History: Local: CHAPTERS LVI - LVII: Gwynedd & Hatfield Townships :
Bean's 1884 History of Montgomery Co, PA

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853 (cont.)



By Wm. J. Buck.

GWYNEDD is the central townships of the county, and is
bounded on the north by the borough of Lansdale, Hatfield and Montgomery,
east by Horsham, south by Whitpain, southeast by Upper Dublin, west by
Worcester and northeast by Towamencin. It is six an one-half miles long,
three miles wide and contains an area of about twelve thousand one hundred
and fifty acres, having been reduced in 1869, ninety-two acres by the
incorporation of North Wales, whose boundaries were boundaries enlarged in
October, 1884, taking in the academy, Baptist Church, shirt-factory and
upwards of twenty-one houses. It was further reduced in 1872, one hundred
and forty-five acres by the erection or the borough of Lansdale. The
surface is rolling and the soil generally clay, with some loam. The
Wissahickon Creek rises but little over a mile from the line, in
Montgomery township, its general come being southerly, and it propels three
grist-mills and a saw-mill within the township. The Treweryn is the next
considerable stream, about three miles in length, with several branches.
Willow Run flows by the Spring House and empties into the Wissahickon at
the Whitpain line, but neither of the aforesaid furnish waterpower.


The Chestnut Hill and Spring House turnpike was chartered March 5, 1804,
and was finished the following year. Its total length is eight miles, of
which one and a half are in Gwynedd. In 1813, and the following year this
turnpike was extended from the Spring House into Bucks County, and is
commonly called the Bethlehem road. The Sumneytown and Spring House turnpike
was incorporated March 17, 1845, and finished in 1848, and has a course
through the township of nearly five and one-half miles, or about one-third
its total length. The pike from Blue Bell, through Penllyn to the Spring
House was constructed in 1872, and is three and one-half miles long. A
turnpike was made in 1884 from the Sumneytown pike, near Kneedler Station,
to the Morris road, passing through the village of West Point, a mile and a
quarter in length. The stone bridge where the Sumneytown pike crosses the
Wissahickon was built in 1819; where the State road crosses it in 1833, and
the Plymouth road bridge in 1839. The most important improvement, and the
one that has done the most for the prosperity of this section, is the North
Pennsylvania Railroad, which was opened for travel to Gwynedd Station June
19, 1856. Nearly a mile above this is the Gwynedd tunnel, five hundred feet
in length, and, including the cut, three thousand six hundred feet, its
greatest depth being sixty feet. It was made through the hardest rock,
involving considerable labor and expense, and it retarded for awhile the
progress of the road, which was opened through to the Lehigh River January
1, 1857. It has a course through the township of about six miles, with
stations at Penllyn and Gwynedd. The Stony Creek Railroad has a course of
three and one half miles in the township, and forms a junction with the
North Pennsylvania Railroad at Lansdale. This road was finished in 1874,
and its stations in the township are called Acorn, Lukens or West Point,
and Kneedler.

According to the census of 1800, Gwynedd contained 906 inhabitants
in 1840, 1589
in 1880, 2041
The real estate in 1882 was valued at $1,617,212, and including the
personal property, $1,728,547, the aggregate per taxable being $3000, an
average very nearly equal to that of Lower Merion. Three hotels and three
general stores were licensed for 1883. In May 1876, it contained seven stores,
three dealers in flour and feed, three coal-yards and one lumber-yard.
The census of 1850 returned 262 dwelling-houses, 278 families and 193 farms.
In 1785 it contained within its limits five taverns, three grist-mills, two
saw-mills and one tannery. There are post-offices at the villages of
Gwynedd, Spring House, Penllyn, West Point and Gwynedd Station. At the
latter place it is called Hoyt, and not long established. The public
schools in 1876 numbered five; for the school year ending June 1, 1883,
six, open nine months, containing three hundred and thirty-four pupils.
Gwynedd, in 1838, formed the Tenth Election District in the county, voting
for many years at the village of the aforesaid name. By order of the Court
of Quarter Sessions, March 25, 1876, the township was divided into two
districts, the elections for the lower district being held at the Spring
House. The Friends and the Episcopalians have each a house of worship, and
the Baptists and the Colored Methodists occasional services, the latter in
a small building below the Spring House.

The Church of the Messiah, located at Gwynedd, was organized in 1870 as a
mission under the care of the Board of Domestic Missions of the Protestant
Episcopal Church, and of the diocese of Pennsylvania.

Services were first held in the school-house. Soon after the
organization, the present lot was purchased of Jacob Acuff, and the
cornerstone of the present church edifice was laid by Bishop William B.
Stevens. A bell was placed in the chapel in 1876 by Mrs. John Gilbert, of
Philadelphia. The mission was placed under the charge of the Rev. Samuel
Edwards. The pulpit was later supplied for a time by students from the
Theological School, in Philadelphia.

The rectors who have since served the church have been the

Revs Henry C. Pastorius

John J. Fury

Henry K. Boyer and the present rector the Rev. R. T. B. Winskill. The
church has thirty-five communicants, and a large summer attendance from
visitors in the neighborhood.

West Point is now the largest village in Gwynedd it contains a store,
hotel, mill, lumber and brick-yards, several machine-shops and about thirty
houses. Here are also the West Point Engine-Works
and Machine-Shops, erected within the last seven Years. The post-office has
been only recently established. On the completion of the Stony Creek
Railroad, in 1874, this place became known as Lukens Station. Its present
name was given it about 1876, when it contained seven or eight houses.
During the summer and fall of 1884 a turnpike was constructed through the
village, connecting it with the Sumneytown road and making now a continuous
pike from here to the borough of North Wales.

Gwynedd, situated at the intersection of the Sumneytown turnpike and
State road, contains a store, hotel, two places of worship, school-house and
about ten houses. Here the early Welsh immigrants made the first settlement
in the township, known as North Wales, and is so mentioned on Lewis Evans'
map of 1749. Gordon, in his "Gazetteer" of 1832, also calls it by said
name, and states "where there is a Quaker Meeting-House, a tavern, three
dwelling, and a post-office." The latter we know was established here before
1830. The place has been long and popularly known throughout that section
as "Acuff's Tavern," where the elections were held for some time previous
to the division of the township, in 1876. A public-house must have been
established before 1769. A store was kept here by Owen Evans before 1765.
The Episcopal Church of the Messiah was built in 1872, at present without a
pastor. The venerable Friends' Meeting-house will form the subject of an


Penllyn is a station on the North Pennsylvania Railroad, sixteen miles
from the city, and is situated on the turnpike leading from the Blue Bell
to the Spring House; it contains a store, fourteen dwellings and several
mechanic schools. It is in the midst of an improving country. The
post-office was located here in July, 1861. The name signifies in Welsh the
head of a dam or the beginning of a stream of water. The first grist-mill
in the township, it is supposed, was built near this by William Foulke, and
was probably the same owned by Jesse Foulke in 1776. The Spring House is
all old, settlement, the intersection of the road here dating back to 1735.
It contains a store, hotel, several mechanic shops and about twelve houses.
The post-office was established here in March, 1829, John W. Murray being
appointed postmaster. Gwynedd Station contains a store, seven houses and
Hoyt post-office. Kneedler is a station on the Stony Creek Railroad, with
in inn and a house or two. Near this is a small Baptist Church belonging to
the society in North Wales, but no stated services are held.

Gwynedd is a corruption of the Welsh word "Gwineth," signifying North
Wales, and also the name of a river there. It is also called in early
records here "Gwinedith." According to Holme's map of original surveys, the
upper half of the township, adjoining Hatfield, Montgomery and Horsham,
was purchased by John Gee & Co., and the other half by James Peters and
Robert Turner, the latter being a well-known merchant in Philadelphia.
Owing to the good reports received from the settlers of the Welsh tract on
the west side of the Schuylkill, more and more the attention of those they
had left behind was excited. The return of Hugh Roberts from Merion to his
native section, in 1697, tended largely to promote further emigration.
Among these may he mentioned William, John and Thomas ap Evan, who, near
the close of that year, had arrived in Philadelphia with a view of taking
up some large tract upon which, those who were to follow, might thus the
better be enabled to dwell together. After some inquiry and a brief
examination, they purchased, March 10, 1698, from Robert Turner, who had
now become the sole owner, a tract containing seven thousand eight hundred
and twenty acres, which was further confirmed to them by Edward Shippen,
Thomas Story, Griffith Owen and James Logan, Penn's commissioners of
property, March 8, 1702. The tract was stated at the latter date to be
"situate in the township of Gwinned, in the county of Philadelphia." This
is most probably the earliest mention yet found of the name. There is every
reason to believe that at the date of this purchase not a single European
had yet dwelt on the tract, the earliest settlements having not yet quite
extended this far northwards from the city.

Some of the immigrants from Wales left Liverpool in the ship "Robert and
Elizabeth," Ralph Williams, master, having on board Edward Foulke and
family, Hugh Roberts, Robert Owen and Cadwallader Evan, brothers of Thomas
ap Evan the purchaser, Hugh Griffith, John Hugh, John Humphrey and probably
Robert John. The name of Edward David has also been mentioned by some
writers. They arrived in Philadelphia July 17, 1698, fifteen weeks after
leaving their homes in Wales. They were kindly treated by their kindred and
former acquaintances in the city and Merion, leaving their women and
children among them until some accommodations would be prepared for their
reception on the new purchase. Edward Foulke, in his narrative, states that
it was "at the beginning of November" that he settled in his new home in
the wilderness, and that "divers others of our company, who came over sea
with us, settled near us at the same time." Supplies of food, it is very
likely, were procured from their nearest neighbors, in Whitemarsh, whom
they would have to pass in their several journeys to and from the city,
where, however, many of the most necessary articles were alone procurable.

To the recently-published work of Howard M. Jenkins [See NOTE] we are indebted for
an account and estimate of the number of early settlers in Gwynedd
previous to the close of 1698:

Edward Foulke and family, 11 persons

Thomas Evan, 10

Robert Evan, 10

Robert Evan, 9

Cadwallader Evan, 4

Owen Evan, 8

William John, 8

John Humphreys, 6

John Hughs, 5

Hugh Griffith, 5

making a total of 66 inhabitants, the last two being partly conjectural.
Respecting the families of Evan Roberts and Ellis David nothing positive is
ascertained. It is most probable that there were also a few others, besides
some servants, who generally, more or less, accompanied the immigrants to
assist in making their first improvements. In a petition for a road from
here to Philadelphia, in June, 1704, they state that they number "in said
township above thirty families already settled." The taxables in 1741 had
reached ninety-three, showing a considerable degree of prosperity within
forty-three years of its first settlement.

[NOTE: "Historical Collection, relating to Gwynedd," chiefly confined to the
early Welsh Friends and their descendants. We are also under obligations to
the researches of Edward Mathews, of the "North Wales Record".]

