Part of the American History and Genealogy Project

AHGP

 

 

South Murderkill Hundred, Kent County, Delaware

Early Settlement John Newell Jehu M. Reed
Barker's Landing Magnolia John Wesley
Frederica Cambridge Felton

Murderkill Hundred was one of the original divisions of Kent County, and embraced all the present territory of North and South Murderkill Hundreds, West Dover Hundred and that part of East Dover Hundred that lies south and west of St. Jones' Creek.1

By an act of the General Assembly, passed at Dover, January 28, 1823, all that part lying to the north of the present North Murderkill Hundred, except a narrow strip which was separated, January 28, 1831, was taken off to form Dover Hundred.

March 2, 1855, Murderkill Hundred was divided into two election districts, known as north and south election districts. By a further act, passed at Dover, March 20, 1867, these two flection districts were, in the language of the statute, erected into two separate and independent hundreds, by the following divisional line: "Beginning at Dover River, at the White Store Landing, and running thence with the road to Locustville; thence with the road from Locustville to Canterbury until it reaches the fork of said road near town, thence by the southern road leading into said town, until it reaches the main road leading from Canterbury to Frederics, thence with said road to White Hall, thence with the road running past the school-house, in district number twenty-four, to Mount Moriah to Sandtown, thence with the road leading from Sandtown to the Maryland line to said line.''

The territory lying north of that line was declared to be North Murderkill Hundred, and that south as South Murderkill Hundred.

South Murderkill Hundred is about eighteen miles in length, in a westerly direction from the Delaware Bay to the Delaware and Maryland line, and from three and a half to five miles in width.

The hundred is bounded upon the north by North Murderkill Hundred; on the northeast by St. Jones' Creek, separating it from the eastern portion of East Dover Hundred; on the east by the Delaware Bay; on the southeast and south by Murderkill Creek and by the road leading from Felton to Whitelysburg, beginning in the road where it is crossed by the afore-said creek, thence with said road through Hollandsville to within about one and one-fourth mile of Whitelysburg, thence (leaving said road) in a south-westerly direction to the Delaware and Maryland line, the said creek and road separating the hundred from Mil ford and Mispillion Hundreds; and on the west by the State of Maryland.

The soil, in both of the Murderkills, is of varying degrees of productiveness, being specially adapted to the growth of corn, wheat, rye, oats, buckwheat, to both the large and small fruits and to grazing. Its productiveness has been greatly increased in recent years by better methods of cultivation, the draining of marshes, the application of artificial manures and many other local improvements. The soil seems particularly adapted for the growth of timber, such as hickory, chestnut, oak, maple, poplar and sweet gum, nearly all of which, except for domestic purposes, have disappeared. In many localities, where once nature, in her timber productions, rioted in a superfluous abundance, the soil has been entirely denuded of its former luxuriant forest growths.

The surface is neither level or broken, but is gently undulating which gives it an attractive appearance inviting occupancy and profitable cultivation.

The hundred is traversed by two navigable streams, the St. Jones' Creek, on the northeast, affording passage to vessels and steamers of two hundred tons burden as far up as Dover, a distance of thirty miles; the Murderkill Creek on the southeast and south navigable for three miles above Frederica, a distance of twenty -five miles. These two streams with their numerous tributaries threading the eastern and central parts of the hundred, with the Choptank River and its branches in the western portion, afford a complete system of drainage to both North and South Murderkill Hundreds, and ample water-power for all the purposes of custom and merchant milling, and other ordinary manufactures.

Early Settlements

Here, as in most other new counties, the first improvements were made along the streams and water courses, which enabled the settlers to have access to the outside world, or upon which they could erect mills and find the requisite water-power.

The point of land lying on the Delaware Bay and between the mouths of the St. Jones' Creek and Murderkill Creek, now known as Bowers' Beach, was one of the first to be located, and was taken up by Francis Whitwell, who located other large tracts in Duck Creek Hundred, upon one of which he re-sided. This tract of land, to which he gave the name of "Whitwell's Delight," was located under a warrant dated in the spring of 1675, granted by Sir Edmond Andros, Governor of the province of New York and the territories lying upon the Delaware, and is described as beginning on the west side of Dover River at a point called "Mulberry Point," by the bay side, down the bay to the Murder Creek meadow, up the meadow, and inland to the head of a small branch, down branch to Mill Creek, down Mill Creek to Dover River, down Dover River to Delaware Bay, down the bay to the beginning, containing eight hundred and thirty-four acres of woodland and five hundred and forty acres of meadow. Francis Whitwell assigned this property in 1685 to William Frampton, who obtained a warrant of re-survey November 11, 1685, and received a patent dated January 5, 1686, in which it is stated as now being called "Dover Peere," and containing one thousand three hundred and seventy-four acres.

Frampton was a merchant of considerable means, and was doing an extensive business in this county in 1683. His bills were attested in that year before the Assembly, and show over fifty thousand pounds of tobacco, and large quantities of pork, corn and other commodities. He was licensed to keep an ordinary January 16, 1686, and presented a petition to the Assembly requesting the "removal of ye goods out of ye caves before his door, he being about building a wharf." This petition was granted, but for some reason he very shortly after moved to Philadelphia, where he soon after died. His daughter, Elizabeth Frampton, and Charles Pickering, of Philadelphia, as administrators, sold the property, January 24, 1686, to William Bassett.

At the time William Frampton was in business in this county the courts were held on "Towne Point," in St. Jones' Neck, then owned by William Darvall, and Frampton's place of business was on this tract, called Whitwell's Delight, the name of which he had changed to "Dover Peere," and where he doubtless intended to build his wharf, as the tract was across the stream from "Towne Point," now "owned by Algernon Sidney Logan, of Philadelphia.

In 1750 John Booth, eldest son of Joseph Booth, was in possession of part of "Whitwell's Delight," or "Dover Peere," and on August 2nd, in that year, sold it to Benjamin Chew. Nathaniel Hunn came into possession of four hundred and twenty acres of it, including some marsh land, long before Booth bought. He died and left it to his children, Caleb and Nathaniel Hunn, and Mary, the wife of Waitman Sipple, Jr., who, August 16, 1734, sold three hundred acres of fast land and one hundred and twenty acres of marsh land to John Bowers, a part of "Mulberrie Point" or "Whitwell's Delight" Since the time of Bowers' purchase the place has been known as "Bowers' Beach." From John Bowers, the elder, it passed to John Bowers, the younger, and continued in the possession of the Bowers family till 1847, when it became the property of Joshua Adams, who had intermarried with Elizabeth, the youngest daughter of John Bowers, the younger, and who also had been in tenure and occupancy of the premises some years before.

The writer well recollects those times when Joshua Adams was "mine host" at Bowers'. In those days the people went down in wagons and carts, some of which were open and some covered, many of them drawn by oxen. They took the whole family along, women and children, and would, perhaps, be part of three days in going and returning, and upon the beach. They went for profit as well as pleasure. While at the beach they would lay in a store of oysters for the fall, and later in the season would return for their winter store, which they preserved by occasionally " feeding" or throwing over them salt water, and keeping them well-covered with salt hay. The writer also remembers the time he first visited Bowers', in 1844, that, from where the hotel then stood, it was fully three hundred yards to the water, and at least one-third of a mile to the mouth of Murderkill Creek, but now "the tide ebbs and flows twice in every twenty-four hours" on the site of the old tavern, the mouth of the creek has advanced one-half way to the hotel, and where fields of corn then waved in the summer's breeze the land is now given up to the erosion of the waves.

