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Watermills of Camden County - By William Farr - Chapter H








“In the Delaware River channel between Philadelphia and Cooper’s Point there were two narrow islands whose site on Holme’s map of 1682 is marked as a shoal. As sand, silt and debris accumulated, the islands grew together and the new island formerly connected with the Jersey shore at Cooper’s Point was leased to John Harding & Son around 1746 who built a wharf and a windmill and a small house upon the island. The windmill and house occupied the whole island and were anchored to the wharf by ropes. For years, grain was carried on horseback to the mill by New Jersey farmers, at low tide, who followed a sandbar that had formed between Cooper’s Ferry and the northern end of the island. At low water, grain could also be carried on foot to the island.…John Harding, the miller, while working in the mud during the building operations, contracted a fever and died. His son finished the construction, the total sum expended by both being reported as about £6. After being in operation for a few years, the top of the mill and sail blew off during a violent wind storm and landed in Joshua Cooper’s orchard on the Jersey shore.” (Early Windmills of New Jersey, p. 45). “Ye old wind mill on ye island was pulled down some day last week.” (Journal of Elizabeth Drinker, p. 69).

“The wharf Harding built indicates that grist may have been transported by water route to the mill from New Jersey, in view of the often impassable roads at the time.” (Early Grist and Flouring Mills, p. 32)
The island has a long and elaborate history, and was finally removed from the river in 1898 (CCHS, Bulletin, No. 4, March 1946, p. 1; Span of a Century p. 63).




HILLIARD’S SAWMILL (at Lindenwold) (Matlack’s)
“In 1714, William Matlack gave his son George five hundred acres of land in Waterford township....He built the saw mill on the south branch of Cooper’s Creek, formerly known as ‘Hilliard’s Mill,’ having gone to ruin many years since” (Clement, p. 235). Prowell (p. 656) paraphrased this statement. It also served as the basis for the conclusion in Old Mills (p. 58) and Early Sawmills (p. 50) that the mill was built “soon after 1714 between present Kirkwood and Gibbsboro.” Yesteryear (p. 7) fixes the date of 1714 as the opening of the mill, and on the same page states (without citation) “1744 On November 5, the Matlack’s mill was surveyed to Joseph Hilliard. A sizable portion of land was included in Hilliard’s purchase (approximately 1000 acres).” The foregoing are examples of how a single statement by Clement is extrapolated into accepted local history.

The Hilliard sawmill was upstream from Kirkwood Lake, above where Nicholsons Branch empties, and below the entrance of the stream issuing out of Bridgewood Lake. In 1717 Enoch Core located 304 acres extending northwestward from the stream (OSG, B-59) almost to Glendale (see Warrants & Surveys, No. 33). Core’s 1731 will directed a sale of his 300 acres of pine land, proceeds to go to his sisters (2221 C), and they (the sisters) sold it to Joseph Hilliard 15 April 1741 (Maps and Drafts, Vol. 1, p. 35). Hilliard sold the upper half to Thomas Atkinson, and eventually it became a substantial part of the Stafford Farm (deeds, John and Job Collins to Jacob Haines, 7 March 1796, Woodbury, H-365, and Samuel Haines to Richard Stafford, l6 March l833, Woodbury, G3-246). See CORE’S SAWMILL.

Joseph Hilliard’s will, proved in 1753 (517 H), directed a sale of all property, real and personal, with his wife Ann to receive the proceeds. In any event, no sawmill was mentioned. She did not sell. Joseph II and Abraham, two of their surviving children, were under age. In 1762 Ann, as executrix of her husband’s estate, conveyed 436 acres to her son Joseph Hilliard II by an unrecorded deed (Clement’s notes on his map at Maps and Drafts, Vol. 2, p. 64). The will of the widow, Ann, proved in l768 (967 H) refers to both sons, but mentions neither real estate nor a sawmill. From available Waterford Township ratables, it appears that Joseph was assessed for a sawmill and 300 acres in 1792. The sawmill may have been out of commission in 1793 since only the 300 acres were assessed. The 1792 sawmill and land assessments were repeated in 1794.

