Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography

Ownership and Financing of American Water Works
Aqua America

Aqua America


Aqua American traces its roots back to the incorporation of the Springfield Water Company in Pennsylvania on January 4, 1886.  This company got off to a slow start, but in 1889 bought a small water system serving the West Hill Land company and contracted with the American Pipe Manufacturing Company to develop a new water source and extend service throughout Springfield Township, which was well underway by 1891.  Sometime before March, 1892, American Pipe gained control of the Springfield Water Company and merged one existing and six new water companies into it in June.

American Pipe then developed a new water source on Crum Creek and built a water- and steam-powered pumping plant that supplied a large reservoir.  The Springfield company expanded service into several townships and boroughs of Delaware County, and in 1898 the North Springfield Water Company was incorporated by American Pipe to serve Montgomery County, and several other new and existing water companies were merged into it.  In 1908 the Rydall Water Company was renamed Springfield Consolidated Water Company, and leased the Springfield and North Springfield water companies for a period of 99 years.  These two companies were bought outright in 1923 and merged into the Consolidated firm, which along with the parent company, renamed American Pipe and Construction Company in 1909, were bought by Clarence H. Geist in November, 1924.  Geist has owned the Indianapolis Water Company since 1912, and renamed Springfield Consolidated to Pennsylvania Suburban Water Company in May, 1925.   Geist also sold off the other water holdings of American Pipe.   

Pennsylvania Suburban acquired two new water systems in 1928, and two others in 1940 after the death of Geist in 1938.  Geist the American Pipe and Construction Company until it was dissolved in December, 1938, after Philadelphia Suburban was directly owned his estate until it was sold 1958.  In 1968, the Philadelphia Suburban Corporation was formed to be a holding company and oversaw an aggressive expansion program in the 1980s, culminating in the acquisition of Consumers Water Company in 1999. 

The Philadelphia Suburban Corporation was renamed Aqua America in 1994, and the Philadelphia Suburban Water Company was renamed Aqua Pennsylvania.

In January 2012, the regulated water operations in Maine were sold to Connecticut Water Service, Inc. In May 2012, Aqua America acquired all of American Water Works Company, Inc.’s regulated water and wastewater operations in Ohio simultaneously sold our regulated water operations in New York.

Aqua America corporate web site


References
1889 "A Pipe Company Incorporated," Courier-Post (Camden, New Jersey), January 30, 1889, Page 1.
Articles of incorporation have been filed in the county clerk's office by the American Pipe Manufacturing Company, with an authorized capital of $1,000,000, of which $2,000 is to be paid in.  The company proposes to manufacture patented hydraulic pipe and other pipes for use of gas, gas, electric light, &c.  The incorporators are Edwin F. Partridge, Nathan B. Cox, William S. Perot, Jr., David J. Hoar, Joseph S. Keen, Jr., and Charles S. Farnum, of Philadelphia, Joseph D. Hawley, of Media; William M. Paul, Moorestown, and Clifford Stanley Sims, Mt. Holly.

1891 Philadelphia and Popular Philadelphians
Page 124:  American Pipe Manufacturing Company.
The American Pipe Manufacturing Co. was originally established in Philadelphia in 1886, but it was not until January 31st, 1889, that it was incorporated under the laws of New Jersey with an authorized capital of $1,000,000, of which $425,000 was paid in.  It is one of the largest and most enterprising companies of its kind in the country, and by able and efficient management the success attained has been very satisfactory. Properly speaking, the business of the company is two distinct and separate branches, one being the manufacture of pipe for water, gas, and other underground uses—the other, building and erecting complete systems of water-works for cities, towns and villages. The latter is by no means the lesser of the two, in fact it is probably the greater, as the construction of works is attended oftentimes with considerable trouble, and engineering difficulties which must be overcome to meet with success. In addition to the manufacture of pipe, and the construction of water and other works, the company will build works upon the franchise being duly awarded to them by ordinances, and either operate them, or lease, or sell them on such terms as may be convenient to the towns or cities in which they have been built. The company's specialty in the manufacturing line is the "Phipps Hydraulic Pipe;" no better pipe for all underground conduits has ever been offered to the public.
Since the American Pipe Manufacturing Company have been engaged in manufacturing this pipe they have constructed many water-works, the piping system being exclusively laid with their pipe varying in quantity from 5 to 40 miles in each works, and either own stock in or control the majority of them, among which are the works located at Derry, Pa.; Moorestown, Riverton and Palmyra, N. J.; Greensburg, Irwin, Ridley Park and Swarthmore, Pa.; Skaneateles and Jordan, N. Y.; Tallahassee, Florida; Greenwich, Alabama; Greenville, S. C.; Dawson, Georgia, and many others scattered about the country.