Although the Gwynedd tract had been conveyed to William, John and Thomas
Evan as containing 7820 acres through Thomas Fairman's measurement, made 2d
of twelfth Month, 1694, a re-survey was ordered by Penn's commissioners of
property, September 29, 1701, which, on being completed, in December, 1702,
was found to comprise 11,449 acres. The commissioners issued patents to the
holders of the several tracts in the township based on this last survey and
confirming the title acquired through Turner. Such proceedings were only
too common in those days, and show a wrong somewhere. According to this,

Thomas Evan received 1049 acres

William John, 2866

Evan ap Hugh, 1068

Robert John, 720

Robert ap Hugh, 232

Robert Evan, 1034

Cadwallader Evan, 609

Owen Evan, 538

Edward Foulke, 712

Evan ap Hughes (lower tract), 110

John Humphrey, 574

William John (lower tract), 322

Robert Evan (lower tract), 250

Hugh and Evan Griffith, 376

Ellis David, 231

Evan Robert, 110

John Hugh, 648.


Edward Foulke, mentioned among the early settlers, came from Coedyfoel,
in Merionethshire, North Wales. He embarked at Liverpool with his wife,
Eleanor, and children,-
and arrived in Philadelphia as aforesaid, where he was kindly
received by his former acquaintances that had preceded him. Having
purchased a tract of over seven hundred acres in Gwynedd he erected a house
thereon near the present Penllyn Station, into which he removed the
following autumn. In 1702 he wrote in Welsh an account and genealogy of his
family, which was afterwards translated by his grandson, Samuel Foulke, of
Richland, a member of the Provincial Assembly from 1761 to 1768. He also
wrote an exhortation late in life addressed to his children, which was
published in "The Friends Miscellany" for 1832. He was a man of literary
taste, which seems to hive been transmitted to several of his descendants.
He died in 1741, aged ninety years.

William John, whose surname has been since changed to Jones and a joint
purchaser with Thomas Evan of the Gwynedd tract, still retained, in 1694,
two thousand eight hundred and sixty-six acres, and at his death he was
much the largest landholder in the township. He had children,-
Ellen and
He settled near the present Kneedler Station, and a two story stone house
standing near by, bearing the date of 1712, is supposed to have been erected
by him. He died in that year, leaving to his only son, John, who was one
of the executors, fourteen hundred acres, including the plantation and dwelling.

John Humphrey's tract of five hundred and seventy-four acres lay just north
of the present Spring House. At his place the early Friends occasionally
held meetings for worship, of which he subsequently became an elder. A
bridge is mentioned at or near his house in 1709, no doubt being one of the
earliest in that section. He died the 14th of sixth Mouth, 1738, aged
seventy years. It appears he accumulated considerable property and was
regarded as the banker of the neighborhood, his personal property amounting
to above one thousand pounds, his bonds and notes being eighty-two in
number. Mr. Jenkins, in his recent work, relates that "a Friend from
Richland attended the Monthly Meeting it Gwynedd, and in the afternoon rode
to his home, twenty miles distant, under great exercise of mind concerning
John Humphrey. He passed a restless night at home and rode back to John
Evans' in the morning. Arriving there, he would not eat or drink until be
had delivered his message; so, taking John Evan, with him, they went to
John Humphrey and told him he had better burn all his bonds and mortgages
than preserve them; that it would be much better for himself and his
posterity, and this was the word of the Lord to him." He had a son, who
was called Humphrey Jones, after the Welsh custom, which mode, however, was
not long retained in this section, much to the relief of our recent

At the request of Thomas Penn, in 1734 a list of resident freeholders of
Gwynedd was returned by the constable, being forty-eight in number, whose
names were as follows:

Evan Griffith

John Jones (penman)

John Griffith

Robert Hugh

John Harris

Theodorus Ellis

John David

Eliza Robert

Rees Harry

Evan Evans

Owen Evans

Thomas Evans, Jr

Thomas Wyat

Leonard Hartling

Peter Wells

John Jones (Robert's son)

John Parker

Hugh Evans

Morris Roberts

William Roberts

Robert Evans

Catharine Williams

Thomas Evans

Cadwallader Evans

Robert Parry

John Jones (weaver)

Cadwallader Jones

Hugh Griffith

Hugh Jones (tanner)

Robert Evan

Edward Foulke

Robert Roberts

Robert Humphrey

Gainor Jones

John Humphrey

Rowland Hugh

Jenkin Morris

Evan Foulke

Edward Roberts

Rees Nanna

Evan Roberts

Thomas David

Hugh Jones

John Chilcott

John Wood

William Williams

Lewis Williams

Thomas Foulke.

Mention is made in the same that "the township of Gwinedeth have hitherto
refused to give the constables the account of their lands, for which reason
it is not known what they hold." We do not wonder at this, evidently
brought about by the resurveys, in which they had some experience, as has
been stated. After a settlement now of more than a third of a century,
through the aforesaid we are enabled to make an interesting estimate
respecting the nationality of its several settlers. Of the forty-eight
names given all at said date were Welsh, probably excepting six, Leonard
Hartling being the only German.

Cadwallader Evans died 30th of Third Month, 1745, aged eighty-one years. John
Evans, was born in Denbiglishire, Wales, in 1669 arrived in Pennsylvania
with his parents, in 1698; was a minister for forty-nine years; died in
1756. Evan Evans was born in Merionethshire in 1684, and in 1698 emigrated
with his parents to Gwynedd. He died in 1747, having traveled extensively
through the several colonies in the ministry. Robert Evans, one of the
early settlers, died in 1731, aged upwards of eighty. A malignant disease
prevailed throughout this section from July 1st to August 24, 1745, of
which sixty-three died within the bounds of the Monthly Meeting, the
majority being young persons. This was certainly a great number when we
come to consider the population at that time.
Robert Humphreys was collector of taxes in 1722
Cadwallader Roberts in 1723
Thomas Evans in 1742
Henry Bergy in 1776
John Hoot in 1781.

Robert Jones was commissioned a justice of the peace in 1718
Owen Evans, of "North Wales," one of the justices of the County Court in
1726, and Cadwallader Foulke in 1738. Jacob Albright was constable in 1767
and Nicholas Selser in 1774; John Jenkins assessor for 1776.
Among the surnames mentioned in the list of 1704 who are still landholders
in the township, may be mentioned the Foulke, Jones, Jenkins, Roberts,
Evans and Davis families; the rest probably no longer exist here.


As has been mentioned, for the third of a century Gwynedd was almost
exclusively settled by the Welsh, as we can infer from the list of 1734,
wherein but one German name is found. Leonard Hartling or Harthein,
therefore, can be regarded as the pioneer settler of the latter. This
element has since become a very important one, probably now constituting
three-fourths of its total population. In the assessment of 1776, out of a
total of one hundred and fourteen names, the Germans numbered already
fifty-five, or almost one-half, while the Welsh had barely made an
increase, either in taxables or landholders, within the preceding thirty-
two years. Many of these early Germans, it appears, had removed from the
upper townships, particularly Towamencin, Lower Salford and Perkiomen, and
consequently located themselves at first chiefly in the upper or
northwestern section of the township.

Melchior Kreible came about 1735; Christopher Neuman or Neiman purchased,
in 1751, two hundred and twenty-five acres in its western corner from the
executors of Edward Williams' estate. Henry Snyder was married to a daughter
of Neuman, and was returned in 1776 as holding one hundred and seventy-five
acres, and having ten children in his family, whose names were


George Snyder at the same date possessed a farm of one hundred and fifty
acres, and was taxed for a servant. This place was situated on the Upper
Dublin line, he having purchased it from Francis Peters, in 1762. He died
1792, leaving three sons,

Abraham Danehower, the ancestor of an extensive landholding family, came
from Germany before 1755, purchased one hundred and thirty-six acres in
1762, of David and Sarah Cumming. He died in 1789, aged sixty-seven years,
and his wife, Catharine, in 1798, aged seventy-four years. His children were


George died in 1793, aged forty-five years.

Abraham resided on a farm he purchased from Samuel Evans, on the West Side
of the Bethlehem road above the Spring House.

Catharine married Jacob Snyder; Elizabeth, Philip Hurst; and Sarah, Philip

Isaac Kolb (now Kulp) purchased a farm before 1709 to the east of North
Wales. He was rated in 1776 as holding one hundred and forty-three acres,
and his son Isaac, Jr., for the same amount. The latter was born in 1750,
married Rachel Johnson in 1778, and died in 1828. He had seven children,-


Benjamin Kulp married Ellen, daughter of Edward and Mary Hoxworth, of
Hatfield. She was a sister of General W. S. Hancock's mother. He died May
16, 1862, aged eighty-three years. He had eight children; among these were
Isaac, Enos, Simon, Oliver and Ann. The latter was married to Asa Thomas.
William Kulp, mentioned in 1776 as a single man, was no doubt a son of
Isaac, Sr.

Philip Hoot came from New Hanover in 1768 and purchased a farm of two
hundred and twenty-five acres from David Neuman in the western corner of
Gwynedd; in 1776 he was assessed for three hundred acres. He died in 1798,
aged sixty-eight years, and left his homestead to his son Peter. The
latter, in 1792, married Barbara Kriger. John Hoot, who was collector of
Gwynedd in 1781, was probably his son. Philip Heist, is rated in 1776 as
holder of one hundred and twenty acres of land, fifty-one acres of which
were purchased in 1772 of Abraham Lukens, Sr., which was situated just
below the present borough of North Wales. He died before 1780, and his
executors conveyed half an acre to the trustees for the erection thereon of
St. Peter's Church, now the cemetery ground.

Garret Clements, or Clemens, resided in the east corner of the township,
on the Welsh road, and was rated for one hundred and thirty-six acres. He
was a Mennonite, and on account of his conscientious for not bearing arms
was fined by the authorities several times. His wifes name was Keturah, and
his daughter Mary married Charles Hubbs. His large two-story stone house is
still standing close beside the road, and as it has been for some time
abandoned, attracts the attention of passing travelers. John Frey, or Fry,
of Towamencin, in 1735, purchased a tract of one hundred acres from Jane
Jones, situated about a mile southeast of Lansdale. In 1742 he sold it to
Paul Brunner, of Salford, whose widow, about 1757, married George
Gossinger, a "redemptioner," who had followed the occupation of a tanner,
and it thus passed into his control.

John Troxal, in 1776, was the owner of two tracts, containing one hundred
and five acres, and a grist and saw-mill. This property was situated at the
intersection of the Swedes' Ford road and the Wissahickon Creek, near the
Wbitpain line. It was sold in 1777 to Samuel Wheeler, and the mill is now
owned by H. Mumbower. Peter Troxal was rated at that time for one hundred
and seventy acres. John Everhart, who was rated for one hundred and fifty
acres, purchased in 1762 from George Klippenger and sold it to David Lukens
in 1793. This property is now owned by Charles Lower, and adjoins the Upper
Dublin line. Martin Raker, who was rated in 1776 for fifty-seven acres,
resided near the present borough of Lansdale, the place being now owned by
Charles S. Jenkins. He was one of the first four trustees of St. Peter's Church.


