History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
Names and Page # Index


Kindly submitted by Joan Lollis,

WATSON P. CHURCH, the editor and proprietor of the Newtown Enterprise, was born at Center Bridge, in Solebury township, Bucks county, 2 mo. 7, 1849.  He is the second son of Eleazer F. and Hannah Brock (PRICE) CHURCH.

            Mr. CHURCH is a descendant, through both parents, of Joseph FELL, the pioneer ancestor of the Fells of Bucks county, who in 1705 emigrated from Longlands, in the county of Cumberland, in England, and settled in Buckingham, Bucks county.  He was twice married.  By his first wife, Bridget WILSON, of Cumberland, he had four children, Joseph, Benjamin, Tamar and Mary.  Benjamin, born in Cumberland, 9 mo. 1, 1703, married (first) Hannah SCARBOROUGH, and the fifth child of this marriage, Phebe FELL, born 1 mo. 27, 1736, married in 1760 Stephen KIRK, son of Isaac and Elizabeth (TWINING) KIRK, of Buckingham.  The third child of this marriage Elizabeth KIRK, born 10 mo. 19, 1773, married in 1796 John PRICE, son of Smith and Martha (CARVER) PRICE, of Plumstead, and their daughter, Hannah Brock PRICE, born January 20, 1814, was the mother of Watson Price CHURCH, the subject of this sketch.

            Joseph FELL, the emigrant, married (second) 3 mo. 10, 1711, Elizabeth, daughter of Edward and Rebecca (DUNGAN) DOYLE, (born 1688, died 1784).  Rebecca was the daughter of Rev.  Thomas DUNGAN, who came to Bucks county from Rhode Island in 1684 and founded a Baptist church at Cold Spring, in Falls township, and she and her husband were the grandparents of William DOYLE, from whose colonial tavern of 1745 Doylestown took its name. Sarah FELL, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth, born 8 mo. 26, 1713, married in 1735 Richard CHURCH, who had brought a certificate from a Friendsí Meeting in Ireland two years previously, and settled in Buckingham.

            Richard CHURCH obtained a patent for 267 acres adjoining the tract of his father-in-law, Joseph FELL, in 1741.  This tract included the present Churchís school, founded by his sons, and the mill at Mechanics Valley, now owned by A. K. STEEVER.  The mill was erected by Richard CHURCH in1742.  Richard CHURCH was a prominent man in the community, and an active member of Buckingham Friendsí Meeting.  He died 6 mo. 11. 1776, and his widow Sarah died 10 mo. 11, 1797.   He was the great-grandfather of the late Eleazer F. CHURCH, who was the father of Watson P. CHURCH.

            Eleazer F. CHURCH learned the trade of a printer in the office of the Doylestown Democrat, under General John S. BRYAN, graduating in 1839.  For the next ten years he followed other pursuits, being engaged in the mercantile business at both Mechanicsville and Centre Bridge.  In March, 1850, he started a newspaper in Baltimore, Maryland, called the Baltimore County Advocate.  It was published in, the interest of a separation of the county and city of Baltimore in municipal affairs.  From Baltimore the paper was removed to Cockeysville, in August, 1850, and from there to Towson, the new county seat, in 1853, where Mr. CHURCH continued its publication until 1865, when he sold it.  In the same year he was appointed inspector of Internal revenue for three counties in lower Maryland.  In 1866 he purchased a half interest in the Herald and Torchlight, at Hagerstown, Maryland, but in a short time disposed of his interest and returned to Towson and started another paper under the name of the Baltimore County Free Press.  This he sold in March, 1868, and returned to Bucks county and established the Newtown Enterprise.  The paper was a success from the start, and has always been one of the most popular weekly papers in the county.  Independent in politics, clean, newsy, and specially devoted to local matters, it has found its way into a great majority of the homes in lower Bucks, and has probably the largest circulation of any weekly paper published in the county.  Eleazer F. CHURCH continued to conduct the Enterprise until his death, June 15, 1893.   He was a man of sterling integrity and irreproachable character, of pleasing address, and possessed of good literary ability, and was exceedingly popular as an editor and as a man.  He married Hannah Brock PRICE, daughter of John and Elizabeth (KIRK) PRICE and had the following children:  William, born 8 mo. 17, 1847, now a farmer near Taylorsville; Watson P., the present editor and proprietor of the Enterprise; Mary E. born 6 mo. 11, 1851, who married George M. WRIGHT, and died in Philadelphia October 6, 1899; Harry F., born 2 mo. 16, 1853, who married Helen W. TREGO, and died in Newtown, December 2, 1901; and Fannie M., living in Newtown.

            Watson Price CHURCH, born 2 mo. 7, 1849, received a liberal education, and has always followed literary pursuits.   He was associated with his father in the conduct of the Newtown Enterprise, and at his fatherís death in 1893 he purchased of the executor the entire plant and has since conducted the paper and maintained its old-time popularity.  He was married June 1, 1899, to Mary GILLAM, of Langhorne, daughter of the late Simon and Elizabeth (RICHARDSON) GILLAM, a lineal descendant of Justice Joseph GROWDON, of Trevose, Bensalem (who was a member of provincial council, 1687-9, 1692, 1695, 1697-8; Justice of supreme court, 1698-9; judge of Bucks county, 1689, 1708; member of assembly, 1684, 1686, 1690, 1693, 1704-5-6, 1713-4-5-6 and until 1723; speaker of the assembly, 1690, 1693, 1700 to 1706 and 1713 to 1716, and again in 1722), through the marriage of his daughter Elizabeth to Francis RICHARDSON of Philadelphia in 1705.

            The children of Watson P. and Mary (GILLAM) CHURCH are Watson Price CHURCH Jr., born June 7, 1900, and Millicent Elizabeth CHURCH, born August 15, 1901.




Test taken from page 500-501 of:

Davis, William W. H., A.M., History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III

Transcribed December 2004 by Joan Lollis of, IN. as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project,

Published December 2004 on the Bucks County, Pa., /


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