THE colony which was planted on the west bank of the Delaware under the auspices of Penn came well provided for the discharge of its social duties, and little time was allowed to elapse before the fundamental institutions of society were established. The first adventurers sought here an asylum from the religious persecutions of the old world, and naturally early established the form of worship which had been bitterly proscribed in their former homes. There is frequent mention of the sufferings of James Harrison, John Chapman, William Smith, Jonathan Scaife, Thomas Croasdale, and others of the colonists in the famous "Besse’s collection." These men were trusted leaders of the Society of Friends whose frequent "testimonies" had given them a widespread influence, and as the great proportion of the settlers were of similar faith, the meetings of the Friends early took root and prospered.

The first monthly meeting in the province was held on the 2d day of the third month (May 13), 1683, at the house of William Biles, in Falls township. Seven families were represented. Prior to this date, and probably as early as 1680, the Friends settled at the falls met for worship at the houses of the different members, and attended the meeting at Burlington for the transaction of church business. The latter place continued to be the business center of the society for the township until 1690, when the first meeting-house in Bucks county was erected at Fallsington. In 1683 a monthly meeting was established at Middletown, and held at the house of Nicholas Walne. The Friends at Wrightstown were members of this meeting. In 1686 they began to hold meetings at John Chapman’s and John Penquite’s, and in 1720, with the permission of the Falls quarterly, a meeting-house was built. Meetings for worship were held at Bristol in private houses until 1710, when a meeting-house was built upon land given for that purpose by Samuel Carpenter. Buckingham monthly meeting was established in 1720. Meetings for worship were granted by Falls monthly in 1701, and again in 1703, and in 1706 a meeting-house was built. In Plumstead Friends began to hold their meetings at private houses in 1727. A constant meeting for worship was established in 1730, but the meeting-house was not built until twenty years later. Friends were settled at Richland as early as 1710, and were granted a meeting for worship by Gwynedd monthly soon afterward, and with this they were connected until 1742, when they became a separate monthly meeting. The first meeting-house was built in 1730.

These seven— Falls, Middletown, Wrightstown, Buckingham, Bristol, Plumstead, and Richland— were the centers of early Quakerism in the county. Six other principal meetings have been established, all, with one exception, within the present century. Makefield meeting was established in 1750, and the meeting-house built two years later. The meeting at Solebury was settled in 1805, and a place of worship built in the following year. Friends in that section had previously been connected with Buckingham. Middletown monthly meeting gave Friends of Newtown the indulgence of a meeting for worship on first and third days in 1815. The preparative meeting was established two years later. A second separation from Buckingham occurred in 1834, when Friends in the vicinity of Doylestown were granted the indulgence of a first day meeting, and a place for worship was built. At Makefield monthly meeting, tenth month, 1857, the Friends of Yardley were granted a similar indulgence. Horsham particular meeting was divided in 1840, when an indulged meeting in Warminster township was granted. The meeting-house was built in 1841, and a preparative meeting established in the same year.

The representation of the established church among the early population was not of large proportions. It so happened, however, that the Friends were early divided through the promulgation of a schism in the society by George Keith. He began his career by preaching that the "inner light" was not a sufficient guide, but that the written word of God was the only rule of life; circumstances widened the breach between him and his former co-religionists, and the separation became final when Keith, on his return to England, took orders in the Anglican church. His wide acquaintance with colonial life, and a favorable introduction from the bishop of London, secured for him a commission as the first missionary of "The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts." There was at this time a single Episcopal clergyman in the province, Mr. Evans, of Philadelphia, and the church had a membership of two or three hundred, with but little prospects of growth. The return of Keith gave a fresh impetus to the cause. Many of his former adherents followed him from the middle ground between Quakerism and the English church, and returned to the latter, among whom were some who lived at Bristol. Reverend John Talbot, a co-laborer with Keith, was the rector at Burlington, and included Bristol in his parish; and thus the Protestant Episcopal church at that place, the oldest in the county of that denomination, came into existence. During the ministry of Reverend George W. Ridgeley (1830), several new parishes in the southern part of the county were formed: St. Luke’s, Newtown, 1835; St. Andrew’s, Yardley, 1835; Grace, Hulmeville, 1837; Trinity, Centerville, 1840; St. Paul’s, Doylestown, 1847; Christ, Eddington, 1884.

With the exception of the Quaker meeting, the Dutch Reformed church "of North and Southampton" is probably the oldest denominational organization in the county. In their successive migrations from Holland to New York, and thence to the region of the Neshaminy, the Dutch lost none of that strong devotion to their church developed during years of struggle for religious and political liberty. The records of this church begin with the year 1710. The Reverend Paulus Van Vlecq was the first pastor. The location of the first church building cannot be ascertained, but tradition and certain indistinct references in the records point to the western shore of the Neshaminy, in the southeastern part of Southampton. For a time there were two church buildings, one at Feasterville, and another at Richboro. When it became necessary to rebuild, a central location was chosen, and the present church edifice at Churchville erected. Another was subsequently built at Richborough, and the organizations at these places comprise the Dutch Reformed element in the county.

The original home of the Southampton church seems to have been in Bensalem, as its title, the church of "Bensalem and Sammeny," sufficiently indicates. The membership in Bensalem became largely Scotch-Irish, and by their numbers, as well as from a practical necessity, English preachers were called. This was distasteful to the Dutch, who thereupon withdrew the organization to "Sammeny" exclusively; and in 1719 the "Christian church of Sammeny creek," since known as the Bensalem Presbyterian church, was constituted. As far as can be ascertained this is the oldest Presbyterian church in the county. The "Neshaminy church of Warwick" ranks second. The date of its origin is not known, but Reverend William Tennent, the first pastor, was called in 1726, and in the following year the first church edifice was built. Mr. Tennent also extended his missionary efforts into the Deep Run settlement, where he gathered together the scattered membership of his church into the "upper congregation," which was recognized by presbytery in 1732. The Newtown Presbyterian church (1734), with the extinct organizations at Red Hill (1766) and Durham (1742), completes the number of organizations prior to 1800. The congregation at Doylestown, to which Reverend Uriah DuBois first preached in 1804, is united in autonomy with, that at Deep Run. The Thompson Memorial church of Solebury was organized in 1813, the church at Hartsville in 1839, at Bristol in 1844, at Plumsteadville in 1861, at Morrisville in 1860, at Carversville in 1870, at Forestville in ----. In 1886 a church at Leidytown originally organized as Reformed became Presbyterian; and in the same year the Eddington church came into existence. The growth of this denomination has been restricted to the central part of the county, and in those instances— Deep Run, Red Hill, and Durham— where flourishing congregations existed a hundred years ago, scarcely any evidence of the fact remains.

Welsh Baptists (after the Friends) formed the only considerable element of dissenters in the early population of the county. The Reverend Thomas Dungan led a small colony from Rhode Island to Bristol in 1682—84 and formed the Cold Spring Baptist church, the first in the county and state. It disbanded in 1702, but not before another had come into existence to take its place. The latter is the Southampton Baptist church. Its remote origin may be traced in the Keithian division among Friends in 1691; and by a singular coincidence the same individual was thus instrumental in founding both the oldest Episcopal and the oldest Baptist church in the county. The latter was not a regularly constituted organization until 1745, and was united with the church at Pennypack prior to that time; but it possessed a certain autonomy from 1691. Its membership was not Welsh, strictly speaking, for it was only in New Britain and Hilltown that that nationality early established itself. In the religious chronicles of these communities the names of Simon Butler and William Thomas deserve conspicuous mention. The Montgomery Baptist church was organized June 20, 1719, with a membership largely resident in this county. Dissensions early arose regarding theological subjects. Butler formulated his views in a published pamphlet to which the name "Butler’s creed" was applied. He received the practically unanimous support of his neighbors, and in 1754 they withdrew in a body from the Montgomery church and formed themselves into the New Britain church. In the meantime Reverend William Thomas built a meeting-house in Hilltown (1757). The congregation that worshipped here was part of Montgomery church until 1781. These were the three parent Baptist societies in the county. The number has since been augmented by the organization of churches at Solebury (1843), Bristol (1848), Davisville (1849), Point Pleasant (1849), Doylestown (1867), and Furlong (1880). The societies formerly existing in Springfield, Haycock, and Rockhill townships are now extinct. Among the later Baptist clergy of this county Reverend Joseph Matthias and Thomas B. Montanye were very prominent.