With the death of Adams, in 1851, the properly passed from the Bowerses and the last of their descendants. Amid the various changes and transfers of title to real estate in this county, "Bowers' Beach" has become at length vested in Mr. Joseph Wood.

The term "Big Thursday" is a name that is peculiar to Bowers' Beach, and many fanciful explanations have been given of the origin of the custom it designates, but with little show of plausibility. The custom originated with the enactment of our laws regulating the taking of oysters by our citizens from the creeks and ponds of Delaware. Prior to 1835 there was no law restricting citizens of the State from catching oysters at any time; but, on the 4th of February in that year, the General Assembly enacted:

"That hereafter no person or persons whatsoever shall be permitted to take or gather oysters within the waters of any of the creeks or ponds in this State, at any time between the fifteenth day of May and the fifteenth day of August, in this or any year hereafter," and this continued the law until 1843, when the Legislature, on the 7th of February, at the demand of the people, repealed the law. From that time until the revision and codifying of the laws, and their adoption by the Legislature at a special session held for that purpose in 1852, no restriction was placed upon the citizens of the State in relation to catch-ing oysters at any time. In that year, however, in adopting chapter fifty-five of the Revised Code, the General Assembly saw proper to insert the clause that "It shall be unlawful for any person to catch or take oysters in any creek or pond in this State between the first of May and the tenth of August in any year;" and this continued the law till 1877, a period of twenty-five years.

The law of inhibition expiring on the 10th day of August, the people, as a matter of course, went down on the second Thursday in the month, which could not happen sooner than the eighth day, and were thus enabled to obtain their supply of oysters and be at home on Saturday.

Out of this oyster law grew the custom of keeping "Big Thursday," which has come down to our day. It was a day of recreation, of festivity, accompanied by the violin and dancing, conviviality and general good cheer. People from all parts of the county participated in the general gayety, without respect to age or sex, quality or condition, renewing old acquaintances and forming new ones. In 1887, when the writer visited the spot, he found more than three thousand people present.

Prior to the purchase of Whitwell's Delight, in 1734, John Bowers had bought, November 7, 1727, two hundred and twenty-six acres near this place, but further inland, which was part of a tract known as "New Seven Haven," containing five hundred and forty-three acres, which was originally surveyed and laid out for John Kipshaven and Peter Hanson, but first warranted to Peter Groenendike, by the Whorekill court, September 10, 1679, and confirmed by William Penn to William Freeman by letters patent dated August 15, 1706. From William Freeman, who died in 1713 without children, it passed into the possession of Cornelius Sullivan, who had intermarried with Freeman's sister and his heir-in-law, from whom John Sipple bought it in 1723 and sold to John Bowers, as above noted.

Bowers also bought ninety acres, a part of "Great Geneva," of David Anderson (formerly of Alexander Farquhar), lying west of Tidbury Branch, on the St. Jones Creek, and February 14, 1734, purchased one hundred acres, part of tract of land called "Brecknock," on which the village of Camden was built.

"Bowers'," recently "Bowers' Beach," is now a thriving village, extending over a space of halt a mile on one single avenue, laid out into small lots of several acres. It contains about one hundred and fifty inhabitants, whose principal employment consists in cultivating their lots, in fishing and oystering in season and in a seafaring life. The public improvements comprise a capacious hotel, two general stores, a post-office and one resident physician with a splendid infirmary for invalids who wish to avail themselves of the invigorating effects of the sea breezes.

Adjoining this tract ("Whitwell's Delight," which extended two and one-quarter miles in a direct line westward from the bay-side), and west of it, lay a tract of nine hundred and fifty acres called " Bartlett's Lot," which was taken up by Nicholas Bartlett, Samuel Burbury and John Nowell, March 9, 1685, and, by the survey of December 12, 1688, is described as beginning at a corner in a savanna (east of where John Saxton now resides, 1887); thence two hundred perches to a branch of Murder Creek, up said branch (Service's Branch), with its meanderings to a white oak; thence west, north-northwest, and north to a branch of Mill Creek, down said branch to a white oak, southeast by east crossing another branch of Mill Creek; then down east side of said branch to the mouth of the easternmost branch, separating it from William Papton's; then up said branch to a Spanish oak nigh head thereof east-northeast; then east south thirty-four degrees easterly to first corner; The three last lines are in line of Whitwell's Delight. There was also surveyed unto the said Bartlett, Burbury and Nowell, the same day, another tract of two hundred acres, called the "Over Plus," lying in the forks of Mill Creek and Skidmore's Branch, and joining Bartlett's Lott on the north. This tract of two hundred acres became the property of Samuel Burbury, but now is owned by Thomas James, a native of New Jersey, who came to this county about fifty years ago and engaged in the raising of sweet potatoes and peaches.

Bartlett's Lott passed in part to Andrew Caldwell, who, October 6, 1774, devised it to his grandson, Andrew Gray, who sold part of it to Richard Cooper and part to John Hunn about the year 1800. John Nowell, February 8, 1692, sold part of Bartlett's Lot called "Second Neck," two hundred acres, to James Maxwell, who, the same day, sold to Thomas Skidmore and to Joseph Richardson.

Bartlett's Lot is now in possession of divers persons, the most prominent among which may be named the heirs of Henry Williams (recently deceased), John Saxton, Thomas James and Jehu M. Reed. The last-named is a lineal descendant of John Nowell, one of the original patentees, and descended from him through Henry Nowell, his son, born in 1741, who "settled on his father's place," and married Margaret Wilson in 1752, by whom was born a daughter Ann in 1768, who in 1786 intermarried with Elias Sipple, whose daughter Margaret married Jehu Reed in 1827, from which union was born Jehu M. Reed, the present owner of part of Bartlett's Lot, and James H. Reed, of Bower's Beach. Jehu Reed, the father, was a man of considerable force of character, and obtained some notoriety in his day. He is said to have been the first person who introduced the culture of the peach in this county for profit by putting out a large orchard in 1830, and adding thereto from year to year.

Jehu M. Reed is descended on his maternal side from John Newell, who, with Nicholas Bartlett, obtained a warrant in September, 1685 from "Wm. Markham and John Goodson, two of ye Commissioners appointed to grant lands by Wm. Penn, Proprietor and Governor of Pennsylvania and Counties annexed," for a tract of nine hundred and fifty acres near the centre of East Motherkill Hundred, adjoining ''Whitwell's Delight" on the west, and called "Bartlett's Lot."

John Newell seems to have prospered here as one of the earliest farmers in Kent County, for he eventually owned the most of "Bartlett's Lot," with much other lands, which has since been divided into several farms.

