~ Some History of Eddystone ~

English for William Simpson about 1880. Founder of the Eddystone Print Works and the town of Eddystone. Saville Avenue was named in honor of his wife Maria Saville.

According to early land patents Olofe Stille, a Swede, was the first resident in what is now Eddystone. Stille came to America in 1641 with the third Swedish expedition. It is believed he lived by Ridley Creek close to the Delaware River. Stille was made one of the four commissioners to administer justice in 1658. Stille also engaged in various treaties with the Indians by whom he was well known. He was called “TECOHERASSI” which means the man with the black beard. Stille died in 1666 and by 1671 his property had been granted by Governor Lovelace to Lars (Lawrence) Carels Lock. Lock was a minister and was the only one the Swedish Colony had for many years. In spite of being a minister, Lock was constantly in trouble. He was often in litigation with his neighbors and was involved in selling liquor to the Indians. He must have reformed his ways because it was recorded he “died in the Lord in 1688”. the property was sold to Anne Friend and later passed to Gabriel and Lawrence Friend, her sons. Gabriel was a stone mason by trade. He was the contractor for the construction of bridges on the Queen’s Road (Chester Pike) and over Crum and Ridley Creeks in 1709.

The other early land patent in Eddystone belonged to Neil Mattson and his wife Margaret. The Mattson’s lived on their patent of several hundred acres beginning in 1670, where the Baldwin Locomotive Plant is now. The dividing live between the two patents was approximately Simpson Street. His neighbor to the West was the Reverend Lars Lock. Mattson was a wealthy land owner who owned hundreds of other acres in Pennsylvania. Neil and Margaret Mattson, his wife, began having trouble with their new English neighbors who had begun arriving in 1681. On February 27, 1683, Mattson’s wife, Margaret, was put on trial for witchcraft in Philadelphia. The trial was conducted before Governor William Penn and his counsel, the only witchcraft trial on record in Pennsylvania. After the indictment was read in Philadelphia, Margaret pleaded not guilty.

Lasse Cock, a friend, was admitted as interpreter because Neil and Margaret were Swedes and did not understand English. Several neighbors testified that she could and had at times bewitched numerous cows in her neighborhood. Bewitching a cow meant the cow would not give milk. At the end of the trial, Margaret denied everything stating that the witnesses spoke only by hearsay. Governor William Penn charged “the jury went forth and upon their return brought her guilty of having the common fame of a witch, but not guilty in manner and form as She Stands Indicted”.

Neil Mattson and his son Anthony posted bond of 50 pounds apiece to guarantee Margaret’s good behavior for six months.

Neil Mattson ran into further troubles with the law about 16 years later. Mattson sold half of a tract of land, about 50 acres, to Walter Fawcett and then Mattson sold the entire tract to Edward Pritchett. Edward Pritchett took Fawcett to court in 1701 as Fawcett was claiming half of Pritchett’s property as his own. The trial was held in Chester and after testimony from numerous witnesses, the Court decided to have the entire piece of property resurveyed. Instead of the 50 acres of property the Court expected to find between the two men’s claim, only 38 acres were found. Fawcett agreed to take 25 pounds for his share of the 38 acres. The entire tract of 186 acres was sold to Peter Dicks in about 1715.

Dicks kept the large estate of close to 190 acres intact until the 1740’s wgeb ge began to sell the property off to several different land owners.

The Crosby Leiper Home on Chester Pike, Robert P. Crosby, Jr. was the last Crosby to live here. Noted for his heats of strength he died in 1846 by bursting a blood vessel while throwing a sledge hammer in the quarries behind the house. The Leiper Family purchased the estate after his death.

The Crosby Farmhouse stood on the north side of Chester Pike about 100 feet east of Bullens Lane. The Crosby Family owned about 250 acres of land in what is the Woodlyn area of Ridley Township. In 1775, John and Eleanor Crosby gave to their son, John the third, the stone farmhouse and 100 acres covering both sides of Chester Pike at Bullens Lane. John Crosby, the third, served in the American revolution as a lieutenant, was captured by the British in his home in 1778 and released about six months later. Crosby later became an Associate Judge of Delaware County. He died at his home in 1821 and his estate passed to his youngest son, Robert P. Crosby. George G. Leiper bought the property in 1846 and his family operated the quarries at the rear of the homestead until the 1920’s. the Leiper Family sold the last of the property about 1940. On April 17, 1848, the Leiper Family sold all the land south of Chester Pike in what is now Eddystone Borough. The property consisted of tow tracts of land totaling 77 acres and included one road.

The Henry Effinger farm at Ninth and Ashland Avenues about 1900. The Eddystone Methodist Church can be seen on the far left. The family on the porch is the Kerr family whose descendents the Cannon’s still live in the borough. It is the oldest house in Eddystone and is now owned by the Dominic Malizia family.

Henry Effinger of Springfield bought about 150 acres in what is now central Eddystone in 1784. Henry lived in a farmhouse that stood just East of Ridley Creek in what is now Eddystone. He died in 1799 and left the property to his two sons, Henry, Jr. and Jacob. Henry Sr. had four daughters also but left them no property but instead his will directed that they “be bound out during their minorities”. Jacob took the old house by the river, while Henry built a new house close to the corner of today’s 9th and Ashland Avenues. Jacob died in 1831 and in 1834, his three children sold his property to Henry. Henry was considered to be tight with his money. He was opposed to the Public School Act of 1864 so much that he refused to pay school taxes. The tax collector had to sell Effinger’s personal effects at public sale to get the tax money. Henry was remembered for wearing old clothes that were out of style. Needless to say, Henry was a bachelor. He died on August 27, 1867. Henry’s estate was left to the churches of Chester. Shipbuilder John Roach of Chester bought the estate in 1871 and on February 20, 1872, Roach sold the estate of 168 acres to William Simpson for $40,000.00.

The current owners of the Henry Effinger Farmhouse, Mr. And Mrs. Dominic Malizia, are shown standing by an original fireplace in their living room. The farmhouse at 947 Ashland Avenue was built in two different sections, the last one being completed about 1810.

The Charles Grantham Home in 1906. The house was built about 1760. The house was unusual in that it had a corn crib on the second floor. The site of the home is today’s Philadelphia Electric Company.

Charles Grantham “Gentleman” bought 120 acres in 1799 and just East of Simpson Street. The property went from Chester Pike to the Delaware River and he raised sheep on the farm along with several cattle. Charles was a judge in the 1740’s and 1750’s. the property remained in the Grantham Family until 1824, when Lewis Trimble bought the farm. Lewis built a new home at Chester Pike and Simpson Street but sold the farm to Lewis Price who lost the property to the Bank of Delaware County. The Bank sold the property to John Willets for Richard Risley Carlisle. Carlisle was a famous acrobat and gymnast in the 1840’s. Carlisle went by the name of “Professor Risley”. His two sons worked with him as acrobats and his troupe was the first to tour Japan in 1848. Carlisle lived on the farm for a while but he had bought the farm as an investment. He had financial difficulties and sold the farm in 1855. French Native Honore Denis, a chemist in Philadelphia, bought the farm, remodeled the house and used it as a summer home. Denis died there in September 1872. His son Geoffrey lived on the farm before moving to Chester where he formed an electric power company. Geoffrey sold the farm to the Simpson Family in the early 1900’s.

The Trimble-Patterson Farmhouse about 1915 before it was torn down. The property was bought by Thomas Simpson in 1881 and rented to various farmers till Baldwins acquired the property in 1909. The old entrance to Baldwins on Chester Pike was the farmhouse driveway. The house stood about 200 yards south of Chester Pike.

Charles Grantham bought an earlier tract of land in 1751 from Jonas Culin’s estate. The tract totaled about 100 acres and went from Chester Pike to the Delaware River just West of Crum Creek. Grantham died about 1770 and left this share of his estate to his son William. In 1793 Abraham Trimble bought the property from the Grantham Family. Trimble added several small tracts of land in the next few years until his property totaled about 180 acres. Trimble died on July 18, 1821 leaving a wife, Susanna, with eight children. The property was given to Abraham, Jr. in 1825 and he died in 1840 unmarried. Lewis Price, Abraham’s brother-in-law, owned the property for a few years, but in 1849, Abraham T. Trimble bought the property. It is believed he was a grandson of Abraham Trimble, Sr. Abraham, who was from Middletown Township, kept the land until 1881 when Thomas Simpson bought the property. After several other owners, the entire estate was sold to the Baldwins in 1909.

Thomas P. Carey and William McFarland were the buyers of George Leiper’s 77 acres in April of 1858. Both Carey and McFarland lived in Nether Providence Township. The men formed a loose partnership and began selling the property off in small pieces.

