A place to gather and share information about the Thomas Willcox and Elizabeth Cole Willcox Family of Ivy Mills, PA. For more information see the Home page link above or contact Deniane Kartchner at Denianek@gmail.com. My husband is a descendant of Thomas and Elizabeth's son James who married Prudence Doyle. Their son John's daughter Prudence married John Christopher Kartchner.

Note: This is a work in progress! I am trying to verify everything before I post, but feel free to send me corrections and/or suggestions. It’s also not a complete history of Ivy Mills or a website for current operations, although I will gladly try to answer any questions and/or lead you to the right information.


History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
By
Henry Graham Ashmead

Philadelphia:
L. H. Everts & Co.
1884


Chapter XXXIX
Concord Township.
page 491
Ivy Mills and the Willcox Family. - For many reasons a historical sketch of the Willcox family is interesting, identified as it has been with Delaware County since an early period. Their business, established in this county as far back as 1729, has continued in the family for more than a hundred and fifty years, descending from father to son through five successive generations. This is the oldest business house now standing in the United States. It has had intimate
Page 492
 relations not only with Franklin, Carey, and all the principal printing-houses of the last century, but also with the authorities of all of the old Colonies that issued paper money in the colonial days for forty years preceding the Revolution; with the Continental authorities of the Revolutionary period, and with the United States authorities ever since that period; all in the line of its regular business as manufacturers of printing, currency, and security papers. On three different occasions, far apart, the services it was able to render the government, in times of war and discredit, were so important that it may be said they were services of necessity. After more than a century and a half of continuous business the principal place of manufacturing is still within two miles of the original location, and the mercantile house still remains in Minor Street, Philadelphia, where it has always been.
The Willcox family in Pennsylvania dates back to 1718, in which year Thomas Willcox and his wife Elizabeth (née Cole), settled in Delaware County, selecting their future home on the west branch of Chester Creek, in Concord township. Their property has passed by inheritance four times from father to son, and is now owned by their direct descendant of the fifth generation of the same name as the founder, Thomas Willcox.
The name Willcox (Wild Chough) is undoubtedly of Saxon times and origin, as the family crest (a Cornish chough upon a pile of rocks) indicates. The chough is a red-legged raven of the southwest of England, and the first Willcox was so called, doubtlessly, because he bore a wild chough (pronounced gutturally) upon a shield or pole in the many battles fought in those rude days.
Thomas Willcox, originally from Devonshire, England, came over young, as he and his wife lived together in Concord from 1718 until his death, in 1779, his wife dying in the following year. They were of the Roman Catholic faith, as are all their descendants of the name in Pennsylvania to-day, and the family is believed to be the oldest Catholic family in the State. At their house was established one of the earliest missions in Pennsylvania, but at what precise date cannot now be determined, as the early records of some of the Jesuit missions (of which this was one) were destroyed by a fire at St. Thomas, Md., where they were kept; but it is supposed to be about 1732. A room devoted to chapel purposes has always been reserved in the mansion-house of all the successive proprietors up to this time, and the Catholics of the neighborhood have ever been invited and accustomed to attend the religious services conducted there. Many articles of the old chapel furniture, such as chalice, missal, vestments, etc., that have been in use there from the beginning, are still preserved and prized by the family. In 1852, chiefly at the cost of James M. Willcox, the then proprietor of Ivy Mills, the church of St. Thomas was built near Ivy Mills, since which time the private chapel has been maintained for occasional services and private devotion.
Thomas and Elizabeth Willcox had nine children, - John, Anne, James, Elizabeth, Mary, Deborah, Thomas, Mark, and Margaret. The eldest son, John, and Mary (married to John Montgomery) removed to North Carolina in early life, settling near Fayetteville, and their descendants of several generations are numerously scattered throughout the Southern States. The counties of Willcox in Georgia and Alabama, respectively, have taken name from some of these, and the old family Christian names of Thomas and Mark are carefully handed down among the Southern branches of the family. The eldest daughter, Anne, married James White, and a distinguished Governor of Louisiana of that name was her grandson. Her grave and tombstone are in old St. Mary's churchyard on Fourth Street, in Philadelphia, the lettering nearly obliterated by time. John's and Mary's descendants embrace many of the best-known names in nearly all the cotton States, and are particularly numerous along the Ocmulgee River in Georgia, and in the Carolinas. The original home in Concord, including the large farm and Ivy Mill, descended to the youngest son, Mark, born in Concord in 1743.
