Part of the American History and Genealogy Project




Mill Creek Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware

Early Settlers Villages Staning Manor
Religious Matters Schools Roads and Bridges
Industries Lodges Post-Offices
Assessment List, 1804

Mill Creek Hundred is situated in the north-western part of New Castle County, and is bounded on the north and west by the Circle, on the east by Red Clay Creek and on the south by White Clay Creek. The hundred abounds with streams favorable for manufacturing, and, doubtless, on this ac-count received its name. The land was early taken up and improved, and is in an excellent state of cultivation. The hundred is principally noted for the number of manufacturing industries that have existed, and still exist, within its bounds. A branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad runs through the northern and eastern parts, and affords facilities for travel and shipping. The climate is healthful, and the land fertile, producing wheat, corn and oats in abundance. The assessment list of 1804 contains the names of four hundred and sixty-three taxables. At that time there were in the hundred ninety-nine log houses, forty-eight stone, twenty-one built of brick.

There are numerous small hills in this hundred the highest of which is "Meeting- House Hill." On this, in the summer of 1862, '53 or 54, a corps of engineers encamped, and erected an observatory about eighty feet high, on which their instruments were mounted. Their object was to survey the coast from New York to the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. For this purpose signals were erected on poles, within a range of from ten to a hundred miles; and whenever the view was obstructed by woods openings were cut. The party was there three or four months, and had a guard of United States soldiers. A few years since another corps of engineers erected an observatory on "Drummond's Hill."

Early Settlement

Charles Rumsey, a native of Wales, immigrated to Charleston, S. C, in 1665. He resided there and at New York for several years, and finally became a resident of Maryland. While there he obtained patents for considerable land in Mill Creek Hundred. On the 25th day of March, 1676, Gov. Andros granted have hundred and seventy acres of land lying on Red Clay and White Clay Creeks to Charles Rumsey, Walraven Jansen and others. On December 4, 1679, Rumsey sold two hundred acres of this tract to John Watkins, who sold the upper part of it to John Cann, April 6, 1680. On December 3, 1679, Rumsey and Arient Jansen Vanderburgh petitioned the court of New Castle for a grant of land "behind Bread & Cheese Island." Rumsey obtained two hundred acres, with half of a marsh, and Vanderburgh one hundred acres, with the other half of the marsh. Rumsey sold one hundred acres on the 26th day of January, 1680, to Samuel Barker, who conveyed the same tract to John Cann September 5, 1682. Rumsey also owned other land in the hundred, and part of it was purchased from him by William Guest. Walraven Jansen, by his will dated March 1, 1681, devised to his son, Guysbert Jansen, one-half of his land, which included a portion of the five hundred and seventy acres above-mentioned, for the maintenance of his wife and children. In addition to the land patented to Rumsey, and which afterward came into the possession of John Cann, there was surveyed to Cann a tract of three hundred acres on White Clay Creek. Mill Creek flowed through this land, and made a junction with White Clay Creek at the terminus of this tract. On September 5, 1682, he conveyed to Joseph Barnes a tract of land on the west of land owned by John Moll (late by Charles Rumsey), extending two hundred and sixty yards along White Clay Creek to land of John Nommers, and thence the same distance into the woods, on which tract a house had been built by Cann. On the same day Barnes bought of John Nommers that portion of his land which lay on the north side of White Clay Creek. On October 2, 1677, Broor and Andreas Sinnexsen obtained a grant of six hundred acres called "Claesburg," situated on the north side of White Clay Creek, near "Mill Brook." On the 13th day of April, 1685, Broor Sinnexsen conveyed to Humphrey Bert and Edward Green two hundred and twenty acres, and to Christian Juriansen, his son-in-law, one hundred acres, both being parts of a tract containing three hundred and twenty acres, called Water Land. Humphrey Bert and Edward Green sold half of theirs to John Crampton, and Juriansen's portion finally came into the possession of William Keith. On October 14, 1683, there was surveyed, for John Ogle, a tract of four hundred and thirty acres, called "Hop Yards,'' situated on the north side of a branch of Christiana Creek, called White Clay Creek. On December 11th, of the same year, William Welch obtained a warrant for one thousand acres of land on the north side of White Clay Creek.

John Moll, who was the president justice of the Court of New Castle County from 1676 to 1682, and of whom a sketch will be found in the Bench and Bar, became a resident of the hundred. He purchased a tract of land of Charles Rumsey, who soon after died, and on July 2, 1769, Catharine, his widow, declared herself ready to stand by the sale of her husband's plantation and part of his land at White Clay Falls Kill to Mr. John Moll, who was also the owner of one thousand acres in Red Lion Hundred, of which mention is made in that hundred. He lived upon the Mill Creek plantation, except when engaged in his court duties, until about a year after his retirement from the bench, when he, with Peter Bayard, Peter Sluyter, Arnoldus de La Grange and others, purchased, August 11, 1684, three thousand seven hundred and fifty acres of land lying on the waters of the Chesapeake. This tract embraced the four necks of land east from the first creek that empties into Bohemia River. But little is known of his later career.

On June 9, 1684, William Guest obtained a grant from William Penn for a certain tract of land in the county of New Castle, on the north side of one of the branches of Christiana Creek called White Clay Creek, and on the east side of a branch of White Clay Creek, known by the name of "Millin," and about two miles from Bread and Cheese Island. This tract, known as Wedgebury, contained seven hundred acres, two hundred and thirty-eight of which Guest bought of Charles Rumsey and the remainder was taken up on a grant. On the 20th of October, of the same year, he procured fifty acres more adjoining the above tract on the north side. On May 9, 1696, articles of agreement were drawn up by Thomas Sawer and William Guest, whereby Guest "shall have liberty from time to time and all times hereafter to dig upon a certain hill or knowle of ground for ising glasse or other metal whatsoever he shall find there and carry away to his own use, &c." The hill here referred to contained two or three acres. On the 4th of November, 1702, he obtained five hundred and thirty acres on the western side of Red Clay Creek, near Bread and Cheese Island, and touching White Clay Creek. In this connection mention is made of "a white oak stump standing on a bank by the mill."

Probably the earliest settler in what is now Mill Creek Hundred was Thomas Wollaston, who settled upon a tract in this hundred and there resided until his death, which occurred in 1686. In February, 1666, Colonel Richard Nichols granted to Sergeant Thomas Wollaston, John Ogle, John Hendrick and Harman Jansen a warrant for a tract of land containing three hundred acres lying "in White Clay Kill, near unto Christiana Kill, bounded on the east by land of Hans Boner, on the south by James Crawford's land, on the West by Fresh or Rum Creek (now Mill Creek), and on the north by the waters at the head of Bread and Cheese Island.'' John Ogle resided at New Castle and vicinity until his death, in 1684. Jansen was a resident of Crane Hook. Sergeant Wollaston took out warrants under Governor Lovelace at the following times: In 1668, for one hundred and eighty acres; in 1669, for one hundred and ninety-two acres; in 1675, Swart Nutten Island; and in 1680 for two hundred and twenty-four acres.

He also bought other adjoining lands in the same hundred. He was one of the signers for the mill-seat near what is now Stanton, in October, 1679. On February 7, 1677, soon after the reorganization of the court at New Castle, he was appointed under-sheriff of New Castle and its precincts by Sheriff Edward Cantwell. He was also appointed marshall and crier of the court. These positions he held until 1679, when he was succeeded by Samuel Land.1 He was foreman of the jury July 10, 1686, in a suit between Cornelius Empson and Jacob Vandeveer, on title to land on north side of Brandywine, above the Vandeveer tract. On the same date he sold two hundred acres of his own tract to John Crampton, who also bought of Humphrey Bert and Edward Green one hundred and ten acres of land, the half of a tract of two hundred and twenty acres lying in White Clay Creek Hundred, which they had purchased of Broor Sinnexson. From this transaction of Wollaston with Crampton a lawsuit sprang up, and Crampton obtained a judgment in the court at New Castle, which continued some time. It was finally carried by Wollaston to the higher courts or powers in Philadelphia, where the decision was reversed.2

Thomas Wollaston died in 1686, and Martha, his widow and administratrix, and John Hendricks, August 21, 1705, conveyed the half-interest in the first tract purchased, including the half of the mill property at the island, to Cornelius and Richard Empson. Cornelius Empson, by his will, December 12, 1710, left the mill on White Clay Creek (Stanton) to his daughters Sarah and Elizabeth. Thomas Wollaston left two sons, Jeremiah and Thomas. The latter, on February 2, 1730, conveyed to his brother Jeremiah the tract of two hundred and twenty-four acres, warranted to their father in 1680. This land was on or near White Clay Creek, near the old Presbyterian meeting-house, where Jeremiah at the time lived. Jeremiah Wollaston lived and died on the place. His son Joshua came to Wilmington and resided there all his days, as did his son Samuel. Two daughters of Samuel, Catherine and Elizabeth, became the wives respectively of Elwood Garrett and Albert W. Smith, both of Wilmington, where they now reside.