Jacob Heisler's farm of one hundred and forty-seven acres was located on
the Allentown road, near the present Kneedler Station. It is known that he
kept a licensed inn here in 1779, if not some time earlier, and it has been
continue] as such unto this day. Martin Schwenk's farm of one hundred and
sixty acres was located on the present Sumneytown pike, below the borough
of North Wales. This was the residence of Thomas Evans, the first settler.
George Heist set up a public-house on this place in 1784. Thomas Shoemaker,
who was rated for one hundred and ten acres in 1776, was the son of George,
and was married to Mary, daughter of Joseph Ambler. This farm lay to the
northeast of North Wales, and remained many years in the family. Adam
Fleck, who was rated for one hundred and forty acres, was one of the
building committee, with George Gossinger and Peter Young, of Gwynedd, in
the erection of St. John's Church, Whitpain, in 1773.

Nicholas Selser's farm was assessed as one hundred acres. He was constable
of Gwynedd in 1774. It is probable that Henry and John, mentioned as single
men, were his sons. Henry Bergy (fifty acres) was collector in 1776;
Michael Hoffman, two hundred acres;
John Conrad, sixty;
Conrad Gerhart, one hundred;
John Shelmire, fourteen;
George Shelmire, ninety-six acres (the latter had a son George, who was a taxable);
Matthew Lukens, one hundred and thirty acres and a saw-mill.
Jacob Albright, constable in 1767, appears as a renter, taxed for two horses and two cows.
Ezekiel Cleaver one hundred and forty acres was the son of Peter and Mary, of Upper
Dublin, and a descendant of Peter Cleaver, of Germantown, who was naturalized in 1691.

The descendants of the early German settlers of Germantown and vicinity are
also now quite numerous in Gwynedd, namely, -the
Snyders and
concerning whom the want of space prevents us here from entering into
details. A glance at the map of Gwynedd, as published in Scott's Atlas in
1877, will convince any one that the German element are extensive holders
of real estate here at the present time.

Soon after the settlement of Gwynedd, efforts were made to have public
highways laid out and opened for their general advantage and intercourse,
especially to Philadelphia. In June, 1704, a petition was presented to the
Court of Quarter Sessions wherein it was stated that there were "in said
township about thirty families already settled, and probably many more to
settle in and about the same, especially to the northward thereof, and is
yet there is no road laid out to accommodate your petitioners, but what
Roads and Paths have formerly been marked are removed by some and stopped
by others." They therefore ask an order from the court for "a Road or
Cartway from Philadelphia, through Germantown, to the utmost portion of
their above mentioned Township of North Wales." The court appointed six
persons to lay out the road, but it appears not to have been fully opened
until June, 1714. This is the present road leading by way of the Spring
House and Chestnut Hill to the city. At March Sessions, 1711, a petition
was presented to the court stating, that a road had been laid out nine
years before from a bridge between the lands of John Humphreys and Edward
Foulke, in Gwynedd, to the mills on Pennypack, and that it be now confirmed
as a public highway. Viewers were appointed, who, on March 28, 1712, went
over the ground and their report was adopted. This is the present Welsh
road, forming the line between Upper Dublin and Horsham; it terminated in
Moreland, where is now Huntington Valley. In June, 1714, a petition was
presented for a road from Richland to John Humphreys', near the present
Spring House, which was confirmed in 1717. In March 1715, a road was
desired by the "inhabitants of Gwynedd, Montgomery and Skippack," leading
to the mill of David Williams, at the present Spring Mill, in Whitemarsh.
Portions of the distance, they stated, had been in use as roads for ten or
twelve years previous. This was confirmed and soon after opened. The road
from the present Spring House to Horsham Meeting-house was laid out and
confirmed in 1723. The road from the present Montgomery Square to Gwynedd
Meeting-house was confirmed in 1728. The Goshenhoppen or Sumneytown road
was surveyed and confirmed in June, 1735, commencing at the present Spring
House. This old and important highway has milestones on its course bearing
the date of 1767. What is now known as the Swedes' Ford road, leading to
said place from Gwynodd Meeting-house, was ordered to be opened in 1738. In
a survey of 1751 the distance from the Gwynedd meeting-house to Plymouth
Meeting-house is stated to be seven miles and twenty-four perches. The
State road crosses the centre of the township in a southwest course; it
was laid out in 1830, forty feet wide.

The people of Gwynedd were fortunate in escaping many of the disasters of
the Revolution, which befel some of their not very distant neighbors. The
sympathies of the Welsh element, like the German, was generally inclined to
the patriotic side. This may be more particularly observed in the residents
of Lower Merion, who successfully maintained their neutrality though so
near the city and between the contending armies. At this period the Society
of Friends, with the Mennonites, Schwenkfelders and Dunkards, who were
opposed to bearing arms through conscientious scruples, constituted a
decided majority of the population. To their credit, however, not one was
arrested here for treason or any property confiscated. No battle took place
within its limits, nor was any marauding done by the contending parties.
Small divisions of the American army several times passed over its
territory, but this was all, with the exception of the breaking up of the
camp at Valley Forge, June 19 and 20, 1778, when Washington and his whole
command moved over the Swedes' Ford road, by way of Doylestown, to Wells'
Ferry, now New Hope, where they crossed into New Jersey in pursuit of the
retreating British, whom they encountered at Monmouth on the 28th. Miss
Sally Wister, of Philadelphia, who was at that time staying with her
relatives near the present Penllyn, states in her journal that on this
march "Washington was escorted by fifty of the life-guard with drawn swords."


All men residing in the township liable to military duty were
enrolled into two companies. Captain Christian Dull had the lower command
and Captain Stephen Bloom the upper, and both were attached to the Fourth
Battalion of Philadelphia County militia, of whom William Dean, of
Moreland, was colonel. For refusing to attend the musters of the aforesaid
companies, sixty-eight persons were fined in one year two thousand seven
hundred and sixty-eight pounds Continental currency, equivalent to seven
thousand eight hundred and eighty dollars of our present money. As the
total number of taxables in 1776 was one hundred and fourteen, we thus
perceive that those fined must have considerably exceeded half the enrolled
population liable to the service. The making out and collecting of those
fines, as may be well imagined, imposed an unpleasant duty on the officers,
the prejudices against whom have not yet died out or been forgotten in some
of the old neutral families. It is a tradition that the old Friends'
Meeting-house was used as a hospital immediately after the battle of
Germantown, and that several solders who had died there were interred in
the grave-yard beside the road.

A school-house was mentioned, in a road petition for 1721, as being
situated near the dwellings of Rowland Hughes, Robert Humphreys and not far
from the old road to Philadelphia, which, probably, was about half-way
between the present Spring House and the Upper Dublin line. Mr. Jenkins, in
his "Historical Collections or Gwynedd," mentions Marmaduke Pardo, a native
of Wales, a teacher here in 1729, who may have taught in the aforesaid
school-house. The Friends had charge of a school at the meeting-house in
1793, which it is supposed was there for some time before. Joseph Foulke, a
respected minister among Friends, who for some time kept a boarding-school
for boys on his farm, on the Bethlehem road, about a mile above the Spring
House, states that when he went here to school, prior to 1795, the
principal books used were the Bible and Testament, Dilworth's spelling-book
and arithmetic. On and after that date he went to school to Hannah Lukens
and Joshua Foulke, his uncle. They taught in a log school-house about half
a mile above the Spring House. They were succeeded by
William Coggins
Hannah Foulke
Benjamin Albertson
Hugh Foulke
John Chamberlain
Christian Dull, Jr.
Daniel Price
Samuel Jones,
all of whom taught at that place prior to 1859. Joseph
Foulke died February 15, 1863, in his seventy-seventh year. Hugh Foulke,
mentioned, was a brother of the latter, and at his house, in October, 1855,
he exhibited to the writer the family Bible of his great grandfather, Hugh
Griffith, one of the early settlers of Gwynedd, and which be had brought
over with him, in the Welsh language, printed at London in 1654. Hugh
Foulke died in 1864, aged seventy-six years.

The common-school system in Pennsylvania dates its origin to an act of
the Legislature passed in 1834. The six school directors of Gwynedd for
that year declined its acceptance, and opposition to it was maintained
until 1840, when, through the influence of State appropriations, it was
carried by a vote of eighty-six to eighty. In 1844 there were four schools,
taught by four male teachers, with four hundred and fifty-two enrolled
pupils. The average compensation to the teachers was twenty dollars per
month; nine months open in the year. Two of the school-houses were "eight-
square" or octagonal, a form of building then common. In 1856 the public
schools in the township numbered six, eight months open, taught by six male
teachers, with four hundred and thirty pupils enrolled and an average
attendance of one hundred and fifty-five. The amount of tax levied for the
support of the schools was $1444.48. With the loss of North Wales and half
of Lansdale, six schools are still maintained, however, nine months open,
with only three hundred and thirty-four pupils enrolled, teachers' wages
now being forty dollars.

FRIENDS' MEETING HOUSE AT GWYNEDD, owing to its antiquity and long-extended
influence, is deemed well worthy a separate article. From its being almost
in the exact centre of the township or original purchase it was the third
house of worship erected in the county, being preceded a few years only by
those erected in Lower Merion and Abington. Nearly two centuries have now
passed away since these occurrences, producing great changes in almost
everything, and from which even their ancient meetings have not been by any
means exempt. Hallowed and venerable associations cluster around them, the
impress of which should by no means be entirely lost on their numerous and
respected descendants. Posterity owes much to the past, and as long as
gratitude exists it will remain a serious question as to the best or most
proper method to meet such obligations. The labors of the historian are
certainly not calculated to weaken such ties, but to ennoble or exalt them.

The minute-book of Gwynedd Monthly Meeting commences in 1714, but it
is stated therein that this place was settled "and called by the name of
Gwynedd Township in the latter end of the year 1698 and the beginning of
the year 1699. The principal settlers and purchasers, among others, were
William Jones
Thomas Evans
Robert Evans
Owens Evans
Cadwallder Evans
Hugh Griffith
John Hugh
Edward Foulke
John Humphrey
Robert Jones.


Of this number those who were Friends met together "at the houses of John
Hugh and John Humphrey, until more were added to their numbers." With the
exception of the latter two and most probably Hugh Griffin the remainder
were attached to the Established Church of England. An identity of
interests in this new settlement was calculated to draw them closer
together. It is evident that the meetings held at the aforesaid houses led
to the organization of this congregation. The churchmen for a brief term
did assemble for worship at the house of Robert Evans, where his brother
Cadwallader supplied in part the place of minister, by reading to them
portions of the services and passages from his Welsh Bible. This may not
have been maintained much beyond a year, for on building the first small
log meeting-house in 1700, on the site of the present edifice, they all
united, assisted by later immigrants, who, must have also increased the
body of Friends. The relation is that Robert and Cadwallader Evans first
sought them by attending at their place of worship, and finally through
their influence the rest were brought over, on which the meeting-house was
agreed upon.