Mark Willcox, better known in the community as Judge Willcox for the last thirty years of his life, after an early study of law entered into business with his father for a time, and then removed to Philadelphia, where he became a prominent merchant of that city. The firm (Flahavan & Willcox) consisted of his brother-in-law Thomas Flahavan and himself; and their books, some of which are still preserved, show that they owned several vessels, and traded principally with Wilmington and Newberne, N. C., and with London, Dublin, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam. Some of the letters of their letter-book, covering the period of 1783 to 1787, are interesting, and contain valuable materials connected with the history of the time, regarding not only Philadelphia and vicinity but a number of other places. In one, for instance, of date Philadelphia, March 20, 1786 (per ship "Adolph," Capt. Clarkson,via Amsterdam), they write to their correspondents Messrs. Roquett F. A. Elsires and Brothers Roquett, of Rotterdam, requesting the latter to sell in Europe all or part of six thousand acres of land belonging to the firm, lying above Mount Vernon on the Potomac; and, subsequently, in letter of date April 21, 1786, they thus enter into a fuller explanation of the location and value of the lands:
"Should you not be able to sell, you'll keep the Papers in your hands belonging to us until you hear from us. We have the pleasing news from a Gentleman who has Lands in the same Neighborhood, & has moved lately 28 Families on them, that the County is settling faster than any other in the States, & he says he makes little doubt of those Lands being soon settled as thick as within 20 Miles of Philadelphia. There is another advantage which they have, that we neglected to mention to you in our former Letters, that is, that General Washington's Lands are in the vicinity of our's, that Virginia has undertaken to clear the Potowmack River, and that the General has the Direction of it, & no doubt as well for his Country's Interest as his own, will forward the

Page 493
work as fast as possible. Also that a Town is to be built within 5 Miles of the Lands by Order and Permission of Government. You may therefore Insure them as prime Lands and of the First Quality. There is very little doubt but in a little time this will be the first Country in the World. There may be some Objections Respecting the savages, but this you may clear up by informing to a Certainty that there are no Savages within a hundred Miles of them, &c., &c.
"With great esteem,
"Flahavan & Willcox."
The future "town to be built by order of Government" is the present city of Washington, rapidly becoming one of the most beautiful capitals of the world. The "savages" are now far enough away.
They were very extensive owners of land, as will appear from the following extract of a letter to the same correspondents, in Rotterdam, dated June 4, 1787:
"Since then we have Accts. from France to Gentlemen here, who had letters from their Correspondents in Europe, of their contracting with the Farmer General for 200,000 acres in the neighbourhood of our Lands, for 200,000 French Crowns, & that the Government was sending out Settlers. If so no doubt it will add to the value of our Lands. If you could not sell on advantageous terms you had better find out the Gentleman that sold those Lands and send him the papers. Perhaps he may have it in his power to sell ours along with his Own. Or, if you could sell a larger tract, say twenty thousand acres more, that is, if Speculators in Land would rather have a larger Tract, we would have you engage 20 or 30 Thousand Acres more, and shall send you out all the papers, or deliver them to your Order. We have also Accts. from England of Mr. Vancouver's selling 100 Thousand Acres to English settlers who are coming out next Spring, so that that Place will be as thick as any Place in the States. If these Schemes should fail send back the papers as Quick as Possible. You will soon hear if this news of sale to Farmer General is true and you will be able to judge whether a tryal in France will answer." It is also well known that Mark Willcox, following the example of many prominent men of means in Philadelphia at that time and long after, committed the mistake of investing in lands in many of the interior counties of Pennsylvania, instead of at their very doors. The rapid growth of the city was not foreseen, nor the overleaping by emigration of the mountainous districts of Pennsylvania, where they purchased, for the rich and vast valley of the Ohio and Mississippi. The whole tenor of this venerable letter-book shows plainly the great and lasting depression in all business that followed the Revolution. Its foreign correspondence contains many references to public matters transpiring at the time, one of which to the great Convention of '87 shows the feeling of the intelligent portion of the community in regard to it. This letter is of date July 18,1787: " We have nothing new to Relate you except that Our Grand Convention, being deputed from the different States, is now sitting here. They have sett for upwards of six Weeks, and are as Respectable a Body as one ever had to meet on Public Business, as well for their Understanding & Fortunes as for the unbounded Confidence being placed in them by their Constituents. The purport of this Meeting is to see into the Situation of the Foederal Union, mend Defects, and Strengthen it upon such solid Basis as will give power to Congress as well as many Resources, so that they'll be reputable abroad as well as at Home. In the mean time to guard against the Infringing upon the Liberty of the Subject. This, no doubt, they will be able to Accomplish, as the People are Tired of the Loose Manner in which they have been Governed for Some time."
