RICHLAND is distinguished as the only one of the northern townships of which the Friends formed the early population. Under date of 4th month, 15th, 1773, Samuel Foulke thus explains the settlement and growth of the society: "The first settlement of Friends in this place was about the year 1710, by our ancient friend Peter Lester, from Leicestershire, in England, who, with his wife and children and their families, became members of Gwynedd monthly meeting, held at the said Peter Lesterís house for several years. Friends lived in amicable intercourse with the Indian natives, who at that time were numerous in these parts and often helpful to the new settlers in furnishing them with necessary provisions, which is gratefully remembered by some yet living among us. About the year 1723 a small meeting-house was built and a preparative meeting there held by the assent of the said monthly meeting. And Friends continuing to increase in number by the youth growing up and the accession of several families of Friends from other places, it became necessary, in the year 1730, to build a new meeting-house, which was done on a commodious lot of ground near the center of the settlement. And our said meeting, through the blessing of divine Providence both spiritually and temporally bestowed, still continued to increase in strength and numbers until the year 1742, when Friends thought it expedient to make application to the quarterly meeting held at Philadelphia, the 1st of 9th month, 1742, to have a monthly meeting erected among themselves; which was granted them to be held the third fifth day of the week in each month and called Richland monthly meeting, which from that time has continued, and Friends here have since made considerable additions to their meeting-house to accommodate the meeting." It appears from this that the Friends were the earliest settlers of Richland. This was occasioned, not by the regular advance of that people from the lower townships, but by a flanking current of immigration, principally Welsh, which advanced by way of Gwynedd in Montgomery county. The language, social customs, and religious preferences of these first settlers are still retained in marked contrast with distinctive German characteristics of the surrounding territory.

At the time when this region was first invaded by the colonist it was known by no other name than" The Great Swamp," and the present designation would have been considered a misnomer. The proprietors were among the first to become apprised that the land was better than its reputation, and by their order John Chapman and John Cutler surveyed the manor of Richlands, the area, according to their return, being sixteen thousand seven hundred and forty-nine acres. The date of this survey cannot be definitely determined, and it is supposed that the earliest individual warrant for lands in this section was that of Griffith Jones, whose warrant was issued in 1701, and called for six thousand acres. In 1708 Abraham Griffith purchased a portion of this from his relative and removed thither within a few years. Joseph Growden and Joseph Gilbert were also early land-owners. The families of Roberts, Foulke, Gilbert, Nixon, Edwards, and Hyatt were prominent among those who formed the early community. The district had little need for local officers, and not until 1719 was it recognized in the appointment of constables and supervisors. At September court, 1734, the following petition was presented: "The petition of several of the inhabitants of that part of this county commonly called the Great Swamp or Richlands whose names are hereunto subscribed, hereby sheweth: That although that part of this county in which your petitioners dwell has for many years last past been reputed a township, yet having never been actually laid out by virtue of any order of this court many disputes have arisen touching the extent and boundaries thereof, so that your petitioners have found it extremely difficult to obtain an amendment of their highways when occasion required, and some of these are become almost impassable; for avoiding of which and many other inconveniences that may attend, your petitioners pray an order of this court for erecting and laying out a township by the name of Richlands, to begin at a corner white oak tree between David Jenkinsí and Abraham Griffithís lands on the south side of the said lands, and from thence to run north five miles and a half, then east about four miles and a half (or so far as that a due south line may include James Loganís and Joseph Pikeís lands), and from that corner south along the lines of the said lands five miles and a half, and so due west to the place of beginning." The signatures of Peter Lester, Sr., Thomas Mc----, Nora -----, Duke Jackson, Lawrence Growden, John Ball, George Hyatt, John Phillips, Edward Roberts, John Lester, and Thomas Herd are attached to this document. A draft of the territory to constitute the proposed township was also submitted to the court. The idea seems to have been to have its shape conform to that of a parallelogram, but this was partially frustrated.

Favorable action was taken by the court, and the township with due formality erected. Its extreme length is five and one-half miles, width four miles, and area fourteen thousand acres. The population in 1880 was one thousand nine hundred and ninety-four. The "rich lands" have not ceased to merit that name. Richland is one of the most wealthy, populous, and prosperous of the northern townships. Farming and dairying receive much attention, and for both the surface and soil are admirably adapted. There is a scarcely perceptible rise of the land toward the western boundary, culminating in the water-shed which separates the basins of Swamp creek and the Tohickon. The latter here receives the waters of Licking creek, Beaver run, Morgan run, and other streams not so fortunate as to possess local names. If local names and the significance of the original name may be credited, these streams were once scarcely distinguishable currents in the surrounding bog. Through a process known only by its effects the stagnant water and decaying vegetation were at length separated, leaving a level plain of great fertility. There still lingered in the humid earth germs of disease which the first operations of the pioneer farmer speedily quickened into life; and so in the first years of the townshipís history sickness was frequent and often fatal. This condition of things ceased when the country was brought under general cultivation, and the locality is famous for its healthfulness and salubrity, and the remarkable longevity of its inhabitants.

The borough of Quakertown is situated at the center of an elevated elliptical plain (the basin of the swampó the circumference being a belt of trap rock), the diameters of which are six and four miles respectively. In the immediate vicinity the owners of land, in 1715, were Morris Morris (one thousand acres), Michael Atkinson (two hundred and fifty acres), James McVaugh (one hundred acres), John Moore (two hundred acres); in 1737, John Bond (two hundred and fifty acres), John George Bachman (two hundred and thirty-four acres); in 1774, Hugh Foulke (three hundred and thirteen acres). The residents of this vicinity, in 1730, were Hugh Foulke, John Lester, John Adamson, Arnal Heacock, John Phillips, William Morris, John Richards, William Jamison, Edmund Phillips, John Ball, John Edwards, Thomas Roberts, William Nixon, Arthur Jones, and Edward Roberts. Scullís map of 1770 locates the public house of Walter McCool at the intersection of two well-known and much-travelled roads, one leading from Bethlehem to Philadelphia, the other from Milford to the southern part of the county, and within the present limits of the borough. The Friendsí meeting-house completed the number of houses at that time, and but little change was apparent before the close of the century. But, as must inevitably occur at a place combining the advantages of cross-roads, hotel, and meeting-house, a hamlet eventually came into existence; and in 1803 it received a name and the appointment of its first postmaster in the person of William Green. For many years its growth was scarcely perceptible, and such houses as were built were not at a greater distance than necessary from the Red Lion hotel. The condition of the roads was not flattering; it is said that within the memory of persons now living the highway leading east from the village was almost impassable except in the summer months, and a dense forest lined it on either side.

