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Chester County, Pa. 


Semi-Centennial Anniversary of the Borough of 
Downingtown by the Historical Committee. 

Downingtown Publishing Company. 



6 30 J 

.•19*, -tHBH *"• 

R 1912 L 

3 r orewor5 

In the fall of 1908 there appeared in the Archive, the Down- 
ingtown weekly newspaper, an article calling attention to the 
fact that May 28, 1909, would mark the fiftieth anniversary of the 
organization of the Borough of Downingtown, and suggesting 
its appropriate observance. Attention was especially called to 
the fact that Downingtown, although an ancient settlement and 
with an honorable record, had no published history, and propos- 
ing that the semi-centennial should be marked by the preparation 
and publication of a town history. The article was received with 
marked approbation by many prominent citizens. The Council 
appointed a committee on the subject, with Mr. Isaac Y. Ash as 
chairman, and after deliberation it was decided to submit the 
question of the celebration to a called meeting of representative 
citizens, and this meeting was duly called, and was held !|n the 
. roe*ms of the Alert Fire Company on the evening of March 11, 
190!). The assemblage was composed of representatives duly 
appointed from the churches, benevolent and patriotic organiza- 
tions and the industrial, financial and other interests of the com-, and was larsrelv attended. 

Organization was effected by the choice of Mr. Isaac Y. Ash 
as chairman and Mr. Frank Swarner as secretary. The repre- 
sentatives from the various organizations were heard in order, 
and the unanimous sentiment expressed in behalf of the organi- 
zations that the anniversary should be appropriately observed. 
The celebration was committed to an executive committee of te».i 
persons, to be appointed by the chain, arid, of which the chairman 
should be the presiding officer. , v This: executive committee con- 
sisted of the following citizens: ..Isaac Y. Ash, chairman; Dr. 
L. T. Rremerman, Horace Carpenter, J. ,Havard Downing, Rev. 
J. H. Earp. James G. Fox, Joseph II. Johnson, Charles F. Mc- 
Fadden, Frank T. McGraw, -Rev, ;L.AY,. :Vudge, D. I)., I. Hunter 

wiiis. : ..: - - . 

The meetings have been held frequently in the rooms of 
Mr. Joseph H. Johnson's office, and the organization of the com- 

mittee was completed by the election of Mr. Charles McFadden 
as secretary and Joseph H. Johnson as treasurer. The committee 
decided that the mam work should be the preparation of the 
History of . Downingtown, and Charles II. Pennypacker, Esq., 
of West Chester, was engaged to write the history, assisted 
by the local committee, consisting of Rev. Lewis W. Mudge, 
I). 1)., chairman, and Mr. Isaac Y. Ash. associate. This 
committee charged itself with the task of aiding Mr. Penny- 
packer in accumulating historical material and with the en- 
tire work of securing brief histories of past and existing 
churches, organizations and enterprises that were worth} - of place 
in such a record. The result is the present volume, which is 
commended to the favorable consideration of our citizens. Being 
the first serious attempt to record a history which covers a period 
of more than two centuries, and with scanty published records 
from which reliable material could be gathered, it is not pre- 
sumed thai the history is complete, or that it will prove beyond 
criticism. Xo history ever written can be regarded as complete. 
Hut the committee can assert that it has been successful beyond 
its expectations, has received the hearty co-operation of numer- 
ous present and past residents, to whom our thanks are returned, 
an»'.l may claim to have secured many important matters from 
oblivion and laid the foundations for a more perfect building. 
It is a duty which each generation owes both to past and future 
generation- to place on permanent record facts of historical in- 
terest and importance, and this duty the semi-centennial com- 
mittee has fulfilled to the best of its ability. 

An enormous amount of time and thought* has been freely 
giw~ to this labor of love, and we are abundantly rewarded if 
we shall have measurably succeeded in putting into permanent 
form this record of the past and the conditions of the present, 
and if the perusal of thi(s record shall awaken the pride of the 
citizens in the past and their zeal in promoting the prosperity and 
webA.v of Downingtqwn in the Future. 


(Tfyapter I 

Earliest Records — First Settlers — The Parke and .Downing 


Downingtowu is situated at the intersection of the Lancaster 
tu^.pike and the East Branch of the Brandywine Creek, about 
thirty-three (33) miles west of the city of Philadelphia, and about 
seven (7) miles northwest of the Borough of West Chester. It 
is located in what was originally Cain township, Chester County. 
The township was so called after Calne, in Wiltshire, England, 
from which locality some of the earlier settlers had emigrated. 
Cain township originally included the territory now embraced 
in Cain, East Cain, West Cain, East Brandywine, West Brandy- 
wine and a part of Valley township and that part of Coatesville 
lying east of the west branch of the Brandywine and the present 
Borough of Downingtowu. In 1?02 surveys were made extend- 
ing from the Welch tract (the western line of Whiteland), on the 
east, to the west branch of the Brandywine on the west, mostly 
confining to the Chester Valley. These surveys were afterwards 
extended northward and northwestwardly, and were among the 
early purchases in the County of Chester. Chester County was 
named after the town of Chester, in England, from whence a 
number of William Penn's companions, in the good ship "Wel- 
come," had departed on their journey to the new world. Chester 
in England, was so named because, eighteen hundred years ago, 
it was the site of an encampment of 'Roman soldiers, and the 
Latin word castra signifies such a camp, and from "Castra" was 
derived the title of Chester in our language. The circumstances 
under which Chester County (which is the mother county of 
Pennsylvania) was named were these: William Penn and Caleb 
Pusey landed on the shore of the Delaware. William, address- 
ing Caleb, inquired, "What shall we call this land?" and Caleb 
replied, "It is a goodly land, and we will call it Chester, in honor 
of the town on the River Dee, in England, from whence we have 
come." In 1714 Peter Taylor was constable for Cain township, 
which shows an organization at that date. The assessment of 
171 f bore the following names: 

Aaron Mendenhall William Taylor 

Thomas .Moore .John Parker 

Peter Taylor I )aniel Smith 

William Cloud Philip Roman 

Isaac Vernon Anthony Morris 

Joseph Cloud Richard Webb 
John Mendenhall Free Men. 

William Memin John Richards 

James Swatter Thomas Efford 

Non-resident Land. 
John Baldwin. 

November 26, L728, a petition to the following effect was: 
presented to the court : 

"That your Petitioners Labouring under many difficulties by reason 
of the Largeness of the said Township, which was never yet bounded but 
< n the East Side Joyning Whiteland Town: That the said Town Extends 
in length above fourteen miles, and in breadth near fourteen mile-. That 
tlie farthest Setlers back from the Great Road leading to Philadelphia, liv- 
ing so Remote from the Said Road Seldom have notice to come down 
i ■ repair it. which often wants by reason its so abused and cut with the 
Dutch Waggons which daily pass and Repass along the Said Road. 

"Inasmuch as the Said Township is large enough to he Derided into 
Two. your Petitioners Humbly desire for the Ease of the said Township 
that it may be Derided and that the Bounds of ye Township of Cain may 
begin at the line of Whiteland on the South side of the Said Town of Cain 
and so Extend from the Said line Westerly along the Valley Mountain to 
the West Branch of Brandywine Creek, then up the said Branch Northerly 
to the plantation of Joseph Darlington, then Easterly Along the Moun- 
tain Between ye plantation of Thomas Elderidg and the Indian Town to 
David Roberts, then to the Bounds of Uwchland. 

"That the Remaining part of the Town being Large enough for a 
Township, its Humbly desired by your Petitioners it may be called Spe'f- 
forth. Wherefore your Petitioners Humbly Desire that you will take this 
into your Consideration and to allow the said Township of Cain to be 
Devided and Hounded as is before set forth, and yr 1'etirs will pray, &c. 

".William Heald, Pierre Bizallion, 

Samuel Bishi >p, 1 >avid E\ ans, 

John Daveson, Thomas Moore, 

William Sinkler, Peter Whitaker, 

Will Nichols. Robert Miller, 

William Dunn, Joseph Griffiths, 

Richard Hughs, Jason Cloud. 

Thomas Vernon, Aaron Mendenhall, 

Arthur White, Llewelin Parry, 

William Gregory, Edward Irwin, 

Edmund Gregory, Tames Bruce, 

Thomas Dawson, Thomas Heald, 

Edward Thompson, ' ■ • nh I >arlinti m, 

Thomas Eldridge, Samuel McKinley. 

Peter Whitaker, Thomas Ramsey." 
Thomas Parke, 

In L702 surveys were made in Cain township in the right of 

purchases made in Englind, viz., for Joseph Cloud, 225 acres ; 
for Jeremiah Collett, 375 acres; for Robert Vernon, 600 acres, 
and for Daniel Smith, 1000 acres. The Collett tract was sold to 
Thomas Moore, and Thomas and his brother, John, purchased 
the Vernon tract, which subsequently became the property of 
Thomas Moore, who erected a mill on the east side of the Brandy- 
wine in 1716. The Smith tract was divided by a north and south 
line. The eastern half became the property of George Aston, 
who subsequently sold to Roger Hunt, while the western half 
was purchased by Thomas Lindley, who subsequently sold in 
1721 to Thomas Parke. Roger Hunt came from Birmingham, in 
England ; George Aston came from the same place. They were 
both members of the Church of England. Roger Hunt was a 
commissary under Colonel Thomas Dunbar in the Braddock 
expedition. Joseph Cloud emigrated from the Isle of Skye, along 
the coast of Scotland. The family name was McLeod. Abraham 
Cloud, who landed, at New Castle, Delaware, early in the cen- 
tury, was the first emigrant to drop the McLeod and write it 

Among the early families who settled in this neighborhood, 
or who settled in what is now Downingtown, was that of the 
Parke family, in May, 1723. After selling their stock of personal 
property at their home in Ireland, on the 21st of that month, 
Thomas Parke, aged 61 years; Rebecca, his wife, aged 62; their 
second child, Robert Parke, aged 29 ; their fourth child, Rebecca 
Stalker, aged 26 ; Hugh Stalker, her husband ; their fifth child, 
Rachael Parke, aged 24 ; Thomas Parke, aged 19 ; Abel Parke, 
aged IT : Jonathan Parke, aged 15, and Elizabeth Parke, aged 
13, embarked at Dublin on the vessel Sizarghs, bound from 
White Haven to Dublin, and then to Philadelphia. The passage 
from Ireland was a rough one. Robert Parke kept a journal 
of the voyage by daily notes, and on the 21st of August of that 
year, it appears that they arrived within the Bay of Delaware. 
They immediately commenced traveling in the adjacent country 
to view land. Part of tlie family remained in Chester about 
three months from the time of their landing, then they moved 
to a temporary residence two miles distant, and on December 
•2 Thomas Parke purchased a tract of land in the Great Valley 
of Chester County of five hundred acres at the price of three 
hundred and fifty pounds. Jonathan Parke, son of Thomas 
Parke, married Deborah Taylor, daughter of Abiah" Taylor, 
who lived on the Brandywine, south of Downingtown, near 
where Cope's Bridge is located. It was Deborah Taylor 
who gave the name to the rock on the west side of the 
stream, near that point, and all the story about the Indian maiden 
and her suicide from the top of the rock by jumping into the 


stream below is a fanciful myth. Bradford Monthly Meeting 
commended Thomas Parke in these words: "Thomas Parke 
came from Ireland about the year 11124 well recommended by 
certificate- from Friends there, and some years after was ap- 
pointed an Elder for Cain Meeting, in which Station he remained 
until his (hath, and was well respected by friends in general." 
lie departed this life on the 31st of First Month, 1T38, and was 
buried at Cain. About a year after his (Thomas Parke's) death, 
his son, Thomas, Jr., at the age of 34 years, married Jane Edge, 
by whom he had seven children, lie died October 17, 1758, aged 
53 years. About five years after the death of Thomas Parke, Jr., 
his widow married James Webb, the father of James Webb, who 
married Rebecca Parke, daughter of Jonathan and Deborah 

An extract of a letter from Robert Parke to his sister, 
Mary, gives an interesting picture of the difficulties and opinions 
of the early settlers of this province. It says v "The land taken 
up was beautifully situated, stretching from one hill to another, 
here on the Great Road leading from Philadelphia to the West." 
The first inn was erected by Abel Parke in August, 1735. It was 
called "The Ship," and was for many years noted for the excel- 
lent character of its accommodations, and it was one of the most 
popular taverns along the great road leading to Lancaster. Of 
this 500 acres that Thomas Parke owned, he gave by will to his 
son, Abel, 100 acres; to his son, Robert, 124 acres, and to his 
son. Thomas, 275 acres, reserving thereout a maintenance for 
himself and his wife during life. 

Robert continued single, and in 1727 went to P>ristol, Eng- 
land, for traffic, and thence to Dublin. In the same vessel went 
Elizabeth Whartenby, a minister of the gospel of a society of 
Friends, on a religious visit. This trip was to obtain servants 
for the new settlers, for on his return, in 1728, there were (53 serv- 
ants on board, six of whom belonged to Robert Parke. This 
return voyage was, however, disastrous from the prevalence of 
smallpox, causing many deaths. Robert Parke, as usual, kept 
a diary. His style is quaint and sometimes amusing. Thus, 
"June 11, 1728, this day Margaret Darlington took the smallpox, 
and three of her children being down with it, our true course is 
judged to be south." What the following means I <\o not know: 
"June 14. This day Samuel Ask and 1 paid our observing Muggs 
on tin- fore staff." July 'A he makes this note": "At \2 last night 
we -ecu a light right astern, which some called the half-way 
house, and said there lived one ' I 'egg Trotter.' Then all hands 
were called on deck to see said house, and if possible to buy 
some buttermilk for the passengers; it caused great rejoicing 

among all hands fore and aft. It continued a light upwards for 
one hour and a half." 

He kept store after returning to the United States and be- 
came a conveyancer. He died February 1736 or '?. and Abel, 
being industrious and thriving, had bought the land from his 
brother for 200 pounds, thus having 22-4 acres, the southern sec- 
tion of the tract. This whole tract, however, came into Thomas 
Parke, Jr.'s. possession, who continued to keep the famous "Ship" 

The following obituary notice of Thomas Parke, Jr., who died 
in 1758, though in somewhat stilted language, shows the public 
estimation in which he was held : 

*'On the death of Thomas Parke, in 1758, to the grief of his 
family and friends, and, although he kept a public house, he was 
adorned with so much regularity, that he gave content to most 
civilized persons that called at his house, indeed his whole 
economy was so full of decorum that at once the beholder ad- 
mired and loved him. He was a loving husband, a tender Father. 
Pie endeavored to train up his children in the way they should 
walk; a kind' master to his servants, a good neighbor, a friend 
to the poor,- ready to assist in ending disputes, just to all men. 
A man of bright genius, a ready scribe, making him serviceable 
both in church and state, he .passed through the vicissitudes of 
this life cheerfully ; he was not raised at silly weights. (Not by 
silly folks.) Xot subject to grieve at trifles, and as Kind Provi- 
dence favored him with riches, he always inclined his heart to 
seek and serve after a better, and as he lived beloved, so he died 
lamented. We rejoice we have so many proofs that he.ip now 
in the fruition of happiness, feeding upon the increase of his 
labor, and drinking of the springs of Eternal lite, world without 

"Time would fail and large volumes swell 
To trace his virtues, so I drop my quill." 

Saith Wm. Perdue. 

Many of the descendants of Jonathan are yet living in the 
vicinity of Downingtown, which the family of Downing named, 
although one-half of the land belonged to that of Parke. Eliza- 
beth married John Jackson, and oblivion rests upon their descend- 
ants. Thomas Parke, Jr.'s, children prospered in life. Rob- 
ert, the eldest, by his father's will, got the northern section of 
the 500-acre tract, on which hi,s father built a handsome stone 
house, intending to make it his residence, but died soon after 
it was finished. Robert married Ann Edge, and his descendant? 
yet remain on the farm. Sarah, the next child, married Owen 
Puddle, and settled in Philadelphia. She died in 1T9-I whiJst on 
a visit to her relatives, the children of her brother Robert, and 

was buried at Cain. Rebecca married her step-brother. William 
Webb, and settled about a mile from Lancaster, and died in 1816. 
Hannah was united to Benjamin* Poultney, and lived some time 
in Lancaster, afterwards removing to Philadelphia, where she 
died of consumption, in 1781. 

Thomas, to whom the southern section of the land was be- 
queathed, directed his study to medicines, for which purpose he 
moved to Philadelphia and placed himself under the care of Dr. 
Cadwallader Evans three years, and in order to prosecute this 
with more effect he visited London in 1771, where he enjoyed 
the friendship and kind office of the celebrated Dr. Fothergill, 
and. having proceeded to Edinburgh, he attended the lectures of 
Drs. Cullin, I Hack and Monro. 

Returning to America in 1773, he commenced the practice 
of medicine at No. 18 Arch street, entering into partnership with 
his former master, but he dying in June, 1773, he stayed there 
two years, and then, having married Rachael. the eldest daugh- 
ter of James Pemberton, April 13, 1775, he fixed his habitation 
at Xo. 20 South Fourth 

Jane, the next child u\ Thomas Parke, died an infant. Jacob, 

the last, never married. He resided some time in Lancaster, and 

afterwards in Philadelphia, and entered into the iron business, 

in which he continued until near his death, on March M, 1817, 

ed 62 years. 

In lsll James Pemberton Parke, who was the son of Dr. 
Thomas Parke, who was the son of Thomas Parke, Jr., who was 
the son of Thomas Parke, the elder, who came to America in IP.'!, 
made this sketch of the Parke family. 1 am indebted to it and For 
many of these particulars to the courtesy of Dr. Thomas IP Parke, 
now r siding in Downingtown. The Parke family, of Friendly 
origin in England and Ireland, were devoul followers of the tenets 
of William Penn, George Pox and Robert Barclay. In the course 
of this -ketch I shall not use the term "Quaker," because 1 do 
not believe in perpetuating the slang of an English Court room 
d calling it history. This Parke family sent several ^\ its 
members across the Atlantic to America. Two of its represen- 
tative. 5 si 1 1 led in Chester County. ( hie. as we have seen, in what 

is now called Downingtown, and the other in what is now called 
Parkesburg. If any relationship c.\i>ts between the two families 
it is extremely remote, but that such relationship does exist the 
writer has no doubt whatever. Family characteristics survive 
through many generations. The Parkes of Parkesburg, the 
Parkes of Downingtown and the Parkes of Georgia resemble 

each other both physically and mentally. Tie' writer has had 
the pleasure of knowing quite a number of them on the bench, 
at the bar and in the practice of the profession of medicine, and 

their currents of thought run in similar channels. They are 
sturdy, assertive, characteristic, energetic and exact. They have 
opinions and do not hesitate to express them, and under all cir- 
cumstances and in all the exigencies of life they have the courage 
of their convictions. Some of them have relinquished the Friend- 
ly idea, brought by their ancestors from abroad, and have become 
members of other churches. Dr. Latta once said that the society 
of Friends had produced a fine crop of Presbyterians. The 
Downing family conferred its name upon the subject of our 

Thomas Downing was born December 14, 1691, at Brad- 
ninch, in Devonshire, England, and died at Downi.ngtown, Ches- 
ter County, Pennsylvania, 1 mo., 15, 1772, aged 81 years. The 
name of .his first wife is said to have been Ellen, and" of the sec- 
ond, Thomazine, who was perhaps the mother of all his children, 
two of whom were born in England. He was a taxable in Con- 
cord township from IT 18 to 1732. At Concord Monthly Meeting, 
6 mo.. 3, 1730, "Thomas Downing and his wife made application 
to its meeting to come under the care of Friends ; tjiey having 
produced papers from under several Friends' hands of their sober 
and orderly conversations where they have lived, this meeting 
receireth them." 

"The 3d of ye 10th Mo., 1723 : Reed of James Underwood 
for Richard Buffington Junr: Sixteen bushels and halfe of Wheat 
for ye use of Nathanl Newlin. Reed by Mee Thomas Down- 
ing. Weight 60 pounds per bushel." Nathaniel Newlin was the 
owner of a mill in Concord, which was probably operated by 
1 homas Downing. 

In 1733 Thomas Downing removed to Sadsbury township, 
but two years later he was settled in East Cain township, at the 
place since known as Downingtown, and which was named for 
him, where he purchased from John Taylor five hundred and 
sixty-one acres of land by deeds of 3d and 4th of July, 1739. 
This was part of nine hundred and seventy-five acres, of which 
the remainder was purchased 11th and 12th November, 1747, by 
Jonathan Parke, Ami).-. Hoake and Thomas Downing. Here they 
were members of Uwchlan Meeting and of Goshen Monthly 
Meeting, to which Thomas produced a certificate from New Gar- 
den, dated 11th mo., 31, 1736, which represented that they were 
■"Circumspect in Life and Conversation, Diligent in attending our 
Meetings and in good Unity with us, so we recommend them 
with their children," etc. This was signed by twenty-one men 
and twelve women 

Thomazine Downing was lijving in 1750, but Thomas was 
again married 12 mo., 1756, at Uwchlan Meeting, to Jane Aibin, 
widow of James Albin and daughter of John and Mary Edge. 

She was a minister among Friends, and died 1, mo., 23, 1779. 
Children of Thomas and Thomazine Downing: 

1. Thomazine, born 10 mo.. 6, 1715; died voting. 

2. Thomas, born 3 mo., 27. 171? ; died 11th mo'.. 19, 1736-7. 

3. Richard, horn 2 mo., 27, 1719; died 7 mo., 8, 1803; mar- 
ried 3 mo.. 21, 1741. at Uwchlan Meeting, Mary Edge, 
born in Upper Providence, 7 mo., 2, 1721; died in East 
Cain 12 mo., 13, 1795; daughter of John and Mary 

i Smedley I Edge. 
In 1764 Richard Downing was assessed in East Cain with 
one hundred and ninety acres of land and buildings, worth 35 
pounds per annum ; one hundred and sixty acres uncultivated ; a 
grist mill and saw mill, worth 70 pounds per annum; 76 acres in 
West Bradford and 100 acres in Qwchlan, 4 horses, 9 cattle and 
9 sheep. His tax was £6:3:3, being the largest in the township, 
and his brother, John, was next below him. Richard was ap- 
pointed overseer of Uwchlan Meeting, 7 mo., 6, 1763, in place 
i if Evan Jones. 

4. John, born 10 mo., 18, 1720; died 1796; married March 
5, «17 17. before Thomas Cummings, Esq., Elizabeth 
1 hint, born Aug. 13, 1730, daughter of Roger and Esther 
( Aston ) Hunt,' of East Cain. 

John Downing continued to reside at Downingtown, where, 
in 1764, he was assessed with two hundred and forty acres of 
land and buildings, tavern, etc., worth loo pounds per annum; 
sixty acres of uncultivated land, five horses, six cattle, thirteen 
sheep and one servant. He was a tavernkeeper from 1761 to 
171 I, at the eastern tavern oh the Lancaster Road, then or subse- 
piently called the "King in Arms," and later the Washington 



5. William, born 3 mo., 21, 1722; married 10 mo., G II. at 
Uwchlan Meeting, Ellen John, born 2 mo., 26, 1718, 
daughter of Samuel and Margaret John, of Uwchlan. 
They received a certificate from Goshen, I mo., 20, 1748, 
to Sadsbury Monthly Meeting, and settled in Hart 
township, Lancaster County. He married again. 12 
mo., 19, 1765, Margaret Miller, widow of Samuel Miller, 
of Xew Garden. By the first he had John, Samuel, 
Sarah, Mary. Jane. Hannah, Ruth, Thomas and Wil- 
liam. Some of this family removed to Center County, 
I 'ennsylvania. 

6. Jane, bom 10 mo., 6, 1723; died 10 mo., 29, 1795; mar- 
ried J< ihn Roberts,, of Merion. 

:. Sarah, horn 8 mo., 13, 1725; died " mo., 16, 1745; mar- 
ried [oshua Baldwin, of Easl Cain. 
8. Thomazine, horn 8 mo., 15, 1721 : married Samuel Bond, 

and tfcey settled in West Whiteland. 
9. Samuel, born 6 mo., 11, 1729 : died young. 

10. Joseph, born 10 mo.. 12, 1731 ; died young. 

11. Joseph, born 4 mo., 30, 1734; died 10 mo., 7, 1804; mar- 
ried, 10 mo., 9, 1755, at Bradford Meeting, Mary Trim- 
ble, born 8 mo., 8, 1736 ; died 7 mo., 4, 1807 ; daughter 
of James and Mary Palmer Trimble, of West Bradford 
township. Joseph was born in Sadsbury, Lancaster 
County, and upon his marriage settled in the Valley, 
east of Downingtown. In 1704 he was assessed with 
three hundred and ninety acres of land, with buildings; 
one hundred and seventy-two acres of uncultivated 
land, six horses, eight cattle, twenty-five sheep and one 

Children of (3) Richard and Mary (Edge) Downing: 

12. Hannah, born 1 mo., 19, 1741-2 ; died 4 mo., 5, 1752. 

13. Thomas, born 10 mo., 13, 1743 ; died 4 mo., 12, 1752. 

14. Tane. born 11 mo., 1, 1747; died 4 mo., 20, 1752. 

15. John, born 12 mo., 17, 1748 ; died 5 mo., 20, 1748. 

16. Richard, born 5 mo., 14, 1750; died 1 mo., 15, 1820; 
married, 5 mo., 29, 1771, at Xewtown Meeting, Elizabeth 

• Reese, born 3 mo., 2, 1753 : died at Pughtown, 10 mo., 5, 
1840 ; daughter of David Reese and Mary Garrett, of 
Xewtown. They settled for a few years in Falls town- 
ship, Bucks County, but returned to Downingtown in 
17 78. In 1787 Richard was assessed in East Cain with 
one hundred acres of valley land, seventy acres of hill 
land, seven horses, nine cattle and a merchant mill. At 
* the same time his father was assessed with one hundred 
and thirty acres of hill land, a grist mill, two saw mills, 
fulling mill and a malt house. Richard and Elizabeth 
had seven children. Thomas, David, Mary, Richard, 
William, Elizabeth and Phebe. 

17. Mary, born 7 mo., 31, 1752; died 1 mo., 29, 1779; mar- 
ried Daniel Trimble. 

IS. Thomazine, born 8 mo., 26, 1754; died 5 mo., 4, 1817; 
married Richard Thomas, colonel in the Revolution and 
member of Congress. 

19. Jacob, born in Downingtown, 10 mo., 25, 1756; died 10 
mo., 2, 1823 : married, 5 mo., 15, 1787, Sarah Sandwith 
Drinker, born 10 mo., 23, 1761; died 9 mo., 25, 1807; 
daughter of Henry Drinker and Elizabeth Sandwith, 
of Philadelphia. Her mother was the author of "Diary 
of Elizabeth Drinker," written during the Revolution 
and published in recent tinv s. Jacob had issue, Plenry, 
Elizabeth, Mary, Henry, 2d, Sarah and Sandwith, all 


of whom married except the first. Jacob downing lived 
the greater part of his life in Philadelphia, lie was 

engaged in the iron business at Atsion, New Jersey, 
where he owned a forge and rolling mill. 

20. William, horn 1 mo.. 29, 1759 ; died IV mo.. 24, 1759. 

VI. George, horn 11 mo., 8, 1760; drowned in mill race, 8 
mo.. Ki, 1 ~ ii.">. 

22: Samuel R.. horn V mo., i. 1763; died 1819 ; married, 
in mo.. Vs. 1790, at Uwchlan Meeting. Jane Ashbridge, 
lorn hi mo.. 11, 1764, who survived him; daughter of 
George and Rebecca Ashbridge. of Goshen, lie left 
on- son, George A., who died unmarried. 

23. foseph R., horn 6 mo.. 19, L765 ; died at Downingtown 
"l mo., 17, 1855; married, 5 mo.. 1, GUI, at Ghester 
Meeting, Ann Worrall, horn 11 mo., G, 1771; died 11 
mo., 7, 1836; daughter of William Worrall and Rhebe 
Grubb, of Ridley township, lie inherited considerable 
land, with mills, at Downingtown. and is styled a fuller 
hi the old records, llis children were William \\ ., 
Samuel J. and Charles, oi whom the last was the father 
of Joseph R. Downing, president of the Rank of Down- 

Children of I ! I John and Elizabeth (Hunt) Downing: 

24. Esther, born 12 mo., 22, 1748; died young. 

25. .Alary, born 11 mo., 17, 1750; married Israel Whelen. 

26. Thomas, horn 1 mo., I, 1753; married Sarah [acobs. 

2?. Esther, horn 6 mo., 30, 1755; died young or unmarried. 

28. Hunt, lorn 1 mo., 12, R-M ; died 2 mo., 15, 1834; mar- 
ried Deborah Miller, horn 2 mo., 28, 1760; died IV mo., 
27. 1833; daughter of Joseph and Mary (Williams) 
Miller, lie began tavernkeeping at the Washington 
Tavern, in Downingtown. 1786, and continued in that 
occupation for many years, lie was the first post- 
masl r at Downingtown, and at the time of the Whisky 
Insurrection was quartermaster to some of the troops 
encamped near the- tavern. Me had children. Joseph 
M., Isaac and [srael W. 

V'.i. John, died in mo., 1822 ; unmarried. 

30. Samuel, married Elizabeth Templin. 

31. Elizabeth, married Richard Templin. 

Childr n of (11) Joseph and Mary (Trimble) Downing: 

32. Thomas, born hi mo., i I. L756; died hi mo., 31, 1829; 
married., in 1784, Sarah Smith, born II mo.. 29, 1765; 
dii d II mo., I'.i, 1835; daughter of George Smith and 
Elizabeth White. They continued to live near Down- 
ingtown and had children, George, foseph, Elizabeth 


D., Mary Ann, Thomazine, William S., Thomas and 

33. Jane, born 7 mo., 27, 1761; died 6 mo., 20, 1813; raar- 
ri«. d John Gordon, of Uwchlan. 

34. Mary, born 10 mo., 14, 1763; died mo., 20, 1813; mar- 
ried Dennis YVhelen. 

35. Thomazine, born 3 mo., 31, 1765 ; married, 179-4, Samuel 

3(3. Joseph, born 4 mo., 0, 1769 ; died 12 mo., 28, 1841 ; mar- 
ried, 4 mo., 25, 1799, Elizabeth Webster, born 4 mo., 15, 
1777 ; died 4 mo., 1, 1840 ; daughter of Richard Webster 
and Phebe Smith, of Harford County, Maryland. He 
continued on the homestead in East Cain, and had chil- 
dren, Wesley R., Mary S., Phebe, Richard I., Sarah W. 
arid Thomazine J. Of these, Richard I. Downing suc- 
ceeded his father at the homestead, and died in 1890. 
37. James, born 4 mo., 11, 1771; died 7 mo., 31, 1831; un- 
S3. Sarah, born 8 mo., 1, 1773 ; died 1857 ; married Samuel 
Webster, a Methodist minister, of Harford County, 
3?. Richard, born 6 mo., 20, 1775; died 7 mo., 2. 1807; un- 
40-. Ann. born 3 mo., 1, 1778; died 8 mo., 1811; married 

Dr. William A. Todd. 
The Downing family are peaceful, quiet, non-ass- rtive peo- 
ple. They exemplify in their daily lives the principles and the 
practices of the Society of Friends. During the Civil War many 
of them served in the Union Army, but immediately upon the 
return of peace they returned to their former pursuits. They 
were followers in England and in America of the tenets of the 
founders of the Fri' ndly Society. Along with large numbers of 
people from the midland counties of England they sought an 
asylum in America, where they could be undisturbed by criti- 
cisms or by persecutions. The character of the Friendly inhabi- 
tant is much misunderstood and has been made the subject of 
anamadversion. It has given strength and tone to the County of 
Chester, past and present, and this mother county of Pennsyl- 
vania is strong in the strength of her early settlers. She had the 
Scotch Presbyterians, and she had the English Friend, and she 
had the sturdy German to weld and to form the winners of the 
new Western civilization. 

The Downing family and the Parke family were jointly and 
severally followers of William Penn. They came to America 
from England actuated by Friendly principles. While the 
Downings were quiet and loved the silence of retirement, the 


Parkes were equally followers of the Prince of Peace, but per- 
mitted the world to know that, while the planet moved, they 
moved with it. These families were at the beginning of Down- 
ingtown, and it was their cohesive force that gave vitality to the 
community. Some of them engaged in the business of public 
entertainment. In those early days the country inn was the 
center of business and social activity, dominated the thought 
and the action of the neighborhood. It was the appointed place 
for all public gatherings. It was the fixed custom for social 
entertainments to Lie there. Arbitrations and suits at law were 
held and determined at the Country Inns of Chester County, 
and the landlord was the dominant factor in the affairs of the 
countryside. It was then Milltown, so called because the grist 
mill was the first industry of the vicinity. To it came customers 
as far hence as the eastern portion of Lancaster County, as far 
north as the Warwick Hills, and as far south as the Doe Run 
Valley, and as far east as Tredyffrin township, in the Valley, to 
the Goshens, south of that point. At this distance of time and 
under present circumstances we cannot underrate the influence 
of the innkeeper. He possessed it because he deserved it, and 
he was a strict member of meeting: he was a faithful observer 
of all the proprietaries of life. His family occupied as good a 
social position as any in the community. Public houses were 
places of public entertainment. This was the condition of things 
in the first half of the eighteenth century. With the advent of 
a different immigration other conditions arose, but throughout it 
al'l the high character and exalted social station of the Friendly 
member were everywhere admitted and thoroughly understood. 
Whittier says : 

The Quaker of the olden time! 
How calm and firm and true, 

Unspotted by its wrong and crime. 
He walked the dark earth through. 

The lust of power, the love of gain. 
The thousand lures i^i sin 

Around him. had no power to stain 
The purity within. 

Willi that dee]) insight which detects 

All great things in the small, 
And know- how each man's life affects 

The spiritual life i if all. 
He walked by faith, and not by sight; 

By 1' ive, and not by law ; 
Tin pr sence of the wrong or right 

I ! e rather felt than saw. 


He felt that wrong with wrong partakes, 

That nothing stands alone ; 
That whoso gives the motive, makes 

His brother's sin his own. 
And pausing not for doubtful choice 

Of evils great or small. 
He listened to that inward voice 

Which called away from all. 

Oh ! spirit of that early day, 

So pure and strong and true, 
Be with us in the narrow way 

Our faithful fathers knew ! 
Give strength the evil to forsake, 

The cross of truth to bear, 
And love and reverent fear to make 

Our daily lives a prayer ! 


(Tfyopter 2 

Taxpayers and Taxables— The Hunt Family — Early Peti- 
tions for Houses of Entertainment 

List of taxables of East Cain in 17S5: 

Peter Bizallion 
Peter Grubb 
William Pirn 
Thomas Parke 
Jabin Moore 
Thomas Eldridge 
Abel Parke 
Llewellyn Pary 
Satevich Miller 
Edward Thompson 
Moses Wright, Sr. 
Thomas Briee 
James Warde 
James Fleming 
James Wellington 
Samuel McKinley 
William Smith 
John Arok 

Samuel Mastene. 
William Logan 
James Clark 
Albert Buntin 
James MacKalen 
William Heald 
James Cunningham 
David Johns 
Robert Buntin 
Thomas Moore 
George Aston 
Robert Miller 
Thomas Green 
Aaron Mendenhall 
James Eldridge 
Manassah Carter 
William Orton 

Peter Whitaker 
Moses Wright, Jr. 
Nicholas Smith 
James Henderson 
Mary Fleming 
Robert Irwine 
Jacob Lockart 
George Qurner 
Francis Levis 
Andrew Cook 
John Rowlton 
John Jenkins 
James Love 
James McFarland 
William Hazlett 
John Stanton 
Edward Irwin 
John Buntin 

Oliver Lewis 
The heavies taxpayer was Peter Bizallion, who was a French- 
man. He was one of the most noted Traders in the Province. He 
established himself at various points and penetrated the distant wild- 
erness to barter with the natives for their furs. About the year 1724 
he settled down on a farm in the Great Valley, a short distance east 
of Coatesville. where he died in 1742. He names eight (8) slaves 
in his will, and his personal property was appraised at five hundred 
and seventy-three pounds. His widow, Martha Bizallion, by deed 
dated December 22nd, 1762, gave the farm of one hundred and fifty- 
eight acres to her nephew, John Hart. This land had been patented 
to them in 1740. He acquired a very considerable fortune at his 
business and his remains were buried at St. John's Church Yard, 
just west of the Compass Hotel, on the Lancaster Road, in Lancaster 
County. The next heaviest taxpayer was Thomas Moore, concerning 
whom we have already written. 

List of taxables in 1773 in East Cain: 
Warwick Mil'.er 320 acres and buildings 

Robert Parkes 250 " and buildings and tavern 


Curtis Lewis 
Thomas Pimm 
John Edge 
James Stanley 
Joseph Long 

John Gilleland 

Moses Scot 

William Long 

Samuel Pikens 
Archibal Irvin 
James Jack 

Robert Lockart 
James McGlaughlin 
William Green 
Thomas Green 
Lenord Wilkins 
John Clark 
Adam Guthery 
James Guthery 
Peter Grimes 
James Clark 
Charles Jack- 
Joseph Downing 
Jonathan Valentine 
Griffe Mendenhall 
Richard Dolbey 
John Hoops 
Richard Downing 

James Miller 

rge Erwin 
William Litler 
Robert Elton 
James M. Calvey 
Thomas White 
John Walker 
James Tomson 
Peter Fleming 
Joseph Fleming 
Alexander Fleming 
Tin mas Hart 

Moses Coates 

( ireen 
Jame Webb 








1 10 























of woodland 

in Bradford, and 1 servant 

and buildings 

and buildings 

and a mill 

and buildings 

and building's 

of woodland 

and buildings 

of woodland 

and buildings 

of woodland 

and buildings 

of woodland 

and buildings 
" and buildings 
" and buildings 

woodland, 1 servant 
" and buildings 
" and buildings 
" and buildings 
" and buildings 
" and buildings 
" and buildings 

and buildings 

and buildings 
" and buildings 
" and buildings 

and buildings 
" woodland 

and buildings, 1 servant 
" and buildings 
" and buildings 
" and buildings 
" and buildings 

and' buildings 
" and buildings 
grist mills. 3 acres of barren land 
acres and buildings, 1 servant 
" and buildings 
" and buildings 
" and buildings 
" and buildings 






and buildings 
and buildings 
and buildings 
and buildings 
and buildings 

and buildings 

woodland and grist mill 

and buildings 


James Coates 

John Walker 
Andrew Cox 

Thomas Scott 
Margaret Phipps 
' Bartholemcn Carrol 
James Battin 
George Wilson 
William Powell 
Humphrey Ellis 
William Meredith 
William W. Farlon 
William W. Clean 
James W. Farlon 
High Glen 
Thomas Temple 
Rudolph Tuck 
Joshue Mendenball 

Robert Kinkead 
.Michael Miller 
Samuel Culbertson 
James Culbertson 
Andrew Eilit 
Mordica Cloud 
Richard Cheney 
George Bahanan 
Joshue Baldwin 
Abiah Parkes 
Robert Valentine 
Jonathan Parkes 
Samuel Hunt 
James Shuart 

James Hood 

John Smith 
Theophiles Ervin 
Thomas Fisher 
Robert Darlington 
Andrew Culbertson 
John Karmieal 
Samuel White 
John Baldwin 
Lodwick Liget 
James Lockart 
James Erwin 
Joseph McKinley 
Richard Dounen 

James Richescn 
John Dounen 


and buildings 



2 5° 

" " and buildings 


" and buildings 


" and buildings 


and buildings 

53 ' 

and buildings 

co ' 

and buildings 


and buildings 

70 ' 

' and buildings 

50 " and buildings 

80 ' 

' and buildings 

80 • 

and buildings 


and buildings 

go • 

and buildings 

150 • 

and buildings 

60 ' 

and buildings 


and buildings 


and buildings 

150 • 

and buildings 

50 ' 

of woodland 

150 • 

and buildings 


and buildings 


and buildings 


and buildings 

100 ' 

' and buildings 

3C0 " and buildings 


and buildings 


' and buildings 


and buildings, 2 servants 


and buildings 

30 ' 

and buildings 

140 ' 

and buildings 

25 ' 

and buildings 

40 ' 

and buildings 

?5 ' 

of land in Bradford 

65 ' 

and buildings 

25 ' 

of woodland 

280 ' 

and buildings 


and buildings 


and buildings 


and buildings 

4 ' 

and buildings and tavern 

150 ' 

and buildings 


and buildings 


and buildings 


and buildings 


and buildings 

50 ' 

and buildings 


and buildings 

151 ' 

and buildings 


woodland and grist mill 

78 • 

' and buildings 


and buildings 


in Uwchlan 

50 ' 

in Bradford 


Richard Buffington 
Thomas Windle 
Samuel Tomson 
Thomas Stocker 
Hannah Pimm 
John Culbertson 

Rachel Roman 
Obed Lewis 
John Lewis 
Henry Lewis 
Samuel Biars 
Phillip Sing'er 
William Wilson 
Samuel Underwood 
Robert Wilson 

List of taxables in 
William .Anderson, 
Samuel Baldwin, 
Samuel Byers, 
Thomas Brook. 
Richard Buffington, 
William Beaty, 
Rev. John Charmichael, 
Samuel Culbertson 
John Culbertson. Jr. 
I saac Coates, 
Mordicai Cloud. 
James Clark. 
Andrew Cox, 
Jacob Cam, 
Richard Downing, 
Joseph Downing, 
Joseph Dugan, 
Jcseph Dariington, 
Robert Elton, 
Wiiliam Elli< t 
J>hn Darlington 
John Fleming, 
William Fisher, 
\Mc Kr< eman 
Ji -<■] hi < Hadney, 

ph Green, 
Isaac Gibson, 
\ lam I ruthery, 

■ \ I jrei n. 
1 '( ter Graham, 
Samuel 1 funt, 
William I rambleton, 
John 1 1 ughs, 
Samuel I [olladay, 

Johll HOOP 

James Hood, 
Tin 1 1 ilus Irwin, 
William [ddim, 

Joshua i I tint v 

150 and build 


150 " and build 



80 " and build 


350 " and build 


200 " and build 


50 " and buildi 


200 " land and 1 



85 " and build 


180 " and build 


80 " and build 


200 " and build 


250 " and buildings, I 


10 " and build 


66 " and build 


ICO " and build 


100 " and build 


East Cain 

in 1785: 

ioo acres 

Caleb Baldwin. 

300 acr 


Joshua Baldwin, 


300 " 

James Battin, 


266 " 

Joseph Botton, 


170 " 

David Brannan. 


200 " 

William Bailey, 

123 " 

180 " 

William Clingan, 

80 " 

2C0 " 

John Culbertson, 

114 " 


Thomas Ccates, 


i-5 " 

Moses Ccates, 


200 " 

Elisha Crisman, 

12 " 

350 " 

Mary Cox, 

50 " 

60 " 

Samuel Caster, 

40 " 


Joel Davis. 

40 '■ 


Thomas Downing, 

80 " 

600 " 

John Downing, 


70 " 

R< bert Davis, 

125 " 

150 " 

John Doulin, 

IOO " 

80 " 

John Edge. 


100 " 

Peter Fleming, 


100 "' 

Joseph Fleming, 



Thomas Fisher. 


100 " 

John Foreman, 


100 " 

James Green, 

60 " 


Tames Guthery, 


70 " 

Joseph Griffith, 



1 1 nry Cray. 

80 " 


James Miller, 

84 " 


James McFarlan. 

[50 " 

81 " 

Griffith Mendenhall, 

1 S i " 

150 '• 

James Mile-. 


84 " 

Tames McClane. 



Eli :abeth McKinley, 


nS - 

William Moore, 



Samuel McMicken, 


200 " 

Th< rhas Martin, 

:^ " 

65 " 

1 1 hua Mendenhall. 

170 " 


lame- McGloughen, 

97 '• 


Roger North, 

i!3 " 

:i mercha 

:t f ir mam- years 






William Johnson, 
James Jack, 
James Jack, Jr. 
Margaret Irwin, 
Elizabeth Kennady, 
James Kinkead, 
Robert Lockart, 
Obed Lewis, 
William Lockart, 
William Long, 
James Lockart, 
Henry Lewis?, 
Isaac Lewis, 
Robert Miller, 
Isaac McFarlan, 
Mary McFarlan, 
John Maulsby, 
James Timey, 
William Temple, 
Jono. Valentine, 
Thomas Vickers, 
Isaac Webb, 
Rachel White, 
John Walker. 
Peter Whitaker, 
Thomas Powell, 
Samuel McFarlan, 

1 100 

















Abiah Park, 
Benjamin Phipps, 
Samuel .Pickens, 
William Powell, 
James Pimm, 
James Pimm, Jr. 
Isaac Pimm, 
John Proudfoot, 
Rachael Rummon, 
Joshua Rummon, 
Hugh Richards, 
William Ralston, 
James Stalker, 
James Stanley, 
John Smith, 
James Thompson, 
Francis Taylor, 
Lamb Tolbert, 


George Valentine, 






















Robert Valentine, 

Joseph Wright, 

Samuel White, 

Elias Wampool, 

Thomas Windle, 

Isaac Speakman. 

William B. Hawkley, 
Roger Hunt, one of the Downingtown pioneers, married the 
daughter of George Aston, and in 1727 built upon property now 
located in West Downingtown a very. fine house, then and ever since 
known as the Hunt Mansion, though long since passed from the 
family name. It was built in the old English style. The various 
colored brick, having been, according to tradition, imported from 
England, and its wide hall, sharp gables and heavy wainscoting, show 
that he was a man of no mean pretension, and through his wife, in 
1739, Roger Hunt came into possession of a tract of five hundred 
acres of land on the west side of the Brandywine, partly within the 
limits of the Borough of Downingtown. Roger Hunt was a surveyor 
and it has been asserted that he laid out the city of Lancaster, and 
owned a large part of the ground on which the city is built, which 
was subsequently allowed to be sold to satisfy claims for taxes. 
During the French and Indian War, he was a Commissary in the 
service of George III, and his account books of that service are 
still in the possession of his descendants. Under the head of "Inci- 
dent Charges E.Mraordinary," though not in his own writing, are 
the following : 

" 1759, June [8th, to expenses at the "Ship" in East Cain ~s. 6d. 

June igth, to expenses at (lie same place, 6s. 4.I. 

June 15th. to expenses at the "'Ship," from the 20th to 

Sept. 8th at sundry times 4 £. ns. 8d. 

" J75C- June icth, to cash paid John Downing for bringing 

300 bags from Phila. to my house, 1 .£. 


" 1759- August 10th, to cash paid Jane Parke for 2 nights 

hay for two horses 4s. 

"175c, October 5th, to pasture of sundry horses impressed 
from K;i-t Marlbro, London Grove, Newlin, East 
Nottingham, West Nantmell and Uwchlan at 

Jane Parkes 

To sundry expenses at the "Ship" from Sept. 8th. to 

November 3rd, about the business of contractor. . 1 £. 11s. 6d. 
[760, Januan 29th, to 21 bushels of oats of Roger Hunt at 

2s., for impressed teams going out 2_£. 2s. 

Distance-, from Lancaster to the "Ship" in East Cain, Chester County, 
Thirty-one and one-half miles and thirty-two perches. 

From the "Ship" in East Cain to Philadelphia, Thirty-four and one- 
quarter miles and twenty-six perches. 

Some account of wagens furnished by the Township of East Cain. 
Andrew Cox entered two Oct. 25th. and Janus Erwin entered one. 
Andrew Cox and brother John credited with nine barrels of flour. Car- 
Hie to Bedford, also eight barrels of flour from Carlile to Bedford. 

Six barrels of flour from Bedford to Ligonier, also eight barrels oi Bour 
from Carlile to Bedford, and < ur barrels of flour from Bedford to Ligonier. 
Mileage for each, 160 miles. 

George Aston was a Justice of the Peace, an active citizen and 
was the owner of five hundred ( 500 ) acres of land in Cain Township 
on the western side of what is now called Downingtown. and it has 
been stated that he built what is known as the Hunt Mansion, but 
the authorities upon that subject seem to differ. His wife. Elizabeth, 
was the daughter of Peter Hunter, of Middletown, now Delaware 
County. He died in 1738. leaving a son, George, and a son. Peter, 
and a daughter, Mary, married to Joseph Few. 2nd mo., 18, 1733, 
and a daughter, Susanna, beside his daughter, Esther, of whom we 
have spoken. His son, George, married Esther, daughter of Owen 
Thomas, of East Whiteland, and became the owner of the Admiral 
Vernon (now Warren) Tavern. He left one son, Oliver Aston. 
George Aston, elder, was styled a "Quaker," but there is no evidence 
to that effect in the records of the Society, and the only evidence we 
have upon the subject is to be found in the Following deposition, 
made in 1736: 

"George Aston, of the County of Chester, in the Province of 
Pennsylvania, Sadler, aged aht. Fifty years, being one of the People 
Called Quakers, upon his Solemn Affirmation, according to Law 
did declare and Affirm, That Upon Si -me Conversation happening 
between Thomas Cresap, Robert Buchanan and this Affirmt. on the 
Road in sight of the city of Philadelphia, upon bringing the sd. 
Cresap Down from the County of Lancaster, The said Cresap said, 
Damn it. Aston, this is one of the Prettyesl Towns in .Maryland. 1 
have been a troublesome fellow, but by this Past Jobb 1 have made 
a present of trie two provinces to the King, and that -if the People 
found themselves in a better Condition by the Change, they might 
thank Cresap for it, or words to that Effect. 

"Geo. Aston. 


"Philadelphia. Deer. 3d, 1736. 
"Taken before me. 

"Clem. Plumsted, Mayor," 
The estate of Roger Hunt was mostly woodland, and embraced 
an area of five hundred (500) acres. At his death it passed to his 
heirs, and Samuel Hunt, his son. inherited the family mansion, and 
the five hundred (500) acres adjoining it. 

