
for my new town ;" and a new town in very truth it was, to be founded and 
built in the depth of the Bucks county wilderness. Whether the village took 
the name of the township, or the township of the village, we are left to con- 
jecture, but the probability is in favor of the latter. The last course in a tract 
of two hundred and twenty-five acres, laid out to Shadrack Walley, October 25. 
1683, runs northeast by east by "New Town street, twenty-eight perches,** and 
twenty-five acres in "New Town-stead." In the patent to Thomas Rowland, 
dated 12th of 12th month, 1684, for four hundred and fifty acres, on the "east- 
ermost side of Noshaminoh (Neshaminy) creek," calls for fifty acres in the 
"village or townstead," one side of which is "bounded on the street or road of 
said village." The 12th month, 17th, 1698, Stephen Twining, carpenter, of 
Burlington, New Jersey, sold two hundred and fifty-two acres of the Rowland 
tract to Stephen Twining, yeoman, "being in the county of Bucks, at a place 
called New Town." These are the earliest mention of the name we have been 
able to find, and they carry us back to within a year after the arrival of Williami 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OP BUCKS COUNTY. 213 



Penn. On the map of Oldmixon, 1741, it is spelled "Newtowne/' and "New- 
ton" in Scott's Gazetteer of 1795. 

On the authority of John Watson, in a communication to the Philosophical 
Society, there was a white man, named Cornelius Spring, living at Newtown in 
1692. He was possibly one of the very oldest and earliest inhabitants of this 
ancient village, but probably he and others were there before that time. The 
farmhouse of John Tomlinson is supposed to have been built near the close of 
the century, but the dwelling of Silas C. Bond, in the lower part of the village, 
is thought to be the oldest house in it. The kitchen, more modem than the 
main building, was built in 1713. As late as 1725,^® when the county seat was 
removed from Bristol to Newtown, it consisted of a few log huts built along 
the Durham road, now State street. This event gave it an importance not 
hitherto enjoyed, and for almost the ninety years it remained the shire-town it 
was considered the first village of the county. The five acres bought of John 
Walley to erect the public buildings on, and for other county purposes, lay on 
the east side of State street, and extended from Washington avenue down to 
Penn street, forty perches, and twenty perches east. The present Court street 
cut the lot in twain from north to south. In 1733 the ground was laid out into 
six squares of equal size, one hundred and ninety by one hundred and forty- 
two and a half feet, and streets opened through it. The court house and prison 
were erected on square number one, bounded by land of John Walley, that ex- 
tended to Washington avenue. State, Sullivan and Court streets. The same 
year the commissioners sold a lot in the fifth square, sixty feet on Court and one 
hundred and forty-two and a half on King street, to Joseph Thornton, on which 
the Court inn was subsequently erected. Gradually the whole of the five acres, 
not occupied by the public buildings, were sold to various parties long before the 
county seat was removed. When that event took place there was only that por- 
tion of plot number one where the court house, jail and little- old office stood to 
l)e disposed of. The five acres are now in the heart of the town and covered 
with buildings. We have no means of even guessing the population of 
Newtown when it became the county seat. Eighty years ago it contained 
about fifty dwellings, and tradition tells us that at that time one house in ten 

10 Newtown was made the seat of justice of Bucks county in 1725, by an act of 
Assembly of 1723; and William Biles, Joseph Kirkbride, Thomas Watson, M. D. and 
Abraham Chapman were appointed commissioners to purchase a piece of land in Newtown 
township, in trust, for the use of the county and build thereon a court house and prison. 
The same act provided for holding the elections at Newtown. The trustees were author- 
ized to sell as much of the land purchased as would not inconvenience the 
court house and other public buildings. The prison proving too small, a new 
one was built under an act passed. 1743-45. The fire-proof office was not built until 
1772. It was designated a "strong and commodious house," was 12 by 16 feet in size, of 
"Stone masonry two feet thick, brick arch 12 inches deep, with chimney and fireplace in 
west end. Prior to this the county records were kept at the private homes of the officers. 
The act for building the fireproof provided that "the papers and records shall be deposited 
and kept in the said house under a penalty ot £300, any usage or custom to the contrary 
notwithstanding." One of the jailors at Newtown was "Paddy" Hunter, who kept a bar 
and sold rum in the prison office, and prisoners and others who had the money could 
?ilways buy the article. Asa Carey succeeded "Paddy" at the latter's death and stopped the 
sale of rum and the escape of prisoners. He was the last jailor at Newtown and the 
first at Doylestown. On returning to Newtown he married Tamor Woorstall, celebrated 
for her cakes and pies. 



Digitized by 



Google 



214 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 



had license to sell liquor, besides the keeper of the jail, and the only known 
buildings along the wfest side of Main street were the academy and that occu- 
pied by the National bank. The built-up portion of the town was on the east 
side of Main street, between Penn street and Washington avenue. Robert 
Smock's estate owned all the land on that side pf the street, including the Brick 
hotel, from the avenue up to the bridge across the creek, except one lot. A map 
of that period gives but nineteen building lots on the east side of Main, between 
Penn street and Washington avenue, and only twenty real estate owners on 
that side as far as the street extends, not including the county. Of the streets, 
that on the west side of the creek was known as the "Other" street, while those 
crossing the common, from the lower to the upper end, bore the names of. 
Lower, Bridge, Middle, now Washington avenue, Spring, Yonder, and Upper 
streets. At that day Newtown had four taverns. The property on State street, 
in recent years, T. Wilson Miller's, was owned by John Torbert, and kept by 
Jacob Kessler, who married Doctor DeNormandies' widow. It next came into 
the possession of Asa Carey, who called it **Bird in Hand,"^^ then to his widow 
Tamar, whose ginger cakes gained great celebrity. To his duties as landlord 
Mr. Carey added those of postmaster. The temperance house was kept by one 
T)ettero, then by Samuel Heath, and next by Samuel Hinkle, a German, who 
was the standing court-interpreter, and, in his absence, his wife officiated."^ 
The property at one time belonged to General Murray but the name under which 
it was kept is lost. Hinkle moved from there to the Brick hotel, whose history 




BRICK HOTEL, NEWTOWN. 



II This house is called in ancient conveyances "Old tavern" and the "Old house." 
The house next north of it is called "the Justice's house.*' In olden times, "Bird in Hand" 
occurred among the trades tokens, and represented the proverb "one bird in the hand is 
worth two in the bush." It was literally rendered by a hand holding a bird. 

1 1 34 When Hinkle made application for license for this house, August term, 1821, it 
was spoken of as "The sign of coach and horse." The western end had not yet been 
built and the eastern or main part was only two stories high. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 215 



-will be given elsewhere. The fourth tavern stood on the east side of Court 
street, near the court-house, and is now a private dwelling. It was built, 1792, 
and called "Court Inn." It belonged at one time to Joseph Thornton, but the 
last keeper was a Wilkinson, who gained celebrity in nicking and setting horses 
tails. One large room, known as the **Grand Jury Room," was used as a ball 
room, and in it the late Colonel Elias Gilkyson first met the lady he married. 
Joseph Briggs bought the Court Inn, 181 7, and used it as a dwelling; though 
large, his family found it none too large, as he had five or six children of his 
own, two tmmarried sisters and one of his wife's lived with him. 

In early life Joseph Briggs owned a hat manufactory, possibly left him by 
his father, but while quite young, had retired with a comfortable fortune, and 
the rest of his days lived the life of a country gentleman. He was something 
of a student, spending much of his time in reading, and for his day, had quite 
a good library, the books relating mostly to the Society of Friends. Besides 
several other town lots, he owned farm lands in Newtown township, which he 
kept in charge of overseers. He was a son of John and Letitia Buckman 
Briggs, and descended from several prominent families of the neighborhood, 
the Croasdales, Hardings, Penquites, etc. His wife, Martha Dawes, was a 
daughter of John and Alice (Janney) Dawes, of Lebanon township, Hunterdon 
county, New Jersey, but of Bucks county descent, among her ancestors being 
the Wilkinsons, Goves, Mitchells, etc. Th^ Court Inn was sold after his death, 
by his heirs. In his time the lot ran along Bridge street, afterward Sullivan, 
now Centre avenue, the eastern end, beyond Court street, being then called 
"Back Lane," by those living along it up to Congress street. The Inn, itself, 
was subsequently used for a school room, but within the last ten years, was 
turned into a store. 

Ninety years ago Newtown was still the county seat, with the stone jail, 
court-house, and "row offices" on the green. It was the polling-place for the 
middle and lower end of the county, and the second Tuesday of October was 
made a day of frolic and horse-racing, accompanied by many free fights. The 
streets were lined with booths, where cakes, pies, and beer, large and small, were 
freely sold. Newtown in early times, was the seat of public fairs, at which the 
whites and blacks from the surrounding country gathered to make merry, in 
large numbers. Isaac Hicks, justice of the peace for many years, lived on Main 
street below Carey's tavern, and dressed in breeches. Charles Hinkle kept the 
Brick hotel, and was succeeded by Joseph Archambault about 1825. The two 
principal stores were James Raguet's,^^^ a French exile, who died suddenly in 
Philadelphia in 1818, and Joseph Whitalls, who kept where Jesse Heston did, 
and failed before 1820. Count Lewis, another French exile, died at Raguet's 
house in 181 8. James Raguet's son Henry, born February 10, 1796, died at 
Marshall, Texas, December i, 1877. He settled at Cincinnati, Ohio, early in 
life and was a merchant several years. He went to Texas, 1832, and settled at 
Natchitoches. When the Texan war broke out with Mexico, 1835, he was prom- 
inent in the movement in Eastern Texas, and General Houston*s celebrated 
letter of April 19, 1836, announcing his intention of meeting the enemy, was 
addressed to Raguet. This was on the eve of the battle of San Jacinto, the 
decisive action of the war. He was one of the leading and most patriotic citi- 
zens of the state, and noted for his generosity and enterprise. He left a widow 
and several children. At a later period Jolly Longshore became a, famous New- 



iiy2 Raguet was in Newtown as early as 1785. He married Anna Wynkoop, August 
17, 1799- 



Digitized by 



Google 



2i6 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 



town storekeeper. He bought out Raguet's sons immediately after the war of 
1812, and continued in the business many years. The Raguet store was in the 
two-story brick where Paxson Pursell kept, and what was later known as the 
^'Middle store" was Raguet's wagon-house, on the opposite side of the street. 
The leading physicians were Doctors Jenks, Moore, Plumly, and Gordon, all 
jnen of note in their day. Moore was as deaf as an adder, Plumly fond of 
.spirits, and Gordon, who lived two miles from town, and was a tall, handsome 
man, was a zealous advocate of temperance. Doctor Jenks practiced medicine 
in Newtown about forty years, and died there. 

The Newtown library, one of the oldest institutions in the village, was es- 
tablished, 1760. August 9, a meeting was held at the public house of Joseph 
Thornton, and Jonathan DuBois, Abraham Chapman, Amos Strickland, David 
Twining and Henry Margerum were chosen the first board of directors, with 
John Harris, treasurer, and Thomas Chapman, secretary. The books were first 
kept at Thornton's house, and he was made librarian. On the list of original 
subscribers, twenty-one in number, who paid one pound each, is the name of 
Joseph Galloway. The library was incorporated March 27, 1789, under the 
name of the "Newtown Library Company,'* and it is still kept up. In 1824, a 
newT building was erected at an expense of $106.66, by subscription, the bal- 
ance appropriated from the treasury. Dr. David Hutchinson was the most 
active man. The mason work was done for ninety cents a day, and Edward 
Hicks, whose bill was one dollar, doubtless painted the sign with Franklin's 
likeness on it, and a latin motto over the door. The latter we have not been able 
to find. It is thought the books were kept in the old court house, and when 
tthat was taken down necessity compelled the erection of a new library building. 
A new one was erected, 1882, at a cost of $i,6od. By the will of the late Joseph 
Bamsley, the library company will receive $15,000 at the widow's death for the 
purpose of establishing a free reading room : $5,000 to be used for the 
erection of the building. In 1897 the library company held its one hundred and 
thirty-seventh annual meeting, attended by one hundred and forty-one share- 
holders. A Masonic lodge was instituted March 4th, 1793, by authority of the 
<Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. The officers were Reading Beatty, master; 
James Hanna, senior, and Nicholas Wynkoop. junior warden. The members 
numbered fifty-seven. Authority was given to hold the lodge at Newtown, or 
within five miles of that place. 

The Newtown academy played an important part in the cause of education 
in that section, and was the first school of a high grade established in the 
county." It educated many teachers, and for a number of years, with the 
Presbyterian pastor at its head, was the right arm of the church." It is said 
the first teacher of grammar in Buckingham township was educated there. The 
pastor and other friends of education applied for a charter, 1794, the site was 
bought, 1796, and the building erected, 1798, at a cost of four thousand dollars, 
The charter was surrendered, 1852, and the building sold. Previous to its 
erection the public buildings were used for school purposes. The Academy lan- 
guished in the first thirty years of its existence, but it was revived about 1820. In 



12 The Newtown academy was the ninth in the state, and $4,000 were appropriated 
toward its erection. The charter provided that the trustees shall cause ten poor children 
to be taught gratis at one time. 

13 From the church and school there went forth about 25 ministers of the gospol, to 
all parts of the country. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 217 



1806 it was in charge of one P. Steele, who made great pretensions to teach 
-elocution, but it amounted to little. The Reverend Alexander Boyd was prin- 
-cipal for several years, and among other names who taught there may be men- 
tioned Messrs. Nathaniel Furman, Doak, Fleming, Trimble, McKinney, Wil- 
liam B. Keyser, Lemuel Parsons, James I. Bronson,** president of Washington 
(Pennsylvania) college, and others. Three quarters of a century ago the 
teacher of Latin was Josiah Scott, a young graduate of Jefferson college, but a 
-distinguished lawyer, and a judge of the supreme court of Ohio. Josiah Chap- 
man opened a select boarding-school for girls in Newtown, 181^. July 10, 1829, 
John Taylor Strawbridge, student at the Academy, was drowned in Nesha- 
miny while swimming across with his preceptor, Mr. Fairfield.*^ 

The land of Amos Strickland, an early owiler of the Brick hotel, lay out 
along Washington avenue, then called Strickland's lane, a well-known race 
course when the courts and elections were held at Newtown. In 1784, after his 
death, eight acres of his real estate, divided into twenty-seven lots, were sold at 
public sale by Sheriff Dean. They embraced that part of the town south of 
Washington avenue and east of Sycamore street. Strickland was a farmer in 
Newtown township several year^ He bought the Brick hotel, then called Red 
Lion, 1760, and 1763 built a two-story brick, which he kept. 

Joseph Archambault, many years owner and keeper of the Brick hotel, 
which he bought of Joseph Longshore, an ex-officer of the great Napoleon, 
came to Newtown about 1821. At first he worked at the trade of tin-smith in 
the old Odd Fellows' hall, but afterward studied dentistry and practiced it sev- 
eral years while he kept the hotel. He was an enterprising business man, and 
acquired considerable real estate in the village, including the large square 
bounded by Main, Washington avenue. Liberty, and the street that runs west 
over the upper bridge. In 1835 he laid out this square into building lots, fifty- 
three in number, and sold them at public sale. On it have since been erected 
some of the handsomest dwellings in the village. He g^ve the land on which 
old Newtown hall stood, and was instrumental in having it built. It grew out 
of the excitement that attended the preaching of Frederick Plummer in the 
lower part of the county in 1830-35, whose followers, were called "Christians" 
.and "Plummerites.*' It was built for a free church,^" and was maintained until 
recent years, when it was taken down and a public hall built on its site. Fred- 
erick Plummer first made his advent in this county at Bristol, coming by invita- 
tion of Edward Badger, father of Bela Badger, who was acquainted with him 
in Connecticut and was one of his followers. This was about 1817. About 1820 
a church was built for him half a mile above Tullytown. He first preached in 

14 The Rev. James I. Bronson, D. D., LL. D., was born at Mercersburg, Pa., March 
14, 1817, and died at Washington, Pa., July 4, 1899. He studied divinity at Princeton, and 

-came to teach at the Newtown academy, 1837-38, remaining nearly a year. He was a 
distinguished minister and while at the Newtown academy very popular. 

15 When the academy was sold, 1852, at public sale, by virtue of an act of Assembly, 
it was bought by the Rev. Robert D. Morris, who, after giving $1,000 and putting it in 

•order, raised $5,000 additional by subscription to enable the Presbyterian church to own 
it. He was a former pastor of the Newtown church. 

16 The first meeting in the interest of the free church. Newtown, was held in Joseph 
Archambault's brick tavern, June 5, 1830. Thomas Buckman was chairman and Samuel 

'Snyder secretary. Joseoh Archambault, Amos Wilson and William Brown were ap- 
pointed a committer to solicit subscriptions. An adjourned meeting was held the 19th. 



Digitized by 



Google 



2i8 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Badger's house, Bristol township, just over the borough line. Captain Arch- 
ambault retired from the hotel to a faini near Doylestown, and then to Phila- 
delphia, where he died.*^ 

Newtown was the scene of a very painful occurrence the 28th of July, 181 7. 
A little son of Thomas G. Kennedy, then sheriff of the county, while amusing 
himself floating on a board on the creek at the upper end of the village, fell otf 
into deep water. His mother, hearing his cries, rushed into the water to his 
rescue and sunk almost immediately. Mr. Kennedy was exhausted in his attempt 
to save them. He and the child were rescued by the citizens, who flocked to the 
spot, but the body of his wife was not recovered until life was extinct. She was 
Violetta, daughter 6f Isaac Hicks.^"^ 

Among the leading citizens of Newtown in the last century were Doctor 
Phineas Jenks and Michael H. Jenks, who were probably the most prominent. 
They descended from a common ancestry, the former being a grandson and the 
latter great-grandson of Thomas Jenks, the elder.^^^ Phineas was born in Mid- 
dletown May 3, 1781, and died August 6, 1851. He studied medicine with Doc- 
tor Benjamin Rush, graduated in 1804, and practiced in Newtown and vicinity.** 
He was twice married, his first wife being a daughter of Francis Murray, and 
his second, Amelia, daughter of Governor Snyder. He served six years in the 
Assembly, was a member of the constitutional convention of 1838, and active in 
all the reform movements of the day. He was the first president of the Bucks 
County Medical Society, and one of the founders of the Newtown Episcopal 
church. Michael H. Jenks was born 1795, and died 1867. Brought up a 
miller and farmer, he afterward turned his attention to conveyancing and the 
real estate business, and followed it to the close of his life. He held several 
places of honor and public trust, was justice of the peace many years, commis- 
sioner, treasurer, and associate- judge of the county, and member of the twenty- 



17 Joseph Archambauh had a romantic career. He was born at Fontainbleau, near 
Paris, August 22, 1796, and educated at the military school at St. Cyr. Being left an 
orphan, he became a ward of the Empire through family influence and was attached to 
the Emperor's household. After Elba he was again attached to the Emperor's suit and 
followed his fortunes. He was wounded at Waterloo and left upon the field, but rejoining 
the Emperor, himself and brother were among the number selected to accompany him to 
St. Helena. Refusing to give up his sword, he broke it and threw the pieces into the sea. 
Landing in New York May 5, 181 7, he spent the next four years with William Cobbett 
at his model farm. Long Island, with Joseph Bonaparte, Bordentown, and at other places, 
coming to Newtown, 1821, where he lived until about 1850. He died at Philadelphia, 
July 3, 1874, meanwhile living a few years on a farm at Castle Valley, Bucks county. Hp 
served in the cavalry for a time in the Civil war, 1861-65. 

i7li . In 1766 a riot took place at Gregg's mill, near Newtown, supposed to have been 
on the site of the present Janney's mill. The cause is not known, but several persons who 
took part in it were indicted and brought to trial. The ringleader was probably John 
Hagerman, as he is the first mentioned in the subpoenas, which are signed by Lawyer 
Growden, "then the leader of our bar and clerk of the court." 

17J/2 George A. Jenks. Jefferson county. Pa., Democratic nominee for Governor of 
Pennsylvania, 1898, is a lineal descendant of the Bucks county Jenkses. 

18 His thesis on graduating, "An investigation endeavoring to show the similarity 
in cause and effect of the yellow fever of American and the Egyptian plague," was pub- 
lished by the university and re-published in Europe. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. . 219 



eighth Congress. He was married four times. His youngest daughter, Anna 
Earl, was the wife of Alexander Ramsey, the first Governor of Minnesota,, 
senator in Congress from that state, and a member of President Hayes' cabinet. 
He lately deceased. 

The Hickses of Newtown were descended from John Hicks, bom in Eng- 
land about 1610, and immigrated to Long Island, 1643. His great-grandson, 
Gilbert, bom 1720, married Mary Rodman, 1746, and moved to Bensalem, I747' 
48. He built a two-story brick house at Attleborough, 1767, and moved into- 
it. He was a man of ability, education and of character, but made the fatal mis- 
take of clinging to the fortunes of Great Britan in 1776. His fine property was 
confiscated, and he died in exile by the hand of an assassin. Isaac, son of Gil- 
bert, and the first Newtown Hicks, born in Bensalem, 1748, and died, 1836,. 
rnarried his cousin Catharine, youngest daughter of Edward Hicks, a merchant 
of New York. Her sister was the wife of Bishop Seabury, Maine, and of her 
brothers, William studied at the Inner Temple, London, and was afterward 
Prothonotary of Bucks coimty. while Edward was an officer of the British 
army, and died in the West Indies. Isaac Hicks held several county offices. He 
was a man of great energ\' of character. His marriage docket contains the 
record of six hundred and six marriages in forty-seven years. Edward Hicks, 
the distinguished minister among Friends, whom some of this generation 
remember, was the son of Isaac and bom at Four Lanes End, now Langhorne» 
4th month, 4th, 1780. He was brought up to the trade of coach painting, mar- 
ried Sarah Worstall, 1803, 2i"d joined the Society of Friends. He removed to 
Newtown, 181 1, where he established himself in the coach and sign-painting^ 
^business and was burnt out, 1822. He had a taste for art, and his paintings of 
"Washington Crossing the Delaware'* and "Signing the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence" were much noted in their day. A few of them are preserved as 
relics of great value, one of them, ^'Washington Crossing the Delaware," being 
owned by the Bucks County Historical Society. He became a popular preacher, 
and had few equals in persuasi\ e eloquence. He died at Newtown August 23, 
1849."^ Thomas Hicks, one of the most distinguished artists of New York, is 
a nephew of Edward Hicks, and descendant of Isaac. He was born in Newtown, 
and in his boyhood was apprenticed to his uncle Edward to learn the painting^ 
trade, but, exhibiting great fondness for art, left his trade before manhood, 
and went to New York to receive instruction. He subsequently spent several 
years in Italy and in other parts of the continent, and on his return home took 
high rank among artists as a portrait painter. 

Francis Murray, an Irishman by birth, and born about 1731, settled in ttiis 
county quite early. He was living at Newtown before the Revolution. He 
owned several farms in the vicinity, was the possessor of considerable wealth 
and occupied a highly respectable standing in the community. He was major 
in a Pennsylvania regiment, in the Continental army, and his commission, signed 
by John Hancock, bears date February 6, 1777. He was justice of the peace, 
and held other local offices, including that of general in the militia. In 1790 he 

18^ It is said the father of Edward Hicks wished him to be a lawyer, and because 
he would not, bound him apprentice to the coach painting trade to one Tomlinson, and he 
acquired a high reputation. He begarf business at Hulmeville, but removed to Newtown,. 
181 1. He was the first of the family to join the Society of Friends. His son, Thomas W, 
Hicks, who died at Newtown, March 29, 1888, in his ninetieth year, was born at Hulme- 
ville, January 20, 1798. 



Digitized by 



QjOo^^ 



220 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



bought the dwelling opposite the court house, later Jesse Leedom's, where he 
died, 1816. The late Francis M. Wynkoop, who commanded a regiment, and 
distinguished himself in the Mexican war, was a native of Newtown and grand- 
son of Francis Murray. In its day the Wynkoop family exercised considerable 
local influence, and always held the highest position for integrity. 

Isaac Eyre, Newtown, is a descendant of Robert Eyre, ancestor of that 
family in Pennsylvania. He came from England, 1680, and settled on the site 
Of Chester, Delaware county. Isaac, a grandson of Robert, removed to Middle- 
town, 1762, on marrying Ann, daughter of Jonas Preston, who erected the first 
grain mill in the township, at Bridgewater. Preston's wife was a Paxson from 
near Oxford Valley. Isaac, a son of Isaac, born at Chester, 1778, a ship builder 
at Philadelphia, assisted to build gimboats for the government, on the Ohio, 
at the beginning of the century. He married Eleanor Cooper, daughter of 
William and Margaret, about 1801, removed to Bucks county, 1828, on a farm 
he bought in Middletown, and died at Langhome, 1851. On his death the farm 
came to his son Isaac, Newtown, who sold it to Malachi White, Jr., 1854, and 
purchased the Jenks farm, same township, 1862. This was part of the one 
thousand ,acres surveyed to John Shires, 1682, of which John Drake bought five 
hu;idred acres, 1683. The farm came into the Jenks family, 1739, when Toby 
Leech sold it to Thomas Jenks, and got a patent, 1744. It was called "Walnut 
-Green." The original family name of Ayre or Air, was "True Love,'* as will be 
seen by references to the deeds of "Battle Abbey." One of the family was a fol- 
lower of William the Conqueror, and was near him when thrown from his horse 
at the battle of Hastings, and had his helmet beaten into his face. True Love, 
seeing this, pulled the helmet off his face and assisted William to remount, 
when the Duke said to him, "Thou shalt, hereafter, be called Eyre or Air, for 
thou hast given me the air I breathe." The Duke finding his friend had been 
severely wounded in the battle, having his leg and thigh cut off, gave him land 
in Derby. The crest of the family in England is a "cooped leg." 

At the close of the eighteenth century Oliver Erwin, from Donegal, Ire- 
land, came to this country and settled at Newtown within the present borough. 
As one of his decendants put it, he was a "hard-headed Scotch- Irishman," 
Presbyterian in faith; had emphasized his conviction by taking a hand in the 
rebellion of 1798-99, and doubtless "left his country for his country;^'s _good." 
The new immigrant, 181 2, took to wife Rachel Cunningham, and becarne the 
father of five children : James, married Ann H. Davis, and died, 1844, Mary, 
Ann married John Trego, both dying young, John never married, Sarah mar- 
ried Lewis B. Scott, both deceased, leaving a son and daughter, and William, 

married , and died about 1890. John Erwin went into the war for Texan 

Independence, and was either killed or died subsequently. He was in the attack 
on Mier, Mexico, was captured with the party and compelled to draw beans, 
but drew a white one. William Erwin was for several years civil engineer of 
construction at West Point, and erected several public buildings. Judge Henry 
W. Scott, Easton. is the son of Lewis B. and Sarah Scott, nee Erwin ; his son 
is a graduate of Annapolis, and served on Admiral Dewey's flagship, the 
Olympia, at the battle of Manila. Oliver Erwin had another son, Alexander, 
"but all trace of him is lost. 

Newtown has four organized churches and the Friends* meeting, Presby- 
terian, Episcopal, Methodist, and African Methodist. The Presbyterian church 
was erected in 1769, and is a large and influential organization, of which a more 
particular account will be given in a future chapter. An effort was made to 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 221 



build an Episcopal church at Newtown as early as 1766. Thomas Barton,, 
under date of November 10, that year, writes to the society for propagating the 
gospel in foreign parts: **At Newtown, in Bucks county, eight miles from 
Bristol, some members of the church of England, encouraged by the liberal 
and generous benefactions of some principal Quakers, are building an elegant 
brick church." Mr. Barton wants an itinerant sent to supply Bristol, Newtown 
and other places. The 22d of October, 1768, William Smith enclosed a letter 
to the secretary, **from the church wardens of Bristol, and another congrega- 
tion now building a church in Bucks county, about twenty-five miles from Phila- 
delphia." He repeats Barton's story that they were much encouraged by the 
Friends, and adds that they are '*desirous of seeing the church flourish from a 
fear of being overrun by Presbyterians." We know nothing of this early 
cflfort beyond this record. The present Episcopal church was founded in 1832 
by Reverend George W. Ridgely, assisted materially by Doctor Jenks and. 
James Worth, whose daughter Mr. Ridgely married. Mr. Ridgely was likewise 
instrumental in founding the Episcopal churches at Yardleyville, Centreville 
and Hulmeville. He was then pastor of Saint James' church, Bristol. The 
Methodist congregation was organized and the church built about 1840. 
Friends* meeting was established in 181 5, and service held in the court house 
until 1817, when the first meeting-house was built.^* 

Sixty years ago Newtown was a stated place of meeting for the volunteers 
of the lower and middle sections of the county to meet for drill. The spring 
trainings alternated between this place and the two Bears, now Addisville and 
Richborough, and were the occasion of a large turn out of people of the sur- 
rounding country to witness the evolutions of a few hundred uniformed militia.. 
These musters brought back the jolly scenes of fifty years l)efore when it Was 
the general election ground for the county. The streets were lined with booths^ 
on either side, where pea-nuts, ganger-cakes, etc., were vended, and the music 
of the violin, to which the rustic youths of both sexes "tripped the light fan- 
tastic toe/* mingled with the harsher notes of the drum and fife on the drill 
ground close by. The scene was seasoned with fights, and foot-races and jump- 
ing matches, and not a few patriotic politicians were on hand to push their 
chances for office. The frequenters of these scenes cannot fail to remember 
Leah Stives, a black woman, vender of pies, cakes and beer. Her husband 
hauled her traps to the ground, early, with his bony old mare, that she might 
secure a good stand. Leah was a great gatherer of herbs, and noted as a good, 
cook. She died at Newtown in 1872. . * 

The first "First Day School" in the county among Friends was kept at New- 
town by Dr. Lettie A. Smith, in her own dwelling, 1868. The early First Day 
Schools, conducted wholly, or in part, by Friends, were missionary schools and 
date back over one hundred years. The present organization of this class of! 
schools, by the Society of Friends, was begun, 1861, in Green street meeting 
house, Philadelphia. Martin Luther was probably the father of Sunday schools, 
being originally (^ened for the benefit of children who could not attend week- 
day schools. 

19 In 1886 a Presbyterian chapel was erected at a cost of $8,000; 1893, St. Luke's 
Protestant Episcopal congregation built a parish building at an expense of $5,000; 1896 
the Methodists built a new brown stone church, cost $13,000; and 1898, the African M. E. 
congregation erected a brick building that cost $3,000. Few country villages are better 
sappHed with churches. 



Digitized by 



Google 



222 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



In 1893 an institution of learning called the "George School/' of high 
grade, was erected. on the south side of the Durham road, half a mile below the 
borough of Newtown. It was founded under the will of the late John M. 
George, who left the bulk of his fortune, some $600,000, for the purpose, with 
the proviso that it be named after the family. For a more lengthy account of 
this school see chapter on ^'Schools and Education," Vol. ii. 




GEORGE SCHOOL. NEWTOWN. 

The Newtown of today differs materially from the Newtown of half a cen- 
tury, or even thirty years, ago. It is a pretty and flourishing village, the seat 
of wealth and culture, and possesses all the appliances for comfort and con- 
venience known to the period. The dwellings of many of the citizens display 
great neatness and taste. Among the public institutions may be mentioned two 
banks and a fire insurance company, with a capital of $350,000, a national bank, 
organized 1864, a building and loan association, and Odd Fellows' hall, built 
for a hotel three-quarters of a century ago, and the academy and library 
already mentioned. There are lodges of Masons and Odd Fellows and Good 
Templars, and a literary society known as the Whittier Institute. Of industrial 
establishments, there are an agricultrfil implement factory, a foundry of many 
years standing, carriage factory, tan-yard, where the Worstalls*® have carried 

20 Edward Worstall, Newtown, is the fifth in descent from John Worstall, who 
married Elizabeth Wildman, 1720. In his veins he carries the blood of the Hestons. 
Hibbses, Halls, Warners, and Andrewses. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 223 

on tanning nearly a hundred years, gas works, steam saw-mill, and steam sash 
and door factory, a brick and tile-kiln and wholesale cigar manufactory. The 
•'Enterprise" and **Triumph" buildings, handsome brick structures, with man- 
sard roof, erected some years ago, are occupied by various branches of business. 
Newtown has a newspaper, and the usual complement of shops, stores, mechani- 
cal trades, and professional men. It supports two public inns. A railroad was 
constructed between Philadelphia and Newtown, and may be extended to New 
York. The road was formally opened to Newtown Saturday, February 2, 1878. 
Two trains, with about one thousand excursionists came up from Philadelphia, 
the people of the village entertaining them at lunch in the exhibition building. 
The late General John Davis, then in his 90th year, who had digged the first 
barrow load of earth when the road was begun, six years before, made an open 
air address in the snow storm that prevailed. It was a day of rejoicing for the 
villagers. A' trolley road has recently been built from Doylestown, via Newtown. 
A railroad from Bristol to Newtown was chartered, 1836, but never built. 

The residence of the late widow of the late Michael H. Jenks, one of the 
few ante-Revolutionary landmarks at Newtown, was formerly called the "Red 
house," from the color it was painted. It is said to have been built by the 
Masons for a lodge, before the war, and who spld it to Isaac Hicks for a dwell- 
ing. Since then it has been occupied, in turn, for school, store, and private 
residence.^^ 

Ninety years ago, while the courts were still held at Newtown, Enos Morris 
was a leading member of the bar. He was a grandson of Morris Morris, who 
came to the county about 1735, and settled in New Britain. Mr. Morris studied 
taw with Judge Ross, of Easton, and was admitted to the bar about 1800, at the 
age of twenty-five. He was twice married to widows of great personal beauty, 
Mrs. Elizabeth Hough and Mrs. Ann Leedom. He was a member of South- 
ampton Baptist church, where he was buried. 

We have no means of giving the population of Newtown borough before 
1850, when it was 546 white and 34 black inhabitants. In i860 it had grown 
to 652, and 859 in 1870; 1880, 1,001 ; 1890, 1,213; ^900. 1,463. The population 
is slowly but steadily increasing. Eleven public roads lead to Newtown, nearly 
all of them opened at an early day, evidence alone that it ha» been an 
important centre in that section of the county. There is probably not another 
point in the county in which there is access by the same number of roads. 

