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Appoquinimink Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware

Early Settlements Churches Schools
Industries Post-Office Hotels
Assessment List, 1787

That portion of New Castle County lying between Appoquinimink and Duck Creeks was formerly de-nominated Appoquinimink Hundred. Mention is made of this territory as a hundred in a deed bearing date January 15, 1708, from William Grant, of "Appoquinimini" Hundred to John Damarcier. Appoquinimink is an Indian term said to mean wounded duck.

By an act of the Legislature, passed March 9, 1875, this land was divided into two hundreds, the northern portion retaining the name Appoquinimink, and the southern part was termed Blackbird, after the stream which forms its northern boundary. The present Appoquinimink is bounded on the north by St. George's Creek and Hundred; on the east by the same. Blackbird Creek and Delaware River; on the south by Blackbird Creek and Hundred and on the west by Maryland. The territory is well watered and very productive. The eastern portion consists mainly of reclaimed marsh. The principal products are com, wheat and peaches. Facilities for shipping are afforded by the Blackbird and Appoquinimink Creeks and the Delaware Division of Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad. In 1683 there were forty taxable inhabitants between Appoquinimink and Duck Creeks. The assessment list of the same territory for 1751, as returned by William Williams, contained the names of two hundred and forty-nine taxables, and a total assessment amounting to two thousand nine hundred and fifteen dollars.

The land between Appoquinimink and Duck Creeks seems to have early attracted the attention of both emigrants and residents of the northern part of the county. On July 1, 1669, William Tom sent to Governor Nichols a request that "ye Finns or others residing at or about Delaware may have an enlargement of their bounds, for ye which they desire to take up some lands at Apoquemini, lying and being within ye government." He also requested "that some families from Maryland may have liberty to come and settle upon ye kill below Apoquemini." These requests were granted August 2nd of that year, upon condition "that in some convenient tyme a Draught be taken of ye land and a return thereof made to the Governor together with its extent, whereupon those who settle there shall have Patents."

Early Settlements

At a council held in the fort at New Castle, April 15, 1671, "Captain Carr relates of ye desire of many families to come and settle below New Castle at Apoquiminy and Bomby's Hook. The most eminent among these are one Mr. Jenes, Mr. Wharton, Mr. Whale.

A letter is ordered to be written to treat with some of them for a settlement."

In 1671 a patent was granted to Abraham Coffin for four hundred acres of land called "Mountain Neck." It was for some reason abandoned, and in 1686 was resurveyed for Johannes De Haes and Ephraim Herman. De Haes was a native of France and the maternal ancestor of the Janvier family; he was a prominent man, a magistrate and a member of the first Legislature of Pennsylvania, held under Penn in 1683. He subsequently became the sole owner of the above tract and also acquired other property in New Castle County. At his death he devised his estate to his son Roelef, who was a member of the first Legislative Assembly in Delaware in 1704. This farm afterwards came into the possession of Thomas Noxon, the founder of Noxontown. A portion of it was conveyed in 1742 by Henry Petersen to Abraham Gooding. In the deed it is mentioned that it is known as "Lucases Neck," but in the original grant was called "Mountain Neck," and near it was "Thomas Noxon's new mill-pond." Brigadier-General Caesar Rodney, with his corps of Delaware militia, encamped for a season on this farm. Noxon purchased other land in this and St. George's Hundreds, He erected two grist-mills in the vicinity of this tract, and on their sites there are now several mills. According to tradition, in early times fairs were held annually at Noxontown for several days, at which were exhibited home products and imports from England. It was a season of great festivity, and the fairs were attended by many persons from a great distance. On Noxon's land, between the Appoquinimink and a branch called Sassafras Branch (Noxontown mill-pond), were a bake-house, a brew-house and a malt-house, and a landing which was used as late as 1855. An old frame building, recently torn town, was used for hotel purposes at a very early date. A brick house in good repair, now owned by William Evans, was built by Noxen, and at one time contained a stone with the inscription "Thomas Noxon, 1740." This was torn out by one of the owners, and is now in the possession of M. N. Willits. Thomas Noxon died in 1743 and devised his mills to his son Benjamin, and his other estate he divided among his children. Descendants of Thomas Noxon still reside in this hundred. The land on which he resided is now owned by W. E. Evans. The adjoining land, formerly belonging to Noxon, is now in the possession of Edward Appleton.

