THE diversity of nationalities which early characterized the population of southern Pennsylvania may be attributed in great measure to the liberal ideas of William Penn regarding immigration to his provincial domain. He seems to have been utterly devoid of prejudice in this matter, and welcomed to the freedom and security of a government designed as an asylum for the oppressed everywhere, men of all nations and of all creeds. His acquaintance with the Dutch Reformed antedates his appearance upon the stage of American political history, for the mother of William Penn was a native of Holland, the daughter of a merchant of Rotterdam. But, whether the encouragement given to Dutch immigration arose from the proprietor’s regard for the obligations of consanguinity, or whether it was merely one phase of his administrative policy, the settlement of Hollanders on the west bank of the Neshaminy formed an important element of the population of southern Bucks county, nor was the numerical disproportion as great as would appear at the present day. The first appearance of this people on the shores of the Delaware occurred in 1616, two years after the founding of New Amsterdam, and nearly fifty years before the conflicting claims of the Dutch and English had finally been decided in favor of the latter. Although several Dutch names appear among a list of those who owned land in the county at an early period, the influx of Hollanders did not assume large proportions until the townships of Falls, Bristol, and others were marked by the presence of an aggressive English population. This immigration began about the year 1700, and ceased to be noticeable about twenty-five years later. It was drawn principally from Long Island, at that time almost as Dutch as Holland itself, so that the purity of the language, the quaintness of dress, and the social customs distinctively peculiar to their native land, had suffered little deterioration in being thus successively transplanted. There seems to have been a decided preference for the southwestern portion of the county, the earliest to arrive locating along the river, while those who followed purchased land farther inland; and thus it is with the townships which form the subject of this chapter, that their religious and social life are most intimately associated.

The settlement of either township, however, was not monopolized by the Dutch. Holme’s map (1684) gives the distribution of land in Southampton as follows: To the west of the Street road, in regular order from the north, were the tracts of John Luffe, Richard Wood, John Jones, John Swift, Joseph Jones, Thomas Groom, and Thomas Hould; east of which, and extending from the Street road to the Bristol road, were the lands of John Martin, Robert Pressmore, Mark Beltis, Enoch Flower, Joseph Jones, Robert Marsh, and John Gilbert; while the triangular area bordering the Neshaminy was seated by Nicholas Walne and Widow Plumly. Among the earliest English settlers in Southampton was John Swift, a man of local prominence and the representative of Bucks county in the provincial assembly of 1701 and 1707. James Dilworth was a resident as early as 1680, when his house became the place of meeting for the Friends of the vicinity. Other names of English orthography are those of Thomas and William Cutler, John Shaw, James Carter, Joseph Webb, John Naylor, Christopher Day, Nathaniel West, and the numerous family of Reverend Thomas Dungan.

The appearance of Dutch families, though not coincident with the English settlement just narrated, followed it after a brief interval. The families most numerously represented at the present day are those of Vanartsdalen, Barcalow, Lefferts, Vansant, Hogeland, Vanhorne, Vandeveer, Vandeventer, and Kroesen. Nicholas and Abraham Van Artsdalen were the first of that name who settled in Bucks county. They were brothers, descended in the fourth generation from John Van Arsdalen, who removed from Ars Dale, in Holland, to Flatbush, Long Island, in 1653. The Hogelands are the immediate descendants of Dirck Hanse Hogeland, a Dutch sea captain, who arrived at New York in 1655, and is said to have built the first brick house on Manhattan Island. The Lefferts are descended from Leffert Preterse, who became a Dutch colonist at Flatbush, Long Island, in 1660, having emigrated from North Brabant, Holland. His grandson, Leffert Leffert, was the first representative of the family in this section. In 1738 he visited the county, induced to this step in all probability by the favorable representations of his co-nationalists, who had already made it their home, and in the following year became the purchaser of a considerable tract of land, originally conferred by William Penn upon Edmund Pennington. The ancestors of the Barcalow family emigrated successively from Borkelo, Holland, to New Amsterdam, thence to Freehold, New Jersey, and finally to Southampton. It was William Hanse Von Barkelow who removed from the ancestorial home of his race, and his grandson, Conrad, who added the name to those previously represented in this new Holland. Leffert Leffert was accompanied on his prospecting tour by Gilliam Cornell, one of three brothers whose father was an early settler at Flatbush. The Cornells were numerously represented within a few years after this, as several families immigrated at the same time and settled in the same locality, known to this day by the appropriate name of Holland. The Kroesens, Vandeventers, Vandeveers, Vansants, and Vanhornes trace their ancestry respectively to Derrick Kroesen, Jacobus Van De Venter, Cornelius Van De Veer, William Van Zandt, and Rutger Van Horne. Ralph Dracot was a resident of the township in 1712, and probably prior to that time. About the year 1750 he discovered lead on the farm of John Naylor, a short distance from Feasterville. The mine was operated within the memory of the present generation, but has since been abandoned.