And thus, until the middle of the present century, Quakertown was only a country village possessing few features of importance and almost without a history as far as material growth was concerned. In 1856, it comprised sixty-two dwellings, an increase of twenty-two in thirty-four years. The North Pennsylvania railroad was constructed in that year; and the impetus thus given to improvement and expansion may be traced in the subsequent development of the town. However, old Quakertown was separated from the station of that name by a mile of mud road, thus modifying to a great extent the benefit it would otherwise have derived. The land about the railroad station was owned by John Strawn and Joel B. Roberts, by whom it was laid out into streets and building lots; and in a few years this was the site of a busy, active, and growing village. A post-office was established in 1867 under the name of Richland Center, by which it is still known. In the meantime a macadamized road has taken the place of the former indifferent highway to the old town. It is known as Broad street between Main and Front; west of the former it becomes the Bethlehem road, and east of the latter the Doylestown road. The intervening streets are twelve in number, and are named in order from Front, First, Second, etc. They are not parallel, a circumstance which should have been guarded against, as it prevents regularity in form and appearance. Juniper street is parallel with Broad to the south from it. Quakertown was incorporated as a borough in 1854. The corporate limits were so extended in 1874 as to include Richland Center, so that both are now under the same municipal government. The population in 1870 was eight hundred and sixty-three; in 1880, one thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine, an increase of more than nine hundred persons.

Although the expansion so noticeable a decade ago has not continued in such a marked degree, the growth of the town at the present time is fully sustained by the development of its business and industrial interests, and has, therefore, a character of permanence and stability. There are quite a number of manufacturing pursuitsó cigars, tools, boots, shoes, clothing, harness, spokes, felloes, handles, and stoves being the principal products of local industry. The Quakertown stove-works, operated since October 13, 1881, by Roberts, Scypes & Company, have contributed more to the prosperity of the town than any other of its industrial establishments. The business was originated by Thomas, Roberts, Stevenson & Company, in 1866, on a small scale, and gradually enlarged until 1882, when there were one hundred and two men on the payroll. On the morning of November 2, of that year, the works were completely destroyed by fire. February 8, 1882, the new firm first operated their recently completed works, the firm name becoming Rodgers, Scypes & Company, and so continuing until the present style was adopted. Sixty-eight operatives are employed, the yearly disbursements for wages aggregating thirty thousand dollars. The annual product approximates in value seventy-five thousand dollars, and consists exclusively of stoves, heaters, and ranges. The Quakertown harness-works, established in 1878, are also of considerable local importance. A large brick building, one hundred and forty by fifty-seven feet in dimensions, has recently been erected to accommodate the expanding proportions of the manufacture. It was first occupied in December, 1886. Similar particulars might be given concerning other establishments, but their relative importance is not sufficient to justify this. Nearly every branch of business is represented. There are four drug-stores; but the vital statistics of the locality fail to explain whence they derive an existence. Business transactions, of every character, are greatly facilitated by the Quakertown National Bank, a well-sustained financial institution. It was organized June 27, 1877, and incorporated July 21, 1877, with one hundred thousand dollars capital. The original organization was constituted as follows: president, Joseph Thomas; cashier, Charles C. Herring, Jr.; teller, Byron Thomas; directors, A.B. Walp, J.D.K. Rinehart, R.B. Delp, S.B. Thatcher, R.J. Linderman, I.H. Shelly, John S. Stephens, Charles Fellman, and S.F. Sheetz. The annual dividends have uniformly been six per cent., and the surplus is equal to fifty per cent, of the capital stock. The predecessor of this was a state bank, established May 12, 1871. It paid enormous dividends, but was merged into the present concern, the usefulness of institutions of its character having become a thing of the past.

In social, as well as business circles, this place is second to no other in the northern part of the county. Quakertown Lodge, No. 512, F. & A. M., was chartered June 5, 1872, with Benjamin H. Senderlin, W.M., Joseph Thomas, S.W., and Joseph Hartman, J.W. A list of successive past-masters is herewith presented: Benjamin H. Senderlin, Joseph Thomas, Isaac S. Moyer, Charles E. Trausue, John A. Ozias, James M. Shaw, Ezekiel Thomas, Joseph Hartman, Simon Singer, George W. Keeler, and Milton K. Erdman.

Quakertown Council, No. 149, O.U.A.M., was instituted December is, 1857, by Edward Ranch, state councillor, with the following members: William M. Jackson, E.T. Ochs, J.P. Jacoby, L.P. Jacoby, J.B. Edmonds, S.W. Miller, James Van Houten, William Van Houten, Tobias Grant, William H. Dengler, George O. Mangle, and William Bunstein, of whom Mr. Dengler is the only survivor. Upwards of five hundred persons have been initiated in the thirty years of its history.

Quakertown Lodge, No. 714, I.O.O.F., was instituted June 17, 1870. The following were original members: Thomas P. Ochs, N.G.; Joshua K. Wise, V.G.; J.H. Fulmer, secretary; Henry F. Hager, A.S.; Henry U. Erdman, treasurer; F.H. Hausman, Lewis H. Walp, Milton F. Wolf, S.U. Singmaster, William H. Bean, H.B. Fellman, David L. Reimer, William N. Loux, Charles D. Walp, William H.B. Diehl, Henry Bean, David R. Jamison, R.B. Slack, and Joseph Thomas. The present membership is sixty-four.

Quakertown Castle, Knights of the Golden Eagle, was organized August 17, 1886, by C.G. Simon, G.M. of this state, with thirty-three members, of whom the following were incumbents of their respective offices: William H. Dengler, P.C., A.R. Eidell, N.C., Samuel Hoffart, V.C., Owen Guzzman, M.R., A. Crouse, C.E., M.F. Miller, K.E., Elmer Jordan, V.H., Reuben Rupert, S.H., and Charles F. Wetter, H.P.