On August 3, 1668, a patent was granted by Governor Nichols to Olle Poulson, Thomas Jacobs and Thomas Snelling for the land on Bread and Cheese Island. The origin of the name for this island has not been ascertained. On the 4th of June 1679, John Anderson, who had purchased a sixth interest in the island, sold his share to Olle Poulson. At this time Abram Mann was also a part owner, and on February 4th, of the following year, purchased from Olle Poulson all his right and title (which was a third interest) in Bread and Cheese Island. At the same time he also bought of Olle Poulson a one-sixth interest in two hundred and forty-eight acres of land. - lying near and adjoining Bread and Cheese Island. This tract was patented by Governor Andros to Olle Poulson, Thomas Jacobs and Arient Jansen (Johnson), November 17, 1679, on a warrant and survey made for them in 1675. The Thomas Jacobs portion of this tract was inherited by his son, Olle Thomas, and by him devised to his son, Peter Thomas, who died without issue. It then passed into the hands of his brother, Paul Thomas, and was by him devised to his daughter Eleanor, who was the wife of John Twigs. The part belonging to Arient Jansen came into the possession of Andrew Vance. Twigs and Vance united, February 21, 1737, in conveying their portions to Edward Robinson, who, by various conveyances, was also the owner of Bread and Cheese Island, which he still held in 1755.

During the latter part of the eighteenth century there was a ship-yard on this island, managed by Barney Harris, William Woodcock and Simon Crauston. During the War of 1812 they were driven from home by the British, and they withdrew to Jones Creek, Kent County, where they erected a brig. The shipyard has not been opened since that time. The island now belongs to David R. and George M. D. Lynam, by descent from their father, David Lynam, who purchased it in 1833.

William Penn, wishing to suitably provide for his two younger children, William and Letitia, directed Henry Hollingsworth, surveyor, by warrant bearing date February 17, 1699, to lay out some land for them. In the following year thirty thousand acres were surveyed for them in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and New Castle County, Delaware. This entire tract was known as "Staning Manor." To William Penn, Jr., was granted fourteen thousand five hundred acres, mostly in Chester County, and a small part in Mill Creek Hundred. The remaining fifteen thousand five hundred acres, described in the patent as ''a certain tract of land situated on the south side of the Brandywine Creek, in the province of Pennsylvania," were conveyed, October 23, 1701, to Letitia, who afterwards married William Aubrey, of London. The lands of Letitia were named "Letitia Manor." Power of attorney was granted to James Logan and Reese Thomas to convey the property. The first sale from the tract was made August 17, 1702, when John Gregg purchased two hundred acres. The land purchased by Gregg extended from the circle eastward through the hundreds of Mill Creek and Christiana to Burns' Run. Red Clay Creek passed through the tract and on the stream Gregg erected a grist-mill, which he conveyed to his son William, April 10, 1730. William, by his will bearing date January 10, 1746, devised his estate to his sons, Harmon, William, Joshua and Jacob, each an interest. Jacob, August 20, 1769, conveyed his interest to his son Harmon, a miller. The mill is situated in Christiana Hundred, and was owned in 1804 by John Phillips and later by Baldwin & Chandler.

The following persons were purchasers of the Staning Manor lands at the dates given:

February 8, 1713, William Cocks, 300 acres.
August 2, 1715, John Houghton, 800 acres.
May 10, 1721, Casparus Garretson, 200 acres.
August 2, 1722, Simon Hudley, 93 acres.
September 13. 1723, Henry Dickson, 130 acres.
May 15, 1725, Samuel Gross, 83 acres.
September 11, 1725, Thomas Yeatman, 150 acres (on the circle).
November 8, 1725, Henry Dixon, 100 acres.
November 8, 1725, Casparus Garretson, 80 acres.
June 2, 1726, William McMechen, 961 acres (on the circle).
March 2, 1726, Jeremiah Lochary, 190 acres.
February 21, 1726, William Emmett, 115 acres.
March 22, 1726, John Garrett, 33 acres.
February 21, 1727, William Cochran, 160 acres.
April 26, 1734, John Withrow, 90 acres.
February 15, 1734. John Baldwin, 159 acres.

The land of William McMechen, purchased June 2, 1726, was in three tracts, one of two hundred and forty-one and three-fourths acres on the circle adjoining lands of John Jordan, Josiah Ramage and Francis Bridley. The second tract, also on the circle, contained one hundred and sixty-three acres, and adjoined lands of John Jordan, Thomas Duke and John Montgomery. The third tract contained five hundred and sixty acres, and adjoined lands of Henry Dixon, William Cocks, Thomas Hollingsworth and Thomas Yeatman. Dr. William McMechen lived at Christiana Bridge and practiced medicine in the vicinity for many years. He became the owner of large tracts of land in different parts of the county, and in addition to his land in Mill Creek, above mentioned, he bought on Peck (Pike) Creek, four hundred and two acres, March 21, 1729, of Thomas Craighead, and November 19, 1734, sold two hundred and fifty-three acres of it to Andrew McMechen. A tract of five hundred and ninety-three acres was patented October 8, 1701, to Bryon McDonald, who, by will dated February 23, 1707, devised to his son William two hundred and fifty-three acres, which at his decease, May 20, 1730, passed to William McMechen.

One of the families who long resided in this hundred was the Englands, who were represented by John England, who was a Friend and one of the proprietors of the Principio Furnace, in Cecil County, Maryland. He came to this country from Staffordshire, England, in 1723, as manager of the furnace, and in 1726 purchased lands on White Clay Creek, in Mill Creek Hundred, at the mouth of Muddy Run. He also purchased land in Pencader and Christiana Hundreds. These tracts contained iron ore, and it was to advance the interests of the furnace that they were purchased. He resided part of the time on the east side of the Muddy Run, on land purchased of Toby Leech, where he soon afterwards built a dwell-ing-house and a grist-mill, which has since been known as England's Mill. John England died in May, 1734. Joseph England, a brother, came to this country the same year that John emigrated, and purchased a large tract of land in West Nottingham, Chester County, Pennsylvania, and settled there.

Soon after the death of John, Joseph took charge of the lands on White Clay Creek, and removed to that place. On February 24, 1741, Allen and Joseph England, sons of John, who had remained in England, conveyed this property to Joseph England. The estate then contained four hundred acres. He became a Friend in 1730, and was an active member of the West Nottingham Meeting. In 1747 he built the present brick manor-house, and the mill was at that time or soon afterwards rebuilt. He died August 29, 1748, and by his will devised the mill property to his son Joseph, and the Nottingham property to his son Samuel. A daughter, Joanna, married John Townsend, of Baltimore, and their descendants are now living in Baltimore and Philadelphia. Joseph, the second, resided at the mills all his life, and died February 5, 1791. He devised the farm to his son Joseph. Elizabeth, a daughter, married William Wollaston, a descendant of an old family in the vicinity. Another daughter, Sarah, married Capt. Robert Kirkwood, and settled at Odessa. Capt. Kirkwood was well and favorably known on account of valuable services in the Revolutionary War, during which he served in thirty-two engagements. Joseph England, the third, to whom the mills were left, by his public life was identified with his county, having served in the Legislature between 1800 and 1828. He died April 24th of the latter year, while a member of the Senate. Of his family was Joseph Townsend England, who removed to Baltimore and became an agent of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and was one of the founders of the Mercantile Library Company of that city. He died in 1876, leaving a son Charles, now a merchant in Baltimore. Another son, James B. England, is an attorney-at-law residing in Philadelphia.

