Samuel Pennock (1816-1903) was one of the leading inventors of agricultural machinery in the United States. He was a son of Moses and Mary J. (Lamborn) Pennock, and was born in East Marlborough township, Chester county, Pennsylvania on October 8, 1816.
Samuel Pennock was reared on his father's farm, received his education in the schools of his neighborhood, and then learned the trade of carriage maker. Later he went to Wilmington and for one year was engaged with the firm of Harlan & Hollingsworth. Leaving Delaware he returned to the farm to study the agricultural machinery then in use, and soon made improvements on a rude grain drill which his father had patented. This improved drill, which he patented, contained the idea upon which all the modern grain drills are constructed. In 1859 Pennock invented and patented the 'Iron Harvester,' the first mowing machine in America that was equipped with a cutter-bar that could be raised and lowered without the driver leaving his seat. Fifteen years later, in 1873, he invented, patented, and introduced into use, the 'Pennock Road Machine,' the first practical machine in this country for the construction and repair of roads. Pennock came to Kennett Square in 1844. He was originally a Republican, but became a political independent. A Quaker and a Mason, he did not smoke or drink.
In September 1853, Pennock married Deborah A. Yerkes, a daughter of John Yerkes. They had three children: Frederick M., Charles J. and Theodore. Pennock died at Kennett Square, his family’s farm, on August 19, 1903.
Sources: the 'Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chester County, Pennsylvania, Comprising a Historical Sketch of the County', by Samuel T. Wiley, revised and edited by Winfield Scott Garner, published by the Gresham Publishing Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1893, pp. 665-667, and the Friends’ Intelligencer for September 5, 1903, (Vol. 60 p. 567).
Deborah Ann Yerkes Pennock (1831-1912) was the wife of Samuel Pennock and the daughter of John and Catharine Dull Yerkes. She, along with her husband, was active in the abolitionist movement, the Underground Railroad and the Progressive Friends of Pennsylvania (also known as Longwood Meeting). She was also involved in the women's suffrage movement and the cousin of Susan B. Anthony.
Sources: Internal evidence, The Pennocks of Primitive Hall Surname Index entry for Samuel Pennock, The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Vol. 5 (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1997), p. 5.