On the tract now owned by Caleb Williams he built his home of brick, with dormer windows, and roof in the style of the old Swedes' Church that now stands in Wilmington, Del. This building which he erected is one of the original houses in old Kent, and is still standing. Here, with his wife, who was a Mary Warren, he lived and reared their children, William, John and Thomas. John Newell, Sr. died January 16, 1739, and is buried in the old Newell burial home garden, about one hundred and fifty yards south of the home building. His grave being marked with a hard boulder stone, the letters J. N. and figures 1739 are yet visible. His will left to his son John, among other lands "where he now lives. Plantation with 150 acres thereunto belonging," one hundred and five acres of which is now part of the valuable farm of the lineal descendant in the sixth generation Jehu M. Reed.

John Newell, 2nd, settled in his father's place, and took for his wife a maiden of Motherkill, Mary Edmons. During a prosperous life of twenty years they lived in the building erected by his eminent father, reared two sons, Henry and William Newell and four daughters, Tabitha, Lydia, Hannah and Mariam.

John Newell (2nd) by his will, November 14, 1769, after dividing his lands between his two sons, and much money and slaves to his daughters, willed the old homestead and plantation to his son, Henry Newell, ''who settled in his father's place,'' owned and cultivated the paternal acres. At the age of twenty-two years he took for his wife a maiden of nineteen years, Margaret Wilson, of Motherkill, daughter of George Wilson and Patience, his wife, who were married May 15, 1762.

Henry Newell, after thirty-five years of happy life in the home of his ancestors, made his will in 1797; He left no sons, but five daughters, Patience George, born 1764; Mary Barratt, born 1766, was the wife of Judge Barratt, who gave the ground to the "Wesleyan Methodists" for the erection thereon of ''Barratt's Chapel" (a spot renowned among Methodists); Ann Newell Sipple, born Third Month 17, 1768, who married Elias Sipple, son of Waitman Sipple and Mariam Townsend; Tabitha Hunn, born Eleventh Month 27, 1777; Lydia Newell, born Third Month 13, 1780. The will of Henry Newell left to his daughter, Ann Newell Sipple, one hundred and five acres of land off of the west end of the Newell homestead or "Bartlett's Lott,'' and which is now owned by his grandson, Jehu M. Reed.

The remainder of Henry Newell's property was equally divided among the remaining four daughters. Ann Newell and Elias Sipple were married Eleventh Month 23, 1786. Their issue were Lydia Sipple, born June 1,1790; Elijah B. Sipple, born May 26, 1794, who settled in Denton, Md.; Ann Sipple, born May 27, 1798; Margaret Sipple was born July 4, 1800; Tabitha Sipple was born October 4, 1804.

Ann Newell Sipple died October 6, 1804. Elias Sipple died First Month 27, 1806, and left five small orphans to equally share the one hundred and five acres of Newell land or "Bartlett's Lott." These Sipple children were reared in the ancestral home. In 1824 Margaret Sipple bought out her brother, Elijah B. Sipple, and in 1827 she bought out her sister Lydia's share to the one hundred and five ancestral acres.

Margaret Sipple and Jehu Reed were married Twelfth Month, 1827. In 1828 and 1829 Jehu Reed bought the two remaining shares to the one hundred and five acres of Ann Sipple and Tabitha Grier. In 1858 Jehu Reed sold to his son, Jehu M. Reed, the ancestral one hundred and five acres, together with about two hundred and fifty acres of the "Reed Farm," for a bond of ten thousand dollars, and he is now the owner.

The land has never been out of the family since its acquisition by John Nowell in 1685. Mr. Reed has since bought adjoining lands, and now owns more than four hundred acres. Margaret Sipple Reed died October 18, 1834, leaving three boys, James H. Reed, Elias S. Reed and Jehu Margaret Reed, so named at the last request of his mother.

Jehu M. Reed was born October 10, 1834, and was eight days old at the death of h's mother. Margaret Sipple Reed was of the Quaker faith. She was in the millinery business in Philadelphia in 1826.

James Reed, the grandfather of Jehu M. Reed, was born near Snow Hill, Md. He married Miss Davis, the sister of the Rev. Benjamin Davis, who is buried at Barrett's Chapel, as tradition says, in a reverential attitude, and was the playmate of James Reed in boyhood, living on opposite sides of the road, Reed and Davis both being farmers near Snow Hill, Md.

The children of James Reed were Thomas, Jehu, James, Mary and Elizabeth. Jehu, the second son, father of Jehu if. Reed, was born May 6, 1806; died November 30, 1880. As above stated, he married Margarett Sipple, a descendant of John Newell, who came to Delaware before 1685. Jehu Reed was an enterprising merchant, agriculturist and horticulturist of Kent County. In 1829 he became possessed of what is now known as the "Reed Farm," owned by his son, Jehu M. Reed. He was the first in his county to grow the peach on budded trees. A few years later he shipped the first peaches grown on budded trees in the country round about that were sold to markets outside of Delaware.

He had caught at Bowers' Beach and bought largely the king crab early in the thirties, and grew his first peaches from them as a fertilizer. He also taught the community to profitably use the worn-out soil, before the use of modern fertilizers, by sowing pine seed, and lived not only to cut and ship hundreds of cords of wood grown upon it, but to see the same lands transformed into garden farms in a period of twenty years or less after the pines were removed, as his son, Jehu M. Reed, did.

His first crops of peaches, before the age of steam, were sent in fast-sailing vessels to Philadelphia, and he received his pay in gold to such an amount that it astonished some of the citizens of Motherkill Hundred of those days. The growth of the peach for the city markets a few years later became general. Jehu Reed cultivated a large nursery of the best fruit trees from 1829 to 1868, and introduced many valuable fruits. He took an active interest in the growth of the silk mulberry tree, and in 1836 received the gold medal offered by the Delaware Legislature for raising the greatest number of mulberry trees in the State. He had the silk-worm fed with mulberry leaves until they produced about one hundred bushels of their silk cocoons. He had manufactured silk into stockings out of these cocoons, enough for himself and family for years.

James H. Reed, son of Jehu and Margaret Sipple Reed, married Miss Emma Christman, of Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Elias S. Reed married Alphonsa Heverin, daughter of James L. Heverin. Jehu M. Reed, the youngest son, now one of the most successful farmers and fruit-growers in Kent County, acquired a knowledge of advanced modes of agriculture and horticulture from his father, and has continued in that vocation with great pleasure and profit to himself since his early boyhood, except two years, 1856 and '57, spent in travel and study through the South.

He purchased his father's lands in 1858, and had paid for them in 1866 out of its produce. In 1868 he remodeled and improved the buildings in a large degree, costing him over twelve thousand dollars, and has since purchased adjoining tracts, owning more than four hundred acres of the best improved arable lands. In 1866 he planted six acres of strawberries, and sold his first crop of that delicious fruit at the rate of fifty-five cents per quart delivered in New York City. He was among the first to raise this berry on an extensive scale in Kent County, and has since continued, having now twenty-five acres of his farm planted in strawberries. In 1870 he realized $5000 from a crop of six acres of this fruit.

In 1866 Mr. Reed set the first asparagus grown in the neighborhood for markets outside the State. This plant yielded a good income, and he soon extended its cultivation by planting twenty-five acres with it. His father on the same farm grew peaches in large quantities.

He continued to grow them and now has about ten thousand trees; he has also five thousand pear trees, about one thousand apple trees, and has raised some years two thousand bushels of wheat and four thousand bushels of corn. The value of the produce of the farm since 1858 to the present has varied from $6000 to $10,000 annually. Mr. Reed was one of the first to abandon the use offences, there being none on his farm now, except around his residence and barn, adding much to the economy and beauty of his lands.

