Source: Scharf, Thomas J., History of Delaware, 1609-1888, Volume Two- pp. 854-880.
THIS hundred is a long, narrow strip of land on the Maryland line, and is bounded on the north, east and south by the hundreds of White Clay Creek, New Castle, Red Lyon and St. George's. It is the only division of New Castle County that is not confined within natural boundaries. The greater part of the Welsh tract and a small portion of what in early days was known as St. Augustine Manor comprise the territory of Pencader. The early Welsh families settled in this hundred, principally around Iron Hill. This being a hill of considerable elevation, gave rise to the name Pencader, which is a Welsh term and signifies "the highest seat." The larger portion of the land is in a state of cultivation, and the remainder, chiefly in the vicinity of Iron and Chestnut Hills, is well wooded. The soil is a red loam with a clay sub-soil, and yields well. The land is watered by several small streams which flow through it.
In 1801 surveys for the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal were made and a route was selected. It passed near Glasgow, where a large reservoir covering one hundred acres of land was commenced, but discontinued in 1803 for want of funds. The feeder was from Big Elk Creek to the reservoir, and $100,000 were spent upon its construction. Several arches then built are still standing (1888). In 1828 a new route for the canal, passing through the southern part of the hundred, was selected. The bed of St. George's Creek was used as the channel. The canal was completed in 1829.
The southern part of Pencader is land that in 1671 was granted by Lord Baltimore to Augustine HERMAN, and was part of what was known as St. Augustine Manor, and embraced land from the Delaware, between Appoquinimink and St. George's Creek, westward to Bohemia Manor. This land, however, was in dispute, and Governor Lovelace protested against the usurpation of Herman and others, in taking up this land. The land west of the Delaware State line retained the name.
The Welsh tract is a large tract of land, the greater part of which is in Pencader Hundred, and the remainder in Cecil County, Maryland. Settlers were upon the land in 1684, and were driven off by George TALBOT, the Governor of Maryland, who claimed the land as within his territory. An instance of Talbot's proceedings was furnished to the Council at Philadelphia in a letter from Samuel LAND of New Castle, dated May 30th. He acquainted them that the colonel had visited the houses of Jonas ERSKINE, Andrew TILLE and a widow named OGLE, all residing near New Castle; and, accompanied by three musketeers, to add force to his demands, had informed them that unless they would acknowledge Lord Baltimore as their proprietor within three weeks, and pay their rents to him in the future, they would be dispossessed of their land and turned out of their homes. The testimony of Joseph BOWLE before the Council, recounting his experience with Talbot, gives a vivid idea of the extent to which the abuses were carried. Bowle, who lived at Iron Hill, about eight miles distant from New Castle, attested that "Colonel Talbot ridd up to my house and was ready to ride over me, and said, 'Dam you, you Dogg, whom do you seat under here, you dogg! You seat under noe body; you have noe Warrant from Penn nor my Lord; therefore gett you gone or Else I'le sent you to St. Murry's (St. Mary's), and I being frighted, says he, 'you Brazen-faced, Impudent, Confident Dogg, I'l Sharten (shorten) Penn's Territories by and by.'
The distinguishing feature of the tract is Iron Hill, which was known by that name in 1661, and is mentioned in a letter from Vice-Director Alexander D. HINIJOSSA, May 15th, as being the place where four Englishmen were murdered by the Indians in April preceding. It is evident that iron ore was then known to be at the place in considerable quantity; hence the name.
William DAVIS, David EVANS and William WILLIS petitioned Penn for a tract of 30,000 acres, the land to be divided divided and deeded to settlers from South Wales, some of whom had at that time settled in Radnor Township, Chester Co., PA. The petition was granted October 15, 1701, This tract was ever after known at the Welsh Tract. The grant stated that they were to have "thirty thousand acres if there be so much vacant in the place hereafter expressed; that is to say, behind the town of New Castle westward, extending northward and southward, beginning to the westward seven miles from the said town of New Castle, and extending upward and downward as there shall be found room by regular strait lines as near as may be." A few settlers were upon the tract at the time of purchase and had made some improvements, but without any show of title; they were soon dispossessed and the Welsh immediately after survey began to locate upon the land. Soon after the survey was completed, John WELCH selected 561 acres, and a little later 530 acres. Of the latter, he sold 500 acres, August 17, 1727, to Thomas LEWIS. Another part of this land was sold to James SYKES, and by his executors 281 3/4 acres was conveyed to Robert FARIES on February 16, 1730. Robert Faries was a native of Ireland, who came to this country and purchased land in Red Lyon Hundred. After his death in 1749, the above-mentioned tract was inherited by his son William. In the following year William Faries purchased from Henry WHITESIDE a tract of land containing 113 acres. In 1760 he died intestate, leaving two sons and a daughter,- Jacob, Samuel and Margaret. In 1770 Jacob purchased his sister's share, and three years later his brother's portion. He also purchased several other tracts adjoining his land. He died September 1, 1818, leaving seven surviving children. The property was next owned by Jacob, Jr., who procured it by descent and purchase. The next owner was William W., who obtained possession after the decease of Jacob Faries, Jr. D.B. FERRIS is the present owner of nearly all the land above mentioned.
One of the first to choose was James JAMES, who selected Iron Hill and northward to the Christiana Creek, embracing 1244 acres of land. A deed was granted by Davis, Evans and Willis, June 27, 1702, and confirmed by Penn February 21, 1703. Thomas James took up 1250 acres by a deed dated October 8, 1702, and David PRICE 1050 acres, deeded June 5, 1702. John MORGAN took 1030 acres April 22, 1702, and also 1023 acres on the head-waters of Dragon Creek nearly to the boundary of Red Lyon Hundred, and John THOMAS took 632 acres, March 16, 1702. John GRIFFITH took up 222 acres, William JONES 1368 acres, and in 1702, 1379 acres. Howel JAMES took up 1040 acres, and Philip JAMES 525 acres the same year.