Secona Tribe, No. 263, Order of Red Men, was formed November 27, 1885, with fifty-five members, of whom Henry H. Miller, L.C. Raisner, J.S. Monroe, Thomas J. Ziegenfuss, and John M. Weidamoyer were the principal officers.

Marion Circle, No. 16, B.U. (H.F.) C. of A., was instituted January, 1867, at the house of George Miller, in Quakertown, when the following members were initiated: T.P. Walters, Washington Snyder, John Laybold, Charles F. Miller, Elias Snyder, Charles M. Brunner, George Miller, Alfred Fackenthall, Thomas Morris, George Wolford, Everhart Fisher, Edward Roth, Michael Heitz, and Rufus Hoover. Two hundred and eight members have been initiated in the twenty years of its existence. The amount of money paid in benefits aggregates nearly four thousand dollars; present assets, about three thousand dollars.

General Peter Lyle Post, No. 145, G.A.R., was mustered April 3, 1880. The following names appear on the roll for that evening: Jeremiah S. Fluck, Joseph C. Harmer, Edward Carroll, William Clements, Robert E. Patton, A.M. Harmer, Levi K. Moore, Henry Seas, Evan H. Strawn, Joseph Gerbrohn, Charles Sigman, and Francis K. Saylor. The present membership is twenty-one.

Considerable interest has always been manifested in education. The Friends established schools at an early day, which were also attended by Germans, and exerted a healthful influence. The Richland Library was established in 1789, and has continued in active operation until the present time. The first teachersí institute in the county was held at Quakertown in 1860. A classical and normal school of advanced grade was opened in 1858 by Reverends F.R. Horne, D.D., and H. Louis Baugher, D.D., and continued five years. The originators subsequently engaged in other work, and the school was not so successful in the hands of their successors as it had been with them. The local public schools are well sustained and compare favorably with others of a similar character elsewhere.

The oldest religious society at Quakertown and in the northern part of the county is the Friendsí meeting, of which an account has been given. The present location of the meeting-house was chosen in 1730; and more than a hundred years elapsed before a second religious body appeared. The Lutheran and Reformed pastors of the vicinity preached occasionally in the village schoolhouse, but no effort was made to effect organizations prior to 1860. In August, 1858, the "Union Tabernacle," under the management of Reverend E.M. Long, was brought to Quakertown from Philadelphia, where it had been dedicated May 1, 1838. Services were begun in September and continued more than a month, and as a result a chapel was built for the use of the different churches, and dedicated November 7, 1858. Although not in the way intended, this effort effected much in arousing the latent religious activities of the people.

St. Johnís Evangelical Lutheran congregation of Quakertown was organized by Reverend F. Berkemeyer with about a score of members in the year 1860. The corner-stone of the present church edifice, situated on Roberts street, and owned jointly with St. Johnís Reformed congregation, was laid August 19, 1860, by Reverends P.S. Fisher and F. Berkemeyer. The basement was dedicated April 7, 1868, and the audience-room December 2, 1865. Having succeeded in establishing the congregation on a firm basis, Mr. Berkemeyer resigned the pastorate in 1867, and in August of that year he was succeeded by the Reverend George M. Lazarus, during whose ministry the congregation made great advances. The membership increased rapidly, the debt remaining on the church property was paid, a pipe-organ purchased, and English services became more frequent. In 1870 the Lutheran congregations at Applebachsville and "Kellerís" church, Bedminster, were added to St. Johnís, forming the Quakertown charge. In the midst of his successful pastoral labors, Mr. Lazarus was suddenly called away under the most distressing circumstances. January 31, 1874, whilst in attendance at a funeral he was violently thrown from his carriage by a runaway horse, receiving injuries from which he died in an hour. He was greatly beloved in the community in which he labored and exerted an influence for good in many directions. In addition to his pastoral work, he took a lively interest in educational matters. For several years he conducted a private academy in the lecture-rooms of St. Johnís church, and at the time of his death was superintendent of the Quakertown borough schools. It was largely through his efforts that the high school was established. He was followed by the present pastor, the Reverend J.F. Ohl, who has served the congregations without intermission since June, 1874. During his incumbency the church edifice has been twice remodelled, and is now one of the handsomest places of worship in the county. There has been a steady increase in the membership, which now numbers more than three hundred. The congregation has a most promising future.

St. Johnís Reformed church was organized in 1861 by Reverend P.S. Fisher. It has experienced much the same history as the Lutheran, with which it is united in the ownership of the church edifice. The present pastor is Reverend F.J. Mohr.

Methodism was introduced into Quakertown in 1872 by Reverend B.L. Sanderlin, who formed a class of twelve members. The present membership is seventy; value of property six thousand dollars. The first Evangelical class in the town was formed in 1879 by Reverend Anthony Ziegenfuss, then stationed at Kulpsville. He first held service, a prayer-meeting, at the house of S. Horne, in 1878. There were at this time hut two families of this persuasion in the town. The frame church building on Juniper street was dedicated November 15, 1880. Philip Kuntzman was the first class-leader. The following clergymen have been pastors: Anthony Ziegenfuss, David Lutz, F.D. Geary, Frederick Kueker, and G.C. Knobel. The Evangelical Mennonite congregation originated in Haycock township, where in October, 1859, the first church building of this denomination was dedicated. This was torn down and rebuilt at Quakertown in 1872. Reverend Abel Strawn is pastor.

Richlandtown is situated three miles east from Richland Center, with which it is connected by the Quakertown & Richland turnpike. It has been known successively as Three Lanesí Ends, Ducktown, Frytown, Flatland, and its present name, which came into existence as the post-office designation in 1839. The first house was built in 1804. It comprises a population of about one hundred, several stores and shops, and two churches. The oldest of these, St. Johnís Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed, was built in 1808 and rebuilt in 1860. It has not been ascertained whether or not religious services were held prior to 1808; it is known that there was a cemetery in the vicinity, and it is related that funeral services were sometimes conducted on the barn floor of a Mr. Groman. It is said that the person who hauled the first load of stones for the first church, Mr. Philip Stimmer, did so before daylight, so strong was his determination to secure that honor. Ludwig Fluck and Henry Massmer were the building committee. John Schaff gave the ground for its site and for the cemetery adjoining. Henry Stabler was the contractor and architect. He was paid one thousand two hundred dollars, in addition to which all the material was furnished. It was a stone building, in dimensions about thirty-five and forty feet, with galleries on three sides. The pulpit, in shape similar to a goblet or chalice, was artistically and profusely carved, as were other portions of the wood-work. The walls were substantially built, and after standing half a century were found to be in good condition. The cedar shingles of the roof were also in a good state of preservation. The succession of pastors has been as follows: Lutheran, Reverends Conrad Roeller, 1808ó18; Frederick Waagi, 1818ó60; Ferdinand Berkemeyer, 1860ó62; Edwin Sell, 1862ó64; Leonard Gerbe, 1864ó66; Reuben Kistler, 1866ó70; Joseph Hillpot, 1871ó81; D.H. Reiter, 1886. Reformed, Jacob Senn, 1808ó18; Samuel Stahr, 1818ó42; Abraham Birkey, 1842ó45; Samuel Hess, 1845ó68; Henry Hess, 1868ó74; F.J. Mohr, 1874. The Flatland Mennonite church numbers about twenty members, and is served by Reverend A.B. Shelly.