George Baker bought 12 acres with his brother James and started a small brick manufacturing company. James Jones, of Philadelphia, bought 8 acres and started a small farm. In 1866, McFarland decided to sell lots and start a small town. Carey was still a partner but he now lived in Baltimore. No map exists of the town itself then, but contemporary maps show the development consisted of about 40 lots. The development went from Chester Pike down to 12th Street and was between Saville and Simpson Street. McFarland sold the first lot on September 23, 1866 to Hugh Sample,, a school teacher in Ridley Township. McFarland named 12th Street after himself and 13th Street was called Broad Street. Simpson Street was called Denis Lane after a local landowner. Carey sold about 25 lots over the next 9 years. On February 20, 1872, Carey and McFarland sold most of their undeveloped property to William Simpson for $9,500.00. About 23 houses were built in Carey’s and McFarland’s little town in those 9 years and William Simpson bought most of the houses and rented them to worker’s at the Print Works.

The James Jones log cabin in the 1000 block of Eddystone Avenue. Little is known of Jones who came from Philadelphia and farmed 8 acres till the Simpson’s bought his property in 1872.

The Washington Print Works at the Falls of the Schuylkill in the 1860’s. The site is now part of the Fairmont Park System in Philadelphia. After leaving here in the early 1870’s, the Print Works name was changed to Eddystone.

William Simpson was born in Manchester, England on April 21, 1812. His father worked in a linen shop and William, Sr.’s family had long been identified with textile printing. The elder Simpson sold his shop in Manchester, England and sailed for America in 1818. The family landed in Philadelphia and William, Sr. worked in the textile trade before moving to New York where young William was apprenticed to learn the textile printing trade. William Simpson served a full apprenticeship and worked in his trade before moving to Jefferson, Ohio, where he kept a country store with a partner. About 1835 he returned to the Philadelphia area where he decided to go into the textile business. He went into partnership with his brother-in-law John Halliday. They purchased a former carriage factory at the Falls of the Schuylkill north of Philadelphia in June of 1836. In 1837, Halliday left the business and William Simpson worked alone until 1842 when he took Duncan McGregor as a partner and they expanded the plant which they now called “The Falls of the Schuylkill”. The Print Works printed Calicos and also silk. About 1845, Simpson and McGregor’s partnership broke up and Simpson went on alone. Simpson’s business, now called “The Washington Print Works”, continued to flourish and on January 1, 1869, he brought two of his sons, Thomas and William, Jr. into the business. The plant’s name was changed to William Simpson and Sons and now covered 17 acres. The Print Works manufactured and dyed plain shades and shirting’s and fancy goods. In 1870, the American Institute of New York awarded its Bronze Medal to William Simpson and Sons for “The Best Fast Blacks and Mourning Prints”.

Two years before in April of 1868, the State of Pennsylvania gave the Fairmount Park Commission power to purchase and condemn property to expand the park in preparation for the Centennial exposition that was to be held in Philadelphia in 1876. Simpson, well aware that his Print Works property was t be condemned, began looking for a new location. He bought a site in Norristown, but changed his mind and decided on a farm in the southwest corner of Ridley Township. The farm was close to Chester City and the newly constructed rail lines.

The new branch of the Philadelphia Wilmington & Baltimore Railroad was being built and would be opened in November of 1872. On February 20, 1872, William Simpson paid Chester Shipbuilder, John Roach $40,000.00 for the 168 acres that was Henry Effinger farm. In mid-May, 1872, Simpson ought four small tracts of land in Eddystone close to Chester Pike, covering about 35 miles. In June, Simpson paid $130,000.00 for the Spencer McIlvain farm of 58 acres, this farm is now Sun Village. Simpson and his sons would make other purchases and by 1885, the Simpson family would own all of Eddystone except for a few small homes in the north end of the borough.

While getting ready to move to Ridley Township, William Simpson sent his son, Thomas, to Europe on a two year tour of textile plants for new ideas in bleaching, dyeing and printing. Simpson also recruited skilled workers for the new plant. While on his way home in 1874, Thomas passed the Eddystone Lighthouse on the southern coast of England. The Lighthouse was near the town of Plymouth and was the third lighthouse to stand on the Eddystone Reef. Thomas Simpson was impressed at the Lighthouse and its symbolism of strength and upon his return, he suggested the new plant be called “The Eddystone Print Works”. The name “Eddystone Print Works” was registered that same year as a trademark with the Library of Congress.

While Thomas was away, William Simpson and William, Jr., had been working on the new plant. The original plant consisted of 15 buildings, covering everything needed in the textile business. Simpson also built 3 story brick tenement houses on the property which he rented to workers.

The original trademark of the Print Works copywriter in 1874. The print works was still in Philadelphia waiting for completion of the buildings in Eddystone.

Anchor Shirting’s were a popular item of the Print Works in the 1870’s. this advertisement is from 1874.

These tenement houses are now known as the “Village” section of Eddystone. In 1880 the census for Eddystone showed over half the population was foreign born, with the majority from England and France.

“The Company has 36 brick tenements and four brick stores with tenements overhead, which are in four rows of ten houses to the block. The occupancy is limited to one family for each house. Each tenement has a small flagged and dirt yard with outside privy and a hydrant for water supply. All the houses have a cellar over which is the kitchen and living room. The second and third floors have two bedrooms each of which are lighted by one or two windows. They are piped for gas, but in most cases kerosene lamps are preferred and used. Heating is done by stoves. The houses are comfortable, well arranged and in good condition; the rooms are neatly papered and the floors are sound and clean. They rent for $4.00 every two weeks.” By 1875, the Eddystone Print Works was completed and operational.

The Eddystone Village about 1900
2nd Street in the foreground, Lexington Avenue is in the center of picture by store awning.

From 2nd and Saville, looking down 2nd Street toward Concord Avenue. The streets were named in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the American Revolution which started at the Battles of Lexington and Concord in April of 1775.

No. 1, ?; 2, Bill Greiser; 3, Geiger; 4, Alonzo Phillips; 5, Neil Connor; 6, Thomas Garlick; 7, Robert Martin; 8, Dave O’Connor; 9, Thomas Taylor; 10, Samuel Chandley; 11, Robert Reid, foreman; 12, Pat Harrahan; 13, Samuel Booth; 14, Joseph Tisdale; 15, Charles Croasdale; 16, John Hannigan; 17, Hugh Gordon; 18, Robert Ormond; 19, Charles Ericsson; 20, Walter Reid; 21, William Reed; 22, ?; 23, John Barkland; 24, John Kerfus; 25, James Kelly; 26, Howard Hacking; 27, George Major; 28 Burns; 29, Harry Hollins; 30, ?; 31, George Hollins; 32, Thomas McKinley; 33, Thomas Oussey; 34, Chriss Jensen; 35, Daniel Pylant; 36, George Reed; 37, Gennis Harrahan; 38, William Brammal; 39, Samuel McKnight; 40, Thomas Wilson; 41, Burns; 42, Joseph Duffy; 43, Nelson Ericsson; 44, Bernard Dougherty; 45, Peter Marvel; 46, Finney; 47, Ed Shields; 48, 49, 50, 51, ?; 52, John Taylor; 53, Joseph Jones; 54, William Delanney; 55, 56, 57, 58, ?

In an effort to make his small town self-supporting, Simpson sold a small plot of ground at 2nd and Saville Avenues to the Ridley Township School District to have a school built. The ground was sold for $800.00 and a two story brick school was built and opened in the Fall of 1875. In late August of 1880, the Lighthouse Hall was opened. The Hall, which had a library and residing on the first floor was donated by the Simpson Family. The second floor had a stage and meeting room and could seat 200 people. The Simpson’s also donated two acres of ground in front of it as a park.

Although there was a strike in the middle 1880’s, everything went well with the company and the Eddystone people. Except for about 20 houses close to Chester Pike, the Town of Eddystone consisted of the village area. Peter Hunter of Scotland was brought over to replace James Fields as Superintendent of the Print Works. Hunter, considered an expert in the field of textiles, ran the Print Works for the next 20 years. Under Hunters leadership, the Eddystone Print Works won the Bronze Medal at the Colombian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 for textiles.

THOMAS SIMPSON gave the Print Works and the town its name after observing the Eddystone Lighthouse in 1874, while returning home from Europe. Thomas, who lived in Philadelphia, died September 1, 1884. Eddystone’s first Public School was named for him.

JAMES SIMPSON was the favorite of the people of Eddystone. While all the Simpson’s gave money to the town, James was by far the most generous. He donated over twelve thousand dollars to the Methodist Church and five thousand to St. Rose’s plus park land for the borough. He died in Chicago while preparing for the Columbian Exposition to display Eddystone textiles in March, 1893. In his will he left over twenty thousand dollars to loyal employees of the Print Works.