Newtown was incorporated in 1838. There have been several newspapers 
printed there the past century, but none earlier. Among these were the Bucks 
County Bee, 1802, Farmers' Gazette and Bucks County Register, 1805, Herald 
of Liberty, 1814, The Star of Freedom, 1817, Newtown Journal, 1842, New- 
town Gazette, 1857, ^^^ ^^^ Newtown Enterprise, 1868, the youngest, and only . 
living of all the newspapers established there, the others having gone, one by 
one, to that undiscovered country, the last resting-place of defunct journals. 
The postoffice was established in 1800, and Jacob Fisher appointed postmaster* 
Newtown was one of the most important points in the county during the 
Revolutionary war. It was, at one time, the headquarters of Washington, sev- 
eral times troops were stationed there, and it was a depot for military stores. 
The captured Hessians were brought direct from Trenton to Newtown the same 
day of the battle. The robbery of John Hart, at Newtown, while county treas- 
urer, by the Doans and their confederates, in October. 1781, was an ev^nt that 

21 Was possibly built by the lodge organized, 1793. 

Digitized by VrrOOQlC 



224 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



made great stir at the time. After they had taken all the money they 
could find at his dwelling, they went to the treasurer's office at the court 
house, where they got much more. The robbers divided their plunder at the 
Wfightstown school house. In a subsequent chapter there will be found a more 
extended account of this affair. 

There are but few, if any, of the descendants of the original land owners in 
the township at the present day. Of the present famiUes, several are descended 
from those who were settled there in 1703, among them the Buckmans,*^ Hill- 
borns, Twinings and Croasdales. The draft of the township at that date will 
show to the reader that several of the old families have entirely disappeared! 
The old public buildings were pulled down about i§30. 

The Bridgetown and Newtown turnpike was organized at the Temperance 
House, Newtown, March 3, I853, and work begun in April. Samuel Buckman 
was the first president ; Michael H. Jenks surveyed the road for $3, and labor- 
ing men were paid $1 per day and worked from 6 to 6. The number of shares 
was two hundred and eighty-four, yielding $7,100.00; cost of the road, $7,-; 
121.34; old tools sold for $21.82, leaving a net balance of 48 cents. When fin- 
ished the Governor appointed Anthony Burton, Joseph C. Law and Malachi 
White to examine it. 

The Buckmans were early settlers in Newtown, no doubt before 1700. 
William, the ancestor, was an English Friend, who owned six hundred and 
sixty^-eight acres in the township and fifty-nine acres in the townstead of New- 
town at the time of Cutler's re-survey, in 1703. He died about 1716, leaving 
sons, William, David and Thomas, and daughters, Elizabeth and Rebecca. The 
oldest son, William, died about 1755, the owner of considerable land, leaving 
six sons and one daughter, Jacob, William, John, Joseph, Thomas, Isaac, and 
Sarah. Thomas, the youngest son of the first William Buckman, married 
Agnes Penquite, of Wrightstown, had three children, Thomas, Rebecca and 
Agnes, and died about 1734. Elizabeth Buckman, the oldest daughter of the 
progenitor, was married to Zebulon Heston, at Wrightstown meeting, in 1726. 
Her husband became a famous minister among Friends and was the uncle of 
General John Lacey. The Buckmans were members of Middletown meeting 
until a monthly meeting was established at Wrightstown, in 1724. The family 
is now large and scattered and the descendants numerous. They have always 
been large land owners, and a considerable percentage of the land owned by the 
first William Buckman in the township is in the possession of the present gen- 
eration of Buckmans. The late Monroe Buckman, of Doylestown, was a de- 
scendant of the first William. 

The map of Newtown appended to this chapter gives the distribution of 
land as it was at Cutler's re-survey, 1702-3. 

The most ancient relic at Newtown was in the possession of the late Mrs. 
Alfred Bfaker, in the shape of a very old Bible. At the beginning of the New • 
Testament is the following: "The New Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Translated out of Greek by Theodore Beza, with brief summaries and exposi- 
tions by J. Tomson, London, 1599." This Bible was brought to America in 1773 
by Susannah Gain, of Belfast, Ireland, who became the grandmother of Mrs. 
Blaker. Miss Gain married James Kennedy, an Irishman, the father of Thomas 



22 Buckman is probably a compound word, and had its origin in "Bock," which, in 
Saxon, meant a freehold, and with the addition of man, makes Bockman, changed to 
Buckman, the holder of a freehold, or a freeman. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



225 



' G. Kennedy. In the old book is the memoranda: "Thomas Hlmter bought 
the book/' **Edward Hunter, 1745," and **David Hunter," without date. 
Possibly the grandfather of Miss Gain was a Hunter. The old Bible has 
descended on the maternal side, and will so continue. 

On July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of American Independence, a civic 
and military celebration was held at Newtown. The troops were coniihanded 
by John Davis, then colonel of the first regiment of Bucks county volunteers. 
The exercises were held in the Presbyterian church, of which Reverend Mr. 
Boyd was pastor, and afterward a dinner was given at Hinkel's tavern. The 
company was quite large, and among those present was the Honorable Samuel 
D. Ingham. The band of sixteen pieces was led by the late Aden G. Hibbs, 
a prominent citizen of Ohio and the only survivor of it, at his death a few 
years ago. 

Newtown has made very decided progress in population and otherwise in 
the past two decades. In 1883, old Newtown hall was rebuilt, improved and 
enlarged, and is much resorted to on public occasions. In 1888 the "Newtown 
Building and Loan Association" was incorporated, capital $100,000, which has 
added a number of dwellings to the borough, and the same year the "Newtown 
Artesian Well Company," with a capital of $30,000, and "Newtown Improve- 
ment Company," with a capital of $10,000, were incorporated and put in opera- 
.tion. In May, the following year, an "Electric Light and Power Company" 
was incorporated, with $20,000 capital, and a "Fire Association" in the fall, 
which was soon equipped with a "Silsby steam fire engine" and a hook and lad- 
der truck. Newtown made one of its most advanced steps, 1897, by incorpoi-ating 
a "Street Railway Company," and building a trolley .road to Langhorne, four 
miles, and connecting with Bristol. The capital stock is $100,000, and the road 
was opened in December. The same year a company was organized to build a 
trolley line to Doylestown, the county seat, fourteen miles, and was completed in 
1899. This will be an important improvement for middle and lower Bucks. 
In the matter of public schools, Newtown kepps abreast of her sister, boroughs. 
In the summer, 1894, the school building was remodeled by the School BoJlrd 




SHARO.N. RESIDENCE OF JAMES WORTH, NEWTOWN, 1830. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



;226 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



at a cost of $10,000, and, 1897, the old Methodist church was purchased and 
remodeled for school purposes at a cost of $2,000. The schools are graded and 
under good control. A new building was erected for the National bank^ 1883, 
at an expense of $14,000. In 1891 ttie streets of Newtown were macadamized 
at an outlay of $16,000 and 4 per cent, bonds issued to pay for it. 

The hrst temperance society in the county was organized in Friends' meet- 
ing house, Newtown, September 25, 1828, under the name of the "Bucks County 
Society for the Prcwnotion of Temperance;" its object to discourage the use of 
ardent spirits except for medicine, and the members pledged themselves to 
abstain from its use. At that day the brandy and whiskey bottle were seen on 
every side-board, and the first salutation on entering a neighbor's house was, 
"Come, take something !" To refuse was almost an insult. The following 
persons signed the constitution and may be considered the pioneers of tem- 
perance in the county : Aaron Feaster, Jonathan Wynkoop, J. H. Gordon, M. 
D., Joseph Flowers, Joseph Brown, M. B. Lincoln, Isaac W. Hicks, Reverend 
J. P. Wilson, Doctor Phineas Jenks, John Lapsley, Joseph Briggs, David Tag- 
gart, Charles Lombart, Thomas Janney, O. P. Ely, Charles Swain, and the Rev- 
erend R. B. Bellville. The officers chosen were Aaron Feaster, president; 
Joseph Briggs, vice-president; John Lapsley, corresponding secretary; Doctor 
J. H. Gordon, recording secretary, and Jonathan Wynkoop, treasurer. The 
first annual report of the society was made in -September, 1829. In January, 
1831, the membership of all the societies of the county was three hundred. The 
parent society was reorganized, 1832, and the same year a general convention 
of all the local societies was held at Doylestown, the Honorable John Fox pre- 
siding. The interest was kept up for a few years, but then began to decline, 
the stringent resolutions prohibiting members giving alcoholic drinks to 
mechanics and others in their employ, being objectionable to many of the mem- 
bers. Women first appeared at the Bucks County Temperance Conventions at 
Buckingham school house, August 29, 1840, and all the real temperance work 
of value was done by them after 1850. The last record in the books of the 
Bucks County Temperance Society was made April 29, 1874. About this 
' time the first temperance newspaper was issued in the county, the Olive 
Branch; by Franklin P. Sellers, at Doylestown,* but its violence injured its 
usefulness. 

The first public meeting held in the county, to take action on the approach- 
ing quarrel between Great Britain and her colonies, was at Newtown. It was 
the proper place for such action, as it was the county capital and necessarily 
the political centre. This was on January 9, 1774, and Gilbert Hicks, Esquire, 
was chairman. The announced purpose of the meeting was "to consider the 
injury and distress occasioned by numerous acts of the British Parliament, 
-oppressive to the colonies, in which they are not represented." 

Among the public buildings recently erected in Newtown is "The Paxson 
Memorial Home/* built in 1899, by the Honorable Edward M. Paxson, as a 
memorial to his parents, and opened in the spring of 1900. It is intended as a 
home for aged Friends of both sexes, and is provided with every appliance' that 
contributes to comfort and convenience. The style of architecture — colonial — 
presents a handsome appearance, and is finished throughout in the best manner. 
The outer walls are built of Newtown brown stone. It is not a charitable insti- 
tution in any sense. The society has raised an endowment for its partial sup- 
port, but those having the means will be allowed to rent rooms and pay board. 



Digitized by 



Google 




PAXSON MEMORIAL HOME. NEWTOWN. 



It will accommodate about fifty guests and the requisite help. The following 
inscription is engraven on a bronze tablet in the hall : 

'This building was erected in 1899, 

In memory of 

Thomas and Ann Johnson Paxson, 

By their son, 

Edward M. Paxson." 

"Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long upon the 
land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." 

We have mentioned, in a previous chapter, that Washington recrossed the 
Delaware the next day after his victory at Tnmton, and took quarters at New- 
town, with his army, and remaining there until the 29th of December, when he 
recrossed into New Jersey. Among the officers with Washington at Newtown, 
but did not recross the Delaware into New Jersey, remaining at Newtown, was 
Colonel William Palfrey, paymaster-general of the Continental army. On the 
5th of January, 1777, Colonel Palfrey wrote the following letter^^ to Henry Jack- 
son," to be opened by Benjamin Hickbourn, the letter being carried by Cap- 
tain Goodrich : 

Dear Sir: — Colonel Tudor** acquainted me that he had received a letter 
from you and other Gentlemen of Boston, requesting that we would furnish 
you, from time to time, with intelligence from our Army. You may be assured 
we will do this with the greatest pleasure, and as often as we can find a proper 
conveyance. 

"You have doubtless before this time had the particulars of the action at 
Trenton, in which we took about t.ggo Hessians Prisoners, Seven Standards, 
Six brass Cannon, 1,200 Stand of Arms, 12 Drums and several wagons with 

23 The letter is in possession of the Bucks County Historical Society, and was found 
in a house in Virginia by a general officer of the Union army. It is undoubtedly genuine. 

24 Henry Jackson was a Colonel in the Continental service and made a Brigadier- 
General near the close. 

25 Colonel Tudor, of Massachusetts, was Judge Advocate of the Continental army. 



227 



Digitized by 



Google 



228 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Baggage. This glorious Aifair was effected with the loss of but 6 or 7 men 
on our Side. The next Day the General and the Army returned to this side the 
Delaware, where he remained two or three days. On the 29th he passed the 
. Delaware again and joined General Cadwallader, who in the meantime had 
entered Trenton with the Brigade under his Command. 

*The time for which the old Army bad enlisted being near expired, the 
General prevailed with them to stay Six Weeks longer for a Bounty of ten dol- 
lars pr. Man, which they almost all accepted. On the 2d instant at noon advice 
was brought that a large Body of the Enemy were advancing from Princeton 
to attack' us, according in the Afternoon they appeared, when General Washing- 
ton quitted the Town and formed on the Heights near it. The British Troc^s 
attempted to enter it by passing over a bridge, when they were so gall'd by a 
heavy fire from our Cannon and Musquetry that (they) were twice repulsed,, 
with very great slaughter. They however entered the Town. In the Night 
General Washington made one of the grandest Manoeuvers that ever was heard 
of. Ht ordered his Men to kindle up large Fires that would bum all Night, 
and then march'd off in the most Secret manner towards Princetown; at 8- 
in the Morning at a place called Stony Brook about two miles this side of 
Princeton he met with two Regiments, the 17th and ssth, who were on their 
March to reinforce the British Troops at Trenton. These he immediately 
engaged and cut them all to pieces, the 17th especially. I have seen a Prisoner 
belonging to that regiment who was taken since the Action, and informs me 
that he does not think five of the whole Regiment escaped. In this Action it is 
said the General took five pieces of Cannon, a number of Prisoners and twenty 
Baggage Wagons. Our Army then went to Princetown where the 40th Regi- 
ment remained and pass'd through there in the forenoon, but we have as yet 
received no certain intelligence respecting the 40th, tho' it is reported they were 
all made Prisoners. That part of the British Army which was at Trenton 
quitted it and marched to Princetown where they arrived about five hours after 
General Washington had marched away, so that we imagine he intends to touch 
at them when he returns. 

"Upon the whole our People behaved most nobly, and gave the Enemy- 
convincing proofs that we are able and willing to fight them in their own way. 
In the action at the Bridge a Virginia Regiment marched up within 40 yards- 
of the Front, and having some Rifleman posted on the Flanks made terrible 
Slaughter. 

**We are in expectation every moment of receiving further intelligence, 
which I shall Communicate to you by the very first opportunity. I beg you will 
let me hear from you by every opportunity. My love to Ned and family and' 
compliments to all friends. I am most Sincerely, Yours, 

(Signed). WILLIAM PALFREY. 

"I forg^ot to mention our Friend Knox^' behaved most nobly, and did him- 
self and his Country great Honour — he is made a Brigadier General. 

**Dr. Edwards" writes from Trenton that General Washington^^ is slightlv 
wounded, and that Gen'l Mercer is missing:. Suppose either killed or made 
Prisoner. We have certainly taken all their Baggage at Princetown." 



26 "Our friend Knox." was the distinguished General Henry Knox, of the Revolution. 

27 Of Doctor Edwards we find no mention. 

28 The wounding of Washington evidently refers to the battle of Princeton, where* 
he may have been struck by a spent ball. 



Digitized by 



Google 



CHAPTER XVI, 



WRIGHTSTOWN. 



1703. 



A small township. — ^John Chapman first settler. — Ralph >Smith. — First house erected. — 
Death of John Chapman. — William , Smith. — John Penquite. — Francis Richardson. — 
James Harrison. — Randall Blackshaw. — The Wilkinsons. — Township organized. — 
Townstead. — When divided.^Effort to enlarge township. — Richard Mitchell. — Set- 
tlers from New England. — Friends' meeting. — Meeting-house built. — Ann Parsons. — 
Zebulon Heston. — Louisa Heston Paxson. — ^Jesse S. Heston. — ^Thomas Ross. — Im- 
provements.— Croasdale.— Warner.— Charles Smith.— Burning lime with coal. — Pine- 
ville, Penn's Park and Wrightstown. — ^The Anchor. — Population. — Large tree. — 
Oldest house in county. — First settlers were encroachers. 

Wrightstown, one of the smallest townships in the county, lies wedged in 
between Buckingham, Upper Makefield, Newtown, Northampton and War- 
wick, with Neshaminy creek for its southwest boundary. The area is five 
thousand eight hundred and eighty acres. It is well watered by a number of 
small streams which intersect it in various directions, the surface rolling and 
the soil fertile. A ridge of moderate elevation crosses the township and sheds 
the water in opposite directions, toward the Delaware and Neshaminy. The 
ground was originally covered >yith a fine growth of heavy timber, with little 
underbrush, which greatly reduced the labor and trouble of clearing it for 
cultivation. At first the settlers did little more than girdle the trees, plant the 
com and tend it with the hoe. The favorable location, the good quality of the 
soil, and its easy cultivation had much to do, no doubt, with its early settlement. 

Two years and three months after William Penn, and his immediate fol- 
lowers, landed upon the banks of the Delaware, John Chapman, of the small 
town of Stannah,^ in Yorkshire, England, with his wife Jane and children Mara, 

'i We acknowledge the assistance received from Doctor C. W. Smith's history of 
Wrightstown township, and from the Chapman MS. kindly loaned us by Judge Chapman. 
2 There is neither town, nor parish, by the name of Stannah in England at the 
present day. It is thought that this place is identical with the present Stanhope in the 
valley of the river Wear, in Durham county. The church records of Stanhope show that 
the Chapmans belonged to that parish before John joined the Friends, and there he was 
"baptised. As the family records give Yorkshire as the last county he resided in before 



Digitized by 



Google 



230 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Ann and John took up his residence in the woods of Wrightstown, the. first 
white settler north of Newtown. Being a staunch Friend and having suffered 
numerous persecutions for opinion sake, including loss of property, he resolved 
to find a new home in the wilds of Pennsylvania. Of the early settlers of 
Wrightstown, the names of John Chapman, William Smith and Thomas Croas- 
dale are mentioned in "Bessies' Collections," as having been frequently fined and 
imprisoned for non-conformity to the established religion, and for attendance 
on Friends' meeting. Leaving home the 21st of June, 1684, he sailed from 
Aberdeen, Scotland, and reached Wrightstown sometime toward the close of 
December. Before leaving England, Mr. Chapman bought a claim for five 
hundred acres of one Daniel Toaes, which he located in the southern part of the 
township, extending from the park square to the Newtown line, and upon 
which the village of Wrightstown and the Friends' meeting-house stand. A 
portion of this land lay outside of the purchase made by William Markham^ 
1682, and to which the Indian title had not been extinguished, when John 
Chapman settled upon it. Until he was able to build a log house himself and 
family lived in a cave, where twin sons were born February 12, 1685. Game 
from the woods supplied them with food until crops were grown, and often 
the Indians, between whom and the Chapmans there was the most cordial 
friendship, were the only reliance. It is related in the family records, that on 
one occasion, while riding through the woods, his daughter Mara overtook a 
frightened buck, chased by a wolf, which held quiet until she secured it with 
the halter from her horse. The first house erected by him stood on the right- 
hand side of the road leading from Wrightstown meeting-house to Pennsville, 
in a field formerly belonging to Charles Thompson, and near a walnut tree by 
the side of a run. After a hard life in the wilderness John Chapman died about 
the month of May, 1694, and was buried in the old graveyard near Penn's 
Park, whither his wife followed him in 1699. She was his second wife, whose 
maiden name was Jane Saddler, bom about 1635, and married to John Chap- 
man, June 12, 1670, and was the mother of five of his children.* A stone,, 
erected at his grave, bore the following inscription: 

"Behold John Chapman, that christian man, who first began, 

To settle in this town; 
From worldly cares and doubtful fears, and Satan's snares, 

Is here laid down; 
His soul doth rise, above the skies, in Paradise 

There to wear a lasting crown."* 

The children of John Chapman intermarried with the families of .Croas- 
dale, Wilkinson, Olden, Parsons and Worth, and have a large number of 

coming to America, he probably changed his dwelling place after he became a Friend. 
Durham and Yorkshire are adjoining counties. As Stanhope is in Durham, and not m 
Yorkshire, the confusion pf locality remains. 

3. Mara, born 12th month, 2, 167 1 ; Ann, born 9th month, 3, 1676; John, bom nth 
month, II, 1678. Abraham and Joseph, twins, 12th month, 12, 1685. 

4. "B. W.," in an article written to the Doylestown Democrat, says John Chapmair 
and wife had a long stone at the head of theif graves and "no statement was ever made 
that it bore any inscription." Our authority for the verse was the MS. verse loaned us 
by the late Judge Chapman. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 231 



descendants. The late Doctor Isaac Chapman, of Wrightstown, and Abraham 
Chapman, of Doylestown, were grandsons of Joseph, one of the twins born in 
the cave.^ The descendants of John Chapman have held many places of public 
trust. We find them in the Assembly, on the bench, at the head of the loan- 
office, county surveyors, county treasurers, etc., etc.** In the early history of 
the county they did much to mould its public affairs. Ann Chapman, the 
daughter of John, became a distinguished minister among Friends. She 
traveled as early as 1706, and made several trips to England. The family added 
largely to the real estate originally held in Wrightstown and elsewhere, and 
about 1720 the Chapmans owned nearly one-half of all the land in the town- 
ship. In 1734 John Chapman's son John bought one hundred and ninety-five 
acres on the Philadelphia road adjoining the Penquite tract, which was subse- 
quently owned by John Thompson, the grandson of the first settler of that name 
in the township.^ 

Although John Chapman was the first to penetrate the wilderness of 
Wrightstown, he was not long the only white inhabitant, for within two years, 
William Smith, of Yorkshire, came to dispute with him the honors and hard- 
ships of pioneer life. He bought one hundred acres of Mr. Chapman and after- 
ward patented several hundred acres adjoining, extending to Newtown and 
Neshaminy. His dwelling stood near where Charles Reeder lived. He was 
twice married, first to Mary Croasdale, of Middletown, in 1690, and afterward 
in 1720, and was the father of fourteen children. He died in 1743. His son 
William, who married Rebecca Wilson, in 1722, purchased nearly all the 
original tract of his brothers and considerable in Upper Makefield, and died- 
wealthy, 1780. The land remained in the family down to 1812. The originaf 
tract embraces several of the finest farms in that section. He was the ancestor 
of Josiah B. Smith, of Newtown. John Penquite, who came over, September, 
1683, and died, 1719, was the third settler in the township, where he took up 
three hundred and fourteen acres between the park and Neshaminy. It was 
originally patented to Phineas Pemberton, in 1692, but secured to Smith, 1701* 
In 1690 he married Agnes Sharp who probably arrived in 1686, and died in 
1719, his wife dying 1758, upward of one hundred years of age. He was a 
minister among Friends for nearly seventy years. His son John inherited his 
estate, and at his death, it was divided between his four daughters. Jane mar- 
ried William Chapman, who built Thompson's mill. 

In 1765 Ralph Smith, son of William Smith, the immigrant, with his three 
sons, William, Aaron and Zopher, went to South Carolina, and settled in the 
Spartansburg district. He held the office of justice of the peace under King 
George III, but resigned when hostilities with the colonies broke out, and en- 
tered the army. He and his young son, Samuel, were arrested and confined in 
the loathsome prison at Ninety-Six. His son Aaron was killed at the battle 
of the Cowpens, and Zopher fought at the same battle. 

William Smith, eldest son of Ralph, born in Wrightstown, September 2r, 
175 1, became a distinguished man, his military career beginning against the 

5 Some remains of them were to be seen as late as 1768. 

6 In 181 1 Seth Chapman, Newtown, was appointed president judge of the Eighth 
district. 

7. Several of the pioneers of Wrightstown, the Chapmans, Warners, and others' 
were buried at the old Friends* Meeting House, west of the present Wrightstown, a one- 
story building a mile below Penn*s Park. 



Digitized by 



Google 



232 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Cherokee Indians, 1775; when the Revohition broke out he entered the service 
and remained to the close, reaching the rank of majiML He took part in several 
battles including Guilford Court House, one of the sev^re&tjnjthe State, and 
saved the day at Musgrove Mill by disabling the British commander. He was 
an uncompromising patriot in the darkest hour in South Carolina, when others 
were seeking Royal protection. He was equally distinguished in civil life. After 
the war he was elected county judge, member of Congress, 1797-99, ^^^ ^ mem- 
ber of the state Senate for twenty years, and he died June 22, 1837, ^" his eighty- 
sixth year. Joseph M. Rogers, the historian, says of him : "He was leader of 
the House, a solid man of some eloquence, and had he remained longer in Con- 
gress, would have become a leading figure in American politics." Simon C. 
Draper summed up his eulogy in these words: **Few men served the public 
longer or more faithfully than Judge Smith." 

William Smith was the father of fourteen children, and four of his sons 
became prominent in State politics ; Colonel Isaac was a state senator for many 
years ; Dr. William, a physician, was a state senator and member of the House of 
Representatives; Major Elihu served eight terms in the Legislature, and Dr. 
Eber Smith, an eminent physician, was also a member of the Legislature. An- 
other son, Eliphas, who removed to Alabama with his family, was a captain in 
the Mexican war, and upon his return, was appointed judge of the Circuit Court. 
Daniel Smith, the boy imprisoned at Ninety Six, served in the war of 1812; 
David Smith, the brother of Ralph, subsequently settled in South Carolina, but 
removed with his family to Indiana, and his descendants are living at Indian- 
apolis and Terre Haute. 

In 1684 five hundred and nineteen acres, patented to Francis Richardson, 
were laid off for him in the east corner of the township, but he never settled 
upon it. Richardson owned twelve hundred acres in all, some of which is said 
to have been in the southwest corner of the township on the line of Newtown, 
and some, or all, of it ^yas conveyed to Thomas Stackhouse in 1707. In a few 
years it fell into the hands of other persons, John Routlige getting one hundred 
and seventy, and Launcelot Gibson one hundred and seventeen acres. Two 
hundred acres were patented to Joseph Ambler, in the northeast part of the 
township in 1687, which descended to his son and then fell into the hands of 
strangers. Some years ago the Laceys owned part of this tract. The same 
year two hundred acres, adjoining Ambler, were patented to Charles Briggham, 
which, at his death, descended to his two daughters, Mary, who married 
Nicholas Williams, and Sarah, to Thomas Worthington ; Amos Warner subse- 
quently owned part of this tract. Briggham's tract had a tannery on it, in 1748, 
but there is no trace of it now. William Penn granted one thousand acres to 
John and William Tanner, 1681, who sold the grant to Benjamin Clark, Lon- 
don, 1683, and, three years afterward four hundred and ninety-two acres were 
laid out to his son Benjamin, of New Jersey, on the northeast side of the town- 
ship, extending from the Briggham tract to the New Hope road, which con- 
tkined five hundred and seventy-five acres by Cutler*s re-survey. Clark did not 
settle in the township, and, in 1728, the land was sold to Abraham Chapman 
for £350. Some years ago it was owned by John Eastburn, Joseph Warner, and 
Timothy Atkinson. 

James Harrison located one thousand acres in Wrightstown by virtue of a 
patent from William Penn, dated the nth month, 1682, but he never became a 
settler. He sold two hundred acres to James RadcIiflF, a noted public Friend 
who removed to Wrightstown, 1686, but the remainder, at his death, descended 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



233 



to his daughter Phoebe, wife of Phineas Pemberton. By 1718 it had all come 
into the possession of her son Israel by 'descent and purchase. At different 
times he sold three hundred and seven acres to John Wilkinson, two hundred and 
ninety to William Trotter, and the rest to Abraham Vickers, in 1726. This 
tract lay on the southwest side of the township, running from the park to the 
Neshaminy, then down to the mouth of Randall's creek and from Randall 
Blackshaw's to Radcliff's tract. Harrison must have owned other lands in 
Wrightstown, for Henry Baker, Makefield, bought four hundred acres 
of him before 1701. This lay in the northwest part of the township; prob- 
ably Harrison had never seated it, for it was patented to Baker's son 
Henry, who sold it to Robert Shaw in 1707, for iioo. Subsequent survey made 
the quantity four hundred and ninety-four acres. Shaw sold it to several per- 
sons before 1723. It does not appear that Shaw received .a park dividend in 
1 7 19, although he then owned one hundred and twenty-one acres. Randall 
Blackshaw, an original purchaser, took up two hundred in the west corner of 
the township, which, 1713, was owned by Peter Johnson, who came in 1697, 
and at his death, 1723, it descended to his son John. Garret Vansant came into 
the township in 1690, and settled on a tract in the northwest corner. He sold 
two hundred acres to Thomas Coleman in his life time, and, at his death, sub- 
sequent to 1 7 19, the remainder was inherited by his sons, Cornelius and Garret. 
The Vansant family lies buried in the old graveyard on the Benjamin Law 
farm.* Richard Lumley and Robert Stucksbury came about 1695. In 1709, 
one hundred and fifty acres were surveyed to . Stucksbury, which afterward 
passed to the possession of Thomas Atkinson. 

The Wilkinsons of Wrightstown are descended from Lawrence Wilkin- 
son, of Lanchester, county Durham, England, a lieutenant in the army of Charles 
I, and taken prisoner at the surrender of New Castle, October 22, 1644. He 
settled at Providence, R. I., about 1652. John Wilkinson, second son of Samuel 
Lawrence, and a descendant of the immigrant, settled in Wrightstown, 17 13, on 
307 acres on Neshaminy, purchased May 27, near the present Rushland. It lay 
in the three townships of Wrightstown, Warwick and Buckingham. He was a 
judge of the court of common pleas for some years, and a large holder of real 
estate. His will is dated 175 1, and proved April 23. Ichabod Wilkinson, an- 
other son of Samuel Lawrence and also a descendant of the immigrant, settled 
in Solebury, 1742, and married Sarah Chapman, 1743. John and Mary Wilkin- 
son had seven children, Mary born July, 1708, married Joseph Chapman, Au- 
gust, 1730; Kissiah married Thomas Ross, and was the mother of Judge John 
Ross ; John married Mar>' Lacey, daughter of John Lacey and sister of Gen- 
eral Lacey, May 27, 1740, and Joseph moved to Chester county, 1761. The 
second wife of John Wilkinson was Hannah Hughes, daughter of Matthew 
Hughes. John Wilkinson became a prominent man and was much in public 
life. He was a member of Assembly, Judge of the Court of Common PJeas ; 
member of the Provincial Conference, July 15, 1774. Lieut. Col. 3d regiment, 
Bucks county Associators; member of the Committee of Safety and of the 
Committee of Correspondence; member of the Constitutional convention, 1776, 
and held other public trusts. He died May 31, 1782, the Pennsylvania Gazette 
of June 9, paying a high tribute to his personal worth and patriotic service in 

8. Holme's map contains the names of the following real estate owners in Wrights- 
town, 1684: Christopher Harford, Henry Baker, Thomas Dickerson, Randall Blackshaw, 
James Harrison, James Radcliff, and Herbert Springet. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



234 HISTORY OF BUCK^ COUNIV. 

the Revolution. He was the father oi nine children, who intermarried with 
the Twinings, Chapmans, Hughes, Smiths and other well-known families. 
Elisha Wilkinson, youngest child of Colonel John Wilkinson, was the most 
prominent member of the family the past century. He was born 1774, and died 
at Philadelphia, 1846. He developed a fondness for military affairs in early life. 
In 1807 he was Lieutenant Colonel of the 31st regiment of militia, and Assistant 
Quartermaster in the campaign on the Lower Delaware, 1814. He was also 
prominent in civil life, being sheriff of the county for two terms. He was popu- 
lar and v^idely known ; a great sportsman, fond of good stock and did much to 
improve it. In 1814 he purchased the tavern property at Centerville, and kept 
it several years. Here he was visited by many of the leading men of the period. 
The late Ogden D. Wilkinson, and his brother-in-law, Crispin Blackfan, built 
the Delaware-Raritan canal between Trenton and New Brunswick, 1832. Colo- 
nel Elisha Wilkinson was twice married, his first wife being Ann Dungan, a 
descendant of Rev. Thomas Dungan, of Rhode Island, who settled at Cold 
Spring, Bristol township, 1683, and founded the first Baptist church in the 
Province. Walter Clark, half brother of Thomas Dungan, was governor of 
Rhode Island, 1696 to 1697. 

We have not been able to find any record giving the date when Wrights- 
town was organized into a township, or by whom laid out. It was called by 
this name as early as 1687 in the will of Thomas Dickerson, dated July 24th, 
wherein he bequeaths to his kinsman, Thomas Coaleman, "two hundred acres 
of land lying and being at a place called Writestown." In the deed of Penn's 
Commissioners to Phineas Pemberton, in 1692, it is called by its present name. 
The mile square laid out in it was called the "village" or "townstead" of 
Wrightstown. Land was surveyed in the township as early as 1685. 
It was hiardly a recognized subdivision at these early dates, but the 
name was probably applied to the settlement, as we have seen was the case in 
other townships. It will be remembered that the first group of townships was 
not laid out until 1692, and Wrightstown was not one of them, and we are 
safe in saying it was not organized until some time after. We have placed the 
date 1703, because that was the time of the re-survey by John Cutler, and we 
know that it was then a recognized township. 

When Wrightstown was laid out, a mile square townstead, about in the 
centre, was reserved by the Proprietary, whose intention is thought to have 
been to devote it to a public park for the use of the township. It was surveyed 
v^ 1695. At the end of thirteen years the inhabitants became dissatisfied with 
the reservation, and, on petition of the land-owners, the Proprietary allowed 
it to be divided among fifteen men who owned all the land in the township. 
This was according to the terms of a deed of partition executed in 1719. These 
fifteen land-owners were Smith, Penquite, Parsons, Lumley, Stuckbury, Van- 
sant, Johnson, Pemberton, Ambler, Trotter, Clark, John, Abraham and Joseph 
Chapman, and Nicholas Williams. James Logan agreed to the terms for the 
Penns and John Chapman surveyed the square, which was found to contain 
six hundred and fifty-eight acres, one-tenth of the area of the township. In 
1835 Doctor C. W. Smith made a survey of the original boundaries of the 
square, which he found to be as follows: "Beginning at the east corner of 
the parte at a hickory tree in the line between Benjamin Lacey's land and Isaac 
Chapman's land ; thence south forty-three and a quarter degrees west along the 
said line-fence, to Edward Chapman's land; crossing said land and crossing- 
the Durham road north of his house ; crossing the farms of Charles Thompson 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 235 

and Garret D. Percy; following the line between the lands of Charles Hart 
and Mary Roberts to a stone, the comer of Mary Roberts* and Albert Thomp- 
son's land, this being the south corner of the park ; thence north forty-six and 
three-quarters degrees west, along the line between Mary Roberts' and Charles 
Gain's land, crossing the Pineville and Richborough turnpike road about one- 
fourth of a mile below Pennville; crossing Charles Gain's land following the 
' north-west line of the old graveyard lot ; crossing Mahlon W. Smith's land, 
joining iij with, and following, the public road in front of his house and cross- 
ing lands of Abner Reeder and John. Everitt ; then following the public road 
leading to Carver's mill to an angle in said road, the comer of Sackett Weth- 
erill's and Jesse Worthington's land, this being the west corner of the park; 
thence north forty-three and a quarter degrees east, crossing lands 
of Jesse Worthington, Benjamin Lair and Edmund S. Atkinson, and 
following the line between Edmund S. Atkinson's and Thomas Martindale's^ 
land, crossing the land of William Smith north of his buildings, to a point 
between William Smith's and Thomas Warner's land, this being the north 
comer of the park; thence south forty-six and a quarter degrees east, across^ 
Thomas Warner's land, south of his^ buildings, across William Smith's land, 
crossing the Durham road near the Anchor tavern, following the line between 
George Buckman's and Thomas Smith's lands, thence crossing lands of Thomas 
Smith, Joseph Morris, and Benjamin Lacey, to the place of beginning." 

