MAY 27, 2006
‘ON THE GREEN’
10:00 a.m. Welcome, Remarks and Introductions– Council President John E. Dugan
10:05 a.m. Introduce Master of Ceremonies, Attorney Lowell Coolidge
10:15 a.m. State Representative Matt Baker
10:25 a.m. Tioga County Commissioner Mark Hamilton
10:30 a.m. Wellsboro High School Band conducted by Richard Clark
10:40 a.m. Wellsboro Rock L. Butler Middle School Band conducted by Kimberly Smith
11:00 a.m. Planting of Elm Tree
11:15 a.m. Wellsboro Men’s Chorus conducted by Jim Dunham
11:45 a.m. Remarks by Elizabeth Schnee, creator of Statue Paperweight
12:00 p.m. Planting of Time Capsule and Birthday Dedication
MAY 27, 2006
The Borough of Wellsboro is proud to announce the 200th anniversary of Wellsboro by holding a Bicentennial Celebration on Saturday, May 27th 2006, on the ‘Green’ in Wellsboro. The event will begin at ten a.m. and include the planting of an elm tree, musical selections, the recitation of the Wynken, Blynken & Nod poem, guest speakers, as well as the burying of a time capsule. The Elm Tree has been donated by the Shade Tree Commission.
Music selections will be performed by The Wellsboro High School Band under the direction of Mr. Richard Clark, the Wellsboro Middle School Band under the direction of Mrs. Kimberly Smith, the Wellsboro Women’s Chorus, and the Wellsboro Men’s Chorus. Mrs. Carr’s Third Grade Class will recite the poem Wynken, Blynken, and Nod at the fountain for the closing of the Celebration. Jim Cooper from The Sign Shop has donated a bronze marker, which will be placed at ground level after the time capsule is buried. The inscription for the marker will read
"Borough of Wellsboro, Founded in 1806. A Proud Past and a Promising Future.
This Time Capsule was placed on May 27th 2006 to commemorate Wellsboro’s Bicentennial with the hope that it be opened on the Tricentennial."
Support for the event has been wonderful. Tussey Mosher Funeral Home in Wellsboro has donated the vault. Inside the Vault is another sealed container forged and donated by our own Tin Man, Tim McConnell. Local artist James Fitzpatrick has contributed some of his best photographs for the creation of a commemorative post card as well as for invitations to the event. The PPL Gas Company paid for the invitations to the event. The Wellsboro Gazette designed and printed the invitations and will also print a special insert in the May 24th edition of the Wellsboro Gazette.
A commemorative glass paperweight, designed from the line drawings collection of local artist Jack Hart, has been created especially for the Bicentennial and will be available for sale for the first time on the Green. The paperweight depicts the Wynken, Blynken, and Nod statue in the center of the town square with, of course, a gas light lighting their way. The piece was hand crafted by Elizabeth Schnee at Townsend Glass in Long Island City, New York. An inscription created by Donna Phillips of Wellsboro reads,
|Governor of Pennsylvania, Edward Rendell, Pam Walker and her brother Allen Walker, Morris - Wells Descendants, at the 200th anniversary of Wellsboro. Wellsboro is named for Mary Wells, ancestor of Pam and Allen.|
"Borough of Wellsboro, Founded in 1806. A Proud Past and a Promising Future."
All proceeds from the sales will go toward the upkeep of the Wynken, Blynken & Nod fountain.
Among the speakers we are honored to have Allen Walker, a direct decedent of Wellsboro’s Founder Benjamin Morris, State Representative Matt Baker, paperweight creator, Elizabeth Schnee, Tioga County Commissioner Mark Hamilton, and the Wellsboro Borough Mayor and Borough Council.
The Bicentennial Celebration begins on the Green at 10:00 a.m. and ends at noon. A Birthday Cake, prepared and donated by Weis Markets, will be shared by all. Please attend and join in the Celebration!
27 May 2006
Allen L. Walker
Benjamin Wister and Mary Wells Morris
|Thank you, Mr. Coolidge. Governor Rendell, Representative Baker,
Commissioner Hamilton, Mr. Dugan, Ms. Schnee, Ladies and Gentlemen thank
you for inviting me here today to be a part of the Grand Occasion.
I have been asked to speak on Benjamin and Mary Wells Morris, but as they remain to be somewhat of an enigma even unto this day, I thought I would give you a summary of their history.
Benjamin’s line started on Old Gravel Lane in Stepney, London with:
Anthony Morris I. He was born in 1630 and grew up to become a
Mariner who sailed between England and Barbados. He was married to
Elizabeth Senior. On one of his trips he died at sea and was buried
in the Barbados 1655-6. His wife went there to settle his affairs
and died a short time later leaving an orphaned son Anthony behind.
