HISTORY OF DELAWARE, 1609-1888
by J. Thomas Scharf, A.M., LL, D.
Phildadelphia: L. J. Richards & Co., 1881
“There was little activity in the State during the early part of the year, as the British confined their operations to the North. June 18th an order was issued by the Governor, at the request of Brigadier General Stockton, for a general-court martial. It was to consist of thirteen members and to assemble at New Castle on July 13th, for the trial of Major Caleb P. Bennet, of the artillery attached to the First Brigade, and any other persons who might be brought before it. Major Thomas Robinson was appointed president of the court-martial and the other members were: Judge Advocate, Lieutenant Colonel John Caldwell, Lieutenant Joshua Carter, Lieutenant Colonel David Niven, Major Mordecai McKinney, Major John Moody, Major Joseph Grubb, Major Patrick McConaughy, Major Samuel Moore, Major Oliver R. Howell, Captain Christopher Vandegrift, Major John Crow and Captain James Miles. The charge for which Major Bennet was brought to trial was not proven and he was discharged.”
“The appointment of electors to elect the President and Vice President had been, by law of 1800, committed to the Legislature of the State. In 1824 an effort was made to change the mode to that of election by the people. With this view, when the Legislature convened in November of that year for the purpose of appointing electors, Mr. Black, of New Castle, introduced a resolution assailing the prevailing mode, and declaring it to be inexpedient and improper for the Legislature to appoint the electors and providing for a joint committee of the two Houses to prepare and report as soon as practicable a bill providing for the repeal of the law of 1800, and directing the time and manner of holding elections in the several counties for the appointment of the electors of the State. The time was not ripe for the change, and the resolution of Mr. Black having been laid on the table, the two Houses proceeded to appoint electors. The ballots upon being counted, showed that J. G. Rowland had received twenty-one vots, John Caldwell fifteen votes, and Isaac Tunnell fifteen votes. The two Houses having separated and returned to their respective chambers, Mr. Clement offered in the House of Representatives a resolution “solemnly protesting against commissions beingissued to J. G. Rowland, John Caldwell and Isaac Tunnell, because, although Joseph G. Rowland had twenty-one votes, being a majority of all members of the two Houses present, yet as no other candidate voted for had such majority, and it is deemed contrary to the Constitution of the United States and the law of the State that one elector only should be appointed when the State is entitled to three: that John Caldwell and Isaac Tunnell cannot be considered as entitled to certification, as neither of them had a majority of all the votes given, there having been thirty votes taken and neither of them having more than fifteen out of such votes”. The protest was signed by John Crow, C. Vandegrift, Jos. England, John Exton, S. H. Black, David Penny and Josiah Clement. Notwithstanding the protest, the certificate of appointment of electors was signed by the Speaker and attested by the clerk.”
“In 1840 the State was entirely free from debt and had $19,222.34 in the treasury and the population as 78,467. The political canvas of that year opened as early as June 20th, when the Administration or Democratic party held its convention and nominated Warren Jefferson for Governor; Thomas Robinson, Jr., Representative to Congress; Thomas Jacobs, Nehemiah Clark and Christopher Vandegrift, Presidential electors. The Whig convention nominated for Governor, W. B. Cooper, of Sussex; for Congress, George B. Rodney and Benjamin Caulk; Peter F. Causey and Dr. H. F. Hall, Presidential electors. A very active canvass began and was continued throughout the State … “
“At the session of the Legislature of 1869 the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was rejected by the following vote: … House of Representatives, March 18th: Yeas, None; Nays, … Joseph W. Vandegrift … “
“The early Swedish settlers are said to have been intelligent and it is reasonable to suppose that they had some system of instruction among them.
After the Amsterdam Company purchased New Amstel, or New Castle, of the Dutch West India Company, in 1658, they sent ministers and teachers to the colony; and after Delaware became attached to Penn’s proprietorship, in 1682, it appears that steps were taken to provide for the education of the people; but Delaware became a separate colony in 1753, and from that time until 1792 no provision was made for public or free schools. The children of the wealthy were educated at private pay schools, a system which has continued in some localities until the present.
These old pay schools or academics, were some of them well conducted, and are held in grateful remembrance by many of the older people of the present, but is plain that this class of schools left the poor without an opportunity to obtain an education.