He has spent much time and labor in beautifying his home; improving his buildings and making his place one of the model farms in the State. In 1868 he graded and laid off into grass-plats in front of his buildings a very large mound yard. At the same time he remodeled his buildings to their present size. The house was built in 1771; the walls and floors in the north part of it are part of the original building, and are in an excellent state of preservation.

His residence and farm buildings, an engraving of which accompany this sketch, are provided with all the improvements and conveniences necessary to render his rural home a place of comfort and delightful retreat.

Mr. Reed married, July 14, 1858, Emily Buckmaster, daughter of Geo. and Mary Burchenal Buckmaster, of Milford Hundred, Kent County. Emily Buckmaster was born May 15, 1840. Their issue, Margaret E. Reed, born February 14, 1860, married E. C. Atkins, March 24, 1870; she died August 25, 1881, leaving Margaret Reverent E. R. Atkins, born 23rd of August, only two days old, who has been raised so far by her maternal grandmother, Emily Reed. George B. Reed born July 20, 1862, on Sunday. Alice S. Reed, born October 8, 1864, married Clarence Prettyman, a prominent shoe merchant of Dover, October 8, 1884; their issue, C. Reed Prettyman, born November 29, 1885. Jehu M. Reed, Jr., was born May 1, 1866. These dutiful and amiable young men of good habits are in business with their father.

Nicholas Bartlett also took up other tracts, one of which, called "Bartlett's Delight," containing two hundred and ten acres, was located on the north side of Mill Creek, adjoining other land of Bartlett, and was surveyed for John Burton, March 2, 1681, from whom it passed to Wm. Rodney and now forms part of the tract called " Dover Farms."

West of Bartlett's Lott, and partially embracing it on the north and on the south, lies a tract of land called ''Clapoame," or Clapham, consisting of 853 acres, taken up under a warrant from the Court of Kent County, dated "ye 19 day of ye 2 mts. 1681," by John Albertson and John Mumford. This tract is bounded 382 perches on the south by a tract called "The Downes," on the west 222 perches by "Joban's Hall," on the northwest 492 perches by "Caroone Manor," and is now owned principally by the Rev. Jonathan S. Willis and John W. Wright.

On the southwest side of St. Jones' Creek, on the north side of Mill Creek, and south of Barker's Landing, is located a tract of 840 acres, now called "Dover Farms," formerly "Gibbon's Point" This tract was originally taken up by one Hubertus Francis, who sold to John Burton, who, by a bill of sale, sold it to Edmond Gibbon in 1681, "ye said warrant bearing date ye seventeenth day of ye second month, 1681-82," containing 695 acres. By a warrant for re-survey, September 20, 1693, for William Rodney, the tract was found to contain 840 acres. At the time of the last survey a mill was located on the lower side of Mill Creek, and on the upper side was a house and grounds called the "lower plantation." Farther up the stream was another house called the "upper plantation." This land, in course of time, came into the possession of Garrett Sipple, who left it to his grandson, Garrett Hardcastle, from whom it passed to John M. Ford, who, in 1856, sold it to James L. Heverin. It now belongs to Mrs. Mary Barnett, a resident of the village of Magnolia.

To the north of Dover Farms and the tract Clapoame, and joining thereto, lies a large tract of land, of two thousand acres, known by the name of "Caroone Manor." This tract is often referred to in old deeds as the ''King's Manor" and the ''Duke of York's Manor." This probably grew out of the feet that, in 1683, at the request of William Penn, the court of Kent County issued a warrant to the survey or to survey and lay out ten thousand acres of land for the Duke of York, " on the rich ridge in the road to Choptank and on the heads of the branches of Murther Creek, or where they will in any clear land that no other person have any just claim unto it, being for a manor for the said Duke of York granted by a special order from the proprietor and the court for the same."

It does not appear upon the records that this land was ever laid out.

Caroone Manor was originally laid out for one Joshua Barkstead by the approbation of the "Court of Whorekill," and consisted of two parcels, one of which, called "Croone," contained twelve hundred acres, the other, called " Caroone Mannor," contained eight hundred acres. These two tracts extended in one body from St. Jones' Creek to Double Run, a tributary of Murderkill Creek. In 1689 it appears to have been in possession of William Darvall, who, on the 7th of November of the same year, mortgaged it to Richard Draughtgate and others, of London. On the 12th of December, 1694, it was sold at sheriff's sale as the property of William Darvall, and purchased by William Rodney for the use of William Penn.

On this tract of land are located the villages of "Barker's Landing" and "Magnolia."

The land on which Barker's Landing, on St. Jones' Creek, is situated was, prior to 1800, owned by Thomas Barker, who built there a warehouse, which was called the "Red Granary; "later the place was known as Barker's Landing, and sometimes as Florence. The tract embraced six hundred acres and extended nearly to Magnolia. Of this quantity, "439 acres, 99 perches, statute measure, surveyed 19-20th May, 1739," was devised by Thomas Collins, Esq., president of Delaware State, to his daughter Mary, wife of Joseph Barker. It was sold by the sheriff September 20, 1819, and bought by Joseph Barker, who later sold it to William Heverin, who kept it for many years. It is now cut up into four tracts.

On one of these tracts, now owned by John J. Conner, is located a cemetery, about one mile east of Magnolia, and on the north side of the road, a short distance back in the field. It is enclosed by a brick wall, three feet high, and covered with a gable roof of cypress shingles. The enclosure is sixteen by ten feet, containing only three graves, covered with heavy marble slabs. Upon the surface of one is the following inscription:

"In Memory of Mart Barker,
wife of
Joseph Barker
and eldest daughter of his Excellency,
Thomas Collins Esq.,
late Governor of the State of Delaware,
who departed this life
the 27th December, 1795,
aged 30 years, 7 months & 2 days.
Her death was occasioned by taking Peruvian bark,
adulterated with litharge, which was purchased of
an apothecary in Wilmington. She was an affectionate
wife, a tender mother and kind mistress, beloved
and regretted by all her friends & acquaintance.
She left her husband, two sons and two daughters
to lament her untimely death."

Barker's Landing in 1887 contained eleven dwellings and thirty-five inhabitants, and, on account of its proximity to Magnolia, might most appropriately be called "Sleepy Hollow."

The place, however, serves as an entreport for the merchants of Magnolia, who export grain, wood and fruits, and bring back coal, lime, lumber, fertilizers and general merchandise from Philadelphia and New York.

The village of Magnolia is located on a tract of land part of Caroone Manor, and was owned at one time by Boaz Manlove, later by John Marim, from whom the land in the vicinity passed to the Rev. James Bateman, his son-in-law, and Hannah Marim. November 19, 1818, they sold one hundred and ten acres, adjoining a tract called "Lombardy Grove," to James Millichop, which was long known as "Millichop's Woods," and is the present site of Magnolia.