Joshua Hunt, the third of a family of five sons and two 
daughters, was born in the Hunt Mansion, and with his brother, 
Joseph, upon the death of their father, Samuel, became the joint 
owners of the property. One of the girls married John Hoopes, of 
London Grove, and. their sons, Samuel H. Hoopes, Cyrus Hoopes, 
Francis Pratt Hoopes and William B. Hoopes, became distinguished 
citizens of Chester County in the business world. A daughter of 
John Hoopes married Abiah Scarlett, of Xew Garden. 

Joseph Hunt was a merchant for many years and afterwards 
an extensive railroad contractor of Pennsylvania and Georgia, while 
his brother, Joshua, devoted his time to study and statesmanship. 
All the race were of stalwart build, slow in action and close observers 
as well as vigorous thinkers. was highly esteemed by his 
neighborhood; was a kind of oracle in the vicinity, and filled all the 
stations in the township from Constable to school director, and was 
the umpire to whom all resorted for the maintenance of order, and 
was an authority on all questions of science and political economy. 
As a member of the General Assembly, he measured up to the 
standard of his contemporaries, such as Thaddeus Stevens, James 
Buchanan, Elijah F. Pennypacker, Xathan Pennypacker and other 
distinguished politicians. 

He was aLo noted for the vigor of his judgment on public 
matters, and occupied an honorable station in the Legislature. His 
circumstances in life were such that the "bread and butter" struggle 
gave him no concern, and thus an assured competence engendered 
the love of ease, which if it had been replaced by ambition and energy 
might have secured other positions and higher stations in the service 
of his State. 

After he retired from the public service he, with his brothers, 
engaged largely in agricultural pursuits, and were much interested 
in fine stock, especially sheep. Joshua Hunt, after the ancestor, 
Roger Hunt, the most distinguished of his family, died at the family 
mansion on March 3rd, 1857, aged 72 years. The only descendants 
of his name are engaged in the manufacture of iron, and so have been 
occupied for many years at Catasauqua, Pennsylvania. They are the 
descendants of Thomas Hunt, Joshua's younger brother. Joshua 
was never married. 

The first petitioner for license at Downingtown was Abel Parke, 


in 1735. which petition was as follows: 

To Hi* Majesties. Justices of the Peace at the Court of General Quarter 
Se>si<>ns held at Chester the -'6 day of August, 173=;. — 

Humbly Sheweth 

That your Petitioner being seated on the Great Road which leads from 
Philadelphia to Lancaster in the Township of Cain whose daly Reports many 
Travelers passing forward and backward about their lawfule occasions, and 
particularly many of the Dutch Inhabitant Lancaster County who frequently 
travel all the Sinner Season with their Waggons who have been and still 
are very troublesom to your Petitioner, upon Sundry ocasions and have often 
entreated your Petitioner to apply for a Lyence to keep a Public House ot 
Entertainment where he now dwells, there being very good Conveniences for 
them and other Travelers. Whereupon your Petitioner Humbly prays this 
Honorable Court that you will be pleased to grant your Petitioner a Lyence 

to Sell Beer & Syder, and your Petitioner as in Duty Bound Shall pray 

We the undernamed, do hereby eertifie to the Court that we 
believe the above Petitioner to be a Suitable person for the above 
said Employment and do well know — that he hath good Conveniences, 
Therefore we pray that yon will be pleased to Grant him a Lyence 

James Jefferis Nathaniel Kerr Joseph Townsend 

Francis Sway lie Jason Cloud Robert Miller 

James Mather Samuel Phipps Aaron Mendenhall 

George Willkin Moses Wait Samuel James 

Thomas Tempel .Moses Wait, Jr. Lewelin Parry 

John Morgan John Jackson Phirjehas Lewis 

Nathan Worley Daniel Hoopes Jacob Vernon, Jr. 

William Pimm Joshua Hoopes 

Patrick Miller Cald'r Evans 

The license continued in the possession of Abel Parke until 
1740: the license was then disallowed. In 1745 a petition was 
presented to the Court, as follows: 

TO THE COURT OF QUARTER SESSIONS held and kept at Chester 
the 27th day of August, 1:745. 

Humbly Sheweth : 

That your petitioner being well Situated on the Road from Philadelphia 
to Lancaster & having formerly obtained your Recommendation to the Gov- 
:rnor for the keeping a house of Entertainment, in which business he gave 
jeneral Satisfaction to travellers, he having the Same Conveniences as for- 
nerly & a public house being verj much wanted where your Petitioner dwells 
it being the right stage or Half Way house from Philadelphia to Lancaster. 
Your Petitioner therefore Humbly prays that you will be plea-ed once more 
1m granl his your Recommendation to the Governor for the kepping a house 

of Entertainmenl & your petitioner a- in duty bound shall pray &c 

We whose name- are hereunto Subscribed do Certify that the 

above Petitioner being well seated & having good Convenienys for 
the keeping a house of Entertainment & he & his wife having here- 
tofore approved themselves in the like business to General Satisfac- 
tion of Travellers. We therefore pray that yon will' be pleased to 

grant him your Recommendation to the Governor, which we 
may be of benefit to your petitioner & the pubhck. 



Jesse Woodward 
Joseph Bishop 
Charles Reese 
Francis Long 
J s. Long 
Tamey Scott 
James Carlile 
John Erwin 
Rohert Stinson 
Thos. Hudson 
William Criswell 
William Caunthres 
Andrew Donaldson 
Samuel Carrell 
Jacen Cloud 
Thomas Price 
Thomas Morris 
Thomas Paine 
Joseph Roman 

Joshua Roman 
Isaac Wilkersham 
Edw. Thompson 
Andrew Cox 
James Way 
Francis Swan 
William Dunn 
James Charles 
William Sinkler 
Wm, Low 
Roger Hunt 
John Jackson 
Robt. Valentine 
Evan Hughes 
Joseph Bourgoin 
Benj. Hawley 
Llewelin Parry 
John Hunter 

Caleb Way 
Jer. Stahr 
Adam McCoull 
John McDermod 
Thos. Temple 
John McFarland 
James Trimble 
James McFarlan 
Moses Waite, Jr. 
Wm. Harlan 
John Wyeth 
Isaac Whitelock 
Thomas Liget 
John H. Ewing 
Thomas Clarke 
Frances Hickman 
John Murphey 

Thos. Grubb 
In 1746 Thomas Parke, the brother of Abel Parke, presented 
this petition to the Court of Ouarter Sessions of Chester County : 
TO THE COURT OF QUARTER SESSIONS held & kept at Chester "the 

26th day of the 6th Month, 1746. 

The petition of Thomas Parke of the Township of East Cain 
Humbly Sheweth : 

That your petitioner having purchased the house and part of the planta- 
tion whereon his brother Abel Parke lately dwelt, which place is known to 
be very Suitable for the keeping a house of Entertainment, being well Ac- 
comodated with water, pasture, & good Meadowing as also a good Stage as 
to distance, your petitioner therefore prays that you will please to grant him 
your Recommendation to the Governor for the keeping a house of Entertain- 
ment. & your petitioner as in Duty bound will gratefully acknowledge the 



We whose names are hereunto Subscribed, Inhabitants of the 

County of Lancaster & Chester, having most of us Some knowledge 

of the above petitioner, do believe him to be a sober, Orderly person 

& may as far as we know be well qualified for the keeping a house of 

Entertainment, We, therefore pray that you would please to 

Recommend him to the Governor for the keeping a house of Enter- 
tainment, which we believe may be of Service to the publick. 

Mat. Atkinson 
Jno. Hannum 
Robert Miller 
Phinehas Lowry 
Thos. Pirn 
A. P. White 

James Parry 
James Way 
Tho. Downing 
Richard F/wnihg 
William Downing 
Joshua Baldwin 

John Wall 
Thos McKean 
H. M. Hockley 
Tas. Mather 
J. W. Mather 
John Owen 

Which petition was duly granted and he continued to keep 
this hotel until his death in 1758, when his widow. Jane Parke, 
succeeded in the business and continued it until 1763, when she 
married James Webb. Thomas Parke, this petitioner, was a man 


of extensive acquaintance; large influence in the community, and his 
friendships extended as far as the Township of New Garden, where 
in 1741 he attended the wedding of Jeremiah Starr and Ann Jackson. 
at the Friends' "Meeting House in New Garden, and was one of the 
signers of the certificate. 

' n r 759 J ane Parke filed, in the Court of Quarter Sessions, at 
Chester, the following petition: 


OF CHESTER the 8th DAY OF AUGUST, 1759. 



That your Petitioner's Ian Husband Thomas Parke Deceased, was for 
eral Years Past favored with your Recommendation to the Governor for 
his licence to keep a Publick House of Entertainment in Sd. Township, and 
your Petitioner having carried on Said business by Virtue of said licence 
(Which is now near expiring) During which time your Petitioner Hopes 
She hath given General Satisfaction, Therefore your Petitioner Prays thai 
you would grant her a Recommendation to the Governor for his lycence to 
I Liquors the Ensuing year, and your Petitioner as in Duty bound Shall 

thankfully Acknowledge the Same 

We, the Subscribers, being well Acquainted with the Ab >v< 
Petitioner, do hereby Recommend her as a Person Well Qualified 
to keep a Publick House of Entertainment and do Desire that you 
may Grant her Request: 

Tin 1.. Pim Richard Downing Phinehas Lewis 

Thomas Downing Roger Hunt Richard I'im 

John Clark rented this Tavern, and succeeded Jane Parke, who 
had become Jane Webb, as landlord. In the petition the next year 
for a License the name of "The Ship" first appears. Isaac Webb 
was the landlord from 1766 to 1771. when Robert Parke, eldest son 
of Thomas and Jane, having Married Ann Edd, and attained his 
majority, took charge of the tavern. Jonathan Valentine, whose 
mother was a sister to Abel and Thomas Parke, came next in line 
in 1774, and appears to have continued there as landlord until 1788. 
During the Revolutionary War and a few years later the Records are 
somewhat deficient or have been lost. John llarley was the landlord 
at "The Ship" from 17^2 to 1795. About the year 1795 "The Ship" 
was discontinued as a tavern. In 1701 John Downing presented the 
Court of I Juarter Sessions at Chester the following petition: 
rO THE HONOURABLE JUSTICES at the Court of Quarter Sessions 
to be held al Chester in August Term 17'' 1 

Thai your Petitioner Hath Erected a building which may be Soon Fin- 
ished, and i^ very Convenient!) Situated for a House of Publick Entertain- 
ment, on the Eas1 Side of Brandiwine Creek in Easl Cain Township where 
the Road toward Unchlan Branches oul of Lancaster Road, and Where a 
e,"<>d Tavern is much Wanted en many Ocasions, Especially at times ol 


Thomas Downing 
Jason Cloud 
Joseph Downing 
Samuel Bond 
Noble Butler 
Denis Whelen 
G. Aston 
Phinehas Eachus 
Joseph Cloud 
John Perfall, Senior 
Joseph Darlinton 
John Whitaker 
Joseph Gibson 
Michael Graham 

John Boogs Miller 
Robert Lockart 
Henry Jones 
Robert M. Connahee 
James McCorkry 
James Scott 
Sam'l Mackelduff 
Robt. Brown 
Samuel Caithess 
Joseph Parke 
John Baldwin 
John Perfall, Junior 

freshes in the Said Creek. Your Petitioner Therefore Humbly Desires that 
you may be pleased to Recommend him to his Honour the Governor for his 
Licence for the Keeping a Tavern at the Place aforesaid and your Petitioner 
as in Dutv Bound shall ever Prav, &c. 

We, the Subscribers, being well acquainted with the above- 
named Petitioner and the situation of his building, do give it as our 
Opinion that he is a Suitable person, and the Place Conveniently 
Situated to be of Service to the Publick, if the Court Please to Grant 
his Petition : 

Jeremiah Ppirsol 
Joseph Cloud, Junior 
Samuel Hughs 
William Graham 
John Campbell 
William Trego 
James Anderson 
Robert Eachus 
Andrew Elliot 
Win. Roberts 
Thomas Goon 
John Heatley 
Phinehas Lewis 
Richard Downing 

John Downing remained at this Tavern until 1771, when Richard 
Cheyney became the Landlord, and in the following year the name of 
"King in Arms" appeared for the house. Richard was there in 1776, 
and for the subsequent years the Record is deficient or has been 
lost Thomas Downing was there in 1780, and in 1786 he was 
succeeded by Hunt Downing, son of John Downing, and the said 
Hunt Downing presented to the Court the following petition : 


That your Petitioner now occupies the Public Inn by Downings-Town 
in the Township aforesaid lately kept by Thomas Downing and hath provided 
himself with every necessary for the accommodation of Travellers and others, 
and Requests the Court will be pleased to Recommend him to the Supreme 
Executive Council for their licence to Sell Rum, Wine, Brandy and other 

Spirituous Liquors by small Measure, the coming year 


We whose names are hereunto Subscribed do Recommend the 
above Petitioner as a Suitable person to keep a Public Inn and 
Request the Prayer of his petition may be Granted : 

Samuel Bond Richard Downing John Edge 

Mankin James Caleb Baldwin Samuel Hunt 

Joseph Bond Jos. A. Weaver Joseph Downing 


Ji hn Whitaker John Hughs James Batten 

Isaac Webb Abiah Parke 

limit Downing was the landlord there in iSoo, and is said to 

have continued in that capacity until [816. John Edge obtained 

license for the "Half Way House" in 1790, for which license he 

tiled the f< Mowing petition : 

To the Justices nf the Courl i>i" Quarter Sessions held at West Chester 
Eor ill'.' Countj oi Chester the 30th daj of Augusl A. I). 1700. 

Tin- petition of John Kdge of Easl Cain Township in said County 
Together with a number of the inhabitants of said Township & County Re- 
spectfully Sheweth, 

That your Petitioner (John Edge) Having for a Number of Years fol- 
lowed the Business of store keeping in a large Commodious House, nearly 
opposite Rich'd Downing's Mill in Downings Town, on the Great Road from 
Lancaster to Phila., and nearly where the road from Harrisburg intersects- 
the same and Crosses to Wesl Chester, Bui finding ye Business of store- 
keeping ( since the late Custom of Tavern keepers opening store has Taken 
place) is by no means sufficient to raise and support his family according to 
their former and usual Custom. 

Hope then fori' you will be pleased to recommend him to the Executive 
Council as a proper person to keep a publick house of Entertainment, his 
situation, Building, &ca. being very suitable for that purpose to serve the 
publick with satisfaction, and advantage to himself: And yr petitioner as in 
Duty hound shall respectfully acknowledge the same. 

John Hughs John Christie Sam'l Cuningham 

John Baldwin William Trimble, Jr. Isaac Pirn 

Joseph Webb Samuel Bond Rob'1 Valentine 

Samuel Wilson Joseph Downing .Griffith Mendenhall 

Jacob Fisler lohn Edge Rich'd Robinson 

Rob'1 Miller Rich'd Jacobs Win. Berry 

Tims. Worth lames Webb James Guthrie 

Mordecai Cloud Rich'd Downing, Jr. 

About the same time in [790, the following paper was hied: 

To the Honorable Court of Quarter Sessions to be held at West Chester 
for tin- County of Chester Augusl Term 1700. 

The Petition of the Subscribers respectfully sheweth: — 
That your petitioners with ■concern perceive serious attempts made by 
John Edge, evinced bj his determination to present a petition to You for the 
purpose of suppressing a store lately set up by Hunt Downing for the vending 
of Merchandize, the moderate prices which We receive goods at present to 
what we did prior to the Erection of a store by s'd Downing, clearly evince 
the utility of Two stores to the Neighbourhood, rendering the prices of goods 
less fluctuating and precluding Extortion, To a Neighbourhood so remote 
from Market. Dependenl onl} on stores in the Country for a Regular supply 

of goods. We firmly Trust Your Honors will nol by any interference make 

it nec< arj thai the interest and convenience of your Petitioners should be 
rendered subservienl to thai of an Individual. We are now aware that the 
Risible Pretexl of Procuring License for keeping a Pub'ick House is broughl 
forward as an Auxiliary to Effect his purposes, hut We feel a Confidence 
bordering on a Moral certainty thai were nol the least Posible Necessity 
can or doth Exisl to add to the Accommodation 01 the Publick, as the Pub- 
lick Houses already in the Neighbourhood are amply sufficient, To Wit, Down- 
ing's, Webbs, widow Philip's and Cunninghams, Your Honors will not he 


accessary to a Sacrifice Of our Interest or convenience, nor add to the excite- 
ments (Already Too redundant) ot the Immoderate Drinker by Licensing a 
Supernumerary Tavern. 

George Valentine 

Jonathan Coope 

Denis Whelen 

Samuel Hunt 

John Robinson 

John M'Cormick 

John Whitaker 

John Hughs 

Samuel Bond 

Benjamin Few 

Joseph Downing, Jr. 
And notwithstanding its terms and allegations and its manifes- 
tations of local statesmanship and neighborhood diplomacy, the 
petition of John Edge was granted. 

In 1796 his daughter, Sarah Rees, succeeded to a licence for 
the ''Half Way House,** which had been obtained by her father, John 
Edge, in 1790. 

Isaac Whelen 
Sm. Downing 
Joseph Downing 
Caleb Baldwin 
Enoch Pearson 
Aaron Palmer 
Jacob Fisler 
Joseph Bond 
Mankin James 
Charles Wollerton 
John Jacobs 

Isaac McFarlan 
James Webb 
Rich'd Downing. Jr. 
Rob't Valentine 
John Pirn 
Jesse Jones 
Wm. Coates 
Joseph Downing 
Jacob Swayn 




A%T9ft, KNtX AMt 
TM.OIK Ft>»NO» frOH*. 

Chapter 3 

Thomas Moore— Thomas Downing's "Will — Downing- 
town in the Revolution — Early Roads and the Lan- 
caster Avenue Bridge — The Old Stage Coach 

Early in the Eighteenth ( i8)th Century Thomas Moore was the 
owner of three tracts of land in the southern part of Cain Township, 
which Township at that time extended as far north as Nantmeal 
and as far west as Lancaster County. East of the Brandywine on 
one of these tracts in 1716 a "Water Corn Mill" was erected by 
Thomas Moore. This Mill became well known in all parts of Chester 
County, and its location gave the name of Milltown- to the Hamlet. 
At that time there were but few buildings at that locality or near 
that locality. The log house which stands immediately North of the 
Bridge over the east branch of the Brandywine, is probably the 
oldest house in Downingtown, and Squire Joseph H. Johnson in 
his sketch of the Borough, is correct, when he styles it "Where 
Downingtown started." Some of the people believe that the Hunt 
Mansion was built earlier than the log house, but the writer is inclined 
to believe otherwise. 

Thomas Moore died in 1738, and the mill and the several tracts 
of land became the property of John Taylor, who in 1739 conveyed 
five hundred and sixty-one (561) acres North of the Philadelphia 
Road to Thomas Downing, and in 1747 conveyed a saw mill and 
lot of two and a half acres south of the Philadelphia Road to the 
aforesaid Thomas Downing. Jonathan Parke, who had married 
Deborah Taylor, purchased in 1747 two hundred and thirty-three 
acres from John Taylor, which tract was located south of the 
Philadelphia and Lancaster Road. In the succeeding years, a hemp 
mill, a fulling mill and several other mills of an industrial character 
were added, and thus its name was greatly strengthened. In its 
development the Downing family was prominent, and Thomas 
Downing, whom we have just mentioned, provided in his last will as 
follows : 
Thomas Downing 

I, Thomas Downing of the township of east Cain in 
the County of Chester and province of Pennsylvania 


yeoman being in good health and of sound and well 
disposing mind and memory (thanks be humbly offered to God for the same 
with all others his manifold favors bestowed upon me) and being mindful of 
my mortality and willing to settle that worldly estate where with it has pleased 
Go :ss me, Do make and ordain this present writing my last will and 

testament in manner and form following. First my will is that all my just 
debt- and funeral charges be paid and discharged as soon as conveniently ma] 
be after my Decease, And I give and bequeath unto my loving wife Jane 
Downing Thirtj two pounds a year to be paid out of my estate yearly and 
every year during her widdowhood together with eight pound- a year which 
she i- Entitled to out of her former husbands Estate together with her mare 
and the n ai It a chase and the harness thereunto belonging and all the 

goods and chatties which she brought to me at the time of our marriage to 
hold to her heirs and assigns forever, And i order and it is my will that my 
said loving wife Jane Downing shall have the four rooms in the west end oi 
my mansion Ik use, two above and two below stairs and make use of all my 
furniture that is in the said rooms and the appurtencences thereunto belonging 
together with the use oi the kitchen and cellar and what more may be need- 
ful for iter likewise the use of the water and a convenient piece of ground 
for a garden near to her dwelling place aforesaid, and to have a good con- 
found and kepi '"or her and a compleat chair horse to be kept and briddled 
and saddled or harnassed as often and when she may desire it and cut and 
hiring firewood for her to the Rooms afforesaid during her widdowhood and 
residence with him my son Joseph Downing and if she should chose to live 
at my son Richard Downing she shall have suitable accomodation as to house 
room and Joseph to allow Richard what may be reasonable for her trouble 
there or his share thereof and my said wife shall have free liberty of ingress, 
egress and regress at all time into and from the same so as not willfully to 
prejudice either of them, And whereas my son in law Joshua Baldwin did 
reqtte-i of me a piece of ground adjoining his house and lot of ground the 
north side of Conestoga Road therefore I give and Divise to the said Joshua 
Baldwin and to his heirs and assigns forever all that piece of ground lying 
adjoining the north side of Conestoga road in East Cain aforesaid bounded 
Easterly by the aforesaid lott of Joshua Baldwin and to extend to my west 
line and to run parallel! with the north side of the said Joshua Baldwins 
Dwelling house at the distance of twenty-one feet and a half be the same 
more or less provided* he the said Joshua Baldwin pay to my Executors 
twenty five pounds and will at all times hereafter keep and maintain a suf- 
ficient fence along the north side of said piece of ground. And whereas I 
have allready Conveyed unto my son William, Downing the dwelling hous< 
where he now livcth and the water corn or grist mill and one hundred and 
fifty acres of land in the township of Bart in the county of Lancaster and 
took a bond of fifty pounds from him which bond I order my Executors to 
deliver to my said sun William without Money, And whereas I have already 
by deeds of lease and release bearing date the twentieth day of the fourth 
Month one thousand seven hundred and fifty six conveyed unto my son John 
Downing a Messuage tenement and tract of land thereunto belonging contain- 
ing three hundred and twenty six acres of land more or less being part of 
the land which I purchased from John Taylor lying in East Cain aforesaid 
excepting the Mill race across t lie same with a conveniency of land on each 
side thereof to answer all advantages for the bringing of the water to my 
grisl mill, which is more particularly specified in the deed aforesaid, All 
which previledges therein reserved, 1 now give and devise unto my said Son 
Richard I 'owning his heirs and assigns forever and I give and devise unto 
my son Joseph Downing and to his heirs and assies forever all that my 
plantation and tract of land situate in east rain aforesaid. Containing four 

hundred and ninety two acres by such metes and bounds as I purchased the 
same of Samuel Gilpin (excepting that small part thereof which I have given 
and conveyed to Joshua Baldwin afforesaid). And I likewise give and devise 
to my said son Joseph Downing and to his heirs and assigns forever the 
remaining part of eighty Acres of land which I purchased of Xoble Butler 
in East Cain aforesaid supposed to be between fifty & sixty Acres 
together with all my right of a piece of land lying and being in the township 
of Uwchland in the county aforesaid bounded eastwardly by land late of John 
Jenkins and northwardly by land late of James Thomas and westwardly by 
land late of Thomas Guest, together with all and singular the right Heredita- 
ments and appurtenances thereunto Belonging or Appertaining ( Except as 
before and hereafter excepted). I likewise give unto my son Joseph Downing 
my impliments of husbandry and all my household goods except my Clock 
and case which I give and bequeath to my son Richard Downing but re- 
serving such goods for the use of my said loving wife Jane Downing as 
before mentioned (to her) during her widdowhood then to descend to said 
Joseph Downing at her Marriage or Death upon condition that my said son 
Joseph Downing perform all the injunctions I have herein laid upon him. 
And I give and devise unto my son in law Samuel Bond and to his heirs and 
assigns forever all that parcle or tract of land lying and being in the township 
of Whiteland in the county aforesaid known by the name of Thomas Blan- 
fords, being on the east side of the welch line adjoining the land of the said 
Samuel Bond. John Fitzgerald and John Jenkins late of Uwchland deceased 
be the same more or less, And I give and devise unto my son Richard Down- 
ing & to his heirs and assigns forever all my water corn or grist mill and 
Fulling Mill situate in East Cain aforesaid, with all the buildings, dwelling 
Houses ami Appurtenances thereunto belonging or Appertaining and also all 
that tract and parcel of land whereon the Said mills and buildings stand as 
the same was surveyed marked and bounded (by one Richard Thomas) and 
found to contain Two hundred and thirty acres be the same more or less, 
And I give and Devise unto my said son Richard Downing and to his heirs 
and assigns forever, all my Sawmill Tract or lott of land Containing about 
two acres & forty perches, together with one equal undevided Fourth part of 
my Saw Mill and Hemp Mill in East Cain aforesaid with the Appurtenances 
thereunto belonging And I give and devise unto my son Joseph Downing 
and to his heirs and assigns forever one undivided Fourth part of my Saw 
Mill & Hemp Mill with the Appurtencenes thereunto belonging. And I give 
& Devise one Equal undivided fourth part of my said Saw Mill & Hemp Mill 
with the Appurtenances unto my son John Downing and to his heirs & assigns 
forever And I give and devise one equal undivided fourth part of my said 
Saw Mill and Hemp Mill to my son in law Samued Bond & to his heirs and 
assigns forever with the Appurtenances thereunto belonging and moreover if 
is my will and I order that if any two or three of those to whom the said' 
Saw Mill & Hemp Mill is Devised as aforesaid incline to keep the said Mills 
in gait or working order he or they shall have free liberty to do the same 
in case the other parties decline, Provided Nevertheless that my said sons 
nor either of them, their nor either of their heirs or assigns shall not nor will 
n<s>t do or cause to be done any Act or Thing on the Premises that may 
be Detrimental to any one of them without the consent & approbation of all 
the parties concerned or to the prejudice or damage of my said son Richard 
Downing Corn Mill & Fulling Mill aforesaid or to the trade or business of 
either of them, And Whereas I have by many donations already advanced 
my daughter Jane the wife of John Roberts I now give and bequeath unto 
her or her heirs the sum of fifty pounds to be paid by my executors within 
five years next after my Decease, And Likewise having by many donations 
advanced my daughter Thomzin Bond deceased late the wife of Samuel Bond 


aforesaid I now give and bequeath to Samuel Bond the sum of fifty pounds 
to be paid by my Executors within five years next after my Decease, And 
having by many donations advanced my Daughter Sarah Baldwin (Deceased) 
the former wife of Joshua Baldwin as also the said Joshua Baldwin I now 
give & Bequeath to my granddaughter Sarah Baldwin fifty pounds to be paid 
within five years after my Decease by my Executors hereafter named. Also 
I give and bequeath unto Alary the Daughter of Thomas Alcott late of East 
Cain deceased the sum of twenty pounds when she shall arrive at the age of 
twenty one years and not otherwise, MOREOVER 1 bequeath to the use of 
Andrew Knox ten Acres of cleared land, Land- to/be taken off of the Far- 
thermost end of north west field being part of the said land before devised 
unto my son Joseph Downing including the wood land in the north west 
corner thereof adjoining the said ten Acres the two head lines whereof are 
to extend from my son Joseph Downing line eastwardly to where the fence 
now stands which said quantity of land be it more or less shall be for the use 
of the said Andrew Knox during his natural life if he continue in the same 
place he now dwells Otherwise the above grant shall cease terminate & be 
void, .-hid as many poor people hair formerly purchased of me & were be- 
come debtors my intent and meaning is that I do hereby forgive the said poor 
people all the hooks debts that may stand, in my book against them at tlic 
time of my decease, and I do hereby frankly acquit and discharge them from 
paying the same And I do hereby Declare that whatsoever I have herein 
before given or Devised unto my loving wife Jane Downing is and shall be 
taken to he in lieu. Recompence & satisfaction of & for all her Dower or 
thirds in all my lands tenements Hereditaments & of whatsoever else she may 
any way claim or demand of in or out of my estate both real & personal And 
further it is my will that all legacies left by me in the within writing shall 
be paid by my two sons Richard Downing & Joseph Downing equally, except 
the twenty pounds left to Mary Alcott which Legacy my son Joseph Downing 
shall pay exclusive of Richard, and where any sum is mentioned it is under- 
stood to be in lawful money of Pennsylvania, And lastly it is my will that 
all the residue and remainder of my estate of what kind or nature soever 
or wheresoever the same is or may be found I give and Devise to my said 
son Richard Downing, And I do hereby constitute and appoint my two sons 
Richard Downing & Joseph Downing my Executors of this my last will and 
testament hereby Revoking and making void all former wills & testaments 
by me heretofore made and do declare this only to be my last will and testa- 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the Ninth 
Day of the Ninth Month (called September in the year of our Lord One 
Thousand seven hundred and sixty nine 1769 (seal) signed sealed published 
and declared by the above named Thomas Downing for and as his last will 
and testament in the presence of us, Rob't Valentine Joshua Way Isaac 
Jacobs Thomas Pimm. 

The Downings and the Hunts and the Parkes and the Menden- 
halls and 1he Baldwins, the Hoopes' and the Bonds began to grow 
up together. They formed a community, interested in each other, 
and interesting to the world at large. George Aston had located 
some property interests across the Welsh Line of Whiteland, and 
led a Company of men in to the service of King George in the French 
and Indian War. Roger Hunt was actively scouring the country 
to secure wagons and horses and men to equip them for transpor- 
tation purposes in the same war. The Society of Friends was 
disowning members who were bearing arms in this conflict, and all 


the while the Milltown Mills were serving the business purposes of 
the neighborhood, and that neighborhood extended miles to the 
Northward, and to the Westward and to the Southward. The people 
of Lancaster County were very anxious to have a road for the public 
use. Seven Commissioners from Lancaster County and seven Com- 
missioners from Chester County laid out the Great Road from 
Philadelphia to Lancaster. Its entire length was dotted with public 
houses for public entertainment. There were two of them within 
the area of Downingtown. "The Ship" was the first established, 
and next the "King In Arms." Then came the war of the Revolu- 
tion. The policy of the Society of Friends was that of peaceful 
neutrality- The County Commissioners of Chester County met at 
"The Ship" in 1778 for the transaction of business. In England, 
from whence the Friends had emigrated, Committees on Sufferings 
had been established in consequence of the extensive persecutions 
to which they had been subjected in that country. During the 
Revolutionary Period, like committees in America were busily 
engaged. The Friends were plundered by both parties in the conflict, 
and the regiment of Colonel Stewart, of the Pennsylvania Line, was 
quartered all one winter in what is now the limits of Downingtown. 
These were the times that tried men's souls. The British Army was 
advancing northward from Turkey Point on the shores of the Chesa- 
peake, marching to the capture of Philadelphia, which was then the 
most considerable city of the colonies. General Washington had 
resolved to contest their approach along the line of. the Brandywine. 
The ammunition and the artillery supplies of the American forces 
were located in Warwick Township, Chester County, north of Down- 
ingtown. Peter DeHaven was the officer in charge, and he wrote 
the following letter to the Vice President of the Executive Council : 

French Creek, Sept. 10, 1777. 


We have got sum information that thare is Part of Mr. Hows' armey 
Within four Miles of Downins Town, & I believe thay intend for our 
Magazene, and Wee are in a Very Poor Situation for defending it, I 
should be very glad if your Would send a Proper Gard for this Place. 
I have Rid threw this Naberhood to Procure Waggons, but Could get but 
8 or 10 to Move Sum of the Powder toward Reddin, but to what Place I 
am a stranger. 

I Re your Hum. Serv't, 


To Mr. George Bryan, Vice President of the Ex. Councyl. 
On the same day Peter DeHaven wrote the following letter, 
which explains the conditions existing in Chester County on the eve 

of the Battle of Brandvwine : 

French Creek, Sept. 10, 1777. 

I Reced a Letter from Dockter Kanady Requesting me to Let him 


have one Hundred Stand of arm- at the Yallo Spring, as there was a 
Subspition of the Towns Raising-. I immediately sent him answer that 
it is not in My Power to Deliver aney arms or Amnnytion Without an 
order from the Executive Council, I should be glad if you would send 
me Word if 1 shall let Him have Aney, 1 Likewise should be Abledg 
to you if you give My Son an Order to your Salt Work for one Load of 
Salt, as Wee Do Stand in Croat Need of Sum, I Cant get Aney, and 
Wee have a great Maney Men to Provide for. 

I Remain your 
1 tumble Servant, 

Peter De Haven. 

To the Honble Thomas Wharton. Esqr., Presid't to the Ex's Council 
for the State of Pennsyl'a. 

The Continental Congress, by resolution passed January 15th. 
1778, directed, among other thing-, that two thousand (2000) 
barrels of flour be delivered for the use of the army at Downings 
Town itt Chester County. Thus at this early period this town was 
regarded as one of the principal points of supply and distribution 
for the patriot forces. 

Of course there were defections among the Society of Friends 
arising out of the questions of peace and war. The several meetings 
undertook to deal with such offenders, but in many cases the dealing 
was so gentle that no record remains of any action being taken. 
These were the days of the Church Militant. It was not the era 
of the Church Acquiescent. When the P>attle of Brandy wine took 
place it was an Irishman from Londonderry, in Xew Hampshire, 
who commanded the right wing of the American forces, and it was 
the son of an Irishman from Chester County who commanded the 
left wing. In the thick of the fray was Colonel John Hannum, 
whose father had emigrated from Ireland early in the Century, and 
who after a long, and distinguished service in the Revolutionary 
Army, returned to the Bradford Hills to engage in a somewhat 
peaceful contention about the location of the County town of Chester 
County, and we have it as a matter of record in the summer of 1777 
that the Presbyterian Church at Brandy wine Manor sent every male 
member of its organization into the Continental Army, and that the 
women connected with the Church harvested the crops of that 
summer. Although Militown was owned, managed, directed, cher- 
ished, equipped and established by the members of the Society of 
Friends, yet in two wars, viz., the French and Indian War and the 
War of the Revolution a large number of her people engaged in the 
stri Ee. 

The Lancaster Road was laid out and established about the year 
1741. It was known as the Provincial Road, and the Philadelphia 
Road, and the Lancaster Road. Sometimes it was referred to as the 
"Old Lancaster Road," or the "Great Lancaster Road." As it 
passed through .Militown it formed the northern boundary of Jona- 


than Parke's land and Thomas Downing' s saw mill road. It was a 
part of the boundary line between Peter and Samuel Hunt. It led 
from Downing's Tavern, known as the "King In Arms," to the "The 
Ship,'" west of the Brandywine. Experience during the winter 
months developed the need of a bridge over the east branch of the 
Brandywine, and at the February Terms of the Court in 1774, then 
held at Chester, the following petition was presented : 

"That your Petitioners having frequent occasion to travel the Road lead- 
ing from- Philadelphia to Lancaster, lind great inconvenience at times, oc- 
casioned by the rising of the waters and ice in Brandywine Creek Therefore 
request you would, in your wonted goodness, order the building of a bridge 
across the creek at or near where the Provincial Road now goes near Down- 
ing's Mill, which we humbly apprehend will be of great benefit to the public 
in general, as we'll as to the inhabitants in those parts. And your Petitioners 
will gratefully acknowledge your justice. Signed by 

John Malin James Hood Samuel Conrad 

Curtis Lewis Thomas Meter John Downing 

Jos. Trimple Robert Lockart David Evans 

John Hoopes Jesse Green Caleb Wagner 

James Guthery Ludwick Ligit George Thomas 

Obed Lewis Abiah Parke Daniel Evans 

Jno. Hoopes, Jr. Lewis Atherton John Jacobs 

Thomas Hannum Jno. Hannum Richard Downing 

Joseph Downing Richard Thomas Robert Valentine 

James Sheward William Trimble, Jr. Samuel Bond 

James Galbrath William Hannum Samuel Hermet 

Joshua Baldwin William Beal 

The petition was recommended by the Grand Jury and approved 
by the Court, at the May Term, 1774. John Pimm, who owned a 
plantation near what is now the village of Thorndale, was Foreman 
of the Grand Jury. 

At a meeting of the Board of County Commissioners, held 
June 2, 1774, the petition to the Court for a bridge at Downing- 
town, and the approval of the Grand Jury thereof being present- 
ed to the Board, a number of Justices, together with the Com- 
missioners and local Assessors appointed to view the place, 
agreed to meet on the 10th of that month. On the day named 
the Commissioners and others met as agreed upon, and the re- 
sult of their deliberations is thus recorded: ''Pursuant to ap- 
pointment, the Commissioners, together with most of the As- 
sessors, and a number of Magistrates, met an"d viewed the place 
proposed, and agreed there was necessity for a Bridge and pro- 
posed meeting on June 18, 1774, in order to let the same." It 
is further recorded that on the 18th day of June, 1774, the Com- 
missioners, Assessors and Justices met at Richard Cheyney's 
Public House, and in consequence of the circumstance that the 
people generally were in favor of a stone bridge, and did not 
want a wooden bridge agreeably to former proposals, the fur- 
ther consideration of the matter was postponed until the August 


term of Court. At a meeting- of the Board of County Commis- 
sioners, held in August, 1774, the following appears among the 
recorded minutes: "The case respecting the Brandywine Bridge, 
coming under consideration after consultation had with the jus- 
tices, it was agreed to build a bridge with stone pillars and cover 
with plank agreeably to a plan heretofore made, and Samuel Cun- 
ningham has undertaken the same at the sum of four hundred 
and forty | I KM pounds, and it is proposed to sign an article for 
that purpose on the first day of ( >ctober." The minutes show 
that the agreement was complied with. This, however, was not 
the first movement in Downingtown for a bridge over the 
Brandywine. In 1752 the following petition was presented: 
RUARY, 1752. 
The petition ji divers inhabitants of the township of East Cain in behalf 
of themselves and others, come to showeth : 

That the passage for travelers upon the Provincial road leading from 
Philadelphia to Lancaster is often rendered very difficult and dangerous by- 
reason of freshets and other obstacles in the east branch of Brandywine 
Creek so that people arc often detained in their destination to there from los-> 
and the no small trouble and expense of the neighboring inhabitants who are 
often crowded with travelers, so detained, and as the intercourse of travelers 
on said road yearly increases and business becomes more favorable, we humblv 
conceive that there is an absolute necessity for a bridge to be erected on the 
said Creek. 

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that you would be pleased to take 
the premises into your serious consideration and use your endeavors with 
the other branches of power usually concerned in such cases to grant our re- 
quest ; and your petitioners as in duty bound shall thoroughly acknowledge 
the same. 

Robert Valentine Roger Hunt Samuel Bond 

John Jones Thomas Parke Richard Bond 

John Stevenson Thomas Pimm John Jenkin 

Joshua Baldwin Thomas Daine William Beale 

William Roberts Thomas Downing Lewis Padry. 

According to Road Docket A, Page 4, in the Clerk's Office at 
West Chester, there was a road laid out from Conestoga to 
YVhiteland as early as August, 172G, and such road is thus de- 
scribed : 

"East along the line between Joseph Pike and Francis Evits and crossing 
vacant land 430 perches to a marked black oak standing by a road formerly 
laid out by Thomas Green's plantation, thence along the said road at right 
angles crossing vacant land and land of Thomas Parke, George Aston and 
Thomas Moore 970 perches to a marked white oak on the said Moore's land, 
thence crossing the land of the said Thomas Moore south 77 degrees, east 18 
perches, south 85 degrees, east 31 perches, north 80 degrees, east 34 perches, 
north 43 degrees, cast 144 perches to a white oak. thence crossing the said 
land north 37 degrees, east 90 perches, north 71 degrees, east 28 perches, east 
54 perches, north 85 degrees, east 48 perches, north 70 degrees, east 66 perch- 
es, thence crossing land late of John Parke north 63 degrees, cast 70 perches, 
east 36 perches, north 82 degrees, no perches, north 66 degrees, east 61 perch- 


•es to a white oak standing by Philadelphia road on the land of John Spruce 
in Whiteland." 

There was also a road laid out from George Aston's property 
to Goshen in May, 1731, as set forth in Road Docket A, Page 28, 
in the Clerk's Office at West Chester, which is as follows : 

"Beginning at a white oak standing near the road on George Aston's land 
leading from Conestoga to Philadelphia, from thence east g degrees, north 92 
perches to the Great Road in the division line of Moore and Horn's land on 
the east side of Brandy wine, thence east .300 perches, thence east 6 perches, 
north go perches, thence east 40 perches, thence east 6 degrees, north 180 
perches from John Baldwin's land, thence south 40 degrees, east 260 perches, 
thence 68 degrees north 146 perches, thence east, northeast 100 perches, thence 
east by north 80 perches, thence east, northeast 200 perches, thence from the 
corner of William Taylor's field east, southeast 66 perches, north along the 
division line of Thomas Apleton and John Holland north 78 degrees, east 154 
perches, thence from Holland's land north 82 degrees, east no perches, into 
the limestone road from the Valley to Chester." 

There was also a road from Uwchlan Friends' Meeting 
House to Thomas Downing's mill, at Milltown, laid out in Au- 
gust, 1734, as shown by Road Docket A, Page 46, in the Clerk's 
Office at West Chester, which is described as follows: 

"Beginning in the road near Uwchlan Meeting House and thence by sev- 
eral courses and distances to the road leading down the Valley Hill into the 
Great Road and that leads from Conestoga to Philadelphia by Thomas 
Moore's mill 180 perches." 

August 31, 113(3, as shown by Road Docket A, Page 57, in 
the Clerk's Office at West Chester, there was a road laid out be- 
ginning at the County line, near John Minchall's, thence by vari- 
ous courses and distances into the Provincial Road, near George 
Aston's property. 

In 1742, as shown by Road Docket A, Page 81, in the Clerk's 
Office at West Chester, there was also laid out a road beginning 
in the road leading from Uwchlan Friends' Meeting House to 
Thomas Downing's mill, on David Jenkin's land, thence to the 
road leading from Brandywine to Chester, on John Ingram's 

In 1752, as shown by Road Papers, Vol 6, page 48, in the 
Clerk's Office at West Chester, there was a report showing the 
laying out of a part of the little Conestoga Road, leading from 
Springton Manor to the Township of East Cain, to the Provincial 
Road, near the mill of Thomas Downing, beginning at the Pro- 
vincial Road that runs from Paxtang toward Philadelphia, and 
a little within the line of said Manor; thence by various courses 
and distances to the lowland in the Great Valley ; thence along 
the road supposed to be confirmed already, as far as the mill of 
Roger Hunt ; thence by various courses and distances near to 
Roger Hunt's mill; thence by various courses and distances to 
the Provincial Road, near the mill of Thomas Downing, also the 
following road leading from Uwchlan Friends' Meeting House 
to Thomas Downing's mill : 


"Beginning at a Hickory tree in the line of Uwchlan Township, thence 
south 40 degrees, west 36 perches, south ^5 degrees, west 28 perches, south 
52 2 degrees, west 70 perches, si uih 44 degrees, west. 18 perches, south 20 de- 
grees, west 14 perches, south passing by John Downing's house 50 perches, 
south by west and along said Downing's lane 134 perches to the aforesaid 
Provincial Road." 

The Thomas Downing mill, at the junction of the Brandy- 
wine Creek and the Lancaster Turnpike, subsequently became 
the property of S. Austin Bicking, and the Roger Hunt mill 
was afterwards known as the Ringwalt mill, and is now owned 
by John T. Pollock. It is very evident that the people of the 
neighborhood of Downingtown, living there in the first half of 
the eighteenth ( 18th) century, were much concerned about high- 
ways and bridges. It would seem that there were two (2) sepa- 
rate bridges across the Brandywine within the limits of the pres- 
ent Borough of Downingtown. At what time they were each 
constructed, and by whom they were constructed, and of what 
material they were constructed have formed the basis of several 
discussions. It is not the purpose of the writer to attempt to 
decide these matters. He submits some of the papers, which are 
a part of the records of the County of Chester, and perhaps may 
aid in reaching a conclusion upon this point. It is also evident 
that Downingtown, in the first half of the eighteenth (18th) cen- 
tury was the industrial centre of Chester County, and its busi- 
ness activities were very great. As early as 1703 the principal 
inhabitants of the "Welsh tract" sought to have a road from 
Powell's ferry, on the Schuylkill, to the principal part of Goshen 
township, and thence continued in a direct course to "ye upper 
settlements on Brandywine." The first turnpike in America 
was built through Chester County. It was the "Philadelphia 
and Lancaster Turnpike Road Company," and was chartered 
April 9, 1792. It was completed in 1794, and was open to public 
travel the following year, and at once became a Lading thor- 
oughfare between Philadelphia and Lancaster. The travel and 
transportation of merchandise upon it for many years was 
enormous. It was lined with houses for public entertainment. 
These taverns in some parts of its course through Chester County 
averaged one Eor every mile. At night the yards of these taverns 
would be filled with teams, the horses standing on each side of 
the tongue, on which a trough had been placed. The teamster- 
carried their bed-; with them, and at nights spread them on the 
barroom floors or in rooms appropriated for that purpose. Some 
of these public houses were known as stage taverns, and others 
as wagon taverns. The stage taverns were generally more com- 
modious than the wagon taverns. As a rule, these taverns were 
well kepi and were owned by the landlords who conducted them 
With the a ' nt of the "iron horse" public travel passed from 


the turnpike to the railroad, and a mournful poet of that period 
inspired these lines : 

"May the devil catch the man. 
Who invented the plan 
That ruined us poor wagoners 
And every other man." 

The "every other man" was supposed to refer to the inn- 
keepers along the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike. 

Immense Conestoga wagons, with their white-covered tops, 
sometimes styled the sails of commerce, ceased to be seen along 
the pike. One by one these innkeepers passed out of existence. 
At the time of the opening of the turnpike for public travel there 
were three (3) noted taverns within the limits of Downingtown, 
"The Ship," "The Half-Way House" and the ''King in Arms," 
concerning whose landlords and concerning whose management 
I have already discoursed. At the end of the eighteenth (18th) 
century, when Downingtown had been a habitation for almost 
one hundred (100) years, its industries had not increased. Its 
resident population was less than two hundred (200) persons. 
The County of Chester had been divided in 1787, and efforts 
were made to place the new county seat at Downingtown. 
Colonel John Hannum, the most distinguished citizen and public- 
spirited character of the region, was anxious that the new county 
town should be either at Downingtown or at the junction of the 
Valley Creek with the Brandy wine, at a point some two (2) miles 
south of Downingtown. Few, if any, of the residents of Down- 
ingtown were favorable to the location of the county town at that 
point. Tradition says that it was the peaceful quiet of a Friend- 
ly community that resented the proposition. There is no record 
of any public action upon the subject, but, considering the atti- 
tude of the influential forces of the neighborhood, it is not sur- 
prising that West Chester had to begin operations in the vicinity 
of a tavern, viz.. "The Turk's Head." 

Stage lines were numerous upon the Lancaster Pike. Daily 
there could be seen the long, smooth stretch of pike through the 
village, transportation facilities of every description, and within 
two miles there was great liberty of choice as to where the noon- 
day meal could be eaten. Droves of cattle came down from the 
west along the turnpike, and Downingtown was a very important 
locality in the business transactions of Chester County. Robert 
Coleman was one of the wealthiest citizens of Eastern Pennsyl- 
vania. He was an extensive owner of iron mines at Cornwall, 
Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, and with the Grubb family 
shared the enterprise of the mining and manufacture of iron. 
His two daughters were distinguished in the society life of Lan- 
caster, and Tames Buchanan, then a brilliant member of the 


Lancaster Bar, paid assiduous attention to Miss Anna Coleman, . 
and his interest and affections were reciprocal, d by the object 
of his devotion. At that time Mr. Buchanan's professional en- 
gagements frequently called him to adjoining counties; and he 
had an appointment to call at Miss Anna Coleman's residence 
on a certain evening in December, 1810. He did not reach Lan- 
caster by stage from Lebanon, where he had been engaged in 
an argument before the Court, until evening. As he alighted 
from the conveyance Miss Auld, a charming and vivacious young 
lady of Lancaster, insisted upon Mr. Buchanan accompanying 
her home and taking tea with them. So charmed was Mr. Bu- 
chanan with the wit of his hostess that he not only drank tea 
at the house, but spent the evening there, having utterly forgot- 
ten his appointment with Miss Coleman. When he failed to 
appear she w^as very much disappointed, and the next morning • 
departed on a visit to some relatives in the city of Philadelphia. 
Mr. Buchanan was very much chagrined about his forgetfulness, 
and wrote her several letters in an apologetic strain, but to none 
of which an answer w r as returned. Finally he did receive a very 
short note from Miss Coleman asking him to call upon her at the 
home of her aunt, in the city of Philadelphia. He procured a 
horse and gig and started upon his drive to Philadelphia. He 
stopped at the "Half- Way House," in Downingtown, for dinner. 
As he came from the hotel to resume his journey a funeral cor- 
tege appeared in sight, moving toward Lancaster. Inquiry de- 
veloped the fact that it brought the remains of Miss Anna Cole- 
man. What were the circumstances surrounding her death were 
in it disclosed to Mr. Buchanan. He immediately returned to 
Lancaster and addressed a note to Mr. Robert Coleman, asking 
the privilege of viewing the body and attending the funeral. 
That note was returned to him. unopened, and after Mr. Bu- 
chanan's death it was found among his papers. The parents of 
Miss Coleman had been bitterly opposed to any marriage with 
Mr. Buchanan. He possessed great ambition, extraordinary 
talent, occupying a high position at the bar, but his wealth was 
very slender. At the same time that he was paying his court 
to Miss Anna Coleman. Doctor Muhlenberg was paying attention 
to her sister, and the doctor was received by Miss Coleman's 
parents with as scant favor as Mr. Buchanan. Both these 
suitors lived to achieve great distinction, and their name-- will 
outlast all material wealth of the family which repulsed them. 
Mr. Buchanan never married. All the letters bearing upon his 
love affair will) Miss Coleman were ordered by him to be burned 
immediately upon his death, and Mr. Curtis, his literary executor, 
carried out his instructions in that particular. The letter writ- 
ten by Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Robert Coleman, which was re- 


turned unopened, was preserved by Air. Buchanan in a separate 
envelope from the other papers, and that letter Air. Curtis prints 
in his life of Mr. Buchanan. It is touchingly beautiful and word 1 
ed with exceedingly good taste, and the highest appreciation of 
the unfortunate surroundings of Miss Coleman. It shows con- 
clusively the bitterness of feeiing that existed in the mind of 
Robert Coleman against the suit of James Buchanan. Miss 
Auld, to the day of her death, most bitterly regretted her in- 
voluntary part in this domestic tragedy. 

