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Property Owners, New Castle, New Castle Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware

Citizens Property Owners
General Business Manufacturing Professional Men
Delaware Farmers Bank - Directors

The following Citizens Property Owners, more than four hundred dollars' worth of property.

Alexander, Dr. Archibald
Avell, Captain John
Avell. Wm.
Adams, John, printer
Bird, John, merchant
Booth, Jas., Esq.
Bellville, John, carpenter
Baker, Jacob est
Boldin, Joseph est
Betson, John.
Butcher, Joe., wheelwright
Bowman, Jere., carpenter
Barr, Adam
Bush, Dr. David
Bond, Thos. merchant
Clay, Rev. Robt.
Coleberry, Dr. Henry
Crow, John
Canon, John
Caldwell, Jas. est
Clark, Thos. N.
Clark, Wm.
Canon, John carpenter
Clark, Hugh carpenter
Curlet, Lewis
Darragh, John
Duncan, Alex
Darby, Jas.
Darnley, Samuel
Dunlap, Francis
Davis, Samuel Negro
Ewing, John est
Furnver, Robt. est
Foster, Samuel
Glaasford, Abel, Esq.
Golden, Philip
Howell, Benj.
Harvey, Alex.
Hawghey, Wm.
Johns, Kinsey, Esq
Janvier, Francis
Janvier, John
Janvier, Thos
Jaquet, John Paul
King, Michael
Kelly, Mathias, Esq
Lanchister, Moses
Lelony, Nave
Liblam, Jres.
McCalmont, Jas. Esq
McCullongh, Jas.
Mundall, John
Monroe, Jas.
McWilliam, Richard est
McWilliam, Rebeca
Megens, Thos.
Moore, Thos.
Miller, Ann
Penton, Bevier est
Passmore, Wm.
Pearce, George
Read, Geo. Sr., Esq
Read, Geo., Jr., Esq
Riddles, Jas.
Robinson, Wm. est
Rowen, Samuel
Rowen, Henry
Ruth, Jas. shoemaker
Rowen, Robt chairmaker
Stockton, John est
Sawyer, Robt
Tatlow, Joseph, Esq
Thompson, Mary est
Toland, Jas.
Van Dyke, Nicholas, Esq
Vanleuvenigh, Wm.
Vanleuvenigh, Geo.
Willy, John. Esq
Walraven, Lucas
Walraven, Conrad
Webb, Jacob est
Williams, Hardin
Wharton, Sarah eat
Zimmerman, John

New Castle was incorporated as a city under an act of the General Assembly, February 25, 1 876, and the first election was held on the second Tuesday in April, 1875, when Edward Challenger, Mark M. Cleaver and William H. Jefferson were commissioners. T. Giffin was elected mayor; Samuel Eckles, president of the Council; and Geo. A. Maxwell, clerk. Thomas Giffin continued as mayor until 1880, and William Herbert was president of the Council from 1877 until 1886. Since that time George W. Dickerson has filled that office. William F. Lane has been treasurer since 1878. L. E. Eliason, H. R. Borie, Frank E. Herbert and James L. Rice have served as clerks. From 1880 to 1886, Samuel H. Black was mayor, and was succeeded by the present incumbent, Julian D. Janvier.

The municipal office is in the old Court-House, and the new form of government has resulted in many public improvements. The streets have been gradually improved, and the police regulations have elevated the order and moral tone of the community.

The Union Fire Company was organized in March, 1796, as a volunteer association with twenty-nine members. A fund of four hundred and sixty-eight dollars was subscribed, twenty leather buckets were bought, and Archibald Alexander and John Bird were appointed a committee to purchase an engine, which they secured for four hundred dollars. Among the early officers were: President, James Booth; Secretary, David Morrison; Treasurer, Thomas Bond; Engineers, (George Pierce and Thomas Turner. In 1806 the membership included:

Nicholas Vandyke
M. King
T. Walraven
J. McCalmont
W. C. Frazer
J. Bowman
M. Kennedy
John Bird
James Riddle
Evan Thomas
C. P. Bennett
Kensey Johns
Henry Colesberry
Thomas Bond
Wm. Armstrong
Charles Thomas
John Janvier
Thomas Magens
John Crow
Hugh W. Ritchie
Jacob Bellville
John Panton
Christopher Weaver
Alexander Duncan

On January 23, 1804, the company became an incorporated body. At different times the Levy Court appropriated money, and in 1823 contributed toward the erection of an engine-house. The Union Fire Company disbanded about 1840. Subsequently to 1820 an opposition company, called the Penn, was formed, and a spirited rivalry existed for several years between the two organizations.

