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White Clay Creek Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware

Early Settlers Schools Manufactories
Roads Newark Religion
Assessment List, 1804

White Clay Creek Hundred is bounded by White Clay and Christiana Creeks, Pencader Hundred and the Circle. It derived its name from White Clay Creek, which was so called on account of the deposits of white clay on the banks of this stream. The territory included within these limits is of an irregular shape and comprises eighteen thousand four hundred acres of land; the most of which is in a state of cultivation. The surface is uneven being broken by numerous hills. The land is well-watered by many small streams, which rise and flow within its bounds. The soil is of a clay-nature, and produces the usual cereals, fruits and vegetables in abundance. The climate is wholesome and invigorating. The Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore, the Baltimore and Ohio, and the Newark and Delaware City Railroads pass through this hundred, and afford excellent facilities for travel and commerce.

Early Settlers

The first settlements in White Clay Creek Hundred were made more than two hundred years ago by the representatives of several nations driven here by the persecutions at home, or impelled by the love of adventure. These settlements were made with the intention of securing permanent abodes, and were not merely of a transient nature. The pioneers were well-adapted to undertake a life devoid of all comfort save that afforded by the home.

About 1672, Governor Nichols granted a patent for a tract of eight hundred acres, known by the name of "Muscle Cripple," to Thomas Wollaston, John Ogle, John Hendrick and Harmon Jansen or Johnson. This tract was on White Clay Creek, near the head of Bread and Cheese Island, and extended about half a mile up the stream. John Ogle assigned alt his rights to this tract to John Edmonson, and the sale was confirmed by patent, January 15, 1675. On April 30, 1677, Edmonson assigned his rights to John Yeo, an Episcopal Minister, from Maryland, and he conveyed his estate to John Smith, in 1678, for sixteen thousand pounds of tobacco in Casques. Smith was the owner in 1702, and at that time the tract included one thousand and sixty acres, and reached from White Clay Creek to Christiana Creek, and the road to Christiana Village ran through this property. It is probable that at this time he was the sole owner. The property is now owned by Henry L. Churchman and the heirs of Thomas Clyde.

On April 13, 1676, a patent for two hundred and twenty acres of land, along White Clay Creek, was granted to Peter Thomason, a native of England.

John Nommers, or Nommerson, a Swede, settled on a tract of land which he bought of the Indians, and also asked for a grant of the land. On the 3rd of October, 1677, he presented a petition in court "showing that he had bought of ye Indians a piece of land in ye Wittekleys Valley, containing three hundred and forty acres, and ye same land was since surveyed by Mr. Wharton, after which he had got a Patent for ye same." (March 25, 1676.) He also showed that he was hindered from seating the land by John Edmonds, and desired the Court to give him peaceable possession, which was granted. He also was one of the owners of the Mill Plot. His land lay on both sides of White Clay Creek. On September 5, 1682, he sold one-half of the land on the north side, to Joseph Barnes, and the other half to Thomas Wollaston, and reserved for himself the land on the south side, where he resided. He received a warrant for one hundred acres of land on the south side of the White Clay Creek, September 5, 1682, which was surveyed to him, September 13, the same year.

On August 16, 1682, "Northampton," a tract of two hundred acres, was surveyed. This tract was bounded on the south by the main run of the Christiana Creek. Also a tract of seventy-four acres, on the north side of the Christiana, called "Eagles Point," which was surveyed December 8, 1683. Both of these tracts were owned by John Ogle. John Ogle settled in this country about 1667, and lived for a time at New Castle. He purchased large tracts of land in different parts of the county, and for several years resided on "Swart Neuten Island," later-known as "Lewden Island," which is in Christiana Creek and New Castle Hundred. He also purchased other land on White Clay Creek, lying in Mill Creek Hundred, containing four hundred and thirty acres, which were surveyed October 14, 1683. The property of John Ogle was inherited by his sons, Thomas and John. On July 28, 1739, Thomas procured seven hundred and ninety acres, lying on the northwest side of Christiana Creek. On October 18, 1739, he took out a warrant for a tract of land containing seven hundred and forty acres, west of the land above mentioned, and extending nearly as far west as Newark. He settled at the place now known as Ogletown, which place bore that name before 1667, as in that year a road was laid out from Ogletown to Elk River. Thomas Ogle made his will January 26, 1768, and died in 1773, and is buried in a private burying-ground, near Ogletown. Several children survived him, of whom a daughter, Mary, married Dr. William McMechen. Dr. McMechen resided at Christiana Bridge, on the Dr. Reese Jones lot, which was inherited by his wife from her father's estate. The grist-mill, saw-mill and appurtenances, and all land lying on the fork of the road leading from Ogletown to Elk River and Newark, was devised to his sons, Robert, Joseph, James Howard and Benjamin, and was divided among them by an Act of partition. James Ogle resided on the homestead, at Ogletown, and Joseph and Benjamin nearby, on parts of the farm land apportioned to them.

