Historical Collections Relating to Gwynedd (Pennsylvania)

By Howard M. Jenkins

Second Edition


Chapter 27. Biographical Notices

Table of Contents: Dr. Cadwalader Evans, John Evans (second), Rowland Evans, Cadwalader Evans, jr., Samuel Medary, 'Squire John Roberts, 'Squire Job Roberts, Cadwallader Foulke, Charles Roberts, Joseph Roberts, Benjamin F. Hancock, Joseph Foulke, Evan Jones, Dr. Antrim Foulke, Rev. Samuel Helffenstein, Charles F. Jenkins, Winfield Scott Hancock, George and Seth Lukens, William Foulke, C. Lloyd Bailey , Martha Milcah Moore

Doctor Cadwalader Evans

He was born at Gwynedd, in 1716, the son of the first John Evans and his wife, Eleanor. Contemporary accounts present him as one of the most eminent professional men of his day. He studied medicine under the direction of the famous Dr. Thomas Bond, of Philadelphia, and afterward at the University of Edinburgh, and in London, when, returning to practice in Philadelphia, he settled there, and soon enjoyed a large practice. He became a friend and correspondent of Franklin, and was deeply interested in scientific and philanthropic work. (He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society, in 1767. In 1770-71, he appears among the managers of the "society for the cultivation of silk.") He married, January 22, 1760, Jane Owen, daughter of Owen Owen, of Philadelphia, but had no children. His wife died in 1768. A paragraph in the Pennsylvania Gazette, of March 17th, in that year says:

"Yesterday se'ennight died Mrs. Jane Evans, the wife of Dr. Cadwalader Evans, of this city, much respected and lamented by all who knew her." [The funeral was large; her remains interred at the Friends' burial ground in this city.]

And the same journal, July 7, 1773, has the following obituary paragraph:

"On the 30th of last month died, beloved and lamented, in the 57th year of his age, Dr. Cadwalader Evans, one of the Physicians of the Philadelphia Hospital, after a lingering illness, which he sustained with that Composure and Resignation of Mind which are a certain Evidence and a happy Consequence of having filled the Sphere of Life allotted to him with Rectitude and Integrity....He was justly esteemed an eminent, candid, and successful Physician; his knowledge was deep and liberal, his Principles rational, improved by an extensive Practice, a diligent Observation, and a penetrating Judgement....In his Sentiments he was liberal, in Argument solid, acute and facetious, but above all in his Friendships he wa ardent, steady, and sincere.

His remains were interred in Friends' Burying Ground at North Wales, amongst many others of his ancient and worthy Family, attended by a large Number of respectable People, both from the City and Country."

In his will, dated, January 24, 1773, and probated July 17, he appoints Abel James and Owen Biddle, merchants, of Philadelphia, and his brothers Rowland and John Evans, executors; who are to sell all his property, real and personal, not specially devised. "I give all my plate, which belonged to my late dear wife Jane, unto her beloved niece, Ann Biddle, the wife of John Biddle. I give the China Jarrs, which was my said dear wife's, to the daughters of the said John Biddle, and Ann Morris, the daughter of Tacy Forbes.... I direct my said Executors to have made two silver pint canns and a silver Cream jugg I give to my sister Margaret Williams, and the other of them I give to my sister Eleanor Lewis." The residue of his property he divides into four parts, one for his brother Rowland, one for his brother John, one for his sister Elizabeth, and the fourth in trust for his sister, Jane Hubbs, and after her death, for her three daughters, Rachel, Ellinor and Mary.

More information on Cadwalader is in the Evans genealogy.

John Evans(Second)

The second John Evans, of Gwynedd, called John "the elder," is thus described by the late Joseph Foulke:

"Among the remarkable persons that I recollect in those early days [about 1800] was John Evans, the elder. He was a tall, spare person, with a long visage, and very wrinkled face. He carried a smooth cane, with a carved head and natural curve. He wore loops in his hat, with the rim slightly turned up behind and at the two sides. He and two or three others of Gwynedd were among the first who took a firm stand against the use of ardent spirits. They banished it from their houses and harvest fields, though in the face of great difficulties. One of the last meetings that John Evans attended, he spoke on this subject, saying that 'where he had endeavored most he had effected least,' but urging his hearers to persevere."