On June 16, 1671, Gov. Francis Lovelace patented to Robert Moreton a tract of five hundred acres and marsh on west of Delaware River, "betwixt Blackbird Creek and Appaquimime: Bounded on ye east with appaquimimy creek: on ye south with a branch which extendeth itself westerly out of ye same creek and divided this from ye land of John Hartop and Henry Hartop and from ye land of Seneca Brewer, which is called Hangmans Hooke: and on ye two opposite sides with ye Maine Woods." On October 31, 1674, Morton conveyed one-half of this tract, "excepting that part of the same as is already this day cleared," to William Grant. Grant's portion was adjoining Appoquinimink Creek. Portions of this tract were owned at various times by Thomas Snelling, Gustavus Anderson, Edmund and Richard Cantwell, Abraham Mertine, Joseph Hill, Alexander Crawford, John Hirons, and finally vested solely in Samuel Thomas, who in 1820 owned large tracts in the northeastern part of the hundred. The above tract was next owned by D. W. Thomas, and is now in the possession of John C. Corbit and Samuel C. Thomas. Thomas Landing is situated within the boundaries of this grant. Hangman's Hook, mentioned in the above recital, lay south of the Merton tract, and was bounded on the east by Blackbird Creek and on the south by the branch known as Hangman's Branch. This tract was patented in 1671 to Seneca Brewer, who was also the owner of land in Christiana Kill. It also forms a portion of the Thomas land.

On March 25, 1676, Gov. Andros warranted to Robert Tallen a tract of land containing two hundred acres, known as "Poplar Hill," situate north of Hangman's Neck and also touching Beaver Dam. This tract was later owned by Samuel Thomas.

Gov. Lovelace patented to William Warner in 1671 "Knowlbush Haven," a tract of four hundred acres adjoining Robert Morton's land. This was also owned by Samuel Thomas and is now in the hands of John C. Corbit.

Captain Edmund Cantwell, who resided at or near Odessa, was an extensive land-holder in Appoquinimink Hundred. On September 5, 1672, a tract of eight hundred acres on Appoquinimink Creek was granted to him by Gov. Lovelace. This tract was granted June 17, 1671, to William Sinclair, who for some reason forfeited his right to it. It was "nigh unto Appoquinimink Creek," being a point or neck of land between two main branches of the creek, north with Main Branch and southeast with Sassafras Branch. He also obtained by grant or purchase a large tract of land between Hangman's Branch and Blackbird Creek, and extending nearly to the present site of Fieldsboro, containing about two thousand two hundred acres. Red Clift, a tract of one thousand five hundred acres, bounded on the north by Appoquinimink Creek and on the west by Sassafras Branch, was in his possession at the time of his decease and contained many improvements. By his will, bearing date October 28, 1679, he devised the lower plantation, which he had purchased of Thomas Snelling, to his son Richard, the middle portion of his estate to his daughter Joanna and the upper part to his daughter. At the death of Joanna her portion vested in Richard and Elizabeth, who was the wife of Henry Garretson.

The eight-hundred-acre tract was sold by the heirs of Edmund Cantwell, August 16, 1707, to William Dyre, and was afterwards owned by John Frogg, Baldwin Johnson, Thomas Hopkinson and John All free. On May 13, 1796, William Allfree sold three hundred acres of it to Benjamin Noxon, son of Thomas Noxon.

It is now owned by R. T. Cochran, R. L, Naudain and the heirs of A. S. Naudain. The tract between Hangman's Branch and Blackbird Creek was at a later period owned by John J. Milligan, and is now in the possession of Edward C. Fenimore, John C. Corbit, D. W. Corbit, the heirs of John J. Milligan and Mrs. Sarah Polk.

The Red Clift tract became the property of Henry Garretson May 18, 1709, and has passed through various hands and is now divided and owned by Nathaniel Williams, Manlove D. Wilson, John F. Staats, Columbus Watkins, Isaac M. Davis and Joseph C. Hutchinson.

A tract of four hundred acres adjoining Cantwell's grant was patented to Bezaliel Osbourne by William Penn, and was assigned by his heirs to John Healy, July 13, 1704. Cornelius Cooper, the next owner, conveyed the land to John Demerst, October 1, 1716. The tract next passed into the hands of Charles Robinson, who, at his death, devised his estate to his son Charles and his daughter Mary, who was the wife of Philip Hanson. Charles sold his portion to Slator Clay, an innkeeper of New Castle, February 13, 1759. This portion is now owned by John C. Corbit. Mary's portion descended to her son, William Hanson, who, in 1773, conveyed it to James Moore, by whom it was sold to Mrs. Richard C. Dale. It is now owned by James V. Moore, the oldest resident of the hundred. The entire tract, while in the possession of Charles Robinson, was known as "New England Man's Land." Robinson was also the owner of one hundred and four acres on the south side of Appoquinimink Creek and adjoining land of Richard Cantwell, which he purchased of Thomas Noxon, February 18, 1737.