The only other villages of Richland are California, a small hamlet several miles north of Quakertown; Bunker Hill on the Rockhill boundary line, and Shelly station and post-office, near California.

MILFORD was the objective point of the first German immigrants to this county. It was here, at its extreme northwest corner, that this people first appeared upon its soil; and having gained a foothold, extended its occupation north, east, and south, adhering tenaciously to each new territory acquired, and pushing southward at a rate that may well cause the intelligent observer to inquire whether Bucks will not ultimately become a German county, unless the advancing column becomes Anglicized in its progress. It seems probable that the first settlement of Milford took place between 1720 and 1730; and in 1734 the following persons were among its residents: Peter Luer, Simon Rathnor, Peter Zay, John Heistand, Michael Roeder, Michael Rider, William Lauer, Jacob Wacket, Peter Wettlord, Joseph Heistand, John Bright, Peter Chook, Chilemon Robon, Caspar Kortes, Peter Eoser, Christian Climer, John Yoder, John Fisel, George Sain, Martin Weis, Peter Herz, Sander Dessert, John Huber, Philip Einhart, Joon Hoover, Henry Ditterer, George Samez. In a petition to the county court, June 13, 1734, they describe themselves as "settled between the county line and the body of that called Richland township;" and state that "Whereas there hath for a considerable time been settlements made within the above-mentioned bounds and inhabitants still increasing to the northward and southward at such a distance that it becomes a very great hardship and almost impossible for ye constable and collector duly to do their offices, with other inconveniences that attend in this case for want of a division and proper boundaries, which you (the court) can more fully conceive than we express; we, your petitioners therefore, humbly desire of your honors please to grant that a township be laid out bounded by ye county line the course whereof is southeast; then by a line due east about four miles and a half in length from the said county line through vacant land and on the line of the lands of William Jameison, Joshua Richards, John Edwards, and Thomas Roberts, including the said lands, and to continue the same course through vacant land to ye sd extent of about four and one-half miles; to join a north line that may touch and include the land of Peter Evans, and to extend thence northward through vacant land to ye land of William Nickson, and include ye same; and at ye north bounds thereof set off thirty perches east by ye land of Michael Lightfoot to take in the land formerly J. Growdenís, and to run north by the same to ye extent thereof and three hundred perches further in vacant land (which will be northward from ye said east line in all about five miles and a quarter); and thence extend due west about nine miles and three-quarters supposed in vacant land to ye said county line; and which boundaries we believe will leave difference enough between ------ and Hilltown for another township and will accommodate the body of the inhabitants of Richland township to ye eastward of us, to which said north lines they agree with us." A survey of this territory was ordered and its boundaries changed, but not materially from those suggested as above described. When confirmed, the name "Bulla" was affixed, "now and for the future (1734);" but within a short time "Lower Milford" was adopted, in distinction from the Milford in Lehigh county. The present name was a long time in gaining popular sanction.

The township is triangular in shape and ranks among the largest subdivisions of the county. The greater portion is fertile and well adapted to farming. The principal stream is Swamp creek, which rises in the vicinity of Zionís Hill, flows in a southerly direction, receiving the waters of Licking, Molasses, and Schmultz creeks; thus augmented, it affords the motive power for several mills, and is finally absorbed by the Perkiomen. In some parts the surface is hilly, rocky, and stony, not so valuable for the raising of farm crops, but fairly productive under careful tillage. Dairying and grazing receive much attention here. Besides these pursuits, the most important branches of industry are cigar-making and the manufacture of whip-stocks; the former is carried on in the towns at all seasons of the year, the latter principally in the winter by small farmers. Everybody is employed, and nobody seems to be in need of work. The result of patient, untiring industry is seen in the substantial appearance of farm buildings and the general air of comfort which seems to pervade the community.

As elsewhere in the county, the population is not concentrated to any extent, although small towns are numerous. The post villages are five in number, viz., Trumbauersville, Milford Square, Steinsburg, Geryville, and Spinnerstown. Trumbauersville is connected with Quakertown by a turnpike road, and is situated on the direct route from Philadelphia to Allentown. It was known years ago as the Eagle hotel, subsequently as Charlestown, and since 1822, when the post-office was established, by its present name, which is derived from that of one of the oldest families in the neighborhood. Some of the houses are quite old, and others have apparently been built quite recently, indicating that the growth of the place has been stationary until the last few years. The principal industry is cigar-making, which is extensively pursued. The estimated population is two hundred. Milford Square is situated on the Quakertown and Spinnerstown turnpike road, about midway between its terminal points, in the eastern interior of the township. It became a post-office in 1872. It ranks next to Trumbauersville in size and importance, the usual local industries, stores, and cigar factories being the only features worthy of notice. Geryville is in the extreme western part of Milford, and comprises hotel, store, and probably twelve houses. Spinnerstown is several miles farther west, six miles from Quakertown at the terminus of a turnpike leading thither. Henry Haring became the first postmaster in 1825. Steinsburg derives its name from that of George Steinman, who was appointed postmaster in 1852. Trumbauersville Lodge, No. 372, Knights of Pythias, was chartered June 28, 1872, the principal officers being the following: H. Pahlum, C.H. Wilson, William Maguet, Charles Wonsidler, Benjamin Cressman, Jesse Reiter, Aaron G. Dubbs, Samuel Edelman, and Enos Shantz.