Of the three great German denominations of the county— Lutheran, Reformed, and Mennonite— it is difficult to decide to which the priority of organized representation belongs. The earliest of the Palatine settlers were the Mennonites, who founded Germantown, and this formed the nucleus around which German immigrants of all classes and confessions rapidly gathered, extending their settlements within a few years over Montgomery county, and finding their way, by the valley of the Perkiomen, into Bucks, at the extreme northwestern confines of its territory. Here, in 1735, the Mennonites established the first congregation of their sect in the county. The Swamp church of Milford, as it is usually called, has sustained a prosperous existence up to this time, and in its original territory four distinct churches have been formed. Bedminster was the next township in which a Mennonite meeting-house was built. In 1746, through the liberality of William Allen, the Deep run settlement was given a building for this purpose. In 1752 an acre of ground in the northwestern part of New Britain was purchased, and a rude log building erected thereon for the purpose of worship. The Perkasie or Hilltown meeting-house was built in 1753; that known as Gehman’s in Rockhill in 1773; the first meeting-house in Springfield at some time between 1753 and 1765; in Plumstead in 1806; and in Doylestown about the same time. A division in the society occurred in 1847, and the "new school," under the leadership of Reverends J.H. Oberholtzer and A.B. Shelly, has taken an aggressive position with reference to Sunday schools and similar institutions. There is also a third branch of the society, known as "Evangelical Mennonites," with congregations at Quakertown and in Springfield. Closely allied to this persuasion in creed are the Tunkers, of whom there are two congregations in Springfield and one in New Britain. The congregation of "United Brethren in Christ," in Hilltown, may probably be included in this general group.

The large German immigration which so conspicuously contributed to the settlement of the lower counties was distinguished by a strong Lutheran element. There was a considerable Lutheran emigration from New York in 1723, which resulted in the settlements on the Tulpehocken. These were rapidly reinforced by the vast numbers who continued to come from the Palatinate, Wurtemburg, Darmstadt, and other parts of Germany. The later accessions were generally adherents of the Lutheran and Reformed creeds. It was they who penetrated the wilds of northern Bucks county, transplanted the institutions of the fatherland, and with a fraternal feeling all the more remarkable at that time, united their means and efforts in building and sustaining places of worship. To such an extent were their activities blended that it is virtually impossible to indicate the individual work of either. Many indications point to the fact that their first established place of worship was Tohickon church, in Bedminster township, of which there is extant a deed dated 1733. It is also supposed that the Lutherans were originally sole owners of this property. Their first regular pastor was the Reverend Henry Melchior Muhlenburg, the accredited founder of that faith in this country. The earliest Reformed pastor was Reverend Jacob Riesz, whose pastorate began in 1749.

Half a score of churches of both denominations have derived their membership immediately from the venerable organizations at Tohickon. The first of these was Keller’s church, which originated in a division of the Lutherans at Tohickon about 1750. Trinity church in Springfield originated about 1745, under Reformed influences. The first place of worship was a log school-house, but when a more substantial church-house was provided (1763) the Lutherans contributed to its cost, and from that time the property has been jointly owned. In the case of Christ church, Tinicum, this order was reversed; Muhlenburg and his coadjutors established a Lutheran society as early as 174-, and it was not until the close of the century that the Reformed secured an interest. In the case of St. Luke’s, Nockamixon, both denominations furnished a separate place of worship until 1812, when they united in building the predecessor of the present edifice at that place. Both existed prior to the revolution. St. John’s Lutheran church, of Spinnerstown, was transplanted in Bucks county in 1762 from Lower Milford, Lehigh county, where for thirty years its worship was conducted in a church building owned jointly with the Reformed. Dissatisfaction with this arrangement led to the withdrawal. St. John’s is exclusively Lutheran in its membership. The churches at Trumbauersville, in the same township (Milford), have been associated in the possession of their church property since 1769, but it is well authenticated that the initial effort in establishing a place of worship here was taken by the Lutherans. This completed the representation of these denominations in the colonial period. No further growth was manifested until after the revolution, nor, in fact, until the beginning of the present century.

In 1805 Reverends Jacob Senn (Reformed) and J.K. Rebenak (Lutheran) organized St. Peter’s church in Hilltown, and in the same year a church edifice was built. Similar measures were effected at Richlandtown in 1808. In 1812 the Lutheran and Reformed elements of Durham united with the Presbyterians in building Durham church, of which since the decline of the original projectors they have become sole owners. Jerusalem church, on the Ridge road, was built in 1826. Gravestones in the adjoining cemetery bear the dates of a hundred years ago, and funeral services were usually conducted at a school-house in the vicinity. Trinity church, at Zion Hill, was built in 1840. The failure of the Presbyterian church of Red Hill, in Tinicum, to sustain itself resulted in its disbanding; and in 1844 a moiety of the church property was conferred upon the Lutheran and Reformed congregations that worship there. But this church, Upper Tinicum, was built in 1851; Ridge Valley church in 1854, upon a plot of ground bequeathed for church, school, and interment purposes in 1792; St. Paul’s at Applebachsvihle, in 1855; St. John’s at Quakertown, in 1860; St. Luke’s at Dublin, in 1868; St. Andrew’s at Bridgetown, in 1869; St. Michael’s at Sellersville, in 1870; Christ church at Springtown, in 1872. In each denomination there is an equal number of church properties owned by the respective individual congregations. Those with a Lutheran ownership are St. John’s at Spinnerstown, already noted; Riegelsville, where the joint ownership was continued from 1851 to 1872; St. James’ at Chalfont, established in 1857; and St. Paul’s at Doylestown, established in 1868. Exclusively Reformed churches were established at Pleasantville (Warrington township) in 1842, at Doylestown in 1861, at Riegelsville in 1872, and at Perkasie in 1886. The union church idea is peculiar to Pennsylvania, and, strictly speaking, to "Pennsylvania Dutch." It was a necessary expedient during the colonial period, but unfortunately became a permanent institution, notwithstanding its manifold disadvantages. It has been aptly said that the church is owned, not by those within its pale, but by the community. This arrangement would be eminently proper in a society free from human imperfections, but under the present dispensation the relations between the interested parties are not always harmonious. That the system has its advantages is evident from a comparison of the Lutheran-Reformed church edifices with those of other denominations. In no other part of the country does the general character of the house of worship receive so much attention as among the Germans.

Methodism was introduced into Bucks county in 1771 by Captain Webb, of the British army, who preached at Bristol in that year on a journey from New York to Philadelphia. The first class, among whom were several converted on that occasion, was formed at the close of the revolutionary war; and with a single exception the church at Bristol is the oldest in the state outside of Philadelphia. A place for worship, the first Methodist church building in the county, was erected in 1802. Bensalem was the scene of a camp-meeting in 1803, but it does not appear that its results were immediately apparent. A church was built in 1840, and at the same time another near Newportville, Middletown. The first class at Langhorne was formed in 1806, but the building of a church was not effected until 1829. Societies were formed at Yardley in 182—, at Morrisville in 1840, at Lahaska in 1832, at Lumberville in 1833, at New Hope in 1835, at Doylestown in 1838, at Newtown in 1840, at Emilie in 1858, at Fallsington in 1866, at Quakertown in 1872, at Scottsville in 1867, at Tullytown in 1866, and also at Durham, Richboro, and Penn’s Park. There are also a number of African Methodist societies. Among the successors of Webb as itinerant missionaries were James Akens, Samuel Harvey, and D.W. Bartine. The whole county, with parts of Lehigh and Northampton, was included in Bristol circuit for some years. Subsequently its bounds were restricted and Attleborough circuit formed. Methodism has not been successful in assimilating the German or the Quaker element. Its growth has been steady and persistent, and considering the conservative character of the people, comparatively rapid.

The Evangelical association, though represented by but six societies in this county, may, with propriety, be said to have originated here. Among the earliest converts to Methodism in the rural districts of the state was Jacob Albright, a man of deep convictions and fervent piety. He applied to Bishop Asbury for license to preach, but was refused because he could not speak English. This was a great disappointment, for he had cherished the idea of special usefulness in introducing the Evangelical principles among the people of this nationality. Recognizing his special fitness for this work, he preached without license and organized three classes, one of which known as Walter’s was in Rockhill township. it early became necessary that these societies should have an acknowledged leader; and as a last alternative, when Asbury again declined to ordain Albright, his congregation at Walter’s, by the simple ceremony of laying on of hands, set him apart to be their minister, and in that hour the Evangelical association had its origin. Walter’s still existed as the flourishing society of Bridgetown. There are also churches at Richland, Springfield.