After several unsuccessful attempts to organize, an Athletic Association was formed on June 4, 1940. At the initial meeting of the A. A. Wilmer Reichenback was elected President, David Byrnes, Secretary, and Jack Wright, Treasurer. Representatives were appointed for each department. Thus, after many delayed and erstwhile attempts we now have the nucleus of what we hope will be a successful organization.

Candy vendors and soda water dispensers have been installed in the various departments of the plant. The profits realized from these machines will go to the A. A., thereby eliminating the possibility of dues, and this of course, is indeed a major step by those capable and trustworthy executives of our organization.

The men’s bowling team, and of course, the girls’ team, also will be sponsored by the A. A. The men’s team is composed of veteran bowlers and should have a fairly successful season under the able guidance of our master mechanic, Frank Buck. The girls’ team, however, is composed of girls with far less experience, but nevertheless with a feminine determination to make a good showing in their league. And from pre-league practice games this columnist firmly believes they will do just that and pledges them his support in their efforts to gain renown..

The purpose of the A. A. is to sponsor Intra-plant athletics and social activities. Through this medium it is the desire of the organization to promote a feeling of cooperation and good-fellowship, and such an attainment will be more than a sufficient reward for those who have worked long and earnestly in its behalf.

The first annual picnic sponsored by the Eddystone A. A. was held on Saturday, September 14th, at Lenape Park. The gala affair was a tremendous success with approximately 200 people attending. A great turnout of the men, their wives and children proved to Wilmer Reichenback and the rest of the committee that their hard work to make this affair a memorable one was not in vain. Contests and races were held for children and grownups alike, with everyone having a lot of fun, and many valuable prizes being distributed to the winners. A five inning baseball game was held between the married

A few short months ago the glad news of the organization of an Athletic Association by the employees of our Company was received everywhere with complete approval and enthusiasm. There is something about the word “athletic” that is self-invigoration. The very word suggests activity that is permeated with honor and social development. From the earliest ages games and sports have entered into the Social Scheme. Among the Grecian games most celebrated were the Olympic, the Pythian, and Nemean and the Isthmian. These games were largely athletic contests although oratory, dramatics, poetry, and music played a large part in the ceremonies connected with the games.

Modern games represent all the variations of the tendencies of former days. Among the individual contest are archery, bowling, boxing, fencing, golf, handball, ice hockey, and a large majority of the track and field sports. Group contest include such outstanding games as baseball, basketball, cricket, football, lacrosse, polo and soccer. There is in fact such an unlimited variety of games and sports that the Athletic Association should find no trouble in satisfying any individual or group of individuals in the development of their programmes. This was wonderfully demonstrated by the sports programme at the A. A. picnic last Saturday, September 14th, at Lenape Park.

With the “Printer” to keep us fully posted on all A. A. activities, I predict a busy future for the officers and committees in keeping pace with the enthusiasm of its personnel.

In Memory of Someone We Loved Dearly
Somewhere someone’s sad today,
With broken heart that once was gay.
A loved one’s gone to life’s own goal;
The body’s here, but not the soul.
She’s gone to seek a land so fair,
Leaving those who fondly care.
In deepest reverence now we pray
For her, and someone who is sad today.
You and I must do the same.
Answering when He calls our name.
Heav’nward then we’ll wend our way,
Leaving somewhere, someone sad today.
Look forward to that glorious end,
Where we shall meet our truest friend.
We know full well life ends that way,
Still somewhere, someone’s sad today.
-By Charles Granger.

Our friends who chose the last week of August for their vacation in order to have a prolonged week over Labor Day were certainly fooled this year. What a washout - including your truly.

Mr. George Hetherington and family enjoyed a week at Wildwood in spite of the rain and several postponed fishing trips.

Marie Brown did a Doug Corrigan; she started for Virginia Beach and then suddenly found herself in Florida aboard a Cuban bound Clipper Ship. Mr. And Mrs. Brown returned by way of boat, spending several days in the city of Havana.

One person who probably knows more about Wildwood than anyone in the plant is our basketball star Edward Parasink. Ed has been to Wildwood 14 weekends in a row ?????

Tall, lanky, Jack Bromley, formerly of the “Lab,” is now mixing colors in a big way. The color shop claims his smiling countenance now. John Robinson replaces Jack Bromley in the “Lab.”

Joe Herring, who really goes places, took a “busman’s holiday” over the weekend. He drove to Tamaqua, Penna., to see his father.

The stork made a landing at the home of one of our former employees on August 30th. A baby girl, Judith Ann, was born to Helen Ann Concello, who before her marriage was our “Baby Ann” Fisher.

Thelma Erickson and Sam Long, together with another couple, took a pleasant holiday trip. Their journey included Canada, Niagara Falls ????, and a trip to Virginia by way of the Sky Line Drive.

Dan Cupid has really gotten serious in his work around the Engraving Dept. Helen Wentzell will take the leap on September 21st. A young man by the name of Jack Kunkel will be the lucky fellow.

The family of our vice president, Frank Bromley, has returned to their home in Marple, Penna., after spending the summer months in Long Island, New York.

The Latin influence must have a strong hold on Jack Bell. as we go to press Jack will be out on the high seas on a cruise to Cuba.

WILLIAM SIMPSON, JR. about 1890. Like his two brothers he was plagued by poor health thru out his life. He died at “Ingeborg”, his home and 77 acre estate, in Overbrook in early April, 1896. Shortly after his death, his wife and son founded the Memorial Church of St. Paul in Overbrook.

PETER HUNTER was born in Glasglow, Scotland in 1850. A chemist by trade, he was considered an expert in the textile field. In 1880 he was brought to the United States to work at Eddystone, as assistant superintendent and in 1884 became general manager. Under his guidance the Print Works won silver and gold medals for their textiles. Paid the handsome sum of $10,000 a year, he retired in 1902 to his home in Prospect Park. Hunter was also a minister in the Methodist church and was involved in real estate. He died at his home in January, 1910. His brother-in-law, John McAdam, also a Scot, took his place at the Print Works.

By the late 1880’s, Eddystone was a thriving town of over 450 people. The majority of them living in the Village, which was then the center of town. In late 1888, the men of the Village applied to the Court of Delaware County to incorporate as a Borough.. The Petition was granted December 17, 1888. Borough records are missing from 1889 until the mid 1920’s, the next several pages are from the Chester Times to give you an idea of what early Eddystone was like.

Eddystone’s Election the Republican Ticket Wins in an Exciting Contest. Eddystone Borough held its first election yesterday. The contest between Republicans and Democrats for supremacy was a spirited one and resulted in a complete victory for the former W. P. Hood, Republican, was elected Chief Burgess; John W. Fields, Republican and John B. Friel, Democrat, were elected to Council for three years. Robert Reid and J. W. Armstrong, Republicans and John Taylor and Frank Kirby, Democrats. One Republican and one Democratic Justice of the Peace were elected. The vote:

Burgess- W. P. Hood, R., 77; James McFarland, D, 62. Council- Three Years, Two to be elected - James W. Fields, R, 77; William McCallum, R, 62; William Bonner, D, 57; John B. Friel, D, 78. For two years, two to be elected - Robert Reid, R, 74; J. W. Armstrong, R, 77; Patrick Redding, D, 58; William Birkmire, D, 68. For one year, two to be elected - Paul Schaffer, R, 78; James Smith, R, 83; Michael J. Bonner, D, 61; Alexander McGurk, D, 43. School Director - Three years, two to be elected - William P. Hood, R, 82; J. J. Parkinson, R, 65; Charles Carson, D, 56; John Taylor, D, 68. For two years two to be elected - William Crowe, R, 59; William Fields, R, 74; Frank Kirby, D, 79; Frank Mower, D, 62. For one year, two to be elected - William H. Oliver, R, 79; Samuel E. Kay, R, 88; Darby Carr, D, 46; John Redding, D, 55. Assessor - John C. Smith, R, 76; Charles Carson, D, 61. Tax Collector - John C. Smith, R, 76; Charles Carson, D, 62. Auditors - three years - Joseph C. Penn, R, 79; James P. Jones, D, 59. For two years - William H. Patterson, R, 79; Marcus Datphy, D, 59; Eugene Saltner, D, 61. Constable - John Steward, R, 136. Justice of the Peace - two to be elected - Theodore Dykes, R, 55; John Hacking, R, 67; Peter Guilday, D, 77; George Ward, D, 59. Judge of the Elections - Somers G. Clark, R, 75; Marcus Datphy, D, 63. Inspector - Matthew Boles, R, 77; John Martin, D, 61.”
Chester Times February 20, 1889

Lighthouse Hall today at 205 Eddystone Avenue is now owned by Ponns and Thomas Company. The hall was built in 1880 by the Simpson family for the use of the residents of Eddystone and became a social gathering place. The first floor had a large library and reading rooms, the second floor had a stage and an auditorium. In the early days of Eddystone, the school board, borough council and the Methodist church all met here.