The Mennonite persuasion is strongly represented in Milford, and the Swamp church was one of the earliest of this denomination in the county. Among the early Mennonite settlers were the Clemmers, Shellys, Musselmans, Brechts, Hiestands, Yoders, and others, whose descendants are still living in this section and almost invariably adhere to the faith of their fathers. At what date the first church organization was effected cannot be definitely determined. Tradition asserts that meetings were held as early as 1737. Certain it is that there was an organized church prior to 1740. The first church building is said to have been erected in the year 1735 on land now owned by Christian Musselman. If this date is correct, its site was on land then owned by William Allen, an English land-holder, who was not a resident nor a member of this church, but is known to have performed similar good offices toward other churches elsewhere. In the year 1743, Jacob Musselman, ancestor of the numerous connections of the name, bought land from Allen to which the plot whereon this building stood belonged; and as he was either a minister in the church when he came from Germany or was soon afterward elected to that office, it is more than probable that the first Mennonite meeting-house was built on his land after he had purchased from Allen, and hence not before the year 1743. It is noticeable that no interments ever took place here, but that the dead were buried in the graveyard of the East Swamp church, about a mile to the east from the site of the first church building. The latter (East Swamp) church was built about the year 1771, upon a lot of ground conveyed for that purpose June 15th of that year by Ulrich Drissel, Abraham Taylor, and John Ledrach to Valentine Clemmer, Peter Saiger, Christian Bieler, and Jacob Clemmer, "trustees of the religious society or congregation of Mennonites in the East Swamp." To this original lot other tracts were added by indentures bearing dates August 17, 1818, April 3, 1848, April 13, 1850, and February 18, 1867. After the erection of this new house of worship services were held in both alternately. The new one was afterward destroyed by fire, and a second of logs, erected in its stead, which served the double purpose of school- and meeting-house, one portion being partitioned off for school purposes, as was the case with many churches at that early day. In later years, this feature of the building was discontinued, but it was used as a meeting-house until 1850, when it was replaced by the present large and substantial East Swamp church. Changes were also in progress with the older church building. In 1790 Michael Musselman, son of the above-named Jacob, owner of the land formerly belonging to his father and also a minister, conveyed a tract of eighty perches of land to Peter Zetty, Christian Hunsberger, and Michael Shelly, "elders or overseers of the Mennonite congregation." This lot is the site of the present West Swamp Mennonite church. The original meeting-house was removed thither and rebuilt, and services were held therein until 1819, when a more commodious stone building was erected in its place; and this, like the western building, was also used for school purposes, which arrangement was discontinued in 1839. A new and much larger church was built in 1873 in order to accommodate the increased number of worshippers and the demands of the Sunday-school.

It is not known who were the first ministers among the Mennonites, but it appears quite certain that Jacob Musselman was among the first. Other early ministers were Filly (Valentine) Clemmer, Michael Musselman and his son Samuel, of whom the last-named died in 1847 at the advanced age of eighty-seven years, Jacob Nold, Christian Bleim, Christian Zetty, Jacob Heistand, John H. Oberholzer, William N. Shelly, Levi O. Schimmel, and Andrew B. Shelly, the present incumbent, have been pastors within the present century. Oberholzer was elected to the ministry in 1842. Being a man of more than ordinary intelligence and of liberal and progressive ideas, his views were in advance of those of some of his fellow-ministers, in consequence of which, with others who shared his opinions on matters of systematic theology, dress, etc., he was suspended from connection with the Franconia conference in October, 1847, whereupon the so-called" New" Mennonite conference of eastern Pennsylvania was organized. The Swamp church, of which Oberholzer was pastor at that time, adhered to him and associated itself with the new ecclesiastical body. A small portion, however, remained true to the old conference, separated from the church, and built a meeting-house in 1847. It is known as the old Mennonite Swamp church, and its ministers have been three in number, viz., Jacob Beidler, John A. Beidler, and Abraham Young. The old churches constituted one congregation, services being held alternately at both places, retaining their individuality under the names of the eastern and western divisions. Their separate existence became more and more distinct in course of time, and finally separate organizations were formed, known as the East Swamp and West Swamp churches, which, with the church at Flatlands, constitute a charge under the pastoral care of Reverend A.B. Shelly. Its combined membership is about three hundred and twenty-five. A Sunday school was organized in 1857, this being the first Mennonite institution of this character in existence. The first number of "Der Religioese Botschapter," a Mennonite church paper, was issued August 23, 1852, by Reverend Oberholzer. The name was afterward changed to "Das Christliche Volksblatt," when the Mennonite Printing Union became proprietors. January 1, 1867, the name was changed to "Mennonitische Friedensbote," and Reverend A.B. Shelly became managing editor. The paper was published at Milford Square until January 1, 1882, when it was consolidated with another Mennonite paper published at Halstead, Kansas, and transferred to the Publication Board of the Mennonite General Conference, by which it is continued semi-monthly at Berne, Indiana, under the name of "Der Christliche Bundesbote."

The organization of St. Johnís Evangelical Lutheran church at Spinnerstown, though somewhat obscure, must have taken place between the years 1730 and 1740. In proof of this, it may be stated that baptisms and other items are entered in the church-book as early as 1734. From its origin to the year 1762 this congregation worshipped unitedly with Trinity Reformed congregation of Lower Milford, Lehigh county, where there was a log church. Owing to some dissatisfaction, the Lutherans withdrew in 1762; a parcel of ground was donated by Elder Scheetz, upon which a log building was erected in 1763; and from this circumstance the church has been popularly known as Schutzen Kirchen. In the year 1820 this log building gave place to a small but neat stone structure, which served for church purposes until 1874, when the present stone edifice, sixty by forty feet in dimensions, was erected at a cost of ten thousand dollars. The present house of worship is therefore the fourth in the history of the congregation, which has existed at least one hundred and fifty years. For a large part of this period it was small in numbers and weak in influence. The membership has increased from one hundred and fifty in 1868 to four hundred at the present time. Nothing definite can be stated regarding the early pastors, as the records are silent on this subject prior to 1789. It has been connected with the Goshenhoppen charge for a hundred years, and if, as seems plausible, this relation was sustained from its origin, the successive pastors with the dates of their induction into office have been as follows: John Jacob Justus Birkenstock, 1739; John Conrad Andrea, 1743; Frederick Schultz, 1751; John Frederick Reis, 1756; George Frederick Neimeyer, 1764; Conrad Sebastian Roeller, 1771; John Schwarbach, 1775; F. Augustus Muhlenberg, 1778; Charles B. Dannapfel, 1789; Christian Espich, 1790; Frederick W. Geisenhainer, 1793; Jacob Miller, 1808; Frederick Waagi, 1829; Oswin F. Waagi, 1868.