Thomas Ogle, of Wilmington, and Benjamin N. Ogle, of Delaware City, are sons of Howard, and grandsons of Benjamin Ogle. Catharine Ogle, another daughter of Thomas Ogle, of Ogletown, became the wife of Peter Lamoyne, and inherited two hundred acres from her father. This was sold in 1784, by her and her husband, as follows: Sixty-four acres, July 8, to Wiltiam McClay, who, August 12, of the same year, sold the same to James and John Black; twenty acres, July 28, to Solomon Maxwell; July 23, ten acres to John Hall, tobacconist; ten acres, July 28, to John Hannah; five acres, August 7, to James Couper; eleven acres, August 19, to Robert Porter, merchant; ten acres, August 19, to George Wirt, inn keeper; August 7, lot to James Caldwell, butcher; and August 12, lotto John Palmer, cooper. This land was probably in and near Christiana Village.

The entire estate has passed out of the hands of the Ogles. The other son of John Ogle, also named John, on March 16, 1696, purchased a tract of seventy-five acres, at Christiana Bridge. On the same day he sold three hundred acres, at White Clay Creek, to John Crawford, who on the same date bought a plantation on St. George's Creek, of Edward Gibbs, High Sheriff. On August 15, 1699, Ogle purchased of Joseph Clayton, four hundred and forty-four acres of land, at White Clay Creek. On January 10, 1684, a warrant was granted to Broer Sinnex or Sinnexen, for three hundred acres of land called "Water Land" lying on both sides of White Clay Creek, above Dividing Run Creek. He also owned a tract called "Middleburgh," on north-side of Christiana Creek, obtained on same date as above. It ex-tended to Mill Creek, and contained sixty acres of swamp, and four hundred and forty-five acres of forest land. This land is probably part of the territory on which Christiana is located.

On December 24, 1684, a warrant was granted to William Rakestraw for a tract of land in White Clay Creek Hundred, bounded on the south by Christiana Creek and on the west by land of Thomas Langshaw, containing five hundred acres. This land was surveyed March 24, 1686, and sold by Rakestraw to Colonel John French, September 11, 1716. This land is situated near Piatt and Elkinton's Mills.

On August 11, 1699, the Pennsylvania Land Company purchased a tract of land containing thirteen hundred and sixty acres, and situated in this hundred. Of this tract the following amounts were purchased in 1762: by David Evans four hundred and seventy-five acres, March 27; by James McSparran ninety acres, February 26; and one hundred and thirty-six acres by Samuel Armitage, May 9.

On August 19, 1707, two hundred and fifty acres of land, the property of Joseph Moore, was sold by Colonel John French, sheriff", and purchased by John Steel, who came from Ireland and settled at Philadelphia. John Steel purchased other lands in White Clay Creek Hundred which, at his death, passed into the hands of his son James. Most of this land was inherited respectively by Alexander, Allen, Thomas, and is now owned by James T. Steel. Reese Jones, sometimes mentioned as a tanner and at other times as a doctor, was the owner of considerable property in this hundred. In 1737 he owned a tract of land, near Christiana Village, in the forks of a road that separated at the end of the village. One part extended from the town toward Conestoga, and the other towards Battells Mills (now Piatt & Elkinton) and the Welsh tract. On November 19, 1739, he purchased a tract containing two hundred and forty-eight acres of patent land, and forty acres of warrant land, which had been successively owned by Daniel James, Allen Dunlap, Melchior Rogers, Reynold Howell, and Catharine Leoline. He also purchased a tract of one hundred acres, which was warranted to Alexander Fraime, July 26, 1715, and surveyed December 24, 1739. Dr. Jones also owned other land in this and Pencader Hundred. Rev. George Gillespie, pastor of head of Christiana Church, purchased from John Ogle, March 17, 1716, a tract of land containing forty-one acres, which was part of a larger tract patented to Ogle, October 26, 1702. He also purchased, on the 15th of May 1728, one hundred acres, which was part of five hundred acres surveyed to John Ogle, and by him sold to Morgan Patten, January 23, 1702. On the 2nd of August 1710 Patten sold to Geo. Policy, who, on August 7, 1713, conveyed to Nicholas Mears, from whom Gillespie purchased. These and other tracts, afterwards purchased, were inherited by his children, Samuel, George, Elizabeth and Agnes. The forty-one acre tract, above mentioned, was part of the land owned by Jonas Asken, who also sold one hundred and forty acres, called "Westminster," to John White, clerk of the Court at New Castle. By reason of a warrant granted to Samuel Allen, November 8, 1739, there was surveyed to him a tract of one hundred and ninety-four acres, lying on both sides of a road leading from Welsh Tract to Christiana, "including an improvement which by the best information I could get has been settled eighteen or twenty years.'' On October 18, 1739, a patent was granted by the proprietaries to Benjamin Gibbs for a tract of six hundred and sixty-eight acres, on the northeast side of Christiana Creek, five hundred of which were sold by Gibbs, in 1742, to Samuel Meteer. On August 25, 1767, four hundred and fifty-four acres of land in White Clay Creek Hundred was surveyed by John Stapler, deputy surveyor of New Castle County. This was divided among the following persons: James Simpson, two hundred and twenty-two acres; Neil Morrison, fifty acres; Allen Gillespie, forty-six acres; Samuel Wilson, sixteen acres; Paul Jaquets, one hundred and seven acres. These tracts passed through various hands until they became vested in the present owners, some by descent which are few and others by purchase.