The Naudains of this and adjoining hundreds are the descendants of Elias Naudain, who was the son of Elias, a Huguenot, born at Nantes, France, in 1655, and driven from there to England in 1681, on account of his religious views. He died in 1686, and his widow, whose maiden name was Gabel Arnaud, married Jacob Rattier and came to America. Elias was born in London and made a denizen in 1703. His certificate of denization, made out before Thomas Lawrence, a notary public of London, and recorded at New Castle, June 12, 1720, says that Elias Naudain, "the born beyond the seas, is made her Majesty's liege subject," and is given all the rights of subjects as well as the privilege of purchasing land in any of her dominions. He came to America and settled in Appoquinimink Hundred early in the eighteenth century. In 1711 he erected a brick house, which is still standing, and is now owned by Daniel W. Corbit. In 1715 he was an elder in Drawyer's Church. His first recorded deed bears date August 23, 1722, and is for a tract of land in St. George's Hundred, which he purchased of Moses McKinley, being one hundred acres of a tract devised by William Patterson to his daughter, Elizabeth, wife of Moses McKinley, January 17, 1699, and situated on St. Augustine Creek. He also purchased of Jacob Bead a tract of three hundred acres, called "Sutton," near St. George's Creek. "Spring Garden," a tract of two hundred acres on the southwest side of Drawyer's Creek, was purchased by him, June 11, 1723, of Jonas Wright. On August 19, 1734, he purchased two hundred acres more of the William Patterson land of the son, William. It was part of the Herman grant, which William Patterson purchased March 17, 1686, and was on the south side of St. Augustine Creek, and along the King's road. He also purchased a tract on Blackbird Creek, on the north side of the mouth of the creek of Johannes Jacquett This tract comprised two hundred and twenty-nine acres, and was called "Hartop's Pasture," which was owned in 1671 by John and Henry Hartop.

Daniel Corbit, a Scotch Quaker, settled on a tract adjoining land then in the possession of Richard Cantwell and Elias Naudain early in the eighteenth century. In 1765 William Corbit built a tan-yard near Odessa, and the family shortly afterwards moved there and have been associated with its history since. The three manor-houses and portions of the land owned by Cantwell, Naudain and Daniel Corbit were, at a later period, owned by Daniel Corbit, a great-grandson of the original Daniel. They are now owned by his heirs, John C. and Daniel W. Corbit, of Odessa, and Louisa, wife of Captain Charles Corbit, of Red Lion Hundred.

In 1683 Lord Baltimore granted to Peter Sayer a tract of one thousand acres called "Worsell Mannour." The larger portion of this tract was situated in Maryland and the remainder in this hundred. It afterwards came into the possession of James Heath, who was buried on the land. The inscription on his tombstone is as follows:

"Here lyes the body of Mr. James Heath, who was born att Warwick on the 27 day of July, 1658, and dyed the 10th day of November, 1731, in the seventy-fourth year of his age.
Requiescat in Peace."

It was his desire to be buried in Maryland, but the Hue run between the States in 1768 places his remains on Delaware soil. The farm, at a later period, was owned by William Wilson and is now in the possession of Samuel R. Warren.

On June 9, 1708, Maurice Liston sold to Samuel Vance a tract of land containing two hundred and eighty-two acres on the east side of Heron Bun and north of Blackbird Creek, being the property which was sold by Sheriff John French on a judgment obtained against Isaac Wholden, August 14, 1699. John Wright is the present owner.

Samuel Moore, of Appoquinimink Hundred, obtained a grant of one hundred and twenty-nine acres in the forks of Church Branch, near the head of Appoquinimink Creek. This was near St. Ann's Church, and was surveyed January 4, 1737. It is now owned by ex-Governor John P. Cochran and E. R. Cochran, clerk of the peace. In 1664 James Crawford, a physician, came with Sir Robert Carr from New York to New Castle, where, in 1667, he obtained a warrant for a tract of land in the town of New Castle or vicinity. He was also a sergeant in the English army which captured New Castle from the Dutch, and received the tracts of land "in consideration of good service performed by James Craw-ford, a soldier." In 1675 he obtained from Governor Edmund Andros a warrant for a tract of four hundred acres on St. George's Creek. He also obtained another warrant in 1682 for four hundred acres of land on Duck Creek. He died in 1683, leaving a widow, Judith, two sons, John and James, and a daughter, Mary, to survive him. His widow shortly afterwards married Edward Gibbs, the ancestor of the Gibbs living at the present lime in St. George's Hundred. They reside on the plantation on St. George's, which they purchased from the other heirs. John, the son, sold his estate to his step-father, went to England and became an Episcopal minister. James came into possession of the property on Duck Creek, where he lived and died, Mary married Thomas Ogle and resided in White Clay Creek Hundred. James, the grandson of the original James, purchased land in Appoquinimink Hundred, on the "levels," some of which is still in the possession of the family.

