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



VALMORE M. HELLYER, of the mercantile firm of A. S. Hellyer’s Sons, was born at Mechanics Valley, Buckingham township, Bucks county, September 15, 1857, and is a son of Amos S. and Annie (Penrose) Hellyer. His paternal great-grandfather, Bernard Hellyer, is said to have been the son of an English baronet, and came to this country about the middle of the eighteenth century, when a lad. He spent his life in central Bucks county, and reared a large family of children. He was twice married, the second time somewhat late in life, on December 24, 1795, to Sarah Walton, by whom he had four children—Hettie, who married Aaron Crooks; Mary, who married Aaron Bradshaw; Benjamin; and Anderson.

Anderson Hellyer the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in Buckingham township, Bucks county, and spent the greater part of his life there. He married Mary Cress, daughter of Michael Cress, and they were the parents of nine children—George, who lived and died at Newtown, Bucks county; Amos, of Doylestown; Cress, of Crawford county, Pennsylvania; William who died young; Myrom B., of Bucks county; Mahlon, of Crawford county, Pennsylvania; Joseph, of Ohio; Jenks, of lower Bucks county; and Catharine, who married John Griffith, and is deceased.

Amos S. Hellyer was born in Buckingham, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, May 20, 1828. His younger days were spent upon farms in Buckingham and Solebury townships. On his marriage in 1854 he located at Mechanics Valley, where he was the proprietor of the hotel for several years. He later removed to Mechanicsville and was employed as a lightning rod salesman. In 1872 he took charge of the farm belonging to the Hughesian Free School, at Buckingham, which he conducted for fourteen years. In 1886 he sold out and removed to Doylestown and entered into the mercantile business with his son, Samuel A. Hellyer, under the firm name of A. S. Hellyer & Son, which continued until 1898, when he retired from the firm, his elder son Valmore M. becoming a partner with Samuel A. under the firm name of A. S. Hellyer’s Sons. Mr. Hellyer is distinctly a self-made man. Left at an early age to his own resources, he has by industry and careful business methods acquired a competence. Always a man of strict integrity and high moral character, he has the respect and esteem of all who know him. Amos S. Hellyer married Annie Penrose, a daughter of Samuel and Catharine (Cressman) Penrose, of Plumstead, formerly of Richland, the former of English and the latter of German descent.

Jonathan Penrose, the grandfather of the above named Samuel Penrose, was the eldest son of Robert and Mary (Heacock) Roberts, an account of whose arrival in America and subsequent settlement in Richland, Bucks county, is given elsewhere in this work. Jonathan was born March 1, 1736 (N.S.) in Richland township, and lived his whole life there, dying in 1797. He married, May 10, 1759, Martha Penrose, and in 1761 purchased a farm partly in Rockhill and partly in Richland, where he died. He had three sons, Isaiah, David and Robert, and four daughters, Mary, Phebe, Martha, and Sarah. David Penrose, son of Jonathan and Martha, was born and reared in Richland. He was a carpenter and farmer in Rockhill township, owning a portion of the hold homestead on the Richland line. He married Mary Hartzell of Rockhill. Samuel Penrose, son of David and Mary (Hartzell) Penrose, was born in Rockhill township about the year 1800, and resided there and in Richland until 1842, when he purchased a farm of fifty acres in Plumstead, near Carversville, and removed thereon. He lived in Plumstead until 1848, when he sold his farm and removed soon after to Philadelphia, where he died about 1860. He was a man of considerable prominence in local affairs, and was a member of legislature from Bucks county in 1839-40. He married Catharine Cressman, of Rockhill, and they were the parents of nine children, five of whom grew to maturity: Annie, the wife of Amos S. Hellyer; Franklin C., of Doylestown; Samuel C., of Wilmington, Delaware; Joseph, who enlisted in the army during the civil war, and was among the missing after the battle of Petersburg, and was never afterwards heard of; Maria, widow of Kinsey Reeder, of Makefield, now living in Philadelphia; Jonathan, of Trenton, New Jersey.

Amos S. and Annie (Penrose) Hellyer were the parents of three children, one of whom, a daughter, died in childhood. The two who survive are Valmore M., the subject of this sketch, and his partner in the firm of a. S. Hellyer’s Sons, Samuel A. Hellyer, born July 14, 1859. The latter remained on the farm with his father until 1876, when he became a clerk in the store of Joseph K. Beans, at Holicong, where he was engaged for less than two years. Returning home in 1878he attended Doylestown Seminary for one year, and in 1879 went to Yardleyville, where he was clerk in the general merchandise store of Thomas Pursell for four years. He then accepted a position with S.P. Dunham & Co., of Trenton, where he was employed until February, 1886. On March 16, 1886, he opened the store in the Armstrong building, Doylestown, and conducted business there for twelve years in partnership with his father, under the firm name of A. S. Hellyer & son. In 1897 he purchased the site of the present store and erected the present handsome store building, and, greatly enlarging the business, took his brother V. M. Hellyer into the firm under the title of A. S. Hellyer’s sons, opening business in the new store April 10, 1898. He married, June 20, 1885, Martie D. White, of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and they are the parents of two daughters, Grace and Carrie.

Valmore M. Hellyer was born and reared in Buckingham, and acquired his education at the Hughesian School and Doylestown Seminary. In 1880 he accepted a position in Buckingham Valley Creamery, and soon after became its superintendent and general manager, retaining that position with eminent satisfaction to the corporation for thirteen years. In August, 1894, he purchased the creamery and operated it on his own account until April, 1895, when he sold out. Prior to leaving the creamery he had erected a stone crusher on Buckingham mountain, which he operated for several years. In 1898 he purchased his father’s interest in the firm of A. S. Hellyer & Son, and in 1900 removed to Doylestown, where he has since resided. He has always taken an active interest in local affairs and enterprises. He has been secretary and treasurer of the Centreville and Pineville Turnpike company since 1887, and is also secretary and treasurer of the Buckingham and Doylestown Turnpike Company. He was a trustee of the Hughesian Free School until his removal to Doylestown. He is a member of the Doylestown Lodge, No. 245, F. and A. M., and Chapter, No. 270, R. A. M.; Aquetong Lodge, NO. 193, I. O. O. F., and Castle No. 208, A. O. K. of the M. C. He married, March 16, 1881, Lettie Fell, daughter of Charles K. and Letitia (Large) Fell, and they are the parents of two children—Alma and A. Newlin.

Text taken from page 379-380

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

Transcribed July 2002 as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project,

Published September 2002 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at

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