THE triangular area partially included between Haycock and Tohickon creeks and the Delaware river comprises the only townships of the county of which the names are of Indian origin. The creeks mentioned separate them from Haycock, Bedminster, and Plumstead. Tinicum creek and its numerous branches drain the larger part of both townships, the course of the main stream being nearly parallel with that of the Tohickon until, at a distance of about five miles from its mouth, the direction changes to the east at a sharp angle and the river is reached at a point midway between the Nockamixon and Plumstead lines. It receives the waters of Nockamixon creek within the boundaries of that township, and of numerous smaller tributaries at intervals in its progress. Gallow’s run, mentioned in early records as Galloway’s run, is a small stream which reaches the Delaware near the Durham line. The little Tinicum and Mill creeks drain the interior of Tinicum. All these streams unite with the Delaware through deep and narrow valleys. A ridge of hills parallel with its course begins above the mouth of the Tohickon, and assumes greater regularity of contour and elevation within several miles of Kintnersville, where the cliffs are known as the Narrows. These rock walls rise abruptly to the height of several hundred feet almost from the water’s edge, confining the river to a narrow channel with scarcely sufficient space at their base for the canal and roadway. Few localities in Bucks county present greater attractions to the naturalist or tourist.

TINICUM was originally settled by the same nationality as Deep Run in Bedminster— the Scotch-Irish— a people who have virtually disappeared, leaving few memorials of their history. The families of Hughes, Lear, Haverford, Ross, Williamson, Campbell, Stewart, Shaw, and McFarland were represented in 1738. Herman Rosencrout, Bernard Schneider, Samuel McConoghy, William Richards, Henry Newton, Jacob Fox, Robert Stovart, John Wallace, and Martin Freyley were residents in 1762 upon a tract of nearly five thousand acres owned by Richard Stevens. The first grist-mill in the township was built by Henry Killian about 1740 upon Tinicum creek, over which two dams were constructed. The race was one hundred and seventy-five yards long, with a fall of twenty feet at the overshot wheel. There was one run of stones. A number of Indian implements and weapons have been found in the vicinity; among others a broken war-club, two and one-half inches thick and three feet long, of a coarse flint texture. The first saw-mill was built by the Pattersons on Mill creek some distance from the grist-mill of Henry F. Betz, which they also built. Among the early settlers there was no character more interesting than Edward Marshall, the celebrated walker of 1737. Having failed to receive the promised reward for his remarkable pedestrian feat, he continued his life as a hunter, and in 1754 removed to a settlement at Benjamin Stroud’s mill, eighteen miles above Easton. Several years afterward a party of Indians attacked his cabin during his absence, killing his wife and wounding a daughter. His son suffered a similar fate from a savage ambush. For the greater protection of his life and property he removed to an island in the Delaware which yet bears his name. The Indians seem to have cherished an insatiate revenge against him on account of his connection with the "walk" of 1737. Forty years after that event, during the revolution, it is said that a party of Ohio braves journeyed the long distance from their hunting-grounds with the avowed object of taking his life, and that he escaped them only by being absent at the time. The inveterate hatred thus manifested was fully reciprocated; and after the tragic death of his wife and son Marshall neglected no opportunity for retaliation. He died at his home on the island at the advanced age of ninety years. It may be further mentioned, in connection with the events in which he figured with such prominence, that at Red Hill (Ottsville), in this township, Jennings became exhausted after a walk of nineteen miles in two hours and a half, leaving Marshall and Yeates to proceed alone.