Rowland Evans (b. 1718, d. 1789), son of John and Eleanor, of Gwynedd, and brother to Dr. Cadwalader, was prominent in public affairs for many years. He was appointed justice of the peace in 1749, 1752, 1757, and 1761. He was a member of the Provincial Assembly for Philadelphia County in 1761, and from that year on to 1771, inclusive (except 1764). His residence was first in Gwynedd, and in 1760 he owned part of his father's tract. At a later date (as early as 1766) he removed to Providence, and he was in business there for a number of years. The Philadelphia Gazette, June 30, 1784, contains his card, announcing that he "has lately removed form his former Residence in Providence Township, Philadelphia County," and that he is prepared to draw "Deeds, mortgages, articles of agreement, and other instruments of writing, at his house on the east side of Fourth street, a few doors below Race street." September 14, 1785, he was appointed one of the Commissioners of the General Loan Office of Pennsylvania, and he held this place until his death, August 8, 1789. Like his brother Cadwalader, he took an interest in scientific study, and he was elected a member of the "American Society for the Promotion of Useful Knowledge," which was united with the American Philosophical Society in 1769. The Pennsylvania Gazette of Wednesday, August 19, 1789, contained the following notice:

"On Saturday se'ennight died Rowland Evans, Esquire, of this city, in the seventy-second year of age. Previous to the revolution this gentleman was for many years a member of the Legislature and a Justice of the Peace, both of which he filled with great ability, dignity, and applause. And since the conclusion of the war, he was appointed one of the Trustees of the general loan office of this commonwealth, which he held to the time of his death, and on Sunday following a great assemblage of the people attended at the deposit of his remains in the Quakers' burial ground in this place [Philadelphia].

Cadwalader Evans, jr., was the son of John and Margaret. He was born at Gwynedd, December 25, 1762, resided there until 1812, when he removed to Philadelphia, and died in that city in 1841. He received a good education, and with unusual energy and mental vigor, made his mark early. He was trained as a surveyor, and for many years, in his own neighborhood and elsewhere, followed his profession with success. In the mature and later years of his life he performed important work in surveying in distant parts of the State, especially the western counties. In 1790 he was first elected to the Legislature, and he then entered upon a lengthened career as a member of the House. He was chosen continuously from Montgomery county for nine years, -1790 to 1798 inclusive, -his colleagues including James Vaux, Jonathan Roberts, Nathaniel B. Boileau, Frederick Conrad, and other prominent and able men. Among these, though he was under thirty when first elected, he at once took a prominent part, being placed on important committees in his first year; his name appears in many places in the House journal coupled with that of Albert Gallatin, and others of the most distinguished members in that period. In 1798, the last year the Legislature met in Philadelphia, he was unanimously chosen Speaker of the House. Again in 1802, and in 1805, he was elected from Montgomery county, and in 1814, after his removal to Philadelphia, he was elected one of the city members.

In 1816 he sold the old family homestead in Gwynedd to Charles Willing Hare, Esq., of Philadelphia. He was one of the local directors of the Bank of the United States, after its recharter in 1816. In 1813 he had been among the first to actively urge the construction of a canal along the Schuylkill, from Philadelphia to the coal regions, and he was elected the first president of the Schuylkill Navigation Company, and served in that capacity for many years. In 1830, when, on account of advancing age, he resigned the presidency, the stockholders, at their annual meeting, voted that he should be presented a silver vase as a testimonial of their high appreciation of his services. Joseph Foulke, in his manuscript Reminiscences, furnished the author, says of C.E.:

"He began his distingushed career about the 18th or 19th year of his age. One of his first engagements was surveying for the road jury, and laying out what is now called the "lower State road", at least the western section of it terminating in what is now the Bethlehem turnpike. This was in 1786. He was a man of quick and clear perception, of ready utterance, and a powerful disputant; he was eminently gifted in conveyancing, and in drawing instruments of writing....The last office he filled, I think, was one of the electors that made Gen. Harrison President, in 1840. As a surveyor in old time, though a young man, he stood high, and great confidence was reposed in him. He, Robert Loller, and Archibald McClean did most of the surveying in our parts until about 1807, when Cadwalader Foulke came to Gwynedd and took a large portion of the business."