As a political subdivision of the county, Southampton has existed since 1703, although the name was applied to the settlement as early as 1685, when it is mentioned in connection with the boundary line between Bucks and Philadelphia counties. A jury appointed to divide the county into townships by the court of quarter sessions in 1692 met at Neshaminy meeting-house, and in their report, among other things, appeared the following: "Southampton and the lands about it, with Warminster, one." No metes and bounds are specified; the brief ultimatum of the jury is indefinite and perplexing. It is obvious that this action was intended merely as a provisional measure, and that the separation which afterward followed was not at once declared because of the sparsely settled condition of the territory surveyed by Holme, and designated on his map with the names it now bears— Southampton and Warminster. The more rapid increase of population in the southern township and the unwieldy proportions of the municipal district erected in 1692 were an early cause of dissatisfaction with the arrangement thus effected, and in 1703 Southampton was recognized by the court as a separate township, the organization of which was forthwith ordered. But, as it was still united with Warminster in the assessment and collection of taxes, this was rather a compromise than a complete settlement, and was correspondingly unsatisfactory. In 1711 the wish of the people was at length gratified when, by order of the court, the joint elections were discontinued. Neither the local government of the township nor its boundaries as then existing have since been changed. Its territorial limits comprise eight thousand acres, and the population in 1880 was one thousand four hundred and thirty-five.

The exclusively agricultural character of this region has not been favorable to the growth of towns. The nucleus of a country village is in many instances a hostelry, and the local roads have much to do with the location and size of the towns that mark their course. The Street road traverses Southampton throughout its entire length; it is about equidistant from the county line and the Bristol road. It is intersected at both the northern and southern limits of this township and by four other roads at nearly equal intervals. The most northern of these roads within the township is known as the Middle road, and the most southern as the King’s road. The latter was laid out in 1693 from the Falls to Philadelphia, and piked a part of the distance in 1804 or 1805. The Middle road is so known because of its position between the York road and the one lust mentioned. The "Buck," one of the oldest hotels in the county, is situated on the King’s road in Southampton, and has long enjoyed the distinction of being the only institution of that character in the township. The post-office at this point is known as Feasterville, derived from the name of a family quite numerous in the vicinity. Davisville, a post-village in the extreme northern part of Southampton, is situated on a branch of the Pennypack, and derives some importance from the water privileges thus conferred. The name is derived from that of its founder, General John Davis. He was of Welsh origin, a descendant of one of the first of that nationality in this county. He was a major-general of militia, a member of the national legislature, surveyor of the port of Philadelphia, and prominent in state political circles. His father served with honor in the continental army as an officer in Colonel Butler’s regiment and La Fayette’s brigade. At the opposite extremity of the township is the village of Brownsville, otherwise known as Trevose, a station on the Bound Brook railroad. Southamptonville, a station on the Newtown railroad, is situated at the intersection of the Middle road and the Street road. It is a comparatively new village, and was formerly known as Fetter’s Corner. It has some importance as a local business center. Springville includes ten or twelve houses on the south side of the Bristol road, and perhaps half as many more opposite in Northampton. The situation of Churchville is equally ambiguous. The post-office was established here in 1872, with John S. Stoop as postmaster. This place has long been the religious center for a large part of the church-going element in both townships. The number of houses in 1871 is placed at twelve, and no increase since that time is apparent to the casual observer. Churchville station, a suburb of the village proper on the line of the Newtown railroad in Northampton, bids fair to equal it in size and importance. It is possible that the future historian may chronicle the consolidation of village and suburb, and even now the built-up area of the former is gradually extending toward the latter.

Having considered the settlement and development of this region, it remains to give an account of its churches. The religious characteristics of the people who formed its early population were as widely different as their language or social customs. The "kirk" of the Dutch and "meeting-house" of the Friends were synonymous terms; but the "dominic" of the former has no corresponding term in the early religious nomenclature of the latter. The Quakers sought immunity from the threatened persecution; the Dutch, greater political freedom than the royal governors of New York were disposed to grant. The former early lost their numerical prestige through internal dissensions, and a third religious body, the Baptists, absorbed a large element from among their strongest adherents; and a fourth denomination, the Methodist Episcopal, has gained a footing within comparatively recent years.

The Friends of Southampton were granted an indulged meeting in 1686, and met for worship weekly at the house of James Dilworth. Three years previously a meeting for worship was settled among the Friends at "Poetquesink," which was held at John Hart’s house and afterward became Byberry meeting, Philadelphia county. As the strength of the Southampton meeting was not sufficient to justify the erection of a meeting-house, they united with the Byberry meeting, some, however, being received into Middletown. A stone meeting-house was erected at the former place in 1714, to which an addition was made in 1753; and in 1808 a second was built, "about sixty-six feet by thirty-six."