Howel JAMES, by his will bearing date August 17, 1717, devised 250 acres to his son, Howel, and 200 acres each to his other sons, James and Philip. James sold his portion to his brother Philip, May 12, 1735. Philip conveyed 200 acres on which a mill was located, to John JONES, bolster, of Philadelphia, May 10, 1737, and 210 acres-lying on the north side of Christiana Creek to Samuel ALLEN, November 8th, of the same year. Among other things devised by Howel James, Sr., to his wife, was an annuity of ten pounds to be paid out of his mills and plantation. Some difficulty arose concerning this, and Alexander HAMILTON was consulted. His opinion was as follows:
"I am of opinion that the devise by Howell James of ten Pounds to his wife Phebe, to be layed out of his mills and plantation in such proportion as in the said Will hereunto annexed is directed, and to be paid yearly, is a good devise to Phebe for her life. But she cannot arrest the possessor of the mills or Land for the money, the same being a charge against the Estate and not against the person of the heir or possessor of the mills and Land.
"A. HAMILTON. "Philadelphia, March 13, 1726."
John WATKINS and many others selected lands from the Welsh tract. One hundred and sixty-seven acres of the land of John Watkins passed to David WILLIAMS, August 6, 1736; Thomas JOHNS, on November 10, 1729, bought 1156 acres; Philip JAMES sold to Francis LAND, January 6, 1729, 400 acres on the southeast side of Iron Hill; David EVANS, November 15, 1723, sold to John EDWARDS 450 acres in two tracts, and the next day 300 acres to William REES. Before 1736 David EVANS removed to Cape Fear, North Carolina. In a deed to his son Samuel, dated April 10, 1736, he conveyed to him 200 acres, "whereon I have lived, formerly of Pencader, now of Cape Fear, North Carolina." April 21, 1738, Solomon and David EVANS unite in conveying 594 acres of land to Thomas EVANS, the 200 acres formerly conveyed to Solomon being part of the original tract. A part of the James JAMES land came to his son Samuel by deed of gift, June 3, 1723, on which soon after he built a forge, and, by his success and the fact of there being plenty of ore near at hand, interested the leading iron-masters of Pennsylvania to the locality to such an extent that on October 15, 1725, an octopartite agreement was drawn up and signed by Samuel JAMES, millwright; Rees JONES, tanner, of Pencader; Samuel NUTT, of Chester County, ironmonger; Evan OWEN and William BRANSON, merchants, both of Philadelphia; Thomas and John RUTTER, smiths, also of Philadelphia; and Caspar WISTAR, brass-button maker, also of the same city. These men formed a company, each holding an eighth interest, for the purpose of erecting a furnace to be known as the "ABBINGTON FURNACE," and to purchase lands in connection with it for the use of the furnace. They made arrangements for the purchase of over 1000 acres of land in the vicinity, and on one acre and three-quarters of it on the bank of Christiana Creek, which was purchased of Samuel James, and conveyed by deed to Evan Owen and William Branson, on May 28, 1726, they erected the furnace and a forge, which were called "ABBINGTON IRON WORKS." At the time the deed for the furnace lot was made out, the eighth parts had been divided into sixteenths, and John LEACOCK, William FISHBOURN, Edward BRADLEYand William MONINGTON were partners in interest in the Iron Works Company.
On October 21, 1727, Gabriel GOULDNEY, of Bristol, England, became the purchaser of one-sixteenth interest, and from the deed of conveyance made at that time, the above-recited facts are obtained. It is not ascertained how long the works were maintained by the company, but probably not for many years. It was continued by Samuel JAMES until 1734, when upon a judgment obtained against him in the February term of court of that year, his property was ordered to be seized and sold. The sale was made by Henry NEWTON, sheriff of New Castle County, September 18, 1735, to Abraham TAYLOR and John WHITE the owners of the judgment. The property is then mentioned as "THE FORGE" commonly called Samuel JAMES', with all the tools and utensils of the same, a lot of blacksmith tools, and also the one-eighth interest in the "furnace commonly called or known by the name of the Samuel James or the Abbington Iron Works," together with the eighth part of land, tenements and appurtenances belonging to the furnace. It does not appear that the forge or furnace was continued by the purchasing parties, but it is still mentioned as such when sold by the sheriff January 4, 1768, to Andrew FISHER, miller. The land on which the furnace was situated is now (1888) owned by William McCONAUGHEY. A part of the old wall and a heap of cinders on land now owned by COOCH Bros. marks the site of the old forge.
A short time after purchasing this property FISHER erected thereon a grist-mill and a saw-mill. This, after his death in 1804, passed into the hands of his sons, John and Samuel. The mill property and 45 acres of land was sold August 19, 1808, to Thomas BRADLEY, and May 23, 1810, to Alexander FORESTER. In both of these cases the property came back to the grantors, and in 1815 vested solely in John Fisher. On the 11th of April of the same year he conveyed this estate to Jacob TYSON. Since that period the mills have been successively owned by William SHAKESPEARE, Azariah SMITH, Thomas BRADLEY, and Joel P. WOODWARD. In 1863 the overshot wheel was replaced with iron wheels, the old saw-mill torn down, and a department for sawing arranged in the space formerly occupied by the overshot wheel. The gristmill was a two-and-a-half-story building, forty by sixty feet, with a capacity of twenty-five barrels per day. The capacity of the saw-mill was 200,000 feet of lumber per year. In July, 1883, the mill was burned and it has never been rebuilt.