The first Borough Council Meeting was held on the second floor of the Lighthouse Hall on February 26, 1889. The first ordinance and the most important part of business was borrowing $1000.00 to get the borough started.

“Burgess Hood is a bicycle rider and owns a fine Columbia. The council chamber on the second floor of Lighthouse Hall is furnished in good style. Each member has an ash desk and comfortable chair in which his weary frame can rest. The Clerk and Burgess sit close together while on the extreme left at desk No. 1 is Mr. Armstrong. The other desks are occupied as follows: No. 2, Mr. Fields; No. 3, Mr. Schaffer; No. 4, Mr. Ried; No. 5, Mr. Friel; No. 6, Mr. Smith. Council now have gotten borough affairs under way, will only hold sessions once a month hereafter. The Eddystone footballists will turn out at Chester Pike on Saturday to see the football kicking match. A meeting in the interest of the Prohibition Amendment will be held in Lighthouse Hall this evening. Rev. Dr. Paxon will deliver the address. Patrick Gorman enjoys the distinction of being the first man to be arraigned before Burgess Hood. He imbibed to freely of Leiperville whiskey and then exercised his muscle by defacing Peter W. Guilday’s property. The affair was settled by the defendant paying the costs and giving security for good behavior in the future. Lighthouse Hall is one of the institutions of the County. The Reading Room is well patronized by the Boroughites while the facilities that are offered for public are excellent. The second story is kept in good order by the gentleman in charge who gives visitors a courteous reception.”
Chester Times March 27, 1889

“The Eddystone Football team won the State Championship on Saturday by defeating the Kensington Rovers of Harrowgate Park in Philadelphia. The score was one goal to nothing. The high wind was Against good playing, while the ground was not in the best condition for Accurate work, but even against these disadvantages, both teams played well. The Eddystone team was as follows: Goal, J. Taylor; full-backs, A. Shaw; M. Boles; half-backs, S. Crowe, J. Greenhalgh, J. Mason; forwards, J. McIntyre, J. McEves, S. McKnight, M. Walsh, William Reid.”
Chester Times March, 1889

The football team of St. Rose’s Lyceum (men’s club) from 1897. Football, baseball and even Cricket were played in the early days of Eddystone. The Simpson family supplied money for uniforms and equipment, plus parks to play in. teams from Eddystone played all over the tri-state area. In 1888, Eddystone’s football team won the state championship in a state wide league in existence at the time. The above team is the only photo known to exist of a 19th century team. The men are unknown.

Following the death of William Simpson in June of 1888, the Simpson family began selling land in the upper part of town. Some of the land in the 1200 block of 11th Street already had houses on them. The Simpson’s sold the property and homes to people with management positions at the Print Works. By the mid 1890’s, the town began to grow, but very slowly. The Delaware County Directory for 1899 states the town of Eddystone had a population of 600.

“All the members were present last night at the meeting of the Eddystone Council. Orders were drawn for the payment of the following bills. Advocate, $25; Murphy and Sons, $4.18; Eddystone Company, $4.19; William Simpson and Son, $100; R. J. Allen, Son and Company, $73.95. These ordinances were adopted at the third reading: Animals running at large, nuisances, making appropriations for the fiscal year, fixing janitors salary at $1 a session. The Second Street Committee reported that the work of grading Leiper Street and Saville Avenue was progressing. The Police and Lighting committee reported the new lamps had been placed in position. The matter of having a borough lock-up was discussed. A building on Saville Avenue was offered for the purpose and the Police Committee was empowered to fix-up the place it was suitable.”
Chester Times April 23, 1889

“Janitor Hammun will give the school a good cleaning before it opens for the Fall term. The teachers were highly delighted at being invited to meet the directors at their last meeting. They think the Eddystone educators have established a good precedent which would be a good one for other boards to follow as an interchange of opinions is mutually beneficial. Burgess Kerr, of Eddystone, beside being up on points of law and looking successfully after the Borough’s business, is quite a farmer. He has a big patch on the corner opposite the M. E. church, which, he says, will yield him large returns. When the Messrs., Simpsons set aside the grove back of the M. E. Church, Eddystone, they built better than they knew. The grove, with its fine shade trees, affords one of the finest breathing spots in the county and the people appreciate on hot days. Eddystone is still without a Justice of the Peace. The man who was elected has never obtained his commission from the Governor and it is not likely that an effort will be made for a successor at present. Alva Kerr has almost finished his two houses on 11th Street. They are of modern design and finish and are calculated to make the person fall in love with them who makes an inspection.”
Chester Times August 11, 1896

“At the next meeting of the Eddystone Council it is expected that the matter of a sewer on 11th Street will be brought up. There is much dissention on the matter among the residents of the borough fare, some claiming that the improvement is not needed. Burgess Kerr has communicated with Lincoln Godfrey, President of the Print Works, and hopes to meet with him on regard to the matter at an early date. The Messrs. Simpson never did a more humane act then they accomplished when they erected Lighthouse Hall and book the books and magazines that made a success. It certainly has aided in keeping young men off the streets at night, and has aided many a man on developing his mind, where otherwise he would have gone recklessly to ruin. The Eddystone policeman is not bothered much with corner youngsters. Borough Officer Greisner manages to keep order pretty well and is seldom called upon to make an arrest. He is generally on deck however, if anything goes wrong.”
Chester Times August 27, 1898

“There is only one grocery store in Eddystone and so far as it known, no tobacco stores. There surely is not a Chinese Laundry or a drugstore in the Borough and besides the Print Works, no other manufacturing establishments in the Borough. The houses belonging to the Simpson family in the Borough are being repainted. The checker fiends still get in their work at the Hall each evening. Politics are very quiet in the Borough and the election in February promises to be tame. The impression prevails among the officials of the Methodist Church that the delinquent members should begin to pay up their back pay that they owe the preacher. There is no barber shop in the Borough."
Chester Times January 12, 1898

By 1899, William Simpson, Sr.’s three sons had all died and their property and the Print Works property was controlled by various estates and trust companies.

At the November 1899 Council Meeting, the Thomas Simpson Estate approached the Borough about passing three ordinances to help establish the Grusen Iron Company. The ordinances consisted of striking several streets from the Borough’s plan and exempting the Grusen Company from Borough taxes for two years. Council passed both ordinances but they had no authority to exempt the company from taxes. The tax ordinance was later repealed but the Simpson Estate paid the Grusen Company taxes anyway. The Grusen Iron Company failed in business and the site of their plant is now the main shops of the former Baldwin Locomotive Works.

A stated meeting of the Borough Council will be held next Monday night.

The Eddystone Male Quartette, comprising of James Innis, William McNeil, William Jardine and Robert Blair, rendered several selections at an entertainment given in Fairview the other evening.

The Eddystone School Board has elected Jesse N. Cassell of Media as Principal of the Thomas Simpson Public School to succeed Miss Carrie Boyce, who resigned. Miss Sarah J. Ross of Upland, was also selected as a teacher.

The Town Hall in 1906. The town hall was built in 1899 by Alva Kerr, a contractor who lived in Eddystone. The bricks for the town hall came from the Fields Brothers Brickyard which stood just south of 9th Street at Eddystone Avenue. The borough hall was dedicated Thursday, December 8, 1899.

Opened with a Wedding Banquet by Treasurer William Fields
"With one of the finest banquets ever given in the borough of Eddystone, William Fields, the veteran brick manufacturer of that place last night celebrated his embarkation on the sea of matrimonial life for the second time. The affair was given to the members of the present Borough Council, Board of Education, the borough officers and those who from time to time have served in a similar capacity, together with a few friends in the new borough hall. The event was one that will be mutually remembered for a long time. The banquet was spread in the new borough hall by the courtesy of the Councilmen and everything was served in up to date style. As the guests arrived they were ushered into the reception room at the hall where they were greeted by the host, who has contributed so much to the borough interest.

Shortly before nine o’clock the guests were invited to the hall on the second floor where the dinner was served and brilliant lights, pretty decorations and attractively spread tables greeted them. During the dinner the guests were entertained with gramophone selections by Harry Adams, of Eddystone, whose work on this line was much praised.”
Chester Times December 8, 1899

Toll Gate No. 1 about 1903 when it stood on Chester Pike at the Baldwin property. Chester Pike was a toll road with six toll booths until June, 1921. Toll Street in Eddystone is named for Toll Booth No. 1, which originally stood at Baldwin Lane and Chester Pike.