The last reference to the convention appears in a letter dated Sept. 25, 1787, as follows: "The Convention has broken up, & has recommended us a Code of laws which, if adopted, will make us Happy at Home and Respected abroad, and we have little doubt of their being adopted, as the People are Generally for it. Nor is there any doubt of General Washington being Universally appointed President General, &c."
There are many precious bits of history and historical reference in this old book which should not be lost, and which will become more valuable as time passes and the still fresh tints of recent history fade away.
Mark Willcox's first wife was his partner's sister, Ellen Flahavan; another sister became the wife of Mathew Carey and the mother of the late Henry C. Carey, of Philadelphia, whose writings on social science and political economy have given him a worldwide reputation. Among the brothers-in-law an intimate friendship always existed, ending only at the death of Mark Willcox, in 1827. The only child of this first marriage Ellen Willcox, was educated at the only boarding-school in Pennsylvania at that time, the Moravian School at Bethlehem. She married William Jenkins, of Baltimore, Md., and their descendants, quite numerous, are among the best-known and most-esteemed citizens of that city. His second wife was Mary Kauffman, daughter of Dr. Theophilus Kauffman, of Strasburg, Germany, who came to Philadelphia long before the Revolution, and who died some years afterwards in Montgomery County, whither he removed away from the "rebels," who had captured the city, and with whose Revolutionary ideas he had no sympathy.
When his father died, in 1779, Mark Willcox continued to live in Philadelphia, and carried on the manufacturing of paper at the Ivy Mill. At what date he removed from the city is not precisely known, but one of the letters in the letter-book spoken of mentions the fact of his living in the country in 1789. The old Ivy Mill had then been running sixty years, and was the second paper-mill built on the American continent, the Rittenhouse mill, on the Wissahickon, being the only one before it. Following its lead, a number of paper-mills were built in Delaware County, commencing on Chester Creek; and as late as the beginning of the nineteenth century more paper was made in Delaware County,
Page 494
Pa. (then shorn to its present dimensions), than in all the rest of the whole United States. This was the pioneer county in that particular industry, and long it held its pre-eminence. The old Ivy Mill, after standing over a hundred years, was torn down fifty-four years ago, or rather the greater part of it, and rebuilt by James M. Willcox. Two men of two generations, father and son, had conducted it ninety-eight years. The ponderous machinery, however, of modern mills silenced it long ago, but it still stands, a silent relic of its early time. Its wheel has long since decayed; its stone gable is thickly covered with the venerable ivy-vine whose root came over the ocean (in 1718) from near the old Ivy Bridge, in Devonshire; and the day is drawing near when it will begin its last change into a picturesque ruin as ancient as we have them in this New World. The old mill has a history deeply interesting from its connection with the printing-presses of historic men, and perhaps more so from its relations to the old colonial governments that preceded the formation of the United States, and the general government subsequently. The Colonies were wont to issue each its own particular currency, and up to the time of the Revolution the paper for all the money of all the Colonies, from Massachusetts to the Carolinas, was manufactured by Thomas Willcox at his Ivy Mill; after which followed, out of the same mill, the paper for the Continental currency, and after that the paper for the government issues made necessary by the war of 1812.
After Mark Willcox removed to the country (about 1789) he never afterwards returned to the city to live. He was a man of erudition, and a genial but dignified gentleman, and up to the time of his death (in 1827 ) it was his habit and pleasure to receive frequent visits from his many friends in town, who would drive their twenty miles to pass some days, in the old-fashioned way, at his pleasant country home.
Many years before his death Judge Willcox had associated his sons, John and Joseph, in business with him, but retired early, as the books show that in 1811 the firm consisted of John and Joseph Willcox. Joseph died young and unmarried, and John again united with his father, the product of the mill being always principally bank-note, bond, and similar papers. John died in 1826, leaving two daughters, and his widow married, some years afterwards, Lieut. John Marston, Jr., U.S.N., who has survived her. He now (1884), as Rear-Admiral Marston, resides in Philadelphia, enjoying good health at eighty-nine years of age.