&:/■- ! 

(Tfyapter 4 

The First Newspapers — Ann Welch and Her Writings — 

Downingtown in 1820. 

Downingtown, by reason of the enterprise and culture of 
its inhabitants, attracted to its location men who delighted in 
the gentle literary delights of peace. 

Charles Mowry was born in Litchfield, Providence County, 
Rhode Island, in 1777. He received a classical education, and 
came to Pennsylvania about the year 1800 and engaged in teach- 
ing. In 18<>8 he began the publication of a newspaper, called 
the "Tempornte Zone," at Downingtown, Chester County. Its 
title was subsequently changed to the "Downingtown American 
Republican" at the expiration of one year. As the • , Temporate 
Zone" it was neutral in politics, but under its new title it became 
Democratic-Republican. Names Democratic-Republican in those 
days were convertible terms and were both used, that of Repub- 
lican being oftener used than Democratic to designate its party 
or its members in opposition to the Federal party. In the istus 
of the paper of August 3, 1813. the word Downingtown was 
dropped from the title and it was called the "American Repub- 
lican," although still published in Downingtown. Charles 
Mowry continued to publish it until November "28. 1820, when he 
sold out to William Schultz and William J. Marshall. This firm 
was in existance but about a month. The interest of Schultz 
reverted to Mowry, and he and Marshall published it from Janu- 
ary to June, 1821, under the firm name of William J. Marshall. & 
Company. Marshall was a practical printer and had learned his 
trade with Mowry. Mr. Mowry was not a polished but was a 
vigorous writer, and sustained Governor William Findlay with 
such force and ingenuity that he was considered the ablest Demo- 
cratic-Republican editor in the State, and the leaders in his party- 
insisted on his leaving Downingtown to take charge of a paper 
at Harrisburg. He acceeded to their request and removed to 
Harrisburg and became editor of the "Pennsylvania Intelli- 
gencer." which paper had been previously the "Harrisburg Re- 
publican." This Harrisburg paper was eventually disposed of 


to General Simon Cameron, who had been associated with him 
as partner in its management, in order that he (Charles Mowry) 
might assume the duties of Canal Commissioner, to which he 
had been appointed by Governor Schultze. During" his career 
Mr. Mowry had become distinguished as a political writer, and 
exercised a marked influence upon the policy of this party. He 
died at i larrisburg. July 2ii. ls:iS. He married, March 31, 1812, 
Mary Richmond, daughter of George Richmond, of Sadsbury 
Township, Chester County. Pennsylvania. She died March 28, 
1862, aged 72 years. The Downingtown paper passed into the 
hands of George Crabbe and George Lauman who published it for 
a number of years. During the time that Mr. Mowiy was in 
the printing business at Downingtown he printed a number of 
publications of which the writer has two or three examples, 
among them a book entitled "Fruits of Retirement." written by 
Ann Welch, a member of the Society of Friends, and which book 
was published in 1816, and from which publication I make the 
fi illowing extract- : 

To answer every week in the year L781. 

The smiling year begins its circling round: 

It thou wilt grant my prayer, gracious Lord! 
bet me, like time, thus constantly be found, 

And to thy glorious present make my will accord 


All things in sober sadness do appear, 

Except in vain man, who always should be so; 

Who driveth in folly's wild career, 
Regardless of the coming day of woe. 

< »ur Maker, when he first did man create, 

lie sober was, as we may well suppose; 
And our Redeemer, when he took man's state, 

lie serious was, beneath a load of woes. 


Tho' he was truth and innocence and never knew a crime 
Vet when Ik took our wretched state it sunk him low; 

He v..-'- never known to smile at anj time, 
But tears they often front his eyes did flow. 

Gram me, o Lord-! a sober state of mind, 
i I may waiting in thy truth appear; 
1 so I may thy li ving kindness find, 
For to preserve me from temptation clear. 



Mankind was placed in this world to be, 
Their Maker's favorite, and him to glorify; 

But mark how different the event we see, — 
Most try for to exceed in sin and vanity. 


How long, O Lord ' will truth be banish'd from the land, 

And righteousness no more regarded be? 
How long will sinners thy pure laws withstand, 

And lose their souls by not regarding thee? 

How pure thy laws, to them that doth attend 

On thee who art the only sinner's friend. 
Thou wilt lead their souls unto thy crystal fountain, 

And when they are wash'd will set them on thy mountain. 

Thou art the chiefest good, thy beauty doth excel 

For nothing lovely is compar'd to thee ; 
Blessed are those that in thy bosom dwell, 

In full fruition of eternity. 


The fullness of thy springs doth still supply the poor, 

That cry to thee in time of great distress ; 
And grace doth open to their souls a door. 

And sweetly calls their troubled minds to rest. 

The plant of thy own hand doth set deep root in thee, 

In trouble and distress, thou art the only stay; 
And thou suppliest its tenderness and sets't it wholly free, 

Thou art their only trust and hope from day to day. 

How great thy glorious name, and worthy of all praise ; — 

O, teach my soul thy mercies to adore : 
As I may sing the mercies of thy grace. — 

And follow on to know thee more and more. 


My life is sure with thee, whatever ills attend, 
Tho' death do seem to threaten very near : 

Thou art to me a faithful constant friend. 

And bears't my soul above the thoughts of fear. 

To thy all g'onrus will, let me resigned be. 

Whatever trials may on fife attend; 
Thy power o'er all and that can set me free. 

And in ail trouble thou wilt c< mfort '.end. 


Tho' dreadful rocks, and lofty mountains rise, 

To stop my progress to the promis'd land; . 


Thy grace. O Lord, will me alone suffice, 

And in thy strength and power I must stand. 

O, give me faith, that 1 may look to thee, 

And in thy word 1 shall true comfort find; 
In true obedience do thou humble me. 

Then shad 1 find that happy peace of mind. 

Which far surpasseth all this world can give, 

With all it> fading pomp and vanity; 
To lie with thee, and in thy house to live, 

Where all thy servants shall rewarded he. 

With thy great love, which ever doth endure, 

And as the master is, so shall they all he pure; 
Which happiness thou doth for them provide, 

Which doth exceed all other joys beside. 

This was that happy prince and prophet's choice. 

When he requested favor at thy hand; 
'Twas in thy house of glory to rejoice, 

And in thy presence with acceptance stand; 


Which thou hast purchas'd by our Saviour's death, 
Thy only son, whom thou for man did give; . 

In him we live, from him receive our vital breath, 
And by his death, salvation do receive. 

Well might they sing and raise their voices high, 

For their great master he did condescend; 
With his eternal Father's fiat to comply, 

To raise mankind to be the angel's friend. 

To bring them unto paradise again, 

Which .Adam lost, by breaking thy command: 
Tho' Eden's garden has been sought in vain. 

The Angel there with flaming sword will stand, 

XX lib 
To guard the entrance of that lovely place, 

Where all the pleasures in this world did meet ; 
All flowers there did bud and bloom, hut grace, 

And that alone would make it most complete. 

Four rivers from this source here gently rose, 

Which winding round this garden took their way 
That to four countries wealth and trade bestow, 

And sep'rate sent their streams unto the sea. 



The first was pison, silver streams so fair, 

Which compasseth Havi'.ah, wealthy land; 
Where other gold and precious diamonds do appear, 

And other nations do with wealth command. 

The second beautious Gihon nam'd, 

Which deep through Ethiopia took its way; 
In Afric's land, by the black people fam'd. 

Its commerce to those nations doth convey. 

The fourth Uphrates, lofty stream doth roll, 

Through many nations with his silver wave ; 
Whose lovely murmurs calm the troubled soul. 

The greatest river that those countries have. 

The gentle streams which from those rivers flow'd, 

Which watered Eden's charming groves and bowers, 
Where our first mother happily bestow'd 

Her time while innocent in rearing flowers. 


The beauteous rose, in tints original green, here, 
Unlike to those which our dull gardens wear; 

For they did bloom and blossom all the year. 
With twining jessamine and spotless lilies fair. 


All lovely plants in every country nam'd. 

Grew with perfection in those charming bowers ; 
The Hesperides' gardens once so loudly fam'd, 

Could not compare with those delightful flowers. 


Tall cedars there in comely order grew. 

Like those which afterward Lebanon did adorn: 
Likewise the trees of life and knowledge too. 
. Whose tempting fruit caus'd poor mankind to mourn. 

Is there no power this" darkness to remove, — 

The long tost joys of Eden to restore? 
Or raise our views to happier seats above. 

Where fear, and pain, and death shall be no more? 

Yes. those there are. who know a Saviour's love. 

The long lost joys of Eden can restore; 
And raise their views to happier seats above, 

Where fear, and pain, and death shall be no more. 

This is all that the authoress prints in her book. She evidently supposes 
that the thirty-three stanzas can be used for the fiftv-two weeks in the vear. 



March 23d, 1806. 

I was led to consider that text in Scripture where it is said, "The Lord 
is mypreserver; the Lord is ray defender and my guardian God," -and I 
thought if he was nrj preserver, 1 need fear no evil ; for he was the Almighty 
King, both in Heaven and earth, it he was my defender, 1 need fear no 
evil; for his power was over h^th Men and Devils; and mine should be ever 
able to place me out of his hand And if lie was my Guardian God, what 
have I to fear? for the child's guardian preserves it from snares and tempta- 
tions, if it is in his power. Now my guardian is all powerful. The child's 
guardian likewise secures its estate for it — so doth my gracious Saviour se- 
cure my estate for me. until I am of age to heir it — for it is safe with him in 
his Heavenly City." where moth nor rust cannot corrupt, or thieves brake 
through and steal." This was wrote the day that Jesse Haines was at Meeting 

\\* ELEGY 

On the death of Patience Barton, who died the 14th of January, 1785. 
Speak my sad muse in pensive numbers tell, 
And mournful notes; now take thy sad farewell, 
And grant the small tribute of a parting tear 
Unto the memory of thy friend so dear: 
Thy much lamented friend, who in great grief did go, 
And hitter pangs unto the similes below; 
And left her helpless babe, to mourn with tears, 
Her dreadful loss throughout its infant yeaps : 
Her husband, too, with hopeless grief bewails, 
The deep distress which in his house prevails. 
My mournful friend, thy loss is great indeed; 
Too great I fear to be repair'd with speed: 
For thou hast lost thy kind rind constant mate, 
And like the true dove, art left to mourn thy fate. 
The tender mother and thy loving wife, — 
Thy faithful friend, through all the ills of life; 
Bj death's cold hand is torn from thy embrace; 
How sudden and surprising was the case; — 
When, with the doctor, he return'd that night, — 
Alas, her eyes were closed, no more to see the light; 
And in remembrance to her much loved shade. 
We may suppose, he this sad lamentation made: 
Awake, my dear ; O! take a view and see 
The deep distress of poor dejected me — 
See what 1 suffer by the loss of thee! 
And then farewell, thou bosom friend of mine; 
It grieves my heart, thai I'm no longer thine. 
Let other men feel something of my woe, 
That they may tell just what I undergo. 
O! my dejected friend, thy grief is just; 
Bui io the Lord's decree resign we must. 
Thosfi virtues thai made her eiidear'd below, 
hid from the fountain of perfection flow. 
To that immense sea, thos ( . streams do all return, 
Whilst we their loss cm earth are left to mourn. 

In deep distress her soul was called away, 

Bui now. n< rhaiis she smiles in endless day. 

Then lei this thought relieve thy heart from pain, 

That thy great loss, is her eternal gain. 



MO. 18TH, 1807. 
Alas, the fatal moment came, 

That call'd my friend away ; 
I hope she has arrived at home, 

And cross'd that narrow sea. 

That narrow sea of death divides 

This glorious land from ours; 
O'er which the soul triumphant rides, 

Exulting in her powers. 

When Angel bands convey 

The stranger to the bar, 
To hear what the great judge will say, 

And meet its sentence there. 

The judge in robes array'd, 

Of pure resplendent grace, 
Will meet the fair, the bloodwash'd soul, 

With smiles upon his face. 

The body lifeless lies, 

Within the silent tomb, 
Until the Archangel rend the sky, 

And shout the prisoner home. 

When Gabriel's trump shall sound, 

And bid the dead arise ; 
Awake ye nations, under ground, — 

Ye saints ascend the skies. 

Although she was cut off in bloom, 

Ere life's mid-stage was run; 
Yet dare we not presume, — 

But her day's work was done. 

For patient and resign'd she was 

To her great Master's will ; 
Although by sickness long confin'd, 

She never murmur'd still. 

About her future state, 

She thoughtful did appear ; 
And to her friends was very kind, 

As now is proved clear. 

Xo doubt she is at rest, 

And has obtained the prize ; 
But with her husband and her friends, 

We truly sympathize. 


Who departed this life, August 30th. 1808, in the 55th year of his age- 
Alas, he is gone ; his active spirits fled ; 
His body's laid in dust among the silent dead : 
His journey, in his Master's cause is o'er, 


And safe arrived on the Heavenly shore. 
No more opprest with sickness, loss of sight and grief, 
His Heavenly Master now does grant relief. 
Sure Jesus whom his faithful soul ador'd, 
Whose praise employ'd his tongue, whose mercy he implor'd. 
Did not forsake his servant in distress, 
But cloth'd his soul with his own righteousness. 
That spotless robe by sovereign mercy made, 
In which, when drest, he need not be afraid. 
To meet that Judge, who fills the middle throne, 
Who for his sins most freely did atone. 
His name he preached — his name he highly praised, 
And in his name he journey'd and baptiz'd. 
How many souls as seals, there doth remain, 
To shew he glorified in the Lamb once slain. 
Hold was he in his Master's quarrels, and, 
Very undaunted to his Lord's command. 
Nor fear'd the face of man: directing all. 
Right in the way that leads out of the fall; 
■ Open and free to every thirsty lamb. 
Unspotted, pure, in doctrine without blame. 
No doubt he is at rest, and has gain'd the prize; 
But with his widow and his friends, we truly sympathize 
Her darling son is gone, that was her chief delight: 
In grieving for his death, her husband lost his sight. 
Who will her comfort be, in life's declining stage? 
And who will her support, and cheer her drooping age ? 
But God, the widow's friend, has promised faithfully. 
That to the widow in distress, he will each want supply 
This satisfied me; down \ threw my quill 
• Willing to be resign'd to God's pure will. 

Thomas S. Ingram was one of the old residents of Down- 
ingtown, and to his daughter he gave much recollections, as are 
embodied in the following article, which was published some 
years ago in the columns of the "Downingtown Archive." I 
give it herewith in full, so as to convey to the reader a panorama 
of the village twenty years after the beginning of the last cen- 
tury : 


A crisp, cheery morning in October, the sun above the hill- 
side floods the little hamlet with brightness. 

William Frame, the genial host at the John Downing Inn 
(now the John Fox Home), is all activity and thoughtfiilness, 
incident upon the arrival of the U. S. mail coach. 

Far down the Lancaster Like, far as the eye can reach, it 
may be seen, with -its double span of perfect horses and its proud 
jehu awakening the echoes of the valley with the ringing notes 
of the bugle hern, and his steeds well in hand, drawing near, 
every horse at his best as they take the clean stretch of level 
valley road, and with a proud flourish draw up at the inn. 

Hostlers to their work, and in a twinkling, while mail is 


changed and passengers refreshed, other spans are harnessed, 
and with their driver are speeding on their way through the vil- 
lage. On the north side, as they pass after leaving the inn, can 
be seen the store of Jesse Meredith, now the home of the Martin 
sisters ; near by the Dr. Fairlamb home, now owned and occu- 
pied by John P. Edge, M. D. A side glance on the south side 
would show you (now the home of Mrs. George Brown) Captain 
Lowry's cigar establishment, and in close proximity to it an old 
log house, occupied by people of color. __ 

Confining our glances to this south side, we would next see 
the house owned by Malachi Parke, and now known and recog- 
nized as the home of William Torbert. 

Joshua Hoopes, at the Boarding School, is the nearest neigh- 
bor the Parke's have, and the fine stone building is at present 
the home of the Misses Thomas. 

We must not fail to notice the Samuel Hoopes store, on the 
north side of the street and a little east of the Hoopes Boarding 
School. It is now the home of Mrs. Dennison and daughters, 
and is adjacent to a saddler shop and malt house. Adjoining 
that is the Samuel Downing's widow's property, now occupied 
by A. P. Tutton. 

The YYhelen home is next, and is now that of Edward Down- 
ing, while near by, and over whose fireside Mrs. M. A. Heins 
now presides, is the home of Richard Downing's widow. 

The present modest home of the Downingtown Library is a 

You can notice in passing the spacious home of William 
Downing, owned by Sheimire's, with its old, noisy, rumbling 
mill contiguous. 

While there glance across the street you will see a brick house 
belonging to John F. Parke, occupied by Jacob Downing, now 
the site of "The Heilbron." Near it, where the Presbyterian 
Church stands, is an old log house, belonging to the Parke estate, 
and is next to what is known as the Half-Way House, kept and 
owned by Daniel and Joseph Fondersmith. 

The home of Thomas Parke, now that of Austin Bicking, 
is almost opposite the inviting home of Richard Downing, grand- 
father of our present townspeople, Thomas Downing and Louisa 
Miller. It is occupied by Judson Armor at this writing and sev- 
eral families. 

The business interests of the place are represented in an old 
cooper shop, standing where the carriage bazaar now is — a one- 
story stone building used for making flour barrels. Opposite the 
Swan Hotel (kept by Jesse Evans), at the corner of the Forge 
Road and Lancaster Pike, is the shoemaker shop of Hunter 


Rettew. Richard Webster is in business on the same corner. 

The horseshoeing business is controlled by Benjamin Fell, 
in the same blasksmith shop as is at present under the manage- 
ment of George Jones. 

The old homestead of William W. Downing is a little to 
the north at this point, and is near to a palatial log house, used 
as a store, kept by the Valentine Sisters. John Weldin's under- 
taking establishment is located thereabouts. The home of 
Joseph Downing, grandfather of our present Burgess, is the next 
desirable location, and is yet seen and known as the home of 
Mrs. Louisa Miller. 

After passing the Swan Hotel on the south side, we can 
stop at the store of Joseph Hunt, built in what we would term 
the corner at the Race. 

To the south of it William Brown enjoyed harmless com- 
petition in the same line, in the same place as the Bicking stores 
how stand. 

The very old stone house near by, with the Fulling mill and 
saw mill, bring us, with the mention of the old log house on the 
north, to the Brandywine Bridge, in an entire, careful and com- 
plete survey of the East Ward in 1820. 

Cross the bridge, winding our way westward, we will see 
the home of the Misses Reese, then that of their grandmother. 
Next is the house built by Jesse Evans, now the Miller property. 
We can stop at the old stone house built by George Edge, now 
enlarged and modernized by Mrs. Thomas C. Hoopes : then, 
deviating 1 slightly south, notice the double stone house on Via- 
duct avenue, now owned by John B. Criswell. 

After that, west again, to the Thomas Edge home, now the 
abode of our townsman, William 11. Wells. Us nearest neigh- 
bor on the south side of the street is an old log house, where, 
sheltered by an oak of "the forest primeval," it was the privi- 
lege of the writer to dwell, while on the north side, where the 
Samuel Black propertv is, the Sides' and Roberts' stores and 
the Masonic Hall, can be counted five houses, stone and frame. 
occupied by different families. 

This village with its forty-two buildings was the Downing- 
town of 1820, not girded by iron bands on the south side, not in 
railroad communication with the north: no churches with their 
spires pointing in mute eloquence to Fleavcn. 

Xo inviting hostelries with their broad verandas and well- 
shaded lawns, no mercantile establishments, with their tree de- 
liveries; no whistling, screaming steam mills, no iron foundries, 
no graded schools, no paved, electric-lighted streets: no tasteful 
cottage homes, no real estate offices, no building associations, 
no fire companies, no publishing houses, no Justice- of the Peace, 

no constables, no lawsuits, just a peaceful settlement of good, 
quiet Quakers, who attended Divine service in their Quaker 
meeting house home and heard Jesse Kersey expound the way 
to "deal justly, love mercy and walk humbly." 


(Tfyctpter 5 

The Friends and Education— Joshua Hoopes — The Penn- 
sylvania Lyceum — The School of the Misses 
Thomas — Jesse Kersey 

Proud, in his history of Pennsylvania, published in 179?, 
says: "The Friends were so careful in the education of their chil- 
dren and youth that there were none of them brought up without 
a competency of useful and plain learning-." Clarkson, though 
not a member of the Society of Friends, writing in 1806, speaks 
thus of Friends in America: "It may also be mentioned as a sec- 
ond trait that they possessed extraordinary knowledge. Every 
Quaker boy or girl who comes into the world must, however 
poor, if the Discipline of the Society be kept up, receive an edu- 
cation. All therefore who are born in the Society must be able 
to read and write. Thus the keys of knowledge are put into their 
hands. Hence we find them attaining a superior literal and his- 
torical knowledge of the Scriptures, superior knowledge of human 
nature, and a knowledge that sets them above many of the super- 
stitions of those in their own rank in life. If, as a body, Friends 
have not been distinguished for their liberal learning, it can be 
truthfully said that it has scarcely ever been possible to find an 
illiterate member of their Society. Their general policy leading 
them to prefer an universally educated many to a highly-edu- 
cated few." 

By the time the common school system was agitated in 
Pennsylvania many Friends had established many schools, which 
schools were under the control of Meetings of Friends. They 
regarded it as onerous that they should be taxed to support the 
common school system, when they had already established a suf- 
ficient number of schools in their several communities. This was 
the cry .of the conservative against the progressive. A few years 
ago the writer conversed with men, then living in Downingtown, 
who in their early life had opposed the building of railroads, 
because they alleged that the price of horses would go down so 
low that they would not be worth their keep, and that farming 
products would be so diminished in price that agriculture in the 
eastern counties of Pennsylvania would cease to be profitable. 


These good Friends did not feel the pulsation or the vibration of 
progressive America. It is always difficult either to measure the 
past by the present or measure the present as developing in the 
same manner as the past. 

Joshua Hoopes opened "Downingtown Boarding School for 
Boys" in 181?, and continued his school prosperously and suc- 
cessfully until is:; 1, when he removed to West Chester and estab- 
lished "Hoopes Hoarding School for Boys." which he conducted 
until 1st;".'. Joshua Hoopes was well known to the writer. He 
was an excellent teacher, and one of the most profound scientists 
of the day. He was more than six feet in stature and exceedingly 
active and energetic and thought nothing of taking his boys upon 
a tramp of thirty or fort}" miles in a single day. He was a life- 
long and consistent member of the Society of Friends, and at 
the time of his death in West Chester, sat "at the head of the 
Meeting." As I have heretofore stated, the Society of Friends 
generally were opposed to the beginning of a common school 
system in Pennsylvania. Of course, there were some notable 
exceptions in the organization, and in 1835 in Philadelphia, a 
Lyceum of Teachers was organized, of which Josiah Holbrook 
was a prominent member. On the 18th day of August, 1835, a 
number of teachers and friends of education met in the Court 
House at West Chester, at 10 o'clock, agreeable to public notice. 
Mr. John Beck was called to the chair and Mr. John Simmons 
appointed secretary. 

The following named gentlemen appeared, and were enrolled 
as members of the convention : From the Chester County Cabi- 
net of Natural Science — Dr. William Darlington, Joshua Hoopes, 
Dr. W'ilmer Worthington, John Rutter, Esq. Chester County 
Athenaeum— John Hall, William Darlington, Esq.; William P. 
Townsend. Delegates appointed by a meeting of citizens of 
West Chester — Francis James, William Williamson, Dr. John 
B. Brinton, Thomas S. Bell, Ziba Pyle, Dr. Isaac Thomas, 
Townsend Haines, Henry Fleming. Mechanicsburg Mutual Im- 
provement Society— J. D. Rupp, G. Bobb. School Directors of East 
Cain— Joshua Hunt, Charles Downing. Bucks County Educa- 
tion Society, also, Newtown Lyceum — Lemuel H. Parsons, James 
Kelly, W'm. II. Johnson. York Association of Teachers — E. F. 
Bleck. York Lyceum— David B. Prince. West Bradford Board- 
ing School— Cheyney Hannum. Young Gentlemen's Institution 
at' Lit it/., Lancaster' County— John Beck. Montgomery County 
Cabinet of Science— Jonathan Roberts, Esq.; Maurice Richard- 
son, Alan W. Corson. Philadelphia Lyceum of Teachers — Dr. 
I. M. Keagy; Rev. N. Dodge, Josiah Holbrook, J. H. Brown, Vic- 
tor Value, John Simmons. East Bradford Boarding School- 
Joseph C. Strode, Robert Guy. Pennsylvania Association of 


Monitorial Teachers — Dr. Wright, Thomas Eastman, J. M. Cole- 
man, and twenty-one volunteer delegates. 
Adjourned till 2 o'clock, P. M. 

Tuesday afternoon. 

The Convention met at 2 o'clock. 

Mr. Holbrook, upon request, stated the general objects of 
the convention. He said there are in the United States about 60 
colleges, not far from 500 academies, institutions owned and con- 
ducted by private individuals, number not known ; about 50.000 
common schools, many infant schools, and another class of vol- 
untary or social institutions, viz., lyceums ; of these there are 
about two or three thousand. These are connected with many 
of our academies and colleges, most of them have libraries, which 
are read with great eagerness, perhaps about 1000 times as much 
as the former libraries of colleges. Lyceums give the schools a 
character of greater efficiency, and make the children more tract- 
able and diligent. A system of co-operation is produced ; each 
pupil recognizes himself as possessing all the means of self-cul- 
tivation, and of producing a kindred action between mind and 
mind — each one exerts an influence upon and receives benefit from 
his neighbor. These institutions have a social character. Many 
of our institutions are anti-social ; they build up a partition wall ; 
students do not make their Greek and Latin lessons a subject. of 
fireside conversation. But these are social institutions; in them 
are taken up matters of daily occurrence — the philosophy of 
things is spoken of without formality. Their operations and re- 
sults are social — they will form the table talk of the youth. 
There is a National lyceum, 15 or 16 State lyceums, over 100 
county lyceums, 3000 village lyceums, and a great number in 
academies and schools. 

Mr. Neville said the fathers of the republic planted the tree 
of liberty; we are assembled here to plant the tree of knowledge. 
Association is our motto. "United we stand, divided we fall." 
This convention may be hailed with something of the same emo- 
tion that would attend the discovery of a reservoir of cool water 
in an African desert. Mr. N. read an able address on the advan- 
tage of an association of teachers, upon the orthodox principles 
of education ; it would promote the independence of teachers, by 
leading to the adoption of settled rules of conduct, etc. 

Judge Darlington requested to know whether the meeting 
had any other object than the formation of an association of 

Mr. Holbrook replied, that one object of the meeting had 
in view is to bring the hands of teachers together, that they may 
strengthen each other; another object it, to induce parents and 
the friends of education to work with them ; to strengthen their 


hands and encourage their hearts. How is this object to be ef- 
fected? It is proposed to have a State, or Eastern and Western 
Society, auxiliary to which there will be county, township, neigh- 
borhood and school societies. The object of this convention, 
then, is to organize an Eastern District or a State Lyceum. 

The Committee of Arrangements reported the following" 
resolutions, which were adopted: 

Resolved, That it is expedient to form a State Lyceum, 
which shall be composed of teachers and the friends of education 
throughout the State, subject to the rules and regulations here- 
after to be established. 

Resolved, Thai the following gentlemen be a committee to 
form a Constitution for the proper government of said Lyceum, 
viz.: Dr. William Darlington, Josiah Holbrook, David Town- 
send, Esq.; Dr. J. M. Keagy and William IL Johnson. 

Resolved, That this Convention recommend the formation 
of county lyceums throughout the State, as auxiliary to the State 
or parent society. 

At the session on Wednesday afternoon, August 19, Dr. Dar- 
lington, from the committee appointed to prepare a Constitution 
for a State lyceum made report, which was accepted, considered 
by section, and adopted, as follows : 


of the 


Article I. This Association shall be called "The Pennsylvania Lyceum." 

2. The objects of the Society shall be the advancement of education 
throughout the State, especially through the medium of Schools and Ly- 
ceums, and to co-operate with other Lyceums in the diffusion of useful 

3. The members of the Society shall consist of Delegates from the sev- 
eral County Lyceums and kindred institutions in the State, each of which 
shall have a right t<> send five delegates, but any member of a County 
Lyceum, or any kindred institution, may participate in the discussions and 
other exercises of the Society, without having the privilege of voting. 

4. The officers of the Lyceum shall be a President, five Vice-Presidents, 
a Recording and a Corresponding Secretary, a Treasurer and nine Cura- 
tors, to be appointed by ballot annually. 

5. The Lyceum shall hold an annual meeting to receive reports from 
the several County and other auxiliary Lyceums, upen the objects of their 
association; to hear discussions, addresses and lectures; and to devise and 
adopt measures to introduce a uniform and improved system of Education 
throughout the State. 

6. Special meetings may be called by the President, upon the request 
of ten or more members, or of a County Lyceum, stating the object of such 
call; of which notice shall be given in live or more newspapers in the State, 
or in such way as may be provided by the by-laws, at least six weeks before 
said meetings shall be held. 

7. All apparatus, books and specimens belonging to the Lyceum shall 


be under the care of the Curators; who shall be the Executive Committee 
and general agents of Society. 

8. This Convention may be altered or amended, at any regular meeting, 
by a vote of two-thirds, provided the members present shall not be less than 


Article I. The time and place of meeting of the Lyceum shall be fixed 
at each previous meeting. 

2. The rules and orders of the Lyceum shall be in accordance, with 
parliamentary usages. 

The appointed nominating committee reporting, the conven- 
tion proceeded to ballot for officers. The following gentlemen 
were declared to be unanimously elected, viz.: President, Jona- 
than Roberts, Montgomery County; vice presidents, Dr. J. M. 
Keagy, Philadelphia; John Beck, Lancaster County; Jacob 
Weaver, Cumberland; John H. Gorden, Bucks; Jonathan Gause, 
Chester ; Corresponding Secretary, John Simmons, Philadel- 
phia : Recording Secretary, E. F. Bleck, York; treasurer, Rev. N. 
Dodge, Philadelphia ; Curators, Victor Value, J. H. Brown and 
Thomas D. James, Philadelphia ; Joshua Hoopes, Chester ; Sam- 
uel Cross, Dauphin; J. D. Rupp, Cumberland; Lemuel H. Per- 
sons, Bucks; John F. Hay, Carlisle ; X. R. Smith, Pittsburg. 

The LYCEUM was immediately organized, and proceeded 
to business. 

The following resolutions were unanimously adopted, viz. : 

Resolved, That the cultivation of the generous, benevolent and other 
moral faculties of children ought to be considered the foundation work of 
education, both in schools and families. 

Resolved, That the only effectual mode of cultivating moral faculties is 
by practical exercise of them in acts of kindness and generosity. 

Resolved, That natural history, or the study of minerals, plants and 
animals, are peculiarly appropriate as an elementary study for children, and 
that it greatly accelerates their progress in spelling, reading, writing, geog- 
raphy, arithmetic and all other branches usually taught in schools. 

Resolved, That cabinets of natural and artificial productions for the use 
of Lyceums and schools and families, collected by young people generally, 
are eminently calculated to promote useful knowledge, prevent vice and 
produce elevation of intellectual and moral character in individuals and na- 
tions, and that such cabinets may be easily obtained. 

Resolved, That a general system of exchanges in specimens of nature 
and art by schools and Lyceums in all parts of the country would be. well 
calculated for the diffusion of useful knowledge to strengthen the bonds of 
our National Union, and for the promotion of universal education. 

Resolved, That practical geometry, embracing drawing and mensuration, 
is of the first importance as a fundamental branch of common practical edu- 
cation, and that it furnishes exercises peculiarly appropriate and agreeable 
to young children. 

Resolved, That it is of fundamental importance to secure the influence 
and aid of females in the promotion of intelligence and sound morals, and 
that all ladies engaged or interested in teaching ought to be invited to be- 
come members of Lyceums that are or may be formed throughout the 


Resolved. That the organization of County Lyceums ought to be selected 
as the first step to be taken towards accomplishing the. purposes of the 
State society, and that township, neighborhood, school and family Lyceums 
are appropriate and important objects to be aimed at by said county so- 

Resolved, That it be a prominent and immediate object of the officers 
and members of the State Lyceum of Pennsylvania to encourage and aid 
the furnishing of schools and Lyceums in counties, townships, neighbor- 
hoods, school-, and families with cabinets of natural and artificial produc- 

Resolved, That the "Chester County Cabinet of Natural Science," and 
all similar county institutions which are now organized in the State, be re- 
quested to act as County Lyceums, and immediately to take such measures 
towards the formation of district cabinets as they, may deem expedient. 

Resolved, That ladies who are friendly to the cause of education be 
respectfully invited to attend the meetings of the Pennsylvania (Lyceum, 
whenever or wherever held. 

Resolved. That the Board of Officers of this instructed to 
procure or recommend at their discretion an agent or agents to act in be- 
half of the S< iciety, 

Resolved, That it would be highly gratifying to this Lyceum if Messrs. 
J. Holbrook and Rupp would consent to enter into an agreement with the 
Executive Committee to act as agents for the establishment of Lyceums and 
the promotion of popular education throughout the State during such time 
as shall by them be fonnd practicable. 

Resolved, That the Publication Committee of the Convention be also 
constituted a Publication Committee for the Lyceum. 

Resolved, That the cordial thanks of the Lyceum be presented to Mr. 
Josiah Holbrook, of Boston, fur his indefatigable and highly successful 
efforts in promoting the cause of education. 

The Lyceum having- concluded its business, adjourned to 
meet at York, on the second Tuesday in August, 1836. 

It will be observed that two of the most distinguished citi- 
zens of Downingtown, viz., Charles Downing and Joshua Hunt,, 
were members of this convention, and by their presence signified 
their interest in the purposes of the meeting. The community of 
Downingtown was always heedful of educational interests, not- 
withstanding some remarks that were made by a former County 
Superintendent of Chester County, who wound up his final report 
upon matters and tilings in the county with an allusion to the 
locality of our sketch. The difficulty always has been and exists 
to-day of New England blood and training understanding Penn- 
sylvania manners and methods. Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes 
speaks of our people being of neutral tint, and while we are ad- 
mittedly surveyors of all sides of a question, we are not purvey- 
ors of a final judgment and an inflexible conclusion. The open 
mind is always superior to the judgment of the uninformed. 

tssachar I 'rice was bom in Gallagherville, Chester County, 
March 7th, 1827. He died in West Bradford Township, August 
29th, lxsu. llis father, who bore the same name, has been for 
years a storekeeper in Downingtown, and the son was fairly well 






educated, his chief instructor being Jonathan Cause, to whom 
Issachar dedicated a book of verses, entitled, "School Day 
Rhymes,*' published in 1856. Issachar had also contributed sev- 
eral excellent poems to the Chester County newspapers of his 
day. He attended school at Joshua Hoopes' School, in Downing- 
town, and he had an excellent solid English education of that 
time. He sang of the Brandywine thus: 

NO. IV. 

"Sweet stream, the music calls me forth 

In even's dewy time; 
I come to learn thy mellow pslams, 

Oh, singing Brandywine. 

Thou bringest down the balm of flowers 

From meadows bright and green. 
Where flashing wings of joyous birds 

In sunn}- colors gleam. 

Thou bringest on thy silver waves 

The murmur of the groves, 
Where summer birds sing thrillingly 

Their sweet celestial loves. 

Thou barest on those dulcet airs 

And every pleasant voice, 
Till e'en this dull, cold heart of mine 

Leaps up at thy rejoice." 

Issachar Price had a keen realization of the beauties of "Soli- 
tude," a well-known resort just south of Downingtown, along the 
banks of the Brandywine, and in the first poem in his -little hook, 
he thus addresses Dr. J. Stuart Leech : 

Come, come, my friend, to yon sequestered grove, 

Where many a bird doth sing its summer love, 

And lie outstretched within the shadows cool, 

And learn a wholesome task rom Nature's hallowed school. 

The page is open under every tree, 

Broad as the heavens unobscured and free; 

And while the breath of summer floats along, 

Our souls expanding there may learn somewhat 6f song. 

•How dear the pleasure of a quiet hour, 

Beside some stream where blooms the woodland flower — 

Unseen by men and unannoyed, alone, 

A devotee at Nature's ever silent throne! 

Come to that grove along the Brandywine; 
Come, while the Summer glories - in her prime; 
While everj' breeze is laden down with tune 
From the soft voices, born of happy May and June. 


And thus Issachar Price sang of the "Chester Valley in 

I climb the hills in winter; 

My path is in the snow; 
I s< e the Chester alley 

Lie broad and white below; 
Ah, what a change! it sleeps no more 
In Summer's golden glow. 

The cosy farm house glistens; 

[ts walls are white as snow; 
And putting locomotives 

Are steaming to and fro; 
The steed of commerce heeds no storms 
Nor feels the Summer's glow. 

The young usurpers triumph 

Ah >ng the sn< iwy vale; 
The lonely turnpike murmurs * 

Upon the wintry gale, / 

It sorrows for its vanished wains — 
ft seems I hear the wail. 

[low swiftly time is passing 

With courtesies uncouth! 
That age and death are coming 

It is a fact in smith; 
Bill tliOU, oh vale, art always young — 
Th iu hasl eternal youth! 

Oh, charming Chester Valley, 

I li i\e thee all the while, 
Thy beauties ever woo me. 

My lonely hours beguile; 
I love thee in thy ro*h£S of snow 
Or when thy lilies smile. 

It appears that there was a dancing class in Downingtown, 
and all the young ladies and gentlemen in society were its mem- 
bers, and our poet Issachar Price printed and published a letter of 
comment and advice to its members. It was received at the time 
with considerable interest, and all Downingtown laughted at its 
cleverness. In 182 1 Robert S. Coffin, better known by the appel- 
lation of "The Boston Bard," visited Downingtown, and was 
charmed with the scenery along the Brandywine, and the hospi- 
tality of the people of the village. Of course, he had to write a 
poem on the Brandywine, which inspiring stream has awakened 
the gift of expression in every poet of America who has ever 
seen it. 

Zebulon Thomas' daughter opened a boarding school for 
girls in Downingtown, in the summer of 1837, and Miss Priscilla 


Thomas, one of the ladies engaged in promoting the enterprise, 
furnishes the following references to it : 

"Mary B. Thomas and Sisters' Boarding School for Girls was 
opened in Downingtown in the summer of 183? and continued 
till 1ST?. The number of boarding scholars was limited at 
twenty ; the day class was never a large one, but in those forty 
years many pupils from the neighborhood, attended the school. 

The course of study included, beside the usual branches 
an English education instruction in Drawing, and in the Latin 
and French Languages, and in Music. German was taught by 
a native of German}-. As years went by efforts were continuor. • 
made to keep the course of study abreast with the ever-rising 
educational demands, but, while the daily routine was exact, it 
was always kept in mind that the aim should not be credit marks 
but the cutivation of a real interest in intellectual pursuits. To 
forward this end a taste for what is best in our literature was 
carefully fostered. 

In those days our town presented a pleasant usual aspect and 
the beauties of the surrounding country became well known to 
teachers and pupils in frequent excursions which gave to eil 
healthful exercise while the students of Botan gathered materia! 
for their herbals. 

It must be remembered that those were the days of hcnie- 
schools, when battledore and the game of graces were prized as 
outdoor exercises, and even in the later years of the institutiaa 
croquet was in vogue. 

Colleges for women were but beginning, offering high privi- 
leges to those intellectually ambitious, such privileges as can foe 
given by none but richly endowed institutions." 

Jesse Kersey, born in York, Pennsylvania, came to Dowis- 
ingtown early in the 19th century, and distinguished himself as a 
speaker among the Society of Friends, and in 1828 delivered 
twelve (12) lectures before the Downingtown Society for the 
acquisition and promotion of natural knowledge, which lectures 
were printed and distributed throughout the community. At 
that time Thomsonianism had somewhat impressed the com- 
munity, and there was a number of simple remedies embraced 
within an appendix to these lectures. In 1834 the Philadelphia 
and Columbia Railroad was opened for public travel through 
Downington, and on April 15th, 1835, Norristown and the Val- 
ley Railroad was incorporated. They constructed a railroad 
from some point on the Philadelphia and Columbia road, east of 
Brandywine Creek, to a point on the Philadelphia, Germantown 
and Norristown Road. This enterprise was never completed, but 
in 1850 the Chester Valley Railroad was incorporated, reviving 
a former charter, and completed the road twenty-two (22) miles 


in length from Downingtown to Bridgeport. Montgom rv Coun- 
ty. In 1854, the East Bfandywine and Waynesburg road was 
incorporated for the construction of a railroad from Downing- 
town to Waynesburg, now Honeybrook. This road was com- 
pleted and opened to public travel, and has been in operation 
ever since that time. Downingtown continued its usual course of 

People began to discuss the location of the Horse Shoe Road. 
Folks argued about the beginnings of roads and bridges in 
Downingtown. The Ringwalt family had come in from New 
Holland, in Lancaster County. Doctor \\ ills, Dr. Leech gave 
zest and spire to the literary ambition of the community. Down- 
ingtown was tired of being shackled to East Cain and a move- 
ment began for the incorporation of the village into a borough. 
Every newspaper in Downingtown had ceased to exist. Every 
printing office had passed out of business. The population within 
the district proposed to become a borough was about seven 
hundred i 700 i in number. 

The literary society organized in the early forties had nour- 
ishes ■. blossomed and in a few years had ceased to exist. The 
Hunts, Edges, the Downings, Hoopes and many others, includ- 
ing Dr. beech, Thomas S. Ingram, Dr. Wills. Henry Eicholtz, 
Richard Wells, had been its active members and its firm sup- 

As I look back across the eighteenth and nineteenth centu- 
ries, there is no town in Pennsylvania having more charming 
retrospect than that of Downingtown. Space docs not permit 
me to discuss the olden time much further. As Charles Dickens 
observed, "The interesting writer must always leave something 
for the imagination." John Ouincy Adams remarks, "Posterity 
delights in details." Thomas Carlyle observed, "After a century 
of struggling humanity, discussion of cause and effects brings on 
ethical hysteria." 1 now pass to the last half-century of Down- 

(Tfyapter 6 

Incorporation of the Borough— The Petition — The Ac- 
tion of the Court — Downingtown and the 
Civil War. 

In January, 1859, the following petition was presented to 
the Court of Quarter Sessions of Chester County, and the papers 
following the petition describe the action taken thereon. 

The petition of the undersigned inhabitants of the Village of Down- 
ingtown and the territory adjoining thereto as. hereinafter described. Being 
a majority of the Freeholders residing therein, in the County of Chester 
and State of Pennsylvania. 

Respectfully ask of your Honorable Court, that the said village of 
Downingtown and the territory adjoining thereto, all in the township of 
East Cain, included within the following boundaries, to wit : Beginning in 
the middle of the Downingtown, Ephrata and Harrisburg turnpike in a 
line of lands of Joseph Baugh and Allen W. Wills, Esq., thence through 
lands of Joseph Baugh north fifty-three degrees and fifteen minutes east, 
to a line of lands of Samuel Ringwalt, seventy-four perches and eight- 
tenths; thence the same course, through lands of the said Samuel Ring- 
wait, eighteen perches and five-tenths to a walnut tree; thence north eighty 
degrees and thirty minutes east through land of the said Samuel Ringwalt 
to a lime stone, a corner of lands of Samuel Ringwalt, Joseph Baugh, 
Charles Downing and the heirs of William Downing, deceased, fifty-two 
perches and six tenths; thence along the line of lands of the heirs of Will- 
iam Downing, deceased, and Charles Downing north eighty-eight degrees 
and thirty minutes east, sixty-four perches and four-tenths to a lime stone; 
thence the same course through lands of the said heirs of William Down- 
ing, deceased, thirteen perches and one-tenth to a corner of lands of James 
Humphrey and the said heirs of William Downing, deceased, in the Brandy- 
wine Creek; thence the same course along the line of lands of the said heirs 
of William Downing, deceased, and James Humphrey, twenty-six perches to 
a corner in a line of lands of Samuel J. Downing; thence the same course, 
through lands of Samuel J. Downing, forty-two perches to a line of lands 
of Theresa M. Downing; thence the same course through lands of the said 
Theresa M. Downing, crossing the Lion Road, one hundred and seventy- 
eight perches to a line of lands of Hannah Downing; thence the same course 
through land of Hannah Downing seventeen perches to a stake (making in 
the aggregate three hundred and forty and five-tenths) ; thence through land 
of the said Hannah Downing south two degrees and thirty minutes east, 
thirteen perches and thirty-six hundredths to a lime stone on the north side 
of the Philadelphia and Lancaster turnpike road, and in a line of lands of 
Samuel Ringwalt and Lydia Palmatier; thence the same course, along the 
line of Samuel Ringwalt and Lydia Palmatier thirty-five perches and nine- 


tenths of a perch to a corner of Benjamin Martin's land; thence the same 
course along the line of the said Samuel Ringwalt and Benjamin Martin 
land furty-seven and a half perches to a marble stone, a corner of David 
Shelmire"s land; thence the same course along the line of David Shelmire 
and Benjamin Martin land sixty-two perches to — a corner of land of John 
Fisler, deceased; thence the same curse along the line of the said Johi» 
Fisler, deceased, and Benjamin land, thirty-two and a half perches to a cor- 
ner of land of Joshua B. Sharpless; thence the same course along the line 
of land of said John Fisler, deceased, and Joshua Sharpless, thirteen and 
three-quarters of a perch, a corner of land of the aforesaid Joshua B. 
Sharpless; thence the same course along the line of lands of David Shel- 
mire and Joshua B. Sharpless, twenty-nine perches and eight-tenths to the 
middle of the Pennsylvania Railroad and a corner of land of William B. 
Evan-: thence (he same course along the line of lands of the said William 
P. Evans and Joshua B. Sharpie-- eleven perches to the north side of the 
Boot road: thence along the north side thereof south eighty-eight degrees 
and thirty minutes west, one hundred and eighteen perches to a stake; 
thence south two degrees east, three perches to a stake on the south side 
of the said Boot road, thence along the south side thereof south eighty- 
eight degrees and thirty minutes west, one hundred and twenty perches to 
the middle of another public road, leading from Downingtown to West 
Chester; thence through land of Henry Hoopes south fifty degrees west 
one hundred and sixty-six perches to a stump in the West Bradford Town- 
ship line and a corner of the said Henry Hoopes and James Harbison's land; 
thence along the said West Bradford Township line, south seventy-five de- 
gress west, one hundred and eleven perches to a stone, a corner of lands 
of Dr. John P. Edge and William B. Hoopes; thence along the line of lands 
of the said Dr. John P. Edge and William B. Hoopes north two degrees and 
thirty minutes west, forty-one perches and two-tenths to a post, a corner of 
Stephen Blatchford's land; thence the same course along the line of land 
of the said William B. Hoopes and Stephen Blatchford. forty perches and 
eight-tenths to a point near two hickory trees; thence the same course 
through land of the said William B. Hoopes one hundred and six perches 
and three tenths to a line of lands of the said William B. Metopes and the 
aforesaid Allen W. Wills, Esq.; thence the same course through land of the 
said Allen W. Wills, Esq., one hundred and twenty-four and a half perches 
to the place of beginning. Containing about seven hundred and sixty acres 
of land. "Run to the magnet bearing, variation of the compass, four degrees 
and thirty minutes west" a plot or draft, whereof is hereto annexed, shall 
be erected into and incorporated as a borough to be called the Borough of 
Downingtown in accordance with the Acts of General Assembly of the Com- 
monwealth of Pennsylvania in such case made and provided. 

Downingtown, January the twenty-seventh, one thousand eight hundred 
and fifty-nine. 
Petitioners names< Isaac Webster 

Samuel Ringwalt Daniel Kelly 

James Lockart Oliver Hawks 

Lebuton Thomas Mary B. Thomas 

Elizabeth Gray John P. Edge 

Charles Leiglcr Win. Edge 

Ann Walker Mary Ayars 

Israel Thomas William Rogers 

Jacob Sharpless Alfred Goodwin Compton 

Mary D. Sharpless, per order. Allen W. Wills 

John Webster Edwin W. Hoster 

Richard Webb Joshua Walton 


Robert B. Moore Samuel Black 

Webster F. Hilton Henry Euhotts 

Webster F. Hilton Stephen Blatchford 

Prest. Board Francis I. Hull 

Brandywine Lodge David Shelmire 

I. O. of O. F. James Harboon 

I. P. Baugh John McGraw 

James Humphrey Jonathan C. Baldwin 

his Sarah Cornoy 

Patrick X Daily Jos. M. Downing 

mark John Baldwin 

Adam Fullerton. Andrew Cox 

Richard D. Webb Sarah A. Walton 

Isaac Webster James Bennett Chymoweth 

Daniei Kelly Theodore B. Rambo 

his Silas D. Yerkes 

Oliver X Hawks Evans Thornbury 

mark Joseph Baugh 
Wm. P. Walkinshaw M. I. Baugh 
Sarah M. Senders S. E. Shelmire 
Elizabeth Corbie Chas. Downing. 
To the Honorable Judges of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Chester County: 
We. the undersigned, being a majority of the Grand Jury of Chester 
County for the January Term, A. D. 1859, respectfully certify to your Hon- 
orable Court that after a full investigation of the case contained in the with- 
in^ application for the Incorporation of the Village of Downingtown 

into a Borough, we find that the conditions prescribed by the Acts of the Gen- 
eral Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in such case made and 
provided have been complied with, and that .we believe that it is expedient to 
grant the prayer of the petitioners : 

M. B. Hickman John B. Temple 

Wm. Davis Wm. Patterson 

J. M. Beale Moses M. Binder 

Abel Reese Washington Yearsley 

Stephen Snare Taylor Pierce 

Josiah Hoopes Jesse A. Strickland 

Alexander Stephens Abner Davis, Jr 

David Shields Joshua Hallowell 

Isaiah Knauer Joseph Kimes 

Isaac M. Anderson William Hurton. 