It is a well-settled tradition that William Penn and his daughter Letitia
and a servant came out on horseback to visit the settlement shortly after
its erection and that he preached in it, staying on this occasion overnight
at the house of his friend, Thomas Evans, the first settler, who resided
nearby. As he returned in November, 1701, to England, we may determine
nearly the time that this transient visit was made.

In consequence of this change in their religious principles, it would
seem that the Rev. Evan Evans, a Welsh Episcopalian minister, was sent over
here, in 1700, to make efforts to reclaim them. In a letter to the bishop
of London, in 1707, he mentioned this settlement as "twenty miles distant
from the city, where are considerable numbers of Welsh people, formerly, in
their native country, of the communion of the Church of England; but about
the year 1698 -two years after my arrival in that country-most of them
joined with the Quakers; but by God's blessing some of them were induced to
return, and I have baptized their children and preached often to them." In
the "Collections of the Episcopal Church in Pennsylvania," edited by Rev.
W. S. Perry and published in 1861, considerable may be seen on this
subject, which appears to have attracted some attention at the time. There
is a tinge of exaggeration running through Mr. Evans' correspondence,
(prompted, no doubt by his zeal,) that cannot now be substantiated by
records. Partly in corroboration, Mr. Millet, in his "History of St.
Thomas' Church, Whitemarsh," states that the "Rev. Evan Evans, who came to
this country in 1700, for many years rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia,
within two years after his arrival more than five hundred followers of George
Fox joined themselves to the Church of England."

The log meeting-house proving inadequate for the accommodation of
the society, which was no doubt in part brought about by the influx of
immigration and the continuous prosperity of the settlement, a subscription
paper was drawn up in the Welsh language, in 1710-11, to which were singed
sixty-six names headed by William John and Thomas Evans. The sums ranged
from one to eleven pounds each, the total reaching to about two hundred
pounds. Hugh Griffith assisted in its building and it was completed in
1712. It was considerably larger than the former and was built of stone
with two galleries and a hip-roof. It occupied the former site, and the
ground was a portion of Robert Evans' purchase still covered with the
original forest. The subscription paper mentioned is an interesting relic
and has long been preserved and retained in the Foulke family.

Rowland Ellis, in behalf of Haverford, represented, on the 10th of Fourth Month,
1699, to the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, about this Welsh settlement,
twenty miles distant, who had for some, time held a First-day Meeting by
their advice and consent, and, as they do not understand the English
language, desired to be joined to Haverford Monthly Meeting, to which
consent was given. At the Monthly Meeting held at Radnor Meeting-house
on the 9th of Tenth Month, 1714, it was left for consideration as to what
time the Monthly Meeting of Gwynedd and Plymouth be left to the appointment
of this meeting by the Quarterly Meeting held in Philadelphia. The Third-
day of every month was proposed and agreed upon.

Being now constituted a Monthly Meeting, then were allowed the privilege
of recording all their births, marriages, deaths and removals, which had
heretofore been entered in the records of Haverford. Plymouth Friends being
few in numbers and the meetings being chiefly held here, it was called
Gwynedd Monthly Meeting, which name has been ever since retained. John
Evans was appointed the first clerk, and Edward Foulke and Robert Jones
overseers. On the 26th of Second Month, 1715, Friends in Providence were
allowed to hold a meeting on the first First-day of every month, and a few
months thereafter liberty was given to have a burying-place. But the
meeting-house again proving too small, it was decided, the 28th of Tenth
Month, 1725, to have it enlarged, John Cadwallader, John Jones and John
Evans being appointed a committee to have charge of the same.

The first ministers were Robert and Cadwallader Evans, of whom it is stated
by Samuel Smith, in his "History of the Province of Pennsylvania," that
"they could neither read nor write in any but the Welsh language." The
former died in First Month, 1738, and was aged upwards of eighty years.
Thomas Chalkley, in his journal, mentions being present at his burial.


Among other early ministers belonging here may be mentioned
Evan Evans
Alice Griffith
Ann Roberts
John Evans
Hugh Foulke
Ellis, Hugh and Mary Evans.
Evan Evans died in 1747, aged sixty-three years, and John Evans died in
September 1756, having been in the ministry forty-nine years. John
Fothergill, of England, visited this meeting several times in 1721, and
again, on his return to America, in 1736. Alice Griffith was the wife of
Hugh Griffith, and died in Second Month, 1749.

Gwynedd Monthly Meeting remained in Philadelphia Quarter until 1786, when
it comprised, with Abington, Horsham, Richland and Byberry, Abington
Quarter, whose meetings are now held at Abington in Second Month, Horsham
in the Fifth, Gwynedd in the Eighth and Byberry in the Eleventh. The
present meeting-house was built in 1823. It is a plain, substantial, two-
story stone structure, forty by seventy-five feet in dimensions. When first
built here, in 1700, the spot must have been very secluded. In the ample
yard and burial-ground attached several original forest-trees, are still
preserved, one of these, a chestnut, nearly four feet in diameter. Near
the southern corner of the yard is a stone bearing the name of Mary Bate,
daughter of Humphrey and Ann Bate, who died in 1714.

The many associations of the past that, cluster around this spot, where
for three-quarters of a century was the only house of worship in the
township, make it an object of much interest to the antiquary. That it is
no longer flourishing is to be regretted, even by those not in membership.
Respecting this subject, Mr. Jenkins, in his recent work, thus expresses himself:

"At the time of its erection the number of members and others who
habitually attended warranted so large a house; but the time is long since
past when its benches are filled, except upon very extraordinary occasions.
For a number of years it has been the custom to open only half the house-
the southern end--on First-days, and even this to more than sufficient for
the congregations that usually assemble."

ST. PETER'S CHURCH. -On the upper side of the Sumneytown turnpike, and but
a short distance southeast of the incorporated limits of North Wales, may
be observed it cemetery, which was the site of a church wherein worship was
maintained jointly by the Lutherans and German Reformed for nearly a
century. Though the spot may be now only pointed out within the inclosure,
yet the result has been two flourishing and distinct congregations, each
possessing a lot and church situated within less than half a mile's
distance. Here was erected the second house of worship in the township, out
of which they respectively originated.

Before the building of this church the members of the German Reformed
denomination attended at Wentz's or Boehm's, and the Lutherans at St.
John's, the former being in Worcester and the latter two in Whitpain. Among
the prominent members of St. John's can be mentioned Michael Haenge, George
Gossinger, Adam Fleck, Peter Young and Abraham Danehower. These all
resided in Gwynedd, and, of course, from its convenience, would take an
active part in the erection of a house of worship in their vicinity. Philip
Heist, having purchased of Abraham Lukens, Sr., fifty-one acres in 1772, on
the upper side of the Old Goshenhoppen road, immediately below the present
borough of North Wales, proffered half an acre from it for the use of a
church, which was very probably erected thereon before 1775. Having died,
his executors made a deed to the trustees of the church dated June 10,
1780, which states that said lot of ground is hereby granted for a house of
worship, erected thereon for the use of the German Lutheran and Reformed

Tradition states that this church was a small frame building, and
answered the purposes of these denominations until about 1817. It becoming
too small for their numbers, a committee was appointed in the fall of 1815,
consisting of George Neuvil, Jacob Kneedler, Conrad Shimmel, Joseph Knipe
and Philip Lewis, to procure subscriptions and make collections for the
erection of a larger and more commodious stone edifice. The corner-stone
was probably not laid till near the beginning of May, 1817, and the church
not finished until the following fall or winter. Among the other members
who did much to aid the enterprise can, be mentioned

Philip Hurst

John Hurst

Abraham Dannehower

Jacob Schwenk

John Martin

Adam Fleck

Christian Rex

Henry Hallman and

George, Joseph, Adam, Samuel and Daniel Kneedler.

In consequence of its walls having been plastered with an ochre color, it
received the name of the "Yellow Church." Its ceiling was lofty and
galleries were placed on three of its sides. The pulpit was elevated and
set directly against the wall, after the manner of that day.

For the want of records considerable obscurity is involved in the early
history of this church. It is very probable that the first Lutheran pastor
Rev. Jacob Van Buskirk, of Germantown, who had charge of the Upper
Dublin or Puff's Church, not five miles distant, from 1769 to 1785, and may
have thus preached here, as we know he subsequently did. The earliest
officiating pastor known was Anthony Hecht, the Lutheran portion of this
congregation with that at Tohickon, having applied to the Ministerium for his
ordination in 1785. He had been a schoolmaster in the neighborhood, and
thus became known. The request was refused for several successive years. He,
however, succeeded in being ordained by an independent preacher, and
through this the congregation gave him the charge about 1787 until the
close of 1792. This will account for his name not appearing on the regular
records. The Rev. Jacob Van Buskirk became pastor in 1793, and of St.
John's, in Whitpain, till 1795. The next was the Rev. Henry A.
Geissenhainer, who was licensed at the request of the Upper Dublin and
North Wales congregations, and continued in the charge until 1801. He soon
after removed, and was probably succeeded by Rev. Frederick David
Schaefler, assisted by his sons, David and Solomon, from Germantown, which
arrangement was maintained to about 1810 or a little later.


The Rev. John K. Weiant continued in the pastorate from 1812 to 1828,
and also at Whitpain. Rev. George Heilig, received the charge of the two
congregations near the close of 1826 until 1843. He was succeeded by Rev.
Jacob Medtart, who was unable to preach in German; thus the English
language became introduced, and has since been maintained. Rev. John W.
Hassler followed Mr. Medtart in 1856, and continued until 1862, when he
resigned for a chaplaincy in the army. Rev. R. M. Rightmeyer officiated from
1863 to 1867. The following year Rev. Ezra L. Reed succeeded, and was the
last minister here. For some of the preceding facts we are indebted to the
researches of Rev. B. M. Schmucker, of Pottstown.

Concerning the German Reformed congregation who worshiped here little is
known. Rev. George Wack was ordained to the ministry in October, 1801 and
on the 25th of April following, received the charge of Boehm's and Wentz's
Reformed Churches and St. Peter's from 1834 to 1845. This last congregation
he resumed after resigning his connection with Boehm's church. He later
preached occasionally to the North Wales members. He died in Whitpain
February 17, 1856, aged eighty years, and was buried in Boehm's churchyard.
The Rev. Samuel Helfenstein had charge of the Boehm and Wentz congregations
in 1797. The following year he went to Philadelphia, where he officiated in
the Race Street Church. In 1832 he removed near North Wales, where he
continued to reside until his death, October 17,1866, aged ninety-one
years, and where he was buried. He officiated occasionally in this church,
but we have not ascertained to what extent.