"Assessment List of Mill Creek Hundred by Robt. Montgomery, Assessor of said Hundred, for the year 1804.

Religious Matters

The land on which St James' Protestant Episcopal Church stands was patented to Arient Jansen Vanderburg on July 12, 1685. He, by his will bearing date November 20, 1701, devised a portion of his estate to Rev. Eric Biorck and the Swedish Church, to be disposed of as they saw fit. On June 29, 1714, Rev. Biorck and Barbara, widow of Vanderburg, conveyed the entire one hundred and ten acres, originally patented, to James Robinson. Ten acres of this tract Robinson deeded to the Honorable Society for the propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts for the only use of St. James' Church. The deed bears no date but 1720 and recites that "the land is granted in consideration of the dutiful affection, love and good will which I have and doe bear unto the Church of England and members of the said church, ... of which I profess myself a member, have to the only proper benefit and behoof of the said church and school-house wherein youths may be educated according to the principles of the said church, to and for the only use and service of my well beloved brethren and neighbors. The present minister of a certain part of the said church, commonly known or distinguished by the name of St. James Church, at White Clay Creek, and their successors." From this it appears that St. James' Church was constituted before 1720. The first building was a log structure which was supplanted by a frame edifice. The present church building is the third one on this site, and was erected in 1822. It is a one-story stone building, forty by forty-five feet, with a gallery on three sides. A marble slab on the outside of the church bears the following inscription:

"St. James Church,
Founded 1720,
Rebuilt 1822."

The number of communicants at the present time is sixty-two. The Sunday-school is composed of five teachers and fifteen scholars. The church is governed by a board of trustees instead of wardens and vestry, as is usual in Episcopal churches.

The following persons compose the present board: John Lewden, Robert C. Justis, Robert L. Armstrong, Thomas W. Jones, Alonzo Newlin, Thomas Brackin and J. Taylor Pierson.

The cemetery surrounding the church is filled with the graves of the early settlers in this vicinity.

The following is a list of the rectors since 1799:

Rev. Robert Clay, from 1797 until April 21, 1821.
Rev. Richard Hall, installed July 21, 1821.
Rev. Stephen W. Prestman, installed April 19, 1824.
Rev. Mr. Pardee, from April 4, 1833, until December 25, 1834.
Rev. Hiram Adams from April, 1835, until April 16, 1838.
Rev. Corry Chambers, from October 16, 1839, until July 30, 1843.
Rev. Mr. Freeman, from June 16, 1844, until September 22, 1844, when he was appointed Bishop of Arkansas.
Rev. Walter E. Franklin, from January 12, 1845, until June 6, 1847.
Rev. William Trapnell, resigned April 13, 1848.
Rev. J. H. Mansfield, from May 14, 1847, until June 29, 1850.
George Sheets.
Rev. Breed Batcheller, until August 15, 1857.
Rev. Wm. Marshall, from August 15, 1857, until August 26, 1872.
Rev. Charles Fessenden, from March 17, 1873, until October 6, 1874.
Rev. W. D. Hanson, from January 16, 1875, to July 8, 1885.
Rev. Wm. A. Alrich, December 1, 1885.

White Clay Greek Presbyterian Church was organized about 1721. During the first few years the church had no regular pastor, and occasional services were conducted by Revs. Daniel McGill and Robert Laing. The first mention of a church edifice at this place is found in the minutes of the Presbytery of June 5, 1723, and is as follows: "Appointed, that our next Presbytery meet at White Clay meeting-house the first Wednesday of August next." On September 22, 1724, Rev. Thomas Craighead was installed as the first regular pastor of this congregation. He was a native of Ireland and came to this country in 1715. A call was extended to him by John Montgomery and John Campbell, representatives of this church, which he accepted in 1724, and continued until 1733. The land on which the church stood was owned by him, and on April 10, 1727, he granted one acre to John Montgomery, William McMechen, William Steel, William Nevin, Hugh Clark and Josiah Ramage, trustees, for the consideration of "one peppercorn yearly if demanded. It was for the use of the people called Presbyterians, belonging to the Presbytery meeting at White Clay Creek. "

The second church was built on a half-acre adjacent to "the Old Presbyterian Meeting-House land," about 1785. Tradition says that it was a log building twenty-five by forty feet, and was still standing in 1772. In 1737, Rev. Charles Tennent became pastor of this church. He was also a native of Ireland, and came to this country in 1716. He served the church here till 1763. From 1741 till 1759 a bitter dissension occurred in the church, which was happily ended in the latter year.

The trustees in 1740 were James McMechen, of White Clay Creek Hundred, and William McGaughey , William Nevin, Alexander Montgomery, David Kev-in and William Coughran, of Mill Creek Hundred. The deed for the present church site was given May 25, 1752, by Joseph England (miller), to William Steel, John Deal, Wm. McCrea, James McMechen, David English, Evan Rice, William Gallagher, Neal Morrison, William McMechen, Charles Black, Robert Boggs and Hugh Randalls, "members of the Presbyterian congregation, whereof the Reverend Mr. Charles Tennent is at present pastor." The church then erected was thirty-six by sixty feet, contained sixty-nine pews, and stood one hundred and three years. Rev. John McCrery, the third pastor, was ordained May 10, 1769, and continued till his death, which occurred June 18, 1800 (Rev. McCrery was a graduate of Princeton, of the class of 1764). The stone wall around the church was built in 1785. From 1800 till 1812 the church depended upon supplies. In 1807 Robert Crawford and Alexander Guthrie, each about seventy years of age, were elders of this church. Rev. Andrew K. Russell was installed pastor on April 8, 1812. He was a valedictorian of the class of 1806, at Dickinson College. He ministered here until his decease, in 1839. In 1815 there were only thirty-eight communicants of this church. In 1816 ten were added, and in 1833 forty-five were received into membership. During the last thirteen years of his ministry the ruling elders were Douglas Morrison, Dr. Thomas W, Handy, Alexander Guthrie, Jacob Whiteman and George Springer. Rev. Wm. R. Work was installed December 3, 1840, and continued until April 8, 1846. Rev. Joseph Barr, the next pastor, was installed June 2, 1846, and ministered here until October, 1853. Rev. James Vallandigham, D.D., was called to this church and the Head of Christiana in October, 1853. On May 31, 1875, each church was made a separate station, and Dr. Vallandigham remained in charge of the Head of Christiana.

Rev. Wm. D. Mackey acted as stated supply of this church until April 11, 1885, when he resigned.

Rev. James B. Umberger, the present pastor, was installed November 5, 1885.

The present two-story brick church building was erected in 1855. The dedicatory services were conducted by Rev. H. S. Clarke on May 1, 1856.

The membership of the church at the present time is one hundred and eighty.

A Sunday-school of one hundred members is under the superintendence of J. H. Walker.

The following are the officers of the church at present: Pastor, Rev. James B. Umberger; Elders, Wm. Hawthorn, Thos. Hawthorn, Samuel Lindsay, George D. Medill, Samuel S. McCoy, Andrew Rambo, Wm. J. Stroud, James H. Walker; Trustees, Samuel Lindsay, Samuel Morrison, Chas. A. Morrison, Wm. Hawthorn, Mansell Tweed, Milton Steel, Robt. T. Rankin.

Bedday Creek Presbyterian Church, Services were held in the vicinity of this church as early as 1713, but no steps were taken for the organization of a church till 1722. In this year the several Presbyterians in this neighborhood were constituted a church. They depended upon supplies till December 17, 1755, when Rev. William McKennan was ordained and installed as pastor. He filled this pulpit and a portion of the time preached at White Clay Creek Church until his death, which occurred May 15, 1809. The next pastor, Rev. Samuel Henderson, ministered to this congregation until 1811. From this year until 1823 the congregation again depended upon supplies. In the latter year Rev. Thomas Love was installed pastor, which position he held until 1862. He was also pastor of the Lower Brandy wine Church until 1856.

Rev. Sterling M. Gait served this church and the one at Newark from August, 1863, until his death, October 24, 1865.