On April 25, 1824, New Castle was visited by the most disastrous fire in its history, resulting in a loss of one hundred thousand dollars. The conflagration originated in the house of James Riddle, and before it was controlled, the residences and stores of James Riddle, J. Bowman, Thomas Janvier, H. W. Ritchie, J. A. E. McCullough, .Dr. McCalmont, George Read, A. Barneby, Joseph Raynow, Richard Sexton and John Janvier were totally destroyed. This disaster aroused general sympathy, and among the subscriptions received to repair the loss was one from Boston, where an appeal was made to the Council of that city by the Hon. Nicholas Van Dyke, member of Congress and a native of New Castle, and it was urged that the opportunity was now offered to reciprocate the friendship of New Castle for Boston, as practically demonstrated in 1774. Boston responded liberally to the appeal, and with the funds received from other sources, aided by the native energy of the people, the majority of the burned buildings were soon restored.

Later the "Good Will" engine was purchased and was in its day a powerful "machine." Thirty men were required to man it, and it had a capacity for throwing a stream fifteen feet higher than the tallest spire in the village. This engine was used until the modem steamers were procured.

The first steam fire-engine was the "Humane," purchased by the trustees of the Common in 1885. At the same time they bought a good hook-and-ladder outfit from the Moyamensing Company of Philadelphia. A portion of this apparatus is still in use.

On May 1, 1887, the New Castle authorities were authorized by act of General Assembly to borrow five thousand dollars, and issue bonds for the payment of the same. With the fund thus realized a fine Silsby No. 4 steam-engine was bought for three thousand four hundred dollars, and placed in charge of Chief Engineer Jacob Sanders, with a volunteer company to assist him. The department now has all necessary apparatus for efficient services, and is well housed in the hall of the Red Men, in the western section of the city.

The New Castle Gas Company was chartered February 19, 1867, and organized September 10, 1867, with a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars in shares of ten dollars. The incorporators were Thomas T. Tasker, Sr., Howard J. Terry, James Couper, John Janvier, James Crippen and Peter B. Vandever. Mr. Tasker was elected president, an office still held by him. Mr. Vandever was made secretary.

In 1887 the officers were T. T. Tasker, President; Wm. H. Clark, Secretary and Treasurer; William Herbert, James G. Shaw, Elmer W. Clark and Samuel M. Couper, directors. Under the supervision of Mr. Tasker works were built, mains laid and gas introduced in 1857. The plant of the company has a capacity of forty-five thousand feet per day. There are five miles of mains and forty-one street-lamps, some of which have been in use since 1857.

The New Castle Water Works Company was incorporated April 1, 1869, by Thomas T. Tasker, Sr., William Herbert, Joseph H. Rogers, John Janvier, Allen V. Lesley, James G. Shaw, Peter B. Vandever, Andrew C. Gray and William C. Spruance. The capital stock was fixed at fifty thousand dollars, with privilege of increase to one hundred thousand dollars. James G. Shaw was chosen president, and is still the executive of the company; Wm. H. Clark, secretary and treasurer; Thomas T. Tasker, Stephen P. M. Tasker, William Herbert, Dr. John J. Black, A. M. Hizar, Ed. Challenger and E. W. Clark are the other directors. Water was introduced by the company in the spring of 1873, the supply being brought from None Such Creek, three miles from New Castle. The water is pumped into a reservoir of one million two hundred and fifty thousand gallons capacity, situated one and a half miles from the city, at an elevation of eighty-seven feet. Five miles of mains have been laid in the streets of New Castle, and forty-five water-plugs erected. Thirty-seven are designed for the use of the Fire Department.