Samuel Medary

The prominence of Mr. Medary, for many years, in the political affairs of the state of Ohio, and the several important public places which he held, entitle him, no doubt, to be regarded as one of the most distinguished men born in Gwynedd or Montgomery. He was born near Montgomery Square, in 1801. His father, Jacob Medary, was a farmer, in very moderate circumstances, who lived in Montgomery township for a number of years [see footnote]. The son's educaton, such as it was, was obtained at the free school at Montgomery Square. About 1819-20, says his old friend, William Chapin, "when I first made his acquaintance, he was teaching school at Gwynedd meeting. He was fond of reading, and eagerly went through the newspapers at Edward Jenkin's store. The identity of the different writers awakened his curiosity, and aroused his desire to write too. I encouraged him to try, and he did so, sending his first article to David Sower, at Norristown, for insertion in the Herald, over the signature 'Sylvanus'. Much to his gratification, and somewhat to his surprise, it was promptly printed, and he then wrote frequently, sometimes contributing poetry over the signature of 'Arion.'"

About 1822, he left Gwynedd for the South, going to Montgomery county, Virginia. There he married, and later determined to try his fortunes in the West. On his way down the Ohio river, by advice of a fellow passenger on the steamboat, he determined to settle in Ohio. ("He came to Clermont county," says his daughter, Mrs. Nevins, "in 1826.") He soon became conspicuous by his writing, and speaking at political meetings, strongly maintaining the Democratic cause, as represented by General Jackson. He presently established a small newspaper called the Ohio Sun; In 1831 he was elected to the Legislature, serving for two terms as Senator. He was now one of the most prominent of the younger Democratic leaders of the State. "Mr. [Samuel J.] Tilden said to me not long ago," says Mrs. Nevins, in a letter, 1883, "that though my father was several years his senior, they were both very young men during the administration of President Jackson, and that they met at his table at the White House, both being enthusiastic admirers, and in a manner proteges, of that remarkable man.

In 1837 he removed to Columbus, the capital of the State, and purchased (or established?) the Statesman, which under his direction became the leading party newspaper, through which he exercised for years a commanding influence. As part of his reward, his party made him State Printer, and in 1853 President Pierce offered him the post of minister to Chile, but this he declined. Later, President Buchanan appointed him Governor of the Territory of Minnesota, and he served as such a brief term. When Minnesota became a State, and was admitted to the Union, 1858, the President transferred him to Kansas, as Governor of that then distracted Territory. He there remained until 1860, and then returned to Columbus, where he established The Crisis, and conducted it until his death, November 2, 1864. The cause of his death (says his daughter) was obscure. He had been one of those who appeared to be poisoned at the National Hotel, in Washington, at the time of Mr. Buchanan's inauguration, in 1857, and he never appeared entirely well after that mysterious occurrence.

Mr. Medary had twelve children, most of whom survived him. These were: Virginia (Mrs. Wilson); Sara (Mrs. Massey); Kate (Mrs. Blair); Louise (Mrs. Smith, who died in 1861); Missouri, who died in infancy; Samuel Adams; Flora (Mrs. Nevins); Charles Stewart, William Allen, Frederick Henry, who died in July, 1883; Laura Willey, and Jacob.

"When General Hancock was appointed a cadet at West Point in 1840, " says Mrs. Nevins, "my father was one of the Board of Visitors, and the General has told me that when he arrived there with his father, the latter took him to see his old friend, my father, before presenting him to the officers of the Academy."

[footnote: In April, 1820, as appears by an old document among the Cadwallader Foulke papers, he was in Gwynedd, a tenant on George Ingels' farm (now Mumbower's Mill and W. M. Singerly's), and his goods were levied on by Constable George Neavel upon a landlord's warrant issued by Esq. Giffin, to satisfy Ingel's claim for a year's rent, $275, and also another execution for debt. The sale was stayed, upon an arrangement by which an assignment was made to Cadwallader Foulke and others.]

[note (J. Quinn): Jacob Medary appears to be from a family that migrated from Rotterdam in 1749 on the "Crown" and settled in the eastern part of the Northern Liberties, Philadelphia County. The name is also spelled Madeira, Madori and Madera. George and Barbara Medary relocated to Warrington township, Bucks County, a township which borders Montgomery twp where they purchased land of Ezekiel and Hannah Shoemaker in 1779 (George Medary, aka Madera, was the son of Jacob and Esther. George and Barbara Benther were married at the Germantown Reformed Church in 1777 which makes them a bit young to have a grandson in 1801. Barbara Medary was of Montgomery township in 1814, when her estate was administered by her son John. Samuel Medary, the subject of this sketch, apparently told people he was raised a Quaker, though this family is associated with the German Reformed Church. He said that his mother was a descendant of Welsh Quakers who came to Pennsylvania in the 17th century, but I have not yet been able to determine who she was.]