When the Constitution of 1792 was framed, this defect was recognized, and provision was made “for established schools and promoting the arts and sciences,” but the Legislature did not carry out this requirement until February 9, 1796, when an act was passed providing that the moneys received from marriage and tavern licenses, from the date of the act to January 1, 1806, be applied to this fund. The time was afterwards extended until 1830. Section 7 of this act provides “That the said fund shall be applied to the establishment of schools in the several hundreds or districts of the respective counties of the State for the purpose of instructing the children of the inhabitants thereof in the English language, arithmetic and such other branches of knowledge as are most useful and necessary in completing a good English education, and that the same shall not be applied to the erecting or supporting of any academy, college or university in this State.” The money thus accumulated was invested and constituted a fund sufficient to warrant the Legislature in 1817, in passing an act appropriating a portion thereof for the education of poor children. Under this act from three to five persons were appointed as trustees in each hundred to superintend its distribution for educating poor children, who were to be instructed in reading, writing and arithmetic. The trustees had full power to select the teachers and fix the salary; $4000 was annually appropriated from the school fund to each county under this act. The teachers were required to keep a regular and distinct account of all moneys received and expended, the names, ages and condition of the children, and their progress in learning, and to make reports to the county treasurer whose duty it was to present them to the General Assembly. The trustees under this act were for New Castle County, Brandywine Hundred, Robert Forward, Jas. Grubb, Chas. Tatem; Christiana Hundred, Thos. Baldwin, Geo. Morris, Edward Roche, Jas. Brindley, Jno. McCalmont; Mill Creek Hundred, Andrew Reynolds, Washington Rice, Ellis Saunders; White Clay Creek Hundred, George Gillespies, David Morrison, David Nivin; New Castle Hundred, John Crow, Samuel Moore, James R. Black, Archibald Alexander; Red Lion Hundred, Anthony M. Higgins, John Sutton and George Clark; Pencader Hundred, William Cooch, Levi Boulden and Rev. Samuel Bell; St. George’s Hundred, John Merritt, Christopher Vandergrift and David Stewart; Appoquinimink Hundred, John Crawford, Dickinson Webster, Gideon Emory.”
Attorneys admitted to practice in the State. New Castle County. … Lewis C. Vandegrift, December, 1879 …
“Relief of Solicitors of the Court of New Castle County. … L. C. Vandegrift …
“Lewis C. Vandegrift, a native of St. George’s Hundred, was born August 27, 1855, entered the office of the Hon. George Gray and attended Harvard Law School from 1870 to ’80, admitted to the practice at the bar of New Castle County in November, 1879, and in 1881 began practice and is now of the firm of Bradford & Vandegrift, in Wilmington.
First National Bank of Wilmington. This was the first bank in Wilmington organized under the National Banking Law of 1864. … The following is a list of directors who have been chosen since, with the dates of their election: … Lewis C. Vandegrift July 15, 1886. … The directors for 1888 are, … Lewis C. Vandegrift
The Banking House Corporation. ” … They organized Marach 8, 1873, by electing … The directors in 1888 are … Lewis C. Vandegrift … “
The Delaware Bible Society was organized in Wilmington November 22, 1813, by members of different religious denominations “for the distribution of the Holy Scriptures among the destitute of the State.” It’s original Members were residents of New Castle County … Among new members were … Leonard Vandegrift
Associated Charities. (Benevolent work). Those of the citizens of Wilmington, who had long been interested in benevolent work, seeing the failure of the indiscriminate methods of almsgiving, determined to organize the charities of the city after the manner of similar organizations in other cities. … At a meeting held November 17, 1884 … the following gentlemen … constituted the central board of managers: … L. C. Vandegrift …
Nazareth M. E. Church — As early as 1769, Captain Thomas Webb, a pensioned officer of the British army, came to New Castle and preached as a Methodist minister. His teachings were received with so little favor that the doors of the Court House were closed against him, though open to various forms of frivolity. … About this time a Methodist Society was formed but did not last long. … The present society was formed in 1820 … In 1863 a new house of worship was effected … 1887 board of trustees … George W. Vandegrift
List of taxables in Red Lion Hundred as returned November 27, 1787, by John Thompson, assessor. … Lewis Vandegrift … Abram Vandegrift, est
In 1762 David Thomas sold to William Robinson a lot in St. Georges which he had purchased of Andrew Jubart, Nov. 18, 1759. In 1762 the “King’s Highway” passing through St. Georges was laid out. The village gradually increased in size and February 7, 1825, it was incorporated as a town. George Clark, Philip Reybold, William Guier, John Randall and Jacob Vandegrift were appointed commissioners and directed to take with them a skillful surveyor, make a survey of the town, fix the limits and boundaries and lay out, open and regulate the streets.