This town is situated on the State Road, between Dover and Frederica, and seven miles from the former place. The place may be said to have had no existence prior to 1845. The only building then standing was the old Lowber brick mansion, now owned by Edmund Stout, Esq., which was built in the year 1774, by Matthew Lowber, grandson of Peter, the pioneer of the family, who died in 1698. The date of the building is on the southeast end of the house, near the top of the gable, the figures and the initials of the builder being formed Of small pieces of glazed brick, laid in cement.

In 1845 the McIlvains came from Sussex County and built on this land. In 1847 there were five dwellings, one store-house and one building used as an Odd Fellows' Hall and for public school purposes.

For the next eighteen years there was very little progress, when, in 1855, the Methodist Episcopal Church was begun and finished and dedicated the following year, since which time the progress of its growth has been regular, and the village now numbers forty-seven dwellings, two churches, two general stores, one millinery establishment, two wheelwrights, two blacksmiths, one fruit evaporator, one lumber-yard and one well-built school-house, thirty by fifty feet, two stories, built in the spring of 1883. The school is run on the graded principle, with two departments and about one hundred pupils.

The village has also a post-office, a physician and one resident minister.

The Odd Fellows' Lodge was established and incorporated in the year 1847, but as an active body ceased to work about 1877.

The M. E. Church, in the northern limits of the town, was begun in 1855, and dedicated November 30, 1856, the Rev. Dr. Durbin preaching the dedicatory sermon in the morning and the Rev. Andrew Manship the evening sermon. This church was built in place of "Banning's Chapel," which was on the road toward Dover, and about one and a half miles from Magnolia. Upon the completion of the Magnolia church, Banning's Chapel was sold to Captain Thomas Draper, who moved it away and converted it into a barn.

The Baptist Church (New School) was finished and dedicated by the Rev. S. M. Harris, of Baltimore, February 15, 1874.

The town of Magnolia was incorporated April 3, 1886. The act named E. D. Beaton, Charles Terry, William M. Prouse, Peter R. Hart and M. S. Van Burkalow as commissioners. M. S. Van Burkalow was elected assessor; W. M. Prouse, clerk and treasurer; and E. Stout, collector.

In 1886 the commissioners were M. S. Van Burkalow (assessor), Peter R. Hart, R. J. Blocksom, William M. Prouse (clerk, treasurer and collector), E. D. Burton.

In 1887, E. Stout, M. S. Van Burkalow (assessor), R. J. Blocksom, E. D. Burton, William M. Prouse (collector, treasurer and clerk).

The postmasters of Magnolia have been Amos C. Finsthwait, William M. Prouse, C. L. Terry, Saulsbury Williams, James K. Sapp.

In 1880 Magnolia Circuit was formed. It at that time included Magnolia, Canterbury and Saxon's. It at present includes Barratt, Saxon's and Magnolia. The preachers have been: 1880, W. F. Corkran; 1882. S. N. Pilchard; and, 1884 to 1887, G. L. Hardesty.

That part of "Caroon Manor" lying northeast of Magnolia has for several years been in possession of Edmund Stout and John J. Conner. The part lying southwest of the village, previous to 1860, was almost exclusively the property of John and of Samuel Chambers, but since their deaths the land has passed into other hands, principally of McIlroy Mcllvain, John W. Taylor, Mrs. Rasmus, D. Burton and John B. Conner, the younger.

On this tract, on the east side of ''Double Run" or Island Branch,'' is a mill-seat, long known as the "Montague Mill," used in the manufacture of lumber. In 1863 it was sold by the administrator of Samuel Chambers, deceased, to John J. Connor, who, in 1884, sold it to Zadoc J. Callaway, who has since erected a grist-mill upon its site.

To the northwest of "Caroon Manor," and adjoining the village of Magnolia, lies a tract of land called "The Plains." It was taken up by Robert Bedwell, under a warrant granted "at a Court held for St Jones' County the 19th of November, 1680.

Present: Mr. Francis Whitwell, Mr. John Hilliard, Mr. Edward Pack, Justices." It was surveyed December 20th, the same year, and contained eight hundred acres. In 1685 Bedwell sold it to Henry Johnson and Daniel Rutty, who sold it off in smaller quantities. This tract lay a short distance west of the Magnolia and Dover Road, and extended to the corporate limits of the village, crossing the road from Magnolia to Canterbury, and from thence it extended in a southwest direction, at an average distance of thirty rods and parallel with said road, to "Double Run" Branch, a distance of three hundred and eighty rods; thence with "Double Run," irregularly, a distance of three hundred and twenty-eight rods, crossing the Woodleytown Road, dividing North and South Murderkill Hundreds; thence a short distance from, and parallel with, said last road, northeast three hundred and eighty perches; thence southeast three hundred and twenty-eight perches, crossing the Magnolia and Canterbury Road about thirty perches to beginning, near western edge of the village. On the northern part of this tract, on the road dividing the two Murderkills, once stood the village of "Woodleytown," in recent years known by the name of Locustville. "Woodleytown" was part of the "Plains" and was laid out in 1783, in which year Jonathan Woodley and Caleb Woodley purchased, each, a small lot of ground and the year following Gove Woodley purchased a small lot In its day and generation it did a thriving business, but with the advent of the Delaware Railroad in 1857, and the activity manifested by the village of Magnolia, only one mile distant, it fell into decay; and today the stranger seeking its site would be as badly puzzled to locate it as he would the fabled ''Atlantis." The buildings have been moved away or pulled down; the village has utterly ceased to exist.

"The Plains" is now principally owned by Wm. Jackson, Philip J. Barrett, Samuel Saxton, Avery D. Marvel, Stephen M. Thomas, Mrs. Sarah Wilson and Henry Burke.

The tract owned by Burke was sold by Daniel Rutty to James and Hugh Craige, November 10, 1733, and contained fifty acres. Prior to the sale to the Craiges, Rutty, on the 14th of February, 1725, sold two acres of land in Murderkill Hundred, part of "The Plains," lying on a small branch or sprout proceeding out of the Double Runs, "and is the same whereon the Presbyterian or Dissenting Meeting-house now stands."

The trustees to whom the land was conveyed were Thomas Skidmore and Robert Cumming, "for use and in trust only of and to the Dissenting Minister or Ministers of those people called Presbyterians in the County of Kent." [Deed-Book H, vol. i. page 225.]

The Old Presbyterian Church at Murderkill was the first church of this denomination in the county of Kent of which we have any information, and was located about four hundred yards north of the present site of the "Montague Mills," on the road from Barker's Landing to Canterbury. The old road diverged from the direction of the present road, nearly opposite the dwelling-house of Henry Burke, and passed to the northward by the old church, about six hundred yards higher up the Double Runs, and crossed the two streams by means of a causeway and two bridges. On the site of the old meeting-house there are tombstones and the remains of an old vault now much fallen into decay, from which the remains of the dead were long ago removed. It is evident that the old church soon went to decay, for, in 1762, two acres were purchased on Hudson's Branch, of a tract that belonged to Bedwell Maxwell, whose widow, Sarah Ann Maxwell, who died about 1844 or 1845, stated that she was the first child baptized in a church that stood on the Maxwell farm, then entirely gone. The land on which it stood now belongs to Mrs. Julia E. Hoover. This was evidently the second church, of which now no vestige remains. From the records of the Presbyterian Church and other data, it is apparent that the church organization continued in existence until 1818 or later. The Rev. John Lednum says that the Rev. Mr. Huston (or Houston) was minister of the Presbyterian near Dover during the Revolution. It also appears that the Rev. Mr. McKee officiated as minister in 1793, and administered spiritual comfort to his congregation, so that as late as 1818 the Rev. Archibald McCook was doubtless pastor.

