Development of Wayne Estate in 1890, Schultz family history (Father William Schultz, U.S. railroad man delivers trains to Emperor of Russia and Berlin)

In looking over the album of old pictures with Mr. George W. Schultz and his sister, Mrs. Louis D. Peterson, so carefully preserved by the former that they are still clear for reproduction in this column more than 60 years later, it has been interesting to try to discover why their parents should have left the city of Philadelphia in 1888 to establish a new home in what must have seemed at that time a quiet rural section of Pennsylvania. To discover their reasons is perhaps to understand better why George W. Childs should have found it so easy to obtain purchasers for his “Wayne Estate” houses once they were built. The sudden transition from a quiet community of a few farms centering around the Wayne Presbyterian Chapel, the old Opera House and Louella Mansion of Wayne of 1870, to the rapidly growing suburb of 1890 seems, in retrospect, to have been an almost startling one.

George H. Schultz, the father of George W. Schultz and of Mrs. Peterson, was a native Philadelphian, the son of William Schultz, one of the pioneer railroad men in the United States. Always interested in machinery, the latter early became associated with the old firm of Isaac and Levi Morris, rivals at that time of the Baldwin Locomotive Works. He was sent to Berlin with two locomotives, ordered by the Emperor, who had a little railroad which ran the 16 miles between Berlin and Potsdam.

After Mr. Schultz had been in St. Petersburg for a year he sent for his family to join him, and after weeks on a sailing vessel they reached St. Petersburg, their home for the next twelve years. During that period the development of railroading in Russia gained steady momentum. At one time the government offered Mr. Schultz general charge of the entire railroad system of the empire. This, however, he declined, and in 1852 returned to America.

Thus George H. Schultz spent his early boyhood in Russia and received his education there. After his return to America he married, and, with his wife and his young family, lived opposite Franklin Square in a house then located at 244 West Franklin Square, Mr. George W. Schultz, of Wayne, reminisces of that old Philadelphia neighborhood of his youth as “very nice at that time… Franklin Square itself had a fountain in the middle of it and was enclosed by a high iron fence, the gates of which were locked at 10 o’clock in the evening.”

However, as time went on the neighborhood became less and less desirable, and the younger members of the Schultz family felt keenly “the urge to move from the crowded, noisy, smelly city, since almost all who chose suburban life enjoyed better rest, pure air, and the peace and quiet of a full night’s sleep,” again to quote Mr. George W. Schultz. In the meantime Anthony P. Thompson, a former classmate of his at Friends Central School, with whom he had become associated in business, had moved to Wayne and with his mother, his wife and his brother had bought the house and large lot on North Wayne avenue directly opposite Walnut avenue. Mr. Schultz gives a very vivid description of this school friend of his when he says,” He was very English in manner and in dress. He built a stable and kept three horses and a vehicle and became a member of the Radnor Hunt and engaged in the fox chases.”

George Schultz, who had been a frequent visitor at his friend’s house, continues with his story of how he persuaded his own family to move from Philadelphia. “I told my parents what I had seen of Wayne Village and of the new type of houses, and that I wished our family could move out there. I had no idea they would fall for it, but when my parents, my sister and I went out on a train one Sunday, we urged father to buy a Tower House for ample room. I was astonished that they were willing to move out of the city, where we had always lived, and then to commute by train to business daily.”

The year 1888, when they moved, is remembered, Mr. Schultz reminisces, “for the great blizzard. It began March 11, and after three days of snow following a north-east storm, practically all horse cars, wagons and foot travel were stalled for a week, and it was difficult to get to business on foot. I had gone down Gray’s Ferry road by horse-car when the rain changed to hail and snow. Leaving the car, I went to a factory to look at some old boilers for sale. On coming out in the howling gale, I saw a large bundle of clothes rolling across the road and found it was an old woman. I picked her up and helped her to her home close by. The horses had been taken off the street cars in exhausted condition, and I was forced to walk three miles to my home.”

Once in Wayne, it was to one of the new “Tower Houses” of the Wayne Estate to which the Schultz family came, as had been requested by the younger members of the family. (This was incorrectly called a “Round End House” earlier in this series.)

In one of the first brochures sent out by Wendell and Smith of the Wayne Estate, these “Tower Houses,” of which there are a number in North Wayne, are described as having “a very picturesque exterior… large, well shaded portico in the front… A very attractive 13-room house with carved oak staircase. Hard wood finish on the first floor and home-like corners for your furniture. Tasteful effects in stained glass roundels. The very best of everything is in this house.”