At the time of the division of the townstead all the land in the township 
was located, but it was sparsely populated, and only a small portion had been 
brought under cultivation. One account gives the township proprietors at 
seventeen, but the names of only sixteen can be found, of which seven were 
non-residents. John, Abraham and Joseph Chapman received a park dividend 
of one hundred and forty acres, all the other residents one hundred and ninety- 
, six acres, and the non-residents, who owned half the land in the township, three 
hunderd and twenty-two acres. At a later period the Chapmans owned about 
three- fourths of all the land in Wrightstown. Before 1789, Henry Lewis, of 
Westmoreland county, had come into possession of one acre and ninety seven 
perches of the park, through the Pembertons, Penquites, William Chapman and 
others, and which he sold October 17th, that year, to Robert Sample, of Buck- 
ingham, for £30 Pennsylvania currency. 

In 1720 an effort was made to enlarge the area of Wrightstown, by adding^ 
to it a portion of the manor of Highlands adjoining, in what is now Upper 
Makefield. The petitioners from Wrightstown were John Chapman, Joseph 
Chapman, James Harker, William Smith, William Smith, jr., Thomas Smith, 
John Laycock, Launcelot Gibson, Abraham Chapman, John Wilkinson, Richard 
Mitchell, Nicholas Allen, Edward Milnor, Peter Johnson, Garrett Johnson, John 
Parsons, and John Johnson. John Atkinson and Dorothy Heston were the 
only two petitioners from the manor. The territory proposed to be added was 
about one-half as large as Wrightstown, and the reasons given for the annexa- 
tion were because a certain road through the manor was not kept in repair, and 
that the interests of the people to be annexed were more closely united with 
those of Wrightstown. The strip of land wanted was nine hundred and thirty 
perches long- by four hundred and seventy-four wide. 

In 1718, Richard Mitchell bought seventy acres of Joseph Wilkinson on 
the east side of Mill creek where he built a mill long known as Mitchell's 
mill, which fell into disuse when the Elliotts built one lower down on the 
stream. Mitchell was a man of high standing, and died in 1759. For several 



Digitized by 



Google 



236 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 

years this mill supplied the settlers of a large scope of countxy to the nortli 
with flour. In 1722 the inhabitants of Perkasie petitioned for a road to be laid 
out to this mill which also opened them the way to Bristol. The mill, and 
farm belonging, of two hundred and fifty acres, were purchased by Watson 
Welding, in 1793, and continued in the family near half a century. The mill 
is now owned by Hiram Reading, of Hatborough, Montgomery county. The 
Sacketts came into the township from Hunterdon county, New Jersey, Joseph, 
the first comer, settling there about 1729 and purchasing two hundred and 
twenty acres of John Hilbprn, a portion of the Pemberton tract. He kept store 
for several years. Part of the property is held by his descendants. John Lay- 
cock, a minister among Friends, purchased one hundred and twenty acres of 
John Chapman, in 1722, and died in 1750. Joseph Hampton, a Scotchman, 
settled in 1724 on two hundred and fifty acres he purchased of Zebulon Heston. 
It was on his land, still owned by his descendants, that stood the "corner white 
oak," near an Indian path that led to Playwicky mentioned in the Indian pur- 
chase of 1682. It is a singular fact that of all the original settlers in Wrights- 
town, the families of Chapman and Smith are the only ones of which any de- 
scendants are now living in the township. 

About 173s there was an influx of settlers from the East, a few families 
coming from New England, among whom were the Twinings, Liritons and 
others. The Warners were there ten years earlier. Joseph, bom in 1701 and 
married Agnes Croasdale, of Middletown, in ^1723, settled there in 1726, and 
afterward purchased one hundred and fifty acres of Abraham Chapman, part 
of the original Clark tract. The old mansion is still standing, one hundred and 
seventy-five years old. An addition was built to it, in 1769. He was grandson 
of the first William who died at Blockley in 1706. The ancestral acres were 
in the family in recent years owned by Thomas Warner, the fifth in descent 
from Joseph Warner. It is thought one thousand seven hundred persons 
have descended from Thomas Warner, one . of the first settlers in 
Wrightstown. They who came into the township at this period pur- 
chased land of the original settlers sometimes with the improvements. With 
few exceptions the early settlers were of English or Irish descent, although 
there were some from other European countries. In 1750 Joseph Kirkbride, 
of Falls, patented two hundred and five acres adjoining James RadcliflE, and ex- 
tending from the park to Neshaminy, but we cannot learn that he was ever 
a resident of the township. Robert Hall, an early settler, came with his wife, 
Elizabeth and a son and daughter, but the time we do not know. John Thomp- 
son came early, acquired large property and became prominent and influential. 
He was elected Sheriff of the county and filled the office with great acceptance. 

The first meeting of Friends was held at John Chapman's, in 1686,® and 
afterward at John Penquite*s, an accepted minister. Meetings were held at 
private houses until 1721. These early Friends were members of Middletown 
monthly that met at Nicholas Walne's. In 1721 Falls Quarterly gave permis- 
sion to Wrightstown to build a meeting-house, which was erected on a four- 
acre lot the gift of John Chapman. The first graveyard was on the road from 
Wrightstown meeting-house to Rush valley, just beyond Penn's Park and was 
recently known as "the school-house lot." It is now owned by Charles Gain, 

9. The first meeting for worship was to be held once a month, "to begin next First 
day, come week after 3d. 4th month, 1686," but at the request of John Chapman, 1690,^ 
it was held every three weeks. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



237 




WRIGHTSTOWN MEETING HOUSE. 



and was sold to his father 
a quarter of a century 
ago. The lot was walled 
in, but fifty years ago 
Amos Doane used the 
stone to build a wall on 
his farm. This graveyard 
was on the Marker tract, 
purchased of William 
Trotter, and, at his death, 
Harker,*** gave it to the 
Wrightstown monthly 
meeting. There have not 
been any burials there 
within the memory of 
the oldest inhabitants. 
The lot was reserved from cultivation, but the graves of the first settlers were 
mutilated by the plow years ago. In 1734 Wrightstown was allowed a monthly 
meeting. The first marriage recorded is that of Bezeleel Wiggins to Rachel 
Hayhurst, of Aliddletown, May, 1735. Down to the end of the century there 
were celebrated three hundred and thirty marriages, the names of the parties 
being those of families well-known at the present day in the middle and lower 
sections of the county. The meeting-house was enlarged^ I735» by an addi- 
tion of twenty feet square, and the Bucks Quarterly meeting was held there for 
the first time that fall. Afterward it rotated between Wrightstown, Falls, Mid- 
diet own and Buckingham. A wall was built around the graveyard, 1770, at 
a cost of $506.50, and, in 1787 the present house, seventy by forty feet, was 
erected at an expense of $2,106. An addition was made to the graveyard to 
bury strangers in, 1791. In 1765, Friends adjourned Monthly meeting because 
it fell on the day of the general election. Wrightstown meeting has produced 
several ministers among Friends, some of whom became eminent. Of these 
may be mentioned Agnes Penquite, who died in 1758 aged upward of one 
hundred years, Ann Parsons, born 1685, died 1732, David Dawes, Ann Hamp- 
ton, Zebulon Heston and Thomas Ross. Doctor Smith says but one riding 
chair came to Wrightstown meeting, 1780, that of John Buckman. The women 
were good riders, and generally came on horseback but some of them came on 
foot several miles. 

Zebulon Heston removed from New Jersey to Falls, where he remained 
until 171 1, when he came up to Wrightstown with his wife and children. Of 
his seven children, Jacob was the only one born in the township. His son 
Zebulon became a noted preacher and in his seventieth year made a missionary 
visit to the Delaware Indians on the Muskingum river, Ohio, accompanied by 
his nephew John, afterward General Lacey. Mr. Heston died May 12, 1776, 
in his seventy-fourth year.^^ The meeting-house of Orthodox Friends was 



10. Harker was elected pound-keeper of the township, 1738, "the pound to be kept 
on his land near the highway," probably in the vicinity of Pennsville. 

11. Mrs. Louisa Heston Paxson, great-granddaughter of Zebulon Heston, and 
granddaughter of his son Edward, died at Hestonville, Philadelphia county, March 26, 
1899, in her 98th year. Her father was prominent in the Revolution, and served in the 
Continental army, reaching the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He was subsequently a judge 



Digitized by 



Google 



238 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



torn down, 1870, when the few families which had worshiped in it joined tlie 
meeting at Buckingham. The burial-ground was enlarged in 1856 by adding 
a lot from George Warner, and the whole surrounded by a substantial stone 
wall. It is more than one-fourth of a mile in circumference. During the last 
thirty years nearly one thousand persons have been buried in the yard.*'* 

A spirit of improvement set in about 1720, which gradually put a new 
phase on the appearance of things. Down to this time the township was entirely 
cut off from the outside world by the want of roads. The opening of a portion 
of the Durham road down toward the lower Delaware, and the one now 
known as the Middle road, leading from Philadelphia to New Hope, which 
meets the former at the Anchor tavern, near the centre of the township, de- 
stroyed its isolated situation. A number of new settlers now came in. Those 
without money took improvement leases for a term of years, and were the means 
of gradually bringing large tracts of non-residents under cultivation. Some of 
the large tracts of the original holders were also passing to their children and 
being cut up into smaller farms. About this period was commenced that 
wretched system of farming which cultivated a single field until it was farmed 
to death, when it was turned out for exhausted nature to recuperate. This 
retarded the clearing of land and was almost the death of agricultuial improve- 
ment. The opening of the road to Philadelphia was an invitation to the 
farmers of Wrightstown to take their produce there to sell, of which they grad- 
ually availed themselves. Instead of wallets slung on horses, simple carts 
now came into use to carry marketing; and the men began to go to market 
instead of the women. At this time the inhabitants lived on what their farms 
produced, with a small surplus to sell. The men dressed principally in tanned 
-deer-skins, and the women in linsey and linen of their own manufacture. 

About 1756 Croasdale Warner, son of Joseph, bought a tract of land ad- 
joining Joseph and Timothy Atkinson, on which he built a pottery and carried 
on the business for several years. It was accidentally burned down, 1812, and 
not rebuilt. This was probably the earliest pottery in central Bucks county, 
or possibly anywhere in the county. The inhabitants of Wrightstown took an 
interest in the cause of temperance at an early day and discountenanced the 
general use of intoxicating liquors. The 12th of June, 1746, thirty-one of 
her citizens petitioned the court to "suppress" all public houses in the township, 
because of the great harm they were doing to the inhabitants. To this peti- 
tion is signed the name of Thomas Ross,, ancestor of the Rosses of this county. 

Charles Smith, of Pineville, a descendant of Robert Smith, of Buckingham, 
was the first person to burn lime with hard coal. His experience in burning 
lime goes back to 1796, and he was engaged in it more or less all his life. His 
first attempt, and the first in the county, was in 1826 when he used coal on the 
top of the kiln, and continued it until 1835. The method of arching the kiln, 
and arranging the wood and coal so as to burn lime to the best advantage, was 

on the Common Pleas bench, Philadelphia, and also a member of the State Senate. Mrs. 
Paxson was a real "Daughter of the Revolution," and a few years ago the National Society 
presented her a gold souvenir. 

12 In 1886 the Bucks County Historical Society erected a monument near the corner 
of the Wrightstown graveyard to mark the starting point of the ** Walking Purchase/* 
1737. Mprtha Chapman gave the ground, and tlte monument stands on the southeast 
corner of the road from Penn's Park makes with the Durham road. i5 the site of the 
chestnut tree mentioned in the "walk." 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 239 



experimented upon several years. In 1835 he built a kiln to hold thirty-five 
hundred bushels, and burned in it twenty-five hundred and fifty-three bushels 
of lime. In another he burned twenty-two hundred and four bushels with wood 
and coal, which cleared him one hundred dollars, and the same month, he 
burned a third that yielded him twenty-three hundred and ninety-eight bushels. 
The same year he constructed a kiln at Paxson's corner in Solebury, to burn 
coal alone, and in May, 1836, he burned a kiln that yielded him twenty-eight 
hundred bushels, and another in October that produced three thousand and 
forty-one bushels. Contemporary with Charles Smith in experiments was 
James Jamison, a successful ^nd intelligent farmer and lime-burner, Bucking- 
ham, and he and Mr. Smith frequently compared their plans and consulted 
together. Mr. Jamison was killed in his lime-stone quarry by a premature 
explosion. 

In Wrightstown are three small villages, Pineville in the northern, Wrights- 
town in the southern, and Pennsville, more frequently called Penn's Park, the 
name g^ven to the post-office, near the middle of the township. Pineville was 
known as "The Pines'' a century ago, and was called by this name for many 
years, from a growth of thrifty pine trees at that point. One hundred years 
ago it was called "Pinetown," and consisted of a stone store-house adjoining 
a frame dwelling, kept by Thomas Betts, near the site of the late Jesse P. 
Carver's store. The dwelling house and tailor-shop of William Trego stood 
on the point between the Centreville turnpike and the Buckingham road. Jesse 
S. Heston kept store in the bar-room of the present tavern. Soon after that 
period Thomas Betts removed to Lahaska, where he kept store many years in 
the building recently occupied by R. R. Paxson. Heston went from Pineville 
to Newtown and formed a partnership with John Tucker, where they carried 
on for many years under, the firm name of Heston & Tucker. Mr. Heston re- 
moved to Bristol, went out of business and died there. He was the father of 
Dr. George Heston, Newtown. Heston was succeeded at Pineville by Kinsey 
B. Tomlinson, who removed hence to Newtown, and for many years kept the 
store subsequently occupied by Evan Worthington. Tomlinson was president 
of the Newtown National Bank. Isaac Colton, a bound boy of Jesse Heston, 
^andfather of Jesse S. Heston, Newtown, was the last person to wear leather 
breeches in the vicinity of Pineville. This was about 1800- 1810. When he 
wore them to school he was the butt of the other boys. Another dwelling and 
David Stogdale's farm house, with a school house near the present store, re- 
moved, 1842, completed the village at the period of which we write. It had 
neither smith shop, tavern nor wheelwright shop. The post-office was estab- 
lished after 1830, with Samuel Tomlinson postmaster, when the name was 
changed to Pineville. The first tavern, licensed 1835-36, was kept by Tomlin- 
son after having been a temperance house for several years. The village now 
contains 25 dwellings. John Thompson kept store at the Pines before the Revo- 
lution, and also owned a mill on the Neshaminy. 

Pennsville, or Penn's Park, is built on land that James Harker bought of 
William Trotter within the park in 1752. It is situated in the southern part 
of the township, on the Pineville and Richborough turnpike, and within the 
orie^inal park or town-square laid out bv direction of William Penn. The popu- 
lation is ISO. with 35 dwellings, one church, Methodist Episcopal: store, post- 
office, established in 1862. and T. O. Atkinson appointed postmaster, and vari- 
ous mechanics' shops. Penn's Park was originally called "Logtown." Among 



Digitized by 



Google 




EIGHT «^>UARE SCHOOL HOUSE. PENN'S PARK. WRIGHTSTOWN. 
Now used as a dwellmg. 

the dwellings at Penn's Park is an old eight-square school house at the toll- 
gate on the Pineville and Richborough turnpike, but a school has not been kept 
in it for many years. The land was leased by the Bursons for a term of ninety- 
ntne years for school purposes. This lease, having expired, places the building 
in the nineteenth century. We do not know when it was built, but the half- 
tone illustration will give the reader its present appearance. Wrightstow^n is 
only a small hamlet, with the meeting house, store and three or four dwellings, 
and takes its name from the tow^nship. It was built on the original tract of 
John Chapman, on the road to Newtown, originally the Durham road. The 
township has three taverns, at Pineville, Pennsville, and the Anchor, where 
the Middle and Durham road intersect. The township is traversed by these two 
highways and a number of roads that intersect, or lead into, them. The road 
from the river side at Beaumont's to the Durham road, near Wrightstown 
meeting-house, was opened 1763. Among the aged men who died in Wrights- 
town, possibly within the recollection of some of those now living, were Will- 
liam Chapman, grandson of the first settler, July i, 18 10, aged 93, and An- 
drew Collins, February 28, 18 17, aged 92 years. 

The earliest enumeration of taxables is that of 1764, when they numbered 
67. We do not know the population earlier than 1810, when it was 562; in 
1820, 618; 1830, 660, and 148 taxables; 1840, 708; 1850, 812 whites; i860, 
853 whites and 9 blacks, and 1870, 811 whites and 12 blacks, of which 771 
were native-born and 52 foreign; 1880, 773; 1890, 838; 1900, 775. 

The large buttonwood that stands in front of Thomas Warner's house 
grew from a riding-switch his father brought from Hartford county, Maryland, 
in the spring of 1787, and stuck in the ground. It measures eleven feet in 
circumference twelve inches above the ground. An ash, planted in the same 
yard, 1832, measures nine feet around it. 

It is well known to all who have examined the subject, that the original 
white settlers above Newtown were encroachers on the country owned by the 
Indians. The Proprietary was censured for permitting this intrusion on the 
Indians, and the latter made mild protest against it. The upper line of Mark- 
ham's purchase, July 15, i682» ran through Wrightstown, a short distance 
below the Anchor, and therefore all the settlers in this township north-west 

240 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 241 



of it were intruders. The same may be said of those who first settled in Buck- 
ingham and Solebury, and all above. In truth, all the land settled upon north 
of Newtown prior to the "Walking Purchase," 1737, belonged to the Indians, 
and the whites were really trespassers. John Chapman settled on land to 
which the Indian title had been extinguished before he left England, but some 
of the early settlers were not so careful to observe treaty obligations. 

Some light is thrown on the origin of the name "Wrightstown," by which 
it was called soon after it was settled, by the following extract from a letter 
of Phineas Pemberton to William Penn, in England, dated 27th, nth months 
1687: 

"The land I have in Wrightstown is twelve hundred ackers, and only 
one settlement upon it. I lately offered to have given one hundred ackers if 
he would have seated there, and he has since bought at a very great price, 
rather than go so far into the woods. There is about five hundred ackers yet 
to take up in the towne. The people hereabout are much disappointed with sd. 
Wright and his cheating tricks he played here. They think much to call it 
after such a runagadoe's name. He has not been in these parts for several 
years, therefore I desire thee to give it a name. I have sometimes called it 
Centretown, because it lyes near the center of the county, as it may be sup- 
posed and the towne is layd out with a center in the middle of 600 ackers or 
thereabouts." 

The Wright, here referred to in Pemberton's letter, is thought to have 
Been Thomas Wright who was associated with William Penn in the West Jer- 
sey venture. He arrived in the Martha 1677, and settled near Burlington. In 
1682 he was a member of Assembly. The name was first applied to the settle- 
ment and intended for the prospective township, but, at the time Pemberton 
wrote, there was no township organization. When he speaks of the "towne" 
he evidently refers to a settlement in the middle of the townstead. William 
Penn did not see fit to change the name, although it was called after a "run- 
agado." 

When Abraham Thompson tore down his old dwelling, 1878, erected back 
in the eighteenth century, he found, imder the roof, an assessment paper dated 
April I, 1809. It was made out in the name of Amos Warner for the tax on 
that farm, assessed at $21 per acre. The assessor was Jesse Anderson. 

Near the Windy Bush road, running from the Anchor tavern, Wrights- 
town, stands an old stone school house in which, about 1845, Qiarles C. Bur- 
leigh was rotten-egged while advocating the abolition of negro slavery. The 
person who threw the eggs subsequently perished in a snow storm. 

16 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 




I W ^-^ :-! 






•*^^r«l^ 



^1 






Digitized by 



Google 



CHAPTBR XVII. 



BUCKINGHAM. 



iro3. 



The empire township. — Vale of Lahaska. — Surface broken. — Durham and York roads.j— 
Origin of name. — First settlers.— Amor, Paul and Samuel Preston. — ^James Streator 
and Richard Parsons. — ^The West and Reynolds tracts. — Robert Smith. — The Worth- 
ingtons. — Windy Bush. — Gen'l A. J. Smith.-r-Thomas Canby. — William Cooper. — 
Thomas Bye. — Edward Hartly. — The Paxson family. — The Watsons. — John Watson, 
the surveyor. — Matthew Hughes and others. — Joseph Fell. — ^Jesse Fells burns hard 
coal in a grate. — Gillingham Fell. — The Carvers. — Meetings for worship. — Meeting- 
house built. — Burned down. — Used as hospital. — Births, deaths, marriages. — ^The 
Laceys. — General John Lacey. — Old house. — Taverns. — Cross Keyes. — Lenape Stone. 
— Ann Moore. — Earliest boundary. — Old map. — The Idens. — Doctor John Wilson. — 
Schools. — Amos Austin Hughes. — ^Justice Cox. — Doctor Cernea. — Buckingham library. 
— Nail factory. — Big Ben. — ^James Jamison. — ^The villages. — Population. — Caves anj 
sink holes. — African church. — ^William Simpson. — Scythe and ax factory. — Catching 
pigeons. 

The central location of Buckingham, its productive soil, valuable quarries 
of limestone, its wealth, intelligence, population and area, eighteen thousand four 
hundred and eighty-eight acres, entitle it to be considered the empire township 
of the county. The stream of immigration, that brought settlers into the 
woods of Wrightstown, carried them up to the "Great mountain/'^ and they 
gradually spread over Buckingham and Solebury, originally one township. It 
is well watered by the Lahaska creek and tributaries, which meander the town- 
ship in several directions, and branches of Pine run, Pidcock's creek, and 
Paunacussing,^ which drain its east and north corners and along the north-east 
border. 

A note to the "Vale of Lahaska," written by Samuel Johnson in 1835, 
says Lahaska was the name of what is now called Buckingham mountain. This 
is an error. On an old manuscript map of part of the township, drawn in 
1726, the name is written, "the Great mountain, called by the Indians Pepa- 

I Called by the Indians Lahaskekee. Samuel Preston said the Indian name was 
"Laskeek." In an old paper it is written "Lehoskuk". hill. In 1815 it was called, by 
some, "Lackawissa." 

2. The Indian name was Paunauissinck. 

243 



Digitized by 



Google 



244 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



eating/' probably Pepacatek, as "ing" is not an Indian terminatioo The 
mountain must have been named after the township at a later date. It lies 
in the lap of one of the loveliest valleys in the county, running nearly north- 
east and south-west and about two miles long. It is rich in agricultural and 
mineral wealth, and, in the middle of it, is a natural well around which the 
Indians cleared off the timber, and built a village for the sake of the water. 
The poet of the valley drew a true picture when he wrote : 

, "From the brow of Lahaska wide to the west, 

The eye sweetly rests on the landscape below; 
Tis blooming as Eden, when Eden was blest. 

As the sun lights its charms with the evening glow." 

The surface is broken by Buckingham mountain.*^ A vein of limestone begins 
back of the Lahaska hills, widens as it extends into Solebury, the many lime- 
kilns it feeds adding greatly to the productive wealth of the township. The 
soil in all parts is naturally fertile and the famous valley is unsurpassed in fertil- 
ity. The population is well-educated and intelligent. The original settlers 
were almost exclusively English Friends, whose descendants form the bulk of 
the population. Two of the main highways of the county, the Durham and 
York roads, pass through the township in its entire length and breadtK, inter- 
secting at Centreville, while lateral roads run in every direction. Before Sole- 
bury was cut off, about 1703, Buckingham contained thirty-three thousand 
acres, but with its present area is the largest township in the county. 

The name "Buckingham" is of English origin and in England is borne 
by several localities. We have Bushing from becen, the beech-tree, then Becen- 
ham, then Bushingham, the village among the beeches, and lastly Buckingham. 
Probably it was given this name from a desire to retain it in the county, after 
that of Bristol had been changed from Buckingham to what it now bears. 
In 1706 the township was called New Buckingham, probably to distinguish 
it from Bristol which was still called "Buckingham." It is possible the name 
had not been given to it in 1700, for in the return of survey of James Streater's 
land it is said to be laid out in Bucks county, township not mentioned. John 
Watson records, that in cutting down a white oak, in 1769, there were found 
in it several large marks of an ax, which the growth of the tree indicated must 
have been made some fifty years before the Province was granted to Penn. 

It is impossible to say who was the first settler in Buckingham, or the 
time of his arrival, but it could not have been more than a year or two after 
John Chapman had seated himself in the woods of Wrightstown. It is prob- 
able all the first settlers of this region made a halt in Falls, or the neighboring 
settlements, before they pushed their way back into the woods about the great 
mountain. They were mostly members of Falls meeting, and it is said some- 
of them walked all the way down there to attend meetings before they had per- 
mission to hold them in Buckingham. These settlers were of a better class, 
many of them were intelligent and educated, and the energy required in the 
settlement of a new country developed their best mental and physical qualities. 
Surveys were made as early as 1687, and, before 1702, nearly all the land was 
located. This was before the Indian title had been extinguished to an acre 

2j^. On the summit, and near the middle of the range, is a rocky cavern, called 
'*Wolf Rocks," said to have had its hermit, and some romantic stories are told about it. 
The mountain is much frequented in the spring of the year by young people. 



Digitized by VrrOOQlC 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 245 



.in the township.* Until grain enough was raised to support the pioneers of 
Buckingham and Solebury a supply was fetched from Falls and Middletown. 
At the time Buckingham was settled there was no store north of Bristol, and 
prior to 1707 grain was taken to Morris Gwin's mill, on the Pennypack, to be 
ground. 

It is claimed that Amor Preston was the first white man to settle in Buck- 
ingham, but the time of his coming, or whether he was actually the earliest 
settler, is not positively known. He is said to have followed his trade, a tailor, 
at Wiccaco where his cabin was burned, whereupon the Indians, who lived 
about the Buckingham mountain, invited him to move up to their village. 
His wife, the child of Swedish parents who lived on the Delaware above the 
mouth of Neshaminy, was brought up in the family of James Boyden, who had 
five hundred and forty-one acres surveyed to him in Bristol township, in 1682. 
Their eldest son, Nathan, erroneously said to have been the first white child 
bom in Buckingham, .was bom, 171 1, married Mary Hough in 1737, died, in 
1778, and was buried at Plumstead. His widow died in 1782. The descend- 
ants of Amor Preston claim he married his wife at Pennsbury in the presence 
of William Penn; but as they were not married until 1710 or 171 1, several 
years after Penn had left the Province not to return, this claim is not well 
founded. His widow died in 1774, at the house of her grandson, Paul Pres- 
ton, in Buckingham, aged upward of one hundred years.* She used to relate 
that she saw William Penn land where Philadelphia stands." 

This family produced an eccentric, and, to 
some extent, a distinguished member in the per- 
son of Paul Preston. By close application he 
became a fine mathematician and linguist, study- 
ing in a small building he erected off from his 
dwelling. He led an active life until upward 
of sixty, dressed in homespun clothes and 
leathern apron, ate off a wooden trencher and 
died from a fall into a ditch at the age of eighty- 
four. His widow, Hannah Fisher, whom he 
married in 1763, lived to her ninety-fourth year. 
He was county surveyor, tax-collector, and trans- 
later of German for the courts. He was six 

feet six and three-quarters inches in height. Paul 'u^^^^^f^^^^^^^fSt^ 
Preston was the friend and associate of Franklin, preston coat-of-arms. 

3 Among the original settlers were John and Thomas Bye, George Pownall, Edward 
Henry, Roger Hartley, James Streater, William Cooper, Richard Burgess, John Scarbor- 
ough, Henry Paxson. John and Richard Lundy, John Large, James Lenox, William 
Laccy, John Worstall, Jacob Holcomb, Joseph Linton, Joseph Fell, Matthew Hughes, 
Thomas Weston, Amor Preston, Joseph George, Lawrence Pearson, Rachel Parsons, 
Daniel Jackson and Joseph Gilbert. Some of these settlers did not come into the town- 
ship until after 1700. 

4 The Preston homestead was the farm owned and occupied by Benjamin Goss, near 
the east line of the township. 

5 The Preston Bible says that Amor Preston was born at Frankford, Philadelphia 
Co., Feb. 7, 1684-S. In it is the following made by the father, William Preston: "I 
left old England, with my wife and children, the loth, 4th month, 1683. We arrived in 
Pennsylvania 20th, 6th month, 1683." William Preston's wife, the mother of Amor, 




Digitized by 



Google 



246 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



who esteem him hig^hly. It is related, that a friend of Franklin^ 
about to ^o to court at Newtown, asked for a letter of introduction 
to Preston, but the doctor declined to give it, saying he would know him 
easy enough, as he will be the tallest man, the homeliest-looking man and the 
most sensible man he would meet at Newtown. His son Samuel* born in 1756, 
and died in 1834, was the first Associate Judge of Wayne county, where his 
descendants reside.®^ Samuel Preston used to relate of his grandmother that 
when a little girl, tending cows in the swamp near Neshaminy, she discovered the 
dead body of a white man in the water, a peddler who had been seen the day 
before. She was sent to the nearest house, one Johnson's, to give the alarm,, 
and that as she entered a little girl said her father had killed a man the night 
before and a woman was then wiping up the blood."' 

James Streater, of Alsfre, England, and Richard Parsons each owned 
five hundred acres they located soon after 1683. The former bought 
the tract which Penn granted to- George Jackson, of Wellow, in September, 
1681, and by the latter to Streater, in 1683, which Penn confirmed March 5, 
1700. He sold it to Edmund Kinsey, 1714, and, at his death, it passed to his 
heirs. The meeting-house stands on this tract. It was a parallelogram in 
shape, and lay on both sides of the York road from the township line to about 
Greenville. In 1714 Streater styles himself, ^'practitioner in physic," but as he 
was a grocer in 1683, he must have studied the healing art between these dates. 
Perhaps he practiced without study, and exclaimed with Shakespeare, "Throw 
physic to the dogs." Parson's tract, above Streater's, was granted in 1682. 
He conveyed it to Thomas Nicholas, New Castle, 1727, and at his death, 1746, 
three hundred and thirty- four acres were bought by Stephen Perry, .of Phila- 

was Ann Taylor. The will of William Preston, Frankford, Philadelphia Co., is dated 
5 month, 29, 1714, and probated Oct. 9, 1717 — witness, Thomas Canby and Morris Morris. 
The children mentioned are Amor, Abell, Paul, Priscilla and Sarah. The executors 
were the widow and Paul Preston. 

6 Extract from the Journal of Samuel Preston, Surveyor, 1787: "June 12, 1787. 
I set out on my journey about eight o'clock in the morning. Traveled up Durham road 
to the sign of the Harrow, where I fed and eat dinner; from thence by Burson's and 
Brackenridge*s to Valentine Opp*s tavern, where I fed and rested about two hours.'' 
This extract is from the "Journal to the frontier of Northampton county for Henry 
Drinker," to survey lands for Drinker and Abel James, merchants, Philadelphia. 

61/2 The Preston coat-of-arms is almost identical with that of the Preston family of 
England, and the motto nearly the same, assumed, by royal license, by Thomas Hulton, 
a descendant of the Prestons, who was created a baronet in 181 5. The family seat is at 
Beeston, St. Lawrence, Norfolk. The name of Preston is one of great antiquity in 
North Britain. 

7 We find it impossible to reconcile the conflicting statements concerning Mrs. Pres- 
ton. If she were a "little girl" when she found the dead man (who was killed in May, 1692)^ 
she could not have been over an hundred years when she died, in 1774. If she were 
married at Pennsbury, while the Manor house was building, and Penn at the weddings 
it must have taken place at his second visit, 1699- 1701, for she was too young at his first 
visit. The theory that her son Nathan was the first white child born in the townshii> 
IS spoiled by the fact that he was actually born in 171 1, and as he was the eldest child 
of his parents we have the right to suppose they were married within a year of that time. 
The Buckingham Meeting records contain the date of birth of seven children of William 
and Jane Preston, of Bradley, England, all born between 1699 and 1713. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 247 



delphia. The farm of Joseph Fell was part of it. In 1688, a tract of a thousand 
acres was confirmed to Richard Lundy, and at the close of 1684 a warrant for 
several thousand acres was issued to Thomas Hudson. The land was located 
in Buckingham and elsewhere, but not being taken up regularly it was finally 
covered with warrants to other persons. In 1722, two hundred and twelve 
acres, lying on the Street road, were surveyed to Joseph Worth. 

The 2ist of June, 1687, nine hundred and eighty acres were surveyed to 
Edward West, and nine hundred and eighty-four to John Reynolds, on the 
south side of the mountain, the two tracts joining each other* and extending 
to the Wrightstown line. The original purchasers never appearing, the land was 
settled upon by others at an early day, without any color of title, and the im- 
provement rights sold, down to 1769. The Proprietaries took bonds from the 
tenants against waste. In 1742 they sold five hundred acres of the West tract. 
From 1752 to 1760 there were numerous suits for the possession of these lands, 
and litigation was continued down to within the present generation. At various 
times those in possession took out warrants to locate by actual survey. In 1781 
the Reynolds tract was declared an escheat to the Proprietaries, and the claim- 
ants, under the escheat, were permitted to take out patents at the rate of £15 per 
hundred acres. Those claiming to be the heirs of the first purchaser filed 
caveats against issuing the patents, and, about 1788, one Reynolds, from Ire- 
land, brought an action of ejectment, but was non-suited. The caveat claimants 
afterward brought suit, but were defeated. In 1808 John Harrison Kaign 
made claim to the property for himself and others. The last suit about these 
lands was terminated within a few years, in which the late Thomas Ross was 
engaged as counsel. The absence of Reynolds was accounted for by his alleged 
loss at sea, and the Revolution was g^ven as the cause of delay in bringing suit. 
There are two traditions, one that he was lost at sea returning to England, the 
other that he was lost coming to America to take possession of his tract which 
had been located by an agent. On the trial several old letters were produced, 
one purporting to be written by John Reynolds in England to his brother in 
Chester county, stating his intention to sail for Pennsylvania to take possession 
of the land. The absence of West was not accounted for. 