1892 Engineering News 27:235 (March 5, 1892)
Ridley Park, Pa.- It is reported that the American Pipe Manufacturing Co., Philadelphia, has secured the contract of the Ridley Park Cold Spring Water Co.  The former company, it is said, is connected with a project for consolidating several plants in the eastern and southern sections of Delaware County.  When the scheme is carried out one pumping station will lift water to a reservoir from which the several towns will be supplied by gravity.

1892 The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 7, 1892, Page 7.
The American Pipe Manufacturing Company, of this city, will erect a pumping station in the upper end of Delaware county.

1892 The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 18, 1892, Page 7.
On June 4, a meeting of the stockholders of the Springfield Water Company is to be held at Swarthmore College to vote upon the question  of increasing the capital stock of the company from $25,000 to $250,000.  The idea is to furnish water to all the towns on the P. W. & B. Railroad down to Darby.

1892 The Times (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), June 16, 1892, Page 1.
All of the local water companies recently chartered in Delaware county, including those in Upper Darby, Radnor, Ridley, and Springfield township were merged yesterday into a single company, called the Springfield Water Company, a corporation owned and controlled by the American Pipe Company.

1892 "A Delaware County Water Deal," The North American, June 16, 1892, Page 6.
Special Dispatch to The North American.
Media, June 15. - The various local water companies of Delaware County, which had been chartered recently, were merged to-day under one name, the Springfield Water Company, a corporation owned by the American Pipe Company, in which Francis M. Brooke, of the firm of F. M. & H. Brooke, and Edward F. Partridge, of Philadelphia, and Joseph W. Hawley, Walker Y. Hoopes and William H. Miller of Media, are largely interested.  This deal takes in all of the county companies, including those in Springfield, Ridley, Darby, Upper Darby, Radnor and Haverford townships.

1892 Engineering News 27:643 (June 23, 1892)
Delaware Co., Pa.- Companies supplying Clifton, Darby, Radnor, Swarthmore, Ridley Park and some other towns in this county have consolidated as the Springfield Water Co.  The American Pipe Manufacturing Co., Philadelphia, is said to be behind the consolidation.

1892 Fire and Water Engineering 12(21) (November 19, 1892)
In the near future nearly all the residents of Eastern Delaware county, Pa., will be drinking Crum Creek water. Through the extensive arrangements made by the Springfield Water Company, a supply of pure water will flow through its fifty miles of pipes, to such towns as Morton, Ridley Park. Swarthmore, Clifton, Upper and Lower Derby, Lansdowne, Sharon Hill, Rutledge, Kellyville, Fernwood, Norwood, Prospect Bark, Glenolden, Collingdale, Oakeola, Moore, Colwyn, Yeadon, Burmont, Secand, Millmont. etc. Fire hydrants have been placed in great numbers and at such desirable points that no fire can occur at any point of the section of country mentioned, that a strong stream of water cannot immediately be brought to bear on it. The cost of this great water system will be nearly $400,000, and it is estimated that about 2000 houses will be supplied with all the water needed for domestic purposes. The new distributing reservoir, about one mile from Morton, is ready to receive water from Crum Creek, the source of supply, through a twelve-inch pipe, the water being pumped from the creek by an extensive steam pump. The reservoir, which has a capacity of 2,000,000 gallons, has an elevation of 324 feet. It is 200 feet in diameter and fourteen feet deep, and the embankment is eleven feet wide on top, to which there is a graceful slope well sodded. The reservoir was three months in construction. A division wall runs through the centre of the reservoir, so that any repairs that may he necessary can he made with the water shut off in one-half of the basin, and the other half remains full. The outlet pipes are so arranged that water can he taken in or let out by either pipe, independent of the other. The reservoir is circular in form and not square, as most reservoirs are, and this form saves thirteen per cent in cost. Adjoining the reservoir is a circular stone tower-like gate house, filled with hydraulic machinery and containing a “scum pot” to prevent the passage of any objectionable matter into the reservoir. It is estimated that at present the quantity of water required to furnish the daily wants of the locality indicated will be about 400,000 gallons, hut it is believed that in the early future not less than 700,000 gallons per diem will he required. Civil Engineer J. W. Ledoux had charge of the work.

1892 Farm line and Borough Atlas of Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Plate 12:  Springfield township, showing Whiskey Run and property owned by the Springfield Water Co.
Plate 13:  Swarthmore borough, showing Swarthmore College and 1881 water town owned by Springfield Water Company
Plate 21:  Nether Providence Township, showing Crum Creek and Dick's Run

1893 Harrisburg Daily Independent, March 15, 1893, Page 2.
Media, March 15. - Samuel C. Lewis, Thomas Lee, Smith Longbottom, Albert P. Lewis and others, owners of mill property and water rights along Crum Creek in this county, have raised an objection to the Springfield Water Company taking such a large quantity of water from the creek in the vicinity of their mills.  The damages will be determined by a jury of view appointed by the court.

