The City Of Chester.
and held the office. for six consecutive years, refusing to receive a salary for his services. He was one of the originators of the Chester Rural Cemetery, and for years president of the association. He was also one of the founders of the Chester Mutual Insurance Company, and has been its president since the beginning of its business operations. He has also been, since 1871, president of the First National Bank of Chester. Mr. Larkin was in 1827 married to Miss Charlotte, daughter of Capt. Erasmus Morton, to whom were born children, Charles C., Caroline (Mrs. John M. Broomall), John M. (deceased), Lewis M., Nathan, Francis, Henry, Mary (Mrs. Thomas Gilbert). Mrs. Larkin died in 1847, and he was again married to Miss Mary A., daughter of William Baggs, whose children are Clarence and Ella (Mrs. Richard Wetherill). Mrs. Larkin's death occurred in 1877.
The Chester National Bank. - This institution, under the above title, was chartered as a national bank March 1, 1884, and began business as such on the 1st day of April thereafter. Samuel A. Dyer was chosen president; Samuel H. Leeds, cashier; and a board of directors elected, consisting of J. Frank Black, Robert Wetherill, Hugh Shaw, Charles B. Houston, William Appleby, George B. Lindsay, Jonathan Pennell, H. B. Black, and Samuel A. Dyer. Its career has been one of marked success, its business being largely in excess of that which its founders anticipated. The banking-house is located on West Third Street near Market Square, a handsome granite building, which was erected in 1873 by Samuel A. Dyer and William Appleby for a private banking offce, to which afterwards large additions and improvements were made. In 1875, William Appleby retired from the firm, and the business was continued by Col. Dyer until it was finally merged into the Chester National Bank.
The Chester Library. - By the record of the old Library Company of Chester, it appears, "a number of the most considerable inhabitants of the borough having from time to time had in consideration the good consequences that would result from the erection of a public library in the said borough for the promotion of useful knowledge, did at length proceed to enter into articles for the forming themselves into a company for that purpose, agreeable to which articles they met on the tenth day of May, Anno Domini, 1769, in order to pay in the sum of money proposed to be advanced by each member, and to elect and chuse proper offcers for the more effectual carrying their design into execution. At which time were chose: Directors - Henry Hale Graham, Elisha Price, David Jackson, Nicholas Fairlamb, Thomas Moore; Treasurer, Thomas Sharpless; Secretary, Peter Steele."
Previous to this meeting preliminary affairs had been adjusted, for on the 14th day of February, 1769, an explicit agreement, entitled "Articles of the Library Company of Chester," had been adopted, signed and sealed, the latter marks with a scrawl of a pen, but the first sixteen names had attached to each a veritable wax seal, stamped with the armorial bearings of Henry Hale Graham, "That for distinction sake," the old agreement declares, "the subscribers in company, now and hereafter at all Times, are and shall be called the Library Company of Chester." The subscribers obligated themselves each to pay thirty shillings to raise a fund for the purchase of books. At no time should the number of subscribers exceed one hundred, and no one could be a shareholder unless he had subscribed to the articles of association. Each and every subscriber was required yearly to pay seven shillings and sixpence, a neglect to do so being punishable with a fine, and at the end of two years, if such shareholder was still in default, he should "therefrom forever after be excluded from the said partnership," and his share forfeited. The association was to continue "for and during the space of one hundred years," and the books and effects of the company should remain "the indistinguishable property of all the members."
The books in the library were loaned to subscribers for designated periods, according to the size of the volume, and a note was required to be given conditioned for the payment of twice the value of the book in case of its loss. On the 6th of September, 1769, the directors and officers of the company met "at Joseph Ogden's, in Philadelphia, to purchase books," which was done. The library was kept in Francis Ruth's house, and he was directed "to make a press of dimensions at least sufficient to contain the said books," for which he was to be paid forty shillings. On Aug. 10, 1770, it was ordered after "the next purchase of books a set of compleat catalogues shall be printed at the expense of the Company, and each member shall be entitled to one for his own use." On Nov. 10, 1770, Henry Hale Graham, Elisha Price, and Hugh Lloyd were instructed to buy books "with what money is in bank." At that date Ruth had not furnished the "press," and he was fined for his neglect, and informed that if it was not done in three weeks he would be fined seven shillings and sixpence. He finished it, and on May 25, 1771, complained that the price for which he had agreed to make it was too low, whereupon the directors allowed him three pounds, out of which, however, they deducted his fines, and the cost of a book, "The Husband," which he could not account for. The treasurer paid him one pound thirteen shillings and ten pence. Prior to May 15, 1775, the library was removed to the old school-house at Fifth and Welsh Streets, and a board partition separated the place where the books were kept from the other part of the room. During the Revolution there appear to have been but few business meetings of the company, the last one held May 20, 1775, and the next occurring May 10, 1780. Interest had been lost in the association, and on Aug. 1, 1789, it was discussed whether the company should not