History of Upper & Lower Chinchester Townships, 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 Chichester Township. - In the early days of the province of Pennsylvania the term Chichester was used to indicate that part of Chester county now known as Upper and Lower Chichester townships. Chichester had been surveyed prior to 1686, and at the October court of that year the justices ordered "that the township of Chichester extend its bounds as formerly laid out by Charles Ashcom until further order." The peculiar western line, which separates Upper Chichester from Bethel township, was run to conform to the lines of the tracts surveyed to the early settlers and certainly a more irregular lin.e it would he difficult to lay out.

Among the earliest settlers was Walter Martin, founder of St. Martin's Church. Adjoining his land to the east were 250 acres surveyed to Jeremiah Collett, June 16, 1682. The latter was an earnest churchman, and by will devised a certain sum of money for the support of the rector of St. Martin's Church. Other settlers came in rapid succession roads were built; churches, schools and mills followed; and the routine of a prosperous rural township constitutes the history of Upper Chichester. The water courses are Naaman's creek, its east and west branches, and Marcus Hook creek; good roads prevail, and the Baltimore & Ohio railroad crosses the township with stations at Twin Oaks, Boothwyn and Ogden. The public schools are excellent, being known as Larkin or No. 3, Twin Oaks or No. 2, Boothwyn or No. r. Two Friends' Meetings exist in the township; the Presbyterian and Methodist, also having places of worship. The population in 1910 was 671. The villages are Boothwyn, population about 125; Twin Oaks and Ogden Station (Hance P. O.)

Lower Chichester. - This township includes that part of Chester county lying between Upper Chichester and the Delaware river, including the now borough of Matcus Hook. The division was made early in 1700, the Lower township being part of the grant made by Queen Christianaof Sweden to her subjects on the Delaware, the remaining part of Lower Chichester being patented by Gov. Andros, March 28, 1679, to Charles Jansen, Olle Rawson, Olle Nielson, Hans Hopman, John Hendrickson and Hans Olsen, the tract containing 1,000 acres, The principal history of the town. ship centres in the present borough of Marcus Hook. The Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore railroad crosses the township, with stations at Trainer and Linwood, trolley lines Connecting with the Chester systems of transportation. A grammar school near Trainer, and the Rockhills school, constitute the public school system of the township outside of Marcus Hook, there also being a Methodist Episcopal church near the Grammar school. The population in 1910 was 1250.

Borough of Marcus Hook. - At Upland court, in 1678, a record appears acknowledging from Hans Ollsen a deed to William Clayton, for all his land, "right and interest of & to his houses and appurtenances Lying and being all Marretties hooke." In 1682 the ancient name of Marcus Hook was changed by an order of Upland Court to Chicliester and for many years the latter name was born in legal documents, but the popular name was so fixed in the public that it would not accept the new name and the village retained the old name Marcus Hook in spite of legislation and executive power. After the coming of Penn in 1682, Marcus Hook grew rapidly, becoming a formidable rival of Chester, the two towns being about equal in size in 1708, each consisting of about one hundred houses. Pirates at an early day came to Marcus Hook, a record of the Provincial Council stating that Gov. Keith in 1716 called their attention to "the great losses which the colony had already sustained beyond any of its neighbors, by our Trade's being blocked up and infested with pirates at the Capes of this river and bay." He further informed them "that one Trench, a noted pirate who has done the greatest mischief of any to this place, has been lurking for some days at this town."

At a meeting of the council at Philadelphia, at which Gov. Markham presided, the minutes show that the town was granted permission to hold "a weeklye market on friday's to be kept in broad St as is desired." Penn seven months later granted a full charter to Marcus Hook as a market town, with all rights and privileges fully set forth. Boat building was an important industry, Peter Kahn, a Swedish naturalist, recording: "they build here every year a number of small ships for sale, and from an iron work which lies higher up in the country, they carry iron bars to this place and ship them." In William Howell, of Marcus Hook, was a leading shipwright. The ancient town Continued prominent in Shipbuilding until the larger vessels required, were beyond the capital or plants of the yards, which restricted the industry in Marcus Hook to small coasting and river craft. The industry gradually died out, although as late as 1884, Samuel J. Barton launched, a large schooner from his yards. William Cranston and Simon Sherlock were noted ship builders.

The Wooden piers of Marcus Hook were erected bt the state of Pennsylvania, prior to the Revolution In 1785, Philadelphia merchants memorialized the state governmant, praying for construction of new piers along the. Delaware in the interest of the commercial supremacy of that city. This agitation resulted in the construction of piers at Marcus Hook. April 28, 1893, Marcus Hook was incorporated a borough, Samuel Vernon being elected the first burgess; Henry A. Lewis is the present incumbent. The United States Pipe Line enters the borough, which is the seat of a large refining interest. The principal plants are the Pure Oil Company, Sun Oil Company, Union Petroleum Cbmpany, Atlantic Refining Company, A. K. Knabb & Co., (barrel factory) American Viscose Company (artificial silk), Hardwood Package Company (barrels). The Episcopal, Baptist and Methodist Episcopal churches all have houses of worship in the borough, there also being an African Methodist Episcopal church. St. Martin's, the Episcopal church, owes its first land to Walter Martin, an embittered Quaker, who donated an acre and one perch of ground or a church and burial place for the inhabitants of Chichester (Marcus Hook), "Quakers and reputed Quakers only excepted." The Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Improved Order of Red Men, Knights of Pythias, and Modern Woodmen, all have lodges, and an excellent public school system is maintained. The State Quarantine Station formerly existing on Tinicum Island, has been in recent years established and is still maintained in Marcus Hook. The Marcus Hook Fire Company is the strong defense of the borough against the fire fiend, and has done excellent service whenever called upon. The population of the borough in 1910 was 1573.

Return to [ PA History ] [ History at Rays Place ] [ Rays Place ]

.Blind Counter