Isaac Meredith 

May 12th, 1859, filed 
In the Court of Quarter Sessions 
of Chester County. 

In the matter of the application for 
the Incorporation of the Borough of Downingtown. Whereas, the petition 
of divers inhabitants of the Village of Downingtown having been presented 
in due form to said Court at January Sessions, 1859, praying that the said 
Village and the Territory particularly described in said Petition and the plot 
or draft thereof thereto annexed should be erected into and Incorporated as a 
Borough by the name, style and title of "The Borough of Downingtown" : 
And the said application or Petition having been regularly laid before the 
Grand Jury of said County when in Session of the said January Term of 
said Court, that the said Grand Jury after a full investigation of the case 
having found that the conditions prescribed by the various Acts of the Gen- 


era] Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania relating to Boroughs 
have been complied with, and that they, the said Grand Jury, believed that it 
was expedient to grant the prayer of the petitioners. And the said Grand 
Jury having certified the >:une to the Court according to law, which cer- 
tificate was duly entered of Record. 

And now. to wit : .May 12th, 1859. The judgment of the Grand Jury 
aforesaid is approved by the said Court, and it is ordered and decreed that 
the said petition and this decree be Recorded in the Recorder's Office of 
Chester County. 

And from thenceforth the said Village and Territory adjoining thereto, the 
boundaries thereof to be the same as described and set forth in the said peti- 
tion and plot of draft thereof thereunto annexed, shall be deemed an In- 
corporated Borough by the name, style and title of "The Borough of Down- 
ingtown," and shall be entitled to the several rights, privileges and immuni- 
ties conferred by the various Acts of the General Assembly of the Common- 
wealth of Pennsylvania relating to Boroughs : And that the said Borough be 
a separate and independent Election District, the Election to be held at the 
Public I louse known as Swan Tavern, now occupied by Joseph P. Tucker, in 
said Borough, and also a separate and independent School District. 

The time for holding the annual Borough Election of said Borough shall 
be the last Tuesday preceding the third Friday in March in each and every 
year (except the year 1859) between the hours of eight o'clock A. M. and 
six o'clock P. M. of said days. The said Elections to be held at the Publi - 
House aforesaid, now occupied by Joseph P. Tucker, in said Borough, until 
otherwise ordered by the Court: The first Election to be held on Saturday, 
the twenty-eighth day of May, A. D. 1859, between the hours of eight o'clock 
A. M. and six o'clock P. M. of said day: And Samuel Ringwalt is appointed 
to give public notice thereof by six or more printed or written advertisements 
affixed at as many of the most public places in said Borough at least ten days 
preceding said Election ; and Morgan L. Reese is appointed Judge and John 
S. Mullin and James Lockart Inspectors to hold the said first Election. 

After the Court had taken into its consideration the applica- 
tion fur the incorporation, and had made its decree, the proceed- 
in^-; had therein were recorded in Recorder's Office of Chester 
County, and as duly set forth, constituted the Charter of the 
lioroti-h of Downingtown. and said Charter is herewith printed: 
CHARTER & At a Court of Quarter Sessions of the 

Exemplification of Record. Peace held at West Chester, in and 
The Court &c, for said County the 12th day of May 

to A D. 1859. before the Honorable 

The horough of Downingtown. Townsend Haines President and Wil- 
C HESTER COUNTY, ss : ham Wollerton and Robert Parke, es- 

quires associates, Judges of said Court. 
In the matter of the incorporation of the Borough of Downingtown whereas 
on tin Fourth daj of February, A. D. [859, at a Sessions of the said Court 
the petition of Sundry inhabitants of the Village of Downingtown in the 
Township of East Cain in the said (.'.unity of Chester, was presented Setting 
forth that the\ desire thai the -.aid village of Downingtown and the Terri- 
tory adjoining thereto, all in the town-hip of East Cain included within the 

following boundaries i" wit: 

[Then follow- the boundaries as already given in the petition.] 

CONTAINING aboul seven hundred and sixty acres of land run to 

magnet bearing variation of the Compass four degrees and thirty minutes 

wesl of a plot or draft of which was thereto annexed and praying the Court 

that the same should he erected into and Incorporated into a Borough to be 


called The Borough of Downingtown in accordance with the acts of General 
Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in such case made and 

provided : CERTIFICATE OF GRAND INQUEST, To the Honorable, 

the Judges of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Chester County, we the 
undersigned being a majority of the Grand Jury of Chester County for the 
January Term A. D. 1859. Respectfully Certify to your Honorable Court 
that after a full investigation of the Case Contained in the within application 
for the Incorporation of the Village of Downingtown into a Borough, we find 
that the Conditions prescribed by the acts of the General Assembly of the 
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in such Case made and provided have been 
Complied with and that we believe it is Expedient to grant the prayer of the 

Marshall B. Hickman John B. Temple 

William Davis Wm. Patterson 

J. M. Beale Moses M. Binder 

Abel Reese Washington Yearsley 

Stephen G Snare Taylor Pierce 

Josiah Hoopes Jesse A. Strickland 

Alexander Stephens Abner Davis, Jr. 

David Shields Joshua Hallowell 

Isaiah Knauer Josiah Kime 

Isaac M. Anderson William Huston 
Isaac Meredith 
Filed February 4th, 1859. 

In the Court of Quarter Sessions April Term A. D.. 1859, Whereas 

of Chester County. the petition of Divers inhabitants of 

the Village of Downingtown having been presented in due form to the said 
Court at January Sessions 1859, praying that the said Village and the Ter- 
ritory particularly described in said petition and the plot or draft thereof 
annexed should be Erected into and Incorporated as a Borough in the name 
of Style and title of The Borough of Downingtown, and the said application 
or petition having been regularly laid before the Grand Jury of said County 
when in Session at the said January Term of said Court and the said Grand 
Jury after a full investigation of the lease having found that the conditions 
prescribed by the various acts of General Assembly of the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania relating to Boroughs had been complied with and that the said 
Grand Jury believed that it was Expedient to grant the prayer of the pe- 
titioners, and the said Grand Jury having Certified the same to the Court 
according to law. which certificate was duly entered of Record and now to 
wit, May 12, 1859. The judgment of the Grand Jury as aforesaid is approved 
by the said Court and it is ordered and decreed that the said petition and 
thjs decree be recorded in the Recorder's Office of Chester Count}- and from 
thence forth the said Village and Territory adjoining thereto the boundaries 
thereof to be the same as described and set forth in the said petition and 
alot of draft thereto annexed shall be deemed an Incorporated Borough of 
the name Style and title of The Borough of Downingtown, and shall be en- 
titled to the several rights, privileges and immunities Confirmed by the Vari- 
ous acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 
relating to boroughs and that the said Borough be a separate and independent 
Election District the Elections in said Borough to be held at the public house 
known as Swan Tavern now occupied by Joseph P. Tucker and also a separate 
and Independent School District. The time for holding the annual Borough 
Elections for said Borough shall be the last Tuesday preceding the third 
Friday in March in each and every year Except the year 1859 Between the 
hours of 8 O'clock A. M. and 6 O" clo'ck P. M. of said clays the said Elections 
to be held at the public house aforesaid now occupied by Joseph P. Tucker in 


said Borough until otherwise ordered by said Court. The first Election to 
be held on Saturday the 28th day of May A. D. 1859 between the hours of 
8 O'clock A. M. and 6 O'clock P. M. of said day, and Samuel Ringwalt is 
appointed to give public notice thereof by six or more printed or written 
advertisements affixed at as many of the most public places in said Borough 
at least ten days preceding said Election and Morgan L. Reese is appointed 
Judge and John S. Mullin and James Locliart Inspectors to hold the said 
Fir>t Election. 

From the Record. 

Witness my hand and the seal of the Court this 
twentieth day of May A. D., 1859. 

(Signed) Addis M. Avers, 

' (Clerk) 
Recorded Tune 20. [858. 

(Signed) E. H. Taylor. Clerk. 

Downingtown took on a new era of prosperity after her in- 

In 1860 her population was 761 

In 1870 it was 1,071 

In 1880 it was 1,480 

In L890 it was 1,920 

In 1900 it was 2,133 

In the early thirties, starting' at the Hunt mansion, then oc- 
cupied by Joshua Hunt, and coming on to the Lancaster Pike, 
the first property on the north side was occupied by John Can- 
ada : the next two by Isaac Hawley; the next was the property 
of Morgan L. Reese, and on the south side were two dwelling 
properties of Thomas Edge; then coming further to the east- 
ward, properties of George Edge, John L. Ingram. On the south 
side of the road, Joseph Hunt and Morgan L. Reese. On the 
north side, some distance from the highway, was the farm house 
of Charles Downing, and the home of Samuel Miller, Esq., and 
on the south side, after crossing the bridge over the Prandywine, 
were the properties of William W. Downing and Joseph Hunt, 
and on the north side properties of Penjamin Fell, Joseph R. 
Downing, William \Y. Downing, and on the south side the prop- 
erty of Thomas Pattin, Thomas A. Parke, Jonathan Diller, and 
on the north side \\ . Wright, T. Springer, Richard' Downing, 
W. Downing's mill, and on the south side Samuel Fondersmith, 
John F. Parke. On the north side William Downing (miller), 
S. Bellerjean, Elizabeth Downing, Mary Whelen on the south 
side. The Academy building on the north side an old brewery, 
property of Samuel Hoopes, the Masonic Hall house, formerly 
occupied l>v Dr. Fairlamb, and on the south side, formerly the 
property of William Rent, a coppersmith, and Malachi Parke. 
This description of property owners along the Lancaster Pike 
is taken from an old draft in the possession of Mrs. Ella C. Rob- 


erts, now living in Downingtown, and who is a daughter of Wil- 
liam Downing, deceased. I give it at this period of the narrative, 
so as to contrast the new times with the old times. 

After the borough had been incorporated and the Chief Bur- 
gess had been elected, and the Councilmen had taken their places 
of service, public improvements were at once begun. Previous 
to that time the Road Supervisors of East Cain had allowed all 
kinds of sidewalks, all sorts of street gutters and every variety 
of crossing which the property owners chose to have. Although 
the assessed valuation of the property in the borough limits of 
Downingtown was equal to all the rest of the township of East 
Cain, yet such had been the neglect of those in official stations 
that the improvement brought about by incorporation was im- 
mediately manifest. Street gutters were established, sidewalks 
were improved, gutters were made passable and possible, and at 
numerous points along the main street facilities for crossing in 
muddy weather were established. The questions of light and of 
a borough water supply as well as ordinances for the govern- 
ment and regulation of property and property owners were con- 
sidered. Downingtown had a new era of development, but in the 
midst of all these hopeful visions for the future, war clouds ap- 
peared upon the horizon, and civil war between the States of the 
Union approached. The life of the nation was menaced. The 
people recognized the impending fact that the election of Abra- 
ham Lincoln meant a rebellion by the South. This critical period 
in our country's history largely obliterated party lines in Down- 
ingtown. 3. 1 any of those who had acted with the Democratic 
party declined to act any farther. Many of those whose Friendly 
environment had instilled into their minds the doctrines of peace, 
felt and declared that the country was worth fighting for and that 
the Federal Union should be preserved, even if force had to be 
used for its preservation. The afternoon in April, 1861, when the 
news was flashed all over the North that Fort Sumter had been 
fired on, and that war was imminent, roused the spirit of the en- 
tire North. There was a war meeting called at once at Down- 
ingtown. and Col.. Samuel Ringwalt was at the head of the move- 
ment. He had been an active and a staunch supporter of John 
Hickman, and had followed his course in Congress with a great 
deal of interest and enthusiasm, and when the sound of war's 
alarm reverberated throughout Downingtown, no man was more 
loyal and more determined than Samuel Ringwalt. At that time 
the population was about nine hundred (900) persons, and during 
the ensuing four years of bloody conflict, many persons entered 
the service of their country, and while some of them never re- 
turned, having yielded up their lives upon the battle field or in 
the hospital, yet quite a number survived the shock of battle and 


the perils of the service to return to their families and their 
the perils of their service to return to their families and their 
friends. Among the soldiers who figured in this crisis, and who 
sought to perpetuate the memory of the living and dead, no man 
was more active, and more outspoken than Liberty Browne. The 
writer well remembers him. having associated with him for a 
number of years, and while he was an excellent soldier in time 
of war, he was a most distinguished citizen in the days of peace, 
It was a patriotic family. Five sons served in the army, together 
with the father. 

The Eicholtz family was. like the Ringwalts. From Lancas- 
ter County, and was distinguished for its patriotism. Henry 
Eicholtz. the father, was for many years landlord of the hotel, 
which was the dining resort of travelers upon the Pennsylvania 
Railroad. Both his sons served in the war of the rebellion. The 
father. Henry Eicholtz, was a gentleman of more than ordinary 
literary attainments. He was a great reader and a keen observ- 
er of pssing events. 

The following is a list of the soldiers of Downingtown in the 
Civil War: 

Ahn. Benjamin F. 
Ahn, Edwin T. 

Bailey, George F. 
Bailey, Reese M. 
Bennett, James 
Burnett, James 
Burnett. Josiah 
Blatchford, Thomas 
Bailey, Thomas V. 
Blatchford, Stephen 
Bedloe, John 
Burnett, Cyrus 
Browne, Francis A. 
Bondfield, George 
Browne, George W. 
Breinar, Frederick 
Boner, Barnard 
Browne, Ellett 
Browne, Liberty 

Conway, Thomas 
Cox. I )avid M. 
Caruthers, David P. 
Crisman, John 

Carberrv, John L. 

Dallar, William 
Dugan, Michael 
Dowlin, Thomas 
Dallar, Charles 
Dailev, John 

Eicholtz, James 
Eicholtz, George M. 

Ferrell, John 
Foreman, George 
Ford, Peter 
Frame, Issac 
Ford, John B. 
Ford, John 
Ford, Lewis J. 
Fondersmith, George 

Garrett, Eber 
Gordon, fames R. 

II . 
Hall, Joseph 
Hoffecker, 1 lenry 
Harvey. William 

Hickman, John 
Hoopes, Henry L. 
Hickman, Daniel 
Holtsgrove, Henry 

Jones, Temple 

Keech. James 

Laird, David 
Lewis, Joel 
Lewis, Thomas 

Mullen, John 
Maxton, George 
Mercer, Reuben M. 
Mercer, Evan 
Mealy, James 
MacCullough, Thomas 
Monaghan, Hamilton 
Mercer, Richard 
Mercer, Townsend 
McClintock, James 
Mathews, George T. 
Mercer, William 
McCafrerty, Enos 
Moylin, Richard 

O'Xeil, James 

Price. Issachar 

Packingham, Samuel H. 
Price, George W. 
Peace, Alfred 

Roberts, John 
Rambo, Xathan 
Rambo, Abram 
Roberts, G. 
Ringwalt, J. E. *P. 

Springer, William 1. 
Smith, William H. 
Starr, Samuel 
Shelmire, Jacob 
String, Benjamin 
Skeen, Benjamin F. 
Smith, Cooper 
Skeen, Robert. Jr. 
Smith, Columbus 
Smith, Vaughn 

Thompson. Georgt 

Webster. William i 
Wills. F. F. 
Webster, Alfred 
Wilkinson, William 
Wills, J. Hunter 
Webster, William E 

Y T eager, Arthur B. 

diopter 7 

Downingtown Churches-Dwigfht Farms-Northwood 


The following brief histories of the religious organizations 
in Dowmngtown are given in their historical order as to ao- e 
I hey have been prepared largely by pastors and others who 
were specially interested and who had ready access to the rec- 
ords necessary for accuracy of detail. These histories are given 
as tally as was warranted in a volume which is the record of a 
community and not the history of any particular organization. 

The Friends. To the Friends belong the honor of having 
first preached the Gospel in this part of Chester County Their 
bociety in Dowmngtown was organized in 1807; but almost a 
hundred years before they met for divine worship in Uwchlan 
and Cain townships, only a few miles distant from this place 
With respect to the origin of Uwchlan meeting we find the 
following statement in a "History of Delaware County" by 
George Smith, M. D., p. 220: "At a monthly meeting held fa't 
Chester) the 28th of April, 1712, the representatives of Goshen 
.Meeting 'moved the request of several Friends that live at a 
place called Youchland to have a meeting at the house of John 
Cadwalader.' This meeting was allowed to be held every first 
and filth days, except when a meeting is kept at Tames Thomas', 
they meeting once in six weeks with the Great Valley Friends 
at James Thomas'." The Uwchlan stone meeting house now 
standing at Lionville, was built in 1756. It was preceded by a 
i log house, built perhaps as early as 1715, the foundations of 
which can now be traced. On the 16th of January 1716 Tohn 
\\ mchester sold a tract of land to Thomas Fell, with the" fol- 
lowing reservation : "Excepting a piece of ground on the side 
ot the King's Road, which the said Cadwalader allotted for a 
burying place, and to set a meeting house for the use of the 
people called Quakers." The ground thus reserved is that on 
which the Lwchlan meeting house now stands. The land was 
bought by John Cadwalader the year before he sold it to Thomas 
Fell. He allotted a portion to the Friends some time between 


June and January, and it is likely they built upon it during that 

Concerning Cain, Dr. Smith says, p. 226 - ''A preparative 
meeting was called in Cain in, 1716 by Concord Monthly Meet- 
ing." I '. 238: "It is probable the first meeting house at Cain 
was erected in 1721 I Dr. Michener says it was built about 1716), 
as that meeting had selected ground for said purpose upon the 
further side of the valley upon the mountain, and had secured 
the consent of Concord Monthly Meeting to proceed." The 
firsl meeting house at Cain was built on an acre of land bought 
of John Mend nhall. The acre, with the exception of the bury- 

ing ground, was subsequently sold to William Pirn with the con- 
nt of Bradford Monthly 'Meeting, held at Cain August 1!'. 
L743. A more convenient location was selected. On the 18th 
■v. 1759, Richard Pike conveyed four acres of land in 
Cain township to Robi rt Miller and Thomas Parke in trust "for 
the benefil of the people called Quakers," on which ground the 
present Cain meeting house was built soon after. 

Vs to Downingtown, we found that in 1784 a meeting was 
allowed to be held on First-day afternoon during the summer 
at the school house near the corner of Lancaster and Uwchlan 
avenues, and this privilege was repeated by Uwchlan Monthly 


Meeting, 1785-89. In 1795 and 1798 similar meetings were 
held, and in 1800 an earnest effort was made to establish a per- 
manent meeting, but this was met with opposition. Its advo- 
cates persisted in their efforts and obtained an indulgence of 
holding meetings from time to time until 1806. 

On the 22d day of 7th month (July), 1806, the toTiowmg 
contract was made for the erection of a Friends' meeting house 
in East Cain, near Downingtown : 

ARTICLE of agreement made and concluded upon, by and between 
John Roberts, Samuel Downing, Jonathan Parke, John R. Thomas and 
Sam'el Baldwin, who stand legally appointed and authoris'd Trustees for 
the Building Friends' Meeting-house in the vicinity of Downing's-Town of 
one part, and Peter Sheneholts, Mason of the Township of East Cain 
and County of Chester of the other part, Witnesseth that for and in con- 
sideration of the sum of Four Shillings and three pence per perch the s'd 
Peter Sheneholts agrees to rind his tenders and boards himself and his 
hands in order to Build a Meeting-house of the following Dimentions, that 
is to say the House shall be Forty feet by Thirty-five from out to out 
and all the pillars and \\ alls the sd. Trustees shall deem or Judge neces- 
sary in or about sd. Building, the whole of the measurement shall be 
br< aight into what's Cali'd Masons perch of Wall, and in no instance to 
edge stones less than four inches thick, or otherwise remove them by the 
Direction of one or more of sd. Trustees, and completely joint and finish 
the whole of his part of sd. work in a Masterly workmanlike manner, he 
the sd. Mason nor his hands shall not willingly nor designingly Retard or 
hinder the Carpenter in his work, but shall pay all customary or necessary 
attention to the leveling and plumbing all the timbers of sd. Building, Him- 
self and his hands shall assist in raisemg sd. timbers, unless their own part 
of the work should necessarily call them at times of raiseing — the whole 
of said Mason work (except pointing which is subject to the direction of 
sd. Trustees) shall be completed within six weeks after said Trustees 
have made all necessary preparation for sd. Mason and notify' d him thereof, 
and further he shall set and raise All the scaffold poles find withs and raise 
the scaffolds for sd. Building — The Trustees to wit John Roberts, Samuel 
Downing, Jonathan Parke, John R. Thomas and Sam'el Baldwin, do agree 
on their part to deliver at sd. Building 'at all times during the carrying 
on of sd. Work a sufficiency of suitable Building Stones, Lime, Sand, Water, 
Scaffold, Poles, Range-poles, and putlocks, as also suitable materials for 
gang-ways and a sufficiency of good scaffold Boards — sd. Trustees further 
agree that when the Seller Joice are laid to furnish sd. Peter Sheneholts 
with Forty Dollars in part Toward Defraying the expense of sd. Mason 
work and other Forty Dollars when sd. Building is carried to the square, 
and the Remaining Part of the money shall be paid when the whole of the 
Mason work is completed agreeably to contract — All unforeseen accidents 
and Casualties on both sides to be considered — for the true performance 
of each and every of the above or foregoing Covenants, the sd. parties 
bind themselves to each other in the pennalty of one Hundred Dollars as 
witness our hands and seals this Twenty-second day of the Seventh Month 
Anno. Domini one thousand Eight Hundred and six — 1806 — 
Sealed and delivered 

in oresence i f 









The first recorded minute we have is a request made to 
Uwchlan Monthly Meeting- of Friends, held the 10th day of 1st 
month (January), 1811, by "Friends of the Downingtown Meet- 
ing for the establishing of a preparative meeting there, which, 
after being solidly deliberated on, is united with, which is pro- 
posed to be held on the 4th day | Wednesday) preceding the 
first second day in each month and known by the name of 
Downingtown Preparative Meeting; provided, the Quarterly 
Meeting approve said proposition, which is directed to be stated 
in our report thereto." 

At Cain Quarterly Meeting of Friends, held the 4th day of 
2d month, 1811, "Uwchlan Monthly Meeting report that Friends 
who compose Downingtown Meeting propose for consideration 
the establishing of a preparative meeting there to be held on 
the 4th day of the week next preceding the first 2d day in each 
month, and to be known by the name of Downingtown Prepara- 
tive Meeting, which, claiming the consideration of this meeting, 
is united with, and the time for the opening of this meeting to 
take place on the 4th day preceding the first 2d day in the 4th 
month next." 

At the next monthly meeting, held at Uwchlan on the 7th 
day of 3d month, 1811, James Cockburn, John Martin, William 
Trimble, Isaac Jacobs and Joseph Hawley were appointed to at- 
tend the opening of Downingtown Preparative Meeting, which 
was first opened and held at Downingtown on the 27th dav of 
3d month, 1811. 

Meetings have been regularly held there since, some of the 
most solid and substantial families in Downingtown and Chester 
Valley being members. One of the most widely known and 
eloquent resident ministers of the Society of Friends was Jesse 
Kersey, a potter by trade, who lived near this meeting house. 

Uwchlan Monthly Meeting continues to be held at Down- 
ingtown, also two of the four Quarterly Meetings of Cain. 

There are now 48 members, our venerable and much-beloved 
Elder Elhanan Zook being the head of the meeting. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church. In looking back over 
the history of the Methodist Church in Downingtown we find 
the first authentic introduction of Methodism to be in the year 
1824, at which date Henry Beohem and John \\'oolston, two 
preachers assigned to the old Chester Circuit, held public serv- 


ices at the house of William Wiggins, who was converted and 
joined the Church during that year. Meetings were also held in 
private houses and in the wheelwright shop below the toll gate. 

Laborers for the Master increased in numbers, and, as the 
house of Elijah Davis (at which place services were then being 
held) was found not sufficiently large to hold the numerous con- 
verts, application was made on May 5, 1832, for the use of the 
public school house ; this being refused, the meetings were held 
in the wheelwright shop of Brother Alexander Gary. 

On June -30, 1833, a plot of ground was purchased from 
Thomas Webster, on Lancaster avenue, opposite where the 

church — now a school house — stands. Two hundred and fifty 
dollars was the price paid. On this lot was built a plain church 
building, 32 x 4-0 feet, at a cost of six hundred and forty-eight 
dollars, Richard Webster being the builder. 

The property was deeded to Stephen Avers, Isaac Pauling, 
Benjamin McDaniels, William Few, William Wiggins, William 
Lent and Jacob Zcok, who constituted the first Board of Trus- 

On November 17, 1833, the church building was finished 
and dedicated, its membership numbering twenty-five. James 
B. Avers preached the dedicatory sermon. 

In the year 1860 the building and lot was sold and a plot 


of ground on the opposite or south side of Lancaster avenue 
was purchased, upon which a much larger and more imposing 
edifice was erected. The basement of the church building was 
completed and dedicated the same year, the audience room not 
being finished until the following year. John Shields was the 
preacher in charge. 

Downingtown had been, up to this date, connected with a 
circuit and so continued until the year 180?, at which time it 
became a station, the first appointment to the station being the 
Rev. D. \Y. Gordon. 

Under the spiritual teachings of the eminent men appointed 
by the Bishops of the respective Conferences the wonderful 
growth of Methodism was such that it was found necessary to 
seek other and more convenient quarters, and at a meeting held 
at the house of Brother J. T. Pollock, April 9, 1SS8, the pastor, 
Thomas Kelly, stated, "That at the recent session of the Quar- 
terly Conference the subject of procuring ground better and 
more centrally located, suitable for the erection of a new church 
building, was discussed, with the suggestion that preliminary 
steps be taken in the matter, resulting in the appointing of a 
committee comprising Brothers J. R. Gordon, J. T. Pollock and 
S. A. Bicking, who were also empowered by resolution to offer 
the present church property for sale. 

On April 10 the committee reported they found the only 
available lot for church building was located on Brandywine 
avenue, opposite J. T. Pollock's house. The committee was 
instructed to purchase said lot. At a meeting of the Trustees, 
held July 30, 1888, the said committee was further instructed 
to again confer with Mr. Royer, the owner of said lot. The 
committee, in reply, stated that Mr. Royer demanded an immedi- 
ate answer, as other parties were negotiating for the lot. Draw- 
ings of dimensions of said lot were presented, also draft of lot 
in rear owned by T. B. Carpenter, which said T. B. Carpenter 
offered to church for one hundred dollars. On motion it was 
moved and seconded that the Board purchase the Rover and 
Carpenter lots, which was carried. At a meeting of the male 
members of the church, 'held August 13, 1888, it was unanimous- 
ly agreed that authority be given the Trustees to purchase said 

At a meeting of the Trustees, held September 10, 1888, the 
Building Committee reported that the deeds for the Royer and 
Carpenter lots were in their possession, and money paid for same. 

At a meeting of the Trustees, held November 1!>, isss, the 
Committee on Sale was instructed to sell the church property 
on Lancaster avenue to School Board for the sum of three thou- 
sand five hundred dollars, it being the price offered by the School 


Board for the same, which sale was ratified at a meeting held 
by the male members of the church on December 13, 1888. 

At a meeting of the Board of Trustees, held February 11, 
1889, the committee appointed to look after a place of worship 
until such times as the new church building then in contempla- 
tion shall have been built reported having rented Bicking Hall 
for the term of one year, commencing February 1, 1889. 

At a meeting of the Trustees, held February 15, 1889, it was 
decided that the new church building to be erected shall be of 

The first meeting of the church after its removal to Bick- 
ing Hall was held March 11, 1889. 

At a meeting of the Trustees, held April 1, 1889, it was, upon 
motion, recommended that the purchase of an additional plot 
of ground adjoining the lot now owned by the church be made, 
with and by the sanction of the male members of the church, 
which, at a meeting held by said male members, April 15, 1889, 
was so sanctioned. 

On June 1, 1889, plans for the erection of a new church build- 
ing were submitted by T. Roney Williamson, architect. On July 
2?, 1889, bids for the erection of the building were received, and 
on July 31, 1889, the contract for its erection was awarded to 
G. T. Guthrie. 

On September 7, 1889, the cornerstone of the church build- 
ing was laid with appropriate ceremonies, and on May 25, 1890, 
the building was dedicated to the service of Almighty God, the 
dedicatory services being conducted by Bishop Cyrus D. Foss. 

In the year 1905 a plot of ground belonging to J. T. Pollock, 
which adjoined to the south of the church building, was pur- 
chased and a parsonage erected thereon, G. T. Guthrie being the 

The present membership of the church is as follows: 

Pastor, Rev. John W. Tindall. 

Communicant Members 330 

Sunday School Scholars 360 

Theo. M. Griffith, Superintendent. 

Epworth League 60 

C. M. Keim, President. 

Ushers' Association 40 

John Bareford, President. 
Ladies' Aid Society 50 

Mrs. Matilda Kurtz, President. 

The officers of the church are : 

Trustees — Tohn T. Pollock, S. P. Bicking, Parke Smedley, 
James R. Gordon, G. T. Guthrie, A. E. Keim, T. M. Griffith, 
S. D. \\ 'hite, Howard E. Laird. 


Stewards— M. C. Holl, H. A. Dennis, E. P. Dolby, E. H. 
Hunt, J. \Y. Cummings, \Y. \Y. Gurtizcn. James Eppeheimer, 
\V. A. Byler, William M. Barrett. W. W. Moore, John Happer- 
sett. Charles Rambo, John Carr. 

St. James' Parish of the Protestant Episcopal Church. The 
ancient Episcopal Church, planted in Britain in Apostolic days, 
and coming down through the ages as a sister to the Roman 
and Greek communions, came to America with the settlers of 
Jamestown in 1607. Here For a long period her advancement 
was slow, although scores of beautiful old colonial churches bear 
witness to the efiorts of many of the leading men of those days 
to provide for the stately worship for which the Church had al- 
ways been noted. 

While many landmarks of the pre-revolutionary period exist 

around us on every side, as old St. David's, Radnor; St. Peter's, 
Great Valley; St. John's, Pequea, and others, yet the services of 
the Church were not begun in our immediate locality until very 
late. The ancestors of many of our staunchest members were 
Friends, and that fact in part accounts for the cordial and inti- 
mate relations sustained between the older families of the two 
bodies to-day. 


The first services of the Church in Downingtown were con- 
ducted in the early fall of 1842 by the Rev. Gregory T. Bedell, 
then rector of Holy Trinity Church, West Chester. The parish 
was duly, organized by the election of Wardens and Vestrymen 
at the close of a service on November 20 in that year. The fol- 
lowing gentlemen constituted the first Vestry : Messrs. John 
D. Steele, John F. Parke, J. B. Moorehead, Gideon Taylor, 
Charles Pusey, Allen W. Willis, John McKinley, J. Dutton 
Steele, Joshua Hunt, John Hunter, of West Chester; Dr. Andrew 
Wills and Dr. J. Stuart Leech. 

The services were held for some time in the house of Dr. 
Andrew Wills, afterward owned and occupied by Dr. John P. 
Edge, and later in Masonic Hall, the building now used as a 

The parish was named St. James', after the Philadelphia 
parish of that name, which generously contributed for several 
years to the support of the new work. 

The Rev. William Augustus White, of Boston, was elected 
the first rector, and entered upon his duties Advent Sunday, 
1842, the services being held in Masonic Hall. This venerable 
man long lived to enjoy the memories of a faithful rectorate in 
this community. 

It was while Mr. White was rector that the church was built. 
The cornerstone was laid June 20, 1843, the following clergymen 
being present: Rev. Messrs. Rees, Clemson, Kirke and White. 
The building was consecrated October 26, 1843, by the Rt. Rev. 
H. U. Onderdonk, D. D., then Bishop of Pennsylvania. There 
were present on that occasion the Rev. Drs. Clay and Freeman, 
and the Rev. Messrs. Morton, Buchanan, Prescott, Clemson, Col- 
ton, Rees, Hirst, Ridgely, Kirke and the rector. 

It was while Mr. White was rector also that the first Episcopal 
Sunday School was started in the large stone residence of Benjamin 
Hyatt on the hill where the Inprovement Building now stands. 

Mr. White was succeeded by the Rev. Samuel Hazelhurst, 
who entered upon his duties in October, 1845. 

The third rector was the Rev. H. Hastings Weld, who served 
the parish from 1847 to 1854. Mr. Weld was an able and faith- 
ful man. Like many another clergyman, from Apostolic days 
to the present, he was a sturdy laborer with his hands as well 
as with his brain, and there are those in the community to-day 
who worked by his side in the harvest field. He also possessed 
a facile pen, and, besides editing a monthly magazine, called 
"The Mentor," he frequently contributed to the current litera- 
ture of the day. His close relations with George W. Childs, as 
a contributor to the Public Ledger, are commemorated in the 


substantial altar cross which was given to the church in mem- 
ory of Mr. Weld. 

Upon the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the parish, 
the Rev. William Augustus White read a poem, in which the 
following reference is made to the pioneers of those early times : 
"< )ne pastor here all hearts in union held — 
The faithful priest, the gentle teacher, Weld ; 
Long years by him the precious seed was sown, 
Till plants were seen, like 'goodly cedars' grown, 
The living tokens of his earnest toil, ■ 
The fruits of faith where grace had blest the soil ; 
And others, too, the living and the dead. 
Who at God's Table broke the Sacred Bread, 
As in a pleasant picture now we see 
Beneath the wondrous hand of Memory." 
It was while Mr. Weld was in charge of the parish that the 
rectory was acquired. In the year 1820 a Masonic lodge had 
been Formed in the village. 'and under its ownership the house 
now used as a rectory was built. For a number of years it was 
occupied as a residence by the Rev. George Kirke, a missionary 
in this country, who did faithful work in ministering to the in- 
mates of the alms house and the jail, and rendered other services 
wherever opportunity opened. He died in September, 1868, and 
was buried in the graveyard at the rear of the church. The 
building was at one time sold to the Roman Catholics by Joshua 
Hunt, but was in their possession only a short time. 

[n the year 1851 the property was bought by the church, 
and alterations made at a cost of about $1600. 

The Rev. William Porter Ray served the parish in 1856 and 
1857. and was succeeded by the Rev. P. B. Morrison, who also 
served for one year. The Rev. John B. Henry was rector dur- 
ing the five years from 1858 to 1863T 

During thi rectorship' of the Rev. Benjamin A. Rogers, 1863 
to 1866, the church was enlarged and a chancel window placed 
back of the altar, the gift of the Rev. John C. Bolton, whose 
artistic skill is to be seen in the beautiful buildings of Holy 
Trinity Church. West Chester. 

The late Rev. Jesse Y. Burk, I). 1)., become rector in June, 
L866, and for nearly four years administered the affairs of the 
parish with a wisdom which gave promise of the great and hon- 
orable career which followed in his after years. 

During the rectorate of Dr. Burk the twenty-fifth annivers- 
ary of the parish was celebrated, on Monday, October 26, 1868. 
The following clergymen were present: Rev. Dr. Buchanan 
(the brother of the President) and the Rev. Messrs. Bolton, 
Durborow, Lycett, Tortat, Field, Hazerhurst, Weld, White and 


the rector. Letters were read from the Rev. P. B. Morrison and 
the Rev Benjamin F. Rogers. 

The Rev. William White Montgomery was minister-in- 
charge from April. 1870. to April, 1871. 

On July 1, 1871, began the rectorship of the Rev. Robert F. 
Innes. and for ten years he labored with a devotion and success 
unsurpassed in the history of the parish. 

During these years there was built a parish house, made pos- 
sible largely through the generosity of Miss Susan Gorgas, of 
West Chester. The rectory was also altered and improved by 
a frame addition at the rear, at the cost of about eleven hundred 

In 1874, a borough ordinance having been passed forbidding 
the burying of the dead within the borough limits, it was deemed 
advisable to secure a tract of land in Xorthwood Cemetery, and 
a lot was purchased and set aside, being marked by stone slabs 
bearing the name, St. James'. 

The Rev. W. G. Ware became rector in 1880. During his 
pastorate further improvements were made in the rectory, and a 
pipe organ installed in the church. 

The Rev. H. Allen Griffith became rector January 1, 1885. 
It was under his oversight that the church was beautifully decor- 
ated in oils by a prominent New York firm and improvements 
made in the chancel, at an expenditure of about twelve hundred 

The Rev. John C. Fair became rector in 1892. Many faith- 
ful communicants date their interest in the church to the days 
when Mr. Fair served the parish. After the retirement of Mr. 
Fair several clergymen officiated as occasion demanded, among 
whom were the Rev. Benjamin R. Phelps, the late Rev. James 
J. Creigh and the Rev. Xorman Van Pelt Levis. 

In. 1898 the Rev. Charles H. McLane came from New Eng- 
land to St. James' Parish. He had an attractive personality and 
a well-trained mind, and universal sympathy was expressed both 
within and without the church at the time of his early death. 

He was succeeded in 1904 by the Rev. Joseph H. Earp, the 
present rector. 

The roll of the laity during these sixty-five years includes 
the names of many who have been a part of the very best life 
of the community. The church has been, through her communi- 
cants and adherents, influential for good in many departments of 
our social, industrial and political life. Her relations with other 
religious bodies have alwa3's been cordial. Her services have 
preserved the form of a reverent and scriptural worship through 
the changing years. 

Pre-eminently St. James' Church has been a home-church. 


That is, her congregations have been largely composed of certain 
groups of families more or less closely related ; and the affections 
of the members of these families remain true to the old church. 
This fact accounts for the many and varied memorials with which 
the House of God has been so richly furnished. The windows 
of the church are all memorials of those who have been staunch 
and true friends of the parish and in many cases very active 
workers. Among the memorials given during the present rector- 
ship — to go no further back, although to do so Would make an 
interesting story — there have been placed in the church a costly 
brass eagle lectern, a beautiful processional cross, a silver box 
for the bread of the Holy Communion, a new silver chalice, and 
new books for the lectern, altar and prayer-desks. For a num- 
ber of years Mr. Abner C. Baldwin considered it his Lenten privi- 
1 ge to interest some of the parishioners and others in some gift 
to be presented at Easter, and in this way a large number of 
beautiful and exceedingly useful furnishings were provided. It 
should also be noted that many specimens of exquisite ecclesi- 
astical needlework have been made by ladies of the parish or 
otherwise provided for use in the services. 

During the past year the church has been redecorated under 
the direction of a committee appointed by the Vestry, consisting 
of Messrs. William J. Sterrett, J. Hunter Wills, Richard I. D. 
Ashbridge and John Gilbert Mcllvaine. The chancel and aisle 
were handsomely carpeted by the ladies of the St. James' Guild. 
Lately a very pleasing improvement was made in the refurnish- 
ing of pew cushions, hassocks and carpets, and in the upholster- 
ing of all the chancel furniture, the result being a beautiful har- 
mony in the church interior. 

Plans are now being drawn up for an enlarged parish house, 
and it is hoped ere long to see excellent facilities provided for 
the work of the societies and guilds. 

Especial mention should be made of the faithful and capable 
work of the Primary Department of the Sunday School, which 
has been under the direction of Miss Jane E. Ringwalt, to whose 
enterprise has been due also, to a considerable extent, the very 
creditable activities of the Woman's Auxiliary and the Girls' 
Missionary Society. 

Among the many advanced steps taken within the last few 
years has been the formation, in 1905, of a vested choir. The 
services of this faithful group of singers — though entirely volun- 
tary — have given unceasing delight to the congregation. About 
30 men and women, and girls and boys have given their time 
and musical talent to the church, and in doing so have contribut- 
ed not a little, it is believed, to the elevation of the musical 
standard of the community. 


The church has for some years been greatly indebted to 
Miss Mary D. Wells, whose fidelity in the position of organist 
has been a service of constant and loving devotion. On the rare 
occasions of her absence from town the skilful touch of Miss 
Mary Edge has produced those strains which render music the 
very handmaid of worship. 

The corporate title of the church is "The Rector, Church 
Wardens and Vestrymen of St. James' Church, Downingtown." 

The church was admitted into the convention of the Dio- 
cese of Pennsylvania in 1844, and since that year has been served 
by many able men in the capacity of Wardens and Vestrymen. 
The gentlemen at present filling those offices < are as follows : 

Rector's Church Warden, Joseph Huggins, D. D. S. ; Ac- 
counting Church Warden, Abiah Parke Ringwalt, who was re- 
cently elected for the twenty-first successive term to that office ; 
Secretary. Joseph S. Ashbridge ; Nathan Wilson, Howard E. 
Simmons and Andrew G. C. Breese. 

We have not attempted in any degree to record the long 
list of names worthy of special mention in connection with the 
varied activities of the parish. Such a list would require much 
space and would perhaps be fittingly placed in a more private 
history to be circulated among those whose relations are espe- 
cially close to St. James'. 

No record could, however, justly omit mention of the long 
and faithful work of our old friend, Daniel Sullivan, who for 
thirty-five years served as sexton. When he was found dead, 
lying upon the ground, broom in hand, it became a privilege 
especially prized by the rector and congregation to arrange a 
special memorial service in honor of this aged servant of the 

And it is a source of pleasure and pride to the congregation 
of St. James' Church that Almighty God has given us the long 
and faithful life of Mrs. Hannah E. Baldwin, who was confirmed 
in 1839, and is to-day a regular and devout recipient of the Holy 
Communion. The occasions of the rector's visits, taking to her 
room that blessed Sacrament, are among the most interesting and 
spiritually profitable experiences of his pastorate in St. James' 

St. Joseph's R. C. Church. For several years prior to 1851 
the Catholics of Downingtown and vicinity were obliged to at- 
tend Mass on Sunday and Holydays in the Catholic Church at 
West Chester. 

The late Father John Prendergast was ordained in June, 
1851, and was immediately appointed rector of the Catholic 
Church at West Chester, then called Christ's Church, where he 


labored zealously and faithfully until the day of his death. At 
that time Downingtown, Doe Run and Parkesburg, in Chester 
County, and Drumore, in Lancaster County, were missions at- 
tached* to West Chester and were attended by Father Prender- 
gast alternately. St. Agnes' Church. West Chester, at that time 
was not what it is to-day, a flourishing and prosperous parish. 
The congregation was small, the missions poor, the church a 
small affair and the services few and far between. One of the 
missions was about forty miles distant from West Chester. 

The first mass said in the immediate neighborhood of Down- 
in; tov n. as near as can be ascertained, was said in the old ware- 
In, i e al GallagherviHe, which has since been torn down. Father 

Fox, the celebrant of the mass, who was on a visit to Philadel- 
phia from the Southern States, came out to GallagherviHe to 
administer the Sacraments to a sick person. The mode of travel 
in those days was such that Father Fox was obliged to remain 
over night and return to the city the next morning. This was 
about the year 1844. 

The first mass celebrated within the present limits of the 

borough was said in the south side of the double stone house 

situated at the corner of Bradford and Viaduct avenues, now 

'owned by -Mrs. Mary E. Iloopes. This house was at that time 

occupied by the late' Michael McFadden, and the few Catholics 


of the neighborhood assembled there once a month to hear mass. 
This custom continued until Mr. McFadden built the hotel which 
stood on the site of the present passenger station of the Pennsyl- 
vania Railroad Company. The third floor of this building was 
used for that purpose until the church was built. 

Soon after Father Prendergast's appointment to West Ches- 
ter he commenced the erection of a church in Downingtown, the 
cornerstone of which was laid in September, 1851, and dedicated 
in June of the following year. In 1855 Parkesburg, Doe Run 
and Drumore were detached from West Chester and made a 
separate parish ; Downingtown, still remaining a mission, was 
attended from West Chester. 

In the summer of 1869 St. Joseph's Church was enlarged 
and remodeled and was rededicated in November of the same 

The church under its present rector, the Reverend James 
O'Reilly, has since been very much improved both in its interior 
and exterior appearance ; it has now a beautiful sanctuary, new 
altars, handsome frescoes, costly statuary and many other needed 
improvements which make it very attractive to its numerous 
worshippers. The sweet-toned bell in the tower was presented 
by Mr. Michael Murphy, of Milford Mills. Mr. Murphy and his 
family have been generous contributors to the church. The 
beautiful side altars were donated by Mrs. M. Murphy. 

The fourteen Stations of the Cross which adorn the interior 
walls of the church were donated by various members of the 

The missions now attached to St. Joseph's are St. Mary's, at 
Lancaster pike and Ship road, and St. Thomas' Church, at 
Reilly's Banks. These churches are now attended from Down- 
ingtown every Sunday and Holyday. 

The following are the names of the rectors who have had 
charge of St. Joseph's Parish since its formation : 

Rev. John Prendergast, Rev. Nicholas A. Bowden, Rev. 
James F. Maginn, Rev. Thomas Toner, Rev. John J. McAnany, 
Rev. James O'Reilly. 

Father O'Reilly, the present rector, was appointed July 25, 

The following priests have at various times assisted and 
officiated in St. Joseph's Church : 

Rev. J. Bridgeman, Rev. J. P. Moroney, Rev. J. J. Mooney, 
Rev. J. Fetigan, O. S. A.; Rev. M. T. Lawler, Rev. M. M. O'Far- 
rell, Rev. M. McEvoy, O. S. A.; Rev. E. J. Vandergrift, Rev. 
John Loughran, Rev. Peter Ryan, Rev. W. A. Carr, O. S. A. ; 
Rev. M. J. Crane, Rev. R. F. Harris, O. S. A.; Rev. James B. 
Leonard, O. S. A. ; Rev. Joseph A. Kelly, Rev. J. P. Leahy, Rev. 


D. I. McGettigan, Rev. John E. Bradley, Rev. Joseph L. Wolfe. 
Rev. N. J. Vasey, O. S. A. ; Rev. Joseph F. Nagle, Rev. Joseph 
L. O'Conner, Rev. Henry S. Hasson, Rev. Francis Ward. Rev. 
Joseph Campbell, Rev. R. P. Tobin, Rev. James A. McHugh, 
Rev. Thomas M. Garey, Rev. M. [. Gorman, Rev. Francis X. 
Wastl, Rev. M. M. Doyle. Rev. William Grace. Rev. Thomas F. 
Tobin, Rev. William V. McLoughlin, Rev. P. F. Fleming, R v. 
D. A. Corbett, Rev. Joseph M. McShain, Rev. Tames J. Dean, 
O. S. A.: Rev. J. J. Bowles, O. S. A.; Rev. John" Donovan, Rev. 
J. A. Burgess, Rev. John Martin, ths present assistant. 

In 1S72 ground was purchased in West Bradford township 
for a new cemetery, to which nearly all the bodies interred in the 
old cemetery near the church have since been removed. In 1882 
the present rectory was built and the old parochial residence, 
which stood on the south side of the lot, was torn down. 

In 1896 Father O'Reilly improved the new cemetery; he 
had the ground resurveyed and laid out new drives and avenues, 
along which shade trees were planted. A new iron fence was 
also erected, the gift of the late Henry Marron. These improve- 
ments were much needed, and the cemetery is now considered a 
very pretty plaoe. 

On November 3, 1897, the bodies of Fathers Bowden and 
Toner were removed from the old cemetery adjoining the church 
and now rest in the new cemetery. After Solemn High Mass 
for the repose of their souls, the remains of the two priests were 
conveyed to their new resting place, there to await the final call 
to judgment. Many priests and a great crowd of people attend- 
ed the solemn services of reinterment. 

Since the formation of St. Joseph's Parish, 103T persons 
have been baptized and 237 marriages performed in the church. 
The population of the parish and missions is about 1200 souls. 
The people of the parish are fairly prosperous and are thoroughly 
united ; the clergy and people have always worked together in 
harmony, and in this way have done much good, and God has 
blessed their work. 

Almost all of the first members of this parish have been 
called to their eternal reward ; they were a grand and noble race, 
faithful to their faith and its teachings. 

Mention may be here made of a few of the pioneer members 
of St. Joseph's: John McGraw and wife, Michael McFadden 
and wife, Francis O'Neill and wife, Dennis Lyons and wife, 
John Shields and wife, Lawrence Foy and wife, Michael Sheehy 
and wife, Patrick McPike and wife, Timothy Denny and wife, 
William Ryan and wife, Miss Fannie McFadden and Miss 
Rachael Hyatt. 

The only persons now living who were members of the con- 


gregation at the time the parish was formed are Mrs. John Mc- 
Graw, Mrs. Francis O'Neill, Dennis Lyons, Miss Fannie Mc- 
Faddcn and Miss Rachael Hyatt. 

Many and various events occur during a half century of 

Central Presbyterian Church. The beginnings of Presby- 
terianism in Downingtown reveal the fact that at one time there 
was a division of the Presbyterian Church into two rival bodies, 
known as the Old School and the Xew School Churches. This 
breach occurred in is:;;, owing to certain differences as to doc- 
trine and the administration of benevolences, and was happily 
healed by the Reunion in 1869. The New School Presbyterians 
vere the first to labor in Downingtown. In 1843 the Rev. D. H. 