The following is a copy of the Assessment List of White Clay Creek Hundred for the year 1804.

Schools

Previous to the organization of the public school system, various private schools were held throughout the hundred. The names of James P. Smith, Thos. Barry, Reese Stroud, William Stapler, Stephen Willis and William Medill afterward governor of Ohio, are remembered as teachers in this hundred during the early part of this century. The Newark Academy was also patronized by those living in the vicinity of Newark. The school divisions are not confined to White Clay Creek Hundred, but in several cases overlap and include part of the adjacent hundreds. By the first division of the hundreds into school districts there were five, Nos. 40, 41, 42, 43 and 44, lying wholly within the hundred and two, Nos. 38 and 39, which included portions of territory of White Clay Creek and Mill Creek Hundreds. The idea of taxing all the inhabitants for school purposes was liked by some and by others disliked. Some of the schools were well attended and at others the pupils were few. The first public school at McClellandville was taught by Miss Martha Chambers, and on the first day there were but three scholars, Andrew McBride, Mary J. Smith and John M. Singles. The building was poorly constructed, and furnished without any attempt at comfort or convenience. There are now several school buildings neatly constructed and well-furnished for school purposes.

Roads

Soon after the first settlers came into this hundred roads became a necessity and were constructed. The date of the construction of the earliest roads there is no way of ascertaining. The records show that in 1723 a road was laid out "from the head of Elk to New Castle and Christine Bridge," and that previous to this the New Munster Road had been located, and that it ran near the present site of New-ark. In May, 1765, the report of the commissioners appointed to view a road from Newark towards Lan-caster was confirmed. The return contains the following clause: "We went upon the sd road and viewed it, and Layd out the same by Course and Distances in a general way, as the old road now is only staitening several courses of the same." That the road from Ogletown to the head of Elk River was constructed previous to 1774 is obvious from the fact that in that year a petition was made to have some parts of it altered, which petition was granted.

On March 5, 1812, the Levy Court ordered a stone arch bridge to be built at Christiana at a cost of $1200. The contract was awarded September 1, of the same year to Thos. Justis, of Mill Creek Hundred. On February 1, 1813, a Turnpike Company, which proposed opening a road from the New Castle Turn-pike to the Maryland line, through the villages of Christiana and New Castle, was incorporated. In March 1832, the report of the commissioners appointed to view a road from Ogletown to A. K. Russel's meeting-house, via. England's mill, was approved. In February 1834, the bridge over White Clay Creek at Price's mill, which was commenced in 1833, was completed at a cost of $1642.86. At various other times and from other locations roads have been constructed and altered and bridges built, until at the present time the roads are numerous and in first-class condition, and the streams spanned with neat and durable bridges.

Religious Matters

Head of Christiana Church
The organization of this church was effected in 1708, by the Alexanders and other Scotch-Irish settlers, who previous to this time worshipped at New Castle. From this year until 1713, services were conducted semi-monthly by Rev. John Wilson, pastor of the church at New Castle. The first meeting-house was a log-building and stood in the grave-yard north of the present church. Rev. George Gillespie, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and graduate of the University of that city, came to this country in 1712, and in the following year became the regular pastor of this church.

In 1732, James Steel made a lease to Samuel Johnson, John Cross, Alexander White, William Semple, David Alexander, Andrew Wallace and their successors, for a tract of land containing two acres "already laid out for and towards the Erecting and Building thereon a new House for the exercise of Divine Worship by those protestant Dissenters commonly called Presbyterians.'' On this tract of land the church, in 1750, was erected. It is said that no fire was allowed in the old church on account of the danger thereby incurred. Rev. Gillespie faithfully labored here until his death, which occurred in 1760.

