Saturday, February 18, 2017

1876 - Samuel Wilson, Exuberant Seedsman, Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Samuel Wilson's ads are delightfully odd.  He was a showman, and his claims and ad styles reflect this.    His Mole Tree ad caught my attention right away for a previous post!  

Personally, I think sticking a face in the center of the flower is sort of creepy.

This next ad, which you probably can't read any better than I can, is included as an example of the DENSE style of ad. How many words can you squeeze into your space??!!

This next melon was a mystery to me...melons all winter??  I didn't know some melons "keep", like winter squashes I guess.  There was another winter melon called Santa Claus :-)
 I did read that chickens would find the seeds a treat during the winter, and the melons also made nice "conserves" (jam).  

I can't leave out the potato that was "Beautiful as an oil painting"!!

Nonetheless, he was a large business and was one of the seedsman that exhibited at the Columbian Exposition in 1893.  He was reported as planning to show over a "hundred different types of corn or ear, over 50 varieties of wheat and hundreds of flower seeds".

Below is an excerpt from a family history.

SAMUEL WILSON, dealer in and grower of all kinds of seeds, P. O. Mechanicsville, was born in Buckingham township, in 1824, and is a son of Samuel and Hannah (Longstreth) Wilson.

He is descended on the paternal side from ancestors who originally came from Yorkshire, England, and who for several generations have been members of the Society of Friends.
Samuel Wilson was reared on the farm, and when 21 years of age engaged in the mercantile business at Newtown. Five years later he returned and in 1852 built a house on the original tract of land. The same year he was married to Maria Webster, née Burger, by whom he had three children, all living: Samuel Howard, William E. and Mary Elizabeth.
In the spring of 1876 be commenced the business of growing seeds, which he has carried on extensively. In 1885 he built a larger seed-house, and erected a three-story stone building, 35 by 60 feet. He employs a large number of hands, and has sale for seeds in all parts of the world. 

His establishment is one of the largest of its kind in this part of the country.
Mr. Wilson has served as school director nine years. He is an intelligent and enterprising citizen.

edited by J.H. Battle; A. Warner & Co.; 1887.

His successors didn't last long! They kept Samuel Wilson's  name and added "Company" to it.

For those of you who may have come to this page for more ancestry information about Samuel Wilson, here is what I edited out:
The first emigrants of the name came to America about 1683, and settled in Bucks county, and in New Jersey, opposite Bristol and Morrisville.
The first of the family in Buckingham township was Samuel Wilson, the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, who was born in Bucks county, January 6, 1706. He moved to Buckingham and took up a large tract of land extending to the Delaware river, and in 1731 built the older portion of the two storied stone house, near the present village of Mechanicsville. In 1729 he married Rebecca, the ninth child of Thomas Canby, whose ancestors also came from Yorkshire, England, and to this marriage were born thirteen children. Of these, the tenth, Stephen, born in 1749, remained upon the original homestead and married Sarah Blackfan, to whom were born eight children.

Of these, the second, Samuel, born in 1785, married Hannah Longstreth, and was the father of the subject of this sketch. The mother of the present Samuel Wilson was a granddaughter of Bartholomew Longstreth, who was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1679, and emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1698. He belonged to the Society of Friends, and in 1727 married Ann Dawson, who was born in London and came to America in 1710. By her he had eleven children.

The eleventh child, Benjamin, married Sarah Fussel, daughter of Solomon Fussel, and to this marriage were born twelve children, of whom the ninth child, Hannah, born in 1791, married Samuel Wilson, and had eight children, of whom but two are living: Samuel, and Margaret O., wife of Elias Paxson, of Solebury.
above: History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania: Including an Account of Its Original Exploration, Its Relation to the Settlements of New Jersey and Delaware, Its Erection Into a Separate County, Also Its Subsequent Growth and Development, with Sketches of Its Historic and Interesting Localities, and Biographies of Many of Its Representative Citizens