Read about other people linked to Graeme Park and the Penrose Strawbridge Farm:
Sir William Keith | Dr Thomas Graeme | Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson | Samuel & Sarah Penrose | Abel & Sarah Penrose.| Morris Penrose | Welsh & Margaret Strawbridge
William Penrose is the second generation of Penroses to own and farm Graeme Park.
William Penrose, the 3rd child and 2nd son of
William's father Samuel remained at Graeme Park and father and son continued to run the farm until 1819 when Samuel purchased another farm in nearby Warrington, PA. On Jan 2, 1820 he sold the 204 acre Graeme Park to his son for $14,000 (see Graeme Park Timeline). William managed Graeme Park with "Steady habits, honored and respected by all who knew him." (
Hannah Jarrett Penrose was fairly well educated and had completed her schooling at the
"The curriculum at that time was intended to be useful, and it included reading, spelling, penmanship, grammar, and arithmetic along with sewing for girls and surveying for boys, the latter two being the only difference in offerings to the respective genders. In keeping with the Quakers' desire to have an understanding of the natural world, both boys and girls studied geography and astronomy. Map making was part of geography class because drawing was a useful skill to hone. Creative art and reading fiction were not allowed at the time." (
Hannah Penrose was described by granddaughter Jennie Davis:
"... the prettiest woman to come to the Horsham Meeting. She had great self-control and in her quiet, gentle way usually attained her wishes and always enjoyed the full confidence of her sons as well as her daughters."
Temperance and other moral reforms were big issues in the mid 1800s, generally (
"At first he had much to discourage him. Although he worked very hard, he found he was not making much headway. He became so discouraged that he about decided to give the place up"
By 1824, it seems William was unable to make the farm work and turned to his father-in-law, William Jarrett, for a loan. On July 4, 1824, William and Hannah transferred the deed for Graeme Park to her father for the sum of $15,338.75. William Penrose continued to pay the taxes on the property but had not repaid the loan by 1827 when William Jarrett fell from his horse and died on his way to Meeting (the horse continued to the Meeting shed without him).
"In 1827 William Jarrett met with a fatal accident. One morning, in his seventy-ninth year, he was out riding. His horse, scared by the sight of a snake sunning itself on the bank of the pond, reared, throwing him upon the stone dam. He died instantly. (
38 - see also 1300 Easton Road - Horsham Homestead)"
The deed for Graeme Park, following Jarrett's death, was now bequeathed to Hannah Jarrett Penrose and 4 of her 5 sisters. (
The Penrose's success, of course, did not come easy in the early days of the 19th century. Jennie Davis describes the struggle.:
Between 1832 and 1865 when Graeme Park was sold to son Abel, the Penroses acquired 10 more acres to bring the size of the farm in 1865 to 229 acres. There is no record of when this additional acreage was acquired, but things seem to have improved for the Penroses because in 1850 their Horsham real estate holdings were accessed at $27,500. (
William and Hannah raised six children at Graeme Park; one son, William, died in infancy in 1822.
|Ann 9/25/1811-1/20/1887)||Samuel 4/18/1813-2/24/1848||Jarrett 4/1/1815-22/27/1889|
|Abel 5/3/1817-7/10/1893||Hannah L. 2/20/1820-8/23/1894|
|William 3/26/1922-7/12/1822||Tacy S 10/14/1823-4/30/1906|
Anne J Penrose, William and Hannah's first child, married Abraham Iredell, son of John and Ann Iredell on April 4, 1833 in a ceremony at the Horsham Meeting (
After her husband's death, Ann and her 2 surviving children returned to live with her father, William, at Graeme Park. The 1850 census shows the following living here at that time: William Penrose, farmer, age 68; his son Abel, farmer, 33; daughter Hannah, 30; daughter Ann Iredell, 38, Ann's children John Iredell, 13, and Hannah Ann Iredell, 10
Jarrett Penrose was the third child of this generation,and married Tacy Ann Kirk on January 20, 1842 at her mother's home in Abington, PA. Tacy's great-grandfather,
Jarrett and Tacy purchased the Horsham farm of his sister Ann Penrose Iredell's husband Abraham, who had passed away in 1841, and became "one of the substantial farmers of Horsham township" (
William and Hannah's fifth child, William, died in July 1822 aged 5 months..
William and Hannah's youngest child, Tacy, married Morris Davis of Horsham in 1847. Their daughter Jennie Davis wrote the 1914 paper (
We are aware of buildings that had been built on the farm that no longer exist but don't really know much about them. The painting shown below dates to the early 1800's and shows smaller buildings to the north of the Keith House which no longer exist, and various stories mention a 'slave jail' that was a mere pile of rocks in 1905. (
Two large barns were constructed by William and Hannah Penrose. One is the large barn now used as the Visitor's Center at Graeme Park and located right next to the Keith House. We think this was built between 1820-1840, but we're not really sure. It was used as a working barn through the 20th century by the Strawbridges. The painting above shows the Keith House from the north with another building to its right which we believe is from the early 1800s. This barn does not seem to be in this painting.
The second is the
This second barn burned down in June 1949 but was not completely rebuilt. The original barn had been a much larger structure, after the fire it was rebuilt but to a smaller scale - removing the overhangs and access to the upper level via the bank. The bank and some columns on both sides still exist.
There are also ruins of a small coop or other type of animal shelter on the other side of the spring behind the carriage house. This was destroyed by Tropical Storm Allison in June, 2001 by flooding that also destroyed the plank bridge on the driveway out to County Line Road. There are also possible ruins of a small structure back in the woods across Governor's Road. Little is known about these or when they may have been built.
The Penroses also added onto the main house. This was originally a single room cabin which we date to c1721. The 3 story section that was built by or for William and Hannah was added to the south side of this cabin on top of what was probably an existing foundation in 1810. This house is what we now call the Penrose Strawbridge House