The Reformed Church of North and Southampton dates its origin at a period which would seem to indicate that it is the oldest denominational organization in the county. Its recorded history begins May 20, 1710, when the "church of Bensalem and Sammeny" was organized; and on the following day Reverend Paulus Van Vlecq was confirmed its first pastor. He had previously taught school in New York and served as chaplain in the militia of that province. His local charge was the neighborhood of Feasterville, including the Dutch families within a radius of some miles. The church building, if any existed, was probably located in the southeastern part of Southampton. Like most of the preachers of his day, he occasionally travelled some distance from his settled residence to minister to the spiritual wants of those for whom no provision had yet been made. He thus visited Whitemarsh in 1710, and Six-mile run, New Jersey, in 1711. Besides these three points, there were seven other preaching stations in his charge. It seems likely that he continued as a preacher the policy of "boarding round" begun while a school-master; for from his meager salary of fifty-five pounds he managed to place money at interest and yet indulge in such luxuries as stockings, for which the knitting cost three shillings "light money; tenpence for the dyeing of the stockings, and sixpence for the knitting woman." Among other miscellaneous receipts on his salary were the following: "One ream of paper, fifteen shillings seven and one halfpence; one dozen pewter spoons, six shillings." He eventually fell into disrepute, was dropped from the ministry, and in 1713 the Reverend Paulus Van Vlecq returned to Holland.

Next follows a period in the history of this people which proves beyond doubt their deep sincerity and freedom from prejudice. At Abington, ten miles distant, there was a settlement of Scotch Presbyterians, among whom Malachi Jones had organized a church. "The word of the Lord was precious" to his people in those days, and although the language of the Welshman was not always intelligible to them, the Dutch flocked to hear him and many united with his church. Their proportion to the original membership is shown by the fact that of thirty weddings twenty-three were Dutch, and of one hundred and eight baptisms fifty-eight were of the same race. The confusion that often occurred in the baptism of Dutch children by a Welsh dominie is sometimes amusing— as the change of Gurtrui Arvcegh into Heertry Aueruck may illustrate. But the Welshman was quite acceptable to the Hollanders, and they asked him to preach in their own church, which he consented to do; and so, from 1714 to 1719, the number of Dutch names on the church register at Abington is perceptibly diminished, as the preaching in Bensalem becomes more frequent. There was also a change at the latter place, which indicated an influx of Scotch-Irish into the neighborhood. The formation of the Bensalem Presbyterian church in consequence, and the withdrawal of those who preferred to remain Dutch Reformed followed in close succession. Mr. Jones was again induced to preach at Sammeny, 1725—29. He had reached the advanced age of seventy-four years, but the results of his work as shown in confirmations and baptisms compare favorably with those of his younger and stronger years. The following is an instance of his method of indictment, procedure of trial, and punishment of an inconsistent church member: "April ye 27th Anno Domini 1728 . . . . . charged by the Church of being guilty, 1st, of being a notorious lyer; 2ly, a notorious swerer; 3ly, of cheating and Robbing whoever would give him any credit; 4ly, armed himself with weapons to kill and murder such as would come according to Law to demand their rights, whether in their own persons or by the King’s officers, and thus Rebelling against the Government; 5ly, of Running away out of ye Province with other men’s goods. Therefore, ye sd . . . . being guilty of such abominations, we have determined to put him from among us, according to ye order given to all ye churches of Christ in such cases, as in the 1 Cor. 5: 2, 4, 5, 13. Malachi Jones, M." His pastorate at Sammeny closed with his death, March 26, 1729. The inscription on a marble slab that marks his resting-place has thus been translated: "While I had life I should have been faithful, O Christ, to thee, with zeal, with pious mind, studious in doctrine, proclaiming thee or proclaiming thy truth. To rue, in life, thou hast been Delight; now to me, dead thou art Glory, Life, Salvation."

In the meantime the Dutch people in Bensalem were not without pastoral care. Reverend Theodorus Jacobus Freilenghausen preached regularly for them for about ten years. He was the first Reform minister in New Jersey, with a field that virtually comprehended the entire state, and headquarters at Three-Mile run, or New Brunswick. Gilbert Tennent, George Whitefield, and Jonathan Edwards alike commend his faithfulness and devotion to an ill-requited work.