Religious — St. George’s Presbyterian Church. — The exact date of the organization of a Presbyterian Church at St. George’s is a matter of uncertainty. It is contended by the members of the church that it was founded in 1698. this date being obtained from a rafter in the roof of the old church. Another version is that the congregation sprang from the Drawyers Church in 1742. … In 1787 the trustees were: … Christopher Vandergrift … Christopher Vandergrift … Leonard Vandergrift and … were church elders May 5, 1802. … The present officers are: Elders, James M. Vandegrift, …
St. George’s Cemetery Company. — On March 8, 1871, it was enacted by the Legislature of Delaware “that … James M. Vandergrift … be and they are hereby constituted a corporation by the name of the St. George’s Cemetery Company of Red Lion Hundred.” … The first officers elected by the company were as follows: … James M. Vandergrift … The present officers are: … Directors, James M. Vandergrift … In this cemetery are buried many of the old settlers and from the tombstones we have taken the following names. … Christopher Vandegrift, Sr., died June 8, 1816, in the eighty-fifth year of his age. …
St. George’s Hundred.
St. George’s, the largest hundred in New Castle County, is bounded on the north by St. George’s Creek, on the east by the Delaware River, on the south by Appoquinimink Creek and on the west by Maryland. With the exception of a small quantity of marsh on the river’s edge, the land is all in a state of cultivation and yields abundantly. At one time a large portion of the hundred was devoted to peach growing. This enterprise has to a great extent been abandoned and the chief products of the soil are wheat, corn and oats. Numerous small streams flowing through the hundred render the grounds very fertile. Facilities for shipping merchandise by boat are afforded to those living in the northern, eastern and southern parts of the hundred. Those in the central and western portions have railroad accommodations. The climate is healthful and all that can be desired. The population has largely increased from fifty taxables, representing perhaps two hundred and fifty inhabitants in 1684.
The first settlers in this vicinity were chiefly of four nationalities — Swedes, Dutch, French Huguenots and English. Of the first class were the Petersons and the Andersons; of the second class, the Alrichs, Hansons, Vandykes, Vandegrifts and Vances; of the third, the Dushanes, Naudains of Appoquinimink, Bayards and the Scaya; of the last, the Crawfords and the Taylors. Before 1683 fifty taxable citizens had taken up their residence within the bounds of this hundred. Among these were Henry Walraven, John Foster, John Taylor, John Peterson, Hans Hanson, Adam Peterson, Elias Humphreys, Judith Crawford, widow of James Crawford, and Peter Alrich. The descendants of some of these early settlers still reside within the hundred, but the names of some have entirely disappeared from the neighborhood.
In 1676 George Ashton surveyed a part of the farm belonging to the heirs of Christopher Vandegrift. It extended northward to Doctor’s Swamp.
A large part of the land lying on the Delaware and along the Appoquinimink about 1707-’08 came into the possession of Samuel Vance, who settled upon it, and from him the place known for many years as Vance’s Neck takes its name. The principal owners of the land in Vance’s Neck at the present time are: … James M. Vandegrift … Reedy Island Neck north of Vance’s Neck, and extending from Macdonough to the Delaware River between St. Augustine creek and Silver Run, is now in the possession of … Leonard G. Vandegrift, Jr., C. J. Vandegrift, … Wilson E. Vandegrift, Leonard G. Vandegrift, Sr., …
A large tract of land in the northern part of the hundred, west of the river lands, was originally occupied by Swedes who were there in 1675. … For some reason they were dispossessed … The three … united, November 16, 1750, in conveying the greater part of the two thousand seven hundred and forty-two acres to David Thomas, who also bought of the Sheriff … February 16, 1753, thirteen and a quarter acres of land on which was a fulling-mill. … This mill was near Fiddlers Bridge, and descended to David W. Thomas, by whom it was sold to Jacob Vandegrift, on the 3d of April, 1817. …
The Vandegrifts, an extensive and prominent family in this hundred, came here about 1708. Leonard Vandegrift, an elder in Drawyer’s Church in 1711, was doubtless, the ancestor of the Vandegrifts in this neighborhood. Leonard and Christopher are family names. The homestead of the Vandegrifts is now owned by Eli Biddle.