In 1735, he wrote "A treatise against the Deists or Free Thinkers, Proving the Necessity of Revealed Religion," which was printed by A. Bradford, of Philadelphia. November 15, 1749, the elders and trustees released to George Gillespie, a tract of land, a part of two hundred acres patented to John Ogle, January 23, 1702, and by him sold, August 2, 1710, to George Pelleg, who conveyed it to Nicholas Mears, August 17, 1713, and by him sold to George Gillespie, May 15, 1728, who, July 26, 1733, gave it to the elders and trustees of this church. The land was released to Gillespie upon condition "that he would release it back again for the pious use to help build a brick meeting-house near or close by Mr. Gillespie's old meeting-house, the members being poor again." Andrew Wallace, John Rankin, Nathaniel Brier, William Wallace, Thomas Weer, Joseph Wallace, Moses Scot and John Steel were at this time the elders and trustees of the "protestant Presbyterian session of the Protestant Presbyterian Congregation of Head of Christiana Church." In 1750 a new brick building was erected for holding services, which was destroyed by fire on Sunday March 14, 1858, despite the efforts of the assembled congregation to save it. Action was immediately taken towards the erection of a new building and such progress was made with the work that the church was nearly completed the same year. On September 1, 1787, the congregation of this church elected Joseph Wallace, Thomas Rankin, William Price, James Kerr, Samuel Evans, William Thompson and George Gillespie, trustees. On the 19th day of March, 1859, the congregation assembled to see the new edifice dedicated to the service of God. Since that time the church has moved along without any drawbacks or hindrances. Since its organization its pulpit has been filled by only six regular pastors, viz.: Revs. George Gillespie, John McCrery, Andrew K. Russell, Elijah Wilson, Joseph Barr and James L. Vallandingham, who has been stationed here since 1853. The cemetery to the north of the church dates as far back as the erection of the first church. The date of death on the oldest gravestone is 1758. Revs. George Gillespie, John McCrery, A. K. Russell, John Waugh, Pierce Chamberlain and Hugh Hamill, are buried here.

The following inscription is on the tomb of the Rev. George Gillespie in the cemetery of Head of Christiana Church, he being the first ordained pastor of said church:

"Sacred to the memory of
The Rev. Mr. George Gillespie
who was a sound Divine
An useful, practical Preacher,
Eminent for Piety,
Zeal for the Honors of Christ's House
and every social virtue;
A tender Husband and indulgent Parent,
A good master, a warm Friend;
Courteous, Hospitable, never discontented.
With an income narrow & very uncertain.
He spent much time in Prayer & Meditation
And longed to leave this world & be with Christ.
He was born and educated in Glassgo,
There licensed to preach the Gospel in 1712,
Ordained Pastor of this church in 1713,
Call'd from his Warfare to his crown
January 2nd, 1760,
Anno Astas, 77."

Christiana Presbyterian Church, This church was organized at some period between the years 1730 and 1738. In the latter year a site for the erection of a church was secured, and the building was completed, in 1745. Rev. Charles Tennent commenced his pastorate here at the organization of the church, and remained until 1756. This church was under one pastoral charge with that of New Castle from 1757 until 1823. Revs. Daniel Thom, Morgan, Kirkpatrick, Joseph Montgomery and others filled the pulpit until 1777. From this time to 1791 there was no minister in charge. Rev. Samuel Barr officiated from that year until 1796. From 1800 to 1828 the church was served by Revs. John E. Latta and Joshua N. Danforth. The union of Christiana and New Castle churches, which had existed for seventy years, was now dissolved. Since that time the pulpit has been filled by Revs. Morris Williamson, Carpenter, Crosby, Samuel Bell, Nicholas Patterson, W. R. Work, J. Barr, George Foote, J. Elliott, V. D. Collins, W. A. Crawford, J. H. Beal, David Kennedy, William D. Mackey, Robert Graham and A. J. Snyder. The present church is a neat brick building, 60x40, and was erected under the pastorate of Rev. George Foote. The corner-stone was laid September 8, 1857, and the house was dedicated June 8, 1858, by Rev. J. Jenkins, at that time pastor of Calvary Church, Philadelphia. During the past three years the church has not been in a prosperous condition, and has had no regular pastor.

Christiana M. E. Church, In 1830 the Methodists in and around Christiana village purchased a frame house formerly used as a store, and moved it to the location on which the present church stands. This was furnished and used for divine worship until 1857. When the church was organized there were about forty members. To this number were added new members, and in 1855 the membership was doubled. In 1857 a new brick church was built at a cost of $4000. During the past few years many Methodists have removed, and at present there are thirty-five members. The following ministers have been stationed here:

Rev. James B. Ayres
Rev. John Bayne
Rev. Christopher Crouch
Rev. Stephen Townsend
Rev. Michael E. Day
Rev. Benj. T. String
Rev. Valentine Gray
Rev. Josiah Kidney
Rev. George W. Burke
Rev. D. F. Waddell
Rev. George Crozier
Bev. Joseph Aspril
Rev. William M. Green
Rev. Henry Sanderson
Rev. Joseph Dare
Rev. Edward Davis

