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Watermills of Camden County - By William Farr - Chapter F


William Farrow was assessed for a sawmill in 1783 (Gloucester Township ratables) but was not assessed for land, and no other information concerning his ownership or operation of such a mill has been found.





FRENCH’S GRIST AND SAW MILLS (in Gloucester Township)
In 1796 and 1797 Charles French was assessed for a gristmill and a sawmill at some location in Gloucester Township (Gloucester Township Ratables), but there was no indication of his owning any land in that township, or has any other pertinent information been found.

FRENCH’S GRISTMILL (near Fellowship) (Scattergood’s, Lippincott’s, Wilkins’)
When Charles French Jr. died in 1785 (1491 H), he owned 460 acres on both sides of White Horse-Fellowship Road near Pennsauken Creek in present Cherry Hill Township (Maps and Drafts, Vol. 5, pp. 54-55), most of which he left to his son Charles 3rd, together with a gristmill on the premises, which was referred to as an “old colonial grist mill” (French Genealogy, Vol. 1, p. 412). The mill and some land were assessed in Waterford Township for the years 1780 through 1797, but not for 1802 (Waterford Township ratables).

Charles French Jr. put his plantation together by a number of purchases, all of which are set forth in a resurvey he obtained, dated 22 May 1782, (OSG, R, 202), including 259 acres bought of James Child on 20 April 1747, on which French borrowed £100 25 March 1776 (Gloucester County Loan Commissioners Mortgage Book, p. 99).
There is some confusion in secondary records as to subsequent ownership and operation of the mill. However, Charles 3rd died in 1834, and his executors sold to Israel M. Scattergood a 279-acre plantation straddling the creek (2 March 1835, Woodbury, P3, 286; Maps and Drafts, Vol. 5, pp. 54-55). Scattergood lost the property by Sheriff’s sale to Freedom W. Lippincott, 13 May 1843 (Woodbury, C4, 94). Lippincott sold to Joseph Githens, 28 April 1851 (Camden, L, 619); Githens’s executors sold the 121 acres west of the road (where the mill was located) to Chalkley M. Ballinger, 25 March 1867 (Camden 52, 99). Ballinger sold the 94 acres south of the creek to Albertson Lippincott, 17 March 1869 (Camden 59, 278). None of these transactions mentioned the mill or mill pond, but presumably the mill continued in operation.

Old Mills (p. 19) states that Richard Wilkins (perhaps a lessee) was operating the mill in 1849. It is listed in Kirkbride’s 1850 New Jersey Business Directory as Robert Wilkins, “near Fellowship.” Old Mills then states David Scattergood operated the mill in 1855, but the farm on which it stood was owned by Albertson C. Lippincott in 1875. Prowell, in 1886, (p. 728) states that the mill “has been taken down.” The millpond and “French’s Mill” are shown on Clement’s 1846 Map of Camden County (CCHS, M83.90.303); the ca. 1850 Sidney Map of the Township of Delaware lists the mill as “Scattergood Mill” (CCHS, M83.90.481); and again as “French’s Mill” on the 1877 Hopkins’s Atlas, “Map of Delaware Township.” The Clement map first above-mentioned shows the mill itself on the Burlington side of the creek. Having been assessed for many years by Waterford Township, that surely was its location, at least during that period..

In 1857 the executors of Charles French advertised for sale a farm in Waterford Township, “formerly occupied by Joseph French, now in the tenure of Charles Beck, Esq.,” being 250 acres, with a “good mill seat…, the mill having been consumed by a fire a few weeks since, which ground from ten to twelve thousand bushels of grain annually” (West Jerseyman, 1 April 1857). The writer has been unable to locate a record of a sale.



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