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.

I'm currently working on tracing this family back to England through this link:


James' Willcox papermill, swept away by rain in 1843

Here is an absolutely amazing and crazy story about James Willcox's paper mill (which became a cotton factory owned by Samuel Bancroft, Esq.) shared in "Historical collections of the State of Pennsylvania" by Sherman Day.

"An event that has recently occurred, even while this volume is in the hands of the printer, will long be remembered in Delaware county. On Saturday afternoon, 5th Aug. 1843, an overwhelming torrent of rain, accompanied with wind in some places equal to a tornado, burst upon the region around Philadelphia. Its effects were particularly destructive on all the streams of Delaware county. The following extracts are gleaned from the Philadelphia papers:

p. 298
…“On a curve of Ridley cr., immediately adjoin Grove’s cotton factory, now in the occupancy of Samuel Bancroft, Esq., is a stone building about 70 feet long, formerly used as a papermill, but until Saturday inhabited by three families, the middle portion being occupied by a family named Hardgraves. Swelled by the heavy fall of rain, the creek on Saturday leaped over its banks and rushed in a direct line forward, sweeping out entirely the centre part of the building, and carrying with it Mr. Hardgraves and four of his children, who were sitting upon a bed, and leaving on only one side a small piece of the floor about a foot wide, where Mrs. Hardgraves and her infant child barely found a footing—while directly opposite to her, on the other side of the rushing torrent, were a man and four children clustered upon a small piece of the floor, which had not been carried away from its fastenings. In this pitiable position they remained from some time, seemingly beyond the reach of aid, until a gallant fellow named Holt—who lived in one of the outer portions of the building, and who had fled in safety when the danger became evident—tied the two ends of a rope around his body, and made his way across to his part of the house, where, cutting a hole through the dividing wall, he brought the man and his four children into a more secure position. With considerable difficulty Holt then contrived to get a ladder across to where the unfortunate Mrs. Hardgraves and her child stood, and succeeded in bringing them across in safety. The rope with which he had crossed the swollen stream had been fastened by him on his landing, and by means of it, he succeeded, with the aid of the people on the opposite shore, in passed every one of the rescued sufferers in safety across—himself going last.”…

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