Manufacturing Interests

In the minutes of the Council of New Amstel, under Vice-Director Jean Paul Jacquet, August 14, 1656, it is noted that "regarding the mill, it is left to the choice of deputy sheriff and commissioners to put it up."

On October 29, 1667, Vice-Director Alrichs writes to Director Stuyvesant from New Castle: "I further learn that a horse-mill is ready there, which it was decided to bring here, if the owner of it had not died; and whereas we are without sufficient breadstuffs, also unable to grind com and other grains, beside doing many more things which necessarily must be done, I therefore would wish that your Honor be pleased and take the trouble to ascertain at once the lowest price, and if it is any way reasonable to inform me of it."

On October 5, 1658, he writes again: "The arrival of the skipper Jacob, with the galiot, is earnestly desired, since the horse-mill not having been finished, on account of Christian Barent's death, we are very much embarrassed here for breadstuff or flour.'*

Concerning the mill of the widow Barents, Alrichs wrote later: "I only advised or proposed to her that it would be for her best interests to remain in possession; she would be assisted in completing the mills, with the income of which, through the grist, she would be able to diminish the expenses and live decently and abundantly with her children on the surplus; but she would not listen to advice.''

A horse-mill was soon obtained and on December 8, 1659, William Beekman, then in New Amstel, in a letter to Director Stuyvesant, said, "As to my horse-mill, I have no more the disposal of it, as I sold the same to Mr. Hinijossa last August." The latter was at the time lieutentant at New Amstel. Mr. Beekman also writes, May 12, 1662, of the "Company's Horse Mill" at New Amstel.

In November, 1681, Arnoldus De Lagrange petitioned and had granted to him a vacant piece of land "Lying towards ye north end of the Towne of New Castle," also a small piece of marsh land adjoining, on condition that he, "according to his owne proffer, shall build on ye said land a good wind-mill for ye common good of ye inhabitants, and to have for toal of grinding noe more than one Tenth part; and that hee draynes ye marsh and all this to bee done within 12 months after date hereof, other ways and in deflect thereof he to forfeit what is now granted."

Of modern mills, the one erected a number of years ago by Thomas T. Tasker and, since 1872, owned by William Lea and Sons Company, is the most prominent. In 1887 the plant consisted of a three-story brick building, forty by fifty feet, with a two-story wing, thirty-two by forty-two feet; a one-story ware-house, thirty-five by seventy feet; a brick engine-house, twenty-five by thirty -five feet; and an elevator, thirty-five by eighty feet, with a fifty-five feet tower, having a capacity for fifty thousand bushels of grain. In 1879 the mill was improved and, since 1882, has been a full roller-mill. There are fourteen sets of rolls and two runs of stones, the motive-power being furnished by a one-hundred horse-power engine-The mill now has a capacity for three hundred and fifty barrels per day and gives employment to twenty-five men. It is operated in connection with the Brandywine Mills, of Wilmington, also owned by William Lea and Sons Company, S. A. Stewart, superintendent.

The Triton Spinning-Mills, owned and operated by James G. Shaw, were erected by him in 1860-61, and sold under contract to a manufacturing firm in Boston. This firm contracted for the most improved machines to be made in Biddeford, Maine, to fit out the mills. The Civil War began, however, before the machinery was completed, and the Boston firm then gave up its project of engaging in the manufacturing business at New Castle.

James G. Shaw, who then owned the mills, in 1863, secured the machinery contracted for by the Boston firm, and placed it in the Triton Mills. He associated with him James G. Knowles, and engaged in the manufacture of cotton-yarn. In 1871 the partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Shaw has since been the sole proprietor. The main building, as originally erected, was 50 by 500 feet. It has been enlarged 70 by 500 feet. These mills have been twice refitted and are supplied with the best machinery of American manufacture. The mills contain fourteen thousand spindles, and consume three thousand bales of cotton a year. The number of employees ranges from one hundred and twenty-five to one hundred and fifty.