Squire John Roberts

'Squire John Roberts, born in 1750, was for many years one of the most conspicuous figures in Montgomery and Gwynedd. I have already mentioned his store-keeping at Spring House. After selling out there he removed to his Montgomery farm, where he permanently remained. He had been appointed a justice of the peace, in 1791, by Governor Mifflin, his commission authorizing him to act for the townships of Hatfield, Montgomery, and Gwynedd, and he continued to act in that capacity until his death, which occurred June 17, 1823. He was a man of very considerable force and energy, a marked character in whatever he undertook. Samuel Aaron, afterwards the distinguished preacher and teacher, was "brought up" by him, and so was Benjamin F. Hancock. "Tom Wolf," afterward Dr. Antrim Foulke's faithful servitor, lived with him. He is remembered by one of the older Friends, now surviving, as coming to Gwynedd Meeting occasionally, in winter time, in his sleigh, a tall man, dressed in gray. He transacted a large amount of business, including the settlement of estates, etc. His executors were Cadwallader Foulke and William Foulke, and a very serious part of their duty was the settlement of his ownership of a tract of 751 acres on Bentley's Creek, Bradford county, near Towanda. 'Squire John had bought it, in 1808, of James Chapman, who held under a Pennsylvania patent, but the lands were occupied by settlers under the Connecticut claim, and the 'Squire was obliged in 1815 to establish his rights by suits of ejectment. It was not until 1830, seven years after his death, that the business was concluded. He was never married; his estate, after some bequests, went to collateral heirs.

[More Information in Roberts genealogy]

Squire Job Roberts

Job Roberts, who was seven years younger than 'Squire John, but who survived to a much greater age, was also a man of marked character. He was born, lived, and died in Whitpain [township, Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania], but close to the Gwynedd line, and for many years he was one of the most conspicuous figures in the business and social circles of Gwynedd. Born March 23, 1757, he d. August 20, 1851, having passed nearly half of his 95th year. Early in life he showed both mechanical and agricultural enterprise. He did much to improve the methods of farming, planted hedges, introduced the feeding of green fodder to cattle, instead of grazing, built a barn which was enormously large, according to the usual standard, but which he soon had full of crops, and introduced, almost if not quite as early as Judge Peters, the use of gypsum, or land plaster. In a volume he published in 1804, called "The Pennsylvania Farmer", he said he had raised from 10 acres of land 565 bushels of wheat; and afterward, about 1820, as he stated to the late Hon. Job R. Tyson, he secured 360 bushels from a lot of 6 acres. He was one of the first in Pennsylvania to introduce and breed Merino sheep, and during the movement to establish the manufacture of silk he was one of its most zealous promoters. "Various articles of his silk manufacture, such as cloth, stockings, and other parts of dress," were still in existence, in 1856, of a date as far back as the Revolution. In 1780 he drove to Gwynedd Meeting in a carriage of his own manufacture, and this, it was said, was the only carriage then, and for 25 years after, seen at that meeting.

In 1791, Gov. Mifflin appointed him a justice of the peace, and he continued as such until 1820, when he resigned. He displayed in that office a judgement and discretion so remarkable that he was widely known, much consulted, and generally esteemed. Altogether, his learning, his enterprise, his abilities and his fine character made him a notable figure of his time.

[More information in Roberts genealogy]

Cadwallader Foulke

Though born at Richland, Cadwallader Foulke spent twenty-five years of his mature life in Gwynedd, and died there. He was, besides his primary occupation of farmer, a surveyor and conveyancer, and in the pursuance of these occupations he went in all directions into the neighboring and even distant townships of the county for many years. Few men of business were better known in this section, and few had so high a reputation for exactness, intelligence, and a good judgement within the line of his undertakings. His surveys were carefully made; and his drafts, many of which are still in existence, are found to be valuable whenever consulted. He was the son of Samuel and Ann Foulke, and was born 7th mo. 14, 1765. He died 3rd mo. 22, 1830. He was apprenticed in his youth to Edward Ambler, of Montgomery, to learn weaving, and in 1792 he married his first cousin, Margaret Foulke, daughter of Theophilus. As such a marriage was against the rule of Friends, it was not accomplished "according to the order of the Society;" but in the presence of his cousin Theophilus Foulke, a justice of the peace, and subsequently Richland Meeting had the case up as a matter of discipline for some time. Cadwallader, however, continued a Friend, and he was a valuable member at Gwynedd. At his death he left to his son Franklin Foulke's charge a large collection of business papers, including his own accumulations, and many from the estate of 'Squire John Roberts and others, and these, which ultimately came into the hands of Algernon S. Jenkins (one of the executors of Franklin Foulke), have been of much use in compiling the facts stated in this volume.

