In September, in a letter to James Harrison, then in England, Penn made still further concessions. " Now, dear James," he writes, " for the 50 acres a servant to the master, and 50 to the servants ; this is done for their sakes that cannot buy, for I must either be paid by purchase or rent, that those that cannot buy may take up, if a master of a family, 200 acres, at I d. an acre ; afterwards, 50 acres per head for every man and maid-servant, but still at the same rent, else none would buy or rent, and so I should make nothing of my country ; however, to encourage poor servants to go, and be laborious, I have abated the Id. to 1/2 d. per acre when they are out of their time. Now if any about thee will engage and buy, there may be ten, yea twenty, to one share, which will be but £5 apiece, for which they each will have 250 acres. For those that cannot pay passage, let me know their names, and number, and ages ; they must pay double rent to them that help them over ; but this know that the rent is never to be raised, and they are to enjoy it forever.
These concessions were obviously intended to induce as large a number as possible to join the initial movement for the colonization of the province, and were abundantly successful. In October, Penn's plans were so far matured that he commissioned William Crispin, William Haige, John Bezar, and Nathaniel Allen to proceed to the province, fix upon a site for the town, and lay out the lauds in it as well as in the country. Crispin was appointed surveyor-general, but he died soon after his arrival, and Thomas Holme was appointed in his stead. The new surveyor-general did not arrive in Pennsylvania until the following June, but even then the commissioners were not ready for his services. The construction of the " concessions" had given rise to certain difficulties, and no place could be found that would satisfy the conditions of the proposed plan for the town. It is a common tradition that the site of Morrisville, that of Pennsbury manor and an elevated piece of ground on the Delaware, near the lower side of the Poquessing, among others, were explored by the commission, but nothing further was accomplished until the arrival of Penn in the latter part of 1682.
The most substantial matter learned was a tradition by a Jacob Smith, who then owned the first farm below Morrisville, and showed us the building that was said to have been the first court-house and jail of Bucks county.
LEWIS ANDERSON, hotel-keeper, P. O. Morrisville, was born in Mercer county, N. J., June 1, 1840, being a son of John and Margaret (Hawk) Anderson, natives of New Jersey and of English and German descent. His father was a wheelwright and had a family of fourteen children, of whom Lewis was the fifth. He was reared in Mercer county, where he attended the common schools.
William Balderston, farmer, P. O. Morrisville, was born on the farm where be now resides, January 28, 1841. His father, John B., was also born here in 1802, and was a son of Mark Balderston, who settled on the farm, being amono- the earliest settlers in Bucks county.
Ebenezer Barwis, merchant tailor, P. O. Morrisville, was born in Fallsington, Bucks county, March 28, 1818, and is a son of Samuel and Rachel (Lundy^ Barwis, natives of Bucks county, the former of English and the latter of Scotch origin. Mr. Barwis' maternal grandfather owned a mill at Bristol, Pa., and during the war, being a Quaker and loyalist, furnished the British with flour, and in consequence had his property confiscated by the United States government. His paternal ancestors were ampng the early settlers of Bucks county.
John Brooks, farmer, P. O. Morrisville, son of Jesse and Jane (Girton) Brooks, was born in this township August 6, 1819, his ancestors being among the early English and German settlers of this state. His father was a carpenter by trade and later a farmer. John Brooks was the third of a family of five children. He was reared on the farm, attended school in Fallsington and Oxford Valley, and learned the shoemaker's trade. He has made farming his principal occupation and owns a beautiful place on the banks of the Delaware, near William Penn's old farm.
John E. Case, physician, P. O. Morrisville, son of Alexander J. and Letitia E. (Carver) Case, was born in Buckingham township, Bucks county, January 2, 1831. He taught school early in life, was graduated from the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania in 18.54, and is in active practice in southern Bucks county at tlie present time (1887)
WILLIAM H. GiLKYSON, merchant, P. O. Morrisville, was born in Edgewood, Bucks county, September 30, 1856, and is a son of Amos and Ellen (Howell) Gilkyson, the former a native of this county and of Irish descent. His mother was born in New Jersey and was of English origin. His father was a mason and a contractor and builder, but has retired from business.
Mahlon K. Hendrickson, farmer and dairyman, P. O. Morrisville, was born in New Jersey, January 23, 1843. His father, Jehu Hendrickson, was born in New Jersey, came to Bucks county in 1852, followed the business of farming, and died May 9, 1874. His mother's maiden name was Margaretta Yardley and she was a native of this county.
William G. HOWELL, merchant miller, P. O. Morrisville, was born in Trenton, N. J., June 17, 1844, and is a son of James and Adaline (Gillingham) Howell, the latter a native of Morrisville, and of Scotch origin. James Howell, father of William G., was born in New Jersey and was of German origin. He was a cooper in his early life, but later on was a merchant. William G. is the second son of a family of six children. He was reared in Trenton, N. J., where he attended school. Early in life he was employed as a salesman in a dry goods store, and subsequently was employed as a bookheeper in Trenton for six years.
Edward S. Kirkbride, Penn's Manor, farmer and seed-grower, P. O. Morrisville, was born in Columbia, Boone county, Missouri, in the year 1852. He is a son of Jonathan and Mary W. Kirkbride, both natives of Bucks county, descendants of Joseph Kirkbride, who came to America with William Penn in 1682, and was one of the earliest settlers of this county.
Thomas Story Kirkbride was born near Morrisville, in Bucks county, July 31, 1809, and was a son of John and Elizabeth (Story) Kirkbride, the latter a daughter of Thomas and Rachel Story, of Newtown township, this county. The Kirkbrides were Friends, and came from the parish of Kirkbride, county of Cumberland, England, with William Penn.