The erection of Tinicum as a township occurred in 1747, although an ineffectual effort in this direction was made nine years earlier, and a constable appointed in 1741. The following is extracted from the minutes of March session, 1747: "A petition from divers inhabitants settled on lands adjoining to Plumstead that to remove sundry inconveniences they at present labor under the court would erect the following land into a township and that it may be called Tinicum township, viz., Beginning at the lower corner of the township of Nockamixon on the river Delaware, thence by same township southwest two thousand one hundred and forty perches to Tohickon creek, thence down the said creek by the townships of Bedminster and Plumstead to Delaware aforesaid, and thence up the said river Delaware to the beginning," was read and a commission appointed to consider the subject. It was favorably reported and the organization of the territory in question forthwith ordered. At September session, 1761, a petition for the division of the township was presented. The reasons urged were its "extensiveness," and the distance necessary to travel to work on the highways. The court set aside the petition without comment, and the boundaries as originally established continue in force. The area approximates eighteen thousand acres, and the population, by the census of 1880, was two thousand three hundred and forty-six.

Villages occur with the frequency characteristic of thickly settled farming communities. Point Pleasant, the town of greatest size, is situated on both sides of Tohickon creek at its mouth. John Van Fossen was the first land owner on the peninsula between the creek and river. He built the first tavern at the point, established the fishery, and was otherwise prominent in local affairs. The river is here spanned by a bridge, which thus secures to the inhabitants in a measure the railroad facilities afforded by the Belvidere Delaware railroad. The site presents few claims as an eligible location for a town. Steep hills ascend on every side, and the narrow strip of level land at their base is crossed by the creek, the canal, and several public roads. The scenery is beautiful. The village comprises a population of several hundred, several stores, a school-house, and church. Erwinna is situated about the center of the township. The name is derived from that of a family once quite influential. Arthur Erwin is referred to in 1807 as the richest man in the county. Wormansville, about midway between Erwinna and Point Pleasant, is a post-village in expectation, and should become such in reality, as it is located in the midst of a thickly settled region. The Wormans have been a prominent family in the vicinity for many years. Uhlertown is on the Delaware opposite Frenchtown, New Jersey, with which it is connected by a bridge. Ottsville became a post-village in 1814, when Michael Ott was appointed postmaster. It is a hamlet of uncertain limits, and derived some importance in past years from its location upon the Durham road. That highway was opened through this section in 1745. Several miles south of Ottsville at the crossing of the Tohickon the first bridge over that stream was built. It was then known as John Orr’s ford, from the inn of which he was proprietor on the Bedminster side. When a petition for the bridge was presented to the court in 1763, the following report was made thereon: "The grand jury is of opinion that a bridge is necessary where it is prayed for, but that the petitioners for such bridge ought first to receive by subscription as large a sum as convenient they can agreeable to the practice heretofore followed by this county." At the next session (June), Tinicum, Bedminster, and Plumstead reported having appointed managers for their bridge and secured subscriptions to the amount of eighty-four pounds. The court was asked to confirm the managers. September 11, 1764, William Yardley, Joseph Watson, and Henry Jamison were appointed to inspect the bridge and the accounts of the managers. In December following, they reported that the entire cost was two hundred and eighty-five pounds, sixteen shillings, ten and one-half pence; the amount of subscriptions, one hundred and one pounds, thirteen shillings, six pence; leaving one hundred and eighty-four pounds, three shillings, four and one-half pence to be provided by the county commissioners. It is not necessary to state that the present substantial stone structure at this place was built by a different method of procedure.

The village of Smithville might also have been mentioned in this connection fifty and more years ago. At a secluded spot along the Delaware two and one-half miles above Point Pleasant there was located an industrial establishment of more than ordinary importance and interest to the farming community. Here, in 1783, Joseph and Robert Smith began the manufacture of agricultural implements. In 1797 they made the first cast-iron mould-boards in the state. Patents on their inventions were secured. Prominent men became interested in the success of their projects. President Jefferson wrote to them requesting the best plow they could make, for his Virginia farm; when Joseph Smith read the letter, he replied in simple Quaker phrase that they were "all best." The Smiths were the first to introduce the use of anthracite coal for heating purposes into Bucks county. They were also active in farming clover and plaster for farming purposes. Joseph Smith died suddenly in Solebury, September 88, 1826, at the age of seventy-three. Few men have served their day and generation better than he.