From that date to the present time the pulpit has been filled by Revs. W. A. Rankin, S. H. Higgins, A. C. Jenkins, R. P. Kennedy and Dr. Porter.

A stone slab in the present commodious building states that it was founded in 1761 and rebuilt in 1853.

The church has a membership at the present time of one hundred and twenty-five.

The present elders are George Klar, Egbert Klar, Henry Claran and Archibald Armstrong.

The present board of trustees is composed of the following persons: George Klar, Lewis McElvee, John R. Crosson, Dr. Swithin Chandler, Franklin Gebhart.

The Presbyterian Church at Stanton was erected and dedicated in 1875. The dedicatory services were conducted by Rev. Mr. Marks. The erection of the church is due to the labor and influence of Rev. Robert Graham, who filled the pulpit for a year after its completion. At that time there were seventeen members. This number was increased by additions both by letter and on probation, until it reached thirty in 1877. After the removal of Rev. Mr. Graham, the church was connected for a short time with the Christiana Church, and ministered to by Rev. Mr. Snyder. With the exception of these two pastors, the church has depended entirely on supplies. The building is a frame edifice, one story high, thirty by forty feet, and was erected at a cost of $2250. The membership has gradually decreased until there are at present but ten communicants. The present officers are, Elders, James R. Foote, B. W. Dickey; Trustees, John H. Narvell, C. H. Dickey.

Ebenezer Methodist Episcopal Church, Previous to 1824 the Methodists in the central part of Mill Creek Hundred held meetings in private houses. In that year a stone church, twenty-four by twenty-eight feet, with a gallery, was erected. In this building they worshipped for thirty-five years. They then removed the stone building, and erected a one-story frame building, thirty-five by fifty feet, which is still in use. The new church cost about $2500. At present the membership is sixty. The present board of trustees is composed of the following persons: A. J. Whiteman, John W. Worl, Joseph Guthrie, I. B. Eastburn and John K. Chambers. The class leader is Joseph Guthrie. The Ebenezer Church has been connected with the Newark, Christiana and Hockessin Circuits, and has been supplied by the pastors in charge of those circuits.

Stanton Methodist Episcopal Church, In January, 1877, members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Newport, under the leadership of their pastor, Rev. H. S. Thompson, commenced a series of religious meetings in the school-house at Stanton. As a result of these meetings, there were many conversions. In February an unoccupied building was rented and fitted up for a chapel. The congregation immediately began to take steps for the erection of a church. A lot was purchased, and the corner-stone of the church was laid on June 12th. Bishop L. Scott officiated, assisted by Revs. W. J. Stevenson, D.D., C. M. Pegg, J. B. Quigg, J. France, G. R. Bristor, L. E. Barrett, G. W. Burke and "Father Pegg." The church was dedicated November 1st of the same year. Appropriate services were conducted by Rev. R. L. Dashiell, D.D., and others. The church is a frame building, Gothic in style, and its dimensions are thirty-five by fifty-five feet. It was erected at a cost of $2500. The present membership is fifty. The church has been served by the following pastors: Revs. H. S. Thompson, J. D. Rigg, J. E. Bryan, E. H. Nelson and J. D. C. Hanna. Present Trustees: Edwin Cranston, Joseph Derrickson, John Turner, William Mullen, Seth F. Whiteley.

Hockessin Methodist Episcopal Church, In April, 1881, a Methodist meeting was held in a wheelwright shop, belonging to Mrs. Brackin, at Brackinsville, by Alban Dalton and a few others. A short time after this meeting a Sunday-school called "Friendship" was organized, and the meetings were held at this place. In the fall a room in Odd Fellows Hall was secured for holding divine services. Rev. W. H. Hendrickson at this time conducted the meetings. In December it was decided to build a church, and a committee of eleven was appointed to solicit subscriptions for its erection. A discussion arose at this time as to a suitable location, and it was finally decided that Hockessin was the more desirable place of the two. On the 21st day of July, 1882, the following persons were elected and incorporated as the trustees of the church: Wm. Howard, Israel Durham, Thos. W. Feree, Alban Dalton, Edwin Golding, Reese W. Chandler, James McDowell, Ellis F. Kinsey.

On the 21st of the following month the contract for the erection of the church, except the gallery, classrooms and seats, was awarded to Thomas M. Robinson, whose bid was $1727.50. The corner-stone was laid November 5, 1882, with appropriate services conducted by Rev. J. E. Bryan and others.

On February 18, 1883, the church was dedicated to the worship of God. Services were conducted in the morning by the Rev. Dr. Stevens, in the afternoon by Rev. M. A. Richards, and at night by Rev. Adam Wallace. At the present time there are forty-five members. The following pastors have labored here: Rev. J. E. Bryan, Rev. Wm. R. Sears, Rev. Julius Dodd, Rev. Joseph Dare.

The present officers are: Pastor, Joseph Dare; Class-Leader, Moses Gilding; Trustees, Moses Golding, Jacob Broomhall, T. W. Feree, Edwin Golding, A. L. West.

Friends, The earliest record of a meeting at Hockessin is in 1730, when a week-day meeting was held at the residence of Wm. Cox, by permission of the Newark Preparative Meeting.

In 1737, Henry Dixon and some other Friends settled in Mill Creek Hundred, and a first and week-day meeting were established among them. On the 17th of Tenth Month of that year two tracts of land were deeded to John Baldwin, Jacob Hollingsworth, Henry Dixon and John Dixon, trustees. The one tract of two roods and twenty eight perches was granted by Wm. Cox and Catharine, his wife, the other of one acre and forty-six perches, by Thomas Dixon and Hannah, his wife. In the following year a meeting-house, which is part of the present meet-ing-house, was erected. This was enlarged to its present size, thirty by forty-five feet, in 1745. Meetings for worship were held under the supervision of Kennett and, perhaps, Newark Monthly Meetings, until 1808, when business meetings were established. The Monthly Meetings were known as "Centre Monthly Meetings," and were held alternately at Centre and Hockessin until 1787, when they were divided and each made a separate meeting-place. The woodwork on the building has been repaired at various times and out-houses built more recently. The building is now in a good state of preservation. There are at present about twenty-five families and parts of twenty more families connected with this Monthly Meeting.

Mill Creek Meeting House, In 1838 James Thompson and thirty-two other Friends petitioned the New Garden Monthly Meeting for the privilege of holding a meeting for the worship of God. A committee was appointed to ascertain the advisability of establish-ing another meeting in Mill Creek Hundred. The committee, composed of Sarah Michener, Sarah Wilson, Martha Hilles, Jonathan Lamborn, Ephraim Jackson and Benjamin Ferris, reported favorably and permission was granted. Services were conducted in the residence of James Thompson until 1841, when a one-story stone meeting-house, thirty by forty feet, was erected at a cost of about eight hundred dollars. In this building the services have since been held, and there are at present fifty members.

White Clay Creek Meeting was established in 1781, by the consent of the Chester Quarterly Meeting. In 1784 they were allowed to hold preparative meetings, and in 1803, at their own request, the name was changed to Stanton.

The first meeting-house was built many years ago and remained till 1873, when the present one-story brick building, thirty by forty-two feet, was erected at a cost of two thousand five hundred dollars.

There are present about seven worshippers.

Benjamin Cranston is the clerk of the meeting.

The Union Chapel situated between Stanton and Marshallton, was erected in 1886. It was built particularly to afford a suitable place for holding Sunday-school, which previous to this was held in the district school-house under unfavorable circumstances. Religious meetings are held in it every Sunday night, consisting either of prayer meeting or preaching. The Sunday-school numbers over a hundred attendant, and is under the superintendence of William Mullen. The building is a one-story frame edifice, thirty by sixty feet, and was erected at a cost of two thousand one hundred dollars.

St John's Roman Catholic Church, The first Catholic known to have resided in Delaware was Cornelius Hollehan, a wealthy Irish gentleman, who immigrated to this country about 1730, and settled in Mill Creek Hundred, on part of Staning Manor. He named his homestead "Cuba Rock," and here he entertained the early Catholic clergy, and at his house the first Catholic services were held in Delaware. He later purchased another tract, called "The Old Homestead," on which the present Catholic Church stands. The growth of Wilmington and the establishment of Catholic churches there drew to them the Catholic population in the vicinity, and not until 1882 was the present church founded, and the church edifice was erected and completed in 1883.

