William Lungren was the first-born son of Swedes’ John and Sarah Garrett Lungren. 

In May of 1778, when the British occupied Philadelphia, John and Sarah left the city and moved to Concord, Delaware County. William was born there.

The Revolutionary War period was a time of great demand for paper. John Lungren built a prosperous paper mill that met the paper needs of the British Colonies. After his death in 1816, his sons, William and Charles inherited the paper mill. They provided paper for The National Gazette, an influential daily newspaper founded by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. 

A series of Lungren family deaths marked the following years. First, in 1817, William’s wife Hannah died weeks after the birth of their tenth child. Then his mother Sarah died in 1818.

Portrait of William Lungren by Robert Street (date unknown).

William soon found happiness with his second wife Jane Dix Smith. They married in 1819 and went on to have five more children. 

Unfortunately, the coming years presented challenges for William and Charles. First, their once-thriving paper company fell on hard times. Charles reported that a “heavy importation of paper from France and Italy caused a thirty percent fall in the price of paper.” By 1825, William and Charles were forced to sell the mill. They also had to sell their family home and the stone mansion their parents had built.

Surprisingly, in 1827, William’s son Edwin bought a mill in York County. William’s other sons William Jr., Hanson, Garrett and Charles all worked there. The family also brought in extra income by renting rooms and serving meals. This work foreshadowed a job William took in 1831 as landlord of the Black Horse Hotel in Upper Darby. The hotel sat at the top of a hill, and stood so high in the air that its original name was “Seven Stars.” In 1831, William ran for Sheriff of Delaware County. He was affiliated with the Anti-Masonic party that quickly gained popularity when President John Quincy Adams ran for re-election on that platform. The anti-Masonic Party focused its platform around the belief that the Masons were an elitist group that was working in secret to control the U.S. government and thus disrupt and overthrow the U.S. republican system. Adams was not re-elected, however, and Lungren did not win his bid for Sheriff. 

William Lungren’s life was marked by both success and adversity. His greatest legacy may have been the family he created. His son, Samuel Lungren, gained fame as a doctor, and his grandson, Ferdinand Lungren became an internationally renowned artist. William Lungren died in 1846 at his home at the corner of 8th and Market Streets in Philadelphia, and is identified as a paper maker on his death certificate. He was 68 years old.

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Conservation Assessment

Memory of
William Lungren
Who departed this life
July 29th 1846
aged 68 years.

Type of Marker: Headstone
Material: Marble
Issues: Biogrowth, loss, sugaring
Comments:  top half might be #30
Elements Missing or Compromised: missing top portion of marker
Recommended Treatment: Document

Historic Integrity: Intact
Structural Integrity: Fair
Material Integrity:  Fair
Legible Inscription: No inscription

Marker Details
Inventory Number: 30
Plot Number: 120
Historic Number: 477
Ledger Book Number: 68
Cemetery Section: 3
Marker Height/Length (in): 17
Marker Width (in): 22
Marker Thickness/Depth (in): 1