On the death of John Willcox his youngest brother, James M., assumed charge of the hereditary mill, and threw more vigor and activity into the business than it had ever known. His father dying the following year, James became the sole proprietor. Three years afterwards he tore down the mill that had run for a century, and built upon the site a new one of double capacity, with improved machinery. Bank-note paper still continued to be the specialty. For a long period not only were the banks of the United States supplied with their paper from the Ivy Mill, but its lofts were at times piled with peculiar-looking papers of various tints, bearing the ingrained water-marks of most of the governments and banks of South America. Nearly the whole Western Continent drew its supplies from there, such was the reputation of the establishment; and Eastward its paper went as far as Italy and Greece. But an end had to come to this. The sagacity of James M. Willcox foresaw the impending changes that were to revolutionize the paper manufacture, and he began early to prepare for them; at first by improving and enlarging facilities, and then by adopting at once the revolutionary processes according to their best features, for which he had not long to wait. He was very early to appreciate the full merits of the Fourdrinier machine, and one of the first enterprising enough to adopt it. In 1835 he purchased from the heirs of Abraham Sharples the elder, on the main branch of Chester Creek, and about two and a half miles from Ivy Mills, an extensive water-power, and the property on which the Sharples iron-works, consisting of rolling- and slitting-mills, had been situated. Here he built the first of the mills known as the Glen Mills, in which was placed one of the new Fourdrinier paper-machines of the largest class then known. He took his sons, Mark and William, into partnership, and for many years conducted a large and successful business, dividing his attention among his various interests, - his farm, the Ivy Mill, the Glen Mill, and his mercantile house in the city. In 1846 he built the second of the Glen Mills. Soon after his health became precarious, and, although he suffered much, he remained actively engaged in the details of all his many engagements as long as he lived. On March 3, 1852, he completed his long-contemplated arrangements and retired from business, leaving it to his three sons, Mark, James, and Joseph, and died unexpectedly before the following morning. He was a man of unusual intelligence, strength and earnestness of character, and fervent religious convictions that governed all his intercourse with other men. No man was better known or more respected in the entire community. His charities accorded with his means. His influence was great, and always for good; and his death was a public loss. Born in 1791, and dying in 1852, he was not sixty-two years of age. His remains repose in the old family burying-ground upon the Ivy Mills property, where those of his father and grandfather were laid before him; and in the same ground lie the remains of many colored people, formerly slaves of his ancestors when slavery existed in Pennsylvania, and a number of their descendants for several generations.
Without change of title, Mark, James M., and
Page 495
Joseph, the three oldest sons of James M. Willcox, succeeded to the Ivy Mills and Glen Mills business in 1852. In 1866, Joseph retired from business, after disposing of his interests to his elder brothers, since when he has devoted his time to scientific pursuits, chiefly in the departments of geology and mineralogy. In the mean time the civil war had broken out, and the government was again forced to the issue of paper money, this time on a scale unprecedented in the history of the world. For the third time, under the pressing necessities of war and broken credit, it had recourse to the Willcox House to supply its needs. Fortunately this had kept in advance of the times, and the brothers had, but a few years before, succeeded in changing the manufacture of bank-note paper by bringing it also upon the Fourdrinier machine, thus enabling themselves to produce more in a day than the old practice, by hand process, could produce in a month. When, therefore, the emergency came they were able to meet it, first with one large mill, and soon after with a second. The supply was maintained, and always up to the requirements of the government. All the bank-note paper-mills of Europe, save one, are still hand-mills, and it is not too much to say that, at that time, all of them united could not have supplied the paper needed for our government's issues of paper money.
In 1864 the United States Treasury Department, prompted by the desire to prevent the counterfeiting of its issues, undertook the task of manufacturing a currency paper for its own use, and imparting to it some peculiarity of character by which counterfeiting could be detected. A costly mill with Fourdrinier machine was built on the lower floor of the Department building, and experiments at great cost were conducted there for four years. There was no outcome of any value; the attempts were all failures, and the Treasury mill ended where it had begun, with an inferior quality of simple white paper. It was then torn out, and the Willcox Brothers were invited to undertake a task that the Department, with all the scientific aid it could command, had failed in, and that had never yet been successfully performed anywhere. This they were prepared to do by means of a peculiar paper invented by them, and patented three years before. The "localized-fibre" paper, manufactured for many years after this at the Glen Mills for the notes and bonds of the government, attained not merely a national, but a world-wide, reputation, for it accomplished the object desired. So jealously was it guarded by the government that for ten years the mills and premises were occupied by a government officer with a numerous police and detective force, and some forty employés of the Treasury Department, to insure that no sheet or bit of paper should be abstracted for unlawful purpose, and that every sheet should be counted and registered as made, and tracked through the various stages towards completion, until it should be delivered over to the express company to be taken away for use. During that period not a sheet, out of hundreds of millions made, was lost or missed, not a counterfeit seen on any treasury note or bond of the issue or series that began with that paper; and at the end, when Secretary John Sherman, in 1878, removed the manufacture of government paper from Pennsylvania, the paper account at Glen Mills balanced, a clear quittance was given, and the Treasury issue of paper money with which he began his administration was free from counterfeits.