John Scott and Lydia, his wife, came from Ireland, previous to 1772, and settled in Appoquinimink Hundred. In that year Rev. Thomas Scott was born. The family were early connected with the Methodists. On December 22, 1796, Thomas married Mrs. Anna Lattomus, a relict of John Lattomus, who owned a portion of the farm, which is now in the possession of George L. Townsend. There were two children of John Lattomus, John and Diana, of whom the latter died while a child. John married Mary Hopkins, and was the father of Levi W. Lattomus, who became a prominent man in Townsend. Sarah, Thomas and Levi were the children of Thomas Scott and Ann, his wife. Thomas occupied the homestead for many years after his father's death and then it passed into the hands of Levi, who became bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The house in which the bishop was born is still standing, though no longer used as a dwelling, and he referred to it as '' The dear, old homestead of sawed poplar logs, with its narrow, hip sheds, front and back, running the whole length of the building, and throwing off the falling showers from the doors." It gave place in 1846, though on a different site, to a more modern and spruce-looking white two-story frame house.

William Wilson, of "the Levels," was the youngest child of Edward and Lydia Roth well Wilson. He was born at "Homestead Hall," near Middletown, September 17, 1810. His father was an extensive land-owner and farmer, and well-known in his day. He died at the age of fifty-seven, when the subject of this sketch was about ten years old. William Wilson received a good English education at the district schools and the Middletown Academy. When he became of age he devoted himself to agriculture, and made it the business of his life. He had received a considerable quantity of land from his father's estate, but it had been much impaired in value by the exhausting methods of farming which then prevailed. With wise sagacity and untiring energy he devoted himself to the work of recuperating the land and enlarging his domain. He was so successful that years before his death he was the possessor of about thirty-five hundred acres of the choicest land in the Peninsula. His property extended beyond the State line into Maryland. His large estate included, at first, the "Mayfield" farm, the " Middlesex,'* " Homestead Hall," " Heath Mansion,'* " Brick Store Landing," and the "California" farms, all in Delaware; and the "Barnes" tract, the "Foard" farm, "Painter's Rest" and "Oregon" farms, situated in Cecil County, Maryland. He also owned ten dwellings in Warwick, a carriage-shop, machine-shop and vacant lots, valued at $13,000. The "Brick Store" farm had come into Mr. Wilson's possession through his wife, Rachel Naudain, and had been in her family since the original patents were given to her ancestors by William Penn. Accordingly, at the death of Mr. Wilson, this farm became the property of William N. and John T., sons of Mr. Wilsons first wife, who was a daughter of Rev. Arnold S. Naudain, of New Castle. Mr. Wilson's lands were chiefly devoted to the growing of cereals, but, when the culture of fruit gave such encouraging promise as one of the profitable industries of the State, he became interested in it, and, at one time, had as many as thirty-five thou-sand peach trees in bearing. This interest was profitable from the first, and continued so until after the death of Mr. Wilson, when "the yellows" affected his trees as unfavorably as it had other orchards.

In politics, Mr. Wilson was an Old-Line Whig, and in early and middle life was quite active in political 'matters. He was several times prominently spoken of as a suitable candidate for Governor, but his desire for public office was not of a kind to make him enter the lists as a competitor. He was first married to Rachel Naudain, April 3, 1832.

She died in August, 1862, and left three children, Lydia R., William Naudain and John Thomas. Lydia R. married James P. Rothwell, of New Castle County. She had two children, one of whom, Delaware Wilson Rothwell, is still living at Newark with his father. Mrs. Rothwell died in 1872.

In 1863 Mr. Wilson married Miss L. Annie, a daughter of Jacob V. Naudain. He died August 21, 1879, greatly regretted by the whole community. He was a man of uprightness, fidelity and kindness, and is kindly remembered as such by those who knew him.

