History of Upper Darby Township, Pa.
From: A History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Edited By: John W. Jordan, LL. D.
Published By Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York 1914


Upper Darby Township.— Upper Darby was created a separate township in 1786. Its northern boundary is Haverford township, Cobbs creek its eastern line, separating it from Philadelphia county, Darby creek, its western, Darby township its southern boundary. Settled originally by Friends, its history is one of prosperity and peace. At the southwestern limit of the township a tract of 150 acres was surveyed to John Blunston, July 12, 1683, to which the name “Primos” was given. The name is still preserved in Primos station and post office, on the Baltimore Central railroad. Kelleyville was located on ground acquired by Richard Bonsall, March 1, 1697-1698. Garrettford, Fernwood, Arlington, Cardington, Pembroke, are also stations or post offices in the county, and several boroughs have also been formed on lands formerly ownedby the old families of the township. Within its limits are also located: The Flower Observatory, Burd Orphan Asylum, Montrose, Arlington and Fernwood cemeteries. The township is traversed by steam and electric railways, and good wagon roads are the rule. The many mills, churches and schools of the two Darby townships, are fully described elsewhere.

The first society formed in the township was an abolition society organized prior to May 4, 1830, on which occasion George Sellers, Abram Powell, Dr. Caleb Ash, James Rhoads, Joseph Fussell, Joseph Rhoads, Saul Sellers Jr., Lewis Watkin, Nathan Sellers, John Sellers Jr., J. Morgan Bunting and William H. Bunting were appointed a committee to attend the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania State Anti-Slavery Society at Philadelphia, May 17, 1830. The few members of the society continued to meet occasionally until the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln accomplished the object of its existence. Thomas Garrett, with pronounced anti-slavery views from his youth, was a fearless advocate of abolition not only in words but deeds, he having aided between three and four thousand slaves to escape. In May, 1870, at a great parade of colored people in Wilmington, Thomas Garrett, then eighty years of age, was taken in an open barouche through the streets of the city, a guard of honor bearing banners inscribed “Our Moses.”

It is noted that the first use of gas in Delaware county for illuminating purposes was in 1853, in the spacious mansion erected by Christopher FalIon, on the south side of Garrettford road, west of the Darby and Haverford roads.

A remarkable case of longevity is cited in the case of Mrs. Mary Ash. who died March 24, 1862, aged ninety-seven years. She was the mother of sixteen children, surviving them all except two, her eldest and youngest, the latter being over sixty years of age at her mother’s death. Mary Ash was twelve years of age when the battle of Brandywine was fought, and could remember that some of the American soldiers on the retreat to Philadelphia stopped at her father’s house, There obtaining food and drink. She had lived iti the house in which she died seventy-five years, and retained all her faculties until three days prior to her death. Population of Upper Darby in 1910 was 5385.

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