A degree of historic interest attaches to Red Hill in connection with the early Scotch population of Tinicum. It was here that their religions actively centered. Though now extinct, the Presbyterian church at this place was once a flourishing organization. It was founded in 1766. The property, by deed of November 16, 1762, was noted in a session composed of William Wear, Robert Patterson, John Howey, and James Patterson. Its recorded history begins with 1785, when (August 8th) Reverend Nathaniel Irwin presided at a meeting of sessions of which Thomas Stewart was clerk. The Longs, Kelleys, Wilsons, Barclays, and Flemings were among those who formed the congregation at this time. At a meeting of Presbytery in 1786 Red Hill was united with Deep Run and placed under the pastoral care of Reverend James Grier. The church was incorporated in 1787. Reverends Hannah, Peppard, and Irwin preached occasionally during the next five years. Reverend Nathaniel Snowden was called in 1792 and Uriah DuBois in 1798. In the latter year there was an unusual spirit of improvement manifested. A well was dug, twenty-five apple-trees planted in the church-yard, and an addition to the same purchased. Mr. Boyd, from Newtown, was stated supply from 1820 to 1826. The Presbyterians having become very weak numerically their trustees deeded an undivided half interest in the property to the Lutheran and Reformed in 1843. The old church building, "Founded, 1766," was rebuilt and dedicated on Whitsunday, 1844. The pastors here have generally been the same as at Christ’s. Neither of the congregations is in a very prosperous condition. This arises from no failure of the pastors in their duties, but from certain conditions which may be briefly explained. Some of those families once prominently identified with the religious activity of the community are no longer represented; in order to engage in other pursuits there is a constant migration of young men from farming regions to the towns and business centers; a still stronger reason is found in the tenacity with which families living in the neighborhood of the church and frequently attending its services retain their membership at other points. It remains to be seen whether in future years these congregations may not share the fate of their Presbyterian predecessor.

Ruth’s church, Upper Tinicum, originated in the evangelistic labors of Reverend Mr. Wilcox, Lutheran pastor at Riegelsville, who held occasional services in the school-houses of the vicinity. As a result there was a general desire for a house of worship in the neighborhood. Ground was at once offered by two persons, George Ruth and Jacob Frankenfield. The location of the former was regarded as more accessible and therefore accepted. The corner-stone of the new church was laid on Whitsunday, 1851, and the dedication occurred in the autumn of that year. The Lutheran church was organized by the pastor from Riegelsville, and has been served in connection with that church, the present pastor being Reverend D.T. Koser. The following Reformed clergymen have officiated here: H. Daniel, 1852—55; William Philips, 1856—61; G.W. Aughinbaugh, 1862—63, 1864—73; D. Rothrock, 1873—74; William H. Bates, 1874—76; G.W. Roth, 1876—84.

The Point Pleasant Baptist church originated in the labors of Reverend Joseph Matthias, who missioned extensively in this section years ago, preaching in groves, houses, barns, and school-houses. The church was organized in 1849. A building erected there three years later was dedicated Saturday, September 17, 1853. Reverend John C. Hyde was the first pastor, and his successors, among others, were W.B. Strope, E.S. Widener, J.H. Appleton, George Young, and W.P. Hile, the present incumbent.