Some steps were taken in more recent years to recover the Reynolds tract 
for the heirs, but nothing came of it. The editor of the Doylestown Democrat 
received a letter at the time, stating that the tract "descended to the late Samuel 
Reynolds, Philadelphia, but three years of age when his father, James Rey- 
nolds, died, 1767; who was heir in common with two brothers, Nathaniel, the* 
elder, who possessed the land, 1794, and Chicester, the younger. They were the 
sons of Reverend James Reynolds, rector of the Parish of Denertogney in the 
Barony of Inishane, County Donegal, Ireland ; that the Reverend James Rey- 
nolds was the eldest son and heir-at-law of Nathaniel Reynolds, which Nathan- 
iel Reynolds was the eldest son and heir-at-law of the original purchaser, who 
came in the "Welcome" with Penn. The original patent of this land is in the 
Land Department at Harrisburg, and the title is now in the heirs of the late 
Samuel Reynolds. 

Robert Smith, the first of his family in Buckingham, was the second son 
of his father, who died on his passage from England. He arrived before 1699, 
and in his minority. His mother married a second time, and, on arriving at 

8. The two tracts were re-surveyed by Cutler in 1703 by virtue of a warrant dated 
lith month, 5, 1702, and found to contain two thousand four hundred and fifty acres. . 



Digitized by 



Goo^^ 



248 ; HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



age, he left the maternal home bare-footed. He took up five hundred acres of 
land.- He made his way well in life, married, 1719, and died, 1745, possessed 
of seven hundred acres in Buckingham, Makefield and Wrightstowo. He had 
six sons, and John Watson, the surveyor, said they were the six best penmen 
he had ever met in one family. He was the grandfather of Robert Smith, sur- 
veyor and conveyancer three quarters of a century ago, and the ancestor of 
Carey Smith, of Spring Valley. About the time of Robert Smith's purchase, 
came William Smith with his son Thomas and purchased five hundred acres 
adjoining Robert. When the township lines were run the latter 's land fell 
into Upper Makefield, and was known as the "Windy bush" tract. These two 
families were not related. Joseph Smith, who introduced the use of anthracite 
coal into this county, and Charles Smith, of Pineville, the first to bum lime 
with hard coal, were both descendants of Robert Smith, the elder. Robert 
Smith, but from which of the original Smiths descended we do not know, was 
one of the pioneers in burning lime, having burnt a kiln as early as 1785. It is 
uncertain when the first kiln was burnt in this county, but probably as early as 
1761.®^ The account book of Samuel Smith, grandfather of the late Josiah 
B., Newtown, who lived on the Windy bush farm, shows he paid John Long 
and David Stogdale for "digging limestone," June, 1761. This work was prob- 
ably done in Buckingham. In 1774 he charged Timothy Smith fifteen shillings 
"for hauling five loads of lime," and about the same date, with one hundred 
and eighty bushels of lime at eight pence a bushel. January 2, 18 19, the lime- 
burners of Buckingham and Solebury met at Newtown to petition the legisla- 
ture for an act to establish a bushel measure for lime. Buyers and sellers of 
lime were invited to attend. Thomas Smith, the elder, of Buckingham, planted 
the seed that grew the tree that bore the first Cider apples raised in America, 
on the farm where the first Robert Smith settled. This now exceltent apple 
began its career as natural fruit. The name, "Cider apple," was given to it 
by an Irishman who lived at Timothy Smith's. Mahlon Smith said he remem- 
bered the tree as a very large one. At one time there were ten Robert Smiths 
in the same neighborhood in Buckingham. Samuel Smith, a soldier and officer 
of the Revolution, was* not of this family, but a son or grandson of Hugh Smith, - 
a Scotch-Irish settler on the Reynolds tract in Buckingham. He was bom Feb- 
mary i, 1749, and died September 17, 1835. He entered the Continental Army in 
1776, and served to the end of the war. He rose to the rank of captain, and was 
in some of the severest battles. He was an officer in Lafayette's brigade. After 
the war he married a daughter of John Wilkinson and settled down as a farmer. 
In the war of 1812-14 he commanded a brigade of militia at Marcus Hook. He 
was the father of General Andrew J. Smith,® of the United States Army, who 
distinguished himself in the Civil War. , 

85^. Limestone was quarried, and probably burnt, in Buckingham as early as 1703. 
In a deed from Lawrence Pearson to his brother Enoch Pearson, for 100 acres of the 
200 bought by Lawrence of John Burgess in the Lundy tract, comprising the western 
part of the, farm of Samuel E. Broadhurst and the Anderson farm, the 100 acres to be 
taken off next the Lundy, or Eastern side, and dated March 8, 1703-4, is this reservation: 
''Except the privilege of getting limestone for the said Lawrence and his children's own 
use with full egress and regress for fetching the same." Deed Book No. 3, pg. ,181. ^ 

9 Andrew Jackson Smith was born in Buckingham township, Bucks Co., Pa., 
181S, and died at St. Louis, Mo., January 30, 1897. He entered West Point, 1834, gradu- ' 
ated, 1838; on recruiting service, 1839-45; promoted ist lieutenant and served in Mexican 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. ^49 

^ Samuel A. Smith and wife, Oxford, Chester county, Pennsylvania, son 
of General Samuel Smith, celebrated their golden wedding, November 6, 1877. 
There was a large company present, embracing four generations of the Smith 
family. At that time Samuel A. Smith had three brothers living, George A., 
Zion Hill, Maryland ; Andrew J., United States Army, and Jenks Smith, Phila- 
delphia. Among the guests was a Mrs. Waddleton, New York, a sister of Mrs. 
Smith, and bridesmaid at the wedding fifty years before. The occasion was one 
of great family interest. George A. Smith died at Zion Hill, January 7, 1879, 
in his 85th year. The deceased was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati. 
Thomas Canby, son of Benjamin, of Thorn, Yorkshire, England, bom 
about 1667, came to Pennsylvania in 1683, as an indentured apprentice of Henry 
Baker, and was in Buckingham before, or by, 1690. He bought part of the 
Lundy tracf, near Centreville, and married Sarah Jarvis, in 1693. He was mar- 
ried three times, and was the father of seventeen children. Selling the Lundy 
property to Samuel Baker, he purchased part of the Scarborough tract in Sole- 
bury, including the Stavely farm, which he sold to his two sons, Thomas and 
Benjamin, and afterward bought Heath's mills on the Great Spring creek, near 
New Hope, where he died in 1742. His descendants are nearly numerous 
enough to people a state. Among the families who have descended, in part, 
from this ancestry are the Laceys, Hamptons, Smiths, Elys, Fells, Staplers, 
Giilinghams, Paxsons, Wilsons, Eastburns, Johnsons, Watsons, Pickerings, 
Parrys, Newbolds, Magills, Duers, Prices, Tysons, etc., etc. 

William Cooper,"^ one of the earliest settlers of Buckingham, was descended 
from an ancestor of the same name, of Nether, sometimes called Low Elling- 
ton, a hamlet on the river Vre, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, England. 
He was born August 16, 1649, and in the registry of his marriage at Masham 
the name is written, "Cowper." He immigrated to Pennsylvania, 1699, and 
probably came first to Falls, but settled in Buckingham the same year. His 
wife's name was Thomasine, whom he married about 1672, three years 
before he joined the Friends, by whom he had eight children, all 
of whom came to America with him. He purchased five hundred 
acres from Christopher Atkinson, who died before the deed was 
made, but, under the will, the title was confirmed by his widow, Margaret, "of 
Belmont, of Bensalem." In this conveyance the name is written Cowper, as it 
IS in the parish record of England. Friends' meeting, in Buckingham, was 
first held at his house. This early settler died, 1709. His children mar- 
ried into the families of Buckman, Huddleston, Hibbs, Pearson and Bond. 
The family here recorded is • not identical with that of Cooper, the novelist. 
His ancestor, James Cooper, settled in Philadelphia in 1683, and then owned 
the lot on which the^eeds office stood on Chestnut street, opposite the custom- 
house. He was probably a brother of William Cooper, of Coleshill, Hertford- 
shire, England, bom 1632, died 17 10, who settled at Pine point, now Camden, 
New Jersey, in 1679, with his wife Margaret and five children. Some of his 
descendants and relatives married into Bucks county families, his daughter 
Hannah to John Woolston, 1681, and his nephew, William Cooper, to Mary 
Groom, of Southampton. Their son James married Hannah Hibbs in 1750, 

was. Captain, 1848* and served through the Civil war reaching the rank of brevet major- 
general. He was appointed colonel 7th U. S. Cavalry after the war, and was retired 1889. 
9^2 In "Bessies' Sufferings," vol. 2, p. 171, wc read that in 1690 William Cooper, of 
Yorkshire, was fined 2s, 6d. This was our Buckingham William. 



Digitized by 



Google 



250 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



and another of their sons, Thomas, married Phoebe Hibbs, and lived many years 
in Solebury, where he died at the close of the nineteenth century. Hannah 
Hibbs was the grandmother of James Fenimore Cooper, who thus descends of 
a Bucks county family in the maternal line. In 1723, and for some years fol- 
lowing, his ancestor owned one hundred and fifty acres of land near Quaker- 
town. James Cooper, the grandfather of Fenimore, took by bequest, under 
the will of his uncle Samuel, in 17^0, "ye plantation att Buckingham that 
Nathan Preston did claire out of ye woods ;'* and his brother Thomas took by 
the same will "the plantation that William Preston did claire out of ye woods," 
These were grandsons of James Cooper, who died in 1732, having lived fifty 
years after his arrival in America, and descendants of two Bucks county 
mothers. The first wife of James Cooper, of Philadelphia, was Sarah Dunning, 
of Southampton. More recent inquiry proves that the ancestor of the novelist 
was probably born in 1645, ^^ Bolton, in Lancashire.^^ 

The Byes were in the township before the close of the century. In 1699 
Thomas Bye bought some six hundred acres of Edward Crews, Nathaniel 
Park and others, laid out by John Cutler, October 6, 1701. It ran down to the 
mountain. The land Crews and Park conveyed to Bye was granted to them, 
1681, but they were probably never residents of the township. He received 
two hundred and fifty acres from each of them, and one hundred acres from 
Samuel Martin, part of three hundred acres that Park conveyed to him. The 
Bye tract was bounded by lands of Richard Lundy, James Streater, John 
Scarborough, and vacant lands. The Sth of March, 1702, Nathaniel Bye, son 
of Thomas, bought two hundred and fifty acres of Edward Simpkins, of South- 
wark, England, for £9, lying in Buckingham, and, in 1706, Thomas conveyed 
the six hundred acre tract to his son Nathaniel, but it was not to be sold during 
the lifetime of the grantor and his wife. The grandson of the first Thomas 
Bye, also Thomas, died in Buckingham, December 27, 1827, in his 88th year. 

Hezekiah Bye married Sarah, daughter of William Pettitt, who owned the 
mill at, or near, the Ingham spring. Some years after they removed to 
Centre county, where their daughter, Charity, bom 1780, married James 
Packer, and became the mother of several children, one of whom, William F. 
Packer, was elected Governor of Pennsylvania, 1857. Hezekiah Bye was a 
noted hunter. Late in life he and his wife removed to Ohio, where they died. 
A daughter of Governor Packer married Elisha Ellis, member of the Easton 
bar. The late Mary Bye, of Buckingham, was thought to have been a lineal 
descendant of Thomas Bye, the immigrant. 

The 3d of May, 1702, three hundred acres were laid off in Buckingham to 
Edward Hartly, by virtue of a warrant dated December 31, 1701. This was 

10 The Oswego (New York) Times, of May 3, 1849, contains the following obi- 
tuary notice of a Bucks county Cooper: "James Cooper died at eight o'clock last even- 
ing at the residence of his son, C. C. Cooper, esquire, of this city, after a short illness, in 
the ninety-seventh year of his age, having been born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, on 
the 6th of March, 1753. He was a brother of the late Judge William Cooper, and uncle 
of James Fenimore Cooper. Till within a few days Mr. Cooper retained in a remarkable 
degree the powers and faculties of an athletic frame and strong intellect. He emphati- 
cally belonged to the iron race of the Revolution, to an age gone by, and was the friend 
and intimate acquaintance of Washington. At the commencement of the Revolution he 
served in the navy of Pennsylvania, and subsequently in the militia of his native state,, 
participating in the hard fought battles of Monmouth and Germantown." 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 2:;i 



part of a twenty-five hundred acre tract that Penn conveyed to John Rowland, 
who, dying intestate, his brother took the land and conveyed to Hartly. Before 
1702 Paul Wolf, Stephen Beaks and John Scarborough were landholders in 
the township. A thousand acres were surveyed to Isaac Decow^^ as early as 
about 1688, which bounded Richard Lundy's land on the eastern line at its 
upper corner, and, 1689, three hundred acres were surveyed to Henry Paulin, 
under a warrant dated May 3, 1686. 

The Paxson family came into Buckingham from Solebury, where the an- 
cestor, Henry, *2 settled in 1704. His father, William Paxson, from Bucking- 
hamshire, settled in Middletown in 1682, whence the son removed. Thomas Pax- 
son, of Buckingham, was the fifth in descent fr<5m Henry, who settled in Sole- 
bury, through Jacob, his fourth son and second wife, Sarah Shaw, of Plum- 
stead, whom he married in 1777. But two of Jacob Paxson's large family of 
children became residents of Bucks county, Thomas, who married Ann, a 
granddaughter of William Johnson, and was the father of ex-Judge Edward 
M. Paxson, of the State Supreme Court, and Mary, who married William H. 
Johnson and died, 1862. William Johnson was born in Ireland, and received 
a good education. He came to Pennsylvania after his majority, bringing with 
him an extensive library for the times, settled in Bucks county, married Ann 
Potts, and removed to South Carolina, where he died at the age of thirty-five. 
His sons were all cultivated men, Thomas becoming an eminent lawyer, and 
dying at New Hope, 1838. Samuel, the youngest son, spent his life in Buck- 
ingham, married Martha Hutchinson, and died, 1843. He was a poet of con- 
siderable distinction. 

The Watsons came into the township the beginning of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. Thomas Watson, the first of the name, a malster from Cumberland, 
England, settled near Bristol, at a place called "Honey Hill," atbout 1701, with 
his wife and sons Thomas and John. He brought a certificate from Friends' 
meeting at Pardsay Cragg, dated 7th month, 23d, 1701. He married Eleanor 
Pearson, of Robank, in Yorkshire. In 1704 he removed to Buckingham on four 
hundred and fifty acres bought of the sons of John Hough (who were devisees 
of Francis Rossil, the Philadelphia merchant), bounded on the northwest by the 
York road.^^^ Being a man of intelligence he turned his attention to medicine, 
and there being no physician within several miles, he grew into a large practice 
before his death, in 1731 or 1732. He was interested in the education of the 
Indians, and, it is said, kept a school for them, but lost his most promising 
pupils by small-pox. Of his sons, John, a man of strong and well cultivated 
intellect, and of greater medical knowledge, took his father's place, was a suc- 
cessful practitioner, and died in 1760. He was sixteen years a member of As- 
sembly. Thomas, the eldest son, died before his father. His son John, born 
about 1720, finished his education at Jacob Taylor's Academy, Philadelphia, 
and became one of the most eminent men in the Province. He was a distin- 
guished mathematician and surveyor, and assisted to run the line between 
Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, and was noted for his elegant penman- 
ship. He died, 1761, in his forty-second year, at William Blackfan's, and was 
buried at Buckingham. The newspapers of the day expressed great regjet at 

11 Probably a misnomer. Surveyed by Christopher Taylor. 

12 Was in the Assembly in 1705-1707. 

1254 He refused to survey the tract on Pcnn's warrant without consent of the 
Indians. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



252 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



his death.^* John Watson was secretary for Governor Morris at the Indian 
treaty, Easton, 1756. Franklin had promised to find the Governor a good pen- 
man, and mentioned Mr. Watson. When the Governor's party passed up the 
York road, Mr. Watson was out mending fence, barefooted, but, on invitation 
to accompany them, threw down his ax and walked to Easton without prepara- 
tion for the journey. He engrossed the treaty on parchment, and his penman- 
ship elicited great admiration. Franklin says that after the treaty was engrossed 
the Governor took off his hat to Watson and said to him : "Since I first saw 
you I have been trying to make out what you are. I now have it. You are the 
greatest hypocrite in the world." He was a large, heavy man, with a forbid- 
ding appearance. He was both a scholar and a poet and spoke good extempore 
verse. It is stated that on one occasion an Irishman, indicted for stealing a 
halter, asked Mr. Watson to defend him, who consented. The testimony was 
positive, but he addressed the jury in fine extempore poetry, beginning: 

"Indulgent Nature generously bestows 
All creatures knowledge of their mortal foes," etc., 

and the fellow was acquitted. A memorandum of John Watson states that 
he grafted two apple trees with the "New York syder apple" in February, 1757, 
on his farm in Buckingham. Thomas Penn wanted him to accept the office of 
Surveyor-General, 1760, but he declined. 

On the back of one of the sheets of "Cutler's Survey," 1703, found among 
the papers of John Watson, Jr., was the drawing of a bee hive with a recipe 
to keep millers from the bees — "induce them to light on the end of a pole," but 
nothing more ; also a recipe to preserve the taste of cider — "put four ounces of 
pearl ash into a barrel of cider when pretty well worked, and it will not turn 
sour." Watson also made use of the back of a surveying book for a good deal 
of general scribbling, and, on one of them, we found a copy of Dr. John Wat- 
son's famous pastoral of the "J^Hy Boatman :" 

"The jolly boatman, down the ebbing stream, 
By the clear moonlight, plies his easy way. 
With prosperous fortune to inspire his theme, 
Sings a sweet farewell to the parting day." 

These were among the Longstreth papers placed in our hands while pre- 
paring the revised edition of Bucks county. The Longstreths and Watsons 
were warm friends." 

13 The coast-survey office is now engaged in collecting material to publish the 
biography of the surveyors who run Mason and Dixon's line, of which John Watson 
was one. He had previously run the line between the Penns and Maryland, but while 
engaged on the Mason and Dixon line he contracted the influenza that proved fatal. He 
caught a severe cold on a warm day, and such was his anxiety to reach home he dropped 
ever)rthing and hastened to William Blackfan's, Solebury, riding over 60 miles in one day, 
where he died. His will is dated 8th, nth month, 1760, and probated Sept i, 1761. There 
was a pathetic side to John Watson's last illness. He was engaged to Mr. Blackfan's 
daughter, Hannah, and his anxiety to see her induced him to make the ride that hast- 
ened his death. He left to her a large share of his estate, out of a sincere friendship, 
and honorable esteem he entertained for her." 

14 In Buckingham, May 5, 1816, Euphemia, wife of John Watson, and daughter of 
the late Dr. Jonathan Ingham, aged 40 years. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 253 



Among those who came into the township about the time of Thomas Wat- 
son were Matthew Hughes, Joseph Fell, the Lintons, John Hill, Ephraim Fen- 
ton, Isaac Pennington and William Pickering. Matthew Hughes was in the 
Assembly for several years, was a member, 1725, and commissioned a justice 
in 1738. He was a man of ability and great integrity of character, and much 
esteemed. 

Joseph Fell, ancestor of the Fells of this coimty, son of John and Margaret 
Fell, was bom at Longlands, in the parish of Rockdale, coimty of Cumber- 
land, England, October 19, 1668. His father died when he was two years old. 
He learned the trade of carpenter and joiner with John Bond, of Wheelbarrow 
hill, near Carlisle, and worked at it as long as he remained in England. He 
married Elizabeth Wilson, of Cumberland, at the age of thirty, and in 1705 
immigrated to America with his wife and two children. They sailed in the 
Cumberland, making the capes of Virginia in twenty-nine days from Belfast. 
Landing at the mouth of the Potcwnac, they made their way by land and water 
via Choptank, Frenchtown and New Castle, where they took boat for Bristol 
in this county. He lived in Upper Makefield a few months, and then removed 
to Buckingham, 1706, where he died. About 1709 he married his second wife, 
Elizabeth Doyle, of Irish and New England parentage, but bom in this county, 
with whom he lived the rest of his life. He was the father of eleven children, 
and left thirty-five grandchildren, his children marrying into the families of 
Scarborough, Kinsey, Watson, Haines, Kirk, Church and Heston. He was the 
ancestor of Joseph Fell, of Buckingham, 

J. Gillingham Fell, long a resident of Philadelphia, where he died October 
27, 1878, was bom at Mechanicsville, Buckingham township, November, 1816. 
He was the son of William Fell and Mary Gillingham. At his father's death 
his mother married Dr. John Wilson, who was a father to the two orphan 
children of William Fell. After receiving his education, Gillingham Fell 
tumed his attention to civil engineering, and, among his early work, was estab- 
lishing the lines and grades of Doylestown at its incorporation, 1838. After 
spending some time on the Island of Cuba, he went into the Lehigh coal 
region, and formed a business connection with the late Ario Pardee, which 
continued to Mn Fell's death, and resulted profitably. He accumulated large 
wealth, and was highly esteemed. His private charities were numerous. Mr. 
Fell married Amanda, daughter of John Ruckman, Solebury, and they were the 
parents of two children, a son and daughter. The former is deceased, the lat- 
ter is the wife of the son of the late Bishop Howe. Mrs. Fell died February 
7, 1900, in her 8ist year. 

Jesse Fell, son of Thomas and Jane, and a 
descendant of Joseph Fell, the elder, bom in Buck- 
ingham, April 16, 1751, was the first person to 
make a successful experiment of burning anthracite 
coal in a grate. About 1790 he removed to Wilkes- 
Barre, Luzerne coimty, where he became a respected 
citizen, held several county offices, including Asso- 
ciate-Judge, and died August 11, 1830. He had crbst of the fells. 
bumt hard coal in a nailery, and was satisfied it 

would bum in a grate if it were properly constructed. He and his nephew, 
Edward Fell, made an iron grate, that was set in the fire-place of his bar-room 
the afternoon of February 11, 1808. His attempts had attracted considerable 
attention, and created no little merriment among his neighbors. He invited 




Digitized by 



Google 



254 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 

several of them to come and witness the experiment, but only two came from 
fear of being hoaxed. Among others he invited the Honorable Thomas Cooper, 
then President-Judge of the Courts, and afterward president of South Carolina 
College, to stop at his tavern on his way home. He did so and saw a nice coal- 
fire burning in the grate. Judge Cooper, it is said, became angry on seeing 
he had been anticipated in the discovery, and walked the floor, muttering to 
himself, that it was strange an illiterate man like Fell should discover what he 
had tried in vain to find out. Mr. Fell made a memorandum of the successful 
experiment on the fly-leaf of *The Mason's Monitor," which he signed with 
his name and date. 

The Carvers, who came into the township early, are probably descended 
from William, the second of three brothers who came over, 1682, and settled 
in Byberry, Philadelphia county. John, the eldest brother, took up six hundred 
and ninety acres on Poquessing creek, in the northeast part of the township. 
The homestead remained in the family for six generations, until 1864. It is 
claimed that his eldest daughter, ]Mary, was born in a cave on the site of Phila- 
delphia, the first white child born of English parents in the Province. John 
Carver planted two pear trees which he brought with him from England, which 
are said to have been standing a few years ago. Several of John Carver's 
descendants married into Bucks county families, his grandson John to Rachel 
Naylor, Southampton, one great-grandson, John, to Mary Buckman, Wrights- 
town, and another, Mahlon, to Amy Pickering, Solebury. The latter was born, 
1754, and kept the Anchor tavern at one time. William Carver^traded his farm 
in Byberry to Silas Walmsly for land in Buckingham, near Bushington. His 
eldest son, William, married a daughter of Henry Walmsly and removed to 
Buckingham, but we do not know whether the father did. The latter's wife 
dying, 1692, he married again and had four children. Either the father or son 
is supposed to have built the Green Tree tavern at Bushington. Among the 
descendants of William Carver and Elizabeth Walmsly is Elias Carver, of 
Doylestown. Thomas Parsons took up five hundred acres, which were sur- 
veyed to him April 6, 1700. George Claypole owned eleven hundred acres, 
mostly in Buckingham, which formerly belonged to one Mary Crap. This tract 
probably extended into the eastern edge of Doylestown township. 

In 1700 the quarterly meeting granted leave to the Buckingham Friends to 
hold a meeting for worship, which was first held at the house of William 
Cooper, alternating at John Gillingham's, James Streater's and Nathaniel Bye's. 
In 1705 Streator conveyed ten acres, in trust, to build a meeting-house on, and 
for a burying ground, with the privilege of roads to get to it. This was the lot 
where the meeting-house now stands. On the west side of the road that wound 
up the hill, and near the lower side of the graveyard, a small log meeting-house 
was soon afterward built.^'* On the establishment of a monthly meeting, 1721, 
a new frame house was built a little further up the slope of the hill. In 173 1 
a stone house, with a stone addition one story high for the use of the women, 
was built still higher up the hill. Some wanted to build where the present house 
stands, but prejudice for the old spot was too strong. In this house, 1732, 



15 In June, 1705, Buckingham Friends notified Falls meeting they intended to build 
a meeting-house, and asked their advice, when Stephen Wilson and John Watson were 
appointed to collect money among Friends of Buckingham. The house was commenced 
that year, but not being finished by September, 1708, Falls meeting appointed Thomas 
Str'-aler and Thomas Watson "to get done with speed." 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 











1^ A 


^ 

i 


I^^B^^^S^^ 




.4k 












HI 




II 


s 


kml' rT^TH 


^^a 



BUCKINGHAM MEETING HOUSE. 

Buckingham Friends held their first monthly meeting. It caught fire April 8, 
'1768, from a stove during meeting, and was burned down. The present house was 
erected the same season at a cost of £736, 14s, i>'2d., a fine old-fashioned stone 
edifice, forty by seventy feet, two stories high, with a panel partition to separate 
the women from the men.^® Until the new house was built and ready to occupy, 
First-day meetings were held at the house of Benjamin Williams, near by.*^ 
The meeting-house was used as a hospital a portion of the Revolutionary 
war, and several soldiers were buried about where the turnpike crosses the hill, 
some of whose remains were uncovered when the pike was made. On meeting 
days the soldiers put one-half the house in order for Friends, many of them 
attending service. The only monthly meeting held out of the house during the 
war was February i, 1777, in Thomas EUicott's blacksmith shop. Buckingham 
Friends were among the earliest to see the evil effects of the use of whiskey 
at vendues, and the monthly meeting of April, 1724, reported against the prac- 
tice. In 1756 the meeting bore testimony against war by advising all Friends 
"not to be concerned in a military match, by attending in person or paying 
toward it." Two years afterward John Love was "dealt with" for enlisting as 
a soldier in the king's service. The two old horse blocks remaining, one at each 
end of the meeting-house, were built at the time the house was, 1768. Then the 
young people of both sexes went to meeting on horseback, the general way of 
traveling from home. 

The record of births, deaths and marriages go back to 1720. From 1725 
to 1734 Buckingham and Wrightstown had a joint meeting at the house of the 
former, where the marriages of the two meetings were celebrated. The first 
was that of Thomas Lancaster to Phoebe Wardell, both of Wrightstown, Oc- 
tober 19, 1725, and the second, Zebulon Heston, uncle of General Lacey, to 
Elizabeth Buckman, Newtown. During these ten years there were fifty-five 
marriages, and, among the parties, are the familiar names of Large, Paxson, 

t6 The mason work and plastering were done by Mathias Hutchinson, of Solebury, 
and the carpenter work by Edward Good, of Plumstcad, father of Nathan Good. 

17 The farm belonging in recent year? to Robert Ash. and an hundred years ago 
to Benjamin Kinsey, was part of ilv PnrsoTis tract. It is related that a wild deer one day 
walked into the old meeting-house, looked round at the people and walked out again. 

255 



Digitized by 



Google 



256 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Fell, Chapman, Preston, Janney, etc, etc. Among the members of this meet- 
ing, who were active in the ministry in former times, may be mentioned John 
Scarborough, born in Buckingham, about 1713, and died, 1769, John 
Simpson, born in Falls, 1739, removed to Buckingham when an infant, and died, 
181 1, on a ministerial visit to Ohio; Samuel Eastbum, Benjamin Fell, 
Elizabeth Fell, Phoebe Ely and Ann Schofield. Ann Moore, a native of 
Bucks county, but we do not know that Buckingham was her birthplace, liv- 
ing in Byberry, about 1750, was one of the most celebrated preachers of the 
day. She was brought up without much education, and married unfortunately, 
but she conquered all difficulty in the way and became a powerful preacher. 
Doctor John Watson said of her that the "truths of the gospel flowed from her 
tongue in language, accents and periods somewhat resembling the style of the 
poems of Ossian." She and her husband moved to Byberry, 1750, where they 
resided four years when they removed to Maryland. 

While the yellow fever prevailed in Philadelphia, 1793, Jesse Blackfan and 
Benjamin Ely, merchants of that city, brought their goods up to the Bucking- 
ham school-house, still standing on the meeting-house lot, in the second story 
of which they opened and kept store until it was safe to return to the city. 
The meeting to form the first agricultural society organized in the county was 
held in this school-house. 

William Lacy, the immediate ancestor of the family in Bucks county bear- 
ing this name, was an early' settler in Buckingham near the line of Wrights- 
town. He came from the Isle of Wight, England, but we neither know the 
time of his arrival nor where he first settled. He was a member of the Society 
of Friends. In 1701 William Penn granted to William Parlet and William 
Derrick, a tract of 292 acres, but this grant not having been confirmed, and 
Parlet and Derrick meanwhile dying, Penn granted the land to William Lacey^ 
the son-in-law of Parlet, the conveyance being dated 1718, and the land was 
surveyed to him. The original order of Penn, to Parlet and Derrick, dated at 
Pennsbury located the "tract" near "Wrightstown." Their names appear on 
Cutler's resurvey, 1703. In 1718 William Lacey conveyed to his son John, 
seventy-three acres, and an additional one hundred and twenty acres 1733, and 
in 1726, one hundred acres to his' son Thomas, making in all two hundred and 
ninety-three acres. The stream known as "Randall's Run," runs through the 
tract. We are not informed as to the names of other children of William 
Lacey, if he had any besides the two sons mentioned. A mill was built on the 
property, 1743, by John and Thomas Lacey and is now known as the "Vande- 
grift" mill. It was owned many years by the Carver family. 

In 1718, John Lacey, son of William, married Rachel Heston, of New Ene:- 
land descent, whose family had come to Bucks county a few years prior. John 
and Rachel ( Heston )_ Lacey had a family of eleven children, five dying in their 
minority and three marrying: Rachel to John Terry, 17.^8, John to Jane Chap- 
man, 1746, and Joseph to Esther Warner, December 7, 1748. John Lacey, son 
of John and Jane (Chapman) Lacey and grandson of John and Rachel Lacey, 
was the most conspicuous member of the family. During the Revolution he 
was in both the military and civil service of the Colcmies, being a captain in 
the Continental army, and Brigadier General of militia in active service, and 
member of Assembly, and of the State Executive Committee, and held other 
places of public trust. He married a daughter of Colonel Thomas Re)molds, 
Burlington county, New Jersey, and one of their daughters, Kitty, became the 
wife of Dr. William Darlington, the distinguished botanist of Chester county. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



257 




OLDEST HOUSE IN BUCKS COUNTY, WRIGHTSTOWN. 



General Lacey was born in Buckingham, 4th of 12th month, 1752, and died at 
New Mills, Burlington county. New Jersey, February 17, 1814. 

The Lacey homestead, built either by William Parlet, William Derrick, or 
William Lacey, was in the Lacey family until within about fifty years. It was 
standing until 1877, on the farm of Charles T. Bewley, part of the original tract, 
and at that time 

was probably the „^ - 

oldest house in 
the county. It was 
built 1705 or 1706, 
was still used as 
a dwelling, and 
quite comfortable. 
It was built of 
logs clapboarded, 
with a great chim- 
neystack in the 
middle, the eaves 
coming down al- 
most to the ground 
and all the rooms 
on one floor. Mr. 
Bewley, a descend- 
ant of William La- 
cey, was the owner 
of the old family 

bible printed at Cambridge, England, 1630. If this old dwelling had possessed 
"the gift of tongues," it could have told a more interesting story of the past than 
any pen can write. This venerable dwelling was taken down on a Saturday after- 
noon in the spring of 1877. Mr. Bewley invited a number of his neighbors to as- 
sist at the obsequies, and after it had been laid low, a lunch was served. The 
main timbers were of black oak, and the boards, used inside, of the toughest red 
cedar. The timbers were generally sound. The property is now owned by 
John B. Malloy. I visited the Lacey house twenty years ago accompanied by 
the late Thomas P. Otter, artist, who made a correct drawing on the spot, 
painted it on canvas from which the picture that illustrates this page was 
made. In this house General John Lacey was born. 

The earliest boundary of Buckingham that we have seen is that entered of 
record the 15th of September, 1722, and was substantially as at present. How 
long the township had been laid out with this boundary is not known. The only 
change noticed is on the southwest side by the formation of Doylestown, and 
the taking in of some lands across Little Neshaminy. The following is the 
boundary given : "It shall begin at a corner by a street which lies between the 
said Buckingham township and Solebury township, and to run from thence S. 
W. by line of marked trees, 1,493 perches to a corner by Claypole's land; 
thence N. W. by the said Claypole's 430 perches to a corner; thence S. W. 210 
perches to a corner; thence N. W. by John Rodman's land 1,060 perches to a 
corner by the Society land ; thence N. E. by the said Society's land 390 perches 
to a comer ; thence N. W., by the same, 547 perches to another comer ; thence 
N. E. by Richard Hill's and Christopher Day's land 953 perches to another 
corner ; thence N. W. 80 perches to a corner by Thomas Brown's land ; thence 
N. E. 390 perches to another corner; thence by the said street 2,184 perches to 

17 



Digitized by 



Google 



258 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 

the first-mentioned comer, the place of beginning." We met with an old map 
•of Buckingham, dated 1726, which embraced the whole of the- township from the 
Solebury line to the west end of the mountain. On it is marked the York road, 
"falsely so called," the Durham road to "Ephraim Fenton's land" above Centre- 
ville, and a few other things of no special interest. All but a single tract of 
. land is marked with the owners' name, twenty in all." Another old map, 
drawn a few years later by John Watson, the surveyor, of the Israel Pemberton 
tract, embraces the territory from about Bushington to the Warwick line. The 
only two enclosed portions are those of A. McKinstry, three hundred and 
twenty-seven acres and twenty-eight perches, and Mr. Watson's, four hundred 
and seventeen acres and one hundred and thirty-four perches. The tract is now 
divided into twelve or fifteen farms. Doctor John Rodman bounded it on the 
Warwick side, and William Corbet and Ely Welding in Wrightstown. The 
quality of the soil is marked in several places, and the map has on it "a branch 
of Hickory Hill run," and Roberts' now Robin run. Like all of Mr. Watson's 
work, the map is elegantly drawn. The Street road which separates Bucking- 
ham from Solebury, was projected about the time the lands on the line of the 
two townships were surveyed, and was probably run by Phineas Pemberton, 
county-surveyor, 1700. 