There was a small Catholic element among the German settlers of Haycock and Nockamixon; and here, about the close of the revolution, a congregation was formed, and the parish of St. John at Haycock soon constituted. It is a large parish and embraces missions at Durham, Tinicum, and Nockamixon. The church of St. Mark’s at Bristol was constituted in 1845; Our Lady of Mount Carmel at Doylestown in 1856; St. Agnes’ at Sellersville in 1872; St. Andrew’s at Newton in 1876; St. Martin’s at New Hope in 1885; the mission at Quakertown in 1886; and at Yardley in 188-. Reverend Henry Stommel, of Doylestown, has been instrumental in establishing every church in the county except the older parishes at Haycock, Bristol, and Doylestown.

Frederick Plummer, the eloquent expositor of the doctrines of Campbell, made a missionary visit to Bucks county in 1831, establishing churches at Tullytown, Carversville, Newtown, and in Tinicum. Among his strongest adherents were Joseph Archambault and Bela Badger; but the prospects of the, "Plummerites," or Christians, received a severe check in the death of their leader, and but one organization— that of Tullytown— sustains its existence. The Millerite excitement of 1840 resulted in the formation of Advent societies at Morrisville and Wheatsheaf in Falls township, and at Yardley. The present distribution of churches is indicated by the following table:

Popular education was one of the corner-stones upon which the colonial "Frame of Government was founded." In that instrument, as well as in the "Great Law" enacted in the first year of the province, it was provided that "schools should be established for the education of the young." Under this provision a school was opened at Philadelphia in 1683, at which each pupil was charged a small sum for tuition. It does not appear that educational efforts under the auspices of the secular authorities was attempted in Bucks county until after the revolution. In the constitution of 1790 it was stipulated that the legislature should "provide by law for the establishment of schools throughout the state in such manner that the poor may be taught gratis," and in 1802 an act was passed, and amended in 1804, to provide for the maintenance of schools where elementary instruction might be received by all children. Those of the well-to-do were required to pay a small sum, but when the returns of the assessors showed that the parents were unable to pay the expenses, the county commissioners were authorized to do so. This law was variously amended at different times, but its results were still far short of the aim of popular educators. In 1833 it was estimated that less than twenty-four thousand children in the state attended the schools at the public expense, and the teachers were notoriously incompetent. "The schools were called ‘pauper schools,’ and were despised by the rich and shunned by the poor; thus the law practically separated the poor from the rich, and hence failed, for in a republic no system of education which makes a distinction on account of wealth or birth can have the support of the people."

The act of 1834 inaugurated in Pennsylvania what is distinctively known as the "common school system." A society was formed at Philadelphia for the promotion of education in the state as early as 1827; a corresponding committee was formed, and thus the opinions of leading men in every community were, ascertained and a union of the most progressive sentiment effected. The powerful influence thus generated resulted in the act referred to. In this the former distinction between pay and pauper schools was abrogated; all property was taxable for the’ support of the schools, and their local management was placed in the hands of a board of six district directors. This advance was not made without strong opposition, but the energetic leadership of Thaddeus Stevens was equal to the emergency. Some two hundred acts of the legislature had preceded that of 1834; but the latter, although amended in 1836, is substantially unimpaired, and the growing efficiency of the system fully attests the wisdom of those who framed it. The privilege of adopting or rejecting the provisions of the act was reserved to each township; but in 1849 it was declared applicable to the whole state. The office of county superintendent* was established in 1854, and in 1857 the state department of public instruction was created. State normal schools were first provided for in that year, and an important feature of the system thus provided for. The state is divided into twelve districts, in ten of which there are state institutions primarily devoted to the preparation of teachers for teaching. The state normal school for the second district, at Millersville in Lancaster county, was established in 1859; for the twelfth district, at Edinboro’ in Erie county, in 1861; for the fifth district, at Mansfield in Tioga county, in 1862; for the third district, at Kutztown in Berks county, in 1866; for the sixth district, at Bloomsburg in Columbia county, in 1869; for the first district, at West Chester in Chester county, in 1871. Bucks county forms part of the last-named district.

The Friends were pioneers in the cause of education as well as in the establishment of Christian worship. Education was the actual companion of religion. The efforts to dispense its blessings were a distinct outgrowth of the enlightened conscience, and it found its earliest and most earnest support where public worship found a similar encouragement. And thus with their successive appearance, the Presbyterians, Lutherans, and Reformed Baptists, and Roman Catholics established with the church its inseparable adjunct, the school. In Falls township the old Friends’ meeting-house was fitted up for a school in 1733; and in 1758 the school-master was provided with a house, while the ground adjoining was held in trust for the meeting. A school-house was built near Wrightstown meeting-house on land belonging to the Friends in 1725. The Friends at an early date established a school in Middletown. Plumstead meeting had a school under its care as early as 1752, which was continued until 1816. When the courts vacated the Bristol courthouse it was immediately occupied by the local pedagogue and his charge. The "common" at Newtown was early appropriated as a school site. The earliest schools in Upper Makefield were those of Windy Bushaud, Lurgan, established in 1730 and 1755 respectively, in both of which Friends’ meetings were frequently held. The yearly meeting of Friends manifested a deep interest in the character of the schools within its limits from the year 1746, and from this time the monthly meetings of Bucks gave the subject their serious attention. A Lutheran parochial school was in operation at Tohickon church in 1754. The first educational enterprise in Durham was undertaken in 1730 by the furnace proprietors. The Friends of Richland opened a school in their old meeting-house in 1742. Hartsville was a center of great educational activity at an early period, manifested principally within the bounds of Neshaminy Presbyterian church. German schools were almost invariably conducted in connection with the different churches. The earliest Catholic parochial school was that on Haycock run, established about the close of the revolution. In such efforts as these was the educational interest of the colonial period manifested. In every community of this character the clergy were the leaders. The child was educated for the church. It was as necessary that the Westminster, Heidelberg, or Augsburg catechism be properly understood as the multiplication table, the rule of three, or the exercises in the spelling-book.

The change from purely religious to purely secular control was effected through the medium of the "neighborhood school," in which the influences of both were blended. As a measure of convenience, certain communities established schools in which their children might receive the usual rudimentary education, without being subject to sectarian influences. The teacher derived his support from his patrons, instead of from the meeting or church; and the affairs of the school were intrusted by common consent to the more energetic members of the community, who were also usually men of intelligence. This arrangement was in vogue in many parts of the country in the beginning of the present century, and until the adoption of the public school system, for which it prepared the way.

The earliest houses erected for school purposes, like the dwellings of that time, owing to the abundance of timber, were built of logs and roofed with clapboards. They were usually very small, not properly lighted, unplastered, and unceiled. The furniture consisted of a desk or table, and a large arm-chair; the "master’s" hereditaments; long desks or tables, and high slab benches for the pupils; and a "ten-plate stove," or still earlier a large open fireplace. The desks were either single or double, and were placed along the interior walls of the building. Single desks had occupants on one side only, sitting with their faces toward the wall; double desks had occupants on both sides, frequently boys on the one and girls on the other, facing each other. The stove was placed in the middle of the room and the smaller scholars in the surrounding vacant square. The benches were uniform in height. The only apparatus used were the rod, leather spectacles, the dunce cap and stool, with similar appliances for correction.

No great qualifications were required in the teachers, but where the applicants were equal in intellectual and moral customs the one who gave indications of good physical powers immediately proved the successful candidate. The curriculum was exceedingly limited. Reading and spelling were at first the only branches taught. For the girls no others were thought necessary. If the latter "learned to read the catechism and the Testament, they had all the education women needed." Penmanship was afterward added, but the ability to write a person’s name was considered a sufficient requirement. Arithmetic, the third "R" being of great practical value, was early regarded with favor, but its study was seldom pursued beyond" the single rule of three." Geography and grammar were the introduction of a later period, and met with great opposition from that class of teachers who generally opposed what they did not understand and could not teach. It was optional with a child what branches he pursued; elective courses of study did not originate with the modern college. The methods of teaching were, to use the most charitable word, crude. Each child was called upon separately to recite. Several terms were often devoted to learning the alphabet and its simplest combinations. The culminating point of the juvenile student’s ambition was reached when he had "gone through" the spelling-book, and successfully memorized thousands of words of which he did not know the meaning, and which he never afterward had occasion to use. Pupils were instructed to "mind the slips" while reading, as though that were a purely mechanical power. Copy-books were made of foolscap paper; the teacher wrote the copy and the pupil imitated it as well as he could. The mending of pens also devolved upon the teacher, and skill in this art was an important qualification. The study of grammar and geography was purely memory work, and this may be said in a general way of the entire course of study. The fact that the mind is endowed with the faculties of perception, imagination, and reason, as well as memory, was not yet recognized by those to whom its culture was intrusted. Since the inauguration of the common school system this condition of things has radically changed. In no other county in the state are the public schools so well conducted and so liberally provided for; the teaching force is far above the average in practical intelligence and practical efficiency; and the community, in general, has been brought to a proper consideration of the various issues involved in the question of popular education.