The Eddystone Train Station about 1900. The Eddystone Post Office began here on May 18, 1889 with Station Master John W. Armstrong as the first Post Master.

“The Gardens of the Eddystone Depot deserve horticultural honors. The efficient florist, Mrs. J. W. Armstrong, devotes considerable interest to having an unlimited variety of plants, vines and flowers of all the choicest and rarest specimens. Which makes the depot equal to any of the picturesque stops on the road to Philadelphia.”
Chester Times June, 1883

“Surveyors have been at work for several days in making lines along the Pennsylvania Railroad through the Borough in preparation for work on the elevated tacks through Chester which will be commenced later on. It is said that the north base of the elevated road will be located at or near Saville Avenue.

The Eddystone Rugby Club has been reorganized for the season with the following players: Allan Reid, George Riley, Harvey Harrington, Francis Henora, John Stewart, John Ford, James Nugent, Ernest Schonenberger, George Kilpatrick, Ralph Kerr, John Kerr, Frank Finley and Harry Reid. Officers will be elected at the next meeting of the Club.”
Chester Times August 3, 1901

By 1900, William Percy Simpson, the only grandson of William Simpson, was in control of the Print Works. Although his uncle Lincoln Godfrey was president, Percy controlled the majority shares. The year before 1899 had been the company’s best year with earnings of almost $4000,000.00 and the Print Works had won the Silver Medal at the National Exposition held at the Franklin Institute but bad times were coming. A recession in the early 1900’s plus the company’s designs were no longer meeting with public favor. Profits for 1902 were just over $4,000.00 and the plant closed for several months during the year. In 1903, Percy Simpson took over as president of the Print Works and vast changes were made. The Company’s profits would go up and down for the next 20 years until Percy Simpson sold the company to Joseph Bancroft of Wilmington, Delaware in April of 1925. By that time, the Simpson Family had disposed of much of their land holdings through various trust companies though the Simpson family was to own property in Eddystone until the 1940’s.

Although the Grusen Iron Work Company’s venture into Eddystone was a failure, a strike in Philadelphia was to change Eddystone forever. The Baldwin Locomotive works Plant was located on North Broad Street at Spring Garden and had been there over fifty years. The City of Philadelphia had already experienced several strikes in the past few years. A city Transit Strike in early 1910 involved some workers from Baldwin’s in a sympathy strike. By March of 1910, about one third of Baldwin’s workers were on a strike of their own. President Samuel Vauclain of Baldwin’s first appeared to be sympathetic to the strikers demands, but it is known now that he was using spies at Union Meetings and was also taking names of Union Organizers.

Last President of the Eddystone Print Works. Percy had problems with his aunts’ families, the Godfreys and the Lincoln’s, over the operations of the Print works. After he sold the Print Works the Godfreys and Lincoln’s began legal actions against him.

Baldwins had already purchased the failed Gruson Plant property in late 1909, but with the strike, Vauclain began to buy property in Eddystone in earnest. Baldwins had about 2,700 workers in Eddystone before the strike and during 1911, Baldwins transferred carloads of workers to the Eddystone Plant. In an effort to break the Union, Vauclain laid off 8,000 workers, most of the layoffs were from the Broad Street Plant. Although a large strike occurred at the Broad Street Plant, workers at the Eddystone Plant were not interested. Vauclain had transferred mostly young worker to the Eddystone plant with little ties to the Unions. In fact, the foreman at Eddystone demanded that all workers entering the plant tear up their Union Books.

The Union was not the only reason that Baldwins came to Eddystone. Cheaper land, better transportation and new factory buildings influenced Baldwins plant relocation.

Belmont Iron Works had already leased property about 1914 from the Simpson Estate which it would later buy in 1917.

Six-Coupled Tank Locomotive for the British Government
Gauge, 4’ - 8 1/2”: Cylinders, 16” x 24”; Driving-wheels, diam., 48”; Weight total, 102,800 pounds

Samuel M. Vauclain (1857-1940). Vauclain began working for Baldwins in 1883 and in three years was general superintendent, and later President. He supervised the move to Eddystone in the 1900’s and founded St. Lukes Church in Eddystone as a memorial to his son Samuel Jr. Vauclain, also founder of Vauclain Fire Company No. 1 of Crum Lynne; originally the Fire Company was on the grounds of the Baldwin Plant. To the right, a Six-Coupled Tank Locomotive made at Baldwins for the British Government during the first world war.

All this activity proved to be a nightmare for the people of Eddystone. In 1910, the towns population was less than 1,000 people. By 1916, the Chester Times stated about 50,000 men worked in Eddystone everyday. Transportation, housing and just feeding the workers lunch was a problem. Investors and companies were buying property to erect houses, hotels and boarding houses. It was said that every home in Eddystone that could, took in a boarder.

“That Eddystone is growing in leaps and bounds can plainly be seen by anyone who visit’s the Borough. Building operations are in full swing and with hundreds of people coming into town every day housing accommodations have become a problem hard to solve. But with the erection of the many new buildings already planned for, it is hoped there will be a chance for all to be comfortably quartered. Hotel Delaware will be the name of the new hotel that is being erected at the corner of Ninth and Eddystone Streets.”
Chester Times January 29, 1916

“That Eddystone is destined to increase rapidly in population is being conceded by the most pronounced doubters. The new houses being built on 11th and 12th Streets will soon be ready for occupancy. The other buildings in various states of erection are being rushed to completion. They will add over a hundred buildings to the borough. It is claimed even this number will be anywhere sufficient to meet the demands now being made for homes and places of business in Eddystone.”
Chester Times Junes 23, 1916

“It is estimated there are employed in all of the industries in Eddystone at least fifty thousand men the question is often asked “Where do all the men eat at least one meal a day? Outside of eating at the plants, Dempsey Brothers Restaurant, 13th and Simpson Streets, feed from four hundred to five hundred in a single meal and would feed more but for the lack of room. Casey’s Hotel, 13th Street, often has three hundred men at a single meal. the Baldwin Hotel on 11th Street has three hundred men at a single meal. the Girad Hotel on 9th Street is farther away from the big plants than the others, but it also has a big crowd of hungry humanity. It is thought the number of men who eat at least one meal in the Borough is about ten thousand a day.”
Chester Times August 17, 1916

“Eddystone’s new motion picture playhouse is now under roof. It has been named the Eclipse Theatre. The big building of the Homemaker Realty Company, S. H. Adelman, Manager, have been started on the property, bounded by 10th and 11th Streets and Eddystone and Ashland Avenues. There are sixty-seven houses to build and they will contain all the latest improvements.”
Chester Times October 7, 1916

The Remington Arms Plant was built in 1915 by the Baldwin Locomotive Company. It was leased to the Remington Arms Company of Delaware State. Remington Arms Plant originally made Enfield Rifles for the British government from 1915 to 1917. In 1917 the plant became the Eddystone Rifle Plant (Midvale Steel and Ordnance Company) and began to manufacture .300-caliber rifles for the United States government Model 1917. At full capacity the plant produced 6,000 rifles per day and supplied nearly two thirds of all the rifles used in combat by the American Army in France.

Shown below is a United States Military Rifle, .300-Calibre. U. S. Model 1917, manufactured in Eddystone.

United States Military Rifle, .300-Calibre, U. S. Model 1917
Manufactured by Midvale Steel and Ordnance Co., Eddystone Rifle Plant

Belmont Iron Works had been operating since 1914 and the Remington Arms Company which made Enfield Rifles for the Allies during the First World War was operating by December 1915. Both plants were operating at full capacity by mid 1916. By February, 1916, a fourth company was looking for workers, female workers. That company was the Eddystone Ammunition Plant just East of the Remington Arms Plant which faced Simpson Street at 9th Street. The newspapers advertised work for a thousand girls, the work was to be piercing fuses to be fitted into shells the company was to manufacture. Adds for girls to work in the plant were placed in Philadelphia and other large newspapers in the area. By late 1916, the Eddystone Ammunition Corporation was in full operation making shells for the Russian Army.

Meanwhile the town continued to grow as fast as houses could be built. Between 1910 and 1920, Eddystone’s population would almost triple from 800 to about 2,400 in 1920. Eddystone’s population in the 1923 Chester Times Year Book was estimated at about 2,900.