1893 The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 7, 1893, Page 13.
Darby. The Springfield Water Company have been busy the past two weeks getting in their supply mains.                  

1893 "A Suburban Water-Works System," The Engineering Record 27:419-420 (April 22, 1893)
About a year ago, the Springfield Water Company was organized by members of the American Pipe Manufacturing Company, of Philadelphia, to supply a portion of Delaware County, Pa., extending from the limits of that city out to Swathmore with a population of 400; Morton, 600; Rutledge, 400; Ridley Park, 800; Folsom, 200; Holmes, 200; Moores, 1,000; Norwood, 1,200; Sharon Hill, 500; Glenolden, 300; Llanwelyn, 200; Collingdale, 200; Darby, 3,000; Lansdowne, 1,000; Fernwood,700; Yeadon, 200; Clifton, 2,700, and Highlands, 200; while a scattered population of about 1,000 makes the total number served by the new company about 15,000, all situated on the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore, the Philadelphia and Westchester, and the Baltimore and Ohio Railway systems. Work was begun on the plant about eight months ago and is now finished, there having been laid in this time over 40 miles of pipe, about 11 miles of which was 10 and 12-inch. The suburban population supplied by the company has developed quite rapidly and is expected to increase considerably in the near future.
The supply is taken from Crum Creek, a stream draining a very sparsely settled portion of Delaware County, at a point where the flow is expected to always exceed 4,000,000 gallons in 24 hours. The pumping station is supplied with hydraulic as well as steam pumping machinery. All the water is being pumped through mechanical filters to a reservoir of 2,000,000 gallons capacity, located 220 feet above the level of the pumps. The accompanying cuts render the details of this reservoir perfectly clear.
The static pressures due to the elevation of the distributing reservoir are as follows: Morton, 86 pounds; Swarthmore, 79 pounds; Clifton, 91 pounds; Lansdowne, 94 pounds; Darby, 119 pounds; while at some low points the pressure rises as high as 130 pounds. The pipe used was of the Phipps wrought-iron, cement-lined form which has been employed with success in about 15 other works constructed and owned by the company. Mr. J. W. Ledoux was the engineer of the works, and to him we are indebted for information on which the above description is based.

1893 The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 11, 1893, Page 13.
Ridley Park. The Springfield Water Company is extending the water main on Penn Street.

1893 The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 30, 1893, Page 13.
Sharon Hill. The Springfield Water Company has extended their pipes across the P.W. and B.R.R. to supply the residents of the fast improving section on the south side.

1893 "Mill-Owners Want Damages," The Times (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), November 27, 1893, Page 8.
The Springfield Water Company is using about 2,000,000 gallons of water per day to supply Swarthmore, Lansdowne and other towns, get their water from Crum Creek, in Ridley township.

1894 Engineering Record 30:98 (July 7, 1894)
Eddystone, Pa. - City Clerk William B. Keer writes, "The Springfield Water Company, of Philadelphia, has secured the privilege of introducing water into our borough, and will commence operations in about 30 days."

1894 Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia of Delaware County, Pennsylvania: Comprising a Historical Sketch of the County, by Samuel T. Wiley
Page 148: Lansdowne is lighted by electricity and supplied with water by the Springfield Water Company.

1896 Thomas Lee and Smith Longbottom, trading as Lee & Longbottom, v. The Springfield Water Company, Appellant, 176 Pa. 223, July 15, 1896, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

1896 Albert P. Lewis v. The Springfield Water Company, Appellant, 176 Pa. 230, July 15, 1896, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

1896 Samuel C. Lewis v. The Springfield Water Company, Appellant, 176 Pa. 237, July 15, 1896, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

1896 "Determining the Value of Water Rights," by J.W. Ledoux, Philadelphia, Pa., July 23, 1896, The Engineering Record 34:221 (August 22, 1896)
The Springfield Water Company was chartered, and in 1802 acquired the rights of several other water companies with the intention of supplying water to the Philadelphia suburbs in Delaware County, between Philadelphia and Chester and Media. The section contains five railway lines and two trolley lines and is made up of about 15 towns and boroughs, having each a population of from 1,000 to 3,000 inhabitants.
On account of its quantity of water and freedom from contamination, Crum Creek was selected as the source of supply and the pumping station located about 6 miles above its confluence with the Delaware River. An old grist, bobbin, and axe mill was remodeled into a stone pumping station and the following machinery installed:  One 14"x36" Corliss engine, two 10x12-inch triplex duplex pumps, one 16"x10"x12" direct-acting steam duplex pump, one 7x12-inch duplex power plant, and two 5x6-inch triplex power pumps, the last three run by water power, generated by two scroll-wheels 30 inches and 18 inches in diameter, affording under 14 feet head about 18 and nine horse-power respectively.  Three 54"x15’ horizontal tubular boilers having a 30"x90’ stack supply the steam. Water is pumped through two mechanical pressure filters having each a capacity of a half-million gallons per day through a 12-inch pipe to a reservoir holding 2,000,000 gallons located a mile distant, and 230 feet above the pumps. From the reservoir the water gravitates to the distribution containing about 60 miles of pipe ranging from 12 to 4 inches in diameter.