Herman Lovett, deceased, was born where his widow now resides in Morrisville, in the house built by Robert Morris, who is well known in history. The date of his birth is August 25, 1846, and he was a son of Hon. .John H. and Charlotte (Mershon) Lovett, both natives of Bucks county and of English and French orii^in. The Lovett family were among the first settlers of the county. His father was a prominent man and served as a member of the Pennsylvania legislature. Herman was the youngest of two children.
JOAB C. Mershon, farmer, P. O. Morrisville, was born on Biles Island, Falls township, December 9, 1824. He is a son of D. S. Mershon, a native of New Jersey, of French descent, and his wife, Mary Smith, a native of this county, of Dutch descent. His father was in early life a riverman and afterward a farmer. Most of his life was spent in this county. He had six children, four of whom are deceased. Joab C, the fourth child, was reared on the farm, received a common-school education, and has made farming the occupation of his life. He is the owner of one hundred and ninety-six acres in one farm and fifty in another. In 1850 he married Rosanna, daughter of Jeremiah Richardson. Their children are : Sarah C, wife of John W. Brooks, Jr. ; William C, married to Jennie P. Blake ; Mary S., wife of Georo-e C. Brooks ; and D. S., married to Anna Crozer. Mr. Mershon is a member of the I. O. 0. F. In politics he is a republican and he is supervisor of Falls township. He has six grandchildren living.
Daniel Moon, farmer, P. G. Morrisville, was born in Morrisville, July 12, 1850, and is a son of Evan L. and Mary (Atchley) Moon, the latter a native of Mercer county, N. J. His lather was born in Bucks county, and was a descendant of an old Quaker family of English origin. The family have been farmers in Falls township for many years. Our subject's father has carried on that business with success, being at present the owner of a well-improved farm. He had three children who lived to maturity, Daniel being the youngest.
William L. Moon, farmer, P. O. Morrisville, was born in Falls township, August 25, 1810, on the farm which he now owns, and which he also occupies. He is a son of Daniel and Mercy (Lovett) Moon. His parents were of English and German origin. His paternal and maternal ancestors were among the early Quaker settlers of Penn's Manor. Most of the male members of the family have been farmers. William L. Moon was tiie oldest of a family of eight children, five of whom were boys. He attended soliool in Penn's Manor, and has made farming his business. He was married in 1839 to Elizabeth Y., daughter of Mahlon Williamson. She is a descendant of the earliest German and English settlers of Falls township. Their children are: Mercy, wife of Frank Neuschert ; Georgianna, wife of Andrew Watson ; and Libbie, wife of William Parry. Mr. Moon is a republican. He has been supervisor and overseer of the poor. Financially he has been successful, and is the owner of one hundred and eighteen acres of well-improved land.
Alfred M. Parsons, farmer, P. O. Morrisville, was born February 25, 1834, and is a son of Isaac and Lydia (Anderson) Parsons, who were natives of Falls township. Our subject's paternal and maternal ancestors were both descendants of early English settlers. Alfred M. was the fifth in a family of eight children and was reared on tiie farm where he now resides and which he owns.
Ellwood Parsons, farmer, P. O. Morrisville, was born in Falls township, Bucks county, April 5, 1822, and is a son of Isaac and Lydia A. (Anderson) Parsons, natives of this county. His fatlier and grandfather were successful farmers, who spent their lives in Bucks county and accumulated a competence. The family were of English origin. Ellwood was the oldest of a family of eight children, consisting of three boys and five girls : Ellwood, Charles A., Alfred M., Sarah A. (Bobbins), Mary A. (Mull), Elizabeth (Parsons), Emma (Newbold), and Rose P. (Case). Ellwood chose farming for his -occupation and farmed here for ten years. He then retired for three years, after which he bought a large farm of 217 acres on the banks of the Delaware river, two miles below Bordentown, N. J., where he lived for nine years.
James T. Robbins, farmer, P. O. Morrisville, was born March 5, 1817, in Falls township, and is a son of Isaac and Jane (Thompson) Robbins. His father is of Einglish descent and was born in New- Jersey, his mother being a native of Ireland. His father was a farmer and spent the latter part of his life in Bucks county. He had a family of seven children, of whom five grew to maturity, our subject being the fifth of the family. He was reared on the farm in Penn's Manor, and received his earliest education there, and also attended school at Wilmington, Delaware. He wisely chose his father's occupation, that of farming, and has made it his life work. His farm is situated in Penn's Manor and is in a high state of cultivation. His success is largely due to his energy and determination. He was united in marriage in 1860 to Miss Catherine, daughter of Solomon Headley. She is a descendant of some of the earliest settlers of Pennsylvania, her people being members of the Society of Friends. Their children are: Rose, Ida,- Mary, Lillian, and George. Mr. Robbins is a republican in politics. He has held the office of school director.
John Robbins, retired, P. O. Morrisville, was born in Falls township, Bucks county, June 20, 1809, being a son of Isaac I. and Jane (Thompson) Robbins. His father was born in New Jersey, and is of English origin, his mother being a native of Ireland. Isaac I. Robbins was a farmer and was the father of seven children, five of whom are now living. John Robbins was reared on the farm in Falls township. He attended school at "Wilmington, Delaware, and chose farming as his business. He is a republican in politics and was elected to the legislature in 1846 and served one session. He also served ten years as justice of the peace in Morrisville. In 1830 he married Mary Ivins, by whom he had one child, Isaac I., now deceased. His wife died in 1874, and he was again married in 1880 to Mary E. Worthington, a native of Bucks county.