Among the settlers in Pencader in the vicinity of Iron Hill, from 1709 to 1720, are found the following names: John DEVONALT, Lewis PHILLIPS, Philip TRUEAX, David MILES, Rees DAVID, Thomas EVANS, Thomas EDMUND, Arthur EDWARD, John PHILLIPS. Thomas MORRIS, Jenkins JONES, John BOULTON, Richard EDWARD, John GRIFFITH, Hugh EVAN, David LEWIS, Samuel EVAN, Hugh DAVID, Anthony MATHEW, Simon MATHEW, Simon BUTLER, Arthur MELCHOIR, George EATON, Elias THOMAS, Thomas EVAN Philip REES, John BENTLEY, David JOHN, Richard LEWIS, Benjamin GRIFFITH, Emlin DAVID, John MILLER, John JONES, Richard WITTEN, Griffith THOMAS, David DAVIS, Thomas RICHARD, Cornelius VANSANT, and Richard HERBERT. These formed the nucleus of the WELSH TRACT BAPTIST CHURCH, and many of them, after residing here a few years, moved to other places for the purpose of founding new churches.
Rev. Morgan EDWARDS, author of the "Materials towards a history of the Baptists in Delaware State," was born May 9, 1822, in the parish of Trevethin, Monmouthshire, Wales. He obtained his early education in Wales, and was a student at the Bristol Academy, under the celebrated Dr. Bernard FOSKETT. In 1738 he became a member of the Baptist Church, and nineteen years later was ordained a minister of that church in Ireland, where he remained for nine years. Upon the recommendation of John HILL D.D., he was called to the pastorate of the Baptist Church of Philadelphia, where he arrived May 23, 1761. In 1771 he resigned, and moved to Pencader Hundred, Delaware, where he resided until his death, January 28, 1795.
In 1736, Samuel KERR came from Scotland, and purchased two hundred acres of the Welsh Tract from Rees JONES. He resided there until his death, when the premises came into the possession of his son, Andrew, who devised them to his son, Andrew. The premises, with a few changes made by purchase or sale, are now owned by George G. Kerr, whose residence and adjoining property is in White Clay Creek Hundred.
Thomas COOCH came from England and, in 1746, purchased a tract of land in Pencader, containing two hundred acres, being a part of the land warranted to William JAMES. He resided in this hundred, and purchased other lands in the vicinity of the tract above-mentioned. On the 8th of July, 1776, there was resurveyed to him to hundred and twenty-nine acres on a warrant of resurvey granted June 5, 1776. In September of the same year, while the BRITISH were in this neighborhood just previous to the skirmish (the battle of Cooch's bridge) , they had their headquarters on land of Thomas Cooch, at the present site of J. Wilkins Cooch's residence. During this skirmish the mill on these premises was burned by the British.
At the time of his death, in 1791, Mr. Cooch was the owner of eight hundred and fifty acres and one hundred and forty-two perches of land in the Welsh Tract. This property was divided among his heirs, and the larger part of it has descended and is now (1888) in the possession of William and J. Wilkins Cooch. The old forge, erected in connection with the "Abbington Iron Works," is on land owned by them.* Among the papers of Thomas Cooch was found an assessment list of Pencader Hundred, with the amount of tax paid by each person. The assessment was made by Thos. JAMES, and contained the following names and amounts:
David John (smith)8
John David (cooper)10
Rachel Griffith (widow)8
Jane David (widow)8
Thomas James, Jr.8
Mary Evans (widow)8
William Faires, Jr15
Denis David (widow)10
John Brown (weaver)8
Rees Jones's estate12
David Thomas (batchiler)10
Jenet Davies (widow)8
*This land, and money for its preservation, was granted, in 2003, to the State or Delaware by the Cooch family.
The population steadily increased, and in 1798 the following names were on the assessment list as taxables:
Arch. Abererombie.William Adair’s est. Daniel
J. Adams est.
George Adams.Matthew Aiken, Esq. Eleanor Alexander.
James Alexander.Jacob Allen.
Charles Allen’s est.
Robert Allen.Samuel Allen. Andrew Allison.
John Anderson.Sarah Armitage’s est.
Robert Armstrong’s est.
Nicholas Ash.Stephen Augustus David Austin.
James Austin.Isaac Bailey. James Baker.
Benj. Barvard’s est.Henry Bassett.
James Beard.John L. Beard’s est. Jacob
Nicholas Belveal.Bouldin Biddle. Stephen Biddle.
Samuel Biddle.Joseph Blacke. Margaret Black.
William BlackGeorge Blaney. John
Jonathan Booth’s est.Richard Boulden.
Elijah Boulden’s est.
Elisha Boulden.James Boulden, Sr. James Boulden, Jr.
Jesse Boulden.Levi Boulden. Nathan Boulden.
Thos. Boulden, Jr.Thomas Boulden, Sr., est. John Bowen’s
Benjamin Boyd.Thomas Bradley. James Brady.
Samuel Bradey.Isaac Brannon. Benjamin Bratton.
Daniel Brison.Barnabas Brooks. Thomas Bryans.
Stout Buckhanan.William Bunker. John Cambell.
Michael Cambell.Patterson Cantwell. John
Andrew Carr’s est.Andrew Carrey. John
Edward Cartey.John Cavender. Alexander Cavenoor.
Jacob Cazier.George Chapman. Wm. Chealy.
Wm. Chealy.Jared Chestnut. William Chestnut
John Cirgin.Edward Cordon. Ann Conn
John Conner.Benjamin Cooch. Daniel Cooch
James Cooche.William Cooch, mills, &c. Patrick Coulter.
Joseph Couthrin.John Cowen. Samuel Cowen.
John Crawford.John Crouch’s est. John
John Cuddy.David Culbertson. John Culbertson.
James Curlett.Jean Curlett. Lewis Curlett.
William Curlett.Henry Clark. Wm. Davies.
Elisha David.Joseph David’s est. Joshua
Benjamin Davies’ est.David Davies’ est. Ann
Mary Dawson.Zachariah Derrickson. Charles Devin.
Archibald Doughley’s est.Wm. Dunlap. John
Benjamin Elsberry.Frederick Elsberry. John English.
Francis L. Evans.Howell Evans. Joel Evans.
Elizabeth Evans.Jenkin Evans. Isaac
Peter Evans’ est.Richard Evans.
Thomas Evans’ est.
Jacob Faries.Jacob Faries, Jr. James Faries.