James M. Vandegrift, a farmer of Macdonough, New Castle County, was born June 15, 1813, near the place where he now resides. His father was Jacob Vandegrift, who was also a farmer of the same county, a man of great integrity, a member of the Presbyterian Church, and a trusted representative of his fellow citizens for years in the State Legislature. He died, very highly respected, February 1, 1845, in the eighty second year of his age. The Vandegrifts were originally from Holland, and came to this country among the earliest settlers. The grandfather was Christopher Vandegrift, a farmer of St. George’s Hundred, and his ancestors were owners of land from their earliest history in America. His mother was Jane McWhorter, of New Castle County. She was a devoted Christian and a member of the Presbyterian Church. She died November 20, 1829, leaving five surviving children. Mr. Vandegrift received his education at Wilmington and Middletown, having the benefit of a select school first at Middletown, taught by Rev. Joseph Wilson, and afterwards under the tutorship of Professor Belknap, for two sessions in Wilmington. At the age of eighteen he returned home and engaged in farming for two years, with his father on the home place.
He then began agricultural life on his own account at the paternal homestead known as “Retirement,” a farm of two hundred acres of land near Macdonough. He followed, quite successfully, the business of farming until 1857, when he removed to the town of Odessa.
In 1869 Mr. Vandegrift removed to “Elm Grange,” an estate containing two hundred acres near Macdonough. He rebuilt the house and completed a beautiful and substantial residence for his family. He has devoted his energies chiefly to the raising of cereals and stock, but has given some attention to fruit culture. He owns some of the best improved lands in New Castle County, and is the owner of large amounts of real estate. Mr. Vandegrift has never aspired to politial position, and, although holding well defined opinions, is not a partisan. He joined the Presbyterian Church at St. George’s in 1842, under the pastorate of Rev. Jas. C. Howe. He has been for many years an elder in that church, and sustains that relation at this time, January, 1885. He served as a trustee of that same church for many years. Mr. Vandegrift was married August 21, 1844, to Miss Mary A. E., daughter of John Cochran, of Middletown. His wife was a member of the Presbyterian Church from early life, and a devoutly pious woman. She died December 14, 1868, in the forty-seventh year of her age, leaving the following children: Olivia C., wife of Geo W. Dennison, a merchant in Little Rock, Arkansas; Lina, now the wife of Col. B. S. Johnston, of Little Rock, Arkansas, who is associated with a partner, Mr. Dodge, counsellor for the Iron Mountain Railroad; and Margaret P., now wife of William P. Mifflin, Esq., a citizen of Middletown, Delaware. Mr. Vandegrift was married a second time, October 31, 1872, to Miss Angeline C., daughter of Mr. Joseph Cleaver, a prominent merchant of Port Penn, and sister of Mr. Henry Cleaver, who succeeds his father in business, and of Mr. Joseph Cleaver, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits near Port Penn.
Leonard G. Vandegrift is the son of Christopher and Lydia Vandegrift, and was born February 9, 1813, near Port Penn, in St. George’s Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware, and has always lived in sight of his birthplace. After getting what education the common schools afforded, he went to the Middletown Academy, which at that day, under the management of Rev. Joseph Wilson, was an educational institution of considerable strength and standing.
He commenced farming within a year or two after leaving the Middletown Academy, and was engaged in that business until his youngest son attained his majority, when he gave up the original homestead “Rushley” and most of the land belonging to the present homestead “Geraldville,” to him.
Mr. Vandegrift has been three times married. His first wife was a Janvier, of which marriage two children survive, a daughter and a son; his second wife was a Dilworth of which marriage, three sons survive; and his third and present wife was a daughter of his uncle, Abram Vandegrift. There are no issue of the last marriage.
The Vandegrift family was one of the earliest families to settle in St. George’s Hundred, being undoubtedly of Dutch descent and so referred to by local historians.
The earliest account of their connections with Delaware is probably that in Hazard’s Annals of Delaware and Pennsylvania, page 304, where it is stated that Director Stuyvesant of New Amsterdam, now New York, appointed certain men, among them one, Paulus Lindert Van De Graft, old burgonmaster of Amsterdam, to go to New Amsted, now New Castle, to inquire into the murder of certain savages on the South, now Delaware River. This was in the spring of 1660.
The earliest land record which is accessible, reaches back only to 1708. By a patent from Thomas Penn and William Penn of one hundred and seventy-nine acres to Leonard Vandegrift, it is recited that six hundred acres in St. George’s were, on the 16th day of March, 1708, granted by the Commissioners of Property of William Penn to Jacob Vandegrift, Daniel Cormick and Albertus Vanzant.
This grant was in all probability in pursuance of an order made by Governor Lovelace, after the dispossession of the Dutch settlement by the English, to the effect that those settlers “on the Delaware, as well as elsewhere, who held the lands by patent or ground brief of Dutch tenure, and those who have none shall, with all convenient speed apply with or for them, or be liable to penalty by law.”