“There is one great industry in Eddystone which is rarely in the public eye, for little is heard about it, yet this industry employs over ten thousand men and women. It is the Eddystone Ammunition Corporation.”
Chester Times September 15, 1916

Eddystone Munitions Company was organized in 1917 after the Eddystone explosion. It leased the property formerly occupied by the Eddystone Ammunitions Corporation. This new company manufactured ammunition for the United States government and its entire capital stock was owned by the Baldwin Locomotive Works. Both this plant and the Eddystone Rifle Plant had been built by Baldwins and were designed so that the buildings could be used as locomotive shops after the war.

SEVEN MONTHS LATER ON April 10, 1917, the Eddystone Ammunition Corporation was to become a household word across the United States. On that Monday, April 10th at about 9:55 a.m., “F” Building of the plant was torn apart by a terrible explosion. “F” Building was where about 380 girls and young women were loading shells with black powder. One hundred and thirty-two persons, mostly girl, lost their lives in the explosion. The majority of the women killed worked in the loading room. The first explosion was followed by two smaller ones. Bodies were thrown in the air and some were found hundreds of yards away. The Chester Times published three extra editions the day of the explosion. At first, many thought the explosion was an act of sabotage as the United States had just entered World War 1 just days before the explosion. Fifty-two of the dead were never identified.

The unidentified dead were buried at a mass funeral service in Chester Rural Cemetery. The service was held on April 13 at 11:00 a.m. An estimated 12,000 people attended the funeral service. The Eddystone Ammunition Company paid for all the funeral services. In less then two weeks the company was back to work. The mystery of the explosion was never solved. Whether it was carelessness on the part of a worker, German sabotage or Russian sabotage, the cause never became known. Investigators later felt that the Russian, Leon Trotsky, had the plant sabotaged to prevent the shells from reaching the new government set by Kerensky, which was democratic. The Plant closed shortly after the First World War ended and remained empty for many years. In 1956, the Plant was bought by Philadelphia Electric Company and torn down for the company’s Eddystone Power Station.

The town of Eddystone continued to prosper after the First World War. Sun Ship opened just before the was and later expanded into Eddystone by buying the old Print Works Plant. The Print Works was sold to Bancroft and Sons of Wilmington in 1925 and Bancroft itself was sold in 1961 to Indian Head Mills, Inc of New York City. The Eddystone Plant closed in late 1963, was torn down and is now part of Sun Ship (now Penn Ship). Belmont Iron Works closed in 1971 and the site is now Eddystone Industrial Park. Baldwin Locomotive Works merges into Baldwin Lima Hamilton in the 1950’s when orders for steam locomotives were over. The Company closed in late 1972 and is now owned by Adwin Realty, a subsidiary of Philadelphia Electric Company. Adwin rents storage space to large companies.

The Executive Office Building of the Baldwin Locomotive Works. The eight story office building of the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Eddystone was completed in 1928 at a cost of $1,220,000. The architect was Simon and Simon and the general contractor was the Turner Construction Company, both were Philadelphia contractors. The star-shaped design provided four wings radiating from the central portion of the building. The office building was bought by the Gallagher brothers and a section of the building was then leased to Baldwin a number of years before the Baldwin Plant closed. Boeing-Vertol Company occupied the building for awhile, and then Westinghouse leased the building until June, 1979.

The New Baldwin Erecting Shops in Eddystone, during the early 1900’s. The dirt road in the bottom right is Chester Pike.

Early photo of the church before the fire in 1894. The Simpson family picked the design for the church after the Methodist Church in Wayne close to where the Simpsons lived.

The Methodist Church had its beginnings in the Eddystone Village in 1875. The Church was originally organized as a Union Sunday School with no particular religious preference. The group began meeting in a small confectionery store run by a Mrs. Dykes. The Union Sunday School members came from the village with most of the early members being foreign born. John Sipple, one of the organizers, was chosen as the first Superintendent. The Sunday School continued to meet, moving to Lighthouse Hall after it was built in 1880. Church services were occasionally held at Madison Methodist Church in Chester City and the Union Sunday School began to lean toward Methodism.

Interest began to lag in the Sunday School as they were having problems getting ministers to preach on Sundays. The congregation approached Reverend Vincent Nichols, Pastor of Leiper Presbyterian Church on Fairview Road, and he agreed to be minister of the church. Pastor Nichols preached his first sermon on October 5, 1890 at Lighthouse Hall.

The Sunday School began looking toward a church building and Pastor Nichols held a special meeting on Wednesday, September 2, 1891 at Lighthouse Hall. Three hundred dollars was raised toward a building fund. A planning committee to build the church decided on a small frame church costing about $3,500.00. James Simpson changed those plans with a $5,000.00 donation and his brother William, Jr., followed with a donation of $2,500.00. The Simpson Family was given a free hand on the design of the church. Thomas B. Lonsdale drew up the plans, the Simpsons approved them and supervised the construction. On September 27, 1891, the church was organized by Pastor Nichols with 23 members joining from Madison Avenue Church and 8 members on probation.

The cornerstone for the church was laid on Sunday, December 12, 1891 at 9th and Saville Avenue n property bought from the Simpson Family. The church was built of Leiper Granite from the local quarry and was dedicated on September 9, 1891. The total cost of the church was approximately $22,000.00

Bishop Foss preached the sermon and afterward made an appeal for more funds for the new church. James Simpson reached into his pocket again and donated another $5,000.00, not counting the $300.00 he had given toward the purchase of a church organ. James Simpson had lunch catered for everyone present.

“The Bishop’s sermon was delivered before a large audience. Extra chairs were brought in to seat the people. The music was sung in good style by the Madison Street Choir, under the leadership of Prof. S. W. Gaskill. The soloists were Miss Agnes Shaw, Miss Grace Pooler and Mrs. Thomas Devers. Miss Annie Brogan was the organist and there was an orchestra. By order of Mr. Simpson, lunch was served to the morning congregation. The tables were spread in the park and the menu, prepared by Caterer Morrison of the city, consisted of chicken, ham and tongue sandwiches, chicken salad, ice cream, cake, fruit and tea, coffee and milk. Arrangements were made to accommodate five hundred persons. A special tent for the devines was established on Dunion’s lawn where they were served with a tempting lunch. Caterer Stevens, of Philadelphia, presided here. The decorations at the church consisted of psalms. These were placed on the steps and on the lawn leading to the entrance. Over the fire place inside psalms were also arranged and the chandeliers were entwined with evergreens. The church was formally presented to Bishop Foss in the afternoon by Robert D. Miller, President of the Board of Trustees.”
Chester Times Monday, September 10, 1892

Less than two years later in May 1894, the church was heavily damaged by fire. The fire was believed to be arson and firemen had a tough time since there were no fire hydrants in the area. The fire was covered by insurance and the church parsonage was built at the time of the churches rebuilding. The church was rededicated on December 10, 1894. The church added an Educational Wing in 1957.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church which is presently known as St. Jude’s Roman Catholic Church. St. Luke’s was closed about 10 years ago when problems arose between the pastor and the diocese. St. Jude’s was established in July, 1986.

Reverend Richard H. Anthony was appointed by Bishop Rhinelander to take charge of the Protestant Episcopal Mission in Eddystone. Reverend Anthony arrived early in July 1915 and after several weeks visiting Episcopalian families in Eddystone, he held the first church service at the borough hall on Sunday, July 25, 1915. Unlike other churches, work was begun on building the new church at 10th and Saville Avenues almost immediately. Ground was broken in mid-July and the parish house was started first. The cornerstone for the parish house was laid Saturday afternoon July 21, 1915. The cornerstone laying occurred at 5:30 in the afternoon in the presence of a large number of the members and friends of the new parish.

“In the box in the stone were placed a number of articles, including a copy of the Chester Times, Public Ledger, a quarter dollar, books of Common Prayer and name of the donor of the parish house, which as yet has not been made public. After the cornerstone had been put in a place and a hymn had been sung. Bishop Garland, Dean Tiatt and Rev. Mr. Anthony each made addresses of an appropriate nature. A prayer and the singing of a hymn brought the services to a close. The parish house is but the forerunner of a group of buildings which will be pushed along as rapidly as possible and in the meantime, services will be held in the Eddystone Town Hall.”
Chester Times Tuesday, August 3, 1915

The church opened for services in early December of 1915 and it was dedicated on Sunday, March 16, 1916 by Reverend Philip M. Rhinelander, Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. The service was held Sunday evening and 9 persons were confirmed from the first class for church membership. Neither Reverend Rhinelander or Reverend William Anthony mentioned the church’s benefactor. Unknown to the congregation at that time, the memorial to his son, Samuel Jr., who had died in March, 1913. Work had already begun on a rectory for Reverend Anthony and his family who were staying in Ridley Park at the time. The rectory was completed by October 1916 and William Anthony and his family moved in.

St. Luke’s closed in the late 1970’s and St. Jude’s Roman Catholic Church now occupies the original building.