Faries. Andrew Fisher,mills, etc.
John Ford.John Freeman. James Gallaher.
Andrew Garretson.Richard Garretson. George Glanton.
Samuel Glenn’s est.Thomas Glenn.
Griffith Griffith’s est.
Benjamin Griffith.James Griffith. John Griffith.
Richard Griffith.Richard Griffith, Jr.
Robert Guthrey.Samuel Guthrey. Joseph Hagins.
Wm. Hamilton.Clem Harred.
Job Harvey’s est.Anna Haughey. Francis
Robert Haughey’s est.Wm. Haughey’s est. Wm. W.
Thomas Henderson’s est.Wm. Henderson’s est. Wm. Hickey.
David Higgins’ est.Isaac
Hill. Isaac Holland.
John Holland.George Homes. John Homes.
Peter Hossinger.David Howell’s est.
Oliver R. Howell.
Sarah Howell.Benjamin Hugg. Samuel Huggins.
Spencer Hukill.Andrew Hutton John Hutton.
John Hyatt, Esq., est.John
Jack. Benjamin D. Jackson.
Jacob Jackson’s est.John T. Jackson.
Elisha James.James James’ est. John
Samuel James.Shem James. Tamer James.
William James’ est.Daniel Jeams’ est.
Isaiah Johnson.Wm. Johnson.
Enoch Jones’ est.
Evan Jones.Morgan, Jones, mills, &c. James Kanedy
Thos. Kelley.William Kelley Henry Kimble
Benjamin King’s est.James Kinkead.
Wm. KinkeadAndrew Knox. John Laws.
Philip Levies’ estMoses Levies’ est.
Wm. Linsey.Joseph Lockhart John Mason.
Robert McAntier’s est.Alexander McCall. George
Sweesey McCandless’ est.Edward McClelland. Walter
Richard McClureJms. McHellom (McCollom) James McKinsey
Samuel McCombesWm. McCombes Wm. McCommens
John McCormick.Elijah McCreas’ est.
Alexander McDaniel’s est.
Samuel McIntire.David McMecken’s est. James
Thomas McMullen.Robert McMullen. Wm. McMullen.
Neal McNeil.John Meginn.
Robert MiddletonHance Milier.
Wm. Millegan.Wm. Millegan, Sr Samuel Miller.
Alexander Moody.Robert Moody’s est.
Alexander Moore’s est.
John Moore’s est.Rebecca Moore Thomas
Wm. Moore (farmer).Wm.
Moore. Benjamin Morgan’s est.
Wm. MorrisonArchibald Morton. Thomas Morrow.
John MuldrochJohn Mullen. Peter Mullett.
James Murray.Wm. Nielson. Sarah Owens.
Parnall. Joseph Patterson.
John Patton.Benjamin Pennington John
Nimrod Pennington.Robert Pennington. Joshua Pensey.
Nathan Persons’ estJohn Porter, mills, etc.
James Powell.Hugh Powers. Wm. Price.
Price. Sarah Price’s est.
Stephen Price.William Price’s est.
Jacob Pritchard.John Pritchett’s est.
John Quinn.James Reaper. John Redman.
John Reed’s est.Thomas Reece’s est.
Anthony Roab.John Robinson. John
James Robinson.William Robinson. John Rogers.
Aaron Ross, mills, etc.Hugh Russell’s est.
See. John Shakespear.
Chud Sharp.Samuel Sharpe.
Robert Shields’ est.
Abraham Short’s est.John Simonton’s est.
William Simonton’s est.
Nathaniel Simpes.Uriah Slake.
Hugh Smith’s est.James Smith.
Robert Smith.Thomas Smith’s est. William
James Snow.Dunevan Spencer. Benjamin Stanton.
Stephen Stanton.Benjamin Stewart.
John Stewart.Jacob Stewart. John Sturgis.
Tate. John Tate, Jr.
Taylor. William Taylor’s est.
David Thomas’ est.John Thomas’ est.
Quilles Thomas’ est.Richard Thomas’ est.
Thomas Thomas’ est.
William Thomas’ est.Alexander Thomson,
Ephraim Thompson’s est.
James Thompson,Jean Thompson, Sarah
Richard Thompson’s est.David Townsend. Thomas
David Tweedy,Nathan Underwood. Samuel
Solomon Underwood.Alexander Vail. John Vail.
Thomas Vail.Philip Vansandt. Asa Vansandt.
Joseph Waggoner.Alexander Walker’s est. John
James Warnocis.David Warnock.
John Watson’s est.
William Watson.James Wattson. Lewis Wattson.
Robert Wattson.Thomas Weir. William Whann.
Williams. Peter Williams.
Roger Williams.Thomas Williams.
John Willson.Mathew Willson.
SCHOOLS.— In the early history of Pencader the schools were few, and these chiefly held in private residences. As the population increased, school buildings were erected, and subscription schools were opened. Among the early teachers are found the names of Robert PORTER, William JACKSON, Mr. DEAN and Mr. PIPPIN. The advantages of the scholars were very limited, and their progress accordingly. On January 27, 1803, an act was passed to incorporate trustees of "Glasgow Grammar School, in the County of New Castle." John HYATT, William COOCH, Jacob FARIS, Solomon UNDERWOD and Robert MIDDLETON, as trustees, were empowered to take subscriptions.
William JACKSON was one of the most widely-known school-teachers in the hundred, and taught many years under the common-school system. Curtis B. ELLISON was the first public school-teacher in the southern part of Pencader. The building in which he taught was an old-fashioned octagonal structure, and was built of brick.