Charles Roberts

He was the son of Joseph, of Montgomery, and was born at the old homestead ("White Cottage Farm") July 26, 1784. The death of his father threw him at an early age upon his own resources, and he turned his attention to the occupation of teaching. After having charge of schools in Whitemarsh (1799), at Buckingham (1800-02), at Springfield, N.J. (1803), and attending Westtown school for six months (1802-03), he went to Philadelphia, where, in 1805, he took charge of the Pine Street Friends' School. This he conducted with much success until 1818, meantime applying himself with diligence to the improvement of his own education. In 1822 he was elected a member of the Legislature from Philadelphia, and served one term. He became identified with many benevolent and business undertakings. He was one of the original directors of the Franklin Fire Insurance Co., a director of the Ridge Turnpike Co., a director of the House of Refuge, a member and treasurer of the Board of Guardians of the Poor, for many years a manager of the Pennsylvania Hospital, a manager of the Pennsylvania Co. for Insurances on Lives, etc. etc. Having married, in 1810, Hannah, the daughter of Solomon White, a successful merchant, he was much engaged in the oversight of property, the adjustment of business, etc., in addition to the engagements already noted. In person he was a tall and robust man, "fully six feet high, and from that age, he said in after life, he supported himself. Among his strong characteristics, says a memoir by a member of his family, were his particular and methodical habits, his excellent health, his regular and temperate order of life, his integrity and uprightness, his rule "not a dollar for extravagance or dissipation," and his method, "without haste, without rest." He died in Philadelphia, July 9, 1845.

[More information in Roberts Genealogy]

Joseph Roberts

Joseph Roberts, brother of Charles above, was born at Montgomery, March 22, 1793, and went some years after his brother to Philadelphia, where he engaged in teaching in the Friends' schools. In 1822-3-4 he had charge of the William Penn Charter School. A reference to the lists of those who sent their sons to him shows many of the many of the most prominent citizens of that time --William Rawle, Charles J. Ingersoll, Francis Gurney Smith, Thomas P. Cope, Horace Binney, and others, his students including Horace Binney Jr., Alfred Cope, Henry Reed, John A. Dahlgren, and others who became distinguished men. He was deeply interested in scientific matters, and corresponded with Bowditch, and others of kindred tastes. He was a member of the American Philosophical Society, and he received in 1829 the honorary degree of A.M. from the University of Pennsylvania. He died August 25, 1835, unmarried.

[More information in Roberts Genealogy]

Benjamin F. Hancock

He was born in Philadelphia, the son of Richard and Anna Maria, October 19, 1800. Richard Hancock, the father, a seafaring man, was one of those seized by the British upon the pretext that he was an English subject, and he was for some time confined in Dartmoor prison; later, having returned home, he went on another voyage, and died of ship fever at sea. Meanwhile, his wife, left in low circumstances, placed her son Benjamin with 'Squire John Roberts, at Montgomery, and he was brought up there. He married Elizabeth Hoxworth, daughter of Edward and Mary, and while he was teaching, "the free school" at Montgomery Square, in 1824, his twin sons, Winfield S. and Hilary B., were born. He had been occupying his leisure time with the reading of the law, and having completed his studies under the direction of Hon. John Freedley, and removed to Norristown, he was admitted to the bar of Montgomery county in 1828. He there continued to reside until his death, February 1, 1867. He was prominent in his profession, but not aspiring, and held no public position of distinction. For twenty or more years he was one of the directors of the public schools of Norristown, and from 1866 to his death, he served as U.S. Collector of Internal Revenues. Early in the term of his residence at Norristown he was for some time district attorney of Montgomery county, by the Governor's appointment. His remains are interred in the Montgomery Cemetery at Norristown, with those of his wife.

