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Old Chester, PA: Biographical Sketches

John Larkin, Jr.


John Larkin, Jr.; Courtesy of Dave Komarnicki

Photograph courtesy of
Dave Komarnicki,

Chester, PA

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)

Years in parentheses are years of service as a Director of The Bank of Delaware County and/or The Delaware County National Bank

Hon. 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.

He 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 until 1858.

In 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.

When 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.

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This page last updated 10/17/05