1896 "Determining the Value of Water Rights," by J.W. Ledoux, Philadelphia, Pa., September 7, 1896, The Engineering Record 34:280 (September 12, 1896)

1896 "A Three Million Mortgage Filed," The Times (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), October 3, 1896, Page 11.
Nine water companies in the sections of Montgomery, Bucks and Delaware counties, suburban to Philadelphia, have been merged into the Springfield Water Company.                   

1897 Boyd's Directory of Delaware County, Penna. 1897-1898
Page 8:  Springfield Water Company advertisement

1897 "Swarthmore," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.
Built in '89 by Springfield Water Co. Reconstructed in '92. Supplies the following places: Darby, Sharon Hill, Glenolden, Norwood, Prospect Park, Ridiey Park, Moores, Crumiynne, Boone, Collingdale, Oakeola, Llanwellyn, Holmes, Folson, Milmont, Fairview, Fernwood, Landsdown, Burmont, Clifton, Adamsford, Primos, Secand, Morton, Swarthmore, Llanerch, Rutledge, Kellyville, Colwyn.

1898 Articles of Incorporation of the North Springfield Water Company, June 20, 1898.
Supplying water to the public in the Township of Springfield Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and to such persons, partnerships and corporations residing therein or adjacent thereto as may desire the same.

1898 Engineering News Supplement 39:213 (June 23, 1898)
Philadelphia, Pa.- The following water companies were incorporated June 20, each with a capital stock of $1,000, of which $100 is paid in:  The Schuylkill Township Water Co., to operate in Schuylkill township, Chester county; Citizens' Water Co., Whitemarsh township, Montgomery County; Peoples' Water Co., Abington townshipo, Montgomery county; North Springfield Water Co., Springfield township, Montgomery county; Consumer's Water Co., Plymouth township, Montgomery county; Upper Dublin Water Co., Upper Dublin township, Montgomery county; Moreland Water Co., Moreland township, Montgomery county; Dewey Water Co., Upper Merton township, Montgomery county.  Incorporators, Wm. H. Miller, Media Pa.; Geo. M. Booth, Chester, Pa.; Nathan B. Cox, Philadelphia; Geo. M. Bunting, Treas., Chester; H. Bayard Hodge, 112 North Broad St., Philadelphia.

1899 The Times (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), July 13, 1899, Page 8.
Drexel & Co. have purchased from the American Pipe Manufacturing Company $100,000 of the 4 per cent. bonds of the Conshohocken Gas and Water Company.

1900 Moody's Manual of Industrial and Miscellaneous Securities
Pages 580-581:  The American Pipe Manufacturing Company

1901 John Clark Sims (1845-1901) grave

1901 American Pipe Manufacturing Company, Capital stock increased to $2,000,000, April 18, 1901.                    

1901 The Fulton County News (McConnelsburg, Pennsylvania), August 8, 1901, Page 2.
The Springfield Water Company has begun proceedings to condemn the water of Crum and Ridley creek for use in its business.

1901 Moody's Manual of Corporation Securities
Page 809:  The American Pipe Manufacturing Company
Description of Property.— Incorporated under the laws of New Jersey, January 31, 1889. The business of the Company is to act as contractors and engineers for water works, to operate water works, and manufacture the Phipps Hydraulic Pipe. The Company has a plant at Germantown Junction, Philadelphia, and controls and operates the following water works:
Clayton Glassboro Water Company, Dawson Water Works Company, East Jersey Coast Water Company, Eddystone Water Company, Greenville Water Works Company, La Grange "Water Works Company, Miledgeville Water Company, Norfolk County Water Company, North Springfield Water Company, Opelika Water Works Company, Paris Mountain Water Company, Springfield Water Company, Sumter Water Company, Tallahassee Water Works Company, Waukesha Water Works, Westville and Newbold Water Company, Wildwood Water Company.
Capitalization.— The capital stock consists of $2,000,000 in shares of $100 each, of which $1,000,000 is outstanding, and balance subscribed. Dividends of 12% per annum are payable quarterly, April, July, October and January 1. Transfer office, 112 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pa.
Management.— Officers: Joseph W. Hawley, President; Joseph S. Keen, Jr., Vice-President and General Manager; H. Bayard Hodge, Secretary; George M. Bunting, Treasurer. Directors: J. W. Hawley, J. S. Keen, Jr., Howard Watkin, G. M. Bunting, N. B. Cox, H. B. Chambers, George Reynolds, G. M. Booth, William H. Miller, W. B. Scott, E. Eldridge Pennock.
Office of Company, 112 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

