Battle's History of Bucks County
When the site for the first court-house was selected the population of the county was found generally located along the Delaware, from the Poquessing to the falls. Subsequent settlements were made in the interior, and the old seat of justice gradually came to appear too far from the centre of population. On the 13th of March, 1700, the grand jury recommended the necessity of correcting this inequality, and estimated the middle of the county "to be the Neshamlnah meeting-house," a locality now known as Langhorne. The subject thus broached became a question of large public interest, and the usual variety of considerations contributed to its final settlement. The offer of a building site in Bristol by Samuel Carpenter was at last accepted, and on March 11, 1705, the " court adjourned till the 13th day of June next, and to sit then at New Bristol, in and for the said county of Bucks." On the same day, however, in view of the prospective change, the coui-t took a step which was anything but flattering to the reputation of the borough for sobriety and good order. The court had been accustomed to the rural quiet of " Crookhorn," and it doubtless viewed the removal to the busy precincts of the county metropolis with some disquieting forebodings. Accordingly, " it appearing to this court that there is necessity for a pair of stocks to be built in the town of Bristol to regulate disorders that may happen by drunkenness, etc., this court doth order Edward Mayos, William Croasdale, Lemuel Oldale to erect and build a pair of stocks and a whipping-post in the most convenient place. in the said town of Bristol as they shall think fit, and to cause the same to be done with all convenient speed."
Methodism was introduced into Bucks county in 1771 by Captain Webb, of the British army, who preached at Bristol in that year on a journey from New York to Philadelphia. The first class, among whom were several converted on that occasion, was formed at the close of the revolutionary war ; and with a single exception the church at Bristol is the oldest in the state outside of Philadelphia. A place for worship, the first Methodist church building in the county, was erected in 1802. Bensalem was the scene of a camp-meeting in 1803, but it does not appear that its results were immediately apparent. A church was built in 1840, and at the same time another near Newportville, Middletown. The first class at Langhorne was formed in 1806, but the building of a church was not eifected until 1829.
The mail to Bristol passed through Newtown and Langhorne. A weekly mail from Quakertown to Durham was established in 1819.
Amos S. Flowers, farmer, P. O. Woodbourne, was born in Langliorne, July 4, 1802, and is a son of Tlionias K. and Sarah (Scott) Flowers. His mother was a native of IJensalem townshi]), and his fatliei' of ]Middle(o\vn. The Flowers family were among the early settlers of Middletown township, and were of American lineage. Thomas K. Flowers was a storekeeper in early life, but is now serving as agent for the ship line company in Piiiladelphia. His family consisted of five children, only two of whom are now living. Amos S. was next lo the oldest, and was reared in Langhorne, attending tjje Friends' School there. He bought a farm in 1884, and has farmed since then. October 9, 1884, he married F"' ranees, daughter of AVilliam M. and Jane (Ferry) Robinson, natives of England. Mrs. Flowers was also born in England. Her father died in 1881. Mr. and Mrs. Flowers have one child, William Massey Robinson. Mr. Flowers is a republican, and is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
George Flowers, retired farmer,
P. O. Langhorne, was born in Bucks county, February 8, 1817, being a son of John aiid Phebe (Hibbs) Plowers, natives of Bucks county and of English descent. The family have been residents of Bucks county for over a century, and have usually followed farming. John Flowers was a butidier, and only lived to the age of 56, dying January 9, 1836, at the present residence of our subject. His death was sudden, and caused by drojisy of the heart. The occasion of the funeral is still remembered by the older citizens, in connection with a snow-fall several feet deep. His family consisted of five sons and two daughters : Thomas, Hannah, IMary, William, Amos, Jolin, and George. All are deceased, except George. Our subject has been a resident of Langliorne for sixty-two years. He attended the Friends' school here, and when 17 years of age commenced to work on a farm. He chose farming as his business, and followed that all his life. He has made his own way in the world, and has been successful. He was married October 10, 1867, to Rachel Ann, daughter of Phineas and Rebecca (Flowers) Thackara, who were of English and German descent. Her mother was a member of the Vanblunt family, who were among the earliest settlers of Bristol borough. Mr. and Mrs. Flowers are members of the Methodist church of Langhorne, of which he is a trustee and steward. Mrs. John Flowers died September 5, 1866, at the age of 85. John Flowers, with his son, our subject, came to Attleboro in 1822. The latter is one of the two residents of the town at the time who are still living.
Jonathan' W. Gillam, retired farmer, P. 0. Langlionie, was boi-n in Middletown townslii|), Bucks county, October 25, 181C, being a son of William and Susan (Woolston) Gillam, natives of Bucks count}', and of Iilnglisli descent. His fatlier was a farmer all bis life. His family consisted of nine children, of whom Jonathan W. was the fourth. His father died December 31, 1843. Jonathan W. was reared on a farm, attended the Friends' school here, and the school at West Chester, Pa., of which Joshua Hoops was the principal. He chose farming as an occupation, and in 1839 commenced farming for liimself, and has followed it with success. In 1873 he moved to Langhorne, where he owns a fine residence, and expects to spend the declining years of his life here. March 12, 1840, he married Hannah, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Townsend) Cadwallader, her parents being of English and Welsh origin. Mr. Gillam has been a director of the First National Bank at Newtown, with the exception of a short interval, since it was organized, and is also a director of the People's National bank of Langhorne. He has been an active and successful business man. In politics he is a republican. Mr. and Mrs. Gillam are members of the Society of Friends, the parents of both having been members of that denomination.