Previous to 1853 the inhabitants of the north-western part of White Clay Creek Hundred attended divine services at the Flint Hill Church, situated near Strickersville. In that year the church burned, and the several members could not agree upon a site for the erection of a new building. William Smith, William Kennedy and William McClelland favored the erection of a church at McClellandville. In 1854 the Wesley M. E. Church was commenced and completed at that place. The edifice is a frame building, one story high, and cost $1500. The membership at that time numbered twelve. The church was connected with the Newark circuit until 1868, when the Newark Church became a separate charge. In 1878 it was again placed in charge of the minister stationed at Newark. The church has been steadily increasing, and now numbers forty members. The same ministers, mentioned in connection with the Newark M. E. Church from 1855 to the present time, have preached to this congregation, with the exception of the years mentioned above, during which time Revs. John France, G. W. Burke and Joseph Dare officiated. Services are held every Sunday afternoon. The Trustees are J. F, Williamson, William H. Smith, Robert Montgomery, James P. Smith and William Kennedy.

The Salem Methodist Episcopal Church is situated in White Clay Creek Hundred about two miles south of Ogletown. Previous to 1807 meetings were held by this denomination in the residence of William Wright and _____ Hersey.

The first meeting of the Trustees of this Church was held October 10, 1807. On the fifteenth of the same month and year Robert McFarlin, Schoolmaster, deeded to Abram Heagy, Richard Sneath, William McIntire, William Wright, James Bradford, Isaac Tyson and Neal McNeal, Trustees for the Salem Meeting House, two lots adjoining each other on which they were to build a meeting house for the Methodist Episcopal congregation. On the following day the trustees were incorporated. The present brick Church thirty by thirty-six feet was soon after erected. The boards for the floor and ceiling were furnished by Abraham Heagy. The building was repaired in 1848 and again in 1884. The Church was connected with the Cecil County Circuit until 1864, and in 1867 formed part of the Christiana Circuit and was supplied with ministers from these circuits. The Church is now in a prosperous condition and has fifty communicants. A flourishing Sunday-School of seventy pupils under the superintendence of John W. Dayett is connected with the church.

The following are the present officers of Salem Methodist Episcopal Church:

Trustees Jonathan Groves, James A. Lee, John W. Dayett, Benjamin Lee, John Hall, G. W. Groves, Isaac C. Snitcher, Paul Gillis, Henry Singers.

Christiana Bridge Meeting House (Friends). In 1772 a committee appointed to meet with the Friends at Christiana Bridge reported in favor of a meeting being established among them. In pursuance of this report it was decided to allow meetings for worship to be held there on the first and fourth days of every week at the house of Hannah Lewden.

Manufactories

The Dean Woolen Factory. On September 11, 1702, John Guest obtained a patent for a tract of land situate in White Clay Creek Hundred containing two hundred and twenty-three acres which included the site of the Dean Factory. On August 14, 1704, Guest conveyed this land to Samuel Lowan who May 19, 1715, sold it to Samuel Johnson. John-son by his last will and testament bearing date April 2, 1737 devised it to his two sons, Napthaly and Daniel. On October 7, 1738, a division was made of the land, Napthaly taking sixty-three acres and twenty-six perches, the mills and other improvements, and Daniel the remainder of the estate. The exact date of the erection of the mills cannot be ascertained, but it was some period between 1 715 and 1738. On August 18, 1740 Napthaly conveyed the mills and his portion of the estate to Rachael Jones, a widow who afterwards was married to David Davis. The mills were in her possession until December 8, 1848, when she and her husband sold them to Edward Miles who on April 16, 1759, conveyed them to John Smith. Smith was the owner of the mills for two years and then Andrew Fisher and Mordecai Cloud purchased them. The estate remained in their joint possession until May 5, 1763, when Mordecai Cloud sold his portion, which was a two thirds interest, to Moses Pyle. For ten years there was no change in the ownership. At the termination of that period John Simonton be-came the owner and managed the mills until 1806, when he sold them to Isaac Tyson. Benjamin Watson was the next owner, and in 1831, the mills burned but were rebuilt by him. The succeeding owners were Dr. Palmer Chamberlin, James Kennedy and Samuel Thomas. In 1845 Thomas sold them to Joseph Dean.