The years immediately following the death of Mr. Jones were marked by troublesome times with the Low-Dutch. At first, 1710, they had a church organization and a Dutch pastor, then a Welsh preacher for a time, with occasional services in their own language; but in 1730 there was no pastor nor any organization, nor the prospect of obtaining the one or effecting the other. In this extremity they called upon Reverend Cornelius Van Santwood for advice and assistance. He was pastor at Staten Island, and well known to many of those he was asked to help. May 30, 1730, he visited them; the church assembled, those of the old officers present were recognized, and two elders and as many deacons ordained. The affairs of the church in all their moods and tenses were freely discussed. The place of meeting at this time was the house of Jacobus Van Zandt, near Churchville. It was thought that the first thing to do should be the erection of a church building, or possibly two, as they were very much scattered; but as they were too weak to do this, one church was the final decision. And with this action the matter rested for a time. An equally pressing need was a pastor, and in this their adviser agreed with them that it would be best to correspond with the ecclesiastical authorities in Holland. It was resolved that "We need for ourselves and our children a minister able in the highest degree. Our duty is to provide ourselves with such au one, since God has blessed us so that we can honestly support him." The amount of this support was fixed at "Not less than eighty pounds if he shall honestly keep house;" and the qualifications of the dominie that "He must he about thirty years old and unmarried. More, he must be mighty to instruct and convince gainsayers." As an additional inducement a half year’s salary was promised in advance, also a good riding-horse or the use of one in travelling on Sundays. It was further agreed that his salary should be supplemented by the free use of a house and some land, sufficient for the pasturage of a horse and cow, with "a right good garden and a reasonable orchard." And on the following day, May 31, 1730, a letter to the fatherland was sent, and upon its reception depended to a great extent the future of the congregation. Seven years of waiting passed by, and the Reverend Petrus Hendricus Doesius arrived (September, 1737). An answer had, indeed, been received in 1732, but it merely assured the people on this side of the sea that they were "putting their hands to it." May 29, 1734, a second letter had arrived, informing them that they had secured a "brave, learned young man," Marsius by name, the son of a minister, and money was sent for his passage. But he was not quite brave enough, and declined at the last moment. The letter announcing this also stated that there was yet another young man, poor, but studious, and earnestly desirous of preaching in distant parts of the world. His name was Doesius. His passage from Rotterdam to Philadelphia was promptly defrayed by the church, and thirty-four pounds, a half year’s salary, was advanced as "a free gift." So substantial a welcome as this must have been sincere. The condition of the congregation during the ten years just past had been most discouraging. Occasional meetings for service were held at private houses. Johannes Slecht, the "Voorlezer," read a sermon or other discourse, but it may safely be supposed that the singing formed the most interesting part of the exercises. Pastor Freilenghausen advised them to furnish the reader with a riding-horse by turns, but this was not done, and in 1732 he ceased his labors. With the advent of the new pastor a new era seems to have begun. The erection of a new church building was at once agitated. Fifty-one subscriptions aggregated one hundred and twenty-four pounds ten shillings and four pence. The Long Island church generously contributed four pounds ten shillings. The burial-ground at Feasterville was chosen as its site. It was completed in 1738 or 1739. The subscription list appears to have become quite popular by this time, for an effort was made to purchase the parsonage farm and "reasonable orchard." Ninety-six acres in Byberry were bought for this purpose by Henry Kroesen and Abraham Vandygrift in 1739. Shortly afterward the dominie brought himself into full conformity with the new order of things by marrying Janneke Hoghlandt, one of his younger members. The first five years of Doesius’s labors were eminently successful. The membership was more than doubled, thirty-four being received on confession and eighteen by letter; one hundred and seventy-four baptisms and forty-one marriage ceremonies complete the statistics of this period. He also instructed theological students at his house, and for assisting at the ordination of one of them without due authority he was severely reprimanded by the Synod in Holland. He returned to that country in 1743, and argued his cause without success. His consistory gave him a strong letter of indorsement, reflecting severely upon the proselyting efforts of surrounding churches. They urged him to return, and in 1744 extended a new call, which, as they had diminished in numbers in his absence, was not then so advantageous or so liberal as fourteen years previously. On New-year’s day, 1745, he arrived at Philadelphia. But the ordeal through which he had passed had deprived him of that power in influencing others he had formerly wielded so effectually, and a career which promised usefulness and success closed in obscurity and failure.