Christ church is the oldest now in existence in Tinicum. The first church building, a rude log structure, was built at some time during the ministry of Reverend Jacob Senn at Tohickon, and, in the simplicity which characterized everything at the time, was regarded as amply sufficient in all its appointments. But as the neighborhood became more thickly settled, the Reformed and Lutheran congregations, though weak in numbers, decided to unite in the erection of a house of worship better adapted to that purpose; and in 1808 the Union church of Tinicum was built upon a site nearly identical with that of the present building. The Reformed congregation extended a call to Reverend Samuel Stahr in 1811, in which year he had been ordained. He accepted and became pastor of a charge embracing Durham, Springfield, Nockamixon, and Tinicum. The church record was begun by him as follows: "Kirchen Buck. Der Hoch-Deutsch Evangehisch Reformirten Geniende in Tinicum, Bucks county, in Staat Pennsylvanien, den 13th Tag November, 1813." Services were held once a month. The entire German element of the population attended without regard to the denomination of the preacher. The names of John N. Solliday, the Wormans, Kilners, and Wagners are conspicuous in the business transactions of this period. This was before the present system of fixed salaries, and the dominie was content with "was fallt," what the people chose to give, which was not always a liberal allowance. As shown by the receipts for seven consecutive years, the average annual salary was sixty dollars eighty-seven and one-half cents. Mr. Stahr continued in this, his first charge, until his death, September 27, 1843 Reverend W.T. Gerhart became his successor in the spring of the following year. At his first communion, May, 1844, the names of forty-five persons appear upon the records. The first class confirmed numbered twenty-two. Mr. Gerhart labored under many disadvantages throughout his ministry of fourteen years. A strong element favored the introduction of English into the public worship, while others adhered tenaciously to the German. His successor, Reverend D. Rothrock, preached his introductory sermon May 3, 1859. The principal event of his ministry was the building of a new church. The building of 1808 was somewhat antiquated, contracted, and uncomfortable. The prospect was discussed at a number of congregational meetings; in the spring of 1862 the completed structure was dedicated. It is built of brick, fifty by seventy feet, with basement and audience-room, and a spire that forms a prominent object in the surrounding country. Cost, eleven thousand dollars. Building committee: Lutheran— Mahlon C. Lear, William Reep, Jacob Hofford, John N. Solliday, Abram Frankenfield, and John Clemens; Reformed— Abram Wolfinger, Samuel George, Tobias Worman, Isaac Summers, and Samuel Lerch. Mr. Rothrock introduced English preaching on alternate Sundays, and although this action was severely criticised, it resulted favorably to the interests of the church. upon the redistribution of charges by Tohickon classis at its first session, November 19, 1873, this church became vacant, having been detached from the charge of which it formerly was a part. November 19, 1874, Reverend William H. Bates was ordained and installed; and Reverend G.W. Roth, October 26, 1876. Since the resignation of the latter, July 1, 1884, the pastorate has again been vacant. Reverend W.S. Emery was the Lutheran pastor for many years.

St. Rosa’s chapel, Piusfield, is a mission of St. John’s, Haycock. Mass had frequently been said at private houses, but as the number of Catholic families increased, it became necessary to provide better facilities for worship. Ground was selected at a most beautiful spot, which, having no proper name, was called in honor of the Holy Father, Pope Pius IX.," Piusfield." By special delegation the corner-stone of the new church was laid on Rosary Sunday afternoon, October 5, 1873 It was dedicated on Sunday, December 28, 1873, to the honor of St. Rosa, of Lima; and mass was celebrated in it for the first time on that day.

NOCKAMIXON was settled by the same class of people as Tinicum. The names of Thatcher, Weaver, Richards, Dickson, Wilson, Ramsey, and Blair indicate English or Scotch nationality, and they were familiar names among the early settlers. The German element appeared before the revolution, with what result in establishing itself need scarcely be stated. Among the early families of the latter class were those of Frankenfield, Buck, Kintner, Stover, Trauger, Keyser, and Cruchler. Some of these are no longer represented, thus indicating that even a German community may experience changes. The English were most active in moving for township organization. This was a long time under consideration. It was petitioned for in 1742, and in the following year a survey was made, which is thus described: "Beginning at a black oak on ye bank of Delaware by a corner of Durham tract; thence by said tract and land of Thomas Blair, south seventy degrees, west one thousand and forty perches; thence by land of William Ware, southeast two hundred and forty perches; thence southwest five hundred and forty perches to Haycock run; thence down said run to Tohickon creek; thence down the said creek to a tract of land laid out to James Sterling; thence by that and the London Company’s land northeast two thousand, one hundred and forty perches to the river Delaware; thence up the same to place of beginning." At March term, 1744, a report embodying this was presented to court, but for some reason it was not confirmed until 1746. It is a large township, the area being about seventeen thousand acres. The population in 1880 was one thousand five hundred and fifty-four. For convenience in voting it is divided into two election districts, of which the one of most recent origin is known as Bridgeton district. The village of that name is the largest in the township. It is situated on the Delaware, opposite Milford, with which communication is established by a bridge. The post-office is known as Upper Black’s Eddy. Some distance farther north, a hamlet in the rear of the river hills bears the appropriate name of Narrowsville. Kintnersville, so named from Major Jacob Kintner, sheriff of the county in 1825, is situated north of Gallows run. Several miles farther inland and within the valley of that stream is Rum corner, the seat of Nockamixon post-office. Bucksville, founded by Nicholas Buck, is located on the Durham road, and was a stopping-place for stages half a century ago. There is little in its present appearance to suggest the activity and importance once derived from this source.