There was a small log church known as "St Mary's," and cemetery at a place called "Coffee Run," on the turnpike, about three miles nearer Wilmington. The cemetery dates back to 1786. The first pastor was Rev. Father Whalen, who was succeeded in 1796 by Rev. P. Kenney.

The Ashland church, at Ashland Station, called St. Patrick's, with an adjoining parsonage and cemetery, was commenced in 1881. The Rev. Peter Donaghy became the first pastor of Hockessin and Ashland churches, and resided in the parsonage at Ashland. He was succeeded in June, 1887, by the Rev. James Travers Farley, the present incumbent.


The necessity of educating the youth was early felt by the residents of Mill Creek Hundred, and for this purpose private schools were opened, affording educational advantages to such as were able to pay for them. On January 20, 1808, an act to incorporate a school near St. James' Chapel was passed. Joseph Ball, Humphrey Hill, Joseph Bum, Wm. Reynolds, Andrew Reynolds, David Morrison, Caleb Harlin and Edward Marshall were ap-pointed trustees. A building was erected, which is still standing. Private school was conducted here until the adoption of the common school system, when the building was converted into a school for the education of all classes, and was so used many years. The names of Henry Hasson, John Runk, Thomas Stapler, Gideon Wakeman, Ruth Bonsall, Mark Gibson, Evan Rice and James N. Williams are still remembered as early teachers in this hundred. The old stone school-house at Stanton, which was the first used for public school purposes, is still occupied for those purposes.

At Marshallton the schools are divided into two departments and occupy a commodious building. There are at Marshallton one hundred and twenty pupils. The old and, in most cases, badly constructed and worse ventilated school buildings have been supplanted with neat, convenient and healthful structures. The system has been improved at various times and better qualified teachers employed.

Roads and Bridges

The roads of the present day in Mill Creek Hundred are in a good condition, and present a striking contrast to the ones constructed by the early settlers, both as to convenience and number. The earliest roads, built and known as the King's Highway, are treated in the chapter on internal improvements. From time to time, as the wants of the people have demanded them, roads have been built. On February 26, 1762, the viewers appointed to review "the road formerly laid out, leading from Joseph England's to the county line," made a favorable report, which was confirmed.

In August, 1768, a petition was presented to the Levy Court for the opening of a road from Newark to Cuckoldstown, adjoining the plantation of Jeremiah Wollaston and extending to the old Presbyterian Church, and thence till it intersects the road from Newark to the Circle, near the school-house of Robert Boggs. In 1771, John Reese and John Foulk built a bridge over White Clay Creek. In the March term of Levy Court, 1813, a committee was appointed to contract for the erection of a bridge over Red Clay Creek at William Foulk's Mill. On March 6, 1816, one thousand dollars were appropriated by the Levy Court for the erection of a bridge over White Clay Creek, at Tyson's Ford, near Meteer's mill. This was built during that year at a cost of $1771.83, which was paid February 17th of the following year. In March, 1823, two hundred and forty dollars were appropriated for repairing this bridge. In March, 1882, one thousand dollars were appropriated for a bridge over White Clay Creek at Harmony Mills. The bridge was constructed and cost one thousand seven hundred dollars. At various other times roads have been laid out and bridges constructed till the present excellent state of affairs has been attained.


Sir William Keith, Governor of Pennsylvania from 1712 to 1726, was attracted to the county of New Castle by the iron in Iron Hill and vicinity. Swedenborg, writing in 1734, says that Sir William Keith, in 1726, had a furnace on Christi-na Creek. Bishop also says he manufactured iron in New Castle County. An examination of the records discloses the fact that on October 29, 1722, Sir William Keith purchased two hundred and sixteen acres of land in Pencader Hundred, on the south side of Iron Hill, of Philip James, and on July 16, 1724, one hundred acres of land lying on the north side of White Clay Creek in Mill Creek Hundred, of "James Espy, of Keithsborough, of New Castle County, merchant." This tract was part of a larger tract which was originally granted to Broor Sinnexsen, and was on both sides of White Clay Creek. The part in Mill Creek Hundred, which lay above the mouth of Mill Creek, was deeded by Sinnexsen to Christian Juriansen, his step-son, from whom it passed to others, and in 1723 to James Espy. From papers of John England, manager, and afterwards part owner of Principio Furnace, and at one time the owner of Keith lands, James M. Swank, in "Manufacture of Iron of All Ages," quotes the following concerning the purchase: "Sundry lands and tenements in New Castle County, Delaware, upon which lands there was a small iron forge, and supposed to be a great quantity of iron ore." Thus it will appear that there was a forge upon some of the lands purchased.

Keith also bought of William Battel, sheriff, September 5, 1725, four hundred and seventy acres of land, lying on both sides of "Christina" Creek, and November 16th the same year, two hundred acres on the same creek. He also purchased two lots containing respectively fourteen and a half acres and ten and a half acres, on one of which was a grist-mill. On February 3, 1726, he bought of Howell James two hundred and fifty acres of land on Christiana Hundred. All of these tracts he conveyed, February 22, 1726, to John England, who, October 6th following, bought of Toby Leech six hundred acres on the north side of White Clay Creek, resting also on Muddy Run. The six hundred acres were part of a larger tract originally located by John Guest. Upon it, as late as 1820, a grist-mill was run by Joseph England, probably a descendant. It was above the James Espy tract and probably joined it, separated only by Pipe Creek.

It is related in the "Manufacture of Iron in All Ages," by James M. Swank, that about 1726 one John Ball was operating a bloomary on White Clay Creek near St. James' Church. A John Ball was in possession at that time of four hundred acres of land called "New Design," lying on the west side of Mill Creek, and in a deed April 29, 1735, he is mentioned as a blacksmith, and conveyed forty acres of the tract to his son William, also a blacksmith, and one hundred acres of a tract adjoining. He had conveyed a part to a son James in 1729, and May 17, 1737, conveyed to John Ball, Jr., two hundred and two acres, and July 15, 1738, one hundred and three acres to his son William. It is quite probable that the father and son carried on a bloomary a few years as ore could be obtained from Iron Hill. The Abbington Iron Works Company were then operating at that place.

The excellent mill-sites afforded by the streams of this hundred were conducive to the erection of mills at an early date. The assessment list of 1804 contained the following names as mill-owners: Joshua Johnson, fulling-mill; John Armstrong & Samuel Meteer & Co., paper-mill and saw-mill; James Black's estate, grist-mill; Henry Brackin, grist and saw-mills; Joseph England, grist and saw-mills; William Foulk, grist and saw-mills; Caleb Harlin, Sr., grist and saw-mills; Isaac & Benjamin Hersey, grist and saw-mills; Robert Johnston, grist and saw-mills; John Marshal, grist-mill; James Mendenhall, grist and saw-mills; John Phillips, grist-mill; Robert Phillips' estate, grist and saw-mills; John Recce's estate, grist and saw-mills; John Robinson, grist-mill; Andrew Reynolds, grist-mill; Thomas Stapler and Joshua Stroud's estate, grist-mill j Jacob Wollaston, grist and saw-mills; William & Abraham Barker, saw-mill; Ephraim Jackson, saw-mill; William Little, saw-mill; Thomas McDaniel, saw-mill; and David Morrison's estate, saw-mill. Some of these were built at a much earlier period, and mills are now on the sites occupied by them. Others have fallen into decay and disuse, and a few have been entirely forgotten.