1902 Baist's Atlas of Properties in Delaware County
Plan 18:  Part of Springfield Township, shows Springfield Water Company pumping station on Crum Creek and reservoir on Marple Hill

1902 Moody's Manual of Corporation Securities
Pages 1320-1321:  The American Pipe Manufacturing Company

1903 Moody's Manual of Corporation Securities
Pages 1341-1342:  The American Pipe Manufacturing Company

1903 Hey, Appellant, v. Springfield Water Company, October 12, 1903, 207 Pa. 38, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

1904 Water Resources of the Philadelphia District, by Florence Bascom, USGS Water Supply and Irrigation Paper No. 106.
Page 65:  Springfield Water Companies

1904 American Pipe Manufacturing Company, Capital stock increased to $5,000,000, March 24, 1904.   

1904 "W. W. Gibbs said May be Behind Filter Scheme," The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 13, 1904, Page 1. | Part 2 |
American Pipe Manufacturing subsidiaries listed.

1904 Water Resources of the Philadelphia District, by Florence Bascom, USGS Water Supply and Irrigation Paper No. 106.
Page 65:  Springfield Water Companies

1904 Moody's Manual of Corporation Securities
Pages 1241:  The American Pipe Manufacturing Company

1905 Articles of Incorporation of the Rydal Water Company, January 27, 1905.
Supply of water to the public in the township of Abington, in the county of Montgomery and State of Pennsylvania.  Capital, $5,000.  Stock subscribers:  Winfield S. Sheard, Philadelphia, 17 shares; A. Austin Busby, Philadelphia, 17 shares.  James A. Bunting, Secane, Pa., 16 shares.

1905 Moody's Manual of Railroads and Corporation Securities
Pages 1573-1574:  The American Pipe Manufacturing Company

1906 Moody's Manual of Railroads and Corporation Securities
Pages 1655-1656:  The American Pipe Manufacturing Company

1907 "Water Project Has Backing of Big Corporation," The Post-Standard (Syracuse, New York), April 13, 1907), Page 6.

1907 Moody's Manual of Railroads and Corporation Securities
Pages 1889-1892:  The American Pipe Manufacturing Company

1908 Rydal Water Company change of name to Springfield Consolidated Water Company, July 27, 1908.

1908 The Third Annual Report of the Commissioners of Health of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Pages 1083-1088:  Swarthmore, Delaware County, August 25, 1908.
Swarthmore College is located on the divide between the two weeks and shows off to great advantage.
The college obtains water for drinking purposes from the Springfield Water Company, which the supply for other purposes is obtained from Dick's Run.  It is said that forty thousand gallons daily are used by the college from source and that all the water is filtered and pumped.
This dam also serves to divert the water furnishing power to pump the Dick's Run water from Swarthmore College.

1908 Leases : Springfield Water Co., North Springfield Water Co., Conshohocken Gas & Water Co., Eddystone Water Co. to Springfield Consolidated Water Co. : dated September 28th, 1908.

1908 Mortgage: Springfield Consolidated Water Company to Columbia Avenue Trust Company, trustee : to secure an issue of first mortgage, five per cent gold bonds amounting to $25,000,000: dated November 2d, 1908

1909 Atlas Part of Springfield Township, shows Springfield Water Company pumping station and Marple Hill Reservoir.  Also early reservoir owned by Springfield Consolidated Water Company with written notations of its sale.

1908 Moody's Manual of Railtoads and Corporation Securities
Pages 2057-2058:  The American Pipe Manufacturing Company

1909 American Pipe Manufacturing Company, Name changed to American Pipe and Construction Company, March 1, 1909.

1909 The Fourth Annual Report of the Commissioner of Health of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Pages 879-893: The Springfield Consolidated Water Company
Pages 894-906: The Springfield Water Company

1909 Moody's Manual of Railtoads and Corporation Securities
Pages 1655-1656:  The American Pipe Manufacturing Company

1910 Moody's Manual of Railroads and Corporation Securities
Pages 2461-2463:  American Pipe & Construction Co. Name changed March 1, 1909.
Page 2183: Springfield Consolidated Water Company, incorporated January 27, 1905 in Pa as the Rydal Water Co.; name changed to present title July 27, 1908.  The company leases the Springfield Water Co., The North Springfield Water Co., the Eddystone Water Co., and the Conshohocken Gas & Water Co. for 99 years from Sept 28, 1908.