The Idens had been in the county many years before they made their ap- 
pearance in Buckingham. Randall Iden, the first of the name we meet with, 
was probably married as early as 1690. In 17 10 his daughter Dorothy married 
William Stogdale, an ancestor of the Buntings on the female side, and, on the 
i6th of June, 1724, a Randall Iden, Bristol township, probably the son of the 
former, married Margaret Greenfield, "Middle township." Randall Iden, grand- 
father of the late James C. Buckingham, son of Jacob, Rockhill, married 
Eleanor, daughter of Samuel Foulke, Richland, March 9, 1772. Their mar- 
riage certificate contains the names of twelve Foulkes and thirteen Robertses. 
The great-grandfather of James C. Iden, on the maternal side, was John Chap- 
man, of Wrightstown. 

The Worth ingtons^® claim descent from three brothers, John, Samuel and 
Thomas, who settled in Byberry about 1705. John married Mary Walmsly, 
1720, who died 1754, and he 1777. They had eleven children; Elizabeth, bom 
I, 15, 1721; Mary; Thomas; Hannah; John; William; Isaac, Joseph, Martha, 
Benjamin, and Esther, who married into the families of Tomlinson, Duncan, 
Homer, Carver, Malone and others. William, Isaac and Joseph Worth ington 
removed to Buckingham, where William died, 1816; Isaac went to Chester 
county, 1783 ; and died there 1800, and Joseph, bom 1737, died 1822, and his 

18 Names of land-owners: Ephraim Fenton, Samuel Hough, John Preston, George 
Howard, Joseph Fell, T. Worral, Isaac Pennington, Mercy Phillips, John Harford, Jacob 
Holcomb, Thomas Gilbert, Thomas Parsons, John Fell, Joseph Large, Edmund Kinsey, 
Matthew Hewes, James Lenox/ Richard Lundy and Nathaniel Bve. 

19 The name "Worthington" in an old one in Lancashire, England, whence the 
family came. The ctymolog>' is said to be three Saxon words. Worth-in-ton, 1. c, Farm- 
in- Town, There is a town of Worthington in Lancaster, 20 miles north of Liverpool, 
where the family lived many generations. It can be traced to Worthington de Worthing- 
ton. 20th of Henry HI. There are many Worthingtons in Ohio, possibly descendants 
of Thoma*^, son of Richard, who settled there. The town of Worthington, a few 
miles from Columbus, was intended to be the State capital, but influence located it 
on. the bank of the Sciota. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 



259 



wife, Esther, 1828. The Buckingham Worthingtons claim immediate descent 
from Richard, who settled in the township, 1750, purchased land of Thomas 
Lacey and died 1806. Their children were Mahlon, bom 12, 19, 1750, John, 
Joseph, Mary, Thomas, Sarah Elizabeth, Tamer, John, Hannah, Letitia, 
William and Isaac, bom i, 20, 1773. The will of Richard Worthington, dated 
March 21, 1803, was probated August 26, 1806. A Samuel Worthington 
brought his certificate to Buckingham meeting from Abington, 1736, and settled 
in New Britain, where he died, 1775. In his will, probated March 20, are men- 
tioned his wife Mary, sons, Jonathan, David, -and Samuel, and daughters, Sarah, 
Hester Kimble, Rachel Rue, and Pleasant Lap. The descendants of Samuel 
Worthington are known as the 'Tlumstead Worthingtons," the late Aaron 
Worthington being a grandson of Jonathan. Thomas Worthington was re- 
ceived as a member of Buckingham monthly meeting, 1732, but shortly removed 
to Abington. 

Doctor John Wilson, one of Buckingham's most distinguished citizens, 
three quarters of a century ago, was the son of Thomas and Rachel Wilson, 
Southampton, where he was bom, 1768. After leaving the ordinary country 
school, he went to Philadelphia, then taught and after attended a classical school 
at Southampton Baptist Church kept by Jesse Moore, subsequently a Judge in 
Pennsylvania and where Judge John Ross and Doctor Charles Meredith were 
pupils. Here he was a close student, studying eighteen hours out of twenty- 
four. He next taught classics in a school where the late Samuel D. Ingham 
was a pupil, where a friendship was contracted that lasted through life. He 
graduated at Dickinson college, 1792. He commenced reading medicine with 
Doctor Jonathan Ingham, and, after his death by yellow fever, 1793, entered 
himself a student with Doctor Casper Wistar, Philadelphia, and attended lec- 
tures at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated, 1796, being one of 
the first medical graduates from Bucks county. He worked his own way 
through college and his medical studies by teaching and surveying, his father, 
being averse to his studying medicine, refused to assist him. After graduating 
he married Margaret Mitchel, daughter of Richard Mitchel, Middletown, and 
settled at the place known as. "Walton's mill," just below Ingham's paper-mill. 
Within a year he purchased, of the late Samuel Johnson, the place known as 
Elm Grove, Buckingham, where he resided until his death, October, 1835. His 
first wife died in 1821. In 1824 he married Mary Fell, the widow of William 
Fell, and daughter of Joseph and Phoebe Gillingham. By these two marriages 
he left four children. Richard and Sarah were children of his first wife. Rich- 
ard studied medicine and settled in St. Jago de Cuba, where he acquired a large 
estate, and died in Philadelphia during a visit in 1854. Sarah married Elias 
Ely, New Hope, and died of cholera, 1850. By his second wife Doctor Wilson 
had two sons, Elias and Henry. The first is supposed to have been murdered 
December 24, 1868, at the head of the Red sea, while making a visit to the 
"Fountain of Moses," in Arabia. 

Doctor Wilson possessed a rare combination of desirable qualities. In 
stature he was tall and straight, light but vigorous, and with an excellent phy- 
sique. In all out-door exercises, of which he was very fond, he had few su- 
periors. He was a fine horseman, as rider, driver, and judge of the animal, and 
in his youth was celebrated as a skater and swimmer. He had great quickness 
of perception, an intrepid spirit, and was equal to any emergency in his profes- 
sion or out of it. He was a fine surgeon, and performed capital operations 
with great success. But few men equalled him in the best combination of learn- 



Digitized by 



Google 



26o 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



ing, practical skill and common sense. The late Lewis S. Coryell, a shrewd 
observer of human nature, and an extensive acquaintance with prominent men of 
his day, once i : marked of him : "Doctor Wilson knew more, from a potato-hill 
up, than any other man I ever knew.'' He was handsome and courtly, his wives 
elegant and graceful women ; and, for many years, his home at Elm Grove was 
the seat of -a refined and generous hospitality. 

Buckingham has been fortunate in the quality of her schools, some of which 
were well endowed before the common school system was adopted. In 1755, 
Adam Harker, a benevolent and prominent Friend, left £40 by his will toward 
settling and maintaining a free school in Buckingham, under the care of the 
monthly meeting. In 1789, Thomas Smith conveyed to the township a lot of 
land for a school house, on the northwest side of Hyrl's run, for a term of thirty 
years at an annual rent of a pepper corn. This was on condition that the town- 
ship build a house twenty-two by twenty feet, on the lot before the expiration of 
the year, the school to be governed by a committee of four. This was known as 
the *'Red school house," which stood on the Street road, one hundred yards 
northwest of the creek. A new house was erected on the northeast side of the 
road many years ago, and is now used as a dwelling. Toward the close of the 
last century, the Buckingham meeting raised a school fund of $2,072, by subscrip- 
tion, the interest to be applied to educating children of members of monthly meet- 
ing in the first place, then to the children of those in straitened circumstances^ 

and afterward all other 
children of members of 
the meeting. The heav- 
iest subscribers were 
Andrew Ellicott and 
Oliver Paxson, twenty- 
five dollars each. When 
the society divided the 
money was loaned in 
small sums, to the two 
divisions. A school is 
still supported bv the 
fund.2« About 1808 the 
school fund of Bucking- 
ham and S o 1 e b u r y 
amounted to £758, los, 
near $3,000, but we are 
not informed of its pres- 
ent amount and condi- 
tion. In 1790, several of 
the inhabitants of the 
township subscribed 
£99, i8s. y/zd. for 
building and furnishing 
TYRO HALL. A FAMOUS SCHOOL. » school housc crccted 




20 Jonathan Longstreth, Warminster, taught this school 1795-6, the contract being 
executed 3 2d month, for 3 months ^at 12s. 6d. per scholar. At first he had only four 
subscribers, Mathias Hutchinson, Joseph Wilkinson, Thomas Bye and Thomas Black- 
ledge, 61/2 scholars. There was some friction between Longstreth and Joseph Harold, a 
patron. The latter wrote him Feb. 15, 1796: 'T have sent my son to pay you for his 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 261 



on the cross road just above Greenville, on a lot given by David Gilbert 
in trust.^^ It was governed by three trustees elected by the contributors. 
A constitution for the government of the school was adopted May 16, 1792. 
It was given the name of Tyro Hall, and was at one time in a flourishing condi- 
tion. The building is still standing, but the school was closed in 1859. The last 
board of trustees was Jesse Haney, John C. Shepherd and Joseph Beans, in 
1854. Some good scholars were graduated at Tyro Hall. Among those who 
taught there were William H. Johnson, Joseph Price, Albert Smith, afterward 
a member of the bar, and died about 1833, and Joseph Fell. 

A noted school in Buckingham in the past was the boarding school for 
^rls at Greenville, now Holicong, established 1830, by Martha Hampton and 
Hannah Lloyd, sisters. Boarding schools were then rare in the county, and this 
venture by two women comparatively little known, one a widow with four chil- 
dren and slender means, was an enterprise of great risk. They bought the long 
white house still standing on the northwest corner of the cross roads, opened 
school and went to work, one taking charge of the household, the other 
the school, each eminently fitted for her task. The school soon became 
a success and the house was filled with pupils from Bucks, Montgomery, Phila- 
delphia and New Jersey. A day school was subsequently opened in connection 
and Elizabeth and Sarah Ely, sisters of the late State Senator Johathan Ely, 
Solebury, were given charge. A few boys were admitted to the day school, 
among them the late Judge Richard Watson, ex-Chief Justice Edward M. 
Paxson, John Ruckman, Albert S. Paxson and Samuel E. Broadhurst, presum- 
ably the "gilt-edge" boys of the neighborhood. The school was discontinued 
upon the death of Hannah Lloyd at the end of several years. 

Amos Austin Hughes, at his death, 181 1, left, by his will, the plantation on 
which he resided in Buckingham, and the remainder of his personal estate, 
amounting to $4,000, and $2,000 more, at the death of his sister, to create a 
fund for the erection and maintaining a school, to be called "Hughesian free 
school." It was to educate the poor children of the township, and such others 
as stood in need, forever, and, when necessary, they were to be boarded and 
clothed. A charter was obtained, 1812, and a building erected soon afterward, 
in which a school is still maintained, governed by a board of trustees. The 
amount of funds, held in trust, is $21,450. Mr. Hughes, who died at the early 
age of forty-four, was an invalid from his youth. He was a quiet, patient suf- 
ferer, was confined to his room for many years, and spent his time chiefly in 
reading and meditation. He contributed freely to the relief of the poor and 
afflicted during his life, while his generous bequests are evidence he did not for- 
get them at his death. 

It is said that when the Hughsian school house was built the township was 
<:anvassed to make up a school of "poor children" to be educated in it, but none 
could be found, and, by advice of counsel, a public school was opened. This was 
in 185 1. The first board of trustees was composed of John Ely, Nicholas 
Austin, John Watson, Jr., Wm. Ely, Thomas Bye, John Wilson, M. D., Samuel 
Johnson, Joseph Shaw, Isaiah Jones, Joshua Anderson, Joseph Watson and 
Stephen Wilson, all of Buckingham. When Pennsylvania passed the public 
school law the will of Amos Austin Hughes became inoperative, as it was in- 
schooling, but not. for whipping him." Longstreth replied that he considered himself 
^'possessed of full powers, both legislative and executive, to deal with his scholars for 
misbehavior in school, and referred the matter to the committee/ "— Lopgstreth MS. 

21 The deed is in possession of the family of the late Watson Felt; Buckingham. 



Digitized by 



Google 



262 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



tended that his estate should only benefit those who could not afford to go to a 
pay school, and there was none such now in the township, all being free. What 
action was taken to change the direction of the bequest we are not informed,, 
but the school was reorganized, 1841. This resulted in an increase of scholars 
and the doing of better work, the trustees equipping the school to meet modem 
requirements. The school is graded in three departments, primary, inter- 
mediate and grammar, with an average of forty scholars in each, or one hundred 
and twenty in all. It has three teachers, two paid by the trustees, and one by 
the township school board. The branches taught include Latin, German, Book- 
keeping, higher Algebra, Geometry and Astronomy. The candidates for grad- 
uation are examined by the county superintendent. In 1897, the graduates of 
the Hughesian Free School, thirty in number, organized an association at the 
dwelling of Charles P. Large, Buckingham, and completed it, January 3, 1898. 
Only four males were eligible. Annual reunions are held. A leaflet, published 
12, II, 1841, says the middle room of th© Hughesian Free School was rented 
of the trustees, furnished and school opened by Miss Burson, the 12 day, i mo., 
1842. The teachers were paid 3 cents per scholar per day, and $15 per month,, 
and later increased to $20, the teachers furnishing pen and ink, the pens made 
of quills. Joseph Fell was the first teacher paid by the trustees, 1851, and to 
December 31, 1898, there had been twenty-six principals and eighteen assistants 
connected with the school. 

Although Justice Cox came into the township at a recent date, he can trace 
his ancestry back among the earliest in the state. He is a descendant of that 
Peter Cock who settled between the Delaware and the Schuylkill in 1660, who 
was commissioner on the Delaware in 1662, a counsellor, in 1667, and in 1669^ 
Governor Lovelace confirmed to him the patent for Tinicum island. In the 
course of centuries the name has been changed from Cock to Cox. 

Doctor Arthur D. Cernea, a prominent practitioner of medicine, as well as 
a leading citizen of Buckingham, was a resident of the township over forty 
years. His history is an exceeding romantic and interesting one, sufficiently so,. 
we think, to warrant the sketch of his life and adventures found in the note 
below.^^ Thomas Cernea, son of the Doctor, was one of the most skilled archi- 

22 Doctor Cernea was born in Philadelphia, of French parentage, about 1806. His 
father, an officer of the French army, came to the United States near the close of the 
19th century with his wife. She was likewise of a French family, which had lost a large 
portion of their estates in the West Indies during the Revolution of 1791. Contemplating- 
a visit to France, from which they intended to return in a short time, they placed their 
eldest ion, Arthur, a lad nine years of age, at the Moravian school at Nazareth. To the 
present time no tidings of them have been received, except information obtained from the 
records of a lodge of French Masons lately discovered in the possession of the Historical 
Society of Pennsylvania. It is there stated that his father arrived in Philadelphia about 
1793; the time of his departure on his visit to France, a few years later, his mother's 
name before marriage, parentage, etc., etc. The anxiety felt by the over-absence of the 
parents was kept from the son until discovered by the failure to receive his regular stipend 
of spending money. It was the opinion of those to whom young Cernea had been en- 
trusted that the vessel had been lost at sea, or some other unknown calamity befallen them. 
It was supposed he would remain at the school until cared for, but the spirited boy, 
censitive that a portion of his dues remained unpaid, left the school unknown to the 
faculty, with a small sum of money in his pocket realized from the sale of a box of 
paints. Thus alone in the world he started on foot for Philadelphia in search of his 
parents, stopping for the night at the inn Jenkintown. Here he met one who proved 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 263 



tects of Philadelphia, and planned a number of handsome buildings, including" 
Lenape building, Doylestown, 1874. 

The Buckingham library was organized October 31, 1795, afid the by- 
laws revised in 1820. For a number of years it was a flourishing institu- 
tion, and the means of disseminating intelligence throughout the neighborliood, 
but interest in it gradually decreased until 1853, when the corporation was dis- 
solved and the books sold at public sale. In this connection we must mention 
the "Buckingham lyceum," a literary society of some local note sixty-five years 
ago, and which enabled many a fledgling in literature to get his productions 
before the public. 

In a letter Joseph Erwin, Tinicum, wrote to Geo. Wall, Solebury, under 
date of September 10, 1801, he says that Mr. Smith (probably Joseph Smith, 
who founded Smithtown), tells him "Goodwine's Political Justice,'' that had 
. been purchased for the Buckingham library, had been condemned to the flames 
by the board of directors, **as containing damnable heresies, both in religion and 
politics.'' 

In 1806 Moses Bradshaw had a nail factory near Pool's corner, a mile 
from Doylestown, but in 1807 it was removed to Thomas Fell's smith-shop, on 
the road between what was then Rodrock's and Vanhorne's tavern, now Centre- 
ville. In 1817 a peace association was formed in Buckingham, with William H. 
Johnson as president and John Parry secretary. In June, 1819, the farmers held 
a meeting at Buckingham school house to fix wages for hay and harvesting. 

a kind friend, Eleazer Shaw, Plumstead, on his way to market, with whom he rode to the 
city, and to whom he related his story. After a fruitless search for his parents his kind 
friend persuaded him to go home with him, which he did. At this time young Cemea 
was about thirteen years old, having been more than four years at Nazareth. There he 
had acquired a taste for study, and he now devoted his leisure to self-improvement, 
encouraged by those with whom he had found a home. By his own exertions he 
qualified himself to instruct others, and at eighteen commenced teaching at the "eight 
square" school-house, Plumstead, which, from its quaint appearance, was a landmark 
among the places of instruction in the olden time. He taught, in turn, at the Mennonite 
meeting-house, Tinicum church, and at Quakertown. At the latter place he commenced 
the study of medicine with Dr. Hampton Watson, afterward Judge Watson, Kansas. 
In 1831 he graduated at the University of Pennsylvania; soon afterward married Sarah 
Lester, daughter of Thomas Lester, Richland; and removed to Buckingham where he 
associated himself in the practice of medicine with Doctor Wilson, an eminent and well- 
known physician. At the death of Doctor Wilson, a few years later, he continued the 
practice, removing to Centrevillc, a more convenient location. Here he lost his wife,, 
a most estimable woman, and afterward married Sarah Taylor, daughter of William 
Taylor, a minister among Friends. Although no doubt of Catholic parentage. Doctor 
Cemea was naturally drawn to the Friends, from their great kindness to him in his 
troubles, and he joined this religious body, of which he was a useful and active member. 
During the busy years of an arduous practice, aside from being a diligent, student in 
his own profession, he found time to devote to literature and the sciences, for which he 
had a natural fondness. He gave much attention to botany. He was an industrious con- 
tributor to the Buckingham lyceum, a liteary society of some merit in its day. When 
the subject of anti-slavery and temperance began to agitate the public mind, Doctor 
Cemea, a man of strong convictions, became an earnest advocate of these reforms. This 
was at a time when such advocacy was at the expense of personal interest. He lived 
to see the principle he advocated recognized. In his retirement he looked back upon a 
well-spent and useful life, colored with enough romance to make it interesting to others. 



Digitized by 



Google 



264 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Samuel Hanin, a distinguished, self-taught mathematician, died in 1820, at the 
age of seventy-six. Of the roads in the township, not already mentioned, that 
from the Tohickon through Greenville over the mountains, was laid out in 1732, 
and from Wilkinson's ford, on Neshaminy, to Durham road in 1771. 

Not the least important resident of Buckingham fifty years ago was a giant 
black man, know^n the county over as "Big Ben." He was a slave of William 
Anderson, of Baltimore county, Maryland, from whom he escaped when young 
and settled in this township, ^e was arrested by his master, 1844, o^ John 
Kitchen's farm, Solebury, after a hard fight and sent back to slavery, but the 
citizens of Buckingham raised money to purchase his freedom, when he 
returned. His arrest caused great excitement in the county. Ben spent the last 
years of his life in the Bucks county alms-house, where he died in 1875, aged 
over seventy. He was a man of immense strength and great size, his foot 
measuring sixteen inches from heel to toe. 

Isaiah Michener, who died in Buckingham, May 25, 1899, son of Thomas' 
and Sarah Bradshaw Michener, was born January 25, 1812. He was the grand- 
son of Meschach, eighth child of William Michener, who settled in Plumstead, 
1723. Isaiah Michener was probably born in Plumstead, but went to Horsham 
with his father, and afterward settled in Buckingham, living with an uncle. 
This was in 1830. He married Esther Good, Plumstead, 1836, and at her death, 
Rebecca Scott. He studied at Dodd's Veterinary College, Boston, subsequently 
graduating at Penn College, Philadelpha. He became prominent in the profes- 
sion ; contributed much to veterinary medical literature ; was a member of the 
national society and the oldest practitioner in the State. He was prominent as 
a citizen and held many public functions, including the offices of president of 
the Doylestown Agricultural Society and Mechanics' Institute, and Carversville 
Normal Institute. He was a member of the Society of Friends and left nu- 
merous descendants. 

The county is more indebted to the late James Jamison, Buckingham, than 
to any other one man, for the introduction of the present method of burning lime 
in fixed kilns. He found, by repeated experiment, that by putting lime and coal 
in the kiln in alternate layers from top to bottom, the whole supported by grates, 
with space underneath for wood to kindle the lower layer of coal, the manu- 
facture of lime was much expedited and cheapened. Before this, wood had been 
exclusively used, but the cost of lime was now reduced about one-half. The con- 
sequence was it came into extensive use as a fertilizer, and was hauled twelve 
or fifteen miles in wagons for that purpose. Of course, coal was more exten- 
sively used to burn lime after the Delaware Division canal was opened. While 
it was burned exclusively with wood, lime was too dear to be generally used as a 
fertilizer, much to the detriment of agriculture. 

There are nine villages in Buckingham : Centreville, Mechanicsville, 
Lahaska, Holicong, formerlv Greenville, Mechanics Valley, formerly Spring 
Valley, Furlong, formerly Bushington, Mozart, formerly Concord, Bucking- 
ham Valley and Forest Grove, formerly Forestville, all post villages. Buck- 
ingham (formerly Centreville*^), at the crossing of the York and Durham 

23 The initial steps toward organizing a parish and erecting an Episcopal church at 
Centreville, were taken in 1837 by Rev. G. W. Ridgly, rector at Newtown, holding open air 
meetings, followed by service in Haslet Gibson's coach shop. A public meeting was held 
in April, 1839, Mr. Ridgly presiding, to consider the propriety of erecting a church build- 
ing. The subscriptions warranting the expense, work was begun the same fall, and the 
church finished in July, 1840. The lot was the gift of Joseph Anderson and wife, and 



Digitized by 



Google 



niSTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. ' 265 

roads, is the largest, having an Episcopal church, the Hughesian Free 
Schools, two taverns, etc, and twenty-five dwellings. One of the inns, 
famous in its day and called **Bogart*s tavern," in the Revolution, is over 
a century and a quarter old. Under its roof the Bucks County Com- 
mittes of Safety met, 1775, and in it General Green, for a time, had his 
headquarters during one of the most trying periods of the Revolution. 
Buckingham postoffice was established here in 1805, and Cornelius Vanhorne 
appointed postmaster. Three-quarters of a century ago Greenville was called 
**Grintown," which name, we are told, was given it in this wise: A flock of 
geese, driven by a Jerseyman down the York road to Philadelphia, becoming 
unmanageable at this point, the people flocked to the doors to witness the poor 
man's discomfiture. On seeing these witnesses of his shame, he yelled out in 
his agony, "this is Grintown." The name stuck to the unfortunate village sev- 
eral years. About 18 10 a number of young people were passing a social after- 
noon at the dwelling of Josiah Shaw, when the name was spoken of in not very 
respectful terms, and it was suggested that the state of society required a 
change. Eliza Johnson, daughter of the late Samuel Johnson, was called upon 
for a new name, when she proposed "Greenville," which was adopted unanim- 
ously and the company was pledged to support it. The other villages named 
are pleasant little hamlets of a few dwellings each, some with public houses, 
others without. At Lahaska is a Methodist Episcopal churcli, built 1853, rebuilt 
in 1868. The postoffice at Mechanicsville was established in 1830, and Peter 
Lester appointed postmaster. The hamlet of Cross Keys, on the Easton pike, 
a mile from Doylestown, is partly in Buckingham. In 1804 Daniel Stradling 
kept store there in a house opposite James Dunlap's tavern. He had formerly 
been a partner of Joseph Morton at Willow Grove. 

A Presbyterian church was built at Forest Grove, 1855, and dedicated 
November 21. As early as 1846 the Reverend Robert D. Morris, then pastor 
at Newtown, began holding services here at the home of John Gray, and was 
subsequently assisted by other clergymen. The first pastor was the Reverend 

Henry E. Spayed, elected September 11, , installed November 11, , 

and resigned in 1867. The church now had supplies until the winter of 1869, 
when the Reverend Jacob Krewson was called and ordained May 20. He is 
still pastor, one of the longest in continuous charge in the county. A postofiice 
was established at Forest Grove, December 12, 1877, and William Kirk ap- 
pointer postmaster. One of the first meetings in the State in favor of internal 
improvements was held at Centreville about 1822-23. Samuel D. Ingham, 
chairman, was the leading spirit, and one of three delegates to make favor with 
the Legislature. John Watson, father of the late Judge Richard Watson, was 
one of the warmest friends of internal improvements in the county. 

The township records do not extend back much over one hundred years. 
In 1722 the tax-rate was two-pence half-penny per pound, and seven shillings 
six-pence a head on single men. Thomas Brown, Jr., was the collector.** In 

cost of building $640. The first rector was Rev. Wiltberger, called September, 1841, 
and preached his first sermon October 10. On the resignation of Mr. Wiltberger, 1853, 
the Centreville 'and Doylestown parishes were served by the same rector for the next 
20 years. The late William Stavely, Buckingham, was a liberal contributor to Trinity 
church and parish. An interesting history of the church was recently written by Albert 
S. Paxson. 

24 In 1719, John Dawson bought a cow of John Bye for £3. ids., the low price being 
in keeping with the times. 



Digitized by 



Google 



2t6 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



1767 a three-penny tax raised £22, 5s. 6d. in the township, and John Lacey, Jr., 
was one of the auditors. About double the amount raised was expended on the 
roads. From 1776 to 1781, the Revolutionary period, tliere is no account of 
money spent for the township. The latter year, the period of greatest depres- 
sion of Continental money, a tax of one penny raised £6,767, 8s. 8d. in the 
township, which was also expended on the roads. The duplicate for 1797 
amounted to £269, 13s. 6d., but to only £48, lis. Qd. the following year. Since 
1800 there has been a gradual increase in the amount of tax levied and collected 
in Buckingham, being $179.50 for that year, and $455.90 for 1810. In 182a 
the township expenses were $706.72; in 1830, $483.12; 1840, $925.68; 1850, 
$972; i860, $957.26, and $741.56 in 1870. In 1722 there were fifty-three tax- 
ables in the township, of whom nine were single men. The heaviest tax-payer 
was Richard Humphrey Morris, £1, 3s. gd., taxed for one thousand nine hun- 
dred acres of land. The taxables, 1761, were one hundred and fifty-five, and 
one hundred and seventy-eight in 1764. In 1771 the householders were one 
hundred and seventy-eight, showing considerable increase in population if the 
figures be correct. The population of the township at different periods since 
then was as follows: 1810, 1,715; 1820, 1,862; 1830, 2,193, and 467 taxables; 
1840, 2,482; 1850, 2,596 whites, 171 blacks; i860, 2,960 whites, 128 blacks, and 
1870, 2,910, of which loi were foreign-born and 143 blacks; 1880, 2,850; 1890,. 
2,544 ; 1900, 2,506. 

Caves and sinks are common in limestone valleys, the former frequently 
of great magnitude, while depressions or basins, occasioned by subterranean 
water courses or other causes, are more frequent but limited in dimensions. 
Several of these sinks are found in the valley extending from Bushington, in 
Buckingham, to Limeport, in Solebury, and two or three are worthy of especial 
notice. The eastermost one, known as Largess pond, near Centreville, was never 
known to go dry until within recent years. It was thought to be bottomless, 
and a young man named Gilbert was drowned in this pond a century ago. The 
washings from the turnpike and the diminished rainfall have exerted their in- 
fluence in drying up this once beautiful little lake. On the line between the 
farms of Benjamin Smith and Amos Corson, a fourth of a mile southeast of 
Greenville, is a locally celebrated sink, which the Indians gave the name of 
''Holy cong/' but known to the inhabitants of the township as the "Conky hole.'*' 
It is a nearly circular, funnel-shaped basin, about forty yards in diameter, and 
from forty to sixty feet down to the water. The water rises and falls in this 
funnel ; formerly it at times was twenty feet across the surface, and then would 
fall until it appeared to be not more than two. Several unsuccessful attempts 
have been made to fathom its depth, but the projecting limestone has proved 
an insuperable barrier. Tradition tells us that chaff thrown into this hole has 
been known to come out at the Ingham spring. In former times it was con- 
sidered a great natural curiosity, and many strangers visited it. It is known 
the Indians frequently collected here to hold their councils and jollifications. 
"Grintown pond" is the name of a basin of water in the valley nearly opposite 
Greenville. Ninety years ago it was the resort of all the boys of the neighbor- 
hood who were ambitious to have a swim. Here the young Elys, Larges, Gil- 
berts, Beanses, Williamses, Joneses, Parrys, Linburgs, Johnsons, Byes, Shaws, 
Fells, Hellyers, Watsons, Paxsons, and others, resorted on Saturday evenings, 
making the air ring with their hilarity. Many horses were taken there to be 
washed, and every one that went into the water had a boy on its back and. an- 
other on its tail. Two old men living in the neighborhood some years ago> be- 
tween seventy and eighty years of age, were capering in the pond one Saturday 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 267 

when one saved the other from a watery grave. As he was sinking for the 
last time his friend dove after him and brought him up. 

On top of Buckingham mountain is the Mount Gilead African Methodist 
Episcopal church, built of logs, 1835-36, and rebuilt of stone, 1852. It is quite 
a snug edifice, and near by is a graveyard enclosed by a neat pale-fence. The 
Orthodox Friends' meeting-house, Buckingham, was built in 1830, the date 
being cut by Joseph Fell on a stone and placed in the front wall. 

Sometime before * the Revolution William Simpson, from the North of 
Ireland, came into Bucks county and settled in Buckingham or Solebury. The 
ypr of his arrival is not known, but on January 15, 1766, he made application 
to purchase on^ hundred acres, and the deed was executed by John Penn, May 
23, 1767. He married a Hines, probably prior to that time. He had two sons 
and two daughters, Ann, Mary, John and Matthew. John lived and died in 
Bucks county, and was the father of Mrs. Ann Jamison, Buckingham. Matthew 
removed to Ohio, near Zanesville, about i8io# Ann married John Davis about 
1782, who moved to Maryland, 1795, and to Ohio, 1816, settling on the Sciota, 
near Columbus. William Simpson was a soldier in the Revolution, and at the 
battle of Trenton. On one occasion, when he came home to visit his family, 
his house was searched by his tory neighbors, but failed to find him, as he was 
in the cellar with a hogshead turned over him. James Simpson, son of John 
and Hannah, not related to the foregoing so far as we know, spent part of his 
life in Buckingham, and became quite a celebrated preacher among* Friends. 
He was born in Solebury, May 19, 1743. He was full of eccentricities and 
widely known. He kept school for a while in Buckingham, but dreaming how 
to make brooms he commenced and followed that business. He removed to 
Hatboro, 1789, and married Martha Shoemaker, a widow, and died at Frank- 
ford, 181 1, at sixty-eight. He left some sermons and other writings. 

There were other Simpsons in Bucks county besides those named in the 
preceding paragraph, among them James Simpson and his wife Mary, who 
lived in Buckingham. Their son John, born in Buckingham or Newtown abo/'t 
1744, went to Lancaster, now Dauphin county, 1769-70, married Margaret, 
daughter of James Murray, son of Major Francis Murray, Newtown, 1776, and 
subsequently removed to Huntingdon county, where he died February 3, 1809. 
He was a lieutenant in Captain James Murray's Company of Associators in the 
. Amboy expedition the summer and fall of 1776, and is said to have participated 
in the battle of Trenton and Princeton. Of the other children of James Simp- 
son, Martha married William Kerns, and lived in Northampton county ; James, 
married and was living in Botetourt county, Virginia, 1783; Samuel, who died 
in Wilkes county, Georgia, October 13, 1791, and William, who probably re- 
mained in Bucks county. The parents of James and Mary Simpson were living 
in Rowan county, New Jersey, August 23, 1783. In 1785 they removed to 
Georgia, and were living in Wilkes county, April 10, 1793. William Simpson, 
Jr., in letters to John Simpson, dated respectively, October 27, 1773, and 
August 7, 1796, and written at Buckingham, Bucks county, addressed him as 
"cousin," evidence he must have been the son of a brother of James Simpson. 
Benjamin and Jane Simpson, in a letter written at New Britain, Bucks county, 
Pennsylvania, October 9, 1803, addressed John Simpson as "dear uncle," states 
they^were married December 2, 1802, and were then living about eighteen 
miles from "Uncle ^William Simpson." These family letters are quite con- 
clusive that" William Simpson, Jr., was a son of James Simpson's brother 
William, and that James' son William remarried in Bucks county or its vicinity 
as late as 1803. John Simpson, the eldest son of James, was the grandfather 



Digitized by 



Google 



26S HISTORY OP BUCKS COUNTY. 



of the late J. Simpson Africa, president of the Union Trust Company, Phila- 
delphia. William Simpson, Jr., was a justice of the peace.^'^ 

In olden times Edmund Kinsey had a scythe and ax factory about two miles 
northwest of Lahaska, where he' had a tilt or trip hammer operated by water- 
power. The remains of the race could be traced in recent years. Kinsey, 
esteemed one of the first mechanics of the county, was bom in Buckingham. 
There was also a saw-mill on the property of Paul Preston, near his study, 
where a part of the dam was to be seen a few years ago on the stream that 
crosses the York road near Greenville. Three quarters of a century ago Jacob 
Walton and Philip Parry were noted for their dexterity in catching pigeons. 
Walton was quite a famous hunter as well. He dressed in buckskin breeches 
and vest, tanned after the Indian fashion, from deer-skins his own trusty rifle 
had brought down. The garments were made up by himself and wife. Every 
fall the old man made a trip to the mountains, and returned loaded with game. 
Pigeons were formerly very numerous in Buckingham. Walton and Parry kept 
their stool pigeons and flyers in cages ready for the sport. When the time 
arrived they would erect their bough-houses, of cedar limbs, in the fields most 
frequented by these birds, set their nets in position, place the stool pigeons near 
the net on the ground, liberally sprinkled with buckwheat, fasten a long string 
to one or more pigeons, called flyers, and then retire to their bough-houses. 
When a flock of wild birds was seen, the flyers were thrown into the air, keep- 
ing them on the wing until observed by the flock, which approached and settled 
down with the stool pigeons, when the net is sprung and hundreds of them cap- 
tured. Those old men were also as fond of fishing as Izaak Walton is reported 
to have been, frequently going to the Delaware, and to places renowned for 
trout, and always returning heavily laden with their piscatory treasures. They 
were both Friends, belonging to Buckingham meeting, and left numerous 
descendants in the township. 