Mrs. Wilson and her six children. Rathe! R., Mollie L., Edward V., R. Alexis, Howard Groome and Bayard K., survived Mr. Wilson, and now reside in Middletown in their pleasant home on South Broad Street. Miss Annie Jessie married Eugene Clayton, youngest son of Colonel Joshua Clayton, who fell a victim to the poisonous effects of the drugs used in his art as a taxidermist, in which he was unusually skilled. Since the death of her husband Mrs. Clayton has resided and now resides with her father-in-law. She has one child, which bears its father's name in full.

Since the death of Mr. Wilson the lands above mentioned have been sold. Two of the farms were purchased by John T. Wilson, and the proceeds of the sale of the others have been invested for the other heirs. Edward V. Wilson has recently bought the Etherington farm in Cecil County, Maryland, and expects to make it his future home. Alexis is, at present, 1887, attending school at Hackettstown, New Jersey.

The Assessment List of the taxables of Appoquinimink Hundred for 1787, which at that time included all the territory between Appoquinimink and Duck Creeks, as returned by Elias Naudain November 28th of that year, contains the names.


Long before the common-school system came into operation the necessity of imparting a good education to the young was felt, and for this purpose pay or subscription schools were opened in various parts of the hundred. Of the teachers of these select schools the names of John Mulholland, Irvill and James Caulder are well-remembered. In many instances then the children of the needy poor were looked after and sent to school. The introduction of the common school system gave a new impetus to the work of education. The convenience of attending on account of the increased number of schools, together with the liberty extended to all, was universally looked upon as a great blessing. Lambert Simmons figured prominently among the pioneer teachers under the new system. The early boundaries of the districts in the hundred have been changed and new districts created as the increased population demanded more school-houses. The methods of teaching have improved, and the ability and capability of the teachers is of a much higher standard than formerly. The old and carelessly built school-houses have in most cases been replaced by new and convenient ones erected with some regard to the health of the pupils.

In 1883 the school commissioners of Townsend erected a nice two-story frame building. The upper floor is used as a public hall and for exhibitions of the school. The lower story is divided into two commodious rooms for school purposes.

Samuel Tyson serves in the capacity of principal.


St. Anne's Church was the earliest organized congregation in the southern portion of New Castle County. When the church is organized is not definitely known, but it was before 1704. The following is an extract from a grant by the commissioners of property to Richard Cantwell and William Dyre, dated 1st of Ninth Month, 1704:

"Whereas, Richard Cantwell and Wm. Dyre, with several others, inhalants upon and near Apoquiniminck Creek in the County of New Castle, have requested us that we would grant them a convenient piece of ground for erecting a chapel for the use and benefit of themselves and other members of the Church of England: These are to authorize and require thee to survey and lay out for the use aforesaid, in the place by then designed, for erecting the said chapel on the left hand of the Queen's Road below the said Creek, the Quantity of ten acres of land that is vacant and make return unto the General Surveyor's Office, at Philadelphia."

The church was built the following year on a mound due east of the present edifice. The church was supplied till the Revolutionary War with ministers sent by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. In 1728 a disagreement arose between the pastor and congregation, and was the cause of a discontinuance of services. The following is a copy of a letter sent to him by some of the leading members, and is a matter of record:

"The unhappy differences that hath arisen between you and your Parishioners hath given us verey great concern, not only for that you have declined (for some time past) Giving that Attendance at our Church there to discharge your duty According to your appointment, but especially because the misunderstandings between ministers of the Church of England and their Parishioners tend greatly to the Reproach of our most Holy Religion and to bring us into contempt, and fore as much as you have thought fit to vindicate your Reputation by a Prosecution at Law and have recovered Damages for the words spoken of you, we request you, as a minister of the Church of England and a Christian to lay aside your Resentments and Return to the Care of your parish where you shall not fail to meet with all the Respect and Good usuage due to a minister of the Gospell and a good man while you continue to live as such amongst us; we are in behalf of ourselves and the parishioners of Appoquinimink.

"I your most humble Servant,
Andrew Peterson
John Gooding
Enwd. Gariteen
R'd. Cantwell
Jacob Gooding

Among the rectors who ministered here previous to the Revolution were Revs. Sewell, Crawford, Jenkins, Biorck, Club, Ross (father of Geo. Ross, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence), Merry, Campbell, Hackett, Pugh and Reading. The latter died in 1778, and is buried near the church. The present edifice was erected in 1768. To this church Queen Anne presented a covering for the communion table with the initials of her name, viz.: "A. R." upon it in silk embroidery. This was the only relic saved from the fire which destroyed the church in 1882.