Emerson, then pastor of the East Whiteland Church (Frazer), 
on the invitation of Thomas Hutchinson, a ruling elder in his 
church and a merchant of Downingtown, owning and occupying 
the store and dwelling now known as the McCaughey property, 
began occasional preaching in Downingtown. There were serv- 
ices in Mr. Emerson's yard in summer and also at the public 
school house, then located on the corner of Stuart and Pennsyl- 
vania avenues. How long these services continued is not known. 


In 1885-6 the Rev William E. Moore, D. D., pastor of the First 
Presbyterian Church. West Chester, preached here once a month 
in favorable weather. He was succeeded by the Rev. W. S. 
Drysdale in 1856-9,- and under him the First Presbyterian Church 
of Downingtown was organized, June 9, 1859. In the spring of 
I860 the church bought a lot of Thomas Ingram, on Lancaster 
avenue, and there built a church. A few years later, owing to a 
spirit of dissension, the congregation was dissolved and their 
house of worship was sold. For many years it was known as 
Central Hall, and is now restored to its original use as the church 
of the Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church of Downingtown. 
The two most active spirits in this early Presbyterian Church 
were Gustav Heins and J<»hn Baugh. 

The Central Presbyterian Church had its origin in a prayer 
meeting held at the house of Mrs. Ann Walker, on Lancaster 
avenue, in the fall of 1858, and afterwards in other houses. It 
was at first a union prayer meeting, but later became a gather- 
ing of Old School Presbyterians. At a meeting of the Presby- 
tery of New Castle, held at Head of Christiana, October 2, 1860, 
Mr. Yerkes made a plea for preaching services, and supplies were 
granted gratuitously for six months. "Mullin's Hall," on the 
site of the store of Mr. I. J. Dietz, on Lancaster avenue, was 
rented and services held there regularly. At the meeting of the 
Presbytery of New Castle, April 10, 1861, a petition was present- 
ed, signed by thirty residents of Downingtown and vicinity, ask- 
ing that a committee be appointed to visit and, if the way should 
be clear, organize a church in Downingtown. The request was 
granted, and the Rev. Messrs. Latta, J. N. C. Greer and Morri- 
son, and Elder William Wilson were appointed. As the result 
of their visit the Central Presbyterian Church was duly organ- 
ized July 24, 1861, Messrs. David Shelmire, Silas D. Yerkes and 
Augustus J. Dowlin being ordained and installed ruling elders, 
and John F. Vanleer, previously ordained, installed. 

The fifteen charter members of the church were the follow- 
ing: David Shelmire, Mrs. Annie Elizabeth Shelmire, Mrs. Mar- 
garet Colten, Silas D. Yerkes and Rachel S. Yerkes, received 
from the Presbyterian Church of Coatesville, Pa. ; John L. With- 
row, from the Presbyterian Church of Penningtonville (Atglen), 
Pa.; Miss Sarah Ann Walker, from St. James' Episcopal Church, 
Downingtown ; John F. Vanleer, Mrs. Jane C. Vanleer and Joseph 
W. Vanleer, from Middletown Presbyterian Church (Elwyn), 
Pa., and Augustus J. Dowlin, from the Forks of the Brandy wine 
Presbyterian Church. Those received on examination were 
Alexander McClintock, Mrs. Eliza McClintock, William Thomp- 
son and Mrs. Ann Eliza Davis. The last survivor of the original 
membership in the communion of the church was Mrs. Shelmire, 


who died January 15, 1907. Of those who removed from Down- 
ingtown, the Rev. John Lindsay Withrow, D. D., is still living a 
retired minister in Boston, Mass. 

The credit of laying the foundations of the church belongs 
to Mr. John L. Withrow, a Coatesville boy and student in the 
Princeton Theological Seminary, who preached in Downingtown 
four months, beginning about May 1, 18(51, and during whose 
period of service the church was organized. When he returned 
to his studies he recommended Mr. Matthew Newkirk, Jr., a 
licentiate of the Central Presbytery of Philadelphia. Mis 
first service here was on the first Sunday of September, 18(51, 
and after being heard acceptably a second Sabbath he was en- 
gaged as stated supply for six months. On March 6, 1862, he 
received a unanimous call to the pastorate at a salary of $400, and 
was duly ordained and installed the first pastor on April 24, 1862. 
The Methodist Episcopal Church, now the public school build- 
ing, on East Lancaster avenue, was courteously granted for this 

The church was incorporated in the first year of Mr. New- 
kirk's pastorate, under the title of "The Central Presbyterian 
Church of Downingtown," he having been a member of the Cen- 
tral Church of Philadelphia. The charter was granted by the 
Court of Chester County, October 27, 1862, and the incorpora- 
tors were Augustus J. Dowlin, John F. Vanleer, David Shelmire, 
Silas D. Yerkes, Alexander McClintock, Sr., John Walker, Wil- 
liam Miller, George March and S. Stanhope Pinkerton. They 
met and organized Xovember 21, 1862, with David Shelmire, 
president; J. F. Vanleer, vice president; S. S. Pinkerton, secre- 
tary, and S. D. Yerkes, treasurer. At their first meeting the 
Board of Trustees took measures for the erection of a house of 
worship. Mr. Jacob E. Parke gave a lot 50 feet front, on Lan- 
caster avenue, with a depth of about 160 feet, and Mr. Silas D. 
Yerkes gave a piece of ground adjoining, 20 feet front and about 
160 feet deep, and Mr. Newkirk added a lot adjoining on the 
south. In 1871 the Trustees purchased a piece of ground, by 
which the church property was extended to Washington avenue. 

The contract for the church was given to Thomas H. Doan, 
a stone building 40 by 60 feet with basement. Ground was brok- 
en in June, but the work was suddenly suspended by the enlist- 
ing of the workmen to repel the invasion of the State by the 
Southern army. The corner-stone was laid September 1, 1863, 
and the completed structure dedicated September 1, 1864, al- 
though the basement had been in use certainly as early as May. 
The church cost about $7000. 

After a successful pastorate of nearly seven years, Mr. New- 
kirk resigned to accept a call to the North Tenth Street Presby- 

tierian Church, Philadelphia, and he was released from the Dowu- 
Engtown charge on December 8, 18G8. During his pastorate 123 
perrons were added to the membership of whom 60 were received 
©n examination. 

About two months after Mr. Newkirk's departure the con- 
gregation gave a call to the Rev. John Rea. of Pittsburgh, and he, 
Having signified his acceptance, was ordained and installed as 
pastor May 6, 1869. After a faithful service of three years he 
vvas relieved at his own request April 8, 1872, in order that he 
might undertake missionary work in Washington Territorv. 
Daring his pastorate ten substantial horse sheds were built at 
a eo:n of $1 15. Fifty persons were added to the membership, 
twenty-three being on examination. 

The pulpit had been vacant but a brief period when a call 
tvas extended to the Rev. Francis T. Collier. Pie held the call 
a considerable period during which he frequently supplied the 
pulpit, and having decided to accept the call, was formally in- 
stalled by the Presbytery of Chester, October 9, 1872. 

The Church, which had been connected with the Old School 
Pre-1 ytery of New Castle, became a member of the Presbytery 
of Ch ster in the readjustment of Presbyteries and Synods con- 
sequent to the Reunion of 1869. 

Including the period during which Dr. Collier was the stated 
supply of the pulpit, his ministry here exceeded sixteen years, 
or more than one-third of the life of the church to the present 
day. Among the most valuable assets of his faithful ministry 
■Jiras the erection in 1879 of the parsonage on Washington avenue. 
The lot was donated by Mr. A. P. Tutton and the money for the 
erection of the building ($2300) was subscribed chiefly through 
:iie efforts of Mr. William B. Torbert. Miss Clara Downing gave 
•ane thousand dollars. 

During the years 1874-76 the church felt the influence of 
-lie remarkable religious awakening which was general through- 
Mc-Joif Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and during 
ifeese years the membership was greatly strengthened by the 
s>MGtion of ninety-three members on examination and twenty-six 
by rertificate. 

in the year 1867 the congregation decided upon extensive 
^iterations and improvements on both the interior and exterior 
w£ the church edifice. Circular pews were introduced and elec- 
C lights. Memorial windows to Mary E. Miller and Emily 
Downing were placed in the front of the church, the pulpit plat- 
rm and choir gallery were lowered and new furnishings pro- 
vided throughout. A legacy of $950 from Miss Mary E. Miller 
was appropriated to this work and there were numerous gifts 
The cost of the improvements and furnishings was $3700 and 

the entire amount having been subscribed the Church was re- 
dedicated on February 16, 1888. 

At a congregational meeting held April 6, 1888, Dr. Collins 
presented a request for a dissolution of his pastoral relation 1© 
the Church. The affection of the people and their devotion to 
their pastor were strongly marked by the vote which showed a 
majority of only one to accede to the request of Dr. Colliec. 
Action was delayed, but the pastoral relation was finally dissolv- 
ed at his request by the Presbytery of Chester in session at Keu- 
nett Square, September 1(5, 1888. There was no growth in Down- 
ingtown during this pastorate and the losses by removal and 
death were large, but Dr. Collier left the church in a healthy con- 
dition and with attractive church and parsonage properties. Dat- 
ing his pastorate of sixteen years there were added 229 members 
of whom 143 were added on examination and 86 were received, 
on certificate from other churches. 

The pastorate was not long vacant. On December 12, 188$, 
a unanimous call was extended to the Rev. Charles E. Cravea* 
of the Presbytery of Huntingdon, and the call having been ac- 
cepted, he was duly installed as pastor by the Presbytery of Ches- 
ter, January IT, 1889. His resignation was presented to a con- 
gregational meeting held on September 10, 1894, and the pastoral 
relations dissolved December 12, 1894. During this pastorate 
the present pipe organ was purchased and installed ; at an expense 
of about $1300, largely contributed by Mr. and Mrs. James Ham- 
ilton. During this period also the peace and prosperity of tJbc 
church were seriously disturbed by dissensions which arose al 
first concerning the place of the organ in the auditorium, hnl 
extended to conflicting views as to the relative duties and powers 
of the session and board of trustees, resulting in the resignation 
of a number of officials and the withdrawal of a number from the 
communion of the church. Notwithstanding these unfortunate 
circumstances the additions to the church membership were con- 
siderable, numbering in all, for the seven years of pastorate, 
eighty of which fifty-two were on examination and twenty-eight 
by certificate. 

After the interim of nearly a year, during which the con- 
gregation extended a call to the Rev. U. F. Smiley which was 
declined, at a congregation meeting held June 18, 1895, a unani- 
mous call was extended to the Rev. John S. Helm, and having 
been accepted, he was duly installed as the fifth pastor in Sep- 
tember of the same year. His pastorate extended less than a year, 
during which ten persons were received into the membership of 
the church. The resignation was presented at a congregational 
meeting held July 29, 1896. 

On December 14, 1896, the congregation extended a unani- 


mous call to the Rev. William P. Patterson and the same being 

accepted, he was duly installed the sixth pastor on February 11, 
1897. After a faithful pastorate of four years Mr. Patterson died 
February 23, L901, after a lingering illness. His pastorate was 
marked by numerous improvements to the church properties, in- 
cluding the installation of a water motor for the organ, repairing 
sheds, and the pavement on the Washington avenue side of the 
church property. The additions to the church membership were 
thirty-four, of whom twenty-one were on examination. 

Again the church was vacant for a year. A call for the pas- 
toral services of one minister having been declined and the con- 
gregation having failed to unite on any one candidate at a sec- 
ond congregational meeting, it was decided December T, 1901, 
to invite the Rev. Lewis W. Mudge, I). 1)., of Princeton, Xew 
Jer-ey, to supply the pulpit for a series of Sabbaths. In January 
he was requested to permit his name to be presented for the pas- 
torate, but declined as he had not been a candidate for the pulpit. 
Finally he consented and at a congregational meeting held April 
L2, 1902, he was unanimously elected pastor and was installed by 
the Presbytery of Chester April 28, 1902. 

The present pastorate has therefore passed its seventh an- 
niversary at this writing. During these years the old floating 
debl has been removed, extensive improvements have been made 
in the church building, an addition has been built to the parson- 
age and over two thousand dollars is at interest, the nucleus of 
a fund for a new church edifice. The number of additions /to the 
church have been two hundred and seventy-six. of which eighty- 
six have been on certificate from other churches and one hundred 
and ninety on examination. 

The present membership of the church is two hundred and 
ninety-seven exclusive of the absent list and the reserved roll. 

The Sunday-school enrolls two hundred and two with an 
average attendance for the year of sixty-four per cent. There 
are ninety-six in the Home Department and fourteen on the 
Cradle Roll. The present board of elders consists of Isaac Y. 
Ash, clerk; Kben Garrett, James Porter, Charles W. Robinson, 
William B. Stauffer and Josiah Swank. Deacons: Herbert Ash 
and Charles B. Gantt. Church organist: Miss Mary B. Garrett; 
Choir Master, Frederick B. Mudge; Assistant Organist. Mrs. 
William H. Carey 

The Board of Trustees is constituted of Judson Armor, pres- 
ident ; William McClure, Jr., vice-president; James Porter, sec- 
retary: Joseph T. Miller, treasurer; John Dennis, Thomas Each- 
us, Arthur T. Hess. J. Harry Reed and Charles W. Wilson. 

The officers of the Sunday-school are: James Porter, super- 
intendent; William B. Stauffer, assistant superintendent; Joseph 


T. Miller, secretary-treasurer; Joseph T. Miller, Jr., assistant 
secretary ; Miss Phebe D. Whelen, primary superintendent ; 
Mrs. William P. Patterson, superintendent of the Home Depart- 
ment : Mrs. James Porter, superintendent of the Cradle Roll ; Mr. 
Frederick P. Mudge, music conductor; Miss Eva Allen, pianist. 

The officers of the Christian Endeavor Society are: S. Earl 
Stauffer, president ; Carl Greth, vice-president ; Miss Mary B. 
Garrett, corresponding- secretary; Miss Adelaide McCaughey, re- 
cording secretary, and Miss Eva Allen, treasurer. There are 
sixty-six members. Miss Phebe D. Whelen is in charge of the 
Junior Christian Endeavor with sixty-five members. 

Mrs. William R. Patterson is president of the Ladies' Mis- 
sionary Society. Mrs. Frank P. Miller and Mrs. Joseph T. Miller 
vice-presidents; Miss Mary H. Mudge, secretary and Mrs. Wil- 
liam Mittell, treasurer. Of the Mite Society, Mrs. William B. 
•Stauffer is president, Mrs. J. Harry Reed, secretary, and Miss 
Mary B. Garrett, treasurer. The Young Woman's Club has as 
officers: Mrs. Frank T. Weaver, president; Mrs. J. Harry Reed, 
vice-presidents ; Mrs. Frank Parke, secretary, and Miss Maude 
Dixon, treasurer. Brotherhood : Evans Miller, president ; Fred- 
erick P. Mudge, vice-president ; James Porter, secretary ; S. Earl 
Stauffer, treasurer. 

First Baptist Church. Rev. E. C. Romine, Missionary of the 
Central Union Association held services in Central Hall, Sun- 
day, February 4, 1883. A Sunday-school began February 11. A 
church was organized March 4 with six members. A number of 
baptisms took place. Among the first members were : S. C. Bare- 
ford, Martin Bair, Wm. Baldwin, Lizzie B. Glisson, J. T. Irwin 
and wife, Rebecca J. Irwin, Hannah M. Lewis, Henrietta K. 
Roberts, E. C. Romine and wife, Thura J. Temple, Temple Ram- 
bo, James Shunk and wife, Sarah M. Temple, Lizzie W'alley, and 
Amor Wilkinson. 

A council from seventeen churches met April 13, 1883, and 
recognized the church. Sermon by Rev. N. C. Naylor ; hand of 
fellowship, Rev. Wm. Barrows ; charge to the church, Rev. T. M. 
Guthrie ; charge to the pastor, Rev. N. B. Randall. Rev. C. H. 
Thomas preached in the morning. 

In May, 1883, the church united with the Central Union As- 
sociation reporting twenty members. Mr. Romine also was sup- 
plying the Brandywine Church, and held some grove meetings 
at Oakland, also published a monthly paper called "The Shower." 

In one year's time the Sunday School had an average attend- 
ance of over a hundred. The superintend was Rev. E. C. Ro- 
mine ; teachers, Anna C. Ball, Annie Brown (now Downey), S. C. 

Bareford, Rebecca 1. Irwin, Jos. H. Johnson, Laura A. Johnson, 
Laura Mercer. Mary T. Romine, Henrietta K. Roberts, James 
Shunk, Salinda Shunk, Wm. H. Slanter. Sallie D. String-fellow, 
John L. Weldin and Lizzie Walley. 

( )n October 2H, 18S4, brother Romine resigned his pastorate, 
which was a source of great disappointment to the little flock. 

By great effort the pulpit was kept supplied for some months, 
but the church was not financially able to call a pastor, and under 
these discouraging circumstances a council was called, which re- 
sulted in the union of the Last Brandywine and Downingtown 
churches under pastor A. B. McCurdy, of Saltillo, Pa., who en- 
tered upon his duties on April 1, 188."), the C. U. 15. Association 
assisting with the finances. 

The first Board of Trustees was elected on February 26, 
L886, and the members <>f tin- Board were Samuel C. Bareford, 
John L. Weldin, Thomas J. Irwin, Joseph II. Johnson and Wil- 
liam Morgan (the last two named not being numbers of the 
church), and an application was made to the Court of Chester 
County for a charter, which was granted, A plot of ground on 

the corner of Viaduct and Lancaster avenues (where Philips' mill 
is now located), was purchased for a building site, the Berean 


Church at West Chester having- disbanded contributed $385.50, 
and the Phoenixville Church $38.50 towards paying for the same, 
and gradually the debt was worked oft. This lot was afterwards 
sold and the present site procured, as being better suited to the 
purposes of the church. 

February 5, 1887, Rev. A. B. McCurdy resigned his pastor- 
ate, to^take effect March 1. Supplies were again secured, and the 
church maintained regular preaching services, and on June 5, 
■of the same year, again united with East Brandywine Church in 
calling Rev. Walter L. Mayo, of Hermitage, New York. In the 
summer of the following year the East Brandywine Church sev- 
ered its connection with the Downingtown Church, and about 
the same time the pastor was taken seriously ill with typhoid 
fevsr, and the illness extending to his family, his eldest son, a 
promising lad, died. The pastor did not recover his usual health 
until the following summer. During his long and tedious illness 
the pulpit was supplied by the kindness of neighboring pastors, 
not only of the Baptist, but other denominations. 

In April, 1880, his health still continuing poor, he severed 
"his connection with the church. These were times of trial and 
matter of disbanding was serionsly considered, but the posses- 
sion of the lot kept the little band together, and with forty mem 
bers, a determination was made to build a house of worship, and 
the faithful few, mostly women, undertook the work. The ser- 
vices of Clarence Larkin then pastor of the Baptist Church at 
Kennett Square, were engaged as architect, and the contract was 
given to G. T. Guthrie, of Downingtown. The corner-stone was 
laid October 9, 1890, with appropriate services. Rev. A. R. Wil- 
son, of Redbank, N. J.., who served the church for a short time, 
was pastor at this time. 

On November 3, 1890, a unanimous call was given to Rev. 
T. C. Brewster, of West Chester, to become our pastor, which 
Avas accepted, and he entered upon his new field of labor, and on 
the 18th of December was ordained as a Baptist minister. On 
April 26, 1891, the church was dedicated, Rev. Jas. W. Putman, 
of Philadelphia, making the address. The cost of the building, 
with land and other improvements was reported as about $8400. 
Subscriptions were taken at the corner-stone laying, dedication, 
and other occasions which reduced the indebtedness to an amount 
that could be readily carried, and so faithfulness, energy and per- 
severance won finally. In the fall of 1891 revival services, were 
held in which Pastor Brewster was ably assisted by Evangelist 
George Williams, and the church received a great flood-tide of 
blessing, many souls being added. 

March 27, 1892, Pastor Brewster resigned to take effect 
March 31st, and on April 27th following a call was extended to 



Rev. F. W. Randall, of the Hepzibah Baptist Church, the same 
being- accepted. He preached his first sermon on May 15th fol- 
lowing. Under his faithful leadership the church increased both 
materially and numerically, and an interest was again awakened 
at the East Brandywine Church, which had been closed for some 
years, a Sunday School being established and held in the after- 
noon, which has not since been totally abandoned. On August 
25. 1895, Brother Randall tendered his resignation, and the little 
flock was again without an under-shepherd. After hearing sev- 
eral candidates. Rev. H. B. Garner was called to the pastorate, 
and he b< gan his work early in the new year, 18!)G. During his 
four years and a half of service revivals were held, and many new 
names added to the church roll, largely from the Sunday School. 

In August, L900, Rev. James A. Jolliffe, of Philadelphia, re- 
ceived and accepted a call to the pastorate, and as there was no 
empty house in the neighborhood for him to occupy, it became 
evident that a great need of the church, now, was a parsonage. 
An effort was made along that line during the fall and winter, 
and the lot adjoining the church property was bought and paid 
for by the Ladies' Aid Society, but as there was opposition to the 
movement, the matter of building a parsonage was allowed to 
rest for a time. Brother Jolliffe's stay was short and on March 3, 
1901, the Rev. T. G. Eiswald, of Milford, Delaware, was called as 
pastor, which call was accepted, and he remained with the church 
for two years, severing his connection therewith in March, 1903, 
he accepting a call to Blossburg, Tioga County, Pennsylvania. 
April 12th of the same year a call was extended to Brother Wil- 
liam Grant, of Concordville, who filled the position of pastor for 
the space of six months, when he resigned, to the regret of many. 

During Brother Grant's pastorate further improvement was 
made to the church property by the laying of a granolithic pave- 
ment at a cost of about $200, to replace the brick walk, which had 
long done service. 

On December 2, following, Rev. J. A. Hodgkinson was called 
to the pastorate of the church, and on January 7, 1904, a council 
was called for his ordination, and he was set apart for the gospel 
ministry. Rev. J. A. Hodgkinson served the church one year, 
severing his connection therewith on December 1. 1904. Candi- 
dates were heard through the winter, which resulted in the call- 
ing of Rev. P. A. Schnering, the present pastor, who came upon 
the field in April, L905. During his pastorate the neat and com- 
fortable parsonage he occupies was built, and has recently been 
papered throughout, making it a pleasant home for the pastor. 

Under the leadership of the present pastor the church has 
taken on new life, and all departments have been growing and 
active. The Bible School has rapidly increased in numbers, new 


classes formed, and many of the scholars have united with the 
church and others of the community, with newcomers to town 
have increased the church membership by about 95 additions. 

Pastor Schnering has completed a pastorate of four years, 
with continued interest and frequent additions. 

Officers — Pastor, Rev. L. A. Schnering; Clerk, Jos. H. John- 
son ; Treasurer, Josiah Philips. 

Deacons: W. P. Downey, President; R. J. Russell, E. C. 
Lewis, Robert M. Lewis, Palmer Keech, E. V. Philips, S. \Y. 

Trustees: E. V. Philips, President; Jos. H. Johnson, W. P. 
Downey, W. H. Durnell, E. C. Lewis, Jos. Philips. Oscar G. Dar- 
lington, J. Wesley Laird, W. C. Filkins. 

Sunday School, E. C. Lewis, Superintendent 

Women's Foreign Missionary Circle, Mrs. L. A. Schnering, 

Farther Lights [Missionary Circle, Airs. R. M. Lewis, Super- 

Ladies' Aid Society, Mrs. Jos. H. Johnson, President. 

Baptist Young People's Union. Mrs. M. S. 'Powell, President. 

Brotherhood of Andrew and Philip, S. W. Matlack, Presi- 

Board of Ushers, B. H. Millard. President. 

Messiah Lutheran Church. Early in the month of Septem- 
ber. 1902, Rev. S. D. Daugherty, missionary superintendent of 
the Philadelphia Conference, in company with Rev. C. R. Stream- 
er, then pastor of the Lutheran Church of Lionville, and H. C. 
Harman, a resident of this town, made a canvass of Downing- 
town. with a view of establishing an Evangelical Lutheran 
Church in this place. The canvass showed that there were a 
sufficient number of Lutherans in the community to warrant 
further steps in the matter. The first meeting preparatory to an 
organization was held in the Central Presbyterian Church, on 
Sunday afternoon, September 28. 1902. The attendance was large 
and the outlook seeming to warrant it, a committee of organiza- 
tion was appointed, consisting of the following persons: Rev. C. 
R. Streamer, H. P. Harmer, John P. Noll, R. B. Parke, C. F. 
Zinn, John Cummings and Fred Runk. 

Another meeting was held October 5, when the organiza- 
tion committee submitted a constitution, but is adoption was de- 
ferred. Other meetings followed and on October 12, a Sunday 
School was organized with the following officers: Supterinten- 
dent. John P. Xoll ; assistant superintendent, Fred Runk ; sec- 
retary, C. F. Zinn ; treasurer, John Cummings. 


A committee was appointed at one of the preliminary meet- 
ings to secure a place of worship. The building known as Cen- 
tral Hall, located on West Lancaster avenue, was offered for sale 
about that time, and the committee purchased it for the new con- 
gregation about to be organized. Formal organization of the 
congregation was not effected until November 7, 1902, when the 
constitution was adopted and the organization took the name of 
Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church. There were thirty-four 
(34) charter members and the members of the first Official 

Board elected were: Elders, If. C. Harman, C. F. Zinn, L. E. 
Fraim, R. B. Parke. Deacons, J. P. Noll, J. \Y. Cummings and 
Charles I >app, 

A call w;is extended to the Rev. F. If. Crissman on May 3, 
L903, to be the pastor, and the call was accepted, and regular 
pastoral administration began the latter part of the month. The 
building, whirl) had been purchased, was at this time thoroughly 


renovated into a comfortable and pleasant church building, the 
same being dedicated with appropriate services on Sunday, Sep- ' 
tember 30, 1903. 

The congregation under the leadership of its first pastor had 
a steady and healthful growth, during which time a fine new 
parsonage was erected and other improvements made. Rev. 
Crissman severed his connection with the church about Septem- 
ber 1, 190(3, and was succeeded by the Rev. W. H. Derr, who 
began' his labors January 1, 1907, the pulpit in the interim being 

The congregation at the present time is in a flourishing con- 
dition. The present enrollment is one hundred and fifteen (115). 
The Council is composed of the following persons: Elders, H. C. 
Harman, L. E. Fraim, B. F. Fahenger ; Deacons, S. A. Glauner, 
Fred Runk, C. F. Zinn. 

The Sunday School is well organized with the various de- 
partments : Senior, Intermediate, Junior, Primary, a Home De- 
partment and Cradle Roll. A teachers' training class is also con- 
ducted. The present total ynrollment is one hundred and twelve. 
The officers are: Superintendent, Fred Runk; assistant superin- 
tendent, H. C. Harman; secretary, C. F. Zinn; treasurer, L. E. 

The Colored Churches. There are two churches within the 
bounds of the borough that minister to the spiritual interests of 
the negro population. The mother church is at Lindley Hill, 
without the borough limits. The reliable data cannot be obtained 
as the early records are lost, and the records possessed are im- 
perfectly kept. The ministers have frequently been men who 
pursued other avocations on week days for the support of their 
families and changes in the pastorate have been frequent. The 
older of the two churches is the Mount Raymond Union Ameri- 
can Methodist Episcopal Church ; the younger the Mount Pisgah 
Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

The Mount Raymond Union American M. E. Church, sit- 
uated on the corner of Stuart and Manor avenues, Downingtown, 
Pa. In the year 1874 a Sunday School was organized by Mr. 
Thomas Blackson, with 12 scholars at Rock Raymond, in Mr. 
Blackson's house. In 18T5 a mission church was organized in 
the same house by Rev. B. T. Ruley, then stationed at Coates- 
ville. Pa., now Presiding Bishop of the Del-aware Annual Con- 
ference. Rev. J. X. Gasby was sent as their pastor. Through 
hard struggle in 1876 they succeeded in purchasing the ground 
where the church stands to-day. The corner-stone was laid 
and building erected the same year, and the trustees chosen 
were Mr. J. Hunter Wills, white; Mr. James Hamilton, white; ' 


Mr. Robert Skean, white: Mr. Harry L. Skean ; Stewards. Pen- 
rose B. Flowers, Thomas Blackson. Some of the original mem- 
bers were Priscilla Blackson, Phebe Jones, John Johnson. The 
following pastors have served the church: Rev. J. N. Gasby, Rev. 
P. Sulvy, Rev. VY. James. Rev. W. H. Decker, Rev. C. H. Lewis. 
Rev. W. J. Ryder, Rev. E. S. Rice, the present pastor. 

The Trustees now are J. Wesley Wilson, John P. Tavlor,. 
George America, John Miller. William Tinson, Thomas P. Flow- 
ers, John W. Trowery. Stewards, Evan E. Nugent, Isaac H. 
Prowery. Alfred Hemsley, Calvin W. Xorman, Charles W. Wil- 

Colored Mission. A union mission school for colored chil- 
dren was started in Febrnary, 1909, in the interests of the negro 
population of the town. It has met with fair success and prom- 
ises to bring the same encouragement and support to the existing 
colored churches, which similar enterprises have secured in other 
communities. There is an enrollment of 49 teachers and scholars. 
It is held in the Snnday School room of the Central Presbyterian 
Church, on Sunday afternoons, but the various churches are in- 
terested in the work. The officers are: Rev. Charles D. Mudge, 
superintendent ; William Standley, secretary ; Mrs. Frank P. Mil- 
ler, treasurer. A boys' club, under the direction of Miss Katha- 
rine Schnering has been organized and sewing school for colored 
girls is in contemplation. 

Dwight Farms, in West Bradford Township, adjoining the 
Borough line and stretching along the wooded heights and the 
valley of the Brandywine for a mile, containing 437 acres, was 
presented to The Young Men's Christian Association of Phila- 
delphia, in L896, by the late Edmund Parsons Dwight, who died 
on .May 24th, 1903. 

Mr. Dwight was a prominent business man of Philadelphia 
and a well-known member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. 

The Young Men's Christian Association determined to make 
of this place a summer or vacation resort for working young men 
of Philadelphia, where they could spend their summers at a small 
cost in genuine country life, under wholesome, moral and relig- 
ions influence. A club house, dining hall and sleeping cottages 
have been erected and the place to-day has all the attractions of 
a country club, with the added features of farm work and life. It 
lias grown rapidly in success and popularity, until now more than 
1000 young men spend a part or whole of their vacation at 
Dwight Farms under ideal conditions. It was the first undertak- 
ing of the sort by any Young Men's Christian Association, and 
to-day is much the largest and best equipped, although other 


great metropolitan associations are planning or carrying on sim- 
ilar resorts on a smaller scale. 

The season at Dwight Farms opens, always, the day before 
Memorial Day and closes one week after Labor Day, in Sep- 

Northwood Cemetery Company. The proper sepulture of 
the dead appeals to the tenderest feelings of the human heart and 
"God's acre" is always a place of interest to those whose loved 
ones have gone before. The men who promoted Northwood 
Cemetery were very fortunate in selecting an ideal location, con- 
venient of access and overlooking the borough of Downingtown 
and the Chester Valley. 

The company acts under a charter granted by the Courts of 
Chester County dated April 27, 1871, and controls twenty-five 
acres of land. The first interment, (John B. Boger'sj was made 
November 23. 1871. 

The first officers were : Caleb Baldwin, president ; Joseph R. 
Downing, secretarv : Tno. P. Edge, M. D., treasurer; J. Howard 
Downing. Geo. T.' Jones. W. S Garrett, W. M. Oglesbv. R. D. 
Wells. J. T. Lewis. 

The present management desires to combine art and nature 
in making this sleeping chamber of the dead appropriately beau- 
tiful as a tribute to the dead and an inspiration to the living who 
seek the communion which this peaceful place invites. 

A plan is now in successful operation building up a trust 
fund, the income of which is to be used for the perpetual cars of 
the lots. These funds are deposited with the Chester County 
Trust Company as trustee and are kept separate from the general 

There are two attractive entrances, a chapel, a vault and a 
lodge for the residence of the Superintendent. 

The present officers are: J. Hunter Wills, president; Thomas 
Eachers. secretary ; Downingtown Bank, treasurer ; A. P. Tut- 
ton (deceased), Joseph H. Johnson, Thomas E. Parke, M. D., J. 
Howard Downing, John L. Weldin, Guyon Miller, Joseph S. 

(Tfyapter S 

Educational— Board of Education— Public Schools— High 

School Alumni Association — Downingtown 

Public Library 

The Public Schools of the Borough of Downingtown. — By 

a decree of the Court of General Sessions of Chester County, held 
at West Chester, on the 12th day, 5th month (May), A. D. 1859, 
the village of Downingtown and certain specific lands adjoining 
were erected into a borough, and also a separate and indepen- 
dent school district, including three of the public schools for- 
merly a part of the school district of East Cain. 

Under the same decree an election was held at the house of 
Joseph P. Tucker (the Swan Hotel), in the village, on the 28th 
day of May, for the purpose of electing persons to fill the several 

The following named persons were duly returned by the offi- 
cers of election as having been chosen School Directors : 

Charles Downing, Allan W.. Wills, three years. 

Samuel Black, Dr. John P. Edge, two years. 

Rev. Alfred G. Compton, John S. Mullin, one year. 

These gentlemen are all deceased, except Mr. Jno. Mullin, 
now of West Chester. 

All the members of the above elected board being present at 
a meeting held at the house of Jos. P. Tucker, Charles Downing 
was unanimously chosen president ; John P. Edge secretary, and 
Allan AM Wills, treasurer. Under the organization of the bor- 
ough the school year was to begin June 6, 1859. 

It was determined to open the schools the 29th of August, 
1859, to continue for a term of six months, and to employ female 
teachers, at a salary of twenty-four dollars per month. 

The number of pupils of legal school age at this time was 
one hundred and forty-four (144). It was resolved to open three 
schools, two at the west and one at the cast end of the borough, 
designated as follows: Xo. 1, was the second story of the White 
School House (now the old residence located near the corner of 
Pennsylvania and Stewart avenues) ; Xo. 2, the first story of the 
White School House; No. 3, was at the east end of the town in 


the stone school house (which was located on a spot about where 
the new barn of John T. Fox now stands). 

The teachers in schools Xos. 1 and 3 were employed for a 
term of six months. In room No. 2, or the Primary School, for 
two months, and were to be continued thereafter at the discre- 
tion of the Bi »ard. 

'l he first teachers were Miss Sarah Hughes, for Room No. 1; 
Miss Cora Thornbury, for Room No. 2, and Miss Margaret Hap- 
persett f< ir Room No. 3. 

The following textbooks w re adopted: Brown's "First Lines 

and tnstitutes of Grammar," Sander's Series of Readers: Stod- 
dard'- "Mental Arithmetic, C.recnleafs "Written Arithmetic.*' 
Davies' "Algebra" and Monteith and McNally's "Geography." 

'I'll valuation of property at this time was two hundred and 
thirteen thousand dollars ($<JR>.<»o<n. The tax duplicates, six 
hundred and seventeen dollars and twenty-six cents ($617.26). 
Exonerations, fifteen dollars and twenty-three cents ($15.23). 

The total expenses for operating the schools for one year 
were four hundred and twelve dollars and fifty-two cents 


The total attendance the first year was one hundred and 
eighteen pupils. 

There being sufficient funds on hand after paying the ex- 
penses for a term of six months, the Board decided to continue 
two of the schools for a term of two months. 

The town increased in population and wealth, and more ade- 
quate school accommodations were needed. Additional rooms 
were opened from time to time. The first state appropriation of 
sixty-eight dollars and forty cents ($68.40) was for the school 
year 1863. During the years 1862-63 and 64, there was constant 
turmoil in reference to increased school facilities. In the year 
1864 a lot was purchased from John E. Parke (present site of 
J. Hunter Wills' store) and a school building was erected there- 
on. Two roqms were furnished. During the next few years 
matters pertaining to the schools moved along quietly. At a 
meeting held February 14, 1872, it was unanimously decided to 
build and arrange for a graded school. At a meeting held March 
7, 1872, the Board decided to purchase a lot at the corner of 
Lancaster and Viaduct avenues, and to erect thereon a two-story 
school building. The probable cost of the building, as estimated 
by the architect was fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) and it 
was agreed to present a petition to the electors for their signa- 
tures. The petition to be presented to the Court asking for 
authority to borrow eighteen thousand dollars ($18,000). 

Later on this whole project was abandoned. On October 22, 
18T2. the Board met and were informed that the Institute Build- 
ing (now Central School Building), would be offered at public 
sale on October 2.">, by the assignees of Joshua Karnes, and it 
was resolved that the School Board purchase the building. At 
the next meeting, November 6, 1872, the treasurer, Dr. John P. 
Edge, reported, "that with the approval of a majority of the Board 
he had purchased the three-story stone and mansard roof build- 
ing on Lancaster avenue, known as the Institute Building, for six 
thousand nine hundred and fifty dollars ($6950). The lot being 
sixty (60) feet front and extending back two hundred and twenty 
(220) feet. It was considered to be one of the most substantial 
buildings in the town, and at the price paid was acknowledged 
on all sides to have been a great bargain." — (Extract from Min- 

On April 8th, the Board held the first meeting in the new 
building. It was necessary to employ an architect in order to 
make the changes necessary. This was accordingly done ; the 
building was remodeled, and properly furnished for school pur- 
poses at a cost of about eighty-one hundred dollars ($8100), mak- 
ing the entire cost of the building in round numbers fifteen thou- 
sand dollars ($15,000). 


On July 22, L872, .Mrs. Worrall was elected a teacher, at for- 
ty-five dollars ($4.~>) per month. She began her work in the fol- 
lowing autumn, and continued until the fall of 1890. Mrs. Wor- 
rell's work was characterized by earnestness and efficiency, and 
she left her impress on the schools. The year 1874 marks the be- 
ginning of the graded schools. In July of that year the Hoard 
decided to grade the schools. There were to be two primary 
teachers, two interim diate teachers and a principal, the latter to 
have general oversight of the schools and to teach the higher 
branches. The first principal, Mrs. Mary C. Rogers, was chosen 
July 21, ISM, at a salary of fifty-five dollars per month. The 
State appropriation for this year was two hundred and sixteen 
dollars and eight cents ($216.08). The Hoard disposed of their 
old school properties May 12, 1874. 

The old White School Building, known as Schools Xos. 1 
and 3, and the building in the east end (on site now occupied by 
Wills' store) were sold. The first to G. C. M. Eicholtz for one 
thousand one hundred and thirty-seven dollars and fifty cents 
($1137.50), and the second to William B. Torbert for eighteen 
hundred dollars ($1800). The proceeds of this sale were applied 
toward liquidating the school debt, the balance of the bonded in- 
debtedness being $10, 500. 

The following year Mrs. Rogers was re-elected principal and 
Miss Tilile McPhcrson was chosen as assistant principal. Mrs. 
Rogers ottered her resignation on February 1. 1876, and Miss 
McPherson was chosen to till the position. Miss McPhcrson 
acted as principal until August 4, 1882, when she resigned. 
Under her administration the first class graduated from the High 
School. Miss McPherson was a fine teacher, a woman of strong 
personality, and was highly regarded by her pupils and the com- 

Miss Ida llawley was elected and held the position until 
July 7, 1885. Miss Hawley was a fine scholar, an excellent ad- 
ministrator, and her work has been greatly praised. 

On her resignation Miss Mary Ball was elected principal 
July 7, L885, remaining until 1887. ' 

Prof. J. F. Byler succeeded Miss Bell as principal, ami re- 
mained for three years. In July, 1890, Prof. John R. Hunsicker 
was elected principal and has remained until the present tunc. 
Through all these years, by the earnest and faithful services of 
the teachers, principals and directors, the schools have steadily 
advanced. The High School is now classified by the Slate De- 
partment as a I figh School of the first class, and an appropriation 
of lour hundred and fifty dollars has been received from the State 

for the High School at Downingtown for the year YM^. When 
the appropriation for Nigh Schools is adequate Downingtown 


High School will receive under the present law eight hundred 
dollars. The State has realized the importance of education and 
has been generous in the matter of appropriations. Downing- 
town's appropriation for 1908 was $3301.48. 

The entire enrollment for the year 1908-09 is 660. There are 
now fifteen teachers, with names and grades as follows : East 
Ward. Primary. No. 1, Miss Mabel Chrisman; Primary, No . 2 
Miss Effie Davis; Primary, No. 3, Miss Sue Byler ; Intermediate., 
Miss Hannah Bieking; Central Building, Primary, No. 1, Mis s 
Carrie Wanzel ; Primary, No. 2, Miss Ethel Mower ; Primary, 
No. 3, Miss Cora Irwin; Primary, No. 4, Miss Ethel Metcalf; 
Intermediate, Miss Mabel Wilson; First Grammar, Miss Ella 
Smith ; assistant, Miss Elizabeth Bingaman ; McCaughey Build- 
ing, Second Grammar, Mrs. Mary R. Swayne ; High School, Mr. 
Stacey Peters ; assistant principal, Miss Anna L. Whitehead ; 
supervising principal, John R. Hunsicker. Board of Education — 
President, Dr. L. T. Bremerman; Secretary, Eoer Garrett; Treas - 
urer, Nathan Wilson ; E. Vinton Philips, Theo. M. Griffith, 
Francis L. Weaver. 

The ever-increasing prosperity of the school, the advances 
in its curriculum and the scholarship evinced by the success of i t s 
graduates in the institutions of higher learning are due to the 
indefatigable and often self-sacrificing labors of the supervising 
principal, John R. Hunsicker, who, during the long years of his 
connection with the school, has grown steadily in the confidence 
and esteem alike of directors, pupils and citizens. 

Of the directors who comprised the first Board (1859) Mr. 
John S. Mnllin is the only one now living. Mr. Mullin took a 
very active part in school affairs for many years, and served in 
various capacities in the Board. His services were highly ap- 

Mr. Francis O'Neill was for twenty-six years a director. 
During this long period he served faithfully. The community 
recognizes his worth. 

Mr. Eber Garrett has served as a director for thirty-one 
years. He is now the secretary, and has acted in that capacity 
for sixteen years. His associates in the Board recognize his 
worth and efficiency. 

New School Building. 

After much discussion and agitation for several years, it was 
decided at the February election (1909) to erect a school build- 
ing on the present site of the old central building, the cost not 
to exceed $6(),ooo. 

That building is now in the process of erection. It will be 
a modern structure (106 x 120 feet), well furnished, properly 
heated and ventilated, a building that will be a source of pride 


and satisfaction to the community and a healthful, cheerful home, 
where the youth of the town may in the future receive that edu- 
cation and training' which is the birthright of every boy and girl 
in this community. 

Downingtown High School Alumni Association. The Alumni 
Association of the Downingtown High School was organized on 
the evening of April 20, 1884, at the home of Miss 1 lattie Miller 
(Stout i (deceased), Washington avenue, East Downingtown. 

The purpose of the organization was "the promotion of the 
cause of education in the interests of our alma mater and to excite 
and keep alive those interests in the same, to strengthen the 
bonds uniting us by social friendship and intercourse, to do all 
in our power to make our alma mater the one that we may all 
feel proud of and to be glad to say that from its walls the founda- 
tion of what we are or what we hope to be has be n gathered." 

The first officers or the Alumni were as follows: President, 
John M. Pattern : Vice President, William Johnson; Secretary 
and Treasurer, Allie M. Gibson: Orator, Paul Cobb; Historian, 
Hattie Miller (Stout); Essayist. Ella P. Smith. The first meet- 
ing took place in the High School building the Saturday after- 
noon before commencement, at 2.30 o'clock, April, 1884. Since 
this time meetings have been held annually and a great deal of 
pleasantry and good fellowship is always with us on these occa- 

Every graduate of the High School is entitled to active mem- 
bership, and if one of our fair alumni is so fortunate as to indulge 
in the rights of matrimony his or her partner becomes an honor- 
ary member of the Association. On the occasion of our banquets 
we have with us as invited guests our Board of Directors, faculty 
of the school and the clergy of our town. The present active 
membership consists of 173 graduates. Of this number all are 
living with the exception of nine. 

The deceased members and residences at the time of death 
are as follows: Miss Hattie Miller (Stout), California: Miss 
Willmera A. Kline, Philadelphia ; Miss Elizabeth G. Haley, 
Downingtown; Mr. Richard Silvis, Philadelphia; Miss Eleanor 
A. Ash (Perry), Downingtown; Miss Anna M. Morgan | Stoufr), 
Thorndale; Miss Mabel A. Davis, Downingtown; Miss Eva E. 
Cox, East Downingtown; Miss Mary E. Moore, East Downing- 

We have, in addition, our honorary members, which num- 
ber fifty-seven, thus making a total membership of two hundred 
and thirty-five, and with our large graduating classes each year 
our number is rapidly advancing. 

The twenty-fifth annual banquet was served by the ladies 
of the Central Presbyterian Church, in their lecture room, on 


Friday evening, April 16, 1909, with the largest attendance in 
the history of the Alumni. 

The officers of the Association for the year 1909 are : Presi- 
dent, Dr. Wesley Barrett ; Vice President, Charles F. McFadden ; 
Secretary, Miss Elizabeth ,D. Wilson; Treasurer, Mrs. Frank 
Simmons ; Chairman of Arrangement Committee, Dr. D. Edgar 
Hutchison ; Chairman of Program Committee, Edgar I. Griffith. 

The Downingtown Library Co. In the earlier history of the 
town a public library was kept in the store of Jacob Edge, on the 
site now occupied by the Downingtown National Bank, and was 
patronized by a considerable number of the citizens. The 
Downingtown Library Company was organized January 27, 1876, 
and formally opened to the public in the present building, April 
4, 1876. The first Board of Managers consisted of Archibald 
Dick Thomas, Jacob V. Edge, Eber Garrett, William McClintock, 
Rev. Robert F. Innes, J. Hunter Wills, Thomas W. Downing. 
The officers were Archibald Dick Thomas, president; Jacob 
V. Edge, vice president; J. Hunter Wills, treasurer; Thomas W. 
Downing, secretary. Miss Jane Thomas was appointed librarian 
May 18, 1876, and served during the remainder of her life. 

The present managers are Thomas W. Downing, Mrs. 
George H. Fisher, Ellis Y. Brown, Mrs. Frank P. Miller, Miss 
Mary B. D. Thomas, Joseph H. Baugh, Jacob Edge. The offi- 
cers are Thomas W. Downing, president; Mrs. George H. Fisher, 
vice president ; Ellis Y. Brown, treasurer, Jacob Edge, secretary. 
The librarian is Miss Priscilla H. Thomas. 

Mr. Archibald Dick Thomas, the first president, was largely 
instrumental in organizing the Downingtown Library, and took a 
great interest in it up to the time of his death, and it was mainly 
through his efforts that it was started. 

A legacy of $500 was left to the library by the late Joshua 
Springer, from which fund a large number of books was pur- 

The late Dr. John P. Edge, who for a number of years was 
president, took an active interest in the library and was one of 
its early managers and supporters. 

The number of volumes now on its shelves is between 2200 
and 2300, and it maintains a free reading room to the public. 

The Downingtown Choral Society was temporarily organ- 
ized at a called meeting of persons interested, held in the rooms 
of the P. O. S. of A., on January 4, 1909, and the organization 
was fully effected at a meeting held in the same place, January 
15, 1909. During the past season Uselma Clarke Smith, of Phila- 
delphia, was conductor and Miss Beula Elston accompanist. 
The first concert of the society was given April 13, 1909 in the 
Downingtown Opera House. There are one hundred and three 


members, and the officers for the past season and also for the 
ensuing year are Frederick P. Mudge, president ; R. J. Russell, 
Jr., vice president; A. H. Standley, treasurer: John P. Noll, sec- 

diopter 9 

Downingtown Banks — Building and. Loan Associa- 

The Downingtown National Bank of Penna. On April 19, 
1860. there appeared the following public notice : "The citizens of 
the Borough of Downingtown and surrounding country, favora- 
ble to the establishment of a Bank of Issue, Discount and De- 
posit, to be located at Downingtown, under the provisions of the 
General Banking Law, are requested to meet at the Public House 
of Joseph P. Tucker, in said Borough, on Saturday, April the 
28th, 1860, at 10 o'clock A. M., for the purpose of making prelim- 
inary arrangements — Many Citizens." 

As a result of this meeting " The Downingtown 
Bank" was organized September 3, 1860, and commenced busi- 
ness May 16, 1861, with a capital of $50,000, increased in 1863 to 
$100,000. On December 30, 1864, it became a national bank un- 
der the present title, "The Downingtown National Bank of 
Penna." ' 

The bank opened for business May 16, 1861, in a room on 
the first floor of the Odd Fellows' Hall, opposite the Pennsylvania 
Railroad Station, and remained there until April 1, 1862, when it 
removed to the brick building on East Lancaster avenue owned 
by Caroline R. Bremmerman and occupied by the Cohansey Glass 
Company's offices. The present building was erected in 1900 
and occupied for business from April 1, 1901, to the present time. 

The first Board of Directors were Charles Downing, A b rani 
S. Ashbridge, John P. Baugh, Jonathan C. Baldwin, John K. Esh- 
elman, Wm. Rogers, David Shelmire, Samuel Ringwalt, Allen \Y. 
Wills. Jacob Edge, R. D. Wells. 

Officers : President — Charles Downing, September 3, 1860, to 
May 3, 1863 ; David Shelmire, June 1, 1863, to November 23, 
1863; William Trimble, November 23, 1863, to December 19, 
1863 ; William Edge, December 28, 1863, to May 29, 1865 ; Jacob 
V. Edge. May 29, 1865, to March, 1889; Joseph R. Downing,. 
April 4, 1889, to the present time. Cashier — Mordecai T. Ruth, 
1860 to 1863 : Joseph R. Downing, 1863 to 1889 ; Thomas Down- 
ing, 1889, to date. 