Joseph Foulke

Amongst the community of the Friends, at Gwynedd, the most conspicuous figure, for many years, was Joseph Foulke. He was born there, May 22, 1786. In 1817, he appeared as a minister, and was admitted a member of the meeting of ministers and elders in 1821, after which he continued in the ministry to the end of his life, more than forty years. He made numerous visits to distant meetings, including those in New Jersey, New York, Canada, Maryland, Ohio, and Indiana. He had learned the trade of a wheelwright (which was also originally the trade of his father), and had expected to pursue it as an occupation, but his inclinations turned to teaching, and in 1811 he took charge of Friends' School at Plymouth, where he continued for six years; and then, after teaching one year at Upper Dublin, he established in the autumn of 1818, a boarding school for young men and boys, at Gwynedd, on part of his father's estate. This school he conducted for many years with marked success, and it was continued later, until about 1860, in the charge of his sons Daniel and Joseph, and his nephew, Hugh Foulke Jr. Joseph published (Philadelphia : 1844) a memoir of Jacob Ritter (a preacher among Friends, who had been a Revolutionary soldier: see in Watson's Annals details of his confinement in the British prison in Philadelphia). He also conducted for many years the publication of the "Friends' Almanac", furnishing for it the astronomical calculations. In 1836 he visited Washington as one of a committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to influence Congress against the admission of Arkansas as a slave state. (See Curtis's Life of James Buchanon, Vol. I, p. 337; Vol II, p. 181.) His MS. Journal, giving many interesting details of his life, has been repeatedly drawn upon for this work. Link to Foulke Genealogy information on Joseph Foulke.

Evan Jones

Evan Jones was born in Montgomery on the old homestead of his grandfather, John Jones, carpenter. He was the son of Evan and Hannah Jones. He learned the trade of tanning with his cousin Isaiah Jones, of Buckingham, and, returning to Montgomery, established a tannery at Montgomery Square, where he was in business for several years. In 1815, he with Thomas Shoemaker, Cadwallader Foulke, and Cadwallader Roberts, purchased the John Evans estate (now, 1896, partly the estate of S.S. Hollingsworth), of Charles Willing Hare, and about two years later (the purchase meantime proving to be a bad speculation), Evan took the homestead himself, with a large part of the land, and removed to it, making it his home for the remainder of his life. He there dispensed a liberal hospitality; his house was the place of entertainment for many visiting Friends and others. His means, measured by the local standard, were ample, and his social disposition made his fireside attractive and pleasant. He was an active member of the Friends, was clerk of meetings for business, and generally a pillar of the Society, locally. He filled many important business positions, being amongst other things the first President of the Bethlehem Turnpike Co. In 1840, he was the Whig candidate for County Commissioner, and received the highest vote of any on the ticket. His four marriages have already been mentioned (link).

Dr. Antrim Foulke

Dr. Antrim Foulke, the son of Theophilus, the younger, was born at Richland, March 23, 1793. The accidental death of his father, when he was but three years old, left him in the sole care of his mother. At her desire he learned the trade of a coach-maker, but having completed it, at the age of twenty-one, he turned his attention to the profession of medicine, and studied with Dr. Joseph Meredith, at Gwynedd, whom he joined, after completing his studies, as a partner, and so continued until Dr. Meredith's death. He then remained in practice at Gwynedd, with remarkable success, until 1848, when he removed to Philadelphia, and there practiced until his death, in 1861. He was by many elements of character admirably fitted for his profession, and his wide range of visits to the country around his residence testified to the confidence reposed in him.

Rev. Samuel Helffenstein

Among the notable figures in Gwynedd, for many years, was Rev. Samuel Helffenstein. He was born in Philadelphia (at Germantown), April 17, 1775, his father being Rev. John C.A. Helffenstein, the pastor of the German Reformed Church at Germantown. The latter died in 1790, and the widow took her son before the Synod, assembled at Philadelphia, and at her desire they assumed his care and education for the ministry. He was licensed and ordained in 1796 or 1797, and received about this time a call to the pastorate of Boehm's and Wentz's churches, which he accepted, but in 1798 returned to Philadelphia to the pulpit of the Race Street Church, made vacant by the death of Rev. Dr. Hendel. Here, for thirty-two years, he labored with zeal and fidelity, but in 1832, having resigned, he retired to his farm in Gywnedd, where he remained until his death, October 17, 1866. In 1846, he published a system of Didactic Theology, embodying the substance of the lectures which during his Philadelphia work he had delivered to the numerous theological students who prepared for the ministry under his direction. (The lists of these includes many prominent names in the Reformed Church.) In 1824 the Synod invited him to become Professor of Theology in a theological seminary intended to be established at Carlisle, in connection with Dickinson College, but he saw fit to decline this. His wife was Anna Christina Steitle, daughter of Emanuel, of Gwynedd, to whom he was married in 1797, and of their children, twelve in number, three (Rev. Samuel, Jr.; Rev. Albert, and Rev. Jacob), became eminent ministers; two (Dr. Abraham and Dr. Benjamin) became physicians; one, Emanuel, a lawyer and conveyancer; one, Jonathan, a farmer; one, Isaac, a merchant; and one daughter, Catharine, married Augustus Miller. Rev. Samuel Helffenstein was buried in the family vault in the cemetary grounds of the old St. Peter's church.

