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Doctor Lowber married Elizabeth Twells, and their daughter, Mary, became the second wife of John Welsh, son of John and Jemima Maris Welsh. Doctor Lowber bequeathed the estate to his son, William T. Lowber, and his grandchildren Welsh. From these John Welsh purchased the place in 1870. Mr. Welsh had first married Rebecca Bass Miller and Spring Bank is now owned by a daughter of this marriage who is Mrs. J. Somers Smith.
John Welsh was an eminent and successful merchant of great executive ability. He began his long public service as chairman of the Executive Committee of the Sanatory Fair in 1864 and nine years later was chosen president of the Board of Finance of the Centennial Exhibition. His successful administration of this trust is well known, and in 1877 the citizens of Philadelphia presented him with a fund of $50,000 which he donated to the University of Pennsylvania to endow the “John Welsh Centennial Professorship of History and English Literature.” It was largely through his efforts that the University buildings in West Philadelphia were erected and paid for.
President Grant offered him the positon of Secretary of the Treasury but he declined, only to be appointed by President Hayes Minister to Great Britain, where his distinguished service made him highly popular at the English Court. He received the degree of LL.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and from Washington and Lee University as well as other honours from various European sovereigns. He occupied many positions of trust in the philanthropic, financial, and business organisations of Philadelphia and died at the advanced age of
eighty-one. He was very fond of Spring Bank and gave considerable of his land to Fairmount Park, including “Molly Rinker's Rock” where he erected a heroic statue of William Penn, called “Toleration,” which overlooks the valley of the Wissahickon. Back of the house is a walk leading to the brink of the hill where are two trees and a seat joined to them where he loved to sit and survey the view so much like Berkshire in old England with its forests and cleared fields. Perhaps there is no place so near the city which preserves the wild conditions of the past so well as this one. Here the raccoons still steal the corn and foxes scamper across the lawns. All the old features of early days are evident—the smoke house, the spring house, and the fish pond at the base of the little hill upon which the house stands. It was in such ponds as this that the early settlers preserved the fish, which they had caught, until a suitable time for eating. The stone plastered house has been added to many times and is on several levels. The big fireplace and the crane are still to be seen and while the architecture is not pretentious it is most quaint and interesting.
WISSAHICKON CREEK, GERMANTOWN
HERE Wissahickon Avenue ends at Allen's Lane, in Germantown, Livezey's Lane runs down toward the Wissahickon Creek in a northerly direction. The creek is but a short distance away and on its banks stands
Glen Fern, more commonly known as the Livezey House, surrounded by numerous dilapidated buildings which originally served as mills, granaries, and cooper shops. The mill was built by Thomas Shoemaker, who conveyed it to Thomas Livezey October 10, 1747. He was probably the son of Jacob and Margaret Shoemaker as this was the only Thomas Shoemaker of a possible age in the country at this time. Jacob was the first to arrive in Germantown, coming with Pastorius in the ship America which sailed from Gravesend, England, June 6, 1682, and arrived August 16, of the same year. He gave the land
which the Germantown Friends' Meeting now stands at Coulter and Main Streets and was sheriff of the town in 1690. The son Thomas married Mary Powel in 1775.
The progenitor of the Livezeys was Thomas, who came from Chester, England, about 1680, and settled on the Pennypack Creek in Lower Dublin Township. He also had a house on the south side of Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, midway between Fourth and Fifth Streets, where he lived for the first three years. He served on the first grand jury of the first court held in the Province,