ROADS.— The early ways of entrance and exit in this hundred were mere paths. As the number of settlers increased, the roads were improved and new ones constructed. The earliest roads in Pencader were the ones extending from New Castle and Christiana to the head of Elk River, and were constructed as State roads. The former are mentioned in the chapter on White Clay Creek Hundred, and the latter in the chapter on Internal Improvements. In 1806 the Levy Court ordered a review to be made of the road from Glasgow to New Castle, intersecting at Glasgow the road from that place to Buck's Tavern. On March 8, 1825, three hundred dollars were appropriated for building a bridge over Shive Run, near Glasgow, and in February of the next year, two hundred and thirty nine dollars more were appropriated for closing the account. In 1832 a bridge was needed over Christiana Creek, near Cooch’s Mill. The commissioners reported that a stone-fording would answer every purpose, and in the following March one hundred and fifty dollars were appropriated for this work.
RELIGIOUS MATTERS.— Welsh Tract Baptist Church,— In June, 1701 Thomas GRIFFITH ("minister"), Griffith NICHOLAS, Evan EDMOND, John EDWARD, Elisha THOMAS, Enoch MORGAN, Richard DAVID, James DAVID, Elizabeth GRIFFITH, Lewis EDMOND, Mary JOHN, Mary THOMAS, Elizabeth GRIFFITH, Jr., Jennet DAVID, Margaret MATHIAS and Jennet MORRIS, having previously been constituted a church, sailed from Milford, England and landed at Philadelphia, September 8th. They were advised by their friends to settle at Pennepek, which advice they followed, and there remained a year and a half, when they procured land in New Castle County, from Messrs. EVANS, DAVIS and WILLIE, the grantees of the Welsh Tract.
While at Pennepek, in 1701/2, the following accessions were made: Rees RHYDDARCH, Catherine RHYDDARCH, Esther THOMAS, Thomas MORRIS, Hugh MORRIS, Peter CHAMBERLAIN, Mary CHAMBERLAIN, Mary CHAMBERLAIN, JR, Mary SORENSEE, Magdalen MORGAN, Henry DAVID, Elizabeth DAVID, Samuel GRIFFITHS, Richard SUREY /SEREE, Rebecca MARPOLE, John GRINWATER, Edward EDWARDS, John JAMES, Mary THOMAS, Thomas JOHN, Judith GRIFFITH and Mary JOHN, JR., and Thomas THOMAS.
In 1703 they removed to the land purchased by them in Pencader Hundred, and built a meeting-house on the site of the present church. In the same year the membership was increased by the addition of Thomas JOHN, and Rebecca, from Wales; and by profession of faith and baptism, John WILD, Thomas WILD, James JAMES, Sarah JAMES, Jaen (Shuan) MORGAN, Samuel WILD, Mary NICHOLAS, Richard BOEN (Bowen), David THOMAS, Mary BENTLY and Jaen EDWARDS.
In 1709 were added by lettter from Pembrokeshire: Samuel JOHN, minister, John and Mary DEVONALLT, Lewis PHILIP, Catherine EDWARD. From East Jersey: Philip TRUAX, Elizabeth TILTON. By letter from Pennepek: David MILES Aand Alce MILES. (Philip Truax "dismembers" Jan. 6, 1721. Neglecting to come to church meeting for several years, neglecting his business to the hurt of his family and creditirs and others.)
During the next few years numerous accessions were made, both by members from the churches in Wales and by conversions. In 1736 a portion of this church went to South Carolina, and founded a church there, on the banks of the Pedee River, in a portion of the country now bearing the name Welsh Neck. In 1746 the present church was built on a lot containing six acres, four of which were given by James JAMES, and the other two purchased from Abraham EMMET. The edifice is a neat brick building, thirty feet square. At various times, portions of the congregation separated themselves from the main church for the purpose of organizing other bands of worshippers. It is the mother church whence sprung the Pedee above mentioned, London Tract, Duck Creek, Wilmington, Cowmarsh and Mispillion Churches, concerning which information will be found elsewhere. "Welsh Tract Church was the principal, if not the sole means of introducing singing, imposition of hands, ruling elders and church covenants in the Middle States." An act of Assembly was passed February 8, 1783, enabling religious denominations to be incorporated. On the 9th day of February, of the following year, this church was incorporated with Abel DAVIS, Robert SHIELDS, Ebenezer MORTON, Andrew MORTON and Francis GATTIER as trustees of the Welsh Tract Baptist Church and Congregation, at the foot of Iron Hill. The church has steadily increased since its organization, and regular services have been held nearly the entire time. The church is at present in a prosperous condition. The following pastors have labored here since its organization.
Rev. Thomas GRIFFITH the first pastor, was born in 1645 in parish of Lanvernach and county of Pembroke. He was one of the constituents of the church at its organization, and arrived at Philadelphia with his church September 8, 1701. He died at Pennepek and was there interred July 25, 1725.
Rev. Elisha THOMAS was the successor of Rev. Griffith. He was born in Carmarthen County in 1674, and came to Philadelphia with the church in 1701. He died November 7, 1730.
Rev. Enoch MORGAN succeeded Rev. Thomas. He was born at Allt-goch, in the county of Caerdigan, Wales, in 1676, and was also one of the constituents of this church. He died March 25, 1740.
After the decease of Rev. Morgan the Rev. Owen THOMAS took charge of the church. He was born in 1676 at Gwrgodllys, in the county of Pembroke, and came to America in 1707. He filled the pulpit here till May 27, 1748, when he resigned, and moved to Yellow Springs, where he died November 12, 1760.
Rev. David DAVIS was the next pastor. He was born in the parish of Whitechurch and county of Pembroke in 1708. In 1710 came with his parents to America; was baptized in 1725, and ordained in 1734, when he became pastor of the church. He continued his pastorate until his death, August 19, 1769.
Rev. Mr. Davis’ successor was Rev. John SUTTON, who labored from November 3, 1770, until 1777, when he resigned, for the purpose of going to Virginia.
Rev. John BOGGS was born in East Nottingham, April 9, 1714, and was brought up as a Presbyterian. In 1771 he became a Baptist, and at his ordination December 5, 1781, he took charge of this church, and died there in 1802.