Secondary instruction had also an early beginning in Bucks county. The initial effort of this character was made by the early Presbyterian settlers, or rather by the earliest of their ministers, the Reverend William Tennent, pastor of Neshaminy church. He was a fine classical scholar, and earnestly wished that candidates for the ministry might enjoy the opportunity of pursuing their studies without the expense of a journey to England or Scotland. With this idea he established a school near his residence at Neshaminy, the Log College, which was continued until his death in 1745. The plans of the founder may not have been fully realized during his lifetime, for the ministers educated here, although reaching eminence among their fellows, were not numerous; but the labors he began were continued by others, and have not yet reached their full fruition. The year that Mr. Tennent died the college of New Jersey was founded at Elizabethtown. It was removed to Newark in 1748, and permanently located at Princeton in 1756. The great Presbyterian institution at that place is directly traceable to the humble log building on the York road in Warminster township, "in contempt called a college."

For some years after 1745 there was no school of advanced standing in the county. The Newtown academy was chartered in 1790 and went into operation in 1798. It continued for about fifty years, and during the later period of its existence was conducted under Presbyterian auspices. The Doylestown academy, of which Reverend Uriah DuBois was principal until his death in 1821, Ingham Female Seminary, incorporated in 1838, Linden Female Seminary, established in 1871, and Doylestown seminary, which opened in 1866, have successively conferred upon the county capital the advantages of their enterprise. The Bellevue institute at Attleborough was founded in 1835, but suspended after a checkered career about twelve years ago. The Excelsior Normal Institute, at Carversville, organized in 1859, met with a similar fate. Hartsville was the seat of several schools of high grade for some years, but none have been in operation since 1872. Reverend A.R. Horne opened a normal and classical school at Quaker town in 1858, which was continued under various managements until 1867. There were at one time two institutions, at Andalusia and Bristol respectively, which aspired to the dignity of colleges, but their existence was short. Emlen Institute in Warminster township is a charity for the education and maintenance of male orphans of African and Indian descent. Academies were established at Springtown and Riegelsville within the past two years (1886—87), and with Doylestown seminary are the only schools of advanced grade now in operation in the county.

The intellectual activity of the community found expression in the public press at a very early date. The newspapers of Philadelphia at first furnished the medium through which the people were addressed, but since 1800 the local press has been a prominent social factor. July 25, 1800, Josiah Ralston issued the first number of "The Farmers’ Weekly Gazette" at Doylestown. How long its publication was continued is not known, but probably not more than a year. The future county seat was then without a newspaper until July 7, 1804, when Asher Miner established the "Pennsylvania Correspondent and Farmers’ Advertiser," appealing, like his predecessor, to the agricultural community for support, but with better success. The name was curtailed to "Pennsylvania Correspondent" in 1818; and in 1824 changed to "Bucks County Patriot and Farmers’ Advertiser" by Edmund Morris and Samuel R. Kramer, by whom the paper was purchased upon the retirement of Mr. Miner. They continued its publication until 1827, when Elisha B. Jackson and James Kelley assumed the management and changed the name to "Bucks County Intelligencer and General Advertiser." Owing to the death of Mr. Jackson in the following year the entire control devolved upon Mr. Kelley, and in 1835 William M. Large became a partner with him. Mr. Large became sole proprietor in 1838. He was succeeded by Samuel Fretz in 1841, and the latter gave place to John S. Brown two years later. Mr. Brown retired in 1855 in favor of Enos Prizer and Henry T. Darlington. The death of the former occurred in 1864; Mr. Darlington conducted the paper individually until January 1, 1876, when Alfred Paschall became junior partner of the firm of Henry T. Darlington & Co. S. Edward Paschall was admitted to the firm April 1, 1878; and July 1st of that year the paper was transferred to Paschall Brothers, the present proprietors. A semi-weekly edition was issued from January 1, 1878, and a daily issue begun in September, 1886, and is still maintained with increasing success.

The paper has been conducted from its beginning in the interest of the anti-democratic party. It has been regular and consistent in its advocacy of political principles, but it has been edited with an unshackled pen, and has occasionally found reason to severely criticise party men and measures. It has been edited by the Paschalls since 1878, but the increasing demands of the business department have forced the proprietor to relinquish the editorial pen, and of late this duty has fallen chiefly upon Mr. Henry C. Michener, whose articles are characterized by a literary finish, a variety of topics, and a calm deliberation of judgment which give the paper a deservedly high standing among the county journals of the state. Its general management bespeaks the thoroughly trained printer and journalist and has gained no less financial than literary success for the enterprising proprietors.

The "Doylestown Democrat" was established in 1816 by Lewis Deffebach & Co. Hitherto the democratic party in politics was without an exponent of its views in the county, and the "Democrat" was established in response to a general demand for such a paper. Its first issue appeared September 28, 1816, but less than three years elapsed when divisions in this political party of the county gave rise to another journalistic venture. On June 28, 1819, the publication of the "Bucks County Nessenger" was begun by Simeon Siegfried. It was found, however, that the community could not support two democratic expositors, and in 1820 Mr. Deffebach became insolvent. William Watts and Benjamin Norris, his assignees, disposed of the paper to Benjamin Mifflin, and after a suspension of several weeks its publication was resumed January 2, 1821. The "Messenger" had in the meantime profited by the misfortunes of its rival and become a power in the hands of the faction in the interest of which it was established. Mr. Siegfried retired in 1820, and under the editorial management of Simon Cameron, then a rising journalist, was a vigorous organ. In January, 1821, therefore, there were two democratic organs representing different political factions, but a few months later this suicidal policy was abandoned and the "Democrat" and "Messenger" were consolidated as the "Bucks County Democrat." In December, 1821, its name was changed to "Democrat and Farmer’s Gazette," by William T. Rogers, who succeeded Mifflin and Cameron. The present title, "Doylestown Democrat," was adopted in 1829, when Manasseh H. Snyder became its proprietor. The paper has since passed through several hands, belonging to William H. Powell from January, l832, to November, 1834; to John S. Bryan from 1834 to 1845; to Samuel J. Paxson from 1845 to 1858, and since then to W.W.H. Davis, the present editor and proprietor. The paper has been devoted to the interests of the democratic party, and has generally been characterized by a fair and able advocacy of its principles. It is the chief exponent of its party in the county and is a valuable property.

The "Bucks County Express and Reform," "Bucks County Mirror," and "Der Morgenstern" complete the list of regular periodicals published in Doylestown. The "Express" was started in 1827 by Manasseh H. Snyder. From 1836 to 1850 it was merely an adjunct of the "Democrat." From 1850 to 1856 it was published by Oliver P. Zink; from 1856 to 1859 by Edwin Fretz, and subsequently by Charles Price and J.A. Daubert, and A.H. and T.H. Heist. In 1866 Dr. Morwitz established the "Reform von Bucks" and consolidated the "Express" with it. The present proprietor is Captain F.F. Bechlin, whose brief experience in journalism is amply compensated by his native courtesy, energy, and business enterprise.

Mr. Bechlin also publishes the "Bucks County Mirror." The latter paper originated at Quakertown in 1869. Robert L. Cope and Stephen Kirk, Joseph M. McClure, Darwin G. Fenno (the present city editor of the Philadelphia "Times"), George B. Herbert, and F.F. Bechlin have successively been the publishers. Fred. Constantine has been editor for some time. "Der Morgenstern" was established in August, 1836, by Joseph Young as "Der Bauer" (The Farmer), the present name being adopted in 1841. Morits Loeb became interested in the paper in 1848, and purchased Young’s interest in 1851. February 5, 1884, J.A. Daubert and Dominic Bauman, the present proprietors, succeeded Mr. Loeb. In 1875 Allen H. Heist and Barney McGinty established "Der Demokratische Wacht;" it was suspended after a few years, and Mr. McGinty has since employed his journalistic talent in the publication of the "Court Gazette," devoted to a report of the various sessions of the courts.

Among the defunct journals of the county seat are the "Democratic Watchman," the "Independent Democrat," and the "Democratic Standard," absorbed by the "Democrat;" the "Bucks County Political Examiner" (subsequently the "Republican and Anti-Masonic Register"), which suspended with the excitement in which it originated; the "Jackson Courier and Democratic Advertiser," the organ of that faction of the democratic party which nominated Muhlenburg in 1835; the "Public Advocate," "Olive Branch," and "Doylestown Spy."