On 5 February 1795 Joseph Hilliard II bought from Joseph Hillman an additional 168 acres on the east side of Nicholsons Branch and on the north side of the South Branch of Coopers Creek (Woodbury R-42). Joseph Hilliard is shown as the adjoining owner on the north, and the south line of the 168 acres was below the South Branch, so he thereby acquired control of a mile of that creek (Maps and Drafts, Vol. 1, p. 94). The property line ran down the west side of Nicholsons Branch, giving him control of that waterway too. He was assessed for the mill and 427 acres in 1795, 1796, and 1797. We do not have records for 1798-1801. The record for 1802 contains a small assessment against a Joseph Hilliard, but lists no property, real or personal. It is curious that he was assessed for a boat in 1796 and 1797.

Joseph II died intestate in 1798 (2181 H) leaving, apparently, four children: Joseph III, Abraham, Elizabeth (Lippincott) and Hannah (Cheesman). Some of them may have been minors since the real estate was not divided until 1806 (Glo Co Surr Div Bk. C-204; Maps and Drafts, Vol 1, p. 94).

The division involved more than five hundred acres, the tract extending from the millstream (South branch of Coopers Creek), including the millpond, north to Hilliards Hill (in the south quadrant of Berlin and White Horse Roads), but, in fairness, was done in such a way that each of the four heirs received access to the mill stream. The division does not mention a mill or millpond, nor does the division map show either. But a deed, 28 September 1809 (Woodbury, N-304), whereby James Cheesman and Hannah (Hilliard), his wife, conveyed to her brother Joseph III part of Lot 8, set off to her in the division to give access to the creek, referred to the pond.

Abraham died and his will (proved 18 October 1815, 3043 H) left all of his estate, including his interest in the sawmill, to his widow, Mary C. Hilliard, for life; and the balance to their children, Mary and Eliza Hilliard, who were then minors.

Four months later, in late February 1816, Joseph III died, apparently without wife or children, leaving two wills, one executed in mid-1815, favoring his brother Abraham, and one at the end of 1815, after Abraham had died. There was a will contest, presumably based on Joseph’s incompetency, but the second will was accepted and proved (3092 H). The printed abstract contains an interesting resume of the testimony as to his supposed incompetency.

Abraham being deceased, Joseph’s second will favored Abraham’s widow and children, giving outright to the widow, Mary C. Hilliard, his “trusty friend,” that part of the homestead land on the east side of Haddonfield-Longacoming Road, and to her for life that part on the western side, including his interest in the sawmill, and thereafter to her children, Mary and Eliza.

Mary, Abraham’s widow, soon married Thomas Morris, but some years later they lost all their assets (including her inheritances) at Sheriff’s sale to John Rakestraw (3 July 1834, [Woodbury, K3-350]), who sold all to Israel Riggins 2 September 1837 (Woodbury, R3-508). Mary’s daughter Mary was married to Israel Riggins, and daughter Eliza was married to George Edwards. It is not clear who operated the sawmill after Joseph III and Abraham died, but it continued to be known as Hilliard’s Mill until 1849 (Old Mills, p. 58), and was so listed in Kirkbride’s 1850 New Jersey Business Directory. The 1851 Map of the Vicinity of Philadelphia (CCHS, M.2001.74) shows simply “saw mill.”

The millpond is shown on several of Clement’s maps, for example, Vol. 4, pp. 17 and 61. The latter map, dated 1861, shows the pond and adjoining property as owned by Osborn Conard, who had bought up considerable land in the area. It is not known whether Conard operated the mill. Clement shows the location of the mill at the lower end of the pond on the maps at Vol. 2, p. 7.

On 8 May 1818 the county freeholders “sanctioned” a private road from Hilliard’s sawmill to present Gibbsboro, but on 2 November 1818 the road surveyors ordered it “stopped up” (Glo RR B-242). The dispute was resolved when a road from the White Horse Road at present Kirkwood to the Clementon Road at present Gibbsboro was laid out (Glo RR B-250, 16 July 1819). Hilliards Road appears to have provided access to the mill, which was situated a short distance in from the Kirkwood-Gibbsboro road. The mill pond as such is long gone.



