Thomas Willcox (1689 - 1779) was a colonial-era paper mill owner in Concord Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. The Ivy Mills supplied paper used for currency for the Continental and United States governments as well as many South American governments. Willcox was a friend of Benjamin Franklin, made printing paper for him and received the first orders for paper used in colonial American currency from him.
A paper mill is a factory devoted to making paper from vegetable fibres such as wood pulp, old rags and other ingredients. Prior to the invention and adoption of the Fourdrinier machine and other types of paper machine that use an endless belt, all paper in a paper mill was made by hand, one sheet at a time, by specialized laborers.
Concord Township is a township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 17,231 at the 2010 census. It contains the unincorporated communities of Concordville and Glen Mills.
Delaware County, colloquially referred to as Delco, is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. With a population of 562,960, it is the fifth most populous county in Pennsylvania, and the third smallest in area. The county was created on September 26, 1789, from part of Chester County, and named for the Delaware River.
The ruins of the paper mill, erected in 1829; the clerk's house, dated to about 1830; and the Ivy Mills Mansion House, built in 1837 are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Ivy Mills Historic District. Ivy Mills is the second oldest paper mill built in America.
The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred in preserving the property.
Ivy Mills Historic District is a national historic district located at Concord Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. The district includes the ruins of a paper mill, erected in 1829; the clerk's house, dated to about 1830; and the Ivy Mills Mansion House, built in 1837. The mansion house is a 2 1/2-story, five bay wide, stuccoed masonry building. It has a saltbox wing and a wide verandah. The original paper mill was erected in 1729, and the original mansion house in 1744. Both of the original buildings were replaced in the early-19th century by the present buildings.
In 1726, Thomas Willcox, along with Thomas Brown, constructed a mill dam across Chester Creek.Soon afterward, a paper mill was built and in 1729 the first paper produced at the site was sold. Willcox learned paper making prior to coming to Pennsylvania and the arrangement was that he should receive three-fifths of the profit of the joint undertaking.
Chester Creek is a 9.4-mile-long (15.1 km) tributary of the Delaware River in Delaware County, Pennsylvania in the United States.
Brown and Willcox continued their partnership until 1732 when Willcox leased Brown's interest in the operation. In 1739, Willcox bought Brown out completely.Thomas Willcox passed the mill and property on to his son Mark.
The first output from Ivy Mills was pressboard and then printing paper. After 1775, the mill was devoted almost entirely to making government paper for the continental bills, loan certificates and bills of exchange. At the time of the revolution, the government depended entirely on Ivy Mills for paper for currency.
Pressboard is a class of cellulose-based material constructed of several layers (plies) of paper which, when compressed using a combination of heat and pressure, form a stiff, dense material in a range of weights. Pressboard has been widely used in traditional school and office products such as spiral-bound notebooks and three-ring binders, but its unique physical characteristics lend itself readily to a variety of end-uses, including document storage, filing supplies, report covers, folding cartons, tags, labels, and industrial applications. It is commonly used to make the back panels of radios and some televisions. Pressboard may be converted using a number of different techniques, and accepts a range of value-add decorating techniques. Pressboard may contain recycled fiber content, and is typically itself recyclable and biodegradable, making it an environmentally-sound choice for those seeking an alternative to petroleum-derived substrates.
Thomas Willcox left the mill and property to his son Mark and to other Willcoxes until paper manufacturing at the mill ceased in 1886.
Thomas Willcox and his family were of Roman Catholic faith and are believed to be the oldest Roman Catholic family in Pennsylvania.The Willcox family opened their home as a regular stop to Jesuit priests traveling from Maryland to preach to Christians in Philadelphia. A mission chapel was established at Ivy Mills in 1730, making it the oldest Roman Catholic parish in Pennsylvania. In 1837, St. Mary's Chapel was built as part of the new Ivy Mills Mansion. Eventually the size of the congregation was sufficient to warrant the construction of a new church in 1852 named St. Thomas the Apostle Church a mile away in what would become the borough of Chester Heights.