James G. Shaw, the proprietor of the Triton Mills, was born in Chester, County of Delaware, Pennsylvania, October 21, 1828. He is a son of the late Samuel Shaw and Mary Ann Eyre, and comes of the old Sharpless stock that came over with William Penn, and settled in Delaware County. After being educated in his native town he engaged in mercantile pursuits. In 1857 he removed to New Castle, where he purchased the Chancellor Johns farm of one hundred and seventy-four acres and laid it out as an addition to the town. This led to the building of his mills, which he has since operated successfully. About 1864 he sold the land he had purchased to Thomas T Tasker, and has since devoted himself to his manufacturing interests. He has been an enterprising citizen and an active promoter and advocate of all public improvements in the town. He was married, April 28, 1869, to Miss Virginia, daughter of Major Joseph Carr, of Brandywine Hundred, and they have two children, a son and a daughter.

The New Castle Manufacturing Company was incorporated January 25, 1833, for the manufacture of cotton, woolen and metal goods, by Thomas Janvier, James Couper, Jr., James Rogers, James Smith and Charles I. du Pont.

In 1834 a foundry was built and shops erected to make locomotives. The shops were a long time in charge of Wm. H. Dobbs, and locomotives for use on the New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad were built there. Andrew C. Gray was one of the most active of the company. Subsequently the Hicks Engine Company occupied these shops, which was afterwards used by the Morris-Tasker Iron Works.

General Business Interests

In the early history of New Castle, all vessels passing up the river were required for several years to land at the town. Later on, the commercial ascendency of Philadelphia and other cities higher up the Delaware and the railroad interests ruined the shipping interests of the town. The harbor has been much improved by the govern-ment, which erected a number of very substantial ice breakers; yet few vessels touch at this place, and Wilmington has been made the port of entry. Prior to the change New Castle had its collector, health officer and other port officials. Jehu Curtis was collector in 1744, and William Till, who died in office in 1764, was also a collector.

In 1784 an act was passed by the Assembly authorizing John Stockton, William Lea, James Riddle, Kensey John, Isaac Grantham, Archibald Alexander and George Read, to raise twelve thousand dollars, to improve the harbor, at New Castle, by erecting piers, etc. This work was undertaken, although only about four thousand dollars were realized, and was completed sometime about 1802. In 1803 Dr. James McCalmont was appointed health officer of the port, by the Governor of Delaware, to succeed Dr. Colesberry. In later years New Castle had a naval inspector, and among those who filled the office were: Captains Montgomery, Geddes, Sawyer and DeLaney. Similar duties were performed afterwards by Thomas Stockton, James Rogers and George Piatt. The office is now in charge of Samuel H. Black, as deputy collector.

On April 12, 1775, Joseph Tatlow and Thomas Henderson announced that they had "established a stage line for the term of seven years to carry on business between Philadelphia and Baltimore, via New Castle and Frenchtown." Tatlow had packet boats from Philadelphia to New Castle, and Henderson ran a similar line from Frenchtown to Baltimore.

The stages were run between New Castle and Frenchtown. The New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad succeeded the stages in 1881. The first attempt to run a train by steam was not successful, the engine built by Colonel Long failing to work satisfactorily. An English locomotive, the "Delaware," was brought over and put together at New Castle, and, in 1833, the work of building engines at New Castle was resumed, the mechanics adopting the best features of the imported engine.

In 1822, John and Thomas Janvier began to run a four-horse coach, leaving the ''Union Line Hotel" every morning at nine o'clock. The steamboat line to Philadelphia was started April 20, 1828 and the ''Union Line" of the Janviers, in connection with their stages, and later the railroad, was a famous enterprise a half-century ago. The southwestern part of the line was operated by the Hendersons. The Janviers had a steamboat built for this line, which they called the "Delaware,'' Captain Wilmer Whildin, commander. The Janviers were very successful in the transportation business.

