1860 CENSUS

 

The 1860 census for Ward 22 runs about 150 pages. It was the time when Germantown and Bristol Township were combined. I used Bennet Medary as key and reviewed the 10 pages of census before his name and the 10 after. Overall about 1000 names or maybe 75 to 100 families comprise this list. The traditional names appear in these pages but many Irish immigrants are present, most as laborers or domestics. The huge Irish immigration starting in about 1840 was in full swing. I note many spinners, carders, weavers and a few fullers among the Irish. In one count, eight textile workers lived together without families suggesting that the mill provided housing. Four others in that trade lived in the area with families. The McCarty Fulling Mill on what is now Lakeside Avenue was functioning then so they may have lived and worked there. Two fullers were John Luddy and James Kelly, both probably Irish. The work force of the mill probably comprised 12 tradesmen in cloth manufacturing.

 

Bennett Medary, 60, was storekeeper in Branchtown. He was worth $10,000 in real estate and $1,500 in personal wealth. Listed right next door was Jacob Medary who was born in 1764 and probably the father of Bennett. As an aside, a Milton Bennett Medary who lived from 1874 to about 1929 was a distinguished architect who designed among others a building on the Penn Campus and the US Department of Justice Building in Washington. I presume there is a connection. Bennett’s two sons, William and Stephen were clerks in the store and Stephen later took over the business with a man named Kendall.

 

The Engles were still well represented in the area with Thomas a laboror; Jacob, a farmer; one a stonemason (can’t make out the first name); James, a carpenter; and Aaron a stonemason. The Rorers, too, are well represented with one a storekeeper worth $17,000 in real estate and $12,000 in personal property. A David Rorer was a farmer with $14,000 in real estate and $1,000 in personal property.

 

Some men of wealth called themselves gentlemen: Alfred Cope (maybe a Kulp), 34, with $611,000 in real estate and $190,000 in personal property. He had a coachman and three domestics. James Swift, 57, who lived close to Cope, listed assets in real estate at $100,000 and had six domestics and a coachman; Hall Murcer, 40, a gentleman, who renamed Martin’s Mill Road lived near the intersection of 10th Street and Oak Lane Avenue and was worth $9,600 in real estate and $50,000 in personal property. I think those figures got reversed. Another gentleman, C. H. Fisher, 43, who may have lived over near New Second Street had $200,000 in real estate and $10,000 in personal property. He had two coachmen and four domestics. Harry Ingersoll, 51, who lived just north of Green Lane listed himself as a farmer but in other censi termed himself a gentleman. His worth was $90,000 in real estate and $60,000 in personal property. William Nice, 60, was a farmer probably east of York Road whose worth was $20,000 in real estate and $4,000 in personal property. At the other end of the spectrum there are clusters of laborers.

 

Other old names are well represented: Elizabeth Megarge, 75; Josiah Wentz, 54 a farmer probably near Olney; Benjamin Mears, 50, a physician in Branchtown; Whalen Whitman, 59, a farmer on York Road; Joseph Mears, 51, a pencil manufacturer; Rowland Freed, 46, on York Road, a cabinet maker and Anna Mears, 40, the historian I have cited so frequently. I addition to the Medarys, Samuel Showers was storekeeper in Milestown as was Albert Megarge probably in Branchtown.

 

Samuel N. Dickson, 52, in 1860 was a Bank President. A James Newton Dickson owned a summer house to the east of the Fox farm called Maple Grove. It can be seen on the 1856 map east of New Second Street. He was a partner in a dry goods firm in the city. That house burned down before the 1890s. A Dickson property can be seen on the 1889 map in the southeast corner of what we call East Oak Lane.

 

Samuel Mason, 62, was treasurer of a railroad; and William Tomlinson, 38 b. in England, was a manufacturer. I have noted a number of businessmen who were born in England such as T. Henry Asbury and John Bromley. So too was Franklin Evans, an importer.

 

A William Clapp, 25, was an engineer who may have been associated with the fulling mill earlier called Clapp and Greenwood. The conclusion we have to draw is that area was changing. Wealthy families had moved in and some existing families had prospered. And there were the Irish laborers and a number of residents had occupations not associated with agriculture. The railroad probably caused this change but the country was beginning to change, accelerated by the upcoming Civil War.