The first journalistic effort at Newtown was the "Bucks County Bee," published in 1802 by Charles Holt. In 1817 "The Star of Freedom" was established by Simeon Siegfried, but it shared the fate of its predecessor and did not live to see its first anniversary. After the interval of more than a score of years, types were again brought to Newtown, when the "Literary Chronicle" was founded by Search & Fretz in 1840. In 1842 Samuel J. and Edward M. Paxson purchased the plant and changed the name to the "Newtown Journal;" after their retirement its downward progress was rapid, and in 1850 it suspended. In 1868 a wandering disciple of Faust, en route from Maryland, reached Newtown in his travels and established the "Enterprise." It has proven worthy of the name, and E.T. Church, the founder, is still proprietor.

Bristol was the temporary residence of "The Aurora" in 1800, during the yellow fever epidemic at Philadelphia. Franklin Bache was its editor, and his son, William Bache, in 1849, started the "Bristol Gazette," the first local paper at that place. It was suspended for a time, but reappeared as the "Index," but the change of name did not result in the success hoped for. The "Bucks County American" was published at Bristol, in 1854. Of the present Bristol papers, the "Bucks County Gazette," Jesse O. Thomas, proprietor, first appeared August 14, 1873, and the "Bristol Observer," James Drury, proprietor, April 22, 1871. The "Bristol Leader" and "Bristol Advertiser" are published at regular, but infrequent intervals, but have not yet attained a permanent character.

The "Langhorne Standard," Fetterolf Brothers proprietors, began its career at Hulmeville in 1871, when William Tilton began the publication of "The Squib." It became "The Beacon" in 1872, and "The Hulmeville Beacon" in the following year. Upon the removal of the office to Langhorne in 1876 the name of that place was prefixed to its former title. September 3, 1884, the present publishers purchased the paper from Henry W. Watson, and changed the name to its present style. "The Echo," subsequently known as the "Keystone Amateur," was started at Hulmeville in 1874, but came to an untimely end. The "Delaware Valley Advance," Harrison Brothers proprietors, is now in its eleventh volume. Three distinct journalistic efforts were made at Yardley, but with uniform failure. Local papers were in existence at one time in New Hope, Chalfont, and Riegelsville, but they have passed away.

The "Patriot and Reformer" (German) was started in 1867 at Milford Square by John G. Stauffer under the title of "Der Reformer," and was a small local newspaper, independent in politics, and of a religious tone. Subsequently it was enlarged, and the title was changed several times until it took the name it now bears. In 1880 the publication office was moved to Quakertown, and in 1886 it was purchased by the present proprietors, Uriah S. Stauffer and Anthony S. Shelly. In 1881 John G. Stauffer, of the "Patriot and Reformer," established the "Quakertown Free Press." Several times in former years attempts had been made by parties to establish a paper at this place, but without success. Dr. William T. Bruce edited the paper for five years. In 1882 U.S. Stauffer, then foreman in the office of John U. Stauffer, purchased the "Free Press," together with the job department of the house, and continued to be its proprietor until 1886, when a partnership was formed between him and his brother-in-law, Anthony S. Shelly. At that time the new firm purchased the "Patriot and Reformer," and have since published the two papers from the same office. The "Free Press" is a local newspaper, independent in politics. The "Central News" at Perkasie was established by Mahlon H. Sellers, and the "Springtown Times" by Henry S. Funk, the present publisher.

Parallel with this religious and intellectual growth there was a material development which made the former possible, and without which society would have remained isolated fragments, jealously retarding rather than unitedly reaching higher attainments. The influences of church and school served to compact the community in which they were supported, but there was needed something more to bring the separated settlements into closer relations, to build up a broader fellowship than that of sectarian or political affiliations, and afford incitement to the best use of the intelligence possessed and to be acquired. The demand of life in the period of early settlement had the opposite tendency. The stern necessity which made every man the architect of his own fortune rendered self-dependence an essential qualification for success. For years life in the colony was a virtual struggle for existence, which left the pioneer little time to consider any broader interest than the support of his own family. Public improvements were thus held in abeyance until the farm was so far cleared and cultivated as to demand a market for its surplus yield. With surplus crops there were those pioneer industries which an enforced economy had previously imposed upon the household; and thus grist and saw-mills, and whiskey stills gradually found a place in almost every community. Schoolhouses and places of worship were not long delayed after their necessity became apparent. The erection of these adjuncts of civilized life led to the construction of roads by which they might be rendered accessible, and in this way the highways began to command public attention.

In Penn’s comprehensive plans for the settlement of his colony the subject had not been forgotten, and in his projected township the highways were regularly provided for. In practice, however, the plans were greatly modified, but sufficient details were retained to characterize the highways of the county. The Bristol, Street, and County-Line roads were surveyed agreeably to his plans, and at a very early period, as they are indicated upon a map published in 1684. The road along the county line, four miles north from the Easton road, was opened in 1723, at the instance of Governor Keith. No date can be assigned for its final extension to its present length. The Street road proper was opened throughout its entire length in 1737. The Bristol road was similarly placed at the disposal of the public, in sections of varying length, at intervals between 1730 and 1752. Of other highways on a northern line the most important are the Street road between Buckingham and Solebury, which was surveyed as early as 1703, and was for many years a subject of litigation by property-holders on either side; the road leading from Richboro in Northampton through Warwick, the course of which is indicated upon Holme’s map; the Street road leading from the York to the Easton road in Buckinghamn and Plumstead; and the road from Furlong post-office (Buckingham) northward to Perkiomen creek, at the southeast corner of Rockhill.

No effort was made to preserve a regular system of roads in the more diversified sections of country east of the Neshaminy. Highways were laid out from one settlement to another as convenience and necessity prompted, and usually by the most direct route. A general convergence toward the city of Philadelphia is noticeable. That this idea was early predominant is evident, for as early as 1684 a road from Wrightstown to Churchville, diagonally across Southampton, is shown upon Holme’s map, thus indicating that even at that early date lateral roads in the direction of the city were contemplated. The first highway of this character was the King’s path, the first lawful public road in the county. It was ordered to be laid out in 1675, and followed closely the course of the river through Bensalem, Bristol, and Falls. As originally opened, it seems to have been quite susceptible of improvement. At a meeting of council the 19th of 9th month, 1686, "Ye unevenness of ye road from Philadelphia to ye falls of Delaware" was taken into consideration; Robert Turner and John Barnes for Philadelphia county, Arthur Cook and Thomas Janney for Bucks, with the respective county surveyors, were directed to "meet and lay out a more commodious road from ye Broad street in Philadelphia to ye Falls aforesaid; ye time when is referred to ye members nominated." The "Path," as thus revised, was three hundred and two perches from the river at "Dunk’s ferry," from which it appears that it was nearly identical with the present Frankford road and Bristol turnpike.

Five other great highways leading to the city were afterward opened, viz., the King’s, Durham, York, Easton, and Bethlehem roads. The King’s road, leading from Morrisville by way of Oxford Valley, Langhorne, Feasterville, and Bustleton, was laid out in 1693 as far as Southampton and continued thence to "Henry Waldy’s plantation, where it may fall into the King’s old road"— probably at Tacony. The York road was laid out from "the river Delaware, opposite John Reading’s landing," to Philadelphia in 1711 by order of council under date of January 27, 1810, upon "petition of several of the inhabitants and freeholders of the township of Buckingham and Solebury praying that a convenient road may be laid out and established from these upper parts." As described by present landmarks, the terminal points of this road are Center Bridge and the city, the principal intermediate places being Centerville, Furlong, Hartsville, Hatboro, Willow Grove, and Jenkintown.

When Governor Keith established his residence at Horsham, council, at his request, directed that a road should be laid out from Willow Grove (or Round Meadows, as it was then known) to his settlement. This was the second link in the Easton road, regarding the York road to Round Meadows as the first. The following year (1723) John Dyer, of Dyerstown, who had built a mill in the woods of Plumstead, petitioned the court that a road might be opened from his settlement to the governor’s; to which the court consented. This was long known as the Dyer’s mill road, and even within the present century; it constitutes "Main" street, of Doylestown. It was extended through Plumstead in 1738, and continued to Pipersville within a few years thereafter. At this point its identity becomes obscure, and popular opinion is divided as to whether the Easton or Durham road continues as such to the Lehigh. The first link in the latter— from Bristol to Newtown— was opened by order of the court of quarter sessions in 1693. It was extended to Wrightstown in 1696, from "The Pines" to Buckingham in 1703, to Tohickon creek in 1738, to Durham forge in 1746, and to Easton in 1755. This is the great interior highway of the county. Among the towns upon its course are Hulmeville, Langhorne, Newtown, Wrightstown, Pineville, Centerville, Gardenville, Hinkletown, Pipersville, Ottsville, Bucksville, and Durham. This is the only continuous road connecting the extreme northern and southern portions of the county.