An examination of the old records at Harisburg and Albany, especially the latter, would undoubtedly furnish a valuable history of the Vandegrift family.
There is a will on file in the office of the register of wills for New Catle County, made April 12, 1753, by one, Jacob Vandegrift, who speaks of himself as an “old” man, and this is probably the original patentee above referred to. He had two sons, Leonard and Jacob, to whom, inter alia, he bequeathed his “silver buttons to be equally divided between them,” and to one of his daughters, Christiana Atkinson, “as much striped holland as would make her a complete gown.”
It is hard to say whether the Leonard Vandegrift to whom the one hundred and seventy-nine acres were patented was a brother of a son of Jacob, because the county records show two Leonard Vandegrifts in existence at this time and also a Christopher Vandegrift.
Leonard, the patentee, died four years before Jacob, in 1750, and those one hundred and seventy-nine acres, now known as the Biddle’s Corner farm, were devised to Christopher, and have remained in the Vandegrift family ever since, being now owned by Thomas J. Craven whose mother was a Vandegrift.
Leonard Vandegrift was one of the substantial men of his day and took an active part in the Legislature of 1808 and 1809. His son, Christopher, above referred to, the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, lived to be eighty-five years old and died June 8th, 1846.
The family have always been closely identified with the welfare and managment of Drawyer’s Presbyterian Church and with the St. George’s Presbyterian Church, and have also always taken an active interest in the politics of their State and County, often filling important places of trust and honor.
None of them, however, will leave behind a better record for uprightness and integrity than the one of whose life this is, in part, a short account. The public records bear witness to the confidence of the people among whom he has spent his life and their election of him, at various times, to offices of trust and honor, is a further manifestation of their belief in his sound judgment and integrity. He has always been a Democrat and as such, was elected State Senator in 1871 and 1873, which was probably the most important public office he ever filled.
During the leisure time which has so deservedly come to him within the past few years, he has been much of a traveller, and has visited most of the States of the Union. He is now, in all probability, the oldest member of his family, but a careful and temperate life have caused the years to rest most lightly upon him.
The following is a list of the taxables of St. George’s Hundred in the year 1804:
Chrisa Vandegrift, Sr
Chrisa Vandegrift, Jr
Lewis Vandegrift, Sr
Lewis Vandegrift, Jr
William Vandegrift, grist-mill
Industries — In 1733 John Vance purchased a tract of land, which he conveyed to his father, Samuel, September 21, 1759, and on which, at the latter date, was erected a grist-mill. On May 19, 1766, John Jones purchased the mill of Samuel Vance. On May 1, 1799, it was purchased by Ebenezer Rothwell of Sheriff Bines, who sold it as the property of John Burgess. On March 25, 1809, it was sold by Rothwell to William Vandegrift, who erected a new mill. It was next owned by John Cannon, who sold to Vandergrift and Eccles about 1845. The operated the mill until 1860, when they conveyed it to Charles F. Smith.
Port Penn Grange, No. 9, P or II, was organized in the Hickory Grove School-house April 21, 1875, with a membership of thirty-one. … Treasurer, L. G. Vandegrift; …
Macdonough, formerly called the “Trap,” is a hamlet near the centre of the hundred. It occupies a portion of the “Trap” farm. It was so named in honor of Commodore Macdonough, who lived here. At one time there were three hotels here. The most famous one was kept by William and Patrick McConaughey, but has not been in existence for the past thirty years. The village now contains a post-office, a store kept by Harrison Vandegrift, a wheelwright and blacksmith shop, a school-house and about eight residences.
St. Augustine Piers is a famous summer resort and picnic-grounds. The hotel was first built in 1844 by Grier & Aiken, and operated for some years and then abandoned. It is a three-story brick building, forty by sixty feet. In 1868 Simion Lord purchased the property. Since it has been in his possession a new dining-room, dancing pavilion, bar-room, wharf and one hundred bath-houses have been erected and the premises improved generally. It is conducted as a hotel, and has a good summer patronage. The steamer “Thomas Clyde” makes a daily trip between here and Philadelphia. Port Penn is three-quarters of a mile distant.
The post office at Mount Pleasant was established about 1867. Harrison Vandegrift, the first post-master, was succeeded April 8, 1880, by J. Frank Eliason, the present incumbent. The office occupies a portion of his store-rooms.
