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:


Ridley Creek and Bancroft's Upper Bank

A website about the Piedmont Water Shed states:

"Ridley Creek continues to flow parallel to South Ridley Creek Road. Far above it is the trestle of the SEPTA Media-Elwyn commuter rail line. The original wooden trestle of the West Chester and Philadelphia Railroad was completed here in 1854. Ridley Creek passes under Media Station Road after flowing past some small contracting businesses built directly in the floodplain. The covered bridge over Ridley Creek that once existed at this spot was called the Blue Bridge. Below Media Station Road, Ridley Creek flows through a wooded area around the Upper Bank Nursery, former site of Samuel Bancroft’s Upper Bank Woolen Factory. A small tributary called Gayley Run enters from Upper Providence on the opposite side and meets Ridley Creek within the Upper Bank Nursery. It originates from a culvert near Gayley Road and Jefferson Streets in Media and is named for Samuel M. Gayley, a Presbyterian minister and educator who founded the Media Classical Institute in the 1850s. Just below Upper Bank, South Ridley Creek Road turns east and out of the bottomland. The road that continues to follow the creek is called Knowlton Road. A bridge carries Knowlton Road over the creek just south of the split with South Ridley Creek Road and then Knowlton Road follows the west bank of Ridley Creek for a scenic mile-and-a-half. The former site of the Middle Bank Mills, also known as Hillsborough Mills, is located near the bridge where Manchester Road crosses the creek and meets Knowlton Road. Middle Bank Mills were also once owned by Samuel Bancroft. At first, it looks as though these mills have left no apparent trace, but there is a partial stone wall on the east bank of Ridley Creek at this location that may have been part of the mill dam."


Samuel Bancroft also owned the Lower Bank Mill:

"As Ridley Creek leaves the Borough of Rose Valley, it forms the boundary between Brookhaven Borough and Nether Providence Township at the site of Sackville Mills. In 1831, the Bancroft family established John Bancroft & Son woolen mill on the site of an old 1790s snuff mill here, which they called the Lower Bank Mill. During the economic downturn following the Panic of 1837, the Bancrofts were forced to sell the mill in 1842. When more prosperous times returned, Samuel Bancroft bought it back in 1854, by which time it had been renamed Todmorden Mills. By the 1870s it was one of the largest woolen mills in the United States. Under its main 20th century owner, Herman Rudolph Sack, it was called Sackville Mills, where it was the site of a major anthrax outbreak in the 1930s. Eventually labor costs are what caused its operations to leave Ridley Creek for North Carolina. All operations ceased by the late date of 1992 and the site became the Sackville housing development."

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