St. Jude’s was established on July, 1986 as a church of the Society of St. Pius X, whose national headquarters is located in St. Louis, Missouri. The International headquarters is in Econe, Switzerland.

St. Jude’s 9 A.M. Latin Masses are celebrated by Society missionary priests. At the present time, Father Jack Adair is the Pastor and Conde McGinley is the Coordinator.

St. Rose of Lima Church is 58 x 91 feet in dimension and faces on the Chester and Darby Telford Road. In the near future a second story will be added to the building which will be used for church services. The first story where services are now held will be given over to the Sunday School. The present building cost $9,000 and the ground which embraces three acres $5,000. The two memorial windows now in the church were presented by Reverend James P. Sinot and Reverend James F. Traynor, classmates of Pastor Rafferty.
Chester Times June 29, 1892

The increase in population in the late 1880’s in the Ridley Township area led the Archdiocese to send Father Michael J. Rafferty to establish a parish in Eddystone in 1890. Father Rafferty wasted no time in establishing a congregation. He obtained three acres of property from the John Leiper Family. Ground was broken for a small brick church in October of 1891 just a year after Father Rafferty’s arrival. The one story brick church cost $9,000.00 and was dedicated on June 25, 1892.

“The exercises, which were conducted by distinguished clergymen from Philadelphia, were interesting and impressive. The weather was perfect; a soft breeze breathed through the well lighted and well ventilated building. A special feature was the music which was rendered by the leading Catholic choir of Philadelphia. Donning the vestments in the sacristy, the procession passed out and around the church, chanting, which constituted blessing the church, then returning and passing to the chancel. High Mass was celebrated. Rev. James F. Traynor being celebrant. During the dedicatory services, the choir, which was from St. Charles Church under the direction of Prof. A. H. Rosewig, sang Guonod’s St. Cecillia Mass. The leading soprano was Mrs. Brennan, and the alto was Miss Kelly. The music by this perfectly trained choir is exquisite. Mrs. Brennan and Miss Kelly and artists of distinction.”
Chester Times, Monday, June 27, 1892

A three story brick rectory was added before 1900. The small church quickly out grew its space. Under Father Thomas Ryan, who came in 1905, plans were made to build a larger church. Father Ryan was also busy in Ridley Park helping to establish St. Madeline’s Church in November of 1906. Work on the new church began on August 17, 1909 following the demolition of the old brick church. The new St. Rose’s was dedicated on Sunday, June 28, 1910. The church bell was a gift from Senator William G. Sproul.

“This church as it stands today will seat well on to 800 persons. It is built of Leiper granite and presents an imposing appearance standing as it does in a conspicuous place on Chester Pike to the West of the rectory. The main audience room is a picture of beauty, the plastering and cornice work being clean cut and the work of a master artisan. The altars are marble, the pictures representing the stations of the cross as well as many of the statues of the saints being imported from Italy and other points in Europe celebrated for excellent workmanship in these particular lines. The belfry contains a large copper bell contributed by Senator William G. Sproul of this city made by the Meneely Company of Baltimore, MD.”
Chester Times June 6, 1910

This bell was struck by lightning and later replaced.

“This new sanctuary, though large and beautiful in a sense is a temporary one. On the façade is the inscription “St. Rose of Lima, Parish School”. The intention being to erect a larger building close by when the funds were forthcoming. Plans for the new building have been drawn up. About $100,000 will be necessary for the permanent structure.”
Chester Times June 6, 1910

St. Rose of Lima Church about 1915 looking east from Leiper Street. The gas light in the foreground marks the corner of Chester Pike and Leiper Street.

The second church planned for St. Rose of Lima was never built, and part of the three acres was later sold. Today the church remains exactly how it was originally built.

Girl Scout Troop No. 1 of Eddystone about 1925. Front row (left to right): Elizabeth Cooper, Sara Newton, Edith Wentzel, Marie Reyburn, Helen James, Mary Bruce, Ethel James, Catherine McKnight. Middle row: Tillie Cornish, Jennie Blair, Helen Wentzel, Lucille Eggers, Alice Matacotti, Mary Eich, Rosetta Diamond, Ruth Todd, Margaret Cole, with flag Florence Adams. Back row: with flag Annamae Diamond, Pauline Wood, ? Restucci, Cathrine Newton, Leola Yost, Margaretta Chambers, Elizabeth Wood, Josephine Wilson, Miss Olive Dickerson, with flag Anna Hill.

Boy Scout Troop of Eddystone in 1926. Front row (left to right) Standing: Troop leader Moyer Whitaker, Unknown, Seated with drum Donald Bruce, base drum James Rowles, with cymbals Ed Sampson, Standing: Unknown, Peter Koshan. Second row: ? Wally, rest of row unknown. Third row: Phil Marion, Paul Woodrow, rest of row unknown. Back row: Dominic Marion, Melvin Hughes, next two unknown, ? Hassis, ? Grieser.

“The first floor contains a spacious hall, two large school rooms and class room. Large and roomy cloak rooms supplied with coat hooks and umbrella racks are in the rear with the entrance from the back porch as well as from the school room. After the session begins the rear doors are locked, thus insuring the clothing of the pupils from theft or molestation. The second floor is reached by a wide well-lighted stairway of latest design. There are two school rooms on this floor with the directors room. Very convenient cloak rooms for the teachers are provided on each floor. All the apartments are well lighted while two large furnaces insure ample warmth and comfort in cold weather. The cellar is cement, thus making a dry basement and a healthy building. The playground is ample and all the conveniences are first class.”
Chester Times December, 1889

The old school was sold and is now the Dannemann Fabrics Store (Mill Store) at 4th and Saville Avenues. Dannemann Fabrics will soon be closing.

On May 26, 1877, William Simpson sold a plot of ground at the corner of Fourth and Saville to the Ridley Township School District to have a school built for the students of Eddystone. The two story brick school opened in the Fall of that year.

In 1889, after the establishment of Eddystone Borough, Eddystone formed its own school board.

“The Eddystone School Board, though it organized some time ago, has no legal status until the first Monday in June, the time fixed for reorganization of all public educational boards; yet notwithstanding this, the members have not been letting any grass grow under their feet. The present school building of Saville Avenue is too small, so it will be enlarged and improved. The board intends getting Brown and Day, Architects, to make plans so that the contract for the work of making the changes and putting up the new building can be given out as soon as the board is placed in charge of the district. When completed, the building will accommodate from 250 to 300 pupils. Three teachers will be employed. Before many years roll around a school house in the upper end of town will be necessary, as some of the pupils have quite a long distance to walk".
Chester Times May 18, 1889

Rather than tear down the old brick school, the School Board decided to totally remodel the building and build a new addition on the North Side. This new school was named for Thomas Simpson, son of William Sr., who had died in 1884. The new school was dedicated Saturday, December 21, 1889.

“The former transfer of the Thomas Simpson Public School Board of Eddystone was made on Saturday evening. The new building which is the old one remodeled, enlarged and greatly improved at a cost of about $5,000.00, extends on Saville Avenue and was described in detail in a recent number of the Times. The festivities of the occasion began with a banquet, spread in the unoccupied school room on the upper floor. The room was tastefully decked with bunting, greens and plants while the table settings by Caterer Morrison were in keeping with the surroundings. William H. Berry, Master Mechanic of the Eddystone Print Works, presided at the other table and seated with him were citizens of Eddystone, together with the gentlemen to whom the sub-contracts on the buildings were given. After the guests had completed the menu of oysters, salad, turkey, chicken croquettes with the appropriate entrée, the speechmaking began. Honorable William Ward, in an address eulogistic of the late Thomas Simpson, after whom the school is named, formally handed the key representing the property to President Kirby, who acknowledged its receipt. The formal acceptance was delegated to Mr. Broomall, who responded appropriately to Mr. Ward. After the ceremony, a large flag was presented to the school by William H. Berry on behalf of Mrs. Simpson, widow of the late Thomas Simpson. His speech was received for the District by County Superintendent Smith, who made a very neat response.”
Chester Times Monday, December 23, 1889

A school class from about 1895
By 1914, the elementary school in the Village had grown too small for the towns population. In early 1914, the school board bought several acres at 10th and Leiper Streets and at the August School Board meeting, awarded a bid of $18,000.00 for the new school to Mercandonti and Son Builders of Chester. Work began in the Spring of 1915 and it was dedicated Saturday, March 4, 1916. The dedication parade started in Chester and marched east on 9th Street into Eddystone. It was considered one of the largest parades ever to be held in Eddystone up to that time.