Charles F. Jenkins

He was the son of Edward, and the great-grandson of Jenkin Jenkin, the immigrant. He was born at Gwynedd, March 18, 1793, and died there February 5, 1867. He received instruction at the academy of Enoch Lewis, the eminent teacher and methematician at New Garden, Chester county; but he added to his opportunities of education a studious and intellectual habit, reading throughout his life, with intelligence and zest, upon an extensive range of subjects. Having been brought up in his father's store in Gwynedd, he engaged in mercantile business in Philadelphia (for some time on Second Street, opposite Christ Church), for fourteen years, with good success; but in 1830, upon the decease of his father, he returned to Gwynedd, and took the store, which he conducted nearly to the close of his life. He took a very active interest in public affairs, was for many years a director of the public schools, and was the candidate of his party (it being, however, in the minority for a long period), for the Legislature, etc. His promotion of the construction of the turnpike has already been mentioned. He was, besides, secretary for many years of the Bethlehem turnpike, a director of the Bank of Montgomery County, and of the Montgomery County Mutual Fire Insurance Company, etc.

More in Jenkins Genealogy, More in Foulke Genealogy, Early post master, More in Chapter 25

Winfield Scott Hancock

His distinguished career in the army of the United States, especially during the great war for the suppression of the Rebellion, and his candidacy for President of the United States, supported by nearly one-half of the American people, must by taken to designate General Hancock as the most eminent native of the two townships to which this volume relates. He was born February 14, 1824, at Montgomery Square. Through his mother, Elizabeth Hoxworth, he had a strain of Welsh blood, from Jenkin Jenkin, who was his mother's great-grandfather.

It would be impracticable, here, to present a complete biography of General Hancock, or even a fairly full abstract of the events in his military career. I shall only mention a few local, family and personal details. His father having removed to Norristown, when he was about four years old, he was educated there, in the "Old Academy", his teachers being Eliphalet Roberts, Rev. A.G. Harned, Jr., and Stapleton Bonsall. He was a manly, vigorous boy, full of spirit, and inclined to military ideas. In 1840, Hon. John B. Steriger, M.C., appointed him a cadet at West Point, and he entered the Academy, July 1st, of that year. He graduated June 30, 1844, and being brevetted second lieutenant, was assigned to the Sixth Regiment of Infantry. From that time his service became a part of the public record of the country. He married, January 24, 1850, Almira D. Russell, daughter of Samuel Russell, a merchant of St. Louis, Missouri, by whom he had two children: Russell, sometime of Mississippi, and Ada Elizabeth, who died of typhoid fever, in New York, at the age of eighteen. General Hancock died at Governor's Island, N.Y., February 9, 1866. (See ancestry of Winfield S. Hancock) (Wikipedia entry)


