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Old Chester, PA: Biographical Sketches
John Larkin, Jr.
Photograph courtesy of
|John Larkin, Jr.
The first mayor of Chester (1866-1872).
See also Larkin School history.(The biographical sketch below was taken from One Hundred Years, The Delaware County National Bank Chester, PA 1814-1914)
John Larkin, Jr. (1843, 65-66), son of John and Martha (Thomas) Larkin,
was born in Concord township, October 3, 1804. In early manhood he worked
on the parental farm in summer, in winter teaching school. When
twenty-two, he began his active business career, establishing a general
country store at Upper Chichester Cross-roads, and was successful in his
enterprise. In 1825 he was a Director of the Poor. In 1828, he removed to
Marcus Hook, where in addition to keeping a general country store, he
established a daily line of packets between that borough, Chester, and
Philadelphia, which venture proved highly remunerative.
was elected Sheriff in 1840, and in that official relation he executed Tom
Cropper, August 6, 1841, which was the last execution in Delaware county
until the Negro, West, was hanged for the murder of Policeman Mark Allen,
in Chester, in 1903. In 1845 and '46, he represented Delaware county in
the Legislature, and, in 1848, he and William Booth were partners in the
coal and lumber business in Chester, but in 1850 Mr. Larkin withdrew from
active management in the firm, although he retained an interest therein
January, 1850, Mr. Larkin purchased a large part of the Cochran farm at
Chester, which he laid out with streets and building lots, and as houses
soon dotted that addition to the borough, the locality was popularly
termed "Larkintown." In 1857, he was elected Chief Burgess of
Chester; the same year served as a director of the Chester Steamboat
Company, and in 1858 was president, secretary and treasurer of the Chester
Gas Company. He was one of the incorporators of the Chester Mutual
Insurance Company, serving for several years as its president, and held
the like relations with the Chester
Rural Cemetery Company. In 1871 1he was elected president of the First
National Bank of Chester, an office he resigned in 1887.
Chester was incorporated in 1866, John Larkin, Jr., was elected the first mayor
of the city, and was re-elected in 1869. He served gratuitously, refusing
to accept any salary. On the evening of October 30, 1895, a complimentary
banquet was tendered Mr. Larkin by the citizens of Chester in the Sixth
Regiment Armory and Larkin School,
erected in 1894, was named in honor of the Distinguished nonogenarian, who
was present at the laying of the cornerstone. John Larkin, Jr., died July
22, 1896, aged 91 years, 10 months and 12 days.
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© 2001, 2002 John A. Bullock III.
This page last updated 10/17/05