It was probably the Joseph Hillman mentioned in HILLIARDS MILL, in Gibbsboro, whose sawmill was assessed by Waterford Township for 1780 through 1783, 1786 and 1794. Joseph owned a 165-acre tract in that township, mostly on the north side of the South Branch of Coopers Creek, but extending below it, and which was split, north to south, by Nicholsons Run. See BOSTWICKS SAWMILL for the record of his sales of that tract in 1795 and 1813.






HOPKIN’S GRISTMILL (at Haddonfield) (Haddon Mill)
This gristmill, which flourished in Haddonfield for many years, has a reasonably well known history, having been written up in Old Mills, Rambles, This is Haddonfield, and Early Grist and Flouring Mills, and is noticed in Nicholson’s My Ancestors and Prowell.

It was an enterprise of the Hopkins family, who occupied the “mill farm” (Family History of the Residence…, p. 16), later called “Birdwood.” The mill was located below the dam on Hopkins Lane which created Hopkins Pond on Hopkins Mill Branch, which ran through the plantation to empty into Coopers Creek. There is lack of unanimity as to the date to be assigned to its beginning. Rambles (p. 35) states it began operation in 1790, but Old Mills (p. 41) says 1795. The Newton Township Ratables show that the first assessment (to John Hopkins) was in 1791, continuing through 1795 (Newton township ratables).

“Birdwood Recollections” (Historical Society of Haddonfield Publications No. 2, p. 3) relates that John Estaugh Hopkins (b. 1738) had “Haddon Mill” constructed (completed in 1789), to be operated by a windmill, and it was only after this proved unsatisfactory that a dam was constructed and water power was utilized. But Early Grist and Flouring Mills (p. 97) gives an elaborate description of the construction and states that it was built so that the water power could be brought into use if the wind failed. It appears from a letter to John Estaugh Hopkins from James Clement, (month and day illegible) 1789, that the former had considered a horizontal windmill instead of the usual vertical (Paul WILL CHECK DOCUMENT). There is agreement that the wind power was never utilized. And see This is Haddonfield, p. 220.

In 1795 John Estaugh Hopkins permitted his son William Estaugh Hopkins (b. 1772) to take over operation of the mill (“Birdwood Recollections,” p. 4). Taxes were assessed to William for the mill for 1796, 1797 and 1802 (Newton Township Ratables).

John Estaugh Hopkins was born 6 May 1738 and died 2 March 1806 (My Ancestors, p. 144). His will (2573 H) gave part of his plantation to his son James and the remainder (including the gristmill) to his son William Estaugh Hopkins. William died 10 December 1820 (Early Grist and Flouring Mills, p. 98) apparently leaving no will, nor is there a record found of administration, but his lands were divided among his children by a court-administered division (report dated 20 June 1822, Glo Co Surr Div Bk 1, p. 451). The mill tract, which included the mill, dam, and the lands on both sides of the mill stream, was allotted to his son John E. Hopkins, who would not come of age until 1833 My Ancestors, p. 146).

“For thirteen years following the death of William Estaugh Hopkins, December 10, 1820, his wife, Ann Morgan Hopkins, kept the farm and mill in operation until her son, John Estaugh Hopkins, married Antoinette Hicks and took over the management in 1838, with his oldest brother, Griffith Morgan Hopkins, as advisor.” (This is Haddonfield, p. 223). There is extant a lease for the mill from John to James Troth for one year, dated 28 February 1850 (original lease in custody of Cuthbert Hopkins in 1962).

James Lane Pennypacker casually remarks (Verse and Prose, p. 165) that William Estaugh Hopkins “conducted the farm and saw mill and grist mill” at Hopkins Pond. This is the only reference discovered to a sawmill.
The mill house is shown on the 1859 Rowand “Map of the John C. Hopkins Farm” (HSH, Mss. Ha 26). William Hopkins Nicholson, a grandson of William Estaugh Hopkins, wrote of the gristmill at page 70 of My Ancestors, “This mill within my recollection was in active operation, and in its day did a profitable business.” John E. Hopkins died in 1884 (2137 D). The 1894 Report of the State Geologist, Vol. III (appendix) indicates that the mill was still in existence, but was no longer in use.



