|Front of the George Springer House|
|Stephen Springer, Jr. House|
The last house we'll look at in this long tour of the Springer family is that of Stephen Springer, Jr. (1822-1895). It sits just east of his father's house, also currently in Mendenhall Village. Runk states that the young Stephen stayed in his father's house until the age of 21, at which time he was given a portion of the family farm. It may not be a coincidence that this would have occurred in 1843, just months after the passing of Stephen, Sr. It may be that this was a natural time for the brothers James and Stephen to divide the land between them, or it may have been divided by their father's will. In either case, Stephen, Jr. soon built a stone house, similar to the one in which he was raised. He may have done this when he first obtained the land, or it may not have been built until after he was married in 1848.
|Stephen Springer, Jr.|
The woman Stephen Springer married in 1848 was Mary Elizabeth Love, the daughter of Rev. Thomas Love, the pastor of Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church. As best as I can tell, Stephen, Mary, and their five children did initially live in his house above Mill Creek, identified on the 1881 and 1893 maps as "Hillside". Eventually, though, it looks like they may have split time between this home and Mary's father's house in Loveville. In the 1860 and 1880 Cenuses they seem to be listed in Stephen's house, while 1870 shows them in Loveville. All indications are that by the end of his life, for sure, Stephen and Mary resided in Rev. Love's old home, although they seems to have still owned Hillside.
Like his brother James probably did, Stephen may have leased his farm to a tenant, at least part of the time. None of his four sons became farmers, so the the property probably left the family's hands soon after 1900. While none of them farmed, all four of Stephen's sons found success. Robert was a carpenter, Thomas followed in his maternal grandfather's footsteps and became a minister, and Willard and Francis both became successful doctors. Not bad for a family whose origins spring (no pun intended) from a kidnapped and enslaved Swede.
So there we have the (abridged) story of the Springers of Northern MCH. As I said, I originally meant only to focus on the Stephen Jr. and Sr. houses, until I became aware of their connection to the Hockessin houses. Then it seemed more appropriate to tell the whole story, and put all the houses and family members into context. I apologize for the length of the posts, but this was one of those investigations where I ended up having much more to say than I ever expected. But as in every historical investigation, there's always more to discover.