There are five taverns in Buckingham, two at Centreville, and one each at 
Bushington, Lahaska and the Cross Keys. The latter is the oldest of the group. 
It was first .licensed at June term, 1758, the applicant for license and new land- 
lord being Alexander Brown, son of Thomas Brown, Plumstead. It is set forth 
in the petition that he "had settled by the side of the road that teads from the 
Great Swamp to Newtown, which crosses the road that leads from Durham to 
Philatlelphia." Among the names signed to the petition are : Henry Taylor, 
William Foulke, William Thomas, John Lesteh Cephas Child, John Child, 
Isaac Child, Henry Child, William Yardly, Jonathan Foulke. Edward Thomas, 
Thomas Thomas, Samuel Shaw, Theophilus Foulke, John Thomas, Abel Rob- 
erts, and Benjamin Chapman. The "Swamp Road" was the traveled highway 
from Richland and other section of the northwest part of the county to New- 
town, the then county seat. This brought the new inn considerable custom. It 
has been a licensed house in all the one hundred and forty years since then, 
with the exception of an interregnum of a few months, and the Keys of Saint 
Peter have swung on its sign board. Its history would be worth writing up 

25 The late J. Simpson Africa, of Huntingdon, Pa., was a descendant of John Simp- 
son, of Buckingham. His father was Daniel Africa, and the son was born September 15, 
1832, and died there in August, 1900. He was educated for a civil engineer, which he 
made his profession. He became conspicuous in political, Masonic and financial circles 
having served one term as Secretary of Internal Affairs, and was many years president 
of the Union Trust Company, Philadelphia. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 26^ 



could it be gotten at. Its location is on the Easton road, one mile above Doyles- 
town. 

It was in Buckingham township the somewhat famous "Lenape Stone" 
was found by Bernard Hansell, the son of a farmer, while plowing in one of 
his father's fields. It was in two pieces, the first found in the spring of 1872, 
the second, 1881, about four and a half miles east of Doylestown. Both pieces 
were picked up in the same field and near the same spot. When the pieces 
were put together they fit. The length is one inch and three eighths, one inch 
and five eighths wide in its widest part, and covered with rude surface draw- 
ings of what purports to be an aboriginal mammoth, and other designs. It was 
first given to Henry D. Paxson, Buckingham, who had a taste for such things, 
but subsequently fell into the possession of Henry C. Mercer, of the Bucks 
County Historical Society, who published quite an exhaustive volume on 
the subject. He and others pronounced it an Indian "Gorget" and genuine. 
When submitted to foreign archoeological experts it led to wide discussion^ 
some pronouncing it a fraud. This opinion, however, cannot be accepted as 
correct, unless we are prepared to say the finder, and others, into whose pos- 
• session it first came, were swindlers. As the motive is wanting for respectable 
persons to become cheats and frauds on the public, the author, for one, cannot 
accept their diagnosis. A single breath, sometimes, ruins the title to the most 
valuable real estate, but more is required in this case. If an unlettered youth 
could produce so good a counterfeit, it seems strange he should close his factory 
after the production of a single specimen. To continue the work would pay 
better than farming. 



Digitized by 



Google 



CHAPTKR XVIIl. 



SOLEBURY. 



1T03. 



Origin of name unknown. — Buckingham and Solebury one township. — Land located 
before 1703. — Early settlers. — Henry Paxson. — The Holcombs. — The Pellars. — James 
Pellar Malcolm. — Joseph Pike. — Gilt-edge butter. — Great Spring traet. — Jacob Hol- 
comb. — The Blackfans. — Inghams. — Eastburns. — Jonathan Ingham. — Samuel D. 
Ingham, resigning from Jackson's Cabinet. — The Ellicotts. — Richard Townsend. — John 
Schofield. — The Elys. — Burleys. — Rices. — Williams. — Riches. — Hutchinsons. — 
Neeleys. — General Pike. — The Kenderdines. — Ruckmans. — ^John Kugler. — Roads.— 
The Sebring grave yard. — The villages. — Lumberville. — The Heeds. — Lum- 
berton. — Centre Bridge. — Reading's Ferry. — Carversville. — Milton, 1800. — Excelsior 
Normal Institute. — Post office established. — Home of the Ellicotts. — Coppernose. — 
View from top of it. — The Cuttalossa. — Spring and fountain. — Kenderdine's verse. — 
Buckman's tavern. — Old mine at Neeley*s. — Dr. John Wall. — Dr. Forst. — Friends 
Meeting. — Wm. B. Leedom.— School fund. — Charles Smith. — Ingham Springs. — Popu- 
lation. 

Solebury is washed by the Delaware on its eastern border, and joins the 
townships of Plumstead, Buckingham and Upper Wakefield. The area is four- 
teen thousand and seventy-three acres. The origin of the name is unknown, 
nor have we been able to find it elsewhere. In 1/03 the name was written 
""Soulbury." The surface is moderately hilly, with a variety of soils ; has good 
building stone, and abundance of limestone; is well watered with numerous 
creeks and springs, the most celebrated of the latter being the Aquetong or 
Ingham's spring, three miles from New Hope. Its farms are well cultivated 
and productive, and its water-power is probably superior to that of any other 
township in the county. The great body of the inhabitants are descendants of 
Flnglish Friends, the first settlers, and, in many respects, they retain the lead- 
ing traits of their ancestors. 

We stated, in the previous chapter, that Solebury and Buckingham were 
originally one township, but divided about 1700, the exact time not being 
known. The first mention of Solebury we have met was in 1702, and it may 
or may not have been a separate township at that time. These two townships 
were settled about the same period, the immigrants reaching the hills of Sole- 
bury througji Wrightstown and Buckingham, coming up from the Delaware.* 



I At the midsummer meeting of the Bucks County Historical Society, August 8, 
1890, an exhaustive paper on the "Early Settlers of Solebury/* vms read by Eastburn 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 271 



The greater part of the land was taken up before its r^-survey by John Cut- 
ler, generally in tracts of considerable size, but it is impossible to say who was 
the first purchaser of settler in the township. One of the earliest was George 
White, who owned fifteen hundred acres lying on the Delaware, who, dying 
1687, left one thousand acres to his four sons in equal parts. The farms of 
William Kitchen and John Walton are on this tract. The 14th of April, 1683, 
William Penn conveyed three hundred acres to one Sypke Ankes, or Sipke 
Ankey, or Aukey, a dyer of Haarlingin, in Friesland, who located it in the 
northern part of the township. The i6th of August, 1700, he sold it to Renier 
Jansen, and he, in turn, conveyed it to Paul Wolf, a weaver of Germantown, 
Septeipber i, 1702. In April, 1700, one thousand acres were granted to Thomas 
Story. He sold it to Israel Pemberton, but it was surveyed by mistake to 
Robert Heath, and the same quantity was gfiven to Pemberton elsewhere. By 
warrant of 17, 7th month, 1700, three hundred acres were surveyed to Edward 
and Henry Hartly, part of John Rowland's five hundred acre tract granted by 
Penn. By virtue of a warrant dated loth, nth month, 1701, four hundred and 
fifty acres were surveyed to Thomas Cams on the Street road, and the same 
quantity in. Buckingham, and four hundred and ninety-two acres to John Scar- 
borough.2 In 1702 five hundred acres were granted to James Logan, 
known as the Great spring' tract, joining Scarborough on the north, and 
now owned in part by Mrs. T. T. Eastbum, and five hundred acres 
to Randall Blackshaw, part of fifteen hundred acres which Richard Blackshaw 
bought of James Harrison's five thousand. William Beaks had a grant of thir- 
teen hundred acres from William Penn, five hundred and eighty of which were 
laid out in Solebury on both sides of the Cuttalossa.* At his death, 1702, it 
descended to his son Stephen, and by re-survey was found to contain six hun- 
dred and twenty-four acres. It joined the lands of Edward Hartly, Paul Wolf, 
Randall Speakman* and William Croasdale. In 1702 Samuel Beaks bought 
three hundred acres, which he sold to William Chadwick, which next passed 
to his brother John, then to Jonathan Balderston and down to the late owners, 
of whom W. J. Jewell and Nathan Ely were two. The remainder of the Beaks 
tract was conveyed to William Croasdale, 1703, a son of Thomas, who came 
from Yorkshire the same year and was sheriff of the county, 1707. By. the 
same survey Joseph Pike is given two tracts in Solebury, one of three hundred 

Reeder. It embraced 41 tracts, some of them containing several hundred acres, one 
as high as 5,000. Among the real estate holders we find the names of George Pownall, 
James Logan, Henry Paxson, John Balderston, William Blackfan, Thomas Ross, Ben- 
jamin Canby, John Simpson, Samuel Eastburn, Randall Blackshaw, Stephen Townsend, 
James Pellar and others. The paper was afterward printed in an 8 mo. pamphlet, making 
57 pages with an index and appendix. The latter contains the marriages that took 
place at Falls Meeting, Middletown, Buckingham and elsewhere, where one or both 
of the parlies were resident of Solebury, from 1686 to 1849. The paper was prepared 
with great care and gives much valuable information, obtained from deeds, wills, and 
the records of Friends Meetings. 

2 Died in 1727. 

3 The Indians called it Acquctong. 

4 "At Quatieb.ssy." 

5 The land was laid out in Speaknian's name as "Daniel Smith's Administrator." 
The Speakman holding now comprises the lands of the Blackfans, Elys and other 
tracts. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



272 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



and seventy-six acres, the other six hundred and twenty-four, one thousand 
acres in all. 

In 1704 Henry Paxson, son of William, who settled in Middletown in 
1682, and ancestor of the Bucks county Paxsons, bought William Croasdale's 
two hundred and fifty acres in Solebury. William Paxson lost his wife, two 
sons and a brother on the passage, and in 1684 married Margery, widow of 
Charles Plumley, of Northampton. In 1707 Henry Paxson bought Jeremiah 
Langhorne's tracts in Solebury, some of which is still held by the family.* 
Jacob Holcomb and his brother John, Devonshire, England, born 1670-75, came 
to Penn*s Colony about the close of the century, the former settling in Sole- 
bury in the vicinity of the Great spring^, where he took up twelve hundred 
acres. He probably took up another tract, as a patent was issued to him, April 
12, 171 2, for five hundred acres. He was one of the heads of Buckingham 
meeting, and died about the middle of the century. He raised a family of chil- 
dren. John settled in Philadelphia, and married Elizabeth Woolrich, Abing- 
ton, and removed to New Jersey, where he purchased a large tract, on part of 
which the city of Lambertville is built. The descendants of John live in 
New Jersey, and the family is quite numerous in this county. 

Thomas Canby was an original settler, whose eleven daughters, by two 
wives, left numerous descendants. Esther, bom April i, 1700, married John 
White, and became an eminent minister among Friends. She traveled exten- 
sively in this country, and went to England, 1743. Tradition tells the story, 
that, on one occasion, Lydia, youngest daughter of Thomas Canby, a small but 
active child, mounted the black stallion of Thomas Watson, while he was on a 
visit to her father. A noise calling them to the door, they saw the girl astride 
the horse, with his head turned toward home. Mr. Watson exclaimed, "the 
poor child will be killed," to which Canby replied, "if thee will risk thy horse, I 
will risk my child." The horse and child reached Mr. Watson's, near Bushing- 
ton, he white with foam, but gentle, when Lydia turned his head and rode back 
to her father's. She died at the age of one hundred and one years. The old 
cedar tree in the lower part of the Buckingham graveyard was planted by her 
at the grave of one of her children. 

James Pellar, whose family name is extinct in the county, of Bristol, Eng- 
land, was one of the earliest settlers in Solebury. Several hundred acres, in- 
cluding the farms of John Ruckman, Charles White, Frederick Pearson, and 
John Betts, were surveyed to him on the upper York and Carversville roads, on 
which he built a dwelling, 1689. It was torn down in 1793. His son James 
was a conspicuous character in Bucks county. He was a great lover of poetry, 
had a wonderful memory and was exceedingly entertaining. Franklin admired 
and esteemed him, and spoke of him as a "walking library." He was the friend 
and companion of John Watson, the surveyor, who said he had never seen any 
other man who could "speak so well to a subject he did not understand." He 
repeated John Watson's poetry on all occasions. He was a large and slovenly 
man, in dress, habits and about his farm. He carried Watson's chain and died 
February 16, 1806, at the age of seventy-seven. His father, bom in 1700, and 
died in 1775, became an Episcopalian. On the female side the families of 
Betts, Reynolds and Wilkinson are among the descendants of James Pellar the 
first. James Pellar Malcolm, an English artist of celebrity, was a grandson of 

6 We have two accounts of the Paxsons, one that they came from Bycot house, Ox- 
fordshire, the other that they came from Buckinghamshire. 

7 There is a tradition that this is the birthplace of Tedyuscung. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 273 

James Pel^r. His father, a Scotchman, went to the West Indies, and then 
came to Philadelphia, where he met and married Miss Pellar, and died. His 
son was born August, 1767. His mother resided at Pottstown during the 
Revolutionary war, where her son was partially educated, but returned to Phila- 
delphia in 1784. They went to England, where he studied three years at the 
- Royal Academy, and became distinguished. Malcolm visited his mother's 
relatives in this county about 1806, and was gratified to find numerous rich 
farmers among the Pellar descendants. He died at Somertown, England, April 
15, 1815, at which time his mother was about seventy-two. John Letch, who 
had the reputation of being a most monstrous eater, was the friend and associate 
of the Pellars. Mince pies were his favorite diet. On one occasion, when indulg- 
ing his passion at Robert Eastburn's, near Centre Hill, whose wife was cele- 
brated for her hospitality and turn-over minces, Mrs. Eastbum expressed fear 
lest he should hurt himself, but the incorrigible feeder said if she would risk the 
pies he would risk the stomach. On another occasion, when eating a mince pie> 
baked in a milk-pan, at a Mrs. Large's, of Buckingham, he was overcome by 
the task and fell exhausted in the effort. 

Joseph Pike settled in Solebury before 1703, and took up six hundred and 
twenty-four acres, which a re-survey increased to six hundred and sixty-five. 
It was not patented until 1705. The meeting-house and burial-ground are upon 
this tract. Daniel Smith, from Marlborough, England, located five hundred 
acres immediately north of the Pike tract, which his son John, of London, sold 
to Owen Roberts in 1702, and within recent years was divided between William 
M. Ely, one hundred and forty acres, Daniel Ely, one hundred and forty, Isaac 
Ely, one hundred and twenty-two, Charles Phillips and Joseph Balderston. 
William Penn had five hundred acres laid out to himself before 1703, of which 
one hundred acres were sold to Roger Hartley in 1737, and the remainder to 
Gysbert Bogart, which afterward passed into the hands of Samuel Pickering 
and James and Isaac Pellar. The Pike tract, within sixty years, was divided 
into the following farms : Oliver Paxson, one hundred acres, Joseph E. Reeder, 
one hundred and thirty acres, Merrick Reeder, one hundred, W. Wallace 
Paxson, one hundred and eighteen, Amos Clark, eighty-five, Rachel Ely, 
forty, Thomas H. Magill, sixty-two, William S. Worthington, sixteen. 
David Balderston, fourteen. In 1763 the attorney of Richard Pike sold the 
one hundred and thirty acres to Joseph Eastburn, junior, at public sale, for 
£414, 2s., lod., who erected the first buildings upon it, and commenced its 
cultivation. It remained in the family until 1812, when it passed to Joseph 
E. Reeder, a descendant of the purchaser, whose son, Eastbum Reeder, still 
owns it. It is now known as Rabbit run farm, and quite celebrated for herd- 
registered cattle, whose occupant, Eastburn Reeder, indulges his fancy for 
gilt-edged butter, an article that costs more than it comes to. The 26th of 
June, 1 7 17, five hundred acres, extending from the Logan tract to the Dela- 
ware, were patened to John Wells. In 1721 Wells conveyed one hundred 
and fifty acres to William Kitchen, who died, 1727, and was the first of the 
name in Solebury. John Wells left the land for the graveyard on Hutchin's 
hill, and his will provided for a wall around it. 

The two contiguous five hundred acre tracts, surveyed by mistake to Robert 
Heath, in 1700, adjoined the Great Spring tract, extending to the Delaware, 
and embracing the site of New Hope. The surveys ar*^. dated 1703 and 1704, 
and the patent 2d month, nth, 1710. Heath had agreed to erect a "grist or 
corn support mill" on the Great Spring stream, and it was covenanted in the 
patent that if he built the mill according to agreement he should have the ex- 

^ Digitized by VrrOOQlC 



274 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



elusive use of the water so long as he kept it in repair. The mill was built in 
1707, the first in that section of country and was resorted to for miles. At 
Robert Heath's death the real estate vested in his son, and by the latter's will, 
dated 7th of 8th month, it was left to his five sisters, Susannah, Anna, Elizabeth, 
Hannah and Mary. From them it passed into several hands. In 1734 John 
Wells bought one hundred acres of it lying on the river. The fulling-mill on 
this tract was built before 1712 by Philip Williams. Joseph Wilkinson bought 
part of the mill tract about 1753. The first saw-mill was erected about 1740. 
In 1790 Nathaniel and Andrew Ellicott bought one hundred and fifty-five 
acres of what had been the Heath tract on which was the Maris mill. Before 
1745 Benjamin Canby owned two hundred and thirty—five acres, in two 
tracts of one hundred and one hundred and thirty-five, on the latter 
of which he built a forge. There were now on the stream flowing from the 
Great Spring a grist mill, saw and fulling-mill, and a forge. The forge was 
sold by the sheriff in 1750 or 1751, after Canby's death. His widow lived at 
the ferry until her death, about 1760, when that part of the property was sold 
to John Coryell. The old grist-mill continued to enjoy the exclusive right to 
use the water for grinding until about 1828, when William Maris bought it. 
He took the water from the stream to run his factory during the dry season, 
which was considered a forfeiture of the right, and other mills were erected 
lower down. When he dug the foimdation for his factory, recently belonging 
to the Huffnagle estate, a log cut oflE with an ax, was found fifteen feet below 
the surface. 

The Blackfans are descendants of John Blackfan,' of Stenning, County 
Sussex, England, whose son Edward married Rebecca Crispin, Kinsale, Ire- 
land, second cousin of William Penn, 1688. At the wedding were William 
Penn, his wife, son and daughter, whose names are on the marriage certificate^ 
now in possession of the Blackfan family, of Solebury. Edward Blackfan, con- 
cluding to come to America, died before he could embark, about i690,' but his 
widow, with her young son, William, arrived about 1700, and was appointed to 
take charge of the manor house, Pennsbury, at a salary of ten pounds a year,** 
paid by the council. They lived there many years. In 1721 the son married 
Eleanor Wood, Philadelphia, and, 1725, the mother was married to Nehemiah 
Allen, of that city. About this time William Blackfan removed to a five hun- 
dred acre tract in Solebury, surveyed to him, 1 7 18, and confirmed, 1733. He 
had six children, the two eldest being bom in Pennsbury. At his death, 1771. 
at the age of eighty, his real estate was divided between his sons, Crispin and 
William, the former marr>ing Martha Davis, had nine children, and the latter, 
Esther Dawson," had the same number. All these children but two lived to 

8 He must have been a zealous Friend from his rough treatment. In 1659 he was 
prosecuted for non-payment of tithes, 1662, sent to jail for refusing to pay toward 
repairing a "steeple-house" (church), and, 1663 and 1681 was prosecuted and ex- 
communicated for not attending public worship. 

9 From the frequent mention, in Penn's letters, 1689, of Edward Blackfan being 
about to fetch official documents to the Council, he was probably on the point of sail- 
ing when death arrested him. 

10 James Logan writes to Hannah Penn, under date of May 31, 1721 : "Thy cousin, 
Blackfan, is still at Pennsbury." 

11 She was the granddaughter of John Dawson, Suffolk, EngFand, born about 1669, 
who was a soldier at the Boync, 1690, married Catharine Fox, 1696, came to America, 
1710, and settled on a 500 acre tract, Soleb-iry, 1719. His will was proved May 26, 1729. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



275 



ir.arry and left numerous descendants. John Blackfan, Solebury, born in 
1799, 2i"d married Elizabeth R. Chapman, Wrightstown, 1822, was the son 
of John, the eldest son of William, and the fourth in descent from the first 
Bucks county ancestor." 

The first progenitors of the Eastbums are believed to have been Robert 
•and Sarah Eastburn, who came to America with William Penn at his second 
visit, 1699, or about that time, and settled in Philadelphia. In 1728 their son 
Samuel married Elizabeth Gillingham in Abington meeting, and soon afterward 
removed to Solebury on a farm near Centre Hill. Among their children were 
two sons, Robert and Joseph. Joseph married Mary Wilson, Buckingham, 
I753» and purchased a portion of the Pike tract, on which he lived to his death. 
They had nine children, seven sons and two daughters,"^ whose descendants 
are numerous in both male and female line. The Inghams, who made 
their home in Solebury for a century and a quarter, were descended 
from Jonas, an English Friend who came from Old to New England about 
1705, thence to Solebury, 1730. His son Jonathan succeeded to the farm and 
fulling-mill at the Great Spring, and became an influential citizen. The latter 
left three sons, John, a religious enthusiast, Jonas, a student of the exact scien- 
ces and author of many useful inventions, who died at the age of eighty-two, 
and Jonathan who became a distinguished physician. He devoted' his leisure to 
the languages and paid court to the muses. During the Revolutionary war he 

12 William Crispin, the ancestor of this family, came into England at the Norman 
conquest, and bore an important part at the battle of Hastings. Sir William Crispin 
took part in the strife between Robert, Duke of Normandy, and his brother, where he 
attacked the king and cut through his coat of mail. For his feats in horsemanship, 
he had three horse shoes for his coat-of-arms. In the contest between Charles I. and 
the Parliament, William Crispin was one of Cromwell's train band, and afterward 
captain of his guard. He served with Admiral Penn (they having married sisters), 
in his attack upon Hispaniola and Jamaica. Subsequently Cromwell gave Crispin a 
forfeited estate in Ireland, near the Shannon, not far from Limerick. When William 
Penn received the grant of Pennsylvania from Charles I. he appointed his cousin, 
"William Crispin, one of the three Commissioners to settle the Colony. The vessel he 
sailed in reached the Delaware, but finding contrary winds went to Barbadoes, where he 
shortly died. Penn appointed to the vacancy, Thomas Holme, who had been living with 
William Crispin in Ireland. Holme had been a midshipman in the West India expedition. 
Thomas Holme brought with him to Philadelphia, Silas, the eldest son of William Cris- 
pin, who married Holme's eldest daughter soon after their arrival. They settled on a 
tract of 500 acres in Byberry, on the Pennypack, given him by William Penn. Their 
first child, a son, was bom in the wigwam of an Indian chief. By a second wife he had 
six children, Joseph, Benjamin, Mary, Abigail, Mercy and Silas. One of the daughters 
married John Hart, ancestor of the Harts of Warminster. Silas Crispin, the son of 
William, first appointed surveyor-general, had a sister, Rebecca, who married Edward 
Blackfan, the ancestor of the family of this name in Bucks county. There are numerous 
descendants bearing the name of Crispin, in this State and elsewhere. 

12}/^ Edward Eastburn, a member of this family, became prominent in business 
and amassed a large fortune, estimated at half a million. He was a son of Samuel 
and Mary Eastburn, and born in Solebury, January 9, 1831. He went to Texas, 1850, 
and became engaged in mercantile pursuits and subsequently interested in real estate, 
brokerage and banking. It was, his custom to spend his summers in the North. He 
died at Philadelphia, August 27, 1900, and was buried at the Friends Buckingham Meet- 
ing house. Mr. Eastburn never married. 



Digitized by 



Google 



276 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



gave his professional services to the army, when needed, and, 1793 he labored 
among the yellow fever at Philadelphia. Catching the disease, he started for 
Schooley's mountain, accompanied by his wife and faithful slave Cato, but died 
in his carriage on his way, at Clinton, New Jersey, October i, 1793,^' and was 
buried in the edge of the graveyard. The most distinguished member of the 
family was Samuel D. Ingham, son of Doctor Jonathan, bom on the farm near 

New Hope, September 6, 1779. 
The death of his father inter- 
rupted his classical studies at the 
age of fourteen and he was in- 
dentured to learn the paper-^ 
making business at the mill on 
the Pennypack. He was a close 
student during his apprentice- 
ship, being assisted in his studies 
by a Scotch immigrant in the 
neighborhood, named Craig.** 
At twenty-one he returned home 
and took charge of the farm and 
mills. He was much in public 
life. He was elected to the As- 
sembly, 1805-6-7, was in Con- 
gress from 1812 to 1829, except 
three years while Secretary of 
the Commonwealth and was a 
leading member during the war. 
He was secretary of the Treas- 
ury under General Jackson, fill- 
ing the office with distinguished 
ability. He 'died at Trenton, 
New Jersey, June 5, i860. The 
homestead of the Inghams, until within recent years was owned by Andrew 
J. Beaumont, and is the same which James Logan granted to Jonathan Ingham 
May 15, 1747-'° 

Few political events of that day created greater excitement than the 
quarrel between President Jackson and Mr. Ingham, his Secretary of the Treas- 
ury, followed by the latter's resignation in May, 183 1. He returned to Bucks 




INGHAM HOUSE. SOUTHWEST CORNER. 



13 His death from the fever, created great consternation in the neighborhood, and 
the masons, building the wall around the graveyard, left and would not return until 
cold weather set in. 

14 On one occasion young Ingham walked to Philadelphia and back the same night, 
30 miles, to obtain a much coveted book. 

15 This tract was granted by Penn to Logan, on ship-board in the Delaware, No- 
vember 3, 1701, for 500 acres, but the survey made it 596^, and was confirmed to him 
September 12, 1735. Jonathan Ingham received 396^ acres at a ground-rent of £21 sterling 
a year for seven years, and then £25 sterling a year for 100 years afterward; a new valua- 
tion to be put upon the property at the end of each hundred years. The remaining 200 
acres conveyed to Jacob Dean, Mr. Ingham's brother-in-law, at the same time, on 
ground-rent. By his will, James Logan left the income from this property to the 
Lo<?anian library company, Philadelphia, and limited the office of librarian to his eldest 
male heir, probably the only hereditary office in the country. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 277 



county, where his friends gave him a royal reception. He was met at Phila- 
delphia, on the 25th, by Judge John Fox and John Pugh, Esqr., who accom- 
panied him the next day to the Sorrel Horse tavern, Montgomery county, on 
the Middle road, half a mile below the Bucks county line. Here he was receiv^ed 
by a number of his personal and political friends on horseback and escorted to 
the county line, where he was welcomed by a large assemblage. A procession 
was now formed of many horsemen and vehicles with General William T. 
Rogers and Colonel John Davis as marshals, and the distinguished guest was 
escorted to the Black Bear tavern, Northampton township. His carriage was 
surrounded by outriders, and in that immediately in front rode General Samuel 
Smith and Captain Francis Baird, revolutionary veterans. ^ A large crowd 
awaited Mr. Ingham's arrival at the Bear. After a sumptuous dinner in the 
shade of the trees in the tavern yard, Mr. Ingham was presented with a 
formal address by Henry Chapman, Esqr., and Captain Baird, to which an 
appropriate response was made. Thence the committee escorted the distin- 
guished guest to his home in Sol^bury township. 

Andrew EUicott, descendant of a respectable family, Devonshire, England, 
from the time of William the Conqueror, settled in Solebury about 1730. He 
followed farming and milling. About 1770, his three sons, Joseph Andrew and 
John, purchased a large tract of land in Maryland, at what is now Ellicott's 
Mills and removed thither,^*^ taking with them mechanics, tools, animals, 
wagons, laborers, and several settlers and their families. There in the wilder- 
ness they built mills, erected dwellings, stores, opened roads, quarries, built 
school houses, and established the seat of an extensive and profitable business. 
They became wealthy and influential, and occupied prominent positions in the 
corhmunity. They and their sons were men of sterling merit ; they introduced 
the use of plaster of Paris into Maryland and were the authors of several use- 
ful inventions. They first advocated the introduction of a good supply of water 
into Baltimore. John Ellicott died suddenly, 1795. Joseph, the eldest brother, 
was a genius in mechanics, to which he was devoted from boyhood. About 
1760, he made at his home in Solebury a repeating watch without instruction, 
which he took to England, 1766, where it was much admired and gained him 
great attention. After his return, 1769, he made a four- faced musical clock, 
the wonder of the times, which played twenty-four tunes, and combined many 
other wonderful and delicate rnovements. This clock is nqw in Albany. Joseph 
Ellicott died, 1780, at the age of forty-eight. His son Andrew, born in Sole- 
bury, 1754, became a distinguished engineer. He was surveyor-general of the 
United States, 1792, adjusted the boundary between the United States 
and Spain, 1796, laid out the towns of Erie, Warren, and Franklin in 
this state, and was the first to make an accurate measurement of the falls 
of Niagara. He was the consulting engineer in laying out the city of Washing- 
ton and completed the work which Major L'Enfant planned. He was appointed 
professor of mathematics at West Point, 181 2, where he died in 1820. George 
Ellicott, a son of Andrew, was one of the best mathematicians of the times, 
and died in 1832. The Ellicotts owned the mill at Carversville, and what was 
known at Pettit's rrtill, Buckingham. They were Friends.^^ 

16 Andrew did not permanently leave Bucks county until 1794. 

17 Andrew Ellicott was appointed commissioner on behalf of the United States, 
to determine the boundary between them and Spain, 1796, returning home the spring 
of 1800 after an absence of nearly four years. Upon his arrival at 'Philadelphia he 
wrote the following letter to his uncle, Colonel George Wall, of Solebury: 



Digitized by 



Google 



278 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 

Richard Townsend, a celebrated minister among Friends, ot London, a 
Welcome passengfer, and carpenter by trade, settled near Chester, 1682, with his 
wife, and a son born during the voyage; He removed first to Germantown and 
then to near Abington, whence his grandson, Stephen, came to Solebury about 
1735. He was a carpenter and miller, and assisted Samuel Arinitage to erect 
the first grist-mill built on the Cuttalossa. One end of the old Townsend house,, 
probably the oldest in the township, was built 1756 by Stephen Townsend, and 
the other end some thirty of forty years later. The windows had broad sash 
and small folding shutters, the fire-place was wide and capacious, and the out- 
side door garnished with a wooden latch. It was taken down, 1848, by the 
father of Cyrus Livezey, who erected a handsome building on the site. It was 
on this farm that the celebrated Townsend apple is said to have originated. 
Tradition says this apple took its name from Richard Townsend, who, hearing 
of a wonderful apple tree, got the Indians to take him to it, which he found 
standing in a large clearing near Lumberville. He bought the clearing, but the 
Indians reserved the free use of apples to all who wished them. Samuel 
Preston said that in his time Stephen Townsend owned the original tree from 
which he, Preston, cut grafts, 1766. 

Daniel Howell, who settled in Solebury, was a son of Thomas Howell, of 
Haxleston, county Stafford, England, born about 1660, and came with his 
father to America in the Welcome, 1682. He first settled on a plantation on 
Gloucester creek, now Camden county. New Jersey, given him by his father. 
This he sold to his brother Mordecai Howell, 1687. He married Hannah Lak- 
in, Philadelphia, September 4, 1686, whither he removed, 1690, and served on 
the grand jury, 1701. He subsequently removed! to Solebury, Bucks county, 
where he resided until his death, September, 1739. Just at what time he came 
to Bucks county is not known, but prior to 1734, for, on June 10, that year, he 
conveyed to his granddaughter, Elizabeth Howell, two hundred acres of his 
proprietary land in New Jersey. His wife probably died before him, as she is 
not named in his will, which was executed April 14, 1739, and proved Septem- 
ber 28. One of the witnesses to it was Chris. Search, and was recorded at Doy- 
lestown. Daniel and Hannah Howell had five children; Daniel, bom about 
1688, married Elsie Reading, and died 1733; Hannah, married Job Howell; 
Benjamin, married Catherine Papen, died September 6, 1774; Joseph, married 
Gertrude , died 1776 ; Catherine, married Wiliam Rittenhouse, of German- 
town, and died at Amwell, Hunterdon county. New Jersey, 1767. His will,, 
dated August 27, 1761, was proved October 19, 1767, and in it, names his wife,. 
Catharine, sons, William, Isaac, Lott, Moses and Peter, and daughters, Pris- 
cilla, Susan, Hannah and Anna. Catharine Howell is thought to have been the 
second wife. William Rittenhouse was of the same family as David Ritten- 

Dear Uncle: Philadelphia, May 25th, 1800. 