At the westerly end of Cherry Hill Township there is a small stream system with several branches which come together just north of Marlton Pike, near its intersection with Cuthbert Boulevard, flowing under both to empty into Coopers Creek. See “Mill Creek,” Waterways of Camden County p. 109; and HOWELL’S CORN MILL.

The longest (westerly) branch, usually called Mill Branch, originates a little northeast of the Merchantville Country Club and flows southwest through the golf course to the merging point. The easterly branch starts near Third and Princeton avenues and flows southwest under State Route 38 to the merging point. There is a small two-pronged sub-branch of this easterly branch, which prongs extend to the Delair branch of the railroad and point toward Garden State Park.

When the old Cooper’s Creek Road (now Marlton Pike or State Route 70) was laid out in 1772 (Glo RR A-50), the road return’s 15th course ran southeast (to) “opposite the side of the lower end of Isaac Horner’s Saw Mill.” See Old Mills (p. 26).

To help fix the location of Horner’s Sawmill, it is necessary to consider the tracts to the west. We start with the sale by Francis Collins (the younger) to Jacob Horner of a 307-acre tract fronting on the north side of Cooper’s Creek. The legal description of the west side, along a tract owned by John Wright, goes down a small run, from its head to a fork, and then up the fork (i.e. parallel to Marlton Pike) a short distance and then down to Cooper’s Creek 24 chains (20 January 1718 [Glo Deeds A-112]). This 307-acre tract became the Horner Homestead.

Jacob Horner (son of Bartholomew) died intestate in 1748 (385 H) and the plantation descended to his eldest son, Isaac. Isaac’s 1778 will (proved with codicil 1785 [l498 H]) gave the plantation to his only son, Isaac, when 21, mentioning an operating sawmill. The sawmill and 400 acres were assessed in 1779 (Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 46, p. 139), as well as for 1780, 1781 and 1785 (Waterford Township Ratables), all in the name of Isaac.

Isaac the son died intestate, apparently unmarried and without issue. The plantation was divided among his three sisters, perhaps by agreement since no recorded proceedings have been found. The division is shown on Clement’s map, Maps and Drafts, Vol. 7, p. 62, and the legal descriptions for the exchanged quitclaim deeds are set forth in Warrants & Surveys, No. 254. Although Clement shows the division as of 1799, the quitclaim deeds were dated 1 April 1814, the one to Mary being recorded at Woodbury, QQ-430, and the one to Rachel in X-473. Clement’s map shows the northern boundary of the three tracts to be the road now called Chapel Avenue.

The sisters were Elizabeth, who married Josiah Kay; Mary, who married Jeremiah Wood; and Rachel, who married Isaac Thorn. The Thorn tract of 169 acres was on the west end of the plantation. The quitclaim deed to Isaac and Rachel Thorn runs along the Saw Mill Branch, that is, the easterly branch; Mary’s tract was in between. Isaac and Rachel sold to Mary Wood 30 acres, plus two acres of meadow, by deed 1 April 1826 (Woodbury QQ-425 [see GCHS Map B-143]).

On 22 March 1692 John Shivers bought of Mordecai Howell 100 acres running down the west side of the easterly branch (Colonial Deeds, Gl 3-8). There was an intervening 123-acre tract between the Shivers tract and the Horner tract which blocked the Shivers tract from access to Cooper’s Creek. After John Shivers died intestate in 1716 (49 H), and on 1 September 1720, his widow, Sarah, bought the intervening tract from John Wright (Colonial Deeds, Gl A-170), which Wright had bought from Daniel and Mordecai Howell. The deed, in describing the common boundary uses much the same language as in the 1718 deed to Jacob Horner and helps to fix the location of the boundary.

John Shivers’ 100-acre homestead, on his death, descended to his oldest son, Samuel, who, on 27 November 1721 (Colonial Deeds, GG-297), sold it to his brother John. The writer has not been able to discover a record of Sarah’s death, nor of a will by her, and cannot say what happened to her title to the 123 acres immediately on her death. When Josiah Shivers died in 1780 his will (1310 H) gave the “plantation where I live” to his son Marmaduke. Marmaduke and Abigail, his wife, on 25 March 1822 (Woodbury, LL-30) sold the lower 54.40 acres (part of the 123 acres), along the north side of Cooper’s Creek, to Philip and James Stoy, who, on 6 February 1823 sold them to Abel Nicholson (Woodbury, LL-27). This tract is shown on the 1877 Hopkins’s Atlas, “Map of Delaware Township.”