The first church building at Trumbauersville, known as the Lower Milford church, was dedicated in 1769. It was a log structure, and conformed in architectural design to the ideas then in vogue. The second, a stone building for which Henry Stahler was contractor, was completed in 1805. The third and present edifice was built in 1868, close to the site of its two predecessors. In size it is sixty-two by forty-six feet, and comprises basement and audience-rooms, organ, tower, and bell. The original building was exclusively Lutheran. The early pastoral record of this denomination coincides with that of St. Johnís.

ROCKHILL township was so named from the range of hills which forms its most striking natural feature. This ridge crosses its northeastern boundary and extends southwest quite across to the county line. It presents many curious geological formations. Ridge Valley creek passes through this rocky barrier in a deep gorge or canon, but the bed of the stream is literally a mass of huge boulders which have never been completely submerged in the most violent freshets. The soil here is stony and sterile and inclined to be marshy, although highly elevated. The fertile valley to the south presents a widely different aspect. Here the north branch of Perkiomen creek pursues its course through an unbroken succession of well-cultivated farms from Hagersville to Franconia. This comprises the larger part of the wealth of the township, though not of its area. Here successive generations of the same people who now form its population have established their homes or found in the heritage of ancestral acres or of an ancient homestead the quiet satisfaction of possessing the accumulated wealth of years that have passed since the first settlement. This occurred in the early part of the last century, but here as elsewhere traditional knowledge is very meager and correspondingly unsatisfactory. Among the early land-holders was John Furness, barber, of Philadelphia, who secured a tract of three hundred and fifty acres in the south corner of the township adjoining Telford. It was sold to Andrew Hamilton of the same city in 1723, and passed from him to Henry Hartzel, a native of the Palatinate, in 1727. He was the first to settle upon it. A log cabin was first erected, then a comfortable one-story log-house, and finally a two-story stone dwelling. This was improved and enlarged by its successive occupants, but it is not known that any part of the original structure was removed until 1881, when the whole was sacrificed to the spirit of improvement which seems to agitate this community. Although the date of its erection could not be accurately determined, it was undoubtedly the oldest house in West Rockhill. A Swiss barn of medium size, with stone walls, erected in 1754, is still standing on the old Hartzel farm. The family preserve a tradition that about the year 1750 Magdalene H., probably a granddaughter of the first settler, was sent to the Kulp woods, now Mr. Horningís, in search of the cows. She was then but a young girl, but well accustomed to the ways of the forest. Seeing a fawn asleep at the foot of a tree, she approached with noiseless tread, spread her long homespun apron over its head, and then ran home with it in all haste for fear of being pursued by the parent deer. The fawn was tamed and became a large and handsome buck, but his depredations in the garden and fields were of such frequent occurrence as to incur the displeasure of the farmer, and he was killed.

Conrad Deterer bought a tract embracing the site of Telford in 1737, but he lived at Franconia, Montgomery county. In 1730 Jacob Stout, an immigrant from Switzerland, purchased two hundred acres from the Perkasie manor tract, including the site of the village of that name. The two-story stone dwelling-house which he built prior to 1750 is still occupied as such. A stone barn built in 1752 was destroyed by fire in 1875. Abraham Stout, born on these premises in 1740, was a member of the constitutional convention of 1790. During the revolution he preserved such papers as he deemed of special value in a recess in a cellar wall of his house. It is related that during the whole of one summer the Doans and their confederates used his pasture-lands at night for their stolen horses. In the winter of 1777, after the battle of Germantown, a cavalry detachment numbering fifty-six men were quartered with Abraham Stout. In 1799, during Friesís rebellion, nine hundred United States troops with some light artillery encamped on the rising ground above Sellersville. Getman and Heany, two of the leaders in the house-tax rebellion, were inhabitants of this township. They were tried, convicted of treason, and sentenced to be hung, but pardoned by President Adams. Getman lived to an advanced age and is buried at Schlichterís church on the Ridge. Prior to 1750 the families of Cressman, Detweiler, Althouse, Schlichter, Wenhold, Stauffer, Kramer, Eckert, Rosenberger, Landis, Price, Harr, Bean, Frank, and others were represented in the southern part of the township. The earliest mill was Derstineís, and the earliest tannery Abraham Wamboldís. The latter was located upon a tract near Sellersville which he seated in 1730. Wambold also built a grist-mill.

The name early applied to this section of country, as appears from old deeds, was Freetown. At June sessions a new district was ordered to be laid out, "the same to he bounded on the northeast by John Pennís manor of Perkasey, including the same, on the northerly side by Richland and Lower Milford townships, on the westward by the county line and southward by the township line, to be named Rockhill." It was surveyed in 1740 by Nicholas Scull, and is the largest as well as the most populous township in the county. In 1880 the population was three thousand two hundred and seven.

The township also ranks first as regards the number of incorporated villages within its limits. These are three in number, and all derive their importance from the North Pennsylvania railroad, upon which they are situated. Sellersville, the oldest and largest, is so named from Samuel Sellers, who established at this point on the Bethlehem road a wayside hostelry, the walls of which are yet intact. Thomas Sellers became postmaster in 1820, when the office received the name of Sellersís Tavern, which was changed to its present form in 1866. The village was incorporated in 1874, and had a population of four hundred and ninety, six years later. It comprises several large stores, two taverns, and a bank, Charles H. Millerís fertilizer manufactory, F.S. Deilyís creamery, E.A. Hiltonís woolen mills, John Schwartz & Co.ís chair-works, the vest factory of A. Toone, and a number of cigar factories. The Sellersville National Bank was incorporated April 28, 1882. The first movement in this direction was made January 27th previously, when a number of gentlemen favorable to the project held an informal meeting. A preliminary organization was effected February 28, 1882, when Henry C. Moore was elected president, Charles P. Althouse cashier, Elias Shellenberger teller, Eli Fretz, R.F. Stover, Levi Shellenberger, J.A. Schlichter, R.R. Cressman, J.G. Moyer, A.R. Cressman, and H.C. Moore directors. At the second annual election Daniel Clewell was chosen an additional director, and upon his death in 1885 his place was filled by Wilson B. Butterwick. With this exception the original organization remains as then constituted. The capital stock, fifty-five thousand dollars at first, was increased to seventy-five thousand in April, 1883. A brick building for banking purposes was built in 1882. The surplus fund amounts to eleven thousand dollars. Semi-annual dividends of two and one-half per cent. have been uniformly paid.