1911 Moody's Manual of Railroads and Corporation Securities
Pages 2673:  American Pipe & Construction Co.
Page 2353: Springfield Consolidated Water Company

1913 Moody's Manual of Railroads and Corporation Securities, February 24, 1913.
Pages 2292:  Springfield Consolidated Water Company

1913 Moody's Manual of Railroads and Corporation Securities, Volume II
Page 4036:  American Pipe & Construction Co.

1914 Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Corporation and Reports of the President and of the Treasurer of Swarthmore College
Page 21:  Water Supply. Part of the college water supply comes from the Springfield Water Company, and part from our own plant. It was supposed in the beginning that no one would use for drinking purposes any but the Springfield water. This water was also used in case of emergency for other purposes, as at times we did not have enough from our own plant to supply the demand. During the drought of the summer we were dependent altogether upon the Springfield supply. This was due to lack of power. Inasmuch as it is important to prevent students and others using any but the purest water for drinking purposes, it was decided that, in the interest of good health, the entire supply of college water should be purified. A contract was made with the Roberts Filter Manufacturing Company of Darby, Pennsylvania, who installed a filter of the rapid mechanical type, with a capacity of 100 gallons per minute, and a building large enough to increase the capacity to 200 gallons per minute by the addition of filtering material, etc. This plant has been installed at a cost of about $3200.
It is believed now that our own water will be fully as pure as the Springfield water, and can thus be used for all purposes.

1914 A history of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and its people, by John W. Jordan
Pages 662-663:  As superintendent of the Springfield Water Works, A. B. Cheyney is in charge of one of the most compact, complete and best equipped water supply systems to be found anywhere. The main building of the plant and pumping works is located near Springfield, Delaware county, on Crum Creek, where the works were first established; the old plant having been superseded by the present works. The buildings, of tasteful design, are built of dressed stone and surrounded by carefully kept grounds. The machinery is of the most modern and wonderful construction, and consists of four engines, one capable of pumping five million gallons of water daily, one of two and a half million gallons, one of two million gallons, one of two million six hundred thousand gallons — four thousand eight hundred and fifty horse power being necessary to drive these monsters. The Springfield Water Company controls the water rights of the district with powers to prevent pollution of the sources of supply. The system includes five reservoirs and two stand-pipes, that supply the towns of Delaware county within a radius of ten miles from the central station at Springfield. There the water is impounded in a large settling basin, with a capacity of ten million gallons, then passed through thoroughly modernly constructed sand filters to the supply reservoir, thence the gigantic pumps force it into the mains, clear, pure and wholesome to the homes of the consumers. A daily analysis of the water is made by a chemist, under the direction of the state board of health, and every precaution made to insure absolute purity. The officials of the company are: Joseph H. Keen, president; Bayard Hodge, secretary; George Bunting, treasurer; H. P. Keen, general superintendent operating department; J. W. Ladoux, chief engineer; Arthur B. Cheyney, superintendent of the Springfield Works; George Mitzky, division superintendent.
Arthur B. Cheyney, son of Charles B. M. and Sallie (Hall) Cheyney, was born in Bethel township, Delaware county, January 25, 1865. His early education was obtained in the public schools, after which he entered Drexel Institute, Philadelphia, from which he was graduated electrical engineer. After graduation he was retained in the service of the institute as electrical engineer for three years, going thence to a similar position at the Warden Power Building, in Philadelphia, remaining two years. After two years in the same capacity at the Mutual Life building, Philadelphia, he became officially connected with the Springfield Water Company, and in December. 1898, was appointed to his present position, superintendent of the Springfield Works, a position he most efficiently fills.
Mr. Cheyney is a Republican in politics and both he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church. He married (first) Clara Maxwell, (second) in June, 1897, Margaret, daughter of Emil and Margaret (Love) Le Claire. By the first marriage Mr. Cheyney has two children.

1915 Media Directory 1915-1916
Page 6:  Springfield Consolidated Water Company

1916 The Halcyon:  Published Annually by the Junior Class at Swarthmore College.
Page 11:  A new water filter has been erected, so that not only the Springfield water supply, but the water from our own plant, is wholesome for all purposes, including drinking.

1918 The Pennsylvania Corporation Reporter, Volume VI, January 1918-December 1918
Pages 401-446: Public Service Commission.  M. Gallaghan, et al., v. Springfield Consolidated Water Co.  Includes extensive details about the company, its subsidiaries, rates, etc.

1918 American Pipe and Construction Co. in receivership

1920 The Register of Swarthmore College - 1862-1920. Being a biographical dictionary of the board of managers, the former members of the faculty, the graduates and non-graduates of Swarthmore College.

1922 Moody's Manual of Investments: American and Foreign
Page 261:  American Pipe & Construction Company
Owns Clayton-Glassboro Water Co., Monmouth County Water Co., New York Inter-Urban Water Co., Springfield Consolidated Water Co., Texarkana Water Corp. and Westville & Newbold Water Co.  The Norfolk Water Co., a former subsidiary, was sold to the city of Norfolk on August 1, 1921.