Joseph K. Harding, retired, P. 0. Langhorne, was born in Hatboro, Montgomery county. May G, 1832, being a son of Nathan and Rebecca (Hellings) Harding, natives of Bucks county and of English origin. The Harding family were members of the Society of Friends. His mother's family were members of the Baptist churcli. They were usually farmers. Nathan Harding was a house painter and farmer, but in later life kept a hotel. Of his five children Joseph K. was the third. He irrew to manhood in Bucks county, and received liis education in the common schools. His father was a hotel-keeper and Joseph K. adopted his father's business. After clerking for seven years he embarked in business for himself, being then 30 years old. He continued the hotel business for thirty years, twenty-three years of that time being s[)ent in Langhorne. He was a successful hotel-beeper, and retired li-om the business in 1885. He was married in 1867 to Sarah Ann, daughter of Elijah K. and Mary (Hellings) Leedom. Her parents were of English and Irish origin, and natives of Bucks county. The Leedom family were members of the Society of Friends, but her parents belonged to the Methodist church. They were farmers in Upper Makefield. Joseph K. and Sarah Ann Harding have three children : Mary Jewell, Emma Lulu and Justin N. BIr. Harding is a republican in politics. lie has been school director and is a master mason.
Joseph R. Hibbs, proprietor of the stage line at Langhorne, P. O. Langhorne, was born at Columbus, 0., January 8, 1841, and is a son of Isaac G. and Mary (Hawk) Hibbs. His parents were of English descent and natives of Bucks county. Isaac G. Hibbs was a carpenter by trade and a member of the Society of Friends. He had seven children that lived to maturity. Of these Joseph R. is the fourth. He was reared on a farm, receiving his education in the common schools and at the Friends' school at Langhorne, and learned the carpenter's trade with liis father. He also had three brothers who learned the same trade and woi-ked at it many years. He worked in Langhorne in company with his fatlier, and in 1881 embarked in his present business, which has proved successful. February 2, 186(), lie married Hannah A., daughter of Nathan and Rebecca (Hillings) Harding, and a sister of Joseph Harding;, of Langhorne. They are the parents of two children : Elk R. and Emma M. Mrs. Hibbs died in 188(5. In 1862 Mr. Hibbs enlisted in company B, 119th Pa. Vols. He was a non-commissioned officer, was discharged at the close'of the war and returned to Langhorne, where he has since resided. He has been a school director, a member of the council, and is one of Langhorne's best citizens.
. Jonathan Kirkbride, auctioneer, P. O. Langhorne, was born in Middletown township, this county, June 29, 1840, and is a son of Jonathan and Hannah (Warner) Kirkbride. His paternal and matei'nal ancestors were among the earliest settlers of Bucks county. Tiie family have usually been farmers. They are all members of the Society of Friends, and of English origin. Our subject's father was a farmer all his life. His family consisted of eight children, of whom Jonathan was the third. He was reared on the farm, attended the common schools, and also the Bellevue academy. He followed farming until 1868, and since then has engaged in auctioneering. In 1864 he married Rachel, daughter of Robert M. Croasdale. She was of English descent. Their children are : Hannah E. and William. Mrs. Kirkbride died in 1873. Mr. Kirkbride is a member of the Society of Friends, and is a democrat politically. He is a member of the town council, and is clerk of the board, a prominent member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is also a master mason.
Joshua Richardson, deceased, was born in Attleboro, now Langhorne, in the house where his son and daughter now reside. A stone in the gable end of the house bears the date 1738, but it was two years in course of erection. It is a stone structure, and was occupied by soldiers while the revolutionary war was in progress. The present occupants are of the fifth generation who have lived in it since its original construction. The pioneer of the Richardson family was Joseph Richardson, who came from England in 1724, and settled at the place called Four-Lanes End, now Langhorne, in 1732. In that year he married Mary, daughter of William and Mary Paxson, with whom he had lived since his arrival in this country. He was a poor man, but at the time of his death, which occurred April 15, 1772, lie owned 1023 acres of land. He was a merchant in later life, the first in the village, and the only one between Bristol and Durliam. On his death his son Joshua took charge of the homestead, and the land belonging to it, and he in turn left it to his son Joseph. Joshua Richardson, son of Joseph, was born here March 6, 180.3. He attended the Friends' school, and chose farming for his business, which has generally been the occupation of the male members of the family. He had three children : Joseph, who is married and engaged in farming near Newtown ; Edward and Mary. Edward was born in Langhorne, where he attended school. He also attended the High school and Friends' school, and has made farming his business. Edward owns the old homestead, which is still a substantial structure, the wood work being as heavy and strong as is that in the barn. Among its furniture is the old clock which has been in possession of the family since 1761.