Nether Providence Township.
At this meeting-house, on Eighth month 27, 1707, William Thomas, a Friend of Newtown, made acknowledgment, viz., "Dear Friends, I happened to Goe to the Buriall of one of my neighbour's Children, one of the Separates, and one of them Going to prayer, I unadvisedly took off my hatt with them, which I acknowledge to be a Scandall to the truth which I make profession of, therefore am sorry for itt."
In 1727 a stone addition was made to the log building, and in 1753 the old end, being the remains of the old original structure, was removed, and in its place a stone addition was made to the stone part erected in 1727, which now forms the present meeting-house.
On Friday, Jan. 14, 1831, a terrific snow-storm began in Delaware County, continuing through all the next day (Saturday). The roads were blockaded almost even with the fences. Court began on Monday, January 17th, but travel was so interrupted that Judge Darlington could not reach the county, and although Associate Judge Engle charged the grand jury, on account of the absence of witnesses and jurors very little was done, the court adjourning on Wednesday afternoon. On the evening of Friday, January 14th, when the storm was raging, Jonathan Clayton and his cousin started from Chester to go home. "But that home they were never more to see. A person passing next morning between the Providence school-house and meeting-house was attacked by a dog. Perceiving something unusual in the manner of the animal, he was led to discover the body of a man, the face only of which was above the snow. The body was that of the unfortunate Jonathan Clayton."1
|1 Hazard's Register, vol. vii. p. 248.|
Clayton was the second person in Nether Providence of whom we have record that had died of exposure. On Saturday, Nov. 1, 1823, Nancy May, an intemperate woman, lay down by the roadside on Providence road, and was frozen to death.
Union Methodist Episcopal Church. - A class was organized in the neighborhood of Hinkson's Corners about 1812, which was composed of persons residing in Nether Providence and surrounding townships. On the 28th of January, 1813, a lot containing eighty square perches of land, situate on the northwest side of a public road leading through Nether Providence to Edgmont great road, was purchased of Benjamin Houlston for one hundred and ten dollars. The trustees to whom the deed was made were William Palmer, of Aston; Edward Levis and William Coffman, of Springfield; Joseph Dicks and John Esray, of Nether Providence; Christopher Snyder and Rudolph Temple, of Springfield; Caspar Coffman, of Nether Providence; and William Morris, of Upper Providence. On this lot the congregation erected the present stone church, and in the burial-ground adjoining lie many of the early worshipers in the old sanctuary. On Saturday, Dec. 8, 1879, while the sexton of the church was digging a grave in the cemetery of the church, the body of a new-horn infant was exhumed, the remains having been placed in a common box, such as is used to pack canned goods, and deposited secretly in the graveyard. Considerable excitement was aroused in the neighborhood; an inquest was held, but nothing further resulted from the investigation. A few years ago the old building was repaired and enlarged. The church was under the same charge with Mount Hope Church, and both were in Village Green Circuit. This church, with South Media Chapel, were erected as a station in March, 1877, and as a single station in 1878. The pastors from that time have been Revs. N. Turner, George Alcorn, and Albert Hood, who is the present pastor. The church has forty-eight members and a Sunday-school of sixty pupils, of which George W. Pastlett is superintendent.
Presbyterian Church at Todmorton. - In 1850 William T. Crook, of Crookville, erected a Presbyterian Church in that locality, for the convenience of the employés in his factory, then known as the Crookville Mi11s. The building, which cost ten thousand dollars, is seventy-five feet in length, forty feet in width, with a tower twelve feet square which rises to the height of eighty feet. In the belfry is a bell weighing seven hundred pounds. The lower floor is arranged for school-, lecture-, and reading-rooms. The church was dedicated Sept. 30, 1850, services being conducted on that occasion by the Rev. Dr. McDowell, of Philadelphia, and the Rev. N. Heston, of Chester. Soon after Rev. Jacob D. Dudley was called to the pastorate of the church, and remained in charge until 1855, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Dr. Robert Crawford, who was installed November 24th of that year. He remained for five years, since which time the church has been without a regular pastor. The Rev. Dr. James W. Dale, of Media, and other clergymen at various times conducted services in the church, but at the present time the building is not used for religious exercises.
Schools. - The first school of which any information has been obtained in Nether Providence was kept in a stone house erected on a lot at what is now Hinkson's Corners. The lot was purchased Feb. 10, 1810, of Benjamin Houlston. The inhabitants of the township selected Samuel Crosley, Seth Thomas, James Ham, Henry Forrest, and James Hinkson to act as trustees. To these trustees this lot of thirty-six square perches was granted in trust "for the use of a school by the name of a Union school and for no other use." This school was maintained under the direction of these trustees until April 26, 1841, when Henry Forrest, one, of the original trustees, conveyed the property to the school directors of the township. In January, 1861, the property was transferred by the directors to the school district, and at the same time the latter purchased thirty-six square perches of land adjoining. In June, 1866, the old