Rash's Surname Index
Notes for John SELLERS
August 11, 1860 VILLAGE RECORD
Biography JOHN SELLERS was born in Darby, Chester (now Delaware) county, 7th month, 19th (old style) 1728. His grandfather, Samuel Sellers, came from Derbyshire, England, in one of the vessels that came with William Penn, - took up one hundred acres of land in Darby, and followed his trade of
weaving. His marriage is said to have been the first among the 'Friends,'in Darby. His father, also named Samuel, was born and lived on the same premises, followed the same trade of weaving, and was somewhat noted for his mechanical ingenuity. He erected the first TWISTING MILL, it is believed, in
Pennsylvania (a complex machine for twisting worsted,) - and became famous for coverlet and camlet weaving. Samuel died in 1773, in his 83d year. JOHN, the subject of this notice, was the youngest son. He was likewise a weaver. In early life he manifested a more enterprising disposition than his father had done. After receiving very little schooling (as was usual at that day,) he acquired by his application to books a knowledge of surveying, which he began early to practice, and became eminent, in the county, as a Land surveyor. His mechanical ingenuity was early manifested, by his construction of wire
Rolling screens, and Sieves, for cleaning wheat, flax seed, &c., he being the first, it is believed, who made them in America. He discontinued the common weaving soon after he began the wire weaving business, - which latter he followed - together with Dutch Fan making - until the commencement of the
Revolutionary war. The ingenious art of weaving wire seems to have been inherited by his Descendants. His enterprise was manifested in the improvement of his paternal and purchased
estate; in discovering sites for mills, erecting first on small scale, proportioned to his means, then altering and improving as means were increased. - In the course of his life, he dug on his own estate about three miles in length of mill race, and erected six mill dams. He was several rimes, (viz. from 1767, to 1771) elected a member of the Provincial Assembly, for the county of Chester. Some time before the commencement of the Revolutionary war, he was appointed by the Governor and Council one of the Surveyors to run a straight line from the middle Ferry on Schuylkill to Lancaster, preparatory to laying our the Strasburg road, and by the same authority, in 1773, one of the Commissioners for laying out said road. He was likewise appointed one of the Commissioners, or Engineers, to examine and ascertain by surveying and leveling, whether a navigable Canal (such as the present Union Canal,) would be practicable between the waters of the Susquehanna and the Schuylkill. When the Proprietary
government was abolished, and a new form established, he was chosen a Representative for the county of Chester, in the first Legislative body that met under the new form of Government; but declined to serve. He was always of opinion that it would not answer well to vest the whole power of legislation in a single House. In 1768, he was chosen a member of the American Philosophical Society. In 1789, he was
elected, by Delaware county, a member of the Convention that modified the Constitution of 1776; and in the following year, he was elected to the State Senate, from that county. He was, also, one of the Surveyors who ran the Division Line between Chester county and the then new county of Delaware. While Thomas Mifflin was Governor, he was appointed an Associate Judge of the County Court, but declined to serve. He was born and lived on the same spot where his grandfather had settled,
and where his father had lived and died; and there he died, on the second day of the second month, 1804 - in the 76th year of his age. [NOTAE CESTRIENSES]
SELLERS, JOHN, Upper Darby.
September 13, 1803 - March 19, 1804.
Wife Ann; two granddaughters Ann GARRETT and Sarah RHOADS; sons Samuel,
Nathan and David; last two to get four acres adjoining land previously
given them on COBB'S Creek. Son John the grist and merchant mills and
land beginning over the middle of COBB'S Creek and a bridge on the West
Chester Road - mentions line of John CLAUGUS. Son George residue,
subject to care of mother, he to be sole executor.
Wits: James STEEL, Abraham JOHNSON and Robert STEEL. #232.
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