Scope and Contents
The collection contains legal, property, and financial records of the Gibbons Home, and Gibbons family pictures and some memorabilia.
Copyright and Rights Information
Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.
Biographical / Historical
The Gibbons property in Springfield Township, Delaware County, PA, was acquired in 1765 by Joseph Gibbons, a Quaker. He was the son of Joseph Gibbons, was a member of Concord Monthly Meeting and married Margery Hannum under the care of that meeting in 1759. He received a certificate to transfer from Concord Monthly Meeting to Chester Monthly Meeting in 1767, but was disowned for delaying presenting his certificate until 1771. He purchased 150 acres of land in what was then a part of Chester County. The house was built about 1830. Margery Gibbons was disowned for disunity in 1782. The property descended through the family to Joseph Gibbons who died in 1853 and then to Joseph Gibbons (1799-1880) who married Hannah Powell (d. 1882). In addition to the farm, the family had a cotton mill on the property on Whiskey Run, built in 1832, and destroyed by fire in 1865. Joseph Gibbons was a farmer and banker.
Joseph and Hannah Gibbons had eight children, seven who survived to adulthood: Joseph P., John, Mary, Lydia, William, Sallie P., and Emma. None of the children married. Joseph Gibbons was not a member of the Society of Friends, but Ashmead’s biographical sketch in the History of Delaware County reported in 1884 that he attended Quaker worship. Joseph bequeathed the property to his sons, Joseph P. and John Gibbons. John died intestate in 1892, and Joseph P. Gibbons died intestate in 1913. At his death, the property went to his surviving sisters, Emma and Sallie. Sallie P. Gibbons, died in 1918.
The family had been involved in philanthropic work. In 1903, they gave funds to the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church towards a Sunday School building, in memory of their adopted niece, May Loeffler. When Sallie P. Gibbons died in 1918 with no survivors, she left her property to executors in trust to keep and maintain a home for dependent Protestant women over forty to be called the Gibbons Home. Since there were some stipulations concerning the residual estate, the local Court interpreted this to mean that the Home could not be established until all the stipulations were fulfilled. Finally in 1939, the Court released the assets to the trustees to establish a Home. The Gibbons Home was incorporated in 1939 and opened in 1940 in the Gibbons family homestead.
Responding to population growth and business development in Springfield Township, the property was sold in 1970 to make way for the Springfield Mall. The Home moved to a new facility nearby on Lincoln Avenue. As patterns of social services changed and with residency diminished, the Gibbons Home was closed in 2000, and its assets turned over to PresbyHomes and Services.