The old church, now only used once a year, stands about three-quarters of a mile from Middletown, on the only ridge for miles around, and which the English commissioners sent to examine the colonies de-scribed as a "huge mountain." It is a well-preserved building surrounded by a grove of gigantic oaks. The ivy around it was brought from England by Bishop Doane and planted here. During the Revolutionary War it is probable that there were no services conducted here, but in 1791 Rev. Bissell was rector. From that time services were held regularly here until 1872. In 1871 the building needed repairs, and it was decided on account of convenience to erect an edifice in Middletown. In that year a lot on the corner of Green and Church Streets was donated to the church by William Green, and the erection of a building commenced. The corner-stone was laid August 5th of the same year, by Dr. McCabe, and the consecration ceremonies were performed on the 4th of April following. This building was destroyed by fire May 2, 1882. The present handsome structure was then erected at a cost of $10,000 and opened for regular serviced on December 25th of the same year. The present number of communicants is about eighty. A Sunday-school under the superintendence of the rector is connected with the church. In 1883 a rectory was built at a cost of $3000. The officers of the church at present are : Senior Warden, H. N. Willits ; Junior Warden, H. A. Nowland ; Vestry, Wm. R. Cochran, W. A. Comegys, Joseph Hanson, John Lockwood, M. N. Willits, E. R. Cochran, Isaac Gibbs.

The following is a list of the rectors since 1791 and the date when they commenced the service:

Rev. Bissel 1791
Rev. De Shiel 1794
Rev. Reese 1802
Rev. H. Lyon Davis. 1808
Rev. Smith 1822
Rev. Wilier 1824
Rev. Robinson.
Rev. Reese 1831
Rev. H. L. Davis 1831
Rev. T. McKenny 1834
Rev. John Coleman 1835
Rev. Peck 1836
Rev. J. P. Bausman 1838
Rev. J. H. Tyng 1842
Rev. Thos J. Ozzanne 1844
Rev. Andrew Freeman 1845
Rev. H. R. Harold 1849
Rev. Thee. Billopp 1856
Rev. Lloyd Goldsborough 1858
Rev. John W. Brown 1866
Rev. J. C. McCabe, D. D 1868
Rev. W. C. Butler 1873
Rev. G. W. Lewis 1877
Rev. H. S. H. Gallaudet 1884
Rev. Joseph Beers 1885

The first meeting that led to the erection of Emanuel M. E. Church, at Townsend, was held June 13, 1871. A ten-days' notice had been given by Archibald Finley that a meeting would be called on this date, for the purpose of selecting trustees to procure suitable grounds and erect a church. The trustees were A. Finley, Richard Townsend, Israel P. Hall, Isaac Passwaters, George M. D. Hart, William P. Forest, William Daniels. David S. Lynam and Nehemiah Davis. Of these, Townsend and Davis were appointed to select ground. On July 5, 1871, they purchased one acre, in the midst of a grove, of Samuel B. Ginn, The erection of a frame church, twenty-four feet by thirty-six feet, was immediately begun. It was dedicated on August 20th, of the same year, by Revs. J. F. Clymer, Vaughn Smith and W. C. Prettyman. The membership at this time was fifteen. The church was connected with the Appoquinimink Circuit until 1878, when it was made a separate station. Several additions have been made to the building at various times. The church has been very prosperous, and now has a membership of one hundred and twenty-five. A flourishing Sunday-school of one hundred and fifty scholars, under the superintendence of D. B. Maloney, is connected with the church. The scholars have the use of a well-selected library. On September 2, 1881, two and a half acres of land, about a mile southwest of the town, were purchased of James T. Taylor, and laid out in burying lots, and is under the control of the board of trustees of this church.

The board is at present composed of the following persons: Thomas Maloney, D. B. Maloney, George M. D. Hart, William Daniels, A. L. Quillen, James T. Taylor. H. A. Wilson and William A. Scott.

Since Emanuel Church has been a separate station it has been served by Revs. J. Hestin Willey, Theodore E. Bell, C. K. Morris, E. P. Roberts and S. M. Morgan, the present paster.

The Independent Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in February, 1883, with a membership of thirty-six. Meetings were held in Vandyke's school-house until 1886, when the present church was erected. It was situated three miles west of Townsend, on a tract of land one hundred by one hundred and twenty-five feet, donated to the congregation by Columbus Watkins. The building is a frame structure, twenty by thirty-four feet, and cost about seven hundred and fifty dollars. The first trustees were David Johnson, Joshua Brown, Thomas Biddle, John Solway and James T. Webb. The church has been prosperous; but owing to the fact that many of the congregation have removed from the vicinity, the membership now numbers twenty-eight, A flourishing Sunday-school, with a membership of thirty-eight, is conducted under the superintend en cy of Mrs. Sarah Skeggs. Services are held every Sun-day afternoon by Rev. J. T. Webb, who has ministered to the congregation since its organization.