The almost exclusively German population of this section is shown by the fact that until recent years the only church organizations within the township limits were connected with the two great denominations with which that people usually affiliate. St. Luke’s church, Lutheran and Reformed, dated its origin from the period of the revolution. Some time prior to 1773, a log church building was erected upon a half acre of ground obtained from a Mr. Shoup. As was then customary, a school-house was also built upon the same lot. This church stood near the road or immediately adjoining it, below the brick church, removed several years ago, and the school-house occupied the site of the present church. This was owned exclusively by the Reformed congregation. About 1797, a half acre was purchased from Lawrence Pearson, for burial purposes, and still later half as much more from his heirs. About the year 1804, a narrow strip of land adjoining the original purchase from Mr. Shoup was secured from Adam Sheetz; about this time also the Lutherans, who had previously worshipped in a log building on a hill near Center Hill school-house, obtained permission to worship in the Reformed church, and from this time separate denominational ownership was obliterated. It was resolved to build a new church in 1814, for which purpose the following persons were constituted a building committee: Nicholas Kruger, George Adams, Henry Leidig, Abraham Fullmer, Philip Leidig, and Henry Miller. The corner-stone was laid on Easter Monday, April 19, 1813.

This church was forty by fifty feet in dimensions, with galleries on three sides, the pulpit at the east end, toward the cemetery, and quite elevated until 1852, when it was lowered, thus bringing the minister into the same atmosphere as his congregation. The carpenter work was superintended by John George Hager. Upon the whole, this was one of the best church edifices in the northern part of the county at the time it was built. The same may be said of its successor, the third and present church, the corner-stone of which was laid July 3, 1875. The dimensions of this building are seventy-eight feet, with gallery, basement, tower, bell, and seating capacity of about six hundred; it was dedicated May 20, 1877. The debt of seven thousand dollars then remaining has since been liquidated. The following Reformed pastors have officiated here: Reverend Caspar Wack, 1782; Frederick William Von Der Sloot, 1787; John Mann, 1792; Hoffmeyer, 1796; Jacob William Dechant, 1808; Samuel Stahr, 1811; W.T. Gerhart, 1844; D. Rothrock, May, 1859. The Lutheran church was organized about 1752. Reverend J. Michael Enderline (1766) is the first pastor of whom there is any record. He was succeeded by the following: Jacob T. Miller, 1773; ----- Sanna; Peter Ahl, 1789; Augustus Herman Schmidt, 1798; Kramer, 1801—1803; John Nicholas Mensch, 1803—23: Henry S. Miller, 1823—38; C.F. Welden, 1838—42; C.P. Miller, 1842—65; W.S. Emery, 1865—79; O.H. Melchor, 1880. In February, 1880, the ecclesiastical connection of this congregation was changed from the general council to the general synod.

St. Joseph’s, Marienstein, is a mission of St. John’s Roman Catholic parish, Haycock. Ground for the chapel was broken August 10, 1882, the cornerstone was laid the following day (Sunday), and the dedication occurred December 8th of the same year. The solemn blessing was administered September 21, 1873, by Right Reverend Augustus Trebbe, Bishop of Covington, Kentucky, after which Father Rosenbauer, C.S.S.R., of Philadelphia, celebrated high mass. Confirmation was then given for the first time in the chapel by Bishop Trebbe.


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