Those forgotten are the mills owned in 1804 by James Black's estate, Robert Johnson, John Phillips and John Robinson. Of those no longer in use are the mills of Joshua Johnson, Henry Brackin, Andrew Reynolds, William & Abraham Barker, William Little and David Morrison's estate. Of the mills in use in 1824, the following have been discontinued: Jesse Trump's cotton-factory, afterwards used by James Broadbent as a carpet-factory, and during the war operated as a woolen -factory by James Taylor. The old building still stands. The William Stapler fulling-mill at Stanton, not operated for many years; Robert Crawford's tanyard on Muddy Run, afterwards converted into a bark-mill, but not operated since 1860; Robert Squib's tanyard at Stanton, not run since 1830; Joshua Johnson's mill was last operated about 1855 by his son, Samuel, and was on the John Ridgeway property; John Reese's mill was built in 1773 on land now owned by David Eastburn, and was last operated about 1816; Henry Brackin 's mill was near Brackin ville; has not been in operation since 1860. William Little and David Morriston owned small saw-mills on Pike Creek, and are almost entirely forgotten. Andrew Reynolds' mill was built in 1799, and operated for a number of years by him. It was next owned by Samuel Anthony, by whom it was sold to Abraham Cannon. While in the possession of Cannon, it was last operated about 1877 by William Robinson. It was also used one year for a spice-mill under the management of Franklin Fell. It was a three-story building, thirty-five by forty-seven feet, and was situated on Mill Creek. It was torn down 1887 by R. Thomas Lynam, the present owner of the land. The Rooseville cotton-factory on White Clay Creek, once an important manufactory, was burned about twenty years ago, and has not been rebuilt.

The earliest mill in the hundred was built at Stanton on an undivided tract of land owned by Charles Rumsey and John Watkins, planters, both of White Clay Creek. On October 14, 1679, they made an agreement for the erection of a mill with some of their neighbors.

A portion of the agreement reads as follows:

"And there being a convenient place to set a mill and that ye neighbors dwelling on Cheese and Bread Island doe desire to build a mill there we doe of these presents find ourselves ... to grant to these people here underwritten, that certain place let it belong to either of us when that Land is sheared, and on consideration of ye conveniences of soe good a thing for our own use as well as those, wee doe by these presents give and grant to either or all of those parties here setts their hands free Liberty to build a mill to them their heirs forever, to cut timber at all times for use of ye sd Mill when wanted either to build new or to mend att or neare ye Mill, it being both sides or a little Greek that Lyeth between Cheese & bread Island and sd Cheeles Rumseys plantation Running into White day Creek, as witness our hands ye date hereof . . .
Charles Rumsey
John Watkins.

"We that here belong to ye Hill Is to hare all of us a Lyke to be at a Equal Charge to ye making of it, and here setts our hands.

The following is the list of subscribers:

John Smith
Tho. Wollaston
Abraham Man
Joseph Barnes
Arent Jansen
Oela Thomason
Jacob Jansen
John Nommers
Henry Gerritsen

A mill was built at the place mentioned and later a half-interest was purchased by Cornelius and Richard Empson. The latter sold to Cornelius, who, by his will, December 12, 1710, conveyed his portion to his daughters, Sarah and Elizabeth. It was then used as a saw-mill, and it was stipulated that three thousand feet of boards should be sawed for some per-son not named. No further account is obtained of the mill property until in 1772, when it is learned that Stephen Staples and Samuel Smith obtained condemnation of lands for a grist-mill. They had built a race, dam and corn or grist-mill, and on May 18th, in that year (1772) they made arrangements with John, who owned lands above, whereby they could build their dam higher. At this time they owned two hundred and seventy acres on Bread and Cheese Island and on White Clay and Red Clay Creeks, and also a lot on the west side of the creek opposite where they built a mill-race. They set thirty acres apart as the mill property, and on October 10, 1780, sold a fourth interest to Caleb Byrnes.

On the 16th of April, 1795, Samuel Smith and Jona-than and Daniel Barnes, heirs of Caleb, sold to Joshua Stroud the two equal undivided parts in the mill and property. On March 3, 1812, John Stapler, grandson of Stephen, sold to Stephen Stapler, his brother, the quarter-interest held by him. Stephen Stapler already owned a quarter-interest in his own right. Joshua Stroud conveyed his one-half interest to Jonathan and Daniel Byrnes, May 15, 1812, and bought it back in June following. On January 7, 1813, he sold it to Stephen Stapler, who operated the mill until it was sold July 10, 1816, on a judgment by Francis Haughey, sheriff, to James Brian. On the 10th of October, 1820, Brian sold a merchant mill, saw-mill, and all machinery, buildings and tenements, and fifty-four acres to Samuel Bailey. The mill was old and built of stone. A frame mill was built by Mr. Bailey and operated by him until 1852, when Joseph Tatnall and a Mr. Lea became the purchasers. In 1864 Mr. Tatnall became the sole owner and continued so until the mill was destroyed by fire in November, 1885.

In October, 1677, there was patented to John Anderson alias Stalcop, a tract of land, on the east side of a branch of Christiana Creek called " Red Clay's Kill," containing six hundred acres, known as "Southern Land.'' He was also the owner of the land which is now occupied by the city of Wilmington. A portion of the six-hundred-acre tract was conveyed at an early date to Thomas Bird, and descended to his son Empson, who sold to Robert Phillips, May 8, 1773. On it was an old log mill known as the "Swedes' Mill," which remained till 1812, when it was torn down, and on part of the foundation a stone mill was erected to be used as a woolen manufactory. In 1790, in the rear of the log mill, the present frame mill, forty by sixty feet, three stories high, was erected. The woolen-mill was operated but a few years and then connected with the grist-mill. In 1828, the mill property was purchased by John C. Phillips. It was next owned and operated by Isaac D. & William G. Phillips till 1876, when Isaac D. Phillips became the sole owner and has since operated it. Some of the machinery was purchased of Oliver Evans. The buildings have been remodeled several times. The grinding is done by burrs and consists of merchant and custom work. The mill is situated on Red Clay Creek.

On January 12, 1747, six acres of land in Mill Creek Hundred were condemned for the use of the mill, at that time in the possession of David Robinson and Alexander Montgomery. The mill was situate on Mill Creek, and in 1804 was owned by Caleb Harlin, Sr. In 1815 the old mill was torn down' and the present one erected. The mill is operated by water-power and the grinding done by burr, and is mostly custom work. The mill is now owned by Samuel Chandler.

The mill owned by Thomas McDaniel in 1804 was situate on Pipe Creek. In 1827 the old mill was torn down and the present building erected by John McDaniel. In 1875 it was sold by his heirs to G. M. D. Robinson. Dr. Swithin Chandler, the next owner, conveyed the mill to W. M. Logan in 1886. The capacity is twenty-five barrels per day. There is a saw-mill in connection capable of sawing from twelve hundred to fifteen hundred feet of lumber daily.

The mill of Ephraim Jackson was at Hockessin, and was sold by his heirs to George Springer, who conveyed it to John Mitchell the present owner. The mill is at present seldom operated. It is leased to G. C. Gallagher, who has fitted up a portion of the mill as a creamery, in which he manufactures one hundred and seventy-five pounds of butter per day for Baltimore and Wilmington trade.

John England, one of the proprietors and the manager of Principio Furnace, built a grist-mill before 1734, which passed by deed to his brother Joseph, February 24, 1741, and was retained in the family for many years. In March, 1840, it was sold by the heirs of Joseph England (3rd) to David Eastburn, who held possession of it till 1872, when he sold the mill to Oliver and Charles Allen. They operated it for two years and then sold it to Edward Wilson, who conveyed it to Thomas W. Jones. The old mill still stands and is situate on White Clay Creek. In 1887 it was refitted with rollers and has a capacity of forty barrels per day.

The mill owned by Jacob Wollaston in 1804 is still standing. It is situated on Pipe Creek, and has been operated for the past few years by James Ward as a spoke factory.

The grist and saw-mills owned by James Mendenhall in 1804 still remain in the family. They are situate on Mill Creek, and are now operated by John Mendenhall, great-grandson of the man who erected them. They have also been operated by each successive generation. The work performed here is solely custom work.

The grist-mill at Marshallton was at an early date owned by Solomon Hersey, and later came to Isaac and Benjamin Hersey, by whom they were owned in 1804. It next came into the possession of Jesse Trump, by whom it was sold to James Buckingham. John Marshall, who erected the rolling-mills there, became the next owner. The present mill is owned by J. R. Bringhurst.