The legal description in the Stoy to Nicholson deed, even at that late date, used a course along “the old saw mill race formerly called Horner’s saw mill,” and another as “crossing the branch a little below the saw mill dam.” The sawmill dam was a little below the fork, and presumably the mill was nearby. The original Horner 300-acre tract appears to have been so delineated in the 1718 deed as to include the fork.
Clement, writing of the Shivers Sawmill (p. 252), referred to an early abandonment because of tidal interference, as would also apply to the Horner Mill. No direct reference to the Shivers mill has been found after 1780.

Horner’s Sawmill was north of Marlton Pike. It has been suggested that it was renamed in 1847 to Troth’s Sawmill (Haddon Township’s Hopkins Plantation, p. 23). But it seems that Troth’s was not only at a different location but was operated by steam. Sidney’s 1847 Map of Ten Miles Around...Philadelphia (GCHS, CM-5) shows Troth’s Sawmill at Mill Creek. His 1850 Map of the Township of Delaware (CCHS, M.83.90.481) shows Jacob Troth owning land on both sides of Mill Creek below Marlton Pike, and a lane on the east, parallel to the former, at the end of which was a steam sawmill. Clement’s 1864 map in Maps and Drafts, Vol. 5, p. 21 shows the lane as Troth’s Saw Mill Lane, and Mill Creek as “Troth’s Mill Stream (formerly).”

Abel Nicholson’s daughter Rebecca married Jacob Troth (My Ancestors, p. 141). Abel Nicholson’s will, proved 1830 (Glo Co Wills 1818-1836, p. 142 [the dates in that abstract are wrong] gave the 54.40 acres to his sons as trustees for his daughter Rebecca, upon whose death it was to be sold and the proceeds distributed to her children. Jacob Troth died and on 24 August 1865, the widow, Rebecca, joined in a deed with their children selling the place to Joseph A. Starn (Camden, 71-566).

Clement wrote (p. 226) that the Mordecai Howell Saw Mill, erected on a “small branch,” was kept in use by John Champion for many years. It is the writer’s opinion that this was the same, or at least the same site, as Shivers Sawmill, and eventually Horner’s Sawmill. See HOWELL’S CORNMILL.

There is some evidence, i.e. reeds and cattails of what was probably the millpond, for all of these enterprises, behind the area known today as Cherry Hill Executive Campus. King Avenue has been extended northwest from Yale Avenue and now (1996) bridges the stream and its ravine. It would appear that the ravine, on both sides of the extension, was the location of the millpond. The Township of Cherry Hill Street Map (1992 revision) contains marks at that location indicating a depression and suggesting the location of the one-time millpond.

HOWELL’S CORNMILL (Mordecai Howell’s Sawmill, Champion’s Gristmill, Shivers’ Sawmill, Troth’s Sawmill)
In 1685 Thomas Howell had surveyed to him 650 acres on the north side of Cooper’s Creek (Colonial Deeds, Revel-68), the tract extending downstream from a Francis Collins survey (which has not been found but Francis Collins’ son of the same name sold 307 acres to Jacob Horner, 20 January 1718 [Colonial Deeds, Gl A-112], and see HORNERS SAWMILL). The survey had about a mile of creek frontage (Clement, p. 224), including Mill Creek (which runs through Merchantville Country Club) with its branches (see MILL CREEK, Waterways, p. 109). Thomas Howell dammed Mill Creek and on 1st day 2nd mo 1687 was indicted for it (First Court Records Book, Vol. 1, p. 16...ADEQUATE CITATION??) The constitution adopted by the State of New Jersey 2 July l776 provided (Sec. XXII) that, until changed, the common law of England would remain in effect, from which it may safely be inferred that it was in effect in West Jersey prior thereto, and would thus have been in effect at the time of the indictment. It would have included the rule that no person was permitted to interfere with the navigability of a tidal stream, which this was. No record of the disposition of the indictment has been found, but Clement wrote (p. 226) that Howell ceased work on the dam.