It is with pleasure that I acquaint you with my safe arrival, and return to my family 
and friends, after an absence of three years and eight months. Since I saw you last, I 
have been exposed to hardships and dangers, and constantly surrounded with difficulties, 
but, owing to my good constitution and perseverance, I have completed the arduous task 
entrusted to me by my country. 

I wish much to see you, and family, and intend paying a visit to my friends in 
Bucks in a few weeks. At present, I am indisposed with agfue and fever. I expect 
DocV Rush to see me after breakfast. Please to give my respects to your family and 
believe me to be your affectionate nephew. 

Col. George Wall. (Signed) : Andrew Ellicott. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 279 



house, the distinguished astronomer. Of this family of Howells was descended 
Lieut William Howell, father of Jefferson Davis's widow. 

John Scofield, Buckinghamshire, England, settled in Solebury when a 
young man probably before 1720. He was married at the Falls meeting to Ann 
Lenoire, a French Huguenot lady who had been banished from Acadia. They 
had nine children, from whom have descended a numerous offspring in this and 
other states. In this county we find their descendants among the Williamses, 
Schofields, Fells, and other respectable families. A grandson married Rebecca, 
sister of the late John Beaumont, and his daughter Sarah, who married Ben- 
jamin Leedom, was the mother of the late Mrs. M. H. Jenks. John Schofield 
was the great-grandfather of Joseph Fell, Buckingham, who descends in the 
maternal line from Samuel, the fourth son of the first progenitor in the country. 
It is related of John Schofield, that hearing his dog barking down in the meadow 
one evening, he took his axe and went to see what was the matter. He saw 
there a large animal up a tree, and the dog a few feet off. Striking the tree 
with the ax, the animal leaped down on the dog, and while they were struggling 
he struck the varmint on the back with the ax and killed it. It proved to be a 
large sized panther. 

The Elys, of Bucks county, are descended from Joshua Ely, Dunham, Not- 
tinghamshire, England, who came over 1684 and settled on the site of Trenton, 
New Jersey, on a four hundred acre tract he bought of Mahlon Stacy, his 
brother-in-law. He was married twice, the first time to Mary Senior, who 
bore him six children — ^Joshua and George born in England, John at sea, Hugh 
1689, Elizabeth and Sarah after their arrival. Upon the death of his first wife, 
he married Rachel Lee, 1698, by whom he had two children, Benjamin and 
Ruth, twins. Joshua Ely was a prominent man in the commtmity, holding the 
office of justice of the peace, and dying at Trenton, 1702. Of the children of 
Joshua Ely, George, born 1682, married Jane Pettit, 1703, daughter of Nathan- 
iel, lived on the paternal estate and died there 1750. He left three sons and three 
daughters, John, George, Joseph, Mary Green, Sarah, wife of John Dagworthy, 
Rebecca, wife of Eliakin Anderson, and a grandson, George Price, son of a 
deceased daughter, Elizabeth. Joshua, the second son of George, born March 
16, 1704, and married Elizabeth Bell, New Jersey, removed to Solebury, Bucks 
county, 1737, and settled on three hundred and seventy-five acres he purchased 
between Centre Hill and Phillips mill, the greater part of which is still in the 
family. Of his children, Joshua married Elizabeth Hughes, George, Sarah 
Magill ; John, Hugh, Sarah, Hannah and Jane. The late Jonathan Ely, several 
years member of Assembly, was a grandson of Joshua. George Ely was a 
member of the Provincial Assembly, 1760. Hugh Ely, son of Joshua, the im- 
migrant, bom in New Jersey, 1689, removed to Buckingham, 1720, purchasing 
four hundred acres on the east end of the "Lundy tract,'* extending from the 
York road to the mountain, and from Greenville to Broadhurst's lane. His 
children were Hugh, bom 1715, married Elizabeth Blackfan, Thomas married 
Sarah Lowther, Anna married John Wilkinson, and Ann married Peter Mat- 
son. In 1773, Thomas removed to Harford county, Maryland, with his six 
younger children, William, Joseph, Mahlon, Martha, Rachel and Ruth; his 
sons, Thomas and Hugh, and daughter Ann, who married Thomas Ellicott, 
following him, 1774. General Hugh Ely, Baltimore, a distinguished soldier 
and statesman and several years president of the Maryland senate, bom, 1795; 
and died 1862, was a son of Mahlon Ely above mentioned. 

Thomas Ross, bom in county Tyrone, Ireland, of Episcopal parents, 
1708, immigrated to Bucks county and settled in 1728. He located on the 



Digitized by 



Google 



28o HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Manor lands outside the London Company tract. He probably brought a sister 
with him, or she may have followed, for Elizabeth Ross was married to Thomas 
Bye, 9th mo., 1732. Thomas Ross joined the Wrightstown Meeting February 
12, 1729, and became a distinguished minister among Friends. He took great 
interest in the welfare of the young. He married Kesiah Wilkinson, July or 
August, 1 73 1, Abraham Chapman and James Harker being appointed to attend 
the wedding and *'see it decently accomplished.'* He passed his long life mostly 
in Bucks county, devoting much of his time to religious work. He paid a 
religious visit to England, 1784, accompanied by several of his male and female 
^ friends, embarking in the ship Commerce, Captain Trenton, the same who 
subsequently became a distinguished officer in the United States Navy. They 
were anxious to reach their destination in time for the Yearly Meeting, but 
the captain said it was impossible. It is related, that one day, while Mr. Ross, 
was seated beside Rebecca Jones, he said to her "Rebecca, cans't thou keep a 
secret ?" She replied in the affirmative, when he added, **We shall see England 
this day two weeks." Land was seen the morning of that day, and it is said the 
captain acknowledged that had not the passengers been able to see what the 
officers and sailors could not, the vessel would have gone on the rocks, and 
been wrecked. After attending the Yearly Meeting at London and trav- 
eling in Ireland and the North of Scotland where he attended many religious 
meetings, Mr. Ross reached the home of Lindley Murray, Holdgate, near 
York, where he was taken sick and died June 13, 1786, aged seventy-eight. 
The letter announcing his death to his widow, was written ,by John Pember- 
ton, who spoke of the deceased in high terms. Among his last words were, 
"I see no cloud in my way. I die in peace with all men."^^ Among his de- 
scendants were Judge John Ross, of the State Supreme Court, Hon. Thomas 
Ross, Judge Henry P. Ross, and State Senator George Ross, all of Doylestowri, 
deceased. William Ross, probably a grandson of the immigrant, and a native 
of this county, was a merchant of Philadelphia, and' died on the island of 
Saint Domingo, 1807. 

18 Thomas Ross, Jr., son of Thomas, Sr., was a stanch friend of the Colonies during 
the Revolution, and he and the Wrightstown meeting clashed, that body "reading him out." 
Of this transaction the meeting record, of 7th of 12th mo., 1779, contains the following: 

"Whereas, Thomas Ross, Jr., having had his birth and education among Friends, but 
having so far disregarded the testimony of truth against war and fighting as to pay a fine 
demanded of him for not associating to learn the art of war, and Friends having treated 
with him in order to bring him to a sense of his misconduct; yet he continues to justify 
himself in so doing; therefore, we give forth this as a testimony against such practices, 
and can have no further unity with him as a member of our Society until he comes to a 
sense of his error, and condemn the same to the satisfaction of Friends, which he may 
do is our sincere desire for him. Signed in and on behalf of the said meeting by 

(Signed) : "J. Chapman, Clerk/' 

When the clerk had finished reading the above testimony, Mr. Ross stood up and read 
the following declaration to the meeting: 

"Whereas, the Society of the people called Quakers in North America, in several 
important particulars in both theory and practice, have deserted their ancient creed, and 
inasmuch as in their ecclesiastical decisions and transactions, they have become extremely 
partial, inconsistent and hypocritical, 1 do therefore give forth this, my testimony, against 
their present practices and innovations, and can have no farther unity with them as a 
member of their Society, until they shall add to a profession more consistent with 
Christianity, a practice more agreeable to their profession. Signed on behalf of himself by 

"Thomas Ross, Jr." 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, 281 



The Rices came into the township about one hundred and fifty years ago. 
Edward Rice, the great-grandfather of Samuel H. Rice, was bom in the parish 
of Killaman, county Tyrone, Ireland, where he lived until he immigrated to 
Pennsylvania. He brought with him a certificate of good character signed by 
the rector and church wardens, and a protection or passport from the proper 
authority, both dated June 12, 1736. It is presumed he came immediately after- 
ward, and made his home in Buckingham. 

The Riches are descended from John Rich, who purchased land at the head 
of Cuttalossa creek, 1730. He could trace his decent, it is alleged, to Richard 
Rich, who came to America in the Mayflower, and settled at Truro, on Cape 
Cod, Massachusetts. In 1740, John Rich bought a large farm in Plumstead 
township, south of the meeting-house. He had several sons, only one of whom, 
Joseph, is known to have any descendants in Bucks county. He married Eliza- 
beth Brown, and had one daughter, Mary, who married Jonathan Wells, and 
removed to Chester county. Of his five sons who lived to manhood, Alexander, 
Jonathan, John, Joseph and Josiah, Alexander married Mary Michener and had 
three sons, John, Joseph and William ; Jonathan married Rosanna Kemble, and 
had one son, Anthony, and, after her death, he married Mary Snodgrass, and by 
her had two sons. Doctor James S., and Josiah ; John married Mary Preston, 
and had one son, Moses, and three daughters, Susan, Martha, and Elizabeth ; 
Joseph married Elizabeth Carlile, and had two sons, John and Joseph, and two 
daughters, Sarah and Elizabeth ; Joseph, youngest son of Joseph Rich, married 
Martha Preston, had one son, William, and two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary. 
The descendants of these several families are quite numerous, living mostly in 
Bucks county. 

We do not know when the Hutchinsons came into Solebury, but early in the 
eighteenth century. Matthias, a descendant of the first settler, born, 1743, was 
a remarkable man in some respects, and wielded much influence. He carried on 
mason-work and plastering extensively, walking twenty miles to his work in the 
morning and the first man on the scaffold. Such energy brought its reward and 
he became wealthy. He enjoyed the confidence of his fellows, and was appoint- 
ed justice of the peace and afterward Associate- Judge, which he resigned about 
1812. About 1765 he married Elizabeth Bye, whose mother was Elizabeth 
Ross, sister of Thomas Ross, the preacher. Mr. Hutchinson owned the fine 
farm subsequently William Stavely's, where he died, 1823, at the age of eighty. 
He was a soldier in the French and English war and near Wolfe when he fell on 
the Plains of Abraham. 

William Neeley, the first of the name in the county, born in Ireland, 
August 31, 1742, came to this country when a small boy with his widowed 
mother. She married Charles Stewart, Upper Makefield, with whom her son 
lived in his minority. He learned the milling business with Robert Thomp- 
son," Solebury. and married his daughter June 24, 1766. His father-in-law 
erected buildings for him on his tract, where he lived and died. While Wash- 
ington's army w^as encamped in that neighborhood, 1776, several officers quar- 
tered at his house, and James Monroe spent some time there after being wound- 
ed at Trenton. William Neeley died July 10, 1818, and his widow, February 
13, 1834, in her eighty-sixth year. He had two children, a son and daughter ; 

19 Robert Thompson had the reputation of never turning a poor man away from 
his mill with his bag empty, whether he had money or not. The old Thompson-Neeley 
mill stands near the Delaware canal, but was ruined when that improvement was 
made. 



Digitized by 



Google 



282 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



the son, Robert T., marrying Sarah Beaumont, from whom descended John T. 
Neeley, Solebury, and the daughter, Jane, married John Poor, principal of the 
first young ladies' seminary established in Philadelphia.^^ 

The distinguished Zebulon Mv. Pike, who fell at York, Canada, 1813, spent 
several years of his life in Solebury, if not bom there. As will be remembered 
the Pikes were early land owners in Solebury, Joseph owning land there before 



i 



\' 



>v> 




GEN. ZEBULON M. PIKE. 

20. In 1853 R. J. and W. Neeley established themselves in the lumber business 
of Trenton," New Jersey, January 5, 1779, and that his father, Zebulon Pike, 
with his family soon afterward removed to Lumberton, where he resided several 

20 In 1853 R. J. and W. Neely established themselves in the lumber business 
in Virginia. They were sons of John T. Neeley, and their venture proved a success. 
In 1891, John Neeley, a son of one of them, succeeded to the business, which he carries 
on in Portsmouth, Va., on a large scale. 

21 There is no positive evidence that General Pike was born ii\ Solebury, but 
likely somewhere in that vicinity, but certainly in Bucks county, where his father resided 
several years before his son's birth. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 283 



years.^* That was his home, 1786, when himself and wife conveyed to Jonathan 
Kinsey, Solebury, a tract of land in Northumberland county. In the deed he is 
styled "Captain." General Pike probably received his school education in Sole- 
bury. The family lived in a red frame house, torn down, 1834, on the site of 
Paxson's mill. While living there the father subscribed the oath of allegiance 
to the Colonies. He was a soldier in the Revolution, served in St. Clair's expe- 
dition, 1 79 1, commissioned captain in the regular army, March, 1792, lieutenant 
colonel, 1812, and died near Lawienceburg, Indiana, 1834, at the age of eighty- 
three. General Pike entered the army as lieutenant, March 3, 1799, and his 
military life is too well known to be repeated. Among his services to the gov- 
ernment were several valuable explorations, that to discover the headwaters of 
the Arkansas and Red rivers, 1806, leading to his capture and imprisonment in 
Mexico. The author has been in the old adobe building at the north end of the . 
palace where he w^s confined at Santa Fe.^* A distinguishing feature of Gen- / 
eral Pike was a fineiie^ of bright red hair.** 

The Kenderdines,^** a prominent family in Solebury for many years, came 
into the township less than a century ago, although much longer in the state. 
The name is rarely met with. The family is supposed to have been driven from 
Holland to Wales by religious persecution, sometime in the seventeenth century. 
Several of the name are now living in the vicinity of Stafford, England, near 
where the Holland refugees settled. The tradition of descent runs down through 
two branches of the family, and is believed to be correct. Thomas, the ancestor 
of the American Kenderdines, immigrated from Llan Edlas, North Wales, about 
1700, and settled at Abington, Philadelphia county. Of his three children, 
Mary married a Hickman and probably went to Chester county, Richard settled 
on the property lately owned by John Shay, Horsham, as early as 17 18, and 
Thomas on the Butler road half a mile below Prospectville, whose dwelling is 
still standing with the letters T. and D. K. cut on a stone in the gable. The late 
John E. Kenderdine, fourth in descent from Thomas, was born in 1799 and died 
in 1868. He removed to Lumberton 1834, and spent his life here in active 
business pursuits — ^milling, farming, lumbering, erecting birildings, etc. He 
was identified with all improvements, and gave the locality a greater business 
repute than it had enjoyed before. He' was an active politician. In 1843 he 
was defeated for the State Senate by two votes, and again in 1866 for Asso- 
ciate Judge, with his whole ticket. His two sons, Thaddeus S. and Robert, 
served in the Civil war, the latter being killed at Gettysburg. Watson Ken- 
derdine, son of John E. Kenderdine, succeeded his father in business on his 
death, and filled his place in social and political life. He was bom at Horsham, 

22 There is a tradition that General Pike was bom on the farm owned by 
Ezekiel Everitt, Solebury, and a further tradition among the old men, that when 
a boy he was noted for his cruelty. 

23 The roof of the old building, in which Lieut. Pike was " confined, at Santa Fe, 
fell in the day David Meriwether, the newly appointed Governor arrived there, 1853, the 
somewhat superstitious Mexicans considering this a good omen. 

24 It is claimed that the family of Pikes, from which the General was descended, 
was settled at Newbury, Massachusetts, as early as 1635, whence a member removed 
to Middlesex county. New Jersey, where his father was bom, 1751. 

25 The distinguished English authoress. Miss Muloch, makes use of the name for 
two of her heroines in "Woman's Kingdom," Edna and Lettie, out of respect for a 
very intimate friend of her mother's, named Kenderdine. 



Digitized by 



Google 



284 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



1830, four years prior to his father's removal to Bucks county, and married a 
daughter of Nathan and Martha Preston, Plumstead. He died March 19, 1900, 
leaving a widow and three daughters, two married and one singje 

The Ruckmans settled early in Plumstead, where the late John Ruckman 
of Solebury was bom, 1777. The family trace the descent back to John Ruck- 
man, who imn]igrated from England to Long Island at a very early day. Thence 
they removed mto New Jersey, where Jean's grandson, Thomas, was born, 
1721. John Ruckman's father, James, was bom, 1748, married Mary, sister of 
Colonel William Hart, of Plumstead, whither he removed, and died there, 1834. 
John Ruckman moved into Solebury on his marriage and probably settled at 
Lumberville, where he was living, 1807, which year he removed out into the 
township on the farm where his family now reside and where he died, 1861. 
He was prominent in politics, and was Associate-Judge of the cotmty several 
years. 

William Stavely, a prominent resident of Solebury, many years, died at his 
residence "Partridge Hall," March 22, 1877. He was a descendant of John 
Stavely, who settled in Kent county, Maryland, 1680, and was bora in Freder- 
ick county, June 24, 1800. He learned printing in Philadelphia, and carried on 
the business there several years. He established the Episcopal Recorder. In 
1839, he purchased the Guy Bryan plantation in Solebury, and there spent the 
remainder of his useful life. His estate was one of the finest in the county, and 
he did much to improve agriculture. It was largely through Mr. Stavely's 
efforts Trinity Episcopal church, Centreville, was built, and he was a liberal 
contributor to all its necessities. 

The first flour-mill in Solebury was undoubtedly that of Robert Heath, on 
the Great Spring stream, 1707 ; before that time the inhabitants getting their 
supply of flour from Middletown and the Pennypack. About 1730 Ambrose 
Barcroft and John Hough erected a "water corn-mill" on the Paunacussing, 
at Carversville, which in 1765 was known as Joseph Pryor's. Besides this there 
were Phillips's mill, 1765, Canby's in 1762, and Jacob Fretz's fulling-mill in . 
1789. The Ellicotts owned the mills at Carversville several years. The Armi- 
tage mill, on the Cuttalossa, was among the early mills in the township, built by 
Samuel Amiitage, who immigrated from Yorkshire, England, to Solebury, be- 
fore 1750. It is still standing and in use, but it and the fifty acres belonging 
passed out of the family, 1861, into the possession of Jonathan Lukens, Hor- 
sham. Two hundred acres adjoining the mill property were recently in posses- 
sion of the family. Samuel Armitage died, 1 801, at the age of eighty-five. The 
first mill at Lumberton was built in 1758 by William Skelton, who continued in 
possession to 1771, when he sold it to John Kugler. He rebuilt it between that 
time and 1782, when he sold it to George Warne. It was subsequently used for 
a store, dwelling and cooper-shop, and taken down 1828. 

John Kugler came to America, 1753, when a boy of thirteen, landing at 
Philadelphia. Being unable to pay his passage his time was sold to a Mr. East- 
burn, who lived near Centre Hill, Solebury township, who brought the young 
immigrant up. Kugler afterward learned the milling trade; married a Miss 
Worthington and had one son, Joseph. He married Elizabeth Snyder, who bore 
him four sons. John Kugler married twice, his second wife being Mrs. Rambo, 
of South Carolina. He purchased the tavern property at Centre Bridge, and 
while living there, bought the Lumberton mill. His grandson, John, also a 
miller, was the owner of four hundred and sixty-three acres on the east bank of 
the Delaware, and the village of Frenchtown was laid out and built upon it 
This land was conveyed to him, 1782-83. We know of no person living in the 



Digitized by 



Google 




KUGLER'S MILL. LUMBERTON. 

county bearing the name of Kugler. Some of the descendants of John Kugler 
are said to be living above Frenchtown, New Jersey, and also of Mrs. Rambo- 
Kugler, by her first husband. Kugler removed to New Jersey soon after his 
purchase and passed the remainder of his life there. He was a man of great 
enterprise, built a sawmill, burnt lime, farmed and freighted goods on the 
Delaware to and from Philadelphia, in a Durham boat. 

In Solebury, as elsewhere, the early settlers clung to the bridle paths 
through the woods until necessity compelled them to open roads. We cannot 
say when the first township road was laid out. There was a road from the river 
to Barcroft's mill, and thence to the York road, 1730. About the same time a 
road was laid out from Coryell's ferry to the Anchor tavern, Wrightstown, 
where it united with the Middle or Oxford road, thus making a new continuous 
highway from the upper Delaware to Philadelphia. It was reviewed, 1801. In 
1756 a road was laid out from John Rose's ferry, now Lumberville, to York 
road, and from Howell's ferry, now Centre Bridge, 1765, and from Kugler's 
mill, Lumberton, to Carversville and thence to the Durham road, 1785. Al- 
*though the Street road between Solebury and Buckingham, was allowed about 
1702, it was not laid out by a jury until September 2, 1736.^® It was viewed by 
a second jury August 6, 1748. In 1770 it was extended from the lower corner 
of these townships to the road from Thompson's mill to Wrightstown. The road 
from the river, at the lower end of Lumberville to Ruckman's was laid out and 
opened 1832. Owing to the opposition an act was obtained for a "state road" 
from Easton to Lumberville, thence across to Ruckman's and down the York 
road to Willow Grove, which gave the local road desired, with but trifling al- 
teration in the old roads. The late James M. Porter, of Easton, was one of the 
jurymen, and Samuel Hart the surveyor. The "Suggin*' road is probably the 
oldest in the township and originally a bridle path, along which the settlers of 
Plumstead took their grain to the Aquetong mill, above New Hope, to be ground. 
It left the Paunacussing creek at Carversville, running northeast through Will- 
jam R. Evans's and Joseph Robert's farms, crossing the present road near Jo- 
seph Sacket's gate, thence through Aaron Jones's woods to meet the present 
road near Isaac Pearson's, and by Armitage's mill. Centre Hill and Solebury 
meeting-house to New Hope. 

26 The jury were Robert Smith, Francis Hough, John Fisher, John Dawson, and 
' Henry Paxson, and it was surveyed by John Chapman. 

285 



Digitized by 



Google 



286 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Half a mile southeast of Carversville, on the road to Aquetong, is an old 
graveyard known as the **Sebring" graveyard, and in it were buried the former 
owners of the four hundred and fifty acre tract of which it was a part. The 
tract is now surrounded by public roads ; on the northeast by the road above 
mentioned, the Lumberville road on the southeast, the Street road on the 
southwest, apd the road from the Street road, to Mahlon Carver's corner 
on the northwest. It was laid out to Thomas Carnes in 1702. He devised 
it to his aunt Ellen Saunders of Yorkshire, England, the same year ; she to 
George Parker, Yorkshire, same year, late of Philadelphia; he to Ambrose 
Barcroft, Talbot county, Maryland, in 1723. In 1724-25 Barcroft was 
drowned in the Delaware, when the property descended to his three 
sons, William, Ambrose and John. The second Ambrose Barcroft and 
John Hough were the builders of the Carversville mill, about 1730; and William 
and John Barcroft conveyed their share of the four hundred and fifty acre tract 
to John Sebring in 1746. Later the tract was found to contain but four hundred 
acres. The Sebring family of Dutch ancestry, came from Province of 
Drenthe, Holland, and settled on Long Island prior to 1700. Major Cornelius 
Sebring was a large landowner on Long Island and a member of Assembly in 
1695-1723. The family subsequently removed to New Brunswick, or rather 
Roelof, a member of it did, settling at the Raritan, where he married a daughter 
of the Rev. Johannes Theodorus Polhemus. His son, Jan, or John, Sebring, re- 
moved to Solebury in 1742, where he died in 1773, in his seventy-second year, 
leaving four sons, Roelof, John, Fulkerd and Thomas, to whom the land de- 
scended. The son, Thomas, was a captain of militia during the Revolution. 
Probably the oldest stone in the Sebring graveyard is that marked "A. B." sup- 
posed to be the grave of Ambrose Barcroft, Sr. There also are found the tomb 
stones of John Sebring, Sr., 1773, John Sebring, Jr., 1777, Hugh McFall, 1786, 
John Leasman, 1793, and a number of others, ranging in dates from 1766 to 
1779. Among the descendants of John Sebring are Judge William Sebring, 
Easton, William Sebring Kirkpatrick, late member of Congress from North- 
ampton county, and the widow of the late General John F. Hartranft. 

The villages of 
Solebury are, Lum- 
berville and Lum- 
berton lying con- 
tiguous on the Del- 
aware, Centre 
Bridge below on 
the river. Centre 
Hill in the interior 
of the township, 
Carversville on the 
Paunacussing, Cot- 
tageville, and New 
Hope, an incorpor- 
ated borough. 

About 1785 the 
site of Lumberville 
was owned by Col- 
onel George Wall 

and William Hambleton. We know but little of Hanibleton, but Wall was an ac- 
tive patriot of the Revc^lution, and a man of influence. He built two saw-mills 




Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 287 

and carried on the lumber business, was justice of the peace, and followed sur- 
veying and conveyancing. His dwelling and office stood on the site of Lukens 
Thomas's new house. At one time he kept a school to instruct young men in 
surveying, and died, 1804." Hambleton's dwelling ^vas opposite Coppemose, 
at what was called **Temple bar," probably from a gravel bar in the river, and 
was taken down, 1828, when the canal was dug. He died about 1797, leaving 
his estate to his son Thomas, who sold it in 1807. The place was known as 
Wall's sawmill and Wall's landing as late as 1814, w^hen the name was changed 
to Lumberville by Heed and Hartley who carried on the lumber business there. 
In 1810 there were a few dwellings, a store and tavern and other improvements 
were made in subsequent years. The road then ran near the river, with the 
houses on the upper side, but the canal destroyed it and the present road was laid 
out. The tavern was burned down about 1828, and rebuilt. Since then several 
new buildings have been erected, including a Methodist church, and a substan- 
tial bridge across the river. The church was built, 1836, and re-built on the 
opposite side of the road, 1869, with a frame basement thirty by fifty feet. The 
bridge was commenced in 1854, and finished, 1857, built by Chapin and An- 
thony Fly at a cost of $18,000. The Lumberville library was founded in the 
fall of 1823, the first meeting on the subject being held at the Athenian school 
house near the village, which William L. Hoppock, Samuel Hartley, Aaron 
White, Joseph Heed,^^ and Cyrus Livezey attended, among others. The shares 
were five dollars each. Mr. Hartley was the first librarian, and the library was 
kept in his office. The books were sold at public sale, 1833, because there was no 
place to keep the three hundred and fifty volumes that had accumulated. During 
its short existence it did considerable to improve the literary taste of the neigh- 
borhood. The post-office was established, 1835, and William L. Hoppock ap- 
pointed postmaster. 

Lumberton, less than a mile below Lumberville, was known as Rose's 
ferry^® before the Revolution, when there was a grist and sawmill belonging to 
William Skelton. Jacob Painter and Reuben Thome became the owners, 1796. 

27 George Wall was one of the most prominent men in the county during that 
Revolutionary struggle. In 1778 he was appointed lieutenant of Bucks with the rank of 
colonel, and his commission is signed by Thomas Wharton and Timothy Madack. In 
1787, George Wall invented and patented a new surveying instrument called a 
^Trignometer." The Legislature granted him a patent for 21 years, the act being 
signed September 10, 1787. Among those who recommended the instrument were John 
Lukens, Surveyor General of Pa., David Rittenhouse, the astronomer, and Andrew 
EUicott, subsequently surveyor general of the United States. In 1788 Wall published 
a pamphlet descriptive of the instrument. George Wall, Jr. and David Forst were the 
agents for the sale of confiscated estate in Bucks county. "George Wall" and "George 
Wall, Jr." were one and the same person. He was the son of George Wall, his mother 
oeing the widow of Andrew EUicott and daughter of Thomas Bye, 

28 The Heeds were early settlers in Solebury but ^ we have not the date of their 
arrival. Abraham Heed, who died May 19, 1843, at the age of 102, was a remarkable 
man. Beginning life as a farmer, by indolent habits he became bankrupt in a few years. 
This did not discourage him and he started anew as a gunsmith, his trade; then bought 
real estate, built home and mill, run lime kilns, carried on lumbering and other occupa- 
tions, being successful in all. He held the office of justice of the peace, and at his death 
be left 142 descendants. 

29 The right of landing was reserved to John Rose in the deed of William Skelton 
of Kugler, 1771. 



Digitized by 



Google 



288 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



The latter kept the ferry, and the place was called Painter's ferry and had a 
tavern and a store. It was a favorite crossing for persons going from upper 
Jersey to Philadelphia who fell into the York road at Centre Hill. Painter, who 
died, 1805, probably built a new mill and the subsequent owners were Joseph 
Kugler, John Gillingham, Jeremiah King, Thomas Little and John E. Kender- 
dine. The canal covers the site of the first mill, a long, low and narrow stone 
building. Gillingham rebuilt the tavern, 181 6 or 181 7, about which time it had 
fallen into bad repute, and was called *'Hard Times."^®^ A tavern has not been 
kept there since 1842. When Mr. Kenderdine enlarged his mill, 1834, he pulled 
down the old Pike dwelling. Lumberton contains a few dwellings and a grist- 
mill. Here is a valuable quarry of Hght-colored granite, owned and worked by 
a company, developed when the canal was constructed and the stone were used 
to build abutments and wingwalls of bridges. The new locks at New Hope 
were built of it. The quarry was bought by John E. Kenderdine, 1833, and sold 
by his administrator, 1868. On July 12, 1877, a blast of twenty kegs of powder 
made at this quarry, threw down a ledge 63 feet long, 27 feet high and 39 feet 
deep containing about 60,000 feet of stone. The stone trimmings for the new 
court house, Doylestown, came from this quarry. Mr. Kenderdine gave the 
place the name of Lumberton. The Indian name of the island in the Delaware 
opposite Lumberville was Paunacussing, which it retained until 1721, when John 
Ladd and R. Bull bought a large tract in that vincinity, which soon fell into 
the possession of Bull, and was then called Bull's island. Paxson's island, 
lower down the river, took its name from Henry Paxson, an early settler 
in the township. His nephew, Thomas, inherited two hundred and nine 
acres along the Delaware including the island, which contained one hundred 
acres. The island was the cause of much trouble to the Paxsons, the Indians 
claiming the title to it on the ground that they had not sold it to Penn. About 
1745 they offered to sell it to Paxson for £5, but he refused to buy with the 
Proprietary's sanction. In the first deed it is called a '*neck," and 1745, was 
an island only about three months in the year. 

Centre Bridge, four miles below Luniberville, was called Reading's ferry 
soon after 1700, from John Reading, who owned the ferry-house on the New 
Jersey side, and afterward Howell's ferry from the then owner. It was so 
called, 1770. It was known as Mitchel's ferry before the present century. In 
18 10 it had but one dwelling, in which John Mitchel, the ferryman, lived, who 
kept the tavern there for many years, and died, 1824. At one time he repre- 
sented the county in the Assembly. The bridge was built across the river, 181 3, 
when it took the name of Centre Bridge half way between Lumberville and New 
Hope. Since then several dwellings and two stores have been erected. The 
post-office was established at Centre Hill, 1831, and John D. Balderston post- 
master, but changed to Centre Bridge, 1845. 

Carversville was originally called Milton, which name it bore in 1800. At 
the beginning of the century it contained a gristmill, store, smith-shop, etc. 
About 181 1, Jesse Ely, built a woolen factory, oil-mill, and tannery; the factory 
was burned down, 1816, and re-built. Isaac Pickering opened a tavern here 
1813-14, and kept it to his death, 1816, when it, and the property of Jesse Ely 
were bought by Thomas Carver who carried on business to his death, 1854. A 
post-office was established 1833, and the place called Carversville. Since then 

29J/^ The sign blew down and the landlord put up a whitwashed window shutter in 
its stead, on which he wrote with tar the words "Hard Times," and times did look 
hard enough thereabouts. ' 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 289 

the Village has considerably improved, several dwellings, Free and Presbyterian 
churches, a large school building, a store, etc., erected, and a cemetery laid out. 
The Presbyterian congregation was organized about 1870, and the church, a 
pretty Gothic structure, that will seat about three hundred, was built, 1874, at 
a cost of $4,500. In 181 1 a woolen factory was built at Fretz's mill, on the road 
from Carversville to the Delaware, and run tmtil about 1819 or 1820. A clover- 
mill was afterward built, and burned down, 1833, when a gristmill was erected 
on the site. Centre Hill, known as the ** Stone school-house" a century and a 
half ago, contained c«ily a store, one dwelling, and an old school house, in 1810, 
but, within more recent years, several dwellings have been erected, an additional 
store opened and mechanics established. Cottageville has several dwellings, and 
a schoolhouse. The Solebury Presbyterian church was organized, 181 1, mainly 
through the efforts of Mrs. Rebecca Ingham, Mrs. Johanna Corson, and Mrs- 
Elizabeth Neeley, of the Newtown congregation. It has about one hundred 
members, and the yearly collections amount to nearly one thousand dollars. 
The church was repaired in recent years by William Neeley Thompson, of New 
York, but a native of Bucks, and is now one of the most beautiful in the county. 
It is now known as the "Thompson Memorial church," after Thomas M. Thomp- 
son in whose memory it was re-built by his son. It contains four very fine mem- 
orial windows, to commemorate the virtues of two men and two women, one of 
the former a loved pastor, the Reverend Doctor Studiford. The present pastor 
is^ the Rev. Adolphus Kistler. The Solebury Baptist church grew out of a meet- 
ing of twenty-one persons of this faith held at Paxson's Corner, now Aquetong, 
the 6th of March, 1843. They resolved to organize a Baptist church, and it was 
constituted the 28th of the same month with thirteen constituent members; 
Charles F. Smith, Joseph Evans, Leonard Wright, Ann Walton, Catharine 
Naylor, George Cathers, Nelson H. Coffin, Jacob Naylor, David R. Naylor, Ira 
Hill, Margaret Smith and Susan Smith.- The membership was increased to 
thirty-one by the middle of the following May. The Reverend J. P. Walton 
was the first pastor, serving the church to 1845, when it was supplied, until 1849, 
by Reverend W. B. Srope, Lambertville, New Jersey. The Reverend Joseph 
Wright was now dalled and remained until 1854. In 1851 an addition was 
biiilt to the church. The pastors in succession afterward were, Joseph N. Fol- 
well, 1854, W. W. Beardslee, 1856, Samuel G. Kline, 1859, Martin M. King, 
i860, and Silas Livermore, 1863. The church was closed in September, 1866, 
on account of the reduction in membership by death and removal, and was not 
reopened for worship until October 10, 1869. I^ November of that year George 
H. Larison, M. D., a deacon of the First Baptist church of Lambertville, was 
called to the pulpit, and served the church several years. He is now deceased. 
He was ordained pastor in 1872. Under his pastorate ninety-three were added 
to the church by baptism, and many others by letter. The house was repaired, 
1871, at an expense of $2,000, and is now a commodious place of worship. 