Anthony Morris II, born in Stepney in 1654 was raised by relatives and brought up as a Quaker. He most likely witnessed the Great Plague, the London Fire and the Restoration of Charles II to the throne of England. In January 1676 he married Mary Jones and settled in Stepney. In 1688 he petitioned to go to the colonies and joined William Penn’s Great Adventure. He and Mary and his young son Anthony arrived in Burlington in December 1688. They later moved to Philadelphia when more suitable housing was available as some of the original settlers were living in caves dug into the banks of the Delaware River. There he settled and became a businessman and a Magistrate. Their son…
Anthony Morris III, born in Stepney in 1681 was 7 years old when he arrived in Burlington with his family. At 14 he was indentured to learn the Arts and Mysteries of Brewing. After finishing his apprenticeship he married Phoebe Guest. He became a prominent businessman, a City Representative to the Province of Pennsylvania and served a term as Mayor. Their son………
Anthony Morris IV was born in Philadelphia in Nov 1705. He followed on in the family business, married Sarah Powell and also became a prominent citizen of Philadelphia. He was the Overseer of the Public School, City Accessor, and a Judge. In 1765 he refused to purchase a shipload of malt from England because of taxes. The ship returned to England with its cargo. A precursor to the Boston Tea Party? Their son………
Samuel Morris was born in April 1734 in Philadelphia. He also served an apprenticeship and when completed continued in the family businesses. On December 11, 1755 he married Rebecca Wister, Daughter of Caspar Wister, a noted Glassmaker from Hilsbach, Heidelberg, Germany and Margaret Jansan of Germantown. Note: Rebecca’s nephew was Caspar Wister II who was a noted Botanist at the University of Pennsylvania for whom the flower Wisteria is named. In 1765 Samuel was a subscriber to the “Non-Importation Resolution” of October 1765. It was the first “Pledge of Honor” before the Declaration of Independence.
Samuel was an accomplished horseman and was made the second Captain of the First City Troop, Philadelphia Light Horse and saw action at the battles of Princeton and Trenton as General Washington’s Body Guard and was the forces rear guard as they crossed back over the Delaware River and on to Valley Forge. They also participated in the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown. The Troop exists today as the 1st – 104th Cav in Philadelphia. It was at the Battle of Princeton that Captain Sam’s brother Major Anthony Morris was killed. Samuel Died in 1812. Their son……
Benjamin Wister Morris was born on 14 August 1762 in Philadelphia the eldest son of Capt Sam and Rebecca Morris. Raised during the War of Independence he followed the family business traditions and became a merchant. He married Mary Wells of Burlington, NJ, daughter of Richard Wells of Cutthorp, England who were descendents of Lord Wells of Alford, ca 1288 and Rachel Hill Wells. They settled into the life of the city. In 1799 Benjamin bid and won a contract to build a road from Newbury, Lycoming County up through Little Pine Creek to the New York state line. Although based in Philadelphia, he traveled to the site on numerous occasions and in 1802-3 built a cabin on a knoll overlooking what would later become the town. In 1805 he moved his family to the cabin in then Tioga County. They later built a frame house styled “The Hill” where they resided until their passing. The house is now known as the “Shared Home” on Bacon Street. In 1806 Benjamin gave the land where the business district is now and Wellsboro was born, incorporated and established as the Tioga County Seat. Their son…
Samuel Wells Morris, born on 1 Sept 1786, in Philadelphia continued to live in Wellsboro with his wife Anna Ellis, who was born in Germantown on 7 May 1791. He became a Judge, then later a Member of the State House of Representatives. Their son Benjamin Wister Morris became the Episcopal Missionary Bishop of the Oregon territory. Their daughter Sarah Ellis Morris married Joseph Paschall Morris, Benjamin and Mary’s nephew. They built the Wren’s Nest in Mansfield. They were our Gr, Gr, Gr, Grandparents. And therein ends my story.
In closing I would like to read an excerpt from a volume of the Morris Family of Philadelphia, by Dr. Robert C. Moon, published in 1898.
“At the beginning of the present (19th) Century Benjamin and family removed from Philadelphia to Tioga County where they settled and several of their descendents still reside there.” “Wellsboro, the county Seat, is one of the most pleasant and entertaining towns in Northern Pennsylvania. It received its name in honor of Mary Wells Morris, wife of Benjamin Wister Morris.
I ask you: What better love hath a man for his wife than to honor her as such?