On July 16, 1782, Charles Evans sold to John Evans, Theophilus Evans and Oliver Evans four hundred acres of land. On this they soon erected a stone grist-mill, a saw-mill and a cooper-shop. The Evans' were of Welsh descent, and were born in the vicinity. Oliver, the most prominent of the three, was born in the year 1755.1

On May 26, 1792, the mills were sold by Sheriff Thomas Kean and purchased by David Nivin. He sold a one-third interest to Charles Anderson, who, March 15, 1795, sold it to William Foulk. The remaining two-thirds were purchased of Nivin by Foulk on February 24, 1798. After his death the property descended to his heirs, and May 9, 1820, his son John purchased the interest of the remaining heirs. From this family the hamlet received the name Faulkland. John Foulk retained possession till May 28, 1828, when it was purchased by Jonathan Fell and turned into a spice-grinding establishment.

Previous to this the grinding was done in Philadelphia, but on the purchase of this mill the situation in that city was converted into a warehouse. The manufacture of spices here by this family was continued until March 17, 1874, when the second mill was burned. The old mill was burned in 1867, but was immediately rebuilt.

The mill was last operated by C. J. Fell & Brother. Their spices had a world-wide reputation and were shipped to all the principal cities. Near the old site is a grist-mill owned by Franklin Fell.

On May 19, 1762, John Reece purchased a tract of land on Red Clay Creek, which was sold at sheriff's sale as the property of John Thomas. In the deed of conveyance no mention is made of any mills, and from this the inference is drawn that there was none there at that date. A grist-mill and a saw-mill were erected by John Reece and operated by him until his death, when they became the property of his son, John Reece, Jr. He retained possession of the mills until April 22, 1811, when he conveyed the land and mills to Mordecai McKinney, who, September 17th of the following year, sold them to Thomas Lea. Mr. Lea improved the mills and in addition erected a cotton-factory. In February, 1823, William Warner, Edward Tatnall and James Price, assignees of Thomas Lea, offered for sale a cotton-mill named "Endeavor," with one thousand four hundred and fifty-two spindles, two pickers, four carding-engines, also a grist-mill and cotton-factory named "Auburn," on Red Clay Creek, with one thousand three hundred spindles. The sale of the mills on Red Clay Creek was not consummated till June 30, 1826, when they were purchased by Joseph and Jesse Mendinhall. They retained the mills twelve years, and October 4, 1838, conveyed them to Thomas Garret and David Smith. They were operated in partnership until September 23, 1846, when Garret's share was purchased by Smith. He continued in possession of the mills until November 1, 1849, when they came into the possession of Cyrus Hilborn. On April 24, 1858, they were exposed at public sale by the sheriff and purchased by Joseph Mendinhall, who, September 1st, of the same year, sold them to James Cranston. On March 26, 1864, Cranston sold to John Wright, who, June 21st, conveyed the mills to William Dean, John Pilling, Joseph W. Bullock, Benjamin Bullock and George T. Jones. By them, on December 30, 1864, the mills were conveyed to the Kiamensi Woolen Company, which was incorporated October 20, 1864. At some period previous the saw-mill had been abandoned and the grist-mill removed or converted into a portion of the cotton-factory.

When the Kiamensi Woolen Company came into possession of the factory it was operated partly on cotton and partly on woolen goods, the woolen feature having been introduced by Wright. They immediately removed all cotton machinery and converted the mill into a manufactory for the exclusive manufacture of woolen goods. Carding and spinning were also done there until the Independence Mill, at Stanton, was purchased, but since that time this work is performed at the latter place. By annual additions the factory has doubled its capacity since it came into the possession of the present company. The mills are fitted up with improved machinery and have tele-graphic and telephonic communications as well as automatic sprinklers. The raw materials and the manufactured products are conveyed to and from the mills by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which has a station in close proximity. With ten sets of cards in operation, one thousand two hundred dollars' worth of goods are manufactured per day. The mills are the chief means of livelihood for many of the residents of this section of the hundred, employment being given to one hundred and fifty operatives. The capital stock is one hundred and thirty-three thousand and three hundred dollars, which is divided into two thousand six hundred and sixty-six shares, of which all but one hundred and seventy shares are owned by the Pilling family. The mill is the largest and most successful woolen-mill in the State. Much credit is due to the president, Thomas Pilling, who has resided in the vicinity and had personal supervision of the factory since 1864. The present board of directors is as follows: President, Thomas Pilling; Secretary and Treasurer, John Pilling; R. T. Pilling and John Pilling, Jr. In addition to the mills the company owns twenty-six dwellings.

John Pilling, manufacturer, was born at Chowbent, Lancashire, England, March 6, 1830. He was a son of Richard and Susan Bradshaw Pilling. His father being a silk weaver in limited circumstances, John left school at the age of seven and a half years and served a boy's apprenticeship at making shoe-nails. His daily task was four thousand nails at six cents per thousand, one-half of his wages going to his employer for the use of the shop. When he was but eleven years of age he came with his parents to the United States and located in Philadelphia, where both father and son worked in cotton and woolen-mills until 1842. Then they went to Broadbent's carpet-mills in Brandywine Hundred, Delaware. After six months spent there they removed with Broadbent to his new mills in Mill Creek Hundred, about four miles from Newark, and remained in that establishment until 1845. During the next three years they worked in various mills, but in 1848 they entered the employ of Joseph Dean & Son, at Newark. Although John was then eighteen years of age, he received but four dollars a week, but he gradually worked up to ten dollars. Then he resigned to accept a position of man-of-all-work at five dollars a week, in order that he might learn all the practical details of the business. In 1857 he became the superintendent of the mills of Robert Kershaw in Philadelphia, which were soon stopped by the panic, and from 1858 to 1860 he managed the mills of Shaw & Armstrong, in the same city. In May, 1860, he re-turned to the Dean Mills. On February 1st, following, Joseph Dean retired and Mr. Pilling formed a co-partnership with his son, William Dean. These mills were the first in the vicinity of Philadelphia to manufacture army goods and clothed the first company that went down over the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad. During the whole war the mills were largely engaged in government contracts, and contributed many thousands of dollars in money to the cause of the Union. During the panic of 1873 the mills were never stopped except for repairs. In 1882 the Dean Woolen Company was formed, with Mr. Pilling as president and manager, and Mr. Dean as secretary and treasurer. In January, 1884, he resigned his dual office in the Dean Woolen Company, though he was then and is still, next to Mr. Dean, the largest stockholder. Since then he has given his undivided attention to the mills of the Kiamensi Woolen Company, at Stanton, Delaware, of which he is treasurer and manager. Mr. Pilling went to Europe in 1867 to attend the Paris Exposition and visit the mills of England, France, Holland and Belgium. Again, in 1880, he went to Europe for the benefit of his health, which had become impaired by close application to business.

Before the war he was a Democrat in politics, but since that time has been prominently identified with the Republican Party. He has held nearly every local office in the town of Newark, where he still lives in a handsome dwelling. Twice in 1866 and in 1880 he was elected a member of the State Legislature, where he became a leader, and backed by the trustees and friends of Delaware College, in 1867, secured the passage of a bill aiding that institution, a charter for the Pennsylvania and Delaware Railroad, and other important measures. In 1881 he was largely instrumental in securing the passage of the Baltimore and Ohio bill. For fourteen years he has been a director of the First National Bank of Newark, and has been connected with all important public enterprises in the town.

He was married in 1851 to Elizabeth B. Kelley, of Chester County, Pennsylvania. Of their children. Kate died December 17, 1872, while Isabella, wife of S. J. Wright, of Newark, Susan Estella and John Pilling, Jr., are still living. His wife died December 21, 1873, and on October 4, 1877, he was again married to Mrs. Ellen Glenn, daughter of Nathaniel Bayne, of Newark.

In 1882, Gregg & Breilly fitted up a building, formerly used as a woolen factory, with the necessary machinery for spinning silk and yarn. Two years later Gregg was succeeded by Mr. Smith, who after one year's experience sold his portion to Derrickson. The factory is now operated under the style Derrickson & Breilly. There are eight hundred and sixty spindles in operation, with a capacity of nine hundred pounds per week. The mill gives employment to fourteen operatives.

The factory of E. J. Cranston, at Stanton, is now operated by H. E. Holtsizer & Brother. It is fitted up with eight hundred spindles for spinning cotton and woolen yarn, and ban a capacity of six hundred pounds per day. Employment is given to twelve operatives.