Of the Rev. Mr. Huston it is related that, "One Sunday, while he was engaged at his church, a detachment of British soldiers came to his house and left their compliments by boring their bayonets through the panels of his doors, ripping up his beds and carrying off rather more of his livestock, his cows, pigs and poultry, than they were welcome to by the feelings of his heart."

It appears that cattle were driven from Rev. Alexander Houston's farm, where John Saxton now dwells, and from Andrew Gray's, on Mill Creek, both on the same day.

As to the location of the residence of Andrew Gray there seems to be some difference of opinion. Some locate it south and east of Canterbury, because John Gray had, a long time before the Revolution, bought lands in this neighborhood, and they suppose the cattle were driven from that farm in the time of the Revolution. They base this supposition on the fact that they cannot find where Andrew Gray ever bought land prior to December 27, 1804, overlooking the fact that Andrew Caldwell, his grandfather, who died October 15, 1774, bequeathed to him four hundred and sixty-five acres, a part of "Bartlett s Lott," to which he added, from time to time, other parts of the same tract.

There is no doubt as to the correctness of the version given by Joseph Burchenal, Esq., who says that his father, Joseph Burchenal, in 1805, married Elizabeth, the daughter of Thomas Lockwood, a tanner in Willow Grove, and in 1809 leased the Gray farm, and in 1817 bought the Crammer lands, also part of "Bartlett's Lott." From Mr. Burchenal's father the tradition has come down to our day that Andrew Gray, the grandfather of George Gray, now a United States Senator from this State, owned the farm, in the time of the Revolution, from which the cattle were driven up to Canterbury, and that the house scarred with bayonet thrusts, now used as a barn, is located on the site of the residence of John Saxton. The two acres of ground where once stood the old meeting-house of the Double Runs has, undoubtedly, since 1762, been devoted exclusively to the burial of the dead, and must have been generally used by the sur-rounding country down to recent times, judging by the multitude of depressions covering the entire area; but this place has long since been surrendered to the encroachment of the wilderness.

On one marble slab is this inscription:

"To the Memory of
George Craige
and Isabella his Wife.
He departed this Life
In the Year 1738,
Aged about 53 Years,
and She departed this Life
in 1753, Aged 63 Years.
Also 5 of their Children.
Virtue & Plety give way to Death,
Else the Entombed had ne'er resigned (their Breath."

The last interment was here made in 1874, and was Anor Clements, the former widow of Samuel Chambers.

Adjoining "The Plains" on the east, and abutting on Caroon Manor on the north, lying on St. Jones' Creek, is another tract of land taken up by Robert Bedwell, under a patent from Edmond Andros, in 1679, which, lying almost wholly within the adjoining hundred, will be described in "North Murderkill Hundred."

"By virtue of a warrant from the Court of Kent County, bearing date ye 21st day of ye 12th moneth, 1681," there was surveyed for Peter Grondycke a tract of land called "Cittinbourn," containing four hundred and twenty acres. This tract lay on the east side of the Double Runs, and was bounded on the north by the "Duke of York's Manor" (Caroon Manor), on the east by the tract Clapham or Clapoame and the tract called the Downs, and on the south by the Double Runs, or Island Branch, and a branch proceeding there out to the northeastward. "By virtue of a warrant of resurvey from the Proprietaries, dated at Philadelphia, the 22nd day of November, 1736," a part of this same tract, containing three hundred and fifty-two acres, was surveyed for Thomas Noxon by the name of "Joannus Hall." In some of the deeds since that date it is called Joanaly Hall, It is described as lying on the east side of the northwest branch of "Motherhill" Creek and bounded on the north by Caroon Manor, and on the east as before cited. This tract is now crossed by a public road, dividing it into two unequal parts. About fifty acres of the southern or smaller part was purchased by Thomas M. Vinson in 1880, and two hundred acres of the larger or northern part, abutting on Caroon Manor, by Edward Jackson the same year.

To the east of "Joannus Hall," and south of Clapoame, lies a tract of land anciently known as "The Downs." It was surveyed for Bryan O'Neal under a warrant from the court of Kent County, bearing date "ye 22nd day of ye 12 month, 1681." It extended from Joannus Hall, along line of Clapoame eastward four hundred and six perches, to a corner in Servis Branch and was laid out for four hundred acres. Upon a resurvey of this tract, by virtue of the proprietaries' warrant, dated November 21, 1739, "The Downs, lately sold by James Logan, Esq', to George Brown, situate on the heads of some branches of Murther Creek, hundred & Coty afd, according to the ancient corner trees & bounds, & the adjacent Lands as near as the same can be discovered," was found to contain four hundred and ninety-eight acres.

This tract is nearly triangular in its configuration and lies almost wholly west of the road leading from Frederica to Dover, a small portion only lying east of that road, whose extreme northeastern corner boundary in Servis Branch is not only a corner for this whole tract, but is also a corner for Clapoame, Bartlett's Lott and for the tract "Ausbe," next here-in after 'described.

The southern extremity of the triangle is described as being a corner for Thomas Hether's land Ausbe and the tract called "Williams Chance," and "on the southwest side Johnny cake path,'' a path that led to the present town of Frederica, which, previous to 1772, wan known as Johnny Cake Landing. "The Downs" is now principally owned by Jehu M. Reed, whose residence is on the west side of the Frederica and Dover Road and near the northeast corner of the triangle, and by Daniel S. Ells.

The tract "Ausbe," or in later surveys "Ouseby,'' was a large tract of land lying east of "The Downs." It was taken up by Thomas Hethers, under a warrant from the Court of Kent County "bearing date ye 15th day of ye, 8 month, 1682," and containing one thousand six hundred acres. It is described as beginning at the head of Servis Branch, a corner for The Downs, Clapoam, Bartlett's Lott and this tract, thence down Servis Branch to Murder Creek, up the creek to mouth of Cranberry Branch, up branch northwesterly, thence over branch west, thence northwest to corner by "Johnny cake path," a corner for this tract, for The Downs and for "Williams' Chance," thence with the four southeast boundary lines of The Downs in a general northeast direction three hundred and sixty-eight perches to Servis Branch.

This tract is now chiefly owned by the heirs of Captain James Grier, (recently Elias Russell, Dr. R. S. W. Hirons, Dr. Thomas V. Cahall, Thomas W. Emory, Hughett L. Knight and ex-Governor John W. Hall.

Upon this tract is located the school-house of District No. 80, which has from time immemorial been known as "Warren's School House," because the Warrens, long anterior to the year 1800, came from Sussex County and purchased large tracts in this vicinity. "Williams' Chance" is a tract of land lying south of The Downs and described as binding with Thomas Hether's land up a small branch two hundred and forty-four perches, thence west one hundred and twenty perches, northwest two hundred and twenty-eight perches, in line with the corner by Johnny Cake Path, thence west-southwest to small branch, down small branch south-southwest to north-west branch of Murder Creek, down northwest branch to beginning at mouth of small branch on Murderkill Creek, and laid out for six hundred acres. It was surveyed for Thomas Williams and Peter Groendyk, the 20th of January, 1680. A part, if not all, of "Williams' Chance," as well as a good slice of Ouseby, was in the possession of Philip Barratt, and is mentioned in his last will and testament in 1783.