The Rev. Gideon FARREL was born in Talbot County, Md., in 1763, of Quaker parents, but was baptized in 1770 by Rev. Philip HUGHES. He was ordained to the ministry at Churchill in 1779. He assisted the Rev. John Boggs as pastor of the church for several years before his death, and became his successor, and continued until his death, in 1820 or 1821. His successors were as follows: Rev. Stephen W. WOOLFORD, from 1822 to 1830; Rev. Samuel TROTT, 1831 to 1832; Rev. William K. ROBINSON, from 1833 to 1836, and possibly later; Rev. Thomas BARTON, 1839 until his death in 1869 or 1870 (he had spent forty-five years of his ministerial life as pastor of three of the churches in the bounds of the Delaware Association; Rev. G.W. STATON, 1871 to 1872; Rev. William GRAFTON was pastor in 1879. He was succeeded by Rev. Joseph L. STATON, the present minister.
The Pencader Presbyterian Church.— The Presbyterians of the Welsh Tract were constituted a church as early as 1710. Rev. David EVANS, son of David Evans, one of the grantees of the Welsh Tract, was the first pastor. He was licensed in 1711 and ministered to the church for a short time and then took a course at Yale College and was graduated in 1713. He returned to this congregation and was ordained and installed on November 3, 1714. He served the church as pastor until 1720, and then went to Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He continued preaching until his death in 1751. He was succeeded by Rev. Thomas EVANS, a relative and native of Wales, who filled the pulpit until 1743. According to tradition, he opened an academy here which he conducted until his death in 1743. On November 2, 1742, Margaret WILLIAMS, widow, of Roger WILLIAMS, of Pencader Hundred, conveyed to David HOWEL, Thomas THOMAS, Joseph THOMAS, Thomas JAMES, Simon JAMES, Nathaniel EVANS and Nathaniel WILLIAMS, all of Pencader, a lot of ground containing one acre and thirty-eight perches, on the road from New Castle to Head of Elk. This was part of a larger tract granted to Roger WILLIAMS by William DAVIS and David EVANS.
It was given for the purpose of allowing "full and peaceable liberty to the Presbyterian congregation belonging to the meeting-house that is builded upon the above sd tract of land . . . for the true worship of God in the sd place according to the presbyterian Rule, Discipline and Doctrine . . . and will be submissive to the rules and direction of the Presbytery of New Castle and the Synod of Philadelphia." Rev. Timothy Griffith, the successor of Rev. Mr. EVANS, filled the pulpit from 1743 until death put an end to his labors in 1754. For the following twelve years the church had no regular pastor. From 1767 to 1773 the pulpit was filled by Rev. Alexander McDOWELL at that time principal of Newark Academy (later the University of Delaware.) The following ministers have been stationed here since that period: Rev. Samuel EAKIN from 1776 to 1783; Rev. Thomas SMITH from 1783 to 1801; Rev. John BURTON from 1801 to 1808; Rev. Samuel BELL from 1808 to 1833; Rev. Hugh HAMILL from 1833 to 1837; Rev. James McINTIRE from 1837 to 1849; Rev. Horatio S. HOWELL from 1849 to 1852; Rev. J.B. JERVIS from 1852 to 1857; Rev. George FOOT from 1857 to 1866; Rev. Edward WEBB from 1866 to 1871; Rev. Jason ROGERS from 1871 to 1879; Rev. George RODGERS from 1880 to 1882; Rev. T. ANDERSON, the present pastor, began his labors here in 1882. The present church is a two-story brick building, sixty by one hundred feet, situated in the village of Glasgow. It was erected in 1852 at a cost of five thousand dollars. The church is in a prosperous condition and has a membership of ninety. The present officers are: Elder, D.B. FERRIS; Trustees, Samuel ALRICHS, W.T. SKINNER, M.D; F. JANVIER, J.W. COOCH, John McIINTIRE, Robert McCANN.
The First Methodist Episcopal Church at Glasgow was a brick building erected in 1832 and dedicated in 1833. Rev. Mathew SORIN conducted the services. The membership at that time numbered thirteen, of whom Isaiah STANTON, Joseph ROOP and Abraham EVES were the first officers. In 1857 the brick church was torn down and a sandstone one built at a cost of three thousand two hundred dollars. This building was dedicated by Rev. Mr. HICKMAN, of New Jersey. In 1884 the present edifice was erected at a cost of two thousand five hundred dollars. It is a two-story frame building and was dedicated in October, 1884, by Rev. Andrew MANSHIP. The number of members at the time of the erection of the church building was thirty, but recent additions have increased the number to seventy-five communicants. The following is a list of the pastors who have ministered here:
Revs. Jno. D. OWENS A. REED, John D. CURTIS, William RIDER, William THOMAS, John W. PIERSON, William FOLKS, Thomas MILLER, Stephen TOWNSEND, John GRINERD, Samuel GRACE, Thomas TIBLES, John LEDNUM, Robert McNAMEE, William BRISBANE, J. McCARTER, James B. AYRES, Alfred COOKMAN, J. JONES, J.B. McCULLOUGH, George BRINDELL, T. Snowden THOMAS, John THOMPSON, Thomas SIMPSON, John POWERS, J. COOK, Samuel PANCOAST, Alfred SCOTT, David McKEE, John THUSTING, John E. CESLER, Robert TODD, Joseph DAVE, Joseph BROWN, S.R. GILLINGHAM, W.T. TULL, Francis HARVEY, George SHAFER, John B. DENISON, John HOOFMAN, James LANDRETH, H. SANDERSON, A.J. CROZIER, J.E. KIDNEY, H.P. BODINE, E.E. WHITE, L.E. BARRETT, D.T. WADELL, L.W. LAYFIELD, H.H. COLCLAZER, E.C. ATKINS, J.T. VANBURKLOW, and Asbury BURKE. Trustees; Adam DAYETT, John H. THORNTON, Thomas LINDELL, Wilson MAHAN, W.T. DAYETT, George SHELDON, Jno. R. DAVIDSON. Class-Leaders, W.T. DAYETT, Wilson MAHAN, Jno. H. THORTON.
