Chapter LIV.

Ridley Township.


The territory now designated Ridley, which derived its name from Ridley, Cheshire, England, the place from whence John Simcock came, originally under the first organization seems to have been limited to that part of the present township east and north of the old Amosland tract at the upper end of the Moore farm, and extending northward "into the words." Techoherassi or Stillé's land was at the mouth of Ridley Creek, now Eddystone. The land derived its name from the fact that Olof Persson Stillé, one of the early Swedish settlers, took up the land on the east side of Ridley Creek, and because the Indians used the word Techoherassi or Tequirasi, as descriptive of the swarthy complexion and dark hair of its owner, the plantation was termed "Techoherassi or Teckquirassy." The Swedes and Finns, being of the Scandinavian race, were of light and fair complexion, consequently their beards were light or sandy color. Stillé being distinguished by his dark skin and black hair occasioned the Indians to bestow upon him the title of "the man with the black beard," the signification of the words used as to his name, for Acrelius informs us that Techoherassi was the Indian name for Olof Stillé's place, or Sillie's land.1 His ownership of the land on the present Ridley Creek gave to that stream the name of "Oele Stillin's Kill," and the territory between that and Crum Creek on Lindstrom's manuscript map is designated as "Stillen's Land (la paye de Stillen's)." Olof Stillé came from Penningby manor, Länna, Parish Roslagen, in the duchy of Lodermania, about thirty miles south of Stockholm, then in possession of the noble family of Bielke. He emigrated with the third Swedish expedition in 1641. He was a millwright by trade, who agreed to engage in agriculture, and was to be paid "50 daler, copper money, drawing no additional wages, but to be paid for whatever work he does for, and for whatever he furnishes to the company. He was accompanied by his wife and two children, one seven and the other one and a half years old. He is not mentioned in the list of settlers in 1644."2 Stillé seems to have been one of the most prominent men in the Swedish Colony. He was made the bearer to the Dutch director of the official protest of Governor Printz, the Swedish Governor, against the encroachments of the West India Company on the right of the Swedish crown on the Delaware. After the conquest of the colony by the Dutch, in 1658, he was one of the four commissaries or magistrates appointed "to administer justice among the inhabitants, and thus became a judge of the first court of which history gives us information on the banks of the Delaware. He was also employed in various negotiations with the neighboring colonists and with the Indians."3 Professor Keen states that he died prior to May, 1693, leaving as heir an only son, John Stillé, born in America in 1646, the ancestor of a well-known Philadelphia family. Stillé, in 1664, was living in Passyunk, Philadelphia, on a tract of land ceded to him by d'Hinoyossa, the Dutch Governor on South River. One hundred acres of the Stillé land in Ridley, extending along the west side of Crump Kill or Crum Creek to a point about the north line of the land of the late Jacob Hughes, was patented to Neals Mattson June 13, 1670. It was his wife, Margaret Mattson, who was tried Feb. 27, 1683/4, on an indictment for witchcraft before William Penn and a jury.4 Above this tract, at the court held at Upland, Nov. 12, 1678, a plot of one hundred acres was set apart to Anthony Nealson. The old entry on the docket says, -

"Upon the Peticon of anthony nealson desiring of this Court a grant for to take up 100 (one hundred) acres of Land betweene ye heads of Crom kill & Oele Stellen's Kill, as alsoe a small parcell of marrish adjoyning there unto. The Court doe grant the Peticonr his sd Request hee seating & Improving ye same Land according to his honor the Governrs Regulacons & orders."5

1 History of New Sweden, pp. 46, 68. Campanius records that "Techoherassi, Olof Stillé's place, was a small plantation which was built by Swedish freemen who gave it that name. They were frequently visited by Indians, as it was on the river shore and surrounded by water like a small island. Olof had a thick black beard, from which the Indians had called him the man with the black beard." Campanius, p. 81.

2 Professor Gregory B. Keen's "Third Swedish Expedition to New Sweden," Penn. Mag. of Hist., vol. iii. p. 462.

3 Armstrong's "Record of Upland County," p. 78 (note).

4 Ante, p. 229.

5 Record of Upland Court, p. 108.

Nealson was a Swede, and his wife was the daughter of Margaret Mattson, whose trial for witchcraft is above mentioned. In the old survey of the land which was filed, this tract is thus described:

"By virtue of a warrant from the court at upland in September, 1677, Layed out for Anthony nelson Alias Long. A parcell of Land called Long scituate and being on the west syde of Delawar River, aboute a myle from the River Side betweene Crum Kill and Stilles Kill beginning at a corner marked Read oake of the Land of Niles Matson standing at the S. W. side of the Crum Kill, and from thense Running up the said Kill bounding therewith N. W., sixty and two perches N. E. 13 degrees one hundred and Eighty Perches, & N. W. by W. Sixtene Perches to a Corner marked Chestnut tree standing At the side of sayd Crooke, from thense S. W. By S. By a Lyne of marked trees two hundred Perches to a corner marked Poplar standing at Stille's Creke, from thense downe Stille's Creek bounding therewith South by East forty Perches and South East one hundred and seaven perches to a corner marked Read oake of the Land of Dom Lauren cies Carolus at the side of Stille's Creek, and from thence north east by a Line of marked trees seuenty and fower Perches to the first mentioned Corner oake Continuing one hundred Acres of Land.
"Suruived by me,
(Signed) "Walter Warton, Survr."

The greater part of the Nealson land subsequently passed under the two thousand two hundred and ten acres which on Seventh month 9, 1705, was resurveyed to Jacob Simcock. East of Crum Creek, beginning at a short distance below the present Avondale, and extending south along the creek, to Jacob Hendricks, on July 27, 1680, was surveyed one hundred acres of land, which he termed "Stone Point," doubtless due to the fact that the ground there gave indications of the


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