Nether Providence Township.
St. Paul's Church is erected on the ground he donated. Still going south, on March 21-22, 1681, John Edge took up one hundred and twenty-five acres of land, which by a subsequent survey proved to contain a larger number of acres, extending from Providence road to Crum Creek. John Edge, who came from St. Andrew's, Holborne, in the county of Middlesex, in England, having been persecuted for conscience' sake in his native land, settled on this tract, where he died in 1711. William and Mary Swaffer, in 1684, settled in Nether Providence, on a plantation of one hundred and eighty acres, which was south of the Edge lands, and extended from Providence road to Crum Creek, and bounded on the south by the John Sharpless homestead tract, already mentioned. William Swaffer resided on this land until his death, in 1720. This property passed to Peter Dick in 1732. Dick's Run flows in a northwesterly direction, and east of Providence road, almost to the Friends' meeting-house at the northern limits of the township. From Peter Dick was descended Roger Dicks, of Nether Providence, a noted public Friend, who died Dec. 29, 1808.
The Vernon family were conspicuous during the Revolution. Nathaniel Vernon, at the breaking out of the war, was sheriff of Chester County, was an outspoken advocate of the cause of the crown, and subsequently became so offensive to the colonial authorities that he was declared a traitor, as was his son, Nathaniel Vernon, Jr. The father fled to the protection of the English army when the latter captured Philadelphia, while the son, Nathaniel, joined the Tory light troops, commanded by Jacob Jones. Another son took sides with the Continentals. On one occasion, it is recorded, while the British occupied Philadelphia, Frederick, who was a major in the American army, obtained permission to visit his wife and family in Nether Providence. His brother, Nathanial, by some means learned of his presence at home, and one night the Tory light-horse marched from Philadelphia to Nether Providence, intending to capture Maj. Vernon. The troops surrounded the house. Nathaniel entered the dwelling, and was about to ascend to the upper rooms, when Frederick, who was aroused by the noise, halted him from the head of the stairs, where he stood armed with a pistol. Nathaniel made known his business, that he had come to take him prisoner, that he must submit, for the troops had surrounded the house. He also informed him that the British must conquer, but that if he would join the English army he would be promoted to office in the colony. He had come for his welfare, and that he must surrender. Frederick replied that he would never submit, that the British could not take him, and that if his brother or any other person attempted to ascend the stairs he would shoot; only as a dead man could they capture him. Nathaniel Vernon, finding his brother so determined, withdrew his troops, and Frederick remained true to the cause he had espoused. At the conclusion of the war he was one of the founders of the Society of the Cincinnati, and died in Nether Providence at an advanced age. Job Vernon, a cousin of Maj. Vernon, a "captain in the Revolution, was born in Lower Providence about the year 1750. He entered the army at the commencement of the Revolutionary war, and served faithfully and without intermission until its termination and the disbanding of the army. His name appears in the lists printed by order of Congress of officers who served to the end of the war, and thereby acquired the right to half-pay and bounty lands, and also as one of the founders of the Society of the Cincinnati. He was commissioned ensign in Capt. Thomas Church's company of Col. Anthony Wayne's Pennsylvania battalion, Jan. 5, 1776, and was promoted to be lieutenant in Capt. Thomas Robinson's company of the same battalion, Oct. 1, 1776. In 1779 and 1780 he was paymaster of the Fifth Pennsylvania Regiment, which was then commanded by Col. Francis Johnston, and in which he also held the commission of captain. This regiment was attached to the Army of the North, and seems to have participated in all its services up to the storming of Stony Point. Capt. Vernon died in Concord township about the year 1810. From fragments of his accounts, and other documents in the possession of a relative, he seems to have been an intimate acquaintance and favorite of Gen. Wayne, and a brave and judicious officer."1
|1 Smith's "History of Delaware County," p. 509.|
On Dec. 31, 1783, the Supreme Executive Council acknowledged a deed to William Kerlin for sixty acres of land in Nether Providence, late the estate of Gideon Vernon, an attainted traitor.
William L. Green, of Nether Providence, is the owner of an old pewter plate, which is a relic of colonial times, and of the war of independence. Scratched on the bottom of the platter is the date 1711. During the battle of Brandywine this plate was in the possession of William Lamborn, of Kennett Square, the grandfather of the present owner. All the plates and valuables belonging to the people of the neighborhood were seized by the British soldiers, and, in order to save the old pewter plate, Lamborn hid it in a tub of swill, where it remained until the enemy had marched away from the neighborhood.
Taxables. - In 1715 the following persons were returned as taxables in Nether Providence:
James Sharpless, Joseph Sharpless, Isaac Minshall, Jacob Vernon, Joseph Vernon, Thomas Vernon, John Vernon, Henry Hasting, William Swafer, Jacob Edge, John Powell.
In 1799 the following taxables were returned in the township:
Jacob Benninghove (tobacconist), Pierre Crosby, Joseph Dicks, Jr., Roger Dicks, Frederick Dicks, William Edwards, Joshua Ely, Isaac Engle (carpenter), Henry Forrest, Jacob Fulke, James Ham, Thomas Hinkson, James Hinkson (wheelwright), John Keith, William Kerlin, Thomas Leiper (tobacconist), John Levis, Richard Nuzum (blacksmith), Thomas Nuzum, George Perkins, Mahlon Parsons, William Paist, Daniel Sharpless (saw-mill, grist-mill, fulling-mill), Philip Stimmel (tobac-