Willcox was originally from Exeter, Devonshire, England and emigrated to Concord Township with his wife Elizabeth (née Cole) in 1718. Thomas and Elizabeth Willcox had nine children, John, Anne, James, Elizabeth, Mary, Deborah, Thomas, Mark and Margaret.
Bethel Township is a township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. It contains the two unincorporated communities of Booth's Corner and Chelsea. The population was 8,791 at the 2010 census.
Chester is a city in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. With a population of 33,972 at the 2010 census it is the largest city in Delaware County. Incorporated in 1682, Chester is the oldest city in Pennsylvania and is located on the western bank of the Delaware River between the cities of Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware.
Newtown Township is a township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. Prior to 1789 it was part of Chester County. The population was 12,216 as of the 2010 census, and was 19,705 as of 2017.
Ridley Township is a township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 30,768 at the 2010 census. Ridley Township contains the census designated places of Folsom and Woodlyn along with the unincorporated communities of Crum Lynne and Holmes.
Thornbury Township is a township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 8,028 at the 2010 census, up from 7,093 at the 2000 census. It is adjacent to, and was once joined with, Thornbury Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. It contains part of the census designated place of Cheyney University.
Upland is a borough in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. Upland is governed by an elected seven-member borough council. The population was 3,239 at the 2010 census, up from 2,974 at the 2000 census.
Chester Township is a township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 3,940 at the 2010 census, down from 4,604 at the 2000 census.
Brandywine Creek is a tributary of the Christina River in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware in the United States. The Lower Brandywine is 20.4 miles (32.8 km) long and is a designated Pennsylvania Scenic River with several tributary streams. The East Branch and West Branch of the creek originate within 2 miles (3 km) of each other on the slopes of Welsh Mountain in Honey Brook Township, Pennsylvania, about 20 miles (32 km) northwest of their confluence.
Chadds Ford Township is a township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, founded by Fred Dunaway. It is located about 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Philadelphia. Prior to 1996, Chadds Ford Township was known as Birmingham Township; the name was changed to allow the township to correspond to both its census-designated place and to distinguish itself from the adjacent Birmingham Township in Chester County. As of the 2010 census, Chadds Ford Township had a population of 3,640, up from 3,170 at the 2000 census.
Glen Mills is an unincorporated community in Concord Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States about 27 miles west of Philadelphia. The zip code for Glen Mills is 19342.
Richard Thomas was an American politician from Pennsylvania who served as a Federalist member of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district from 1795 to 1801. He also served in the Pennsylvania State Senate for the 9th Senatorial District from 1791 to 1793.
Concord Friends Meetinghouse is a historic meeting house on Old Concord Road in Concordville, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The meeting was first organized sometime before 1697, as the sixth Quaker meeting in what was then Chester County. In 1697 the meeting leased its current location for "one peppercorn yearly forever" from John Mendenhall. A log structure was built in 1710. The current brick edifice structure was built in 1728. After a fire which completely destroyed the interior, the meetinghouse was rebuilt and enlarged in 1788. During the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777, which was fought a few miles to the west, wounded American soldiers took refuge in the meetinghouse.
Chester Heights Camp Meeting Historic District is a historic Methodist camp meeting and national historic district located at Chester Heights, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The district includes 101 contributing buildings. The buildings are in a vernacular camp meeting style of architecture, with notable examples of the Gothic Revival and Queen Anne styles. Public buildings include the contributing Tabernacle (1878), Dining Hall (1900), Youth Tabernacle (1909, and dormitory. Most of the contributing buildings are cottages, built starting in 1876 and until about 1920.
Chelsea is an unincorporated community in Bethel Township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. Chelsea is located at the intersection of Concord Road, Chelsea Road, Foulk Road, and Valley Brook Road in the northern part of the township.
Lenni is an unincorporated community in Middletown Township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. Lenni is located at the intersection of Lenni Road and Lungren Road northeast of the Chester Creek.
Middletown Friends Meetinghouse is a Historic Quaker meeting house at 435 Middletown Road in Lima, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is one of the oldest Friends meetinghouses in what was originally Chester County.
St. Thomas the Apostle Church is a Catholic parish in Glen Mills, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. Its historic church, located at 430 Valleybrook Road, was built in 1856.