Sellersville Lodge, No. 658, I.O.O.F., was instituted April 9, 1869, with the following officers: George E. Hegeman, N.G., Mark Hartzell, V.G., J. Evan Zorns, S., Emanuel Hoese, A.S., John G. Craik, T. Sellersville Encampment, No. 252, I.O.O.F., was instituted September 7, l877; the first officers were C.D. Fretz, C.P.. Joseph Thomas, S.W., R.W. Hengey, J.W., J. Evan Zorns, S., and M.H. Sellers, T. Both organizations are well sustained.

Perkasie is the second village in size and importance. The origin of the name is a matter of curious interest. It has generally been regarded as an Indian name, but this view is disputed by certain antiquarians who regard it as the Anglicized form of Bargansee, a German name meaning "the sea between the hills," applied to a settlement of that nationality in this locality at the middle of the last century. There was also a family of Perquises among the early settlers. Perkasie manor, a tract of some thousands of acres, comprised all of the southeastern portion of Rockhill and portions of Hilltown. The name as a post-office designation was first applied to the village now known as Blooming Glen in the latter township. At the time when Perkasie was laid out (1870) it consisted of a store, smithy, several houses, and a railroad station known as Comlyville, in honor of Franklin A. Comly, president of the North Pennsylvania railroad company for many years. The town has improved rapidly since 1870. Local manufactures and business interests have come into existence, and a weekly newspaper, the "News," is well sustained. The town was incorporated in 1876, and the population at the next census was three hundred.

Perkasie Council, O.U.A.M., was instituted October 23, l884, with twenty-three charter members, of whom the following constituted its organization : Henry C. Moyer, C., Samuel R. Kramer, V.C., Levi H. Leatherman, R.S., A.K. Reiner, F.S., Philip S. Cressman, T., F.W Benner, A.R.S.

Telford comprised but one house in 1857, that of Isaac G. Gerhart, who opened the first store in the following year. It received its early impetus in the construction of extensive steam flouring-mills by Thomas B. Woodward. The town is regularly laid out, and although partly in Montgomery, may properly be considered a Bucks county town. It was incorporated in 1852. Bridgetown is a place of about two hundred inhabitants, a mile south of Perkasie. It is so situated as to be inaccessible by any public road except by crossing a bridge; hence the name. There are the usual stores and local industries at this point. Schlichterís, Argus, and several other post-office names adorn the map of Rockhill, but are misleading so far as the existence of a village is concerned.

As in area, population, and boroughs, so in the number of its churches, this township ranks first among the political divisions of the county. The oldest religious body is Gehmanís Mennonite church. The earliest recorded datum concerning it is a deed executed June 2, 1773, by Samuel Bechtel and wife to George Derstine and Abraham Gehman, trustees, for one-fourth of an acre of ground. The first meeting-house, built in 1773, was used for sixty-five years. It was built of logs, plank, and light weather boarding, but was quite substantial. Jacob Derstine, Samuel Horning, and John Moyer were the building committee in charge of the present stone edifice in 1838. Its dimensions are forty and fifty-two and one-half feet; the roof is slate, and seating capacity three hundred. The congregation also owns a house in which the sexton lives; it was built in 1883 from the proceeds of a legacy of the Reverend Samuel Landis. The above-named Samuel Bechtel was one of the first ministers. He was ordained prior to 1773, probably at the Franconia church, which was popularly known as Bechtelís, and his name is mentioned in connection with the Funk controversy of 1777. Samuel Gehman, his grandson and the grandfather of Reverend Abel Horning, was ordained in 1798 to a ministry which continued uninterruptedly until 1845. He was assisted by George Derstine, who was a minister about twenty-five years and died in 1837. Jacob Detweiler was ordained in 1840, and served about thirty-nine years, dying July 13, 1879, at an advanced age. Abraham Fretz was ordained in 1843, John Allebach in 1846; the former died in 1875, the latter, although past fourscore years, still attends meetings regularly. Abel Horning was ordained in 1862, and Samuel Detweiler in 1876. They are the present pastors. The following have been deacons in regular succession: Michael Derstine, John Detweiler, John Allebach, Samuel Souder, John F. Detweiler, and Joseph B. Allebach.

On the twelfth day of December, 1792, "a certain piece or tract of land situate in Rockhill township" was conveyed by deed to certain persons by one Henry Guittleman, "for and in consideration of the sum of five pounds lawful money of Pennsylvania, in gold and silver coin . . . . in trust . . . . to and for the use of the congregations of the Lutheran and Reformed Calvinist societies, and their successors. . . . to erect and build a church on the said premises, with a graveyard for the use of the said congregations and their ministers and elders. . . . and to and for no other use or purpose whatsoever." This certain piece of ground lying on the Allentown road, north of Tylersport, one and one-half miles, and west of Sellersville about four miles, is the plat upon which Ridge Valley Church stands. A portion of the ground was originally set apart for a graveyard, and on the other portion a school-house was built, at the close of the eighteenth, or the beginning of the present century. At a later period, possibly between the years 1830 and 1840, an addition was built to the same in such manner that both apartments could be thrown into one on funeral occasions, and also for public worship, occasionally conducted here. In this school-house the children of the community received schooling, during the winter months, until 1854, when it was taken down, and the present church edifice built upon its site, since which time Lutheran and Reformed congregations have regularly worshipped here. The following have been Lutheran pastors: Frederick Waagi, 1854ó67; O.F. Waagi, 1868ó73; S.A. Ziegenfuss, 1874ó76; James L. Becker, 1877. Reverend S.K. Gross has been the Reformed pastor since 1857.