The present officers are : Joseph R. Downing, president ; 
Eber Garrett, vice president and secretary; Thomas M. Down- 
ing, cashier; Charles Downing, assistant cashier; Everitt T. Fish- 
er, Ernest Smedley and Howard Baldwin, bookkeepers. The 
Board of Directors consists of Joseph R. .Downing, Jacob V 
Edge, Eber Garrett, William Marshall, Thomas E. Parke, Jesse 
H. Roberts. William T. Smedley, Charles T. Thomas and James 

Report of condition, April 28, 1909: 


Loans and Discounts $248,088.21 

< >v rdrafts secured and unsecured :>s<>. r> 

I '. S. Bonds to secure circulation 100,000.00 

Premiums on U. S. Bonds 4,068.00 

Bonds, securities, etc 234,721.66 

Banking house, furniture and fixtures .. 12,000.00 
Due from National Hanks, (not reserve 

agents) 1,072.95 

Due from approved reserve agents 18,400.30 

Checks and other cash items 76.05 

Notes of other National Hanks .MO. DO 

Fractional paper currency, nickels and 

cents 301.59 

Lawful Money Reserve in Lank, viz: 

Specie 18,041.20 

Legal tender notes 1,400.00 19,441,20 

Redemption fund with U. S. Treasurer 

( -V/r of circulation ) 5,000.00 

Total Siit l.oiil.lL 


Capital stock paid in $100,<>n<U)ii 

Surplus fund 100,000.00 

Undivided profits, less expenses and 

taxes paid 28,125.88 

National Lank Notes outstanding 100,000.00 

I >ue to other National Banks 7,601.96 

Individual deposits subject to check ... 305,243.12 

Demand certificates of deposit 2,035.05 

Cashier's checks outstanding 1,055.40 

Total $64 1,061.41 

The Grange National Bank of Chester Co. This young and 
enterprising banking institution was organized March 7, 1907 ? 
with a capital stock of $100,000. During the period awaiting the 


purchase of a site and the erection of a building, business was 
conducted in West Chester, Mr. W. E. Baldwin acting as trustee. 
The handsome structure on East Lancaster avenue now occupied 
was opened January 14, 1908. The officers are as follows: Jos. 
T. Miller, president; F. P. Willets, vice president; J. Hastings 
Whiteside, vice president; M. S. Broadt. cashier; \Y. E. Baldwin, 
assistant cashier. The Board of Directors are: Robert Cook, 
Jos. T. Miller, J. Hastings Whiteside, Ames Barnard, F. P. Wil- 
lets, Dr. Arnold, Hon. John Gyger, Clarence B. Hope, Penrose 
Larkin. W. Irwin Pollock, John G. McHenry, George Kerr, Jr., 
E. J. Young. Morris T. Wood, John Barr. 
Report of condition April 28, 1909. 


Loans and discounts Sill, 060. 87 

Overdrafts, secured and unsecured 99.81 

U. S. Bonds, to secure circulation 50,000.00 

Premiums on U. S. Bonds 1,750.00 

Bonds, securities, etc 50,098.88 

Banking house, furniture and fixtures . . 28,500.00 
Due from National Banks (not reserve 

agents) 71.66 - 

Due from approved reserve agents 6,190.00 

Notes of other National Banks 870.00 

Checks and other cash items 169.46 

Fractional paper currency, nickels and 

cents • 15.13 

Lawful monev reserve in bank, viz. : 

Specie . .' $ 811.20 

Legal Tender notes 2,750.00 


Redemption fund with U. S. Treasurer 

(5% of circulation) 2,500.00 

Total $257,917.01 


Capital stock paid in $100,000.00 

Surplus fund 10,000.00 

L T ndivided profits, less expenses and 

taxes paid 5,982.67 

National Bank notes outstanding 50,000.00 

Due to other National Banks 900.98 

Individual deposits subject to check .... 69,575.61 

Demand certificate of deposit 20,957.75 

Cashier's checks outstanding 500.00 

Total $257,917.01 


Building and Loan Associations. The history of Downing- 
town would be incomplete, without at least a brief account of the 
various building and loan associations that have from time to 
time existed within her borders and contributed to her growth. 

The Progress Building and Loan Association. The first 
building and loan association that was ever established in Dow n- 
ingtown was known as the Progress Building and Loan Associa- 
tion. The first meeting for its organization was held November 
21st, 1868, which was about nine years after the incorporation 
of the borough. Temple Jones presided at this meeting. James 
Good acted as secretary and Richard D. Wells was made treas- 
urer. James Good presented a constitution for the proposed as- 
sociation, and on motion of Richard 1). Wells it was adopted. 
Jaine^ ('.nod was also appointed a committee to take the necessary 
steps to procure a charter. Another meeting was held a week 
later, presided over by Richard I ). Wells. At this meeting a com- 
mitt e was appointed to solicit subscriptions of stock, composed 
of William Calhoun, John McCune, James Good, James E. Cox, 
William Clark, Peter McAnulla, Downing Webster, Elisha Web- 
ster. Thomas Binns, James McClintock. James McCune and 
R. U. Wells. The charter was granted January 28th, 1869, and 
at a meeting held January 30th, a permanent organization was 
effected by the election of William McClintock, president; John 
S. Mullin, vice president; James Good, secretary; Richard D. 
Wells, treasurer. The other members of the Board of Directors 
were Isaac Webster, Richard M. Boldridge, Joseph R. Downing, 
George C. M. Eicholtz, David M. Cox, Thomas S. Ingram, Jacob 
Fondersmith, James E. Cox, Jesse B. Dunwoody, and Thomas 
S. Binns. At* the following meeting of the Board of Directors 
James Good resigned as secretary, and Joseph R. Downing was, 
at a subsequent meeting, elected to take his place. William 
McClintock continued to serve as president during the entire 
period of the existence of the association. Joseph R. Downing 
served as secretary until July, 1870, when he was succeeded by J. 
Hunter Wills, at which time Richard D. Wells was succeeded by 
Joseph R. Downing as treasurer; with this exception there was 
no further change in the officers. Naturally, however, there 
were numerous changes in the Board of Managers of which the 
scope of this article cannot enumerate. In the earlier history of 
the association loans were made at a premium ranging from 18% 
to 30%, the first loan ever made having brought the price last 
named. Later in the history of the association, however, there 
were loans made without premium. 

The association was what is termed a single series associa- 
tion. These kind all start out well, but after the borrowers are 
supplied, there are no new members coming in, and the money 

of the stockholders, who are in for the investment, accumulates 
and fails to earn dividends. In order to relieve this condition it 
was decided to wind up the affairs of the association, which was 
done in May, 1879, at which time the stock had accumulated a 
value of about $170 per share. With this adjustment of the bus- 
iness, the first building and loan association ever established in 
Downingtown passed into history. Before this association had 
wound up its affairs, however, another association had been or- 
ganized, and the charter had been granted to it April 30, 16 74. 
The name of this association was The Downingtown Building 
and Loan Association. The application for the charter was 
signed by George C. M. Eicholtz. D .M. Cox, Thos. E. Parke. W. 
F. McCaughey, Thos. S. Parke, L. J. Baldwin, Jesse H. Roberts, 
B. F. Lewis, R. D. Wells, S. B. Buchanan, J. B. Criswell, John R. 
Johnson, Chas. L. Wells, Charles Downing, James R. Gordon, 
Chas. A. King. J. A. McCaughey. The officers seem to have 
been: Jesse H. Roberts, president: William McClintock, secre- 
tary ; Richard D. .Wells, treasurer. Thus it will be seen that some 
of the members of the Progress Building and Loan Association 
were active, as well, in this later association. It, like its predeces- 
sor, was a single series association, and after flourishing for a 
time, met the same fate, by disbanding before it matured its stock. 
There seems to be no record of the charter of this association ever 
having been recorded, although the decree of the Court requires 
such action to be taken before they are legally qualified to trans- 
act business. They assumed all the functions of a building and 
loan association, however, by making loans, taking mortgages, 
foreclosing the same, taking and making title to real estate. Xo 
one seems to know what became of the books of this association, 
but from what can be gathered from the records of the Recorder's 
Office they ceased to do business about March 30th, 1882. 

About five years after the closing up of the affairs of the last 
named association another association sprang into existence under 
the name of the Brandywine Building and Loan Association. 

Instead of being a single series association, this was what 
may be termed a perpetual association, with the privilege to issue 
a new series as often as the management may think necessary. 
The history of the origin of this association perhaps can not be 
better set forth than by incorporating herein the minutes of the 
first meeting, which are as follows : 

"Downingtown, Pa., June Tth, 1887. 
"Pursuant to a call published in the Chester County Archive 
and Downingtown Review, a large number of citizens of the 
borough of Downingtown and vicinity met in Odd Fellows' Hall 
on Tuesday evening, June ?th, 188?, for the purpose of taking 
action toward organizing a building and loan association. The 



meeting was called to order by Joseph H. Johnson, and upon sun- 
dry motions, R. D. Wells was made chairman, and Joseph H. 
Johnson secretary. Mr. Wells, upon taking the chair, stated the 
object of the meeting. The books were then opened for subscrip- 
tion, when 364 shares of the stock were taken. On motion a 
committee of twelve, six from each ward, were appointed to so- 
licit subscriptions to the stock. The motion prevailed and the 
following named gentlemen were appointed by the chair: 

I. Hunter Wills, Jesse H. Roberts, 

John L. Weldin, Robert McGraw, 

[ohn T. Fox, I Inward B. Sides, 

Dr. Wm. H. Matlack, Dr. L. T. Bremerman, 

Charles G. Hess. Isaac V. Ash; 

\\"m. 11. Rroschar.d. G. C. M. Eicholz. 

"( m motion the name of Thomas Pedrick was added to the 
committee. On motion it was agreed that the above-named gen- 
tlemen be a committee on permanent organization and be in- 
structed to take immediate action toward the procuring of a 
charter. ( )n motion it was agreed that this meeting adjourn to 
meet in this room June 21st, at 8 o'clock P. M." 

At the meeting of June 21st the committee reported that 
there had been about 800 shares of stock subscribed. They also 
recommended the following organization for the association: For 
president, J. Hunter Wills; vice president, Jesse H. Roberts; sec- 
retary, Jos. H. Johnson; treasurer, H. B. Sides; the other Direc- 
tors being named as follows : Joseph Beale, John T. Fox, G. C. 
M. Eicholtz, Dr. Thomas E. Parke, D. Morgan Cox, Thomas 
Pedrick. Wm. H. Broschard, Charles G. Hess and John McGraw, 
all of whom were duly elected. 

A constitution was drafted by a committee appointed for the 
purpose, and formally adopted at a meeting held June 21st, 1887. 
The newly elected Board of Directors prepared the by-laws, and 
they were adopted at a meeting held July 11th. The third Mon- 
day evening in each month was set for the meeting night, and 
the Council Chamber in the old Masonic Hall was rented for the 
use of the association. 

They continued to meet at this place until April 8th, 1892, at 
which time the Masonic Hall building was burned, after-which 
they removed to Alert Fire Company's hall, where they remained 
until July, 1902, when they removed to the office of the secretary, 
No. 66 West Lancaster avenue, where they have remained since. 
The first meeting for the reception of dues was held July 18, 1887, 
the receipts of which meeting amounted to $1089.21. This money 
was sold at the same meeting at 1% premium and was used in 
the erection of a house on Brandywine avenue. 


At the August meeting H. B. Sides resigned as treasurer and 
Dr. Thomas E. Parke was elected his successor, and he served to 
the end of the year, when he declined re-election, and Charles 
G. Hess was elected. Mr. Hess continued to serve the office until 
th time of his death, which occurred February 13, 1903, when 
he was succeeded by Ernest Smedley, who is the present incum- 
bent. J. Hunter Wills served as president of the association until 
January, 1899, when he declined further service and Joseph T. 
Miller was elected to take his place, which position Mr. Miller 
has continued to hold until the "present time. Joseph H. John- 
son was the first secretary, and has continued to serve the as- 
sociation in that capacity from the first meeting night of the as- 
sociation until the present date. 

For the first few years of the association there were frequent 
changes in the Board of Directors, but latterly the success of the 
association has been so pronounced and the stockholders seem 
so well satisfied, that they continue to re-elect the old directors 
until they either die or resign. There have been four deaths in 
the board since the formation of the association : Captain G. C.' 
M. Eicholtz, James Copeland, Charles G. Hess and Kennedy 
Duff. These men all served the association faithfully and were, 
valuable men to the board, but others have been raised up to 
take their places and the business goes on. 

The association was able to collect small premiums on money 
loaned for the first twelve years, amounting in the aggregate to 
$2307, the rate, however, never exceeding 3%, and at times there 
was difficulty in those earlier years to find use for the money, 
and at one time the association had to compel investors to borrow 
some of their money. The conditions set hard with the associa- 
tion and discouraged many, so that the original series, when it 
came to mature, had shrunk from over 800 shares to 416. The 
second series was not opened until January, 1890, two years and 
a half after the association was organized, and this was opened 
only to borrowers, as indeed were several of the succeeding se- 
ries. There has been a series issued each year since 1890, and 
the association is now starting its 21st series and will mature its 
tenth series at the May meeting. In order to dispose of money 
that was accumulating, in August, 1902, the association bought a 
tract of land in the west end of Downingtown, subdividing the 
same into sixteen building lots, upon which they built houses 
from time to time, until they had built all of the sixteen houses. 
All of these houses were speedily sold to home-seekers, who car- 
ried their loans with the association. Again in the Fall of 1901 
there was a great demand for houses in the east end of the town 
to accommodate the Cohansey Glass Manufacturing Co., who had 
just established a large plant here, and the association furnished 


all the necessary capital for the erection of twenty houses, to 
supply this demand. 

The association had to borrow considerable money to meet 
the demands made upon it on this occasion, and upon this money 
they always made at least one per c nt. or more profit, which 
margin made a good substitute for the premiums formerly col- 
lected. All the real estate propositions turned out exceedingly 
profitable to the association, and netted them a profit in addition 
to securing investments for otherwise unoccupied capital, and 
yel to day the association does not own a single house or foot of 
land, and with the money borrowed and the maturing yearly of a 
series of stock there is no prosp ,-t in sight of lacking for invest- 
ment. The association has been maturing its stuck in from 13 I 
to 13*3 months, and while it charges its borrowers 6^? interest, 
yel it nets them <v , on their investments, so that it does not real- 
ly cost the borrower, after deducting his share of the earnings, 
more than from I A'' to -V/v interest. 

The association has prospered beyond every expectation of 
its promoters, and to-day is second only to one in size in the 
county, while it stands pre-eminently first in the financial returns 
it affords its stockholders. 

The Brandywine Building and Loan Association has now 
been in existence for twenty-two years, and every year it is be- 
coming more popular, and gaining a firmer hold on the confi- 
dence of the people, and each succeeding series is having more 
subscribers. It now has an established place of business at the 
office of the secretary, which is constantly open at all times for 
information and the transaction of such business as may require 
attention. This i^ a novel feature in the practice of local building 
and loan associations, and is only made possible by its secretary 
having other business of a kindred nature connected therewith. 
This feature of an open office is a great convenience to the pa- 
trons of the association, and tends to the increase of business. 
There is also a large fireproof vault in the equipment of the build- 
ing, in which space is provided for the protection of the books, 
securities and other valuable papers of the association. During 
the existence of this association it has erected, or furnished capital 
for the erection of Hi I houses, and also has furnished capital for 
the purchase of, or the liquidation of the indebtedness on 150 
other properties, many of which have been fully paid for, and 
others ate following in the line, and many members are saving 
in contemplation of buying or building. 

Downingtown is greatly to be congratulated in the happy 
Combination of all elements, natural and otherwise, that go to 
make it the ideal residence town, for not the wage earner only, 
but for all classes, as it affords all the combinations of city and 


country life thai can unite to make the ideal. As a matter of in- 
terest it may be fitting that a few statistics be given of he Bran- 
dywine Building and Loan Association in closing. There are 
about TOO individual shareholders, among whom is distributed 
about 4800 shares of stock. The association has about $335,000 
invested loans, and the monthly receipts amount to about $6500. 
Some of the present officers and directors have been connected 
with the management ever since the organization of the associa- 
ion, while many of the others, with a few exceptions, have been 
connected with the board for long years, and the great success 
that the association has attained, and the uplift that it has given 
the town, is doubtless due, in a great measure at least, to the 
business ability, perseverance, integrity and foresight of the man- 
agement. 'They have fought a good fight, they have kept the 
faith, and henceforth," that there may be a crown of remem- 
brance laid up for them, the editor will perpetuate their memories 
by closing this article with a list of the names of the present 
officers and members of the Board of Directors : President, Jos. 
T. Miller; vice president, F. J. McGraw; secretary, Jos. H. John- 
son ; treasurer, Ernest Smedley ; Loan and Real Estate Commit- 
tee, J. H. Roberts, Wm. Copeland, Thos. Pedrick, J. L. Weldin ; 
Committee on Finance, S. A. Black, F. J. McGraw, Howard E. 
Laird, John M. Patton, Herbert Ash, Allen E. Keim. 

Chapter 10 

Alert Fire Co., No. 1 — Minquas Fire Co., No. 2 — Down- 

ingtown Opera House. 

Alert Fire Co., No. 1. Previous to 1887. Downingtown had 
no organization or apparatus for protecting the town against a 
fire. One or two attempts had been made prior to this time to 
form a fire company, but without success. 

On August 18th, 1887, Robert McGraw, E. Vinton Philips, 
Edward M. McCaughey, W. Howard Buckwalter, John Stout, 
T. Filmore Lewis, Samuel P. Brown, G. B. Stringfellow, Walter 
Gracie, William Krautter and Ezra Brown met in the office 
of the Downingtown Review (a weekly newspaper then pub- 
lished in the brick building on the south side of Lancaster avenue 
near Viaduct). These men met for the purpose of discussing the 
urgent need of some protection for the lives and properties of the 
citizens of the town against fire, and the result of this meeting 
was the organization of the Alert Fire Co., No. 1. 

The first officers chosen were as follows : President, Robert 
McGraw ; vice president, E. Vinton Philips ; secretary, Edward 
M. McCaughey ; treasurer, J. Leighton Guest ; trustees, W. How- 
ard Buckwalter, John Stout and T. Fillmore Lewis. 

A committee appointed to solicit subscriptions for an equip-, 
ment reported at a subsequent meeting having met with little 

The organization of a fire company did not seem to be a 
popular movement,, particularly among those who should have 
been most interested. 

At a meeting held September 12 it was decided to hold a 
fair in Odd Fellows' Hall. This was done, and the Fair being 
patronized quite liberally the boys were much encouraged in 
their efforts. 

Some difficulty was experienced in securing a permanent 
meeting place, but finally the second floor of the Excelsior Paint 
Building was procured. This building stood on the site on which 
the new High School Building is now being erected. The com- 
pany occupied these rooms from December 19, 1887, to April 1st, 


On December 19th, 1887, the new hook and ladder truck pur- 
chased of Rumsey & Co., Seneca Falls, X. Y., arrived, and on the 
following night the company had its first run, fire having broken 
out at the Steve Works, located along the Downjngtown & Lan- 
caster R. R., near Park Run. Heroic work was done by the com- 
pany in saving the moulding rooms connected with the building. 
The only means of fighting fire was by buckets, water being se- 
cured from Park Run. 

During the years 1888 and L889 the company had a struggle 
for existence, the only source of revenue being the annual dues from its members. Borough Council was petitioned for 
aid, but could give no assistance. 

In the Fall of 1889 a fair was held on the vacant lot at the 
northwest corner of Lancaster and Downing avenues, and a neat 
sum of money was realized, which relieved the wants of the Com- 
pany, and enabled them to purchase additional buckets for the 

( )n April 1st, 1889, the place of meeting was changed to the 
G. A. R. rooms in the Masonic Hall, corner Lancaster and Stuart 
avenues. These quarters were occupied until December 7, 1891. 

On May I, 1891, a lot on the east side of Downing avenue 
was purchased for the purpose of erecting a suitable building for 
housing the truck and also for a place of meeting. Considerable 
difficulty had been experienced in securing a place to house the 

( m the night of July -2d, 1891, the frame livery stable of Mc- 
Fadden Bros, was totally destroyed, and with great difficulty the 
adjoining property was saved. Assistance was asked. of the First 
West Chester Fire Co., and they responded promptly, bringing 
their large Hayes Extension Ladder over seven miles of rough 
country road on a dark night. 

July 12, 1891, the contract was signed for the erection of the 
two-story brick building on the lot on Downing avenue. The 
building'was completed December 1st, and the first meeting held 
therein December 7th, 1891. 

On the night of April 8th, 1882, fire broke out in the Masonic 
Hall, which stood on the site of the Improvement Building, and 
the building was entirely destroyed, the apparatus of the company 
being entirely inadequate to control this fire. Assistance was 
Iced of the' Washington Fire Co., No. 1, of Coatesville, who 
promptly responded, bringing their engine and men on cars 
provided by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, the run being 
made from Coatesville in six minutes. A supply of water was 
secured from the old quarry of the P. R. R. Co., the site now 
being used as a freight yard. 

The lesson learned by the experience of this fire and also of 


the livery stable fire in 1891, so impressed the citizens of the 
necessity of procuring suitable fire apparatus, that when Air. 
Thomas Pedrick canvassed the town with a petition to Council, 
every property-owner, with the exception of two, immediately 
signed it. ■ , 

On the petition of the citizens. Council promptly purchased 
the latest type of Silsby Steam Fire Engine, and on July 16th, 
1892, formally turned the same over to the care of the company. 
The building not having been dedicated, this ceremony was also 
performed on this day. A great number of visiting firemen being 
present to participate in the parade and ceremonies, a large dem- 
onstration was made to commemorate the event. 

The membership of the company was largely increased at 
this time, and with the new Silsby Engine and 1500 feet of hose 
was well equipped for fighting fire. The efficiency of the com- 
pany was further augmented by the installing of the new water 
plant and fireplugs by the borough, which were completed and 
tested December 24th, 1894. Previous to that time water could 
only be secured by pumping from the streams. 

Fairs were held at various times and the proceeds applied to 
the debt on the building. On November 27th, 1899, the last pay- 
ment was made and the company was entirely clear of debt. 

On October 27th, 1902, the first appropriation of $100 was 
received from the Borough Council. Since that time Council has 
been making an annual appropriation to the company. The meth- 
od of giving the alarm of fire, up to this time, has been by strik- 
ing a bell. The first bell purchased was a very small one, and 
was not satisfactory. A locomotive tire was placed in the tower 
and used for some time. This, too, proved unsatisfactory, and a 
larger bell was purchased. This bell has since been exchanged 
for the present 1500-lb. bell, and is now doing service on the Bap- 
tist Church. 

In May, 1905, a pair of horses, street sprinkler and wagon 
were purchased, which were a great source of revenue to the com- 

In 1906 the company was in a prosperous condition and 
working in perfect harmony. Early in this year a change in the 
location of the fire house was agitated and a committee was 
finally appointed to investigate the advisability of purchasing the 
Opera House, on Brandywine Avenue, a number of shares of the 
stock of the Opera House Company having been donated for the 
benefit of a fire company east of the Brandywine Creek. 

The committee, after viewing the building and site, reported 
unfavorably. Some time after a committee was appointed to se- 
lect a suitable site. 

Two reports were submitted at a meeting of the company, 


November 26, 1906, one . recommending the purchase of the 
Thomas Downing lot, on East Lancaster avenue, for $5000, and 
the oilier the purchase of the lot on \Yest Lancaster avenue, on 
which the new High School is being erected, for the sum of $1575. 
A large attendance was present, at this meeting, and on motion 
action on the matter was indefinitely postponed. 

During the year 1907, the membership from the East Ward 
vvas considerably increased, giving that section of the town the 
majority and on February 24, 1908, a resolution was offered to 
remove the Alert Fire House and apparatus to a location to be 
selected east of the Brandywine Creek. This action aroused in- 
tense feeling. The resolution being put to a vote was declared 
carried. Legal action was threatened, and in order to adjust the 
difference, it was decided to make a division of the property, giv- 
ing to the in w company to be organized east of the Brandywine 
Creek, the horses, wagon, street sprinkler and cash o'n hand, 
amounting to $1'.):,?.'"). It was also agreed that Council be request- 
ed to turn over to the new company the Silsby Fire Engine and 
that they purchase a new combination chemical wagon for the 
use of the Alert Fire Co. 

The cash on hand and all the personal property having been 
turned over to the new company, a committee was immediately 
appointed to purchase a new outfit, consisting of a pair of horses, 
a street sprinkler and a wagon. 

A fair and carnival was held on the lot adjoining the fire 
house early in July and sufficient funds realized to pay for the 
team, and leave a balance of over $1000 in the treasury. 

Previous to holding this fair, a Ladies' Auxiliary was formed, 
with a membership of one hundred and fifty (this was the first 
organization of the kind in connection with a fire company, that 
vvas formed in Chester County). The ladies were very enthusias- 
tic to aid the company, and it was mainly through their untiring 
labors that the fair proved such a success. 

The Ladies Auxiliary is a permanent organization, with 
monthly meetings on the first Thursday evening of each month. 
The membership now numbers over two hundred. 

On November 1st, a new addition to the fire house was 
completed, providing for the stabling of the horses and the hous- 
g of the wagons, etc. 

( >n November 3d, the new combination chemical wagon ar- 
rived, and the Silsby Steam Engine was turned over to the Min- 
is O impany, No. 2. 

( m November 7th, the new annex was dedicated, and the 
chemical wagon, after being christened by Miss Marguerite Gib- 
ncv. was housed by the Brandywine Fire Co., No. 2, of Coates- 


Several visiting fire companies were present to participate in 
the parade and ceremonies, and the occasion was made a memor- 
able event. 

The company issued a handsome program of the events of 
the day. with a short history of the borough. The book was much 
appreciated, and without doubt will be preserved as a souvenir 
of the occasion. 

The company at this time is in an exceedingly prosperous 
condition, with the membership working in perfect harmony- The 
roll now contains 329 members. 

The present executive officers of the company afe as follows : 
President, Joseph H. Johnson ; vice president, Allen E. Keim ; 
recording secretary, Howard E. Laird ; financial secretary, Lewis 
Moses ; treasurer, Thomas Pedrick. 

The Minquas Fire Company, No. 2. After the divison in the 
Alert Co., Xo. 1, already noted, steps were taken to organize a 
company in the East Ward, and the Minquas Fire Company was 
duly incorporated May 4, 1906. Several locations were consid- 
ered and the present property, formerly a part of the Matlack 
Estate, on East Lancaster avenue, was selected, and purchased. 
The cornerstone of the new building was laid with appropriate cere- 
monies October 8, 1908. Chief Burgess J. Hunter Wills r^ad a his- 
tory of the organization, and addresses were made by Howard 
Coates, representing the Washington Fire Company of Coatesville, 
and Joseph H. Johnson, Esq., representing Alert Fire Co., No. 1. 
The handsome structure just finished will be dedicated with for- 
mal ceremonies on Saturday, May 20, in connection with the 
semi-centennial celebration. The old barn has also been remod- 
eled and connected with the new structure, forming a convenient 
and commodious stable for the fire horses. The fire house is a 
credit to the building committee and an ornament to the town. 
The parlor, meeting room and game room have been tastily furn- 
ished. There is a strong and efficient ladies' auxiliary, which at a 
fair held in the opera house, realized a large sum for the treasury, 
and the company is in excellent financial condition. There are 
two hundred and eighty members. The complete list of officers 
and committees is as follows : 

President, Samuel P. Bicking; vice president, John P. Noll; 
recording secretary, William W. E. Ash ; financial secretary, 
Charles W. Reel; treasurer, Everett P. Fisher; trustees, Horace 
A. Fetters, Ellis Y. Brown, Jr., J. Penrose Moore ; chief, J. Ha- 
vard Downing; assistant chiefs, Andrew G. C. Breese, T. Vance 
Miller; engineer, Frank P. Miller; assistant engineers, Harry Ma- 
gill, Albert Moore, William H. Carey, B. Frank Zittle ; truck di- 
rector, Harry Worrall ; assistant truck director, Dr. Isaac H. 


Whyte : hosemen, E. E. Entrekin, E. J. Griffith, Horace S. Car- 
penter. J. Kirk Smith. Frank Laird, Clemson King; fire police, 
I. vi A. Moore, August Dickman, William McClure, Jr.; Repre- 
sentative to State Firemen's Convention. John L. Weldin; Alter- 
nate Representative to Firemen's Convention, John W. Dennis; 
Bill Committee, Wilmer K. Biles, T. Vance Miller, William Mc- 
Clure. Jr.: Team Committee. Harry Worrall, Horace A. Fetters, 
l< iseph A. Bicking. 

The Downingtown Opera House Company was incorporated 
March 10, 1902. The applicants for charter were Alexander P. 
Tutton, Charles G. Hess, Howard E. Laird, Dr. Edward Kerr, 
& S. Austin Bickin. With authorized capital stock, $20,000, 
Km shares at $50 each. The directors for the first year were 
Theodore Hallman, Joseph T. Miller, J. Hunter Wills, Joseph H. 
Johnson, & J. T. Carpenter. Eber Garrett, a stockholder, was 
elected treasurer. Upon organization of the Board of Directors, 
Theodore Hallman was made president, J. T. Carpenter secretary. 

Theodore Hallman offered a site in "Center Square," next to 
"Coral Hall," 60 by ( .k> feet, at a very reasonable price as a suita- 
ble location for the opera house. Frank II. Keisker, architect, 
was employed to prepare plans for the opera house in keeping 
with the location. Bids were received for the erection of the 
same, and also for its erection on a modified and less expensive 
plan ; but the bids for both plans being in excess of the subscrip- 
tions and the legally authorized capital stock, said plans had to 
be abandoned. 

Subsequently a new plan for the opera house was prepared 
by J. T. Carpenter, of Downingtown, and approved by the stock- 
holders, another site selected, and in the year 1903, the "Down- 
ingtown Opera House," as it now stands, was erected with all its 
paraphernalia at a cost of about $13,000. 

In the year 1901 a large block of the capital stock was pur- 
chased by the company and retired, the remainder of said stock 
outstanding was donated by the holders thereof to Minquas Fire 
Company, Xo. 2. Said fire company is now virtually the owner 
of the opera house, having control of all the stock of the said 
opera-house company, but the same being a separate corporation, 
must be officered and conducted under the name, style and title 
of "Downingtown Opera House Co." The original stockholders 
numbered sixty-four, holding two hundred and five shares, and 
of those Theodore Hallman and Mary II. Hallman held ninety 

(Tfyapter U 

The Borough Council — Interesting Events — Fire Protect- 
ion — Street Lights — "Water. 

Isaac Yearsley Ash, of Downingtown, furnishes the follow- 
ing compilation from the Minute Books of the Borough of Down- 
ingtown, 'which hooks are in his possession, and the historian 
desires at this point to acknowledge the zeal and interest mani- 
fested in this work by Mr. Ash: 

On June 2, 1859, the first meeting of Council was held in 
the office of William Edge. The Chief Burgess and all the Coun- 
cilmen-elect being present, the "oath of office was duly adminis- 
tered to each and all of them by Esquire Rogers." and organized 
by electing William Edge secretary pro tern." David Shelmire 
was duly elected Assistant Burgess ; James Humphrey, Secre- 
tary, who afterwards declined, and J. Stuart Leech succeeded 
him. William Edge was elected Treasurer. The security of the 
Treasurer was fixed at two thousand (2000) dollars, and his 
salary twenty dollars. The compensation of the Secretary was 
fixed at fifteen dollars. Rev. A. G. Compton was chosen Street 

The question of organization of a borough was under con- 
sideration for more than two years before final action was taken, 
and one of the strongest arguments set forth by the projectors 
of the act was the utter inability to secure a good, clean thor- 
oughfare between the two ends of the town by constant appeals 
to the township supervisors, who, in their long-legged cowhide 
boots, had no sympathy for the dudish villagers, who once a 
week, at least, brushed and polished their fine boots to wear to 
meeting and on other laudable and interesting occasions. It 
was quite natural, therefore, as an act of good practice for Coun- 
cil to consider the betterment of the principal highway in town 
for pedestrians, for, be it remembered, that trolley cars, auto- 
mobiles and even bicycles were then unthought of, and perhaps 
would not have been tolerated. The very first act, therefore, of 
the first Council at their first meeting was to appoint a com- 
mittee, consisting of William Edge, David Shelmire and R. D. 
Wells, to confer with the president of the Philadelphia and Lan- 
caster Turnpike Company to make certain arrangements in 


reference to sidewalks along the said turnpike. At this meeting 
a committee was appointed, consisting of the Burgess and Coun- 
cilmen, to draft a constitution and set of by-laws. William Edge 
and James Lochart were appointed to secure a seal, and William 
Butler, Esq., of West Chester, was elected the "legal counsel of 
the Corporation." 

The next act was an ordinance naming the point of inter- 
section of the Lancaster Pike and the Wilmington State Road 
"Centre Square," and naming the other established roads lead- 
ing to or through the borough — sixteen in all. 

On July 28, is')!), J. Stuart Leech and William 1',. Tloopes 
were appointed a committee to procure a map of the borough, 
and on August .". same year, the Chief Burgess was authorized 
to procure a lock-up, and an ordinance passed "for the punish- 
ment of disorderly conduct in the Borough of Downingtown." 

On September 1, L859, an ordinance for raising supplies to 
defray expenses was enacted, fixing the rate at :! mills. On 
October L5, 1859, Esquire Lewis was paid the sum of ($7.50) 
seven dollars and fifty cents for five days' leveling and surveying 
on the streets, civil engineering evidently being at a low ebb. 
( hi December 29, 1859, Rule '?** was enacted, granting citizens 
the privilege of attending the meetings of Council, but to take 
no part in the deliberations, except by invitation determined by 
a majority of the members present. 

On January 6, L860, communication received from William 
Butler, Esq., Borough Counsel, enclosing a decision of Supreme 
Court in reference to non-taxing money for borough purposes. 

On April 1, 1860, the first street committee (or "Street Regu- 
lations") was appointed, being the only standing committee of 
Council, to whom complaints from sundry citizens from time to 
time were referred. 

September 27, 1860, a petition of citizens was presented to 
Council, asking that an ordinance be passed prohibiting inter- 
ments within the borough limits, which was referred to William 
Edge and R. 1). Wells, who were directed to consider the subject 
of organizing a cemetery company and report to a subsequent 

January 31,' 1861, Committee on Public Cemetery made a 
report, which was accepted, their selection of ground being a 
part of lands of Joshua B. Sharpless, containing about twenty 
acres, on the road from the borough to West Chester, outside of 
the borough limits, with some preparation to having same incor- 
porated, which project, however, was never completed, fur what 
reason is not stated, although the subject was "earnestly recom- 
mended t<> the public spirit and enterprise of the citizens of the 
borough and surrounding neighborhood to consummate the de- 


sign." (For a description of Northwood see another chapter.) 
On May 21, 1861, it was resolved, in repairing Bradford avenue, 
to have the western line straightened from "Walton's gate to 
the hydraulic ram," or further, if necessary, landmarks now 

Much concern was exercised in the repairs of streets and 
bridges and in requiring citizens to repair and keep in good con- 
dition the sidewalks on their respective properties, and on May 
1, 1862, the sum of two hundred and twelve dollars ($212) was 
appropriated for repairs and improvements on bridges and ave- 
nues for the ensuing year. 

The matter of grade crossings engaged the attention of the 
young borough, for as early as 9th mo., 4th, 1862, Robert W. 
Forrest and Enos Worrall addressed a communication to Coun- 
cil representing that on that day they ran a very narrow chance 
of being killed on crossing the East Brandywine and Waynes- 
burg Railroad, on account of want of proper care and attention 
of those in the management of the road. The matter being re- 
ferred to a special committee, all further danger was avoided by 
the railroad company erecting a board at the crossing reading, 
"Look Out for the Locomotive." 

The borough, composed largely of members of the Society 
of Friends and Democrats, was none the less patriotic, for, on 
June 17, 1862, pursuant to a request made at a town meeting 
held in Odd Fellows' hall, at which Rev. M. Newkirk and Caleb 
Baldwin were appointed to represent them, a special meeting of 
Council was held and the following resolution was presented : 

"Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed by the 
president, whose duty it shall be to call on the Burgess of the 
borough with the request that he convene the Council for the 
purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of pledging 
the faith of the borough in raising a sum sufficient to relieve the 
necessities of the families of those patriotic citizens who have 
volunteered to march in defense of our invaded State. Signed, 
M. Newkirk, Jr.. Secretary of the meeting." 

When, on motion, it was resolved that the Borough of 
Downingtown be pledged to supply the families of such volun- 
teers residing within the borough limits as are now leaving their 
homes in defense of the State with such necessaries as may be 
needed for their support during the absence of such, the said sup- 
plies to be purchased as directed by a committee appointed for 
that purpose. 

R. D. Wells and C. Zigler were appointed a committee to 
attend to the same. 

Sanitary conditions were not neglected, for, on May 14, 1866, 
at a special "session," the Burgess was requested to have printed 


and distributed to every housekeeper within the borough limits 
notices setting forth the necessity of cleaning and purifying their 
cellars, sinks, gutters and all places about their premises cal- 
culated to create disease, especially the apprehended cholera, and 
in view of a committee from Council visiting their premises. 

During the war of the Rebellion it was thought necessary to 
resort to draft to secure recruits for the depleted ranks of our 
soldiers, and certain townships and boroughs, anticipating such 
methods, would raise by subscription enough money to "fill the 
quota" of their respective districts by paying substitutes to en- 
list, the price ranging from a few dollars to many hundreds of 
dollars for each substitute, who. in many cases, would desert on 
the first opportunity and engage somewhere else, called bounty 

Downingtown entered into this method of escaping the draft, 
tor we find where Joshua Karnes, in October, 1864, petitioned 
Council to pay to the First National Bank the sum of one thou- 
sand dollars, which had been advanced by said bank. 

On May 1!), L866, on motion, the whole Council resolved 
itself into a committee to wait upon every citizen within the bor- 
ough limits and inspect all places liable to invite disease, and 
especially cholera. 

The grade crossing of the Pennsylvania Railroad at Brad- 
ford avenue was considered so dangerous that on October 4, 1869, 
a committee of Council was appointed to confer with the officers 
of the said railroad company as to their intention of making a 
culvert under their road on Viaduct avenue, and on December 2, 
1872, Bath alley ordained, and Bradford avenue from Lancaster 
avenue to Hath alley vacated, the Railroad company having 
opened the culvert under their tracks at Viaduct avenue. 

Among the many improvements and enterprises introduced 
by Joshua Karnes was the erection of a large hotel on the south 
side of the Pennsylvania Railroad, in the West Ward, known as 
the "Aston Terrace," which was destroyed by fire about the time 
of its completion, supposed to be the work of incendiaries, on 
the night of June 18, 1870, for the arrest and conviction of whom 
the Borough Council offered a reward of five hundred dollars. 
the same to be published in the "Journal," "Record" and "Jeffer- 

"March 4, 1872, a map of the borough, made and presented 
bv Messrs. Townsend. Iloones and A. \ . Trimble, was accepted 
and adopted as the official borough ma]). 

In order to encourage the erection of manufacturing estab- 
lishments in the borough, an ordinance was passed, February 10, 
187.'!, exempting from borough tax for a period of ten years all 


property used directly in the manufacture of woolen, cotton, iron, 
glass or' paper goods. 

March 3, 1874, Council Chamber moved to Masonic Hall, 
West Ward. June 26, 1876. the sum of one hundred and twenty- 
five dollars was appropriated by Council for fireworks in cele- 
brating the one hundredth anniversary of American independence 
on July 4, 1876, and the Chief Burgess was directed to issue a 
proclamation requesting a general observance of the day. 

A citizens' meeting was held July 25, 1877, and J. T. Car- 
penter was appointed a committee to wait on Council and request 
the Chief Burgess to apply to the Governor for the loan of arms 
and ammunition and equipment for one hundred men enrolled 
as an organized force for the protection of the Borough of Down- 
ingtown, as per the Governor's proclamation. This was in view 
of the unsettled condition of society owing to labor troubles and 
strikes and riots in various places. 

In 1884 the borough was divided into two wards by a decree 
of Court, with costs amounting to $47.87. Some discord began 
to show itself between the two wards, and to avoid the same 
.some prominent citizens advocated dissolution as the only rem- 
edy. On November 3, 1890, resolution passed Council condemn- 
ing the efforts of certain persons to have the Borough of Down- 
ingtown divided into separate boroughs. 

May 13, 1892, an agreement was made with the Pennsylvania 
Railroad, by which Brandywine avenue was made to pass under 
the railroad and thus avoid a very dangerous grade crossing at 
that point. 

March 13, 1893, the Lancaster and Philadelphia Street Rail- 
way applied for permission to lay tracks on Lancaster avenue, 
but the project was abandoned. 

Later the West Chester Street Railway extended its tracks 
to Coatesville over two of the most important streets, giving 
Downingtown good trolley service, which has proven a benefit 
to the town. 

At this, the closing days of the semi-Centennial, the borough 
is in good condition financially, has an abundant supply of pure 
water, which reaches the town by gravity : has well-lighted 
streets, good sidewalks and much care taken to keep the streets 
and avenues in smooth and clean condition. Two well-equipped 
fire companies, who own their teams; a large steam roller, two 
United States Post Offices, two Pennsylvania Railroad passenger 
stations, one Philadelphia and Reading station, one large steam 
flour mill, several other industries mentioned in other chapters, 
flourishing churches of several denominations, between the pas- 
tors and members of which there exists a most cordial feeling of 
.sympathy and fidelity. A large proportion of the inhabitants 


own their homes, assisted largely in many cases by the liber- 
ality cf the well-managed Brandywine Building Association. 

All the lodges and beneficial organizations are prosperous, 
the merchants are trustworthy business men and prosper, the 
town is growing and many beautiful building sites are being 
improved in the western or resident section, while valuable build- 
ings are beinsf erected in the eastern or business section. Health 
and prosperity is the heritage of the populace in the heart of the 
beautiful Valley, and. seated on either side of the historic Brandy- 
wine, within the shadow of the Heights of Valley Forge, we are 
a happy and contented people, anxiously waiting" to see the new 
school building completed, and, ever grateful to the Giver of all 
blessings, we stand upon the threshold of the last half of our 
century full of hope and confidence. 


For' the protection of property from fire the question of se- 
curing apparatus for equipping a hook and ladder company was 
considered at a meeting of Council, held May 5, 1873, and Dr. 
Thomas E. Parke was appointed a committee to inquire into the 
ci »st of same. 

May 5, 1884, a committee from a citizens' meeting appeared 
before Council and asked that measures be taken for protection 
of property in the borough from fire, when a committee was 
appointed to confer with citizens' committee on the subject and 
to ascertain the lowest rates to be obtained from the water com- 
pany for fire protection. August 4, 1S84, the question of fire 
protec«'on was brought up, and the committee directed to make 
inquiry as to cost of certain apparatus and cost of building for 
same, the further consideration of which was, September 1, 1884, 
indefinitely postponed. January 9, 1888, the Alert Fire Com- 
pany, No. 1, of Downingtown, having been organized. Council 
was asked for an appropriation for providing a house for their 
hook and ladder truck, referred to committee, who, on February 
27, 1888, reported, "The company at present consists of 28 active 
members; whole amount of money received from various sources, 
$710.95; amount expended. $655.45; of this. $400 was paid for 
hook and ladder truck, the balance for charter, printing by-laws 
and other incidental expenses. They have a handsome and fully 
rigged hook and ladder truck, 12 rubber buckets, one extension 
and two small ladders, picks, drag chains, bars, axes, etc. They 
own no horse. The company asks assistance to erect a build- 
ing 20 x 10 feet for housing their truck and for holding meetings. 

"The committee finds the company a respectable and vigor- 
ous band of young men. Their constitution and by-laws are 
based upon such principles as the most law-abiding citizen must 


approve. The committee approves of aiding the company in 
such sum as may be considered prudent." 

Masonic Hall, at corner of Lancaster and Stuart avenues, 
having been entirely destroyed by fire in the early hours of April 
6, 1892, the borough authorities purchased a Silsby fire engine, 
No. -1, which was placed in charge of the Alert Fire Company, 
No. 1, they having erected a suitable building for housing fire 
apparatus. An agreement was entered into by the borough au- 
thorities and officers of Alert Fire Company. 


December 7, 1874, Joshua Karnes appeared before Council 
on behalf of the Gas and Water Company and made an offer to 
erect one hundred lamps without expense to the borough and 
supply the gas for street lighting on the same terms and condi- 
tions upon which it will be furnished to private consumers, which 
was accepted, and the Street Committee was directed to assist 
in locating the same, having due regard to street crossings. 
On March 6, 1876, Joshua Karnes appeared before Council and 
stated that, under the contract with the borough, fifty street 
lamps had been erected, and desired to be informed where the 
additional fifty agreed upon should be placed, stating also that 
the gas made had been of good quality and carefully measured, 
and the consumption for January and February was seventy-five 
thousand feet, which, at $3.50 per thousand feet, would amount 
to, $262.50, which amount would be in accordance with the con- 
tract. A committee was appointed to investigate the matter, 
which reported at a subsequent meeting that no such contract 
was made binding the borough, and refused to pay any bills or 
charges for gas that had been used in lighting the streets, and 
the borough would not be responsible for any .future lights under 
the alleged agreement, which report was accepted and a com- 
mittee appointed to communicate in writing with the Gas and 
Water Company on the subject. On June 7, 1876, the Gas and 
Water Company made an offer in writing to light the borough 
with gas at the rate of $22 per lamp per annum, but the offer 
was not accepted. May 6, 1878, a committee was appointed to 
confer with the Dowmngtown Diamond Lamp Company in re- 
lation to furnishing street lights, which reported in favor of 
erecting two lamps on the turnpike bridge, to be used on dark 
nights for the safety and convenience of citizens,' to be erected 
by the Diamond Lamp Company for one year at $7.00 per lamp, 
which was not approved by Council. 

This matter was again brought before Council on September 
4, 1882, by petition of citizens, and referred to committee, which 
approved at a later meeting having the lamp erected. 


April C), 1885, the question of street lights was again con- 
sidered, and a committee was appointed to inquire into the costs 
and feasibility of same, and on June 1. 1885, a contract was 
entered into with the Downingtown Gas and Water Company 
for 25 lights for $100 per year, which contract was annulled on 
February 1, 1886, on account of poor service. 

May :;. L886, .'!? oil lamps were installed at $8.25 per lamp 
per year. June (i. 1887, proposals for erecting and maintaining 
;:> street lights were advertised. September :>. lsss. a contract 
was executed with Brooks Gas Company for 50 gas lights at 
$7.50 per annum. For the last four years the town has streets 
well lighted with eras and electricity. 


The first mention made of the introduction of water pipes 
is on November ;, 1870, when a petition was presented by sundry 
citizens asking lor the insertion of (ire plugs. The Water Com- 
pany being a private corporation (another one of Joshua Karnes' 
enterprises), April 11, 1873, a resolution was passed earnestly 
requesting the Governor to veto an act of the Legislature author- 
izing the Burgess and Town Council to»borrow the sum of fifty 
thousand dollar- to purchase water works, as the act was passed 
without their knowledge or consent. Trouble now commences 
with the Gas and Water Company, who. by virtue of their charter, 
as decided by the Borough Solicitor, have the rierht to gfo where 
they please, doing as little injury as possible, and the liurgess, 
on July ;. is;:!, was directed to notify John Webster, secretary 
of the Gas and Water Company, to fill up ditches within one 
week, or Council will proceed to do the same without delay. 
December 8, is;.",, Council wished to be heard by the Governor 
on the Karnes water bill enacted by the Legislature, but not as 
yet signed by the Governor. 

It was proved beyond any doubt that the borough could 
not depend upon the existing water company, owned principally 
by outside capitalists, and the borough authorities were request- 
ed to take measures to secure control of the water supply. Fail- 
ing in this, they conceived the idea of establishing a plant owned 
and operated solely by the borough. Water rights were pur- 
chased and a large basin built at the headwaters on Pine Run, on 
the farm of. Mrs. Young. From this a good supply of pure 
spring water was obtained, but the old company brought suit 
against the borough for trespassing on their chartered rights, 
which gave the old company exclusive control of the service. 
The decision of the lower Court, confirmed by the Supreme 
Court, was against the borough, which was now compelled to 


purchase the rights, titles, etc., of the old company. This gave 
a supply from another source and gave the town an abundant 
supply, though at heavy cost. The revenue, however, from pri- 
vate consumers, manufacturing establishments and the Pennsyl- 
vania Railroad has enabled the Council to reduce the indebted- 

ness at an increasing rate. 

The present equipment, with the completion of the large 
reservoir now in contemplation, will supply all demands for 
many years. 






r /i 


v i? /' 


& — 






ULtWN Fo*NOa TfMa. 

GVpter 12 

Early Industries — The Vicker's Pottery — The Bicking's 
and Paper Mills — Various Enterprises. 

Among the early industries in Downingtown was that of a 
pottery, carried on by John Yickers, who formerly lived in Sads- 
bury, and who began business in Downingtown as early as 1807. 
His pottery was located in the eastern portion of the town on 
property now owned by George H. Fisher. An examination of 
the old account book of the Cain Pottery, which accounts extend 
from 1808 to 1813, shows the names of purchasers as follows : 

Meredith & Hoopes purchased in 1808 ; John Taylor, of Ken- 
nett Square, purchased the same year, as did Thomas Edge. In 
1809, John Hoopes, Jr., and Sharpless & Windle. Purchasers in 
1810 were Joseph Quarll, Abner James & Company, Evan Evans 
& Company, Jesse Kersey, and in 1811, David Jones & Jesse 
Cause were purchasers. 