During Mr. Reed's incumbency the old church needed repairs, and in
consequence the German Reformed congregation decided to remove and erect a
house of worship for themselves in the adjacent village of North Wales.
This agitated the Lutheran congregation, who finally determined on the same
course. The latter, in the spring of 1867, commenced subscriptions with
such success that a lot was also secured within the limits of the present
borough, and the new church completed by the close of 1869. As has been
stated, for many years one pastor served St. Peter's and St. John's. In
1870 this arrangement was terminated, and since then each church has
maintained its own pastor. Rev. L. G. Miller received the charge in 1874,
Rev. Wm. H. Meyers in 1876, Rev. Theophilus Heilig in 1878, who was
succeeded by the present incumbent, Rev. George D. Foust, in the summer of
1880. A Sunday-school was organized about 1831, to which, a few years
later, a library was added, and both have since continued to flourish.
The German Reformed Church was built about the same time, and thus old St.
Peter's, after a use of upwards of half a century, became abandoned, its
walls razed and the recollection thereof left to soon pass away, except
what may be preserved in history.

THE SPRING HOUSE TAVERN. -In the history of Gwynedd from its earliest
period this has been a noted vicinity, around which cluster many memorable
occurrences. In 1698 John Humphrey settled here, and the Friends held their
first meeting, for worship. Mention is made of a road being in use from
here to the Pennypack Mills in 1702. Soon after 1704 the road was extended
from the city, by this place, to the North Wales Meeting-house, a mile and
a half distant. A bridge near by is mentioned as having been constructed
before 1711. The road leading from hereto Richland was confirmed in 1717,
and was the commencement of the present Bethlehem road. From this point to
Horsham Meeting-house the road was confirmed in 1723, and the Goshenhoppen
or Sumneytown road in 1735. We see by this date that through the
construction of these several highways and the extension of settlement
farther into the interior this spot was calculated before long to become,
in consequence, an important traveling centre.

The town of Bethlehem, on the Lehigh River, thirty-eight miles distant, was
founded in 1741, and all travel from there and the surrounding country as well
as from Allentown to Philadelphia was confined to the road passing by this place.
It is probable that it was not long after the latter date that the first
inn was located here, but at what exact time and by whom we are unable to
say. Benjamin Davis kept a public-house at this point from 1758 to 1772. In
April, 1758, Daniel Kunckler, on his journey from Bethlehem to
Philadelphia, with six Indians in his charge, mentions stopping here. In a
table of distances on the Bethlehem road, published in 1769, "Benjamin
Davis's" is mentioned as being sixteen miles from the city. The first
stage line passing through the present county was started in September
1763, from Bethlehem to Philadelphia, making one weekly trip and stopping
at this inn.

The road from this place, by the present Penllyn to Boehm's church was laid
out in the spring of 1769, and mention is made in the report of its
"beginning near a stone spring-house in Gwynedd road." Here we can perceive
what has led to the origin of the name. This fact is further confirmed in a
description of the tavern in 1827, wherein mention is made of a "durable
spring of water a short distance from the door, over which is a stone milk-
house." General Lacey mentions the "Spring House Tavern" in his
dispatches of 1777, and the name is also mentioned in a report of a raid
made in this direction by the British in February, 1778. That it is a
striking and peculiar name there is no question and it must therefore have
originated here from just some such local cause.

Christian Dull, or rather Doll, in the German, of whom we shall give a
few additional particulars, succeeded Davis as inn-keeper.


He was a native of Perkiomen, and his father, hearing the same name, is
mentioned in the census of that township taken in 1756, as having seven
children and renting from Solomon Dubois one thousand acres of land,
whereof two hundred are cleared. John Dull, who was probably a brother, is
mentioned as a taxable and residing there in 1776. It is likely that
Catharine Doll was also one of those seven children. She was married, in
this county, to Charles J. Krauth. Their son, Charles Porterfield Krauth,
D.D., LL.D., who died in 1883, aged sixty years, was one of the most
eminent divines and scholars in the Lutheran Church. Christian Dull removed
to the Spring House in 1772, where he was rated in 1776 as holding a tavern,
eight acres of land, a horse and cow. The Revolution breaking out, he
actively espoused the cause of his country. Owing to the connivance of
some well-to-do people in this vicinity concerned in furnishing supplies
of provisions and information to the British in Philadelphia, General Lacey
stationed a portion of his men here for a short time to make arrests and
intercept and check such practices.

The American army suffering, greatly, in December 1777, for clothing at
Valley Forge, he was appointed to collect such supplies in his vicinity and
forward them at once for their use. For the part he had taken in the war,
on the organization of the Fourth Battalion of Philadelphia County militia,
commanded by Colonel William Dean, he was chosen and commissioned a captain
of one of the companies to be raised in his township. By accepting these
several charges he was placed in a delicate position, much more so through
a considerable majority of the surrounding population being bent on
remaining neutral during the contest. Among his other duties was to report
the fines of delinquents for not attending the musterings. No sooner did
the war close than slander was busy to ruin his character and business. In
the "Philadelphia Gazette" of February 17, 1783, he was induced in
consequence to have inserted an advertisement offering a reward of one
hundred guineas for the author of a report that he was "privy in robbing a
collector." Some of the neutrals, or, rather, disaffected, in attending the
Philadelphia market, reported there that himself and wife had been guilty
of murdering one or more travelers, who had stopped at his house, for their
property. To this he also replied in the spring of 1789, and again offered
a similar reward. He states as to the latter that he had seven children,
"several of them young and helpless." That such reports were damaging to the
keeper of a public-house we do not wonder, even if they have never been
proven. With it all, Christian Dull outlived many of his enemies, throve in
business and attained to a good old age, closing his career as the landlord
of the Spring House tavern about the beginning of 1822.

He made a will appointing John Roberts one of his executors, but Roberts
died in 1823, aged seventy-three years, and therefore did not survive long
enough to assist in carrying out the trust. John Roberts had been for many
years a store-keeper here, and on the friendliest terms with Mr. Dull. The
property was advertised at public sale November 8, 1827. It was described
as "that well-known stand, commonly called the Spring House tavern, situate
at the junction of the Bethlehem pike and the Allentown road, eighteen
miles from Philadelphia, containing nineteen acres of land, a commodious
stone tavern and stone house, in which store has been kept for more than
thirty years past and stabling for more than one hundred horses." Mention
is made, besides, of two other dwellings, a blacksmith and wheel-wright
shop, and an adjoining farm of one hundred and twenty-six acres, with good
buildings. This all denotes that Christian Dull, in his residence here of
half a century, certainly did much for the improvement of the place. The
extensive stabling will show what an amount of travel and hauling must have
then been exclusively confined to the highways, since so much reduced by
railroads. An additional stage line was placed on the road from Bethlehem
in 1797, which also stopped here. What greatly added to the business of
this stand was its suitable distance from the city, for all travelers or
market men stopping in coming and going that way. In October, 1804,
Alexander Wilson, the distinguished ornithologist, with his two companions,
on their pedestrian journey from Philadelphia to the Falls of Niagara,
remained overnight here, and in his poem of "The Foresters" gives the
following amusing account:

"The road was good, the passing scenery gay,
Mile after mile passed unperceived away,
Till in the west the day began to close,
And Spring House tavern furnished us repose.
Here two long rows of market folks were seen,
Ranged front to front, the table placed between,
Where bags of meat, and bones, and crusts of bread,
And hunks of bacon all around were spread;
One pint of peer from lip to lip went round,
And scarce a crumb the hungry house-dog found,
Torrents of Dutch from every quarter came,
Pigs, calves and sour-crout the important theme;
While we, on future plans resolving deep,
Discharged our bill and straight retired to sleep."

From "the two long rows of market folks" described, we can judge of the
extent of Christian Dull's business at that time. This description of the
economical arrangement of farmers taking their provisions along in going to
market is no doubt true, and was even carried still further, by their
sleeping on the bar room floors at night. Gordon, in his "Gazetteer of
Pennsylvania," published in 1832, has well said that the Spring House is "a
noted tavern." Four incorporated turnpikes meet here, the first constructed
from Chestnut Hill in 1804, and the last to Penllyn and the Blue Bell in
1872. John W. Murray had the post-office established in 1829. The
completion of the North Pennsylvania Railroad to Bethlehem, in 1857, was
the first great blow to the travel on the roads, which has since more and
more diminished through the construction of other railroads. The old stand
here was kept by David Blyler for some time. On the opposite corner another
public-house was established by Thomas Scarlett, and kept as such for many
years, now occupied as a store and for the post-office. On the division of
Gwynedd into two districts, in 1876, the voters of the lower section were
authorized to hold their elections at the present public house on the site
of the famous old hostelry, whose name it perpetuates.



John Jenkins, assessor and Henry Bergy, collector.

Jesse Foulke, 210 acres, 6 horses, 6 cows and a grist and saw-mill

Thomas Evans, 230 a., 1 servant, 2 h., 6 c

George Snyder, 150 a., 1 servant, 3h., 6 c

Michael Hawke, 150 a. 2h. 4 c

Jephtha Lewis, 200 a. 2 h. 6 c

Eneas Lewis, 160 a. 2 b. 3 c

Isaac Lewis, 2h. 3 c.

Reese, 200 a. 2 h. 6 c

Humphrey Jones, 180 a. 3h. 5 c

George Gossinger, 100 a. 2h. 6 c

Melchior Kreable, 119 a. 3h 5 c

Philip Hood, 300 a. 4 h. 6 c

Isaac Kolb, 143 a. 3 . 6 c

Isaac Kolb, Jr.,143 a. 2 h. 5 c

Philip Helst, 120a. 2 h. 4 c

John Thomson, 123a. 3h 4c

Thomas Shoemaker, 110 a. 2h. 3 c

Margaret Johnson, 100a.. 2h. 4 c

Stephen Bloom, 35 a. 2 h. 2 c

Daniel Williams, 130 a. 3h. 4 c

Amos Roberts, 180 a. 3h 8 c. has 9 children

John Davis, 170a. 3 h. 6 c

Enoch Morgan, 100a. 2h. 5c

Nicholas Selser, 100a 2 h. 4 c

Morris Morris, 30a. 1h. 2c

Henry Rapp, 1h 1c.

George Miller

Jacob Albright, 2h 2c

Samuel Gamble, 20 a. 1h 1c

Martin Schwenk, 160 a. 2 h. 4 c

Abraham Donenhaner, 135 a. 2h 6 c

Jacob Heisler, 147 a. 4h 4 c

Henry Snyder, 175 a. 3h 6 c. has 9 children

Peter Troxal, 80 a. 2h 2 c. and grist and saw-mill

Thomas Evans, Jr., 140 a. 2h 4 c. supports his mother

Baltzer Spinagel, 1c

William Williams, 120 a. 3h 5 c

George Maris, 450 a. 4h 6 c

Conrad Dimond, 40 a. 1h. 2 c

Walter Howell, 100 a. 2h 2 c

Thomas Leaman, 1 c

Michael Hoffman, 200 a. 2 c

Jacob Sigfrid, 1h 2 c

Barnabas Beaver, 50 a. and grist-mill

Matthew Lukens, 130 a. 2h 6c. saw-mill

Martin Hoffman, 1c

John Jenkins, 252 a. 3h 5 c

Sarah Griffth, 300 a. 2 h. 3c

Joseph Griffith, 100 a. 2h 2 c

Benjamin Rosenberger, 50a 1 h. 2 c

John Knipe, 150 a. 1h 3c

William Dixey, 10 a. 1 h 1 c. a cripple

Garret Clemmens, 136 a 3h. 6 c

John Conrad, 60 a. 2h. 3c

Christian Dull, 8 a. and tavern 1h 1 c

John Shelmire, 14 a. 1h. 1 c

Peter Buck, 50 a. 1h 2 c

George Shelmire, 90a 1h 1c

George Shelmireh, Jr., 3h 2 c

William Evans, 100a 2h 2c aged

Alexander Major, 150 a 2h 6 c. 8 children

Joshua Foulke, 200a 3h. 6 c

John Sparcy, 100 a. 2h 5 c

George Fleck, 2h. 3 c.