This home of the Schultz family is the one now numbered 211 Walnut avenue. The one to the right of it was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Baring Powel. Later Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hare Powel also came to South Wayne to live. The Powel brothers were young men of about the same age as George Schultz and his brothers, and close friends of theirs. They had formerly lived in Philadelphia, just as the Schultz family had, moving to Wayne for much the same reasons as the latter had done. The Powel house on South 3rd street, Philadelphia, which dated back to 1768, was of such beauty and such historical interest that the furnishings of its drawing room have been moved into a similar room in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where it is the center of great interest to visitors.

Thus we glimpse why at least three Philadelphia families, first the Thompsons, then the Schultzes and soon thereafter the Powels, moved from well established Philadelphia homes to what had been the quiet little rural settlement of Cleavers Landing, later named Wayne, to be among the first owners of George W. Childs’ Wayne Estate houses.

St. David’s Church in 1891, Geo. Schultz photos at home at 211 Walnut Ave., The Bicycle Club of Wayne

43_image01Again this week we are presenting pictures from an old album belonging to George W. Schultz. All of these pictures were taken in the late 80’s or early 90’s by Mr. Schultz himself.

This picture of old St. David’s Church, looking much as it does today, was taken in 1891. It recalls to Mr. Schultz’s sister, Mrs. Louis D. Peterson, the various picnics that the young people of that period held there. Several were given in connection with church fairs, she tells us, and when I asked her if they were like the [ ] fairs that old St. David’s has these days, her answer is that most of the wares that went on sale were along the food line.

With no automobiles to whisk the picknickers to their destination, it was much more of a trip to the church than it is now. The picnickers arrived by buggy or buckboard, some by the 1890 version of the “station wagon”, others by bicycle. Once there, they roamed around among the old tombstones, and even went into the dark, spooky mausoleums.


Some of the equipages that took the young people on their picnics were of the type shown in the above picture, the so-called “dog-cart”, that was so popular at the turn of the century. This was distinguished from some of the other vehicles of the period in that it was very light and had two transverse seats, back-to-back. An interesting part of this picture is the lantern attached to the side of the car for night driving.

The four young people who appear to be out for a leisurely afternoon’s drive have been identified by Mrs. Peterson as Charles Harbert in the driver’s seat with his sister, Miss Helen Harbert, beside him. Another sister, Miss Maud Harbert, is on the back seat beside Mrs. Peterson (then Miss Gertrude Schultz), who is carefully protecting herself from the sun’s rays with a parasol.

George H. Schultz, who was taking the picture, evidently stood in front of his family home, now numbered 211 Walnut avenue, as the house shown so clearly in the background of the picture is the one directly opposite it, at present occupied by the new superintendent of schools., H.K. Idleman and his family. Next door to it on the right was the old Harbert homestead, now occupied by the McGinley family.


This picture, taken in 1890, shows still another means of “getting places” by one of the forerunners of the modern bicycle. This was one of the types of “safety” bicycles which followed the “Ordinary”, as the bicycles with the high front wheel were called. Bicycles like the one in this picture were those owned by members of the once popular “Bicycle Club” of Wayne, which was described at some length in this column several years ago, from data furnished your columnist by Mr. Schultz.

Those in the picture are: Back row (left to right), Olney Croasdale, William Schultz, William Pinkerton and Mrs. Frank Farrell. Front row (left to right), George Schultz, Emily Sayen, Gertrude Schultz, a young visitor (name now forgotten) and Mary Farrell.

What young people wore (1891 photos)

42_image01The pictures used to illustrate this week’s article have been chosen by your columnist not only because the young men and women in them were among the newcomers to Wayne in the late 80’s, but also because they illustrate the kind of clothes worn at that period.

George H. Schultz, to whom these pictures belong, writes:
“That era was styled ‘Victorian’, after the then ruling Queen of England. The hoop skirt and bustle style period had given way to more sensible dressing. In daytime, women were always modestly dressed and wore skirts down to their ankles, and waists high up to the neck. Even when playing tennis and golf they wore long skirts and hats. No bare arms or legs were visible. Bathing suits for both men and women were generally of wool, covering most of the human form. Modesty was considered refinement then.”


The three charming young ladies who are seated in one of the large side yards in North Wayne are (left to right) Miss Helen Harbert and Miss Gertrude Schultz, who married the late Louis D. Peterson, and now resides on East Lancaster avenue, St. Davids.