In 1880, Mark Willcox purchased his brother James' interest in the Glen Mills property, the Philadelphia business, and the Sarum farm adjoining Glen Mills, of which they had been joint owners. Some years before he had purchased from his younger brothers, Edward and Henry, the old Ivy Mills estate, so that at his death, in April, 1883, he had acquired possession of nearly all the properties of the family in Delaware County that had historical interest. His two sons, James Mark and William, the present owners of the Glen Mills property, have recently enlarged the principal mill and are actively engaged in the old business, the mercantile department of which is still conducted by them at No. 509 Minor Street, Philadelphia. These two young men constitute the oldest business house of any description in the United States; one that has continued from father to son, in one locality, a hundred and fifty-five years. The Ivy Mills property, the original home, now belongs to the youngest brother, Thomas, of the same name as the founder of the family in America.
James M. Willcox the younger, whose portrait is herein presented, was born at Ivy Mills, in the same house in which his father and grandfather were born, Nov. 20, 1824. He is the fourth son of James M. Willcox, and the second son of a second marriage contracted in 1819. His mother was Mary eldest daughter of Capt. James Brackett, of Quincy, Mass., in which State the Bracketts have resided for ten generations. The first of them, also Capt. James Brackett, was born in Scotland, in 1611, and came over with the early Puritans. This ancestor figures in Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter," as captain of the soldiery and custodian of the jail in which Hester Prynne was confined. Her mother, Elizabeth Odiorne, descended from the ancestor of that name who came over with the Church of England colony that founded Portsmouth, N. H. The old Odiorne mansion is still standing, and is one of the most interesting antiquities of that place. James M. Willcox's early school years were passed at Anthony Bolmar's boarding-school, at West Chester, Pa., and thence he passed to Georgetown College, D. C., whose reputation for superior classical and literary training has always been recognized. After leaving college he commenced the study of medicine, but before completing the course changed his intentions and went to Italy, where he spent three years, mostly in Rome and its vicinity, in the study of ancient and modern languages, the higher mathe-
Page 496
matics, and philosophy. There existed nowhere better or higher schools of languages and philosophy than the Roman Propaganda and Sapienza. In them the Latin, instead of being all object, of study, was the text of the class-books, the medium of communication, the spoken and written language of the schools. In it Greek, Hebrew, the sciences, and philosophy were learned and expounded by the professors. The rare advantages within his grasp the young American student employed to the best advantage, and brought home a full share of the honors competed for, becoming an accomplished linguist, speaking several languages, and attaining in the end to the Doctorship in Philosophy. This degree is lightly given in the United States, frequently without any course of philosophy at all, but in the universities of Continental Europe it is conferred on but few, on account of the very severe course and examination required in logic, metaphysics, and ethics, as well as in physics and mathematics. At this time Mr. Willcox enjoyed the privilege of the acquaintance and conversation of men whose names are now historical in the literary world, the recollection of which he now cherishes as among the most pleasant of his life. Not the least among these friends was the greatest of all linguists, ancient or modern, Cardinal Mezzofanti, who was master of forty languages, and with whom he made a study of ancient Anglo-Saxon. In 1847 he received from Pope Pius IX. his degree in philosophy, the diploma issuing, not from the faculty, but, as a special favor, directly from the Pontiff, as thus set forth in its text: "Pius Papa Nonus, volens eum speciali gratia cumulare, eum Doctorem in Philosophia creavit, cum omnibus honoribus et oneribus quæ Philosophiæ Doctoribus propria sunt." This diploma, it is unnecessary to say, is much valued and preserved with great care. After spending some months in visiting many parts of Europe Mr. Willcox returned home in the fall of 1847, with health somewhat impaired, and some years afterwards entered into business with his father and brother at Glen Mills. Transferring the same industry and ambition into practical business that he had carried into his scholastic career, he gradually introduced features into it so radical as to entirely change its character.