Ann Week, 100 a

George Week, 7a. 1h 1c

Samuel Castner, 50a. 2h 4 c

John Everhart, 150a. 2h 4 c

Nicholas Rice, 50 a. 2 h 6 c

Adam Fleck, 140 a. 3h 6 c

John Davis, Jr., 75 a. 1h 1 c.

David Davis, 75 a. 3h 3 c

Robert Davis, 75 a

William Roberts, 100a. 2 h. 4 c

Ezekiel Cleaver, 140 a. 4 h. 8 c

John Evans, 250a 3h. 8 c

Michael Consler, 40a. 2h. 2 c

Peter Young, 50 a 1 h. 4c

Samuel Kastner, 80 a. 2 c

Daniel Leblance, 75 a. 2 h. 2 c.

Jacob Smith, 100 a. 1h 2 c

Jacob Smith, Jr., 1h. 2 c

Jacob Wiant, 130 a. 3h. 4 c

Peter Hoffman, 1h 2 c

Levi Foulke, 100a 3 h. 6c

Martin Raker, 57a. 2h 2 c

William Johnson, 123 a. 2h. 2 c.

Hugh Foulke, 3 h. 2 c

Conrad Gerhart, 120 a. 2 h 5 c

John Siddons, 1 c

Conrad Smith, 2 h. 2 c

William Moore, 2h. 2 c

Job Lukens, 20a 1h 1 c

Henry Bergy, 50a 2 h 3 c

Adam Smith, 1h 1c

Mathias Booz, 1 c

Wendle Fetter, 15 a. 1 c

William Springer, 2 a. 4 c

John Singer, 50 a. 1h 2 c

Phillip Hurst, 80 a. 2 h. 5 c

John Troxal, 25 a. 2h 1c

William Hoffman, 2h. 4 c

Evan Davis, 15 a. 1c

Christian Delacourt

Nicholas Shubert, 7 a. 1c

Michael Itzel, 1a 1c

Jacob Brown, 2 c

Jacob Walton, 1h 1c

Jacob Preston

John Delacourt, 2 c

Benjamin Williams

Philip Berkheimer


Hugh Evans

John Jenkins Jr

John Kidney

John Evans

Robert Roberts

David Harry, Jr

Rees Harry

Benjamin Harry

Joseph Lewis

John Johnson

Enoch Morgan

John Long

John William

Evans Roberts

Eleazer Williams

Tillman Kolb

Griffith Edwards

Jacob Booz

William Smith

Rees Roberts

Robert Roberts

Henry Selser

John Selser

Christian Knipe

George Sperry

William Oman

Samuel Singer

Conrad Booz

George Ganger

Joseph Yost

Benjamin Gregory

Abraham Donnenhauer.



Jacob B. Rhoads, one of the thrifty and enterprising farmers of Gwynedd
township, and one who has made agriculture a study and a success, was born
on the farm he now owns, July 20, 1820. His early life was spent upon the
old homestead farm, half a mile from the town of North Wales, and his
educational advantages were such as the common schools of that period

He commenced business for himself in 1846, when he rented his father's
farm, and attended strictly to that branch of business for several years,
or until 1856, laying well the foundation for the future success that has
attended his every enterprise. In the latter year he added to the duties
and responsibilities of a large farmer that of butchering for the
Philadelphia markets, which he has successfully carried on to the present time.

At the death of his father, in 1866, he inherited one-half of the old
homestead farm, containing one hundred and forty acres, and purchased from
the heirs the other half. The farm was formerly owned by Joseph Evans, and
purchased by Abraham, father of Jacob B. Rhoads, in 1806. The North
Pennsylvania Branch of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad passes through
the farm of Mr. Rhoads, and the long, deep cut and tunnel south of North
Wales is on or through his farm. Since Mr. Rhoads has owned the old
homestead he has remodeled the dwelling and built the large and commodious
barns and out-buildings, that are not only a convenience for the farm, but
an ornament to that part of the township where they are located. He has
also owned two other farms of one hundred acres each, which be sold to
George Castner and G. B. Kittlehaus.

Mr. Rhoads has by his industry, economy and fair dealing with his fellow-
men not only merited but also has received their confidence and esteem in
business transactions, and has been honored for six years with a seat in
the board of school directors of his township.

Mr. Rhoads married, March 13, 1845, Ann Jenkins, who was born November
22, 1818. The result of this union has been as follows:

Sarah Amanda, born December 10, 1846, married, October 29,1868, to George
W. Castner

Mary, born March 18, 1851, married, January 20, 1885, to Charles Jacobs

Anna, born June 24, 1857, died December 23, 1857

Abraham J., born September 7, 1859, married, October 23, 1883, to Elizabeth Hood.

Abraham, the father of Jacob B. Rhoads, was born December 4, 1782, and died
November 22, 1866. His wife, Sarah Baker Rhoads, died April 3, 1840. Their
children were as follows:

Charles, born February 3, 1816, died October 6, 1820

Jacob B. born July 20, 1820

Elizabeth, born November 5, 1823, February 20, 1949, to Jacob Acuff

Annie, born March 7, 1827, married, May 1, 1856, to George Colyer
(she died January 17, 1857)








Ann, mother of Abraham and grandmother of Jacob B. Rhoads, died March 16, 1839.




Mr. Bisson is of Huguenot ancestry, his great grandfather, Charles, who was
born in France in 1756, having come to the United States in his youth,
where he followed his trade of tailor. He married Miss Elizabeth, daughter
of Evan Roberts. On his death, in 1825, his remains were interred in Bethel
Church burial-ground.


His son, Evan Bisson, was born in 1779, and died in 1851. He made the
township of Gwynedd his residence, and there plied industriously the trade
of a stone-mason, in addition to which he cultivated a farm. He married Ann
Reiff, of the same county, whose children were
Mary Ann

Hilary was born in Montgomery County and acquired the trade of his father,
which he conducted on an extensive scale both in his native town and in the
adjacent counties. He married Rebecca Eaton, and had children, -Evan, who
served with distinction in the War of the Rebellion, and subsequently
removed to Nebraska; and Phebe. By a second marriage, to Hannah Skeen, were
James W.
Elizabeth Virginia (Mrs. Chalkley Jarrett).

The death of Mr. Bisson occurred at his house on the 5th of August, 1876.
His son, James W. was born September 17, 1842, in Gwynedd township his
present residence. The schools near by afforded opportunities for a common
English education, after which he devoted a season to study at Bryant &
Stratton's Commercial College, in Philadelphia, and became thoroughly
familiar with the principles of business. Returning to his father's farm, he
remained a valued assistant until twenty-five years of age, and then by
purchase became the owner of the homestead farm, formerly the property of
his grandfather. He has since that date devoted his energies to farm
employments, meanwhile gratifying his taste for horticulture by propagating
rare fruit, and also engaging largely in the breeding of fine fowls, in
which he has established an extended reputation and derived much profit.
Mr. Bisson was married, February 20, 1868, to Miss Kate, daughter of John
S. Danehower, of the same township. They have one child, a daughter, Lilly
May, born on the 15th of September, 1884. Mr Bisson is in politics a
Republican, but not actively interested in public measures. He is a member
of Othello Lodge, No. 50, of Knights of Pythias, and of Montgomery Council,
No. 18, of the order of United American Mechanics.



Mr. Berkhimer represents one of the oldest families in Montgomery County.
His grandfather, who was Jacob Berkhimer, married Maria Rubican, of
Delaware County, Pa., and had children,-
Julia Ann


He purchased, in 1824, the property now occupied by his grandson, and
resided upon it until his death, when it came by inheritance to Charles,
his eldest son. The latter married Mary Ann, daughter of Jacob Fleck, of
Gwynedd Township, and had children,-

Mary Ann (Mrs. David Dunnett)
Anna (Mrs. Milton Ruch).

Allen was born on the 6th of July, 1842, in Upper Dublin township,
Montgomery Co., and at an early age removed with his parents to Gwynedd
township, where his youth was devoted to acquiring a modest education under
such favorable circumstances as were possible in the country at that date.
He became familiar with the labor of the farm, and lent a willing hand to
the cultivation of his father's land until the occasion of his marriage,
when, desiring to be more independent, he for two years worked it on
shares, and subsequently spent a brief period at Penllyn. On his return be
became the lessee of the property, and the owner on the death of his
parent. He was married, on the 4th of March, 1875, to Miss Lizzie P.,
daughter of Samuel A. and Maria Posey Willetts, of Gwynedd Township. Their
children are

Charles W., born in 1867
Samuel W., born in 1877
Bessie W., in 1878
Allen W. in 1880.

Mr. Berkhimer is a Democrat in politics, but too much engaged in the
absorbing duties connected with the farm to devote special attention to the
political issues of the day. He was, nevertheless, the incumbent of the
office of postmaster while a resident of Penllyn. He is a member of Spring
House Lodge, No. 329, of Independent Order of Odd Fellows; of Fort
Washington Lodge, No. 308, of Free and Accepted Masons; of Fort Washington
Chapter, No. 220; of Fort Washington Lodge, of Knights of Pythias, No. 148;
of the Benevolent Society of Fort Washington, of which he is a trustee;
and of the Ambler Beneficial Society, of which he is treasurer. He
is also a director of the First National Bank of Ambler, and has been for
ten years a director of the Ambler Building Association. Mr. Berkheimer was
educated in the faith of the German Lutheran Church, and worships at the
church of that denomination in Upper Dublin, to the support of which he
contributes, as to that of many other worthy causes.



William Thomas, who was the great-great-grandfather of the subject of this
biographical sketch, in the last century emigrated from Wales to America
and settled in Hilltown, Bucks Co., Pa., where he acquired twelve hundred
and fifty acres of land and filled the double role of a farmer and a
Baptist preacher. Among his family of seven children were Thomas, born in
Wales and an infant at the time of his father's emigration.


