Upper Darby Township.
Crimes. - On Sept. 20, 1849, while the services were being held at the funeral of Abram Powell, the miller, on Naylor's Run, a man was noticed to deliberately mount a valuable mare and ride away. Those who saw the act, believing that he had been sent on an errand by the family, paid no attention, and it was not mentioned until after the funeral, when inquiries were made respecting the animal. A few days before two horses had been stolen from Joseph Powell, a son of Abram, and he had offered fifty dollars reward for their return. On the day of his father's funeral the horses were brought back, and the son paid the reward, the latter being so overwhelmed with grief and the cares of the day that he asked no questions of the men who returned the horses. In July, 1877, a black man entered the house of Mrs. Kirk, and going into her room, appropriated several dresses. Mrs. Kirk, who was blind, sitting in the room, heard him, and, as the sound of his foot-step was unfamiliar, gave the alarm. The thief sprang out of the window, but pursuit being made by the men in the harvest-field, he was arrested, lodged in jail, and subsequently tried and convicted. On Feb. 16, 1876, the United States detectives seized an illicit distillery in a house near Darby Road Station, on the West Chester Railroad. A pit was excavated outside of the stable, which was floored with boards, covered with earth and straw. In this pit was a still, worm, and other necessary appliances, while from the stillhouse fire a flue was laid in a trench, and ran through the foundation of the dwelling, so that the smoke might mingle with that in the chimney and disarm suspicion. A trap-door in the stable gave access to an underground passage-way, which led to the pit where the still was located. The whiskey produced there was made from molasses. The government officers arrested James Cullen in Philadelphia, but the other two persons connected with him escaped.
In the evening of Aug. 3, 1837, Jacob Brass accidentally discovered in the woods on the farm of George Sellers the body of a man hanging to a limb about six feet from the ground. A pair of new cotton suspenders were round his neck and fastened to the limb. The corpse, when found, was in an advanced state of decomposition, and must have been hanging there several days before it was discovered.
Remarkable Instances of Longevity. - Mrs. Mary Ash, of Upper Darby, died March 24, 1862, aged ninety-seven years. She was the mother of sixteen children, and survived them all, except two, the oldest and the youngest, the latter being at date of the mother's death over sixty years of age. Mary Ash was twelve years old when the battle of Brandywine was fought, and could remember that some of the American soldiers, when the army was retreating to Philadelphia, stopped at her father's house and were fed. She had lived in the house in which she died seventy-five years, and until within three days before her death retained her faculties unimpaired.
On Monday, Jan. 12, 1880, "Aunt Betsey" Moore, on the one hundred and first anniversary of her birth, received a number of friends gathered to congratulate her on that occasion. She was born in Upper Darby, at Sellers' Hall, in 1779. On April 5, 1880, she died at the residence of her nephew, Samuel Moore, at Millbank, retaining her faculties remarkably until a few days prior to her death.1
|1 In the village of Darby, on April 21, 1824, Mrs. Mary Calderwood died, aged one hundred and one years. This interesting fact having been unintentionally omitted in the account of Darby borough, it is recorded in this note as an incident worthy of preservation in a history of Delaware County.|
Societies. - Clifton Heights Lodge, No. 960, I. O. of O. F., was chartered on the 9th of August, 1878, with the following persons as officers: Charles H. Edwards, N. G.; William Logan, V. G.; Samuel E. Haynes, Sec.; Henry M. Brennin, Asst. Sec.; John S. Donnel, Treas. The society has at the present time eighty-seven members, and is located at Clifton.
Arasapha Tribe, No. 161, I. O. R. M., was chartered on the 28th Sun of the Beaver Moon, G. S. D. No. 380, with twenty-two charter members. The wigwam of the tribe is at Clifton.
Clifton Wreath Division, No. 68, Sons and Daughters of Temperance, was chartered on the 26th of February, 1876, with forty-one charter members, and at present has a membership of sixty. The meetings of this society are held at Clifton.
Improvement Lodge, No. 197, Knights of Pythias, was organized Oct. 4,1869, with nine charter members. It was instituted at Garrettford, but in 1876 removed to Clifton, and has now a membership of sixty-seven.
Robert Plumstead was born April 19, 1803, and has spent his long and useful life in Upper Darby, Delaware Co. On attaining a proper age he was apprenticed to Isaac Earle to learn the trade of shoe-making, with whom he served his time, and followed the business for about two years. He, however, desired a more active life, and engaged with Coleman Sellers, of Cardington, as foreman on his farm, which position he held for ten years, removing from thence in the year 1841 to his present home, known as "Maple Grove Farm," where he continued the active pursuits of a farmer until 1878, when the farm was rented and he retired from its management. Mr. Plumstead was, on the 26th of February, 1829, married to Rebecca, daughter of Joshua Parsons, of Marple township. Their children are Thomas K. (married to Rebecca L. Dickenson, of Darby), who died in 1856, at the age of twenty-seven years; Amanda R., who died at Price's Boarding-School, in West Chester, in 1850, aged seventeen years; Sarah A., whose death occurred in 1839,