There was then pending a suit by Richard Wright against Thomas Howell for failure of Howell to survey off to Wright 100 acres, for which he had paid Howell £15, and Howell had countersued Wright for failing to enter into an agreement to help make a dam on the branch in order to preserve meadow from the tide for their mutual benefit (no mention of a mill) (Transcriptions ?????,pp. 95 96 and 108, and First Court Records Book, pp. 14 and 19). Howell withdrew his claim and Wright got a jury verdict in his favor (First Court Records Book, p. 20). An appropriate deed for 100 acres was made by Thomas Howell to Wright, who was already in possession, 1 June 1687 (Colonial Deeds, Gl 1-14). Howell died shortly before 9 March 1686-7, the date on which his will was probated (Burlington Records, p. 13 [indexed under Unrecorded Wills and digested in NJA XXIII, p. 242]). The writer is unable to explain the chronological error. The conveyance to Wright was repeated by what appears to be a deed of confirmation (only a nominal consideration is mentioned) from Daniel and Mordecai Howell, as Thomas’ executors, 30 April 1691 (Colonial Deeds, Gl 2-114).

On 8 March 1687, about the time of their father’s death, Daniel and Mordecai Howell entered into Articles of Agreement (ibid., Gl 1-42) providing for Mordecai to have the homestead and 250 acres. On 12 March 1687, Daniel conveyed to Mordecai all his interest in 250 acres of the father’s land (ibid., Gl 2-62). On 1-2 February 1691, Daniel Howell, executed to his brother Mordecai Lease and Release deeds for 430 acres on Cooper’s Creek, including both sides of Mill Creek (ibid., Gl 2-140). Between then and 1693, Mordecai dammed Mill Creek and built a cornmill, apparently just below where the northerly and southerly branches join, not far northeast of present Marlton Pike.

Richard Wright died intestate in 1691, leaving an only son John (Clement, p. 370; NJA, XXIII, p. 528, intestacy proceedings indexed under Unrecorded Wills), to whom his real estate descended. Since John Wright then owned both sides of the southerly branch, that is, a branch of Mill Creek parallel to Cooper’s Creek Road (Marlton Pike). Mordecai Howell’s dam backed up water which flooded Wright’s meadows, and the dam also interfered with his right of passage. Therefore John Wright and Mordecai Howell came to an understanding, which is incorporated in an exchange of deeds between them on 5 November 1693. The Wright to Howell deed (Colonial Deeds, Gl 3-13) recites the building of the cornmill and the dam, as well as the flooding. For a consideration of £30, Wright granted Howell the right to have the dam and to raise an adequate head of water for the cornmill. Howell recognized Wright’s prerogative of having “boats, canoes and other vessels” pass through Floodgates, as well as similar passage for timber, boards and other goods. Wright committed himself, for the next seven years, to give such further conveyances as might be necessary to carry out the parties’ intent, provided it was not necessary “to travel elsewhere than to ye town of Gloucester” to do so.

The Howell to Wright deed (ibid.), Gl 3-5) conveyed 23 acres, in consideration of Wright’s paying £4 and “assuring ye use and advantage of a certain water course...for ye benefit...of a mill lately erected by ye said Mordecai, and in compensation & satisfaction of ye damage done & to be done to ...meadow ground of...Wright....”

This was surely the first cornmill (or gristmill) built in Camden County, preceding the one at Haddonfield by at least seven years (see EVANS MILLS). The name corn is given to the leading cereal crop of any major region, and in England corn meant wheat. Within a few years, on 7 August 1697, Mordecai Howell sold 330 acres of his 430-acre tract to Henry Franklin, a bricklayer of New York City (ibid.), Gl 3-122), including the cornmill, dam, and floodgates. Clement (p. 226) states that before doing so Mordecai erected a sawmill, “on a small branch near the easterly part of the tract, where that stream emptied into Coopers Creek. The cornmill was kept in use many years after it came into the hands of John Champion.” At page 366 Clement suggests that Franklin may never have removed to the tract. The deed to Franklin states that the plantation was called “Livewell” and shows Mordecai living at “Christianity.”

