Woodward & Hageman, History of Burlington and Mercer Counties. 1883
Southampton Township: Villages & Hamlets - Vincentown (pages 421-423
Vincentown is the principal town in Southampton Township, and is pleasantly located on either bank of the south branch of the Rancocas Creek, immediately above the mouth of the “Stop the Jade” Creek. In the “Life of John Brainard” it is spoken of as Quakertown, from the number of Quakers composing its early inhabitants. Tradition, with its ever self-reliant anecdotes, positively assures us that this point of land between the Rancocas and Stop the Jade Creeks, on which stands the sober old town of Vincentown, was known far and near as Brimstone Neck, probably from the sulphurous exhalations of the old pioneers when met on their occasional convivial seasons at the old pioneer hostelry. Well, it is said that they did make “Rome howl” at times. All these traditional scenes left far in the dim past, we now look upon this town with its beautiful surrounding country, its charming silvery lake, its railroad facilities, its business enterprises, their rise and growth.
History or records point us to nothing of mechanical or manufacturing interest in this place prior to 1775 save the old saw-mill, built by Joseph Burr, about a mile above Vincentown. Mr. Burr willed his saw-mill at Vincentown to his daughter Keziah Howell, wife the Governor Howell, of New Jersey. There is quite a romance connected with the marriage of Miss Burr to Governor Howell. She was one of the reigning belles, known far and wide for her charming beauty and ladylike accomplishments, and many were her suitors. But the gallant Howell, through the aid of a third party, finally won her heart and hand. The greatest obstacle in his way was, he was an Episcopalian, while her parents were strict Friends. Like most lovers, such trifling obstacles were soon overcome, and the two were made one.
The pioneer grist-mill at this place was built by Joseph Burr, Jr., in 1812, on the site of the present mill, owned by Gen. John S. Irick.
For a town known to be settled as early as this was, we are nevertheless confined to the narrow limits of the present century for facts in the case.
During the period of the Revolutionary war, there were but very few houses at this place, consequently no necessity for stores and trades, while no doubt the pioneer trading during most of the last century was done at Mount Holly, which is but a few miles distant. When the Leeds brothers became owners of the site of Quakertown, the name was changed to that of Vincentown, after Vincent Leeds, and the name so continued when a post-office was established in 1831 or 1832, and Err Joyce appointed postmaster. He then kept the office in the frame building next south of Evans’ Hotel. Just when the first tavern was opened here, or who the pioneer dispenser of provender and “Jersey lightning” was is not positively known, but in 1812, John Butterworth and Benjamin Burr were the “inn-keepers.” Butterworth kept what in later and present years is known as the upper tavern. This hostelry was also kept by William Fairholm, previous to that of Butterworth. Fairholm filled the double capacity of inn-keeper and blacksmith. His shop stood near his tavern, on the site now occupied by the residence of John Ross. The last tavern-keeper in the upper house was Moses Bennett, who died while engaged in his business, and his widow continued the business a few years, when the property changed hands, and the present owner of the property is Frederick Kumph.
The lower tavern, as it was and is still called, was kept by Benjamin Burr in a frame building that on the site now occupied by Buzby & Woolman’s brick store. There was a wing to the old tavern, occupying the space between Buzby and Woolman’s store and the present hotel. The old tavern was removed, converted into a dwelling house, and now occupied by Clayton Haines and John Doron. Burr was succeeded in the old tavern by Whitle Bowker, and Bowker by Amasa Lippincott. He was succeeded by Allen Southwick in the old tavern till 1831, when the present brick hotel was built, and Southwick kept that for several years, and now owned by J.R. Evans.
The pioneer store stood opposite the grist-mill, and was kept by Samuel Beck. This was sometime previous to 1800. The building was subsequently converted into a dwelling house. The next store-house in Vincentown is the one now occupied by Joseph E. Butterworth. It was built previous to 1800, and store kept by Doron & Stockton. This property was once owned by John Sleeper, and then by Mahlon Sleeper. In 1831 or 1832 there was a store on the corner of Main and Mill Streets, where now stand the fine double residences of Buzby & Woolman.
The brick store now occupied by Buzby & Woolman was built about the year 1834 by Garret Winters. He also built the brick tavern, and at that time owned the property where both the store and hotel stand.
In 1830 or 1831 there was a small tan-yard on what is now Mill Street, nearly opposite the grist-mill. The first to engage in the manufacture of boots and shoes in this place was John Sleeper and his son Mahlon. The shop stood on the site now occupied by Samuel Butterworth’s residence, and Sleeper’s house stood on the site now occupied by the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1833, Robert H. Woolston owned the lot upon which the Vincentown National Bank stands, and in that year built the building now occupied by the bank.
The pioneer wheelwright-shop of this place was built by William Dobbins, on the corner opposite the Baptist Church. The building is now owned and operated by Frank Alloway as a tailor-shop. The next wheelwright-shop was by Jervis Haines, in the shop now occupied by John Ross. The “Haines” wheelwright- and blacksmith-shop, north of the Baptist Church, was built by Haines and Lippincott in 1840 or 1842.
The pioneer blacksmith of Vincentown was Anthony Phillips. His shop was near where the Baptist Church now stands. The next blacksmith was Joseph Naylor. His shop was on Main Street, now owned by Joshua Lippincott. It was a frame building, and subsequently filled in with brick and the siding taken off, giving it the appearance of a brick building.
The present grist-mill was built in 1850 by Joshua S. Burr, and after his death purchased by Gen. John S. Irick, who has improved it to its present dimensions, adding steam power in 1881.
Vincentown in 1882. – There is at present in this town a grist- and saw-mill, owned by Gen. Irick; national bank, on the corner of Main and Mill Streets; public school, No. 63; post-office, by Japhet B. Woolston; select school, by J.G. Herbert; railroad station, terminus of Vincentown Branch of Pennsylvania Railroad; pits of the Vincentown Marl Company; three stores, – J.E. Butterworth, Buzby & Woolman, and N.H. Peacock; two drug stores, – F.S. Hilliard and D.A. Jones; four blacksmith shops, – Charles Haines, Joshua Lippincott, Clayton Sapp, and F.S. Jones; four wheelwright-shops, – W.D. Haines, John Ross, John Goldy, and Samuel E. Bronson; four shoe-shops, – John McFarland, C.B. Marple, John S. Davis, and Aaron A. Sleeper; one tailor shop, Frank Alloway; three churches – Methodist Episcopal, Baptist, and Protestant Episcopal; and one Quaker meeting-house, of which James Branson has charge. The population of Vincentown in 1880 was six hundred and eighty three.