Thomas Windsmore, Member of the Vestry 1884-1916

Thomas Windsmore, Member of the Vestry 1884-1916

This month we continue our series on people whose name appears on a plaque on the back of a church pew. A native of Milford, DE, Thomas Windsmore moved to Southwark with his family as a young child. As an adult he worked in the shipping industry and had a schooner named after him. He was a prominent member of the Board of Port Wardens, the State Quarantine Board and served as Vice President of the Maritime Exchange. He was also a member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and was a Past Master of the Masonic Fraternity. Windsmore was married to Mary J. Steel at the Church by the Rev. Snyder B. Simes on June 2, 1873. Both of his children were baptized and married at the Church by Rev. Simes as well. According to the Book of Memory Windsmore found himself in the “greatest accord” with Rev. Simes and it “was one of his most cherished memories.” In April, 1884 he was elected to the Vestry and appointed to the Finance Committee. In September 1894 he became a Trustee of the Endowment Fund and made that project one of his particular interests. He was also greatly interested in improving and beautifying the Church and its surroundings. The restoration of the Church interior received his hearty support. He suggested that a hot-house be built to supply flowers and plants for the Church and grounds. He also secured an architect to make a set of working plans of the Church in case it ever had to be rebuilt. He also helped bring about a settlement with St. James Church, Kingsessing, and Christ Church, Upper Merion, in regard to all properties which had been held jointly by the three churches. Upon his death on January 7, 1916 the Vestry minutes said, “Thomas Winsmore, having been chosen a Vestryman of Gloria Dei Church, and for over thirty years served most faithfully, his death takes from us one whose place we will soon be able to fill. He value as a counselor, his diligence in rendering any service, his desire for fairness, are qualities which have always been valuable to Gloria Dei.” Bob Josuweit History Committee (Riverside, December...

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Arvid Hernbom Lay Reader 1719

Arvid Hernbom Lay Reader 1719

A small plaque on the back of a pew at the front of the church peaked our curiosity this month. Arvid Hernbom, Lay Reader 1719. Who was he? Arvid Hernbom, who served as chaplain at the Swedish embassy, came to America around 1719. He was licensed to preach by Bishop Jesper Swedberg. Swedberg, who was one of Sweden’s most notable churchmen, had ordered Rev. Andreas Sandel to ordain Arvid Hernbom to the priesthood to serve the Wicaco congregation after Sandel’s departure. But, after his arrival, Sandel and the other Swedish clergymen did not think he was qualified for the priesthood and he was not ordained. In 1719, on Sandel’s departure, Hernbom was promised 25L (pounds) a year to preach part time at Wicaco. After Sandel’s departure Arvid Hernbom alternated for a time with Rev. Hesselius, of Christina Church, and the Rev. Lidenius, pastor of Racoon Church, in New Jersey. These clergymen promised to perform divine service once a month. During the vacancy Hernbom maintained the church school and when the ministers weren’t available served as a lay-reader. . . Bob Josuweit History Committee (Riverside, November...

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George Ord; Naturalist, Ornithologist, Writer

George Ord; Naturalist, Ornithologist, Writer

Last month we featured George Ord, Sr. a sea captain and rope maker. This month we’ll feature his son George. The following information is from the American Philosophical Society. Although George Ord was a devoted naturalist, ornithologist, and writer, he is also noted for his animosity towards famous ornithologist John James Audubon, who he called a “impudent pretender” and “neither a scholar nor philosopher.” He became interested in the study of science and literature at an early age. Following in his father’s footsteps, Ord joined his father in his rope-making business in 1800 and continued in the business after his father’s death in 1806, finally retiring from the business in 1829 to devote more time to science. Shortly after his first marriage, Ord befriended the Scottish poet and naturalist Alexander Wilson, who became one of his greatest influences. Wilson died in 1813 leaving Ord to finish the eighth volume of Wilson’s greatest work, American Ornithology. One year later, Ord published the ninth and final volume of this great work. Besides writing the Sketch of the Life of Alexander Wilson, Ord wrote memoirs on the lives of fellow naturalists Thomas Say and Charles A. Lesueur. He also contributed numerous articles that appeared in many of the scientific periodicals of the day, including the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, and the Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. In 1815, Ord became a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Two years later Ord became a member of the American Philosophical Society, serving as secretary, vice president, librarian, treasurer, and councilor. He later served as president of the ANS from 1851 to 1858, a position that he “never sought after.” He resisted the position because of his age and “infirmities,” and his “habits of retirement,” which had rendered him “averse to company and the turmoil of life.” Moreover, Ord plunged further into the life of a recluse with each passing year. Ord’s health was not always well, he suffered from poor eyesight, regular bouts of Influenza, and various attacks on his health. Ord died on January 24, 1866 and is buried at Gloria Dei. Bob Josuweit History Committee (Riverside, October...

