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Old Chester, PA: Biographical Sketches

Peirce Crosby

Peirce Crosby

Photograph from
One Hundred Years, The Delaware County Nation Bank Chester, PA 1814-1914

Peirce Crosby

(A biographical sketch taken from One Hundred Years, The Delaware County National Bank Chester, PA 1814-1914)

Peirce Crosby (1814-34, 43-45; third president [of The Bank of Delaware County], November 27, 1816, to November 15, 1834), son of John and Ann (Peirce) Crosby, was born November 25, 1771, at "Crosby Place," the ancestral home of the family, on the west side of the Southern Post road, and east side of Ridley creek, the residence of the late John Chew Leiper. Peirce Crosby was a miller and operated the grist and saw mills at what is now Irvington, in the First ward, Chester.

In 1799, his mill was assessed at $4,000 - the saw mill was then in disuse, while in 1826 the output of the mills is reported at fifty barrels of flour a day and between two and three hundred thousand feet of lumber annually. Peirce Crosby was County Commissioner in 1803, and held the like office in 1814. He served as County Auditor in 1806-7. He resided in the old mansion, the dwelling of the late James Irving, and in 1819, when his daughter, Ann, was married to James G. S. Leiper, the lawn was laid with a board floor for dancing and the glory of that wedding made it for years the traditionary social event of the neighborhood. The central portion of “Lapidea Manor,” Senator William C. Sproul's mansion in Nether Providence, was built in 1818, by Thomas Leiper for his son, James, and his bride, Ann Crosby, and there young Leiper died in 1821. In 1843 Crosby leased the mill to James Riddle and Henry Lawrence, who enlarged and adapted the old building to the purposes of a woolen mill.

Crosby was one of the organizers of the Delaware County Safety Insurance Company, now the Delaware Mutual Insurance Company, of Philadelphia.

He was active in the religious movements of the borough of Chester. He was one of the incorporators of St. Paul's Church in 1818, when that organization, already more than a century old, became a body corporate under the law. He was for fifty-two years a vestryman, and warden for thirty-nine years, the longest terms in the history of the parish. He was in 1837 president of the Delaware County Auxiliary Bible Society. Peirce Crosby died July 26, 1853, aged 83 years. An obituary notice which appeared in the Delaware County Republican July 29, 1853, says: "Mr. Crosby was one of our most exemplary citizens - a gentleman of high moral character, liberal, kind, and charitable in his intercourse with his fellow men. In every situation in which he was placed, throughout a long and active life, he was admired for his uprightness and goodness of heart. His whole life was an example which all might follow with profit.

"The deceased enjoyed good health until within a few days of his final dissolution. Even in the closing scenes of life his mind was clear and his frame in a great measure free from disease. In his death the community in which he lived has sustained an irreparable loss." 





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