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Benson's Chapel

Upper Uwchlan Township, just off of Route 100

"A walled-in cemetery in Upper Uwchlan Township marks the site of Benson's Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church, the first Methodist congregation established, and to erect a building in Chester County."

"A parcel of land was acquired for f3, the sum paid by James Benson, a leader in the society, whose family had been landholders in the area as early as 1715. The deed records the names of the trustees as James Benson, Joseph Jones, Ellis Jones, William Ball, William Flin, James Battin, Thomas West, John Ball and Daniel Meredy, who are called "Yoemen" of Uwchlan Township. In 1781 a building was erected which became known as Benson's Chapel and was described in a 1796 tax list as "One Log Meeting House, belonging to the Society of Methodists." For its entire existence, Benson's Chapel was part of a circuit, which linked together any number of societies under two or three traveling preachers or circuit riders.

Apparently also buried in the cemetery is none other than Isaac Rollins the preacher who helped establish Chester County Methodism in the 1770s.

Another of the leaders mentioned in the deed was James Battin or Batten, who hosted a class meeting in his home, about 5 miles SW of Benson's, across the Brandywine Creek. (The beginning of Hopewell Methodist Church) Members of the class included James Batten and his wife, Thomas Batten (their son) and his wife, Hannah Batten, Thomas’ sister, Rachel Kerns and Ann Maxwell.

"Over the years, the Hopewell congregation grew, while Benson's declined. The last service in Benson's Chapel was 1832. At some point, the building was opened up to the use of a school until stormy weather caused a tree to fall on it collapsing the roof and the wreck was sold to a neighbor for whatever he chose to give. In 1881 Rev. John Wesley Geiger pastor of Hopewell began holding services in the Eagle Schoolhouse hoping to revive a new congregation in Uwchlan but his dream did not materialize."

Filename Description Date Submitter Researching Subject
bensonschapel.jpg
bensonschapel1.jpg
Benson's Chapel Ruins Sep 2006 Dan Lindley  
jones-jl.jpg JONES, Joseph
Buried here 1793
JONES, Lydia Roberts
d. 04 Apr 1787 (His Wife)
Granddaughter of Robert Cadwalader
Sep 2006 Dan Lindley  

Chester County File Manager -  Cyndie Enfinger

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