During all this period the mills were used only as grist and saw mills, and did mostly custom work for the inhabitants of the western portion of the White Clay Creek Hundred. Mr. Dean who was thoroughly acquainted with the manufacture of woolen goods, having been engaged in the business for many years in and around Philadelphia, determined to convert the mills into a woolen manufactory. Immediately after the purchase the building were remodeled, additional ones built and fitted up with the requisite machinery for manufacturing woolen goods. The enterprise proved profitable and in 1847 William Dean, his son, was made a partner. Mr. Joseph Dean took an active part in the management of the mill until his death which occurred in 1861. After his decease William Dean formed a partnership with John Pilling and the business was continued under the name of Joseph Dean & Son. In 1863 the factory was inadequate to meet the demands and it was enlarged, making it a three story building one hundred and sixty by sixty. At this time two hundred thousand dollars worth of woolen goods were manufactured per year and shipped to New York. The woolen factory was conducted by these gentlemen until 1882, when it was found necessary to increase their facilities by the erection of a new mill. It was deemed advisable at this time to make it a stock company and to incorporate it. In this year an additional stone mill one and one-half stories high was built, the one story being two hundred and twenty by fitly and the half story two hundred and twenty by twenty-five. Other necessary out buildings were also erected. The capital stock was two hundred and eighteen thousand five-hundred dollars. The capacity of the mill was then twice the capacity of the mill of 1868. Four hundred thousand dollars of woolen goods were annually produced and found a ready market in New York. The number of operatives employed at that time was one hundred and seventy-five. The business was managed very successfully and the factory run steadily until December 25, 1886. On that day it was destroyed by fire and has not been rebuilt. The loss of this manufactory is very keenly felt by the citizens of Newark. Many have been thrown out of employment and are moving from the town. All the business interests are affected liv its destruction.

William Dean, late woolen manufacturer, at Deandale, on White Clay Creek, at Newark, was born in Blockley Township, Philadelphia County, Pa., May 10, 1820. He was a son of Joseph and Esther Hansell Dean. His father was an Englishman, by birth, while his mother, who died in 1821, came from a Pennsylvania family. Most of his early days were spent in the mills of his father, and consequently his education was limited. On January 1, 1836, he became permanently employed in his father's mills, at Fifty-second Street and Torr Avenue, now Master Street, Philadelphia. The mills were near Old Nancy's Dam, at Fifty-second and Girard Avenue. In 1840, he married Margaret, daughter of Thomas Aspden, and his lather then allowed him $4.50 a week, which was increased fifty cents each year until it reached six dollars. In order to secure additional water-power Joseph Dean, in 1845, bought the old grist-mill, on White Clay Creek, at Newark, converted it into a woolen-mill, and moved there with his family. William was admitted to a partnership in February, 1847, and the firm became Joseph Dean & Son. Each partner agreed to take out five dollars per week, and, though William's family then numbered five, three children, they ended the year without a dollar of debt, and each partner received one hundred and twenty-one dollars as his share of the net profits. For ten years business prospered, and the firm accumulated considerable capital, but the panic of 1857 swept away all the gains of a decade. Joseph never fully recovered from the shock, but William soon rallied, took the old mill, machinery and stock left, and entered upon another successful career. The father died in 1861 and John Pilling, who had been many years with the firm of Joseph Dean & Son, was admitted to partnership under the old firm name. In 1882, the Dean Woolen Company was organized, with Mr. Dean as secretary and treasurer, in which office continued until his death, April 12, 1887, though the mills were totally destroyed by fire, December 25, 1886, and were not rebuilt. He had also been one of the stockholders, and secretary and treasurer of the Kiamensi Woolen Company, but withdrew from that concern when the Dean Woolen Company was organized.

Mr. Dean was one of the promoters of the Pennsylvania and Delaware Railroad, and one of its directors. He founded the Patrons of Husbandry, in Delaware, and was Master of the Newark Grange, and Chairman of the State Executive Committee for many years. In addition he served as Trustee of Delaware College, Trustee of the Poor of New Castle County, Public School Director, etc. In politics he was a Democrat and a free-trader, and served in the State Legislature of 1869 and 1879. At the former session he was chairman of the Committe on Ways and Means, and within a year after the passage of his revenue law, of that action, the State bonds rose from seventy-five per cent, to par. Upon the nomination of Horace Greeley, for president of the United States, in 1872, he promptly resigned the chairmanship of the Democratic State Executive Committee, joined the straight-out Democrats, and was a delegate to the Louisville Convention that nominated Charles O'Connor and Charles F. Adams. To his efforts is accredited the success of his party in securing a majority of the state Legislature in that year. In 1886, having become disgusted with the Democratic Party, he was a strong advocate of the Temperance ticket.