One hundred and fifty acres of this land, lying on the northwest branch of Murder Creek, he devised to his son Andrew. Another part of the same tract he mentions in his will as "adjoining Johnny Cake Bridge, which I purchased of a certain Joseph Price." "Johnny Cake Bridge," here mentioned, was higher up than the present crossing into Frederica, which was built at a later date across a marsh and cripple, and was at a place called "Johnny cake crossing," on the same stream, which had fast land on both banks. This crossing was on the north side of the land now owned by Mrs. Mary Darby, and the road there from passed by the east end of her house and intersected the road to " Johnny Cake Landing," about half a mile west from the wharf.

"Williams' Chance" is now owned by divers persons, the largest land owners being Elias Russell, William H. Wix, William Townsend's heirs and Hon. James R. Lofland.

Upon "Williams' Chance" is located "Barratt's Chapel," a noted landmark in the history of the Methodist Episcopal Church in this country. It is situated about one mile north of the town of Frederica, on the road leading toward Dover. The land upon which it is located was deeded by Philip Barratt, August 17, 1780, "unto Reynear Williams, David Lewis, Waitman Sipple, Samuel Smith, Caleb Furbee, Jonathan Furbee, Andrew Purdin, William Virdin and Daniel James," as trustees.

The deed of feoffment, after reciting the nominal consideration of five shillings current money, continues in these words: "For divers other causes and considerations thereunto moving him, the said Philip Barratt have granted . . . All that part of a Tract or Parcel of Land Called William Chance . . . Beginning at a Marked Hickory bush standing about three feet to the Eastward from where a Marked red oak formerly stood, being a Comer Tree of said Williams' Chance, as also a Corner of a Tract of Land Called Ousbee, and about eight perches from the Easternmost Corner of Brick building now Carrying on and intended for a Preaching-House or Chappel, then runs North West thirteen perches to a Hickory saplin marked with nine Notches, then Southwest by west thirteen perches to a Hickory bush marked as afsd then South East thirteen perches to a Red Oak saplin Marked as afd, standing in or near the line of Bowers Furbee's part of s* Williams' Chance, that with that line to the Beginning afsd". Containing one acre of land, be the same more or less. . . Nevertheless, upon special Trust and Confidence and to the intent and express purpose of Building a Preaching-House or Chappel thereon, and that they, the said Trustees and the survivors of them and the Trustees for the time being, do and shall from time to time, and at all times forever thereafter, permit such persons as shall be appointed at the Yearly Conference of the People Called Methodists held in America to Preach and Expound God's Word and no others, to have and to enjoy the said premises. Provided always that the said [Preacher] Preach no other Doctrine than is contained in the Rev. John Wessley's Notes on the New Testament and Four Volumes of Sermons." [Deed Book W, vol. i., folio 247].

From the records that have come down to us, it appears that the Rev. Freeborn Garrettson gave the first impetus to Methodism that eventuated in the formation of the strongest hierarchy of any Protestant denomination on this Peninsula.

In the year 1778 he preached at the house of a Mr. Lewis, who, in company with Philip Barratt, Jonathan Sipple and their families, became so much interested by his preaching in the teachings of John Wesley, that they formed themselves, with others, into a society of Methodists.

At this time it was the custom of the people to meet by appointment at each other's houses in the morning for prayers and to listen to a discourse from some passing itinerant. It often happened that more people assembled on these occasions than could be accommodated with house-room, particularly on Sundays and during revival seasons. Owing to the lack of room at private residences, the followers of John Wesley felt greatly in need of more spacious accommodations.

In March, 1780, Philip Barratt and Waitman Sipple took the initiative in erecting a meeting-house, the result of which was Barratt's Chapel. The edifice was forty-two by forty- eight feet, two stories high, and had a vestry -room connected with it. There is a tradition that the bricks of which it was built were imported from Holland, which is highly improbable, as the clay in the immediate vicinity is as good as any in the world for bricks and the art of making bricks was already well-known, as bricks had been burned at Lewes and other places in the Pen-insula many years before this time. The house was furnished with a pulpit and occupied as a place of worship in the latter part of the same year.

In November, 1784, Dr. Samuel Megaw, who had been rector of St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church, Third and Walnut Streets, Philadelphia, Bishop Asbury, Caleb B. Pedicord, Joseph Hartley, Rev. Cromwell and Rev. Thomas Coke, LL.D., met at Barratt's Chapel and celebrated the first Quarterly Meeting held there, at which one thousand people were estimated to have been present. It was on this occasion, November 14th, that Dr. Coke, who preach-ing the sermon of the day, first met Francis Asbury and concerted those measures by which the Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in America, which was effected at Baltimore, Md., a few weeks later. At that meeting Asbury was elected the first bishop in America and was consecrated by Dr. Coke, who had been ordained the first bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church by John Wesley himself.

The old fashioned high pulpit, which in as reached by a flight of steps and which almost concealed the preacher from his congregation, has been remodel-ed to suit modern ideas; but the seat or wooden bench, upon which Bishops Coke and Asbury, and other pioneers of the church, sat, is still preserved as a memento. For the first sixty years of its existence the ground was the only flooring of the church, and the walls were left in an uncouth and primitive state. Yet, notwithstanding these inconveniences, the early fathers and mothers of the church in Israel never ceased to meet here and hold divine services.

Barratt's Chapel has enjoyed the ministrations of some of the brightest ecclesiastical luminaries in the church, but the most memorable epoch in its history was the meeting of Coke and Asbury at the chapel the year following, and their own consecration to the episcopacy for the ordination of the Rev. Ezekiel Cooper, then twenty-two years old. To this trio is to be attributed whatever of ultimate success the Methodist Episcopal Church has achieved throughout the world.

In 1799 Ezekiel Cooper became editor and general agent of the Book Concern, whose capital stock in the next six years rose from almost nothing to forty-five thousand dollars. The energy and ability which he brought to this undertaking gave to the "Book Concern" an impulse and organization that has rendered it one of the largest religious publishing establishments in the world.

After his ordination to the ministry, in 1785, he was in frequent communication with John Wesley as to the organization and details of the church. The last letter ever penned by John Wesley to the New World was written just twenty-nine days before his death, and was directed to Ezekiel Cooper. The original letter was in the possession of his nephew, the Rev. Ignatius T. Cooper, D. D., of Camden, Delaware, who had it framed, and treasured it as a memento of great interest. Here is given a copy of the letter:

"Near London,
February 1, 1791.

"Dear Brother: Those that desire to write or say anything to me have no time to lose, for Time has shaken me by the hand and death is not far behind. But I have reason to be thankful for the time that is past. I felt none of the infirmities of old age for fourscore and six years. It was not till a year and a half ago that my strength and my sight failed. And still I am enabled to scrall a little and to creep, though I cannot run. Probably I should not be able to do to much did not many of you assist me by your prayers. From time to time I have given a distinct account of the work of God, which has been wrought in Britain and Ireland for more than half a century. We want some of you to give us a connected relation of what our Lord has been doing in America from the time that Richard Boardman accepted the invitation and left his country to serve you. See that you never give place to one thought of separating from your brethren in Europe. Lose no opportunity of declaring to all men that the Methodists are one people in all the world, and that it is their full determination so to continue,
"Though mountains rise and oceans roll
To sever us in vain.'