Additions by the Editor in the year 2001-8

George and Seth Lukens, Underground Railroad Conductors

George Lukens was born on the family farm, now the grounds of the Christopher Dock Mennonite School, in Towamencin township on 14 November 1768. His home is now the school's administration building. He was the earliest known conductor of the Underground Railroad in Montgomery County beginning operation about 1819. Hundreds of escaped slaves from Maryland, Delaware and Virginia were forwarded to him from stops in Chester County. He passed many of them on to William H. Johnson's in Buckingham, Bucks County. He died in 1849, and his son Seth continued with the business of freedom. Seth lived in a house that still stands in a subdivision off Green Lane near Kulpsville. Seth and his wife Mary Hamer Lukens were aided by two brothers in law: Dr. James Hamer of Skippack township (who may have talked Seth into it) and Charles Todd Jenkins of Hatfield (m. Seth' sister Sarah Lukens). This made for a nice chain of stops from Chester County through central Montgomery County to Richard Moore in Quakertown (ironically Richard Moore was a descendant of Mordecai Moore who was a member of Gwynedd MM during the Revolution, who had been one of the few owners of slaves in Montgomery twp. prior to 1775.). Most of Montgomery County was opposed to abolitionists and the Underground Railroad when George Lukens began in 1819. By the 1850s attitudes in Montgomery County had become largely anti-slavery due to national events like the passage of the fugitive slave act, repeal of the Missouri compromise and the Dred Scott decision. The upper part of Montgomery County and adjoining Berks became known as "Knock on any Door" country for the Railroad. In the Gwynedd Monthly Meeting area, during the 1820s and 1830s the Lukens had also been joined by many other Quaker conductors such as the Corson brothers (who lived in Providence and Plymouth twps.), Jonathan Maulsby and Ezra Comfort. Plymouth Meeting became a center of the abolitionist movement. Hamer, Lukens and Jenkins were also among the founders of the Republican Party in Montgomery County before the Civil War. George and Seth Lukens and Charles Todd Jenkins are buried at Gwynedd Meeting. (source: "North Penn Valley Abolitionists", by James S. Williams, Bull. Hist. Soc. of Montgomery County, Vol. 23 pps 147-156, The Underground Railroad, by William Still & Charles Blockson's book, "The Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania").
Photo of Seth Lukens' farm taken 100 years ago...

William Foulke, Underground Railroad Conductor

Many escaped slaves were passed from Friends in Plymouth or Norristown to William Foulke at Pennlyn near the Orthodox Friends Meeting in what is now Lower Gwynedd and from there they were sent in the 1840s to William Johnson in Buckingham and later to Richard Moore in Quakertown. Eliza Ambler Foulke,wrote of "a large mound on the side of the meeting house, opposite the graveyard and easily discernible from the road" which her grandmother said was used to hide runaway slaves. William Foulke was a prosperous farmer with a large family. William was the son of William Foulke and Hannah McIlvaine. He married Susanna Conard. Historian Joseph Smith, writing about the men in the Underground Railroad in Montgomery County, describes William Foulke as "one of the substantial conservative neighborhood men of his time." (source: Charles Blockson's book "The Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania", Foulke.org web site).

Eliza Ambler Foulke

See her biography on the Foulke family web page. Eliza was well-known at Gwynedd Meeting for her frequent prayers during Worship which began with the words "Great Godů" She was instrumental in the revitalization of the meeting in the middle of the twentieth century.

C. Lloyd Bailey

From Friends United Meeting "Quaker Life", June, 2001: C. Lloyd Bailey, 82, Gwynedd Friends Meeting, Pennsylvania, died February 6, 2001. A Quaker peace activist who began serving UNICEF in 1959, he got thousands of youngsters to join the "Trick or Treat For UNiCEF" to solicit millions of dollars in aid for poor and sick children in 160 countries. A Temple University-trained attorney, he refused military induction during World War II, and filed as a conscientious objector. He was married for 56 years to Mary Margaret Binford Bailey. After retiring in 1982 as the longest-running president of the United States Committee for UNICEF, Lloyd devoted the remainder of his life to teaching nonviolence to prison inmates and was a volunteer workshop leader for the Quaker Alternative to Violence Program. Survivors include his wife, Mary, two sons, Thomas and David, two daughters, Deborah and Barbara, two sisters, and six grandchildren.

Martha Milcah Moore, Educator, diarist

Born in Madeira, Portugal about 1720 as Martha Milcah Hill, she married her first cousin Dr. Charles Moore (buried at Gwynedd per Howard Jenkins, though I cannot find his grave). She collected poetry even as a young girl, instructed several relatives, and opened a school for girls in the 1780s in Montgomery township (she lived on Bethlehem Pike between Stump and Upper State Rds. from 1770 until 1801). Her compilation, Miscellanies, Moral and Instructive (1787), published in America, London and Dublin was used for years as a text book in girls's schools in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. This book, which besides her writing contains the works of Susanna Wright, Hannah Griffiths and Elizabeth Graeme Ferguson and is the main source of women's writings from the Revolutionary era in Pennsylvania. At her death, she made a bequest to Gwynedd Meeting to provide for the education of girls. Her commonplace book has recently been republished. After her husband died her home in Montgomery was used as the country home of her niece Hannah Moore Peale and her husband the painter Charles Wilson Peale.


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