1923 "Legal Notice," The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 9, 1923, Page 27.
Meeting of shareholders of the Springfield Water Company and North Springfield Water Company to be held on August 24, 1923 for the purpose of voting for or against the sale of the franchises and property of these companies to the Springfield Consolidated Water Company, and the cancellation of the lease between the companies and the Springfield Consolidated Water Company, dated September 28, 1908.

1924 "Springfield Water Co. may change hands," Delaware County Daily Times, October 22, 1924, Page 1.
The Springfield Consolidated Water Company is one of a number of concerns controlled by the American Pipe and Construction Company, of Philadelphia, that may pass into the hands of the C.H. Geist Company, also of Philadelphia.

1924 Commercial and Financial Chronicle 119:1955 (October 25, 1924)
Amer. Pipe & Construction Co. - Offer to Stockholders
The company on Oct. 22 mailed a letter to the stockholders advising them that an offer had been made by C.H. Geist, or C.H. Geist & Co., to purchase their stock at $70 a share. 

1924 Commercial and Financial Chronicle 119:2289 (November 15, 1924)
American Pipe & Construction Co. - Geist Offer Accepted
Over 30,000 shares of American Pipe Construction Co., have been deposited in accordance with the offer of C.H. Geist. 
It is understood that a holding company shortly will be formed to take over the American Pipe & Construction Co., control of which has just been acquired by C.H. Geist, and that it will be merged with other Geist properties.

1925 Springfield Consolidated Water Company name changed to Philadelphia Suburban Water Company, May 11, 1925.

1929 Atlas of Delaware County, vol. 1
Plate 31:  Swarthmore Borough, shows water pipes
Plate 32:  Part of Springfield Township, showing pumping station and reservoir of the Springfield Consolidated Water Company.

1933 "Springfield Water Co. Grew From Private Plant," Chester Times (Chester, Pennsylvania), October 3, 1933, Page 1 | Part 2 Page 9 |

1934 A History of Swarthmore College: The First Generation, 1869-1902, by William I. Hill (Unpublished)
Pages 342-344:  Just beside the West House (on the south-east) was a fine spring; and it is probably to its enlargement that the report of 1879 refers as follows: "An increased supply of water has been obtained by digging a large well near the College, and also by constructing a new reservoir near the railroad, from which an additional supply of pure spring water can be obtained when required."  The site of this reservoir and one source of its water were probably near the willow trees and their springs, which formed a long-continued beauty spot upon the south-east campus.
The Great Fire occurred in September, 1881, but in December of that year, the board reported the following addition to the campus:  "New water works have recently been erected through the generosity of two of our friends.  For this purpose several acres of land were purchased on the west side of Crum Creek, from which we obtain a fine stream of of never-failing spring water, which is forced to the top of the college by a Turbine wheel, designed and constructed by one of our own graduates of the Scientific Department.  This will supply at the highest point in the building fifty thousand gallons of water perday, a quantity which far exceeds the largest demand ever made for college uses."
Page 345:  Although the Fire was a heavy flow, an necessitated concentration upon restoring the main building, the campus was not neglected; for in 1882 the board stated: "The new water works, referred to last year, are not completed, and are supplying the tanks daily with about 40,000 gallons, being an excess over the united capacity of the banks of 12,000 gallons.
Pages 346-347:  More land as a source of water-supply was needed, and the board reported in 1887:  "The College obtains almost all of its supply of water from the property known as Strath Haven Dam, including three acres, together with its water privileges, which property is leased from Isaac S. Clothier, with the option of purchasing it as the end of the lease, which expires Fifth month 3d, 1889.  As this property is indispensable to the College, the Board desire to give notice that it is the intention of the authorities to make make application at the next meeting of the Stockholders for authority to purchase the same."
The Board reported in 1888 on this proposal as follows:  "The Stockholders at their last meeting, approved of a stock vote being taken for the purchase of the Strath-Haven Hill property now leased from Isaac H. Clothier, upon which the water works of the College are situated.
"The Board recommends that in place of this the Stockholders approve of the purchase of the entire property, about thirty-five acres, including all water rights, for fourteen thousand ($14,000) dollars, and that notice be given that a stock vote will be taken by the subject at a special meeting to be held at Philadelphia on Third month 12th, 1889."
The next year, the report was made: "The Strath-Haven Hill property has been purchased by the College, subject to a mortgage of ten thousand (10,000) dollars..."

1935 "Professors Founded Big Water Co.," The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 2, 1935, Page 13

1951 "The Professors Who Wanted Running Water," Chester Times (Chester, Pennsylvania), September 7, 1951, Section C, Page 21.