In 1700 Franklin sold Livewell to John Champion, with the cornmill, dams, floodgates, and the privileges obtained from John Wright (ibid., Gl 3-122). Champion lived on it, and part of the tract became the Barton farm (ibid.).

On 24 April 1718, soon after he made his will but nine years before he died, John Champion divided his estate between his sons Robert and Nathaniel by a line running from Cooper’s Creek “into the woods” (Clement, p. 368; will proved 1717 [96 H]). The deeds were recorded in Colonial Deeds, A-165 and A-166. Robert received what later became the Joseph Champion plantation (ibid., p. 369; Maps and Drafts, Vol. 1, p. 84); still later, it became the Jacob Hampton plantation (Maps and Drafts, Vol 4, pp. 57 and 73). The devolution of the two titles is set forth at some length by Clement at pages 368-369.

By a deed dated 24 March 1692, Mordecai had sold to John Shivers 100 acres on the east side of Mill Branch, with Shivers covenanting that “Mordecai...shall have full and free liberty to erect and build a mill or mills and erect a dam or dams upon ye mill branch and raise and keep up ye water in said branch to what height shall be convenient for ye use of said mill, without any molestation, hindrance or interruption of said John Shivers” (Colonial Deeds, Gl 3-8).

This became Shivers’ homestead, which descended to John’s eldest son, Samuel, upon John’s death intestate in 1716 (49 H); on 27 November 1721, Samuel sold it to his brother John, the deed reciting the descent (Colonial Deeds, GG-297). In 1720 Sarah, widow of John Shivers (the father), bought an adjoining tract, extending “the Shivers estate down and along the east side of the pond raised by Mordecai Howell for the use of his mill, the remains of the dam of which can yet be seen (see HOWELLS CORNMILL). This was one of the first saw mills (sic) erected in Gloucester County.” (Clement, p. 255) Harry Marvin thought the 1772 road return for Cooper’s Creek Road, which mentioned John Shivers’ house (Glo RR A-50), crossed the dam (his 1936 Map of Old Tuckerton Road, CCHS, M.96.27). Clement wrote (p. 253) that high tides interfered with operations and the mill was abandoned.

The sawmill of Samuel Shivers (d. 1721) was assessed six times between 1731 and 1742 (Gloucester County Freeholders Minutes 1701-1797, pp. 69, 72, 78, 80, 84, 91). See HORNER’S SAWMILL, which was probably at about the same location at these other mills.

In tracing the Shivers estate, an element of confusion was encountered by the Calendar of Wills showing an intestacy of John Shivers Jr., dated 13 September 1802, and an intestacy of John Shivers Sr. dated 20 January 1804. It turned out that there were two Shivers estates on the northeast side of Cooper’s Creek, about two miles apart. The other one was at “Chandler’s Run” (Chaunders Creek; see Waterways, p. 29), and originated when Josiah Shivers (d. 1768), a son of John (d. 1716), bought from Charles Day (via a Sheriff’s sale) and Joseph Collins, 28 April 1766 (Woodbury, I-538), 350 acres including Chandler’s Run. Josiah’s will, proved 1768 (976 H) gave this tract to his son John, who is the John who died intestate in 1804.

John (the son of the John [d. 1776]), died intestate in 1802. His lands descended to sons Samuel, Isaac, and other children and grandchildren. The heirs sold the upper portion (66 acres) to John C. Morgan on 25 March 1804 (Woodbury, U-235), and the lower portion (40 acres) to the son Isaac Shivers on 21 May 1805 (Woodbury, U-232). On 9 January 1819, Isaac bought from Marmaduke Shivers 72 acres, adjoining him on the east and up to the unnamed stream which paralleled Mill Run, which was part of the 123 acres Sarah Shivers had bought from John Wright in 1720, as mentioned above.

Sidney’s 1847 map Ten Miles Around...Philadelphia (GCHS, CM-5) shows Troth’s Sawmill at Mill Creek. His ca. 1850 Plan of the Townships of Union and Newton (CCHS, M.83.90.481) shows Jacob Troth owning land on both sides of Mill Creek at Cooper’s Creek, and a lane on the east, parallel to the former, extending from Marlton Pike to Cooper’s Creek, at the end of which was a steam sawmill. Clement’s 1864 map in Maps and Drafts, Vol. 5, p. 21, of houses and lots at “Troth Town,” shows the lane as Troth’s Saw Mill Lane, Mill Creek as “Troth’s Mill Stream (formerly),” and several houses along the north side of the lane, presumably comprising Troth Town.