“The parade was a good one. There were about 500 men in line headed by the Viscose band of Marcus Hook. At the Ninth Street Bridge, the paraders were met by the Eddystone Fire Company which acted as an escort to the public at Eddystone. The Eddystone Fire Company turned out fifty strong with its apparatus. Police Officer Alfred Heisner was the Marshal of the Parade. William Hanby was in charge of the Fire Company assisted by Joseph Higley. Paul McCarthy carried the Company’s flag and James Dougherty carried the Company’s banner. Thomas Mower was in charge of the apparatus. The committee in charge of the flag presentation consisted of J. Y. Montgomery, Chairman, William News, T. F. Aiken, Elmer News, H. Wood, C. T. Montgomery, H. B. Blackburn, J. J. Lomax and W. A. Smith, J. V. Montgomery was the Chief Marshal of the Parade and Henry B. Blackburn, Chief of Staff.”
Chester Times March 14, 1916

“The presentation speech was made by the Rev. Samuel McWilliams, Pastor of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church of Chester. The flag was received by the School Board President John James; William Pemberton, Vice President, Harry Park, Secretary, George Davis, Treasurer and William Taylor. Mr. James accepting the flag in the name of the School Board made appropriate remarks, thanking the Sons of Veterans for the handsome gift and also complimenting Mr. McWilliams on his patriotic speech.”
Chester Times Monday, March 16, 1916

Eddystone, Pa.


New School Building
Tenth and Leiper Streets

The 8 room school had been opened since September 1915. The Eddystone School Board never issued bonds to pay for the new school, instead it secured a personal loan from the Bank of Philadelphia. The loan conditions from the bank was that it was to be paid back in two years in gold. Additional class rooms were added in 1921. The building was for grades 1 through 8 and those students desiring to go to high school went either to Chester or Ridley Park High School.

The Eddystone School Board met with several citizens and decided to build a high school onto the existing elementary school. The meeting held in May of 1930 showed two problems; the school was over crowded and the school district was spending too much money to send Eddystone children to other schools and it would be cheaper to build its own high school.

Classrooms had already been added in 1928 and rooms were added each year until 1932 when the new high school was completed. Eddystone graduated its first class in 1932. Students came to Eddystone High School from all over Southern Delaware County. Student came from Marcus Hook, Brookhaven and Essington and everywhere in between. At a time before school district consolidation and when many communities had no high school at all, students could go anywhere in Delaware County to get a high school education.

In the 1950’s, several additions were made to the school including a music room and a cafeteria. On December 12, 1960, a fire completely destroyed the auditorium and 6 classrooms in the senior high section. The educational building of the Eddystone Methodist Church took the elementary children classes and the junior and senior high classes shared the junior and elementary section of the school. Renovation of the burned out section of the school began in the Spring of 1961 and was completed before the end of the year. In 1966, Eddystone, Ridley Park and Ridley Township School District merged into the Ridley School District. In July of 1966, Eddystone council asked the newly formed Ridley School District of the possibility of building a new elementary school. All of the Eddystone School was torn down except for the additions from the 1950’s, which consisted of the cafeteria and kitchen, two large home economic rooms and a science room. This new building was completed in 1968 and dedicated on October 12 of the same year.


1932 - 1966
October 3, 1987 -- 1:00 - 9:00
Dom Marion Field
Eddystone, Pennsylvania

Trophy case of Eddystone High School memorabilia can be seen at the Eddystone Elementary. Eddystone High School played Ridley Township on Thanksgiving Day in the 1940’s up until 1965. The football on the bottom left is from 1955 when Eddystone beat Ridley 13 to 7. The oil can to the right of the football was given to the loser after each Thanksgiving Day game.


A graduate of Eddystone High School in 1936, he went on to Major League Baseball in 1939 as a first baseman for the Washington Senators where he played until 1948.

Mickey played for parts of 4 decades on the following teams: 1949-50 Cleveland Indians; 1950-55 Washington Nationals; 1956-57 Boston Red Sox; 1958 Cleveland Indians; 1959 Milwaukee Braves; 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates.

He was the American League Batting Champion for 1946 with an average of .353, and in 1953 with an average of .337. Mickey ended his career with a lifetime average of .266.

He coached with Danny Murtaugh at Pittsburgh. He was batting coach for the Montreal Expos and the New York Yankees. He is now retired and lives in Wallingford.

Two of the original Four Aces graduated from Eddystone High School. David Mahoney from Linwood, graduated in 1943 and Louis Silvestri also from Linwood, graduated in 1944. The group started to record in 1951 with the song “It’s No Sin” and recorded such classics as “Love Is A Many Splendid Thing” and “Three Coins In The Fountain”. The group recorded for Decca Records through out the 1950’s and they still perform today.

The police department was formed 100 years ago, and the borough’s first policeman made about $30.00 a month. Borough records are missing from before 1920 but it is known that early Eddystone Policemen worked about 12 hours a day from 7 at night to 7 in the morning. Their main function was to keep the street oil lamps in the borough lit and in good repair. The police officer patrolled the borough on foot. Eddystone had one policeman until 1915 when then Mayor Cassidy decided a second one was needed.

The present department is headed by Chief Joseph Shields.

He was on of the first Eddystone Policemen.
The photo is from the mid-1890’s

A fire engine was bought and placed at the Print Works by the Simpson Family. The Eddystone fire Company wanted nothing to do with the Print Works fore engines and disbanded . In those days, in Eddystone, the Simpson Family had their way or if you disagreed with them you would not be working for them.

A serious fire at the Eddystone Elementary School on January 2, 1898 caused extensive damage and showed residents of Eddystone they needed their own fire company.

“The recent school fire demonstrated the reliability of the Print Works brigade, but the impression prevails that better protection is needed for the borough.”
Chester Times Wednesday, January 12, 1898

For the next several months, anonymous residents were quoted in the Chester Times urging the borough to organize another fire company. No one publicly wanted to speak out against the Simpson family. By mid-July 1898, the Eddystone Print Works stated that the hose and fire equipment could not be taken off the Print Works property and used by the borough. This left Eddystone without any fire protection. In the past, the Print Works had let Eddystone Borough use the fire equipment anytime it was needed. For six months, nothing was done then on Monday, February 6, 1899, at the council meeting, members decided to “erect a $2,000 fire house, borough hall and lockup combined.”
Chester Times February 7, 1899

Plans were made to purchase a lot from Simpson Estate at 12th and Saville Avenues. After purchasing the ground, borough council bought their own Hose Carriage from the Felton Fire Company of Chester. Ground was broken for the town hall on July 1, 1899, and it was completed in November. The hall was dedicated on December 7, 1899 at the wedding reception of William Fields, who ran Fields Brothers Brick Company in the town. William Fields was the Treasurer for both the school board and the borough.

With the town hall complete and the borough now owning its own fire equipment, the Eddystone Fire Company began to meet again in the Spring of 1900. In July, Borough council officially turned over the fire equipment to the company and gave them permission to use the first floor of the borough hall.

By 1905 the Fire Company had acquired a horse-drawn fire truck which was used up until September, 1916 when they purchased a motor-driven fire truck.

In the early 50’s the Fire Company moved into their present headquarters when the old borough hall was torn down and replaced.

Horse-drawn Fire Carriage

Front Row: (left to right): Art Schreffler, Trustee, Tom Phillips, Trustee, Gus Pappas, Jan Vangorden, Doris Phillips. Back Row: Robert Gliem, Chief, Charles Rowles, Assistant Chief, Robert Vangorden, Engineer, Mike Donahue, Captain, Tom Powell, Tom Reilly, Dallas Walters, Ed Mokshefsky, Cliff Sterling, Jason Embert.

The dedication of the Eddystone Sewage Disposal Plant on October 24, 1931. Considered one of the most modern in Pennsylvania at that time it cost $150,000.00 to be built. The plant, when it was built, made Eddystone the first borough in the county to have it’s own disposal plant. Built by the Fish-Rutherford Company of Philadelphia it is to be replaced in the near future.

At the dedication of the plant (left to right): Robert Gross, Councilman, William Hewitt, Councilman, Joseph Higler, Borough Secretary, Harve Wentzel, Councilman, William B. McClenahan, Solicitor, James Dougherty, Councilman, Jacob Miller, Councilman, Arthur Robinson, Councilman, James B. Miller, President of Council, John Bruce, Burgess.

Chester Pike looking down Eddystone Avenue Toward 13th Street about 1930

Ninth and Eddystone Avenues about 1914. The two Horsemen are advertising a circus in Chester City. The horsemen are riding on Eddystone Avenue

Thirteen hundred block of 11th Street about 1914

Company truck taken in March of 1929


Walter P. Anshant - Chester Pike & Saville Ave. Eddystone, Pa.

In Front of Chester Pike Drive - In Theater - Chester 4-1141


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