William Moore, James T. Webb, William Nowland, Caleb Lewis, Wellington H. Townsend and Sarah Skeggs compose the present board of trustees.

The First Methodist Church in the hundred was White's Chapel, which stood between Townsend and Pine Tree. This was succeeded by Dickerson's Chapel, which was near Dexter's corner. On July 17, 1789, Joseph Dickerson donated to Lewis Alfree, John Barlow, Abraham Frelas, Elias Naudain, Barnett Vanhorn, John Allen, Jacob Alfree, Thomas Skillington and Francis Kinsley a tract of land on which the first Union Church was built. This building remained until 1844, when it was removed and the present building erected. During this interval services were held in Lea's Chapel, standing nearby. The structure, forty by sixty feet, one story high, was completed in 1848, and cost three thousand eight hundred dollars. The bricks of which the church is built, were manufactured on church property in close proximity to the site of the building. In 1877 the church was closed for repairs, and was reopened in November by Bishop Simpson. The church is in a prosperous condition and has a membership of one hundred and fifty. There are forty members of the Sunday-school, which is under the superintendence of Frank Reems. The church has been connected with the same circuits as Friendship M. E. church, and been served by the same pastors.

The present board of trustees is composed of the following persons: Jacob C. Van Dyke, John Town-send, William M. Watts, Frank Reems, John Ellis, Colen Ferguson, Benjamin Money, J. C. Hutchinson, Purnell T. Jones and Andrew J. Collins. Services are held every Sunday.

Bishop Levi Scott, D. D., born October 11, 1802, at sixteen started to learn the tanning business, but served but four months at that trade ; he then went to Georgetown to learn the carpenter trade, which he found was too severe ; he then went to Odessa to learn cabinet-making with John Janvier. He was converted October 16, 1821, preached as an itinerant in the spring of 1826, and in 1827 was junior preacher in the Dover District; 1828 in full connection. In 1345 he was presiding elder of South Philadelphia District. In 1848 he was assistant book agent for a Methodist book concern in New York. 1852 Methodist Episcopacy.


The earliest record of any industry in Appoquinimink Hundred is relative to the mills in Noxontown. When they were built is unknown, but in 1736 Thomas Noxon purchased an acre of land for the use of a new mill. The mill here referred to is the mill known now as Drummond's Mill. From this it is fair to infer that the mill now owned and operated by William E. Evans was erected at an earlier date. It is said that the old mill was used solely for merchant work, and that ships ran to it and were loaded at its door. The new mill was erected for custom work, which was no small industry at that time. After the death of Thomas Noxon, in 1743, he devised his mills to his son, Benjamin, who operated them for some time. In 1785 Benjamin Williams was the owner of these mills, and on the assessment list of 1816 they were charged to the estate of Joseph Curry. The old mill was afterwards owned respectively by Samuel Hand, Edward Silcox and now by William E. Evans. It is a four-story frame building, forty by thirty feet. The grinding is done by burr, and is entirely custom work. The new mill was later owned by J. Drummond, and is now in the possession of the New Castle County Bank. It was refitted with a complete roller system in 1887, and has a capacity of a barrel and a half per hour. It is now operated by Willits Clothier. The earliest record of the mill now owned by I. A. Harmon is found on the assessment list of 1816, when it was the property of Joseph & Whitby, who was a large land-owner in the vicinity of the mill. At his death the mill passed to his son, John, who operated it for some time, and then sold it to Garret Ottison. It was afterwards owned by _____ Hunter, who sold it to _____ McDaniel, by whom it was repaired and generally improved. The mill was next owned respectively by John Lewis and William Johnson, by whom it was conveyed to the present owner. It was a two-story frame building, situated a mile north of Townsend, It is fitted up with burrs, and grinds custom work exclusively.

A tile-yard was operated by Matthews &. Van Dyke for a few years in this hundred, about a mile south of Odessa. It has not been operated for the past twenty years. They had a capacity of three hundred thousand tiles per year.

In 1872 a brick-yard was opened a short distance south of Townsend by Samuel R. Warren. It was operated a year by him and then sold to D. B. Maloney, the present owner. Brick are manufactured here during six months of the year and employment is given for that period to five men. About one hundred and seventy-five thousand are manufactured annually for home consumption.

