Upper Darby Township.
In 1817, at the age of twenty-seven, he married Elizabeth Poole, the eldest daughter of William Poole, of Wilmington, Del. In this choice he was most wisely directed, and the result might well confirm the supposition that "all true marriages are made in heaven."
It would be impossible to give any correct account of his life without including her in it. She was his counselor in everything, and he honored the whole sex for her sake. She had been the congenial companion of a very intellectual father, and she brought into her husband's home a wisdom beyond her years. She made his house a centre of attraction in the neighborhood, hiding all defects with her lavish and bountiful nature. He often recounted their early experience together, when economy was a necessity and all conveniences lacking, and how her cheerful spirit was a tower of strength to him. He never entered into any business of importance without consulting her, and in recounting some losses it was often with the preface, "If I had minded what my wife said, this would not have happened."
They had eleven children, three of whom died in infancy. The rest survive them.
He made a strong protest against the use of alcohol in any form, and was the first in his neighborhood to do away with its use in the harvest fields. This was a most unpopular movement when it was thought to be the strength of the laborer and the promoter of cheerful endeavor. He had the courage of his principles, however, and by the promise of higher wages he carried his point, and set an example to his neighbors that was quickly followed. When anti-slavery doctrines were most abhorrent to the general public, he went into that cause with all his heart. His house was always open to its disciples, and the fugitive found there both welcome and help on his way. He took liberal papers, and always cast his vote for the liberal party. He was an old-time Whig, and boasted that he never missed his vote at any election from the time of his majority. He considered it a sacred duty to attend the polls, and thought an American citizen unworthy the name who neglected this. He was chosen a delegate to the Free-Soil Convention which met in Buffalo in 1848. He deprecated the spirit of disunion found in some of the ultra abolitionists, and often said "the best way to abolish slavery would be to introduce the public-school system in the South." He was deeply interested in the cause of education, and at one time, with others of his neighbors, built a school-house which they maintained for many years at their own expense. Here the best teachers were employed, and some of his own children received their entire education. When the free-school system was inaugurated this school-house became the property of Upper Darby, but continued its original name of the Union School, which it bears to this day. He was immediately chosen treasurer and director of the Upper Darby school district, which positions he held until the last years of his life. Many other positions of trust were given him; he was treasurer of three different road companies at one time, and was several times an administrator to large estates. In these duties he was deeply interested and faithfully performed them.
In 1859 he had the misfortune to lose his wife, and the close companionship of forty years was broken. Together they had borne "the burden and heat of the day," and now that the resting time had come hers was "in larger, other worlds than ours." He was a man of few words, and all his principles forbade repining, but his life was shorn of its brightness.
Loved by everybody, he especially delighted in young people, and naturally attracted many to his house, so that it was never other than a cheerful home. He firmly believed in making it so. He was a member of Darby Monthly Meeting, and, according to the usage among Friends, all his children had birthright membership in this society. Twice a week, all his life, did he faithfully attend meeting. His creed was "to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before God," and all who knew him confess that he made it practical. He would sometimes listen to long discussions on theological points, but with great humility regret that he did not understand much about them. He said, "If we all tried to live so that we could look back on each act with satisfaction, that would be a good enough religion." To those who knew him best it would seem impossible that regret or remorse could ever have been his portion.
His health was perfect, from which fact he derived great pleasure. At one time, when nearly eighty years of age, he walked to and from meeting, a distance of about eight miles, without apparent effort. His love of reading was maintained to his latest day, and his delight in nature never waned. He became the patriarch of his meeting, and died full of honors in the community on the 20th day of July, 1878, aged eighty-nine. His life was a very simple one, without incident or pretension, but from beginning to end was full of sweetness and instruction.
The following extract from a county paper is embodied, as concisely estimating his character:
"He was a member of the society of Friends, worshiping at Darby Meeting, and was one of the very few remaining of the old members of that meeting. Never ambitious for political preferment, he did not ask public applause, living in the practice of the belief that the 'post of honor is the private station.' In the anti-slavery cause he was an active worker, and his efforts on behalf of the down-trodden knew no cessation until the work of emancipation was completed and the legitimate fruits of the triumph assured. His goodness of heart and Christian character endeared him to those of all creeds and professions. He was liberal in all things, ever looking beyond the