Chapter LIV.

Ridley Township.

 

on three hundred and thirty acres of land, a grist- and saw-mill. The saw-mill was discontinued in 1808, and was permitted to fall into ruins. The grist-mill was built of stone, was forty-eight by thirty-six feet, and was changed into a cotton-factory in 1826 but was not used as such for several years. Prior to and in 1842 it was occupied by Henry Burt, and at that time was part stone and frame, three and a half stories in height, and was fifty by thirty-eight feet. It contained seven carding-engines, one drawing-frame, four hundred and eighty wadding-frames, ninety cards, twenty-one Patterson speeders, and other machinery. In 1844 it was rented from Henry Effinger, the then owner, by James Campbell, who used it as a spinning-mill until 1846, when it was rented to Charles F. and Joseph W. Kenworthy, who put steam-power in the mills. In 1847 there were in operation at this mill four hundred and sixty-eight throstle-spindles, three hundred mule-spindles, and thirty looms; thirty hands were employed, who manufactured four thousand five hundred yards per week. Ten of the looms were employed on Canton flannel, and the remainder on bagging. On Dec. 19, 1848, the engine-house was burned, and the mill itself saved from destruction with the greatest difficulty. After the Kenworthys removed to Bridgewater the mill was idle for a time, and subsequently was changed into a grist-mill, and is now owned by Samuel Hickman.

The Eddystone Manufacturing Company. - The extensive works of this company are located on the Olle Lille plantation, one of the noted localities during the early Swedish settlement, known by the Indians as Techrassi (the land belonging to the man with the black beard). Ridley Creek was at that time known as Olof Stille's Kill, and subsequently after the estate was purchased by the Swedish clergyman, Laurentius Carlus Lock, the stream was termed Preest's Creek. The property afterwards passed to John Crosby, and later was divided into smaller plantations, and in 1779 Isaac Eyre seems to have had a grist-mill in this locality, and near by Joseph Trimble had a saw-mill. Henry Effinger, who acquired title by purchasing the interests of Isaac Eyre, John Crosby, and Susannah Duly in 1782, devised the plantation to his sons, Jacob and Henry Effinger, and in 1831 Henry Effinger became the owner of the entire tract. He was a peculiar man, very parsimonious in his habits, and was so opposed to the public school law that he would never pay the taxes levied for the support of public instruction, but yearly compelled the collector to levy on his personal property to liquidate the charges.

In 1871 the executors of Henry Effinger sold to John Roach, who subsequently conveyed the estate to William Simpson & Sons. The same purchaser afterwards bought a large part of the George G. Leiper estate to the north of the Effinger farm, as well as the Grantham farm, which adjoined the Effinger property on the east. The name was shortened frequently to Grant, hence the "Grant Rocks" on the Delaware should be really "Grantham Rocks." The old mansion is situated about two hundred yards from the river, and the walls being over two feet six inches thick, it is still a substantial structure. The Grantham family subsequently erected a new dwelling near the Southern post-road, which Lewis Trimble afterwards took down and built a house which subsequently became the property of Richard Risley Carlisle; better known as "Professor Risley," the noted acrobat, who with his two sons were favorite performers a quarter of a century ago. The Risley house is now owned by the widow of N. F. H. Dennis. On the Effinger farm, as stated, the extensive Eddystone Print-Works have been erected.

The Eddystone Manufacturing Company (Limited) was founded in 1844 by William Simpson, at the Falls of Schuylkill, Philadelphia. In 1860, Mr. Simpson's sons were admitted to the firm, which became William Simpson & Sons. The works were removed to Eddystone in 1874, and in 1877 the Eddystone Manufacturing Company (Limited) was formed, of which company the old firm were the principal owners of stock. At that time the works were enlarged and the finest machinery obtained to make prints of all colors. The noted Eddystone prints and cotton-prints, as well as William Simpson & Sons' mourning prints, for which the old firm had acquired a high reputation, are still manufactured, and are favorite goods in the market. The works comprise fifteen buildings, consisting of engraving- and color-rooms, two hundred and two by eighty-two feet, one story in height; bleaching-room, two hundred and forty-four by ninety feet, one story; boiler-house, one hundred and twelve by seventy-two feet, one story; cloth store-house, one hundred and twelve by fifty feet, one story; white-rooms, one hundred and seven by eighty-four feet, one story, with boiler-house, two hundred and two by seventy-two feet, one story; south dye-house, two hundred and two by ninety-two feet, one story; north dye-house, two hundred and twenty-three by ninety-three feet, one story; finishing-house, three hundred by sixty feet, two stories; print-works, three hundred by eighty-five feet, three stories; retort-house, ninety by ninety feet, one story; machine-shop, one hundred and fifty by sixty feet, one story; planing-mill, one hundred by ninety feet, one story; pump-house, sixty by thirty-five feet, one story; stable, one hundred and fourteen by ninety-two feet, one story. The fifteen buildings mentioned cover nearly five acres of ground. There are fifty-four engines, with thirty-seven boilers, requiring twenty-five thousand tons of coal annually. Five hundred and three men, sixty-one women and girls, and one hundred and sixty boys are employed, and the weekly production is thirty thousand pieces of cloth of forty-eight yards each. Such an industry has built up about it a thriving village. The liberality of the company and Mr. Simpson has made this an attractive locality.

 

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