Prior to 1837 New Castle was on the main line of travel between Philadelphia and Baltimore, and many celebrities of national repute passed through the town. General Lafayette stopped in New Castle, October 6, 1826, en route to Baltimore, via Frenchtown. President Jackson arrived at New Castle Saturday, June 8, 1833, on the steamboat "Ohio," of the " People's Line," and was met by Governor Bennett, of Delaware, and "a vast concourse of people." When the boat anchored, a salute was fired by the revenue cutter lying in the harbor, and there were other demonstrations of welcome. A public arch bore the inscription, ''The Union, it must be preserved." After spending a short time on shore the party returned to the boat .and proceeded to Philadelphia. General Jackson again passed through New Castle, on his return from Boston, July 3, 1833. On June 10, 1833, Black Hawk, the celebrated Indian chief, was taken through New Castle, in custody of Major Garland.

In 1845 Samuel L. Hall was granted the use of a wharf for ship-building.

Among those actively in trade in more recent years were Thomas Hyatt, on the site of the present Ferris drug-store. Samuel Couper was one of his business contemporaries. Joseph Sawyer traded in the Nowland stand. Captain James McCullough was in the building now occupied by David Boulder. Henry and Thomas Frazier occupied a stand which William B. Janvier used successfully. Piatt A Elkinton were at the George W. Turner store. James Riddle and John Bird were enterprising merchants on the corner, where Elihu Jefferson afterwards con-ducted an extensive business as merchant and grain dealer. Jeremiah Bowman was a lumber dealer on the wharf, and later Charles Lambson had a yard at the gas works. In 1887 J. T. & L. E. Eliason were extensively engaged in the coal, lumber and machinery trade, and other merchants fully represented every branch of business. Hugh W. Ritchie opened the first drag store after 1820, and Robert G. Algeo was in this business in 1845. In 1849 John O. Challenger established a pharmacy, which has been carried on by Edward Challenger since 1858. Charles Ferris subsequently opened a drag store, and it has been continued by his son, William J. Ferris.

A branch of the Delaware Farmers Bank has long been in operation at New Castle, first in an old building on Water Street, and since 1851 in the present banking-house. Kensey Johns was the first president, and his successors were James R. Black, James Booth, Thomas Janvier, Andrew C. Gray and John J. Black. The cashiers of the branch at New Castle have been Francis L. Couch, James Couper, Howell J. Terry, Charles Kimmey and Richard G. Cooper. W. F. Lane is the present teller.

The following is a list of the directors of the branch bank at New Castle.