The pond mentioned above or Mill Creek (it is not clear which) is identified as “Troth’s” on Clement’s 1846 Map of Camden County (CCHS, M.83.90.303). The steam mill is listed in Kirkbride’s 1850 New Jersey Business Directory. In 1858 the sawmill, 9 acres, mill house and four frame houses, “formerly owned by Jacob Troth, deceased,” were offered for sale, calling attention that “logs and lumber may be floated to and from the Mill.” (West Jerseyman, 16 June 1858).





HUNT’S SAWMILL (on North Branch of Timber Creek) (Tomlinson’s, Marshall’s)
Isaiah Hunt bought a 300-acre plantation on the northeast side of the North Branch of Timber Creek, extending southeast from Signeys Run, by two deeds from Charles Pettit in 1787 and 1792 (Woodbury, D-303 and D-306), most of which remained in the Hunt family for more than one hundred years.

By a deed of 5 March 1809 (Woodbury, P-8), Isaiah sold to Joseph White of Philadelphia, from the 300 acres, a 21-acre mill site on the east side of the creek, plus a tiny tract on both sides of the creek, “with privilege to erect any kinds of mills or water works…and raise a head of water of 8 feet….” Indorsed on that deed (Woodbury, P-11) was a conveyance by White to Samuel Lippincott (also of Philadelphia) dated 15 April 1809. Hunt apparently had no objection to this “straw man” purchase since on 8 July 1809 he sold Lippincott an additional small tract on the creek, and in this deed Hunt agreed that “no mill or other water works shall be erected…between the lands…and Chews Landing…by reason whereof the…mill or other waterworks to be erected by the said Samuel Lippincott…shall be lessened in value…” (Woodbury, P-12).

Whether Lippincott, or anyone else, built a saw or other mill, is problematic, but it continued to be called a millsite for many years. Ten years later Lippincott sold the millsite (all 3 tracts) to Nathan Davison (also of Philadelphia) 21 April 1819 (Woodbury, DD-450). On 23 April 1823 (Woodbury KK-236) Davison sold to Edward and Ralph Hunt (sons of Isaiah), but a year later, on 30 July 1824 (Woodbury, MM-422), Ralph sold his one-half interest to Benjamin Tomlinson, whereupon the two half-interests took separate paths of ownership for some years.

Benjamin Tomlinson died in 1843 and by his will (4706 D) gave his one-half interest to his son Isaac, who died in 1868 (988 D), and whose executor sold the half interest to David E. Marshall, 27 March l869 (Camden, 61-113), so that a Tomlinson was a half owner of the millsite for forty-five years. Recorded with the 1869 deed is an informative map showing the several tracts bought by Marshall from the estate. The 1877 Walker Map of Camden County (CCHS, M83.95.62) shows the “Marshall-Hunt Mill Seat.” Following Marshall’s death, his executors, 19 October 1893 (Camden, 100-591), sold the half interest to Esaias Hunt, son of Edward.

By Isaiah Hunt’s will, proved in 1813 (2928 H), he gave the 300-acre plantation (less the millseat) to his son Edward. Edward died intestate 14 March 1839 (4443 H), leaving a widow, the son Esaias, and a daughter, Rebecca. Edward’s plantation was divided among them in 1842 (Glo Co Surr Div Bk 1, p.696; GCHS, Map B-105), but his half interest in the mill was left undivided.

The division is also shown on a Clement map (Maps and Drafts, Vol. 1, p. 93), on which he notes that Rebecca, who had married Samuel M. Hinchman and later Jacob S. Collings, owned a one-half interest in the millseat, and that her will gave it to her brother Esaias. In fact, her will, proved 1887 (Camden Will Book J-354) did not specifically mention this interest but simply gave her brother the remainder of her estate for life, and then to his sons, Edward W. and Walter E. Hunt.


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