1958 Commercial and Financial Chronicle 188:2646 (December 22, 1958)
Philadelphia Suburban Water Co. - New Control
Control of this company has been acquired by an investing group headed by James H. Clark, prominent business man in Dallas, Texas, and a director of several business and financial corporations; Thomas W. Moses, President of the Indianapolis (Ind.) Water Co., and Wentworth P. Johnson, Senior Vice-President and a director of Fidelity-Philadelphia Trust Co., it was announced on Dec. 10.
The syndicate purchased about 550,000 shares of the approximately 830,000 shares outstanding' of the company's $7.50 par value common stock for a price estimated at $18,000,000. it was stated. The shares were acquired from the trustees of the Estate of Clarence H. Geist, late Philadelphia public utility official.
Speaking for the purchasing group, Mr. Clark stated that H. S. Schutt, current President of Philadelphia Suburban Water Co., has agreed to continue as a member of the board of directors and the executive committee. He also said that no other changes were contemplated in operating personnel or policy.
Philadelphia Suburban Water Co. supplies water to 600,000 persons in the suburban district of Philadelphia — Delaware, Montgomery and Chester Counties. The average daily pumpage in 1957 was 47,368.000 gallons from its principal supply from five creeks — the Crum, in Delaware County; the Pickering near Phoenixville; the Perkiomen in Montgomery County; the Pennypack at Bethayres; and Neshaminy at Neshaminy Falls. Total reservoir capacity is estimated at 9,925,000,000 gallons.
In 1957, the company's operating revenues aggregated $9,500,000 while net income was $2,766,332. Gross capital expenditures in 1948-57 were $50,474,513 and retirements $1,128,489,- resulting in net expenditures of $49,346,024, equal to 66% of the original cost of the utility plant at Dec. 31, 1957.

1963 "Water Dictates County's Future," Delaware County Daily Times, October 12, 1963, Page 4A | Part 2 |.

1964 "75 Years Ago," Delaware County Daily Times (Chester, Pennsylvania),  May 4, 1964, Page 6.
The West Hill Water Company of Swarthmore will apply for a charter.  The company will supply water to the public in Springfield.

1967 The Swarthmoreean (January 27, 1967)
Page 5:  Philadelphia Suburban Water Company advertisement

1986 Reflections on Water: A Centennial History of Philadelphia Suburban Water Company, by Jerry A. Sacchetti

1991 "From one tower, a home and a utility," The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 13, 1991, Page 6DC.

1993 Swarthmore Illustrated:  A Centennial History
Page 15:  In 1881, the West Hill Company together with help from several college professors built a small gravity-feed stastion to supply water to their homes.  As demand grew, the group was incorporated as the Springfield Water Company in 1886.  Within a few years it was aparent that the facility could not handle the growing population, and the facility moved out of Swarthmore.  The company continued to grow and became Springfield Consolidated Water Company and eventually Philadelphia Suburban Water Company.  The three story water tower was converted into a house and subsquently enlarged and renovated for Warren M. Foot by architect Walter F. Price, brother of William L. Price, in an Arts and Crafts-related style that the Prices favored.
Photo caption:  West Hill Water Tower, 1881, now incorporated into the residence at 540 Ogden Avenue.

2000 SEC Form 10-K for Philadelphia Suburban Corporation

2003 Conservation and Stewardship Plan for the Crum Woods of Swarthmore College

2004 Springfield Township, Delaware County
In 1881, the West Hill Water Tower was a small gravity-fed water station, built to supply new homes of the West Hill Land Company.  In 1886, the newly formed Springfield Water Company gained control of the tower.  Later, the tower was converted into a home for Warren Foot.  It remains on the corner of Walnut Lane and Ogden Avenue in Swarthmore.  In 1925, the Springfield Water Company was renamed the Philadelphia Suburban Water Company.  (Keith Lockhart)

2005 Aqua America Annual Report

2005 Crum Creek Watershed Conservation Plan

2009 Swarthmore Borough, by Susanna K. Morikawa and Patricia C. O'Donnell
Page 28:  Building Lots of the West Hill Land Company, ca. 1881
Page 32:  In 1881, the West Hill Land Company and several college professors built a small pumping station to supply water to the area.  The group was incorporated in 1886 as the Springfield Water Company.  Within a few years, the facility was moved out of Swarthmore to accommodate increased population.  The Springfield Water Company eventually became Philadelphia Suburban Water Company, now part of Aqua Pennsylvania.
Page 44:  Swarthmore Improvement Company

The Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College holds the general reference files of the Swarthmore Historical Society, which includes one folder titled "Water Company," in Series 7: Miscellaneous Subject Files, Box 16.

Swarthmore College Campus Map, shows Whiskey Run north of campus and Dick's Run on the west side of Crum Creek.







© 2019 Morris A. Pierce