Mordecai McKinney, June 9, 1807
George Bend June 9, 1807-36
Allen McLane Jane 0, 1807
Joseph Israel June 9, 1807
John Janvier Jane 9, 1807
Samuel Barr June 9, 1807-10
Kensey Johns. 1806-17
John Bird 1808
James McCalmont 1809-25
Thomas Jan Tier 1810-14
John Janvier 1811-15
James Rodgers 1811-34
James B. Black 1812-32
Thomas Janvier 1812-16
Thomas Riddle 1813-32
James Booth 1816-18
Nicholas Van Dyke 1816-17
Samuel McCalmont 1817
John Crow 1819-26
Thomas Janvier 1822-37
John Moody 1826-37
Samuel Meteer 1828
Benjamin Watson 1829
John Janvier. 1831-37
James Booth 1833-37
Cornelius D. Blaney 1836
Andrew C. Gray 18871
Andrew C. Gray 1861-85
Elihu Jefferson 1861-70
William T. Bead 1861-73
Samuel Guthrie 1861-71
George B. Rodney 1861-77
Edward Williams 1861-66
Dana G. Nivin. 1867-82
Allen V. Lesley 1872-81
Thomas Holcomb 1872-87
John Janvier 1874
Richard G. Cooper 1875-81
John H. Rodney 1876
Geo. B. Rodney 1882
C. A. Rodney 1882
John H. Rodney 1883-87
John J. Buck 1883-87
A. B. Cooper 1883-87
George W. Turner 1873-87
Francis N. Buck 1888-87
Kensey Johns July 7, 1807
James B. Black
James Booth
Thomas Janvier
Andrew C. Gray Jan., 1849
Dr. John J. Black Jan., 1886
Francis L. Cooch Jan. 9, 1807
James Couper Jan. 9, 1807
Howell J. Terry Jan., 1861
Charles Kimmey Jan., 1871
Richard O. Cooper. Jan., 1881
State Directors appointed for New Castle Branch
1807, Kensey Johns, John Bird, David Nevin.
January 12, 1824. Samuel Meteer, Levi Boulden, John Crow.
January 25, 1825. Samuel Meteer, James Rogen, Levi Boulden.
January 31, 1826. Levi Boulden, Samuel Meteer, John Moody.
January 31, 1837. Samuel Meteer, Levi Boulden, Augustine H. Pennington.
January 9, 1829. John Moody, Samuel Meteer, Thomas Stockton.
January 8, 1830. Thomas Stockton, Samuel Meteer, Benjamin Watson.
January 6, 1831. John Moody, Thomas Stockton, Samuel Meteer.
January 4, 1832. Thomas Stockton, John Janvier, George Piatt.
January 23, 1833. Thomas Stockton, George B. Rodney, George Piatt
January 12, 1835. Same.
January 11, 1841. Same.
January 19, 1843. Thomas Stockton, George Piatt, Nathaniel Young.
February 8, 1845. Nathaniel Young, Charles H. Black, Thomas Stockton.
January 16, 1847. Nathaniel Young, Charles H. Black, Philip Reybold.
January 20, 1851. Elihu Jefferson, Nathaniel Young, William D. Ocheltree.
March 2, 1853. Same.
January 23, 1865. Nathaniel Young, William Couper, Elihu Jefferson.
January 28, 1867. Elihu Jefferson, William T. Reed, James Crippen.
February 3, 1859. Elihu Jefferson, Daniel R. Wolfe, James Crippen.
February 7, 1861. Nathaniel Young, James Trues, Charles Gooding.
February 12, 1863. James Truss, Dr. John Merritt, A. G. Nowland.
February 13, 1867. James Truss, Allen V. Lesley, Samuel Townsend.
February 17, 1869. James Truss, Allen V. Lesley, John Merritt
January, 10, 1871. Allen V. Lesley, John Merritt, Bankson T. Holcomb.
February 3, 1873. John J. Black, John Johns, Bankson T. Holcomb.
February 2, 1876. Same.
February 21, 1877. Same.
March 25, 1879. John J. Black, Thomas Giffin, James T. Eliason.
April 6, 1881. James T. Eliason, David Boulden, A. H. Silver.
February 21, 1883. Same.
January 28, 1886. James T. Eliason, David Boulden, Eugene Rogers.
March 8, 1887. Same.

Professional Men

As early as the fall of 1677 there was a Doctor Tyman Stidden at New Castle, and James Crawford is mentioned as a physician in 1678. In March, 1678, there was also a Doctor Daniel Wells, who presented an "account of Phisik" in court against Henry Stonebrake, deceased. Dr. John Finney was a practitioner in 1754 and later. Dr. Henry Colesberry was a prominent practitioner, continuing until about 1830, when Dr. C. B. Ferguson succeeded him. Dr. J. H. Handy located for practice three years later. Subsequent practitioners of note were Doctors James McCalmont, W. H. Hamilton, Charles H. Black, David Stewart, James Couper, Jr., John H. Black and David Stewart, the last two at present in practice.

The attorneys living at New Castle since 1800 have been Judge James Booth, Kensey Johns, Kenney Johns, Jr., James Booth, Jr., Thomas Clayton, John M. Clayton, James Rogers, Simon Guthrie, Judge J. R. Black, W. H. Rogers. George B. Rodney, Andrew C. Gray, George Gray, John H. Rodney, A. B. Cooper and James R. Booth. Some of the latter still practice at Wilmington and New Castle.

In 1803 the post-office at New Castle was ''kept'' by a Mr. Haughey. Hugh W. Ritchie was the post-master prior to the great fire of 1824, and R. Ritchie succeeded him after his death, in 1832. The post-masters since have been John Riddle, John Challenger, Edward Challenger, Reuben Janvier and John Manlove, the present incumbent. The office, is in the old courthouse.

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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