These entries show that ware was shipped to Wilmington, 
Delaware, Kennett Square, Columbia and Christianabridge. It 
is also interesting to note that bricks appear to have been made 
here, as one entry under date of 9th month, 19th, 1809, refers to 
"500 bricks." It is also interesting to note that Phineas Whita- 
ker is credited with two loads of clay at $1.00, and. John Hoopes, 
Jr., is frequently credited with loads of clay at $0.50, such credits 
extending from the year 1808 to 1811. '8th month, 9th, 1813, 
Samuel R. Downing is charged with seven dozen porter bottles. 
Whether these bottles were made at this pottery, or whether 
they were simply sold, the record does not explain. A sample 
bill will give a general idea of the articles made here during the 
early years of the pottery. It is in the name of Meredith & 
Hoopes, and under date of 9th month, 1809, as follows : 

To 1 doz pots at 17s. 6d. & l l / 2 doz. at 12s.. . 1 
\y 2 doz. do. at 6s. 6d., j4 doz. at 5s. & 2 

doz. at 3s 

1 doz. milk pots 

1 doz. dishes 10s. & 8s. and 1-3 doz. at 5s. 












2 doz. do., 3s. and 4 doz. at Is. (3d 12 

V/ 2 doz. basins, 8s. & 5s., and l l / 2 do., 9s. 1-i 3 

V/fi doz. two-gal. jars, 22s. 6d 11 3 

1 doz. gal. do 15 

3 doz. ji-gal. jugs, do. & pitchers, 10s. . . 1 10 

2 doz. qt. bowls and mugs, 5s 10 

3 doz. pt. do., do., and cups, 2s. 6d 7 6 

y 2 doz. sugar pots, 18s and lis 8 

1 doz. Jordans, 12s. and Ms 10 G 

]/ 2 doz. jar lids, 2s 1 

4 doz. Toy ware, 9s 3 

54 doz. 3-pt. green enameled pitchers, lis. 3 

y± doz. qt. do. do., 12s 3 

Drawing 3 

Drawing 10 4 5 

1 doz. gal. jugs 15 

Total (29.25) 10 1!) 5 

Much of this ware was queensware and white ware, and was 
shipped to various points in Chester County and the State of 
Delaware, and some of it was shipped to the city of Philadel- 
phia, "5 mo. 27, 1809," the fololwing entry was made: 



1 doz. half-gal. coffee pots 2 

1 doz. three-pint do . 1 

1 doz. half-gal. pitchers 

1 doz. three-pint do 

y 2 doz. quart do., 12s 

1 doz. large tea pots 1 

1 doz. less do 

1 doz. large cream cups 

2 doz. small do., 3s. 9d 7 

2 doz. salt cups, 2s. 9^d 

1-6 doz. half-gal. bowls, l§s. 9d 

y doz. three-pt. do., 15s 

1 doz. qt. do 

2 doz. pt. do., 3s. 9d 

1 doz. qt. mugs 

2 doz. pt. do., 5s 

2-3 doz. Jordans, 18s, 9d 

y 2 doz. sugar bowls, 10s 

y doz. small do., 7s. (id 

John Vickers continued at tins pottery until about the year 
1822, when he sold out the concern and started a new pottery 































' 143 

about half a mile northeast of Lionville, in Uwchlan township, 
Chester County. During- the time that Friend Vickers was at 
Downingtown, among his workmen was Jesse Kersey, who was 
quite a noted speaker among the society of Friends. Jesse ex- 
ercised his joints at the pottery during the week, and exercised 
his gift of speech at Friends' meeting on the first day of the 
week. He forgot that then, as now, the audience always look 
.behind the speaker to the consistency of his personality. How- 
ever eloquent is the orator, if he lacks stability of character, his 
words fall upon heedless ears. A century ago the personal equa- 
tion was as much in evidence and of as great an importance as 
it is to-day, and any one who speaks in the "limelight" of public 
criticism is influential more by his schedule of living than he is 
by his flow of language. 

The bake shop was a scarce industry in Chester County. 
There were a few of them, but there was none in Downingtown. 
The bread that was consumed in the Downingtown dining room 
was baked in the Downingtown kitchen, and the manufacture 
and consumption of pies was something astounding. In every 
harvest field in Chester County there was what was known as 
the 10 o'clock piece, and the piece was generally a piece of pie. 
Such bake shops as did exist in country towns at that time kept 
the account with the patrons by means of "a tally," and the 
notches on one side of the tally meant three-cent loaves and the 
notches on the other side of the tally meant six-cent loaves. 
There were no electric lights ; there were no gas lights ; there 
were no coal oil lights, but there was plenty of candle light. 
There was much sociability and a great deal of family visiting, 
and while in the Society of Friends the first day of the week was 
devoted to visiting and social intercourse when time and oppor- 
tunity would permit, the practice was discouraged among other 
religious denominations. The present remarkable sized hats 
and bonnets is only a revival of - what was usual and common a 
century ago. There were communities in Chester County in 
which the head gear of the gentler sex was so great as three 
feet in height, and one visiting Friend in Oxford township said 
to her hostess, after the large-sized creation had been lifted from 
her head, "Please be careful to put it in a clean place," and the 
hostess promptly replied, "Where do you keep it at home?" And 
yet that head gear adorned its wearer in a Presbyterian church 
in Chester County and excited the astonishment of all beholders. 

There were some superstitions prevailing in Downingtown. 
Almost every dwelling has its vegetable garden, in which vari- 
ous things were planted according to "the sign," and there were 
numbers of people prepared to show that such signs were worthy 


. , ' . ~. , ts position, was supposed to con- 

of observation. The moon, by - ication as to when cer tain things 
vey to the planter the proper in< Seven tv-five years ago Down- 
shonld be placed in the earth with ^nut furniture made bv 
mgtown houses were furnished o{ Chester County. It was 

different artisans m various section seasoned and honestly put 
good material, plainly fashioned, well ^ ; furniture in them made 
together. Few if any of the houses had hich was used came 
from mahogany. The walnut lumber wi nt j n texture hard 
from the Brandywine Hills. It was excelle'i r j ed j t ^ as re _ 
firm and solid, and some of it beautifully cm ni t nern planter 
served for the New England merchant or the Sc j n Friendly 
a century ago to indulge in mahogany lumber, -panced. 
Pennsylvania such extravagance was scarcely countei. 

•V been 
Since the time of the old grist mills, paper making has ^ wn - 
the principal industry of Downingtown and its vicinity. Do an 
ingtown is probably more widely known for its paper mills th o 
in any other respect. The history of this industry, therefor* 
holds an important place in this record. 

The inception of the paper industry in America was almost 
coincident with the granting of patents for the manufacture of 
paper in England. William Rittenhouse, a Mennonite preacher,. 
built the first paper mill on the Western Continent in 1670, in 
the borough of Roxborough, now a part of Philadelphia, on Paper 
Mill Run, that emptied into Wissahickon Creek. The production 
was printing, writing and blue paper. In 1710 William DeWees,. 
a brother-in-law of Nicholas Rittenhouse, erected a paper mill on 
the banks of a small stream that flowed into the W'issahickon in 
Ceofeldt, a section of Germantown. The manufacture of paper 
was introduced into Massachusetts, near Boston, in 1717.. 
Thomas W r ilcox, an Englishman, established the third paper mill 
in the Pennsylvania Colony in 1729, in Delaware County, on 
Chester Creek. 

Jn 1 7o() John Frederick Bicking came from Winterberg, Ger- 
many, and established a paper mill on Mill Creek, a small stream 
emptying into the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia, and made 
paper for the colonial government. John Frederick Bicking had 
five sons, three of whom were paper makers. Joseph Bicking 
meted a paper mill at YYagontown, in West Brandywine town- 
ship. John Bicking erected a paper mill on Beaver Creek, at 
what is now known as Fisherville, East Brandywine township. 
These two mills were the first paper mills operated in Chester 
County. S. Austin Bicking, who in 1881 erected the first paper 
mill in Downingtown, was a great grandson of John Frederick 
llicking, and a son of Samuel Bicking, who operated the Fisher- 
ville Mill, after the decease of his father, John Bicking. 


Mr. Bicking purchased the old saw mill property at the cor- 
ner of Lancaster and Brandywine avenues, and erected a mill for 
the purpose of manufacturing paper. Mr. Bicking later pur- 
chased the Shelmire Mill and converted it into a modern paper 
mill. The production of the mill in 1881 was about one ton per 
day. At the present time the capacity of both mills is over forty 
tons per day. 

Since the decease of Mr. Bicking (July 13, 1906), the busi- 
ness has been conducted by his heirs, three of his sons, Samuel 
P. Bicking, Joseph Austin Bicking, Parke Bicking, and a son-in- 
law J. P. Moore, being actively engaged in the management of 
the two mills. Frank S. Bicking, another son, operates a paper 
mill at Bridgeport, Pa. A market for the products of the mills is 
found from Maine to the Pacific coast. 

Frank P. Miller Paper Co. This industry was originally 
started by Frank P. Miller in March, 1881, on the property then 
known as Solitude Mill, which he leased from George Kerr to 
manufacture paper for bookbinders' use. 

Mr. Miller having completed his four years' course of me- 
chanics in the Pennsylvania Railroad shops at Renovo, Pa., locat- 
ed in Downingtown in the spring of 1880, and started the machine 
business with his brother Guyon Miller, under the name of G. & 
F. P. Miller. At the end of one year he withdrew his interests 
from this concern, which continued under the name of G. Miller 
& Co., and the first paper mill machinery built in Downingtown 
was made for Frank P. Miller's mill. This mill was operated for 
seven years, employing seven men, making one ton per day. 

In 1887 he bought fourteen acres of land located on the south 
side of the Pennsylvania Railroad, between Brandywine avenue 
and Brandywine creek. This was one of the first mills to run 
exclusively by steam for the manufacture of binder boards, and 
an ideal location for handling raw material, also drying boards by 
steam. The output was gradually increased from four tons per 
day to ten tons a day of finished product. 

On January 30th, 1900, fire destroyed the stock house and 
about 900 tons of paper stock, and it seemed as if the entire plant 
would be destroyed, but by the combined efforts of the Downing- 
town Fire Department and the employees of the mill it was 
checked before it did any damage to the main buildings, which 
contained most of the machinery, so that in two days the mill 
was again running, making paper, but it was six months before 
the fire was entirely put out, which could only be done by the 
removal of this smouldering mass of paper. This portion of the 
mill was rebuilt with a view of changing the plant to another 
kind of paper, and in December, 1891, Frank P. Miller Paper Co. 


was incorporated under the laws of Pennsylvania, the officers 
being: J. Gibson Mcllvain, president; Hugh Mcllvain, vice presi- 
dent, and Frank P. Miller, secretary and treasurer. The enlarg- 
ing and success of this business was due to the assistance it re- 
ceived from J. Gibson Mcllvain, who is one of the largest stock- 
holders to-day. 

In 1893 there were large additions made to the plant and a 
six-cylinder board machine was installed to manufacture all 
grades of folding box boards and white-lined board for litho- 
graphing. and 1 a year later a two-million gallon filter plant was 
built to supply water for the manufacture of white paper, and the 
mill has been constantly improved and equipped with new ma- 
chinery, and the capacity increased to an average daily product of 
thirty tons. The largest run being made of forty-four tons. The 
number of men employed, seventy-five, with apay-roll of over 
$50,000 a year. 

I hiring the years of this mill's operation it might be well to 
add that all the men have had steady employment even through 
three business depressions. 

The Kerr Paper Mills. Although situated outside the bor- 
ough limits, the Kerr Paper Mill is properly one of the. industries 
©f Downingtown. It was conducted at first by Frank P. Miller, 
and after his removal in 1887 was continued by William Kerr. 
The plant was recently burned down, and a new company was 
organized of the Kerr brothers, under the corporate name of the 
Kerr Paper Mill Co., which has rebuilt the mill, greatly enlarging 
and improving the plant. 

The Downingtown Manufacturing Co. A machine shop was 
started in 1880 by G. & F. P. Miller. The next year F. P. Miller 
withdrawing to engage in the paper making enterprise, the con- 
eern continued under the name of G. Miller & Co. In 1881 Mr. 
Miller became associated with his father-in-law, A. P. Tutton, 
and the Downingtown Manufacturing Company was established. 
The plant on Washington avenue has been several times en- 
larged. A piece of land one hundred feet front and forming a 
portion of the land sold by Mr. Tutton to the Pennsylvania Rail- 
road was purchased from that company for an extension and 
again a piece twenty feet front, both on the west side of the old 
building. A large addition to the east side has been made in 
recent years. The principal business is the making of paper mill 
machinery. The president of the company, A. P. Tutton, died 
February 12, !!>()!). 


The Cohansey Glass Manufacturing Company was estab- 
lished in 1856 at Bridgeton, N. J. It was incorporated March 17, 
1870, and located at Downingtown, Pa., in the spring and sum- 
mer of 1900. They have three continuous tanks and give em- 
ployment to about 600 people. They make a general line of 
blown hollow-ware in flint, amber and green glass. 

The officers are: President, W. G. Millikin ; vice president, 
Walter H. Bacon ; treasurer, Alexander N. Bodine ; secretary, 
John P. Noll. 

The ancient Ringwalt Grist Mill, erected in 1765, is still in 
operation, and is owned by John T. Pollock. This venerable 
structure remains substantially as when first built, with the orig- 
inal walls and the original timbers, and constitutes one of the 
most interesting relics of the past. 

The Viaduct Roller Flour Mills, corner Viaduct and Lan- 
caster avenue, were built by the owner, E. Vinton Philips, in the 
year 1889. The lot was bought originally for the Downingtown 
Baptist Church. The mill enjoys a large patronage, employing 
five men. The business is conducted by E. V. Philips, the owner, 
who is Chief Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners of 
Chester County, and is assisted by Fred W. McClure, as super- 

The Downingtown Publishing Co. — The printing and news- 
paper publishing business in Downingtown is largely a record of 
s.rious attempts, resulting in failure. Its vicisitudes would make a 
long story, and in its details an uninteresting one. Many of the 
dates are so uncertain as to be without historical value. In later 
years the name of Harry L. Skeen is more prominent. The Archive 
is in its seventeenth year of publication. In 1907 the paper came 
into the possession of Harry F. Van Tassell and George H. Stockin, 
and the plant has since been conducted as the Downingtown Pub- 
lishing Company, and has taken a leading place among the printing 
establishments of Chester County. 

Florey's Brick Works, Inc., were established in 1893. They 
employ, when running at their full capacity, eighty-six men and 
have a capacity of twenty-four million bricks annually. The offi- 
cers are William Florey, president ; James Florey, treasurer ; 
James Florey, Jr., secretary. 

The Solgram Color Photo Company was established in 
March, 1905, with a capitalization of $60,000 fully paid for the 


manufacture of a photographic paper which would take photo- 
graphs in natural colors. The plant is operated by W. C. South, 
the inventor and patentee. 

The Railroad Companies constitute important contributors 
to the industrial prosperity of Downingtown, employing in nu- 
merous capacities as nearly as can be ascertained about two hun- 
dred of the residents of the town. 

(Tfyopter 13 

Patriotic, Benevolent and Fraternal Organizations 

Free and Accepted Masons. The earliest organized Masonic 
Lodge in this section was probably Lodge 50, at West Chester. 
A sermon delivered by Nathaniel Kennedy, A. M., P. M., on De- 
cember 27, 1817, before the Worshipful Master, Wardens and 
Brethren of this lodge and printed in 1818 by Charles Mowry, at 
Downingtown, is extant. This lodge, however, passed out of 

Downingtown Lodge, No. 174, of the Masonic Order, was 
instituted May 1, 1820. The Master of the Lodge was George 
Fairlamb; Senior Warden, William H. Browne; Junior Warden, 
Charles Mowry; Secretary, Samuel McLean; Treasurer, Jesse 
Evans. The by-laws of the Lodge were sanctioned February 5, 
1821. In 1824 there were twenty-four members. About 1832 
the Lodge went out of existence. 

Williamson Lodge, No. 309, was instituted Oct. 10, 1857, 
with Horace A. Beale, Worshipful Master ; J. Benner Evans, Se- 
nior Warden; J. Brown Morrison, Junior Warden. As the num- 
ber (309) would indicate, it is the oldest existing Masonic Lodge 
in this section. It is in a flourishing condition, having a mem- 
bership of about one hundred and twenty-five. The officers are 
as follows: Warren P. Keech, Worshipful Master; Samuel M. 
Davis, Senior Warden ; Edward W. Young, Junior Warden ; 
Howard B. Sides, Secretary; Samuel A. Black, Treasurer. 

Brandywine Lodge, No. 388, I. O. O. F., was instituted Jan- 
uary 22d, 1850, with the following officers in the chairs: Noble 
Grand, R. R. Wells; Vice Grand, Moses Hiddleson; Secretary, 
James Buffington ; Assistant Secretary, Moses Woodward ; Treas- 
urer, Clinton Woodward. There are two members still living 
and in good standing who joined in 1850, namely Isaac Hum- 
phrey, now residing in Kansas, and George McFarlan, now resid- 
ing in Marshallton, Pa. • The lodge has continued active to pres- 
ent day, with a membership of 87 at the present time, with a fund 
invested and in treasurer's hands of over $6000, and is in charge 
of the following officers at this date : Noble Grand, August Dick- 


man: Vice Grand. P. W. Lightcap; Secretary, Charles W. Reel; 
Treasurer. S. A. Black. Trustees, S. A. Black, Dr. B. G. Arnold 
and S. P. llicking. 

Winfield S. Hancock Post, 255, G. A. R. Pursuant to a pub- 
lic call by Liberty Browne for the soldiers of Downingtown and 
vicinity, to be held in the Central Mall. Downingtown, Pa., May 
.20, 1882, for the purpose of organizing a Post of the Grand Army 
of the Republic, Captain G. C. M. Eicholtz was called to the 
chair, and Liberty Browne was chosen secretary. 

When, after the reading of a portion of the rules and regu- 
lations of the National Post, G. A. R., there was an opportunity 
given For all that wished to unite themselves with the Post to 
make it known. There was a response of eleven members, who 
were en i oiled. 

At an adjourned meeting", held the third day of June, Satur- 
day evening, there was an invitation read to all who wished to 
sign the application for a charter for a Post of the G. A. R., when 
the following names were enrolled: 

Reese M. Baily J. T. Carpenter 

Robert Walker John D. Beaver 

Gr. C. M. Eicholtz Liberty Browne 

George M. Anderson Abner Evans 

Sylvester M. Makens Ellett L. Browne 

.lames L. Gunn John Knauer 

S. B. Evans James McClintock 

Thomas D. Smith Judson Armor 
Joseph H. Moore 

J. T. Carpenter was chosen treasurer for the meeting, and 
the chairman appointed a committee to procure a charter. 

At a regular stated meeting, held Saturday night, June 10, 
1.SS2. the following names were enrolled: 

David M. Cox James Morrghan 

William Mercer Daniel Daller 

•lames O'Neal El wood H. Lewis 

Samuel C. Lilley Patrick Gallagher 

Then, on motion, the election of officers, when G. C. M. 

Eichholtz w r as elected Commander; Joseph H. Moore, Senior 

Past Commander; Reese M. Baily, Junior Past Commander; 

Liberty Browne, Post Adjutant; D. M. Cox, Quartermaster; 

Dr. J. F. Evans, Surgeon; Rev. V. J. Collier, Chaplain ; Ellet L. 

Brown, Officer of the Day; Samuel C. Lilley, Officer of the 

Guard; Samuel Daller, Sergeant Major; James L. Gunn, Quar- 

terma 5tei Sergeant. 


The following names were mentioned for the Post, namely: 
Frank A. Browne, Ringwalt, Fondersmith and Sedgwick. 

The name adopted by the Post was that of George Fonder- 
smith Post, and the organization continued under this name until 
1896, when it was changed to Winfield S. Hancock Post, Xo. 255, 
under which title it has continued until the present time. The 
Post has on each and every occasion observed Memorial Day; 
has conducted the funeral exercises of such of its numbers as 
have passed away ; has met regularly in its Post room, and has 
a room well furnished for all the purposes of its organization, in 
a building in West Downingtown, immediately over the Post 
Office. Its present members and officers are as follows: 

Makens. S. C. 
Mercer, William 

Armor, Judson 
Avers, James 
Browne, E. L. 
Banghart, S. T. 
Carpenter, J. T. 
Clayton, Oswald 
Carr, William 
Connor, Silas 
Conquest, Harry 
Davis, Wills 
Donnaly, George A. 
Deets, Ephraim 
Derr, John 
Garner, Rev. H. B. 
Griffith, Elias 
Holstein, John 
Harman, H. C. 
Hoffecker, Harry 
Harris, Allen W. 
Jones, George T. 
Knauer, John 
Kay, Thomas 
Lei ben, Edwin 

Martin, George 
McCauslin, John 
Miller, John R. 
Mercer, Richard 
McClintock, James 
Matson, James 
Ralston, Robert 
Snyder, Levi 
Smith, Columbus 
Smedley, John F. 
Swank, Josiah 
Tindall, Edward F. 
Thomas, E. R. 
Todd, William E. 
Tice. Archibald 
Thompson, H. B. 
Wilson, Nathan 
Wills, J. H. 
Watson, N. G. 
Walker, Robert 
Wilkinson, William 

Nathan Wilson, Commander; John Knauer, Senior Vice 
Commander; George Martin, Junior Vice Commander; H. C. 
Harman, Quartermaster; J. H. Wills, Chaplain; Oswald Clayton, 
Surgeon; John R. Miller, Officer of the Day; Allen H. Harris, 
Officer of the Guard; E. L. Browne, Adjutant; S. T. Banghart, 
Quartermaster Sergeant; Thomas Kay, Sergeant Major. 

Yemassee Tribe, No. 134, Impd. O. R. M., was instituted at 
Downington, Pa., in the old Masonic Hall, corner Lancaster and 
Stuart avenues, March 18, 1886, with 64 charter members. 

Since its institution it has adopted 263 brothers. Some of 


these have been called to the Happy Hunting Grounds Beyond, 
some have withdrawn to join other tribes, and others have been 
suspended from the rolls of the tribe for the non-payment of 
their dues, and to-day the present membership is 109 members 
in g< ii id standing. 

The tribe meets every Thursday night in its wigwam in the 
Downingtown Improvement Building, corner Lancaster and 
Stuart avenues. Its present officers are: Sachem, \Y. Bently 
Miller; Senior Sagamore, Leonard H. Walker; Junior Saga- 
more, Charles H. Baen : Prophet. Carl Springer; Chief of Rec- 
ords, J. W. Dennis; Keeper of Wampum, Samuel A. Black; Col- 
lector of Wampum, Wm. G. Baldwin. Trustees, William A. Ir- 
win, John T. llamm, S. Lewis Moses. 

Downingtown Council, No. 804, Order of Independent 
Americans, was instituted (as Downingtown Council, Junior Or- 
der American Mechanics, No. 804), March 30th, 1892, in the old 
Masonic Building, Downingtown. To this Order the Council 
was connected for several years, until at a stated meeting held 
October 21, 1904, it was unanimously carried that we be affil- 
iated with the Order of Independent Americans. 

Since the organization we have paid out for relief, sick and 
death benefits. $8480.76. Membership of Council, 119. 

Officers for present term: Frank Hughes, Councilor; Leon 
H. Williams. Vice Councilor; Friend G. Baldwin, Recording Sec- 
retary ; Horace Miller, Assistant Recording Secretary ; S. Arthur 
Glauner, Financial Secretary ; J. Frank Walbert, Treasurer ; Wil- 
lis F. Beck, Conductor; Nathan G. Eachus, Warden; Charles 
Wilson, Inside Sentinel ; Jesse M. Gabel, Outside Sentinel; James 
T. Kelley, Chaplain; Herbert R. Hughes, Junior Past Councilor; 
Harry S. Greenleaf, Wm. P.. Hughes, George M. Strongfellow, 
Trustees; Jesse M. Gabel, Rep. to State Council; S. Arthur Glau- 
ner. Alternate to State Council; Friend G. Baldwin, Rep. to 
Funeral Benefit Association of Chester County; Harry S. Green- 
leaf, Alternate. 

Meets every Friday evening in G. A. R. room, Downingtown 
Improvement Building, cor Stuart and Lancaster avenues. 

Windsor Castle, Knights of the Golden Eagle, No. 92, was 

instituted at the Public Inn, at Gallagherville, Chester Co., Pa., on 
April •'!, 1886, in one of its waiting rooms on the lower floor, 
without any paraphernalia, and a store box for an altar for God's 
holy book to rest on. G. C, George W. Crowtch ; G. H., P. 
Harry Witsel; G. S. II., Wm. Townsend as grand officers, with 
twenty-nine charter members. 


There has been paid since the institution of the order, in sick 
benefits, six thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven dollars, 
($638?) and in death benefits, one thousand, two hundred and 
forty dollars ($1240). Contributions of the order since organiza- 
tion, for different charitable purposes, in addition to regular sick 
and death benefits, three hundred and eighty-five dollars, fifty 
cents ($385.50). 

The Castle was removed from the dismantled building at 
Gallagherville to its present location at Downingtown, Pa., on 
Jan. 5, 1897. The present officers are: P. C, William Christman ; 
N. C, William Timbler ; V. C, Ezra Brown; H. P., Harrv L. 
Holden; M. of R., W. T. Renshaw ; K. of E., E. Vinton Philips; 
C. of E., Edward Torbert ; S. H., M. Johnson; G., Frank Donley; 
V. H., Allen Lawrence: E., William Donley; Trustees, Ezra 
Brown, James G. Fox, Wm. D. Timbler. 

Washington Camp, No. 338, Patriotic Order Sons of Amer- 
ica, was instituted June 21, 1888. It has 138 members and meets 
every Tuesday evening in the Grange National Bank Building. 
The money in the treasury and invested amounts to four thou- 
sand dollars. 

There is also connected with the Order a uniformed Rank, 
entitled the Commandery General Sons of America, which is con- 
trolled by a code of laws prepared for its own government. 
Downingtown Commandery No. 35 meets in the Camp rooms, 
and to this Commandery most of the members belong. The 
members of the Commandery are nicely uniformed and well- 
drilled and have taken several prizes in parades. There is a side 
degree to Camp No. 338 called the Strawthresher's degree, which 
adds much to the social features of the order and holds an annual 

The officers of the Camp are : President, Josiah Philips ; Vice 
President, Marshal Walton ; M. of F., Robert C. Laird ; Financial 
Secretary, John M. Patton ; Recording Secretary, Herbert Ash ; 
Conductor, Wm. Gurtizen ; Chaplain, Edge C. Lewis; Guard, H. 
S. Carpenter ; Inspector, J. K. Smith. 

St. Joseph's Beneficial Society, No. 608, I. C. B. U., was or- 
ganized March 18, 1894, with 15 members. The first meeting 
was held in the parlor of St. Joseph's Rectory, where the meet- 
ings continued to be held for several years. 

A building lot was purchased July 5th, 1899, on the west 
side of Bradford avenue, for the purpose of erecting a hall, but 
the erection of same was not commenced until May, 1902.* Two 
houses were built in connection with the Hall, and the same were 
sold as soon as completed. 

I! 1 

The hall was occupied for the first time April 1st, 1903. The 
first floor is provided with a pool table, shuffleboard and other 
games for the amusement of the members, the room being open 
every evening. The second floor is used for the meetings and 
entertainments. The room is neatly furnished and a piano in- 
stalled for the use of the members. ( In this floor a circulating 
library has been established, a large number of volumes of good 
and interesting reading. 

The membership numbers sixty-three in good standing. A 
number of members have removed from Downingtown, but still 
continue their membership. Since it- organization sick benefits 
to the extent of $1155 have been paid, and death benefits to the 
amount of $330. The Society is entirely clear of debt and has a 
very substantial treasury. 

Meetings are held on the first Thursday and third Sunday of 
each month. The present officers are as Follows: President, P. 
Edward Rowan; Vice President, William Davis, Jr.; Recording 
Secretary. Walter Snyder"; Financial Secretary, V. Joseph Sny- 
der: Treasurer, F. J. McGraw. 

Downingtown Council, No. 38, Daughters of Liberty, was 
instituted on < 'ctober 18, L895, with 25 members, and at the pres- 
ent time has a membership of 110. During this time they have 
losl nine of their members by death. They have paid out about 
$5300 and are possessed of $21000. The officers at present are 
as follows: Councilor, .May L,. Greenleaf; Associate Councilor, 
Leon Williams; Vice Councilor, G. M. Stringf ellow ; Associate 
Councilor, Harry Greenleaf; Recording Secretary, Adah 11. Kel- 
ley : Assistant Recording Secretary, Rebecca Hoopes ; Financial 
Secretary, Minerva Williams: Treasurer, Mary E. Knauer; 
Guide, Carrie Lenhardt : Inside Guard, Elsie R. 1 loupes; Outside 
Guard, Natoria Hoopes; Junior ex-Councilor, Sallie Gabel ; Junior 
ex-Associate Councilor, Charles Hoopes; Trustees, Elsie R. 
Hoopes, Rebecca Hoopes, G. M. Stringfellow ; Representative to 
State Council, Minerva Williams; Alternate, Adah 11. Kelley; 
I )eputy, Clara Stroh. 

Knights of the Maccabees of the World. Tent No. 330 of 
Downingtown was organized October L9, L903, with thirty-six 
charter members. It has now a membership of about fifty-five. 
Its interests lie largely in the mutual life insurance and sick and 
accident beneficial features. The officers are: Supreme Com- 
mander. William M cClure, J r. ; Record Keeper, W'ililam P. Har- 
rison; Trustees, W. F. Blake, I. Penrose Moore and John L. 


Camp No. 11, P. O. of A. The first ladies' lodge of Down- 
ingtown was instituted in November, 1903, and held its first 
meeting November 13, 1903, under the name of Camp No. 8, 
P. O. D. of A., with a charter membership of twenty-five. In 
1898, on the 10th of January, it was changed to Patriotic Order 
of Americans, P. O. of A. The camp has paid out for deaths 
two hundred and fifty dollars, and for sick benefits five hundred 
and twelve dollars. The membership is thirty. The present 
officers are: Past President, Lillie Way ; Assistant Past Presi- 
dent, Georgetta Connor; President, Laura Bailey; Assistant 
President: Fannie E. Guiney ; Vice President. Linda Pawling; 
Assistant Vice President, Catherine Hedricks ; Conductor, Laura 
Ralston ; Assistant Conductor, Roxanna Davis ; Recording Sec- 
retary, Mary E. Knauer; Assistant Recording Secretary. Annie 
Kurtz; Financial Secretary, Minerva Williams; Treasurer, Tillie 
H. Kurtz ; Guardian. Frances Hoskins ; Sentinel, Martha Null ; 
Chaplain, Emily R. Pawling. 

Windsor Temple, No. 79, Ladies' Golden Eagle, was institut- 
ed April IT, 1906, with thirty-six charter members. This Order 
is an auxiliary to the Knights of the Golden Eagle. There are 
at present forty members in good standing. They have paid out 
one hundred and ten dollars for sick benefits. The officers are : 
Past Templar, Laura Bailey ; Noble Templar, Mary E. Knauer ; 
Vice Templar, Adah H. Kelley; Prophetess, Bertha Holman ; 
Priestess, Margaret Brown ; Marshal of Ceremonies, Belle Miller; 
Guardian of Inner Portal, Martha Null ; Guardian of Outer 
Portal, G. M. Stringfellow ; Guardian of Records, Minerva Wil- 
liams; Guardian of Finance, Ida F. Pawling; Guardian of Ex- 
chequer, Fannie Guiney; Guardian of Music, Sarah A. Martin; 
Trustees, G. M. Stringfellow; Adah H. Kelley, Belle Miller; 
Representative to Grand Temple, Minerva Williams; District 
Grand Templar, Helen Putny. 

St. Mary's Beneficial Society, No. 705, I. C. B. U., was or- 
ganized December 1, 1904. The meetings are held on the sec- 
ond Thursday evening of each month, in St. Joseph's Hall. The 
membership numbers twenty-six. The society is in a very flour- 
ishing condition. The present officers are as follows : President, 
Mrs. Charles McFadden ; Vice President, Mrs. George McEuen ; 
Secretary, Miss Mary E. Davis; Treasurer, Mrs. Andrew Walker. 

Chapter 14 

Sons of Veterans — Chester Valley Academy — Old. 
Times — Joshua Karnes — Hotels — "Banks 
of Brandy wine/'' 

Captain G. C. M. Eicholtz Camp, Xo. 255, Sons of Veterans, 
Pennsylvania Division, U. S. A., was mustered October 10, lS-.'iK 
The membership at the present date is fifty-six (£>6) in number, 
and the officers are as follows: Commander, William McCltire, 
Jr.: Senior Vice Commander, George A. Myers; Junior Vice 
Commander, Joseph M. Smith : Chaplain, L. C. Myers ; Quarter- 
master. James Eppehimer: Quartermaster Sergeant, Veteran 
Harry C. Harman ; First Sergeant, Aften A. C. Wilkinson ; 
Color Sergeant, James Burnett ; Sergeant of Guard, Allen S. 
Ney ; Patriotic Instructor, Abiah P. Ringwalt ; Camp Guard, 
Charles Davidson ; Picket Guard, Charles R. Gurtizen : Camp 
Council. L. C. Myers, Merton G. Myers, Charles B. Gantt : Dele- 
gate-at-Large, James Eppehimer; Alternate, Joseph M. Smi 

In 1870 F. Dorileavy Bono;, A. M., established the Chester 
Valley Academy in the old Downingtown Academy Building, 
of which academy it was really a continuance. It was soon, 
however, removed to the other side of the Lancaster pike, or 
Main street, to a house enlarged and improved, for the purpose 
which Mr. Long had purchased from Rev. Dr. Newkirk. 
Here the school prospered for a number of years, requiring fur- 
ther enlargement and improvement of both grounds and build- 
ings. A. W. Long, a brother of Professor Long, became a 
teacher in the school in 1871, after his graduation from Lafayette 
College, and in 1872 another brother, William Long, became an 
additional teacher. There was usually a young lady teacher in. 
the primary department. It was a boarding school for young 
men and boys, with English and classical courses, preparing for 
business and for college. The boarding pupils were mostly from 
Philadelphia. A. AW Long left his position in the academy in 
1874, and his brother, William Long, left in 1879, both for 
theological seminaries. Mr. Long, in consequence, with the 
death of his wife and his growing interest in other enterprises, 


deemed it best to lease the school, but the successor did not 
prove to be successful, and the building became a summer hotel, 
and no further efforts were mack' to continue it as an academy. 

The manners and customs of seventy-five years ago in rural 
Chester County were quite different from what they are to-day. 
Tlie smallest piece of silver money was known as a "tip." and 
that was the price usually charged and received for a drink of 
ruin. Many of the county storek epers sold several kinds of 
intoxicating drink, such as gin, whisky, brandy and rum. In 
1842 the storekeepers in East Cain were as follows: 
William Rogers, Wm. D. McFarlan, 

amuel Hoopes, tssachar Price, 

Jacob Edge, Sarah Atkins, 

Thos. Hutchinson, 'Abigail Fisher, 

Win. 11. Buchanan, E. 8. McCaughey 

How many <>i these storekeepers sold rum we have no mans 
of knowing at this distance of time. Those storekeepers who 
kept a general assortment of everything possible to be wanted, 
;ually sold as freely and extensively as the licensed hotel. The 
United States Goverment was coining half pennies, and \'2 l / 2 
cents was a frequent charge upon the merchants' books. The 
equivalent of p.' ' _> cents in silver was known as a "levy." The 
was a shortened term for five-penny bit, while the "levy" 
was a shortened term for an eleven-penny bit. Credits extended 
a whole year, and the first of April was the general settling da) 
r all such accounts. It was also the general settling day for 
purchases and sales of real estate ; for the removal of tenants, and 
the beginning of real estate leases. In short, the first day of 
. ■: : was a financial "day of judgment." Those were also the 
<iays when the two ambitions of the rising youth centered in "a 
und-about" and a pair of hoots. All over Chester County there 
was the local tailor and the local shoemaker. One of the most 
distinguished members of the bar of Chester County was the son 
of such a local tailor. 

"Honor and fame from no condition rise, 
Act well your part, there all the honor lies." 
The (doth and the trimmings were purchased at the country 
re, and alongside of the store was a tailor shop, to which they 
•• re taken and where the purchaser was measured for his 

Corn, apples and peaches were dried for winter consumption. 

TTberc was no artificial preservation. There was no benzoate of 

da taken into the human stomach to poison and destroy its 

functions, and the user to land in some graveyard and he sub- 

d to meditation upon the "dispensation of Providence." A 


journey to Philadelphia or a journey to West Chester was an 
episode among the domestic friends of the neighborhood. Few. 
if any daily papers reached rural Chester County. The almanac 
purchased at the beginning of the year and the newspaper re- 
ceived weekly from the saddlebags of the post rider, furnished 
the literary repast for the household. The hours of labor were 
from sun to sun. Carpenters, masons and men of all work were 
satisfied with wages at $0.50 per day. Banks were few and far 
between. Neighborhood finances were carried on with confi- 
dence and satisfactory results. Sugar of the best grade came in 
the form of a loaf, and it was the genuine article. The leading 
sugar refiners of the country were Robert Stuart & Brother, in 
New York. After years of successful enterprise they ceased re- 
fining sugar because of the prevailing adulteration, which they 
would not imitate, because to do so, they said, "they would not 
be sure of heaven." Flour was furnished by the country mill. 
There was no gypsum in it to whiten it. There was no "'roller 
process" to grind out the good, and grind in the doubtful. As I 
think of all these things, and the mind compares the past with 
the present, I am constrained to remember Doctor Oliver Wen- 
dell Holmes' remark: 

"There are no times like the old times, 
When you and I were young." 

Joshua Kames came to Downingtown from Philadelphia soon 
after the close of the war of the rebellion. He had been in the ser- 
vice of the United States Government, and had been engaged in 
various speculations in the south, which enabled him to control a 
considerable amount of capital. He found Downingtown somewhat 
conserative, and not very ambitious along the lines of progress. Mr. 
Kames procured a Charter for the Downingtown Gas and Water 
Company, purchased a considerable tract of land on the western side 
of the town, in conjunction with several other gentlemen in Down- 
ingtown started a National Bank, and upon the hill immediately 
south of the Pennsylvania Railroad built a hotel, which he called 
"Aston Terrace", which unfortunately was destroyed by lire about 
the time of its completion. In the meantime, however, Mr. Kames 
built about forty (40) houses in Downingtown, some of them quite 
large and commodious. He also built a mansion for himself, which 
is a very fine dwelling house. Mr. Kames' activities were praise- 
worthy, but brought him in conflict with numerous other interests 
in Downingtown, and he finally left the town, his properties having 
been disposed of. A great deal has been said about Mr. Kames, but 
more than fifty (50; years of life has taught me the let-son that "No 
tree is ever clubbed unless it has fruit upon it.", and i think that 
Mr. Kames' activities have been, and are now, of considerable 


advantage to the growth of the Borough. A part of the Borough of 
Downingtown, which he endeavored to build up and modernize has 
been called for many years "Kamestown". Mr. Karnes died a few 
years ago, and one daughter edits a paper at Ardmore, and another 
daughter lives upon the Moore Hall property in Schuylkill Town- 
ship south of Phoenixville. 

The Swan Hotel property "harks back" to the early days 
of the Province. By lease and release William Penn conveyed in 
March, 1681, to Robei't Vernon, six hundred and twenty-five acres 
January 1 1th. 1709, Robert Vernon and wife conveyed to 
Isaac Vernon two hundred and eighty-five (285) acres of land. 
April 3d, 1721, by deed of lease and release, Isaac Vernon and 
"e conveyed two hundred and eighty-five (285) acres to 


Thomas Moure. By And of lease and release, on the 20th day 
September, L681, William Penn conveyed five hundred ( M)0) 
acres to William Bayley, and William Bayley, by his will dated 
in 1691, gave this land to his nephew, Jacob Button, and Jacob 
Button, by <h eed of lease and release, dated ( )ctober 3d, 1701, con- 
veyed to Jeremiah Collett, and May 29th, L705, Jeremiah Collett 
conveyed to Joshua Hickman, and May 5th, 1713, Joshua Hick- 
man and wife conveyed to Thomas Moore, and subsequently 


Thomas Moore died intestate, and letters of administration on his 
estate were granted to his widow, Mary Moore, and Joseph Cloud. 
On the 6th day of April, in the eleventh (11th) year of the reign 
of King George, these administrators petitioned the Orphans' 
Court for permission to sell real estate of Thomas Moore, amount- 
ing to about 1050 acres of land in East Cain, to pay the debts of 
the decedent. The Court granted the order and on the 25th day 
of June, 1738, Mary Moore and Joseph Cloud, administrators of 
Thomas Moore, then conveyed nine hundred and seventy-five 
(975) acres to John Taylor, and John Taylor and wife conveyed 
to John Jackson, and John Jackson and wife, in connection with 
John Taylor and wife, on November 11th, 1747, by indenture of 
lease and release, conveyed two hundred and seventy-three (273) 
acres of this land to Jonathan Parke. Jonathan Parke died intes- 
tate, leaving to survive him a widow, three sons and three daugh- 
ters. On the 27th day of March, 1769, Joseph Parke and Samuel 
Coope. and Deborah, his wife, a daughter of the said Jonathan 
Parke, conveyed three sevenths of the intestate property to Abiah 
Parke and Jonathan Parke, sons of Jonathan Parke, deceased, 
which conveyance is recorded in Deed Book Y, Page 14, in the 
Recorder's Office of Chester County. 

Proceedings for the settlement of Jonathan Parke's estate 
were had in the Orphans' Court of Chester County in the year 
17G9. Abiah Parke, one of the sons of Jonathan Parke, deceased, 
was not satisfied with the decisions and actions of the Orphans' 
Court of Chester County, and he appealed to the Supreme Court, 
but like many others who delight "in the joy of battle," his appeal 
met with little success. 

In 1782 John Hannum, the hero of the Revolutionary battle- 
field, and the man of business affairs throughout the Bradfords, 
the Cains, and the Goshens, was appointed guardian of Eliza- 
beth Parke, and in connection with the other Parke heirs, asked 
the Court for a writ of inquisition for the purpose of settling the 
estate. Other proceedings were had and the business was con- 

Abiah Parke's will, dated March 31, 1800, gave and devised 
to his son, Thomas A. Parke, some of the land on which the pres- 
ent "Swan Hotel" stands, thus described: 

"Beginning at a corner of John Edge's land by the turnpike 
road, then by said land southeasterly and northeasterly to line 
of Wm. Parke's land and by the same southerly to Chester road 
and by the same in the line of John Hoopes' land westerly to the 
line of John Edge's land, and by the same up the west side of 
the Brandywine Creek, then crossing the creek easterly to the 
line of Downing's sawmill, and by the same until it meets the 
turnpike road, and along it to place of beginning. Supposed to 


contain 33 acres more or less." 

During the occupation of this property by Thomas A. Parke, 
the Mansion House was devoted to purposes of an inn and tav- 
ern for public entertainment, and Tbomas A. Parke, in his will 
dated February 23d, 1841, thus provides: 

" ; tem. 1 give and bequeath to my son. Jacob E. Parke, the 
tavern, house, sheds, stables and barn and all my land and the 
buildings and appurtenances thereto belonging, lying between 
the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike and the Pennsylvania 
R. R., except the two lots heretofore devised to my wife. The 
said premises to he held by him, the said Jacob, his heirs and as- 
signs forever, subject nevertheless to the payment into my estate 
of the sum of $4000. 

"I give and bequeath to my beloved wife. Ann, the house in 
which we now live and the lot of ground on which it stands, 
bounded north by the turnpike, east by the lands of Daniel Fon- 
dersmith and John F. Parke, south by Pennsylvania R. R. and 
west by Pat Little, near a line from his northeast corner to Jos. 
B. Stringfellow's west corner, the other lot on the west side of 
•Ik- J '.randy wine Creek. 

Jacob E. Parke, on or about January 1st, 1866, died possessed 
of the hotel property in the Borough of Downingtown known as 
the "Swan Hotel," and a tract of land bounded on the west by 
the Brandy wine Creek, on the south by the Pennsylvania Rail- 
road, on the east by land of John E. Parke and Thomas Parke, 
and on the north by the Lancaster turnpike. Proceedings were 
had in the Orphans' Court of Chester County designed to bring 
about the sale of the property, and on the 11th of December, 1<S?1, 
the property was sold to Samuel Hawkins. Mr. Hawkins sub- 
quently sold to Joseph Graved and Joseph Graved sold to 
I*=aac S. Royer, and at a public sale of Mr. Royer's right, title 
and interest in the hotel property, the same was purchased by 
Theodore Mailman, the present proprietor. At the time of Mr. 
Hallman's purchase the property was greatly in need of repair 
and improvement, and the new owner proceeded to remodel, re- 
pair and improve the property, which he has done until it has 
become, and is one of the most pretentious, commodious and well- 
managed hotels in the county of Chester. It is modern in all its 
appointments, and no traveler will make any mistake when he 
put- his name on the hotel register and asks when dinner will 
he ready. 

The Pennsylvania Hotel property, located in the western 
:tion of Downingtown, was composed of two parcels of prop- 
erty, the first, conveyed by Edith Edge and Joshua 1'. Edge, 


administrators of Thomas Edge, deceased, late of East Cain, by 
deed dated January 2, 1832, recorded February 11. 1841, t@ 
James B. McFarland, and James B. McFarland and wife, by 
deed dated March 22, 1848, recorded March 25, 1848, conveyed 
all that messuage or tavern house known as the "Pennsylvania 
Hotel." and two lots of land situate in the township of East Cain, 
to Henry Eicholtz. The tavern house had been built previous 
to this conveyance, and had been occupied as a hotel by Mr. 
Eicholtz from 1840, and such occupation by Mr. Eicholtz con- 
tinued to 1866, during all of which time it was a licensed hotel. 
On the 12th day of February, 1800, license was transferred by 
Henry Eicholtz to Caleb- B. Sweazey, who continued as tha 
landlord until his death, after which license was transferred to 
Richard M. Boldridge, who occupied it as a public house until 
1895, when it was transferred to Thomas W. Taylor. Thomas 
W. Taylor remained the landlord until February 1. 1897, when 
it was transferred to Joseph B. Peirce. Mr. Peirce continued 
as landlord until August 1, 1898, when the license was trans- 
ferred to Louis L. Gibney. Mr. Gibney continued there as 
landlord until March 3d, 1903, when the license was transferred 
to AVilliam C. Armstrong, administrator. Mr. Armstrong con- 
tinued there until August 1, 1904, when the license was trans- 
ferred to William H. Snyder. William H. Snyder continued 
there as landlord until May 7, 1900, when the license was again 
transferred by Mr. Snyder to Louis L. Gibney, who is its land- 
lord at the present time, and who keeps and maintains a most 
excellent hotel for the entertainment of the public. When the 
tavern was started there it was called the "Pennsylvania Hotel.'' 
It is now mentioned in the conveyance as the "Pennsylvania 
Railroad House." For a number of years, while Mr. Eicholtz 
was its landlord, nearly all the passenger trains between Phila- 
delphia and Pittsburg stopped at this house for meals, and the 
service was everywhere regarded as most excellent, and the 
patronage was very extensive. Those were the days before 
dining cars were in use. As I have given a list of the land- 
lords, it is only proper that I should also mention the several 
conveyances of the property. On the 12th day of February, 
1866. Ffenry Eicholtz conveyed to Caleb B. Sweazey, of Phila- 
delphia, for the consideration of $17,800, subject to the payment 
of a certain mortgage of $199.65 to the heirs of Thomas Edge 
at the death of his widow, Edith Edge, also subject to what was 
granted to the railroad company. Caleb B. Sweazey died, and 
letters testamentary were granted upon his estate April 18. 1867. 
By deed dated January o, 1809, Daniel Sweazey, executor 
of Caleb B. Sweazey, deceased, sold to Richard M. Boldridge, 
subject to certain payment and certain obligation. .Richard M. 

16 4 

Boldridge, by deed dated January 22, 1895, sold to Margaret 
Murphy, for $22,000. Michael Murphy and Margaret, his wife, 
by deed dated June 7, 1902, sold to Louis L. Gibney. Louis L. 
Gibney and wife, by deed dated April 1, 1903, sold to William 
C. Armstrong, for the consideration of $50,000. In this convey- 
ance it was specified as the "Pennsylvania Railroad House." 
William C. Armstrong and wife, by deed dated August 1, 1904, 
sold to William H. Snyder, for the consideration of $70,000. 
William II. Snyder and 'wife, by their deed dated May 7, 1906, 
sold to William R. Yeakel, for the consideration of $15,000, sub- 
ject to two mortgages amounting to $40,000, in which convey- 
ance it was mentioned as the "Pennsylvania Railroad House." 
William R. Yeakel. by deed dated May I, 1906, sold to Louis L. 
Gibney, for the consideration of $21,000, subject to the payment 
of two mortgages amounting to $-10,000, in which conveyance it 
was mentioned as the "Pennsylvania Railroad House." The 
hotel mi the south side of the railroad, known as McFadden's 
Hotel, was first licensed as a tavern house in April. 1854. It 
continued in operation under direction of various members of 
the McFadden family until March 31, 1888, when Ann E. Mc- 
Fadden. executrix of Michael McFadden, deceased, sold the 
property to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, which cor- 
poration demolished the buildings and erected a railway station 
upon its site. 

Thomas Buchanan Read was born at Corner Ketch in East 
Brandywine Township a short distance from Downingtown. Among 
his works in pro-e and poetry was -'Paul Redding", a tale of the 
Brandywine, published in Boston in 1845. In this work he thus 
meutions the Brandywine: 

Not Juniata's rocky tide 
That bursts its mountain barriers wide, 
Nor Susquehanna broad and fair, 
Nor thou, sea-drinking Delaware ; 
Nay with that lovely stream compare 
That draws its winding silver line 
Through Chester's storied vales and hills, 
The bright, the laughing Brandywine, 
That dallies with its hundred mills. 

