Upper Providence Township.
and one hundred acres of land, he paying seventy-five pounds therefor. This John Camm, whose name appears on the list of taxables in the county in 1715, was the first stocking-weaver in the American colonies who had emigrated from Great Britain, so far as known. He was an Irish Friend, who came from Cork in 1708, settling at first in Philadelphia and subsequently removed to Chester County. He was certainly in Upper Providence in 1716, where he followed his calling as a stocking-weaver, as the following advertisement in the American Weekly Mercury of Dec. 10, 1732, fully attests:
"Whereas Matthew Burne, of Chester County, served John Camm two years (that is, ten or twelve months at stocking weaving and other work), during which time John Carom's stockings bore many reflections, and now the said Matthew Burne goes about selling stockings in John Camm's name as though they were his own make, which is false and not true.
Malin's Grist-Mill. - The tract of land through which the Edgmont and Springfield road passes, on the west side of Ridley, and bordering on that stream, was originally surveyed to Randal Malin. At an early period, Malin, - probably Jacob, - the son of Randal Malin, who settled on this land and died there early in the last century, built a dam across the creek on land now owned by Dr. Jacks and the estate of James Smedley, from which the race ran along the creek down to the lower portion of the Malin tract. About two hundred yards below the present residence of Stephen Malin, a lineal descendant of the settler, a stone house and a grist-mill were built. The millrace is yet intact, and the foundation of the old house is still to be seen. William Malin, a grandson of the settler, it is said, in 1785, built a portion of the present residence. In 1770 David Malin & Co. were assessed on a saw-mill, after which date the name does not appear in connection with mills on the assessment-rolls.
Sycamore Mills. - On June 24, 1690, Samuel Carpenter, Robert Turner, and John Goodson, commissioners of property, issued a patent for five hundred acres of land to James Swaffer, which, beginning a short distance south of Blue Hill, included all the territory between Ridley and Crum Creeks, and extending to the northern boundary of the township. A tract of twenty acres, included in this patent to Swaffer, lying on Ridley Creek, on June 14, 1696, passed to the ownership of John Edge, Sr. The latter, by will, May 5, 1711, devised to his son, John, this plot and three hundred and sixty acres, lying on the opposite side of the creek, in Edgmont, which land he had purchased from Philip Yarnall. In 1717, John Edge, Jr., Jacob Edge, and Henry Miller formed a copartnership for the purpose of erecting a "water corn-mill" and carrying on a milling business on the twenty-acre tract. The following year the mill, to which they gave the name Providence Mills, was built, and, still standing, is known as the "old part" of the present Sycamore Mills. It was a stone structure, thirty by thirty-two feet, two stories in height. Prior to building this mill the company purchased two and three-quarter acres in Edgmont for the race and dam privileges, each of the partners contributing £5 2s. 8d. towards the cost of the land. On Dec. 17, 1719, Henry Miller purchased the third interest, owned by John Edge, in these mills, which two-third interest Henry Miller by his will, Dec. 17, 1719, devised to his son, George. The latter, on Dec. 10, 1740, conveyed a one-third interest in the mill property to Roger Pugh, and he, on Fifth month 8, 1746, to Lawrence Cox. "Between May 5, 1746, and April 25, 1752, while Lawrence Cox was the owner of Miller's share [it was Miller's half-interest Cox had] the saw-mill was erected, doubtless in 1747, or thirty years after the grist-mill, for in the latter part of that year he leased it, excepting one-tenth part, for a term of fourteen years, and at the rate of two pounds annually, to Thomas and John Minshall, of Middletown, both of them at the same time coming in for a fifth share each in the grist-mill. They sent their flour to Barbadoes in 1746, and to Jamaica by the brig 'Dolphin' in 1748, in charge of their brother, Moses, who was a sea-captain, and received sugar in part in return. Lawrence Cox was then also part owner of the mills. Thomas Yarnall and John Cox were likewise in partnership with the Minshalls in the saw-mill business. There was a curious arrangement made that 'when the grist-mill wanted water from the dam, and there was not enough for both, the saw-mill was to stand idle,' an excellent contrivance to promote a feud. Cox seemed to have had unlimited faith in tenants, for in the same year, 1746, that he obtained partial possession of the property he leased one-third of his share to William Hammans for twenty-one years, at an annual rent of twelve pounds . . . . In 1757 all the possessions went to his son, George."1
|1 "Sketch of Bishop's Mill," by Wilmer W. James, in Delaware County Paper, June 27, 1877.|
John Cox, on 25th of First month, 1752, conveyed the property to his son, John Cox, who, on Feb. 17, 1753, with the consent doubtless of the other owners, leased the grist- and merchant-mill, with two pair of stones and three bolting-sheets, to John Williamson Henry Howard, Henry Caldwell, Lawrence Cox, Edward Farr, James Sill, Nehemiah Baker, Philip Dunn, Robert Register, James Scott, Aaron Baker, Abel Green, Thomas Minshall, John Scott, Jesse Woodward, James Massey, John Baker, Joseph Black, Nathan Lewis, and William Wall for seven years. Tradition states that every man having a share in the mill took his own grain there and ground it himself, whenever the inclination prompted, and did so without rendering thanks or pay to anybody.
John Cox on Feb. 22, 1755, sold to Thomas Bishop his one-third share in the mill, two tracts of land, and forty acres purchased from John Taylor by Lawrence Cox in 1746, to Thomas Bishop, the latter paying