Pete Smith submitted the following note relating to early U.S. Mint personality Adam Eckfeldt. -Editor Back in January there was an E-Sylum discussion about the location of farms owned by Joseph Cloud and the Eckfeldt family. One of my Eckfeldt family correspondents came up with additional information for me.
Information vital to numismatic research is frequently found in publications that would be considered non-numismatic. An example is Haverford Township compiled by the Haverford Township Historical Society and published by Arcadia Publishing in 2003.
On page 98 is a photo of a house. The caption says
Purchased in 1794 for the summer home of Adam Eckfeldt, the Eckfeldt farm, Greenwood, extended from Manoa and Earlington Roads to City Line Avenue and Darby Road. President Madison appointed Adam Eckfeldt to the office of chief coiner of the U. S. Mint in Philadelphia. Both Adamís son Jacob Reese Eckfeldt and grandson, also Jacob, were assayers of the mint. Grandson Dr, John Eckfeldt, an early resident of Brookline, wrote Cobbs Creek in the Days of the Old Powder Mill.
The Lower Merion Historical Society has a website with links to historical maps of the area. An atlas for 1881 shows a 92 acre farm for the Jacob Eckfeldt Estate located west of City Line Avenue and Earlington Road. The 1900 atlas gives the same location. This would indicate that the farm remained with the family from 1794 to at least 1900.
The Haverford Township book says, ďThe earliest photographs contained in this book were taken by Dr. John W. Eckfeldt. A prominent physician in Philadelphia, Eckfeldt developed a passion for nature during his summer visits on his grandfatherís farm, located on the land now known as Chatham Park and Llanerch.Ē
Llanerch (A Welsh name) appears on atlases just west of the Eckfeldt property. I am not sure what is considered Chatham Park.
Thatís the new information. Does it fit together?
Adam Eckfeldt (1769-1852) was about 25 years old in 1794 and starting his job at the Mint. Adam died in 1852 and Jacob Reese Eckfeldt (1803-1872) was his oldest surviving son. It is likely that Jacob inherited the farm although he continued to work as assayer at the Mint. Jacob died in 1872.
If Adam had a house in town and another in the country at age 25, this suggests that he had assets beyond what he made as a blacksmith. (He also owned a company that made nails.) Although he may have associated with other tradesmen, he was included in the social circle with Philadelphia professionals.
Adam Penn Eckfeldt (1837-1895) was the oldest son of Jacob Reese Eckfeldt and likely heir. In the 1880 census he is listed as a retired farmer living with his mother. Although he may have worked his fatherís farm, he apparently did not inherit it.
Adam Columbus Eckfeldt (1812-1890) was a farmer in Haverford Township from 1838 to 1865 and younger brother of Jacob. He may have worked the farm while his brother worked as assayer.
Joseph Cloud (1770-1845) died in 1845 and his farm at Radnor passed to someone named Adam Eckfeldt. I believe it is more likely this was the Adam who was one year older and co-worker at the Mint rather than Adam Columbus Eckfeldt who was 42 years younger. I also believe this property was unrelated to the farm managed by the Eckfeldt family for generations.
This has little importance in numismatics. It will only be important to an obsessed researcher interested in biographical research. I guess that applies to me.
Many thanks for the detailed follow-up, Pete. This will undoubtedly be of use to other researchers piecing together bits of early U.S. Mint history. -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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