The earlier settlers of PLUMSTEAD turned their attention to the opening of roads, without any great delay. In I723 the Easton road, probably the first, was extended from the Montgomery county line to Dyer's mill, and about I 726 the Durham road was opened from Gardenville down to Centerville, Buckingham township, where it met the section already opened up from Bristol. In 1729 the Easton road was extended to the upper side of the township, and now a continuous traveled route to Philadelphia was opened. In 174i a road was laid out from the Easton road, above Danborough to Centerville, coming out on the turnpike within half a mile of that place, and is now called the Street road. The Ferry road was laid out in I738; the roads to Point Pleasant and Lower Black's Eddy, the same year, and to Kraut's mill, on Deep Run, in 1750. These and other roads shortly opened, gave the inhabitants ready access to all the settled parts of PLUMSTEAD and adjoining townships. It must be remembered there was little use for fixed highways before wheeled carriages made their appearance, which were a little delayed at that early day, but they soon followed the settlers. The Friends being the earliest settlers in PLUMSTEAD, their place of religious worship was the first in the township. We have a tradition that the first meeting of Friends at private houses was held in the winter of I727. The 2d of October, 1728, they asked to have a meeting for worship every other First day; it was granted and held at the house of Thomas Brown. The first meeting-house was ordered to be erected in 1729, and the location was fixed near this spot by the previous opening of a grave-yard. It was built in 1730, of logs, on fifteen acres, the gift of Thomas Brown and his two sons. Thomas and Alexander. The site was selected by a committee appointed by the Monthly Meeting of Buckingham and Wrightstown, on which were Cephas Child and John Dyer, of PLUMSTEAD. The trustees, mentioned in the deed, were Richard Lundy, Jr., Willian Michener, Josiah and Joseph Dyer. The log house was replaced by a stone one in I752, which was partly rebuilt in I876. During the Revolutionary war the meeting-house was used for a hospital, and I am told blood stains were to be seen until the new floor was laid. Judge Huston, when a boy, wentto school in the old meeting-house; his father, Capt. Thomas Huston, at the time, keeping the tavern at Gardenville.
About the same time, 1730, a Scotch-Irish congregation was organized in the township, and a log church built. It stood on the farm of Andrew Shaddinger, at the intersection of the river and Durham roads, two miles from Smith's corner. Its history is wrapped in a good 'deal of doubt. The congregation was probably an offshoot of Deep Run, by reason of some doctrinal disagreement; it is spoken of by that name, and belonged to the New Brunswick Presbytery. The names of but two of the pastors have come down to us. Hugh Carlisle, who preached there and at Newtown, in I735 and left in 1738, and Alexander Mitchell. The latter was born in I73I, graduated at Princeton, in I765, and was ordained in I768. It is not known at what time he became pastor, but he left in 1735, for the Octoraro and Doe Run churches, in Chester county, where he preached until i8o8. He did two good deeds while in the latter pastorate, introduced stoves and Watts' psalms and hymns into his churches, each an aid to comfortable worship. The next oldest place of worship in PLUMSTEAD is the Mennonite meeting-house, on the Black's Eddy road a mile southwest of Hinkletown, built in i8o6, on an acre and a half given by Henry Wismer and wife. It is a branch of the Deep Run congregation, and its pulpit is supplied from that meeting, Doylestown and New Britain. Among the remains of the past is an old grave-yard, on the Swamp road a mile above Cross Keys, in the corner of the 350-acre tract that Christopher DAY bought of Cephas Child in 17i9. By his will, proved March 25, i748, he gave "ten perches square for a grave-yard forever." It is now in ruins and bushes and brambles flourish among the graves of PLUMSTEAD's "rude forefathers." The donor of the land was the first to be buried there, "March ye 6th, 1748." Only four other stones give the names of the occupants of the graves; C. Day, who died in 1763, (the Spruance Library at the Mercer Museum has Christopher Day's broken headstone in its collection. In Memory of Christopher Day S??? departed this life March 6, 1748.9 ??) ** probably a son of the first mentioned, J. Morlen, 1749-50, Abraham Fried, December 2I, 1772, and William Daves, February 22, I8I5, a black man, aged 58. A tradition is handed down, that the early Welsh Baptists, of New Britain, buried their dead in this grave-yard until they organized a church of their own. Like other townships, PLUMSTEAD was the home of Indians before Europeans came. They welcomed the settlers, and continued friendly. They remained longer in this township than in most of the other parts of the county, and their locations can be traced by Indian remains. There was probably a collection of lodges near Curly Hill, where arrow-heads, bottle-green, blue and white, have been found within the past fifty years. They are two or three inches long, narrow, sharp, and well-shaped, and appear to have been made by a people somewhat advanced in the arts. Indian axes of hard stone, well finished, have been picked up there, and also articles in stone which look as if used in cooking.
There is a tradition, that a village was located near the head-waters of the southeast branch of Deep Run, which remained there long after the township was settled by the whites. They went to the Neshaminy to catch fish, then abundant in that stream, and paid frequent visits to the houses of the settlers on baking day, and were regaled with pies, cakes, etc., to conciliate their good-will. In its early days, PLUMSTEAD did not compare favorably with many other townships, in point of fertility. There was much poor land, and some hardly paid for the cultivation; but within the last fifty years a great change has taken place. The use of lime and other fertilizers has converted the barren plains into fruitful fields. What was once known as "Poor PLUMSTEAD" is now one of the richest townships in the county. It has steadily grown in population. The earliest enumeration of the inhabitants that we have seen was that of I746, when the number was set down at I30. It is possible these figures stand for taxables, for we find the number had grown to 953 in i784 of which seven were colored, and there were i6o dwellings. We are not able to give the census of I790 and i8oo, but have the population of each decade from i8io to the present time.In I820, it was i,790; in 1850, 2,298; in 1870, 2,6I7. and 2,537 in i88o. In some of the decades a slight decrease is shown, but that may arise from errors in taking the census. PLUMSTEAD belongs to that group of townships which, settled by English-speaking people, have become pretty well Germaniz- ed. Among these are Durham, Nockamixon, Tinicum, Hilltown, New Britain and others. Fifty years ago the Germans in PLUMSTEAD were largely in the minority, now they predominate, and are increasing yearly. It may be said this increase is going on in nearly every township in the county. The Germans have been exceedingly aggressive since they settled in Bucks. Seating themselves in the extreme northwest corner of the county, they have overrun the upper townships, and in some of there have nearly rooted out the descendants of the English race. Like their ancestors, which swept down from the North on to the fair plains of Italy, they have been coming down county for a century and a half with a slow, but steady tread. They are now found in every township below Doylestown, and there is hardly a community in which the language of Luther is not spoken and German ballots voted. Where this advancing Teutonic column is to halt is a question to be answered in the future. They seem to be in a fair way to root out all others who have not the same strong attachment to the soil. As citizens they are not excelled by any nationality.
Papers Read before the Bucks County Historical Society pg 310 Vol 1 Gen. W. W. H. Davis .
**Thank you to Clint Flack ......
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ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1864) 2nd Inaugural
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