Mr. Dean was a man of sterling integrity and great determination of character. He was a vigorous and logical writer, as attested by his newspaper correspondence during his European tour, of 1881, and his frequent contributions to the local newspapers on various public issues. Mrs. Dean died March 31, 1881, but two SODS and three daughters are still living, Joseph, president of the Dean Woolen Company, lives in Newark; Sue is the widow of the late John H. Hill, of Newark; Thomas A., died in infancy, as did his brother, Robert Kershaw; William Kershaw lives at Newark; S. D. Hill, Florence J., and Harriet L., live at the old homestead, at Deandale. Anna Bella, who married Joseph S. Lawson, a solicitor of Leeds, England, died in November, 1882. Seven grandchildren also survive, of whom Joseph has three boys, William Kershaw has three daughters, while Mrs. Hill has one daughter. Mr. Dean's funeral, in 1887, was attended by a large number of the most distinguished men of the state and nation. His remains were interred in the Newark M. E. Cemetery.

On November 26, 1706, Col. John French, then sheriff of New Castle County, purchased a tract of land containing four acres, the present site of Buford Mills, and the same year dug a mill-race and erected a grist and a bolting-mill. This land, with some other afterwards purchased, he conveyed to Captain William Battel, June, 1723. For seven years Captain Battell conducted the mills, then known as Battells Mills, and November 25, 1725, desired "WB" to be recorded as his brand mark.

Arthur Clayton and Robert Chapman, August 1, 1730, purchased of Battell five hundred acres of land, together with the grist and bolting-mills and other improvements. This land is situated on Christiana Creek, between Rum Branch and the east side of Latham's Run, now Leatherman's Run. On March 19, 1731, Chapman sold his one-half interest to Arthur Clayton, thus vesting in him the whole title. This tract was sold by Henry Newton Sheriff, and purchased by Joseph Peace, a miller, of Trenton, N. J. The deed bears date May 24, 1738. On July 4, 1741, Joseph Peace received a new warrant and re-survey for five hundred acres. On September 1, 1742, Joseph Peace conveyed this estate to Francis Bowers. At this time a distillery had also been erected. In 1745, William Patterson purchased from Bowers all the land, mills, bolting-mills, stills, still-houses and other buildings. William Patterson owned the entire estate until July 28, 1780, when he sold two hundred and ninety-two acres, containing the mills, etc., to Samuel Patterson, his son, who conveyed the same to Joseph Israel, of Philadelphia, on January 31, 1784. In 1795, Mr. Israel built the grist-mill which is still used. The mill is a three-story building, with a basement and attic, and is fifty feet by seventy-five feet. The mill was next owned by William Inskip and by him sold to William F. Smalley. In 1883, Emily F. Piatt became the owner. In that year it was leased by Piatt & Elkinton, and called the Buford Mills. It was refitted with modern machinery and converted into a full roller-mill. An engine was put in order that steam might be used when the water was deficient. The mill has a capacity of fifty barrels per day, and is run on full time. Four men are required to operate it. The flour is manufactured chiefly for local consumption. The saw-mill is still in existence, but seldom used, and then only for custom work.

McLaughlin Mill, In 1795, Thomas Phillips purchased a tract of land in White Clay Creek Hundred, of Mary Steel. Between that year and 1798 he erected thereon a grist-mill and a saw-mill. These were sold at sheriff's sale in 1824, and purchased by James Ray. He conveyed them to Wm. H. Robinson, who, in 1854, sold them to Constantine McLaughlin. The scarcity of timber in this neighborhood rendered a saw-mill no longer necessary, and it was torn down in this year. McLaughlin was owner and proprietor of the grist-mill until his death, in 1882. From that time to the present it has been managed by his heirs. The building erected by Philips, is the one used today, with but few if any repairs. It is a three-story building, two stories stone and one story frame. Until 1885, the old machinery was also used, but in that year it was refitted with modern machinery and is now a full roller mill. Three men are employed in its operation. The capacity of the mill is thirty barrels per day.

Rotheram Mill, In 1739, Joseph Rotheram purchased at sheriff's sale, a tract of land on which was situated a saw-mill and grist-mill. In 1775, this tract by descent and purchase vested in his son Joseph, who operated the mills until his death. It was sold by his executors in 1795 to Thomas Latimer, Joseph Israel and Henry Geddis. The mills in 1802 came into the possession of James Price, and after his death, in 1840, passed by devise to his daughter, Mary Can by. The old saw-mill fell into disuse, and about ten years ago the stone grist-mill was burned, and has never been rebuilt. The land is now owned by William F. Smalley, and on it is situated a warehouse.

Tweed Mill, Sometime previous to 1798, Thomas and Joseph Rankin erected a grist-mill, a saw-mill and a bark-mill in the northwestern part of White Clay Creek Hundred, on the White Clay Creek. In 1803, this property passed into the hands of James Crawford, who in 1841 sold it to William McClelland. John Tweed in 1855 purchased the estate, and in 1869 rebuilt the grist and saw-mills. At the decease of John Tweed in 1875, the property came into the possession of his son, Mansell Tweed. In 1880 the bark-mill was converted into a flint-mill. The old apparatus still remains in the grist and saw-mills, and nothing but custom work is done. The capacity of the flint-mill is six tons per day, and eight men are employed in operating it. The flint is hauled by teams from a quarry about three miles distant.