The advantages of superior education are not lost in any career in life, for the discipline and enlargement of the mind attained can be advantageously applied almost anywhere. One of Mr. Willcox's first aims was to raise the paper manufacture to a higher level, out of the routine into which it seemed to have settled; and to this end he conducted a series of experimental researches, producing, in the course of a few years, as he relates, a greater variety of papers than had ever before been made by any one person. Taking as his department of the business the practical manufacture, he turned special attention towards the plan of making bank-note paper by machinery, and with complete success. Then, impressed with the importance of checking, and perhaps preventing, the counterfeiting of money, so commonly and easily done at that time, he conceived the task of accomplishing with paper what the bank-note companies, with their arts of fine and geometrical engraving, could not accomplish; the result being the invention of the "localized-fibre" paper, so long and so efficiently used by the United States government for its notes and bonds. For many years, as was said before, this distinctive paper was manufactured at Glen Mills, under the government's supervision and protection. Its success at home brought it to the favorable consideration of the governments of Europe, and in 1878, under agreement with the Imperial Government of Germany, Mr. Willcox sent out an agent to Berlin, near which city was put in successful operation a bank-note paper-mill with the special machinery required, as at Glen Mills, for the manufacture of the German currency paper. So pleased were the authorities with the product of the new mill that he received from them a testimonial stating that the contract had been more than carried out, to their great satisfaction; and the localized-fibre paper became the currency paper of the Empire. An exhibit of this protective paper was subsequently made at the great Paris Exhibition, and there received the highest possible award of "Diplôme d'Honneur."
The chemical paper long used by the United States Treasury Department for the stamps and checks of the department, and called "Chameleon" paper on account of its sensitive changes when tampered with, was also Mr. Willcox's invention, and put an end to the counterfeiting and re-using of Internal Revenue stamps, by which the government had long been extensively robbed of its revenue. Thus in many parts of his business he found fields for the employment of knowledge acquired outside of its ordinary sphere, and so succeeded in vastly enlarging its proportions and lifting it to the highest plane of usefulness. During this long period of active life and heavy cares his earlier tastes for literature were not neglected, and the hours unoccupied by business were generally devoted to scientific study. He has been an occasional contributor to The American Catholic Quarterly Review, always upon subjects of metaphysical philosophy; and a few years ago he published the conclusions from a long course of abstract reading and reflection in an octavo volume of 1 logico-metaphysics, taking strong ground throughout, from the stand-point of rational analysis, against the growing materialistic atheism of the times, impelled thereto, as set forth in the dedication, by the desire to contribute his part in a good work. He has in progress, he states, two other works of somewhat kindred character, upon which be labors alternately, which will require several years to complete.
page 497
When the scheme for a Centennial Exhibition was projected Mr. Willcox was among the first to earnestly advocate that it should be international, and to do all in his power to advance it. He was appointed a member of the first Board of Finance created by act of Congress, and at a later day was requested by the Centennial Commission to act as one of the Judges of the Exhibition, of whom there were one hundred American and one hundred foreign selected. At the first meeting of the committees he was chosen President of Group XIII., and after six months' active duty in that capacity he wrote, by request, a critical compendium of the entire work of his committee for publication. His services were recognized in a letter of thanks, with a special medal, by the Commission. In 1852 he married Mary Keating, of Philadelphia, daughter of Jerome Keating, who, in partnership with John J. Borie, was one of the early manufacturers of Manayunk; and granddaughter of John Keating, a distinguished officer of the French army in the last century, who, for having captured the island of St. Eustache from the British, was decorated by Louis XVI., and made Chevalier of the Order of Saint Louis. Of this marriage there are five children living, of whom two are married, one residing at Colorado Springs and the other in Philadelphia. His present wife is Katharine, daughter of the late Abraham W. Sharples, of Thornbury township, and granddaughter, on her mother's side, of Right Rev. Henry U. Onderdonk, formerly the Episcopalian Bishop of Philadelphia. Of this marriage there are two children, both living. The family have lived in Spruce Street, Philadelphia, for many years, but still retain possession of a farm in Thornbury, near Cheyney's Station.
Since his retirement from regular business in 1880, Mr. Willcox has been in the habit of spending the winter months in Florida. He early foresaw the phenomenal development of South Florida, little known six years ago, but now rapidly distancing the northern part; and made extensive purchases of property in Orange County and on Indian River that are now very valuable. With the care of these and his material interests at home, the responsibilities of directorship in some large corporations, the continued pursuit of scientific study, and the labor upon his works in hand, he indulges in little leisure; and, to judge from the past and present, is not likely to find the pleasures of idleness as long as he lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment