A history of Delaware County, Pennsylvania


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

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

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

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

History proper, of necessity, is a narrative of what has been accomplished by people in the mass, and can take little note of individuals Here begins the mission of the annalist and investigator of the personal lives of those who have borne the heat and burden of the day, in tracing whence and from whom they came, in portraying their deeds, showing the spirit by which they were actuated, and holding up their effort as an example to those who come afterward. The story of such achievements is a sacred trust committed to the people of the present, upon whom devolves the perpetuation of the record. The custodian of records who places in preservable and accessible form his knowledge concerning the useful men of preceding generations, and of their descendants who have lived lives of honor and usefulness, performs a public service in rendering honor to whom honor is due, and thereby inculcating the most valuable lessons of patriotism and good citizenship. This fact finds recognition in the warm welcome given in recent years to family and personal histories. Such are in constant and general demand, and are sought for in the great libraries by book, magazine and newspaper writers and by lecturers, from foreign lands, as well as from all portions of our own country. Such a work as the present one will possess an especial value for those who. out of a laudable pride, seek to trace their descent from those who battled for the making of the United States, and aided in bringing the Nation to its present pre-eminent position.


Table of Contents

Hudson's Voyage; West India Company; Swedish Occupation; Dutch Settlement on the Delaware; Governor Stuyvesant; New Amsterdam; English Occupation; arrival of Perm; first Courts; Friends' Meetings; Delaware county; Churches established; Revolutionary scenes: Court-house at Chester; Delaware County Institute of Science; Media the county seat Pages 1-279

Townships and Boroughs — Tinicum, Aston, Bethel, Birmingham, Chester, Upland, South Chester, North Chester, Upper Chichester, Lower Chichester, Marcus Hook, Concord, Darby, Edgmont, Haverford, Marple, Media — Court-house and jail, Middletown, Newtown, Nether Providence, Upper Providence, Radnor, Thornbury, Springfield, Ridley, Aldan, Clifton Heights, Collingdale, Colwyn, Eddystone, Glenolden, Landsdowne,. Milbourne, Morton, Norwood, Prospect Park, Ridley Park, Rutledge, Sharon Hill, Swarthmore, Yeadon, City of Chester, Historic Houses, old Chester Hotels, Population Pages 280-330

Agriculture, Manufactures in various townships, Early Transportation, Railroads. River Navigation, Trolley Lines Pages 331-392

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

Education — Early Schools, Public School System, Schools in the various Townships, Chester City Schools, Borough Schools, Private Schools, Haverford College, Swarthmore College, Crozer Theological Seminary, Pennsylvania Military College, Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades, Institute for Colored Youth, Convent of the Holy Child Pages 423-474

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

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

Newspapers Pages 514-517

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

Delaware County in the Civil War Pages 522-555

In the Spanish-American War Pages 555-558

Family and Personal History Pages 561 to end


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