The Misses Harbert, when they first came to Wayne, lived at 200 Walnut avenue with their parents, in a house almost opposite the Schultz home, and identical to it architecturally. This house is now occupied by the McGinley family.

Miss Helen Harbert, who is deceased, married George Brooke. Her sister, Miss Maude Harbert, who remained unmarried, is still living, although not in Wayne.

The two young men in the second picture are (left to right) William H. Schultz and George W. Schultz. This picture, like that of the three young women, was taken in 1891. Of masculine styles of that time, Mr. Schultz writes:
“Men wore stiff round-crown black derby hats, except for formal occasion, which required high silk hats. Soft hats and caps of the modern style were regarded as slouchy. Suits were rather tight fitting and the style was for white vests, ‘picadilly’ stiff collars, ascot ties and scarf pins – and creases in the pants and they were not turned up at the feet whether it was raining or not.”

Although “Sunday garb was not much different from that of week day”, according to Mr. Schultz, we rather think that this picture was taken on a Sunday. With their gold headed canes across their knees and their derby hats in their hands, these brothers might have been about to walk to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, of which they were members, or if the picture was taken in the afternoon, they might have been ready to start out on the round of “calling on friends,” the regular Sunday afternoon routine in Wayne of 60 years ago. “Those afternoons were quiet, restful ones”, Mr. Schultz says reminiscently – and like the more formal elegant clothes of that time now past, those days must indeed have had a charm all their own.

(To be continued)

What young people did for amusement and entertainment (1890 photos)

As George W. Schultz and your columnist sit in his pleasant living room in the Anthony Wayne Apartments and turn the pages of his old photograph album, the Wayne of 1890 seems to come alive through these splendid pictures, as clear and distinct as they were when he took them more than 60 years ago.

41_image01Here are the Wayne Estate houses, as they appeared when they were just completed, looking very trim and neat, but against a background strange to eyes of the present day. For most of our wide-spreading trees were slender saplings then, and our tall, thick hedges had not even been planted.

Other things are strange, too… the quiet streets free from automobile traffic with only the occasional horse and cart as the pleasure vehicle. Some show families sitting on their front porches, others are of young people on a tennis court or in groups on the lawn, and two are of a picnic at Valley Forge in August, 1890.

As your columnist examines more closely the picture which she has chosen for illustration for this week’s column, she asks, “What did the young people do for entertainment and amusement in Wayne in 1890?” And Mr. Schultz answers from the experience of his own youth.

“When young persons went to a friend’s house at night, they had to walk, carrying a lantern when there was no moonlight… the general evening’s relaxation was to play cards, euchre, poker and the new game, bridge, just introduced. In summer, outside of the baseball club, many families had tennis courts. There were dancing parties at the Saturday Club house about once a month, and amateur theatricals occasionally in the Wayne Opera House. And then there were summer “hops” at the Bryn Mawr and Devon Hotels.

“Mrs. Kate Longstreth Sayen was always popular with the younger set,” said Mr. Schultz. “It was she who chaperoned the large group at the Valley Forge picnic shown in the two pictures. She invited enough young people to fill two hay wagons. I was camera man with old style glass plates and a tripod. After climbing the old wooden observation tower and visiting Washington’s headquarters, which had a small relic room in the rear of the museum, we all seated ourselves on the slope of Mt. Joy and opened the food and drink for supper. There was then (in August 1890) no State Park and only a few scattered ancient houses which had not been destroyed in the 1777 raid of Colonel Grey’s British Cavalry, burning the iron forge of Dewees and Potts.”


The following is one of the pictures taken on that August day of 1890. The background is a far cry from the beautifully kept park-like Valley Forge of today. And as we look at people of 60 years ago, so formally dressed for this picture, we cannot but wonder what they would have thought of the picnic attire of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren of today – the wind blown hair of our hatless girls and boys – their slacks and their shorts – their bare legs – their feet encased in flopping moccasins!

Complete identification of all those at the picnic has been made by Mr. Schultz.

So much for the hayride to Valley Forge Park in the big horse drawn wagons and for the picnic on Mt. Joy.

41_image02The second picture shows the tennis court on the old Sayen place, which is still located just across the street from the site of the First Baptist Church, on Conestoga road and West Wayne avenue. This church was torn down in the spring of 1952. The Sayen house is now the home of the Italian-American Club. This picture was also taken in August 1890.