Four years, 1746—50, the church was without a pastor. Reverend Michael Schlatter supplied the pulpit during this time, with the characteristic ability which distinguished him as the virtual founder of the German Reformed church in this country, and harmony was restored. In 1749 a call was extended to Jonathan Du Bois, not yet a reverend, but only a student, whom the church was assisting to educate. He was to preach twice on Sunday in summer and once in winter. He was to receive fifty pounds salary, the use of seventy acres of land and of a house and barn; also, "a horse and all that belongs thereunto," and "eight Sundays in the year to yourself," which it was understood should be employed in Bensalem. He came first as stated supply, but in 1752 was ordained and installed, having married in the previous year Hilletje Wynkoop, the daughter of an elder in his church. One of his first acts, and the most important of his administration, was the building of a church at Addisville. This step had been decided upon prior to his installation. The work was begun in 1751, when an acre of ground was purchased from Evan Jones. Derrick Kroesen, Joseph Fenton, Adreejan Cornell, Garret Van Zandt, Gerardus Wynkoop, and Nicholas Wynkoop were among those most active in this enterprise. Among the items in a bill of expenses is one of fifteen shillings for "rum for the raising of the meeting-house." It was completed and paid for "in full of all debts, dues, and demands," in 1753, through the assistance of churches in New Jersey and on Long Island. The seating capacity of this church was one hundred and seventy. The pew-rent system in a modified form was introduced. A new phase of organization and government appears in 1757 in the election of two church-masters. The first two were Hendrick Kroesen and Jacob Bennet. They found a small balance in the treasury, and applied it to repairs of the Feasterville church. The pastorate of Mr. Du Bois was closed by his death in 1772. He was well adapted to the people among whom he labored; his remains rest with theirs in the burial-ground at Addisville.

For their next pastor, instead of sending to Holland or educating him from among themselves, the people looked to the Dutch council of New York. July 8, 1774, a call was extended to Reverend Martinus Schoonmaker, hut he declined. Rynier Van Nest received the next call, and regarded it with equal favor. April 12, 1776, Reverend William Schenck accepted a call signed by fifty-five women and twenty-two men. The disparity of members thus shown indicates to what extent the Dutch of Northampton and Southampton were patriots. Their new pastor had been compelled to leave Monmouth, New Jersey, by the British. He was promised a salary of eighty pounds, and that he might gradually learn to address his congregation in their vernacular, he was to preach the first year in English only, the second year "half-and-half" in summer and two-thirds Dutch in winter. How far the experiment was successful can only be conjectured.

The next pastor was Matthew Leydt, 1780—83. He was called on a salary of two hundred and ten bushels of wheat. For the third time in the history of the church its minister died at his post. Mr. Leydt is buried in the Feasterville graveyard. Although without a pastor, church work was not relinquished. A contribution was sent to the Minnisink congregation, which had suffered severely during the war. The church buildings were also repaired. Reverend Peter Stryker was called as pastor, September 15, 1788. His was the first call written in English, but the new pastor was distinctively a Dutchman. He remained two years. In September, 1794, Reverend John C. Brush received a letter from the consistory, which, from its introductory sentence, "In the name of God, Amen," may have seemed somewhat like a will, but which imported nothing more serious than a call to their church at an annual salary of three hundred dollars. He accepted, and remained two years. Reverend Jacob Larzelere, the ninth pastor of this church, was installed October 13, 1797. A new parsonage was built the following year, Daniel Hogeland being business agent. In 1804 a bequest of three hundred pounds was left to the congregation by the will of Henry Lymbacher. The centennial of its history passed by without special observance. Perhaps the needs of the present were too plainly apparent. The erection of a new church building was a consideration of first importance about that time. The Southampton church had stood seventy-five years, the Northampton building sixty years. August 16, 1813, it was decided by a vote of eighty-four to thirty-two to rebuild one church only. September 28, the northeast corner of Mr. McNair’s farm was chosen as the site. A lot of three acres was purchased and given to the church by Gilliam Cornell. Joshua Prall was made superintendent of the building. It was finished in 1816, but with a debt of six thousand dollars, partially liquidated by the sale of pews. With accumulated interest, it ultimately absorbed the parsonage and farm. About this time, the burial-grounds at the former old churches were inclosed and their general appearance greatly improved. The prosperity of the church during Mr. Larzelere’s thirty-one years’ pastorate seems to have been temporal rather than spiritual. In 1823, Christopher Vanartsdalen, the treasurer, reports among the church’s resources three thousand eight hundred and fifty-eight dollars in interest-bearing bonds. There was scarcely any increase in the membership. One reason to which this may be assigned is the location of the church, which was not convenient to many. Two hundred and sixteen marriages are recorded during this pastorate; five hundred and eleven baptisms, and one hundred and twenty-nine accessions. October 13, 1838, pastor and people mutually agreed to separate.

The ensuing pastorate of Reverend Abram Ootwout Halsey was the longest in the history of the church. His call was dated May 5, 1829. A new house for the new pastor was forthwith purchased. He was evidently skeptical as to whether charity should begin at home. With an exhausted local treasury, he nevertheless called upon the people regularly for mission contributions. On one occasion, sixty-seven dollars were sent to the aid of Sunday schools in the Mississippi valley. Every tenth year was signalized by a revival of religion. In 1842—43 one hundred and seventy persons were received into the church on confession; there were ninety accessions in 1852—53. The use of coal was introduced in 1846, when two furnaces were built for heating purposes. Another church building was the great question in 1857. It was decided to build at Addisville. A building committee of thirteen was appointed, ground purchased, and work begun in 1858. The new church was completed the following year, and Reverend N.S. Knowlton became associate pastor. But this arrangement caused some friction; and in 1864 the Addisville church was organized and an amicable division of the church property effected. This was the closing act of Mr. Halsey’s administration his death occurred August 27, 1868. His sermons were characterized by length, depth, and breadth; originality, comprehensiveness, and eloquence.