In 1883 Samuel R. Warren erected a saw-mill on his premises in this hundred. This be operated until 1887, when he moved it to Sudlersville. It had a capacity of two thousand five hundred feet per day and gave employment to thirteen men. Merchant and custom work were executed.

The brick-yard on the farm of Samuel R. Warren was opened by him in 1886. It gives employment to six men for six months in the year. About two hundred thousand bricks are manufactured annually.

Appleton & Hart erected a frame building, twenty four by forty feet, on the corner of Commerce and Gray Streets, Townsend, in 1882. They fitted it up with two evaporators and commenced evaporating peaches. In 1884 Appleton sold his share to Hart, who enlarged the size and capacity of the manufactory. The present capacity is eight hundred baskets per day. The evaporating season lasts six weeks per year and during this period G. M. D. Hart gives employment to one hundred operatives. The fruit is shipped principally to New York and Philadelphia.


The post-office was established at Townsend September 1, 1856. Levi W. Lattomus was the first postmaster. He was succeeded by Jas. C. Wilson and John S. Wilson. William A. Scott, the present incumbent, was appointed October 1, 1885.

The post-office at Fieldsboro' was established in 1854 with Edward Silcox as its first postmaster. He was succeeded in October 1858 by William Doughton. Jos. C. Hutchinson, William W. Lynam and Frederick H. Weller have also served as postmasters here. Edward Silcox, the first postmaster and present incumbent, took charge of the office again in 1886. One mail a day north and south is received here. The stage line running from Townsend to Deakyneville carries the mail to this point.


The first hotel in Townsend was erected about 1857 by Abraham Ingram. It was first occupied by Joseph T. Hill. The property was afterwards owned by William Scott and Levi W. Lattomus. Shortly after Mr. Lattomus' purchase it was converted into a dwelling, in which he resided until his death, and it is now occupied by his family.

The present hotel was first opened as a restaurant about 1870 by James C. Townsend. At a later period the dwelling was annexed by the owner, Samuel Townsend. It has been operated by several proprietors and is owned and managed by J. L. Dickinson.

The Mutual Loan Association of Townsend, Delaware, was organized in February, 1883. The first officers of the association were: President, John F. Staats; Vice-President, William R. Martin; Secretary and Treasurer, William A. Scott. Directors: John F. Staats, William R. Martin, George M. D. Hart, D. B. Maloney, Thomas Maloney, George L. Townsend, S. R. Warren, Dr. J. V. Crawford, T. A. Enos.

Series are issued yearly and continue until each share has a value of $400. Its influence has been felt in the growth of the town.

The officers are the same as above, with the following exceptions:

George L. Townsend succeeded William R. Martin as vice-president, and L. V. Aspril, Jr., and George W. Vandyke are directors vice William R. Martin and Dr. J. V. Crawford.

Towns and Villages

Fieldsboro' is the name of a small village in Appoquinimink Hundred, about three miles northeast of Townsend, on the upper "King's Road." It was so named in honor of William Fields, who at one time owned the land on which it is situated. It contains a school-house, post-office, a wheelwright and blacksmith-shop, two stores, kept respectively by Edward Silcox and James H. Grarten, and about eight dwellings.


Previous to 1860 the only buildings within the present limits of Townsend were two or three huts occupied by negroes. The most noted of these was Charles Lloyd, after whom the village was called Charley Town. About this period the land immediately west of the town and a portion of the present town was purchased by Samuel Townsend, a man of considerable prominence in this vicinity. When the railroad was constructed through this section and a station located here, the question as to what the name of the depot should be caused considerable disputation. Samuel Townsend advocated calling it "Townsend," and his opponents favored "Lancaster," which was said to be the old name for this tract. Townsend was finally agreed upon, and the town has since that time borne this name. The first store in the town was opened in 1851 by Levi W. Lattomus, whose sons are still engaged in business in the town. The village grew quite rapidly, and April 3, 1885, was incorporated as a town. The incorporators were Eli C. Welsh, George M. D. Hart, D. B. Maloney, Albert Lynam and James T. Taylor, who were also instructed to secure the services of a skillful engineer and make a plot of the town and lay out the streets, which they accordingly did. The town has a population of three hundred and fifty, and is situated near the centre of the hundred, about twenty-eight miles distant from Wilmington. It is the terminus of the Queen Anne and Kent Railroad, and also has railroad facilities on the Delaware Division. From this place large quantities of grain and peaches are shipped every year. The business of the place is conducted by J. S. & W. Lattomus, William A. Scott, J. S. Townsend, D. B. Maloney, S. R. Warren, Thomas Maloney, L. B. Shockley and George M. D. Hart.

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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