Summit Methodist Episcopal Church.— Previous to 1876 the Methodists in the southern portion of this hundred held services in Boulden’s Church, in St. George’s Hundred. This was originally erected for the use of the Baptists, and it was through their kindness that other denominations were allowed to worship there. During 1874 and 1875 the building was in need of repair, and the Methodists endeavored to purchase it, with the intention of remodeling it. Their offer was refused and this led to the erection of the present edifice. The corner-stone was laid August 18, 1876, with appropriate ceremonies conducted by Bishop SCOTT. The building was completed in 1876, and dedication services were conducted in the morning by Bishop Scott, in the afternoon by Rev. George R. BRISTON, and in the evening by Rev. J. H. CALDWELL. It is a one-story frame building, sixty by thirty feet, with a capacity for seating four hundred persons and was erected at a cost of $5000. The membership at the erection of the church was one hundred, and is now sixty. Services are held every Sunday afternoon.
The following ministers have officiated since the organization of the church in 1867: Revs. Wm. B. WALTON, H.S. THOMPSON, T.S. WILLIAMS, C.F. SHEPPERD, George R. BRISTOR, L.C. MATLACK, John FRANCE, J. Owen SYPHERD, George R. PHOEBUS, F.J. COCHRAN, L.W. LAYFIELD.
The officers of the church are as follows: Class-Leaders, T.W. McCracken and J.F. Kane; Trustees, T.W. McCracken, Wm. Cleaver, P.B. Alrichs, L. Catts and J.F. Kane.
The Sunday-school in connection with the church is under the superintendence of Mr. S.T. Davis.
MANUFACTORIES.— On October 25, 1701, William JAMES obtained a warrant for a tract of land containing 1300 acres, which were surveyed June 3, 1702. This land was purchased from the proprietors of the Welsh Tract and was part of the 30,000 acres of land granted to DAVIS, EVANS and WILLIS. In 1707 execution was issued on a judgment against William JAMES, and two hundred acres, on which had been erected in the interval since his purchase a grist and saw-mill, were seized and sold at public sale. Howel JAMES, Sr., was the purchaser. He, by his will bearing date August 17, 1717, devised this tract to his son, Philip JAMES. The mills were managed by Philip JAMES, and on the 2d of December, 1725, he desired P I to be recorded as his brand mark. On May 10, 1737, he sold the mills and premises to John JONES, of Philadelphia, who four days afterwards conveyed them to Joseph BROWN. Brown successfully operated the mills until the 20th of January, 1746, when he sold to Thomas COOCH, a native of England.
He made application to the February term of court in 1770 to have some land viewed and condemned for use of a grist-mill. The freeholders made a view and condemned six acres adjoining land on which Thomas COOCH’s "present mill stands." In his application he states that the water, corn or grist-mill now wants rebuilding or altering and needs more water-rights.
The mills were operated until September, 1776, at which time they were burned by the British. In 1791 this property came into the hands of his grandson, William COOCH, and the following year a new grist-mill was erected by him. This mill was managed by William Cooch until his decease in 1838, when the property was inherited by his son, William COOCH, JR. In this year a new location was selected and the present mill erected at a short distance from the old mill, which is still standing, but no longer used. In 1870 the mill tract became vested in the heirs of Levi G. COOCH, and in the following year they conveyed it to J. WILKINS and William COOCH. They are the present owners and proprietors, and trade under the style of COOCH BROS. The mill is a five-story brick building, fifty feet square. It is situated on the Christiana Creek and is run generally by waterpower. In 1884 the building was remodeled and refitted with machinery. A boiler and engine were attached to be used when the water supply is insufficient. It is now a full roller-mill with a capacity of seventy-five barrels per day. Four men are required to operate it. Some of the flour is sold in this neighborhood, but the larger part is shipped to Wilmington and other points.
On the 18th of May, 1760, Hugh MULDRACH sold to Alexander PORTER a tract of land in Pencader. At this time there was no mention of a mill on this tract. Alexander PORTER, by his will bearing date December 15, 1769, devised this land to his two sons, David and Samuel, as well as a grist-mill thereon erected. The mill and eighty-two acres of land were sold by them, May 31, 1781, to Hugh BOLTON, and Jacob WIRT, Jr. On July 31, 1789, BOLTON purchased the half-part belonging to Jacob WIRT, Jr., and became sole owner. He, by his deed dated June 9th, sold this property to Morgan JONES and Robert SHIELDS. After the death of Shields his undivided one-half part was sold by his executors, August 28, 1793, to Isaac HERSEY, who conveyed the same to Morgan JONES, September 11, 1794. In 1799, Samuel ECCLES purchased this property, and it continued in his possession until March 21, 1834, when it came into the possession of Joseph S. GILBERT, who, April 11th of the same year, sold it to Jonathan SHAKESPEARE. On March 11th of the following year Shakespeare sold to Jesse GILBERT, who retained possession until April 2, 1845, when he sold to William McNAMEE. He was the owner until his death, and then it vested in his heirs, who conveyed it to Adam DAYETT, the present owner, March 24, 1853. The building was remodeled in 1880, and again in 1886, at which time it was refitted with full roller machinery. The mill at present is a frame building, twenty-eight by fifty-four feet, and two and a half stories high. Three men are required to operate it. The capacity is thirty-six barrels of flour per day. Most of the flour and feed manufactured by this mill is consumed in the immediate vicinity. There is a cider-mill in connection with the grist-mill with a capacity of forty barrels per day. On the assessment list of 1823 mention is made of a nail-factory on James SNOW’s estate. When the factory was built, what its capacity was and how long it was managed have not been learned. Jacob CASHO, of Newark, remembers fishing in the pool above the factory when a boy. The nail-factory has not been in use for the past sixty years.