This "Old Bethlehem" road leaves Philadelphia county at Chestnut Hill. It enters this county at Line-Lexington, and passes thence through Hilltown, Blooming Glen, Hagersville, Applebachsville, Pleasant Valley, and Hellertown. This was opened in 1738. The "new" Bethlehem road begins at Line-Lexington, passes through Sellersville and Quakertown, and unites with the older routes at Coopersburg. The latter was formerly an Indian trail.

A postal system was projected in conjunction with the early roads. In the fifth month, 1683, William Penn issued an order for the establishment of a post-office, and granted to Henry Waldy, Of "Tekoney," authority to hold it. The rates of postage were as follows: From the Falls to Philadelphia, three pence; to Chester, five pence; to Newcastle, seven pence; and to Maryland, nine pence: from Philadelphia to Chester, two pence; to Newcastle, four pence; and to Maryland, six pence. This post went only once a week, and the governor requested Phineas Pemberton carefully to publish full information concerning it "on the meeting-house door and other public places."

Among the duties enjoined upon Waldy was that of supplying passengers with horses from Philadelphia to Newcastle or to the Falls. It was this requirement of the post-rider that eventually caused his retirement. "Led horses" for the accommodation of travellers frequently accompanied the post, but this was found to interfere with the efficiency of the service; hence the introduction of the stage-coach as soon as the condition of the roads permitted. A line of stage-wagons was established in 1732 between Amboy and Burlington by Thomas Moore and Solomon Smith. New York and Philadelphia were the objective points, and terminal connections were made with both places by sailing vessels. Bordentown was the terminal point of a rival line in 1734, and in 1751 the boats to both places were controlled by Borden, Richards, Wright, and others. In 1745 John Dailey, surveyor, stated that he had just made survey of the road from Trenton to Amboy, and had set up marks at every two miles to guide the traveller. It was done by private subscription, and he proposed to do the whole road from Philadelphia to New York in the same way if a sum would be made up. The proposed improvement of the road below Trenton was not effected; hence the fact that the stage-wagons went no further beyond that point than was necessary to conveniently meet the packets. Joseph Borden, Jr., in 1753, was running a "stage-boat" from Philadelphia to Bordentown, from whence the journey to Amboy was continued by "stage-wagon." This was claimed to be the most expeditious route in operation at that time. It does not appear that John Dailey surveyed the road between Trenton and Philadelphia; but it was much improved at various times, and those interested in the stage business began to consider whether a wagon might not compete in time with the packet between the city and Trenton. At this time there were a number of gentlemen of sporting proclivities at Philadelphia who indulged in fox-hunting. They kept a famous kennel of hounds, with John Butler as keeper. He was greatly in favor with his employers; and when it became necessary to disperse the kennel because the country became so thickly settled as to interfere with their sport, they established him in business as the proprietor of a stage-wagon. He at once instituted a new departure, and practically demonstrated the superior speed of his vehicle as compared with that of the packet. Leaving the "sign of the death of the fox," the favorite resort of his former patrons, his route followed the west bank of the Delaware, crossed that stream at Trenton, and thence proceeded to Amboy. His journey to New York required three days. This was the first stage route through Bucks county.

It enjoyed a monopoly in this respect during the following ten years. An opposition line over the same route was established in 1765, in which four owners were concerned. They introduced covered Jersey wagons, and reduced the fare to two pence a mile, but did not reduce the time of the journey, which was still three days. A third line between the two cities was established in 1766 by John Barnhill. He improved the stage-wagon by placing the seats on springs, and also the speed of his vehicles, which traversed the distance from Elm street near Vine, in Philadelphia, by way of the "Blazing Star" ferry, to Amboy in two days. This achievement was without a precedent in the previous history of staging, and secured for his wagons the modest title of "Flying Machines." In 1773 Charles Bessonett engaged in the business, and speedily rendered his the most popular coaches on the road. He regarded the ferry over the Neshaminy a great obstacle to rapid transit, and that it might be obviated, secured from the legislature in 1785 authority to lay out a private road between the sixteenth and nineteenth milestones of what is now the Frankford & Bristol turnpike, construct a ferry or bridge over the creek, and collect tolls for the use of the same. The approaches for a floating bridge and rope ferry were constructed, but when nearly completed a violent flood destroyed the most expensive portion of the work, entailing serious loss upon the projector. The remains of the abutments are still seen about half a mile above Bridgewater. Graham Johnson was associated with Mr. Bessonett in this enterprise, and like him was a veteran stage manager. He formed a partnership in 1781 with James Drake to run a "flying wagon" with four horses from the city to Elizabethtown, New Jersey, making two trips weekly. The stage left the city "every Monday and Thursday morning, precisely at the rising of the sun, breakfast at the Four-Lanes-ends, shift horses, cross the new ferry just above the Trenton falls, and dine at Jacob Bergen’s, at Princeton."

The national postal service, established in 1790, contributed in great measure to the prosperity of stage management, and to the extension of the system into territory it would not otherwise have penetrated. The old York road became a stage route. April 29, 1792, John Nicholas started a line from Easton to Philadelphia by way of Doylestown, which was continued by his son Samuel until 1822, when James Reeside assumed the management, having contracted with the government to distribute the mails over a large part of Pennsylvania and adjacent states. Reeside also controlled a line between Philadelphia and New York. There were relays of horses at intervals of ten miles, and the journey from city to city was made in ten hours. Staging over the old Bethlehem road was begun September 10, 1763, by George Klein. This route was liberally patronized. General Paul Applebach was the last proprietor. The Durham and river roads subsequently became stage routes, and the former retains that character to the present day; for staging has not yet become a lost art in Bucks county. Seven stage lines radiate from Doylestown, and there is probably an equal number in other portions of the county; but the distinguishing characteristics of the coach of former days are conspicuously absent.

Postal facilities have greatly improved since 1790. The first post-office in the county was established in that year at Bristol. Two others were in existence six years later, Morrisville and Plumstead (ville), and a fourth, Buckingham, was established after another interval of six years (1802). In 1804 John Rodrick was postmaster at Plumstead, Archibald Davidson at Bursontown, and Enoch Harvey at Doylestown in 1808, William Green at Quakertown, Asher Miner at Doylestown, Cephas Ross at New Hope, and Cornelius Van Horn at Buckingham; in 1818, James Regent at Newtown, Elisha Lunn at Hilltown, Elias Sellers at Sellers’ Tavern, and Joseph P. Murray at New Hope; in 1819, Jacob Funk at Springtown. In 1804, probably earlier, mail was carried twice a week between Philadelphia, Easton, and Bethlehem, by way of Doylestown. The following notice appears in the "Correspondent" of December 4, 1816: "The mail will leave Doylestown on Thursday morning at two o’clock, and arrive at Bristol by eight in the evening: leave Bristol at six o’clock Friday morning, and passing by New Hope, arrive at Doylestown the same evening by eight. Leave Doylestown Saturday morning at six o’clock and arrive at Lancaster on Monday by ten o’clock; leave Lancaster at three o’clock same day and arrive at Doylestown on Wednesday evening by six o’clock. Leave Doylestown on Saturday by six o’clock in the morning, arrive at Quakertown by noon; leave Quakertown at two o’clock and return to Doylestown by nine o’clock in the evening." The mail to Bristol passed through Newtown and Langhorne. A weekly mail from Quakertown to Durham was established in 1819.

The extensive overland travel between Philadelphia and New York early necessitated an improved condition of the public roads. The most available routes passed through this county; and to this may be attributed the fact that substantial improvements were effected here at a comparatively early period. The first public enterprise of this character was the Frankford and Bristol turnpike, incorporated in 1803, of which the original projectors were Joseph Clunn, John M’Elroy, Derrick Peterson, Isaac Worrell, Nathan Harper, James C. Fisher, and Richard Gennon. It was provided in the charter that the road should be sixty feet wide, graded with gravel or stone to a breadth of twenty-six feet, with the surface firm, even, and so nearly level that at no place should it incline more than four degrees from a horizontal line. A drawbridge twenty-four feet wide was to be built over Neshaminy creek. A permanent stone bridge was authorized in 1805. It was required that in the winter months (November to May), four-wheeled wagons with wheels less than four inches wide should not carry more than two and one-half tons; with wheels less than seven inches wide, not more than three and one-half tons, etc. Mile-stones and posts of direction were to be erected. The right of purchasing the property and extinguishing tolls was reserved to the state. This turnpike was begun in 1803, completed to Poquessing creek in 1804, and to Morrisville, in 1812, at a cost of two hundred and nine thousand three hundred dollars.