Four short pastorates since 1868 follow this one of thirty-eight years.

Reverend William H. De Hart was called February 24, 1868, and resigned December 31, 1870; Reverend Henry Martyn Voorhees was called October 31, 1871, and resigned in 1877; Reverend B.C. Lippincott was called June

27, 1877, and resigned November 5, 1881; Reverend Samuel Strong, the present incumbent, was installed February 16, 1882. The beautiful appearance of the church building is largely due to his efforts, nearly twenty years ago. The parsonage adjoining was purchased in 1873. The essential points in this history of one hundred and seventy-seven years have now been presented; the church has had a career honorable to the denomination with which it is connected and to the membership of which it is composed; and its present prosperous condition proves that it has not outlived its usefulness.

The Southampton Baptist church is the oldest in the county and seventh in the state. Its origin dates from the "Keithian" division among Friends in 1691, when the dissidents were known as "Keithian Baptists." A small congregation met for worship monthly at the house of John Swift in Southampton, with John Hart, a former distinguished Friend, as pastor. In 1702 this church was connected with Pennypack, but the meetings at Swift’s were continued, Mr. Hart’s position being changed to that of assistant to Thomas Griffith, the regular pastor. Subsequently, Mr. Swift removed to Philadelphia, and the place of meeting was changed to the house of Peter Chamberlain. In 1721, upon the death of Reverend Samuel Jones, then pastor at Pennypack, these meetings were discontinued; but in 1726, when Jenkin Jones became pastor, they were resumed. A short time afterward George Eaton was called as assistant, and the house of John Morris became the place of meeting. In 1730 he gave a lot of one acre for meeting-house and burial-ground, "in order that the preaching of the gospel might be continued at Southampton." For the support of a pastor he supplemented this with a farm of one hundred and twenty acres. A deed of trust for this property was executed in 1732 to Jeremiah Dungan, Robert Parsons, John Dungan, John Hart, and Thomas Dungan, the church building having been completed the previous year. Joseph Eaton was called to preach one Sunday in each month and Jenkin Jones on week-days.

The history of the congregation as an organization dates from April 5, 1745, when Pennypack church, at the request of the Southampton people, dissolved the union formerly existing between them and constituted the latter a separate body. Three days later a solemn convocation was entered into by fifty-two persons, among whom appear the names of Yerkes, Gilbert, Jones, Shaw, Dungan, Potts, Murray, Morgan, and others equally familiar at the present day. Joshua Potts, Stephen Watts, and John Hart were called to the offices of teacher, ruling elder, and deacon, respectively. Upon the death of Mr. Potts in 1761 Thomas Davis preached for a short time. Dr. Samuel Jones became pastor in 1763. Erasmus Kelley succeeded him June 1, 1776, and William Vanhoern May 29, 1773, but resigned in 1785. Reverend Thomas B. Montanye was called from Warwick, New York, in 1801. He died in 1829, after a pastorate of twenty-eight years. James B. Bowen was pastor for twelve years preceding 1843; Alfred Earle, from December 30, 1843, to June 17, 1848; William Sharp, April 7, 1849, to September 14, 1854; Daniel L. Harding, October 14, 1854, to January 11, 1865; William J. Purrington, August 26, 1867, to April 13, 1879; and Silas Durand, April 12, 1884, to -----. The church was incorporated by act of assembly in 1794. The first board of trustees was composed of Elias Yerkes, Arthur Watts, Thomas Folwell, Elias Dungan, Abel Morgan, John Folwell, Joseph Hart, Isaac Edwards, Joshua Dungan, and Jacob Yerkes. It was connected with the Philadelphia Baptist Association until the formation of the Delaware River Association in October, 1835, when it became one of the constituent churches of that body. The church building erected in 1731 was rebuilt in 1772, and enlarged in 1814. One of the first Sunday schools in the county was organized here in 1814 or 1815. Among its superintendents were William Purdy, Jacob Wright, Christopher Search, and John Davis. This was a pioneer school. For years no other Sunday school was held in all this section of country, and people came for miles to see how it was conducted.