In response to a long-felt want and urgent need of a school for higher edu- 
cation in middle Bucks, Sie Excelsior Normal Institute was established at Car- 
versville, 1858, and a charter obtained. The movement secured the co-opera- 
tion of the Rev. F. R. S. Hunsicker, then principal of the Freeland Seminary, 
Collegeville, Montgomery county. Mr. Hunsicker was appointed principal with 
William W. Fell, Mary Hampton and William T. Seal assistants. The school 
was opened in October, 1859, with a good attendance, occupying a convenient 
building erected for the purpose. It was popular from the first and the most 
prominent families became its warm supporters and patrons. Mr. Hunsicker 
retired in 1862, and from that time to 1865 the school in succession was in 

19 



Digitized by 



Google 



290 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 

charge of William T. Seal, William R. Evans, Mr. Fish, Dr. G. P. Betts, and 
Samuel B. Carr. In 1867 Mr. Hunsicker again assumed charge, being suc- 
ceeded by Simeon S. Overholt in 1872. The Normal Institute prc^r was 
closed, 1874, but the academic department was continued a year longer under 
Henry O. Harris.^^ The property was now sold to William R. Evans, who re- 
modeled the building, and for a time was a popular suinmer resort Among 
the popular instructors in the institute, besides those named were A. M. Dickie, 
John Peoples, WiUiam G. White, William P. M. Todd, George P. Betts, M. 
D., M. F. Bechtol and Lizzie Hunsicker and others. Many of the pupils have 
reached positions of honor, among them Judge D. Newlin Fell, State Supreme 
court, Judge Pancoast, Camden, N. J., Judge Henry Scott, common pleas, 
Northampton county, Pennsylvania, county superintendents, Eastbum and 
Slotter, and others in the learned professions. The "Excelsior Normal Insti- 
tute" made its mark on the community. 

On the banks of the Delaware, at the lower end of Lumberville, rises a 
headland fifty feet high called Coppernose. Local antiquarians say it was so 
called because copperhead snakes were found there in olden times, and William 
Satterthwaite, an eccentric poet and schoolmaster of the township, has the 
credit of being the author of the quaint name. From the top of this bold 
promontory is obtained a fine view up and down the river, with the islands, the 
bold shores on either side, with the hamlets of Lumberville and Lumberton 
nestling at the declivity of the western highlands. Half a mile below, the Cutta- 
lossa,'^ in a tortuous course of three miles, empties into the Delaware after 
turning several mills. It is a romantic stream and its beauties have been herald- 
ed in both prose and poetry."* John G. Whittier, the poet, lived on the banks 
of the Cuttalossa during parts of 1839 and 1840, on the Watson Scarborough 
premises. 

Opposite the old grist-mill, and in hearing of the patter of its dripping 
wheel, a beautiful fountain bearing its name has been erected. A never-failing 
spring gushes out from underneath the roots of a large tree, on the summit of 
a wooded knoll thirty yards west of the woods and twenty feet above the level 
of the creek. Years ago the late John E. Kenderdine placed a wooden trough 
to catch the water after it came down the gully, and utilized it for the traveling 
public, and, in the summer of 1873, ^ ^^w liberal persons, in and out of the 
neighborhood, contributed money to erect the beautiful stone fountain that now 
adorns the locality. A leaden pipe conveys the water down the hill and under 
the road to the fountain where it falls into a marble basin four feet square. 
A figure stands in the middle of the basin surmounted by a shell through which 
the water escapes in threadlike jets to the height of twelve feet, and an iron- 
fence protects it from intruding cattle. At the roadside near the spring is a sub- 

30 Mr. Harris and Mr. Eastbum are both members of the Bucks county bar settled 
at Doylestown. 

31 In 1897 William J. Buck issued a publication of ninety pages— originally printed 
in the Bucks County Intelligencer, 1873, entitled "The Cuttalossa and its Historical, Tradi- 
tional and Poetical Association." It is replete with matter of a highly interesting char- 
acter, but we have not space to indulge in quotations from it. 

32 Tradition, not of the most reliable character, says it received its name from a 
strayed Indian child, named Quattie, meeting a hunter in the woods and crying "Quattic 
lossa," meaning that Quattie was lost, and from that the name was gradually changed 
to its present, Cuttalossa. It is called "Quatielassy" and "Quetyelassy" in a deed of 
1702. 



Digitized by 



Google 



\ 



•HtSTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. ^^95 . 

When the Solebury Friends separated from Buckii gham, ir "^^^^ 
built a meeting-house, the joint school fund was divided, the forr '* ? 
getting $4,500 as her share. Since the establishment of pu »lic schr^*^, }^ 
has lain idle. Before 1791 Samuel Eastbum convey cd a 'ot to j-iT^'. 
ough and others for a school-house, but we do not know vhere i^ ^l 

On the farm of William B. Leedom, near Lumber vil!*;, stan' ^/q 
twenty-three and one-half feet in circimiference, beneath whosc^ -^ ^' 
spring that supplies the farm stock with water. Under it is a cav^ ' J^^' 
shelter to the hogs and poultry, when it storms. I^roni tliis farm -^^^ \ 
Presbyterian church, Doylestown, may be seen with a ^lass c f'^^^y* 
Prior to the Revolution the farm is said to have been o\^ ned b] ^^^ ^ 
pany for mining purposes, but was bought by Colonel Gee rge V\*^^ *^[ 
pied it during the war. He sold it to Mathias Couell alout tl^ stable; 
century and removed to Lumberville where he died. chapter 

The Great Spring, likewise called by the names of Login and P^^^^^^ 

miles from New Hope, is one of the most remarkable in 1 "le Sta 

volume of cool, pure water from a ledge of redshale anl h nestui ^^^y, now 

the Delaware in a stream that turns several mills. It wa. a fas 

the Indians and is said to have been the birthplace of Teed}uscun; 

pox broke out among the Indians at the spring soon after the cc 

tied and great numbers died. Not knowing it was infe(tious, 

visited the sick, contracted the disease and carried it hoine witfc 

treatment was sweating which was fatal. Believing it wa^ sent 

for their ruin, it came near breaking Indian confidence in he wh ^^^^%,^-g 

last Indian children in Solebury and Buckingham, went to schcTDl^ftthe Red 

school house on the Street road, 1794, with the father ot' the author, then a 

small boy. The late Charles Smith, Solebury, disputes vith Tames Jamison, 

Buckingham, the honor of inventing a lime-kiln to bum • oal. He is said to 

have built the first coal burning kiln, and that all others ^* ere fashioned after 

his invention. 

The first paper mill in the county was built about i7g< . by Samuel D. Ing- 
ham on the stream that flows from the Great Spring. H learned the trade of 
paper making at the mill on the Pennjrpack when young, and when out of his 
time, returned home and erected the mill. The paper waj made by hand, for 
several years, and hauled to Philadelphia, and on it was prtited the early Bucks 
county newspapers. In 1836, a Fourdrinier machine was put in, the first mill 
in the state to use one. At this mill was made the first wlappin^ paper manu- 
» factured from manila rope and bagging in Pennsylvania, by A nthony Kelty, 
who rented it. It is still in operation. It was once destr>yed by fire and re- 
built. The second mill was nearer the Delaware at Wells' fills, just below New 
Hope. A third mill, erected there, 1880, manufactured nictiila paper for wrap- 
ping. 

We know but little of the population of Solebury a: eativ periods. In 
1761 there were 138 taxables. In 1784 there were 980 \vute< but no blacks, 
166 dwellings and 150 outhouses. In 1810 the po[)niati''a was 1,659; 1820, 
2,092; 1830, 2,961," and 503 taxables; 1840, 2,038; iS:-, 2.4X6 whites, 148 
colored; i860, 2,875 whites, 139 colored; 1870, the poptation was 2,791, of 
which 156 were of foreign birth, and 125 blacks; 1880, 2,641^ ; 1890, 2,371 ; 1900, 

2,082. 

__^ ^ — t 

38 The heavy increase over 1820, is evidently an error in * *^. census figures. 

y Digitized by VrrOOQlC 

y ■ r 



29^ 



/ 







L 



V 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 295 



The map of New Hc^e, the largest village in Solebury township, drawn 
and engraved from one of 1798, g^ves the names of all the owners of real estate 
in it at that time. We insert it in this chapter, with the following explanation 
of the numbers upon the map, viz. : No. i, mills of B. and D. Parry ; 2, stables, 
ditto; 3, store and stone stables, ditto; 4, cooper shop, ditto; 5, orchard, ditto; 
6, house and garden, ditto; 7, ditto, ditto; 8, Beaumont's hatter-shop; 9 and 
10, Beaumont's tavern and bam; 11, house of Cephas. Ross; 12, house of O. 
Hampton; 13, house and bam of J. Pickering; 14, house of J. Osmond; 15,, 
Vansant's saw-miU; 16, house; 17, house of B.' and D. Parry; 18, house of B. 
Parry ; 19, Vansant's house ; 20, house and shop of A. Ely ; 21, B. and D. Parry ; 
22, Marfiia Worstall; 23, D. Parry's shop; 24, house, ditto; 25, Eli Doan's 
house ; 26, Enoch Kitchen's house ; 27, John Poor's house ; 28, bam, ditto ; 29, 
Oliver Paxson's house ; 30, bam, ditto ; 31 and 32, Paxson's salt store and stable ; 
33, Coolbaugh's house ; 34, William Kitchen's house. In a subsequent chapter 
will be found a lengfthy account of the settlement of New Hope, with its present 
condition.** 

39 Prior to 1745, there was not a two-horse wagon in Buckingham or Solebury, now 
among the richest and most populous townships in the county. 



Digitized by 



Google 



CHAPTBR XIX. 



HISTORIC CHURCHES. 



iriO TO 1744. 



Population previous to 171a — Churches between 1710 and 1720. — St. James' Episcopal.— 
The graveyard. — Whitefield and Zinzendorf. — Churches established. — ^Whitefield at 
Neshaminy. — Second visit — ^The "Great Awakening." — David Brainard. — ^The "old" 
and "new side." — Division at Neshaminy.— The Log College and William Tennent. — 
Samuel Blair.— Charles Beatty. — Neshaminy church founded. — Nathaniel Irwin. — 
Mr. Belville. — Southampton Baptist church. — ^John Watts, Samuel Jones. — ^Mr. Van- 
home, Mr. Montanye. — Deep Run church. — Francis McHenry. — ^James Greir. — New- 
town church. — Hugh Carlisle.^ames Boyd. — ^Revolutionary. — Robert D. Morris.— 
New Britain Baptist church. — Child of a religious quarrel. — Growden gives ground. — 
Joseph Eaton. — ^Reconciliation with Montgomery. — Strength of church. — ^Ministers' 
names. — ^Tohickon Reformed church. — ^Founded 1740-43. — ^Rev. Jacob Riesz, 1749. — 
John Andrew Strassburger, most famous pastor. — ^Twelve pastors in 122 years. 

The population of Bucks county was composed almost exclusively of 
English Friends previous to 17 10, if we except the feeble settlement of Rhode 
Island Baptists at Cold Spring, Bristol township. Other sects and denominations 
came in at a later period ; in their order, the English Episcopalians, the Dutch 
Protestants, Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, Welsh Baptists, and German Luther- 
ans and Reformed. Each denomination marked a different people, and intro- 
duced a new element into provincial civilization. Between 17 10 and 1720 three 
denominational churches were established, St. James' Episcopal, Bristol, what 
is now the Bensalem Presbyterian church, and the Low Dutch Reformed 
church, of Northampton and Southampton. 

The St. James' Episcc^al church, built 171 1, and dedicated July 12, 1712, 
owes its foundation to the "Society for the propagation of the gospel in foreign 
parts." The lot was the gift of ''Anthony Burton, gentleman," and Queen Anne 
interested herself enough in the feeble parish to give it a solid silver cc«nmunion 
service, stolen in after years. The first pastor was Reverend John Talbot, 
chaplain in the English navy and attached to the ship in which George Keith 
first came to America. He and Talbot founded St. Mary's church, Burlington, 
and the latter used to come across the river to preach at Bristol before that 
church was built. He officiated until 1727, and was succeeded by the following 
rectors; Robert Wyman, 1733, William Lindsay, 1739, Colin Campbell, 1741, 
Mr. Odell, 1768, Mr. Lewis, 1776, Henry Waddell, 1806, Richard D. Hall, 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 297 



1813, Mr. Jacquette, 1822, Albert A. Miller, J. V. E. Thorn, William H. Reese, 
1825, Greenbury W. Ridgely, Thomas J. Jackson, William S. Perkins, 
1833, Mr. Bartow, 1855, Joseph W. Pearson, 1857, D. W. W. Spear, 1861, 
Doctor John H. Drumm, 1863 ^^ 1875, John C. Brooks, 1876 to 1877. Joseph 
W. Lee, 1878 to 1885, William Leggett Kolbe, 1887 to 1891, and William Brice 
Morrow, 1892. Doctor Drumm was a chaplain in the army during the Civil 
war, serving in the campaign on the Peninsula, and was subsequently rector 
of a parish in Rhode Island. The parish of St. James suffered during the Revo- 
lutionary war. The church was dismantled and turned into a cavalry stable, 
the graves trodden under foot, the congregation scattered. After th^ war it 
was used for a barn. It was without a rector, or regular service for thirty-one 
years until Mr. Waddell, Trenton, was called to officiate twice a month, 1806, 
for £50 a year. This venerable parish has passed through many tribulations 
but survived them all. The gifts of its early patrons have been mostly squan- 
dered yet it possesses valuable temporalities. The church edifice cost thirteen 
thousand dollars, 1857, and the congregation owns a comfortable rectory. 
Anthony Burton was one of the most active in the organization of the church, 
and John Rowland gave a lot ouNMill street, 17 15, to build a rectory on. Sc«ie 
of the early rectors received but £100 a year. The grave yard is one of the old- 
est in the county, and in it lie the remains of some of Bristol's earliest inhabit- 
ants. Near the grave of Captain Green, who carried the first American flag to 
China, was buried Captain Sharp, Tenth United States infantry, who, while 
stationed just above Bristol, fell in a duel with the quartermaster of his regi- 
ment, 1798. Sharp was courting Miss Sarah McElroy, whose father kept the 
Cross Keys tavern, Bristol, many years. The duel grew out of a difficulty in 
relation to the lady and was fought on the farm owned by the late Charles T. 
Iredell just outside the borough limits. Sharp fell at the second fire. The lady 
never married. 

The next thirty-five years were marked by unusual religious excitement 
and activity. It was during this period that the celebrated Whitefield visited 
America, and stirred up the hearts of the people to their lost condition, and 
Zinzendorf and his disciples from Hemhutt settled in the wilderness on the beau- 
tiful Lehigh. The religious fervor prevailing throughout the provinces mani- 
fested itself in this county and churches multiplied rapidly. The Neshaminy 
Presbyterian church was founded about 1720, possibly before, Southampton 
Baptist church, 1730, the Presbyterian church at Newtown in 1734, the church 
in the midst of the Scotch-Irish settlements along the Deep run, Bedminster, 
about the same time, and the New Britain Baptist church, an offshoot of Mont- 
gomery and the child of a religious quarrel, 1744. In the establishment of 
these early churches, the parents of denominational religion in this county, we 
read in plain characters the history of the immigration of the period, for places 
of religious worship only kept pace with the spiritual wants of the population. 
It was during this period that the Brainards, with courage and self-denial 
equal to the early Jesuit missionaries, labored among the Indians at the Forks 
of Delaware, and now and then came down into the more settled parts of the 
county to preach, at Neshamiijy, Newtown and elsewhere. In 1726 Reverend 
William Tennent, one of the great lights of his generation, was callM to the 
Neshaminy church, and subsequently established the Lc^ College on the York 
road, half a mile below Hartsville, which, for years, was the only school south 
of New England at which young men could be fitted for the ministry. 

The visit of Reverend George Whitefield to America, 1739, gave a new 
impetus to the religious enthusiasm, already prevailing. He landed at Phila- 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



298 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



delphia November 2, and a week afterward, Mr. Tennent rode down from 
Neshaminy, on horseback, to welcome the great evangelist, who writes in his 
diary that he was "much comforted by the coming of one Mr. Tennent, an old 
gray-headed disciple and soldier of Jesus Christ, who keeps an academy about 
twenty miles from Philadelphia." On his return from New York, near the 
close of the month, Mr. Whitefield came by way of Neshaminy to visit Mr. 
Tennent. Leaving Trenton on the morning of November 22, he traveled across 
the country on horseback, in company with several friends, arriving at the 
church about noon. He was announced to preach there, and, on his arrival, 
found about three thousand people gathered in the meeting-house yard. He 
addressed them in words that melted the great audience, and caused many to 
cry aloud. The meeting was closed by an exhortation by Gilbert Tennent, the 
singing of a psalm and a blessing. Mr. Whitefield, who went home with Mr. 
Tennent and staid all night, writes in his diary : "He entertained us like one 
of the ancient patriarchs. His wife to me seemed like Elizabeth, and he like 
Zachary ; both, as far as I can find, walk in all the ordinances and command- 
ments of the Lord, blameless." In the morning he started for Philadelphia 
where he arrived that afternoon, stopping long enough at Abington to preach to 
two thousand people from a porch window of the meeting-house, and, "al- 
though the weather was cold, they stood very patiently in the open air." He 
returned to Abington in April, and preached to between three thousand and 
four thousand people.* 

April 23, 1745, Mr. Whitefield made a second visit to Neshaminy. Leaving 
Philadelphia about eight a. m., accompanied by several friends, he arrived at 
three, having "baited at a friend's in the midway." That afternoon he preached 
in the meeting-house yard to about five hundred people, and "great numbers 
were much melted down." That evening he rode to Montgomery, eight miles, 
where he staid all night arid, the next morning continued on to Skippack, 
sixteen miles further, where he preached to two thousand persons, passing 
through what "was seemingly a wilderness part of the country." May 7, 
Mr. Whitefield again came into the county, crossing the river to Bristol, where 
he preached to about four hundred people and then returned to Philadelphia. 
At this time Whitefield is described as "of middle stature, slender body, fair 
complexion, comely appearance, and extremely bashful and modest. His de- 
livery was warm and affectionate, and his gestures natural, and the most beau- 
tiful imaginable." Franklin, who attended his sermons, said: "He had a loud 
and clear voice, and articulated his words so perfectly that he might be heard 
and understood at a great distance. I computed that he might well be heard 
by thirty thousand." 

In 1745, a religious revival and excitement, called the "Great Awakening," 
broke out in various parts of the country, extending into this county. It was 
noted for several marvelous instances of persons being thrown into contortions, 
called "jerks," while under the influence of preaching. Some fainted, others 
saw visions, and many were moved in various other ways. It broke out in the 
Neshaminy congregation in the spring of the year, and, in June, David Brain- 
ard, the great missionary among the Indians, came down from the Forks to 
assist Mr. Beatty the pastor. He tells us, in his journal, that on Sunday there 

I He says, in his journal, there were near 1,000 horses tied about the meeting- 
house when he preached at Neshaminy, and it struck him favorably that the people 
did not sit on their horses as in England. 



Digitized by 



Google 



. HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 299 

were assembled from three to four thousand persons, and that during his ser- 
mons many were moved to tears. 

During this period a spiritual skeleton introduced itself amid the revivals 
and awakenings that stirred the religious world. Things were far from har- 
monious. Presbyterians Tjecame divided, and for forty years the Old Side and 
New Side stood bristling at each other across an imaginary line. It was the 
ancestor of the war of "schools" that came a century later. In a word the di- 
vision was here. The Old Side believed all should "be regarded and treated 
as regenerate who did not g^ve evid«ice, to the contrary, by manifest heresy 
or immorality," and that all baptised persons should be communicants. This 
doctrine was held by what was called the strict Presbyterians from Scotland 
and Ireland, with few exceptions. The New Side, principally persons from 
New England, held that all, in whom no evidence of regeneration could be 
found, should be excluded from communion and the ministry. The Log 
College* was a New Side seminary, and the New Brunswick Presbytery 
leaned th^ same way. The division caused great trouble in the synod from 
1728 to 1741, when the schism, which separated the New Brunswick Presby- 
tery from the rest of the body, was consummated. The Neshaminy church 
was not a unit. That part of the congregation adhering to the Old Side wor- 
shiped in the old church, in the graveyard, under the pastoral care of Reverend 
Francis McHenry, Deep Run, while the New Side held services in the new 
church, the site of the present one on the bank of the creek. This continued 
until about 1768, when the synod, having become united, the two sides came 
together and worshiped in the same building. 

The religious fervor of the period probably led to the establishment of the 
Log College. William Tennent, its founder, and in fact, its everything, took 
a leading part in all the discussions of the day, and exerted himself to advance 
the cause of religion. Whether the school he taught in Bensalem was theologi- 
cal is not known, but that near Neshaminy soon assumed this character, and has 
now become historic. He made a clearing in the timber on a fifty acre tract 
given him by his kinsman, James Logan, and erected a log building about 
twenty feet square.* It was one of the earliest classical schools in the Province, 
and was called "Log College" in derision. Mr. Tennent was assisted in the 
school for a year by his son Gilbert, who was licensed to preach, 1725. As this 
was the only school within the bounds of the Presbyterian church, at which 
young men could be fitted for the ministry, he soon had as many scholars as he 
could receive. The Log College prepared for the pulpit some of the ablest di- 
vines of the century. Mr. Tennent was bom in Ireland about 1673, and was a 
distant relative of the Laird of Dundas and the Earl of Panmure. He was edu- 
cated for the Episcopal church and ordained, 1704. In 1702 he married a 
daughter of Mr. Kennedy, a Presbyterian minister, came to America, 1718, 
was licensed by the Philadelphia Presbytery, first called to East Chester, to 
Bensalem, 1721, and to Neshaminy, 1726, where he died, 1746. His widow 
died in Philadelphia, 1753. He was a man of very fine education, and spoke 
the Latin language with degance and purity. 

We know but little of the Log College beyond what can be said of its 
distinguished founder and the eminent men educated there. Its story of use- 
fulness is told in the lives of its alumni. Mr, Tennent had four sons, all bom 

2 William Tennent renounced the authority of the Presbytery, 1739. 

3 He probably commenced the school in his own dwelling, for the land was not 
deeded to him until 1728. Mr. Logan frequently sent provisions to Mr. Tennent. 



Digitized by 



Qoo^^ 



300 HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 

in Ireland, three of them educated at the crflege; Gilbert, bom 1703, died 
1764, William, bom 1705, died 1777, John, bom 1706, died 1732, and Charies, 
bom 171 1. They all became distinguished ministers in the Presb3rterian church, 
and William was the subject of a remarkable trance that attracted tmiversal at- 
tention at the time. Gilbert accompanied Whitefield to Boston, 1740, where 
his preaching was received with great favor. He was largely instrimiental in 
bringing about a division in the church. Whitefield said tfie Log College had 
tumed out eight ministers before the fall of 1739, including Tennent's four 
sons, but many more were educated there. All traces of this early cradle of 
Presbyterianism have long since passed away and its exact location is hardly 
•known. A piece of one of its logs is preserved as a memento in a cane the 
late Reverend Robert Belville presented to Doctor Miller, Princeton, New Jer- 
sey. The school was maintained for twenty years, but did not long survive the 
retirement and death of its founder. Among the distinguished pupils of the 
Lc^ College, we are able to mention the following: 

Samuel Blair, born in Ireland, 17 12, came to America while young, was 
one of the earliest pupils and licensed to preach and ordained, 1733. He was 
called to the pastorate of New Londonderry, Pennsylvania, church where he 
died. President Davis called him "the incomparable Blair." 

Charles Beatty, son of an officer of the British army, bom in Ireland about 
1715, and came to America, 1729. He began life as a peddler but stopping at 
the Log College with his pack, Mr. Tennent, discovering he was a good classi- 
cal scholar, advised him to dispose of his goods and study for the ministry. He 
succeeded his preceptor at Neshaminy, 1743, married a daughter of Governor 
Reading, New Jersey, 1746, was present at the coronation of George III, 
presented at court, 1758, and died in the West Indies, 1772. He was the ances- 
tor of the late John Beatty, Doylestown ; 

William Robinson, son of an eminent Quaker physician near Carlisle, Eng- 
land, was bom the beginning of the eighteenth century. He came to America 
when a young man, studied at the Log College, was ordained, 1741, and settled 
at Saint George, Delaware, where he died, 1746. He was stationed for a time 
at Craig's and Hunter's settlements north of the Lehigh. He was considered 
one of the most effective preachers of his day ; 

Samuel Finley, bom in Ireland, 1715, came to America, 1734, ordained, 
1742, was pastor at Milford, Connecticut, and Nottingham, Maryland, and 
elected president of the College of New Jersey, 1761, where he died, 1766. The 
degree of D. D. was conferred on him by the University of Edinburgh ; 

John Roan, bom in Ireland, 17 16, came to America in his youth, studied 
at the Log College and was settled over the united congregations of Paxtang 
and Derry (one charge), and Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, where he died in 1775 ; 

Daniel Lawrence, bom on Long Island, 1718, and licensed, 1745. He 
preached at Forks of Delaware until 1751, when he removed to Cape May 
where he died, 1766; 

James McCrea probably came from Ireland. He was licensed, 1739, and 
ordained, 1741 ; was pastor over several congregations in New Jersey, and died 
1769. He was the father of the unfortunate Jane McCrea, who was murdered 
by the British Indians, 1777.'^ He had nine sons and two daughters; 

■ 
3^ Jane McCrea was murdered and scalped by a party of Indians while being con- 
veyed to her betrothed, an officer in the British army. A quarrel among the Indians 
was said to have led to it. It occurred near Fort Edward a few days before the battle 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 301 



John Rowland, a native of Wales, was licensed to preadi, 1837, and died 
about 1747- He preached in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and was a man of 
comn>anding eloquence. He was known as 'liell-fire Rowland" among the 
irreligious. In personal appearance he closely resembled a noted scoundrel, was 
once arrested and prosecuted for him and acquitted with difficulty; 

William Dean, born about 17 19, but not known where, was probably edu- 
cated at the college. He was licensed to preach, 1742, and officiated at the 
Forks of Delaware and elsewhere until 1745, when he was sent missionary to 
Virginia, where he died, 1748. 

David Alexander came from Ireland, and is also thought to have been 
educated at the Log College. He was ordained and installed at Pequa, 1738, 
but passed out of sight, 1741. 

Probably John Roan and Doctor John Rogers both assisted in teaching, 
or possibly took charge of the school when infirm health, toward the close of 
his life, interrupted the duties of Mr. Tennent. Of the Log* College pupils, 
fourteen became Presbyterian ministers. This institution was the pioneer school 
of those which made Hartsville an educational centre for fifty years in the last 
century. 

The churches, founded during the period of which we write, were properly 
the pioneers of denominational religion between the Delaware and the Lehigh 
and form a cluster of g^eat historic interest. The history of the religious move- 
ments of the first forty or fifty years of the eighteenth century will not be com- 
plete without a brief sketch of these societies. First, in order, is Neshaminy 
Presbyterian church, of Warwick.* The date of its foundation is not known, 
the loss of early records breaking its chain of history but it was probably as 
early as 1726, possibly before.* The first known pastor was Reverend William 

of Saratoga. It called forth the severest denunciation, and much pathetic prose and 
verse were written upon it. Among others, Joel Barlow, the distinguished American 
poet, wrote a poem upon the event, beginning: 

"One deed shall tell what fame great Albion draws; 
From those auxiliars in her barbrous cause; 
Lucinda's fate. The tale ye nations hear; 
Eternal ages trace it with a tear." 

4 The historians of the Presbyterian church have erroneously claimed Paulus Van 
Vleck as the pastor at Neshaminy, 1710, which carries its founding back to that date, 
if not prior. Van Vleck was pastor at Bensalem and at the North and Southampton 
Dutch reformed churches at that time one branch of which was called Neshaminy, though 
usually spelled "Sammany," and never had any connection with the Warwick church. 
This correction in the early history of the Neshaminy church throws great uncer- 
tainty over the date of its foundation. This was never a Dutch congregation. 
In 1743 it was knowp as "the congregation of Warwick, in ye forks of Neshaminy." 

5 This powerful sect in this state had a small beginning. The visit of Francis 
Makennie to Philadelphia, 1692, is thought to have led to the gathering of dissenters at 
the Barbadoes store-house. John Watts, a Baptist minister, preached for them for a 
time, but, 1698 they called Jedediah Andrews, of New England. In 1704 they built 
a meeting-house on Market street, enlarged it, 1729, when they adopted the Presbjrterian 
form of church government. With this exception the early churches of this denomina- 
tion in Pennsylvania were Scotch-Irish. 



Digitized by 



Google 



302 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 



Tennent, called from Bensalem in 1726.*^ He likewise preached at Deep Run, 
called the "Upper congregation," and, 1734, the newly-formed church at New- 
town asked for one-fourth of his time, but Deep Run refused her consent. 

In 1740, the Reverend Francis McHehry was chosen his assistant. Mr. 
Tennent was never regularly installed, but the people met and chose him for 
their pastor, and the Presbytery afterward ratified their action. He was an 
active, thorough-going pastor, But not entirely guiltless of stirring up strife in 
the church, and his crusade against the Old Side, his pastoral duties and the 
management of the college kept him fully employed. A new church edifice 
was erected on the site of the present building, 1743, the last year of his pas- 
torate. 

On December i, 1743, Reverend Charles Beatty was ordained "to the con- 
gregation of Warwick in ye forks of Neshaminy," on a salary of i6o, increased 
to iioo, or $260 at the end of twenty years. Here Mr. Beatty spent his life, 
absenting himself from his charge only on three occasions, on a missionary 
visit to the frontiers, 1766, when chaplain to Franklin's regiment, 1755,® and 
a visit to the West Indies, 1771, to collect money for Princeton college and 
where he died. In 1745 Neshaminy and "adjacent places" raised £14. ss. lod. 
to build a school-house and buy books for Brainard's Indians. The division in 
the church was consummated during his pastorate. The old church was in the 
present graveyard, where it stood for several years after the new one was built. 
Mr. Beatty was succeeded by Reverend Nathaniel Irwin, 1774, who was in- 
stalled May 18, and remained until his death, 1812.^ He began on a salary of 
$346, raised to $452, 1798. He was a man of varied and extensive information, 
possessed great scientific knowledge, and was passionately fond of music. He 
exercised a wide influence in church and state, and, for several years, controlled 
the politics of the county. He was instrumental in having the county, seat re- 
moved to Doylestown. As a slur upon the clergy and church for interfering, 
some one made a charcoal sketch on the walls of the old court house, Newtown, 

5J/2 This was without doubt the origin of Neshaminy Presb3rterian church. It cor- 
responds with the date of the arrival of the first installment of the Ulster Scots who formed 
the congregation, and with the date of the donation of the land for the church by William 
Miller. 

6 Franklin says: "We had for our chaplain a zealous Presbyterian minister, Mr. 
Beatty, who complained to me that the men did not generally attend his pray^s and 
exhortations. When they enlisted they were promised, besides pay and provisions 
a gill of rum a day, which was fortunately served out to them half in the morning and 
half in the evening, and I observed they were punctual in attending to receive it, 
upon which I said to Mr. Beatty: *It is perhaps below the dignity of your profession 

* to act as steward of the rum, but if you were to distribute it out just after prayers, 
you would have them all about you.' He liked the thought, undertook the task, and 
with the help of a few hands to measure out the liquor, executed it to satisfaction, and 
never were prayers more generally or more punctually attended. So that I think this 
method preferable to the punishment inflicted by some military laws for non-attendance 
on divine service." 

7 Mr. Irwin was born in Chester county, October 18, 1746, educated at William and 
Mary college, Virginia, and at Princeton where he had James Madison for classmate. 
He was twice married. His first wife was Priscilla McKinstry, bom 1760, his second. 
Mary Jamison, who died August 3, 1822. Mr. Irwin was the first to encourage John 
Fitch in his steamboat invention. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY. 303 



which represented Mr. Irwin in his shirt sleeves with a rope around the build- 
ing and his body, and pulling in the direction of Doylestown with all his might. 
During his pastorate, 1775, the church was enlarged. In his will he left one 
thousand dollars to the l^resbyterian theological seminafy, on condition that it 
be located on the site of the Log College, and five hundred dollars to the "Amer- 
ican Whig society," Princeton college, of which he was one of the foimders, 
1769. He rode to church on an old mare called "Dobbin," and composed his 
sermons as he jogged along the road and across the fields. 

The Reverend Robert B. Belville succeeded Mr. Irwin, and was ordained 
and installed October 20, 181 3, remaining in charge a quarter of a century, re- 
signing, November, 1835, on account of ill-health. He was an eloquent and 
able preacher, arid, during his pastorate, there was a large increase of members. 
After the resignation of Mr. Belville the pulpit was filled by supplies until Jan- 
uary, 1839, when those claiming to be the majority called the Reverend James 
P. Wilson,® a young man teaching a classical school in the neighborhood, who 
was installed February 26. This gave great oflfense to the rest of the congre- 
gation who organized a new church, and erected a board "Tabernacle" in the 
woods on the Bristol road, at the top of the hill above the church. This con- 
gregation identified itself with the Old School organization, and Mr. Wilson's 
witii the New School. Thus the question of "schools" divided the congregation, 
as the "Sides" had done a century before. These troubles led to a law-suit, 
but a compromise was effected by a division of property, when the Old School 
party built a new church at Hartsville. The congregation prospered under the 
ministry of Mr. Wilson, the church building was enlarged and improved, 1842, 
and the members largely increased. At his resignation, 1847, ^^ accept the 
presidency of Delaware College, the Reverend Douglas K. Turner was called 
to the charge, who was ordained and installed April 18, 1848. His pastorate 
extended through a quarter of a century to April 20, 1873, and was a period of 
prosperity in the church. A lecture-room was built at Hartsville, 1849, ^^e 
graveyard enlarged, 1852, a new wall around it and further addition made, 
1857, an organ pu