Thomas resided on the homestead in Hilltown, where his life was spent in
the cultivation of its productive acres. His son Asa succeeded his father
on the estate. Abel, the second son of the latter, was born in 1799, and
removed when a young man to Montgomery County, where he acquired the trade
of a blacksmith, and followed it in connection with the occupations of a
farmer. He married Mary, daughter of James Craig, of New Britain, Bucks
Co., Pa., and had children,-

Charles B.
Ashbel C.
Ann E. (Mrs. John Lampen)

The death of Mr. Thomas occurred on the 2d of July, 1882. His son Allen was
born January 20, 1827, in Gwynedd Township. After a period of youth devoted
to study he removed to Bucks County, Pa., and embarked in the lumber
business, where the advantages of trade were sufficiently great to make him
a resident for fifteen years. Mr. Thomas then' returned to his native
county and engaged in the same pursuit in Frederick township. In 1879 he
became again a resident of Gwynedd Township, where he conducts an extensive
and successful business in hardwood lumber. Mr. Thomas was, in December,
1848, married to Anna R., daughter of John Goucher, and has children,-

Emma G. (Mrs. M. K. Gilbert), born in 1849
William B., in 1851
Franklin P., in 1853, deceased
Martha K., in 1854, deceased
Arthur K., in 1857
Lukens, in 1859
Mary, in 1861
Lizzie L., in 1862
Alfred, in 1865
Edward K. in 1866.

Mr. Thomas is in his political preferences a Democrat, though not ambitious
for the distinctions of office. He is president of the West Point Turnpike
, and actively connected as a Mason with Shiloh Lodge, No. 558, of
Lansdale, as also with Zieglerville Lodge of Knights of Pythias. Both Mr.
and Mrs. Thomas are members of the North Wales Baptist Church.




THIS township is located on the line of Bucks County, and adjoins
Montgomery on the east, Towamencin on the southwest, Franconia on the
northwest and the borough of Lansdale on the south. It is three and three-
quarters miles long and three miles wide, with an area of eleven square
miles, or seven thousand and forty acres. The area was reduced by the
incorporation of Lansdale as a borough, in 1872, a considerable portion of
the borough being taken from this township. The township is located on what
is sometimes called the "divide," or highest point between the Delaware
and Schuylkill Rivers. Streams of water rising and flowing in and through
this township empty into both rivers. The head-waters of the Neshaminy rise
in this township, also of the Skippack, or rather the tributaries of that
stream. The surface is rolling, and has an easy drainage into the creeks
named; the prevailing soil is red clay, with surface loam, the productive
character of which has been greatly improved by the enterprising farmers
within the last quarter of a century.

The name of this township is thought by Wm. J. Buck to have been derived
from a town and parish in Hertfordshire. He also says that a John Hatfield
resided in Norriton Township as early as 1734; there are circumstances that
point to the possible derivation of the name from a family long known to
have been residents of the county. The following places of business were
among the assessed property for 1785: two grist-mills, one saw-mill, one
tannery; there was one hotel licensed in the township for the same year.

The population
in 1800 was 520
in 1830, 835
in 1850, 1135
in 1870, 1512
in 1880, 1694.

The taxables
in 1828, were 211
in 1858, 346
in 1884, 465.

We are unable to state the date when the township was decreed by the Court
of Quart Sessions of Philadelphia County. It did not exist prior to 1741,
and was known to exist at the close of the Revolution, as it appears that
damages were assessed to Jacob Reed, forty-five pounds, and Isaac Wisler,
twenty-five pounds, both of Hatfield, resulting from incursions of the
enemy; this country was open to the foraging-parties of Lord Howe while
wintering his army in Philadelphia, in 1777-78, and the scattered farmers
doubtless suffered more or less loss in consequence. John Fries, of "Fries'
Rebellion" notoriety, was born in this township about 1750. Fries removed
to Bucks County and entered the military service with the patriots. He
resisted the "House and Window Tax Law," and subsequently, by his contempt
for the authorities authorized to collect it, made himself so obnoxious
that he was arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to be hung, April,
1799. The event was of great local interest at the time, and by the
interposition of kind and influential friends, he was pardoned by
President John Adams. Mr. Fries died about 1820.


The villages in the townships are Line Lexington, situated on the county
line, and partly in Bucks County; Hatfield, Colmar, Hockertown.

The North Pennsylvania Railroad passes in an almost direct line through
the centre of this township, in a northwestern direction. The Doylestown
Branch of the same railroad, leaving Lansdale, passes through the northeast
portion of the township, with a station at Colmar. These public improvements
have been of great advantage to the inhabitants and land-owners, affording
improved facilities for the transportation of farm products, and also
convenient depots for the shipment of hay, feed, lime, manure, lumber and
all those commodities dealt in by an enterprising agricultural community.
The township is well provided with public highways intersecting every part
of it, all of which are kept in good order, with substantial bridges over
the streams crossing them. The main line of railroad, leaving Lansdale,
passes through and near lands now or late of

A. Swepenhiser

J. Reed

J. Krupp

T. House

H. Heckman

P. Boyer

J. Steiner

W. Steiner

D. Rosenberger

the Evangelical Church grounds

J. Rosenberger,

reaching Lower Hatfield village, thence, a short distance, Upper Hatfield
village, and beyond, through lands of J. H. Rosenberger, E. Kriebler, John
Frick, A. H. Rosenberger, S. Shellenberger, C. Gehman and H. Clemmer.

The Doylestown Branch passes through lands now or late of

P. S. Jenkins

H. Hoppel

J. Troyard

M. Kramer

J. M. Gilmer

A. Manuel

J. Kile

P. Hondel

J. Allebach

G. Garmer

M. Bechtel

N. Harrar

J. M. Jenkins

A. H. Fretz and others,

reaching Colmar, a station and railroad village.
Everything here indicates a place of recent growth. The railroad at this
point crosses an old turnpike road, first opened as a common or dirt road
in 1735, then called the Bethlehem road. Along this highway are seen many
fine old-time farm-houses, large and substantially built, and in striking
contrast with the more modern and ornamental residences comprising the
village of Colmar. There is a large and commodious hotel, a country store,
a large warehouse, under the management of I. R. Rosenberger, who deals
extensively in feed, flour, hay and those commodities necessarily
connected with such establishments, there being extensive railroad sidings
for the shipment of coal, lime, manure, lumber, live stock, etc.

Treewigtown, or Hatfield Square, as it is called in Scott's Atlas, is
situated on the old Bethlehem road, about a mile northwest of Colmar. The
village is formed of residences scattered along the road, and indicates its
ancient origin by the old-time Farmers' and Drovers' Hotel, a place of
local importance when market men drove to and from Philadelphia with their
produce, when stages ran through from Bethlehem to Philadelphia, and dairy
and stock cattle were driven through the country and nightly herded at
these old-time taverns, like this one, having farm-lands connected with it
for pasturage. The old-time industries are here represented by blacksmiths,
shoemakers, wood-workers and the toll-gatherer. A half-mile or more
northwest of this village is the Line Lexington, a portion of which is
situated in this township. This is an old settlement, spoken of by the
historian Gordon as early as 1832, who says it contained at that time eight
or ten dwellings and a post-office. The place has grown very considerably
since then, having upwards of fifty residences, a hotel, two stores and the
usual mechanical industries

Villages have grown up with rapidity at Upper and Lower Hatfield
Stations, on the North Pennsylvania Railroad. Lower Hatfield takes
precedence in age. Located at the junction of the "Old Cowpath" and
"Forty-Foot" roads, it was many years ago known as a village, and since the
location and opening of the railroad it has become a centre of local trade
and traffic for the township, finding a sharp rival in its sister village,
a short distance from it. Among its places of business are found
a hotel
a store for the side of general merchandise
two hay-presses
a number of mechanical industries,
all of which appear to be in a prosperous condition at the time we write.

Upper Hatfield, though of more recent origin, presents the appearance of
a young and promising village. It owes its existence, in some measure, to
the enterprising character of Joseph Proctor, Esq., a citizen of Hatfield
township who purchased a considerable tract of land where the town and
railroad station is located, and divided it into building lots, encouraged
improvements and the building of residences. There is here a convenient
station for passengers and freight, a hotel, store for the sale of general
merchandise, with the post-office, coal and lumber-yard, tinsmith and other
industries. H. M. Ziegler is the postmaster at the place. Both Upper and
Lower Hatfield villages are of local importance to the township, situated
so near its centre, the former affording a convenient point of shipment for
milk and general farm produce, and for the distribution of freight and the
general supplies consumed and used by an agricultural community.


The following exhibit of the mercantile appraiser for the year 1884
illustrates the commercial enterprise of the people of this township:

Jeremiah Alderfer, produce

George Brecht, merchandise

E. K. Blanck, drugs

William Bear, butcher

James Clark, Jr., stoves

Frank Cassel, agricultural implements

William B. Fretz, stoves, etc.

Isaac R. Hunsberger, organs

Earl Jenkins, butcher

Jacob Kindig, butcher

I. R. Kulp, hay

I. R. Kulp, coal, lumber

I. R. Kulp, flour and feed

Henry Kile, butcher

Joseph Landis, lumber

William B. Moyer, butcher

B. M. Moyer, merchandise

Joseph Proctor, live stock

I. R. Rosenberger, flour, feed

I. R. Rosenberger, hay

J. M. Romich, live stock

H. Robinson, merchandise

F. H. Souders, flour, feed

F. H. Souders, coal

F. H. Souders, lumber, hay

A. Sorver, lumber

D. Smith, sewing-machines

Philip Swartly, butcher

George Snyder, hay

George Snyder, coal

George Snyder, flour, feed

Isaac Tyson, live stock

John Treffinger, butcher

Ziegler & Meyers, merchandise

H. M. Ziegler, merchandise.

EDUCATIONAL. -The common-school system is said to have gone into operation
about the year 1840. The leading citizens of the township have always taken
a lively interest in the education of the young, but it is due to say that
a conservative element has always opposed "long terms" and advanced
salaries for teachers. This conservatism has recently found expression in
the township in opposing the creation of an independent school district for
the better accommodation of the progressive inhabitants of Upper and Lower
Hatfield villages. The district has been created, and the advantages will
doubtless be enjoyed by those seeking the benefit of longer terms and
superior teachers, although residing beyond its limits.

At present (1884) there are six schools in the township, with three
hundred and fifty-nine pupils enrolled. The length of term for the present
year is seven months, and the salary paid to teachers is forty dollars per
month. Male and female teachers are employed, and equal salaries are paid
them. There is an independent school district at Line Lexington, the
advantages of which are shared by a portion of the inhabitants of this
township. The cost of maintaining it is distributed as follows among the
townships out of which it was created; one-fourth from Hatfield township,
one-fourth from Hilltown township, and one-half from New Britain Township,
the two latter townships being in Bucks County. The average attendance is
fifty pupils.

ELECTIONS. -By act of the General Assembly, approved March 24, 1818, the
township of Hatfield was formed into a separate election district, and the
elections ordered to be held at the house of John Buchanan. By a similar act,
approved April 11, 1825, the place of holding the elections was changed to
the house of Peter Conver, and again, by a similar act of April 23, 1829,
the elections were ordered to be held at the house of Jacob C. Bachman. The
elections are now held at the public-house of Oliver Althouse, in Lower
Hatfield village.

RELIGIOUS WORSHIP. -There is a Mennonite meeting-house located on what is
locally known as the " Plains," or township line road, between Hatfield and
Towamencin, and in the latter township; another of the same denomination,
known as the New Mennonite Church, near Hatfield village; both of these
places of religious worship are plain, unpretentious structures, such as
are in use by this denomination throughout this part of the country;
comforts and necessary conveniences are provided for, but all ornate
embellishments of exterior and interior are studiously avoided.