Previous to 1798 Benjamin Chambers erected a saw-mill on the White Clay Creek, in the north-western part of this hundred. After his death the mill and property came into the possession of his son Joseph, who tore down the mill. In 1843 this property was sold at Sheriff's sale, and purchased by Daniel Thompson, who erected thereon a saw and grist-mill.

In 1860 Lambert and Pyle conducted the mills and they were succeeded by Joseph Eldridge. The mills have not been used since 1881 and are partly fallen. They are the property of Joel Thompson of Newark. On August 9, 1799, Maxwell Bines, Sheriff of New Castle County, sold to Thomas Henderson a small tract of land on White Clay Creek. On this land was a log dwelling and a fulling mill. On April 3, 1811, John and Thomas Glenn, paper makers, purchased this tract of Henderson and an adjoining one making in all thirty-three acres. The fulling mill was converted into a paper-mill, and shortly afterwards sold with the land to James Falls. After the decease of James Falls, the property was vested in his son John. In 1851 Thomas Gibson became the owner, and used the mill for manufacturing cider. In 1858 Levi Hutton bought the property of Gibson. He proceeded to fit up the mill for a cotton manufactory. The building was not strong enough for the purpose, and the undertaking was abandoned. The building was not used after that and was finally removed.

About 1800 a mill was erected near Stanton station by Wm. T. Smith and Sam'l Richards. In 1835 it was purchased by George Piatt, and by him managed until July 16, 1843, when it was purchased by Andrew C. Gray. While owned by Mr. Gray, the mill was burned. Shortly afterwards the site and land connected with it were sold to the Farmer's Bank of the State of Delaware. Jesse Sharp purchased the tract from the directors of the bank, July 2, 1861, and conveyed it to William Dean, June 16, 1864. On 18th day of July 1866 William Dean sold the land to Ash-ton Butterworth and John Pilling, trustees. A cotton-factory was erected and conducted for several years under the style of A. Butterworth & Company. The building was then refitted with machinery for the manufacture of woolen goods, and in 1873 was made a part of the Kiamensi Woolen Mill. The main building is one hundred by sixty feet, two and a half stories high, and is built of brick. The picker house is thirty-five feet square and one story high. It is the last water power mill on the White Clay Creek, and is used solely for carding and spinning. Thirty-five operatives are employed.

In 1832 John Macbeth conveyed to his son Alexander a tract of land, on the Christiana Creek, on which was a saw-mill. In 1834 William Johnson became the owner of the mill, and while it was in his possession he sawed a large quantity of timber. In 1853 he entered into partnership with Jacob Casho and George A. Casho. The business was extended, and in connection with the saw-mill they erected a manufactory of farming implements. For three years they conducted the business, and then admitted C. W. Blandy & Brother into the partnership. In 1857 George A. Casho withdrew, and two years later William Johnson sold his interest to the remaining partners. In 1861 the partnership was dissolved, and Jacob Casho became sole owner. Two years later a partnership was formed between him and Hudson Steele which lasted until 1865, when William Reynolds bought Mr. Steele's interest. The firm was then known as Casho Reynolds & Company. A year later Walter E. Turner succeeded Mr. Reynolds, and the business was conducted under the style of Casho & Company until 1872. In that year "The Casho Machine Company" was incorporated. The first board of directors was Frederick A. Curtis, John Pilling, James H. Ray, John W. Evans, William Green, Jacob Casho and Constantine Mc-Laughlin. Mr. Curtis was elected president and served until October, 1 880, when he resigned and James H. Ray was elected. Mr. Ray resigned in July, 1881, and was succeeded by Thomas S. Bellah, the present president. During 1882 new buildings were erected, and a thirty horse-power engine procured to be used in connection with the water-power. The present organization is as follows: President, Thomas S. Bellah; secretary and treasurer, Charles T. Dure; directors, James Hossinger, Samuel Lindsey, George G. Kerr, S. M. Curtis and Thomas S. Bellah; superintendent, F. A. Spencer. The company at present occupy four buildings for manufacturing, and employ thirty men. The capacity of the manufactory is $75,000 worth of machinery per year. They manufacture wagon-axles, wool-washing machinery and agricultural implements.

William Chandler established a bone and phosphate mill near Stanton Station in 1877. The mill has been operated by him since that period. The capacity of the mill is twenty tons of phosphate or four tons of bone per day. It requires five men to operate it.

The bark mill located near Ogletown and run by the Armstrongs, in connection with the tannery at Newark, was sold by Thomas B. Armstrong in 1833 to the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore Railroad Company, and by them removed.

New Castle County

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

 
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