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

Henry and his mother Hannah Sharpless Darlington. It was painted in 1833, when Henry was about a year old, by Esther Strode, a local Quaker painter. HENRY TOWNSEND DARLINGTON

HENRY TOWNSEND DARLINGTON, for twenty-three years the editor of the Bucks County Intelligencer, was born at “Darnhall,” Birmingham township, Chester county, Pennsylvania, September 17, 1832, and died at Doylestown, Bucks county, November 24, 1878.   He was the son of Edward B. and Hannah (SHARPLESS) DARLINGTON, and therefore descended from two old, prominent and influential families of eastern Pennsylvania.  All his ancestors in America were members of the Society of Friends.

Photo: Kindly provided by John Darligton Landstreet. Henry and his mother Hannah Sharpless Darlington. It was painted in 1833, when Henry was about a year old, by Esther Strode, a local Quaker painter. 

            On the paternal side, the subject of this sketch is a descendant in the ninth generation from Richland DARLINGTON, of Darnhall, Cheshire, England, and in the fifth generation from Abraham Darlington, who migrated from Cheshire in 1711, and settled in Aston township, Chester. (now Delaware) county, from whence he removed to Birmingham township, Chester county, in1724. Abraham DARLINGTON was a prominent and useful man in the community.  While ostensibly a farmer, he was a saddler by trade, and in later life devoted much time to physic and surgery, and became proficient in the treatment of disease and setting of broken bones.    He was twice married, first in March, 1712 to Deborah CARTER, and second in 1716, to Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (HOOTEN) HILLBORN, of Attleboro Bucks county, by whom he had three daughters and two sons.  He died 2 mo. 9, 1776, and his wife, Jan. 28, 1771.

            Thomas Darlington, son of Abraham and Elizabeth, was born in Birmingham, in 1725.  He married 4 mo. 25, 1754, Hannah, daughter of Edward and Hannah (PIERCE) BRINTON, and settled in East Bradford, Chester county, where he was a prominent farmer.  He died 12 mo. 17, 1808, and his widow 10 mo. 12, 1811.  They were the parents of eleven children, nine sons and two daughters.

            Edward, the eldest child of Thomas and Hannah (BRINTON) DARLINGTON, was born in East Bradford 6 mo. 3, 1755. On 3 mo. 8, 1781 he married Hannah, daughter of John and Joanna (ENGLAND) TOWNSEND, and settled on a farm of 282 acres in Birmingham, devised to him by his grandfather, Edward BRINTON.    He was an influential man and public-spirited citizen, a member of assembly for twelve years (1802-1814), and held many other positions of trust.  He was one of the commissioners appointed to provide for the maintenance of the poor of the county, and took a prominent part in all that pertained to the best interest of the community.  He died 4 mo. 1, 1825, and his wife 8 mo. 9, 1826.  They were the parents of six children:  William, the celebrated botanist, born 1782, died 1863; Thomas, born 1784, died 1866, unmarried; Ziba, born 1788, died 1876; Samuel, born 1793, died 1794; Jane, born 1796, died 1817, unmarried; and Edward.

            Edward Brinton DARLINGTON, youngest son of Edward and Hannah (TOWNSEND) DARLINGTON, was born in Birmingham, 12 mo. 16, 1798, and died there 5 mo. 6, 1851.  He married 3 mo. 23, 1831, Hannah, daughter of Nathan H. and Martha (PRICE) SHARPLESS.  He was a farmer and a prominent and active citizen.  His children were Henry T., the subject of this sketch; Dillwyn, born 1834, died 1851; Martha, born 1837, married Henry HULME, a native of France; Emily P., married Brinton W. WOODWARD, of Lawrence, Kansas; Hannah, married John E. HUEY; Thomas, married Jane S. PASCHALL; and Catharine, married Frank A. FAXON, of Kansas City, Missouri.