The Davisville Baptist church was known originally as the "Independent Baptist church of Southampton." It was constituted at the house of Jesse L. Booz March 31, 1849, with thirty-three members who had withdrawn from the older body on account of differences of opinion regarding different matters of church polity. This new organization met for worship in the Davisville schoolhouse until January 1, 1850, when a church edifice was completed. This building was of stone, thirty-three by forty-five feet, and cost fifteen hundred dollars. It was changed into the present commodious house of worship in 1867 at a cost of seven thousand dollars. The following pastors have served the church: Alfred Earle, 1849—1850; Frederick Kent, 1857—1858; Charles Cox, 1858—1860; James H. Appleton, 1860—1861; Alfred Earle, 1861—1862: Thomas Cole (supply for six months); W.H. Conard, 1862—1876; S.V. Marsh, 1876—1883; Philip Berry, 1883 -----. The deacons, in regular order, have been John Potts, Bernard Van Horn, Thomas Erwin, Samuel Leedom, Dennis Britton, Thomas Leedom, John B. Heritage, and Charles W. Heaton. The church was first known by its present name in 1858, when a mission church in New York acknowledged the receipt of a communion set from "Davisville" church. In 1870 a formal change was made, but the new name had been in popular use long before that. This church was unassociated until 1858, when it became a member of the North Philadelphia Association.

NORTHAMPTON is referred to in the report of the commission of 1692 as "the lands about (Southampton). From preference, necessity, or indifference, its people permitted their farms and houses to be known by this comprehensive but undefined name for thirty years. December 11, 1722, a petition was presented to the court, praying for the erection of a township between Southampton, Warminster, and the Neshaminy. This document was accompanied by a draft of the proposed township; and as its present boundaries are identical with those therein described, it is evident that the petition was acceded to. The extreme length is seven and one-half miles, and width four and one-half miles. Between Warwick on the north and Middletown on the south, Newtown and Wrightstown on the east, Warminster and Southampton on the southwest, an area of fourteen thousand acres is inclosed. The population by the last census was one thousand seven hundred and sixty-eight. Farming is the principal occupation, and the agricultural character of Northampton and Southampton is of a high order. The soil is fertile, the land uniformly level, with a well-defined slope to the south and southeast. The meadows produce luxuriant crops of hay, a staple product, much of which is hauled by the farmers themselves to Philadelphia. Since the opening of railroads through this section (1876) dairying has also been pursued with profit. For this it is admirably adapted. Numerous springs and streams of water increase and preserve the fertility of the soil, while the rows of willow and sycamore that line their banks relieve the monotony of an otherwise unbroken landscape. Broad Axe creek rises above Springville, in Northampton, flows in a southerly course, receiving waters of the "Iron Works" at Holland, and numerous smaller streams at various points, and thence pursues its meandering course to the Neshaminy. Jacksonville and Slack creeks are affluents of the Little Neshaminy from northern Northampton. Mill creek is one of a number of tributaries of the Neshaminy from the same township. The Poquessing rises in Southampton, pursues a zigzag southerly course at the boundary between Bucks and the adjoining portion of Philadelphia county, and empties into the Delaware at Torresdale. Several branches of the Pennypack rise in this township.

East of the Bristol road in Northampton, the most considerable survey was that of Arthur Cook, which formed the northwestern corner of the township; south of this, and adjoining the same thoroughfare, were the lands of Joab Howle, Robert Freeman, William Buckman, Thomas Rowland, Samuel Allen, Peter Freeman, Edmund Bennet, and Thomas Walmesley, whose tracts extended diagonally to the Neshaminy; following the course of this stream to the north, the successive land-holders along its border were Hurst, Edmund Bennet, Richard Thatcher, Christopher Taylor, Anthony Tompkins, Robert Turner, John Brown, William Pickering, and Benjamin East; the three tracts in the center of the township which did not extend to any of its boundaries were those of Thomas Atkinson, John Pennington, and Daniel Wherley.

Among the settlers of Northampton were several who accompanied Penn in the Welcome, on his first visit to the province. Thomas Walmesley, of Yorkshire, and William Buckman, of Sussex, millwright and carpenter, respectively, were of this class. The former died before executing his plans, for his purchase included lands along the Neshaminy which might have made an eligible mill-site, and he had brought with him such necessary machinery as could not be readily improvised in a new country. Cuthbert Hayhurst, of Yorkshire, though not mentioned on Holme’s map, was the owner of a tract of four hundred acres in the southwestern part of the township. The Dutch families of the township are descended from the same ancestry as those of the name in Southampton.