The second completed turnpike in the county was that connecting Doylestown and Willow Grove. It was first projected in 1832, when Josiah Y. Shaw, William Watts, John Robbarts, and Joseph Praul of Bucks county, with others of Montgomery, were authorized to organize the "Willow Grove and Doylestown" turnpike road company. Their franchise expired by limitation, however, and ten years later, the "Doylestown and Willow Grove" company was organized. After eleven years of intermittent effort, the pike was finally completed, thus giving Doylestown a continuous turnpike to the city.

Even before the consummation of this enterprise, the improvement of the Easton road north of Doylestown was agitated, Stephen Brock, Dr. Charles H. Matherol, and E.T. McDowell being most actively in favor of this. The organization of a company was authorized in 1842, but the turnpike was not completed to Danborough until some time in the fifties. Turnpike improvement on the Easton road reached its northern limit at Plumsteadville some years later. February 13, 1846, an act of assembly was passed authorizing Henry S. Stover, Tobias Weisel, John Dyer, Michael Worman, and others to organize the "Danborough and Point Pleasant Turnpike Road Company," which they did and with such celerity that the pike was completed within a few years, thus giving Doylestown an improved road to the Delaware. A second, by way of Centerville and Lahaska, was established about the same time. It is controlled by two companies, the "Buckingham and Doylestown," and "Lahaska and New Hope." The former was first projected in 1843, the latter in 1847. The Dublin pike was opened in 1876.

The York road is improved from the city to Lahaska, a distance of ten miles in this county. That portion between Willow Grove and Hartsville was projected as early as 1838. The pike was continued to Centerville in 1855—56. Asher Miner advocated this improvement years before in his "Correspondent."

The Durham road is turnpiked from Bridgetown to Centerville, a distance of thirteen miles. From Centerville to Pineville it was projected in 1859 and probably completed in 1861. The "Wrightstown and Newtown" company was incorporated in 1867. From the southern terminus at Bridgetown a lateral connection extends westward to Feasterville, from whence there is a continuous pike to the city. There is also a continuous pike from Pineville to Feasterville by way of Richborough, of which the portion south of that place was projected in 1844, and the remainder in 1848. There are also turnpike roads from Newtown to Yardley, and from Langhorne to Yardley. Of turnpikes which penetrate the county but a short distance the most important are the "Byberry and Bensalem" (1852), "Byberry and Andalusia" (1857), "Willow Grove and Dansville" (1858), "Feasterville and Bustleton," "Whitehallville and Prospectville," "Johnsville and Moreland." The most recent improvement in the southern part of the county worthy of mention in this connection was effected in 1886 and 1887, when the Durham road between Hulmeville and Langhorne was converted into a turnpike.

Public improvements were early contemplated in the northern part of the county. In 1805—06 an effort was made to incorporate a company for the improvement of the Bethlehem road through Hilltown, but without success. The project was revived in 1849, when legislative action was secured for the organization of the "Hilltown Turnpike Road Company." Within a short time thereafter the old Bethlehem road was piked from Line-Lexington to a point a short distance east of the village of Mount Pleasant, five and one-fourth miles. A similar improvement in the new Bethlehem road was effected a few years later under the auspices of the "Hilltown and Sellersville" turnpike company, incorporated in 1853. Eight years later (1861) the "Quakertown and Sellersville" company came into existence, and the process of improvement was continued between those points. Three other turnpike roads center at Quakertown, of which the first to be completed were those leading respectively to Spinnerstown and Trumbauersville, opened in 1858. The former is five miles in length, the latter two and one-half. The "Richlandtown Turnpike Road Company" was organized in 1859. The main street from the railroad to Quakertown proper was macadamized in 1855. This franchise is controlled by the "Richland Turnpike or Plank-road Company." The Milford Square and Steinsburg pike renders Quakertown accessible from the extreme northern part of Milford. A turnpike was opened in 1886 from Dublin to Souderton. It is the latest achievement of this character in that part of the county.

The spirit that animated the early turnpike projects was manifested to a much greater degree in the discussion of measures for the promotion of internal improvements throughout the whole country. There was marked activity in this respect during the period of general prosperity following the close of the war of 1812. The rivers of the state, its natural highways, were early rendered navigable for such craft as the commerce of that time demanded. No such changes in the channel of the lower Delaware were necessary; but above the falls of Trenton shoals, islands, and rapids occur frequently, and no large ship has ever ploughed their waters. Here a peculiar species of river craft— the Durham boat— made its appearance, and for years monopolized the carrying trade of the region. There were rafts, too, but the lumber of which they were composed was sold with the cargo, while the boats returned with consignments of such supplies as were necessary at the furnace and the farming country around, and sailing vessels ascended as far as Bristol and other points below Trenton. The first steamboat in Bucks county waters was that invented by John Fitch in 1785. Its first successful journey was made in October, 1788, from Philadelphia to Trenton and return. The projectors became embarrassed for want of funds, and in 1791 the enterprise was abandoned. The second steamboat, the "Phoenix," built in New York after the manner of Fulton’s "Clermont," began to ply regularly between Philadelphia and Bristol in 1809. The "Philadelphia," commanded by Captain Elisha Jenkins, was the next; and, altogether, thirty-one steamboats have at different times since the days of Fitch plied between Philadelphia and Bristol. In the year 1852 the experiment of navigating the upper Delaware was made. The steamship "William Barnet," Captain Young, started from New Hope and Lumberville at 6.15, A.M., March 12, 1852, and made the voyage to Easton in eleven hours. The "Barnet" was withdrawn before the close of the season, and was subsequently destroyed on the upper Delaware by the bursting of a boiler. The "Reindeer," a small boat from the Schuylkill, made several voyages above Easton, but the impracticability of the project was fully demonstrated. October 3, 1853, the "Wave" ascended Neshaminy creek to a point above Newportville, and some efforts were made to improve the navigation. This enterprise was also abandoned at an early stage of its development.

The Lehigh valley at the beginning of this century was in great part primitive wilderness. It possessed rich deposits of coal and iron, and wide areas of unbroken timber lands. Its development was accompanied by great difficulties. Efforts were made from time to time to clear the channel of the Lehigh, but without success. The Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company, formed in 1822 by the amalgamation of two distinct companies, incorporated in 1818, originated and applied a system of dams and sluices, and thus transported the product of their mines to Philadelphia. As the future of coal as a large and profitable staple became assured, this section of the state pressed its claims for recognition by the canal commissioners and legislature, and in 1827 an act was passed authorizing the construction of a canal from Bristol to Easton, the former at tidewater, the latter at the mouth of the Lehigh. The excavations were begun at Bristol on an October day in the same year (1827), with imposing ceremonies. The canal was opened to New Hope in 1830, and to Easton two years later. The cost was one million three hundred and seventy four thousand seven hundred and fifty-four dollars. The length is sixty miles, breadth forty feet, the depth of water five feet; there are twenty-four locks, ninety feet long and eleven wide, the aggregate lift being one hundred and seventy feet.

The public works of the state were sold in 1858 to the Sunbury & Erie Railroad Company. In July of the same year the Delaware Canal Company purchased the Delaware division. In 1886 it was leased to the Lehigh Coal Company for ninety-nine years. The most prosperous period of its history was the decade immediately following its construction; and while competing lines of railway have deprived it of much of the traffic for which it was originally designed, it has not outlived its usefulness, and serves well the purpose of a restraining influence upon transportation rates from the coal regions to the seaboard.

It is problematical whether the canal system of the state ever reached a condition of adequate prosperity. In 1827 the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company built a gravity railroad to facilitate the descent of coal from the summit of Mauch Chunk mountain to the boats in the river below, this being the first railroad in the state. From being an adjunct to the canal, it ultimately became its rival, and finally consummated its ruin. It was from the turnpike rather than the canal, however, that the railroad was evolved. A tramway suitable for wheeled carriages, with horses as the motor power, constituted the first departure from the turnpike toward the modern railroad. In the act incorporating the Philadelphia & Trenton Railroad Company (February 23, 1832), it was provided that the road should be a public highway in the same sense that a turnpike was, with the restriction that the company should have power to prescribe a certain class of carriages to be used. They were to prepare a schedule of tolls similar to those charged by turnpikes, and of rates for transporting in the carriages of the company.

