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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 2, January 11, 2009, Article 12


Regarding my query last week, Pete Smith submitted the following. -Editor

Your item on Joseph Cloud sounded familiar so I dug into some recent files. I printed that same page off the internet on 12-9-08. I was interested in this part that appeared later:

The Cloud farm, in Delaware County, lies back of the present University Astronomical Observatory. It became the property of his friend Adam Eckfeldt.

I had recently received the text of this clipping from an Eckfeldt descendent:
You golfers behold the mighty Eckfeldt clan!: Golf on Historic Farm: The ground upon which he plays means little to the average golfer. And I suppose that few of those who enjoy the P.R.R. golf course on City Line have ever heard the story of the Eckfeldt family which owned the land for generations.

The Eckfeldts set up a remarkable record for their connection with the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. That association spanned 136 years and without a break of a single day.

At Ambler resides Jacob B. Eckfeldt, aged 92, who got a job in the mint on April 15, 1865, the day President Lincoln died. President Arthur elevated him to the position of assayer in 1881, a position he occupied until his resignation in 1930, a service of 65 years.

It was Granfather Adam Eckfeldt who began the money-coining business for that family in the original Mint on Seventh Street. He was employed by illustrious Dr. David Rittenhouse, whom President Washington selected as first Director of the Mint.

Eckfeldt operated the screw press in 1794 when the Whisky Rebellion was foremost news of the day. That pioneer Eckfeldt became Coiner and Die Forger, the former position by appointment of President Madison, and he continued in the place down to 1839.

During that time, the US Mint occupied its once notable home at Chestnut and Juniper streets. Eckfeldt selected that site. His city home was at Vine and Juniper, but it was he who bought the now famed Eckfeldt farm in Delaware County with it still standing farmhouse.

Adam's son, Jacob, got his place in the U.S. Mint when Jackson was President back in 1832 and was still there until President Grant occupied the White House in 1872. For seven years he and his still living son, Jacob, were both in the Mint.

This family record has no parallel in the long span of years during which it served in the production of American coins."

The Bala Golf Club is near City Line Road and the Pennsylvania Rail line. I have been unable to confirm this was the Cloud/Eckfeldt farm. St. Joseph's University is nearby but I have been unable to locate an astronomical observatory. This is where my research ended three weeks ago. I would be happy to hear from any E-Sylum reader who con confirm the location of the Cloud/Eckfeldt farm.

I have been corresponding with two sisters-in-law who are interested in Eckfeldt genealogy. Through them I have discovered an interesting family connection.

William Ewing DuBois married Susanna Eckfeldt in 1841 connecting the DuBois and Eckfeldt families. One of my correspondents, a descendent of the DuBois line, married a descendent of the Eckfledt line in 1969. This has no numismatic importance but is a small payoff for hours of genealogical research.

Wayne Homren, Editor

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