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Old Chester, PA: Biographical Sketches
Samuel Aldrich Crozer
(A biographical sketch taken from One Hundred Years, The Delaware County National Bank Chester, PA 1814-1914)
Samuel Aldrich Crozer (1857-59, 61-68, first president of The Delaware County National Bank), son of John Price and Sallie L. (Knowles) Crozer, was born at West Branch, near Crozerville, Aston township, Delaware county, December 25, 1825. When only a few weeks over seventeen years, attending boarding school in Philadelphia, in February, 1843, news reached him that his father, John P. Crozer, had been thrown from a sleigh fracturing his thigh. Samuel A. Crozer was immediately summoned home, and mere boy as he was, into his care was given the direction of the office and financial affairs appertaining to his father's large manufacturing business.
For many months John P. Crozer was unable to leave the house, and when he again resumed full management of his affairs he still retained his son in control of the departments which had been assigned to him during his father's illness, and in the conduct of which he displayed unusual ability.
When, in 1845, John P. Crozer purchased the Chester mills and laid the foundations for the present Borough of Upland, to his son Samuel fell the duty of stocking and outfitting with machinery Mill No. 1, at that place, although at the time his son had not reached his majority. On January 1, 1847, Samuel A. Crozer was admitted to a partnership in the business, the firm becoming John P. Crozer & Son, which continued over nineteen years, until dissolved by the death of the senior member March 11, 1866.
The three factories in Upland in the distribution of the large estate accumulated by John P. Crozer, were divided among his sons, Samuel A. Crozer receiving Mill No. 2, in which he individually conducted the manufacture of cotton fabrics, until 1881, when his son, John P. Crozer, the younger, was admitted into partnership, the firm being S. A. Crozer & Son.
In 1880, the firm erected the large spinning mill on Chester creek, Chester, the lot fronting on Edgmont avenue, south of the. P., B. & W. Railroad, and even during the periods of great depression, this mill, as well as that at Upland, has never been idle. Samuel A. Crozer, apart from his textile business in Delaware county, had large holdings in the Crozer Steel and Iron Company, of Roanoke, Va.; in the Upland Coal Company, of the same place, and the Roanoke and Southern Railroad Company. In addition to his real estate ownership of lands in Delaware county, he was the proprietor of many thousands of acres of productive coal fields in Virginia, as well as exceedingly valuable real estate in many states, notably in Roanoke, Va.; in the business center of Chicago; the Crozer Building, in Philadelphia, and in other cities.
During his entire life, Mr. Crozer devoted much of his means and time to the cause of religious and public charities. In 1865 he was elected president of the National Baptist Council for Missionary Purposes; for over forty years he was one of the managers of the Training School for Feeble Minded Children, located at Elwyn, and for much of that time president of the institution, a position held by his father at his death. He was president of the Baptist Publication Society, and for nearly half a century had been a manager of the Deaf and Dumb Asylum of Philadelphia. After the organization of the Crozer Theological Seminary in 1868, he was the president of the Board of Trustees, besides being a director in a number of business corporations.
At his personal cost, Mr. Crozer erected the Baptist church at Leiperville, also South Chester, and Emanuel Church, Fifteenth and Potter streets, Chester, the latter as a memorial to his wife, the late Abigail Cheyney Crozer.
In 1893, he presented to the City of Chester a large tract of land, which the authorities accepted and appropriately gave to it the name of Crozer Park. Since then he gave liberal sums to the Park Commission to be expended in the adornment and development of the grounds which bear his name. The Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, the Chester Hospital, the Pennsylvania Historical Society, and numerous other incorporated organizations designed for the public good were recipients of his benefactions.
At a meeting of the Delaware County Historical Society at Upland, June 22, 1899, Mr. Crozer delivered an address on "The Early Manufacturers and Manufacturing of Delaware County," which, with a historical address made by him at the Semi-Centennial of Upland Baptist Church will be mines to which future students of local history must frequently resort.
Mr. Crozer was an extensive traveler, having crossed the Atlantic eighty-odd times, and had visited all sections of the East, save China, Japan, and India, and the great islands of the Indian Ocean. In the Western Hemisphere, his journeys have been through all sections of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the West Indies.
Samuel A. Crozer died at Upland June 10, 1910, in his eighty-fifth year.
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© 2002 John A. Bullock III.
This page last updated 02/24/07