The story of Daniel Parry, founder of Parryville, Pennsylvania, is told in a newly published book, The Parrys of Philadelphia and New Hope: A Quaker Family's Lasting Impact on Two Historic Towns by Roy Ziegler.
This 140 page history tells the story of one of eastern Pennsylvania's most storied families who helped transform early nineteenth-century Philadelphia from a population able to support 40,000 to one that housed 2 million, created industries, and were fathers of the towns of New Hope and Parryville.
Brothers Benjamin and Daniel Parry each had towns named for them. Benjamin Parry owned flax, grist and lumber mills at Coryell's Ferry, a midway point and overnight stop along the Delaware Canal. A fire in 1790 destroyed his Hope Mills. He rebuilt the mills, calling them New Hope Mills, and the town was renamed after his mills.
Benjamin Parry was the prime mover for the first bank, helped finance the Delaware Canal, and obtained an act of the legislature to build a bridge between New Hope and Lambertville. He invented a process for kiln drying of corn and flour that allowed for shipments to the West Indies without spoiling. Benjamin Parry helped his younger brother, Daniel, open the first general store in the area, and taught him the mill business.
Daniel Parry developed wanderlust and joined with Robert Morris to purchase large tracts of land in Carbon, Wayne and Luzerne counties. The lands were purchased from the Marquis de Noailles to develop Asylum, a potentially vast Pennsylvania community for the resettlement of French aristocracy that had fled during the French Revolution.
Asylum, a town near the Standing Stone on the Susquehanna River, was planned to house a large community, but sparsely settled. The French aristocrats, who were bored in the uncultured and isolated forested area, soon became a burden on the investors when the new government cut off their funds.
The final blow that destroyed Asylum was when Napoleon came to power, he invited the aristocracy to return to France. With Asylum abandoned, Robert Morris and Daniel Parry went into debt. Benjamin Parry sold some of his property to pay for Daniel's debts.
Early settlers in what is now called Parryville, a hamlet six miles south of Jim Thorpe, were Peter Frantz in 1780, and Leonard Beltz and Frederick Scheckler in 1781.
Daniel Parry's Pine Forest Lumber Company harvested the timber and had mills at Parrysville, and later, Parryville. At Parryville, the logs were rough cut or sawn into lath or picket fencing. Parryville, located at the confluence of the Pohopoco Creek and the Lehigh River, provided both creek-supplied waterpower for the mills, and transportation southward to Benjamin Parry's lumber mills in New Hope.
In 1836 the Beaver Meadow Railroad Company completed its line to the opposite side of the river from this place, and Parryville became the terminus and shipping point. About 1855, Dennis and Henry Bauman built an anthracite blast furnace in Parryville run by water power from the Pohopoco Creek. Daniel Parry died in 1856.
"The book is about the development of the U.S.," Ziegler said. "It focuses on the first 100 years of the development of the country-specifically, two generations of the Parry family and their relatives. One in New Hope and the other in Philadelphia."
Roy Ziegler and a member of the Board for ten years. He is a retired Housing Director for New Jersey. This is his second book. His first book, New Hope Pennsylvania River Town Passages, studies the fifty most historical buildings in New Hope, PA.
The Parrys of Philadelphia and New Hope is available through barnesandnoble.com.