Ground was broken in May, 1832, and in the following year the road was completed. The company seems to have exercised its prerogative of regulating the class of carriages to be used, in a manner calculated to exclude all others except their own. The locomotive had not yet come, and the first "train passed from Trenton to Bristol, drawn by horses." The first locomotive, the "Trenton," appeared in October, 1834. At this time passengers were transported by boat from the foot of Market street, Bristol, to Philadelphia. Upon the completion of the Camden & Amboy railroad, that company, in order to secure an entrance into Philadelphia without the danger and delay incident to ferriage across the Delaware, secured a controlling interest in the Philadelphia and Trenton, which thus lost its identity in being merged into a more comprehensive system. Under the new management, Tacony, and finally Kensington became its western terminus. In 1873 the railroads and canals in the Camden and Amboy system (including the Philadelphia & Trenton railroad), were leased by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, and thus the first railroad in this county became less than ever a distinct line of travel. Its importance has in no way been diminished, however, and it is no exaggeration to say that in thoroughness of equipment it is not excelled by any other part of the Pennsylvania system, nor by any other railroad in the world.

The second railroad opened through the county was the Doylestown branch of the "North Penn." The latter was first projected in 1852 as the "Philadelphia, Easton & Water Gap" railroad, but the present name was adopted in the following year. Construction was begun on the lower end of the line, which was formally opened July 2, 1855; but the tunnel in Rockhill was found to be an undertaking of greater magnitude than was at first anticipated, and it happened that the Doylestown branch was opened before the main line. This may be attributed in great measure to the activity of citizens of the county-seat. A formal meeting was held in 1853, Charles E. DuBois presiding, and a committee was appointed to confer with the projectors of the "North Penn." They reported to a subsequent meeting that one hundred and sixty thousand dollars would be necessary for the construction of the proposed branch. Thirty thousand dollars were immediately subscribed; eighty thousand dollars in subscriptions were reported January 15, 1854, and the entire amount in April following. The route was surveyed in August, 1854. The northern part of the town was proposed for the station by the engineers, but a pressure of opposition resulted in the selection of the present site.

On the afternoon of Monday, October 7, 1856, the officers of the "North Penn" visited Doylestown in a special car and formally opened the road above Gwynedd. Two daily trains were begun on the following day. The first train passed over the main line from Philadelphia to Bethlehem on Saturday, June 3, 1857. The "North Penn" and its branches are now operated by the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company. The latter corporation also operates the "Northeast Pennsylvania," a railroad nine and eight-tenths miles in length extending from Abington on the "North Penn" to Hartsville on the Bristol road in Warminster township, Hatboro being the principal intermediate point. New Hope is the eastern terminus, as originally projected. About two miles of this road are in Bucks county.

The "Philadelphia, Newtown & New York" railroad is also operated by the "Reading." Excepting the Doylestown branch of the "North Penn," this is the only one of the railroads of the county that is to any extent a county enterprise. The causes that led to its construction were not circumscribed by the county, however. When the Camden and Amboy roads were merged into the Pennsylvania system the latter (in 1873) acquired control of the two principal roads between Philadelphia and New York, and a virtual monopoly of the passenger travel between these places. A rival line was at once projected. This was the "National Air Line," to extend from New York to Washington; but its construction had no sooner been begun than the "Camden & Amboy" directed attention to a clause in its charter under which, for a term of years (not then expired), all other railroads were excluded from certain territory within a prescribed distance from the route it traversed. The courts granted an injunction restraining further work on the "air-line" within the prescribed period, and thus ended the scheme.

At this time there was no railroad between Doylestown and Bristol. The "Northeast Pennsylvania" was in course of construction, but as the event has proven it was not destined to extend to New Hope, nor does it seem that there was much of a disposition among its projectors to accomplish that object. Among the New Jersey railroads controlled by the Pennsylvania company was the "Mercer & Somerset," extending from a point on the Delaware river between Yardley and Taylorsville to Bound Brook. The roads hitherto projected across the county were practically without beginning or end; their patronage must have been purely local, and correspondingly unprofitable; but in the "Mercer & Somerset" there was a most favorable opportunity to the Bucks county railroad projector of constructing his road from Philadelphia to its western terminus, effecting a consolidation, and thus rendering it part of a line between the two largest cities on the continent.

On Wednesday, April 2, 1873, the governor of New Jersey signed a general railroad act, the provisions of which were of the most liberal character. The "National Railway Company" had previously endeavored to secure a special act of incorporation, but a vote of eleven to ten in the senate defeated their bill. The governor had no sooner signified his approval of the general railroad law than its projectors, many of whom had previously been identified with the defunct "air-line," filed articles of association with the state department, and were duly incorporated as the "New York & Philadelphia Railroad Company," with an authorized capital of seven and a half millions of dollars. The legal existence of a railroad between the two cities, independent of the Pennsylvania company, was at length recognized. The latter was not idle, however. On the same day that the "New York & Philadelphia" filed application for a charter at Trenton (April 2, 1873), the Pennsylvania legislature passed a bill authorizing the construction of a bridge over the Delaware by the "Philadelphia, Newtown & New York Railroad Company," a corporation originally created as the "Philadelphia & Montgomery County Railroad Company," the name of which was changed to its present style January 29, 1873. Six days later (April 8, 1873), articles of association by a number of individuals, adherents of the "Pennsylvania" interests, for incorporation as the "New Jersey Railroad Company," were filed at Trenton, and in due time received legal sanction. The "Newtown" and "New Jersey" companies were identical in composition and organization. It was now clearly apparent that the "Pennsylvania" intended the construction of a third line to New York. It was to consist of the "Newtown" road in this state and the "New Jersey" road in New Jersey; the latter was to consist of the "Mercer & Somerset," and an extension of the same to Bound Brook, or some convenient point on what is now the "United Railroads of New Jersey" division, Pennsylvania Railroad.

The "Newtown" company was organized with Horatio G. Sickel, of Philadelphia, president; Charles Willard, of Newtown, secretary and treasurer; Robert Johnston, of Philadelphia; Alfred Blaker, Barclay J. Smith, Isaac H. Hillborn, Charles Willard, Isaac Eyre, of Newtown, directors. Ground was broken June 8, 1872, at Crescentville, under Samuel W. Mifflin as chief engineer. The road was completed and opened to Newtown in 1877. It was operated for a time by the "Pennsylvania," but after a bloodless struggle the company relinquished it in favor of the "Philadelphia and Reading." Three years later, after the financial stringency of 1873 had abated, the opposition again rallied, and the "Bound Brook" was built. It enters Jersey City over the "Jersey Central," and Philadelphia over the "North Penn," connecting with the former at Bound Brook, and with the latter at Jenkintown. It is operated by the "Reading," but virtually owned by the holders of its mortgages and bonds. It was opened to travel May 1, 1876.

There have been other railroads projected, but never constructed, which may be mentioned. Bucks is a large county. Half its length is traversed by a winding creek, at the mouth of which the manufacturing interests of the region center; the county capital is situated on a range of hills at its source, while its trend is marked by numerous towns and villages. There is a wide stretch of open country to the northwest, and the Durham works in the opposite direction. The construction of a railroad that would facilitate communication between the different portions of this extensive territory was early agitated. It was thought in 1836 that Newtown and Bristol should be the terminal points, and the legislature forthwith authorized the organization of the company. Twenty years later, the "Attleborough railroad" was projected. Interest in the subject was transferred to the northern part of the county ten years later (1865), when a distinctively "Bucks county railroad" was favorably discussed, especially at the county-seat, which hoped to become the commercial metropolis as well. The project never developed beyond this stage, unfortunately for the many advantages it promised.

In 1836 a company was organized to construct a railroad from New hope to Norristown via Doylestown, and a first subscription was actually paid on the stock. The route surveyed was twenty-eight miles in length, and the estimated cost four hundred thousand dollars. No great interest was awakened in the enterprise until 1851, when it was revived under a new act of the legislature. The proposed line would probably have been built but for the action of the "North Penn" in opening a branch to Doylestown. From present indications, New Hope is not likely to receive any additional railroad facilities for some years.

The "Delaware River & Lancaster" railroad was incorporated in 1848; the "Erwinna & Hossensack" in the same year, and a road from Morrisville to Norristown in 1856; none of which, except the last named, have any prospect of realization. The "Pennsylvania" has recently obtained possession of the survey made in 1856, and also controls the Chester Valley railroad. It is rumored that the former is to be constructed, thus giving the "Pennsylvania" a freight route from Harrisburg to New York, avoiding Philadelphia. Within the present year, 1887, a route for the "Baltimore & Ohio" has been surveyed through the county, ostensibly in the direction of New York.



* A list of the incumbents of this office appears in chapter xxiv.


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