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George Ord – Ship Chandler

George Ord – Ship Chandler

Philadelphia was a major seaport. Many of the families that lived in Philadelphia and the surrounding area made their livings from the water. One such family was that of George Ord, Sr. Ord was born in England in May, 1741 and settled in Southwark, Philadelphia County. He married Rebecca Lindmeyer on January 17, 1767. They lived on the west side of Front Street north of Catherine St. Ord was a rope maker and ship-chandler. Prior to settling in Philadelphia he was a ship captain. In April, 1785 he was chosen as a Warden of the Port of Philadelphia. . . The ship chandlery was a retail and wholesale source of supplies for both individual seamen and vessels. The chandler knew the needs of his local economy and was a specialist in meeting those needs, be they whaling, shipping, fishing or ship building. Contracting for provisions at the chandlery was the responsibility of the ship’s agent, a man authorized by vessel owners to manage supplies and equipment, as well as repairs, freight, towage and the hiring of officers and crew. A chandler himself might serve as an agent for ships. His skill at being an information broker paid off in purchases at his shop. Ord is buried next to the Church, near the rectory. His tombstone read “Beneath This Stone are deposited the remains of Captain George Ord. He was born in The Kingdom of Great Britain May 26, 1741 and died in Philadelphia October 13, 1806. Age 65. In his will he requested that his wife and son George carry on his business for eight years. Ord’s wife, Rebecca died June 13, 1823 at the age of 81. Ord’s tombstone is fairly easy to spot as the top of the grave resembles the upside down hull of a ship. The Ords had four children including George, Jr., Ann Pinkerton, Maria McMullen, and Henrietta Ord. George, Jr. became an ornithologist and worked closely with Alexander Wilson. We’ll have more on George, Jr. in another issue. Bob Josuweit History Committee (Riverside, September...

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Music in the Graveyard

Music in the Graveyard

While walking through the graveyard I noticed a marker with the name Erik Leidzén, Composer. I was not familiar with the name, but a bit of curiosity sent this writer on a search to find out who this person was. Many of us are familiar with members of the Salvation Army playing their instruments during the Christmas holidays. Their tradition of having large bands lead to the Salvation Army USA Eastern Territory publishing a book called the American Band Journal in the mid-1950’s. Subtitled “Brass Music for Evangelism”, it was intended for use by groups small enough to perform in the open air, as well as in regular meetings and concerts. The Journal featured music by American composers and American themes. However in the early days the Journal featured the music of Erik Leidzén, who emigrated from Sweden to the U.S. and became a passionate American patriot. According to the Journal Leidzén’s influence over the music played by Salvation Army bands in  the United States was profound. Entire generations of Salvationist musicians were influenced by him, including well-known brass composers such as Stephen Bulla and Bruce Broughton. Leidzén grave located in this area of cemetery Leidzén also contributed eight pages of tunes to Carolers’ Favorites in 1953. The original tunes included Christmas carols. By 1957 he had written several Easter Carols. By the 1980s Carolers’ Favorite was updated, not just with new songs but with updates to some of the original songs. The noted brass band arranger and composer, Stephen Bulla, added an optional fifth part (for euphonium) to the original Leidzén arrangements, and created 21 new arrangements for songs such as The Christmas Song (sometimes referred to as Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire). The new edition of Carolers’ Favorites was published in 1994. Concertino for Band and Trombone, another brass band classic by Leidzen, has been a staple since it was written in the 1950’s. Erik Leidzén has contributed hundreds of pieces to the concert band and brass band repertoire since the 1920’s. This work is not just an accompaniment. The band and trombonist must work well together throughout the piece. Erik Leidzén, born in Stockholm in 1894, died in New York in 1962, buried at Old Swedes. Bob Josuweit History Committee (Riverside, July–August...

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