"To the care of our common Lord I commit you, and am
"Your affectionate friend and brother,
"John Wesley."

 On the southwest side of the Northwest Branch of Murderkill Creek, abutting on the creek, is a large tract of land called "St. Collom," on which the village of Frederica stands. It was taken up on a warrant in 1681 by Benoni Bishop and surveyed to him December 10, 1684, for fourteen hundred acres. It extended down a small branch and Bishop's Branch until it fell into the Northwest Branch, then down Indian Creek (Mill Creek) to "Indian Point," the site of "Johnny Cake Landing," now known as Frederica; then up the creek to Ash Branch, then by various lines to corner for "Bishop's Choice" on Ash Branch, then by lines of Bishop's Choice. It extended from Indian Point, at the junction of the Northwest Branch with Murderkill Creek, nearly two miles into the country in a westward direction. Bishop also took up about the same time another tract of one thousand and fifty acres, which he named "Bishop's Choice."

The Indian rights in these lands he bought of Saccarackett, December 30, 1682, and January 5, 1682-83. The lands were partly sold by him, and the remainder passed to two stepdaughters, and from their descendants, Zachariah Go forth, William Carpenter, Vincent and Jonathan Emerson and others purchased. Zachariah Goforth, who owned the land in "Johnny Cake Neck," known as the Old Landing (in a survey of June 27, 1758, called Goforth's Landing and on the site of the present crossing from Frederica to Milford), was the first purchaser, and bought part of "Bishop's Choice" (formerly of Mark Manlove).

On March 2, 1769, he bought forty-eight acres of land, part of St. Collom, lying in "Johnny Cake Neck," adjoining "Johnny Cake Landing." It formerly belonged to Samuel Hues, and descended to him from his grandfather, Samuel Mott, who had previously purchased from the said Goforth four hundred acres, part of St. Collom, to which he gave the name of "Mott's Field."

"Johnny Cake Neck" is a term susceptible of in-definite extension in fact, comprehending all of St. Collom and part of Bishop's Choice. It lay west, northwest and southwest of Frederica, and extended from Murderkill Creek on the southwest and south to the Northwest Branch and Bishop's Branch on the north.

The landing-place, called "Goforth's Landing," was surveyed to Zachariah Goforth, June 27, 1758, and the remainder, June 19, 1776. It lies above the town of Frederica, on the Murderkill Creek, and is near the site of the present crossing from Frederica to Milford.

Silvia Sipple, April 29, 1776, was granted a warrant for one hundred and sixty-one acres, part of St. Collom, lying in "Johnny Cake Neck," adjoining land of Zachariah Goforth and Vincent Emerson. A part of "St. Collom" and of "Bishop's Choice" in "Johnny Cake Neck" was granted to Vincent Emer-son, September 16, 1769, and in all contained nine hundred and eleven acres. The land of Jonathan Emerson was adjoining and was part of St. Collom, on which he laid out Frederica. James Boyer, by warrant, March 18, 1776, also had one hundred and twenty-seven acres of land in Johnny Cake Neck adjoining Goforth's land and "Heatherd's Adventure," which was surveyed to James Boyer and Chas. Ridgely.

The tract "Bishop's Choice," to which reference has heretofore been made, was surveyed to Benoni Bishop, March 29, 1681, and extended from Murder-kill Creek and Ash Branch to Bishop's Branch (Pratt's Branch), "taking in a small neck called "Timber Neck,' which lyeth on the N. W. side of Bishop's branch," and contained one thousand and fifty acres. This tract lay immediately west of and adjoining St. Collom. Bishop sold to Robert Hudson, who lived farther up the stream (Hudson's Branch), six hundred acres of "Bishop's Choice." This property passed to Daniel Hudson, the eldest son of Robert, and the deed to the tract was confirmed February 13, 1733, by Margaret, daughter of Benoni Bishop and wife of John Bowman, and Sarah (wife of John Townsend) and Elizabeth {wife of Francis Alexander), step-daughters of Benoni Bishop. In the same month and year Hudson sold the upper part of Bishop's Choice to Mark Manlove, who gave it the name of "Manlove's Chance." It contained four hundred acres, and is described as beginning twenty perches above the first sprout above the King's Road, and thence southeast by south two hundred and twenty-six perches, northeast by east one hundred perches, northwest by north forty perches, north eight degrees west to branch up branch to beginning. This tract is now principally owned by Samuel D. Roe and other.

Hudson also sold one hundred and fifty acres, part of same tract, to Jacob Simmons, February 14, 1723, which he names "Simmons' Plumbs."

On the 13th of May, 1747, James Taylor purchased from John Harper two hundred acres, part of Bishop's Choice, and May 12, 1748, conveyed two and three-quarters acres to George Goforth, for a mill-seat, on the south side of Bishop's Branch; and on the 23rd of the same month it was condemned to such use. There was also purchased a piece of ground of fourteen acres, part of Bishop's Choice and also part of mill-seat. On the 29th of November. 1792, Peter Goforth sold the mill-seat and mill called "Goforth's Mill," on Bishop's Branch, to Michael Hall Bon will, from whom it took the name of "Bonwill's Mill." It is now owned by John Pennel Emerson.

Adjoining the tract "St. Collom," and resting on Murder Creek, was a tract of three hundred acres taken up by Thomas Heatherd about 1688-89, called "Heatherd's Adventure." In 1776 it was in possession of William Carpenter, and lies southwest of Frederica. It is now in possession of Thomas Brown and Cyrus P. Rogers. "Edmonds' Chance," containing three hundred acres, adjoining "Heatherd's Adventure" on the west, was taken up by Robert Edmonds, from whom it passed respectively to Jacob and Vincent Emerson, and in February, 1767, was bought by Jonathan Emerson, who at the same time purchased one hundred other acres.

To the west of Edmonds' Chance, abutting on Murderkill Creek, is a tract ("Cambridge") of nearly four hundred acres. It is bounded on the north in part by Bishop's Choice and by "Elizabeth's Lott" (a tract of land consisting of five hundred and fifty-one acres, under the name of "Topham's Chance," surveyed for Christopher Topham, February 26, 1738, and intersected by the "road from Johnny Cake Neck to Choptank," and by the "upper road down to Sussex," dividing it into four nearly equal parcels, now owned by Samuel D. Roe and others) and on the west by tract "Fromes Elsworth," sometimes written "Farins Elsworth."

Footnote:
1. Prepared by John C. Gooden.

Kent County

Source: History of Delaware, 1609-1888, Volume I, by J. Thomas Scharf, L. J. Richards & Company, Philadelphia, 1888.

 
Please Come Back Soon!!


This web page was last updated.
Monday, 01-Jun-2015 16:32:01 EDT

Back to AHGP

Copyright August @2011 - 2017 AHGP - Judy White
All rights reserved.
We encourage links, but please do not copy our work