The Middle road was granted in 1693, and when completed to Yardley, passed through the central part of Northampton in a direction nearly due east. Many years ago, when the public house was in greater favor than at present, one Mr. Bennett established on this road the "Black Bear," a hostelry famous in its day and generation. He was succeeded by Richard Leedom, who was "mine host" in revolutionary times, and amassed considerable property by speculating in continental money. His uniform prosperity invited competition, and the "White Bear" was thenceforth opened. The opening of a new road promised to give it the advantage, but Leedom, who owned all the land in the vicinity, was not thus easily left in the rear. He opened a private lane through his land, thus giving the travelling public a more direct route than before. It is known to this day as "Spite" lane. In course of time the Middle road was extended from the Bear to the Anchor, in Wrightstown, and a second branch was opened to connect with the Bristol road. About the beginning of this century Amos Addis laid off a number of building-lots a short distance north from the Bear on this road, and the hamlet that thus came into existence received the name of Addisville. Richard Leedom again felt that his prerogative was infringed upon, and forthwith prepared to absorb this incipient village into the town of "Leedomville." The effort was only partially successful; for in the course of years, and by a process neither rapid nor brilliant, the distance between the two villages was so abbreviated and their joint population had so increased that it became necessary to select a name for a post-office. Whereupon, with a mutual forbearance both wise and effectual, the traditional antagonism was forgotten, or rather compromised, by the choice of Richboro, compounded from the first name of the richest citizen it has ever known and a good old Anglo-Saxon termination. But the Reformed church of Addisville has meanwhile come into existence; and as this reconciles the friends of that name, let the metropolis of Northampton be known ecclesiastically as Addisville, politically as Richboro, and popularly as the Bear to the end of time.

The only other villages entirely within the township are Rocksville and Jacksonville, in its extreme southern and northern portions. The latter was so named in honor of the president whose name it bears, but it may be questioned whether it is not more of an honor to the place than to him. Rocksville, though eminently appropriate, judging from the appearance of the country in its immediate vicinity, is known as a post-office under the name of Holland. A station on the Philadelphia, Newtown, & New York railroad is also called Holland.

Although country villages are not usually favorable to the growth of secret societies, one of the oldest Odd Fellows’ lodges in this county is that of Richboro. The charter of Northern Star Lodge, No. 54, I.O.O.F., was granted April 21, 1845, to Samuel Thompson, N.G., Christopher H. Leedom, V.G., William Edwards, S., and John K. Tomlinson, A.S., in lieu of one surrendered to the Grand Lodge in 1837. There is reason to believe that this first charter was granted as early as 1825. Meetings were first held at the White Bear hotel, then kept by William Harris. In 1845 the hall occupied at present was erected. It is a large stone building three stories in height. Curtis Encampment, I.O.O.F., of Newtown, was instituted here in 1848. The membership of Northern Star Lodge in October, 1886, was eighty.

Star of Liberty Castle, No. 83, Knights of the Golden Eagle, was organized at Churchville under a dispensation granted March 24, 1886, with a membership of thirty-two, of whom the following were the principal officers: Jesse J. Finney, Thomas Beans, W.A. Yerkes, Thomas H. Fetter, E.H. Leedom, G.W. Beans, W.C. Cunningham, George Jamison, and Wilson Brown.

Harmony Castle, No. 109, Knights of the Mystic Chain, was instituted at Churchville, August 13, l884, with Jesse J. Finney, Chaplain, John W. Saurman, S.K.C., John W. Tomlinson, S.K.V.C., Abraham Krewson, F.L., W.C. Cunningham, R.S., George Beans, A.R.S., George Huey, F.S., Thomas Beans, S.K.T., Wilson Brown, I.G., George Jamison, O.G.

The religious affiliations of the people of this township with the Churchville Reformed church have been observed; and a separation from the parent body was long deferred and reluctantly decided upon. The church edifice (Reformed) at Addisville was dedicated April 20, 1859. The congregation worshipping here was thenceforth served alternately by Dr. Halsey and Mr. Knowlton. Upon the resignation of the latter, application was made to classis for a division of the charge. This was granted, and the separate existence of the Addisville church dates from May 19, 1864. An organization with seventy-nine members was effected April 7, 1864, when Henry S. Krusen, Gilliam Cornell, Jonathan Lefferts, and Theodore M. Vanartsdalen were chosen elders, Alfred Carver, Isaac Bennett, John Krusen, and Thomas H. Hart deacons. The first settled pastor was Reverend G. DeWitt Bodine, who was ordained and installed September 20, 1864, and remained four years, when he was succeeded by Reverend J.L. Ammerman, who resigned in 1871. The ensuing pastorate of Reverend Isaac Collier was thirteen years in length and terminated October 1, 1885, when Reverend E. Birdsall, the present incumbent, took charge.

About the year 1857, an unsuccessful effort was made to establish a Presbyterian church at Richboro. A church edifice was built, and subsequently purchased by a recently formed Methodist society. It is a substantial building with pleasant surroundings, and valued at six thousand dollars. The membership in 1886 was seventy-nine. The Methodist church at Scottsville was built in 1867. It is a stone structure, thirty-five by forty-five feet, with a seating capacity of two hundred and fifty.



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