TWO HUNDRED YEARS
by Walter E. Baum
             History of Sellersville, PA [Excerpt]

        From:
             R-L-M <R-L-M@prodigy.net>
 Dear Sellers Cousins,

Several years ago I was given an excerpt from the book, Two Hundred
Years, by Walter E. Baum, regarding Sellersville, PA. I wanted to share
the information with the list, so I have retyped below. I do not have
the book, nor have I ever seen it. This information has not been proven
by me, I just thought it might be helpful to other SELLERS researchers.
I hope it is not too long for e-mail.
 

Excerpts from the book Two Hundred Years, by the late Walter E. Baum,
Sellersville, PA.  Published 1938.

CHAPTER 3 - MILL SETTLEMENTS

   "While early histories of Bucks County credit the Wambold mill as
being the beginning of Sellersville, there is little doubt that there
was a settlement here previously because the Derstine mill already had
been erected.

   This mill, according to the family tradition and historical notes,
was built sometime between 1720 and 1742.

   A crude structure with hardly more than a roof and supporting
timbers, it was, nevertheless equipped for grinding.  In 1742 it was
replaced by a more substantial structure.

   In William W. H. Davis' History of Bucks County (published in 1893)
he says:  "One of the earliest settlers in the west end of the township
(Rockhill) near where Sellersville now stands, was Abraham Wambold, who
purchased a tract on a branch of the Perkiomen, 1738, on which he built
a dwelling, grist mill and tannery.  Here he carried on milling and
tanning many years, and to him the farmers, many miles 'round brought
their grain to be ground."

   I have always been intrigued by the mills of the Pennsylvania-German
forefathers.  The historical lore connected with them stimulated the
imagination.  I saw in them the community centre and I never failed to
visit a mill whenever I had an opportunity to do so.  Naturally, also, I
was attracted by the picturesque setting.  The old structures were
wooden.  Later they were of stone, hardy and enduring.

   When a miller chose a site he took into consideration its
accessibility for the neighboring farm people.  But more often he was
concerned about the power which a stream could generate.  Quite
naturally a place with a definite grade in the landscape was selected
because it lent itself to the building of a dam.  Often, therefore, the
mill structure was erected at odd places.

  Today one drives along some out-of-the-way rural road and, among
curves along hillsides, suddenly there looms up a quaint structure.
Across the street or nearby is the miller's house.  In the ensemble are
a barn, a wagon shed and other buildings, added as the mill business
expanded.

   The spot seems deserted except, perhaps for a dog seeking shad of the
inevitable buttonwood of the millstream.  The silence, as one
approaches, is deceiving.  The miller is a busy person.  To see him one
must go inside and, maybe, shout lustily.  Otherwise, 'twould be hard to
attract him from the numerous chores that call him here, there and
elsewhere in the building.
 

CHAPTER 7 - A NEW NAME

   Undoubtedly the name "Sellers' Tavern" was used to designate the
settlement that thrived in the vicinity of the old Wambold mill and
tannery.  It was a common occurrence to name a village after the
inn-keeper; that is, in everyday conversation.  Frequently the name was
dropped when some group of residents selected an official name, since
ownership of inns changed hands often.

   Old towns often bore the name of the original settler.  Especially
was this the case when the founder was a family man to pass on the
homestead to sons.

   In the case of Sellers' Tavern, U. S. Postal authorities gave the
name official standing by so naming the post office.  The name continued
for many years but subsequently it was given the present name,
Sellersville.

   The name was appropriate not only through common usage but also
because of the standing of the Sellers family who were among the early
Germans to settle in Pennsylvania.

   The family record goes back to Hans Georg Soller, born about 1615 at
Weinheim in the Palatinate.  The town, located on the Bergstrasse, is
situated near Mannheim, in Baden, after which the Mannheim in Lancaster
County (PA.) was named by old settlers from that district.  The
Bergstrasse is "an ancient road skirting the fruit and vine clad western
slopes of the Odenwald and leading to Heidelberg."

   Family records are found in the registry of the Evangelical Lutheran
Congregation at Weinheim.  The direct line to the owner of Sellers'
Tavern descends as follows:  Hans Georg, born 1615; Hans Paul, 1640;
Hans Adam, 1669; Philip Heinrich, 1699.  Philip Heinrich was the settler
in Pennsylvania.

   The following quotation comes from an old family record (dated 1827):
"He (Philip Heinrich Soller) left his native country and with a wife and
four children came to Philadelphia (1728) and from there went to
Skippack and stayed a short time, after which he bought a tract of land
of 200 acres on the Branch (creek) about one mile below where Thomas
Sellers now lives (in 1827).  There he lived until his death.  He died
at the age of sixty-five years, leaving a wife and ten children-seven
sons and three daughters."

  According to another record he had secured a grant of land from Thomas
Penn, March 10, 1733 for "150 acres lying on a branch of the 'Pekeowmen'
near Roel's land in Bucks County."  The 200 acre purchase, mentioned
previously, is also stated in the latter record "the deed being dated
Aug. 24, 1735 and the grantors being Peter Snyder and Catherine his
wife."

   Philip Heinrich Soller, so named when he came to America but changed
to Philip Henry Sellers soon after his arrival, had ten children.  Among
them was John (1731) who had seven children.  Samuel, the second son
(1758-1817) sheriff and Penna. Legislator, had eleven children.  His
eighth child was Thomas (1798-1863) proprietor of Sellers' Tavern and
postmaster.  He had three children.  One of these died in childhood.
His wife was the daughter of Jacob Shellenberger.  A daughter, born at
Sellersville, was buried at Indian Creek Church with the following
epitaph:  "Catherine, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Sellers, born
August 20, 1824, died February 10, 1901" which would infer that she was
unmarried.  The son to grow to manhood was Mahlon S. Sellers.  He was
born at Sellersville July 27, 1830; died February 7, 1882 and was buried
at Boehm's Church, Penllyn, Pa.  He married a distant cousin, Anna
Melvina Sellers (daughter of Joel Sellers). Their great grandfather was
John Sellers (1731).

   Mahlon S. Sellers moved to Lansdale (Pa.) where he became Editor of
Lansdale Reporter newspaper in 1877.  In 1878n he was elected a member
of the State Legislature from Montgomery County.  In June 1881 he found
the Perkasie (Pa.) Central News newspaper, of which he was part owner
until his death.

   He was married a second time, his wife being Barbara Bach.  By his
second marriage there was one child, Catherine, born October 19, 1878.
Thus the male line of immediate line of the original resident, after
whom Sellersville was named, became extinct.

   Other lines from the original settler became prominent in the public
life and affairs in their respective communities.  Quoting again from
the family history the achievements are recorded as follows:  "Bucks
County has had two sheriffs of the family, also two member s of the
Legislature.  Montgomery County one sheriff and one member of the
Legislature, a member of the Convention to amend the Constitution and a
Recorder of Deeds.  Juniata County has a member of the State Senate.
Franklin County (now Fulton) a member of the Legislature.  Lehigh county
a Commissioner and member of the Legislature-others have held offices of
trust and honor."

   An interesting item at this portion of the family history is this
note:  "Philip Sellers had 25 or 26 children."

   Another line from the original settler became distinguished in the
law, the army, the navy and in engineering.

   Major Edwin Elias Sellers (fourth generation removed from the
pioneer, Philip Henry) was commissioned a second Lieutenant in the Civil
War.

Excerpts from the book Two Hundred Years, by the late Walter E. Baum,
Sellersville, PA.  Published 1938.

End of Excerpt