The mill owned by Samuel Vance in 1761 was originally the property of his son John, who built it after 1733, when he came into possession of the land. He sold it to his father September 24, 1759, when on May 12, 1766, sold it to John Jones. About 1800 it passed to William Vandegrift and is now owned by William H. Voshall & Bro.
In 1843, Mr. Shailer was married to Ann Fenton, of ———- township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. They have had five children, viz.: Jacob, James, Anna, Seveck and William. Jacob married ——– Shallcross, daughter of William Shallcross, of Kent County, Maryland. James married Mary, daughter of Wilson F. Vandegrift, of St. George’s Hundred.
The People’s National Bank of Middletown was authorized to begin the business of banking on July 31, 1882. … Managing Committee: … James M. Vandegrift …
Societies. — Union Lodge, No. 5, A.F.A.M. was instituted at Odessa in 1765, and is the oldest lodge of Masons in the State. … The names of the first officers under the new organization were, … Leonard Vandegrift …
Odessa. — … In 1817, when Charles Tatman, lately deceased, came to this town, there were about thirty residences, all of which were situated on the south side of Main Street. Dr. John Smith was practicing medicine at that time. A ________________ by the name of Osborne owned nearly all of the land extending northward from Main Street. He removed from the place and made no disposition of his property. The land escheated to the State, and, under an act passed February 1, 1821, John Merritt, Outiph Davis, Jacob Vandegrift, John Reynolds and John Clark were appointed commissioners to lay out the land into lots, with streets and lanes.
In 1882 William M. Vandegrift began to evaporate fruit in an evaporator which he erected in a stable at Odessa. In the following year he erected a two-story frame building, twenty by forty feet, near the Appoquinimink Creek, and placed in it two evaporators. By means of these three hundred baskets of fruit could be evaporated in a day. Peaches, apples and rasberries were evaporated here and shipped to Philadelphia. During the season employment was given to fifteen persons. In March, 1885, the building was burned and has never been rebuilt.
Post-Office. — When the post-office was established at Odessa has not been ascertained. In 1817 John Moody was the postmaster. The mail-stage running from Wilmington to Dover stopped here and left th mail. Since the discontinuance of that stage-route, the mail is carried by stage from Middletown. … the following postmasters have served: … Joseph W. Vandegrift, …
Religious Matters. — When the congregation of Drawyer’s Church was organized is not definitely known. In 1711 the Presbytery of Philadelphia was petitioned by persons residing in the vicinity of Odessa for regular ministrations of the Gospel Life. Rev. John Wilson, of New Castle, was accordingly ordered to hold services in this nneighborhood “once a month on a week day.” In the following year he was ordered “to preach at Apoquinimy once a month, till the next meeting, and one
Sabbath a quarter until the aforesaid meeting, provided always that the Sabbath day’s sermon be taken from the White Clay Creek their time.” On May 12, 1744, a site was located and obtained from John Peterson. The erection of a church was immediately commenced, and soon afterwards completed. Among the elders previous to 1775 are found the names of the following early settlers: 1711, Leonard Vandegrift; 1712, Isaac Piper; 1714, Hans Hanson; 1714, Segtridus Alrich; 1717, Elias Naudain; 1721, Johannes Vandegrift; 1721, Abraham Golden, Sr.; 1725, Thomas Hyatt; 1727, Jacob King; 1731, Francis King; 1732, Moses McKinley and Charles Robinson; 1740, Garrett Dushane, David Witherspoon, James McComb, Garrett Rothwell, Cornelius King, Joseph Hill, James Anderson and James Vance.
In 1762, the church being “unfit to answer the purposes of a house of worship,” a subscription was raised for the purpose of erecting a new edifice.
Port Penn. — According to tradition, William Penn, while on a voyage to Philadelphia, landed near the present location of Port Penn for a supply of water. In honor of this brief visit the village received its name.
Port Penn is situated in the northeastern part of St. George’s Hundred, about four miles south of Delaware City. During the summer it has steamboat communication with Philadelphia. The population of the village is about three hundred.
The Presbyterian Church in Port Penn was organized July 16, 1837, with seventeen members, nine of whom came from Drawyer’s and eight from St. George’s. … The present trustees are …John B. Vandegrift. … John B Vandegrift has also served an elder.
The assessment list of the taxables of Appaquinimink Hundred for 1787, which at that time included, all the territory between Appoquinimink and Duck Creek, as returned by Elias Naudain November 28th of that year, contains the following persons: … Jacob Vandegrift
The following are the names of persons assessed in Duck Creek Hundred in the year 1785: … James Vandegrift …