            Henry T. DARLINGTON was born on the farm in Birmingham named by his grandfather “Darnhall’ from the residence of his ancestors in England, and the first seventeen years of his life were spent thereon.  The greater part of his education was obtained at the public schools of his native county.  He spent one year at a boarding school kept by Benjamin PRICE, and another at Anthony BOLMAR’s school at West Chester.  In 1849 he entered the office of the Village Record at West Chester as an apprentice under Henry S. EVANS, and remained there until he attained his majority.  His father having died, he went back to the farm in 1853, and remained there two years.  In 1855 he entered into partnership with Enos PRIZER, and purchased the Bucks County Intelligencer, of John S. BROWN, and assumed control February 15, of that year.  He was associated with PRIZER under the firm name of PRIZER & DARLINGTON in the conduct of the paper until the death of the former, November 25, 1864, when he purchased the entire interest, and for the next twelve years conducted the paper alone.  In 1876 the Intelligencer was changed from a weekly to a semiweekly, and Alfred PASCHALL, a cousin, was taken into the firm.  A year later his brother S. Edward PASCHALL, entered the partnership.

            Mr. DARLINGTON, being a man of more than average moral tone, of untiring energy, and by nature an exceptional journalist, raised the Intelligencer to the front rank of American country journalism.  As an editor there was a dignity as well as a scope in his writing that is seldom seen in newspaper work.  He was not exceptionally well educated, but admirably fitted for his chosen profession.  He was a man of and for the people, he loved the truth and hated a lie, and devoted the whole force of an earnest and noble life to the elevation and ennoblement of the profession which was his pride.  The Intelligencer under the management and control became a power in the community, and its circulation and influence was largely increased.  Active in politics, yet never seeking office, he took a leading part as editor of the principal Republican paper in the county in moulding and solidifying public opinion and party policy.  His newspaper was preeminently a county paper; it counseled always patriotic and intelligent action in politics, and constantly urged public in preference to private interests; it reflected the soul of the man that devoted the best years of his life to it.  During the twenty-three years of his life in Bucks county he was keenly alive to her best interests.  As a journalist he labored incessantly for the material interests of the county; his whole heart was in his work.  Intelligent, well read, thoroughly conversant with the political and social drift of the state and nation, and intensely practical in his ideas, he constantly urged Bucks county to perfect her own institutions and develop her resources, not only for her own welfare but that her influence might be felt beyond her limits.

            In the town in which he lived he was foremost in the advocacy of all that would contribute to the public good, and was always a leader in the practical affairs of the community.  He was prominent in the promotion of the water works in 1869, and assisted in the establishment of several local institutions.  One of his first concerns after locating in Doylestown was the need of a public library, and he was active in its establishment, and was its first secretary and librarian.  He held many positions of trust, though never holding public office other than that of town councilman, which he never sought.  He was for several years a trustee of the State Asylum for the Insane at Harrisburg, and was one of the commissioners appointed to build the Hospital for the Insane at Norristown, holding a responsible position on the board.   He was for several years a trustee of the State Normal School at West Chester, was secretary of the Bucks County Agricultural Society, trustee of Doylestown Cemetery, and an officer in several other local institutions.  He was twice out with the militia of the county during he civil war, when our state was threatened with invasion.  He frequently represented his party in state conventions, and was a delegate to the national convention that nominated HAYES for the presidency.  His death was due to apoplexy, superinduced (sic) by intense mental work.  He was stricken while on his way to the office, and died during the night following.

            Like his ancestors for many generations, he was a member of the Society of Friends and a regular attendant at Meeting.  He married, 9 mo. 9, 1857, Susan, daughter of Abraham and Susan (HOOPES) DARLINGTON, who survives him, living in the old family residence at Doylestown. 

They were the parents of seven children, six of whom survive; E. Dilwyn, a florist, residing in Doylestown; Frances, wife of Frank A. FAXON, of Kansas City; Helen, wife of Marshall R. PUGH, of Germantown; Philip, of Doylestown; Walter, on the editorial staff of the North American; Zeanetta, the sixth child, died 3 mo. 25, 1893; and Agnes, wife of John C. SWARTLEY, Esq., of Doylestown.

Test taken from page 510-511 of:

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

Transcribed June 2005 by Joan Lollis of, IN. as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html

Published August 2005 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/

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