In 1848, Messrs. Curtis & Brother purchased the property near Newark known as the Meteer property, and called the "Millford Paper-Mills." This paper-mill was owned in 1804 by John Armstrong, Samuel Meteer & Company, and had probably been built some time previous. It was operated until 1841 by the Meteers, and then sold by their administrators to several parties, by whom it was successfully conducted, and when it came into the possession of the present owners was in ruins. It was by them rebuilt, and has continued in full operation until the present time. During the Rebellion, and for many years previous and afterwards, the mill was run on government contracts almost exclusively. Since 1868 the principal business has been the manufacture of envelope, card and fine colored paper, finding a market in all the principal cities, mainly, however, in Philadelphia and New York. In 1884 the senior partner, F. A. Curtis, died, and the surviving partner, S. M. Curtis, having settled the affairs of the firm, retired from the business. The firm now consists of the two sons of the deceased partner, Alfred A. and F. W. Curtis and Walter C., son of the retired partner.

After the long period of thirty-nine years, the old mill was found to be in such a dilapidated condition, and so far behind the needs of the continually increasing demands for more and better, as well as the cheaper paper, that the new firm reluctantly concluded to erect a larger and more modern plant. On April 18, 1887, the old mill so long a source of revenue to so many worthy people of the town, was taken down, the old machinery sold, and at the present writing a new and beautiful as well as modern structure is being erected.

The capacity of the old mill was only three thousand pounds per day, while the new one will probably pro-duce eight thousand pounds.

The very best machinery is being placed in it by well-known and reliable firms, and the intention is to manufacture only first-class paper.

The rolling-mills at Marshallton were erected and opened in 1836 by John Marshall, who operated them two years and then associated with himself Caleb Marshall under the style C. &. J. Marshall. There was then only a single mill, with one pair of rollers, giving employment to eleven men. The mill was operated thus until 1862, when Caleb Marshall sold his portion to Edward Mendinhall, who remained a partner until 1869, when his share was purchased by Calvin Marshall.

In 1871 John Marshall conveyed his interest in the rolling-mill to John and Joseph P. Richardson. In 1874 J. R. Bringhurst purchased a one-fourth interest in the rolling-mills from Calvin Marshall, as the portion belonging to him, and in 1877 he became sole owner. In 1880 he built a steam mill, and in 1884 another one, and at present has three sheet-iron mills, one bar-mill and one puddle-mill. These mills are fitted up with three grate furnaces, two reverberator heating furnaces, three double puddling furnaces, one box annealing furnace and one English furnace. The rolling-mills have a capacity of 2500 tons of finished sheet-iron per year, and give employment to one hundred and twenty -five persons. Five pairs of rollers are in use. The mills are lighted by electric light. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad runs to the mills and affords excellent facilities for shipment. The "Star" and "Delaware" are the principal brands.

In 1820 John Smith and Edward Gilpin built a rolling-mill on Red Clay Creek. Smith's portion was shorly afterwards purchased by Gilpin, who was sole owner in 1824. In 1828 Joseph Whittaker commenced operating the mill, but soon discontinued. It was then leased of the Delaware Bank by James Wood & Son, and operated until 1832. Dr. McLane then managed it for several years. He was succeeded by J. Wood & Brother, who were proprietors until 1844, when the mill was purchased by Allen Wood, who conducted it until his death. His son operated it until 1885, when a stock company was formed and incorporated as the "Allen Wood Company," with the following officers: President, Howard Wood; Secretary and Treasurer, Jonah R. Jones; Superintendent, Joseph Boughman.

The mill is about twice the size of the original building, and is devoted exclusively to the manufacture of sheet-iron. It is fitted up with a pair of rollers, a grate furnace and an annealing furnace. It is operated chiefly by water-power. The capacity of the mill is four hundred tons per year. The iron is shipped principally to Philadelphia.

In the vicinity of Hockessin there are large deposits of kaolin, a clay used in the manufacture of pottery. Since 1872 the digging and drying of this sub-stance has become quite an industry. The principal persons engaged in this business are John W. Borgess and Golding & Sons Company. By these two parties twelve thousand tons of kaolin are shipped annually to Trenton, N. J., and other markets. Employment is given to two hundred persons in the works.

A. L. West opened a machine-shop in Hockessin in 1884. Attention is particularly given to engines, boilers and clay presses. Eight men are employed.


The post-office at Stanton was established in 1825 with Frederick Cray as the first post-master. He was succeeded in 1830 by Abraham Boys. Aquilla Nebaker, Springer McDaniel, Levi Workman and Joseph Chambers have been postmasters here. Joseph H. Kirk, the present incumbent, was appointed April 22, 1885.

The post-office at Marshallton was established February 27, 1878. J. R. Bringhurst was the first postmaster and continued until April, 1886, when he was succeeded by David Ecow, the present incumbent.

The Pleasant Hill post-office was established in 1835, with Samuel Lloyd as its first postmaster. The position of postmaster has been held successively by Isaiah B. Eastburn, Alvin Buckingham, Sr., and Alvin Buckingham, Jr.

On January 1, 1868, a post-office was established at Hockessin. Miss Jane Griffith received the appoint-ment of postmistress to this office. She was succeed-ed by N. M. Palmer. On October 1, 1877, J. C. Way was appointed his successor. K. S. Chandler, the present incumbent, received his appointment February 20, 1886.

The post-office at Mermaid was established in 1844 or 1 845. Josiah Walker, the first postmaster, filled the position until 1849. In that year Milton Steel was appointed his successor. The present incumbent, W. H. Pennock, was appointed in September, 1882.

Wooddale was established a post-office in 1873, and Henry Boughman appointed postmaster. He was succeeded by George M. Bennett, Newlyn Pierson, Sarah Pierce and John Connor, the present incumbent.


Friendship Lodge, No. 22, I. O. O. F., was instituted in 1850, with but three charter members. Since that time the membership has rapidly and steadily increased, until at present there are one hundred and five members.

On June 9, 1887, their new building at Hockessin was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies by Grand Master S. T. Smith. The new building is of brick fifty by fifty-two feet, and is three stories high. The first story will be used as a store-room, the second as a public hall, and the third for lodge purposes. The building committee was Thomas J. Jones, J. M. Shakespear, H. B. Klair, T. A. Potts, G. P. Lacey, H. E. Durnall and A. L. West. The following are the present officers: Edward Duncan, N. G.; A. Lincoln West, V. G.; Henry B. Klair, Treasurer; Jacob Hannas, P. S.; K. S. Chandler, R. S.

Branch No. 469, of the Order of the Iron Hall, was organized at Stanton April 15, 1887. There is every indication that the society will be a very prosperous one. At present there are twenty-six members. The following are the present officers: Dr. G. W. Boughman, P. C. J.; Thomas J. Jones, C. J.; Dr. L. H. Ball, V. C. J.; J. H. Kirk, Accountant; William Chandler, Cashier; James McCrosson, Adjuster; Dr. Francis L. Springer, Prelate; Lewis Dickey, Herald J Frank Klair, Watchman; Frank Ball, Vedette.

The Stanton Social Club was organized November 25, 1881. Its objects are the acquisition of knowledge and social enjoyment. A well-selected library is kept in the club-room for the use of the members. During the winter regular literary exercises are conducted by the members. The membership at its origin numbered twelve, and at the present time twenty-eight. The present officers are: President, C. P. Dickey; Secretary, Lewis Dickey; Treasurer, John W. Bennett.

Fairview Lodge, No. 8, L O. G. T., was instituted at Pleasant Hill, in the fall of 1885, with a membership of twenty-eight. Rapid strides have been made by this organization, and it now boasts of one hundred and sixteen members. The lodge meets on Saturday evening in winter and Wednesday evening in summer, in Fairview Schoolhouse.

1. At the March term of court of that year he showed that Laurentius Carolus Lean, the Swedish minister, was "indebted to him for under-sheriff's and marshall's fees, yo sume of 55 gilders as per acct.," and desired that an execution should be issued for the fees and costs. His petition was granted.
2. On September 14, 1682, he purchased a tract containing three hundred acres, which was known as "Bishop's Castle."
3. For a full account of Oliver Evans and his inventions, refer to Vol. J, pages 274-276.

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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