The Evangelical or German Baptists' Church is situated on the Cow Path
road, a short distance south of Hatfield village; this is a plain but
substantial structure, corresponding with the habits and tastes of the
humble people who worship there.



Cadwallader, the lineal ancestor of Oliver G. Morris, immigrated from
Wales, located in Pennsylvania and intermarried with the Thomas family, who
also came from Wales to this country in the early part of the last century.

Morris Morris, son of Cadwallader Morris, married Gwently Thomas, and had
seven children,-

Cadwallader (second)






Morris, Jr.

Morris Morris, Sr., husband of Gwently Thomas, inherited two hundred and
sixty-seven acres of land lying at Hilltown, which he possessed and
bequeathed to his son, Cadwallader (second), the latter paying his brothers
different sums of money. A cane which belonged to Morris Morris, was, in
1885, owned by Oliver G. Morris, of Line Lexington, and has been in the
family as an heir-loom over one hundred and fifty years.

Cadwallader, the eldest son of Morris and Gwently Morris, was born in
1737. He was a man of considerable education for those days. He became a
school teacher and surveyor, and was widely known at that early period, and
was sought after for his skill and knowledge concerning many things. He
married Elizabeth Kastner, of Hilltown, and died August 23, 1812, at the
age of seventy-five years. His wife survived him a few years. Their
children were






William, son of Morris and Gwently Morris, the great-grandfather of Oliver
G. Morris, was born March 5, 1739. William was married in 1763, to Ann,
daughter of Nathaniel Griffith, of Hilltown, where now (1885) stands the
Leidytown Hotel, which property William Morris subsequently purchased.
William and Ann both died at the house of their son Isaac, in the village
of Line Lexington, the former on April 22, 1821, aged eighty-two years,
and the latter on July 17, 1821, at the age of seventy-seven years. Their
children were

William, Jr.
Elizabeth and


Isaac Morris, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born May 5,
1764, and was twice married. He purchased, in 1789, the ancestral homestead
of Gwently Morris, his grandmother, adjoining the Lower Hilltown Baptist
Church, which be held till about 1805, when he removed to Line Lexington,
where he was for many years justice of the peace. Isaac married, October
12, 1786, for his first wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Mathias. She
was born Sept. 12, 1765, and died Aug, 28, 1803. The second wife of Isaac
was Rachel, daughter of Benjamin Mathews, Esq. She was born Feb. 21, 1771,
and married April 6, 1806. She was a person of much intelligence and
vivacity of mind, as well as business fact and ability; a good and
estimable woman in all the relations of life. She died August 1, 1856, aged
eighty-five years. Isaac died Sept. 13, 1843. By his first wife Isaac was
the father of three children,


The two latter died young.


Mathias Morris was born Sept. 12, 1787. He possessed unusual abilities,
and was proficient in classical literature. He studied law with his cousin,
Enoch Morris, and was admitted to the bar at Newtown in 1809, where he
lived some time. He married Wilhelmina, daughter of Abraham and Elizabeth
Chapman, and sister of Hon. Henry Chapman. In 1828 he was elected to the
State Senate, and re-elected for a second term, and was elected two terms to
Congress, 1834 and 1836. He died Nov. 9, 1839, aged fifty-two years. His
widow lives in Doylestown, with her daughter, Mary Ann, who married John C.
Lyman, of Vermont. The children of Isaac Morris, by his second wife, were

Oliver Goldsmith and
Burgess Allison (twins), and
John D.

The first-named died in 1826, aged nineteen years.


John D. Morris was born April 9, 1811, became a lawyer and practiced his
profession for many years, in Stroudsburg. He represented Monroe County in
the State Legislature in 1851 and 1852, and subsequently held responsible
positions in the Philadelphia Mint and Custom House, under the
administrations of Pierce and Buchanan. He was an excellent man, affable
and agreeable in manner, and popular among his acquaintances. His wife was
Sally, daughter of Stroud and Jeannette Hollinshead of Stroudsburg. He died
in Line Lexington, at the house of his nephew, Oliver G. Morris, Jan. 5, 1868.

Burgess Madison Morris was born Dec. 23, 1806, and on Jan. 28, 1836,
married Mary G., daughter of John, Riale, Esq. She died June 27, 1837,
leaving one son, Oliver Goldsmith Morris.

John Riale, the father of Mary G. Morris, was for many years a prominent
man of New Britain, and long a justice of the peace of that township, and
held in just esteem by all who knew him. He was the son of Richard Riale
and grandson of John Riale, who emigrated from England about 1725. He was
twice married, the second time to Elizabeth Griffith, the mother of Mary G.
Morris. The second wife of Burgess A. Morris was Matilda Hoxworth.

Oliver Goldsmith Morris was born March 26, 1837, at Line Lexington, on the
old homestead. His early life was spent upon the farm, until the death of
his father, which occurred December 20, 1847. He was then sent to a
boarding-school at New Britain, kept by Rev. John C. Hyde, for a term of
three years, then to the Treemount Seminary, at Norristown, Rev. Samuel
Aaron, principal, for two years; then returned to the farm, where he has
since continued to reside, engaged in farming and such other occupations as
are usually connected with that branch of business. He needs no laudations
in this connection to prove the, character of the man, nor to show the
estimation in which he is held by the citizens of that part of the county
in which he lives. His business connections and the suffrages of the people
are the best tests of the high esteem in which he is held by his fellow-
townsmen. When at the age of twenty-one years he was elected a school
director, and in April, 1884, was reelected for the ninth term, of three
years each, to the same office, and has been secretary of the board and
district superintendent from his first election to the present time.

He has been for several years one of the board of managers of the Spring
House and Hilltown Turnpike Company, also one of the managers of the Line
Lexington Fire Insurance Company. He has been one of the directors of the
Stony Creek Railroad Company for fifteen years, secretary of the "Self-
Defense Horse Company" of Line Lexington for twenty-three years, a trustee
of the Hilltown Baptist Church for twenty-five years, and was a member of
the State Legislature for the sessions of 1871,1872 and 1873,
and also held the office of assistant assessor of internal
revenue under the administration of President Johnson. He was married,
October 11, 1858, to Miss Susannah, daughter of Michael and Mary Snyder.
She was born Jan. 12, 1840. They are the parents of the following children,-

John D., born April 17, 1861, died June 23, 1864

Charles E., born Sept. 14, 1863

Allison M., born March 29, 1866 died July 28, 1866

W. Norman, born Sept. 28, 1867

Mary, born May 17, 1870

Arthur S., born Jan. 4, 1877.

The father of Mrs. Morris was a son of Jacob and Elizabeth Snyder, who were
born in Bucks County, Pa. The mother of Mrs. Morris, Mary Snyder, was a
daughter of Isaac and Susanna Rosenberger, of Hatfield Township, Montgomery Co.


Isaac, the grandfather of Isaac R., was a well to do and highly
respected farmer, living in Montgomery County, Pa., near the village of Line
Lexington, on the farm now owned by Milton Jenkins. Mr. Rosenberger was of
German descent, his parents, Isaac and Christiana, emigrating to this
country about the middle of the last century, and located where Isaac lived
nearly or quite all his lifetime. He died leaving children as follows:

Martin, now living at or near Broad Street, Bucks Co., Pa.

Isaac D., now living at North Wales, this county

Joseph, father of Isaac R., the subject of this sketch

William, who died in Philadelphia


Elizabeth, married, first, a Mr. Eckert, and for her second husband, she
married Michael Snyder, also deceased; she is still living, and resides in
Bucks County

Sarah, deceased, left her husband, Jacob Ruth

Mary, married ____ Snyder, and became the mother of Mrs. Oliver G. Morris.

Joseph Rosenberger, father of Isaac R. Rosenberger, was born September
15, 1811, and died March 30, 1877, at the age of sixty-five years, six
months and fifteen days. He married Mary, daughter of Henry Ruth, of Bucks
County. She was born February 4, 1815, and died July 1, 1881, aged sixty-
six years, five months and seven days. They were the parents of children as

Susannah, married Reuben Alderfer, of Hilltown, Bucks Co., Pa.

Emeline, deceased, married, first, Abram Hursberger, and for her second
husband, William Souder

Anna Mary, married Mahlon Myers, who resides at Perkasie, Bucks Co., Pa

Isaac R., born July 15, 1846

Joel, married Sally, daughter of the late Dr. Joseph Moyer, deceased

Lizzie, married Edwin Jones, and now resides at Doylestown

Charles R., married Amanda Fluck, Of Hilltown, Bucks Co., and is now a
partner with his brother, Isaac R., in the coal, flour, feed and bay
business, at Colmar and at Doylestown, Pa.

Joseph Rosenberger, the father of these children, was a farmer, merchant
and lumber dealer at Mount Pleasant, Bucks Co., Pa., where he located after
marriage and where he died. He was one of those well and favorably known
popular men who always looked upon the bright side of life, beloved and
respected by all who knew him, and especially by the poor and needy, who
well remember his acts of kindness, many of whom he had, from time to time,
in his employ.

He was prominently identified with township and county affairs, yet in no
sense of the word a politician. He was for many years prior to his death
one of the directors of the Doylestown Bank. His demise left a void in the
community still unfilled.


Isaac R. Rosenberger spent his early life upon the farm of his father
during the summer months and at the district schools in the winter season,
until he was fifteen years of age. From that time until he arrived at the
age of twenty-one years he performed such work as was necessary for him to
do upon his father's farm, in the store and in the lumber-yard. After that
he worked a farm on his own account for six years, and in 1872 he located
at Colmar Station, on the North Pennsylvania Railroad, and engaged in the
wholesale and retail flour, feed, coal, hay and phosphate business. Here he
conducted the business alone until 1881, when he admitted his brother,
Charles R., as a partner. They are doing a large and prosperous business,
having all the facilities of a large and commodious warehouse, with all the
necessary railroad facilities. In the early part of 1885 the Rosenberger
Brothers extended their business by building a large warehouse, with
railroad accommodations, at Doylestown, where they are also engaged in the
same kind of trade as at Colmar Station.

Isaac R. was married December 4,1866, to Miss Harriet, daughter of William
and Sarah Bruner, of Chalfont, Bucks Co. His wife was born February 16,
1848. They are the parents of children, -

Mary Alice, born April 12, 1868, died September 20, 1881

Harrington, born October 27, 1869

Flora Estella, born June 4, 1861, died June 20, 1876

Ella Blanche, born March 4, 1873

Charles Grant, born December 4, 1874

William, born September 20, 1878.

William Bruner, father of Mrs. Rosenberger, was a Son of Henry Bruner, who
for many years lived in Bucks County, near the county line, and was well
and favorably known as one of the substantial, honest old farmers of Bucks
County. Her maternal grandparents were of the well-known and highly
respected Clymer families of Bucks and Berks Counties.