Jerusalem Church is situated on the Ridge road, at the village of Schlichters, about a mile northwest of Sellersville. A number of old tombstones testify to the fact that interments were made here as early as the middle of the last century, at which time the ground adjoining was owned by George Getman, by whom, presumably, the graveyard was donated to the community. As there was neither church building nor school-house in the immediate vicinity, funeral services were conducted in winter at the house of mourning, and in summer upon the burial-ground, under the shade of trees which yet survive the storms of a hundred years. Among those who officiated upon these occasions were Reverends Roeller and Senn, of the Lutheran and Reformed churches respectively. A school-house was built in the year 1800; and in this the Reverend John Andrew Strassburger preached. In the year 1824 or 1825, Reverend Frederick Waagi, a young Lutheran minister, alternated with him in the place of Mr. Roeller, who had now become quite old. The Mennonites also met here for worship quite frequently, and the different clergymen organized congregations. There was at that time in this community no more influential citizen than Henry Beotel. He voluntarily began to agitate the building of a church, and urged the people generally to contribute liberally; upon which a meeting was held to consider the matter, and after due deliberation a favorable decision was formed. John Nase, Abraham Trumbore, and John Kinsey were constituted a building committee, representing the Lutheran, Reformed, and Mennonite churches, respectively. Ground for a church site was donated by Enos Schlichter, Sr. Peter Ott and John Zellner were engaged as master masons; John Nase and Conrad Wetzell as master carpenters. The corner-stone was laid on Ascension day, 1826, and the dedication occurred, in all probability, on Christmas following. The services on the latter occasion were conducted by Reverends Strassburger, Waagi, and Kemmerer. A music band from Bethlehem was present, and participated in the exercises. The expense incurred in building and finishing this structure was eighteen hundred dollars. It was built of stone, thirty-six by forty-four feet, with galleries on three sides of the audience-chamber. The earliest Lutheran organization consisted of Henry Beotel and John Nase, elders; John Zellner and John Getman, deacons. The first Lutheran pastor, Reverend William B. Kemmerer, continued in this capacity until his death in 1860, a period of thirty-three years. Reverend F. Berkemeyer then became his successor; but since his resignation in 1884, neighboring pastors have supplied the pulpit. Abraham Trumbore and Jacob Driesbach, elders, and Enos Schlichter and John Gerhart, deacons, constituted the first Reformed consistory. Reverend J.A. Strassburger was the first Reformed pastor; but after preaching here, in connection with three other places, for twenty-seven years, he resigned. Reverend J.H. Derr was then pastor three years, when he removed to Lehigh county. Thereupon, in 1857, Reverend S.K. Gross, the present incumbent, became pastor. The first church edifice was in use fifty-five years, from 1826 to 1881. The board of control by which the present edifice was erected consisted of Jacob Schlichter, Reformed, and Jonas Nase, Lutheran. Work was begun in May, 1881, and concluded in January, 1882. The corner-stone was laid at Whitsuntide, June 5, 1881; the completed structure was consecrated October 23, 1882. It is built of stone, thirty-six by fifty-four feet, with an extension in the rear for Sunday-school purposes, and a well-proportioned tower in front.

St. Michaelís Lutheran Church, of Sellersville, was organized in May, 1970, by Reverend F. Walz, who, with Reverend F. Berkemeyer, had previously preached in the village school-house. Reverend S.A. Ziegenfuss was pastor from April, 1873, to October, 1876. The present pastor, Reverend James L. Becker, took charge in 1877. The congregation is in union with the Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania, use the German and English languages in its service, and has grown from about twenty members at its organization (almost all from Little Zion Church, Indianfield, Montgomery county) to the number of two hundred amid thirty-seven, the present numerical strength. St. Michaelís Reformed congregation of Sellersville was organized May 21, 1870, by the venerated Reverend Peter S. Fisher, who officiated until his death, which occurred May 22, 1873. From that time it was regularly supplied by ministers from Tohickon classis, until June 8, 1874, when Reverend James G. Dengler, the present pastor, was called. The Union church edifice is a handsome stone structure, situated on an eminence which gives it a prominent appearance for miles around. It is jointly owned by a corporate body known as "The Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed St. Michaelís Church and Cemetery Corporation." It is of stone, forty-two by seventy feet, with pulpit recess, central tower projecting, basement, and main audience-room with end gallery, built in 1870, at a cost of twenty thousand dollars. In size, appointments, and appearance it ranks with the finest buildings of a similar character in the county.

St. Agnesí, Sellersville (Roman Catholic), that for years had been attended  from St. Johnís at Haycock, a distance of fourteen miles, was made a parish December 1, 1872, and received as its first pastor Reverend Hugh McLaughlin.

St. Stephenís Reformed church at Perkasie is the only one in that borough. It was built during the year 1885, incorporated as an exclusively Reformed church, and dedicated November 14, 1886. The style is pure Gothic. The congregation was organized August 29, 1886, by Reverend J.G. Dengler.

At the same time that the people of Sellersville were agitating the building of a church, a similar movement was in progress at Bridgetown. Actuated no doubt by a friendly rivalry, the people at the latter place succeeded in being first ready to dedicateó in 1869. The result of their efforts is a stone building, substantial, plain, and comfortable. Reverend P.S. Fisher organized the Reformed congregation, and F. Berkemeyer the Lutheran, and by these denominations the church property is jointly owned.

The Bridgetown Evangelical church was originally known as Walterís class, one of the three organized by Albright himself, and therefore important in the history of the denomination of which he was the founder. It had a checkered career, became nearly extinct several times, worshipped in private houses and at an abandoned Methodist church on the Ridge road, and at length, in 1866, secured a permanent place of worship at Bridgetown. The following list of ministers has been compiled from reliable sources: 1844, Frederick Kracker; 1845, Christian Myers; 1846, J.L. Farnsworth; 1848, D. Wiend; 1852, M. Sindlinger; 1853, J.L. Gross; 1855, John Hachl; 1857, J. Frey; 1859, F. Lehr; 1861, F. Schott; 1864, S. Breyfogel; 1865, G.B. Fisher; 1866, W.H. Weidner; 1867, J.S. Shimer; 1870, H. Kempfer; 1871, H. Kindt; 1873, James Oplinger; 1874, W.A. Shoemaker; 1877, A. Ziegenfuss; 1880, G.D. Sweigert; 1883, J.S. Newhart; 1886, T.A. Hess.



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