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Old Chester, PA: Biographical Sketches
David Reese Esrey
(A biographical sketch contributed by Helena Esrey Reed Ashwell, Ashwell2000@aol.com, great-great granddaughter of David's half brother.)
David Reese Esrey, son of Jonathan Esrey and his second wife, Jane Hawkins Esrey was born December 4,1825; married Margaret Marker April 25,1850; died April 11,1898. His father, Jonathan Esrey was sheriff of Delaware County from 1849-1851.
D.R. Esrey opened the Powhattan Mills with Hugh Shaw in 1871. It was known as the Shaw & Esrey Company. Their products were known as Powhattans, Covingtons, Provident and all-woolen jeans. The company was located in Chester, bounded by Edgemont Ave, 15th street and possibly 18th street.
(The biographical sketch below was taken from One Hundred Years, The Delaware County National Bank Chester, PA 1814-1914)
Reese Esrey (1878-98), son of Jonathan and Margaret (Kerlin) Esrey, was
born in Ridley township, December 4, 1825. He was educated in the public
schools of Nether Providence, his parents having removed to Wallingford
when he was a child. In 1844, he obtained a position in a general country
store at Brookhaven, Chester township, of which six years later he
Esrey did a thriving business in general merchandise, and in December,
1863, he entered into partnership with Hugh Shaw
in the manufacture of cotton goods, the firm being Shaw
& Esrey. Mr. Esrey furnished the capital and Mr. Shaw the
practical knowledge of the business. The firm purchased the interest of
Patrick Kelly in the Pennellton Mills, at Bridgewater, Aston township, and
began the use of the trademark "Powhattan Jeans," a class of
goods then commanding an enormous sale.
1866, the firm erected a mill just beyond the then boundary of Chester
city, and removed their business there, naming the locality “Powhattan.”
To meet the demand for their goods, in 1871, they erected mill No. 2, and
having included the manufacture of doeskins and cassimeres among their
products, in 1877 Mill No. 3 was built.
1879, the firm became a limited corporation, under the title "Shaw,
Esrey & Co." For many years Mr. Esrey was president of the Board
of Trustees of the Madison
Street Methodist Episcopal Church, and was a liberal contributor to
the erection of this edifice.
D. R. Esrey died April 11, 1898, aged 72 years.
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© 2001, 2002 John A. Bullock III.
This page last updated 02/23/07