The first authentic information obtained in regard to BATTEN’s Mills is contained in a deed from John JANVIER to William B. and George McCRONE, dated March 5, 1839. In the recital of the title of the tract of land containing one hundred and twenty-nine and a half acres, with a grist-mill and a saw-mill thereon, it is mentioned as the same premises and mills that were conveyed by Kensey JOHNS to John and Thomas JANVIER, April 5, 1812, and that afterwards Thomas JANVIER conveyed his portion to John Janvier. These latter conveyances are not recorded. On the assessment roll of 1798, John PORTER is mentioned as the owner of a mill. On the measures used in the mill is the brand-mark J.P., and as Kensey JOHNS purchased land of John PORTER in 1799, it is fair to conclude that the mills were one and the same. The mills were next owned respectively by James A. KENDAL, Edward TATNALL and William KYLE, the present owner. The mills derived their name from the BATTEN family, who have operated them for many years. The saw-mill was torn down in 1865. The grist-mill is a two-story building, fifty by twenty-five feet. The grinding is all done by stones and no flour is manufactured.
SAW-MILL.— A saw-mill was built on the Christiana Creek by William McCONAUGHEY in 1841. The mill is a frame building, eighteen by ninety feet, with a capacity of two thousand feet per day. For many years it was a merchant mill, and shipped large quantities of lumber. Eight men were employed in operating it. During the past five years timber has become scarce in this neighborhood, and the mill has only been used for custom-work. Mr. McConaughey is yet the owner.
The Delaware Wagon-Works are located at Summit Bridge, and were opened in 1868 by A.P. CARNAGY, the present owner. In addition to the manufacture of wagons, farming implements are also made and repaired. Four men are employed, and the capacity is a wagon per day, and from five thousand to seven thousand dollars’ worth of agricultural implements per year. The products of the manufactory are disposed of in the vicinity.
ORE-PITS.— The finding of iron ore on Iron Hill undoubtedly attracted the early settlers to this neighborhood. The ore was mined in small quantities at a very early date, and quite extensively from 1725 to 1734, during which time the Abbington Iron-Works were managed. After the discontinuation of the ironworks the ore-pits came into the possession of Abel DAVIS, who, by his will, bearing date April 13, 1780, devised them to his heirs. In the course of descent they passed into the hands of Isaac DAVIS, who sold a tract of land on Iron Hill, containing ninety-four acres and embracing the pits. to David C. WOOD, an iron-master of Philadelphia, October 28, 1841. They were worked by him for a number of years. In 1862, George P. WHITTAKER, the owner of Principio Furnace, became the possessor of this land. The ore was mined by him until December 25, 1884, since which time nothing has been done. Employment was given to about twenty men in mining and washing the ore, which was then shipped to Principio Furnace, Maryland. The property is part of the Geo. P. WHITTAKER estate, and contains an abundance of ore.
VILLAGES.— Glasgow is a small hamlet situated near the centre of Pencader Hundred. It was formerly known as Aikentown, being so-called after Mathew AIKEN, who, June 14, 1791, purchased from James STEWART a large brick house, store house and lot of ground at this place and kept a hotel. In 1801 a feeder for the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal was commenced near this village, but discontinued two years later. The village has no railroad communications and has increased slowly. At present (1888) there are two churches, a school-house, a post-office, two stores, kept respectively by George BOULDEN and Samuel ALRICHS, a hotel, a blacksmith and wheelwright-shop, and about twenty-five residences.
Kirkwood is a small village in the southeastern part of this hundred. A portion of the hamlet also lies in Red Lion Hundred. It was originally called Kemp’s Corner and afterwards St. George’s Station. This name was changed in 1862 and the present one given in honor of Colonel Robert KIRKWOOD. At present there are here a passenger and freight depot of the Delaware Railroad; three stores, kept respectively by J.A. BENSON, R.T. CANN and W.C. CARNAGY, a hotel, a school-house, a blacksmith and wheelwright-shop, and about fifteen dwellings.
Summit Bridge is situated in this hundred south of the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal. It is near the boundary lines of Red Lion, St. George’s and Pencader Hundreds. The village was so called because of its proximity to the canal above mentioned, over which was constructed a very high bridge on the road leading to this place from Kirkwood. It contains a church, a post-office, the Delaware Wagon Works, two blacksmith-shops, a hotel, three stores, the proprietors of which are A.P. ALRICHS and Harry SALMON, and about fifteen residences.
There are several hamlets in the hundred, at which there are post-offices and one or two dwellings, viz.: COOCH’s Bridge and PORTER’s Station. The former is on land owned by the Cooch family. The latter is on land purchased from Thomas Porter and also contains a store managed by BROWN & Brother.
HOTELS.— The earliest hotel in this hundred concerning which any information has been ascertained is the one located at Glasgow. On June 14, 1791, James STEWART sold to Mathew AIKEN a large brick house, a store-house and lot of ground known as Aiken Tavern, located on the east side of the road leading from Newark to Middletown. This lot adjoined the tract of land occupied by the Pencader Presbyterian Church. On May 22, 1797, a license was granted to Daniel COOKE to keep an inn, but whether he managed this hotel is not positively known. At a later period the hotel was torn down, and a new one erected on the other side of the road, nearly opposite the former site. This hotel has been owned and conducted by _____Murray, James BATES, James BATES, JR., John LEMON and William H. GUTHRIE, the present proprietor, who purchased it in 1867.
The hotel at Kirkwood was opened in 1861 by J.A. BENSON, by whom a license was procured in May of that year. He was succeeded respectively by William B. FORD, Charles SHEARS, Frank RICHARDS and William E. SMITH, the present proprietor. A livery stable is connected with the hotel.
The old Buck Tavern was situated in St. George’s Hundred, on the upper King’s Road. In 1797 Jacob GLINN was the proprietor. Previous to this the hotel was under the management of Dr. James Snow PATTY for several years. The hotel was known at a very early date. The present hotel was built some years since. The present proprietor is Frederick HAGMEYER. This hotel is situated in Red Lion Hundred.
- Written by Administrator
- Category: New Castle County History