It sings beneath its bridges gray 
To cheer the dusty traveler's way. 
< )r courting for a .time his glance, 
It rests in glassy stillness there, 
And soon gives back his countenance 
lieguiled of half its care. 


Or wide before some cottage door 
It spreads to show its pebbled floor; 
And there while little children meet 
To gather shells at sunny noon, 
Its ripples sparkle round their feet, 
And weave a joyous tune. 

Yet I have seen it foam when pent 

As wroth at the impediment; 

For like our noble ancestry, 

It ever struggled to be free ! 

But soon along some shady bank 

In conscious liberty it sank, 

Then woke and sought the distant bay 

With many a blessing on its way. 

Oh, when our life hath run its course, 
Our billowy pulses lost their force, 
Then may we know the heavenly ray 

Of peace hath lit our useful way; 

Yet feel assured that every ill 

Hath sunk beneath a steadfast will. 

May we, when dying, leave bohind 

Somewhat to cheer a kindred mind ; 

That toil-worn souls may rather bless 

Then curse us in their sore distress. 

For Oh, his is a hateful lot 

Who dies accursed, or dies forgot, 

But sweet it is to know the brave 

May conquer, with good deeds, the grave; 

And leave a name that long may shine 

Like that of memory divine, 

The far-famed " Banks of Brandy wine." 

The scene of this tale is located at Marshalton and Downing- 
town, and the upper part of East Bradford, and one of the characters 
in the story is a Dutch Landlord of the "Half Way House" in 
Downingtown. It is interesting, showing the taste of the writer for 
the scenes of his youthful days. 


POSTMASTERS— 1 798-1 899 

Hunt Downing, 
William Frame, 
Jesse Evans, 
Isaac Downing, 
Isachor Price, 
Thomas Hutchinson, 
William B. Hunt, 
James Lockhart, 
Thomas Scott 
Richard D. Wells, 
William McFarlan 
Nathan Wilson, 
D. Morgan Cox, 
Jesse H. Roberts, 


April 1. 1798 
September 20, 1816 
April 23, 1823 
March 30, 1827 
January 9, 1836 
July 2*4, 1841 
February 10, 1846 
July 21," 1849 
February 23, 1853 
December 10, i860* 
October 12, 1885 
April 26, 1890 
April 24, 1894 
June 24, 1898 


Charles W. Chandler, 
William McFarlan, 
Joseph Havard Downing, 

March 27, 1890 
October 19, 1894 
March 3, 1899 


1859-60 *Jamea Lockhart 

1861 *A. W. Wills 

1862 *Charles Downing 

1863 *Morgan L. Reese 

1864 *S. Stuart Leech 

1865 *David Shelmire 

1866 >< *John S. Mullin 

1867 ^William Edge 

1868 *Allen W. Wills 
*Temple Jones 

1869 >, ^EberGarretr 

1870 >i *John S. Mullin 

1871 *Wm. B. Torbert 

1872 > D. M. Cox 

1873 74 *J. C. M. Eicholtz 

* Signified dereased. Temple Jones filled out the unexpired term (186S) 
(if Mr. will's, who ilied in olliee. 

The following have been in the Council, the names being given- 
in the order of their earliest service : 

Daniel Ringwalt, David Shelmire, \l. I). Wells, William Edge, 
J. S. Leech, M. D., Wm. B, Hoopes, Isaac Webster. Charles Down- 

1875 *Wm. B. Torbert 

1876 J. T. Carpenter 
1877-79 *J. S. Leech 
1880-83 Dr. Thos. E. Parke 
1884 *J. S. Leech 
1835-86 Dr. Thos. E. Parke 
1887-90 Dr. L. T. Bremerman 
1891-93 Joseph R. Downing 
1894-96 James R. Cordon 
1S97-99 Abiah P. Ringwalt 
1900-02 J. Hunter Wills 
1903-05 H. B. Sides 
1906-08 J. Hunter Wills 
1909- Thomas Pedrick 


ing, W. F. Hilton, W. Rogers, Temple Jones. Robert B. Miller, 
John P. Baugh, Charles Ziegier, John S. Mullin, George W. Gordon, 
Andrew W. Cox, Eber Garrett, Joseph Edge, Jacob Fondersmith, 
James Good, Samuel Black, Wm. McClintock, Nathan J. Sharpless, 
Benj. F. Lewis, Silas D. Yerkes, J. C. M. Eicholtz, Chas. E. Elston. 
D. M. Cox, James R. Gordon, Wm. B. Torbert, Jesse B. DunwOody, 
Joseph Pepper, Garrett Staddon, James Gibson, George E. Wills, 
John R. Jonson, R. M. Boldridge, John McGraw. Thomas E. Parke, 
Wm. McFarland, John B. Wollerton. J. Don Leav\ Long, Samuel 
Buchanan, W. F. McCaughey, F. O'Neill, George - A. Cobb, Wm. 
Morgan, Jos. H. Lewis, A. McQuirus, Samuel Hawkins, James L. 
Bean, John B. Creswell, Uriah P. Brown, Dr. L. T. Bremerrnah, 
Xathan P. Wilson, Joseph Friday, Dr. John P. Edge, James Hamil- 
ton, Thomas Pedrick, S. P. Brown, S. A. Bicking, Jacob Shelmire, 
Ezra Brown,'- Ellis Y. Brown, Howard B. Sides, A. P. Tutton, Levi 
B. Dowlin, G. T. Guthrie, Charles G. Hess, Moses Marshall, Guyon 
Miller, H. R. Brownback, Wm. Sheesley, Robert A. Boldridge, 'E.V. 
Philips, S. Austin Picking, Samuel D. White, Frank J. McGraw, 
W. Irwin Pollock, Mark Connell, Isaac Y. Ash, Dr. Edward Kerr. 
L. L. Gibney, A. P. Ringwalt, Jos. A. Bicking. 


Chief Burgess — Thomas Pedrick. 

Coukcilmen — Frank J. McGraw, President; Isaac Y. Ash, Jos. 
A. Bicking, L. L. Gibney, Dr. Edward Kerr, Guyon Miller. 

Ellis Y. Brown, Jr., Secretary; Downingtown National Bank. 
Treasurer; Alfred P. Reid, Esq., Solicitor; Joseph H. Johnson, Esq, 
Surveyor; Thos. W. Gray, Cbief-of-Polic; John Corcoran, Patrolman. 

Board of Health — Dr. B. G. Arnold, President ; Dr. H. Y. 
Pennell, Secretary; II. B. Sides, Allen E. Keim, Harry Worrall, 
•H. E. Simmons. HeaJth Officer, Wm. H. Beale. 

Board of Education — Dr. L. T. Bremerman, President; E. Y. 
Philips, Yice President; Eber Garrett, Secretary; Xathan Wilson, 
Treasurer; Theodore Griffith, Frank Weaver. 

Borough Auditors — Howard E. Laird, Fred. W. McClure, 
John M. Patton. 


Receipts 821,632 42 


Streeets $6,458 53 

Water 918 78 

Light 2,774 54 

Police 804 05 

Fire 2,630 15 


Salaries 784 20 

Miscellaneous 1,103 63 

Bonds 4,697 17 

Balance 1,461 37 


621,632 42 

Assets SI 15,152 96 

Liabilities 58,065 30 




Assessed Valuation Tax Rate 

Amount of Tax 

. 1859 

194,010 00 3 mills 

582 03 


161,052 00 5 mills 

805 26 


No data given 

2,000 00 


1 1 

2,500 00 


i i 

No report 


1,991,745 00 4 mills 

7,966 98 


Receipts , $15,294 72' 

Expenses 12,824 87 

Balance $2,469 85 


Outstanding Bonds $14,000 00 


Outstanding Tax $ 324 72 

East Cain Township Tuition 200 16 

Real Estate, East Ward 5,000 00 

Real Estate, West Ward 10,000 00 

Personal Property (both schools) 4,779 00 

$20,303 88 


Balance last audit $1,236 73 

September 4, 1907, deposited 584 00 

Interest 38 08 

Dime Savings Fund $1,858 81 



Page 95. For Dr. Collins read Dr. Collier. 

Page 105. Northwood Cemetery. Unfortunately the corrected 
proof with delayed material was overlooked. For John B. Bogers 
read Rogers, and the date of interment April 24, 1872. In the list 
of first officers for W. S. Garrett read Eber Garrett, and for S. 
Howard Downing read J. Havard Downing. Before the organiza- 
tion of the Northwood Cemetery, Eber Garrett and Caleb Baldwin, 
on their own responsibility, purchased twenty acres of the Thomas 
tract at private sale and five acres of the Lindley tract at public sale, 
being the Cemetery plot. The old tradition that there was a ceme- 
tery at Northwood previous to the present one is incorrect. A num- 
ber of persons, however, were buried there, especially the bodies of 
certain Irish laborers, who died of cholera during the epidemic of 
1832. They were employed on the Pennsylvania Railroad and their 
homes were unknown. These graves lie in the eastern part of the 
cemetery, near the gully. 


Chairman, Isaac Y. Ash ; Secretary, Charles F. McFadden ; 
Treasurer, Joseph H. Johnson. 

Historical Committee, Rev. Lewis W. kludge, D. D., Isaac 
Y. Ash : Finance Committee, J. Hunter Wills, Joseph H. John- 
son ; Advertising, Rev. Joseph H. Earp, James G. Fox; Invita- 
tions, Joseph H. Johnson, Rev. Lewis W. Aludge, D. D. ; Enter- 
tainment, Dr. L. T. Bremmerman, Charles F. McFadden ; Pa- 
rades, Horace Carpenter, F. J. McGraw ; Decorations, James G. 
Fox, Rev. Joseph H. Earp; Sports and Pastimes, Charles F. 
McFadolen, Horace Carpenter; Souvenirs, J. Howard Downing, 
Dr. L. T. Bremmerman-; Banquet, F. J. McGraw, Isaac Y. Ash. 

These chairman and their associates were assisted by nu- 
merous citizens, of whom it is impossible to give a complete list. 
Owing to the happy concurrence of notable events during the 
celebration the direct expense of the committee has been corre- 
spondingly small. The Council generously appropriated two 
hundred and fifty dollars. The Finance Committee gathered 
over two hundred dollars, a considerable portion of which was 
in unsolicited contributions. The Executive Committee has, 
however, co-operated with the various interests included in the 
Semi-centennial program, and the expenditures connected with 
the dedication of the Minques Fire Co.'s building, the Memorial 
Day parade and exercises of the Grand Army, the Baccalaureate 
exercises and cornerstone laying of the Board of Education and 
some special outlays in connection with the history are not in- 
cluded in the committee's budget. As these exercises would 


have taken place in any event, their occurrence in connection 
with the Anniversary secured the proper celebration of the Semi- 
centennial with a very moderate outlay. 


The task of the Historical Committee has been performed. 
The assertion as to the difficulties encountered, in the Foreword, 
may be emphasized here. Almost everything in this history 
has been dug up from the records, the minute books and the 
memories ni the past, or has been freshly written. Even cher- 
ished traditions have required verification, and in cases have 
been found mythical. The order of the history would in some 
respects have been different if the committee and the historian 
had had three or four months instead of one in which to do the 
work, and some repetitions would have been avoided. It has 
been necessary from the beginning to g'ive the copy to the printer 
a- rapidly as it could be prepared. Nor can the committee hold 
itself responsible for the spelling" of names, the giving of dates 
and other matter by the many who have furnished material and 
to whom the thanks of the committee for their aid is heartily 
give n. 

The review of these pages will doubtless stir memories and 
provoke research, and we hereby make the request that any 
corrections or additions to this history be communicated to the 
committee, and if sufficient information of importance is re- 
ceived it will be printed in some form that can be placed in the 
history. We regret that the program of the Semi-centennial 
Anniversary is not as yet in full and definite form for insertion 
here, but it will be given separately to the public. The com- 
mittee would also suggest that persons having any ancient or 
modern documents or books or relics of historical value would 
do well to present them for safekeeping to the Downingtown 
Public Librarv. 




History of Downingtown 

The Semi-Centennial Anniversary Exercises and 

Historical Addenda 




\( _ 






The Semi-Centennial Celebration 

As the History of Downingtown was intended to be a part 
of the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the establish- 
ment of the Borough of Downingtown and was, therefore, pre- 
pared and published in time for issue in connection with the 
anniversary it was impossible to include the observances of the 
five days of celebration. A general desire has been expressed 
for a permanent record of the various exercises and events, which 
is here attempted. This opportunity is embraced to 'make cer- 
tain corrections and omissions in the history. The necessity of 
compiling and issuing the history within a period of four weeks 
and the numerous names and dates involved prevented the care- 
ful review which otherwise would have been given. 

Anniversary Day — Friday, May 28. 

While the Borough of Downingtown may in one sense be 
said to have been incorporated by the Act of the Court, yet, by 
the very terms of that act, it did not begin its corporate existence 
until, by the verdict of the polls, the citizens of Downingtown 
had selected the various officials empowered by their election 
to set in motion the wheels of government. This occurred at 
6 P. M. on May 28, 1850, and this hour was therefore selected 
as the birth hour of the borough. The Executive Committee in 
charge requested that the signal should be given by three long 
blasts of the whistle of the historic Shelmire Mill, to be followed 
by the simultaneous blowing of whistles and ringing of church 
and fire bells for five minutes. Miss Madeline Bicking had the 
honor of giving the signal whistles, and the response was general 
throughout the town. 

The decorations throughout the borough were abundant and 
appropriate. Arches spanning the streets were placed by pro- 
fessional decorators, who also beautifully dressed the banks and 
a number of private dwellings. The citizens, however, gener- 
ally attended to their homes and stores, and exhausted their in- 
genuity and artistic skill in their designs. Between 8 and 9 
o'clock mi Fridav evening residences and stores were brilliantlv 

illuminated. The opening exercise of the anniversary was a 
town meeting held in the rooms of Alert Fire Company, No. 1. 
The design of this meeting was to inve opp< rtunity to the older 
citizens now residing here or elsewhere to recall the past, and 
the object was Fully accomplished. On the motion of Mr. Isaac 
Y. Ash, chairman of the Executive Committee, Joseph II. John- 
son, Ks<|.. was called to the chair, and Charles McKadden was 
chosen secretary. A paper giving the names of the male adult 
citizens of Downingtown at the time of incorporation, and pre- 
pared by John S. Mullin, of West Chester, one of the inspectors 
at the election in 1,859, was read by Mr. Johnson, After the 
reading of the paper addresses were made by John S. Mullin, 
Dr. John M. Batten, Jacob Ringwalt and J. Hunter Wills. Short 
speeches were made also by William H. Lindley, William H. 
Gray and Samuel C. Leininger, wdio were minors at the time of 

Firemen's Day — Saturday, May 29. 

The delightful weather with which the town was favored 
throughout the entire five days of the celebration made Satur- 
day an ideal day for a parade. The former residents, who began 
to arrive in numbers on Friday, were largely added to this day, 
until there were hundreds who were guests of relatives and 
friends throughout the town. In addition there were large 
crowds brought by the railroad and trolley cars, which filled the 
Centre Square and considerable portions of Lancaster avenue in 
both wards. 

The principal event of the day was the parade of firemen, 
in connection with the dedication of the new fire house and the 
housing of the engine of Minquas Fire Company. No. 2. The 
chief marshal was Dr. Joseph Huggins, and his aides Horace S 
Carpenter, J. Penrose Moore, Ellis Y. Brown, Jr., Alfred L. 
Crowe, J. Lewis Baldwin and Edward 1. Griffith. The commit- 
tee in charge of the day was J. Hunter Wills, Dr. 1). Edgar 
Hutchison, Dr. Joseph Huggins, Horace S. Carpenter and John 
J'. Noll. The order of parade was as follows, including several 
bands and drum c< >rps : 


West Chester Fire I'olice 

West Chester Fire Company, No. 1 

Brandywine Fire Company of Coatesville 

Malvern Fire Company, No. 1 

Berwyn Fire Company, No. 1 

Fame Fire Company, No. •'!, Wesl Chester 


Radnor Fire Company, No. 1, Wayne 

Downingtown Fire Police 

Alert Fire Company, No. 1, Downingtown 

Minquas Fire Company, No. 2, East Downingtown 

The route of parade was as follows: Form on Brandywine 

and Washington avenues, march west to Lancaster" avenue, to 

Downing avenue, to Pennsylvania avenue, to Stuart avenue, to 

Highland avenue, to Hunt avenue, to Lancaster avenue, to 

Whiteland avenue, countermarch to Chestnut street, south to 

Jefferson avenue, to Green street, north to Washington avenue, 

to Chestnut street, to Lancaster avenue, to Minquas Fire House. 


Music Bryn Mawr Band 

Prayer Rev. Joseph H. Earp 

Rector of St. James' Episcopal Church. 

Dedicatory Address S. P. Bicking 

President Minquas Fire Company. 

Address of Welcome Chief Burgess, Thomas Pedrick 

Music Bryn Mawr Band 

Address Rev. L. W. Mudge, D. D. 

Pastor of Central Presbyterian Church. 

Housing of Engine West Chester Fire Co., No. 1 

Address Gibbons G. Cornwell, Esq., West Chester 

Presentation of silver trumpet bearing the inscription, "Presented 
to the Minquas Fire Company, No. 2, by the First West 
Chester Fire Company, on May 29th, 1909." 
The presentation was made by Dr. Jesse C. Green, of the 
West Chester Company, ninety-two years of age, the oldest vol- 
unteer fireman in the county. 

Music Bryn Mawr Band 

Following the exercises the visiting firemen and their friends 
were entertained at the Opera House by the Ladies' Auxiliary. 
It is estimated that some- 1500 persons were entertained. 

Church Day — Sunday, May 30. 

The morning was devoted to the services in the various 
churches of the borough, the pastors generally preaching ser- 
mons appropriate to the occasion. 

In the afternoon at three o'clock the Opera House was filled, 
the occasion being the Baccalaureate Exercises of the Graduat- 
ing Class of the Downingtown High School. 

Rev. L. W. Mudge, D. D., Presiding. 

Hymn — "O Paradise" Congregation 

Invocation Rev. J. \\ . Tindall 


Scripture Reading Rev. Joseph IT. Earp 

Song — " jesus the Shepherd" junior Chorus 

Sermon * Rev. William IT. Oxtoby, D. D. 

Pastor of Tabernacle Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia. 

Prayer Rev. Win. 1 1. Derr 

Song — "Love That Passeth Knowledge" Junior Chorus 

I [ymn — "The Lord is My Shepherd" Congregation 

Benediction Dr. Mudge 

Dr. Oxtoby's text was from Matt. 8: 2: "If thou wilt, thou 

In the evening there was a Union Memorial Day service 
under the charge of the town past< rs. It was held in the Opera 
House. W. S. Hancock Post. No. 255, 0. A. R. ; Capt. G. C. M. 
Eicholtz Camp, Xo. 255, Sons of Veterans, and Washington 
Cam]), Xo. 338, Patriotic ( )rder Sons of America, attending. The 
Rev. Dr. Mudge, pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church, pre- 

Ilvmn — "( ) Lord of Hosts, Almighty King." 

Prayer Rev. William II. Derr, 

Pastor of the Lutheran Church. 

Scripture Lesson Rew Joseph I I. Earp 

Rector of St. James' Episcopal Church. 
Hymn — "Battle Hymn of the Republic" 
Offering for Grand Army Relief Fund. 

( >ffertory — "Ein Feste Burer" Choir 

Sermon ■ Rev. L. A. Schnering 

Pastor of the Baptist Church. 
Hymn — "My Country, "Pis of Thee" 
Benediction ' Rev. L. W. Mudge, D. D. 

The hymns were led by the combined choirs, members of 
the Choral Society and the Downingtown Orchestra, Mr. Fred- 
erick I*. Mudge conducting and Miss Marv P. Garrett, accom- 

The congregation was the largest ever seen in Downingtown. 
All available space was occupied by chairs and the hall was 
crowded, including the gallery, while scores of people were una- 
ble to obtain entrance. Mr. Schnering's text was from Exodus 
12:26, "What mean ye by this service?" 

Memorial Day — Monday, May 31. 

In the r&orning the usual ceremonies connected with deco- 
rating the soldiers' graves were conducted by comrades of the 
Grand Army at Northwood and St. Joseph's Cemeteries. 

In the afternoon there was a parade of Grand Army and 
patriotic orders, with industrial floats and exhibits. 


Chief Marshal, S. F. Banghart. 
Aides, Judson Armor and William McClure, Jr. 

Clergy in Carriages. 

\Y. S. Hancock Post, 255, G. A. R., in Carriages. 

Capt. G. C. M. Eicholtz Camp, No. 2.55, Sons of Veterans. 

I. C. B. U. Society. 

Washington Camp, No. 338, P. O. S. of A. 

Washington Camp, of Parkesbnrg, Commandery, P. O. S. of A. 

Cohansey Glass Blowers' Association. 



P. O. S. of A. Camp, Strawthreshers, Independent Order of 
Red Men, Cohansey Glass Company, Alert Fire Company, No. 1, 
Minquas Fire Company, No. 2 ; A. B. Downey, milliner; I. J. 
Deitz, department store; J. Swank, ice and coal; Zinn's, stoves 
and tinware; McGraw & Sons, ice, coal, wood, paint and flour; 
Philips, flour; Furlong, cigar emporium; South, solgram paper; 
Hertel, baker; Chester County Gas Company, stoves; Trego's 
restaurant; Carpenter, snowrlake ; Bicking, paper; L. T. L., tem- 
perance ; Trego, laundry. 

The order of the parade was: Bradford avenue to Viaduct, 
to Downing ave., to Pennsylvania ave., to Stuart ave., to High- 
land ave., to Hunt ave., to Lancaster ave., to Whiteland ave., to 
Washington ave., to Brandywine ave., to Opera House, counter- 
march on Brandywine ave. and dismiss. At the Opera House 
the order of exercises was as follows: 

Parkesburg Band. 

Prayer Rev. Joseph H. Earp 

Scripture Reading Rev. L. W. Mudge, D. D. 

Address J. Hunter Wills 

Address Wilmer W. MacElree, Esq. 

Benediction Rev. Wm. H. Derr 

Glen Moore Band. 


In the evening a subscription banquet was held in the Penn- 
sylvania House, and proved one of the most enjoyable parts of 
the semi-centennial program. By inclosing the west porch Mr. 
Gibney, who outdid himself in providing for the comfort and 
pleasure of the guests, was enabled to seat the one hundred and 
twelve attendants. The blessing was invoked by the Rev. Chas. 
O. Mudge, and this menu followed and was ably served: 


Grape Fruit 

Little Neck Clams 

Radishes Pickles Queen Olives 

Rice Croquettes 
Bread Sticks New Peas 

Saratoga Chips Banquet Rolls 

Chicken Salad 
Neapolitan Ice Cream Assorted Cakes 

Fruit Mints Salted Peanuts 

De Brie Cheese Crackers 

Tea • Coffee 

The guests at the banquet were the following: 

Rev. and Mrs. L. W. Mudge, D. IX; Rev. and Mrs. Joseph Earp, 
Rev. and Mrs. J. \Y. Tindall. Rev. and Mrs. L. A. Schnering, Rev. W. 11. 
Derr, Rev. Charles 0. Mudge. Mr and Mrs. Joseph H. Johnson, Mr. and 
Mrs. E. V. Philips, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Ash, Dr. and Mrs. L. T. 
Bremerman, Mr. and Mrs. Horace Carpenter, Mr. and Mrs. James G. 
Fox. Harry McFadden, T. Hunter Wills, Miss Reese, Mr. and Mrs. Robert 
Eachus, .Mr. and Mrs. \V. W. E Ash, Jesse H. Roberts, Thomas Pedrick, 
Joseph A. Bicking, Professor John Hunsicker, Ezra Brown, Mr. and Mrs. 
Charles H. Dapp, Mr. and Mrs. Shelly Matlack, Mr. and Mrs. J. Harry 
Reed, J. T. Carpenter, James Eppchirher, Mr. and Mrs. Josiah Philips, 
George Burke, John P. Noll, Jacob Ringwalt, ( )scar Wilson, R. M. Dennis, 
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Townsend, Josiah Swank, Mr. and Mrs. John L. Wel- 
din, Mr. and Mrs. M. C. Holl, Mr. ami Mrs. Oscar Darlington, P. E. 
Rowan, Hugh Gormley, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Simmons, William 
Gertizen, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Carey, A. M. Hoster, George W . 
Brown, Miss Mary Mudge, Mrs. George Dennisson, Dr. and Mrs. |ohn 
Batten. Miss Edith Sides. Mrs. H. B. Sides. Miss Mary Wells, B. Frazer, 
Charles McFadden, Frank McGraw, Charles Tindall. Bark Smedley, W. 
W. MacElree, J. K. Stewart. William McClure. Jr., Miss Jane Ringwalt, 
Evans Miller, Fred Mudge, Dr. 1. 11. Whyte, Mr. and Mrs. Edge Lewis, 
Mr. and Mrs. George Fisher, 1. Kirk Smith. Mr. and Mrs. John M. Pat- 
toh, .Mr. and Mrs' A. T. Hess, Mr and Mrs. S. P. Bicking, Allen E 
Keim. Mr. and Mis. John W. Dennis, S. Lewis Moses, Dr. F.dgar Hutchi- 
son. Ernesl Smedley, Fred McClure. Howard E. Laird, William Harrison, 
John W Iward, E. L. Browne, S. A. Black, Isaac V. Ash. 

After the banquet Mr. 1. Y. Ash installed Dr. P. T. Bre- 
merman as toastmaster and after-dinner speeches were made by 
Wilmer \\ . MacElree, Esq., Rev. I«. W. Mudge, 1 ). D.. Isaac Y. 
Ash, William McClure, h\. |. Hunter Wills. |. II. [ohnson, Esq., 
!•'.. Vinton Philips, A. M. Hoster, [ohn I'. Noll, Rev. I. II. Earp, 
Rev. L. A. Schnering, Rev. J. W. Tindall. Rev. W. II. Derr, Mr. 
I). Edgar Hutchison, Prof. J. R. Hunsicker, Dr. John M. Batten, 
Jacob Ringwalt. 

Tuesday, June i. 
The closing event of the celehration was the laying' of the 
corner-stone of the new Public School Building- on Tuesday af- 
ternoon, by Dr. L. T. Bremerman, President of the Board of 
Directors, and, notwithstanding' the severe heat, a considerable 
number of citizens were present. 


Music School Chorus 

Invocation Rev. J. H. Earp 

Address Dr. L. T. Bremerman 

Music School Chorus 

Address Rev. J. W. Tindall 

Address Prof. George W. Moore 

Music " School Chorus 

Address Thos. W. Baldwin, Esq. 

Address Prof. John W. Miller, of Swarthmore College 

Laying of Corner-stone. 
Benediction Rev. L. W. Mudge, D. D. 

Historical Addenda 

The effort to trace the first school in Downingtown extend- 
ed in the history only to 1784. Further research has enabled us 
to fix quite definitely the erection of the first school house. There 
is record that John Downing, proprietor of the "King in Arms," 
in 1774, after reciting the inconvenience under which "the inhab- 
itants residing in or near the place commonly called and known 
by the name of Milltown," lay, "for want of a house wherein a 
school may be kept for the instruction of their youth in litera- 
ture," donated a lot on the side of the road leading from Milltown 
to Uwchlan. The building was probably erected soon afterward 
and is called School No. 3, on pp. 107 and 108, of the History. 
The second school house was on Pennsylvania Ave., near Stuart 
Ave., and is spoken of as Schools Nos. 1 and 2, on page 107 of 
the History. 

Dr. Thomas E. Parke furnishes a copy of the following in- 
teresting ancient document, giving the subscriptions of promi- 
nent Friends, for a school fund, 1793 to 1798. A large number 
of the subscribers were Downingtown residents, at that time 
connected with Uwchlan meeting. 

Subscription to School Fund, 1793. 

A plan for raising and instituting a fund for the promotion 
and encouragement of schools agreeable to the recommendation 
of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends. 

We, the subscribers, members of the Monthly Meeting of 
the people called Quakers, held at Uwchlan, in Chester County, 
Pennsylvania, do hereby severally for ourselves, our executors 
and administrators, promise to pay unto George Thomas, Treas- 
urer of Friends' school or schools within the verge of the said 
monthly meeting, or to his successor for the time being, the sums 
of money respectively to our names hereunder annexed ; and 
that upon demand or interest therefor, at the rate of five per 
cent, per annum, from the dates respectively thereunto prefixed 
until paid, which principal so subscribed to be and remain a per- 
manent fund under the care and direction of the Committee ap- 
pointed by the said Monthly Meeting for that and other pur- 

poses relative to schools; to be by them laid out, or lent on in- 
terest, in such manner as they from time to time shall judge most 
conducive to the securing an interest to said school or schools; 
which interest or annuity so arising to be applied to the encour- 
agement of suitable school masters; educating such poor Friends' 
children, as now do, or hereafter may belong to the said Monthly 
Meeting; or such other poor children or purposes, as the said 
Committee, or a majority of them, shall from time to time direct, 
consistent with the design of this Institution. 

On payment of either principal or interest the subscriber to 
have the Treasurer's receipt for the same. 


Rudolph I [aines, £ LOO pd. 

Jane Downing, 
By Will Mary Phipps £20 10s., pd. 

Dennis Whelm 
15th, Brno, 1793. Joshua Baldwin, £10, pd. 1st mo., 3rd, 1799. 
15th, 8mo.. 1793. Thomas Lightfoot, l Jl5. pd. 4-17-1800. 
17th, Lmo., 1797. Richard Downing. £ 10, pd. in boarding by R.D.Jr.,5-12. 
6th, sinn., 1791. John Downing, £10, ree'd ten pound 18th, l-t mo. 
By \\ ill Cadwalader Jones, £10, pd. t<> J. k. 

6th, 2mo., 179.".. John Roberts, £10. pd. 
4th, 2mo., 1795. Abiah Parke. £7 10s. 
23rd, lino.. L795. Simon Meredith. £:.». pd. :;. 179s. one dol. 
23rd, Inn.., L795. Nathan Sharpless, £5, pd. 25, lmo., 1811. 
23rd, lmo., 1795. Jesse lones. £5, pd. :.>:!. lmo., '93. 
23rd, lmo., 179.",. John .Martin. £2, pd. S.'.. 8mo., 1808. 
23rd, lmo.. L795. George Massey, €■".. pd. 4mo., 17th. 1800. 
3rd, 2mo., 1795. George Valentine. £7 10s., pd. 1st of 11th mo., 180(1. 
17th. lino. 1797. Sm'l R. Downing. £5, pd. 9mo., 1815. 
17th, lmo., 1797. Joseph R. Downing, £5, pd. 4th of 1 >t mo., 1816. 
17th, lmo, 1797. John Baldwin, 15s. 
17th. lmo., 1797. Malachi Parke, £2 5s. 
17th, lmo., 1797. Jonat'n Parke, £:.' 5s 

17th, lmo.. 1797. Thomas Parke, £:.'. 5s., pd. by schooling poor children. 
17th lmo., 1797. Abiah Parke, Jr.. £ 1 10s., pd. 10th, Killi nw, 1828. 
1-t. 2mo., 1797. Elihu Evans, £l 10s. 
l-t. 2mo., 1797. Josiah Kirk, £.">. pd. 1st mo.. 2nd, 1800. 

David llilles. £1, pd, 4th of 3rd mo., L813. 
Samuel Rea. £ 1 10s. 

James Pugh, £1 LOs., pd. l-t mo., loth. 1814, 
Jonathan Williams, 15s., pd. nth mo., 11. 1800. 
Jonathan Evans, 15s, 
James Meredith. £l 2s. 6d. 

Joel Meredith, £l 2-. (id.; pd. 7th mo, 1st. 1797. 
Jesse Marry. 15-., pd, 7mo., 1797. 
Jonathan Rogers, £2 5-.. pd. Kith. 2nd mo., 1811. 
John Edwards, L5s., pd, 27th, 3rd mo. 
Barth'n Fussell, 15s., pd. 7mo., 7th. 1814. 
Fredrick Fultz, left by will. £4 13s. 9d., pd. by Ex- 
Ji iseph Star. 15-.. pd. 5th mo. 
Charles Rogers, 7-. 6d., pd. 16th, 2nd mo., 1811. 
William Rogers, 7-. 6d., pd, null. 2nd mo., isii 
William Bi ale, E io. pd. same time. 






i mo . 

















3m< >.. 


It is with satisfaction that we are able to record something 
definite concerning Carl Heins, Ph. D., and his school. Dr. 
Carl Heins began his school in Downingtown in 1854, first in 
the house now occupied by his widow, and then in the building 
now known as The Downingtown Public Library. He was a 
master teacher and many of the residents of Downingtown, now 
past middle life, were among his pupils. Among his assistants 
was Mr. Adam H. Fetterolf, who afterward, for a brief period, 
conducted his own school in Central Hall, now the edifice of 
the Lutheran Church. Dr. Fetterolf is at present the president 
of Girard College, Philadelphia. After a successful career, leav- 
ing the impress of his work on a Downingtown generation, Dr. 
Carl Heins died November 17, 1866. 


One of the most interesting events of the semi-centennial 
exercises, especially to the older residents, was the reading of 
a paper prepared by John S. Mullin, of West Chester, giving the 
roster of the adult male residents of the town at the time of 
incorporation as a borough, including some youths near their 
majority. This paper, revised by Mr. Mullin, is given entire. 

Allen W. Wills, a farmer, Justice of the Peace, and second Chief Bur- 
gess of the Borough, and his sons, George E. J. Hunter Wills, ex-Burgess; 
Abner E. and Allen W. Wills, Jr. Col. Samuel Ringwalt, farmer, with drove 
yard; Porter Ringwalt, school teacher; Luther, Jacob and Abiah Ringwalt, 
afterward Burgess. Joseph Levy, self-constituted mail carrier. Charles 
Downings, one of the fathers of the borough, and his sons, Joseph R., Charier, 
and Edward. George Whelen, called "Watty," a coal dealer. Joseph Hunt, 
Justice of the Peace. James Wilcox kept store in the old building where the 
post-office now stands. Sold whiskey for twelve and a half cents a quart and 
segars four for a penny- Samuel Black, merchant tailor, with his sons, Wil 
Ham and Samuel A. Richard D. Wells, of the firm Wells and Miller, who did 
business in the Odd Fellows' building. Henry Eicholtz, proprietor of the 
Pennsylvania House, with his sons, Leonard, James and Captain S. C. 
M. Eicholtz. Doctor J. Stuart Leech, the most popular man in town, and 
for whom Stuart avenue was named. Frank O'Neil, bottler. James and 
William McConaghy. Benj. W. Hyatt, shoemaker. Lewis Dennison, shoe- 
maker. Jacob Fondersmith, saddler and confectioner. John McGraw, rail- 
road manager. Liberty Brown, auctioneer and wheelwright. Stephen Blatch- 
ford, with his two sons. Thomas and Stephen, Jr. Darnel Kelly, wheelwright. 
George Rembaugh, undertaker. The Webster family was extensive. They 
were: Isaac, John. James, Richard, Joseph, Samuel, Downing, and Ehsha, of 
which the last two are the only ones living. Isaac and Joseph at this time, 
1859, ran a market car to Philadelphia every week. They had a large ware- 
house at this plare and dealt in lumber, coal and feed. Edwin and William 
Hoster. Adam Fullerton, a one-legged man, bridge watchman. Michael Mc- 
Faddcn, hotel man. Webster F. Hilton, butcher. John Pawling, b'acksmith. 
William Wilkinson, conductor on Chester Val'ey Railroad Thomas S. and 
Humphrey Ingram, catlle dealers. William Evans and Morgan L. Reese. 
John P. Baugh and sons. Edwin and Daniel, who kept store and manufactured 
phosphate Frederick Andress, tobacconist. Jesse R. Kirk, Frank McGraw, 
Sr.. and William B. Hoopes, farmer. The above were all residents of the 
west end of town and those east of the Brandywine were: Thomas Bailey, 


living in die log house, supposed to be the oldest house in town. Thomas 
Scott, postmaster. James Cockhart, first Burgess, a merchant. Evan Thorn- 
bury, blacksmith. John S. Mullm, merchant, doing business where the bank 
now stands. L,. Wesley Ayers, sa!o-man. Charles Zeigler, saddler. Joseph 
P. Tucker, proprietor ot Swan. Jonathan and Thomas Parke, stone cutters. 
Abiah Parke, fanner. Jacob !•'.. Parke, land owner. John E. Parke and his 
son, Oscar, and ex-Burgess Thomas E. Parke. Professor Carl 1 Kins. Ed- 
ward Broomall, a liverj boy, bartender. Thos. J. Bones, conductor on Ches- 
ter Valley Railroad. William McLaughlin. George Ryan and Washington 
Arters. Temple Jones, afterwards Burgess. George T. and William Jones, 
carpenter-. James and Harvey Humphrey, shoemakers. David Shellmire 
and son, nun ham millers. A. G. Compton and James Harbison, coopers. 
George Koons, Zebu'on Thomas. John E. Parke. Ellis Miller and R ; chard 
Downing. Doctor Klotz kept a drug store in half-way house. William Edge, 
superintendent of Chester Valley Railroad. Richard Meredith. Samuel P. 
Miller, merchant. Silas D. Yerkes, dealer in lumber and grain. Doctor 
Sharpless, oldest physician in town Dr. John P. Edge, physician and school 
director. John Fisher. William and John Rogers, merchants. Milton 
Hoopes, potter. Andrew, David M.. and Andrew C<>\. Jr., we're hrickmakers 
and the lirst bricks they furnished went into the buildings now partly occu- 
pied by J. llarr\ Reed, which was the second brick building in town. Reuben 
Evans, weaver. Joshua Springer, Nelson and William Lea. laborers. Isaac 
Hunter, section boss. Rev. George Kirk, Episcopal minister, who rode on 
horseback every week to Kennett Square and on h's way took in the County 
Home, preaching to the inmates. William W. Kirke, undertaker. William 
Lent, cooper and tinsmith Hannum W. Gray, wheelwright. Eugene Down- 
ing, farmer. Samu 1 J. Downing. William W. Downing, surveyor. George 
W. Gordon and Robert Sheean, tinsmiths. Samuel Lineinger, shoemaker. 
Robert Miller, plasterer. Silas Walton, p'asterer. George Brown, Joseph Y. 
C'ark, carp titers. John Hoopes, livery stable. Baldwin Keech, dentist. Jno. 
Grave, watchmaker. Thomas ECutchler, mason. T. D Lindley, farmer. Jas. 
T. Mullin, salesman. Abel Patterson, ticket agent at Chester Valley. Eli V. 
Peacock, blacksmith. George A. Downing, retired. Jonathan Peckett, painter. 
Charles I.. Wells, Jr., salesman. John E. Vanleer, P. R. R. agent. Richard 
Webster, Jr.. saddler. John Knauer, railroad man. James R Cordon. 
Joshua Sharpless, retired. The following comprise mostly workingmen : Pat- 
rick Dailey, Abner Evans, Jesse Johnson, John Carlisle, Aaron Lukens, Theo- 
dore Rambo, Hazel Thomas. Wi'mer Aim. Robert, George and Reese Bailey, 
Atlee Brown, Ezra Cummins, William Davis. William Devine, Andrew Frieze 
', irge Gray, Morris Hosl r, Jesse Join's. John Mitchell. John B. Mullin, John 
W Powel'. George Sweeten. Edgar Schofield, William Thompson, Daniel 
Sullivan, William Whitely, Henry and Robert Walker, R. W. Rhyhurst. 


It seems hopeless at this late date to obtain anything like 
;i consistent story of earliest Downinsjtown. The following 
facts or inferences may. however, be of interest: 

Geologically, Downingtown lies in the centre of a primitive 
limestone- belt aboul two miles wide, extending along the valley 
from the easl to Atglen, at the' western border. As to the aborig- 
ines, the Indians of this district belonged to the numerous body 
scattered over a wide region and known as the l.enni L,enape, sig- 
nifying "original people," hut there we're numerous lesser tribes, 
Considerable numbers occupied the Chester Valley. As a whole 
they were' known by the settlers as the Delawares, and those 
occuping the region drained by the Brandywine were known as 


the Nanticokes. As to the Brandywine stream, there is evidence 
that it was earliest known as the Fishkill. After the grant of 
land to Andrew Braindwine in 1670 it is referred to in the records 
as Braindwine's kill or creek, and the name was later corrupted 
into Brandywine. 

Just when slavery ceased in this district cannot be deter- 
mined. It probably died out under the strong sentiment against 
it among the Friends. An Act of General Assembly, March 1, 
1780, provided for registration of slaves, directing that existing 
slaves should remain in servitude, that all persons born after that 
date should be free, except children born of registered slaves 
who should be servants until they reached twenty-eight years 
of age. In this connection there is an exceedingly important his- 
torical record. In view of the resistance of the Colonies to the 
Stamp Act and the consequent severe action of England, conven- 
tions were held and committees appointed in many cities and 
colonies. A Chester County Committee was appointed and its 
third meeting was held March 20, 1775, at the "King in Arms," 
kept by Richard Cheyney. At this meeting a committee was 
appointed "to essay a draught of a petition to present to the 
General Assembly of this Province, with regard to the commis- 
sion of slaves, especially relating to the freedom of infants here- 
after born of black women within this colony." This is the earli- 
est action on this subject we can find by any body competent to 
express public opinion and the remarkable correspondence be- 
tween the action of the committee and that of the General As- 
sembly warrants the belief that the Act of the Assembly secur- 
ing the gradual extinction of slavery in Pennsylvania finds its 
beginning in the resolution of the committee passed in our town- 
ship. The registry of 1780 shows only four slaves in East Cain, 
of whom William Allison held three and David Gill one. The 
interest of the Friends in slaves escaping from the South is well 
known. The main route of this "Underground Railroad," as it 
was called, passed through Downingtown and along the line 
there were earnest philanthropists to whom the refugees were 
directed for harbor and further guidance. The refuge in Down- 
ingtown was with Zebulon Thomas and daughters, who parsed 
the fleeing slaves to Mieaiah and William Speakman, Uwchlan, 
thence to John Vickers and Charles Moore, Llonville, and so on. 

Downingtown, in the Revolution, is a most difficult subject 
to trace. The muster rolls are so wanting in particulars or utter- 
ly lost that no roll of soldiers can be made and it would not be 
wise to presume too much on the similarity of names received 
with those given in the early list of taxables in the township. 
But Downingtown was too near the battlefield of the Brandy- 
wine and the subsequent stirring period in the Chester Vallev 
and at Valley Forge not to have been deeply interested. We 


find under date April 3, 1777. the Board of War, made a requisi- 
tion on Isaac Webb, Milltown. for wagons. 

The barn of Joseph Downing', just east of the borough, was 
used as a hospital and forty soldiers were buried on the farm. 
In the fall of 1777 Mr. Downing's team was with the army and 
the seeding was done with an old mare and oxen driven by 
Joseph Downing, Jr. 

In a partial list of revolutionary pensioners from Chester 
County we hud the name of Robert Wood, Downingtown. It 
is said that the host of the old "Shi])"' tavern, west of Downing- 
town, remained loyal to the crown and on one occasion some 
Continentals shot thirteen bullets through the effigy of the ship. 
The old sign carried the marks as loim as it swung at the old 
stand or at the new one in West Whitcland. The sign of the 
Downing Hotel bore an effigy of Washington and a civilian 
standing side by side. 

The inhabitants of our town were not rich in silver plate, 
as in the list of 1777. returned by the assessors for taxation the 
only name in East Cain is that of John Carmichael, who pos- 
sessed five spoons. They were better off in carriages, for, in 
an assessment made February, 1781, to pay the United States 
and State debts we have this list and valuations. Widow Car- 
michael, chair. £15; Hunt Down : ng, Jr., chair. £2^: Richard 
Downing, Jr., chair. £15; John Edge, chair, £25; Wm. Trimble, 
chair. £2^. 

To the list of Civil War heroes should be added the names 
of Col. Samuel Ringwalt, who served as Brigade Quartermaster 
in the Second Brigade of the Pennsylvania Reserves, Gen. 
Meade, commanding, and Captain William R. Downing for 
many years owner of the "Egypt Farm." who served as Brigade 
Quartermaster tinder Gen. Rosecrans in West Virginia. 


"The Shi])," the oldest of the Downingtown taverns, is iden- 
tified as the present residence of Mr. A. Robinson Mcllvaine. 
It is always spoken of as a Downingtown tavern in the histories, 
probably because of its vicinity and because its local patronage 
was from Downingtown. Its present location, with reference 
to the Lancaster Pike, necessitates further information concern- 
ing this, the oldest of stone roads. Robert Brooke, who com- 
pleted his survey of the Lancaster Like in 1806. says that from 
1 he 2<)\}\ mile st( UK, east < if I )< >wningt< >wn, t< 1 a p< tint ninety-seven 
perches west of the 3ISI mile-stone, the course of the pike and 
the old Lancaster Road were practically the same. This would 
bring "The Shin" on the pike, but we ascertain from Pennsyl- 
vania railroad officials thai the building of the railroad has made 

some changes in the original line of the pike, which accounts for 


the distance of ''The Ship" from the present road. At the point 
named, ninety-seven perches west of the 31st mile-stone, the old 
Lancaster Road leaves the turnpike, returning west of the resi- 
dence of James G. Fox, where stood in olden days Wm. Haw- 
ley's tavern. Sign of the Waggon. This vacated road is easily 
found. It may he well to state here that the rear of the old 
tavern on the "Oil Farm," of the P. R. R., was formerly the 
front facing the road. The variations of the course of the pres- 
ent Lancaster Avenue from the old road may he seen east of 
the bridge in the strange angle made by the "Half Way House." 
next to the Presbyterian Church. Standing at the east end of 
the bridge the eye will give the direction of the old Lancaster 
Road, which passed to the rear of 'Squire Johnson's office and 
crossed the present site of Philips' mill. This accounts again 
for the strange angles made by the oldest houses on both sides, 
of Lancaster avenue, of which the McCaughey residence is a 
notable illustration. 


Several citizens have thought that Dowlin's Forge, although 
not within the limits of the borough, is worthy of a place in the 
history of the early industries as contributing measurably to 
the business and somewhat to the population of the town. The 
subjoined story has also been contributed by John S. Mullin : 


"Dowlin's Forge," situated about one and one-half miles 
north of Downingtown, on the Brandywine, was an interesting 
spot 50 years ago. One could hear it thumping four or five 
miles away, as it hammered out the pig iron into blooms. These 
they hauled to Thorndale or Coatesville with six-mule teams, 
through our borough. There they were rolled out into iron 
plate or bar-iron. John Dowlin bought all the hills north and 
south of Downingtown for the purpose of obtaining the wood. 
This he had cut and made into charcoal, which he used for heat- 
ing the iron, as bituminous or anthracite coal would not answer. 

Their mode of making charcoal was this : They leveled off 
a piece of ground and, having made a pyramid of fifty or sixty 
cords of wood and covered it over with dirt to keep it from 
blazing, they set fire to the pile. It would require about one 
week to char it. The smoke, when the wind was favorable, 
■ would envelop the town. They employed twenty-five or thirty 
men at the forge and in the woods. These men purchased their 
goods mostly in Downingtown and were quite a help to the 
trade, but, alas! the day of the old mill and the old forge has 
passed and the owls and bats have taken possession. 


The mill will never grind, 
The forge will never pound, 

With the water that is past. 

It may he added that the earlier name of the forge was the 
Mary Ann Forge, so named for two daughters of Samuel Hu- 
bert, a previous owner and to whose children the property de- 
scended. The unsatisfactory conditions of forest growth in the 
hills along- the Brandywine, which has been matter for remark 
by later Downingtown residents, is explained by the denuding of 
the hills for forge purposes and the level spots on the hills which 
look like abandoned gardens are the ancient hearths where the 
charcoal was made. 

Mention may be made of a tannery which occupied the po- 
sition of the tenant houses in the rear of the A. P. Tutton prop- 
erty on Lancaster avenue. 


hi the diary of Shepherd Avars, of date August 3, 1834, there 
is this important item. 

"This morning we opened our Sabbath school in the M. K. 
Church. There were 20 scholars present. This is the first Sab- 
bath school ever held in Downingtown. May it prove a great 
blessing to the neighborhood." 

In his address at the dedication of the House of the Min- 
quas Fire Company, No. 2, President S. P. Bicking added im- 
portant historical facts to the record in the History. The charter 
of the company was granted .May 1, 1909. Alter the organiza- 
tion a Finance Committee was appointed and a canvass resulted 
in the subscription of $4500 and, as a result of the fair held by 
the Ladies' Auxiliary, S2500 was added. 


In view of the haste necessary in issuing the History, we 
are pleased that the errors are so few and that so generally they 
correct themselves. One galley of corrected proof was oxer- 
looked in the hurry oi the last days and most of the errors were 
in this. The following are. perhaps, all it is necessary to note: 

P. [8. Omit bottom line. See p. 21, 1. id. 

I'. 72. Civil War Soldiers, for James R. Gordon, read George 
W. ( rordon. 

P. 7o- On the authority of Mr. Mullin, 1. 5, For Elijah Davis 
read Err Davis, and 1. id for Stephen Ayers read Shepherd Ayars. 

P. 87. Add U Hunter Wills to vestry of St. fames Church. 

P. 92, 1. I. For [885 read 1S55. 

P. 96. Trustees, for Charles W. Wilson read Chas. \V. Rob- 

P. 105, 1. _}_\ For Thomas Eachers read Thomas Eachus. 


P. T07. For Stewart Avenue read Stuart. 

P. 166. Roll of Chief Burgesses — John S. Mullin and Eber 
Garrett are living; D. M. Cox is deceased. For Mr. Wills, who 
died in office read resigned his office. In list of Councilmen for 
Daniel Ringwalt read Samuel.